Thursday, April 10, 2014

Purim 2014 Recap

Well, it's almost Passover and I'm just coming in for Purim recap! Oy.

Life can always be crazy but add one Daddy with a new job + a Mommy very busy at her job + A baby boy under the weather, and you get one hectic few weeks. Hence the lack of blogging!

This year, our Purim was jungle themed.

The kids were supposed to be a lion and a monkey, but someone (AHEM toddler monkey) did not cooperate, so this is all the evidence I have:

Our shalach manos (gift baskets we hand out to friends) kept the theme going...

I love assembling our baskets, and I love seeing them accumulate on Purim morning!

Families get all dressed up and go door to door delivering:)

Another Purim tradition is baking hamentashen, or special Purim cookies filled with jam.  I love baking at least one batch:

I also imitated an idea I saw in a magazine, creating a giant challah hamentashen for the Purim meal!

Next year, I'm totally going to leave the filling empty and add a savory dip!

In the middle of the day, after the chaos of hearing the Megilah (the story of Purim) at the synagogue, and answering the door, and delivering baskets, we enjoyed some family time.

So delicious:)

We tried to get a great family photo, but with two little kids, you end up with something more like this:

Or this!

Finally, at the end of the day, we hosted a bunch of friends for a celebratory Purim meal. We took photos at the end after some guests had to leave, but a shot at the ladies:

and gents...

And that was our Purim! Hopefully we'll get the next  update up here before Rosh Hashana:)

What's YOUR favorite holiday?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Welcome to today's edition of Five on Friday! When I get a chance, I love linking up here and noting five fun things going on lately!  I find this link-up to be a great place to share the little things in life:)

I have fallen head over heels with the mason jar candles at Bath & Body Works. The classic scents, the perfect size, and THEY ARE MASON JARS. Awesome!

(And, in doing "research" for this post, I discovered there are some new flavors. Dangerous!)

This recipe by the fabulous Melanie Makes is fantastic. As soon as I saw it, I knew I'd need to try it, because easy + cute is always a win in my book! And they were unbelievably delicious! In fact, I'm making them again this Shabbos!

Here they are fresh out of the oven on my first try (I used chocolate and butterscotch chips):

I heard about this new ice cream style from Kelly Purkey's blog--it's two flavors of ice cream with a topping in the middle! I immediately ran out to try it, and it did not disappoint! It's like a sundae with a pint. As someone who doesn't even usually go for ice cream, I'm in love.

This creamer. 'Nuff said.

This post by the awesome Molly Stillman. Budgeting is still something I'm learning to do, and this post is super helpful for anyone wanting to get started.

So tell me, what are YOU loving on this Friday?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reasons my Toddler is Throwing a Tantrum

Have you ever seen the site Reasons my son is crying?  It's pretty funny. If you've ever spent time with a toddler, you know that their moods can be...mercurial. Luckily, as stressful as it is, it can also be very entertaining:)

I love remembering the little bits and pieces of each stage, especially this one--as hectic as it is, I love toddlerhood!

So without further ado, I give you Reasons my Kid Threw a Tantrum This Week:

1. She wanted a lollipop. [I said no.]

2. [Twenty seconds later...] She still wanted a lollipop.

3. She wanted a bottle of rum that someone had delivered to us on Purim (Purim recap coming soon!). Yes, RUM.

4. She wanted peanut butter on her crackers that already had peanut butter sandwiched between them. When I tried to show her the existing peanut butter, she cried.

5. She wanted to wear her brother's size 2 diapers.

6. I gave her chocolate milk in the wrong color cup. (Obviously a rookie mistake--CLEARLY if you're dining with a pint sized companion, it's only polite to inquire what hued cup they would appreciate.)

And that's it for this week....but hey, it's only Wednesday!

What funny things have happened to YOU this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On Hosting

In Jewish communities, we do a lot of hosting. We host family, friends, and neighbors. We invite new families looking to integrate into the communtiy. We host friends who have had a hard week and need a break. We invite people who don't fit in perfectly.  In Judaism, it's a mitzvah (commandment) to welcome guests, especially those who need a place.

As a mom of two little ones who works outside the home, I've thought a lot about finding my groove with this mitzvah. On one hand, my own family keeps me busy enough that I could easily stop there. On the other hand, I have always wanted to have an open home, full of guests, and I can't give up on that so easily.

My solution? (Trying) to balance. I don't host every week, but I host. When someone offers to contribute something to the meal, I enthusiastically accept. I cook food that I like to prepare and eat, and try to accept that there's no way to please everyone.

Most of all, I try to remember that quote above. Just recently, I hosted a friend who lives in a home much bigger and fancier than mine, and I was nervous to have her over. But I told myself--I'm happy with what I have, which is what matters, and I'm sure my friend would rather be invited over than not!  And of course, it turned out just fine--wonderful, even.

Do YOU ever get nervous having guests over? How do you handle it?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Life Right Now

Life right now is sometimes slow and sweet, and sometimes (often) overwhelming.  Hence the unplanned blog break:)

Ellie is now two years old, and due to some over-emphasizing of her birthday on my part, she now thinks that her birthday comes every Sunday. But at the very least she doesn't get too upset when there aren't gifts and a whole party waiting for her!

At two, she has a whole lot of personality. "Mommy, sit down!" "Read to!" "No share!" and "Mommy, lollipop? Mommy lollipop PEASE?" are heard throughout the day.

She keeps me busy but oh, how I love her.

Here she is at the Purim carnival this past week. Lots and lots of personality:)

Moshe is now two months and starting to smile, look around and coo. I love seeing his personality emerge. I miss him during the day at work and love catching up on snuggles in the evening.

As for me, I've been doing the usual tightrope-balancing-act of trying to take care of two little people, work, and still have time to dream.

I took some time a few weeks ago to drink an iced Caramel Flan Latte and read a book that made me think.

And I've been doing a ton of cooking. Hello, grilled steak (thanks to the hubs) and cinnamon roll cookies!

And that's a little peek into our life right now:)

What has the best thing YOU've seen, read or eaten lately?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Boy Mom?

As a mommy to a little girl, I was a major expert on pink, ruffles and bows. (Although I can't get my 2 year old to wear a bow in her hair--where have I gone wrong??) But being a boy mom is new territory! The good news is--the diaper changes are not as bad as I expected thanks to some good tips from friends, and the clothes are way cuter than I thought!

And the best part is this boyish grin:)

When I found out I was having a boy, I created this layout about my thoughts on the subject.

I used one of my favorite color combos--blue and yellow!

I also brought in my scallop punch, and some woodgrain. And a bow! Who says you can't have bows on boy pages? (at least this one is blue!)

Reading this layout takes me right back to the excitement and anticipation of pregnancy. I love being pregnant, but the newborn phase is much harder for me. Adding in Moshe's crazy birth, and this newborn adjustment was even harder. But every day gets better, and I'm falling more in love with my new life and sweet boy every day.

Boy Mama-hood--new territory indeed.

So tell me, what are YOUR favorite colors for boy layouts?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday

Hello friends!  Although I've been in hibernation (a tiny baby + toddler + starting back at work part time will do that to you) I'm popping in to share some fun finds that I've been enjoying lately!

Today, I'm linking up with some fun blogs for Five on Friday!


These amazing printable cards--perfect for Project Life, home decor (how cute would they be framed as part of a photo gallery?) and just general loveliness.

If you love them, go and get them here.  I'm not paid for this or anything, I'm just pretty much obsessed with everything Liz Tamanaha does!


This shell from Ann Taylor Loft, now only $26.99!

Now, let me tell you something about this shirt.  Ladies, as you may already know or will one day find out, when you carry a baby for nine months and then give birth, your body does not go back to normal right away. Not at all [insert wild laughter]. A shirt like this, with a loose fit and tiered ruffles down the front, is lifesaving. Not to mention the pretty design that directs your eye to the top!  I bought this and am in love.


This year was the year I discovered coffee creamer. I only have a spoonful in each cup, but it adds an amazing hint of sweetness and flavor! I have a near obsession with this flavor:

Seriously, this is just as good as it looks. Vanilla, cinnamon, sweetness, and a hint of spice. Amazing. When can anything Cinnabon not be amazing!


This is starting to go in a food direction, but one item that should really be on every 5 on Friday is this.

Donuts. I've loved them since I was little, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon!


If you've read this post, then you know that I have a passion for British history, and I've been very into the Wars of the Roses lately.

I finally received my White Queen Season DVD, and I can't wait to watch. I saw the first episode online and was hooked, so I decided to order the season to watch over maternity leave. My leave was over by the time this arrived, but I'm still looking forward to digging in when I can!

So tell me, what is one (or five) thing on your mind this Friday?

And check out the full Five on Friday link-up here!