Wednesday, February 25, 2015

24 Hours in Haifa

Haifa is Israel's 3rd largest city. It is situated in the north of Israel and has beautiful beaches. So right before Christmas I took the husband for his birthday to spend 24 hours in this amazing city. What can you do in 24 hours? Come and see for yourself!

We opened the trip with a nice picnic right on the beach. Since it was December, the beach was almost deserted and we had it all to ourselves. The weather, by the way, was great! After the picnic we drove to the hotel we chose, Templers Boutique Hotel, which was absolutely superb. Even though we only had 24 hours in the city, we just couldn't resist a loooong nap. Oh, how I miss these kind of naps! After we managed to wake up, we enjoyed the balcony with the amazing view of the Bahai Gardens.

A nice evening stroll brought us to the lovely Wadi Nisnas neighborhood (we'll get back to it later). Most of the restaurants and shops were already closed, but we still enjoyed the great atmosphere.

For dinner we chose Xin Xin restaurant, to remind the Man of our days in China (we lived there for several years and loved the food there). We never heard of this restaurant before, but we read good reviews, and the fact that it is owned by a Chinese family caused us to have high expectations. Too high... The food wasn't good, the service was slow and all in all it was a disappointment. Anyhow, we were'nt going to let some Chinese food to ruin the evening for us, as we only had 18 more hours or so in the city. We walked around the harbour and passed by cute pubs and bars, but since we were tired (from the long nap, of course), we decided to return to the hotel. Right next to the hotel, we stopped for a night snack and beer in the lovely restaurant Fattoush.

Day 2 was very busy. We opened it with a guided tour in the impressive Bahai Gardens. It's a short tour, less than an hour, it's free and no reservations needed.

When the tour was over, we continued again to Wadi Nisnas (I promised you we'll be back, right?). It's an amazing neighborhood, with lovely people, narrow alleys and fantastic food all around (just walk around the market and try everything!).
A smiling face in Wadi Nisnas

After a falafel lunch, we went back to the German Colony, that stood deserted for decades, until it was restored in the 90', and since then became a center of the city's nightlife. We took another guided tour here as well, which was really interesting,

That's it, 24 hours in Haifa are over, we had a great time and we'll be definitely back soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Upgrading Pillowcase Tutorial

The Beatles were my first musical love. When I was 14, my dad decided it was about time I listen to some real music. So he put some records on and introduced me to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and The Beatels. Oh, The Beatles. The first Beatles album he chose for me was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A terrific choice, if you ask me. When he saw that I actually liked it, he went on and bought me my first Beatled cassette. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship :) 

So when Michal, an Israeli blogger, decided to do a Beatles project, I just knew I had to be a part of it. The idea for the project, as Michal said it, was very simple - choose a favorite Beatles song and write a post about it. It can be anything this song makes you feel. Use it as an inspiration. Hmmm. OK... A favorite Beatles song, right? That's like asking me which kid of mine is cuter when asleep. There's no answer to this question. It's impossible to choose! So I can try eliminate songs, but I'll still have a lot of songs to choose from, and anyhow, in different times in my life, I have different favorite Beatles songs. Don't you?
So I started with my list...

And pretty much all of Abbey Rd...
And yes, there are many other songs, but I had to stop somewhere. And then I began searching Pinterest. Check out my inspiration board:

And somehow I managed to choose a song. I chose Come Together, from Abbey Rd., that Lennon started writing as a campaign song for Timothy Leary, a campaign that ended when Leary was sent to prison.

So what do we do?
We upgrade a pillowcase.

You'll need:
A pillowcase (duh...)
Freezer paper (you can get it easily here)
Exacto knife
Fabric paint
A piece of foam or foam brush
A piece of cardboard

Start by printing or drawing your design. Copy it to the non shiny side of the freezer paper.

Use an exacto knife to cut your design, save the inner parts of the letters! Cut around and place with shiny side down on the pillowcase (don't forget to place the saved inner parts as well!). Iron the design onto the fabric.

That's how it should look:

Prepare your paint...

Insert the piece of cardboard inside the pillowcase (we don't want the paint to bleed through to the other side) and start painting. Wait a few minutes, and if needed, paint another coat.

Wait for it to completely dry and peel off the paper. Done!

Here are the other post from the other bloggers on the project (all are in Hebrew, but use your Google Translator!)