February Kids Reader Meetup!!

Our friends at Showcase Dance Studio will be hosting this month's reader meetup for kids!!

Join PwcMoms and Showcase Dance Studio for a cool dance party inspired by the movie Frozen.  You son/daughter will have an Arctic Blast dancing to their favorite songs! Do you want to build a snowman? No problem- we'll be doing an arts and crafts project, too! Channel your inner Prince or Princess and Let it Go at Showcase Dance Studio!!

Ages 3-6 will enjoy dance, crafts, games, and a goody bag to take home.  Children can come dressed as their favorite character as long as their outfit allows them to move freely.

When: Feb 28 1:00pm-2:30pm
Where: Showcase Dance Studio
             Bull Run Plaza
             11750 Sudley Manor Dr
             Manassas, VA 20109
Contact Info: 703-368-0555

Want to go? Enter using the Rafflecopter below!! I'll start handing out spots on Wednesday, so enter early, enter often!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Florida Trip: Part 1- Marriott Harbour Lakes

As a Christmas Present for our children, we decided to take a trip to Florida.

(Side Note: You know what's fun? Filling up a box with crumpled pieces of paper that you write individual words on so your kids have to uncrumple, read, and organize what you're giving them into something coherent.  If you're spending a lot of money on a present, you should get to torment them a little!) (You should also get to be warm.  With Palm Trees.)

We had some free Marriott days because we racked up a lot of points staying at Duke for 6 weeks when I got my radiation, so we opted to stay at the Marriott Harbour Lake.

Honestly, we probably could've just stayed there and been perfectly happy.  It reminded me of the resort from "Dirty Dancing" in that there were hundreds of activities happening over the course of the week.  Harbour Lake had two pool areas with a splash pad pirate ship, jacuzzi area, on-deck restaurant/bar, a video game arcade, and more.  Every day there were tons of activities- scavenger hunts, magic shows, movie and smores night, card games for adults, trivia contest, four square, football, there was always something happening.  We literally could have just stayed at the Marriott and hung out and been well entertained and happy the entire trip.

Plus, our room was amazing.  We opted to get a 2-bedroom Villa because we brought Grammy with us.  The kids and grandma shared a two queen room and PwcDad and I had the master.  The room was incredible with plenty of space to hang out.  We could have easily had people over to play cards or watch a movie- which I'm always thinking about because we'd like to schedule a trip with my brother in law and sister in law, and have space to hang out as grown ups while the kids sleep in a separate area would be ideal.

Our room also had a full kitchen, which really helped us keep costs down.  We hit the grocery store on our first full day and picked up breakfast and lunch foods, as well as snacks, and we were able to eat in or pack lunch for 2 meals a day.  We did dinner out, although we could have easily prepared that in-room, too.
We were really very happy with the Marriott Harbour Lakes, and we'd definitely recommend it to another family wanting to stay in the Sea World/ Disney/ Universal Studios area.

Disclosure: Marriott neither asked me to write this post nor compensated me in any way, although if they end up reading this and want to, I'd totally go again.


Giveaway: Pushcart Players: Alice in Wonderland at the Hylton Center

Next week at the Hylton, don't miss Alice in Wonderland!! 

Pushcart Players: Alice in Wonderland
February 28, 2015 at 11 am and 2 pm
Lewis Carroll’s zany and fantastical tale comes to life when this Emmy-nominated troupe returns to the Hylton Center with Alice in Wonderland. Filled with pure nonsense and madcap characters that everyone knows and loves – from the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts – this intriguing tale about a curious and imaginative young girl has enchanted readers for many generations. Pushcart Players now brings young Alice’s adventure to the stage in this delightful adaptation, complemented by whimsical music, vibrant costumes, and spectacular scenic elements. “A polished and knowing theater company and a felicitous event for children.” (The New York Times)
Tickets: $15 Adults, $5 Children

Want to win tickets? Use the Rafflecopter Below! Winner will be announced on SUNDAY! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reminder/Disclaimers: PwcMoms giveaways are sponsored and provided by the institution named.  PwcMoms facilitates the giveaways, but is not responsible for prizes or facilities. Please refer to our giveaway rules for full details.  If you enter, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.


Convoy Cleaning Service

So, here's the thing.  I am busy.  I have three kids who do cub scouts, orchestra, hockey, swim team, AHG, piano, violin, and a myriad of other social events.  I have a job, a website, and I homeschool. I have doctors appointments....

You know what, nevermind, I just do not like cleaning.  Let's be real. My husband, however, likes an immaculate house. So, to make this more of a reality, I prefer to keep up rather than make it happen.  It is SO MUCH EASIER to keep up when once a month the house is totally clean.

Enter, Convoy Cleaning Services.

We actually tried another cleaning service, but I wasn't completely thrilled.  The product they used on my hardwood floors made them sticky and my countertops weren't cleaned.  You couldn't tell because we have quartz and it LOOKS clean, but if you touch it, you can always tell.  I actually found Convoy on Thumbtack, and we were so happy with them.  I had to giggle when I got a message from the owner asking PwcMoms to review them.  No problem, I told him, you already clean my house! But, we set up a day to be an official review cleaning.

On February 9th, we had 22 kids and 9 moms over to my house for a Valentine's party.  They were there from 1-3 and were inside/outside/making crafts/eating snacks everywhere.  Then I had other events all night.  Sooo, I just left everything.

On February 10th, Convoy came.  Happy Day :)

Here's the before and after.  I am highly embarassed about some of these.

It was 7:30am.  I did not make my bed yet.  Magic! I also love the vacuum lines on the carpet.  I know that's strange, it's just the little things that make me happy. They line up so nicely....


This is my living room where kids left a bunch of crumbs (which I assume were magically transported since nobody's supposed to have food in there).  They'd be really easy to miss in what is otherwise a basically unused room, but the cleaning team is always very thorough, even in what would be an easy room to skip. I say that because I skip it on the regular when I'm cleaning ;)
This picture on the left, upon uploading it to blogger, looks a little unsavory, but it's just mud from where kids were running in and out of my sliding glass door.  It's kind of hidden by the kitchen table, so it would be another spot that's easy to miss.  On the right, same spot, now magically clean, and they even moved my computer cord to get everywhere (and not douse a cord in mop water, which I especially appreciate).  This is my kitchen, all clean: 

Glorious.  And they even clean the appliance (outside, although you can pay extra to have the insides cleaned, as well.)

This is my school room, before on the left (not really anything much happening) and after on the right.  They dust the kids desks, and thoroughly clean the floors.  We spend a ton of time in this room since we homeschool, so this is a big deal for me!!
I would like to blame this sink on other people's children being in my house.  Unfortunately, my boys have simply not mastered the fine art of toothpaste.  At all.  

My oldest is 11.  And I clean this sink of all the time.  Sigh. 

After! Yay!
So, as you can see, my house is happy, I am happy, we're all happy.  Here are some more things to love about Convoy Cleaning Services:
1) Veteran Owned Small Business.  I love to support the people who have defended our country, and I like local.  You know me. 
2) Timely.  We've had one cleaning where there was a time issue, but the cleaning team texted me to let me know, and otherwise they are always very prompt.
3) Eco-friendly products.  In case you missed it, I had a brain tumor, so I really appreciate that Convoy uses Honest and Method products.  My house is still super duper clean and smells amazing, but without a ton of strange chemicals in the air.

I also think that it speaks volumes that when I mentioned Convoy Cleaning Services on Facebook, people took the time to say how much they love them:
Michael Whitlow PWC Moms- we use Convey Cleaning Services too- after what seems like a new service every six months, it's very refreshing to see a company and its VET owners actually care. We finally can say we landed on a company that not only does a fantastic job but really seems to care!
Nidhi Sharma-Gaskill I highly recommend Convoy Cleaning Services. Ish and his wife are very nice, polite, hardworking & honest folks. They will not give anyone any reason for complaints.

If you'd like to try Convoy Cleaning Services, whether you need a good deep-clean on a weekly basis or your Mother in Law is coming and you need some backup to make sure everythign is perfect (they're actually coming to my house again this month for just that reason!), you can give them a call at 703-626-6189 for an estimate.  If you tell them I sent you, you'll get $25 off your first cleaning and $15 off all recurring cleanings.
Disclosure: I have had Convoy coming for months and was more than happy to pay them.  For this review, I was provided with a cleaning.  However, when they come again, I will be paying them and will still be just as happy with the results.

PS- they fold the tissue, which makes me feel like I'm on a cruise or at a hotel.  Again, I am infinitely thrilled by the little things.


Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy

Savannah and I headed out to Disney On Ice Worlds of Fantasy at the Verizon Center for opening night.  While it wasn't Frozen, which is probably the best Disney on Ice show we've ever been to, it was still a ton of fun, and I enjoyed having some more non-princess characters mixed in.  Especially impressive were the Cars cast- I can't imagine driving on a sheet of ice in such close proximity! Really impressive! This would be a great show if you have a mix of boys and girls, or a girl who's not that into the princess thing (Raising my hand high).

Tinkerbell and Pixie Hollow make an appearance, as does Ariel, Minnie, Mickey, and the cast of Toy Story.  We enjoyed everyone! 

You can find out more about Disney on Ice Here. Or visit the Verizon Center boxoffice to get tickets while they're in town!!

Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy will be playing the Verizon Center in February:
Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, Feb. 12 at 10:30 am & 7:30 pm
Friday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, Feb. 14 at 10:30 am, 2:30 pm & 6:30 pm
Sunday, Feb. 15 at 12:30 pm & 4:30 pm
Monday, Feb. 16 at 12:30 pm

Tickets start as low as $20 per person. You can purchase Disney One Ice tickets at all Ticketmaster outlets via charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000; via Ticketmaster online and at the Verizon Center box office.


Review: Menopause the Musical

I thought PWC Grammy would like this one, so I invited her out for the show at Hylton.  Menopause the Musical will also play Feb 7 at the Weinburg Center for the Arts in Frederick, MD if you missed it in Manassas! 

Here's my momma's review! 

Menopause the Musical is a must see for all women, although you will probably find it funnier if you are at least 40.  The musical mashups of songs about night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, brain collapses, and insomnia put to lyrics from the 60’s and 70’s were hysterical.  Just to give you an idea, we heard “Night Fever” turned “Night Sweats”, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" turned into "In the guest room or on the sofa my husband sleeps tonight" and "I Got You Babe" turned into “I’m your babe, mom”.  
The cast was awesome.  They were hysterically funny from the moment they stepped on stage.  Linda 
Boston is always wonderful to listen to.  Her voice is perfect for her role as the Power Woman and her impersonation of Tina Turner while singing "What's Love Got to Do With It" including the butt shake is hilarious.   Annette Verdolina, the Iowa housewife, lets the comedian in her shine when she tries to squeeze into a very tiny, very sexy piece of black lingerie.  Cherie Price, the Soap Star/Dance Captain is the youngest of the four and still has her dancer’s body.  There were not a lot of men in the audience, but I am certain that the one in the front row enjoyed it when Ms. Price came down from the stage to sit on his lap and sing “Heat Wave” turned into “I’m having a hot flash” directly to him.  Megan Cavanagh seemed totally at home in her character as Earth Mother.  Her costumes and attitude portrayed her as the perfect hippie from the 60’s.  Her singing, dancing and facial expressions definitely kept you laughing


New Library Programs 2015

The Snuggle Club, is a winter reading program for ages 0 – 6. Sign up at any library location between February 1 and March 2 to receive an activity log. Have fun completing the activities together while building important early literacy skills! 

Prince William Reads is the reading program for adults. Participants get one entry for each book read for a chance to win weekly and grand prizes (http://bit.ly/1DliYCX).