Classic Hanukkah Decorations

Hanukkah starts early this year {first candle lighting is December 6th} so we opened up the Hanukkah bins and started our decorating so we could enjoy some holiday sparkle as long as possible.

One of the big changes in The New Old House is that we’ve transformed our living room from golds and reds to golds and blues.  The new decor looks so pretty with our holiday decor I suspect we may leave things up a little longer than usual!

Two of our hanukkiahs {menorahs} are out and cleaned already and I have a few more still to go.  We bought the blue and white ceramic one this year from Fair Trade Judaica ~ I love that it’s blue and white painted pottery and was made in Vietnam, one of our favorite countries we visited in our travels as Expats.


I am also rather partial to hand-dipped ombre candles as you can tell!

Here’s what the room looks like when you walk in from the foyer ~


I’m trying to keep on top of the gift wrapping, so gifts are being stashed in that big basket in the far left-hand corner.

Our ragamuffin garland is on the fireplace as always, and I’ve kept my foo dogs on the mantel but added some glittered dreidels to my blue and white Japanese hibachis.  And Whole Foods had some beautiful blue hydrangeas this week that were too lovely to pass up so I grabbed them and did a variation on previous years’ sneaky centerpieces using dreidels instead of gelt.



Years ago I found this sweet little needle pointed pillow.  It’s been so hard until recently to find any Hanukkah decor, let alone things that aren’t plastic or paper temporary decorations that it’s always been one of my favorites.  It looks especially nice with my Chiang Mai dragon blue colorway pillows! {and check out the dreidel music box on the side table as well}


I have one other music box that also happens to be a snow globe I pulled out this year.  It’s a little kitschy, but fun and I still haven’t finished styling this table anyway, so why not.


Finally, no Hanukkah would be complete without gelt!  I know better than put it all out this early in the season, so the rest is hidden far away!


Next project….addressing all the holiday cards!

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Hanukkah Shopping 2015

Hanukkah is early this year, so I’ve started my shopping already {also a part of my lifelong goal to never step foot in a mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas}.

Each year I am more and more excited to see Hanukkah items for kids and the home from major retailers, and this year there are some especially cute things out there!  In addition, I’ve seen entire displays of craft kits, supplies, and decor at retailers like Michael’s, Home Goods and Target.  Makes me ready to eat some latkes & sufganiyot!

Here are a few of my favorite things I’ve seen in sleepwear~


Hanukkah Sleepwear


{from Left to Right: menorah robe from Target, menorah-saurus pajamas from Gymboree, dreidel pajamas from Bloomingdale’s, boys & girls toddler underwear sets from Gymboree}

Here are some of my favorite throw pillows for your sofa, which is always an easy way to add quick holiday touches ~

Hanukkah Throw Pillows
{from Left to Right: Needlepoint Happy Hanukkah from Traditions, dreidel pillow from Zazzle, needlepoint menorah from A Grace Unlimited on Etsy, burlap dreidel from Wayfair, and Happy Hanukkah from Kohl’s}

Some cute items to decorate your home ~

Hanukkah Decor
{from Left to Right: laser-cut wooden Star of David with monogram from Slinkslinks at Etsy, 8 Nights of Hanukkah pocket wall hanging from Pottery Barn Kids, burlap Happy Hanukkah banner from Nordstrom, personalized doormat from Personal Creations, felt garland from Land of Nod, Keep Calm and Eat Latkes serving plate from The Source for Everything Jewish and Star of David linens from Pottery Barn}

and finally, Hanukkah couldn’t be celebrated without the miracle of lights, so here are some of my favorite menorahs I’ve seen this year ~

Hanukkah Menorahs


{from Left to Right: bronze leaf menorah from Artnharmony58 at Etsy, Jonathan Adler ceramic elephant menorah, baroque menorah from Bed, Bath & Beyond, blue vine ceramic menorah from Ten Thousand Villages and Olivia Riegel bejeweled menorah from Bloomingdale’s}

So how many menorahs will you light in your home this year?  I believe we are up to six, which include my very favorites made by The Cuties out of a piece of scrap wood and some nuts.  I think every single Jewish child makes one at either preschool or Sunday School as their first menorah and I just adore them.  I won’t ever give them up.  Not even for that sparkly Olivia Riegel beauty! ;-)

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What’s In My Bag?

I’ve been back in America for a full year now and I have to confess I can’t get enough of being able to purchase English magazines every week at the checkout!

I pretend I’m classy with People and Us Weekly since I never buy OK or InTouch but who are we kidding ~ they’re all pretty trashy.

One of my favorite features is US Weekly’s “What’s In My Bag?”  I love to see what random things people cart around with them and can’t live without.

So I thought I’d share what I schlep around on a daily basis.


From left to right: I use the slim pouch that came with my purse to store receipts and coupons, I keep a small coin purse with my headphones, tissues, a snack(!), my calendar, pouch with pens, wallet, sunglasses, pouch filled with all sorts of things, reading glasses and keys.  My cell phone is almost always in my hand or pocket, but otherwise goes in the purse, too!

And here’s the contents of my purple paisley pouch {say that ten times fast!} ~


Bandaids, ponytail holders, a compact {Lilly Pulitzer, of course!}, Benadryl, floss, my inhaler, spare disposable contact lenses, two favorite lipstick shades {one nude and one bright – gotta have options!}, a stain stick, Tums, nail file, tweezers, and toothpicks.

This bag is probably used daily by a member of the Felt So Cute household, so it gets replenished often.  And I keep a separate small pill case in a zippered pouch inside my purse with a couple of doses of whatever medication The Cuties and I are currently taking in case we leave the house without taking our pills.

I know it looks like I leave with the kitchen sink, but it all does fit quite reasonably inside.


On the weekends, I usually leave my calendar at home.

Which means The Husband has room for his sunglasses, wallet, keys….

I doubt I’ll ever be a minimalist. ;-)

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Bare Bones Laundry Room

I love the idea of a fabulous laundry room.

So much so that I have a Pinterest Laundry Room Board with more than 40 pins of pretty rooms, ranging from the colorful to the serene, organized and spacious.  I adore the idea of creating a pleasant and welcoming space for a tedious chore.  If money and square footage were limitless my ideal laundry room would have windows, a beautiful light fixture, shelves, fantastic wallpaper and colorful appliances.

And that’s not remotely what I’m going to share today!

The laundry room in the New Old House is a bare bones utilitarian space.

Its most redeeming feature is that somewhere down the line an owner relocated the laundry from the unfinished basement up to the second floor near the bedrooms.  In previous homes I haven’t always loved an upstairs laundry room due to noise concerns outside bedrooms, but this room is far enough away from the three rooms we occupy that it’s not an issue.  Additionally, our unfinished basement is well….unfinished in a 100-year-old house, so not really a place I want to hang out with our clean clothes.  And finally, the staircase is narrow enough I’d be carting the basket awkwardly up and down.  So I’m happy for small favors.


So nothing fancy.

The washer and dryer don’t match.  But they came with the house and they work.  So they’ll do until they don’t.

There’s no pretty paint or wallpaper, no cute cubbies, and no chandelier.

But there’s room to hang dry clothes, hang up my ironing board and store all the essentials we need to end up with clean clothes.



You may have noticed the Post-It note on the washing machine, stack of them on the hanging shelf and the Sharpie hanging from a ribbon. What are they for?

Our not-so-high-tech reminder system!

When one of us puts something in the washing machine that needs to be hung up to dry, we write what it is on a Post-It note, and stick it on the front of the washer.  It serves as a visual reminder when it’s time to switch the load so everything doesn’t just get tossed into the dryer.


The Cuties are now old enough that they are responsible for their own laundry {Do you hear the gates to heaven opening and angels singing?!!!}.  But every so often they were forgetting which settings the machines needed so I made a simple print out to serve as a reminder and popped it into an Ikea frame from my stash.


If you’d like to print it for your own Laundry Room, here you go: LaundryPDF

When we first moved in, renovating this space was high on my priority list.  However, now that we’ve been here several months it’s serving us just fine as is.

I’m willing to bet it’s the laundry assistance.

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Manicure Station

Since the move back to America, I have been storing all of my manicure and pedicure supplies in a large bin.  OK, let’s be honest: “storing” implies there was some master plan of organization and this was really more of a “dumping” master plan.  I basically emptied all my nail polishes, files, clippers, etc into a random bin and shoved it underneath the sink in the master bathroom.

And not surprisingly, I then promptly ignored it.

However, I’ve been rethinking my regular gel manicures of late.  I can do without the expense, my nails are getting thinner and more brittle every time, and the constant exposure to ultraviolet light has to be a health risk {and after this week’s news I think I can give up biweekly manicures far more easily than bacon}.

So knowing myself, I realized I needed to reorganize my supplies in a way that I could move them from the bathroom for storage to wherever in the house I wanted to do my nails {translation: in front of the television}.

After discovering that there is, in fact, something The Container Store does not have the perfect solution for, and reaching the end of the Internet without success, I was ready to ditch my plan for portable greatness and go with a plastic shoebox when a run through Marshalls found the perfect solution for a mere $7!


This caddy holds about 20 polishes plus base & top coats, all my tools, and a bottle of remover.  It even has a handle to easily move it from place to place and because it’s lucite I can periodically wipe it down as necessary.  Score!


And since I can see everything it’s easy to find which color I want and put things back where they belong.  No more rummaging to the bottom of the bin looking for a lost color.


I will now confess that upon finishing this small organizing project and painting my own nails for the first time in a while, I have to now acknowledge that I require my reading glasses to accomplish this task.  Fortunately there’s room in the caddy for a pair!

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A Room for a Teenager

The trifecta of our last move, shuffling beds around in the new house, and our daughter becoming a teenager meant that we needed to start completely from scratch with decorating Big Cutie’s room.

We worked together on a shared Pinterest board and came up with a general plan of pink and navy preppiness. Thankfully my girl was very patient as she dealt with my unproductive Summer of Sick and the need to take care of really boring moving/decorating details like wall patching and repair, covering up some yellowing trim, and adding some much-needed overhead lighting.

Here’s what we came up with!


{wood monogram, headboard, bedding, night stands, lamps, rug, L pillow, LGG pillow, sequin pillow}


{bookcase, storage boxes, Roman shades}


{desk, lamp, chair, pencil holder}

Did you catch all of the mementos from her Bat Mitzvah that finally have a place to properly be on display?

Big Cutie repeatedly tells me how happy she is with her new room.

It was worth the wait to hear that from a 14-year-old!

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Nightstand Neatness

Let’s just get right to it.

My nightstand is always a hot mess.

If I’m honest with myself it’s a combination of being totally blind in the middle of the night when searching for something and shoving too much in there in an attempt to clear off the top before bed so I don’t knock things over in the middle of the night because of the aforementioned blindness.


First of all, I don’t even know when the last time I used a safety-pin, let alone why there’s a box of them in the drawer, and second, I’ve got things in there like my most recent jewelry appraisal and the business card of a former neighbor.  I can think of about four other places that make more sense for those items than my nightstand drawer.  I can’t even remember how those things ended up in my bedroom let alone in the drawer!

So like every proper organizing project, I emptied the drawer and sorted items into three piles: trash, keep and put away elsewhere.  The trash and put away piles far outweighed the keep in the drawer pile, and I was left with just the essentials.

I decided to take a page from my newly organized kitchen and use dividers in my drawers to help make a place for everything.  I have used these Drawer Organizers before and am very pleased with the quality.  They are a good option when corralling items that aren’t messy and would need to be wiped down on a regular basis.


I was able to divide out my items into their own compartments, so now I can easily grab what I need: Kindle, remote controls, glasses/reading glasses, inhaler, pad & pens, chapstick, cough drops, mints, and pony tail holders.


There are two more drawers to my nightstand, but for some reason they stay neat.  I’m strange, I know.  They hold all sorts of small travel bags such as jewelry pouches, makeup bags and shoe bags.  I have a ridiculous number of these, but just as I’m ready to whittle down my stash, The Cuties are old enough to start needing all of these too, so suddenly my plentiful stash comes in handy when packing for the three of us.

Look how nice and clean my nightstand surface is now!


{interested in making your own framed monogram? check it out here!}

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