August 19, 2015

#ShareYourLegacy Sweepstakes from H2O+ & Walt Disney Records

Disclaimer: I am participating in this campaign as a member of Entertainment New Media Network. Although this is not a paid post, I was sent a small thank you gift for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own. 

If someone asked you to share the legacy you hope to leave behind, what would you say? When I set out to answer this question, posed by Walt Disney Records and H2O+, I was sure I knew what my answer would be...and then just a few days ago we had an experience that changed my answer. I'm sharing it here in my very first (and possibly last!) vlog post. 

Feeling inspired to #ShareYourLegacy too? H2O+, the exclusive worldwide provider for in-room amenities at the Disney Resorts, is teaming up with Walt Disney Records to celebrate Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection, which commemorates the anniversaries of Disney's most cherished and classic films. The Lion King 2-disc set launched the series last year.

Can you feel the love tonight?

They are inviting you to #ShareYourLegacy because all women (and men!) have a story and all stories lead to a legacy...and they're offering a chance to add a spectacular Broadway adventure to your story! 

Visit to submit a video and #ShareYourLegacy today!


US Only – 18+

Participants do NOT have to post #ShareYourLegacy to enter the sweeps.

Enter now for a chance to add an exciting Broadway story to your legacy. Grand Prize Winner and a guest will be whisked away to New York City for a once in a lifetime Broadway experience. Find out more at:

Prizes are:

- Round-trip airfare for two to NY
- Two night hotel stay
- Two tickets to The Lion King and exclusive behind the scenes tour
- H2O+ Skin & Bodycare Beauty Basket ($500 retail) full of bestsellers for healthy, glowing skin for your big night on the town.

Good luck - and happy memory making!


Barking Pet Food Truck Headed to DC!

 Note: I received a gift card in exchange for helping to promote the Wellness Natural Pet Food Wagon. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own.  

One of our family's favorite things to do each weekend is hit up our favorite food truck for breakfast at the farmer's market. This week, pets can join in the food truck fun at two DC area locations as Wellness® Natural Pet Food visits with their Wellness Natural Pet Food Wagon!

The Wellness Natural Pet Food Wagon is a dog-shaped food truck with a wagging tail and a horn that barks, and they're on the road sharing their 5 Signs of Wellness” as a way to educate pet parents on visible indicators of overall pet wellbeing.  

Pets and pet parents alike can come “wag their tails” in front of the wagon - and for every photo shared using the hashtag #WagsforWellness, Wellness Natural Pet Food will donate a bag of Wellness pet food to shelter pets in need.

There are two stops in the DC/Baltimore area this week:

·         August 19: PetSmart, 9041 Snowden Square Drive, Columbia, MD, 11 – 4PM
·         August 23: Petco, 10790 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA, 9 -2PM

Stop by and check out the dog agility course and sample the latest Wellness pet food and treats - and don't forget to take a picture and tag it to share the love with shelter pets!

August 2, 2015

Ready, Set...#RaceForTheCase!

Note: I received a Cartoon Cuts gift card exchange for helping to promote the Race for the Case campaign. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 
School starts here at the end of the month, and A is excited and ready to go. Last week, I shared a great back-to-school cause with you: Cartoon Cuts' Race For The Case. Join the fun this Thursday, August 6 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and help raise $25,000 to build a school in Guatemala!

It's hard to find hands on opportunities for young children to give back, and many of those opportunities happen around the holidays. Cartoon Cuts' Race for the Case is a great way to start a discussion with your kids about giving back all year long - and a great way to demonstrate that you can have fun while you give.

Pencil cases filled with pencils, combs, gift cards, free haircut cards, and other freebies will be hidden around every shopping center with a Cartoon Cuts location. Click here to find a Cartoon Cuts salon in your area!  To get clues where they are just follow Cartoon Cuts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for clues throughout the day on where you can catch a case!

For this event, Cartoon Cuts has partnered with Pencils of Promise (PoP), a for-purpose organization that builds schools in developing countries. For every pencil case champ that shares their experience on social media with the hashtag: #RaceForTheCase, Cartoon Cuts will donate $1 to PoP! The money donated will go toward their $25,000 goal to build a school in Guatemala. Learn more about this fun event here.

Can’t make it on Thursday? Cartoon Cuts has a donation page set up through PoP, so you can still help raise funds for the school! Click here their donation page.

July 22, 2015

Race for the Case: Back-to-School Philanthropy with Cartoon Cuts

Note: I received a Cartoon Cuts gift card exchange for helping to promote the Race for the Case campaign. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 

A starts school in 41 days, a figure I know because we drew up a countdown chart this morning. School supplies popped up in Target around the Fourth of July, and we bought our girl's first grade supplies  a week ago. Pencils, glue sticks and crayons are tucked on a shelf in her closet ready for the first day of school...but not everyone is able to fill their child's supply list so easily.

In many homes across the country and around the globe, families struggle to get their children the supplies they need for school. Cartoon Cuts is working to change that with their Race to the Case on August 6, 2015 at Cartoon Cuts salons across the country.

Cartoon Cuts, our favorite place for kids' haircuts, has partnered with Pencils of Promise (PoP) to raise $25,000 to build a school in Guatemala. PoP is a for-purpose organization that builds schools in developing countries in addition to providing scholarships, teacher support, and water and health programs. Since its founding in 2008, PoP has built more than 200 schools. 

On August 6, 20 pencil cases filled with pencils, combs, free haircut cards and other freebies will be hidden around each shopping center with a Cartoon Cuts salon. Clues will be given out via social media, and the winners will be announced on the company's website.  The pencil case winners will share their experience on social media using the #RaceForTheCase, and Cartoon Cuts will donate $1.00 for each social media post. In addition, during the busy back-to-school month of August, Cartoon Cuts customers will be able to  purchase pencils for a suggested donation of $1.00 each - the proceeds of which will go toward building the new school. 

Can't make it to a Cartoon Cuts salon on August 6? Don't have one in your area? You can also help the Race for the Case via social media. For each social media post using the hashtag #RaceForTheCase, Cartoon Cuts will donate $1 to PoP. 

Click here to find a Cartoon Cuts salon in your area!

July 21, 2015

Better housekeeping through booze: how to clean your microfiber furniture with vodka

Once upon a time, my dear husband and I moved into our very first house. To celebrate, we bought a lovely couch and chair. They were expensive for us, but they fit our new living room perfectly, and we loved them. For the first few years we lived in our house, we loved them primarily from afar, preferring to hang out on our old sofa in the basement because what if we spilled on our good furniture?

Then we had kids.

The living room became family central, and our beloved good furniture became lived in. And it showed. But what could we do about it? I would briefly wonder if there might be a way to make it look better every time we had people over, and then I'd get busy and forget about it. But today, I was up early and my sweet children slept late and so I googled "how to clean microfiber." And friends, the answer is vodka (or rubbing alcohol, depending on who you ask).

Don't believe me? Take a look at this very embarrassing before, and very clean after:

All you need are three simple supplies:

A clean spray bottle
A scrubby sponge (I used a Dobie)
Vodka (the cheaper the better)

A note on the vodka - be prepared to use a lot. It took me 3/4 of a bottle to fully clean our small couch and chair. 

What to do:

1. Put vodka in spray bottle.

2. Working one section at a time, spray your furniture until the fabric is damp. Scrub with your scrubby sponge, pausing frequently to rinse the sponge (I rinsed with water, you could be fancy and rinse it with more vodka if you really want to keep water away from your microfiber).

3. Let your furniture air dry.

4. Repeat as necessary. The most heavily stained areas took a second application.

5. Bask in your non-filthy furniture glory.

6. Fix yourself a Moscow Mule with any remaining vodka. :)

Cheers, and happy cleaning! And don't even think of drinking that cocktail on your freshly cleaned furniture.

July 19, 2015

Hit the beach

We're a month and a half into summer vacation. In that time we've had four weeks of swim lessons, seen three plays, been to two concerts (one with kids and one without), built an airport and a library and a million other things out of Legos, and finished our library's summer reading program.

Last week was my birthday, and we've made a family tradition out of going on an adventure for it. I've celebrated my birthday as a parent at the zoo, at the aquarium, and now I've celebrated it at The Beach.

No, not that beach.

This BEACH. The BEACH is a special summer-only exhibition at the National Building Museum, one of our favorite places in DC. It's a simulated ocean of translucent bubbles that wash onto white Astroturf-y shores. It's an art exhibit. It's in a museum, so it's educational?

It's a fancy 10,000 square foot ball pit, and it's entertaining chaos.

At its deepest point, The BEACH is about four feet deep. We bypassed the gentle zero entry slope at the beginning and headed straight for the deep end. This, my friends, was a mistake, because all four of us sank.

Sinking into a few feet of plastic bubbles doesn't sound like a problem until you realize your feet can't seem to touch the ground because you fell into a sitting position, and if you can't get out you can't get your kids out and OH MY GOD you are going to be in this ball pit forever. It took me several long minutes to figure out that the trick is to wiggle your feet until you hit the bottom and then stand up.

After our great sinking and panicking adventure in the deep end, we made our way to the shallow end. Even in this part of the "ocean" it is easy to lose your kids under the bubbles.

The good news is that most of the time they thought it was funny when they went under. We took turns falling backwards and stumbling our way back up again. It was definitely the weirdest place I've spent a birthday, and it was also some of the most fun we've had this summer.

What to know if you decide to go:

Start in the shallow end and work your way deeper. Get your bearings and practice fishing your kids out before you head for the deepest part of the "ocean" near the mirrored wall.

Divide and conquer: if you can bring one adult per kid, do it! Not only can you fish out sunken children faster with another set of adult hands, you can split the line duties. One person gets tickets, another gets in line to enter the exhibit. We waited about 20 minutes to get in on a Thursday afternoon.

The ticket price is steep...but it's not so bad if you do more that just hit The BEACH. Kids six and under can play in the museum's Building Zone play area, kids of all ages can enjoy the fantastic Play Work Build exhibit upstairs, and all four of us loved the Scaling Washington exhibit.

Zip it! There are cubbies for shoes but no secure place to leave valuables, so be prepared to bring your belongings into the pit with you. Travel light if you can and bring your favorite zippered bag to avoid losing your keys in the "ocean."

Note: This isn't a sponsored post...just me sharing our experience. We paid for our own tickets to The Beach.