Ladies, have you seen the new J.Crew swim shop? I’m loving these patterned beach-ready bathing suits that include some great choices for all kinds of body types and styles. Personally, I love a good one-piece suit. Cute coverage is always key for me when I’m lounging poolside and there are so many pretty options in the swim shop! With ruffles, ruching, plunging necklines and flattering patterns, the swim shop is full of top must-haves to add to my beach bag this summer. Which ones are your favorites?

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top row: neon tie-front bandeau // floral underwire // geometric tiki bandeau //
middle row: skirted twist bandeau // sailor stripe underwire // grid dot wrap //
bottom row: neon ruched halter // splatter dot bandeau // ratti floral ruched bandeau

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Growing up, I had the tradition of dying eggs to make colorful Easter landscapes across the dining room table. Now, I get to pass along a beloved childhood memory to my own boys. This year, instead of buying the typical dye kit from the grocer, I opted for a homemade dye recipe that turned out oh-so colorfully.

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Taking your hard-boiled eggs, fill plastic cups with 2/3 cup water and 1-2 Tablespoons of vinegar. Mix in 5-10 drops of your favorite food coloring. For easy clean-up, I used plasticware for stirring and dipping the eggs.

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My little helper – this easy-to-do project is lots of fun for the kids!

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Depending on how deep you want the colors to be, leave the eggs in the dye for 1-2 minutes for light color, and 3-5 minutes for a deeper color. This time we stuck with mostly primaries (red – which turns out pink, blue, yellow and green) but with food coloring, it’s easy to mix the dyes to create colors like orange and purple too.

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He’s so proud of the work he’s done! I will note that we used brown eggs, so the colors turned out a little different than usual. So if you want bright, bold colors, opt for the white eggs.

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*Note: Be sure to cover your work surface with either newspaper or parchment paper as the food coloring will leave an intense stain on any surface! (I learned this the hard way.) I also made simple paper stands for the eggs to sit out and dry.

I think tomorrow we may add a little sparkle to these eggs to give them new pizzazz! Keep an eye out for the finished centerpiece later this week!

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I can’t believe it’s already Monday… The weekend totally flew by and I don’t know about you, but I could definitely use a little more R&R. But today also marks the start of Passover with Seder tonight. For those who don’t celebrate or share in this tradition, Passover to me is just like other Jewish holidays — filled with lots of food, friends and family. Does it get any better than that? Certainly the message is important and I cherish in the heritage of our people but I can’t help but get mostly excited about the feast we will have this evening.

On Sunday, my hubby and I visited a grocery that has a giant Kosher section — a place that is much further from our home but has all the necessities to build the perfect Seder meal. Since we’ll be with friends for Seder tonight, we divvied up the various courses and we are responsible for the main dish (brisket), veggie and dessert. So, off we went and we came home with the most beautiful 5 lb. marbled brisket you’d ever feast your eyes on. Then came the fun part! Taking ingredients and ideas from multiple family brisket recipes plus some delicious dishes I came across on Martha Stewart and The Pioneer Woman, we used the following recipe.

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Ingredients:
- 5 lb. brisket
- 1 large onion
- 2 big handfuls of baby carrots
- 2 big handfuls of sliced mushrooms
- 1.5 bottles of ketchup (no high-fructose corn syrup)
- 1 package of Kosher for Passover onion soup mix
- 1.5 cups of red cooking wine
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Coarse black pepper

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all of the wet ingredients, black pepper and onion soup mix together in a bowl and pour over the brisket in an oven-ready pan. Chop the onion and place all vegetables around the sides of the brisket. Cover with tin foil. The key to a good brisket (and really most beef recipes) is low and slow. This method helps the meat retain the flavors and not overcook. You may get hungry in the process as your kitchen fills with belly-warming beef scents but let it do it’s thing — I promise it will turn out perfectly! Let the brisket hang out in the oven for about 4.5 hours.

I usually test the brisket about 3 hours in just to see how tender it’s getting. Believe it or not, every oven is different so although you may have made several briskets before, it’s a good practice to check to see it’s progress.

Once the timer dings, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for a bit. If you are serving it right then and there, feel free to start cutting and serving. If you’re like me and like to prepare in advance so you aren’t rushing beforehand, I wait until the brisket is mostly cooled and I transfer it to a large cast iron oval pan (like this one) and stick it in the fridge overnight. All it needs is a quick 30-minute warm up session in the oven when you’re prepping for Seder and you’re good to go! Can’t wait to dive into this beefy beauty tonight.

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