Beauty School Dropout

I burst into laughter when I walked into the Beauty Salon room of Bethesda’s Playseum and saw this scene.  It immediately brought back memories of endless hours of playing with my Salon Barbie as a little girl (although mine did not come with creepy hands to manicure) and seeing this tableau sent my imagination spinning off in a million directions.

Were these two friends who came to the faux salon hoping to get matching hair-dos and something went horribly, horribly awry? 

Was the doll on the left the victim of some awful Mean Girl scenario?  “Sure, come to the salon with me… I’ll make sure  you get an AWESOME blow-out just like mine!  Ken, and all the football players will be sure to notice you at the big game!” 

Or perhaps the doll on the right (let’s just call her Muffy) brought the doll on the left (let’s just call her Agnes) into the doll salon as an intervention after finding her locked in her dorm room, downing Red Bull and Vodka, hair hanging in her face, listening to her I HATE HIM playlist of top 25 breakup songs on her iPhone.  Muffy became concerned when Agnes kept tweeting nothing but a nonsensical stream of letters and numbers every 4 minutes and sending TwitPics of her poorly manicured toes.  Why yes, this salon appointment is just what Agnes needs.

On the other hand, perhaps Agnes, is merely the mother of a newborn, and Muffy is merely her very annoying friend who still has time for things like sleep, meals, and…  personal hygiene. 

Maybe it’s a photo shoot?  Agnes is the “Before” model.  Muffy is the “After” model.  But for some edgy magazines, MUFFY may be the “Before” model and Agnes is the “After” model, sporting the new, hot, 2010 look, “Windblow, Mystery Woman look!”  “Straight and groomed is sooooo out,” says the Beauty Editor.  “Women today want to look mysterious, unpredictable.  This hair says, ‘Hey, I may be a CEO, or I may be have just escaped from an asylum — you are just going to have to take your chances.  When I walk into your company’s boardroom, I may be about to make you a million, or you should call security — 2010 is all about taking risks!’  That’s what this look is all about!”  And then the Beauty Editor cackled and smeared more lipstick on her forehead.

I came back to reality when my little girl asked for a bottle of nail polish so she, too, could add a layer of polish to the creepy hands, which delighted her endlessly.

What scenarios come to your mind when you look at poor Agnes?

Fun… For a Cause – Local Events Worth Checking Out

If you haven’t noticed by now, I love promoting events that are for a good cause.  Here are just a few going on in our area over the next few weeks:

Costume Halloween Party and Fundraiser October 31

What:  Haunted Halloween Costume Party and Fundraiser featuring a live musician, karaoke, prize raffles, costume contests and more.  This event is for all ages. There will be candy throughout the house, and the neighborhood for trick or treating!  There will also be food and drinks for snacking.

Guests must pay at least a $10 donation to support The American Cancer Society-Relay For Life.  Entry Donations for children are not mandatory, but encouraged.  Additional donations qualify you for other contests and raffles!!

When: October 31, 7pm – midnight.

Where: Ponds of Clifton Clubhouse, 13671 Orchard Drive, Clifton, VA

Additional Notes:  Raffles for this weekends party! Outback Steakhouse Basket: Gift Certificate for up to $45, free blooming onions coupons, and more… Glory Days Basket: $40 Gift Certificates, free ice cream, and wingless chicken wings… Mary Kay Basket: Filled with new and oldie but goodie products, AND gift certificates also! Pampering Gift Basket: Life coaching gift certificate worth $150, candle, body products and more…

Bring your $1 bills for tickets!! Tickets are $2 each or 5 for $5! The more you purchase, the greater your odds! All supporting the American Cancer Society!

Team Website for Online donations:


Shelter House Help the Homeless Mini-Walk (note date change) November 1

What:  Mile long walk, helps raise funds for Shelter House, Inc.

When: November 1, registration opens at 12:15, walk begins at 12:45  (You can register ahead of time using this form.)

Where: Falls Church Presbyterian Church, 225 East Broad Street, Falls Church, VA

Hosted by:  Falls Church Presbyterian Church and The Falls Church (Episcopal)

Additional notes:  Shelter House is also partnering with Applebee’s – Falls Church. When guests present the Applebee’s Flyer on November 1st, twenty percent of their food and non-alcoholic beverage sales will be  contributed to Shelter House. Dining flyers and the walker registration form are attached to provide additional information.

Shelter House is a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness here in Fairfax County by providing families with crisis intervention, temporary housing, training, counseling, and programs to promote self-sufficiency. One of the programs operated by Shelter House is the Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Falls Church.  This facility is designated as Fairfax County’s shelter for large families of five or more members. With seven apartments, the Patrick Henry Family Shelter serves about forty residents everyday – nearly two-thirds of whom are children.  In addition to the Patrick Henry Family Shelter, Shelter House also operates the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, three transitional housing programs, an After Hours Homeless Family Crisis Center, and Shelter House was recently awarded the contract to operate Artemis House, Fairfax County’s domestic violence shelter.

If you plan to attend the Shelter House Mini-Walk or should you have any questions, please contact Kristen Lenz via email or at 703-536-5383.


Holiday Shopping Fundraiser for the American Cancer Society – online or November 8, 2-6 pm

Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.  There are two ways to participate — you can either go in person to shop from the vendors, or you can shop online (gosh, doing going before you even change out of your PJs…)

What:  Shopping fundraiser, benefits the American Cancer Society

When: online anytime, or in person Sunday, November 8, 2-6pm

Where: Go to to shop online and/or to get added to the evite for the November 8 event (that’s how you get the address for the location)

Fall Fun Guide Is Here!

2008 10 17_Great Country Farms peanuts and pumpkins_0025Fall began yesterday and the Fall Gun Guide is now officially up!  Just like its Summer companion, the Fall Fun Guide is filled with classes and events for kids and families.  Some are free, some are not, but somewhere in the guide there should be something for everyone.  I am always looking for new things to add to the guide, so please contact me if you know of something that you think should be on there.  And please check the guide frequently.  The Fall Fun Guide is “younger” than the Summer Fun Guide, so it is still maturing and is not quite as far-reaching yet — it has lots of room to grow!

It includes a list of children’s consignment sales (coming up – My Child’s Closet and Catholic Consignments), pumpkin patches and corn mazes, a list of activities by dates, classes and events, day and weekend trips, and so much more!

Go check it out and then tell all your friends about it!

Oh — and start letting me know about events you think should be included in the HOLIDAY FUN GUIDE!!

Good Stuff… Chef Spike Mendelsohn, DC Metro Moms Bloggers and Quaker

Chef Spike with the DC Metro Mom Bloggers.

Chef Spike with the DC Metro Mom Bloggers.

Good Stuff Eatery  is the name of the restaurant Chef Spike Mendelsohn, of Bravo’s reality show Top Chef, launched in Washington DC last year, and it was the setting of the realization of my own good “stuff” — I have been invited to be a part of the DC Metro Moms Blog.  (More on that in a minute…)

The concept behind Good Stuff Eatery (303 Pennsylvania Ave, SE) is a place to get a good burger and shake — Chef Spike wanted to develop a restaurant that had a menu he could eventually replicate into a chain of restaurants.  The burgers include a portobello burger and a turkey burger and bunless versions as well, and there is a salad menu (called “wedges”).  But the real highlight of the menu are the “hand-spun shakes” which are based on a custard that is made each morning with a fancy $30,000 machine.  With names like “Toasted Marshmallow” and “Milky Way Malt” how could a girl resist?  She couldn’t!  So this is what a Milky Way Malt looks like:



If you order nothing else, order a shake!  Warning — they are so rich and so thick,  you may not be able to finish it.  They are THAT good! 

Apparently expansion plans first include more DC spots and then other metropolitan areas… so when I asked him if he’d consider NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Chef Spike said, “Tell me a good spot and I’ll consider it!”  So listen up Northern Virginians… start posting here if you want to see a Good Stuff Eatery near us — I’ll make sure he sees it!

Yeah, yeah, enough about the FOOD, what about SPIKE?!  He was so frenetic on Top Chef that I was expecting him to be even MORE so at his own restaurant.  Quite the opposite.  He was very laid back, almost blending into the walls in his black Vans t-shirt and his quiet demeanor.  Several of us weren’t even sure at first it was him — we all (JavaDad, cover your ears/eyes) thought he was actually much cuter in person than on TV (or as one blogger remarked, “he looked scruffier on TV”).  He’s brash on his TV appearances, and yet, surrounded by 25 female bloggers in his own restaurant, he was soft-spoken, very polite, quietly asking each of us if we were enjoying our meals.  He very patiently indulged us in our requests for photos.  I approached him with a request to help out the Junior League with our Kids in the Kitchen initiative, by possibly appearing as a celebrity chef and teaching kids (and their parents) how to cook delicious food in a healthy way, and he immediately lit up.  Chef Spike, you see, is spokesperson for Quaker, who sponsored our dinner for the evening, gave us swag bags with Life cereal and granola bars (one of which JavaGirl has already greedily consumed) AND generously made a donation to the Capital Area Food Bank in honor of the DC Metro Moms Blog group.  In my journalism days, I never could’ve accepted such generosity — as a blogger, this is a first.  All I can say is THANK YOU! 

And just who ARE these DC Metro Mom Blog women (okay, there are actually a few MEN in the group, too, but only the women showed up)?  Well — this is a group I’ve had my eye on since I began this blog — actually I first new about their parent organization, the Silicon Valley Moms Blog thanks to one of the first bloggers (besides my brother-in-law) who I first started following, Plain Jane Mom (she has no idea who I am — probably thinks I’m a stalker who emails her every few months with blog questions, but she’s been immensely helpful to me, for which I am eternally grateful).  There are about 50 of them in the DC group and they have blogs on a variety of topics – parenting, entertainment, technology, law, and  more – and they range in experience from new bloggers to blogging before blogging was called blogging.  When I launched Caffeine and a Prayer, one of my goals was to one day build this site up enough to be worthy of contributing to their site — and I’m honored that they’ve allowed me to join their group.  I’ll be contributing twice a month (or more, if they let me!), so please hop on over there to read my stuff as well as the terrific writing these women (and men) have.   Monday night was the first time I got to meet them in person and I can tell you, well, okay, first they are LOUD (LOL!) but they are warm and wonderful and lively and fantastic!  I have never been welcomed so quickly and so warmly by a group as I have by this one.   Please be sure to visit their sites — all listed in the DC Metro Moms About Us section.