Three-Ingredient Ice Cream! (Alternatives to Make it Kosher for Passover)

Passover is coming up fast and I know some of you are starting to look out for good recipes and to brainstorm meal plans. If you are indeed cooking for some of the meals (or maybe all of them?), you're probably about to purchase an enormous amount of potatoes and eggs... yeah? We're having the Seders at home so I'm looking forward to making my annual 8-trips-to-the-store-in-24-hours because I keep forgetting ingredients. I would loooove to hear your thoughts on how you're trying to keep things *really* simple to reduce stress and anxiety. What did you learn from last year that you're rethinking this year? 

If you're looking for another staple ingredient besides potatoes, eggs, and matzah meal... I recommend bananas. I rarely make desserts from scratch, but I thought this one would be fun for the blog because all you need are bananas and almond milk to start. Have you ever made this? To make it kosher for Passover, instead of adding something like peanut butter, use a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, a handful of chocolate chips, and/or mix in frozen strawberries.

Is this something you would make?

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Ingredients
3 Bananas
1-2 Tbsp Peanut Butter or Cocoa Powder
Almond Milk
Chocolate chips (optional)
Walnuts (optional)

Directions
Slice the bananas into small chunks and place in a freezer-safe container. Freeze completely in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Once frozen, place the bananas in a food processor/blender. Add a few splashes of almond milk and 1 to 2 tbsp of peanut butter. Blend until the bananas look like a creamy ice cream without any chunks. Add more peanut butter (or almond milk) if desired. Serve immediately or place in the freezer covered until you're ready to serve.

Optional
Melt a few handfuls of chocolate chips in the microwave with a few splashes of almond milk. Take out the chocolate and mix around until the mixture is completely smooth. Melt a bit more/add more almond milk if necessary. Pour over individual cups of ice cream, or mix into the banana ice cream mixture and top with walnuts. 

Serves 2-4 people. But it's easy to double or triple the recipe
 

Like a Ton of Bricks

A few years ago, I friend of mine texted me when I knew she was going through a hard time. She said to me, “I feel like I finally hit the brick wall.”

It wasn’t that something horrible had happened. It was just enough “small” stressors and emotions, that one last thing happened and she felt ready to break.

I’ve definitely been there, and for most people (dare I say all people), I think it’s not something that ever goes away permanently. It’s cyclical, and life goes up and down, up and down. It’s the worst feeling when you just can’t seem to move forward. Every pebble you lift up – like perhaps, making your kid/kids' lunches in the morning – can feel like lifting a large boulder. Life just seems to go in slow, slow motion. It can be for a day, a few months, or much longer. Whether it’s depression, a “stormy” phase of life, or anxiety, it often feels like it will never, ever end.

When it feels like life is falling on you like a ton of bricks, what do you tend to do? Reach out to people? Curl up into a ball? Both? No judgment no matter what. 

How do you cope? 

P.S. The harder emotions of motherhood, PPD/Anxiety, and what anxiety feels like and how women cope in six words or less

 

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Little Kids' Lunches Four Ways

Dr. Praeger carrot puffs, green grapes, hummus, and baby carrots. 

Dr. Praeger carrot puffs, green grapes, hummus, and baby carrots. 

Question for you...  Do you find mornings to be crazy and exhausting? Oh man... For me, they definitely are. More often than not we're running really late, I'm forcing someone to wear pants, and there's something we're going to leave at home. Plastic fork, sippy cup, a left shoe? Something. And I know that every professional out there recommends making lunches the night before to reduce morning stress but that rarely happens at our house. Woops! Consequently, I've come to rely on fast, easy-to-pack lunches. Sometimes I use leftovers from dinner, and sometimes I just grab something from the freezer to defrost until lunch. If you're looking for simple additions to your lunch repertoire, here are some ideas (above and below). Feel free to comment with your ideas because about twice a week my kids return with untouched lunches because they "don't like" their favorite foods anymore. 

Happy hunger games, moms. May the odds be ever in our favor. 

Black bean salad - black beans, rice, shredded cheese, and tomatoes. These are usually leftovers from dinner the night before so it's easy for me to pack.    

Black bean salad - black beans, rice, shredded cheese, and tomatoes. These are usually leftovers from dinner the night before so it's easy for me to pack.  
 

Angelic Bakehouse bread without crust (honey wheat raisin) with cheddar cheese, purple grapes, and canned corn.  

Angelic Bakehouse bread without crust (honey wheat raisin) with cheddar cheese, purple grapes, and canned corn.
 

Smuckers PB & J uncrustables, cheddar cheese slices, banana, green apple, and peanut butter. Little plastic containers are great when you need just one more thing to keep your kid satisfied. 

Smuckers PB & J uncrustables, cheddar cheese slices, banana, green apple, and peanut butter. Little plastic containers are great when you need just one more thing to keep your kid satisfied. 

A few more ideas to pack for lunch and/or to supplement lunch
with that weren't pictured:

Pasta with cheese or sauce - cooked at home or from the deli
Hard boiled eggs - find them pre-peeled in packages by the eggs or milk
Berries, frozen or regular
Clementines
Yogurt
Apple Sauce
Fruit and veggie pouches

Microwaved potatoes or sweet potato
Thomas mini cinnamon bagels with cream cheese
Dr. Praeger's
Turkey deli slices

Granola bars
String cheese
Veggie Straws
Animal Crackers
Crackers and cheese slices
Canned chick peas
Chicken/turkey/hot dogs

Fish sticks

I recommend bento boxes or containers with separate sections for different foods. It makes everything feel organized. Depending on the brand they can be expensive at regular price, but they can be up to 50% off at grocery stores. Also try your local dollar store or online. 

*Important Note: carrots and grapes (unless cut lengthwise/in quarters) are recommended only for kids 4 years and older* 
 

What are your tips and tricks for packing lunches? Do you feel like you need therapy after every morning hustle? 

P.S. Other quick tips to live by... 
Make-up fast, morning routines fast, and then naturally... a post on losing it ;) 

Follow us on instagram @nuritsiegal for more L & B fun! 

Wake-Up Make-Up: My Guide to Looking like a Million Cups of Coffee

Okay, so a little while back, I asked you guys for your quick and easy make-up routines in the morning. What products you use and love. This is literally what most of you guys wrote back:

Coffee
Sunglasses
Deoderant
Glasses
Alicia Keys Make Up
Magnesium
Argan oil
Sunglasses

It was pretty entertaining to get these responses. And now the rest of you all have some creative ideas for how to look more awake in the morning. Never again forget to take your deodorant and magnesium with you before you leave the house. 

In addition to coffee and sunglasses, here are a few more ideas for morning make-up. The links take you to Amazon prime but some of the products are definitely cheaper in-store at Target. Add your own suggestions in the comment section! Feel free to add to the list above too...

1. Wet n' Wild Eyebrow Kit
$4.60 - If you like to fill in your eyebrows a bit, then I highly recommend this! It's really easy to apply with the brush. To create a nice fine line and then to blend it in. Once I started using this I've never looked back. I don't love using the wax included but when I'm feeling courageous I give it a shot. 

2. Maybeline Fit Me Concelear
$6.17 - This is really good at concealing darkness under the eyes, without looking cakey. I've been using it for a long time and like to take it with me in my bag whenever I remember. 

3. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Shadow Liner
$5.25 - I like this product because it's so easy to apply. Just swipe it back and forth a few times across your eyelid and then use your finger to spread and blend it in. It has a very pretty, subtle color and shimmer that's not overkill. I will say that I was sad that there's no way to twist the bottom for more make up... what you see is what you get. 

4. Wet 'n' Wild White Eye Pencil in White or Nude
About $1.00 at Target - I feel so cool for knowing this trick. A little big of white eyeliner on the waterline will help your eyes look a bit more awake and bigger. I will admit that when overdone it can look weird and slightly alien-esque so be aware of that. 

5. Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Lipstick in Rich Raisin
$6.29 - Somehow I found this at Target on sale for under $3. It's super smooth and soft, and feels like a great quality lipstick with great pigment. I like to dab a little onto my cheeks too for blush. 

6. L'oreal Voluminous Mascara
$7.95 - This is the best mascara I've ever tried. It makes lashes look really long and hardly ever clumps. Every time I try out a new mascara I end up regretting it and just going back to this one. 
 

Have you used any of these? Thoughts? Additions?
 

And the Winner of the Giveaway is...

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Last Monday on the blog I announced our first giveaway! Where the winner would get to choose between three gifts: The design book Styled by Emily Henderson, The New Kosher cookbook by Kim Kushner, and a Clinique Gift Bag. 

I picked gifts that I felt fit the style and content of L & B. Even though we cover tougher topics on the blog, I also want it to be a space where you guys can take a little break, have a good laugh about the crazy things we're all going through, and even on occasion... get some fun things. So without further ado...

The winner shared this post: 
The Paradox of Motherhood

And the winner's name is....

Congratulations Thea!!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! We'll definitely have more opportunities for fun prizes! 
 

P.S. In the mean time you can always treat yourself to a few good snacks...

 

 

Panzanella Salad and Other Things I Never Actually Make

There's something so fun about having a food section to my blog that entails light cooking, photo-shoots and styling. I get out my pretty marble tile for the background, I take out a lovely napkin and plate, I effortlessly whip up a dish.... and then I take pictures and edit and tweak them (this also entails a lot of sweating, frustration and general dysfunction). Then I check that my kids aren't looking if they're home, and I eat what I made in 30 seconds flat. And it's delicious (except when it isn't, and then you don't really hear about it). 

Ninety-nine percent of the day I  eat whatever is there. I grab a little cereal, a little granola bar... I dabble in half-eaten sandwiches and neglected string cheese... You know what I mean? With that as the reality, the recipes marketed to moms and women today are basically un-achievable. Some people want to "bring back" the art of complicated cooking and three-page sauce recipes (I'm looking at you Michael Pollan), and that's all so beautiful (I really mean it), but it's also just so much added pressure. I struggled to find the time and energy to cut a baguette into one-inch pieces for this post, you want me to actually make the baguette too?? I think for many of us, deep down we want to say to the world "No, thank you. I'm okay." 

So with that said... here is my recipe for what I feel like was indeed an ambitious salad. Something I might make again when my toddlers are off to college because the croutons were just so delicious. Is this a salad you would ever try to make? What are your ambitious recipes? And what do you normally eat instead? 

 

Ingredients
Lettuce of any kind (could be spring mix, romaine, or iceberg)
Tomatoes - I used plum.
Baguette, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
Mozzarella
Olive oil and white wine vinegar for drizzling
Salt, pepper, dried rosemary, garlic powder to taste
Half a lemon

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the 1 inch baguette pieces with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and a nice sprinkling of the spices. Place on a baking sheet (or aluminum pan) and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to become golden brown. Take out of the oven and let cool. Toss the lettuce and slices of tomatoes with a drizzling of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and juice from the lemon. Top with thin slices of mozzarella and the mouth-watering croutons. Voila! A beautiful Panzanella Salad. 

P.S. Other tips for the woman in a rush....