Not In Jersey: October 2017 October 2017 - Not In Jersey

Easy Delicious Vegetarian Chili

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Easy Delicious Vegetarian Chili

There’s something about fall weather that makes me think about chili. Chili is also one of my favorite comfort foods. We do occasionally make a meat chili in a crock pot, but for a quick and easy meal or side dish, I love to make this vegetarian chili.



1 can of chick peas (I love Goya!)
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of salsa
1 tsp chili powder



Combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.


Serve and enjoy! You can top it with cheese if you like. I like to eat it with macaroni and cheese or on top of hot dogs!

Looking for more fall recipes? Today I've joined a handful of my favorite bloggers to put together a Fall Recipe Blog Hop. Here are the other posts that are part of the hop!


Homemade Applesauce | Pumpkin Spice Muddy Buddies 
Easy Delicious Vegetarian Chili | Soups, Stews and Chili 
Easy Pumpkin Fluff Dip | The Best French Onion Soup
Beef Stew with Carrot & Potatoes (One Pot Meal)
Fall Festival Ice Cream | Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Do you like chili?


The Perfect Mom Outfit From prAna

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Perfect Mom Outfit From prAna

I received this product for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

I think every mom would agree that the main requirement in the perfect outfit is comfort. Cute and functional are important too! PrAna has all of my requirements covered with their organic, hemp, sustainable and fair trade items that both look good and are versatile enough for any lifestyle and any adventure. Not only was this outfit perfect for a bike ride with my kids, I would feel comfortable wearing it to any school meeting or moms’ night out as well.

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PrAna is a company that moms can be proud to support. They use materials from sustainable sources, they only partner with companies and factories that follow strict guidelines for safety and fair treatment of employees, and the processes they use help improve the industry – all to make beautiful and functional products in a way we can feel good about. Their main belief is to give back more than they take from the world. Plus, the designers create and test their clothing based on their own love for outdoor activities, so you can be sure the clothes will pair well with your lifestyle.

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With bold colors and patterns and attention to detail, prAna combines classic style and modern materials. I was able to try the Mariana Sweater in Deep Balsam along with the Bindu Pants in Dress Blue. The sweater is a mid-weight long sleeved crew neck sweater with a novelty zipper at the front raglan sleeve. It is made of 39% Nylon, 34% Polyester, and 27% Wool. I love the teal colors and the warmth!


The pants are honestly my favorite – they are so comfortable! They are a hybrid performance active wear pant made from 86% Bluesign approved recycled polyester and 14% spandex. The wide, elastic waistband is perfect for me, but there is also a drawstring inside for further adjustability. There are pockets, as well as a cute shirring detail along the front and back leg seams and novelty side ties at the bottom of the legs. One thing to note is that while these pants are shown in their photo as approximately capri length, on me they come down to my feet. In fact, I was previously sent the Mantra Pant, which I LOVED, but was at least 6 inches too long for me. Some of the pants are available to order with short inseams, but most come with a standard long inseam size – great if you’re tall, but not so much if you’re short like me! Anyway, the Bindu pants look good in their long length and were great for our bike ride and a small party we attended afterwards!

I will definitely be wearing this outfit again and feeling comfortable, stylish, and environmentally conscious, as I know prAna is amazing for the work they do towards sustainability!

If you want to try prAna, I am happy to offer you a code for 15% off on anything other than sale items – MMDGF17.

For more information, visit:
site | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest | youtube

And check out this video on the not impossible mission of the conscious consumer!

What do you think of my outfit?


Summer In Photos: By Gabbie

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


For the past year, the 2nd Wednesday of the month on my blog is saved for The Kids Behind the Blog link up, but that link up was sadly ended last month. Instead, this month I have a very special guest poster – Gabbie. Ever since I got myself a new camera, Gabbie has been wanting to try out my old one (even though I dropped it on a tile floor and it hasn’t been the same since) and this summer, she did so. Here are some of the best photos she took this summer – she had a hard time narrowing down the ones she wanted to share, so there are a lot!

Up first, way back from the beginning of the summer, photos from strawberry picking!


10 Items In My Bathroom Drawers

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


This month’s topic for 10 on the 10th with Perfectly Port is 10 Things In Your Bathroom Drawer. I last shared my bathroom while I was decluttering it earlier this year. Now things look similarly to the way they did then, but I use my drawers, cabinets, and countertop to store the items that I keep in my bathroom!


1. Highlighters and Bronzers. 2. Blushes. 3. Hiding in the back and underneath are eyeshadows.


4. Facial cleansers.


5. Nail polishes. 6. To the right side are mascaras and eyeliners.


7. Foundations. 8. Deodorant.


9. Hair mousse and gel.


10. Lipsticks. (And brushes!)

Pretty basic, huh?


10 on the 10th

What I Bought On Amazon In September

Monday, October 9, 2017


My friend Lacey started this fun link-up where she shares the things she buys on Amazon each month. I thought I would join in this month and share the things I bought too! These links are affiliate links, which means that if you click them and make a purchase, I may receive a small incentive.


1. Akaho iPhone Cable Pack – Dave ordered this one because our cables were breaking or not working and we needed some new ones.

2. Molerani Women’s Basic Long Sleeve Tunic Blouse With Lacy Edging – When I ordered this it was $9.98. It is less sweater-like and more shirt-like than I expected, but I really like it! Also when I ordered it, it was not available in an XL. The size large fits great though, so I’m happy! I may get it in other colors at some point, I like it that much!

3. Erin Condren Hardbound Life Planner – I’m so excited about this! I never knew Erin Condren sold on Amazon, and this was marked down to $16.99, which is much less than her planners are usually. Of course, the personalization is only available through the actual Erin Condren site, but that’s ok with me! Now I need to transfer the rest of this year into my new planner so I can start using it!

4. Clarinet Reeds – These are for Zachary, our new clarinet player. If it was up to me, I would have waited until he actually needed a new reed to order, but Zachary can be quite persistent!

5. Melissa and Doug Tool Box – I ordered two of these! One each for two little boys turning 3 years old.

6. All For You Tunic TopLindsay convinced me on this one! I haven’t worn it yet but I certainly plan to!

7. Calphalon 5 Piece Nylon Kitchen Utensil Set – This was on sale for $12.49 and we were in need of new kitchen utensils so we ordered it even though it was on back order. It arrived last week and I already love them!

Do you order things on Amazon? If so, you should share what you bought and link up with Lacey too!


What I’ve Been Reading #161

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


What happens when you put something like 10 books on your library request list and they all come in at once? You have to read them all!

qI started with Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, my book group’s choice for our next meeting. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to read because I assumed the historical parts of the book would not interest me. I was wrong! The entire book is a fictional rendering of African history by tracing two sisters and their descendants living in both Ghana and in America, and the entire book held my interest and kept me captivated.

“Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.
Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.”

Each section of this book focuses on one of the descendants of either Effia, whose descendants remained in Ghana, or Esi, who was sold into slavery and whose descendants reside in various locations in America. By providing each generation with a story, the book captures the history of each time period and explains the overall effects of slavery, both immediate and long-lasting. With so many characters, it was sometimes hard to remember who was who, but the effect is moving and beautiful. There was much to learn from each chapter in the book.  I truly loved the ending, which ties together the two branches of the split family so many generations later.

rNext, I read Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. This being my 3rd of Hoover’s books, I feel like I’ve figured out her format. She writes about women who are strong and independent, their only flaw being that they fall for very complicated men.

“When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past. Don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.”

It was not hard to uncover what had happened to Miles in his past, though I had it only partially right at first. Like Hoover’s other male characters, he did something that hurt others and changed his life, effected who he is now. Tate thinks she is fine with a no-strings-attached relationship, and she is fine, until she’s not. Then Miles is forced to confront his past and how it is hurting his future. The book was well-written and entertaining, but I wonder if I should bother reading the other Hoover book I also got from the library now that I know the basic premise of all of her books!

sI remember hearing a lot about Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and I was excited that it was available at the library. While I expected the book to be more of a thriller, it was more of a saga about a difficult high school situation and how the things that happened in her youth made Ani the person she became as an adult.

“As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret. There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything. With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to ‘have it all’ and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears. The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?”

The story goes back and forth between the present day and the past, slowly revealing the painful and sometimes horrifying things that occurred back in high school. The reveal starts out slow, but there is a large chunk in the middle where the rest of everything is revealed at once. To be honest, I was not sure which of the things that occurred was the public humiliation and which was the private and painful thing that threatened to destroy everything. Both of the main things that happened were pretty devastating. The person that Ani is now is very unlikeable. When she does finally face what happened to her, the reader can only hope that she will be able to heal and move on.

tWhen I heard that Jennifer Weiner had a book out that I had not read, I was very excited because I love her writing. Who Do You Love was a quick read, filled with moving moments surrounding both of the main characters, Rachel and Andy.

“Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight-years-old when they meet one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenial heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again. Yet, over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again—linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed both of their lives.”

I expected the meetings between Rachel and Andy to be a little more random than they were – the only random meetings were the first two. After that, each time they reunited it was on purpose, brought about by one of them. I enjoyed the shared history between the pair. However, because Rachel and Andy are just so different from one another, it was hard to believe that they could be happy together in the end. While I really enjoyed their individual stories, I hoped for more proving that they could be strong together.

What have you been reading lately?


Linking up with:

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All The Fall Things–Sukkot and Pumpkin Patch 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


It’s officially fall and the weather is…still hot. But we took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch on Sunday in the midst of preparing for Sukkot, which starts tomorrow night, and these fun questions from The Blended Blog are perfect for all the fall sharing! Before we get to that, let me tell you a bit about Sukkot, for those of you who may not remember from previous years.

“Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival.”

Getting ready to build our sukkah.

“The word ‘Sukkot’ means ‘booths,’ and refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering. The Hebrew pronunciation of Sukkot is ‘Sue COAT,’ but is often pronounced as in Yiddish, to rhyme with ‘BOOK us.’ In honor of the holiday’s historical significance, we are commanded to dwell in temporary shelters, as our ancestors did in the wilderness. The temporary shelter is referred to as a sukkah (which is the singular form of the plural word ‘sukkot’). Like the word sukkot, it can be pronounced like Sue-KAH, or to rhyme with Book-a.”

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The kids went to help decorate the synagogue sukkah on Sunday.

“The sukkah is great fun for the children. Building the sukkah each year satisfies the common childhood fantasy of building a fort, and dwelling in the sukkah satisfies a child’s desire to camp out in the backyard. The commandment to ‘dwell’ in a sukkah can be fulfilled by simply eating all of one’s meals there; however, if the weather, climate, and one’s health permit, one should spend as much time in the sukkah as possible, including sleeping in it.”


“The ‘walls’ of the sukkah do not have to be solid; canvas covering tied or nailed down is acceptable and quite common in the United States. A sukkah may be any size, so long as it is large enough for you to fulfill the commandment of dwelling in it. The roof of the sukkah must be made of material referred to as sekhakh (literally, covering). To fulfill the commandment, sekhakh must be something that grew from the ground and was cut off, such as tree branches, corn stalks, bamboo reeds, sticks, or two-by-fours.”

They also helped build a smaller version for the kids to use.

“It is common practice, and highly commendable, to decorate the sukkah. In the northeastern United States, Jews commonly hang dried squash and corn in the sukkah to decorate it, because these vegetables are readily available at that time for the American holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Many families hang artwork drawn by the children on the walls. Building and decorating a sukkah is a fun family project.”

I have been saving these cute pear decorations for our sukkah since January’s $10 at Target!

Here is a new decoration made by Gabbie!

“Another observance during Sukkot involves what are known as the Four Species (arba minim in Hebrew) or the lulav and etrog. We are commanded to take these four plants and use them to ‘rejoice before the Lord.’ The four species in question are an etrog (a citrus fruit similar to a lemon native to Israel; in English it is called a citron), a palm branch (in Hebrew, lulav), two willow branches (aravot) and three myrtle branches (hadassim). The six branches are bound together and referred to collectively as the lulav, because the palm branch is by far the largest part. The etrog is held separately. With these four species in hand, one recites a blessing and waves the species in all six directions (east, south, west, north, up and down), symbolizing the fact that God is everywhere.” [source for all the information].


Now, let’s talk about even more fun fall things!

1. Favorite Fall Sweet Treat?

I have to say candy corn. I must eat it in the fall!

2. Red, Yellow, or Green Apples?

I think I like the yellow ones the best. Or any that are not too sour.


3. Favorite Fall Sport To Play?

I’m not much of a sports player! Gabbie’s is dance, of course!

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4. Best Drink For Fall?

Apple Cider!

5. Favorite Fall Activity?

I love going to the pumpkin patch every year and taking our annual fall photos to look at how much the kids have grown!

Last Year

This Year




6. Must Have Fall Purchase?

See the pumpkins they are holding in all of those pictures? We always buy a few to take home!


7. Pumpkins: Pick Your Own or Store Bought?

So even though we go to the patch, we don’t buy the big ones off the vines! We choose from the pre-picked small ones. The sad thing is though, this year there was a flood in the pumpkin patch so they had to bring in pumpkins from elsewhere. So even if people wanted to pick their own, they were already picked and just set out on the field. They still looked pretty though!


8. Real or Fake pumpkin?


9. Favorite Halloween Costume?

I celebrated Halloween as a kid even though we don’t now. My favorite costume I wore was a wrapped present!

10. College Football or NFL?

Unfortunately, the team I would cheer for in college sports (Rutgers) is awful! So I have to prefer NFL. Even though my fantasy team is awful too. Go Chiefs. (Or Giants).

11. Fall or Halloween Décor?


12. Raking Leaves or No Leaves to Rake?

We definitely have leaves but that doesn’t mean I want to rake them! Zachary likes to rake sometimes though!

13. Favorite Soup?

Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls.

14. Favorite Fall Candle Scent?

Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Coffee!

15. Love or Hate Pumpkin Spice?

I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I don’t like it!

16. Short Booties or Tall Boots?

Both! It’s still sandal weather here though!

17. Favorite Halloween Candy?

M&Ms or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

18. PSL Yes or No?

No. I love salted caramel mochas though!

19. Hayride or Corn Maze?

We do the hayride because the corn maze costs extra! Ha!


20. Favorite Fall TV Show?

I’ll go with This Is Us!

Also! I’m the featured blogger at Johanna’s blog today, so go check out my answers to the questions she asked me! Happy Fall Y’all!