July 23, 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.

 

New Shoes For Yael: A ‘Lite Girl’ Book Review & Giveaway

New Shoes for Yael

Review

(scroll to the bottom of this page to skip the review and go straight to the Giveaway)

Like most of us, I’m gearing up for Chanuka here at The Kosher Shopaholic and have some great reviews and giveaways for you, my loyal readers.  If you remember from last Chanuka (has it really been a year already?), I reviewed and ran a really fun giveaway for the first Lite Girl Book, Yael’s Loving World.  A book that my 4 year old daughter adores.  The creative author, Malky Weinstock recently sent me the second installment of the Lite Girl Book series called, “New Shoes For Yael”.  Can I just tell you that as soon as the book arrived my little daughter sat down with it and had me put in the audio CD and sat there reading it over and over for hours.  Yes, the book comes with an audio CD that reads the story to you.  It even teaches the children how to turn the page when they hear the beep sound.  It is a beautifully illustrated and sweet book.   Jewish girls from religious homes can really identify well with Yael and when you see how much little girls adore the Yael character books, you realize how much we need Jewish oriented characters for our children.  Children are naturally drawn to ‘characters’ and I know that I am always really happy when I come across ones like Yael who help me instill a good philosophy/hashkafa and Jewish life lessons.

In an interview with Malky Weinstock, creator of the Lite Girl books, she explained that she founded the series of books with the goal of empowering girls with the beautiful Jewish values of Ahavas Hashem (love of G-d) and Ahavas Yisroel (love of the Jewish people)–the bedrock of Judaism –through the first ever inspirational Jewish girl  play character, Yael.   She says, that “Children absorb so much through play and we need these values to be imbued from early on so each girl can grow up with the presence of Hashem and know what He wants from us–to love and connect with Him and with every Jew.  This way, our girls will grow up empowered to be inner driven, proud and committed Jews, caring about family, friends and community, and thus make the world a better place.”  Isn’t that beautiful?  What Jewish mom wouldn’t want a nice book to help us achieve this lofty goal?

The first book, Yael’s Loving World, is an introductory book about Yael and the connection she has to all the people in her world, and to Hashem who provided them to her.  The second book, “New Shoes For Yael”, gently instills an awareness that Hashem makes us all exactly as we need to be.  The 3rd book, still in production, “Yael Becomes A Giver’ encourages a child to become others focused, rather than being self centered.  The 4th book, “Yael Worries No More”, will be a beautiful story about how Yael realizes that Hashem micromanages her life and she can leave her worries to Him.

So, are you ready to win your free copy of ‘New Shoes For Yael’ in time for Chanukah?  If so, enter the contest below.

Giveaway

1 – Answer the following question on my Facebook page thread or in the comments section below: What is  your favorite Chanukah family activity?

2- For additional entries, make sure to ‘like’ Kosher Shopaholic on Facebook and/or subscribe to my newsletter.  Once you’ve done these, make sure to comment that you have just ‘liked or subscribed in order to enter the Lite Girl Book Giveaway’ so that you get your extra count.  If you are already a subscriber and a facebook fan, comment ‘like or subscribe to enter the Lite Girl Book Giveaway’ in either place as well.

Contest open to those with US mailing address only.  A winner will be selected next Weds, December 5, 2012 just in time for Chanukah.

Answer the following question on my Facebook page or in the comments section below:

What values would you like to see expressed in children’s books today?

To Purchase

You can buy one or both of the Yael books online here for only *$11.99 each REGULARLY $16.99.   To get this discounted price, enter coupon code CGIFT for each item you purchaseHurry, because this exciting offer ends soon.  Valid from November 29, 2012 through Tuesday December 4th only.  *Please note special does not include shipping fee.

 

 

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.

 

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!

 

Meat Me Kosher Restaurant Review

meatme2

A few weeks back I was invited to dine at the new Meat Me French Kosher restaurant located on Amsterdam Ave between 95 & 96th street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  We enjoyed our time there tremendously – between the ambiance that indeed had a French bistro look and feel:  quiet and intimate yet lively in color and style, the three course meal that was expertly prepared by the owner/Master Chef,  and the warmth and friendliness of the owner/ husband and wife team, Yardena & Shlomo Gor.

We started with the Meat Me Sampler for two consisting of mini Peking duck, Moroccan cigars, mini beef Teriyaki Skewers, mini Merguez and Chicken Tex-Mex served with three Sauces.  Each mouthwatering and delicious.  We then had the Delmonico steaks which is the chef’s specialty which was prepared to let the natural flavors that are inherent to any quality cut of meat that has been carefully curated by a chef with the depth of experience Chef Shlomo has.   Needless to say we enjoyed our steaks, our mixed drinks prepared by the full bar found in the restaurant and our hot molten chocolate cake dessert.

The nicest part of our meal, however, was our informal interview with the owners.  It turns out that French Chef Shlomo Gor, owner of Meat Me which he opened exactly a year ago in August of 2011, is the previous owner of the Bistro Grill in Greatneck and the 5 Towns, restaurants we enjoyed when we lived on that end of New York City.  Then we discovered that Chef Shlomo Gor was also the chef for the famous BoxTree, probably the fanciest of Kosher restaurants in history famous for its ‘gold room’ made from real Tiffany gold that was turned Kosher for a few months about 8 years ago by a frum businessman (who also turned a nice profit on the place as well after selling it for more than twice what he bought it for). We remember The BoxTree as well since it was the place where my husband and I went to celebrate our engagement on Tu B’Av, 9 years ago.

Chef Shlomo Gor is an obvious choice for a restaurant of The BoxTree’s caliber and a classy french restaurant like Meat Me, being a family restaurateur trained in Lousane, Switzerland and having owned restaurants in Eilat and Luxemberg as well.  He claims his specialty is giving non-Kosher flavors to Kosher such as his Coq au Vin where he uses smoked Turkey and a good French wine in place of bacon.  His sefardi Tagine is famous for its powerful medley of sweet and spicy apricots, orange juice and ginger.

Not everyone appreciates a beautiful table and good food on that table, but if you do, Meat Me with Swiss trained French Chef Shlomo Gor, is a good choice for you.

 

Undercover Waterwear – The Bathingsuit That Suits Your Lifestyle

undercoverwaterwear2

(Scroll to the bottom for your 10% off coupon code) Now that summer is upon us, how are we all feeling about our bathingsuit bodies?  Well, I just got back from a mini-vacation where we took our kids to Great Wolf Lodge, a waterpark geared towards young children (you can read more about Great Wolf Lodge here).  Two days of sopping wet fun.  I am so incredibly grateful to Undercover Waterwear for sending me a Ladies Swim Skirt (with leggings) to review for them in advance.  I wore it the entire vacation and I was comfortable and appropriately dressed both for the pool and for my modest lifestyle the whole time.  Undercover waterwear’s swim wear (skirts, tops, dresses) are made in bathing-suit material that dries really fast when you’re out of the water and is so comfortable to wear and allows you to move, run, swim with ease and flexibility.  I wear this skirt to go walking outdoors or to the gym, to the beach and pool.  As a mother who is constantly running, and getting wet at kiddie pools all summer long, I’m getting great use of this skirt.  In fact, I even own a second one and recommend it to all my friends.

Here’s a little secret about these swimskirts and tops; even if you don’t keep covered for religious reasons, after a few kids, you may not want the entire world to see all your new bodily flaws when you go swimming.  Putting on one of these makes you look and feel appropriately dressed for swim or exercise while keeping what you want hidden, just so, hidden.

I really like their newest cool waterwear skirts as well.  Aren’t these styles fun!

10% off Coupon Code

If you buy now for the next week use the coupon code:KSJ12  to get 10% off and enjoy the freedom these new style bathing suits can offer youYou can visit Undercover Waterwear’s site here.

Top 5 Budget-friendly Tech-y Gifts for the Man In Your Life

Kindlefire

Father’s Day Tech Gift Picks

Seriously, what gift would make the father in your life happier than technology?  I am fortunate to live with a very tech savvy man who always knows the best products to have around.  So in honor of Father’s Day, I’ve asked him to compile a list of some of his favorite tech-y products.  Any of these would make a great gift for Father’s Day or any other day.  


1- The Amazon Kindle is rated as the #1 Father’s Day gift by Amazon.com and you can buy the Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi for only $199 on Amazon right now. What I love the most about products like the Kindle is how it rids the house of so much paper/book clutter!


2- Plantronics Voyager Pro+ Bluetooth earpiece for a smartphone is considered by those ‘in the know’ to be the best bluetooth in the market.  It has great noise cancellation, streams Podcasts, GPS, is comfortable and the price is just right.  Get your Plantronics Voyager PRO+ Bluetooth Headset now!


3- Logitech Wireless Keyboard &  Laser Mouse.  If you don’t yet have a wireless keyboard and laser mouse then it is time to get into the 21st century.

4- Garmin Nuvi Portable GPS Navigator comes with lifetime maps which means that you can upgrade your maps for free everytime Garmin makes and upgrade.  With Lifetime maps the newest, smallest or most far reaching streets are more likely to appear in your navigation system.  This way your GPS is more likely to do what it is intended to do and less likely to get you lost!

5- A Digital Photo Frame. This is one of the coolest things to have in your house.  Moving pictures strait out of a Harry Potter scene! 

 

Endless Streams of Free Music With Spotify

spotifylrg

Have you ever dreamed of an endless music library?  Well, Spotify is making this dream a reality – for FREE!  Spotify is fast becoming the most popular and successful way to listen to all and any music you want from the Spotify App on your tablet, smartphone or computer.

Spotify is a simple and light software application that lets one find and play a terrific range of music instantly.  With Spotify you can play the music you want – from their vast collection of millions of CDs- for free and on demand.  No strings attached.  It also allows you to create your own playlists to always come back to the music you love.  Via Spotify’s Facebook app, you can see what your friends are listening to and discover new music that way too.

Sign up for Spotify for FREE HERE.

Hat tip:  How about signing up the dad in your life for a free Spotify account and give him thousands of new CDs for free this Father’s Day!



Super-Slip Skirt Extenders

SuperSlip (2)
That’s me in my super-slip skirt extender

Just before Passover, Shell Sheli sent me samples of their brand new, exclusive Super-Slip Skirt Extenders to try out.  With the mad rush of Passover, the slips were placed in my closet and all but forgotten about… until a function that I attended last week.  I wanted to wear my newest basic black dress, the dress that should be in every woman’s closet, but noticed that it was a tad too short for my standards.  Instead of the typical cotton hard tail black shell skirt that I usually wear to extend dresses, I decided to try my Super-Slip Skirt Extender from Shell Sheli.  I have to tell you, it looked perfect and I LOVED wearing it!

Super-Slip Skirt Extender

The super-slip skirt extender is made of satiny comfortable slip fabric and was so comfortable to wear and was so easy to move around in, especially when compared to the tight cotton shell skirts I usually wear.  It was very liberating.  It also looked nice, the fabric used in the extension is a dressy fabric and blended well with my black dress.

Shell Sheli is the exclusive maker and retailer of these super-slip skirt extenders.  You can buy them on sale now from Shell Sheli for $25.99.

KikiRiki Layering Dress

Shell Sheli carries a large variety of popular Kiki Riki shells in all sizes, styles and colors for adults and children and the newest, hottest Kiki Riki Layering Dress is also on sale for $43.99 for the 3/4 sleeve and $45.99 for the long sleeve dress.

Visit Shell Sheli for all your shell and skirt extention needs!

 

Lag B’Omer & 3 Year Old Boys

upsherincookies

Lag B’Omer is almost here and along with bonfires, shopping and musical instruments, we get haircuts.  Especially that special haircut for adorable little boys who have turned the precious age of three years old.

For those of you who are ‘in the parsha’ as we like to say, those who have 3 year olds ready for an upsherin, 3 year old grandsons, nephews or close friends, M&M Designs makes some really special edible treats customized for your special party.  Some of the most popular of these treats are the custom upsherin cookies.  (by the way, they also make cookies, brownie bits, cake bites and pops for any of your occasions).

It is a common Jewish custom to allow a boy’s hair to grow untouched until he’s three years old.  On his third birthday, friends are invited to a haircutting ceremony—called an upsherin in Yiddish, and a chalakah by Sephardic Jews.  From this point on, a child is taught to wear a kipah and tzitzit and learns his first Hebrew letters, alef – beis with some honey to remember that Torah learning is as sweet as honey.

There is also a very different German/Yekkish custom to create something called a wimple for a boy to use to celebrate his turning three, instead of an upsherin.  A wimple is a beautiful large piece of cloth (about 10 foot long banner) that the child wraps around the sefer Torah.  It is designed with the child’s name and some pesukim wishing the child to grow up to be a great person who does Mitzvos.  It contains beautiful pictures and designs.  Check out this beautiful custom made wimple made by Not2Shabbey.com.  You can also find custom embroidered Yarmulkes & hand painted tzitzit for that special 3 year old from Not2Shabbey as well.

Lag BaOmer falls this year on Thursday, May 10, 2012.  It is celebrated with outings, bonfires, and other joyous events.  Lag BaOmer also carries the theme of the imperative to love and respect one’s fellow and, back to my upshurin theme, many use the celebratory day as a time to give their 3 year old son their first haircut, since the days from Passover until Lag B’Omer, are considered a period of mourning.