Childrens Books

Which books are your favourite reads to your kids?

Apart from the more traditional my very first words, fruits (and the likes) types of books Can and the whole family is into pop-up books. My husband wasnt very into them in the beginning but I think he likes them now too :)

Our favourites:
1)`Little Penguins` by Jovilet/Fromental (gift by Auntie Selen)

2)`Moomins:Most magical pop-up book` (gift by Auntie Selen)

3) `A Very Hungry Caterpillar` by Eric Carle

4) `A walk down Sesame Street: pop-up book`

The Great Outdoors

For some one who hasn`t been blogging for the past one month, 5 posts in one night is pretty good I`d say? :)
Can you tell that Can is asleep?

With spring hopefully arriving in 5-6 weeks I am already ahead of myself making plans as to what we should do to take Can to the great outdoors. Whether it be camping, a forest walk a trip to the beach or the local farms I intend to keep him out as much as possible.

And yes there is a touch guilt of the working mother in this undertone. But we all comprimise and I guess this is an ongoing dilemma that we all experience.

Now onto some options;

1. Tatuta.org has access to all the ecological farms around Turkey, that are registered with the Bugday Organization. Of these I have found Gundonumu Farm an interesting option as it is very close to Istanbul and has over 150 cows! :) That means lots of fresh milk , and I think they also deliver this to your homes daily if one prefers. More on that later when I make it there.

(picture is taken from Google search engine results)

2) Sunday walks at the Belgrad forest- a great 6km walk is ideal for family time and keeping fit:)

3) Uzunya, Garipce or the Prince Islands for some fresh sea air...

4) Sundance Camp at Antalya has been recommended by a friend (Esra) but  we have yet to check it out.

For more ideas on what to do with kids around Istanbul please visit:

Motherhood blogs

Two of my favourite blogs are Elizabeth Street (http://elizabethstreet.com/) and A cup of Jo by Joanna Goddard(http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/).

`Elizabeth Street` is a style and city guide for mothers across the world.
`A Cup of Jo` is more miscellanous but I love her posts entitled `Motherhood Mondays`. Here is one of my favourite posts:

Do you have any tricks to make your kids feel loved?

A weekend getaway: Lavanda Boutique Hotel

Getting Can out of the city life is another topic that is on my mind these days.

And I am open to all recommendations; where do you go with your kids? What do you recommend for a great day outdoors?

Lavanda Boutique Hotel, located about an hours drive from central Istanbul en route Sile is a great escape from the city. Unfortunately, the place isnt very kid friendly( they accept babies younger than one yr old as an exception, but do not accept kids younger than 15) but its great for a couples hide out.

Since Can is younger than 1, he made it there twice ! And yikes he really enjoyed the French style cuisine of the hotel :) Especially the fish with mashed peas.

The website of the hotel is: www.lavandaotel.com

And here are some of our pics and pics from their website:

Local foods: Organic market at Bomonti, Istanbul

Based on my previous post on the importance of shopping locally produced foods I`d like to introduce you to the Organic Food Market at Sisli Bomonti.

This market has almost become a weekly routine for the family. We initially started going there when our now 10,5 month old son Can started eating solid foods, took it a step further to do the whole shopping for the house from there (we might as well eat healthy eh?:) )

Eating seasonally and organic, free of pesticides is not as costly as one thinks when this market is put into perspective. Once you become a member to Bugday Organization- they have a stand in the market- you actually get 10-15% off at the stalls and you have donated to an NGO devoted to sustainability and organic farming in Turkey.

Oh! and there is a food stand of the most amazing `gozlemes` - a Turkish pancake like delicatessen- that is simply my motivation to go there!

Below is a pic of of Can and Ladin ( Can`s friend)  that appeared on Gurme Bebek`s facebook page- particular thanks to Esra Sert author and partner to the site; www.gurmebebek.net. Also worth checking out if you are in search of recipes for your little ones!

A Spoonful of Sugar

With the raging weather in Istanbul its a forced holiday for some of us. The rest is unfortunately dealing with the monsterous traffic that I have a habit to avoid if and when possible.

This has given me a chance to indulge in some good reading which I dont get a chance to do very often. `A Spoonful of Sugar: Old fashioned wisdom for modern day mothers` by Liz Fraser has become a favourite read.
The book is based on conversations with Liz`s grandmother who is living in Scotland. I found alot of issues and tips I could relate to and it was wonderful to remember them again.

Some of `Granny`s Pearl of Wisdoms` include:
- When you cook food at home, you know whats in it because you do it yourself. Flour, salt, sugar eggs- and thats it! no hidden extras.
-If you buy local and buy freshyou`ll cut down on most of the junk in your diet immediately and not have to worry about how much you eat- you`ll be healthier and happier.
-Children need fresh air every day and all you have to do is get them out. Once they are there they`ll find something to do - to keep warm if nothing else!Just open that door, and send them out for an hour.
-Your primary role as a parent is a carer, whether your children are well and ill, absent or present. A child who is unwell needs their mother or father there to take care of them- and no job should come in the way of that.

Yes, of course we all know these. But its a nice reality check dont you think?
Any motherhood tips from your grandparents that you`d like to share?