Not In Jersey: January 2015 January 2015 - Not In Jersey

January In Review

Friday, January 30, 2015

January was another quick month with the return to school after winter break and general busyness all around! Here are some of the highlights:

Family Activities:

  • We attended the Pinewood Derby.
  • We had some nice days and we went to the zoo:

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And now, more about me via Instagram. 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.) Some of these pictures are left over from our trip in December!

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1. Simon carried Olaf in his backpack while traveling. 2. A photo we had taken in the Chicago airport. 3. My great-nephew. 4. Simon.

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1. Coffee at my brother-in-law’s restaurant. 2. The kids on the NYC subway. 3. Carousel horse. 4. My new phone case.

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1. 100 Good Deeds Bracelet. 2. My nails. 3. Sunset. 4. Simon chilling with the Kindle Fire at Zachary’s OT appointment.

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1. Rubik’s Cube completed. 2. Simon using his toy laptop and the Kindle Fire like a computer.

Mommy + Simon Selfie!

Happy soon-to-be February everyone! Pillow Review and Giveaway

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I continue to be amazed by the fun personalized items that is offering and I’m so excited to tell you about this one – a collaged pillow! “Liven up your living room with our premium photo pillows. Our soft woven pillows feature a hidden zipper and a removable, machine-washable cover.” You can get a 16x16 pillow with up to 30 pictures on it or an 18x18 pillow with up to 40 pictures on it!


I had a few ideas of what to put on my pillow, but in the end I went with a variety of photos of the kids – as they are my favorite photo subjects! These particular photos are ones I took at the zoo in NJ.

There are a variety of background options and I decided to use this teal color. I really like how it turned out!

This is what it looked like when I made it (click to zoom):

My kids love the pillow, and Simon put it to use immediately! It’s very soft and fluffy and just the right size to rest on! (This is the 16x16 size).

So, do you want a 16x16 collaged pillow too? is offering one up for one of my readers! Just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I received this product in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Good luck!

January Ipsy Glam Bag

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


This month I received my 15th Ipsy Glam Bag. This month’s theme was “Fresh Start.” Here is what I received:


Coastal Scents Liquid Eyeliner in Jet – $2.95:
This sleek onyx hue liner is ideal for creating impressively dazzling eyes instantly. The tiny felt tip brush allows you to precisely line eyes effortlessly. The formula dries quickly and lasts all day without smudging, smearing, or fading away.
25% off with code liner25off until 3/5/15.
My thoughts: I have used it a few times and I like it. I like that I can switch between liquid and regular eyeliner now that I have a few options!

Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask – $35 for 50 mL, I received 10 mL, a $7 value:
This fifteen-minute beauty mask brightens and smooths skin with the exfoliating power of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, while moisturizing with luxurious honey extract. It instantly renews skin, leaving it refreshed and clean after only a few minutes.
20% off with code IPSY20 until 3/31/15.
My thoughts: I haven’t tried it yet! I used to enjoy using facial masks occasionally, so I hope to try this one soon.

La Fresh Eco-Beauty Be Good. Good Day. Day Moisturizer – $13.99:
This highly natural day moisturizer provides ample hydration and helps bring back a fresher & happier looking skin appearance.
30% off with code IPSYJAN15 until 2/28/15.
My thoughts: I haven’t tried it yet! I want to though!

Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow in Ethereal – $14 for 4 colors, a value of $3.50:
An incredibly innovative formula that pushes natural makeup and mineral color to new bounds. Rich, lasting, creaseless eye shadows are infused with coconut water for a velvety, cream-like finish.
20% off with code NewBeauty until 2/28/15.
My thoughts: I have used it a few times. I have received this brand of eye shadow before but I like this color better than the one I got last time.

Velvet 59 Velvet Rose Lipgloss in Noisette – $19:
You will fall in love with the Velvet Rose Lipgloss. It's radiance and lustrous consistency makes your lips not just look but smell as fabulous as the classic rose.
50% off with code 50offvelvet until 2/28/15.
My thoughts: I like the color, as it appears natural on my lips.

Once again, I pay $10 a month for these bags. I love seeing what comes my way each month! The value received this month was $46.44, a nice value! My favorite item is the eye liner.

If you’d like to sign up to receive your own Glam Bag each month, click here! If you got this month’s bag, what did you think?

It’s Okay #55

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It’s okay…

…that I hate when stores open at 10. I drop Simon off at school at 9 and then I can’t go straight out to do my errands!

…that I’m glad I don’t live in NJ right now. I hope my East Coast friends are surviving their blizzard!

…that in fact, it was actually 60 degrees here yesterday!

…that I’m looking forward to my show returning on Thursday night.

…to wish that I could take a break from social media until then, but I find it too addictive.

…that sometimes I feel like all I do is drive back and forth all day.

…that I finally got Jodi Picoult’s new book and I’m reading it now.

What’s okay with you this week?

Children’s Safety Online

Monday, January 26, 2015

Now that both Gabbie and Zachary have their own devices that they can use the access the internet, it is important for us to address online safety. The Federal Trade Commission offers five pieces of advice to parents so that they can talk to their children about socializing online:

  • Remind kids that online actions have consequences.
  • Tell kids to limit what they share.
  • Encourage online manners.
  • Limit access to kids’ profiles.
  • Talk to kids about what they’re doing online.

Two weeks ago I introduced HiFiKiddo, a family and kid friendly social network. HiFiKiddo complies with the Federal Trade Commissions Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). When children under the age of 13 join the site, they require a working email address of a parent and the parent much provide verifiable consent before the child is granted the privilege to join.

On HiFiKiddo, parents must approve their child’s posts, comments, and friend requests. This makes it easy for parents to help their kids limit what they share online and who they share it with. As I see it, HiFiKiddo serves as a learning experience for young kids on socializing online.

So, if your children are like mine and are interested in socializing online, I would recommend HiFiKiddo as a great place to start! Once again, if you do this, please let me know so that Gabbie and I can connect with you and your child!

I am a brand ambassador for HiFiKiddo and will be sharing more about this family friendly social network over the next few weeks. Thank you to HiFiKiddo for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday Funnies–Cleaning Edition

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Have you ever noticed that kids like to pick things up and put them down somewhere else? And then complain they can’t find that thing? That’s what my kids do. And I’ll admit I’m not the best at cleaning the house, so things end up pretty messy sometimes! Today’s funnies are all about cleaning and why it’s not done.






What I’ve Been Reading #71

Friday, January 23, 2015

I remember a friend of mine raving about Snow Flower And The Secret Fan years ago, but I never read the book until just recently. “In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an ‘old same,’ in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart.” I found this book interesting, but slow to get through. The author researched the time period extremely well and at the end, there is a description of her trip to China to do so, which I found almost as interesting as the book itself. The descriptions of footbinding were written in a way to show how awful it was, but it is definitely something worth knowing about. What was most interesting to me was the secret language and the customs of women that were described in the story. The friendships of the women in the story were born out of these traditions and it was most interesting to see the way that turned out in the end.

Have you read this book? I know it’s an older one!

Bring Back The Whirl-O

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I’m not sure if the above picture looks familiar to anyone, but you may recognize it because it is a classic tin toy that teaches kids about magnets, light and color, and the wheel and axle, called the Whirl-O. Regal Games, a small business that makes retro games, is trying to bring the Whirl-O back to the market and into your homes through a new Kickstarter campaign.

Simon was very excited to try out this toy for us and he was able to get the hang of spinning the smaller disc around the bigger one pretty quickly.

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What I did not realize and what Simon pointed out, is that the smaller disc is actually a top! (He called it a dreidel!) The Whirl-O® is a magnetic tin top launcher. To get started, roll the top along the two parallel disks also known as the rails. This is called the “Simple Spin” or “Takin’ it for a Whirl”. The new design also features a color morphing feature. I pointed this out to Gabbie, who just laughed at me, but it is pretty cool that our blue and purple Whirl-O looks purple while it spins!


The Simple Spin is just the beginning. Once you have mastered the Simple Spin, it’s time to launch your top. Get it going fast and smooth, and then use the hubcap to give it a good thump on a table. With some practice, you can time it so you’ll know where the top will land. The faster your Simple Spin, and the better you stick the landing, the longer the top will stay spinning. We had a fun time trying to get the top to spin out of the rails. I am sure that Zachary could do it, but he didn’t want me to take his picture, so he stopped trying! Kids – and even some of us adults – will be addicted to the Whirl-O® in no time!

The Whirl-O® is both entertaining and educational, and is a great way for kids to explore concepts like magnets, the wheel and axle, and the role our eyes play in our perception of light. Regal Games has even provided a set of free lesson plans written for elementary students. Download three free lesson plans here. Share them with your kids’ teachers for bonus points!

We can all help to bring back the Whirl-O®! The Kickstarter campaign to bring back the Whirl-O® is running now through February 11. What is very cool is that if you pledge $8 or more, you will receive your own Whirl-O! Learn more and make your donation here.

Connect with Regal Games: Facebook -- WebsiteKickstarter

I received this toy in exchange for my review and sharing of the Kickstarter campaign. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.