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Fashion. Get the latest fashion tips and style ideas from Venice, Italy. 

I’m often asked “Where’s the best place to shop in Italy.”

In addition to helping people live their best lives by elevating their spirituality, I am often sought out for help with life’s daily challenges. After all, we are physical people in a physical world. Our bodies are the protection for our souls, so here are some great tips to keep you at your best.

As a trusted mentor for people from many backgrounds all over world, I’ve found there is one thing that unites us: we are all trying to “make every day the best day.” One of the best places to focus on is with the things that affect our daily lives. And that includes the closet dilemma. More precisely: what to wear, when to wear it and how to wear it.

We can all relate to how good we feel when we get dressed up for a special event. It shows in how we walk and in how we talk. The reality is, every day is a special occasion. I often say, “I woke up today, so it’s already going to be great”! Although we can’t control everything that happens each day, we do have our own free will. We can determine our approach for the day and how we will react and respond to everything else.

🤍 Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Fashion Tip 1: Find Your Personal Style

This fashion how-to will add confidence and positivity to your life. Choosing a personal style doesn’t need to be specific, like Vintage, Artsy, Casual, Chic or Bohemian. We all have different inspirations and this can determine how we want to dress each day, depending on how we feel. Defining your signature fashion style can be in more general terms, like Dignified or Classic.

What works for you and what feels good should be your primary focus. Your style can change from day to day.

Fashion Tip 2: Organize Your Closet, Organize Your Life

Of all the latest fashion tips, this one may seem less significant, but it can make a world of difference. The first place to start is with buying good hangers that dont get tangled. Buy hangers that slide well. This makes taking out and putting away clothing very easy. It’s also helpful to get all the same type of hangers. It not only provides a uniform look, but everything hangs the same width, giving an overall neater appearance in your closet. Velvet non-slip hangers are great for your items that like to slide off as you are putting them away.

Separate everything by season. There are many advantages to this. First, you’ll be able to better see what you have, and more importantly, what you still need. Storing your clothing away properly keeps it in better condition. It makes it less susceptible to the elements for the majority of the year when a garment isn’t being used. You will save money in the long run because your clothing will last longer when its protected.

Now, you can organize everything by color range. This is easier than it seems and will help you find that black top that seems to always get lost in your closet. Instead of having to go through each and every one of your garments, you can now quickly swipe through just the dark ones.

Fashion Tip 3: Make a Plan and Stick to It

Lay out or at least plan what you will wear the night before. Five minutes invested in choosing a complete outfit is easier than rushing in the morning. And, you’ll reap the dividends for the rest of the following day when you feel good, whether you are heading out to a meeting, working from the home office or keeping your castle under control.

In the evening, although tiredness from the day may be settling in, it is a more opportune time to plan your next outfit than when you are stressed or short for time in the morning. There’s something about planning your day the night before that is energizing. When you know that you are looking forward to the following day, even in a small way, it is invigorating. It makes you feel good mentally and physically. You’ve already accomplished something for the next day, and it hasn’t even begun yet!

If you’re not following me yet on Instagram, I’d adore your support. I’m at Instagram: RebbetzinUnplugged

Fashion Tip 4: Accessories & Layers

Fashion is like good friends. You don’t need a lot, just a few good ones. A few statement pieces are key. Once your closet is cleaned out according to season, you’ll be able to see everything you have. Take out your accessories and layering pieces and put together some outfits. Write them down. Trust me on this. After following the above fashion tips, I found that I have much more to mix and match than I thought. I have an outfit list taped to the inside door of my closet.

Now that you have a really good idea of your complete outfit possiblities, you can decide on a few types of accessories and color combinations that would be nice additions to what you already have. It doesn’t take much. All you need is a nice selection of classic pieces that you can rotate, and that work well with the majority of your clothes. Add one or two unique items that fit into your budget for those special days. With this strategy, your accessories and layering items will last and won’t need to be replaced as often. Fashion blogger, Tali Kogan is an endless source of ideas for fashion tips, especially on accessorizing and layering.

Fashion Tip 5: “Get dressed and live your life.”

Luxury jewelry designer Rebekah Price says, “Get dressed and live your life.” In additon to making your bed each morning, this single piece of advice is one of the best I’ve heard. I want to give you a head start on tackling the day, so you can set yourself up for a great one. Even when working from home, I get dressed to the shoes first thing each morning. It puts me in the mindset of “Go and get it done.”

I hope these fashion tips will help you as much as they’ve helped me. But don’t stop there! Be sure to take care of your physical health too, beginning with your Daily Skin Care Routine.

Let me know in the comments what else you’d like me to share. Be in touch because I am always here for you!

Welcome to the Holiday Gift Guide 2020!

We are all about “making every day the best day” here at RebbetzinUnplugged, so I put together this amazing list of 10 must-have games to play with family and friends.

Everyone loves board games (and even those without the board). They are fun to play, won’t break your wallet and last for years. There’s even a game in the list that my family and I adapted to playing on a video call together for when traveling and visiting is limited.

Here’s everything you need to know in one place. And there is something for everyone: for Mom, the guys, grandma and of course, for kids of all ages. Whether you have to shop for someone who is practical or picky, this Holiday Gift Guide 2020 will ensure everyone on your holiday list is happy.

So, let me help you take care of a good part of your holiday gift buying and go get playing!

🤍 Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

⬅️ Share the Holiday Gift Guide 2020 with family and friends!

Mattel Games Apples to Apples Junior – The Game of Crazy Comparisons

This is a great game that will leave everyone laughing! It’s the perfect balance of using one’s imagination and competition.

Rummikub by Pressman – Classic Edition – The Original Rummy Tile Game

Who hasn’t played this classic! Bring joy to the new generation with this favorite game. Played and loved for over 70 years in 50 countries, how can you go wrong!

3-in-1 Wooden Portable Folding Chess, Checkers & Backgammon Game Combo Set. Classic Travel Board Strategy Game Set

Here’s something for everyone, with three classic games in one! This great portable set will keep the fun going for hours.

What Do You Meme? Family Edition – The Hilarious Family Game for Meme Lovers

This bestseller is now made for families! A hysterical game that lets you compete with family and friends to create the funniest memes.

Hedbanz Picture Guessing Board Game, for Families and Kids Ages 8 and up

Kids and kids-at-heart will love this game that really makes you stop and think. Help kids develop their deductive reasoning skills as well as their laughing muscles! Hedbanz now has an app so you can add wacky face filters while you play the physical game.

⬅️ Share the Holiday Gift Guide 2020 with family and friends! And for everything else Home & Entertainment, you can shop for the best deals on gifts. Click here!

Bananagrams: Multi Award-Winning Word Game

A friend gave us this gift over 10 years ago and it is still one of our family favorites! It’s a word game, a race and it may even drive you bananas!

Beat That! – The Bonkers Battle of Wacky Challenges

Challenge others and be challenged. With over 160 different challenges, the fun never ends! Get ready for hours of laughter!

Hasbro Gaming Yahtzee Board Game

My kids love this game as much as I did growing up. And it’s still one of my favorites! A combination of luck and risk, this game will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

Pressman Triominos – Deluxe Edition Triangular Tiles with Brass Spinners

My sister introduced my family to this game and we have loved it ever since! Think dominoes but better. Triominos is easy, fast-paced and sure to become one of your family’s favorites!

Farkle

Farkle is a fun game of “Should I” or “Shouldn’t I”!

Roll the dice and take some risks, but whatever you do, don’t Farkle!

This game is easy to learn and will keep everyone wondering who will win until the last moment. If travel and visiting is limited, Farkle can even be played during a video call! Our family gathered from all over the world on a video chat and played Farkle together daily.

There’s nothing like gathering around with family and friends over hot cocoa, some delicious chocolate chip cookies and a great game. My Holiday Gift Guide 2020 will help fill your house (or video chat) with laughter and create memories that will last a lifetime!

And for everything else Home & Entertainment, you can shop for gifts here!

⬅️ Remember to share the Holiday Gift Guide 2020 with family and friends across your social media. They’ll thank you for it! Which of these is your favorite?

🎬 You will love these Bisse Italian Cookies. Watch the Cook & Connect with the Rebbetzin Unplugged to find out how fun they are to make.

Join celebrity chefs and thousands of online viewers who watched from around the world, as they enjoyed an evening of connection, cooking and creativity as part of The Shabbat Project.

This special event was geared toward teenagers and featured a special message from Chopped champion, Rachel Goldzal.

These Italian biscotti are likely the most well known of the typical desserts of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. These are one of my family’s favorite cookies…..crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Their “S” shape makes them perfect for dipping in a glass of cold milk or your favorite hot drink.

They are as easy to make as they are delicious.  

One of the best things about these Bisse Italian cookies is that they are made from ingredients which you most likely always have in your kitchen and pantry anyway.

bright cheery kitchen envato

Celebrate Cyber Monday early with these great deals on everything for your Home & Kitchen!

They are inexpensive and the dough can be made ahead, as it stores very well in the refrigerator for a few days in a tight sealed or well-wrapped container. These cookies do not last long in my house. In fact, I usually have to make a double batch.

Try out this recipe and your friends and family will think you are a biscotti pro!

Bisse Italian Cookies

These are the perfect Bisse cookie – crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 19 mins
Total Time 29 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 19 Cookies
Calories 181 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 3 1/3 Cups Flour
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions
 

Prepare the Batter

  • Beat the eggs and sugar together until creamy
  • Next, add in the olive oil and the zest of one lemon.
  • The zest is the yellow. You want to avoid getting any of the pith, the white, in there. It’s bitter. We only want that delicious, fragrant yellow zest.
  • The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline.
  • Next, add a pinch of salt
  • Finally, add the 3 1/3 cups of flour in two parts.
  • This makes it easier to fold in the flour and ensures that we don’t have any lumps. Check down at the bottom to make sure all the flour has been incorporated.
  • Once mixed, you can put the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour to get a more workable consistency, but if you don’t have time, it's not necessary.

Shaping the Cookies

  • Now, flour your cooking paper and your fingers with a little bit of flour. And take a large spoonful of the cookie dough and roll it out like a stick, around 8 or 9 inches long (20-23 cm). I like to use the length of my hand as a guide to make uniform sized cookies, with the stick of dough extending a bit past my wrist and the tip of my middle finger.
  • You want to work the dough the least possible, because an overworked cookie dough leads to a tough cookie.
  • Now, I’ll tell you a trick to get a perfect "S" shape.
  • What you want to do is pick up the stick from each end and as you transfer the dough on to your baking sheet, and just before you put it down on the baking sheet, form the "S". Once down, you can adjust the shape a bit if necessary.
  • Try to get 2 rows of four cookies on the baking sheet.
  • In between batches, stick the dough in the fridge to keep it at a good consistency to work with.
  • Bake the cookies for 5 minutes at 425F. (202C)
  • Then lower the heat to 350F for around 14 minutes. (175C)
  • Cookies continue to bake if left on a hot baking sheet, so as soon as they come out of the oven, you want to carefully slide the baking paper onto a cooling rack.
  • Place a new sheet of baking paper on the baking sheet and continue shaping and baking the cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 11mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 38IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Keyword biscotti, bisse, Italian desserts, Jewish Ghetto, kosher, Venice Italy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you love these Bisse Italian Cookies and Italian cooking in general, then you’ll love my gnocchi recipe. Let me know in the comments what other Italian recipes you’d like to see on RebbetzinUnplugged.com

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Regarding hurricane prep, I say, “It’s always better to have prepared for nothing.” Use these 6 tips to help prepare for a hurricane, and hope that it was a “waste of time”.

I grew up in South Florida, where you’ll find some of the world’s most famous beaches. The tropical climate lends itself to beautiful Summer nights, BBQ’s by the pool and a moderate climate during the Winter. There are some of the best museums and shopping to experience in the country. And, it’s a wonderful place to raise a family or retire. 

If you’ve ever lived in Florida, you know all the particulars of what a hurricane is, why they occur and have likely had some real-life experience.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have never been in one’s path, a hurricane can be life-changing.  According to the National Ocean Service, “a hurricane is a type of storm called a tropical cyclone, which forms over tropical or subtropical waters.” There are different categories of storms, that escalate with their wind force.  

Tropical Depression – winds under 39 miles per hour

Tropical Storm – winds more than 39 miles per hour

Hurricane – winds more than 74 miles per hour

For Every Season…

Familes who live in commonly affected areas know that June 1 – November 30 is hurricane season.  That means that during those five months, there could be anywhere from 10-20 tropical cyclones that threaten the area.

Being properly prepared can make all the difference in the world.  

1. Hurricane or Not, Buy a Solar Charger. 

During a hurricane, the phone lines and power often go out.  Due to downed power lines, it can take some time to safely restore functionality.  But the sun will always reappear each day! A good quality solar charger will also work even when weather conditions aren’t optimal.  I found this portable solar charger is powerful enough to charge even with cloud coverage.  What’s more, it’s not just for hurricane season.  Sometimes there are just random power outages during the year. Knowing that I can always charge my phone is very reassuring.

It’s in the Bag!

Many years ago, before my kids were even born, I created a bag to hold important items that would be easy to grab in case of emergency.  In an emergency, it would be highly unlikely to have the where-with-all to stop and think about what to take, let alone have the time to do so.

So, I created the emergency backpack.  I chose a backpack so that one’s hands can be free to do whatever else is needed.  In the emergency backpack, I keep important documents, passports, birth certificates and other things of that nature. 

It’s crucial that everyone in the house know where this bag is kept.  It’s also important that the bag be kept in a place that is easily accessible, preferably in a closet near an exit of the home.  I’ve created an Instant Download for you!  You can download my Emergency Backpack List here.

3. Make Copies!

Amongst all the tips to help prepare for a hurricane, this is one of the most important. Make copies of all important papers.  To begin, this includes passports, birth certificates, a list of where you have bank accounts and credit cards, insurance details and medical information. Send the copies to at least one family member or trusted friend.  

The best is to take the double approach.  Give a copy to someone who lives nearby for convenience.  And, give a second copy to a person who lives further away, in case your entire area is affected.  

What about cloud services?  Keeping everything in the cloud is great, but hard copies are important too.  Internet capabilities can be affected by a storm and you don’t want to get locked out of accessing your information.

4. Hurricanes Affect Supply and Demand

I want to share a system with you that I’ve used for years.  Being in the habit of staying stocked all year long with certain supplies will help you out.  If storage space permits, keep some extras of essentials on hand, like toilet papaer, bath soap and toothpaste. 

We don’t have a lot of space in our small apartment, but in the linen closet, I keep some extras.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t use those extras.  Instead, we use them, so things are always replenished with new ones.  But having extras on hand means that we will never run out.  This is especially important if there is inclement weather that prevents us from heading out to the store.  

Check out the array of camping supplies that could also be useful in an emergency bag.  I keep some of these items on-hand all year such as soap sheets, water purifier tablets, a camping lantern, a first aid kit and more.

                       

5. Are You a Number Cruncher?

When I was a kid and we had to manually enter phone numbers to make a call, I must have had hundreds of phone numbers memorized.  

Nowadays, since phones can store countless contacts, I don’t even know the phone numbers of many people I speak to on a daily basis.  Every household should have a physical phone book full of important contact numbers.  In the front cover, write: “In case of emergency, please contact…….” At a minimum, keep a printout of important numbers on the refridgerator (or near a land-line, if you have one).  I would also recommend writing the home address in case a house guest needs to make an emergency call.

Further to that point, every single person, young or young-at-heart, should have their own personal little phone book in case they get caught without their phone or with a phone that’s run out of battery. 

6. Who Would Have Thought!

Many times during hurricanes, incoming clean water can be affected.  City water lines break under storm pressure rendering water from the tap unfit for use.

Here is one of the best and most useful pieces of advice I’ve learned over the years.  If a storm hits, fill a large outdoor garbage can with water to be used for non-food related things, such as to clean the floors or, more importantly, to clear the toilets.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

It goes without saying, that we hope to never have to use any of the preporatory steps we’ve taken.  Better to make all the efforts to properly prepare for a hurricane, for absolutely nothing.

I’d like to thank all those involved in keeping everyone informed and safe, before and in the aftermath of hurricanes and other weather phenomena. This includes, but is not limited to: front line workers, police, fire department, governmental agencies and utility companies.

And, of course, we have to thank the meteorolgists.  In the Summer of 1982, at the young age of 12-years-old, I watched in fear as Hurricane Andrew approached South Florida.  When a direct hit became imminent, there was one person in particular who was at the forefront of disseminating crucial play-by-play information to residents. Every Floridian who lived there at the time will tell you that it was none other than the now famous meteorologist, Bryan Norcross. To this day, I think of him during this time of year.

The destructive Category 5 storm was clocked at nearly 175 miles per hour and left Miami-Dade County devastated, with an unthinkable amount of damage exceeding 25 billion US dollars.  Just as Hurricane Andrew forever changed South Florida that Summer, Bryan Norcross set the standard for storm coverage for all time.

🤍 Over the years, many of you have asked which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  

If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Do you have other hurricane preparation tips? Please share them below in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

This Classic Italian Gnocchi recipe is easy and delicious. It takes a little time and attention, but lets the one eating know that you care.

These little pillows of wholesome goodness are sure to satisfy any palate.  Gnocchi can be made of just potato or you can incorporate other flavors that everyone will love.  Some popular variations are carrot, beet, spinach, sweet potato, hazelnut and more. This comfort food is a favorite in my house.

Quick and Easy!

This classic Italian gnocchi recipe is quick and easy to prepare.  It’s a hands-on type of recipe, but there is nothing complicated about it.  My kids love to give me a hand when I’m making gnocchi.  (It may be just to get me to double up the recipe, since they are so incredibly delicious).

Gnocchi can be served with a simple marinara sauce, a creamy bechamel or even just with olive oil and some parmesan sprinkled on top. My absolute favorite is gnocchi with butter and sage, or as we say in Italy, “Gnocchi con Burro e Salvia.”  It is such a wonderful taste and leaves the house with a fragrant aromatic smell. 

Between the flavors you can add to the gnocchi themselves and the many types of sauces you can whip up, gnocchi is a very versatile dish that can be served as a main course or even a side dish.  

Leftovers? What Leftovers?

I have never (ever) had any leftovers when I’ve made gnocchi.  Although, if you do, they will heat up very well in a pan with whichever sauce you choose. You can also make the dough ahead the night before and leave it in the fridge in an air-tight container until you are ready to cook the actual gnocchi. But, the entire process isn’t so time consuming.

Even though I usually have my dinners for the week planned out it advance (you can download my free weekly meal planner here), once in a while I ask my family “What should I make for dinner?.”  I would say that “Gnocchi!” is amongst the responses 90% of the time.

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classic Italian homemade gnocchi

Classic Italian Gnocchi AKA Love in a Dish

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 191 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 3/8 cups flour 300 grams
  • 7 medium potatoes 1 kilo before peeling
  • 1 egg
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

First Things First

  • Put on some of your favorite music.
  • Peel and boil potatoes in a large pot (like a pasta pot) of salted water
  • Drain potatoes and mash with a potato masher or a fork
  • Taste and add salt if necessary
  • Add flour and egg and combine by hand

Making the Gnocchi

  • Reboil water (add some water to the pot, if necessary)
  • On a floured surface, roll out 3 strands of dough
  • Slice starnds into individual pieces (see photo)
  • Add approximately 10 gnocchi at a time to the boiling water
  • They will float to the top when they are ready (around 1 minute)
  • Remove cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon
  • While gnocchi are boiling, roll out and cut other strands and keep the cooking process going
  • The gnocchi can be served by pouring a heated sauce on top. Or, they can be transferred to a large pan and heated in the sauce of your choice.

Notes

Since potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, use a digital scale to weigh out the potatoes (and flour) in grams for precision. And here’s another tip! I tape a piece of baking paper down on my counter top or table and work directly on there. It makes for a super fast and easy clean up!

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 11mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 40IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 2mg
Keyword comfort food, gnocchi, gnocchi recipes, italian food, what to make for dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

🤍 Many of you have asked which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

                                                           

Does this sound like something you would try?  I’m excited to hear from you in the comments below!

Homemade Classic Italian Gnocchi

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Have you ever attended an online class or virtual event?  Nowadays, the likelihood is very high.  Have you ever hosted or co-hosted one?  These 10 tips will help you make a successful virtual event every time!

For nearly a decade, I have reached out to my international audience via online videos and vlogs here in Venice, Italy.  Walking through the city as I speak while teaching a particular subject or interviewing a guest, my videos are like virtual tours of Venice.

This past Spring, the world was almost brought to a complete standstill because of Coronavirus. “What would become of the tourist and entertainment industry?,” I thought.  I came up with some ideas and discussed them at a virtual music industry event hosted by Jeff Pulver, the founder of VoIP (voice over the internet). 

My main point was that people may not be able to travel right now, but they still want entertainment! 

So, why was I at a music industry event? 

Because a vibrant music industry fuels growth in so many areas, including a city’s tourism development.  And tourism, of course, is Venice’s main industry.  Venice has many classic music concerts and is also near the famous Verona Arena, one of the most well-known outdoor music concert venues worldwide.  

Since then, I have encouraged organizations around the world, as well as potential participants, to view the virtual space as having potential that is as unlimited as the places one could go online.

Just as for decades people have enjoyed other modes of entertainment from the comfort of their homes, like tv or film, a virtual event can be entertaining, engaging and best of all, interactive and participatory.  I will share with you what I realized early on, and some ideas about how to make a virtual event successful.


1. Promoting a Virtual Event

Make a promotional schedule.  A good rule of thumb is to begin promotions two to three weeks before the event. Use great graphics and a free program like Canva to make an eye-catching advertisement.  Remember to consider the time zones for your target audience and choose accordingly for maximum viewership. 

2. Collabs and Merch

Many successful events are collaborations.  If you will be selling tickets to attend, many are more inclined to attend when an event is associated with fundraising for an organization, where a portion of the proceeds are donated.  Also, pre-selling merchandise at the time of ticket sales or even during the event can contribute to the event’s success.  This works especially well for concerts.

3. Pre-Check

I’ve found that proper preparation and system checks make all the difference when working in the virtual space.  

30 minutes prior to each event, I sign in and meet the event host for a sound check.  We also check the visuals, including camera angles, virtual backgrounds and lighting.

4. Houston, We Don’t Have A Problem

Whichever platform you decide to use, become very familiar with the program controls.  For example, Zoom offers an abundance of information on the ins and outs of using the program.  There are also plenty of how-to videos available on the internet.  

Make a list and double check that you have everything that you will need to make reference to during the event. If you will be showing slides or a video, you will need to have screen sharing capability. Discuss this prior with the host and ensure that the host has given you access to screen sharing before the start of the event, so that everything will flow smoothly.

This will also help you avoid that awkward disruption caused by waiting for the host to figure out how to hand over the controls to you. And in your Zoom settings, in the ‘Screen Share’ section, you can further avoid unexpected computer sounds by checking off: ‘SIlence system notifications when sharing desktop’.

Another Important Point

Have all of your slides and graphics prepared and open on your screen before the event begins.  You can either have them open and minimized or leave them up on the screen in the order of how you will be using them, one behind the other.  

Eliminating that lag time between finding and opening documents is key to keeping the momentum going during an event.  Also, keep a physical copy of your text as a backup. These details will come together easily with a little planning, and will add to the overall success of the event.

Consider the Details

An appropriate background can make all the difference in the presentation, whether natural or a graphic.  For a celebratory event, perhaps use a screen shot of balloons with a congratulatory message to give it that party feel.  For a professional event, I recommend sending each speaker the same graphic with the organization logo, name of event and the participant’s name.  This works especially well for a panel, when multiple speakers are simultaneously on-screen.  It gives a very professional look and also reminds viewers who is currently speaking.

Chat It Up

Encourage people to use the chat box.  People can message the entire room or they can click on a person’s name to message them individually.  This encourages networking and lends a communal feel to the event. It’s also great for Q & A. If possible, have someone besides the host monitor the questions, so the event keeps up a good pace. The chat can also be easily saved and printed by the participants at the end of the event, or anytime they need to leave.  

Keep in mind that messages sent to an individual aren’t actually private, rather they are just directed to a particular participant.  (I found this out when my husband attended one of my events and messaged me individually in the chat to tell me how proud he was……little heart emojis and all)! Anything written in the chat box is visible to everyone and every message will be printed with the others.

5. A Virtual Room with a Great View

In addition to the main virtual room, Zoom also offers breakout rooms.  These are great for networking and meeting people. The host can place specific people in additional separate rooms or the program can choose the participants randomly.  You can set the amount of time participants will remain in each breakout room.  Guests will see a pop-up notification on the screen letting them know they will soon be transported back to the main room.

6. No Dead Air

There’s nothing worse on a radio show than dead air, which is when there is nothing but silence over the airwaves.  The same is true for a virtual event.  Be sure to have a confirmed event schedule with a specific timeframe.  Each speaker should be emailed a copy of the schedule so they know these three key things: when they will speak, for how long and who they follow.  This will help make the program as seamless as possible. 

7. Cocktail Hour…..Almost!

Many guests sign in to virtual events early, so it is best to have the guests gather in the waiting room.  Guests should not be in the main room during the sound/visual checks and should only be brought into the main room when the event begins. This adds to the professionalism and anticipation of the event. 

8. Are You Ready for a Successful Virtual Event?

Be sure to have your phone on silent and to shut off notifcations. Even if notifications are on silent, they can still pop up while you are screen sharing. (Not everyone needs to know that you are out of toilet paper)! You can also put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’.  If necessary, you can set the ‘Do Not Disturb’ in your phone settings to allow your favorite contacts or repeat calls to come through.  This can and should still be on silent mode. 

Close the door of the room you are in, check the room temperature and listen for any other sounds that could disturb the event, like a noisy fan or air conditioner.  And if you have one, unplug your land line. (What is that?).

9. Get Your Event Off to a Great Start

If you are a guest speaker, supply the host with your introduction information ahead of time.  If you are the host, review the information so your guest speaker feels welcomed and appreciated.  A proper introduction shows your guest speaker that you value them and the time they put in to prepare for your event.  No one wants to sound like they are boasting, so unless it was specifically agreed upon in advance, don’t make the guest introduce himself.  The introduction is the time to honor your guest speaker, but perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to get your audience excited about his or her credentials and the topic to be spoken about.

Remember, since the host will speak first, he or she sets the tone of the event.  It’s crucial that both the welcome/opening remarks and the guest speaker introduction be pre-planned and said with a smile and energy to get the crowd excited.

10. No Passport Required!

Although nothing can replace being there in person, a virtual event will not only transport you to a destination that isn’t accessible to you today, but opens the world up to places that you may not have ever dreamed of going or may not have the chance to visit.

We are living in very special times where, if we harness the power of the technology available to us, we can accomplish much more than we ever thought possible.  And at the same time, make the world a much smaller place.  

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10 Tips to make a successful virtual event

If you had a chance to go anywhere in the world virtually, where would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

Does keeping your kitchen neat and organized help you feel like you have your life under control?  One thing’s for sure. These kitchen organization ideas will make your meal planning and prep easier and more enjoyable.

1. Cabinet Inserts to Double Space

This is perhaps one of my favorite tips and is at the top of my list of kitchen organization ideas for a good reason.  It seems one can never have enough space, especially in a small apartment like ours.  But, never fear! I’ve found an inexpensive and easy solution. These tiered shelving inserts double your space. Literally!

They are easy to put together and use. I think it took me longer to get the screwdriver from the toolbox than to actually screw the four little screws. (By the way, every woman should have her own basic toolbox. I keep mine under my bed, so I always know where it is and it is always handy when I need to make a quick fix. But that’s for another post!).

When ready, just stick them in the cabinet, and voila! You have twice as much space in your kitchen cabinet. I love them for my water glasses and coffee mugs, like pictured here. As an added benefit in my dishes cabinet, I use the space between the insert and the interior wall of the cabinet to stand up items like cake platters and other items that don’t stack well.

                       

2. Ball Mason Jars aren’t Just Beautiful

One could almost say that iconic Ball jars have come into fashion. The company has been making them since the late 1800’s and their brand has become a proprietary eponym, hence people referring to most mason jars by their name.  

Decades ago, they were commonly used for preserving foods in the Summer for use in the Winter when crops weren’t as abundant. I’ve been using them for many years because they serve so many purposes.  (Jarring your own preserves or marinara sauce is easier than you’d think). 

The inner ring and reclosable lid keep your food fresh because of their air tight seal.  Do you know how you can check to make sure they are sealed?  Press your thumb down in the center of the lid.  If the lid pops backs up, then your jar isn’t properly sealed. Do you know who patented these jars? Give a guess in the comments!

3. Wicker Baskets for Kitchen Organization

Wicker baskets are great for keeping things neat and tidy because they come in all shapes and sizes.  The feature I love most is that they have holes to let air pass through, so my root vegetables, onions and potatoes stay fresher longer.

I also like to keep small baking ingredients in a wicker basket. I keep packets of baking powder, bottles of flavored extracts and jars of baking soda together, so I can easily grab it down from the cabinet while I’m baking.

                       

4. Tupperware Everywhere!

Did you grow up with Tupperware in the house?  I sure did!  From the kitchen to the playroom, Tupperware products help keep your home sweet home organized and helps keep your kitchen and pantry items fresh.  There are some other reliable companies like Rubbermaid who make high quality products too.

When I am bringing a home-baked gift to a friend, I love to bring it in a Tupperware container wrapped with a bow.  The airtight container keeps my gift in one piece during transport and then it becomes a part of the gift itself.  Your friend will be grateful to have a new durable piece in the kitchen.  

Some of my favorite storage organization pieces are:

Premier Set, Bento Box, Multi Color Glass Set, Cereal Container and the Cake Server with a Handle.

                       

5. Reaching the Greatest Heights

Keeping things organized is easier when you can see what you’ve got.  And, keeping the tallest items toward the back of a cabinet will help.  

Not everyone in your home will be as neat and tidy as you, so once in a while, you’ll have to reorganize things a bit.  It doesn’t have to be all at once.  When you go to grab a box of breakfast cereal, straighten up that particular shelf.  These quick fixes can often can be done in under a minute. In fact, when I’m faced with a task that I rather not do, I think about how long the actual task will take.  Oftentimes, it’s pretty quick from start to finish.

6. No Laziness Here!

Let’s finish up my kitchen organization ideas with something for spices and other small items. A lazy Susan, a circular tray that rotates, helps keep everything within reach.  It will also help you keep things neat and clean.  You can just lift it up in one fell swoop and wipe down the cabinet, instead of having to take out (and put back!) many tiny bottles.

What are some tips and ideas that work in your kitchen?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

🤍 Over the years, many of you have asked which kitchen tools I use and recommend. Here are some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  

If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Have you ever tasted fruit so delicious that it made you stop and think about how blessed we are to have such goodness? Once in the city of Siena, in central Italy’s Tuscan region, I had such an experience. And that’s how this irresistable fig cake recipe eventually came about!

It was with some fresh figs at peak season. It was actually the first time I had fresh figs, so now my standard is very high. As I stood in what is regarded as one of the most beautiful public squares in Europe, Piazza del Campo, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness to G-d for such a pure and natural treasure. I’ve captured that beautiful memory of that exquisite taste in this new fig cake recipe! 

Slice of Fig Cake by the Rebbetzin Unplugged

Irresistable Fig Cake

This fig cake is sure to become one of your seasonal family favorites!
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 (9 inch round cake)
Calories 268 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 5 whole figs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 packet baking powder 1 1/4 teaspoons or 5 grams
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • In a mixer, beat eggs well with sugar and vegetable oil
  • Slice figs in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.
  • Add figs and mix well. (The edible skin is not used in this recipe).
  • Add flour, baking powder and salt and continue to mix for three minutes.
  • Line your baking pan of choice with baking paper to make for easy clean-up.
  • Pour into the pan, using a rubber spatula to get every delicious drop.
  • Bake at 350F / 170C for 40 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. If needed, continue to bake in increments of 5 – 10 minutes.

Notes

Bakes well in any shape cake or muffin pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 2gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 16mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 59IUCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cake, cupcakes, dessert, fig, muffins, Rosh Hashana, Shabbat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
green Yemenite spicy schug sauce

Spicy Schug Sauce

Add some spice to your life, and to your kitchen, with this authentic Yemenite schug recipe. Schug is often eaten on falafel in pita or meat dishes like shawarma. It's also great with humus, grilled chicken, yogurts, eggs or anything you want to add some kick to.
I’m an Ashkenazi girl with a Separdic stomach. And at my Shabbat table, we have guests from all over the world where we typically have six continents represented. You know my motto is "keeping everyone around the table happy!" This also applies when serving hundreds of guests each Shabbat. By night, I serve fish simmering in the traditional spicy Moroccan tomato sauce Charaime (Haraimi). By day, it's baked salmon with lemon or pesto. And there are salads and dips running the entire spectrum of Jewish cuisine, including plenty of schug.
This recipe can be made ahead since it can last days in the fridge. (But it won’t because it will be devoured). And since it is so fast and easy, it can be made fresh each time. I’ve made schug with an immersion blender, but I recommend preparing it in a food processor for the best consistency.
There are many different variations of red or green schug recipes around, and there are even different spellings: schug, zhug and skhug. The delicious taste of this hot sauce comes from the blend of nutritious fresh produce and a list of spices that also have their share of vitamins.
By the way, did you know that the longer a green chili pepper sits on the vine, it begins to change color until it’s red?
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course sauce
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 32 teaspoons
Calories 31 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 jalapeno peppers for aesthetics, I use four green and one red
  • 1 cup parsley (one bunch)
  • 1 cup cilantro (one bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Preparing recipes with spicy peppers takes a bit of care. Jalapeno and other hot peppers can leave a residue of capsaisin on your hands for hours or even days. Be careful not to touch your face, eyes or that of a child who needs something mid-preparation. Best is to use a pair of one time use gloves.
  • Carefully cut and remove stems from the peppers.
  • Next cut peppers lengthwise to remove seeds and any excess white pith. Most of the heat is in the seeds, so if you want to bring the heat to the next level, add some when the recipe is finished, but I doubt you will need it.
  • Put the peppers in the food processor.
  • Cut most of the stems from the parsley and cilantro. Leaving some stems is fine.
  • Add the parsley and cilantro to food processor and give a rough chop. Schug should be a bit chunky, as opposed to a creamy pesto, but the texture is a personal choice.
  • Then add the remaining ingredients and pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings to your liking.

Notes

Makes approximately one cup of schug. Keep refrigerated in an air tight jar or container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1teaspoonCalories: 31kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 73mgPotassium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword kosher, Mediterranean, sauce, schug, Shabbat, Yemenite
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

🤍 Over the years, many of you have asked which kitchen tools I use and recommend. Here are some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  

If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

                       
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