Reading, Sewing and a year older!

I love how reading blogs takes you all over the world. You get to peek into other mom’s lifes. See how they live with their children, how they create … I love looking through their lenses. They take breath-taking pictures. It’s so interesting to see how winter is so different in different parts of the county. From snow storms to beach days, from fog to rain to dry, sunny Texas-like weather. It’s all happening this month in the blogesphere. It’s gorgeous. I also enjoy seeing the cozy, candy-lit homes of European bloggers. I keep adding to my blogroll everyday. (See full list here.) What’s great is how supportive bloggers are of eachother. Today I’ve discovered Rosy Little Things on Probably Actuallys blog. I love the foggy winter pictures of Oregon with all the beautiful hand-knit baby sweaters & the floral print Alicia’s little girl is wearing. So beautiful. I’ve also been reading Whitney Deal’s blog: Darling Dexter ever since I saw it mentioned on Oliver+S. Again beautiful pictures & really exceptional eye for kid’s clothes. Again on the Oliver + S blog I’ve come across My Cakies last month. I love bloggers from California. You and Mie is another new favorite of mine from Cali! Their pictures remind me of my home of 7 years… Oh California dreamin’… I miss the beach SO MUCH!!! In other news, yesterday was my birthday.  I gave myself a little break from everything. I slowed down. It was perfect! Outside it was cold cold cold and grey! I can handle the cold with blue skies but that deary grey makes me just want to cuddle up on the couch … Naturally we couldn’t go to the park in the morning. But half way through the morning it dawned on me that this is exactly what I needed. Once the baby was napping I realized how great the gift of quite is. I could actually THINK! I could BREATHE deeply. So nice for a change. Even after the older kids came home from school we took it easy. I can’t remember the last time we build these block towers together …

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All of us. Priceless! We are on-the-go and active way too often. It’s the simple quite that I am enjoying these days. I hope that’s not a sign of me getting old – or is it? 🙂 I don’t feel old. Actually, I feel very energetic & healthy! Thank goodness for that. This is me last year on my birthday:

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Seda took this picture of me when we were feeding the ducks after school. It was a cool but sunny and bright day last year. This year’s pic is taken inside. In our cozy living room in front of the fireplace.

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I just love how Seda takes pictures. It’s and art really. Not everyone can do it. I love her patience with it too. Taking better pictures is on my list of improvements this year. First I’d like to trade in my old Canon for a newer model. And then I am going to READ the manual!! I hear that there are a few simple steps like shutter speed etc. that can improve the quality of the picture dramatically. More research to be done here still! Anyway, I better head over to my sewing table and hop onto the turn-a-t-shirt-into-a-dress train that I am on this week. 🙂 After all baby has just under another hour of sleep left … Have fun, stay healthy! Love, Yasemin photo 3 (23) photo 1 (27) P.S. These piles of new solid tees are awaiting me today. One is for Seda in size 7-8 y and the other is for Stella in 24 m. I purchased them all at the Children’s Place Outlet for less than $4 each! Score!! They are super soft & long-sleeved. I usually cut the sleeves to 3/4 length which I prefer. My original idea inspired by this post was to turn the girl’s old tees into dresses but let’s be honest: Who wants to spend time & use beautiful new fabric to turn and old t-shirt into a dress? I prefer these crisp – not too expensive – ones. At least the precious time I spent in my sewing room will be well worth it afterwards. Plus the baby’s worn t-shirts and onesies are so gross from food stains … Yuck! … January 27th: Update Here’s one of the many t-shirt dresses coming out of the oven these days :-): LibertyDressWithCollar I considered keeping it simple – at first – but went with a collar and fabric covered button addition in the end. TshirtDressLiberty   Well, my muse liked the details and can’t wait to wear it. As you can probably see I haven’t even hemmed it yet. Just wanted to get the picture out of the way while the weather was pleasant. This has truly been a roller-coaster-winter. SedaNewLibertyDress

This week in pictures

I’ve been following blogs from overseas for a while now. One thing that I notice that they all do is a post about their typical day / week in pictures. Not too much text. Just simple captions. No lengthy tutorials, descriptions, paragraphs, just pictures. They mostly use Instagram as a means to communicate with their followers on a regular basis and do post online weekly, bi-monthly or some even just one a month. They also do a lot of guest blogging. Hmmm? That has me thinking …

I use Instagram as well (mosbyfamily). I love how you can edit the pics there. You get a glimpse. Love that. Even the most mundane things look cool on Instagram. Like this selfie Stella took of her shoes! She used some filter… don’t ask me… I didn’t do it! 🙂

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I’ve been trying to remember to take pictures of things we do on a daily  basis. Most of us have a certain routine that we do (with small exceptions – of course). For us this week was sort of busy but only once the older kids came home from school. My mornings with the baby were pretty relaxed & nothing out of the ordinary. The weather was pleasant. A little too cool for the park early in the morning, a little too windy later on but still we could keep our routine going this week.

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Stella and I took many walks and realized how brown all the grass around us has gotten, how bare the trees are but how beautiful the winter sky still is and so bright & blue!

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I am glad she discovered the camera app on my phone. Usually she calls people or just deletes my apps which can be very frustrating for me. She is also getting better at giving me my phone back once we are ready to get back in the car or whenever I feel like she’s wipes her little finger across my screen enough. Also, today is her 16 months birthday!! (Pictured here in the new bubble-skirt-dress that I am making for both girls this week. I got the inspiration to turn a simple tee into a dress here.)

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I can only snap a really quick pic before she reaches for my phone! 🙂 It’s too funny!!

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She is getting so fast on her feet now & so talkative too. We even noticed she likes to imitate the songs on the radio. Super out of tune. No wonder. She got that from me :-). Sorry Butch!

Oh, have I shown you my newest fabric treasures? What a steal these were and how cute are the polka dots!!!

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I purchased only very little of each  but I already know I am going back for more of the top one (thin denim with tiny white dots). I can turn another t-shirt into a dress adding the denim. Oh, my girls would love that!

All in all, a very nice week for our family.

Happy weekend everyone!


P.S. I’ve updated my list of daily online reading here. I’ve come across new European bloggers that I LOVE!




Kids & Christmas

I have to say, I miss sitting in front of my PC to write down what’s happening around here… It’s been five days and I’ve been super busy – as expected. But not taking at least a few minutes to ‘reflect’ on the last few days makes me feel unorganized. Boy, but this week was packed! With my husband travelling one more time before the end of the year it’s been extra busy for me. It meant I had to be dressed and out the house with ALL kids by 7:30 am! I hadn’t taken the kids to school in a few weeks and didn’t realize how bad the construction on this relatively short drive had gotten. Oh, I so hope that everything will be fixed by the time school starts in January. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with traffic, construction etc. etc. on the road EVERY DAY! That can take a toll on a person.

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Once back home from dropping off the children, I had to tie all loose ends around here before they are off for the year tomorrow! All little packages have to arrive – now!!! Starting tomorrow afternoon I won’t have the freedom to spread out on the dining table and take my time wrapping gifts. Kids will be around and nosy!!! Last year I had to wrap the last packages inside of my closet. Trying not to let it get there this time. Talking about last minute gifts though, last night Seda’s present arrived in the mail.

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I ordered a photo book for her that I am so excited about. It’s pictures from six years of SEDA! All the cute faces she makes, all the fun places she’s already been to, all of the fun clothes she wears!!! Priceless. So far, my favorite gift under the tree this year. ‘The world according to Seda’. One page has all of the pictures she has ‘edited’ on my husbands Ipad. They are so funny. Makes me smile to look at them.

In other news, I am weaning off the baby. She’s 15 months now and that’s about the time I weaned her big brother & sis off as well. I really need to prioritize my sleep in the new year. 15 months of interrupted sleep cycles is wearing me down. The kids need me to be well rested in the mornings. I can’t justify coasting through the day. It’s been a couple of rough nights & nap times around here. But once this little munchkin finally settles down, she is so peaceful & I am so peaceful & PRODUCTIVE!! I just love my children – especially when they are asleep :-).

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Although, she is pretty darned adorable ‘awake’ as well! 🙂

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Oh, and here is the pouch I’ve made my friend Jen on Saturday. They came over for dinner on Sunday. It was so good to hang out. It’s nice that all our children like to play together as well. PLUS: The men get along really well, too!!! Yeah!

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And this is the present we gave Seda’s friend Chloe for her 6th birthday yesterday. I had no idea how many birthday gifts I would be making this month. Foolishly, I had been focusing on Christmas only instead. Next year I need to take into account how many birthday gifts I have to make / buy for December friends, too.

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Chloe has gotten a violet & yellow combo doll quilt & pillow. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for the ‘standard’ Yasemin Tea doll skirt. Instead I made the quilt extra large and also the pillow is huge & fluffy. Perfect for her American Girl doll.

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Unlike the other doll quilts I’ve made, this one does not consist of equal squares. I changed it up a bit. Each time I construct one of these little doll quilts the picture in my head of my king-sized dream quilt is becoming clearer & clearer… One day soon I wish to tackle this grand task of making a huge quilt pieced together only of my favorite fabric scraps. Some day in 2014…

On today’s to-do list: TEACHER’S GIFTS! I better get to them before my baby decides she has napped enough. Otherwise, I’ll be doing more of this:

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Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone. It’s almost Christmas!!



It’s beginning to look …

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We are only three days into December and I have decided that this is going to be a great finish to an already amazing year. I feel ahead of schedule in terms of gifts & Christmas related stuff in general. I decided that this year’s motto is going to be: Simply Christmas! Nothing too elaborate nothing too time-consuming or expensive, nothing that costs a lot of stress … Simply Christmas! I even purchased the kid’s advent calendar this year! I’ve never done that before. Usually these are the welcome opportunities for crafters like me to go overboard. But not this year. Not when Playmobil makes these cute boxes. At a price of $19.99 who has time & energy to make one? I don’t!

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Behind each door is a piece of the castle setting including princess bride & groom, king, armoire, a chest of gold etc. etc.

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And how about this little thing for a buck from Trader Joe’s? A tiny square of milk chocolate to sweeten each morning. Perfect!

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Oh, there is more: My friend Elke sent this cute card from Germany just in time to open the first door. Behind each door is a cute gingerbread ornament.

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I am liking the idea of keeping it simple this year very much. At first, my Christmas to-do list was long. I intended to make a whole set of fabric & felt ornaments. That’s why these guys have been hanging on my wall for weeks as a reminder.

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I even planned on purchasing some ornaments in the jazzy new colors that have been displayed in stores since October! But why? That’s not going to make our holiday any better. Not mine, not my husband’s (he is always happy to not have to buy anything anyway :-)). As for the kids? They don’t know the difference when it comes to old or new home decor in the first place. It saves me another long wait in line at the store which baby Stella is thankful for too! All around a good decision!! Pat pat pat …

This year I am using as much fresh seasonal greenery as possible.  Add a couple of candles and voila! Done! The post-holiday clean-up at the end of the month will be so easy. Plus, I don’t have to store anything else which means less clutter!!! Amen to that! SIMPLY CHRISTMAS!

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As far as holiday cards? Done in 30 minutes at home! I used this picture below that a kind stranger volunteered to take of us last week, put a little app magic to it (I used the free app Pic Collage & Over) and printed on photo paper at home! Sorry Shutterfly. You ain’t getting my money this year. I have places to go, people to see …

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Alternative card option:

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Regarding kid’s visit with Santa? We’ve already gotten that out of the way after Thanksgiving, too. We went to Watters Creek. No lines. No hassle. Kid’s had extra time to bond with Santa. So sweet. Isaiah asked for a LeBron James jersey. Santa couldn’t hide his dislike … he he he. After all, we are in Texas and he had to rub it in that he prefers the San Antonia Spurs. Dang Santa! What happened to being bias??? He almost blew his cover. I wonder how long my son will believe in the magic of Christmas anyway. Seda asked for an American Girl doll. So far she has (only) a bitty twin – Ciara. She had an unusually happy smile on her face – first time for her. Of course, if you get to ask this man in red for an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL you better smile ear to ear.

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Not surprisingly the baby screamed on all but one picture. You can still see the little tears. I love this look though. It’s a classic one-year old meats the big guy kind of look. Precious.

In other news, I have absolutely NO IDEA what to give my hubby for Christmas. He is better at this than me. He always thinks of something that I don’t even dream of but really really love all the more. This year I got NOTHING! I know what I am not doing: clothes, perfume, hat, socks, books … I do that every Father’s Day, birthday & Christmas, too. He loves technology. But he is up to date on those. He doesn’t wear a watch and thinks those are obsolete which I don’t agree with but anyway. So what’s left? He doesn’t wear jewelry – obviously. He doesn’t craft or have any other handy hobbies. He could use a pair of designer glasses. Hmmm?? I am thinking… still thinking… I’ve done photo books which he loved. I’ve done a personal horoscope & analysis which he LOVED! Now what? Golf? Still thinking … Well, this might be THE ONE challenge for me this season.

I’ll keep thinking and leave you as usual with LOVE! This one’s in form of a banana peel courtesy of my 6-year old.

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She sees beauty & love everywhere. On that note:




Ahhh, one more weekend, one more birthday

photo 1 (3)Yesterday, we celebrated my baby’s first birthday.

Unlike her big sister’s birthday 2 weeks ago I changed it up a bit (last minute that is) and had everyone meet us at our local cafe studio ‘Dulce by La Duni’. I don’t know if it was because I was craving their delectable cuatro leches cake or was it because we just hosted a big party at home not too long ago and had another one planned for my son the following week. Either way, mommy needed a break from doing dishes, decorating the house etc.

La Duni is such a pretty place that it was easy to feel at home there. It felt intimate & personal without the hassle of pre- and post party clean-up. Plus, afterwards we all came back home for presents & mimosas. Since it was only our closest friends it was easy.

I have to say, if I had a choice I’ll do it this way ALL the time. But I know the older kids like having a house full of their friends running, jumping, dancing, screaming… I know I know … It’s just too much to do 3 of those in one month!

But back to drooling over how perfect of a place La Duni is … They even had coral-colored roses on the tables – same color as Stella’s top which happens to be my favorite color of 2013!

Stella knew this day was all about her. She truly soaked up in all the attention and clapped and smiled and gave kisses. I love  one-year-olds. This has got to be my favorite age. They still love to be kissed and carried around but try so hard to talk and be big kids. So darned cute. I love her to pieces.



I also love these cupcakes ‘to pieces’ : Cuatro Leches!

Here is how they describe them on their menu: Layered Mantecado vanilla sponge cake, soaked in cuatro leches sauce, topped with
caramelized Swiss meringue and dotted with Arequipe reduction. Served with 3 leches sauce and Arequipe caramel! Ok, you had me at ‘soaked’ … Yummy!

That fluffy meringue topping is so much more delicious than icing! I love the caramel drizzle. The vanilla sponge cake SOAKED! in cuatro leches sauce – divine!

I don’t think it gets any better than this.


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Aside from all the sugar & caffeine (check out their incredibly extensive coffee & tea selection!)  I have to say that the presence of only our dearest friends topped with an absolutely happy baby made this day so memorable and extra special for me. I can’t wait to celebrate many many more birthdays this way in the future.

To Stella : Just a year ago we just met you ‘little star’ now you are claiming your place in this world so gracefully. I love you! Happy first birthday!