Chuck E. Cheese’s Grand Re-Opening

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mr. President has been asking to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s for months. The place where a “Kid can be a Kid”.  

When Chuck E. Cheese’s Fairfax invited us to their Grand Re-Opening Event, I knew we had to go. When I told Mr. President the news, he was beyond excited. We had a “Chuck E. Cheese’s Countdown” calendar in the kitchen.

Even a snowstorm couldn’t stop us from attending the Grand Re-Opening.

Newly redesigned, Chuck E. Cheese’s Fairfax location is one of the first in Northern Virginia to get the “new look”. And let me tell you, it looks good.

 Even the snow couldn’t stop us!

New Look

The new design aims to appeal to both parents and kids – it introduces more restaurant atmosphere for mom, dad, and caregivers, without taking away from the fun and games that made Chuck E. Cheese’s a kid-favorite for 40 years. While there are still bright colors and designs for the kids, the re-design introduces a calmer ambiance with warm wood, neutral tones, and streamlined graphics. Appealing to both parents and kids.

And don’t forget about the light-up dance floor. The kids loved the hourly show featuring Chuck E. Cheese and his friends; the show is interactive and fun. Plus, the light-up floor is just too fun.

I can’t say enough nice things about the staff at Chuck E. Cheese’s Fairfax – from the Manager, to the characters, and attendants, everyone was willing to help and answer questions. (It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a Chuck E. Cheese’s, ha!). Everyone was super friendly.

New Gaming Experience

The kids and I received our All You Can Play (AYCP) passes with 90 minutes of play. We had an absolute blast! From Air Hockey to Pirate’s Hook, the carousel and Stuart Little car ride, Hungry Froggy and Basketball Shoot, there was something for everyone. We never ran out of games to play, and earned as many tickets as we could.

With the AYCP pass kids can enjoy free reign of Chuck E. Cheese’s to play all the games they want in the time frame they choose. What I love most about the AYCP pass is that you don’t have to worry about carrying tokens, and potentially loosing them. The kids can each wear the bracelet (even my youngest at 22 months). Once you get to a game, you tap the pad with your AYCP pass and the game begins. When the game is over, collect your tickets and find a new game to play. It’s very kid friendly, and my kids – ages 5, 3, and 1 – had no problems using it. Another nice feature is that you can “freeze” your time if you need to eat or need a bathroom break, up to one time during your play period. When you’re ready to resume playing, reactivate your pass at the kiosk.

 We even wear our AYCP passes around the house.

New Food

You guys, the food is good! The pizza is delicious and crispy, and the salad bar is fresh and colorful. There are so many good flavors. I especially appreciate that Chuck E. Cheese’s features healthier food options for families.

The remodel features an open kitchen, which allows guests to watch the pizza-making process. The salad bar features fresh ingredients – veggies, toppings, and hard-boiled eggs. In addition, the lunch buffet is available Monday – Friday from 11am to 3pm, and is located closer to the open kitchen to highlight its fresh ingredients.

While guests can order at the counter, self-service kiosks are available near the entrance of the restaurant and offer a fast, simple option to ordering.

 

New Toys

We ended the night with 950 tickets – not bad for our first time to Chuck E. Cheese’s. The kids picked out matching slinky’s (which really makes my life easier because that means no fighting over toys) and have enjoyed watching them slide down the stairs.

There are so many fun prizes to pick from. It’s fun to be a kid!

The kids and I had an absolute blast! And I can’t tell you how many of my friends wanted to join us. With freezing temperatures and cold winter nights, we will be back soon.

We can’t wait!

Fairfax Location:
9404 Main St.
Fairfax, VA 22031

(Another) New Opening

We are lucky x 2 and had the opportunity to attend the Glen Bernie Grand Re-Opening, too.

The Glen Bernie location offers the same amenities, games, and food options. If you live in Maryland, you definitely need to check out this new location.

Glen Bernie Location:
6637 Governor Ritchie Highway
Glen Bernie, MD 21061

 

Learn more about Chuck E. Cheese’s on the websiteFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Have you been to a re-modeled Chuck E. Cheese’s? What’s your favorite game to play there?

 

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Opening Soon: Tom Dolan Swim School

I’m so excited about the opening of the Tom Dolan Swim School, located in the Arlington/Falls Church area. The location opens in early February, and for all of my local families, it’s located in the same shopping plaza as Target and Chick-Fil-A (now that I think about it, I don’t know if that’s a good thing for my wallet, ha!).

When the first TDSS opened in Dulles, I was a little jealous. I knew there was no way I was driving to Dulles for a swim lesson, but was hoping (wishing?!) I could transport the kids and I there here for the lesson and back.

You see, I’ve been on the hunt for a swim school that can accommodate three kids of varying ages and skills, but with a location that’s convenient for me. For years, I’ve tried different swim methods, lessons, and have taken breaks in between. I haven’t found quite what I’m looking for but with a 5 year-old that thinks he can swim and summer approaching, I need to get my kids swimming. Starting February, all of that will change. The Little Jonsesies (plus mama) will be taking lessons at Tom Dolan Swim School.

Aside from the location (which is a huge factor to me), there are a few things that really drew me to the Tom Dolan Swim School. First, Tom Dolan is an Olympic Gold Medalist and former World Record Holder. He built the facility and developed his curriculum to create the optimal swim school environment for you and your child. The role of the school and instructors are to ensure that you and your child are having fun while learning the important safety and technical aspects of the life-saving skill of swimming. Last, from ensuring that the pools have perfect depth and temperature for kids’ classes to implementing conveniences like online registration software and plenty of space for parking strollers, Tom Dolan Swim School was designed for families! (Which is especially important for me when considering schools – I have three young kids and I will be attending three different lessons with three kids).

Tom Dolan also grew up in Arlington and lives in Falls Church, so it’s fun to have a local celebrity close by.

Hope to see you at TDSS soon!

Here’s what you need to know:

Opening February 2019
6112-A Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA
(571) 933-8944
fallschurch@tomdolanswimschool.com

Upcoming Specials:
Register Jan 22-24 – Receive a free pair of Goggles if you register to start lessons in February
Register Jan 26-27 – Receive a free Family Swim voucher for your entire family if you register to start lessons in February

Register Here

 

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For information on Tom Dolan Swim School + Lessons, follow TDSS:
Instagram: @tomdolanswimschool
Facebook: @tomdolanswimschool
Twitter: @TomDolanSS

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TDSS. The opinions and text are all mine.

Must-Have // Baby

Even though I just had my third baby in three years, there are so many new baby items that I wish I would’ve had with number one. Co-sleepers, swaddles, moccasins, and fashionable baby bibs – to name a few. Here are my picks for must-have baby items.

Dock-A-Tot: I’ve wanted one since I saw a post on Instagram. People swear by the Dock-A-Tot – perfect for co-sleeping safely and keeping baby snug. But there are so many more benefits too. It facilitates tummy time, creates a womb-like feeling, and is portable & easy to travel with. When I was pregnant with #3, I knew I needed to have one.

Now that Baby W is here, I couldn’t love the Dock A Tot more! My little guy is waking up one time/night – and he’s only two weeks old. (insert shock face emoji). He’s so snug and cozy.

Dock A Tot is Breathable, Machine Washable, Hypo Allergenic, and Made with NO Harmful Substances. You can feel confident and safe when using the Dock A Tot with your newborn. If you’re on the fence about the Dock A Tot, think no more. It’s one of the best things to happen to me in three years. Order here.

Luna Blu Mar: I might be a little biased – I’m co-founder of Luna Blu Mar – but our bandanna bibs are the best on the market. They are Made in the USA, adjustable (grow  with your baby), machine washable, and made with premium fabrics. When I couldn’t find a functional but fashionable bib for with Baby J, my sister and I decided to make our own. Even better? For every item you buy, we donate a bib to a baby in need.

Shop our Spring collection here.

Solly Baby Wrap: I LOVE babywearing. It’s necessary, especially with two other babes, but I also love the closeness I feel to my baby. I love my Solly Baby wrap, especially for newborn babywearing. Baby W loves being craddled close to mama, and I can chase after my other littles without worry.

Freshly Picked: Two words: Baby Moccs. (#allthehearteyes) I love little baby moccs – they are so cute and small. I’ve bought a pair of Freshly Picked moccs for each baby, and I love quality and fit.

Honest Diapers: I’ve tried every diaper on the market (seriously), and I have had the best luck with Honest diapers. I love the fun prints and use naturally-derived citrus and chlorophyll odor blockers and no chlorine processing.

These are a few of my favorites.
What’s your BABY MUST-HAVE?

 

 

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Disclaimer: I was offered a Dock A Tot for review. All opinions are my own

 

Milk Nursing  // review & giveaway

I love wearing dresses but it’s hard to find one that works with breastfeeding. Do I lift the dress all the way up & flash everyone? Do I wear one that’s so low cut its inappropriate? I’ve maybe worn a dress 3 times in the last 12 months. That’s a lot of summer days not wearing a dress. 12 months + many failed attempts later, I finally found one I like.


Milk Nursingwear designs fashionable Nursing Wear and breastfeeding clothing for nursing mothers. All of their nursing wear features hidden openings for discreet breastfeeding. No nursing cover needed!

Now that is what I’m talkin’ about.

The Striped nursing tank dress is so comfortable, and it goes with everything. I put it on, I feel put-together. The super soft fabric is 95% lycra, 5% spandex and easy to wash on a warm cycle + hang dry (you can tumble it on low, but I don’t) And finally, just finally, I have a  breastfeeding-friendly dress I can wear on warm summer days.

After reading through the online reviews, I opted for a size small (though I think the medium would’ve worked too). It’s flattering but not too snug (especially in the midsection) and the length is just right. I love that I can dress it up or dress it down – wedges or flats, chunky necklace or simple pendant – everything works with this dress. Milk’s nursing dress has changed the way I dress + breastfeed my baby.


If you’re looking for comfortable, easy-to-wear, affordable nursing wear, Milk Nursingwear should be your go-to. Check out their full line of nursing essentials at MilkNursingwear.com

Love my dress and want one too?

Milk is offering one lucky reader a $35 gift certificate to spend at MilkNursingwear.com

To Enter on Instagram:

•Follow @run4margaritas & @milknursingwear
•Like the photo
•Tag (up to) 5 friends (separate comments for each)
•Bonus entry: comment on my blog post & tell me what item you want most.

Ends 6/9, winner announced 6/10. Must be 18 or older to win. This giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram.

 

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the story of motherhood

Today was a hard day. Coco was up 3 times in the middle of the night. Mr. President woke up with a 103 fever. I’m absolutely exhausted. My husband is out of town until Wednesday. I stubbed (broke?) my toe on Abe’s poorly placed stool and two minutes later, I stubbed the other toe on the coffee table. It’s pouring down rain. I haven’t worked out in 5 days. My kids won’t stop crying. And I really want a margarita.

But despite all of the chaos, the exhaustion, and the frustration of today, I get to spend my days with these two. My greatest accomplishments. My miracles.

I’ve cried more times today than I have in six months but it’s because I don’t want these days to end. I don’t want to stop having babies, I want them to be this cute and this small forever. Maybe it’s because Coco is almost ONE or maybe it’s because I truly am exhausted or maybe both.

That’s motherhood. All of the love, and chaos, and exhaustion, the exciting times, the frustrating times, the crying and the laughing, the fevers and sleepless nights, the snuggles and hugs and kisses, the messes, the memories. I want to remember it all and I never want it to end.

To my babies, I love you forever. To the moon and back. I hope you know that.

diaper clutch // must haves

In order to keep my diaper bag clean & my life sane, I have a diaper clutch for each of my babes. Each diaper clutch is customized to each kid, with a few mom things thrown in for good measure.

Here’s what I’m crushing on at the moment, Baby Coco edition:

@loganandlenora wet/dry clutch is perfect for my mini and me, and holds everything we need
@honest diapers & wipes // I mean, look at the Paris inspired spring line. Love
@babiators pink polarized sunglasses 
@waxingkara sweet lips in crimson // inspired by bees, sweet lips is the perfect amount of color + moisture. I’m obsessed.
@cammi_and_co pink bow
@happyfamily organic teether snacks // we don’t leave home without them 
@angeldearinc owl lovey
@bareminerals moxie lip gloss

Use code RUN4MARGS15 for 15% off your order at Logan & Lenora.

What’s in your diaper clutch?

 

chick-fil-a review // healthy options for mom & kids

I was invited by my local Chick-fil-A (CFA) to host a Mom’s brunch to test out two new products: Spicy Southwest Salad and Frosted Coffee. In addition, we were able to try the Superfood Side. CFA knows that one of their biggest customer bases are moms with young kids – and they’re doing everything they can to make the menu healthier. From Honest Kids apple juice to fruit salad to Superfood Side (made with kale), there are options that will appeal to even the healthiest (and pickiest) of eaters.

I never thought I’d order anything other than chicken nuggets from CFA, but the Spicy Southwest Salad might change my mind. I love the crisp romaine and baby greens (I’m a picky lettuce eater) and the Chile Lime Pepitas add an unexpected crunch. The portions are big and I was able to get two meals out of one salad. At 420 calories (not including dressing), the Spicy Southwest Salad is an excellent choice for those looking for a healthier option.

Ingredients: Slices of grilled spicy chicken breast, chilled and served on a fresh bed of chopped Romaine lettuce and baby greens, topped with shredded red cabbage and carrots, grape tomatoes, a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and a zesty combination of roasted corn and black beans. Made fresh daily. Served with Seasoned Tortilla Strips, Chile Lime Pepitas and Creamy Salsa Dressing (or guest’s choice of dressing). Chick-fil-A SaladCreated to replace the coleslaw side, the Superfood Side is a healthier alternative to its predecessor. Filled with broccolini and kale, and tossed in a sweet vinaigrette, the Superfood Side is both delicious and healthy. I love kale, but many of the moms in my group did not – until they tried the Superfood Side. At 140 calories, the Superfood Side is sure to change any kale-haters mind.

Ingredients: Chopped Broccolini® and kale blend, tossed in a sweet and tangy maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with flavorful dried sour cherries. Served with our roasted nut blend.

Last up — the Frosted Coffee. I love coffee and I love vanilla Icedream (if it werChick-fil-A Frosted Coffeee socially acceptable to eat icedream for lunch, I would). The Frosted Coffee is an amazing combination of two things every mom needs – coffee and ice cream. Not too much of either flavor, the Frosted Coffee is delicious and only 240 calories. Available for a limited time.

Ingredients: A delicious hand-spun treat that combines our custom blend of cold-brewed coffee with our famous vanilla Icedream®.

Menu items are available at all locations but subject to availability

A special thanks to the Chick-fil-A Seven Corners for hosting the Mom’s brunch and providing a wonderful meal to us and our kids. If you’re in the area, try new Mobile Ordering and Reserved Parking Spots (like a drive-thru but without the long lines) – order and pay online and when you arrive, a CFA employee will bring out your food.

6108 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
See map: Google Maps
Website

 

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happy birthday, daddy

Happy Birthday to the rock of our family, the one we always lean on and the one we love to hug. I’m thankful for all you do but most importantly, I’m thankful I get to spend my life with you. Enjoy your special day – we love you!

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diy // christmas tree for kids

Mr. President is two. He’s tall. He’s curious. And he gets into everything. I knew my Christmas decorations didn’t stand a chance, so I decided to make Abe a tree of his own. A tree he can decorate, un-decorate, change, mix-up, and have fun.

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This Christmas tree couldn’t get much easier or cheaper if I tried. I spent $8 total (less if you elminate/already have glitter pens) and about one hour of my time (Baby Coco helped while Mr. Prez was napping).  Plus, it was fun to make. I just love Christmas decorations.

What You Need
1 yard green felt
5 8×10 swatches of felt (I bought red, yellow, blue, white, and brown. 5/$1 at JoAnn Fabrics!)
Crayola glitter pens – to decorate ornaments (optional)
Cookie cutters – to make ornaments (optional)
Scissors
Sharpie marker
Command strips/tape (to hang the tree to the wall)

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How You Make It
I started with the ornaments. A star, circles, snowflakes, candy canes, and gingerbread kids (one for LJ and one for Coco). I drew them by hand (with a sharpie) and cut them out. If you aren’t comfortable free styling, this is where the cookie cutters come in handy. Once the ornaments are done, it’s time to decorate. I drew stripes, chevrons, polka dots, stars, and more. Be creative!

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While the ornaments are drying, it’s time to make the tree. Fold the green felt, long-ways, in half. Draw the outline of a tree with a sharpie Again, I drew the tree by hand but you can use a ruler to draw straight, even lines.  Once your tree is complete, cut it out.

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To hang tree, attach command stripes/tape to all corners of the tree (I used 7 stripes) and hang on the wall. The best part about this tree is that felt sticks on felt, so it’s easy & fun to decorate.

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I waited about 18 hours for the ornaments to dry and in the morning I handed them to Mr. Prez to hang on the tree. He marched right up and decorated the tree. He loves it! And his favorite ornament is Gingerbread Girl Coco (he loves his little sister!).

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That’s it – a fun, simple, cheap Christmas project that the kids will love!

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What fun Christmas Crafts have you made with the kids?

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