My girls and I recently tried a Tinkergarten class for the first time and loved it! The Tinkergarten philosophy is that children learn through play. They offer outdoor classes all across the country for children ages 18 months to 8 years old.

Tinkergarten is on a mission to elevate childhood. We’re growing a technology-enabled network of leaders that bring families together in a natural place in their community for classes where kids learn through play. Each class becomes a tight-knit group of children and adults who learn together through well-designed, outdoor play-based activities. We help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy, collaboration, creativity, persistence and problem solving. Our expert-designed classes and activities help kids ages 18 months—8 years develop core life skills while enjoying healthy, fun, engaging experiences in the physical freedom of local green spaces.

Our class location was at Falls Road Park in Potomac, Maryland and our instructor (who was wonderful) was Denise Reznik. You can find her class schedule here. There are many more classes and locations offered in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. To find one near your neighborhood, click here.


At our class, the kids started out by picking up a small bucket with a rock inside of it with their name on it. Then they took magnifying glasses and other tools to go searching for nature treasures in the park. I loved watching my girls do this activity and get so excited about the little things they found like pine cones, wild flowers, seed pods, and even caterpillars!

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Next, we came back together as a group and met everyone and sang a cute “Come to Tinkergarten” song. Then Denise read the book, Stone Soup to the class. The story told an important lesson that by working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved. So then after the story it was time for the kids to work together and make their own stone soup using things they found in nature! All the kids were really enthusiastic about this activity. They all found things in the park to add to the pot and by using their imagination they had created a delicious soup!


The class was a great experience for both my girls and I! It was a fun learning and social environment. The Fall classes start in just two weeks. There are a couple of free trial classes offered at the beginning of September as well. I highly recommend trying a class!


Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO – Review


Cirque du Soleil has built quite the reputation for their artistic contemporary circus shows, so I was super excited when I heard Ovo was coming to the DC and Baltimore area. I have seen a couple of their productions in Las Vegas but this was the first time I attend one of their touring shows. I was also thrilled to be able to take my oldest daughter Clara with me for a special momma-daughter date to see the show Friday night.

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OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity, beauty, action and moments of quiet emotion. The awestruck insects are intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their lives.

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The performance is broken into two acts.  We loved the entire show but I think the second act was our favorite. Cirque du Soleil does an amazing job of combining music, dance, juggling, and acrobatic acts to keep the audience entertained throughout.

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The second act was a little faster paced and featured the trapeze artists and the trampoline performers – these were two of our favorite parts.

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At the end, all of the performers came together for the fun and upbeat finale.

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I was happy that my daughter loved the show! I would definitely recommend taking kids but probably ages 5+ would be best. Clara loved all the different insects and we both thought the costumes were outstanding! Go see the show; you will not be disappointed!

There are 7 shows at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore this week August 23-27. Purchase tickets here.


*I received 2 complimentary tickets in exchange for a review. No other compensation received. All opinions are my own.



Back to School Haircuts at Cartoon Cuts

I can’t believe summer is winding down and it’s almost back to school time! It feels like every summer goes faster and faster. Why is it that summer goes by so fast and winter seems to drag on forever?! We are trying to make the most of these last three weeks of summer while also getting organized and ready to start school again. My girls picked out new backpacks, we bought school supplies, and this past weekend we went to Cartoon Cuts for fresh haircuts.

We have been getting haircuts at the Congressional Plaza location in Rockville, MD for the past couple of years. Our experience has always been great so it just makes sense to go back to a place where my girls are comfortable. They actually get really excited to go….it’s pretty cute!

I love that we are greeted so warmly when we walk into the salon. I think that has a big impact on making the kids feel comfortable. This time my girls had their hair cut by Hatice and she was wonderful!

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My oldest daughter, Clara decided she wanted to go first. Cartoon Cuts has this great hair washing station where the water comes out of Ellie the Elephants trunk! It makes it fun and not so scary for the kids.

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Hatice was so friendly and chatted with Clara the entire time she was cutting her hair. She finished Clara’s cut with a blow dry and then put in a clip. And as you can tell, Clara was super excited about the final result!

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Next up was Mae. This was the first time she let anyone other than me wash her hair! I could tell she felt very comfortable with Hatice and she ended up really enjoying this part!

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Mae has really curly hair and I feel like it takes a skilled stylist to know how to cut it well. Hatice clearly knew what she was doing!

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Cartoon Cuts always shows Peppa Pig on the TV screens in front of the chairs which is very helpful in getting the little ones to sit still.

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Mae was also very happy with her haircut!

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After a summer of spending many days at the pool, haircuts were definitely needed to get the dry and damaged ends off. We couldn’t have been happier with Hatice; she was so nice and did a great job! It feels good to check one more thing off our list before school starts!

We really had such a great experience at Cartoon Cuts in Rockville! I can’t recommend them enough! Another great thing about this location is that you can grab a treat at Starbucks or Baskin Robbins afterwards. Or get lunch or dinner at the kid-friendly restaurants nearby – Baja Fresh, Noodles & Company, and Lebanese Taverna (to name a few). There are also a few other Cartoon Cuts locations in the DMV area:

Baltimore – White Marsh Mall

8200 Perry Hall Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21236
(410) 931-1588
Mon – Sat 10:00am – 9:00pm
Sun 11:00am – 6:00pm

Columbia- The Mall in Columbia

10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Columbia, MD 21044
(410) 740-6665
Mon – Sat 10:00am – 9:00pm
Sun 11:00am – 6:00pm

Rockville Congressional Plaza

1619 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 816-3098
Mon – Fri 10:00am – 8:00pm
Sat 9:00am – 8:00pm
Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm

DullesDulles Town Center

21100 Dulles Town Cir
Dulles, VA 20166
(703) 433-1440
Mon – Sat 10:00am – 9:30pm
Sun 11:00am – 7:00pm

Fairfax– Fair Oaks Mall

11784 Fair Oaks Mall
Fairfax, VA 22033
(703) 359-2887
Mon – Fri 9:30am – 9:30pm
Saturday 9:00am – 9:30pm
Sun 11:00am – 6:00pm

Springfield – Springfield Town Center

6511 Springfield Mall
Springfield, VA 22150
Mon – Sat 10:00am – 9:30pm
Sun 11:00am – 7:00pm

**I received two free haircuts in exchange for this blog post. No additional compensation received. All opinions are my own.



Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream Featuring Moana and Beauty and the Beast

image001Disney’s Moana comes onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream when the show arrives to the D.C. metropolitan area this fall, September 29th – October 8th. The tour will bring Disney’s favorite characters and fun events. Tickets are on sale now.

Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza when beloved characters from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella visit Fairfax from Friday, September 29 to Sunday, October 8 for 11 performances at the EagleBank Arena.

Celebrate what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! In her Disney On Ice debut, see how far Moana will go in an epic adventure with demigod, Maui, to save her island and discover her true identity. Join Belle as she fearlessly befriends the enchanted castle staff and reveals the Beast’s gentleness. Experience Anna’s devotion to her sister, Elsa, on her life-changing journey to stop an eternal winter. Explore with Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Cinderella and friends from around the Disney Kingdom as they find the heart and determination to overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true.  Journey with Mickey and Minnie to uncover why no goal is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream!

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream start at $20 and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets via charge, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, via www.ticketmaster.com, and at the EagleBank Arena box office. To learn more about, go to DisneyOnIce.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

By the Seashore at Arts on the Horizon

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

bytheseashore-logo-webLast weekend I took my girls to see By the Seashore at Arts on the Horizon. It was super cute! If you have little ones ages 0-6, you should definitely check out their shows! “Arts on the Horizon values intelligent, innovative, and original work for diverse young audiences that is accessible, affordable, inspiring and fun.”


By the Seashore takes us on a magical journey to a place children love to visit – the beach!  From birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between, young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky (with no need for wings or scuba gear!). Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for babies and young toddlers.

Even though this show is recommended for ages 0-2, my girls ages 4 & 6 really enjoyed it! Before the show started we checked out the all the fun stations set up in a separate room. There was a Beach Day photo station where the kids could try on leis and hold beach toys for a fun photo opp. A sensory station contained items of different textures like things you would find at the beach. My girls had fun in the sandcastle station where they built a castle out of blocks.


After we explored all the different stations it was time to go into the theater for the show. At the performances the children sit on the floor, right in front of the stage area. Parents can join them or sit in the row of chairs directly behind the floor seating.


There are three actors in the show and it is all non-verbal. The actors make noises and are accompanied by music and ocean sounds. The children love how the actors interact with them and let them feel the props throughout the show. We were very impressed with the props that are so creative and visually appealing to the little ones. There is a fish mobile, a sea turtle made out of a life preserver, and jellyfish made out of a beach balls with lights inside. Running time is 20 minutes, plus a 10-15 minute exploration time after the production where children can interact with the props used in the show and the performers (30-35 minutes total). The show is perfect for ages 0-2 but if you have older children, they will love it too!

There are just 3 shows remaining:

Friday, July 28th at 10:30am
Saturday, July 29th at 10:00am
Saturday, July 29th at 11:30am

 $6. Purchase tickets here.Save




National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is one of my favorite green spaces in the city. I love that it always feels quiet and relaxing even though the Mall is crowded and bustling just steps away. My girls and I stopped here on Sunday while we were museum hopping to rest and refuel. We grabbed treats in the Pavilion Cafe and then took them out to the fountain to enjoy. After we relaxed with our toes in the water for a bit we were ready to head to our next destination – The National Carousel. Another summer must-do if you are in the Mall area with kids. It’s also a great way to reward (or a bribe) for good behavior in the museums!

Click here to see our complete guide to visiting the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden on Mommy Nearest!

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Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO is Coming to Baltimore this Summer!


For the first time ever, Cirque Du Soleil’s award-winning OVO is coming to the DC/Baltimore region. The internationally touring show is coming to the Royal Farms Arena from August 23 to August 27. OVO is the quintessential Cirque performance, filled with the acrobatic stunts, spectacular costumes, sets and theatrics audiences have come to love.

OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight, and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.  When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives.  It is love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual.  The cast of OVO is comprised of 50 performing artists from 12 countries specializing in many acrobatic acts.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $36. Purchase here.


DC Pediatric Smiles Dental Practice Opens in Bethesda

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The team at DC Pediatric Smiles and Dr Derek Blank are excited to announce that their new office in Bethesda is now open! They take pride in creating a relaxed environment for children of all ages to enjoy their dental experience.  Dr Derek, as he is known to his patients, is a board certified pediatric dentist and father of three young children.


  • Board Certified – DC Pediatric Smiles is proud to be the only pediatric dental practice in Bethesda owned and operated by a board certified pediatric dentist.
  • Free Parking – We offer ample, surface parking just steps away from our door.  And the office is completely stroller accessible, no stairs or elevator.
  • Convenient Hours – Open select evenings and Saturdays with 24/7 on-call services provided by our pediatric dentist for any after-hours emergencies.
  • Complimentary Initial Visit – For children ages 2 and under, we offer a free initial appointment.  And for patients of all ages, please stop in for a complimentary office tour!
  • Latest Technology – Our all-digital office is excited to offer the newest high-tech conveniences including iPad check-in, online appointment booking, and Netflix.
  • Potomac Surf Club – Have you ever surfed the Potomac?  Doubt it.  But a clean check-up will earn your child a spot in our exclusive Potomac “Cavity-Free” Surf Club.

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The DCPS Experience

At DC Pediatric Smiles, we understand that a child’s experience with dentistry is a journey.  Each child enters our office at a different stage along that journey.  Dr Blank and his team are specially trained to identify how to help your child feel comfortable and develop a patient-provider foundation of trust.  Our Laugh.Grow.Smile. approach is critical to this success.


Teeth aside for a moment, we want to start by learning about your child.  Your child’s interest in music, sports, language, art, and dance.  What makes your child excited?  And of course, essential questions like… Paw Patrol or Cars?  …Daniel Tiger or Nemo?  …And Anna or Elsa? (or Olaf?).


At each appointment, Dr Blank and the team at DCPS aim to make a real, direct impression on your child.  The goal?  To instill one pearl of practical dental knowledge in your child’s memory.  Sometimes this can be a brushing demonstration, a new way to hold floss, or even a healthy snacking tip.


At the end of the first appointment, we strive for your child to leave the office grinning from ear-to-ear.  Does this really happen?  Yes, most of the time.  And when it doesn’t, we work even harder to ensure that we improve your child’s level of familiarity and enthusiasm with each subsequent appointment.

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DC Pediatric Smiles is now scheduling new patients! They look forward to seeing your smiling face in their office soon!

DC Pediatric Smiles is located at 5640 Shields Dr. in Bethesda, MD. They can be reached at 301.363.9026.

Premama Maternity Wellness


I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with baby #3! This pregnancy is going by so quickly. Thankfully after a rough first trimester, I have been feeling pretty good ever since! With two little ones who keep me on the go constantly and a husband who works extremely long hours, I’ve had to focus on staying healthy and energized to get through this pregnancy. I’ve been really trying to eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and take vitamins and supplements. A brand that I recently became aware of with lots of helpful “non-pill” supplements is Premama.

Premama® was born from the idea that daily prenatal essentials and maternity supplements should be easy to take and easy on the stomach. Since 2011, Premama has endeavored to make all moms happier with its best-in-class line of natural powdered supplements formulated to support preconception through postnatal nutritional needs, concerns and conditions. Our pill-free, drink mix solutions contain high-quality, clinically-studied and physician-approved ingredients, and are designed to blend seamlessly with liquids and soft foods. Just mix and enjoy! The award winning Premama is available online at drinkpremama.com and retailers across the US, including GNC, CVS, Sprout’s, Buy Buy Baby, Vitamin Shoppe, H-E-B, Target.com, Diapers.com, Jet.com and Amazon.

One Premama product that I have found especially helpful during this pregnancy is the Premama Prenatal Fiber + Probiotic Soft Chew. They actually taste really good – almost like a piece of candy.


  • Supports healthy digestion and a healthy immune system during pregnancy
  • May ease constipation, bloating and other minor digestive discomforts associated with pregnancy
  • Formulated with 1 Billion CFUs of Probiotics and 2g of Fiber per chew
  • Vegetarian, naturally flavored
  • Vanilla Caramel flavored

Premama also makes these other supplements for before, during, and after pregnancy:

  • Premama Fertility Supplement Drink Mix
  • Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix
  • Premama Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Drink Mix
  • Premama Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Gummy
  • Premama Prenatal Sleep Aid Soft Chew
  • Premama Prenatal Energy Drink Mix
  • Premama Lactation Supplement Drink Mix

If you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, you should definitely head over to the Premama website and request free samples! They also offer a coupon you can use online or in stores. In the D.C. area, Premama products are carried at Target, CVS, GNC, and the Vitamin Shoppe.



National Building Museum’s “Hive” Exhibit

The National Building Museum’s highly anticipated Hive installation is now open and, trust us, it’s a must-do for both D.C. families and visitors! As part of the Summer Block Party series, Studio Gang (an architecture and urban design practice based in Chicago and New York) brings us the tallest installation to ever be constructed in the historic Great Hall—it’s built with more than 2,500 wound paper tubes. The Hive consists of three interconnected domed chambers reaching 60 feet tall that are designed to be experienced through sight and sound. This interactive exhibit is very kid-friendly and something the whole family can enjoy together. (Not to mention the perfect summer outing to escape the D.C. heat and humidity!) I took my girls the day it opened and we had such a fun morning at the museum.

Click here to read our article on Mommy Nearest to see what all the “buzz” is about, and make sure to plan your visit before the exhibit closes on September 4.

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