Currently: September

Sept Collage

Writing a post for Kolbo Judaica Gallery about hearing the sound of the Shofar as a call to return to our best selves. Let me know what you think!

Fascinated by art quilt maps. And look at these!

Listening to this podcast episode about a formerly Chassidic woman who loves Torah, Chassidic culture, and big happy families but had to look further for her own fulfillment, and what she did when she saw that this fulfillment might not be giving her son the life she had always wanted for him.

Trying to simplify our home by streamlining what we own and getting rid of “just in case” items that drain our energy. Now my clothes hang with space to breathe. Start with these 10 basic principles if you’re not sure how to begin with your wardrobe! Looking for a personal style that makes you feel strong and gorgeous and invincible? Let Stacia teach you!

Empowered by my friend Shana over at Salad Therapy to try new ingredients in new ways . She’s helping me be more joyful in the kitchen, something I didn’t think was possible for me.

Thinking about snapping up this customizable growth chart to semi-DIY for the nursery! SO many possibilities!

Reminded by this quote. I wish we didn’t need reminders like this, but I sure do.

 

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Currently: June

Recently Collage

1. Erin Boyle writes a gorgeous piece on evenings on her Brooklyn rooftop after the kids are in bed.

2.  Some aspirational mudrooms over here.

3. What happens inside men as they balance life and work and what society expects them to value most.

4. Hanan is killing it with her casual style, something much more difficult to achieve than fantastic formal style.

5. Is there anything more appetizing than rose gold birks?

6. This is the drugstore concealer I’m loving these days! The sponge applicator is super gentle on the fragile skin under the eyes and the coverage is great.

7. Such a fresh, springy print.

 

Back Again: Denim Dresses

If you grew up in the 90s, you remember all the denim. Jean skirts, denim overalls, jumpers and vests. It was on TV, it was in your closet, and it was on your third grade teacher. And we loved every minute of it.

And now it’s back! From throwback styles to voluminous minimalist silhouettes, denim accessorizes beautifully. Here are some modest styles that layer like a dream. Keep scrolling for ideas for accessories, too !

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striped top, nail cuff, textured scarf

oversized watch, ditsy print scarf, saddle bag

suede boots, leather sneakers, rose gold sneakers

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Chanukah Gift Guide 3: For the Ladies

They’re your girlfriends and they are just plain fun to shop for.

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  • Improv tunic sweater. A chic sweater jacket can be hard to find, but throw this on over a stretchy pencil skirt and flats, and you’ve never looked better running around town. The graceful seaming carves out a beautiful silhouette. It’s the perfect cozy gift.
  • Navy blue crystal studs. Navy is unexpected and so high-end mixed with shades of gray and blush. These studs are a variation on the basics we all own, but in a shade your friend is probably not buying herself.
  • Marc Jacobs shimmer finish polish. Shimmery polish from a luxe brand is a can’t-miss present. This shade is neutral enough to be work-appropriate but will transition beautifully to holiday events or hot cocoa at your neighborhood hangout.
  • Adele pageboy cap. I used to own a cap just like this and can’t tell you how often I miss it. It looks good with everything and adds a sassy touch on uninspired days.
  • Isaac Mizrahi leather clutch. What a great TJMaxx find! Beautiful navy leather is set off by a winter-friendly pop of floral. It’s an easy way to add a new neutral to the routine.
  • All Over Glow shimmer. This well-reviewed highlighter will bring a glow back to wintery skin and will be such a thrill to unwrap.
  • 13″ cashmere gloves. Nothing is as spoiling as cashmere gloves on a cold day. This extra long pair keeps wrists toasty warm and looks unspeakably elegant.
  • Ban.do love potion key chain. This key chain is the sweetest little treat. Clip it to your bag as a charm or use it to corral your keys.
  • Multicolored furry stole. This is currently half off at Ann Taylor and I’m sitting on my hands to keep from ordering it for myself. Layer it over a winter white sweater or dress up last year’s coat. It’s hard to find an excuse to buy oneself a furry stole, but getting it in the mail from a friend? That’s a friend who really gets you.

 

Chanukah Gift Guide 1: For Moms

Although Thanksgiving isn’t behind us yet, I’m already thinking about Chanukah. I long for the tiny flickering candles, the warmth, the light. It’s a holiday that encourages hope and kindness, quiet joy and gratitude, and who doesn’t need a little more of that?

Here’s installment 1 of this year’s Chanukah gift guide. I wanted to focus on gifts for moms first of all, since they can be notoriously hard to shop for and often get relegated to smelly Bath and Bodyworks gift sets when all they really want is a little elegant spoiling. Give them some subtle color, luxe materials, or a handmade treasure, and you’re good to go. These picks are just as welcome for the 30-year-old moms on your list as for your own cool mom.

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  • Cursive Initial Ring. This is a classic mom gift with exceptionally good design. Each script letter flows beautifully from the band in one graceful line. Try a few stacked for each child in the family or let it stand alone.
  • Wooden Vases. Nothing brightens a winter day like full blooms, especially next to a bed made up with fresh snowy linens. These sycamore vases are beautiful filled with peonies or on their own.
  • Leather Travel Case Set. I’ve written before about the importance of pouches for day-to-day organization but these are a little slice of luxury heaven. This champagne leather is gorgeous, and don’t be discouraged if this set is out of your price range. West Elm has a similar large and small version, for those of us on a budget.
  • Enamel Queen Anne Frame. Jonathan Adler knows what’s up, and right now everything on his site is 20% off with the code GETFESTIVE. Don’t mind if I do, Jonathan.
  • Nike Heather Infinity Scarf. Somewhere between blush and lilac, this silky smooth scarf will look and feel just as good running errands as working out. Feminine and high tech is always a winning combination.
  • 3 Little Seed Farm Liquid Soaps. These amber glass bottles hold the best mix of shea butter, organic olive oil, goat’s milk, and essential oils. Imagine having scents like Rosemary Mint, Orange Blossom, and Lavender next to every sink in the house! And no more expensive bar soaps that get soggy and feel less-than-luxe in just a few days.
  • Violet Bottle Matches. We all use them for Shabbat candles (or scented Diptiques if we’re lucky), but matchbooks have never been this lovely to look at. The violet ombre bottle holds 48 purple-tipped matches, and can always be refilled when they run low.
  • Well Read Women Reader’s Journal. If you enjoyed Samantha Hahn’s Well Read Women book of portraits, you’ll fall for this reader’s journal where you can record all your favorite books and reflect on them for years to come. Watercolor portraits and generous, smooth paper make reading an even better experience as you create an heirloom that gives much more insight into your thoughts and interests than you might have expected.
  • Heart Flower Necklace. Brimming with detail, this cutout necklace looks much more like a fantastic length of fabric or a hand-drawn illustration than a traditional heart pendant. Young and somehow cheery, it communicates all the love of heart-shaped jewelry without any of the fussiness we’ve come to expect.

This is already super fun! What gift guide should be next?

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Birthday Season and an Afternoon at the Ballet

In my family, this is *Birthday Season*. All of our birthdays pile on in a happy traffic jam in September, October, and November, so these months always feel particularly festive. In honor of our birthdays, my mom gifted my husband and me with tickets to the Boston Ballet. We’re seeing an afternoon performance of Le Corsaire, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s some inspiration for a graceful afternoon outing of your own.

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This photo of ballerina Courtney Levine (check out her Instagram!) inspired this look, especially partnered with this gorgeous flower arrangement by Frances Palmer, who is an incredible potter. Soft shades of lavender and cream look beautiful against touches of black. I added a touch of silver for a little bit of glam, but was careful not to overdo the glitz for this lovely afternoon date.

Happy weekend, friends!

Currently: October

Things are spinning at a breakneck speed these days. Between the busy Jewish holiday season and this interminable election, adding lovely details to daily life can seem so unimportant and frivolous. It seems to contradict the concept of hunkering down and doing what needs to be done. When your sleeves are rolled up, does anyone care what you’re wearing? And honestly, with all the sexist language and “big questions” buzzing around right now, caring about these details can feel gendered, shallow and nonintellectual.

But the Torah commands us to serve God with joy. There is so much that must be done. So much time spent cooking, entertaining, building and praying. And all of these things can be done with blinders on, or they can be done with openness and joy. They can all be done with beauty just as well as any other way. And maybe the thing built with beauty enters the heart a little more easily. Maybe a small bouquet of flowers on the Sukkah’s table sparks our memory of the grace of this mitzvah. Maybe a lovingly chosen outfit honors the holiday and sets an example for our children that this life is something we show up for. That this is something that is important to us, that we honor and anticipate with excitement. Maybe an extra polish of the silver Shabbat candles sends the message that these rituals are precious to us, that we give them the very best of what we have.

So this holiday, I propose we don’t lose the joy in the work, or the excitement in the disillusionment that current events seem to often bring. Of all times, this is when it is most important to re-declare our priorities and our deeply-held values. To staunchly maintain the beauty of our traditions, to communicate to our children and families that this is what matters most, and that we show up here with our very best.

If you are blessed with the ability to beautify your life and the lives of those around you, do not discount that contribution. It is the difference between a life of obligation and one of joy and learning and growth.

For now, I leave you with one inspiring video, and a few links just for the beauty of them.

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Listening to Michelle Obama tell it, so vulnerably and openly, exactly like it is.

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Preparing for the next round of Jewish holidays. We are hosting most of my family for the holiday of Sukkot this week, so that is a lot of meals to plan and prep! It is chilly in Boston, so I’m preparing lots of hearty soups and pumpkin desserts.

Planning my next quilt! Which fabric collection do you like?

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Wearing all my long sweaters  and, at home, my cozy winter slippers.

Longing for a professional pedicure. This yummy plum color would be perfect.

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Happy weekend, sisters, and happy holidays.