Not Your Kid’s Hanukkah Countdown! L’Chaim!


If you look around at all of the Advent calendars out there, there are just as many designed for adults as there are for kids. But, in the land of Hanukkah decor, it seems that most of the designers seem to think only little kids celebrate Hanukkah. So last year I decided to make my husband his very own Hanukkah Countdown for each night of Hanukkah.

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Counting Down to Hanukkah (with a new twist)


There is a Yiddish proverb that says “Man plans and G-d laughs.”  This sort of sums up life over the last several months as our family has dealt with some unexpected health challenges and stress.  But we are hanging in there and our kids still want to countdown to Hanukkah (and some of you who haven’t given up on me have emailed and do too).  So, without further ado, this year’s Made by Mamaleh Hanukkah Countdown Calendar.

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Matzo Roca! Matzo Like You’ve Never Had It Before!



Chag Sameach!  Are you sick of matzo yet?  Well I have the answer…Matzo Roca! This stuff is so delish that I literally have non-MOT friends awaiting it every year when Passover rolls around.  I just whipped up my second batch this week. And best of all, it’s super easy! It’s one of my all time favorite recipes courtesy of my friend Renée.

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Pretty pomegranates

pomegranate decor

I am still here, really. Just a bit sleep deprived and in that new baby daze. You know what feels like a super fun outing with a new baby? A trip to Target! With my baby napping away in the carrier, I was able to browse just a little and guess what I found? The perfect vignette for mantle or table for the High Holidays. Pomegranates have special symbolism in Judaism and are often associated with the new year in particular. Now I had hoped to get this posted in time that maybe you could have used it for Sukkot but alas, baby mode got in the way.  But don’t let that stop you, these are still available at Target and would still look great for fall, Tu B’Shevat or to be set aside for 5777.

pomegranate decor

The contrasting textures of the ceramic pomegranate (which has a small opening so you can put a single stem in some water), the solid red one and the wood grain are really fun.  And thanks to my slowness in posting, they are now on clearance so be quick in your shopping!  I just spotted some similar figs (also a very Jewish symbol) on sale too so maybe I’ll have to honor Tu B’Shevat a bit more this year with some decor. Hope to be back again soon (pray for some good napping) with some extreme baby cuteness and a tutorial on how to add a little Hebrew to your birth announcements!  Stay tuned!

An Invitation Fit for a Rabbi

Rabbi Invite

It has been forever since I have blogged. I’ll just blame it on the baby who isn’t even here yet – 8 weeks to go! But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting when time has allowed. I’m back today to share with you an invitation I designed recently for a special Shabbat dinner to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Temple Beth Am‘s religious school rabbi.

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Fashion for the Mamaleh-To-Be



Hope you all had a lovely Passover! It has been ages since I have blogged and the graphic above pretty much sums up the reason why  – all of my crafting energy has gone into the little girl currently under development and due to arrive in August! So you’ll have to forgive my very intermittent crafting and blogging of late but I’m sure you all understand.

While today’s post isn’t crafty per se, it’s still focused on being chic and stylish which is really what this mamaleh tries to do via crafting. I don’t know what’s in the water but in the last two weeks, I’ve had a handful of friends all talking about Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a fab concept: Basically, you start by taking a style quiz and providing details about your style as well as your sizing and any specific fashion needs you have. Then, for $20/fix including shipping both ways, they send you five pieces of clothing or accessories handpicked just for you. You get to try them on in the comfort of your home (and whenever works for your busy schedule). The $20 fee is applied to whatever you decide to keep and you only pay for what you keep and send the rest back. Bonus if you love all five you get 25% off the total. I was intrigued but didn’t think now would be the time to try given my current need for maternity wear. Ah but then I found out that in the past few months Stitch Fix has started doing maternity wear as well so with that, I decided to give it a go since who wouldn’t want a little fashion help to feel fabulous while preggo! I did a fair amount of online searching before committing to get an idea of what their maternity selection might be like and must admit, given how new this part of their service is, found pretty limited info. So, in the interest of helping other pregnant fashion-forward moms looking for info, today I’m sharing my first maternity Stitch Fix with you (even if these looks are not the most flattering).

First impression – the box was neatly packaged and came with a nice note from my personal stylist who had clearly taken the time to look at my pinterest style board to get a sense of what I was looking for as well as paid attention to the note I had written.  I specifically said no bottoms as bottoms are hard enough when they aren’t maternity! (I am wearing my Seraphine maternity ponte seamed leggings which I LOVE).And a feature that may or may not be helpful depending on your comfort level of pairing clothing is the style card with two ideas for wearing each item.

Stitch fix box

Item#1: Loveappella Anaheim Roll Sleeve Maternity, $58

Maternity Stitch Fix

This was my favorite item in the bunch.  It was a nice  fabric and was definitely on point style-wise (I love stripes!).  I wish it didn’t have as high a percentage of polyester as it does but it’s not 100% so I’m willing to look past it. If I had tried this on in the store, I might have tried a medium as well just to make sure I’ll have enough room as I get further along but it fits perfectly right now and is stretchy so should be just fine and will look super cute with my white maternity jeans.

Item #2: Loveappella Stelli Embellished Knit Maternity Tank, $54

Stitch Fix Maternity

While the color of this was great, overall the fabric was just too thin and clingy to work with my curves.  And for me the detailing, though fun in concept, looked a bit too cheap to me.  So, this one is going back.

Item #3&4: 31 Bits Nikalia Multi-Layer Beaded Necklace, $64 & LA Made Maternity Catina Maternity Cap Sleeve Dress, $84

Maternity Stitch Fix

The dress was a great color but again the fabric was just too thin to be flattering (especially in back which I am hiding with my hand on my hip 😉 and I didn’t like where the empire line hit my bust.  Though I have to give the stylist credit for listening to the fact that I said bonus points for items that would work well for nursing later on (as this style clearly would).  Also, for the price it just wasn’t anything special.  The same went for the necklace which was a bit too boho for my taste and just not my thing but I appreciate that she thought it’d go with the dress.

Item#5: Pixley Abriella Waffle Knit Cardigan, $48

Maternity Stitch Fix

I wanted to love this as it’s one of my favorite colors and was so incredibly soft not to mention, it was priced just right and is non-maternity so would have had staying power.  But sadly it just hit me in the wrong place on my hips and was not flattering so back it goes.

Final verdict: 1/5 for my first box but I am intrigued and from what I’ve read, your style picks get better over time as they get your feedback and now what has worked and what hasn’t.  So, with that said, I’m excited to give it a second try and see what happens.  Are you a Stitch Fix fan already? If so, any pointers? If not, what do you think? Would you try it?

P.S. They also have a referral program for friends so in the interest of full disclosure, if you subscribe via my link, I will get a credit.

P.P.S. I did not forget – the winner of the aleph-bet stamp giveaway was Jamie!  Jamie, I promise to send the stamps your way shortly!

Happy Heart Day!

Handmade Crayon Valentine

I have been missing in action for quite a while now and thankfully many of you have not given up on me.  In fact, some have even written to ask when I might be posting again.  Well, here I am!  There’s been a lot going on around here!  I just finished chairing our big synagogue gala/auction this past Sunday which was a smashing success but which has been consuming much of my free time over the last several months.  I can’t wait to share some of the décor elements with you but that will have to wait for a future post when I have pics back (I was too busy working to take any pics myself!)

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Counting Down the Days until…Hanukkah!

Printable Hanukkah Countdown Calendar

I have been missing in action and I do apologize.  Things have been insanely busy and that has meant blogging and crafting have had to take a backseat.  But with Thanksgiving almost here, it’s time to start thinking about Hanukkah.  Some of you have emailed to ask if I’d be doing the yearly printable countdown calendar so of course I had to oblige.  Without Thanksgivukkah to spur on this year’s calendar design, I  joined the Frozen-craze still going strong in my son’s world and made this year’s calendar a bit frosty, complete with star of David snowflakes.

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Calendar time!

After spending time at my synagogue board retreat yesterday and with my little one on the verge of starting kindergarten, it is all too apparent that fall is about to sneak up on me.  Last year’s Jewish calendar that functions as our family calendar in the kitchen is about to become obsolete and I haven’t even ordered a new one yet so it’s time to shop!  So in Mamaleh-tradition, here is my round-up of this year’s calendar picks.

This year we have a little breathing room since Rosh Hashanah doesn’t start until the evening of September 24th!  For those that don’t know, the Jewish calendar follows a lunar calendar. Although secular calendars these days try to include the Jewish holidays, they often only include the major ones and often confuse when they actually start and end.  So, I like to have at least one Jewish calendar in the house so that I always know when the holidays are. Some even provide details like candle-lighting and Torah portions. Ours hangs in the kitchen for daily reference and use as a family calendar.  There also happen to be some gorgeous ones out there that add a nice little Judaic flare to your wall. You can also give one as a fabulous Rosh Hashanah hostess gift if you are lucky enough to have someone cooking for you! So, once again, I am sharing with you my picks for a 5775 Jewish calendar:

My yearly pick hasn’t changed from last year (shockingly) and will probably always be the Jewish Art Calendar by Mickie Caspi.  You can see each piece of artwork featured on Caspi’s website.  I LOVE Mickie Caspi.  She sort of reminds me of a Jewish Mary Engelbreit in terms of the warmth and cheer of her art.  We gave both sets of parents her parents’ gifts when we got married and her artwork is simply beautiful.

I was holding out hope that they would have an updated Sammy Spider kids’ Jewish calendar like the one we bought a couple of years ago for my son.  But, alas they don’t, so if you are looking for a Jewish calendar specifically geared towards kids, the pickings are slim.  There is  My Very Own Jewish Calendar which might work for you but it doesn’t really jump out at me.  The art in the Malcah Zeldis Celebrations calendar seems equally appealing to both kids and adults so it might be a good family pick and frankly may give my standard pick a run for its money this year.


If you need something a bit more portable or to keep on your desk, check out The Jewish Museum’s Jewish Engagement Calendar.  I got this one last year for blog scheduling purposes and sadly did not follow-through as much as I would have liked but may give it another go.  It has good daily space for writing.

Another portable option seems to be the Executive Jewish Calendar but this doesn’t really look like it packs much pizzazz although it does have a decent amount of room inside to visualize a month at a time and take it to board or committee meetings.

For something totally different, check out this gorgeous tea towel calendar by Barbara Shaw – if you had a place big enough to hang it, it could be a really cool calendar alternative.  It’s so cool, I’m sort of wondering where I could make it work!  Modern Tribe also has a couple of other gorgeous Israeli-designed one-page calendars that are worth taking a look at as well.

Hope this helps you start to prepare for the new year just a little!  Have you seen any other great calendars out there?  Please share if you have!  And if you want to get a jump on some super easy but sweet decorations to ring in the new year, you can always check out these Shana Tova printables from 2013 and 2012.  And be sure to check back tomorrow – it’s my double-chai birthday so I’ve got a little present for a lucky reader out there to help me celebrate!

Shabbat Shalom!