I’m a native (southern) Californian who moved to the DC area five years ago. Once I got comfortable on the east coast, my husband uprooted me and we landed in Amman, Jordan. While I was in living in Amman, I had to readjust to life minus working, a struggle I now find amusing (as I’m working full-time and fantasizing about free time). As a result of all of my free time while in Amman, I created this blog to keep my sanity and to document the crafts, baked goods, and things that occupied my time. I enjoyed the traveling part, but the day-to-day idiosyncrasies were trying at times. In spite of my annoyances and in hindsight, I experienced and saw some amazing things that I might never have had the opportunity to see had we not lived abroad. This blog chronicles many of these trips and treks that we took and it continues to follow my life back home in the DC area.


124 thoughts on “About

  1. What an experience! the more I read the more I enjoy…great job Jen…keep it up and send more recipes….I love to cook! at least that is what Mary say’s..hummmm, does she have an alterior motive???? or am I just really good!!!! I choose the latter!

      1. Jen, she is a lousy cook….because she never cooks! We would have to re-design this kitchen….
        More importantly is your well described experiences and comments that leave me wiser and gratified by your humor! Think I may try the Yogurt, yet I still have to purchase enough for the base right?
        I recently made my own hummus…it was delicious thanks to the Vitamix.
        Keep up this informative insight into a very different culture!!!! We are thinking of you both always.
        Dick and Mary

        1. Hi, Richard, You only have to purchase a small container of yogurt for the first batch, then you retain 1/2 cup from each subsequent batch of your own. I just started batch number 2 today and am using my own ‘starter.’ I’m SO jealous that you have a Vitamix! I can only imagine the magic I could make if I had one. I’m impressed that you made hummus. I’ve thought about making it before, but could never find tahini paste in OC stores. Hummus is one of the FEW things that is really good and inexpensive here. Take care and thanks for commenting. All the best, Jen

  2. Hi, Jen! I happened across your blog while searching for art and craft stores in Amman. My family and I moved last year to Amman from Louisiana. I read a couple of times that you miss yoga studios. Fitness First in Abdoun offers yoga classes, or you should think about opening your own yoga studio. Just a thought……..

    1. Hi, Melissa. Have you taken the yoga classes at Fitness First? I’ve also heard they offer classes at the InterContinental, but I’m a little apprehensive about taking yoga classes at a fitness club instead of a yoga studio. I’ve met a number of people who are interested in starting yoga, so I might look into studio space. By the way, have you found an arts and crafts store in Amman. I’ve been looking for an arts and crafts store too. I saw an ad in a magazine for a scrapbooking store, but I haven’t been there and it sounded like it was only scrapbooking supplies, not exactly what I was looking for. Let me know if you’ve found a store with craft supplies. Thanks for commenting.

  3. My friend takes the yoga class at Fitness First, not I. I am more of the solo practitioner. FYI, there is a yoga studio listed on ammansnob.com, but I do not know anything about it. I know there is a small craft store next to University Books on Garden street, and today I am going to stop by She Can around Seventh Circle. I want to make my own candles and skin care projects. Wish there was a way I could ship a Michael’s store to Amman!

    1. My email address is melissaashour@yahoo.com. Email me your phone number. I would love to chat with you. By the way, She Can was a scrapbooking store but they did have beautiful ribbons and buttons. Maybe I will feel adventurous and make a pillowcase dress for my daughter! lol.

  4. Hi Jen,

    Great blog! I’m an expat living with my family in Aqaba, Jordan. We moved here in August 2011. I was born and raised in California and have been living in Los Angeles the past 18 years, so moving to Jordan was a big deal. My husband and I had to leave our 2 labrador retrievers behind in the U.S. and that was hard. Seems like you’re liking Amman better than when you first moved. If you think Amman is limited in terms of resources and products, you should see Aqaba. I like it here, though. Despite the lack of certain comforts I enjoyed in the U.S., Aqaba is a lovely little town. I wish you the best!

    1. Thanks for commenting. How sad to leave your dogs back in CA! They’re probably better off there though since dogs aren’t really highly regarded here. (Our dog is 20 pounds and people will walk on the other side of the street as though he’s going to attack them.) I suppose I’m enjoying being in Jordan a tiny bit more than when I first got here–or maybe I’ve just resigned myself to accept the fact that I’m here for a while and I need to make the best of it. From what little I saw of Aqaba this weekend, I’d say that you’re way better off there surrounded by such beauty. All the best, Jen

  5. Hi Jen! thanks for “liking” my blog, heh heh, I’m interested to read through your blog. I grew up overseas, in Central America, and it became home to me…found my husband there, too! We’ve been in North America for 14 yrs. now and I’ve always longed to go back….still thinking about it! We just took the kids down to visit and it’s so so good for them to visit another country, another culture, to see the little things, the daily things of how people live…:) Looking forward to learning some more about daily life in the Middle East! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Denna,
      Thanks for visiting my blog. Your ‘flops’ are beautiful and isn’t presentation everything?
      Where in Central America did you grow up? There are lots of places down there that are on my list to visit. The Middle East is interesting, especially with everything that’s going on right now–sometimes a little too interesting.

    1. Ni there! We’re here for two years but I’m hoping to leave early for ‘good behavior.’ It’s only been 9 months and it’s not really that bad, but I’m not working here and going crazy.
      Your blog is great. I love your grandmother’s apron with the pineapples. So retro cool.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve been to Amman and Aqaba but spent a week in Irbid, the other two cities I spent a day. That was quite a few years back. I hope you’re enjoying it over in Jordan. – Jahan

  7. Hi Jen, glad to see you liked my post swooning over edible gems. Looks like you’re way ahead of me in the crafting game – look forward to exploring your blog for inspiration! Alice @ trulyscrumptiousfood.com

    1. Hi Alice,
      I’ve been admiring them on the website fancyflours.com. I’m drawn to them but haven’t found a need to buy them…yet. I think you’re right about them belonging in a Bollywood or Gypsy wedding.

  8. Hi Jen, thanks for liking my blog. I’m sitting in rainy Wellington, New Zeland (home of Lord of the Rings). I’ve only read a couple of posts but your blog is fascinating. What a lifestyle change for you from living in California. I loved the sugarskull garland you made. I hope you find a good yoga studio and craft shop. Doesn’t the internet make it a small world?

    1. It’s such a small world! I’m loving your jewelry on Etsy. I can’t decide between the White Skull Gold Cross Black Key Voodoo Earrings or the Red Skull. I may be back to purchase something.

  9. Hi Jen, thanks for your ‘Like’ on my post! I am a total newbie and I don’t know quite yet how this whole scene works. How did you even stumble upon my WordPress? Regardless, I’m chuffed. Your blog is great, we have similar interests by the looks. All the best.

  10. You have a fascinating story, and your blog is so well put together! It definitely sounds like life is carrying its share of challenges in the Middle East… i laughed out loud where you wrote above that you hope to leave early on good behavior… if that’s still your sentiment I definitely wish you the best of luck there ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’ll appreciate outdoor running and tranquil yoga studios much more ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. hey Jen thanks for on the occasion digging my blog…the latest entry being “”Epiphany” i think it’s cool that your are experiencing the middle east..but please be safe. I am actually 1/4 Syrian but have pretty much identified with that 1/4 a lot in my life without actually having ever lived in Syria. So i know you do food posts, don’t be surprised if i ever do a syrian dish post ๐Ÿ™‚ Praise Allah ~Matt

    1. Hi Matt,
      Have you been to Syria? I was really looking forward to traveling to Syria, but it doesn’t seem like I’ll get the chance anytime soon. There are so many amazing ruins to see, markets to explore and Syrian furniture to buy…
      I’m looking forward to reading your Syrian dish posts.

  12. Thanks for visiting my site and sharing your life with this blog! I understand how challenging it can be to keep one’s self occupied when used to working outside the home. Hang in there!

  13. Jen~
    In 41 years I’ve never left the country.
    Not sure if I am comfortable hitting up the middle east in these times anyways/


  14. Hey, thanks for liking my post ๐Ÿ™‚
    Had a quick read-on-the-run of yours – and will def come back, love your skulls!

  15. Hey Jen! Thanks for โ€œlikingโ€ my blog post, it’s always nice to know people. Blogging is surely one of the best ways to pass time and use energies penning down thoughts and learningโ€™s, you have a nice versatile blogโ€ฆ I will keep hopping in…!

  16. Thanks for stopping by Crafts ‘n Coffee! I’ve enjoyed paging through your blog and reading about your adventures overseas. I’m sure you’ll have a lifetime of stories when you return to CA. In the meantime, have fun with the touring and traveling, and of course cooking & crafting! Sharon

    1. I came to Jordan to accompany my husband for his job–I had to give up mine which I did reluctantly, more like kicking and screaming. Our travels are great here, but I’m looking forward to returning to work sometime soon…We’re here for one more year, most likely less for me.

    1. Thanks Irena. That’s so nice of you to nominate me! I’m loving your blog too! I can’t wait to see the wedding plans/dress, etc. as you progress towards the big day.
      All the best,

  17. Hi Jenna, thanks so much for checking out my blog and liking my post! I LOVE your blog and am so envious of your experience! I spent 8 months in Istanbul and would give anything to go back! Can’t wait to read more!

    1. Thanks for stopping by mine too! I’m so jealous of your living in Istanbul for 8 months. It’s definitely a place on our list of places to visit. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  18. Wow, love your blog! What interesting things life has brought you recently – a little bit of everything. Thanks for checking out my blog. I will be following you as I LOVE reading about places I’ve never been and would love to visit.

  19. Thanks for following my blog. I do have a food background, although my blog is more than that. I am finding yours fascinating and your life in the Middle East has me intrigued. You might be interested in my Growing up Cafe series on my blog at http://www.phillthedill.com. They are stories form my life growing up hospitality.

  20. Hi Jen: Just wanted to thank you for liking my post “Baking with Local Organic Honey” in my blog “Delightful Local Repast”…really like all the wonderful recipes on your blog…Cheers, Rose

  21. What a wonderful way to experience life! I will look in on your adventurous life and follow along.
    Gee…I think I’m envious! Thanks for the like on my adventure (blog). Best wishes!

  22. Hi, thanks for liking my brownie post in my “Fika and more” blog! It sounds like you are on quite an adventure! Really fancy some falafel now after reading your falafel post ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hi Jen – thanks for the ‘like’. Your blog is really interesting – a whole new world! I’ll definitely be giving some your recipes a try as well… ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hi Jen,

    I chanced upon your blog while I was looking for craft stores here in Amman. I can so relate to many of your experiences here, I am terribly bored at times too. Love your recipes too. I spend a lot of my time experimenting with food etc. Your blog inspires me to write as well. It will give me something more to do..Lol.

    1. Hi Candice, Yes–start to write. It keeps me sane. Good luck living in Amman. Did you happen to find a craft store? It’s hard to craft when you have to order supplies and then wait for them.

  25. Hi Jen,
    I am passing along The Versatile Blogger Award to you because of all the great topics you cover and your lovely photos. Please let me know if you accept. I’m quite sure you deserve it! The details are on my post today @ http:loving-life.me.
    Wishing you every blessing,

    1. Hi, Christina,
      Thanks SO much. I’ve been in the midst of traveling and haven’t had a chance to blog or check my emails. It’s such an honor to be nominated!
      All the best,

  26. I just saw that you have been nominated before, but I know you can accept more than once if you’d like. Either way, I think your work is great.

  27. Thanks so much for checking out my lifestyle blog, Bmore Energy. Sounds like you’re a high energy person like me. What an interesting chapter in your life. I’ll take a look at your posts.

  28. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post about making sourdough bread. Those little Le Creuset cocottes would look grand next to my red Kitchenaid mixer! The recipe sounds yummy!

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