My go-to summer dinner

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I feel like I should have managed a better photograph but there is something about kids after a summer afternoon at the pool that means means I cannot put dinner on the table fast enough.

Your mileage may vary but this meal, this is our go-to summer meal that pleases not only the adults but six children as well. It varies according to what we have in the fridge and what veggies we have on hand but it often looks like this:

Organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I marinate these in a big ziploc bag with liberal amounts of kosher salt, black pepper, and Paul Prudhomme’s poultry seasoning blend. Add a few glugs of olive oil, a sliced up lemon, and stick in the fridge. I sautée the chicken in a hot skillet and slice thin.

Dolmas. Usually the brown rice variety from Whole Foods.

Tzatziki sauce.

Hummus with plenty of garlic, lemon, and parsley.


Red onion.

Cucumbers. Lots.

A variety of raw veggies for dipping and/or snacking: broccoli, celery, carrots, yellow or orange pepper, cauliflower, radishes.

Romaine lettuce.

Pita bread.

Cherries or watermelon for dessert.

It looks like a lot of food to prep but it’s fast and easy! On grocery shopping day I usually wash prep veggies and keep them in ball jars in the fridge. Then we have them all week for snacking or adding to frittatas or a quick dinner like this.

What is your go-to summer dinner?



the habit of being_summer reading 2016

Every year summer rolls around and every year I forget just how it sucks the life out of me. Heat and humidity are not a winning combination for me. Heard of SAD? Well, I think I have the opposite. Too much sun and too much heat make me a dull girl.

On the upside, I’ve read my little heart out this summer. I put my Virginia Woolf project on a time out and read book after book after book in a rather mindless fashion. Hello coping mechanism. In that vein, I update my June, July, and August reading lists.

I think I’m rounding the corner on my summer issues and hope to be back in this space again soon. I miss you all.



PS: I have a collaborative essay on gumbo here. And oddly enough writing about gumbo means I was able to check something off my bucket list. Yay!

June reading, an update

the habit of being_june reading, an update

The Virginia Woolf reading continues apace. I finished Moments of Being after taking my time with it. This is a collection of autobiographical essays very much worth reading if Woolf is your cup of tea. I also managed to squeeze in reading The Mare and wow! A superbly written and powerful coming-of-age story about a complicated pre-teen girl.

What are you reading?



Late June Postcard

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Summer is here. It was, in fact, here before last Monday’s solstice and full moon: blazing hot, high humidity, lush green everywhere. Nothing in nature or life is at a standstill. There is constant shifting. No matter how I want to master the ebb and flow of life, to feel caught up, on top of things, life has a way of transforming once again. Sometimes in the blink of an eye. I like that I am still learning lessons from poets, from books, from nature, from friends, from my children.

I think the only thing not changing anytime soon is the whiteness of my legs.




the habit of being_bits & pieces


I posted this photo on IG one morning last week. I dithered about posting it. Later in the day I debated deleting it. And now I am sharing it here in an effort to keep it real and maybe, just maybe, get over myself a bit.

Here’s the thing: I took that photo sitting on my sofa, iced coffee in one hand, iPhone in the other. As I was posting it on IG and typing a few words to go with it, I noticed my hand looks like my mother’s hand. It’s more than just the shape of my hand or length of my fingers, it is the crepe paper skin that seems to have appeared overnight. Where did that come from?  I was bothered. Greatly. This getting old(er) thing is not for the faint of heart.

Out of an abundance of curiosity, what is the one getting old(er) thing you have the most trouble with? It isn’t the silver in the hair. I quit dyeing mine years ago. It isn’t the laugh lines. For me, it’s the crepe paper skin. Followed closely by a shifting of weight (has gravity pulled it all down?) though thankfully the right clothing can cover that.

I tried Aveda moisturizer (love the scent!) and this one from Weleda. They are both lovely but surely there must be something better. Suggestions?



Late May, Early June Reading

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“Books are the best means—private, discreet, reliable—of overcoming reality.”

—Lahiri, In Other Words

Friends, I am still deep in the throes of my Virginia Woolf reading plan but given the hectic last two weeks and the fact I was reading in fits and bursts rather than in stretches of time, I picked up something purely for pleasure: Clever Girl, In Other Words, and L’élégance du hérisson.

I am a Lahiri fan and read everything she writes from stories to novels to articles for magazines. This book spoke to me as someone who functions and lives life in English but most often is thinking in French. My notebooks are a mix of the two languages. For these reasons alone, I felt compelled to read this book she undertook to write in Italian. If you are at all interested in language and the way it shapes you and/or is shaped by you, I recommend this!

I’ve had L’élégance du hérisson for a while now and finally picked it up. From the first sentence I kept asking myself, Why did you wait so long?


Postcard from now

the habit of being_postcard from now

Popping my head up in this space to say hello! It has been a busy few weeks around here and I spent most of them in the car driving the two teens and their friends to and fro. And then of course when my big helpers are gone it means I get all the attention from the little people so work came to a dead stop and instead, I played. We colored, played go fish, visited the park, went out for breakfast, covered the entry walk in sidewalk chalk, had a load of fun at the water park (a first for the two girls), read books, and told jokes. I unearthed the Poulette’s Calico Critters for the Magnolia and her little life may never be the same. I took the sheets off her bed this morning for washing and unearthed seven little critters. I think she’s a fan.

I’ve missed you friends!