flowers on our terrace
When we received the news that we were moving, we weren’t devastated, but we were definitely upset about leaving behind everything we knew and without much of a choice. Unless you’re in the military, a dependent of a service member, or in a similar situation, it’s hard to put into words the combined excitement and sadness of receiving orders to an unfamiliar place. It’s not really a choice, there’s no possibility of saying, “hey, actually we don’t want to go.”, but we didn’t have to pay for the shipment of all our belongings, we get to see the world, and we have access to a lot of resources most expats don’t. If this move taught me anything it’s to always look for the silver lining.
3.5 months living here in Rome and the only things we’re truly missing these days are the community of family and friends and food (In ‘N Out, the abundance of authentic ethnic food, Taco Bell, etc.) What they really make up is comfort; comfort of family, comfort of friends who become family, comfort of our favorite foods and so now it’s a new adventure finding that same comfort in Rome. It could be finding a really great boba place, a delicious burger, a book to read or movie to watch that we can discuss with friends and family stateside, learning the language, or a recipe to share. Currently, we’ve been…
reading with the Libby app. In an effort to reduce my paper consumption and because American books are scarce in Italy, I’ve been utilizing the Libby app to check out ebooks and audiobooks from my library back home. If you have a library card, you can sync your library membership with the Libby app, rent ebooks the same way you would with physical books, and have them delivered straight to your Kindle or Kindle app. This year I’ve read
- When Breath Becomes Air
- Small Great Things
- Little Fires Everywhere
- This is How It Always Is
- The Hate U Give
- Allie and Bea
- The Great Alone
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz
- Where the Crawdads Sing
- To All The Boys I’ve Read
- PS I Still Love You
My top four are Where The Crawdads Sing, Pachinko, This is How It Always Is, and The Great Alone.
top to bottom: quattro formaggi gnocchi and paccheri with octopus, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese at La Locanda Di Bacco.
eating lots of pizza and pasta. I love the pumpkin, smoked provolone, and bacon pizza and Jaime loves the spicy margharita pizza at Pinsere, we both love the Neapolitan style pizza at Anni Cinquanta, and we could eat all the pasta at La Locanda Di Bacco. Our favorites are cacio e pepe, quattro formaggi gnocchi, and the paccheri pasta with octopus, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese.
cooking from Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South cookbook. So far, our favorite recipe has been her O’Scarpariello and it was so good we ate the entire dish the night I made it even though the serving size was for four. A few of my other favorite recipes have been
- Pork and Ginger from Damn Delicious minus the ginger because I had none
- Lemon Blueberry Loaf from Glorious Treats
- Sesame Noodles adapted from Gimme Some Oven
- Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing from Paleo Gluten Free Eats
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing from Budget Bytes
crocheting a gingham blanket from Daisy Farm Crafts. I purchase my yarn from Yarnspirations and they ship worldwide.
learning Italian. I’m currently enrolled at Scuola Romit and am taking a month-long intensive course, five days a week, three hours a day. I have two weeks left of class and may continue my classes. One of my goals is to be conversationally fluent by the end of the year.
listening to Lizzo’s new album.
loving the ease of public transit (but also sometimes hating it because the buses can be extremely unreliable), access to an FPO address, and theSkimm and Betches Sup’s daily emails to keep up with the news. Both emails are snapshots of national and global news and take about 10 minutes to get through. If you’re not already subscribed, you can subscribe to theSkimm here and Betches Sup here.
watching Dead to Me, Special, HOMECOMING: A film by Beyoncé, and Our Planet all on Netflix and Cowboy Kent Rollins and lots of videos on stocks and investing on YouTube.
finding a gym closer to our home. Jaime has been utilizing the gym on the US Embassy compound, but it’s a 15-minute walk to the bus and then a 10-minute bus ride to the embassy. Sometimes the bus shows up within five minutes of Jaime waiting at the bus stop and a once or twice he’s waited over 20 minutes. It’s a great gym but the location isn’t very convenient, so he’s been looking into gyms in our neighborhood.
working… well, almost. Jaime is waiting for his paperwork to process to finally have the access he needs for the airport. He’s expecting to start reporting to work in the next week or two.
committing to less waste. We’re going to start growing some veggies and herbs, we’re making a better effort to eat everything in our fridge before cooking something new, we’re using reusable bags and produce bags, and we’re trying to make more things from scratch to reduce our consumption of metal and plastic containers (canned beans, dressings, etc.).
What are you up to? Found a new hobby, read a book you really enjoyed, watched something really good, cooked something amazing? We’re interested, so let us know!