Creating Beauty in the World

The city of Tirana, Albania, is so vibrantly colorful!!! Have you seen some of the incredible photos I’ve been sharing on social media lately?

Colorful Stairs, Tirana
A rainbow of color leads up to the lake at a park near our home in Tirana, Albania.

The splashes of brilliant hues everywhere have inspired us to decorate a little corner of our new neighborhood, too!

For the last few days, Our Little Sous and I have been PLAYING outside in the sensational summer sunshine. We had visited a tiny little school supply shop around the corner from us, chatting with the mother-daughter team who runs it. While scanning the shelves in this small store, we stumbled upon a dusty corner of art supplies that captured our imagination. It was just what my friend Haley Wordsmith was encouraging us to do last week, during her special #writtenactsofkindness challenge, and it worked like a charm!

His Masterpiece in Chalk
Our Little Sous stands smiling over several days of work (as seen from our balcony).

It started with a flower, and just grew naturally from there. Day after day, we crawled around on the hot asphalt outside our door, scribbling and scrawling away, adding our own special little touch to the street where we now live. It was fun to smile and laugh with our neighbors as they gingerly tiptoed around our work.

We practiced our Albanian greetings, we ordered bottled beverages from the corner cafe and counted out lek, and we chatted with one another as we took turns sitting in the shade sipping our refreshments.

Our Little Sous, Street Artist
Our Little Sous takes a break from practicing math to smile for the camera.

I am an artist. Like every artist, I want to create things that transform the world into a more beautiful place.

I am a mother. Like every parent, I want to build a safer and more peaceful environment in which to raise my child. I want to nurture all the young souls so that they know their potential, have confidence in their abilities, and a drive to create the brilliant future that we have yet to imagine!

I am a chef and an educator, and I teach so much more than cooking.

I teach parents how to slow down from the hectic pace of life in a fast-food world, so that they can savor quality time cooking with and for their children. But it doesn’t have to *just* be in the kitchen.

I teach people of all ages how to embrace the deeper awareness that is inherent in multisensory learning. I bring my Montessori training and years of experience in classrooms and kitchens all over the world to infuse every lesson with PLAYFULNESS and fun! That doesn’t *just* happen in the kitchen, either.

I am working hard every single day to give my child the world, broadening his mind and opening his heart so that he can be loving and compassionate toward everyone he meets. It happens in our kitchen every day, and it permeates every single part of our lives.

If you want nothing less for your child, and for yourself, I invite you to join me in Our Kitchen Classroom’s Sizzling Summer Workshop! We’ll take these lessons from our kitchen here in Tirana, Albania, to your kitchen, wherever you may be in the world. And from there, we’ll spread that joy to the ends of the earth!!! I’ll see you on the inside!

Head Chef Karen Ricks
Karen Ricks, Head Chef of Our Kitchen Classroom, in Tirana, Albania

Join the Sizzling Summer Workshop now!!!