The Ultimate Vegas Weekend for Geeks

When you think of Vegas, visions may pop up of gambling, flashy lights, nightclubs, and impromptu marriage. But there is much more to Sin City, and you can have a great time without blowing tons of money or doing anything you’d regret. I recently organized a trip for a group of 11 friends, and wanted to share some of the best activities we did. Adding any of these into your trip plans will guarantee an epically geeky time.

Alibi

If you’ve ever wanted to take part in a heist, this is the show for you. Part scavenger hunt, part interactive show, you make your way around Downtown Vegas finding and interacting with characters as you try to help “The Mastermind” with his heist. It’s a goofy good time, and a great bonding event for everyone in your group. You will solve puzzles, do goofy things, and laugh a lot.

The 2.5 hour “show” also includes a meal and two alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) drinks throughout the run, making it a great deal and a fun mid-day activity. We chose to do it in the afternoon, and then stayed in Downtown Vegas after to keep exploring the area.

The Nerd - Premiere Las Vegas Bar, where Cosplay Meets Cocktails

The Nerd (and the rest of Neonopolis)

As soon as we walked into The Nerd, we knew we were home. The bar has props and costumes from famous films, signed posters and comics on the wall, cosplay for sale, a bowling alley, and a huge board game and video game library. You can play games and bowl for free while you hang out. Plus, their bartender makes amazing drinks and the prices won’t break the bank. The Nerd often has themed nights and viewing parties for popular shows, and cosplayers get a discount on drinks. You HAVE to check it out. (And while you’re in Neonopolis, make sure you check out the epic vintage toy shop on the first floor. It’ll make you super nostalgic and you’ll want to re-start your TMNT action figure collection.)

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Container Park

Go for the shops, restaurants, and people watching. Stay for the fire-breathing praying mantis.

Countdown Las Vegas Escape Room

If your group enjoys puzzles and is relatively sober, an escape room is a great mid-day activity (and a fun way to beat the heat!). Countdown Las Vegas offers a variety of rooms, and we tried a classic: their Sherlock Holmes room. This escape room is extremely difficult with a 10% success rate. #HumbleBrag, this group defeated it, but with only 41 seconds left on the clock. If you go, let us know if you beat our time!

If you prefer your escape rooms to be more about the ambiance, I’d suggest their “Atelophobia” room. It’s a horror room, described as “part escape room, part haunted house” and uses an actor for a part of the experience. When we were there, a few members of that room left early and refused to go back in, because they were too scared. (This clearly just intrigued me further!) I would definitely try this room next time I was in Vegas!

Tournament of Kings

What if I told you there was a place where you could eat a medieval-style meal with your hands while watching knights joust on horses and maidens dance and also there’s pyrotechnics? You would buy a ticket immediately, that’s what. I refuse to go to Vegas and not go to Tournament of Kings. This was my third time, and it was just as much fun as the first. Between the meal and the entertainment, it’s one of the best values for a show on the Strip, and it’s legitimately great for all ages. If you’ve never been to Tournament of Kings (or Medieval Times, a similar experience), I would make it a “must” for your next trip.

What are your favorite geeky activities in Vegas? Sound off in the comments!

Some of these locations provided free or discounted tickets in exchange for a review. All opinions and words are my own!

Deer Lord: The Perfect Dinner Party Game

Thank you Deer Lord! for sponsoring this post. Grab your new edition of Deer Lord! social party game, available through Target retail stores starting July 30.

You know that feeling when you find the perfect party game, and it just makes you exclaim “Dear Lord!”? Well, meet Deer Lord.

Deer Lord is a social party game that encourages you to challenge your friends to “duels” (or silly dares) and “dupe” your friends by behaving bizarrely, but hopefully discreetly enough that they won’t notice. It just recently came to the US, and is now available in Target! (Have you noticed that Target has been rocking their game section lately?) The Target set will include the base game, as well as “Broadway” and “Gangsta” sets that include themed duels and dupes.

While you can easily play this game on its own, I wanted to throw a themed party around the idea of dueling your friends. And where else would you do that than the fanciest dinner party? (Exclaiming “Dear Lord!” whenever you catch your friends doing something out-of-the-ordinary was a ridiculously fancy bonus.) I emailed the following invitation to some of my most charismatic and daring friends:

And I began prepping the dinner party. I decided to go with a white and slate theme to tie into the board game box, and as an excuse to give everyone their own mini cheese plate.

I made name tags with toothpicks and stuck them into the individual cheeses. (I may have also embellished my friends’ names a bit. Because FANCY.) And a simple white table cloth and some candles added to the elegance of the table.

As they arrived, I greeted them at the door with prosciutto wrapped melon (literally the easiest thing to prepare and it looks SO fancy) and an Old Fashioned. They then found their place setting and were able to share their various cheeses with each other, and pair them with the cracker assortment in the middle of the table. At this point, we went over the rules of the game, looked at our cards, and began the challenges. We got so into the game, that it wasn’t until we were nearly finished that I remembered to serve the rest of dinner! (This is really why every great dinner party needs a butler or three.)

For dinner, we had salad in Parmesan cups, steak and broccolini, and some small cakes from Trader Joe’s gussied up with some caramel and chocolate syrups. My goal was to do the least amount of work and still have a wonderful meal. The item I was most proud of was the Parmesan cup salad. All of my guests were impressed with the cups, and they were so easy to make. You just put 2 TBS of shredded Parmesan in a circle on top of a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, and place it in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 5 minutes. As soon as you remove it, carefully place the melted circle into the cavity of a muffin pan, forming a circular bowl. Let it cool, and voila! I was able to make these a couple hours in advance and put the salads together in minutes once we were ready.

But back to the game. Duels included things like “Who can do the most amount of push-ups,” “who can gargle the longest,” “who can come up with the best one-liner,” and “who can tell the most exciting story.” Dupes included “take a phone call,” “touch another player,” “ask another player about their family,” and “give a standing ovation.” My friend Liz took a phone call from her dad, and I “duped” her by asking how he was doing. Little did I know that she was also “duping” me by faking the phone call! This game gets into Inception-level layers of deceit.

If you’re interested in seeing more of the game in action, check out this video from Lark and Clam below:

What are your thoughts on party games? Will you be picking up Deer Lord? And do you think you’d be able to dupe all of your friends?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Skywalker Olive Oil: Fit for a Space Princess

Some of you may be familiar with the name “Skywalker.” It’s the last name of some characters from a space-themed entertainment franchise. Or perhaps you’re familiar with the creator of the Skywalkers, George Lucas. The namesake doesn’t end with fictional characters. Lucas has a well-known ranch by the same name that hosts a sound design firm, an inn, and even a vineyard and seven-acre olive grove.

That’s where the Skywalker Olive Oil comes in. Even if you’re not lucky enough to be able to stay on the Ranch, you can feel like one of Lucas’ personal friends for just $25. You see, while the wine has been available to purchase for a while, the olive oil was historically reserved for close friends and family (until now!).

There are two types of olive oil available, Il Convento sul Trasimeno for $35, and Viandente del Cielo for $25. I bought a bottle of the Viandente del Cielo on a whim, and I’m thrilled I did. Not only do I have a beautiful talking point for the next time I have guests over, but the olive oil itself is fantastic.

I paired the olive oil with some fresh ciabatta bread, and compared it to my typical olive oil, Trader Joe’s Kalamata Olive Oil. While the Kalamata oil is extremely strong and tastes purely of kalamata olives, the Viandente del Cielo was light, fresh, and complex. The website says that this oil “is a unique blend of Frantoio, Pendolino, Leccino, Moraliolo and Cipressino olive varietals, to which it owes its mild characteristics and notes of artichoke, straw and pepper.” You can definitely taste the pepper. The smell of the oil is very bright, and the taste is smooth with a fantastically peppery finish. I would highly recommend it!

You can find both olive oils at SkywalkerVineyards.com. Will you be picking up a bottle?

Which Meal Delivery Service is the Best?

If you’ve been on Facebook or ever listened to a podcast, you’re sure to have heard of Blue Apron. It’s one of the original Meal Delivery Services, a box of food delivered to your door, pre-portioned to create easy and delicious recipes. But is it worth it? And is Blue Apron the best service, or just the first?

 

I reviewed three different services back-to-back and ate a whole lot of home-cooked meals to give you the scoop.

 

Spoiler: Meal Delivery Services are awesome.

 

Pros:
  • I tried new things. New recipes, new foods, it got me out of my comfort zone and cooking rut.
  • I ate out less. Having a meal in my fridge ready to go in 30 minutes or less meant less impulse delivery/take out orders.
  • It saved time. I didn’t have to plan out my meals for the week or do a big grocery trip.
  • I spent more time with my husband. We agreed to make all of the meals together, which meant we had a fun activity to do together each day.
  • The meals are (mostly) portion-controlled. The meals only make 2 (or 4) servings, so I know I’m not over doing it. (Like I do every time I make pasta…)
  • The meals were good! The food was delicious and I was proud of a lot of what we created.
Cons:
  • It’s a bit pricy. The meal plans run around $10-11 a serving, so while it’s cheaper than going out to eat, you could definitely save more money by going to the grocery store and buying sale items/items in bulk .
  • There are no leftovers. While I like that it’s portion-controlled, I didn’t love that my fridge was fairly empty and I didn’t have as many options for lunch/additional dinners.

 

First of all, let’s talk about the process. You sign up for a plan, and then you are invited to pick a certain number of meals each week to have delivered to your door. You can initially personalize your plan with diet preferences, and then it will continue to send you weekly meal deliveries unless you skip that week. (It’s very easy to skip weeks, and you can schedule them out fairly far.)

 

Your box of food will arrive at your door on the day you specify, and then you’re ready to cook! The ingredients come labeled and with recipe cards, so you know exactly what you need for each dish. The meal plans assume you have some basics: salt and pepper, oil, access to pots, pans, and bowls, a cutting board and knife, and access to a stovetop and oven. The most important ingredient is a large nonstick pan (I’d recommend around 12″). A lot of the meals involve cooking everything in a single pan.

 

The recipes come with pictures (and often the websites have supplemental video) if you need assistance with cooking it. And then, voila! You’ll have a delicious meal in front of you in around 15-45 minutes, depending on the service you use and the dish you’re making.

 

Below are a variety of Meal Plans in alphabetical order with info on pricing, what makes their plan unique, what we made, and our reviews. When they’ve been available to us, we’ve also included promo codes, that will give you a discounted first box. I’d highly recommend trying a discounted box. You’re getting a great deal on a few meals, and it’ll give you a good idea on if you like the service or not. You can cancel any time! (Full Disclosure: Many of the promo codes are affiliate links, and will provide me with credit for future boxes or a small stipend. Basically, when you use them, we both win.)

 

Let me know in the comments which Meal Plans you’ve tried, and what your thoughts were!

 

$8.99-9.99 per meal
Get $30 off your first order with this link
TL:DR; It’s the most well-known for a reason. It’s a great first box and you’ll keep coming back to it.

 

What Makes It Unique?
Blue Apron was one of the first services and they’re continuing to adapt and get better as they grow. You get to choose between 8 meals each week, and they also offer wine boxes and any tools you may need for your kitchen.

 

Meals Tried
  • Spiced Beef Pitas and Garlic Lebneh
  • Seared Cod and Creme Fraiche Sauce
  • Taiwanese-style Chicken
Pros/Cons
+ The food was all tasty. Not the most amazing dishes in the world, but nothing was a “dud”. Great home-cooked meals.
+Portion sizes were perfect.
-They encourage you to wash and pat dry EVERYTHING and salt and pepper EVERYTHING. You really don’t need to do that.
-Meals can take up to 45 minutes to make.

Would We Get It Again? Yes. And we have!

 

$11.95-13.95 per meal
Receive a FREE dinner kit for two with this link
TL:DR; This is the quick, gourmet, and FILLING option. It’s the closest to dining at a restaurant in your home.

 

What Makes It Unique?
Gobble delivers meals that can be made in 10-15 minutes. This means some things are pre-made and most of the veggies are already pre-cut for you. There are 10 meal choices to choose from each week, and you only need to order a minimum of two different meals. Gobble also offers side dishes, desserts, and cocktail mixes for you to purchase ala carte.

 

Meals Tried
  • Focaccia Grilled Cheese (plus soup and salad)
  • Bistro Filet au Poivre
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Cabbage Slaw
Pros/Cons
+It’s quick! Great for busy nights.
+These meals tasted the best out of all the kits we tried.
+-The portion sizes are HUGE. (This is a pro and a con. Great for hungry appetites or people who want leftovers. Not great for portion-control or diets.)
-You’re not learning how to cook a meal from scratch, so you won’t easily be able to replicate these dishes on your own.
-It’s slightly pricier than the other services.

 

Would We Get It Again? Yes. On a busy week when we don’t have time to make full meals.

 

$8.74-9.99 per meal
Get $40 off your first order with this link
TL:DR; HelloFresh may have the prettiest packaging, but the food lacks compared to other services.

 

What Makes It Unique? HelloFresh has the best packaging. Each meal comes packed in its own box that fits perfectly on the shelf of your fridge. You can choose between meat & fish or veggie packages, so it’s vegetarian-friendly. HelloFresh has a breakfast option as one of the 8 meal choices for each week. They also have a wine box and a store for kitchen tools.

 

Meals Tried
  • Shrimp Saganaki
  • Chicken Lo Mein
  • Winning Pork Medallions
Pros/Cons
+The packaging is wonderful!
+The various meal options (vegetarian, breakfast) were nice to have.
-The meals themselves weren’t the best. (It felt like the flavors were unbalanced.)

 

Would We Get It Again? Possibly, if a fantastic menu comes up. But we just weren’t super impressed with the meals.

Night Owl Mug Cake

We’ve all had those nights: the ones where you’re up in the wee hours, working feverishly on a new creative project. It’s pitch black outside, quiet inside, and the glow of your computer is lighting up the room. I’m normally a morning person, but a few times a year, I get a hankering to pull an all-nighter–usually when coding a website or working on a writing project. And no matter how excited I am when I get started, there’s usually a point in the middle when my mind is still racing, but my eyes start to droop and my stomach starts to rumble. I need a pick me up.

So I created the Night Owl Mug Cake, a quick a delicious treat you can make when the craving for something sweet, warm, and caffeinated grabs you. It’s the perfect excuse to step away from your project for a couple minutes, and can be made any time with items you most likely have in your pantry already.

I was inspired to create this by Gourmesso coffee. They reached out to me, wondering if I wanted to try some of their capsules for my Nespresso machine. (They’re delicious and cost 30% less than your average Nespresso branded capsules!) I love that you can use the machine to create one espresso shot in no time. It works perfectly for the single serving mug cake and makes prep/clean up super easy. But be warned, this means this mug cake is caffeinated! I use one of the capsules meant for the short/espresso function, and for this cake I used one that has a caffeine level of “7.” Use whatever caffeine level you feel you need, and if you don’t have a Nespresso, you’re welcome to substitute espresso/coffee however you normally make it.

Ready for a cozy and caffeinated treat to keep you going late into the night? Let’s get started.

Night Owl Mug Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A caffeinated chocolate mug cake to get you through those all-nighters!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3 TBS Flour
  • 2 TBS Cocoa Powder
  • 3 TBS Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 TBS Espresso
  • 1 TBS Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TBS Oil
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all dry ingredients into a mug. Mix together.
  2. Add all wet ingredients into a mug. Whisk with a fork until everything is well mixed.
  3. Microwave for 90 seconds.
  4. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, and enjoy!

Isn’t that easy? Make sure you enjoy it while it’s nice and warm!

Working on an all-nighter with a group? Make a batch of my Epic Win Cupcakes in advance for a caffeinated kick. Looking for something a bit more healthy? My “Healthy Gaming Snacks” Pinterest Board has a bunch of great ideas!

Cake Decorating Trends for 2017

As I said in my last post, one of my resolutions this year is to learn how to properly decorate cakes. So I thought I’d do a bit of research on the hot trends in cake and cupcake decorating. Here are some of the hottest decorating trends for 2017, in no particular order:

Naked

Naked Cake

This style of cake has been around for a couple years, and it’s still gathering steam. Bakers are learning that no one really likes tons of fondant, and that a cake can look elegant and beautiful on its own. This cake is more difficult than it looks to make, because your cake and icing layers must look good. (Although you can play around a little bit with decor like flowers and berries to disguise anything imperfect.) I can just imagine a cake like this for a Hobbit-themed party! (Cake by Miss Ingredient.)

Geode

Geode Cake

This is one of the coolest cakes I saw in 2016. Originally created by Rachael Teufel of Intricate Icings, this entirely edible cake is a classy way to show off your love of science. The geode is made of rock candy and accented with gold flecks. The idea looks extravagant but is fairly easy to do, which is why you’ll see a lot of copycats in this next year.

 

Metallic

Gold Sequin Cake

Speaking of gold flecks… Many wedding trend experts are claiming that metallic cakes are still a hot thing this year. And it’s no surprise. With a variety of tools (edible spray paint, edible paint, and edible gold flecks) available, you can get a wide range of lux looks easily. (Learn how to make this gold sequin cake at TheCakeBlog.com.)

Over the Top

Over the Top Cake

Yeah, sprinkles do make it better. And so does candy and cereal and additional baked goods and… Yeah. People get a bit carried away with their cake decorations. AND I LOVE IT. I’m obsessed with this over-the-top decadent trend. Just looking at this cake feels like the most fun party you’ve ever been to. I can imagine one with tons of candy being perfect for a Wreck It Ralph themed party, and one with tons of rainbow/technicolor making the perfect “Lisa Frank”-style throwback birthday cake. (This “Hero Cake” can be ordered from Unbirthday Bakery.)

Drizzle Cakes

Drizzle Cake

If you check out my Pinterest board, you’ll see a lot of this style there. Why? Because it’s relatively simple and makes every cake automatically look drool-worthy. Plus, it can work with almost every trend mentioned above. Drizzle over a naked or metallic cake for an added oomph, or add sprinkles and candies on top to make it absolutely ridiculous in the best way. This is first on my list of cake decorating skills to master. (Learn how to make this cake at TheFirstYearBlog.com.)

 

Want more decorating inspiration? Check out my new Cake Decorating Pinterest board. And let me know in the comments what trends you’re most excited about!

My Resolutions for 2017

2016 has been a busy year over here. I launched a line of natural sprinkles and sugars, had recipes show up in Board Game Bento’s subscription box, did double duty as a sexy goldfish AND sexy Alexander Hamilton, and could even be found hosting Dungeons and Dragons’ and Desert Bus for Hope’s charity livestreams.

2017 will already be off to a great start with a redesign of the natural sprinkles and sugars and a NEW product line coming out in February. Stay tuned for more info on both of those! (And with those will come a site redesign. Exciting stuff!) But new products aren’t the only thing to come from a new year. I’m taking time this week to think about the things I want to do to make my life even better and more fulfilling in 2017, and I’ve come up with a few resolutions:

Learn to make beautiful cakes

I’ve focused on cupcakes and gotten pretty darn good at them. I can whip up some professional looking cupcakes in no time, and they’re a go-to when I need something to bring to a party. But I attempted to make a normal layer cake this year, thinking it would be easy. It was, to put it lightly, a disaster. I’ve ordered some basic cake decorating supplies from Amazon and started an inspirational Pinterest board. This year, I’m determined to master a few basic recipes and decorating techniques for cakes. I’ll make sure to post any successes to the blog so you can learn too!

Read at least a book a month

Ok, ok. I know that this seems so easy if you’re a reader. But unfortunately, I spend so much time on the computer, that I don’t give myself the time to sit down with a book. So this year, I’m going to actively try to unplug and get away from screens more and sit and read physical books. I’m hoping to read more than 12 books, but didn’t want to scare myself with too ambitious of a goal. I’m currently reading The Girl on the Train and Ship of Magic, and have Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Drunk Tank Pink, You May Also Like, and The Name of the Wind on deck. Know of a book I should add to my “To Be Read” pile? Let me know in the comments.

Visit a new Seattle restaurant each month

I love exploring new restaurants and places in Seattle, but have gotten so comfortable with cooking at home and visiting old favorites, that I’m starting to lose touch on the restaurant scene. So I’m going to keep an eye on Eater’s Heat Map for Seattle, and pick a new restaurant to try each month!

Finish my “100 Good Deeds” Bracelet

I have this awesome bracelet that has 100 beads on it, each one representing a good deed. You move a little rubber stopper past the beads each time you do a good deed, and I’m hoping to complete the bracelet in a year. This is extremely ambitious, and means I need to be doing a new good deed once every three and a half days. I’m not counting things like “letting another car in during traffic” or “tipping a waiter well when they don’t deserve it” or other things that would qualify as just being a decent human. If you have any suggestions of creative good deeds or random acts of kindness I could do, let me know in the comments! (You can get a bracelet yourself at 100gooddeeds.org.)

What are your resolutions for 2017?

Kitchen Products for Star Wars Fans

With the release of Rogue One today, I’ve been seeing some great new Star Wars products pop up. No longer are the days where you can find a poster and a couple men’s shirts. Now you can’t go more than a few feet without seeing something else with the Star Wars brand. And I’m not upset about it. Case in point: These kitchen products. They’re useful and attractive, and shows off your fandom in a way never before possible. Treat yourself to one, or grab one for your friend who likes to cook, or maybe runs a geeky food blog (hint, hint).

Darth Vader’s Lightsaber Immersion Blender

You know those objects that you can’t live without once you find out they exist? Yeah. My immersion blender will never be as cool as this. $29.99

Death Star Popcorn Maker and Bowl

Movie nights just got WAY more awesome. Plus, this hot air popcorn maker looks attractive on your counter when not in use! $49.99

Darth Vader Oven Mitt

 You can still look bad-ass even when practicing safe kitchen behavior, and this oven mitt is proof. You can also get a Stormtrooper Oven Mitt, or if you’re like me, you’ll want one of both. $17.95

 Lightsaber Spatula

Everyone could use a nice, new spatula. And why get a boring one when you could get a LIGHTSABER ONE? I rest my case. $19.99

Lightsaber Pizza Cutter

You may be saying, “Tara, there are too many lightsaber utensils.” To which I would say, “I don’t understand. That’s not a thing. Did you know this one makes lightsaber sounds when you cut pizza with it?” $14.62

Lightsaber BBQ Tongs

Oh! You thought we were done with the lightsaber kitchen tools. That’s cute. Anyway, this lightsaber is also BBQ tongs and also makes noises, and look at that, it has a red storage case so you can play with it when you’re not BBQing. You clearly need this. $29.99

 

So there you have it. My Christmas wish list I mean, last minute holiday gift ideas for anyone who loves Star Wars, which is basically anyone you know.

Do you have any fun Star Wars kitchen items? Are any of the ones above on your holiday wish list? Let me know in the comments!

Host an Escape Room in Your Own Home

If you and your friends are anything like mine, you’ve done all of the Escape Rooms currently in your city, and can’t wait for a new one to open. Well, luckily, we don’t have to wait anymore: you can now host an Escape Room in your own home! There’s no advanced prep needed and you can even participate.

I have to admit, I was skeptical. Would the Escape Room in the box give the same experience as the actual rooms? Would it be challenging enough for me and my friends? Would it be fun? So when I was given the chance to try out the new game, I jumped at the chance. And spoilers: It was even better than we were all expecting. It was fun and challenging, and I truly think Escape Room noobs and veterans alike will have a good time.

For those who haven’t done an Escape Room before, the basic gist is this: You must solve various puzzles as a group to get information that will let you through a (figuratively) locked door. There is a time limit, and it’s a fast-paced, kinda-stressful-but-actually-fun group activity. It’s exhilarating and gets your mind working. I’d highly recommend them.

This game comes with four different escape “rooms”, and each one is a separate 60 minute adventure. The skill levels vary, and if you go in this order, you can work your way up:

  • Prison Break (2/5)
  • Virus (2/5)
  • Nuclear Countdown (3/5)
  • Temple of the Aztec (4/5)

I decided to have us start with Virus, since my friends have done escape rooms before. And plus, it was the easiest to plan a party around. (Come on, it’s me.)

lab-snacks

I made some laboratory-inspired dishes, like cakes in beakers (don’t use cotton candy thinking it’ll look like smoke. It’ll end up hardening and just looking weird. Lessons learned.) and an awesome “virus punch”.

Thank you to the fabulous Jenn for modeling the drink. And for willingly wearing a Haz-Mat suit.

Thank you to the fabulous Jenn for modeling the drink. And for willingly wearing a HAZMAT suit.

Put some green sherbet in the container of your choice, and slowly fill with lemon-lime soda. It’ll get all foamy and awesome looking! Easy and delicious.

Anyway, back to the game. We beat the “Virus” Escape Room in about 40 minutes, and we were all so jazzed by it, we wanted to do another right away. So we did Nuclear Countdown. (Luckily, if you end up going through a couple in a night, expansion packs will be coming out starting in 2017. And if you want to share the joy of the room with someone else, you can download anything you may have written on/folded/destroyed during the game from the Escape Room website.)

I unfortunately can’t tell you too much about the adventures themselves without spoiling them, but I can give you some peeks at what comes in the box and some tips for when you play:

game

The box does not come with gloves or glasses. We just wanted to be prepared for the virus. You understand.

The box comes with separate envelopes for each adventure, and a “Chrono Decoder” with a set of plastic keys. The Chrono Decoder acts as your timer, counting down the 60 minutes and letting you know when you can take a “hint” card. (Even if you think you don’t need it, it’s helpful to look at the hint. No one will judge you.) It’s also how you prove that you’ve solved the puzzle! You place plastic keys into the Chrono Decoder in a specific way based on the puzzles you’ve solved, and it will let you know if you can move onto the next level or if you were wrong.

chrono-decoder

The decoder also has actual decoders on the side if itself, which will come in handy throughout the adventure.

I would suggest having a couple of things on hand before you begin:

what-you-need

  • A table or clear space to spread everything out and work.
  • Blank paper and a pencil. You’ll need scratch paper and a way to take notes.
  • A working phone. You may need to use it in various ways. Plus, you can use the Escape Room app on it, which has themed music for each adventure and a place to take and upload a picture once you’ve solved the adventure!

Basically, the Escape Room game is amazing, and should be on your holiday list. I’ll be bringing my copy to my family’s place and we’ll be trying the other two adventures down there! Pick up your copy from the Spin Master store. Have you done an Escape Room before? And which adventure in the Escape Room box are you most excited to try?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

It’s Cookie Decorating Season!

 

Get out your favorite cookie cutters and recipes, and stock up on fun sprinkles and natural sugars: Cookie Decorating Season is here!

Save 25% on your entire Geeky Hostess order today through Monday, November 28th. Just head on over to geekyhostess.com/shop and use code “COOKIE”.

Are you outside of the US? Visit the Geeky Hostess Etsy shop for international shipping! (The same code works there.)