Friday, March 26, 2010

Love By The Glass (Loudoun Style)

It's always been said that Virginia is for Lovers!  So, there's no better idea than a promotion called "Love By The Glass" to celebrate Virginia's First Ever Wine Week!

Virginia is well known for it's vineyards, and Loudoun is especially well regarded, often referred to as "DC's Wine Country". 

In fact, Leesburg was credited as being one of the top ten places for a wine lover to retire! 

With our many local vineyards, finding a local wine that you like should be easy.  Check out the specials offered by Loudoun's merchants, restaurants and vineyards, including:  Bluemont Vineyard, Fireworks Pizza, Grandale Farm Restaurant, Landsdowne Conference Resort, The Wine Kitchen, Tuscarora Mill Restaurant, Vintage 50, Wine Styles & Gifts Leesburg Vintner... and many more businesses in the Dulles and No Va area...See the full list here:


For a special discount at Leesburg Vintner, click HERE:

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A Rainy Afternoon @ Dulles Town Center Mall

A great afternoon at Dulles Town Center Mall!

Its true... my days of hanging out at the mall are, generally speaking, behind me.  When I am there, I am usually on a mission.  But this week, I planned an afternoon of treats at our local Dulles Town Center Mall for my two little ones who are 4 and 6.

First, we headed to see the Easter Bunny.  We get photos every year.  I admit to being shocked that Easter Bunny apparently got a tan, because he's not white this year, he's a light/medium brown.  And, their scenery was a little scaled down compared to prior years.  I was told that was because of the addition of the Starbucks in the middle of the mall, because their typical Easter Bunny set would have interupted the flow of traffic through the middle of the mall.  In any case, the kids were happy and the Easter Bunny was particularly playful.  New this year, the mall is offering the photos on a flash drive, along with a gift card for Shutterfly so you can order greeting cards and such with the photos.

Then we cruised up to the food court for Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Cone (it was no coincidence that we were there on FREE CONE DAY).  I had forgotten just how good Chunky Monkey was.  MMM....

What child can resist riding the Carousel ($1.50 each) located in the food court?  We always make time for this.  It reminds me of a place in Fairfax where my dad used to take me for Carousel rides when I was a kid. 

As if pictures with the Easter Bunny, FREE Ice Cream and a Carousel Ride were not enough, we threw in one last treat.. something I've been wanting to do.  We jumped upon the train!  Yes, for $1.50 a person, you can be pulled around the mall in this adorable train.  We had a great time!

Although we skipped it, as our visit had already lasted a few hours, there is also an indoor play area for little ones.

So, if it's a rainy afternoon in Loudoun and you need something to do, consider checking out Dulles Town Center as a destination - even just to play with the kids.

For more information about Loudoun and life in Leesburg, stay tuned to




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This Weekends Events!

And so it begins... Here in Loudoun, next week is Spring Break, which means no school. 

Many people will be on vacation, others will perhaps be on a "Staycation" looking for local stuff to get into.  Still others will have extended family or friends staying with them during the week..and perhaps trying to figure out what to do with them.  Then there are the poor shleps that will be breezing to work with barely a hint of rush hour next week. 

Which one is you?

If you're staying local, and especially if you'll have visitors, you'll want to check out the Events Page of the Leesburg VA Fanpage.  There are TONS of Leesburg/Loudoun events listed...and many will be ongoing through the upcoming week.

This weekend a few seasonal highlights are:
While the fan page mostly focuses on Leesburg and Loudoun events, who can ignore DC's famous Cherry Blossom Festival, less than an hour away?

It's true, we do focus on the kid friendly and family oriented events (because children require constant entertainment), but trust me, DC's Wine Country offers plenty for adults. 
How about about antiquing, meandering and window shopping in our many downtown areas?  Check out are wonderful trails and parks where you can picnic, boat, fish, hike, and explore.  This weekend wraps up Virginia's first ever Wine Week (Click here for a coupon to our own Leesburg Vintner, and find out more), and there are many local restaurants, stores, and vineyards participating in the "Love By The Glass" promotion.

Whatever you're up to, there's something for everyone.  From now on, don't miss a thing!  Become a FAN today! www.facebook.com/leesburgva

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Business Appreciation Awards, Town of Leesburg

The Town of Leesburg is soliciting nominations for 9 categories of Business Appreciation Awards.  The categories and qualifying criteria are:

New Business Award
Celebrates a new business started within the last 3 years that, while respectful of Leesburg’s past, represents the best of the Town’s future.

Heritage Award
Celebrates a thriving business that has made a long-term commitment to preserving the integrity and character of Leesburg’s Historic Downtown.

Ambassador Award
Celebrates a business or organization that has fostered a positive image of Leesburg as a business location or tourist destination.

Innovations Award
Celebrates a business that has brought recognition to Leesburg through creative marketing efforts, innovative business ventures and/or unique product development.

Environmental Award
Celebrates a business that conducts or participates in activities that benefit the environment through its business practices and policies on an on-going basis.

Home-Based Business Award
Celebrates the owner of an independent product- or service-based business, operated from a residence located within Leesburg, who serves as a small business advocate with the business community.

Public Art Award
Celebrates a business that makes a contribution to the development of the Town’s public art program, or actively supports the arts within the Town of Leesburg.

Community Steward Award
Celebrates a for-profit business that participates actively in the community by contributing its resources.

The George C. Marshall Award
Celebrates an individual who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the community above and beyond business contributions.


On the Leesburg, VA Facebook Fan Page, we've been conducting a suggestion poll over the past few evenings.  All qualifying suggestions have been transferred to the Discussions page, and we invite you to join into the discussion, and THEN to complete and submit the nomination form. 

Join the discussion first so that you can see the input from others, you may see a suggestion of a business that doesn't initially come to mind, but who is even more deserving of the award.  On the other hand, you may sway the votes of others by telling them your suggestion (and including an explanation is always helpful when trying to persuade someone).

We hope you'll join us today!  www.Facebook.com/LeesburgVA

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make A Difference, Get A Day

If you read this blog regularly, you know I like to educate and raise awareness of issues that are important to our community. Although I generally steer clear of things that are too political or may divide is, if I can.

You might also know that I am a Girl Scout leader.  I have a second year Daisy troop.  It is the volunteer organization which I commit to most regularly.

Yesterday's meeting was wonderful.  My first grade girls finished up their Journey "Between Earth and Sky".  To celebrate, we had a garden party, where we ate fruits and vegtables and talked about what part of the plant we were eating, and how they are grown. 

Then, we talked about World Water Day and what we could do about the water crisis in the world.  Each girl made the simple promise to turn off the water while they were brushing their teeth, rather than to let it run.  We could save a lot of water if we all did this.  We could make a difference with just a small act like that. And, it is something my 6 and 7 year olds can do personally.

In just a couple hours, I felt that I made the world a better place.  I educated and impacted the thoughts of 10 little girls who will change the world, and hopefully they will impact others.

While I choose Girl Scouts, you may choose any variety of activities that you support.  But, I hope you all pick something that is important to you, something you enjoy, and work to make a positive difference in the world around us and in the lives you touch every day.

While it pales in comparison to the natural reward, Disney has a great promotion going on.  In exchange for your volunteerism today, you get a "Free Day" at a Disney Park.  I got my free day, did you get yours?  Check out http://www.disneyparks.com/ for details.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Today is World Water Day!


Today is World Water Day, kicking off World Water Week!

I believe the world was quite lovely when I arrived, and I'd like to see it just as nice, or better, when I leave.  So, I want to share some resources with you.

The following is cut and paste directly from the Loudoun Water blog "Water We Thinking":

Celebrating World Water Day This Week

For this week's post, I thought I share an email I received this morning from the folks at Tapped (a documentary that aims to change our collective minds about tap water - in a good way). The following is a direct re-post from their email:
Today is a day that will go unnoticed by far too many – March 22 is World Water Day. It’s a day sanctioned by the United Nations to bring awareness to the fact that by 2030, two-thirds of the world will lack access to clean drinking water. The severity of this crisis has prompted the United Nations to conclude that water scarcity will be the chief constraint to increased food production in the next few decades. The threat to water resources stands as one of the major crises facing the planet. Unfortunately World Water Day hasn’t achieved the same visibility as Earth day... not yet anyway. We hope all that will change after today.

The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.

Please join us in a campaign to raise the awareness of the severe water crisis we are facing in America and around the world. Currently more than one out of six people lack access to safe drinking water - that number will only increase unless we do something about it now.

LESS THAN 1% OF THE WORLD’S FRESH WATER IS READILY ACCESSIBLE FOR HUMAN USE

Water is something so many of us take for granted. We think it’s available in unlimited supplies, yet 20 percent more water than is now available will be needed to feed the additional three billion people who will be alive by 2025.

VISITwww.tappedthemovie.com to sign legislation that protects our water supplies, repairs our infrastructure, and keeps water a public right rather than a commodity that can be bought and sold like any other article of commerce.

SHAREour videos and editorials with your friends, family and loved ones... This week, the Tapped website will feature celebrity guest columns by Ed Begley Jr and David de Rothschild, a public service announcement by Grammy Winner Jack Johnson, plus daily videos and bonus clips from the film.

READ our water saving tips and daily blog to find out how small changes you make will have a big impact.

“There is enough water for human need but not for human greed...” www.tappedthemovie.com

Stephanie Soechtig
Director, Tapped
*Forward this to anyone you love*

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Ever wondered how we get Tap Water?  Check out this story from the Washington Post for Kids:

Big into Social Media (or not)? 
Help raise awareness for this important issue...Donate your Status: http://one.org/blog/?p=14219

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We at Tapped feel that one day is not enough to do justice to all the water issues that deserve our attention. As a result we have turned Water Day into Water Week and will take the next 5 days to address a different water theme each day. Come back every day to see the newest videos, public service announcements and guest columns we’ll post here daily.

Friday, March 19, 2010

There's Something - and Some WAY - to Celebrate EVERY Day Here in LoCo

On the Leesburg, VA Facebook fan page, we have listed more than 54 "Events" in and around Leesburg and Loudoun County.  Please become a fan and check out the "Events" tab.

For today, Friday, March 19th, here are a few highlights:


Become a fan of Leesburg,VA and you won't miss a thing!

Please: In order for us to track effectiveness of this site and events calendar (which takes a great deal of manual work), please RSVP or comment if you plan to attend or have attended any of these events.

Thanks!  And remember, there's something to celebrate EVERY DAY here in LoCo!Web Analytics





Thursday, March 18, 2010

$3 Thursdays @ Tally Ho

I've posted on this before, but I want to give a quick holler out to my friends at Tally Ho Theatre, where they continue to offer "$3 THURSDAYS"!

It's Simple:

All Seats
All Showings
$3

Currently, Alice in Wonderland is playing.  I am hoping to wrap up my work day early and head over!  It will be a great treat for the kids, and for less than $10 for all 3 of us, a great treat for me, too.

Sorry, no 3D:  Tally Ho does not have 3D technology.  So, okay, some people will want to go to a more expensive theatre where they can see the movie in 3D.  Although, I've been told that for "little ones" the 3D version of Alice in Wonderland may be "too much".  I admit there are some movies (usually action) where seeing it in 3D is the only way to do it - but at least when you're paying $9 to see a movie, you know what you're paying the extra $6 for.

On a budget? Last time I went, kids drinks were only 99 cents, and I buy them snacks either before or after the movie.... not during (even though the smell of that popcorn is intoxicating). I am trying to teach them that eating doesn't automatically go along with watching a movie.

In this economy I just can not afford to pay the fees - even matinee costs - at most theatres. For more great fun, check out Tally Ho's other offerings - like family comedy nights!


Looking for other things to see and do in and around Leesburg/Loudoun?  Check out this blog, or join our Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/leesburgva - and check out the EVENTS tab!   Got any other great options for entertaining yourself and your family.... especially for free or really inexpensively? Please, add your comments.




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Attn: Loudoun Soccer Moms and Dads: SAVE BOLEN PARK

As a Loudoun "Soccer Mom" I received this email from the Loudoun Soccer Association that I wanted to circulate to you all: 

We are reaching out to you today to request your help on a very important issue that will affect us all. As many of you know, back in 2000 we voted to accept a bond referendum to build 104 acre Phillip Bolen Park, to be located near Leesburg Airport. This park will help to serve the entire county by easing some of the field shortages that we have been experiencing. This park will have 6 lighted, irrigated soccer fields. These will be the first lighted soccer fields to be built in the county.

To learn more about the park, visit: http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=125  

This long awaited and much anticipated opening of the park is scheduled for this fall. Much of the park is already built and the work continues. However, at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting regarding the County Budget FY11, several Supervisors expressed their desire to remove the $1M budgeted for the operations of Bolen Park, in spite of the fact that millions of dollars have already been spent on the project to date. If this appropriation were to be removed from the County Budget FY11, it would delay the opening of the Park for at least a year or perhaps, indefinitely. Support for making the cut appears to be growing among members of the Board of Supervisors, which makes your input and voice so important! It is imperative that Loudoun Soccer parents and athletes are present at the upcoming public input session of the Board of Supervisors for which, details are listed below.

On Monday, March 15, 2010 there was a Board of Supervisors' Public Input Session.  The vote will be happening very soon.  To make YOUR voice heard, please email the board at BOS@Loudoun.gov  NO LATER THAN FRIDAY MARCH 18th!

The Loudoun Soccer Association thanks you for your support.  "This is a battle that we must wage and which we cannot afford to lose! Please help us ensure that the Board of Supervisors hears us. Our collective voices will help ensure that they do RIGHT thing!"
3-20 UPDATE... This was posted today on the Lo Soccer FB page:
Loudoun Soccer Association Thank you for your emails, your continued support and for sharing your concerns regarding the status of Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park. In keeping with the Board of Supervisor’s policy to provide adequate services and facilities to the citizens of Loudoun County, the Board voted to keep the proposed enhancements in the ...FY11 budget. As such, Bolen Park will open and begin operations later this Fall as scheduled!


This message brought to you by Vicky Chrisner, Real Estate Sales Consultant in Leesburg, VA.  Thinking of selling your home?  Call me first!  703.669.3142  MyAgentVicky@Gmail.com

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March is Red Cross Month

March is Red Cross month. Did you know that?

The Red Cross operates locally, nationally and internationally... and when all else fails you, it's often the Red Cross that will come to your aid. Be sure to support them, so that when you need it, they can support you.

You can find out how to support the Loudoun County Red Cross Chapter, as well as the National and Internation relief efforts in Haiti and around the globe, on their web site: http://loudounredcross.org/

In honor of Red Cross Month, the www.Facebook.com/LeesburgVa fan page has added the Leesburg blood drive locations this month on their Events page.

Can you think of a simpler way to save 3 lives and get cookies? I can't. Make time to donate blood today!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Different Perspective on St. Patricks Day

Did you know in the early days of America's settlement the Irish were considered the least valuable members of society?

In those days, building canals, bridges and the like were considered among the most dangerous and deadly of jobs.  So only the Irish were hired for those jobs, because the loss of a few Irish was considered a blessing. 

In fact, THAT is the route of the famous St. Patricks Day parades throughout the world.  It was the Irish Society of Boston that organized the first St Patricks Day parade in 1737 - not as celebration but as a political statement about how unhappy they were with their low social status and inability to get jobs here in America.

How far we've come that something that started as a protest and political outcry would become a celebration, not just in the US but throughout the world.

I look at our modern day St. Patricks Day festivities as celebration of how our society has evolved, how our civil rights have grown.   Back then, no one wanted to be Irish or they may be doomed to poverty. 

Now, on St. Patricks Day everyone claims to have a bit of Irish in them!  That change in attitude is something to celebrate!  God Bless America!

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Here in Loudoun, there are many celebrations.  Check out the link below for a partial list:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=377278850247&ref=mf
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A special thank you to Stacy Nicole Lincoln of SNL Photography who allowed me permission to use this photograph.  She is a talented local (Loudoun County) "on site" photographer who specializes in maternity and family photos.  Check out her work at: http://snlprophoto.com/

From Stacy:

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks.
May your heart be as light as a song, that stay with you all year long.
For each petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way:
Good luck, good health and happiness,
For today and every day!


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Special Home Purchase Assistance Program for Lo Co Employees

Although it is not well publicized, there is a special program for Loudoun County employees (including LCPS employees) to assist them with purchasing a home. It is done in the form of a low interest, FORGIVABLE loan.  That's right, I said forgivable, meaning that you might not need to pay it back at all.

Highlights:
  • Amounts of $5,000 to $25,000 are available (depending on the property purchased).
  • Program is available to FULL OR PART TIME employees, so long as they are beyond their probationary period.
  • Program applies to first time buyers, or those moving into the county are eligible.
Loan is forgivable at 20% per year, so long as the employee meets the following criteria:
  • Remains employed by the county.
  • Continues to occupy the property as a primary residence.
If the employee meets this criteria for 5 years, the loan is forgiven in full.  Otherwise, the loan is charged a  5%  interest rate, and is to be paid from the proceeds of the sale (if the property is sold) or as a normal mortgage payment over 27 years beginning in the 4th year after buying the home.

If you qualify, and you're thinking of buying a home, this may be an amazing opportunity.  Adding this to the current tax credit (up to $8,000) and the incredibly low interest rates currently available (but not expected to stick around long - Click here to see article from the Wall Street Journal , you could really be missing the boat by not acting NOW.  

Want details and to find out if you qualify?  I am available anytime:

Ofc: 703-669-3142
Email: VChrisner@KW.com


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Monday, March 15, 2010

Do You HAVE to Pay Real Estate Taxes? Hmmm....

Did you know that you, or someone you love, may be exempt from paying Real Estate Taxes in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William or many other nearby counties?

The exemption is reserved for those with limited incomes and who meat certain age or disability requirements.

Okay, so that means I have to keep paying my real estate taxes.  But, when my mom had a stroke a few years ago, and went on permanent disability, learning about this made a HUGE difference in her monthly available cash.  

There is a catch - you can only apply once a year, and they are strict about this.  Hurry, because the deadline expires April 1st.  There are some upcoming workshops being held around the county - check out the link below for dates and locations, and the forms you'll need to apply for the exemption.

Click here for more information:  LOUDOUN COUNTY TAX RELIEF


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Is Your Water Running Without You?

Loudoun Water wants YOU TO KNOW....It's "Fix A Leak Week"!  

Is Your Water Running Without You?




Save Money, Save the Environment!  Check for (and fix) your leaks today!

Courtesy of Loudoun Water, here are ways to identify and address leaks around your home:

  • Search for toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank or use one of our toilet leak detector dye tablets. If any color shows up in the bowl without flushing first, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately to avoid staining the tank.) Need dye tablets? Contact us for free tablets or you can stop by our Administration Building during office hours to pick them up. Leaky toilets can waste about 200 gallons of water per day. Old, faulty toilet flappers are a common source of leaks. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at a local hardware store.
  • Check all of your faucets and outdoor spigots for any obvious drips. You may have a worn seal that needs to be replaced.
  • If you decide it’s time for a new toilet or faucet, look for WaterSense labeled products, which use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.
  • Check along your hoses for any leaks. If you have an irrigation system, it should be checked each spring for broken heads. A leak along your system can waste about 6,300 gallons per month.
  • Grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or Loudoun Water Preferred irrigation contractor to address leaking toilets, faucets, and irrigation systems around your home. As a WaterSense partner concerned with preserving our nation’s water supply, we can help you learn more. Visit our Conservation or Plumbing and Pipes pages for information and tips.

Visit the WaterSense Web site to learn more www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.

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Thank you to Loudoun Water for allowing us to post this information in our blog!


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Scholarship Opportunities

Many of you have children about to graduate from High School.  Of course, every parent wants to be able to pay for college or technical school after high school, but with the economy the way it is now, the question is how?



Even though the amounts may seem small ($500, $1000) there are many scholarships available locally.   Take a look first at your family.  Are any of you members of industry associations, clubs, churches, sport leagues, credit unions? Where do you (the parents) work? Whom do you regularly pay bills to (utility companies, local governments, your landlord, etc.)?  Check there and see what opportunities might exist to apply for scholarships through those organizations. 

Then, look at your child... what interests does he have?  Where did she go to school (even a couple of local public elementaries are offering scholarships to alumni)? Does he want to work in the transportation, communication, farming, entertainment industries? Did she grow up as a "high risk" kid and beat the odds? Is he an Eagle Scout or does she volunteer every Saturday doing community work "just because"?  Check into what scholarships are available through those interests, too.

I put together a quick list of a few I found.  Of course, there are scholarships offered everywhere... if you just look around.

Best of luck to you and your graduating son or daughter.  This is an exciting and terrifying time.  

I have two 20-something sons myself.  One is pursuing an associates in Computer Networking; another going back to grad school for a degree in the Entertainment Industry.  We are struggling everyday to make ends meet and pay for school related expenses.  I KNOW how hard it can be.  Most local scholarships are available to seniors in High School... and both of my boys took a year off after high school to realize they needed higher education, so they don't qualify for these scholarships.  I hope that your children do.  If you know of others, please comment below, and I will add them to the list.

Dulles Greenway:
http://www.dullesgreenway.com/uploads/forms/2010%20Citizenship%20Award%20app.pdf

Loudoun Volunteer:
http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=297#scholarships

Inova Ladies Board: (Nursing Scholarships)
http://www.ladiesboard.org/

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
http://www.loudounsoilandwater.com/2010/02/vaswcd-offers-scholarships/

Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation:
http://www.vapt.org/

NOVEC
http://www.novec.com/Community/scholarships.cfm

Loudoun Soccer Association:
http://www.loudounsoccer.com/

Cedar Lane Elementary (for pupils now in HS, but who attended Cedar Lane for 2+ years):
For information: scholarship@stevenshome.us
Virginia Housing Development Authority & Virginia Association of REALTORS
http://www.vhda.com/about/NewsCenter/Pages/2010VHDA-Scholarships.pdf

Washington Gas:
http://www.washingtongasliving.com/EnergyOfTheCity/Scholarship/VoteNow.xml

Verizon:
http://foundation.verizon.com/about/press/scholarship_program.shtml

Other Lo Co Scholarships:
http://cmsweb1.loudoun.k12.va.us/50990510143723/cwp/browse.asp?A=3&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=66352

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bunny Photos for Easter

Lucia Alami has 3 daughters, the youngest of which is terribly frightened of the mall Easter Bunny.  But, not wanting to miss a great photo opportunity, Lucia came up with an idea of taking photos of her girls with real bunnies for Easter.... and rightfully thinking other moms might like this idea, too, she decided to open up the opportunity to us all a few years ago.


I learned about this opportunity via a Facebook Page (Moms Like Me of the Greater Dulles Area), and was pleased when she still had sessions available.

Originally, the photo shoot was to be outdoors, but the weather ensured that wasn't going to happen today.  I was impressed because Lucia was able to put together a lovely setting in a room in her basement in Sterling to do the photos.

Check out the video.  The kids had GREAT fun, and I can't wait for the photos. I am sure if she offers this service again next year, we'll be back.







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Facebook is My BEST Friend

Facebook has quickly become my best friend. I vent to it, I tell it what I am doing, I tell it what I think is interesting, and I joke with it.  In exchange, it consoles me, encourages and inspires me, teaches me things, and makes me laugh.  

I have reconnected with long lost friends.  I stay in contact with friends I never seem to be able to "connect" with, because of differences in our schedules.  I even make new friends and business connections.

I like it so much that I currently have 3 pages....

My profile, where you will read things like me trying to give my kids away to a free home or find out where I can exchange my husband, you'll follow the happenings of my family and friends, and get to know me on a very personal level....Good, Bad, or Indifferent.
"The Real Estate Whisperer" which is a business "fan" page. It's newly launched, and named after my real estate blog.  I am still trying to build a following for it, but there I post things which are business related: My personal business like new listings, contracts, settlements, pictures of clients and the like; Things related to the real estate industry like initiates of REALTOR associations, changing tax laws, and other legislative issues relating to homeownership, or purchasing or selling property; I definitely post links to "The Real Estate Whisperer" blog, even re-circulating old posts that many haven't seen; And, to keep things light, I offer quirky insights and the occasional cartoon.

"Leesburg, VA"... this, too is technically a business "fan" page (although in hind sight it probably should have been a "group" page, and I would have named it "Living In Lo Co" but it's too late now).  Here, I post local and regional news.  You'll occasionally see links to my "LivingInLoCo" blog, but more often I post local news, upcoming events, reviews on local businesses....the content is similar to this blog, but more casual , more interactive, and a much quicker way to get news out - thus it is less words about more subjects. While I am still continuing to build this page, it is taking off quite well with viral marketing all on it's own.  As of last night, we had 907 fans in less than a month.
But, on Facebook as in life, it is not about what you put OUT into the world, its about how you fully interact.  I read the posts of others, "like" or comment on them, and genuinely participate in discussions.  I not only read the posts of my friends, but I have developed a coast to coast REALTOR network via Facebook, which helps me tremendously in my business.  I also get contributions from lots of groups and local businesses fed to my News Feed...so I say "in the know" about local happenings, events and issues that I care about (and I recycle this news as is appropriate).  In fact, this morning I took my kids to a new photographer.  One I learned about on the "Moms Like Me" fan page for my area. I am SO excited about seeing these photos.  My next post will include a video of part of the photo shoot - amazing fun for the kids.
Thanks, Facebook!

For more information, visit me on Facebook or subscribe to my blogs -just click on the links above! 

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It's Circus Time!

It's circus time!  For several years running, Lerner Enterprises has hosted "The Big Apple Circus" on grounds adjacent to Lerner's Dulles Town Center in the Dulles area.  It used to come in the late summer/early fall, but we never saw it at all in 2009.  Many of us missed it terribly, and were thrilled to hear it would be appearing in the usual place in March.  They are performing in town through March 27th, and tickets are still available.

This year's show "Bello is Back!"  My family and I went, and felt it was the best show in several years.  (We do like Bello, but the kids are partial to Grandma Clown, who, we're happy to report, is still in the show, too.) This was perhaps our favorite performance EVER.

Many people don't realize that The Big Apple Circus" is a non-profit venture.  They have several outreach programs, including community programs to reach disabled children, children in the hospital, the elderly in nursing homes, and high risk kids.  Plus, they have a reputation for treating their circus animals very good, and retiring them when it's time... not giving them to a zoo or worse.

Update: 3/18:  We can now offer you a DISCOUNT ON YOUR TIX, COURTESY OF THE LEESBURG, VA FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.   Follow this link for details: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&suggest¬e_id=376551783333&id=302185423061#!/notes/leesburg-va/discount-to-big-apple-circus/376551783333

Go ahead and buy your tickets now.  It's a great show and the proceeds are used for a very good cause.

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For more information about events in and around Leesburg or Loudoun County, stay tuned to http://www.livinginloco.blogspot.com/ and "Fan" the Leesburg, VA Facebook page!


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dr. Seuss's Reality Realty Quiz

Dr Seuss's Reality Realty QuizShare


In honor of Dr Seuss's Birthday, I've put together a real estate related quiz.... try your hand; then "Fan" The Real Estate Whisperer" on Facebook to get the answers which will be published tomorrow morning!

1. What were the name of the apartments where Jo Jo lived?

2. Where are you likely to find Sneetches?
3. Where does one celebrate their birthday?

4. Gerald McGrew fantasizes about catching a "big bug" that is said to fly between Texas and what city?

5. What is the name of the city "where they never have troubles, at least very few"?

6. Where is Stilt Walkers Hall located?

7. Where did the Grinch go to punder his Christmas Eve decent?

8. What is the name of the county from which the news of the Yawning Bug was received?

9. Where "on some dead ended road" does the narrator suspect he'll find himself if he followed the Spookish Hunt's suggestion?

10. What is the name of the traffic clogged road within G-Zayt?

Bonus: Who has been to the place in the picture and can tell me what it's called and where it is?

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Monday, March 1, 2010

New Tysons Express Commuter Service!


Loudoun is adding a "Tysons Express" bus service for commuters beginning this summer. 

Even though I no longer make this commute, I did do it for several years from Ashburn and then from Leesburg.  Sometimes it wasn't that bad, but there were some terrible traffic days.  Oh, how I'd wished there'd been a better way.  Can you imagine:
*  Being able to always cut your commute time since you'll be taking the HOV lanes?
*  Being able to sneak in a little nap on the way home?
*  Being able to bring your laptop and keep working - while traveling?
*  Never being stuck on the highway in traffic and having to go to the bathroom so bad you'd thought you'd die?  Come on, we've all been there!

Travel will be via luxury motor coach with reclining seats, overhead lighting (that turns on for work, and off for rest), wi-fi and even a restroom.

There will be multiple pick up/arrival times.  Two commuter lots are planned in Loudoun - one in Leesburg, one in Broadlands (Ashburn).  At only $3 each way it will be cheaper than driving yourself - especially if you currently take the toll road, faster, more comfortable, take significant traffic off the road, and let's face it, better for the environment. 

For those of you with strict bosses, I have to say usually bosses are more lienent when your (normally on time) bus is late than when you are the only one that gets stuck in traffic.

I am excited about this, and hope most Lo Co residents are.  The county is interested in YOUR NEEDS so they can plan appropriately! Please visit the web site to learn more and to take the survey. 

You'll even get a $5 Smart Card just for taking the survey!

Learn more:  http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=3061

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