November 2013

Nov 30 2013


1THING illustrated by Crissy de Ocampo: ‘wool socks, rubber boots & staying toasty in the cold rain’

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Nov 30 2013

Joelle Adler

Joelle Adler interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

CEO, Diesel Canada/Founder, OneXOne Foundation

CEO, Diesel Canada & founder, OneXOne Foundation, Joey Adler discusses her life as a true visionary entrepreneur and humanitarian, seeking to reinvent the business of philanthropy through ground-breaking sustainable models. more...

Nov 30 2013

Gloria Green

Gloria Green interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

Oncology Dietician, Sickkids Hospital/Artist

Oncology dietician and artist, Gloria Green has been working at SickKids Hospital for 18 years, whose work with children has reflected her artwork, bringing raw emotion and sentiment to her art. more...

Nov 30 2013

Laura Berg

Laura Berg interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

President, My Smart Hands

YouTube sensation, speaker and entrepreneur, Laura Berg, discusses her company that is dedicated to helping hearing children learn sign language. Laura also provides tips on how to use YouTube to grow your business. more...

Nov 30 2013

Stephanie Joanne

Post image for Stephanie Joanne

Celebrity Personal Trainer

Celebrity personal trainer, Stephanie Joanne is regularly seen on CityLine and her weekly fitness segments on CityNews and regular appearances on Breakfast Television. more...

Nov 30 2013

The lyrics of the song “In his hands he’s got the whole world, in his hands he’s got the whole, wide world…”  were playing in my head this week, as I witnessed the achievements of women entrepreneurs. Time to change the words to “In her hands…


Between the W100 event and the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala, I had the amazing pleasure of hearing the stories of truly exceptional, successful and award-winning  women entrepreneurs. While each was in a different type of business, from making roads to working in the mining industry, what struck me was the passion and tenacity with which the women led and drove their businesses.  Several were working in male-dominated businesses where they had to work hard, show their grit and determination to prove themselves. 


All of this emphasized to me how much you have to believe passionately in yourself, your dream and your vision, because without doubt you will be tested along the way, if not by others, definitely by yourself.  Even one of the award winners, Tamara Barker Watson, admitted that there were times when she was riddled with self-doubt and she couldn’t believe she was a finalist for the Sustainability Award, let alone win it.


I have been attending the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala for years now and it is quite fascinating how it has evolved in terms of the finalists for these prestigious awards.  First they seem to be getting younger – now this could be reflection on my age – I mean I am getting older, but one finalist, Michele Romanow of Buytopia was just 28 when she started her business a couple of years ago.  Twenty-eight.   I was home having my first baby at that age, not building a business that was ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 ranking.


There is also more diversity in terms of what the women actually do.  While at one time we seemed to gravitate to human resources or service-based industries, today’s entrepreneurial women are venturing into businesses that were once in the male domain such as drilling, mining, ocean research, freight logistics and technology.


Women are also recognizing the wealth of potential beyond Canada and are reaching out beyond our country.  Momentum Award winners Victoria Sopik and Jennifer Nashmi of Kids & Company will be opening their first child care centre in Chicago.  And as for Shannon Rogers of Global Relay, the majority of her work is outside of Canada and she works in 90 countries, providing cloud-based message archiving. 


All of this speaks to the fact that as women we can get into any business we want, anywhere we want and what likely holds us back is ourselves.  So let’s celebrate and honour these role models and just go for it, as they’ve paved our way. 

more...

Nov 30 2013

The lyrics of the song “In his hands he’s got the whole world, in his hands he’s got the whole, wide world…”  were playing in my head this week, as I witnessed the achievements of women entrepreneurs. Time to change the words to “In her hands…


Between the W100 event and the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala, I had the amazing pleasure of hearing the stories of truly exceptional, successful and award-winning  women entrepreneurs. While each was in a different type of business, from making roads to working in the mining industry, what struck me was the passion and tenacity with which the women led and drove their businesses.  Several were working in male-dominated businesses where they had to work hard, show their grit and determination to prove themselves. 


All of this emphasized to me how much you have to believe passionately in yourself, your dream and your vision, because without doubt you will be tested along the way, if not by others, definitely by yourself.  Even one of the award winners, Tamara Barker Watson, admitted that there were times when she was riddled with self-doubt and she couldn’t believe she was a finalist for the Sustainability Award, let alone win it.


I have been attending the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala for years now and it is quite fascinating how it has evolved in terms of the finalists for these prestigious awards.  First they seem to be getting younger – now this could be reflection on my age – I mean I am getting older, but one finalist, Michele Romanow of Buytopia was just 28 when she started her business a couple of years ago.  Twenty-eight.   I was home having my first baby at that age, not building a business that was ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 ranking.


There is also more diversity in terms of what the women actually do.  While at one time we seemed to gravitate to human resources or service-based industries, today’s entrepreneurial women are venturing into businesses that were once in the male domain such as drilling, mining, ocean research, freight logistics and technology.


Women are also recognizing the wealth of potential beyond Canada and are reaching out beyond our country.  Momentum Award winners Victoria Sopik and Jennifer Nashmi of Kids & Company will be opening their first child care centre in Chicago.  And as for Shannon Rogers of Global Relay, the majority of her work is outside of Canada and she works in 90 countries, providing cloud-based message archiving. 


All of this speaks to the fact that as women we can get into any business we want, anywhere we want and what likely holds us back is ourselves.  So let’s celebrate and honour these role models and just go for it, as they’ve paved our way. 

more...

Nov 29 2013
Stephanie is amongst the most influential fitness experts in Canada with her audiences and reach surpassing several millions. Her raw and honest delivery coupled with her fearless drive and fierce intuition has her paving a path of her own. She is able to provide insight to the burning questions we all want to know. Her more...

Nov 29 2013
I want you to take a moment and think about all that you have to be grateful for, perhaps your kids, your job, your partner, your health. Now think about how you have come to have these things. Likely through … Continue reading more...

Nov 29 2013
November 29, 2013 Taha Tabish and Misbah-ul Haque are making changes that impact the community, the environment and those in need through their program G-Roots. more...

Nov 29 2013
Michael Abrashoff took command of the worst-performing navy ship and crew in the Pacific Fleet and—within just one year—made it the best in the fleet. The challenges that faced him on the under-performing ship were staggering: low morale, high crew turnover, and dismal performance evaluations. What drove Michael’s success was the realization that he needed... more...

Nov 29 2013
So REIGN has been picked up for a full season. You know what that means, more shenanigans at the court of Henri II like these last two episodes.  Sorry I'm late with the recaps but last weekend was the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who so Mary, Queen of Scots fell by the wayside.

 
Bash looking soulful, probably thinking about Mary!

- Mary and Francis are so cute together you guys! They spend the first part of the episode snuggling and making out. I sure hope nothing comes between these two crazy kids!

- Uh oh, some blonde chick named Olivia shows up at court after almost getting killed in the Dark Forest. It turns out that she and Francis used to play 'doctor' in the boathouse until they got caught. She was whisked away to marry to someone else but it fell through because of that whole not being a virgin thing.

- Mary decides to be nice to Olivia instead of ripping her hair out until Olivia admits that she's back to steal Francis.

- Mary decides to that Olivia needs to leave court to stay with a respectable family in Paris to help repair her reputation. WTH?

- Olivia pleads with Francis not to send her away, telling him that if she can't marry him, she'll be happy to just be his mistress.

- Machiavella de Medici blackmails Aylee into giving her a look at Mary's letters to her mother. If she doesn't, she'll tell Mary that Aylee is a klepto.

- Francis told Mary at the Harvest Festival (seriously there is a festival every week on this show!) that Olivia was not going to be going away after all. Oops! They argue and Mary does what any woman would do in this situation. She gets drunk and makes out with her fiancé's cuter half-brother.

- Catherine de Medici reveals that she wants Olivia to trap Francis into marrying her by getting pregnant.

- Mary reveals that knows that Catherine is reading her letters, in fact, she planned the whole thing with Aylee.

- Greer and Kitchen boy made out. What do you want to bet he's some prince or noble who is hiding in the royal kitchen for REASONS.

- Kenna told off Mary after Mary tried to warn her about getting involved with the King. Ooh, Kenna, you are going to be so sorry when Diane de Poitiers and the Queen join forces to get rid of you.

- The pagans in the Dark Forest are mad because Bash rescued some dude from having all his blood drained from him. He now has to pay be sacrificing some else's life. Who could it be?

This week's episode was entitled Scotland although it had nothing to do with Scotland whatsoever.

- Mary and Bash had an awkward moment recalling their make-out session from last week.

- A giant, bloody stag's head was left in Mary's room while she was sleeping as a warning from the pagans/heretics who live in the dark forest.

- It turns out that Diane de Poitier comes from a pagan family. She warns Bash that no one can find out their terrible secret.

- Mary and Catherine de Medici play good cop/bad cop with the servants. Mary promises that no one will be punished if they give information while Catherine tells them if they don't cough up information, she will burn their villages down.

- Kenna, one of Mary's ladies, invites her friends to the King's bedroom to celebrate her becoming his mistress. She gets upset when one her friends points out the entwined initials H&D in the floor. She has a hissy fit and demands that the King remove them.

- Bash releases a prisoner and takes him into the Dark Forest of Doom to flush out of one of the pagans/heretics who he kills as a sacrifice. On the way back to the castle, Bash pushes the prisoner off a cliff when it looks like he's going to spill the beans about what happened.

- The King complains to Diane de Poitier about Kenna's demands before making love to his former mistress.

- After Bash returns to the castle, Francis announces that he and Mary should see other people, as long as one of them isn't Bash. Meanwhile Francis finds Olivia and decides to play hide the éclair with her because this show is the worst.

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Nov 29 2013
So REIGN has been picked up for a full season. You know what that means, more shenanigans at the court of Henri II like these last two episodes.  Sorry I'm late with the recaps but last weekend was the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who so Mary, Queen of Scots fell by the wayside.

 
Bash looking soulful, probably thinking about Mary!

- Mary and Francis are so cute together you guys! They spend the first part of the episode snuggling and making out. I sure hope nothing comes between these two crazy kids!

- Uh oh, some blonde chick named Olivia shows up at court after almost getting killed in the Dark Forest. It turns out that she and Francis used to play 'doctor' in the boathouse until they got caught. She was whisked away to marry to someone else but it fell through because of that whole not being a virgin thing.

- Mary decides to be nice to Olivia instead of ripping her hair out until Olivia admits that she's back to steal Francis.

- Mary decides to that Olivia needs to leave court to stay with a respectable family in Paris to help repair her reputation. WTH?

- Olivia pleads with Francis not to send her away, telling him that if she can't marry him, she'll be happy to just be his mistress.

- Machiavella de Medici blackmails Aylee into giving her a look at Mary's letters to her mother. If she doesn't, she'll tell Mary that Aylee is a klepto.

- Francis told Mary at the Harvest Festival (seriously there is a festival every week on this show!) that Olivia was not going to be going away after all. Oops! They argue and Mary does what any woman would do in this situation. She gets drunk and makes out with her fiancé's cuter half-brother.

- Catherine de Medici reveals that she wants Olivia to trap Francis into marrying her by getting pregnant.

- Mary reveals that knows that Catherine is reading her letters, in fact, she planned the whole thing with Aylee.

- Greer and Kitchen boy made out. What do you want to bet he's some prince or noble who is hiding in the royal kitchen for REASONS.

- Kenna told off Mary after Mary tried to warn her about getting involved with the King. Ooh, Kenna, you are going to be so sorry when Diane de Poitiers and the Queen join forces to get rid of you.

- The pagans in the Dark Forest are mad because Bash rescued some dude from having all his blood drained from him. He now has to pay be sacrificing some else's life. Who could it be?

This week's episode was entitled Scotland although it had nothing to do with Scotland whatsoever.

- Mary and Bash had an awkward moment recalling their make-out session from last week.

- A giant, bloody stag's head was left in Mary's room while she was sleeping as a warning from the pagans/heretics who live in the dark forest.

- It turns out that Diane de Poitier comes from a pagan family. She warns Bash that no one can find out their terrible secret.

- Mary and Catherine de Medici play good cop/bad cop with the servants. Mary promises that no one will be punished if they give information while Catherine tells them if they don't cough up information, she will burn their villages down.

- Kenna, one of Mary's ladies, invites her friends to the King's bedroom to celebrate her becoming his mistress. She gets upset when one her friends points out the entwined initials H&D in the floor. She has a hissy fit and demands that the King remove them.

- Bash releases a prisoner and takes him into the Dark Forest of Doom to flush out of one of the pagans/heretics who he kills as a sacrifice. On the way back to the castle, Bash pushes the prisoner off a cliff when it looks like he's going to spill the beans about what happened.

- The King complains to Diane de Poitier about Kenna's demands before making love to his former mistress.

- After Bash returns to the castle, Francis announces that he and Mary should see other people, as long as one of them isn't Bash. Meanwhile Francis finds Olivia and decides to play hide the éclair with her because this show is the worst.

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Nov 29 2013

Tria Lab Sessions Round 1 Tested by  Sarah and Carly. We are super excited to...

The post Tria Lab Sessions: Round 1 appeared first on Rent frock Repeat.

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Nov 29 2013

Heather Hartt-Sussman

Heather Hartt-Sussman interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

Children's Author & Media Personality

Former host on E! Entertainment in the US, children's author, Heather Hartt-Sussman, discusses the power of saying "no" -- and her lovable "Nana" series (Nana's Getting Married, Here Comes Hortense! and Nana's Summer Surprise) and "Noni" series (Noni Says No and Noni is Nervous). She is the former host of the daily series The Gossip Show on E! Entertainment Television in the United States. more...

Nov 29 2013

Avery Swartz

Avery Swartz interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

Tech Expert & Founder, Camp Tech

Camp Tech founder and website designer, Avery Swartz, discusses why many women are fearful of technology, how to get past it, and provides tips on how-to create your own website for entrepreneurs. more...

Nov 29 2013
At 23 years old, Barbara Corcoran quit waitressing ―just one job of over 20 she had already held―and borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years, she would parlay that loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business and the largest brand in... more...

Nov 29 2013
We can’t believe it! The My Smart Hands YouTube Channel has hit over 25MILLION views and is still climbing each and every day! Thank you so much to all of our viewers and supporters. We love being able to share the importance and joys of using Baby Sing Language to enhance your child’s – and(...) more...

Nov 29 2013

Sandra Abballe

Sandra Abballe interview on Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

Owner & Chocolatier, Succulent Chocolates and Sweets Inc.

Owner and head Chocolatier of Succulent Chocolates and Sweets Inc., Sandra Abballe talks about her success as a young entrepreneur and why she is "Canada's Best Molded Bon Bon." more...

Nov 29 2013
Are you kidding me! A child chooses to wear her hair natural and faces being kicked out of school?!The story of 12-year-old Vanessa Vandyke facing expulsion for her natural hairstyle has gone viral and made national headlines. Attention was brough... more...

Nov 29 2013

Why We Love Da Kink In Vanessa’s Hair

Owner & Chocolatier, Succulent Chocolates and Sweets Inc.

Are you kidding me! A child chooses to wear her hair natural and faces being kicked out of school?!The story of 12-year-old Vanessa Vandyke facing expulsion for her natural hairstyle has gone viral and made national headlines. Attention was brough... more...

Nov 28 2013
Did you think that having your own business would be a ‘cake walk’? Do you find yourself making comparisons to others in business and wondering why you aren’t doing better? You are not alone! This is so very common, especially for those new to the business world. [...] more...

Nov 28 2013
Here is how to YOU can HELP!   more...

Nov 28 2013
Get the Designer Look for Less Interior designer, Melissa Davis, shares easy installations that can make a bang without busting your budget. Flooring: on the left is an engineered wood; on the right is a matched laminate. By using laminate in separated areas like the basement you can save thousands on the overall flooring cost, but a […] more...

Nov 28 2013
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here! Yahoooo! And if you are looking for deals and steals, let me point you in the right direction…. more...

Nov 28 2013
For the inside scoop on where digital culture is headed, look no further than digital expert and entrepreneur, Jesse Brown. A dot.com start-up founder, podcaster, blogger, and journalist, Jesse shares his technology insight with audiences of all kinds, from social media newcomers to organizations and educators looking to discover the digital world’s “next big thing.”... more...

Nov 28 2013


What is holistic health for animals?

What does natural health mean?

Why would you explore this route of care for you pet?

How do you find natural health and holistic doctors for our pet family members?
 
Dr Shawn (photo credit: Dr Shawn Messonnier)
These were all questions that our guest, Dr. Shawn Messonnier, DVM, answered on PAWsitive Radio Show.  Mom interviewed Dr Shawn who was a 1987 graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, opened Paws & Claws Animal Hospital in 1991. His special interests include exotic pets, dermatology, cancer, and internal medicine. In addition to serving clients, he has written for numerous veterinary and pet publications including Animal Wellness, Body + Soul, Veterinary Forum, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Dog World, Fido Friendly, Whole Dog Journal, Whole Cat Journal, Whole Living, Total Health and Wellness. 

 
...by the way, the dog and cat at the top of his web page are Dr. Shawn’s dog Rita, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and his Ragdoll cat, Dysa!

 Here’s what I learned from Dr. Shawn:

1)      Animals who are under the care of a holistic Veterinarian may have a longer life span, Dr. Shawn mentioned that there is a reduced dependency on drugs, and reduced cost for the pet family, and that pets could live 1-2 times longer. WOW! This is PAWSome!
2)      Dr. Shawn reminded pet families to read labels, do their research, don’t believe broad statement outrageous  claims, and, to have a meet and greet with your Veterinarian and animal health care provider to make sure they and their approach are a good fit. 
3)      Dr. Shawn has created his own line of products for us, for pets!  From shampoos to health products, Dr. Shawn has clinically tested the products. 
4)      And… remember to take good care of your pet’s health just as you do your own.

Dr Shawn’s thank you for listening to our show go to Dr Shawn's website enter code "drshawn" at my natural products web store, www.drshawnsnaturals.com, to save 10% on all your future purchases!

Listen to more of Dr. Shawn's great information and tips here:


    


Check out Dr. Shawn's books here:

        

Check out my books here... PS  Toby the Pet Therapy Dog series received the Mom's Choice Award Seal of approval, and were named among the best in books and products for children....


        
Another book to read:     
more...

Nov 28 2013


What is holistic health for animals?

What does natural health mean?

Why would you explore this route of care for you pet?

How do you find natural health and holistic doctors for our pet family members?
 
Dr Shawn (photo credit: Dr Shawn Messonnier)
These were all questions that our guest, Dr. Shawn Messonnier, DVM, answered on PAWsitive Radio Show.  Mom interviewed Dr Shawn who was a 1987 graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, opened Paws & Claws Animal Hospital in 1991. His special interests include exotic pets, dermatology, cancer, and internal medicine. In addition to serving clients, he has written for numerous veterinary and pet publications including Animal Wellness, Body + Soul, Veterinary Forum, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Dog World, Fido Friendly, Whole Dog Journal, Whole Cat Journal, Whole Living, Total Health and Wellness. 

 
...by the way, the dog and cat at the top of his web page are Dr. Shawn’s dog Rita, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and his Ragdoll cat, Dysa!

 Here’s what I learned from Dr. Shawn:

1)      Animals who are under the care of a holistic Veterinarian may have a longer life span, Dr. Shawn mentioned that there is a reduced dependency on drugs, and reduced cost for the pet family, and that pets could live 1-2 times longer. WOW! This is PAWSome!
2)      Dr. Shawn reminded pet families to read labels, do their research, don’t believe broad statement outrageous  claims, and, to have a meet and greet with your Veterinarian and animal health care provider to make sure they and their approach are a good fit. 
3)      Dr. Shawn has created his own line of products for us, for pets!  From shampoos to health products, Dr. Shawn has clinically tested the products. 
4)      And… remember to take good care of your pet’s health just as you do your own.

Dr Shawn’s thank you for listening to our show go to Dr Shawn's website enter code "drshawn" at my natural products web store, www.drshawnsnaturals.com, to save 10% on all your future purchases!

Listen to more of Dr. Shawn's great information and tips here:


    


Check out Dr. Shawn's books here:

        

Check out my books here... PS  Toby the Pet Therapy Dog series received the Mom's Choice Award Seal of approval, and were named among the best in books and products for children....


        
Another book to read:     
more...

Nov 28 2013

Reflexes and Reflections is a weekly blog post written by Lisa Delorme, Co-Founder and CEO...

The post Lisa Delorme’s Reflexes and Reflections: On Empathy (or Lack Thereof) appeared first on Rent frock Repeat.

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Nov 28 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers! What are you up to today? We'll be heading to our friends' house in Brooklyn, where they have a fireplace, red wine and lots of stinky cheese. Have a wonderful day, and here are a few fun links from aroun... more...

Nov 28 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers! What are you up to today? We'll be heading to our friends' house in Brooklyn, where they have a fireplace, red wine and lots of stinky cheese. Have a wonderful day, and here are a few fun links from aroun... more...

Nov 27 2013


1 THING illustrated by Crissy de Ocampo: ‘Love, love, love’

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Nov 27 2013
With a goal to help build a world in which people go home every day feeling fulfilled by their work, renowned leadership expert Simon Sinek is leading a bold movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. The internationally bestselling author of Start With Why, Simon offers an unconventional perspective that explains... more...

Nov 27 2013
She's not just someone who sells me stuff. She'll sell me half a bunch of cilantro, search the back for a fresher bunch of chard. And she always knocks a little off the price. I like to think I'm her favorite customer. But of course if you shop at her stall, you'd be quick to disagree. more...

Nov 27 2013
I believe one of the most important things a male boss can do is to always be inclusive. By this I mean he needs to ensure he invites her to participate in any event, social or work related, that he has invited her male colleagues to. He must ensure sh... more...

Nov 27 2013
When more than 700 women from across Ontario get together in magical Muskoka for the Huntsville Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend, it is a time to relax, let down the hair and unleash the inner wild child. more...

Nov 27 2013
When more than 700 women from across Ontario get together in magical Muskoka for the Huntsville Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend, it is a time to relax, let down the hair and unleash the inner wild child. more...

Nov 27 2013

We are back with another edition of Where and Wear Wednesday, highlighting the hottest happenings...

The post Where and Wear Wednesday: November Part 4 appeared first on Rent frock Repeat.

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Nov 27 2013

It’s official; the Christmas holiday season is upon us.  Our school aged kids are learning Jingle Bells and The Twelve Days of Christmas to perform at the school Holiday (CHRISTMAS) Concert, so naturally, the questions have started about Santa and Christmas.  How will Santa get into our house; we don’t have a chimney?  When will we get our get Christmas tree?  Is Santa going to come into our room like the tooth fairy because I don’t want him to?  (I totally agree about the weirdness of random made up people coming into my room at night.  Creepy!)  It is at this time that I have to explain to the kids that they are Jewish and that we have a Jewish home and therefore don’t celebrate Christmas at our house but instead celebrate Christmas at Nanny’s house.   We don’t have a tree and Santa won’t come to our house.  As I’m explaining all of this to the kids, I’m preparing for some heavy duty “it’s not fair” tantrums, but luckily the kids are pretty chill about this.  After, they clarify that Santa knows where they’ll be and they will, in fact, receive their presents at Nanny’s house, they go about their business.  Discussion done.  ...For them. 



I find this interfaith family thing a little more challenging.  I am Christian - not A Christian but I grew up celebrating Christmas and Easter.  And I’m still the first one up on Christmas morning ‘cuz well, it’s Christmas people!  My partner Lisa is Jewish.  She grew up more as a cultural Jew than a religious Jew. 

When we met, I was all “If God had a refrigerator, my picture would be on it!”* and Lisa was all, “I’m going to meditate at the local Buddhist temple.”  When we started planning to have kids, I said that I want to raise our kids to believe in God and Lisa said she wants the kids to be raised Jewish. Regardless of the biological technicality that none of our children were born to a Jewish woman and therefore are not recognized as Jewish, it seemed like a good option to raise the children to believe in God in a Jewish way.  Cool, right?  Wrong.  As it turns out, Lisa doesn’t really know much about finding God in the context of Judaism and I pretty much use God as a tool in managing behaviours.  Basically this leads me to saying things like “God doesn’t like it when you blow out the Hanukkah candles!”  Jewish God, with a side of Catholic guilt!  Not at all what we had intended.  



So every year- Jewish and Gregorian, we promise to bring more religious spirituality to our family life.  We light candles and say blessings on Friday nights.   It is true that on some Friday nights, we bless the sushi we’ve ordered in rather than a traditionally blessed Challah, but the kids get it – we thank God, farmers and Sushi Island for our food.  Our eldest goes to Jewish religious school once a week.  (We are late for religious school too by the way).  This week, we gently suggested that he not take his picture of an elf decorating a Christmas tree with stars of David to show his teacher.  We excitedly teach the kids to spin dreidels while they excitedly sing Christmas carols.  This happened.  I am not making this up.  And we explain, to anyone  who asks, that the reason why we haven’t cut our youngest boy’s hair is because we are following the Jewish custom of letting a boy’s hair grow until he turns three before having a celebratory chalakah (Jewish hair cutting ceremony).  The actual reason for keeping his hair long is because he’s crazy cute with long hair!  Obviously we pick and choose which customs to follow and which traditions are meaningful to us.  Truth be told, right now our kids may be more Jew-ish than Jewish, but we’re getting there. 


Hanukkah starts this week we have placed our menorah in the window so that when we light it on Wednesday night everyone will know that ours is a Jewish home.  This week we will also practice the Christmas songs in preparation for the Holiday (seriously, call it like it is – Christmas) concert, because no kid of mine, Jewish or otherwise, is going to be in the back row of the choir pretending to sing! 

I am confident that when the teacher asks if anyone celebrates Hanukkah, my kids will raise their hands and say “I do!” and then proceed to have a lengthy conversation with their friends about the travel pattern of Santa on Christmas Eve.  Clearly the kids have this interfaith family thing down! 




Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating this week! 


xo Ajike





* Quote by Max Lucado

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Nov 27 2013

It’s official; the Christmas holiday season is upon us.  Our school aged kids are learning Jingle Bells and The Twelve Days of Christmas to perform at the school Holiday (CHRISTMAS) Concert, so naturally, the questions have started about Santa and Christmas.  How will Santa get into our house; we don’t have a chimney?  When will we get our get Christmas tree?  Is Santa going to come into our room like the tooth fairy because I don’t want him to?  (I totally agree about the weirdness of random made up people coming into my room at night.  Creepy!)  It is at this time that I have to explain to the kids that they are Jewish and that we have a Jewish home and therefore don’t celebrate Christmas at our house but instead celebrate Christmas at Nanny’s house.   We don’t have a tree and Santa won’t come to our house.  As I’m explaining all of this to the kids, I’m preparing for some heavy duty “it’s not fair” tantrums, but luckily the kids are pretty chill about this.  After, they clarify that Santa knows where they’ll be and they will, in fact, receive their presents at Nanny’s house, they go about their business.  Discussion done.  ...For them. 



I find this interfaith family thing a little more challenging.  I am Christian - not A Christian but I grew up celebrating Christmas and Easter.  And I’m still the first one up on Christmas morning ‘cuz well, it’s Christmas people!  My partner Lisa is Jewish.  She grew up more as a cultural Jew than a religious Jew. 

When we met, I was all “If God had a refrigerator, my picture would be on it!”* and Lisa was all, “I’m going to meditate at the local Buddhist temple.”  When we started planning to have kids, I said that I want to raise our kids to believe in God and Lisa said she wants the kids to be raised Jewish. Regardless of the biological technicality that none of our children were born to a Jewish woman and therefore are not recognized as Jewish, it seemed like a good option to raise the children to believe in God in a Jewish way.  Cool, right?  Wrong.  As it turns out, Lisa doesn’t really know much about finding God in the context of Judaism and I pretty much use God as a tool in managing behaviours.  Basically this leads me to saying things like “God doesn’t like it when you blow out the Hanukkah candles!”  Jewish God, with a side of Catholic guilt!  Not at all what we had intended.  



So every year- Jewish and Gregorian, we promise to bring more religious spirituality to our family life.  We light candles and say blessings on Friday nights.   It is true that on some Friday nights, we bless the sushi we’ve ordered in rather than a traditionally blessed Challah, but the kids get it – we thank God, farmers and Sushi Island for our food.  Our eldest goes to Jewish religious school once a week.  (We are late for religious school too by the way).  This week, we gently suggested that he not take his picture of an elf decorating a Christmas tree with stars of David to show his teacher.  We excitedly teach the kids to spin dreidels while they excitedly sing Christmas carols.  This happened.  I am not making this up.  And we explain, to anyone  who asks, that the reason why we haven’t cut our youngest boy’s hair is because we are following the Jewish custom of letting a boy’s hair grow until he turns three before having a celebratory chalakah (Jewish hair cutting ceremony).  The actual reason for keeping his hair long is because he’s crazy cute with long hair!  Obviously we pick and choose which customs to follow and which traditions are meaningful to us.  Truth be told, right now our kids may be more Jew-ish than Jewish, but we’re getting there. 


Hanukkah starts this week we have placed our menorah in the window so that when we light it on Wednesday night everyone will know that ours is a Jewish home.  This week we will also practice the Christmas songs in preparation for the Holiday (seriously, call it like it is – Christmas) concert, because no kid of mine, Jewish or otherwise, is going to be in the back row of the choir pretending to sing! 

I am confident that when the teacher asks if anyone celebrates Hanukkah, my kids will raise their hands and say “I do!” and then proceed to have a lengthy conversation with their friends about the travel pattern of Santa on Christmas Eve.  Clearly the kids have this interfaith family thing down! 




Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating this week! 


xo Ajike





* Quote by Max Lucado

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