Back To School Shopping at Hanna Andersson


Ask my kids what their favorite place is for back to school shopping and prepare yourself for the look of excitement to fill their sweet little faces as an elevated shrill in their voices bolts out: “Hanna Andersson“. It makes me even happier to hear them exclaim the words Hanna Andersson because we finally have a store just a short driving distance away from Clarendon, in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax Virginia. On this very happy back to school shopping day, we had the pleasure of meeting an amazing sales associate extraordinaire named Morgan that really listened to what the kids preferences were and helped me pick out an amazing assortment of back to school items including backpacks, pajamas, undies and socks for Ella and Logan plus a few items in between. I felt like I had my own personal shopper. She made our trip even more fun and enjoyable!

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The kids couldn’t wait to wear their pajamas and socks. Hanna Andersson really makes the softest, most comfortable pajamas my kids have ever known. Not only are their clothes soft, stylish and comfortable, they last forever! Be my guest and see for yourself everything there is to love about Hanna Andersson and you too will be loving your Hanna’s just as much as my family and I do! Here’s a coupon worth 15% OFF your entire purchase! Print it off and redeem from now until October 18th. To locate a Hanna Andersson nearest you, click HERE and for up to the minute style tips, be sure to follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!



{Disclosure: Special Thanks to Hanna Andersson for partnering on this post! And a Happy Hannas shout out to our Sales Associate Morgan for your wonderful style selections and your amazing assistance!}



CookNook Homemade Meal Delivery Service Available in DC & Arlington

Special Promotional Offer for ClarendonMoms Readers: Enter the code “clarendonmoms” for a complimentary meal (during your first order only) available until September 18th. 

CookNook connects busy families and professionals who don’t have time cook a healthy homecooked meal to amazing, certified, local home cooks delivering healthy, homecooked meals directly to customers’ doorsteps.

Restaurant and takeout food is made in bulk and is often filled with excess preservatives, salt, and oil that we don’t need. Getting groceries delivered to your door is nice, however, many of us still don’t have the time or the ability to make healthy food at home during the week like our parents did when we were growing up. ​CookNook solves this problem ​by finding the best home cooks in the area who are making great meals for their families already, and delivering their healthy home cooked meals right to your door.

Delivery is currently available in DC and Arlington with more areas coming soon. Customers can order individual meals or get a subscription plan (dinner delivery once a week). Customers receive a text when your meal is on it’s way allowing communication between you and the deliverer. If in the off chance that you’ve ordered a meal, but your plans have changed and they cannot deliver your meal after texting, calling, and emailing you, they will donate your meal to a homeless individual and send you a picture so you know your meal didn’t go to waste.

CookNook was launched in February 2015 by two seasoned entrepreneurs, Neil A. Shah and Faheem Noor Ali, who was tired of getting take out food every weeknight and could smell their neighbor’s authentic food taunting them every night. With CookNook, the neighbor gets paid for making food she’s already making, and Neil and Faheem get great food every night.

How CookNook Works

Meals are posted for the next week at the end of each week, and customers can order anytime, including the day of for on­demand delivery. Customers on the subscription plan receive an email the day before their delivery informing them of which meals are coming, and they have the option to skip weeks or switch meals at no additional cost. All meals are $10 and come with an insert that contains a description of the meal, a brief cook bio, reheating instructions, and potential pairings for the meal.

The Food




All food is prepared in small batches by the home cooks. Every meal is aimed to be slightly more than enough for one average adult. The home cooks all have different styles ­ meals are from a variety of different cuisines, including American, Korean, and Indian, and there are organic, vegetarian, and gluten­free options. Each meal is balanced with protein, grains, and vegetables.

Ingredients and major allergens are listed for every meal on the website and with every meal.

The Cooks

The ​cooks are talented individuals that have completed the rigorous CookNook Certification process and adhere to the CookNook standards, which meet or exceed government food regulations. All CookNook meals are rated and approved by CookNook staff before they are available on the platform for customers. Cooks come from all walks of life like stay at parents, professionally trained chefs, and working professionals with flexible work schedules. Each of their meals is as unique and reflects their personality because it is what they cook for themselves and their family as well.

CookNook compensated cooks per meal cooked and offers bonuses for cooks who get great reviews from customers. CookNook aims to keep the highest level of meal quality. So if a meal receives more than 2 complaints, it will no longer be served and our cook will be given appropriate feedback.

The Review

My family and I were very excited to receive our first home cooked batch of meals from CookNook. We received four different entrees including: Katherine’s Organic Shrimp Stirfry, Sara’s Chicken Curry (which was my absolute favorite because of all the authentic spices and the meal was cooked to perfection), Kristen’s Stuffed Peppers and Giovanni’s Coconut Chicken Curry. There are a lot of healthy meal delivery services available in the DC and Northern Virginia area. However, what sets CookNook apart from the rest is the fact that they do all of the cooking, so that you can heat, eat and get on with the rest of your evening–leaving you time to do the things you enjoy doing the most like spending time with your family.

For more information and to place your first order, visit and remember to use the code: clarendonmoms to receive one complimentary meal on your first order. Also, be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

{This is a sponsored post courtesy of CookNook. The review is 100% my own opinion.}

Weekend Pick: Peter Pan 360 in Tyson’s Corner


For parents and kids and grown-ups who are just kids at heart, Peter Pan 360 is a timeless classic that is as visually thrilling as it is theatrically enchanting. The entire cast consisted of a few of the most extraordinary actors I’ve seen on stage. Their performances were awe inspiring and engaging. Ella and Logan were completely mesmerized!

There’s still time to catch Peter Pan 360 before it flies to the next city. The show is in town until Sunday, August 23rd, extending it’s run for one more glorious week! For tickets and more information, visit: 

{Disclosure: Promotional consideration was provided in exchange for this post.}

Fruttare Frozen Fruit and Milk Bars Make A Great Summer Treat



Icy cold treats are my kids favorite snack in warm weather months. But, it’s a challenge to find frozen treats that aren’t packed with a ton of sugar and artificial ingredients. Fruttare® frozen fruit and milk bars are made with real, delicious fruit that comes from places we know and trust — sustainable farms that do everything they can to love, respect and protect our planet. Their goal is to sustainably farm every piece of fruit that goes into a Fruttare fruit bar.

Fruttare Fruit & Juice Bars come in 9 different flavors, and are either combined with fruit juice or milk: Strawberry & Milk, Banana & Milk, Coconut & Milk, Mixed Fruit & Milk, Black Cherry, Strawberry, Pineapple, Lime and Mango. They are yummy treats appropriate for the entire family.

Fruttare Fruit Bars are available at local retailers including Walmart, Ahold-Giant, Giant Food, Safeway, Shoppers Food Warehouse and Target.

{Disclosure: I was provided samples in exchange for review. All opinions are my own.}

Share A Haircut at Hair Cuttery August 1-15th


©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Logan Talan #ShareAHairuct

Hair Cuttery “Share-A-Haircut”  is an amazing program where your child’s back-to-school haircut provides a FREE haircut to a child in need.

I have been going to Hair Cuttery for over a decade. It truly is one of the most family friendly salons in America. And one of the reasons I’m such a big fan of their salons is because of a program they’ve created called “Share-A-Haircut”. I love  businesses that really give back to their communities! From August 1-15, for every child up to age 18 who purchases a haircut at one of Hair Cuttery’s almost 900 salons, one free Hair Cuttery haircut certificate will be donated to an underprivileged child in that same community. That’s right, in the same community!

The Hair Cuttery Share-a-Haircut program was created to give free haircuts to underprivileged community members, specifically kids in need as they head back-to-school. Since the program’s inception sixteen years ago, the Hair Cuttery Share-A-Haircut program has reached more than 925,000 children with haircut certificate donations, valued at $16.65 million.


“Share-A-Haircut allows us to give back in a way that is simple, but meaningful,” said Dennis Ratner, Founder and CEO of Hair Cuttery. “On the first day of school everyone deserves to look and feel their best, and our stylists love nothing more than being able to give children in their community a much deserved boost of confidence.”

Children will receive their free haircuts in each market from gift certificates that are distributed with the help of more than 100 local government and non-profit organizations that are closely tied to each community.

You can find your closet Hair Cuttery by clicking here!

Keep up with Hair Cuttery on Facebook and Twitter at @HairCuttery.

Follow the conversation: #ShareAHaircut


Hair Cuttery is the largest family owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, with nearly 900 company-owned locations on the East Coast, and in New England and the Midwest. A full-service, value-priced salon, Hair Cuttery offers a full complement of cuts and styling, coloring, waxing and texturizing services with no appointment necessary, as well as a full line of professional hair care products.

{Disclosure: I was given promotional consideration to partner on this post.}

Win a $100 Peapod Gift Card (DC/NOVA Residents Are Eligible)


In DC, Peapod offers the best of the suburban grocery store without having to go to the suburbs!

  •  A full assortment of popular grocery and store-brand products, from grocery basics to farm-fresh produce; top quality meats and seafood; prepared foods and party trays; deli meats and cheeses that are sliced to order; Kosher, organic and specialty foods; time savers like rotisserie chickens; office, school, health & beauty and pet supplies and store brands like Nature’s Promise (affordable organics and natural products)
  •  Looking for meal planning inspiration? Check out Gatheredtable. You can build your weekly meal plan and instantly add all the ingredients to your Peapod shopping cart. The service is free to customers for the first 3 months. However, if you’re a Peapod customer first, you get a full year of GatheredTable for free!

Savvy shopping shows the running total of the bill as you shop so it’s easy to determine a budget and stick to it.
The site sorts products from highest to lowest unit cost in each aisle so it makes finding the best value a breeze – you can also sort by health criteria.

  • Avoid impulse buys – since there’s no check-out line, there’s no temptation to buy that candy bar or celebrity magazine (unless you want one!).
  • Peapod doubles manufacturers’ coupons and offers a variety of budget friendly store brands like Nature’s Promise and Simply Enjoy.
  • Order Genius can auto-fill your cart with the items you buy most frequently and even recall shopping history from Stop & Shop or Giant loyalty reward cards.

The newly redesigned Peapod Mobile app makes grocery shopping even easier! Peapod’s intuitive and powerful new app is modern, warm and engaging, with larger, high-resolution photos, and new features that streamline and simplify online shopping.

Two such features are Filter, which allows Peapod customers to find items based on needs that matter to them, and Order Genius, an intuitive search recommendation engine with smart functionality exclusive to Peapod that practically does the shopping for you.

Be sure to follow Peapod’s social channels: Facebook
Twitter: @PeapodDelivers
Instagram: @Peapoddelivers

Please don’t forget to include a Local Farm Box in your grocery order for some of the summer’s best harvest! You can read more about this special new offering that supports local agriculture by clicking here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Peapod. Giveaway is only available to those living within 45 miles of Washington DC.}

Summer’s Not Over Yet: Passport2Enrichment in Arlington offers Great End of Summer Camps



Looking for a great end of summer camp for your children this month? Passport2Enrichment has partnered with Arlington County Parks and Recreation to bring you three different camps that are sure to be a fun filled experience for any child. There are several five day sessions available.  The Dance Dance Dance camp is geared towards dancers of all levels and appropriate for ages 6 to 12. This camp focuses on style, technique, placement, conditioning, stretching, turns, leaps, and choreography. By using the varied forms of dance anywhere from Street Jazz, Hip Hop to Ballet it is sure to captivate all dancers by getting them up on their toes and leaping off the floor. The Bedazzled camp is geared toward creative kids aged 6 to 12 who love to create crafts that sparkle.  The Everything day camp is for boys and girls aged 6 to 12 and was created for kids who like a little bit of well, everything. Campers will participate in relay races, art projects, treasure hunts, and team sporting activities among other things. For more information on times and locations of these camps visit and email for August End of Summer Camps.


How to Know If You’re a Good Liposuction Candidate

Recently, an article in Cosmopolitan magazine by Megan O’Brien got a lot of attention, and it’s no surprise why with a title like this: I’m a Size 0 and I Got Liposuction. The controversy started swirling about how someone so seemingly thin could possibly be a good candidate for fat reduction surgery.

It turned out that particular patient had pretty valid reasons for her choice (a disproportionate tummy that made her appear pregnant), but the whole controversy brought to light some facts about liposuction most people might not know. A number of factors go into determining whether someone is a candidate. Here are a few:

Realistic Expectations
Anyone considering liposuction should be aware of what it can and can’t do for your body. One of the most common misconceptions is that it is for easy weight loss. Most surgeons stress that liposuction is not a replacement for good diet and exercise habits, nor is it a fool-proof solution. While liposuction has been proven to permanently remove stubborn fat cells, you still must make healthy lifestyle choices to maintain the results. Poor diet exercise can easily undue all the work completed by your plastic surgeon. If you head into a liposuction consultation expecting to drop lots of weight and never gain it back, you may be turned away.

Good Skin Elasticity
For the best results, you need to have supple, elastic skin. If you are prone to stretch marks or already have baggy skin in some areas, you may have a less-desirable end result. Tara Reid was unfortunately the poster child for bad liposuction for a while, as she discussed candidly in PEOPLE magazine back in 2008. A possible factor in the botched procedure may have been her poor skin elasticity. Skin that is more elastic will conform to your new contours once underlying fat is removed.

Stable Weight
Most surgeons stress the importance of maintaining a stable healthy weight before undergoing liposuction. As one physician states on the popular plastic surgery forum RealSelf, “If your weight fluctuates widely, liposuction has no value. The most unhappy liposuction patients are the ones who come in after surgery having gained weight wondering why their result isn’t great. This is very frustrating for the patient and the surgeon.” What this means is that liposuction really shines as a spot treatment for those with specific problem areas. If your body weight is constantly fluctuating, it can be difficult for your surgeon to really identify where the liposuction would be most beneficial and long-lasting for you. That being said, a surgeon may decide to use liposuction to help a patient jump-start weight loss. These patients often return for additional work to put the finishing touches on their body transformations.

Recovery Time
Good candidates for liposuction must be OK with downtime and activity restrictions after the surgery. Patients are usually up and walking the same day of the liposuction, but according to Washington, D.C.’s Ruff Plastic Surgery, it takes 2 to 3 days to return to work and a few weeks to return to exercise. They also have a handy recovery guide on their website that outlines what you could expect in the days and weeks after a procedure.

For those looking to take their physique up a notch, liposuction is an amazing tool. Before getting any work done though, make sure to get a consultation done with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Oftentimes, these consultations are free or the cost can be applied to the procedure. A good surgeon can also determine for sure whether you’re an appropriate candidate.

{Editorial consideration provided by Ruff Plastic Surgery. Compensation was provided in exchange for this sponsored post. }

Amsterdam Falafelshop in Clarendon: You’ve Gotta Try This Place





Last week Dave, Ella, Logan and I were invited by Amsterdam Falafelshop for dinner. The kids had their first taste of falafel in Paris and loved it, so I knew they would be happy to find out they could get falafel right here in our neighborhood. Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the co-founder of Amsterdam Falafelshop, Scott Bennett. He was so chill and down to earth as he sat down with our family and shared how he decided to open up the first restaurant.

We really liked the restaurant’s set up. You’re served your falafel sandwich or bowl and then you have a toppings station where you sprinkle or mound toppings to your hearts desire. Ella and Logan had fun selecting their toppings and adding them to their sandwiches. The menu includes: falafel sandwiches, French fries (deep-fried twice– the European style), sodas and “virgin” brownies, a bit of a shout out in reference to the Amsterdam coffee shops that sell marijuana-laced brownies. We ordered fries to accompany our sandwiches and they were outstanding! They really were some of the best fries ever! The falafel is crunchy and delicious and when “smashed”, a ton of toppings can be added. The ambiance is casual and cool. The location is across the street from the Clarendon Metro and close to all of the nightly hangouts. It’s a perfect place for families during the day and an awesome restaurant for late night dining for the college kids and club goers.

Click here for my Tastemade City Guide DC recap of Amsterdam Falafelshop. And for more information, visit


Google Express Equals One Less Errand



I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I have been doing all my household shopping the old school way. I drive to the supermarket, big box department store and the local mall. My primary reason is because I enjoy instant gratification. I don’t have the patience to wait a week to receive an order. I hadn’t really crossed over into buying everything online—that is, until now!

All of that old school stuff is over! No more fighting traffic, no more worrying about how little time I have to go from store to store while the kids are in school or even worse—bringing my kids with me on my shopping journeys (because let’s be honest, it’s more than a journey—it’s horrible and time consuming!) No more forgetting my shopping list and thinking about coupons. Who has time to cut or print out coupons? I haven’t cut a coupon in over 20 years! But, I can easily find a code online and punch it in for internet orders.

Google Express has finally arrived in DC! The service, allows smart phone, tablet and desktop users to order items from a variety of stores including: Giant Food, Costco, Walgreens, Sports Authority, Staples, Babies “R” Us, Barnes & Noble, L’Occitane and Guitar Center and offer same day service, provided they are within a certain designated area.

I ordered my son Logan’s new “big boy” bedding set as his back to school present this year. We ordered a Star Wars comforter, sheet set and beach towels from Kohl’s thru Google Express. Signing up for my Google Express account was easy and fast. It took less than five minutes to set up, click on the items and check out. My husband’s office is located in DC and since we live in Arlington, I had it delivered to his work. I was impressed there was a choice to have the package left or signed delivery confirmation with no extra fee. My package was available to be delivered to its designated location within 6 hours of being processed. No waiting up to a week for delivery? This is truly life changing. Online shopping and Google Express is the way to go!

I’d love for you to give Google Express a try! Use the code EXPRESSDC to get $25 off your first order. This is only good for the first 2,500 shoppers to redeem it and expires August 5th, so be sure to use it asap! It is a perfect time to order all of your back-to-school items! The first three months of service is currently available for free, after that it’s $10/month. Also very important to note: they only deliver to Washington DC addresses. So if you don’t live in the District of Columbia, feel free to use yours or your spouse’s DC work address or a DC friend’s address for delivery.

As a busy mom, words can’t express how happy I am that Google Express is available in our area! One less errand and one happy mom!

{Special Thanks to The Google Express Team for collaborating on this post!}