Not In Jersey: August 2013 August 2013 - Not In Jersey

Our Make A Plates {Review}

Friday, August 30, 2013

Who remembers a few weeks back when I told you about the Make A Plate Art Project that I was going to review? Well, I got my plates today!

There are 3 steps to making these plates. First, you order a kit from Makit – you can save 30% on their Prepaid Art Plate Kit (that’s a savings of over $5!)  - using the PROMO CODE: USFAMILY. The kit that we received contained instructions, an envelope to mail in our creations, a form to include with our mailing, a set of Crayola Supertips Washable Markers, and 25 templates for plate decorations. At first I wondered why they included 25 templates, but after a few mistakes on my part, I realized why!

While I probably should have allowed my kids to decorate their own plates, at first I thought I was only going to be making one. I decided to make a “You Are Special Today” plate that I would reward to one of my children each evening at dinner time.


I then realized I was going to be able to design 3 plates, so I decided to make the other two exciting and colorful for my kids to use as well. I did this by printing out designs and tracing them on to my templates.


The second step is what you see above – create a design on your template! And thirdly, mail it in to the company. You do have to pay postage to mail in your designs, but since they are lightweight, it is not expensive. The postage back to you is included in your prepaid kit.

Here are our new plates! They are non-breakable and dishwasher safe.


The kids love them and are really excited to use them! I love how the colors look just like they did when I drew them.


No, I could not take one picture where all three are holding still and smiling!

What I’ve Been Reading #28 & Bloggers Give Back Giveaway

This week I finished one book. I normally wait until I read a few to write a post about them, but I thought this one deserved its own.

I read The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.  “Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions. Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?” Like most of Picoult’s books, various characters in the story take turns telling the story. This book is different from her others though, as instead of switching off every chapter, the character are given their own sections of the book. I especially appreciated this during Sage’s grandmother Minka’s section of the story – about her survival of the Holocaust. This section was especially riveting. The other characters featured are Sage, the granddaughter of the survivor and a self-hating Jew, Leo, the Nazi hunter, and Josef, the former Nazi. Also intermingled into the book is Sage’s grandmother’s story about a vampire who falls in love with a human. This story serves as an allegory to the Holocaust and as an inspiration for many of the people Minka meets in her life. The parallel stories of Josef and Minka keep things extremely interesting. Throughout the book I found myself wondering how likely it would be that a former Nazi and a former prisoner would both live in a small town in New Hampshire. By the end of the book I wondered if it was unlikely on purpose. You’d have to read it to see what I mean! This book was much better than most of Jodi Picoult’s other recent books and I would recommend it.

And now, a unique giveaway from Lesley at By The Porchlight!


It's no secret that bloggers are amongst the most caring, giving people on the internet. However, sometimes our budgets don't allow us to donate as much to our favorite charities as we'd like. Well, here's a unique giveaway that gives you the opportunity to do just that - donate a bunch of money to a charity of your choice! One lucky winner will have a donation of $120 USD (or equivalent) made to the charity of their choice in their name!

The giveaway entries work just like any other around the blogosphere but this time all of the money donated by our wonderful sponsors will serve a greater purpose!

Please take a minute to check out the giveaway sponsors and their favorite charities below.

 Learn about World Wildlife Fund
Learn about The Girl Effect



Learn about RAINN

 Learn about Chai Lifeline
Learn about GLAAD
Learn about Mollie's Dream TNR

Enter below for a chance to have $120 donated in your name to your favorite charity! Good luck!

August Instagram Wrap Up

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Time for another Instagram wrap up post. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen these pictures already, but I like to post them here because they are the quick snap shots of my life! (If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you can, here.)

2013-08-06_1375799643  2013-08-06_13758019882013-08-06_13758313412013-08-06_1375832129
1. We had a lemonade stand. 2. Simon waving a flag. 3. & 4. Gabbie had a haircut.

2013-08-11_1376262845  2013-08-12_13763205632013-08-12_1376321404  2013-08-12_1376320642
1. Simon had a haircut. 2. & 3. At a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese 4. Better look at Simon’s short hair.

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1. Silly glasses. 2. Simon before getting photos taken. 3. Simon riding on the tennis courts. 4. Gabbie and Zachary pretending to sleep.

2013-08-19_1376944125  2013-08-20_13770393902013-08-21_1377103827  2013-08-21_1377117518
1. Simon sleeping in the car. 2. Me on the way to a fancy dinner. 3. My nails and my knitting. 4. Me and Simon.

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1. The hat I knit for a giveaway prize. 2. Simon sleeping on the couch.

August Cara Box Reveal

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

For this month’s Cara Box exchange, participants were paired with other ladies in the same life stage as themselves. Therefore, my partners were both in their 30s with children. I sent a box to Amber, a sweet girl from Michigan who is the proud mom of a three year old. Amber is currently expecting her second baby in February. She is a vet technician and loves animals. She is also a photographer, which is funny because the girl who sent to me is a photographer too! Jennifer is the mama of three kids, ages 9, 11, and 13, who she homeschools. She also has guinea fowl, some of which she hatched from eggs! She sent me a fun questionnaire to fill out which she used to help her in finding what to send me, and I in turn sent the same questions to Amber – so thanks for that Jennifer! Here is my package:

All wrapped so nicely.

One skein of yarn, one lovely framed saying, purple nail polish, carrot seeds, travel themed paper, washi tape, and Mad Libs for kids, which I plan to use on our next road trip (spoiler alert: we’ve got a short 3 hour trip coming soon!)

Closer view of the framed saying and the paper. Love it!

Just when I thought that package was perfect, she also sent a separate box with this for the kids! We are definitely looking forward to trying it out.

Thanks so much for everything, Jennifer!