Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Munchies...

I think everyone's feeling the hustle and bustle of this Thanksgiving week.
Add in a family wedding tomorrow night and a Chanukah Wednesday night-I'm feelin' it!  
I did all of my grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, Chanukah baking and the Sabbath on Sunday.
I don't think  I have ever seen the stores more packed!  
Craziness...I've been told I need a horn on my shopping cart and that couldn't be more true for times like those.  

Usually I'm very last minute, but thankfully I was able to plan ahead that I won't have to make any unnecessary and unplanned trips to the grocery store.  

I figured for those of you still planning your menus, why not give you a glimpse into my Thanksgiving menu and help you out!
Better now, because they won't be of any use come Monday.

We are going to my husband's cousins' for Thanksgiving.  
There will be a total of 20 of us.  
I volunteered to make a starch, a vegetable and dessert.  

Sweet Potato Casserole | Every Day Cheer 
Yup, that picture about did me in.

Recipe type: Thanksgiving & Holiday
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
  • 3-4 cups cooked sweet potatoes (or canned yams)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup half and half
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  1. Mash potatoes
  2. Mix in sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, half and half, and spices.
  3. Pour into 9×13 baking dish.
  1. Melt butter
  2. Mix in remaining ingredients
  3. Sprinkle on top of sweet potato mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples 
As my son says, "yay sprouts!"

1 T. olive oil
1 t. garlic powder 
1 t. onion powder 
1/4 t. black pepper, coarse ground 
1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 
1 medium gala apple, cored and cut into 1 in. chunks 
2 T. dried cranberries 
2 T. balsamic vinegar 
1 T. honey 
 Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix oil, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in large bowl. Add Brussels sprouts and apple; toss to coat well. Spread in single layer on foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan. 
 Roast 30 to 35 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are browned and tender.
 Meanwhile, mix cranberries, vinegar and honey in small bowl. Drizzle over roasted Brussels sprouts and apple; toss to coat well. Serve immediately.
1 stick butter, melted 
1 cup flour 
1 cup chopped pecans 
2 T. sugar 
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, soft 
1 cup powdered sugar 
2 (8 oz) containers of cool whip 
2 small packages (3.4 oz) jello instant  pumpkin spice pudding  
3 cups cold milk
Nutmeg for sprinkling

  1. Combine butter, flour, chopped pecans and sugar and press into a 9 x 13 in baking dish. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 cups cool whip until smooth. Spread over crust.
  3.  Mix pudding mixes with cold milk, whisking for several minutes. Set it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to let it thicken. Spread over the cream cheese layer. Top with remaining container of cool whip. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
  4.  Cut into squares and serve. Keep refrigerated.

As keeping with tradition, I will be making and decorating Chanukah cookies.  When I first began, I was in undergrad, and I had a small class I would bring baked goods into.  Our Speech major class was about 25 people, and we had most of the same classes throughout the day, so it was nice to share my treats with them.  I continued the tradition into graduate school and now, I bake and leave in the teacher's lounge.  I buy the pre-made Betty Crocker cookie icing, because I think it's AH-MAZING! I then decorate with blue sprinkes, blue crystals, white pearls-whatever they have at the grocery store. 

1 1/2 cups butter softened 
2 cups white sugar 
4 eggs 
1 t. vanilla extract 
5 cups all purpose flour 
2 t. baking powder 
1 t. salt
 In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
 Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Yes, you really do bake it for such a short period of time!
 Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting from
Thanksgiving cannot be complete without sweet potatoes with marshmallows!  
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 3/4 cups milk
 Marshmallow Frosting
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 30 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Beat in the vanilla and then the sweet potatoes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and cloves. Mix half of the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture, followed by the milk, then the remaining flour.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Transfer to the oven and bake until the center springs back when touched, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. To make the frosting
  6. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Heat until it comes to a full boil, then remove from the heat.
  8. Once the egg whites are stiff, slowly pour in the hot sugar mixture. Do not scrape the sides of the bowl, or you will have sugar crystals in the frosting. Beat the frosting until it forms a shiny, fluffy marshmallow frosting, 5-7 minutes.
  9. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Use a kitchen torch to toast the frosting.
And last but not least, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without these

oh so cute for thanksgiving time. candy turkeys 
I made these last year and the kids loved them! They just add such festivity to the day.  I plan on making enough for all the kids on Thanksgiving, and then making a few more to use as decoration for my Shabbos table. 

Happy Thanksgivikah.
Turkey, Pies, and Dreidles Oh My!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

While I was participating in the One Room Challenge, I stumbled upon a tutorial while I was doing one of my daily blog readings.

Click on the picture and you'll be directed to the tutorial by The Yellow Cape Cod.

When I saw this picture-I knew I had to do this!  I'm not good at "seeing" things-so this only struck me because it was an actual color in my nursery. 
The distressed look was also perfect because that was the look I was going for in the details. 

The tutorial is a little complicated because chalk paint and antiquing wax were unknown concepts to me.  
I was looking all over for chalk board paint and only upon searching did I discover that chalk paint does not actually have anything to do with chalk. 
I think that would have been a nice thing to mention-it would have saved me a lot of confusion. 
Also-where can such paint be found?
It wasn't in the craft stores. 
So, more googling.  

I finally came across Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
The beauty...

Henrietta painted modern rococo shapeOld White WashOld White and Country Grey 

Thankfully, you can find vendors from their website.  

I opted to go to my local retailer with a swatch of wallpaper to ask their expertise as well as learn about this antiquing business.  

A long with the store employee, I picked the color Provence.
Luckily, the place where I went had samples on the floor of pieces with just the color and then comparative pieces with the antiquing wax.  
I then decided that I would skip the antiquing wax.  

The paint was a little more expensive than a regular gallon-which I was expecting.  

Anyway, I was all prepared to follow the tutorial on painting and sanding and painting again and sanding again, but then I realized that the frames I bought were not actually wood.  
I freaked out a little and wondered how this would all pan out.
Turns out, it worked to my advantage.  
Here are my frames after just one coat of chalk paint, then coated with clear wax.

All that natural distressing-happened on accident.  
When I began my first coat, I noticed that it wasn't exactly going on as it normally would.  
The only thing I can come up with is that because it's not actual wood-it wasn't being absorbed into the frame as it should have been.  
At first I was getting my panties in a wad-but then remembered something I read about distressing: it's not meant to be perfect.  
So, it was a blessing in disguise for a couple of reasons.  

I would have probably needed to do more than one coat.  Then I would have needed to wax, let it dry, sand it and then wax again.  
This time, all I had to do was let it dry-which was no small feat, which leads into my second reason.

Because of all the small grooves, I had to basically drench the area with paint because my paint brush couldn't actually get into all the small areas.  
When the paint was pooling and not drying quickly-I was able to get in there as best as I could and just move it around and it created more "distressing" marks-but it was all good!

It took about a day to dry-I placed it outside to help speed it along.
And then I did a layer of wax.  
The lady explained that putting on the wax was like putting on lotion.
Whatever that means.  
I figured it would be intuitive and I got to see some finished product so I knew what it should feel like.  
Either I didn't put enough wax on-because it still has that slightly rough feeling, which actually gives me chills just thinking about, or it was because of the frame not actually being wood that it wasn't able to achieve the look and feel.
However, they swear this paint is good on almost any surface, so it was probably something I did.  
I opted to leave it as is because this isn't a piece of furniture and no one is going to go up and  touch the frame.  

Annie Sloan paint has great colors, tons of ideas on how to mix the colors, and seems the easiest to use because you eliminate the step of priming.
I cannot wait to use this product again on a different project! 
You can chelk out Annie Sloan's channel on YouTube HERE 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Cheer...

I see everyone is getting into the holiday spirit.  
Growing up as one in a handful of Jews in my rather large school-graduated 421 in my year,
I always felt left out during this time.
I'm not going to lie-I kinda always wanted to put up a Christmas tree...I know mom, there's no such thing as a Chanukah bush.  

Christmas is treated as a season, while Chanukah, to most Jews, is just an eight day holiday that comes and goes.  There's really no leading up to it, it's not really treated like a family holiday like Christmas is.  We still go to work, and carry on as normal.  It is true, we are in the month of miracles, but this sentiment is really felt in our prayer and the spirit of the month.  

When I recently walked the aisles of The Container Store, it made me sad and long for some true Chanukah spirit.  
How sad is it that Chanukah wrapping items take up only half an aisle?  While most of the store is decked out in Christmas decor. 
I get it, there's only so many dreidles, menorahs, stars of David and gelt...
So, I really do want to do what I can to give my children the holiday spirit.  
And we're getting there. 
I got further than I did last year!

G-d bless my husband who thinks it's ok to hang things with painters tape!  

There's a light up menorah in the window, and there was a hanging menorah on the door, but alas, painters tape was not strong enough!  

Here are some beautiful ideas for Chanukah decor which I can't wait to recreate...we'll see how much I get done this year!
Another problem is I'm also extremely limited on space, have no mantel, but most importantly I have 2 kids running around!  
However, they do love themselves a good project!

Create dreidel snow globes. #Buzzfeed chanukah decorations 

Or use gelt to create a table runner. 

Decorate these beautiful dreidel cards for menus. 

Martha Stewart Chanukah decor 

Chanukah Mantel decorating ideas for pennies! 

This one especially speaks to me because Chanukah is the festival of lights-a great miracle!  The oil, that was only enough for one day, lasted for eight! 
I got a positive pregnancy test on Chanukah, our Chanukah miracle!
Our Dovy.

Most people are familiar with the game of Dreidle.
There are four Hebrew letters
Nun, Gimal, Hey and Shin.
It's an acronym for Nes Gadol Haya Sham-a great miracle happened there.
In Israel, their dreidle is different.  Instead of a Shin, they have a Pey.
Nes Gadal Haya Po-a great miracle happened here.
And 3 years ago this Chanukah, a great miracle happened here.

I always make Chanukah cookies and share them with anyone and everyone.
Since Moshe has entered school, he is learning about the traditions.
He has been asking for potato latkes for weeks now.
My hope is for each day to have some sort of Chanukah activity-whether it's baking cookies, or making latkes, or sukfaniyot (Hebrew for donuts), or a Chanukah project-I want them to have a fulfilling Chanukah holiday and to really feel the miracle, love, tradition and family.  

How awesome do these look??? 

Because we don't see most of our family over Chanukah, I like to send some of our Chanukah to them.  
What better than a homemade project?!?

Here are a few I will keep in mind for the upcoming years 

Make Cute Chanukah Decorations From Popsicle Sticks! - creative jewish mom 

Craft Stick Star of David 


Here's what we went with this year 

 Menorah Art!  SUPPLIES: dry macaroni, dry lentils, glue, cotton bud, red crepe paper, & cardboard :::  Celebrate the holidays with supplies from around your home.  Make sure you sign your work of art! 

I used larger beans instead of the lentils.
Because of needing so many, if would have been better to plan on doing this over the course of two days.
My husband helped a lot, Dovy helped a little, Moshe enjoyed gluing the noodles and drawing the flames.

Some of you might be receiving this in your mailbox soon!

And lastly, who doesn't love a free printable?

They have Chanukah garland, cup cake wrappers, star toppers, patterned paper, wine labels, fancy tags, and coasters! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Munchies...

I'm going to try to bring this series back.
One reason is it will keep me on my menu-planning task.  
Hmm..maybe I'll add the weekly menu to this series...since it does begin on Monday.  

Alright, so, do you ever have those moments at home, where in such a short amount of time you accomplish so much?
Empty the dishwasher, load it up, get dinner started, and throw a loaf or two of banana bread in your oven?
Yeah? I love when that happens!

I especially love when I can quickly whip up something fancy for my family.
Even better if it's something somewhat healthy they can enjoy for breakfast.  

So, I know already shared a banana bread recipe HERE
but here's another awesome one.
I like this one better because it's magical. 
Yes, magical  
It baked, completely, in an hour.  No rotating the pans, no switching shelves, no adding extra time.
It even worked when I used one large loaf pan instead of two.
The most labor intensive part of this is melting your butter in the microwave.
Although next time I'll use whole wheat flour and applesauce, I promise!
I really will-I even bought the whole wheat flour!
Now I just need some applesauce.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup white sugar 
2 eggs beaten 
1/4 cup butter, melted 
3 bananas 

I didn't even beat the eggs first.  I literally just dumped everything into a bowl and mixed.  Just make sure to mash the bananas first. If you're like me, and they came out of the freezer, they are pretty liquidy and and can easily be mixed.  Otherwise, I just squeeze them as I unpeel.   

Of course, I also added some dark chocolate chips. 

Besides being magical, the crust on the outside is slightly crunchy yet oh so tasty!

Any new recipes out there you love?  


Thursday, November 14, 2013

One Room Challenge...Source List

I wanted to answer those questions of where my goodies are from.
Just keep in mind no furniture was bought new, it's all from over four years ago.
Only accessories did I have to buy!
Let's begin...

My favorite part, the crib and dresser.
This is the Isabella crib and matching dresser from Stanley Young America.  
The problem is, the crib is a dropside-and they don't make it anymore.  
As far as my searching goes, they don't make an Isabella crib anymore.  There are Isabella dressers and matching beds, bunk beds, night stands, etc, just not a crib.  
The closest one is just a small image and won't upload properly, but you can find it HERE
I have to admit something though, I don't think it's worth the price.
I absolutely love the look of this crib. In fact I had this picked out long before kids entered the picture.  
But, almost four and a half years ago it cost over $1,000.  And I think it has almost doubled since then.  
The crib is broken, so much so that I don't know if Hannah can actually sleep in it-the wheels have fallen off, the drop side has come off, a peg holding in the mattress broke off during our previous move, there are several marks on the finish that I don't like-like a bubbling of sorts. And you can see from the picture above a decent size chunk of white paneling has come off of the dresser.  
We had an entertainment piece that attached to the rail and I think it trapped in moisture, softened the paint, and caused it to rub and smudge.
I just don't think the price tag of these pieces reflects in quality. 
Unfortunately, to replicate this look, you're looking at much higher end brands.
 I would like to do a post on cribs, maybe one day. 

My rocking chair was found on Craigslist. Apparently it's some fancy brand that reclines-which many don't.  
At the time I bought it, there weren't cheap options of rocking chairs. Since then, I've seen a couple of custom options at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us.  

That's more of the look I would go for now a days.
The picture is being funny...

 My night stand is some cheap option most likely from an easy to shop on-line place like Sear, JcPenny, Target or Walmart.  

The lamp was a lucky boutique find-since it matched exactly with my bedding, which was found on Overstock at the time. 

My bookcase was custom made-it was a cheaper option, because the Isabella bookcase is way overpriced, but although it sounded like a deal, Ikea would have been a much better option-better look, and surprisingly would have held up better!  

 The mirror is from Target

 The wicker hamper is from Target, but I recently bought another one for the boys' room from Amazon, and you could pick your liner color-separately of course.  
The bin is from The Container Store, but is no longer available. 
I had one in teal, but because of all the blue in the room, I returned it.
Those are Aden and Anais swaddle blankets-can't live without!  

The crate was an aha purchase found on Etsy

 The sconces were a lucky find through scouring the internet.  Scones and chandeliers can be expensive, and when Moshe was born, I was on a tight budget-remember, I had all the furniture to buy too!
It was a set of two sconces and a chandelier.  The chandelier wasn't always in use, but in our current and previous residence, it resided over the top of the stairs.  It adds a beautiful, shabby chic touch.  

 The curtain rod is from Restoration Hardware.  
I have a similar one because when I was in search of one for Moshe's nursery, I only found on there!
It has been used somewhere, in ever residence since, so I know it will always have a home.
The curtains are Ikea and are $4, seriously! I don't lie...
The doll bassinet was a gift.

The beige and pink pillows I found randomly while on a random trip to Target-aren't all trips to Target random? They are from the Shabby Chic collection.  
The personalized h pillow was created by VixonGoods
I just seriously cannot say enough good things about Cara!  She created pillows for my boys' room, that absolutely blew me away!  

The monogram was from Etsy
I spray painted it gold.

The hooks are from Home Depot, spray painted gold.
The towel is from Pottery Barn Kids.

One of my favorite parts!
The frames are from Home Goods, and I used Annie Sloan chalk paint to paint them.
I did plan on following a tutorial on antiquing  them, however, it antiqued itself.
I'll explain in an upcoming tutorial and review of my own! 

This print is from Etsy

The bookend and picture frames are from Home Goods.
The jewelry box and bowl are from Target.
The books are all from Amazon.
The clock is from Anthropologie

There ya have it! 
Let me know if I'm missing anything!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FInal thoughts on IVIG...

Thank goodness we don't have anymore medical issues to talk about here!
But with that being said, I wanted to do a final round up all things IVIG.
When I found out I would need weekly IVIG, I had only read two blogs that had gone through IVIG.
One blog had been taken down, and the other blog only received IVIG once a month, at home, and experienced terrible headaches that lasted for days.  
So...let me offer you my take.

For starters, let's define IVIG.
Intravenous Immunoglobulin. 

It is used to treat a variety of diseases.  From the good 'ol Wikipedia
  • Adult HIV
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Autism
  • Behçet's disease
  • Capillary leak syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Clostridium difficile colitis
  • Dermatomyositis and polymyositis
  • Graves' ophthalmopathy
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Inclusion body myositis
  • Infertility
  • Lambert-Eaton syndrome
  • Lennox-Gastaut
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Multifocal motor neuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia
  • Parvovirus B19
  • Pemphigus
  • Post-transfusion purpura
  • Renal transplant rejection
  • Spontaneous abortion/miscarriage
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Stiff person syndrome
  • Opsoclonus myoclonus
  • Severe sepsis and septic shock in critically ill adults
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis

 I was initially told that I would have to be admitted overnight once a week to receive the IVIG.  
Now, I have a co-insurance, and even though it was ultimately done as an outpatient procedure, the hospital co-insurance is the one that footed the bill. 
I'm not sure why, and I didn't ask questions, but I'm wondering if that had anything to do with why I was told I had to be admitted.
However, I do know that there are several risks to IVIG, many of them sound pretty scary, so maybe admitting me would have been a preemptive measure. 

Again, trusty Wiki, here are the list of possibly side effects 

  • headache
  • dermatitis - usually peeling of the skin of the palms and soles.
  • infection (such as HIV or viral hepatitis) by contaminated blood product; there is also an as yet unknown risk of contracting variant CJD (vCJD) however the process whereby the product is extracted shows that the contaminants are usually not present in the product.
  • pulmonary edema from fluid overload, due to the high colloid oncotic pressure of IVIG
  • allergic/anaphylactic reactions; for example, anaphylactic shock, especially in IgA deficient patients, who by definition can still produce IgG antibodies (IgA deficient patients are more likely to produce IgG against the IVIG administration than normal patients).
  • damage such as hepatitis caused directly by antibodies contained in the pooled IVIG.
  • acute kidney injury
  • venous thrombosis
  • aseptic meningitis
 My doctor was able to get me out of weekly hospital visits, and reasoned that if I ever had an incident where I needed to be admitted, I would then continue admittance for the weekly infusions.  

I made through all 11 weeks with very minor side effects and no hospitalizations.  

So, what side effects did I have?
I had minor itching, soreness at the site that would sometimes span my lower arm, bruising and I think I maybe had a minor headache once.  
Soreness at the site are to be expected because a needle is hanging out in your hand for about 2-4 hours.  
Which brings me to my next point.  
The most difficult part of the IVIG was receiving the IV.  That can hurt like hell if not done right.  It is also no fun requiring multiple attempts.  
I had briefly entertained the idea of getting a port for easy access-but was warned against that since it can cause an infection and once weekly access does not warrant that type of intervention.  My hands were sore, but you can always switch hands, or go into the arm for access.  

What can you expect?
Expect pain from the IV.
Expect for your treatment to last awhile.  
I don't really have a reason to believe that my reason for IVIG warranted such a different dosage than anyone else.  The original dosage was around 6 hours.  When I freaked out at that, and because of my work schedule, it would have meant going for treatment twice a week, they lowered the dosage enough that I could squeeze it all in one time a week.
The cancer center where I got it done was incredibly accommodating.
Because of the limited number of seats-and when chemotherapy is involved, you never know how everyone's treatment will go, they could never say for sure what time I would enter my chair.  
Sometimes I would wait for an hour, and then be there until almost 8pm! On a Friday!!! 
You can't rush IVIG because the way to ensure the least amount of reaction, is to administer as slow as possible.  
When I would start to itch, or get a headache, or have pain in my arm from pushing too much medication too quickly into the site, we would just slow down.  The symptoms would subside almost immediately.
You can also expect to take some benadryl-which helps ease the symptoms.
That also means you will most likely be sleepy.
Thankfully, 4 hours was plenty of time to have a nice snooze. 

My advice?
Plan to be there for awhile-bring a blanket and pillow if you want.  Some magazines, books, your ipod and definitely your phone charger.  I used that time to make phone calls that I just didn't have time for otherwise.  
Bring snacks.  Sometimes the reactions cause you to feel dizzy and you need to eat or drink something. 
The procedure of putting in the IV caused me some dizziness a few times, so I had to drink and eat immediately.  
You could always find me with my iced coffee, snickers and gardetos mix!
Don't judge! 
Ask for administration to be as slow as possible-at least for the first time until you know your reactions.  I eventually learned I could tolerate a fast push of the medication, but it was rather uncomfortable, physically.  
So I always opted for a comfortably slow push.  

All in all, it was not a bad experience once I knew what to expect.
It sometimes hits me that I no longer report on Friday afternoons.
Of course, in my typical fashion, the infusion unit became a second home and I often think of the friends I made there. 
It was also a humbling experience as I was there for a happy occasion, while surrounded by people I would imagine,  in the darkest of times. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I'm following up on  few things.
Plus I owe you a blog post. 

First of all, thank you to all those men and women who have so bravely served our Country.  I cannot fathom what those men and women, and spouses and children of those men and women have to deal with while away, so the rest of us can live in peace.  
Thank you!

Second of all, thank you for all of the kind comments on Hannah's nursery. 
You can read Week One HERE, Week Two HERE, Week Three HERE, Week Four HERE, Week Five HERE, and the final reveal, HERE.
I really do plan on making it through all of these spaces!  
You can see everyone's final reveal HERE!  
I am already starting to think of ideas for the next space!  

Lastly, my nursery was featured on Life and Home at 2102!
Thank you so much for the shout out!!! 

Now-I wanted to do a follow up to my Mommy Advice post.  

Alright, so if you know me, and maybe if you don't-I've sure posted about it here on the blog.
I put a lot on my plate.  
I'm constantly running and doing.
When one To Do list ends, another one begins. 
I hate clutter.
I hate that things aren't perfect, all of the time.
I have this silly expectation that I will wake up every morning and come home every afternoon-no matter what, to a perfectly put together house.
I also have this crazy desire to make sure almost every other aspect of my life is perfect.  
And I'm not talking about faking it until I make it.
I'm talking about for real.  

I want gourmet, healthy, home cooked dinners every night.
I want my kids to go to school and daycare with a lunch that hits every section on the food pyramid.  
I will take that year long parenting class and my kids will then behave like angels.  
For the record, that was my new years resolution last year-ask me how many classes I've listened to-go on, I dare you! 

Again, and I know I'm preaching to the choir, but mainly preaching to myself,
It's enough. 
The basics are covered, so just accept the rest and get on with it.
Enjoy what really matters.
The clean sink won't give anything back to me.
Either will the newly vacuumed rug.  

One day a couple of weeks ago I had an epiphany.
See, I work in the poorest school district in the country. 
You know when your school pairs up with a Title One school-yeah, I'm that Title One school. 

One afternoon, I discovered the history of a student.
The lack of parenting-think drugs and eventual removal from the home, as selfish as it is, helped me deal with my own insecurities.  
Yes, I do believe life would be better if I didn't let it bother me if toys were everywhere, if I didn't feel like my house had to be picture perfect all the time, if I would be ok with eating the same rotating menu.  
But I don't want to give up on certain things-and I realized that's really ok.
Dealing with the pressure is a whole other issue-not what I'm addressing right now however.  

I just simply realized that no matter what craziness I put on myself, and no matter how "absent" I may make myself because of this-less time at the dinner table, less time spent reading or watching DVDs with them, less time actually at home with them-they are taken care of.
If it's not me, they are only with people who love and care about them!
All of their needs, will always be met.  

We so frequently say 
It takes a village to raise a child
But then why, is the thought of letting other people help, so appalling?  

So, with this, I realized that it isn't bad that I need to take some time away to make sure my house is put together.
That I take some time to blog and decompress at night.
That I extended my babysitter's hours during the week to accommodate exercise time.  

A happy mommy will be much more beneficial to my children then if I was with them 24/7.  

And now I feel much more at peace.
It doesn't always have to be me.      

Thursday, November 7, 2013

One Week Challenge Week 6

This is it guys!
6 weeks in the making...

Today I'm linking up for the One Room Challenge.
You can check everyone out HERE.
Here's where you can find Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.

Hope you'll follow along for more!

I have to say, I am totally in love with this space.  
Even before it was complete, I would walk in and just stare...
And, the pictures don't even come close to giving it justice, seriously. 

Here are a few befores

Here's my inspiration

And without further ado...Hannah's nursery 
Unfortunately these pictures were taken at night, so the lighting is off...

I fell in love with this container at The Container Store long ago...

This doll cradle was a gift for Hannah...

Tutorial on the frames coming soon!

 I hope she never forgets this...

 Some childhood favorites...
 Some books to grow into...

That bowl currently holds the bows that Hannah cannot wear yet...

 I can't wait to begin reading some of these!

 Hannah's current jewelry collection, housed in the white jewelry box

 Both of these were made by my Bubby (Grandmother in Yiddish) 

Thanks for following along during these awesome six weeks!
I can't believe Hannah's nursery is finally done.
I will be giving another, final, update next Thursday.
I'm also not ready to admit this challenge is over....
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