Review: The New Theatre Restaurant

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My family and I love going to the theatre, watching plays, and becoming immersed in the excitement of a good show. When we found out about Funny Money playing at The New Theatre Restaurant, we knew we absolutely had to check it out. 
The New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas is one of the most fantastic dinner theatres I’ve ever been to. Our entire experience was very positive and enjoyable, and I can’t wait to go back in the future.
The restaurant is conveniently located and easy to find. There’s plenty of parking and the restaurant is easy to access. I hate having to fight for parking spots, so I appreciated that there was so much parking available. Even better? It’s free. Again, for some patrons, this might be a given, but I’ve been to many places where there are hidden fees, and I really appreciated that there weren’t any at the New Theatre.
Once inside, we were shown to our table. We had great seats, although to be fair, I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house. The view to the stage was clear and the seating was roomy and comfortable. The chairs have wheels, which makes moving around very, very easy and simple. 

Another thing I loved about visiting the restaurant is that there was a card welcoming us on the table. It’s a simple touch, but it made us feel so comfortable and at home. We also received programs for the play we were about to see.

As soon as we were seated, our server arrived to take our drink order and bring us salads and bread. At the New Theatre Restaurant, drinks and desserts are offered at an extra fee, but ice water is free. You’ll also be provided with lemons and limes if you like those. There were an assortment of reasonably priced cocktails, as well, and they kept with the theme of the play, which was really interesting.

By the time we finished our salads, the buffet was open and we were able to go get our meals. If you’ve ever been to a dinner theatre before, you know that sometimes the food can be hit or miss. Well, at the New Theatre Restaurant, it’s a hit. It was all a hit. There were cooked vegetables and several types of meats, as well as a huge assortment of breads, pastas, and more. My husband loved the chicken he got, while I really enjoyed the steak and sauce.

The restaurant atmosphere was so relaxed and wonderful. We had a fantastic time chatting while we had dinner, and our server was really attentive and on top of things.

Speaking of servers, there’s a small note on the back of the “welcome” card that explains if you aren’t sure what to tip, $4.00 per person is suggested. I love this. I absolutely love that there was a specific amount listed to offer as a tip. I’ve found that many people, especially people who don’t go to special events a lot, aren’t always sure what to tip. Being specific ensures the waiters receive what’s fair and that patrons have a chance to give more for great service if they want to, and the service was great!

When we finished dinner, we had a chance to order dessert and more drinks if we needed them. Then it was time for the show to begin. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was completely thrilled with what happened next.

First off, let me just say that the atmosphere at the New Theatre Restaurant is really what did it for me. As each actor came onto the stage, the crowd applauded. I loved this. I love how happy and content everyone was. The entire crowd was in a great mood and everyone was very excited to be there. This really added to the ambiance of the show.

Jim O’Heir is one of my favorite actors. Ever since I saw him on Parks and Rec, he’s been someone who fascinated me. Did you know that right now, he’s playing at The New Theatre Restaurant? I didn’t know this, either! He’s the star of the show, but the entire cast is absolutely incredible. I don’t want to spoil the play for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but I will say that the entire performance was incredible. You’ll truly be sucked into the play and find yourself laughing and cheering for your favorite characters.
If you’d like to visit the New Theatre Restaurant, now’s the time to go. Seriously. Just go. Funny Money  will be playing until February 11th, so you still have plenty of time to check it out. For hours, tickets, and more information, visit the New Theatre Restaurant’s website here.  You’ll find all of the information you need to make your visit as fantastic as it can possibly be. 
Have you ever been to the a dinner theatre? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Shedding The Mental Struggle Of Hive-Living

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

One tidbit of wisdom which all interested in outdoor living understand – living in the hive can be bad for your health. The biggest cities often draw the zaniest and most odd characters. It’s not hard to understand why. Large cities, particularly the mega-cities which are fairly recent developments, seem to foster a sense of mental displacements. The environment is very artificial, so it’s not hard to see why. Sometimes, withdrawing from all of that difficulty is something you absolutely need, as a fundamental aspect of healing your soul.

We’re not trying to disparage the good work done in cities, or the great people who live in them. However, we are critical of those who feel that inner city living is perfectly fine and naturally in a long-term perspective. Nothing will ever be as healing for our human spirit and psyche than a long sting in the forest or wood. Recalibrating to the natural creative power from which you come can heal even the most chaotic of hearts.

If you find yourself struggling, or simply need a break which works for you, you might consider a long hike or camping stint in the woods. We have detailed the benefits of doing so below. Sometimes, survival preparation is as important as restoring your own mind to the natural pace of life.

No Mirrors

Mirrors are great inventions. They help us manage our appearance, staying attractive to those we hope to attract. They let us know if we have any misplaced food on our lip, or if we mishandled our shaving process in the morning, leaving half our moustache intact. However, it can become an almost obsession to keep looking in the mirror throughout the day, rectifying your appearance as you see a flaw.

This leads to a constant state of tension and worry. If you head to the woods and neglect bringing any mirrors with you, you’ll notice something wonderful. Not only do you forget about your appearance, but you become more connected to yourself and your present experience. You become more able to show your real personality, as opposed to one you’re carefully curating throughout the day. This can be revolutionary for mental health, as peace of mind is improved when you’re neglecting to focus on your flaws.

Good Survival Practice

You might be a newcomer to this blog. If you understand the benefits of preparing or having a modicum of survival knowledge, you’re in the right place. However, you can’t expect to jump in the deep end, surviving in the Amazon for months at a time. It’s good to start slow. If you’ve lived in a city for the majority of your life, some concepts might be completely new to you. Connecting with your raw human ability to survive surely helps you connect with the inner knowledge of our species.

You’ll feel a primal sense of achievement after building a shelter, or starting a fire for the first time. This time will also serve as a great opportunity to build a bug out bag. This rugged approach to task achievement feels much more satisfying than working with accounts all day, or facing a customer service role. It’s likely that the experience of the outdoors will give you a desire to work in the forest more and more, and get out of the hive as often as you can.

Living away from the hive for a time can give you a real revolution in your internal thinking, and improve your mental matters to no end. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

The post Shedding The Mental Struggle Of Hive-Living appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Stealth camping in the city

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Most of the people I know of who live in their vans or other vehicles are travelers, they camp, they don’t tend to live in the city, not so for Jay, he lives in a retired U-Haul truck with his cat and a great dane! Yes, I said a great dane, as large as those tend to be, it’s apparently not too big for this conversion.

I like how Jay did his conversion, he kept everything very simple, which kept the weight as well as the cost at a minimum. Though the weight was much less of a factor since he used a commercial moving van as the base, it’s meant to carry a lot more weight than standard build vehicles.

I have always thought that U-Haul moving trucks would make a great camper van, they have plenty of power, they have lots of space, the kind of space you can use to create your own personalized living space. The other nice thing about the U-Haul (commercial style) trucks are they are inconspicuous, you will not draw much attention, especially if it’s painted white, it will blend in with any other commercial vehicle in the city.

Jay does in fact use his van as a delivery vehicle, so he is actually driving it around town, he left a space between the back roll up door and the inner wall/door so that he can place the items he delivers without showing that he is actually living inside his vehicle, and when he’s not using it in town, ie in a safer place, he can leave the roll up door open and use that space as a porch.

I was a bit surprised to find that Jay needs 2 air conditioners to keep the box cool, mainly for his animals, but only during the hottest part of summer, I wonder if he could add any more insulation, especially to the roof area, that might help keep the box from overheating and help keep in the cool air.

Watch and enjoy, let me know if this is something you would like to do, I’d be curious to know how you would implement this.


The post Stealth camping in the city appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Prepping your kids for a year abroad

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After a day of traveling, my son was ready to crash anywhere we’d let him. No, he’s not asleep on the suitcases, but he fell asleep shortly after on a bench in the food court. He’s also slept on the bus, in a taxi, and in a hospital emergency room. He’s slept on a bench and a chair and in my lap. He’s even slept on a train.

Such is the life of an expat kid.

Living abroad is one of those things a lot of people want to do, but most people choose not to. I’m not judging or complaining. I don’t think most people should live abroad. Unless you’re really interested in learning about another culture and fully immersing yourself in it, you should just travel and visit and have your home base and have fun.

You should do what works for you.

But if you do want to live abroad and spend more time overseas than a two-week trip affords you, you can do it even if you have kids. Lots of families do, mine included, and here’s how you get your kids ready for that.

1. Don’t blindside them
“Hey, we’re selling all of our stuff and moving to a country where you don’t speak the language, so be in ready in 10, k?” isn’t the way to inform your kids what’s happening. Now, depending on the ages of your kids, maybe you want to have a discussion about whether or not this is the right choice for your family, and you’ll have to decide about that. My kids were 6 and 8 when we left and had no choice in the matter. It would have been easy for them to feel helpless, so we spent a lot of time talking about what to expect, what things would stay the same, and what things would be an adjustment.

2. Start talking with your kids early
While it might be tempting to avoid talking with your kids until your plans are finalized, realize that sometimes things can happen really, really quickly. For example, my husband started applying for jobs a few days after graduation, had an interview the next week, and started work the next week. Had we waited until things were set in stone, we would literally have been giving our kids a moment’s notice. Start talking to them early so they can mentally prepare.

3. Focus on the positive
Asking, “Aren’t you going to miss your friends?” or “Are you sad we’re moving?” is counterproductive. Don’t ask negative questions when you’re planning to move. Instead, focus on the positive. For example, you could say things like, “We’re going to get to try so many new types of food!” or “We’re going to get to ride a train and an airplane.” My kids were personally excited about riding the bus, which we do almost every day. It still hasn’t gotten old. You don’t have to try to impress your kids super hard, but you should place an emphasis on the things that are going to be exciting and fun.

Have you lived abroad? How did you prepare your kids?

5 Simple Ways to Spend Less This Year

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Last year, we moved overseas. “Saving” didn’t happen. We actually thought we were doing well. We managed to sell or give away all of our stuff, bought plane tickets, and managed to have a little bit of savings in our bank accounts when we arrived in Taiwan.
Then we had to stay in a hotel longer than we expected.
Then my son got sick.
Then our insurance didn’t kick in (and still hasn’t).
One thing I’ve learned is that even if you can’t actively save a lot of money, you can reduce your expenses. There is almost always something you can do to minimize the amount you spend. Whether you try to reduce your expenses per week, per month, or per year is up to you. Both my husband and I get paid once a month, so for me, planning to save per month makes the most sense.
If you’re like me and want to save more money this year, here are five sure-fire ways you can reduce the amount of money you spend overall.
1) Cut out the big vacations
We all love traveling. There’s nothing quite as exciting as packing your back, jumping on a plane, and heading off for a world of adventure. Unfortunately, traveling is rarely cheap, and even if you find a cheap destination, multiplying the cost by four (or however big your family is) can make “affordable” become very, very, unaffordable. This year, consider cutting out your big family vacation. I’m not going to suggest you take a smaller, crappier trip. Instead, why not save and then next year, take a huge vacation?
2) Wait before you buy
You don’t need to buy that today. You probably don’t even need it this week. I think for many of us, the hardest part about saving money is that things tend to break. Maybe your microwave went out or your tablet died. Do you really need a new one today? Do you? Can you really not wait a week or two or five? Before you buy something new, ask yourself if you really need it. You might be surprised that while you’re dependent on things, you might not actually need them.

3) Cancel, cancel, cancel
Magazines, subscription boxes, cable, Netflix, whatever. Just cancel.
4) Stop trying to impress
If you’ve been spending money to impress your friends, you need to stop. You also need better friends, but that’s a post for another day. Whether you’ve been buying your kids piano lessons they hate or joining clubs you can’t afford, you need to just stop. The only person you need to impress is your spouse.

5) Consider your goals
The simplest way to save money, for me, has always been to focus on my goals. What do I want this year? What do I need? What do I hope for? Personally, I want to publish more books, help other moms learn to downsize, and help my kids improve their language abilities. I want to learn Chinese, finish a few novels, and explore my new city. Before I spend money, I ask if this is something that will help me with my goals. For example, will buying a new book help me become a better writer? Absolutely. It’s money well spent, at least for me. Will buying a new pair of jeans help me become better at speaking Chinese? Um, not so much. That’s probably something I don’t need right now.
Remember that no matter what your goals, hopes, and dreams are for this year, you can reach them! Most importantly, you can save money while you pursue your goals. You just have to be conscious and willing to make a few sacrifices along the way.

Prepping in the City: 5 Things You Need to Know

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I still can’t quite get used to city life.

I grew up outside of a small town, population 300. That was during a good year. A better description would be to tell you that there were about 8 houses within a mile radius of my family’s farm and that the nearest Wal-Mart was a 15-minute drive in the countryside.

Now, living in the center of a bustling city with over 2 million people, I’m still not used to the fact that I have to get fully dressed to go get the mail or that I have to think about more traffic than a tractor on the highway.

That said, even though I can’t grow my own food (!!!) or live off the grid right now, I still make sure my family is ready for anything life throws our way, whether it be a problem with the banks where we can’t get out cash or a more physically damaging problem, such as a typhoon or hurricane.

If you’re living in the city and you want to prep for the worst, here are a few things you need to know.

1. You’ll never be completely prepped
No matter how much food you store or how many blankets you have on hand, there will undoubtedly be something you need during an emergency situation that you don’t have. This could be something as little as tweezers or as major as medication. Understand that while prepping is important, so is learning to improvise.

2. Skills are just as important as stuff
Locksmithing, for example, is a skill that can come in handy. Learning how to can and store fruit is something that could benefit you. First aid skills, building skills, and gardening skills are all must-haves during emergencies. What skills do you have? While stocking up on food is important, so is learning how to perform tasks you might encounter during a survival situation.

3. Don’t count on your neighbors
We all have people in our community we know and like. Maybe you’re hello-good-morning buddies with the guy who lives next door or you sometimes go jogging with the lady downstairs. This doesn’t mean you’ll be able to count on your neighbors during an emergency. Unfortunately, you may find that your neighbors come over to ask for food or supplies, yet aren’t willing to help you in return. Because of this, it’s a good idea to be cautious about who share your prepping habits with.

4. Water, water, and more water
Keep lots of water on hand. Seriously. Tons of water. You won’t just be drinking it, especially if you live in an apartment building. You may not have running water, which means you’ll need water for showering, flushing the toilet, and cleaning.

5. Have more than you think you’ll need
Finally, always keep more food on hand than you’ll need for the actual storm or emergency. If you experience a serious disaster, you may find that it’s impossible for the delivery trucks to resume regular deliveries for awhile. This means you won’t be able to head to your local grocery store to get fresh food after the disaster. Try to have enough food and supplies to last you for the actual storm, as well as for a few days or a week after. A lot of preppers have a year’s worth of supplies on hand, but this isn’t always possible in an apartment. If you can plan for a week, that’s great. A month is even better.

Are you a city prepper? What must-knows would you add to this list?

Guest Post: Prepping With Neighbors

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I’d like to thank Dave from Prepping Plans for being a guest poster today at The Nerdy Survivalist. Check out what Dave has to say about prepping with the people around you! Dave is also the author of Prepping for Pennies on the Dollar, which I will be reviewing next week sometime. 

Surviving Together with Your Neighbors

One of the biggest concerns for preppers is keeping their plans secret. But, no matter how good your OPSEC is, chances are, there are people who are going to know what you are up to. Friends, family members and even your neighbors will see signs of what you are doing. To the curious, that will be enough to cause them to figure it out.

Even if your OPSEC is perfect and people don’t figure out that you’re prepping, how well do you think you’ll be able to keep the secret from your neighbors, when they’re starving and you’re not? It’s one thing to keep the secret while you’re prepping; but it’s something totally different to keep it when things go to pot and you find yourself in a survival situation. People are eventually going to figure out that you’re better off than they are, and when they do, they’ll probably come knocking on your door.

This puts you in a difficult situation, one that most preppers try to avoid facing. What do you do when those people start knocking on your door? Do you feed them and then not have enough for your own family or do you tell them you can’t help them and gain their animosity? Are you risking attack by not helping them?

I’d like to propose a third alternative to you, that of co-opting your neighbors and making them part of your neighborhood survival team. This is easiest if you can do it ahead of time, turning them into preppers too. But the reality is that you probably won’t be able to do that. Most won’t want to listen.

So, that leaves co-opting them after the disaster hits, a much easier and more costly move. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The thing is, you’re either going to end up working with your neighbors or end up fighting with them. So, you may as well try to work with them.

Organize Your Neighborhood

When a disaster hits, most of your neighbors are going to be wandering around, wondering what happened. Everyone will be looking for answers and nobody is going to have any. Some of them will be expecting the government to step in to help, but you and I know how poor the government’s track record of that is. People will be looking for leadership and if the government doesn’t give it to them, someone else will need to.

That’s where you can step in. Organize a neighborhood meeting and get everyone together to talk about what has happened. Tell them what you know about what has happened and what you know about what has to be done. Don’t be a fear monger, but paint as clear a picture as you can. Some of your neighbors won’t want to accept what you say, but others will. Start with those.

Organize the families that you have, so that you can help each other out. Find out what skills people have, so that those skills can be put to use. Avoid the subject of what resources they have, because you can’t honestly ask that while hiding what you have stockpiled. Remember, you’re going to accomplish much more working together, than you can accomplish separately.

Be willing to offer your expertise to the community effort. You’re probably the only one who has taken the time to learn survival skills. Fine, those skills are valuable. Your willingness to contribute them to the neighborhood is worth something and everyone else should recognize that. If they don’t, you can simply back off and not help them out.

The Food Issue

The biggest issue you’re going to encounter is coming up with enough food to feed everyone. Somebody is going to have the idea of pooling resources; probably some liberal who doesn’t have anything in their home. But if you try to feed your neighbors, like you’re feeding your family, you’re going to need some major food stocks on hand. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t feed them at all. That’s actually the one thing they are going to be expecting from you, more than anything else.

So, stock up on rice and beans. Compared to other food items, those are cheap. Then, when they come around asking for food, you have something to give them. They don’t have to know that your family is eating better than that; all they need to know is that you’re giving them something to eat. In addition to rice and beans, you should also stock up on heirloom seeds. Don’t just buy enough for your needs; buy enough to get your neighbors’ gardens going as well. If you can get everyone in your neighborhood growing food, you’re going to be much more successful in feeding everyone; and you won’t have to use your food stocks to do it.

The Water Issue

Right alongside food, there’s the issue of water. We all know that it take a gallon of clean water per person per day to cover drinking and cooking needs. If your city’s water goes down, you’re all going to need water. Since you’re the neighborhood prepper, you’re the one who knows what water sources are available.

This is another place where you can help our your neighborhood, putting them in debt to you. Organize water hauling teams to get water from your local river or lake. Your contribution to this will be in filtering the water; that saves you from having to haul water. For every gallon of water that you purify for someone else, they have to give you two gallons for your use.

Of course, not all the water they need will have to be purified, just the water for drinking and cooking. The water they use for cleaning can be normal river water. They may complain about that at first, but they’ll quickly get used to it.

What Do You Get Out of This?

You might be wondering why you should go through all this effort for your neighbors. You could stay in your home, eating your stockpile and ignore their plight. That’s true, but there is some risk involved in doing so. Your neighbors may just decide to organize without you and come to take what you have. That won’t help you any and may end up as a tragedy for everyone concerned.

However, if you help out your neighbors, organizing them and offering your skills to them, you can get something out of it. First of all, you will become the natural leader of your neighborhood. That’s more of a responsibility than a blessing, but it can work into being a blessing. On top of that, there are two areas where your neighbors can truly help you out:
· Mutual defense
· Manual labor

Those two areas will make your survival all that much easier; and there will probably be people in your neighborhood who will have useful skills that you don’t have, which can help you to survive as well. Like anything else that’s a team effort, working together with your neighbors to survive, even if they aren’t preppers, will ultimately help everyone out.

Those two areas will make your survival all that much easier; and there will probably be people in your neighborhood who will have useful skills that you don’t have, which can help you to survive as well. Like anything else that’s a team effort, working together with your neighbors to survive, even if they aren’t preppers, will ultimately help everyone out. 

Dave is a 52 year old survivalist; father of three; with over 30 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he’s grey-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn’t dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. You can learn more about Dave on his site,