Virginia Beach: Our Favorites

Of course we love the beach, but Virginia Beach has so much more to offer. Check out this list of our favorites spots to visit! 

This freebie is a quick but fun stop in Pungo. Check these details before you go. 

Not far from Jerassic Park is Sage Kitchen, part nursery, part home goods store, restaurant, putt putt, and arcade. We love everything about it. Details here. 

We talk about My Gym a lot here, but it's because both of my kids love the offerings they have. Your first class is free, so check it out! 

On a nice day, head to Hunt Club Farm. They recently built a Tree Walk that is perfect for all ages. 

Funville has two locations, and the Virginia Beach one is nautical themed. They have expanded the size of their toddler playground and have specials throughout the week. 

Jump Trampoline park has their weekly Jumping Beans time, perfect for kids under six. 
Leaving from Virginia Beach and heading out into the ocean, Rudee Tours offers whale and dolphin watching trips. 
New to the area, Polkadot Play is an indoor play gym located on Diamond Springs Road. 

Did we miss something? Let us know! 

The Friday Five v. 17

We made it another week! This pollen and back and forth weather has me sneezing nonstop, but I am loving the flowers blooming all around Hampton Roads! Here are five links of cool science, heartwarming stories, and cute outdoor crafts. 

Mind-Bending Pictures of the Moon With Inverted Colors Show Where Magma Once Flowed

4 Reasons We Should Have 4-Day Workweeks, According To Research

Teacher shares the heartwarming affirmations a student's mom writes on all his pencils

How To Make Every Family Road Trip an Educational Adventure

Painted Bricks For The Garden — Easy Craft Project!

Polkadot Play

Exciting news! Hampton Roads has a new play gym! Polkadot Play, located on Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach, just opened their doors. A Neurodiversity positive space, open to all types of children, Polkadot Play is the brainchild and long time dream of a partnership between a military mama of three, whose children have disabilities, and a physical therapist who works with children with disabilities. When talking to them about opening this facility, tears were flowing about how real of a dream this was. The gym is part open gym, part private physical therapy, and eventually part classes. 

Although the gym is a small space, they use every inch wisely. Magnetic boards, chalk boards, climbing walls, swings, ropes, tunnels, hiding nooks, a zip line, and a slide are all cleverly packed into one space. 

Due to Covid restrictions, bookings are done in two hour increments with cleaning in between each one. Soon, they will open up their classes and birthday party options. Gym hours are Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-7:00 and Saturday and Sunday 12:00-7:00. Sign up for time slots here.

I always welcome opportunities for children to have playtime. We have some awesome spaces in Hampton Roads that cater to kids, but I know that in the past few years several places have closed too. I'm thrilled to see more opening up! 

She Works Hard For the Mommy: Royals Advertising

Hi! I’m Sophia Royals, CEO of Royals Advertising. I came to the United States six years ago - met a handsome guy in uniform, fell in love and married a year later. Now I am the mother of three amazing and energetic kids aged 5, 3 and 7 months. My husband and kids are my top priority keeping me very busy and definitely entertained! We love exploring our local area, playing at the park and visiting the zoo - any zoo! My kids are crazy about animals. One of my favorite times with the family is relaxing on Friday nights watching movies while munching on popcorn and m&ms. It’s an ordinary life with extraordinary people who are my best buddies.

Graduating with an MBA in 2018 was an incredible feat balancing study with a 3 year old and a 6 month old baby in toe. I smile as I wonder how I got through everything while trying to keep the family happy and everything in relatively good shape. My last semester at university finally arrived and the exams began. They were indeed memorable as they were the first exams in all my years of study that I was given an exemption to stop the clock to nurse my baby! I know my mother has fond memories of looking after the children while I sweated it out in the examination room at ODU.

My children have taught me how to be flexible and adapt to changing situations by managing my time well and upskilling in areas needing improvement - such as patience, order and keeping my priorities in check.  Thanks to them and to my encouraging husband I graduated top of my marketing MBA class. However, the best part about finishing my Masters was receiving this Hungry Caterpillar balloon from my husband and kids.

Although being a Navy wife is an honor it comes with certain pressures especially when my husband is on deployment. This was one of the reasons I decided to start my own business in 2018. Being the CEO afforded me a better work/life balance allowing more time with my kids and husband. No way did I want to miss out on hearing their funny one - liners and helping them through their ups and downs which means so much to them at such a young age. I also couldn’t do without their tight cuddles which sometimes I think I need more than them! 

Like many others who have started out on their own I advertised my business mainly through social media. I designed my own website, updated LinkedIn, made regular posts on Instagram and booted up my old Facebook page. I designed and printed professional business cards keeping them handy to pass out to anyone who remotely looked like a prospective client! I soon realized there are many businesses, shops, cafes, libraries and so on that are happy to promote local talent by keeping business cards on their counters or pinboards. I soon learned that communication is key for connecting and networking. 

My husband, James is a terrific communicator reaching out to people all the time, even strangers. James struck up a conversation with Keith from K.M. Cash Remodeling while he was giving us a quote on the attic. By the time Keith had given us the quote James had given him my business card. The next day Keith became my first client. What a husband and what a great first client!

My business has gone from strength to strength. I now have a team across the United States and Australia designing logos, creating websites, improving search engine ranking, and doing all things marketing and advertising for small to medium businesses around the world. It is exciting work and so fulfilling.

I am a wife and mother first, then a CEO. Unfortunately, I don’t always get the balance right and feel overwhelmed at times. I often remember the old but encouraging saying, “If you want something done and done properly - ask a busy person”. Well that’s me! 

At times I feel torn between family and work and get so engaged in the job that I want to stay working on it. On the other hand, I want to spend time with my husband and kids. My work drives me. It empowers me to become creative and gives me a greater sense of self-worth. Not that being a parent doesn’t - it’s just different. Work gives me an outlet and keeps me intellectually stimulated by increasing my professional prestige. 

After a successful day working I have a replenished reservoir of esteem that profoundly affects how I interact with my husband and children - it motivates and energizes me and I feel I am a better mother and wife because of it.

But how do I get the balance right? The answer for me is learning on the job. Each day is different with different demands whether it be doctor appointments, cranky kids, school, messy house or piles of laundry. I have to prioritize by working out what is urgent and what is not.  

Order is key. I need a timetable, albeit a flexible one. I also make sure everyone is helping out - even the toddlers. It’s amazing what little kids can do around the house from unstaking the dishwashing to loading clothes in the washing machine and tidying their rooms - every bit helps. Having someone in to clean the house when necessary takes the weight off my shoulders and gives me a psychological edge knowing the house will be cleaned at some stage. 

Dinnertime is a wonderful time to come together as a family and share stories about our day. Phones are turned off and conversation begins. Dinnertime provides numerous opportunities to find out what the children are thinking, what they learned at school and correct manners if necessary. It encourages children to learn to listen with interest even if they don’t want to and to be respectful and patient with other members of the family. 

Life is not perfect and there are days when all goes pear shaped. It can sometimes  catch me off guard and I become stressed and frustrated. However, I am learning to embrace those days, go with the flow and pick up the pieces later. Nothing in life is a failure - it’s a lesson. In fact, if there are times I do feel like I have failed I know the experience plants the seed for success further down the road. 

I am a high achiever and my mantra when I was a kid was, “I’ll give it a go”! This is exactly what I am doing right now giving it a go by loving my husband and kids and thriving on their reciprocal love and support. Hopefully, the example I set for my family will urge each one on to achieve their dreams and never say never. 

Royals Advertising is here for small to medium businesses. We are dedicated to helping them grow using a variety of channels that are targeted to their product or service. It’s a customized marketing approach and we continue to reap the benefits by having such satisfied customers. To learn more about us visit or check out our latest posts on social media - Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn 

5 Places To Make Mom Friends

Being able to spend time with your kids can be so special and rewarding, but it can also be really lonely. Easily the most popular post that I see online is that mamas are looking for friends. Often times they play out like this: Mama: Hi! I'm looking for mom friends! I have two boys ages 4 and 1. I like hanging outside, going to the beach, and cheese boards. Other moms: Commenting, let's meet up, or rounds of "me too's". Eventually though, plans fall through or moms back out.. they don't end up meeting up. The original mama is still lonely and craving adult conversation. So, here are some ways that I've formed some genuine, lasting friendships with other moms. 

01. Come to one of our meet ups! If you're not in our Facebook group, you're missing out! We have regular meet ups both for mamas alone and for the family. We have had mamas get together for drinks, gone to a comedy show, tried boxing and Purebarre classes, and more! Usually you'll start to see the same people at these events and it gets easier to strike up a conversation. You can also bring the whole family to a family meet up! It's a great way for the kids to meet, and it makes meeting other adults easier. Having an event by default gives you something to talk about. 

02. Attend a weekly class. I met our friend Amanda because we both attended the same weekly class at our local library. She has since moved and we have traveled out of state to visit each other, but we still talk regularly. We now have three generations of friendships, all thanks to the library class! 

03. Go to Temple, Church, or other organized events. We became friends with Madelynn and her son because of a monthly baby/parent group at our Synagogue. After meeting there and then sitting with them at other events we branched out to play dates and became good friends. 

04. Work out! I love Fit4mom not just because it kicks my butt, but also because it is a village of moms who are either going through the same thing, or who have already been through it. There are monthly moms night outs too, which allows you to get to know the moms even more. I've also made mom friends at my regular Zumba class at the rec center. 

05. Start a neighborhood group! Think back to when you were a kid. Most of your friends lived in your neighborhood. Start with one mom neighbor you know, have her add others, let it grow. Post that you are going to the park with a bag of snacks and invite others to join. They will be excited to make new mom friends too! 

Questions To Ask Your Preschooler About School

I miss my little guy when he is away at school, and I want to know all about his day. But if I ask "how was your day?" I'm going to get the same answer- "good." While I'm glad his days are apparently always good, I want to know more. I started changing up my questions to get him talking more. Try these 5 questions to get your preschooler chatting. 

01. How were you a risk taker today? 

02. Who did you help today? 

03. What is something that you learned today that you'd like to know more about? 

04.What is one thing that made you laugh today? 

05. What is something that you did today that you'd like to do again tomorrow? 

The Friday Five v. 16

Happy "can't decide if it is winter or spring weather" Friday! Enjoy your weekend. There is lots to do on our daily calendar

In time for Easter...Down the Rabbit Hole: Bunnies in Wales Dig Up Treasure of 9,000-Year-old Artifacts

Because I love physical stores, and so many closing bothers me...The disappearance of department stores will rob us of a certain kind of magic

Nauticus: Planet or Plastic

Nauticus's newest exhibit Planet or Plastic by National Geographic shows visitors how dependent we have become on plastic, and how much it has overrun our world. The exhibit itself is mostly photographs and sculptures, but can prompt a discussion about reducing consumption with kids as young as preschool. What stood out to me was the photos of the yogurt containers and veggie pouches floating in the ocean. 

These photos are a stark contrast to the beautiful aquarium exhibits at Nauticus. Seeing our toddler captivated by these fish reminds me again that it is important that aquatic species live on. I am constantly searching for new ways to reduce my plastic consumption, and I'm always open for new ideas. If you're on this journey too, join our Facebook Group and add to the discussion!