December 20, 2014

Raising A Child With Soul – Review

raising a child with soul

I recently had the privelege of hearing Rebbetzin Slovie Jungreis -Wolf speak on the topic of parenting and immediately went to Amazon to buy her book, Raising A Child With Soul.  I was so inspired by her talk that I wanted to share this information with you and since Mother’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be a great idea to get this book as a gift for yourself for this upcoming Mother’s Day (I did).  I can’t think of any better gift.

Here’s a copy of the notes I took while listening to her beautiful talk.

The foundation for raising children:

1-      Attitude of Gratitude:  If I appreciate and cherish what I have been given I become a grateful person and respect  and appreciate the people and things in my life.  Teach our children to say, ‘thank you’. Yes, it is supposed to happen (dinner, soccer, …) but tell your children, ‘you have the responsibility to say, thank you’  even if its supposed to happen.   On the same note, teach our children to appreciate time. Time is not here for wasting. To teach this, we have to show appreciation to each other. Appreciation for what we’ve been given. When we appreciate we begin to act with respect. Stop taking it all forgranted.

2-      Compassion Chesed: Teach children to learn how to feel the pain of others.  This is how you teach children to be great, like Moshe Rabbeinu/Moses, by feeling the pain of others. Great means feeling the pain of others.

3-      Priorities in Parenting: Tell your children how Blessed they are to you. Really spend time with them. Our children just want our time, a listening ear, a listening heart.  Turn off your phone when you are eating with your children, reading a story. Let them know they are your priority, you love them unconditionally.

Here’s the link to Slovie Jungreis – Wolf’s book, Raising A Child With Soul again.  It makes the best Mother’s Day gift for yourself or a friend or mother in your life.

 

Do-It-Yourself Bag Of Plagues For Your Passover Seder

passoverbloodputty

This is a repost from last year.

Do-it-yourself Bag Of Plagues

Here is a guest post from my artist friend Not2Shabbey Abbey.  She has some really creative and fun ways to spruce up your seder table.  Check it out!

Pesach is around the corner and the time to prepare is upon us. I can only imagine the facebook posts that are already being displayed about the long hours spent in the kitchen cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning.  However, I have a little secret to share with you……..I absolutely positively have no clue how to clean.  Somehow when God was giving out the cleaning gene, he promptly skipped me. For the first 10 years of my marriage I thought I hid it very well from my husband. It was right before the very first Pesach that I had to make on my own that it became rudely apparent that I lacked the fundamental skills of organizing and housekeeping. I quickly confessed my sins to my husband who matter of factly told me that he’s known for years!

Although God may not have given me the cleaning talent, he did bestow upon me an awfully good one. Creativity.  One of my favorite creative projects for Pesach is a relatively simple idea that I wanted to share with you.  Much like crafting guru Martha Stewart, I like making my bag of plagues from scratch since it gives over that homemade feeling you can’t get from anywhere else.  To get an idea of a home made one, watch Martha’s video hereBut instead of using the ingredients that she recommends, check out mine – I’ll guarentee they’ll be more exciting!

Here are the items that I like to put into MY Makkos Bags.

Abbey’s Makkos Bags

Blood

Now yes, Martha’s red cherry chocolate is quite delicious, but does it REALLY scream blood to you??? I don’t think so.  How about this Blood Putty for $.99cents- I will be my 8 year olds best friend when he opens up his bag, let me tell you!

Lice

For lice, if you really want to ramp up your Seder table give your kids each a small container of Glitter or Confetti
Plastic Glitter Pack - Set of 6Glitter Confetti - 8 oz.

Beasts

For wild animals I personally love these wild animal bubble containers  which adds an extra layer of fun, but there are also these great wild animal toys that come in handy all year round as well.

 

Cattle Disease

These are seriously fabulous for Dever, Cattle disease, but if they really gross you out why not try the farm animal bookmarks which can be useful for the rest of the Seder or these relaxing sqeeze balls , all perfect choices.

Boils

Boils may take a little bit of work on your part. I would buy these sticky hands and draw small dots all over them, giving the hands the appearance of boils.  Cute right?

 

Hail

For hail I’m thinking ping pong balls.  Can you just imagine them flying and bouncing throughout your Seder!!!  HOW FUN!?! But if you are more of the reserved type you can get these reusable ice cubes.

 

Locust

For Locust you could go a little bit more buggier with these adorable snap & play bugs.
Snap 'n' Learn Number Bugs - 18 Pieces

Darkness

For darkness your best bet are sunglasses which everyone has fun putting on and playing with.

 

Death of Firstborn

For the death of the firstborn these glow in the dark skeletons  are pretty freaky.

Frogs

Last but not least, your seder isn’t complete without some of these plastic jumping frogs!

 

How To Assemble

Now that all the contents have been ordered let’s discuss how it will be presented. Martha recommends using a wax bag, but any brown paper bag, or even white bag is perfectly fine. You can get them at any local grocery store. You can use these fancy craft scissors to cut the top off your bags, put each of the 10 plagues into a bag and fold over the top.   Attach the ribbon to the bag as well.

 

For the decorative paper that goes on top of the bag print out this coloring sheet on cardstock paper and give it to your children to color during one of the endless days before Pesach when they have nothing to do.  When they are finished (make sure their names are on it – don’t want to go mixing them up!) glue them to each of the bags.  It’s the perfect personal touch.

Of course, you can also buy a ready-made bag of plagues like this one if you’re short on time.

 

So while you are meticulously cleaning and scrubbing, I will be meticulously painting down in my studio bringing creativity back to each of your dining room tables.  Come and visit my store & choose something unique and special to enhance your Passover Table.

Share pictures of your Makkos Bags here in the comments or on our Facebook pages: KosherShopaholic & Not2Shabbey – we can’t wait to see them!  Wishing you all a Chag Kasher V’Sameach.

Not 2 Shabbey, Abbey & The Kosher Shopaholic, Shoshana

Mid-Winter Vacation Ideas

groupongetaway

Wondering what to do for a winter family vacation for “Yeshivah Break” (the end of January/February break from school).  Groupon Getaways has some amazing deals right now.

We usually take the kids to Great Wolf Lodge because they love the indoor waterpark and its easy.  But the Hope Lake Lodge Groupon offers an indoor water park, skiing, snow tubing and roller coasters with a full kitchen suite for half the price of Great Wolf and Trip Advisor gives it some really good reviews.

If you’re not in the NY area, Groupon is also offering amazing deals for Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Cincinatti and Williamsburg right now.  They also have some beautiful hotel deals for Niagra Falls and NYC.  Make sure to check them out!

How To Make Money On The Web With Affiliate Links

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Here’s my latest post for my KosherWorkaholic series.  I hope you find it useful.  If you do, please feel free to share it with others.

Do you ever wonder how all of those blogs make money?

Here’s the simple answer.  If you have a website, email list or a strong social media presence, spending just an extra hour a week on some affiliate marketing can help you monetize your website; ie, make some money from it.  And don’t we all want to make a bit of extra money!?

Affiliate marketing is very simple and what you put in, is easily what you get out.  For example, if you spend an hour a week on it, and you already have a loyal blog following, or a nice size email list, a strong Facebook, LinkedIn or Pintrest following, then you will easily be able to collect anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month from it.  How much  you make will depend on how much time you put into it.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you recommend a website or a product to your readers on your blog or facebook page.  You have code attached to that product recommendation, what we call a ‘link’.  When a reader clicks on that link, called a ‘click through’ and purchases the product you recommend or clicks a few more times, (depending on the specific terms of that affiliate), you make a few cents or dollars.   Its very simple.  For example, if I tell you that CPA/DNA Dedicated Media is my favorite affiliate marketing program and the one I recommend you join first because they provide you with amazing support, training and hold your hand throughout your relationship with them, and you click here to join, I’ll make my commission at no cost to you.  Actually, I’ve helped you make money and in return, seemlessly, you’ve helped me.  Its that simple.  So, I hope you will join Dedicated Media’s affiliate program to test this out.

So, here are some of my favorite Affiliate programs that I recommend you join, if you are interested in making some extra money.  The list below is all affiliate links so if you click on one of these links and join I make a few dollars for providing you with what I hope is a quick and valuable lesson on affiliate marketing.  All of the affiliate programs I’ve listed below are free to join with no strings attached.  If you make a referral, you make your commission.  Straight forward and simple.

It is important to note that if you are using affiliate links on your website or blog, you must by law, comply with the FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising have a disclosure somewhere on your site explaining that you are using affiliate links to help fund your website.  Here’s the disclosure policy I use on my KosherShopaholic site.

Here’s a list of my favorite affiliate marketing programs.  Click through, read up on them, start using them and begin to make some money.  And please do let me know how it goes!

CPA/DNA Dedicated Media

LinkShare

shareasale.com

Become a StudioPress Affiliate and Make Money!

MailChimp

BlueHost

Book Review: Briefcases And Baby Bottles

briefcases&babybottles

I recently had the privilege or reading Briefcases & Baby Bottles, The Working Mother’s Guide to Nurturing a Jewish Home,  for my KosherWorkaholic series on my website.  I found it to be a wonderful resource of support, suggestions and tips for all Jewish mothers, whether they work outside the house or not.

Written by a very insightful Social Worker and mom to 4, Tzivia Reiter, who lives in Passaic, New Jersey, it is a deep and professional work on many levels filling a gap in parenting guides.  First, as a working mother in a helping profession like Social Work, Tzivia Reiter easily connects with the quintessential struggle of all mothers; struggles such as separation anxiety, guilt over leaving children with other caregivers, time management, burnout, balance, personal space and the desire to raise healthy, successful children.  The book takes a professional approach both in the way the research was conducted, by interviewing Jewish Orthodox working mothers to discuss both their struggles and triumphs, while also offering coaching and success tips throughout.

Briefcases and Baby Bottles, ‘The Working Mother’s Guide to Nurturing A Jewish Home’, was written through the lens of not just one working mother but the hundreds of Jewish mothers who were interviewed for the book and whose quotes can be found throughout the book.  For each struggle that a mother may discuss, there are also success tips to help deal with it.  Some of the topics discussed in the book book include:  learning how to let go of guilt, maintaining a
positive attitude, learning to create your own work/family balance, making the most of the time you do have with your children, giving your marriage the
attention it deserves.  The book also offers resources for the working mother, tips on finding the right child care provider, tips on easing the morning and evening crunch and even includes insightful interviews with what Tzivia calls, ‘The Real Experts’, children of working mothers.

Reading this book is excellent therapy.  To be expected as it is written by a well-seasoned therapist herself, Tzivia has a successful career as a Social Worker with OHEL Bais Ezra.  The guide helps Jewish Orthodox women recognize that their struggles, fears, and guilt along with their joys and hard work are normal and healthy.  The book provides us with a support system and benchmark to help us focus on successfully nurturing our Jewish homes.

While there are many, many parenting guides out there to help working mothers, before now there were none that focused on the Jewish Orthodox woman and her unique philosophical way of life.  In Briefcases and Baby Bottles, the struggles and triumphs of a woman who is both striving to provide her family with
Orthodox values  while also working outside the home has been nicely presented, providing our little frum corner of the Universe with a guide to emotional health and success.

This book makes for easy and enjoyable Shabbos reading.  It would also make a great gift for your sister, friend, mother, daughter or spouse.  Whether she works from the home, out of the home or in her home, Jewish mothers are always striving to nurture their homes and now we have a great resource to help us.

You can buy Briefcases and Baby Bottles online through these links on Amazon or Feldheim Publishers.

 

Where To Go For Sukkot 2011 Chol HaMoed Trips

apple_picking

Where To Go For Sukkot Chol HaMoed

(editors’s note: I wrote this post in 2011 and since then, Fun City has shut down.  Also note that The Bronx Zoo is free on Wenedsdays which is the first day of chol ha moed this year, 2012)

Apple Picking

The Jewish Holiday of Sukkot conveniently falls out in the fall every year which is also the height of apple picking season (on the East Coast at least).  There’s a great apple picking orchard near our house so we make it a habit to go apple picking every Chol Ha Moed.  The orchardsofconcklin near us also has blow-up bounce house rides and a corn maze that kids really love for a really fun filled out-door activity.  For other apple picking locations, MommyPoppins and NJ.org websites list where to Pick Your Own Fruits and Vegetables in New York, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut.

Freebies

If you live in the New York area and want to save some money on your chol ha moed outing, there are Free boat rides to be found in lower Manhattan as well as a Free carnival in Monsey, NY.

I just happened to bring 3 toddlers with me to pick up a Hungarian/English Dictionary from Barnes & Noble today and discovered the FREE play areas.  My kids were playing happily for over an hour.  I had to drag them away to go upstairs to get some Kosher Pizza and a train ride at Fun City since we were at the Palisades Mall.  There are of course, Barnes&Noble stores with free children’s play areas all over the country (unlike Border’s who sadly closed their doors last month).  Click here to find a Barnes&Noble location near you.

Bowcraft Amusement Park Sukkos Spectactular

The Bowcraft Amusement Park is available all chol hamoed sukkos with Kosher food and a sukkah to eat in.  All day ride passes are $17 and if you print this coupon parents get half off.

Fun City

If you find yourself close enough to Rockland County, New York during the Sukkot season, you can head up to the Palisades Mall and enjoy the day at a huge indoor amusement park and home to the only MagiQuest in the New York area.  For more information on Fun City and its Kosher Pizza, click on these links to read my posts on them.

Great Wolf Lodge

Once you get hooked on the MagiQuest fantasy quiz game, you can head out to Great Wolf Lodge and divide your time between their awesome, huge and so much fun indoor Water Park well built for toddlers, young & older children as well as adults along with their MagiQuest.

Sesame Place

The Indoor Water Park at Great Wolf Lodge looks to me like it was built by the same company as the Outdoor Water Park found at Sesame Place.  Sesame Place is another fun toddler and child friendly Chol ha Moed activity for families to enjoy.  For coupons and information about Sesame Place click on the link for my earlier post.

Dutch Country

Dutch Country, Lancaster Pensylvania is very child friendly and a great place for Kosher keepers during the Sukkot holiday because the three main attractions: Hershey Park, Dutch Wonderland and CherryCrest Farms all house Kosher restaurants with their own Sukkah to eat in.  Click on the links here for more information about these attractions and their Kosher food and coupons.

Uncle Moishe Concerts:  (these are dates and times from 2011)

Here is a listing of every Jewish Child’s favorite Uncle Moishy & The Mitzvah Men Concerts during Chol Ha Moed Sukkos, 2011.

Sunday, October 16, Shulamit School: 1277 E. 14th off Ave. M, Brooklyn, NY. Showtimes: 12:30, 2:30, 4:00

Monday, October 17, Anshei S’fard: 4506-14th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 12:30, 2:30 shows

Tueday, October 18, Torah Academy for Girls, 444 Beach 6th street, Far Rockaway, NY. 12:30, 2:30 shows

Wednesday, October 19, Yeshivah of Central Queens, Queens, NY.  12:30 show.  For more information call Uncle Moisy Headquarters at: 718-376-9395.

Wishing all my Kosher Shop-a-holic friends and fans a Fun ‘Hug’ Sameach!

If you found this post useful, please forward it to your friends, subsribe for more free email updates and LIKE us on Facebook!

 

 

About Rosh Hashana: Entertainment & Resources

roshhashana

This was originally posted in 2011 and I decided to recirculate it because the information is still so useful!

About Rosh Hashana: Entertainment & Resources

As we enter the Jewish Holiday season of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippor and Sukkot, I thought it might be helpful to have some educational as well as entertaining resources at your fingertips.  Here’s a list of some of the top websites where you can read up on the significance of the Jewish Holidays, where you can find some practical guidance and guidelines for the festival days, and where you can find some entertaining You Tube videos as well.

These sites deal with basic questions like ‘what is Rosh Hashana‘ as well as more complex issues such as ‘preparing for a three day yontif’ and the videos are musical, comical and uplifting!

Of course, all of these resources are FREE!

Educational Jewish Websites

Here are some of the leading outreach and educational websites about Judaism and the upcoming Jewish Holidays.

Chabad.org In addition to tons of mulit-media educational material you can also find high holiday/synagogue services around the world at this site!  You can also get some free Rosh Hashana e-cards here as well.

Partners in Torah Some of the best people work here (my friends!)

National Jewish Outreach Program Jewish Treats Guide To Rosh Hashana

Aish.com You can find great articles like a beginners Rosh Hashana Q&A as well as a Rosh Hashana eBook available for free

Ohr Naava Founders of the Days to Disonnect Campaign

Project Inspire Authors of The Road Home and IProd videos.  Many more videos can be found here as well!

Rosh Hashana YouTube Videos 

Newest 2012 Aish.com video What Makes Rosh Hashana Beautiful

Fountainheads Dip Your Apple

Rosh Hashana Rock Anthem  Rosh Hashana Rocks the House in this video!

The Rosh Hashana Song/Soul Bigger  the Companion to I’ve Got a Feeling/The Shabbat Song

Rosh Hashana Hannah OK, she’s a puppet but she’ll get your kids dancing!

Shalom Sesame Joke  I guarantee your kids will laugh at this one!

JewintheCity  Apple iDip !

Click here to read my post about where to find the best Kosher Recipes for the Jewish Holidays  - most of them FREE.

Wishing all my readers new and old a Happy & Sweet New Year.  May you be signed and sealed in the book of life and health!

 

Siyum HaShas Tickets & Learning With MySiyum.com

mysiyum

This year’s Siyum Hashas will be held in New York City on August 1, 2012 with 94,000 participants.  Tickets Are Available At MySiyim.com.

Siyum HaShas is the culmination of a seven and a half year cycle of learning through which participants learn all 2,711 pages of the Babylonian Talmud. This summer’s Siyum HaShas, a celebration of Jewish learning, will host 94,000 participants.

MySiyum.com is a new project spearheaded by Partners in Torah with the goal of uniting Jews across America from all walks of life, from different backgrounds together, in person, to honor both Judaism and Jewish learning.   MySiyum aims to enable Jews from all backgrounds to participate in this momentous event. The organization has reserved a block of 11,000 seats, which it will provide to any Jew who wishes to share in this epic occasion.

On its website, MySiyum.com offers visitors the ability to purchase tickets for the Siyum HaShas as well as a chance to prepare for the Siyum Hashas by making their own Siyum from a selection of manageable texts. Through its parent organization, Partners in Torah, MySiyum.com will match anyone interested in completing a Jewish text with a free, over-the-phone mentor who will assist them in achieving their goal in time for the Siyum Hashas which will be held in New York City on August 1, 2012.  Although finishing a text is not required in order to attend the event, doing so will give participants an additional common thread with others there.

“It’s been a long time since we stood together – too long,” noted Rabbi Gewirtz of PartnersInTorah. “Now is the time for all Jews to celebrate Jewish learning, Jewish life and beauty of the wider Jewish community.”

MySiyum.com is a project of Partners in Torah, a free Jewish learning program that pairs students from across North America with Torah ‘mentors’ for weekly study by phone about all Jewish topics. Partners in Torah supports 8,000 learning sessions per week, and has successfully engaged over 45,000 students since its establishment 19 years ago.

Win An iPad 3

MySiyum is also offering you a chance to win an iPad3.  Here are the details of the contest.

 

 

ParentingSimply Master Class Teleconfrence

parenting rivalry-fresh-125x125

I recently came across a very impressive blogger, Adina Sokolof who has a blog, ParentingSimply where she writes short parenting tips and inspiration that are based on the writings of some of the best Parenting literature in the field: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will TalkSiblings Without Rivalry and Raising a Spirited Child.  If you are a parent and haven’t read these parenting books already, I highly recommend them – they will make a great addition to your reading library and change your life for the better.  You can find them on Amazon here.

Since I know that most of my readers are moms, just like me, with kids of varying ages at home I figured you would benefit from and enjoy Adina’s work as much as I do.  She is offering an online Master Parenting Seminar this summer based on the philosophies of the above books.  While the seminar should serve to improve your parenting skills, professionals can also use it towards 4 CEU credits from the State of Ohio, Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board.

For more information about this summer parenting seminar and to sign up, click here

Here’s what Adina has to say about the seminar and her work:

“Parents come up to me a lot and say, I go to parenting classes and I read the books. I start using the skill I have accumulated but then I slide. In the heat of the moment I say things I don’t want to say, I parent the way I don’t want to parent.

The same thing has happened to me. I don’t always parent perfectly. I have my good and bad days. Just ask my kids,
my husband and the lady in CVS who heard me becoming exasperated with my daughter.

The one thing that truly helps me is to keep my skills fresh. I keep on going to classes and I review what I already
know and I always try to learn new skills. I like to explore new parenting philosophies and see if any one of they speaks to you.

That is the uniqueness of ParentingSimply.com. We want to give parents the skills they need to parent effectively. We don’t stop there. Every person needs to parent according to what works best for them, their personality and their kid’s temperament. We want to help you explore different ways and learn new techniques to help you be the best parent you can be. ”

Here’s that link  again to help you sign up for the teleconference right now.

Save Big On Gluten-Free This May With Amazon

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May is Gluten-Free Month on Amazon which means great savings not just for people with Celiac and/or wheat sensitivities but for all of us.  In honor of Amazon’s Gluten-Free month, all grocery items and Gluten-Free cookbooks and books are on sale, some heavily discounted.

Some of the best buys include Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pastas at over 40% off with Gluten free Bread, pancake & pizza crust mixes on sale as well.

Many of the best selling Gluten Free Cookbooks like Gluten-Free On a Shoestring, Gluten-Free for Dummies & 100 Best Gluten Free Recipes are on sale this month as well.

For all my Gluten-Free fans, my friend and awesome gluten-free chef, Delicious Without Gluten-Free Living, has shared with us some of her best dessert recipes like gluten-free brownies & Tiramisu-ish dishes that will be adored by everyone.  Click here for these great recipes.

Click here for Amazon’s full line of Gluten-Free items on sale this month.