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Washington DC Weekend

Just this past Labor Day my family enjoyed a Washington DC Weekend!  We crammed a lot into those 2 days, but it was a great experience!

We stayed at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.  You can read more about the hotel (and outrageous parking laws in Washington DC) here!  It was only a short walk to the train station making our commute over to the Smithsonian and other attractions pretty quick and definitely better than driving around trying to find a decent parking space!

Washington DC Weekend - Natural History


Washington DC Weekend - Natural History

Washington DC Weekend - Natural History

Washington DC Weekend - Natural History

We went over to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History first.  I have lived within 2 hours of Washington DC my whole life but had only been once to an art museum.  This was my 9-year-old’s second trip in the past year because he went with his school, but he still enjoyed going again.

After we went through this museum, we had lunch at one of the many food trucks lined up outside. It was either eat at the museum cafe or the food trucks.  It wasn’t bad!  I had falafel, Daryl had a gyro, and Jaxon had pizza.   Poor Benjamin had his usual lunch of turkey and cheese.  The biggest complaint I have is that it can be difficult to find somewhere to sit to eat (or take photos of all our yummy food!) and the sewers and overflowing trashcans all over the area smelled horrible!

We have to bring a small cooler bag with us wherever we go because of Benjamin’s food allergies. The museums were very accommodating, but otherwise, do not allow outside food into the building.

We did A LOT of walking both days.  I was under the impression that once we took the train over to the museum area that everything would be really close to each other, but that wasn’t the case. Next time, I’ll be wearing much more comfortable shoes!

Washington DC Weekend - National Monument

Washington DC Weekend - Lincoln Memorial

Washington DC Weekend - Capital Building

Washington DC Weekend - The White House

In our travels, we saw the National Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Capital Building, and the White House.

For dinner, we ended up getting Chinese take-out because, for some odd reason, Jaxon wanted soup from a Chinese restaurant.  He has never had it before, nor asked for it, but we accommodated his wishes since it was getting late and we were all tired and hungry.  In retrospect, I wish we planned our meals out better because I’m sure Washington DC has some amazing places to eat!

Washington DC Weekend - Air and Space Museum

Washington WC Weekend - Air and Space Museum

The next day, we headed over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  Again, Jaxon had been before, but had a blast anyway!  He really enjoys when he gets to get in things and try them out.  We also watched one of the shows, Journey to the Stars, at the Albert Einstein Planetarium inside.  While admission to the museums is free, some attractions inside cost extra, including the Planetarium shows and a space simulator experience.

After we finished up at the museum, we opted to head home early, rather than trying to squeeze in one more attraction.  Next time I’d really like to go to the National Zoo and see more of the Smithsonian museums!

Have you been to Washington DC?  Where would you want to visit during a Washington DC weekend?  I’m sure there is so much more to see and do!

Fun Fall Keurig Giveaway Contest!

Hi Everyone! It’s officially Fall, and how are we celebrating? By teaming up with Angie of My So-Called Chaos to bring you a really fun Fall Keurig giveaway!

Enter the September Keurig Giveaway at My So-Called Chaos!

Each month, Angie likes to ask the Giveaway sponsors a question so you can get to know us all better. This month, she wanted us to share our favorite Fall drinks with you. Here’s what we said:

Favorite Fall Drinks

“I am obsessed with the caramel apple spice from Starbucks! There is nothing like sitting on the back porch with a cup of apple cider in my hand. Fall is such a magical time of the year.” – Olya from The Siberian American


“Definitely my homemade crock pot pumpkin maple lattes. They are so rich, creamy, and delicious! But much better for you and perfect for having friends over!” – Alexis from Chemistry Cachet

“Fresh Apple Cinder – It reminds me of my childhood growing up in upstate New York surrounded by apple orchards and farm stands. I used to love to visit one of our local farm stands where you could watch them make fresh doughnuts and fresh press the cider. It always tasted better from there, or maybe I just convinced myself it did!” – Libby from Health, Love & Fire

“I love eggnog lattes. I pick them up at Starbucks, but always ask for them to do half eggnog, half soy since eggnog can be too sweet. If I make one at home I use soy milk. During the holiday season they have eggnog flavor available.” – Andi from Misadventures with Andi

“Since I’m not a coffee drinker (I know, I know…) I tend to stick to tried and true Earl Grey Tea. That may sound a little boring, but I consider it to be a classic staple in my home during the Fall. It’s definitely my go to drink.” – Kimi from The Blog Dept

“Normally the answer would be coffee, but that’s like, our favorite drink every season haha. Specifically for fall we love drinking spiced ciders. We made our own Dulche De Leche Cider last fall and it turned out AMMAZZZINNGG. We’ll definitely be making it a lot again this year.” – Hannah & Sara from The Perfect Storm

September Keurig Giveaway Sponsors

“Last fall I was OBSESSED with the Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks and was extremely upset when they stopped making it after the season was over! Just sweet enough without being overwhelming – it was such a good fall drink! – LaceyBean from Perks of Being a JAP (Jewish American Princess)

“There’s nothing better than warm apple cider and a cinnamon stick on a chilly fall day – except maybe a pumpkin spice latte or a hot cup of cocoa! Anything warm and soothing is my jam during the fall!” – Jessica from Living La Vida Holoka

“My favorite fall drink is chai tea. It’s so easy to make at home with just a few simple spices. Here’s a fun twist on a Chai Tea with these Easy scented sachets!” – Brittany of Pop Shop America

“Apple Cider! (I really love to make Apple Cider Slushies!)” – Destiny from Suburban Wife City Life

“I love drinking apple cider in the fall. We go apple picking every year, and it makes me think of all those great family memories! Plus, it’s delicious!” – Krystal from Healthy Happy Thrifty Family

“Spiced Apple Cider! We always get our cider from on of the local apple orchards and I make my own mulling spice blend. It’s like Apple Pie in a mug!” – Lauren from Our Little Everything

Enter the Keurig Giveaway

So are you ready? 1 lucky winner will win a Keurig Prize Pack including* a Keurig K55 Coffee Maker, a K-Cup Drawer, a Seasonal K-Cup Sampler (pumpkin spice coffee, apple cider, chai, etc.), and a super cute Fall coffee mug. Giveaway is open worldwide** and ends on Tuesday, October  11th at 12AM MST. Entering below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Prize pack shown/listed is subject to availability and substitutions may be made if items become unavailable/sold out.
**International winners will receive a cash prize of $150 via Paypal instead of the prize due to mailing issues.

Busy Toddler Snack Ideas

Need some ideas for busy toddler snacks? Ideas that are quick, healthy snacks for your little who is always ready to go go go?!  From cereal to fruit to Gerber Lil’ Beanies, I’ve got you covered! Check out my list of busy toddler snack ideas!

Busy Toddler Snack Ideas


Lately, it seems that Benjamin (age 16 months with 6 whole teeth to his name) does not want to waste time he could be playing to stop and eat!  We are also always on the go running errands, going to doctor appointments, taking his big brother to soccer practices and games, and having plenty of fun family outings as well lately!  I thought it would be a good to share a list of busy toddler snack ideas!  These are quick, healthy snacks your little one can eat on their own (supervised, of course) or with just a little help, and they are all easy to take with you when you are on-the-go!

Busy Toddler Snack Ideas

  • Low Sugar Cereals:  store smaller serving sizes in air-tight plastic bowls with lids for easy travel.  I actually have a bowl or two ready to go in my little guy’s kitchen drawer at all times!
  • Pieces of Cheese:  if your diaper bag has an insulated area, then taking little pieces of cheese in a resealable container is a great option – especially if your toddler is anything like mine and eats as much cheese as a hungry mouse!  I sometimes even just bring cheese sticks and break them apart.  We have to take a cooler with us at all times due to food allergies, so taking a snack that should be kept cold is easy for us.  A small insulated lunch box works well too and is light weight!
  • Pieces of Soft Meat:  I will sometimes break up slices of natural turkey or ham lunch meat for an easy lunch or snack.  Keep this item cold as well!
  • Fruit: toddlers love sweet foods, and I like being able to offer a healthier option like fruit! Bananas are great because they are so soft and easy to break apart or take small bites from. We sometimes also bring stage 3 foods with us or diced fruit cups because there so many fruit combinations and they don’t have to be kept cold (although I wouldn’t let them get too hot either!).
  • Gerber Lil’ Beanies:  these are Benjamin’s new favorite snack!  I think he would eat the whole can if I let him!  They are made with navy beans and come in original and white cheddar broccoli flavor.  To my surprise, he really loves the white cheddar broccoli flavor!  Each serving of Gerber Lil’ Beanies has 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber and there is no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  It really is a snack I feel good about letting my little one have and are great for home and on-the-go!  I just found them recently in the baby food aisle at Walmart!

Busy Toddler Snack Ideas

If you haven’t had your little one try the Gerber Lil’ Beanies yet, head on over to your local Walmart!  Thre is even an Ibotta offer right now so you can earn $0.50 when you buy a can!

Busy Toddler Snack Ideas

Busy Toddler Snack Ideas

I hope you found this list of busy toddler snack ideas helpful!  Please feel free to share any other snack ideas you have!  I’d love to hear them!

 

Washington D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel Review

Omni Shoreham Hotel Review

A few weeks ago we spent Labor Day weekend in Washington D.C.  I’ve lived within 2 hours of Washington D.C. most of my life, but had only ever been there once.  I had never seen the White House, the National Monument, or the Smithsonian!  My son went with his school last year but this time, we all went! This post is soley the Omni Shoreham Hotel review where we stayed. I’ll share more details about what we did during our trip in another post soon!

Omni Shoreham Hotel Review
Hotel Lobby
Omni Shoreham Hotel Review
Hotel Lobby

Daryl did all the research and planning for this trip.  He ended up booking our family a room at the Omni Shoreham Hotel because it was just a short walk to a train station.  He had initially put the wrong date in and thought our stay was going to be much less expensive than it was, but caught the mistake in time!  He also thought we would have free breakfast and wifi with the room, but that wasn’t the case.  There may be some packages that include breakfast, but for us, it would have been additional so we ate out.  We were able to get free “basic” Wifi when we signed up for their rewards program (also free).  At first I was little upset that we HAD to pay $50 (a day!) for valet parking, but apparently, that’s a law or something in Washington D.C. However, I still feel that the fee is extremely excessive considering the car was parked about 20 feet away from the hotel entrance and it was not covered parking.

Omni Shoreham Hotel Review
Hotel Room
Omni Shoreham Hotel Review
Dressing Room Between the Bedroom and Bathroom
Omni Shoreham Hotel Review
Bathroom

The hotel room itself was clean and very spacious.  We had a huge foyer area with a connecting door to the adjacent room should we have needed to book two rooms.  There was also a huge walk-in closet and a dressing area between the bedroom and the bathroom.  There was a full-length mirror in the dressing area but no stool or hooks to hang clothing on that I can remember. We were fine without those things, but it would have been nice to have.  The beds and pillows were extremely soft.  I prefer a firm mattress these days, but a few years back, I would have loved this bed!


We did not eat at the hotel, nor did we have to call the desk for any requests.  I had planned to stop by the pool and fitness center to take photos, but we just didn’t have time during our short stay.  At the end of our stay, check out was straightforward and our bill was accurate.

Lesson learned on this trip: valet parking at Washington D.C. hotels is required and expensive!

Would we stay here again?  Yes, I would most definitely stay at the Omni Shoreham Hotel again.

I hope you found this Washington D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel review helpful!  If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below!

 

 

Life is an Adventure

This post contains affiliate links - see our Disclosure Statement for more information.

The clothing website Cents of Style is running a “Life is…” series right now asking some bloggers to choose the shirt that best sums up how they feel about life.  I was so excited to be included and chose the Life is an Adventure t-shirt!

When I was looking at all the t-shirts, the Life is an Adventure shirt pretty much summed up all the rest of the options in my opinion.  Life is tough at times.  Life is sweet at other times.  There are also grand and beautiful moments as well!  It all accumulates into this one great big adventure!

Life in an Adventure t-shirt

No matter how much I have tried to plan and predict every aspect of my own life, the universe was going to do whatever it was going to do!  I never thought I’d be a mom and now it’s my life!  I never thought I’d end up a single mom, but I did.  I never thought I’d ever trust again – I have.  I was told I couldn’t have another baby and just as I was accepting that fact, I found out I was pregnant.  I never thought I could handle having a “special needs” child, but he’s just like your child, only shorter.  And, I never thought I’d ever get married and now I am engaged!


blog2

My Family - Portland, Maine

Life is an Adventure

See what I mean?  All these things I never thought would happen did happen no matter what I thought I wanted.  The universe knew better.  I still have my hopes and dreams of seeing a lot more of this beautiful planet, but right now I’m perfectly content in this little moment of my own adventure right where these two little people need me to be.

Life in an Adventure Collage

Want your own Life is an Adventure t-shirt?  Or maybe one of these others speaks to who you are more?  I can tell you this t-shirt well made, soft, and comfy! You can find them on Cents of Styles website (be sure to use code LIFEIS1 to get the shirt for only $15.95 with FREE shipping from 9-23-16 to 9-25-16)They have the cutest clothing at really great prices, free shipping, and are always having fun promotions!

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