I live in New Jersey

NJ Renaissance Faire and my first zipline!

This weekend, WM and I headed north to Liberty Lake Day Camp in Bordentown to attend our third New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

This gorgeous and majestic creature is “Sir Angus.” And his horse.



If you live anywhere in NJ and have yet to visit the New Jersey Renaissance Faire, please go give it a try. And you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, Kim. We go to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire every year and it’s huge and amazing!” I know! It is! We go too.

But the NJ one only runs for 3 weekends a year, and it will charm the pants/kilts/pantaloons off of you. It’s smaller, but because of that it’s easier to see everything and catch more performances. It’s more immersive – there are dozens and dozens of costumed staff members along the pathways who will interact with you, if you’d like. It’s less commercial.

For those 3 weekends out of every year, Liberty Lake Camp is transformed into English village of Crossford. What makes Crossford different than your average Shire is that it’s located on some sort of time wormhole that brings different historical personalities there each year. This year Italy’s Borgias made a visit. Last year it was Brunhilde and Vikings, the year before it was Blackbeard, etc.

This gorgeous and majestic creature is Jacques Ze Whipper.



Two years ago we funded their Kickstarter to give them a permanent office and to make the Faire 3 weeks instead of 2. It was probably the best Kickstarter we supported.

We visit, we wander, we attend some performances, we usually watch a blacksmithing demo because BLACKSMITHING!, we buy something stupid, and we come home.

This majestic and gorgeous creature is my amazing husband.



But this year we saw a zip line. I have always wanted to try zip lining. So without much thought we coughed up $15 each and got to zip across Liberty Lake. Despite the woman in front of me’s tale of woe about being stuck on one in Mexico because she was too light (sigh) and someone slamming into her on the way down, I was clipped to the wire, took a tiny step of faith off of the platform and HAD A BLAST!

Video proof, shot by WM:

Ziplining at the NJ Ren Faire from Kimberly Russell on Vimeo.

I felt like I could fly! The straps were comfortable and I felt completely secure the whole way. I am so glad I took that chance. The best part was we got to zipline back across the lake so that we didn’t have to walk allllll the way back to get our stuff. Those were screams of joy, by the way.

This year’s stupid purchase was this tiny axe. I don’t know what to do with a tiny axe. It’s not even sharp.

It’s not sharp so I can’t toss it at things.


Next year, if you’re a proud New Jerseyan (or even a curious Philadelphian) go visit the New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

Beach bum necklace

The older I get, the more Jersey pride I have. Maybe I’m trying to compensate for our size, our reputation, or our Governor. (Whom I voted for. Twice. Yeah.) In any case, I love my little Garden State. I even have a NJ Pinterest board! Two weeks ago, WM and I were at the Collingswood Mayfair and I saw the most creative jewelry idea!

You might remember that I used to make jewelry as a hobby. I’ll get back to it someday, I suppose. But I’ve seen so many copycat products that I got a little jaded on jewelry booths at craft shows. But The Sassy Apple‘s booth allowed you to create your own bangle bracelets with beach tag charms!

Back to NJ: You have to pay to get onto many of our beaches. It kind of blows, but the money goes to fund the victims of the bad NY and PA drivers who plow through our state every Friday-Sunday with seventeen bicycles strapped to their roof beach replenishment and cleaning efforts. You can see what they look like here. You pin them to your beach bag or wear them on your swimsuit.

I already have a New Jersey seaglass-like charm that I wear on a necklace and when I saw these I knew I found the perfect accompaniment.

Beach tag charm on a chain.


She created charms for many of the NJ shore towns. I love how the little gold wire is bent to resemble the beach tag pin!

Fitting for me.


I couldn’t decide which shore town to go with, because Wildwood was my town we went to when I was a kid, Ocean City when I was older, and now I go to Margate because there is nothing there but beach. I think beach bum is perfect.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for my first beach trip of the season. The weather has not played nicely with my free time so far.

I was not compensated for this writeup. I just love the charm.

NFL Draft Experience 2017

The NFL Draft Experience was in Philadelphia two weeks ago and was only a 20-minute walk away from TNP. Who knows when this could happen again, so on that Friday some of my coworkers and I took a walk to see the action. We had an absolute blast, and I don’t even like football.

Welcome to the NFL draft experience!


I said, WELCOME to the NFL DRAFT EXPERIENCE!


I could have spent an entire day there. There was so much to do — field goal kicks, 40-yd dashes, contests, a huge line to see the Superbowl trophy (insert jokes about the Eagles here) and rings, and even a frigging ZIP LINE but I had to go back to work so I couldn’t wait the extra half hour to risk life and limb.

Me and a giant Detroit Lions helmet. A nod to Michigan-born WM.


My coworker and me with Swoop, the Eagles Mascot.


Guys, we need to talk about Swoop. When we were settling in for the picture below, he was gyrating and catcall-whistling at us. But I didn’t mind because at 44 I take whatever I can get, even if it’s from an anthropomorphic eagle.

The heads outside of House Lannister.


Carson Wentz’s stuff. He’s a football-thrower in town.


I effing love chips, okay?


I’m sure there was a tribute to the gloriousness that is football pants (second only to baseball pants), but we didn’t have time to search for it. Lunchtime ended too quickly. We bought some swag from the NFL store and walked back to the office.

And proof that the draft should be in Philadelphia every year …

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