How to Spend 48 Hours in Athens

Before embarking on our trip to Greece I researched it tirelessly for about two months. The more I read the more stressed out I got; I had no idea which islands we should visit or how long our stay in Athens should be. I wish I could brag and say that I figured it all out by myself but I didn’t. I cheated. One of my readers is from Athens. And as soon as she heard about my travel plans she walked me through many details and helped me make the right choices for a safe, cost effective, and fascinating visit. I will be forever grateful! My husband and I had planned for my in laws to join us. So it was four of us in Greece for ten days: two days in Athens, three on the island of Naxos, and four on Santorini. We were coming from Moldova, where [...]

April 14th, 2016|Categories: Travel|Tags: , |0 Comments

Why I Don’t Want Children – Yet

I’m seven days late and while my husband fixes us breakfast I run into the bathroom to check again. Maybe I missed it the last time I went to pee. Nope. “I guess I won’t be having any drinks tonight at our dinner party.” I finally start some morning conversation with my other half. He looks up from his plate of food confused. “Why not?” I roll my eyes. Is he serious. “Because I might be pregnant. Remember?” My reply is a bit more biting than I meant it to sound, emphasizing the “remember”. But I’m freaking out inside and his nonchalance is grinding on my nerves. “Oh… yeah… well why don’t you take a test before everyone gets here.” Great suggestion, Honey. Why not. I’ll find out that I’m four weeks pregnant right before I have to host a bunch of people, and since I can't tell them I’m [...]

April 11th, 2016|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Oregon Grape Root Toner

I recently came up with an anti acne oil blend for my face that has really helped out with some of my most severe breakouts. But for a face wash I have still been using an expensive French toner recommended by my aesthetician. I've spent a lot of money on my face in the past few years due to a staph infection and cystic acne but I am trying to transition towards products I can make at home in my kitchen from simple. wholesome, inexpensive ingredients (like my popular tooth powder recipe). The first time I tried to just put a bit of coconut oil on my face at my friend’s recommendation, I broke out for two weeks. So the search continued. It was long and full of missteps, and the anti acne oil blend has been my most successful attempt at facial products so far. Enter Oregon Grape Root Tea [...]

March 14th, 2016|Categories: Recipes|0 Comments

Happy Liver Tea

Recently I introduced a new routine to our nightly schedule - Happy Liver Tea. We live in a world full of environmental toxins. In fact, during a recent thermography the nurse practitioner detected an increased level of estrogenic activity in my breasts. Excess estrogen theoretically should be eliminated by the liver, unless the liver is already overburdened. This was disappointing to me as I am already eating a clean diet, avoid using harmful products on my body, and even doing daily detoxes. But I can’t afford giving up, so I’m now going an extra mile with a few new routines. This tea is part of that. I made up the name in the hopes of sending good vibes to the most important filtering organ in my body. I love sipping on it in bed while I am curled up with a good book or my new writing project. It has two [...]

March 14th, 2016|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Overcoming Writer’s Block

I've been quiet here and on Facebook lately. Some of you have asked for updates, others have expressed concern. I am well my dear readers, and it does good to my heart to hear from you. My kitchen is still bubbling with homemade broths every night. My pantry is still permeated with the pungent smells of lacto-fermented veggies and herbal tinctures. I am committed to making wholesome, nourishing meals for myself and my husband. What has changed then, you might ask. Why haven’t I been sharing my culinary escapades ripe with Eastern European anecdotes? It's a question I've been exploring myself. This fall when we returned from our trip to Europe I began sharing our adventures on the blog. I had so many ideas for posts, photos, outlines, funny stories. But to my surprise, instead of being lighthearted and fun, the posts were heavy with my past. I felt that I was being [...]

March 7th, 2016|Categories: Announcements, Diana, Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Carob Peanut Butter Bars

I recently found out that I’m struggling with fibrocystic breasts during a thermography exam, so I’ve been avoiding caffeine and chocolate because they can exacerbate the problem. Finding out that you can’t eat chocolate anymore sucks. But let’s face it: I’m a chocolate addict, and if you’re like me, you might think that giving up chocolate forever is a non-option. But I have some good news. You can replace chocolate with carob powder, which has no caffeine, is full of healthy nutrients, and is basically just as delicious! Studies even show it to be good for digestion and soothing to upset tummies. So I came up with these Carob-Peanut Butter Bars to satisfy my chocolate tooth. Working great so far - maybe too well! Ingredients 1 cup of creamy peanut butter (or almond butter) ½ cup of carob powder ¼ cup of raw honey, or less depending on how sweet [...]

January 22nd, 2016|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Why I Said Yes to Breast Thermography

Last Spring I developed an odd pain in my left breast that made it uncomfortable to even wear a bra. At first I thought I strained a pectoral muscle, but a month later I still had no relief. I’m a healthy twenty-nine year old woman with no family history of breast cancer. The odds were pretty low but the fear kept creeping in. As a result I had two doctors - my American homeopathic doctor and my Irish/Moldovan doctor/godmother - give me a physical breast exam. They both agreed: everything seemed normal. Why I was In So Much Pain My husband and I theorized that it was maybe caused by my desk job, so I hoped that once we took off for our seven week vacation it would all go away. It didn’t. The dull, sometimes stabbing pain in my left breast was there all the time no matter how [...]

December 13th, 2015|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , |2 Comments

Easy Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

"Can you make us dessert tonight?", my husband begs me as I sip my chamomile tea, reading my book on feminine psychology. I roll my eyes. I want dessert just as much as he does. but I'm not a fan of sugar and we are on a pretty tight budget at the moment. "Honestly, babe, we don't have anything in the fridge besides dinner leftovers, a jar of peanut butter, and eggs." He sighs and goes back to working on his computer. I take a deep breath, walk in the kitchen, and open the fridge. Yep, I was right. Just that, oh, and salami slices. Not exactly dessert material. Hmmm. I hate seeing my beloved's disappointed face, even if its due to something as small as wanting homemade cookies. Love does strange things to humans. Finally, I have an idea. I pull out the peanut butter and eggs, and raid my [...]

December 12th, 2015|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

A Moldovan In Romania

We take a train and arrive at Schiphol Airport four hours before our flight, to be on the safe side. Although I’m mentally calm my body doesn’t seem to respond well to being dragged through another airport so soon. The airport fiasco from only three days ago is too fresh on my palate. A security officer waves me down for additional screening. After five minutes of being patting me down, removing every item in my backpack, and throwing away Clayton’s travel size contact solution, they let us go. The Romanian plane is small and the seats are uncomfortable. Drinks are being served quickly and efficiently. A cup filled to the brim with free red wine is placed on my husband’s tray table. “Welcome to Eastern Europe.” I respond to my husband’s incredulous look. The three hour flight is peaceful. My native tongue hums happily all around me. I’m eavesdropping on [...]

November 22nd, 2015|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , |1 Comment

An Afternoon in Amsterdam

Read part one, Traveling is Easy, Life is Hard, first. It’s been more than six hours since takeoff. Clayton and I are intently watching the sleeping guy sitting next to me, chin touching his chest, gingerly balancing a plastic cup of Coke on his lap. “He is going to drop it now.” I whisper, chuckling. The cup tips over for a second but then straightens back up as soon as he inhales. Although we are amused by our neighbor's beverage acrobatics we are mostly jealous and impressed by his ability to sleep through the ten hour flight. Absolutely all of it. We both sigh. I am not sure what to expect once we land in Amsterdam. Due to missing our trans-Atlantic flight, we get only half a day, instead of a three day visit, before we have to catch a flight to Romania. An hour later, my neighbor is apologizing [...]

November 9th, 2015|Categories: Travel|Tags: , |1 Comment
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