Friday, 24 April 2015

Lunch Ideas for School Kids (2)

I have been longing to make this post for such a long time now but it looks like today had to be the day. I seriously am one busy woman! (Who isn't, ha?)

I had shared four lunch ideas/recipes with you here previously. I prepare lunch for my son on a daily basis, and Miss Junior now has lunch at school a few days a week as well, so, do expect many more to come in time but for now, enjoy the ones below:

1. Lunch and Snack:
  • (Homemade organic) bread and spreadable cheese with chia
  • Avocado slices
  • (Homegrown) cherry tomatoes
  • (Organic) cranberries
  • Pineapple slices
2. Vegetable and cheese kebabs:
  • Red capsicum, 
  • cucumber, 
  • mozzarella cheese

3. Lunch: 
  • Carrots
  • Raw fresh garden peas
  • Slice bread
  • Cheese slice
Snack: Fruit Salad
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarin

4a. Lunch and Snack for Mr. Junior
  • Homemade roast beef - cold cut.
  • Baby spinach and fetta cheese salad
  • Flat bread chips
  • Cucumber, yoghurt and mint dip (tzatziki)
  • Fruit salad with melon, kiwi and strawberries

4b. Lunch and Snack for Miss Junior
  • See 4a for content.

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

All for a Special Person

MADE BY Y finger puppets for a birthday celebration

Recently, we have celebrated a special day of a very special person in our family, our little daughter's 4th birthday. This year, her birthday fell on a day during the term break, only a few days before Term 2 started. She attends a Montessori school and they have a particular way of celebrating birthdays, which embeds a lot of learning about the solar system into the celebration. They use a globe that represents the planet we live on, and a round yellow candle to represent the Sun. The candle is lit and is placed in the middle of a circle (they have a particular mat that marks a circle - or rather an oval, really - and the children sit around it, just behind the line); the birthday child holds the globe and walks around the circle as many times as the number of their new age. For instance, if the child turns 3 on the day, the child turns around the circle three times, which represents the fact that since the child was born, the Earth has circled the Sun 3 times, once a year. The child's family also provides a photo for each year of the child and the children in class get to see the photos in the order starting from birth to understand the evolution of the child in time.

birthday breakfast

We don't normally have birthday parties or do traditional birthday celebrations at home, but we make every effort to make sure that the birthday person feels 'extra special' on the day (or perhaps the week!) just to make sure that they understand, once again, how special they are to the rest of the family. We all try very hard to spend the day (or the closest convenient day) together, spoil the person with a special breakfast (it is pretty much the same for our children as the request comes from them and it has not changed much so far: some homemade pancakes with lots of berries and fruit and some honey, maple syrup or berry sauce), do things that the birthday person enjoys doing the most or that has put in a request for. We also aim to do some donations on behalf of the birthday person.

cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries,

This year, I asked my daughter just before the term break whether she wanted to have a Montessori celebration at school as well or not and she said yes. Therefore, the teacher marked the first day of school in Term 2 for her birthday celebration (half an hour of the day). The school's procedure is that every child that celebrates birthday at school is to bring in photos of themselves (one per year since birth) and a fruit platter.

fruit platter for school celebration

 At the end of the day, every child gets a little gift from the birthday child, which is totally optional. Our little princess wanted some finger puppets for her friends and we worked on it throughout the holidays. Even my son made his own finger puppets for a few of his friends, all on his own!

Handmade puppets by MADE BY Y

My daughter actually asked for 3 puppets for each of her friends but luckily, I was able to negotiate with her and we settled for two. We also packaged them together at the end. I now have one happy class-full of 3-5year olds. We still keep getting compliments from the school and the families about the puppets. Just today a mum was telling me how her 3year old son's puppets are also a favourite at home for her 14month old daughter too. They even play together! I surely had quite a few late-nights to make all those puppets but it was well worth it!


Sunday, 29 March 2015

DID YOU KNOW ...? (79)

Click here for source
Here is an interesting fact about the wingless insects, fleas. According to a source, they are able to jump 150 times and another source 110 times their hight. They can jump approximately 18cm (7inches) vertically and 33cm (13inches) horizontally. If compared to humans, it is equivalent of a 180cm tall human being jumping about two football fields high!

Thursday, 26 March 2015


I have been working on a brand new project, a new blog, for a while and it is now ready to go public (Well, mostly. There is still some fine tuning to do but it will happen in time). 

The new blog is very different to this blog here. It is called ENGLISH IN COMFORT and aims to teach English to the speakers of Turkish language using comparisons of both languages, explanations, examples, work sheets, songs, research results and everything else that you can imagine that helps in learning/teaching a new language. 

You can click here to have a look it and if relevant, follow to be posted on a regular basis. 


Yepyeni bir blog ile yine karşınızdayım. Ancak, yeni blogum burada olandan çok daha farklı bir konuda ve Türkce okur-yazarlara hitap ediyor. ENGLISH IN COMFORT adını verdiğim bu yeni blogda, çogunlukla Türkçe dilini kullanarak İngilizce öğretiyor olacağım. Dilin kuralları, Türkçe ve İngilizce dil yapısının anlamayı kolaylaştıracak karşılaştırmaları, örnekler, açıklamalar, alıştırmalar,  kendiniz için ya da İngilizce'yi çocuğunuza öğretebilmeniz için gereken her türlü paylaşımda bulunuyor olacağım. 

Buraya tıklayarak yeni blogumu ziyaret edebilir ve hatta takibe alabilirsiniz. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Harmony Day

Harmony Day Celebrated with Eggs

Various sized, colour and sized eggs

A solo voice was singing
quite a pretty little song
Another voice who knew the tune
joined in and sang along
The duet sang in unison
their voices side by side
One bass voice one soprano
on the same melodic ride

Another singer joined them
Counter pointed to their sound
As this voice descended theirs would climb
and the other way around
The tune got woven, twisted, plaited
in a tapestry to hear
Building to a pretty picture
that grabbed people by the ear

Now each singer had to listen
to the other singers' part
to stay in time and stay in tune
With all fellow singers' hearts
They had to work with common purpose
If they all would get along
and welcome other different voices
to build the richest fullest song.

All the voices joined together
had the audience entranced
Folk were swaying to the rhythm
while some other people danced
And they sang about community
but with a common ground
where each one had a part to play
so that harmony was found.

(Harmony, by Paul Walker.)

(Harmony Day: This year on the 21st of March, 2015, Australia will be celebrating the 15th Harmony Day. It is a day that reminds and celebrates diversity, respect and inclusiveness... Harmony Day coincides with the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.)

Friday, 6 March 2015

Guest Post: Make the Most of the Small Bathroom

About the Author: 

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family. 

E-mail:; G+
Guest blogger: Diana Smith
Guest blogger: Diana Smith
While bathroom is a really important part of your home, it doesn’t mean that it needs to be big in order to be beautiful and functional. Truth be told, small bathroom leaves a lot to be desired from this space, but if you make an effort to make it functional and compact, you can make it look bigger than it is and you can really make up for its lack of size. At least, visually, your bathroom can be more spacious, but you just need to think through its design a little bit. Here are some of the ways you can do it and some of the ideas to make the most of the small bathroom place.
Use the Vertical Space
Small space usually seems even smaller if you allow for the furniture and details to come into your way and break it into areas. This happens when you have a lot of stuff that you need in that space and little space to store it. Also, if you cannot move around freely without bumping something over, the space is dysfunctional and seems pretty small and cramped up. What owners of small bathrooms usually forget is that they can use the vertical space as well. Be creative about it and use those walls to make the storage space for all the things that will free up the space around you.

Tie the Room Together
When you tie the room together you achieve the effect of unity of the space which makes it seem like it is one big space rather than several areas in one. You can achieve this by tiling. Use the same tiles for the floors and then use them for the lower part of the walls and tile over the bathtub and all the things you can up until the certain level. Visually, this will make the space look much bigger.

Furniture That Goes with the Space
In order to make sure that the space is properly used up, you will need some furniture that will go with the space and that will take up as little space as possible. This means that some of it may even be custom made to fit into the corners and don’t interrupt the line of the space so that it blends in with the walls. This will make the space look more opened up and uninterrupted, so it will appear to be bigger.

Click here for image source
Toilets and Showers
A much better solution for the small bathroom, than a bathtub, is a walk in shower or even the wet bathroom. Walk in shower has no obvious separating from the rest of the room so it doesn’t shrink it up. Wet bathroom makes it even easier to save space, but it cancels out the possibility to freely use walls for storage as the stuff might get wet. However, this can be taken care of with careful choice of storage shelves. Toilets that are perfect for small bathrooms are built in toilets that have the free space beneath them. Sinks as well. However, this means that you will have to call the plumber for every case of blocked drains as it will be difficult for you to take care of it.

All the things you do to make the bathroom more spacious will be in vain if you clutter it up with unnecessary details. Small bathroom needs to be filled only with the necessities and all the things like empty bottles, too much details, ornaments and home chemistry should not be stored there. In reality, they will not take up too much space, but visually, it will seem like they do. Entire side of the bathroom where these things are stored will look used up and this automatically shrinks the entire space.

These are just some of the things that you can do to make your bathroom space look bigger than it already is. Giving it a lot of light and making sure that the colors used in it are bright and light, will definitely make it look larger. Also, when it comes to colors, one wall can be painted or tiled in a deep blue shade as it will add another dimension to the entire space.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Plum Compote: A Summer Drink

As a child, I lived in a house with a flower garden at the front and some fruit trees at the back. It was not far from the sea and even closer to a river. In hot summer days, we would have some breeze due to the location and the trees, and it was such a treat to just settle with a book or a craft project in hand on the sofa on the balcony. I never thought summer was too sticky or unbearable at such a place as a child. It was one of my favourites to spend a good chunk of my free time on the balcony. I remember of reading without a break for hours and hours at a time. It was just a pure joy.

It is also a part of my sweet summer memories to have my mum's homemade compotes. The fruit that she used for the compotes was always organically grown, mostly homegrown fruit. It is the taste and the heart warming memories attached that made compotes always a favourable drink in my life. Not that I knew how to make it, well, up until a month ago.

Approximately a month ago, we had some heatwave here in Melbourne. Coincidentally, it was also the time when I was given a bagful of green plums that I did not know what to do with. They were too soft in texture for my liking and the taste was too savoury for me to handle. Since the rest of the family was not really enthusiastic about them either, I simply had a challenge in hand: somehow utilise them without wasting any.

It didn't take long for me to have the urge to try my hand at compote making. I simply searched for recipes online and then adjusted them according to my expectations and taste buds. All I used were 4 ingredients: water, plums, raw sugar and a cinnamon stick.

I don't quite enjoy sweet drinks and prefer my children to have as little exposure to added sugar in their food/drink intake as possible. Therefore, I simply reduced the amount of sugar suggested in recipes and added some cinnamon stick to it while boiling. I don't have a particular recipe to suggest but I strongly recommend you to try making it if you have not yet done so. It is easy, hassle free and a healthier option to most other summer drinks.

Homemade summer drink recipe

Recently, on the way back from an outing at a beautiful little country town, Woodend (VIC), we spotted a great organic farm, where we were lucky enough to get some totally mouth watering berries and some sugar plums. The plums were Mr. Hubby's idea and he didn't believe us when we said that we were unlikely to have much of it. He bought a generous amount just to notice soon after that he too couldn't handle it as they were more savoury than he thought they would be. Therefore, we ended up with plenty of plums to find a way not to waste. Luckily, the weather warmed up again after some coldish weeks and they too ended up turning into some much loved compote. Everyone in the family happily consumed it. No waste, much taste!

sugar plum compote drink

Easy summer drink: compote

Plum compote recipe