a Rafflecopter giveaway
In honor of Manassas Restaurant Week (September 21-27, 2014!!) I am so excited to share a special giveaway from one of the participating restaurants, Malones of Manassas.
Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas (9329 Main Street), Malone's is actually located inside an historic, landmark church built shortly after the Civil War. Malone's houses both a casual and upscale restaurant and bar offering the best of Southern American cuisine and hospitality.
Their executive chef, Scott Bilstad, brings over 10 years of culinary experience to Malones. His expansive knowledge comes from studying in prominent kitchens throughout the US and Europe. Chef Scott also studied in Japan while serving our country in the United States Navy. A native of Fredericksburg, VA, Chef Scott supports using local, fresh ingredients and is currently curing his own bacon, prosciutto, salmon, and white fish- all of which are considered "featured items" at Malones.
Owner Kevin Malone is also a local! Kevin has over 30 years experience in the Restaurant, Hospitality and Management Industry. A native of Manassas, and graduate of Osborn High School, Kevin knew that when the time came to create his own dining experience it would be back in his home town of Manassas. He’s added a contemporary twist to all his client’s favorite dishes and libations in a setting that is as unique and conversational as the menu.
Now let's get to the exciting part (although home-cured prosciutto is pretty exciting):
During restaurant week, Malone's will be offering a 3-course menu for $35/person. Awesome! You can make reservations by calling 571-208-1246.
Malones will be giving away a $70 gift card to a lucky reader! That's enough to cover two people for dinner during restaurant week! How awesome is that??
To enter, use the Rafflecopter below!
Disclosure: This prize is provided by Malones of Manassas. Winner assumes any liability/risk. By entering you agree to be bound by our Giveaway Rules, which you can find by clicking here. PwcMoms is not responsible for you over-eating, becoming addicted to homemade bacon, or having a fantastic time, although we'll take the credit for that last part if you want to give it to us. Please use a designated driver if you decide to enjoy a cocktail (or two). Driving Buzzed is not cool, and I live in Manassas now, so stay off my roads. I was compensated for writing this post, but all opinions are my own- including those about bacon.
PWC Momma KayLynne Parker has got the ultimate baby shower giveaway going on this week!! KayLynne creates custom diaper cakes at "The Loaded Diaper."
I love a woman who's comfortable slinging a few puns around :)
Here are a few examples of her work (these are just examples- not what you'll win, necessarily):
This is just adorable. I know a lot of moms are doing a zebra and pink themed nursery for their little girl- and this would fit perfectly.
Of course, you can design your own, too! Use the theme of the nursery, the theme of the shower, a color of choice, whatever you want!
KayLynne also happens to be an Arbonne consultant, and she's going to throw in some Unwind Bath Salts in Camomile and Ylang-Ylang from their Aromassentials line. You know, because new moms need to relax.
(Or because you need to unwind after going to a baby shower. All that fake "ooooh" and "ahhhhh" can really take it out of you. Either answer is fine.)
Enter to win a diaper cake in either "boy" or "girl" (I'm sure she can do gender neutral if it's a surprise!) and Unwind, too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
As always, this prize is provided by the sponsor. PwcMoms is not responsible for prizes, satisfaction, reactions, staying in the bathtub all day, or being attacked by an angry mother-in-law who feels like you showed up her Lansinoh pads with a cuter present. It could happen. Have you met my MIL? Luckily for you guys I'm not pregnant.
Anyhow, for those of you still reading, by entering you agree to be bound by our giveaway rules, which you can read by clicking here.
Earlier this summer, I asked you for your fitness/health/nutrition related questions for Max Muscle Owner Corry Matthews to respond to. Thanks, Corry!
Eating for Two
You've always considered yourself a healthy eater. You take special precaution to make sure you have enough protein, the right amount and types of carbs, you've included the 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies and the good fats...but now you're about to have a baby or just had one...now what? The same principles of healthy eating and supplementation apply to pregnancy and postpartum but the difference is - what you eat, your baby also eats. Many moms find that they actually eat healthier knowing their baby is eating what they are eating. However (yep, me included) many moms also like to indulge in their yummy, not so healthy friends - the fast food, desserts and oh so necessary salt - THAT IS OK TOO!
Lets talk specifics:
With a growing baby in the uterus, mom will go through many different phases of what she is craving and what she wants to eat. Here are the basics:
• Protein - provides the basic building blocks for growing tissue (aka BABY). The National Academy of Science recommends 74-100 grams of protein per day during pregnancy. Try to get protein in small amounts throughout the day - not into eating meat, try protein shakes, and dairy.
• Carbohydrates - ah, this number is elevated during pregnancy to give the mom and baby energy. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 175 grams per day. My rule of thumb, 80% of the time choose healthy carbohydrates and the other 20% choose what your body is really craving - sweets, salt, etc.
• Fats - have a variety of fat daily. Great choices include nuts, avocado, olive oils and fatty fish. Pay careful attention to fish with high mercury levels and eat them no more than once per week (albacore tuna).
• Remember, you only need an additional 200-300 calories in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Most women only need to gain 25-35 pounds of weight during pregnancy; anything above this is weight you will be working extra hard in the gym post baby to take off, while you are overly tired and adjusting to a new schedule. So, indulge, but not too much!
This post is brought to you by Corry Matthews, owner of Max Muscle Sports Nutrition in Manassas and Springfield. Corry is a mother of 2, author, and certified nutrition expert with a speciality in pregnancy-related nutrition. You can reach her at:
Corry Matthews 703-772-7113
The Rock N Stroller 5K (http://rocknstroller5k.com/) is the ONLY event of its kind!! It is designed for families and strollers so they aren’t banished to the back of the pack, they are the pack!!
This event takes place in ALEXANDRIA VA
The Rock ‘n’ Stroller 5K is so much more than the most family-friendly run/walk this side of Sesame Street…it’s also the Best Playdate Ever because of the Freakin’ Fabulous Family Fun Festival that will be in full swing when the participants return from the course. Things to look forward to at this year’s Freakin’ Fabulous Fun Festivals include:
This is one 5K where the finish line is only the beginning, so we hope you’ll join us on September 21 for the Best Playdate Ever!
We are offering a registration special, enter code GUITAR for $10 off each adult! Its going to be so much fun and we would love to have you play with us!
Want to win a free registration? When you've finished reading this post- head over to Facebook and leave a comment with what type of stroller you run with!
As always, this giveaway is governed by our giveaway rules, which you agree to by entering.
Earlier this summer, I asked you for your fitness/health/nutrition related questions for Max Muscle Owner Corry Matthews to respond to. Here's the first one- it's actually a few questions in one! Thanks, Corry!
Your nutrition is the key to your child’s.
What’s the single best way to change your child’s dietary habits – look at what you (as the parent) eat! With school starting parents always ask “How do I get my child to eat a healthy breakfast?” and “How do I ensure they are eating the right stuff for lunch and/or dinner?”
Here is the same question phrased a little differently “How do I get my children to stop eating junk”, “How do I get my kids to eat vegetables?”
In today’s society eating “balanced” can be really hard with commuting, long hours and after school activities. The truth is – it starts and ends with the parents! You are your child’s primary role model and your children look to you for what to eat. Think about your breakfast today…did you have one? Was it coffee? What did your children see you eat before you tackled the day? How about you dinner last night – did you eat all your vegetables? Did you make sure everyone had a serving?
Setting goals as a family is key to getting everyone to eat better! Here are a few simple tips that will help…
Small meal ideas:
This post is brought to you by Corry Matthews, owner of Max Muscle Sports Nutrition in Manassas and Springfield. Corry is a mother of 2, author, and certified nutrition expert with a speciality in pregnancy-related nutrition. You can reach her at:
Corry Matthews 703-772-7113
Our friends at Christ Chapel Academy have some tips for all of you getting ready to send off a Kindergartner!
Robin Banford-Geisler and Genia Cole have worked together teaching kindergarten classes at CCA for the past five years. Last school year, they were chosen co-teachers of the year at the annual teacher recognition luncheon held on June 12th. Each teacher is an amazing teacher in her own right, sharing her passion for education, and love for learning with her students. They both understand that the early years of school are foundational to helping students to become confident life-long learners. Each of them models Christ to their students, supporting self-discipline and positive character development. Working together, however, they have been able to challenge their young students to discover and develop their unique gifts and talents.
In the video, Robin and Genia share tips that can help you get your new kindergartner off to a great start!
Feel free to share any additional tips that you have learned that can be helpful to other parents reading this blog.
Robin Banford-Geisler BS/Early Childhood & Elementary Education; Masters/ Reading Literacy, George Mason University
Eugenia Cole BS/ Christian Elementary Education, Virginia Baptist College
About Christ Chapel Academy:
Christ Chapel Academy is dedicated to unleashing the leadership potential within each student. Academically rigorous programs, a vibrant christ-centered community, and a unique multicultural learning environmentmake CCA a great option for parents who want a smaller school but don’t want to sacrifice big opportunities for their student(s). \
Christ Chapel Academy was voted as the “Best Private School” in Prince William County in 2014, by Prince William Today readers.
Learn more about Christ Chapel Academy at christchapelacademy.org
Okay, okay, okay. I know "Dirty Dancing" isn't necessarily little-kid-friendly, but it's my moms favorite favorite favorite (I'm going to repeat everything 3 times like the goose from Charlotte's Web today, apparently) and I'm really excited to have it playing live in DC!
Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage
National Theatre, August 26-September 14
DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!” Don’t miss your chance to see this record-breaking live theatre sensation. You’ll have the time of your life!
Use code MELON for discounts on select performances and prices. Offer valid at all points of purchase, limit 8 tickets per order. For discounts, click HERE.
For more information on Dirty Dancing on Tour, click HERE.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was invited to check out a relatively new floral company called "The Bouqs", which several of you mentioned having seen on Shark Tank. They invited me to check out a bouquet and share a little about the process with you guys.
On their website, they operate with the idea that "Sending online flowers sucks" and they've worked to streamline the process for you. Pick the flowers you like from the side of a volcano, schedule delivery- but know it takes at least 6 days, pay, and boom. Alternatively, you can select flowers from California for faster delivery. Flowers arrive 5 days after being cut, and Bouqs farmers are provided with living wages, healthcare, childcare, and education benefits. I'm into ethical business, so I think that's really cool.
The flowers come with this weird gel goop on them, which I assume is to keep them hydrated during shipping. The kids wanted to know where they could get more of that gel for the purposes of having a goo fight.
And this is them before I went to bed last night (July 28). The yellow roses opened up really well and are gorgeous. The peach ones, for whatever reason, all drooped over and aren't happy. I think tomorrow when I change the water I'm going to pull them out. Grower Direct (the first people to come up on a Google search) says that cut roses should last an average of 4-12 days in a vase, so they seem to be right on target.
You can check out The Bouqs for your flower needs, and they also have a contest going on right now to win free flowers for 6 months- check it out!
Disclaimer: I was provided with free flowers in order to complete this review. Yes, I really picked "Talk Like a Pirate Day" as my occasion. I'm weird. If you guys haven't figured that out by now, I really don't know how to help you. Tell your husband to buy you flowers to help make up for this startling new revelation. Oh, and make sure he tries out a random holiday, too, so we can all be funny together.
If you're anything like me, this summer has been filled with swim team (wet towels), VBS (glitter!), back-to-back activities (lunch in the car!), and fun outdoor activities (sand/gravel/mulch).
That means that your car looks like some kind of demented scrapbook of all the things above. The floor of my van is covered in goldfish, sand, craft materials, and dirt. I feel like I can admit that to you guys, because if you haven't ever had a messy car, you're not really a parent, so you can stop reading my website.
Still here? Excellent.
PwcMoms sponsor The Smart Car Wash of Woodbridge is not only 100% eco-friendly, they also do a bang-up job of clearing out your kids' ongoing summer memories collection, at least as it's found on the floor of your sedan.
The Smart Car Wash recycles wash water, uses bio-degradable chemicals, hand-drys vehicles, uses local brick/recycled materials/forest council certified lumber on its buildings, wind turbine power, and takes all the steps they can to keep the environment clean while cleaning your vehicle.
To help get you on your way to sparkling clean, The Smart Car Wash is offering a lucky winner a $50 gift card! Use it for whatever services you'd like including exterior-only wash, full-service wash, or interior/exterior detailing packages!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
By entering, you agree to be bound by our Giveaway Rules .
PwcMoms.com is hosting this giveaway on behalf of The Smart Car Wash, and is not responsible for services rendered, or how jealous people are of your car once it's so fresh and so clean clean. Or for any Lego pieces that are lost from under the seats in your car when it's vacuumed. Just sayin. This giveaway is not affiliated with Apple/Google/Facebook or anyone else using a forklift to empty their bank account. Good luck :)
What I like most about Ashley is that she was honest about the fact that she hates to clean.
Well, no, what I like most about Ashley is that she was a donor to my Silver Sparkles event to benefit Brain Tumor/Brain Cancer research.
But it's a close second on the honesty.
I personally enjoy organizing, and I like it when things ARE clean, but I don't necessarily want to send the kids off with hubby on a weekend so that I can scrub things from top to bottom. And by "don't necessarily" I mean "not gonna happen". Ever.
In the homeschooling crowd I run with, we have a lot of what I would call crunchy granola types. I like that about them :) but that means that I had heard of Norwex before, but I hadn't actually tried it. I think they are most known for their microfiber cleaning cloths, which contain a special type of silver that makes each cloth be antimicrobial and antibacterial without you having to douse them in any kind of spray, which I've been trying to phase out of my home since getting sick. Can't be too careful with the neurotoxins (not that I'm hating on the cleaning supplies, because sometimes I don't care how bad they are for me, I'm going to use them- case in point, the last time something "accidentally" got dropped in the toilet. #CloroxBleach)
So, these are the cloths:
So I actually tried some of the crazy things they say you can do with these (example: "wipe up butter and then clean your windows!!!" Who would do that? Seriously. But I did! And it did work! But I felt gross about it, so then I rinsed the cloth out and did it again).
I did not try some of the other crazy things they say you can do with these (example: "wipe up raw chicken and then wipe your kitchen table!!" That's cool, but no thanks. I'm gonna take your word for it- they have studies and youtube videos if you'd like to check, but I'd just rather clean my nasty chicken juice off with some super-hot wash cycle, thanks!)
So the cloths are cool, and you can totally order some! Ashley also mentioned to me that she thinks their towels are Ah-mah-zing. These are pricier than the microfibers you'd get at the dollar store, but they do offer the antibacterial silver and they really do suck stuff up. If I wasn't in the middle of moving, I would love to do some kind of Bounty commercial type of experiment where I see how much blue mystery liquid these can hold versus a cheaper version.
And then I'd make a tri-fold board with the results, because I'm a dork like that.
Moving on, Ashley also brought me some of the Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent, enough to run 3 loads in a traditional washer/dryer. It's pricey for regular laundry machines at $21.99 for 40 loads. However, I have an HE washer, so I got to use 1 teaspoon per load.
1 teaspoon is not a lot of detergent, y'all.
In the interest of science, I even brought down a teaspoon measure for you guys. That is dedication. For real.
Further proving my dedication, I took pictures of my nasty kitchen towel. You know, the one I used to wipe of chicken juice with since I wouldn't use the Norwex cloth. This, in cold water with 1 teaspoon of the detergent turned into this:use her website to contact her. Thanks for the fun review, Ashley!
PwcMoms.com was provided with free products in order to perform this review. No other compensation was provided.
Max Muscle is an advertising sponsor of PwcMoms.com. You can find them in the Harris Teeter shopping center at the intersection of Hoadly and the PW Parkway. Owner Corry Matthews is happy to provide fitness consultations, product recommendations, and more. It might be called Max Muscle- but the store is designed for people at any point on their fitness journey.
I had a rough year. The surgery, the radiation, the turning 30, the inordinate amount of time in hospitals (which are really drying!), and I really felt about 20 years older than I actually am.
That would make me feel 50, in case addition's not your thing this close to Spring Break.
So, when I was contacted by NOVA Plastic Surgery to come in and check out their offices, I was really excited to go. I'm totally cool with women doing whatever makes them feel happy with themselves. For me that's not any serious nip/tuck action, although maybe that'll change when I'm a little older and a little further out from brain surgery, who knows. Luckily, NOVA Plastic Surgery offers several non-surgical options, in addition to surgical procedures such as breast augmentation and brow lifts, for making yourself feel like the best version of you. I have a few friends who have gotten Botox, but I opted for a Broad Band Light (BBL) treatment which uses focused light to help correct sun damage, freckles, redness or obvious veins.
Because I am roughly the color of Elmer's glue, I use sunscreen like it's going out of style, but I still had a little bit of sun damage, which isn't surprising since I burn if I don't reapply ever 40 minutes (no joke).
Dr. Nukta was so easy to work with- he is professional, kind, and instantly puts you at ease. He is double board-certified and specializes in plastic surgery of the face and body, migraine surgery, and hand surgery. In addition to his stellar academic qualifications, he was also named in "Guide to America's Top Surgeons" in 2013. I wasn't sure what to expect when meeting with a plastic surgeon- I was a little afraid that I would walk out with a laundry list of things that were wrong with me, but to the contrary, Dr. Nukta was honest, realistic, and didn't try to up-sell me on every possible correction we could make in any way shape or form. It was really a very enjoyable experience.
I would not hesitate to recommend NOVA Plastic Surgery to any mom, whether she's wanting to do a little maintenance or make some drastic changes.
NOVA Plastic Surgery performed my BBL treatment and follow-up check free of charge in order for me to write a review. All opinions, observations, and witty sarcasm are my own. All medical decisions should be made based on your unique history and circumstances with your physician.
I love Touch of Gold. I miss working at Touch of Gold. It was so lovely to have a day of quiet, adult conversation, even if practically every dime I made went to jewelry...which, let's be honest, is also lovely :)
What's great about TOG is that in addition to their high-end jewelery, they stock several "fun" lines that are great for girlfriend gifts, nieces, graduations, birthdays, etc. When I am no longer paying for things like hockey or music lessons, I plan to collect Troll Beads like they're Pokemon cards- Gotta Catch Em All.
For today, Touch of Gold is giving away a bangle from their new Chrysalis line. They are genuine gemstones with charms for $49, birthstone/charm bangles for $36, or charm bangles for $29. They come in silvertone or gold plated- and their launch special is buy 2 get one 1/2 off the lowest priced bangle.
Enter to win using the rafflecopter below. As always, by entering you agree to our rules. Winner must pick up their bangle at the store in Historic Occoquan, it won't be shipped. This means, you're going to need to tell your husband you have to take your three best friends for lunch and shopping. You will survive ;)
Good luck, and thanks Touch of Gold!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Entertaining is one of my favorite things. I love to fill our house up with family and friends and have a really great time. Since we celebrate several holidays and birthdays between Thanksgiving and New Years, it's a good thing that I like entertaining, too!
However, entertaining for the holidays doesn't have to be complicated! Last year, when I looked into my fridge at our Christmas leftovers (Day 3) and realized that I didn't have room in the fridge for anything new, but I didn't want to eat prime rib anymore, I decided that I was going to have everybody over! A few Facebook messages later, my equally nutty friends had thrown some plastic wrap over their leftovers (and in the case of one party fan-favorite, grabbed a 12 pack of Taco Bell Tacos) and headed to my house for what would become the first-annual "Christmas Kotluck". Everything I ever host somehow becomes annual. In fact, when people RSVP "no" to things they frequently say "I'm busy this year- but when you do it next year, I'll be there!" Not sure how that happened, but whatever! I thought that we'd have trouble getting people out for a "leftover buffet", but everyone I asked said yes, and while you can't see it in this picture, we had over 30 people crammed in our townhouse for this between adults and kids! Half-drunk bottle of wine? Bring it over! Half a honeybaked ham that you can't eat anymore? Great! We had beef, so it's a welcome change! It was actually really fun!
This was BY FAR the best party I've ever hosted. Nobody had to prepare anything, so everyone was completely un-stressed. I threw a few plastic tablecloths on over every surface I could find that would pass as a table, everyone enjoyed someone else's new-to-them food. We even all agreed to be horrible parents and feed the kids first before sending them off to play so we could enjoy "grown up" dinner! After eating, everyone stayed and played games until late into the evening.
Even this "guy":
While I may joke about everything becoming "annual", our leftover potluck is definitely a new tradition I plan on keeping this year, too! Fun, low-cost, and fabulous, it was worth repeating as a great way to have friends over without busting our budget or stretching our sanity to the breaking point!! How do you keep your holiday entertaining simple and easy?
(PS- sorry about the odd pictures- I forget to ask people's permission to use them in posts, which limits me to pictures without faces!!)
I had so much fun getting to meet some of you at Bar Louie in Gainesville on Thursday night!! I had a momma email me in November and ask if I could please host moms nights, and much like everything else I do on this website, my response was "sure, why not?" Virginia Gateway was so kind to host us for our first moms night out, and I think everyone had a good time! I heard great things about all the flatbreads and the spinach artichoke dip, and I didn't notice anyone's drink sitting idle, so I'd guess those were good, too :) I will mention that Bar Louie is loud- so if you're noise sensitive, wait for spring and grab a spot on their outdoor patio- I love that they have that option!Syma K Photography came out to snap pictures for me so that it would happen (I always forget!!) and I so appreciate her! She was very sweet and right at home in our group. Be sure to check out her Facebook page for more pictures and details on her family/event photography!!
Drama Mama Cakes not only came out to party, she brought cupcakes with her. I wanted to try a chocolate strawberry one, but somehow, they were all gone at the end of the night....hmmmm ;) I heard nothing but praise for every flavor, though, and I did snag a spice cupcake for my hubby, who said it was fantastic. Kara (Drama Mama) does custom cakes and cupcakes for any occasion, and is such a sweet lady!
Virginia Bliss from Premier designs was handing out jewelry (as well as discounts in our swag bags!), The Little Gym gave away a Parent's Survival Night (score!) and one mom got a really cute set of nail wraps and application tools from Jamie Vuong with Jamberry Nails, which are a chemical-free alternative to nail polish, and come in mini-sizes for your little diva, too.
Lindsay Adams from Juice Plus (purveyor of tasty gummy vitamins!), Katherine Breyfogle of Perfectly Posh for the spa samples (additionally, Katherine brought me a glitter stick. In case you haven't noticed, glitter/sparkles is the way to my heart. <3 a="" href="http://potomaclocal.com">Potomac Local3>
provided free copies of their community guide, The Little Gym of Gainesville provided a free class for every mom in attendance, Prince William Living tucked in a copy of their December issue, and Virginia Gateway also had some special coupons for everyone!!
I hope that you guys had a great time (I heard rumors of a Bunco group forming and I want an invite!) and that I'll see some of you back at our January moms meet up (details coming soon!!).
Thanks to everyone that made this night possible!!
Believe it or not based on my cow-like build, I actually try to keep things relatively healthy around here. That means that when I'm doing lots of entertaining, I make a lot of veggie trays. I feel like if I fill 3/4 of my plate with raw veggies, I can fill the last 1/4 with a treat and not being doing too badly for myself. That means, too, though, that I end up with a lot of odds and ends form my veggie trays. Celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower all end up in baggies together and they never make it to the next tray, they just hang out in my fridge.
Inspired by my children's love of Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup, I decided I would make Veggie Tray Soup using a similar flavor profile. It's super easy, too! Shred/Chop/Coarsely Food Processor the mixed veggies of your choice. I used 2 cups of chopped veggies, total.
Next, in a soup pot, place 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 a cup of chopped onion and sauté until the onions are clear and cooked through. Next, add the veggies plus and 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are your desired level of doneness, between 5-10 minutes depending on your taste and the size you chopped your vegetables.
Next, add one can of Cheddar Cheese condensed soup (I said it was easy and good, not gourmet!) and 1/2 cup of whatever mixed cheeses you have laying around, and heat until cooked through and warm. If the soup isn't thin enough, use milk to think it out. I also added salt and pepper to taste.
If you'd rather not use the condensed soup, you can easily switch it out. After cooking your onion and butter, and then add and additional 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour, and cook while stirring for 3 minutes. Then, add 1.5 cups of milk, 1.5 cups of chicken stock, stirring until slightly thickened, and then your vegetables (cooked in water and drained). 1 cup of shredded cheese will finish you up nicely.
Enjoy! (We had ours with warm Pampered Chef Beer Bread, and it was awesome!)
Attention Parents: You're invited to a High School Parent Summit at Hylton High School on Saturday, January 11 from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. The program offers expert presentations on graduation requirements, earning college credit through tests, financial aid and scholarships, college admissions and programs, SAT/ACT information, career and workforce information, trade and technical options, and much more. Attendance is free, but space is limited.
Register ONLINE to ensure a space.
There's not much here in the way of directions- just snag a few embellishments and get going! We did cut out trees on the Cricut, which most people wrapped ribbon around since they have "indentations" between the tree layers, but other than that, you'll just need ribbon, stickers, cutouts and jewels. Quick and easy!
Here's the deal. Shopping Local isn't just trendy, it's a great way to support your community. The money you spend with a MBB (that's mom-based-business for those not in the know) or locally owned company stays in our community. It pays for dance classes and baseball, for pizza dinners on busy nights, and PTA dues. I love shopping local, and I'm happy to offer you some fun local options, mom-owned options, and some fun gifts to boot. Not everyone is going to be a small business on this list, but they're all people in our community, and I think that's super cool.
Happy Shopping, and good luck if you enter to win something!! I'll draw winners on Monday, December 23rd.
Single Item Giveaways (Alphabetical):
Offering classes in foreign language, arts, STEM, and more, The Animated Child is the perfect place to send Grandparents for Gift Cards. I personally love the idea of giving my child an activity rather than a present- it takes up no room in the house and engages their brain! Perfect! Or, tell Grammy and Pop-Pop that a great gift would be a night off for you and your hubby! The Animated Child offers great Parent Night Out Programs with various themes including Minecraft!! A PNO is the perfect time to check out Animated Child, especially if you're considering one of their preschool/day school programs which include Last Child in the Woods and French Immersion. They're offering a free night out for a lucky reader, too!
Enter to win a free parents night out at Animated Child.
Fit 4 Mom PWC
Fit 4 Mom PWC- (formerly Stroller Strides) offers exercise programs for EVERY mom in ANY stage of motherhood. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and our website or call 571-220-9687 for more information. See individual giveaway for December/January specials. All new Stroller Strides members BUY ONE MONTH GET ONE FREE AND 1/2 off Equipment fee (exp. 12/31/13) 20% OFF Passes. (10 Class Pass, Tri-Class Pass and 2 Class Pass) Body Back Session beginning January 7 in Woodbridge: NEW ENROLLMENTS RECEIVE 1/2 OFF SESSION COST (expires 12/31/13) NEW YEARS SPECIAL: Stroller Strides Equipment fee lowered to $20.14 for all new members. (for January ONLY).
Enter to win- 2 winners will receive a $40 gift card to use on any class/pass/session.
Game Truck can heat up any winter gathering, holiday party, or birthday celebration with the hottest games brought directly to your home or office!! Any Gametruck party booked in December for a December party is $75 off, code zm42. In addition to their great savings for PwcMoms readers, they're also giving away a Battroborg Robot with the "rare and coveted gold fist of fury!" I have no clue what that means- but I know that the kids in my life would absolutely flip out over it!!
Enter to win a Battroborg Robot.
"Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to dance, workout, and then go out (coffee shop, mall, lunch)! Sometimes she didn't have time to do an entire outfit change and just wanted to do the minimum to look fashionable, chic, and be comfy." If this sounds like you, or a girlfriend, then Skirt the Issue may be the perfect present this year! In a variety of colors and prints, Skirt the Issue has something for everyone!
One Skirta Rafflecopter giveaway
There is no better gift (as far as I'm concerned) than one that doesn't take up space in your closets, and Soccer Shots has you covered! With winter seasons starting January 13th, Soccer Shots is a great way to teach your child the essential skills of a great game. Soccer Shots is for children ages 2-8 that meets once a week in various locations, including schools and daycare centers, if you'd like to get the program to come to your child! Skills covered aren't just "soccer skills" but include speed, agility, coordination, and balance. With sessions all four seasons, you can keep your child healthy and active through Soccer Shots!!
Enter to win a $40 gift card to Soccer Shots
The Tiny Human is an online boutique specializing in handmade accessory items. Owner-mom Caitlin makes custom shirts, skirts, dresses, headbands, snack bags, and more!! Visit her website to place your order, and mention PwcMoms for $5 off your December order! The Tiny Human is offering a $40 gift card good for any of the items in their store!! What an awesome prize!!
Enter to win a $40 gift card for your choice of items.
Touch of Gold
Touch of Gold is my favorite jewelry store (which may be because I worked there and love the ladies, but may also be because I'm totally addicted to Troll Beads!). Located in Historic Occoquan, Touch of Gold's fun favorite for Christmas 2013 is Kameleon Jewelry- which is an awesome pick for anyone because it's Sterling Silver bases are very affordable, and with hundreds of interchangeable jewel "pops" to choose from, you can change your jewelry with every season with just a change in pop! Touch of Gold is offering a Limited Edition Pendant with an Angel Pop, and Emerald Isle Pop for you to swap out, a silver chain, and a holiday compact to hold your jewel pops. You can purchase this special set for $89 at Touch of Gold all season long, or win it here!
Enter to win a "Make the Season Pop" set.
The PwcMoms Basket of Awesome 2013:
Baby Blossom offers a variety of baby, toddler, and child friendly products, including strollers, car seats, travel gear, high chairs, bath and potty, clothing and gifts, and more. Check them out online or in-store for high-quality products for your child! $25 gift card
Brixx serves up salads, wood-fired pizzas, pastas, and more. A great atmosphere with fun special nights on a regular basis (usually featuring beer or wine), Brixx is a great place to spend an evening. gift card
Cartoon Cuts makes getting a haircut fun! While some children are horrified at the idea of a little trim, Cartoon Cuts makes it easy with a kid-friendly environment, games, movies, and more. $25 gift card
Shop not only local, but to do good, and order custom ornaments from Eme's Army. Ornaments come in a variety of colors and styles, and can feature any word you want! Perfect as a gift on its own, or as a "finishing touch" to a special wrapping job! Hostess gifts, teacher gifts, the possibilities are endless! Ornament
Fit 4 Mom PWC- (formerly Stroller Strides) offers exercise programs for EVERY mom in ANY stage of motherhood. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and our website or call 571-220-9687 for more information. See individual giveaway for December/January specials. 2 $25 gift cards for use on any class/pass/session
Hitchcock Creative produces beautiful and original paper crafts including invitations, save the dates, menus, programs, note cards, thank you cards, and more. Find them at their website, etsy, or Pinterest. PWC Moms readers get an exclusive offer of FREE shipping on all items through Dec. 20, 2013. Use code FREESHIP during check out. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more holiday deals and thanks for shopping local! Box set of 12 "Wizard of Oz" quotation cards with envelopes.
Slumber Parties by Alyssa won't have a gift for your kids- but she will definitely have the perfect gift for your boyfriend/husband/baby daddy/life partner. Alyssa's site features items from bath/body to lingerie and beyond. Please note that her site is for moms only, not little ones. Those who book a "Ladies Night In" in December will get an extra $50 in products. Order placed before 12/14 get free shipping, which is the deadline to ensure Christmas delivery. $20 gift card for your choice of item
The Smart Car Wash offers eco-friendly car wash, interior cleaning, and detailing right in Woodbridge! This holiday season, Buy a $50 Gift Card, get an extra $25 FREE (You could give it away...or keep it for yourself!) $20 gift card
Soccer Shots offers skills sessions for children ages 2-8 teaching
cross-discipline skills including agility, coordination, balance, and speed. With year-round programs, keeping your child healthy and active through soccer shots is easy! They even host programs for daycare centers and schools if you want to build a team at your location and avoid driving! $20 gift card
Tastefully Simple consultant Courtney Pomietto can help you shine while entertaining this Christmas! Count on her for easy-to-make and delicious to eat dips, seasonings, soups, sauces and more! PwcMoms who order over $50 will receive free shipping on their order, but be sure to contact Courtney directly to get that special deal! Warm Gatherings Collection
Truestar with Victoria Guarente offers a FREE diet and nutrition website that you can start using today. Get 10% off vitamins and supplements by using Victoria's link when placing your order. TrueStrength Whey Protein
Also included in this gift basket are a few extra goodies from me. There are some Jamberry Nail strips, a Citrus Calendula Soap from Ruby Reds Creations, a few Chick Fil A freebie cards, and a couple other surprises :)
Enter HERE using this convenient one-stop Rafflecopter:
Other Great Shopping Options:
Fit 4 Mom PWC- (formerly Stroller Strides) offers exercise programs for EVERY mom in ANY stage of motherhood. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and our website or call 571-220-9687 for more information. See giveaway for December specials.
Jamberry Nails- Let Jamie Vuong help you look great this holiday with over 300 designs for your fingers and toes. Jamberry Nails come in adult and junior sizes, have no harsh chemicals, and right now, buy 3 and get 1 free!
Lilla Rose- Hollie Dermer can keep you looking gorgeous this season with hair clips and accessories for all ages. Buy 3 get one FREE for new customers, free shipping on orders over $40.
Move More Fitness- Mom Adrienne Vose will help you give yourself the gift of fitness this year! Get in shape, have more energy, meet whatever goals you set for yourself!
Origami Owl- Jinette Glassco will help you design the perfect, meaningful gift for friends, family, teachers, or anyone on your list!!
Poshing Maggie- Maggie Montgomery's Perfectly Posh products are all-natural, petroleum-free, and made in the US. Posh has 7 holiday bundles starting at $19- perfect for the gift of pampering! Find Maggie on Facebook, too.
Ruby Reds Creations- Jami Harward creates doll accessories, fleece jackets (with hoods- so cute!) nativity sets, and more.
Taking Care of Business- Tatiana Horne will help you with all your errands, prep work, and other holiday hullabaloo! Give her a call, or schedule a gift car for an over-worked friend!
Wess Home Improvement- Getting your home ready to host for the holidays? Maybe your list for Santa reads more like a honey-do? Purchase a $300 voucher and get $100 FREE (bonus for use on labor only)
Wild Ruby- Sarah Mesienhelter runs her business via Amazon and can help you score great deals (check out this play kitchen!) check her out at Wild Ruby on Amazon.
As always, by entering you agree to our full rules, this contest is not affiliated with Facebook, any mobile carrier, or any application site. Prizes provided by sponsors. All opinions are my own.
Last week there was a magician at my house. I think I told you guys that.
What I don't think I told you was that Lia Sophia advisor Anne Monseur came over, too, and she's something of a magician herself! I selected a necklace from the Lia Sophia catalog to check out the quality and style in person (pictures never do jewelry justice), and when Anne brought it over, she whipped out a connected set of scarves as good as any magician I'd ever seen and showed me how amazing my necklace looked on different backgrounds.
Y'all, I had to go buy a green sweater because of her trick! I wish I had it on YouTube to show you!
The necklace that I picked "because I have so much blue", Anne showed me was an incredibly versatile addition to my wardrobe! I think that means buying the other pieces in the collection is justified by how many outfits I can work with....
Enough about me- let's talk about jewelry. This is the Ocean Air necklace that I selected:
However, Lia Sophia has a range of beautiful products, from necklaces, to earrings, from traditional pieces to statement jewelry.
The best part, of course, is the price point. Not only are the pieces affordable, right now when you purchase 2 items, you get the 3rd and MOST expensive piece at 50% off. That means if you buy two pairs of earrings (starting around $19) and a $100 necklace, your necklace is $50.
Additionally, if you really need to overhaul (or fill) your jewelry box, December hostesses get 60% (sixty!!) of their party sales in free jewelry as well as hostess exclusive pieces for a great price- like this Dulce Bracelet, $128 normally, which is a hostess exclusive for $20! Anne tells me that her most recent November hostess raked in $1,052 worth of free jewelry!
I loved so many of the pieces in the Lia Sophia catalog, the hardest part was choosing. Christmas is coming, though, so if you have a wish list, Anne will be more than happy to help your husband start working on it!
For our giveaway, Anne Monseur- Lia Sophia Advisor is offering a beautiful piece of jewelry between $75 and $125- get this, YOU get to pick!! As an added bonus, even if you don't win, if you sign up to host a December OR January party you'll get a free $100 piece of jewelry when you tell her you found her on PwcMoms in addition to all the hostess benefits I already mentioned! Enter using the Rafflecopter below!! Good luck!! Don't forget to look at the catalog carefully- if you win, you'll get the piece you select in the comments!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
View our complete rules, which you agree to when you enter, HERE. This contest is not affiliated with Facebook, iTunes, Android, Apple, Google Play, or anybody else cool. Prize provided by giveaway sponsor. Good Luck, and remember that earrings and necklaces will fit no matter how many servings of apple pie you have on Thanksgiving.
Hey guys! So I think that today's giveaway will be a really great one for the holidays. It's a new business called "Taking Care of Business", and basically, it's an errand concierge. Tatiana will take care of whatever you don't have time for so that you can focus on what you need to! Need presents picked up or returned? Need a few last-minute items from the store? Need the dog taken care of? She's got you covered!! I can even see this being a great gift item for a new mom!! I'd take a gift card for emergency backup in my stocking, for sure!!
Read more from Tatiana:
Whether you need someone to pick up dry-cleaning, help plan a party, shop for groceries, or even walk your dog, Taking Care of Business (TCB), is here to help you. Launched in September 2013, TCB was designed to fill a significant gap in personal, professional, and home logistics. When time and/or resources are limited, we offer personalized care, thoughtful solutions, and outstanding customer service; taking care of both routine and specialized tasks in your home or workplace. We are your helping hand when you need that extra help. Your time is everything! It is also extremely valuable and likewise, very limited. Let our friendly service help you gain back your precious time by having us do your work! TCB is here to help you, now!
Tatiana is offering a $50 gift card for her services to a lucky Pwc Moms Reader!! To win, use the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
PwcMoms has not used/evaluated TCBs services, and winner is doing so at their own risk. Full giveaway rules here, which you agree to abide by when you enter. Good luck!
I feel like something of a hotel aficionado after spending six weeks in hotels during my radiation treatments at Duke. We stayed in a super sketchy Homestead Suites for the first two weeks and switched to a La Quinta that was awesome, but still, you'd think after over a month of hotel, I'd be all stayed-out.
When we received and invitation to come and enjoy a night at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, we rallied. A "staycation" can be a really fun change from your regular date-night routine, and we were excited to check it out!
We hear that the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner has fantastic suites for families, as well as children's teas, too, but we opted to go child-free and enjoy a date night/hotel stay that didn't involve children OR doctors.
While the Ritz-Carlton isn't the most modern of hotels, its reputation for elegance holds true. Classically decorated, the details are what makes the Ritz-Carlton a destination hotel. The staff are professional, courteous, and attentive. The hotel is attached to the Tysons Galleria, which is known for its upscale and designer shopping, and the restaurant is delicious. Little touches like being able to text the valet staff and have your car waiting make a big difference.
Entyse Bar and Lounge which offers an extensive wine list as well as a varied menu for all tastes. Case in point, I had Pad Thai (which typically comes with shrimp but I ordered vegetarian) while hubby enjoyed Filet Mignon with whipped potatoes and asparagus.
larger hiring events, meeting and off-sites at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Their wedding room looked lovely, as well. I notice these things since my baby brother is getting married in September.
We had a lovely evening at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Having a quick "staycation" was a great way to switch up our date night routine, and being in the heart of Tysons allowed for plenty of options for fun, with shopping, movies, and more all located either within walking or courtesy shuttle distance of the hotel. To plan your own staycation at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, or to enjoy one of their many events, including pumpkin carving, Nutcracker Teas, Princess Teas, and more, check out their events calendar, located here.
Disclaimer: We were offered a free night's accommodations and meals at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. All opinions, however, remain my own, and only links to the calendar and the requirement I include pictures were dictated by the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. All writing is my own.
Fall Mini Sessions with Heather Chesky Photography will be held October 26th and 27th and start at $250 for 30 minutes, an online gallery, 5 digital images, and a photo Christmas ornament. Additional prints are 15% off. Email to reserve your spot. See more images on Heather's Website and Facebook Page.
This is a sponsored ad from Heather Chesky Photography.
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