Ladies Lunch & The Power of Women Supporting Women

One of the challenges of being a sorta-kinda, stay-at-home mom is that I’m not surrounded by my power women friends that kept my mojo sharp and motivated. Fearing the scenario of what happens to the brain when you complete formal education and don’t engage in anything intellectually stimulating thereafter (aka if you don’t use it, you could lose it) I needed to recharge and reconnect with my hustle girls.  Oh, and I needed to maximize my time given that I only have extra help twice a week.

Last Thursday, I gathered some of my gals for a ladies lunch. FYI The idea came to me while I was pumping milk months ago and desperate for an escape from being a milk factory!

But, that’s neither here nor there.

The lunch …

To say that the two hours we spent together was magical is an understatement. The collective energy of these inspirational, hustling, brainy and beautiful women could light up the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square.  It felt like a power house sorority, if your sorority included published authors, major TV producers and anchors, magazine publishers, top fashion designers … you get my point.

Here’s the most beautiful part – it wasn’t about me, me, me. The vibe was so much about sharing and what you can do for the lady sitting next to you. We all just wanted to connect with other women and see what cool projects they are creating.

Left to right, clockwise: Dr. Robi Ludwig (oh and she designs jewelry. I’m wearing her necklace in all photos), fashion designer Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook, TV producers and media coaches Elise Silvestri and Amy Rosenblum, me, PIX11 News Anchor Tamsen Fadal

Sometimes, you need to be in the company of greatness to find your own greatness.

Left to right, clockwise: celeb chef Candice Kumai, beauty guru & Pride & Glory founder Jennifer Walsh, Talk Show host Nitika Chopra; Jen with TinShingle founder Sabina Hitchen; kids etiquette coach and my mom Malvina with NBC entertainment reporter Joelle Garguilo; me and my wine

p2lifestyle_020415_3

more of the same pretty faces from #P2LadiesLunch at Hunt & Fish Club NYC (photo credit: Dr. Robi)

I gave a little toast to the group and my key point was that I believe your network in your net worth. And, with this table of women, I felt like a billionaire.

Women supporting women is such an important part of our professional AND personal success. It’s another way for us to be reminded we should Always Be Your Best You. I encourage all of you to form groups, meet regularly. If that’s not an option, connect socially via FaceBook groups and other avenues. Brainstorming with a group, opening up about your life, learning from others, that’s how you will be the best working mom you can be. We are SO much better when we grow together. Sorry, I know I sound like a poster from 1983, but it’s true!

Socializing. Sharing. Succeeding. #P2LadiesLunch

A special thank you to Hunt & Fish Club NYC for hosting the first #P2LadiesLunch. Um … feel free to offer to host the next one. Also, thank you to my beloved friend Linsey at Behrman PR for putting together a great swag bag for the ladies full of some of my favorite products from ItCosmetics, Kid Lid and The Wet Brush.

P2signautre

Pam’s Postcards from Delhi, India – Part 1

After surviving a nasty bout with Delhi Belly, aka traveler’s diarrhea, followed by New Year’s Eve lets-pack-the-kids roadshow, and my current cold, I’m finally able to sit in my chair long enough to write this post. But, let’s focus on the bling and the Bollywood bonanza that was the four-day, wedding extravaganza in Delhi, India.

My husband’s colleague and his new bride treated us non-Indians to a wedding unlike any other. It overflowed with colorful fabrics, floral garlands, invigorating music, golden jewelry, flavorful food and warm hearts. It’s the latter that will remain the biggest part of my moveable feast.

The groom’s parents treated us like family. Their words of admiration for my husband, planned excursions, personal drivers and overall desire to constantly accommodate, were lovingly, overwhelming. And, let’s not even get into the pashmina scarf his mom gifted me, on top of the other scarves and beaded handbags she’s already sent to New York.

The rest of the family, both the groom’s and the bride’s were equally as welcoming. On the first night, we went to the bride’s parent’s home for the mehndi (henna party). The home was lit up with club lighting; there was a beautiful tent erected in the backyard where a band played Indian songs that we all enjoyed way too much. I got hennaed out and then picked up extra sparkle to wear for the following night, thanks to the Bangle Bar. My outfit that night: a hand-embroidered, silk tunic purchased that afternoon in Delhi.

Dancing with candles on my head. Delhi, India

p2lifestyle_010915_5

Fashion selfie at henna party. Delhi, India

When in Rome … Henna artists do their creative magic. Delhi, India

Henna arm candy mixed with Kanupriya elephant ring. Delhi, India

Accessories heaven! We should all gift wedding guests jewelry. Delhi, India.

Turbans, saris and gold earrings, oh my. Wedding fashion in India. Delhi, India

Night two was the ceremony, aka wedding. Arranged by the groom’s mom, a lovely girl came to my room at The Imperial New Delhi Hotel, to help me put on my sari. We then headed to the groom’s parent’s house, where my husband and all the other men, were wrapped in turbans. And then there was the twenty-person band that escorted us several blocks, while the groom rode a decorated horse. After dancing back to the house, we got into our cars and went to the venue. (In olden times, we would dance all the way to the venue). Upon arrival, we were dropped off several blocks away from the venue, where we once again were accompanied by a band, this time with chandeliers on people’s heads! The groom was now in a chariot. At some point, my husband was asked to join him. I think that means he’s important or really loved?!? I wore a purple and fuchsia pink sari from Exclusively.in.

Wedding Decor. Delhi, India

The Bride and Groom sit with their parents and a priest inside the wedding canopy. Delhi, India

Thanks to my preparations – Hindu Wedding Rituals Symbolism and Significance – I understood some of the rituals taking place in the mantapa, aka wedding canopy. Like most wedding ceremonies, first the kids go through the traditional part, and then we party. The music was mostly ethnic, with a few modern beats. The food was mostly ethnic, with a few Asian and Italian dishes. On both fronts, I preferred the ethnic option.

Enjoy the images and check out Pam’s Postcards from Delhi, India – Part 2 for a recap of the last two nights of the wedding and our adventures in Old Delhi.

P2signautre

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Tips for a Happy Life from a Happy 31-year-old

Somebody turned 31-years-old a few days ago. Capricorn power!

I love my birthday and I love getting older. Getting older, continuing to evolve and seeing my family expand is a gift. As I walk into my forth decade, following what was the BEST YEAR OF MY ADULT LIFE, I want to share some tips that I feel made last year amazing. I want every one of you to feel fabulous about where you are in your lives. If, you too, are in your 30s, embrace it. Life is more pleasant when you accept the present as a present, a gift.

p2lifestyle_010815_1

1. Never Act Your Age. I get this trait from my late father. It’s one of the best, lasting gifts he gave me. It’s why my current, Birthday Manicure is neon green, with index fingers that have various neon color balloons.
2. Marry Your Best Friend. The only downside is you may laugh so hard over the years, you’ll develop early wrinkles around your mouth … I take it! (FYI  Here are some tips for a sexy, happy marriage.)
3. Look Up. Sometimes I think I’m the only person in Manhattan that knows the sky is blue and the building are as breathtaking as any painting you’ll find at the MET
4. Wear sexy lingerie, just because.
5. Laugh a lot. When in doubt if something is worth a laugh, refer to tip 1.p2lifestyle_010815_2
6. Wear more color. I think it’s why Latin American women are so fabulous and zesty
7. Own at least one pair of Did-I-Really-Spend-That-Much pair of shoes. If you found those shoes at the Saks post-Christmas sale and you didn’t pay the Did-I-Really-Spend-That-Much price, all the better!
8. Every now and then, do something that scares you.
9. Never go to bed angry at anyone. Find a way to minimize the damage/pain, unless you prefer never to speak to this person again.
10. Stop and smell the roses, or the peonies, or the pine trees. It’s about connecting to the now.
11. Have a fancy dinner date, with yourself.
12. Travel as much as possible.p2lifestyle_010815_3
13. Be a tourist in your own city. No matter where you live, you can always find something new to explore and discover.
14. Don’t stop educating yourself. When college ends, many of us focus on our careers and our families. It’s equally as important to still expand our minds. Even if it’s one hour a week, learn a language, read a book, or take an art history class at a community college.
15. Always Be Your Best You. This is my life philosophy and it should be yours as well. There is never a time when you shouldn’t look your best. It’s one of the easiest ways to pick yourself up and get through whatever life has in store for you today. It’s much easier to smile in the mirror when the face staring back at you is well coiffed.
16. Learn to bake at least one thing really well. On a really bad day, there’s nothing like putting kids to sleep and whipping up hazelnut macaroons with chocolate ganache. (That’s my big baking success, thus far.)
17. Trust in fortune cookies. If this doesn’t make sense, refer to tip 1.
18. Get a big sister. I’m lucky enough to have one and can attest to the immense comfort it is to have someone to share in my joys and to split my sorrows with. Michelle, my sister, experiences everything first and then trickles down her wisdom to me. I recently offered myself as a faux big sister to my friend MK because I got the sense she needed big sis wisdom. If you know someone that needs a big sis, offer yourself up. We only get stronger when we share our personal and professional wisdom.
19. Create a spa oasis in your bathroom. Even in a tiny, Manhattan apartment, use artwork, lighting, little elephants, candles, oils, pretty curtains, whatever and create a zen retreat. You’ve 30s are going to be way more fabulous than your 20s if you indulge and pamper your body regularly. You deserve it!
20. Invest in good sleep. You’re not living on campus anymore. Get a top notch mattress, high-quality pillows and a good comforter. Good sleep is essential for a healthy, happy you.
21. Create a Carpe Diem List and seize the day.
22. Be present for your children. Disconnect from your smart phones and tablets. If you can’t, then let your kids know they aren’t going to get your full attention. If your kids are too young to understand, like my 21-month-old and 6-month-old, don’t enter their space until you can disconnect.
23. Give of yourself. We hear this all the time, especially from our respective religions. But, how many of us actually give our time to a cause? Signing a check is great, but rolling up your sleeves and working a soup kitchen or lending your marketing skills pro bono to a small non-for-profit, is going to be a win-win all around. (Please check out my charity Ilya Peckerman Fund for Vasculitis Disease.)
24. Forget about balance. Some days you’ll be an awesome mom; some days you’ll be a kick-ass CEO; some days you’ll bake up a storm. But, you will not be Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Jenna Jameson and Mother Teresa every day, all day. Deal with it. (FYI Check out my 5775 Inspiration Board where I ask for ‘quite mind’ and ‘focus’ NOT balance.)
25. Stop chasing trends. Personal style is much more fashionable. That’s why I’ve avoided crop tops, harem pants and purple hair accents.
26. Commit to dancing like a fool. If this doesn’t make sense, refer to tip 1.
27. Know that not everyone has to like you, but everyone should respect you.
28. Know that nobody, accept you, can make you feel small.
29. Know that you deserve to be loved – especially by YOU.
30. Know that life is as rosy as you want it to be. Just put on the right glasses.
31. Know that when you turn 41, you may need a new set of tips.

P2signautre

Sari Shopping on Exclusively.In & How To Wrap a Sari

As a non-Indian, knowing for nearly two years that I’ll be traveling to India has been thrilling and daunting. It’s thrilling for the obvious reason that anything new is always exciting – new sights, bold colors, spiritual sensations. And, it’s daunting because I want to make sure I don’t make any cultural goofs. For months, I’ve been reading up on Hindu wedding customs, listening to Hindu prayers on YouTube and asking my Indian friends for dos and don’ts tips.

Cultural education aside, I also wanted to find the perfect sari to wear for the wedding ceremony. That’s when I turned to the experts at Exclusively.In, a website that sells high-end saris and other Indian fashion wears. Clothing is custom made and takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks to arrive stateside. But, given my hectic work and baby schedule, I popped into the NYC showroom, and pulled three saris they had on hand (thank goodness for good tailors) that caught my eye. Naturally, a photo shoot had to follow.

Lina, my fabulous photographer (who happened to grow up on Bollywood movies in Russia – go figure), and I, had an amazing time shooting these photos. I think she also got a kick out of me figuring out how to wrap, fold, tuck and drape my sari.

Thank you to Shikeen and this how-to- video for helping a Caucasian navigate the complex task of sari wrapping.  Fortunate, when I get to Delhi, someone is going to drape me.

Which sari do you like best? Which one should I wear? Check back in two weeks when I reveal photos from the wedding and my magical trip to India. You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram.

First you wrap the sari once around, tucking into petticoat.

Then, folder sari pleats around the navel area. Tuck pleated fabric into petticoat.

p2lifestyle_121514_9

Examine your pleats to make sure they are fabulous. Wrap sari around left shoulder.

Monika Nidhi, Royal Blue Bandhani Sari with Brocade Blouse $349

Monika Nidhi, Royal blue bandhani sari with neon pink panel at the border, and silver brocade blouse

Payal Singhal, Lemon Yellow Mukaish Frill Sari $825

 

Payal Singhal sari with embroidered petticoat and crystal necklace

p2lifestyle_121514_1

p2lifestyle_121514_4

How to Create an Inspiration Board & Why Bother

Creating an inspiration board always seemed silly, to me. Really, if I put pictures and words to paper it will bring some personal or professional dream to fruition? My rational mind couldn’t wrap around the concept. But, when I was pregnant with my daughter, something switched. I wanted more order and clarity in my life. I wanted change in my professional life. I wanted balance. I wanted things I didn’t even know I wanted, but I wanted something else.

Well, Ilana Rose was born in April of 2013 and, needless to say, I never got around to the board. Then David was born in June 2014, and I still had not gotten around to the board. During those two years, I did read up on how to create an inspiration board, but none of the advice made sense for me. I was clearly still trying to over-think the process.

This past summer, I shared my frustration with my dear friend Nitika Chopra, TV host of Naturally Beautiful and founder of YourBellaLife.com. Her advice was very simple – start with a feeling. “Pam, what feelings and emotions do you want to have in your life?” And that clicked. I knew above all else I wanted to feel clarity, focus and have a calm mind. Everything else, my overall direction and purpose, would fall in line if I had a quiet mind and focus.

This weekend, in between baby feedings, I completed my inspiration board for 5775. FYI — 5775 is not a typo. Rather than make this my wish for 2015, I opted to go with the Jewish New Year, which starts in late September. September is more of a renewal time – leaves begin to change, school starts, lazy summer days are over, and I make my spiritual trip to the Synagogue to reflect.

My Inspiration Board for 5775 

STRONG – I want to regain my strength both physically (after having two babies) and emotionally (after years of letting other people make me feel small, or speak above me). I want my daughter to see an example of a strong, articulate woman. I want the strength to speak my mind with purpose, minimal verbal diarrhea, and focus. Hence …

FOCUS – A chaotic life does not bode well for anyone, let alone a mom. I want to clearly, focus my energies on personal and professional goals. To do that I need …

QUIET MIND – I have monkey brains; thoughts are always jumping around. To have strength, to be focused, one needs to quite the mind. Meditation, mantras, an upcoming trip to India and plenty of time in nature is helping.

ENTERTAIN – This was the last piece of the puzzle, which came to me after a business discussion with my husband about the future of my career. It’s been very hard to decipher what I want in my professional life, over the past few years. Finally, the word entertain came to me. I want to entertain. I want to host events for brands I love. I want to take these brands on TV and make women laugh and feel wonderful as I tell them about really cool products. To make this part of the board stronger, I put logos of brands I want to call into my life – Naturopathica, Mustela, TJMaxx, IT Cosmetics, Neiman Marcus, LAGOS Jewelry, etc. There are brands I already know and want to work with in a bigger (aka $$$) capacity, and brands I have not worked with yet, but wear/use daily. I also want to entertain more at home – hence the image of the word “eat” in big lights.

HELLO ME – Most important on this board is the desire to reconnect with me. What do I really love? What really makes me happy? I know that the only way to be successful professionally and personally is to stay true to you. Even this blog, how can I share Pieces of Pam, if I’m not fully me? So here’s me:
I’m a hopeless, stop-and-smell-the-roses, romantic. Bicycles, especially those with baskets (like the one I ride), rock my world. Hello Kittty was my first idol. I fancy myself a modern lady. Art Deco is my preferred home décor motif. Gustav Klimt, duh deco, is the best artist ever. Roses should be in every home in my house. Eating as a family is nonnegotiable. All roads point to home.

Inspiration Board – Strong

Inspiration Board – Quiet Mind

p2lifestyle_111014_3

Inspiration Board – Entertain

p2lifestyle_111014_4

Inspiration Board – Focus

p2lifestyle_111014_5

Inspiration Board – Hello Me!

If you’re questioning whether or not to create an inspiration board, think about this:

  • It’s a great way to focus your thoughts
  • You may learn something about yourself and your inner desires
  • There’s nothing like an art project to call out your inner child and put a smile on your face

Questions to Ask Yourself, when Starting an Inspiration Board:

  • What emotions do you want to call into your life?
  • What personal attributes do you want to strengthen/ develop?
  • What makes you/will make you happy/content?
  • Who do you admire and why?

P2signautre

Creating a Carpe Diem List vs. a Bucket List

For those of you following me on Instagram, you saw images of me jotting down my Carpe Diem List prior to the start of Yom Kippur. I always use the start of the Jewish New Year, and the start of fall, in general, as an opportunity to reflect, recharge and realign. Realigning is about making sure I’m living a joyful, truthful life that is uniquely my own, versus one full of bucket list items that I likely think I should do based on countless outside forces.

Realigning is key because with the addition of two babies in two years, I’ve really begun to notice how fast time flies. One minute they are in your belly and the next you are potty training. I need to live my authentic life today. So, while baby David napped and I sipped a cappuccino at a local cafe, I began to think of all the fun things I want to do, the activities I’ve been talking about for years, the projects I’ve always wanted to complete. After writing down “Bucket List”, I realized this isn’t really a bucket list of things to just say “hey I’ve done it” at some point in my life. This was going to be a list of action items that can be easily accomplished this year; action items I have talked about long enough; action items I believe will be enjoyable and a way for me to live via my Always Be Your Best You motto! If one of the listed activities proves to be extremely enjoyable, it may reappear on the list once again.

Below are the first 10 items that popped into my head. I stopped an 10 because it just seemed natural to have 1o items, and, because nothing else immediately popped into my head and I wanted this to be items that are at the forefront of my overly-active brain.

I welcome all of you to create your own Carpe Diem List and join me in living a truthful, joyful life TODAY. Create your list and tag it #CarpeDiemList.

Pamela Pekerman's Carpe Diem List

Pamela Pekerman’s Carpe Diem List

 

 

Carpe Diem List front an center by my night stand

Carpe Diem List front an center by my night stand

P2signautre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pieces of Pam: Welcome to My World as a Wife, Mom, Fashion Editor, Entrepreneur, Sleep Seeker and more

my life as a mom, wife, entrepreneur, fashion editor, sleep seeker

my life as a mom, wife, entrepreneur, fashion editor, sleep seeker

For weeks I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out the best way to kick start this blog. How will this blog be different from all other blogs? (How Passoverish of me, right?) Can I provide consistent content, given the madness of having two babies under the age of two in this house? Do I go heavy on the personal side? How personal is too personal? Do I start now and blog when I can, or wait until baby #2 is fully sleeping through the night and I’m on a solid schedule? Should I focus more on the accessories/fashion or family/parenting? Speaking of family, do I really have time for this now? Do I really want this, or any work, now? Shouldn’t I just perfect my housewife life before I ignite another element of my professional life? And, while, I’m having mental diarrhea where is this magical work/family balance line? Ahhhhhh!! Mental madness!!

So, here’s what I figured out the other day, after several spontaneous conversations that I don’t believe happened by accident:

1. I don’t need to figure it all out right now (it being a heck of a lot more than just this blog, aka my work/family structure., aka my life)
2. I need to stop thinking so much
3. (And I already knew this) I’m really really blessed to be able to have the option to spend as much time as I want with my babies
4. I should share my world because aside from the glam of being in the media/fashion industry, I’m like every other woman who just had a baby (times 2) and is trying to navigate her new existence

And, so, THIS is Pieces of Pam … The true story of a woman, wife, mom, entrepreneur, style expert/TV host, accessories addict, organizational duntz picked to learned how to live her best life. Find out what happens when I stop thinking so much, and start letting my amazing life shine through.

Have a fabulous weekend! And, let’s all aim to Always Be Your Best You.

babies, work, cooking, trying to keep it together

babies, work, cooking, trying to keep it together

PS Much of this was written around 2am, because, of course, that’s my free time 🙂

HandbagDesigner101 8th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, Are you the Next Great Bag Designer?

Calling all handbag designers !!!

 
There’s one week left to enter for the chance to be nominated for HandbagDesigner101‘s 8th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards. This is the only handbag competition of its kind in the world, and I’m thrilled, once again, to be part of the preliminary judging panel.
This coming Sunday, I’m taking some time off from mommy duties to sift through what I’m sure will be tomorrow’s great accessory stars. You could be one of them!

Back in 2012, when I wasn’t pregnant …
the last time I was able to attend the awards!

I tried to find a picture from the 1st Independent Handbag Designer Awards, but it’s saved on an old computer. I’ll have to fish for it! This was me attending back in 2012, and I’ve been pregnant ever since :). 

How to Make a Birthday Hat and other Crafty Mom Musings

DIY cone hat for my daughter’s 1st Birthday Party

In theory, I love to DIY. In reality, I don’t have the patience for reading long how-tos. Consequently, I wing-it, often times making the crafting process much harder. Now, I’m very artist – a gift I acquired from my late father. He could draw anything. (Side note: Let’s just say my elementary school projects were legendary.) But, I digress.

When my daughter was born, I had all these lofty ideas of what to make for her room, what to make for memories sake, what to make for the grandparents, etc. Many suggestions were shot down by my non-DIY loving husband. Many ideas never materialized because I didn’t allocate the time needed to properly create something, anything. This was going to change with Ilana Rose’s birthday approaching April 4th. I was determined to make a 1st Birthday Party Hat.
I spend about $300 on supplies because I couldn’t make up mind mind, and 
I needed basic crafting supplies. Don’t worry, $250 of it is going back. 

With a vague idea of what I might need (see above about winging it), I heading to Michaels. The results are documented below. The memories are emblazoned in my heart. This wasn’t just about crafting, it really was about slowing down for two hours, Friday morning, and thinking about the past year as a new mom. I savored every minute of the cutting, folding, and gluing … and then Ilana woke up for her morning nap. Friday night, after dinner, I spent another thirty minutes wrapping up the project.

SUPPLIES
  • Foam paper
  • Craft paper
  • Ribbons, pompoms, stickers, anything else that catches your eye at the craft store that might work as décor accents (a good return policy is essential, if you like to play with options!!)
  • Faux flowers
  • Glue stick, scissors, staple gun
  • Downloadable cone shape


DIRECTIONS
  • Download a cone hat shape. Print and cut out the shape.
  • Decide on color scheme or theme. Mine was soft yellow, blush pink and Champaign (because I couldn’t find rose gold products). In keeping with our English garden, Tea Party theme, I wanted everything to feel romantic and elegant.
  • Trace the cone shape on the foam and cut out the shape. I used foam as my base for the hat.* You can use it as the main hat and skip additional layering and gluing. (* Next time I’ll use thicker stock paper, as foam is a bit trick and way too thick when you glue one end of the cone to the other.)
  • Trace the cone shape onto the back of your craft paper, but don’t cut it out.
  • Make slip cuts along the curved edge of the cone shape, on your craft paper. This helps make the final look neater.
  • Glue the craft paper to the foam. Press and hold as you go, to get a permanent stick.
  • If you are planning to have pompoms, feathers or other items at the tip of the cone, cut out a small bit from the top of your (still flat) cone hat.
  • I used faux flowers as my ‘cherry on top’. Simply cut off the stem, leaving about an inch to wrap with strong tape and a rubber band.** (**I loved the look of the flowers, but next time I need something lighter. The weight was too much for my daughter’s precious little head. I’ll explain in an upcoming post about the dos/don’ts of baby photo shoots! You live and learn.) 
  • Because my hat was rather thick and the flower ‘cherry on top’ was a pinch heavy, it was easier to warp and glue the cone with the ‘cherry on top’ flowers already being held inside vs. sticking them in after the cone was all glued. (However, I may try that the next time. Much like motherhood, I’m learning as I go.)
  • I couldn’t find a pre-made number 1 that matched my color scheme, so I cut it out (using stencils – which isn’t winging-it, but I could heard my husband’s voice in my head and I knew stencils were the way to go).
  • Decorate away. I purchased beautiful stickers from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection, to make life easier.
  • To make her name stand out, I cut a strip of thick, yellow paper and made a band around the hat. The paper needs to be cut in the same degree as the cone, otherwise you will not get an even strip look. Math hasn’t been my strong suit in years, so eyeballing it/winging it meant this step took longer than necessary.
  • In order to hide the tiny gap created on the back of my really thick hat, I added a bird slip. J Birds = garden = tea party. It makes thematic sense.
  • Rather than use wire, which would have held the hat on my daughter’s head a heck of lot better during our photo shoot (more on that later), I opted for pretty yellow lace. Cut two equal pieces long enough to tie a bow around the neck. Attach one on each end with staples. Hide the staples with décor. I used flower stickers.
  • Marvel in your glory. 

Faux flowers = My version of the “cherry on top” pompom for a birthday hat.
I knew the bird clips would come in handy!! Also, note to other
wanna-be DIYers: any “error” can be craftly corrected.
 

Quick 20 Minute Family Meal, Russian Katleti with Orzo

Allocating time to cooking for my family hasn’t been easy since the birth of my daughter and the extra bun cooking in my oven. I’m constantly looking for easy, healthy and time-saving recipe and nothing is faster than home-made, chicken katleti. It’s kind of like a flat meatball, for those unfamiliar with Russian food. Every woman has her own version and this is mine.

Chicken Katleti 
Ingredients
~ 1 ld ground chicken (buy it ground to make life easier)
~ dd
~ 1 small onion finely chopped (optional)
~ 1 garlic clove minced
~ 1 tsp pepper
~ 2 tsp salt (adjust to your family)
 
Dipping Sauce:
~