Not In Jersey: December 2017 December 2017 - Not In Jersey

December In Review

Friday, December 29, 2017


Another month, another monthly recap. There is no more Month Review in Numbers Link Up, but I think I will still recap my months that way!

Days The Kids Were Off School – 11

Days The Kids Had School – 9

Days Spent In Florida – 10

Beaches Visited – 4


Holidays Celebrated – 1: Hanukkah

Candles Lit – 44+


Rows Left to Complete in my Crochet Temperature Blanket – 26

Shows Attended – 2:
Zachary’s Winter Showcase | Gabbie’s Winter Showcase

Posts Written About Local Adventures – 2:
Johnson County Museum | Train Watching

Books Reviewed – 3

Items In My December Picture Folder – 546+

Pictures Shared On Instagram – 22+

Total Blog Posts – 22

Happy Almost January!


Bargain Mansion Visit

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bargain Mansion Visit

Have you heard of the show Bargain Mansions on the DIY Network? Well, the host of the show, Tamara Day, is from here in Kansas City and she specializes in restoring the neglected large homes that others are too scared to take on – also here in Kansas City! I was invited to check out one of the houses that Tamara renovated and it was really cool to see it!

I did meet Tamara, but this is not my picture!

Outside of the house.

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Dining room.

A shelf in one of the bedrooms – there are 5 total.

The master bathroom was huge – this tub is inside the shower.


Window seat.

For more about the house, visit the listing here or watch the show – it was featured in episodes 9 and 10. The show airs on Wednesdays on DIY.

Do you enjoy home renovation shows?


What’s Up Wednesday–December

Wednesday, December 27, 2017



Officially the link up for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday was last week, but I missed it (on purpose), so I’m doing it today!

1. What we’re eating this month…

Latkes, donuts, latkes.

Dave had a stopover in NOLA on his way to meet us in FL and he brought beignets!


In Florida, we got to eat at our friend’s restaurant and it was delicious. I will likely write more about it soon, but here’s a peek:


2. What I’m Reminiscing About…

It’s always fun when Facebook shows me things that happened a year ago…or 10 years ago…


3. What I’m Loving…

At the risk of being redundant…my new love is Rae Dunn and I keep trying to rearrange and organize my finds.


4. What We’ve Been Up To…

Hanukkah made up a chunk of this month, as did our annual winter trip to Florida!

5. What I’m Dreading…

Feeling stressed about winter break ending and Dave traveling again.

 6. What I’m Working On…

Sneak peek of my knitting project:


7. What I’m Excited About…

Getting back to a normal routine.

8. What I’m Watching / Reading…

Still binge watching Criminal Minds.

For what I’m reading, you can find my most recent reviews here.

9. What I’m Listening To…

I found Radio Hanukkah on SiriusXM so that was fun. I also listen to the Beatles Channel and the one called the Bridge.

10. What I’m Wearing…

Got to switch back to summer clothes in Florida!

11. What I’m Doing This Weekend…

I’m not sure yet, other than an Escape Room on Saturday night! Maybe a party for New Year’s Eve. Also our friends’ dog will be here again.

12. What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

I’m not sure!

13. What Else Is New…

I will eventually share our Florida trip! We got to enjoy warm weather and the beach while it was snowing in KS!


What’s up with you lately?


17 Years Ago…

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


17 years ago…

…we had known each other for almost 4 years.

…I was in grad school.

…Bill Clinton was president, soon to be replaced by George W. Bush.

…we didn’t have cell phones.

…we had dial-up internet.

…the World Trade Center still stood in NYC.

…the Harry Potter series was only up to the 4th book.

…it was the 6th night of Hanukkah.

…we looked something like this:


Today is our 17th Anniversary!


What I’ve Been Reading #165–Little Broken Things

Friday, December 22, 2017


sI received a copy of Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review. A story about a family and told from the view points of two sisters and their mother, I thought I had this book figured out from the beginning. Then I found out I was wrong. I love when that happens!

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever. Nora’s ‘something’ is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy. While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.”

The strained relationship between the mother and her daughters is tested even further when they come together to protect a child – and Quinn and her mom Liz don’t even know whose child she is. They have their suspicions of course, but the reader knows they are likely incorrect. The main mystery of the book is who Lucy’s parents are and why Nora hands her over to Quinn for protection. Because they don’t know the whole story, some mistakes are made that lead to further complications in the situation. I enjoyed seeing the family come together and bond for the sake of Lucy, and I especially enjoyed the reveal of the secret in the end.

What have you been reading lately?


Hanukkah–Nights 5-8

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Continuing from where I left off!


On the 5th night, we had a party at our friends’ house. We lit our menorahs at home first.

This one goes outside.

The kids got their gifts too.

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Vera Bradley Backpack (from my parents) | Home Alone Movie + Pajamas

Harry Potter 8 DVD Set | Minecraft: Story Mode

At our friends’ house, multiple people lit menorahs and it was pretty!


She also made latkes in a casserole, rather than individual pancakes.


I’ll Show You My…Holiday Recipe–Latkes

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Latke Recipe

This is our very last month for the “I’ll Show You My…” Link Up and this month’s topic is “Holiday Recipe.” Today just happens to be the last day of the 8 day long Hanukkah holiday, so it’s only appropriate that I show you a classic and traditional Hanukkah food – latkes, or potato pancakes. Latkes are cooked on Hanukkah, along with other fried foods, to commemorate the miracle of the menorah oil in the Jewish Temple. In our house, Dave is the latke (and mostly everything) chef, so all the credit for this goes to him. My photo taking was also lacking, because it was the first night of Hanukkah and I was helping Gabbie set up her new phone!


Dave used the recipe found at Epicurious for Hash Brown Potato Latkes. By using hash browns, you eliminate having to peel and shred the potatoes! The original recipe also called for onions, but we didn’t think the kids would like to eat the latkes if they included onions.


1 pound hash browns, defrosted if frozen
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons oil or as needed



Mix all ingredients except the oil in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Heat oil in a large skillet until hot. Working in batches, drop large spoonfuls of potato mixture into the oil; fry turning once, until golden brown on both side. Serve warm with apple sauce or sour cream.



Please join in and link up any holiday recipe here!

Have you ever tried latkes? They are delicious!