How to make a Beaded Kippah

orginalAs a Jewish woman, you know how important it is to have your head covered when you are up at the bima. Now you don’t have to use those ugly nylon ones they have at the synagogue but you can make your OWN Beaded Kippah. I’m pleased to share this pattern with you from our Sisterhood.

Now, to be perfectly honest this can be a bit hard to do. Although many of our older ladies were able to do it, some did have issues due to arthritis. At our last beading, we had several young ladies join us and those as young as 12 years old were able to do this. The result?

A beautiful personalized beaded kippah that shines your femininity.

So let’s begin!

Materials Needed:

  • 460 (minimum) Size 6/0 beads
  • 24lb gauge wire cut to 1 @ 8″, 1 @ 12″, 4 @ 18″, and 1 @ 20″
  • pencil or chopstick
  • small barrette comb

Step 1- the base

This is the hardest step. Watch the video for clarification if the directions don’t make sense.

Take the 8″ wire. Place perpendicular against pencil leaving a small tail on one side. Take the larger tail and wrap around the pencil, then as you come out on the other side, bring it forward and wrap the 8″wire once, then once again. This will give you your first loop.

Take the pencil out of the loop. Place a bead on the wire, then create the loop again by placing the wire against the pencil with the loop and bead one side of the pencil and the remaining larger tail on the other side. Wrap around the pencil, then as you come out on the other side, bring it forward and wrap the 8″ wire once, then once again. This will give you your second loop.

Remove pencil and add another bead. Keep doing this until you have 6 loops and 6 beads.

After you add your last bead you will take the two tails and connect them to make an octagon, circular shape. Your finished product should look similar to the photo below.

Step 2 -Row 1

Using the 18″ wire, connect your wire at the top of one of your loops. Using 6 beads connect them to the next loop by wrapping twice. Add 6 more beads and wrap twice on the next loop. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 2

Step 3- Row 2

Using an 18″ wire you will now connect 6 beads between every third bead as shown going in between the loops as well as at the tips. This will help form your “Star of David” in the middle. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.beaded kippah 3

Step 4- Row 3

Using an 18″ wire you will connect 6 beads to every 6 starting at the top each loop of the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 4 beaded kippah 4A

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5 – Row 4

Using an 18″ wire you will now connect 8 beads to every 6 beads , starting at the top of each loop from the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 5 beaded kippah 5A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6- Row 5

Using an 18″ wire you will now connect 8 beads to every 8 beads , starting at the top of each loop from the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 6 beaded kippah 6a

 

Step 7 – Row 6- Final row

Using an 20″ wire you will now connect 9 beads to every 8 beads , starting at the top of each loop from the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 7 beaded kippah 7a

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8 – Adding comb

To keep the kippah on the head you will need to attach a small barrette comb underneath the kippah. This will help it stay in place. To attach it to the kippah you will need to use some scrap wire and twist tie it on the kippah via the comb’s base.

 

I think you will find that it can be an easy pattern to follow once you get the hang of it. Leave me a comment if you feel a video demonstration would be better solution.

If you are not feeling daring enough or are having difficulty and would like to by one of the test ones I’ve made for the blog, then go to my Etsy shop to purchase them. You won’t find them in any store.

I invite those who are DIYers to purchase the pre-made kits complete with instructions so they may make one themselves without the hassle of trying to find the material. Order now while they are in stock.

 

Straight Talk About Transitioning to Modest Dressing

IMG_3322Every once in awhile, you come across a moment that makes you rethink the way you are living. At the beginning of this year I was sitting down, listening to my Rabbi talk about how important it is for us, as parents, to walk the walk. To change at least ONE thing that makes us more observant during this time that our children prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. It was in that moment, I looked over at my eldest who had just FINISHED her bat mitzvah when I realized what I needed to do. There she was, in tight skinny jeans that hanged off her waist and a see through t-shirt with a camisole underneath. She looked like something out of a fashion magazine but being in the synagogue she looked out of place. She looked obscene. Then I took stock of myself. I too looked out of place with my v-neck t-shirt exposing my cleavage., my hair up in a messy bun and my jean pants ripped at the knees.

This was me just 10 months ago. 

How could I tell my own daughter to not dress inappropriately when I myself was dressed inappropriate? That’s when I decided to take the plunge and being to practice Jewish Modesty, Tzniut.

During my transition to a more modest lifestyle, I ended up affecting other people unknowingly. One of those people was my good friend Kristi. Kristi had come to the conclusion that she too also wanted to dress more modestly. I decided to go ahead and sit down with her and find out why she would decide to make this change despite not being married or having any kids.

Gin: Why did you decide to make a change and try to dress more modestly?IMG_4962

Kristi: Um, a few reasons actually. I saw the style and actually really liked it. We had googled it in (conversion) class one night and a saw a few and I said to myself, “yeah I could wear that!”  Also, I had been dressing very immodestly and felt like it was time to grow up with my clothes, working in office and all. 

Finally, I wanted to do something different with my Judaism. I wanted something that pushed me out of my comfort zone. 

Now, all of the rituals (of Judaism) came naturally to me then finally once I started doing dressing modestly I fell in love. I was going to just do it until my adult bat mitzvah and then reassess, but I think I will stick with it.

Now I know you had some difficulties with dressing modestly. Can you describe your biggest from when you first started?

Oh well, I still have them! There’s two. One is I started when it was hot in Texas. LOL Not only that but there were no modest clothes so I had to wear the same thing every day. It was hot. Also I have not fully transitioned and still own a lot of immodest clothes. So the temptation to wear short sleeve shirt on a hot day instead of doing laundry is so strong.

Have you heard of modest clothing companies like Shelly Shelly? And kosher casual? If so, what has prevented you from purchasing them?

Okay, yeah Kosher casual ! Yes, I think that might’ve been one I googled. But I’m nervous to purchase online clothes.

How do you feel when you dress modest?

I feel like I’m on a personal level with G-d out of everything I’ve done that is Jewish. Dressing modestly is the most meaningful thing I have done vs. everything else that I have done. Like lighting candles for Shabbat, going to service, and praying, It’s obvious to the world what I’m doing because I’m Jewish but when I dress modestly, it’s truly between me and God. No one sees me cover my elbows or put on a skirt and says, “Well, she must be Jewish.” If that makes sense.

Would you say you don’t feel like you stand out when you dress modestly?

I did at first. I felt like I stood out. But now I don’t know if I got used to it or what but I don’t think I stand out anymore.

Did current fashions have any influence on your decision to dress more modestly or  would you say it was purely for religious reason?

Um, I would say fashion had about a 20% influence.

Any advice for those transitioning based on your experience?IMG_4975

Like I said, we pulled up Google images and saw the modest clothing. LOL. Make your journey your own. Don’t beat yourself up if you ever struggle because you will. Just have fun with it.

Okay. Would’ve helped if there was someone who guided you? Like a how-to video or someone personally raiding your closet?

I think the how-to would have definitely helped. Anything that I try to find on the subject involved hair. I learned everything I know from Google images of women dressing modestly. Having a person in my closet, not so much, because like I said I wanted it private and personal and I wanted to make it my own. Something as simple as “these are the basic rules, Here are some fun examples,” Would have been amazing! And not something designed to be like, “okay now you’re married so now you do this.”

Has anything stopped you from asking someone you know who already practices modesty? And if so, why?

Definitely. Being single and stay modestly by choice, not because it’s how I was raised, was definitely hard. Having something new and kind of overwhelming is bad enough, but I felt surrounded by people who meant well but we’re telling me how unnecessary it was, how they could never do it, and how it wasn’t like I was married or anything. At my lowest, it made me feel like I had less value as a Jewish woman unless I was married. That was the absolute lowest it got. Like I wanted to give up. Ironically, I felt like my biggest support and the person who kept me focused on the spiritual reason I am doing this was my very non-Jewish mom.

Thank you for answering these questions.

You’re welcome. Thank you for listening.

Like Kristi,  I found my transition difficult mostly because I am a Conservative Jew and not Orthodox. I had no help either. I did find some inspiration from people online like Jew in the City and Wrapunzel who had style ideas from a more modern jewish orthodox point of view. Since then I’ve shared my knowledge with Kristi and all those who wish to put a little more observance in their life. In fact, I’ve made a video to help those, like Kristi, who need just a couple of ideas.

As a result of my transition, I have found that my daughter has become more conscious of what she is wearing and dresses just a LITTLE less revealing than she was. She knows the “rules” on modesty and for the most part, she covers at least one of the items. Because of that I am happy.

My daughter was not the only reason I have done this journey. I too wanted to improve my relationship with G-d and my husband. Dressing this way, acting this way, and living this way has given my relationship with G-d and my relationship with my husband greater meaning than I could ever imagine.

Right now, I’m inviting you to sign up online to join me and receive updates and tips on Jewish Life here in Texas. A free pocket-book on Modest dressing will be yours once you subscribe. Join now!
IMG_3334

What to do when they ask you about the S-word

IMG_1372Your parents are asking about IT. Your in-laws are asking your husband about IT and he’s wondering about it, too. All of a sudden everyone is worried about IT. The idea of what is going to happen if your child doesn’t get IT.

The BIG S-word.

Socialization.

Because it’s SO necessary! It is VITAL for your child very existence. Let’s not mention they have never once asked how many friends your child has nor how their socialization in school was going.

Why?

Because they just assume that it’s happening at school. Like through osmosis. Yet, not everyone makes friends at school. Sure they are forced to work together at times, but a good chunk of their education is spent in solidarity. At their desk and testing, they are not allowed to talk to each other unless it’s at the prescribed time. Usually at lunch or recess. So while your child is in class for about 8 hours, he is ACTUALLY only socializing 1 hour of that. IF that! Some schools have removed recess and have limited lunch to 30 minutes. So in that short time kids are cramming food in their mouth and “socializing”.

And those kids who are shy or are the socially awkward? What happens toIMG_1351 them?

They are typically bullied and isolated. I know because that was my son. His problem wasn’t that he couldn’t make friends. He had plenty of that in his old school. It was the type of friends he wanted to make. He didn’t like the kids at his school because they did things against his values.. So that ended up leaving him isolated. The teachers did nothing to promote “socialization”. Their aims were just to get the kids to pass the state test. Teachers could care less about kids socializing.

Then now how are they to socialize?

The same way adults do. You get involved in your activities that allow you to meet people who share those interest. Your children will do the same thing.

The first thing is my son loved baseball. He met many boys and they all seemed to get IMG_1354along. Not all sports go through the school. We found many alternative sport leagues. (Check your local YMCA if all else fails.) When my son was no longer interested in baseball we moved on to….

….Drum lessons! Just cause your kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean that they can’t learn to play an instrument. My children play the violin, flute, guitar, clarinet, and drums. Not one learned their first note in school. They all had private lessons first.

One organization that has ALWAYS been inviting of homeschoolers is the Boy and Girl Scouts. My son has made some solid friendships within their organization. The thing is, if your child is not happy with one troop, if your city is large enough, you can asked to be placed in another group. My son’s troop is very active and we let him participate in most events even though it’s through the local catholic church. (There are no Jewish Boy scouts in our area.) They have always been respectful of our faith.

Your kids only want to play video games?? Good. Yes, I said that. Good. Get them a online subscription and you won’t regret it. (Just make sure everyone is practicing online safety) Children learning about how to deal with online friendships is just as important as offline friendships. With our world being so digital it’s important that they learn how to deal with people from all ages and cultures. Games like Minecraft and Call of Duty are all great games for kids to work on team building.

One of the best ways children can learn about others is in synagogue. We send ours to Hebrew Sunday school and they have made many Jewish friends that way, but even if your shul doesn’t have a school they can still meet others by going to service. Encourage them to have conversations with adults. In today’s world, the ages of your coworkers will vary from the same as you mother to even your grandmother as more and more people are working later in life. Learning this skills now will only help them in the future.

Some will say, that their child can still get all of this and still stay in regular day school. That is when you must ask yourself and them, then WHY keep them in regular day school for socialization if they are continually getting it from another source and they are getting positive friendships vs the possible negative friendships. With these friendship I never worry about him falling in with the “wrong crowd” because his friendships make up MY crowd and so will your child’s. That is what you tell family because a traditional school setting is not the sole source of socialization.

IMG_1344

For more tips on homeschooling, please subscribe to our updates here.

Let’s get to know each other better!

I’m participating in a Getting-to-Know-You game of 20 Questions with Kris (With a K) from the With a K Writing Academy. I’m excited to get to know my own blog-readers better & to find other bloggers to play with too. You know – friends who just get it. If you want to participate, you can too! Just go to check out Kris’s post about it here, & get started.

 

1 – What’s a ridiculous nickname you’ve had?

Taco. My grandfather use to call me that.

2 – Why do you write a blog? Have your reasons changed over time?f11dd-familygrandcanyonphoto

I started my blog because I wanted to document my adventures with my kids. I worked for the airline and since we traveled free I blogged about where we would go. It then turned into a travel blog for my travel business, until I retired. And now it’s a blog about our NEW adventure in homeschooling my youngest son.

3 – Where do you like to be when you are writing?

Usually when I’m writing I’m at my desk. HOWEVER, when I get my really great ideas I go outside on my back patio and sit at the table with some coffee.

4 – Peanut butter & __________.

Honey. I like it sweet and sticky!

5-What does your Writing Process look like?

Besides being a “flying-at-the-seat-of-my-pants” kind of girl, I’m a sit in my pj bottoms and oversized t-shirt blogger. You will never see it of course since I practice Jewish modesty and only my hubby can see me that way. (and he probably doesn’t want to see me like that either. lol)

6 – What keeps you up at night?

My husband’s snoring. It’s a curse and a gift. Mostly because I’m able to get SO MUCH blogging and other things done while everyone is asleep and not bugging me.

7 – What was your last online purchase? Did you hide it from anyone? (I see you, impulse buyers & shame shoppers)

My last online purchase was a laminator. Now what the h-ll I’m going to do with this said laminator I have NO CLUE so when I got it I just laminated random crap. lol. It was fun. I let the kids join in with me as well.

8 – What do you honestly think of elastic waistbands?

They should only be worn with an over shirt. There are typically only one kind of person that is wearing elastic waistbands. I’m one of them but you will never know I’m wearing them.

9 – What blogs or magazines do you love to read? Why?

I like reading the My Litter blog and I love following her on Facebook. She is hear in Houston and since I’m new to the area she has taught me about SO many things that large families like mine can do.

10 – What is your favorite way to express your creativity?MENORAH

I love to draw and photograph. I have to be involved with some kind of picture that shows what I’m feeling at that moment.

11 – DSLR or iPhone?

I heart my Nikon D40 DSLR. I’ve been through so much with that little guy. We are family. He’s been all over the world with me.

12 – How do you feel about the semicolon? Do you have any feelings about punctuation marks, in general? (it’s ok if you don’t)

I never understood how to use it. In the end it seems like it’s an arbitrary punctuation mark. I’m always worried someone is going to say, “OH!!! She should of used the semi colon instead of the comma!!!”

13 – What is a skill you really want to learn?

Water coloring. I’ve copied Renaissance art in oil paint but ask me to watercolor and you’ll have a soppy mess.IMG_5199

14 – Do you use a planner or journal to keep your life from derailing? What kind?

I use a planner. I have this medium sized Red planner and the only reason I bought it was because it was the only one that had Jewish Holidays! ARG!

15 – What does your dream Sunday look like?

My dream Sunday is when I can sleep in, not have to take the kids to Hebrew school, and my husband is serving me Starbucks in bed.

16 – Do you have a full-time business or a side hustle?

I consider this full time. I volunteer at my synagogue as well and that takes up my time, but this is my first priority in terms of work. Family is always first.

IMG_507217 – Coffee or tea?

Pfft! Is this a trick question?!? Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.

18 – What is your favorite outfit?

My yoga pants. (yep I said pants.) And my husband’s black Einstein shirt. I feel super comfy. I wear it when I plan to have the house with just my kids and hubby.

19 – What scares you?

Failure….and bees. Bees are EEEEEEEvvvvvillllll.

20 – Cats or Dogs?

Dogs. We just got a dog. Her name is Stella.

I can’t wait to get to know you. Be sure to place your answers to the 20 questions below!!

~Gin

The Secret Method of How to Teach Your Child Was Hidden in the Bible

David boredHe won’t do his work again. He’s just sitting there; head down on the table looking at the paper as if the work will just magically be completed if he looks long enough. It’s another frustrating day teaching English. You don’t blame him. You hated English in school, too. Except when they played movies. SchoolHouse Rock ROCKED! It’s the only reason you know what a conjunction is AND its function! (Admit it, you just sang that song!)

This is what you thought homeschooling was. He fills out the paperwork and you basically take on the role of “teacher”. Correcting his work, giving him grades; but now you’ve hit a wall. He’s refusing to do any work. He wants to play video games and watch TV. Anything but learn about conjugating verbs.

Un-schooling is a different. In un-schooling the child decides what they want to learn. They are not learning nothing and playing video games all day (which isn’t entirely a bad thing). As parents we leave “crumbs”. It’s a method called “strewing“. This is when the kids began to question what they find and then seek it out. As Jews we are ALWAYS seeking and questioning. What is the old joke? With two Jews you will get three opinions?

The Tanakh (Bible) also dictates what we should teach our children. In Deuteronomy we are commanded to teach our children the mitzvos, laws and judgments. There are 613 mitzvahs.David Shopping

That’s a lot.

Thing is, they all don’t apply to us at any one time. However, they do apply to a variety of issues in life. There is a massive amount of laws on just business ALONE.(This covers your subjects in Math, Economics, Financing, etc.)

There are civil laws on how to interact with each other, as well as animal laws governing how to treat animals. (Perfect for fulfilling the requirements for Government or Good Citizenship.)

We have Kosher laws that dictate what we can and cannot eat, defining our Health and Nutrition. As well as Family Purity laws in regards to marriage, surprisingly leading into Human Biology.

Why do we have so many laws?

Because when the Hebrews left Egypt they left without a government to rule them. They needed these laws to survive the desert. Left without a structure they would have probably perished. I mean look what happened as soon as Moses left them alone for a minute! They were building golden calves and having wild orgies. The people needed structure and Hashem knew this.

This isn’t the only time we are told to teach our children. In the Passover Haggadah we are commanded to replay the story of Exodus to our children. (History. See where I’m going here now.) And we are commanded to study Torah which we do with our weekly Parsha. (Reading & Writing.)david desk space

So where does un-schooling fall into this?

It’s life. It’s how you, as a Jew live your life. Guide your child how to live their life according to Judaism and you are un-schooling. You’re not just sitting down with paper. There is no test. At least not a test that anyone on Earth can grade. You are just doing your day-to-day stuff.

It’s OK to add anything outside of that, just make it all based on their interest. Again, with whatever bread crumbs you put. Sometimes it’s going to be video games and that’s OK. Talk with them about their video games. Advise them how it applies to Judaism. The more they communicate with you the bigger their vocabulary will become and the more comfortable they will become with talking with others. (Spelling and Public Speaking.) Not to mention how much more they will feel part of this world as a Jew.

Start strewing now. For more ideas on how to leave the breadcrumbs, sign up now for the free “Tips on Strewing” guide by entering your name and email below.




Learn Hebrew Before Your Child’s Bat Mitzvah

IMG_4864“Learning Hebrew is the easiest language to learn because of all the patterns..” -Rabbi Stuart Federow

Ok, seriously. I’m biased. That’s my Rabbi, but he’s not lying. Its true. There are SO many patterns that when you start looking for them, you will actually see them.

Now I’m not going to tell you how to speak Hebrew. Shoot! I’m still learning myself, but what I will share with you is where I’ve been learning them from.

*Your local synagogue/Chabad– many have a class at least ONCE in the year. Just ask someone. Don’t be shy. And if they don’t, still ask. They have a plan for the year by mid July and if you ask you just might get it on the agenda. If you are a member, usually it will be free.

*Hebrew Books- There are two books I’m going to recommend. The first is the “The First Hebrew Primer: 3rd Ed”. It’s really detailed to the point you’ll go into information overload, but will really get into conjugation for you. The second book is “Learn Hebrew Today: Alef-Bet for Adults. This is great if you have no-clue what the letters are and you are trying to figure how to say them.

*Jewish Community Center – There is usually an adult program they are affiliated with that will also teach. Usually there is a fee associated with it. I wouldn’t pay more that $60 for an all day lesson, IMO. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will you learn hebrew.

*Rosetta Stone – If you have the cash or time is truly testing on you before that big trip to Israel, get it. It worth it. My son and I can have different profiles on there so we are not ruining each other progress. Its more conversational Hebrew but don’t expect to read the Bible after this. Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are different. But again, that’s where the books above come into play.

*Online/Apps– Ok So I usually use two Apps, “AlephBetStory” to learn my letters, and “Nemo Hebrew” to practice actual words. Online there are also some free Hebrew guides. I’ve never used them as most wanted me to download something or they had so much advertising on their website that it was just an awful experience in general. So I can’t recommend any of those.

IMG_4807The big big big big BIG thing about learning to read Hebrew is to PRACTICE EVERY DAY FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES. You will forget. I’m at the synagogue everyday surrounded by Hebrew and still, I’ll forget in my Sunday class between a Bei and a Vei! Oy Vei!

~Gin

The Doctor Has Just Taken You…

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

If you could go anywhere with the Doctor, where in all of WORLD history would you go?

Let me know. I want us to have some fun with this.

Can you imagine how fun a lesson plan built around Dr Who would be?!?!? I’m getting all goose pimply just thinking about making the lesson plan.

And that’s kind of weird for even me.

Me, personally, I would go to the British Victoria age. The world just seemed to be filled with such grace and femininity. Plus the industrial age was just beginning. ANYTHING seemed possible.

Share your answer in the comments below.

Remember, “IT’S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE! IT’S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE!!” 😀

~Gin

 

Power of Loving Touch

It’s been four children later and I finally understand WHY women hold their husbands hands during labor.

You see it in all the movies. The husband is cheering his wife on, telling her to “push” as they hold hands and she squeezes. Its this picture of “team-work” a couple goes through and a man’s effort to show she isn’t alone in this event and he’ll be there for her, yada yada yada yada.

The reality is it is very dangerous to hold hands becauses in the moment a woman going in labor could break all the bones in his hand and fingers. It will be (assumingly) and accident but its been known to happen and I can even remember our labor coaches telling us to not hold our husbands’ hand during the contractions for this reason. Many in my class looked bummed, then there was me who just didn’t care.

See, I my last marriage was a loveless marriage. We tried, but we knew we just didn’t make each other happy which led to the eventual divorce after our last child was born. One thing I remember though, is the birth of each of my children. He was there for each one. It was during our first and our last child that he held my hand. Asking me each time, to please not break his hand.

To me holding his hand was more of a nucance. It was a stressful situation each time and honestly, him around was unpleasent. I was always happier when it was just me, the baby, or a family member.

Fast forward 10 years, and I now find myself now married to a man who I love more than life itself and who in turn loves me. (Very different from my last marriage) This bliss has been happening for over 8 years now. He just needs to be near me and my whole body calms. It amazes me.

Recently my wonderful “Aunt Flo” came to town and like always, the first day she’s a bit of a “b*tch”. It’s so bad that I can barley walk or even get out of bed. Doctors have done various test and refused to issue me pain meds for the situation becuase the conclusion in the end is that I’m just a wimp and need to get over it. (Not their words, but mine.) And for anyone who has ever had a child will probably understand what kind of pain i’m having as its similar to when one is in labor. Its the back, the stomach, the back, the stomac. And it RADIATES?!? UG! It makes me miserable, but I deal.

Recently, my husband did something that I would normally ask him not to as we try to practice Taharat Hamishpachah (Jewish Family Purity if I said that right). I laid there in pain, crying like the big baby I am. He crawled up next to me in bed and then just grabbed my hand and held it. Didn’t say a word but held my hand. First, the stress of it all just melted away thus reducing the amount of pain I was feeling since I wasn’t stressed. And even the stress of “omg! He’s touching me right now when he’s not suppose to!” didn’t creep up nearly as much because the utter calm of him trying to make me feel better was too much.

Once I was calm, he of course let go and got out of bed, but it was in THAT moment I realized why women wanted to hold their husbands hand during labor. Not so he can feel the pain. Not to feel the “teamwork” but to feel the “calm” that ones partner gives you. The utter sense of security and LOVE that you feel for each other. That sense can wipe away ALL the stresses of the moment to help create a more relaxing and comforting birthing experience.

Jelly.

~Gin

Healthy Eating After the Holidays

During the holildays my diet always seems to take a turn for the worst. And us, Jews, have LOTS of Holidays! It's like we are celebrating SOMETHING about every month. Truth is, we aren't. It's just that our biggest holiday is smooshed with a whole bunch of little holidays at one time of the year it makes it feel that way. However, many of our holidays in some way or another seems to have SOME kind of traditional food. The same goes with most organized religious.

I mean, food is what brings people together. As humans millions of years ago, we hunted and stayed in groups to protect each other. When one was left alone, you died. In today's modern times, we aren't going to die if we eat/live alone but there is still that subconcious need to be with others. Hightented by the holidays. Which is when we tend to “indulge” or at least be more forgiving of ourselves if we deviate from our healthy diet lifestyle by just having that one bite of cake.

Or maybe a couple slices.

For my family I do these things to get us back on track to eating healthier and not like its our last meal before Exodus. (Please note I am not a dietician but just a mom-with-a-blog and these are just ideas to help you brainstorm to see what will work for your own family.)

1. We spend the week after the holidays eating JUST leftovers. Of course we check the shelf life of each item that we have before eating it. Most items will be eaten for lunch but larger leftovers are usually given for dinners with a small supliment from our pantry stock. At the end of the week with whatever is left we have “potluck” dinner and everyone chooses what they want before it gets tossed or given to the dog. (Our dog Stella eats like a Queen on our potluck days and she knows it. Just make sure what ever you give your pet is ok for them. Our dog was a rescue dog from the street so she was use to human food before dog food.)

2. Start with breakfast. For most people, you won't have leftover breakfast foods so during this week of leftovers, renew that shot of wheatgrass every morning or juice. If you have a juicer, juice some of the odd and ends of leftover fruits and veggies you still have from the holidays. Anyone still have apples from Rosh Hashanah?

3. As you run out of things, start replacing them with the healthier, organic versions if possible. This will help you start getting in the mindset again of eating cleaner and healthier than those potatoe pancakes you were eating a couple months ago.

4. Keep sweet night to only Shabbos night. By keeping the day of cakes and cookies to just at Friday night's Oneg, it will not only help keep the calorie count down for the week but it will also help make the night just a bit more special for the family by indulging in the one thing they don't for the rest of the week.

These are just a few tips to help you get back into Non-Banquet-Dinner mode. Hope this helps you.

~Gin

 

When Inspiration Has Left the Building

This is a recent picture of my craft table. Its a freekin' mess. At this point I'm suppose to be blogging all this cool craftying stuff I've done recently, but truth be told, I've done jack. Which, to be honest, is really freaking me out. I'm suppose to be working on Fish Extender gifts for our Star Wars cruise on Disney! Right now I'm thinking, “Gin, what did you get yourself into?”

First, money has been going all towards Bat Mitzvah's and family vacations this past summer.

Second, I'm just not “feeling” it. Oh! I got a little bug here and there but not one of my projects are finished. I'm so incredible disappointed in myself.

Now, I'm in the High Holidays and as I start to think about it, its almost time to get ready to send my non-jewish friends Christmas gifts and my Jewish ones Hannukah ones. Usually I like to make something for everyone and with all the crafting materials I have I am sure I could make enough gifts for an entire homeless shelter.

So why am I not crafting away?

This has happened to me before and I'm hoping that with some of my tips for getting out of the “creative rut” it will also help you.

I always feel better about crafting when I feel I have a “deadline” or I am making my item for a specific person. Just randomly making something with now clear purpose (even if its to sell it) really does nothing for me and also makes it not very fun. So what I will be doing is first make a list of EVERYONE I must give to or I will be considered a total jerk.

I then consider what is my arsinal of crafting materials and then begin to make list of things I think they might enjoy. I'm a crocheter so most people expect something crochety every year.

Usually getting just through that list alone helps me get out of the crafting rut.

With this week being a reflection week, I'm hoping I will have a plan by Yom Kippur.

L'Shanah Tova!

~Gin

 

1 2 3 4 11