Sunday, November 29, 2009

Greek Coffee

Greek coffee

I love weekends because it's always nice to slow down and take time for coffee. I snapped this photo last Sunday morning as we enjoyed coffee with our neighbors. We always make sure to have coffee with our neighbors on weekends regardless of how busy we may be. Good conversation is so therapeutic.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Since we've been in Greece, a lot of my readers that celebrate Thanksgiving often ask how we spend our holiday abroad. Given that Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, it lands on a busy weekday. The kids still have to attend school and Kosta has to work. My expat friends are just as busy as we are and it's difficult for us to get together. Although, we are in constant communication throughout the day, comparing our progress in the kitchen and laughing about and unforeseen setbacks. This year, we had exceptional communication given that we're all connected through our favorite social networking websites. A few weeks ago we started sharing our adventures in shopping for turkeys, giving price updates and other finds.
The only challenge that I faced was getting everything prepared in between taking kids to and from school as well as running some errands. It would have been much easier if I wouldn't have had to leave the house. But, we didn't eat until after 6pm, so I had plenty of time.
Here are some photos from our day...

A photo before dinner..and yes, even Gigi gets a little turkey. Although it's a nice photo we could've moved the napkin holder!

We have THE BEST neighbors.  Early in the morning our neighbor, Mr. George, dropped off his homemade wine to enjoy with our dinner. I'm so grateful that we have caring and generous neighbors. I never know how to thank them enough for all of the wonderful things that they do for us. This wine was perfect!

When Izabella came home from school she helped bake an apple pie. I was actually making the dough for a lemon meringue pie when she requested an apple pie, so we made this spontaneously.

I always let my children get dirty in the kitchen. I believe that letting them try everything is essential to their learning .

 Izabella's apple pie straight from the oven. It may not look perfect but it definitely tasted perfect!

The turkey. You may notice that there are a lot of drumsticks here. Well, that's because I procrastinated long enough before Thanksgiving to land myself without a fresh whole turkey. Sure, there were frozen ones available, but I couldn't have had one thawed out in time. So, I improvised and bought fresh drumsticks and baked them on a bed of stuffing. My question is this: If I could find fresh drumsticks, what happened to the rest of the fresh turkeys attached to the drumsticks?  Nevertheless, it was delicious and more than enough for us as we have leftovers for today.

I did run  into one setback. My hand mixer doesn't work! I plugged it in to whip the meringue for the lemon pie and NADA. It didn't work. So, I  had to whip the meringue by hand and I couldn't make it light and fluffy like it should be so my pie looked a little flat. It tasted fantastic though!
I had to mash the potatoes by hand as well. They were a little lumpy, but again, delicious.

Here's a list of what I made for our Thanksgiving dinner:

Turkey drumsticks
Mashed potatoes
Apple pie
Lemon meringue pie

I kept our choices minimal since it was just the five of us. Again, it was more than enough. Everyone loved the dinner and I'm thankful for that!

I hope that everyone observing Thanksgiving had an enjoyable day.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Just Another Dog Day for Gigi

Anyone that doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. ~ Franklin P. Jones

Gigi had a bath yesterday and yes, I tasted soap! Afterward, I took photos because I think that she's absolutely adorable when she's wet, although she treats me as if I've somehow betrayed her or hurt her feelings. She doesn't enjoy baths at all!  I thought that this particular photo was funny.

Have a nice week!

Καλή εβδομάδα!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Pomegranates Used As Skin Care

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about pomegranates. As I was searching for more information about the jewel of autumn, I learned that pomegranate juice can be excellent for skin care. It is said that using pomegranates on the skin can prevent skin cancer from forming as well as reduce the signs of aging.  So with these benefits in mind, I decided to try for myself.

For almost 2 weeks I've been ending my nightly cleansing ritual by applying pomegranate juice to my face. I just soaked a cotton round with the juice and applied. The first time that I applied the juice it was sticky and my face seemed a bit more pink so I rinsed it off after 20 minutes or so. On the second night that I applied the juice, I fell asleep before I could rinse it off. When I woke I didn't feel sticky at all since my face had plenty of time to absorb the juice. So, on the third night I decided that I wouldn't wash my face again until the morning in order for the juice to be fully absorbed by my skin once again. I have to say that the appearance of my skin has improved. My husband has even noticed the difference.

What's the difference?
 Well, my skin appears more radiant and firm. The crows feet that are forming around my eyes seem less dramatic and my skin feels much softer. I'm definitely impressed and will continue this ritual as long as pomegranates are available.

A Breakdown of the Steps:
- I picked one pomegranate from a tree and dug out my hand juicer. It's a lot like this one:

Product Details

-I cut  the pomegranate in half and squeezed about 1/4 cup from it. It was probably a little less that 1/4 cup, I'm estimating.

-Finally, I simply poured a little juice on a cotton round and  applied it liberally to my face. That's it!

I stored the remainder of the  juice in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Applying the cold juice to my face was refreshing! This amount of juice that I squeezed lasted me for nearly 2 weeks. So, if you want to add it to your skin care regimen I highly recommend it. It's so incredibly simple!

**If you do try feel free to let me know, I'm interested in hearing your results!**

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thessaloniki Zoo

Last Sunday we spent a few hours at the zoo in Thessaloniki. It's located on "Kedrinos Lofos" at the top of the city. The weather was so mild and beautiful that we had to get out and enjoy it. I remembered to wear appropriate shoes this time as well. The first time that I visited the zoo last spring, I wore boots with heels and suffered because this zoo is located on a hill and there are steep pathways and stairs throughout.  .

The kids love the zoo because of its many paths and bridges.

We enjoyed watching ducks swim in ponds.

There are open green spaces that the kids loved to run through.

I love the stone walkways that wind through the zoo. Very pretty.

Alexandra was enthralled by the sight of deer.

Izabella always talks to the animals.

"Don't Feed the Animals"
Although these signs are present, very few zoo visitors pay attention to them. I saw people feeding animals popcorn, bread and chocolate filled croissants. What a shame.

A wolf. The fencing made it a bit difficult to get a good photo.

The girls interacting with a rooster.

This zoo is really a gorgeous park. We love all of the creeks that run through it.

Looking down at one of the bridges.

A family enjoying the view of a duck pond.

There are two bears at the's one.

Again, Izabella loves animals. She was letting this deer lick her hands.

On our way out...
 we were really hungry and a little tired from walking up and down the hill for well over an hour.

Outside of the zoo they have amusements and toys for sale, like anywhere that attracts families. We managed to get away without spending money on any of these frills. It wasn't easy but we did!

After the leaving the zoo, we went out for pizza. It was the perfect way to end our outing.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.~Arnold Edinborough

Friday, November 6, 2009


Thursday afternoon Maria posted a photo of the snow covered mountains above Hania. I mentioned that, ironically, I had taken a photo of Mt. Olympus at sunrise for the same reason, the snow.  She said that she would like to see it, so here are some photos that I snapped at sunrise Thursday morning.


The early morning glow reveals Mt. Olympus and all of her snow covered glory. This morning the kids squealed with excitement when they noticed the snow. 

The moon on her way out for the day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


There's a lot of green in my files...

Green olives

Praying mantis

Green chairs

Green lemons

Foti wearing a green shirt holding a strange green bug.

Green bottle

And finally, a gratuitous shot of Gigi with the green praying mantis.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Happy Halloween!

Today we had a full day of celebration. The kids were so excited to get dressed in their costumes that from the minute they finished their breakfast they wore costumes them in anticipation of the Halloween party that we were going to.

At the party we were offered spooky cupcakes...

Alexandra chose this one.

There were princesses and fairies...

and games were played.

At home the kids played trick or treat with me, knocking on the door for candy.

And then, I hid candy throughout the yard for our annual Halloween candy hunt since trick or treating at your own door can get boring.

Halloween baskets full of candy and happy, tired children.

We ended our day by watching Halloween movies and coloring pumpkin pictures since we didn't find any to carve this year. We had a wonderful Halloween!