One woman's insight into her daily life and some 'adventures'.............cooking, collecting, travels etc. With a lil' bit of this and that...........

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snow in Niagara Falls

"Happy White Wednesday"........ Today I'm sharing some "white" snow or I should say ice in Niagara Falls. You have to see it in person it looks amazing. This year there is not too much snow, I guess due to Global warming........Sometimes when there is fresh snow and it's clinging to the branches and rocks the whole place look like you are in an Ice World, so beautiful with the sparkling ice.
These pictures were taken on the Rainbow Bridge crossing the border into Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. The right side is the Canadian side....there is a lot more to see on that side. Not because I'm Canadian but trust me there is way lots to do and see.

 The left is the USA side.

 See the people on that bridge.....they must be brave because it is absolutely freezing standing there with the wind blowing and minus temperatures.

I'm linking to..........    /http://fadedcharmcottage.blogspot.com/  for White Wednesday.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Turkish Blue Eyes Pt. 2

This week I'm doing Part 2 on the Turkish BLUE Evil eyes for BLUE MONDAY.

An assortment of Turkish BLUE Evil eyes........here you can see different colours. But the BLUE ones are everyone's favoutite.

These BLUE Evil Eyes can be bought in separate beads and made into bracelets, necklaces etc........

 My Sister in Law shopping.

 Little stores all filled up to the brim with the Turkish BLUE eyes.

 BLUE evil eye wagon wheel......

This is just one of the places that make those BLUE Evil Eyes.

 Such a hard and tedious job producing these BLUE Evil Eyes.

"WISHING TREE"....beautiful BLUE sky.

This is a tree outside a village where girls come and make a wish and hang a BLUE Evil Eye.
Hoping that she will find 'love and marriage.'
Thanks for stopping by.........

Today I'm linking to

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Carrot Fritters


 I personally am not a fan of 'raw' carrots. When they come around the veggie and dip tray I pass them over........but bake them, roast them stick them in a casserole I love them. Weird as it sounds. This is my favourite fritter, these carrot ones. They are so delicious that you just can't eat one. I know, I know fried foods are a 'NO NO ' now a days, but if you eat in moderation it's all right. Well...that's what Dr. Oz always said and the good Dr. knows well I guess.

Carrot Fritters
(source; my good friend gave me this recipe.) 

2 cups carrots, finely grated

1 onion, grated

1 green scallion, chopped finely

2 eggs, beaten lightly

1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use the Italian seasoned ones)

1/2  tsp. cumin (optional) OR 1/2 tsp. dry thyme (optional)

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 Oil for frying (I use canola oil)

In a large  bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well mixed. (I like to use my hands).

Make about 13 to  15 flat, round, fritters from the mixture, about 1 cm thick. I used my medium ice cream scoop.

In a pan heat oil, enough so that it comes half way up the carrot  fritters.

Fry fritters until golden brown, on both sides. About 2 to 4 minutes on each side. We like ours more cripsier.

Put on to paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

We like to serve ours with a dollop of yogurt or some prefer sour cream or just plain.
Also any kind of herb can be added to taste.

 Sauteing away. 
 Ready to munch on.......

Thanks for stopping by:

Linking to



Monday, January 16, 2012

Turkish Blue Evil Eye

Turkish Blue Evil Eye

I took this picture a few years ago at a Fair......

When I first got married to my husband and he took me to Turkey to visit his Family about 24 years ago.......he did not warn me about these Blue Evil Eyes. They are everywhere and on everything. This was the first time I had ever seen them. Anywhere we went to visit  all his friends would give me some bracelets or dishes or mugs with that Blue Evil Eye. After I learned the meaning of it .... I felt so relieved that nobody could have an evil eye for me. :-)

Now it has become like an obsession.........I have hundreds of jewelry items that I have collected. Well most times anywhere I go and if someone likes it I just give it to them....I only have a few hundred at home . Really it started out as I would go to Turkey and when I visited any bazaar or shopping mall or any tourist area they were selling them bracelets or necklaces or mugs, plates, etc........so naturally I would buy them. They are dirt cheap........so in the end when I came home and unpacked I noticed I had a lot of them. Just didn't pay attention when purchasing them I thought this one is pretty, etc., etc.,  Then when my husband's sister visits she also stocks me up on them......You are probably thinking that my house is covered in them.....well not really I have them all boxed. But I do wear my necklaces and bracelets sometimes and I do use the mugs and some plates and I also have some towels and sheets and a small area rug.

My husband laughs......he said I have more then any Turk he knows. He's always telling me go on Ebay with my vast collection.....hey I'm a collector. Maybe one day I will part with some of them.


     The Turkish Evil Eye Pendant or the Nazar Boncugu, which literally means the "evil eye bead", is actually a stone bead, which is worn to protect oneself from evil looks. The stone is an amalgamation of molten glass, iron, copper, water and salt. This particular combination of minerals and metals is believed to provide a shield from the forces of evil....the old saying said.

     So the idea is to protect yourself, your house, your office or the beloved ones.
If you want to use it in your house you should hang it in the entrance of the house, so any visitor will see it. If you want to wear, the most common one is a small amulet that can be hanged on your cloth, your bag, your wrist or your neck.

     The evil eye pendant is attached to anything and everything that, it is felt, will attract envy and greed. Thus, you will find a Turkish man attaching the evil eye pendant in front of his house or office, hanging it from the neck of his newborn child, or his farm animals and even on his newly acquired machinery.


  A wall hanging.

Magnet from the city of Bodrum.

Thanks for stopping by today I'm linking to;

Sunday, January 15, 2012

24th Wedding Anniversary


This is us 24 years ago...where have all the years gone. It seems like yesterday we just met. Wow, that was some hairdo I had.

Well we met and got married 2 months later......no long engagements here. The celebration still continues. It gets better each year. Last night we went out for our Anniversary dinner......with our daughter. Even though she's 22 we always have taken her with us. I feel weird if she doesn't come. 

When I was a lil' kid my Grandfather (RIP) had a farm in the Niagara Region.......and he use to tell me that not to go beyond the tall trees behind the grape vineyard because a Turk on a horse would catch me......well little did he know but a Turk did catch me 25 years later. Just 10 days before I met my husband my Grandfather passed away. Only if he knew..... :-(  I think he said that because the Turkish Ottoman Empire use to attack the Ukrainian Cossacks and his ancestor's were from that area......and would steal the girls on their horses. Especially the blonde ones......but I'm a brunette. So maybe I would have been left behind....hehehe.

Today my dear husband will buy me my favourite vanilla cake from the local supermarket. It is my all time favourite dessert in the world.........I have to be careful b/c I can devour the whole cake myself. :-)  I have that cake every yaer for every occassion since I was lil' and had those kiddie birthday parties.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 13, 2012

21 Days to a New You

Do you have the winter'blahs'........have to stay indoors because of the cold, etc......
Well I found something that I might and try and follow, well I did say I might try. It's not always easy some days to follow anything really.

"21 Days to a New You"

Do just one little thing each day, and we guarantee you’ll feel healthier, happier and ready for anything. Time to make every day count — and then some!
Source; Chatelaine Magazine...by Madeline Cravit; Consulting wellness coach Joy McCarthy

Day 1: Spice up the morning Drink hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice (hello, vitamin C!) and a dash of cayenne first thing. This body-alkalizing trick balances pH levels to kick-start the day.
Day 2: Cleanse your kitchen
 Purge anything in your pantry that’s expired or really old (yes, that means rarely used spices). Then replenish dry goods with the healthiest options: brown or wild rice, quinoa, whole-grain or spelt pasta and dried beans. Do the same thing with your freezer.

Day 3: Think about food
 No problemo, right? But we mean really think about it. Take one meal and eat with awareness: Shut down your computer, switch off the TV and savour every bite. Bonus: Not only will you enjoy food more, your digestion will improve and you’ll be less likely to overeat.

Day 4: Say Ommmm
 Meditation clears your mind and reduces anxiety and stress. Start simple: Close your eyes and take 10 deep belly breaths right now. Try to make each inhale and exhale longer than the last one. Focus on the sound of your breathing and be present in that moment. There — you just meditated!
Day 5: Stand tall Good posture boosts confidence, makes you appear more powerful and increases your tolerance for pain, reports a recent North American study. Plus, it’s so easy: chin up, shoulders back and you’re good to go!.
Day 6: Shrug it off
 Live guilt-free today — beating yourself up about little things only leads to stress and self-defeat. No, we’re not suggesting you start living in denial (of those three doughnuts you ate this morning), but notice that when you allow yourself to enjoy small indulgences it’s easier to feel more satisfied and content.
Day 7: Eat a better brekkie You’ve heard it before: Your morning meal is the most important one of the day — so make the most of it! And that means including a lean protein along with your complex carbs and fruit. This balanced approach will give you more energy for the day. It also takes more time to digest, so you’ll feel full longer. Here are a few ways to make sure you get that essential protein: a poached egg, cottage cheese with fruit or some natural peanut butter on toast.
Day 8: Take comfort in carbs We mean it! Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Complex carbs are satisfying and they help keep your blood sugar stable. Replace refined carbs like white sandwich bread or pasta with nutrient-dense whole grains, sweet potatoes and brown rice.
Day 9: Walk the block It’s that simple. Just five minutes of outdoor activity boosts self-esteem, happiness and your heart. And the benefits add up, so the more mini walks you do, the better you’ll feel. Try this tonight: Instead of giving in to the munchies, go for a stroll.
Day 10: Put on a fresh face Take time to wash your skin clean of makeup and environmental aggressors, like pollution, that can cause premature wrinkles. Pamper yourself before bed with a mini facial: Chill a damp washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes, then place it over your entire face to reduce puffy eyes, close pores and invigorate circulation.
Day 11: Start snacking Eating between meals tames hunger without ruining your appetite. Just beware the call of the vending machine — and the three o’clock Doritos binge. Stock the fridge or cupboard at work with healthy nibbles like plain yogurt, pre-cut veggies and fruit, small pieces of dark chocolate (one at a time) and tons of nuts. Then when you feel like munching, you can easily grab something without having to think twice.

Day 12: Get naked Stand in front of a mirror and admire yourself from nose to toes. Skip the critical commentary and concentrate on the good. Loving your body more means you’ll take better care of it.
Day 13: Stretch it out
 Spend a few minutes stretching out the sore spots. Whether you do it first thing, after a workout or just before bed, stretching helps lengthen and strengthen muscles, which increases your flexibility and improves your posture. Plus, it’s so relaxing.

Day 14: Try a new sleep strategy
 Take five minutes to empty your mind of the events of the day and banish unnecessary thoughts. Place your hand on your belly to check that you’re breathing deeply. Indulge in the peace and quiet and in taking the time for you. Before long, you’ll drift off to sleep.
Day 15: Just soak Instead of a 10-minute shower, make time for 20 minutes in the tub. Light some candles, use bath salts, oils or bubbles, and let your mind wander until you’re pruney. Exfoliate your dry winter skin (don’t forget your feet!) and moisturize from head to toe.
Day 16: Edit your friends Spend more time with people who inspire you, admire you — or challenge you. By consciously being around individuals who support you and make you feel good, you’ll naturally wean yourself of negative relationships that drain you..
Day 17: Go green
 New Canadian research suggests that you can lower your heart-disease risk with lots of fruits and veggies, especially those leafy greens. Instead of the usual suspects like spinach, try something adventurous like kale. This superfood is packed with vitamins A and K and is a great source of fibre and vitamin C. Use it in salad or add it to a smoothie, soup or pasta dish. Or, for the healthiest snack ever, make kale chips: Tear leaves into pieces. Toss with a little olive oil and salt. Spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 15 min, or until edges are brown.

Day 18: Reward yourself Plan one thing that you can’t wait to do. Whether it’s coffee with a friend, a romantic dinner date or an afternoon with your kids, enjoying face time with the people you care about is a must for your health and happiness. Bonus: Having something to look forward to is also a great way to stay motivated through the week.
Day 19: Kick caffeine to the curb Cut back on coffee — and on pop: They only dehydrate you by making you use the ladies’ room more often. If you’re craving soda and your energy feels low, try water mixed with an electrolyte or vitamin powder. With coffee, gradually downsize your portion size. If you normally go for extra-large, switch to large, then eventually to medium. We promise you won’t even notice the difference, but your body will.

Day 20: Turn your lights down low, way low
 Why not go to bed 30 minutes earlier and avoid using bright gadgets one hour before turning in? The disruptive light from a TV or computer screen before sleep can be too stimulating for your nervous system and might prevent you from reaching deep sleep. Protect the quality of your sleep even more by replacing all the bulbs in your bedroom lamps with low-watt incandescent bulbs.
Day 21: Make up a mantra Here’s ours: It’s a new day and it’s going to be a great one. A positive affirmation first thing will start you off in the right direction. Try writing down a goal or personal mantra and keeping it beside your bed — that way you can read it first thing in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by........


Monday, January 9, 2012


Different 'blue' stones in the rings.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I made these 'piroshki' this year for Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner (Jan. 6th) with potatoes and the other one I did with cabbage....the traditional ones for this Christmas Eve dinner. Well I did make a couple of dozen with feta cheese, dill and parsley for my husband, which he devoured in one evening. It took up a whole days work about 8 hours. I made over 140 of them...and let me tell you they will be gone after dinner. It was hard because I had to do them myself.......even though my husband  washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen for me. It was very exhausting. First the dough had to rise for 1 1/2 hours then kneaded and left to rise another 1 1/2 hours. I did manage to make the filling the day before, otherwise I would have been there longer. I will post the recipe later .....and try and get down the measurements as I do this by memory like my family did. You know what I mean a lil' of this and a li' of that and a pinch of that??????

I remember my Grandma whipping these up and she would tell me stories when she was a lil' girl in the Ukraine how her Grandma would make these....about a few hundred. But in the old days they baked them in their big outdoor ovens. Then when she passed on my Mom and Aunt would whip these up and I always helped trying to piece them together........this year my daughter couldn't help as she was busy with school in her last year for her degree.

A common variety of "piroshki" are baked stuffed buns made from yeast dough and often glazed with egg to produce the common golden colour.....or they can be fried. They may contain sweet-based fillings such as stewed or fresh fruit (apples, cherries, apricots, etc), jam, or cottage cheese; a vegetable filling (mashed potatoes, mushrooms, onions and egg, cabbage); or meat.

Here are my 'piroshki' frying away.

 These are my potato stuffed "piroshki".

 Ukrainian Christmas Carollers.

Cabbage stuffed "piroshki."

 I lined these "piroshki" in rows standing up so they won't get squished.

Thanks for stopping by........