Saturday, May 21, 2016

Quick Gift

Yesterday was the kids official last day and it was utter "MAYhem" the last month.  

Here is my rant: The last week of school is a super hectic time for moms (and, like, one dad) whether they work or stay home (or work an outside job but seem like they stay at home). There is an ever-increasing list of things to do before life is totally turned upside down on Friday afternoon. I am not sure why this is also the time that there are 17 mandatory engagements at the school or why this is the week that every important cause needs to hold an event. Yes, I know these are choices, but not really..... I have taken the bar exam, worked full-time and had two babies--all pieces of cake compared to this week! Before you assume someone is totally free and available because they "stay home," consider the value of their time. 

Okay, back to my regularly scheduled fluff!  For the last day , between (no-joke) four other school events, I threw together these cute lemonade themed gifts for the teacher:  Who doesn't love an acrylic drink dispenser on their patio??  I filled them with stripey straws and jalapeno lemonade mix.  To complete the Tex-Mex theme, I added Patron Gold and a small bottle of Tito's.

While I had the supplies out, I also left  a special note and some candies in the girls' lunches.  I won't miss packing lunches for 12 weeks!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Why I love my community: Flowers, Favors, and Friendship

Where we live is the butt of some jokes on all ends of the spectrum--too nice, not nice enough--we can't win.  On a the sarcastic "judgmental map" of our city, we live right in between "Snobs," "Snobby Jews," and "Some Black people" (these were the words on the map, not mine).  The really fancy and less diverse area is a little south of us; its residents think that we are leeches on their good school system.  We have also been accused of being cliquish in general . How can we be cliquish snobs and leaches at the same time??!!

I prefer to look at it as that we live in a nice area of town that happens to have great diversity.   I say we are just a community of people who take care of one another.   If you get cancer or have a car accident, the community wraps you in love for months. If you have a baby, home-made meals arrive by the truckloads!  The same is true of life's celebrations.  We all pitch in and help out.  We are the recipients and givers of favors and kindness.  The giving feels even better than the receiving! Here are two sweet favors that I got to pull off recently:
A friend of mine is giving a graduation party for her daughter and 3 friends this weekend.  To add some collegiate flair to the celebration, she is going to have giant balloons with each of the girl's future college logos.  I used my cutting machine to make these logos (plus ones for two other U's).  So adorable!

Also on the cutting machine, I embellished some vases last week.  I later filled them with flowers for a friend whose daughter's bat mitzvah was last weekend.  She needed a few arrangements for their family's Friday Night dinner and then for Sunday's farewell brunch.  Aren't they sweet?

These are just a few of the kinds of things we all do for one another and I receive the kindness back ten-fold.  Sound like a horrible place to live, right???

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Scenes from Teacher Appreciation Week

This was my second year co-chairing teacher appreciation at the baby's school.  If you read this blog much, you know that we are responsible for things all year-round, but our biggest task is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  Monday morning found me loading the car with these goodies:

 Several generous moms met me and my co-chairs in the teachers lounge to set up a Palm Beach inspired brunch.

In hindsight, we should have done a backdrop with Lily-fabric, but some kids made cute posters for us!

Tuesday was the actual national day of celebration so we had  "special delivery" notes of appreciation.  We even had a cute post-mark (which I can't show for privacy reason).

Wednesday, we had a Pie Bar--who doesn't like pie???

I should crop this to show you how precious it was in person, but I am so lazy right now!

Thursday, Cinco de Mayo, was our luncheon .  As we had done in previous years, we had to go Mexican!

Friday was the Grandest Finale of All: The Gift Card Game! Our cute 3rd graders walked around to teachers and staff with a precious poster board filled with gift cards with denominations ranging from $5 to $100 dollars. The idea was that it was a total gamble how much you got or where it was to:

Of course, most people got $5 or $10, but a precious first year teacher got 100 to Gap/Banana/Old Navy and above is a pic of our favorite vegetarian getting $50 to Ruth's Chris.  See,its all a gamble??!

It is not hard to want to celebrate these teachers because they do so much above and beyond for our kids.  I hope that your teachers are as great and that   you get the chance to tell them so!  If you are a mom too, you will know this phase of little kids is so short: you might as well celebrate everything!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pretty Passover Post Mortem

Every time we have a big event, my friend Anna and I like to do the recap.  You know, the post mortem where you go over every detail of an event--the good, bad and the ugly?  In this case, it wasn't really ugly because I had a pretty Passover Seder.  I don't have any pictures of the actual meal or the way it looked at night,  because we were in the middle of a religious holiday.  I do have some good shots of the table as it was being set! Wanna' do the recap with me???

Our group has outgrown my dinning room.  We held the service and dinner in our basement.  This isn't the best picture, but here you can see that we had one long adult table and two rounds filled with kids!

I served Champagne Cocktails, Sparkling Water, and crudites upstairs as guests gathered.  I am in love with these ""Next Year in Jerusalem" cocktail napkins that I custom-ordered from Stationery Studio!

 After a critical mass we gathered, we headed downstairs for the service and dinner.  Here is the adult table bathed in late afternoon light. All the food was eventually on the buffet.
From this angle, you can see that there was a dessert and coffee station in the rear.
We also had a wash station, as hand washing is a part of the ritual.  Some people have a special pitcher just for this, but I set up my own with things that we have:

Even though this is a very special holiday, I don't have enough good china to serve 40, so I went with upscale disposables and my "buffet" silverware--very industrial stuff for large crowds:

I used every wine glass we own and pulled out these adorable plastic L'Chaim cups for ice water.  They were shatterproof for kids and adults alike:

I had already purchased vases to do an arrangement of peonies and garden roses when one of our swet guests asked if she could provide the flowers.  I gave her florist my vases and they made these lovelies!  I am not going to lie, it was HARD handing over the reigns.  In the end it was a huge help to have one thing off my to-do list.  Aren't they sweet??
 On the kids' tables, we had bottles of grape juice and Passover finger puppets ( a plagues set and a four questions set).  The puppets were given to as baby gifts and we still use them!  Thanks Mindy!!!!

The meal is served in four courses--the ritual foods, a soup course , which I served in mugs, dinner and dessert.  All of it was beautiful, but I have no pictures because we were in the thick of it.  I will leave you with a picture of the sweet creation made my daughter. Not pinterest-worthy, but a yummy precious craft! From our house to yours, we hope you Celebrate all life's moments!