As a second grade teacher, Tami has had many opportunities to change up her classroom calendar. Although it could get old having to switch it up each month, she takes this as her chance to add a fresh new look. Every classroom teacher has their own way of designing and using their calendar. Here are Tami’s personal DIY (Do It Yourself) Tips:
  •  Display the student’s birthdays all month long to make them feel special. You can buy these monthly cupcake and candle birthday reminders at any teacher store. Tami laminated the candles and uses a Visa Vis marker to write the child’s name and birth date. It washes right off and is ready for the next month.  
  • Make sure to make each month’s design relevant. As March is the beginning of Spring and Tami’s class is beginning their butterfly life cycle unit, she used butterflies for the calendar dates and die cut “March” out of an adorable piece of butterfly print scrapbook paper.
  • Highlight important dates for the students to remember. Add your own computer printed reminders (Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, Twin Dress Up Day) to the generic store-bought ones (The First Day of Spring, Class Field Trip, Parent / Teacher Conferences).
  • To keep with the Spring theme, Tami added these beautiful DIY flowers made out of paper and tulle. She used prints with lots of color to make each flower pop. 
 
 Here are some other examples of past calendars from Tami’s classroom: 
  • Tami likes to start off the year with the calendar matching the theme of her classroom. Funky animal print tissue paper flowers are a bit “wild” mixed with animal printed borders and dates.
  • Turn every day playing cards into fun calendar dates. Check out the rest of this year’s classroom theme on our post, A Royal Classroom
  •  Holidays are great inspiration for classroom calendars. Why not decorate your February calendar with vintage print hearts for Valentine’s Day? 
 
  • These butterflies were cut from different prints found in magazines. They gave this calendar a fresh, Spring feel.
  • Most importantly, change it up! If you get bored with your classroom calendar, so will the kids! They will get excited to see what you come up with next…
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In our last post about a Shabbat dinner we prepared for Scott’s cousins, we mentioned that when we go to our Aba’s side of the family we enjoy amazing Moroccan style meals. Even though we grew up eating this way, these type of Moroccan meals never get old.

Some people just have that special touch when it comes to food, and our Aunt Suzie has an incredible talent. In fact, when she decided to open her own deli last summer, we were amongst the first in line to sample what was sure to be perfection. Here are some of her signature dishes:

apple, carrot, and pecan muffins fresh out of the oven are great with a cup of mint tea
homemade blueberry muffins
shakshuka – great for breakfast or any time of the day
beet and red onion salad
 
traditional falafel 
fresh turkey sandwich on a baguette 
 
Tami’s favorite – amazing BBQ brisket sandwich on a fresh, warm baguette with a side of coleslaw 

deli platters for catering parties (such as this Moroccan Henna Party)

chicken skewers marinated with lemon grass and cilantro and a side of rice and green beans

meringues – Suzie’s big sister’s recipe
 

non-dairy sorbet made from fresh fruit
If you’ve never tasted traditional Moroccan cuisine, we highly recommend stopping by Suzie’s Deli-cious. For those of you who love this type of food like we do, we promise it will not disappoint.
Suzie’s Deli-cious 
20929 Ventura Boulevard Unit 33
Woodland Hills, CA 91364


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To us, Shabbat has always meant good food, a chance to get together with family and friends, and tradition. As we have two very different sides to our family, we grew up with two very different ideas of what these traditions are. We have memories (that go back as far as we can remember) of dinners at our mom’s house with everybody singing the prayers together before the meal, taking turns lighting the Shabbat candles, and eating chicken with “sticky” rice. At our “aba’s” (Hebrew for dad) house, we listen as he recites the prayer over the challah bread and then dips each torn piece into salt, we pass around the kiddush cup of wine from oldest to youngest just as it has always been done, and enjoy a filling meal of Moroccan salads and fish just to find out the main course is still yet to come. In our own homes, we get to combine these two sets of traditions and make them our own.

As Lauren set the Shabbat table for Scott’s cousins to arrive, she set out her traditional white table cloth, challah cover, and kiddush cup (all gifts from Israel), as well as kippot from her and Scott’s wedding ceremony. We prepared a three-course family style meal for all to enjoy which included:
green salad: lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber sliced super thin, and fresh avocado
pumpkin soup: a pinch of curry and garnished with parsley
quinoa pilaf with mushrooms
grilled vegetables: zucchini, yellow squash, white onion, eggplant, and asparagus
chicken marinated and baked
Grandma Mary’s chocolate chip and walnut cookies as seen on our previous post, 104 Chocolate Chip Cookies
fresh strawberries and blueberries
homemade cake brought by one of our guests
frozen yogurt from the “Big Chill” with toppings was a big hit
Whether you choose to celebrate Shabbat in the traditional style or your own personal interpretation of what that is, sharing a yummy meal, good conversation, and perhaps an old home video is always a relaxing way to end your work week, and isn’t that what Shabbat is all about? It is the “Day of Rest” after all.
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02.20.2012
Instead of party favors, Lauren and Scott decided to have a candy bar at their wedding so guests could fill a bag with their favorite treats. To go with the color scheme and chic look of the wedding design, they went one step further and included only white candy options. This was definitely a challenge but proved to be very classy as well as a conversation piece amongst their guests.       

They chose to take this on as a DIY (Do It Yourself) project and started out by scouring stores like Home Goods, Ross, and TJ Maxx for different sized, well-priced glass apothecary jars. Lauren’s Mother-in-Law, Robyn, was a great help in finding many of the jars to complete their collection.

 

Custom stickers with the couple’s first names and last initial were purchased on www.etsy.com and were hand placed on each candy bag for a personal touch.

We made homemade tags for each candy dish to let guests know what each jar was filled with. Check out our post, DIY: Wallpaper Projects, for more information on the tags themselves and the other paper products included in the wedding decor.

It may seem difficult to find enough white candy options to fill twenty-five jars and feed three hundred people, but Scott and Lauren had fun handpicking different choices with various flavors to appeal to many different types of candy lovers. www.candywarehouse.com was a great help as you can search for candy by color. The goal was to have a little of something for everyone. Options like; white chocolate covered pretzels, Jordan Almonds, malt balls, marshmallows, and M and M’s were to be expected. Pina colada licorice, cream soda flavored Jelly Bellys, and champagne bubbles were added for an element of surprise.

 
Other items Lauren and Scott needed for a successful candy bar included: clear plastic scoops and tongs, plastic candy bags, twist ties, and pre-cut white satin ribbon. Although the whole process proved to be more difficult than they had originally anticipated, it was a huge success and Lauren and Scott were proud of the outcome. In fact, the line was so long that neither Lauren or Scott got to make their own take home bag.

As all items for this project (except for the candy itself) are now a part of their personal collection, feel free to contact us at sidebyside.design@yahoo.com for more information on rentals and / or help in creating your own custom candy bar.

All wedding photographs taken by Mi Belle Inc.
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Everyone who has been lucky enough to meet our Great Grandmother, Mary Goldberg, knows that she is an amazingly strong woman. At 104 years old (and no that is not a typo), she still does not wear hearing aids. She simply turns up the TV (in the Beverly Hills apartment she lives in alone) to a louder setting while watching Wheel of Fortune. She doesn’t wear glasses either, and she still walks (with a walker). For those of us who are lucky enough to be a part of her family, she is all of these things and more. Grandma Mary is the matriarch of our family who is known for her famous (well to us at least) lemon cakes, chopped liver, homemade knit slippers, and above all her chocolate chip cookies.
 When we set out to write this post, our plan was to spend some much needed time with our Great Grandma Mary and possibly to get our hands on her famous cookie recipe, and so we set a date to meet with her. As we entered her living room, we became aware of the fact that she probably has no clue what a blog even is, and so we explained to her that we would be writing an online article about her cookies. To our surprise we found out that her “famous recipe” is the same one you will find on any bag of Tollhouse chocolate chips. 
So we began to dig a little deeper, and encouraged Grandma Mary to share some cooking memories with us. She said, “My mother was a good cook. She used to make chicken breasts dipped in egg and flour and apple pie from scratch. I learned from her.” She let us know that she was the oldest child. She said, “There were 4 girls and two boys. I’ve only got one sister left. They all liked to cook.” She continued on to say, “My husband liked vegetable soup. I wasn’t so crazy about soup, but for your husband you’ll do anything.”
She went on to talk about her two children, Martin and Phyllis. Of course we were interested to find out more about our grandpa when he was growing up, so we asked some questions. We asked her if Grandpa had a favorite treat? She said, “When the kids were young I used to make all kinds of cookies; chocolate chip cookies, lemon cookies… He liked whatever I made.” She reminded us that, “Marty has a son and a daughter, and a nice big house in the valley with a pool and a BBQ. He does a lot of grilling; roasts and salmon. Phyllis has 4 sons and they’re all 6 feet tall. Johanna, Marty’s wife, and Phyllis are good cooks.” She was very proud to announce that she also has fifteen great grandchildren. 

Our original plan was to make “Grandma Mary cookies” in honor of her 104th birthday (which is today). Even though we were a little disappointed by the source of the recipe, we still set out to accomplish this task. Our grandma insisted we see the recipe card and began to sift through piles of recipes in search of just the right one. We were shocked to notice that she is still able to read each word clearly without any help.
As she was sifting through recipes, she shared with us that up until the last couple of years, she used to bake a cake every Saturday and bring it to the beauty shop. They would ask her, “Why are your cakes so moist?” and she answered, “I take a banana and mash it up. I put a mashed banana in it.” She said, “When I was young I did a lot. Now I have to depend on other people to do my shopping and help me walk, but I am 104 years old.” 

As we were leaving Grandma Mary’s apartment, we told her that we were going to use her recipe to make some cookies. She said, “When you make them, you’ll give me some.” After all these years of chocolate chip cookies, we finally get to make some for her to enjoy. Before we left she said the following: “I’m very lucky I have wonderful children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren…When are you going to have a baby (directed at Lauren)?” Lauren responded, “What, you want great great grandchildren already?” Every year on February 17th, we celebrate in amazement as Grandma Mary turns another year older. So here’s to you Grandma, on your 104th birthday. We love you!

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