Category Archives: Around Town

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo, you should give it another go.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo

I’ve been to Catoctin Wildlife Preserved and Zoo in years past, and honestly, I was disappointed. High entry rates for caged animals didn’t measure up for a great day out in the sun.  (SPOILER ALERT: My opinion has radically changed!)

I’m more than pleased to report that my most recent visit to Catoctin Wildlife Preserve has completely changed my opinion for the better.

Catoctin ZooIt’s like they hired a sanctuary specialist.  The entire environment has received a breath of fresh air.  Everything is happier – from the animals to the employees.  THIS is a local zoo we can be proud of.

From the zoo website: “The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is supported by the Global Wildlife Trust whose mission is dedicated to broadening human understanding of the animal world.

This is achieved through immersion in naturalistic habitat recreations and educational programs using live animals and instructional tools both on-site at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo and through presentations in the greater community.”

Well, Catoctin – it shows!  You are succeeding in your mission!

I took the boys (ages 6 and 1) to the zoo in mid-June 2016.  We were at the park for over two hours.  And though the weather was not ideal (we experienced torrential downpour and took cover in the bat enclosure until the heavy rain subsided) we fully enjoyed our stay.

Catoctin Zoo

You had their attention from the main gate all the way through, which makes this Mama very happy.

We’ll be back, over and over again.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo

By the way, that snippy comment about pricing at the zoo?  It’s a solid memory.  I had it in my mind that I paid too much in years past.  I can now honestly say, your prices are reasonable. Totally and completely.  For about the same price of going to the movies, my kids are outside engaging with nature. I’d call that a bargain! Thank you.

All the Best,

Signature Mae

 

 

Did you know Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo offers birthday party packages?  For more information about weddings, group activities and corporate events, visit the zoo website at www.cwpzoo.com.

You may be interested in: Safari Birthday Invitations (different color options are available)

Zoo Birthday Invitations

Zoo Party Invitations

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Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood – Wedding Open House 2016

S'more Party Favor Kit

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood – Wedding Open House 2016

Hello, beautiful people.  I have some FUN news to share!

Custom Mae’d was recently invited to participate in a Wedding Open House with Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood!

Mountain Memories ThorpeWood - Wedding Open House 2016
ThorpeWood – April, 2016
Tucked away on the Catoctin Mountains near Thurmont, Maryland, this 155-acre mountain retreat will take your breath away.
    “ThorpeWood as a venue is totally gorgeous, ridiculously cozy, and crazy romantic. All events at ThorpeWood are booked and managed by Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood, LLC, owned by Julie Castleman and Lexi Hartner. Both Julie and Lexi enjoy shepherding brides and grooms, making arrangements for corporate groups and assisting with details of many other types of events held at ThorpeWood. Together they have successfully guided more than 800 couples through one of the most important moments in their lives—making their dreams a reality at ThorpeWood.”
Both Julie and Lexi are equally fabulous and so LOVED by anyone who has ever met them!  Their attention to detail and genuine enthusiasm leave a lasting impression.

I was honored to participate alongside such talented and brilliant local vendors – caterers, florists, DJ’s and more!

Mountain Memories ThorpeWood - Wedding Open House 2016
Canapés Catering

Canapés Catering is a full-service catering company, providing customized menu design and complete event planning. Canapés has been offering fine cuisine and impeccable, personalized service for 25 years in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area. Whether large or small, casual or elegant, we will work with you to ensure that your event is perfect.

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood - Wedding Open House 2016
Monica’s Floral Designs

Monica’s Floral Designs – Wedding flowers since 1987 –
Serving Frederick, Maryland and surrounding areas.

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood - Wedding Open House 2016
Blossom and Basket Boutique

  Blossom & Basket Boutique is owned by Ellie Bonde and Rene Bonde Shiffler,
a mother daughter team, and is located in beautiful downtown Mt Airy, Maryland.

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood - Wedding Open House 2016
Shew-sical Entertainment and Candlelight Floral

Shew-sical Entertainment and Candlelight Floral Designs were so kind to reach out and say ‘hello’.
I regret not having more time to take a few more photos. Their respective websites are linked above.

Also, do your tastebuds a favor and check out Renaissance Chef!
They served a Brie appetizer (Praline Brie En Croute) Brie with brown sugar and nuts… so delicious!

As for my little corner of Mountain Memories Wedding Open House paradise:

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood - Wedding Open House 2016
Custom Mae’d Stationery & Party Decor | C&V Design

I reached out to Illiah of C&V to collaborate on what was to be my first ‘Open House’ experience. There are simply no words to adequately describe how perfect this collaboration panned out.  I’ll let the pictures speak a thousand words:

ThorpeWood-Wedding-Open-House-Stationery

boho-bride-stationeryCreated specifically for this event – S’more LOVE Wedding Favors:
Suited to your design style and personalized just for your special day!

smores wedding favors
S’more LOVE Wedding Favors

S’more LOVE Wedding Favors are available as DIY Kits and/or fully assembled* (for my local clients).  I’ll change the design (color and style) to suit your event.

My sweet friend Illiah of C&V is taking a step away from stationery design and focusing on her first love ~ translating the heart & voice of creative entrepreneurs with design & words. For a free consultation: Hello@ceeandvee.com ceeandvee.com

illiah of C&V Design
Illiah of C&V Design – seen here capturing my Wild Boy’s attention. Her words and design interpretation are MAGIC! www.ceeandvee.com

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me for further vendor or venue information.  It would be my pleasure to put you in touch.

All the Best,

Signature Mae

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Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood – Wedding Open House 2016

Join me Sunday, April 24, 2016 with Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood for their Wedding Open House!  Tour the gorgeous and serene 155 acres, meet some of ThorpeWood’s preferred vendors – photographers, florists, DJ’s and more!  Enjoy tasting the amazing foods from their exclusive caterers Canapés and Renaissance Chef.

ThorpeWood Wedding Open HouseFor directions, visit www.ThorpeWood.org.

All the Best,

Signature Mae

ThorpeWood’s 15th Annual Holiday Open House

The kiddos met Santa and Mrs. Claus over the weekend at ThorpeWood’s 15th Annual Holiday Open House. ThorpeWood is a 155-acre mountain retreat situated 1,500 feet high in the Catoctin Mountains near Thurmont, Maryland.  Located off a long and winding country dirt road, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away, though in reality you’re just a stone’s throw from Washington, DC.

ThorpeWood December 2015

The halls were decked, the music so serene, the cookies plentiful, and the cider warm and crisp.

Deck the Halls  Log Cabin

Children’s activities were provided for the children in a cozy nook downstairs; Story time, a coloring table, and an interactive craft.  My five year old had a blast!  He participated in each activity and was fully engaged while waiting for Santa’s arrival.  Surrounded by buckets of ornaments, an eight foot Douglas Fir stood in the center of the room beckoning little hands to decorate.

decorate the Christmas tree

coloring-table

ThorpeWood Holiday Craft and Story TimeAfter an hour or so of decorating the tree, coloring, and participating in assisted craft time,

…who to his wondering eyes did appear?

Santa 2015

Santa, … and Mrs. Claus!  My boys were equally in awe of each of them.

To my big surprise, my five year old asked Santa for a ‘Pie in the Face’ game, and a wallet to hold all of his money.  lol

Love, Love, Love nights like this.  This is what the Holidays are all about for me.  Happy kids.

It’s so rare to find true Christmas magic, but ThorpeWood nailed it with their Holiday Open House.  We plan to make this a new Holiday tradition in our family.

Thank you, ThorpeWood!

Sincerely,

Signature Mae