As we were driven up the μονοπάτι (mono-PAH-ti) en route to our little studio in the village, my eyes bounced every which way as I attempted to take in every detail along the way. The island is currently in full bloom, the smell of citrus blossoms in the air and the vibrant green of spring consumes your senses. As the truck crawled up the steep hillside my eyes caught a gorgeous lavender colored lilac bush in full bloom. Known as πασχαλιά (pahs-xah-leeAH) in Greek, the sight of this lilac bush filled me with such an excitement! You see, leaving our home in America to relocate to a remote island in Greece is something my hubby and I have worked toward for our entire marriage, but there is so much to be said about being pulled out of your comfort zone. We are basically starting our life from scratch as we were not able to ship a container with all of our things from our home in America at this time. So the thought of developing my first recipe and styling & shooting my first blog post from Greece made me feel a bit insecure. My prop collection consists of the few things that I was able to carefully pack between clothes, so it is meager to say the least. I do not have any of my photography surfaces to shoot on either, so it was all about adapting and overcoming. And guess what, I did it! Inspired by that gorgeous lilac bush I saw in the first moments of being on the island, I decided to make lilac sugar for my first blog post from Greece!
If you have ever smelled a lilac bush in full bloom than you know just how dreamy they smell. Gentle and sweet, lilacs are the perfect candidate for infusing into sugar. Their subtle fragrance is absorbed wonderfully into the sugar crystals. Lilac sugar will add a heavenly perfume to anything you eat or drink it with. I have a very special recipe that I am going to use the lilac sugar in that I will be posting to the blog next week! In the meantime, if you are able to get your hands on some lilac blossoms, you can make the lilac sugar over the weekend and then you will be ready to make the next recipe I share! Lilac sugar is also lovely when added to a hot cup of tea, but let me know if you come up with any creative ways to use lilac sugar!
Moving to Greece has been a combination of absolutely amazing in so many ways and extremely challenging in so many ways. The beauty of the land and sea speaks for itself. While it is difficult to put into words all of the challenges that we face on a daily basis as we work toward getting ourselves established here in this tiny village on this rural island. Our hearts are overjoyed each time we look out our windows to see one of the most incredible views on earth, while they are simultaneously burdened not just with everything that we need to do to get settled in here, but especially when we contemplate the reason we came here in the first place: the refugee crisis.
I am considering starting a journal here on the blog, where I can talk more about our life here in Greece and the work that we will be doing to help with the refugee crisis. I would love to hear from you guys if that is something that you would be interested in following! And before I go…I just want to thank all of you for your support while we have been on this crazy journey to starting a new life here in Greece. It means so much to my hubby and I to know that so many of you are cheering us on and hoping the best for us as we follow our hearts toward the destiny we know we were called to! Until next time, πολλά φιλακιά (many kisses) from Greece!Print
- fresh bunch of lilacs
- clean, dry jar
- You can make as much or as little sugar as you would like.
- Give your lilacs a good shake to be sure there aren’t any small bugs clinging on to any of the blossoms, carefully remove individual blossoms from the stems.
- Fill the jar about 1/4 full with sugar, then add a large handful of lilac blossoms. Repeat with sugar & then lilacs until the jar is full.
- Seal the jar and give it a good shake. Leave the jar in a cool, dark place for a couple of days, then sift out the flowers and use in recipes or add to tea :)
This is incredible. Your journey inspires and amazes me, and I’m so happy to follow along here and on Instagram. I was in Greece about this time last year, and I remember foraging lilacs myself in Milia. I want to give you a big hug – please do keep us updated!!!!
Awwww…thank you so much Betty! I appreciate that so much! It was exactly this time last year! Wow, look at where life has brought each of us in this last year!?!?! It is truly incredible! We need to catch up sometime soon!
I’m so happy you embarked on this new chapter! I’ve enjoyed learning about your life in Greece and and can’t wait to see what lies ahead. This sugar sounds wonderful, I’m hoping I can find some lilacs to make some!
Thank you so much Christine! It has been such a crazy ride so far, but we are looking forward to being settled in here so we can get to work with our non-profit! I hope you find some lilacs too! Sending you love <3
<3 <3 <3
WOW!!! such STUNNING photos bella!!
i think your photography is even better with the way you adapted and overcame without props and backdrops!!!
BTW… i am SO grateful to you an your husband for the refugee work you’ve moved to greece to do, and NOT to live your “best lives” as most social media personalities are striving towards!!!
Are the flowers edible? I love following you on this new journey. Thanks for sharing!
Yes! They are edible! And thank you so much, we are enjoying sharing it all!
Perhaps you are to discover all new props. All things new including inspirations and insights. Your discoveries will be endless.
Yes! I totally agree! I am looking forward to what I find along the way!
A big BRAVO for such a huge decision and life change with such a purpose! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your staying at the island and you’ll be so much more inspired for your blog too -btw, your photos as always stunning and can smell the lilac sugar from here :)
Thank you so so much Artemis! I really am so excited to be here and hopefully meet you too!
this makes my heart sing Bella! beautiful pictures – your creativity is wonderful! and we have lilacs in the back yard so will have to try this. You know I would be following any journal you start! lol blessings
was going to just do the first name, but auto fill got ahead of me…
YAY! Thank you so much mama Jo! We love you and appreciate you more than you know! Sending you lots of love <3
Congratulations on reaching this wonderful milestone of your plans, Nikko and Bella! We know God is helping you because your hearts belong to Him. We also love your loving hearts. Your photos and culinary ideas, as usual, are amazing. God bless you and keep you. ~greg
Thank you so so much Greg! We appreciate you so much! <3
I have lilacs growing in my yard. I think I’ll make this lilac sugar to sweeten lemonade. Thanks for the post. Beautiful photos!!
That is such a great idea! I love it! I may have to try that too! Thank you so much!
To fully compliment you on this post and your journey is impossible. I am beyond words today. My vocabulary isn’t extensive enough to describe my feelings and emotions. Not even Webster could help me at a time like this. There are no words to describe the incredible beauty you infuse into your posts. I cried when I see every photo. The beauty is mind blowing. Each and every photo you’ve ever taken has been carefully designed with delicate care and attention. You are so detail oriented and such a professional in this field. You are truly the trend to follow and beyond hands down the best blogger I’ve ever seen. By far. Not to mention your soul is so pure. You are so beautiful inside. Gorgeous outside but seriously, you’re made of angel dust inside. God really created the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. Please don’t let fears take you, you are there and crafting beauty in ways we’ve never imagined. Your genuine kindness, love for others and uniqueness with people will carry you through any hardships. I am so proud of you and your husband for taking on a life that is not easy in any way. You are giving your lives to people that are desperately in such need. Alone and afraid. Displaced and broken. How much more incredible can it get than that. You are both the epitome of love and compassion. You’re the light we all need to follow. I love you dearly. Please go and be you. Don’t ever feel afraid or regret any of who you are. You will be someone that is remembered and loved by thousands if not millions. All my love to you both. 💙 forever.
Wow…this may go down in history as one of the most cherished comments that we have ever received! Your friendship and support means so much to us, it is hard to put into words. We love you and appreciate you Michelle, thank you for everything!
Sorry about the typos. Wish I had caught them. 😌 oh and the last name. I wasn’t thinking … 😂💙 oh well. Love you guys so much. ♥️😊 I can’t wait to read your book. 😉
No worries! Story of my life ;) thank you so much!
ohhh this is all so beautiful!
Thank you so so much Christiann!
Wow, Bella! What an incredible journey. Just moving between states in the US proved completely overwhelming to me, so I can’t imagine all the little difficulties that come up in moving across an ocean. Wishing you all the best as you settle in and do the incredibly important refugee work you’re there to do. I’ve been watching the series “The Durrells of Corfu” recently and have been daydreaming of running off to Greece myself – that landscape looks incredible. Can’t wait to see what’s ahead for you.
Thank you so much Elizabeth…it has proven to be a challenge for sure, but our hearts are full despite the challenges! Thank you so much for the sweet message, your encouragement means so much! <3
Bella! This is so beautiful! Is that you holding the lilac bouquet? The light on your Greek island is amazing. Can’t wait for lilacs to bloom on our New England island and will definitely be make me some lilac sugar when they do! xx Kaity
Hi Kaity! Yes that is me! Thank you so much! I cannot wait to see what you create with the lilac sugar! <3
I’m so inspired by your move to Greece and also in awe of how pushing you out of your comfort zone produced these GORGEOUS photos. You’re amazing. Also I’ve never eaten lilac, so now I’m dying to find some to make this sugar!
Thank you so much Sarah! That means so much to me <3 It has been a challenge, but striving to create has been such a motivation for me! I hope you make the sugar and love it as much as we do!
What a find! What a treasure! I’ve just returned from a quick trip to Greece myself, and my brain hasn’t stopped churning, thinking how can I contribute to my beloved country’s rebirth. Will be following closely!
That word – “rebirth” is definitely something that we think about all of the time. I really believe that there is a quiet revival slowly taking place in the hearts of the Greeks that have not lost hope! We truly hope to be a part of this revival and I am so thankful that you stopped by and left a comment!
I would LOVE to read a blog on you life in Greece and your work with the refugees! I can so relate to the excitement of working towards moving overseas, the beauty of your new home…yet all the “stuff” that has to be done. What does new life look like? While you can feel out on the edge of the world without a safety net (like the one you would have had you stayed in your passport country) I can tell you the view is beautiful from the edge. The path is hard but rewarding and God will hold you close each step of the way! So so SO excited to see all the amazing things that you and your husband accomplish.
Your journey is an inspiration Bella!