Tinkergarten is back to in person classes, and we were finally able to attend one recently.  (Virtual classes are still available too.) Tinkergarten is an outdoor purposeful play class for children that helps foster a love of the environment. With the amount of required screen time this year, this is a great time to help kids reconnect with nature. 
Each weekly class is one hour and lead by a Tinkergarten leader. The class meets together at to play and learn. We have two options for classes nearby' Saturday morning at 9:30 lead by Katie Minor (that's who we had, she was great!), and Tuesdays at 9:30. Both classes are offered in Virginia Beach for ages 18 months-8 years. 

6 New Home Trends Moms Will Love

As a mom, there are some things that some of us just need in our homes. Whether that’s privacy for the work from home (WFH) environment, order for things that are by nature, disorderly, or a creative outlet for your kids.

Talking with Keith from K.M. Cash Construction in Virginia Beach he discusses with me three trends in new home construction seen this past year, that frankly, I love and you will too:

  1. Beach Lifestyle

Post Covid-19 Pandemic, there has been an increase in families moving away from apartment living in big, expensive cities. Redfin predicts that these results may be because people can now work from home which has allowed homeowners the option to build homes by the beach in Hampton Roads or on the golf course in Cape Charles at an affordable price. 

“A lot of our new homes are inspired by a seaside charm. It’s all about relaxation, family and home offices. Rooms now have the ability to be shut off with sliding doors so you can take that work call or close off the homeschooling room. People are spending more time at home and therefore they want to have flexibility in their new home. The home we build now needs to entertain, play, teach, work and relax”.  - Keith Cash 

During the first half of Covid I was working from home, and with two rowdy boys, the ability to close off areas to allow for our kids to play freely without being hushed, and for me and my husband to work quietly without being disrupted frequently would have been a game changer. 

It’s a critical aspect to new home construction and although open plan has been a widely appreciated home layout, since covid-19 we have been reminded of the importance of doors! 

  1. Home Office

Yes, Covid-19 did make working from home the new standard for many employees and thus this is now appearing on new home construction designs. Neil still works from home, and his company will never go back to the in-person model, so an office is a necessity for him. 

3. Outdoor entertainment

Wow, has this boomed during Covid-19. People are realizing how underutilized their backyard has been. It’s all about adding sunrooms, pools, firepits and outdoor patios. Keith works very closely with his clients in Cape Charles and Hampton Roads to build an outdoor entertainment space that will be enjoyed for years to come. 

“It’s great that clients are now adding outdoor entertainment to their new home build. Usually this is forgotten, or cut from the plans. At K.M. Cash Construction we work closely with our clients to design and build an outdoor entertainment area for family and friends to enjoy”.-Keith Cash 

4. Herb Drawer

Let’s be honest, herbs and spices are always a challenge to store. I know I use them daily, and I can’t just tuck them away and forget about their storage issues. It needs a solution. 

Many parents are opting for built-in spice drawers in their new kitchen constructions. Some of these are quite creative and more importantly, solve the ever dreaded lifting up of every spice to read the label until I find the thyme.

When building your new home or renovating your kitchen Keith recommends a built-in sliding drawer with staggered raises. It’s a great solution to reading your herbs and spices, while looking clean and tidy. I love mine, and it was one of the things I knew I needed in my kitchen. 

5. Chalkboard walls

“When building homes for families with young children I often get asked to add creativity to their child’s bedroom. One popular addition is the chalkboard wall. Creating a fun environment for kids to express their creativity”. -Keith Cash

Agreed! Here’s the thing. Kids are going to create. We can give them a designated space to do it, or we can end up with marker on the walls. (Ask me about the red permanent marker on my mom’s yellow walls… Whoops.) 

I have one tucked away in the kitchen. I use it to write the kids' jobs, tasks and schedules there. It keeps them involved and active when they get to check off their jobs for the day. It’s also a handy place to write down items for the grocery list. 

6. Technology

We all love our gadgets and now it’s moving into our homes. The most popular new techs that I want and love:

  1. Door locks to control access - yes when leaving the house with kids and a baby you don’t need to manually lock your door anymore. One less thing to worry about. 

  2. Home lighting - get those kids to sleep by dimming the lights using your cell.

  3. Security - forgot to set the alarm before going to sleep after a day of work and kids. Just use your cell to alarm the house

  4. Heating and Cooling are all controlled by the phone. Kids wake up cold/hot? Now you don’t need to walk through the house at 2am to get to the thermometer - just grab that cell and open the app. 

  5. Grocery ordering via the refrigerator - moms dream! This simply sells itself.  

K.M. Cash Construction

I asked Keith where he is currently building new homes and he mentioned one of my favorite places - Cape Charles. Yes, this place is booming with tourists and many new developments are being built near the water and golf course. Best of both worlds! Yes, living in Cape Charles brings a lot of silence, relaxation and tranquility. Keith mentioned that many people are moving out of big cities and looking for a more calming place to call home. To see the houses that are currently under construction and for sale click here.

To see the latest designs and new builds by K.M. Cash Construction follow them on Facebook and Instagram

A Morning in Durham

Although we have spent a lot of time in the triangle, the only thing we had been to in Durham was the Science Museum. On this trip, we decided to check out the Farmer's Market because it is next to a playground and kid's nature area. An added plus that I had forgotten all about is the Chirba Chirba food truck, which I had seen on Food Network's Great Food Truck Race! After buying the most delicious Greek raviolis, getting our dumpling fix, and playing, we left the market and headed a few minutes away to the Duke Gardens. 
The gardens are free, although parking is not, and it's open 365 days a year from 8 am until dusk. Sprawling across 55 acres, this isn't a place you can get through in a day. The garden began with a dream in the 1930's by Duke professor Dr. Hanes who hated walking by the trash filled ravines on his way to the school. Dr. Hanes persuaded his friend, Sarah P. Duke, to give $20,000 to finance the garden and by 1935 more than 100 flower beds had been installed. Now, there are four distinct areas: the Historic Garden, Garden of Native Plants, the Asiatic Arboretum, and the Duke Center Gardens. In the five miles of pathways there are so many cut throughs and side paths that we actually got lost on our way to the chickens in the Discovery part of the gardens. We walked through several Asian inspired exhibits and even found small waterfalls. There is lots of shade and seating areas, but be sure to stop by the visitor's center before heading in. There you'll get a map as well as some activities for kids to do on their trip. 

4 Reasons to Take Your Kids Berry Picking

We visit the Raleigh area often, since my childhood best friend (literally since 6 months old!) lives there. We love the Children's Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, and Pullen Park in Raleigh, and we love the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Also right over the line in Durham is Tailgate Farm. The family farm began in 2016 and is currently open for both blueberry and blackberry picking, fresh cut flowers, and Instagram worthy photos in front of their sunflower field. 

Picking fruits and vegetables is a great activity for kids and adults. Grab a basket and find your local farm, here's why.

01. They are low enough to the ground for little ones to be able to see and reach everything. 

02. It allows kids to see the growing process of food along with the bees and pollinators. 

03. While they pick berries to fill their basket, they are doing more than just using up energy; they  are also feeling a sense of accomplishment as their basket fills. 

04. Lastly, kids are more likely to try new recipes when they pick the food themselves. We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, which my kids normally wouldn't have touched- a true score in my book. 

Strawberries are ripe for picking in Spring, and blueberries and blackberries in Summer. Get out and spend a morning picking, you'll have fresh fruit for dinner. 

Hermitage Museum- Work In Progress: 13 Murals For Right Now

I love the Hermitage Museum's shaded walkways and breezy views of the water. The whole place looks like it was scooped out of the pages of a storybook, but they have really brought in some good and thought provoking exhibits in the last few years. 

There is no doubt that our country is in a time of change as we all take a deep look within ourselves and discover what shapes our views on social justice. These murals confront these issues head on, from poverty and women's equality to Black Lives Matter, and more. Here until October 3rd, six of the murals are indoors while the other seven are outdoors throughout the property.  The museum is free for the rest of 2021. It's a great place to spend some time.

Fireworks in Hampton Roads

Round those kids up and check out one of the many fireworks displays here in Hampton Roads.


Elizabeth City: South Water Street. Friday Art Walk. Starts at 4 pm, ends with fireworks.

Williamsburg: Busch Gardens, nightly fireworks at 9:15.

Chesapeake: Celebrate Freedom, Chesapeake City Park. Concert and food vendors. $5 parking. Concerts from 7:00-9:30, then fireworks.

Isle of White- Independence Day Celebration Fireworks Show, food and vendors, Heritage Park Fairgrounds, gates at 5 pm, fireworks after dark.

Portsmouth: 102nd Patriotic Salute: kids games, activities, DJ, food, and programs, plus 40 vendors and a bike and skateboard parade. Takes place in Cradock Afton Square. Begins at 10:30.

Williamsburg: Busch Gardens, nightly fireworks at 9:15.

Kill Devil Hills- Fourth Fireworks Show, Avalon Pier. Also, Freedom 5k.

Manteo: Fourth of July Celebration, kids games and activities, music, contests, and treats. Shows during the day. Fireworks after dark. Begins at 3 pm.

Nags Head: Fireworks Spectacular. Fireworks begin at 9:25 and launch from Nags Head Fishing Pier.

Norfolk: 4th of July Great American Picnic & Fireworks: Town Point Park. Food for sale and concerts. 5:00-11:00 pm. Fireworks at 9:30.

Norfolk: Ghent’s Bike & Dog parade. No fireworks, but join to watch or parade from 9:30-1:30 pm.

Norfolk: July 4th Fireworks Cruise: American Rover cruise along the Elizabeth River. Departs at 7:30. Best view of the fireworks.

Suffolk: Constant’s Warf Park & Marina. Opens at 5:30 for music, fireworks at 9:00.

Virginia Beach: Mount Trashmore. DJ and food vendors. Event begins at 8:00, fireworks at 9:30.

Virginia Beach Oceanfront: Multiple locations for music including 17th street and the 24th street stage. Fireworks at 9:30.

Williamsburg: Lights of Freedom at Colonial Williamsburg. Begins at 9:20.

Williamsburg: Busch Gardens, nightly fireworks at 9:15.

Yorktown: All day long events, fireworks over the York River at 9:15.