26 January 2014

This month I...

1. Started 2014 by reading Deathless and enjoying the lazy afternoon with a cup of tea. 2. Went to Lush and went a bit overboard with my pamper essentials - so many lovely stuff. 3. Treated myself to a very girly vanilla cupcake from Very Cupcake to cheer myself up on a grumpy and rainy day. 4. Envied Bobo the Cat for napping on the radiators all day while we work. 5. Enjoyed the last fairy lights at the park. 6. Kept up my Christmas spirit with snowflake ginger cookies. 7. Visited the bookshop only to leave the place with two new books which I certainly did not need. 8. Went to the opera to see Die Fledermaus. 9. Finally got to use my hummingbird umbrella which I got from V&A Museum's gift shop.

January is over already and the approach of February always made me a bit uneasy (not because of the inevitable Valentine's Day explosion of red and pink) since I never seem to realize how fast time goes until I see it on the calendar. January was a dry month here, failing my hopes to see some decent amount of snow. Last few days have been rainy, thankfully and my content mood may or may not be linked to the wonderful feeling of enjoying socially acceptable home time. (When the weather is nice, society makes you feel guilty for missing all the sunshine. Rainy days are comforting, nobody cares if you choose to stay inside all day. Yay rain!)

I hope you all had a nice month and February treats you well. x

PS: I have decided to turn this monthly Instagram/photo collage into a series, to see and sum up what I've been up to. Expect a new one every last Sunday of each month.

18 January 2014

Slumber party for one

The pleasures of bedtime are often lost in my routine of watching videos, reading blogs and worrying about my life choices, but I also like to treat myself with some essentials that have become must-haves on my bedside table before I go to sleep and fall into the arms of some questionable dreams in terms of subconscious. A notebook, books, a pen, a cup of tea and a source of soothing scent are not hard to find, despite my efforts of finding the ones that are pleasing to the eye.

"Let's Bring Back" journal is a lovely gift, whether it is for yourself or a fellow 'Miniver Cheevy'. It has ideas for forgotten rituals, hobby advices and past time activities in it to enrich your days and to add a little old-time class to your everyday life. Besides the concept and the quirky, elegant and fun ideas in it, the quality is also wonderful with the beautiful ornate hard cover and excellent paper.

I have never been a lover of scented candles until I have found this little fellow at the gift shop of Kew Gardens. They always gave me a headache since I always came across with the strong, sickening scents that had sharp spicy or sweet smells. But this one's scent is very subtle, smelling exactly like lavenders and nothing else. If you close your eyes and really believe in miracles, you can convince yourself that you are in a cottage in Provence, falling asleep to the smell of distant lavender fields. (I like to kid myself since I have discovered that being delusional is gentler to the soul than dealing with the harsh truths of life days on end.)

The slumber gel was also a first for me. I have read about This Works' Deep Sleep Pillow Spray before but I didn't feel like investing in it since it is no miracle product. (You shouldn't expect any effect equal to the curse of Maleficent from any natural sleep product, in my opinion.) But The Cotswold Lavender Slumber Gel is a really nice bedside table treat. The consistency is really nice and a tiny amount is enough to get the essence of it nicely. It has a natural, slightly herbal smell but the dominant scent is of course lavender and the whole smell is not strong or rich. The purple tint does not show on the skin, it didn't give any irritation to my slightly sensitive skin and it is not sticky either. I enjoy using it every now and then when I'm in the mood for a nice, calming scent before I go to sleep. (If you are clumsy like me, you might want to be careful not to accidentally throw this on a hard floor because the jar is glass.)

Fortnum & Mason to me is what Disneyland is to children. I have the potential of going overboard and never regretting it every single time. (My trips also tend to end up with me feeling terribly dizzy for going around in circles too much.) Earl Grey is my favourite tea and even though I am more adventurous with tea flavours than I am in any other aspect of life, I always go back to this. Fortnum & Mason sells my favourite Earl Grey and just a little part of my affection has to do with that amazing turquoise tin box packaging. The Decaffeinated Earl Grey has no significant taste difference to the original one and it is especially good for night time. (This does not apply to the coffee addicts but my caffeine tolerance is not as advanced. I am weak.) The tea bag is also no-fuss goodness when you are too lazy/sleepy to clean up a pot of saggy tea leaves before sleep.

I should stick to this bedtime ritual more than my usual "staying up too late because I have been caught up with Elementary re-watch" routine. If you have any tips for a calming bedtime routine, comment and share the wisdom!

Featured items:
Books: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (Penguin Classics); London - City of Disappearances, Edited by Iain Sinclair (Penguin) 
Journal: Let's Bring Back - A Journal by Lesley M. M. Blume (Chronicle Books) 
Slumber Gel: Lavender and Camomile by Cotswold Lavender from Kew Gardens 
Tea: Decaffeinated Earl Grey Classic from Fortnum and Mason 
Candle: Lavender Plant Wax Candle from Kew Gardens
Pen: 'Paisley Rose Blush' Ball-Point Pen from Cross

11 January 2014


New Year Resolution tradition is something I enjoy, despite the fact that most of those decisions left on a list, unloved and unperformed. It's hard to say that if this year will be a groundbreaking one in terms of sticking to every decision I make, or not. Let's say that the main thing I'm planning for 2014 is to be less lazy.

I am not a complete couch potato but I overthink many things in life to the point of intimidating myself with the amount of work that they will require, so I usually end up doing not that much. Despite having the yearning for experience and adventures at heart, I also have the soul and habits of a domestic cat which include a large scale of comfort zone. The last time I whined about the lack of excitement in my life, karma rewarded me with a month long anxious state of mind which was more "exciting" than I cared to experience. So let's say that I am not in the search for a wild life, but I am looking forward to enhance what I have and work with what I've got. So hopefully, by 2015, I'll be more content with what I'm doing with my time and more pleased with myself for breaking some old and useless habits.

2014 decisions:
  • Blog more, and regularly
I would be kidding myself if I said I'll be posting 3 times a week. I really enjoy this little corner of mine but the laziness and lack of will power got the best of me in 2013. This being said, I will definitely be posting once a week, no matter how lazy I feel. It's not much, but it's a start to get back in the swing of things. I also want to turn this place into a bilingual blog as well, but strangely, I feel like I am putting too much of myself out there when I write in Turkish. It is ridiculous, but it is what it is. I shall work on that.
  • Improve myself in yoga
I am not the most unfit person in the world but it is hard to say that I've been a lover of the treadmill so far. I just don't like going to the gym. I'm not an extrovert, I don't enjoy the overly excited personal trainers trying to motivate me with loud sentences, I don't enjoy the feeling of racing the people around you. But I have found something that I really truly enjoy doing in 2013 and that is yoga. I underestimated the amount of muscle work required for this, I have to admit. But it was a good surprise. Yet, no matter how much I enjoy going to my classes, making myself go there after work when the weather is absolutely freezing and the sky is pitch black can requĊŸre some mental convincing. But I am (proudly) sticking with it, and at least two classes a week will be my exercise schedule for the early 2014.
  • Don't turn into a hermit
I tend to do this, especially when the weather is so dreadful to make me want to stay out after work. I'm hardly a social butterfly but sometimes the comforts of home are too tempting for me to leave them behind to meet my friends at an overly crowded bistro or cafe. But when I take it to the extremes, I suddenly realize I haven't been anywhere else but my work and the supermarket for the past two weeks and it's no good. I will drag myself out at least once a week, even in this horribly dry winter, and socialize. I will probably never be a person who will crave for human company, but losing touch with friends is no fun. Which leads me to the sub-resolution of this; I will actually get back in touch with a few old friends and actually meet them and not just say it.
  • Learn HTML
Yeeeh. Boring stuff, but this is on the list too. I'm hoping to jazz this place up a little bit this year, hopefully soon but HTML coding is something I want to learn so I can do this on my own without ruining it. 
  • Improve my French
Whether I go to a proper course or study my butt off at home, I am doing this. I have forgotten so much that it is embarrassing to say that I speak French in public. I will get back on the horse and take care of this, period.
  • Take a proper photography class
This is something I want to do both for this blog and myself. I am a self taught and I am hoping that I'm doing fairly well with it, but I want to know about the backstage and more about editing as well.

So, these are the only things I am hoping to accomplish this year so far. If 2014 brings more more to handle, I hope I'll take care of them as well. I have a sympathy for the number 24 (which is no longer my age, sigh) I like writing 4, so hopefully these alone will make this year a better one than the last one. (I don't like 3.)

Hope the new year brings you good luck, happiness, success and a very good kiss.