Every once in a while I like to share what our family is “into” at the moment.
What We’re Reading
I am reading an absolutely fantastic book right now that I highly recommend to everyone who reads this blog. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is the exquisitely written story of four siblings whose collective curiosity leads them to a fortune teller known in their NYC neighborhood for predicting dates of death. I’m about three quarters of the way through and feel so attached to the characters I never want the book to end.
Sarah Jessica Parker recently embarked on a new venture as editorial director of her own imprint, SJP by Hogarth. A Place for Us was the first book she chose to publish as part of the SJP collection and it is a true masterpiece, reviewed by the New York Times here. This is Fatima Farheen Mirza’s first novel and I already anxiously await her future work.
Just before giving birth to Ella, I read Saints for All Occasions, the story of an Irish Catholic immigrant who settled in Boston and raised a family with a dark secret. I loved this book because it brought me home to the city I love and the neighborhoods I grew up in along the shore. The characters felt like people I know or knew in a former life and though they were deeply flawed, I found their familiarity comforting.
Unsurprisingly, Nick is still reading Chip Gaines’ book Capital Gaines. I think he’s around page twenty.
What We’re Watching
Nick and I are deep into the Americans, a thrilling Netflix series about a husband and wife (played by Keri Russell and her real-life husband Matthew Rhys) who are KGB spies posing as Americans living in suburban DC in the midst of the Cold War. We are finding this to be the perfect show for us to watch together – cerebral for me, action-packed for Nick – and every episode leaves us guessing.
What We’re Eating
Now that Ella is here and I have my body back to myself, I am focused on getting back into shape and feeling good again – and Nick is along for the ride. We have a number of exciting things to look forward to this fall and winter (four weddings, a trip to NYC for Thanksgiving and a vacation to Aruba in February, among others) and we want to look and feel our best so I’m trying to focus our meal plans on healthy options.
I recently made a Bibimbap Salad from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Easy” cookbook (which I really recommend by the way – the recipes actually are all easy and quite delicious) and it was delightful. Bibimbap is a Korean dish that combines rice with vegetables, sliced meat, gochujang (chili pepper paste) and often a raw egg – everything is stirred together just before eating and it’s always a flavorful, delicious mix of textures and consistencies. This salad achieves all of those things with sautéed spinach, warm rice, crunchy and spicy kimchi, meaty shiitake mushrooms, a delicious, rich sauce and it is just so darn good. You can find a reprint of the recipe here.
I also recently made the Grilled Shrimp Chopped Salad from the same cookbook and it was simple and delicious. Slight adaptation of the recipe is here.
What We’re Doing
We are gearing up for a busy fall in the Sullivan household. Daisy heads back to her beloved Montessori school on September 4 and we are so eager for her to be back in the classroom. She’ll be in school for a few weeks before her second hip surgery to address the right side of her body, scheduled for September 21.
I went back to work last week after a 7-week maternity leave that felt far too short, but, I am grateful to have a flexible job that I really love so I’m counting my blessings there.
On August 13, I became an aunt for the first time! Nick’s sister, Meghan, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Sawyer Grace, and we couldn’t be happier for her or more excited for our girls to have a cousin!
As the summer comes to a close and temperatures start to cool, I’m turning some of my attention to house projects. Since moving into our new home in December, we’ve been so busy managing Daisy’s conditions and welcoming Ella, we haven’t made many improvements to the house. I am hoping to finish updating the living and dining rooms before we host family at Christmas.
Finally, I feel compelled to share with all of you lovely readers one of the best discoveries of my summer: the Happier podcast hosted by Gretchen Rubin, a writer who studies habits, happiness and human nature, and her sister Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in LA. While I was recovering from Ella’s birth, I spent an hour every afternoon sitting by our pool, listening to this delightful podcast and I cannot get enough of these two sisters, their charming rapport and their genius hacks for making life easier and happier every day. Please, promise me you’ll give a listen. If you’re on a long drive, cleaning your kitchen, folding laundry, going for a run – whenever, whatever. Just tune in. You won’t be sorry.
What are you all reading, watching, eating and doing? Send me your recommendations for what I should add to my docket for the fall ❤