Tag Archives: Organic

Shopping At TJ Maxx With The Kids

tjmaxxI was approached by a PR firm to see if I was interested in how many kid friendly and back to school items I could find at TJMaxx and Marshall’s. The good news is that I was given $25.00 to spend in both stores.  The good news is I love shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, the bad news is that it is hard for me to just spend $25.00. I have never spent less than $100 at either store and I didn’t know what to expect. Not so easy a task with three kids in tow (four, two, and one). I had to plan for eve” shoesry possible situation, so I brought some juice boxes to tide them over so I could quickly search for their “back to school” sneakers since it was something that they really needed (you know how these kids grow out of a new pair of shoes in five seconds). 

We decided to go to the TJ Maxx on New Hyde Park Road near Lake Success and easily accessible from either the LIE or Union Turnpike. As soon as we arrived my kids were already clashing over who would push the stroller with their baby brother in. I knew instantly that this shopping trip would be a very fast one. Then, my four year old daughter said that she “had to make”.  Having been in this prediciment  before at this same store, I knew we had to go through the houseware section to get to the restrooms. I love this section and I always find unique bowels and picture frames.  I also found a turquoise body pillow that was soft and fluffy for $12.99. You should have seen my kids testing out these pillows (yes, they laid down on them right in the middle of the isle) and that is what they wanted.  I’d show you the picture but I had to return it because it was not good for my very allergic husband.

As we were on our way out of the store, my kids spotted the food section. I thought I had it easy because what food would TJ Maxx have that was kosher certified by a symbol (kosher authority) that I knew and trusted? I was pleasantly surprised when I found a couple of cookies (I initially noticed them because of their style of packaging) that I bought for the kids to snack on and as well as a flavored bottle of water drink that my daughter just had to have. The Late July Organic Mini Milk Chocolate Bite Size Sandwich Cookies (kosher OUD) late july organic mini milk chocolatewere very good and chocolaty. Not only is the packaging very colorful, but it features endangered animals and Late July is donating 10% of the profits to the Jane Goodall Institute. The original price was $4 and TJ Maxx had them for $2.99 for a 5 oz box. This is more than I would want to spend on cookies which I don’t even buy anymore because it is easier to just make your own (my husband has an awesome oatmeal cookie recipe). Since %10 of profits donated to the Jane Goodall Institute, it was worth it to me. I could only find one package of these USDA certified organic cookies but they can be found at Whole Foods or latejuly.com. Not to worry, a few inches away I spotted a box of Market Squares Vanilla Circus Cookies. These cookies are all natural and do not contain Trans Fats. A 2 oz package sells for $2 and TJ Maxx sold them for $1.29. Again, these are kosher certified by the cRcD (Chicago Rabbinical Council Dairy). I was originally drawn to this box because of the cover with two lions roaring at each other. No wonder, the owner of the company and his partner have a background in advertising, design and photography. They produce each and every design themselves. These cookies are also very tasty. In fact, Market Square was founded in 1982 by James L. Lockhart and his son David. James L. Lockhart is also a well known wildlife artist and his work can be seen online at Walden Press Museum Editions. market sqaure vanilla animal crackers

I love shopping at TJ Maxx and even though I didn’t find the shoes that I wanted for my kids (this TJ Maxx did not have shoes for kids) we found some yummy organic kosher snacks that had never heard about before. I still have a $20.00 credit because I returned the pillow and I am going to use if for when the Halloween costumes arrive and shop ahead for Purim costumes (Jewish holiday commemorating how G-d performs hidden miracles and we are hidden behind costumes). This holiday is especially fun for kids because they wear costumes to synagogue and school. I will be

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Filed under Family Fun, Gourmet kosher, Healthy, Kosher, Organic, Purim, Shopping, Shopping Kosher

I Am Going To Enhance My Kosher Knowledge This Summer In NY

Food, glorious food. Yes, it is no secret that I love anything and everything to do with kosher food. On any given day, you will find “kosher” as one of the columns in my tweetdeck.com, which I use to keep up with the twitterverse. If you’re not familiar with this application, please check out tweetdeck.com. It enables me to view every comment that includes  “kosher” in the 140 character comment. It is interesting to see how many people use the word “kosher” to describe the difference between good and bad, for example, this tweet came up recently, “Cutting corners is one thing, but putting water in the liquid soap dispenser when it’s empty is NOT kosher”. While tweetdeck is keeping the kosher tweets up to date, I click over to ou.org and see what is happening with some of my favorite kosher brands, like, Empire Kosher, Sabra, Larabar, Gerber, and Snapple  just to name a few.  There are so many kosher brands that I love, and most recenlty, I fell in love all over again when I read that Gerber has ten great tasting flavors certified by the Orthodox Union (OU): Applesauce, Pears, Bananas, Apple Strawberry Banana, Apple Blueberry, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Squash, Green Beans and Peas. This just in from Empire Kosher, today they announced that they will expand antibiotic free and organic poultry lines. “This is so good to know about, and I totally appreciate the up to date information provided by the Orthodox Union.

Women have always been the family member behind the savory soups and fresh baked challah before Shabbos (you haven’t been to my house, it’s my mensch of a husband behind all of that). Soon there will be more women behind the scenes of kosher cuisine.  In fact, the Orthodox Union and Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of OU Kosher Education, will be hosting such a program later this summer.

The following description of this course can also be found by clicking this link. I have summarized some of the reasons why I would love to attend this conference. Once I fell in love with kosher food (I am a Baale Teshuva and I started keeping kosher exclusively 8 years ago) I had to inform my friends and family members about what makes food kosher and not kosher. I have tried to explain the technicalities and practices of kosher law, but I was leaving phone calls here and sending emails there, and it was getting way too complicated. I would end up referring people to the Orthodox Union website in hope that they would find information that would answer their questions. Nevertheless, I would have loved to have had more detaisl for them back then. Not to worry, questions concerning kosher food will never cease and I am so thankful that from August 24-28, OU Kosher will offer a special kashrut course specifically geared for women. Baruch Hashem. In the course, according to Rabbi Grossman, participants will enhance their kashrut knowledge and skills by “hands-on” instruction from OU experts, as well as from OU instructional DVD’s in areas of kosher food management such as checking vegetables for insects; Hafroshat Chalah (the separation or tithing of challah); blood spots in eggs; shaylos (or questions) dealing with chickens which should be brought to a Rav for a psak (halachic decision); meat and dairy control; identifying and purchasing kosher fish; and becoming an educated kosher consumer. They will go on field trips to OU certified factories, hotel kitchens and food service establishments which, Rabbi Grossman said, will give participants “an appreciation for the complexities of modern day kashrut.” The students will tour OU Kosher, meet its rabbinic staff – both those who are based in the OU office (rabbinic coordinators) and those who work outside (rabbinic field representatives) – and come away with a heightened sense of how kashrut operates commercially and in the home. “The course will go into the home kitchen as well,” Rabbi Grossman said, “for proper control of a kitchen requires extensive kashrut knowledge.” Rabbi Grossman and his colleagues “have spent much time and thought on how to structure this special week,” he said, recognizing the uniqueness of the audience and determined to provide the best program possible. The course will be limited to about 20 participants, and is intended to serve the needs of “a large spectrum of women.” I just found out today that I will be attending this event!  You can follow me as on twitter as I take in al of this

What does a stay-at-home-mom blogger want this for? There are so many reasons, but most importantly, I would like to be an advocate for kosher food and properly respond to the questions I am frequently asked by my non-kosher keeping friends and family. It’s not you, it’s me. I have committed to a kosher lifestyle 8 years ago, and I’m sticking to it.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Healthy, Kosher, Organic, Shabbos shuffle