Not In Jersey: February 2014 February 2014 - Not In Jersey

February In Review

Friday, February 28, 2014

Of course February was a super fast month, being only 28 days and all. You know those last 2-3 days of a month make a huge difference! We had a bunch of kids’ activity related events this month and I’ve enjoyed spending my time being proud of my children! Here are some of the highlights of our month:

Family Activities:

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Me:

Up next – March! Bring on springtime. We will be traveling to a family wedding, celebrating one of our favorite holidays, and continuing to have a great time!

Friday Pin Fest- Co-Hosting

Hi all! I am once again a co-host for the Friday Pin Fest! Please feel free to take part below!


Hello & Welcome!

Friday Pin Fest at A Conquered Mess and A Peek Into My Paradise

We're so glad to have you at this week's #FridayPinFest! I'm so amazed at how much this little party has grown! Each week, I look forward to seeing all of your great content. I've come across lots of awesome recipes and plenty of project inspiration thanks to this party. Not to mention I get to pin a ton of stuff thanks to you! And now without further ado, let's get to partying!

[Interested in Co Hosting? Send Alma an e-mail!]

February Instagram Wrap Up

Thursday, February 27, 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.)

This month, there are not that many pictures, so I just want to start by saying today is a good day! New episodes of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy tonight! It’s the first day of the consignment sale (after pre-sales) and I’m going shopping. And it’s my mom’s birthday! Happy Birthday Mommy!

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1. Zachary, Simon, and me. 2. Gabbie after her first dance team performance. 3. Simon dressed as an astronaut in a rocket ship. 4. My nails, using Kiss Nail guides to make the chevron stripe.

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1. Simon’s adorable smile, wearing his favorite hat. 2. Selfie. 3. Simon’s silly face. 4. Simon wearing Gabbie’s head band.

That’s all for now!

February Ipsy Glam Bag

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This month I received my 4th Ipsy Glam Bag. This month’s theme was The Look Of Love, and I sure love the looks I received! Here is what I got:

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Pop Beauty Pump Pout Mini in Peony Petal – $16 for .3 oz. I received .14 oz, an $8 value:
This plumping pout perfector combines the high-shine of a lacquered gloss with the long wear of a stain and is packed full of lip-plumping peptides and avocado and jojoba oils. Lightweight, creamy texture immediately merges with lips & delivers intense glossy color for an extremely long-lasting finish!
25% off with code PoppingPout until 3/15/14.

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Zoya Nail Polish in Odette – $9:
This season's Zoya Nail polish are full of pure pigment, intense color and modern complexity that are a perfect transition into Spring.
Buy 2, get 1 free plus a free remover with code IPSYZP4 until 3/15/14.

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City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon – $2.99:
Available in 4 shades, this silky-smooth, highly pigmented matte blush compliments and blends evenly with your skin's natural glow. Extremely buildable to create a subtle or dramatic look.
20% off with code 14IPSY20 until 3/15/14

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Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One in Ambrosia – $18:
Say goodbye to creasing and fading with Eyetini Eye Cordial Shadow Tint & Base. Eye Cordial’s revolutionary formula glides on beguiling creamy color and sets to a transfer-resistant finish that doubles as a wear-extending base under powder shadow.
50% off and a free nail polish with code IPSYLOVE until 4/10/14.

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Acne Spot Corrector by Dr. Lin Skincare – $8.99 for 1 oz. I received .5 oz, a value of $4.50:
Treat the first sign of a breakout and fade the red and dark marks left behind with this powerful spot treatment. Formulated with 5% benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria. Works on old and new acne marks to fade discoloration on all skin types.
50% off with code IPSYDRLIN until 3/31/14.

As you know, I pay $10 a month for my Ipsy bags. I received $42.49 worth of products this month! And I love every single one. The blush is awesome, as it actually shows up on my face. The eye shadow is the first I’ve used that lasts as long as this one does. I love the nail polish and lip gloss too, and I’ve been using the acne spot corrector to try to treat some residual scars! If you’d like to sign up to receive your own Glam Bag each month, click here!

Simon And School

Simon was born in August of 2010. That makes him just three and a half years old currently. In our school, the cut off for starting kindergarten is the end of August. Therefore, any child born between September 2009 and August 2010 can start kindergarten in 2015. So we can see that Simon will be one of the youngest, if not the youngest overall child in his kindergarten class if he starts kindergarten on time. It has always been my plan to have him start kindergarten in 2015, rather than having him complete another full year of preschool, as long as his development remains on track and he appears “ready” to start kindergarten at five years old.

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Right now, Simon is the youngest child in his preschool class. The oldest child is a full year older than him, having already turned four before Simon even turned three. This particular child could have been in pre-K this year and kindergarten next year, but his parents chose otherwise and that is fine. However, when I had a meeting with Simon’s teacher last week, she was very quick to point out that Simon is the youngest in the class and is a year younger than some of the other children. This of course is true, but there is always going to be someone who is the youngest in a class of children. It’s not like every other child in the class turned four in the beginning of the school year. Rather, they turn four throughout the year, with many children being six months older than Simon and a few more being 3-4 months older than Simon. If Simon was in the class made up of children younger than those in his current class, someone else would be the youngest in this class. If, for example, all parents of children born in the summer decide their children should not start kindergarten at age five and rather wait until they are six, wouldn’t it seem that the school system should have their cut off date be in May? Rather, the school system believes that most children turning five before August 31st will be ready for kindergarten that year.

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Simon’s current teacher seems to be extremely biased towards holding back children on the young end of their classes. She did so for her own daughter, and she told me that she prefers to call it “giving the gift of time.” When discussing Simon’s current abilities, she classified nearly everything with the fact that he is still young. Personally, I feel that if the class is meant for children born from September-August of their birth year, then the class should be appropriate for all children in that age range.  Simon is either performing on target along with his class, or he isn’t. He shouldn’t be treated differently because he is younger. If he is, than shouldn’t the children on the older end of the class be expected to be able to do more? When I remarked that Simon seems much older than the children in the younger class, his teacher replied that she does not compare children. Well, then why is she comparing Simon to those that are a year or almost a year older than him?

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I know this is a subject that people tend to have strong feelings about. I do respect those who decide to let their children start kindergarten at six instead of five. I also know that when the school has a cut off date of the end of August, a child born in September is able to start kindergarten at the age of four if their parent and the school agree that this is acceptable for said child. But in my opinion, when the school says that children born between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010 will be ready for kindergarten in 2015, and my child falls in that range, I want him to start when he is supposed to start. He will be moving up to pre-K next year with his current class of friends. If by this time next year he is still not on target with his peers, then I will reconsider. But I will not believe that because my 3.5 year old is not ready for pre-K right now, he will still not be ready six months from now. (His teacher did not tell me that he would not be able to move up, but she did tell me that if he was to repeat her class it would not be exactly the same next year.)

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While in conference with Simon’s teacher, she shared his current school work with me. It is obvious that he cannot write his name or draw a picture of himself. She did mention that only half of the kids can write their names right now, which sounds appropriate to me.

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We also received the number book that Simon has been working on in class. These pages were done one on one with one of his teachers, and his teacher made sure to inform me that he did the pages with help.

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What are your feelings on this issue? If you had a younger child, would you automatically decide to hold him or her back or would you wait and decide later on? Do you agree with me that each child is different and while some may start late, some may start early, and others may start on time even if they are on the younger side?

Interviews With The Kids Redux

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Last year, I conducted an interview with my kids, and at that time decided it would be fun to recreate the same interview each year. We were all hysterical reading over last year’s answers, so I’m posting them here, along with this year’s answers! (If no answer appears for last year, that means it wasn’t answered). It is interesting to see how their ideas have changed in a year, as well as the huge difference between Simon at 2.5 and at 3.5!

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What is your name?

Gabbie:
(last year) You know what my name is. Why can’t you write it. I don’t want to answer that one.
(this year) Gabbie.

Zachary:
(last year) You know just write it.
(this year) Zachary (and then he spelled it).

Simon:
(last year) My name is Simon
(this year) [Said our last name, so I said “What’s your real name?”] Simon. And Shimon. [His Hebrew name].

When were you born?

Gabbie:
(same answer both years) April 1st 2005.

Zachary:
(last year) June 7th.
(this year) June 7th, I already know that!

Simon:
(this year) One time ago.

How old are you?

Gabbie:
(last year) Seven. And three quarters.
(this year) Eight and three quarters.

Zachary:
(last year) Five. [later he tells me to write 500]
(this year) Six.

Simon:
(last year) Three. [he is actually 2 but he always says he’s 3 for some reason!]
(this year) Three.

Who is your mommy?

Gabbie:
(last year) My mommy is my mommy.
(this year) My mommy is mommy.

Zachary:
(last year) you.
(this year) Dara.

Simon:
(last year) My mommy.
(this year) Mommy.

What does your mommy do?

Gabbie:
(last year) You don’t do anything. Oh, you take care of the kids.
(this year) She stays home all the time.

Zachary:
(last year) You put me to sleep.
(this year) Works on her computer.

Simon:
(last year) You go to work.
(this year) Get her necklace on.

Who is your daddy? 

Gabbie:
(last year) My daddy.
(this year) Daddy is daddy.

Zachary:
(last year) I don’t want to say his name. All I can say is daddy.
(this year) David.

Simon:
(last year) You are my daddy.
(this year) Daddy.

What does your daddy do?

Gabbie:
(last year) He works.
(this year) He works all day long.

Zachary:
(last year) He works.
(this year) He works for MetLife.

Simon:
(last year) Play.
(this year) He cooks dinner.

What is your favorite color?

Gabbie:
(last year) Pink, purple, blue.
(this year) Pink, purple, and light blue.

Zachary:
(last year) Of course you know. Blue.
(this year) Blue.

Simon:
(last year) My favorite color.
(this year) Red and green. And black.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Gabbie:
(last year) Ballet teacher.
(this year) Ballerina.

Zachary:
(last year) Nothing. I meant a police. No not a police. Nothing.
(this year) I don’t know.

Simon:
(this year) A rocket ship and an airplane.

What is your favorite food?

Gabbie:
(same answer both years) Pizza.

Zachary:
(last year) Cookies.
(this year) Pizza.

Simon:
(last year) I don’t know.
(this year) Peanut butter bagel and fraisins [craisins].

What food do you not like?

Gabbie:
(last year) Pasta with ketchup.
(this year) I don’t like chocolate ice cream.

Zachary:
(last year) Salad.
(this year) Green beans.

Simon:
(last year) Green bagel [?]
(this year) I can’t think.

What is your favorite animal?

Gabbie:
(last year) A dog.
(this year) My favorite animal is dogs.

Zachary:
(last year) Goat because we get to feed them at the farm.
(this year) Zebra.

Simon:
(last year) Tiger.
(this year) Polar bear and a tiger.

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Where do you want to live when you grow up?

Gabbie:
(last year) Kansas.
(this year) I want to live in New Jersey. Or Kansas.

Zachary:
(last year) Here. In this house.
(this year) In Israel. [later he tells me to change his answer to Florida.]

Simon:
(last year) I go shopping. I live at shopping.
(this year) Here.

What do Mommy and Daddy do when you are at school?

Gabbie:
(last year) Daddy works. You go shopping.
(this year) You use your computer and daddy works all day long.

Zachary:
(last year) Don’t know.
(this year) Daddy works and you work on your computer.

Simon:
(last year) Daddy is sleeping. You play.
(this year) You go to the gym and daddy goes to work. [I don’t know why he said this because he knows I go to the gym in the evening!]

What does Daddy say?

Gabbie:
(last year) He says “I’m a Lion.”
(this year) It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Zachary:
(last year) Joke. Bob.
(this year) Yes.

Simon:
(last year) He says roar.
(this year) Yes.

What does mommy say?

Gabbie:
(same answer both years) I love you.

Zachary:
(last year) Nothing.
(this year) Yes.

Simon:
(last year) You say roar.
(this year) No.

What is your favorite song?

Gabbie:
(last year) Rolling in the Deep
(this year) Rolling in the Deep, Teenage Dream, and Roar

Zachary:
(last year) Ya lala lalili. [Ya’lili]
(this year) I don’t know.

Simon:
(last year) Ya lala lalili [Ya’lili]
(this year) Silly songs.

What is your favorite movie?

Gabbie:
(last year) Tangled.
(this year) Frozen.

Zachary:
(last year) Toy Story.
(this year) The Lego Movie.

Simon:
(last year) [laughs]
(this year) Lightning McQueen and Leap Pad [Leap Pad = Leap Frog Letter Factory]

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Gabbie:
(same answer both years) Cookie Dough.

Zachary:
(last year) Chocolate and vanilla mixed together.
(this year) Chocolate.

Simon:
(last year) Ice cream.
(this year) Chocolate.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Gabbie:
(last year) Home. Actually Village Shalom.
(this year) At home.

Zachary:
(last year) Same place as Gabbie’s.
(this year) A pizza restaurant.

Simon:
(this year) Restaurant and a house.

Who is your favorite person?

Gabbie:
(last year) You.
(this year) Mommy and Family and Friends.

Zachary:
(last year) Mommy.
(this year) You.

Simon:
(this year) CM [a friend]. And you.

Who is your best friend?

Gabbie:
(same answer both years, but in the opposite order) C, E, and C

Zachary:
(last year) You.
(this year) Mommy.

Simon:
(last year) D.
(this year) C.

What is your favorite book?

Gabbie:
(last year) Little House on the Prairie.
(this year) Little House books.

Zachary:
(last year) Don’t have one [I think it’s “The Little Engine That Could”]
(this year) The Passover Lamb [he only said this because we saw it at the library and discussed that we have that book!]

Simon:
(last year) [No answer but I think it’s “Brown Bear”]
(this year) The new books at school.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Gabbie:
(last year) Ballet.
(this year) Dance.

Zachary:
(last year) Build.
(this year) Ride my bike.

Simon:
(this year) Read a story here.

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LE TOTE–Boutique Box Review

Monday, February 24, 2014

Have you ever stood in front of your closet and thought “I have nothing to wear”? Have you ever wished you had a friend who would loan you some of her clothing? LE TOTE is the answer to this! “LE TOTE is a new concept in fashion, where you pick your favorite styles and receive them in the mail as many times as you’d like each month. It's like Netflix, for fashion! You can choose from a Boutique Box (3 garments and 2 accessories) for $69 / month or the Jewelry Box (3 accessories) for $29 / month. Then you pick your items, a stylist puts together your tote, you wear the items, send them back whenever you want, and get another tote! All with free shipping of course.”

At the beginning of this month, I began my free trial of LE TOTE, which I was offered in exchange for my review on my blog. I am receiving the Boutique Box, which would cost a subscriber $69 per month – not per box – and consists of 3 garments and 2 accessories sent directly to my door step. You can choose to purchase the items at a discounted price if you so choose. Shipping both ways is included, and LE TOTE sends via 2nd Day Priority Mail, so two days after they receive your clothes back, you will get another box. Let’s look at the value that I received this month.

In my first tote I received the following items:

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Esme V-Neck Blouse – Regular Price $70, Member Price $39 | Verona Statement Necklace – Regular Price $42, Member Price $32 | Heather Layered Vest – Regular Price $89, Member Price $47 | Stitched Print Striped Scarf – Regular Price $28, Member Price $21 |  Katherine Ruched Jacket – Regular Price $58, Member Price $40

Totals: Regular Price $287, Member Price $179

In my second tote I received the following items:

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Felicity Fleece Maxi Skirt – Regular Price $78 Member Price $54 | KUT Houndstooth Sweatshirt – Regular Price $84, Member Price $50 | Nanette Zip Dress – Regular Price $57 Member Price $39 | Circus Statement Necklace – Regular Price $32, Member Price $24 | Two Tone Polka Dot Scarf – Regular Price $26, Member Price $20

Totals: Regular Price $277, Member Price $187

Since I received both of these boxes in the same month, the cost of $69 covers both, and I received $564 worth of clothing, or $366 worth, according to LE TOTE’s member price. What a value!

Now, a closer look at the items I received and how I wore them! Tote #1:

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Heather Layered Vest and Verona Statement Necklace
I loved the vest and got a lot of compliments on it. I did wish it was cotton and more stretchy than it was. I’m including the darker picture to show how it could be worn open as well as tied, like in the other photos. The statement necklace was really pretty as well.

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Esme V-Neck Blouse
This shirt was not on my list of items that I wished to receive, but I liked it anyway! It was fancier than most tops I wear on a regular basis, but I was happy with it.

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Katherine Ruched Jacket
The material of this was a little strange, I thought it looked cotton in the photo, but it was not. I liked the cut and fit well enough though!

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Stitched Print Striped Scarf
Again, I thought this scarf was cotton when I requested it, but it did not seem to be when I received it. I like the stripes, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the scarf overall.

In Tote #2, I only received one item that I favorited on the site, and the rest were items chosen that I had not requested. All were to my liking, besides the Nanette Zip Dress, which was not my style and did not fit me.

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Two Tone Polka Dot Scarf and Felicity Fleece Maxi Skirt
Although LE TOTE’s photo of the scarf does it no justice, I really loved it! It was soft and made me feel totally fashionable. The skirt was fleece and a bit too long on me, but I rolled it at the top and made it work. The skirt was the one item I’d requested out of this box!


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KUT Houndstooth Sweatshirt
Although this top was not one I had chosen myself, I really liked it! The front is sweatshirt material, but the back is sheer and silky.

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Circus Statement Necklace
This is a good length for a statement necklace for me! Unfortunately, the colors are more summer-like than winter-like, I think! I didn’t wear this other than to take the photo, but I did like it!

I am looking forward to receiving my next box from LE TOTE! The fun thing is you can be surprised, or you can see ahead of time on the site what is on the way! LE TOTE offered me a three month trial of their service, so I will definitely be reporting back on the next totes I receive. What do you think of the styles I’ve modeled above?

I received items from LE TOTE in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.