Jewish Journal

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  • How to make a birch branch menorah

    By Jonathan Fong

    2 days ago

    While the lighting of the Chanukah candles has been a tradition for centuries, menorahs themselves are constantly being reinvented. Do an online search for “menorahs” and you’ll find literally hundreds of styles, from traditional to novelty. (One that’s getting a lot of attention...

  • How to make a floral turkey centerpiece for Thanksgiving

    By Jonathan Fong

    1 week ago

    For me, decorating the table is the best part of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner celebration. I love arranging the dishes, the sparkling glasses, the starched napkins — and, of course, making the centerpieces. 

    Centerpieces are a great way to set the mood, a way to tell your guests...

  • How to set-up a guest room for out-of-town visitors

    By Jonathan Fong

    2 weeks ago

    With the holidays just around the corner, some of us are getting ready to welcome out-of-town guests coming in to join the festivities. Having guests stay at your house can be fun, but it can also be stressful for both parties. Whether your guests will sleep in a spare bedroom or...

  • How to season and care for your cast-iron skillet

    By Jonathan Fong

    October 28, 2015 | 11:09 am

    Earlier this year, in a column about what every home should have, I listed a cast-iron skillet as one of my household essentials. For those unfamiliar with cast-iron cookware, it is known for its black coating that develops over time as oils are polymerized on its surface. 


  • Home: How to make a throw pillow from an old shirt

    By Jonathan Fong

    October 8, 2015 | 11:53 am

    I have trouble donating old clothes to charitable thrift shops because I always want to up-cycle the pieces and use them in crafting and decorating projects. All those fun fabrics are just too good to give away. No wonder I have cabinets full of clothing castoffs waiting for a new...

  • Home: Tips for decorating your mantel

    By Jonathan Fong

    September 30, 2015 | 9:19 am

    One design dilemma that frequently stumps home decorators is how to arrange art and accessories on their fireplace mantels. The mantel is a focal point of a living room, often the first place someone looks when they enter the room. If you’re not sure how best to decorate your...

  • HOME: Eco-friendly disposable tableware for Sukkot

    By Jonathan Fong

    September 24, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    When you’re dining under the stars in your sukkah, the last thing you want to think about is washing dishes. Fortunately, an array of stylish, eco-friendly, disposable plates and cutlery is available to dress up your table while making cleanup a breeze. 

    Because Sukkot is a...

  • The Pleasures of Staying Home

    By Mindy Leaf

    September 7, 2015 | 7:12 am

    I was never known to be a "homebody." Home was merely the place where I fell asleep, kept my clothes and took my daily shower. Work, focused activity, real conversations and daily living were reserved for "the outside."

    I was known to employ a fierce dedication at the office,...

  • Home: 10 Common decorating mistakes and how to fix them

    By Jonathan Fong

    September 2, 2015 | 11:20 am

    Decorating your home is a very personal thing — we all have different tastes. There are some common design mistakes, however, that many of us make. The good news is that even if you’re guilty of one or more of these faux pas, they’re easy to fix.

    Pushing all the furniture against...

  • Home: How to make your own French memo board

    By Jonathan Fong

    August 27, 2015 | 9:33 am

    Maybe because it’s back-to-school season, or because people are in fall organizing mode, but I’ve been getting requests about ideas for bulletin boards. Well, when it comes to bulletin boards, nothing combines style and practicality like a French memo board. Covered in decorative...

  • Revenge of the Dishwasher

    By Mindy Leaf

    August 21, 2015 | 10:50 am

    Some say the world will end in fire,

    Some say in ice.

    From what I've tasted of desire

    I hold with those who favor fire.

    But if it had to perish twice,

    I think I know enough of hate

    To say that for destruction ice

    Is also great

    And would suffice.


  • Home: Five ways to trick out your backpack for school

    By Jonathan Fong

    August 19, 2015 | 12:10 pm

    For me, one of the perks of going back to school every fall was getting to start the year with a brand spanking new backpack. The thing about backpacks, though, is that most are not too exciting to look at. They’re usually plain or utilitarian or they have cartoon characters...

  • The Joy of Speaking Canadian

    By Ilana Angel

    August 18, 2015 | 12:19 am

    I am a Canadian. I wasn’t born there, but immigrated when I was 2 years old and have lived in Regina, Langley, Toronto, and Halifax. I have a brother and sister in Toronto, and my mother and another sister in Montreal. I have lived in Los Angeles for 24 years, which is longer than...

  • Home: Back-to-school floral arrangement with pencils

    By Jonathan Fong

    August 12, 2015 | 2:54 pm

    Throughout my high-school years, I was a straight-A student. My only B was in driver’s ed (and that was a miracle, given my car accident the first day of driver’s training). Letting your teachers know you appreciate them can help your standing, too, and starting the year off with a...

  • 8 Easy ways to conserve water right now

    By Jonathan Fong

    August 5, 2015 | 4:38 pm

    As you probably know, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a mandatory water-use reduction of 25 percent across California back in April because of our state’s historic drought. It has been up to the individual cities and communities to implement the reduction efforts, so you may have received...

  • How I created America’s most hated kitchen

    By Jonathan Fong

    July 15, 2015 | 2:10 pm

    You have not lived until you have been called “tacky and tasteless,” or been labeled as someone who has created “the ugliest thing I have ever seen.” But those are the sort of comments I get every time my Warhol-inspired kitchen appears on a decorating website. 

    The first time it...

  • Getting the hang of it: Helpful hints for displaying artwork

    By Jonathan Fong

    July 8, 2015 | 1:44 pm

    People love having art on their walls, but they’re often not so keen on hanging it. I understand. It can be intimidating just to get started. How do you decide what goes where? How high do you hang it? What if you put a hole in the wall then want to change where the picture goes? ...

  • Professional tips on clearing clutter and getting organized

    By Jonathan Fong

    July 2, 2015 | 2:23 pm

    There’s a post that’s going around Facebook right now about how creative people have messier workspaces. That certainly fits me. I would show you a picture of the desk I’m typing at right now, but it would ruin your image of me as the consummate style guru. (OK, that may not be...

  • How to make rose ice cubes

    By Jonathan Fong

    June 25, 2015 | 10:23 am

    Could this be the coolest idea ever? Ice cubes with roses frozen inside will add a glamorous and festive touch to any summer party. They’re also ideal for bridal and baby showers or a romantic dinner for two. Place them in an ice bucket for chilling wine, champagne or sodas, and...

  • Picture this: DIY photo books

    By Jonathan Fong

    June 18, 2015 | 9:48 am

    We love taking photographs, don’t we? According to Yahoo, 880 billion photos were taken in 2014. Sadly, most of the photos we take remain on our smartphones or SD cards, never to see the light of day. My mother, who witnesses her five children busily snapping photos like paparazzi...

  • 6 things every home should have

    By Jonathan Fong

    June 3, 2015 | 2:24 pm

    Whether you’ve just moved into your first home or have been living in the same house for decades, there are certain home essentials that just make life so much better. 

    Everybody has their own “must haves.” (For example, my mom can’t live without a rice cooker.) My suggestions...

  • Nine ways to display your books on a shelf

    By Jonathan Fong

    March 19, 2015 | 10:49 am

    I recently received a decorating S.O.S. call from a friend. She had just bought a beautiful set of bookcases, and as soon as they were installed in her living room, she eagerly placed all her books on the shelves. But something wasn’t right. It all looked a little blah. Unfinished....

  • Is an IKEA Sofa for You?

    By Jonathan Fong

    March 4, 2015 | 11:08 am

    I have a confession to make. I own an IKEA sofa. 

    When I disclose this little tidbit of information, people think I’m kidding. IKEA is great for bookcases and office furniture, but there is still a stigma attached to IKEA’s more substantial furniture pieces, like beds and sofas....

  • Decorating to improve your love life

    By Jonathan Fong

    February 12, 2015 | 11:01 am

    Admit it. The first time you visit the home of someone you’ve just started dating, don’t you love to snoop around the place to get some clue about this potential mate? You might look at the pictures on the wall, the books on the shelves, maybe the style of furniture to get an idea...

  • Love is Creating Room for the Other.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    March 20, 2014 | 7:11 pm

    This week the oldest couple in my practice celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.  The question that begged:  What is the secret?  He answered “compromise” and she said “love.”

    Many young couples, aspiring to marriage, also want to also know the secret.

    From the Bible:  God...

  • Confessions of an ex-hoarder

    By Marty Kaplan

    December 30, 2013 | 11:19 am

    I’ve run out of excuses for hanging on to stuff.

    No, I haven’t achieved Zen non-attachment to material things, but I’m no longer on the road to “Hoarding: Buried Alive.”

    It was easiest to get rid of the piles of unread magazines.  Those now get the heave-ho every few months....

  • A realtor with Knack

    November 20, 2013 | 4:00 pm

    Sharona Alperin “sold” her first home while still in her late teens. 

    At the time, Alperin was several years away from gaining her Realtor’s license, and both the circumstances and the client were a bit unique. Doug Fieger, the lead singer of the rock group the Knack, was looking...

  • One Israeli creation for the weekend

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 8, 2013 | 12:22 pm

    Liat Summerfield, 31, is an Israeli artist with a unique vision.  Summerfield owns a line of paper products and jewelry called "Clowns & Crowns," inspired by a circus theme. "While studying art, I started building models of small circus tents and houses, and draw characters of...

  • Saying Goodbye

    By Ilana Angel

    August 16, 2012 | 5:51 pm

    I left the home of my mother and sister yesterday and my heart is broken.  Saying goodbye to my mother is crushing and I can hardly breathe.  It is painful to live so far from her.  When my mother left Israel with her young family, my grandmother saw them off and my mother vividly...

  • Eco-friendly home reveals ‘greener’ pastures ahead [SLIDESHOW]

    July 25, 2012 | 5:34 pm

    As scientists continue to warn us that our over-consumption of natural resources is putting too great a strain on our planet, the idea of sustainability — of reducing one’s carbon footprint, recycling and finding a cleaner, greener future — has never been more popular. And...

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