Newsletter

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 would really love for these 85 degree humid days to subside already!

I’m so happy football has started, now I’m ready for sweatshirts, fire pits and more fall things, including apple picking! Make sure you’re checking their social media and/or websites to verify when they’re open.

Some orchards/farms close down if it’s raining, or if they’ve been over picked to allow more fruit to ripen. Many will also have fall festivals if you check websites to make a whole day of it.

Photo via Natalie Grainger/Unsplash

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].

This summer I have fallen in love with the peaches at the Vienna Farmers Market from Kuhn Orchards, paired with these low acid yellow/orange tomatoes and burrata with a balsamic drizzle. It’s pure summer heaven on a plate.

With only a few weeks to go in both the Vienna Farmers Market and peach season, I wanted a resource of where to get late fall produce when the season changes.

Below I’ve highlighted some local farmers markets, where they’re located and when they’re open. Go early if you can. As the morning goes on, the lines get longer.

This weekend I tried to get empanadas at the Mosaic market and the line was 30 people deep so I gave up.

Local Farmers Market

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].

If you’re trying to hold onto the last few days of summer and make the most of your 4 day weekend, here are some great weekend trips to look at if you’re looking for an escape.

Outdoor Getaways:

  • Aquia Landing Park, Stafford, Virginia: About an hour from Tysons, this is a popular fishing spot and beach for swimming. Note there’s a fee for parking.
  • Colonial Beach, Virginia: Colonial Beach is about 90 minutes away from Tysons. It has easy parking, is on the Potomac River (so very few waves), has shallow water and there’s a fishing pier. You’ll find a cute snow cone and ice cream spot, too. (Try the chocolate éclair ice cream!)
  • Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, Virginia: This small hidden gem is located under an hour from Tysons and offers fishing plus canoe and kayak rentals. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. You’ll also find spots for swimming and walking trails.
  • Lake Anna State Park, Spotsylvania, Virginia: About two hours away, you’ll find lots of sand and water for swimming and playing, camping grounds for overnight stays and walking trails. Tents are not allowed on the beach.
  • Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, Maryland: An hour from Tysons, Sandy Point is a popular beach before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge with lots of space for distancing. This is a great spot if you just want to escape for a day.
  • Calvert Cliffs State Park, Lusby, Maryland: Located about 90 minutes from Tysons, Calvert Cliffs is a Maryland state park featuring fishing, swimming and walking trails. It’s $7 per car for day use if you’ve got Virginia state plates.
Photo via S’well/Unsplash

Noteworthy Stays:

  • Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia: Here you’ll find a spa, restaurants, wineries, an infinity pool, hiking trails, zip lining and, for golf fans, access to the club at Creighton Farms.
  • The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia: Find a top-rated restaurant at The Inn and the quaint town of Washington is perfect for exploring.
  • Inn at Perry Cabin, St. Michaels, Maryland: On the beautiful Chesapeake, Inn at Perry Cabin has a spa, restaurants, pool, fitness center, golf and tennis.
  • The Inn at Vaucluse Spring, Stephens City, Virginia: This is a romantic bed and breakfast perched along the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Nemacolin Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania: Nemacolin has many types of lodging, a spa, golf, ax throwing, zip lining and tons of restaurant choices.
  • The Omni Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia: Filled with historic charm, this huge spa features hot springs, a water park, golf and lots of other family-friendly activities.
  • The Tides Inn, Irvington, Virginia: Find a spa, wine trail, sailing school, golf and newly redesigned rooms!
  • The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia: This resort contains a spa, a casino, pool, arcade, bowling and so many other activities to keep you busy!
  • Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia: Located in historic Leesburg, Lansdowne Resort has a spa, golf course and more.
  • Tidewater Inn, Easton, Maryland: Explore the spa, luxury accommodations, historic Easton and Hunters’ Tavern.

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

The summer went by so fast! I am thrilled to get my kids off to the first day of school and they were both thrilled to be going back.

I’m a creature of habit and routine and I’m taking the day to clear out, clean up and get everyone into a new routine. If you’re anything like me and can’t wait to dig into their stuff while they’re gone, please consider some of these places to donate your items.

Of course there’s always the option to sell items as well, but if you want to just drop it all off, here’s a list of places:

Women Giving Back — Sterling, Virginia
They’re accepting women and children’s casual, professional and formal attire, shoes (like new), maternity apparel and winter gear. They don’t accept books, toys or car seats. Check their calendar for drop off times as the days and times can vary.

Second Story — Vienna, Virginia
Donations of items like food, clothing, personal hygiene supplies, and household items help teen mothers and homeless teens.

CHO – Vienna, Virginia
Accepting donations of food (PBJ, small canned hams, oil, canned fruit), boys and men’s clothing, bath towels, and furniture.

Children’s Hospital — Washington, D.C.
Don’t forget about Dr. Bear’s Closet. It’s looking for brand new, in-original packing, non-toxic and no latex items with tags. For infection reasons, they do not accept anything used.

Buy Nothing (3 different Vienna Facebook groups based on location) — You can give away items to people in your community

Hope everyone has a great first day!

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

With the start of the school year quickly approaching, there are many ways people are starting to help teachers and schools set up their rooms for a successful year.

As some of you may know, my husband is a high school teacher, so I love supporting educators. They work so hard. So, so hard. Many of them spend a lot of their own money on their classrooms, especially elementary school teachers.

Here’s a list of ways you can directly support teachers as well as schools:

  • Complete a Teacher’s Amazon Wish List: A recent Facebook group was started for FCPS educators to post their Amazon Wish Lists for people to purchase items off of. You can do so anonymously or with your name, either way, they’re getting many items for their classroom that will directly benefit the kids.
  • If your school doesn’t have a Blessings in a Backpack program, consider adding one. The organization quietly provides food for kids over the weekend who need assistance.
  • There’s also a website called DonorsChoose.org where teachers can post projects they want to do with a funding request. You can see which teacher, which school and how much they need. I did a quick search for Vienna, Virginia and found multiple opportunities!

Whether you decide to donate or not, consider sending a simple thank you to your favorite educator just to give them a little boost as they head into their final days of summer. Many are already in planning mode for the upcoming school year.

Photo via Nic Rosenau/Unsplash

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

Today is National Wine and Cheese Day!

Looking to celebrate? Here are some of my favorite charcuterie options and places to pick your own wine and cheese!

If you’re willing to travel, here are some of my local favorites around Northern Virginia:

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

There are so many home maintenance checklists out there, compiled of stuff nobody actually does.

I’ve been through more home inspections than I care to remember so I’ve seen the dirty secrets people hide when it comes to taking care of your home. If you’re looking for a list of stuff you should actually do, here’s my list. I do them all on my own home, so this is definitely something I stand behind.

  1. Wash your windows inside and out, all ledges and screens. I call E&R Services for my own home.
  2. Check your chimney to make sure you still have a cap. Many times people don’t notice if the wind takes it away, but it keeps the elements and animals out of your chimney. It should look like a metal mushroom at the top.
  3. Change your filters — HVAC, fridge water filter, microwave or hood vents, etc.
  4. Power wash any surface that is now green. Consider sealing your deck or any other stripped or rotted paint. Rotting wood attracts termites and other insects and could get worse.
  5. Clean out your gutters and downspouts if you haven’t from the spring. The fall will bring more rain and more falling leaves, so beat the issue of clogged gutters!
  6. Clean your dryer vent!
  7. Get rid of any empty or old propane tanks. They serve no purpose if they’re empty.
  8. Check for tree roots — if you see cracks in your driveway (raised ones, not just hairline cracks), or similar cracks in your walk way, you’ll want to have them checked out. Tree roots can cause foundation damage and continue to grow.
  9. If you plan to do any lawn care, consider getting estimates now for the early fall if you want to aerate it.
  10. Check your sump pump. We get a lot of rain in Northern Virginia during the summer and prevention is the #1 thing you can do when it comes to your foundation. Check your drainage when it rains. If the water is pooling in one spot, you’ll know where your issues are.

Small things like this have big rewards in the long run. You can avoid larger home maintenance repair bills by staying on top of regular routine check ups.

Photo via CDC/Unsplash

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

If you’ve been reading my Neighborhood Expert column for a while, you’ll see my passions include real estate, my kids and food.

We just returned from a week at the beach and I thought it would be fun to put together a list of our must-eat places along the east coast beaches. I remember the first time we went to Ocean City, Maryland with a 2 year old, we had Five Guys for dinner because I didn’t know where to go or what to eat and that was the easiest thing to do. But now that I have 8 years under my belt of staying in Ocean City and Rehoboth, my list of recommendations has grown a bit.

Hope there’s something for everyone on this list. As always, feel free to comment or email me to add anything I don’t know about yet!

Breakfast

  • Barn 34: Benedict’s galore
  • Bad Monkey: Get your sugar fix early — monkey bread, Nutella French toast
  • Egg: Good mix of healthy and indulgence
  • Blackwall Hitch: This could be brunch or lunch/dinner!

Lunch/Dinner

  • Barn 34: The bacon wrapped dates appetizer is awesome
  • Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli: Incredible sandwiches, plus Jewish staples
  • Barrio Taco: The plantains were amazing, huge tamale, and great empanadas
  • On the Bay Seafood: We always do this to go because waiting for a table seems impossible some days, but the steamed shrimp is served with old bay and cocktail sauce, steamed crab, and crab cakes. If you want traditional creamy crab soup, skip their herbaceous version.
  • Longboard Café: Wrinkly green beans are my favorite thing! So so good. Also great burgers and salads.
  • Hooked: Fresh seafood and tons of delicious appetizers
  • Ropewalk: This is great if you have a lot of kids to entertain because there’s a play area in the sand, but wouldn’t go if it’s adults looking for great food
  • Grab and Go Taco: This is a great grab and go option as there’s standing room only, so no sit down option, but great food, “green crack sauce” is delicious, and bonus it’s next to Fisher’s Popcorn.
  • Our Harvest: Really good food with vegan options!
  • Salt Air: Make reservations! The food is amazing and they have a real kids menu (think kids steak or shrimp and grits).
  • Nicola Pizza: Amazingly delicious simple salad, nic-o-boli (their version of a calzone), and pizza
  • Thrasher’s Fries: If you know, you know

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

Let’s be honest, where we live things can get expensive really fast. So it’s nice when businesses offer summer discounts for kids. I’ve compiled a list of the things I know about, but please add in the comments if there are other opportunities that you know of!

Movies

  • The Boro at Tysons: $6.50 matinees on Tuesdays
  • Summer Movie Clubhouse: $1.50 movie tickets on specific movies each Wednesday throughout the summer (Scoob!, Sing 2, Paw Patrol, Tom & Jerry, Peter Rabbit 2, Clifford).
  • Regal Fairfax Summer Movie Express: $2 movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer.
  • Mosaic Films in the Park: Free movies every Thursday at 7 p.m. on the big screen through August 25.
  • Tysons Outdoor Family Movie Nights: A 7 p.m. start time on the last Friday of each month (Cruella, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Raya and the Last Dragon).
  • Starlight Cinema: Drive-in cinema with free movies on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. in August only (Luca, Encanto, Sing 2, The Mitchells vs. The Machines).

Food

  • Cocoa Vienna has $1 days for special treats: Monday Chocolate Dipped Pretzel, Tuesday Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Wednesday “Deal of the Day”, Thursday Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana, Friday Chocolate Dipped Oreo

Sports

  • Bowling: Bowlero has a summer pass where kids can bowl 3 games everyday for 1 price (check the locations as they have different pricing, which includes shoe rental).
  • Potomac Nationals Game in Fredericksburg has $2 Tuesdays plus other promotions, Fireworks Fridays, and other fun events.
  • Free Baseball Games: Follow the Ripken Collegiate Baseball League games at South County High School.
  • NVCL College League also has free baseball games at Madison HS, Waters Field, and Westfield HS.

Reading

  • Summer Reading programs offered through Fairfax County public libraries. Once the kids collect 10 badges (explore what that means), they can collect prizes for finishing the program!
  • Barnes and Noble also has a reading program where kids read 8 books and they can pick a free book on a specific list based on grade.
Photo via Skylar Zilka/Unsplash

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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].

Sunday marked Juneteenth, but today we observe the holiday also known as Freedom Day.

As you’ve seen from previous posts, I like to celebrate every occasion with food. What better way to support a local Black-Owned Business than by dining at one? Depending on how far you’re looking to travel for food, you can always check out this great website that lists Black-Owned Businesses by state (although it hasn’t been updated since September 2021) or EatOkra.com.

Specific to the Northern Virginia area, here are some of my favorites:

  • Pie Gourmet, Vienna
  • Blacknerd Coffee
  • Uncle Fred’s BBQ Smoke Shack, Reston
  • McLean Pizza & Subs, McLean
  • Makers Union, Reston
  • Also check out the local farmers markets — you’ll often find smaller shops there to support

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

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