Monday, January 31, 2011

Turkish Breakfast ~

Turkish Breakfast.  I have posted two different series of pics can you find the theme? :)

Every Saturday morning we have a family breakfast together, which includes a leisurely Turkish breakfast we eat at around 10:00 am.  Then we usually do something fun, play a game or go somewhere and if we stay home kids are allowed to stay in pj's until noon. (that was my idea and lots of times I am right along with them.) he he

So the picture below is a typical Turkish breakfast minus the boiled egg.  David goes to the bread store in the morning and comes back with something hot straight out of the oven either simit (which is pictured below) or a poacha.

 I love Turkish breakfast and look forward to Saturday mornings to drink tea, eat fresh food and enjoy my family. In Turkey, breakfast is a leisurlly time and no one is in a hurry and the tea brews and you sit and enjoy each other.

Turkish black tea, green and black olives, sheep cheese, feta cheese, cucs and tomatoes.
 Plus a warm simit.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

BOREK :  The following is a series of pictures about a pastry item here called Borek.
It is also a breakfast item or for tea.  However, if you eat Borek black Turkish tea is a requirement. :)

For borek you baste the yufka with olive oil, egg and milk and then stuff it.
I always do feta cheese and parsley. It is our favorite and we eat it for Breakfast and dinner. :)

It is a very thin and so the Borek is flaky. It is made with yufka. 

There is so many ways to make Borek.  It comes in all different shapes and sizes.
Some with cheese, some with meat and some with potatoes. :)

~Yes the theme here is tea and feta cheese with some kind of warm pastry. 

I would like to have the above pic for lunch today but I have no yufka. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

a song to warm your day

My colorful sister-n-law sent me this song and a wonderful smile came to my lips and a little sun shone in. 
Click on the link and enjoy, snap your fingers and browse the blog. ;)
Nikki Yanovsky

delighted by a small thing..

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

DIY cardboard dollhouse

Blogging the oldies #3 ~ Polly Pocket DIYcardboard dollhouse.

These boxes were from Ikea. (there is an Ikea in Istanbul!!) I think they had ceiling lights in them. I saved them for some time and then inspiration hit.  I painted and prepared the doll houses with some wall paint we had from the past and then gave them to the girls and we worked on decorating the outside and the inside together.

We made these houses and furniture in April of 2009 and they have lasted for over a good year and a half and my girls have played with them ALOT.  For Christmas this year we made a wood doll house from scrap wood ~ a more permanent home for their Polly pockets. ;)

Here are the beds. I let the girls pick out the fabric they liked and I sewed it around the sponge to make a cozy bed and then cut out a piece that matched for the blanket.  I wish I would have taken more pics of the furniture pieces. 
                      Here is a video of the finished product and a little tour of the Polly pocket homes.

The furniture is simple - tea boxes, egg carton for lights, match boxes, cut out pictures from magazines etc. The kitchen floor is scrapbook paper cut in squares and then glued in.

I have a few more 'blogging the oldies' about Polly pockets that I want to post.  I really like Polly pockets.  They are small and easy to store, innocent and they are affordable here and they last.  My desire is to keep the 'little' in my little girls and some of the toys out there go against that goal, however I think Pollies work for us.

I looked up different sites online when I was making our doll-houses and so I hope this gives someone else some fun inspiration.~

Ok enough about that~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DIY building blocks for Isaac

Blogging the oldies #2  
These are milk and juice cartons.  We have that 'long life' milk and it all comes in the same size containers soo... we saved up a few and Alyssa my dear friend saved up a few for me and tada we could begin.

I cut out the spout and then rinsed each one, let them dry and then stuffed them not too tight with newspaper and then contact papered them.  I think if I could have found a brick kind of contact paper that would have been fun but I found what I found and am happy that contact paper is so inexpensive. 

This pic makes me happy.  It is such a reward for me to see my kids use what I created.

We made these about a year ago and they are still in good condition and in Isaac's room, which he plays with from time to time.

This picture was taken this week. I caught the kids in action with the building blocks. 
Nothing too exciting but one of those projects that are simple and it was one of the beginning projects here in my little west corner that I started using what I had. ~

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pop up window praying

Well as a mom I find that I have conversations through out the day with God, kind of like the pop up window that shows up for comments.  I click on prayer and up pops the box and I comment this and that to the Lord and ask this or that.  It is a constant dialog through out the day of asking for help and saying thank you.  I love this, however recently I was talking with my friends Consuelo and Alyssa and we were talking about how it seems to be harder now to be still and take time to wait on God and to listen to his voice.  I have recently thought about how I am missing out on the deeper more intimate side of my Lord.  I love that He is always with me and that I can abide in him through out the day. It seems that even my quiet times in the mornings I have been practicing pop up window praying.  I think as a mom my mind is constantly moving from one thing to the next from one child to the next, from one prayer point to the next and being alone and holding still is hard for me just like it is for my little Isaac. :) I feel like I need to relearn the art of being still and listening. ~

Be still my soul, be still and listen for your Saviors voice.

~ me over here in the west corner 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

DIY cardboard playhouse (shanty)

Blogging the oldies ~

 I am going to dedicate the next series of posts to some old creative moments we have had here in this little ole town.  Mainly lots of pics and lots of fun stuff the kids and I have done together.
First and a favorite of ours:

THE CARDBOARD SHANTY (diy cardboard playhouse)

Yes, just like in my post :  Cooking it up in make believe - (again I found these boxes next to a  Garbage bin down the street with all three kids, and we hauled them home. :) 

Box #1

Box #2

Here is the shanty ready to be inhabitited

Oh look tenants have arrived.

Looks like they have made themselves a home

Yes, these tenants spent much of there time discussing matters of great importance,
and eating crackers.

The shelf was added simply by using pipe cleaners. I poked holes through the box and then the shanty and had one of the kids hold the 'shelf'  while I poked it through from the shanty to the box and then twisted it tight. I did this twice and it held up great. I chose the side that was the strongest box to put the shelf up.

This shanty was a permanent fixture in our living room for over a month.  Yep Christmas time came and the tenants decorated their home for the holidays. :)  One day I walked in my living room and said "that is it I am ready for my living room back" and so the three little tenants moved on..

All you need is a good box and some supporting pieces of cardboard, some duct tape and you too could have some of your own sweet tenants living in your living room. :)

From my little west corner to your corner,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Sorry there wasn't a way to comment for awhile however my comment pop up box is now working and hoping to get my reactions working soon. Soooo you can comment now.. just click on the word comment at the end of my post and let me know what you think.  Thanks. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great idea for a mural

If any of you like murals like me PLEASE check out this diy mural from fabric. It is so much fun. It makes me happy just looking at it. :)

Our Artful Life: Mural Day

I really hope to do a fabric mural at some point and this is so inspiring to me. 


Fun diy owl mural

I love having my kitchen full of the kids projects and drawings. I call it our art gallery.  Any way I had a bunch of tp rolls I had been collecting and then I saw this entry at Frugal family fun on owls made from tp rolls.

After the girls made the owls they so needed a home and since the kitchen was a little bare from taking down our cardboard Christmas tree, we were ready for something else.
Here is the little brother tp roll owl

and here are the two sisters. :) 

Autumn basically drew most of the tree..
I couldn't seem to get it right so Autumn and David helped me out. 

So here are our owls in there right habitat. :)
The flowers are just sticky notes and so are the leaves (they were the heart kind)
and the stems are green contact paper we had left over.
This little project cost me 2.17 lira (maybe a dollar 25)

That night for dinner we learned a lot about owls and the girls learned the word nocturnal. ;)

In our little west corner,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Great Blog

Frugal Family Fun blog is great if you have young kids and love to craft.  
I really enjoy the practical inexpensive ideas. 

Dinner prep didn't look like a Christmas card portrait

Dinner time preparation at my house a few nights ago... Autumn doing her homework and listening to some music or story.  Isaac very needy and wanting to be held and Lydia wanting to be my little helper.  So dinner prep began with lots of tugs on the pants and "what can i do next' please.  At one point Autumn needed to know what this and that Turkish word was in English and Issac was crying and whining to be held and Autumn was yelling "I can't hear to concentrate" (meanwhile music is on- which I just never seemed to be able to make it over there to shut it off?) and Lydia following me around asking what else she could do. So I am holding a Turkish/English dictionary, Isaac, stirring my tomato paste in the water and Lydia patting me over and over asking how she can "help" now?   Then at some point 2 out of three were crying for some reason. The Chaos in the kitchen felt like it just kept increasing and with plenty of noise to go with it. At one point Lydia and Isaac are both sitting on the counter Lydia "helping" and me trying to give Isaac fun things to do with no avail.  I stopped and started dinner so many times that night.  I was only making vegetarian chili and cornbread but we didn't eat until 7:00 that night but we DID eat.  During those moments I was asking myself 'what is the deal? what is going on?" as if my family is always the Christmas family picture example.  The verse that came to my mind in that moment was  1 Peter 4:12  Paul wrote "Don't be surprised at the trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad for these trials, that make you partners with Christ in his suffering.." Ok  so my moment of trial wasn't quite the suffering I think Paul meant here however it still applied to me and I believe Christ gave me this verse at that moment so I could receive grace and not have a complaining heart which so effects my attitude even if I don't say the words.

Really my patience was whaning on and off that night.  These things happen so often and if my expections are right then my patience is full and grace is sufficient.  I should remember that these are some of those character trails in my life... i think I forget to be "glad" for this kind of trial thinking that dinner was the end goal.

~ all for now

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homemade (diy) racetrack

Ok well we made a lot of homemade Christmas presents this year.  It was really rewarding.  Dave and I both came up with this simple diy racetrack but Dave did most the work.

For those who live in Turkey the actually race track part is from one of the perde (curtain) tracks here. David cut out the inner part then cut some plywood and glue gunned it we had and some extra pieces from some scrap wood and with some paint ..tada.

We made the track to come apart (mainly by my request)
 because we wanted it to me stored easily and now it can be used a few different ways.

Here's Isaac using the track that is multiple function. :)

Here it is Christmas eve waiting to be claimed by our little boy

Great Premades for for a great price

I just added my first button.  Yippee.  Anyway if you are interested in a blog design (template) this is a great worthwhile site. The template you see on my blog is from this site.  Mine is called Bold blooms. 

The premades she offers are only $6 total, great deal. She has several to pick from, with fun and chick options.  Really it is an amazing price and all the proceeds go for their upcoming adoption.~  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Autumn's quilted pillow

This is Autumn's pillow.  I  really had fun putting together these colors. It was fun to pick colors and design to match my girlies .  However I feel like the pics don't do justice .. (but that's probably just me since I worked on them for a solid month and 1/2 ;))  I am the kind of person who learns by doing. Wow did I make a bunch of mistakes and have to start over on this or that,  but after Lydia's pillow which was more complex anyway, this pillow didn't seem to take me as long and the actually quilting (sewing) part was a lot of  fun.

This is the back.  I need to fix the one side  however the back is Autumns favorite part right now.
It was fun to do applique for the first time with this.

Christmas morning ~ with the pillows.
(yes that is our homemade doll-house in the background.
I want to blog on that soon too.)

Christmas 2010 ~ In our west corner,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas in the confines..

Christmas this year I missed family deeply.  As we all gathered together in this quaint little town in Turkey where not a soul was aware that we were preparing for all the fun festivities of Christmas. Noone knew or understood what was happening in the confines of our own home~.

I had to leave my apartment at one point during the to run and buy flour at the corner store, which of course was open and not a person to say Merry  Christmas to. I decided to not leave the house the rest of the day it was so anticlamatic.  However the plus side to it all is we recieved a package on Christmas day.  That was fun.

So here we all are..there was 14 of us (8 kiddos) (including the sleeping toddlers)

We are all apart from our families and each one of us missing differnt aspects of Christmas with our families.
I think that is what made us so grateful for being together, it was an extra sweet time.

Autumn and Lydia our sweet girlies.

 Thank you Jesus for helping us celebrate your birth with simplicity and gratefulness this year. 
We love you. ~

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Quilted pillows

Well I did it.Quilted pillows for my two sweet girlies for Christmas. Lydias pillow was the most challenging.  This is my first real quilted anything.  My sweet friend Consuelo gave me some real cotton batting, it is sooo much nicer than the polyester batting that is found here.  I would love to import some of it.  I learned a lot about sewing and by the 2nd pillow I was able to sew much quicker and make less mistakes. :)
Lydia's pinwheel pillow.
I tried to do triangles on every side but I didn't have a cutter and board
and it was taking forever so i only did two sides.

Ta daa this is the back. I tried applique on this
one. Don't know if I did it right but it looks cute and is well secured. 
I love quilting because even if you make a mistake you can fix it with something fun.
 Nothing professional coming from my house, but lots of fun learning.
From our west corner,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blog options

It is now 1:19 am here in my little 'ol town and I have succesfully figured out that designing a blog is exhausting.  The truth is I just can't stand to blog/post if my blog doesn't look fun and inviting to me.  Call me crazy but that's the way it is. 

Well I think I will be taking a break for a few days on the design of this time eating outlet. 

Good night.
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