Month: December 2016

How We Celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas

His family is Jewish and mine is not.

We decided to raise the littles Jewish, so now what do we do?

Well, we do a lot of both and none of some…

So, here’s how we celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas:

We light Menorahs AND put up a Christmas tree (aka Hanukkah bush.)

Our tree has a Star of David topper and we decorate it in blue and silver.

We have blue stockings (which, by the way, are really hard to find!) and our stocking holders say PEACE.

We read Hanukkah AND Christmas books before bed.

We open presents for 8 nights.

And on Christmas morning.

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I wish my life was as perfect as my Christmas card

But it’s not.

Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I curse.

Sometimes I’m mad at my husband. Sometimes he’s mad at me.

Sometimes he has a bad day at work. Sometimes I have bad days.

Those cruise pictures we took? We spent most of that cruise telling at our kids because they wouldn’t go to camp.

Those camping pictures? Emma refused to nap and I drove her around in the truck, then slammed on the brakes and yelled at her.

Our kids don’t always hold hands and hug.

They fight. They pull hair.

They scratch. They bite.

They’re not perfect. And neither am I.

So, don’t be fooled by our Christmas card.

I wish my life was as perfect as my Christmas card.

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Recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

I don’t know about you, but with all the breads, rolls, candy, gingerbread houses, cookies, etc. this time of year I NEED a good salad.

I had seen shaved Brussels sprouts salads around, but had never eaten one. I always thought, “Do they really just shave a Brussels sprout?” Turns out, yes.

Here’s my super easy recipe for a healthy salad this holiday season to keep you feeling on track and not so icky and bloated from all those holiday treats!

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts
dried cranberries (aka Craisins)
pecans
cheese (I don’t like blue cheese or feta but either of those would do)
chicken (my hubby grilled some for the week that we store in a Tupperware in the fridge)
hard boiled egg
avocado

I took a cheese grater and literally shaved my Brussels sprouts into a bowl. For like two of them. Then, I just started slicing and dicing them into small enough pieces for a salad.

Then, I arranged all my toppings and finished it off with a white balsamic shallot dressing:

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‘Tis the Season for Family Pictures

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‘Tis the season!

For holiday cards with family pictures!

This is the one time of year (I think) that most people get their family pictures taken.

We get ours taken usually a few times per year: birthdays, etc.

We usually take some for Emma’s birthday (at the end of October) and those usually end up being our pictures for our cards.

Here are some of my tips:

Set Expectations: Don’t tell your kids about the pictures RIGHT before you are about to leave for them. Give them some heads up. “We are going to take some pictures tomorrow.” Also, I always go in with the expectation of getting ONE good picture. ONE. If I get more, great. Don’t go in expecting the world and be disappointed.

Pick Outfits: Make sure you pick something your kid is going to actually wear. Comfortable. Nothing itchy. For example, my youngest refuses to wear anything but a dress at the moment. So, when I was picking out outfits, I knew not to dare try to put her in anything else.

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Bribery! We used to have our pictures taken in the mall. And we would tell the kids, “when we’re all done we can go ride the carousel!” Or have Chick-fil-A or go out to dinner after. Whatever works. I even brought lipstick to our last photo session to keep them happy! Whatever you have to do!

Outdoor vs. Indoor. This is all about personal preference. We usually take our photos inside at a studio (keep them contained!)

Take yourself vs. Professional This one would be tough to do by yourself with the exception of a timer on your camera, but if you have a friend or a family member it could work.

Here’s my last and probably most important tip: Take lots of pictures of your kids!

People always tell me, your kids are so photogenic! It’s because I take their pictures 20 times per day! LOL They know if they just look at me and smile once, I’ll leave them alone!

Seriously, we all have cameras on our phones now. It’s so easy to snap a picture of them! Plus, it gets them used to the idea of looking at the camera and saying CHEESE, which is all we really want!

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It’s Soup Season!

Happy December!

We are *STILL* waiting for cold weather here in Florida, but something about fall/ winter makes me ant to eat. all. the. soups.

I have made three different soups in the last two months (which doesn’t seem like a lot, but still)

First, in October, I made a Crock Pot French Onion Soup. We took this one to Disney with us and made it in coffee mugs there. It was a little strong on the thyme for me, so next time I will dial it down to 1 teaspoon.

Anywho, here’s that recipe:

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Crock Pot French Onion Soup

1 HUGE onion
1 tsp thyme
EVOO
1 container Beef Broth
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 loaf French Baguette
Thick sliced cheddar cheese

Cook onion with EVOO and thyme until tender. Add to Crock Pot. Add beef broth and spices. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Place soup in coffee mug, place French baguette and cheese on top and broil for 5 mins or until cheese is nice and melty and brown.

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