Not In Jersey: March 2015 March 2015 - Not In Jersey

It’s Okay #64

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It’s okay…

…to fly to another city to attend a party.

…that even though an hour and a half on a plane is really not a lot, I still didn’t like it and wasn’t comfortable, which is why I can’t get excited for the possibility for a much longer flight!

…that I bought a winter coat for the boys on sale at Land’s End. I think it will fit Zachary for a little while and then go to Simon. It was on sale 50% off plus another 40% off of that!

…that I also exchanged one of Zachary’s iron knee pants – guaranteed not to rip, but of course he managed to rip them.

…that Zachary has an infection on his ear. That’s right, it’s not in his ear, it’s on his ear. He’s doing a great job taking adult size pills so hopefully that will clear it up!

…that Simon is off starting today and the other kids are off starting tomorrow for spring break and Passover!

…that the Draw Tweets team drew me a picture of myself!


What’s okay with you this week?

March In Review

Monday, March 30, 2015

I feel like this year is already flying by. It’s the end of another month! Here are some of the highlights:

Family Activities:


  • I have a giveaway open for ZooBorns Motherly Love.
  • I watched Season 3 of House of Cards and another show called The Fall.
  • I started knitting more often.
  • I flew to Atlanta for the day for my sister-in-law’s baby shower!

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.)

2015-02-26_1424992259  2015-03-10_14260138782015-03-12_1426183109  2015-03-13_1426280191
1. Simon wearing his Olaf costume. 2. Simon running to the park. 3. Simon at a different park. 4. Scarf I knit for a friend.

2015-03-13_1426283954  2015-03-24_1427167338
1. Simon and Zachary decorating the driveway. 2. Kermit hat for my brother and sister-in-law’s baby.

Next up: Gabbie’s birthday and Passover! Happy end of the month!

Scandal Sunday 4.17–Put A Ring On It

Sunday, March 29, 2015


After last week Scandal tried to drum up interest in the show by stressing the fact that Lena Dunham would be guest starring, they actually received their lowest ratings of the season for that episode (and for this week, the ratings were even a little lower). So, in order to try a new tactic, they appealed to people who have been watching this show for a long time and had questions, like myself. They told us they were going to explain the story behind Olivia’s ring. I briefly touched upon the ring here, but in order for today’s post to make sense, I have to start at the beginning.

When I first watched the show, there were a few things I wanted to know more about, one of which happened in the very first episode. That episode title was “Sweet Baby” and it was called that because when Amanda Tanner told Olivia that Fitz had called her “sweet baby,” Olivia realized that Amanda was telling the truth – because she had personally heard this phrase from Fitz before. However, as viewers, we never saw him use that phrase and to me, it didn’t feel like it fit.

I can’t say that the ring itself was a question for me, but while googling something else, I came across some information on the ring that Olivia wears. Starting in Season 1, Olivia always had on the ring, aside from in flashbacks. Kerry Washington tweeted the following on August 16, 2013:


And on October 9, 2013, she said:


However, on December 16, 2013, when asked about it, Shonda Rhimes replied:


When asked again on April 24, 2014, Shonda said:


However, Lyn Paolo, the costume designer, said in an article originally published on November 14, 2013 (BEFORE Shonda said it’s just jewelry):

“She wears [a Monique Pean] ring all the time. We bought it for the pilot and joked that there had to be a backstory for it,” says Paolo, who hints that series creator Shonda Rhimes ran with the idea and worked the ring into the plot. “We are very conscious that she does not wear the ring in flashbacks. She only wears it in the present time.”

On November 3, 2014, Kerry herself was quoted saying that she had her own story for the ring:

“I have a beautiful Monique Péan ring that I’ve worn since season one, and it’s funny because the fans are always wondering what the significance is behind that ring,” said Washington. “I know what the backstory is, and I’ve shared it with Shonda, but we’ve never talked about it on the show. It’s a bit of a mystery, and that’s kind of fun.”

So basically, Shonda rudely denied that she even knew about the ring when in fact, both Lyn and Kerry said they had told her about it and their ideas for it. This always bothered me. Now, you already know that a few weeks back it was revealed that Olivia never takes off the ring and that she wears the ring for Fitz. And you already know (because I’ve shared it over and over) that both Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington responded to my tweet asking if Fitz gave Olivia the ring:

tweet[3]  tweet2[3]

At that point, we realized that the ring had a story. Then, Olivia was shown throwing the ring at Fitz out of anger, and she had not been wearing it since she took it off during her kidnapping (she left it behind as a clue to help her friends find it). Now, we’re up to this episode. The episode began by showing us that Olivia is still having nightmares related to her kidnapping. Interspersed with those, she has flashbacks to various moments with Fitz, starting when she met him and up until she threw the ring at him. The episode was also focused on Cyrus and his past marriages – first to a woman and then to James, the true love of his life. James and Cyrus were married after Olivia left the White House during the beginning of Fitz’s first Presidency, but before the events of the beginning of the series. Which is why Olivia never had the ring in earlier flashbacks that took place before this one. In this flashback, we see Fitz giving Olivia the ring. Not only that, but they are in Vermont, and he is wearing his Navy sweatshirt. As seen above, Shonda told us there was a story behind the sweatshirt (the same one that Olivia picked up and cried into after Fitz had been shot).


Fitz: “It’s a ring. Very old, rare, one of a kind. It even has a name, doux bébé. It was my great grandmothers. Her father bought it for her at auction in Paris, she wore it at her Debutante Ball and I was supposed to give it to my wife but I didn’t. It just… never felt right so I kept it and now I know why, because I was supposed to give it to you.”

Olivia: “I don’t want a ring from you.”

Fitz: “Don’t think of it as a ring, doing think of it as…You don’t have to love me, you don’t have to come back to me, but if you could wear this, if I could know that you were wearing this, then even if you hate me I know we’ll be okay, I’ll know you’re out there.”

Olivia: “Doux bébé, that’s its name?”

Fitz: “You can call it whatever you want. In English, doux bébé means ‘sweet baby’ so –“

Olivia: “You want me to call a ring ‘sweet baby’?

Fitz: “I just want you to be happy.”

Olivia (after kissing him): “I could never hate you.”

That’s right – we also got the meaning behind “Sweet Baby.” Everything was thrown all at once – even the song playing in the background was The Light, the Olivia and Fitz song that plays during their most intense and meaningful moments. Later in the episode, Olivia goes to Fitz for help and he notices she is not wearing the ring. However, she has another dream and ends up searching for her discarded ring, and by the end of the episode, at Cyrus’s wedding to newest husband Michael, she is wearing it again.

[source (for the two above as well)]

Getting back to Shonda, during the episode, she tweeted:



I decided to get involved:

shonda2  shonda3


Really though? How could she have had a Navy sweatshirt story if he was supposed to be wearing it while giving Olivia a ring that Shonda never knew about? This interaction has almost taken away from my enjoyment of actually getting a back story for something I’ve been wondering about for over a year! Now that I’ve gotten it off my chest though, let’s look at this ring for a moment. To Fitz, Olivia wearing the ring means that she’s okay, she exists in his world. To her, it keeps her connected to him. She knows how he feels about it and she knows that seeing her with it on means something to him. Through everything, she’s never stopped wearing it. At this point in their (very messed up) relationship, Fitz is letting her be, not arguing with her, even complimenting her on how she went around him to plan Cyrus’s wedding with Mellie. With the space he gave her, she was able to put that ring back on. Olivia and Fitz obviously belong together. Now, I want to see them get there. We got the back stories, now give us our Presidential divorce!!

FYI: There will be no Scandal Sunday post next Sunday due to the Passover holiday. I have yet to decide whether I will post about next week’s episode either before or after the holiday, if at all.

What I’ve Been Reading #75

Friday, March 27, 2015

The reason I read Weaponized by Nicholas Mennuti is because the author was in my high school class! Otherwise, it is pretty unlikely that this book would have come to my attention. I think it’s pretty cool that Nick has a published book; however, just because I used to know him didn’t make me love the book any more or less. The best thing about the book for me was the fact that the main character and his best friend were named after high school classmates of mine! I wish that Nick had named all of the characters after people I knew. “Kyle West is a wanted man. Having fled the country to escape the false charges filed against himself and his former boss, billionaire government contractor Christopher Chandler, Kyle's hiding in Cambodia, living on borrowed time and finding more and more reasons to be paranoid. When a mysterious stranger named Julian Robinson walks into Kyle’s favorite café and offers to swap passports with Kyle, Kyle can't believe his luck. Robinson looks so much like Kyle it’s almost unreal, and seems in every way the yin to Kyle's yang--self-assured, charismatic and wealthy beyond measure. Traveling on business, Robinson needs Kyle’s passport to get to Africa, where a lucrative deal awaits. Kyle needs Robinson's passport to safely flee Cambodia. The swap seems almost too good to be true. Unfortunately for Kyle, it is. This one decision plunges Kyle into a Pandora’s Box of intrigue that threatens to swallow him whole. Suddenly he finds himself being pursued by Russian oligarchs, Chinese operatives, the CIA, and a beautiful woman trained to kill; because Robinson certainly isn’t who he seemed. And time is running out for Kyle to discover who he is.” The idea of the story and the plot seem like they would be interesting, but unfortunately I didn’t feel that the book was all that wonderful. A few reviewers on Amazon pointed out that the book read more like a screen play or like it was written to be turned into a movie, and that makes sense to me. The co-author, David Guggenheim, is actually a screenwriter rather than a novelist. The action scenes were definitely exciting, so I say if you read this with the idea in mind that it could be a screen play, you might like it more than I did. Sorry Nick!

Have you read anything good lately?

ZooBorns Motherly Love Book Giveaway

Thursday, March 26, 2015


My family and I are very big fans of going to zoos and aquariums. When we go on vacation, we usually end up visiting the local zoo or aquarium as part of our trip. We are also members of our local Kansas City Zoo and we love to spend time there visiting the animals. Because of this, I knew our family would love the book ZooBorns Motherly Love: Celebrating The Mother-Baby Bond at the World’s Zoos and Aquariums.

Perfect for Mother’s Day, these heart-melting photographs explore the special role mothers play in our lives: they do more for us than they do for themselves, worry about us more than we’ll ever know, and love us more than anyone else can…no matter their species.

By highlighting these adorable and recognizable moments, from a sea otter cradling her newborn pup to a lioness gently tugging her cub back to her side, ZooBorns connects you to the animals featured here and builds awareness for the challenges these species face in the wild. Remember, these babies are are ambassadors for their species, helping educate about conservation while they entertain.

In fact, 10 percent of all ZooBorns’ revenue from the sale of these books goes directly to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Conservation Endowment Fund. Help us educate readers about conservation and cuteness!

I love the smooth, bright pages of this book. I can definitely imagine sharing it on a coffee table, and this is the sort of book that both kids and adults will love. My kids will enjoy looking at the photos and hearing the stories of the animals from all around the world. From the Giant Panda at the San Diego Zoo to the South American Tapir at Zoo Salzburg in Austria, each animal is labeled as to whether it is endangered and each page tells a story about its animal. While some of the animals are types we have heard of, there are others that are new to us as well!


Thanks to Simon and Schuster, I am giving away two copies of this book! The contest is open to U.S. residents only. Please use the form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

March Ipsy Glam Bag

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This month I received my 17th Ipsy Glam Bag. This month’s theme was “Floral Fantasy.” Here is what I received:

Coolway Glow Oil Treatment – $29.95 for 100 mL, I received 10 mL, a $2.95 value:
Perfect your style with a runway-ready Glow! Ordinary finishing oils are designed to add vibrancy back into hair but often contain Sulfates, Parabens, Alcohol and other ingredients that can make hair dull, dry, and faded. °Coolway’s Glow™ contains none of these harmful components. It combines a natural and nutrient-rich formula of Vitamin E and Porphyra Seaweed extract to maintain moisture and balance so your hair remains beautiful and shiny throughout the day.
35% off + free Knotty Girl Brush with code ipsy15 until 4/30/15.
My thoughts: I used this after flat ironing my hair and it felt like it smoothed out my hair nicely.

NYX Butter Lipstick in Pops – $6:
Pamper your lips with a hydrating kiss of smooth Butter Lipstick in 22 luxurious shades. The delicate texture of satin fused with the high color saturation creates an even finish on lips that’s long-wearing and beautiful.
25% off with code NYXBUTTER until 4/30/15.
My thoughts: I haven’t actually tried this yet, though I have liked all of the other NYX Butter lip products I have tried.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter – $18:
This fresh and pretty neutral pencil will brighten and visibly lift your eyes when lightly applied on the brow bone, dark circles, blemishes and red spots. In addition, this multi-purpose pencil can be used to brighten and “open” the eye area by applying to the water line and inner corners of the eye.
25% off with code ipsy2015 until 4/30/15.
My thoughts: I did try this and it went on smoothly. I am not sure it made much of a difference, but I would like to try again as a proper highlighter rather than just applying to my brow bone lightly!

Pur~Lisse Pur~Delicate Gentle Soymilk Cleanser and Makeup Remover – $36 for 5.6 oz, I received 1 oz, a $6.42 value:
Cleanse the day away in one simple step with this sulfate-free blend of Soy Milk, Whole Oat and White Tea. This gentle cleanser leaves your face silky soft, without a trace of impurity.
30% off + free gift with code IpsyMarch30 until 4/30/15.
My thoughts: I used this one morning when I applied too much eye shadow and it worked very well to clean up my eyelid! I plan to use this more often.

Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Fifty Shades – $22.50:
MARSK Mineral Eyeshadows are 100% natural, mineral based loose powder that are strictly cruelty free and available in a range of striking shades that offer endless color possibilities for a professional makeup effect. Featuring a creamy texture, these highly pigmented powders can be used both wet and dry, are easily blendable and offer you the ability to create depth and intensity around the eye.
20% off with code IPSY2015 until 4/30/15.
My thoughts: This works really well! I mentioned above how I applied too much eye shadow – that was this one. I find that only using a little goes a long way!

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 $55.87, a nice value! I don’t have a favorite item this month because they are all things I will use!

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 #63

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It’s okay…

…that there was no post on my blog yesterday. I had nothing to say and I gave up trying to think of something to say.

…that I’ve been given a lot of credit for teaching Simon’s class how to count to 6 in French. I did take French in high school, but I actually used my phone to speak the numbers and they repeated it from there! Now they can count to 6 in Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, and French!

…that it’s almost time to figure out what we’re doing this summer.

…that I watched the show The Fall on Netflix. It was very good.

…that the present I ordered for my sister-in-law’s baby shower isn’t going to get there until way after the shower.

…that I bought a new outfit to wear on Passover. And I spent more on it than I normally would have!

…that apparently red pickup trucks are very popular. The boys counted 20 of them on the way home from school yesterday!

What’s okay with you this week?

Scandal Sunday 4.16–It’s Good To Be Kink

Sunday, March 22, 2015


With that title and the propping of the episode based on the fact that Lena Dunham was guest starring, I should have known that it wouldn’t be great. Maybe Scandal and Olivia need to hit rock bottom before things can get better??

Basically, what happened was that Lena Dunham’s character Sue wrote a tell-all book about 17 men in government roles that she slept with and detailed all of their crazy actions in bed. Leo, Abby’s current boyfriend, was one of the men, and Abby realized that if it came out that he was in the book, her job as press secretary would be in jeopardy. Olivia went and threatened Sue to shut down the publication of her book, but Sue turned around and told Olivia she was no longer powerful and that she should live her life on her own terms like Sue herself does. She said she would not publish the book if she is paid 3 million dollars. So Olivia’s team figured out who all the men were and brought them together, telling them they each needed to pay $175,000 to contribute towards the payment. This plan was foiled by David Rosen, who was also in the book and who as Attorney General decided he couldn’t go along with the plan. Olivia and the team found out that Sue was writing her book out of anger, because as it turned out, she was fired from her job when she wouldn’t sleep with her boss, and now she couldn’t get any interviews. Sue agreed not to publish the book and instead reported her former boss’s actions and Olivia got her an interview with the Washington Post. All sounds well and good right?

Things aren’t that easy in the Scandal world. Because David is moving forward with his investigation of B613, Huck negotiated for immunity on all of his past crimes. However, he realized that Sue would eventually tell her story even though she agreed not to, and if her story came out and implicated David, he would no longer be Attorney General and would not be able to grant Huck immunity. Therefore, Huck slit Sue’s throat. It seems that Olivia no longer has Huck on a leash and he’s back to killing people – and Quinn protects him by convincing Olivia not to go after the person who killed Sue because that would in the end hurt Abby.

So Olivia protects everyone because she is the protector, but in the mean time, Fitz somehow has Jake working for him again, spying on Olivia and reporting how she is coping. Obviously Fitz cares about Olivia, but how he is friends with Jake again makes no sense to me. Olivia is still suffering greatly from her experience being kidnapped, and because she won’t let anyone protect her, she takes some of Sue’s advice and goes out to a bar to meet a man. Because obviously, a man will cure her. At first, she is unable to proceed with her plan to bring the man home because she has a flashback of her kidnapping. At the end of the episode though, she meets the same man again and does bring him home. She doesn’t tell him her real name, but she does show him where she lives and she has no idea who he is. After just being kidnapped straight out of that same location. Makes sense to me, how about you?


I mean, Olivia has always used sex to escape her problems. In the past, when having doubts about her relationship with Fitz, she has slept with Edison, and more recently and more obviously, she has used Jake to try to get over Fitz. Now she appears to be trying to get over both Fitz and Jake, and when Cyrus talks to her about the fact that the two men have been meeting for drinks, Olivia says she doesn’t care and that she’s moving forward. Moving forward to what, Cyrus asks. Exactly.

I don’t think Olivia is going to be allowed to heal from the trauma she went through. Instead, the show seems to be implying that sex will heal her – using such songs as Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye and Dr. Feelgood by Aretha Franklin. However, the actor playing the man from the bar hinted on twitter that his character will return, which makes me think he was sent to sleep with Olivia for a reason – just like Jake was sent for that same thing in the past. Which will of course, further ruin Olivia. Because she hasn’t been through enough already.

The decimation of Olivia’s character is absolutely crazy. She used to be smart and use her brain to get what she wanted, now she uses her sexuality. She used to be fine being single although in love with Fitz (in season 1), now she needs a man. Abby spoke to Leo about how as Press Secretary, she is evaluated by her looks and who she is dating, but Olivia acts in complete opposition to that fact – as if what she does will not effect her at all. In the end, she is still traumatized and choosing to bring a strange man to her home (who can very well end up being even worse than her men of the past) is not going to help that.

I do not believe the show will improve until Olivia is allowed to recover or something major happens to turn everything around. Again.