We were outside running through the sprinklers with the neighbors on Monday afternoon when one of B's favorite people pulled up in front of the house: The FedEx Delivery Guy. For B, it's like reliving Christmas all over again each time he comes. This week, he dropped off a neat little package from Build-A-Bear Workshop with one of their newest friends: Hackus from The Smurfs.
Surprisingly, he even let Hackus take over his prized mini-recliner in the living room while he took a break and ate dinner. Hackus also received the royal treatment as he came out on the town with us last night when we hit up Ozzie's at Fairfax Corner for a family dinner. We are yet to see the movie, but B already loves the guy!
Want to snag a $25 Gift Card from Build-A-Bear Workshop to make your own Smurf? Enter below via rafflecopter to win!
Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, is introducing its second collection of Smurf characters in honor of Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation’s “THE SMURFS™ 2”, set to hit theaters July 31. Find the newest friends from the film, Vexy and Hackus, joining Smurfette on their latest adventure at Build-A-Bear Workshop and online atbuildabear.com® beginning July 5.
Make-your-own Smurfette, Vexy and Hackus ($23 each) can be outfitted in a variety of Smurfs clothing and accessories, including:
Smurfette dress ($10.50), Smurfette & Vexy pajamas ($12.50), Smurf BFF slippers ($6.50), Vexy Skirt outfit ($13.50), Smurf Hoodie ($8.50), Smurfs theme song (La La Song) ($7.00).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*I received a complimentary product from Build-A-Bear Workshop. Giveaway is provided by Build-A-Bear Workshop. All opinions are my own
I know that for the health of my child (and my sanity), I need to get him outside playing, running, biking -- just MOVING -- every day. Sometimes we struggle on those days when it's rainy, or more recently, code red/orange with excessive heat and humidity. We decided to check out Adventure to Fitness after they sent us some of their DVDs.
The program kept B engaged and moving for the entire 30 minutes as he ran through the jungle, climbed mountains, and was chased through a crocodile river. I even joined in on the fun and did it with him... and I was out of breath - ha! Who knew jogging/running in place could be so exhausting? Meanwhile, (you can see in the bottom right corner) dad enouraged us while playing Wreck-It Ralph on the iPad.
B actually added the Adventure to Fitness to his DVD collection and requests to "watch" it all the time now. I think it's a great program to have around -- happy to have him watch a show that gets him moving rather than just sitting and snacking! Why can't Oprah or Andy Cohen do that for me?
Adventure to Fitness is an award-winning children's fitness program that is designed to keep kids healthy, active, and learning in a fun and easy way. The program is currently used in over 75,000 classrooms and over 11,000 homes, making it the #1 educational fitness program of any kind in America. It is a winner of the Family Choice Award and is Parents’ Choice Approved.
You can find out more information at the Adventure to Fitness Store or connect via Facebook and Twitter.
*Sponsored content provided by Adventure to Fitness. All thoughts and opinions are my own
1. Enjoy a Brewery Beer Tasting: Capitol City Brewing Company, Mad Fox Brewing Company, Sweetwater Tavern, Dogfish Head Alehouse, Lost Rhino Brewery, Gordon Biersch.
2. A macho guy's dream date: Blue Ridge Arsenal followed by a steakhouse with Guinness on tap.
3. Grab charcuterie/cheeses to go from Red Apron Butcher and relax in Strawberry Park while watching the Epic Mosaic concert of the week – you could even cap it off with a unique movie experience in Angelika.
4. Split the mussels and an entree at Cock & Bowl & try a new Belgian beer. Then have a Belgian waffle for dessert.
5. Let him be a pilot for a day and arrange a flight lesson at Freeway Aviation. Pack a picnic to share afterwards. (We did this for Father’s Day – it was awesome!)
6. Monuments by Moonlight Tour.
7. From Old Town Alexandria, take a boat ride across the river to catch a Nationals Game.
8. Walk through Clifton and read the historical markers along Main St. Have dinner at the Clifton General Storefollowed by drinks at Trummer’s on Main.
9. Dinner at J&G Steakhouse at the W Hotel in DC followed by dancing and drinks at the rooftop POV Lounge and Terrace.
10. Join the weekly New Balance run together on Thursday night or hike Great Falls National Park.
11. Taste and tour the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since before Prohibition: Catocin Creek Distillers.
12. Get your swing on at Top Golf.
13. Comedy club and then Czech pilsner and sandwiches at Lost Dog in McLean.
14. Dinner at Iron Bridge Wine Company in Old Town Warrenton. Afterwards, walk over to Molly's Irish Pub for beer and listen to the band play. And then walk down to Claire's at the Depot for coffee and dessert.
15. Visit Old Town Alexandria for a walk along the river followed by cocktails at Chart House.
16. Arlington Drafthouse for dinner, drinks, and a movie.
17. Adult Go Karting – no kids allowed!
18. Take a short trip over to Shepherdstown, WV. Stay the night and have dinner at the Bavarian Inn where the meals are hearty and the wine and beer list robust!
19. Dinner at District Chophouse and Brewery...then a midnight tour at the Crime and Punishment Museum in DC. The best way to experience a museum with your date: handcuffs!
20. Metro down to the Verizon Center to catch a sports game. Afterwards, take a quiet walk to either Fogo de Chaoor Jaleo.
21. Take a trip over to The Organic Butcher in McLean and then prepare a meal at home together.
22. Pack a picnic and walking shoes, and head to the base of Reagan National Airport to Gravelly Point Park. Lay on a blanket by the Potomac River and watch the planes take off/land right above you.
23. Atlas Arcade in DC: Old school arcade games, 80s music and movies playing, and a bar.
24. One word: Chima.
25. Nosh on the Fried Chicken while enjoying the art and poetry at Busboys and Poets.
26. Hop on his motorcycle and take a ride through the countryside to Middleburg, VA. Enjoy drinks outside at the Red Horse Tavern or a fancy meal at Red Fox Inn.
27. Cozy up at the Illy Espresso Bar or at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Or, stop by on Thursdays for the fresh sushi bar at Entyse Wine Bar and Lounge.
28. Take a CulinAerie cooking class together.
29. If he’s the outdoor type, surprise him with a daytrip to Bass Pro Shop in Ashland, VA. Have lunch at Islamorada Fishing Company. For dessert, enjoy a treat from the fudge shop.
30. Go fishing at Riverbend Park. You can rent a fishing pole and a row boat right at the park. All you have to do is show up!
This list was compiled with the help of some of my lovely readers. If you have a date night idea for him that's not on this list, please share in the comments below!
We woke up early Saturday morning and headed out to Mosaic District to check out the boutiques, noshables, and specialty stores that I've been seeing all over my news feed. I had a Visa gift card to spend (compliments of Mosaic) - and I'm giving away a $100 gift card so that you can #DiscoverMosaic too!
I was ready to get my shop on, but upon pulling into the parking garage, I caught a glimpse of a Jumbotron on the side of the Angelika Film Center playing Scooby Doo cartoons. B, my four year old, immediately insisted that we go check it out - and I agreed. There were families planted in Strawberry Park laid out with blankets, picnic breakfasts and coffee while the kids ran through the fountain/sprayground area. Each Saturday morning at 9:00am, Mosaic District hosts this fabulous kid and family-friend event: Cartoons and Coffee. I happily put my shopping trip on the back burner for B & Scooby.
My first stop after Cartoons and Coffee was to Alex and Ani. I had heard great things about this store from my friend, Jenn, who had been desperately awaiting their opening at Mosaic District earlier this year. Once inside, I loved the vibe and fell in love with their stackable bracelets! Think charm bracelets, but instead of adding beads to a single bracelet, you can stack bracelets that have cute (or meaningful) charms, colors, birthstones, symbols, etc. To top it off, Alex and Ani is an eco-friendly company with their products made in the USA.
Alex and Ani: Facebook | Twitter
Next stop was Ah Love Oil and Vinegar. The Italian in me could hardly wait until 11am for their doors to open.
Two perfectly aligned rows of polished metal dispensers filled with specialty oilve oils and vinegars lined the entire length of the store. After sampling the selection, two of my favorites were the oils infused with Bacon and then a hot hot hot habanero. In addition to their namesake, they also carry pastas, cook books, and even a line of olive oil-based skin care products that smoothly glazed my hands.
Ah Love Oil and Vinegar: Facebook | Twitter
B had been such a sweet helper at the first two stops (he even sampled the Habanero olive oil!) that when we walked past Dawn Price Baby, there was no way I could say "no". Everything inside the store looked like it could be made into a board on Pinterest. If I had a daughter, this store would bankrupt me with theirTea Collectionsummer dresses. They carry everything you need for kids - from strollers to name blocks. This will be my new go-to spot for baby shower gifts. We may have grown out of the baby stages - but toys are always a hit! B picked up a fancy airplane to carry around for the next 2 hours.
Dawn Price Baby: Facebook | Twitter
You may know that I have a fancy for South Moon Under. I've worked with them on a few events in the past and absolutely love their summer beach style. At the last event, I was so busy playing host that I only had a few minutes at the end to shop. With B and his new airplane to keep him busy, I had a chance to check out their shoes (boots for the fall are now coming out) and chat with the store manager, Marie, about the new fall arrivals and trends. Marie also shared that she's just recently started ablog about bikini fashion - perfectly fitting for her!
South Moon Under: Facebook | Twitter
Our last stop was lunch. With lots of options, I chose our destination after spotting one familiar word on some marketing collateral beyond the glass window: HOAGIE. I'm from Central Pennsylvania where hoagies run wild - and it's rare to see an eatery "down here" with a hoagie on the menu. Our lunch at Taylor Gourmet was fresh, minimally processed, and worth every calorie.
Afterwards, we zipped around the corner for some artisanal Italian gelato at Dolcezza. We both picked out Lemon Ricotta Cardamom and people-watched while customers in the store actually spoke Italian. Buono!
Dolcezza: Facebook | Twitter
Taylor Gourmet: Facebook | Twitter
If you want a chance to #DiscoverMosaic - Enter below to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About Mosaic District: Mosaic is elevating the community experience to a new standard by creating a vibrant,sophisticated environment that connects families and friends together. The unique experience is created through a hand-selected mix of retailers & restaurants, intelligent urban-design and our passion for enabling authentic community engagement.
Mosaic brings all of these together to create Washington DC’s most innovative retail & entertainment community.
**Giveaway sponsored by Mosaic Distrcit. I was compensated with a Visa Gift Card for this promotion. All thoughts and opinions are my own
For Nicole Martin, owning a lingerie store was not always her dream job -- but after struggles in the health care field, she took the opportunity to help her mom run the family lingerie store, Bertha Church in Burlington, VT, and simply fell in love. "Since I, myself, am a very hard-to-find bra size, I’ve always had a clear understanding of why women need the services that a bra fitting boutique provides... but actually getting to work with other women helped me gain a whole new appreciation for the business. This right here was the biggest motivation I had to opening Belle Mode Intimates at Fairfax Corner." According to Nicole, a good bra fitting can improve your health, relieve pain, and enhance your appearance. "I genuinely get excited when we are able to give the ladies in the community a customized and personal experience."
Describe yourself in three words:
Hard working, fun loving, motivated, kindhearted, independent
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
We’ve been nominated and won a few awards including Northern Virginia Magazine's "Best of 2013"! That's a great success for our first year in business!
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To keep spreading the word about Belle Mode and the services we provide. We are somewhat hidden within Fairfax Corner and not many women know that we exist yet, but when they find out they are thrilled! Stores like us are few and far between, but important for every woman. Customers have called us the "neighborhood lingerie store" and that’s exactly what we are aiming for :)
How does your company stay connected through social media?
We are very active across social media. It's a great way for us to stay in touch with our customers and share promotions, specials, and events happening in the store. We're on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (BelleModeNicole) and we blog!
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I’d love to be a CIA agent working undercover, some sort of spy... or more realistically speaking, design my own clothing line.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is not something that I have right now, but I am currently working on. It’s very easy to get lost in your work when you own a business. And with technology advancing, it has become easier to work from anywhere you go, which I often find myself doing.
What websites do you visit every day?
Pinterest, TheLingerieAddict, iamOTHER.com, Refinery29, Huffington Post, and Pandora.
What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Lucky Lounge Lemonade from Coastal Flatts
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
- I love a good brunch with my girlfriends. Somewhere local, cute, and that has bottomless mimosas!
- Hiking in Great Falls.
- Hookah bars. I had never been to one before moving to VA and now I just can’t get enough!
What is your goal for retirement?
Surprisingly enough, retirement isn’t a vision I frequent very much. I’m so busy planning for tomorrow, and next week that it seems unreal to think about that far down the road. Ideally I’d like to be able to pass my business(s) onto a child of mine or someone I trust to carry on my legacy … then I shall be Cali bound!
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Be sure you have good people around you that are rooting for you and will help you out when needed most -- and find mentors. My mom has mentored me when it comes to the lingerie industry and my dad on everything business related. Alicia Russman, the owner of Undeniable Boutique and my neighbor in Fairfax Corner, has been a saving grace and mentors me on everything in between.
CONNECT WITH BELLE MODE INTIMATES:Fairfax Corner Shopping Center
11889 Grand Commons Ave.
Fairfax, VA 22030
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Email
If you own a woman-run business and would like to be highlighted in our Leading Ladies series, please apply here: Leading Ladies Interview.
Yesterday was a day that I absolutely had not been looking forward to. I, myself, had anxiety over B getting his shots for kindergarten. I didn't know if I should warn him or not or how to handle it, so I posted to the group to get all of your feedback. Great adivce was given and shared.
I wasn't sure if I should tell him or not - but since he's a big boy, and I'm always so proud of him no matter what, I thought I'd go ahead and tell him on the way over. To my surprise, he actually handled it really well and didn't seem to care at all. I asked him if he wanted to get ice cream afterwards or even a slurpee. He said "no thanks". WHAT? Is this my child?
The nurse came in while I was reading him a book on my lap. She had three needles in her hand and asked him to hop up on the table. I told him I'd finish reading him the book while he was up there. I stood next to him and continued reading while he looked at the illustrations and didn't flinch once. Before I could turn the page, the shots were over and I proudly declared that he was a CHAMP.
When we got in the car, he asked me to take him to Wendy's to get a grilled chicken wrap. I did, and ordered him a frosty too! :)
At about 4pm on Saturday, I decided that I wanted to change the flooring in my guest room. With absolutely no planning, preparation, or clue about what I was doing... I headed to Costco and picked up 6 boxes of Vineyard Cherry Harmonics Wood Flooring ($8 off per box coupon). I then headed over to Lowe's and got a tapping block and a piece of trim/molding for the transition from the room to my carpeted hallway. My total project cost: $185. Oh, and I was going to do this project all on my own since the bf was out on the Harley.
I have to state a disclaimer: When I first bought my house, I gave my lovebunnie my credit card and asked him to get me set up with a complete tool kit. I'm pretty confident with a saw and power drill and if I can't figure something out, I can always turn to Google.
It took about 2 minutes to rip out the old carpet. The only tool needed was a pair of needle nose pliers. The most arduous part of the process was removing the tacking strip for the old carpet. Holy nails. For this, I used a crow bar.
And then, it started. I don't follow recipes when cooking, so why follow the directions on the box about how to lay flooring? I just started laying and tapping and cutting. I think that if I had followed the directions on the box, it would have been much more confusing that the logical approach I took. And let it be known that I never once used a tape measure. Not being conceited, just saying that this project can get done, easily, without over-thinking it.
I completed the entire room just as my dad and boyfriend arrived. Lucky for them - they got to finish off the closet (with my guidance, of course). My next plan is to move B over and tackle the floors in his old room to make it a new office for me :)
On Friday, I hopped in my car with my boss to run over to Wegman's to grab a few platters for our staff meeting. I turned the key in the ignition and SNAP - my key broke in half - with the metal piece still in the ignition. Somehow, this seems to be a pattern with me as you can tell from the first picture. I had to make it through the weekend with a taped key that barely worked until Pohanka Lexus had the new part delivered this morning.
Today I ran into Tysons Corner and got sucked into NY & CO because of their 80% off stickers in the window... However, this time - they actually meant it. I snagged THREE PAIRS of wedges and two pairs of jeans for $45. STEAL.
I'm not a frugal blogger by any meals -- but I sure am a lucky one!
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.