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Good morning! Today’s post is kind of random because I have lots of random things left to tell you, and not many days to do it. What happened to April!!??

First of all, just because:

james and caleb

Caleb making his ‘Batman’ face

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James in his Mercedes hat complements of Uncle Matt.

 

Second, did you enjoy my Tea Party post yesterday? So far it has been one of my most favorite tables I’ve set! It just so happens one of my favorite Tablescape and Entertaining gurus Kimberly Whitman published a Tea Party post yesterday as well and we had a good laugh on Instagram bc we hadn’t planned it at all. Definitely check out her Tea Party fit for a king. You will especially love the tea bag shaped cookies!!

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Copyright Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

 

Also…in case I haven’t seen you to brag, I have to tell you that I am now a major award winner!!!…well, at least my hat won ‘Most Elegant’ at the Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Dallas Arboretum. Amanda, Jennifer and I met Sharla and the gang to mingle, people watch, hat watch, take in a fashion show by Nardos Imam and then lunch like ladies do, which fit the theme perfectly: April in Paris. And, may I touch on the designs of Nardos Imam? The atypical lines, luxurious accoutrement and color selections made this one of the most beautiful collections I have EVER seen. I wish I needed a formal gown, and told Brian later that evening I hoped she would design a dress for me one day. I did win ‘Most Elegant’ didn’t I!? Don’t I deserve a couture gown to wear on date night?

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lego hat

This has was made to look like a little village in the Orient and constructed out of Legos.

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By far the BIGGEST hat at the Tea Party!

botanical hat

Thank you Sharla for outfitting me in the Most Elegant hat (by Frederic Marzi) and jewels (by Alexis Bittar) a girl could ever ask for! If you need a hat for a tea party, the Kentucky Derby, Easter Sunday or just a regular Wednesday, you MUST visit Sharla’s! Her collection is gorgeous! Here is a video–sorry so grainy, but lets be honest, I’m surprised I could even figure out how to get the thing on here. Please notice CLARICE TINSLEY from Fox News took my picture while up on stage. It was all I could do to remain cool and elegant and not grab her for a bear hug. Truly. This was my Leg Lamp moment!!

I also never had a chance to tell you about my incredible experience celebrating Passover with my brother, sis-in-law and nieces at a very special Seder dinner. It was my first time ever attending a Seder or celebrating Passover, and now that I’ve experienced it, I hope I’m invited to celebrate year after year. In case you haven’t read Exodus in a while, Passover commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. You can read about it in Exodus chapter 12. This celebration revolves around a meal where each dish represents a different part in the Passover story.  If my understanding of the evening serves me correctly, the main purpose of the celebration is to pass down these stories to younger generations, and in doing so teaches them the evil of slavery.

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Our Seder Table

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My brother, Matthew,(on the right) and his friend Pittman playing guitar for a few Passover songs.

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The youngest at the table asks a series of questions in Hebrew. Caleb was the youngest, but his cousin Layne filled in…since Caleb can’t read. Or speak Hebrew. Or follow directions at all.

 

I have to tell you there is a part during dinner when a cup of wine is left on the table and a door is opened to welcome Elijah’s spirit to the table. (The wine is for him.) It was at this exact moment Layne accidently leaned against the light switch and all the lights turned off. It was soooo spooky until we realized what happened and everyone had a big laugh!!

My first favorite dish we ate was a dessert called  Salted Toffee Matzah. I have no words. Out of this world delicious.

toffee

My second favorite dish we ate was the Charoset. You can find the recipe here. Charoset (pronounced ha ROW set) is traditionally an apple dish and is served to represent the mortar used by the Jews when they were enslaved. It was really delicious, and I kind of want to add it to my Thanksgiving Brunch menu.

After dinner…and after a third cup of wine is filled (don’t judge, it’s tradition!!)…we said this prayer:

 Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech haolam, borey pre hagafen.

In English it means: Blessed are You, Eternal god, Ruler of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine. I LOVE hearing Jennifer and my nieces say prayers in Hebrew. I’m always surprised how blessed I feel having heard it. We then said this prayer aloud:

Let us reflect on this Passover Seder and this opportunity to carry out mitzvot. (mitzvot are good deeds.)

Let us give thanks for the chance to be together to tell the Passover story and remember that there are still people enslaved by brutal leaders who yearn to be free.

We also should take a moment to consider the ways in which we enslave ourselves, and may we find the courage and peace within our own hearts to free ourselves from that which enslaves us.

May Jews everywhere live in peace, free to celebrate Passover, safe from fear and danger. May the heartbreaking events in Israel today recede into history like our hardships as slaves in ancient Egypt.

May our wishes for peace extend to all people, everywhere.

May the lessons of empathy, embedded in the Passover celebration, stay with us always and may they lead us to acts of kindness and healing in the world.

If you ever have the blessed opportunity to attend a Seder dinner, I highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t Jewish, it is a beautiful celebration to attend, and is an excellent opportunity to share some history with your children and what we can learn from it. Thank you sweet Jen for inviting us to your Passover Table. Happy Weekend All!

-ciao for now-

lauren

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