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Kemerburgaz Kent Ormani Istanbul

There is alot to discover at this amazing park in Gokturk,  and you will probably only be able to see it all if you have a car. We travelled by taxi (Progo to be precise), and therefore covered what we could on foot- with 2 strollers (2 toddlers under 4)It took us 20/25 minutes to get there by car. We spent 5 hours and probably could do with more. Entrance fee is 15TL per car, and more for minibuses etc. As we entered on foot since we were dropped off, there was no charge. (however costs added up with all the rides and activities- see below!)To eat:There are plenty benches located in the forest and around the park if you want to bring your own food for a picnic. You could camp out for the day! There is also a Beltur restaurant selling breakfast items (till 1 pm) and then a lunch menu including pasta, kofte, sandwiches as well as drinks and desserts. It overlooks the green open field so it has a great setting and prices are reasonable.Being in Nature: There is plenty of open green spac…

Review : Polonezkoy Zoo -The Ultimate Guide including pics and prices

Overall:A great day out for the family to get a healthy dose of animals and nature away from the city.Not a place to go out of your way for if you're for tourist - but ideal for us animal-deprived Istanbullus!There are aspects I am not so keen on like some animals being enclosed. However, as I understand these animals can no longer survive in their natural habitats and are therefore being kept here as a way to preserve their lives- at least that the view I am going with :) Entrance fees and details:They open at 9am at least during August when we visited.It was super quiet at 10am when we arrived but picked more by midday.50TL adult, 30TL kids over 2. There are discounts for older people. Under 2 is free.Duration of visit : 6 hours (2 adults, 2 toddlers under 4). We did 10am-16:30pm including naps, lunch and snacks.There are different sections to enjoy so you could structure your day best suited for little legs, the weather (its open and hot), and also meal times. There is enough sh…

Beach Review : Tirmata Beach Club -Kilyos

As many families in Istanbul, we have been on the prowl looking for "safe" family fun day options to enjoy the summer amidst the risk of Coronavirus.

We came across Tirmata beach club in Kilyos as a good option for a beach day as was shared on my local Mom's group.

We had fantastic day there yesterday and here is my review and info.

Covid measures:
Standard- temperature check at the entrance, masks worn by staff, masks mandated for guests in certain places (but not enforced). Chairs placed apart with some distance. Markings in the restaurant about where to stand in queues.

Price: 75 TL (weekend) with children under a certain age free (mine were under 4). This is in the upper range of beach club prices in the area - but we selected it specifically with the hopes of superior safety and upkeep- which is largely delivered.
Taxi from Istanbul (Etiler) cost us 100TL one way, via taxi. When we were ready to leave, they called us a taxi and we waited just 15 minutes.

Facilities : De…

Spice up your Istanbul life: Takeaway Asian food is here!

Great news for spice lovers- after many years of having really few authentic options for Indo-Pakistani (Asian/Desi) food (especially the takeaway kind) in Istanbul, I just came across a few new places offering amazing food, delivering to most areas across Istanbul. Some are homemade family run businesses and others are restaurants. They are all halal (as claimed by Muslim owners).

Here is a handy list I compiled with feedback from what I have tasted myself as well as what my friends shared with me. You can contact each place directly to get their menu details and latest offers. Heres an end to our spice-deprived days, yay!

1. Pakıstani Turkish food point
Owner:  Parivish
Essenyurt. Delivery  20TL.
Starters, biryanis, curries, drinks.
WhatsApp : 0552 532 20 91

Chicken Biryani- delicious
Mutton Karahi- pricey at 70TL but absolutely delicious.
Samoosas (frozen) - ok, not the same pastry (purr) we use back home, but did the job
Spring Rolls- tasty

Overall: good portion si…

Cheats Guide to setting up an Eid to Remember

If you’re thinking about how to make Eid special for your little ones, given the context of a semi or fully socially isolated Eid this year, here is my cheats guide! ⭐️🌙 

Many of us are already so busy just by running our homes, and with trying to do extra prayers in this last week. So like I suggested to my friend this week- Keep it simple and you’ll come up with a great day: think treats, gifts, activity and you’re done! 🌟

Kids (particularly smaller ones), appreciate the little things, and I’m sure with a sincere intention, you’ll make a lasting impression Insha Allah !

So here’s my simplified approach to make an impact :

1. Decor 🎀
Think about buntings, posters and table decor such as labels, serviettes and my favourite - toothpick flags. Use free online printables - @ayeina_official have a comprehensive list so just pick and print!
You could also make some simple decor with your kids as an activity together to build up anticipation for the big day.
Balloons are the cheapest and most e…

How I improved my duas to Allah with one easy tool

As part of my preparations for Ramadan this year, I decided to spend some time focusing on my dua, and defining what it is I would be asking of Allah during this special month. I realized that whilst dua is a daily practice, preceded by my every salaah, I have not given it enough meaningful attention to benefit from the value I could otherwise gain from it.
Allah says in the Quran (Chapter 40, Verse 60): “Call upon me; I will respond to you.” I became aware that I have not been clear and specific in my appeal to Allah, often just quickly rattling off some previously thought of requests without giving it conscious thought. To expect results, I need to define exactly what I wanted from Allah, in all aspects of my life. This way I can feel sincerer and connected to Allah with my requests. So I sat down and brainstormed all the many things I wanted for myself- and my family by using an awesome tool called “Mind Maps.” This takes me back to my school and university days where I would use t…

Instagram Live with Muslim Mummy (13 May 2020)