Not In Jersey: April 2018 April 2018 - Not In Jersey

What’s Up Wednesday–April

Wednesday, April 25, 2018



April was a loong month. My photo folder is overflowing with all the things we did! Here’s what we’ve been up to!

1. What we’re eating this month…

The month started out with Passover and matzah. Since then, it’s been basically back to normal and nothing special.

2. What I’m Reminiscing About…

We’ve been thinking about our Disney trip because this week we were able to make our FastPass reservations for our trip. So I’ve been thinking about some of our past visits!

3. What I’m Loving…

You can read more about my first quarter of 52 Frames here. Here are my last 4 pictures.


[blur the motion]

[in the kitchen + extra credit – vintage]


4. What We’ve Been Up To…

The month started with spring break. We went swimming at the community center.


Gabbie turned 13. We went to the zoo and we went to the Art of the Brick Exhibit.

Zachary and Dave went on an adventure and then I went to L.A. with two friends. I will be blogging about it tomorrow, but here is a sneak peek at the event I attended:


Gabbie had a dance competition and she has another one this coming weekend as well.


5. What I’m Dreading…

In May, the time to the end of school always flies by! I want to make sure I do what I need to before summer break!

6. What I’m Working On…

Not getting overwhelmed by my photography themes each week.

7. What I’m Excited About…

Disney in June.

8. What I’m Watching / Reading…

I got into the show The Imposters recently, it’s good! I am also catching up on Madam Secretary.

As usual, you can see my latest book reviews here.

9. What I’m Listening To…

I’ve been listening to regular radio stations instead of Sirius lately. Just my regular soft rock.

10. What I’m Wearing…

For most of the month it was still cold! It’s finally spring-like now, so I’m wearing short sleeves and sandals finally!

11. What I’m Doing This Weekend…

Gabbie has a dance competition and that’s my only plan right now.

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

The end of school happenings.

13. What Else Is New…

I think that’s it!

What’s up with you lately?


6 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

6 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Teacher Appreciation Week is from May 7-11 and that week is always a great time to give your teacher a handwritten thank you note or a cute gift of appreciation. We often give our teachers gifts at the end of the year, so I don’t have a plan for this year’s gifts yet, but I thought I would share a few of the things we have given in the past.

1. Drink Themed Gift


I bought some cute cups, reusable ice balls, and drink mixes. A cute saying to go along with this gift would be “thank you for quenching my thirst for knowledge” and I got my original inspiration here. My post about this gift is here.

2. Orange You Glad?


This was a gift for winter break with orange and warm items inside. It could certainly be adapted to relate to summer or the end of the school year!

3. You Measure Up


I gifted our teachers measuring cups and this post includes a free printable that says “As a great teacher, you measure up.”

4. Dollar Spot Bags to Canvas


The Target Dollar Spot occasionally has small bags with characters on them – in this case it was The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I wrapped them around art canvases and gave them as a gift to our kindergarten teacher.

5. I Couldn’t Have Picked A Better Teacher!


This gift idea never made it to my blog. I filled a basket with flower related items and attached the above image as a gift card. Feel free to save and print!

6. The Influence of a Good Teacher Can Never Be Erased!



This also was never published on my blog before, and can also be saved and printed. Our teachers appreciated some dry erase markers to add to their collections!

Small gifts with notes of appreciation go a long way, I think!


Customize Invitations and Thank You Notes With Basic Invite

Monday, April 23, 2018

Customize Invitations and Thank You Notes With Basic Invite

If there is one thing that my mom taught me that I have neglected to pass on to my children, it is the importance of sending thank you cards for gifts. Gabbie wrote thank you notes for her bat mitzvah gifts and my kids make sure to say thank you when they receive a gift in the mail so the sender knows we got it, but sending thank you cards for birthday presents is something I regret that we have not done consistently. So when Basic Invite invited me to try out their stationery, I made sure to order samples of cards that we can use to write thank you notes.

One of the best things about Basic Invite is that it offers almost unlimited color options with instant online previews. So when I found thank you cards on the site that I liked, I was able to choose my own colors for all of the elements of the cards. You can also change the fonts when you want even more customization. Envelopes are also available in over 40 colors. Foil cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs.

For this Subway Bar Mitzvah Thank You Card, I changed the font color from the top image to the bottom image. If I had wanted, I could have also changed the background, the line, and the star colors.

Screenshot-2018-4-13 Subway Bar Mitzvah Thank You Card

These Watercolor Ombre Bat Mitzvah Thank You Cards are pink on the site, but I chose to change them to teal so that any of us can use them. I also removed the personalized “from” line.


Basic Invite allows customers to order printed samples of their actual cards, for save the date cards, wedding invitations, wedding programs, thank you cards, and any other card offered on the site. The samples cost a minimal amount and come with a color chart and foil samples as well. This way, you can see your invitations or cards how they will print before you have to place your final order.


Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders.

With graduation approaching, Basic Invite would be a great place to order graduation invitations 2018 as well as thank you graduation cards. Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51


For more information on Basic Invite, visit:
site | facebook  | pinterest  | instagram  | twitter

I’d love to know what you think of the thank you notes I chose!


Hooray, It’s Friday! Proud Mom and More

Friday, April 20, 2018


It’s been a long time since I’ve written a Friday update post! I had a lot of books to review over the last few months, but today I don’t have a book review scheduled, so here are some random things that have been happening that have not yet made it to the blog.


I’ve been a proud mom lately because Zachary and Gabbie both received honors – Zachary’s science project was in the regional science fair and received a silver ribbon and Gabbie received her award for her button design in remembrance of the shootings here 4 years ago.



At the end of the SevenDays commemoration, there is a walk, which we attended. Gabbie was able to get a photo with a large version of her pin. Also, she got her braces that day!



We haven’t gotten to go to a Royals game yet this season. A few weeks ago, our school sent an email that the mother-son event would be to attend a Royals game. I was all yay! And bought tickets. Then they said they were postponing the game due to a scheduling conflict. A few days later I got an email from the Royals that they were having $5 tickets in the outfield plaza area, which was cheaper and better seats than I’d previously bought, so I bought those. The game was this past Sunday. We drove out there with our coats and hats and blankets because it was freezing outside, paid for parking, went in, and then they canceled the game. Supposedly we can use the parking pass later in the season and the postponed game is when we’re away, so supposedly we can apply the tickets to another game…but who knows!


Last week, Zachary went on a big adventure with Dave. They went to Israel for our nephew’s bar mitzvah, with a stopover in Switzerland on the way.

IMG_4579  IMG_4593
2 of my favorite pictures – the Alps and Zachary with my great-niece, who we hadn’t met before this.


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

disneypin  artofbrick

Have a great weekend!


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10 Of My Guilty Pleasures

Thursday, April 19, 2018



Today I’m joining in with some of my favorite bloggers to talk about guilty pleasures. So what exactly is a guilty pleasure? It’s something you enjoy, but feel guilty for doing so. Not just a regular pleasure, and not just something that makes you feel guilty. It has to be both. Here are some of mine.

1. TV

I feel like I watch a lot of TV, between what is regularly on each week and binge watching. I always need to have something to binge watch because when I want a break or have extra time, I like to hit play on the next episode of whatever I’m watching.

2. Phone Games

And while I watch TV, I play games on my phone. For awhile it’s been Candy Crush, and I try to beat my current level whenever I’m bored. I also play Cross-Stitch World. It’s so relaxing. But I know it takes up too much time.

3. Food

I eat too many things that aren’t good for me. Like Starbucks drinks and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I can’t stop!

4. Social Media

I don’t feel guilty for scrolling through Facebook or Instagram once in awhile because I don’t do it all that often. But Tumblr? That’s a habit I’d like to kick.

5. Procrastinating

I often think about all the things I need to do and then convince myself they can wait.

6. Traveling On My Own

About once a year for the past few years, I’ve gotten to go away on my own. The first few times weren’t for good reasons – when my grandmother was sick and then for her funeral and when my dad had surgery – but after that, it’s been to hang out with my friend. I love it and I feel bad about it.

7. When Someone Else Drives My Kids To / From School

I love it and I can’t live without it, but I feel bad about it?? I mean, I take my turn and everything! But our friend works at the school and drives my kids (almost) every morning and I shouldn’t take that for granted.

8. When The Kids Are At School

I feel guilty for enjoying the silence. And for being a stay-at-home-mom in general.

9. Having Cleaning Help

I should be able to clean my house myself, right?

10. Shopping

I don’t feel like I do too much shopping, but when I do, I feel guilty!

What are some of your guilty pleasures?



The Art of the Brick Exhibit

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Art of the Brick Exhibit

The Art of the Brick exhibit is currently at Union Station in Kansas City and when I heard it was coming here, I knew we wanted to attend. It was actually in both Cleveland and Chicago when we were in those cities last summer, but we did not get to visit. The Art of the Brick is an exhibition by Nathan Sawaya who creates art using Lego bricks. Some of the art is recreations of famous pieces and some is the artist’s own work. Each piece is labeled with how many Legos were used to create it and it is quite amazing to see! There are a series of areas inside the exhibit and at the end, there was a model of the whole thing also made from Legos. I think that was Zachary’s favorite part!

First up were the models of various famous art works.