Saturday, November 23, 2013


I had the opportunity to attend the "Exclusive Blogger Event at Fair Oaks Mall"* hosted by Andrea of The Real Housewives of Northern Virginia on Thursday night, a few hours after the news (pun intended) I told you all about in Friday's Facebook update!!!:

It was SUCH a great time!

The invitation informed us that we would be the first eyes to see the brand new Michael and Son's play area that would be unveiled the following morning.  I had to check it out and get a sneak peek before bringing the boys the next day. 

I've seen the blue and white Michael and Son trucks all over the Northern Virginia area for the last couple of years and was surprised recently when they did an addition on a beautiful corner lot home.  Before that home overhaul I thought they were strictly electrical and plumbing.  After visiting their site just now, it's apparent that they do A LOT, if not all home stuffs!  The hyperlink will bring you to the About section on the site and if that doesn't make you fall in love with the owner, I don't know what will.  Nothing like learning your work ethic from your dad and continuing his legacy with pride and accountability. 

The invitation also told us we would partake in the "Taste of Fair Oaks" with eats from Champs, Lucianos (best pizza ever!), and Sbarro's followed up with pictures with Santa and the Ice Princess. 

I have to be honest, when I read the section on the invitation about pictures with Santa, that is what sealed the deal for me.  I'm not sure if I've ever had one (sisters?)... 

The entire night felt like a dream come true.  Mall, food, friends, Princess, Santa, super secret unveiling, all with


Don't you dare judge me! 

I haven't been to the mall without the boys since God knows when...and I never really went to the mall before having them so it was all very exciting and new. 

Since starting MagnifiCuffs and having to put myself "together" for networking events (ie, not wear stained shirts and high water skinny jeans) I have become a total consumer.  Looking at all the beautiful shoes and clothes and jewelry without being head butted by a toddler was very fun.  I actually shouldn't call myself a consumer but more of a window consumer...since the money isn't available (yet) to be an actual consumer.  Luckily I have a couple AMAZING girlfriends who let me "check out" clothes from their closets so I'm not wearing the same thing over and over and... 

I digress. 

So I rode to the event with one of the authors of Go Kid Trips and since we arrived a little late there weren't two seats together.  Luckily there was an empty seat next to my girl Carin of Memoirs of a Clueless Woman, who was sitting next to Heather of Spunky Real Deal who's doing a review and give away of MagnifiCuffs soon! and who also took this shot of me:

Ms. Heather says this is "Artsy"

We chatted, learned about the new play area (which has a flat screen tv and power outlets around the outside perimeter!), chowed a bit at Champs, saw the play area, and ate at Luciano's. That's when my homegirl Cherry of Ungcredibows made her appearance.  She got stuck in traffic. 

Once we got to the center of Fair Oaks Mall the cameras came out.  Actually Carin and Heather had theirs out the whole time...I just get overwhelmed or forget to take mine out (which would be bad if the babysitter needed me!). 

Cherry, Carin, Ice Princess, Marcian, Heather

Below are more pictures from the night.  I had such a fun time and really enjoyed the company, the great treatment we received and the food.  Have I mentioned how delicious it is to take a break from the vegan shtick? 

My Hand on a Polar Bears Hand Print (w/MagnifiCuffs on my (Erica's <3) sleeve)
All I want for Christmas is help (maid, sitters, chef, sewers, web developer, marketing rep, lawyers, designers)
Channeling my inner Tamara from RHOC

12 hours after our blogger event, I was back at Fair Oaks Mall with the boys.  They absolutely loved the new play area, especially the hyper color mat under the paint brush when you first get in the play zone.  (That was totes my fave part too...besides the outlets...hahaha).

The Boys Love It!

Side note:  the developer of the Michael and Son play zone said that the zone is made of an anti bacterial material, polyurethane, so germs can't fester and multiply.  The entire zone is soft, including the floor, so everyone's shoes must be removed (parents included).  Fair Oaks Mall also has a cleaning crew that wipes down all the surfaces twice a day.  Since we have sworn off the mouse place after 2 doctor visits within 24 hours of visiting that joint twice in the past month, this makes mama very happy!

*As stated in my Mission, no monetary compensation was provided for this post and it wasn't a requirement that I write this to attend the event.  You all know that I am a big fan of highlighting peoples/places that are doing great things and treating people right. 

Thanks so much to Andrea of the Real Housewives of Northern Virginia for hosting this, and to Ed Cassidy the Senior Marketing & Sponsorship Executive, Taubman Fair Oaks and the other staff members involved in creating such a memorable and fun evening for so many of us!  Mama needed that night out.



  1. Now that sounds like a great time! I don't judge you at all about enjoying the kid free time. Being able to browse and take your time without getting head butted is a beautiful thing :) What an cool event and congrats on being featured on the news this Jan! Woohoo! Awesome things are in motion...

    1. Anna I miss you so much! This time last year we were chatting all the time. Hope you and your boys are great. I think about you often <3