Fall in Germany – A love affair

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Days are definetely shorter. I don’t get to write as frequently as I would like to but with the temps falling and our first European winter scratching at the window life is best spent outdoors. We bundle up in our cozy coats and hats and scarves and march through the colorful leafage – rain or shine. Actually we didn’t have as much rain as I expected. The air is brisk though. On the way to school and as soon as the sun sets at 4:30’ish. We’ve stayed well above 40 degrees and that’s just perfect! It feels GOOD to experience the seasons though. Just as we arrived in Germany mid June the temperatures were still moderate, spring-like. Then came two months of amble sunshine with bathing in the Baltic Sea … Now, a perfectly sunny, crisp fall! It’s perfect! It really is! We take lots of walks in the nearby woods, by the water or go window shopping in our gorgeous Holtenauer Strasse. But no matter where we end up getting our 10k-steps in we finish of our day with a yummy treat.

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Oh the gorgeous bakeries and cafes! Oh the lattes and the hot chocolates! It’s delicious no matter where you go! Haven’t had a bad cup of  java since moving to Germany.

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I could literally be content just sitting in a cafe all day but then I’d miss all the wildlife!

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Also, I’ll never get tired of being by the sea:

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Awwww, fall, I could really get used to this! It’s like spring minus the allergies! I am in love! Stay a little longer, will you?

Now, you probably get the impression that all we do here is take long walks by the sea and eat delicious bread… Not so fast! The kids do go to school. After all, their learning the language is a top priority for us but they are only at school until 12:30! That gives us lots of time to eat lunch together every day, explore Kiel, do sports and be in bed by 8 pm – full of unforgettable impressions.

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These three littles monkeys are thoroughly enjoying this new pace of life.

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And so do I!!! 🙂

In deepest gratitude,

Yasemin

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Germany – one month later

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Life one month after our move to Germany is just as we dreamed it. It’s busy – no doubt. It’s exciting! It’s eventful!! And sooooo much fun! :-)) We are surrounded by family, we bumped into old friends AND we are making new ones. kids have successfullyfinished of the school year here in Germany after graduating their grades back in Texas in early June. Now they are officially on summer break – but not so fast. I signed them up for a two week camp just down the street from the house. We have been so fortunate to squeeze them in for two weeks on such last minute notice. Kids get to hang out with other kids, half of which speak english! Some have american, others british and one little girl has an australian parent. Kids felt at home from day one. They have even gone on a field trip together! Best of all the facility is only a skip and a hop from home and next door to the Elementary school they will eventually go to once they’ve caught up on their German. Who knows once they’ve transferred hopefully in the fall I might sign them up for after school care here. It’ll be great to keep speaking German and play with friends. Afterall, school is only until 11:30 am for Seda and 12:30 for Isaiah.

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Once all camps are done we still have three more weeks of vacation. Kids and I have been brainstorming what we’d like to do and see in our new hood… Top of the list is a little one day cruise with a beautiful ship we see almost everyday. There is also a day trip to one of the island in the North Sea… Then there is the beautiful city of Hamburg, of course the capital city of Berlin. In Hamburg we would visit our dear friends Christiane & Torsten, in Berlin my Hala (aunt) and cousins and of course the famous sites…

This weekend we have already visited the beach in Laboe.

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We took the almost hour long bus ride there and a relaxing boatride back. Now the kids have had a chance to swim in the Pacific, the atlantic, the mediterrean, and the Baltic Sea. Maybe by thee d of the summer we’ll be able to add the North Sea to it. It’s been 28 or so yeRs since I went to the island of Amrum in the north sea on a school trip.  It was such a unique experience. I would love to experience that with the kids soon.

As far as the new apartment is concerned we have been spending time and money at Ikea – of course! Lots of bare wooden floors and white walls needed attention…

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Some measurements were taken by two – I mean ONE guy! :-)) I don’t blame the guy though… There are some ladies sun bathing at the park across the street. So Germany!

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A couple of gifts & multiple Ikea trips later…we ended up with white sofas And multiple yards of fabric that I am going to turn into curtains -ahem – at least I’ll give it a shot. I have my Hala (aunt) as a back up!! 🙂

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The curtain rods alone will take up to three weeks to install. So will the floors in Isaiah’s room. Even a basic wireless internet can take up to three weeks to hook up here in the land of steep salaries and long summer vacations… Oh well, I waited this long. A few extra weeks won’t make a difference now.

In the meantime we have lots of sightseeing to do. With the Fjord in our backyard we are not getting board at all.

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Oh and then we missed this:

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My hubby’s birthday :-(( the kids made these wood tiles at this cute fish restaurant called Fishbar. We are planning on taking him there in a few weeks when he comes to visit and see for himself how beautiful and colorful life is for us here in Kiel.

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Until then hang in there my love,

Yasemin

P.S. All the waiting gave me an opportunity to try out the antique sewing machine my aunt gifted me.

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Germany 2014, Week One

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The three dual citizens have arrived! It was a loooong trip but well worth it. The clean air, the blue sky, being surrounded by water, drinking clean water straight from the tap, having family close by and much more. It all feels like a dream come true. Each day is full of new experiences.

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Playing at one of the many parks around our neighborhood, visiting the bi-weekly farmers market across the street, meeting new people…

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A little world cup soccer by the fjörd anyone? Even Stella couldn’t resist.

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The kids finished school in the US. A week later they are back to school in Germany. What troopers they are.

We have quite the commute to this elementary school but it is designed to teach new kids the language as soon as possible so that they can be sent to their respective  neighborhood schools once they acquire the necessary skills. This can happen as early as three months from now but won’t take longer than a year. Our neighborhood elementary school is only a two minute walk from our new home! My dream come true! Also coincidentally is the same elementary school that I went to 1982! Say what? 🙂

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Of course, school isn’t everything and one has to play too. In our case that means: soccer – better yet Fussball!

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Isaiah is so excited about his upcoming soccer camp at Holstein Kiel. My brother kindly offered to take him to the facility for a tour. That was sweet.

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Here he is playing table tennis with a complete stranger cause mama is chasing after this one:

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Generally, this first week in Germany has been especially sweetened by the support that my family has given us. Whether we needed a ride, a high chair, help setting up a new cell phone or ‘handy’ as it’s called here it has been absolutely wonderful. In the 13 years that I’ve spent in the US I’ve never had that kind of support. So far i was able to secure a whole room full of loot: a marble top dining table & 6 chairs, an antique sailor’s chest with custom pillow made from famous toile du jus fabric from France, an antique sewing console (can you say Biedermeier??), a mirror you have to see to believe it, an original piece of art, lots of household items including two teapots, plates from France!, several baskets, lots of fabric, and the list goes on and on…

Overall, this week has been eventful, exciting, emotional, full of energy and not enough sleep. Tomorrow we are signing the lease to our new apartment. Although we won’t be moving in just yet it feels so good to know that our new home is going to be in Kiel, my hometown, the place where I met my husband 19 years ago.

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This is the place the foundation for the future Mosby family was laid. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to this all over again with my children. Now, all that’s missing is daddy! He is still in Texas tying up some loose ends. We cannot wait to be reunited!

Love,

Yasemin

P.S. And just for the sake of continuity here are the final pictures from our countdown to #GermanyHereWeCome:

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One day until departure we all squeeze onto a sofa on the patio of a quaint South Beach hotel in Miami.

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And finally bye bye USA, at the Miami International airport right before we went through security.

I LOVE to read

My list of online inspiration gets longer each day. See for yourself here. Some of these bloggers have published books which I have devoured! It’s nice to keep up-to-date on their creative careers via their blogs & Instagram. Every time I come across a new blog that I love I feel like this is exactly where I belong, what I needed to be doing. It’s my space. I can relate to the authors. It’s really a great company to be in. I have to warn you, there is an endless list of people both in the US and elsewhere that blog in English, love crafting, take some really awesome pictures & have the cutest children to sew for. It’s kind of addictive. And VERY time consuming. I am afraid with temps finally – F I N A L L Y – creeping up into humanly endurable digits I won’t have as much time to read as I’ve had.

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I know my toddler will appreciate catching up on some outdoor time and so will my older two who are ‘stuck’ at school all day …

I can’t complain though. I have had enough reading time since November. Having said that, I think this was the longest winter I’ve experienced ever since I’ve lived in the US. Even the 2 winters back in 2003 & 2004 that my husband and I lived in Texas weren’t as long and cold… California had me spoiled there for about 7 years! I remember taken the most beautiful beach pictures around Christmas time in Southern Cal…

Like this one taken on Christmas Day in 2011.

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And how about this shot taken a few days before Christmas in 2010?

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 So bright & warm … Ahhh, those were the days. 

Oh well, as I said, I caught up on LOTS & LOTS of reading. See, I am looking at the bright side here – the other bright side :-). It feels so good to get inspired by a great book or blog. It a refuge but at the same time a nice way to feel connected to people that I would otherwise not have a chance to meet.

I’d like to compile a list of all my sewing books soon and post them here.

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If you are looking for some inspiration and love fabric & sewing, a good way to start is by checking out American designers such as Amy Butler & Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross. Also Liesl Gibson from Oliver + S is awesome. They all have books, fabric & blogs. Especially on the Oliver + S blog you can find links and mentions of some of the current blogger moms who sew for their children. For me these designers were like a gateway into the blogosphere of crafting. I hope you find inspiration here. I’d love to know what you are reading.

Love,

Yasemin

And the winner is…

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Here it is! The new YaseminTea look! Do you like it? I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! My absolute final edit was to change the color from aqua

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to coral! It’s so warm and inviting yet strong, wouldn’t you agree? This whole logo-thing is a full-time job let me tell you. I am grateful to my friends who helped finalize this look via Facebook. Now I am off to getting these printed on labels. So far I am shopping here but also am looking on Etsy for smaller shops. After all I only need a hundred or two…  This might take a while so bare with me. Until then I might just print them onto fabric transfers like I did here. We will see. Now excuse me while I go finish my daughter’s friends Valentine’s day skirts…

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and heart hangers for the boys in her class PLUS 20 additional felt heart hangers for my son’s classmates…

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Love,

YaseminTea! 🙂

Finally a facelift!

Finally! I’ve been dreaming about this day since August 2013 when I started visualizing what my blog would look like. At the time, I didn’t want to spend too much time on the look but rather focus on content and concept of the blog. Although through WordPress you get a pretty cookie cutter, simplified way of creating an online presence but after several months of ‘playing’ around with buttons I still have NO CLUE how to add widgets, plugins, change the apperance to where I really really like it etc. etc. Boy, I have my work cut out for me.

For that exact reason I had to reach out in things LOGO. It feels so good to not have to do EVERYTHING myself. Long story short, a good friend of mine’s daughter has recently graduated with a graphic design degree (I know – I am very LUCKY!!). This was the perfect opportunity for me to give this logo thing a go. Toni has been working on my look for a few weeks now and after only 2 or three short email exchanges it looks as if we have finalized three different looks. YEAH!!

Option A:

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Option B:

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Option C:

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And although I have a favorite right of the bet I wanted to have my friends involved in the final decision. I posted all three looks on Facebook last night and got some really nice pointers and opinions. (It’s good to have ‘opinionated’ friends :-))

I  have to say that I was very intriqued by the ‘stitched’ look of Option B although I felt immediately that the heart was too generic. Option C appeals to me the most simply because I’ve been looking for a ‘symbol’ to place onto the outside of my hand-made garments that would be pretty on it’s own and didn’t have to be ‘hidden’ like clothing labels typically are. I think it still needs some tweaking. For example the yasemintea inside of the circle is too small. Should I even have that inside? Also the color. I wanted aqua – yes, but is it too ‘cold’ on its own. Should I go with my other favorite: coral instead??? I am so torn and wished I was more knowledgable in how colors affect our mood etc. See, I told you these things take up so much time. I’d rather be behind my sewing machine stitching away yards & yards of fabric. It’s theraphetical to me. But instead I have to think, rethink, than overthink this whole logo! Argghhh. I just want it done already. AND I want it perfect!

Don’t even get me started on the whole ordering labels thing. There are SO MANY options. It’s worse than a typical American supermarket isle!!! I need a boutique version! Ideally, I would like to walk into a brick & mortar building and talk to an actual person and touch and feel different labels: woven, printed, ironable, sew on, center fold, end fold etc. etc. But first thing’s first. Let’s nail this look and move to step 2. Thank you friends for your help! And thank you TONI for your time & creativity. I really need & appreciate it!! 🙂

Hope you are having a great week.

Love,

Yasemin

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

Work in progress

I had to share this as it is ‘evolving’. I absolutely adore this little polka dotted thin & soft denim fabric.

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I purchased it at Hobby Lobby. It was $12.99 a yard. I only got a yard since I didn’t have a certain project in mind for it yet. I just knew it would look cute on anything for the girls. And does it ever look cute! It’s adorable actually & so easy to work with. So easy to add little details too!

I started off with my go-to pattern from this book:

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The pattern I’ve used is this one for a nightdress on page 84:

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I’ve sewn so many night gowns & tunics from this exact pattern for Seda since she was 2. Now that the baby is getting up there I HAD to sew something other than a skirt for her as well. But not just a night gown. A little dress she could wear over long sleeves now & later with bike shorts. Super comfy & playful. I’ve adjusted the smallest pattern (2-3 years) by several inches in the length and the width as well. I’ve shortened the sleeves and added drawstring to make it look more like a peasant dress than a nightgown. The dress is still very roomy but I just love it oversize on my little girl. And how about those cute ribbons? The deer – oh dear! 🙂 Finally, I get to use them!

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And I added the tiny red pom-pom ribbon to it as well for a pop of color. Red makes everything so much better and goes so well with white & denim! The ruffle on the bottom is also my own addition. It’s not in the pattern. I just used a strip of fabric double the width of the skirt, gathered it by hand first and then attached it to the bottom of the dress. I LOVE IT! All it’s missing now is a tiny little red bow or maybe a button around the neck. I think that would tie it together really well.

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I had to share this one before I even hemmed the bottom. This is what I’m working on today. Hope you find some time to create.

Love,

Yasemin

Update: I finished the dress over the weekend & had Stella wear it right away! A-dor-able!!!

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MLK Day weekend

First off, Thank you Dr. King for your contributions to humanity!

Friday started our fun-filled weekend. It was a weekend custom made for my sport-loving family: back-to-back soccer, basketball & futsol games! Friday night through Sunday night! Also, some great football watching on Sunday as well! But as much as I enjoyed the athletic part of the weekend I also enjoyed getting haircuts with Seda, shopping for kid’s outfits for the studio visit on Monday, topped off by a visit to the Dallas Zoo yesterday!

Friday afternoon: First haircut of 2014:

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Then off to a sunset-soccer game:

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Saturday morning basketball:

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Sunday shopping with only the girls:

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And, since when does Restoration Hardware look like this? Wow! I think I need to get out more often :-).

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Monday morning photo studio: Kids are ready to get their pictures taken.

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Well, not everyone is ready or HAPPY!

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And this one is always ready for the camera even if the camera man isn’t …

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Right after the studio a quick visit to Whole Foods Market to get re-energized. See, how happy the baby is now? 🙂

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And then off south to the Dallas Zoo! 

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The colors were gorgeous on this perfect holiday with temps in the upper 60’s and a clear blue sky!

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Stella loved her first visit to the zoo. The bigger the animals the better. Those giraffes were so cool! She kept calling them: doooogs … We’ll have to come back more often so she can get that straightened out. With $5 entrance until the end of February that should be doable!

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The giraffes were very friendly. We didn’t pay an extra $5 to feed them but they were happy to just reach for whatever else we had in our hands and came really really close anyway.

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All in all, we had a great weekend! So today, Tuesday, feels like a Monday to me with the kids off to school, and the baby napping already. The house is extremely quite and my PC decided to work for now …. Thanks Windows. 

Late last night, I’ve done some advance-cleaning in order to have more sewing / creative time at day light this morning. These days I am into turning simple tees into dresses & tunics for my girls. I was so pleased with the way these dresses turned out I started ‘shopping’ my stash for for fabric options for the next project.

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The options are endless. The next dress is going to have a circle skirt instead of the above bubble skirt.

I (heart) sewing! 🙂

Yasemin

 

 

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!

Yasemin

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