One of my favorite holiday escapes is right in Northern Virginia at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Check out the holiday traditions below for your family, or take a peek at the events calendar
for more happenings!Annual Gingerbread House Opening
Friday, November 29 at 2:00pm
Kick-off the holidays with The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, as the life-sized Gingerbread House is unveiled for guests and the community to enjoy. Located on the lobby level of the hotel, the culinary work of art is large enough for guests to walk around inside and explore the sugary construction created by our talented Pastry Team. Opening day festivities will include holiday confections, hot spiced cider and hot cocoa. Gingerbread House Decorating Classes
Saturday, December 7, 14 & 21, Sundays 8, 15 & 22, 2013; Seatings at 10:00am & 1:00pm
$70 per child, ages 2 to 12, inclusive of tax and gratuity (no charge for kids under 2 years old)
After exploring our life-size gingerbread house, learn to make your own sugary home at a Gingerbread House Decorating Class, taught by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner’s pastry chefs. The class includes all the ingredients to construct a beautiful gingerbread house as well as a special souvenir.The Nutcracker Tea
Saturdays, December 7, 14 & 21, 2013; Seatings at 10:00am & 1:00pm
$75 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity
Escape into the magical world of The Nutcracker ballet, complemented by afternoon tea and treats. Students of the South Riding Dance Company will delight your eyes with a contemporary twist on the beloved holiday classic, while the Pastry Team will tantalize your taste buds with an extraordinary selection of tea sandwiches, pastries and sweets. All children will leave with a Nutcracker doll. Pictures will be taken with the featured artists and emailed at the conclusion of the tea.The Princess Tea
Sundays, December 8, 15 & 22, 2013; Seatings at 11:00am & 2:00pm
$75 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity (no charge for kids under 2 years old)
Delight your young princesses with a magical theatrical production, featuring treasured Disney Princesses complemented by treats, courtesy of our pastry team. All children will leave with a holiday gift bag. Pictures will be taken with the featured Princesses and emailed at the conclusion of the tea.
I have recently been completely
grossed out by news articles I've read about what is actually in a "chicken nugget". I am not sure why they are even called chicken nuggets anymore if the very last ingredient added is chicken. So, I laid down the law and I've completely boycotted premade, processed chicken nuggets in my household (except for the occasional Chick-fil-a). We actually almost never have them at home, but they are a go-to while out and about.
I decided to try to make homemade chicken nuggets completely from scratch. I made an impulse purchase at Costco and got a KitchenAid 3 cup food chopper/processor to help me with the recipe I was about to tackle.
Here's my step by step -- I completely made this up and I think you could add whatever flavors make you happy. I might try the next batch with a little cayenne pepper or something to "kick it up a notch".
Homemade Chicken Nuggets - Ingredients
2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain bread crumbs
4 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Knorr's granulated chicken bouillon
(this is salty, so I did not add additional salt)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
Yields 40 nuggets (can vary based on size of nugget)
1. Cube chicken breasts.
2. Puree chicken breasts in food processor.
3. Add Knorr's, garlic powder, pepper and 2 eggs. Mix well. Add plain bread crumbs and parmesean cheese. Mix until it forms a wet dough-like mixture.
4. Spoon balls of mixture into a glass bowl with panko bread crumbs. Toss until chicken is completely coated. (warning: the pureed chicken feels sticky and gross)
5. Place coated chicken balls on wax paper. Gently smash down to make into traditional nugget shape.
6. Lightly coat bottom of frying pan with cooking oil, heat on medium-high. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
7. Place cooked nuggets onto paper towel to rid of extra oil.
It didn't take me more than 45 minutes to make these. I think the little extra effort is worth it - and I'm going to freeze some of them to see how they hold up for future use. If you have any modifications to this recipe, or if you'd like to share your own, leave it in the comments below.
October 27, 1-3 pm
Join guest artist Carol Barton to learn pop-up craft techniques. Build and decorate your very own pop-up haunted house to decorate your windows and celebrate the spirit of Halloween. Festivities include crafts, treats, and ghost stories (more silly than spooky). Recommended for ages 6 and up. Register today.
OCT 26: Grab the family and your dog and join Historic Manassas, Inc. & the Old Town Business Association for a wickedly good time in Old Town Manassas. Stop by City Hall to grab a trick-or-treat bag and parade down Center St. with other ghouls and goblins. After the parade stop into the shops, play games and have your costume judged for the contest. For more information, check out www.visitmanassas.org.
National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America's largest conservation organization, is pleased to announce the Hike & Seek™ event at the Seneca Creek State Park on October 19 in Gaithersburg, Maryland
just outside of D.C. Hike & Seek is a family outing that inspires a child’s sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt.
The event brings families together for a few hours in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun and provides an opportunity to rediscover nature. Hike & Seek is being held on Saturday, October 19, 2013, starting at 9 a.m. at the Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland
People are encouraged to sign up at www.hikeandseek.org
early to register and then show up ready to spend some family time in nature. The one to two mile go-at-your-own-pace hike will have interactive “Stop & Study” nature stations with engaging learning activities including fun nature crafts, live wildlife displays, and much more. This year’s events will include a station highlighting an activity about trees themed around Disney Junior's hit animated series "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." Every child participant is given a Map & Mission Guidebook to direct their path and will receive an Honorary Junior Naturalist badge from Ranger Rick at the end of the hike. Hike & Seek is made possible by support from Disney, REI, Mattel, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, and National Recreation and Park Association.Be Out There™ is NWF’s movement to reconnect families with the outdoors. NWF’s practical tools and information help make being outside a fun, healthy and automatic part of everyday life. For other helpful resources and to learn more about NWF’s goal to get 10 million more kids spending regular time in the great outdoors visit: www.BeOutThere.org
Coming to Fairfax, October 23-27!
Make an ordinary day extraordinary by joining Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! More than 50 of your favorite Disney characters will visit the Patriot Center for one colossal party on ice! The memorable show for all ages will be at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. from October 23-27.
Let’s Celebrate is an action-packed show featuring a magical montage of celebrations and is a mix of contemporary music with your favorite Disney tunes. Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; and a Halloween haunt alongside Disney’s most famous Villains in this celebration of the century.
ENTER BELOW TO WIN A FAMILY 4 PACK OF TICKETS TO THE OPENING NIGHT SHOW ON WEDS, OCT 23!
Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA Wednesday, October 23– Sunday, October 27, 2013 Show Times:
Wednesday, October 23rd @ 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 24th @ 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 25th @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 26th @ 10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 27th @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Venue/Ticket Information
Tickets are on-sale now and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets via charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000
; via www.ticketmaster.com
; and at the Patriot Center box office. Patriot Center Ticket Prices
: $75.00 (Front Row) / $50.00 (VIP) / $30.00 / $20.00
To discover more about Disney On Ice,
go to www.disneyonice.com
, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.
I am a Feld Family Ambassador. Feld has provided me with complimentary tickets to the show.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
To celebrate National Play-Doh Day, we're hosting a flash giveaway over on the Facebook
page for the two items below!
| |PLAY-DOH DISNEY PRINCESS DESIGN-A-DRESS BOUTIQUE Playset
Girls can act as Belle and Rapunzel’s personal PLAY-DOH stylists to dress them for the ball! With the new DESIGN-A-DRESS BOUTIQUE playset, girls can create beautiful ball gowns and sparkly accessories for their favorite Disney Princesses. Create PLAY-DOH dresses using a fashion plate mold or gown attachment and then use the Magical Ribbon Maker extruder to make perfect PLAY-DOH PLUS ribbons or fashionable accessories! Styled as a fashion boutique on the interior and a castle on the exterior, the set includes two princess figures, ball gown attachment for stand up play, two dress plates, PLAY-DOH PLUS detailer with additional piping tip, three standard PLAY-DOH cans including SPARKLE PLAY-DOH, and one standard can of PLAY-DOH PLUS compound. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com
(HASBRO/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $21.99/Available: Fall 13)
| |PLAY-DOH TRASH TOSSIN’ ROWDY THE GARBAGE TRUCK Playset
Clean up the construction site with the TRASH TOSSIN’ ROWDY THE GARBAGE TRUCK playset. Kids can create their own trash cans, recyclable bottles and trash using the cab book mold, then load the trash into the bin and use the movable lift to empty it right into his truck! As he drives along he tosses the trash (bugs, rats) out of the back of the truck. Includes four large cans of PLAY-DOH compound. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com
(HASBRO/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 13)
Since the celebration of National Play-Doh Day is closely timed with the upcoming Emmy Awards this year, the PLAY-DOH brand has sculpted depictions of the six Drama Series nominees made of 100% Play-Doh compound! Check them out below, so fun!
*sponsored content provided by Hasbro.
Join Ruckus DC
on September 28 at the Prince William County Fair Grounds for an obstacle race which has been described as everything from "the ultimate family adventure," to "the #1 obstacle race under 10k." Experience an environment that is challenging, rewarding and fun. Come run Ruckus DC
for yourself or enjoy the kids obstacle race! Mini Ruckus is an awesome way to get your kids involved in obstacle race fun.
The perfect family event and obstacle race for kids: "The kids loved the Mini Ruckus obstacle race and can't wait to do it again!"
Wildly popular and unparalleled in the industry, the Mini Ruckus is a hit with kids as young as 2 and built for up to age 10. Kids 11-13 are welcome to participate.
With parents participating in the adult course and kids running the mini obstacle race, families can have a shared experience.
All Kids Mini Ruckus obstacle race participants receive a T-shirt, Race Bib and Medal. The Mini Ruckus is $20 for unlimited waves.
DONATE YOUR SHOES POST-RACE Ruckus Sports is excited to partner with Barrel Aid to provide shoes to children and teens in need. Barrel Aid will collect your muddy shoes post-event, clean them and ship them to Mission-Haiti’s schools in the mountains around Ti-Rivier, Haiti with all of the remaining shoes going to children and teens in need in the Dakota area. Barrel Aid supplies clean shoes, fresh water, food, schooling and hope for over 1,600 children in Southern Haiti where no other groups are serving and the need is extremely urgent.
RUCKUS DC TEAM CHALLENGE
Think your team has what it takes? Check out our new team challenges:
The three teams with the most members get to show off their team size with a 10' x 10' space at the event to set up their own tent or rent a tent.Best Team Spirit:
The three teams with the best spirit leading up to and on event day are recognized on-site and via social media in a big way. This includes cheers, costumes, performances, etc. Please send your videos on Facebook
and/or tag Ruckus on Instagram @RuckusSports
Rucks honors the three teams with the most inspirational story. Share your story of why you are participating in Ruckus DC! Send Ruckus a message on Facebook
and/or tag on Instagram @RuckusSportsIs your team ready to go? Save $10 now with the code TEAM
*Sponsored content provided by RUCKUS DC
We celebrated B's 5th birthday (for the fourth time in 3 weeks) on Saturday afternoon. Kelly from Bear Bus
offered to let the kids in my neighborhood experience the Bear Bus
for B's special day and it was a total HIT. The kids absolutely loved it - WAY more than I expected. They started with un-stuffed animals of their choice, then stuffed them, gave them a wishing star, picked out an outfit, and then named their new pals.
B and his buddy picked out cheetahs, dressed them in karate and camouflage outfits, and named them after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Most of the girls picked out white fluffy animals and named them Princess ________ (fill in the blank with Tiara, Rainbow, Sunshine, etc). Check out the pics below from our party! Huge THANK YOU to Kelly for making B's day so very special!
*Bear Bus provided complimentary product in this post.
When your kid wants a grilled cheese, but you haven't been to the store in 10 days...
this is what happens: