Monthly Archives: March 2018

11 Cool and Unique Passover Hagaddahs

A few years ago before my dad passed away, we decided to write a Passover Hagaddah together. My dad, who was raised Catholic, wanted to create a Seder that was welcoming to everyone, not just our Jewish family.

We didn’t get a chance to jump in before he passed, but after he died I took it upon myself to pursue this idea. Over the course of a couple years, I wrote my very own Hagaddah, one that my family has used for the last few Passover Seders and one I hope to share with other family and friends at a large Passover celebration in the near future!

passover-hagaddahs

However this was not done without research! I did a lot of research. I’ve probably read more Hagaddahs over the last few years than I have in my entire life time…but through it all I’ve gathered a collection of amazing texts that do a great job of bringing this traditional holiday to life in new and creative ways.

If your family is looking to switch things up this Passover, here are a few cool and unique Hagaddahs that tell the same story in a fun, festive and updated way.

11 Cool and Unique Passover Hagaddahs

FOR THOSE WHO ARE SHORT ON TIME:41NYDEhDudL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NON-JEWS AT THEIR SEDER:51bgYibPAnL

FOR THOSE HOSTING OR ATTENDING PASSOVER FOR THE FIRST TIME:61IIn7A9hUL._SX495_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN KABBALAH:617dQgx6RYL._SX436_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR:619paX8Uf8L._SX380_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WITH A LOT OF KIDS AT THE SEDER:51srEvocKCL

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE DISCUSSION:51dn7wXG6fL

FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE NERDY FLAIR:41LuXiRn1eL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE LOOKING TO LAUGH AND HAVE FUN WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION:51Y0ajX8qjL._SX260_

FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR AN INTELLECTUAL SEDER:51yUXXLdtxL._SX409_BO1,204,203,200_

FOR THOSE WHO STILL WANT SOMETHING TRADITIONAL:61+Q-239HlL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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13 Fun Facts about Passover

Passover – probably my favorite Jewish holiday – is the eight-day observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II. The name Passover comes from God’s promise to “pass over” the homes of the Jewish families when he killed the first born children of the Egyptians.

Schmidt Passover GIF

Messed up, I know.

Like practically every Jewish holiday, Passover is celebrated with food and wine. We retell the story of our exodus from Egypt with a plate of symbolic foods that represent everything from our blood, sweat and tears to the promises of rebirth and a healthy future.

Traditional Jewish foods are also in abundance during a Passover Seder. Matzah, horseradish, fish, brisket and delicious coconut macarons are all common flair for a fabulous Passover harvest.

The other staple of a Passover Seder is a Haggadah, or the text we read from to help tell the story of the holiday. The Haggadah helps guide us through the history of Passover, the prayers and blessings over our food and fortune, and concludes with hopeful wishes for a fruitful spring.

passover

Though I don’t consider myself a very religious person, I happen to have a deep connection with Passover. Not only do I lead the Seder for my family every year ( which is unusual for a woman, by the way), but I even wrote my own Haggadah that my family uses to celebrate Passover (but more on that tomorrow!).

If you’re unfamiliar with the Passover holiday but are intrigued to learn more, you’re in luck…because I happen to have some fun facts for you that might give you (or your Jewish friends) a new appreciation for one of the oldest and most iconic of Jewish holidays.

13 Fun Facts about Passover

Passover is the oldest celebrated Jewish holiday.

The Coca Cola bottling company in New York makes Coke that is kosher for Passover. Instead of corn syrup (corn is not kosher for Passover), they use sugar.

Image result for coca cola passover coke

When the Jews fled Egypt, it was said that they left in such a hurry that they didn’t have time for the dough to rise, thus the bread was all flat. This is why Jews eat Matzah and refrain from eating anything with leavening in it (bread, crackers, beans, corn grains) for eight days.

Motor Cycle GIF by Dan Blaushild

One of the main lessons of Passover is thankfulness. Some progressive temples have forgone the traditional Seder and have instead rallied together to make meals for the poor (PS – FAMILY, WE SHOULD DO THIS!).

The largest Seder in the world takes place in Kathmandu, Nepal. Turns out a lot of travelers from Israel, after completing their service in the Army, end up in the Asian country and gather there to celebrate their heritage.

Image result for Kathmandu, Nepal seder

Matzah ball soup is another staple of Passover. In 2009, Chef Anthony Sylvestry managed to make a matzah ball measuring 22.9 in. wide and weighing more than 260 lbs. It was crowned the largest matzah ball in the world and helped raise money for a charity basketball game.

Image result for largest matzo ball in the world

A recent addition to the traditional Seder plate is the orange, meant to symbolize support of marginalized people, including women and homosexuals.

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Some Ethiopian Jews break all their cooking dishes at Passover and make a new set to symbolize making a true break with the past.

In 2008, competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut at 78 matzah balls in eight minutes. WOOF.

Image result for competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut matzah balls

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated during the Passover holiday. Many Jews were in temple when news of his death broke, thus alters were quickly draped in black and, instead of Passover melodies, the congregations chanted Yom Kippur hymns, which focus more on repenting and forgiveness.

Image result for abraham lincoln, jewish

The first American Edition of the Passover Haggadah was published in 1837.

Image result for haggadah 1837

While you can technically buy matzah year-round, matzah made for Passover has to be made specifically for the holiday. A special process makes kosher matzah OK for Passover use (it has to be heavily guarded from moisture)…and boxes made specifically for the holiday are marked with a “kosher for Passover” label.

Image result for kosher for passover label on matzah

Matzah has to be made in less than 18 minutes for it to be considered matzah and not leavened bread.

The Prince Of Egypt GIF

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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The Answer to the Great Question Necklace

Rarely has a book come along that has impressed me quite like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There’s love! There’s wit! There’s humor! There’s adventure! I’ve read the darn thing twice already and I still laugh out loud and find myself smiling through the entire story.

Hahahah, aww man…it’s the simple humor that gets me every time.

Arguably one of the great parts of the book is when Deep Thought gives the answer – the BIG ANSWER – to Life, the Universe and Everything. Want to know what it is? Read on, weary travelers!

necklace1

The Answer to the Great Question Necklace

Materials:

  • Jewelry chain
  • Jewelry wire cutters
  • Clasp (optional)
  • Jump rings
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Number charms
  • White clay
  • Long earring stem
  • Black clay
  • Green clay
  • Craft knife
  • Mod Podge
  • Painting brush
  • 5-6 funky green beads
  • Jewelry wire (about 8-10 in.)

Directions:

  1. Cut your jewelry chain to the desired length. If it’s too small to fit over your head, you can add a clasp. Otherwise you can just join the two ends with a jump ring, up to you!
  2. Lay your necklace out flat to find the center of the chain. Using jewelry pliers, attach a “4” and a “2” to the middle of the necklace, separated by about 3 or 4 chains.
  3. To make your little Marvin, roll out a dime-sized piece of white clay into a ball. Insert long earring stem into bead to hold it while you work. Roll tiny amount of black clay into a log, then attach to bead to from mouth. Roll out green clay paper thin. Using craft knife, cut two tiny triangles. Attach to mouth as teeth. Bake your bead at 230 degrees F. for about 10 minutes (you can bake it on the earring stem, no need to remove it).
  4. Once my bead was baked and cooled, I did a light coat of Mod Podge and let it dry.
  5. Using pliers, create loop at end of jewelry wire. Place two funky green beads on jewelry wire, followed by Marvin bead, then three more funky beads. Feel free to switch this up however you like! Using pliers, create loop at top end of jewelry wire.
  6. Lay wire with beads next to necklace wherever you’d like it to be. Using wire cutters, cut chain at top and bottom loop of wire with beads, then attach loops of wire to chain using jump rings.
    necklace3

And there you have it! A necklace showcasing the Answer to the Great Question…of Life, the Universe, and Everything (it’s 42 in case that wasn’t clear…the Answer is 42). 😉

necklace2

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Love Me Like They Do on Instagram!

love-me-mindy-project

“I want you to love me in a way that I can show on Instagram.”
The Mindy Project

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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9 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Peeps

Easter is this weekend, which means there will be Peeps GALORE at every convenience store and grocery store for months to come. If you’re like my dad, you might even buy a handful of boxes and hide them in the back cabinet and “rediscover” them come June or July.

But if you’re Peep’ed out and looking for some clever ways to use up those sugary chicks and bunnies, these 9 clever Peep recipes are bound to help you rediscover your love of these pastel sweets. From classic s’mores to Peeps martinis (WHAT), here are 9 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Peeps!

9 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Peeps

leftover-peeps

  1. Peeps Popcorn Balls
  2. Peep Drop Martini
  3. Rice KrisPeeps Bark
  4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Peeps Skillet
  5. Peeps S’mores
  6. Peeps Milkshake
  7. Peeps Ice Cream Syrup
  8. Toasted Marshmallow Peeps Milkshake
  9. Peeps Cake Batter Candy

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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10 Quotes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin

It was 166 years ago this past Tuesday that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s groundbreaking anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published. It sold 300,000 within the first three months and even became a ticket, as it were, for Stowe to meet then President, Abraham Lincoln.

When living in Cincinnati, Stowe would encounter fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. She later wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in reaction to recently tightened fugitive slave laws. The book had a major influence on the way the American public viewed slavery and landed Stowe among the most notable female writers ever.

Filled with beautiful language and an important story that resonated with people all over the country, Uncle Tom’s Cabin has become a staple in American literature.

In celebration of this amazing novel, here are 10 of the most beautiful and poignant quotes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

10 Quotes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin

like-dogs

light

braver

capable-of-good

past back

summer breeze

deep water

dollars and cents

the-longest-way

heart

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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15 Fun Facts about Law & Order: SVU

Several years ago my husband and I embarked a journey that was both totally insane and completely amazing. Over the course of an entire year, we hunkered down and watched every episode of Law & Order: SVU.

Image result for svu surprise gif

Yup. Every. Single. One.

It was completely bonkers. There were nights where we’d just get on a roll and watch 4 at a time. We were absolutely and completely hooked, and we’ll still watch it when it comes on TV. We quote the show all the time and our love for SVU has even sparked us to marathon its dirty, perverted brother, HBO’s Oz (but more on that later).

While I don’t know if I can marathon the entire series again, I have been going back to watch some classic SVU…sometimes I just need my Stabler fix, amiright, ladies?!

Image result for svu stabler gif

And between Googling if Christopher Meloni is coming back to SVU and watching old clips of Raul Esparza as ADA Raphel Barba

Image result for svu barba gif

(SWOON!!!), I decided to do some investigating of my own…

Turns out the cast of SVU has a lot of fun behind the scenes…and they all love and support each other to the max, which literally makes my heart explode with happiness.

Image result for svu happy gif

Curious to know what I discovered? Here are the stories.

DUN DUN!

svu-fun-facts

15 Fun Facts about Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Richard Belzer is the king of crossover. His character, Detective John Munch, has appeared all over TV, including Homicide: Life on the Street, The X-Files, 30 Rock, The Wire, and Arrested Development.

The man (Steve Zirnkilton) who does the voiceover for SVU, as well as every other Law & Order rendition served four terms in Maine’s House of Representatives.

Image result for Steve Zirnkilton

Mariska Hargitay is a trained rape crisis counselor. When she signed on to play Detective Olivia Benson, she had no idea how much the subject matter would affect her. After her training as a counselor, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

Ice-T, who has been a stable of the SVU unit for years, was only slotted to appear in 4 episodes. Not surprisingly, he jived with the cast immediately and moved to New York before those first 4 episodes even wrapped filming.

ice t GIF

Hargitay is married to fellow SVU actor, Peter Hermann. They actually met on set. Aww!

Image result for mariska hargitay, husband

Chris Meloni (Elliot Stabler) and Hargitay had INSTANT chemistry, even in their audition. It was a match meant to be!

Buzzfeed GIF

Taylor Swift has been very open about her love of SVU, particularly the character of Olivia Benson. Swift’s cat is named after Olivia and Hargitay even appeared in Swift’s “Bad Blood” video.

Image result for mariska hargitay, bad blood

Like many of the Law & Order spinoffs, SVU has a long and impressive list of guest-stars, namely Carol Burnett, Norman Reedus, Viola Davis, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, and Bradley Cooper, just to name a FEW.

Image result for svu guest stars

Several characters in SVU were also appearing as their polar opposites in HBO’s Oz at the same time. Dean Winters, Chris Meloni B.D. Wong and J.K. Simmons, who were all on SVU at the same time were also embracing their much darker side on Oz.

Not surprisingly, SVU has taken on some major stories, some ripped right from the headlines. Two of the biggest headaches came from the NFL and the Catholic Church, both of which have appeared in several episodes of SVU.

Image result for svu, nfl

Chris Meloni may not be on SVU anymore, but he’s still super tight with Hargitay. She’s the godmother to one of his children and they recently posted a selfie together on Instagram. Fingers crossed for a Stabler return!!

Image result for hargitay, meloni selfie

Originally Raul Esparza didn’t want to take the role of ADA Rafael Barba, but did so as an acting “rebound” from a lackluster Broadway production. He’s since left SVU to return to the theater. HOW DOES THIS MAN DO EVERYTHING!?!

Hargitay used to insist on doing her own stunts until one of her lungs partially collapsed on set. Clearly she’s not so insistent anymore.

Diane Neal and Peter Scanavino both made small appearances on SVU before landing regular roles as ADA Casey Novak and Dominick Carisi, respectively.

Image result for diane neal svu

Cast members are often approached by survivors of sexual abuse, thanking them for accurately portraying these stories on TV and helping to raise awareness.

Image result for svu cast with survivors

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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