Blizzard 2016: 8 Tips To Prepare For Power Outages

Our weather forecast for the next few days is looking to be a historic snowfall in the DC/Metro area. There is a high probability of power outages. Here are 8 tips to prepare yourselves for the potential of a power outage:

Image credit: Conde Nast Traveler  

Image credit: Conde Nast Traveler  

1.) Charge all your devices in advance and have cordless backup chargers ready to use. 

2.) If you have a young baby, with power outages it's important to know how to heat their formula or milk. One trick we will be using is filling up thermos and Swell bottles {which keep water hot up to 12 hours} so it is ready on hand for warming up baby formula and food, as well as multiple other needs. On the flip side, filling up coolers with ice and leaving them outdoors or in your garage will come in handy to keep milk and perishable food cold. {Even though it will be cold enough to just leave them in the snow!}

3.) Make sure your gas tank is full. It is clearly not a good idea to be on the roads during a major blizzard, however, having a car with a full tank is a necessity for emergency situations. It's not encouraged but, if you have power outages for extended periods of time, warming the family up in your car outdoors, not in the garage, is something to consider as long as you shovel the area around the car completely clear {especially the exhaust which can push carbon monoxide into the car if blocked!}

4.) Choose one room to stay in. Consider one which has a lot of sunlight coming through which will add to the warmth. Have extra blankets, towels, layers of clothes and sheets on hand for your family to put on and use. They can also be used to insulate windows and doors from cold air and keep the room warmer. If you have kerosene heaters, these are great to radiate heat up to 1,000 feet without power. If you own camping gear like tents and durable sleeping bags, those are fantastic to use during a power outage to stay warm. 

5.) Prep food in advance if you can so you have dishes ready to eat if you end up losing power. Also, have snacks on hand for your family that last without refrigeration like snack bars, chips, fruit, etc.. 

6.) Water bottles...great to have on hand to drink, wash and use for a variety of necessities.

7.) Batteries, flash lights, flameless candles, regular candles, first aid kits and battery operated radios.  We are so use to quick and ready technology nowadays that a battery operated radio has become virtually extinct.

8.) Create a list of emergency phone numbers to have on hand for your local area incase of major emergencies.

Most importantly, don't panic. Being prepared is key of course but, if you aren't, the best thing to do is stay calm and use common sense to get through a power outage. 

Stay safe & warm!! 

21 Things To Do This Weekend: December 18-20

Are you ready for Christmas yet? We certainly aren't. The unseasonably warm temps return next week, so needless to say it will feel like an LA Christmas in DC. Enjoy the last weekend before the big  holiday. Here are our top 21 picks of things to do in the DC/Virginia area:

Photo credit;

Photo credit;

1.)  Star Wars: The Force Awakens

With its much anticipated return to the big screen,  Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits area theaters this weekend.  The seventh film in the franchise, names so many are familiar with are back:  Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2.  Playing at participating theaters locally. Check listings for show times. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance.  {May the force be with you!}

2.) Thievery Corporation

Thievery Corporation is in town and will be playing three shows at the 9:30 club.  Eric Hilton and Rpb Garza's electronic dance music project got its start two decades ago, believe it or not, at Eighteenth Street Lounge in DC.  Check ticket providers for show times and ticket prices or visit:

3.) Georgetown GLOW

Georgetwon GLOW, the region's only curated exhibition of public light art installations, will illuminate the C&O Canal starting Friday evening and running through December 20 {6-10pm nightly}. There will be live music each evening and you also have the chance to meet two of the local GLOW artists. Several Georgetown boutiques will be offering specials as well. For more information, visit:

4.)  Finish Holiday Shopping

This is the last weekend before Christmas is here! Don't panic. We have plenty of local shopping worth venturing out to this weekend. Make a day of it with family or friends and enjoy lunch or dinner while out too. To make this easier on yourself, have a game plan. Know where you are going, what your looking for and make a back-up plan gift list so you aren't stuck at the mall upset that what your looking for is sold out. We even go as far as calling the stores we will be going too and have them put items on hold {when possible} so that we can show up, pay and be on our way. Don't forget to take advantage of Christmas  wrapping at stores that offer it! Some of our local favorites to shop at : Tysons Galleria, Tysons Corner Center, Reston Town Center and City Center in DC. Don't want to venture out??  Grab a glass of wine, hit the sofa, and order online {but prepare to potentially pay some hefty rush delivery charges}.

5.) Zoolights at The National Zoo, Washington, DC

Zoolights at the National Zoo in Washington, DC is a winter holiday event that is fun for the whole family and runs until January 2. The National Zoo presents a display of thousands of sparkling lights featuring sculptures of many of the Zoo's most popular animals. You will enjoy winter themed activities, a laser light show, musical performances, train rides, tubing and animal exhibits as well. For more information on event times and tickets, visit:

6.) The Second City's Holidazed & Confused Holiday Revue Live

In the mood for a good laugh? The Second City comedy crew are making a stop on their east coast run and performing at The Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse with 14 shows in 18 days in Arlington. Shows this weekend are Friday and Saturday. For more information on show times and to purchase tickets, visit:

7.) Motown the Musical

Playing at The National Theatre until January 3, the musical features nearly 60 of Motown Records greatest hits. For tickets and show schedule, visit:

8.) ICE! at The Gaylord National Harbor

ICE! is an indoor winter wonderland featuring two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures kept at a chilly 9 degrees. It showcases five ice slides, seven individual rooms depicting the story of 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town,' and the Frostbite Factory which is a live carving zone.  It runs until January 3. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

9.) Meadowlark's Winter Walk of Lights

See this beautiful 95 acre botanical garden complex twinkle with over 500,000 lights until January 3. The walk through light show is breathtaking at night. Dress for the weather and have on comfy shoes for this outing! Visit their site for ticket purchases and more information:

10.) Mount Vernon by Candlelight Tours

Join this beautiful estate for candlelit character guided tours of the first and second floors of this historic Mansion. They will showcase 18th century dancing, fireside caroling, hot chocolate and at the final stop of the tour, guests will hear about Washington's holiday cooking and see a reproduction of Martha's Great Cake. For more information on event times and to purchase tickets, visit:

11.) Bike & Roll Washington, DC

The first ever Christmas tour by bike and segway, the tour gurus at Bike & Roll are offering up Christmas on wheels. The Friday-Sunday treks take you to see many of the iconic displays in DC {Willard Hotel, U.S. Botanic Garden, National Chriatmas Tree, and The Capitol}. Tours can be guided, individual or group rides and run until December 20 from 4-6:30pm each day. For more information, visit:

12.) Night out in DC: Check out DC's "Pop-Up Christmas Bar" called Miracle on Seventh Street

From Naughty Elves to 'nog shots,' if your a lover of all things Christmas, this is your kind of spot. Drink master Derek Brown has taken over the Mockingbird Hill in Shaw And now until December 24, you can enjoy a speciality holiday cocktail list, a daily lineup of festivities from free cookies to 'Bad Santa Happy Hours,' and a singing chorus. For more information, visit:

13.) Nutcracker Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Tyson's Corner

One of our absolute favorite things to do is tea at the Ritz. The sweets tower, the delicious strawberries with whipped cream and the vast selection of exotic teas, make for a wonderful afternoon with friends and family. Enjoy a twist on this tradition on Saturday when the South Riding Dance School performs live. Seatings are at 10am and 1pm. For more information and to make a reservation, visit:

14.)  Attend a  College Basketball Game

Local college teams are hosting several games this weekend, so show support for your favorite teams. The GW men's team hosts St. Peter's on Saturday and the GW women host Iona on Sunday. The Georgetown men take on UNC Ashville at the Verzion Center on Saturday. And finally, GMU women play host to the Air Force on Saturday afternoon, while the GMU men play host to Longwood on Saturday evening. {Both the men and women's Maryland teams are on the road this weekend but, we still wish them luck. Go Terps!} For more information on tickets, visit:

15.) Ice Skating at Local Ice Rinks

What would the holidays be without some ice skating! Whether your a beginner or an advanced skater, ice skating is a great way to burn off your extra holiday calories! There are many local options to visit. Here are some of our favorites:

*Reston Town Center Ice Rink

*Tysons Corner Ice Rink {located in Tysons Corner Center}

*Pentagon Row Ice Skating Plaza {Largest in Northern, VA}

*Washington Harbour Ice Rink {This Georgetown rink is DC's largest}

*Sculpture Garden Ice Rink {Located in The National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden}

16.) Christmas Village at Leesburg Animal Park

With their new indoor facility decked out for the holidays and their outdoor area decorated with thousands of lights, the Christmas Village at the Leesburg Animal Park is open for its last day on Saturday from 6-9pm. There is kids indoor play, photos with Santa, holiday arts and crafts, pony rides, animal petting area, bonfire, marshmallow roasting and more! For more information on purchasing tickets, visit:

17.) BullRun Festival Of Lights

The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a 2.5 mile drive through holiday light show at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA. It features penguins, snowmen, candy canes, jumping deer, Santa's workshop, Frosty the Snowman, tin soldiers, elves and more. The seasonal event includes more than 40,000 animated lights set to music and runs through January 3. After viewing the lights, you can visit the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village which includes amusement rides, an ice skating rink, entertainment, shopping, contests, food and more. For more information on hours and tickets, visit:

18.) Visit the National Christmas Tree

A tradition for most Washingtonian's, visiting the National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace {which represents all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia} which surround the National Christmas Tree is quite the magical experience. Musicial performances will be held nightly 5pm-8:30pm throughout December from volunteer choirs, bands, and dancers. Did we mention the backdrop: The White House. Visiting is FREE.

19.) Clarendon's Candy Cane Crawl

Get ready to bar-hop with your crew at the first ever Clarendon Candy Cane Crawl on Saturday from 1pm-9pm!  Participating bars will have drink specials, raffles, party favors and food specials. You will receive a refillable signature Santa mug to use bar to bar. Some of our favs participating are Mad Rose, Spider Kelly's, Whitlow's, and Clarendon Ballroom. For more information, on other participating bars and to register to attend, visit:

20.) Wizard School Scavenger Hunt at the National Gallery of Art

Harry Potter fans! This ones for you.  Kids 10 and up can take a trip to the National Gallery on Saturday from 2-4pm  for a scavenger hunt inspired by the Harry Potter series. The hunt is a great way for kids {and adults alike} to discover the museum. For more information on this event, visit:

21.)  Old Town Alexandria's  Holiday Festival

This is the last weekend for Old Town Alexandria's Holiday Festival.  This outdoor market takes place in Carlyle District which has been transformed into a European Festival with unique arts and craft items to shop, live entertainment, wine and hot cocoa on hand, and food and sweets vendors as well.  Visit the kids corner for activities and to explore European traditions + culture.  For more information, visit:

5 Minute DIY Christmas Stocking

Did you unpack your Christmas decorations this weekend excited to put them up only to find that you aren't really happy with your Christmas stockings anymore? Outdated? Want a more modern look? Your probably thinking you can hit a sale online and buy a few new customized ones for you and your family. You are looking at $25 plus {without customization of names added}. Well thanks to one of our favorite retailers, Target, you can DIY these five minute Christmas stockings for $16 each {includes stocking and initial} in these four simple steps:

Step 1: Purchase your favorite stockings {Target has a wide variety of styles and colors all for very reasonable costs.} Look for their initial ornaments in the letters of each of your family members names {we selected wooden ones for a more rustic look and they are easier to adhere on the stocking}.

Step 2: Get out your trusty glue gun. Twist off any additional hardware and remove strings from the ornaments. Super glue the wooden ornament in the area you would like on the stocking. Press down, hold and let dry for five minutes.

Step 3: You are done! DIY modern, rustic Christmas stocking in less time then it took to buy the supplies.

Step 4: Hang them on your mantle, staircase or wherever you prefer in your home and all you need now is some stocking stuffers!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


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