Not In Jersey: August 2015 August 2015 - Not In Jersey

August In Review

Monday, August 31, 2015

The first three weeks of August were spent in Israel! This trip was the conclusion to a great summer break which consisted of 1 week at home, 6 weeks of camp for the kids, our trip to Washington, two weddings, and of course Israel! Because I blogged a lot less this month, I don’t have very many posts to recap, but I thought I would share the photos that I took each day in Israel and posted via Instagram (and Twitter and Facebook!). I called the series #PhotoADay and I have heard that people enjoyed following along with our trip in that way. The funny thing is that I took way more photos each day, but on my camera. I had to make myself take photos on my phone to share!

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1. Minions are just as big in Israel as they are in the U.S. This was the back of a cereal box. 2. Gabbie and her BFF from birth, my BFF from college’s oldest daughter. 3. The kids at the Banias Waterfall. 4. Trying to cool down on the world’s hottest day at the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret).

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1. Praying at the Western Wall. 2. The beach in Ashdod. 3. A day in the south (the desert). 4. Food we bought for Shabbat.

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1. The kids with 2 of their cousins. 2. Parts of the Old City of Jerusalem. 3. Gabbie and her newest cousin. 4. The Pool of the Arches and The White Tower in Ramla.

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1. The wedding. 2. Mini Israel. 3. Ikea. 4. The Dead Sea and Ein Gedi.

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1. Kinder Joy Eggs for Simon’s birthday. 2. The best iced coffee.

Outside of the trip, which will be recapped in the coming weeks, other family activities this month included:

And as for me:

  • I started going to the gym in the morning.
  • I continued watching Gilmore Girls – I’m on the last season now!

Coming up: September! All the Jewish holidays!

What I’ve Been Reading #90

Friday, August 28, 2015

My friend got me into this romance series about a family of 8 siblings who all find true love. Cheesy? Yes. But so very entertaining! The first brother introduced is Chase, in The Look Of Love. “Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he? As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he's home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is--until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love--and protect--her, but will she let him?” Lucky for Chloe, Chase was the perfect guy to find and rescue her and because nothing else would make sense in a romance book, they quickly fall in love! If I had to rate the siblings on a scale of memorability, Chase turns out to be one of the least memorable. But it’s his book that starts the series and got me interested in reading more.

Marcus, the brother featured in From This Moment On, was more memorable for me than Chase, mostly because he is the oldest in the family and his role as the protector is important to his story. The Sullivans’ father died when the children were all young, and Marcus helped to raise his siblings along with their mother. “For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he’s planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all. Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name - Nico - for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is...or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger - and the sinful promises - in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets. One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But nothing goes as they plan when instead of simply tangling limbs, they find a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated. And even though they both try to fight it, growing emotions - and sizzling attraction - keep drawing them closer together.” What I liked about this book is that both Marcus and Nicola had trust issues due to their past relationships and therefore neither wanted to fall in love with anyone. However, they connected maybe even because of their pasts, and obviously were perfect for each other. At this point in reading the series, I was happy to discover that not every Sullivan brother is the same. They have their own unique personalities and after meeting Chase and Marcus, I was ready to meet them all!

Gabe, the brother featured in Can’t Help Falling In Love, is my favorite Sullivan so far. I really liked his story, which started with him rescuing Megan and her daughter from a fire. “Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire...and can't stop thinking about. Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving - and losing - a man with a dangerous job again. Only, when Gabe and Megan meet again and uncontrollable flames of desire ignite between them, how can he possibly ignore her courage, determination, and beauty? And how can she deny not only his strong bond with her daughter, but the way his sweetly sensual kisses are challenging her to risk everything she's been guarding for so long?” Like in Marcus’s story, both characters had a reason to resist falling in love with each other. Of course, they can’t help but do so, with some help along from Megan’s daughter Summer. Hot firefighter looks combined with the sweet personality inside are hard to resist, and as the reader, I thought Gabe was a perfect character! Unlike in the first two books, Gabe and Megan didn’t give up their resistance right away, but absolutely are together in the end!

Sophie Sullivan (and her twin sister Lori) is the youngest in the family and therefore, her brothers all treat her like a little girl. So when she admits her love for one of their oldest friends, he is totally nervous to admit his feelings for her as well! I Only Have Eyes For You is different than the first three books in the series since it is not about one of the brothers, but instead features their sister! “Sophie Sullivan, a librarian in San Francisco, was five years old when she fell head over heels in love with Jake McCann. Twenty years later, she’s convinced the notorious bad boy still sees her as the “nice” Sullivan twin. That is, when he bothers to look at her at all. But when they both get caught up in the magic of the first Sullivan wedding, she knows it's long past time to do whatever it takes to make him see her for who she truly is...the woman who will love him forever. Jake has always been a magnet for women, especially since his Irish pubs made him extremely wealthy. But the only woman he really wants is the one he can never have. Not only is Sophie his best friend’s off-limits younger sister...he can't risk letting her get close enough to discover his deeply hidden secret.” I wouldn’t say this is my favorite of the series, but I did enjoy it and getting to know one of the sisters was a welcome break from all of the brothers. I also liked the way Jake was able to get the family to see Sophie differently than they had before.

Since this is a series, I’m still reading it, so expect more about these characters in future weeks! Have you read anything good lately?

The Best Of My Israel Photos

Thursday, August 27, 2015

After such a long trip, it is not surprising that I have hundreds of photos to share! I wasn’t sure where to start with sharing about our trip, so I decided to share a few highlights today. It’s also a sneak peak of what’s to come!

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Banias Waterfall

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Flowers at Hermon

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Sunset in Tzfat

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The Mediterranean

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Ibex near Sde Boker

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A pile of pomegranates

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The kids before their cousin’s wedding

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Hiking at Ein Gedi

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A dove at the Western Wall

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A shop in Jerusalem

I hope I’ve piqued your interest to read more about our trip! Full posts will start next week!

What My Kids Are Reading #8–Welcome to Foxyland

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My kids, especially Simon, love when I get books in the mail for us to review. This time, both Simon and Zachary listened to the story of Little Foxycat, who may be a fox cub or a kitten, but is simply a child who will start school next year. “The curious and imaginative Foxycat must explore his village to find the ingredients needed for his mother to bake his favorite dessert, in this delightful, fully illustrated children’s book. From the moment he wakes up in his cozy cottage on the edge of the forest, Foxycat is filled with wonder at the world around him. With his vivid imagination knowing no bounds, he speaks to Mrs. Toothbrush about going into battle to defend his teeth from bacteria, and chats happily to the contents of his kitchen cupboards before sitting down for breakfast. Indulging his wandering mind and need to discover something new every day, Foxycat’s mother sends him on a journey to seek out the ingredients to make his favorite pie. Now out on his own in Foxyland, his imagination is free to run even wilder. Foxycat sings a duet with the sun, sporting a sombrero - of course - and has a conversation with the fish found in the forest brook. Not forgetting his important task - and the freshly baked reward he will get upon completing it - Foxycat makes at stop at Uncle Beaver’s sawmill for a new breadboard and rolling pin, learning more about the surrounding woods before heading to Mr. Hams’ windmill for a bag of flour and a lesson on the hard work it takes to run such a business. Of course, he will still have to find a friend who can help him get the milk… With Great Adventures of Little Foxycat, Wald Peterson has created a fantastical and warm new world in which friendship, discovery and learning with open eyes are the central, heartfelt themes. Filled with bright and expressive illustrations, Foxycat’s journey in the animated world of Foxyland is beautifully rendered, a wonderful story that parents, teachers and children will enjoy reading and revisiting.”

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We really enjoyed the language used in this story. It is written very vividly, to go along with the bright illustrations. We also liked that there are chapters inside the book, making it longer than the typical children’s book. Foxycat learns about the forest and the farm along his journey, and as such, the children reading this book learn too.

Right now, you can get 30 % off Welcome to Foxyland here with the discount code WQ6AC9FX. It will also be available at the iTunes store as of September 1st!

For more info, please visit the author’s website! Thank you to the publisher for providing us with this book in exchange for our review.

It’s Okay #81

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It’s okay…

…that this month I wrote the least amount of blog posts ever.

…that I haven’t written an It’s Okay post in a month.

…that now that all 3 of my kids start school before 8 AM, I can go to the gym in the morning. And go to two classes in a row. But I told Dave I’d need to work out all day non-stop if there would be any hope of losing weight.

…that Simon got Minion Bob for his birthday and I think it’s really cute.

…that I have so much to share from our Israel trip that you might just get bored of reading all about it!

…that MilitaryWife & PugLife tagged me for the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.” She gave me 10 questions to answer and I’m going to answer them right here!

blogger sisterhood

1) What is one trend, beauty or fashion, you cannot stand?

Those weird, one piece jumper outfit things.

2) If you could remove all the fat and calories from any food, what would it be and why?

Tortilla Chips. Because I eat them a lot.

3) What famous person makes you want to puke?

There is only one person I can think of and she’s not that famous…Bellamy Young.

4) What song do you sing (loudly) and dance (obnoxiously) to when you are by yourself?

The soundtrack of Rent.

5) What was your favorite Halloween costume you ever wore?

A present. I’d share a picture but I don’t feel like dealing with my scanner.

6) If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

Spy on people?

7) What is the stupidest excuse you've ever used to get out doing something? And did it work?

Probably just that I didn’t feel like it. Yes.

8) What is something that truly grosses you out?

Vomit.

9) Have you ever re-gifted a gift? What was it and who did you give it to?

I don’t remember. I have definitely re-swapped some things I received in blogger swaps though.

10) If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self anything, what would it be and why?

It gets better.

What’s okay with you this week?

August Ipsy Glam Bag

Monday, August 24, 2015

This month I received my 22nd Ipsy Glam Bag. This month’s theme was “Prep School.” Here is what I received:

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eyepen
Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen in black – $19:
This liner is a staple product for every makeup lover, this felt tipped pen makes it impeccably easy to create flawless eye lines of any variety.
20% off with code IPSY until 9/30/15.
My thoughts: I love how easy it is to get this to go on smoothly!

lip
OFRA Cosmetics Lip Liner in Wine – $13
OFRA’S Wine Lip Liner applies smoothly and easily on the lips with a beautiful matte finish. This liner will hold your lipstick in place and prevent it from creasing onto the outside edges of your lips.
40% off with code OFRALOVESIPSY until 9/30/15.
My thoughts: I like this color! I smudged it onto my lips and covered with lip gloss (see below for the product!) and it lasted throughout the morning!

juara
JUARA Skincare Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Facial Mask – $35 for 3 oz, I received .3 oz, a $3.50 value:
A must for radiant skin, JUARA’s Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask utilizes the proven power of Indonesian turmeric. This powerful mask detoxifies, brightens and strengthens stressed, tired, dull-looking skin in one single application.
20% off with code IPSY2015 until 9/30/15.
My thoughts: I haven’t tried this yet! But I plan to soon!

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Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Oil Treatment – $10.29 for 1.69 oz, I received .7 oz, a $4.26 value:
This treatment is a lightweight oil used daily for strong, glossy, frizz-free hair. Whether your hair is curly, straight, thick or thin, this Argan Oil Treatment will become a daily staple in your beauty regimen.
$2 off coupon for Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid – here.
My thoughts: I put a little of this in my hair and didn’t see a difference, but I still need to try it again more thoroughly!

tarte
tarte deluxe LipSurgence skintuitive lip gloss in energy – $19 for .27 oz, I received .05 oz, a $3.52 value:
Infused with pH-adjusting skintuitive™ technology, this sophisticated glossy lip formula is infused with rich antioxidants to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while delivering intense hydration and your own custom, complexion-enhancing shade of pink.
My thoughts: As I mentioned above, I used this over the lip liner and I really liked it!

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 $43.28, which is a slightly lower value than I received last month. My favorite item this month 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?