Tweens and Starting School

School has started. It is once again a time for tweens everywhere to start over. To ponder questions such as Who am I? Where do I fit in?

If you remember last year, my daughter wanted to be “preppy.” Which meant Lily Pulitzer, Vera Bradley, and Jack Rogers all seemed to become our new best friends.

And I heard from many people that you can not just become preppy. It is a way of life, not just the clothes you wear. When I explained this to my daughter she actually got what I am saying. She said that at her school everyone dressed the same. That no one had any sense of individuality. And that it was boring.

Over the summer my daughter started to do some soul searching. As she hibernated in her room, she realized she did not want to dress and act like everyone else. This school year she wanted to be different. To dress in her own style. She does not want to be “trendy”, and she knows that personal style lasts forever. And since she has friends and confidence, she says if anyone wants to judge me…go ahead. They are not my true friends. She says as long as she likes what she is wearing, she could care less what anyone else thinks. Bravo, my dear!

IMG_8614First Day of 7th Grade

She asked if she could get a lip ring. You can pretty much guess my reply. NO!

She asked if she could get her cartilage pierced. What? Huh? NO!

I am convinced she is asking for piercings just to test me.

Her latest obsession is music. One Direction. 5 Seconds of Summer. And when I say obsession, I mean she starts to get excited and wants to scream when she hears their music on the radio. Oh, and she also likes Blink 182, the Beatles, the Ramones, and Nirvana.

She also has found herself wanting to be on trend with fashion, but in her own styling kind of way. Shopping in stores like Garage, H&M, Forever 21, Pac Sun, and Urban Outfitters. And her latest friend is Doc Martens.

She claims she does not want to be mainstream. Mainstream is boring. But hey, I do not want to burst her bubble and tell her that One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer is pretty mainstream these days. I know what will happen next. She will roll her eyes. Then she will get angry that I called her mainstream. And she will stomp off to her room.

My little hipster. Oops! She does not want to be labeled as a hipster.

With her little beanie nestled on her head and her fake black rimmed glasses, she will brave the trenches of 7th grade. She will continue to find out who she is and where she wants to go.


The Little Mermaid Now Playing in Raleigh


Disney’s The Little Mermaid is in Raleigh! I attended opening night on July 29th at the Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Enegy Center for the Performing Arts.  This is the final show of the 2013/14 season for North Carolina Theatre (NCT).

I do not think I have to go into the story details with you, right? Ok, just a little refresher. A beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, wants to leave everything she knows about life under the sea. She wants to leave the ocean and move to the world above.

TUTS_LittleMermaidPhoto by Bruce Bennet

I took Maya, my 12 year old daughter, with me. Her favorite character was “Flounder” played by local Joseph Gaitens. That boy is talented! I loved all the characters.

maya little mermaid

Performances will run from Tuesday, July 29th to Sunday, August 3rd, with shows at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are on sale now. You can buy them here.


Food Friday: Pureed Lentil Soup

A staple in many Palestinian homes is lentil soup, also known as shorabit addas majroosh. It is warm, comforting, healthy, and super simple to make. Lentil soup is to Palestinians as mashed potatoes are to Americans. So when I hosted iftar, I went for both comfort foods! Seeing both dishes on my stove top just exemplified who I am as a person, Palestinian-American.

Instead of using my own lentil soup recipe, I decided to try out Rawia Bishara’s recipe from her book Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking.

It did not disappoint.


Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red lentils (3 cups), picked over
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions and garlic and saute until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in 12 -15 cups water (I substituted some of the water with chicken stock) and the lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are easily crushed when pressed against the side of the pot.

Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and remove from the heat. Serve hot as is, or puree to your desired texture (which is what I did) using an immersion blender.

I served this soup with lemons wedges on the side, since we tend to like to squeeze more lemon it. Sorry, no picture of the end result. I got so busy feeding my hungry guests that I forgot to take a picture!


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