Student Leadership

Receiving a brand new annual Student Leadership award from Pittsburgh-area Chabad House on Campus. It was a highlight of my life. I worked so hard as student president and appreciate the recognition for my work. And the best part of it was that I didn’t have to make a speech!

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Campus Celebrity Interview!


I am so honored that Mara Flanagan from Her Campus Chatham asked to interview me as a “campus celebrity.”

Here are the first two paragraphs:

Just like you, Chabad on Chatham President Leiba Estrin is settling into the school year, and it’s time for a fresh start: academically, socially, and for Estrin, religiously – September brings the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. “It’s nice that the Jewish new year comes at the beginning of the school year because it makes sense in my mind: of course it should be when school starts!” she says. “It’s new beginnings for everyone.”

Chabad on Chatham got its new beginning in Fall 2012. Originally established six to seven years before, Estrin reawakened the organization after a period without leadership. Since its re-launch, Chabad on Chatham has hosted dozens of events on campus: they’ve sold matzah ball soup and falafel, put together music performances and even organized a spring retreat at Eden Hall. With Estrin at the helm, the organization developed into an important feature of campus life and won the Big Thinking Award at the Chatham University Student Leadership & Organization Awards.

To read more, follow this link:

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Moon Trance by Lindsey Stirling

Moon Trance by Lindsey Stirling is an incredible song. The haunting melody is so catchy and the flashing instruments incredible, the tune always gets stuck in my head and the song plays in my head on repeat. Love love love it!

Here’s the original music video:

Kinda freaky and similar to Michael Jackson’s Thriller except that Lindsey is way cooler than MJ.

Lindsey Stirling also collaborated with Pentatonix to cover Imagine Dragons’ hit song Radioactive. I find it to be better than the original:

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Customized Digital Portrait

My sister Malka commissioned Kelley McMorris to draw a portrait of Srulie & me as a wedding present. It was really really generous of her and I was so touched (it was cute to see how proud of herself she was for finding this beyond-perfect gift). Srulie and I thought this unique kind of art portrait would be an incredible way to immortalize our wedding.

Kelley McMorris is one talented artist. I highly recommend using her for any kind of portrait. These are the photos that inspired her digital portrait of us.


We corresponded via email, and even though we didn’t meet in person or even talk on the phone, I could tell what a quality person she is. Kelley was wonderful to work with, she took all my suggestions with grace, and came out with an amazing product that we will treasure forever.

She asked us to take a picture of us holding hands because it can be difficult to draw intertwining arms and fingers. photo

So first she sketched two versions of a rough portrait, one with my coat on and one  without the coat. I decided on the version without the coat because I loved my wedding dress so much.

Then she added some color.

Next she added some detail and shading.

Srulie and I had additional suggestions at this point, and she accepted each one. Here is the final version. She tightened up the overall look of the portrait and added a light lace pattern on my dress. The finished product looks like a painting. I feel like she totally “Disneyfied” us which was such a cool experience.

Check out her blog post on our portrait here:

Kelley Mcmorris has an official website that includes a link to her new blog which she has started at some point after her post about our portrait:

Thank you Kelley! You are the best.

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Cool & Different Date Ideas

The Grandview Saloon – I found this place while Googling top 20 bars around Pittsburgh. It was for my Web Design team project that my class partner and I had chosen to build a tourist-y kind of blog about Pittsburgh. I’ve never actually been to this bar yet (my friend made fun of me for recommending it as a date night place without ever having gone there) but I really do plan to take Srulie here.


Latitude 40 – I heard about this place from a friend and planned a Girls Night to scope the place out for me and Srulie. It passed my inspection – I was mighty impressed with this place especially since Girls Night ended up being on a Wednesday night which happens to be country music night! I would have fit right in with my cowgirl boots but I didn’t wear them. I took Srulie here a few weeks later on a Wednesday night and again forgot to wear the boots. He was also impressed with all the line dancing going on, and we also enjoyed luxury bowling. At the end of the night, we stayed extra to see who would win a Steelers tickets raffle (see earlier post – “Does Winning Always Feel Good?”). Definitely a great date place, best for couples who are comfortable with each other since the music is loud and you have to kind of shout to hear each other or be really good at reading lips.


Make Your Mark Artspace & Coffeehouse – Srulie and I kind of stumbled upon this adorable coffee shop one day while we were driving. I don’t know where we were trying to go or how we ended up on Reynolds Street (a street I’ve never heard of), but as soon as we saw this place we parked and came right inside. I adore the homey patio and the uniqueness of this shop. It doesn’t seem to be a commercialized coffee place at all, which totally adds to its appeal.

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Make your own Frappaccino


Coffee… how I adore the smell. We all prefer it differently – some like it black, some prefer to add milk but not sugar, others like sugar but no milk… and still others load on both milk and sugar (ahem, yours truly). We also choose our favorite coffee brands as well. I enjoy drinking VIA Ready Brew by Starbucks, fine coffee grounds that dissolve in water. It’s perfect for the lazy coffee drinker: tastes like freshly brewed coffee but without the hassle of cleaning up a full blown coffee maker.

We drool over these frappy looking beverages, but if you own a blender they are really a cinch to prepare. It is without question my favorite drink in the world. When my sister in law comes to town we make it almost every day. It is more than a drink for me now – I’d say that it’s become a bonding experience. So I’ll be nice and walk you through my process. I promise it’s not hard.

Step 1. Empty your ice tray into the blender.

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Step 2. Pour the contents of a Starbucks VIA packet into the blender. Choose from a variety of flavors, including one that is specially made for ice coffee. I usually have the dark Italian in my house so that is what I generally use.

Step 3. Add sugar. The amount of course varies according to each person’s sweet tooth, but I just kind of eyeball it and hope for the best.

Step 4. Introduce flavor of choice. I like caramel, hazelnut or french vanilla, but have fun experimenting with unique flavors of syrups. I’ve seen pumpkin spice, toffee nut and amaretto to name a few…

Step 5. Blend together. I almost always end up using the setting called Ice Crush, because it blends the ingredients together as it is crushing the ice and you don’t want the ice to be crushed too much that you can’t feel its texture.

Step 6. Drink up and Enjoy!

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The Best of Calvin & Hobbes

72642aa84dcc3872927df7a2ac87c0c1918d47eb_mI grew up reading Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. They should be a staple of every good home. It is my plan to buy the complete set edition so that Srulie and I will be able to pass on our deep love and appreciation for this perpetual six-year-old and his devoted tiger side-kick. I love that Calvin never grows up, it really feeds the Peter Pan side of me.





The Best of Calvin & Hobbes

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