Tag archive for "Family"

Have A Wild Purim Party With the Mamiyes!

purim recipes, baskets, and decor, purim table settings

Have A Wild Purim Party With the Mamiyes!

13 Comments 01 March 2015





Purim Party -Centerpiece-2-550x366



Enjoy this re-post from 2012….


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Dear Hostesses, I know that your are all thinking that I am the one responsible for this magnificent jungle themed table, but no, I must admit- all of the credit goes to my official partner in crime, my sister in law A……Mamiye. About two weeks ago, she graciously invited my family over for a Purim Party Seudah, and thrilled to be let off the hook, I quickly accepted.

A….. always puts extra effort into her Purim Party theme and  literally involves every member of her family into the fun of the holiday. One year she came to my door dressed as the wicked witch, with themed mishloach manot in hand, and each kid (plus my brother in law) was in tow as another member of the Wizard of Oz family. (I was told  that if I posted the pictures, I would be excommunicated). Another fun year she made us all dress up in 80’s garb and I had a great time exhuming my old favorite lime neon green shoulder padded short jacket (the matching mini-mini skirt wouldn’t zip), and I blew off the dust from my beloved 3 inch hanging gem encrusted  gold costume earrings (why I still have all that stuff, I do not know). I PUFFED up my hair, and tried to replicate my  Stagelight blue eyeshadow (who remembers Blue Roses sticky lip gloss?). ( If this era applies to you,  click here and reminisce with fads from the 80’s). Anyways, Allegra treated us all to a whole 80’s experience that Purim holiday, including an entire homage to Rick Springfield and his music. (ahem).

 Fast forward to Purim 2012- Knowing that we would have to spotlight this holiday table on The Jewish Hostess, we quickly began to brainstorm.  An adventurous sarfari theme came to mind and we got to work. Digging into both of  our  storage closets, we dug up anything and everything that was wood, orange, green, exotic, and bright. Within three minutes my niece was at my door ready to pick up my tropical finds.

A….. went to work on the computer and in her own words “‎​Got the bandana’napkins’ and the hanging balls and animal print bags from Oriental Trading. Dirt cheap. Got the ‘bambu’ disposable plates from Paper goods. All the rest is yours and my stuff dug up from the archives!”

A….. spent the next two days singlehandedly setting up her table, and  so excited with how it was coming out, she called me at midnight to come check it out. 

Twenty years ago A….. and I used to dream of running to Bergdorfs, but now all we were thinking of was when we could find a minute to run to the flower market for some brights  that would polish off the table. We finally got there yesterday, parked illegally and within 10 minutes we had acquired a bunch of beautiful vines, leaves, and exotics, plus, of course, a parking ticket.

I ran to the fruit store (this was the one day of the year that Ouri’s didn’t have baby bananas!) and I grabbed some mangoes, kiwis, oranges, and pineapple, brought it to her house dumped them into our wood bowls, and within three minutes we were ready for photographer Gary Zindel to snap some photos.

Check it out A……’s Purim party efforts below and enjoy! Happy Purim! Marlene

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Adorable Kippah and Tzitzit (Tzitzis) Party for a Three Year Old

parties, Tzizit and Kippah Parties

Adorable Kippah and Tzitzit (Tzitzis) Party for a Three Year Old

2 Comments 16 June 2012

Dear Sara, I’m so glad that we are able to share in each other’s Jewish traditions through this site! I’m sure that your grandson felt extra special during this monumental event in his life. Your love for him shines on through!
Attention all Jewish Hostesses! If your have great pictures of your little boy’s Kippah and Tzitzis parties please send them in to marlene(at)thejewishhostess.com. I would love to feature them! Marlene
“Dear Marlene,
I am enclosing a picture of my great grandson’s third birthday party in honor of his putting on a yarmulka (kippah) and tzitzis for the first time. The place settings were made using white square paper plates which were enhanced with black electrical tape and strings to imitate a pair of tzitzis.  The centerpieces were yarmulkas (kippahs) which had the letters of his name cut out of kraft paper and applied to them. They were staged on top of glass goblets.
Please give credit to my grandaughter: Esti Vago
Hope you like this as much as I did!
Sincerely,  Sara Kasten”
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A Botanical Earth Day Bar Mitzvah Theme Breakfast DIY by Claudia Bildiricci

bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah parties

A Botanical Earth Day Bar Mitzvah Theme Breakfast DIY by Claudia Bildiricci

7 Comments 08 May 2012

I have to say that I am so lucky to know some of the most talented Jewish women in the world. Every where I turn, I am constantly amazed by the creativity that blossoms with every simcha, holiday, and charity event within our Jewish communities. I am so proud to showcase all of these talents under the roof of my site, The Jewish Hostess. After all, that’s what life is all about- sharing, being inspired, and putting out own spin on the beauty in our lives. As a guest at Claudia’s son’s bar mitzvah event, I marveled at how she seemed to be able to effortlessly dive into the botanical theme of the bar mitzvah decor, and then look gorgeous and calm at the event as if she had Preston Bailey on the scene.  This theme can go a long way. Using different color and florals, Claudia’s ideas can take us into any holiday or party event decor. Claudia, thanks for the spark! Marlene
“Hi Marlene
   I am so happy you were able to join us for Hymie’s Bar Mitzvah!  The party was on Earth Day.  My mind started to race.  I came up with herbs for the tables and googled and came upon The growers exchange who shIpped me samples whIch I took to Ikea and found a white pot and rocks to top the dirt.  In Ikea, I came across the white frames you see on the table.  Everyone loves to see pictures of the baby~boy~ or couple. For 99 cents each, I bought 24 frames!  Went online and copied pictures on Snapfish, easy and done!
I wanted a natural look, so I asked the table cloth company for burlap. He said he has fake burlap, even better!  Real burlap is a mess!
He only had squares of sashes. 4′ x 108′ .  Now what?  My frIend Lynn Schrem said lets weave them! And we did!
Now to the napkins.  Again googled wood letter H’s and sure enough!  I ordered a sample sprayed them with silver.Went to M&J Trimming for the leather.
I was done. My son sprayed the 180 H’s and the glueing began!
The Thursday night before the bar mitzvah party, we wove  the sashes and put every napkin in the H ring.   I bought the wood bark at last mInute in the flower market.
It was finally all coming together!
Adelaide Khezerie arranged the centerpiece of flowers for my older son’s Barmitsvah, so I called her to help me with flowers for other tables.  I knew I needed some height in the room. She took me to the flower market the Wed. before the party!  What fun! we touched, smelled, and looked at the choices. Lilacs it was.
I went back to the flower market on  Friday to pick  up the lilacs. When I brought them back to the shul I just stared at these huge bundles!  Then I got a text from Adelaid that said OMW!!
Phew!  After all the vases were done and the herbs were in the pots I just prayed that it would all last for Sunday.
The temperature in the shul was kept nice and cold.  All went well!
The most important thing  was that my son was happy and so proud of his barmitzvah.  He thanked me again and again!
I am so lucky to have good friends that share their and time expertise with me !
It was a beautiful morning with wonderful friends and family!’ Claudia Bildirici





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How to Feel Skinny After the Seders by Sari Dana

healthy body

How to Feel Skinny After the Seders by Sari Dana

4 Comments 27 March 2011

It’s Thursday morning, and the Seders are behind us, the kids are in school, and all that food is in us! I must be honest, as much as I tried to eat as close to my ideals as possible, the over dose of all the extra food that my body is unaccustomed to, makes my body feel….well, simply… FAT!

One part of brain tells me, “don’t be such as party-pooper!” It’s so much fun to taste everything in sight and share in the fun with friends and family. The other side of my brain says, “get over it Sari, having control over what you eat is a direct line to how you look, and more importantly feel.” For example, I hosted the first seder to 16 family guests. I was so excited to prepare my family’s favorite dishes that I forgot to prepare something acceptable for myself! Being unprepared totally left me vulnerable.  As a Jewish mom, I know taking care of others sometimes precede taking care of myself. On the converse, when I ate a lunch at a friends house, it was so easy to stay focused. I was being served, and making choices was easy, knowing that eating lightly will honor my body greatly.

In retrospect, I believe it’s a sign of maturity to enjoy all the wonderful aspects about a family holiday dinner without over doing it and tipping the scale way over to what you are comfortable with.  Whew! I thought I lost the ability to “have fun”, and “let loose.” Instead, I’m simply being insightful and in tune to my needs.

Just know, that Jewish women from all over the globe are going through the same thing! We are in it together! We can share in each triumphs and help each other in time of need. Like now! We do our best…. but together we can do better!


20- 30 minutes of walking or jogging

16 lunges

16 pushups

20 -60 second planks-3x

One important tip that’s easy to follow: up your water intake! Aim for 8-10 glasses of water. You will immediately feel less bloated. Matzahs are very dry and can clogg us up, if you know what I mean

Here’s something to look forward to…..

After 8 days of Passover (Pesach) feasting, I will be introducing my 2nd annual “30 Day Sugar Challenge!” You are going to love this! Tell your friends and family. This challenge is for anyone and everyone who craves eating at a higher ideal.

Starting date: May 1, 2011

Ending date: June 1, 2011

Keep on the lookout for more information on how to join in and get started. But for now, enjoy your family, friends and honor your body. If not YOU…then who??

With Gratitude to All, Sari Dana



Hats Off To Life!

kosher recipes

Hats Off To Life!

1 Comment 25 May 2010

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”-Eleanor Roosevelt

There are life events that change us forever.

Using all of her inner resources, Margie Bijou was able to transform heart wrenching grief  into a positive energy that has added  to the  joy and glamour of hundreds of weddings and Bar-Mitzvahs.

In her own words, this is Margie’s story:

Chapter One: Ezra Abraham:

“My Mom called me one day and told me that my 16 year old cousin Eddie  was going in for a biopsy of a cyst on his knee. It wasn’t a big deal but she was just wanted to make me aware. (Ironically on ER that week, there was a girl who was a soccer star who came into the ER with a sprained knee and walked out with an amputation due to a tumor in her lower leg.) So I told my mom that she shouldn’t ever assume anything.I repeated the epsiode details and she shouted some line in arabic which meant “HOW DARE YOU EVEN BREATHE such negativity!!!!!!!

I still remember the email my dad had printed for us that told us Eddie had at the most 3 months to live. He was 16.
We weren’t the closest of cousins. My uncle had moved his family to New Jersey and as hard as it is to be close with my family that lives a block away, its is 4 billion times harder when they live in another state.
I only got to know Eddie because of his illness..

Chapter Two:  Sherri
My cousin was having a Bar Mitzvah for her son and needed a hat to complete her outfit. Of course, none were to be found across the entire tri-state area, so I decided to search the net. I got hooked on Ebay and started buying every vintage hat that  I could find. Federal Express showed up at my door every day for 2 months and the hat boxes started to stack up underneath the baby grand  piano…..About 200 hats later I finally found something in the same vicinity of the green we needed. A veil arrived. I sewed it and made it to fit…..Ah finally the outfit was complete.

A week later I received a frantic phonecall from  Sherri whose son’s bar-mitzvah was in three days. “Margie- my dog Othello jumped onto the dining room table and chewed my hat up into a thousand little pieces!!”

Two minutes later, Sherri showed up at my door with the chewed up remains of two months of searching hours online and a over a thousand dollars in useless old hats.
It was a catastrophe!!
The next day an idea popped into my head. I ran out and bought a green kippah and sewed it back together.I still remember sitting at the dining room table pushing the needle throught the suede and into my fingers…
After 4 hrs I had reconstructed it to what it looked like before (except for a few teeth marks).
Othello was sent to live with a very nice family in the country and Sherri looked like a supermodel!

About a year later I moved into a new house and the hats were packed into bins and stuffed into a closet way up on the 3rd floor.

Chapter Three: Fate

One week after mothers day in 2005 , my mothers only sister, my aunt Merle died of melanoma on her lung. She had been only just diagnosed 6 months before. That same October of that year,  2 days before Yom Kippur, my fathers mother, grandma Margie died.

Two days after that,my cousin Eddie succumbed to a 7 year battle with rhabdomyocarcessarcoma.

Not something you see every day. My uncle Irwin sat shiva for his mother and son in the same week.

What a crazy year.

These tragedies inspired me to want to make every day of my life meaningful and not to waste one moment of the precious time that we have.

When Eddie passed away, my Aunt Susan gave me his hats that he wore during his illness to add my collection. It was then that the idea to lend out the hats to raise money for his foundation came to me. He motivated me to want to give back to others.”

Chapter Four: Hats Off To Life

A room in my home has been converted into a “Hat Room” where many Jewish women of all ages try on gorgeous hats  and have a great time till they find just the right one!

The majority of the women that come in, are ones I have never even met or seen before, yet we bond as we try on dozens of hats…of course they bring over their  possible choices of outfits, shoes, and accessories, and  together we assemble their beautiful look for their momentous day.

Through out the last few years  I have accumulated many many stories some funny, some sad…and some just out of control!  Some days I seriously feel like a bartender and and not only  do I decorate ladie’s heads ,but  I also listen to what’s in their hearts as well…

Our hats are part of a private collection that consists of mostly vintage dress hats.Many of the hats have also been donated by people that don’t have a need for them anymore.

People are sharing! Women are calling other women to borrow hats. Designers are  calling me to donate their hats.

People are giving more than just money, they are giving of themselves.

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Keeping Recipes in the Family

kosher recipes

Keeping Recipes in the Family

4 Comments 08 May 2010

As I watch my daughters grow and get married and have homes of their own,I would like to be sure that I can pass to them the wonderful and valuable recipes and tips that I received from the generations before me.
Personally,it has been a challenge to try and get a complete list of ingredients or the proper measurements from my grandmother who makes every dish to perfection,and when asked, just answers “put a glass of this or a pinch of that”. I attempt to follow but it never does come out correctly.

A few years ago,I took it upon myself to spend countless hours with my grandmother observing writing and measuring her handfuls dashes and pours.each recipe was lovingly explained and every simmering pot carefully tended to.This is when I realized that,as we all sat around her table enjoying her labours, she was smiling.This is her gift.I took those pages,each entry a gem,threw in some sentimental anecdotes,and went to Staples.I had them copied and bound into a book and now every women in the family owns one.we have even had many non relatives request one.

Hopefully,in years to come, these recipes will make their way onto the table of my great great grandchildren and it will taste the same as it did today.
The first step is getting a notebook,asking opinions and interviewing to find out family favorites.from there you will see the project will take on a life of its own. It can be done simply,handwritten or typed,children can contribute with their artwork, or much more elaborate books can be made.
With all the technology today it is possible to have your family cookbook published for a small expense.The companies offer a free packet to get you started and they make it so simple and the product is so beautiful.
Some suggestions:

tastebook.com – My favorite site for creating a cookbook. Combine your own family recipes with famous top rated  online recipes. Create  gorgeous books easily.






Go online, check it out and
Begin your first steps on a delicious jouney!

Lily Tawil

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Life Does Not Have to be Perfect to be Wonderful…

kosher recipes

Life Does Not Have to be Perfect to be Wonderful…

1 Comment 29 April 2010

by Jodi Samuels, founder of MetroImma- an online community for Jewish moms.

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful”

By all accounts we had the perfect life. I met my husband the year after high school and we were married by the time I was 20. We travelled the world together, living and working in truly exotic places. My husband is a doctor and he worked for the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service, which allowed us ample opportunity for adventure. After living in four countries and nine cities, we won Green cards and came to New York to start another adventure. We became very active in the community, hosting thousands of guests and enjoying life in NYC to the fullest.

Then we had two exceptionally cute kids (I am their mom, and they are exceptionally delicious to me). We have a great marriage and family. Many of the singles that we work with through our group JICNY have this “when I get married I want a life just like the Samuels” mantra.

On February 25th, 2008, our third baby was born and we broadcast a message to our 8,500 plus database announcing the arrival of our perfect princess. Two days later we received a bombshell when the doctor raised suspicion that our perfect princess had Down syndrome. 48 hours after that, chromosomal studies confirmed this fact.

We were so overwhelmed as many thoughts raced through our minds-from “wow!”, to “why us?” to “what will life be like?” and simply “Oh my God, please help!” Within a short while of hearing the news, I came to the conclusion that God had sent me this baby for a reason. After two miscarriages between Temira, my second, and this baby, I felt sure God wanted me to have her. I knew that unless we embraced this baby, our life would be a lie. I looked at my husband and said, “We open our home to the lost, the lonely, the searching, and the challenged. If we open our home to strangers, how much more so should we embrace a challenge for Caila Sara, our princess? Because of who we are, God sent us this beautiful soul.” When we realized this, we came to terms with her having Down syndrome. Since then, she has only given us joy. Oh yes, parenting Caila is a lot more work. It’s sometimes scary, and more intense, but also intensely joyous.

I was asked to speak on a panel for a group of Rabbinic Interns. They are learning about special needs in the community and wanted the perspective of a parent. I caught their attention with my campaign, Caily’s World. I was happy to speak and share my story. Reflecting on what to say, I recalled the serious and sad looks of the pediatrician, the OB/GYN, the geneticists, etc. Even the books we were told to read only listed all of the potential problems for the baby. The list was never-ending; from major disease and heart issues to being flatfooted, short-sighted and having thin hair. Our family and friends were devastated. The most common responses were tears or “Oh, I am so sorry”. We even had a person ask us outright while Gavin was holding the baby why we did not abort. There was so much pain in the air.

Yet we were not devastated; in fact, we were not even sad.

We have had two beautiful years with Caily. Thank God, she has been incredibly healthy- hardly even a cold ever. She does not have anything on those awful lists that could make one wonder if they delivered a monster instead of a baby. Caily is beautiful, with long thick hair. She is engaging, playful, and full of life. She is the delight of our family, her school, and our community.

What I wanted to tell the rabbinic students, what I want to tell anyone who will listen is that they have the power to change the situation. Imagine if people around us all assumed that life could still be amazing, rather than just assuming it’s awful. Image if the geneticist walked in and said to us, “life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” Caily has taught me this lesson and I will continue to share it with those facing challenges ………… and those who are unintentionally creating them.

reprinted with permission by Jodi  Samuels founder of metroimma.com.

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Mother’s Day Gifts for the Mom-To-Be

healthy body

Mother’s Day Gifts for the Mom-To-Be

No Comments 25 April 2010

These bestsellers are a thoughtful and inexpensive gift for the expectant mom.

Order now in time for Mother’s Day!

Gift wrap Available.

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Personalize Your Party and Chic Gifts!



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