Nowadays our work and life balance can quickly become out of sync. With too many obligations, we can involuntary forget our loved ones and fail to spend enough quality time with them. Hanging with friends and family has for many become rare, and spending time in nature, away from technology would be quite the luxury for most. We forget how relaxing and pleasant socializing can be and how invigorating to the soul spending time in nature would be too (This post here illustrates why we should spend more time in Nature).

In the last few years, nature enthusiasts have invented a new type of outdoor activity. You can perform it with your family, friends, or colleagues, as a date option, or even play with unknown people. It’s called geocaching, and whilst we are yet to try it, feedback says that it is a very entertaining outside game that is gaining more and more fans around the world.

In Short about Geocache

Geocaching is a relatively new and very entertaining game that is equally interesting to people of all ages and genders. Besides spending quality time with family and friends in nature, it can be an excellent way to remind you of some scouting skills, orientation in space, and to be physically active.

The goal of geocaching is to hide your own and find someone else’s “hidden treasure.” Unlike the search for a chest full of gold, there are no secret maps with the good ol’ skull and crossbones, indicating the place where someone hid the treasure a long time ago.

For locating this “treasure,” you’ll need GPS devices and coordinates that are available to everyone on the Internet. Instead of a large wooden chest, you will find a plastic case or something like that. And instead of gold and jewels, there will be a brief explanation for those who find this case by accident; a pen and a paper where you’ll sign in as a founder of this treasure.

Some internal rule among contestants is to get some of that treasure, usually a toy, tag, badge, batteries for GPS, etc. In return, they have to leave something in the box, for future players. Then close the box and return it to the same place. The last step is to go to the official site to assign a founder, and to look for the next target. It is a fantastic activity and hobby for all. 

What You Need for Playing

Apart from GPS devices, people usually use phones and tablets (due to the ease of carrying them). You will also need a stable internet connection, and for some geocaches, there’s an option to find them even if you don’t have Internet access using images. It often happens that the locations are a bit tricky, and you may not have a good signal – this is a great way to get your search done.

Before you go on a geocaching adventure, you need to register yourself among the “geocache hunters” on the site specially designed for it. In your account, you will be able to find accurate and updated information about new geocaches at any time, but also to keep track of your “hunting.”

Locations on which geocaches can be placed are different – some love those in the wild, in the middle of the forest, or near rivers and lakes; someone else may prefer urban locations, where geocaches are hidden somewhere in the city fortresses and parks. Choose a target, take coordinates, and start hunting and having some fun.

It’s Not Easy as It Seems

Although you get coordinates, do not think it’s that easy to reach your goal. Every GPS device has some imprecision, no matter how good and advanced they are. So you can expect that your search can take several hours, even if the geocache is located within a range of ten feet. You know that geocache is hidden somewhere around you, but GPS will never take you to the right place.

Whether you play the game with known or unknown people, you have to work as a team to get to the geocache which is great for families and to teach kids. Then, with your sharp eye and brilliant mind, they should help you act.

The point of geocaching is to have fun and test your skills.

Hide Your Own Geocache

If you prefer to be a prey than a hunter, you can create the contents of the box that other “hunters” will ask for. You need to hide your geocache and register it on the official site, giving exact coordinates.

 There are special tags and coins linked to the website, and they represent a real catch. The rule is that hunters don’t keep them as a trophy, rather they have to transfer them to the next geocache they find. The movements of these tags can be tracked on the site.

In good company, you often don’t realise just how quickly time flies whilst geocaching. Even if you haven’t met the goal for that day, remember you have spent quality time in nature with your loved ones. Geocaching doesn’t require high expenses; just good will, some energy and a desire for adventure and spending your free time doing something new and interesting.

We can’t wait to give it a go with the kids in the New Year.

*Collaborative Post

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This last week has quite possibly been up there with one of the best 2018 has given to us. Before we get any further into this current week, I wish to reflect and record all of the wonderful and joyful hearty moments that we have been blessed with from this last week, and the things that have made it so great for us.

For those of you who haven’t seen on my social media, our family have spent our half term break in the Chianti hills of Tuscany. It was absolutely stunning and, whilst we encountered some freak weather conditions whilst there (just our luck!!), we saw many beautiful and lovely Cities, towns and scenes of nature. It was great to be together and chill out away from everyday life, and I just loved our little Italian adventure. We rarely go away at this time of year, but I am glad that we did as it was a lovely adventure. I look forward to sharing it in more detail with you very soon.

Grateful For 

This week I am so unbelievably grateful that Nath has finally got a new job (Hooray!) – it has literally made our lives!! We heard the news on Tuesday whilst away and we all went a bit nuts with excitement (and relief) over it. I loved that Ethan captured me diving on Nath in sheer joy at this great news – it was pretty funny!

Yes, this really is great news for us all, and it means that we will all get to see more of Nath every day. He will have more prospects in his new role and we will also be a little more financially stable. I am excited that very soon he will no longer be having to commute to Leeds every day and this is something we have been hoping and waiting for for what feels like a lifetime now…I really am so relieved he finally bagged a new job working much closer to home in a job that will hopefully open new doors to his career.

When we decided to move last year to East Yorkshire it was a big thing that he still worked in Leeds, but everything just fell into place and we knew it was the right thing at this time for our family. We assumed that his job would soon follow suit, but instead that has been a challenge and has taken well over a year for that part of the puzzle to fit in. It has been really hard hearing so many “no’s” or “almost yes’s” from jobs interview after job interview time and time again, not to mention then having him so late and gone so early to get to and from Leeds. It has been hard on everyone and our lifestyle hasn’t been what we hoped for during the week. So, as you can imagine we are just all so grateful that this new job is on the horizon and we can all fully transition into this new chapter of life in the Village and live life more how we hope to!! Man it is such mint news!

I am also grateful for safety whilst we travelled, good weather in between the crazy storms, time with family over the weekend and generally just time together as a family. It really has been a lovely week.

Succeeded At

Getting back into school runs this week was a little bit of a shock to the system, however the kids have had no trouble getting up early (6am!) and despite needing a lot of reminders to stay on task to be on time (no change there), we aren’t doing too bad… so I would call that a success!

Then of course Nath successfully got a new job and so we are loving that little nugget of joyfulness!

Found Beauty In

There are so many beautiful things and scenes I have been blessed to see this week that have just simply made my soul sing. From the views across the vineyards of Chianti, to quaint little italian streets – my heart has been completely full and content, and I feel incredibly grateful. I have loved exploring Tuscany and its beautiful towns and cities, and I have loved seeing the kids amazed and excited at new adventures. Being together as a family is a beautiful thing in and of itself, and I am pleased we had a whole week together (even if they were a little whiny some days!).

On Sunday we had the pleasure of getting together with Nath’s Family in Stamford to celebrate the blessing day of one of our new nephews. It was a lovely occasions and great to see (and catch up with) the family. It was a beautiful day followed by a beautiful walk around Rutland Waters, where we saw the sun setting and cousins playing – it was so relaxing and Idyllic and I loved spending time with everyone.

Whilst there we took a few family snaps, and I especially love this brilliant selfie I took with my sister-in-laws. Nathan has 6 sisters and I have been fortunate to be friends with them long before Nathan and I even dated. Now, together we are 7 sisters and I love how well we all get along and how much love and laughter there is. This pic makes me so happy and I feel it oozes so much beauty, love and happiness!!!

How thankful I am this week for holidays, family, new jobs, new adventures and a lovely home to come back to! It has been a fab week that has made my heart full.

This week I will be turning 34 and I look forward to hopefully another week of love and laughter with friends and family!

 

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In and amongst our busy weekend , adventures and gallivanting, we still found time for some family time at home. On Saturday morning we had a lot of fun as we got to grips with a new game by Spy Code named “Operation: Escape Room”! We were sent it recently from Smyths Toy Store, and have had a lot of laughs and tense moments with it – it is ideal for some family fun and time together on these cold, wet days!

Escape rooms are all over right now, and are a fun thing to do (or so I hear). This game brings that experience to a child’s level and creates the thrill and problem solving vibe of an escape room, right here in to your living room! Within the box there are three challenges and each one is to be solved in order to retrieve the golden key. Once found the key takes you to the next puzzle and so on, until you get the final key, which if found in time, will stop the ticking “time bomb” (as named by Megs)! It was great to test our spy skills and problem-solving nerve with three  seemingly simple tasks (they were harder than they appear) and that are designed to make you work as a team.

Operation Escape Room is suitable for ages 6+ and both Ethan and Megan really got into it and understood exactly what they needed to do. It is a fast paced game and something you can play in just a short space of time which we really liked about it. Unlike the board games we have tried to play with in the past, where they seem to lose interest easily, this wasn’t at all like that at all- It was fast moving, fun and required some skill and problem solving skills too, which they were only too happy to demonstrate. They enjoyed the urgency of each task and the fact that they were “on a mission” to solve the problems, find the keys and free the family member that needed to escape! We played it a few times, taking turns on the tasks and they loved it every time.

How to play Operation Escape Room 

You begin by assembling the games/puzzles and then placing them around the room (the instructions are really easy to follow – as long as the kids aren’t nagging at you in the process!). After this you choose someone to wear the escape belt, and then you have to work together to free them! It requires you to collect three keys in challenges of skill, strategy and luck, before the time on the escape belt runs out.

We began with “The skill challenge” – this  tests your ability to navigate a maze. From here we went onto “The strategy challenge” which required that we complete mathematical puzzles, find patterns and solve problems to crack the code. This was by far the hardest part, and rather tense too! Finally, when we cracked the code and released the key, we moved onto “The luck challenge”, which is exactly that – luck. It leaves it all up to chance.

Completing each challenge earns one of the three keys you need to release your teammate and if found in time you can stop the timer and free them.

What we loved:

As I said we loved the fast pace and excitement that this game brought to our home. It was a lot of fun to play together and the kids were ever so giddy as they tried to get the keys! We liked how it tested their brains with puzzles, required team work and some level of energy, and we liked how it tested their motor skills too.

It’s great that the skill challenge offers players different levels of difficulty, enabling this game to grow with the kids and offer many many more moments of fun and spy missions!

What we didn’t like so much:

The only think I am not so keen about is that it is a little bit plasticy for me! This is obviously purely a personal thing, but I do worry it could easily get broken if the kids are too heavy handed in their state of urgency to free their sibling/parent/friend. It also requires batteries (2xAAA), so don’t forget these!

Operation: Escape Room is available now from Smyths Toy Store. It is £19.99 and also available for home delivery (how convenient). It would be a great gift for Christmas, a child’s birthday, or just for the fun of it on a rainy day, to keep the kids busy and having fun! It was a lot of fun and we look forward to sharing it with friends and cousins, and having many more family laughs with it too. There are so many ways to play and I think one evening I may even get them dressed up as spys, and bring out our imagination and role play skills as well as the teamwork and problem solving that this game requires.

Thank you Smyths / Spy Code for this new and fun addition to our family game cupboard!

*We were sent this game for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and pictures are our own. 

 

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Almost every weekend Megan asks us if we can go out to Wetherspoons for Breakfast. She loves eating out for breakfast and especially loves the sheer size of a brekkie she can get there (because its so cheap!).And so this Saturday, after they had both completely cleaned their rooms, we decided to reward them by taking them out for a big Breakfast at our local Wetherspoons.

It was a pretty nuts experience (as is usual with our nutty kids), and whilst they were mostly better behaved than they usually are when we eat out, it was still an exhausting experience that I wouldn’t want to repeat any time soon! Aside from that and a country walk following, this week has been rather casual and uneventful (but filled with some lovely ordinary moments that have made me smile)!

Grateful For

This week I am grateful for my children! Whilst we have these really nutty experiences where I wonder who these monkey’s are that I have birthed, we also have moments where I look at them all playing or being lovely and I am glad that I am a mother to such a lovely brood of kids! I am grateful they cleaned their rooms this week, that Ethan has taken to kissing me goodnight every evening (whilst asking me how I am), and I am grateful they have each other to play with, be friends with, and have ultimate sibling adventures with!

I am grateful for an overall lovely weekend with the 3 of them.

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at getting the kids to clean their rooms – they look so nice now and I haven’t stood on lego in 2 days (winning!).

Found Beauty In 

The most beautiful part of the week was out lovely countryside walk on Saturday afternoon! We took a short walk in the wolds, and with the sun shining, fresh air and clear views, it was most lovely! We are very fortunate to live in this part of the country and I love that these stunning (family friendly) country walks are so accessible to us whenever it takes our fancy!

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