Not In Jersey: January 2018 January 2018 - Not In Jersey

What’s Up Wednesday–January and Local Tourist Link-Up

Wednesday, January 31, 2018



I decided that this month, What’s Up Wednesday will serve is my Month In Review post. I review my month by answering these questions anyway! And the new Local Tourist Link-Up can be found after my answers, so scroll down!

1. What we’re eating this month…

I actually didn’t take any food pictures this month, nor did I blog about anything we ate! I did review our friend’s restaurant, but we ate there in December!

2. What I’m Reminiscing About…

Since I blog about our travels once a week until I’m caught up, I’m still posting about Florida! So I’m reminiscing about the beach, Wynwood Walls, and alligators! I believe this week will be my last post about our Florida trip, and then I’ll start telling you about Arkansas!


3. What I’m Loving…

I’m loving that the 52 Frames project has gotten me working on my photography. I think about techniques and locations I can go to take photographs (even more than I did previously!). Here are my first 4 submissions:

[selfie + extra credit – imperfect]


[leading lines – this picture was featured at!]

[something new + extra credit – new to me editing technique]

4. What We’ve Been Up To…

We got back to school after winter break but then we were off again for MLK Day, so we took a mini trip to Bentonville, Arkansas. We attended Gabbie’s Competition Showcase. We had a snow day for the first time in 3 years.

5. What I’m Dreading…

The regular – Dave traveling.

6. What I’m Working On…

I’m almost done with my knitting project for my brother’s new baby who was born on Friday! I’m also working on photography – this week’s theme is “neglected.”

7. What I’m Excited About…

My brother’s new baby.

8. What I’m Watching / Reading…

I finished Criminal Minds. I caught up on Chicago Med, and now I’m watching Black Mirror, which I will finish soon because there are not many episodes.

I only reviewed one book this month, but I have many more reviews coming up in February.

9. What I’m Listening To…

Mostly The Bridge on Sirius radio.

10. What I’m Wearing…

Mainly jeans and soft shirts!

11. What I’m Doing This Weekend…

Visiting the above mentioned new baby!

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

There are a few things coming up that I will take photos of and share on the blog, which makes me excited!

13. What Else Is New…

New link-up! Link up any posts you have written about your fun adventures in your local area. Feel free to save our image and share it in your blog post so others can find the link-up!


What’s up with you lately?


Thoughts On Blogging

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Because these things have been on my mind, I want to write them down here, in my space, where I share my thoughts.

I’m not new to blogging – my archives go back as far as 2010 – and still, I struggle to find my tribe.

Many times when I get to know other bloggers, they decide to close their blogs.

Right now, the trend seems to be to cut back on blogging days, which includes reading other blogs.

I do take blogging time off, most commonly on Jewish holidays, but I like to catch up on what I’ve missed when I come back online.

I’m always looking for new blogs to read and leave comments on.

I admit when I leave comments for bloggers, I hope they will visit my blog too.

I don’t expect other bloggers to comment on all of my posts, but a line here or there so that I know they are reading is always welcome.

I can be petty. If I have been commenting on a blog and I never receive comments back, I will probably stop reading that blog.

Of course, I don’t comment on every post I read either.

I blog because I want to. I like writing and photography and sharing my thoughts and photos.

However, it does make me sad when I share something important to me but it doesn’t interest anyone else.

I also love when my blog is chosen for sponsored posts and opportunities. If I can make a bit of money off of doing what I love, I’m all for it.

I don’t often get chosen for the opportunities I apply for.

Do I want to give up? No, I want to get better.


Another Johnson County Museum Visit

Monday, January 29, 2018


Last night, we had our synagogue’s annual dinner at the Johnson County Museum – the same location where I recently brought the kids and wrote about here. The dinner was not in the museum area itself, but in the same building, so we were also able to visit the museum at the same time. Dave had not been to the museum and going without the kids afforded me a bit more time to learn about Johnson County history – as well as realize that last time we went around the museum in the reverse order – from present to past, rather than from past to present!

The kids area was of course empty, while last time we were there it was over crowded!


Early days in the county:


Dave wanted to learn about being a farmer:


Still a cool car:


I was excited to Dave the 1950s All-Electric House. This time, we had a mini-tour of the house, so we got to see the TV’s hiding spot behind the picture frame – one of Zachary’s favorite parts of the house.


The house also shows how life might have been like in the 1950s with clothing laid out on beds and toys on the floors.


Of course, there is also the rotary phone. I had some in my own house in the 80’s!


I took this same picture of Simon:


We also enjoyed the dinner and were happy to be there for the honorees!


The quick look at the museum made me happy to get to check out a museum without the kids, although I’m sure when we return they will be with me again!


Hooray, It’s Friday! Five Questions

Friday, January 26, 2018


A long time ago, I had a different blog on which I used to answer five questions every Friday. It was called the Friday Five and I had no idea that this was still happening! Since I don’t have much randomness to update you on today, I have decided to answer their latest set of five questions.

1. Where did you grow up and do you miss it?

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I wrote a bit about the small town I grew up in here. I don’t miss that town at all, but I do miss living closer to family.

2. Which are your three favorite words in the dictionary and why?

I only have one that I can think of and it’s discombobulated. I like the meaning!

3. What is a vegetarian dish that you really like?

Vegetarian Chili.

4. What do you do when you have a misunderstanding with your friend?

Complain about it to my husband.

5. What do you daydream about?

Taking better photos mostly!

Do you feel like answering any of these questions?



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Searching For Alligators in Florida

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Last year, I shared our favorite places to check out the wildlife local to where my parents live in Boynton Beach, FL. This year, we were excited to get back to both places and see what animals we could find – we were specifically looking for alligators, but I love the birds too! We ended up spotting more alligators this year than we ever did in the past, and we even saw one in my parents’ own neighborhood, which has a few lakes that are connected to canals! I did not have my camera with me at that time, but it was pretty funny when everyone at the pool went over to the fence to look at the nearby alligator!

Green Cay Nature Center

I love that Green Cay is free and the boardwalk paths are really nice to walk on. We always see a lot of birds there and occasionally the alligators are lounging around too.

Gabbie’s Competition Showcase

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A few weeks back, Gabbie had her dance competition showcase, which is where we get to see the dance she will be performing this year for the first time. Like last year, Gabbie is competing in Lyrical dance and this year her song is I Hope You Dance. And like always, my pictures left a bit to be desired. A lot of them came out blurred. I obviously still need some dance photography help!

Maybe if some of the competitions allow photos I’ll be able to take better ones!


Three Things Tuesday

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I’m sure you’ve seen these posts going around – in them, you get an update on each child (or family member) in three bullet points per person. I find these posts fun and  interesting, so I hope you do too!



1. We had a consultation with the orthodontist and it seems he will be suggesting extracting her first molars so that her incisors can fit into her mouth. Braces are going to be a whole new adventure over here.

2. Because Gabbie is always complaining that something hurts! She got annoyed that when Simon was saying his stomach hurt, we took him seriously, and when she says something hurts we don’t pay much attention. That’s because it’s always something with her!

3. Gabbie is a great friend. She has a group of friends that call their group the Laffy Taffys. A family came to visit our community and Gabbie was so excited to show their daughter around the school and introduce her to the other girls!



1. Zachary has decided to run for student council president. Last semester he ran for treasurer and did not win, so I guess he’s going for bigger and better!

2. He is obsessed with electric cars and specifically Teslas. He gets so excited when we pass one on the street.

3. This week we are going to Middle School Preview Night. Our middle school is part of the same school, but it’s still a big step up from lower school to middle school!



1. He was the 3rd kid in 100 Mile Club to reach 100 miles.

2. He is so silly. When our friends’ dog was here, Simon came up with a ton of nicknames for him. The funniest to me was “Utensil,” because the dog’s actual name is “Lieutenant.”

3. He loves the Beatles. He even asked if we could go to a Beatles concert!

As for me, I have three things on my mind right now – my knitting project, photography, and Billy Joel!


Kid Space Organization Tips & Tricks

Monday, January 22, 2018


Two weeks ago I participated in the Clear The Clutter Challenge Link-Up with my Kitchen + Pantry Organization Tips & Tricks post. Today’s topic is Kid Space and since this house is a Kid House, I thought I would share what has worked and what I still need to work on for the kids’ spaces here.


My first bit of advice is the following quote which I have on our entry table:

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

1. Go easy on yourself, kids live in your house, of course their toys are everywhere! But here are some of the ways we (try to) keep our kids’ things organized.

2. Have a designated toy area. Ours is the basement, but for awhile, much of the toys were in the living room.

3. Have places for the toys that are not in the designated area. We use a cube system for the toys that are still in the living room, as well as bins and baskets for electronics.

4. Get rid of the toys the kids no longer play with. We kept too many toddler toys around for too long! Last year I sold a lot of things in the consignment sale that I participate in, plus I donated toys to the preschool my kids went to. I cleared out our whole collection of toys that resided in the basement so now the kids have a bigger place to play down there as well. I put sentimental items away in bins.

5. Go through the kids’ clothes each season. I neglected to do that with winter clothes this past year and it’s already time to go through the spring / summer clothes! I am able to move a lot of Zachary’s things straight into Simon’s closet, which is helpful for him having enough to wear, but his closet gets full quickly! I need to go through their clothes asap!

6. Let the kids collect the things they like in their rooms, but give them bins to keep things in.

7. Regularly clean out the bins where random things gather!

8. Make sure your kids’ favorite things are organized. Here’s how I organized our Legos and craft supplies!

9. Give your kids the responsibility of taking care of their own things. I know, it’s easier said than done. But when they put their things away and know where they are when they want them, everyone will be much happier!

10. Which brings me back to my first point. Remember, as moms, we can’t do everything!

What are your best tips for keeping kids’ things organized?


Hooray, It’s Friday! More Snow and New Link-Up Announcement

Friday, January 19, 2018


Time for some random Friday rambles!


I mentioned last week that we had our first snow day, but it didn’t really snow. It did snow on Sunday though! The kids got right out there with the shovels. We think the bigger kid shovel was left in the backyard, so Simon tried to shovel with a tiny one!



The snow didn’t stop us from taking an overnight trip to Bentonville, AR. We had a lot of fun and I’ll blog about it soon! For now though, check out the whirlpool tub in our hotel room – the kids loved it!



It snowed again the next day, as we were leaving AR, and since this week’s 52 Frames theme is “leading lines,” I was trying to get a good picture to submit. I didn’t end up choosing one of these, but I thought the highway looked pretty cool! (Dave was driving, obviously!)



New link up announcement! I was so excited when Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag contacted me with this idea: a Local Tourist Link-Up. The link-up will go live on the last weekday of each month (this month it will hit our blogs on January 31), and you can link up any posts you have written about your fun adventures in your local area. I love to blog about our fun adventures around town and I’m sure some of you do too!



In case you missed it, this week I posted about:

fotor  wynwoodwalls
What We're Reading

Have a great weekend!


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