It has been a busy fall for the Sullivan family and things are slowly winding down to a bit of much-needed quiet. Wedding season is over and while this makes me sad because we love celebrating love and seeing our friends and family, we’ve put more mileage on our car and spent more money than we should in a whole year so it’s time for us to hole up in our house for a while. Thank you, friends, for a fall filled with trips to New England and lots of dancing! And thank you mom for babysitting so we could enjoy this last wedding sans kids! Thrilled my girls got to spend time with my grandmother (below) while we were in Boston, too.
What We’re Reading
I just started Educated, the memoir by Tara Westover, and am already fully absorbed in the author’s vivid descriptions of her twisted Mormon childhood. Before starting this, I read Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, the author who penned Girl on the Train. It was a chilling story about a drowning pool responsible for the deaths of several mysterious and rebellious women – perfectly scary and gripping for reading around Halloween. I don’t often read murder mysteries but I’ve decided that every year around Halloween, I’ll read something scary. It was surprisingly fun to slide under the covers a bit spooked at night! Prior to that, I read the Pulitzer Prize winner Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which I highly recommend. Less is the story of a washed-up novelist trying to find himself on a global adventure after the love of his life becomes engaged to another man. Next up: This is How It Always Is by Laurel Frankel, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
Daisy is reading Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and Angelina Ballerina to satisfy her current fascination with ballet and also a number of holiday books about Christmas and snowmen (where are the books about snow-women?).
Nick is still on page 12 of Chip Gaines' autobiography :)
Around Halloween, Nick and I joined the masses watching the Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. It was so well done – the casting was terrific (Carla Gugino is a queen!), the special effects were impressive, the cinematography was quite good – even Nick who hates all things horror watched right to the end.
Our favorite shared genre is culinary TV and we’re knee-deep in the newest season of "Chef’s Table" on Netflix which profiles the world’s most talented chefs. We also loved Samin Nosrat’s "Salt Fat Acid Heat", also on Netflix. Even if you don’t love to cook, both series are a joy to watch. They’re less about how to cook and more about seeing different cultures through food.
What We’re Cooking
I recently made Coconut Poached Cod with Bok Choy from the New York Times and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s a light but filling Thai-inspired soup that could almost be considered a stew but it’s so bright thanks to the ginger, lime, scallions and cilantro. This is a terrific dish for a cold blustery night when you need something to warm you from within but don’t want to spend four hours making beef stew. Comes together very quickly and the flavors are deep and so satisfying!
I recently purchased the Healthyish cookbook by Lindsay Maitlind Hunt and am really loving every recipe in this book. My new favorite quick dinner for the nights that I am really strapped for time is her simple Shredded Rotisserie Chicken Taco recipe - so simple but so delicious. Regular readers of this blog know I LOVE a store-bought rotisserie chicken (there is almost nothing better you can buy for $8!) and it makes this recipe a cinch. Quickly heat corn tortillas over a flame then top with shredded roti chicken, a few slices of avocado, pickled onions (which I always have at the ready), salsa verde, cotija and cilantro. You can jazz up with extras if you have the time or ingredients on hand but really, this simple preparation is divine just the way it is.
What We’re Doing
Tomorrow, we get to take off Daisy’s brace for what we hope and believe will be the last time, ever (AHHHHH!!!!!!). She is so excited to learn to walk again and to begin potty training (although at times I think she believes there is an actual locomotive filled with potties...) and can’t stop talking about taking ballet class in the spring. Daisy has been watching the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker on Netflix for weeks and already knows what kind of tutu she wants and which movements she would like to learn first. We are so ready to have our little mover-and-shaker back on her feet – even if it means we’ll be running up and down the halls and stairs after her for the rest of time.
We are headed to NYC for Thanksgiving and to take in the Macy’s Day Parade with my Dad and his sister Kathy’s family next week which I cannot wait for. Daisy has a vague idea that we are going to see something special but has not yet been to a parade so I can’t wait to watch her little face as the performances and floats pass by. After that, we make one more trip to Boston for a Christmas celebration then we're homebound until January save a day trip or two to Baltimore to see Nick’s family. We're hoping to spend that time working on Daisy's recovery, fixing up our house and resting.
We recently refreshed the dining room in our new house and Nick and I both find ourselves walking “the long way” to our kitchen just to pass through it. It’s actually a wonderful room with two big bay windows and a fair amount of space, it was just muddied by a sad, outdated light fixture and walls in a color I can only describe as a pea past its prime. We painted the walls a rich, deep navy blue and installed a brass Thurston fixture which immediately brought the room to life. We are so happy with it!
After (still in progress but the light! the walls! Ahhh!)
What are you all reading, watching, cooking and doing? Hope you are all enjoying cooler temps and feeling warm and loved on the inside ❤