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!

Blogger Tricks

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 AT HOME 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 AT HOME 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

Sunday, 8 February 2015

From Mama to Bubba Series (3)

Pattern made from an old dress

The dress in the first picture below was originally worn by my brother's daughter, then my sister's daughter and more than a few months ago, we were given it so that my daughter could wear it too. I assume it is at least about 15 years old, if not older. It is a special piece for many of us in the family. 

However, since I was given the dress, I just could not bring myself to put it on my little one, as I've always felt a bit anxious about ruining it. So, instead, I convinced my sister to take some photos of Miss Junior in the dress for keepsake and also make another dress for her using the same pattern. When I say the same pattern, don't get me wrong, we had no pattern, up until my sister and I got together a few weeks ago and after some hours' work, frustration and endless laughter, we came up with one. 

We simply laid down the original dress on some large pieces of paper, traced lines, then put the paper pieces together just to see that it looked awkward, and did it all over again, possibly a few times! Well, lets not get too much into detail, the idea is that eventually, our pattern making worked and worked wonderfully!

A special girls dress

We upcycled an unused and unwanted shirt for the top and used a new leftover fabric for the skirt. My little one was not quite enthusiastic about the dress most likely because of its colour, until, she got to choose the applique. We showed her some options but as soon as she saw the blue and yellow flower with a smiley face, she knew exactly what she wanted. She is often pretty decisive like this and I love it about her, well, most of the time. 

A twirly dress for a girlDIY dress

I am truly in love with the dress at this stage. It suits Miss Junior's personality and body type so well. She loves dancing in it and cannot stop watching her twirling skirt in the mirror as she turns around.

Handmade dress

We altered the original pattern a little and made the skirt a bit longer by adding an inch to each skirt piece to suit her better, used a ribbon at the back instead of fabric, used three buttons only and sewed up the rest of the dress until the last skirt piece and used an iron on applique on top as opposed to using pockets. Thanks to this project, I tried my hand at making a buttonhole on my sewing machine for the first time too and it was not as scary as I thought it was.

Handmade dress for a preschooler

If you would like to see my previous 'From Mama to Bubba Series' posts, click here for No 1 and here for No 2.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Gone Knotty Again

Remember my French knot addiction (click here for a tutorial on French knots) ? Well, not much has changed since then and I am still totally addicted to it.

French knot tutorial
I had made the half of the bib with the French knots on it a while back not knowing how to finish it until recently, then one day, I found this gorgeous red fabric that compliments it well in my ever-growing stash. Once I saw it, I knew just what to do and this is what I came up with.

French knot - Scotty dog

Almost every time I make a new design, I keep staring at it for a while and then walk off. After a while, I look at it again and see whether I am still happy with it. (I actually keep doing it for some time.) Every time I look at this design since I made it, I still LOVE it. I guess it is a good sign that it is ready to be shared with you as well, right? I find it to be unique, cute, stylish, fresh, elegantly colourful, and yet, still babyish. The yellow ribbon on the side adds a character to it too. Do you agree?

Unique boy bib by MADE BY Y