Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our July Stay-cation Activities

Our “stay-cation” last week was a memorable one. We were able to enjoy some time together as a family at a number of local places that we haven't been before. I did my best to use our Entertainment book coupons on food and entertainment that we could. Every bit of savings counts right?

This is a picture of 2 of my souvenirs from our vacation. The plant is a Proven Winner Selection called 'Zulu Wonder' Plectranthus ciliatus that I bought at the Lewis Ginter garden gift shop in a pot and saucer that I picked up at the Williamsburg Pottery. The foliage is beautiful and I will bring it in as a houseplant at some point. It seems like it will root as easily as my different coleus do so wish me luck! I may have many more hanging around.

Some of our staycation activities and "adventures" as I called them:
  • We attended a 3 year old monster truck birthday party for a friend.
  • We saw Wall-E, the new Disney Pixar movie about a robot. Our 2 and 5 year old preschoolers loved it. We did too.
We visited Lewis Ginter Bontanical Garden for the first time. Our main focus was on the new Children’s Garden of course. I did take tons of photos of the plants as well for ideas for my own gardens.

We traveled out to Pocohontas State Park in Chesterfield for their Swimming Pool Aquatic Center. This was considered a water park for us. When the kids get older we may need to start going to Water Country and the like but this was ideal for them and us. They have a 5'-6', a 3'-4' and a 1' baby pool, 2 large slides and this playground set. Maybe 45 minutes from Goochland center.
  • We visited Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg for the second time this year with our Virginia Fun Passes.
  • We spent plenty of time in our own pool, gardening entertaining friends and watching NY Yankee baseball.

We ate out a number of times for both lunch and dinner in family friendly restaurants. This included:
  • Mexico Restaurant in Short Pump I was pleasantly surprised with the menu at this place. We've been to a number of Mexican and Tex-Mex places in the Richmond area, Outer Banks vacations and other places we've lived and they are all good. They are all pretty much the same as far as I'm concerned. This place though has more of a unique flair while still offering the traditional Mexican food favorites. I chose one of their shrimp and crab dishes with Mexican spices and I chose well. It was very tasty. I'll be hard pressed to pick something else when we eat there again. True to their advertising, it is a great place for the whole family, kids and all. None of us left any food on our plates. The next out of town visitors we have are going here with us.
  • New York Deli in Williamsburg This is another place I'm sure we'll stop at for lunch next time we are in the area. You order and pay for your food from a counter from printed or overhead menus. They give you a number and call you when your food is ready. They have a great selection of food and beverages, like Legend Brown on draft.
  • Spectators Family Sports Pub in Williamsburg We were leaving the park around 9:30. Although we had intended to go to Captain George's Seafood for an all you can eat seafood buffet treat, we didn't plan on leaving so late. CG's doesn't serve dinner at that hour. So I 1st tried the Garmin which was a waste. I then scoured one of the travel magazines I picked up at the New Kent County rest area on 64W on the way here. I found this place and called them to be sure they would still serve dinner. The very friendly woman on the other end asked the chef who said he would stay until we got there to get us some food. She also made sure I had the best directions there. Otherwise, after 10, they would have had bar appetizers but I wanted the family to eat food. On that super service alone, I would recommend that place to anyone in the area.
  • Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill at the Short Pump Mall We were able to steal away without the children one afternoon to have an adults only lunch. We sat outside and enjoyed a tasty meal. I chose this place because I had eaten here once before with my daughter and liked it and we were close by.
  • Burger King * Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden CafĂ© * Brusters for ice cream

We did a little shopping at places like:
  • Williamsburg Pottery where we picked up a few things like this gorgeous blue bird bath. They had red, blue and brown? I picked out a pot for the new plant I bought at Lewis Ginter. I also picked out 2 asparagus ferns at a great price.
Home Depot * Kroger *
Pleasant’s Ace Hardware for a rain barrel for the MIL. The Chesterfield location had one in stock (we called ahead) but any of the locations will order one in for you if they don't have any at the time.

This is a picture of a copper rain chain and rain barrel at Lewis Ginter.

There is plenty more to see and do on a Richmond area staycation but these are the things that I planned that worked out very well for us. Next time we'll try some other things and maybe repeat some of these.

Besides what we did on our week off, I'd also suggest the following, especially when out of town guests are visiting:
Richmond Metro Zoo
River District Canal Cruise on the Canal Walk in Shockoe Slip
Cary Street My 2 favorites in Carytown are World of Mirth and Mongrel for very unique cards & gifts.

I will add some photos next chance I get to blog here!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Children's Consignment Sales in Central Virginia

Consignment Sale Season Is Around The Corner!

Mark your calendars!

There are a number of local Children’s consignment sales that are held in the late Winter / Early Spring and late Summer / Early Fall. The timing works out well to help outfit the kids going back to school, get change of season clothes in the size they wear this year because last year’s size is too small. Pickup a coat or holiday wear that will only be worn once. Besides clothes, the sales include baby equipment like cribs & strollers, maternity clothes, Halloween costumes, shoes, toys, books, home school materials.

It's also a great time to clean out your attic and closets and get some extra cash for the things your children no longer need. If you intend to consign, you should start preparing now.

Here is a list of sales some of which I have attended and at times consigned at, others are ones that I am aware of and may try and check out this year.

If you know of any others, please let me know and I will include them and maybe even go to it.

The Clothesline

Children’s Consignment Sale

Fall/Winter 2008 Sale AUGUST 22-23, 2008

Woodmont Recreation Center 2334 Traymore Rd Richmond, VA 23235

** 26 miles / 35 minutes from the Goochland Library **

Public Sale Hours:

Friday August 22, 2008 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

Saturday August 23, 2008 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Half-price Sale:

Saturday August 23, 2008 12:30 am – 3:00 pm

The Mustard Seed Sale

a children's clothing and toy sale

held at Redeemer Assembly of God 1700 Cardwell Road Crozier, VA 23039

Saturday September 13, 2008

Public Sale Hours:

Saturday September 13, 2008 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Half-price Sale:

Saturday September 13, 2008 1:00 am – 3:00 pm

Mothers of Young Children Sale
Ministry of West End Assembly of God 401 Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23229

Saturday September 20, 2008

Oakland Baptist Church Semi-Annual Consignment Sale

September 26-27, 2008

Public Sale Hours:

Friday September 26, 2008 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday September 27, 2008 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Half-price Sale:

Saturday September 27, 2008 1:00 am – 4:00 pm

Our Lady of Lourdes Fall Consignment Sale

October 4, 2008 8-12

8250 Woodman Rd Richmond, VA 23228

The Clothesline Holiday Toy and Clothing Consignment Sale

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Details to follow

Consignment Store Locations in the area Open Year Round that are worth a visit: They also have South of the James Midlothian / Chesterfield locations.

Once Upon a Child

8030 W Broad St Richmond 23294
and many other locations in Virginia and nationwide. Check their website.

(Fountain Square, the same shopping center as JoAnns and Big Lots across street from Books a Million)

Kid To Kid

10953 West Broad Richmond 804-290-0441

This is at Innsbrook, Cox and Broad in the shopping center behind the CVS.

and many other locations in Virginia and nationwide. Check their website.

Children's Orchard

2280 John Rolfe Parkway in John Rolfe Commons at corner of Ridgefield Parkway Richmond 23233


I've not been here yet but I have seen their advertising.

Junior League of Richmond has 2 store locations called Clothes Rack. They are community thrift stores. One is on Cary Street and the other on Forest Hill avenue. Neither is too far from Goochland or the Far West End / Innsbrook / Short Pump area to check out if you're into bargain clothing shopping. The bargains are much better than any Goodwill store I've visited in the area. Take a look at where they are located and if you are in those areas for something else, stop in and check the stores out. You'll be surprised. I've purchased many things with the tags still on.

The Clothes Closet right here in Goochland Courthouse currently overseen by the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services, the combined effort with the Family Fellowship Services.

Please Please Please don't drive your clothing, toys or housewares donations to Richmond. Bring them here to our very own thrift shop to benefit fellow Goochlanders. Take a look in the store too. You may find something for yourself. I've picked up a few fun things there myself.

It is located behind the Goochland Family Practice on River Road West, across the street from Grace Episcopal Church.

Rather than drive your donations to a Goodwill in Richmond, drop them off here during their business house. You can get your tax deductible receipt just as you would in town and will help local families.

Consignment Alley "The Little House of Miracles"

2470 Anderson Highway (Route 60) Flat Rock Village Center Powhatan, VA 23139


Elephants and Giraffes

3016 Mountain Rd Glen Allen, VA above the Glen Allen Dance Center

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July Summer Photos #2

These are more pictures from the same day as the previous post. After I walked the yard and re- read my post, I realized there was quite a bit more I needed to log. This is a special orange lily that I need to find the name of. I put it in last year and I love it. The flower unfurls every morning and the leaves look like Iris.
* Update * This is a blackberry lily or leopard lily (belamcanda chinensis)

There is the blooming purple butterfly bush (buddleia) in my butterfly garden. I also need a better photo! Here are my sad crape myrtles.

Then there is the oleander tree standard that I overwinter in the house. It is also a late bloomer outside but well worth the wait. It takes the spot of the Iris that were blooming at the gate. I want to try and get some oleander to survive our winters here. It is highly improbable. They fare well in the Outer Banks as a landscape shrub but it probably couldn't happen here. Regardless, I am rooting some now and will experiment!

I tried something different this year with the mailbox garden. I think I like it!

I also think the front porch looks nice right now.

The backyard by the pool is certainly a colorful place as well.

However, please do not look too closely for weeds. I have more weeds than I have time to pull them! I also have some plants that I bought and never found a real home for like the blue summer daze.

We haven't had any success with hardy bananas so we keep them potted and store inside for the winter months. The plumeria has not bloomed yet but it should within the next few weeks. We try to make the area tropical looking.

Mid July is probably the most colorful time in our yard. Most everything has come into its own and looks pretty nice. There are still some plants that will bloom in the next month but some of the others will start looking a bit forlorn. Offhand I am thinking of the oriental lilies, shasta daisies, iris foliage even if fanned.

By the way, this site traffic meter that I just added yesterday is amazing to me. I am getting hits to my blog from all over the world! Cool! I wish I had added it in the beginning.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

July Summer Flower photos

I snapped some photos last night here in Goochland Courthouse, Central Virginia, to try and record the bloom patterns in the yard. The current color is from a number of varieties of Rudbekia's that I am accumulating little by little. Otherwise known as Black Eyed Susan's.

I have alot of volunteers from a plant I had last year that I had started from seed. I have been digging them up and giving them proper homes in containers and closer to other groups.

I also have a variety of perennial gladiolus,

oriental lilies, pink roses,

and daylilies

and more daylilies,

Hollyhock, cleome,

and don't forget the coleus

and zinnia

and container plant combinations,

just because they are annuals!

Next week, some of the canna and another susan variety should be blooming.

We've had thunderstorms with enough rain over the past week or s that the lawn may actually need to be cut for the first time in 2 weeks. The only reason our grass doesn't turn brown these days is because wire grass or bermuda grass is overtaking the fescue. It will be close to impossible to irradicate so it may be here to stay.