Category: Holidays

St. Patrick’s Day {2016}

We are not Irish, so we don’t “celebrate” St. Patrick’s Day, but we do like to get festive.

We started our morning off with errands and a visit to the local doughnut shop for a special green doughnut.IMG_5466

Sarah picked a pink doughnut with green sprinkles.IMG_5467

Later in the day we headed to the community center for the annual Lucky Gold Hunt Festival with our friends (see last years event here).IMG_547910356186_10153624064117515_3052366712230115340_n IMG_5471 IMG_5472 IMG_5496IMG_5513  Side note: Sarah didn’t get a single coin last year so she was determined to get as many coins as possible. Thanks to my friends for capturing these competitive moments. IMG_5497   IMG_5514

After the festival we walked over to the park for some fun on the grass. IMG_5503

Jakey got to get out and explore too. Thanks Stacee for the cute pic!IMG_5502

It was fun hanging out with our friends. However it was busy and at times chaotic. I go to these type of festive events for my kids. They are simple memories that Sarah will talk about for weeks after.

I knew it would be a busy day, so I prepped the crock pot earlier in the day. This way when we got home we had something warm and hearty to eat after our sugary day.

For dinner, I made beef stew with carrots and potatoes. I also made roasted cabbage as a side.IMG_5511The recipe was yummy I thought I’d share it.

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

Crock Pot Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes
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  1. 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  2. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  5. 15 oz can Guinness beer (optional)
  6. 1 clove garlic, minced
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 1 teaspoon paprika
  9. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  10. 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  11. 3 potatoes, diced
  12. 4 carrots, sliced
  1. Place meat in slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture.
  4. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, broth, potatoes, and carrots.
  5. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.
  1. Roasted Cabbage: Cut a head of cabbage into thick slices. Set on lightly sprayed baking sheet. Season with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Turn half way for even crispiness.
Mama Chit Chat

Valentine’s Day {2016}

It was a lovely weekend around here.

My morning started on the earlier side, but after a nap I came down to homemade strawberry pancakes and coffee made by hubby.

IMG_4595 Breakfast wouldn’t be complete without a water spill. At least it wasn’t my coffee!

IMG_4597We hung around most of the morning/afternoon until Sarah and I went out for a mommy daughter date. First we grabbed some lunch at Trader Joe’s and then some frappachinos at Starbucks. Next on the agenda was the nail salon. I didn’t let Sarah get her nails this time since after every time she gets them painted she peels them off THAT DAY! IMG_4602Sarah picked out this cute combo for me. IMG_4606

My MIL came over to play with the kiddos so hubby and I headed out for dinner and a movie.

They handed out red long stem roses to all the women at dinner. How sweet!IMG_4615

We saw Zoolander 2. It was funny, but also very dumb. I don’t recommend. IMG_4633

The next day we received a package in the mail from my sister, Germaine. Thanks sis for the lovely stuff! IMG_4645To see previous Valentine’s Day click below:

2015 // 2014 // 2013

Hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day!


Chanukah {2015}

Before the busy holiday season even started Sarah and I got busy working on sending our family and friends our holiday card. IMG_2594My special helper made sure each card had her personal touch, a blue or red butterfly stamp.

Our Chanukah celebrations started at our synagogue’s Chanukah community lighting. We hung out with our friends, did arts and crafts and ate soufganiyout, jelly doughnuts in Hebrew.IMG_2776      Day 1

Last year, a friend posted a picture of a Chanukah themed gingerbread house that I knew had to buy for Sarah. So on the first day of Chanukah we opened the kit and got to work.


Sarah had lot’s of fun! However, I think she had a much better time eating it shortly after.

Our tradition is to open a gift each night. Sometimes it’s from us and sometimes it’s from other family members. The first night we opened gifts from my parents.IMG_2787IMG_2789IMG_0774IMG_0776IMG_0781Sarah got to light her own menorah she made at school.IMG_2803Day 2

My favorite way to eat latkes is caprese style. Once you try it you wont be able to eat it any other way!

IMG_2855After dinner we lit the menorah. This time Jacob was up for the festivities.IMG_2820 He also has his own menorah. However he was more interested in biting his menorah then “lighting” it.   IMG_2832Sarah was becoming a pro!IMG_2824Jacob got to open a gift for the first time!  IMG_2833He was more interested in playing with the paper. Big sister had to help.  IMG_2840IMG_2839

Day 3

Normally Chanukah coincides with my birthday. This year my birthday was on the 3rd night. I woke up to this little guy and had a beautiful day celebrating (to see more about my birthday click here).IMG_0783IMG_0784 - fav

Day 4

Jacob and I attended our weekly mommy and me class. We had a holiday potluck and a book exchange. I unfortunately forgot about the book exchange. Mommy brain!IMG_0908IMG_0936 IMG_0969 IMG_0973 Our neighbor’s wanted to know more about the holiday and our traditions, so we had them over for some Chanukah fun. Later that night we lit the menorah for night #4.IMG_2947

Day 5

We started our day at Sarah’s school for her Winter Concert.IMG_0803Later that night we had another neighbor over for some more Chanukah fun . We played driedel and ate latkes.IMG_2980For dinner I made Chanukah shaped baked mac and cheese.IMG_2977IMG_2979

Day 6

Sarah came home from school with some holiday goodies and this sweet card. IMG_3003For dinner we were invited to hubby’s client/good friend. I thought the decor was so fun and festive. IMG_3005IMG_3006Day 7

We had hubbies family over for brunch. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of my guests :( IMG_3014

Sarah got her first pair of roller skates!IMG_3025 IMG_0857 IMG_3026Day 8

We started our day at a PJ Library event. Sarah was all into the arts and crafts table.

IMG_3030Later that afternoon we used a gift she got from grandma, edible play dough, and made cookies. IMG_3037For our final night of Chanukah I made a platter of sushi that I shaped into a menorah.IMG_0860

Sarah was quite surprised. IMG_0862

We lit the last candle and opened the last gift.IMG_0866 IMG_0873Happy holidays from my family to yours.

Show & Tell Tuesday: Holiday Decorations

Show and Tell Tuesdays pt 1

It’s Show & Tell Tuesday!

I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate in this Show & Tell Tuesday, but then I decided to try it out. Turns out is was fun!

Since our family celebrates Chanukah we don’t go all out decorating our house like most people do for Christmas.

However we have some fun things and things that have a lot of meaning to us.

Welcome to our home!

IMG_0821 IMG_0842

I love giving and getting holiday cards! I string them by the dining room table where we can always see our family and friends. IMG_0847 IMG_0826

The foam menorah is for Jacob and the two handmade menorahs were made by Sarah in preschool. IMG_0823

These menorahs are for hubby and me to light. My mom gave us the one on the right after we got married. The left menorah is the one we bought together as a married couple. IMG_0824

This personalized cloth menorah was a present from Sarah’s grandma. This is one of our favorite pieces! Sarah also has a snow and menorah window cling. We have one string of blue lights hanging in our patio.IMG_0852A little festive towels in the bathroom.IMG_0853

Between our PJ Library subscription and books I have bought for the kids through out the years we have quiet the collection.IMG_0848

Thanks for stopping by!

To see posts from the past click below…

Halloween Costumes

Dinner Party Guests

Back to School Traditions

Thanksgiving {2015}

We started the morning with cinnamon rolls and coffee. IMG_2471 How cute is this mini Starbucks mug with the gold hearts? Now Sarah can join me for a cup of “coffee” in the mornings.

After breakfast we turned on the parade. IMG_2474Jacob loved listening to the music! 

Sarah brought home some wonderful art this week. My favorite is the turkey hand. IMG_2406It captures the size of her little hands and her artistic eye. Can you spot the feathers?

Before nap time I took a picture of my little turkey. IMG_2518

And for fun, here is Sarah at her first Thanksgiving. IMG_0002After naps we headed to the movies. We saw hubby’s childhood favorite, Peanuts.IMG_2488

Both kiddos did really well during the movie. We stayed a couple minutes after the movie for a little dance party. IMG_2477 IMG_2480  As soon as we walked out Sarah started crying. She was mad that the movie was over. It was such an awkward moment that I had to capture it so that I can show it to her later when she was calm. IMG_2489We went home and prepped for dinner. Just like last year we decided it was best to go to a restaurant. This time the restaurant we chose did not disappoint. However the kids weren’t the biggest fans. Sarah didn’t like the food, she cried a lot and towards the end she slipped and fell. Jacob wouldn’t sit in the highchair nor hang out in the carrier. Before heading out we asked to the waiter to take a picture of us. I feel like this picture describes the night perfectly.IMG_2506Finally after a bottle and some snuggles, Jacob fell asleep in my arms.  IMG_2508Although the night was not perfect we are thankful and grateful for one another.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

To see previous years click below…

2014 / 2013 / 2012

High Holidays {2015}

September is a super busy month for our family filled with Jewish holidays.

We started the month off with Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar and eating symbolic foods, such as apples dipped in honey. I hosted two nights. We had a nice mix both nights. Here are some of the highlights.  IMG_0207 - fav IMG_0209 - fav IMG_0215 - fav IMG_0222 - favtable plate menuNext we celebrated Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is also known as Day of Atonement. It is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

No pictures were taken during this “holiday”. We spent 25 hours with our community. It was nice.

Finally we end the month with Sukkot. Sukkot is the holiday that lasts eight days. The Hebrew word sukkot is the plural of sukkah, “booth or tabernacle”, which is a walled structure covered with skhakh (plant material such as leafy tree overgrowth or palm leaves). The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday, members of the household recite a blessing over the lulav and etrog.

We spent the holiday in and out of our friends sukkah. We planned on building our own sukkah but unfortunately we weren’t prepared in time. We did however build a play sukkah for Sarah or as we like to call it a “Snacky Sukkah”.

IMG_0715 - sukkah IMG_0702 - kids in sukkah IMG_0708 - sarah shows artwork IMG_0734 - douglas, sarah and jacobChag sameach!

4th of July {2015}

Just like previous years, we celebrated 4th of July for three consecutive days. This time the holiday started on Friday night.

The 3rd…

We started the weekend at our friends house for Shabbat dinner. Jacob got dressed up for the special dinner.


The 4th…

We spent the day at our friends Liza house swimming, eating and enjoying the sunshine.IMG_8191IMG_8211IMG_8251Jacob spent most of the day in and out of their guest bed room. Luckily he was in a sleepy mood so I got to have some adult conversation and eat (a lot!).IMG_8197Later that evening we headed to the park for a concert and some activities for the kiddos. IMG_8202As a special surprise, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa were there to take pictures. Anna even recognized Sarah from a past event we attended. Sarah was super excited!! IMG_8199Liza and I sitting with our boys.IMG_8247We headed back to Liza’s house for dinner and fireworks. Jacob loved everything about the fireworks!  He couldn’t get enough! IMG_8219IMG_8218  IMG_8222 IMG_8223

Family group shot, well kinda.IMG_8227

Me and my kiddos!IMG_8232The 5th…

We love attending Summer Concerts at the Park! On this occasion there was a firework show after the concert.IMG_8269 IMG_8275My MIL joined us on this evening.  IMG_8288  This time we remembered to bring Sarah’s noise cancellation headphones for Jacob. IMG_8305IMG_8321Happy 4th of July friends!

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