Not In Jersey Not In Jersey

Hooray, It’s Friday! More Snow and New Link-Up Announcement

Friday, January 19, 2018

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Time for some random Friday rambles!

[one]

I mentioned last week that we had our first snow day, but it didn’t really snow. It did snow on Sunday though! The kids got right out there with the shovels. We think the bigger kid shovel was left in the backyard, so Simon tried to shovel with a tiny one!

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[two]

The snow didn’t stop us from taking an overnight trip to Bentonville, AR. We had a lot of fun and I’ll blog about it soon! For now though, check out the whirlpool tub in our hotel room – the kids loved it!

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[three]

It snowed again the next day, as we were leaving AR, and since this week’s 52 Frames theme is “leading lines,” I was trying to get a good picture to submit. I didn’t end up choosing one of these, but I thought the highway looked pretty cool! (Dave was driving, obviously!)

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[four]

New link up announcement! I was so excited when Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag contacted me with this idea: a Local Tourist Link-Up. The link-up will go live on the last weekday of each month (this month it will hit our blogs on January 31), and you can link up any posts you have written about your fun adventures in your local area. I love to blog about our fun adventures around town and I’m sure some of you do too!

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[five]

In case you missed it, this week I posted about:

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fotor  wynwoodwalls
What We're Reading

Have a great weekend!

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Linking Up With:
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Friday Favorites

Wynwood Walls Miami

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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While we were in Miami, I found out about a place that I knew I had to check out – Wynwood Walls. I found it because I had heard of a bakery called Zak the Baker and was told that I should try it. When I told my friend I was thinking of going there, she told me the bakery is located in Wynwood, a neighborhood where everything is painted and decorated and so fun for photographers like me! Simon is always cooperative when I want to take photos of him with fun walls, and Gabbie gets in some, but Zachary doesn’t like to – never fear, he was there, just not in the photos!

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What I’ve Been Reading #166

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What We're Reading

Remember how I said I blog about books on Fridays? Well, not this month! Today I’m one of the guest hosts for Steph’s What We’re Reading Wednesday link-up. First, you can find out a bit about me and the other guest host and then I will share what I read recently!


Dara (me) from Not In Jersey
1. What is the one book from your 2017 READ shelf that you’d recommend to a friend? Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
2. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? A very long time ago I read Les Miserables (1488 pages).
3. Which author is your go to when looking for a new book to start? I don't think I have one. I love Jodi Picoult, but I've already read all of her currently released books!

Read Dara's January book recap here: What I've Been Reading (See Below)!

Jess from Just Jess
1. What is the one book from your 2017 READ shelf that you’d recommend to a friend? The Woman in Cabin 10 for a fun suspenseful thriller and Small Great Things if they want to be more engaged with the book as it deals with race relations in our nation.
2. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Mists of Avalon in 8th grade. It is 867 pages. If I had read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in one volume it would win at 1216 pages.
3. Which author is your go to when looking for a new book to start? Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite author and since she writes three main series there is always a new book to grab.

Read Jess’s January book recap here: What We're Reading (Janurary)

Stephanie host of What We're Reading Wednesday and blogger at Wife Mommy Me
1. What is the one book from your 2017 READ shelf that you’d recommend to a friend? Bright Side by Kim Holden. I love the story, the way Holden writes, her storytelling grabs you.
2. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It's 771 pages long. At times, I wanted to give up. It's a long book, very detailed and at times confusing. But I am so glad that I stuck it out. It's a fantastic book.
3. Which author is your go to when looking for a new book to start? Jojo Moyes. Without a doubt. I've never read a novel by her that didn't leave me wanting more. Her best book? Me Before You.

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rI actually read this book last month, but I didn’t get around to reviewing it yet! The Astronaut Wives Club was my book group’s pick for this month’s discussion. We were supposed to meet last week, but so many people were unavailable that we postponed the meeting to next week! I actually did not realize at first that The Astronaut Wives Club is a non-fiction book, so it marked the second non-fiction book I read in 2017.

“As America’s Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons. Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails. As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives, the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.”

I am sure that those who were growing up during the early 60’s would have known about these women, but I knew very little about the astronauts, much less about their wives. Of course, I’d heard of John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and John Shepard, but not many of the others. These women had to stay at home and watch as their husbands launched themselves into space. What’s interesting is the communication that did have – even though currently there is more technology in an iPhone than there is in the space shuttles they launched to the moon, there was still a live broadcast and communication from space. In fact, the space program enhanced the technology we have today. I never quite understood why the space program ended, but this book made me see how dangerous it actually was. It seems like with the technology we have now, it would make more sense for a program like this to exist in this decade!

While I found the information in the book to be interesting, I really prefer reading novels and I wished that this was written a bit more like a novel, rather than like an interview or a long newspaper article. Many reviews seem to agree that there were too many women to focus on here and it was difficult to keep everyone straight. I think there was too much generalization in writing about all of the women as if they were one and the same – which is actually how NASA tried make them appear. As the face of the program, the women had to appear perfect and in control at all times. One sad aspect that was described was the infidelity that took place. As the men were away from home much of the time, they seemed to believe that affairs were acceptable. Many of the marriages ended in divorce, once NASA allowed the couples to divorce.

As far as a club, the women were sometimes cliquey and not always kind, but when there was a space accident, they supported one another greatly. I imagine being an astronaut would be one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. However, the women that stood beside the men as they had a great time flying their planes, being reckless, and exploring space were the ones who were actually brave.


Thank you for joining us for What We're Reading Wednesday!
We look forward to sharing and discovering books with you! -- #WWRW2018

Now, add your link and join us!


What have you been reading lately?

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How To Make A Photo Collage Using Fotor

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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So, you know I take a lot of photos, right? Sometimes, I think about combining photos into collages instead of posting so many at once! When I was looking for photo editing sites, I came across Fotor. Fotor’s collage maker offers a variety of styles to create your collage, with hundreds of templates to choose from.

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First, I tried the Classic Collage, in which you can chose your photo grids based on the amount of photos you want to add, as well as add more cells. You just have to drag and drop your photos where you want them.

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You can change the background color of the collage, or use an image as the background.

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You can also use your own image as the background, as I did here.

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There are many options of stickers you can add to your collage as well. You can change the color of the sticker using the dropper tool and you can adjust its size to how you want it.

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Here is my Classic Collage:

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You can save your work both on Fotor’s cloud and to your computer.

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Next, I tried the Artistic Collage, which gives the options of more present themes and text. These look like they would be awesome for creating cards, although Fotor does offer templates for cards as well! Once again, you drag and drop your photos where you want them on the collage. You can unlock the cells if you want to adjust the sizes of the template.

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I ended up removing one of the photo blocks. Next, I edited the text.

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I decided to add a sticker instead of only using text. In the sticker area, I searched for “summer” to find an appropriate sticker (I did this for the sun I used above, too).

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Again, I changed the color of the sticker and adjusted its size.

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Here is my Artistic Collage:

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Next, I tried the Funky Collage option. These templates are fun because they are made up of various shapes.

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How fun is that? I kept adding in photos until it looked cool!

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Then I changed the background too.

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I liked this one too. You can even split up one photo in different pieces for a cool look. I didn’t quite do that here!

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Finally, there is a Photo Stitching option, which is where you can make a composite of your photos next to one another.

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Here’s mine!

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I think these collages would be great to have printed, use as cards, or frame, plus they would be great to cut down on too many photos in a blog post! I will definitely make use of Fotor’s photo editing program in the future! Which of my collages do you like the best?

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