Monday, February 25, 2013

Pinterest Challenge - Little Gold Books Baby Shower

Over the weekend, my mom, sister and I threw a baby shower for my sister in law. We had such fun! There is nothing like creating together as a family. In search of inspiration for a shower theme, I turned to Pinterest and discovered a Little Golden Books shower created by Aesthetic Nest and posted on Pizzazzerie, I pinned it and knew I had my theme.

My brother, sister and I had a large collection of Little Golden Books which we loved, and conveniently, my mom had kept for the grandkids. We pulled the books out, used them for decor at the shower and had several conversations about which books were our favorites (Poky Little Puppy is my personal fav - in fact, that book was so worn out that mom bought a new one so she'd have it on hand for my niece and nephews.)

Using the printables provided by Anneliese on Aesthetic Nest we created a mini book garland for the gift table and made bags of freshly popped popcorn for favors.

To decorate the food table, and for my shower gift, I created a set of Little Golden Book onesies with the covers of some of our favorite books ironed on. I'm secretly hoping he'll grow up to be a book lover like me!

To feed our guests, I turned to another pin for inspiration, Veronica Yem's Waffle Bar. We kept three waffle irons going and enjoyed watching each of our guest testing out different topping combinations.

I'm struggling to remember party planning before pinterest!

"To save what you love."
Drew Andrews - I Could Write A Book Pin It

Friday, February 22, 2013

Western Shore

Ryan Bingham - Western Shore Pin It

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lunch Conversations

One of my favorite photos I've taken in Istanbul - maybe because I wake up so many mornings to the call of the seagulls.

One day last week I was out to lunch with friend. Me, an American, a Turk, an Italian, a Brit and a Greek-American. Not surprisingly we were talking food and how we'd adapted our normal diets during out time in Istanbul, eventually the topic turned to grocery shopping here. One person admitted that here, like everywhere she travels the grocery store was one of the first things she liked to see. Soon we all admitted that grocery stores are one of our favorite cultural experiences when we travel and a must see on any itinerary.

I can't help but wonder if we are unique - or are there more people out there who hit up the grocery store on every visit to a new country.

Rufus Wainwright / Dido: I Eat Dinner Pin It

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bosphorus Sunset

I had a lovely lazy Sunday - a sleep in, spent some time showing a new team mate the neighborhood and then tea in the afternoon with another friend. In between I did a little walking in the rain - it was cold, but so nice to be out and away from the office, a rare treat these days.

I didn't quite manage to get out and see anything new in Istanbul this week, but I did spent some time processing these photos I took of the Bosphorus around sunset a while back. The warm light makes it seem so warm, but in reality it was a bit chilly out in the water. It made me stop and think about how often I look at pictures in Instagram, blogs, etc and make an assumption about someone or their life. At times I see like the warm light in their photos and assume their life is so much brighter or better than mine. But if I really stop and think logically, I suspect more often than not, there are problems just like I have lurking behind those shiny photos and reality is a bit chillier than it might first appear.

A a reminder to myself that my happiness or satisfaction shouldn't be judged next to my perceptions of someone else's happiness or satisfaction.

"Sometimes I can't keep it together, but I'm never going to give up."
Ryan Bingham - Keep it Together Pin It

Friday, February 8, 2013

Smoke a Little Smoke

Wishing a quiet, stress free weekend.

Eric Church - Smoke a Little Smoke Pin It

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Prayer and Gelato

I'm listening to the evening call to prayer as I write this - and I'm likely to wake up tomorrow to the same thing. Hearing it again is one of the best parts about being back in Istanbul. I didn't realize I missed it while I was gone, but I did. I'll admit, there are a few mornings when I don't love it - those when I'm not interested in getting up at six, but by and large I love the way the call gives this city character and a voice, and I even like that reminder to take a minute and send up some thanks to the heavens.

On a completely unrelated topic - I am planning a trip to Italy for late March / early April. I've been dreaming of this trip for more than a decade and I can hardly wait. I'm still in the depths of planning - so far I think I've decided I'll start in Florence, explore the city for a couple of days and then use it as a base for another three days as I take day trips through Tuscany. Then I'll travel to Rome and spend a few days there. If you've been I'd love any tips or ideas. Must sees, places to see, gelato to eat....

"Time on your own girl is time on your own, but still you fly."
Neil Halstead - See You on Rooftops Pin It

Monday, February 4, 2013

Back in Istanbul

I'm settled back into Istanbul and for the most part it feels as if I've only been gone a few days instead of a month. I spent Saturday in the office and Sunday mostly in the apartment trying to nip a cold in the bud because I don't have time to be sick on this project. I did manage to take a walk in my neighborhood on Sunday to keep the walls from closing in on me, but that was the limit of my exploration so far this trip. These photos aren't from that walk, they are a batch I found from a Bosphorus cruise I took last November.

I've had a few friends and family members send me notes over the last few days making sure I was okay after they saw reports on the news about the embassy bombing in Turkey and the American woman who was killed in Istanbul while on holiday. Both events are very sad, and while I'm not impacted, they were reminders that we all live in a world that requires us to be vigilant and careful no matter where we are.

I'm here working with a good sized team. We live and work in a quiet suburb, far from the center of the city. We live in an apart-hotel - an apartment building with 20 units that is operated like a hotel. All 20 units are filled by my coworkers. We live together, work together and are even picked up and delivered to and from work together in a mini-bus. It is an insulated and protected environment - so I've always felt incredibly safe in Istanbul.

I don't think what happened this week will change the way I feel safety wise about Istanbul, but it was a sad reminder that our world isn't as peaceful as I know it can and will be someday.

"I only wanted to sing songs."
Kathleen Edwards - For the Record
Pin It

Friday, February 1, 2013

C.S. Lewis Song

Brooke Fraser - C.S. Lewis Song Pin It

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