DC/NoVA Adventures ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial

On September 17th, 2020, the memorial dedicated to Dwight D. Eisenhower was dedicated in Washington, DC. Located within a short walking distance of the Capitol Building in DC, the memorial is designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Gehry is also the architect behind such well-known buildings as the Guggenheim Building in Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. The memorial sits on a 4-acre park and includes two large pillars, several statues, and quotes from Eisenhower. Not only does it depict scenes from his Presidency, but it also pays important attention to his childhood and the importance of Abilene, Kansas, as well as paying homage to his military service. Several artists contributed to the memorial, including Nicholas Waite Benson who was the inscription artist. Benson has also inscribed the WWII, Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials. The large stainless steel tapestry depicts the beaches of Normandy, which connect Eisenhower’s service and the peace he maintained during the President. The two large pillars on either side of the memorial are the height of the cliffs of Normandy that America soldiers had to climb that day.

Who was Eisenhower?

I consider Eisenhower to be an interesting sort of President. While I wouldn’t consider him as unknown as say Rutherford B. Hayes or a Chester Arthur, but I WOULD consider him to be unassuming. What exactly did he do? The site location of the memorial as a whole was chosen carefully to connect parts of DC politics that are connected to Eisenhower. It is surrounded by the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Air and Space, Voice of America, and the Federal Aviation Administration. President Eisenhower was the first president to direct federal aid to education, signed legislation to the department that preceded the Dept of Health and Human Services, lead the charge in creating the Air Force, creating the Air Force Academy, and helped create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The list goes on and on of the small of significant parts of history that Eisenhower had an impact on.

A behind the scenes impact

The impact of Eisenhower rings loudly today as we think about the quiet steps that Eisenhower took to impact positive change, presiding over eight years of peace and prosperity in the United States. He sent troops down south to help enforce desegregation, pushed for the desegregation of Washington DC, and completed the desegregation of the military that had begun before his election. He also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957. And despite all the drama surrounding the design and creation of the memorial I love its simplicity and symbolism and hope that that shines through and inspires visitors to learn more about him.

 

See more DC/NoVA Adventures!!

American History Museum

National Inventors Hall of Fame

Eisenhower Memorial Pinterest

National Inventors Hall of Fame

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Personalized Gifts for the Women You Love {Halloween Discount Code}

My goal in life is to find some of the best gifts that I can. It’s my love language. The smile on someones’ face gives me so much joy and if it’s a secret gift that’s even better.  And while the idea of personalized jewelry might seem weird and outdated at first, I haven’t gotten this many compliments on jewelry since I got my mini-states necklace.  Who knew I really missed out on the whole Carrie Bradshaw name necklace trend. I didn’t realize how much I LOVED it!

I was really excited to partner with JesseMade Jewelry to check out some great personalized jewelry options for Christmas gifts. What important for me to share is affordability and quality. Clearly when we think of affordability, quality isn’t the first thing that jumps to our mind. I didn’t know what to expect and I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised. Before I share anything with you I want to make sure that I establish the quality, and lucky for you your girl here has ridiculously sensitive skin. I’ve been wearing the necklace to sleep in and to shower in and haven’t had any issues. Didn’t try the pool or the beach yet, but I don’t generally like to wear any of the jewelry during any of those things activities.

Time to share 

One of the things that I loved about the bracelet is how easy it was to get on and off. The unique clasp really made it simple and I didn’t have to struggle to get it on. And the unique Oval shape of the bracelet makes it so the bracelet sits so nicely and doesn’t constantly flip around on your wrist. Very cool!

These are sweet gifts from kiddos to their mamas, boyfriends to their girlfriends, and I’ve even considered these as gifts to my mom and sister for Christmas. You can get rings, anklets, and all sorts of bracelets and necklaces that fit your unique style. Their name necklaces come in several different fonts and you can choose between silver, gold, or rose gold coloring. There truly is something for everyone!

As a side note, they also sometimes have super cute home decor items and I may or may not have purchased some Halloween stuff! I can’t help it! Look how cute this is!! All their Halloween stuff is on sale and the extra discount code applies if you want to purchase some jewelry as well! Its an excellent deal, so jump on over to JesseMade and snag your stuff today!

jessemade5

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Favorite Quarantine Products

Its been forever since I’ve done a favorites blog post, but I have some pretty awesome things to share with you from the last couple of months of quarantine. Nothing like filling endless hours of time at home with some serious product research!

Skincare – If you’ve been around awhile you know that I am more apt to shell out the dough for skincare products. I’ve always believed in taking care of your skin, and with a little bit of good genetics, you’ll get far in life. From as long ago as I can remember my mom stressed this aspect, from her days at Mary Kay and beyond. I have a day and a night cream I love and use religiously, but that same company doesn’t have all the other extra products I like to use, which isn’t much. Two products I have added to my regiment, and one I re-ordered after getting it in my FabFitFun box. The Skin&Co Face Toner is my favorite and I also really love the Radiant Dew which sets make-up, restores the pH balance in your skin and tightens up pores. Its a way steeper $35. It smells good and makes my skin feel awesome. And even though it is $27, it lasts forever AND its cruelty-free, they love organic farming and its free of all that paraben junk. As a side note, if you would like to try FabFitFun you can either try a starter box {just message me and I’ll get that FREE box sent out} or get $10 off your first full-size box!

Hair Care –  I recently shared Finesse shampoo on my Instagram and got a ton of good feedback, and comments from other users. I’ve been working really hard at taking care of my hair since I began to see stress-related hairless over the last three years. There was a lot that happened and it caused a lot of stress with negative consequences on my body in several ways. Never discount what stress can do to your body – but that’s for another blog post. So I did my research and was actually gifted shampoo and conditioner that was part of the Restore+strength collection. They have a moisturizing, normal hair, and color-treated hair option. I noticed increased softness and healthiness from my hair and I’ve been using it for a while. I would 100% recommend it to those looking for an affordable option for healthy hair and softness. Go check out my Instagram post about it to see what a few others are saying as well.

However, there was more I needed to do to help grow my hair, so I did more research. I read reviews, read magazine lists for best hair growth shampoos, and finally settled on one that was a midpoint price range, I could get on Amazon and had moderately good reviews. I would say this shampoo is worth a try. I’m a terrible blogger, and probably a bit self-conscious about what I perceived as huge empty spots on my head that I happened to hide well. It has very specific directions, and I would listen to them. I believe it is working, and it isn’t too much of a wallet buster that it wouldn’t be worth a try for you. Purebiology is right around $28 for a 8oz bottle. I know..its a lot, but comparatively speaking its closer to a steal. A shampoo and conditioner with biotin, Keratin, vitamin B and what is the more important part for hair regrowth (which I learned after all my research) DhT blockers. I also use Navy HairCare scalp scrub, and I’m doing a little bit more research and going to add a scalp scrubber because I am also prone to a very dry scalp…all my life. I will keep you updated on my hair journey!

Billie Razors – I feel like I’m the last person to jump on the Billie train, but I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been using Billie for about a month and its not like any razor I’ve used before. Its crazy and I really love it for my sensitive skin. This will also be Ami’s first Razor, no question. Delivery of my blades right when I need them is a huge selling point. I don’t have to store a bunch, forget where I stored them and then go buy any! Plus, the awesome set up for clipping it to my shower wall is an added bonus. Super affordable, ergonomic handle and their products are either verified or certified green on the Environmental Working Group list, which basically means that’s good for you! Plus, they believe in fighting that pink tax! Why should we pay more for razors? Quit overpaying for Razors! Use my link to sign up and then get your own link to share more about Billie razors and fight the pink tax!

 

Detangler – If you have a daughter with hair that gets tangled easy (or maybe you do) you know the value of a detangler. I have searched high and low, we’ve tried tons of conditioners, leave-in sprays, expensive and cheap and we have a new favorite. Although I will say that the type of brush you use is such important in the detangling process. But, we are here to talk about leave-in sprays. We want one that will do the job and not leave everyone’s hair feeling greasy…or worse yet, not even do its job. This spray seems to be daughter-approved. Infusium Leave-In has avocado and olive oil, it keeps hair feeling soft and healthy – doing its job over time and not just for the ten minutes you spend brushing your kid’s hair. its a relatively affordable option, and believe me I’ve tried not affordable ones too. I feel like we’ll always be searching for that amazing leave-in spray and it will always be a thing as she learns to navigate having real hair that is thick and needs washing and conditioner and having to do that herself. The price of wanting your hair long is deep ya’ll!

Nails – I, like so many, made the switch to do it yourself nails. While I did often paint my nails at home I just used regular polish and they would inevitably fall apart, chip, squish, and get marks on it. So I made the switch over to gel and I’ve never looked back. Yes, there was a learning curve, yes there are a lot of supplies, but so worth it. As I realized I needed stuff and learned what to do I bought more stuff. You can find everything in my Amazon Storefront, but these are some of my favorites.

Beetles Gel Polish is my favorite of the two different kinds I own, however I use Makartt top and bottom coat that I got in my original session. I’m going to be totally honest and tell you it took about five times to get the hang of it, and get a polish that does chip or peel off. There’s definitely a talent to you that I will never fully accomplish without going to school or working in a nail salon for years. However, I am pretty impressed with myself. Unless you are super talented (which I am not) you’re going to need some accessories in your arsenal.

Besides the UV light, I also use a latex nail art paint that I put around the edges. This is super important to avoid peeling later, and it’s crazy how well it works. The set that it comes with has the cuticle stick thing (yes, that’s the technical term) and oil that I absolutely love. I totally believe that with practice you get a pretty decent at home gel manicure…AND it doesn’t rip of up nails when I take it off. That’s win guys.

what are some of your favorite quarantine finds?

 

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All The Shows You Should Be Watching Right Now

Quarantine has made the art of binge-watching a little more….well, we do it a little more often than we used to. We now can all share the judgment when Netflix asks, “Are you still watching?” Yes Netflix, I am!!! We are quickly running through all the ‘new” binge-worthing shows like Tiger King, and catching up on old favorites from the beginning, like Friends. But now its time to dig deep in the streaming lists and find some new and long-forgotten shows to add spice and variety to our ‘Quarantine and Chill’ time. I’ve also included some of my favorite True Crime and Documentaries.

As a self-proclaimed expert in pop-culture, I’ve put together some lists with a lot of names you might not recognize at all; and maybe a few you vaguely remember. I hope to surprise some of you and spark some memories for the rest.

Hulu Binge 1                                                        

This list should help you make it through….like next week right?

What shows are on your Binge List?

 

Binge Watching Shows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Education Resources for At Home Learning

I know that you might be feeling overwhelmed, especially with the prospect of homeschooling your children. However, I don’t think that’s the correct perspective we need to have right now. Homeschooling is a lot of work, and it requires a certain level of organization and prep work. Kids are dealing with suddenly not being in school, in the middle of the year, and not going back! They are hanging in a weird limbo and this isn’t something our modern society has ever faced. So much of school today is crowd control and meeting a lot of criteria that homeschooling kids just don’t have to deal with. As someone who was homeschooled, I can attest to this. There isn’t a whole classroom of kids to deal with, behavior issues, pulling children for evaluations or to give individual assistance to and all the different factors that make up a regular school day.

I believe that we should be looking at this like an “Avoid the Summer Slide” type of situation. As someone who has homeschooled a child for a year, been homeschooled and someone who works in the schools, I stand by this. Even if you were to homeschool your children you wouldn’t be doing it for the same amount of time as a regular public or private school day. So, please, take a deep breath, figure out what works out for your children and do your best to help them avoid a slide before September, and take it one day at a time.

I am sharing below some great resources and things that I am using personally. If your children are playing an instrument keep that up. We have incorporated that into our schedules, along with drawing and art YouTube series or just free-crafting time. Plenty of outside time, playing games to encourage critical thinking and fun and asking the kids what they want to learn. There are so many fun science experiments online and you can cook and bake with the kids as well.

In short, or long apparently, I’m thinking of you guys out there!

Math Resources

IXL.com – available for all grades

Dreambox.com

Prodigy – Download the app (Premium is available, but we love the free version)

Math Drills

K5Learning

Reading Resources

RazKids from AtoZlearning.com – app and online

Multi-subject Resources

Mr. Nussbaum – grades 1-6 multi-subject resources. Subjects from Colonial America to Birds of Prey. Mr. Nussbaum is offering full access at 80% off through March with the code “keepeducating”.

Teachers Pay Teachers – small fees

ABC Mouse – we no longer use it, but for pre-k – first grade ABC Mouse is wonderful. We used it for all three of our children

Adventure Academy – made by ABC Mouse for ages 8-13 (first month free!!)

Language Arts

Writing anything is really what kids need right now! I own cursive booklets that I have the kids do every once in a while, just to mix it up. These are summer activities that I do, that I pulled out for now. For Phillip, because he loves worksheets, I pulled out his Grade 2 Language Arts Summer workbook for him to do as well. It works through grade-appropriate tasks, working on sentence structure and adding more sight words to his vocabulary.

Writing Prompts (elementary through high school) – JournalBuddies.com

Science

Breakout EDU – Science mini online escape rooms with a science twist. You just have to hunt for free ones!

available all grade levels

YouTube

art classes – art hub for kids, cartooning for kids, draw so cute and babble dabble do

math help – Bro and Sis Math Club, Math Antics, Khan Academy

Character Building

CBS Evening Series “On the Road” has developed a Kindness 101 series and it is the most amazing thing right now. We sit down as a family and watch. It airs live on Facebook at 2pm Eastern Time but can be viewed later on YouTube and online. There is even homework provided for the kids. I highly recommend this as a family experience and an uplifting one at that.

Games (Amazon Affiliate)

Trekking the National Parks

Yahtzee

Scrabble

Sequence

Sequence for Kids

FlipIt

Our Favorite Workbooks

Summer Bridge books

Cursive Workbook

Highlights Workbooks – PreK – 2nd

BrainQuest workbooks – older kids

 

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10 MORE Podcasts You Should Be Listening To {And I’d LOVE to be a guest on}

Four years ago I made a post about podcasts that I love and I would be so crazy excited to be a guest on. FOUR YEARS ago. I feel like podcasting has gotten even bigger since then. I’ve started two podcasts and dabbled in it as well, and am getting ready to launch another one. It’s a medium that I absolutely love and can get behind. It’s so great for staying up to date on things, learning things and just being entertained. And while True Crime might be a lot of people’s favorite type of podcast there’s a ton out there.

Here are some new favorites and make sure to check out the old list These Are Their Stories! For all my True Crime fans here is my old list of These Are Their Stories.

  1. These Are Their Stories – This is one of the newest podcasts I discovered randomly scrolling through the lists. Its an entire podcast dedicated to the Law and Order series (original, CI and SVU). Since I was born and raised on Law and Order and wish every darn day that the original series would come back…..and have ridiculously strong opinions. The commentary is funny, and everyone on the show takes it as seriously as I do.
  2. Red Handed – These cheeky ladies hail from across the pond and I absolutely love it. Part commentary, part true crime. they do decent research and it hasn’t transcended into some weird stand up routine as some true crime podcasts do. They do a lot of foreign crimes that I don’t know so it makes it even neater. I’d love to chat it up with these ladies. I have a Criminal Psychology Degree….maybe I can be an American guest on their Stateside tour?! Come on ladies!!! Come to DC!!
  3. Crime Junkie – Essentially what everyone who loves true crime podcasts wishes they would have thought of first. Similar to Red Handed, the stories are well-researched discussions from a true “crime nerds”. I love the length of these episodes. They aren’t too long and aren’t prioritizing comedy at facts expense. The ladies are witty and have good conversation. It’s just a really good podcast.
  4. Hot Marriage, Cool Parents – I’m a recent fan of this show and of the show’s hosts. Jamie and her husband met on Married at First Sight. This crazy thing, that God used for so much good is the backdrop of their pretty amazing story. I would love to chat it up with these guys. It’s just a most of the time funny, sometimes serious, take on life, parenting, and marriage.
  5. What Should I Read Next – This should be on the podcast list of every book nerd. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect when I started listening. Would it be just another review podcast? Not really. It’s so much more. Guests, and host Anne, talk about why they read, what they look for in a book and {Like me} how connected and affected they are when they read. It’s such a fun show to throw in the mix, especially if you are an avid reader. Sometimes it’s easy to simply fall back on what’s comfortable, but listening to a podcast like this you’re able to get ideas from people with different tastes than yours.
  6. PS I Hate This Movie – Perhaps the greatest podcast idea ever, PS I Hate This Movie addresses the very real feeling of loving to love {and hate} romantic comedies. With their most of the time absurd plot lines they still make us feel good. A hilarious look at some of our favorite romantic comedies.
  7. We Hate Movies – This particular podcast doesn’t reserve its “hate” for easy targets like rom coms, but for all movies. Comedy podcast at its finest. Movies so terrible we love them….and also movies we just plain hate….but in the most loving way. It’s all the conversation you would have with your friends and its amazing.
  8. Crime in Sports – combining two of my favorite things – Sports and True Crime. I mean, what more could a girl want? Crime with a sports twist? I’m in!!! Hosted by two comedians…so you know its more comedy than crime, but in the best way.
  9. Sports? with Katie Nolan – I love love LOVE Katie Nolan. Being a female in the sports world, still in 2020, sucks! If not only because there still just not a lot of them. What could girls possibly be contributing to the conversation? Not only does Katie contribute to the conversation she does so extremely well, eloquently and frankly, gosh darn hilarious! IF you love sports add this podcast to your list.
  10. There are so many Doctor Who podcasts….like a lot. I even have one called Two Nerdy Girls (you can find us on iTunes). Some of my favorites that I would love to be on include Debating Doctor Who, Doctor Who: Gallifrey Public Radio and Bad Wolf Radio (There’s literally so many more! And they are all pretty darn good!).

There are so many podcasts I love to listen to, but not that many make the list (comparatively) of ones that I’d like to be on. No matter what the topic is, you can’t make a good host out of thin air. I’d love to hear some of your favorites. Comment below or join the conversation on social media. Follow me at @RheChristine on Twitter and Instagram and @cammostylelove on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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8 Favorites from Amazon Subscribe and Save

I haven’t been using ‘Subscribe & Save’ for that long, but I’ve quickly learned to love it. Sometimes I love it for the price, sometimes its convenience that wins. Whatever the reason I’ve learned that Subscribe and Save can really save me time because usually, the things that I put on the list are not things that I’m including in a regular rotation of grocery shopping. These the things that are added in every once in awhile, things I don’t get at Costco and things oftentimes forgotten.

Cat Litter

Mr. Air Force is kind of picky about litter. He likes it to clump well and stay clumped when it needs to. He also wants one that is specifically designed to work with multiple cats, even though we don’t have them. We have our cat box in our playroom, so it is kind of out in the living area. We want to make sure its not the first thing people smell in our home! We get it delivered and we never have to worry about it. It also gives us a nice reminder on when we should be completely redoing the litter box.

Cat Food

I love that this comes at the beginning of the month, every month and I don’t have to worry about it. Sometimes it’s just super convenient to not think about it. We personally love this limited ingredient food, and it is pretty affordable all things considered. Subscribe and Save also saves you between 5% and 15% dependent on how many things are on your list.

Shampoo and Conditioner

We love getting our shampoo on amazon. Its another convenience order, but this is also a steal! I don’t feel so bad when the kids go through it really fast because who is watching to make sure everyone is using a quarter size, or not using it to make bubbles when I’m not looking? Plus, this particular brand does wonders for Ami’s “easy-to-tangle” hair.

Detangler

I’ve talked about this brand before. Its a summer staple because they have amazing chlorine products. I also love their 3n1 that I can just send into the showers with the kids at the pool as well. This detangler is a year-round staple. SoCozy also has lice preventative products as well.

Feminine Products

As I was searching for alternatives to my health products, and also looking ahead to when I won’t be the only one using them in my household, I started researching cotton and earth-friendly options. I have been known to use a DivaCup…..but I think I might be lazy or my uterus is super weird because it is almost NEVER easy for me. So, I like to have other options. Enter these cotton products with biodegradable packaging. Certified organic cotton and plant-based packaging make me happy, and is an easy way to make significant changes!

My Shampoo

I’ve been wanting to share this particular shampoo with you guys since I bought it, but I knew I needed to give it a couple of weeks to really make sure it was something that I felt comfortable recommending. After a ton of research, reading articles and reviews I stumbled across Pure Biology Shampoo and Conditioner. I know that I am not the only one that suffers from hair loss. I found that I had it post-partum, pretty badly. Obviously I am not post-partum. My baby is eight (no, I don’t want to talk about it). But two years ago I was the victim of verbal and emotional abuse that was pretty significant. It wasn’t until last year that I even labeled it for what it was. Mostly I brushed it off as stupid conflict. But after talking to people about it, I have put a name on it which has gone a long way in helping me recover. Some of the symptoms included weight gain, insomnia and hair loss. Yup, there it is. So, I’ve been in search of options. I haven’t begun to notice real hair growth yet, but after a month of using there has been a significant decrease in my hair falling out. It really cleanses my hair and doesn’t leave my hair feeling oily or weighed down. And my scalp feels amazing!! I am thrilled with this shampoo and would recommend it!

Cotton Rounds

We now use a ridiculous amount of cotton rounds in our home. I use them for make-up remover and toner, my daughter uses them to cleanse her skin with micellar water, and my oldest uses it in his skincare routine. I like that these come on a semi-regular basis and I don’t have to think about remember that we are out and ordering more. If it overlaps great!  I know that I will always have some.

Dog Treats

Since we now have a puppy in the family we decided to add some of those supplies to the list as well. I’ve found that actually shopping at Petsmart is the best. Amazon, for whatever reason, just doesn’t have the variety I’m looking for. But they do have this puppy parent staple, denta-stix. Love these for keeping up the dog’s teeth in between grooming. I’m also cheap so I do the grooming myself. It’s not perfect but worth saving the money! Puppy loves these and so far the vet has agreed that they are doing the job!

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Personalized Videos Make Your Valentine’s Roses The Perfect Gift

I’m so excited to share Prive Roses with you guys this Valentine’s Day. I wanted to partner with a brand that had something unique and had Military service members and their spouses in mind. Lizbeth from Prive Roses has created something really special. She creates beautifully displayed roses, and forever flowers delivered to the DC/NoVA area {even some locations in MD!!}.

What I really loved about Prive Roses is its unique offering of a video greeting that is delivered with the flowers in the form of a QR code in the envelope. For military service members deployed this is the perfect opportunity to send something sweet to your loved one and have them see your face. How neat is that?

Prive Roses was created by Lizbeth Melendez, an amazing woman who graduated from George Mason University, who after some experience modeling and working for a large consulting firm, decided that in 2017 she would take that entrepreneurial leap and create Prive Roses. Her goal is to bring something beautiful and unique to the DC area. Flower Delivery Reviews placed Prive Roses in the top 13 for flower delivery in the DC area for 2020!

I know that I would absolutely love to receive these flowers and the ones I’m holding in the picture have lasted beautifully for over a week with only slight discoloration! That is insane quality. Plus supporting a local small business should be something everyone strives to do. Our small businesses make our community great!

My favorite might be these little single roses! How adorable are they?!

If you are local to the DC/NoVA and Maryland area give Prive’s website a visit for Valentine’s Day and any holiday…or even just because!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

 

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#dcnovaadventures Smithsonian American History Museum

With my parents in town we made our way to the Smithsonian American History Museum. They had never been, and we hadn’t checked it out in awhile. They have done some changes in their displays since we’ve been, and it was neat to see what they had changed up.

Places of Invention and American Enterpise

The Places of Invention and American Enterprise sections were new to me and had some really cool things. Within those exhibits you can trace Advertising across the decades – from radio to television ads and other things that trace American democracy and capitalism through the decades. There was a docent on hand who happened to be talking about the Altair 8800 and went into more detail about the period of history. That is what I love about the Smithsonians!

The First Ladies

The First Ladies section has been a mainstay of the museum, and they have added the additions of Michelle Obama and Melania. Melania’s dress in person, from the inauguration, is hands down the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen. Michelle’s which I was absolutely nuts for in photographs and on the tv screen, didn’t translate well in person. Fashion like that is always fascinating to me. Dresses on hangers can look terrible until you put it on. Hillary Clinton’s Inauguration dress is also a top favorite for me, and she looked gorgeous in it. Some of my daughter’s favorites included Jackie Kennedy’s pale yellow State Dinner dress and this beautiful one shoulder sequin dress worn by Nancy Reagan.

Music and Innovation

The Smithsonian also added a small jazz section where they housed instruments from famous jazz and regular musicians, like Poncho Sanchez and Willie Smith. Hang around for a meal and head to the Jazz Cafe, where you can enjoy a bite to eat while listening to jazz.

   

Super Heroes

The Super Heroes collection showcases the evolution of super heroes through the decades, showcasing comic books and various memorabilia including Captain America’s Shield and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman Costume. Of course you can also get your photo next to Val Kilmer’s Batmobile! This Exhibit runs through January 12, 2020.

In ‘American Stories’ you can see a part of Plymouth Rock, check out Apolo Ohno’s speed skates and Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves. Moving pieces of the exhibit include a living mask of Abraham Lincoln and the video camcorder that caught the first plane going into the Twin Towers. This exhibit will be rotating and will take the opportunity to share different pieces that represent our American history – from well known pieces to lesser known like ornate Firefighter hats from the 1700/1800s. I like this exhibit particularly because it contains a wide variety of artifacts from those with typical historical appeal to old toys and pieces from many time periods all in one space. Items that you might not typically see all in one place.

Another new exhibit that we didn’t have time to get to was called ‘American Democracy: A Leap of Faith. This exhibits shows us items that highlight the fight for democracy and the path to achieving it, including everyday citizen’s and their participation. It looks really neat and I can’t wait to get back to check it out.

As always, this is a hit for families, and my kids (especially the older two who are 13 and 11) really enjoyed it. It also really highlights a lot that Washington DC has to offer visitors in one place because of the variety of items displayed and significance of the items (with the crowing glory being the Star Spangled Banner).

I think living here we can sometimes take these museums for granted, maybe we visit once or when family comes into town. But the exhibits change frequently and you might miss something really cool. The free museums in our area are truly incredible, and while going into the city might be a frustrating prospect to some, its something that is so worth it in my opinion.

happy learning!

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5 Unique Gift Ideas for Christmas

  1. Magazine subscription – I love this one and have used it for my kids before. Its super fun and is like a present every month! I’ve even given a subscription to my mom as a gift before. Did you know that Amazon has discounted magaizine subscription links? You can also get Kindle versions of the magazines as well. I’ve linked some of my favorites below:

2. Subscription boxes with activities – These are super fun, because like activities, it is something exciting every                                  month! Whether you have a little baker, an artist or a scientist, subscription boxes are a great way to keep your kids                            learning for fun!

3. Activities – This is a fun one too, and one we have used before to gift our children special activies like Parkour classes                       for our oldest, and archery for our daughter. Find something they need for that class and use that as an opportunity to                         a) buy it and gift it (I mean, lets face it, you have to buy it anyway. Make it feel more exciting by wrapping it in a box),                           and b) a fun way to let them know they get to do said activity!

                     Ideas – soccer ball and shin guards for soccer classes, ballet bag for ballet                                     classes, special leotard for gymnastics, bow and arrow for archery classes.

4. Keep It Simple – Another way to keep it simple and keep yourself focused is something my mom has done for years.                          Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. Keeps you focused and doesn’t                        let you get out of hand. Make it a theme!! If you have a kind into Harry Potter, add the illustrated version to your                                    bookshelf this Christmas and include these Harry Potter socks, Harry Potter Lego set and find something in the need                         category that might be themed like school supplies, or something like that!

5. A Trip – Sometimes an event or a trip during Christmas, or a gift right after Christmas is a perfect opportunity to teach                         kids about saving, and how to make an exchange. We aren’t going to spend a bunch of money on toys are stuff like                             that. Instead, we are going to spend money on this amazing trip. I have a friend who is going on a Disney Cruise for                            Christmas. Next year I hope to be in Europe right before Christmas so that will be a part of our gift.

Christmas can be such a great time, but can easily fall into being all about THINGS! We have such an amazing opportunity to bring more to our children, and show them how things don’t always have to be the same. Sometimes its about toys and silly things, because there’s a lot of Christmas magic in that. But, sometimes, its about memories and the experiences.

Do you give unique or interesting gifts at Christmas? I’d love to hear about them!

 

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