Not In Jersey: July 2012 July 2012 - Not In Jersey

Trip to the Antique Mall

Monday, July 30, 2012



Today I went out and visited a very cool place that I didn’t know existed until recently, Nellie and Nico’s Antique Mall. It’s basically a flea market inside what used to be a supermarket. Each booth is full of stuff – I could have spent all day there just looking at everything!

There was lots of vintage glassware, housewares, etc. There were also things that were kind of strange! I took a few pictures until I felt weird doing so!

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The chair room!

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Interesting items

There were a lot of globes. I’ve recently realized having another globe would be cool – but I found the one we have at Goodwill and I’m sure I didn’t pay more than $5, so I’m spoiled!

I thought these were kind of cool, especially the ladle one, and I thought it might be easy to replicate!

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Wondering if I actually bought anything? I did!

This is going to be a jewelry holder, like this one.

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And these awesome trains for Zachary’s room.

I actually never showed you this side of Zachary’s room when I showed his new furniture! This is his new dresser. The gallery wall art post is here!
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Stuff I’m loving lately…


1. Google Reader. When it works I mean. I started out following blogs by pinning their buttons to a special pinterest board. Then I would click on them throughout the day to see if there were any new posts. However I read a post about the Google Next button which sits on my tool bar and brings me to the next unread blog post on my list whenever I give it a click. (Access this by going to your settings and choosing Goodies. Then drag the next link to the toolbar!) It wasn’t working correctly and a lot of the blogs I was following via Google Friend Connect weren’t appearing on my feed. Suddenly, earlier today, they appeared! Yay!

2. Having a working refrigerator. The little things, right?! Our refrigerator stopped working early last week and after being told it would take a week to get a part to fix it, we found a local company who fixed it 3 hours after we called them. We are lucky to have an extra fridge in the basement, but not having to run downstairs whenever we need something is wonderful!


The Olympics!

4. A new site I discovered today, called Tagxedo. You can use it to make all kinds of word art, like wordle, but much more user friendly, I feel. Check out what I’ve created so far:

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The star is in honor of Simon’s favorite song. The circle is words imported from my blog! And the heart is our names. There are lots of shapes you can use and if you’re more creative than I am I’m sure you can create something cool!

5. Iced Coffee. I make it at home with store bought iced coffee and my blender – crush the ice, blend together, and drink! Yum!

Mary Poppins Show

Friday, July 27, 2012


Today was Gabbie’s show! This morning she didn’t want to go to camp, was complaining she was tired, and was almost crying, but she was great at the show! She is 2nd from right, wearing turquoise and orange.

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Here are some videos from the show:

All About Me

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 Since I’ve been gathering some new readers lately who aren’t people who already know me, I thought I should write a post about myself. Maybe some of the people reading who have known me for awhile will even learn something new!
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- My name is Dara. It rhymes with Sarah. I’m from New Jersey so I say it with a short ‘a’ that can’t be explained in writing, but it’s the same ‘a’ you say in Dad or solidarity.
- I was born and grew up in New Jersey. I do have a bit of an accent – my favorite word to say to show off the accent is “waterfalls.” I never knew I had an accent until hanging out with my cousins from Ohio. They said I said “dog” wrong!
- I never in my life thought I would one day live in Kansas. When I was 16 I went to Israel for the first time and my mom joked about not coming back married. I joked back that I wasn’t going to marry anyone from somewhere like Kansas! Turns out there were 2 guys from Kansas on the trip. Turns out one of them has a sister who is now my good friend! Turns out I live in Kansas.
- To be fair, I really live in a Kansas City suburb. When you think of Kansas you might think of tornadoes and Dorothy, but I live in a city much bigger than the tiny town I lived in before we moved here! We have just about everything here. But we really need an Ikea.
- I met my husband Dave when I was 18, just after our first semester in college. We got married 4 years after we met, on December 26, 2000. At that time I was in grad school getting my degree in social work.
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- We bought our first house in May of 2003. We got our Scottish Terrier Rudy in November of 2003. We had our first child in April of 2005 – a girl!
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- Our next baby was born in June of 2007 – a boy! We moved to Kansas in November of 2009. In August of 2010 we had our third child – another boy!
- I started this blog after we moved to Kansas. The name is a play on Dorothy’s famous line “Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.” I used the blog to show off my kids’ school projects and some of our family adventures. I am now using it as a mixture of a family blog and a crafty home blog.
- I’ve always been into crafts. For awhile I was very into scrapbooking. I then got very into knitting. I still knit a lot and post about my knitting projects occasionally. I am just getting into home decor type projects and post about those when I do them. I am also recently into thrift and vintage shopping, though I’ve always been into buying my kids’ clothes used for cheap!
- Our family is Jewish. I sometimes post about Jewish holidays and traditions.
- We travel relatively often. Some of our recent family trips have taken us to Israel, Disney World, Omaha, San Antonio, and of course to New Jersey to visit our families.
- I am newly a “runner,” really a jogger. I am currently training for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon taking place in Disney World the night of November 10 – my birthday!
- I love meeting people and getting comments on my blog posts! If you look at the comment form, you will see a drop box where you can log into google or other accounts to leave a comment, or you can choose name/url. You don’t have to comment anonymously!
- Some things I love include reading, knitting, hanging out with my friends, having great ideas for my home, all things Disney, coffee, hamburgers, animals, shopping, doing things with my kids, getting a break from my kids, etc!
Now let me introduce the stars of my blog, my kids!
Gabriella, mostly called Gabbie, is a 7 year old dancing girly girl. People say she looks just like me, but I think she is much more girly! She is very into American Girl. She is beginning to feel too old for Disney princesses, but she still loves them too. She just learned to swim underwater. She loves to wear skirts and dresses and to put fancy ribbons in her hair. She loves getting her hair and nails done! Her favorite movie right now is McKenna Shoots for the Stars, from American Girl. She enjoys playing a made up game where she is the mommy and she has 5 kids. She also loves to read! When she grows up she wants to be an art teacher or a dance teacher! She can be shy, but makes friends easily.
Zachary is 5 years old. He is very funny and speaks very earnestly. He loves playing with his friends but still has trouble sharing. He is the pickiest eater and would eat only pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and fish sticks if he had the choice. His favorite things are trains and he is obsessed with the train at the zoo. He also enjoys biking, although he is afraid to take off his training wheels. When he grows up he would like to be a train conductor but I think he might become a rabbi. He is very outgoing and fun to be around!
Simon is just about 2 years old. He loves to do whatever his sister and brother do. He talks way more than either of them did at his age! He loves to sing. He loves trucks, especially firetrucks, and he loves trains and airplanes. He likes to look at books and he loves Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He likes to talk on Skype / Facetime. He is obsessed with shoes. He loves animals, especially dogs, elephants, and monkeys. He is such a sweet little boy!
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know us better. Please feel free to ask any questions!

The Neverending Summer

Monday, July 23, 2012


I am curious if summer vacation has gotten longer since I was a kid or maybe it’s just a midwest thing versus NJ? I used to spend 8 amazing weeks per summer attending a day camp which I loved more than anything! But I had one week between school and camp and another week after camp before school and that was all of summer. 10 weeks, from the last week of June until September.

My kids finished school before Memorial Day. We were home the week of Memorial Day. We took our road trip the following week. For the next two weeks the kids were partially with me and partially at a camp that they are able to attend for super cheap through Dave’s work. For four weeks after that they were at CGI. Keeping count? That’s 8 weeks. How many more weeks until school starts? FOUR! They have a 12 week summer.

This week the kids are attending camp at the Barstow School, which is a private school about 15 minutes from us. They offer a huge variety of programs and I mainly decided to send the kids there so that Gabbie could go to American Girl Camp! She has been wanting to go to that camp since her good friend attended it last summer. Here is the description:

Join this camp if you already have your own American Girl doll or if you just want to learn more about American Girl. You will spend a week diving into the world of American Girls like Samantha, Kit, Chrissa and Lanie. You will read their adventures, play their favorite games and cook their tasty recipes! Bring your American Girl, Magic Attic or other 18-inch doll to camp every day and discover the excitement of American Girl!

It turns out that they are focusing on Rebecca on Thursday, and Gabbie has Rebecca! She is so excited. Tomorrow they are getting their photos taken with the dolls. How cute. American Girl Camp is in the afternoon. In the morning Gabbie is doing Mary Poppins Camp!

You won't need a "spoonful of sugar" to enjoy this Barstow Broadway camp. Spend a week learning some of the classic, enchanting songs of Mary Poppins including Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and more. You will sing and dance your way through one of Broadway’s most popular shows. On Friday, you will perform on stage for family and friends. Get ready to "step in time!

Gabbie loves Mary Poppins and she loves dancing, but she is not so sure about singing and acting on stage! She seemed to be happy today when I picked her up though. When I left her this morning she was sitting on the curb with her Mary Poppins group and I saw her showing her doll to another girl who also had a doll – it seems a few of them are in both camps together. I hope she loves the whole experience!

Zachary is in camp as well. For his age there aren’t so many choices. Many of the camps in the area only offer half days for entering kindergarteners. Luckily his hours are the same as Gabbie’s. His camp theme is A Bug’s Life. Today he made a butterfly mask and did some numbers worksheets!

Simon is doing Mommy Camp this week. Luckily he takes a nap! Next week we’ll be back to part Mommy Camp and part camp through Daddy’s work. I’m just reviewing our bucket list to see what things we can do when the kids are home! Sadly it’s been much too hot for a lot of the outdoor activities!

Out of the House Activities:

· Lego Discovery Center – kids went with camp
· Sea Life Aquarium – Dave wants to go too and we haven’t yet
· Spray park – not yet
· Farmstead – went with camp
· Zoo – we go often!
· Berry picking – drought has effected the berries!
· LittleMonkey Business – done
· Bowling – not yet
· Lego Store – not yet
· Bike on path – we biked at a park
· Lake beach – not yet
· Paradise Park – done
· Crown Center play area and fountains – play area we did, fountains aren’t open for playing anymore!
· Nature center – not yet
· Loose Park Rose Garden – not yet
· Visit fire station – not yet
· Worlds of Fun – not yet

To Do at Home:

· Lemonade Stand – done but the kids want to do it again
· Paint outside – not yet
· Make smoothies - done
· Root Beer Floats – I’ve done it but the kids haven’t!
· Make rainbow cupcakes – not yet
· Fly kites – kids did with Dave
· Play Uno – not yet
· Have a treasure hunt – not yet
· Sharpie Marker t-shirts – not yet
· Nature scavenger hunt – not yet

Specific Dates/Times:

· Waldo Farmer’s Market Wednesdays 3-7 – not yet
· OP Farmer’s Market Wednesdays starting in June (Farmer's Market Bingo) – not yet
· 2nd Thursdays Park Place Concerts 6:30 PM – not yet
· Oak Park Library Wednesdays and Fridays 10-12 – not sure this is happening
· Curious George Movie June 11-14 10 AM Palazzo Theatre - done
· Minor League Baseball – Newark Bears at TBones June 13 11:05 AM – missed it
· Watch the Olympics July 28-August 8 – next week!


Friday, July 20, 2012


My brother is getting married in October (yay!) and I’ve begun thinking about buying a dress to wear. Today was the last day of camp and therefore my last day without kids for awhile, so I went to Nordstrom to try on dresses. The good news is I didn’t look awful in the dresses I tried. The bad news is I definitely have a fit problem. I need quite a large size in order to fit my chest, but I am short. I really liked this dress:

but it didn’t fit correctly in the chest. They suggested ordering (which would require buying) it in a regular size rather than petite, so hopefully the chest would lie as it is supposed to, but then it would be about 6 inches too long on me! I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy it before I saw it on, although I was assured I could return it, I just couldn’t decide.

I see now that this same dress comes in a shorter version, which would solve the problem of needing it altered, I could order that one to try in the larger size but I am still not sure!


I liked this one, though I wasn’t sure about the neckline:

It is a Suzi Chin dress. I see that Suzi Chin dresses are available at for super cheap! Maybe I should just order one on there?

My favorite that I tried on was this one:


It fit and looked good. Only it costs $328.

My plan was to search for the dresses I like on ebay and order them for less money, but I’m not finding the correct sizes on there yet. So for now I’m just obsessing!

Chevron Display Shelf and Mason Jar Holder

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This week I took on probably my biggest project yet. In our master bathroom, we have a built in medicine cabinet. However, we also have cabinets inside 2 mirrors and we were not using the built in. I had the genius idea to remake the cabinet into a display shelf. I also wanted to use the cabinet door as the wood back for another idea I had floating in my head. Thus began my project.

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After I hung Gabbie’s mirror in her room, she suggested that she would like a place to hold her hairbrush near the mirror. I decided to make her a smaller version of the plan I had for my cabinet door. The plan involves mason jars. And painted chevron stripes. It was a learning experience the whole way through.

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Using a small board I got at Home Depot, I first spray painted the background blue. That part went fine. Then I had to figure out how to paint the stripes. I printed the chevron pattern here, then cut it out and taped around it. Now to attach the mason jar. I planned to use pipe clamps, but couldn’t figure out how to attach them to the board. Finally I found a site that suggested using two screws, one on top and one under the pipe clamp, to hold it on the board. Only I couldn’t get the screws into the board! My husband even tried to help but I had stripped the screws and he wanted to go to bed. Thus the pliers in the photo above. I used them to remove one of the screws. The other is still there. Then I turned the board the other way and tried again, this time drilling deep holes before trying to add the screws. I decorated the bottom of the board with flower stickers to cover the extra screw and hole! Then I had to attach a picture hanger to the back. Couldn’t get the nails in. Decided to glue it on instead. Phew.

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Back to the bathroom. I wanted chevron stripes on the background of the display shelf and on the cabinet door / board. This time the stripes didn’t go on very well. I had painted everything white first, but when I removed the tape, I also removed some of the white paint. I used the same color as my bathroom walls for the stripes, but some of the color bled under the tape. So I had to do a lot of touch ups. At this point it’s about as good as it’s going to get.

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I replaced the shelves and added my lighthouse decor, plus 3 new to me glass bottles which I love for their colors!

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I have an empty shelf, plus one more shelf board to use!

Next it was time for the mason jar holder. This time it went much better than the 1st time! I added the picture hangers to the back first. Then I measured, drilled and screwed. Here it is:


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