A Fun 5 Senses Mindfulness Walk For You and Your Kids

In a world full of schoolwork, electronics, and extracurricular activities, our schedules are packed from dawn until bedtime. As parents, we ferry our kids and navigate the days of the week school, clubs, and more. It’s easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of non-stop doing. You forget to take a minute for presence and connection often.

What would you do differently?

That’s why now more than ever, it’s important to be present in the moment – both as parents and children. Taking time for mindfulness allows us to reconnect with ourselves, our bodies, our breath, and our surroundings. Whether it’s 10 minutes in the morning, after school, or during an outdoor activity, setting the intention to be fully engaged in the present anchors us.

Tuning into the sights, smells, sounds and sensations happening right now cultivates calm and focus for both parents and children. Make time for mindfulness a priority in 2024!

Do you find yourself losing focus?

Don’t worry we are on the same invisible boat…mindfulness teaches us and our kids to focus on the present. This reduces anxiety and puts you in an overall good mood.

The relaxation response triggered by mindfulness calms our body and our nervous system. 

I Spy 5-4-3-2-1 (activity)

During your next nature walk, a trip to the park, or inner city movements with your child, have them use their 5 senses to connect with their surroundings.

Our neighborhood park nature trail.
Our neighborhood park nature trail.

See

Have them find 5 things they can see like birds, clouds, rocks, plants, etc. Really focus attention on each object.

Nature trail 5 senses. See
What can you see? Can you describe the object in detail?

1. Tree's 2. Gazebo 3. Dogs 4. An airplane

Touch

Now find 4 things they can touch like the grass, dirt, tree bark, leaves, etc… Notice the textures.

Nature tail 5 senses. Touch
What can you touch? How does it feel like? Is it soft, bumpy, or cold?

1. A Tree bark 2 An Acorn 3. A Sundial 4. Some dried sticks ( it's winter)

Hear

Next, listen for 3 things like wind, birds, running water, cars, people, etc… Identify each sound.

Nature trail 5 senses. Hear
Close your eyes, what can you hear? concentrate

1. Some loud birds 2. The wind 3. Police sirens

Smell

Then, sniff out 2 things such as pine trees, flowers, rain, pastry, etc… Breathe deeply

Park Nature trail 5 senses. smell
My daughter found the one flower that tried to bloomed in the dead of winter

1. The flowers she picked 2.Wet grass

Taste

Finally, taste 1 thing if safe like mint or wild berries. Or bring/buy something to quietly savor the flavors.

taste 5 senses
taste 5 senses

1. Pepper mint chocolate chip

This simple yet engaging activity helps build awareness in the present moment. It also utilizes all 5 senses. It is something you can also do by yourself.

Most importantly it will give you and your little one some focused quality time.

Photo credits go to my hobby.

Give it a try, let me know what you think.

A Taste of Turkey: Traditional Turkish Brunch in London

The word “brunch” is a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch.” It’s thought to have first appeared in print in an 1895 article in Hunter’s Weekly, a British magazine.

In the late 19th century, breakfast was shifting from an early morning meal to a mid-morning meal on Sundays. So instead of eating breakfast early and lunch mid-afternoon, people started eating both meals consecutively later in the morning.

Brunch in London

Brunching In London

London has a thriving café and restaurant scene, with intense competition, leading to many establishments serving creatively designed brunch menus to stand out.

Reserving a weekend brunch table in advance is now often essential at hot spots. Many restaurants have special brunch events with live music as well. Brunch has become a social occasion that brings friends and family together frequently.

Brunching in London

So in summary, weekend brunch is now closely tied to London’s competitive and inventive restaurant scene, as well as its professional culture and love of posh experiences.

Brunching in London

The Delectable Sights and Flavors of a Turkish Brunch

I don’t consider myself an avid brunch enthusiast. I do enjoy experiencing all sorts of creative delights that London’s restaurants have to offer though.

This past weekend I experienced an incredible Turkish brunch that blew my eggs benedict obsession out of the water.

Me and some of my Family headed to Bursa Kebap Evi, a Turkish and Middle Eastern restaurant in London. As soon as I entered, the welcoming staff, vibrant hanging lamps, and aroma of freshly baked bread made me feel at home. I took my seat and that’s when the feast began. 

Out came a parade of small colorful plates presenting an incredible variety of Turkish breakfast essentials. There was kaymak – a moreish thick clotted cream, mild feta and salty ewe’s milk cheeses, golden dollops of honey and homemade fruit jams. Savory selections included spicy beef sujuk sausage, crispy borek pastries, and menemen – soft scrambled eggs cooked with tomato, parsley and spices.

Two stand-out dishes for me were the kaymak with honey and the gozleme stuffed flatbreads. I couldn’t stop drizzling more of that creamy sweet kaymak onto my breads!

To drink, I sipped on fragrant Turkish tea and one of the thickest, strongest, and most aromatic coffee, and that perfectly completed the dining experience.

The variety of mouthwatering small dishes opened me up to flavors much more intriguing than the standard bacon and eggs. It’s an incredible, communal-style meal that I would recommend to anyone looking to switch up their brunch experience!

brunch/breakfast

Turkish eggs (Cilbir)

Yally
Every once in a while we all can have the experience of a relaxed brunch with a traditional Turkish breakfast, right in the comfort of our home. Creating a beautiful spread of Menemen tomato dish and Turkish (Cilbir) egg dish, a simple yet rich combination. Don't forget to add some sides too. I can just see the figs, an assortment of olives, cheeses, savory filo pastries stuffed with cheese, and more....
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

6 eggs

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried mint

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot sauce (optional)

Chopped parsley for garnish

    Instructions
     

    1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.

    2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, and mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced. Set aside.

    3. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Carefully break the eggs into the pan and fry until the egg whites are just set but the yolks are still runny. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. To serve, place some of the tomato sauce into bowls. Top with 2-3 fried eggs per bowl.

    5. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, paprika, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Drizzle the spiced yogurt over the top of each serving.

    6. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with crusty bread and hot sauce if desired.

      Turkish Menemen breakfast

      Turkish Menemen Breakfast

      20 minutes

      Ingredients
        

      3 tablespoons olive oil

      1 medium onion, diced

      1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced

      3 garlic cloves, minced

      4 tomatoes, diced or 1 14oz can diced tomatoes

      1 teaspoon paprika

      1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

      1 pinch ground cumin

      6 eggs

      1⁄4 cup feta cheese (optional)

      Chopped parsley or dill to garnish

      Salt and pepper to taste

      Crusty bread for serving

        Instructions
         

        1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.

        2. Add red pepper and garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat if garlic browns.

        3. Add tomatoes, paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin. Stir to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

        4. Make wells spaced apart in the tomato mixture. Carefully crack the eggs into the wells. Cover the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes until eggs whites are cooked but yolks are still runny.

        5. Top off eggs with crumbled feta cheese if desired. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or dill.

        6. To serve, place some Menemen onto serving plates along with a slice of crusty bread like sourdough or focaccia to dip into the eggs and sauce. Enjoy immediately while hot.