Monthly Archives: February 2017

Nutt and Bolt at Arts on the Horizon + GIVEAWAY!

Nutt and Bolt are robot rivals. They spend their days using the random junkyard objects around them (and on them!) in games of skill and sound, rallying their wee friends, the audience, for support. As the competition builds to a frenzied pinnacle, Nutt and Bolt realize that by working together, they can make something even more wonderful than they could on their own! Together, sounds become stories, notes become music, and the world becomes full of possibility.

Through props, costumes, and sets created entirely out of upcycled or recycled objects,Nutt and Bolt, reinforces a child’s transformative power of imagination and their own ability to make ordinary objects into something extraordinary.

Created and Directed by Matt Bassett. Best for children ages 2 – 6 and their families.

The Lab at Convergence
​1819 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA 22302
​March 8-25, 2017

Wednesday, March 8 at 10:30am
Thursday, March 9 at 10:30am
Friday, March 10 at 10:30am
Saturday, March 11 at 10am (Limited Availability)
Saturday, March 11 at 11:30am
Wednesday, March 15 at 10:30am
Thursday, March 16 at 10:30am
Friday, March 17 at 10:30am
Saturday, March 18 at 10am
Saturday, March 18 at 11:30am*
Tuesday, March 21 at 10:30am
Wednesday, March 22 at 10:30am
Thursday, March 23 at 10:30am
Friday, March 24 at 10:30am
Saturday, March 25 at 10am
Saturday, March 25 at 11:30am

*Sign-Interpreted Performance

Purchase tickets here.

GIVEAWAY!!! I have a family 4-pack of tickets to give away to see Nutt & Bolt. The winner will get to choose from one of the following performances: March 8th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th at 10:30am, or March 18th at 11:30am. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. I’ll randomly draw and notify a winner on Thursday, March 2nd. Good luck!


Thomas the Tank Engine Rolls into Port Discovery Children’s Museum

My girls and I have visited Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore a few times and always have so much fun! Washington, D.C. really doesn’t have anything like it, so it’s well worth the 45 minute drive just to visit the museum. Port Discovery is located right in the inner harbor so it’s also convenient to check out other places and explore the harbor area while you are there. It makes for a nice little day trip!

entrance (1 of 1)

Once we arrived at the museum, my girls had quite a bit of energy to burn after sitting in the car for a while. So they climbed around on the amazing three-story KidWorks treehouse. This is so great for cold or rainy days when kids need to get the sillies out.

treehouse (1 of 1)

Then we headed up to the third floor to check out the new Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit. This is a visiting exhibit and will only be at the museum through May 7, 2017 so make sure to get there before it’s gone! Developed by the Minnesota Children’s Museum and based on the popular book and television series, the exhibition is designed to help kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math through play – while interacting with their favorite characters!

When we entered the exhibition space my girls first saw the life size Thomas the Train model and climbed aboard. The cab has levers and other moveable parts the kids can explore while they play conductor. There are even costumes the kids can wear!

Thomas (1 of 1)Thomas1 (1 of 1)

My girls especially loved the role play parts of the exhibit. There is a little ticket window with paper money and tickets to different destinations where we played for a long time.

ticketwindow (1 of 1)

ticketwindow2 (1 of 1)

Behind the ticket window there are a few train cars the kids can climb into and pretend they are passengers on the train. There is also luggage and other goods they can use to help load and unload the train cars.

traincars (1 of 1)

On the opposite side of the exhibit is Thomas’s friend Percy. At this station the kids get to help fix Percy’s wobbly wheels. They can experiment with different size wheels, bolts, and rods to see what works to fix Percy.

ClaraMaeTrain (1 of 1)

Just on the other side of Percy is a guide to Steamies, where children can learn all about how they work. To get Percy going, the kids can load coal and add water to the boiler.

Percy (1 of 1)

The exhibit also includes a large train table modeled after the island of Sodor. This was a very popular spot in the exhibit. The table is plenty big and had lots of trains so many children can play there together.

Traintable (1 of 1)

The Thomas & Friends exhibit is so well designed with all of its interactive learning adventures. My girls played happily here for about an hour. It is definitely worth the trip if you have little ones who love trains. They will be thrilled with everything there is to do in this exhibit. After playing in the Thomas & Friends exhibit we explored all the other rooms in the museum. There is so much to do at Port Discovery, you can easily spend an entire afternoon here.

Good to Know:

• The exhibit is best for ages 2 to 7.
• Admission to Thomas & Friends is included with general admission tickets to Port Discovery. $14.95 for adults and children 2 and up, and free for Museum members.
• The best place to park is Harbor Park Garage – 55 Market Place. Ask for validation before leaving the museum to get a discounted price.
• Port Discovery is a stroller friendly museum.
• Food and drinks are prohibited in all exhibit areas, but there is a designated eating area available.
• There are also lots of different restaurant options right outside the museum where you can get lunch or dinner.

GIVEAWAY! I am excited to be giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to Port Discovery. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll notify a winner on Monday, February 20th. Good luck!

A Whole Foods Market Valentine’s Day Dinner for the Family

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away! Are you ready? I think I’m almost there and with help from Whole Foods Market I have a cute dinner planned for the family. Since the holiday is on a Tuesday night this year, my husband and I decided we would skip the fancy dinner out and just stay home and celebrate with our girls. So I went to Whole Foods Market and found everything we need for this heart-warming occasion at home with our family.

ClaraRoses (1 of 1)

First, I headed to the floral department to get the roses needed for our table. How pretty are these?! And you can’t beat the price – $24.99 for double dozen roses!

Pizza (1 of 1)

Then I needed to decided on what to have for dinner. My oldest daughter is a very picky eater but pizza is always something she’ll eat so I went with the Whole Foods Market cheese pizza. I also bought pepperoni to add to it in the shape of a heart before I bake it.

Lemonade (1 of 1)

I grabbed the Whole Foods 365 lemonades to go with our meal. Have you tried these? They are a favorite in our house!

Lemonadeinbottles (1 of 1)

I thought the strawberry lemonade was perfect in keeping with the red theme for Valentine’s Day.

heartcake (1 of 1)

Then I headed over to the bakery to find something special for our dessert. Probably the most important part, right?! I saw this chocolate heart torte on sale for $9.99 and had to get it. My girls are already discussing who gets to eat the flower….

strawberries (1 of 1)

I also grabbed some Driscoll’s strawberries to add to the meal. And that pretty much completes our simple and easy family Valentine’s Day dinner from Whole Foods Market!

everything (1 of 1)

While at the store, I also picked up a couple goodies for the girls. I love these heart shaped frothy bath bombs. And for only $1.29 they are a steal (and smell really good too). My girls will love them!

bathbombs (1 of 1)

I also bought these Melissa & Doug decorate-your-own wooden heart boxes – $6.99.

heartboxes (1 of 1)

My girls are very into their arts & crafts and had so much fun making these.

heartboxes1 (1 of 1)heartboxes2 (1 of 1)

I’d say my Valentine’s Day shopping at Whole Foods Market was a success. I got our meal, drinks, dessert, and gifts for the girls – all for just under $100! If you are short on time, Whole Foods Market also offers pre-shopping online.

GIVEAWAY – I would love to delight one lucky reader with a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card to do your Valentine’s Day shopping. Just head over to my facebook page and “like and comment” for a chance to win! For a bonus entry, comment below on this blog post too (but you must also enter on facebook)! I’ll notify a winner on Sunday, February 12th. Good luck!

Encore Stage & Studio Presents Kids in the Kitchen


Something’s sizzling at Encore! In its newest play series for preschoolers, Encore Stage & Studio presents Kids in the Kitchen— starring professional artists Francesca Chilcote, Carol Spring and Adrian Iglesias who bring kitchen adventures and colorful foods to life, all the while teaching your little one about healthy choices. With more than a tablespoon of fun, Encore has the recipe for an exciting theatre-going experience for you and your child! The show is recommended for ages 1 and older.

I have partnered with Encore to giveaway a family 4-pack of tickets to see the show! The winner can choose from any of the performance dates below. Just leave a comment below to enter! I’ll notify a winner on Monday, February 13th!

Performance Dates and Showtimes:

Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 10:30 am
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 10:30 am
Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:30 am & 11:45 am
Friday, February 17, 2017 at 10:30 am & 11:45am
Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 10:30 am
Friday, February 24, 2017 at 10:30 am
Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 10:30 am & 11:45 am

TICKETS: $10 General Admission. Tickets are available online at or by calling our box office at (703) 548-1154.

One Big Happy Valentine

Holidays are so much more fun with kids! We really like to embrace them and go all out. The best part is that I get to create those happy memories for my girls. We like to decorate the house and have special traditions from what we do to what we eat. And of course with little girls, every holiday must include a new outfit! This year I found the perfect head to toe Valentine’s Day outfits at Gymboree!

ClaraMae (1 of 1)

Gymboree is a great place to shop for those mommas who like to find coordinating outfits for the kids. Their lines offer cute mix-and-match pieces for children ages newborn to 12 years old. Occasionally, I buy my girls the exact same dress but most often I like to get them each their own unique dress while still having them coordinate. My girls are little fashionistas and they have a lot of opinions on what they wear but one thing is for sure – they won’t wear anything that isn’t comfortable. Gymboree is perfect for them because the fabrics are all so soft.

ClaraBalloons (1 of 1)

I also like that I can get the entire outfit including accessories (hairbows, sunglasses, tights, socks, shoes, and jewelry) in one place. How cute are the heart shaped sunglasses?

ClaraMaeHug (1 of 1)

I’m so impressed with the attention to detail that Gymboree puts into their pieces. Mae’s cupcake dress has pockets (which all little girls love) and a bow on the top of the keyhole in the back. Her leggings have two little pink buttons at the bottom. And Clara’s sweater dress has the sweetest pink heart buttons on the front.

But most importantly the perfect outfits help make perfect Valentine’s Day memories. One thing we love to do together is bake! My girls favorite part is decorating the cookies and then delivering them to our neighbors.

ClaraMaeDecoratingCookies (1 of 1)

We also enjoy stopping by our favorite cupcake shop for a sweet treat! There are so many treats involved with Valentine’s Day but everything is okay in moderation, right?!

CupcakeStore (1 of 1)

My girls also love to make Valentine’s for their classmates and friends. And picking out candy at the candy store is so much fun for them!

MaeCandyStore (1 of 1)ClaraCandyStore (1 of 1)ClaraMaeCandyStore (1 of 1)

What are some of your family’s Valentine’s Day traditions? I am looking forward to taking my girls on a momma-and-me date to a fancy tea party. They will be excited to wear these adorable outfits again! Valentine’s Day is just a couple weeks away so head over to Gymboree to pick out your kids Valentine’s looks now!

I have a $50 Gymboree gift card to give away to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Valentine’s Day tradition is!

ClaraMaeBackyard (1 of 1)clarasunglasses2 (1 of 1)This post is sponsered by Gymboree. I recieved product for review. All opinions are my own.