About Me

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It is hard to determine where to begin my story, but I think it is mostly important to tell you that I am a child of God. As long as I can remember, He has guided me and provided everything I have ever needed, He has taught me unforgettable lessons, and He has made me who I am today. With that said, it had been about 6 months at the time that I was really struggling with what it meant to follow God’s will. I was reading books and asking anyone I thought might have the answer, but for a long time I was never satisfied with what I found. I continued to search and the battle of what to do with my life was still in full combat. It wasn’t until I was sitting alone on New Year’s Eve 2008 that He enlightened me. To do God’s will was to follow the desires He has placed in my heart and draw closer to Him each step of the way forward. 

 About Me

Right then and there, I began a journal entry of what I knew to be my passions in life. The first one was to live over seas, specifically Italy. I had travelled to Italy after graduating high school and fell in love for the very first time, and I don’t mean with a boy. I was transfixed by everything Italian and I had to get back there someday. Since I wasn’t rich and couldn’t just quit my “big girl” job to travel or live abroad on my own dime, I knew that being an au pair was going to be the best solution. I began the process of being matched with a family through an online service. I talked to a few families here and there, and then one day the next door just opened. There was an Italian/Czech family that was living in Brussels with 2 boys, one eight and one ten. I would commit about 6 months with them and we would live 5 months in Brussels and 1 1/2 months in Italy. I was a little bummed to be going to Brussels, which I actually knew very little about, but the family and timing seemed to fit perfectly! I turned in my resignation and bought a one way ticket. I was really moving across the ocean to follow my heart! Before leaving I told everyone that I was probably going to marry an Italian stallion and they might just never see me again, at that point it was all just a hopeful joke.

Brussels was amazing, not so much the city, although it was fine for the time there. I mean the family, the boys, and friends I made there, nothing could have gone better, nothing! I travelled, I ate, I laughed, I ran, I played in the park, I loved every minute! It was also there that I met a fellow Texan girl who quickly became a very close friend, and when I had a week vacation to travel anywhere I’d like, I was intrigued by Greece. Honestly, I cannot even recall what intrigued me, I just knew I wanted to visit and this seemed like my only chance. Since I was traveling alone, my friend advised me that Crete would be perfect and it would also be a safe place to travel alone. I booked my tickets via Berlin about 2 months in advance and began the countdown, I was on my way to Greece!

I didn’t know much about Greece especially not Crete, and I didn’t know even what Greek sounded like. I was told about a great website for travelers to connect with one another and exchange info and/or meet a local or expat living there for a coffee or drink. I signed up and sent a message to a few normal looking girls asking for some basic info, but got no response. About a week later, I decided to message a few guys who not only looked normal but safe. I came across only one that my gut trusted and I was willing to contact. His profile picture showed him outside sitting on his mountain bike, not trying to look anything in particular, but just seeming to enjoy life! He seemed honest, funny, and not interested in an online dating service, he would be perfect I nervously thought. 

 About Me

So . . .  I sent him a short message asking for some tips on where to go and what to see, and he responded that he would be, “Glad to help answer any questions I had about this wonderful island”. We eventually exchanged skype names and ironically started chatting almost everyday. Over the next couple of months, we gradually developed an exciting new friendship. Fast forward to my trip to Crete and besides my family thinking I had fallen off the face of the earth (since I apparently forgot to call to confirm my arrival, I still get teased to this day), I had one of the best weeks of my life, and I wasn’t even in Italy! He showed me around most of the island and we swam at more beaches than I could count. We ate lots of wonderful Greek food that I had never experienced before and I even got to meet some of his friends. It would be an understatement to say that there was only a spark between us by the time I left! Yep, I had gone on holiday in Greece and maybe fallen in love!

I went back to Brussels with only a few days before moving to Italy and with a new (big) crush on my friend. He was four years older than me, just few inches taller, bright blue eyes, a genuine smile, slight dimples, and of course an irresistible accent to close the deal. I have always been a sucker for dimples and accents! He promised he would try to come to Italy and see me again, but I wasn’t sure he’d follow through. He pleasantly proved me wrong and came to Italy for a week. We hiked through Cinque Terre, biked through Florence, skipped through Pisa, and got utterly lost in Milan; we laughed, we ate lots of pizza and even more gelato, and we just enjoyed life. As we said goodbye that last day in Milan, both of our hearts sank a little deeper not knowing when or how we would see each other ever again.?! I was an au pair and he was an elementary school teacher, both on tight budgets and not really able to keep traveling the world together. It was more than a sad day in Milan, kinda heart breaking actually.

After I traveled a few more months, I was back home in Texas, kinda dazed and confused to say the least. I was working only temporary because I was trying to get back to Greece, I was definitely feeling a little love-sick. In the meantime, he moved close to home in north Greece for a teaching position and I desperately searched to find somewhere to live and work near Thessaloniki. I wanted to be close enough to actually date, but not close enough that if reality set in and the love cloud we were sitting on fell, it wouldn’t be too devastating. I searched the internet for days, weeks even, and tried everything. < Hysterical side note: I even googled “missionary position in Greece” expecting to find some innocent, Christian volunteer work, but that is certainly not what Google finds when one types in missionary + positionDUH, I should have totally figured that one out a bit sooner, one of the few legitimate blonde moments in my life. >

Divinely ordained though, I finally found a blog of an American/Greek family living in Thessaloniki. I quickly emailed asking for any help or information about working or teaching abroad. It was not even a day later when I couldn’t believe what I was reading in response, “It is amazing God’s timing. We have been praying for someone to come and live with us and teach our daughter for the next 6 months as she finishes her high school diploma online”. There it was again, another open door, so this time I was moving to Greece. I found myself buying another one way ticket across the world – this time for a chance on love . . . my heart raced as I hit the “confirm button” and I had so many thoughts of my own sanity, was this real? icon smile About Me

Indeed it was and I lived in Thessaloniki for about 6-7 months. I daily began to fall for this wonderfully charming Greek guy who had swept me off my feet a year earlier. Again, we traveled all over north Greece and shared many adventures on the weekends and my time off. I got to know his precious family and more about this country where he lived. The next summer, it was his turn to come visit the great state of Texas and meet my family and friends. So, on July of 2009, after meeting my whole family from Texas to Kentucky to Florida, he got down on one knee and proposed to love me for the rest of my life more than anyone else, if I would let him. My answer was of course YES!!!

 About Me

We married on January 3, 2010 in Thessaloniki, Greece. We now are living on a small island in the northeast Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, called Lesvos. After our first year of marriage, we are both convinced life is better together. 

So, here we are today, both continuing to follow the many (new and old) desires of our hearts. My husband is an elementary school teacher by day and an amazing sketcher and eager virtual flyer by night. I, on the other hand, am a thankful English teacher by night and a zealous chef and photographer by day! 

Join my adventure of living and learning the Greek culture, including the food, the language, the religion, and the habits of these beautiful people around me.

~ Jacquline (or my Greek name Stylliani) 

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49 Responses to “About Me”

  • Christina:

    What a lovely story! And to think…I was googling Greek+picnic+meatballs because I wanted to make some like my yiayia used to make ahead of a big road trip. Wishing you and your husband all the best!

  • Athena:

    I love this story so sweet, not sure how i stumbled across your blog. But i love it and i love that you followed your dreams!

  • Sophia:

    Oh what a beautiful story. I nearly cried reading it. It is so great that you began with trusting God and followed the desires He put in your heart. So beautiful. And that you were an answer to the prayers of the Greek family in Thessaloniki. Your life is proof that we should all be brave enough and have faith enough to follow our passions and greatest dreams.

  • Pam:

    This is an amazing story! Enjoy your life together and live each day to its fullest! Happiness always!

  • Sarah H.:

    Hey there!
    I found your blog through pinterest, but was so excited because I love Greek food! My sister visited Greece a couple of years ago and loved it. It is definitely somewhere I would love to visit. I am putting your blog on my blog reader so I can keep up with it and try lots of new recipes!

  • Aimee:

    AHH, it would have been totally cool if you would have contacted me the first time on Crete (although I’m not on any expat sites and I would not have ignored you if you emailed me) I am also an American married to a Greek, we live in Chania with our 3 children :)

  • Carolyn:

    Beautiful story! I fell in love with my husband who is Greek in the states. We have traveled often to visit his parents on the island of Ikaria! Please take the time to visit this amazing beautiful island you won’t regret it!

    Wonderful story!!!

  • Hi jaqueline-Stella! We love those who love Greece!
    Thoroughly enjoyed your blog… posted the story of your nameday to our FB page along with the lovely photo!
    hope you are having a wonderful nameday!
    GGW

  • Brenda:

    Hi Jacqyline: I was smiling ear to ear reading your beautiful love story. It sounds like a fairy tale. I am married to a half greek half norwegian.. His mother Diana met his father during World War II in Greece. They married and of course she moved to the US. Diana has been teaching me how to cook Greek food over the years and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’ve learned some greek language and I just love hearing her talk with her HEAVY accent. She is the best cook ad I love everything she makes. I found your blog by looking for another Yiemista recipe. I have one already, however, I’m going to make yours. I think my favorite Greek foods are….. Pasticio, Baklavas, Spinach Pie, Keftethes an of course the Greek salad and tzatziki sauce with pita bread. I have unfortunately, never been to Greece although my husband grew up there for some years when he wa a child. We have been married 8 years now. We live in Port Saint Lucie, FL and every year there is a Greek Festival and it is like Christmas to me. I just Love it. Anyway, I’ll visit your blog frequently. Brenda

  • Apple Fritters on pinterest got me to ur site. I enjoyed your love story and lol. So I could not stop reading when I read the word God. He is so good and works in mysterious ways. I am glad you shared. Keep writing and cooking; so I can keep reading and trying your dishes/desserts.
    Have a blessed week!!!
    From South Texas

  • Illya Smith:

    Hi…I was so excited to read your story since I am Greek and grew up in Europe. My mother lives in Thessaloniki which I miss so much. My husband is a soldier and we are currently stationed in the states. I love my Greece and I am glad to hear when other people see the same beauty I see in Greece :)

  • Amber:

    Hey! I just came across your blog through a pinterest post for your apple fritters. I have celiac disease and plan to make them replacing the flour with a gluten free concoction.

    I am married to a Greek-American and we just returned from two weeks in Greece to baptize our youngest. We have been three times in the past seven years to baptize our three children in the little village outside of Kavala where my father-in-law grew up.

    You’re right, the people are just so welcoming, the country has unmatched beauty, and the food I already miss — especially the tomatoes!

    I love your story and look forward to hearing more of your journey!

  • Shannon:

    So, encouraging to see fellow believers in Greece, desiring to live life for God :)
    I lived in Egaleo with my family from age 11-18, my husband is also Greek-American and I so very much long to get a chance to bring our 4 children there, let alone enjoy the beautiful Mediterenean Sea together. We’ve never been home(Greece) together yet.

  • Hi! You are so blessed to have had this insight so young: “To do God’s will was to follow the desires He has placed in my heart and draw closer to Him each step of the way forward. ” I have long believed those desires are how He leads us into the life He created us for. Love the blog, which I found while researching for recipes from Greece!!

  • wow what an amazing story!!! cant wait to try out some of your recipes!

  • Barry:

    Beautiful story, your in a great Country, just hope it goes well for them out there. I love Greek food and will be making some of your recipes.

  • Marilyn:

    Love the story of how you fell in love. Had been looking at your recipe on pinterest for apple fritters; which I love – brings back memories of having them on Friday, when I decided to read your blog. This makes me want to really visit Greece and see all the wonderful things you describe.

  • Sara:

    Jacqueline,

    I came across your blog while searching for nutella recipes, and I look forward to trying the nutella oreo truffles!! I love reading stories of God’s goodness and how He brings people together :) My husband and I actually live in Texas and are preparing to work with a growing church in Berlin next year… looking forward to what God has for us in Europe!

    Blessings to you and your family. Keep the recipes coming!

    -Sara

  • Carolyn Miller:

    Hi Jacquline, love your blog, and must try some of your recipes, especially the Greek Potatoes. My dad was from Greece, and think thats where I get my love for the country even though I have never been there. I found your blog on pinterest, and related to you right away when you said you were a
    Christian, and trying to find the Lords will for your life. God is so good. He definately leads us when we are willing to follow. So glad you are living your dread, and found the love of your life. Doesn’t get much better than that.
    Am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.
    Take care, and God bless
    Carolyn

  • Hi! I just found your site through the apple fritters pinned on Pinterest and was excited to see that you live on Lesvos. My family emigrated from there 3 generations ago and I have not yet been to visit but I know we still have family in Mytilene. Just wanted to share that tiny connection, I’m looking forward to trying some of your recipes!

  • I’m so pleased to find your blog – through your apple fritters on Pinterest of all things!

    All the best,
    Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

  • Kelly:

    Jacquline! Your blog is awesome! I love the sweet love story! I think everytime I see either one of you at work I will totally sigh and say awwwe! Most likely in my head though lol. Your story is seriously like a fairy tale. So cute! Love the blog. If you ever want to go running/ walking after work let me know.

  • Despina:

    Jacquline,

    I stumbled across your page this evening and fell in love with your blog. I was born and raised in Chicago and lucky enough to be half-Greek. Boy is that the dominant ethnicity! haha. Anyway, I just love how you so eloquently speak of Greece and all that it has to offer. The respect and thought that you put into your posts about the Orthodox faith is something to be admired and I applaud you for! The recipes are right on the spot…I read them and can already see my Yiayia cooking and baking in the kitchen and smell the aroma of the food! I have never been to Greece (I am dying to go!), but your blog gives me a little bit of that “taste of home!” May God continue to bless you and your Gambro!

    Despina

  • Mersina:

    I stumbled onto your web page by googling for a tsoureki recipe. Your blog came up and I read your story. I was smiling from ear to ear. It sounded like a true love story, and I especially loved the ending that you’re living in Lesvos. My family is from there so it was a very nice surprise that I just had to write. What part of Lesvos are you living? My famliy is from a small village called Trigona. If you drive by, say hi to my family!

    PS. Love your recipes too!

  • Kim:

    Hey Jacq!

    Ok, I know I read this a long time ago (and was around to hear stories first hand while it was going on…) But I forgot what a great story you have! I love that we sat around on couches all wondering what would happen to you overseas, and then voila, God unveils his plans. So cool. I mean, you could still be at that preschool teaching gymnastics if you would’ve stayed here. Loved reading it all over again. Hope you’re having fun at Plato, and having fun in Florida in general. We should catch up soon. Except I don’t really have anything cool to say. Yet. :)

  • Tam:

    I came across your blog because of a google search that I did (egg salad and greek yogurt of all things). Anyway, I just loved your story! And, I too love Greece. I have been able to go three times to do mission work- twice with the singles from my church here in TN and then once by myself for 2 1/2 weeks. I never made it any further north than Leptokaria- we stayed mainly in Athens but I LOVED corinth and Athens. My heart is there. It’s been since 2006 since I have been there but I haven’t given up the thought of going back. Was hoping for this summer but it’s not going to happen (looks like it could be India this summer instead). I’m looking forward to reading more! Oh, and I am a teacher also!

  • Marla:

    Oh yes, I forgot the most important thing…
    Isn’t God amazing?! He has a way of leading us to right where we need to be. Sometimes He takes the long and painful way, but it’s just His way of molding us to be the person we need to be.

    Again, thank you for sharing your experiences.

    ~Marla

  • Marla:

    Hello Stylliani,
    I, too, am also married to an amazing Greek man. We just celebrated 22 years together. I happened across your blog via Pinterest. Reading your ‘about me’ was exciting. My husband grew up in Greece and moved to the U.S. in his mid-teens. He hasn’t been back since, but still has a lot of family in Greece. I think he even has family in Thessaloniki. I’m looking forward to experiencing Greece through your blog until we can actually make it to the country to visit.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Marla

  • Jacquline,
    Hi, I truly admire your spunk. I’m a Greek-American or American-Greek depending on your location. I too, am living out the dream of living in Greece. I was born and raised in West Virginia, married a fellow Greek and moved to Lubbock, Texas for 10 years and have been in Patrai, Greece for the past 15 years. Unlike you though, I grew up with the goal of marrying a fellow Greek and returning to live in Greece and until recently have not regretted my decision. I’d love to correspond with you. I too am and ESL teacher of an afternoon and evening and during the mornings I care for my older, handicapped, daughter and design and create jewelry which I sell on several sites. My mail, if you’re interested is iks1961@hotmail.com.

  • Lilly:

    Wow! I just commented on your Greek meatball blog. I just read your story, how sweet. Thanks for the your site.

  • Brittany:

    Hi Jacquline! I came across your blog while searching for Greek recipes. I AM SO THANKFUL I FOUND YOUR SITE! Your story is amazing! I too am from Texas, but my family is from Greece (Samos). I have been blessed to get to visit occasionally but it is NOT enough! I miss it everyday. I have recently decided to really start incorporating the Greek “way of life” into my life- cooking the food (which is truly an art) and studying the language. Please keep up the GREAT work on your blog! Also, I’m looking for a (SAFE and NOT CREEPY) pen pal- if you or someone you know would be interested. Email me. I just love hearing about the day to day life in that amazing country! Thanks!

    • Hi Brittany, so glad to hear from you! Greece has so many things to offer but as a country is really suffering these days. My husband and I recently moved to the States, Florida actually. We miss Greece in some ways but overall feel so extremely blessed to be here and return for holidays there. I might know some “safe and wonderful” people in Greece that would like to penpal and practice their English, I will think to see who would be the best fit! Until then, take care and thanks for your comments!

  • Karen:

    Hey, Jacquline! What a great story! God is so GOOD!! And it was Greece, not Italy! I am an older, half greek woman living in Duluth MN. None of the greek recipes got passed down and I love greek food. But since moving to Duluth, I am in Greek Food desert. No one here even knows what Saganaki is….
    So, when Michelle posted her recipe for Galaktoboureko, I saw your comment and here I am. I am looking forward to making Greek food and teaching these non-Greek, non-foodies a few things. A friend said that the people here worship the goddess Lefsa…the goddess of unseasoned food. Funny AND true. Some people don’t even use garlic!

    What a THRILL to have lived in Thessaloniki!!! A Bible place! You have a perspective not many do about the Bible and what Paul was talking about. Have you been to Ephesus or Patmos or Corinth?

    Thanks again! I am off to see your blog!

    • Hi Karen, I have been to Corinthos and loved it. Also, Athens of course (not my favorite), and lived in Lesvos where there is a small chapel dedicated to Paul – it is beautiful; actually the Bible mentions him traveling to Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos! So glad you dropped by and please teach those around you what GOOD Greek food is :)

  • Patti:

    What a beautiful story!! Not only have I quickly fallen in love with your blog, I have quickly fallen in love with you, your love story and share in your love of Italy and Greece! My God continue to bless you and your handsome love!

  • Sara:

    Hi Jacquline! I was searching for a recipe and stumbled upon your wonderful blog! I’m a budding food blogger myself and a sucker for romantic stories….your story is just beautiful! Can’t wait to see what you cook next and how your story unfolds even more!

    PS- I have the same feeling about Italy…you may have inspired me to follow my dream of living there!

  • Jodi:

    Hi there! Love your story. God is awesome in how he leads when we actually can listen! I just got a bad cholesterol score and although I am lean I decided I must change how I eat. So I decided upon a few things, my husband happily agrees (red wine, for one!) But another is that we have had a Greek cook book we got on our honeymoon in 2000 and never really used it. I LOVE Greek food, or so I think? I want to make sure we’re doing the authentic thing, and also, aside from all the potatoes do you think it’s healthier by far than American cuisine? I get hungry fast, I have a pretty good metabolism. What kinds of things are your favorite?

    • Jodi:

      I just saw your http://seeminglygreek.com/tips-resources/ page! Good stuff and interesting!

    • Hi Jodi, thanks for writing! I def think that eating Greek food the traditional way can be incredibly healthy and beneficial for you. I have probably learned to like more beans and vegetable based meals rather than planning around the protein. There are so many wonderful recipes out there and I hope to keep adding more and more! I will make an extra effort to add some good and healthy ones too!!!

  • Maria:

    Your story is similar to mine….we both fell in love with a Greek guy and are now married. I always tell people Greece is magical and you can fall in love (with either the country or someone there)! Good luck with your adventure!

  • Hey!

    I just stumbled upon your blog from Foodgawker. I am also an American living in Greece, and engaged to a Greek..with a food blog haha

    I just wanted to say hello and that I love your blog!

    Alexandra

    P.S. Here is a link to my blog for some more Greek recipes! http://www.sprinklesandglitter.com

  • Hey Jacqyline!the new blog looks great!can’t wait for your new posts!
    p.s i just read the entire story above, its so moving!really glad you’re enjoying Greece!:-)

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Hi! My name is Jacquline. Welcome to my blog. I hope you will find some delicious Greek food recipes and enjoy the read along the way! Kali Orexi :)

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