Adulting Design Your Life Holiday Decor Spread Love

Things I WON’T Do In The New Year

January 6, 2016

 

This is the time of year that normally has me doing 325 crunches, taking every plank challenge that pops up on my Instagram feed, increasing the amount I contribute to my twins’ college funds so much that I can’t afford a fast food meal, drinking a gallon of water, purging my home so I can start the year off organized –  and setting at least 20 other lofty goals. I love to ask people I encounter what their resolutions or goals are, and am always confused by the people how have none. Have you no goals? What are you – dead?!! In a nonjudgmental way, of course. And then as fate would have it – by the third week into my new year, my pattern to crash and burn takes over. Those resolutions and goals turn into good intentions and I am left feeling like a loser because I (how dare me?!!) lived a little. Not. Any. More. This year I vowed not to let the gift and the curse of being overly-ambitious rear it’s ugly head into my New Year. So, I’m doing things differently. This year I decided to focus on things I WON’T do. I had much more fun with the list, and there is something kick-assy, put my foot down and toss my hair over my shoulder about it. In the end, it’s me against me! Here’s my list – you should try one of your own! If you do, please share your self battle.

I WILL NOT FORGET MY PRIORITIES.

This means I will make an effort to wrap up my business – during business hours. My family deserves the best of me….and a focused dinner, homework time, or movie night is not too much to ask. I will be returning your e-mails in the morning (with great energy and zest I might add!).

I WILL NOT TAKE ON ANY PROJECT THAT DOESN’T INSPIRE ME.

This year is big for me. I am walking away from all things that don’t bring me joy. I am choosing to put more energy towards my passion for interior design and life. I’m tired of meeting you girls at Woodmont Grill at Ruth’s Cris! The world is bigger than our backyard and I plan on seeing it!

I WILL NOT BE CAGED.

It’s easy to get into the mommy/wife routine of work, errands, chores, homework, playmates, repeat. You look up and you don’t even know what YOU enjoy anymore – and you are too tired to even think about it. It’s unrealistic to think these responsibilities will go away, but I have decided that once a month I am going to wake up and do/go wherever my heart leads me. Keep your back door open for me and Pepsi in the ‘fridge!

I WILL NOT SACRIFICE MY SLEEP.

There’s never enough hours in the day to finish my to-do list so I find myself working from my laptop in the bed far too often. I’m planning on getting at least 8 hours of shut-eye so I can work less sluggishly during business hours (see number 1). My designer bags should been in my closet not under my eyes!

I WILL NOT BE USED.

In the words of a gal I met from Louisiana, “Woo, chile!”.  To whom much is given much is required – I live by that and I take pleasure in being about to give and help. But, if I haven’t seen you all year – please don’t send me your Christmas gift request (for you or your child). Don’t always ask for the hook up, work on being the plug yourself. If I can’t give you what you asked for AND put the value away in a savings account for my child that same day AND still be comfortable in my day to day – the answer is no.

I WILL NOT PRETEND TO BE WONDER WOMAN.

I need help sometimes. I really do. And, I never ask for it. It’s a weakness of mine. And I also tend not to show my vulnerabilities. I’m working on that.

I WILL NOT DUMB MYSELF DOWN.

This one is hard. As women, it is second nature to dim your light so that no one else in the room is uncomfortable. If someone says “I like your shirt”, you say “This old thing?”…no more! Accept the compliment, you deserve it! Getting an award? Celebrate it! Big up yourself! #preachingtothechoir

I WILL NOT COMPLAIN (let’s be real…I won’t complain AS MUCH)

I am truly blessed. And though my life, like everyone else’s, comes with great challenges. It. Really. Could. Be. Bat-Shit. Worse.

I WILL NOT WING IT.

I will make a plan and work it. The only thing I will be winging is my eyeliner. I’ve been far too lucky for far too long flying by the seat of my pants. It’s time to level up.

I WILL NOT LET MY SCALE PUNK ME.

So, I hate my scale. I get on it every morning and I hate it. It doesn’t move. But screw that, I’m loving all of me this year – even my chunky bits!

P.S. My family hated every bit of playing dress up with me!

 

 

 

FitChicks Holiday Decor

Christmas Cookies Can Be Healthy

December 10, 2015

The universe continues to offer us more and more ways to eat healthy.  One diet that is becoming increasingly popular is the Paleo diet.  If you are not familiar with it, I can offer a brief definition.  Is it a diet based on foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans.  It basically consists of mainly meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.  It excludes diary, grain and processed foods.  On the surface it seems easily doable, but what do you do when it’s holiday time and cookies and cakes are in order?  Christmas cookies with the kids is one of my holiday treats and this year will be no different, so I looked up a few Paleo Christmas cookie recipes.  Here’s one of my favorites I found on AgainstAllGrain.com.

 

Peppermint Chocolate Macaroons!

 

Recipe by: Danielle Walker

 

SERVES: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • dash of seas salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat the egg white with a small pinch of salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes until soft peaks form when you lift the mixer out.
  4. Fold the egg white into the coconut mixture and mix gently until fully combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough and pack them together tightly either by lightly knocking the scoop onto the side of the bowl or pushing it down with your fingers.
  6. Place the dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the tray half way through.
  7. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  8. Optional – dip the bottoms of the macaroons in melted dark chocolate mixed with ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract for an even more decadent treat!

 

Enjoy!  Report back and tell us what you think!

Adulting Design Your Life Spread Love

Six Things To Do With Your Kids This Christmas

December 9, 2015

ELF ON THE SHELF 

The Elf on the Shelf has been the best $30 investment I have made in a long while! Our Elf’s name is Bitty, and he arrives every year on Thanksgiving night. He stays with us until Christmas Eve, and each night he flies to the North Pole to report to Santa on the twins’ behavior. When he returns, he lands in a different spot in our home. The twins wake up each morning excited to find where the Bitty has landed. Last night, Bitty was hungry, and he dove into a bag of Doritos! The Elf on the Shelf sparks adventure and creativity in our home…and most importantly, the wonder of Christmas.

 

CHRISTMAS AT BUSCH GARDENS 

If you haven’t been yet, please treat yourself! Busch Gardens turns into a winter wonderland full of sparkling lights, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, live Christmas Carolers, man-made show that appears to fall from the sky – and even penguins! Yes, penguins. You’ll get to meet Santa in his workshop, and if you are lucky – you can whisper something naughty in his ear that makes his cheeks turn as red as Rudolph’s nose!  I did.

 

THE NATIONAL HARBOR 

Aside from the all of the wonderful shopping and eating options (plug: check out Pretty Girl Cupcakery www.pgcupcakery.com owned by fellow Hampton graduate LaKisa Taylor), Christmas at the National Harbor is on steroids! Most of the activities happen at the Gaylord National Hotel – where you can meet Santa, make gingerbread houses, and enjoy character breakfasts with Shrek. The characters also appear nightly for the Christmas tree drop! And, on Christmas Eve – Santa water skates on the property!

 

MAKE SNOW CREAM 

If we are lucky to have snow during the holiday season, making snow cream is a tradition that my mother started – long before we were overzealous about pollution and germs! The most important rule of snow cream – You. Will. Need. Fresh. Snow!  Scoop up a fresh layer in a bowl and bring it inside. Add vanilla and sugar and stir – and whala! You have snow cream.

 

FIND A WAY TO SERVE

My family bakes cookies every year for a local shelter – but there are tons of ways you can give back! Participate in a canned foods, coat or toiletry drive. Donate to your favorite charity. Volunteer at your national church. You’ll find that giving is the best part of the holiday season.

 

GO CHRISTMAS CAROLING

I got tired of trying to convince my friends to go caroling with me, so I had to trick them! I told them that my kids were performing at Wegman’s and to meet me there. When they arrived, I passed out sheet music and they had no choice but to get down to business. We sounded awful as we walked through the aisles of Wegman’s singing our hearts out. But the laughter, joy, and excitement that we evoked from the shopper’s was priceless. You should try it.

Christmas is a time to make memories. I hope you make every second count.

 

 

All About Design

Tips For Exploring High Point Market – High Point, North Carolina

October 28, 2015

Last week we had the pleasure of attending our first High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina! People have called it the New York Fashion week of furniture and accessories. The beauty and excitement may be the same, but I am sure High Point Market is a lot more active. We logged in over six miles of walking per day and still didn’t get to everything on our list. That certainly will not happen again. Now that we have one Market under our belt, we know how to navigate and plan the next trip to maximize our time. Here are a few tips for anyone in the world of design thinking about attending the High Point Market in the future.  These will help you conquer your first trip!

 

  1. Visit the High Point Market page to select a hotel associated with the event. They coordinated shuttles and free breakfast for High Point Market guests.
  2. Prepare to stay for at least three days. Spreading it out over a few days give you a better chance of seeing all the beautiful vendors on your list without rushing, or skipping appointments. It is also just a lot to cover under 48 hours.
  3. List vendors you want to see by building AND by wing and set appointments accordingly. The High Point website will tell you the location of every participating vendor. Make sure you do that research and have a game plan and agenda before you arrive.
  4. Set appointments. You can certainly just walk in and be helped but your guided visit may be cut short if someone with an appointment arrives. Appointments also help you stay focused on a game plan.
  5. If vendors offer food and drink, which most of them do, take it. It helps keep you fueled and from having to stop or find dining. Now, quite a few offer wine and champagne. You certainly don’t have to say yes to all of those. It will be easy to lose focus!
  6. Make notes of items you want as you go vendor by vendor but refuse the urge to buy everything you see. At the end of day two, look at your list and spend day three or four revisiting your list and making/purchasing your final selections. Also bring notes to the trip with you. List what specific items you need. Otherwise you will be walking around buying everything. Trust me, I know!
  7. Ask BEFORE you take pictures.  Not every vendor is open to pictures being taken.  We learned that the abrasive way at Cynthia Rowley, which was absolutely lovely!
  8. Wear extra comfy flats. If you can’t walk six miles in them, leave them at home.

Print

All About Design Holiday Decor

Pumpkin Spice in Your Life!

September 28, 2015

They say variety is the spice of life but in the fall in winter that spice is definitely pumpkin!  It’s in everything from lattes and coffee to ravioli and lasagna.  Even during Halloween, the pumpkin has become the glam and glitzed feature of many decor diplays.  Here are some of our favorite pumpkin decor trends for the fall and Halloween!

Monogrammed or Lettered – This can be done with paint or through carving!

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Striped and Bedazzled – This would make a fantastic craft activity for kids!

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Polka Dots – Can’t have stripes and leave the polka dots out!

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Table Settings & Vignettes– Settings coordinated by theme of color are also popular!

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Metallic – This has been a popular trend over the last few years!

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Knick Knacks – Items such as candles or candy dishes are great accents!

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Scary Words – Simple words and paint also pop on pumpkins!

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Have  your own ideas?  Please share them here with us.  We would love to see your creativity!

 

 

 

 

All About Design Interior Design

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

September 28, 2015

I recently completed a “space-lift” for a client’s home.  That is when we simply give the space a fresh updated look with new accent chairs, paint, window treatments and accessories.  It is a small service we offer loyal clients at a very discounted rate.   This particular job consisted of upgrading the living room and all of the bedrooms.  The teen daughter had one simple request, she needed a “selfie-worthy” mirror.  No problem!  We found the perfect mirror for her but couldn’t help but make note of a few fab mirrors that stand out all on their own.

We ended up going with this Driftwood mirror combo for her room and en-suite.

driftwood floor mirror driftwood round mirror

Here are a few other favorites we liked as well!

Duchamps Storage Mirror venitian floor mirror

mirror2 Lotus-Mirror-Greige

7.90465-545f7bad37fe6e9f7f750c2b55a8463f  Capital Lighting Mirror

 

 

All About Design Business Tools Interior Design

Trim Work In Progress

September 28, 2015

When a client called us, devastated because her entire home had flooded – we could only image her stress level. She was happy to hand over the design reins, and we were happy to help her take on the challenge of putting her home back together. We are well into the process now, and are uber-excited that our clients’ stress has been replaced with excitement. Ever wonder in which order the design process works? Installing drywall and trim work is one of the very first steps!  Check out the trim designs we are using on this project:

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Every get confused on which type of trim to use for the look you are trying to achieve? Here is a tool we found on the web (source unknown) that is helpful and worth of bookmarking in our Design Tools Library:

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Another trim work designs we love (by Insignia Design Group):

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Design Your Life Good Reads

Wench

September 26, 2015

An ambitious and startling debut novel that follows the lives of four women at a resort popular among slaveholders who bring their enslaved mistresses

wench \’wench\ n. from Middle English “wenchel,” 1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.

Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It’s their open secret.

Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don’t bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory–but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.

To run is to leave behind everything these women value most–friends and families still down South–and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances–all while they are bearing witness to the end of an era.

An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery

All About Design Business Tools DIY

Girl’s Guide to Upholstery

September 22, 2015

Don’t have the budget to buy a new sofa? A great re-ulphostery of your exiting piece is a go-to option.

Once you select the perfect fabric for you new vision, you will need to know just how much of that fabric to buy!

Here’s a cheat sheet for you!

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Happy recovering!

All About Design Business Tools DIY Interior Design

When Going Green Goes Wrong

September 22, 2015

We were tasked with selecting house plants for our dear clients’ beautiful foyer. Needless to say for those that know us, this was a challenge. Fine fabrics – we’ve got that covered. Decadent dining decor – in the bag! Stunning seating areas – done! But houseplants? We were vexed. Check out this picture of my Design Assistant, Aneka – doing what she does best! She was attacking this challenge with a smile! Although we left the store empty-handed, we did stumble across this handy-dandy checklist on the web (source unknown)so that we won’t ever have the same woe (and neither should you!). Apparently, the green-thumbed community has a method for their greenery selection. Check it out!

 

All About Design DIY Interior Design

Top 5 Finds Under $200

September 22, 2015

For us, the design process is furniture selection first, then wall coverings, window treatments paint and lastly, accessories.  You can find many fab accents and knick knacks for your home.  They are small inexpensive items that help to fill and beautify space.

Just like with clothes or fashion, there are high end items less expensive versions of the same look.  We previously covered “Accent Chairs for Any Budget,” however, there are other accents items we would like to put on your radar! This blog will cover the top five accessories I recently found in Target.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much Target has stepped and been a go to for our last little stop for fun grabs for the home.  Here are some recent favorites!

 

Fur Ottoman $64.99

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Accent Table $153.89

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Gold Table $69.99

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Cement and Copper Lamp $65.44

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White Wash & Copper Mirror $33.99

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All About Design

Before & After – Time to Re-Up (Part II)!

September 22, 2015

If you read Before & After – Time to Re-Up (Part I), then you know how this latest upholstery project started.  If you haven’t, make sure you go catch a glimpse of the beautiful chair(s) we did!  We started with the family room chair, but of course we couldn’t stop there.  Up next was the office chair.

Reupholstering your current furniture is a wonderful way to upgrade your space with customized and unique chairs or sofas of all shapes and sizes.

Once again, the awesome upholstery was done by Mr Mac. of Old Mac Upholsters and the fabric was from Kravets.

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BEFORE

 

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AFTER

 

All About Design

Before & After – Time to Re-Up (Part I)!

September 21, 2015

In mid-July I decided to upgrade my own home. Now of course there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, but I just love the beauty and creativity of the process. I didn’t buy all new furniture. After all, I already loved the shape and size of a number of items I had and couldn’t find anything I liked much better. The quick answer – get them reupholstered.

The lovely fabric is from Kravets. The upholstery was done by Mr Mac. of Old Mac Reupholsters who works with us on a number of design projects!

View the transformation process below!

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This is the original chair sent to Mr. Mac.

 

Here is the process of his work!

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The new fabric!

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The finished product!

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Adulting

Dinner En Blanc – Washington, DC

September 8, 2015

Woman of all ages and races have one thing in common. We love dresses or skirts with pockets. At least that is what I was told over and over again at the super fab Dinner En Blanc event in Washington, DC! So many women stopped to chat about their love of the pockets on my dress. Such a simple pleasure. More important than pocket discussions, was the unifying vibe of the event. Over 2,700 people of all races and backgrounds popped up on the steps of The Carnegie Library, dressed to the nines in all white to dine with friends and strangers. It was beautiful. The unity, fashion and sparklers were awesome but as a designer, I appreciated the beauty of the tables and centerpieces the most! They were so creative! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the event!

 

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For more great photos and information check out #DEB!

Design Your Life Good Reads

Me Before You, Jojo Meyes

August 26, 2015

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

All About Design Interior Design

7 Signs You Need to Redecorate

August 26, 2015

As an Interior Decorator I keep the redecorating itch, even in my own home. I am always finding something prettier, fresher or newer. Sometimes I buy one new piece that somehow justifies acquiring all new accents or items to match. I don’t wish this for you, but I certainly desire beauty for your home! Here are a few signs that it is time to redecorate your home.

  1. Lifestyle Change – Perhaps the most obvious reason is a change in your lifestyle. Are you suddenly into working out? Maybe a home gym or workout area needs a priority in your home. Getting married, having kids, kids leaving and even divorce are all changes that may require the addition, upgrading or purging of your previous décor.
  2. Old Style or Taste – This is similar to the first sign, however sometimes you just outgrow your space or old taste. Maybe you used to be more eclectic or contemporary but you now have more traditional tastes. When this happens, it is time to redecorate.
  3. Same Ole Same – To take the previous sign a bit further, if your home has the exact same décor as when you moved in many years ago, it is at least time for an update.   It is what I like to call, a space-lift.
  4. Bored – If your home bores you and doesn’t leave you feeling inspired or renewed, it is time.
  5. No More Hosting – If you used to love to entertain but no longer volunteer your home, it may be time. On a similar note, if your friends insist on having events at someone else’s home, that may be their sign to you, ha!
  6. Décor for Fun – If you are an HGTV fanatic, or follow décor blogs and have more décor pins on Pinterest than you do clothes, your creativity may just be calling you to update your home.
  7. Colorstruck – If you are obsessed with a color you keep seeing (HGTV, Pinterest, other homes, etc.), you might as well give in to the light! Perhaps it’s not just one color. If you have a thing for collecting or picking up paint chips, then you already know it is time to at least upgrade your paint color.

Redecorating doesn’t have to be as dramatic as it sounds. Some quick solutions include new paint, pillows, accessories, vignettes and rearranging your furniture. Start with baby steps if you need to!

Adulting

10 Things to Do with Kids Before Labor Day

August 26, 2015

The kiddos are on their way back to school, one of the final signs that summer is over! I refuse to give in until after Labor Day. On one hand it will be great to get back into the rhythm of the school year, but I will miss hanging with my love bugs the way the summer allows. For those of you looking for a few great activities to do with your kids before Labor Day, this blog is for you! If you do not live in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, you can find similar activities in your city!

 

1- Fruit Picking

Where: Gorman Farm

Location:  10151 Gorman Rd, Laurel

Website: http://www.gormanproducefarm.com/pick-your-own-strawberries

 

2- Golf Games

Where:  Top Golf

Location:  6625 S. Van Dorn St., Alexandria, VA 22315.

Website: http://topgolf.com/us/alexandria/

 

3 –Indoor Play

Where:  Play and Learn Playground Supercenter -This indoor store sells play sets with twisty slides, climbing walls and swings and hosts open play every day. The 6,000-square-foot space has swing sets on rubberized flooring, three trampolines, basketball hoops, and air hockey or foosball tables.

Location: 9133 Red Branch Road, Columbia, MD

Website: http://store.playgroundsuperstores.com/Columbia_Store_s/1867.htm

 

4- More Indoor Play

Where: Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex- Take your budding gymnasts to an open gym focusing on gymnastics basics for kids who are walking to 12 years. Instructors are on hand to help kids with the trampolines, bars and tumble tracks.

Location: 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, MD

Website: http://www.pgsportsandlearn.com/Home.htm

 

5 – Museums

Where:  Chesapeake Children’s Museum, 
Kids can climb aboard a 10-foot boat and “pier” to don a lifejacket or catch plush fish and crabs in the museum. Or they can check out an authentic dentist’s chair with instruments or the doctor’s area with a human body Stuffee. The Express Yourself art station offers avariety of self-serve art materials. Young engineers can build endless creations at the train table and blocks stations.

Location: Silopanna, Road, Annapolis MD

Website:  http://www.theccm.org/

 

6 – More Museums

Where:  National Building Museum,  The construction play space at the National Building Museum has a Building Zone with an exploratory room designed for kids ages 2 to 6 that features blocks of every kind. Kids can drive bulldozers and trucks in the construction zone, build a tower or brick wall, curl up in the book nook or try on some construction gear.
Older kids can check out the Play, Work, Build exhibit where they can build small-scale structures, participate in virtual block play or use supersized foam blocks to exercise their muscles and mind.

Location:  401 F Street NW, Washington, DC

Website: http://www.nbm.org/

 

7 – Horseback Riding

Where: Rock Creek Park Horse Center

Location:  5100 Glover Road,Washington, DC

Website:  http://www.rockcreekhorsecenter.com/

 

8 – Waterpark, Batting Cages and More

Where: Cameron Run Regional Park – Cameron Run Regional Park offers a variety of recreation facilities in an urban area, including Great Waves Water Park. Catch a wave in the wave pool, twist and turn down four-story water slides, take a plunge down speed slides, play with friends in the shallow waters of the play pool. The park also features a deluxe miniature golf course, a nine-station batting cage, picnic shelters, and a special events pavilion.

Location: 4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA

Website: http://www.nvrpa.org/park/cameron_run/

 

9 – Nationals Game:

Where: Nationals Park – is a wonderful atmosphere for children and the whole family! You can take single servings of food and unopened bottles of water for the outdoor fun!

Location: 1500 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC

Website: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=was

 

10 – Volunteer:

Where:  Sarah’s House: Provides safe shelter, daily meals, personal, as well as professional casework support for those in need. Teaching kids to give back to others and their community is an awesome way to end the summer!

Location: 2015 20th St., Fort Meade, MD 20755

Website: http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/sarahs-house/

 

 

 

Good Reads

The 5 Love Languages

August 26, 2015

When you get married there are certain clichés people just throw out there without truly defining what they mean. “Marriage is hard” is the most popular. Everyone says it, but very few can explain exactly what is hard about it. Once I got married I realized why. It is difficult to explain, yet easy to understand once you have a marriage of your own. Other words of wisdom include “communication is key.” That is unbelievably true as well. As we all know communication isn’t simply saying whatever you have to say. As women, especially business women we have NO problem letting you know where we stand. However a long time ago a friend of mine suggested taking a quiz based off the book, “The 5 Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman.

I am sure quite a few of you are already familiar with this quiz, book and concept. It was a great exercise in learning how your partner RECEIVES or feels love. The languages are;

1 – Words of Affirmation: They embrace words that affirm or support.

2- Acts of Service: They prefer actions, such as taking their car to get serviced.

3- Receiving Gifts: They like to receive gifts.

4- Quality Time: They value time spent with you.

5- Physical Touch: Hand Holding and other forms of PDA.

 

We are all a mix of these things but we rank them differently. For example if Quality Time ranks high for me and receiving gifts ranks high for my husband, we may show our love in different ways. He may always buy me things but spend very little time with me. It doesn’t mean he loves me any less. That is just how he receives/feels love and therefore most likely shows it as well.

It is a great book and conversation piece for any couple. Start by taking the quiz here!

(http://www.5lovelanguages.com/)

Design Your Life Good Reads

My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Piccoult

August 16, 2015

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

Good Reads

Keisha’s Book Pick: All You Could Ask For

August 15, 2015

All You Could Ask For, debut novel by Mike Greenberg, cohost of ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, is a tender and insightful story of friendship and love, heartbreak and renewal, played out in the lives of three unforgettable women.

Brooke has been happily married to her college sweetheart for fifteen years. Even after the C-section, the dog poop, the stomach viruses and the coffee breath, Scott always winks at her in just the right moments. That is why, for her beloved, romantic, successful husband’s fortieth birthday, she is giving him pictures. Of herself. Naked.

Newlywed Samantha learns of her husband’s cheating heart when she finds the goods on his computer.

High-powered career woman Katherine works with heartbreaker Phillip, the man who hurt her early on in her career.

Brooke, Samantha, and Katherine don’t know each other, but their stories are about to intertwine in ways no one could have imagined.

And all three are about to discover the power of friendship to conquer adversity, the satisfaction of unexpected delights, the incredible difference one human being can have on other lives–and that they have all they could ask for, as long as they have each other

Adulting

My Child Needs Glasses!

August 15, 2015

So….I’m 20/20. I have perfect vision, I see things that I am not even supposed to see. It’s like I have eyes behind my head (my husband says I’m just “nosy”!).  So, not being able to see isn’t typically on my radar. I have experience with glasses. When my son started having recurring headaches that woke us both up during the night, I became concerned and consulted his Pediatrician. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I thought a lot of things – but never vision!  To the eye doctor we go, based on her recommendation. Now let me paint this picture…my wee child knows his alphabet back and forth and can count and recognize numbers beyond 100. Yet, when asked to call out the letters he saw on the Eye Doctor’s vision board – he was making major mistakes. He was calling the letter “R” and “O”, and worse! I can’t explain how I felt, as Mommy. I know that needing glasses isn’t the worst thing in the world. I know that once he has them, he will thrive. What I was hung up on was – how long was he struggling to see? Why didn’t I recognize this? As mothers we always beat ourselves up, when everyday we are doing our best. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my kids, and I am glad that this was caught before he starts school. Dale will have his glasses in a few weeks and I can’t wait to share the picture. I know I’m partial, but he looks SO cute in them!

Good Reads

Want to Escape? Read!

August 15, 2015

My first book pick, is one that I am currently reading. “Who Do You Love?” by Jennifer Weiner. I can’t wait to update this post with my thoughts upon completion, because Weiner has never disappointment me. This story line promises the perfect mix of nostalgia, hope, and the premise that in the end love prevails. The perfect mix of emotions for me.

DIY Interior Design

How to Layer Your Nightstand

August 4, 2015

Want Depth? Here’s your answer! Who said that a nightstand is only for a lamp and your whatnots? Use your nightstand to create dimension by layering items you love. Lamps, Artwork, Jewelry Boxes, Books – all can be artistically displayed. In our example, we used products from Home Goods to spruce up our traditional nightstand. Instead of hanging our art on the wall, we used the nightstand as a display stand for featuring. The result was lovely, and out-of-the box! Remember, decorating is all about being uniquely you! Have an idea? Try it out. Be sure to share your pics with me.

DIY Interior Design

Never Go Wrong With Neutrals

August 4, 2015

Benjamin Moore is my go-to brand for paint. Their quality paint always applies well, and what you see is what you get. The swatch colors always match up to what goes on the wall. When choosing a neutral paint, decide first if you want a cool or warm tone. Once you make the choice, you can build from there. Some of Benjamin Moore’s best selling neutrals are shown above, but my personal fave is not shown. It’s Cedar Key, by Ben Moore. Cedar Key is not quite grey, and not quite brown – but works with both warm and cool families. This means you are safe when choosing any accent color! Try it with an icy blue, or a mix of metals – for a drool worthy room! Be sure to drop a line to me or tag me on your paint projects. I’d love to see the neutrals you choose.

FitChicks

Crossfit – It Sucks Everytime!

August 4, 2015

This picture is funny in so many ways to me. The irony of it, mainly. Let me disclaim before I go further – I am nowhere near my goal (you see that back fat!), but I am so far from where I started. See, I am about as unathlethic as they come. As a child, I played INSIDE – and this was before that was normal. I didn’t like to get dirty, and I definitely didn’t like to sweat. Look up “prissy” in the dictionary, and you would see a picture of me raising my hand! So for me to now be able to lift weights that weigh more than ME…well, I have to high-five myself for that one! I started working out consistently about two years ago….after several failed attempts. I was the girl that the trainers quit. I’ve had several to quit on me, and this is not to discredit them – because the problem was ME. I was a whiner, I would convince any male trainer that I was too tired to go any further. As someone with asthma and a convincing smile, it’s easy to pull off.  Then, two things happened. I started viewing my health differently – mainly because of my kids. I have to be around for them, and in order to be my best self, I have to be healthy. The second thing was, I found someone to INSPIRE me. In this process, I learned a lot about myself. I can’t be taunted, tricked, or bribed into working out. I don’t care to outlift or outrun anyone. But, if a person inspires me – I don’t want to let them down. For me, that person was my trainer Kenya. I’ve watched her singlehandedly lose over 100 pounds and form a thriving fitness business in the process. And, she has been the only trainer to really motivate me. I started working out with her, and her principles have stuck with me as I have transitioned to Crossfit. And yes, it sucks every time. It never gets easier. But the feeling when you complete your WOD – utter joy. You feel like you just ran a marathon. And guess what, you didn’t die.

Here’s the WOD I did today, try it at home!

21-15-9

Do three rounds of each exercise. First round, do 21 reps. Second round, do 15 reps. Third rep, do 9 reps.

Box Step-Ups, Holding 20 pound dumbbells

Push-Ups

Body Row’s

Front Squats (I did 55 pounds)

 

Travel Wanderlust

Crushin’ on Cabo

August 4, 2015

There’s a difference between doing Cabo in your 20’s and doing Cabo in your 30’s. The vantage point is so much different! On my first go around, I spent a lot of time at Cabo Wabo taking shots from a test tube that was hanging from a strangers mouth (don’t ask!). I probably couldn’t have told you anything about the breathtaking views or the town itself. And if I had any recovery time, back then it was from the tequila – not the hiking! Well this time, I saw a different side of Cabo.

We stayed at Villa Bellisimo with a group of 16 friends. The house was so spacious that, even with such a large group, we weren’t on top of each other. Imagine a hillside villa in the elite Pedregal community of Cabo with the warmth of Baja, with views of both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. The architectural details of this home were unparalleled! With two pools, several open entertainment areas both indoors and outdoors, a summer kitchen, a theater room, and an exercise room – I had everything I needed for the perfect holiday!

The BEST part of the villa was the service. The butler’s name is Alex, and he was such a kind spirit! I liked him instantly when, after losing a card game for which the loser had to take SEVERAL shots (and I am no shot taker!), he read my silent cues and replaced the “tequila” in my shot glass with water! Hats off to Alex!

The villa sat at the very top of a cliff, and being on a mission to get fit, I decided to take a walk to the bottom. Only, I couldn’t make it back to the top! The heat was stifling and I was hiding between bushes to catch my breath. I literally thought I was going to die. I saw the true testament of the Mexican spirit when two natives kindly gave me a ride on the back of their pick up truck back to the villa. I didn’t try that again!

The town of Cabo also had an amazing vibe! For the leary, there were several local restaurant chains mixed in with the native fare. But what I loved the most, was the textiles market! Color galore! And there was really cool artwork too!

Whether you choose to stay at a villa or at a hotel, I definitely recommend Cabo. I’m still crushin’ on it.

Design Your Life Good Reads

Little Mercies, Heather Gudenkauf

July 26, 2015

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity; the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together

Design Your Life Good Reads

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

July 2, 2015

In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.

CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth, and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies…

All About Design DIY Holiday Decor

4th of July Decor!

June 29, 2015

Fourth of July weekend is days away and some of us will be hitting the road for a much needed and well deserved vacation! Others will be hosting family and friends for a day of food, fun and fireworks! If you are looking for a few last minute additions to really make your party pop, this blog is for you!

For décor, consider a red and white striped table cloth with blue table settings and red accent pieces. This is one way to honor our flag without using an actual American flag as a table cloth, which is offensive to some people.

4thofjuly2

 

Other simple additions include red, white and blue beverages. In this example below, they use lemonade/lemondrop as the “white” but, I suggest using ice water which is sure to be welcomed in the summer heat! These beverages can be family friendly or strictly for adults. There are many possibilities.

4thofjuly

One last suggestion would be these cake pops. You can buy them from a cake shop or bakery, or make it a fun project to do with your kids. You would need cake mix, icing, cake sticks, wax paper and colored, meltable candy, which can be found at Party City.

4th-of-July-Cake-Pops-e1368630369463

If you are hosting this 4th of July I hope you try and enjoy a few of these ideas and let me know how it goes!