Not In Jersey: January 2014 January 2014 - Not In Jersey

January In Review

Friday, January 31, 2014

January came and went at our house, with only one full week of school – the conclusion of winter break, our cruise vacation, and Martin Luther King Day all broke up our weeks. Here are some of the highlights of our month:

Family Activities:

  • Winter break concluded with hang out time at a gymnastics place and a pool, but Simon got sick and that was not fun at all.
  • We were all healthy and were able to go on our cruise!
  • Then I got sick on Martin Luther King Day. Luckily it didn’t last long!
  • We were able to see my parents while we were in Florida, before we left for the cruise itself.

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  • Zachary had his Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby.



We have some exciting events coming up in February including Gabbie’s first dance team performance and Zachary’s Chag Siddur (when he receives his first prayer book) so I look forward to sharing with you all!

January Instagram Wrap Up

Thursday, January 30, 2014

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.)

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1. Simon lining up his toys. 2. The play area at Zonkers – the kids were in there forever! 3. Simon on a mechanical cat. 4. Simon on the merry-go-round.

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1. Zachary doing a flip at the gymnastics place. 2. Simon watching TV on my kindle. 3. Everyone, including Rudy, playing Candyland. 4. My attempt at Little Mermaid nails.

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1. My Disney bag. 2. First view of the ship. 3. Our bed on the ship. 4. The Wonder from the tender from Grand Cayman.

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1. Me on Pirate Night on the cruise. 2. Zachary and Simon in the airport. 3. & 4. My good friend’s twins – I babysat last week.

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1. Simon reading his Busytown book. 2. My Carabox loot.

Babysat again yesterday – are they not the cutest?!

Cruise Encounters Raft

On the last day of our cruise, something entirely unexpected and yet interesting and sad happened. We were cruising along, somewhere in the middle of the ocean, when the captain announced that the ship would be coming to a a stop shortly, on request of the Coast Guard who had notified the crew of another vessel which was in distress. Of course, everyone raced to the decks to look into the water and see this vessel. For awhile we saw nothing. Then, somewhere out in front of the ship was this:


Wow. That’s a tiny little ship! At fist, I thought it was a fishing boat that somehow had gotten off course. However, with some zooming of the camera, it became slowly obvious just what type of vessel we had intercepted.


This homemade boat, completely full of people, had set sail from Cuba 4 days earlier. As you can see from the above photo, it is constructed from Styrofoam and tarp. They have oars and a sail. I heard a rumor that they had a small motor. There are bottles of water attached to the sides of the boat, but I can’t imagine how there was enough water and food to last very long. And here we were on a cruise ship. I was actually embarrassed. And after watching the raft for about 10 minutes, I felt overheated and dehydrated. I can’t imagine how these people must have felt.


This is the boat pulled up right next to our ship. You can see that there is at least one woman on board. The people were given bottles of Gatorade and I believe some food as well. It was approximately an hour before the Coast Guard arrived. The group was brought from their raft onto the Coast Guard boat and I assume they were returned to Cuba shortly thereafter.


I saw some of the crew taking photos and this led me to believe that they had not seen such an occurrence before. However, when I searched, the Disney Wonder had in fact picked up a similar boat in April 2013. No news stories were found about these particular Cuban refugees.

My children were very interested to learn that not everyone lives in a country like America and that some people will go through drastic measures to escape the life they live. I feel like this lesson may have made them a bit more appreciative of the trip we were on and how well we live our daily lives.

January Ipsy Glam Bag

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I recently received my 3rd Ipsy Glam Bag and once again I was so excited to receive it and to try out the products inside! This month, the products were more focused on beauty maintenance, rather than makeup. Here is what I got:


Smooth Shadow by Elizabeth Mott in Penny – $14.99 for 1.5 g. I received .7 g, a value of $7:
The ultimate gel pencil that’s smooth like butter and packed with deliciously creamy colors. These velvety pencils glide on with ease, and contain just enough shimmer.
Free black pencil with every purchase with code IPSYSMOOTH until 3/1/14.

Mojito Lip Balm by (Malin+Goetz) – $12:
As soothing to the lips as it is to the senses. Flavored with (MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito, this lip balm is scientifically blended to restore and replenish.
20% off any purchase with code IPSY until 1/31/14.

Mark Fading Pads by Proactiv+ – $19.97 on Amazon for 5 pads, I received 4:
Convenient, single-use, no-rinse peel pad that can instantly boost your skin’s glow and radiance. The pads help remove dead skin cells to unclog pores and remove dull layers to reveal newer, smoother, more even toned skin.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner – $17.95 for 8.5 oz. I received 1.7 oz., a value of $3.59:
A powerful combination of Soy and Cocoa work synergistically to perfectly care for your hair!
$5 off $25 or more of Sexy Hair Products at with code 108723 until 2/15/14.

Soothing and Smoothing Eye Cream by skiin – $29.95 for .5 oz. I received .25 oz., a value of $14.98:
A full spectrum eye cream that instantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while working hard to reduce dark circles and puffiness.
30% off with code IPSY30 until 2/25/14.

My favorite product in this bag is the conditioner – it smells great and gets the knots out! The lip balm is also really smooth and feels great. I have used all of the products and like them all. Once again, my total product value is well worth the $10 I paid for this bag. I really like the bag itself, because of its cute design, but unfortunately it has a strong plastic smell that I have to try to rid it of! If you’d like to sign up to receive your own Glam Bag each month, click here!

What I’ve Been Reading #41 Featuring Perfect

Joyce_Perfect-198x300I received this book from TLC Book Tours for my review.

This is the kind of book that makes you say “OH” when you get to the end and realize exactly what has been going on the whole time you were reading. And then you think you should read it again.

“Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, eleven-year-old Byron understands that from now on nothing can be the same. What happened and who is to blame? Over the days and weeks that follow, Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Unable to trust his parents, he confides in his best friend, James, and together they concoct a plan. . . .”

The writing in this book is in the genre of general, or literary fiction, which I am not entirely used to reading. Thus it took me longer to read than I would have preferred. The book focuses on two different times – 1972 and the present.  I enjoyed the chapters which took place in the present more than those that took place in the past, as the character Jim was really interesting to me. He suffers from OCD and has been in and out of the hospital over the past few years. He currently lives in a van and works at a supermarket. The friends he makes at his job contribute to his current life and I enjoyed their relationships.

The chapters that describe the past focus on two boys – James and Byron – and their friendship. I liked their friendship and how although their moms did not want them to socialize, they still spoke to one another. The friendships between Byron’s mom and the other moms in the book was also interesting, as you begin to understand more about Byron’s mother this way.

My favorite part of the book was towards the end, when I found out what was really happening in Jim’s world and how it relates to the world described in the chapters about the past.

What is your favorite genre of book to read?

We Went to Cozumel

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Our second stop on our Disney Cruise was in Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel is an island known for diving and snorkeling, but we’d covered the sea life part of the trip in Grand Cayman, so we arrived in Cozumel without specific plans. In the morning, Dave and I ventured off of the ship with just Simon, leaving the other kids in the kids’ club on board. We wanted to see what was out there before taking the kids with us, but Simon didn’t want to go to the kids’ club, so he stayed with us.

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We walked around a bit and Simon fell asleep. We decided to hire a taxi driver to take us around the island and check out the beach later that afternoon. The first stop our driver brought us to was a tequila factory, where we were taught how tequila is made. Then they wanted us to buy some, but we didn’t.

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Then it was on to the beach. I hadn’t wanted to spend very much time at the beach, but the water felt great and the kids love playing in the sand, so we probably could have stayed longer than we did!

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The next stop was this little shop where I assume our driver would have gotten a commission had we bought anything.

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Instead, the big kids and Dave decided to walk to this Mexican flag.

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Next we stopped at a small area of Mayan ruins.

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And then back to the port. In case you were curious, there’s a Starbucks there.


And that concludes our trip to Mexico! I’ve been to Baja before, so it technically wasn’t my first time in the country, but it’s still fun to say we’ve been! Have you?