The Great British Heatwave


For the past 5 years I've always loved and looked forward to the English summers... jotting down a list of outside activities, places to visit, parks and pubs to sit out in with a nice cold pint of cider. Feeling that hot sun on my face with the perfect breeze just enough to cool me down, I could sit in the sun all day in England. But then, this year happened. It was freaking HOT; I mean like Houston-hot, a-holiday-abroad hot, and not exaggerating hot, it was hell HOT. And it lasted months, not a couple of weeks which I probably could of managed, probably... probably not. But still, a good 2 months hot. And it would of been all fine and dandy if it was Houston because I could of hid inside the house with my blasting AC. If I needed to go somewhere, well you know how we do - we go from house AC to car AC to shop AC, and we're good! Summer? What summer?! But here in England, there was nowhere to hide. 

Check out this photo of Dorset last year vs Dorset this year during the heatwave and no rain. You can see how serious this actually was. 



As I said in the past, a lot of places in England do not have AC; and our home, like 99% of the homes in Britain do not have AC either. What for? We only have a mild 2-3 months of summer, a standing fan does the job just fine. But nope, not THIS summer, our fan was crap! It was like that time all the electricity went out in Houston for a couple of days because of Hurricane Rita and all we had to cool us off were old album covers to use as hand fans. OK, it might have not been that bad because there is no humidity here, but at the time it sure did feel like it. 

So instead of my little list of outdoor activities, I was online searching for shops where I could order another standing fan to put in the bedroom because the one we already had was worthless. Obviously everyone was feeling the same as we were because no stores ANYWHERE had any more fans in stock. The ones I did end up finding were sold for stupid prices that I refuse to spend money on, same for the air conditioning. So my hard-headed ass chose to suffer and wait out the horrible uncomfortable gross nights.

Now don't get me wrong, the days were OK. It's OK if you are outside, it's actually quite lovely. The beaches were packed with sunbathers, the quay was full of holiday makers, parks full as well. But if you had to be inside - forget it. The double glazed windows do not help the situation either. So we did manage to get out a few days and they were always nice - windows down, AC on, that's how I always do. I must say I did and for now still do enjoy going swimming and not have to worry about blow drying my hair after because it's too cold and I might get sick. That has really been so nice and something I was really looking forward to this summer (hashtag thelittlethings). Wearing flip flops, tank tops and shorts, having ice cream cones on the quay... some things you just have to do and will always love. It's especially really cool seeing all the excited tourist enjoying themselves, knowing they chose to spend their summer holiday in the town where you live. Sorta makes you feel lucky and proud.

Poole Quay 


One of the biggest highlights of the summer and maybe the only highlight was that Steve and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary! Yes! Five years, just like that! Where did all that time go? I have no idea! I've been a married woman in love for 5 whole years! Still pretty damn happy, still feeling like newlyweds... honestly, who said married life was hard? I'm not even being funny about that question. Steve and I talk about it all the time and don't get how people say marriage is hard work. What??? How?? *shrugs* Who knows, who cares! I'm just so happy and pray that we have another amazing, healthy 5 years and more together. 

5 Years of Sille Bliss! <3

Because it is such a special anniversary - the big 5 - we decided to celebrate all year long (because we're silly like that). We started off with the first month we met - April. We planned a very romantic and relaxing holiday on the island of Zante in Greece and what a memorable holiday that was... picturesque scenery, gorgeous weather, lush food, romantic spa treatments - the perfect way to start off our celebrations. 
Zante Greece 2018

For our official day of marriage in July, we celebrated with a romantic weekend out on the town doing what we love - afternoon tea (of course), the cinema and food (dinner). We also spent one evening on a cruise from the quay to Wareham which was so fun. We've done cruises around Poole harbour before but this was territory we've never been by boat which made it all the more exciting. 

A romantic movie for the most romantic day - The First Purge

We can't have any celebration without an afternoon tea! 
Poole to Wareham cruise

And the year is not over yet, we still have November to celebrate the month we were married in church. That will be another destination celebration! Location TBD (to be determined)!

So all in all, yes I've complained a lot about this summer's heatwave, and if you know me well, you know I do love a good rant. But the fact is, if you ignore all the sweaty hard to sleep nights, I really did love it just as much as everyone else did. It was much needed after our coldest snow winter ever back in March, which I must add, was pretty freaking amazing in itself as well... and with that and everything else that has gone on, not only has the summer been pretty unique but so far it's really been an amazing year and I'm just ready for more!   x,s

All photos on my instagram: @sillebliss 

My love and hate relationship...

I hate when winter starts to slowly creep in for the season... you start to instantly feel the cold in the air. Just when I'm getting use to wearing my sleeveless tops and flip flops, even running outside barefoot, suddenly all that is gone. I start to dread it, thinking about how long it will be when I'll be able to wear and do these things again. Now once I've gotten over that sadness and I'm dealing with it, it's a whole other story. I begin to embrace the coldness, the shorter days and extremely longer nights, I start getting excited to wear my cozy jumpers and my many jackets & coats I've now accumulated since living here, as well as my many cute scarves and hats. So then I start to enjoy the winter... but then after about 4 months of the blistering cold, constantly having to layer my clothes just to run to the shop, wearing double the socks and leggings under my jeans, I'm just soooo ready for spring and I'm back to hating winter all over again. That's my love and hate relationship with winter since I've been here, and so here we are once again with another long cold winter.

December 1st - yes, really.


I think this is a start to a very cold and long winter.... I hope not though.
 That's probably as much sun as we will be getting for the next 3 months :P

Stocking up with books at the library... we plan to hibernate for the winter. ;-)

Heading to Exmouth, Devon - 12 Dec 2016


Yes it's this cold!

Holy Trinity Church, Exmouth - 12 Dec 2016

This was one day in somewhere in Dorset heading to Devon

Another photo I do not remember where we were coming from. But the sun was setting and we were just passing Salisbury cathedral. This was a lucky shot and how amazing it was. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the UK.

Salisbury Cathedral - 14 Dec 2016

 Spending time at home right where I belong...



But not on this day, we had to go out to Reading. My first time here and did a little shopping and walking around but I was too cold and a bit sleepy so I headed back to the car ASAP.



Reading, Berkshire - 21 Dec 2016

Saw this van in Reading, loved it! :)

Back home, relaxing... :P

My first taste of mulled wine for the winter!

Soon we were back out on the streets, the busy streets of Poole a couple days before Christmas in the town center... sounded like a bad idea but we had to go and it actually wasn't that bad at all and quite festive! :)



The day before Christmas eve we were in Weymouth to drop off some things for a client and OMG was it packed!! People everywhere, cars everywhere, it was nuts! I didn't want to get out of the car but our favourite little baker is there and we had to get something for breakfast.

Bacon and cheese 
Weymouth, Dorset - 23 Dec 2016

Doctor appointment and a chance to wear my newest jacket :)




Christmas came and went. It was great as always and the same with new years! And another year bites the dust!

New Year's Eve - 31 Dec 2016

2016 was a great year thanks to God! Our family was healthy and our lives full of positivity and love.

Beautiful sun rays over Poole

2015 Done and Dusted!

Christmas has never been a favorite holiday of mine. I've always been more of a Halloween type of girl. But for some reason England brings out a little of the Christmas spirit in me. I think it's the olde worlde charm of these festive villages all lit up and the fact that it's actually winter here, a constant cold reminder everyday. It feels more real to me. But I am not sad to see it go... I'm just ready for the holidays to be over with.... but until then I had a few more days to go!

A couple of days before Christmas Eve, Steve and I were in Lymington. We don't live too far from this little harbour town and I've only been to the harbour area once so I was ready to check out the other parts of it. Even though it was not the high season here it was still very busy... could be last minute Christmas shopping, there were tons of shops along the High Street selling all kinds of stuff.

Lymington, Hampshire. New Forest. England. 2015.12.22 
That hill was no joke. I walked down it to where I took the photo and down more to where I took the photos below.... That's always the easy part when walking hills, it's the coming back up part that is ass kicking. It was worth the walk though and I needed the exercise that's for sure!

The cobbled streets of Quay Hill, Lymington  2015.12.22 


This is where you really gotta work out your legs! This walk up was a bit on the tough side considering it had just finished raining. Even my tennis (with great grip) were slipping a little while walking up, though it seems the man in front of me wasn't having any problems at all. :P


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So Christmas Eve was here. Thank god! Finally. We did what we've been doing every year since I've moved here and that was head to the Bournemouth Gardens for the German Christmas Market. There are families and people everywhere, live music, Christmas stalls, food, drink, all that good stuff. It helps that it is so close to home too cause we only stop by for awhile, but it's still always nice to come out.

Bournemouth Christmas Market  2015.12.24 
We always gotta get our sausages and donuts when we come out here too. The German sausages are the BOMB and the donuts are hot and fresh.



Merry Christmas Eve 2015
Before leaving the market, there was a catholic church nearby so we walked on over just before mass and said a little prayer. 


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My Christmas dinner was amazing, let me tell you that! It was the best Christmas dinner I have made since I've been here. It better have been! I was in the kitchen all day long! We had our 5 meat roast, dressing, sprouts, cheesy cauliflower, broccoli casserole, Yorkshire pudding, pea salad, roasted potatoes.... oh did I mention the dessert? Bread pudding and custard! Everything homemade and everything the bomb! Thank you Pinterest!! ;) 

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New Year's Eve 2015.12.31

The only thing we did this new year's eve was go out for our last meal of the year, and boy did we do it right! All this was for just us two, needless to say we took a lot home and had as a midnight snack! 



The first time I ever tried Indian food was when I came to England and though I did like it a lot, it wasn't anything I loved and craved like most of the people do in Britain. They grew up with it, I get it. To them it's like the Mexican food to the everyone who isn't Mexican in the US. But for me it just wasn't like that... until I came here, it was soo good. After a week or so, I was craving more. Mmm!

So here we are, midnight and another year bites the dust. I don't mean that in a bad way, it was a good year. We were blessed to live another healthy and safe year. Myself, Steve and our families & friends. The only sad thing that happened this year was my Love's passing. And I can't complain about that either. She had to leave this world. Her lungs were done with all the smoking she did throughout her years of living which caused her to get cancer and which spread everywhere. It was time for her to go with the lord and be with her family in heaven. She left this world pain free without pain meds that would of controlled her judgement of who was all around her to tell her goodbye. She got to see everyone she loved and tell everyone goodbye. We all were blessed that God did that for us. Most people do not get the opportunity to tell their loved ones goodbye before they pass. We did, and I'm so grateful. I got to be there with here, thank god for that as well. So, yes it was a good year. I pray and hope next year is a good year... I hope we all take care of ourselves and God watches over all my family and friends. Happy New Year!
New Year's Eve 2015
Wishing all our family and friends around the world a Happy New Year full of love, good health and happiness! May 2016 be a great one for us all! We love you! 😀
💞🎉

My Love's Rings

I always told myself that when I could read the post I wrote about my Love's rings without crying, then that would be when I am ready to wear them. But I think no matter what, I'll always feel like crying when I read that post.

It's going on 6 months since my Love has passed away and for awhile now I have been really thinking a lot about it. I know if my Love could talk to me now, seeing that I kept her rings in my bedside drawer and them never being worn, she'd be pretty pissed off. She'd say in her loud almost mad sounding voice, "Mija, I told you I wanted you to have these rings when I died so you could wear them! Not keep them put away like that!" Then she'd half roll her eyes, look one way, then look back at me and give me her sweet playful smile letting me know she really wasn't mad, but was very serious.

So, I have decided to get them fitted asap. My Love also wanted Steve & I to use her rings when we got married, but we had already had our own at the time so we were not able to.

Well now, Steve and I have decided to have our marriage blessed in the church soon. The first idea that pops in my mind is that we will use her rings to do this. I'm so excited! And to be using her rings just as she wanted makes me even more happy! I know she will be there with us celebrating this special moment.

But even before that happens, I could not keep those rings sitting in that drawer not one day longer! Luckily I found a place that does ring sizing AS YOU WAIT and this afternoon we went and did that. They came out perfect and beautiful!


I'm proud and happy to finally be wearing my Love's rings. I already feel more closer to her with them on and I know she is happy.

From now on I will do my best to only think of the fun and happy times we had. There were soooo many of these fun moments we had together and I know she would not want me to be sad every time I missed her. Not only was she the best grandma in the world, she was also one cool and awesome little lady!   

Happy Birthday to My Popo!

A birthday🎉 TBT of me w/my Popo who turns 76 years young today! 💖🎈🎁🎈💗








My Little Lady

My little lady was put in her final place of rest today. I wasn't there in person but I was definitely there in my thoughts. I can't wait to go and visit her when I'm in Houston. I'm happy she is now settled in her new home...

I miss you Love. 


No Regrets

I have zero regrets when it comes to my Love. It is not a fact when someone says, "You'll always have regrets when someone dies." Statements like this are opinions, usually from a person who is guilty of treating someone like shit and is trying to find some way to make themselves feel better about it. It is possible to go through life treating your parent with respect or grandparent with love, (especially as an adult who should know better) and have no regrets after they are gone from this world. It's not like you're trying to swallow boiling water.

Before my Love passed, I was always there for her - when it mattered, when it didn't. I never treated her bad, ignored her, disrespected her, leave her in a room alone while she's still talking because I didn't like who she was talking about. I didn't only visit her on her birthday, or when I needed something, or once every couple of months; especially when she needed us most during the last couple years of her being in and out of the hospital. I always had her back and hated on anyone who gossipped about her or when her 2-faced sisters would never invite her to their family gatherings/parties. 

When I did visit her, I always helped her with anything, asked her if she needed something, always offering because common sense will tell you a person is not always going to tell you what they need or would like. You don't have to hold a college degree to figure out what a person you care for and love needs to feel comfortable or stay healthy. For example, you wouldn't buy a person with diabetes a basket of sweets, chocolate bars or pan dulce, would you? You would get them a fruit basket if they like sweets or make them a sugar free cake if you must. Everything is sugar free now-a-days.

We love her, it's natural to do things for the people you love. I thought doing things like that came naturally from a person, like blinking your eyes, feeling hungry, breathing.... maybe it doesn't for all. But you also think to yourself and remember, they are elderly, they have their pride, they will never ask for help or things, but being a daughter and even a granddaughter, you just know and you just do. 

When she first got sick, never did I care or even think about asking her to sign papers so when the day did come when she died, I would get her rings she promised me. How could I ask of such a thing from my dying grandmother, much less if she was my mother!? That is pretty heartbreaking. But I guess when you do not care for the parent and it is only you and them in the room, and you think no one else is listening, it doesn't matter anyway right? It's an amazingly shocking thing how low people go and selfish they become when someone dies. 

But even after naming not even half of the horrible things I didn't do, I am still able to write a never ending list of all the wonderful loving things that I did do, and that feels amazing inside! And the thing is, I do not need to list anything that my mom and I did for my Love and my grandfather during those rough times and any other time in their lives. My Momo knew and my Popo knows...

Over the years I've learned a lot about how the people that we grew up calling family can be. I learned that they were not true family but only relatives by blood who use the word 'family' as an excuse for you to put up with, deal with, and forgive them for things you wouldn't normally do for anyone else. My family are the people who love me and care for me unconditionally, as I do them - be it blood relatives or friends. I don't go years without speaking with them, talk about them to each other behind their backs or pretend to 'like' them, what would be the point then? 

I'll say it once and I'll say it a million times, I'm so grateful and blessed in the true meaning of the word to have a mother like mine. I can never say enough of how strong and independent she had made me to be. How to respect people when they should be respected. She's taught me how to play the game when it needs to be played. When not to put up with a person's bullshit, how to ignore the ones who really do not matter in life - the jealous people who envy you and hate you because you don't care and because you aren't afraid to speak the truth. 

Yes she pisses me off and we get on each others nerves at times, but I can never see myself ever not talking to her for even a week, much less months at a time because I'm mad or because I do not want to be bothered. That isn't only because I love her but she raised me and taught me that isn't how a daughter should treat her mother - to never hold a petty grudge with your own mother and go months without speaking with her, cause that will guarantee you the 'regrets' that these heartless selfish people speak of. 

My Love was so lucky to have a daughter like my Mom. My mom may not realize this, but she was my Love's real life angel. I know my Momo is looking down in agreement :) and my Popo feels the same way. Not many people get the opportunity in life to have that in someone but my Love did. Just as my mom does in me and always will, especially when she needs me the most...





Rings of Love

Ever since I was a little girl, my grandma would say to me, "Mija when I die, I'm going to let you have my wedding rings." It's not so bad hearing that when the person telling you is healthy enough to know they got a long way to go; and even then you really don't hear the death part of it and just think about how beautiful the rings are. But then when the time comes near, it really isn't something you wanna accept or even hear. You stop thinking about how beautiful the rings are and more about the death part becoming a reality.

Up to her last stay in the hospital when I called to speak with her and while with her the day before her passing, she was still wanting to make sure I was going to "get her rings." I don't think it set in even then because my first feeling was to laugh and think she was so silly for even bringing it up.

The day my Popo came to my mom's house, I thought it was only to tell Steve and I goodbye cause we were leaving back to England the next day, but he also had my Love's wedding rings.

Before she passed I knew my grandpa would give them to me eventually, maybe when we came back to visit again. I don't know, it wasn't something I was really thinking about, even with my grandma constantly talking about it.

But there they were, safe in a little box with my name written on it; and I felt so sad. The day was here when I no longer had my Love and all that I had left were her wedding rings she always talked about me having. And all I could think was that I wanted my Love back.

I know I have so many amazing memories with my Love; so many fun times. I am lucky we even got to live with them on and off throughout my childhood and teenage years, and to have always lived less than 5 minutes away from her, even as close as just across the street for the past 15 years till now was pretty awesome too; but I still can't help wishing if I could of only had her a little longer. Once she left, all those years suddenly felt like they flew right by, in the blink of an eye.

I haven't got the rings fitted so I can wear them yet. Just looking at them in the box gets me upset. I feel like once I start wearing them I will cry even more throughout the days then I do already. I don't know.

What I do know is that I miss my Love and it really sucks that I'll never be able to see her, hug her and kiss her again for the rest of my life.


Rest In Peace My Love



Elida R. Balandran, 74, was born on February 5, 1941 in Houston, Texas and went to be home with her "Lord and Savior" on May 21, 2015 in Houston Texas. Preceded in death by her beloved Parents, Arturo and Emilia Ramirez. Elida is survived by her Husband of 56 years, Domingo V. Balandran; her 2 Sons and 2 Daughters, 8 Grandchildren, 9 Great Grandchildren, and many relatives and friends.

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How could I not have anything to say about my Love? I am lucky to have had her for 39 years of my life, with so many awesome memories. She was fun, always wanting to be out and loved to be around people. She always loved having everyone at her house. Anytime anyone asked her for something, she was happy to do it for them, not ever expecting anything in return. She was a sassy little lady too, never sugar coating anything. She was tough and the true definition of real. She never held back from speaking her mind. Any friends of mine that met her, loved her and friends who I talked about her to that had never met her, loved her too... But I loved her the most.

I'm happy to have had so many memories with my Love. I know she will be watching over me, and she might even haunt me from time to time. I hope so... she said she would.

There was this one story she told me, I use to make her tell it to me once in a while. She said when she was young, her and her sister Lela were at a store. I think it was like a Woolworth or something. They saw a bag in the middle of the store, I think maybe in one of the aisles; just there by itself. They were at a distance where they could see it and wanted to run and grab it but were scared they'd get caught stealing if they took it, but no one was around. So they were deciding who should take it, her or her sister. Finally they just ran to it, got it and ran off to the store's bathroom. When they opened it to see what was inside, it was all their own stuff. The bag they took was their own bag. She said they busted out laughing so hard. They couldn't believe they were so scared, only for it to be their own bag they stole. Silly girls. That story was so funny to me... I loved hearing all her little stories.

I'm going to miss that little lady of mine; but I know now that she is comfortable and happy with her mommy and daddy, chillin' on a cloud in heaven, watching over us all, patiently waiting for us to join them.


                                                                                                   21.05.2015 - 18:37