Not In Jersey: March 2017 March 2017 - Not In Jersey

Friday, March 31, 2017

March In Review + 12 Things About Gabbie

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March was a busy and interesting month and as always, I’m surprised to be at the end of yet another one! I will once again be linking up with Shoes To Shiraz for her monthly Month Review in Numbers Link Up!

Month Review In Numbers

Days The Kids Were Off School – 2.5 (3 for Gabbie)

Holidays Celebrated – 1
Purim

Posts About Florida – 3
Science Center | The Beach | Nature Centers

Times We Decorated Cookies – 2

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School Events Attended – 2
Reader For Simon’s Class | Simon’s Open House

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Days On Which It Was Above 80 Degrees – 2

Reviews Posted – 5
Once Again Nut Butter | Dealspotr | MagneticShul | Outfits App | Ipsy Bags

Books Reviewed – 3

Posts About The Kids – 3
The Kids Behind The Blog | Simon’s Chag Siddur | Gabbie Through The Years

Rooms Decluttered – 4
Basement | Office | Bathroom | Another Bathroom

Money Made At The Consignment Sale – $312

Family Members From Out of State Who Came For Gabbie’s Bat Mitzvah – 14

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(not everyone!)

Items In My March Picture Folder – 310

Pictures Shared on Instagram – 40

Total Blog Posts – 23

12thingsaboutgabbie

Tomorrow is Gabbie’s birthday! So in honor of that and keeping with the numbers theme, here are 12 things about Gabbie for her 12th birthday. As an aside, I asked the boys for help with this and they were not really helpful – Simon said she’s a girl and she’s nice and Zachary said she likes to dance and she hangs out in our guest room!

1. Gabbie was an April Fool’s Day baby. When I called my mom to say I was at the hospital, she asked if I was making an April Fool’s Joke. Nope, but that would have been creative if I was!

2. Gabbie has been practicing all year for her dance competition team and her first competition is finally this Sunday!

3. Gabbie did not get her dance skills nor her tall and skinny figure from my side of the family!

4. Gabbie loves shopping. Sometimes we go to a store and she feels like she has to find something to buy just for the sake of buying something and I wish she didn’t have that urge!

5. Some of Gabbie’s favorite foods include pickles, chicken, meat, cheese sticks, and pizza.

6. Gabbie likes watching family vlogs on YouTube.

7. Some of you noted Gabbie’s curly hair in my “through the years” post the other day. And then her hair was straight in the pictures from our swap reveal! She had it straightened last Friday for her Bat Mitzvah.

8. When she gets in the car, she asks to change the radio station. And now she can do it herself if she sits in the front seat.

9. Gabbie went to the mall on Sunday and came back with a gift for me!

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10. Gabbie isn’t afraid to dance on a stage in front of 100s of people, but she does not enjoy speaking in public. However, she did great at her Bat Mitzvah! She was poised, loud enough, read slowly and clearly…can you tell how proud I am?

11. Gabbie got a FitBit and she turned her step goal down lower so that she could try to meet the goal each day.

12. When I was pregnant with Gabbie, I didn’t find out if I was having a boy or a girl. I was convinced she would be a boy – I think partially because I was afraid I wouldn’t have a girl and I really wanted a girl! I’m so happy that Gabbie is my daughter.

Happy Birthday Gabbie and Happy April to all!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lego Organization Tips and Tricks

Lego Organization Tips and Tricks

One of my friends recently asked me what my kids play with now that they’re older. Since I’ve been getting rid of so many things, you may be wondering what we kept! One of the main things we kept is Legos. We’ve always had a lot of Legos, but they were a big jumbled mess, and ever since I organized them, I’m happy to say that the kids are playing with them even more. They used to build a set once and then if it fell apart, we would just leave it alone. A few of the sets have stayed together. But most of the Legos were just in piles everywhere. Our Lego table looked a bit like this:

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The drawers underneath were supposed to be sorted by color, but instead they looked a bit like this:

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Bit by bit, I went through each box and section until I ended up with this:

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Nothing but Legos, all sorted, and playable!

Here’s how I did it.

Decide how you want to sort your Legos.
In the first photos, you can see that I had one less set of small drawers. The Legos were semi-sorted by color, but I had small pieces and mini-figures in one drawer, pink and red in the next, white, beige, yellow, green, and purple all mixed into one drawer, black and grey in one, etc. When I started over, I soon realized I needed another set of drawers and that I had a lot of certain colors of Legos. Our drawers are now red, yellow and orange, green, black, pink and purple, blue, white, grey, and brown and beige. You may not have pink and purple Legos, but Gabbie went through a huge Lego Friends phase, so we have a bunch of those colors!

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Inside of the blue drawer. I also included smaller boxes inside each drawer so that small pieces don’t get lost!

Gather Your Legos.
Much of our pieces were on top of the table and surrounding it, but there were also pieces in Zachary’s room and in the basement. I did this a little at a time because it can get overwhelming! If the sets were mostly still put together, I left them as is or tried to complete them. I took apart sets that were not almost completed.

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Make use of what you already have.
Right next to the Lego table, we also have an actual Lego table with bins that were filled with all things non-Lego, and topped with partial Lego structures and other toys. It became pretty obvious while I was sorting that we had a lot of white, grey, and beige Legos, so I used these extra bins for the larger pieces of those colors. I also used a bin for all things wheels – we have a ton of Lego cars! And another for some of the Lego Junior pieces that are meant to go with certain sets.

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Once the top of this table was cleared, Simon immediately started to build on it!

Sort as best as you can.
We have volunteered a few times with a local organization called The Giving Brick. They actually sort their Legos by types of pieces in order to come up with complete sets to gift to kids in need. Although it would be amazing to do this in our house, there are a ton of types of pieces and only so much space and time! We did organize our mini-figures using this box that was previously apart of a game called Lego Creationary. I had found the game at Goodwill and we mostly used it for the pieces, but we did keep the game itself, which is really just a die and cards. Simon actually did the mini-figure sorting with only minimal help from me!

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And now I routinely find things like this around the house:

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Sort your instruction manuals.
As it turns out, a volunteer for The Giving Brick organized their instruction manuals in file boxes, with dividers and folders, and it looks great! But we don’t really have the space for that, so it’s okay that I did ours this way. We already had one binder and I got two others on sale at Target. Our biggest binder now contains the Lego City manuals, which we have the most of, plus some Lego Movie manuals. The others contain Lego Friends manuals and Lego Creator manuals respectively. I put each set together inside page protectors, though I have seen people who have actually put each page of each manual into a page protector! My kids have to take out the manuals if they want to use one. I think they’re old enough to do so! I sorted the manuals in order by number, which helped while I was organizing, because sometimes I didn’t know which of the books went together when the set had more than one book. This way I just matched the numbers.

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The binders fit on top of the drawers under the table!

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Is it working?
It’s certainly not as easy as buying a new set and having the pieces you need to put it together, but I tested this system while completing a few of the almost complete sets and I was able to find what I needed in the drawers. It is important that everything is separated though, because it is the hardest to find a piece when it is still stuck inside another piece from when the set was previously built! No one has decided to pull out a manual and rebuild a whole set yet, but I’m pleased to say that if they wanted to do so, it would be possible!

The best part of all of this is that the Legos are being played with again. They aren’t just sitting around in piles looking like garbage. The boys use the Lego cars and the mini-figures all the time now! Even though I know it would be even better if I could sort the pieces by type, for now, this system is working for us!

Do you have Legos all over your house?

springbloghop
Looking for more Spring inspiration? I've joined a handful of my favorite bloggers to put together a Spring Blog Hop. Just click on each link below to discover new ideas for spring!

The Bost Family Blog | Foxy's Domestic Side | Three Boys and a Girl Blog
Lindsay’s Sweet World | My Glittery Heart | Not In Jersey
byBMG Blog | Hall Around Texas | Bright On A Budget
The Sirois Family | Wife Mommy Me | Fueling Mamahood | Secrets of a SAHM

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Girl Mom Box Swap Reveal #GirlMomBoxSwap17

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A few of my blog friends and I got together to host a swap for moms of girls, specifically for the girls themselves! We asked the participants to send their partners a box of goodies and we tried to pair everyone up with a similar aged partner. Gabbie and I got to create a box for Emma, Johanna’s daughter, who is about a year younger than Gabbie. Gabbie took a day off of school on a day that we had a half day because I had to take her to get glasses, so on that day we also did our shopping for Emma! Although Emma sent Gabbie a box just a few days after we’d sent hers, it took a long time to get here – boo to the post office! But we finally got it this past Saturday.

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Gabbie got a book of Harry Potter post cards to color, socks, a bag, nail polish, and a blank journal!

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Socks went on!

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Gabbie used the bag to take her things to her dress rehearsal for her first dance competition!

If you were a part of this swap, link up your posts here!

Thank you Johanna and Emma for the lovey swap package!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gabbie Through The Years

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Gabbie is having something like a week long birthday celebration. Her Bat Mitzvah was this past Saturday and her birthday falls this coming Saturday. Before you think she is 13, I must clarify that we do Bar Mitzvahs for boys at age 13, but the tradition is that girls have their Bat Mitzvahs at age 12. So in honor of Gabbie’s Bat Mitzvah, Gabbie and I worked together and made a video slide show showcasing her 12 years and we added so many pictures that it is half an hour long! As I went through the photos, there were many I wanted to share, but I obviously cannot share them all and I know you don’t have time to watch her whole video, so I’m going to instead share some highlights.

Year 1 – April 2005 - April 2006

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Year 2 – April 2006 - April 2007

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Year 3 – April 2007 - April 2008

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Year 4 – April 2008 - April 2009

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Year 5 – April 2009 - April 2010

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Year 6 – April 2010 - April 2011

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Year 7 – April 2011 - April 2012

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Year 8 – April 2012 - April 2013

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Year 9 – April 2013 - April 2014

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Year 10 – April 2014 - April 2015

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Year 11 – April 2015 - April 2016

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Year 12 – April 2016 - Now

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I spoke at Gabbie’s Bat Mitzvah about what a wonderful girl she is. Here is an excerpt of my speech:
Gabbie is smart and an excellent student. Her teachers always have wonderful things to say about her. She likes to read and write. She’s a dancer and you can often find her leaping and twirling down the sidewalk. She is creative and artistic. She’s a Royals fan and she’s an amazing big sister, who is always willing to babysit her brothers, especially if it means she can stay up later than usual. I think her friends will agree with me that she’s a caring and kind friend.

Happy Almost Birthday To Gabbie!

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