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Don’t Buy My Kids More Toys. Try This Instead.

Don’t Buy My Kids More Toys. Try This Instead. From ScaryMommy.

Hallelujah and Amen.

Let me give you some advice of what you can do instead: Just spend time with them. Take them out for ice cream, or a date to the zoo, or even to the park down the street. They will love that more than any toy, I promise. They will remember it longer too.

Our kids just had a birthday party and got lots of gift cards. The plan is to let them but one thing and then trade them experiences for their cards. Would you rather go to Target and get a Barbie or would you rather go to the zoo? A new Lego set or a baseball game? Fingers crossed my plan works.

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It’s that time again…Katie has started ABCMouse!


So, Katie has been doing “homework” lately—we bought her a workbook like Owen gets for his Summer Slide and she has fun with that, plus she also has a few educational iPad apps that she enjoys. She saw a commercial for ABCmouse.com the other day and asked if she could have it on the iPad again.

First, huh? She remembers? It hasn’t been on the iPad for probably two years now!

Second, well, why not? Owen really enjoyed it and if she wants to do it…it certainly can’t hurt! (And in the back of my mind I keep wondering if maybe that’s one of the reasons why Katie is a touch behind as compared to Owen—even though I know I shouldn’t compare the two.)

So the thought was in my mind but on the back burner since we’ve been busy. So imagine my surprise when out of the blue I get an email from someone at ABCMouse saying my site came up as one that linked to them and—long story short—would I want to become a full-fledged official referral source. Well, sure, why not?

So Katie was EXCITED to start her “homework” and she kept asking to do it. Before I knew it, she was 14% done with the pre-k level. Hopefully her excitement continues! And hopefully I make some money off referrals!

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Adulting with Jami.

Since we planned on drinking, we took a Lyft to the restaurant, and since it was a chocolate restaurant (The Chocolate Sanctuary), I obviously had to start with the German Chocolate Cake martini…Vodka, Amaretto, cream of coconut, chocolate, caramel, and toasted coconut. 

Then Jami took over on the pictures.

  • Chicken and Goat Cheese Wrapped in Cocoa-Candied Bacon with Cocoa-cranberry sauce. 
  • Cocoa Pan-Seared Scallops with Zucchini chips, truffle mash potatoes, miso beurre blanc
  • The Sanctuary Chopped Salad: Romaine, field greens, sweet corn, avocado, cocoa-candied bacon, tomatoes, hearts of palm, cheddar cheese, herb-parmesan croutons, chocolate vinaigrette

Elderflower Aperitif: Sparkling Moscato D’Asti, St. Germain, and fresh raspberry

Beignets! Light and airy chocolate filled doughnuts served with mixed berry compote and crème anglaise

We will definitely visit again and bring out of town guests…

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HOLY $H!TBALL$ this product is amazing!!

Ladies, listen up. I’ve discovered a game changer if you straighten your hair—you have GOT to check out the Dafni. I got mine on QVC because at the time it was cheaper than Amazon, but less than a week later Amazon now has it cheaper. This cut my straightening time from 45 minutes (including blow drying with a round brush and then ironing) to 10 minutes (15 tops). I can’t gush about this thing enough: DAFNI The Original Hair Straightening Ceramic Brush.

This result took me TEN minutes:

My review can be found here but here it is. (Sidenote: I learned you can’t say HOLY $H!TBALL$ in a review. LOL)

I have long naturally wavy hair that takes me, on average, 35-40 minutes to blow dry straight and then another 15 minutes or so to touch up with a steam iron (actually a Maxius Maxiglide MX-597 One Step Hair Straightening Iron with Steam Burst Technology). But I am always on the lookout for a revolutionary hair straightener and I’ve tried a bunch of them. I’ve actually been using the Maxiglide for 10+ years because it was so awesome–until now, I would have said it was revolutionary. But this? The Dafni? HOLY SMOKES. This might just be the best money I’ve EVER spent!

I went into the first use with some trepidation as products like these generally have big claims and then generally don’t come through. But what you see in my photos literally took 10 minutes. TEN MINUTES! I then spent another five going over some sections a few more times and trying to get the ends better, but still…15 minutes?! FIFTEEN MINUTES?! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

Is it perfect? No. Obviously your hairdresser doing a salon blow-out will get it smoother and it will look better, but for an average person doing this at home? Yes. You can recreate your own efforts in a fraction of the time. My after photo with the Dafni is what my hair looks like after I blow it dry with a round brush for 40 minutes!

Also, my arms aren’t tired from holding a blow-drier and/or iron for 40 minutes and I’m not sweating from blowing hot air at my head for 40 minutes. I used to seriously plan ahead when I was going to dry/straighten my hair because it does take so long, but now? I can pretty much do it whenever I have a spare 15 minutes! The longest part of the process for me today was waiting for my hair to dry because I wanted to do it naturally but that’s no big deal because I do that some days anyway.

I am just completely blown away. My first thought once I finished in ten minutes was HOLY COW. This might be the best money I’ve ever spent on a hair product–kicking the Maxiglide to second place.

I get nothing for referrals—I just love this product!

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15th Anniversary dinner!

Our local friend Leslie gave us such a great recommendation for our anniversary dinner last year that we went back to her again. And she knocked it out of the park again with this kinda hole-in-the-wall Modern European/German place called Cosmopolitan Grill (Yelp). Unbeknownst to us when we decided to go there, they were recently voted “as one of 100 Best Bargain Restaurants by the Washingtonian Magazine as well as Young and Hungry’s 50 Best Restaurants by Washington City Paper.”

For the appetizer we had Ćevapčići With Ajvar and Onion (little sausages with a red pepper and garlic relish) and since we knew the portions were huge, we split the Stuffed Veal Schnitzel (Breaded veal schnitzel stuffed with cheese and spicy peppers, served with roasted potato). It was all very, very good and even though we split the dinner we still brought home leftovers!

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