Tag Archives: family


One of the sad things about Seyfi’s job is that people are constantly in and out of our lives, either we are moving or they are moving.

It is even sadder when people are told they have to move earlier than expected.

This is how we got chickens this weekend.

Our really great friends have been told that they have to move on to their next position, a whole year earlier than expected. We are so sad to be seeing them go. They are a wonderful family, and great people to be friends with.

After talking to them, and seeing their chickens, we had decided that we would like to raise chickens as well for our last year in Belgium. We were just about to get started on the process of getting chicks, when they offered us their chickens.

It’s like getting a dog that is already trained, these chickens are already laying eggs!

So on Saturday afternoon, they came over, we built up the chicken coop, and moved the ladies in.

We thought that the stress of moving to a new place might make the girls a bit nervous about laying eggs so we weren’t expecting anything for a few days.

But, the on Sunday morning…

Our first egg!

Our first egg, which Alara promptly, took to the kitchen,



And ate. All by her self!

I can say that we are an egg family, and these chickens couldn’t be a better gift, it’s just too bad we gained them by losing our good friends.

Jamie’s Italian

Since Seyfi has been wanting to do more cooking, to get inspiration, he has started watching more cooking shows. One of his favourites is Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals.

So, when I suggested that we go to a Jamie Oliver restaurant while we were in the U.K. last weekend, he was totally up for it.

I’ve been a fan of Jamie Oliver’s for a super long time now, and ever since he started catering his cooking style to an accessible, easy, home cooked style, I have really gotten into it.

I also, really agree with his ideas on how we should be feeding our children, about introducing them to new tastes, and giving them healthy food. I loved his food revolution shows (both the ones in the U.K. and U.S.), and learned so much from watching them.

Anyway, onto his restaurant…


Loved it! Loved the food, loved the atmosphere, loved the service! And it wasn’t too expensive either!

Firstly, let me start by saying this, they know how to take care of people with dietary challenges- and we are such a family! I’m deathly allergic to fish, Seyfi has celiac disease, so there is no gluten, and none of us eat pork! We are not easy people!

But, the server handled it all, listened to everything, helped us choose, and made appropriate substitutions where necessary. We left there feeling great!

So here is what we ate:

A shin of beef, braised over night in balsamic vinegar served over creamy polenta…


A whole spring chicken, split and grilled, served with artichokes…


This was Alara’s…

Two mini sliders, one turkey, one beef, served with polenta chips and a ‘shake it’ salad…

The polenta chips were to die for!!
(obviously Seyfi didn’t eat this one… Poor guy…)

Here is Alara enjoying hers…

I was so happy with everything about this restaurant! I can’t say enough about it! I only wish that we could have gone there for both lunch and dinner!

I hope that if you are ever in the U.K. that you will take the opportunity to try out one of Jamie’s Italians. Totally worth every pence!

Expat Living- Air travel with Kids, an Experience

Yesterday I was watching the episode of Up All Night where the Reagan and Chris take their baby on an airplane for the first time. They are all stressed and panicked, but of course in the end all is good, and they learn that their lives don’t have to change after having a baby.

A very good lesson.

As an Expat, travel with children, especially air travel, is a fact of life. Something that you can’t avoid, or put off.

Last night we travelled from Belgium to Turkey. And I have to say, it went really well.

When we left our house, it was already dark. We drove to Germany, which is where we were flying out of. The girls slept the whole way, three hours.

Then, we got the the airport, and other than the people on our flight, the entire place was empty and closed. We checked our bags, went through security, passport control and sat at our gate for, just over and hour.

Ela, whose almost three months, slept the whole time. Alara, whose almost four, sat with us, looked at the airplanes, and talked to the older couple beside us. Very cute.

On the plane, we were told there was a free snack, Alara wanted to wait up for this, she ate it, and then laid down, and went to sleep.

We woke up as the plane was descending, got off, did passport control again, got our bags and hopped in a taxi.

I honestly don’t know how we did it. This was not ‘s first flight, she loves to be on a plane, I think the excitement of seeing her grandparents made her a better traveler. Ela, was also very good, perhaps she realized that this was something she’d be doing for the rest of her life.

Here are some tips that I find make things easier:

*Keep your child talking. Talk about what you see, what’s happening, where your going. I think this attention helps them stay calm.
*Play a man on man defense, each parent takes a kid, and switch it up. That way each child gets what they need.
*Forget about watching your own movie, listening to your own music or reading a book.
*If you see a bathroom, use it.
*Give yourself plenty of time to get everywhere. You don’t want to be running through an airport dragging your kid and their things behind you!
*Show no fear! Kids can smell when you feel out of your element.

All this being said, I hope I haven’t jinxed air travel for us!

Expat Living- My Parents

‘What do your parents think about you living abroad?’

Probably the second most common question I get asked, and likely the most difficult. I know my parents are happy that I am happy. I know that they support my decisions, and are happy with the choices I’ve made.

When I first told my parents I was going to Turkey to work the drove me to the airport, and expected me to be back in a year. Then, when I met Seyfi and things got serious, they came to Turkey to meet him and his family. They came to both of the weddings, and when the girls were born, they came to help me. They come very year to visit, and we go and see them when we get the chance.

I think, they think it is great that I’ve made a life for myself, that I’ve made a family, learned a new culture, and new languages. That I’ve been able to be open minded and accepting of new people and cultures, been adventurous and brave, things I learned from them.

One good thing for them has been all the travel, they’ve been to Turkey quite a few times, and now they’ve been to Belgium (which has also meant trips to France) a couple times. I know they love that!

I think that this day in age, it is very difficult to feel far from anyone. Traveling is easier, although not that cheap. I talk to them a few times a week on the phone we text back and forth, there’s Facebook and Skype.

But, especially since I’ve had children, I think it is getting difficult for them. Even though they see the girls at least once a year for a few weeks, it’s hard for them, and that I completely understand.

Too be honest, I’m very lucky to have such supportive parents. Of course I miss them all the time, but I know that they will always be there for me, and for that I am forever thankful.

Gramdpa’s Project

Since Ela’s arrival, my dad has been staying with us and helping us out. He has been great, it is so sad to think that he is leaving next week 😦

While he has been here, I have asked him to do a few odd jobs around the house, but the big project that I wanted done was a place for Alara to put all her costumes and accessories for dressing up.

Alara loves costumes, today she is Ariel from the little mermaid, yesterday she was a pirate. She likes wearing hats and putting on jewelry. The good thing for her is that she’s got loads of costumes, the bad thing for me was that she had loads of costumes, and no where to put them, (other than a pile on the floor).

When my dad got here, I described what I wanted, and how I needed it to be. It needed to be short enough for Alara to get the costumes and put them away herself, it needed to have hooks, rather than hangers, I didn’t want the box part to have a lid so that fingers didn’t get caught, and I wanted it to look good.

My dad listened to everything I said, looked at the limited amount of tools I actually have, and found a perfect solution, he converted a wooden bookshelf that you can buy at a do it yourself store and made it into the lovely costume station you see here.

Thank you dad for all your help! I’m going to miss you when you go back home!

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Location:Sentier de la Place,Mons,Belgium