Category: Holidays

Christmas Day For A Jew {2014}

Christmas day for a Jew is as fun for a non-Jew. First, we have the day off so we typically spend the day with family and friends. Second, we make a big breakfast/brunch. This year Sarah and I  made homemade Cinnamon Rolls. They were really yummy and easy to make!

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The rest of the day was spent lounging around and playing with toys. Sarah is really into Lego’s this year. She was super excited to get a set for Chanukah.

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Third, we go out for Chinese food. We decided to go to Chinatown for authentic Chinese food this year. It seemed like most of LA thought that was a good idea as there was a 2 hour wait. Since we arrived at 5pm we decided to brave the wait and walk around Chinatown.

My sister-in-law and I both got boba (or bubble) teas. Yum, love this stuff!

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Most of Chinatown stores are filled with nicknacks. We came across this funny sign.

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An hour and 45 minutes later they called our number and we enjoyed our Chinese feast.

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After dinner we each opened our fortunes to find that hubby and I had identical fortunes.

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The irony of our fortune on Christmas day.

Check out what we did the previous years below.

2013

2012

Spooky Shabbat {2014}

For the past 6 years hubby (then my boyfriend) and I have hosted a sit down dinner on the Friday before Halloween. We’ve nicknamed it Spooky Shabbat.

This year everyone was excited that Halloween fell on Shabbat and nicknamed it Shabbatoween.

We still prefer to call it Spooky Shabbat.

In the past years I’ve gotten really creative. One year I sent chocolate witches fingers as an invite.

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Since having Sarah I’ve toned it down and made it more kid friendly. Brighter colors and things have been less dark.

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Due to this difficult pregnancy I’ve been much slower these days. So I planned a low key menu for a few of our friends.

Our menu:

menuI always frame our menu so guests know what to expect.

The appetizers included:

Eye Crusties – pimento-stuffed green olives rolled in thawed puff pastry strips for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

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Alien Larve with Blood Sauce – recipe can be found here.

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Heartbeat Salad – sliced beets and spinach in a vinaigrette sauce.

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For the entree I wanted to make something hearty so we wouldn’t want to eat too much junk later that night.

Monster Meat – recipe can be found here.

IMG_3242Smashed Bones – mashed potatoes.

Sweet Thumbs – ran out of time and never got to make it :(

Since we would be eating lot’s of sweets that night I only made one dessert.

Swamp Trifle – layered brownie pieces and dyed vanilla pudding with gummy body parts on top.IMG_3193IMG_3196

For drinks I made “I See You” lemonade.

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With our bellies full we ready to trick-or-treat with the kids.

Hope you had a nice Halloween.

Simchat Torah {2014}

Simchat Torah marks the 4th holiday in the busiest month of the Jewish calendar. Read more about all four here.

This is a really fun holiday!

We celebrate and mark the conclusion of the annual cycle of the Torah, and the beginning of a new cycle.

We dress in white, dance and eat (as we do in most Jewish holidays).

Before heading out I continued with our traditional photo shoot. This time Sarah held her stuffed Torah!

Get yours here.

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This chag (holiday) was not only special, but it was the first time I told some of the congregants that we were expecting.

Chag sameach!

Sukkot {2014}

We recently celebrated the Jewish holiday, Sukkot. The main part of Sukkot is to eat (and sleep if you can) in a homemade hut. Since our patio is covered and we have no other space to create this structure we make a cardboard box version for Sarah each year.

Then Sarah and I decorated it and even make a roof from paper strips.

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She was so proud of her artwork!

For snack time she decided to bring a few stuffed animals and eat in her snack in the sukkah.

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The next day we went over to our friend’s home for some edible sukkah building.

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The girls loved building eating all the material.

Since we don’t have a sukkah of our own we were invited to a couple homes to celebrate the holiday. Before heading out I normally ask my sisters for their opinions by taking a picture of my outfit. This time Sarah decided she wanted to join me for the picture.

 

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Right before we left I captured this adorable picture of my little girl with her lulav and etrog! You can buy the same one here.

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Chag sameach!

Yom Kippur {2014}

We normally stay at the hotel with the rest of the congregants on Yom Kippur (also known as a Day of Atonement), but this year the hotel sold out really quick. No one wants to walk in this crazy So Cal heat so I was not completely surprised it sold out.

Just bummed we couldn’t join like we did in the past.

Yom Kippur is a holiday were Jews fast for 25 hours. That means no use of electricity, no showering, no driving and of coarse not eating or drinking for 25 hours.

We do this fast to seek forgiveness by praying and confessing throughout the day. 

To prep for this “holiday” hubby and I stalk up on our favorite beverages. We drink a combination of water and Gatorade for the 2 days leading up to the fast. 

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To physically prepare for the fast we visit a body of water and throw out our sins. 

IMG_2489IMG_2481(shhh)

I make my usual Yom Kippur dinner of Honey Lemon Chicken with Rice and Carrots.

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It’s sweet, savory and fills you up. I pair that with a salad, bread and some kind of dessert.

Staying home was weird. Sarah got bored indoors and wanted to play outside. We love playing with her outside, but with the heat and not being able to drink it was hard.

Normally we would take her to the kids room where she could play with all the kids and the “new” toys. 

Somehow we managed and took shifts staying indoors.

Next year we will be more prepared and schedule our hotel stay in advance.

Gmar chatima tova (May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good!).

Rosh Hashana {2014}

We recently celebrated Rosh Hashnaha or as many call it, The Jewish New Year. It’s a holiday were we go to synagogue and listen to the shofar. It’s a 2 day holiday (or a 4 day holiday if you are really observant) with festive meals. 

This year hubby cooked Rosh Hashana dinner! It was so good we ate it for left overs for 4 days!!

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We had Moroccan chicken with apricots and prunes, short ribs, cider glazed carrots and butternut squash, and jeweled rice. Hubby even made us Pomegranate honey cocktails. Yum!

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First night was spent at the Rabbi’s house. I took this picture of Sarah before heading out.

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The second night we hosted and invited his mom, sister and another couple. Unfortunately the couple got sick and couldn’t attend. Even though we had a small crowd it was a lovely dinner.

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I contacted Sarah’s teacher earlier in the week and asked if I could share some of our holiday customs with the class.

A half an hour before class ended I came in to read a Rosh Hashanah themed book and brought apples and honey for her class.

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It was very sweet! I’m glad I was able to do this for Sarah’s class.

To all my friends who celebrate, Shana Tova!

Labor Day {2014}

Sarah was getting over a cold, so we spent the morning lounging around in our PJ’s.

For lunch Sarah wanted to picnic outside. It was too hot to go to the park so we just laid our blanket in our apartment’s hallway and ate our lunch.

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Just like we did last year on Labor Day we got together with our mommy group for a picnic dinner at the park.

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It was SUPER crowded and SUPER hot that evening.

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Luckily we found a spot up on the hill near the kids playground. The only downside to our space was the kids kept wanting to only play on the playground. Unfortunately, that meant very short adult conversations.

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None of us really cared for the band, so we just hung out and played.

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For dessert I brought a delicious Peanut Butter bundt cake. Sorry I forgot to take a picture, but recipe can be found here.

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

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