Friday, January 29, 2010

Stuff to do on a Snow Day

I finally finished building Zee's Indiana Jones Lego set. It was so much fun!

Watch strawberry shortcake video clips on the computer.

Play video games!

Popcorn (kettle corn is the best!)

Dark Cocoa hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Drink it with great relish!

When in doubt, pinkie out!

Be as adorable as possible and get ready for snow play!

Watch a movie with Abba!

Snow Day January 29th 2010

This is on Aunt Leelee's patio.

This was early snow, we got four more inches.

Abba is cleaning of our front "patio".

Tzipi is cold and ready for a warm bath.

Zee played in the snow for a long time.

I'm just so happy that I get three days off because of it all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My pictures from Zee's party

Leelee took some awesome pictures with her camera, but those will have to wait. She is busy playing with the girls and won't have time until next week. But in the meantime, I took pictures during naptime with Avi's camera and then took some pictures with my cellphone. And they are in no particular order. Please stay tuned for more pictures from our exciting adventure!

I caught my niece Sara playing in the playroom with the kitchen things.

Sophie had fun checking out everything and getting as many hugs and kisses as possible.

Bubbe was telling Zee how much Pop was sad that he didn't get to come to his party. We missed Pop, but we all understand that sometimes emergencies happen and Pop came to the rescue! Our own personal super hero!

Zippy and Zee are at the Archeological lab working on their latest find. They are using tools (bang bang bang) to find gems and minerals. Everyone had a blast with this.

Sophie loved the Nerf gun where you get to shoot the natives. She just had so much fun loading the gun with the foam bullets.

The guys (uncle Pete, uncle Kevin, and Avi) were chatting in the kitchen.

Pin the whip on Indy was a great success! Samantha and Blake got the whips in Indy's hand.

We wrote the name by each whip so we could have a souvenir from this adventure.

Zee is admiring his pinata.

Zippy had a turn as well.

Zee is modeling his pistol. He loves the scene from the movie when the native brandishes his sword with great flair and Indy looks bored until he pulls out his pistol and shoots him. Never bring a knife to a gunfight!

Vines hanging from the ceiling!

Snake pit: While using the monkey grabber, you attempt to grab the treasure. You can add a snake to your bag as well.

Indy is running from the boulder.

Happy birthday Zee!

Pin the whip on Indy (Before).

Tropical fruit and mini gummies. Thes are tiny bananas too. Maybe three inches long.

These are stickers that our explorers added to their journals.

Their journals and extra goodies to make notes.

Here's the table before I got the cake.

Here's the map where we could keep track of our adventures.

And what adventure would be complete without natives to add a bit of danger. We shot them with our Nerf gun. Bubbe shot one right between the eyes!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Toastmasters, scrapbooking, and family oh my!

I wanted to submit another post to keep you updated if you were wondering "where on earth is Janine"?

I have been insanely busy at work. That's a long story and I'll leave that another time since it's boring.

The kids are doing good. Tzipi is doing better with age. She goes to school with a smile on her face and asks me every day if she's going. She loves to "cook" with her kitchen and help with house chores.

Zee is eating, sleeping and breathing birthday fun. He is so excited. I need to take a half day just to get everything ready for the party. Maybe I will. Zee has a Parent Teacher Conference this Monday and he can't seem to decide which of us he wants to go.

Monday I have some dental work. Not looking forward to it. I had a nightmare about it already. Me and Dentists don't get a long very well. I'm nervous about all the teeth issues I have to face this year.

My business is booming. I've done very little other than invest in a company website and I've got a workshop booked every week this month into next. I'm looking forward to my next Upline meeting.

I'm not an officer this year for Toastmasters but I am doing my best to encourage the incoming officers. Training went really well this weekend. Good turn out and good results. We need to build up our membership. We'll see how well we do this year. I've achieved my Advanced Communicator Bronze and my Competent Leadership certification this year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday's chore: Closet

My goal today is to put all my clothes away. My closet it organized thanks to my friend Corina, but I have so much laundry to put away and it's in a huge pile in my laundry basket. So I need to get this done today. Here' s a cool article I found that allowed reprinting. Happy organizing! JMD


  • organization begins with an honest evaluation of your wardrobe
  • you should have nothing in your closet that isn't currently wearable
  • lose anything that doesn't fit or is out of style
  • if you haven't worn it in a year, ask when you will wear it again
  • make sure everything in your closet goes with something else
  • store nostalgic clothes with memorabilia if you don't wear them
  • place baskets for laundry, dry-cleaning, and alterations / mending


  • separate by season
  • store off-season in another area if short on space
  • separate by clothing purpose (formal, work, casual)
  • separate by type (jackets, blouses, pants, skirts, etc.)
  • separate by style (short-sleeve, long-sleeve)
  • clearly delineate categories with labeled rod divider discs
  • or assign each section to a different part of the closet
  • hang clothes by color from light to dark
  • for quick and easy dressing, hang full outfits together


  • be aware of climate when storing items in an attic or basement
  • put in cedar chips to keep out insects
  • cardboard crossbars get sticky and leave a line on folded pants
  • wire hangers make marks in the shoulders of your shirts
  • stick to padded or plastic tubular hangers
  • take your wire hangers to the dry cleaner to recycle
  • use double-hanging rods for shorter items
  • get rid of dry cleaner plastic covers as they clutter up your closet
  • store small loose items in drawer systems or plastic tubs
  • socks, lingerie, bathing suits, pantyhose, etc.
  • roll up pantyhose to prevent runs
  • hang belts, hats, and purses on hooks on the wall
  • hang scarves on a hanger or scarf rack
  • take shoes out of their original cardboard boxes
  • use a shoe rack to keep footwear in sight and organized
  • install shelves or bins for folding items

Copyright 2000-2009 Ramona Creel -- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What's new??

Wow. If you only knew! My calendar for January has been empty for weeks and then all of a sudden BOOM! I have something scheduled for almost every weekend and most of the days this month. What happened?!

I have a speech this Thursday. It will be about blogging.

I'm terrifically busy at work. I get to train and write letters...

I have Toastmaster's holiday party this Saturday.

I have Toastmasters Officer's training next Saturday.

Then I have a Stampin' UP workshop the next week and Zee's birthday party the 23rd.

I also have my scrapbook club on the 27th.

Not to mention a dentist appointment where I get to find out when we're going to do the major dental work this year (God willing).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Latkes, Gefilte Fish, and Cholent... Oh my!

I really enjoy cooking. I think most of my friends and family know that. It's a creative process that leads to a happy tummy.

Last weekend I made a traditional Shabbat meal that I had been craving for a while. I wanted gefilte fish really bad, and not the stuff that comes in a jar at the grocery store. So I made it with tuna. My hubby was really happy. It tasted so good I wanted to post the recipe.

Janine's Baked Gefilte Fish
Ingredients: Three cans of albacore, 1 cup of crushed crackers (or matzo meal), 3 eggs, onion, carrot. Take the ingredients and blend in a processor. I use a loaf pan and and spread pasta sauce or salsa in the bottom of the pan. Spread the fish mixture in the pan and spread smooth. Layer some more pasta sauce or salsa and bake for an hour at 350 degrees. If it still looks a bit loose or wet, then allow to cook for another 15 minutes. Cut into slices and garnish with horseradish.

My mother came for a visit and she was craving latkes. She hadn't had good ones since I lived at home. The only problem was that she really can't eat fried food. So I had a crazy idea. Is it possible to bake latkes? Yes. I realize that the whole point of eating latkes during Hanukkah is because they are fried in oil.

Well, I baked latkes and they tasted really good!

1 1/2 lbs of potatoes
small onion
large egg
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbs flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray. I use a food processor to grate potatoes and onions. Then I stick the mixture in a colander and squeeze all the moisture out. Put into a large bowl, add egg, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper.

Once they have been placed on the baking sheet forming about 3 inch pancakes. (about three tbs of potato mixture). Bake for 2o minutes until the bottom is light brown. Turn the pancakes with a spatula and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve at once with sour cream, apple sauce and/or ketchup.


Like gefilte fish, this is an acquired taste. Cholent is a special thing that you put into a crockpot so that you don't have to cook anything on Saturday.

Each and every pot of cholent is different. I doubt I have ever made the same exact cholent.

The basic rule:
Find some dry beans. Kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, or anything like that. You can add meat or omit it. I've never added chicken as it would turn into something scary cooking for so many hours. If you have a really tough chunk of beef or roast, you can put that. I like cholent with meat, but I don't always have it to add. Then you can add onions, carrots, potatoes. You can cut into large chunks. Then I add some type of tomato product. Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or tomato crushed or puree. Then add some type of spice. Salt and pepper is best, but you can add curry or chile peppers (jalapenos, green chiles, or even chipotle.)
Put it all in a pot and cover with water or broth. I always just use water. Please remember to add a lot of water since the beans are dry and will soak it all up. Don't be afraid, it will all be absorbed in the morning. Plug in the crock pot and put on low. You'll smell it when you wake up.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes! Happy cooking!