Julie Levine is the founder of the Jewish lifestyle blog, Florence & Isabelle, that features modern style, beautiful design, delicious food, great books and art and interesting articles from around the globe through a Jewish lens. In addition to blogging, she writes for Raising Kvell, The Kitchn, Maria’s Shriver’s Blog—Powered By Inspiration and The Mid. Julie lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
I always look forward to a new school year and the potential for growth and change that lay ahead for my kids. I also love how the High Holidays are so perfectly aligned with the start of school.…September is fresh start, a way to clean the slate from the year before. When I was in middle school and high school, I didn't always feel like I had the opportunity to reinvent myself each year. There were only four types of people it seemed you could be: jap, jock, nerd, or burnout. There was… >> Read More
When my kids were toddlers, I read Wendy Mogel’s “The Blessings of a Skinned Knee.”
I didn't feel the need to read another parenting book after reading Mogel’s. Her no-nonsense approach to…child rearing really spoke to me. Her Jewish values serve as the backdrop to her views on raising self-reliant children. I’m Jewish too, and like Wendy, I also think it’s OK for my kids to have skinned knees. And though I never met Mogel, she was kind of everything to me when my kids were… >> Read More
This week, I’ve cooked five dinners that included a different lean protein each night, an exciting vegetable and some kind of whole grain. I’ve made five breakfasts that are…healthy, protein-filled and free of junk. I’ve packed 10 school lunches and 10 school snacks. I’ve also nagged my kids so much more than I wanted to—“stop playing video games,” “do your homework,” “stop procrastinating,” “stop fighting,” go to bed,” “hurry up we’ll be late,” “for the last time please put away/turn off the electronics.”… >> Read More
This summer, my son wore his bathing suit and swim shirt for five days in a row—he slept in his bathing suit, wore it swimming the next day, and to bed that night. He did this for about five…different weeks throughout July and August. My kids (13 and 11) don’t make their beds every morning. They don't do their own laundry either. Or take out the garbage. Ditto for loading the dishes in the dishwasher. Sometimes I feel guilty that they don't help out more around the house. Once in a while I'd… >> Read More
I’ll be 48 this year.
And I’m still at war with my hair.
I read in The New York Times last month that curly hair is making a comeback. The article by Marisa Meltzer entitled, “Curls Get…Their Groove Back” featured all these really cool beautiful women who are letting their hair dry au natural. Meltzer writes, “… a curly look is both natural and modern.” >> Read More
I watched "Dirty Dancing" with my daughter the other night. It was the first time she had seen it and probably my 10th.
I was super excited for our girls’ night--we bought candy, made some…popcorn and changed into our pajamas--but I also felt some pressure. What if she hates the movie and thinks it’s corny and old-fashioned? Maybe next time, then, she’d ask a friend over to watch a movie instead of me. Maybe next time she’d choose to watch "Gossip Girl" on Netflix by herself. I know she… >> Read More
I remember my grandfather reading The Forward (in Yiddish) on the back porch. I remember my grandmother in the kitchen cooking all the wonderful Eastern European foods from her childhood for me…and my brothers and sisters. I loved my grandparents, but they were foreign to me. I knew they weren’t born in the U.S. and came from somewhere else. I knew they had to leave their childhood home suddenly and it had something to do with them being Jewish, but the details and the reasons were… >> Read More
I never want my kids to feel like there is a right way to be Jewish.
Because that’s the way I felt growing up. Even though both my parents are Jewish-- and their parents, too.
I grew up in…the 1980s in New Jersey in a town that was predominately Jewish. I wanted to be like the popular girls who seemed so together: pretty, well adjusted, wealthy, and yes, Jewish. So I tried to copy them. I thought wearing Guess Jeans, having beautiful hair, a big house, a big fancy car, and a mom who stayed home and always looked glamorous that I would finally become Jewish in just the right way. But I failed miserably. My parents were artsy. I… >> Read More