New Year, New Blog Post

One day, one day I will have the time to blog endlessly.

One day that isn’t filled with rising early (more like S literally dragging me out of bed)

or early morning commutes (S drives, I sit there and pretend to be awake)

or stacks of paperwork (score one for me, making it all digital!)

or long days (but not long enough to get it all done)

and busy nights cooking dinner (meal prep is my friend)

ending in bed, 15 hours after waking (no such thing as too much sleep).

 

Okay, my life is pretty darn sweet. For example, this week, my lovely husband made a weekly meal plan, went shopping with me, and spent all of our day off cooking dinner for the week with me. He wakes up before I do and makes me coffee to cure that caffeine headache before it sets in. I feel so lucky to be living here with him.

Of course, a constant goal is to get healthy. We have decided to do the Keto lifestyle. Essentially, low carb, high protein and fat. Definitely takes some getting used to, but we like it. I’ll start posting our keto meal plans this week.

Hope you all are doing great. (Sometimes I feel like a cheerleader, running around work telling people they can do it. It happens.)

Until next time.

Meal Plan: Week 4

One day I will get the hang of posting every week. I swear, since we got here I have been either sick or on the verge of sick the entire time! I don’t know what it is. Plus, last weekend for our 2nd anniversary (?!?!) we took an AMAZING trip to Nuremberg. It was completely spur of the moment, but so incredibly worth it. I’ll make a post soon with photos!

I have been majorly slacking on meal planning. After S’s friend left I just needed a minute to breathe and recollect myself and sadly haven’t gotten back into it. Plus, at the end of this week I’m headed back to the states for my brother’s wedding!! That means this week will be full of yummy food that can be made in large batches and frozen for while I’m gone. So much to do, so little time!


Sunday: Homemade mac and cheese adapted from All Recipes

Monday: President’s Day steak and sweet potatoes!

Tuesday: Balsamic chicken with roasted veggies from Skinny Taste

Wednesday: Turkey and bacon meatloaf from Joy the Baker

Thursday: Chicken tacos

Friday: Date night!

PLUS three great freezer meals for when I’m gone!

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs from Picky Palate

Baked Ziti from Picky Palate

Chili from McCormick

New Years Dinner Fail!

You guys, I am so disappointed. S and I spend hours in the kitchen on New Year’s Eve cooking a traditional German holiday meal. We made goose breast, red cabbage, dumplings, and clover rolls all from scratch.

It was terrible.

Honestly, it was the worst meal I have ever had, let alone made. Every single aspect of it was bland.

S wanted goose SO badly and I always am up for a challenge. Unfortunately, when we looked up traditional recipes they were all super complex, which we didn’t want to deal with. Finally we found one that was simple and sounded amazing. It could have been. It had such great potential… if we hadn’t severely overcooked it!

Here’s a tip for you, thermometers are your FRIEND! USE them!

Then, the cabbage. S had red cabbage at dinner a month ago and fell in love. When cooking it, it just smelled amazing. The cabbage had red wine and a lovely cheesecloth of bay leaves and cloves. Too bad that flavor never got to the cabbage itself. It somehow turned out rubbery and tasteless. Yuck!!

To be fair, the potato dumplings were a compilation of a few different recipes. I couldn’t find one particular one that I liked the look of so I took aspects of three different recipes. We had also never had a potato dumpling before so we were going in blind. We boiled and grated/mashed potatoes, added the egg and flour, formed and boiled… into a bland, gummy textured glob. Even thinking about it makes me dry heave. Ugh.

The rolls. Oh the rolls. In total they took over three hours of rising. We worked so hard on them. We were so excited for fresh baked homemade rolls, and what perfect theming for New Years! Germany is all about clovers for the holiday. Too bad they were so tasteless. We slathered on butter to give it something, but it still wasn’t enough. Thankfully we only made 1/3 of a batch or we would have been throwing away three dozen.

You know, everything is a learning experience. Even though we didn’t eat dinner until 1 a.m. and it was terrible, at least now we have great memories!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for all of us in 2016!

I’m back!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since my husband and I moved to Germany. Can you blame me though with this view from our window?

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Honestly it looks like a painting. I love it so much.

Everything has been so chaotic. We moved into our BEAUTIFUL house, then I flew back home for three weeks for my cousin’s wedding, and now we have adopted a kitten! Welcome our little Jack.

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I am so smitten with this little guy, you don’t even know. He is the most spoiled cat.

I have also been really focusing on home cooking. For the first time in my life, I am making weekly meal plans and actually sticking to them. We are finishing our third week, and I am so impressed. Our trash has decreased significantly and we are spending less than 150$ a week on food. I learned early on that the best method is to reduce recipes .I make enough for four servings, which is perfect for dinner and lunch the next day. If I make anything more than that, it just gets thrown away sadly.

I am going to start posting the weekly meal plans here with links to the recipes I plan to make. Then, afterwards I will edit the post with my tweaks and reviews.

I hope this helps some of you out!

Another Angle of Armenian Genocide Advocacy

I have never marched for the Armenian Genocide. Truthfully that many people in one place terrifies me. I don’t attend many events because most of the time I can’t understand them, as I don’t speak Armenian, much to other’s dismay.

That doesn’t make me any less of an advocate. Just because I am not physically protesting doesn’t mean I don’t care about the cause. Just because I don’t speak the language doesn’t mean I don’t care about being Armenian. I decided to advocate in a different way.

I advocate by sharing my family’s story, the atrocities and struggles they went through to come to America.

My great grandfather, Siragan Aprahamian, was never seen again after being forced to join the Turkish army. His wife, Ardem Aprahamian, knew she had two choices for her and her three children – to die or to survive.

She put her daughters, Rose, Alice, and Mary, in the homes of three separate greek homes. This saved the three daughters, and allowed Ardem to hide in the basement of a church until the genocide was over.

Once the genocide was over, Ardem emerged from the basement and knew she needed to reclaim her husband’s three apartment units and farm. Ardem was very well educated and could read and write in English. This was because both her mother and herself were college educated, a rarity for most women during that time. Because of this, she was able to take back the property with little resistance.

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Alice, Mary, Rose 1921

With a place to bring them back to, Ardem went to get her daughters. The older two daughters were given back with no problems. When her mother returned for the third daughter, the Greek family had their son run with Mary into a farm. Ardem went to the police and got back her daughter, and even though it left her daughter terrified and crying, she was able to reclaim her.

Her mother sold the farm and rented out the apartments before leaving for Constantinople and later for an old and broken down Turkish war ship. Unfortunately for them, Mary was heartbroken to leave her family and cried the entire way, leaving her eyes red, a sign of pink eye. In those days, pink eye was cause to be sent back.

Ardem though was not about to be sent back after the long journey and all of the work it took to get them there. While still on the journey, she taught her daughters to sing “Jesus Loves Me” in English. While examining their eyes in Ellis Island, dressed up in matching sailor dresses Ardem made, they began singing and won over the examiners.

Although back in the Middle East, families made sure to reclaim their culture, including their religion and customs, in America it was quite the opposite.  It was necessary to adopt the American culture and to blend in as much as possible.

Even with their hardships, they knew the importance of their family and staying true to themselves.

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My grandmother on her 100th birthday in 2014, two days before she passed away.

Alice was my grandmother. Her courage was apparent through her life. Through all of the struggles she went through, she thrived. She is my strength.

Through all that she had gone through, she never felt bitter. Not towards Turkish people, not towards other religions, not towards anyone. I think that is something we all need to begin to adapt. No matter what has happened, we need to take our pain and transition it into positivity, working to help others that are in the same position Armenians were in 100 years ago.

Two years.

I am really satisfied with my life and the direction it is going.

If you had told me two years ago that this would be how my life was, I wouldn’t have believed you. Two years ago exactly was a low point in my life. Nothing was going right, and I couldn’t figure out how to change my life enough to make it better.

I am so proud of myself for how far I have come. I am moving to Germany, am balancing a bank accounts, almost have my associates degree, and am married. Woah.

I can’t even begin to imagine what my life will be like in two years. Only time will tell.

New Years.

It’s 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day and I am still awake. Too much has happened in the past year to sleep.

One year ago today, S was visiting for Christmas.

Since that day:

My grandma passed away.

We found out S was deploying.

We got married. (?!?!)

CVHS Falkon Robotics team 589 had an AMAZING season.

I spent the entire summer in Georgia.

We dressed up and went to our first Ren Faire.

We went on a honeymoon to Disney World.

S deployed.

I went to Disney World again with Kat and her sister, and even went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

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I got to be in an Ingrid Michaelson music video!!

I was a judge at four different FLL competitions.

I went through a total of three different jobs, and am actually very happy to be unemployed.

I found out we will be moving to GERMANY.

I went to Disneyland for the first time in 8 years with my brother!

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I survived almost an entire deployment.

I sent 7 amazing care packages, and had my community send 25 more!

I learned who my real friends are, and dropped anyone that wasn’t making my life better.

I am finally learning how to be happy with my life.

Really, what else could you ask for in a year?

Wait, Germany?

I love to plan. I love to have everything figured out, with my lists completed and every step of my life figured out.

Then I married the military. Seriously, what was I thinking?!

In the past year, I’ve gone from engaged and planning a wedding eventually, to planning a wedding in a few months, to planning a wedding in two weeks, to married, to moving to Georgia, to PCSing TO GERMANY next summer!

Yep, that’s right. Germany. The country in Europe.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you could hear my screams (of excitement and fear) through the screen.

Of course Germany was on the top of his wish list. We would LOVE to live there, and I am very, very excited for it. But AHHH.

So now, instead of figuring out what to bring out to Georgia when I was supposed to move out there this summer, I am figuring out what I need to buy to completely furnish a place. In Germany.

I am so excited to take you all on the journey with me, from figuring out what to bring, to where to live, to what to see!

Static Changes

Am I the only one who thinks one of the hardest parts of starting a blog is finding the perfect layout? Yeesh.

I am excited to start this. My life has been a whirlwind the last few years, and especially in the last few months, and I can’t wait to share that with others.

This blog will be crazy. It will not follow a set path, you can be sure of that.

Here’s to change.