Monthly Archives: July 2013


Summer Fun List: National Children’s Museum

Once a month, the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor in Maryland has a Free Family Night. This was a great opportunity for us to visit this museum, which we had been interested in visiting since it opened last December.

Luke loved the giant world map near the entrance

It’s a small museum with lots of pretend play and lots of educational items packed into it.

The first area we visited was “My Town.” It had several fun play stations including a pizza parlor, fire truck, market, and campaign headquarters.

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The kids really enjoyed Pizza Place. There were several different pizza playset to “cook” with including Plan Toys and Melissa & Doug items.

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At the market, Luke was the cashier while Scarlett shopped for groceries.

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Then Scarlett brought her basket into the firetruck.

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Luke went to the loading dock to operate the crane while Scarlett did a USA puzzle at Campaign Headquarters.

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There was a tight race for mayor going on!

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The next area we went to was an international section. It had an airport baggage carousel, an exotic market, costumes, and a kitchen for “cooking” cuisine from around the world.

Scarlett shopped for interesting ingredients, then Luke drove her in a taxi.

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Time to cook!

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Next, Luke went to a classroom to do an art project. He and Tom made masks.

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Scarlett and I went to the room for kids aged 3 and under. This room had lots of toys, a food truck and a climbing structure as well as a place just for infants to play. And it was Sesame Street themed!

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Our last stop was Imagination Playground, a room full of pieces and parts to build anything you can think of.

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This was everyone’s favorite part!

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We spent several hours at the museum and the kids enjoyed themselves. I’m not sure I would’ve liked it if we had paid the regular rate of $10 per person, but for free it was a good time!


Scarlett’s Pink Princess Sleeping Beauty Birthday Dinner

Scarlett had requested a “Pink Princess Sleeping Beauty” party for her birthday this year. For her first two birthday we were visiting family so we had big parties. This year we traveled in June instead of July so we were home for her third birthday. This meant no big party. But we could put together a nice little Pink Princess dinner.

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It was a simple and little-kid-friendly menu:

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Sandwiches 
Popcorn and Pretzels 
Pink Marshmallows 
Bubble Gum 
Pink Lemonade 
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Hot Pink Frosting.

Scarlett pinked out a few princess things at the party store, like pink plates and napkins.

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And we couldn’t forget the party blowers! 


My favorite part was the Rocker Girl Mini Tiaras I found at Party City. Adorable cupcake toppers!

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The Birthday Princess was pleased.

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I put her presents together in a Sleeping Beauty theme with “The Gift of Beauty,” “The Gift of Song,” and “The Gift of Love.”
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(She got an Izzy Pirate Costume, a Cinderella piano, and some dolls so it sort of corresponded). Please forgive the Christmas wrapping paper – it was Disney Princess paper, just not pink!

She especially loved her Pink Princess Sleeping Beauty doll!

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After presents, Scarlett did a quick change into the Izzy costume to blow our her candles.

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Can’t believe she’s the big 3!


Scarlett is 3!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my little princess, Scarlett!

Time is flying by!

What started off as this:

Scarlett 3 hours old

Grew into this…

Scarlett – 1 Year Old

…Kept growing…

Scarlett – 2 Years Old

…And now she’s a big girl!

Scarlett – 3 Years Old

She’s such a great daughter and a really fun girl! Love her to pieces. She’s asked for a pink Princess Sleeping Beauty birthday dinner so it should be a fun day.


Disney Movie Night Menu: Teen Beach Movie

I wasn’t sure about the kids, but I was sure excited for Teen Beach Movie. I am a total geek like that. I found the movie fun and silly and especially good for summer viewing. Scarlett liked the songs and Luke liked the storms. Even Tom liked that Barry Bostwick was in it!

 For our Teen Beach Movie dinner, I did a “Bikers vs. Surfers” motif.

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Our “Teen Beach Movie” Menu: 
Hot Dogs 
Surfer Snacks
Wavy Potato Chips 
Beach Balls (Cantalope Balls) 
Biker Bites
Spare Tires (Chocolate Donuts) 
Bubble Gum 
Cherry Pop (Kool-Aid)
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I thought about serving Fish Burgers, since that is a specialty at Big Momma’s in the movie – but no one in my house would’ve eaten that. Instead,  we went with hot dogs, a nice beach food. Also, this whole meal was super easy.

The Disney Channel has some more ideas in their Teen Beach Movie Party Kit.

Luke is now obsessed with bubble gum. I call that a successful dinner!

I am not affiliated with Disney or the Disney Channel. I am just a really fun person who likes movies!


Summer Fun List: Great Waves Water Park

In honor of Teen Beach Movie, we visited our local water park for some fun in the waves and the sand.


Great Waves Water Park has a big wave pool, several water slides, a sprayground, a large pool, a kiddie pool, and a playground with sand. After 4pm on weekdays it only costs $8 per person!

Tom took Luke off to do big kid things like water slides while Scarlett tried out the sprayground.


She didn’t like getting splashed, though, so she decided we’d hang out at the Under 6 Wading Pool for a while.


It’s only about a foot deep at it’s deepest – great for the littlest kids!

After a good hour, I finally convinced Scarlett to go meet the guys at the big pool.


We hit the wave pool a little after that, but the kids were being tossed around too much so we spent the rest of the time at the playground.


The weather was great and Tom & I enjoyed relaxing while the kids had a blast playing in the sand.



Quintessential summer fun!


Disney Movie Night Dinner: Tangled

Tangled is one of my favorite Disney movies so I was excited to make up a dinner menu for it.

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Our Tangled Menu:
Apples for Maximus
Snuggly Duckling Ale (Iced Tea)
Tower Cupcakes (An easier version of these adorable ones)

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This was a great dinner because I love cornbread. Any excuse to eat it is good!

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I made the cupcakes with White Chocolate Raspberry frosting and yellow Twizzlers for Rapunzel’s hair.

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I added glow sticks to the paper lanterns to try to make them glow. It sorta worked!


Disney Princess Inspired Sensory Bin: Rapunzel

I hadn’t done a sensory bin in a while. With some yellow yarn on hand, it was easy to make this one for our Tangled week.


This bin included: 
Purple jewels 
Flower confetti 
Fisher Price Little People Rapunzel Figure

This was a popular one! Both Luke and Scarlett loved the yarn. They spent a lot of time separating the yarn from the smaller objects. Easy clean up, too!




Disney World Resort Hop #9: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Our final stop before leaving Orlando was Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.


The beach path from the Polynesian brought us to the Grand Floridian pool area .

There goes the Monorail!

Again, we were too early to see it in action but the Alice in Wonderland themed water play area was so cute!

The huge lobby was our next stop – beautiful, ornate, and golden.





The outside was just as luxurious.



Absolutely gorgeous. I can’t imagine staying here with little kids, although I’m sure it’s as family friendly as all places at Disney (they do have those little chairs!). If we did stay here, I think we’d be playing in the water most of the time anyway. So, what the heck, let’s add it to the list of future places to stay!


It was starting to get hot, so instead of walking back to our car, we decided to hop on the monorail. The kids were delighted!


We swung by the Magic Kingdom and said “hi!”



Then we hopped off the monorail and our trip was done.


Even though we didn’t go to any of the Disney Parks, we had a pretty great Disney vacation!


Disney World Resort Hop #8: Polynesian Resort

The last day of our trip to Orlando the my wedding anniversary! Tom and I got married on 07/07/07 – six years of wedded bliss.

And what better way to celebrate years of love than breakfast at the Polynesian?

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We got up early to squeeze in a little more fun before we headed home. The tropical feel of the Polynesian was gorgeous.
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After admiring the lobby, we headed over to Captain Cook’s for a nice meal.

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The kids got Mickey Waffles while Tom and I tried the legendary Tonga Toast.

Tonga Toast

The banana-stuffed french toast was huge and filling. A great breakfast, although my mouth tasted like bananas for the rest of the day.

Banana Stuffed Tonga Toast

The kids were restless so breakfast was short. We ventured outside to check out the pool and the beach.

Pool at the  Polynesian Resort

The volcano pool was awesome! Luke, our lava-lover,  was impressed.

The splash pad wasn’t on yet, but it looked pretty neat, too.

Splash Pad at Polynesian Resort

The beach was lovely. The sand was being smoothed and we were the first to put down new footprints.

Beach at Disney's Polynesian Resort

This would be a great place to spend a vacation day – who even needs theme parks?

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It was so pretty we decided to walk the path over to the Grand Floridian
Scarlett at Disney's Polynesian Resort

We passed this guy on our way by the Spirit of Aloha show.

Luke Spirit of Aloha Polynesian

One the way back to our car, we popped back inside the Polynesian to look in the gift shop.

Disney Polynesian Gift Shop

Trader Jack's at Disney's Polynesian Resort

And one last photo op – sort of.

Surfboard at Disney's Polynesian Resort

I would LOVE to stay here some day. Better start saving now!

Next and last in the Resort Hop series – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.


A Trip to Disney’s Character Warehouse

When we were done with our resort hopping for the day, we were tired but still wanted to do something fun. We decided to take a quick trip over to the Orlando Premium Outlets to check out Disney’s Character Warehouse.


Disney Merchandise + Big Discounts = My Kind of Store!


They had clothes, collectibles, toys, souvenirs – anything type of Disney item you might be looking for.


Tom found some neat Cars merchandise.

Scarlett tried on all the hats.


I was drawn to the Vinylmation. The 3″ items were 5 for $10 – woohoo! Here’s a few items I got:

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Oz the Great and Poweful: Glinda & China Girl Vinylmation
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Nerd Figment Vinylmation

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NFL New England Patriots Vinylmation

I also picked out a few Vinylmation “Jingle Smells” scented Christmas ornaments – Mickey, Donald and Goofy.

I am glad we made the trip.