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Apr 3 2014

Free Stuff Alert: Hidden Charm Candle & Bracelet from Curious Candle Company

By at 11:31 am

Curious Candle Company giveaway on Kveller

If you love surprises, jewelry, and things that smell really good, then you’ll be super excited to enter our latest giveaway with Curious Candle Company.

Curious Candle Company makes 100% soy wax candles handmade in the USA. And besides offering fresh and relaxing scents, each candle has a hidden charm inside, only to be revealed once the candle burns down.

We’re giving away three of their Style Icon Charm Candles, which have a refreshing clean cotton scent, along with a white bead charm bracelet for you to decorate with your hidden charm. To enter, fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, April 9th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 3 2014

I Don’t Deserve Anything In This Life, But I Am Grateful When I Receive

By at 10:17 am

starbucks

The other day the guy next to me threw his computer bag on the table and quickly exited Starbucks. Without a second thought, I followed him out, but I stopped abruptly when I spotted him, cell phone in hand, making a call. Realizing he had no intention of blowing up the store, I took a deep breath, relaxed my shoulders and returned inside to try to enjoy my drink. When he eventually returned to his table, it took all the restraint I could muster to keep silent about the anxiety unleashed within me as a result of his clueless actions.

It has been almost a decade and a half since I left Israel, yet I have not shed all of my old habits and fears I acquired while living abroad. In Israel, when an individual leaves a bag behind and flees, we are told to report it and evacuate. I learned to call home after each terrorist attack. Then I would reach out to local friends and roommates to ensure everyone I knew was accounted for and safe. After a few days of avoiding public places, I would reluctantly make my way back onto the bus again, often the same bus route that was targeted; after all, life must continue. I told myself confidently that I still had much more business left to complete on this planet and I needed to give thanks for each day going forward.

I reflect often about my younger years while I sit in Starbucks, which has become my habit, my retreat and my sacred space on the long nights and weekends when the children are away at their father’s. Before my divorce, before my world turned into chaos, I had a very different outlook on my life. I followed the rules. I studied, I worked hard, I earned degrees and built a career and a family. Yes, I sinned–worse than some people, but certainly not as badly as others. Still, I have come to recognize that there is no logical explanation as to why good things happen to bad people and tragedies befall the rule-followers. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 2 2014

The Kid-Dish: Regina Spektor is a Mom!

By at 2:42 pm

All the Jewish celebrity parent gossip you (n)ever wanted to know.Regina

-Singer/Songwriter Regina Spector announced the birth of a baby boy with musician husband Jack Dishel who performs under the band name “Only Son.” So far, the couple is keeping mum on the name. On Facebook, the new mom kvelled, “As you may have noticed, we’re pretty private so we won’t be posting any pictures or updates about him….but we can report that he’s super CUTE!!! Lots of love, mama regi & papa jack (and lil dude too :)).”  Mazel Tov, Regina!(E Online)

-Rachel Zoe showed off photos of 3-month-old Kaius and his big brother 3-year-old Skyler looking adorable on Instagram on Monday. She captioned the pics, ”The boys are weighing in with their opinions on footwear today ;) #hardatwork.” (US Weekly)

-Christina Aguilera seems to have a thing for Jewish men. She announced that she is pregnant with a baby girl with fiance Matt Rutler, and though we have not sifted through his ancestry, the interwebs seem to believe he’s a member of the Tribe. She has a son, Max Liron from her marriage to Jordan Bratman. (People)

-Expectant parents Mila and Ashton visited Kutcher’s family in Iowa this week. The pair announced that they are pregnant last week after Kunis was spotted at a prenatal yoga class. (US Weekly)

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Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 2 2014

What’s Your Exodus: Breaking Free from “What Ifs,” Too Much Texting & Peppa Pig

By at 2:06 pm

As Passover approaches, we asked our readers and writers: What do you need an exodus from? Today we hear from three more Kveller writers as part of our “What’s Your Exodus?” series. 

Stephanie Kanowitz "What's Your Exodus?"

From Stephanie Kanowitz:

I’m supposed to pick only one thing I’d like to break free from this Passover, but I’m struggling to edit down the list. Not that I have it bad by any stretch of the imagination, but in my dream world there would be:

* No whining by my 4-year-old.

* No temper tantrums involving the rag doll pose or the flinging back of the head onto hard surfaces by my 1-year-old.

* No questioning myself about whether I’m irreparably damaging my child by taking him to the mall while I shop instead of to a concert one time out of 1,000.

* No “Peppa Pig.” Absolutely no “Peppa Pig.”

From Sarah Chen:

I want to break free from begging my toddler to stop gargling his beverages. Milk, water, Shabbat kiddush grape juice . . . I wish he or I could just move on. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 2 2014

As My Son Turns 18, Looking Back On a Life With Autism

By at 10:20 am

hannah-brown

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. To learn more, click here.

When I turned 18, I had my first legal drink–a strawberry daiquiri–at Windows on the World, the bar/restaurant that was located on the top floor of the World Trade Center.

When my oldest son, Danny, turns 18 next week, we will take a train from Jerusalem to Haifa, and then we will ride the Carmelit subway for a good part of the day.

Danny loves trains and has ever since he was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. In addition to marking his birthday with a cake in the evening, his father and I will become his legal guardians that day. When he was born, there was no World Autism Awareness Day, but it’s hard not to see the irony in the fact that April 2 is just six days before his birthday. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 1 2014

My Husband and I Switched Sides of the Bed (and Our Marriage Survived!)

By at 2:49 pm

sleeping

When I told people that we were considering a change-up after almost a decade on our respective sides, they recoiled in horror.

“That would be grounds for divorce in our house!” they shouted. “We would move into separate rooms before we would swap! You will never sleep again!”

I have never been a middle-of-the-bed type of girl. In my unmarried years, I trended towards the side farthest from the door, probably with the subconscious thought that if someone nefarious broke in, they’d get to the first empty pillow and give up. When my husband moved in, there was no bed-side discussion; he simply filled the gap. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 1 2014

What’s Your Exodus: Breaking Free from Pessimism, Social Media & Worry

By at 1:14 pm

As Passover approaches, we asked our readers and writers: What do you need an exodus from? Today we hear from three more Kveller writers as part of our “What’s Your Exodus?” series. Want to add your own? Send it to info@kveller.com or tweet @kveller with #WhatsYourExodus.

From Jen Simon:

Jen Simon "What's Your Exodus?"

This year, I want to break free from my pessimism. I’ve never been an optimist or even close; I’ve never been someone who finds the good in the situation. But my second child is helping me change my outlook on life. He’s so happy that I actually belief he is a gift (a word I would have never used to describe anything prior to his birth). His joy has infected our whole family and made all of us, myself included, much happier and more appreciative of our family and everything in our world. I used to think I wanted a girl (and even wrote an article about it!) but I got the baby I needed. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 1 2014

Each Passover, I Celebrate The Miracle of My Growing Family

By at 12:02 pm

matza-balls

Every spring I remember; every Passover I celebrate.

I have mostly forgotten the Passover that fell right before my wedding. I don’t remember who led those seders. I don’t recall what was served for dinner. I was too busy thinking of the last minute wedding details (Did we need programs? When would the yarmulkes be ready? How did I go about changing my name?) And then I realized that I’d miss the whole holiday. I ceased thinking about my impending departure from the single world. I sipped my wine and tried to relax, and focused on what was important.

Two years later, I sat at my husband’s aunt’s table. We had been trying for a baby for a few months, without results. I wanted to take my mind off my disappointment, and enjoy the evening with my family. I poured a glass of wine in anticipation of the start of the seder. My husband’s little cousins were wrestling under the table. The older one hit his head, and the whole table shook like a California earthquake. My wine glass wobbled, tipped, and splashed all over me. The stain would stubbornly cling to my blouse after several washings. By the time I threw it out a week later, I didn’t mind. It wouldn’t have fit for long, anyway. I was pregnant. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Apr 1 2014

After Eight Months of Therapy, My Boy Can Walk!

By at 9:58 am

kanowitz2

Usually adjusting to a new normal has a negative connotation–getting used to life with illness or loss. But I find myself trying to adapt to a new normal that is happy and, well, literally normal.

In August, I wrote about how my 1-year-old couldn’t sit himself up and had to start physical therapy to help him get moving. I knew at the time that he’d continue therapy until he could crawl, and I figured that meant a few visits. Eight and a half months later, we can finally stop. Jared can walk on his own.

It goes without saying that I am elated. I don’t have to watch him cry through his visits or struggle to get where he wants to go. I don’t have to wonder if he will need to be put under anesthesia for an MRI, which would have been the next step, a pediatric neurologist told me last week. He examined Jared and couldn’t offer any explanation for why he wouldn’t walk without help. Read more →

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Mar 31 2014

News Roundup: Does Porn Hurt Children?

By at 8:28 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

girl-computer

- A recent UK study found that three in every 100 primary school children, some as young as 6, have viewed hardcore pornographic images on the internet. There is still some debate as to how traumatizing and what the long-term effect of this exposure is. (The Times Magazine)

- Boston Magazine has a fascinating (and terrifying) look at the juvenile and cliquey social lives of suburban American moms, which can quickly spiral into a social nightmare reminiscent of high school for those who fail to keep up. (Boston Magazine)

- The majority of American women aren’t “leaning in” or “opting out.” Rather, most women–ranging socioeconomically from poor to upper middle class–are barely hanging on.  (Al Jazeera)

- Putin’s elementary school teacher, who now resides in a Tel Aviv apartment purchased by her former student, has found herself in the spotlight now that Putin has decided to annex Crimea. The gentle and studious school boy she describes sounds nothing like the Vladimir Putin of today. (JTA)

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Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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