Planning Your Summer Trip to New Jersey: Things To Do and Tips to Keep You Safe

Planning Your Summer Trip to New Jersey: Things To Do and Tips to Keep You Safe

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Photo Courtesy: Stacey Jal

Planning a summer trip out East this summer? Don’t forget to check out the “Garden State.”
Although New Jersey is the fourth smallest state in the U.S., it’s not small on things to do and see. Check out our recommendations for things to check out this summer, as well as a few safety tips to consider while traveling.

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Photo Credit: Lizzy M.

Battleship Brewfest

Hosted by the New Jersey Brewers Association, Battleship Brewfest is celebrating its 23rd
anniversary this summer. Buy tickets to the festival and you can sample craft beer from New
Jersey breweries, and get an up-close and personal look at Battleship New Jersey. Enjoy live
music, food vendors, and support your favorite craft brewer!

Fourth of July Celebrations

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Photo Credit: Mike D.

Wherever you end up in New Jersey, you’re likely to find a celebration on or around the 4th of
July. Oceanfest in Long Branch is a popular event for both tourists and locals alike or head to
Keansburg Amusement Park for their Independence Day celebration.
If you’re unable to visit New Jersey until after the 4th, but want to catch a fireworks show,
Tropicana in Atlantic City has a fireworks show every Saturday night until September.

Rugged Maniac

Who says kids are the only ones who can have outdoor fun this summer? Rugged Maniac is an
event in Englishtown that’s just for adults. Take part in getting through over 25 obstacle courses
(that’s three miles long) and celebrate your success (or failure) with beer and music. If you’re
interested in this popular summer event, it’s important to sign up ahead of time to secure
yourself a spot.

Visit a New Jersey Jackals Game

Summertime is the perfect time to catch a baseball game and the professional baseball team,
New Jersey Jackals plays most of their summers games at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair.
Check out the full schedule here.

Other Places To Check Out

Whether you are a history buff, a fan of Springsteen, or just want to enjoy a day at the beach, here are other places worth visiting when traveling to New Jersey:

  • Asbury Park
  • Atlantic City
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
  • Morey’s Piers
  • Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area
  • Jersey Shore
  • Sahara Sam’s Water Park

We have a plethora of Lakes and Beaches to visit as well, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.

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Photo Credit: Asad M.

Tips to Consider While Traveling

Whether you’re heading to New Jersey on a road trip or in a rental from the airport, driving may
be your biggest challenge. The Jersey Turnpike is notorious for being fast and aggressive, so
it’s important to pay attention. If you can’t keep up with the speed of traffic, you better stay in the
right lane.
Many New Jersey residents recommend learning how to drive on a jug handle (which is a type
of ramp). No one expects out-of-towners to be expert New Jersey drivers, but if you stay alert,
focused, and eliminate all distractions, your risk of an accident is low.
If you’re planning to drink alcohol at any event, designate a sober driver, or use a rideshare
service. Nothing ruins a summer trip more than a DUI or an accident.

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Photo Credit: Mike D.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

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Free Six Flags Great Adventure Ticket

Per Six Flags communication;

Six Flags Great Adventure
Jackson, New Jersey
Kingda Ka

Donate Blood, Save Three Lives!

On Sunday, May 7 the Central Jersey Blood Center will host a blood drive in Six Flags Great Adventure’s Employment Center parking lot from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. Each donor will receive one theme park ticket valid for Six Flags Great Adventure.

To access the Employment Center, drive 1/4 mile past the park’s main entrance on Route 537 West. Make a left into the park’s service entrance.

Blood supplies are typically low in the summer months and one donation can save up to three lives!

For the best possible donation experience, appointments are strongly encouraged. Walk-in donors will be placed into empty appointment times on the schedule.

Sign up here or call 888-71-BLOOD for an appointment.

 

For future dates and events check below:

 

The Piki Piki Bike

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This past week I had the opportunity to visit the 2017 NY Toy Fair in Manhattan. I loved seeing all of the new toys out for kids off all ages, especially the toys that I know my boys will love.

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One toy that caught my eye was The Piki Piki Bike. The number one reason is because in a world of bye age technology, and everything so complicated and gagetized, it is so simple. You just unbox it, and go. No instructions needed.

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I’m excited I was able to take one home from the show to review for you all and with such perfect weather this week, we rushed out of the house to give it a try.

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My 4 year old isn’t quite getting the concept of tricycle pedals when he is on flat ground, and cannot seem to propell himself forward enough to keep up during our walks, so this was amazing for him to be able to ride along side his brother who was using his scooter. It’s such a simple ride on motorcycle, you “flintstone it” with your feet and the front wheel you steer with your hands using the handle bars.

Here is what the creator of the bike has to say!

Growing up in South Africa, we played on our Piki Piki bikes all the time.

(Piki Piki is a Swahili word for “motorcycle.”)

When we came to the United States with two toddlers of our own, we couldn’t find anything like our favorite toy back home, so we decided to start making our own Piki Piki bikes right here in the USA.

Lightweight and durable, the Piki Piki Bike is the perfect first bike for smaller children who are not yet ready for tricycles, pedal bikes, or heavier balance bikes.

Our patented, three wheel design makes Piki Piki stable and easy to ride, giving toddlers (and bigger kids) a fun way to build coordination and confidence at the same time.

Plus, with Piki Piki bikes, there’s no assembly required. Just open the box and let the adventures begin!

I couldn’t agree more at the ease of this bike. It teaches the child coordination by allowing them to steer while pushing themselves forward. It’s like the big red cozy coupe we all know and love, but in motor cycle form!

We did not have a chance to put the decals on it yet since we literally ripped it out of the box and went, but we’ll be putting them on it soon so that we get the real feel.

It comes in 3 different colors, blue (as shown), red, and pink. They retail for $69.95 and can be purchased right now on Amazon with free shipping!

Features

  • FOR AGES 18 MONTHS AND UP – Perfect for both toddlers and bigger kids who are always looking for their next adventure.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – Just 5.5 lbs/2.5kg, making it easy for toddlers to maneuver, and even easier for parents to carry.
  • NO ASSEMBLY, INSTRUCTION, OR BATTERIES REQUIRED – Just open the box and your little one will be ready to ride!
  • EASY TO STEER – The Piki Piki Bike steers like a regular bike, building confidence and coordination at the same time.
  • DURABLE – High quality construction from high impact plastic means the Piki Piki is built to last. Weight limit: up to 70 lbs/32 kg.

Continuous adult supervision required. Maximum weight is 70lbs.

Manufacturer recommends child wears age appropriate safety helmet with chinstrap securely buckled.

This bike was created by a husband and wife… Parents just like you and I. I love supporting smaller businesses and  especially when the product is such a home run! Help spread the word!

 

Have you tried this bike? If so, let me know what you think!

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*I received this product in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

NJ – Are you ready for the ‘American Dream’?

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New Jersey are you ready to be home to The American Dream? Mall that is. It’s the long awaited monstrous mall that was once called ‘Xanadu’. That project was stalled due to funding, but the vision was always there and that vision, renamed ‘The American Dream Mall’ will call East Rutherford, NJ home!

It’s set to open Summer of 2017 and will be home to some of the most extravagant destinations such as Nickelodeon Universe. Although we will not be the first in the country to get this theme park, we certainly welcome it with open arms.

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Via visitstpaul.com

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When you envision The American Dream Mall, think of the mall of America times 2, plus the Pocono Mountains, plus 6 flags all wrapped into one. Something for everyone

The Indoor skiing slopes will be the first if it’s kind in NJ with realistic slopes and ski lifts.

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Here is a glimpse into just some of what it is expected to be;

Hotels Tonight App w/ $25 off Coupon Code

Looking for that last Summer trip before school starts back up? Save $25 on your next hotel stay by booking on Hotel Tonight with coupon code CKJUSTFORMOMS. It’s a free app available for android and apple. JUST CLICK “apply promotion” in the app.

Want to get away but not sure where to go? Or do you need a last minute hotel? Lucky for you, the more last minute you book with Hotel Tonight, the more discount you’ll get!

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Booking a hotel? Use coupon code CKJUSTFORMOMS to get $25 off of your booking!

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Check out the hot places to go local to you and find the staycation you’ve been wanting!

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Happy travels!

Disney World trip with the 2016 Mazda CX-5

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This year, we were fortunate enough to be able to take the kids to their first Disney World trip in Florida. I worked with Drive Shop to test out the 2016 Mazda CX-5 for the week while there because we needed something reliable. It definitely did not disappoint!

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The color was excellent for the extreme heat. Glacier White with light beige interior. Perfect to keep the car cool when the sun is beaming down.

 

This crossover SUV fits 5 comfortably and had such a smooth ride. The stylish exterior and interior made driving it around south Florida so much fun. We stayed in Palm Bay which is more on the east coast and had to travel an hour and a half to Disney World in Orlando. The SkyActive technology by Mazda made the gas last the entire week even with the long trips.

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The cruise control came in handy during the long trip on the same road and it had a feature I’ve never seen before. It was a car length sensor that you can set the cruise control to keep the car one, two, or three car lengths behind the car in front of you.

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The center console is where the radio controls are as well as the volume and mute. This system has no power off button, only mute. The large center button is a toggle button. It controls the LCD panel for everything. You can also use the touch screen feature, but when driving the center button is easier to navigate everything.

There is a “sport” button that allows you to easily flip the car into sport mode if you’re on the highway and want to feel some extra “umf”!

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The number one thing is it got us to and from Disney safely! There was a little rain storm on the way there and it drove great in it. One of the best features is when I had to use the brights, it has an “auto” sensor when on the auto feature. This allowed the car to automatically turn the high beams off when there was a vehicle coming, and back on when it passed. I haven’t seen that function on any other vehicle yet.

We had a blast at Disney World and a big thank you to Mazda and DriveShop for providing this vehicle for our travels around south Florida!

 

Fudgy Oreo Brownies

I have a meeting at work and wanted to bring something to munch on and well, make sure it runs smoothly since I’m a facilitator. Nobody has a bad time when their face is full of fudgy brownies… But I wanted to make sure. I decided to add Oreos to this batch because I love oreos and they bake well inside of other baked goods.

I simply used a box mix, the Pillsbury Fudge Brownie mix in family size 13×9. Make per directions and then add a layer to the pan, then oreos, then finish with anther later of batter on top. You can crush them or add them whole, but I prefer them whole so you get the full effect.

Make sure to leave them in until just before done. They continue to cook when first removed and you don’t want hard brownies. I did my 13×9 Pyrex at 350° for 28 minutes.

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Blogger Bash 2016

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Blogger Bash 2016 kicked off this this last week, Just 13th & 14th. What exactly is Blogger Bash? Basically just what it sounds like. An event where bloggers an vloggers. new and old, come together to see the new technology and products that brands have to offer. This is packed into 2 fun filled days, literally PACKED days with an Agenda filling pages not just 1 page.

As you may remember, I posted from last year, and we had a blast there! Last year it was at one of the NYC Piers, and it was in a large area inside. This year it was on a huge Yacht!

Being on the Yacht in NYC on the Hudson brought something special… besides motion sickness lol! It was beautiful to be able to navigate the levels of the ship (there were 4 if you include the top deck!) Each level was themed out each day, and day 1 was Sweet Suite.

This is one even I cannot miss! Having young boys, and with Christmas less then 6 months away, I need to know the latest and greatest coming out. Funny to say, I actually enjoy it myself, playing with the toys and learning about the latest technology. Did you know they have 3D drawing tools for children? Me neither until sweet suite. Of course now I’m on a mission to add these to the list of toys Santa will be bringing this year so that I can play with it too LOL!

My sister and I got there a couple hours after it started, but we were pleasantly surprised that everything was still in full swing. It was much simpler then I thought getting there, we took the Train from NJ, and were able to walk from Penn Station to the Pier 81 Yacht in just a half our. We got a great workout too and ahem… were able to play Pokemon since it’s all the craze (hint, you HAVE to check out all of the Pokestops in Time Square!)

After Sweet Suite, we went back home, and were ready to get some sleep before making the trip all over again the next day. Day 2 we were in for a real treat! Each level, once again was themed out. There were time slots in which the rooms were switched, and they included Kate & Mim Mim hosted breakfast, complete with character setup and behind the scenes information. We didn’t make the breakfast, but it seemed fantastic!

There was Baby Palooza set up, which I am sad to have missed also, but since I don’t have any infants, I wasn’t in a rush to make it there. It looked like it was super brand packed this year thought with brands likes 4Moms at the top of the list. I opted to get right into talking to the brands since that’s the biggest bang for my buck. Having all of these brands in the same space, just tables apart was the icing on the cake (did I mention talking to them while I literally ate cake? hint hint, Sprinkles cupcakes were one of the brands and OMG that Red Velvet, I’m Drooling now). My  favorite brands that I got to chat with were Kohler, did you know that they have a toilet that basically runs itself? No touch, not nothing… Not even wiping if you don’t want to lol. Coming from a  Home Depot background, I thought the new innovative technology they have is just awesome. The price point is not unfortunatly… There was Little Bites, Entemanns, Picture Keepers, Sprinkles Cupcakes, of course Hasbro – YES this was a favorite with the new Pie Face Dual coming out this year! There were brands nothing to do with toys, just brands brands brands! It was so overwhelming that I couldn’t get to visit every stand, 3 levels of brands there had to be over 500! Taking cards and giving cards, making brand connections and friendships with PR’s.

Peanuts hosted the lunch like they did last year. They have a brand new cartoon series on Cartoon Network keeping Snoopy and the gang relevant. They gave such cute SWAG bags that included Snoopy figurines that my 4 year old went nuts for when I got home. The lunch was amazing, Salmon, Chicken Marsala, an amazing sides. Mimosas on deck, literally!

To end things before I had to leave, Snooki and Jwow did an appearance and interview and I had front row seats. I’ve always watched them since the Jersey shore days (no judgement please!) an it was awesome to see them in person. Snooki is much smaller then I imagined!

If you have the chance to get a Blogger Bash 2017 ticket, my advice.. DO IT!

 

Drowning Does Not Look Like Drowning

Drowning Does Not Look Like Drowning

Help needed. Drowning man's hand in sea or ocean.

Help needed. Drowning man’s hand in sea or ocean.

Their signs were motionless and void of any struggling or screaming. They just simply passed out.
Via itsTactical regarding instinctive drowning responses

We think we know it all too well. The common signs of someone drowning, flailing around, screaming for help. The movies portray it as such a stressful situation for all involved, including onlookers cheering on lifeguards who are rushing to save victims. But what if I told you drowning is actually silent in most cases? That there is absolutely no muscle movement involved, and the victim will usually pass out underwater before anyone even realizes they’re under…

The sad fact is that the leading cause of death or severe injury in children ages 1-4 years old is drowning. And more then half of these drownings take place in plain site, while adults are present.

It scares me to death knowing that my almost 4 year old thinks he can “swim” and has said it many times. He thinks because I allow him to float in a life jacket at public aquatic centers that he can just dive in on his own. I’ve had the discussion with him so many times that he can never swim without mommy but I am still unsure if it is hitting home. I am sure I’m not alone. We want to empower our children to learn to swim, but at the same time, we need to make sure they know the dangers of the water and when it is safe.

My now 8 year old son had taken swim lessons when he was 5 and 6 years old because he had a slight fear of water. He overcame his fear of the water, but he didn’t catch on to the technique as well as I’d hoped. He’s on the short side, and not able to touch the bottom of standard 3ft deep pools without his nose still hitting the water, so it is still difficult for him.I let him swim with friends in a family members pool as long as he is wearing his tube so that he doesn’t go under. It is still clear in my mind that even with that tube securely around his waist, I took my eye off of him for just a moment, turned back around, and another child in the pool was screaming that he went under. My heart dropped and everything went silent. I couldn’t see my son in the above ground pool he was just swimming in with the other children, and there was a boat tube flipped upside down. Without thinking, I jumped down the flight of stairs and over the side of the 4ft pool in my sun dress.Heart pounding, I pulled my son up to get air. Luckily, there was another child in there who was aware my son had gone under, and I was able to act quickly. But I cannot stop thinking,  “what if he wasn’t there to yell to me”?

I didn’t hear my son go under the water. He didn’t flail, or come up screaming. In fact, he was trapped under a raft that was floating in the pool and his safety tube had flipped him upside down. I can’t stop thinking about what could have happened and what I have unfortunately seen happen to children of others. Luckily by son was okay. Shaken up, but he was okay and I think he learned a water safety lesson that day.

I just want for all others out there to realize that drowning is not always like the movies. That these water safety devices like tubes,rafts, and swimmies are never to replace adult supervision and to be aware of the REAL signs of drowning and what to do it if occurs. Make sure any other children going into a pool or body of water with others understand it’s their duty to alert others of anything in the pool such as another child going under.

Be aware, drowning doesn’t look like drowning.

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

 

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Their signs were motionless and void of any struggling or screaming. They just simply passed out.
Via itsTactical regarding instinctive drowning responses

We think we know it all too well. The common signs of someone drowning, flailing around, screaming for help. The movies portray it as such a stressful situation for all involved, including onlookers cheering on lifeguards who are rushing to save victims. But what if I told you drowning is actually silent in most cases? That there is absolutely no muscle movement involved, and the victim will usually pass out underwater before anyone even realizes they’re under…

The sad fact is that the leading cause of death or severe injury in children ages 1-4 years old is drowning. And more then half of these drownings take place in plain site, while adults are present.

It scares me to death knowing that my almost 4 year old thinks he can “swim” and has said it many times. He thinks because I allow him to float in a life jacket at public aquatic centers that he can just dive in on his own. I’ve had the discussion with him so many times that he can never swim without mommy but I am still unsure if it is hitting home. I am sure I’m not alone. We want to empower our children to learn to swim, but at the same time, we need to make sure they know the dangers of the water and when it is safe.

My now 8 year old son had taken swim lessons when he was 5 and 6 years old because he had a slight fear of water. He overcame his fear of the water, but he didn’t catch on to the technique as well as I’d hoped. He’s on the short side, and not able to touch the bottom of standard 3ft deep pools without his nose still hitting the water, so it is still difficult for him.I let him swim with friends in a family members pool as long as he is wearing his tube so that he doesn’t go under. It is still clear in my mind that even with that tube securely around his waist, I took my eye off of him for just a moment, turned back around, and another child in the pool was screaming that he went under. My heart dropped and everything went silent. I couldn’t see my son in the above ground pool he was just swimming in with the other children, and there was a boat tube flipped upside down. Without thinking, I jumped down the flight of stairs and over the side of the 4ft pool in my dun dress.Heart pounding, I pulled my son up to get air. Luckily, there was another child in there who was aware my son had gone under, and I was able to act quickly. But I cannot stop thinking,  “what if he wasn’t there to yell to me”?

I didn’t hear my son go under the water. He didn’t flail, or come up screaming. In fact, he was trapped under a raft that was floating in the pool and his safety tube had flipped him upside down. I can’t stop thinking about what could have happened and what I have unfortunately seen happen to children of others. Luckily by son was okay. Shaken up, but he was okay and I think he learned a water safety lesson that day.

I just want for all others out there to realize that drowning is not always like the movies. That these water safety devices like tubes,rafts, and swimmies are never to replace adult supervision and to be aware of the REAL signs of drowning and what to do it if occurs. Make sure any other children going into a pool or body of water with others understand it’s their duty to alert others of anything in the pool such as another child going under.

Be aware, drowning doesn’t look like drowning.