Posts tagged kid-friendly
5 must go family-friendly spots in DC

My favorite memories as a child are going on awesome adventures with my mom. I know it sounds cliché, but Washington DC is still one of my favorite cities to explore because there is literally so much to do with your little ones. Besides the plethora of international food festivals and summer events going on, there are a ton of awesome places to go on family outings, many of which have free entry. Don’t worry if you have kids of different ages, these locations have things to see and explore for all ages! These are my 5 must see family-friendly spots to visit in the DC metro area.

  1. Smithsonian ‘National Zoo’

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Lions, hogs, and pandas? I’m sure if you’re a parent of a toddler, yo'u’ve “roared” a time or two with your kids. You can see lions and pandas up close at the National Zoo in safe exhibit viewing areas. The zoo is one of my favorite places for the whole family because the animals are interpreted differently by the whole family. Aria was soaking up all the information in the park “fact” signs for the first time which was really exciting! She used to only mock the animals and run around in the mist machines for fun. Make sure to bring $5 cash for the paper map so you can navigate your way around easily! Admission in the zoo is FREE. Take advantage of the open parking close to the entrances! More info.

3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

 

2. The Museum of Natural History: Wegman’s Wonderplace

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The Museum of Natural History is amazing! Besides the very well executed exhibits on the upper floors, this museum is home to two really fun activity centers. Wegman’s Wonderplace is an interactive play center for infants to kids 5 years old. Wonder place is great for kids who love play kitchens, puzzles, and a little bit of company to play with. The Q?irius center is a science lab for tweens and teens 11-15. They can view specimens under a microscope, solve challenging brain puzzles, and play interactive games on devices in the lab! Admission for this park is FREE. More info.

10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW  Washington, D.C. 20560

 

3. Dave & Buster’s Arcade

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Dave & Busters is a fan favorite in our house. The reason? My husband is pumped to play arcade games with me and the kids, especially Aria who has taken a liking to the bright lights and excitement of collecting tickets for a prize. Eat first! Their dining area is surprisingly kid-friendly and the food is really on point. You can “supercharge” your meal to add bonus tokens to your D & B card to play more games with. The best part of D & B is their prize room so the kids can take home a souvenir from their visit with us! Admission for the arcade is FREE. Food and games are NOT included. More info.

8661 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

 

4. United States Botanical Gardens

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The Botanical Garden is definitely in the running for the prettiest DC park, right behind the National Arboretum. The garden is full of plants from all biospheres and walking through it feels like a trip walking through all the seasons that are happening in one place. Ages 9+ can ask for a Junior Botanist Kit to spark their interest in gardening and plant life. The Children’s Garden is a place where small kids can plant real blooms and get hands on experience gardening from the pros. Admission for this park is FREE. More info.

United States Botanic Garden Conservatory
100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20001

 

5. National Museum of the American Indian

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The National Museum of the Native American is a little-known of gem in DC. American Indian culture is hardly touched on in American History so a trip through this place is fascinating to get a different perspective on American’s settlements and sections of tribes living throughout the country up until today. The coolest thing hidden in there is the imagiNATIONS Activity Center that has experiments and interactive activities you can play to learn about Native American culture including state-of-the-art simulation videos. Admission for this park is FREE. More info.

National Museum of the American Indian
National Mall
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20560


These adventures are where childhood memories are made! There are so many ways to explore the city in a new way now that a lot of us have children! There are a ton of free admission parks that you could easily pack lunches for if you wanted to skip the pricey cafeteria-style food & vending trucks for lunch. Be sure to take a lot of pictures, the last time we were with Aria at the National Zoo was when she was hardly older than Sire who’s now seven months. Time flies!

xo.

 
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Family

Those who play together, stay together. Get active with the kids outside of the house to make long-lasting family memories.

What Moms Really Wants for Mother's Day (When you're on a budget)
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Happy Mother's Day weekend to all my mums out there!

We are amazing people to be able to deal with tiny humans, live out our own dreams, work out 9-5's, wash everyone's laundry, and STILL make time for our partner-before we even think of ourselves. 

Most of our American holidays shove down our throats that we need to go to Kay Jewelers to find something special and unique for mom, but that's NOT what moms really want for mother's day. I'm going to speak for all of us when I say, we just want a restful day with our loved ones. A day where we're not sprinting children to practice, or waking up at 7 a.m. to not be late for school. Here are some awesome ideas to celebrate mother's day without breaking the bank!

  1. Freshly baked bread. You can literally go to the grocery store, buy a box of bread mix, throw some chocolate chips or dried fruit in it. Hell, throw some nuts in it if that's what mom likes and throw it in the oven. Banana Nut is highly recommended.
  2. Breakfast in bed. I'm telling y'all, we LOVE it when our families take the time to cook for us. It's like waking up on Christmas for a mom. You can keep it simple with toast, eggs, and bacon, or you can shake it up by making some crepes or blueberry pancakes for her. Here's a fab recipe for my favorite, Lingonberry crepes.
  3. Make her a video. Heck, you have an iphone. Get it edited on Fiverr to personalize it for $5. For all of her children to speak and share what they love about her. Movies and film are forever, we cherish all our pictures but videos make us feel like we can remember exactly what they looked and sounded like at that moment in time. Doblonk is a great person to use!
  4. Set up an outdoor picnic. Make some basic sandwiches with cut fruit and chips or swing on over to Potbelly and grab some. Set up a cute blanket outside with wine or juice for mom. We love to slip off our shoes and surround ourselves in the great outdoors.
  5. Clean up the house. Take some initiative by vacuuming the house, sweeping and picking up the rooms. Having a clean home without forcing someone to do their chores is a magical feeling that no mom can truly explain. Warm a candle or stick some cinnamon in a pot with water with some citrus, bring it to boil then let it simmer.
  6. Paint her something. Michael's has amazing deals for assorted acrylic paints that you can get for about 0.50 cents each. Kids can use brushes or paint with their hands. We literally try to keep everything so anything handmade feels that much more special.
  7. Give her a day off. Ask dad to make sure mom doesn't have to lift a finger unless she wants to. Kids forget every other day that they can ask their dad for snacks and everything else they harass mom for. Let dad take the lead that day. 
  8. An Edible Arrangement. You can literally make them at home with hand-cut fruit and bamboo skewers if you're a DIY queen like me. I used a bucket from the dollar store, styrofoam, skewers, a pineapple, strawberries, grapes, and cantaloupe which cost me about $12. If not, Edible Arrangements can be purchased in time for mother's day for pick up near your home! 
  9. Movie day. Binge on Netflix or load up on the newest Redbox movies. You can set up a comfy spot to lounge in your living room where everyone can pile together. Lazy days are the absolute best days and when you're a mom, those days are few and far in between.
  10. Make a Handmade Card. We literally always get sappy when we look at the ornaments and cards our kids made from scratch. Cards can be expensive when you purchase them from the store and often aren't very personal. Colored pencils and some help from dad goes a long way in making mom smile.
Charlie Takes His Shot is a HIT!
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Within a year, Jackie’s teammates and fans of every race cheered for him. Could Charlie do the same for golf?
— Nancy Churnin, Charlie Takes His Shot

Nancy Churnin is a fabulous children's book author who has taken the world of literary non-fiction by storm! Her dynamic children's books are filled with the greatest historical figures that have been lost in American history. These were not the heroes that wore capes, but the ones that broke down cultural and barriers for people of color and those who were considered different.

Nancy knew she had a HIT when she wrote Charlie Takes His Shot. Her historical research into the life of this character showed, and allowed this story to feel authentic and true. The text was perfectly arranged so that the font and the story was together on one page without clashing with one another. The storyline was well-paced so it was exciting, but read it fluidly, which is very important to keep the attention of new readers and young listeners. I would highly recommend this book to parents and educators who are looking for dynamic and diverse books. It is perfectly suited for ages 3-9 years old.

Charlie Takes His Shot absolutely blew me away! The illustrations by John Joven are wonderful, picturesque, and packed with deep color values. John Joven's strong depiction of the scenery highlighted the atmosphere that the character would have been surrounded by.

You can get your own copy of Charlie Takes His Shot on Amazon and from the Albert Whitman & Company.

Book Summary

Charlie Sifford was a young man with humungous dreams who grew up in a time and place where only whites were allowed to golf, much less be a part of a professional golf associations! Charlie learned from the sidelines by being a caddie for the golfers while he patiently waited for his turn to play. He dominated tournaments between other black players, but he still eagerly wanted to play professionally.

When Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the Major League of Baseball to become a star, he inspired all black athletes of that era. If Jackie could succeed and win support in his sport, why couldn't he? Charlie seized an opportunity to talk to his idol, Jackie Robinson in 1948. Jackie warned him about the trouble he would face, but Charlie didn't back down from the challenge. 

Charlie traveled the world as a professional golfer and was eventually compensated for his efforts. In 1957, he won the The National Negro Open. Times were changing and other black athletes were pounding down the barrier that barred blacks from professional organizations like the MLB and NBA. Years later, Charlie Sifford earned his right to play in the PGA as the first black player ever admitted.

He dealt with fierce discrimination from hotels, players, and even tournament attendees. Eventually, he won the PGA tour in front of all the people who both supported and hated him. He thrusted open the door for all of the famous black golfers who were able to join the PGA after him like Calvin Peete, Harold Varner III, and of course, Tiger Woods.

Follow children's book author Nancy Churnin on Facebook and Twitter

Gettin' Fancy on a Thursday with Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of the most well known-fanciest sounding dishes you've probably heard of. I've been eating it since I was a kid when my Nana introduced it to me. Now as an adult, I've made some adjustments to her recipe but believe me, it's still delicious and it's kid-approved!

Just because it sounds fancy doesn't mean it has to be! You can make this recipe using deli ham in lieu of the Prosciutto that I use. Prosciutto is a little pricier and only comes in a pack of 5-6 very thin slices but it tastes like bacon and it's absolutely worth it.

The key to this dish is making sure you use thin layers of chicken, cheese, and prosciutto so all of the pieces cook and brown evenly.

Here's what you'll need

  • WINE- not for the recipe, for yourself mama.
  • 2 packages of organic thin cut chicken breasts
  • 1 pack of prosciutto (deli or cheese aisle)
  • 1 pack of thinly sliced swiss cheese
  • 1 cup of italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs whisked together
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Garlic powder, salt, pepper for seasoning
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • You'll also need spray oil, aluminum foil, and wax or parchment paper
Ingredients
  1. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a microwave safe bowl.
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2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take out 2 bowls, in one of the bowls, whisk 2 eggs and set aside. In the second bowl pour the cup of breadcrumbs and the melted butter together and mix thoroughly.

3.  Preheat a large pan and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 

4. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on the countertop to the right of the egg wash, and breadcrumb bowl to create an assembly line.

5. Use the garlic powder and generously season all of the chicken. Do the same with salt and pepper on that side. Flip chicken breasts over this time only season with pepper. This recipe doesn't need a lot of added salt because we're using swiss and prosciutto which has added saltiness.

 

6. On top of the chicken lay 1 layer of prosciutto, then a layer of swiss cheese over top.

7. Roll up the chicken and use a wooden toothpick to secure it.

8. Submerge each rollup in the egg wash, then place each roll up into the breadcrumbs and use a spoon to spoon the crumbs to coat the entire roll. Set aside each rollup.

9. Drop the remaining 1/2 stick of butter into the pan. Place all 6 roll ups into the pan. Use tongs to flip them over they only need about 1-1 1/2 minutes per side. The outside should be a golden brown. The oven will finish cooking them.

10. Use the tongs to place the cordon bleu roll ups on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Voila!