Not In Jersey: May 2017 May 2017 - Not In Jersey

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How To Grow A Friend Flower Craft

How To Grow A Friend Flower Craft

For this month’s Children’s Book Group, Simon and I read How To Grow A Friend by Sara Gillingham. We used this book to launch a discussion about the things you can do in order to be a good friend.

“A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom—just like growing a flower.”

We decided to make our own flower and on the petals we wrote down our ideas on how to be a good friend. Simon came up with all of the ideas on his own.

I made a petal template for Simon and he traced and cut out the petals on his own.

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Then he glued them to a background paper.

Simon’s ideas on how to be a good friend include:

Do whatever they do (if it’s nice).
Meet them at school.
Play with them.
Say hi to them when you see them.
Hug them when they feel sad.
Do whatever they ask you do do unless it’s something bad.
Read a book to them if they ask you to.
If they get hurt say ‘refuah sheleimah’ (‘get well’ in Hebrew).

Simon also wanted to make a flower themed snack, so he came up with this while eating berries:


How do you like Simon’s ideas on how to be a good friend?

Linking Up With:
Children's MonthlyBook ClubTuesday Talk

Monday, May 22, 2017

Momma Love Fellowship Swap Reveal


For the past few months, I participated in Justine’s Momma Love Fellowship swap. I was paired up with Jen, who I did not know before we were paired up together. Over the past two months, Jen and I sent each other 2 cards and 1 gift in order to support each other as moms. I loved everything I received from Jen!

Inside this card, Jen wrote:
”She is clothed with STRENGTH and DIGNITY, She laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25.

This one contained a sweet note from Jen.

While I was out of town this past week (more on that later!), my final package arrived from Jen.

She sent a “best. MOM. ever.” mug, a pomegranate lip balm, and a box of uplifting quotes. They can be swapped out so different quotes can be seen through the window, which I think is really awesome!

Thank you to Jen for the happy mail and to Justine for organizing!

Friday, May 19, 2017

How to Charm Your YouTube Followers

Since its original launch back in 2005, YouTube has worked to become the third most viewed website in the entire world. More than one billion people use the service, watching and uploading videos all the time. Each and every day, five billion videos are watched on just about every topic you can think of. So, with crazy stats such as these, one can be left wondering how exactly their channel can stand out.

If you’ve been wondering what you can do to charm your YouTube followers, and build your viewership, then these tips may be exactly what you need.

Put Thought into Your Banner

There is a lot more involved in your YouTube videos than just the videos themselves. People often overlook their banner, which is a shame because it’s a real opportunity. Your banner should be a reflection of you and your channel, giving viewers an idea of what they should expect. The Adobe Spark YouTube banner template allows people to customize a unique banner for their channel that is both professional and effective.

Use this tool to set up how the banner will look on mobile devices as well as desktops. Go ahead and add icons/logos/and your name, jazz it up with graphics and illustrations, and create a consistent look for your brand.


Offer Value in Your Content

One of the top ways to charm your followers is to give them a reason to tune in. Why should they pick your channel over others? This doesn’t refer to being unique, it refers to just how useful the content is that you’re providing them. How will it help them? There should always be a clear message in your videos, with a clear goal.

Make Sure You Are Consistent Across the Board

As you start to build your list of followers, you need to make sure you are staying consistent not just in how often you upload videos, but in the topics you cover, and with the same high quality video each time. If you’ve always filmed makeup tutorials and suddenly you start filming video gaming demos, clearly there will be a massive disconnect between you and your audience. You are creating a brand for yourself, and people need to be able to trust in your brand and know what your brand represents.

Keep Your Videos Brief

Even though you may think that longer videos are better, in fact most people prefer watching short videos over the longer ones. Try your best to keep your videos brief. If you’ve got lots to talk about, break them up into separate videos instead.

Always Fill in the Description Box

Here’s something that many YouTubers skip on doing and it can end up costing them subscribers. It’s extremely important that you fill out the description box before uploading your video. This can include product links, follow up reviews/thoughts on products, and other helpful information that relates to that video.

Enjoy Your Hard Work

These tips are sure to start giving you positive results where your followers are concerned. By taking these steps you’ll be able to keep the followers you have, and add to them.

This post was written by Bill Clark. Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel and lifestyle.  He can be reached on Twitter @BilboClark01.

Hooray, It’s Friday! Celebrations and Animals


Another week down and only 2.5 days left till summer vacation – oh my! Here are some of my favorites this week:


On Mother’s Day, Gabbie and Zachary and I did the Mother’s Day 5K, which was one of the 5Ks I did back when I was running. This time, we walked, but at a good speed so I felt like we were getting exercise and we had fun too.


Later in the day, Dave took these photos of me and the kids:


They make me laugh!


Our good friend turned 3 and had his first haircut. (You can read more about Simon’s first haircut here). I played photographer at the party!

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(And I stopped by his house and took this after picture!)


For the past four years we’ve done the Miami County Farm Tour, and even though we didn’t have much time this year, we still stopped at three of the stops! (last year).



Our friends got the cutest dog ever! She’s a schnauzer / poodle mix and my kids are in love with her.

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This week I posted about:

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Have a great weekend!

Linking Up With:
fiveonfridayfriday favorites flower look

Thursday, May 18, 2017

All The Places We Haven’t Been

All The Places We Haven't Been

As you all know, we love to travel. We have been traveling with our kids since they were each only a few months old, and we’ve been to a lot of pretty cool places. Awhile back I came across this list of 40 must-see places to take your kids before they grow up and I thought it would be fun to see a list of the ones we’ve been to (as well as the ones we haven’t gotten to yet).

1. Grand Canyon, Arizona.

I have been there twice, both as an adult. Once with Dave, once with Dave and my brother. My kids have not been.

2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Want to go, haven’t been there yet.

3. Freedom Trail, Boston

I was there as a kid. My kids have not been there.

4. The French Quarter, New Orleans.

Want to go, haven’t been there yet.

5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, Michigan.

Sounds awesome – never been.

6. Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas.

Sounds awesome – never been.

7. Stingray City, Grand Cayman.

Been there!

8. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland.

Never been there. We’re going through Cleveland this summer but it’s not on the itinerary.

9. Bioluminescent Bay, Puerto Rico.

I’ve been to Puerto Rico but not to this location!

10. An Alaskan Cruise.

Dave and I did it, the kids have not.

11. National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis.

We’ve been to Memphis but not to this museum.

12. Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida

Want to go!

13. Monterey Bay Aquarium, California.

Gabbie has been, the boys have not.


14. Niagara Falls, NY / Canada.

I was there in high school. Gabbie might get to go there this summer.

15. Petrified Forest, Arizona.

Have not been there.

16. Statue of Liberty, New York City.

Been there!

17. Disney World, Florida.

Been there! All three kids have been there multiple times. Gabbie’s first time was when she was almost two (just to the Animal Kingdom, she also went to Disneyland around the same age), Zachary’s first time was when he was 6 months, and Simon’s first time was when he was 2.

18. Mt. Rainer, Washington.

Have not been there.

19. Galapagos Islands.

Would love to go there!

20. Sesame Place, Pennsylvania.

Gabbie and Zachary have been there.


21. Pacific Coast Highway Drive, California.

We did this with Gabbie (on the same trip we were at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Disneyland!) but she was too young to appreciate it. She also threw up.

22. Ground Zero, New York City.

Been there. (We were there once before too).

23. Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Florida.

We want to go!

24. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

We’ve all been there except for Gabbie because we were on our way to visit her at camp!

25. Redwood National Park, California.

I really want to go! Haven’t been there yet.

26. Swim With Manatees, Florida.

Sounds fun!

27. San Diego Zoo, California.

Gabbie has been there (same California trip as the other places she’s been!).

28. Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts.

Haven’t been.

29. Buckingham Palace, London.

London is on our wish list! Dave has been there, the rest of us have not.

30. The Colorado Rockies.

Gabbie and Zachary have been to Denver and Colorado Springs, but I guess not the actual Rockies!

31. Cedar Point, Ohio.

None of us have been there.

32. Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

I’m pretty sure Dave has been there, but the rest of us have not!

33. Fort De Soto Park, Florida.

It sounds nice…I’ve been to St. Pete lots of times and I even took Gabbie to Clearwater, but I’m not sure if we’ve been to this specific park.

34. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.

Dave and I were there on our honeymoon. I’d love to take the kids there someday.

35. Mesa Verde, Colorado.

Haven’t been.

36. Cable Cars, San Francisco.

Again, Gabbie was there when she was little!

37. Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

Again, Dave and I were there on our honeymoon and I’d like to take the kids there someday.

38. National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, New York.

Never been, would like to go!

39. Yosemite, California.

Want to go! Never been.

40. Millennium Park, Chicago.

Gabbie was there when she was younger than she was in California! We’re passing through Chicago this summer and I really want to stop in the park.

So…wow. Out of 40 places, all of my kids have only been to 4 of them! Have you and your kids been to any / some / most of these? What other places do you think kids should visit before they grow up?