Places to Go - Hiking/Playing at Potomac Overlook National Park (Arlington, VA) (plus Cherish This Day, The Stories We Tell, and Random Links)


Sorry for the incredibly long post title, it is the last Friday before school starts, so I crammed a lot in.

Anyways, last week, I took the kids hiking at Potomac Overlook (previously reviewed here). We actually made it all the way to the overlook (it's real! it's real!), but the kids had the most fun playing in the water and rock hunting. Sometimes I forget how the simplest pleasures really are the best - a warm (though not hot) day, wet feet, rocks that glisten in the stream, following a path with no clear understanding of where it leads. And as much as I love/like/accept Great Wolf Lodge, the wolf ears really needed some time to roam free in the wild . . .

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE!! Don't forget to click through to Cherish This Day & The Stories We Tell for some wonderful summertime inspiration.


* A Coloring Book for Adults. Hysterical.

* I want to read this.

* Women listening to men in western art history. FUNNY. (thank you Cup of Jo for the link)!

* A night at the museum - how fun does this sound?

* Global parenting habits that haven't caught on in the US.

* Nicely stated.

* Cabin Porn - I cannot stop browsing (link courtesy of Mother).


Things to Do - Soccer After Dinner (and a new project)

1000 (6 of 8)

1000 (5 of 8)

1000 (1 of 8)

I've written a fair amount on this blog about Colie James' excellent online photography workshop - Telling Stories With Lifestyle Photography. After the class ended, Colie created a blog for all the alumni to document our own stories, click on over here to check it out and to see more photos of the kids playing soccer with Dan after dinner.



Things to Make - Super Easy Arugula/ Quinoa Salad

salad (1 of 1)

I find it tricky/impossible to eat healthy at the end of the summer - kids 24/7, combined with happy hours, barbeques, and various vacations leads to lots of pizza and chips. So yet again, this August, my overall health/weight/fitness level has taken a nose dive. But at least I have managed to eat one incredibly easy salad over and over. The creaminess of the yogurt counters the pepper flavor of the arugula, making this salad quite powerful for such a quick lunch. Seriously, try it.



* 1/4 cup cooked quinoa (I cook a whole bag and refrigerate the leftovers so I always have some ready to eat).
* 1 cup arugula
* 1/2 cup plain goat's milk yogurt (or plain greek yogurt)

1. Combine
2. Eat

* Add sunflower seeds
* Add sliced avocado
* Add lemon zest or lemon juice to the yogurt for some added flavor.


Places to Go - Flying Through the Air at TSNY's Trapeze Class (Washington D.C.)


For the last few months or so, our friend Val has become rather enamored with TSNY's trapeze classes (located in Yards Park, down the block from Nationals' Stadium). So when she asked if the girls and I wanted to join her, we couldn't wait. Sign up was easy enough, though if you're enrolling children there are are a few important things to know:

(1) Children as young as 4 are allowed to "fly", but it is up to the parent to gauge whether a young child has the attention span or patience for the class (at age 5, I didn't think T could hack it).

(2) A parent or guardian must be present when children under age 18 are in class, unless they are enrolled in a camp program or special arrangements have been made with the school. Plus, the parent or legal guardian has to sign a waiver in person.

(3) Classes are expensive - $55 per person for evening classes; $49 for morning classes. If you purchase over 5 classes, bulk discounts are available. Further, if you sign up for a second class immediately after finishing your first class, then the third class is free (awesome!).

(4) Each class lasts two hours and contains 10 people or less. All age groups participate in the same class and everyone takes turns trying new tricks consistent with their personal skill level.

(4) Don't forget socks! (They're required.)

Before class, P - the gymnast - could not wait to climb the ladder, but height-shy F was a bundle of nerves. The staff did a fantastic job assuring F that her that her fears were perfectly normal and that she could break/stop at any time. After 3 nerve-wracking first tries, F announced that TSNY's motto is right on track - "Forget Fear. Worry About the Addiction." So of course, we've already signed up for round 2 (and this time, I'll be up there as well).

If you're interested in trying out a class, click here for the schedule.

Happy Monday everyone!!



Things to Do - Grateful List (July 2014) & Cherish This Day

darcytroutman_august22 (1 of 1)

July was good . . .
(Now click on over to Cherish This Day to see this week's amazing photos).

* Listening to OK GO's Upside Out & Bombay Bicycle Club's So Long, See You Tomorrow (esp. Home By Now)
* Reading Rules of Civility
* Watching Pretty in Pink, Adventures in Babysitting, and The Karate Kid for family movie night

* Dan's smoked meat dinner with Jim & Val
* Trader Joe's salted creamy almond butter (which, I think, has now been recalled)

* A 75 degree day at Claude Moore Farm's summer market fair
* Swimming at Flag Ponds Nature Park
* Climbing towers at Rocky Run playground

* 2 relaxing days with Dan's mom and the kids in Richmond
* Playing the Hardy Boys game (circa 1980-something) and Sorry with the kids
* Colie James' online photography class
* "Sorry, I didn't know that was your face" - F to P
* A great weekend with the Shah family - pool & zoo
* Dog walks with P before bed
* Two successful weeks of camp for all three kids
* Dan coming home from work and playing soccer with the kids
* The lifeguard at our pool judging "cannonball" contests

VACATION (South Hero, VT)
* The car ferry from NY to Vermont, which felt amazing after a 9 hour drive
* Car ride quotes. P - "I wish there was a time travel thing. I would skip this whole car ride. Except the donuts part. Yeah, I'd definitely keep the donuts part." T - "If Blackbird fought Jack Sparrow who would you want to win?"
* Arriving, after 10 hours of driving, to a fantastic kid-friendly barbeque (Thank you Teresa and Scott!)
* A swimming hole in Vermont
* Tubes and kayaks on the lake
* A wedding with smores and lawn games (finally!!!)
* Girls' night dinner at the Blue Paddle
* Morning yoga at Snow Farm vineyard
* Jenga, Twister, and Sorry for cold rainy days (and some sunny days too)
* Picking fresh blueberries at Owls' Head farm
* Sunsets
* Fiesta Island
* Antique toys and dolls at the Shelburne Museum
* A late night game of Cards Against Humanity


F - a really great family, a nice house to live in and food to eat, art camp, the kid-friendly wedding, this amazing vacation [Vermont]

P - my family, Jim and Val, our new haircuts, art camp, sleepovers, the pool with my new friends, art camp, the wedding, going kayaking, going tubing, making smores, playing soccer, James & River, the Shelburne museum

T - my family, a nice house to live in and food to eat, Coco, playing soccer at camp, catching fish, James and River, my rubber band gun, fiesta island, that we go to the swimming pool [at the hotel], that we go to the wedding.


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