Sunday, November 12, 2017

Santa HQ

So this was our first time seeing Santa so early in the season but I am so happy we got to see him. I think it will help my critters to know that he is already watching and fingers crossed they will all continue to do good jobs or at least I can use the "Santa is watching" for a few extra weeks.

So since we are from the BX we do not honestly venture out to Queens much but Santa HQ was the perfect opportunity. We arrived at the Queens Center Mall, which is HUGE. We have a mall in the BX but it is super small potatoes compared to this mall. You can fit maybe two or three of our malls in this mall. This was our first time and we did not see half the mall so it will not be our last.


So when we arrived we had to figure out where we needed to be, a nice security guard helped to point us in the right direction, Level two, center court. We made it to the right floor and could see the display from far away so we knew we were in the right place. We checked in at the entrance, where we got to see a magic show happening and an arts and crafts table. My critters raced to the arts and crafts table, we made some cute little elves we will use to decorate our home for the holidays.
                  
                          Arts and crafts and we found JustaBXGirl making a elf too

Next we joined in the Magic Show fun because this Elf knew how to please a crowd of little ones (and even grown ups). He actually turned a EGG into LOLLIPOPS. Seriously, I was even impressed, lol. They all grabbed a lolli and then we went to explore the Santa's workshop.

                                  He kept their attention for a very long time, very impressive.

We then went into the workshop where we got a chance to be put on the Nice list. There was basically a huge Nice/Naughty meter where you are "scanned" and then you see if you made the Nice list or NOT.
Tip - Make sure you put in your kids name not yours. Yes, I have to confess, I put myself on the nice list the first time we tried it. Hey you live and learn right, I thought they wanted to parent;s info and then the kids. Also just write you Kids First name and put in the last initial if you have more than one kid, time saver.  Also, that is all that will come up on the big screen so no need to type our a long last name. My critters loved to see just how nice they really are. Of course my oldest critter was the "nicest" of them all, lol.

                             
                  The meter would go higher or lower but I think always on the NICE side

Next we took some fun Winter Holiday themed pictures or tried to. The Santa HQ photo elf, Jessica had a wonderful vision of the boy critters holding the Naughty sign and our RebelGirl.0504 holding Nice. Nope that was not happening for them. My mom would say I give them too many options so they feel like they can pick and choose but come on we just did the Nice meter so no one wanted to be Naughty especially literally on the way to see Santa. So there were some tears but we got at least one nice shot. Big thanks to Jessica because the critters sure make her work for the nice shots. She did not give up and I think I will use these pictures in this years holiday card. Definitely a job well done. Thank you so much.

                             
                                          We got a picture of Jessica working her "magic"

Here is another parent tip so you can be 110% prepared for this fun experience. There is a app that you can download before hand so you can interact with the workshop. Unfortunately we did not but you definitely should and let me know how it works. Download the free Elf-Ray Vision app on your mobile device to begin exploring. (available for iOS and Android). You will probably want to have this on your phone and then bring your camera to take pictures of everything else. After the Elf Ray photo op we moved into a room were there were table of tablets, where we got to make a Elfie video.You can choose how many elfs you want in the video and it is pretty cute. I put all three critters in the video and the best part was after we watched the video there was a option to email it to myself. I did and know I can forward the video to our friends and family. Helpful hint to know before you make video so you are not stressing to record the whole video on your phone to post or share later.

 

We kept moving exploring all the scenery, Fake snow is super interesting for my critters. They had to touch and discover how their was snow inside of this mall. Since I am all about learning and discovery I showed them the fabric, cotton and some shiny confetti that gave the workshop this awesome winter wonderland look and feel. They really did a wonderful job, everything looked sooo beautiful. The next room was the control center. 

       

Here the very tech savvy Cruz Critters got to use tablets and explore the Control Center. The objective was to collect all the presents around the room for Santa. Since this was a tablet you know they were all about it. Santa was just steps away from us but they all needed to try out this tablet game. This interactive aspect was very fun, I even wanted to try. We had a Santa HQ tech elf helping us every step of the way which was very nice and helped to unlock all  of the bonuses in the game. After we helped Santa get all his gifts, in the game, it was time to meet the big guy and let him know all the Christmas wishes.

They ran to him as if they were all old friends. RebelGirl.0504 made herself comfy on Old St Nick's lap. It was like she knew this is where I go and I have to go here first, lol. The boys sat next to Santa and then Santa offered his other knee to my middle guy. They all got a chance to let Santa know exactly what they wanted, Yes Toys, Toys and more TOYS. Santa was the best in my book because he did not just "OK Ho Ho Ho." Santa told all the critters "Make sure you listen to your parents, eat all your veggies and brush your teeth and I will see what I can do". This alone was worth any and all drama that lead up to this meeting. I mean come on the guy of all guys, at least to kids, Santa said to listen to your mom that was pretty awesome for me.

                                         Making sure Santa knew the toys they need, lol

We got some great pictures and they even offered to let the grown ups in the picture. My hubby and I declined but our good friend JustaBXGirl took them up on the offer and jumped right in the picture.
Check out her experience at http://justabxmom.com/.
                       

To book your wonderful Santa experience santa-hq.com. The package prices are reasonable as well and you get them printed right there. Here are the options below:

                                                         


I hope everyone has as great a time visiting Santa as we did. Have a Happy Holiday.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Super League Minecraft

TEAM NEW YORK FURY made it to the FINALS !!!! and the crowds go WILD. This means we get a extra week of playing on the big screen at the Cinema De lux theater. I am hoping for more goodies but we are just excited to get to play again for another week with our new friends aka team mates.
   
                        

This week was full of ups and downs but as always the Team from Super League that organized this event was on point and always trying to keep all the teams spirits up. We arrived right on time and in a mad dash to get logged on to the SuperLeague server we were told by our team, there was a major problem with the WiFi and the server was unavailable. We slowed down and got comfortable. At this session, we had the whole crew, all of the Critters, with us so we had extra people to get settled. When we actually started playing this meant we have extra cheerleaders.

  

                                           Baby bro and Dad watching Big Bro rock it out on Team E

We learned the problem was not a quick fix so we would have to wait a while longer. The Super League team got us all a snack to pass the time. Huge buckets of popcorn were passed around the room for everyone to snack on. A few moms in the group got the snack situation under control by getting all the players individual snack trays so everyone could enjoy their own portion of the huge popcorn bucket. You got to love the Team Moms, excellent thinking.

         Rebel.Girl.54 got her hands on one of the huge buckets, don't worry it wasn't full

As the popcorn was winding down the problem was still not fixed, the players were keeping busy chatting with their team mates and playing Minecraft, off line or other computer games that did not require internet. The Super League kept trying to keep us all updated and then even confirmed that the players would all get pizza at the end of the session. There were all excited so there were no riots, lol. Since we were still waiting some kids had a rap battle with the Super League staff. The players won, of course, wink wink. It was pretty cool to give the kids another opportunity to shine.


So at about 12 noon-ish the teams were allowed to start connecting to the server. They did not want to the server to crash so they advised to log in team by team. We are Team E so we had to still wait patiently, we watched as the other teams slowly logged on. It was meant to be that they gave out Nickelodeon fidget spinners. This definitely helped to pass the time, more great thinking. Due to the delay they two cut events out, Workshop and Walls. Some of the other Team E players were not happy about this but they still did great. We placed in the top 3 for the Soccer event which was definitely cause for a big cheer. I was cheering for them and I felt good because I actually understood what was happening, only took me a couple of weeks right, LOL!

                                                                   Go Team E !!!!!!!

We are so happy to be going to the FINALS and I will have the full report next week. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss it.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Super League Gaming - Minecraft Edition


In  case you did not know I am a true gamer YUP. Girls can like games too, lol. I was the middle kid of five always fighting for MY turn on the Sega Genesis. I would ask for video game consoles for my birthdays and would absolutely love my time spent ALONE when I would get beat levels or even entire games. I was all about the Mario games and Sonic was also my jam.

So with all of that said, it is a given that my Cruz Critters are gamers as well. Yup all 3, my little @rebelgirl.0504 even loves to grab my tablet and play some games. It is a nice thing we can all relate with. Believe it or not I still have to fight for my turn, LOL.



My oldest critter is all about the latest trends and will try all of the new games. He does have his favorites and Minecraft is definitely one of them. So when @justabxmom told me about a the Super League Champs MINECRAFT event I thought we have to go. We already had our day planed but I am all about trying new things so we got up a bit earlier and make it work.













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We clicked the link , below and registered right away. Check it out here https://champs.superleague.com/portfolio/new-york-fury/.

My oldest son got his own laptop for his 8th birthday. He has been buggin us to get him the full version of Minecraft on this laptop. We did download the trial version (because it was free). This was the perfect reason to finally buy the full version of the game. So as I was trying to prepare for the Super League Champs event I downloaded the Window 10 Minecraft version. Did you know that there is not only ONE version of this game available for download on a laptop. I mean me being a gamer I think I would be pretty savvy but nope. So we arrive early to event and we are ready to go. laptop is charged, charger packed and excitement high. We signed in, got our special edition jersey and tag to write our Gamer tag on, he wrote his gamer tag himself. I helped a little though, lol.


So we go into the movie theater and the seats are labeled for all the gamers. The parents were supposed to go to the lower level to just to enjoy the game on the big screen. I never made it down there because we had a lot of technical difficulties. Before I go into that I have to say the on site Super League staff was great. They were so helpful and apologetic. They did realize things were a little crazy for the first day of this event but they did their best and always smiled and thanked the gamer or gamer's parents.


So we needed the JAVA version of the Minecraft laptop edition not the Windows 10 version. So we had a lot to do and Marco, Super League staff member got it all done. We needed internet so he made his phone into a hot spot. He uninstalled the Windows 10 version, we created a new Mojang account, install the Java version and then installed the Resources Packs we needed to play on the Super League server. So does seem like a lot but because Marco was so helpful all of this got done with just enough time to play the last round. The last round was ZOMBIES, which is always fun especially right before Halloween.

                     


Once he was playing I sat back, still in gamer's section and just listened and watched the game. It was awesome to hear other kids saying good things about his gamertag, TattleTailXD.

I am hoping to get a better understanding of all the rules and rounds the next time we go.


Let's Go Team New York Fury!!

Definitely sign up for updates from both of these sites.
https://champs.superleague.com/
http://www.justabxmom.com/

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Apple Picking at Stuart's Farm


It was our second year visiting and it was as twice as nice.

The first time we went on a holiday, Columbus Day, which fell on a weekday. That time it was not a full and not as many activities to do but still a nice time. This time we went on a Saturday so there were more people but the only place we felt it was the parking lot, lol. The weekends have a lot more activities so although there were more people everyone was able to spread out so we can all have a great time.

Cruz Critter in the Pumpkin patch

They have hay rides, corn maze, picnic tables, pumpkin patch and apple orchard. The maze and the hay ride are additional fees ($2 per person) so we did not go but they looked very fun. We did buy a lot of the farm fresh items like sweet corn, butternut squash, apples, fruit rolls, cookies, donuts, lemonade and a few other items.

One of my younger sister joined us. This is her with the Critters not me, people think we are twins

The lemonade was part of the Alex's Lemonade Stand fund https://www.alexslemonade.org/ so it was $2 but part of the price went to the fund. It was tasty too so that helped. We got about six cups in total, lol yup it was good and we were hot.

The stand out must see attraction (for me at least) is the Donut making machine. It is so awesome to see to donut shaped dough drop into the hot oil then be covered in cinnamon and sugar. They are sooo good and FRESH. The a half dozen cost about 5 bucks we got the full dozen to have some to bring home. The kids really like to see the process too. I like that they can see the steps it takes to make a tasty treat. Kids think things just magically happen so it is great to show them in real life a pretty cool process.


Tips before you go:
- Use the bathroom before you arrive. Might be a little tricky for us the ride was about 45 mins but if you do have to go the only option for bathrooms are Port a Potties so be prepared with the wet ones, hand sanitizer and patience.
- Bring CASH the prices are not bad but depending on what you want to buy/do and how much of it you need you will need cash, they don't do credit/debit cards. They do have a ATM in the main bldg (where the Donut Maker is) but there was a lengthy line to use it. Luckily, I had cash so did not have the chance to see the fees but I can imagine there were the same as any ATM.
- Pack the camera, extra batteries and extra memory card. The scenery is so beautiful. I am all about the pictures so I even brought a extra change of clothes for Rebel Girl (so yes she is wearing a different outfit but the pictures are all from the same day). Even the ride there is breathtaking. Look at this view from a bridge on the way there.

- Lastly, pack lunch they have TONS of sweets (Hello a DONUT MAKING MACHINE) but not many real food options. They did had hot dogs but this was the only "overpriced" thing. $3 a pop for the dogs, I def love hot dogs but I can feed my whole crew with $3 when I buy the dogs from the supermarket, lol. I am a mom that loves coupons, deal, saving and FREE stuff so def was not going to buy my critters each a $3 hot dog. The my boys usually eat two like myself so that is going into crazy territory so we passed on those and filled up on donuts and lemonade.

                                                      2016                                     2017

It was a really nice family day. It is all about the memories you make right. I remember the times when I went apple picking with my parents & siblings so I am so grateful and blessed to be able to share with my family. We were chasing butterflies through the apple trees and watching them drink the nectar from the crushed apples with bees by their side, picture below. It was hotter than it technically should be in October but definitely worked out in our favor.


Check them out on their website for updates:
http://stuartsfarm.com/

Best part was we had some goodies left over so I had a sweet breakfast the next morning and got to relive the experience all over again.
Can't wait for next year....