Questlove Headlines VinoFest DC This Saturday, May 9th




Did you know that Washington DC residents drink more wine than any other city in the United States? That’s according to VinoFest.  Now thanks to Vinolovers, the District has a chance to show its stripes at the second annual VinoFest DC on May 9th at Storey Park.

Here’s the rundown

  • WINE: Sip and share. The general admission ticket grants you the chance to taste a variety of wines, including local vintages made in neighboring Virginia, classic wines from regions like France and California, and few lesser known places, like Romania.
  • MUSIC: Get your dance on. VinoFest DC will be a full day of live music, headlined by QuestLove—the official Vinofest DJ. Other artists: White Ford Bronco, Black Masala, Trouble Funk, Alison Carney, DJ Adrian Loving, DJ Neekola, and DJ Hazzard.
  • FOOD: Get ready for fab. Local chefs will be showing off their small bites, and it wouldn’t be a DC event without a few choice food trucks! Graze among the likes of Dirty South Deli, Swizzler, Red Hook Lobster Pound DC, Slate Wine Bar + Bistro, Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen, Snocream Company, Gouter, Puddin’, Timber Pizza, MilkCult and Chaia Farm to Taco. Can’t handle wine all day? No worries–you can also pair your dishes with a hand-crafted cocktail.
  • CHARITY: Drink up, feel good. Proceeds from VinoFest DC benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation Mid-Atlantic, DC Central Kitchen, and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. So cheers to you, do-gooder!
  • GET SOCIAL: Follow the fun with the hashtag #VinoFestDC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see photos, videos and updates of the event.

#FOMO yet? Get your tickets now–general admission, VIP tickets (think two more hours to party, more wine, more food), and specially-priced options for designated drivers are still available.

{This is a sponsored post in collaboration with VinofestDC.  I’m a huge fan of this event and will be in attendance! Please join us!}


3 Cute and Affordable Mother’s Day Ideas For Photo-Loving Moms

This one is for all the tech-savvy mothers and daughters out there. If we’re being honest, we all have more photos on our smartphones than we know what to do with. Here are some ways to get creative using fun technology available to you to show off your skills this Mother’s Day.



Get Creative With Mother’s Day Selfies: YouCam Makeup and YouCam Perfect

Make sure mom has these two must-have free apps on her phone this Mother’s Day. Both offer endless ways to get creative with the selfies you know she’ll be taking! Whether it’s having fun making you and mom up with the virtual cosmetic kit in YouCam Makeup or using the Mother’s Day inspired custom collages in YouCam Perfect, these apps will keep any trendy Mom smiling. You can even win gifts for mom!


Turn Photos into Tech Gifts: Casetify

Once you’ve had fun with your favorite photo apps, take your selfies a step further with Casetify. This service turns digital photos into a custom smartphone case for any device, for less than $40! Now mom doesn’t even need to open her phone to show off her favorite photos. Click here for more on Casetify.


Quick and Easy Printables: Etsy

For those of us who aren’t the craftiest there are tons of printable options worth looking into. Etsy is one of the best places to find everything from printable quotes to photo props to DIY-coupons. All you need is a printer! Click here for more on printables.

How do you plan on getting creative with your photos this Mother’s Day?

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with YouCam Make-up and YouCam Perfect. All content provided by a third party author.}

Preparing Your Car For a Summer Road Trip


Summertime is an exciting time of year for road trips. The lure of an open road and the endless possibilities often inspire people to load up the car and drive. Whether you’re traveling to the beach, to the country, to the mountains, to a carefully planned destination or a spur of the moment excursion, it’s important to travel proof your car to make your trip a safe and enjoyable one. Click HERE for more tips on preparing your car for a summer road trip.

Conquer Your Backyard with DC Mosquito Squad



Mosquito season is around the corner. As we’re beginning to enjoy the warmer weather, planning our nightly dinners outside on our patios, we need to get a jumpstart on controlling those pesky mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes are more than an itchy nuisance, especially for our children. Though uncommon, serious diseases such as West Nile, Encephalitis and dengue fever can be spread by mosquito bites and even cause heartworms in pets. The itchy bites can be scratched open by children, leading to scabbing, scarring, and the skin infection impetigo. Prevention is the best strategy. And ticks are just as serious a threat as they easily travel across outdoor landscapes and latch onto pets that enter our homes and then land on a human host, spreading Lyme disease, Erlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other tick-borne illnesses.

As a community, we can all attempt to keep our  local mosquito population under control by making it more difficult for the insects to breed. Mosquito control expert Damien Sanchez of D.C. Mosquito Squad offers a variety of services to keep mosquitoes out of clients’ properties. He shares that those on a tight budget can take a number of inexpensive, preventative measures that can drastically reduce the mosquito population in their yards. It all begins with targeting the breeding areas, finding ways to be less attractive to mosquitoes, and using effective repellants.

  • Empty any containers of standing water, including tires, empty flowerpots, or birdbaths.
  • Avoid allowing gutters or drainage pipes to hold water. Mosquitoes are “home-bodies”—they don’t typically wander far from their place of birth. So reducing the mosquito population in your own yard can really help.
  • Keep landscaping neat by limiting foliage, yard clippings, and leaf piles, where mosquitoes and other bugs like to harbor or feed. Keep landscaping trimmed and limit ivy and junipers to decrease places where the mosquitoes can seek shelter.
  • Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants. Mosquitoes are naturally repelled by a variety of plants. Fill your garden with plants such as marigolds, rosemary, catnip. citronella, peppermint, and garlic. If you don’t have the room for a garden in your yard, try some potted plants.
  • Don’t Wear Perfume. Fragrances such as cologne and perfume can make you more appealing to mosquitoes. Avoid wearing scented fragrances when spending time outdoors for any lengthy amount of time.
  • Choose an Effective Repellant According to the CDC, the most effective repellents on the market today contain DEET. If you’re shopping for a repellent, look at the label to see if DEET is an active ingredient. An alternative is Avon Skin So Soft with picaridin, a synthetic version of piperine, the active component of black pepper. (Unlike DEET, it won’t dissolve plastics.)

Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington D.C. will get rid of mosquitoes and ticks on residential and commercial properties. When applied on regular basis, mosquito spray will reduce and control the mosquito and tick populations. Regular treatment programs for mosquito abatement are available to suit most budgets. Mosquito Squad professionals can apply Barrier Sprays, Event Sprays and Tick Tube Treatments. Abandoned Pool Treatments are also a necessary “mosquito barrier” for many homeowners. Controlling mosquitoes and ticks helps protect you, your family, and your pets from the nuisances and illnesses carried by these pesky insects.

For more information on DC Mosquito Squad, visit

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with DC Mosquito Squad. However, all opinions are my own.}

Knowing Who’s Injecting Your BOTOX

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BOTOX® Cosmetic is the go-to wrinkle treatment for millions of Americans. It’s been the top cosmetic procedure for 6 years running and there’s no close second. There are alternatives, Dysport® and XEOMIN®, but BOTOX commands the vast majority of the market.

The reasons for the popularity of BOTOX are pretty simple. In a culture that values youth, getting a few injections and then returning to work or meeting someone for lunch is easy and effective. It’s not exactly cheap, but the $300 to $500 most people pay for a treatment is worth trimming a few years off their appearance — and it’s a fraction of the cost of cosmetic surgery.

The relative ease of getting BOTOX treatments, however, has led to individuals assuming that just about anyone can perform the injections. In fact, BOTOX parties, although less common now than a few years ago, are still around. Friends gather at someone’s home, drink some wine, and have a guest injector provide BOTOX to the attendees. Sometimes the treatments are discounted.

Reducing a medical procedure to the equivalent of a social gathering, doctors says, devalues the risks inherent with any medical treatment. BOTOX injections are relatively safe when given by an experienced doctor, but complications do occur. Pain and bruising are the most common, but in the rare instance that something goes wrong, patients need a doctor in a medical office to treat them.

Besides the physical risks, patients may unwittingly be getting ripped off by injectors who either dilute the drug or use something that’s not BOTOX at all. Fake BOTOX (and other drugs) is a real threat, prompting the FDA to issue a warning to physicians last fall to beware of “rogue wholesale drug distributors.”

BOTOX and other neurotoxins are injected with precision into tiny muscles that are responsible for causing wrinkles around the eyes and forehead when we make facial expressions. The prescription drug blocks transmission of nerve signals to the muscles.

The Physicians’ Coalition for Injectable Safety (PCIS) states that at a minimum BOTOX should be injected by a registered nurse or physician assistant under the supervision of a qualified doctor who has prescribed the injection for you. Additionally, the organization states the patient should always have the option of requesting a doctor to perform their injection.

But too often, says one plastic surgeon, doctors don’t even see patients who come in for cosmetic injections.

Dr. Houtan Chaboki, a specialist with BOTOX injections and facelift surgery in Washington, D.C., told The New York Times that the growing trend of injections and other non-surgical cosmetic treatments being performed by physician assistants is concerning.

“They might be under physician supervision, but the physician may not even be in the room,” the surgeon told the newspaper in a story published last August. “They may just be reviewing the chart afterward.”

The concern that practitioners without enough training or experience are performing cosmetic injections prompted the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) to recommend that only physicians administer injectable soft tissue fillers (such as JUVÉDERM® and Restylane®) and neurotoxins, including BOTOX.

Exactly who can perform injections is regulated state to state, but all states require a healthcare professional to administer BOTOX. In England, where rules regulating who can administer cosmetic injections are more lax than in the U.S., the Royal College of Surgeons has pushed for allowing only trained doctors, nurses, and dentists to give BOTOX injections.

The bottom line for patients is to ensure that the person performing the injections is a qualified doctor or licensed RN or physician assistant. That’s especially important for anyone getting the treatments at a salon or day spa, which may not have a doctor directly supervising the staff on a daily basis.

Dr. Chaboki’s Offices are located at: 2021 K Street NW #206, Washington DC 20006 and at Sibley, 5215 Loughboro Road NW #210, Washington DC 20016. For more information, click here or visit 

{Disclosure: Compensation was provided in exchange for this sponsored post.}

Local Business Spotlight: Dr. Houtan Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki - business spotlight questionnaire

There are dozens and dozens of plastic surgeons in our metro area, but few are as qualified as Dr. Houtan Chaboki. At his facial plastic surgery practice with 2 Washington, D.C. offices, he specializes in treatments just for the face. He offers common surgical procedures such as facelift and popular non-invasive treatments including BOTOX® Cosmetic injections. Check out this interview.

Clarendon Moms: Hi, Dr. Chaboki! Here a few questions to help my readers get better acquainted with you. How long have you been a plastic surgeon?

Dr. Chaboki: I finished my facial plastic surgery fellowship training in 2006 in New York City at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and then moved to start my practice in downtown Washington, D.C.

Clarendon Moms: What age were you when you decided to become a plastic surgeon? A little boy, teenager, med student?

Dr. Chaboki: Like many physicians, I’ve always been interested in science and math, which led me to medical school in the first place. Ultimately, it was my facial plastic surgery mentors during medical school and residency who inspired me to become a facial plastic surgeon.

Clarendon Moms: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

Dr. Chaboki: Plastic surgery is a great area of medicine to practice. You can really help everyone. You can use your skills to help with such a variety of issues, whether it be post-cancer surgery, reconstructive work, or cosmetic treatments. Additionally, I find the practice of plastic surgery to be so interesting, as it truly blends the art and science of medicine together.

Clarendon Moms: What type of activities do you do for fun to relax and enjoy yourself?

Dr. Chaboki: I spend time with the family. I like to cook simple, healthy foods that my children will actually eat. Impromptu dance parties with the family are always fun. And streaming TV shows and movies with my wife, once the kids are asleep, is always relaxing. We avoid reality television and focus on sitcoms, late-night talk shows, and drama. We miss the challenges of Walter White and look forward to the adventures in Westoros!

Clarendon Moms: Tell us about your family.

Dr. Chaboki: I’m married to a smart, hard-working, and compassionate woman and have 2 beautiful and mischievous daughters. My wife was a banker in New York and now works in finance policy in D.C.

Clarendon Moms: Before someone considers plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons, what are some recommendations you might make?

Dr. Chaboki: How you look is a reflection of your overall health, so all patients, regardless of age or skin type, should do the following: avoid smoking, drink plenty of fluids, use sun protection daily, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. My plastic surgery patients who have the best cosmetic results do all of the above.

Clarendon Moms: Are there questions someone should ask themselves before scheduling a consultation?

Dr. Chaboki: With the large choice of options for aesthetic improvements, it’s daunting to determine what may be “best.” Doing a little bit of homework prior to the initial consultation definitely helps patients. For example:

  • What specific areas are you considering for cosmetic treatment?
  • What about the area concerns you (too big, too small, asymmetric, etc.)?
  • How long have you been considering cosmetic treatment?
  • How long do you have for recovery: a few hours, days, or longer?
  • Lastly, developing a potential financial plan will help alleviate concerns for any given budget.

Clarendon Moms: What is a typical consultation like? Is it like all the plastic surgery shows we see on TV, where the doctor takes a marker and makes suggestions on what can be improved?

Dr. Chaboki: Consultations for office treatments such as BOTOX or facial fillers (such as Restylane® or JUVÉDERM®) are typically quicker than surgical consultations. Patients will often know within the first office visit if they would like to proceed with such a treatment.

Patients who are considering surgery will often require more than one office visit before they make the appropriate decision for themselves. As with any big decision, providing adequate time to consider surgery is important for patients to make an informed decision. Following the initial cosmetic surgery consultation, I may perform a computer simulation to help the patient visualize potential outcomes for his or her procedure, such as facelift or rhinoplasty.

Skin markings are performed immediately before cosmetic surgery. I don’t need or use markings before BOTOX or fillers. Patients after non-surgical office treatments often can return to work the same day, if they desire.

Clarendon Moms: What would you like to share with readers who are considering a procedure? Any tips?

Dr. Chaboki: Sure, I have a few tips:

  • Tip: Have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery shows on television glamorize the field of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery has inherent risks, which should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.
  • Tip: Try arnica montana tablets before and after any cosmetic treatment to help minimize bruising.
  • Tip: Topical petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline or Aquaphor) is good to limit scarring after cuts and scrapes. It must be used continuously until skin has adequately healed. I encourage all cosmetic surgery patients to use topical ointment for at least several weeks after plastic surgery. In fact, I chase my children around with Vaseline whenever they come home with scrapes from school!

Clarendon Moms: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Dr. Chaboki: When choosing a plastic surgeon, other factors to consider are before-and-after photographs and online patient reviews. Patients share their plastic surgery experiences on a variety websites to help other patients in planning their own treatments.

Lastly, while cosmetic surgery is common, it is a personal choice that each individual makes. Please don’t feel pressured by friends or family members to change yourself.

Dr. Chaboki’s Offices are located at: 2021 K Street NW #206, Washington DC 20006 and at Sibley, 5215 Loughboro Road NW #210, Washington DC 20016. For more information, click here or visit

{Disclosure: Compensation was provided in exchange for this sponsored post.}

Yogaso Boutique at Pike & Rose


Ella “flying” like the butterfly outside of YOGASO.


Ella & Logan. YOGASO Boutique.


Alem Beshir & her beautiful family. The inspiration for YOGASO.

Alem Beshir & her beautiful family. The inspiration for YOGASO.

I met Alem Beshir at the opening party of one of DC’s hottest restaurants last year. Her electrifying, positive energy was instantly contagious. We bonded over being mothers, our multi-ethnic backgrounds and our passion for fashion. Alem reached out to me a couple months ago to let me know that her brand new boutique YOGASO had recently opened at the new North Bethesda town center ,Pike & Rose. I recently visited the boutique with my children, Ella and Logan during one of the final snowy days we’ve had this spring.

YOGASO was founded by Alem Beshir. Her vision for YOGASO was inspired by her multicultural background and her three children. Alem designed her boutique from top to bottom without consulting an architect or interior designer. She considered every detail of the boutique herself. The 1700 square foot boutique is bright and beautiful. From the moment you walk in, the wide open space feels welcoming. The boutique is a real showcase for the beautifully curated clothing designed for children ranging from infants to 12 year olds. Architecturally, the boutique is very impressive and showcases the clothes, accessories, books and toys in a way that allows the merchandise to awake your visual senses.

The clothing is imported mostly from Europe, but  the collection also consists of American, Japanese and South American designers. Prices are very affordable at a price point of  $35 to $50 for clothing items, much less expensive than jetting over to another country and buying the clothing there–which is something Alem did regularly while visiting her family abroad and attending expos and trade shows. Alem said she’s attracted to European kids’ clothing because it tends to be higher quality than mass-produced items sold in larger American department stores and I completely agree. Her collection is eco-friendly and sustainable, the style is very classic, very personal to Alem’s distinctive tastes. Definitely a world class boutique.

One of the lines of clothing sold at the boutique is Aleme, inspired by her children, the word “Aleme” means “My world” in Amharic, a primary language of Ethiopia. Her children are her world! “Aleme” is not only a clothing brand; it’s also the reflection of love, culture, and Style. The YOGASO name is derived from the first two letter of each of her 3 children’s names: Yohannes, Gabriella, and Sofia.

Ella, Logan and I really love this boutique because it doesn’t feel like a standard retail store,  it feels like an exhibition, an innovative take on a boutique. The entire space is open, very minimalistic and has that “wow” factor. When we visited YOGASO to see Alem and have a look at the boutique we had no idea what to expect and were absolutely blown away with the boutique. I think you will be too.

YOGASO offers kid’s birthday parties, kid’s yoga classes and fashion events.

YOGASO is located at: 11803 Grand Park Ave, North Bethesda MD at Pike and Rose . For more information, visit 

Best Birthday Party Ever: All You Ever Wanted Parties



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When I was growing up in Ohio, all birthday parties consisted of was a homemade birthday cake and ice cream, party hats and a few streamers. The parties back then were always about the kids. Fast forward to today and we have so many options available, the options can become overwhelming, stressful and expensive.

All You Ever Wanted Parties offers stress free, affordable birthday parties that take the focus off the parents and place it on the person who really matters—the birthday boy or girl.

From set up to managing the event to cleaning up, All You Ever Wanted Parties makes it possible for parents to enjoy their child’s birthday.

“As the parents of a five-year-old, we are deeply experienced in the stressful event that a kid’s birthday party can be. We’ve watched other parents frantically trying to make sure that everyone has a good time, while also trying to focus on their child – the star of the show.

With All You Ever Wanted, the stress is gone. The parents of the birthday girl or boy and all of the other parents in attendance can enjoy themselves while the expert team from All You Ever Wanted makes the party perfect. They turned our backyard into a wonderland captivating the kids from the moment they arrived. All You Ever Wanted stage-managed the experience from beginning to end.

We watched. We Played. We enjoyed. Best birthday party ever both for us, our guests and, most importantly, our guest of honor. I highly recommend them.” –Joe (Kai’s Father)

All You Ever Wanted Parties offers a large variety of options to create the perfect party at your home or a private venue! For more information, visit

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from All You Ever Wanted Parties. A sponsored party for my son Logan’s pal Kai was gifted in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.}

Hoppity Easter Weekend at Fair Oaks Mall







Hop into Bunnyville at Fair Oaks Mall

Next weekend, March 28 & 29 from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Bunnyville will be having an “eggciting” Family Event! Take the entire family to Bunnyville, a charming, three-dimensional Bunny town featuring the Kid Junction Home of the Ultimate Party Experience, Hare Salon, and 24 Carrot Bank. The last stop in Bunnyville is a professional photo with the Easter Bunny in front of his Bunny House. Customers will receive a $10 or $20 card from Shutterfly with the purchase of select photo packages ($22-44), and all children receive a small gift from the Bunny just for visiting!
Locally presented by Kid Junction. enjoy FREE face painting, balloon creations, spring crafts, and more in Fair Oaks Mall’s Grand Court West. For more information about this event and Fair Oaks Mall, click here.