about me

I’m Heidi, 31, married, no kids.  I love everything having to do with learning about my adopted home (Greece), cooking, frugal living, and exploring the world around me – a world that is changing dramatically and in frightening ways I could never have predicted when I moved here from the US in 2009.

This blog is my attempt to put into words the experience of surviving and thriving through the Greek economic crisis, both on the inside (living in Greece, married to a Greek civil servant) and from the outside (I’m American).

Posting here gives me a chance to record and digest all that we’re dealing with and going through, and it also allows me to share a bit of our weird world with the rest of the web.  If you stumble on my blog, say hi, and thanks for reading.

Note about the header photo:  The current header photo is part of the door and lintel of a medieval church on the Greek island of Sifnos.


79 thoughts on “about me

  1. Hi There,

    I have been following you on F.V. As (trying to be frugal) since you started posting about your “crisis” turned inspiration. I do not post much but wanted to comment on your new blog. I am so pleased you started this blog, it will be fun to follow.

  2. I too have been following you on FV. The blog is fantastic and your tips on food and shopping in Greece v useful. Keep them coming 🙂


  3. following you on FV also! Keep up the great writing, Through these tough times it is a blessing to see people thriving and surviving it through all.

    • Dear Dina,
      I work currently at Teleperformance Hellas, in Athens and we are looking for native Norwegian speakers with fluent English to provide customer care service for Symantec.

      Teleperformance Hellas, a global leader in Customer Relationship Management, in cooperation with the largest multinational company worldwide within the IT services, is recruiting for full time (8 hours) agents to join the Norwegian speaking team (working hours are between 9 am – 10 pm)

      You will be working for one of the best known, largest and most well respected multilingual Contact Centers in the country. Employing several thousand people across the world, it has offices in well over 47 countries, and handles more than 20,000 telephone based customer service projects every year on a global basis.

      • To receive calls and provide technical support in Norwegian using the chatting applications or answer inbound calls.

      The Job
      • Receiving and making inquiries answer inbound calls within a busy customer service team
      • Acting as the first point of contact for all Norwegian speaking clients
      • Pro-actively respond to customer queries in Norwegian and English via inbound calls
      • Data input and information management
      • Liaise with the team leader to resolve any customer complaints/issues

      This is a project based environment and there are real opportunities to develop within the role and also within the company itself

      * Graduates of High School, Colleges, Foreign Universities
      * Fluent Norwegian
      * Fluent English (Proficiency level)
      * Excellent Knowledge of PC (hardware, software, internet)
      * Excellent communication skills, strong team spirit, passionate about customer services

      The Company Offers
      * Relocation Package
      * Induction (full time/1week duration) and Ongoing Training
      * Modern and Pleasant and Working Environment (casual dress code!)
      * Career Development Opportunities

      If you are interested, please send your CV to: cvernet@teleperformance.gr

      Thank you very much! 🙂

      Cristina Vernet

  4. Hello Heidi,
    Thanks for stoppping by A Little Country House! I have always wanted to go to Greece. I think it has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, I would totally be swimming in that blue sea. I will be praying for you, because I know things are diifficult in other parts of the world. We are all trying to work hard and take care of our families and it surely isn’t getting any easier, but I have found that difficult seasons in my life always draw me closer to the Lord, so for those times I am thankful too….

  5. I saw your comment on my blog !
    Thank you for reading …
    I too live on a small island and I’m from Canada . Loved reading your blog… We are both alike.. But I have less time… I’m a mom if three!

    • Hi Maggie, I’m glad you came to visit me 🙂 Wow, a mom of three, that means you probably are about 12 times more busy than I am 😛 thanks for the coupon tip on your blog – I didn’t know there were coupons in Greece! 🙂

  6. Hi I saw you had liked one my posts and I thought I would check out your blog. I loved the pictures of your poppy sead bread, I really love baking bread at home so I will have to try it some time. I would be interested to hear what life is like in Greece at the moment, no least as we have a holiday booked for Greece in two months time.

  7. Hello Heidi! I noticed you followed my blog, so I came over to say hi. Your blog is very interesting to read – I never knew things were so bad in Greece. I’ll keep you and your husband in my thoughts. I also read your bread post – those loaves are gorgeous!

  8. Hello! It is a fact that we live in difficult times. Crisis is all over the world. Here in Greece, however, things are getting worse and worse according to the media. I suggest to wait and we’ll see what’s next. Be patient my friend and optimistic.

    P.s. Thank you for liking my post 🙂

    • Am schönsten wäre es mich einmal vor meinem Chef hinzulümmeln, denn er versteht es wirklich seine Mitarbeiter rum zu scheuchen und wenn man hin geht und berichtet dass alle Aufgaben erledigt sind, kommen garantiert noch 2 neue Aufgaben dazu, Ãœberstunden natürlich inerlsivk..Wäue toll abends nach Hause zu kommen und mich dann auf den schwarz-grün Sitzsack zu legen und nicht mehr aufzustehen:)

  9. Heidi,
    I’m am simply loving your blog. I’ve started at the beginning and I’m reading through….like a book.

    (A publisher really should grab you up. I feel like I’m reading Frances Mayes in one of her books on Tuscan Italy.)

    I have added your button to the sidebar of my blog.
    I hope some new readers find your blog through it.

    All the best,
    ~ Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

    • Dana, you’re the best! Thank you for putting my button up, that is so sweet of you!! I’ve added you to Linky Followers and my RSS reader (which is mostly what I use) so I don’t miss any of your posts!

  10. I too also have been following you on FV love your blog am signed up to follow thanks for giving us a look into your world !! Rena

  11. Hi Heidi-
    Thanks for the Creamy Lemon Pasta recipe… will try it tonight.

    You probably found me through Dina. Thanks to her for that, and I hope you enjoy my market updates.

    As I noted to her, there are those of us out here who feel the extreme ‘austerity first and foremost’ approach of the Germans and their northern kndred spirits is misguided without some way to stimulate the Greek economy at the same time.

    Hope you and yours are getting through this as well as you can, and look forward to more of your posts. Also agree with Dana… the quality of your posts could easily be evolved into a book. And I know from a talented neighbor that there are very good ways to self-publish these days. Just a thought.


    • hi Alan, actually I didn’t find you through Dina, but we’re a pretty small group so it’s not surprising that I found you 😀 I try to read all the blog posts on WordPress about Greece, I definitely don’t manage to read them all but I try to do my best! I found you just by entering “Greece” into the topics search bar for WordPress, and since the title interested me, I clicked. Your article was very clear and helpful by the way, as I do try to stay as informed as possible, considering that I have no background in economics and my investment experience is limited.

      Just this moment I heard on the news here that among the investors who declared they are *not* agreeing to the haircut was the pension fund for the employees of the Greek Ministry of Finance. How hilarious is that? The circus continues….

      Thank you for your comment, I am still very new to blogging but loving it!

  12. Hello Heidi,

    I decided to take a small break from work, writing and reading about things to write and visit your lovely corner. I really like what you’ve done with the place 😉

  13. Hi Heidi,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and it’s a pleasure to discover yours. I tried to leave a comment on your last recipe but couln’t find the comments section. I have another food related blog http://kopiaste.org, actually that is my main blog, which I update more regularly and shall be glad to see you there as well.

    • hi Ivy, thanks for visiting and for letting me know about your other blog – wow, what a gorgeous cake! My husband’s birthday is in a few days and I’m going to be making him a cake – I’m thinking something very yellow to bring some sunshine into the house. (to leave comments you have to open the individual post page instead of the main homepage, which is kind of annoying, I know!)

    • I am visiting the Olympic Park on Friday 7 September. I am looking for 1 ticket for the Orbit at around 10am/10.30am. How can I get a ticket – I’ve looked on London 2012 website nearly every day#T8230;.&hanks

  14. Hi Heidi, I use a stainless steel pressure cooker but always find that when cooking soup containing lentils, the lentils stick to the bottom of the pan and sometimes burn.Any suggestions as to why? Jayleo.

    • Hi Jayleo, first make sure you’re using enough water, of course. With lentil soup you don’t want all the water to be absorbed. If that’s not the issue, put a few tablespoons of olive oil in with the lentils (or yellow split peas, etc) and stir it all very well before you add the water. The olive oil should help prevent sticking. If none of that works, you can interrupt the cooking process every few minutes with a quick release (running cold water over the lid of the pressure cooker) and stirring everything really well before replacing the lid and continuing to cook – this will lengthen the cooking time but it will still be much faster than cooking on the stovetop. I hope something of that helps. Sticking – and then cleaning up afterwards – is a huge pain!

    • Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad you like the blog 🙂 I visited yours but couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment. I love Thessaloniki – I used to live near there. Now we live a few hours away but visit every few months – my husband’s grandmother lives there. Enjoy your time studying abroad – I got started on my ‘journey to Greece’ by studying abroad here as well back in the day (1999 and 2001) and those were the best days of my life until I finally managed to move here permanently in 2009!

  15. Hi Heidi,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and I must say that I enjoyed reading yours !I’m also a foreigner, married to a Greek :). I live in Athens for almost 4 years now. My blog will have a strong accent on sailing, because it’s something I really love and enjoy and I’m trying to connect with other fans of this sport. I will also try to share some of my favorite Greek food recipes. Hope you will continue reading!
    Best regards!

  16. I’m glad I found your blog. I’m half Greek, born and raised in the US but we went to Greece every summer to visit family so I’m very familiar with it over there? Where in Greece do you live. I tried to figure it out from some of the pictures but….I’m not that good! Your pictures bring back memories. I still go and visit just not as often. I hope you’re enjoying it. I’ll be reading through your blog slowly!

  17. Hi Heidi, Love your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine. I loved my recent visit to Athens; not nearly enough time to see everything and definitely not enough time to visit the islands – It is a must for me. Love the lentils and rice recipe. We use a lot of lentils and rice in my house, frugal or not, it seems like comfort food to me. I would love it if you can tell me how to re-create a yummy battered, egg plant I had with a red pepper tapanade and yogurt, sorry, I haven’t even given you a name for it, but it was just the most wonderful thing – the egg plant I can manage but the red pepper thing was so delicious, I don’t even know if I can re-create it.

    • hmmmm….. well for the eggplant, I would suggest cutting it into rounds, baking it, and then battering it and frying it because that will help reduce the risk of it turning into an ‘oil sponge’! The red pepper tapanade I will investigate for you – do you remember the name or location of the restaurant where you ate it by any chance? Was it spicy or sweet or …? Did it appear to have cheese in it?

      At some point I plan to post a recipe for eggplant with yogurt sauce (not battered though) that I came up with after eating something similar at a restaurant in Psyrri (district in central Athens) – that uses smoked paprika. Maybe it was something like that?

      • I usually bake my eggplant so will definitely try it out, um,yes, I really don’t want it to be sopping with oil 🙂
        The restaurant was in Kipseli – our apartment was there.
        I have the name of the restaurant in Greek, am going to post photos of the food we tried, I will send you the name. It had no cheese in it. I call it a tapanade for lack of an adequate word, it was sweet and salty – just the right amount.

  18. Hey! This is Danai, from griecheninwien.wordpress.com .
    Well done, girl! Keep it up, I hope it all goes well and S. keeps his job.
    Do remember, we have survived for 5.000 years,
    we are not about to give this habit up! : ) Greeks are persistent….

    kind regards, D.

  19. Hi, just a short note to say that I enjoyed your description of Stefanos Manos. You have a very nice and descriptive way with words. I felt like knowing the man in person after reading your description. Klaus

      • I, too, have now browsed through your blog. What caught my attention is that there is something very special and caring about everything you write and describe. Not to mention the fact that you and your husband seem to have pretty good nerves going through all the things you have gone through (all told, I have changed locations 15 times so I have some idea what it is to move around). My respect! My wife comes from Nikissiani, a village to the West of Kavala (our apartment is now in Kalamaria). We have good friends in Keramoti and I remember driving through Thrace once on my way from Instanbul to Nikissiani. So who know, maybe paths will cross some time.

  20. Thank you for writing this blog. I have just become a follower. Though I have been an investment manager and have been watching Bloomberg for news on Greece, reading your blog gives me a richer perspective of the current situation in Greece and what the citizens are thinking. Better still, I can read great recipes too – how fun – something I cannot get from Bloomberg! If you have time, please check out my blog: http://simplecherishes.wordpress.com/! All good wishes!

    • Hi Marianne, thanks for following! I’ve just clicked over to your blog and will be reading. I hope you do enjoy the recipes and all the other stuff going on over here 🙂 Oh and – nice choice of blog template – the best around! 😉

  21. Hi Heidi,
    I stumbled across your blog today and have really enjoyed reading it, You’ve got a wonderful attitude to dealing with all that is happening, I look forward to reading more.

    • Noch ein kleiner Hinweis: Der Link zeigt auf openstreetmap.de – das Projekt ist aber unter op.tmnreetsapeorg zu erreichen, da gibts noch kleine Unterschiede. Kennt man ja auch von geocaching.com und geocaching.de was ja auch nicht dasselbe ist.

  22. Hi,
    I stumbled upon ur blog looking for ideas about organizing my ziploc bags! I am looking forward to reading more abt Greece and the situation there. I am a french expat living in japan and I only hear abt Greece when ghey are some protests or other big events!

  23. Hi Heidi!
    So glad I’ve come across your blog. I am also an expat – a single British gal the wrong side of 35 who chooses Greece as her home and blogs about it too: http://www.leavingcairo.blogspot.com
    Thanks for such great posts and for recognising the beauty of this country and the TRUTH!
    Hope to remain in contact.

  24. Hi,
    Your site is great! I would like to see whether you’d be open for guest contributions. I am looking to write about something related to frugality and thought that the topics I had in mind may go well with your blog.

    I was thinking about the following subjects
    1.Ways to cut spending by having a frugal mind
    2.Tips on couponing to help you spend less

    What do you think about these?  If you’re interested, I am happy to get something written up and sent over to you – or if you have another topic you’d like to see covered, I am more than happy to create a custom article of your choice.

    *** Our articles are custom written by our writers for your blog and are absolutely FREE. ***

    Thanks and I look forward to your response.

    Dana B.

    Guest Post U
    The University of Great Content 

  25. Hi Heidi,

    Just stumbled across your blog and, as a Greek Australian, I’m looking forward to reading your observations on the economic situation over there.

    I’m loving the recipes too!


  26. Hi,
    I have just come across your blog and love many of your topics and have already tried out several of your recipes which suit our tastes and budget. Today I have broken one of my big taboos and followed your instructions for bread making….successfully….. yippee and thank you!!!!!!
    I also live in Greece and am dealing with many of the problems you have mentioned. I notice that you haven’t posted for a while so hope all is well and that you and your husband are coping with these difficult times.

  27. Hi Heidi,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog especially it is really informative in nature and most people would love to read it.

    I’d like to know if you’d be interested in a Guest Post. How about something like these topics?

    1. 5 Tips for Writing Eye Catching Blog Posts
    2.5 Ways to Save By Using Coupons

    What do you think about these?

    For your information, all of our articles are custom written by our writers for your blog, and are absolutely FREE.

    If you are interested, I am happy to get something written up and sent over to you – or if you have another topic you’d like to see covered, please do let me know.

    Thanks and I look forward to your response.

    Dana B.

    Guest Post U
    The University of Great Content

    • Fantastic work Mandy! I love this Tilda, she is soooo sweet and your colouring is perfect!I love every detail of your gorgeous cardhT!ank you for playing with us at Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge, a big hug, Franz.

  28. Hi Heidi,

    Found your blog most interesting stumbled upon it when I was looking into the cost of living in Greece today because I keep getting invitations to work in Athens but the pay after taxes utilities seems to work out at around €750, I couldn’t make that work for me in the UK but I know I could probably make that work for me, single no kids or mortgage in parts of east Germany but how does that sound in Greece particularly Athens where I believe the cost of living is going through the roof ?

  29. Hi Heidi, I have just found your blog!
    You have some great ideas and its so good to read of the experiences and discoveries of someone who is doing much the same as me and my Greek husband – learning to adapt and cope in the fast changing Greek cultural landscape. And reading the comments above it seems I’ve found a blogging fellowship of other Greek newcomer/survivors!

    Our story is that we had been living in Australia but on retirement my husband decided to renovate his Grandfather’s house on a Greek island. To begin living in Greece has been a real learning curve for me, and even for my Greek husband.

    I’ll be following your blog with great interest from now on. My, fairly new, blog is found at rediscoveringgreece.blogspot.com in case you’re interested. Lots of before and after photos!

    Julia Catton

  30. Hi there,

    I’m a Belgian journalist and I will be in Athens next week. I find your blog really interesting, would you be interested to meet up in Athens and chat about Greece?

    Kind regards,

  31. Hi Heidi,
    I would have loved to meet but unfortunately we are back in Australia. We won’t be in Greece again until next spring. And nowadays we never stay long in the capital, always quickly making our way back to our home in Lemnos.

    Unfortunately too many sad things are happening in Greece at the moment and I’m not sure how the country can continue to cope. Small islands like ours avoid the effects of some of the traumas, but of course even in Lemnos ripples are felt.

    Best wishes for your trip, I hope all goes successfully for you.

  32. Hi, Heidi! Lovely blog and great recipes! Plus I enjoyed all the other tips and discussions about Greek politicians. I also write a blog about life in Greece, but from a slightly different perspective: I’m Greek, and started the blog as a lot of my foreign friends were asking about what was happening. I don’t put in recipes (yet- I might succumb in the future, since I love food!). Anyway, take a look when you have a minute, I thought you might like to write a guest post for me one day? Or I could re-post one of your recipes? Could be fun! Nice meeting you! Marina

  33. Hello, as I was cleaning out my bookmarks, I came across your blog and, even though it’s now over 10 years, I immediately remembered your insightful articles about Greece. Just in case you come across this message, drop me a line, please. Regards, Klaus

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