Occoquan Mother's Day Basket Giveaway 2013

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Published: 04/05/2013
Win The Clotheslines' Mothers Day Gift Basket

Mothers Day Basket Give Away
Register to win this amazing gift basket from the shops on Washington Street
One ticket everyday, one additional ticket
with a minimum $25.00 purchase from

Touch of Gold*
Willow Street Decor
The Clothesline
Drawing will be held Saturday, May 11th at 2:00pm. Winner need not be present.
Additional tickets may be purchased at $2.00 each.

Chick Fil A Mother Son "Date Knight"

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Published: 05/15/2012
When it comes to fast food, nobody does it quite like Chick-Fil-A.   From their friendly staff to great healthy options like grilled chicken nuggets and fruit cups, we're always really happy with our visits.  Even their play places have always been clean at every location we go to.  (Admittedly, we're not world travelers, but we have been to some CFA's in our time!)

One of the great parts about our local Prince William County Chick-Fil-A restaurants is that they're so kid-friendly! Whether it's family nights, movie nights, crafts, kids eat free, or special events, they're always fantastic about making sure your family can have fun!  Last year, my husband and daughter attended the Father/Daughter Date night.  My hubby was a little dubious about the whole thing when I signed him up and didn't give him an option  he decided to go :).  He wasn't sure what would make going with a reservation to fast food so special.  However, they had a great time, and were so impressed that when Mother Son "Date Knight" came up, I knew my boys and I were going.

 We went to the Woodbridge, Virginia Chick-Fil-A, and we were impressed by the set up! They turned the back half of the restaurant into a castle! The walls were draped with "stone" backdrop and they had balloons, crowns, and even cows with swords (see below)
 Note the cocktail picks.  :)  The restaurant event took the time to give some fun talking points.  My boys really enjoyed questions like "Would you rather live at the bottom of the ocean or on the moon?" and "Would you rather be a spider for a week or an elephant for a year?"  They sound really silly, but it got everyone talking, and the tables around us all seemed to be enjoying them, too!
 Next there was a "shield" we could use to make a family crest.  On the back, it explains the different animals found on crests and what they symbolize.  We decided to do an owl holding a fish because "Mommy wants us to make the wise choice, but we want to be crazy!" (Owls symbolize wisdom and fish symbolize energy).

The ever-friendly Chick-Fil-A staff (decked out with aprons and crowns) comes to take your order table side and delivers your meal on plates.  You still pay, both for yourself and the kids, so plan accordingly.  This is not a kids eat free night.  However, you do get free dessert! We got to try the new chocolate chip cookies (which are way off in the cookie-to-chocolate ratio, and I mean that in a VERY good way!) and also had the option of a brownie or an ice dream.
Of course, the cow also made an appearance! We had a lot of fun and will definitely make plans to attend again in the future!!

You can sign up to get email alerts from your local Prince William County Chick-Fil-A Restaurant! You can also follow them on Facebook.

-Chick-Fil-A Bristow, Manassas Virginia
-Chick-Fil-A Woodbridge, Woodbridge Virginia
-Chick-Fil-A Signal Hill, Manassas Virginia
-Chick-Fil-A Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas Virginia
-Chick-Fil-A Virginia Gateway, Gainesville Virginia

Mother's Day

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Published: 05/11/2012
My first Mother's Day was embarrassing.  I was working in DC and pregnant with my son, and all day long people asked me what my husband did for Mother's Day.

Yeah, his sister told him that it was "bad luck" to give mother's day presents before the baby was born, so he did nothing.

No card, no flowers, no nothing.  He was up in Massachusetts, and I'm not even sure he called me until midnight.  The next day at work, the people who'd waited all day to see my flowers delivered the day before were eager to hear what he'd done when I got home.  Answer: still nothing.  One particularly flamboyant co-worker actually snapped his fingers and said "Oh sh** honey, I'd kick his you-know-what".  To this day I'm thankful for that momentary outburst because it kept me from crying in a combination of hormones and horror of having to admit nothing happened.

My second Mother's Day was a hot mess.  My son, now 6 months old, couldn't really do anything.  My mom had flown up to Massachusetts where we were living and her return flight home was at 10 am.  Saying goodbye to your mom is never fun when she's far away, so that didn't help, but then my husband left me alone for most of the day to go see his step-mother who raised cain that he wasn't spending Mother's Day with her.  When he got there, she locked herself in her room because he wasn't staying all day and called me to leave nasty voicemail messages about what a selfish little witch I was and how she was going to get him to leave me, and, just so I knew, I was a horrible mother anyways.

Well, that was lovely.

When my husband came home to his freshly turned down sofa, I informed him that mother's day was now banned from our household.  There would be no mention of it.  There would be no presents, because I was no longer expecting them, and I would take no phone calls from anyone, just in case.

Cute baby picture to help you forget the trauma.  Awwww!
That worked for a year.  18 month old kids don't realize there's anything missing.

When my son was 2, however, things changed.  When that sweet little boy came running into my arms from preschool with an invitation to a Mother's Day Tea that he'd made with fingerpaint and glitter stickers, I tried to resist the cuteness.  When he gave me my first of many non-patterned macaroni necklaces and a "handprints on the wall" to frame, I lost it.  He showered me in kisses and told me I was "his best mommy", which is quite an achievement, since I'm his only mommy.  But, in that moment, I realized that like most things in life, Mother's Day isn't about me.

That's right: Mother's Day is not about mothers.

Mother's Day, while it claims on the surface to be about dear old mom, isn't really about mom at all.  I mean, maybe it is when your children get older and you get to call and guilt them because they never call and this year's standard-issue 1-800-Flowers bouquet was smaller than last years, but when you are first a mother, Mother's Day is about your children.  For a few sweet and short moments in time, you are the center of your children's universe.  You are the face they run to greet every morning,far earlier than you might like.  You are the warm body they snuggle into when nightmares haunt their slumber.  You are the keeper of the cheerios, the kisser of boo-boos, and you are the person that they adore completely with a love so pure and inspiring that they have to pick EVERY buttercup and dandelion and present it to you with a pride that literally beams from their faces.  They love you so much they work harder on drawing your face in green crayon with orange hair than they work on coloring Mickey Mouse.

Mother's Day is a chance for your children to be proud of their mommy, and a day for them to revel in showing how much they love you in a tangible way, just the way you show them with every band-aid, cut-crust sandwich, and diaper change.  While we all like to joke that what we deserve is a day off at the spa, and we do so very much deserve that, this year, I wish for all of you to receive what I hope to keep seeing for a few more years- the joyful smile of pride that accompanies your children in to wake you up, far too early, and shove whatever glitter-and-crayon creation they've come up with this year into your blurry eyes.  Look past the crayon, and find that face.  While we often say that "no one will ever love you like your mom", no one will ever love you like your small children do for this brief moment in your life, either. Try to capture that this Mother's Day, because all moms know, life isn't really about us anymore, anyway.

Happy Mother's Day, readers.

Let's Get Real About Mother's Day

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Published: 05/01/2012

 This guide is generously brought to you by Let Mommy Sleep.  LMS offers overnight infant care from licensed and registered nurses.  Not a bad gift idea!
Nurturing care to newborns and infants overnight, so that families can thrive during the day.visit them at: www.letmommysleep.com

Hello Moms.

I know this site is typically for you, but I'd like you to pass the computer to your significant other for a moment.

Hello Dads/Boyfriends/Grandparents standing in/Life Partners(it's 2012, I get it),

Let's have a chat about Mother's Day, shall we? See, the thing is that on Father's Day, you guys get to lounge around, skip church, go golfing and generally have a day of peace and tranquility capped by steaks on the grill.

Somehow, on Mother's Day, we seem to be awakened by being jumped on at 5am and force-fed soggy Cheerios while you smirk at us from behind our children.  We bought you a new Weber Grill last Father's day, and you helped the kids color us a picture? Really?

[Sidebar: We love our children and their adorable artwork, and always cherish it, but that doesn't mean you can't step up your game.]

So, this year, let me help you out a little.  There's some great ways to celebrate your mom in and around Prince William County.

Step 1- Breakfast.  NO SOGGY CEREAL.  If you're going to let the kids make breakfast, then the food should not be any of the following: Burned toast, burned Eggo Waffles, burned pop tarts, untoasted pop tarts, cereal that has been "marinating" in milk for more than 20 minutes while you burned the toast, cold eggs.  If that sounds like more involvement at 5am then you're willing to take on, why not help the kids make a reservation instead?
This is a no, unless you know it's her favorite.

*Bistro L'Hermitage, reservations required in advance, will be serving a special meal from 11am-7pm. 

*Bristow Manor Golf Club, reservations required by May 5th.

*City Square Cafe, Manassas
They'll be hosting their Mother's Day Brunch again this year.  Check their website for menu and pricing.

*Madigan's Waterfront will serve brunch from 9:30am-3pm, adults $21.95, kids 5-10 $8.95, 4 and under free.  Reservations highly recommended.

*Osprey Landing at Belmont Bay will host a Mother's Day Brunch.  Reservations necessary. 10am-3pm, $25 adults, $15 children 6-12, ages 5 and under free.  Each mom receives a rose.

*Pane E Vino, Lorton
Brunch also includes a mimosa for each adult.  Drive home and let mommy dearest have yours, too.

*Potomac Point Winery, Stafford
Mother's Day Brunch where the only "whine" is coming from a glass.  Winning. 

*Stonewall Golf Club will have brunch with seatings at 11am and 2:30pm, adults $29.95 and children 6-12 $14.

Step 2- Do Something Fun.  If your wife/girlfriend is of the Stay at Home variety, she's probably been to the local playground enough this week.  Let's try something new, shall we?

*All Prince William Historic Sites will give a complimentary tour to mothers who visit on Mother's Day Weekend.  Don't judge- some of us like history. Children under 6 are also free, everyone else is $5/pp.

*Take a river boat tour! Captain Mark at Miss River Shore Charters has offered our PwcMoms a discount of 50% (for moms only, additional riders at full price).  One hour tours run from 12-8pm and are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under, and kids under 4 are free! You can buy food and drinks on board, or you can bring your own.  (A picnic from Dixie Bones might be an excellent idea.)

* The Manassas Museum will have free admission for all mothers, with children under 6 also free, on Mother's Day Sunday.

*Leesylvania State Park will host an 1860's Mother's Day Tea.  $6 per person, registration by May 12th required, space is limited, so reserve early! Don't forget your hat and gloves. 

*Just Between Friends will have special prize drawings for moms who choose to shop on Mother's Day.  You know she likes to shop anyway! 

*When's the last time you got family photos done? Schedule a shoot with Keys Photography and enjoy having some fun and capturing memories.  They're running a special for Mother's Day, too!  Want to make it even more special?

Step 3- Presents.  They don't have to be expensive, but we know if you threw a Strawberry Shortcake coloring book page at the kiddo 2 seconds before they gave it to us.  Hint number one- they colored it in the pencil from your toolbench because you didn't have time to find the crayons. Homemade and low-cost can still be thoughtful and well-done.  

*Michaels Arts and Crafts will host several Mother's Day activities that you can take your child to so they can custom-make something special and low-cost.  Most of the options involve buying the main item (like a coffee mug or apron) and Michael's providing the decorating supplies and embellishments. 

 *Cox Farms is also offering a free mother's day gift! On Saturday, May 12th from 11am-2pm your 2-10 year old can get a free plant and decorate a pot for mommy! No pre-registration is required, just show up. This is at their Centreville Market location, which is probably most convenient to Manassas families.

 Got a little more cash (and a little better planning)? Check out the following:

*Paint Your Heart Out in Occoquan will let you decorate and fire keepsakes from your little one.  Keep in mind there is a turnaround period because the pieces have to cure before they're fired. 

*Touch of Gold in Occoquan offers some great options in all price ranges.  One great idea? Start a Troll Bracelet for mommy, and then you can pick her up a bead for each subsequent mother's day.  Takes all the guess work out of what to get her! Just in time for Mother's Day, if you buy an upgraded clasp, you get the sterling silver bracelet for free!! Trollbeads rings are 50% off and Kameleon Jewelpops are buy 2 get 1 free.  They'll also have 20% off pearls and 50% off selected already reduced sale items

At Touch of Gold, you can start your bracelet with just one or two pieces.  Ask for stoppers if she doesn't like to jingle.
*Polka Dot Divas (also Occoquan) has some awesome choices. An initial coffee mug filled with her favorite blend or tea, a fun photo display for the wall or fridge with some great shots of her and the kids? Magic.

*Need flowers? I highly recommend Michael's Florist in Lake Ridge.  They do really quality work and also have a lovely storefront. (703) 590-3200. 

*Lake Ridge Nursery has some adorable items in their store as well as goregous flowers for the front yard.  A little elbow-grease getting the front yard looking fantastic isn't a bad present, and a new rose bush or flowering tree will be a sweet reminder all year long.

*Wegmans Stores nationwide will have decorate a cake for mom.  Prices and times vary by store.

*Statements the Salon and Statements on the Water are offering a special Mother's Day promotion on gift certificates.  Purchase a $100 gift card and get a $10 gift certificate, purchase $250 get $35, or purchase $500 get $150. 

*Order now to get great items from our past giveaway sponsors!! Click on the link in the top menu that says "Business Reviews" for great consultants in everything from jewelry to handbags to home goods!
Hopefully these ideas will help you make the mom in your life feel like the rockstar we know she is!! Being a mom is hard, and she deserves a day to feel like royalty! Have another great idea? Email it to us, we'd be happy to add you to our list!
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