Friday, August 21, 2015


My grandmother Rita passed away almost two months ago. She was such an inspiration in my life always teaching me how to see the positive in everything, how to live fearlessly, how to treat people as if they've been friends for years, how to host excellent parties, and most importantly, how to build a tight-knit family.

She fearlessly traveled the world and jumped right into any new community she lived in, whether she spoke the language or not. Beirut, Baghdad-- there was no place too foreign.  

Now that I'm a mother, I am drawing even more inspiration from her mothering skills. Selflessly serving others, focusing on building a home environment filled with good food, good laughs, and good conversation. And nurturing an attitude of love above all else. 

To have her as an example in my life was one of the greatest and luckiest things that ever happened to me. She traveled the world with five kids in tow, turned strangers into lifelong friends, and made everyone feel welcomed and loved. She knew the power of food to bring people together and thus, was a great chef. She taught me "the only person you can change is yourself" which has helped me out way more than I ever thought it would. She is beauty defined: not because she cared about what she looked like, but because she cared about how others felt. And she built the most beautiful family.

Man, I'm so grateful for her legacy. I've spent the last ten years of my life recognizing that she is such a wonderful, amazing person with so many qualities that I want to mimic. And now I'm realizing that I better start living those qualities. The torch has been passed. It's time for me to stop thinking about how great my grandmother was and start doing the things that she did! Treat strangers like lifelong friends. Host fabulous dinner parties. Love my children madly. Love my husband madly. Always learn new things. Cook meals from scratch. Okay, I guess I'm doing some of these things already, but I want to do them as well as she did. Here's to life!

And here's a link to her obituary.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Simplest Salad Dressing

{blurry photo, but you get the idea}

Lately I've been loving this simple lime salad dressing. It's tasty, fresh, homemade, and doesn't require any extra dishes! Oh, and it only has 4 ingredients!! 

I've always loved the idea of homemade dressing, but I hate dirtying extra dishes and I never seem to go through an entire bottle of homemade dressing before I forget about it in the fridge. A couple weeks ago I discovered a perfect solution to this dilemma. 

Here's what I do: After chopping up all salad ingredients and putting them in a bowl, I simply add some olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper, then mix everything together with tongs. There are no exact measurements, I just add everything by sight. (Hint: Start small, then add more little by little if you're unsure about having no exact measurements.)

It's so delicious and so fresh. 

The Simplest Salad Dressing
Yield: enough dressing for any salad
Time: 2 minutes


Olive oil
Lime juice 


After adding salad ingredients to a bowl, top with all four dressing ingredients and toss together with tongs. Trust your eyes for how much to add of each ingredient. Enjoy!