About Me and News

2016: Slowly adding links and information for homeschoolers in Pittsburgh.


About Me and What You’ll find Here:

I am a stay at home mother of one.  Or more precisely, I’m a home schooling, co-sleeping, playgroup coordinating mama. When my daughter was younger, I was a cloth diapering, EC’ing, extended breast feeding, baby wearing, organic baby food making, baby signing mama. I’m also a Zumba-ing, bee-keeping, gardening, knitting, former expat, cooking, reading, hiking, photographer, entomologist mama.

All of which translates into an exciting and sometimes crazy adventure for all parties involved in this family daily. Having been long on the fence about having a child, I’m embracing and loving my mommy-ness more than I ever could have imagined I would enjoy doing so.

DSC_5634In my fervor, this blog has taken the backseat, with only occasional posts.  I fear it will be consumed with “Mommy Blog” posts once I get started again.  Long gone are the jet setting days of living abroad, traveling and having a dream job.  It seems a lifetime ago.  In reality, it has been:  Jana’s lifetime.

What Was in These Pages 2006-2010

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I’m an American ex-pat living just outside London with my husband Mark. We moved to the U.K. for his job. It all started with a simple question early in 2006, “So, you wouldn’t want to move to England would you?” And so the adventure began.

In these pages you’ll find I write a lot about travel, cooking, hiking, knitting, wildlife and natural history, and really quite a bit of it is about the mundane. I’m writing for family and friends back home to keep tabs on our adventures while we’re living abroad and for those passersby who happen to take interest.

Mark’s job involves a bit of travel and initially I was not working with the express intent of being able to just drop everything and go with him. Yes, I did feel guilty that I got to go explore all these amazing places while he is at work. But I was making the best of the situation.

DSC_9793I thoroughly enjoy cooking, we both do, when I find or refine a recipe that I’m particularly proud of or really enjoyed, I’m inclined to share it. I’m a huge fan of “Cook’s Illustrated” and Alton Brown. Both of which have a similar more scientific approach to cooking and baking that I can appreciate. I’m a better cook and improviser because of them, explaining the how’s and why’s behind doing things a certain way or using particular ingredients.

In addition to chronicling our adventures here on this blog, I’ve slowly been putting together books of our experiences. I’m a convert, to the temple of Blurb. It’s a book making tool that I’ve been using to combine our photos with our travel blog posts. I’ve completed a volume on our trip to Turkey as well as an epic tome which includes all our other European travels thus far. I’m well into piecing together a third volume documenting the move abroad and our life and experiences living in England. This is exactly what I wanted to do with my blog and photos and makes for a wonderful way to share our life with family.

As some would have you believe, I am not merely a “lady of leisure” spending my days eating bonbon’s out of my belly button and knitting. I also commute into London and work at the Natural History Museum in the Entomology department as a scientific preparator and curator. My life with bugs continues on!

A brief note about the knitting project that I’m working on, one that exists as an extension and inspired by all the travel we’ve been doing. I knit. I knit all things rectangular (i.e. scarves and blankets). I purchase yarn from the countries we visit, ideally the yarn is made in said country, enough to knit a scarf. I’m not one for souvenirs or nic-nacs, but knitting these scarves has been a wonderful way to create a memento. I find that I pick yarns that some how embody the experiences and feelings I had there and while knitting them, I’m thinking about and being reminded of those experiences.

Photography has become a serious hobby of mine and my husband’s – Our Current Equipment:

Body: Nikon D300
Lenses: Nikon 18-200 VR, Sigma 150-500 mm, Nikon 50mm f1.8, plus lenses we borrow from friends
Gear Bag: Lowepro Slingshot 200AW.
Software: Adobe Lightroom

Austria – September 2007
Denmark – February 2007
England – living in since December 2006
Finland – June 2007
France – May, July, September 2009
Germany- December 2007
Greece – June 2007
Netherlands – October 2008
Scotland – May 2008
Spain – May 2007, February 2009
Sweden – February 2007
Switzerland – November 2006
Turkey – September 2007, 2008