Friday, April 30, 2010


This week's episode of Glee got me thinking about home. It was saying that your world can feel out of control when your home is tampered with or when home isn't well defined for you.

As an Air Force brat and now an Army wife home has always been about people, not place. When I was a kid as long as my brother and sister were with me I knew I was home. But now, living as a foreigner 4,000 miles away from my family and 3,000 miles away from my husband currently people no longer define home.

Image via weheartit

What I'm saying is that if home is where the heart is then I'm out of place.

But the thing is, I love my house. When I'm in the States all I can think about is going "home" to Italy. When I'm in Italy I miss "home" the US.

What does home mean for y'all?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A new season

I'm taking Rachel and Elsie's art journal class online. It started on Monday and everyday I find myself refreshing my browser waiting for the new prompt and page update.

The first page prompt was "a new season" in a phrase. There was a lot more to it than that but that was the gist. Here is my page:


I used water colors, markers and pen. I'm really happy with how it came out. I can't wait to share more pages with y'all as the class continues.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheddar black pepper biscuits


Joy the Baker is one of my favorite blogs. Every time her blog's name is in bold in my reader I click on her right away. I love how she talks about food. I love that she bakes in the morning. I loved the biscuits.

This weekend I was wanting some savory and breakfasty. I was in a weekend blues kinda place. These biscuits with some cheesy scrambled eggs were just what I needed. That and a hefty dose of the Gilmore Girls season 5.

The only thing I did different was I made them as drop biscuits. I didn't knead them. I think next time I make these I will take the extra effort. They were a little too crumbly for the sandwich I wanted to make this morning. I think the kneading would have not made that a problem.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

There are good ones out there girls.

My husband is an excellent gift giver. For our anniversary in March he gave me the food processor of my dreams. For Christmas a few years ago he got me a charm bracelet then bought me new charms in addition to other gifts for Christmases and birthdays to follow. Each charm had special significance that he explained when I opened them.

This year for my birthday he outdid himself.


He bought me a 6-month subscription from Persephone Books. This company publishes out of print books each with their own unique endpaper. The endpaper is carefully chosen to "fit" the book: theme, feel, etc. Each book also comes with a matching bookmark with a quote from the book written on it.


My first one, Greenery Street, came this week. I don't know which books he purchased. Every month I get to be surprised and reminded how much my husband loves me and loves to celebrate me. He said he picked this book first because in his words, "It's about a married couple that is happy and stays together. I thought that was quite nice and something we could appreciate."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dinner Party Leftovers


This weekend I had a few girls over for dinner. Two of the ladies had just returned from a week in Poland working with teenagers on refurbishing a building. They really needed a hot home cooked meal. I made stuffed artichokes and Nigella Lawson's lemon pasta.

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures during dinner... again. I can't help it! When it comes to artichokes all logic falls by the wayside until I get those cheesy silky leaves scraping across my teeth. I get artichoke vision. It's dangerous.

Nigella's lemony pasta was a perfect compliment. I wanted something starchy to balance the artichoke but nothing too heavy. Perfect.

My twist on Nigella's lemony pasta: Combine 2/3 cup of heavy cream, zest and juice of one lemon, 2 egg yokes, 1/2 cup Granna cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Cook pasta al dente in salted water. Strain pasta and save a little of the pasta water. Put 1/2 butter in pasta and let it melt until all the noodles are just shining. Stir in combined ingredients. If pasta seems dry add a little pasta water. Serve with parmesan or granna. Enjoy your heart out.

When you live alone...

You can eat what you want.


And last night I wanted eggplant.


Fried eggplant.


With a side of green, seedless grapes, spinach and artichoke dip with celery to dip.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Funny thing from the field trip

I went on the field trip today with work to the zoo. I love rolling my sleeves up and really getting in there with the kids. Because then I get to hear stuff like this:

Leader: Dan, stay here with us. You are so good looking someone might come by and try to snatch you up if we can't see you.

Dan: I didn't hear anything after you said I was good looking.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No sugar update

I gave up sugar for lent. I felt like I had become too dependent on it and when I gave it up I found out that was true. I went crazy craving sugar. I ate gobs of cheese, chips, peanut butter and other things I'm not proud of to try to replace eating sugar. That wasn't my original plan, but it's how it turned out at the beginning. I didn't eat any sweets or drink any soda for the first few weeks. Towards the end I had a gelato and made a new agreement with myself.

Twice a week. I can eat sweets twice a week.

Then Easter happened. I had the Edy's I love. A piece of Italian cake. Candy. And I'm sure some more sweets that I'm blocking out of my mind. I lost it. I had sugar brain. All week I caught myself dipping animal crackers in a tub of icing until the icing was half gone. I woke up to migraines and a canker sore. I smacked the alarm clock again and again unable to get up because I felt terrible. All from a little sugar.

I didn't realize how much sugar poorly effected me until it came back into my life with such force. I'm sticking with twice a week. It's going to be a life long challenge for me. Like a smoker who quit but still longs for that perfect drag, still hangs out durning co-workers smoking breaks just to breathe a little in. But they do it and so can I.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


And the class goes to....

Maya! Who said:

What a great way to celebrate both your birthdays!! I hope your husband will be coming home soon...
I never win anything, but here's for trying anyway since it's such a cool giveaway...!

Here's my favorite bday memories...
When I was in 8th grade, I chose to spend my birthday only with my close friends and family at the waterpark (instead of the big parties with the neighborhood that my mother usually spoiled me with). So, my best friend Monic, my sister Mona, Monic's sister Dina, mom & I went to the waterpark for the day. Despite of mom's warning to get out of the sun and get more sunblock, us girls kept going back to the water without additional sunblock. We spent hours in the water before we finally went home. During dinner was when we finally realized that we got a really terrible sun-burn on our faces and our shoulders & backs. But regardless, it was a great fun day!, even though we paid the price with sun-burns lasting all week long. To this day, it is still my most favorite bday picture. Us 4 girls, dressed in Sunday's best, in front of my ballerina cake, with lobster red faces... :)

Congrats Maya! Please email me at nikki (dot) demarco (at) so I can get your info and sign you up.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I can't wait to see your pages and get started with the class.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


April is Month of the Military Child. To celebrate we're having a BBQ tomorrow at work. Tomorrow is also my birthday. Cecilia told all the kids that the BBQ is in honor of my birthday tomorrow, not month of the military child.

They took it and ran like wild fire. I've gotten pictures, cards, well wishes and questions. I'll scan some of the cute cards tomorrow.

So far best question from the kids: "Are you going to be 32 tomorrow?"

I'm turning 26.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Can I refuse?

Cecilia and I have been wanting to go to Greece this deployment. Heck, I've been wanting to go to Greece since I got here. Last night she found a 6-night cruise for $300 in October.

Three. Hundred. Dollars.

Six nights!

You can't even fly to Greece from Italy for less than $350. I put in my leave slip today. I can't pass this up, right?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bouna Pasqua!

Happy Easter! Please don't forget that the real reason to celebrate is that Jesus is risen. If you have any questions about what this means feel free to email me or leave a comment.

I have a bowl of Edy's Loaded Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup with my name on it. Lent is over!

Saturday, April 3, 2010



What a response! Thanks everyone who's entered so far and I can't wait to read more birthday memories as the week goes on.

Husband update:

Still in Afghanistan. But! Had a good birthday considering. They don't really have a lot of space where they are and I was concerned about sending him a big gift or a relevant gift. Because really? What do you get someone who's deployed to Afghanistan. I didn't want to find him a really nice gift then just take a picture of it and say, "Oh, hey. Check out this great gift I got you that you can't have for 8 more months."

That'd be awesome of me.

Anyway, I decided to make him a slide show of me acting out 27 things I love about him on his 27th birthday. He loved it. Said it was the best present to date.

Weekend update:

I had a meeting today with Francesca. She's an English lady who's been living in Italy since 1968 who agreed to help me with my Italian. She was so nice and it was fantastic.

Eggstravaganza tomorrow! I'll post pictures and an update with what that means. Until then I'll leave you with the word "eggstravaganza" to ponder.

Night, Bloggers!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Birthdays!!!


Today's a very special day for me. It's my husband's birthday. Probably my favorite day of the year. Without today happening my life as I'm living it now wouldn't be happening. I wouldn't be in Italy or an army wife or in love. The list goes on.

As it so happens (lots of happenings), my hubster's birthday is exactly one week before mine. So for a week I get to tease him for being an old man because he's a whole two years older than me. Hey, I know we're in our twenties... just go with it.

Anydangway, in honor of our birthdays I'm having a giveaway!!!

I'm giving away a spot in Elsie and Rachel's online art journaling class. To enter please leave your a comment telling me your favorite birthday memory and a way for me to contact you. The last day to enter is next Friday, April 9th on my birthday.

Good luck and happy birthday, Hubs!