Why are our kids so over scheduled? Are all of these extracurricular activities really making them better & brighter or starting them off earlier than necessary on a life of never-ending multi-tasked activities and responsibilities that cause a vicious cycle of stress and exhaustion? Can you tell what my position on this matter is??
Read on to see how I've tried to simplify things for my 3.5 and 5 year old (and myself of course).
H&M Home products, which will arrive in Turkey this September, will test the devotion of many die-hard IKEA and Zara Home Kids fans. Let's face it, price is a deciding factor for many non-essential kids' products. And room decorations, definitely fall in to this non-essential but important category for me. Linens, storage boxes, towels and other decorative accessories should not be expensive but they should be made of quality materials as they have to endure endless washings and lots of wear and tear. And of course they need to be well-styled to appeal to both moms and tots. Look no further...the most simple and splendid products are probably clearing Turkish customs as we speak.
One of the happiest days of my life was my wedding day…followed by the birth of daughter number one, the birth of daughter number two and the day I had eradicated a slew of cancer cells from my body. However, high up there on my list of really good days are the following: the day I first drove to IKEA by myself when I was 18 after having fallen asleep reading the IKEA catalog for about 12 years (it was my Goodnight Moon), the year I bought my first MAC Russian Red lipstick and the day I sold sunglasses to Sade (the singer) who told me I was prettier than Winona Ryder (a big compliment in the 90's).
The day I moved to Turkey ("all by myself"…as my three year old constantly declares) on a crisp November day in 1998 was also pretty big. Many career and personal highs (and lows) followed but you can be sure that I had a huge smile on my face the days IKEA, MAC, Zara Home, AVEDA, H&M, H&M Kids, COS and Crate & Barrel arrived in Turkey. So, it is with great pleasure (and slight embarrassment ) that I announce my joy at the eminent arrival of H&M HOME in Turkey in on September 18…(appropriately 6 days after my birthday). Read on to find out why H&M HOME is the epitome of simple and splendid and why I might not be so shallow/crazy after all...
September is a good time to refresh yourself and your wardrobe. Here are a few simple, stylish, clean, chic, casual selections from COS, Mango and Zara. They are all staple pieces which you can dress up or dress down. Each was carefully chosen from the new F/W 2014-2015 collections. All are very affordable but are so chic that they definitely do not give away their price points. As always…lots of neutrals (grey, black, white, khaki, tan )+ shots of color here and there. Let me know what you think…
All relationships are different. The players are different. The dynamics are different. Each has a different context. Each has a different history. Each has its own importance and priority in one's life. Some are of no consequence some are life altering. Some are short. Some last a long, long time. But, all of them require some level of effort and all of them, I believe, could greatly benefit from being simplified through a bit more communication and a little bit of heartfelt honesty…and where possible empathy. Here is my two cents worth about the relationship between empathy-communication and cancerous thoughts…maybe they'll help you resolve something that has been nagging away at you for a while. P.S. My new motto in life is: Get thee to a psychologist before you end up in the arms of an oncologist.
Here it is…the list of my favorite Istanbul restaurants organized by neighborhood and other useful categories. There are exactly 36 entries on this list. Some are uber-hip while some are small neighborhood classics. I hope you have a chance to visit all 36 while you are here. Fish restaurants are not included on this list as I feel that Istanbul's fish and raki fans merit an entire post of their own. Read on to find out which restaurants made my list.
I have probably tried every single children's shampoo, oil, cream and wet-wipe on the market. With two girls under the age of 5 and lots of product mishaps in which entire bottles of product are "accidentally" spilt, poured, squirted, squeezed, pumped out on to the bathroom tiles, walls or mirrors, one gets price-conscious pretty quickly. Obviously I don't want to buy products for my children based solely on value but it is becomes a serious consideration after a few pricey disappointments… After lots and lots of research and trial and error, I have chosen my favorite 8 beauty products which work beautifully on beauties of all ages. Five of the eight products are from Turkish companies but all are available throughout Turkey.
I don't know where to start praising this Turkish colognes & beauty products company. Should I start by commending them on their amazing re-branding, comprehensive new product development or courageous expansion via self-branded boutiques? Should I talk about how amazing it means to be "depuis 1895" in any consumer goods field? Should I talk about how absolutely simple and splendid their new stores look and feel and smell? Or should I talk about my first shopping experience at their Zorlu location…guess how many products I purchased on this first visit?
I recently had the pleasure of designing from scratch an entire model home in a beautiful new residential development literally in the woods in Çekmeköy, Istanbul. This duplex flat comprised of three spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms has exactly four super spacious terraces overlooking gorgeous greenery. It is a boutique project comprised of 60 units and located within exceptionally easy reach of all amenities and the Asian side's commercial/financial hubs. Check out the project in person if you are either on the market for a new home or want to be inspired by the styling of the house or if you just want to dream about how amazing it might be to live that close to the city but still be so immersed in nature…ESSA FLORA
Read on to see how it is possible to decorate an entire house in 10 days for an impressively low budget.
I often find myself online perusing the websites of a variety of retailers that offer beautiful furniture and decorations for kids. I get excited when I find beautifully patterned linens, coordinating accessories and simple rugs which would look wonderful in my children's rooms (or any room for that matter). I love the styling of Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware, Land of Nod and All Modern. While all of these stores range in style from slightly country to uber-modern, they all have a huge selection of items which you can easily mix and match to create your own style. Sometimes I have my shipping costs calculated, discover that my shopping cart of items totaling 69USD is going to cost me 669USD to ship to Turkey and start crying at the injustice of it all. But don't despair…this is where I come in to rescue you from this very important "first-world problem" (in-other-words a frivolous problem in the grand scheme of things but non-the-less important if you have a particular task at hand).
It is not easy to find simple and splendid beachwear. Much of what I have come across lately is either too sexy (cheap-looking), too polyester (cheap-feeling) or way way too expensive (not cheap enough). I went to a charity fundraiser bazaar yesterday where there were literally thousands of kaftans, tunics, beach dresses and beach "gowns" on display but none were to my liking…
Here is a selection of stylish yet simple beachwear to guarantee you won't look like a burlesque-performing-leopard-from-Bollywood (an unfortunate look you will see often on our beaches).
Our homes are our sanctuaries. They should ideally be comfortable and calm and chic… Actually it isn't that difficult to strike this balance. Eclectic is my favorite decorating style. It is forgiving and when done well, it is visually very interesting and exudes character and individuality.
"Eclectic modern", "ethnic modern", "eclectic scandinavian", "modern organic", "modern rustic", "modern vintage" these are all different terms which signify decorating schemes which have warmth and lots points of interest without becoming too complicated, heavy or dated. When the individual pieces are chosen with care yet mixed well, rooms that are decorated in this style are simple, splendid and timeless…
Read on to find out how to achieve this style and where to shop for great pieces...
Are you ready to move outdoors? It is that time of year again…time to open the windows, set up the balcony, mow the lawn, rake the sand...
Everybody has their own way of enjoying the outdoors. Some can spend 200 dollars to make their outdoor space spectacular, some will spend 200,000 dollars to decorate their beachfront properties. The irony is that it doesn't really matter whether you are lying down on a 3 dollar picnic blanket enjoying the sun or sitting on a B&B ITALIA outdoor couch designed by Antonio Citterio or a KETTAL seating group designed by Patricia Urquiola. The sun, the wind and the beautiful air do not discriminate, they bless us all equally with their splendidness.
Having said that, most take great pleasure from decorating and beautifying their outdoor living spaces. Read on to see the inspiration gallery and my favorite basics from retailers in Turkey and online retailers delivering internationally. Enjoy!
First a few facts…Lets see if you can guess the brand...
15 March 1949
Consumer Goods and retail
€3.5 billion in 2013
Over 12,450 worldwide, of which 8,500 in Germany
As a follow up to my previous post I want to tempt you even further with beautiful selections from the Martha Stewart Collection's red, white and blue beauties…I have included home linens, kitchenware and beautiful entertaining pieces that are sure to make your next party or any everyday celebration a simple and chic event.
You know of my blue and white obsession but when red is added into the mix, I only get more and more excited. This is maybe because I was born in Utah :-)
You cannot help but think of American, British or French references when these three colors come together. But when Martha Stewart comes into the mix all I can think of is Americana and southern style entertaining and fourth of July parties….
See if these cakes and pies and beautiful products inspire you to have a lovely red, blue and white dessert buffet or brunch sometime soon...
She is the reigning queen of the simple and splendid entertaining and lifestyle movement and is a marketing/retail genius. This makes her a goddess in my books. I am sure everybody knows who I am referring to…but read on read on find out who and to see my favorite finds from her amazing line of products for Macy's…(almost all of these products are available for international delivery).
If these images don't inspire you to hop on a plane and fly to the closest Macy's store or at the very least refresh your kitchen by ordering a few of these beautiful tools and gadgets then…then…you really shouldn't be reading this blog and you really shouldn't ever come over to play with my barbies, ever!
I have received dozens of requests for a Turkish version of my splendid actors/celebrities list so here it goes…
I must confess that I had to do a lot of googling to find these guys names and jog my memory as I do not watch a lot of Turkish dramas. I was finally able to come up with a list of 10 actors that are so super charismatic that they could easily be huge in Hollywood.
My favorite Turkish male celebrity is of course Dr. Mehmet Oz (above) who is already huge in Hollywood and who teaches me things like how to combat cellulite and wrinkles on a daily basis!?! I cannot say that the others on this list have been as useful to me but they are definitely nice to look at.
Can you guess who made it in to my top ten list?
We are all back on our diets. And some of us have even started working out…
I know that mid-May is a little late to be hitting the gym or the track for a bikini ready body in June but better late than never has always been my motto. At this rate, I should be smoking hot by about November 2015.
But if there is going to be shopping involved to get fit or look good on the beach then I guess I am going have to amp up my workout/beach wardrobe so that I can be fully invested in my new fitness regime.
Take a look at the image gallery below for inspiration…I am sure some of these beauties--both for you and your kids--will have you clicking on the "shopping cart" icon of the amazing online retailer I am featuring in this post. As always, this tempting site delivers internationally so click with care...
Can you guess who made my list of splendid style-making, great-looking, charisma-oozing male "celebrities"? Let me give you a few clues…these men are famous for a lot of different things although most are actors. The list includes a prince, a general, lots of funny guys and many men whose magnetism glues us to screens of all sizes for hours on end.
This was the most difficult list to "curate" as there were so many splendid celebrities to choose from…
List your favorites before you look at the gallery and let's see how many of your favorites I've included or missed….
Wine and cheese parties are the simplest way to entertain friends. They allow you to showcase all of the special entertaining skills and tools you have picked up over the years.
You cannot really go wrong when choosing the right cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, veggies, breads, crackers, nuts and wines…anything goes really and that is why wine and cheese parties are so easy to prepare for.
In my previous post I tried to inspire you to get imaginative when styling your wine and cheese tables. And….I almost heard some of you saying, "great spreads, but I don't have boards and bowls and platters and beautiful accessories like these…"
Simple and Splendid to the rescue…here is my roundup of just a few of most beautiful serveware, platters, boards, bowls, plates, cheese accessories which you can purchase right here in Istanbul (or at least have delivered right to your door).
But first, Today's Top 5 SPLENDID STORES for housewares and home furnishings in ISTANBUL!!
There are many spectacular female characters on TV who have influenced the way we dress. Here is a roundup of my all-time 20 favorite female fashionistas…Many of these shows are still on TV so be sure to check out these vixens, matriarchs, girl-next-doors, drug-dealers, spies, boardroom and bedroom butt kickers…
Hope you like the few flashbacks near the end.
See if you can guess who made it in to my top 20 without looking at the pics...Have I missed anybody?
I am not embarrassed to admit it…I USE FAKE FLOWERS. While I love fresh cut flowers, I do not always have the time or the budget to adorn my house with these beautiful splashes of color and freshness.
So, sometimes, I use fake flowers. But I try to use them carefully and when possible, in combination with real leaves or twigs.
Many companies do not get to live a renaissance…and very few are lucky enough to be able to reinvent themselves with a ceramic chinoiserie bowl.
This is probably an oversimplification of all of the hard strategic work the owners and executives at Yargıcı have done over the last couple of years to "rework" their brand. But this is how I have experienced their re-birth and have been excited by each new addition to/tweak of their brand and concept.
Click below to see updated photos (Zorlu Center Yargıcı Store…)
A website about simple ways to add more "splendid" into your life. Curated finds from Istanbul and beyond, plus tips and candid reviews to make shopping, travel, going out, entertaining and living splendidly accessible to everyone. Life is hard but leisurely activities should at the very least be simple and splendid all the time.