June 29, 2012

Beachy Chic Friday

It has been hot here for the past couple of days...and I've loved it so far. So it is no wonder that sunbathing, the beach and some cool drinks are on my mind...literally every single day. Of course, I don't want to end up in the hospital because of this heat so I'm trying to stay in the shade and at home as often as possible...health comes first. Always. 

But how fun would it be to wear the following while enjoying cool drinks overlooking the ocean?
Yes please!!

beachy chic

Today I'm linking up with Long Distance Loving. You should, too!

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!
Mine should be grand...fingers crossed! You'll read how it's going to be on Twitter...as always updating on my crazy little world these days! :) 


June 27, 2012


...in a few days (or hours even) it's time to finally say "Welcome to this World" to my best friend's new baby!
...in about a week it's time to say "Welcome to Switzerland".
...in about a week I can update with fun posts...about a "blate" or two I'll be having (according to Meghan! this is the word for it?!)

...to this Saturday and its annual Old Town Festival filling our ears with pretty music.
...to this Sunday when we find out who will win the European Soccer Championship.

And tonight, we find out if my team wins...because it just has to.
 Oh, it's Spain I'm rooting for...just so you all know!!! 

 In other words...
...I read an amazing post about living abroad and it is sooooo incredibly true. All of it. 
...and this Monday I went to see the following:

all images {via}

It was so good.
I've been a fan of Jeff Koons' for years. I foolishly took art history again last semester (just for fun, I didn't really need it!), and well, guess who we talked about. A lot. Yes, Jeff Koons. So you should have seen my face when I read that there's an exhibition in Switzerland with his artwork out there for us to see. I had to go. I took my fabulous mother. I had no one else. Yes, poor me. Either way, she wasn't thrilled to go to an exhibition she couldn't place the artist anywhere in her head or past...but then I showed her pictures, told her about him, she was willing and happy enough to tag along. Today she is proud to say she has seen it.

Mission accomplished.


June 26, 2012

Istanbul Update #3

After describing Istanbul and how I'm feeling whenever I visit this gigantic city in my previous posts (here and here, if you haven't already seen them), I thought it was time to share some pictures, too. 

One thing I love doing while in Istanbul is spoiling myself and going out for lunch or dinner at awesome restaurants, preferably with a terrific view over the city. I went to Vogue and as always loved it, including the views I got. It may not look like anything special to you, but seeing this city from above makes it even bigger and more special, and at the same time very tiny - even just for a few minutes!

 *you get to see Asia across the water!

If you like fish you will not be disappointed in this country. If you don't like fish, they also have great meat. And if you eat neither, you won't be starving either. I think I ate way too much during these two weeks. I also discovered new and old restaurants and places to enjoy the vast culinary beauty this city has to offer.

The following pictures were taken from a roof top of a relatively newer restaurant right next to the Golden Horn. The owner is actually a fisherman but decided it would be terrific to open up a restaurant for the more fancy people rather than only serve fish traditionally downstairs next to the water...and so he did...and so we went and enjoyed Istanbul - the old Istanbul, the one you may read about in books. We kept saying "This is It" and "This is the true Istanbul!", and clearly...if you love history, culture, and food...just standing at the very top of that building overlooking rooftops and how the city slowly welcomes the night gave me the chills.

And I was just hoping the building was strong enough to keep us all safe and sound...from outside you'd think it's about to collapse...but nope...it's all safe and new inside. Another phenomenal contrast...the old and the new combined so easily as if it were nothing.

This is the drink you will see lots of Turkish (and some tourists too) drink. It is called Rakı, and is a hard alcoholic, unsweetened anise-flavored drink. May look like watery milk from afar but it is not. And yes, you read right it is alcohol...as in yes, it can make you drunk too. Ever heard Muslim people don't drink?! Well, some don't, and some do. Just like in any other religion. I won't go any further with this topic, but yes, alcohol is served...quite often, and quite well. Just saying. And no, only one glass was mine...thank you very much. :)

And besides lots of streets cats and dogs...I also saw lots of birds...this is just one of them, and I had to take a picture of it. Looks like he's wearing a scarf! ;) 

Every night I went to bed with the feeling that I truly accomplished something in this city. Whether it was just walking through the narrow streets trying to find the perfect pair of shoes (which I failed to find by the way), or the perfect top (I found one!), or the little street cafe I went in last year...I felt my mission was to see it all, feel it all and smell it all. I may not have seen or done what was on my 2012 to-do and to-show list but I managed to pretty suck Istanbul's energy up and go to bed accomplished. Even once at 7am. Whoops!

New York City may be called the city that never sleeps...but Istanbul is its twin. No doubt!


June 23, 2012


You gotta love them.
Sometimes you also gotta hate them.

I love my friends.
Returning home has shown me that some people still care about me, and it also has shown that others just don't give a damn. Pardon my French.
I've had it. 
You know I am here and you know that I'll be leaving again, too. I've contacted you, and if you don't think our friendship is important or worth it - as I see it right now because I don't get hardly any responses whatsoever - then, well, then, I think our friendship isn't what I thought it was. I don't care how busy you are, or how involved you are in whatever you are doing because I know that even the busiest person has time for her or his friends. If that fails, life fails, and well, maybe life failed for some of my friends. 

Their loss.
Not mine.
Even though I feel sad and kind of mad, too.

I even sacrificed an evening of sitting in my PJ's on the couch watching my favorite soccer team play just so I can go out with my girl friends. I love my girls. We are all so diverse. Some of us are married and have children, and others don't have a partner or children and still live life or travel too much or live abroad. We still manage to get together and enjoy the little things, even when one is about to collapse from work and the other one needs a time-out from her daily mom-world. I appreciate that. That's what friendships are for. 

Hope you're having a fabulous, fun-filled, friendship-filled weekend!!!


June 22, 2012

Istanbul Update #2

Oh Istanbul you are so magnificently beautiful you have no idea.
Or maybe you do.
Its people take you either for granted or live it up to share their love for you with the world.
That's what I'm doing.
At least I'm trying.

The above picture was taken in the afternoon at Baylan, one of Istanbul's oldest patisseries.
It opened in 1923, and the branch I go to opened in 1961.
Whenever I enter I get a little "nostalgic".
Just thinking my grandfather went in there years ago, 
my mom and aunt walked in as teenagers enjoying tea, and some sweets...
...and today I'm doing just the same.
Kind of fantastic.

Granted it is not a luxurious place.
It's very simple, but it's tradition and I love tradition.
So, whenever I'm in Istanbul I go to Baylan.
A must.
If I don't go, my visit failed and my mission was not accomplished so to speak.
It's like going to California and not going to the beach or In'n'Out.
That simple.

If you ever happen to go to Istanbul and happen to have time or walk by Baylan.

 Just seeing this pretty much every day made my day.
And the sky was that blue and cloudless.
Loved it.

This is an old ferry station no longer used as such but used as a restaurant.
I sometimes come here for tea or coffee or a light snack.
This year, I only took a picture of it. I never went it.
But I saw it every day.
So worth it.

It is also worth not sleeping in in this city.
Traffic was horrible and beautiful at the same time.
I mean it. I really did not mind.
Otherwise, how could I have had the time to watch people?!
While waiting in traffic you get to watch people also in their cars, on their phones, singing along to music, or you get to simply listen to their music because their window just like yours is rolled down and loud music is streaming out as if it was there to entertain the world.
You get to hear the traditional songs, the summer music charts of 2012, the oldies from where our parents were our age or even younger, the oldies we call "old school" but hey, 1992 isn't that long ago compared to 1960, the Turkish rock, and in the middle of it all you get to hear what you will hear the second you exit the airport: honking.

I am so Turkish I tell my friends here to honk.
You have a car and that car makes a particular sound once you hit the middle of your steering wheel.
Have you ever used it before?
Yes? No?
Trust me, I know people who have never used it before. Ever. Not even when they test drove their car.
But sometimes it is necessary. Not for fun, but for emergency or something like that.
Don't overuse it. ;) 

In Turkey, and well, in Istanbul...honking is part of their lifestyle, part of their music, too.
You honk.
You honk to let other cars know the light turned green and it is their turn to drive now.
They stopped way too late so they can't really see when the light turns green.
So you honk.
You also honk while driving through narrow one-way streets to let possible oncoming cars
 (from the side streets) know that yes, YOU ARE COMING too.
You also honk to make sure the pedestrians know you're driving and well, since the pedestrians usually walk on the street as well, just to warn them that they are in danger and should maybe move.
You honk to say see-you!
You honk to say hello!
You also honk to let others know they should move their car a little so you could squeeze yours into an imaginary lane.
Or you just honk because it's a wedding.
Or your soccer team won.
 Istanbul has three major soccer teams...all of which are pretty good in my opinion, 
but I am biased again...especially since my soccer team of Istanbul won the Championship this year!
You just honk.
Oh, you also honk just because others do.
At least it feels that way.

This is a pretty random picture of a pretty random street in the midst of Moda.
It is not even close to any of the so-called famous and traditional attractions Istanbul has to offer.
It's pretty far away.
On a different continent.
Yes, the attractions like the Blue Mosque etc you get to see and should see as a first-time visitor are all in Europe though I always live and always will live in Asia.
Pretty fantastic situation if you ask me.
I wake up and ask myself whether or not I should go to Europe, or just stay in Asia.
Obviously, they don't say let's go to Europe or Asia...but it's fun to think of it that way.
I love the Asian side more.
It's less touristy.
It's more Istanbul.
The Istanbul today.
Without the tourists.
Oh, don't get me wrong I love the tourists.
They are the ones bringing in money.
My cousin hates the tourists and I understand.
As tourists (in any country) we tend to ruin the country.
Sadly we do.
But we also establish the country and make it grow, a little.
Our money will be kept in that country, possibly spent on a ridiculous amount of jewelry or whatnot.
So, I like the tourists.
A bazaar would not operate at all without the tourists.
A Blue Mosque or an Hagia Sophia Mosque would maybe not be as pretty as they are today.
Who knows.
So I love the tourists.
I just don't like the touristy feeling, and the constant "hello, how are you today? Let's come into my restaurant for dinner tonight!" sentences...because, no, thank you, I'm local and I know the real deal.

I drove through the touristy side one day.
Its vast history is amazing.
SO WORTH it, absolutely. 
Also, you may end up seeing what I described in my previous post.
I just cannot stand those restaurants.
One after another, with menus mostly in English.
So I wondered...
...and hoped for the love of traveling...
...that whoever lives in this area hopefully also moves his or her butt a bit further out that area and discovers more than just that of Istanbul.

Sad truth though is that most tourists don't.
They stay in that area and that's then Istanbul for them.
Or Turkey.
But Turkey has so much more to offer.
Not just its culture, its history, its flair, its food and drinks...
...but the people!!!

I digress I know.
But any country has more to offer than what meets the eye.
We all know that.
And I'm glad I know more about Istanbul than most people.
AND, still, I know nothing.
It's that huge, and that enormous.

More to come...I promise!

But if you are interested in reading more, and maybe seeing more
 I'd recommend you read or look at the following links...awesome describtions of this amazing city!



June 20, 2012

Istanbul Update #1

As all of you know I came to Europe about three weeks ago, and right after one week of getting settled in and seeing dear friends and relatives again I headed more east to Turkey. Respectively to Istanbul.
For two weeks I literally ate way too much, drank a little too much too (mostly water and tea, and some Turkish coffee and, okay, wine!), shopped a little, spoke a little (I get shy when I don't think I master the language well enough, so I usually said nothing...), got sick (stupid stomach flu!), and well, enjoyed every single second of this nearly 20-million-inhabitant city.

It's that enormously huge, and also that enormously crazy.

Yes, this is Istanbul.

Unfortunately, when you visit a city for the millionth time you do not take as many pictures as you would if you visited it for the first or even second time. You take pictures, but you take different kind of pictures. 
The rest remains mentally stamped in your brain. 
My brain is full of mental pictures, trust me.

I knew you guys were desperate to know where I was, and what I saw.
And yes, I tried hard to take a few shots so you'd see parts of this crazy city...
...the good parts, and the beautiful parts.

What astonishes me every single time I'm there is its history.
As Ashley quickly mentioned while she was guest posting for me, Istanbul is the only city in the world that lies on two continents and is separated by the Bosphorus. 
Just that alone makes it awesome.
Crossing over makes it even more awesome.
And seeing buildings, and streets that are indeed thousands of years old...
...well, my friends, it makes you speechless.

It never ever changes. I stand or sit somewhere overlooking the city, or parts of it, and it happens...
...a tear or two falls down my cheek because the vast history and loud, beautiful craziness of Istanbul touches me and shows me that I am alive and that no matter what I think or believe the city is mine.  

 The Golden Horn 
*not the Bosphorus*

 The Bosphorus

 There's no real way to describe this city.
You have to see and feel and smell it on your own.
None of my dear friends have been to my city.
They are missing out.
I hope one day they will.
I hope one day you will, too.

It is not Turkey, and yet, it is.
It is not like New York, or Paris, or Lisbon, or San Francisco and yet it is.
Istanbul embodies the world.
And don't think because I love this city so much I make stuff up.

You walk through the streets and see all kinds of people...
...a mixture of everything and everyone you wouldn't even see in the biggest US city.
You walk through the streets and see the poor begging for money, the middle-class just hoping to be rich, the rich just hoping to be richer, the super rich with their luxury bags and sunglasses, the religious, the foreigners from Saudi Arabia all veiled so you can't see anything, the western tourists dressed oddly and preferably wearing a backpack, the western tourist trying to blend in, the eastern tourist trying to blend in, the Russians, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Americans, the Germans, and the many other people mastering to walk on the cobble stoned streets.
You see the fancy-dressed teenager on summer break on her cellphone standing next to a super religious, super covered woman...and then right after that a short-wearing-white-legged tourist with his camera around his neck. Those contrasts are the best.
They make me smile.

When you sit in a car and slowly drive through old town (which we did, and I did not drive but enjoyed the traffic jam!! - nothing like L.A. btw!) and you have time like I did...you watch people.
Who doesn't like watching people.
I love watching people.
You see the white-legged tourist with his camera standing next to a covered woman who isn't amused by his bare legs (okay, I wouldn't be either!), and isn't amused by the rich Turkish girl standing next to her talking on her cellphone wearing an almost see-through summer dress. 
But I am amused because I see these three people embodying Istanbul. 
And then a few steps further you see a couple fighting. 
He is desperately trying to tell her something, or make her do something. 
She doesn't respond. She stares into nothing. She ignores him.
Then she sees me in the car looking at her.
Her guy is still talking to her.
She still ignores him.
She rolls her eyes.
Still looking at me.
And I...

This is Istanbul.
I have more...
...and more will come.
Including more of my personally taken pictures.
Any other ones are nicely linked back to where I found them.
Because again, I took lots of mental pictures.
Just like the girl and guy fighting over nothing I assume.
I wasn't listening.
I know I should have!


June 19, 2012

And I'm back...

...I've missed this community.
Did you miss me, too?!

Istanbul was beyond amazing, and I am proud to say that whenever I leave the city I leave a little bit of myself there, too. After all, I have Turkish roots...my mom grew up there, a few of my relatives live there, and ever since I turned two I've been visiting the city once if not twice every year. It is part home to me, even though we all know that home to me is a relatively difficult term these days. Last week I was asked where I lived. Hmmm...is it Los Angeles or Switzerland, or something else even? I went with Los Angeles because that's what I'm going back to in August...but it somewhat felt awkward saying it. In a good way, don't misunderstand. 

So here I am, back to the cyberworld.
Regular posts will hopefully appear soon...with updates of course.

I know you want to hear and see a lot of updates.
I know I would.

In the meantime...here's a music clip I haven't seen in ages, and since I just heard the song on the radio again I had to post it here. It's one of those songs that reminds me why I love living in Europe. Enjoy! And don't worry you don't have to know Italian... :D

June 16, 2012


I am still in Istanbul enjoying time with my family and friends...so I have this last guest post for you by my amazing friend Amanda. Hope you're okay with the lower case post. Haha!

This time she's talking about something she's very proud of and I have to admit me too. It's all about the city of brotherly love and my lovely readers...I have been to this city and it is amazing. If you never made it there you are missing out. It is by far my favorite east coast city (sorry NYC, I love you but Philly has won my heart!!). I will be back there soon...my cousin lives there! So I definitely have a reason to go again - besides visiting Amanda of course! 
*LOVED reading this post...brought back funny memories especially with the challenge we both mastered so beautifully...

Have fun reading about Philadelphia!
Get some eye drops...it's a long post!

Have a great weekend and I shall be back with my own updates next week.
Excited to hear from me again???
You better be.
Missed you all.

xoxo,  Selma


amanda here. hope y'all have been doing well!

i think i told you before that i'm a transplant to philly from louisiana. well, today i'm going to tell you about that. in 2004, i got the opportunity to move to philly for 6 months to work with a non-profit organization. i was NOT expecting what i got when i moved there. I FELL IN LOVE!! what an amazing city! but, i'd already made a commitment to another job back home, so in august 2004, i headed back to louisiana, but not without a heavy heart. it was all i thought about for a couple of years and finally, i decided to go for it. so on january 3, 2007, i packed my car with as much as i could and headed out of the home i'd known for 25 years. i got to philly on january 5, 2007 and it's been my home ever since. (don't worry, it didn't take me 3 days to drive here, i stopped a few times!).
the longer i've lived here, there more i've grown to know and love it! i lived with a friend (that i met on an airplane!) for a couple of months while i tried to find a place to live and a job. i spent a lot of time wondering around the city by myself, but now i know it better than most born and raised philadelphians! i thought i'd share some of that knowledge with y'all! who knows maybe you'll fall in love just like i have!

there are so many things, i hardly know where to start! well, i guess first things should be first! philadelphia is the city of firsts. there are many things that were first in philadelphia. here are a few:

library: 1901 vine st.
zoo: in west philly
stock exchange
united states mint: at 5th and race
art institution: PA academy of the fine arts
med school: UPenn
theater: walnut street theater, 825 walnut st.
grand opera house: academy of music, 240 s. broad st.
taxi service
thanksgiving day parade
department store: wanamaker's, which is now macy's center city (and the site of the movie, mannequin), 1300 market st.

philadelphia is also home to many 4 year colleges and universities:

thomas jefferson university
drexel university (where the airplane friend went to school)
holy family university
lasalle university
moore college of art and design (where selma's aunt's sister is the dean)
pennsylvania academy of the fine arts
philadelphia university
st. joseph's university
temple university
university of the arts
university of pennsylvania (ivy league)
villanova (outside the city limits, but we don't hate)

there's always the historical part of philly:

independence hall: 14 n. 6th st.
liberty bell: right across the street from independence hall
betsy ross' house: 239 arch st.
ben franklin's grave: at christ church burial ground, 3rd and arch

but, here are my favorite parts of philly, the things i do on a regular basis!

one of the best things to do on a nice night out is to walk along the river at boat house row

or on main st. in manayunk. there are tons of shops and restaurants/bars. manayunk is also home to the international cycling championship every year in june. cyclists have to climb the steep streets that are difficult to WALK up, much less ride a bike up.

chestnut hill is about 10 minutes from where i live and the last time selma was here, she helped me explore it! we found a great place to get a mani/pedi. we also found some great places to eat.

since we are talking about neighborhoods, i'll keep going with that. society hill and the gayborhood in center city are pretty spectacular as well. south philly is very interesting and has it's own culture. when you're in south philly, you have to take a walk down south street, home of jim's steaks (we'll talk about that later) and condom kingdom (i know, i know) and occasionally flash mobs, so be careful! also in south philly are the sports venues: lincoln financial field - "the linc" (home of the eagles), the wells fargo center - "the well" (home of the 76ers and the flyers), and citizens bank park (home of the phillies and the greatest mascot in the world, the phillie phanatic!)

in center city, you must check out the race street pier (at penn's landing) which is only about a year old and a very nice place to hang out and read a book or get some sun. check out city hall, it's a gorgeous building that is in the very center of the city. last i checked you can take a ride up to a lookout inside the clock tower for free. it was once the tallest building in philly. there was a gentleman's agreement that no one would build anything taller than william penn (who sits atop city hall), but in 1987 construction was complete on one liberty place and that ended the agreement. the buildings are still only taller in certain areas of the city, so as to not hinder penn's view of the delaware river.

 in this picture you can see city hall in the center with penn on top. one liberty place is to the left with the antenna on top.

places to get food:
reading terminal market: 12th and filbert st.
italian market: on 9th street between washington ave. and christian st. in s. philly

azalea gardens in fairmount park (the largest landscaped park in the u.s. at 9,200 acres) is a fantastic place to hang out on a nice day for a picnic. i was actually just there last week.

if you're looking for cheesesteaks, there's the iconic pat's and geno's at 9th and passyunk in south philly, or tony luke's at front and oregon. but, i prefer jim's on south street. or you can always do what selma and i have done, which is the cheesesteak challenge: one from each place! do NOT eat breakfast if you plan to do this and take your time.

another thing that makes philly unique is the mural arts program (which you can check out at http://muralarts.org/ ). it started in 1984 as an anti-graffiti campaign and has grown to over 3,000 murals around the city. it affects over 1,500 youth in the city every year.

before you leave, you have to take a run to the top of the "rocky steps" which is actually the art museum and take a picture with the statue (but only after you've made the run up the steps!). you also have to check out love park and check out the art that everyone knows, but has no idea where it originated. (by the way, the O is crooked on purpose, to show that human love is imperfect, beautiful right!)

you should most definitely take a trip "down the shore" while you're in philly and check out the jersey shore (NOT THE SHOW!) but, rather the towns like ocean city, sea isle city, wildwood, and atlantic city.

there's so much more i should tell you, but i think this will do for now! have a great day and let me know if you're ever planning to visit this fine city. i shall be your personal tour guide!

June 11, 2012

Benny And The Jets And Me!

Hello "Crazy Little World Of Mine" Readers!

I'm Christianna and I blog over at the music/lifestyle blog The Girl With The Blue Bow!  Which means I blog about life, fashion, and other such things all with a heavy dose of music.  Stop on by and say "hi"!

As you all know Selma has taken off for her hometown in Switzerland, with a touch of Turkey as well!  The place, not the meat product.  What you may not know is that, in about 3 weeks I'll be on a jet plane headed to Switzerland with Benny (my backpack, the only one I'm taking) to visit Selma!  Yes, I did name Benny after the song "Benny And The Jets" by Elton John!  Benny and I will also be bringing one of my friend along as well!  She and I are going to be in Europe for 7 weeks, but we're starting off in Switzerland to visit Selma and my other blogger friend Krystal!

Selma and I have been blogger buds for quite some time, but we really started talking after she told me that I had to listen to the band 100 Monkeys!  (Which is why I'm wearing/featuring my "Wings On Fire" shirt)  The funny thing is that we haven't met in person before, we both live in California and we are both flying to Switzerland to finally make it happen... Life is funny sometimes.

So here are a few random things I've learned about Switzerland and traveling.  (For those of you who plan to follow in my footsteps)

1: Switzerland is surrounded by other countries on all sides.  France, Germany and Italy, which means that they speak Swiss/French, Swiss/German and Swiss/Italian.  Plus, there are different versions of all of those.  I'm learning a few words in Swiss/German, and they use a lot of phlegm when they talk.  Thank God I'm Jewish and it comes naturally.

2: If you can, try to have a person to connect with in the country you're going to.  It's not mandatory, but it sure as hell helps.  Everyone has helped me so much and it's awesome!

3: If you know people who travel, ask them everything about where you're going.  Even the ridiculous questions that make you feel silly.  They just might know the answer.  Travel books are good too, but talking to real people gets the point across better sometimes.

4: There are lot's of different people and sub cultures in Switzerland, all of which I can't wait to explore!

Well, that's all for now.  I'm sure I could go on, but you'd get bored.  If you wanna see what goes down on my travels with Benny on jets, then tune into my blog starting in July.  I don't know if I'll be posting a lot, but I'll be popping up randomly!

June 5, 2012

Why I Hate Selma

Everyone, I hate Selma.

Oh, let me introduce myself. My name is Ashley, and you can call me the hater. I blog over at She's Come Undone, and Selma has nicely (or foolishly?) asked me to guest blog while she is away...which reminds me, I HATE SELMA!

Soooo, I don't really hate Selma, but she is currently visiting my favorite place in the world, so a more appropriate explanation is that I'm extremely green with envy.

Where is Selma right now, you ask?



Instead of hatin' on Selma, I thought I could take this time to talk about the country that Selma and I adore, for those of you that may know absolutely nothing about this amazing place...

  • Selma is currently chillin' in Istanbul, the only city that lies on two continents. This is due to the Bosphorus Strait, a old trading water-way that naturally separates Europe and Asia. 
  • Turkey is about the size of Texas, but has over 72 million people living in it...whew! One thing you'll notice when you visit is that most people live in high rise apartments; there doesn't seem to be much room for houses.
  • Turkey is a fabulous mix of old and new, as you'll be walking down the street and run across 1,000-year old buildings, ruins and walls. 
The outside of an old library in Ephesus, a place mentioned in the bible...now that's freakin' old! 

  • Turkey is in a prime location that borders 8 countries, including Greece, Iran, Iraq and Bulgaria, and has been nicknamed the country "where the East meets the West." Also, it's almost completely surrounded by seas, including the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

Enough with the facts, let me tell you a few reasons why I love Turkey: 

Turkish food is fresh and delicious! Comparable to Greek food, Turkish people swear by the Mediterranean diet, the healthiest diet in the world. Every time I visit, I eat a TON, but end up losing weight! This is because the Turks avoid butter and processed foods, and actually eat all their veggies: 

Also, the seas will romance you in Turkey. My favorite thing to do is hangout by the water while sipping on some tea and catching a little sun. It's perfection...

And my favorite thing about Turkey? BY FAR, the people! Turks are charming, friendly and community-oriented. They'll notice you sitting alone at a cafe and come up to talk to you to keep you company (something that has happened to me many times). And what is a country if not their people? 

So that's where Selma is, and I hate love that is she is hanging out in my favorite place in the world. Live it up Selma! And sorry if I've convinced all your readers to travel to Turkey with you next time (including me, of course)--you'll have to house all of us, sorry! Have some tea and simit for me. 

Oh, and we miss you (we definitely don't hate you). 



June 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Selma!

I realize that Selma already posted a Happy Birthday post on her Birthday, but what kind of friend would I (aka Sierra), be if I didn't take her blog captive, wishing her a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY?!?!

So without further adieu, I'd like to show some nice birthday photos that remind me of Selma because I'm certainly thankful that she was born on this day. I don't know what I would do without her!! 
I'm so thankful for you girl - you are amazing in every single way and I hope you have a GREAT birthday in Switzerland (even though I miss you lots and wish I could fly over there this instant).
Happy Happy Birthday Selma!!!
I hope all of your dreams come true
because you deserve all of the dreams
in the world to come true and more!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!
Yes, that's right, I'm a June Baby!

Don't we all feel special on our birthdays?
I do. Every year.

Last year I spent my birthday in Istanbul.
This year a trip to Istanbul is my birthday gift.
Thank you mom.

I hope I also get a cake that is not made out of chocolate like last year's.
But at least I got a cake.
Thank you my sweet cousins!

I strongly believe in Birthday cakes...we all should get one each year.
With lots of candles on them, and lots of love added as a super special ingredient.

Happy Birthday Weekend to me.
The 30s are the new 20s, right?
Because I just can't believe I am already in that age range.


Let's celebrate and travel a little!


P.s. And my lovely guest bloggers are going to continue helping me out while I'm gone!
 Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Thank you!


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