My friends over at Kid Trips made this great list of things to do to this summer for kids - but hey, adults need ideas too! Check it out - I think I can knock out more than half of them :)
ENTER BELOW TO WIN ONE OF FOUR FAMILY FOUR PACKS OF TICKEST TO CELEBRATE FAIRFAX!
Mark your calendars for Celebrate Fairfax! on June 7-9, 2013 at the
Fairfax County Government Center. Presented by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc, the annual festival hosts tens of thousands of visitors during the three-day run.
The 25-acre site is magically filled with fascinating sights and sounds of more than 300 exhibitors, food vendors, crafters and interactive activities. Celebrate Fairfax! showcases live concerts on eight stages, ExxonMobil Children's Avenue, a petting zoo, the Fairfax County
Karaoke Championship, carnival rides, and great festival foods. Another fun activity for kids is the Inova Train Ride to Good Health.
Nightly fireworks, presented by SAIC, are a highlight of the festival, and one of many great family programs. This year's Bud Light Main Stage features top national headline performers:
The B-52s, Spin Doctors and the Summerland Tour 2013 - Alternative Guitars starring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge!
Tickets: At the gate:
$12 adult (11 & Older); $5 youth (3-10); 2 & Under Free; $10 Seniors & Military.
Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance at www.CelebrateFairfax.com.
Performances on the Bud Light Main Stage include:
Friday, June 7th at 7:15pm – Summerland Tour 2013 – Alternative Guitars starring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge
Saturday, June 8th at 8pm – The B-52s
Sunday, June 9th at 4:30pm – Spin Doctors
Craft Beer Garden and Silent Disco – Features craft brews and exceptional acoustic artists by day, and dueling DJs in a club-like atmosphere by night. Two DJ's spin the crowd into frenzy and the only way you can hear it is with specifically tailored, wireless headphones. At our silent disco, rather than using a traditional speaker system, live music is broadcasted and picked up by specially designed wireless headphones worn by the audience. Each headphone has two channels, one for each DJ, and the audience can switch back and forth between the two channels depending on what music they want to dance to. Two DJs, two different types of music. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the amusing effect of a room full of people dancing to silence. Entertainment for everyone!
Greenology - This signature program at Celebrate Fairfax!, educates and motivates guests on leading a greener and healthier life. The Greenology exhibit at the 2013 Celebrate Fairfax! Festival will include the Dominion Virginia Power stage which offers demonstrations, lectures and performances geared toward giving attendees of all ages a better understanding of healthy living and the opportunities for positive changes in everyday life.
Fairfax County DockDogs Championship – The world’s premier canine aquatics competition is coming to Fairfax! DockDogs is a national dog jumping competition that will feature four-legged athletes from around the region. Three competitions combine to make one action packed family oriented show. Dogs compete in Big Air (long jump), Extreme Vertical (high jump), and Speed Retrieve by jumping off of a 20 foot dock into a 40 foot pool of water. The overall best competitor wins the Iron Dog. Dock jumping is a fun and exciting canine sport open to all breeds.
ExxonMobil Children's Avenue - Located at the heart of the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, is a
playground of interactive activities for the youngest of our guests. With a primary focus for those 12 and under, ExxonMobil Children's Avenue is a not-to-miss destination for all young families.
Programs in ExxonMobil Children's Avenue have a basis in education, fun, and imagination. All activities are interactive, and include a petting zoo, Busch Garden's Children's stage, Inova Health System Train Ride to Good Health and new this year, Silent Disco Jr. and an Instrument Petting Zoo.
All programs and activities in ExxonMobil Children's Avenue are FREE with festival admission.
Fairfax County Karaoke Championship - Think you have what it takes to be the Karaoke Champion of Fairfax County? Well now is your chance! The Celebrate Fairfax! Festival is proud to present the fourth annual Fairfax County Karaoke Championship. The competition will consist
of three rounds: preliminary rounds starting March 17th at various local venues (see www.celebratefairfax.com for a full list), semi-final and final rounds -- both at the Celebrate Fairfax!
Festival on Saturday June 8th. One winner will be named Fairfax County Karaoke Champion and will receive the grand prize of $1,500.
For more information on any of the festival's programs, or to become a part of the festival as a volunteer, please browse our website, www.celebratefairfax.com, or contact the Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. office at 703-324-FAIR (3247).
Saturday, April 27th 2013 at The Workhouse Arts Center
9601 Ox Road, Lorton Virginia, 22079
Featuring FREE Family Activities:
8-12 Occoquan Regional Park River Clean Up and tree planting (meet at Administrative Buildings at Occoquan Regional Park
9 am Busses begin to make shuttle runs
10 am Event opens at Workhouse Arts
10 am Tree Pruning Workshop (meet at Workhouse Parking Lot)
10:05 am Ribbon Cutting Farmers Market
10:30-11:15 Reptiles Alive
11 am Root Washing Workshop (meet at Workhouse Parking Lot)
11:15-12:00 Billy B Sings Songs about the Environment
12:15-1:15 Main Stage w/ Tree City USA, Friends of Trees Awards, Proclamation
1:30-2:15 Recycling Pirates
1:30-2:30 Tree Planting Demonstration (Workhouse Parking Lot)
2:30-3:15—Billy B Sings Songs about the Environment
3:15-4pm Reptiles Alive
4:00 End of Event; See you next year
Events and Edu-tainment at Workhouse Arts Center:
Rock Climbing Wall, Inflatable Obstacle Course, Face Painting, Balloon Art, Backyard Barnyard, Pony Rides, Food, Vendors, Farmers Market, Environmental Education and Games, Organizational Exhibits, Workhouse Arts Demonstrations, Environmental Passport Game for Kids (first 200), Mascots-Chicken, Bee, Beaver and Frog
Events and Edu-tainment at Occoquan Regional Park (take the shuttle bus for free!) 12:15-4 pm
Kayak and Bicycle rentals, Frisbee frenzy hosted by American University Ultimate Frisbee Club, Kite flying festival hosted by Sky Jewels Kite Company, Information Area hosted by Occoquan Watertrail League(OWL), Children’s Nature Display hosted by NVRPA, Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Display, Mayor Earnie Porta Historical Paddle, Family Fishing Event hosted by OWL, Tree Identification Hike
For more information, visit www.springfestfairfax.org.
Monday April 22nd is Earth Day so THINK GREEN! Did you know you can save for college AND save the planet using the Socially Targeted Investment Portfolio available through VA529 inVEST, not to mention the awesome tax advantages?
American investors are increasingly seeking investment choices that complement their environmental and social consciences. According to the latest Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States, U.S. investments in funds that favor environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria grew to $3.3 trillion in 2011, an increase of nearly 30 percent from 2009.
Families saving for college can incorporate this focus into their college savings investing approach through the Socially Targeted Investment Portfolio offered by Virginia529 College Savings Plan (Virginia529). An option in the Virginia529 inVEST program, the portfolio currently invests exclusively in the Parnassus Equity Income Fund (symbol PRILX). Parnassus Investments, the investment management company responsible for the Fund, seeks to invest in businesses with sustainable competitive advantages that also respect the environment, have quality management teams and have ethical business practices.
Head on over to Virginia529.com to learn more about this socially responsible option which returned 20.83 percent for the one-year period ending March 31, 2013 and a three-year return of 11.92 percent. Also, keep up with cool options like this and stay in the know about the most recent college savings news and trends by following Virginia529 on Facebook and Twitter too!
Yesterday, I asked you all for suggestions on kid-friendly finger foods to take to the neighborhood BBQ. My friend, Sheila, suggested an idea she saw on Pinterest for mini corn dog muffins - however, the link was removed from by Pinterest as spam. I decided that it would be pretty hard to screw up making these without a recipe, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. Disclaimer: These are not the healthiest - however, I would guess that they are healthier than regular corn dogs which are usually fried.
Here's what you'll need:
1 box of cornbread mix - I used Krusteaz Natural Honey Cornbread
(plus an egg, water, and vegetable oil - or whatever you mix requires)
1 package of hot dogs
non-stick cooking spray
mini-muffin baking tray
1. Heat oven to 400. Apply non-stick cooking spray to baking tin.
2. Make cornbread according to directions on the box. Fill each mold a little less than 2/3 with batter.
3. Cut hot dogs into little segments (I cut each dog into 5 pieces) and place in the center of each mold.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes - keeping an eye on them.
Let cool. Pop out of tins. Enjoy!
These were a hit with the kids and adults. The only comments I got were "I like butter on my corn bread" and "bring ketchup next time". Touché, mis amigos, touché. Next time, I might try brushing the tops with melted butter.
Let me know if you try it and what changes you make!
It doesn't take much more than a few days of great weather before all the neighbors come out to play. On Sunday, we had our first neigborhood bbq complete with good food, great company, and happy kids. Two tire swings have recently been constructed in the common area in my neighborhood and the kids went wild over them.
My new favorite drink this summer has been Redd's Apple Ale. I am a total sucker for marketing, so I finally tried it. OMG. Perfect beverage for beautiful weather! ... can't wait until it's available in bulk @ Costco :)
Do you ever see characters or movies that give you that deja vu feeling and revert you back to elementary school? That's how I felt when I received a special delivery from Build-A-Bear Workshop with Pinkie Pie of My Little Pony inside!
I wasn't much of a girlie girl when it came to dolls - but I remember desperately wanting every single My Little Pony that was available.
Better than buying a hard, plastic Pinkie Pie (also, Rainbow Dash is available) - you can now make your own at Build-A-Bear Workshop. Complete with the cutest outfits and even a cape! Each character can be uniquely personalized to match your own personality.
Our favorite Build-A-Bear Workshop is at Fair Oaks Mall - but you can find a location near you on their web site.
Special thank you to Build-A-Bear Workshop for sending a Pinkie Pie to me for review!
Getting ready to plan for your kids for the summer? Would one week of free summer camp help you out?
Let me introduce you to the The Creative Difference, an educational enrichment program, focusing on out-of school opportunities for children to broaden their learning experience through hands-on and creative activities. The Creative Difference hosts camps during the summer, school holidays, after school and for parents night out. Their programs are designed to inspire children in creative thinking, problem solving, self-direction, discovery, higher-order thinking skills, and the courage to create something different.
Check out the giveaway below!
Need to clean out your closets or garage? Looking to make some extra cash or maybe save lots of cash on Spring and Summer items for your little ones? Just Between Friends of Prince William County returns to the Haymarket Sportsplex (home of Jumpin Jimmys right off 66) on April 27th-28th. This is the first consignment sale I have ever participated in, and this past fall I made over $600 just by cleaning my son's old stuff out of my storage room (JBF pays 70% on the price of your consigned items). #jackpot!
Consignor and volunteer registration is open and they are also accepting signups for New Parents, Grandparents, Teachers and Military Families. If you fall into one of these categories, you get to shop early on Friday evening before the sale opens. If you haven't been, I recommend that you check it out. Make sure you register even if you are planning to shop - they will send you a Free Shopping Pass! Fore more info: www.princewilliam.jbfsale.com
On the 26th of each month for the past five years, I have slowly sold my soul to Sallie Mae to pay my student loans. Someone (I'm not naming names) told me, "Take out as much as you need! You'll just pay like $50 a month for 30 years." Hm, that was a farce.
Don't get me wrong - I encourage everyone to go to college, but the cost is explosive. My parents and I had an agreement - I paid my tuition, they paid for my living expenses. This way, if I failed a class - it was my financial responsibility to make it up the second time around. Needless to say, I made sure that never happened!
I sometimes cringe when I see that ACH withdraw of $300 - but then I think about what I could do to prevent my sweet little boy from going through the same thing. I found out about Virginia 529 from my parents when I was in high school. They had a small savings set aside to help me with college expenses. I decided when Brennan was born that I'd try to save as much as I could for his college - and the Virginia 529 inVESTment was a no-brainer.
I am by NO MEANS a financial advisor or someone who is qualified to give financial advice. But, as a parent, I wanted to do what I could to lessen the burden for my child. I set up B's account when he was 6 months old and I put $15 a week in it. (I figure that's one trip through the Chikfila drive-thru that I can live without!) His dad puts in $50/month. We deposit everything he receives: birthday, Christmas, Easter, just because we love you money, anything! He'll be 5 in August and we already have put away close to $7,000 for his future. It really adds up. The savings plans have tax-advantages and they also grow with market performance.
Next time you spend $15 or $25 on a gift for a birthday party or making your child's Easter Basket - think of how far that money will go into a college fund...