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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

‘Tis the season for giving! Below is a list of local places to donate toys (new and unwrapped) as well as warm clothing and blankets for those in need.

There are always organizations looking for food, but I’ve covered that a lot over the years. This is a great way to get kids involved in learning about donating and helping others.

Toys

The Vienna police department is teaming up with other agencies for Santa’s Ride, where Santa on a motorcycle brings cheer to children in local hospitals. You can help by dropping off new & unwrapped toys and books to the Vienna Police Department, The Community Center or Town Hall by 8 a.m. on Monday, December 13.

Foster’s Grille also has a Toys for Tots donation box in the front of the restaurant.

Winter Warmth

My company, McEnearney Associates, has teamed up with Share of McLean and the City of Fairfax Police Department to collect warm clothing (gloves, jackets, scarfs, etc.) and blankets to distribute to those in need. The force will keep them in their car and be able to distribute to those they see in need when they’re out and about on shifts. Donation location is 1320 Old Chain Bridge Road Suite 350 McLean, Virginia OR you can email me and I’ll be happy to pick it up from you.

Next week I’m going to do my Holiday List map again! If you want to make sure an address is included, please email me [email protected] or you can find me on social media @GuidingYourMove!

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The holiday season is officially in full swing.

As you and your family check out some of the amazing events going on this month, try not to get too distracted by the beautiful homes for sale in Middleburg, Old Town, D.C., Vienna or Centerville.

If you are anything like me, you will be checking out the For Sale signs not just the attractions. Here are some of the best and brightest holiday events along with some nearby homes that will really make you feel warm this holiday season.

Middleburg, Virginia:

Christmas in Middleburg kicks off this weekend. It’s an unforgettable event that features a picturesque parade studded with mounted foxhunt riders and their hounds. My McEnearney colleagues and I will be watching from our new Hunt Country office on Washington Street, please stop by and say hello on Saturday!

408 E Washington Street, Middleburg, VA 20117 listed for $1,674,000

300 E Washington Street, Middleburg, VA 20117 listed for $1,595,000

1 Chinn Lane, Middleburg, VA 20117 listed for $975,000

Old Town, Alexandria: 

Also on Saturday, head over to Old Town for the 50th annual Scottish Christmas Walk. Always a fan favorite, this will make your spirits bright. 

202 N Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 listed for $1,590,000

126 S Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 listed for $2,995,000

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The Return to Earn initiative was launched in June of this year in an effort to support small businesses and organizations find and retain the talent they need while also helping unemployed Virginian’s transition back into the workforce.

What better way to retain new staff members, reward them for their hard work, and increase workplace morale than by providing a $500 holiday bonus?

Basic eligibility requirements for program participation are as follows.

Employers:

  • Must be incorporated in Virginia
  • Be in good standing with the state
  • Have 99 employees or fewer

For new hires:

  • Must have a hiring date that falls between June 1, 2021 — December 31, 2021
  • The position must be W2 and come with a wage of $15 an hour or more (tips can be included in wage determination)
  • Must attest to having been unemployed at the time of hire*

The SkillSource Group, Inc. and Virginia Career Works Northern is working hard to make this program available to the small business community and to make the application, enrollment and reimbursement process as simple as possible. Click HERE to access an online application.

*Length of unemployment is dependent on time of hire

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

Okay, okay… I know you’re not at all thinking about your home right now as we enter the thick of the holiday season, but I’m here to remind you that your home needs love too!

There are so many lists out there of things to do to keep your home in tip top shape, but I’m going to give you the top 5 you really should do right now.

  1. Schedule your gutter cleaning (try Maple Leaf Gutter Cleaning or Gutterman Services)
  2. Clear leaves and debris from any drains around your house (think basement stairs)
  3. You were supposed to change your smoke detector batteries when we did the time change, if you forgot, check them! And also make sure you have a fire extinguisher in the house.
  4. Get your HVAC serviced (I use Mannix HVAC) and change your filters
  5. Winterize your hose bibs

Quick and easy little things really help keep your house running!

If you’re going to the Church Street Stroll tonight, have a great time!

Photo via Callum Hill/Unsplash
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Meet Tank, a young hound mix eager to enlist into a new home after parting ways with his previous one.

According to his new friends at Mutt Love Rescue, Tank “was surrendered by his family through no fault of his” own. He is a new enough arrival that the rescue organization is still developing a more detailed bio for him, but his congenial personality was evident from the outset.

“He is a solid boy, for those who love big dogs, weighing in at 85 pounds and he is approximately 4 years old,” Mutt Love Rescue says. “He is a very sweet boy, gets along with other dogs, and would love a family to spoil him.”

Tank is among the dogs available for adoption or fostering at one of the nonprofit’s upcoming events:

Saturday Nov 27th 12- 3pm Weber’s Pet Supermarket; 11135 Lee Hwy; Fairfax

Saturday Dec 4th 12-3 pm Weber’s Pet Supermarket; 2280 Hunters Wood Plaza; Reston

Saturday Dec 11th 12-3 pm Weber’s Pet Supermarket; 11135 Lee Highway; Fairfax

We are always desperate for foster homes, now more than ever. If you are interested in fostering during this difficult time, please complete an application… unless you are a previous adopter/foster, then you can just contact us via phone (703-988-2608) or email ([email protected]) to tell us which dog you want to foster!

For information on sponsoring this dog, please write to [email protected]

Could Tank be the ideal new recruit for your company?

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

Naturally this time of year, I start to reflect on the year and everything that has happened.

We returned to in-person school 5 days a week (probably the thing I’m most grateful for this year above everything else), saw some normalcy return to our daily lives and endured a roller coaster of a year in the real estate market.

I’ve met a lot of people who read this weekly column and I’m so grateful and appreciative of the support.

I hope you all enjoy a full table of family and friends this Thanksgiving.

Photo via Kit Ishimatsu/Unsplash
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The Creative Collective Holiday Pop Up is back at Tysons Corner Center!

Located on the first floor of Tysons Corner Center across from H&M, the Creative Collective Holiday Pop Up will run November 19 through December 24 and will feature more than 40 local, creative makers, designers and curators.

“We’re very excited to be back in-person this year. This is our biggest event ever! We can’t wait to see people’s reaction to this year’s Holiday Pop Up!” said Aurelou Cole and Wendy Whittelton, owners of Creative Collective.

The Holiday Pop Up will showcase products from local, predominantly women and minority owned businesses. “We love supporting small, local businesses. We truly have something for everyone — handmade jewelry, leather accessories and pottery; children’s clothing and books; organic skincare products; cashmere coats; candles; holiday cookies; specialty chocolates; sustainable products for your home; furniture and home decor, including some great vintage pieces; lots of gifts; and amazing art. A number of our partners can customize their products to add that special touch!” Cole and Whittleton said.

The Creative Collective Holiday Pop Up opens on November 19.

Follow the action at Creative Collective’s Instagram and Facebook pages (@creativecollectivepop).

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

One week to go until Thanksgiving!

A lot of the traditions around Northern Virginia that I absolutely love start now. If you’re looking to make some new ones or change up your plans for visitors, check out one of these tried and true happenings, or add one of the newcomers!

Holiday cookies (Photo by Yulian Karadzhov via Unsplash)
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The Return to Earn initiative was launched in June of this year in an effort to support small businesses and organizations find and retain the talent they need while also helping unemployed Virginian’s transition back into the workforce.

What better way to retain new staff members, reward them for their hard work, and increase workplace morale than by providing a $500 holiday bonus?

Basic eligibility requirements for program participation are as follows.

Employers:

  • Must be incorporated in Virginia
  • Be in good standing with the state
  • Have 99 employees or fewer

For new hires:

  • Must have a hiring date that falls between June 1, 2021 — December 31, 2021
  • The position must be W2 and come with a wage of $15 an hour or more (tips can be included in wage determination)
  • Must attest to having been unemployed at the time of hire*

The SkillSource Group, Inc. and Virginia Career Works Northern is working hard to make this program available to the small business community and to make the application, enrollment and reimbursement process as simple as possible. Click HERE to access an online application.

*Length of unemployment is dependent on time of hire

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

I recently shared that one of the hacks my family employs during Thanksgiving is to get a turkey spatchcocked (less amusingly called a butterflied turkey), which means getting the backboned removed.

It lays flat and cooks in less than 2 hours thanks to Alton Brown. So my question for you this week is this: what’s your favorite hack to make it easier? Prepared foods, favorite dessert to pick up, easy side dish? Please share with me and I’ll compile a list to share with our readers!

You can email me at [email protected] or find me on Instagram @LauraSchwartzRealtor.

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