Gluten free- no eat hamentashen!

Yesterday I decided I wanted to bake hamentashen with my kids. Hamentashen are a traditional triangle cookie eaten on the jewish holiday of Purim.
Yay me. Mom of the year.
Only one problem.
I don’t bake.
No particular reason why, I just don’t. (Probably has something to do with the clean-up… And sugar, which we try to not use by the cup full.)
Anyhooo, someone recently sent me a link to an etsy shop that sells tiny polymer clay fake foods and inspiration hit.
I present:

(Like the fruitcake on the goyim, they can never be too hard and they last forever!)

1- large block of beige polymer oven bake clay. (Also known as “Caucasian skin to the doll making population)
2- small block of red, purple orange, brown polymer clay. Choose whatever colors will work for your “filling” of choice

3- brown piece of chalk
4- rolling pin
5- 1.5″ or so round cookie cutter/glass/Prozac bottle
6- aluminum foil
7- cookie sheet
8- jewelry parts
-I loop (I think that’s what they’re called)
-Jump ring
-Key ring

1- roll the skin clay thin but not too thin.

2- use the cookie cutter to cut circles.

Lay them on foil on a cookie sheet.
3- roll the jelly colors and make equal sized little marbles. We used a different cookie cutter to get them sized correctly.

4- form the jelly into a fat lil triangle and center it in the flesh colored circle.

Tap it with a toothpick to add some jelly texture.
5- fold up the three sides and pinch the corners.

6- insert the I-loops into the tops.


7- scrape the chalk into dust and use an old paintbrush or makeup brush to dust an uneven layer of golden baked goodness on your hamentashen.


8- bake according to packaging instructions- about 275 for about 15 minutes.


9- (not shown) after they cool, spray them with an aerosol gloss sealer.

…..oh, shiny!
10- apply jump ring + key ring



KEYCHAINS for the whole class!!

11-remind your kids who the coolest mom in town is! (They need constant reminders. I’m certain by the time they are teenagers they’ll totally believe me, right?!?!

PS- last week I made teeny tiny ones that went on necklaces. Same process, smaller cookie cutter.


Oreo Charms, Muchness Craft Time!

Two days ago Molly told me that on Monday after school she wanted to make charms. “Quick-n-easy” charms she said, as though this was something we’d done before. (we haven’t) and I immediately thought of  a great little video I saw on YouTube when I was binge watching polymer clay tutorials a few weeks back.

So we made them! Quick-n-easy… and a whole lotta fun too!

Step 1: 

Buy mini oreos. (big one’s’ll work too but those’ll be some mighty large charms- maybe a key chain??)


Step 2:

Find a nice, cleanly molded cookie. A lot of them have crumbles or broken edges. Dust away the crumbs and pull apart your oreo. Eat the cream and not as pretty half. Cover the pretty half in clear nail polish.
(You’ll notice mine is covered in color-changing teal nail polish. I’m really bad at following directions.)


Step 3:

Cover the dried, pretty half of an oreo with glue gun glue. Do this on a piece of parchment paper so it doesn’t stick to the table.

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Step 4:

When the glue is warm and solid but before it cools fully, pop the cookie out of the mold. If you wait too long the cookie will stick and if you do it too soon you’ll burn your fingers or distort the mold.


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Step 5:

Make oreo colored clay. (mine is a mix of black + red + this weird mustard color that was mixed scraps left over from a different project.)


Step 6:

Make a ball and shove it into all the nooks and crannies (I know, that is a Thomas’ English Muffin reference. It’s like I’m making a carb salad.) Then cut the excess and carefully remove the clay cookie from the mold.

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Step 7:

Do that twice.

Step 8:

Look through your random jewelry findings box and select parts that would be appropriate for a charm. If you don’t have such a box, just find a precious piece of heirloom jewelry somewhere in your house and disassemble it for parts. Sandwich jewelry findings between layers.


Step 9:

Roll some white clay to make the stuffing. Flatten your ball. Make a sandwich.


Step 10:

Bake it.


Step 11:

Line them up with a bunch of real oreos and make people guess which are which. ….and GO!


Step 12:

Blog about it.

Finding your voice / Finding your Muchness.

I love to watch Molly sing. From the day she was born I knew this child had drama written all over her, but she’s also shy and reluctant to express herself unless she’s sure she’ll do it right.
About a year ago Elie brought home the movie Annie. The girls watched it over and over an over again. Occassionally I’d hear Molly singing the songs quietly to herself. When I’d acknowledge her singing, she’d bury her cheek in her shoulder and stop.

That was before Annie came to town.

We bought tickets to a local theatre groups performance. As we settled into our seats, I could feel Molly’s anticipation, she had no idea what to expect. And I had no idea how it would connect her to her Muchness.
The curtains parted and Annie opened her mouth and started belting out “Tomorrow.”
Molly turned to me, eyes wide as saucers and exclaimed, verbatim: “Wow! She can really sing!”
After that day, I took great pride in listening to Molly sing. It’s like she suddenly got the memo that it’s OK to sing loudly and with all your passion and Muchness! In the car, in her room, in the bathroom…. Molly sings.
She often still prefers to save her greatest performances for when nobody is watching because she doesn’t want to mess up with an audience. And she loooooves to sing to herself in the mirror.

To get this clip I set up the computer so she could watch herself and then I hit record and left the room. Here is 30 seconds of what a four year old looks like singing with all her muchy fabulousness.

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Whens the last time YOU sang with that much passion? When’s the last time you belted one out with the car radio, pushing your vocal cords to their limit, actually hearing your own voice as it escaped from your body?

Here’s your Muchness Challenge for the day: Turn up the radio on a happy song that you love. (Spice Girls, perhaps? 🙂 )  Then, turn it up again. Then, SING LOUDER THAN THE RADIO.

Can you do it?


When Mom is Muchy…

This weekend I had the opportunity to bring Molly and her cousin to see a musical rendition of Pinkalicious at the Bergen Performing Arts Center. It was packed solid with little girls in pink & sparkles and their moms… In khaki and beige.

The story was about Pinkalicious, obviously obsessed with pink and how, upon eating too many pink cupcakes, much to the horror and dismay of her uptight parents, she turns a glorious shade of pink. They bring her to the doctor and are informed that in the history of the world, there has only been one case of Pinkititis this severe. The horror!

The cure for Pinkititis? You must eat green foods. Duh. Pinkalicious doesn’t listen, and after an overdose of pink cupcakes, actually turns RED, which is completely unacceptable. She ultimately eats her greens and returns to her beautiful, natural human color. I know…. I could hear the phone ringing at the end of the show. I think it was Martin Scorsese.

But anyway…

As you know, I like to find the bigger Muchness Message in everything…

At the begining of the play, the mom was pretty uptight. Always bitching and moaning and cleaning and having very little patience with the kids. Looked a little like someone I used to know (minus the cleaning part… I never was really good at that). See her there on the left, in the purple? She looks quite worried, No?

The dad just followed her lead and the son was just kind of a lonely dork who didn’t want to play ball. But then, as the story unfolds, we learn that the DAD was, in fact, the only ever case of Pinkititis ever encountered!  After mom and dad both spoke their ultimate truth, that they LOVED PINK, well, the whole family dynamic improved! They all found their MUCHNESS in the color pink! The son even came down with a case of Pinkititis, and most excitedly, the mom got to wear a glorious, shiny pink dress with a hot pink feather boa! Pinkalicious’s friend came over, saw all the happiness and asked a question on so many youngsters minds… “This house is so fun! How come my house has to be so… beige?”

It’s important for me to note, in the spirit of sharing the story fully, that the other thing they discovered is that, when Pinkititis gets really severe, that’s actually the only color a person can see, and that kinda sucks. We like to see rainbows.

Final Synopsis: If you are a mom wondering how to brighten up your family life and enjoy your kids more, go get yourself a feather boa, an impractical, pretty colored dress and don’t worry so much about sweeping the damn floor every 15 minutes! 

The End.

Muchness Meals!- Muchkin Style!!

I don’t do the grocery shopping much in our house. Elie is really kinda obsessed with healthy food. His Muchness is going to Whole Foods to play in the Whole Grains sold by weight aisle. For real.

But every now and then I find myself at the grocery store. You can always tell when I’ve gpne shopping vs. when Elie’s gone shopping. When he goes, the kitchen gets filled with Kale, Seitan and Corn meal pizza crusts for homemade cheeseless tempeh Pizza. When I go the kitchen gets filled with Donuts, Ice Cream and Laffy Taffys, and for the kids, M&M Yogurt.

So, last week I found myself at Trader Joes, cuz I passed it on the way back from Michaels Craft store and we needed canned corn. I left with brownie mix. It said it was healthy!!

So, me and the girls decided to make the brownies. Yay! Muchy project! The box said the only ingredients you need are fat free vanilla yogurt. I used the M&M kind and muchified the boring brown brownies!

Step One: Reduce the guilt. Done.

Step Two: Get the kid to do the heavy lifting. That mixing is hard work.

Step Three: MUCHIFY!!

(Secret tip: We used the M&M’s from the yogurt for the brownies, but we also used Rieces Pieces from another yogurt. That way, when you ate it, you never knew what you were gonna get!)

Step Four: Clean up. Again- let the kids do the lion’s share of the work.


A Muchness Coincidence… and also maybe a bit creepy…

Last week on vacation the whole family went to a shop on the boardwalk to buy a pinwheel. The girls were really excited.
We’d gone to the same spot last year and Molly picked out a little ducky and parrot.
Last Year:
They were in the backyard all year and got the crap kicked out of them by the winter weather.
I Molly was excited to go buy a new one. This year the girls got to pick one together.
As soon as we got home, Molly got to work installing it in the front lawn.
It looked really fun and pretty… Maybe a little lonely in our less than exciting front yard but those fading flamingos are (temporarily) keeping it company:
If I’m honest,  I kinda was wishing I had something else there too, just to balance it a bit. But I don’t. So be it.
Anyway, today I went to work. My coworker, who’d also been on vacation clear across the country, told me she saw something on her trip that made her think of me, so she bought it! How nice is that? I assumed it was some sparkly doodad that’s easy to travel with and screamed “Look at me!! I’m Muchy!!”
So she went into her office and returned with an oversized bag. Inside?
I nearly fell to the the floor. I mean, REALLY? Folks- she didn’t know about our pinwheels. We have NEVER had a conversation EVER about the fact that last year we bought pinwheels on our vacation. I hadn’t posted any pictures or comments or ANYTHING that would have made her brain say “Pinwheel? Tova!” And that is it the IDENTICAL pinwheel…
I don’t know… it’s all just a  bit TOO MUCH for me. 🙂
Seriously, the only thing I need to do now is yank out those sad bushes that attract too many bugs and install a flamingo garden like the one I saw in front of the Lewes Public Library.
Could you imagine? My neighbors would absolutely LOVE me!!!! 😀

Muchness Meets Photography! Day 1

I SO need this challenge right now. Funny, Beryl and I created it for you- our readers, but I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks! So many people in the last 2 years have told me they want to do the Muchness Challenge but don’t have time. Turns out, I am one of those people. Ha. If I didn’t know how awesome this challenge is and how every time I do some version of it, I am elevated and revived, I’d probably not find the time either. But I also know it can be done in minutes a day.

Todays Challenge had me thinking very hard. It was our last day of vacation and I wasn’t home so I kept thinking how can I take a picture of a place where I spend a lot of time? But then, as I sat in the car and the kids and me and Elie sang the soundtrack of Annie  at the top of our lungs, I thought about how, even that, is a side effect of The Muchness. We never did that before. The car used to be a place we used to get from here to there. When I was alone it was a place I thought about my to-do list. A place I used to cry listening to lyrics of sad or sweet songs. As a family it was  place where we used to dread putting the kids for extended periods of time and even bought a CD player so they could keep themselves entertained. A place that involved the stress of getting the kids and all their stuff in the car, or the stress of getting it all out of the car.

So, as the weather got less hot and we rolled down the windows and sang our lil’ hearts out, I snapped this “before” pic… It’s not a true before since in it’s way it’s its own after, but I can’t wait to see the after in 30 days from now!!

I am so thankful to have every single one of the challengers on this journey. I built this site for you all to have a place to find your Muchness, but it’s really a selfish thing, because it helps me, helping you. 🙂

Just for fun, I added a video of my kid. Her favorite song from the whole movie.

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The Muchness in Muchkins

I was recently in Target looking for shoes for my kids. As I perused the racks of sparkly Muchness, debating internally the ramifications of buying the Hello Kitty ones (personal promise not to slather my kids in licensed characters vs. how much easier the morning dressing routine is when I can I slather them in licensed characters vs. why should I pay more just cuz there is a licensed character vs. ooooh! So shiny!!)  I overheard a four year old girl begging her mother for a pair of glittery sandals. Her mom kept saying “No. You cannot pick those. Choose another pair. Those are “gaudy.”

I’m sorry. Did she just tell her kid that the glittery sandals are “GAUDY?!?”

Ya know what’s gaudy? The word gaudy. Seriously. Was is this, 1994? The word she meant to use is Tacky. And tacky can be AWESOME!!

Case in point: when I looked up “tacky kids sandals” on google, this is the adorableness that popped up:


And oddly, when I googled “gaudy kids sandals” this popped up:


My conclusion? Gaudy is an outdated word. Don’t teach it to your kids.
(As an aside- I looove Pegi Bundy)

Back to my point— it made me sad that this mom was subjecting her kid to her own Muchlessness- squelching her Muchkin’s Muchness like a gaudy, glittery bug to be smashed.

So sad. Don’t do this. Not to your kids OR to yourself! If you look at something and it makes you smile, don’t second guess and squelch your Muchness Moments. Embrace them! If you love it, its beautiful. Don’t insert your perception of other’s opinion before you even have time to enjoy your own opinion! Find the confidence to wear the shoes that make your insides happy when you look at your feet! And in the name of all that is good and holy- DO NOT impose some silly insecurities on your muchy kids. Let their imaginations and confidence soar! Lord knows there will be more than enough circumstances in life that will try to steal their Muchness. For the time being, let them embrace their Sparkly goodness!!!!!!