Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Night Alexandria!

Celebrate New Year's Eve at First Night Alexandria
Come to First Night Alexandria on December 31, the largest family-friendly and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve event in the region! First Night Alexandria is a mega mix of live musical acts and entertainment with 100 performances at 18 indoor venues throughout Old Town Alexandria. Swing, Argentinean tango, Cajun, rock, blues, jazz, and entertainment for kids, are just some of the acts ringing in the New Year. Along with these performances, enjoy a comedy magic show, interactive kids’ activities, the all-ages, brain-teasing Fun Hunt, and the grand finale, where the 6,000 balls will drop on revelers at midnight as laser lights crisscross the sky and club music moves people to dance and sing on the lawn of the George Washington Masonic Memorial!Your ticket for the event is a First Night badge, which gives you access to all entertainment and activities at spots around Old Town. This year’s First Night headquarters is the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, just blocks from King Street Metro Station.

Start your New Year’s Eve fun in the afternoon with the Third Annual First Night Fun Huntbetween 1 and 4:30 p.m. The scavenger-style hunt uses puzzles and clues to take teams to sites around Old Town. Families can also take part in new crafty afternoon activities from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.), which is providing free art projects. Starting at 7 p.m., with your First Night badge and schedule in hand, stroll Alexandria’s charming historic streets among venues, or hop on and off the free King Street Trolley to catch your favorite acts. Check out fabulous entertainment at venues including the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the Little Theatre of Alexandria, historic Christ Church, and the Lyceum. Museums, public buildings, and even retail shops are turned into performance venues to showcase incredible regional and national talent.

A First Night badge, which costs $20, gives you access to all entertainment and activities taking place at locations throughout Old Town. Children 12 and under are free! Go for the complete schedule of shows and activities and to buy admission badges. Explore dining options and plan your visit to Alexandria

City of Alexandria Announces Schedule of Services for the New Year’s Day Holiday


All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2012, in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday.
Refuse Collection: Residential refuse and recycling will not be collected on January 1. Collection services will be delayed by one day during the week of January 1. Christmas trees may be set out at the curb for recycling collection on Saturday, January 14, and Saturday, January 21. The Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling Collection site is open on December 31 and closed on January 2.
Parking: On January 1-2, the Alexandria Police Department will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions at metered spaces, as well as time restrictions in residential permit parking districts and other areas with signed parking time limits.
Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.), and the Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) will be closed on January 2.

Hotlines: All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline, 703.746.4911; theemergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline, 703.746.3401; and the sexual assault hotline, 703.683.7273.

Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches will be closed on Sunday, January 1, and Monday, January 2.

Recreation Centers: On December 31, all Alexandria recreation centers will be open during their regular business hours. All City of Alexandria recreation centers will be closed on January 1. Chinquapin Recreation Center will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., all neighborhood recreations centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Lee Center will be closed on January 2.

Schools: The Alexandria City Public Schools are closed through January 1, reopening January 2.

State Offices: The General District Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, the Circuit Court, and the DMV Office (2681 Mill Rd.) will be closed on January 2.

Transit: DASH bus service will operate on a Saturday schedule on December 31. DASH bus service will not be operating on January 1. DASH bus service is operating on a Sunday schedule on January 2.

Trolley: On December 31, the King Street Trolley will operate on an extended schedule until 1 a.m. to provide transportation for the First Night Alexandria event. The King Street trolley will operate on a normal schedule on January 1-2.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


Point In Time, Homeless Count, Volunteers Needed


It’s that time again – Point In Time, that is!

On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, teams of City staff and volunteers will
strategically fan out across the city to survey all of the homeless
residents who are living outside. As in years past, we are in need of
volunteers who are interested in assisting.

There are many ways you can help with the count. Of course, volunteers are needed
who are willing to participate in the street outreach portion,
to talk with individuals experiencing homelessness and assist with
gathering information.

We also welcome donations of gently used sleeping bags, blankets, coats,
hats, gloves and shoes. We also appreciate receiving new socks and
undergarment items. We are seeking groups who might be interested in making
sandwiches to be given out at the time of the count as well. If you have
other ideas about how you may want to help, please feel free to contact me.

If you are interested in volunteering or you would like to make a donation,
contact Michelle Albert by phone at
703-746-3547 or email at 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Alexandria Residents Cautioned to Avoid Four Mile Run

Alexandria Residents Cautioned to Avoid Four Mile Run

Residents are advised to avoid direct contact with waters in Four Mile Run downstream from the 395 overpass in the City of Alexandria.  The petroleum discharge, which originated in Arlington County from an unknown source, is currently being investigated by Arlington County.  Alexandria residents are encouraged to eliminate the risk of exposure to the petroleum.

Until further notice, residents should:
  • Stay away from the affected waters
  • Keep your pets away
  • Avoid recreational use of Four Mile Run downstream of 395
  • Do not fish, wade or swim in the stream
For additional information, contact the Office of Environmental Quality at 703.746.4065, or contact Arlington County, Environmental Services at 703.228.3000. Read the Arlington County Release for additional details.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Easy Recipes

Turkey Wrap 
1 pkg large fajitas
2 containers Aluoette vegetable cheese spread
1/2 lb sliced turkey 

spread the cheese on the fajita
place the turkey on top
roll up
wrap in Saran Wrap
refrigerate for 1 hr or overnight
slice and serve
(makes about 40 slices)

Chicken Dip 
3-4 boneless chicken breasts - cooked and shredded
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1 jar Marie's Blue Cheese Dressing

mix all together
bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and slightly brown
serve with tortilla chips

Totellini & Pesto
1 pkg tortellino
1 container pesto sauce
1 container sour cream 

cook pasta until almost done - drain, rinse in cold water 
mix pesto and sour cream 
refrigerate both tortellini and sour cream mixture for 1-2 hrs. or overnight
serve in chip and dip bowl w/ toothpicks

Apricots and Blue Cheese
1 package of Sunsweet Apricots
fill indentation in apricots with small spoonful of blue cheese
serve at room temp.

Baked Brie 
1 round of Brie
1 Tbsp. Craisins (dried cranberries)
3 or 4 dried apricots – sliced ---- optional 
Granulated brown sugar 

Place the brie in the freezer for 1 hr. 
Using a knife, remove the white rind. 
Grease a small baking dish
Break up the brie into the baking dish and sprinkle the
Cranberries and apricots throughout. 
Bake in a 305 degree oven until melted and bubbly (about 10 – 15 minutes) 
Sprinkle w/ brown sugar.
Serve warm 

Artichoke Dip 

2 cans (14 oz. each) artichoke hearts
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
½ cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Chop artichoke hearts coarsely
Mix mayo, sour cream and parm cheese.
Add the chopped artichoke hearts and mix thoroughly. 
Pour into ungreased baking dish. 
Bake for 20 minutes, 
Serve hot. 

Cheesy Bread
½ baguette, cut into 2 inch slices
½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/8 lb thinly sliced, cooked ham
¾ cup white wine
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups grated Gruyere Cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees F
Place the bread in a buttered, ovenproof skillet or a 9 in sq. baking dish
Scatter the onion and ham over the bread
Pour the wine over the mixture
Sprinkle with the pepper and Cheese
Bake until the cheese has melted and begun to brown, about 20 mins.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Easy Holiday Recipes for all ages

Vegetable Salad Bars

1 can crescent rolls
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
1 pkg. DRY ranch dressing 
2 rounded tsp sour cream
2 rounded tsp mayo 

½ small head cauliflower
½ sm bunch broccoli
2 sm carrots

Shredded Cheddar, Swiss or Monterey cheese

Shred the veggies in a food processor

Unroll the crescent rolls and lay out on the jelly roll pan – pinch together the seams 
Bake as suggested
Let cool

Mix together cream cheese, dressing, sour cream and may – you can let this sit overnight. 

Cover roll with cream cheese mixture 
Pat on shredded vegetables
Sprinkle with cheese
Press firmly

Cover w/ Saran Wrap and refrigerate
Cut into bars and serve. 

Will keep for several days

Tortilla Soup 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion – chopped
2 garlic cloves – minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ tsp cumin
2 jalapeno peppers – finely diced
2 scallions – chopped (green & white parts) 
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced chicken or turkey (pre cooked – get rotisserie from store)
1 cup frozen corn 
At least 1 can kidney beans
2 Roma tomatoes
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips
Sour cream 

Heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro, jalapeno & scallions. 
Cook for 2-3 minutes
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil
Simmer covered for 20 mins
Add beans, diced chicken, tomatoes & corn
Serve in bowls and garnish with more tomatoes, cheese, tortilla chips & sour cream

Breakfast Casserole

2 cups shredded cheese
¼ cup butter
1 cup light cream 
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
2 t dry mustard (Coleman’s) 
12 eggs slightly beaten 
1 lb sausage – optional 
Can use spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, whatever

Spread cheese in baking dish
Dot with butter
Combine cream, S & P, & mustard. 
Pour half cream mixture over the cheese
Add beaten eggs
Add sausage
Pour rest of cream over top
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes – until bubbly

Monday, December 19, 2011

Homemade Holiday (better late than never)

As we are all try to figure out what to give everyone for the holidays and try to save money, here are a few things that I have done with my boys over the year. Most years we have done our “crafts” over the summer and put it away for the holidays. My boys have been so proud of the gifts that they have made themselves and the gifts have lasted a long time. 

-When my boys were really little, I would take them on a “collection” walk around the neighborhood. We collected rocks - big rocks, little rocks and pebbles.
Once home we washed the rocks, painted them and even glued things on the rocks – googley eyes, smaller rocks, feathers, and even cut up construction paper. 10+ years later, grandma still proudly displays her rocks on her kitchen window sill and in the garden.

-another year we purchased tiles in various sizes from the hardware store. We put handprints on the tile and gave them to grandparents and aunts and uncles to use as trivets. Again, they are still used today.

-Stepping stones are always nice in the garden and grandmas love their gardens. So one year we made stepping stones from a kit purchased from the craft store. We used our hands and feet to make imprints on the stones, then embellished them with small rocks and decorative pebbles.

-One year we went to the craft store and purchased small cardboard boxes and ornaments. (they were made from recycled materials). We painted them, put glitter on them, and even glued sequins on some of them. We gave the boxes to cousins and other relatives and we used the ornaments as gift tags on wrapped presents.

-When the boys were very young we made our own holiday wrapping paper. We took white tissue paper and used their hands in red or green paint to make handprint paper. We also took holiday cookie cutters, dipped them in paint and used them on the tissue paper as well.

-As the boys got older, we made more elaborate gifts. So one year we made soap. It was sooo easy and my boys loved it! We purchased everything needed from the craft store - molds, soap blocks, scents, colors, and a how to book. I did the melting of the soap and pouring it into the molds. My boys selected the mold, the color and the scent of the soap. It was so much fun and we had soap everywhere. (we were really clean that year!) The boys enjoyed selecting the mold and creating a unique soap for each family member – Cousins, peace symbols and happy faces in funky colors, grandpa doesn’t like spiders so they put a plastic spider in clear soap. Auntie likes turtles, so we made all different scents and shades of green turtles. A few teachers liked flowers so we made various colors of flowers with different scents. To accompany each gift we searched dollar stores, craft stores and other variety stores for different soap dishes. I think each gift cost about $7 and everyone loved it!

-Because we have sooo many girls in the family one year we made them all “magic wands”. We bought small dowel rods from the craft store, painted them and used feathers, gems, and glitter to decorate. The girls were so excited and thought they were truly magical!

-One year we thought we’d try to work with beads, so we made everyone beaded zipper pulls for backpacks, purses, and coats. The beads, pulls and sometimes a decorative charm were purchased from a craft store. The boys enjoyed making patterns with the beads and selecting various ending pieces (charm) for each pull – i.e. fish, phone, flip flop, sun, moon, cat, etc.. Some family members still have the pulls on their winter coats.

-For teacher gifts one year we made note and thank you cards. We purchased card stock from the craft store. My boys each selected 4 things that each teacher liked – coffee, dogs, golf, flowers, cats and so on. Using clip art and word, we chose different fonts and placed the teachers name with a picture of their favorite things on the page. The layout was 4 cards to 1 page of cardstock. We printed the cards out in a variety of colors, cut the page into 4 cards and tied with colorful ribbon. The teachers loved it and the boys were so proud of their computer skills.

-Other years we have gone to the Crate & Barrel outlet and purchased the following for teachers gifts --
-plain coffee mugs (about 1 ea) and put a $5 gift card to Starbucks in
-big popcorn bowls (under $10) and put packages of microwave
popcorn in it.
-clear candy dishes ($1 or so each) in a variety of shapes & sizes, and
filled them with homemade candied nuts or bagged candy.
-holiday dish towels and pot holders all under $2 

Schedule of city Services for Columbus Day, Oct. 10.

City of Alexandria Announces Schedule of Services for the Christmas Holiday
Friday, December 23, and Monday, December 26
All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Friday, December 23, and Monday, December 26, in observance of the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays.
Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.) and the Teen Wellness Center (3330 King St.) will be closed on December 23 and 26.
Historic Alexandria: Gadsby’s Tavern and the Apothecary Museum will be open during regular business hours through Saturday, December 24, and will be closed December 25-27. The Black History Museum will be closed December 23-26. The Archaeology Museum will be open December 23-24 and closed December 25-26. Fort Ward will be open December 23 and closed December 24-26. The Lyceum and Friendship Firehouse will be closed December 24-25. The Waterfront Shop will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 22-23, and closed December 24-28.
Hotlines: All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline, 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline, 703.746.3401; and the sexual assault hotline, 703.683.7273.
Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches will be closed from Friday through Monday, December 23 – December 26.
Parking: The Alexandria Police Department enforce parking restrictions at metered spaces, as well as time restrictions in residential permit parking districts and other areas with signed parking time limits, from Friday, December 23 through Monday, December 26.
Recreation Centers: The Durant Center will be closing early on Thursday, December 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Chinquapin Recreation Center will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, December 23 and Monday, December 26. All Alexandria neighborhood recreation centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, December 23, and Monday, December 26. The Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center will be open only on Friday, December 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All City of Alexandria recreation centers, including the Chinquapin Recreation Center, will be closed December 24 and December 25.
Refuse Collection: Residential trash and recycling will be collected on the regularly scheduled days from December 19 to 22. Residential trash and recycling will slide back and be collected one day late from December 27-30, with no collection scheduled on the observed Christmas holiday on Monday, December 26. The Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling Collection site will be closed on December 24 and 26.
Schools: The Alexandria City Public Schools will be closed from December 23 – January 1, reopening January 2.
State Offices: The General District Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, the Circuit Court, and the DMV Office, 2681 Mill Road, will be closed on December 23 and 26.
Transit: Alexandria Transit Company's DASH bus service will operate on a Saturday schedule until 7 p.m. on December 24. DASH bus service will not operate on December 25.