the last “experience” that we did as a family this holiday season (i.e the month of december) was planned by my momma! she surprised us & took us to lunch at little greek where they are BYOB, which we love. we brought in like 3 different kinds of beer and a bottle of champagne & they were so sweet and brought us glasses to toast with which made it feel elevated and special. after a delicious lunch, we walked next door for a sweet treat at gigi’s cupcakes and then we went for a pamper session at mapleshade spa. the spa place was like in an old historic home, the downstairs was a boutique area where they sold jewelry, bath bombs, lotions, candles, etc. and then there were staircases on each side of the house that you go up to individual bedrooms-turned-massage-rooms to get a facial or a massage. this house was like an old mansion, the floors were kind of creaky and ceilings high, it was a pretty cool setup and the facial was really great. i got an anti-aging facial and she infused my skin with vitamin C and steam for hydration. i don’t remember much else because i passed out it was so good, ha! scroll on for a few more pics from the day:

lunch & BYOB @littlegreek in richardson…two thumbs up!

little greek richardson texas

@gigiscupcakesrichardso

i got carrot cake, mel got chocolate chip cookie dough and my mom got white midnight magic – check out the rest of the mouth-watering menu here

gigis cupcakes richardson texas

instagrammable opp

gigis cupcakes richardson texas

headed to mapleshade spa

mapleshade spa dallas texas

one little section of the boutique downstairs with lots of little goodies

mapleshade spa dallas texas

one of the massage rooms with a heated bed and a fireplace. it was so cozy and with the soft music playing…i passed the F out!

mapleshade spa dallas texas

we all had so much fun planning and gifting “experiences” to each other versus worrying about if we got each other enough things. i hope it was fun to read about and you got some ideas for family activities, too 🙂 going to make this a family tradition we carry on forever.

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hiiiii! hope you had a wonderful christmas! i always forget how nostalgic this time of year feels until it’s christmas eve and elf or and home alone 2 are playing in the background and the soundtracks just bring sooooo many memories back. it’s a day and time of the year especially where i really miss my grandfather. for christmas this year, we were all at my aunt carol’s house & i was soaking up time with loved ones, being comfortable and happy.

while christmas has technically passed for the year, i wanted to continue sharing the family “holiday” experiences we did last week, this one was dekel’s idea. he took us to escape room in plano. we’ve actually been before, we literally were there the same day last year  – it’s a really fun during-christmas-break activity, or any day really! it’s fun to get locked up and be challenged to think outside the box & work together to “escape.” if you’ve never been before, it’s kinda like a giant puzzle that you are working against the clock to figure out. you’re blindfolded/handcuffed and led into a room where you listen to a recording explaining the “situation” you are in and then it’s up to your group to work together to solve the clues and get to the end, which is the door that will let you out. there is a “game master” who you can talk to if you get stuck, which we did a few times, but we alllmooooosstttt made it out! we were on the last clue to break out and it was translating morse code, which we sucked at. the whole game is such an adrenaline rush and the hour goes by so quickly. last time we did “hostage,” this time we did “kidnapping” and the “operation: casino” looks cool, too- we will be back for sure.

breakout games dallas

listening to the rules and about to get blindfolded

waiting in line for breakout room plano

kidnapping game at breakout room plano

so close…

breakout room plano

next up: the holiday experience my mom planned

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in my last post, you read about our family holiday experience that i planned…next up was mirelle’s turn.

she planned for us to DIY string art!! she gathered the supplies like the wood pallets that were already sanded and came with a wall hook from target, the nails from home depot and the string from hobby lobby. she ended up telling us what it was going to be because she needed to know what designs to print for us and what color string we wanted to use. the day before we were going to do the activity i stained my wood, since i’ll want to incorporate it into my “to-be-built” gallery wall (hopefully getting that done in the next few weeks!) and the dark stain would match the other woods in my house better than the original light wood. we gathered around my 8-foot dining table and got our craft on. the project was so fun, a lot louder than any of us anticipated, but a fun activity to do altogether. you take a print-out of a design you want to mimic and lay that design on top of the wood and hammer the thin nails directly on it (or you can just use it as a guide) and then you just remove the paper and use the colored string to bring your design to life. it was kind of tricky getting the nails to line up perfectly (i.e. the top of texas), but i would totally do this again now that i have the hang of it! the whole thing took us about an hour and we had lots of laughs and mess-ups along the way, but i think we “nailed it.” 🙂

DIY crafting string art project

DIY crafting string art project

string art project

string art project

dekel took a different approach and used a staple gun!

DIY crafting string art project

dek’s finished product: beer glass 

beer string art project

my finished product: texas with a heart in it

texas DIY string art project

next family holiday experience “hosted” by dekel coming up soon!

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this year, instead of buying christmas gifts for each other, my family & i decided to do “experiences” together. it could range from a picnic in the park, a groupon activity, volunteering together, going to a brewery for an afternoon, etc. and we didn’t tell each other what we planned. it was up to each of us to plan and schedule something for the month of december and my experience was the first one we did. it was a “paint your pet” session by pipe & palatte! i sneakishly printed photos of all our pets and brought them in with us when taking my family to downtown plano. there were two artists that guided us through scaling the image to the canvas and how to create depth & shadows to bring each photo to life. it was so fun to do this together since we’re all crazy about our pups 🙂 we shared a pitcher of dallas blonde beer and had a blast while giving back, loved that some of the proceeds went to second chance spca of plano. we all did preeetttty good if i don’t say so myself, but we most definitely got help from raul when it came to the life-like details like the eyes.

dek & i hung our paintings up on the wall by where the boys eat in “their area” of the living room.

scroll down to see!

paint your pet downtown plano
paint your pet with pipe and palette downtown plano
paint your pet with pipe and palette downtown plano
kaizer dog in paint your pet
peanut dog in paint your pet
ollie dog in paint your pet
tucker dog in paint your pet

paint your pet pipe and palette downtown plano

pipe and palatte paint your pet artwork

stay tuned as i will be posting the next “experience” we do in a few days!

it’s mirelle’s turn to host & i know what it is…gunna be a good one!

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happy december friends! it’s not even the new year yet & i’m already reflecting on what a crazy, cool year it’s been!

i still can’t believe we have a baby AND how much we love him. we sweat this little boy! his facial expressions, his baby noises, his tooth-less grins, etc. i’m not gunna lie i had a few emotional moments this past weekend where i cried my eyes out just looking or thinking about him. one time, in particular, was saturday when we were grilling burgers outside and dekel goes “this is the first time atlas is smelling barbeque” and i lost it thinking about how it’s up to us as parents to teach him and show him things about the world. so since then i’ve been whispering to him & talking to him when we walk around, introducing him to things, making him feel different textures. this love is insane.

anyways, we kicked this month off with our first family holiday experience, which was the one i planned. we started this little tradition last year (see last year’s events here) & i hope it’s something we do forever….we gift each other experiences rather than things. it challenges us to come up with creative, fun ideas (especially now since we have a baby with us) & it gives us an opportunity to spend quality time together doing new things, versus collecting new things, which i love. so this past sunday i took my family to lunch at lee harvey’s and then to a donut and beer pairing at a brewery we had never been to called four corner’s. we keep our activities a secret so the other people don’t know where we are going until we pull up! it was a nice afternoon so we ate burgers out in the sun then headed down the street to the four corners taproom for dessert & beer. scroll down for photos from our day if you’d like to see.

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

family holiday experience lee harvey four corners brewery

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this week we have two jewish “holidays” : memorial day & independence day. memorial day is certainly not a day to celebrate, but we do have off work tomorrow and thursday so we thought it to be a fantastic opportunity to do something semi-spontanious & take a trip that we have been contemplating for some time. we will finally be visiting a wonder of the world: petra, jordan!!! i am beyond thrilled as i have heard & read such great things about the accomidations (we booked 2 nights at this hotel), the food, the historical sights and the nightlife.
we will arrive wednesday to the hotel after crossing the border to jordan. we plan to take the ‘petra by night’ tour that night, which seems to be just magical. the petra site will be lit by the light of 1,800 candles & you walk through following a candle-lit path and supposedly there is haunting music of the bedouins at the treasury where you sit surrounded by pure candlelight and sip tea.
photos via & via
friday we plan to stay at a bedouin camp and take a jeep tour through the desert. the bedouin camp experience is unlike any other, sleeping in tents under the stars, meals by an open fire, stories of history and culture, camel rides…i am so excited!plan to see about a million pictures upon our return!    🙂

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here’s my holiday wishlist.
more of just a ‘wish outloud’ sort of thing.
i’ve always celebrate both hannukah and christmas.
growing up i got to experience the best of both worlds 🙂
i will write santa, plead my case & leave some chocolate chip cookies & milk out. even though im jewish i think he will come through & drop off some goodies…
inevitably, the ultimate iphone 4s
am i the only one left on the face of the planet without one of these amazing gadgets?
…and whats an iphone without a catchy iphone cover?
any one of these will do  =)
the oh-so desirable golden oversized mk watch 
an ultra sexy dslr camera
super cute slouchie beanies
what’s on your holiday wishlist?
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