This weekend, on our way back from the Brookfield Zoo, Lula took over my phone for a while. When I was looking at it tonight, I loved what I saw - what she had seen... A little (or big) nuance in each shot: Wind on bushes, wind on trees, yellow barrels.
In a week, girls are starting school. During the last - and rainy - days of summer, we are doing our final day field trips. Today, the destination was Art Institute of Chicago. It is one of my favorite museums to go on my own. I am not yet finished with their permanent collection. It is also great to go with kids, they have the really nice Ryan Education Center.
We spent a lot of time in one of the activity rooms that was dedicated to curating and drawing still life. While Adele spent most of her time hording the still life objects, Lula and I were able to work on our projects.
Lula and I working hard
Lula was inspired in the room but she did not exactly draw a still life. Hers was a Chicago skyline with a beautiful sunset and dark blue sky. Some sort of a still life, I guess:
I quickly worked on a lime bucket as Adele was waiting to add those to her collection...
Overall, a great day at the museum. A brief glance at the Magritte exhibit was lucky, and the new Caffè Moderno was very tasty and European with its Illy cafe!
It has been a long time since I traveled alone (without kids) internationally. Around 7 years. This past week, I was lucky to be able to fly to London for three and a half days to meet my girlfriends. I was worried about not being able to adjust to time change and being miserably tired during my brief stay.
Well, I forgot how things used to be. I arrived on Tuesday at 8:30 in the morning. We spent the whole day out, - did a river tour, saw a play which I successfully watched from beginning to end, finishing it with a stroll by the river. I was so impressed with my performance! When I did not have jet-lagged kids to wake up with at four in the morning, play for several hours before everybody else is up, traveling was so much easier...
London is such a beautiful city. I enjoyed every second there despite some warm tube rides and the crowds - tourists!
Some favorite shots and moments from the trip are below.
Leisurely sketching St Pauls Cathedral from Tate Modern's garden.
Admiring rainbow meringues at one of Jamie Oliver's shops.
I love my girls. I was missing them by the end of first day. Still, a little trip without them was invigorating. Every girl needs a girls trip!
We returned from a frigid but beautiful Quebec vacation. It was nice to be able to toughen up to face the (-) temperatures and enjoy this new city. Lots of croissants, wind and a bit of French practice. We were there for 6 days and in between the dressing up myself and two kids, undressing all of us and being a tourist, I was able to do a few drawings. I took blurry photos of what I drew with my cell phone to remember the colors and colored them back in Chicago. Here they are...
Since John and I got married, we have been sending holiday cards. Usually, we would scramble a photo ourselves but since we moved to Chicago, we have been lucky. Our nanny's boyfriend is a photographer and he has been doing photoshoots with us for these cards. Last year we tried to get a good city shot to show that we had moved to Chicago but the one with the bright pink background won. This year we hopped onto one of the train lines in the city and posed on the scenic stations. It was fun...
I haven't worked on a stationery project for our family in years, since Adele was born. Before, when we were in San Francisco, Alan and I printed girls' birthday invitations, holiday cards, business cards, just for me. It took me almost a year to finalize some ideas and get my act together, but finally, this time with Shelley, I got new cards. I am so excited. There is nothing like new cards, fresh paper and ink.
Golden colored wheat, just like my name...
Tiny calling cards, again square! I am one happy girl. Thank you, Shelley...
I always loved fall. Maybe because I have a September birthday, maybe because I am always a little blue... While living in San Francisco, I missed the change of colors and the leaf covered sidewalks. Chicago provides ample amounts of it all...
While we were visiting Istanbul in February, we went to the Museum of Innonence, curated by Orhan Pamuk. I haven't read the book but I loved the museum. Such detail, beautiful collection; a great product of patience... You can not take photos. So, I got the museum book to remember this beautiful place. The book itself is great, too, cataloging the museum with photos. I tried to replicate one of the corners from the museum using the book.
On the day we were visiting Grand Bazaar, we again looked at our food book and picked Kara Mehmet Kebap Salonu, one of the restaurants recommended there as they supposedly had the best Kunefe. This choice made our trip more rewarding that we were expecting it to be.
The restaurant had an address that made the vendors stop and think for a second when we asked for directions. A couple of them sent us towards an approximate direction and told us to ask there again. As we approached the area, we missed the little sign that was going to take us to this restaurant's section a couple times. Finally, through a narrow hallway, we actually went outside from the normally indoors Grand Bazaar. In what seemed like a forgotten corner was our restaurant. It did not look like much.
It was in a courtyard that had a few copper vendors, gift shops and a public bathroom. We could hear the banging on the copper from the shop above the restaurant. The weather was so beautiful on this winter day that we could enjoy being outside. We sat down to order. They did not have the kunefe. It was a major dissappointment for me but our waiter's eagerness to serve us their tasty food got me excited.
These little restaurants always get me when they start serving little plates of appetizers on the house which usually taste great. Their tomato based spicy salad and lavash was zesty. My beyti was simple but well done. Their coffee was the best.
When I was a young Turkish girl living in Turkey, I did not drink Turkish coffee. As I came to the age of enjoying coffee, I was trying the cappuccinos, espressos or even the simple filter coffee varieties that was "in."
I had always observed my grandfather's Turkish coffee routine. It would be served to him after he had done some sort of work in the morning or afternoon as he was smoking his cigarette, always with a cool glass of water. It happened everyday.
While we lived in Turkey for a year and a half, I first get excited to try the mastic coffee that Selamlique had nicely packaged and prepared. Then, I started getting a taste of well prepared Turkish coffee and the pleasure of ordering a coffee that simply defined you. You could not choose much other than the sugar amount. No sugar, little sugar, medium or sweet. My choice was little sugar. I enjoyed my moderation, being a former sweet tooth. I enjoyed having an afternoon coffee when Lula was at school, Adele was napping and I could do some me time, usually computer time - my work. I almost had it every day.
Here is the quick story of how we found the coffee illustrated here.