Ay (n.: month, moon)

With less than one month until my 30th birthday, I realize I will not be accomplishing my 30 in 30 by the time I turn 30.  When I started this list, it was to give me something fun to keep me busy with and blogging about.  It seems that neither has really been the case.  Not to say I have not been busy, but I’ve not necessarily been busy with the things I listed in my “to do” list and I’ve been less than stellar about keeping up with this blog.

I recently got back from a short trip to the States.  It was exactly what I needed in so many ways: friends, comfortable small talk (read: in English with strangers), baby spinach, yoga classes that I wasn’t teaching, etc.  I’m so very glad I went and at the same time a little more homesick now that I’m back.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to be back with Mr. Awesome and puppy girl, but I am also quite ready to be back in the US on a more permanent basis.  I know we have another two years (at least) here in Ankara and I’m still thankful for that time, but I am now most definitely also looking forward to going back.

While I was in the States, I realized I need to give being here a better chance.  I need to let go of what I wish it were like and who I wish were here with me and instead embrace what it is.  I need to do better making new friends and accept the people in my life as they are.  I need to be as confident at trying new things alone here as I am in the States.  I need to accept that Mr. Awesome will be stuck working obscene hours for ridiculous (and not-so-ridiculous) issues.  And I need to give myself a break when I can’t accept and do all these things all the time.  I hope to add these and many others to my list of ongoing things to do/see/accomplish.

Being less than a month away from my 30th birthday, I realize that much like New Year’s Resolutions, accomplishing a list of things before a certain date is sort of silly.  It should be a continuous process.  I started the list as a way of coping with a big birthday… turning 30 is scary, right?  It’s the first major milestone birthday that isn’t associated with getting new privileges and therefore is going over and down the proverbial hill, right?  Yet somehow looking down the barrel at 30 I strangely feel… nothing.  Yet.

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Kaybolmak (v.: to get lost; to disappear; to go astray; to die down) or where did my photo challenge go?!

Okay, okay, to those of you who may have taken note that it is now the 4th and I’m finally getting around to posting photos from the 29th of December: back off.  Yes, I’m a bit behind on my photo-a-day challenge, but how was I to know the prompts I’ve been oh-so-dependent on for inspiration would disappear without a trace?  Maybe I’m overreacting (it would be so very out of character, I know).  Maybe the shuttersisters will magic the prompts for January up soon.  Maybe I should actually read their blog to see why the front page seems to have vanished and just has a mysterious Luis L’Amour quote? (For the curious: click here and let me know if prompts appear!)

So what’s a girl to do when something on her 30 in 30 list just goes poof?  Find a new set of prompts.  So, Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenge, here I come.  And if I had been more studious and researched more photo a day challenges when I started my 30 in 30, I probably would have chosen to start with FMS’s.  She seems to have more entertaining prompts and hopefully will keep ’em coming!  (At least until mid-March!)

Maybe I should take this opportunity to also switch from Instagram to a less (FaceBook-owned, stealing-art-work) public domain picture sharing application since I use just my old iPhone for my photos.  Any suggestions on a new ap I should be using?

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…

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