Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Xtreme Circus Review

ringling brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus

 

Elephants, Tigers, Acrobats, and Bikers performed at the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Xtreme Circus at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  It was an evening spent eating junk food, watching clowns, jugglers and other entertainers perform before the big show.  Than we would sit in awe of the Ring Master and all the other performers for the Greatest Show On Earth.

First, we ate dinner at the Green Turtle prior to the show.  Nothing fancy, the adults had wings and the kids pizza and fries. From there we entered the venue for the preshow activities. They had jugglers, clowns, and an area set up where the children could try on various costumes. After 15 – 20 minutes we moved to our seats. We had great seats about 10 rows from the floor. We were high enough where those standing didn’t really affect our view of the show, but low enough where we had an incredible view of the ring.

 

Barnum & Bailey, circus tigers

 

Take plenty of money because outside snacks and drinks are not allowed.  Security will search you and your bags at all entrances.  I slipped money into my pockets and carried my camera.  I just left my purse in the trunk. However, it’s nothing unusual.  I actually don’t know many places that allow outside food in their venues.

Inside the Big Top, they are sold before the show and during intermission.  Outside the Big Top they are sold until everyone vacates the premises.  The kids wanted cotton candy before the show started. Count it, $14.00 per bag. It does come with an adorable circus hat that can be kept as a souvenir.  I also saw bags being sold without the hat at the concession stands outside the arena. Lemonade is $12.00 per drink. They also offered Italian Ice in adorable elephants cups for $14.00 – $15.00 depending on the size.

 

family activities, circus, Ringling Brothers,

 

Our show started at 7:30 p.m. It lasted approximately 3 hours. It was about 2 1/2 hours for the actual show and about 30 minutes for an intermission. We enjoyed all aspects of the show. Personally, I could have done without the clowns, but what’s a circus without clowns.  I was a little afraid that the 4 year old would become bored, but that didn’t happen.

The performers were able to engage the audience through music and/or their acts. There were plenty of Oohs and Awes. The audience clapped along with the Ringmaster and the band was quite good.  I even participated in the clapping and the Awes. The lions were beautiful, but there were no flaming hoops to jump through.  I did enjoy the Mermaids. I’m fascinated by Mermaids and my granddaughter’s favorite princess is Ariel.

 

 

circus elephants,

 

The elephants have been a part of the show for 145 years.  Sadly, they will no longer be a part of the show after May 2016.  Fortunately, the elephants will retire to a conservation center in Florida.  The company hasn’t said how it will rebrand their shows once the stars, the elephants, retire.

 

Xtreme circus,

 

The tightrope walkers and bikers were amazing.   I loved the camels.  It was an amazing 3 hours.  Most importantly, it was nice to converse with my 8 year old grandson about the acts.  We ended the evening with the kids having their faces painted. Count it, $14.00 each.  Additionally, another $30.00 to park in the Verizon Center garage.  But the evening was so worth it.  Finally, I’m happy that I would create an evening that the children will always remember.

 

face painting

Inspirational Quote – Dolly Parton

Image-Dolly-Parton-Quote

Easy Kitchen and Bath Upgrades

home improvements, kitchen updates, bathroom updates,

 

Have you been dreaming of updating your kitchen and or bathroom?  You can find everything you need at Plumb Tile.  It’s an online store that sells various Brands and has a large selection of everything imaginable for bathroom and kitchen upgrades. This site sells products from Moen to Watermark in the latest styles and finishes.  You will certainly find products to fit every need and budget. 

I upgraded two bathrooms and my kitchen.  I spent months running here, there and everywhere checking out items and prices.  Save yourself a few trips and head to this site.

Small touches can made a big impact. Here’s a few ideas to consider for your upgrades:

  • Faucets, towel racks, and your toilet paper holder
  • Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Shower head 
  • Flooring
  • Counter and shower tile
  • Sinks
  • Shelving

A fresh coat of paint, changing the faucets and sink, towel racks, lighting, mirror and the shower head can change the look of your bath. If the budget allows add tile and a new tub. Plumb Tile has awesome bathroom selections from faucets and accessories to bidets and other luxury items.  The large Sunflower Rainfall Showerhead with 108 Spray Nozzles below should be at the top of your list to check out.  It’s the perfect eye opener.  My upgraded master bath became one of my favorite rooms in the house.  At the top of my upgrade favorites is the rainfall shower head. What a way to refresh each morning. 

 

home improvement, bathroom upgrade ideas, home improvements, bathroom shower heads

I also upgraded my kitchen.  Again, small touches can make a big impact. Along with a fresh coat of paint I upgraded:

  • Lighting
  • Sink
  • Faucet
  • Switch covers
  • Appliances
  • Tile for my floor and counter

Plumb Tile has a nice selection of kitchen sinks.  I found my dream sink while browsing the site. This farm house sink is on my wish list. 

 

 

farmhouse sink, home improvement, kitchen upgrades

 

I love this sink.  It’s unique, most farmhouse sinks don’t have two compartments.  It reminds me of my grandparents farmette when I was growing up.  I’m also loving the faucet and sprayer. 

Last but not least, Plumb Tile offers free shipping and a Price Matching policy. If you see a competitor with a lower price, they will try to meet or beat the price. This site is worthy of a visit, head over and check it out.

 

 

 

Tips On Buying the Best Coffee Maker

tips on buying a coffee maker

 

 

If you are a big fan of coffee, it is certain that your morning starts with a cup of coffee. Many of us understand the meaning of quality coffee. Even if we grab a cup of coffee from the nearest café. But, what if you want to buy a coffee maker for your home.  There are some facts that you should consider before buying a coffee maker. Keep one thing in mind, though, everyone looks for different traits in a coffee machine.  Different features attract people differently. That’s why I am going to explain some “must know” facts so that you can buy a desired as well as a great coffee maker.

The Cost of the Machine

If you are a coffee fanatic and you have money to spend, then there is no doubt that you can have any kind of coffee maker. In some cases, the expensive coffee machine is a good choice.  If you do not have much money to spend on a coffee maker, then go for a reasonably priced machine. Some brands are very popular and have different models. You can research information about those brands on the internet.  Select the model that fulfils your budget. If you want to learn more about the cost factor, then check out www.CoffeeMakersList.com It is a great resource for finding great models.

The Popularity of the Machine

Before buying a coffee maker, check out the different types of makers that are available. Go for the best coffee maker brand for that particular type of coffee maker. Also, explore the different models for that brand.  Be sure to thoroughly research the model you have selected. Selecting a coffee maker should include cost, design, and the material.  Furthermore, do not forget to read reviews on different websites and forums about the model you are interested in. Asking reviewers/users questions about a particular coffee maker can help a lot.

Easy to Use

Some people believe that the more buttons and controls a machine has, the more superb the machine is.  But that is not the true. Unfortunately, controls can be confusing. If you are good mechanically, then you will be happy to have a coffee maker with great control options. Otherwise, do not purchase a coffee machine which is full of different buttons. The best coffee maker is one that makes you happy and is easy to use. 

 

 

 

 

 

A Working Mom’s Guide On How To Be Happier

moms guide to happiness, relaxation, self-esteem, building confidence 

As mothers, we often work hard to make sure everyone around us is happy. We want our kids to be happy, as well as our spouses and our employers.  But, how often do you do things that make you happy? Your happiness and well-being affect the rest of your family.

All mothers need to make sure they take time for themselves. Working mothers need to make an extra effort since they are pulled in multiple directions every day. Whether you work because you really love your job or because you feel like you need to for financial reasons, you should still do the things that make you happy. Here are a few tips on how to be happier:

  1. Schedule Everything

Invest in a daily planner that you love, or just really utilize that smartphone, because planning out your week will really help you be happier in your day-to-day life. Don’t just use your schedule as a way of staying on task, but write down things you want to accomplish each day, like spending time with your kids. It may seem weird to check things like that off your to-do list, but you won’t view it as a chore.

  1. Get in Sync With Your Spouse

Compare schedules with your spouse and make sure you are both taking the time you need for yourselves. Trade off kid-watching duties so you can go grab some caffeine at Starbucks by yourself and he can hang out with his friends. You both need time to do things that are important to you. In the end, you will both be happier.

  1. Make the Most of Your Commute

We are happiest when we are productive, both at work and at home. Don’t waste your commute to work, especially if it’s long. Use it as time to listen to podcasts, audiobooks or even learn a new language. You may find a new hobby that you love and make the most of time that is precious.

You can also use your commute as a way to cool down after a long day at work by going through pros and cons of the day. Also, try getting into the mindset of going home after work. When you get home after working all day, you should be present with your kids. So instead of thinking about all the things you need to get done at your job, think about how you can spend quality time at home with them.

  1. Learn How to Say No

No could become the most important word in your vocabulary. If you feel like you didn’t spend enough time with your spouse and kids this week, feel obligated to drive them to birthday parties or play dates. Don’t feel guilty if you have to tell other no, even if they don’t like it. Your family is what is most important.

  1. Make Time to Exercise

We all know that exercise can boost your mood and make you feel better about yourself. Carve out at least 10 to 15 minutes each day to get some exercise. Take a walk, pop in a workout DVD or just do some pushups and sit ups each night. You will feel happier and your body will thank you for it.

  1. Plan Intentional Time With Your Spouse

If you want to be happier, make sure your spouse is happy, too. Weekly or biweekly date nights are a must for a married couple. Be intentional with your time together. Turn off your cellphones and don’t talk about your kids’ schedules. Have fun!

  1. Don’t Compare Yourself With Other Moms

Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to other moms because it will just drag you down. It isn’t fair to you and it isn’t fair to those moms, either. You may think they have it better because they get to stay home with their kids, but you don’t know the whole story. Instead, know that you are setting a great example of a hardworking parent for your kids. Know that you are helping to provide for them and don’t take the time you get with them for granted.

Your happiness depends on you making time for yourself and for your family.  Learn how to be happier, and you will live a more productive life.  You may also like 6 Tips to Build Your Self-Esteem.

 

Image-JenPic
Jennifer  Landis is a hard-working, distance-running, yoga loving mama, health journalist, and blogger. Find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote – Matthew McConaughey

inspirational quotes, fatherhood quotes, Matthew McConaughey

Black History – African American Red Sox Baseball Team

Black History Month, Black History, black baseball teams

 

We’re celebrating Black History at Mother 2 Mother this month.  I decided to celebrate my home town’s Black History this year.  I selected the African American Red Sox baseball team that played in my neighborhood when I was growing up.  My father, 6th from the left on the top row, along with many of our neighbors were a part of the Red Sox baseball team. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t see my father play.  I was a baby, but I remember his stories.  The Red Sox was a black baseball team that operated from the 1930’s until the late 1960’s.  My father played second base during the forties and fifties for the team.  This picture was taken in 1946, a year before Jackie Robinson integrated American baseball.  I remember my dad talking about members of the team who were now our neighbors or who visited him during summer visits to our small town, Shepherdstown, WV.  I didn’t encounter a lot of discrimination when I was growing up, but it was prevalent during my father’s generation.  I was oblivious to the hard times he faced. He only spoke of the good ole days. 

Hall of Famer Maury Wills, who played for the Dodgers, played against my dad and his teammates before heading to the pros.  Maury Wills was from the Washington, DC area.  He would visit my dad and other Red Sox players when he was in the area. 

I remember going to see the Red Sox play in my neighborhood on Sunday afternoons in the 1960’s, yes they were still going strong.  Members from the 1946’s team were the coaches. One of my brothers was the bat boy and our cousin kept score.  One of the coaches lived several houses up from us and drove the local garbage truck.  He was a happy man, he always whistled when he walked through the neighborhood. You didn’t have to peep out a window or door to see who was whistling that happy tune, everyone would say there’s “Charlie Butts.”

Everyone looked forward to the game on Sundays.  The neighborhood had a ritual, Sunday School and/or church, a change of clothes, something to eat, and off to the game.  This went on for years during my childhood.  After the game, you headed home to a dinner of fried chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, greens of some sort, homemade rolls or biscuits, Kool-Aid for the kids and iced tea for the grown ups.  You could count on it.  If the ladies/moms finished dinner early they would join the crowd on the ball field.

During this time, I still wasn’t aware of segregation.  The neighborhood butcher, who was Caucasian was a member of the team as well as 2 other players from a neighboring town.  As children we weren’t limited on who we could play with or where we could go in the neighborhood, and my parents never discussed their struggles.  On Sundays we cheered on the team win or loose. The Red Sox were heroes in the neighborhood.  I remember when they stopped playing in the early 70’s.   I never knew why, I just knew they stopped playing ball on Sundays.  Now when I look back on it, they formed teams that were integrated.  I believe that ended the Negro Baseball League in our area. 

This picture of dad and his team members and friends was given to us after my father’s death in 1998.  My heart broke into a hundred pieces that day.  The Bishop who did his eulogy told my family not to be discouraged. My dad was a great man and a leader in the community. He told me that one day my heart would heal.  He also told me that my dad had helped groom him as a man and a baseball player. He gave the family a copy of this photo.  My father was a humble man, we had no idea this picture existed.  Many years later the same Bishop and my cousin named after my father gave an interview about the Red Sox baseball team to a history class at our local University.  They donated their uniforms and gloves to a museum that is now telling the story of this African American team. 

 

black history, black baseball teams, negro league

 

For years I couldn’t think about my father without my heart aching.  It was just too much for me to bear. I am so thankful that my heart has mended and I can share a bit of my father with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote – Inspire Others

inspirational quotes, quotes, motivational quotes

How To Clean Brass

how to clean brass, brass lamps, brass laterns

I found these brass lamps at one of my flea market/junk excursions.  I loved the shape and they had the original globes, which I thought was pretty cool. The price was $4.00 for both.  I scooped them up without any thought as to how I would use them. Finding junk and repurposing it is one of my great loves.  My initial thought was to spray paint them white, but the more I looked at them the more I wanted to keep them as original as possible. 

They needed a good cleaning.  I didn’t have any brass cleaner on hand so I resorted to an old remedy, ketchup.  Yes I said ketchup.  I gathered the following items:

1.  newspaper
2.  old tooth brush
3.  Ketchup
4.  soft cloth

how to cleaner brass, brass clean

I brushed a light covering of ketchup over the lamps and allowed them to sit for an hour while I did some other cleaning.  After an hour, I brushed the lamps with the toothbrush to loosen any dirt and than washed them off with warm soapy water.  I allowed them to dry and than polished them with a soft cloth. 

brass cleaner, how to clean brass, ketchup
I was pleased with the end result.  Now I need to figure out how I’m going to use them.  Stay tuned for that project. Have you used ketchup to clean brass  or brass plated items your home?   

Happy New Year 2016

New Year, Happy New Year, New Year's Day

Happy New Year.  Can you believe we have entered another year.  Personally, I welcome 2016. It’s not that 2015 was a bad year, but I’m expecting 2016 to be awesome both personally and on the blog.

I will be adding more posts on family, crafts, kitchen gardening and traveling. I will also be adding an exclusive 2016 fillable calendar for new email blog subscribers.

I’ll be striving to get healthier in the New Year and planning several vacation trips. If everything goes as planned, I will be spending the 2016 Christmas holidays at Disney with the grandchildren.  Stay tuned, I’ll be doing lots of planning and researching for deals and thrills. 

I plan to be more active in my kitchen garden.  I’ll be making jams, sauce, pickling peppers, drying peppers and herbs, and preparing fresh corn, green beans, and zucchini for the freezer.  There will also be sessions on canning fruit for pies and cobblers.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.  May it be filled with love, laughter and blessings.