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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Counting Down to Hanukkah (with a new twist)

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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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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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Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt for Shavuot

As I may have mentioned before, I was a founder and chair of our synagogue’s Young Families group over the last several years.  Last year we had a big Shavuot event with PJ Library where we read stories, made butter, had ice cream and waited two hours for a goat to arrive (don’t get me started).  This year we wanted to do something low-key but also educational and fun.

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Popping by to say Happy Purim!

Printable labels for Purim treats

It’s been WAAAAYYYY too long and I do apologize!  Life has simply happened and I have been busy trying to keep up.  I’m still here just not crafting as much as I’d like at the moment.  But with Purim almost here (it starts Saturday night), it’s time to think about some Purim goodies!  You might recall that last year after my son got lots of Valentine’s treats, I opted to make some fun mini mishloach manot instead.  So, I decided to do the same thing again this year and since his pre-K class is on the smaller side, I decided to treat the kids to one of my favorite (and quite novel) Israeli sweets: Elite Milk Chocolate with Popping Candies, or in other words a chocolate bar with pop rocks!  If you’ve never tried these, you are missing out!  I must confess to you that when my husband (who back then was my boyfriend) and I did Birthright back in 2005, we came back with so many of these in our suitcase, I’m pretty sure the El Al agents had a good laugh at our expense.  There are several places you can order these online but the prices are definitely higher than what you’d find in Israel or even locally.  I was so excited when I discovered our local Safeway started carrying them, especially in Seattle!

Mini Mishloach Manot for Purim

So, in order to put together these cute mini mishloach manot, I designed some simple label wraps in Publisher and printed them on vellum for a fun look (my son was very intrigued that you could see through the paper). But really any paper or light-weight cardstock would work equally well.  Each is 2.5 inches wide so you’ll get 4 per standard 8.5×11 sheet of paper – there are no cut lines just start from the left and cut every 2.5 inches.  Once they are printed and cut, address them (as you can see my son is working on writing all of his letters) and use some cute washi tape to secure them in back and you have some adorable Purim treats.  You can download the label wraps for yourself for some last-minute Purim printables.

These would also work well used as an addition to a traditional Purim basket of goodies.  If you are looking for ideas in that department, two of my favorite Jewish blogs, Chai & Home and Design Megillah each have some darling ideas!  What about you?  Are you putting together any purim goodies?

Happy Purim!

Countdown to Hanukkah 2013

Hanukkah Countdown Calendar

Ever since Halloween finally came and went last week, my four-year-old has asked me numerous times, “When is it time for Hanukkah?”  So, since last year’s printable Hanukkah countdown calendar was such a hit, I decided to make a new version for this year.  Since this year Hanukkah overlaps with Thanksgiving, I decided to embrace the fall colors to help your little ones count down the anticipation in the days leading up to Hanukkah (or Thanksgivukkah as so many are calling it).  Unlike last year, I couldn’t make chai (18) to Hanukkah work thanks to the calendar configuration but it’s designed for you to start counting down on Sunday, November 10th.

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Chai to Hanukkah {Free Printable}

Printable Hanukkah Countdown Calendar

Part of the fun of any holiday or special event is the anticipation of it.  This was abundantly clear to me in October as my 3-year old son came home each and every day ready to check his Halloween countdown calendar for a treat.  He was so sad when it was over and the calendar was all done.  Luckily as we head into the winter holidays, there are some great Hanukkah calendars out there; we have two, one from Pottery Barn Kids and one from Land of Nod:

They are both adorable calendars and my son loves them. BUT they only count the actual days of Hanukkah, not the excitement and anticipation of the days leading up to it.  So I decided it was time to make my own calendar and to give it a true Jewish slant.  I thought we’d count down the 18 (chai) days before Hanukkah as well as the days of Hanukkah themselves.  Using Microsoft Publisher and some great graphics I purchased from Maree Truelove on etsy, I created a printable Chai to Hanukkah Countdown Calendar for 2012 to share with all of you!  Speaking of the graphics, Maree Truelove has some really cute Hanukkah graphics if you need some for a project – it’s so hard to find non-cheesy Hanukkah graphics and hers fit the bill.

Printable Chai to Hanukkah Calendar 2012

Click on the image above to download your own printable PDF Chai to Hanukkah Countdown Calendar. For personal use only. © Made by Mamaleh 2012

I printed mine on good quality white cardstock and then printed the stickers, below, on a sheet of sticker paper and cut them out using the paper cutter (scissors would work fine too – I gave you gridlines to make it easy!).  But you could also print on paper and use tape, a glue stick or even print on magnet paper.  My intention was that you start with the “Chai to Hanukkah” sticker and then use the numbered stickers for each of the 8 nights, but really you can do whatever you (or your kids) feel like.

Printable Chai to Hanukkah Countdown Stickers

Click on the image above to download your own printable PDF of the Chai to Hanukkah Countdown Calendar stickers. For personal use only. © Made by Mamaleh 2012

Hope you are as excited to countdown to Hanukkah as we are in my house!

Quick and Easy Rosh Hashanah Decor and a Free Shana Tova Printable!

Free Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted…day to day life has just been way too busy!  But, I’m back and have a little Rosh Hashanah treat for you!  Can you believe Rosh Hashanah starts Sunday night?!   I can’t!  I have cards to send (pics coming soon I promise!) and challah to bake and then some!

Have you done anything to decorate for it?  What?  No luck, finding the latest RH designs at Target or Pottery Barn 😉  Well, I’ve got you covered.  I’ve created a couple really simple printables that say Shana Tova (literally A Good Year, essentially Happy New Year) in Hebrew and English in 5×7 and 4×6 so you can print and stick in a fun frame (mine is from my TJ Maxx wanderings).  I went for an ombre effect in blues and pomegranate (traditional holiday colors).  Stick it on your mantel or buffet table and there ya go, cute and easy and can be recycled when the holiday is over.  I printed mine on some shimmery blue paper for a little sparkle effect.  Click the links below to print or download the one that suits you best!

Free Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah printable

4×6 Blue Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

5×7 Blue Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

4×6 Pomegranate Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable

5×7 Pomegranate Shana Tova Rosh Hashanah Printable
A very simple and sweet way to add some decor to your home for your new year celebration or just because.  Shana Tova!