Boys and Cars and Birthday Parties !

Courtesy of The Trenches

It’s that time of year again!

While most people are planning holiday festivities,
our family is planning a birthday party.

Holiday babies present a special problem.
From the moment my son was born, a week before Christmas,
everyone instilled in me how important it was to
‘Make His Birthday Special!!’

So every year the question comes up-
What do we do for a birthday party?
And every year it gets harder, because they are getting bigger,
and even a teensy bit cynical sometimes.

This year proved to be the toughest yet, my son’s 10th birthday party….

How to entertain 15 10-year-old boys for 2 hours?

And the answer came out of the mouths of babes….

My son heard about a new place that opened up for parties,
a simple little warehouse….

So how could a little warehouse, with no decorations,
appeal to a bunch of little boys that are starting to get big?

It couldn’t. Unless this little warehouse was filled with…


Yes, you heard me right. A video game party.
The little warehouse we went to is called The Trenches.
And for a reasonable fee, you rent the whole place for 2 hours.
You get the whole place to yourself,
and there are tons of video games and they are all free-
no tokens, no tickets,

The place had old-time arcade games, new ones, Xboxes, and much, much more.
So the boys get to run around and play games,
have the whole place to themselves,
and just take breaks for pizza and birthday cake.

You’re done. The boys LOVED this. This was the easiest birthday party ever!

I believe that this is the next up-and-coming trend in birthday parties.
I have heard that these are popping up around the country,
along with video game buses, so the birthday party can come to you!

How good of an idea is this? I cannot stress how much all the boys LOVED this party!

And to top it all off, I drove my son and a couple of friends to the party in the Cadillac CTS, the 2014 MotorTrend Car of the Year.
And the boys thought it was so cool!

In other words, Mom saves the day, and makes the birthday special, for another year….

Yey Mom!

Happy Birthday to all the Holiday Babies out there!!!!

The boys loved the Cadillac CTS Dashboard

Down to the Georgetown Waterfront….

May 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Around DC, Food and Drink 

The bottom of Georgetown

Here’s a shot of us driving toward the

bottom of Georgetown

and the Georgetown Waterfront!

We decided to take the Cadillac XTS

out to brunch

and enjoyed wonderful food at Sequoia,

that has the best views in Washington!

A view from our table; See the Kennedy Center on the left ?!

The weather was perfect!

You can’t beat Washington

on Memorial Day Weekend

when the weather is like this,

and with an easy way to get around-

you can’t ask for anything more.

So, after our family thoroughly enjoyed

a wonderful meal,

we went back to the Caddie,

and look how easy it fit

into garage parking!

Easy Parking!

This was a tight garage,

in the middle of Georgetown,

and the Cadillac XTS

took it in stride;

Its maneuverability is great!

After brunch we visited

The US Marine Corps War Memorial

US Marine Corps War Memorial

in honor of Memorial Day Weekend

and ended our afternoon with

trips to Farmers Markets

in Palisades

as well as


Touring around the city is delightful

in the Cadillac XTS.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday with the family!

Palisades Farm Market

Bethesda Farm Market

Happy Memorial Day Weekend !!!

Visiting Farm Markets!

May 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Around DC, Food and Drink 

Pike Central Farm Market

We continued our Green Weekend with the Cadillac XTS by going to the Pike Central Farm Market!
We were greeted right away by one of the Founders, Mitch Berliner,

Mitch Berliner

then continued to all the fantastic booths!
We found salami,
and fruits
to take home!

The Cadillac was wonderful, it was so easy to use, even my son could load our bag into the trunk by himself!

We had a wonderful day and ended it by having dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants- Cafe Deluxe in downtown Bethesda. This family dinner place gets its poultry and dairy from nearby farmers!

Our Green Weekend Begins with a Farmers Market!

May 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Around DC, Entertainment, Food and Drink 

The Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market !

This weekend, this Memorial Day Weekend, our Family is celebrating living in the DC Metro Area, the Nation’s Capital, by visiting local merchants and growers and going GREEN, thanks to help from the GM East Team at General Motors, who gave us a gorgeous Cadillac XTS (which drives like a dream) for a week!!
The first stop on our Green Weekend was a Farmers Market, but not just any farmers market- my son, who was off school, and I went to the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market in Bethesda, Maryland.
And it was heralded as the only farm woman’s cooperative of its kind in the world!! And it’s still around!
This is what I love about living in the DC area- it’s not just about the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, although those are pieces of history that are very important.
DC is about finding little gems and pieces of magic that are right under your nose. Almost everything in this region has some kind of historical significance, and I love that!
We saw beautiful flowers

Flowers sold at the Market by 'Plant Masters'

And some delicious cheeses from Stonyman Gourmet Farmer, in fact we bought a Gouda from them that was delicious!

The cheeses are from Washington, Virginia… which was laid out by none other than George Washington himself, when he was a surveyor- how’s that for historical!!
Everything was fresh and beautiful!
My son, a car fanatic, and I had a wonderful day driving around the Washington Area in the Cadillac XTS, like I said before, it drives like a dream.
Thanks again GM East Team!
Stay tuned for tomorrow !!

Fesh produce at the Market

The Biggest Back-Handed Compliment I’ve Ever Gotten

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Food and Drink, Life, Mom Blogs, Mom Victories 

My New Year’s resolution this year was not about giving up anything.  I always like to DO something as a resolution (giving things up also tends to involve a lot of will power).

So I decided January 1st that I would bury my sweat suits and dress a little nicer.  And this turned out to be pretty darn easy because my sweat suits were my uniform: the gray one with a long sleeve t-shirt, the green one with a long sleeve t-shirt; you get the picture.

Since the first of the year I’ve been wearing khakis or jeans or a couple other pairs of nicer pants and you guessed it- long sleeve t-shirts.  I’ve been feeling a lot more pulled together-

gee, go figure.

Then, I was talking to a friend of mine about make-up (the kind of friend who always looks like she just ‘threw something on’ from her fabulous wardrobe and is perfectly put together).

She joked that I had never seen her without make-up.

“Sure I have, you’re not wearing any now.”

“Yes, I am.”

Hmmm.  I started thinking.  Maybe I should start wearing a little powder or something.  Maybe I could start off just trying to put on some make-up a few times a week…

So I did.

This doesn’t seem at first like it’s life-changing, but it is… just a little bit.

I always make sure my son looks nice and put together, and now I’m spending a few more minutes in the morning so I do too.

I was at the grocery store with jeans on, a relatively nice long sleeve shirt tucked in and make-up on.  My hair was even down, not up in a clip.

All of a sudden I get that feeling that I’m being stared at and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just a little.  I look up from the Havarti I’m studying, to see the young woman behind the bakery counter staring at me.  She’s staring at me intently… with squinted eyes.

I didn’t think much about it… maybe she needs glasses, thinks I’m someone else, etc.

Awhile later I had made my way over to the cereal aisle when I see the young woman from the bakery counter walking toward me with a smile on her face and she says, I kid you not,

“You look COMPLETELY different!”

The ‘completely’ really got me…  Completely?

“You’re wearing make-up…”

“You look so pretty!”

Wow.  That’s so nice… 
Then my mind goes into overdrive… Do I really look that different with make-up on?

That’s still nice… 
wait- how BAD was I looking without make-up?

How sweet of her… 
wow, I must have been looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame every time I’ve come into this grocery store.

Still, what a nice compliment… 
I’ve been coming to this same store for 5 years, has everyone thought FOR 5 YEARS- ‘that woman should wear a little make-up’?


A second later, I started grinning as I walked down that cereal aisle.  There was a compliment in there somewhere.

Beauty is only skin-deep, but looking better can help you feel a little better too.

And my New Year’s resolution is validated!

* I actually wrote this a while back for DC Metro Moms…  I wear a little make up EVERY Day now…  :)

How to Make Gooey Cookies Every Time!

October 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: dc metro moms, Food and Drink 

How do make cookies gooey, or even soft, and therefore edible?  My cookies resemble bricks.

I’ve never been a big cookie maker.  It just never occurred to me to bake my own cookies when I can buy great ones from the Giant bakery…  
Is that wrong?

Now, my son has his own baking set, complete with rolling pin, whisk, cookie cutters and cookie sheet and he LOVES to bake cookies because we get down on the floor of the kitchen and mix up all the ingredients and cut out the cookies on a sheet.

Yes, the sheet is on the floor… but the cookies are on the sheet, so they don’t touch the floor…
No, you don’t have to sample any cookies when you come over!

We’ve been baking a lot lately, producing lots of hard, almost candy-like cookies.  My son doesn’t even want to eat them.  He just likes baking them.

And then, a breakthrough- soft cookies, like a grandmother makes! I did it!  I found out the secret to soft cookies!

How you ask?

I mentioned my desire to know the magical formula to tender cookies to my mother-in- law.  How does one achieve the wanted texture?  How do I make cookies that don’t harden enough to hurt the teeth?

What’s the rub-  practice?…  a secret ingredient?… maybe just more of an ingredient, like butter?

My mother-in-law looked at me and very matter-a-factly said, “Oh, just cook them a minute or two less than the instructions say to.”

What?  Are you kidding?  That’s it?

So I tried it… and it worked.
So… I feel good for succeeding in my discovery of good cookie making.  
But on the other hand- Man, do I feel silly!

This is not a physics theorem.  This is not hard.  Does everyone know this?  
Am I the only one who DIDN’T know this?  

But, regardless of how non-chef-like I feel, I am now inspired.  My next venture- CAKES!

Talk amongst yourselves…

I originally wrote this post for DC Metro Moms…

Giant Announces It’s Academic’s 50th Anniversary Reusable Bag Design Contest

September 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Around DC, Food and Drink 

Hey DCers, Marylanders and Virginians!!

Here is a great design contest for High School Students-

Your have until October 31st to submit entries !!!!!

Giant Food has announced a reusable bag design contest for high school students to celebrate ‘It’s Academic’s’ 50th anniversary. Entries will be accepted October 1 – 31. The winning design will be printed on reusable bags and sold in Giant stores across the region. First, second, and third place winners will also receive cash scholarships in the amount of $1,500, $750, and $500 respectively.

This is open to high school students in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  Entries will be accepted October 1 through 31.  Proceeds from the bags will benefit the A+ School Rewards program which schools use to enhance and supplement their budgets.

Go to Giant’s Bag Contest Website for all the Details !!

Win $1000 for Your Original Crab Recipe- Right Now!

August 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Around DC, Food and Drink 





Crab Lovers and Cooks are Invited to Submit Relished Recipes to Win a Cash Prize and a Spot on the Phillips Menu!

Giant Food and Phillips Seafood are hosting the first “Ultimate Crab Challenge” recipe contest, inviting crab gourmets to submit their favorite original crab recipes for a chance to win $1,000 and the opportunity to have their recipe featured on Phillips Harborplace’s menu. Entries will be accepted online at

Ultimate Crab Challenge

beginning July 16 through August 15, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. A panel of Giant and Phillips Seafood chefs will serve as preliminary judges. The top three finalists of the recipe contest will participate in a cook-off on Saturday, September 11, at the Maryland Seafood Festival taking place at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Md.

General rules of participation in the competition are as follows:

All recipes must be original creations and submitted electronically at by 11:59 p.m. on August 15, 2010

Crab meat must be the primary ingredient and recipes must call for at least one pound of crab

Recipes can be for a hot or cold dish

Preparation time, including cooking time, must not exceed 30 minutes

Three finalists will be selected by a panel of Giant and Phillips Seafood chefs; if selected as finalists, participants will be allowed 30 minutes to prepare their original crab creations during a cook-off at the Maryland Seafood Festival on Saturday, September 11, 2010

All U.S. residents of at least 18 years of age and of the legal age in their state are welcome to participate

Recipes will be judged based upon taste, ease of preparation, creativity and clarity of cooking instructions. Three finalists will be selected and notified on or before September 2, 2010. Finalists will be invited to participate in the inaugural “Ultimate Crab Recipe Challenge” cook-off at the Maryland Seafood Festival from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. on September 11, 2010. The first prize winner will receive the grand prize of $1,000 and the honor of having their recipe featured on Phillips Harborplace’s menu. The second and third place winners will receive $100 gift cards to Giant Food and Phillips Seafood Restaurants.

For contest rules and to enter, please visit Ultimate Crab Challenge!!


The CRAZINESS of 6-Year-Olds… How Does That Seem Logical to You?!

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Food and Drink, Kindergartners 

Ahhh, it’s usually very nice, I imagine, to be 6… playgrounds, milk and cookies, the tooth fairy- all good stuff.
But sometimes, it just makes no sense!
Case in point:
My son LOVES:
* Ketchup
* Pizza sauce
* Spaghetti
* Cheese
BUT refuses to eat Spaghetti Sauce ON Spaghetti because he says he doesn’t like it…
I’ve explained to him that spaghetti sauce is very much like pizza sauce…
which he eats with EVERYTHING… and basically couldn’t live without,

And he looks at me like I’m lying to him, or something,
like Spaghetti Sauce has some hidden booby trap and it is laced with HOT PEPPERS,
or something.
And I’ve told him, ‘Why would I lie to you? I’m your Mom. Trust me.’ I mean- I’ve taken care of him every day for 6 years now and loved him… so why would I lie to him about Spaghetti Sauce??!!

Oh, and now, this morning, he just informed me that he doesn’t like the hot dogs at school anymore…
Because of how they taste with chocolate milk   ??!!

What sense does that make?

Does Your Child Have any weird food hang-ups?

Have You Ever Seen A Snowman Tomato? I Have

“Mom! We gotta get a picture of this!”

It’s a tomato… but it’s way more than that,

according to my son, it’s a ‘snowman tomato’.

It’s 2 tomatoes grown together… I think…

Very Cool!  The coolness of this tomato did not stop my son from

immediately eating it after this picture was taken, however…

Sorry Mr. Tomato, a 6-year-old’s loyalty is brief and fleeting

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