Tag Archives: MD

Super Sleuths at Surelocked In

surelocked-message Outside of the building in downtown. We knew we were in trouble!

Over the weekend, we found ourselves on Santa’s naughty list! The dynamic Father and Son Duo, Mike and Chris Sparks of Surelocked In Escape Games, reassured us that there was a bona-fide way of evading coal in our stockings this year: just solve a series of interlocking puzzles to find where Santa hid his list and sneakily move our names over. Santa would be back in an hour, so we only had that long to solve our way out of this Holiday Escape Room in Downtown Frederick. Needless to say, this was a challenge that we gladly accepted.

surelocked-mikesurelocked-chrisMike and Chris Sparks of Surelocked In Escape Games

When we arrived at Surelocked In, we were enthusiastically greeted by Santa’s helper elves (AKA Mike and Chris) and both helped explain the rules. I’ll spare some details, but the express version of the Escape Room rules are: you get 60 minutes to solve a huge puzzle, everything you need is in the room, you get three hints if you get stuck, and NO PHONES! For us Millennials, that last rule seemed particularly daunting; however, separation anxiety aside, the rules sounded simple enough and we all clamored into the room. At that point, it was a race against the Santa timer in the upper corner of the room.

surelocked-nathan-bootssurelocked-nathan-readingsurelocked-christmas-treeNathan Elbert with FiND iT FREDERiCK and the festive decorations in the Naughty or Nice Escape Room

What happens in the room is classified, but I will tell you that, at least for us, it involved a lot of playful yelling, running in circles, and a ton of fun! Unfortunately, we also ran out of time and are thus resigned to Santa’s Naughty List forever, but as far as we’re concerned, we’re glad to get the coal! As puzzle lovers, we loved the experience, and as technologically dependent Millennials, we didn’t even miss our smartphones.

surelocked-piratesurelocked-groom    An exclusive puzzle-free sneak peek of Ship Outta Luck and Escape Groom

Even though we couldn’t quite get out, Mike and Chris were very gracious and offered us an exclusive sneak peek of their other two rooms, the brand new “Ship Outta Luck” that is pirate-ship themed, and the seemingly impossible “Escape Groom” that Chris repeatedly told us has a zero percent solve rate.

It goes without saying, but, we are excited to go back and see them again! (We might have already made reservations for Ship Outta Luck…) Not only is this an affordable activity for birthday parties, corporate events, or just a great night out, it is a memorable one for sure. Once you try one of these escape rooms, we promise you, you’ll be eager to get locked up again!

This family-owned business takes reservations on their website and are conveniently located in Downtown Frederick next to Volt at 220 N. Market Street.

Photography © 2016 Pulse Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved

Gifts Around Town

If you find yourself like us, you’re struggling to think of Holiday presents for everyone on your list. The passing thought that, maybe, a good lecture in the “true meaning of the Holiday,” will cover up the fact that we, not for the first time, waited until the 11th hour to get presents. With our present-buying window getting shorter by the day, we are optimistic that this gift giving season will be the year of thoughtful presents for everyone, regardless of when we purchased them! Hopping in and out of town, there are some great last minute gifts just waiting to be wrapped up and lovingly given out at the opportune moment.


Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel is truly the gift of an experience! Getting your loved one a gift card there means the perfect romantic getaway, complete with luxury accommodations and gourmet dining- right here in Frederick County. You can also remember your time together there with a keepsake ornament that is only available around the Holidays!  For more information, visit their website. big-cork-2

Big Cork Vineyard ships their wine and varieties are available at multiple retailers throughout the DMV! You can also schedule a group tasting for all of your favorite wine connoisseurs or take advantage of the events they have throughout the year. (And yes, Uber does go out to their tasting room!) For more information, visit their website.


Colonial Jewelers has this stunning pair of diamond studs on sale for only $95! They also have a huge selection of beautiful rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more at great prices year-round.  PLUS, you can have them engraved! For more information, visit their website.


The Delaplaine has incredible and unique artworks for sale, including these adorable handmade foxes and wolves by Kathryn Toothman at Keighty Crochet. Perfect for your little aspiring artist! All of their gifts are on commission, so your money goes right to the artist and educational programs at the Delaplaine, so it’s definitely a gift you can feel good about. For more information, visit the Delaplaine’s website

Linganore Winery is offering free shipping on your first 3 bottles when you sign up for a Wine Club Membership through December 14th. They can make custom labels made for your gifts for the perfect personal touch. Be sure to take advantage of their events throughout the year, including festivals, concerts, and more! For additional information, visit their website. 


The Main Cup Restaurant in Historic Downtown Middletown sells gift cards with adorable mugs, aka the perfect functional present! But, with their beautiful bar, awesome food, and live music, The Main Cup makes for a great date night, girls or guys night! (What a great way for your recipient to spend their gift card!) For more information, visit their website


The Muse is the place for eclectic, kitschy, one-of-a-kind local merchandise from artists right here in the DMV!  For this Holiday, you can get some dated ornaments made from colorful newsprint, hilarious Man Torch soy candles in playful Holiday scents, and all sorts of winter and Christmas goodies. If you’re not looking for gifts specific to the Holidays, don’t fret! They have a wide variety of merchandise that is sure to please anyone on your list!  For more information, visit their website. 


Sabor de Cuba doesn’t only have delicious homemade Cuban food, but you can make reservations online and they have gift cards for some soon-to-be scheduled, much needed, time together! For more information, visit their website


The City of Thurmont offers a way to bypass all of the guesswork around present giving with the added benefit of supporting your local economy! Just pop on down to the Thurmont Town Office and get some Thurmont Business Bucks. Your recipient will be able to buy whatever they’d like at a number of businesses on Main Street in Thurmont! For more information on Business Bucks, see this article or look them up on Facebook. For more information about Thurmont’s Main Street, visit them here.

Clutch The Future Purse Auction Event Celebrates Their 7th Year!

When asked about the upcoming 7th annual Clutch the Future Purse Auction, hosted by Women to Women Mentoring (W2WM), executive director Tonya Hatosy-Stier couldn’t hold back her excitement “It really is an incredible event that brings the women of our community together,” she said.

The event will include activities and shows such as the much-anticipated Live Auction lead by Dana Dudley, where nearly 150 new and gently used brand-name purses will be auctioned off to raise money for women mentorship opportunities throughout the city. Other grand prizes include tickets to sporting events, hotel accomodations, and more! Members of the community are invited to donate their gently used or new purses for auction at any of the local drop off spots: Smooch, Digital Bard, Sylvana Institute, FISC, SoldierFit, Frederick School of Cosmetology, and State Farm Middletown at the office of Dean Rose.

Clutch the Future will also showcase local boutiques, such as Aspire, and their best selling fashions during the fashion show from 8:00pm-9:00pm. The fashion show celebrates the women of our community and encourages those desiring mentorships as well as mentor opportunities in order to become and produce high achieving members of our society.

Clutch The Future Purse Auction will be celebrating their 7th year this year at their new venue- Cobblentz Hall on Hood College’s campus. In previous years, the event took place at FCC- the original host of the Woman to Woman Mentoring program. But as of this year, the organization became their own non-profit. “This is a huge step for us, allowing for 100% of the proceeds of this event to go towards the mentoring opportunities we strive to provide to the community,” Hatosy-Stier said.

Last year, the event raised nearly $60,000, raising their 6 year accumulated fundraising efforts to nearly $225,000. “We are truly humbled by the incredible turnout these events generate,” Hatosy-Stier said.

Doors open for General Admission at 7:00pm, VIP entry begins at 6:00pm. More details about the event and W2WM can be seen below. Registration closes on March 17th, so don’t delay and mark your calendars today for this remarkable event!

Event VIP hours 6pm-7pm for $75 a person.
VIP Experience includes exclusive bidding opportunities, live entertainment, special drink offers, & a SWAG bag with local artist’s wine glasses.

Purchase your group’s table for the event:
Full Table VIP $600, Half Table VIP $300
Gen Admin Table $400, Gen Admin Half Table $200

Event website: http://clutchthefuture.com/

Facebook: Clutch The Future: Purse Auction

Website: http://www.womantowomanmentoring.org/


Mental Health Matters at Frederick’s MHA

A board filled with purple ribbons and beautifully crafted keys sat on display at the beginning of the Mental Health Matters tour held at the Mental Health Associaton (MHA) center in Frederick. Notecards hung loosely from each key with a personal story from members of our community, describing their experiences with the team at MHA or a story of triumph with their mental health journey. “These keys represent the goal to unlock the stigma, fear, and anxiety barriers behind ‘mental health’,” said Niki Thrash, Director of Development and Marketing at MHA. “There’s a negative connotation behind the term ‘mental health’ and we are here to help change that.”

The goal of Frederick’s MHA is to “promote positive mental health and offer not just education, but the support and compassion needed to make real and lasting changes in the lives of those we serve.” Their compassionate group works to help the members of our growing community achieve a positive, healthy state of mental health to live the best life possible.

Niki, along with the dedicated staff of MHA, guided a group pf community members around their newest wing of the facility- located at 226 South Jefferson Street- teaching us about the everyday duties of the small staff that is devoted to helping the people of Frederick through mental health concerns.

One main discussion during the tour was around the call center, that handles nearly 40 thousand calls a year. “With that volume, it’s definitely a busy position to be in,” Thrash said. “There are always two members of our team in the call center at all times. We are looking to add two more to help accommodate the need.” The staff also stated that the counseling center is looking for new attendants to aid with the growing volume of attendees.

The center sees close to 1,100 child visits in the year and helps accommodate over 900 non-custodial visits with families. These meetings are monitored and visitations are supervised in a homelike, relaxed setting that allows for children and parents to feel safe and comfortable. The MHA staff works with adults, both women and men, as well as senior citizens, young adults, teens, and children at early development stages with behavioral concerns. Of the visits seen at the MHA office, 75% of them reported relationship improvements with their loved ones and with themselves.

“Many times throughout the day, this lobby is full of people just waiting to see or talk to someone,” said Thrash. Another member of the group shared their story about how they overcame a mental health issue they experienced after returning home from serving in the military. They explained the feeling of anxiousness that accompanied his decision to seek help from MHA, but after being greeted in the lobby by the great team at MHA, he felt at ease and confident in his decision. He is now a part of the growing team at MHA, committed to helping others with their mental health journey.

Employers are also strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the team at MHA and utilize their services to better support their employees and their ongoing mental health.

The team at MHA invites everyone to come by one of their wonderful “Mental Health Matters” tours held every 2nd Thursday from 8:30am to 9:30am and every 4th Thursday from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Call their 24/7 hotline by dialing 211. Crisis hotlines are available for local calls at 301-662-2255 and statewide at 800-422-0009. Walk-Ins available Monday through Friday 12pm to 8pm and weekends from 12pm to 4pm. For more information, visit: www.fcmha.org

Photo courtesy of Jasmine Sneed of MHA Frederick.

Art of Beauty in Frederick!

(Logo courtesy of www.theartofbeautyskincareassociates.com)

The Art of Beauty Skincare Associates, located on Rosemont Avenue in Frederick, is home to a number of friendly licensed estheticians that offer an abundance of services to leave you feeling healthy, pampered, and rejuvenated.

That’s why we are excited about partnering with our friends at The Art Of Beauty  for our current GIVEAWAY GIFT (happening Wednesday 11/4 through Friday 11/6) to help you pamper yourself before the big Holiday Hurry sets in! What can you win?

PicMonkey Collage

  1. Keyano Aromatics Green Tea Scrub
    This exotic exfoliating cream will douse your skin on tired hands, feet, and body with natural sea salts and vitamins to leave you feeling fresh and smooth. Just scrub into skin and rinse. Perfect for busy bees!
  2. $70 Towards a European Facial
    Use the gift card to treat yourself to a day of pampering while the licensed estheticians give you a unique aromatherapy massage for your face, neck,  and decollete. Their most luxurious facial utilizes essential oils from pure flower and plant, to balance, lift, tone, and hydrate. Followed by a customized mask treatment tailored to your needs. The package also includes a paraffin hand dip and foot massage.
  3. Age Defying Eye Complex and Solar Protection Cream
    Samples of Age Defying Complex and Solar Protection Cream to apply when your skin needs a jolt of healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and other natural skin inflammation remedies.
  4. Keyano Aromatics Green Tea Butter
    This luxurious, hydrating cream will illuminate your skin with its combination of shea butter and vitamins to leave your hands, feet, and body feeling healthy and protected from harsh winter temps and wind. Just rub into skin and voila!

Visit Theartofbeautyskincareassociates.com for more information on their products! And don’t miss your chance to enter for a chance to win this beautiful basket of amazing products on our Facebook- HERE


Mental Health Association of Frederick Survey Now Available!

If you have three minutes to spare between now and October 12th, make sure you take the short survey made available by the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Frederick County to help the non-profit gain valuable information about the community it serves.

All Frederick area residents are encouraged to take the survey, which asks a series of simple questions regarding your knowldge of MHA, mental illness and its impact on our community, as well as an open forum to gain suggestions to help form local programs in order to support the communty’s need for mental health resources. You may access the survey HERE.

The Mental Health Association of Frederick County has served the community as a private, non-profit organization since 1965. MHA strives to build a strong foundation of emotional wellness for our whole community through education, empowerment, advocacy and treatment by preparing resilient children, securing vulnerable families and facing crises together. For additional information or questions regarding the survey, please contact: dmintern@fcmha.org or call 301-663-0011 ext. 124

(Photo: Mental Health Association http://www.fcmha.org/)

Frederick’s October Event Round-Up!

October is an eventful month around Frederick, Maryland. The weather is crisp, the streets are buzzing with happy shoppers and window strollers, and the hot chocolate is steaming from passing paper cups. The holidays are right around the corner and calendars are beginning to fill. Don’t forget to save the date for all of the great events happening in and around your area this month!


Ghost Tours of Frederick- Brewers Alley (October 9, 16, 23, 30)

Join a group of fellow ghost gatherers as you explore Maryland’s most haunted city. The Dead Come Alive Ghost tours of Frederick meet every Friday night in October as the sun goes down on Historic Downtown Frederick to lead the bravest souls through our haunted historical city. Tours begin 7:30pm-9:30pm and begin at Brewers Alley on Market Street.

Walk a Mile In Her Shoes- Oct 10th

Think you’re man enough? The Heartly House of Frederick hosts a memorable mile long walk for men as they brave the Carroll Creek course in high heel shoes. The event brings awareness and offers the chance for community members to take a stand against violence against women. Registration starts at noon, race begins1:00pm on October 10th. For more information, visit heartlyhouse.org.

Comedy Pigs- October 16th-17th

The MET’s very own improv sensation “The Comedy Pigs” are back for a scary good time. Their return to the MET this season is sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you wanting more! Showtimes available October 16th -17th. For more information, visit https://marylandensemble.org/the-comedy-pigs.

Cornhole Classic- Oct 17th

The Downtown Frederick Partnership proudly presents their second annual Cornhole Classic Tournament on Carroll Creek in Downtown Frederick. This double elimination tournament welcomes teams of two to come and enjoy friendly competition and the chance to win cash prizes. For more information, visit their website HERE!

Craig Ferguson: The New Deal Tour- October 19th

Best known for his role as the host of “The Late Late Show”, Craig Ferguson comes to the Weinburg for the first time to bring a night full of laughs and sharp humor. Purchase your tickets through TicketMaster or the Weinburg’s box office at 301.600.2828.

Halloween in Baker Park October 23rd-25th

Take a walk through Baker Park on the evenings of October 23rd through October 25th for a scary good time! Zombies, Goblins, and Ghouls will join your escapades when you least expect them, so be on your toes! Begins at dusk, guided ghost tours available! For more information, contact 301-600-1492.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About West Side Story

Photo courtesy of Way Off BroadwayFacebook

Head over to FiND iT FREDERiCK Facebook to win tickets for a showing of West Side Story and dinner for two!

West Side Story is a well known theatrical performance that brings Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to a modern, New York City street where the opportunities for two love birds are less than ideal. But did you know that Sondheim originally wanted the play to be the first to drop the “F-bomb” on Broadway and bring a controversial twist to the stage for its growing audience? Check out five other facts you may not have known about this classic love-story of the notorious West Side-

1.  Shakespeare based the concept of “West Side Story” after reading a poem by Arthur Brooke titled The Tragic Historye of Romeus and Iuliet. This poem was actually created on the idea created by another poem by Roman poet, Ovid- titled Pyramus and Thisbe.

2.  When the play was picked up for film adaption, the cast from Broadway was immediately rejected, claiming that they all looked too old to play “children” on screen. Maybe it’s true- the camera adds 10 years!

3. A scene in the movie, titled “Cool”, required actors to wear knee pads. Choreographer, Jerome Robbins, was known to push the actors to the limits during rehearsals and stage shows so much so that the actors burned their knee pads in his office after shooting to display their emotions towards the long hours of strenuous activity. Take that, Robbins!

4. Due to serious topics and risqué language, the original producer of West Side Story completely stopped raising money for the show early in the development process. The new director that came on board believed the show was well worth the fund raising. And luckily so- West Side Story became one of the most successful Broadway Musical in history.

5. On stage, Tony and Riff vow to make a lifelong promise of friendship and devotion to one another that includes the words “from sperm to worm.” To satisfy television censors, the film adaptation changed the line to “from birth to earth.” Would this still have been changed in today’s censorship guidelines? Food for thought.

(Facts courtesy of HERE)

Famous 4th of July in Frederick!

There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day 2015 than in our own back yard. Celebrate Frederick is helping to kick off the annual “Frederick’s 4th– An Independence Celebration” event in Baker Park and there are few excuses that should keep you from joining this epic gathering.


The celebration starts at noon with opening ceremonies at the Maryland Management Company Band Shell. The band shell will host multiple shows including Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam (kids rock n’ roll), Sons of Pirates, and Damn the Torpedoes- a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tribute. The WFRE Country Stage returns to the south side of the Baker Park Swimming Pool with a list of must-see performers, including City Clicker Band featuring Debbie Williams, Olivia Lane, Davisson Brothers Band, and Cam.


Beer and Wine Gardens will be set for all attendees over 21- One on second street next to the Baker Park Recreation Center, and another at Carillon by the tennis courts. Don’t leave the festivities until the stars come out and fireworks light up the cityscape. Point your blankets and lawn chairs towards Parkway Elementary School around dusk to see the much anticipated Fireworks Show, presented by Comfort One Shoes. Want to light up like the night sky? Purchase your glow sticks and necklaces at the park- $2 for 1 or $5 for 3.


Other festivities in the park include the Key 103 Bathtub Races, as well as the 33rd annual 4th of July Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Grass Doubles Volleyball Tournament, occurring on the Frederick High School lawn. Both activities require pre-registration to participate but open to spectators. Don’t miss out on making your best memories for July 4th this Saturday in Baker Park!

Tuscarora Marching Band Carwash for a Cause

Come out to support the Tuscarora High School Marching Band Carwash on Saturday June 27th!

A vibrant spirit among the Frederick Community, the Tuscarora High School Marching Band (THSIMB) is an avid supporter of the school in a number of after school and weekend activities. The multi-talented group of motivated students find their way to bring music and morale to the student body of a thriving high-school community whether it be for football games, social events, and student body pep-rallies. They enhance community image and augment student learning on a large spectrum. With so much of their time giving back to their school and community, now is the time for us to return the favor!

This weekend, the marching band is asking for your support as they work to raise funds to purchase new uniforms to continue their prestigious run as a reputable force in the high school marching band arena. Like the majority of public schools in the country, the high school does not receive any funding from the public school system to purchase the uniforms rightly required for the sport.

The team has been performing for over 11 years with the same uniforms- which have needed repairs and alterations after a number of active, successful seasons. With each uniform costing near $400, the entire band is out to raise their own funds to reach approximately $40,000 in order to purchase the attire needed to maintain their group’s prestige and enthusiasm.

Come out to enjoy the weekend with a wonderful group of teens who strive for excellence in every way. The event takes place from 9am to 1pm at PNC Bank at 5810 Ballenger Creek Pike in Frederick for their car wash fundraiser. See you there!