That’s Life

Chicago is in this weird in between phase with seasons. There are moments when I can feel summer: the smells, the glow about people, the dewiness in the air, the warmth, frozen yogurt, dog walks… the list goes on. Although today was 54 (get it together Chicago), it is almost summer in my heart and that’s what matters.

Image (76)

The tress are perfectly green and have beautiful blooms.

Yesterday I hit the mother load with mail and received both Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times (thank you mother in law for the rad gifts!). This month the times is featuring detox and gluten free recipes, heaven. In the issue they recommend a 3 day cleanse that is pretty to implement and filled with delicious recipes. They list the 7 best detox foods and some favorites were included: blueberries, brocolli, and beets to name a few.

One of the best things about summer.

One of the best things about summer.

The recommended breakfast for the cleanse is a beet smoothie. If you like beets I recommend, if you don’t like beets.. beware!

Detox Beet & Blueberry Smoothie


  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 beets (boiled)
  • 1 slice of ripe avacado
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/4 c of cold water

Image (72)


  1. Place ingredients in blender and hit liquify, serve immediately

Image (73)

Image (74)

When school is over I am going to do the full 3 days and post the recipes. I think a cleanse/detox will be the perfect way to kick off a healthy, productive, and fun summer! Until then I am going to do my sort of cleanse that involved frozen yogurt from time to time 🙂

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit within my day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit throughout the day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.


Flowers in Bloom

I wrote this piece for ABreakfastSerial a few weeks ago and felt it was appropriate to share considering Chicago is in full bloom.

“The Petit Bouquet” 

Going to the chapel and were gonna get married” blared from my iPad on June 20th 2012. The sun shined brightly through our Parisian windows, it was the first time it hadn’t rained in days. I remember standing in the elevator of our flat staring at Stephen, it seemed like a normal day, but it wasn’t.

Annie at Le MaraisWe walked over to Le Marais, found a small corner café and basked in the sun. To me, nothing is better than Parisian breakfast. Fresh jam, a warm croissant, and a crisp espresso is how everyone should spend their mornings. While enjoying one another’s company I decided that a bouquet was necessary for the ceremony. Up until that morning I had not considered flowers, but as the vows crept closer, I found myself drawn to the idea. Stephen at Le MaraisThere was a small flower shop close to our flat. On our way back from breakfast we stopped in to purchase a small handful of flowers. “Bonjour, could I purchase some flowers?” I asked. The woman behind the counter ignored my question and continued on with her business. Rookie mistake…English.

Defeated, we left the shop and searched for another flower store. A few blocks from our first destination was another store, specializing in exotic plants. Needless to say, I did not care to carry a palm frond and decided to forgo the possibility of patronage.

We returned to the first shop. Stephen and I stood on the corner and strategized. French! We needed to speak French!

Round two: “Pardon Madame, le petit bouquet?” I said with a terrible accent. “Ah oui!” she replied enthusiastically. Petit, not quite, but the flowers were beautiful.


Flowers in weddings have symbolized many things throughout history. Flowers have symbolized the new harvest and life. They have been cited to represent loyalty.

Flowers in WIndow

For me, Le Petit Bouquet represented growth and new beginnings. I stood behind the Notre Dame chapel and exchanged vows with the most wonderful gentleman. Although we had been dating for 6 years prior, those vows began a new journey, our new life together as a family, as one.

Annie and Stephen Notre Dame

Primary Sources and the New Year

I am a historian, I have always been a historian, and I will always be a historian. I love sifting through documents, texts, and materials analyzing each piece in the hopes of constructing an understanding of events. Although I no longer write historical pieces, I think of graduate school fondly and miss those days greatly. I used to sit on the floor with books all around me, digging through primary sources trying to figure out how to grant women a voice in times where it was often restrained. Oh, how I love it!

I spoke at a conference a few years ago where the keynote speaker discussed the different types of historians. He explained that he believed that there were those who wrote history because it helped them define their own identity and then there were those who wrote history because they wanted to solve the mysteries of the past. I completely identify with the first historian he defined. My work has always focused on gender, Judaism, and choice. All three of these topics I grapple with daily and I believe my work has helped me define how I fit within the larger historical context that has helped construct my personal identity.

Although I am no longer writing, I do get to teach history for 45 minutes a day. My students this year are so enthusiastic and inquisitive. Our class often turns to random topics and quite frankly I adore these moments because my dear scholars are genuinely  very curious about the past. Two weeks before winter break one of my scholars politely raised her hand and asked, “Will we one day be primary sources?” I was enthused to hear that she was trying to understand how she  fit within the larger historical narrative.  I responded by explaining that she is a part of social history and that one day she very well could be needed to understand a time within history. We then began discussing what she might leave behind for historians to use as primary sources.

I often think about the age of digital media and how it will define primary sources. Film, letters, books… they are all tangible pieces.  I wonder if all that we write and produce on the internet will one day disappear because the interwebz archives can not possibly store all of the media we create. Perhaps this comes from a place of skepticism (I don’t trust technology to produce quality over long periods of time), none the less, I worry about the historical record we are currently creating and how it will be utilized in the future. I also often wonder about the volume at which we are producing sources and how historians will be able to negotiate what is a legitimate source and what is not. We currently struggle as a society to define legitimate  sources (i.e. fox vs. cnn), how the heck is a historian going to be to trudge through all of the murky material.

We each create our own historical narrative through memory and documents. I have always saved materials from various events so that I could piece together my own history. As we move into the new year I am going to continue constructing my history through primary sources, however this year I am going to use the ever-so-scary internet. I have created a tumblr to document the year 2013. I will take one picture for each day. I am not creating this tumblr because I believe that historians in 60 years will find it and use it to help write analysis on gender, Judiasm, and choice… I am creating it because I am a historian, trying to construct my own identity.


One of my favorite primary sources in grad school. Jewish girl goes on a wild adventure, only to be tamed and returned to the suburbs.

One of my favorite primary sources in grad school. Jewish girl goes on a wild adventure, only to be tamed and returned to the suburbs.

Hanukkah, done right!

“Ya know I hate this time of year… they got ALL the Christmas stuff on sale. All we got is this lousy kiosk… oh and don’t even get me started on the prices. Of course it’s the most expensive thing in the store.”- Old Jewish Woman at Michael’s craft store

While this quote is incredible and perfect for multiple reasons (mainly I love the whining), the woman has a point. Hanukkah decorations are definitely hard to come by and when you do finally find them, they are usually pretty ugly.  This year I decided to take Hanukkah into my own hands and make some of my own decorations because I wanted to celebrate the 8 days with a bit of style.  With a little inspiration, scrap book paper, and Matisyahu I am pretty satisfied with our decorations!

I try to keep our blackboard up to date.

We are trying to transition our tree to blue and silver. Right now we only have silver balls. However, I am a complete sucker for big vintage bulbs. “Happy Hanukkah” banner is from Target (2.99).

Dreidel Banner: Scrap book paper, twine, scissors, tape

I drew the dreidels and letters free hand. You can easily make stencils by printing images off the computer. I selected a variety of paper with blue hues. I taped the tips of the dreidels to twine and hung the banner with tape. I covered the tape with cut out Stars of David.


  • dark glittery blue
  • blue and white polka dots
  • white and blue snowflakes

Center Piece: clear vase, gelt, dove chocolates, silver ornaments

Hanukkah Party

I also tried to make some Hanukkah themed food! And of course… a Jewbread house building competition!


(See below pictures for recipes)

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks knock offs)


Assorted Cheese

Chocolate Dreidels


Image (4)

The Spread

Image (3)

Cranberry Bliss Bars- heavenly

Image (1)

Chocolate Dreidels

Image (5)


Image (2)Hard at work on our houses!


Thank you Geltfiend for making an awesome Hanukkah sweater!


Cranberry Bliss Bars


  • 6 eggs (whipped)
  • Trader Joes frozen hash browns (3/4 of bag)
  • 3 tbs grated onion
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tbs salt

Beat eggs by itself and then mix all ingredients together. Heat peanut oil on high and fry patties until golden brown. Serve with ketchup  sour cream and apple sauce.

Chocolate Dreidels:

Break pretzel stick and inset into marshmallow. Melt milk chocolate chips (microwave slowly, dont burn!). Take a bit of the melted chocolate and use it to adhere the hershey kiss to the bottom of the marshmallow. Drip dreidels in melt chocolate and viola!


Some of you may know, I love 1960s french pop music. One of my favorite artists was introduced to me by my dearest friend Frankie. Shout out Frank! Francoise Hardy is so very talented and absolutely stunning. Her music is calm and her tone is ethereal. I personally love her version of Leonard Cohen’s, Suzanne.

note the fantastic Herman Miller she is sitting on!

those clothes, perfect!