Still waiting on Medical school…

Chicago Medical School said they would let me know by May 1st – so I gave them a call just now – and it seems they need a bit more time – they will let us know by the end of the first week in may – sigh – another week… I have never wanted anything so badly…

Just Another Five Lists for Friday

Let me start by saying, Thank G-d it is FRIDAY! This week seems to have been painfully long. Very very busy and yet I haven’t finished so many things. In any case– it’s time for another five categories of five things to summarize my week. 

5 Upcoming Blog Posts

  1. FIRST AND FOREMOST – a video tutorial on how to crochet a ripple stitch – ie a zigzag afghan (though I am modeling by making a zigzag wash cloth)
  2. How to cut your pattern from your fabric
  3. How to sew a zipper into your skirt
  4. How to crochet an “x marks the spot” wash cloth
  5. Summary of the Passover Seder
5 Things that “Worked” this Week
  1. Lots and lots of cooking – including a phenomenal flour-less chocolate cake, brisket, matzoh ball soup, haroset, potato kugel, mashed potatos, taco meat, and popovers.
  2. Hosting a seder for 11 people in total – super fun!
  3. My first guest post on my fitness blog
  4. My first use of an iron at home – and my first purchase of an iron!
  5. Completion of Stimulant Paper 1 at work
5 Things that did NOT “Work” this Week
  1. Getting my lining cut and sewn before sewing class yesterday
  2. Getting a video filmed for the ripple stitch
  3. Getting caught up at work
  4. Getting enough sleep (ie, 7+ hours a night)
  5. Getting my workouts done in the morning – I have done all my workouts, but I have not been getting up to do them
5 Posts you May have Missed
  1. My new workout routine – HERE
  2. Keeping my hair healthy while washing it everyday – HERE
  3. My guest post – preparing to run a 10k – HERE
  4. Two days into my workout routine – HERE
  5. Blue Lagoon Spa Clothes  – HERE
5 Things to do This Weekend (other than blog)
  1. Take my little brother to test drive cars
  2. Take a bubble bath
  3. Play at least 4 hours of RIFT
  4. Watch the last episode of Glee – season one
  5. Catch up emails to people I coach

Thanks for stopping by – LEAVE ME A COMMENT!

What is your number 1 goal or most exciting event this weekend?

Tuesday Challenge – Can you fit in 50 push ups today?

Today I woke up at 5:15 am. I turned on the oven, washed the kitchen counters, put away dishes, and made a potato kugel. As soon as it was in the oven, I started my Insanity workout. LOVE it. It’s one of those workouts that seriously works every muscle in my body. I can’t do it all the way through without taking breaks. That is my goal this month. To be able to do the Pure Cardio video non-stop by the end of this month. Hey – I would be happy if I can do it non-stop, even if I am doing it at a slower speed. It’s epic 🙂

What a morning – now I am ready for work, Shakeology for breakfast, and a great start to an amazing day. I mixed my Shakeology with strawberries and lemon juice, ice and water this morning. It’s positively delicious.

I have such high hopes for the seder tonight. I love hosting things. I love the cooking and heck, I even kinda like the cleaning that goes along with hosting big dinners. Our tally is currently 11 yes, with 1 maybe. It’s gonna be a blast.

I have a challenge for you, my readers, today. I want you to do 50 push ups. No, you do not have to do them all at once, in fact, you can do 4 now, 8 later, 2 after that. No problem. You can even do all of them on your knees. But can you reach 50 throughout the course of the day? Tally em up and let me know how you did!

I wish you luck!

Are you a morning or a night person? ~ I am SO a morning person.

Monday Check In – New Posts and the Week to Come

Good morning friends and followers,


  • First blogging priority this week is to get my entry on the “ripple stitch” done for Miss Jackie, as requested last Friday on my blog. I actually have the entire entry written and just need to record the video tutorial. Hoping to get it done tonight, but it might not get done till wednesday. I still have more last minute cleaning and cooking and organizing to do for the big seder tomorrow night, which will surely occupy all of my time tomorrow night. I think Passover should be a federal holiday to get us all out of work.
  • Also coming up – a pattern used to make my “x-marks the spot” wash clothes I have made
  • An update on my skirt – also requires me to complete the cutting and sewing of the lining BEFORE my sewing class on Thursday

What’s left for seder –

  • Bake the chocolate “cake” – which is more like chocolate goo since there is no bread on passover.
  • Make mashed potatos
  • Make hard boiled eggs
  • Find a shank bone
  • Layout sleeping bags and blankets
  • Clear off our side stands (beside bed and couch) to be used as side tables throughout seder
  • Bake potato kugel thingy for Aaron (and seder)
  • Send out reminder email with address and time to our 9 guests 🙂
  • 2 loads of laundry
  • Clean bathroom
  • Dust living room
  • Get box of non-kosher foods to Anna

What are your biggest goals and priorities this week?

Blue Lagoon Spa Clothes – Crochet For Donation

10 wash clothes into my wash clothes – and here I have two Blue Lagoon Spa Clothes 

Considering how incredibly quick and easy and nice looking these are, there may be another one or two of them before everything is said and done.

The pattern: uses only hdc and chains

The yarn: 

Blue ~ Village Yarn Caribbean Cotton (no color info on packaging)

Purple ~ Reynolds Saucy (no color info on packaging)

Yellow ~ Lily Sugar’n Cream (Color: Cream)

Hook size: G

If you want to make these yourself, the purple yarn was really nice to work with. I think the blue yarn is a little flimsy and it didn’t crochet up quite as well – as you can see in this picture.

That being said, this pattern, by Heather P, was very easy to follow and use. I believe that the very first step (chain 32 then hdc in 3rd chain from hook) might be off. In order to wind up with 31 stitches after hdc in 3rd chain from hook, you would have to chain 33. I extended mine longer; the purple one is 33 across and the blue one is 35 across (they come out to the same size – due to the blue being finer than the purple)

Otherwise – this pattern has great detail. I would highly recommend this pattern and perhaps anything by Heather P and look forward to perusing her blog for more patterns.

Ending today with a completely unrelated question – Do you crave sweet or salty things?

Passover Menu – Keeping Kosher in the Higashi Household

Passover is a holiday of many traditions – so what do these traditions mean in the Higashi household?

1. Passover means spring cleaning. 

The idea here is to get all of the crumbs and remnants of bread, or “Chametz” out of the house. As I often do, I have put cleaning off until the last minute, and thus today (starting in about 10 minutes when this post is finished) I have lots of dusting, scrubbing, and picking up to do.

2. Cleaning out/prepping the kitchen.

For some people, this means coating the counters in foil and “baking” the pots and pans at extremely high temperatures. Some people even buy different spices. This is to ensure that nothing used on passover has come into contact with Chametz.

In our household – We will box up everything that is not kosher – traditionally it is “sold” to someone who is not jewish. When I was growing up, my family would pack everything that was not jewish into boxes and leave it in the garage. But Aaron and I, at least the past two years, have put it all in boxes and then sold it to a friend. This meant that a friend would come and pay us a dollar for all of our non-kosher food and food items and take the box to their house for the week. This ensures that the Chametz is out of our possession. Of course, the fridge and freezer items cannot be sold in this way. My family growing up had a second fridge int he garage, and that is where we stored non kosher items. But for us, we merely put everything non-kosher in the fridge (things like salad dressings and ketchup that contain canola oil or corn syrup) onto the top shelf. It’s the best we can do – but it works for us. At the end of teh seven days – we buy back our packaged foods.

3. What we can and can not eat – what does it mean to be Kosher for passover

Kosher for passover means, first, no Chametz –

The Torah instructs a Jew not to eat (or even possess) chometz all seven days of Passover (Exodus 13:3). “Chometz” is defined as any of the five grains (wheat, spelt, barley, oats, and rye) that came into contact with water for more than 18 minutes. – source

Second, in some households, Kosher for Passover also includes “kitniyot”

This includes rice, corn, soy beans, string beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, mustard, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

The reason for this second part is that in some areas of the world, where these were more common, it was hard to distinguish between rice flour and wheat flour. So to avoid confusion – all of these were prohibited as well. – My family growing up did not eat kitniyot, so my husband, deeply respectful of my faith, respects my decision to refrain from these products as well.

4. Additional Passover Tidbits

The first two nights of passover generally involve a seder. This is a specifically tailored dinner (seder means “order”) that incorporates the story of Moses, Pharoah, slavery, the ten plagues, and the eventual freedom of the Jews from egypt. Each step of the seder is associated with different pieces of that story.

It is traditional for the passover seder to be held while all the participants are reclining (truly enjoying the freedom that our ancestors had to struggle for). In keeping with traditions of my family growing up, we will be turning our living room into a tent (representing the tent that the israelites would have lived in after they left Egypt) and the floor will be covered in sleeping bags. Everyone will have pillows to sit on and use for reclining.

5. This Year

This year – we are hosting a seder of about 10 people. Although Aaron and I have hosted seders in the past, they were either with my family or with small and mostly non-jews. Instead, this year, we have extended our home to many grad students and young professionals in the area, almost all of which are Jewish – which is a bit more intimidating because they all know about seders and how things should go. Our seder will be Tuesday night, the second night of passover – and – I am extremely excited 🙂

6. Cooking

I like to do most of the cooking early. I get this from my mom. But especially since I will be working normal hours all week. So tomorrow, I will be making brisket, mashed potatos (10 pounds worth – cause that’s how many mom said to use), matzoh ball soup (chicken soup with dumpling like balls of goodness), and charoset (a combination of nuts, apples, and wine – representative of the mortar used to build bricks in Egypt when Jews were in slavery).

Did I mention passover is my favorite Jewish holiday?

I leave you with two questions:

1 – what is YOUR favorite holiday (religious or otherwise)

2 – if you celebrate passover – what are YOUR traditions?

Fabulous Five Friday

Back to Friday – it’s time for another five categories of five things to summarize my week. I thought about using the same categories as last week, but decided I have so many NEW things to share with you. Like Passover recipes – just in time for Passover! Some of the categories remained unchanged – but many are new!

As mentioned previously, this idea came from Katy, a fellow blogger whom I originally met on twitter. You can follow her on twitter here or read her blog here. I highly recommend you check out her blog if you haven’t already.

5 Kosher for Passover Recipes to try!

  1. Passover Popovers – Here
  2. Acorn Squash and Leek Muffins (made with Matzoh Meal) – Here
  3. Passover Safe Chocolate Cupcakes (and more recipes) – Here
  4. Beet Green and Pumpkin Seed Pesto (and more recipes) – Here
  5. Cream of Sweet Potato Soup (and roasted pecans) – Here

5 Inspirational Quotes

  1. ‎”When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” – Maya Angelou
  2. “Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” -Robin Sharma
  3. “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”- Benjamin Franklin
  4. “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”  – Elbert Hubbard
  5. “You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” – Charles C. Noble

5 Posts you Might Have Missed!

  1. Crochet Flower Headband – Here
  2. Brazil Butt Lift Day 1 – A Review – Here
  3. More Wash Cloths Knitted for Donation – Here
  4. Dreaming… About… Medical School? – Here
  5. I Make Lists – What do YOU do? – Here

5 Cool Crafty things to make at home!!

  1. Decorating with Maps (Here) – what a clever way to make maps into a very classy looking wall decoration
  2. A Framed Fabric Focal Point (Here) – look how nicely these scraps of fabric have been reused!
  3. Simple Craft Projects for Spring (Here) – Links to fun projects. I particularly like the little crochet bow! Might be time for a second headband…
  4. Crochet Coasters (Here) – Still looking for the ones for our home, these are two girly. But they are cute!
  5. Tissue Box Photo Hearts (Here) – These look easy enough! and the finished product is pretty 🙂

5 Goals or Projects for Next Week
(anybody who reads this knows I am obsessed with goals and lists) – yes, I know – numbers 2 and three were on LAST weeks list but they WILL get done this week. 

  1. Complete ANOTHER two wash clothes for donation
  2. Cut and Sew the lining for my skirt
  3. Write a post of my current skirt progress
  4. Host a successful seder on Tuesday
  5. Get brisket, matzoh ball soup, mashed potatos, and dessert done on Sunday

Which of these categories is your favorite? Or maybe you miss a category from last time?

Let me know which categories you like best so I can make sure to keep them for next time!