Out and About in DC: Dirty Dinner at Calleva Farm


photo courtesy of calleva.org

There are so many great things to do in the DC metro area that I don’t think I have even skimmed the surface after living here for 12 years.  Then children come along and your ambitious plans for new adventures slow to a crawl.  Fortunately, the husband and I do get out every once in a while.  So on a hot but manageable July Saturday, we were fortunate enough to enjoy an evening at Calleva Farm in Dickerson, Maryland in late July.  You may ask how did I hear about Calleva Farm.  The answer is easy.  A Dirty Dinner for Four was an item up for bid at our children’s school auction.  We won the Dirty Dinner, asked some friends to join us, and we headed out for an evening of live music, local food and wine and an evening in the countryside.

This is the information provided on their website:


Dirty Dinners at Calleva Farm is a series of unique evenings in the countryside, featuring local ingredients, local wines and live music on our beautiful farm in Dickerson, MD. The past 2 seasons have been everything we’d hoped for: brilliant groups of guests, great music, absolutely delicious food (if we do say so ourselves), and being selected “Best of” with Bethesda Magazine and “Things to Do” for Washingtonian. We love the way the Dirty Dinners series reflects Calleva’s mission & values by introducing people to the beauty of the great outdoors in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. Dinner ingredients are mostly grown at Calleva Farm, plus additional produce from other area producers & wines from local vineyards. Our dairy products come from South Mountain Creamery. A typical Dirty Dinners evening at Calleva Farm: 5-6 pm Social Hour, Hay Rides & Garden Tours; 6:15-9:30 pm Dinner, Music & Dancing.

I really had little expectation going into the event.  I was looking forward to adult time since we rarely get any.  It was a long ride from DC and the most unexpected part of the evening happened when we rounded a bend in the road and came upon a ferry…White’s Ferry.  Maybe I am the only DC resident that didn’t know there was still a ferry service across the Potomac.  Needless to say, it was a safe and secure ride from Virginia to Maryland and then a quick hop to Calleva Farm.


Upon arrival at the Farm, we parked and headed up for a mocktail, tour of the farm, a hayride and even made some picked vegetables.  Out of these four activities, I enjoyed the mocktails the best.  There were two to choose from:  fizzy blueberry lavender lemonade and skinny hot pepper peacharita.  I dove in for the blueberry and absolutely loved it.  The rest of my party sampled the peacharita and liked it but not as much as the blueberry.  It had a bit of spice and on a hot evening maybe not what the doc ordered.


After the mocktail hour, we sat down for dinner and live music.  Dinner was 6 courses of farm to table items and the wait staff described to us what each would be.  If I am honest, my party observed that the wait staff was giving different nuggets of information, and sometimes our wait staff didn’t give us the run down at all.  Not a dinner ruiner but maybe just something they need to clean up for future events.  I enjoyed the menu selection as there were a few items on the menu I wouldn’t normally order like the crunchy radish and dill salad.  It was delicious.  I also enjoyed the soup course as well as the summer squash fritter.  My only complaint about dinner would be the extended time between each serving.  It caused dinner to drag a bit but thank goodness for our friends and good conversation.  Wine was also served from local vineyard Black Ankle.  They offered both a white and red with our meal.  After dinner, they had a bonfire with tea and coffee service.  The music and atmosphere put you at ease and was quite relaxing.  We left soon after dinner because as I mentioned earlier, it was a bit of a drive from Capitol Hill  and we all needed to relieve our babysitters.  We can’t use and abuse our dear babysitters!




All in all, Dirty Dinner was a surprisingly enjoyable event that got us out of the concrete jungle for the night.



Strawberry Pickin’ Time!

IMG_0022.2015-05-16_221324 This past weekend we decided that we needed to squeeze in Strawberry picking.  The kids love it.  John and I enjoy it.  It reminds me of my childhood.  I had my own special strawberry patch at my Papaw Miller’s house.  I couldn’t wait for the juicy berries to appear.  I share that story every year with Colton and Coop.  Colton reminded me that I have told  him the story a few times.  I just love this age where they know everything and talk back to you.  I digress…

Anyway, we headed out late on Saturday to Schlagel Farm in Waldorf, Maryland.  We heard from other friends that this was a great place to go.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  It was quick and easy drive from DC.  We pulled right up, got our baskets and headed out to the fields.  This year was awesome because Colton and Cooper could help us.  Coop wasn’t quite there last year but was super excited this year.  Beckett even got to hang out in the field.  We were super lucky because we had a cloudy evening and it was perfect for picking berries.

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We always pick a ton of berries so that we and Uncle Matt can make jam.  If you are interested in canning and jam making, check out this link at Pioneer Woman.  It is easy and the kiddos can help.  Lots of mashing and destroying berries.  Boys love it!


I grew up with woman always canning some fruit or vegetable and I decided I needed to learn how.  We made 10 16 oz jars of jam and had strawberries left over from just one of the white boxes!  So far, I haven’t progressed past fruit but I’ll get there eventually.  For now, Colton enjoys a strawberry jam sandwich at least twice a week for school.  I consider that a win!

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A few of my favorite things…April

I figured I would start sharing some of my favorite things each month. I love it when people open my eyes to new places to eat, new gadgets, new fashion trends (not that I am very good at following them),  and just generally things I love this month.

So….here we go!

Pork Dumplings from Toki Underground. I went to an event at Union Market in April called Thread and it was full of fantastic fashion, home decor and of course food. Toki Underground was a pop up that was only staying for a few weeks in the market and it has been there for months now. These dumplings are unbelievable. My friend Katie, my sis and I were laughing as people actually ran after the trays just to snag one of these.

Chromecast…..35 dollars and endless possibilities. John and I are constantly behind the curve on the latest technology but at least we try to catch up.  This is my new favorite toy. I am catching up on Scandal, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards. Not to mention, there are so many cartoons and movies for the boys to watch. Strangely, my boys have become obsessed with Super Mario Bros. Super Show. In case you don’t remember, this show came out when I was young. It starred WWE Hall of Famer Lou Albano as Mario.  I wouldn’t say it was an award winner but then again, my boys love it.  t think it has to do with Colton’s obsession with Super Mario World on the Wii.

My Tieks!  Seriously, the best flats I have ever owned.  If you don’t have a pair, pay the price.  They are worth it.  They have a good sole, my feet never hurt even after wearing them all day, and they come in cool packaging.  I mean seriously, everyone loves to get a pretty package!

Klorane Extra Dry Shampoo is making my life easy.  Most of you know how thick my hair is and I really don’t need to wash it but every few days.  This stuff makes it last another day.  Lots of people don’t like dry shampoo but this one has a good smell.  Major downer…small in size.  I also use Dove Dry Shampoo.  It is way cheaper and just as good!

Moving onto my favorite things: BOOKS!  The list goes on and on!  This month has been a book winner…here goes:

The King by J.R. Ward. Seriously one of the best paranormal series I have ever read and this book in the series brings us full circle back to Wrath and Beth.

Bad for You by Abbi Glines. This lady’s Seabreeze series is fantastic. Love the characters and all the interplay. Krit, the lead singer of Jackdown, is to die for. I have been waiting for his story for too long.  I can’t wait to meet her this weekend at the DC Author event.

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins.  DC local and author of this amazon Young Adult trilogy knocks my socks off.  This is the last of Kaidan and Anna and I loved every minute of it.  Excited to meet her too this weekend!

Nash by Jay Crownover.  One of her Marked Men series.  These guys are a great group and Nash proves no different.  This is the first one where I actually cried.  I was surprised I loved Nash so much but he may end up being my favorite.

Out of Mind by Jen McLaughlin.  Another trilogy coming to an end.  Finn and Carrie are a favorite couple.  Read them all!

Reasonable Doubt by Whitney Gracia Williams.  This is a serial and a hot, steamy one.  I am patiently waiting for part 2.

The Proposition 4 by H.M. Ward.  She is the queen of serials and the Ferro brothers.  I just wrote a review on this one.  Bryan may be my new have Ferrro but I am not sure how long he will be around!

As far as TV goes: you all know I love The Following.  Kevin Bacon is the best!  I can’t believe the season finale and I am hating we have to wait half a year for another season.

Suits:  John and I love this show.The cliffy with Mike leaving is so not cool but back on in June!  Answers soon! Woohoo!

Scandal, seriously where have I been. I can’t get enough of this show and thank you to my Chromecast, I am all caught up! Well, I have another season to go….I mean the angst between Olivia and the President. The First Lady, man, she takes scorned to a whole new level. Olivia’s staff…love them all.

Don’t let me forget my new favorite anthem….Ain’t it Fun by Paramore.  I listen to this on repeat!  Hayley William’s voice is one of the best out there!

Easter and Spring.  My kids love Easter eggs.  I love them too just hate putting them back together.  I love going to church with my family and seeing everyone in my hometown of Bethlehem.

I love fresh flowers.  They make me happy so I am trying to keep them around the house!

Coop’s Bday.  He has a good birthday month.  He was so excited this year about everything birthday!  We celebrated at Mamaw and Papaw’s and had a Minion themed birthday party!  We all enjoyed it!

That’s it for April!


Most of the links are to Amazon and they are not sponsoring this post.  I just happen to use Amazon…a lot.

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