Staying cozy during winter doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish, you can warm up in style with something as simple as a scarf! Embrace the season’s must-have oversized scarves for extra warmth this winter. I’ve been looking for some cute oversized scarves and the only place I was able to find cute and affordable scarves was ASOS. All of the scarves I picked out are under $40! Great deal right? Unfortunately, I couldn’t decide on a few, and fell in LOVE with 8 of them. Maybe I should buy a couple of them and add the rest to my wishlist! Which one is your favorite?


I've always loved banana pudding, well I love bananas in general. Believe it or not, I started making Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding before I even tasted it. I originally found a recipe on Allrecipes.com and then I later found a easier one which is the one I have below except this time I added some strawberries because who doesn't love bananas and strawberries? Later on when I finally tried Magnolia Bakery's pudding, it was no better than the one I have been making for years! Now I usually make it every other week and my husband eats the whole thing in one day because it is that good! Don't wait till you are in NYC to eat this because you will be missing out on a little piece of heaven! I'm currently trying to make this recipe from scratch, however I still haven't been able to find an easy way to make condensed milk, it takes a lot of effort to make it. So, until then I will keep making it the simple way and when I say simple it is really easier than a piece of cake!

Our neighbor brought me and my husband some Noah's Ark Pudding, you can read about it here in case you missed my previous post on it. In Turkish culture, when you are given a dish you need to fill it with something when you are returning the empty dish. So, I decided that Magnolia Pudding would be the best thing to make in return and share with my neighbor. 


  • 16 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cold water
  • Small box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Box of vanilla wafers preferably Nilla Wafers
  • 1 pack of sliced strawberries
  • 3-4 sliced bananas
  1. In a large deep bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk and water for about a minute. Add the pudding mix and beat for about two more minutes. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. You want the mixture to be extremely firm.
  2. In a large bowl whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pudding mixture until fully combined and no streaks of pudding are visible.
  3. In a bowl or bowls of choice, layer wafers, strawberries and bananas, and pudding. Ideally, you want three layers but if you go with a larger baking dish you might only have two. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving. Feel free to crush the wafers and layer the top of the pudding.


I never remember a time in my life when I loved drinking water, in fact I always hated it. I always knew the importance and benefits of drinking water, but every time I tried to drink a glass of water it would leave a bitter taste in my mouth and give me a stomach ache. I did a lot of research online to find the reason for this, but I’ve never been able to find anything besides the fact that I am WEIRD. I don’t think I was ever really that dehydrated because I was drinking other things. I’ve finally found a way to stop hating water and start loving it!

Photo via Lovelyish

Over the past three years I’ve picked up a habit and I squeeze some lemon juice into my water. Not too much where it tastes like sour lemonade but just enough for me to taste it in my water. I’ve been drinking so much water that it’s a miracle for me and to my luck it has many benefits. If you’re concerned about the acid harming tooth enamel, rinse your mouth with water afterwards. You would have to drink copious amounts of lemon water to strip the enamel. If you are still concerned try sipping the water through a straw. I decided to write this post today because I ran out of lemons last night and it was almost heartbreaking because there was no way I was drinking my water without lemon. First thing in the morning my husband went and bought me some lemons; he's the best! 

I experiment a lot of different recipes of flavored water aka "spa water"! They are all very refreshing and they look great too! It's perfect to serve if you are entertaining. Squeezing the lemon juice inside my water is easier for me because I'm always on the go (I even put a lemon cut in half in a ziploc and carry it in my bag). However, when I'm at home I usually make spa water. I  make it in a pitcher and recently I started making them in my mason jars. You can really experiment with this according to taste. All you have to do is slice up some fruit, add some veggies or/and herbs, place it in a pitcher, add cold water, and chill for a few hours. Pour over ice, garnish with a piece of fruit, and enjoy the delicious water! 
I make sure to clean all my fruits and vegetables because I'm not peeling them, nor am I boiling them, so there is a great chance they are infested with pesticides and bacteria. I use the Joie Veggie Brush to scrub the hard veggies and fruit clean. If it's something I can't scrub, I always soak it in water. I fill a large deep bowl with water and put half a cup of vinegar in it and soak the veggies or fruit in the mixture for 15-20 minutes. After soaking I rinse it with water.

Are you drinking eight cups of water a day? Chances are you’re not, and it may be because plain water isn’t appealing. Try flavoring your water with sliced fruits and even vegetables for a refreshing and delicious way to stay hydrated!

Here are some great recipes with lemon for delicious 

Minty Cucumber Lemon
1/2 a cucumber, sliced
1/2 a lime, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Cucumber-Lemon with Basil
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 a lemon, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Citrus Cucumber Water
1/2 a lemon, sliced
1/2 a lime, sliced
1/2 a large orange, sliced
1/2 a large cucumber, sliced

Lemon Lavender Water
3 lemons, thickly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lavender

You’ll Need:
1-quart jars or pitcher
Wooden Spoon
Agave, honey or another sweetener (optional, I don’t use sweeteners)

  1. Choose which recipe you're making or come up with your own combination and gather all of the ingredients. 
  2. Place the fruit, herbs, and/or spices in the bottom of one of the glass jars; try to extract some juice from the fruit if possible.
  3. Fill the jar with water and give it a taste. You can also fill the jar with seltzer water for a fizz. If you'd like something a bit sweeter, try adding some agave and mix until it is dissolved.
  4. Enjoy as-is or refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor. 


It's almost time for Thanksgiving and one thing that is better than the turkey is giving thanks in style! I'm all for gold this year, especially when it comes to table accents. I can't really incorporate larger pieces to my home because it doesn't go with the main color scheme, since I have a lot of grays and silver. That doesn't mean I can't set a beautiful gold table! As much as I love setting a stylish table, I won't be setting my own table this year because I'll be in NYC for Thanksgiving, and maybe I'll finally attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade! I picked out my favorite pieces that I think would compliment the turkey, and hopefully these will be going on my shopping list while I am visiting NYC. Thinking of adding gold to your Thanksgiving table, thank me later! (just kidding)

6. Glass Pumpkin $9.89- $17.49
11. Phantom Candelabra $39.95
12. Branch Votive Holder $129.95
18. Byzanteum Sauce Boat $200.00


Kate Spade has always been one of my favorite designers for home and office decor! I don't really dress that colorful anymore, maybe I will again- once I lose some weight and think I can pull it off. Now that I just thought of it, I have a pair of bright pink Kate Spade shoes that I bought last year and still haven't wore! When it comes to accessories and home decor, I love color and Kate Spade is all about color and can really brighten your day. Everything is fun and very lively, just like life should be! I bought four of the Market Street dinnerware sets from Kate Spade last year., and then I bought some more from Macy's to complete the set and Macy's cancelled my order after I waited 2 months because it was backordered, so I've been visiting the Kate Spade website every so often in case I can find the dinnerware so that I can complete my set but they have mysteriously disappeared off the market! Anyways, If you just got inspired to go out and buy something, perhaps some gifts for the holidays, now is the time! You can take 25% off your entire purchase, just use the code BEMERRY. 

I chose my favorites and it looks like I'll be buying some of them, if not all of them because I might not be able to resist the urge! Don't forget, "Your life is a canvas, make sure you paint yourself a whole lot of colorful days!"


How cute is this wallpaper? DESIGN LOVE FEST shared it on her blog today and I immediately downloaded it and set it as my desktop wallpaper and I even used it in my visual! If you love it too, download it here!

These are my shoes that I was talking about, the ones I bought last year just cause I thought they were cute, but still haven't wore. For the sake of my Kate Spade post, I just put them on and decided to wear them around the house! They are colorful and cute right? I tried to find them but they are sold out at Saks and Nordstroms, just in case you still want to know- they are the Anika Pump by Kate Spade

I had no idea, but they happen to be the shoes that Carrie Bradshow wore in THE CARRIE DIARIES: SEASON 2 EPISODE 9. Check out her outfit, I can't even imagine myself wearing something THAT colorful! I was thinking of wearing these shoes with an all black outfit. Any ideas on how I can finally wear these shoes?


My husband and I went out with our friends tonight and we spotted two very famous Turkish celebrities, Hulya Avsar and Serdar Ortac. We always spot celebrities for some reason, we must attract stars! Well, we did go out to eat in Etiler, which is where all the celebrities and socialites hang out, think Beverly Hills of Istanbul, but we see celebrities at Ikea and at the movies and other low key places too. Anyways, we went to eat and I ordered grilled seabass and it came topped with carrot and zucchini stir fry, which I fell in love with! I could've ate a whole plate or two- it was that good! I immediately found out the recipe and to my luck, it is the easiest thing to make and it's perfect for my diet. I love Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and guess what? They also have a low sodium soy sauce! I'm not exactly sure if soy sauces have gluten in them; I think most of them don't, but the Bragg's soy sauce is definitely gluten-free and vegan. I am celiac but not vegan, so I'll probably be adding some grilled chicken to this and eating it a couple times a week, if not everyday! You can easily make this a side or top a main dish with it, add tofu to it, serve it over rice or anything really. Bon appétit!

Carrot & Zucchini Stir Fry Recipe
serves 2

1 zucchini
2 carrots
1 green pepper (optional)
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS soy sauce (can add or eliminate to taste)

Julienne the zucchini and carrots.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high.  When the oil shimmers add the zucchini and carrots and stir to evenly coat them with the oil. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are just softened and pliable. Add soy sauce and mix well and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Serve hot or cold.


Since winter is looming just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about cold-weather skin care. Forget spending time and money on expensive masks that have soo many harmful chemicals in them. Ditch the chemicals and try to prefer natural products. I spend a lot of time researching the health benefits of natural ingredients such as oils, teas, fruits and vegetables and there seems to be a natural cure for everything  If you are interested in a natural hydrating face mask then pamper yourself with this simple one. If you can, try to prefer organic ingredients. You can apply this mask two times a week and if this mask is applied regularly, you will have a more moisturized, bright and glowing skin. Don't forget to read all the benefits of each ingredient and how they each work wonders on your skin naturally! 


1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a clean ceramic or glass bowl, mix all the ingredients together and apply it to your clean, dry face. You can apply it to your lips and even hair too. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. 

Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a superfood. It is used in many natural beauty products and the reason being is that it's naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal. It's also an excellent moisturizer, because of its vitamin E content and its positive antioxidant action in the body. This helps stop the damage to the tissues in the body since oxidation is a major source of skin aging. It also can penetrate hair better than other oils.

Avocado oil is actually extracted from the pulp of the fruit—not the seed—so it’s incredibly rich and will help your skin retain moisture. Avocado oil helps to boost collagen production naturally. It’s very helpful for all kinds of skin conditions from acne to aging, it helps treat wrinkles and fine lines and makes your skin look younger! 

Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid, so they can help brighten and lighten your skin when used over time. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals and boosting collagen production. That means it can help lighten age spots, dark spots, or a fake tan gone wrong. They are also antibacterial, they can help treat acne and clear blackheads.
Honey is a rich source of natural sugars like fructose and glucose along with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has the ability to speed healing and prevent infection. The smooth, thick texture also keeps moisture close to the skin, which can help your complexion become supple and glowing. Using a honey-based facial mask proves beneficial to areas of skin that tend to become dry or itchy because it lends moisture to these areas. People have oily skin can benefit from honey as well; the sweetener can help your skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out, as some conventional facial washes may do. Don’t forget to eat it too, including honey in your daily diet is one of the simplest yet most powerful ways to prevent various diseases. This natural, delicious golden liquid is a great alternative to white sugar.


I try to eat vegetables everyday, whether it's cooked, juiced or raw and I do a pretty good job at it. However, I always need to keep a list of the vegetables I haven't been eating for a while and when there is a vegetable I haven't ate for a long time, that's what is usually on the menu for the night. I love eggplants a lot, but I realized I haven't cooked them for a long time. Lately, I've been very lazy and have been cooking meals that are easy to prep, which is why I haven't cooked with eggplants for a while. In Turkey, vegetables are usually bought from the street bazaar and every neighborhood has a day when it is set up. Our neighborhoods bazaar is on Monday and luckily it's very close, and everything is fresh. I went yesterday and like always, I bought a lot of vegetables, including fresh eggplants, which is what is cooking in my kitchen today. The great thing about this recipe is that it is Gluten-Free and with just very slight modifications it becomes perfect for those who follow a Paleo diet.

(Serves 2-4)

  • 2 eggplants or 6 to 8 baby eggplants (depending on how small they are)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter (use ghee or coconut oil for Paleo)
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled (blanch in boiling water to make this easier), seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbs.  tomato paste or tomato puree
  • 1 Tbs.  red pepper paste (optional) 
  • 9 oz. (250 g) ground beef/lamb (I prefer beef)
  • 1 tsp. mild chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 3 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./50 ml) stock or water
  • Splash of vegetable oil (olive oil or coconut oil for Paleo)
  • 1 small, long green pepper, seeded and sliced diagonally, or 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely sliced
  • Serve cold or hot
  • Serve with a mixture of yogurt and chopped mint spooned on top.
  • Serve over rice or pasta.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, keeping the skin on. Run a knife down the middle of the flesh from end to end, but don’t cut all the way through to the skin (this helps the eggplant halves open out as they cook). Salt them lightly and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

In a large fry pan, sauté the onion and garlic gently in the butter for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and pepper paste and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Push the tomatoes to the side of the pan and brown the beef with the mild chili flakes and cumin for about 5 minutes (use a separate pan if yours isn’t big enough for this—if you overcrowd the pan, the lamb will stew rather than brown).

Mix the contents of the pan together and season with pepper, but wait until everything has cooked through to taste and add salt, as some brands of tomato and pepper paste can be salty already. Add the parsley, dill and stock or water and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C).

In a separate fry pan over high heat, brown the eggplants on all sides in the vegetable oil. Do this in batches if necessary and be careful as they may spit. The eggplant halves will begin to open up.

Once lightly browned, lay the eggplant halves, cut side up, in a buttered casserole. Top each half with filling—a spoonful or two if they are baby eggplants, more if they are larger. Pull the eggplants apart gently and push the stuffing down to help it sink into the flesh. Toss the green pepper slices in a little oil and place one on the top of each eggplant half.

Transfer to the oven and cook until the eggplants are soft and collapsing and the topping is lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re using baby eggplants, check them after 15 minutes, as they may cook much faster. Serve over rice or pasta. Serve cold or hot, but definitely with a mixture of yogurt and chopped mint spooned on top.


It's almost the most wonderful time of the year! I'll be back in NYC for Christmas and I'm very excited! For the past few years I've been doing Christmas decorations for stores, including themed trees and storefronts. If I knew I was going to end up blogging, I would've took better photos of the trees I have made. I love themed Christmas Trees and I've made a similar North Pole Themed Tree. If you don't want a traditional tree this year, and are looking to have a fun and cheerful Christmas Tree, themed trees are perfect. After decorating many trees, I've finally mastered the art of a beautiful tree. Although, there is no right or wrong way to decorate a tree, there are a few tips that can help you achieve a more appealing Christmas tree.

When decorating a tree most miss to use over scaled ornaments. You actually can add other types of decorations, including plush figurines and other tabletop decorations. A dozen of oversized decorations for an average size tree will result in a more beautiful tree. I like to use 6” ornament balls and plush figurines. I use matching colored piper cleaners that can be found at craft stores to tie the oversized ornaments/objects to the tree.

If you have a theme, your tree will definitely look better. If you don’t have a theme, at least try to color coordinate the tree and it will give you a better result.

Repeat ornaments so it creates a theme. Buying dozens of main theme ornaments will help you add flair. Don’t be scared to use different sizes and shapes, and try to buy dozens of single colored ornaments that can help bring together the other colors in the tree.

Not everyone likes sparkle but glittery ornaments add shine to any tree. Don’t forget to add extra tree lights, this gives the tree more appeal.

Fill gaps between branches with fillers such as ornament sprays and picks. A tree that doesn’t look bare really looks beautiful. There are many options that go with different themes whether it is traditional or a themed tree. 

1. Elf Leg Tree Pick $5.95
12. Glitter Jingle Decor $24.95