Christmas in Washington, DC – 5 Must-See Sites!

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, second to July 4th! And while we don’t always get a snowy Christmas, there’s a bit of magic in the air. And whether you want to explore the city during the holidays with kids or without, taking in all the sites in can be fun for everyone!

  1. The National Christmas Tree & the White House Christmas Trees

Last year was my first year (out of the six Christmas’ here) that I experienced this really cool display. My friend text me and said, “we’re going into the city for some Christmas bucket list check-off!” So we packed up the kids for a day of fun. Our first stop was this display. There was a tree for every state which was really cool. The kids enjoyed finding tress of the states of family, or where we used to live. I imagine the display was even more beautiful at night, but with the backdrop of the White House you can’t go wrong.

2. A Victorian Christmas at Mount Vernon

This one is probably one of my favorite things to do – it makes a perfect date night, a special tree for visiting family or a fun family night. On this night you get to experience Mount Vernon in a way you only can during the Christmas season. I first heard about this awesome event from my mom who read about it in Victoria Magazine. During this special event there are actors and you are able to see the top floor, which is not opened during the year. The Christmas Camel is present, with carolers and you can grab yourself some wassel.

3. CityCenterDC

CityCenterDC is located near the Washington, DC Convention Center with amazing shops and restaurants. The amazing blogger ladies here in DC first showed me this place. Its the most awesome place to take pictures. Every season the display changes, but the display at Christmas is the best.

4. US Botanical Gardens

We have been to the Botanical Gardens during the summer because its usually on someone’s list who is visiting you. Its a really neat place to visit even if it doesn’t h ave all the amazing decorations for Christmas. Each year there is a new theme. Last year’s was “Roadside Attractions” which was really amazing. Each item uses live or dried plant materials, so its kind of ala Rose Parade. This year’s theme is “All Aboard!” exploring train stations of America.



5. National Harbor

The National Harbor has all sorts of cool things to do during the holiday season, with the Gaylord Hotel having all the coolest things to do! You can even see it snow indoors!! One of the big events is the ICE event, with giant ice sculptures. This year’s theme is Charlie Brown and I can’t wait to go! Visit Mrs. Claus, take pictures with Santa, decorate gingerbread men and see the “Unwrapped” Cirque show! There’s so much to do throughout the whole harbor so make sure to check the daily calendar out.



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Coffee and Friends with Blue Bottle Coffee

Nothing brings people together like a great friend, a cup of coffee and the world’s most amazing avocado toast! I was so honored and thrilled to head over to the new Blue Bottle Coffee in DC, meet some new friends and hang out with old friends. Angelica was one of the first bloggers I really connected with and made friends with when I moved here in DC. She reached out and connected. And despite the fact that hanging out is always hard I know I can always count on her. Now that all my kids are in school I’m looking forward to more time! Let me just also give a huge huge shout out to Anna Darlak Photography!!!! Not only was she the sweetest in all the land, look at these pictures!!!

But, this is all about the coffee guys! If you haven’t tried Blue Bottle you need to. I’m not gonna like, I enjoy my Starbucks every now and then, I really do. But I’m also the proud owner of my own coffee roaster, so you know I can hang with the rest of the coffee snobs. When I’m drinking coffee I’m looking for a coffee that doesn’t have that acid taste so frequent with your average cup of joe. That’s why we pour so much creamer and sugar into our coffee….to cut the acid. But BB’s cold brew coffee? Heaven!!!

Thanks for hosting us!!

If you haven’t given avocado toast a try yet, you don’t know what you’re missing….and please hurry up and come over to the dark side!! This toast has a hit of chili powder, giving it the most amazing little kick ever. Blue Bottle knows what they are doing!

Blue Bottle is more than just a coffee shop though. Check your local Safeway or Whole Foods (plus others – check their website) for cold brew you can take home! Blue Bottle also offers subscriptions! Take their personalized coffee quiz to see what coffee flavor is the best for you. Grab Blue Bottles cold-brew equipment or look for local brew events and classes.

with Angelica Talan from Clarendon Moms and Angelica in the City


I also threw together what I think is the perfect outfit for a summer day in the city, drinking some ice coffee! I’m a firm believer in wearing shirts that say how you feel, and I love love love some coffee!!! And combining my two favorite things, coffee and size-inclusive shopping?

Top: Old Navy

Skirt: Torrid

Shoes: Forever 21

Necklace: Charming Charlies

Watch: Daniel Wellington


Thanks for hosting us Angelica and Blue Bottle Coffee!!! DC Bloggers and Influencers are  

some of the most supportive and fun people to be around, and I’m thankful to be a part of this community

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Explore Your City with an Urban Adventure Quest!

This post is in partnership with US Family Guide and Urban Adventure Quest


Explore Your City!

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for awhile you might know that I am a huge fan of being a tourist in your own city. I say this especially for military families. Embracing where you are can sometimes help combat any of the negative feelings that you have about your duty station. Having been in places that are rural and pretty desolate before, I get it when it sucks! Urban Adventure Quest is one way that you can explore your city in a fun way, and also provide any visitors with some fun as well. Its also something I will keep in my back pocket for vacations!

20% off Urban Adventure Quest's Scavenger Hunt Code: FGBLOG Click To Tweet

What is Urban Adventure Quest?

The idea for Urban Adventure Quest came from the favorite tv show of its creators, the Amazing Race! Wouldn’t it be fun to go on your own amazing race in the comfort of your own city? The answer is of course yes!! Get a quest, go on the stops, complete the challenges and score points! Create your team of 2-5 people and embark on your own three hour tour {insert Gilligan’s Island theme music}. Because the owners love adventures as much as their customers they take their creations seriously. They want to create quests that they themselves would enjoy.

Where is Urban Adventure Quest?

UAQ has over 50 quests available! Some cities have more than one type of adventure available to you. From Sacramento to Boise, Baltimore to Dallas, UAQ is growing!

They are also afforable, and I will be adding them to my Free and Cheap in DC list. You can purchase an adventure for up to five people for $49, $30 for a mini-quest. They also offer a rather large 25% military discount. All you have to do is call to receive a promotion code, which I can handle for sure. For schools and non-profit groups they offer 20%, no matter how many teams you purchase. I love a company that gives back like this. Its something that I want to support and encourage others to support as well.

Be A Tourist in your Own Town Pinterest

Turn YOUR CITY into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. Play anytime during daylight hours. Start when you want and play at your pace.

And I’m so excited because Adventure Quest has offered my readers 20% off a Quest! For only $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people you can enjoy a night of fun with friends! Use code: FGBLOG. Sign up online at

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Family Pictures in DC {Cherish Pennington Photography}

I may be biased since I have known the photographer for literally all my life. The fact that we ended up on the same coast again is pretty awesome to me. So when I decided to scramble to put together family pictures I called on Cherish Pennington Photography. I wanted to some quintessential DC photographs. We haven’t done that in our six years here and my kids love going into the city. These pictures are so amazing and everything I could have ever wanted. After you scroll through you’ll find out how to contact Cherish. Do it now, you won’t be sorry!!


If you are looking for amazing family pictures reach out to Cherish for yours soon!!!

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DC/NoVA Adventures ~ Boonsboro, MD

This year with everything being so crazy in our life we decided we needed to get away a little earlier than our anniversary. So we decided a “mothersbirthanniversaryjustbecause” trip was in order. I love planning these little getaways with Mr. Air Force. We decided a long time ago that these were types of trips were a crucial piece to our military life puzzle. So even if it’s to the Holiday Inn down the street, or my amazing friend here taking the kids to her house for the weekend, we try to spend some time alone together. It is incredibly important to carve out that time, no matter how you do it. We decided to do something a little fancier this year in lieu of gifts for the above mentioned holidays.

I had heard about the Boonsboro Inn from my romance writer friends and a couple of girlfriends who are Nora fans. I have read exactly two Nora books, all a part of the Inn series. However, you do not need to be a Nora fan to love this place. And it was the vintage, literature feel of this place that made me want to go. You have a choice of eight rooms to stay in (seven named rooms and one penthouse): Elizabeth and Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Marguerite and Percy (The Scarlett Pimpernel), Nick and Nora (The Thin Man), Jane and Rochester (Jane Eyre), Titania and Oberon (Midsummer’s Night Dream), Eve and Roarke (In Death novels) and Westley and Buttercup (The Princess Bride). It is truly an Inn feeling, with a sprinkling of a Bed and Breakfast. The staff is sweet and lovely, it is relaxed, the food is amazing, and if you can get your hands on the homemade chocolate chip cookies and cranberry scones you will have lived a complete life! Breakfast in the dining room is amazing!!!!!!!!

 If you love how each of the rooms is so beautifully curated. LOOK AT THAT LAMP!!!! It really is the most beautiful and coolest thing that I have ever seen.  What made it even better is that it was exactly like the lamp described in one of the Inn at Boonsboro books. It was like a reader’s dream guys! How many times have you read a book and wished you could live inside of it? Visiting the Boonsboro in is your actual chance to do that. u are a fan of Romance Novels (they are very reserved and not super risqué) or reading a good fiction novel, I would definitely recommend The Inn at Boonsboro series. The writing is lovely and the stories are as well. I long the small town part of it, with a little bit of mystery and drama. They are just a nice read. I picked up the second book in the library of the Inn and got about halfway through in our three days there. Do you know what else is really fun? Watching the movie named for the room you are in!!! I wish they had had some of the other Thin Man movies because I would have popped those in. Instead, we watched a Nora Roberts movie, called Midnight Bayou, which was really good.

The whole town is quiet and there’s not a lot to do right in the square. You can drive to some other cute small towns with antique stores and little shops. On the weekend we went to a neighboring town was having a strawberry festival. There are several local wineries that we never made it to, but will be on our list when we go again. Antietam is also really close, and that is a must see if you are in the area. We’ve been twice and I would go back again (you can find a post here).


The two main restaurants in the area (owned by Nora and/or her family) are the pizza place and Dan’s Tap House. The pizza I think is good, it’s not the greatest, but its fun place to go. If you do, check out the Warrior Pizza. It’s a local favorite and pretty darn good. Dan’s has some really good drinks from the bar, including Mule’s, which are my favorite. We ate dinner there once and then went back and sat outside and had drinks and dessert one night.

All in all Boonsboro is a nice place to go if you’re looking for some relaxation. It’s not busy and if you like to be busy and not drive anywhere this would not be the place to go. But if you are looking for a truly lovely, romantic and quaint place to be GO NOW!!! And if you are from the DC area, drive through Frederick and check out the Cuban food at Sabor de Cuba. You can thank me later.

First time eating Cuban food!!! It was amazing!!! Thanks, Frederick, Maryland!!!



Thank you Boonsboro, Rohersville and Frederick for such a great time!

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