Thursday, August 17, 2017

XTREME PARK ADVENTURES | LASER TAG IN DURHAM

We were given a complimentary game of laser tag in exchange for a review.  All opinions are mine alone.

I have probably  never mentioned this before, but my husband's family are pretty skilled at playing laser tag.

Actually, scratch that.  I know I've never mentioned it before.

Nearly every time we all get together at the coast, we play a friendly game (or two) or laser tag.  It took me a long, long time to gather up the courage to play.  In fact, last year was the first time I ever played.

I don't know why I was so nervous about playing, because it's so much fun!  So, when Xtreme Park Adventures offered us a game of laser tag in exchange for a review, I knew we had to try it.  We asked some friends to come along, and they were very excited, too!  In fact, they'd never played laser tag before.

When we arrived at the park, it was nothing like I expected.  Everything is outdoors, and it's all staged to look post-apocalyptic.  Seriously, it felt like walking onto the set of The Walking Dead.  It was so, so cool!

The laser tag games last an hour & they use a couple of the smaller fields to play.  "Field" makes it seem like a wide-open area; however,  a "field" is the course where you play.  The first one that we played on was called City, and the second one was called Fort.  I was impressed with how long we could play, and we had a private instructor in the game with us.  He had a referee laser tag gun that controls the game.  So, from what I could tell, if the players don't move around he'll do things like detonate one or both teams.  That way, everyone has to go to the starting point.  It gets everyone moving around.

Their equipment was really good.  If you've ever played laser tag and had faulty equipment, it can be so annoying.  I know that every game of laser tag we've played at the beach has involved one or more of us getting a laser tag vest and/or gun that wasn't working properly.  In fact, another plus was that you don't wear vests at Xtreme Park Adventures.  The sensor is on the gun, so you don't have to wear a heavy vest.  That was a major plus, especially since it was very hot on the day we played.

If laser tag isn't your thing, but you're still looking for something fun to do outdoors, they have a lot of other activities.  They have paintball, airsoft, zip line, a kids zone, and a warfare training center.  We really want to go back in October for their Xtreme Haunt for Halloween.  It sounds spooky and exciting!

I looked into the price of the games, too.  Even though we received our game for free, I know the kids will want to go back either to play or to have a birthday party.  For laser tag, it is $30 per person for 1 hour with a private instructor.  You need at least 6 players.  Over 10 players, the cost is $25 per person. It seems expensive, but the experience is worth it to us.  The entire experience feels personal, since you have an instructor taking you through the fields.

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag


Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag


Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag


Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag


Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag


Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag


Rebecca Lately Xtreme Park Adventures Laser Tag

Have you ever played laser tag?  It's so much fun!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MY FAVORITE SHOPS ONLINE | ZULILY

This is a collaboration with Zulily and MavenX.  I may earn commissions on referral links within this post.  All opinions are mine alone.

Even though we're still in the throes of summer weather, I am already looking ahead to the fall.  There's just something about cool weather, boots, and scarves that gets me so excited!  I've already purchased a few things for my fall wardrobe, and I can't wait to share them with you.  For now, I want to share some pieces I saw on Zulily recently.

If you've never heard of Zulily, it is a flash sale site that has nearly everything you could ever want.  Sales are posted for a few days and then new sales are posted.  There is something for everyone.  I've been shopping on their site for years, and I remember when it used to be exclusively mom and kid sales.  Now, they have home items, men clothing, accessories, toys, books, etc.  You name it, they have a sale for it!

I wanted to share just a couple items that are in my cart right now.  I will also include my shopping board at the bottom of this post so you can check at all the products I love.



You will honestly be surprised by what you can find.  They recently posted a Frye event, and the discounts were amazing.  I've always wanted a pair of Frye boots, so a couple pairs have been tempting me.  I think a new pair of boots is the perfect way to ring in the new season.  My old boots have been worn to bits, so it will definitely be a great purchase for me.  Of course, I also want to add a couple of blanket scarves.  Isn't that red and navy perfect for fall?


Here's a link to my shopping board so you can check out the best items from Zulily right now:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

REBECCA READS | THE HAPPIEST KIDS IN THE WORLD

I told you last week I bounce around from genre to genre.  ;)  This newest #rebeccareads might not be everyone's cup of tea, because it's a book about parenting.  Last year, I saw Janssen feature this book in her instastory.  I was instantly intrigued.  The Happiest Kids in the World is all about Dutch parenting, and it delves into possible reasons that the Netherlands contains the happiest children.

It's written by two ex-pats, one from the US and one from the UK. Honestly, it's one of the more interesting parenting books that I've read.  It covers nearly all aspects of parenting and how what it's like in the Netherlands.  The origin of the book was actually a blog post on one of the author's blog.  In a 2013 UNICEF report, the Netherlands was slated as the happiest place to raise children.

The writers, Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison, use their personal experiences raising children away from their homeland to explore the Dutch way of parenting.  It was so interesting, engaging, and has tangible advice for new parents.  I don't really consider myself a new parent, since our oldest is 10 years old; however, it's always nice to read about a different perspective and discover how it can fit into your own life.

Rebecca Lately Rebecca Reads The Happiest Kids in the World Review

The Dutch are so laid back, which is something to which I can relate.  Their stories were pretty funny, since both writers come from slightly more uptight cultures.  My parenting style is laid back, which is part .  I could relate to a lot of the ideologies of the Dutch.  They believe that kids should have lots of time outside, lots of time to play by themselves with friends, and they should be able to travel to and from school by themselves. 

This remind me of growing up in New Hampshire, where I could ride my bike to and from school in 1st grade.  I could not imagine my own kids doing that now.  Not only do we live a long ways from their school, but there are so many roads with heavy traffic between our house and their school with no bike lanes.

Mostly, this was a fist-pump-inducing book for me, as a mom.  I was all "Yes!  Play time for all the kids!"  "Yes!!  Teach independence early!"  "Yes!!  Focus on quality family time!"  These are all seemingly small things but they create a solid foundation early on in life.

You get the idea right?  The Dutch focus on preparing their children for their future adulthood, but they also mix in a lot of relaxing fun time as well.  They believe that children learn through play.  Dutch children even have a huge role in deciding what school they go to (when they're teenagers).  The chapters about their education system were very, very interesting.  It's just so different than here in the US.  I mean, it's not a secret that the US Education System is not serving students as well as it should.  The Dutch are so casual about education, and it's not competitive like it is here.  I'm sure they also have their share of problems, as no system is perfect.  It just resonated with me in so many ways.

This book was interesting from cover to cover.  There are some ideas that are stated over and over and over again.  It does get a bit monotonous, and I wonder if the authors actually incorporate Dutch principles in their parenting (based on how many stories they had to share).  If you've read Bringing up Bébé and you enjoy reading about parenting styles in other countries, I find this one to be far better written than Bringing up Bébé.  That one was still enjoyable, but The Happiest Kids in the World has tangible advice that you can actually use (should you want that).  If you don't want parenting advice, it's still an enjoyable read.

Have you read The Happiest Kids in the World?  What did you think about it?

Monday, August 14, 2017

THRIVE MARKET | OVERNIGHT OATS

I am always looking for ways to condense our morning routine.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, getting all five of us where we need to go and making sure we're well-fed, happy, and healthy feels like a challenge some days.  Most days, it doesn't feel like a challenge at all because we have a few routines in place that make everything easy.

And that's why we make our breakfasts ahead of time!  Whether it's making a huge batch of pancakes to freeze, making a batch of hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week, or making a smoothie or jar of overnight oats the night before, we don't really make breakfast in the morning.  And that's because it's already prepared.  It makes mornings incredibly easy when we can just grab our breakfast and sit down to eat it. It not only takes away the stress of the morning, but we also have a few minutes to spend with each other before we all jet out the door.

Last summer, I tried Thrive Market for the first time.  I found out about them through Michele's YouTube channel.  The concept is that you purchase a yearly membership and they offer a large variety of health- and social-conscious grocery items at a discount.  For my first order, I purchased the ingredients for our favorite granola balls, and I instantly saw the value in using their site.  The membership seems steep at $59.95 per year.  In fact, I almost didn't order from them because of the fee.  However, over an entire year I have project that I will save more than $60 by ordering our staple pantry items.

I make so many of our snacks at home, it really helps to have some savings on those staple items that we frequently buy. Additionally, you can search their site based on your eating habits/beliefs.  You can search for vegan, paleo, vegetarian, and so many other types of food.  We eat a traditional diet. Aside from limiting the processed food we eat, we don't avoid many types of food as a family.  I personally avoid dairy, sugar, carbs, and starchy foods as much as possible.  But as a family unit, we eat a traditional diet.  I think the 'technical' term would be a whole foods diet, if you want to put a label on it.

A few weeks ago, my husband found a recipe for overnight oats that he really wanted to try.  Normally, I'm the one to get breakfast ready for the next day, so it was nice to have a little break.  Well, ever since then, he's been making us overnight oats.  And it's been really fun to try our the different combos!  I wanted to share a few combinations we've tried, in case you need some ideas for breakfast.

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Right now, we're mixing our oats with frozen bananas and berries.  My husband adds chopped nuts to his.  The approximate measurements we use are 1/2 cup of milk (almond for me) and to 1/2 cup of oats.  When we're using frozen fruit, we use just a little bit more oats to help soak up the extra moisture.

The first thing we do is mix together the milk and oats.  If you want to add a little flavoring, like vanilla extract, you could also mix it in at this point.  After it's all mixed together, layer the fruit the on top.  Put the lid on it, pop it in the fridge, and then it'll be ready for you in the morning!

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

Rebecca Lately Thrive Market Overnight Oats

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  You can shop my Thrive Market referral link to receive 25% off your first order!