Love. Laugh. Eat. Repeat. 

Everyone who knows me best, knows I have flare for the dramatic! So at end of the year, I can hear the cast from RENT singing those legendary words “how do you measure a year?” Undeniably this has been a tough year in a LOT of ways. Equally, in an attempt to offset some hard ships it has been a year of incredible experiences. Funny how life works that way …

All over facebook, Instagram, or your social media preference of choice people try to sum up the year in only 9 pictures. Think about it… how many pictures are currently in your camera roll? Mine has 723 pictures from this year alone (ok I’ll subtract out a few random selfies). The thought of my year summarized in ONLY 9 pictures was giving me anxiety and for good reason.

When I looked back on 2017, there were a few common threads that have over shadowed the weight of the world around me. Love, Laughter, & Food. I think you would have to agree, that the best times in your life this year revolved around these 3 things. So to close the door on 2017 and only carry the things that have brought me joy into 2018 … Ladies & Gentleman my top 9 -ish.


  • My grandmother is 96 and still wears red lipstick
  • My hubby is the strongest most sincere man I know
  • My mom is my rock! I’m talking Gibraltar
  • My Sisi is ride or die — She’s basically my Solange


As my Grandma Cox would say “my God we we’ve had some good times.”

2017 ran the spectrum from D.C. to Thailand, Janet Jackson to Bruno Mars, Ghost Tours to Arcades. I can honestly say I have shared some incredible laughs this year.

We were laughing so hysterically at the Brazilian steak house the table next to us gave the waiter $$ to but towards our meal because “we just looked like we were having a great time.”

Bar crawls to the blues, 2017 has taught me that a flexibility will always guarantee a great time.

“I’m here for a good time, not long time” – DRAKE


This will come as no surprise that the most interesting food I’ve eaten this year was in Thailand. I no longer feel like a complete alien in my local Asian market. Who know that you were suppose to leave the roots on the cilantro to use in your soup stock. While I’m at it, how come no one told me cilantro & coriander were the SAME THING!

And just as I expected Sushi is so must more amazing in SE Asia (duh) and Thai hot and regular hot are not the same thing!

So thank you Thailand you take the top 9 most delicious things I’ve eaten this year.



Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets

In midnights, in cups of coffee

In inches, in miles

In laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure a year in the life

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love

Seasons of love

Seasons of love


Southern Fried City Girl

Middle Eastern Spanakopita

Love this!!

My City Girl self has conquered a version of this recipe. Its the type of thing that I love to show off when my folks come to town.

Edible Ventures

Middle Eastern Spanakopita

Growing up, one of my favorite Middle Eastern treats was my momma’s spinach pies or as you all know it spanakopita. This isn’t your typical Greek spanakopita, it has an Iraqi flare with a little more cheese and a whole lot of flavor. You will love it just as much, if not better!

As I got older, I had become more fond of Middle Eastern food, more so from my Iraqi roots. After moving to DC, I quickly became aware that restaurant Middle Eastern food is not the same as a home cooked meal (Or more like feast). I started to miss my mom’s food. A LOT…

Until my husband told me “You should get the recipes from your mom and try to make the food your self.” Hmmm Okay! I call my mom and ask for some recipes… Well they weren’t so much as actual recipes but more like her…

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… and then the phone rang.

… and then the phone rang.

My Auntie called me today. We spoke briefly about her birthday and plans for the rest of the day and then she shared her blog with me. Heart felt sentiments rooted in scripture but written so clearly from a place of truth.

The timing of this conversation was so striking because over this week I constantly struggled with sadness, hopelessness, fear, and disappointment.  So much so, my husband circled around me constantly asking if I would be ok. My mouth said I would be but I couldn’t shake the pain in my mind.

Responsibility & Grief don’t mix well together. Unfortunately, they complement each other. Life’s responsibilities force you not to succumb to the grief in a way that makes you unable to make ends meet, cook dinner, pay the bills. The opposite side of that picture of strength is when emails stop and its finally 5pm on every coast. Its then only God’s love can hold you near and provide comfort for your tears. 

This afternoon my Auntie, just calling to say hello, spoke hope into my life. I was struggling to pull myself together and then the phone rang.


A Place for Rest 

I need you to protect me for a while.  I need enough time to rest and regroup. The world is cold, cruel and unbending, let me lie under your wings and feel the warmth of real love that will make me stronger.  I trust that when I am strong enough to go back out into the world, you will let me know.  Your strength will be my strength. 

-Ingrad Smith 

Perfect Imperfection

So much time and effort is placed in relationships of all kinds: marriages, friendships, dating relationships, colleagues…whatever the case maybe. But no matter what we have, we constantly crave something that we don’t. Not that there’s anything wrong with the healthy relationships we nurture. In fact, we need relationships, “trusted advisors”. Proverbs 27:17 is very clear that “Iron sharpens iron”.  The best parts of someone can enrich your life in ways you have not predicted or even known possible.

As my Grandmother would say “tell the truth & shame the devil”. We, people of earth, for some reason seem to want what we can’t have, what we don’t need, what’s not good for us. People who aren’t married, want to be married. Unfortunately, some couples who are married, don’t want to be. People who know a lot of random people but can’t say they have any tried and true friends want that small intimate group to bond with. Likewise, people with close meaningful circles sometimes need a break. Responsibility laden folks long for days when there was no one to worry about but themselves. The footloose and fancy-free want somebody, ANYBODY, to need them. 

 Now, of course, some will say that they are the exception to the rule. Some in denial will say they are the exception to the rule. However, the cause of this dreadful illness is searching for the “Perfection” or the “Perfect Person.” The endless quest for perfection impedes our ability to experience happiness. True joy and contentment with the life we have and blessings we have been given.  

 Today a friend asked me about happiness. Her questions were straight forward and simple. 1)Has your definition of Happiness changed over time?  … 2) Do you think your definition of Happiness will change in the future? 

I encourage you to examine how you define your happiness. Accepting you are not a perfect person allows you to love the imperfections in others.  



*** Reviewed & Revised 8.2017 as a personal  Homage to my younger self.