Giveaway winners!

IMG_2151 As promised, at 8pm I made a list of all the entrants who commented on my giveaway post and used a random name selector to chose 8 names.

The first 3 names were:
Kate – You win the 3 necklaces!
Fiona Crocker – You win the glass Evil Eye, earrings and bracelet.
Rebecca Morrice – You win either a glittery map of Turkey or the personalised word cloud (:

The other 5 names chosen who will receive a mini-prize – a photo keyring – are:
Carole Nisbet
Val Canning
Barbara Yarwood
Irene
Jackie

Congratulations to all the winners, although the prizes are nothing special I just wanted to give a little something back! I will be contacting each of the winners via the email address they registered with when they commented on the post initially – or via Facebook as I know a couple of you through there. Please reply to the email, comment on this post or send a message to my blog Facebook page www.facebook.com/livingtheturkishdream to arrange delivery of your items and I will send them out as soon as possible.

Thanks again to everyone who reads my blog, I love you all, all your lovely comments really made me smile. I have been neglecting my blog a bit lately but really want to get writing and posting more regularly again. I will be back soon with another post.

Disclaimer – I paid for the prizes with my own money, and chose the winner using a random name selector –  (http://primaryschoolict.com/random-name-selector/) to ensure it was fair.

300,000 views & a thank you giveaway..

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I recently hit 300,000 views on my blog, a massive milestone and something I can’t really comprehend! 300,000 times someone has clicked onto my website to read what I have to say!

I have made great friendships through sharing my experiences on here, and can’t count the number of times I’ve received emails or messages from readers telling me they can relate to certain aspects of my ‘story’ or providing advice and reassuring me that everything will work out in the end. It’s a great support network and whether you read my blog because you can relate, because you’re just curious about the topics I discuss and story I share, or to just see some photos of the places we all know and love, I’m grateful for everyone who clicks onto http://www.livingtheturkishdream.com and interacts with me.

As a teeny, tiny thanks, I’m doing a giveaway. The prizes aren’t anything too exciting, just small token thank you’s.

There are 3 main prizes, to signify each 100,000 views. Since the majority of people who read my blog presumably have an interest in Turkey, all the prizes are Turkish/holiday themed.

The first prize is these 3 necklaces with a Turkish ‘evil eye’ or ‘nazar boncuğu’ theme – one is a small gemstone, the other is a Hamsa (also known as the Hand of Fatima) which is thought to provide protection from the evil eye, and the third in the shape of an eye with the famous blue bead in the middle, also thought to protect the holder from evil. These are really dainty and cute and a definite reminder of good old Turkey, you can’t go anywhere without seeing the nazar there, people hang them in houses, lay them into pavements, pin them on their children’s clothes, on cars… everywhere.  I love these necklaces so much I think I’ll have to go and buy some for myself!
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The 2nd prize is another with a nazar theme, one of the many blue glass stones, you can never have too many of these in your house! A pair of sparkly earrings with a nazar design, and a bracelet to match.
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The 3rd prize is one of the below, the winner can chose which they prefer and I’ll make it to suit them. Either a mounted, glittery map of Turkey, with small gems stuck onto whichever resorts or cities of the country that mean something to you. Mine has a heart over Fethiye, since that is my favourite place in the world. Perhaps you had a special holiday in a particular area, perhaps Istanbul holds your heart or you have a long distance relationship with someone in another part of the country? It’s a good piece to display on the wall and a constant reminder of Turkey and just where those special memories were made.
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The other choice is a mounted, personalised word cloud, it will be totally unique to you with family names, hotel names or words that remind you of your holidays. Shapes, colours, words and fonts can all be edited to suit you and the things that are important to you. Another lovely piece to display on the wall and remind you of your holidays.
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There will also be 5 photo key rings sent out as mini-prizes.

To enter, all you have to do is comment on this blog post – it has to be on here directly (scroll down and click leave comment). I’ll choose the winners at random using a random number/name generator.   Winners will be chosen after 8pm on Sunday 15th March and will be announced on here via a new post. I know there are people who read my blog from all over the world, but the giveaway will only be open to UK & Ireland residents due to postage costs overseas.

A little disclaimer, I paid for these prizes with my own money, they were not given to me. There is no fee to enter and winners will be chosen entirely at random, it is not a competition, just a lucky draw.

Thank you all so much once again, and good luck.

and the winner is…

The winner of the little giveaway is….

Trena!

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Congratulations Trena!  I’m glad you’ll be able to restock your apple tea supply! I have sent an email to the email address given when you commented 🙂 Please reply with your address so I can get it sent out to you as soon as possible! 🙂

EDIT: Trena unfortunately didn’t claim the prize, perhaps she provided an incorrect email address 😦 I re-drew the giveaway on my blog, and a new winner, Larisa Taylor, was decided. Congratulations Larisa!

All 60 names were entered into this random name picker,  so it was all decided fairly.

Sorry to everyone else, but thanks for entering and reading, I appreciate each and every one of you!

Enjoy your goodies, Trena!
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xxx

Turkish goodies giveaway!

When I started my blog back in August 2013, 9 months ago, I never expected many people to read it, it was more of a personal thing for me to look back on, so when I reached 1,000 views I was amazed. Time went on, and it became more popular, more people read including some very loyal members who comment on every post, and then I got to 10,000  views… then 50,000….. then 100,000 and I really was flabbergasted.

I also created a Facebook page for my blog a few days ago, and have over 400 likes on that – which is also amazing! 🙂 Click HERE to go to the page and please like it if you haven’t already so that you won’t miss any blog updates!

Four months ago I done a little thank you giveaway to celebrate 70,000 views. Now I have almost double that, with 136,000+ so I think another giveaway is well overdue. It’s not much, just another little something to say THANK YOU to my readers. Although there will only be one winner, I’m so thankful to each and everyone of you for reading, liking, sharing and commenting on my posts – I really do feel like I’ve made some friends through doing this. The comments I get always make me smile, I read every single one. Just knowing people click onto my blog to read what little-old-me is saying is a weird feeling – but a good one. I feel like you’re all on a little journey with me, from when I first started and was living in Turkey, to the challenges and emotions I faced when moving back to England, the stress of visas and excitement when Berkay comes to visit me, the sadness when he goes home again, and now of course all the excitement of moving back to Turkey again for the summer. I hope to keep my blog posts up while I’m there, even if I don’t have internet access at home to enable me to post regularly, I’ll continue to write posts occasionally using a wifi spot elsewhere.  I hope you’ll all carry on reading and carry on going on this little journey with me!

Enough of the soppy stuff – now for the details of the giveaway! I was struggling to think of something to give, but I wanted it to be Turkey-related. I decided to take a trip to the Turkish Food Centre to buy some goodies to put together a little package. Here’s what it will include:

Apple Tea – good hot or left to cool with ice cubes in – yum!
Turkish delight – rose and lemon flavour. This is really, really good. I took a box into work yesterday and it was all eaten! It’s better than the normal pre-packed boxes.
 Cin biscuits – biscuits with orange jelly and chocolate sprinkles – a bit like Jaffa cakes.
Tutku biscuits – biscuits with chocolate cream in the middle.
Kombo biscuits – biscuits half dipped in chocolate and coconut- my favourites!
A sachet of Salep – just add hot milk, it’s a thick, milky drink with cinnamon. Mmmm.
A Turkish Eye keyring.
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To enter, all you have to do is comment on THIS blog post – it has to be on here directly, not on a facebook comment – and say what your favourite thing to eat in Turkey is – it can be anything, even an English breakfast 😉 I’ll choose the winner at random using a random number/name generator.  It’s only open for people in the UK/ROI I’m afraid, as I don’t know the customs rules for sending food to other countries. Winner will be chosen after 8pm on Monday 26th May and will be announced on here via a new post.

A little disclaimer, I paid for this with my own money, it was not given to me. I also earn no money at all from my blog, I do not get paid per view or receive any income from adverts, I blog entirely for fun, and just wanted to do a little giveaway to say a huge thanks for helping me reach over 136,000 views, and 400+ on Facebook! 

Thank you all so much once again, and good luck.

Busy, Birthdays & Brad

I’ve been so busy I don’t have time to update here much! I had a 4 day working-week this week as it was my birthday on Friday so I took the day off!

Me and Berkay went to London for the day and had a really good time, I’ll be doing a big post about that tomorrow, hopefully, with lots of photos!

Today though, we spent the day at mums house. She picked us up this morning and bought us to her house where a pile of presents, birthday cake and a balloon were waiting for me! Can always rely on mum for birthday celebrations hehe. They got me some lovely presents, including this Frozen Dvd, box of Ferrero Rocher and bag of chocolates, which apparently were from her Shih Tzu, Brad, as we are currently dog-sitting him until tomorrow evening – Mum and her husband have gone to London for the night and tomorrow to cheer on runners at the Marathon!
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Before they went out, we all went to Nandos this afternoon, surprisingly it’s only the second time Berkay has been there in the two and a half weeks he’s been here! It’s his favourite place. I was feeling pretty festive so wore my new Easter t-shirt, why not wear cute chickens on your clothes while tucking into some tasty Nandos chicken eh? 😉
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After our Nandos we came back home and had birthday cake! Don’t ask why it’s Spongebob – mum saw it and thought of me as I’m a little strange haha  Who doesn’t love spongebob? Minions are favourite thing but she couldn’t find a cake version of one of those- instead she bought these little sugar paper cake toppers and stuck them on some little cupcakes herself – how cute, I love them!!\
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Mum’s wedding was 2 weeks ago today, but she picked up the photos from the photographer today so we spent some time this afternoon looking through those – they turned out really cute, I love the ones of me and Berkay.
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The one of mum and Berkay makes me smile too – how cute is this? Real happy faces.
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We’ve just spent the evening watching Britain’s got Talent, Frozen, eating chocolate and looking after Brad the dog. We’re just about to go off to bed, the dog is spoilt and usually always sleeps on it with me so it’ll be interesting to see how two people and a dog squish on the sofabed.. I’ll look forward to my 6am wake up call for his morning pee-walk.

As promised, I’ll be back tomorrow with the photos from London… and trust me there are hundreds. I also haven’t forgotten about my 100,000 views giveaway, I’m planning to do an update about that next week if I have time. I’m trying to make the most of the last 6 days I have with Berkay…

Goodnight all ❤

100,000 views!!

So, I was in the middle of writing a new post, when I clicked onto my blog homepage to check something, when I scrolled down the page, something immediately caught my eye – a number – 100,000. My blog has 100,000 views!!!!!
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I’m feeling very proud right now, even if I do say so myself! 100,000 views in less than 7 months. I can’t believe it, I honestly just can’t believe that so many people care about what I have to say, or are remotely interested. My blog has become more of a personal diary for me now, although I do still try to do serious or helpful posts like “10 untrue stereotypes”, “worst things about living in Turkey” and “holiday fling or the real thing?” as these types of posts are always more popular. I do like to post what I’ve been doing, and the simple day to day stuff as it’s a good record to look back on. I often sit and look back at my blogs and see what I was doing 5 months ago, 6 months ago… It’s amazing the things you forget and how a few simple words and photos can bring all the memories flooding back, whether it be good or bad.

Nobody ever cares what I say normally, I’m a girl of few words. I always say it, but it’s true, I’m such a shy person in ‘real life’ and my blog is a way of letting it all out.

I’m amazed so many people continue to read, the same few people comment on every single post, which is lovely. I really feel connected to people, it’s funny how strangers sometimes can be more supportive than people you’ve known all your life. I’m grateful for everyone who reads, and anyone who leaves comments, even if their words are not always what I want to hear. Just knowing people take time out of their day to read things that I am writing is an amazing feeling. I really feel like I’ve made friends through this blog. I’ve even had people offer to send money, to help Berkay, and Boncuk, and other people offering to bring biscuits and treats out to Berkay when they visit Fethiye, my faith in humanity has been restored, there are some really lovely people out there and I’m so thankful I’ve got to know them through doing this.

I’m so grateful for every single person who clicks on my blog, whether they read one post, every post, or just a few lines. Thank you all so much.

Back in January I posted about reaching 70,000 and what an achievement that was, and done a mini giveaway, which people seemed to like the idea of. I want to do something similiar this time, but I have no idea what to giveaway or what else I could do?

If you have any ideas, let me know!

Thank you all again, especially the Facebook group Turkey – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as I’m pretty sure at least 90,000 of these views came from there. ❤

and the winner is…

The winner of the little giveaway is….

Pauline!
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Congratulations Pauline (no last name provided!) I have sent an email to the email address given when you commented 🙂 Please reply with your address so I can get it sent out to you on Monday.

All 51 names were entered into this random name picker,  so it was all decided fairly.

Sorry to everyone else, but thanks for entering and reading! 🙂 If you’re interested, I found the book on amazon here for cheaper than I actually paid for this one… I have ordered one for myself, it’s fab! 🙂

Looking to do another giveaway once I reach 100,000 views, I have a few ideas! 😉

xxx

A little thankyou giveaway..

As a little token of my appreciation, I have decided to do a little giveaway to celebrate hitting 70,000 views..

Don’t get too excited, it’s nothing amazing like a free flight to Turkey…. I wish!! While out shopping today I bought this little Turkish phrase book & audio CD. It’s worth £7.99, and one of you can win it totally for free. Great for learning phrases to impress friends, family or even just to make the locals smile when you surprise them with your Turkish while on your holidays. It is brand new, CD still sealed inside. I have only opened it to take photos, and am now actually wishing I got one for myself too!

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All you need to do to be entered is comment on this blog post, by just scrolling down and clicking ”leave a reply’.  Only people who comment on THIS post directly, and not via Facebook or anywhere else, will be entered. The giveaway will end on Saturday 1st February and a winner chosen using a random number generator. It’s only open to people in the UK and Ireland unfortunately, as postage costs would be too high with no guarantee of it reaching safely elsewhere, sorry.

A little disclaimer too, I paid for this with my own money, it was not given to me. I also earn no money at all from my blog, I do not get paid per view or receive any income from adverts, I blog entirely for fun, and just wanted to do a tiny giveaway to say a huge thanks for helping me reach 70,000 views, something I am very proud of.

Good luck and thank you all once again.
❤ ❤ ❤

70,000 views!

Yesterday this blog hit 70,000 views, I’m sure there are blogs out there that achieve this in days, or hours, but for little old me to get 70,000 views it is a big achievement.

I’m amazed that so many people are interested in what I have to say. Anyone who knows me knows I am a very shy person, and I rarely express my true feelings or emotions, even around friends and family. Creating this blog provided the perfect opportunity for me to get my thoughts down in words, to express myself in another way.

I started the blog to show people how I found life as an expat in Turkey, I’m well aware of the opinions people have of girls who live in Turkey, I’ve had comments made to me, from strangers, friends and family, about it being one big holiday, and I was determined to show that this is not the case at all. I wanted to show real life and real struggles, I wanted to prove my life wasn’t one big holiday paid for my mum and dad, it was a day to day struggle but also a wonderful, life changing experience. When I moved back to the UK, the purpose of my blog changed slightly, and it was more a personal diary, a way of expressing my feelings and a way to deal with the separation of being away from Berkay.  I want my blog to continue to show my journey, my thoughts, feeling and opinions, for it to be somewhere I am free to say simply what I am thinking.

I have had so, so much support from people I don’t even know, strangers have commented that my blog posts have made them cry, made them smile, the amount of comments I got when me and Berkay were reunited in December, and equally the amount of comments I got when he returned home again, were amazing. People have commented that they feel they are on a journey with me, they feel they know me even though we have never met, nor even spoken. I am so thankful for the words of support I have had from strangers, I am truely amazed that so many people care about what I have to say, since I am a girl of few words in ‘real life’.

Thank you all so much for reading, liking, sharing and commenting.