Tag Archives: kids

Friday Favourites


I can’t believe another Friday is actually here! Time goes by so quickly!

Our big news is that Ela is now rolling over from her back to her tummy! Such a big girl!

Here are some of my favourite blog post for the week:

I found this post about gluten free flour very interesting…

Seyfi has said that he is completely taking over weekend breakfast making… But I really want to try this strata… I wonder if he’d make it…

I love crepes, but why does it always auto correct to creeps? Anyway these look delicious!

I love my diaper bag, but this one looks gorgeous…

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Some how, and I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but I have gotten myself slightly addicted to Real Housewives, both of New York and Vancouver…

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Hope you all have a great weekend!

See you next week!

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Expat Living- Breastfeeding in Public


Today I went to my local breastfeeding support group. There are two facilitators, Jane and Cindy, (who are so resourceful) and a bunch of new mothers, some first time, some second or third babies. We sit and chat about breastfeeding problems, mothering questions, new baby issues and try to bounce ideas off of each other to help each other out.

Breastfeeding is hard. It isn’t as easy as it looks in the beginning. I had some very painful problems in the beginning with both Alara and Ela, and with Ela, this group helped me out immensely, and I have since been able to go on and continue breastfeeding her.

What does this have to do with breastfeeding in public? A lot actually, because if you are not comfortable and relaxed while breastfeeding, there is no way that you are going to even attempt to breastfeed in public.

Seyfi and I always said that we were never going to let having children stop us from traveling and going out. However, we don’t want to leave our kids at home either.

So we take them everywhere.

With Alara she went to every restaurant, cafe, dinner party, you name it with us when she was a baby. Here’s the thing though, I would breastfeed her in a separate room. I would go to a different area, or one of those breastfeeding rooms in the shopping centre, and breastfeed her there.

Not with Ela.

With Ela I have a whole new outlook on breastfeeding in public.

I do it wherever I want.


I have breastfeed Ela, in airports, on airplanes, in restaurants while eating, at friend’s houses, at the library, at the park, the list goes on. I have even breastfed her on the top of a open double decker tour bus while touring around London!

I just make sure that I cover myself up.

There are a few reasons why I no longer hide myself…

1. I have a three year old, I am not going to lock Alara in a room with me while I am trying to feed Ela, and it is just the three of us.
2. If it is the four of us, or we are with friends, I don’t want to be left out. I don’t want to miss out on anything that is happening around me!
3. I love going out, and so does Ela. I don’t want to spend the next year of my life stuck at home. The best way for her to see how to behave in public, is for us to actually take her out in public.
4. We are only in this part of Europe for a short time. I don’t want to take a year out of being able to travel around and see great places.
5. And this one might be controversial, but I am just feeding my baby, and there is nothing wrong or shameful in that.

Ok, so those are my reasons, here are a few tips…

*bring something that can go over both you and the baby. Most people won’t even notice if you are covered up. I generally use an old pashmina or really big scarf. You can buy/make one of those cover ups.

*if you think you are going to have to breastfeed in public, plan your outfit accordingly. A dress that doesn’t allow access from the top may not be the best choice. But blouses, flowy shirts, wider sweaters all work well.

*find somewhere comfortable to sit down. This is so important, you do need to be comfortable, otherwise it will be difficult to get comfortable, and then you will have to adjust yourself more often, which I find stressful.

*this is a tip for restaurants, but try to put your baby on the side that allows your ‘good’ hand to work. This way, you can still eat without dropping food all over yourself!

You know, I’ve never had anyone say anything to me while I was breastfeeding in public, maybe I’ve been lucky, but I’ve done it in a few different countries, and it hasn’t been an issue…

I hope that if you choose to breastfeed, that you have all the support that I have had, and you can always email me if you need some more!

Location:Rue des Brasseurs,Mons,Belgium

Chickens


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,


Scrambled…


Cooked…


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.

Friday Favourites


Well, Alara has finished her week at art school. She really loved it! She has come home with a bunch of beautifully, colourful abstract paintings, that I plan to hang up around the house.

This week has been good, but I don’t feel like I got very much done around the house. I think that with Alara going back to school next week, things will settle back into our normal routine, and I can be more productive.

But here is what I have been into this week…

Here are my favourite blog posts…

I’ve just gotten a new juicer, and this post was nice to read.

I love anything lemon poppy seed, so I’ll be making these!

All I have to say is mmmm shortbread.

Lemon cookies would also be good…

Other wise I really haven’t been up to too much this week,

I’m feeling slightly disappointed with Mad Men (please tell me it is going to get better…), but I am loving Up All Night, and Glee has some how sucked me back in…

I’m trying to read the newest Sophie Kinsella book, I’ve Got Your Number, but am having trouble getting into it…

We are planning on having a quiet weekend at home (thank goodness!).

However, Seyfi has mentioned something about the Turkish football playoffs starting this weekend…. Oh goodness!

Hope you all have a great weekend!
See you next week!

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…

It was BRILLIANT!

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…

Amazing…


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

Delicious!

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!

London


Up until this point, I had always considered myself a Paris girl, that is until this weekend…

We’ve just returned from a long weekend in London, and had a wonderful time. We spent two days in London, and a day in Oxford and the Cotswolds.

Brilliant.

In London, we did the totally tourist way to see it. On Friday we enjoyed the Champagne Experience on the London Eye.


The London Eye was fun for all of us. Even Alara enjoyed it. She was given a bag with binoculars, a notebook, and a pencil to use while on the ferris wheel. We all enjoyed our drinks, and got to see London from a different view.

On Saturday, we took a bus tour around the city. It was an off and on tour, and it truly was the best way to see the whole city and to learn some really interesting facts, that I never would have learned on my own.


It is because of the bus tour that we were able to see everything that we wanted. It was also a great way to see lots of things with the girls. Alara loved being on the bus, looking at the sights and hearing the stories about them, and Ela either looked around, slept or fed (more on that later) while we toured about.

I absolutely loved London. It is such a relaxed place, the people are so nice and helpful, the food was great (yummy curry!!) and it was so easy to get around.

I can’t wait for our next trip there!

Pineapple Cupcakes

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As I’ve mentioned, I have an amazing husband, but there is one thing about him that can be a bit much… He is football (soccer) crazy!

Turkish league, Spanish league, English league, Champions league, Premier League (how do I know all this?!), he watches it ALL! Basically if there is a match on, he will watch it!

Now that we have been married for so long, I no longer feel that I need to fake like watching football, so I don’t. I leave him alone to watch the matches. He seems to like this, he gets himself a snack and a drink, and watches his matches and tries not to wake us all up when he is yelling at the tv.

The only time he doesn’t like watching the matches is when it is a ‘big’ match, like a Derby (when two teams from the same city play against each other).

A couple of weeks ago, such a match came on, the two biggest Istanbul teams were playing against each other, so Seyfi invited two of his friends over to watch the match.

What worked out great is that the guys all got together at our house for pizza and beer, while the wives and kids got together at one of the other houses to hangout and avoid having to watch the match!

It’s so great when both the husbands and wives are such great friends!

Since my friend was going to be making pizza for the ladies and kids (which was some of the best pizza I’ve eaten in a long time) I thought I would make a dessert to take over for all of us.

I wanted to make cupcakes, but I didn’t want them to be your regular standard chocolate cupcakes (besides, one of the kids doesn’t like chocolate). I decided to make pineapple cupcakes, because lets be honest, who doesn’t like pineapple?

These cupcakes turned out really nice, not too sweet, just right.

It ended up being a good night for all of us. Seyfi’s team won, and I got to hang out with my ladies. Don’t tell Seyfi, but with the European Championship coming up this year, I may ended up watching a match or two, just to have an excuse to invite friends over…

Pineapple Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple slices

Cream for whipping

Put five rings of pineapple into the food processor and add your other wet ingredients. Once they are blended, add the dry ingredients until it all comes together to a chunky (from pineapple) batter.

Pour into paper lined cupcake tray and bake until golden about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool.

While the cupcakes cool, pour the whipping cream and about four tbsp of the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until firm.

Cut the remaining pineapple rings into quarters.

Spread the whipped cream over the cupcakes generously, and garnish with a piece of pineapple.