Noelliniz kutlu olsun! (Merry Christmas!)

I’m a couple of days late, I know. The sentiment remains the same and hopefully you all had great, happy, and perfect Christmases! Here in our happy little home we tried to just lay low and enjoy being together. Which we did, but we also had some craziness around here.

The day after Christmas we had all of our furniture traded out for newer versions of the same stuff (long story). While it was basically like moving in again (fortunately most of our stuff is in closets and not in drawers and such), over all we’re quite happy with the upgrades. Of course we did have to re-re-rearrange the way the guys set everything up, which meant some fun sliding and lifting.

And then we learned what I’ve always suspected about our Olive pup. She’s a big softy at heart, but if there’s a pigeon on our patio she could turn into a cold blooded killer. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to play, but after letting her out to scare a particularly stubborn one away I definitely had to clean up some feathers. If left to her own devices, I’m pretty sure there would be a “de-stuffed” pigeon on our balcony.

Most importantly, I finished (almost all) my Christmas knitting.  Mom got a hat (sock yarn from Germany) and scarf (found bought-by-weight cotton blend), Dad got a hat (bulky wool), Sister got a triangle shawl/scarf (Brooklyn Tweed wool), MKD got fingerless gloves and a matching hat (DC local sock yarn), and Mr. Awesome got a herringbone knit scarf (cashmere blend).  All were also promised socks.  Eventually.  Now I have to get started on what will now be CMR’s Valentine’s shawl since her yarn took forever to get here (and even held up Mr. Awesome’s yarn!) but it so beautiful that I forgive her… plus, I picked the color so it is my fault after all.  Lesson learned?  Tell Jimmy Beans Wool to ship as it comes in and not hold to ship all at once.

Hope you got everything you wanted and needed!  Merry Christmas to all!

Bitkiler büyümek (To grow herbs) My new garden

I know I haven’t been doing a good job of posting lately, but I have been crossing things of the old 30 in 30 list!  I posted about my cupcakes (from scratch) earlier today and am thinking about doing a round up to review my progress.

Waiting for my cuttings to sprout new roots

Waiting for my cuttings to sprout new roots

In the meantime, let’s talk about my garden.  And by garden, I mean a couple of pots on my kitchen window sill.  For now.  Who knows, maybe these will stay alive for ever and I can get more!  I have had tons of trouble trying to find potted herbs… of course, I didn’t look all that hard for them, but I did find a bunch of herbs at the Mirgos a few weeks ago (all but rosemary which I actually found in a pot).  I used them to make all kinds of yummy food last week and then saved a few cuttings from the basil, purple basil, and mint.  I stuck them in some water and waited for them to grow little baby roots!  Which they did.

Basil... Looking a little sad...

Basil… Looking a little sad…

Mint

Mint

Rosemary

Rosemary

Purple basil

Purple basil

I finally went to Koçtaş, the Turkish Home Depot, a few days ago and got some pots and soil for my soon to be garden.  And I did it!  I now have a very cute potted garden in my kitchen window.  Now let’s all just hope that they live… though I don’t have high hopes for the plain basil… Sadness.

Kitchen "garden" with a lovely view of Ankara covered in snow.

Kitchen “garden” with a lovely view of Ankara covered in snow.

Mini kekler (n.: cupcakes)

I did it.  I made cupcakes from scratch!  I’ve done this before, but these were a fun new recipe.  I got the idea for them from a few different places and adjusted to what I had/like.  They’re tiramisu cupcakes and recipes can be found from Martha, Je Suis Alimentageuse, and Confections of a Foodie Bride to name a few.

Delicious

Delicious

These are so light and fluffy with the coffee-kahlua syrup dripping into the cupcake section.  The frosting is a perfect combination of marscapone and whipped heavy cream.  If I make this recipe again, I’m leaning towards making it into a cake with layers of frosting as the cupcake version was a little sloppy to eat.

Yum!  Isn't this hot plate super cute too?  It was a Christmas gift from our cleaning lady.

Yum! Isn’t this hot plate super cute too? It was a Christmas gift from our cleaning lady.

Yes, it’s true… there are no step by step photos, but trust me.  These are from scratch.  The slightly melty frosting should be the give away to that.

I think I should go eat the last one that's hidden in the fridge...

I think I should go eat the last one that’s hidden in the fridge…

Hasta bir köpek yavrusu (One sick puppy)

Not like that!

While Mr. Awesome and I are childless, we do have our trusty Golden Retriever, Olive to dole attention on and love like a child.  I got Olive when I was working in Germany from a young couple that was in over their heads and couldn’t keep her due to an unexpected pregnancy.  They got her from another young couple who couldn’t take her with them back to the US because she was too young and hadn’t gotten all her shots.  That couple got her from a family who’s older dog didn’t like the competition of a new puppy and made it very clear to said puppy.  She was 5 months old when I adopted her and I was her 5th (and final) home.  When I took her home (and promptly renamed her Olive from ‘Princess Nala’), I realized that in addition to being a typical loving, anxious-to-please Golden she was also a very submissive little girl who was a bit skittish in general and deathly afraid of loud noises, quick movements, and riding in cars.  Upon meeting her (a week after I took her home), Mr. Awesome fell in love too.

dog in dog bed

How could you not love this little girl?

She’s now almost three (she will be at the end of March) and has gotten over most of her bad habits.  While she still refuses to be in the same room as a vacuum (even if it’s turned off), she no longer freaks out and submissively pees when I’m moving pots and pans, doesn’t chew on carpets, and thankfully will go to the bathroom while we’re on a walk and (she’s on a leash) if need be.  I’m not sure if it’s at all normal, but she’s the most cuddly dog you’ll ever meet.  She’d much prefer you let her follow you around the house like a shadow and will wake you up by staring at you with a toy in her mouth (though we have learned a new trick where I get to “press snooze” if I pet her and say, “Five more minutes, pup.”)

IMG_5302

“I don’t feel so good….” [Though in all honesty this is a normal pose for her even if she feels fine.]

So needless to say when she’s not feeling well, we’re all a bit out of sorts around here.  After she had spent the last week by my side and cuddling when I was pretty miserable and sick, on Thursday morning she woke me up with her coughing.  I got out of bed to check on her at which point she usually gets out of her bed and comes to get pets but she didn’t this time and instead stayed in her bed.  After a bit more coughing she got a little vomitty in her bed.  The poor thing looked so pathetic that I couldn’t be annoyed even though I knew it would mean cleaning her bed later…

First you have to vacuum all the fluff out of the corners...

First you have to vacuum all the fluff out of the corners…

dog bed apart

Then you have to take it apart to stick it in the washer… (pillows get fluffed with tennis balls dabbed with essential oils to de-stink)

dog in bed

Then you have to quickly put it together despite it being unwieldy because inevitably you have an anxious dog staring at you and dancing around waiting to get in her bed… and crash almost instantly…

After moping around the house all day and cuddling on any part of me she could, I decided I’d make her favorite homemade treats to cheer her up.  They are pumpkin flavored and meant to help calm an upset tummy and Olive loves them.  The recipe I use is from here and super easy to make.  We made them a bit Christmasy because, well, I had the cookie cutters for it.

IMG_5310

We always do the bones, but how cute were the hearts and trees?!

dog treat close up homemade

They look almost good enough for me to eat…

Thankfully she perked right back up Friday morning and is all the way back to herself now.  And of course since we had a real snow last night, the return of the amazing snow pup is back (I swear she tries to make puppy snow angels — I’ll get a picture of it this year).  Which means cute photos to follow obviously.

Snow dog (not in action)

Snow dog (not in action)

Çocuksız bir ev hanımın itiraftalari (Confessions of a childless housewife)

I want to pretend that the past few days have been a serious exception to the norm that is my activity level.  Alas, if I’m really honest with myself it’s not that big of a change just because I haven’t been feeling well.  Sure, I haven’t been up for the usually long walks with the pup or random Starbucks/window shopping that I can be easily persuaded into doing (Olive is pretty persuasive.) because of my cold.  So while I’ve been drinking copious amounts of tea and going through an impressive number of kleenex (think in terms of boxes), if I’m being truly honest things aren’t that off the norm.

It’s been almost two years since I up and quit my full-time, serious, grown up job. I teach yoga classes a couple of times a week, but I’ve been doing that out of our home and so it doesn’t feel like a real job per se…  Which brings me to this abbreviated list of confessions.  These are the confessions of a stay at home non-mom.

1.  There are days when I don’t change out of pjs.  I’ll even shower and put them back on.  I don’t correct Mr. Awesome when he thinks I’ve just put them on after a full day in real clothes.

2. I have spent entire days in front of my computer watching hulu.

3.  Despite the fact that I love cooking, I have been known to spend hours on Pinterest or epicurious.com trying to find a fun recipe to try only to put a frozen pizza in the oven when it actually comes time to make dinner.

4.  On that note: I’ve ordered delivery for lunch.  More than once.

5.  While part of me misses having a full time “real people” job, I mostly miss wearing cute work clothes.  And heels.

6.  Sometimes I resent that I can’t work outside of very limited options due to being in Turkey as a diplomat’s wife.

7.  I try to schedule all my errands and outings for the day our housekeeper is coming so that I don’t look like a lazy housewife.

8.  Despite having all day to get in a work out, I often wait until the last minute before Mr. Awesome gets home.  It’s so I look like I’ve been productive.

9.  I sometimes lie to strangers and answer yes when asked if we have kids so I don’t have to explain what I do all day.  Plus, in Turkey it helps avoid a lecture.

10.  I do think about starting a family, but the thought of going that long without coffee and wine makes me rethink the whole idea.

There are plenty more where these came from, but these are the ones I’m willing to share (and fess up to) now…

What about you? Do you have any fun confessions about your job or lack thereof?

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