Monday, September 30, 2013

Gotta Love the Little Things!

If you know me, you know that I am a HUGE fan of the little things in life. Whether it's a pretty trinket, a great new recipe, a hot cup of coffee, etc.--it's the little things that bring me (excessive) amounts of joy. So today I want to share some of the little things that have been brightening up my fall!

I was able to sneak in an hour at Target the other day, which is a small pleasure of its own. I spotted so many cute home decor items, especially these mirrors:



Loved them, but didn't buy them. I have a bit of an addiction to mirrors and only so much wall:)

NOW, I'm going to veer to another important topic--ice cream.

I believe I've mentioned this lovely on the blog before:


Best. Gelato. Ever. I especially recommend the sea salt caramel (above) and Belgian Milk Chocolate.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw these in the grocery store:


I was SUPER PUMPED. Until I looked for the kosher certification and couldn't find it anywhere. So I took a photo to remember it by, and leaned to put it back in the case when I spotted....


See that U with a circle around it? That means it's kosher!! I was thrilled, and let me tell you--it tastes just as good as it looks:)

Since I was off work for a Jewish holiday (Sukkot) this week, I got to enjoy in a few other guilty pleasures.

There was some scrapping, with these pretty papers I picked up:


There were donuts and cider in the sukkah with my family:


And some happy solo trips to Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee:



(PS--I don't eat donuts all the time. Really truly.)

So those are just a few of the small pleasures in my life lately.

What has been making YOU happy these days?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ch-ch-changes

The air is full of change right now--one day it's hot and muggy, and the next I'm reaching for my coat and wondering why it won't zip up properly! Life change is in the air, too. Ellie started a new class at daycare (kid is NOT a fan of change) and my due date is inching ever closer. I'm excited about meeting this little lady/guy, but it's also bittersweet because I'm going to miss this family of three, this time with just my baby girl.

So with all of that fall and change in mind, I thought I'd share a layout I created with fall colors in mind. I used a fun photo of Ellie, and lots of browns, blues and oranges.


I love all of the gold accents lately--they really warm up a layout and spice things up!


I dont' think I'll ever tire of paper flowers...



I used some American Crafts on this layout (Thickers and flowers), Elle's Studio (the journaling strip and date card), Studio Calico (the ampersand, and some of the patterned paper), and more. It was so much fun to put together!


On this layout, I wrote about the changes going on in Ellie's life right now, and my hope for her to move through them smoothly.

What was the greatest change YOU ever experienced?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life.

This month of Jewish holidays always feels like life on steroids--you rush, rush, rush to get everything ready and do your normal routine during half the week, then relax and enjoy the holiday. With so much going and doing, I'm afraid blogging has fallen by the wayside!

Right before Rosh Hashana, Ellie started the toddler room at daycare.



This has been a hard adjustment for her, with a LOT of crying and arms-reaching-out at dropff. Which makes me feel sad and guilty for putting her through it. But I'm hoping time will do the trick and she'll be more comfortable in her new environment.

We flew to Ohio for Rosh Hashana, where E enjoyed Starbucks runs,


ice cream runs,


and lots of bonding with her aunts and uncles.



When we returned from our holiday vacation, we found this in our suitcase:


Since, then, we've been celebrating six months,


taking a 1 hour glucose test (boo!)


and going on various coffee and Dunkin Donuts dates with the little.

Life? It's moving quickly, but it's really good. This Wednesday night begins Sukkot, where we'll be eating our meals in a hut outside (photo coming soon!) and spending lots of time with family and friends. Yippee!

Tell me, what is YOUR favorite holiday?


Mention Sukkos

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yom Kippur

This Friday night will begin Yom Kippur. It's one of the most intense days in the Jewish year, where we fast and pray and think over the past year and how we want to do better in the coming year. Since I tend to feel sick when I fast, I usually stay home more than go to synagogue during the day, but I try to go for a few minutes at least if only so I can hear the songs.

I can read all the articles in the world (and I think this one is beautiful) but nothing gets me in the spirit as much as the haunting tunes I've heard on Yom Kippur every year.

This video below is a beautiful take on a classic Yom Kippur prayer--check it out.



So until Friday, I'll be trying to think deeply, ask for forgiveness from others, and do as much good as I can.

What is one thing YOU would want to change this year?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Then and Now

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We had a wonderful Rosh Hashana and made it back to New Jersey in one piece. Now I'm trying to juggle (1) a busy week at work, (2) a lot of menu planning for upcoming holidays, and (3) the "alternative Pride and Prejudice" novel I'm in the middle of.  Which I'll have to tell you more about later!

I'm popping in today to share a recent layout!

On this one, I compared a recent photo of me and S (and Ellie) with an old wedding photo.  I wrote about how much in our life has changed in the almost FIVE years since we married, and how much has stayed the same.

I used a lot of Elle's Studio on this layout, and some of Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper's sweet bows. 


Life is not always perfect or easy, but I'm so happy to have the family I have--then and now.


What is on YOUR mind this Tuesday?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A New Year

Life has been speeding by very, very quickly.

First this happened:


Then I turned 28.  I got these beauties from the hubby:


(PS--A tip for marital gift giving: I email my husband links to things I like all the time, and then for birthdays, anniversaries, Chanuka, etc, he surprises me with one of them! This way I know I'm getting something I love, but it's still a surprise to see what it is:))

We also went to a delicious dinner at Va Bene, an amazing Italian restaurant on the East Side (meaning "melt in your mouth homemade pasta" Italian!):


In just two days, we'll be traveling to spend Rosh Hashana with my family.

Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year--but instead of partying with the ball drop in Times Square and flutes of champagne, we enjoy round challahs, apples dipped in honey (and challah dipped in honey....) and go to the synagogue. There's a custom to have sweet foods for a sweet new year.

While a lot of people spend January 1st making resolutions about going to the gym, we also make resolutions, but about different things.  We focus on ways we want to grow spiritually, and try to choose one or two small items to tackle that will create general change. For example, if you want to work on patience, you might decide to wake up 15 minutes earlier so you're less exasperated in the morning rush. It's a small thing, but small steps add up to big change.

Our new year is intense, but it's also a great time to reframe and make sure you're moving your life in the direction you want it to go. It's also a fun time with family, good food, and lovely new fall clothes! I look forward to it every year.

And trust me, if you've ever had fresh homemade challah dipped in honey....you know what I mean.

I'll be away for a few days--no internet from Wednesday night to Saturday night, after all!  But in the meantime, tell me, what has been YOUR best kept resolution?