Adventures with Mr. Bear – Arts on the Horizon

Arts on the Horizon
The Lab at Convergence
1819 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302
www.artsonthehorizon.org

My daughters love to go see children’s shows so we’ve made the rounds at many theatre companies in the DC area but Arts on the Horizon in Alexandria, Virginia is one that I recently learned about:

Arts on the Horizon is a professional, non-profit theatre company with a unique and specific focus of providing performances and education programs for young people ages 0 to 6 years old. We were the first theatre company in the country to focus our work solely on this age range.

Arts on the Horizon values intelligent, innovative, and original work for diverse young audiences that is accessible, affordable, inspiring and fun.  We believe that the arts play an important role in the life of a child. Our interactive, nonverbal shows are performed by professional, adult actors.

When I found out that their December production was “Adventures with Mr. Bear” I knew that my littlest would love it and she definitely did!

adventureswithmrbear-logoWhen we first arrived at the theatre we went to the “Adventure Prep” room and did some activities with Mae’s bear friend she brought along. They first tried on their adventure hats, then did some coloring, read a book, and had a tea party.

img_2659It was soon time to go into the theater for the show. The seating is mostly on the floor except for a few chairs along the back. The theatre is very small, so it’s nice cozy environment for the little ones. I thought the set was really well done: simple with bright colors and fun toys.

img_2660As we waited a few minutes for everyone to get seated, we listened to the live music and played a little game of “eye-spy” with things on the set to keep Mae occupied.

img_2661Then it was time for the show to start:

One cozy winter afternoon, a young girl and her favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Bear, play a game of hide and seek which evolves into a series of exciting adventures. Together, they embark on a journey of endless possibilities – all from the comfort of her playroom!

The show was about 30 minutes long and was completely non-verbal, just live music accompanying the talented acting. I thought that was so unique – we’ve never been to show like this one. I was surprised how attentive the children were with no words being spoken.

It is a really cute production and perfect for kids ages 2-5 years old. If you have the chance to go see a show, you should! I promise you won’t be disappointed! Many weekend shows have already sold out but there are still tickets available for several of the weekday performances. You can purchase tickets here.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Thursday, December 1 at 10:30am  (SOLD OUT)
Friday, December 2 at 10:30am (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, December 3 at 10am (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, December 3 at 11:30am (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, December 6 at 10:30am**
Wednesday, December 7 at 10:30am*
Thursday, December 8 at 10:30am (SOLD OUT)
Friday, December 9 at 10:30am**
Saturday, December 10 at 10am (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, December 10 at 11:30am (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, December 13 at 10:30am
Wednesday, December 14 at 10:30am
Thursday, December 15 at 10:30am**
Friday, December 16 at 10:30am (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, December 17 at 10am (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, December 17 at 11:30am

Arts on the Horizon has an exciting 2016-2017 schedule! See the upcoming productions here.

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The Congressional Plaza Experience + Giveaway!

Congressional Plaza
1683 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD
www.congressionalplaza.com

Congressional Plaza in Rockville is one of my favorite shopping destinations. I love that I can get my groceries at The Fresh Market, grab a latte at Starbucks, and also pop into one of the boutiques for other essentials all in one stop. Parking is easy and it’s conveniently located on Rockville Pike. I’m sure most moms can relate that time is precious and making only one stop for several errands is essential!

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The newest store to join the list of more than 50 stores and restaurants at Congressional Plaza is Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth. The 40,000-square-foot store offers designer clothing at prices up to 70 percent off Saks Fifth Avenue’s typical prices. I attended the grand opening last month and I might have found a few things I couldn’t live without!

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The store is 2 levels. The first level is all accessories – mostly handbags and accessories.

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And the lower level has the men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing sections as well as shoes and jewelry.

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I was surprised at how amazing the prices are….I found adorable puffer vests for my girls for only $20 each! That’s comparable to Target prices but you get the designer brands here!

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The jewelry section is a must! I found some adorable earrings and bracelets that will be the perfect Christmas gifts for my girlfriends.

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Child’s Play is another one of my favorite stores at Congressional Plaza.

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They have the most unique toys and an incredible selection for kids of all ages. I got a jump start on my Christmas shopping for my girls and got them a few items on their wish lists. Child’s Play is also my go-to store for stocking stuffers. They have so many fun little treasures that are the perfect size for the stockings.

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They carry all the big name brands like Lego, Calico Critters, Alex, Haba, Playmobil, Fisher Price, Jellycat, Melissa & Doug, and so many more….check out their website to see them all. Plus they have unique brands that you can’t find at the big box stores.

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A few other stores that I frequently shop at in Congressional Plaza are the Loft, Lucy, and Ulta Beauty. There is also a Cartoon Cuts where I always take my girls to get their haircuts. And there was a time when my girls were younger when it seemed like I was at the buy, buy, Baby every week! The shopping center has a nice mix of national retailers and boutiques, plus kid-friendly dining options like Noodles & Company, Lebanese Taverna, and Baja Fresh.

Congressional Plaza is currently undergoing a “facelift” to achieve a new & improved look. The enhancements include an expanded outdoor cafe area, a refreshed color scheme and modernized look, fresh landscaping, and updated signage. I have to say the improvements look really great!

Parents should also make note that Congressional Plaza has a fun “Mommy & Me” program that runs April through October. The club meets for a special morning out on the second Thursday of the month with active learning and creative play at all your favorite stores! There are special offers from our eateries, story time, arts & crafts, musical entertainment, prizes and a whole lot more! Click here to sign up and become a member for free!

How would you like to win a $50 gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth? Well, I am giving one away just in time for your holiday shopping! Simply leave a comment on this blog post to enter. I will randomly select a winner and notify them on Tuesday, November 29th. Good luck!

 



Date Night at Summer House – Pike & Rose

Summer House
11825 Grand Park Avenue
North Bethesda, MD 20852
www.summerhousesm.com
 
 

Date nights don’t happen often enough, so when my husband and I manage to free up time in our hectic schedules and line up the babysitter – we want to make it worth it! One of our favorite places to go is Summer House at Pike & Rose. When I’m not with my kids, I want to feel relaxed and Summer House has just that effect. The restaurant is designed with a laid back West Coast beach house feel – think hanging plants, white color scheme, and neutral colored furniture. There’s also a fabulous outdoor patio area that is perfect during the warmer months. It’s just the place I can sit back and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) and some great food!

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The restaurant features a California-influenced American menu that emphasizes seasonal ingredients. There is something here for everyone – tacos, hamburgers, sushi, pasta, sandwiches, and salads. The wine list is great too!

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Everything my husband and I have tried, we have loved! When we dined at Summer House last weekend we ordered the chips and guacamole as an appetizer and the prime rib french dip and the spice rubbed bigeye tuna. So, so good!

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And the best part of all might just be the cookie counter at the front of the restaurant! Our favorite is the chocolate chip cookie with chunks of marshmallow bar on top. We normally grab a couple to take home to our girls and then they don’t really mind that we left them with a babysitter!

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If for some reason your babysitter cancels at the last minute, go ahead and take the kids with you. They have a kids menu that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters – spaghetti & meatballs, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, salmon fingers, and even breakfast for dinner.

Summer House also offers a weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 3pm (including a kids brunch menu). I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard great things, so that is next on my list! The menu features benedicts, pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs and omelets. Plus the sunrise punch and passion fruit margarita sound pretty amazing!

So make sure to schedule the babysitter and enjoy an evening at Summer House, you won’t be disappointed! And if you have enough time, head over to iPic across the street for a movie after dinner!



The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre + Giveaway!

 

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It’s almost that time of year again – and tis the season for The Nutcracker! I’ve always been a huge fan. I started making it a tradition of taking my oldest daughter, Clara since she was old enough to sit through a performance at age 3. We are super excited this year because we’ve never seen The Washington Ballet’s version which has a local spin as it is set in 1882 Georgetown and features George Washington and King George III among other historical figures.

Not only are we thrilled to be going to the show at the Warner Theatre but we also get to give away 2 tickets to a reader! The winner can choose any performance they like from the following dates: Thursday, December 1 7:00pm / Friday, December 2 7pm, Saturday, December 3 2:00pm / Saturday, December 3 7:00pm / Tuesday, December 6 7:00pm / Wednesday, December 7 7:00pm. To enter, simply leave a comment below! I’ll be selecting a winner at random on November 16th and notifying them shortly after! Good luck!

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Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker

To purchase tickets by phone for performances at the Warner Theatre, please call 202.397.7328. To buy tickets online for performances at the Warner Theatre or THEARC Theater, please click here.



Maids in Brown Review + Discount Code!

Maids in Brown
571-466-6900
www.maidsinbrown.com
 
 
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I recently had Maids in Brown clean my home and I was so impressed from start to finish. They arrived on time and brought all of their own natural cleaning products and supplies. They were very friendly and trustworthy, so I felt comfortable having them in my home. Finding someone to clean my home who I trust is one of the biggest factors for me. I was so happy with the attention to detail – I noticed them cleaning the ledges on my picture frames and scrubbing the kitchen cabinets. My bathrooms and floors were spotless when they left. It was such a great feeling having the entire house cleaned from top to bottom so that I could focus on my family and not worry about chores that week.

Here is everything that a regular cleaning from Maids in Brown includes:

Living Room

  • Air Vents Dusted
  • Light Fixtures Dusted
  • Cobwebs Removed
  • Picture Frames Dusted
  • Window Sills Dusted
  • Blinds and Baseboards Dusted
  • Furniture Dusted & Polished
  • Door & Doorframes Dusted
  • Floor mopped & carpet vacuumed
  • Trash Removed

Bed Room

  • Make Bed ( change Bed lines if provided)
  • Furniture Dusted and Polished
  • Picture Frames Dusted
  • Window Sills Dusted
  • Blinds & Baseboards Dusted
  • Heat registers Dusted
  • Mirrors cleaned
  • Carpet Vacuumed & Floor mopped
  • Ceiling Fans cleaned
  • Door & Doorframes Dusted
  • Trash Removed

Bathrooms

  • Bath Tub cleaned
  • Shower tub cleaned
  • Toilet cleaned (inside & outside)
  • Mirrors cleaned
  • Light Fixtures cleaned
  • Sink cleaned (inside & outside)
  • Window sills dusted
  • Wipe down towel bar
  • Wipe down toilet paper holder
  • Trash Removed
  • Floor mopped

Kitchen

  • Counter tops cleaned
  • Cabinets (outside)
  • Dishwasher (outside)
  • Microwave inside & outside
  • Clean toaster & coffee maker
  • Refrigerator outside
  • Sink scrubbed & polished
  • Stainless steel surfaces polished
  • Stove top cleaned
  • Furniture tables & chairs cleaned
  • Trash Removed
  • Floor mopped

Additional services

  • Inside oven
  • Inside refrigerator
  • Basement
  • Wet wipe baseboards
  • Inside cabinets

I would definitely recommend Maids in Brown to my friends and family. They do a fantastic job of cleaning at a reasonable price. You can conveniently book online and use code MOM30 to receive $30 off your cleaning!

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Turning A Creative Passion into a SenSational Party by Meredith Sen

I am thrilled to have Meredith Sen, owner of SenSations Party Designs as my guest blogger today! She is a local mom who has a serious passion for entertaining. You can read a little bit more about her business in this post here. Today she is sharing why she started SenSations!

Since I was a little girl, I have always loved to plan events. I can still remember, idolizing how my mom and Auntie could plan and execute lavish, memorable events. From the invitations, to the food, to the decor, they would think of every last detail. I would shadow them and tell myself how one day I too would throw fabulous parties.

Fast forward twenty years, and now I am the mom of two, throwing children’s birthday parties and organizing preschool events. I have also discovered that planning and executing fabulous soirees like my mother and Auntie did is harder than it looks. The amount of planning and organizing that goes into a celebration is truly a full time job. As a result, like most moms, I did not have the time to design my child’s birthday parties from scratch, and usually ended up settling on the decorations and enhancements from the local party store. However, after throwing and attending my share of the typical Disney Character and Superhero Parties, each party started to feel the same. There was nothing unique about the dozens of birthday parties that we attended for each of the children in my daughters’ preschool class. Nothing was personal or unique about them. They were boring!

So with the help of a friend, I started toying around and creating my own custom party decorations. Although I have never been good at drawing, I found I was creative and had a real passion for designing and customizing party favors and decor. I used my daughter’s 5th birthday, a carnival theme party, as a test run to try out my designs on her friends and their parents. I spent months planning and designing Carnival Games and Decorations in the hope that my guests would enjoy themselves. From the banners, to the table tents, to the goodie bags, everything was designed to incorporate Olivia’s Carnival Logo. As a result, the party was a huge hit (crazier than expected, since at the last moment, I had to move the 65 person celebration indoors due to the weather!) Still to my delight, everyone left talking about the fabulous decorations and the amount of detail that went into the party! IT WAS A SUCCESS!

 

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At this point, I knew I had to share my creative party ideas with parents nationwide. And that was the birth of SenSations Party Designs. No matter what the budget is, SenSations can help anyone throw a one of a kind event, that is sure to be the talk of the town! (That is our secret sauce!) We custom design each party to your unique vision. So call SenSations Party Designs for your next big event, we will handle your party design stress, so you can just impress!

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Disney On Ice Presents Follow Your Heart – Review

My family and I had a great time at Disney On Ice on Wednesday night at the Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. I had been looking forward to it for quite a while but I didn’t tell my girls until the day before. Otherwise they would constantly be asking “Are we going to Disney On Ice today?!”. Everything Disney does is great, so I knew I would enjoy the show but watching the joy on my girls faces is what I love the most. We’ve been to a few different Disney On Ice shows and Follow Your Heart definitely did not disappoint!

img_2180Meeting Mickey and Minnie before the show was a huge bonus! Mae is still talking about it!

familyphoto2-1-of-1The show opens with Riley from Inside Out, her hokey teammates, and a cheer squad in a fun musical number.

riley-1-of-1emotions-1-of-1A Beauty and the Beast act follows and this was very entertaining! I love how Disney finds new ways to retell the Classic stories.

beauty-1-of-1Follow Your Heart has a couple of aerial performances that are really unique. When I asked my oldest daughter Clara what her favorite parts were she said it was the aerial acts. The first one is The Little Mermaid doing acrobatics while dangling on a rope from the ceiling. And the second is Rapunzel and Flynn Rider flying through the air on yellow silks that represent her long locks.

rapunzel-1-of-1Halfway through the show, the production takes a brief intermission (15-20 minutes). It’s a great time to grab a snack or the kids can have their picture taken with various backdrops in the concourse. The second half opens with the summer’s hit “Finding Dory”.

dory-1-of-1Finally, the last half hour of the show is dedicated to Frozen. My three year old Mae was waiting all night for this! Even if you are sick of Frozen by now, you’ll appreciate the beauty of this act. The snow falling, costumes, choreography, and set is all incredible!

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All the other Disney princesses make an appearance in the show as well as other favorite characters from Toy Story. It is an overall fantastic show!

Tickets are still available for the remaining performances at the Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax, VA.

  • Friday, October 21st @ 10:30 a.m., and 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 22nd @ 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 23rd @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

You can also catch the show in Baltimore October 27th – 30th.

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Barbie and Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase + GIVEAWAY!

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My girls are slightly obsessed with the Barbie movies, so they are very excited about this new release! I am very thankful that they give me peaceful road trips and time to get dinner made! I have 10 copies of Barbie and Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD to giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win! 

Barbie™ and her sisters discover everything’s better when you do it together in this splashy, sun-kissed adventure!  After the girls and their pets arrive at an island paradise for Chelsea’s™ big dance competition, they decide to make a quick side trip to see the nearby Dancing Horse Festival. But when their furry friends go missing at the event, it’s up to the sisters to find them before Chelsea’s™ show. While the puppies are out having an adventure of their own, the girls must use their imaginations and work together to find their furry friends in this tail-wagging good time!

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Disney On Ice Presents Follow Your Heart + Trivia

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The countdown is on…..less than 3 days until Disney On Ice is coming to Fairfax, VA October 19-23! I can’t wait to see the show and watch my girls faces light up with pure joy! Here is some fun Disney trivia to play with your kids!

TRIVIA QUESTIONS:

Q: What does Dory do when she doesn’t know what to do?
A: Just keep swimming.

Q: Who likes warm hugs?
A: Olaf

Q: What does Ariel refer to as a “dinglehopper”?
A: Fork

Q: On her birthday, Rapunzel’s dream is to do what?
A: See the lanterns

Q: In which movie is Mickey Mouse the Sorcerer’s Apprentice?
A: Fantasia

Q: Name as many Disney Princesses as you can
A: (most wins, 13 total)- Cinderella, Show White, Belle, Aurora/sleeping beauty, Tiana, Rapunzel, Ariel/little mermaid, Jasmine, Mulan, Merida, Elsa, Anna, and Pocohontas

Q: Name all 7 of the dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
A: Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey, Doc, Sleepy, Grumpy and Happy

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SenSations Party Designs + Giveaway!

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As parents, we want our children to have fun, unique and memorable parties to celebrate their birthdays. But the party planning process can be stressful with all the time and money it takes. I’m all for anything that saves time and simplifies things for me, so I was excited to hear about a new local party design company.

SenSations Party Designs was started by an Arlington mom who has a passion for entertaining. She was tired of the generic themes at the party supply chain stores and decided to make her own party-ware and decorations. Now, her goal is to help other busy parents plan and deliver the perfect, one-of-a-kind social event that will leave you and your guests delighted. SenSations focuses on attention to detail and high quality products to make every party special on any budget. Check out the website to see some of the adorable creations by the owner, Meredith. The options are endless as she will take any theme or idea you bring her and make something truly unique.

We are giving away this fun SenSations “Trick-or-Treat” banner and 8 personalized goodie bags! This is perfect for anyone who is throwing a Halloween party. It would also be cute to have as a decoration in your home and the goodie bags could be used for your children’s friends! Just leave a comment on this post to enter! A winner will be selected and notified on October 18th.

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