Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | April 28, 2014

Family bonding time

Yes, the Bat Mitzvah approaches. Here’s how we spent many hours yesterday afternoon and evening.



You might wonder why we did this. It’s because I’m INSANE.

They’re part of the lunch centerpieces. Dori thought it was fun to do the first three. Then she said she was done. Uh uh. We have 57 more to go. Sit down again and continue Mod Podging. Fortunately one of her friends came over to help. She was entertaining. But more importantly, she was an experienced Mod Podger.

Do you know what Mod Podge looks like on a French manicure (i.e. mine)? Pretty much the same as a French manicure. But with texture. Yuck.



Mark mistakenly walked by and asked if we needed help. He was hoping I’d say no. Basketball was on TV. I said ‘why sure, thank, you!” After all, what straight man doesn’t like Mod Podging bottles and jars with tiny squares of tissue paper, with the TV just out of view. Especially after being solo parent while I was just at a conference for three days and nights, and hours after running a half-marathon for which he awoke at 4 a.m.

Let’s calculate what this really cost us. Hours of my time over months, collecting the jars and bottles, cleaning them, soaking them to remove the labels, and scraping them. Carrying them to the basement for storage. Carrying them back up again. Ordering tissue paper on Oriental Trading Company (now they’re spamming me with daily emails). Buying Mod Podge at Michael’s and making an emergency run to Target for another jar. Along with the $8.99 jar, I also bought $30 in Easter candy – but it’s okay because it was 70% off. We have enough Cadbury Creme Eggs to last us 2 years.


Dori told me that some of the bottles needed a second application of tissue paper. She was shocked to hear me say they were good enough, that they didn’t have to be perfect. She’d never heard me say that before.

Given my hourly rate, Mark’s hourly rate and Dori’s babysitting hourly rate, the centerpieces only cost us about $1,000.

The family time together? Priceless. My family now hates me.


  1. This blog post perfectly illustrates why I like you.

  2. Still cheaper than marital therapy

    • I still can’t believe all the things you do for me. You’re married to a crazy woman.

  3. It looks like you had to drink a lot of wine to amass all those bottles. At least that’s one plus. Hysterical column! Be sure to save them for Sam’s bar mitzvah, OK? 😉 XOXXO See you soon!

    • June – you should see all the wine and beer bottles that didn’t make the cut – including the massive Manischewitz bottle.

  4. All I can say is “really?” Any other crafty plans for the next few weeks? I’m sure you have nothing better to do. You get Bat Mitzvah Mom of the Year in the crazy and crafty category….and the funny blog of the year…thanks for making me smile.

    • Janet – A few other surprises await, but nothing major! No candy bar extravaganza, for instance. In between finishing up 3 articles, writing for some social media clients and trying to wrap up details, I have plenty of time on my hands. T-2 weeks and counting!

  5. I feel your pain. My daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is this weekend. I still don’t have party favors . . .

  6. They look fantastic! I remember doing this very project as a third or fourth grader millenia ago…(PB jar for Mothers Day)…my parents might still have it somewhere. Best wishes for a fabulous Bat Mitzvah!

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