Martha Stewart’s American Made

IMG 1372 1024x768 Martha Stewarts American Made

Happy Tuesday!  I try to keep a blog calendar of ideas/crafts/holidays/recipes/events that I plan to blog about each month. The 2014 American Made event took place at the Martha Stewart Omnimedia Headquarters last year on November 7, 2014—so this event has been hanging out on my calendar for nearly 3 months already–so you are in for a treat!

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This was my second year attending American Made as a Martha’s Circle blogger and the first year the event took place at the MS offices. Take a look at some of the photos from last year’s event here. Even though I’ve been to the MS offices a handful of times, I get tingly all over each time I walk through those doors.  As someone who has been working in the corporate world for the past 8 years, it always amazes me how unexpected life can be–I certainly never thought I would be exactly where I am today.


For the past three years, the Martha Stewart’s American Made event spotlights the American Made winners and finalists, each of whom are American makers in a wide array of fields, products, and services. The event also provides expert panels with various celebrities, successful business owners, American Made winners, and of course the queen bee herself, Martha Stewart. This year, a few of the panelists included:   Blake Lively (for her work on Preserve), Barbara Corcoran (one of my personal role models), Carolyn Rafaelian (CEO of Alex and Ani), and more.


While last year I focused my post on the panel presentations–and they are always motivational, business-savvy, and inspiring–this year I was awe-struck by something else: the party the night before. Just like her magazine, the Martha Stewart American Made party was styled to perfection with every detail sprung from the most creative minds in Manhattan. Imagine innovative and colorful presentations—for food, drinks, crafts, flowers, and products. I couldn’t stop taking it all in.  Not to mention, I had just given birth to my daughter Wynn 1 month prior to this event, so I was more than a little thrilled to be out and about.


Case in point: passing various types of caviar on wood trays covered in ice with a separate passed tray containing mini-wooden spoons. Call me overdramatic, but this is brilliant.


A glimpse of the bar:


For the food, the room was set up to reflect regional specialties.  The MS team and stylists flew in food and delicacies from all over the US, just to be featured on these tables.

Behold Northeast:





Behold, the South:





Behold, the West:






Behold, Midwest:




And what’s a cocktail party without the craft table?  My thoughts exactly.


Here’s the craft table and room it was in the day of the Summit:



Lunch and mid-day snacks the day of the Summit:


And, oh, look, a holiday card I created  (a few weeks before this event at the MS offices–see that post here) on display at the Sprout station.  Of course, I had to take a picture…


 Beyond the party and decor, another aspect I love about American Made is meeting the different makers and creatives—some of the most interesting, talented, and passionate people you will ever meet. Just being in a crowd like this will get your creative juices flowing.  I had 2 or 3 cocktails with Einav Sharon & Jeff Silva from Brooklyn, makers of Filfil, a hot sauce with Israeli origins.  These two were neighbors who decided to go into business together, and I had the best time swapping experiences with them.  Their hot sauce is phenomenal, even better than Sriacha, and I’ve been devouring it up ever since I was introduced.  Filfil was an honorable mention this year at American Made.


Cleverly, the American Made event also sets ups a separate section each year for shopping the Makers/Winners/Honorable Mentions at the event.  I bought one of these from Twigg’s Bindery almost immediately after meeting artist and owner Jonna Twigg and her sister-in-law, who handmakes (with her team) these beautiful, one-of-a-kind leather books out of Brooklyn.  Everything is ordered online at the event and then shipped to your home free.


And, finally, here’ s a fun photo of the other Martha’s Circle bloggers at the event: moi, House that Lars Built, Lia Griffith, Flax and Twine, Facci Designs (not pictured), and Budget Savvy Bride (not pictured).


A few tickets to the American Made are open to the public each year and I highly, highly recommend attending if you are in the NYC area and get the chance to go.  See you there, next year!



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January 28, 2015 - 1:26 pm

Nick #thisyearinmusic - The food does look amazing in those photographs. I feel a bit jealous as I eat my ham and jarlsberg roll…

January 28, 2015 - 4:11 pm

Casey Gardner - You have so many amazing pictures, that it was hard for me to imagine what a spectacular event this is. Your blog is great.

January 28, 2015 - 4:39 pm

Alison - Wow! This sounds like an amazing event…and now I’m hungry…aaanndddd I need to go craft something lol

January 28, 2015 - 4:46 pm

Roslyn Tanner Evans - You should win an award for best recap of the event. I always look forward to your blog posts. You look great, the food looked great, the event did too.

January 28, 2015 - 5:33 pm

Jessica - Roslyn you are too sweet, thanks for the comment and hope you’re well! xx

January 28, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Jessica - lol!

January 28, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Jessica - Thanks Casey xx

January 28, 2015 - 6:47 pm

Corina Ramos - Looks like that was a great event. Thanks for sharing it with us. All the food looks so amazing!

January 28, 2015 - 7:00 pm

Beverley Golden - Looks like quite a luscious event, filled with inspiration and amazing food and drink to savour and enjoy. Thanks for all the fabulous pictures so we all can get a sense of what the experience was like for those who were there.

January 28, 2015 - 7:09 pm

Meryl Hershey Beck - What an amazing event. Thank you for sharing all of the beautiful photos and your experience.

January 28, 2015 - 8:52 pm

Nicole Keener - This must have been so much fun. Was the US out of glitter ?? Because then I want it in my house

January 28, 2015 - 9:12 pm

Tina - Wow! What a marvelous opportunity you had! I’m envious as can be!! Martha Stewart has single-handedly done more for our industry (the floral industry) than any one person. She’s an inspiration and I am honored to say I know someone who has been to the MS office and touched shoulders with her organization.

January 28, 2015 - 9:52 pm

Lorii Abela - Thanks so much for sharing such beautiful photos. What an amazing event! Well-organized or well-managed that it will result into a successful finish!

January 28, 2015 - 9:59 pm

Anthony Ryan - WOW! That looks like an AMAZING event and an even MORE AMAZING experience!!! The food looks incredible!

January 28, 2015 - 10:14 pm

Heather Cameron - The food does look amazing. So does the set up but I’d expect nothing less of Martha S.

January 29, 2015 - 1:14 am

Melissa - Oh, WOW! This looks like an incredible event. How awesome to be a part of it. Your pictures are beautiful, thank you for sharing :)

January 29, 2015 - 4:27 am

touristmeetstraveler - I love Martha Stewart, this looks like such a fun event; I hope you had a great time!

January 29, 2015 - 5:37 am

Sandra - The Foodie Affair - What an awesome event and the FOOD! Wow, I think it would be hard to leave those gorgeous tables :)

January 29, 2015 - 6:18 am

Daniele Holmberg - American Madde looks like such an awesome event! I love your pictures! How cool that you got to see Martha Stewart!

January 29, 2015 - 8:11 pm

Veronica - Wow! That was indeed a great affair! I love the representation of the different regions in the food. Maybe you can invite me next time? Lol

Waffle Bar Brunch

590A5546 682x1024 Waffle Bar Brunch

Hello! Things have been off to a slow 2015 start on the blog with lots of work deadlines and family time (and sometimes too much champagne after work). I always have far fewer photos in January for whatever reason, probably because December is such a busy month and January is meant for recouperating. We’ve also had some technical difficulties lately, so if you used to receive blog posts in your inbox and now no longer do–please sign up again on the sidebar of the landing page!

590A5502 1024x682 Waffle Bar Brunch

Today, we had friends over for a waffle bar brunch. I’m very into any sort of bar concept–mimosa bars, ice cream bars, hot cocoa bars, and strawberry shortcake bars are a few I’ve done in the past.


This was my first waffle bar, which I thought would be fun for the kids. Judah was only interested in the chocolate and strawberries, though, should have seen that one coming.  A few things on the bar:  whipped cream, jam, butter, chocolate-covered walnuts, chocolate-covered coffee beans, blueberries, strawberries, maple syrup, agave-toasted walnuts, and coconut.



Also on the menu: tomatoes with feta and kalamata olives, salmon rice cakes, broccoli/cheddar quiche, and all sorts of coffees, teas, mimosas, and juices.




Also after the holiday decadence, I’ve been keeping my tablescapes a little on the simpler side lately.  I can’t get enough of this gold flatware.



These pears were ornaments that went unused last year that I decided to give a second life.  I always feel the need to hang something…


And Judah helped with this one…He likes to put things on the table and then say, “Look at my party table Mom, it’s beautiful!”


He’s usually right! Have a great week!



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January 19, 2015 - 1:28 pm

Terri - what a great idea, your table layout is beautiful, I love those pears, what a great idea. where did you get them?

January 19, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Goody Bag Lady - Love the pictures. Great way to use the ornaments haha. The food makes me want to reach in and grab some tasty food.

January 19, 2015 - 4:32 pm

Jewnine - This looks amazing! I would love to set this up or go to one. Such a creative and fun idea. Looks yummy too!

January 19, 2015 - 4:36 pm

Julee - I love waffles and this bar/brunch sounds amazing. I also love that it was worthy of your china. Way to go! Keep eating and creating because it looks delicious!

January 19, 2015 - 4:37 pm

Jessica @ Words of a SAHM - Beautiful table layout! Waffles are some of my favorite breakfast foods! One thing I haven’t ever tried waffles with is Chicken.

January 19, 2015 - 5:50 pm

PJ - You have such a great eye. I can’t stop looking at your photos. I realize that I should probably be reading your article, but the pics of the food, the china, the decor…I’m having too much fun enjoying them!

January 19, 2015 - 5:51 pm

Paula H - Oh Em Gee!! I love that gold flatware… totally my style!! love that your little one gets in to setting his own tablescape!

January 19, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Hazel JL - What a nice setting! The food looks very delish! I love your three-tiered stand or whatever it is called… lol!! I also love how your little one prepared his own party table! So cute!

January 19, 2015 - 8:26 pm

Jennifer Van Huss - YUM!! That waffle bar looks delicious!!

January 19, 2015 - 9:31 pm

Stephanie Keeping - This sound like so much fun! I love having waffles and this just put a twist on it.

January 19, 2015 - 10:10 pm

Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell - What a cool idea! I need to do this sometime! Is there a trick to keeping everything warm? p.s. I LOVE that you had a kiddie table :)

January 20, 2015 - 2:41 am

kungphoo - Wow that looks so good.. So unique, I never heard of a waffle bar brunch. Love the way you put it all together!

January 20, 2015 - 5:01 am

Kristin - This is definitely my kind of brunch. Waffles and bubbly…Sign me up!

January 20, 2015 - 6:53 am

vidya Sudarsan - Looks so yummy! You have done an amazing job putting this all together!

January 20, 2015 - 6:38 pm

Missi - So much detail and absolutely beautiful!!

January 20, 2015 - 8:19 pm

katrina g - omg those look fantastic!!! i love me some waffles :) makes me want to do something like this. hmmmm, maybe i will next week. love it!

2014 Yearly Video

2014 from Jessica Shaool on Vimeo.

Hello! We are only a few days away from the end of the year, and it seems like time is moving at warp speed. As much as I love working on our yearly video each year, I am happy, so happy, to finally get it done, processed and posted so that I can’t edit it further. All of the videos I have literally have watched about 200 or so times up until the point they are finished.In between now and Wednesday, I’m taking time to reflect on 2014, set new goals for 2015, and finish up last projects while enjoying the last few moments of 2014 with my family (and getting a few yoga classes in).

I was hoping to do a post on the process of creating these videos in the near future–it is actually pretty easy technically, but can be time consuming in the sense that the volume of videos and photos from the past year is overwhelming if you don’t start early. I’ve opened up the past years’ videos on Vimeo (2010-2013) if you’d like to see previous years as well–as you will see, my skill level has gotten better every year!

Happy New Year to you and yours! Hoping 2015 will bring more joy, ease, and light than every before.



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December 27, 2014 - 6:32 pm

Rachel Everett - Now, that’s what I call a year! Such a beautiful video. A labor of love (to be sure!) and a testament to the joy of family. After watching it, I feel like I’ve traveled with you, laughed with you, and felt your year’s happiness and changes, all in the space of 6 minutes! That is a feat. It’s also a real tribute to your skill and creativity.

January 28, 2015 - 4:58 pm

Roslyn Tanner Evans - I look forward to your year in review. In addition to the awesome job you do creating the video, I get how much you appreciate the life you have, the life you are creating with your family. Great to see your creativity displayed.

January 28, 2015 - 5:34 pm

Jessica - Thank you so much. It means a lot. xx

Move Over Santa: The Maccabee Fairies are Coming to Town

590A5190 1024x682 Move Over Santa: The Maccabee Fairies are Coming to Town

This post was published on Huffington Post here.

Christmas is a stressful time of year for Jewish parents and not for the reasons you might think. There’s no pressure to get Christmas shopping done, finish wrapping the presents, or find the perfect gifts. Instead, the Jewish parent’s concern relates to counteracting their kids’ Christmas-envy–Where’s our Christmas tree? But I want presents too! Is Santa an anti-semite?

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December 18, 2014 - 2:18 am

Kristin Macan - Great story and you are a genius!! Sorry for the Christmas card . . . my Walmart didn’t have another option. Homemade card for you on the list for next year.

December 18, 2014 - 3:31 pm

Jessica - I love any type of card and so appreciate the thought! xx

House Tour (Part I)

50 Citizen Way 21 1024x682 House Tour (Part I)

(Photo by Turner Photography)

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December 8, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me - Very pretty thank you for opening your home and sharing it with us.

December 8, 2014 - 7:13 pm

Erin S. - As a mommy of 9 living in a just over 1000 sq ft house I am drooling here!

December 8, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Stephanie Keeping - What a beautiful place! I love the bathroom.

December 8, 2014 - 8:14 pm

Harriet - Ow wow. Everything in your home sure looks fantastic!

December 8, 2014 - 8:48 pm

sarah - WOW, just stunning! What a beautiful home you’ve designed for you and your family! I wish I could live there! Seriously, bravo on all your hard work! I’ve participated in One Room Challenge, but not there in our budget yet to do our dream place! You should think about participating with all your DIY work, like the chandelier bird cage and the mirror gallery wall!

December 8, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Bethany M. - Beautiful! Just love the house, and the decorating is so elegant! Love it all. :-)

December 9, 2014 - 5:22 pm

Missi - Amazing!! Such a dreamy house

December 10, 2014 - 2:54 am

Joanna Sormunen - What a geourgeous, geourgeous house! All the details are just amazing! You can tell it has been planned with care and thought!

December 10, 2014 - 3:19 am

Scott - Great photos, and the house is not too shabby either. Love the island top – is it marble?

December 10, 2014 - 6:05 am

Joanne - WOW! These pictures are AMAZING!
Such a beautiful home!!! Decorated with such style and elegance!

December 14, 2014 - 6:23 am

Ines Roe - What a lovely home. The kitchen is fantastic and the bathroom totally lovely.

Thanksgiving Recap

IMG 1589 1024x1024 Thanksgiving Recap

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November 30, 2014 - 10:35 pm

Janet - It WAS a fabulous dinner and such a wonderful group to celebrate with – and you sent leftover home with everyone, and they were delicious! Thanks Jessica
Love, Mimi and Baba

December 1, 2014 - 12:46 am

Carolyn Ridenour - Beautiful Jessica!

December 5, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Aunt Susan - WOW Jessica! You had an amazing Thanksgiving Feast! Your caviar side bar was
special. My favorite was the PIE! Thanks for all your ideas and photos. Love, Susan

December 5, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Brittany - Oh my goodness, I love those place cards. What a good idea!!

December 5, 2014 - 4:25 pm

MUSINGSFROMME/JILL - The place cards are a great idea. Love that you can write in what you are thankful for.

December 6, 2014 - 2:13 pm

courtney - great dessert options!

December 7, 2014 - 5:00 am

katrina g - Wow, that all looks amazing! looks like you guys had a great time as well, such great photos.

December 8, 2014 - 8:25 pm

Eliz Frank - What a truly fantastic Thanksgiving you had. The place settings, the food, the company were all stellar. Love the photos too.

M o r e   i n f o