Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ask Chaviva Anything: LuLaRoe and Being a Busy Mom

I was super shocked, but awesomely excited to see so many questions asked so quickly when I posted the Ask Chaviva Anything revival! Here are some quick fun ones y'all asked.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

With everything going on lately with work, I've been thinking about this a lot. For the longest time, I thought being a copy desk chief at The New York Times would have been the most epic job. Then, when I was super happy in my digital marketing role, I wanted to be the social media go-to in the Jewish nonprofit world. I quickly learned that could happen, but not with the financial outcome I'd hoped for. So, now, most recently, my dream job has been writing and consulting on digital marketing and PR. Someday, I'll be able to commit myself to writing again and to consulting (and actually getting paid for it ... because I give out way too much free advice these days and always) and having a schedule that makes sense for me. Someday, yes someday, I'll write my book. That would be the most epic job in the world for me. (Also, stressful as it is, being a mommy is pretty amazing, too.)

How are you enjoying being a LuLaRoe Consultant?

In a word: YES! I absolutely love it. I get all warm and fuzzy when I put an outfit together or talk to other women about clothing or how to style something to feel confident. Honestly, I wish I had more time for it, because I think I could really fly with it. It's really helped me cope with my social anxiety and introversion, which, honestly, are getting more intense as I get older. I'm so great online, in text-based communications, and even Facebook Live feeds because it's just me and the vast universe out there. No social pressure, no expectations. (Find my group on Facebook here!)

Do you have a family mission statement? (We did this exercise as a family and it was a lot of fun.)

This is ... wow. This is great. We must do this. Thank you for the great question and idea!

Some more involved questions and answers forthcoming (including several on Israel, unsurprisingly)! Have a question? Click here to ask me quite literally anything.

Review: Make All the Coffee with the Minos Moka Pot

In college, my friend John had a Moka Pot. I'm pretty sure that Andrew had one, too. I was jealous, but too lazy to make my own. Now? I've got the real deal, but this time, it's elevated and elegant.

Get yours: https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=DiZxwhlrjxg

Note: I received this product free for review from the vendor via Tomoson.com. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ask Chaviva Anything: The Revival

Is anyone still out there? Is anyone reading? I know some people still get my feed, but sometimes it feels like things go out into the ether and disappear. I remember when I used to blog multiple times a day, when there were gobs of comments, when the blogging community was full of people writing stories and talking about life rather than only hosting superficial giveaways. Ah, those were the days.

Anyhow, I'm reviving that much-beloved series that often resulted in some rude questions: Ask Chaviva Anything!

Click here to ask me quite literally anything.

It doesn't mean I'll answer, but I'll do my best.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Post-Election 2012: My Thoughts

“One who is appointed over a community becomes the servant of the community" (Talmud, Horayot 10a).

Unlike back in 2012 and 2008, I avoided talking politics on the blog this year because the election seemed to be so "in the bag." I didn't feel like I needed to share who I was voting for or why because it seemed like a sealed deal. Now that it's all over, I'm still not feeling super keen on the conversation about who won and why, but I feel like a stream-of-consciousness post might let me get some things out.

If anything, this election showed me that, by and large, I don't have many "middle of the road" friends. Most of my friends are bleeding-heart liberals who found themselves huddled in a corner, weeping at the reality of a potentially dangerous white man with anti-semitic, homophobic, and xenophobic friends at his side. Some of my friends are single-issue voters who made aliyah and were praising the election of a man who will put Israel first and move the embassy to Jerusalem (this will never happen, by the way). Many others are party-line voters who found themselves confused about who to vote for and, I have a feeling, voted Republican because they didn't think that Trump would actually win the election. And then, of course, I have friends who happily voted Republican because of the promises of a wall to keep immigrants out, the promise of putting a hardcore Conservative on the Supreme Court to overturn groundbreaking social laws, and the commitment to return our focus on the hardest working among us (never mind that Trump won't release his tax returns, and these hard-working Americans pay the most taxes and work the hardest of us all).


And me? I'm generally a party-line voter, and I vote Democrat. Mostly I'm this way because I'm liberally minded on social issues, but I tend to be more conservative when it comes to our involvement in international disputes and being the policemen of the world.

But this election, it was hard. I wasn't in love with Hillary. I didn't vote for her because I wanted the first woman president (she's no Maggie Thatcher) or because I thought she was the most moral or preferable candidate. Although I was incredibly excited about the possibility of seeing changes for working mothers like myself (I work 80 hours a week and make peanuts and pay more than $2,000/month for my kids to be in daycare). She was the most viable candidate.

But here we are. We're in a post-election haze and no one is really sure what's going to happen. What is sure, however, is that this election has brought out the ugly in everyone. I've watched friendships fall apart in the past week in ways that are completely unrepairable. I've listened and counseled friends on both sides of the aisle.

I've been told by more than one person, "I don't know how you can be in the position you're in," because I have friends that are very far on either side of the aisle and I'm happy to have them in my life and happy and proud to call them my friend, even while disagreeing with their opinions and their logic on why they voted the way they did.

I guess, my reality is that there is more than this election. HaShem runs the universe, and, for whatever reason, this is where we are. We can only hope that the new president-elect manages to be humble, to consider and respect all people, and to serve the people.

We must insist that we be heard, that our leader serve us, and we must be as we expect him to be. We must respect and love one another, if anything, to be an example for our leader. If we continue to hate and divide and live our lives as such, then our leader will know nothing more than to hate and divide as well.

A last thought: We must insist that Stephen Bannon be removed from his appointment to a high-ranking position in the Trump administration. The president-elect is meant to serve the people, and anyone who approves of Bannon's racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic rhetoric should be ashamed of themselves.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Giveaway and Review: Maccabee on the Mantel

The 9-inch plush Musical Maccabee! So tasty. 

'Tis the season for holiday goodness, and this year is super special (for me) because Christmas and Chanukah coincide! Now, I'm not super stoked because we celebrate both in our house (there's no Chanukah bush, folks), but because it's a tad less alienating when the Jewish and Christian holidays coincide and as someone who grew up with all the trappings and jingle bells of Christmas, that means something.

I've sung the praises of this time of year with its snowy sites, festive lights, and delicious smells a million times on this blog. November and December are truly my most favorite months of the year because, well, because I just love everything about these months. Colder weather, twinkling lights, the smells of pumpkin pie and cocoa ... [insert heavy, happy sigh here].

With that said, I was elated when the folks behind the Maccabee on the Mantel at ToyVey Toys reached out with their new line of products for review, because Chanukah is coming, folks! I reviewed the Maccabee on the Mantel nearly two years ago when Asher was so, so small. Of the three products I received for review that year, the Maccabee was, by far, the most high-quality, engaging, and tied-in to Chanukah without feeling too kitschy.

This year, the company has taken the Maccabee up to a whole new level with several new products, which means a Maccabee for Little T and for Asher. The quality is even better than before, and with the new options, there's something for everyone (including something tasty)!
My only kvetch? Asher very easily removed the shields and shoes of both of his Maccabees. Now, I don't think this is a huge issue because, come on, he can get creative with his Maccabees, but my husband would prefer they be a bit more securely attached. 

If you're curious what an unboxing with Asher looks like, here it is, unedited! Welcome to the chaos and fun of unboxing new toys with a toddler!


Want to win a Maccabee on the Mantel for your own Chanukah-ready monkey at home? Comment on this post with your favorite thing about this time of year, and you'll be entered to win a 9-inch Maccabee and box of Hanukkah fortune cookies! Share the post on social media, and you'll get an extra entry (just comment with where you shared the content, please). 

Details: Giveaway ends on Thursday, November 10, 2016, at 5 p.m. MT.