Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Inspiration for Hanukkah and a quick menorah tutorial

Sharon from the sweet Israeli blog Gonna Be 40 invited me to write a Hannukah post for the 8 days of miracles series she has on her blog.

8 Days of Miracles on Gonna Be 40

Since the original post is all in Hebrew, I translated it for you, and here it is in English...

So we're still licking our wounds from the huge summer vacation (plus almost another month of holidays for Rosh Hashana, that we had here in Israel), and now Hanukkah is knocking on our door. If you celebrate Hanukkah, I guess you also find yourself hosting a lot these days. Almost every day we have guests over – our friends, friends of the kiddos, family, neighbors – and we light candles in our 342 Hanukkah Menorah's (the kids are making maybe 100 of them every year!!!) and eat latkes and Hanukkah doughnuts. So to help you have the most amazing Hanukkah party, here's a round-up of some great Hanukkah ideas.

Oh, and how can you have a Hanukkah without a DIY menorah?… Scroll down to see an easy tutorial for a natural menorah.
So any good party needs some nice decorations, right? On the blog Style at Home you can find a cute tutorial for dreidel garland. Anyone said Christmas?…

הדרכה לשרשרת נורות סביבון

And if you want to involve the kids in all the preparations, you can have them make these great dreidel paper dolls from the blog Bringing Chesed Home.

שרשרת סביבונים

If you want your Hanukkah to look a bit like Christmas, here's a beautiful Hanukkah tree!

עץ חנוכה

The Etsy shop FrogPrincePaperie offers DIY Hanukkah printables. The set includes a banner, cupcake toppers, cupcake wraps, dreidel boxes, food labels and more.

קבצים להדפסה לחנוכה

The most important moment of any Hanukkah party is the lighting of the menorah, of course. From all the menoras I've seen online, this one, from Aunt Peaches, is my favorite! I'm definitely making one this year!

חנוכיית קרנף

For the snacks you can make marshmallow dreidels

סביבוני מרשמלו

And even Hanukkah gelts (these cute chocolate coins), like the ones on Oh Nuts.

מטבעות שוקולד

And you will need something to hold these coins. How about these dreidel boxes from Martha Stewart?

אריזת סביבון לממתקים

If you need more ideas, take a look at my Hanukkah Pinterest board.

Now, like I promised, a menorah tutorial.
The whole idea about this menorah is to look around you and use stuff that you can find in your surrounding. You can also follow my steps below, but feel free to go wild!
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

Search for a nice, straight branch. If it has a section taller than the other, it's even better, this is where your Shamash will go.
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

You can leave your menorah natural or paint it. My son wanted a colorful one, so we painted… You can use spray paint or acrylics.
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

Just like that -
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

Now find a pine cone, try to find one with scales open. Again, you can choose if to paint or leave it that way. If you decided to paint, you can paint now or after you disintegrate the scales (I'm lazy, so I painted before disintegrating it…).
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

Disintegrate the scales.
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

Assembly time. Use hot glue gun to glue 3 scales at a time in a flowery shape. Make 8 of these plus one Shamash.
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

חנוכיה ממוחזרת

In the center of each flower, glue a small, simple, candle holder.
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

That's it, your menorah is ready!
חנוכיה ממוחזרת

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Shop a Week

A Shop a Week
I have some good new and some bad news.

The bad news are that I decided to stop the weekly Pinterest party for a while. I will still feature my favorite pins once in a while, so please do keep on pinning to the board, but as it's taking a lot of time for me to choose the best ones and feature them every week, I felt it leaves me with almost no time for tutorials, recipes, DIY projects etc. I'm still going to feature a special shop every week, though.

Now to the good news... Have you noticed things here were quiet lately? Well, it's because lots of good things are happening. If you checked out my blog in the last few days, you saw I guest posted on Plucky's Second Thought and Sugar Bee Crafts. Tomorrow I'm at Gonna Be 40 with a Hanukkah post and there are many tutorials and other posts on the way (and this is a great opportunity to remind you that I'm always looking for cooperations, so if you have an idea for something we can do together, please email me!)

Anyway, let's move on to our weekly shop. This time we're visiting Gala Studio, a shop by the very talented Gal Almog. Gal says she tries to bring happiness and optimism into people's homes, and I think she does a great job - her works are colorful, bright and beautiful.

מתלה ילדים מגלא
I can already see those pretty hooks on our bathroom door
עגילי יפנית
I just love those Japanese earrings!
מתלה רובוט
Cool robot hook
מתלה בבושקה
I just couldn't ignore this beautiful Matrioshka hook!

And remember, if you know a cool shop, or if you own one, let me know :)

My Menorah Tutorial is on Sugar Bee Crafts!

Do you know the awsome blog Sugar Bee Crafts? Well, if you don't, make sure to check it out n-o-w! It's one of the best crafty, DIY blogs out there!

And while you're there... I'd love you to check out my menorah tutorial for Hanukkah...

DIY Hanukkah Tutorial on Sugar Bee Crafts

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rainy Day Chalkboard Tutorial - Guest Posting at Plucky's Second Thought

Can't remember whether I told you or not, but I'm Plucky's Second Thought new DIY contributor. If you don't know Plucky's blog, you should check it out - she has great tutorials, blogging tips, recipes and more cool stuff.

My first post there is a tutorial for a cute chalkboard that you can easily make. Check it out here.

Rainy Day Chalkboard Tutorial

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Shop a Week

I know, I know, it became a habit, I'm posting this Shop a Week a day late almost every week now... So I'll just say (again!) that I'm sorry and then quickly move on to this week's shop...

A Shop a Week

So this week's shop, Sky Rain Soap, belongs to Maria from Ohio, who makes these super cute soaps in many many different fragnances, some are traditional soap fragnances, some are, well, kind of weird (mojito? Popcorn?? Zucchini bread???)...

Cute soaps by Sky Rain Soap

Cute soaps by Sky Rain Soap

Cute soaps by Sky Rain Soap

Cute soaps by Sky Rain Soap

Cute soaps by Sky Rain Soap

Cute soaps by Sky Rain Soap

And, as always, if you know any cool online shop, or if you're the owner of one, let me know :)...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taste of Home - Grandma's Meatballs

You know those dishes, that you just smell and they immediately bring you back to childhood? Well, my grandma's food is exactly that. Her mayonnaise salad, her little schnitzels, the stuffed vine leaves... But most of all - her meatballs with sauce. Since I don't eat meat anymore, I can't enjoy the taste, but the smell is enough to send me back to age 6 or 7.
Grandma's Meatballs recipe

Seven years ago, after I gave birth for the very first time, my grandma (who was 70 something at the time) flew all the way to Shanghai, just to hug and kids her first great-grandson (and me!). There, in Shanghai, in my Chinese kitchen, she first taught me how to make those meatballs. I just stood there, next to her, while she cooked, and wrote everything she did. I used this recipe so many times since that day. Want a proof? Well, I guess in this case a picture IS worth a thousand words...
Grandma's Meatballs recipe

Here's the English version -

Meatballs ingredients
1 medium onion, grated
500 g (1.1 lbs) minced beef (you can mix with either chicked or turkey)
1 egg
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baharat (a typical middle eastern spice mixture). If you can't find or make it, just add another 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbs bread crumbs
salt & pepper

For the sauce
1 tsp. Canola oil
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups boiled water
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baharat
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
salt & pepper

Combine all meatballs ingredients together.
In a large pot saute onion in oil, 3-4 min.
Add tomato paste, ketchup and boiled water.
Add cumin, baharat, cinnamon, salt & pepper.
Use the meatball mixture to form meatballs about 1" in diameter.
Add the meatballs to the sauce. Make sure the meatballs are covered in sauce. If not, add some water.
Cover and cook on low-medium heat 1/2 hour.

These meatballs are great with rice, mashed potatoes or spaghetti.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Now It's Your Turn! The Weekly Pinterest Party

So I didn't manage to publish this post yesterday after all, but here it is today...

Now it's your turn!

Remember? You pin your pictures to the Pinterest Group Board, get views from hundreds of followers and maybe even get to be featured here next week.

How to pin your photos to the group board?

1. Follow me on Pinterest
2. Leave a comment, here or on any of my Pinterest pins, with your Pinterest user name.
3. I'll follow you back
4. I'll send you an invite
5. Accept the invite
6. Start pinning!

Begginers, here's a detailed explanation:
- You have to follow me on Pinterest (and I have to follow you), because these are Pinterest's rules for group boards. If the board admin wants to invite people to the pin to the board, they have to follow each other. You can only follow one of my boards, btw.
- You don't have to be bloggers. As long as your pictures are somewhere around the WWW, you're good. Flickr, Picasaweb, Instagram etc. are all fine.
- Your pin doesn't have to be a tutorial. As long as it can be an inspiration to someone, that's fine.
- If you have a non-English blog, that's OK. These days, with Google Translate, we can just translate the page to another language.

All right then, shall we see today's features?

Sweet Amy from SewsNBows, one of my favorite blogs, with a cute little helper apron set. I really need to make one for my little helper (to match her play kitchen!)! 

Little Helper Apron Set

Time to prepare for winter! And what is a winter without a decent hat? MammaNene from 
SergerPepper brings us this great tutorial for a cat hat.

Cat Hat Tutorial

And another wintery tutorial. Heather from Craft Cravings with an easy mittens tutorial, perfect for beginners!

Mittens Tutorial

Thanks for sharing ladies, if you were featured, feel free to grab a button!

The Crafeteria

That's it for today, don't forget to pin your best works into the board!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Shop a Week

I'm kind of tired of appologizing, but still... I'm posting late (again...). So sorry :) Crazy week and all, you know. I had a sick kiddo for 10 days and I'm also feeling a bit under the weather, so everything is kind of slow here. But, despite the delay, here's 'a shop a week' (and if I don't just collapse and go to sleep, I might even manage to post the weekly Pinterest party features).

The shop I want to introduce today made me say WOW out loud when I first saw it. Because, well, WOW! It took me a moment to realize that the material these items are made of is polymer clay. This is when I had my second WOW. Anyone who's ever worked with polymer clay can only imagine how crazy it is to make these kinds of sculptures. This is what I call art.

So this shop is called Color of Life and the artist Mira Krispil is the one creating these beautiful sculptures.

Polymer Clay Sculptures by Mira Krispil
Don't you just love this owl?

Polymer Clay Sculptures by Mira Krispil
Pretty colorful lizard
Polymer Clay Sculptures by Mira Krispil
A cat lover like me can't ignore this beautiful cat!

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's my SITS Day!

If you're here from The SITS Girls, well, hi! I'm so glad you stopped by! Hope you're going to like my little blog :)

You can find here tutorials, DIY projects, recipes, activities for kids, blogging tips and more.
If you want to recieve (for FREE) my ultimate blog planner, just subscribe to the newsletter (here on the right--->), and I'll email it to you.
Also, please stop by our Pinterest group board, I'd love to add you as a contributor to the board. On Wednesdays I feature here some of the best pins from the board, so add yours as well!
And.... I'm always looking for guest bloggers, drop me a line if you're interested.