Not In Jersey: 2018 2018 - Not In Jersey

Tick Tock Escape Games Review and Giveaway

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

escaperoom

When some people think of escape rooms, they think that they are actually locked in a room from which they will have to escape. Maybe they even envision themselves being tied to their friends, handcuffed, or blindfolded. That is not what happens in an escape room at all – at least not the ones at Tick Tock Escape Games here in Overland Park, KS! Instead, the idea is to work together to solve puzzles, decipher codes, and unlock locks which will reveal more clues, which lead to more puzzles, locks, etc. until you solve the last puzzle and escape the room.

TickTockEscape_2018_042-CIA-Hero

At Tick Tock Escape Rooms, the rooms have missions to complete. I was recently given the opportunity to invite my friends and take part in the Central Intelligence Escape Room. The story behind this room is that a top level CIA field office has been compromised and your team has been selected to investigate and complete the top-secret mission. My friends and I thought the room was well-done, entertaining, and very high tech. When we solved puzzles and entered codes, there were technological results, such as drawers opening automatically and other revealed secrets. I later realized that the other two escape rooms at Tick Tock – Beasley’s Billions and Pyramid Paradox – are even more high tech and filled with exciting features.

Last week, I got together a group of 5 couples including Dave and myself and we worked together to solve the Central Intelligence room. About half of us had done escape rooms before. My number one tip for escape rooms is to look at everything! If you find seemingly random objects around, collect them because they may be useful later. Of course, if you’re like me, you might go a little too far at thinking that things are important – some things may really just be there to mislead you!

My group of friends all knew each other well, but an escape game is a great way to bond with others. You will find that you will split off into groups to work on various problems. It is fun to switch off who you are working with at different times during the game. The best part of having a large group play the game together is that various people have various skills. For example, some people are good with seeing scrambled words clearly, others are good at math, etc.

Beasley-Vs-Beasley

One very cool thing about Tick Tock Escape Games is that two of their rooms are duplicated, so if you have a large group, you can split in half and race against each other to solve the rooms! Dual room races would be a great opportunity for team building, birthday parties, men versus women, older family members versus younger, and much more. These games are also family friendly – Tick Tock can even make games easier when the room is being played by a group of kids – how fun is that?

Pyramid-Vs-Pyramid

After our game – which by the way, we finished with 2 minutes and 15 seconds to spare – we spent some time talking to the creator of the game we played. He was so proud of his creation, and was happy to spend time answering some of our questions about how things worked. He designed and built the room as well as the app that he uses to control it. The company itself is family owned and not a franchise and the rooms were designed and developed in the Kansas City metro area using local resources.

You know I love to take pictures, but you can’t take pictures inside escape rooms due to spoilers! If you want to see the room yourself, you can book directly at their site, by calling (913) 396-9144, or you can enter to win the giveaway below!

IMG_4946

Then you can look just as happy and proud of yourselves as we did here! My friends all had a great time and I heard such comments as: “It was awesome!”, “We had a blast!”, “We had tons of fun!”, and “It was so much fun!” The giveaway will give you an Escape Game experience for 8 which must be used by Nov 18th, 2018.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One more thing: if you win the giveaway, will you take me with you?

siggy

Facts and Fiction from National Geographic Kids

Monday, September 17, 2018

Facts and Fiction from National Geographic Kids

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Did you know:

1. Whistling or saying the word “pig” on a ship is believed to bring bad weather.

2. Pointing a laser beam at an airplane or helicopter is illegal. The beam can reach all the way to the aircraft and make it hard for the pilot to see.

3. Stone carvings of jaguars that date back 500 or more years have been discovered in Mexico.

These three facts are just a sampling of what you can learn about in the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019! The most popular kids almanac on the planet, some of its features include Cool Things for 2019 on various themes from the 19 cutest animals to 19 amazing facts about Vikings and more.

This almanac is filled with all kinds of facts about everything and is perfect for Zachary, who is a self-proclaimed lover of facts!

DSC_8057

We have been a fan of National Geographic Kids books for many years now and this almanac is a new favorite, with its bright and engaging photos and text written in varying colors and heights to keep interest.

DSC_8060DSC_8062

The contents include Your World 2019, Amazing Animals, Science and Technology, Going Green, Culture Connection, Space and Earth, Fun and Games, Awesome Exploration, Wonders of Nature, History Happens, and Geography Rocks. Each of these sections includes articles and information about a large variety of subjects. There are also quizzes, instructions for projects like making your own lava lamp, sections on how to research and write essays, and even a section of games and jokes.

For more information about the almanac and to enter an art contest with a chance to win $500 to host a lion conservation party, visit the almanac site!

DSC_8063

If you thought National Geographic was only all about facts, you might be surprised that they have published the first book in their new Explorer Academy middle-grade fiction book series – The Nebula Secret. One minute 12-year-old Cruz Coronado is an ordinary kid, and the next he’s among a select group of students at the coolest school on the planet—a ship that travels the world! A fact-based fiction book inspired by the real adventures of National Geographic explorers, this book contains not only a story that encourages observation, reasoning, and problem-solving, but also features code-breaking and puzzles within the story. As well, the book features a Truth Behind the Fiction section that profiles the real-life explorers and their work. These books feature diverse kids from around the globe. I know Zachary is looking forward to reading it!

Want to read an excerpt and play a code-breaking games? Visit exploreracademy.com!

To celebrate the launch of Explorer Academy, one lucky family will experience a spectacular ship-based expedition, just like the students at Explorer Academy. The grand prize is a family trip for four to Alaska’s Inside Passage from National Geographic Expeditions. Enter the sweepstakes at exploreracademytrip.com!

For more information on these and other National Geographic Kids books visit:
site | facebook | twitter

And look for these books wherever books are sold!

Do your kids love facts? How about learning about exploration through fiction?

siggy

Little Letters

Friday, September 14, 2018

Today I normally would have written a random Friday post, but for some reason I don’t have a lot of random things to share this week. It just so happens that the 2nd Friday of the month is the Little Letters Link Up with Taz and Belly, so I figured I’d join in for the first time.

Little-Letter-Linkup-2018

Dear Weather: 70 degrees is good, 80 is really too hot at this point. Maybe we can try 60 degrees someday soon?

Dear Fall Shows: I’m so excited for some new TV to watch. Both A Million Little Things and Manifest look really good and I also want to check out FBI and New Amsterdam.

Dear Internet: Why must you run so slowly? I don’t understand.

Dear Former Blogger Friends: Just because you stopped blogging doesn’t mean we can’t stay friends and follow each other on Instagram…or does it? I was hurt that you unfollowed me, but if that’s how you feel, I’m happy to return the favor.

Dear Nephew: Please stop reposting my Instagram photos to our family WhatsApp group. If I wanted to post them there, I would!

Dear Middle Child: I know it wasn’t easy, but you didn’t need to make it so hard for me to be away last for a few days. The constant texts asking me to come home were almost amusing!

Dear Camera: Sometimes I wonder why I try, phone pictures can be good too.

Dear Weekend: Hope you’re a good one!

siggy

Cody, WY–Glamping and Rodeo

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cody, WY–Glamping and Rodeo

This August, we took a family road trip to Yellowstone National Park. We set out on a Saturday night, stayed over in Lincoln, NE, continued driving on Sunday and stayed that night in Casper, WY, and finally arrived in Cody, WY on Monday. Cody is the closest city in WY on the east side of Yellowstone.

As we got close, our driving views looked like this:

DSC_7048
DSC_7049
DSC_7050DSC_7052

We stayed at the Cody Wyoming Trout Ranch, where we got to camp out in tipis – it was glamping and so much fun!

An Evening At The Farm

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

farm

This summer, I tried to spend time one on one with each of my kids. The number one thing that Simon wanted to do was to go fishing at the farm. The one night that they had free fishing, we went but there was lightning in the area and they had to close down. All summer I kept promising him we would go, and when we finally did, we found out that the fishing isn’t open in the evenings (I guess only on the free fishing nights!). Luckily, Simon wasn’t upset for too long and we enjoyed an evening at the farm together.

DSC_6950DSC_6951

Baby ducks! I love them!

DSC_6952DSC_6953DSC_6955DSC_6956DSC_6959DSC_6961DSC_6962DSC_6964DSC_6965DSC_6966DSC_6967DSC_6968DSC_6969DSC_6971DSC_6972DSC_6973DSC_6975DSC_6976
DSC_6978
DSC_6979DSC_6981DSC_6983

Hey Mr. Pig, you are supposed to drink your water, not stand in it!

DSC_6985DSC_6986DSC_6987DSC_6989

Want to find out if Simon ever got to go fishing this summer? Come back tomorrow!

siggy

10 Fall Staples

Sunday, September 9, 2018

staples

This month’s topic for 10 on the 10th with Simple Purposeful Living is 10 Favorite Fall Staples. There are many things that can be considered a staple, but I figured I’d share the things that define fall for me.

1. You may be wondering why I published this post 1 day early, and that answer is the number 1 thing that defines fall in my life – the fall Jewish holidays. This link up goes live on the 10th of the month, and this month that day is the first of the 2 days of Rosh Hashanah. Next Wednesday we have Yom Kippur, followed by Sukkot. Sukkot is partially the celebration of the fall harvest, so you can see why it is a staple of fall for me!

2. I pretty much eat soup year round, but soup and chili are a fall necessity!

3. Apple cider is important in fall for me. I’m not a pumpkin spice person, so I go for the apple instead!

4. Although I don’t love the taste of pumpkins, I have to decorate with pumpkins! I have more fall decor than I do for any other season. I will probably bring it out near the first day of fall!

5. If it cools down, I love to wear hoodies and jeans and boots in the fall.

6. I don’t like cold weather, but if it’s cool enough for a light sweater and scarf, I’m happy.

7. I like to go to the pumpkin patch every year and take photos of the kids there. I’m wondering if it will happen this year, because none of them wanted to go apple picking! [Last year].

8. I love fall colors and if I can get some great photos of leaves, I’ll be happy!

9. Ever since I was young and birthdays mattered, fall always meant my birthday!

10. Finally, a basic necessity of fall for me is Thanksgiving! Hopefully, we’ll find some friends to celebrate with this year like we did last year!


What are your fall staples or necessities?

siggy

10-on-the-10th-link-up