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Hampton:Our Favorite Places

Hampton is across the tunnel for us, but we like to make the trip because we find new things to explore. There is lots of history, beautiful nature, and tasty treats. Be sure to grab breakfast at Mango Mangeaux, and head to The Grey Goose for lunch and a cupcake! 

Here are our top picks for Hampton:

We love, love, love this gem. Always free and always a great time. 

Another freebie, Air Power Park has an outdoor and indoor part. Have kids run around and checkout the air crafts. 

Of course the Air and Space Science Center is on the list. With a name change, new exhibits, and a renovated Imax theater, this museum is one to hit if you're in Hampton. Catch a movie, included in your ticket price. 

Sandy Bottom is a great place to spend some time in nature. Here's the details. 

No trip to Hampton is complete without riding the carousel. It is so affordable and a fun stop for kids. 

The Hampton History Museum is good for kids who are interested in Native American life. There is a replica of a Longhouse. The museum is small, but the two floors include information from the time of the Powhatans to modern boating techniques. I wasn't aware of the ties to crabbing that Hampton had, or that the entire city had once burnt down. (There is a picture of those cupcakes I mentioned too!) 

Find adventure on the perfect toddler length "hike" at Grandview Nature Preserve. The name says it all.

Stop into this coffee shop and grab a drink while your kids snack on an ice cream cone and play with the toys. 

This is a traveling show, but a version of it comes to Hampton every year. Perfect for train loves young and old. 

We look forward to spending more time in Hampton! Have a favorite that's not on this list? Let me know so we can check it out! 

Fall Family Festivals in Hampton Roads



With Rosh Hashanah this week, fall is officially here! During fall in Hampton Roads there is so much to do, eat, see, and so many places to play. Enjoy! 

September: 

Beach Music Weekend- Sept. 10-12 

Taco Fest- Sept. 11 12-8 (kids under ten free) 

Hampton Roads Pride Fest- Sept. 12 12-4

A Taste of Suffolk Downtown Street Festival - Sept. 11, 11-5

Growl Fest at the Virginia Zoo- Sept. 11 5-9 

Isle of Wight County Fair- Sept. 16-12

Mt. Pleasant Christian School Fall Fest- Sept. 17-19 9-5

Apple Extravaganza- Sept. 18, 10 am

The Great Food Truck Festival- Sept. 18, 11-6

Chubby's Pumpkin Festival: Sept. 22- Oct. 31 

Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend- Sept. 24-26 

Epps Farm Supply Fall Fest- Sept. 25 8-3

Virginia State Fair- Sept 24-Oct. 3

Hunt Club Farm Harvest- Sept. 25-Oct. 31 10-6

Greek Fest (drive thru)- Sept. 30-Oct. 2 10:30-7


October: 

Virginia Beach KOA Fall Festival- Oct. 1-3

Chubby's Pumpkin Festival: Sept. 22- Oct. 31 

Virginia Children's Festival- Oct. 2 10-3

Great American Food Festival- Oct. 6 3-7

Suffolk Peanut Fest- Oct. 8-10 10am-11pm 

Bluebird Gap Farm Fall Festival-Oct. 17-18 10-5

MOCA Family Fest- Oct. 17 10:00

Neon Festival- Oct 21-22

Newport News Fall Greek Festival- Oct. 21-22 11-9

Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show- Oct 22-24 10-5

First Baptist of Suffolk's Fall Festival Trunk or Treat- Oct. 29 6-8 

City Center Fall Festival- Oct. 30 12-6

Ambassadors for Christ's Fall Fest- Oct. 30 6-9



November: 

Lynnhaven River Now Fall Festival- Nov. 6 

Oyster and South Festival at Greenbrier Farms- Nov. 20


She Works Hard For the Mommy v. 14 Coach Brandy

Hey mamas! I’m coach Brandy. I am a seasoned mommy (that’s a nice way of saying old haha), and incredibly blessed to have a second career as a fitness and nutrition coach. Like you I’m juggling to keep all my priorities balanced and progressing. What’s special about me??  Maybe nothing other than I have a few years on you, and I have walked in your shoes at one time or another. I am a mom of two young men and two fur babies.  I am happily married to my complete opposite whose name just happens to rhyme with mine (so corny I know). I married an aviator who changed his career to medicine, so I’ve survived some particularly difficult seasons as a primary bread winner and solo parent. We are a Navy family, (you probably guessed that), which means we have had our share of deployments and natural disasters that always seemed to occur when hubs was gone lol.  The point of all that is that I get you!

It wasn’t until I turned 49 (omg… I said it), when mother nature is not so kind to women and, my self-confidence was lowest, that I discovered bodybuilding (the sport of clean eating), and the power of nutrition (which btw launched me into my second career as a nutrition coach).  I always controlled my weight through exercise and moderation which worked well for the first few decades of my life, but I quickly discovered I was missing a vital component of health and wellness; and that was the food I was feeding myself and my family! I also learned how important it is to take care of myself first, no matter how selfish that sounds. It took many years of crashing and burning to figure out that if I didn’t FUEL myself, then I would eventually unravel and that’s not pretty haha. I am such a better mom, wife and overall human being when I make myself a priority. Eating clean (and frequently) has helped my marriage, my parenting and my ability to handle life’s curve balls (like deployments).  If there was one piece of advice I could share to all the young moms out there, it would be to make yourself a priority, so you can be your best and take care of the rest of your family.  You can’t pour from an empty cup mamas! The benefits of good nutrition extend beyond just your waistline, and the weight resistance, my friends, is the anti-aging and calorie burning elixir.

I absolutely love helping people become their healthiest BEST. My mission is to help busy mamas fuel themselves and their families with clean, healthy meals that serve their goals.  Yes, you can do both at the same time! I’m a firm believer in the family dinner. I have learned to tweak and modify our favorite recipes so we all can enjoy them.

 I’m sharing an easy recipe that is a staple in my home.  It’s a batch recipe that is also kid friendly, budget friendly, macro-friendly, lactose free and is only 2 ingredients!  Whoa momma!  I hope you enjoy it.  If you would like to see more recipes like this or want some family dinner ideas, feel free to hop on over to my Instagram account @busymomnutrition.  I hope to see you there!

In health,

Brandy

Homemade Greek Yogurt 

This is the easiest two ingredient, NO-FAIL recipe.  It is a staple in my house and the flavor combinations are endless and makes the foundation for a perfect snack.  Each serving is 15g protein.  Pair this with a ¼-1/2 cup berries,1 Tbsp crushed pecans, hemp seeds or chia seeds and you’ve got a macro-balanced nutritious snack that will keep you fueled until your next meal.  You will need an instant pot with the yogurt setting, or alternatively, you can make it in a programmable slow cooker if you can set the temperature to 180℉.  The yogurt takes 8 hours for the cultures to multiply, so I recommend doing this before you go to bed.  Let it work while you sleep!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to flavor this creamy, lactose-free yogurt:

Cherry Chia Yogurt:

Follow Homemade Yogurt Recipe.  Chill for 2-3 hours.

Stir in 2 Tbsp tart cherry concentrate (I found this at Whole Foods)

Add a dropper full of liquid stevia (optional) – I used ….

In a saucepan, bring 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved to a simmer until the cherries have broken down a bit and released their juices.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 2 Tbsp chia seeds.  Let cool fully.  Gently fold Cherry Chia mixture into the yogurt.   


Pistachio Yogurt:


Follow Homemade Yogurt Recipe.  Chill 2-3 hours.

Stir in 1 box sugar free pistachio instant pudding mix

Garnish with 1 Tbsp each shelled pistachios and pomegranate seeds


Cheesecake Yogurt:

Stir in 1 box sugar free cheesecake instant pudding mix

Garnish with ½ banana slices and 1 Tbsp crushed walnuts or pecans


Roasted Blueberry Yogurt:

Follow Homemade Yogurt Recipe.  Chill 2-3 hours.

Preheat broiler to 350℉

Add 2 cups rinsed blueberries to a sheet pan

Broil approximately 5 minutes or until juices start leaking out of the berries.

Remove from broiler and let cool.

Stir into yogurt and garnish with lemon zest and your favorite 


Harlem Globetrotters

My dad was a huge sports fan. We went to games for every local sports team, but the highlight of them all was seeing the Harlem Globetrotters when they came to town. The Globetrotters are unlike any team you'll ever see, with their amazing performance basketball. The tricks they perform blows the NBA out of the water. Even better, their new Spreading Game campaign is about spreading laughter and love. They work hard to promote anti-bullying. When they visit schools, they spread knowledge about Black History Month, and they just did their 77th consecutive military tour. The Globetrotters are just an all around feel good organization. 
If your kids have ever been on Go Noodle, either at home or school, they know the Globetrotters. With their appearances on Moose Tube, the Globetrotters get kids out of their seats and moving for brain breaks. 

I love tickets for experiences as gifts, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate our good friend's birthday than going to a game. While at the game, we got to meet the players and get their autographs too. 
You can catch the Globe Trotters every year here in Hampton Roads at ODU's Chartway Arena. In the meantime, find them on Go Noodle or follow them on You Tube

Lynnhaven River NOW


 The Lynnhaven River Now project started in 2002 as a group of local citizens who came together to reduce pollution in the Lynnhaven River. Now, at over 8,000 members, the group identifies sources of contamination, educates the community, and works to restore lost habitat. What's great about this organization is not only the work that they do, but that they have programs that target young kids through pop up story times, songs, and crafts. 

If you're not already in our Facebook Group, joining there will allow you access to reminders about their pop up events. Most are free, and they are spot on for the preschool age range.