I dabble…

What can I say? I’m a dabbler.

I love having hobbies and love them each passionately.

I read. I write. I paint. I sew. I garden. I bike ride. I organize. I bake. I make jewelry.

If I were to include my teenage years to that list would be much, much longer.

One of my all time favorite thing to create would be home decor crafts, especially holiday items. Pieces that are stored for a majority of the year until their time comes. I like the specialness of a good holiday piece.

I also hate paying retail for holiday items. In fact, I refuse. If there’s something I see that is seasonal that I can’t make myself I will wait until after that holiday to get it at 50%, 60% or even 75% off the original price. As soon as I come home I make myself put it away in it’s appropriate holiday storage box. Next time that holiday comes around I open the box and say “Ah! I forgot I bought that!” and that my friends it magic to me.

Right after Christmas this year, I had been crushing on all things vintage red truck carrying a Christmas tree. Since that season is typically busy I never got around to making anything red-truckish. After the New Year I broke out my watercolors and painted an item to stash away for next year.

Below is a before and after image of outlining my watercolor. It really takes it from flat to POP. If you’re a dabbler like me, add a little outline to make your work a little more professional.

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A day trip to DC (with kids)

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I’m all for getting out-of-town for the day. When I saw my kids spring break pop up on the calendar I started brainstorming.

We decided to hit Washington D.C. for the day. When I say we, I mean my six-year-old decided. While he was learning about the presidents during the month of February he  quickly decided that good ole Abraham Lincoln was his favorite. His teacher told him about the Lincoln Memorial and jumped on the idea to take the kids.

For this trip we decided to keep things simple by going just for the day and by parking at the metro station outside the city and riding it in. This saved us money since we didn’t have to book a hotel, eliminated the stress of driving the city and added to the experience big time!

Transportation. 

Riding the metro was fun for us all! I personally love people watching. The kids loved absolutely everything about the metro. Adding to their transportation experience was using a taxi once during the day and an Uber. It blew the kids mind that mom used her phone to summon a car and we hoped in it. Seriously, they are still talking about it.

Landmarks.

Truth be told, on this trip my kids were 4 and 6 years old. Did it really hit them that the monuments we saw were symbols to our country? Not exactly. Were they blown away at the massiveness of some of them? Yes. But, I know that it was memorable and once they learn more in school about history it will hit them.

Once off the metro at the Smithsonian stop it’s just a short walk to the National Mall area. One of my favorite things about this city, is how wide open it is and how much green space there is. The kids could easily take off running at the many large grassy areas.

Here we hit the World War II monument, Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

At this point we knew it was time for a taxi to get to our next destination. We had this in our plans and budget thinking we would get more out of the kids if we gave them a few breaks from walking.

We grabbed lunch near the White House and met up with a family member who lives in the area.

Visiting the White House was a quick, easy visit. Lots of security and I have to say it’s the only place that made me a bit nervous. Sure there was plenty of security guards around, but we visited a few days after there was a shooting incident at the Capital and I noticed a few protesters utilizing their 1st Amendment, and felt like a quick visit was perfectly fine.

Another short walk from there we visit the Renwick Gallery, which was suggested to us to visit with the kids. It’s a free museum and had an amazing exhibit called, Wonder, at the time which ended up as the perfect first art experience for the kids. We all can’t stop talking about this place! You can find out more about it here.

Before our trip, I did check the hash tag feed for this gallery to see if other people brought their kids to it and I saw plenty did, so I felt better bringing ours there. When we walked through it was packed with kids taking it in.

Washington D.C. Zoo

We decided to hit the zoo because it was about 2:30 p.m. and after a coffee and cookie break our kids were still feeling awesome! We’ve been here before but it’s so big we didn’t hit the entire thing. We decided to see that side this time. Great, great free zoo.

This was by far one of the best day trips we’ve been on. I can’t say enough about this city. It’s clean. Everyone we spoke to was so friendly and helpful. It’s kid and family friendly. It’s got tons of green space. Pedestrian and bike friendly. And there are so many free things to do!