February 19, 2018

Do-It-Yourself Bag Of Plagues For Your Passover Seder

This is a repost from last year.

Do-it-yourself Bag Of Plagues

Here is a guest post from my artist friend Not2Shabbey Abbey.  She has some really creative and fun ways to spruce up your seder table.  Check it out!

Pesach is around the corner and the time to prepare is upon us. I can only imagine the facebook posts that are already being displayed about the long hours spent in the kitchen cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning.  However, I have a little secret to share with you……..I absolutely positively have no clue how to clean.  Somehow when God was giving out the cleaning gene, he promptly skipped me. For the first 10 years of my marriage I thought I hid it very well from my husband. It was right before the very first Pesach that I had to make on my own that it became rudely apparent that I lacked the fundamental skills of organizing and housekeeping. I quickly confessed my sins to my husband who matter of factly told me that he’s known for years!

Although God may not have given me the cleaning talent, he did bestow upon me an awfully good one. Creativity.  One of my favorite creative projects for Pesach is a relatively simple idea that I wanted to share with you.  Much like crafting guru Martha Stewart, I like making my bag of plagues from scratch since it gives over that homemade feeling you can’t get from anywhere else.  To get an idea of a home made one, watch Martha’s video hereBut instead of using the ingredients that she recommends, check out mine – I’ll guarentee they’ll be more exciting!

Here are the items that I like to put into MY Makkos Bags.

Abbey’s Makkos Bags


Now yes, Martha’s red cherry chocolate is quite delicious, but does it REALLY scream blood to you??? I don’t think so.  How about this Blood Putty for $.99cents– I will be my 8 year olds best friend when he opens up his bag, let me tell you!


For lice, if you really want to ramp up your Seder table give your kids each a small container of Glitter or Confetti
Plastic Glitter Pack - Set of 6Glitter Confetti - 8 oz.


For wild animals I personally love these wild animal bubble containers  which adds an extra layer of fun, but there are also these great wild animal toys that come in handy all year round as well.


Cattle Disease

These are seriously fabulous for Dever, Cattle disease, but if they really gross you out why not try the farm animal bookmarks which can be useful for the rest of the Seder or these relaxing sqeeze balls , all perfect choices.


Boils may take a little bit of work on your part. I would buy these sticky hands and draw small dots all over them, giving the hands the appearance of boils.  Cute right?



For hail I’m thinking ping pong balls.  Can you just imagine them flying and bouncing throughout your Seder!!!  HOW FUN!?! But if you are more of the reserved type you can get these reusable ice cubes.



For Locust you could go a little bit more buggier with these adorable snap & play bugs.
Snap 'n' Learn Number Bugs - 18 Pieces


For darkness your best bet are sunglasses which everyone has fun putting on and playing with.


Death of Firstborn

For the death of the firstborn these glow in the dark skeletons  are pretty freaky.


Last but not least, your seder isn’t complete without some of these plastic jumping frogs!


How To Assemble

Now that all the contents have been ordered let’s discuss how it will be presented. Martha recommends using a wax bag, but any brown paper bag, or even white bag is perfectly fine. You can get them at any local grocery store. You can use these fancy craft scissors to cut the top off your bags, put each of the 10 plagues into a bag and fold over the top.   Attach the ribbon to the bag as well.


For the decorative paper that goes on top of the bag print out this coloring sheet on cardstock paper and give it to your children to color during one of the endless days before Pesach when they have nothing to do.  When they are finished (make sure their names are on it – don’t want to go mixing them up!) glue them to each of the bags.  It’s the perfect personal touch.

Of course, you can also buy a ready-made bag of plagues like this one if you’re short on time.


So while you are meticulously cleaning and scrubbing, I will be meticulously painting down in my studio bringing creativity back to each of your dining room tables.  Come and visit my store & choose something unique and special to enhance your Passover Table.

Share pictures of your Makkos Bags here in the comments or on our Facebook pages: KosherShopaholic & Not2Shabbey – we can’t wait to see them!  Wishing you all a Chag Kasher V’Sameach.

Not 2 Shabbey, Abbey & The Kosher Shopaholic, Shoshana

Huge Feldheim Book Clearance Sale

Just in time for back-to-school savings, Feldheim is having a huge online warehouse clearance sales with savings of over 75 -85% off regular prices.

Check out these awesome deals you don’t want to miss:

Charades by Riva Pomerantz only $6 (regularly priced $27),





Chumash Be’er Yaakov only $3 (regularly priced $12),





Leather bound Tehillim only $10 (regularly priced $39)





With many more of your favorite Jewish fiction & non-fiction best sellers on sale.  Make sure to check out the huge online Feldheim warehouse sale now before you miss it!

Lag B’Omer & 3 Year Old Boys

Lag B’Omer is almost here and along with bonfires, shopping and musical instruments, we get haircuts.  Especially that special haircut for adorable little boys who have turned the precious age of three years old.

For those of you who are ‘in the parsha’ as we like to say, those who have 3 year olds ready for an upsherin, 3 year old grandsons, nephews or close friends, M&M Designs makes some really special edible treats customized for your special party.  Some of the most popular of these treats are the custom upsherin cookies.  (by the way, they also make cookies, brownie bits, cake bites and pops for any of your occasions).

It is a common Jewish custom to allow a boy’s hair to grow untouched until he’s three years old.  On his third birthday, friends are invited to a haircutting ceremony—called an upsherin in Yiddish, and a chalakah by Sephardic Jews.  From this point on, a child is taught to wear a kipah and tzitzit and learns his first Hebrew letters, alef – beis with some honey to remember that Torah learning is as sweet as honey.

There is also a very different German/Yekkish custom to create something called a wimple for a boy to use to celebrate his turning three, instead of an upsherin.  A wimple is a beautiful large piece of cloth (about 10 foot long banner) that the child wraps around the sefer Torah.  It is designed with the child’s name and some pesukim wishing the child to grow up to be a great person who does Mitzvos.  It contains beautiful pictures and designs.  Check out this beautiful custom made wimple made by Not2Shabbey.com.  You can also find custom embroidered Yarmulkes & hand painted tzitzit for that special 3 year old from Not2Shabbey as well.

Lag BaOmer falls this year on Thursday, May 10, 2012.  It is celebrated with outings, bonfires, and other joyous events.  Lag BaOmer also carries the theme of the imperative to love and respect one’s fellow and, back to my upshurin theme, many use the celebratory day as a time to give their 3 year old son their first haircut, since the days from Passover until Lag B’Omer, are considered a period of mourning.




Holocaust Memorial Day, April 19, 2012, Yom Hashoah


Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on April 19, 2012.  It is the annual day established to commemorate and mourn the 6 million whose lives were ended during the Holocaust.  Jews around the
world will mark Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’ha’g’vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for the Holocaust and the Heroism).

According to Jewish Treats, “the term ‘Holocaust’ is a word of Greek origin used to describe massacres.  As it came to be applied to the events in Europe in the 1940s, the term emerged as the name for this highly specific genocide. This was strengthened by the release of the 1978 NBC mini-series of the same title.  In Hebrew, the Holocaust is referred to as Ha’shoah. Shoah means calamity. Similar to the term Holocaust, the term shoah gained further usage after the release of the 1985 French documentary entitled “Shoah.” The film condensed over 300 hours worth of interviews into 9.5 hours and brought the hard-hitting facts of the Holocaust into reality”.

In Israel, the day is marked by official ceremonies, flags at half mast and by a siren marking a moment of silence during which traffic comes to a standstill.  Here’s a video clip of a major Israeli highway coming to a standstill at the sound of the memorial siren.


I asked some friends to recommend some commemorative resources for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, and they suggested the following incredibly moving and memorable videos and articles:


Choosing One’s Way: Resistance in Auschwitz (thanks, Esti Berkowitz)

Oprah and Elie Weisel at Auscwitz

“Memories” song by Mordechai Ben David (MBD) Avraham Fried Composed By Abie Rotenberg

The Fork – this one is inspiring and causes happy tears (thanks, Norene Gilletz)

The Best Video Storytelling award of the nonprofit DoGooder Awards”Yes, That’s My Father,” produced by the US Holocaust Memorial. (thanks Debra Askanaze)

Irena Sendler, Rescuer Of The Children Of Warsaw (thanks, Sara Atkins)

Six Holocaust survivors have been chosen to light the six Yom HaShoa flames for the six million who were murdered. Here are their stories.

Moving Aish.com article, ‘My name is Yechiel Michoel Friedman. I was murdered in Auschwitz and don’t you ever forget me’.

You can also find programs throughout the world at your local Jewish Federation, Jewish libraries, Holocaust Memorial Centers and most synagogues.

On a personal note, I come from a family of Holocaust survivors.  Both my parents were born in Europe during the Holocaust, miraculously survived and came to Emigrate in America.  My grandmothers’ stories of the hashkacha pratis (divine intervention) that occurred to keep them alive and help them survive are deeply engraved in my heart.   Here’s one story I remember my maternal grandmother sharing.  They were on a train trying to escape Germany, (my grandmother, grandfather, my then infant mother and her 2 year old brother) when the Nazi soldiers came around to find the Jews and take them to be killed.  My grandmother claims, because she not only had false papers but blond hair and blue eyes, she looked more arian than Jewish and so they passed right by her saving her and her young family’s life.

What type of stories do your family have to share – of the holocaust, survival, and divine intervention?  Would love to hear them in the comments below.

Never Forget

YOM HASHOAH : The man in the much publicized Holocaust photo has been only recently identified as Rabbi Moshe Hegerman, the Rabbi of Olkusz in Poland.  Brought to the town square for execution he asked to let him say first Kaddish for his slain brethren. The soldiers laughed while watching him praying and then killed him.  See More

Passover Giveaway #3: Win The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen {& view 3 of Levana’s most popular Pesach recipes}


I have a copy of the popular cookbook, “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen” written by my dear friend and professional chef extraordinnaire, Levana Kirschenbaum, to give away.  Here’s how you can win it in time for Pesach!  This cookbook is chock full of gluten-free & Passover-friendly recipes.

Go ahead and ‘like‘ The Kosher Shopaholic &/or Levana’s Facebook pages, and/or subscribe to The Kosher Shopaholic or Levana Cooks emails using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Each of these actions gets you an additional entry to win this awesome cookbook.
[Read more…]

My Favorite Passover Products

The Jewish holiday of Passover is soon upon us.  It begins at sundown on Friday, April 6, 2012 and ends at sundown on April 14, 2012.   If you are like most Jewish women and men, you are probably finding yourself extra busy with all the preparations.  This year, instead of getting frantic over the 2 year old dancing in your living room with her fist full of cheerios, how about some retail therapy to calm your nerves!  It always works for me.  After all, we are supposed to save our best cookary & dishes to bring out and use only on Pesach to help us enhance our joy and pleasure during our yomtov days.  This works for me –  as Passover approaches I find myself getting excited over finally being able to use my gorgeous silver fine bone china!  For your sanity, I’ve compiled a list of some of my most favorite Passover products.  I hope they help to enhance your pleasure this Passover season.

For The Host & Hostess

Seder Plates – This link here features a beautiful selection of ceramic, glass, and silver Judaica seder plates to adorn your Passover table.  You can never have too many of these seder plates as it is customary for every family at the table have one of their own.

Artscroll Family Haggadah &  Artscroll Children’s Haggadah.  Does anyone still use those old Maxwell House Hagaddahs?  I remember them from when I was a child when Artscroll wasn’t yet around.  The Artscroll Family Haggadah will help guide anyone from non-observant to ultra-orthodox through the Passover seder – with educational, accurate and interesting tidbits.  I particularly enjoy the pictures in the Children’s Haggadah, as much as my children do.  They really help bring your seder to life.  Get these for your seder, for your guests, for your children &/or for your hosts.  Its probably the most useful & enlightening gift around.

Passover Cookbooks .  This years newest Passover cookbooks are Dining In On Pesach and The No Potato Passover: A Journey of Food, Travel and Color
which have received rave reviews.

You can also enjoy classic favorite Passover cookbooks such as Susie Fishbein’s Passover By Design, and Levana’s newest Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen is chockfull of Passover recipes as are all of Norene Gilletz’s cookbooks.

You should also check out these brand new Passover eBooks:The Rebbetzin Cooks: 40 Recipes for Passover and Beyond for only 99cents from Amazon and The Kosher Celiac’s Passover Cookbook – Over 75 Recipes for only $4.95!

For the Kitchen

Rachel Ray cookwear (I bought these!).  Treat yourself to a new set of Stainless Steel Pots & Pans drastically reduced from $285 to only $99 – they’ll really enhance your Passover recipes.

Fine bone china.  I’ll bet you never thought of buying your Lenox or Waterford Crystal Bone China at 50% off from Amazon.  Buy you can!  Just take a look at these gorgeous china sets at over 50% savings!

 For Kids

Here are some great toys & games that you can order just in time for Passover.  They can help bring to life your seder, make great yontif & chol ha moed games or the perfect afikoman present.

Sammy Spider’s First Passover.  This adorable children’s book featured beautiful artwork in the same style as an Eric Carle book, weaving a beautiful tale of passover.  We received one of these books as a gift a few years ago & I love to use it to introduce the Passover season to the little ones.

Shalom Sesame, 2010, No. 7: It’s Passover, Grover!.  Who doesn’t love the classic Sesame Street characters?  This DVD is sure to keep the little ones busy while you do those last minute cooking preparations.

Passover Bag of Plagues.  What’s a seder without one of these little bag of tricks?  This inexpensive bag of plagues brings the seder to life & helps keep everyone alert as you act out each of the makkos!  Set your table with a bag for each guest to keep everyone engaged all night long! Or, better yet, make a home-made bag of plagues with your kids!

Passover Box of Questions.  This game is from Melissa & Doug’s newest collection of toys.

Passover Flip Frogs Set of 12.  This particular bag of plastic frogs are only $2 – so have some fun & throw them all over the table and house when the plague sets in!

KidKraft Passover Set.  Role play is little ones favorite past-time.  Let them have fun setting thier own toy passover table complete with everything they need for a mock seder.  Grown ups have been caught playing with this set from time to time.

Passover “Ten Plagues” Finger Puppets Judaica.  These little finger puppets offer a creative and animated way to tell the story of our exodus from Egypt.

Chametz – The Search is On!Here’s a fun detective like board game for the older children of the house.

Specialty Foods

Gluten-Free Matzos.  Sharon Mattan wrote a great review of  Yehuda’s Gluten Free matzoh for The Kosher Scoop  – check it out!  She says, “I have to admit I was a little nervous about the matzoh.  How would it compare to the cardboard type gluten-filled matzoh that we are all used to?  After tasting it I have to admit that I could eat a box of the Yehuda Gluten Free Matzoh-Style Squares in one sitting.  The “matzoh” is potato based so it has a potato-crisp, slightly salty flavor.  I really had to stop myself – I needed some for the recipes!! ”





The popular restaurant, My Most Favorite Food turns itself magically Kosher for Passover in order to serve their customers Kosher For Passover meals desserts and delicacies.  Take a look at their awesome Passover take-out menu here & make sure you treat yourself and your family to a meal out during chol ha moed!

Matzel Toff!  If you haven’t yet heard about the newest fun dessert snack product to hit the shelves for Pesach, check it out & buy some now!  Your kids will love this toffee, chocolate matzoh dessert just like the one grandma used to make from scratch.  If you buy 4 boxes, you get the fifth free! 

Lets not forget that all Jewish holidays are a time to give back to others in the community.  Yad Eliezer’s annual Passover campaign provides a literal ‘Chicken in Every Pot’ for any Jewish family that needs it.  You can donate to Yad Eliezer’s Chicken in a Pot campaign here or to any charity organization or your choice and help fight poverty.


If you would like more educational resources to enhance your seder & holiday, Aish, NJOP and Chabad websites are great places to find information and learn.

Saving the most important for last, don’t forget that you can also download a free app from the Orthodox Union to help you find Kosher for Passover food products as well as find a list of all things Passover from the OU Virtual Passover Guide, 2012/5772, here.

Wishing all my Kosher Shopaholic readers a Chag Kasher V’Sameach – a happy & healthy holiday!




Free Pesach Placecards

The creative people from The Bold Edge have provided us with some Free Placecards for your Passover table.  How cool is that! The placecards are in the form of a template that you can download onto your computer, customize and print out (on good cardstock paper).  Fold them and use to decorate your seder & yom tov tablescape.  Combine these free placecards with your home-made bag of makkos, some I-can’t-believe-its-Passover desserts, or any of these Passover recipes and you’re a full-fledged ballabuste!

Wishing you all a Chag Kasher V’Sameach – Happy & Healthy Passover.

Passover Giveaway # 1: Not2Shabbey Glass Ribbon Bowl (value $55)

As we Jewish women & men are all busy cleaning and preparing both physically & spiritually for the upcoming Passover holiday, which takes place this year at Sundown, April 6, 2012 until sundown April 14, 2012, I figured we’d add some special free gifts to lighten up the process.

Make sure you stay tuned and subscribe here because from now until Passover, 2012 I have a few hundred dollars worth of really beautiful & useful products to give away, thanks to all of my great Kosher sponsors.

So, here’s my Giveaway #1, sponsored by Not2Shabbey.com, designer of hand-painted glass-wear and Judaica.  They let me choose my most favorite item from their product selection and so I chose this gorgeous hand painted gold or silver ribbon glass bowl to adorn one of my wonderful readers’ Passover or Shabbat table, worth $55.

To enter the contest you must answer the following question: “what is your most favorite part of Passover“.  Is it the Passover cleaning?  Is it the children singing ‘ma nishtana’ at the seder?  Is it chol ha moed activities?  Is it decorating a gorgeous seder table? I thought such a question can take us away from the stress of cleaning and remind us of the joy Passover and the Yom Tovim really bring us.

Three ways to enter & win:

1 – Submit your answer below here on the comments section of The Kosher Shopaholic website.

2 – Submit your answer on The Kosher Shopaholic Facebook Page, thread provided.

3 – Submit your answer on Not2Shabbey Facebook page, thread provided.

Each place you submit your answer gives you an additional entry into the contest for your chance to win this gorgeous hand-painted gold ribbon glass bowl.

Make sure you visit Not2Shabbey.com as well to see her beautiful selection of Passover & year round hand-painted Judaica & tablewear.

Contest ends Monday, March 19, 2012 at midnight.  Winner will be drawn randomly and announced here and on our Facebook pages.

Super Sale On Embroidered Yarmukes & Learn How To Revitalize Old Ones

How To Revitalize Old Yarmulkes

Do your kids’ yarmulkes always get crumpled & ruined?   Are you in need of some new Yarmulkes for the kids for Passover?

Would you like to learn how to revitalize your old worn out tattered yarmulkes?

Watch this video by Abbey creator & designer of Not2Shabbey and learn how to salvage those tattered Yarmulkes to make them look new again.

Coupon Code For Embroidered Yarmulkes

TODAY ONLY all yarmulkes are on sale at reduced prices from Not2Shabbey.com ! Save an additional 10% off when you use promo code YMLKA10 at checkout.  Sale ends at midnight March 14, 2012 – Happy Shopping :)

Want to win a Not2Shabbey hand painted glass ribbon bowl – enter the contest here!



Save Up to $25 On Any Artscroll.com Purchase with these Coupon Codes

Save up to $25 on any Artscroll.com purchase from now until March 13, 2012 midnight.  Now is a great time to re-stock those beautiful Haggadahs for Passover, Passover cookbooks & Judaica.

Visit Artscroll.com here to see their full stock of everything you could possibly need for Passover!

From now until March 13 at midnight use the following coupon codes at checkout: ‘SaveFive’ for $5 off $50 purchase, ‘SaveFifteen’ for $15 off $100 purchase, ‘SaveTwentyFive’ for $25 off $150 purchase.

Happy Passover Savings!