Hanukkah Countdown With Dreidel Fun

Hanukkah is just over a week away and I have cards to address, presents to wrap, and of course crafting to do!  But that doesn’t mean we can’t do an abbreviated countdown this year.  And thanks to the length of this year’s countdown, I’ve managed to include a nice little refresher on how to play dreidel should you have forgotten (or your kids are trying to make up the rules!)

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Shana Tova from my family to you!

It’s been way too busy with back to school and of course the high holidays.  And as luck would have it, my 8-year-old woke up sobbing with a sore throat Rosh Hashanah morning so it was a day of honey and tea instead of apples and honey. Though I did still manage to bake apple raisin round challah. So I posted on FB and Instagram that I was super excited about our new year cards that I ordered from Simply to Impress and promised I would follow-up with a reveal. It was my first time ordering from them but I decided to give them a chance since they had an amazing array of Jewish new year cards. I also really liked that you could order them in the more petite size of 4 x5.5 which I just think is a really sweet size.

So, I managed to stage my kids for a perfect fall new year pic by providing them with a couple of realistic looking toy shofars. Fair warning, they sound sort of kazoo-like which gets old pretty fast! I got my daughter this cute apple dress on sale last year at the Gap and put it away in the size I figured she’d be now. For my son, I ordered this cute button down and bow tie.  After many outakes, I got a bunch of shots and then played around with cropping.   Then I debated which of the tons of darling card options to choose and ended up settling on this one…drum roll, please… Continue reading

A sweet and simple Shana Tova

The new year is coming and I couldn’t be more excited for a fresh start! I have been MIA for far too long. Year 38 has probably been the longest of my life.  So I mentioned back in December that we’d had health challenges – well now that they seem mostly behind us (pu pu pu), I can offer a bit more explanation.  At 38, my dear sweet husband was diagnosed with TWO kinds of cancer.  After major surgery the week of Thanksgiving, he’s spent the last nine months in a cycle of chemo and radiation, all while juggling work and life with two kids (who turned 8 and 2 this summer!)  So, you can guess where much of the day-to-day worry fell.  But I am thrilled to say that my sweet is now cancer-free!! One of my goals is to return to my craft projects, or rather sharing them with all of you; the sign in my craft room does proclaim, “Arts and Crafts Keep Me Sane” after all. I’ve still managed to sneak some projects in over the past year and will try to go back and share them over time.

But here we are at the end of the summer.  School starts next week! And the high holy days are fast approaching with Rosh Hashanah starting at sunset on the 20th.  My new calendar is well-hung in the kitchen and ready for ALL of September’s firsts to be added.  Note the magnetic chalkboard door – that is a long ago project that I have been meaning to blog for a long time!  As 2nd VP of our synagogue board, one of the things that comes with the holidays is new year greetings to members.  I am old-school and appreciate the art of the handwritten note, so I decided to make some for myself as well another board buddy.


So as you know, I am quite the rubber stamp collector.  I am constantly on the hunt for new additions to my collection but the most recent one is quite the standout.  It is a gorgeous pomegranate and shofar image with a handwritten Shana Tova that is so simple and elegant – perfect for a fabulous greeting card.  I found the stamp on eBay but it is by Rubber Hedgehog. Lovely craftsmanship and well worth it. 

To get the most out of simple stamps you need good paper and good ink. In this case, I used Fabriano notecards in the folded reply card size in gorgeous raw edge Italian paper with matching envelopes.  I stamped in Brilliance ink, both Pearlescent Crimson and Pearlescent Poppy.  Both look fabulous although the photos don’t quite do justice to the beautiful pearlescence that these inks provide.  Regardless of which you choose, it is a quick way to create elegant handmade Jewish new year cards.  I did dry the ink with a heat gun (aka fancy hairdryer) just to make sure it was set before I packaged them, but otherwise, easy peasy.

Are you sending any new year cards?  Any crafting plans in the next couple of weeks?  Remember, you can always enlist your kiddos too!

Also, since it’s almost the new year, my resolution is to BLOG more for all of you!  So please share any crafty, Jewish Martha topics you’d like to see covered in the coming months and I’ll see what I can do.  Shabbat Shalom and happy end of summer!

P.S. Made by Mamaleh is now on Instagram. Come follow me @madebymamaleh

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


 Source: ibreakplates.com

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!