Archive | August, 2011

Tidbits

24 Aug

As we are currently in the middle of packing up our flat in order to move 7 minutes down the road, my eye is on refreshing new home decoration, the small touches or pops of colour that can make all the difference. This is where Pinterest, The Fancy & Apartment Therapy come in handy for both serious inspiration and fanciful whimsy.  I probably won’t be doing anything too dramatic to our new – rented – place (i.e. it’s difficult to be really creative when it’s not your walls you’re wrecking) but I am loving these ideas and colour schemes. Apparently, I’m completely in love with Turquoise and Teal. Got any super smart decorating tips for me to run away with?  

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Heads Will Roll

23 Aug

So basically, there’s a Day Camp happening in our offices this week. Which is really nice and considerate for those who have small people in their lives and need somewhere to keep them while they work. Not so much for those of us listening to the screaming, crying, bad parenting, screechy music & computer games (highest possible volume) happening between 9am-3pm. Daily.

Of course, let me give thanks, my room backs onto the room these small people are being caged inside for most of the day. Joy! All requests from an attorney in a room nearby that the music be turned down, or the kids be given headphones, were rudely ignored. So to those particular people who have inflicted this upon me this week, this is for you. Sorry, did you say it was too loud?

In Jennie’s Kitchen

23 Aug

I read a lot of blogs, but there are a few that really stand out, which I check more frequently than others. ‘In Jennie’s Kitchen, a blog by Jennifer Perillo, is one of them, firstly because Jennie posts great, simple recipes which she tries out in her test kitchen first; and also because what really comes across in her blog is how much she genuinely loves food, as well as her husband, and her kids. Lots of bloggers frequently mention their families, but there’s something I really like about her personal twist. Which is why I was so shocked and terribly saddened to read that on August 7th, Jennie’s husband – Mikey – suffered a heart attack and died. One moment he was playing with his daughter and the next, he was gone.  Jennie writes that she wasn’t home, it was a sunny day and she had gone out with their other little girl. They were together for 16 years and then just like that – gone.

Since her husband Mikey passed away, Jennie has received hundreds of messages from those all around the world who follow her blog. People were asking how they could help, and remarkably it was Jennie who asked that we honour her husband’s memory by making his favourite – Peanut Butter Pie. You can hear about the absolutely astonishing results of that request here: http://bit.ly/pe9w68.  The community of food bloggers out there has rallied around once again.  Bloggers Without Borders are currently raising money to be put into a fund for Jennie’s two small daughters, aged 3 and 8. 

Sometimes it seems like technology has only distanced ourselves from one another. But it’s not always so.  To quote BWB:  ‘Chef John from Food Wishes said it best: “If there’s a stronger, more generous & caring online community than food bloggers, I don’t know what it would be.” ‘.  While you sit at home typing away, not knowing if anyone’s out there reading your words, think about this one story and remember, you’re really not alone. 

Thirty Before 30

22 Aug

Somewhere in a not so distant November,  the big 3-0 crouches, waiting to pounce. As I seem to alienate a large number of people every year (my Dad is quite proud, he tries to accomplish this before all his kids’ weddings…) I’m not really planning on throwing a massive shindig so that they can all come and throw shoes at me.  

 

Instead, inspired by Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely, who gave herself 6.5 months to complete her list of thirty things before 30, I’m putting the pressure on and giving myself just 2.5 months to complete my slightly less exciting but nonetheless challenging To-Do list! Then I’ll have a tea party and eat smug cake, I’ll gulp down self-satisfied lemonade with some good friends who, let’s be honest, probably won’t be talking to me by 32.  

So, in no particular order….

  • Move flats for the 6th time in 4 years (note: not an aspiration! We have no choice!).
  • Take my driving theory test.  
  • Start regular Acupuncture sessions.
  • Successfully make Ilana & Desi’s flower-shaped challah.    
  • Complete the Spielberg collection marathon (only 6 films to go!).
  • Visit my lovely pal Marjolein inAmsterdam.
  • Lose 13 pounds (shall we aim for 5?!).
  • Visit the Dialogue in the Dark museum, Holon.
  • Decide once and for all if I’m continuing to cover my hair (either way, dye it pink. underneath). 
  • Become a meal-planning whiz.
  • Make 3 new friends in Pardes Chana. 
  • Give up coffee (eeeeek). 
  • Print, make & frame a collage of our wedding photobooth pics.
  • Read ‘Honeymoon with My Brother’ – Franz Wisner.
  • Find a chavruta.
  • Get really, stupidly, silly drunk … one last time.   
  • Bake a 4-layer rainbow cake. 
  • Pray at the Kotel. It’s been too long. 
  • Buy a Holga (a Diana.F please, Santa) & learn how to use it to take pretty pictures.
  • Paint something – a picture, a door, a chair, many chairs, maybe a teapot. You used to love to paint.
  • Sponsor a kiddush at shul (Note: This is SO grown-up I might die).
  • Donate uni books to the 2nd-hand bookshop.
  • Spend a quality evening with my beautiful niece, Orly. 
  • Get semi-permanent eye lashes. 
  • Organise regular volunteering for Team Mazor at the local soup kitchen.
  • Start the novel you’ve always wanted to write.
  • Have a blood test for the BRCA1 gene.
  • Complete all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls.
  • Have your diamond set.  
  • Sleep in an Indian teepee.

Possible outcome of challenge:  self-flagellation with twisty rope/ spring onions for not getting any of it done, resulting in feelings of overwhelming shame and a free-entry-all-month pass into Loserdom.  However, one shall persevere.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Summer Wine

20 Aug

Recently, an old uni friend who was visiting Israel came to stay with us in Pardes Chana for a couple of days, finally giving me the opportunity to get out and explore our ‘new’ area during the daytime a little bit, and not just on a busy Friday when my patience levels run now. We enjoyed a lovely morning stroll around Zichron Ya’akov, the first yishuv in Israel which was named for Baron Edmund de Rothschild’s father. We indulged in brunch at a lovely cafe where pictures of ‘Zichron in the 1950’s’ peppered the walls, we popped into a paper mill and a tiny shop selling beautiful Israeli pottery, tasted a variety of olive oils & jams at ‘Auntie Berta’s and visited the Nili museum (Bet Aaronsohn) i.e. the house where the infamous Aaronsohn siblings lived.

(Zichron pedestrian mall)

To escape the midday heat, our stroll around Zichron was followed by a trip to the gorgeous Tishbi Winery, based at the foot of the Carmel mountain ridge.

Tishbi was also once owned by Baron de Rothschild, who awarded the land to a Jewish family, the Chamiletzkis, who had settled in the region. The poet Chaim Nachman Bialik visited the developing winery and blessed the family with a new name (as poets often do?!) – ‘Tishbi’, an abbreviation for ‘Toshav b’Shefaya b’Yisrael’ meaning ‘A Resident of Shefaya in Israel’, inextricably tying them to their new profession and their homeland.  Jonathan Tishbi, a grandson of Michael Chamiletzki, now runs the winery and oversees the production of a million bottles a year.

After a tour of the winery where we learned all about Tishbi’s vineyards and wine-making, we were rewarded with a tasting session (best!), sampling wines from the Tishbi Special Reserve and Tishbi Estate. Exotic chocolate squares, flavoured to match the Tishbi wine tannins, completed my ‘heavenly’ quota for the day. Despite almost falling off our stools after one too many gulps of a particularly heavy Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a fantastic way to spend a glorious summer afternoon and a day off work.

I arrived home with two glistening bottles of French Riesling 2009 in hand, and a woozy mid-afternoon hangover brought on by the happy combination of flowing wine, a baking Israeli sun, good food, and plentiful fun with an old, good friend. If you’re ever in the region, be sure to visit this lovely, historic winery where you can fill your empty bottles full of wine or olive oil (at a third of the retail price!) at their Filling Stations, and if you can, find a staffer there named Hilla. My friend, in his semi-woozy state, totally failed to get her number…