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Date Weekend Fun in Northern Virginia

13 Mar

This past weekend, my parents generously kept Jack overnight while Travis and I had ourselves a bit of a date weekend. I HIGHLY recommend getting away for even a night if you can, because even if you are only an hour or so away from home (like we were) it is such a mental refresh!

For our date weekend, I booked us at a Springhill Suites in Northern Virginia. The hotel was super nice and clean… and less than $100 for the night, which included breakfast. Once we arrived, we checked into the hotel and immediately went rummaging for some food nearby.

After filling our bellies at Elevation Burger, we decided to go do some wine and cider tasting at a couple nearby wineries.

First stop was Corcoran Vineyards where we had the choice of tasting their ciders or their wines, so we went with a cider tasting. From there, we went to 8 Chains North where we did a wine tasting and also enjoyed some locally made chocolates!

We started to get a bit hungry again, so we went back to the Loudon One area to buy our movie theater tickets and then went by SlapFish. To be honest, we chose that restaurant because the name made us giggle… but we were too busy making yummy noises to laugh when we got our Clobster Grilled Cheese and Lobster Grinder Roll! HOLY WOW it was soooo good!

After dinner we had some time to kill, so we stopped by B Doughnut, Starbucks and killed some time in the Barnes & Noble.

And THEN… we saw Captain Marvel!

AHHH, so good! I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to love this one as much as I love the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. The bar was set very high, but I LOVED Captain Marvel and it was a fantastic addition to the series!

It was also a great end to our date day! We enjoyed the comfy hotel room and had the free hotel breakfast in the morning — I just love those make-your-own waffle set ups! We hung around the room and watched some HGTV until check out at noon, then hit up Lost Creek Winery for one last tasting.

After our tasting, we stopped at the Roots 657 Café for an AMAZING lunch. I got the country pulled pork sandwich with a side of corn pudding and Travis got the bacon cheeseburger with a side of fries. We did a little splitsy action, so we both got a little of everything and YUM.

All in all, it was a fantastic date weekend and I ate way too much delicious food. So yeah, it was perfect.

Do you go on date weekends?

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How to Make Your Own Fabulous DIY Facinators

8 Mar

And yes, I know the title of this post is a bit redundant… but I wasn’t sure whether to go with make your own facinators or DIY facinators, so I went with both! And why are we talking facinators at all? Well, my sister had a tea party themed bridal shower!

For those keeping count, there are four of us: Me, Jason, Katie and Kelsey (twins). Jason got married in September, Katie got married in December and Kelsey is getting married in May!

For Kelsey’s bridal shower, Katie and my mom put together the sweetest little tea party themed event. There was beautiful china, pots of hot tea, lots of little finger sandwiches, and pretty little desserts! My job was to be in charge of the facinators.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of a fascinator, it’s a fun little headpiece – similar to a small hat – that is made from feathers, flowers, beads, etc. They are artistic and the best ones are rather obnoxious. So yeah, they are right up my alley!

I started by ordering a couple packs of plain metal headbands (I got these from Amazon) They were only $10 for a pack of 12, which is pretty reasonable. I ended up buying 2 packs to make sure we had enough.

Then, I made a trip to the Dollar Store and FILLED my basket with handfuls of tulle ribbon (white, sparkle pink, sparkle blue, bright blue and bright purple), some wire wrap, sparkly green hats (yay for St Paddy’s Day!), and lots of packs of little flower/butterfly ornaments. All in all, I ended up spending $35 at the Dollar Store on supplies.

My last stop was the fabric store (I went by JoAnn’s) where I bought a couple packs of glue dots, some black tulle (it had a wider grid, which I liked) and a pack of feathers. I think I spent about $15 at that stop.

I made a couple fascinator samples at home, grabbed a few pairs of scissors from Jack’s craft table and spread it all out on a table at the bridal shower:

I purposefully provided the wire wrap and glue dots to secure everything together, because I didn’t want anyone burning themselves (or ripping out their hair) with a glue gun. Everyone had a great time and we came up with some super obnoxious fascinator designs!

My total for supplies was just about $70 and we had plenty of supplies for the 15 facinators made at the party. I also have lots of leftovers… so for the next year or so I’ll have some really nicely wrapped gifts!

What do you think… do you want to have your own DIY Facinator party?

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on the link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Jack is 7!

18 Feb

Each year on Jack’s birthday I get a little teary as I remember his birth story and the month we spent in the NICU. If you are a more recent follower, you totally can’t tell looking at my giant child that he was born at just 31 ½ weeks! Well, here we are, 7 years later… and he’s growing up so fast.

{sob}

This year to celebrate his birthday we had two mini celebrations. Last year’s kid party was a little overwhelming, so this year we decided to have something on a smaller scale. The weekend before the big day, Jack invited two of his favorite friends to join him in painting some pottery. After the masterpieces were complete, we walked across the street to a fun local ice cream parlor and ate a bunch of ice cream. While Jack forbade ME from singing Happy Birthday, apparently it was okay for his two friends to serenade him. So. Freaking. Cute.

I took a bunch of photos, but won’t share them here because I don’t like putting pictures of other people’s kids on the internet. But believe me… it was adorable.

Jack’s actual birthday was on Friday (February 15th), so Travis and I visited Jack at school and joined him for lunch in the cafeteria. We decided to keep it a surprise that he was coming home with us, so after lunch he went back to his classroom before the teacher had him gather his things and go to the front office (this is totally a school rule, we weren’t allowed to take him straight from lunch).

This was apparently a terrible idea. He’s never been told to go to the front office before, so as soon as he rounded the corner and saw us, he burst into tears. He cheered up though when we told him we were going to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight trip RIGHT THEN!

This was actually our 4th year of visiting Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. They had a really good special for the Friday night of Jack’s birthday – I guess most people don’t want to go to an indoor water park for their romantic Valentine’s trip – so I hopped on it! When we got there, they said we qualified for a room upgrade, so not only did our room have a fireplace… but it also had a little bunk bed section just for kids.

We had such a fun time and came back home on Saturday night. On our “way home” (totally not on our way, but we had a gift card) we stopped by our favorite Mexican restaurant and had them do the birthday song, complete with clapping and a sombrero!

In honor of Jack’s 7th birthday, here are 7 things about Jack:

#1: Jack STILL looooooves his mommy. I know at some point he won’t be my number one fan and will probably turn into a sullen stinky teenager, but we are so not there. He’s happy to hug and kiss me, even in public. And I LOVE it!

#2: Jack lost his first tooth on his 6th birthday and another one a few weeks later. And that was it. While his front top teeth have been slightly wiggly for months and months… he hasn’t lost any other teeth.

#3: For Jack’s pottery painting birthday play date, he picked a little hedgehog figurine to paint.

#4: Jack is still obsessed with LEGOs. He will spend over an hour building his various inventions and has stories to go with every single thing.

#5: Jack’s current favorite thing to watch on TV is Youtube videos by Unspeakable all about Minecraft. He likes to get ideas for Minecraft worlds and then create them on his own. He also thinks the Unspeakable guy is hilarious.

#6: Jack is currently loving the fluffy robe he got for Christmas from us. The moment he gets home from school, he throws off his shirt and wears his robe with his pants like a little Hugh Heffner.

#7: Current favorite foods are egg sandwiches, scrambled eggs, cheeseburgers, spaghetti with meatballs, steak, ham sandwiches from Subway, and mini chocolate donuts.

Happiest of birthdays to my super awesome, fantastic, lovable Jack!

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A Wedding Portrait for my Sister

29 Jan

If you remember all the way back to last month, I shared all about my sister’s fabulous wedding cruise. Once we returned, I planned to make her a special wedding portrait (like the one I made my brother) and I kept putting it off for a bit. I finally sat down and sketched out the plan based on her beautiful wedding photos.

I love that you can personalize every bit of the portrait so for Katie and Craig, I made sure to mirror their hairstyles, height difference, styles and colors of their wedding outfits, and Katie’s bridal bouquet. I was terrified that I was going to run the whole thing by trying to freehand a bouquet, but their wedding was held at a botanical garden… so I really wanted to include the flowers if I could.

I’m so happy with the finished project!

And here it is compared to my brother’s wedding portrait. It’s it amazing how distinctive you can make the little guys?!

I’m already looking forward to doing another one for my sister Kelsey after her May wedding!

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