Given that this is a consumer column, you can rest assured that I spend countless hours coming up with creative and innovative money saving ideas, but for a change, I am going to try something different and share some of my pet peeves, those moments when you can't believe how much you are paying and how little you are getting in return, when you find yourself shaking your head in disbelief and wondering aloud, "Are they serious?"
To some people, the sounds of rustling backpacks and starched uniforms brings feelings of sweet relief; it’s the sound of children going back to school and the household returning to a normal schedule.
He had no doubts, he had no questions; he had the most beautiful emunah p'shuta and perhaps, as a small reward, Zaidy was able to see the revelation of G-dliness in this world.
This past Lag B'Omer, we were blessed to make our first upsherin, where we celebrate our son’s first hair cut. It’s a wonderful milestone that mimics the three years that we refrain from plucking a tree’s first fruits and symbolizes the entry of the child into the world of Torah learning. It’s a clear sign to everyone; this boy is no longer a baby.
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
Last month, I discussed our tumuloutous family trip to Israel and the many mistakes and some smart moves we made along the way. Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes and incorporate the lessons we learned in your own family trips.
I’m very passionate about Israel and it’s always been my desire to share that passion with my children. It was a sad day in our home when we missed out on the great deal to Israel earlier this year, but thankfully, my husband managed to snag an almost as good one a couple of months later.
But his third birthday was rapidly approaching, and I wanted him toilet trained before our family trip to Israel a couple of months down the line. Giving up wasn’t an option.
Judith Levy is a gorgeous French-born woman with a flair for fashion and the written word (she’s an editor for French editions of Artscroll). At the start of her second marriage she found herself in a shaitel vs. tichel predicament very similar to mine.
The thing about work is that it isn’t fun. If it were, it would be called play. Most people grumble about going to work, and look forward to their time-off – especially when it is paid. And yet, polls show that most people, given the choice, would prefer to work. It’s when we get to the office that we begin to moan and groan. What’s the point in that? If we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, we might as well enjoy it! Here are some ways we can accomplish that.
Oh, Chanukah! Chanukah, the festival of lights and the powerful story of the unlikely military victory of the Maccabees. One lesson we’re able to glean from the Maccabees is the importance of doing just a little bit more then you think you are capable of. As we all know, the Maccabees were quite aware that taking on the mighty Greek army was a suicide campaign. Yet, they succeeded.
My oldest daughter loves school. In fact, over the long holiday break, whenever her school was mentioned, she would say in a little sad...
I feel that I am a good authority to write on this topic, because although I love having guests, it completely stresses me out. Something happens to me when we have guests over; I feel this urge to have the table perfect, the food innovative, delicious and abundant and my children buffed and shiny. When things don’t turn out well, it’s not exactly pretty.
There is a long laundry list of personal goals running through my head that I want to work on. I love taking advantage of a celebratory date to select one of these pressing items and promise myself that this time, I really will begin to do whatever it is that will make my life better. Yet, somehow, after the birthday or New Year passes, my fervent declarations are quickly forgotten and I lapse into my old behavior.
For my upcoming birthday, instead of waiting for my friends or my husband to make me a “surprise” party, I decided to throw one myself. I settled on a cozy and intimate evening, celebrating my birthday with professional cake decorating and fruity cocktails with my nearest and dearest. But as with every gathering I plan, things started to get out of control.
Summer is just about upon us, and with it comes the hustle and bustle of preparing for camp and family getaways. This is such a wonderful time, full of new experiences and memory building for the whole family. One memory the summer shouldn’t create, however, is that of the house being infested with bedbugs.
It’s tough to catch some glam in an otherwise pretty non-glamorous life. In the 21st century, who isn’t overstressed, overwhelmed and overbooked? The roles...
Ahh, that wonderful time when you return home from the hospital with a brand new bundle of joy nestled in your arms. Without getting into the pros or cons of sending yourself or your other children away, or the benefits and possibilities of family or paid help, eventually everyone will go home and you’ll be all by your lonesome, raising the family. So how to make this momentous occasion truly memorable, instead of weeks of what could be construed by some as torture?
Whether you are staying home for Pesach or going away, it is nice to have something new to enhance this special Yom Tov. With rhinestone monograms now so readily available you can turn many household items from ordinary to extraordinary.
I think if we can be honest with ourselves, most women will admit to enjoying Pesach cleaning - and perhaps to even looking forward to it all year long.
There’s nothing like a holiday where one is required to be happy to bring out the grouch in all of us. But we should all be excited to greet Purim. Not only because of the beautiful miracle that occurred, the lessons of emunah and the role of the Jewish woman that Megillas Esther teaches us, but also because it’s the only twenty-four hour holiday that we celebrate here in Chutz L’Aretz, and it has merely four mitzvot! How simple is that?
Who doesn’t want to save money? The siren call of sales lures us all, and few are able to resist stocking up.
Ahh, the mornings. A time of peace and serenity, for sipping a cup of coffee while catching up on the morning news. Or perhaps you use the time to bake fresh healthy cookies for the family’s midday snack. However, if your mornings are better described as rush hour compounded by nagging warnings, here are a few handy steps to create a stress free routine.
When I was first married, a good friend invited us over for Shabbos. Nechuma works multiple jobs, has six children, and always produces the most lavish Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. When I asked her what her trick was, she told me: “A house always looks nice as long as it is clean.”
So often, when it comes to furniture in a home with children, there is a tug of war between functionality and beauty. Either get the industrial strength dining chairs that are ugly but never stain, or the elegant chairs that will force you to exercise your vocal cords all the time. There are those, of course, who get the beautiful chairs and cover them with industrial strength plastic, but they're not fooling anyone. I personally prefer the happy children.