Contemplating a move to Loudoun? Loudoun County is far more than just a pretty suburb of Washington, DC. It’s family-friendly, safe and offers “country living” right outside the nation’s capital. Loudoun has a small town feel with its local small businesses, farmers markets, close-knit neighborhoods, and friendly residents. However, when you are ready for a night out in the big city, DC is just a quick trip away. Many residents love this small town/big city balance because it makes living life in Loudoun anything but boring!Read More
Happy National Walking Day here in the United States! Today, we are bringing you the best walking spots in Loudoun County! If we're honest with ourselves as a nation, I think we have a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the world in terms of the time we spend walking (or biking), so let's do our part, starting with Loudoun County!
Best Walking Spots in Loudoun County:
The W&OD Trail.
The W & OD Trail is a beautiful 45-mile route along the former route of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad (hence the acronym: W & OD). This is an amazing opportunity to get your move on whether you are walking or biking!
Claude Moore Park.
This park, located in Sterling, Virginia, offers woods & meadows with amenities such as walking trails and picnic pavilions. Located at 21544 Old Vestal's Gap Road, Sterling, VA 20164 Claude Moore Park is dog friendly (please use a leash!) AND has many geocache sites for additional fun.
The beautiful and serene Rust Sanctuary is home to 68 acres of wooded trails through gorgeous untouched meadows and forests. If you have children, consider signing them up for the Fresh Air Kids Nature Program / Nature Nuts Program! Located at 802 Children's Center Road, Leesburg, VA 20175.
The Bears Den.
Here is your opportunity to hike the famous Appalachian Trail! The Bears Den is a combined 66 acres of mountain wilderness. Bring a picnic for the gazebo, stay overnight at the lodge, or hike in time for the sunset at the Bears Den Rock Overlook. Use Bears Den as a starting point to take a hike north or south. Located at 18393 Blueridge Mountain Road, Bluemont, VA 20135.
A visit to the Freedom Center is like a breath of fresh air, literally. Over 100 acres of wooded glory, complete with expansive mountain bike and hiking trails offer opportunities for beautiful nature walks. Located at 13951 Freedom Center Dr, Leesburg, VA 20176.
Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park.
The beautiful and historic Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park will take you back in time as you stroll the over 100 acres of passive parkland with access to the Potomac Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Located at 44105 Heron Way, Lansdowne, VA 20176.
What is YOUR vote for the best walking spots in Loudoun County?
Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W & OD)
One of the most amazing "parks" in Northern Virginia, the Washington and Old Dominion Trail - often called "the skinniest park" is a commonly known as the W & OD Trail, a paved trail between Shirlington and Purcellville, Virginia. Whether you are a runner, a bicyclist or a walker ... the 45-mile route along the former route of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad (W & OD) is an amazing opportunity to get your move on.
W&OD Trail hours are from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., from Shirlington in Arlington County. The W&OD Trail offers 45 miles of paved trail with multiple access points with parking.
We are somewhat partial to the Paeonian Springs area of the W & OD Trail (where the photo above was taken). Plan your bike or walk on the W & OD Trail to correspond with a stop to the nearby Vino 9 Market in Paeonian Springs. Looking to purchase a home in Paeonian Springs? We've got the skinny on some amazing homes on the market! Give us a call at 571-482-7356!
We get it! We really do! There are literally thousands of licensed real estate agents in Loudoun County, Virginia, so how on earth can YOU decide who truly are the best Realtors in Loudoun for you and your individual situation??
Listed alphabetically by team name / brokerage, then by first names, here is our take on the BEST Realtors in Loudoun County, Virginia! Click their photo to visit each Realtor's website! *
------> Please note, there are obviously more Realtors in Loudoun County that are amazing, this short list simply curates those we have either worked with during this past year, individuals whose online presence we admire, or Realtors whose values and ethics match those of our team!
Our favorite clients? Every single one of them! We love the challenge of multi-generational families ... enjoy educating first time homebuyers, and appreciate those ready to make the move from "city living" to being country mice!
Western Loudoun is our sweet spot and boy do we know it inside and out, as well as all that comes with that -- often times, no HOA, space to spread out and room to run! What better location to encompass farm stores, wineries, small businesses owned by locals, country schools and true community!
We also LOVE our heroes! We give back and say thank you with our commission by crediting teachers, military, fire, police, first responders and health care professionals with 25% of our commission -- which comes in handy on closing day!
I was born and raised in Sterling, VA. I’m so blessed with Loudoun County roots! The County thrives because of its diversity, award winning schools, incredible park systems, steady economic growth, and more! I’m starting my 18th year in Real Estate. It is an exciting career path filled with passion and purpose! I have the great pleasure of serving the needs of first time homebuyers, move up homebuyers, down sizers, and relocation clients. I enjoy navigating the process with all!
Kelly Stock Bacon, ERA Teachers | Facebook
I have resided in Loudoun County for over 30 years. Our family loves our small town community, neighborhoods, schools and local businesses. I enjoy working with all clients, but have a special place for the first time homebuyer. Providing them with the education needed, allows them to buy with confidence. This brings such a sense of gratitude and enthusiasm!
I love real estate because it allows me to provide expertise while easing my clients' stress during what is often the most important investment of a lifetime. I love the stability and wealth building home ownership creates!
Kieno Simeon, Keller Williams
With 22 years in the business, what I love about working in real estate is the realization that I have the honor to have a positive impact on the lives of others. First time homebuyers are my absolute favorite as I love to have the opportunity to teach and guide them in buying their future wealth with real estate. I consider myself a relational Realtor, nurturing the relationship through the years to meet my clients' ongoing needs.
I've lived in Loudoun County for almost 17 years and love the diversity of people, landscapes, and towns. Working in Real Estate I've met people from all walks of life and people who have lived or are from all over the world. Can't imagine a better job.
Martha Mason, Long & Foster | Facebook
Part of what makes the Platinum Group Real Estate team so unique is that our team is comprised of all moms! We understand first hand what it means to work hard to fulfill the needs of your family, and we do that not only for our families, but for yours too! Longtime lovers of Loudoun County, not only is one of the team owners is a lifelong resident, but all of our team averages more than 10 years as a Loudoun resident. We live here too, and we love it!
Platinum Group, Pearson Smith | Facebook
I absolutely love working with first time home buyers. There is something so special about seeing their dreams come true! And Loudoun County, it's our very own wine country! What's not to love about living and selling here?
As a realtor in Northern Virginia, I love the fact that I can work with many diverse individuals. When interacting with clients I get to travel from the city to the suburbs to rural farms and everywhere in between. All of this allows me to provide a vast amount of options for all my clients.
Being a Realtor in Loudoun County exposes you to wide diversity of cultural experiences. My military background, where travel was a key aspect of that career, allows me to interact with confidence and understanding of many of the sensitivities we need to respect when working with clients from different parts of the world.
I have had the great pleasure of working all over Northern VA but I am proud to be a homeowner in Loudoun County. I was personally drawn to the neighborhoods with a variety of home styles, the amazing schools for my kids, and the ability to be close to numerous amenities or head west and enjoy the open spaces and great wineries!
Real estate is exciting because it is constantly changing, no two days are alike! Most people do not trust the sale or purchase of their largest asset to just anyone. To be a trusted advisor, constant training, experience, great communication skills, problem solving skills, creativity and hard work are necessary. I have been a Northern VA resident for 30+ years, the last 19+ years in Loudoun and am in my 15th year of real estate. Whether first-time buyers, sellers, moving up, changing family status, relocating, downsizing or thriving in place, I enjoy them all!
Tanya Gonda, Weichert | Facebook
You might wonder why we are showcasing other Realtors in the same space where we ourselves work? We believe there is enough business for everyone. We do not believe in the spirit of scarcity or competition, and also firmly believe that each client deserves the very best fit for their real estate journey. We always suggest that you interview several Realtors before settling on the one you'll ultimately go with. You can learn more about our suggested steps by reading How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent or by following these 8 Steps for Choosing a Great Realtor.
If you'd like to speak with us about your real estate needs, feel free to get in touch using the contact form below or give us a call at 571-482-7356!
* Realtors are licensed by State, not segmented by county, however, the Realtors on this round up practice primarily in Loudoun County.
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This experience and journey is being shared today from one of our treasured 8th & Home friends, Heather Myklegard. Heather is the founder of Get Social Moxie (you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Take it away, Heather!
This spring our family of 5 decided to make a lifestyle change and move from the quiet town of Leesburg into the city of North Arlington. It was a tough decision and one we did not make lightly. Arlington was very appealing to us as it offered a friendly community vibe within minutes of downtown DC. It cut my husband's commute time by 2 hours a day and offered several more options as far as schools for our 3 boys. After several months of research, and driving back and forth, we decided that now was the time to make our move. We were lucky and found a wonderful house in Arlington on a street full of children and just minutes from the metro.
However, we soon discovered that the hardest days were ahead of us. Leaving a city that you love and have grown so familiar with can be very challenging. On one of my hardest days, Naomi explained the term, “leaving well”:
Leaving a place that you don’t have to leave, but choose to for your own reasons, can sometimes be much harder than being forced to leave a place - because of a new job, etc. It is an important part of the transition when moving, to leave well. You’re making an intentional choice to change your lifestyle and restructure your mornings, your weekends, your everything … and that’s exciting, but it doesn’t mean it’s not sad to leave the choices you have been living in/with. Leaving well is the art of moving on from a place with intention and joy.
It made total sense. I cried off and on for several weeks, struggling with the realization that I was choosing to soon be gone from this wonderful little town that I had grown to love and cherish.
So, for the last month of our stay in Leesburg we made a list of all the things we had enjoyed doing during the 4 years that we had lived in Loudoun County. Here are ten things we did before saying good bye and heading east.
This was one of our favorite places, especially when the boys were little. There is a big bounce pillow, a petting zoo, miniature golf, big slides, and a wonderful Pumpkin Festival in the fall. But the best thing about Great Country Farms is their apple cider donuts. Trust me. They are worth the drive.
Mom’s Apple Pie was the very first place we stopped when we drove into Leesburg for the first time 4 years ago. It was the first landmark that made me think we had picked the right town. Their raspberry-peach crumb pie is amazing and you must try their sugar cookies. Even if you are over the age of eight years old!
We love sushi and have had it all over the country. Passion Fin is definitely one of the best sushi restaurants we have been to. Passion Fin offers great service and fresh, quality fish. They also have a Koi pond in the front that is a favorite among our boys.
One last dip at outdoor Ida Lee ... Oh, Ida Lee. The heart of Leesburg. The AV Symington Aquatic Center was our pit stop every summer. The outdoor pool offers slides, lazy rivers, and great shaved ice.
We were told there was a new taco shop in town so we hunted it down. Senor Ramons on Loudoun Street did NOT disappoint. We sat outside on the porch and walked over to The Cajun Experience for beignets afterwards.
I love King Street in downtown Leesburg. It is the epitome of a small, historic town. I grabbed an iced coffee at Shoes and walked from store to store.
We are from Idaho so we KNOW fairs. The Loudoun County fair is the best fair I have ever been to. It sits among one of the prettiest parts of Loudoun County and has this amazing small-town feel. They have camel rides, petting zoo, and a demolition derby. We may have to drive back to Loudoun County for this next year!
We walked from our house to downtown and looked at all of our favorite old houses on Edwards Ferry and downtown- When the boys were still in the stroller, we would walk from our house to downtown via Edwards Ferry and look at all of the old houses. The old houses are one thing I am really going to miss about Leesburg. I love seeing the history and how well the homeowners have preserved them over the years.
Family Night at Chic Fil-A, Leesburg
Every Tuesday night the Chic Fil-A in Leesburg has a family night. They offer arts and crafts for kids and with the indoor play area, it is a great time for mom and dad to enjoy a semi quiet dinner. The staff at CFA are world-class. We are really going to miss CFA.
Go for lunch! You may not know this, but behind the Shoes Coffee is a “secret garden”. Shoes has a back patio with a full lunch and dinner menu. They offer live music and bocce ball too. Great for the whole family or a night out with your partner. The ice cream is pretty good too!
As I write this, I realize that I do not have to say goodbye forever. We are only 41 miles away and can go back and visit some of our favorite places in Leesburg any time we want. If you are new to the area, or are looking for something to do in Loudoun County, I hope this offers you some fun ideas.
Leesburg truly is a hidden treasure and I feel so fortunate that I was able to experience life there with my children. Leesburg will always hold a special place in our hearts.
July 10th is National Pick Blueberries Day and we think it's only fitting that we share a little secret with you. Ready? Put your ear close to your screen ... the best blueberry picking in Loudoun County, Virginia is ...
Eagletree Blueberry Farm !!!!!
Eagletree Blueberry Farm is owned by a local Lucketts family and has row upon row of beautiful blueberry bushes. Once you've parked your car, grab a bucket and get to picking! Eagletree Blueberry Farm is -- hands down --- the best blueberry picking opportunity in Loudoun County!
Their blueberries are so scrumptious that even the July 2016 tasting menu for Fabbioli Cellars is featuring their ripe and tasty blueberries!
Open 10-5pm daily until the blueberries are gone ...
The Paeonian Springs Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The Washington Post recently featured our listing at 16999 Highland Circle, also on the National Register of Historic Places!
Paeonian Springs was established in 1890 and the current Paeonian Springs Post Office was constructed in 1930 as "Reed’s Store" and contained the original post office. The Reed family added the dwelling that is attached to the south in 1950 for use as their private home.
The railroad is infamous for bringing Washingtonians out to escape the city and heat of summer. The spring water of Paeonian soon became a respite in the area. The water from the springs was bottled and shipped daily to Washington for use by lawmakers in Congress. In 1901 there were three boarding houses (16999 Highland Circle was one of them!) and a village green. In 1912 a boardwalk was added, along with the post office, a confectionery store, a mill, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright shop and a staples store.
The Paeonian Springs Post Office still exists as a fully functioning post office!
Paeonian Springs Post Office
16948 Simpson Circle, Paeonian Springs VA
Monday-Friday 8:30-noon, 1:00-5:00; Saturday 8:30-11:30am
Each spring, locals in Lucketts rejoice and delight as the season begins for Farmers Markets in Lucketts! Recently opened, the multiple farmers markets in the Lucketts area offer bountiful and diverse offerings.
No matter what you’re in the “market” for, the Farmers Markets in Lucketts have you covered!
For more information about this amazing 5 bedroom, 3 bath farmhouse and 25 acre property just North of Leesburg in Lucketts, learn more about its offerings on the property website for 13717 James Monroe Hwy, Leesburg VA or call/text Naomi Hattaway at 571-482-7356.
Spring has arrived in Loudoun County again, with blooming flowers and trees almost as abundant as the historical homes and farms that dot the countryside.
Helping to showcase Loudoun’s rich heritage is Hope Flower Farm in Waterford, which is hosting two cultural traditions in one single event– a May Day Barn Dance on Sunday, May 1.
May Day has its origins in both the ancient European cultures and the Roman Empire, celebrating the arrival of summer and the blossoming of flowers. It continued into modern times as a popular secular celebration and made its way to North America during colonial times.
A good old-fashioned barn dance, or square dance, also has its roots in European tradition, specifically the British Isles, where it was a common community-oriented event featuring easy group dances that all ages could participate in, dancing to folk music such as Irish and Scottish jigs and reels, the musical ancestors of Bluegrass and modern country music.
Hope Farm’s May Day Barn Dance will run from 5:00pm until 8:00pm on Sunday, May 1, featuring a traditional May Pole and a quick tutorial on “How to Square Dance” before the Barn Dance Boogie officially gets started to the music of Catoctin County String Band. Admission is $10 per person, or $30 for families of four or more.
Hope Flower Farm near the historic village of Waterford is a floral and event design “retreat” that is frequently open to the public. Their website describes Hope as “a playground for floral design and teaching. . . a relaxing, educational environment for designers and non-designers alike. . . (with) farm-to-table dinners, styled shoots and workshops, Hope will be a Loudoun County destination for all creatives.”
May 1. 2016
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
5-6:00 pm - Social/Learn to Square Dance
6-8:00 pm - Boogie Down
Hope Flower Farm
40905 Stumptown Road, Waterford VA
At the corner of Clarke's Gap Road and Charles Town Pike in Paeonian Springs, sits Vino 9 Market. With an amazing selection of craft and specialty beers and a super large selection of wine, this is a great one-stop shop when you're in the area! With local foods, snacks, vintage sodas and an Ariston Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Station, where you can purchase and refill your bottles. It doesn't stop there. They also have fantastic award winning pulled pork bbq and a full menu!
You can pick up to-go, or enjoy a beer, cold drink or a bite to eat on their outdoor enclosed patio. With the WO & D bike trail only a block away, Vino 9 makes a fantastic rest stop on your journey. On the weekends, local music and entertainment grace the makeshift stage and you can often see not only bicyclists on the W & OD Trail but bikers (motorcycles) and folks stopping in on their wine tastings or antique shopping tours!
We happen to love Paeonian Springs and not just because of Vino 9. Check out our newest listing at 16999 Highland Circle, an amazing historic home just around the corner from Vino 9 Market:
To learn more about this amazing home, see photos or to schedule a showing please visit: 16999 Highland Circle | 8th & Home
Hope Farm was purchased by Holly and Evan Chapple, long time Loudoun County residents, just this summer, and they have put a massive amount of love, effort and energy into preparing it for the public. This weekend is the time we've all been waiting for! Visit the manor house (built in the 1820s!), stone carriage house and the main barn during the amazing Holiday Festival December 5th & 6th, 2015!
On display will be will be kissing balls, garlands, wreaths, centerpieces, mantle pieces, candles, lotion, ornaments and fabulous vendors. The lights have been hung and a massive 14 foot tree will be on display as well!
Located just a few miles from where Holly resides in Lucketts with her family, Hope Farm is steeped in history and was once a working dairy farm. With a desire to expand her business, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers, Holly set on a course to find the perfect property for her new venture, with a mind towards creating a business to provide education, teaching and mentoring to fellow floral designers. Her dreams do not stop there, however and she envisions Hope Farm as being a sought after location for retreats, well known for their seasonal festivals as well as becoming a recognized destination for the creatives in Loudoun County to increase their impact and opportunities with workshops, shoots, farm-to-table dinners and more.
Hope Farm also provides flower therapy classes to the greater community and in honor of Holly's seven children, 7% of all proceeds from those classes are used to offer scholarship classes for seniors and troubled youth.
Cascades Community is incredibly large, yet still maintains a tight-knit feeling! Inside is 2,500 acre planned community with 6,500 homes along the Potomac River north of Route 7 it practices what it preaches and lives out the motto: "Finest for Family Living". Amenities include five community centers, 5 swimming pools (of which one has designated hours exclusively for lap lane swimming), 15 tennis courts (4 are lit), 10 multipurpose courts, 25 tot lots, a bocce court and a soccer field. Riverfront access to the Potomac River is provided, along with a boat launch AND an 18 hole golf course, mini golf, rental cabins, and a picnic area are all available at Algonkian Regional Park.
Cascades is served by Potowmack Elementary, River Bend Middle School and Potomac Falls High School. Check them out on Great Schools!
If you are over 50 and want to get to know your neighbors and enlarge your group of friends, consider joining the Cascades 50-Plus Club! The Club offers many activities, such as: Wine Tastings, Lifetime Learning Courses, Bocce, Bike riding, Tennis, Bowling, Walking, Monthly Pot-Luck Dinners, Monthly Dining-Outs, Book Club, Pub crawls, Golf, and a number of local and out-of-state trips.
The upcoming holiday party is reserved for residents only and offers carriage rides, pictures with Santa, refreshments, live music, face painting, and crafts! What fun!
Interested in making the Cascades community YOUR next neighborhood?
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This week's business spotlight is on Comfenergy, a business co-owned by Justin Dobson. Justin recently won "Entrepreneur of the Year" from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and we wanted to provide more information about Comfenergy to you!
What led you to create Comfenergy?
I started Comfenergy 4 years ago because there was a missing need in the HVAC/Comfort industry. What people don't realize is there is more to home comfort than HVAC alone. I owned a family HVAC business (still in operation today) and we kept having homeowners complain about comfort issues that could not be solved with HVAC. The issues also involved duct work and/or insulation and air leakage issues. Take a look at the "Comfort Triangle" image to show what I mean.
What do you wish most homeowners knew about their home's efficiency (or lack thereof).
That HVAC makes hot air or cold air. That's it!!! Nothing more, and nothing less. So, if they have no AC or heat they need to call an HVAC company to make it work again. BUT, if the AC or heating is working and they have any other comfort or energy complaint under the sun, they need to call a home performance contractor like Comfenergy to diagnose the problem and provide the solution. I also wish homeowners wouldn't "self diagnose" the solution. You wouldn't tell a doctor how to fix your painful elbow. You would tell the doctor that your elbow hurts, and they would perform tests to determine how to fix that painful elbow.
What is your 30 second elevator pitch to best explain Comfenergy's services to someone who has never heard about it previously?
Comfenergy is the leading home performance contractor in Northern VA. We concentrate on solving problems in your home like hot/cold spots, drafty areas, high/low humidity, cold floors, and hundreds of other issues. If your HVAC equipment is working and you have other complaints, call Comfenergy for a free in home diagnostic evaluation to determine why the issue exists, and what to do to fix it.
Why are you proud of being a Loudoun County business owner (and Chamber Member!)?
There are not many places in this country that have an economy like Loudoun County. We shop local and support each other. I have made a tremendous number of working relationships with other local business owners and we are all very willing to help each other out in any way. It's a very unique place to live and work!
What are some of your favorite fellow Chamber Member's businesses in Loudoun County that you love to support?
I have tons of fellow Loudoun County businesses that we support. From restaurants, home service businesses, non-profits, retail, farmers markets, and wineries to give a few examples. There is really no need to leave Loudoun County to support a business....we have it all right here in our back yard!
If you had a Saturday morning with no obligations, how would you spend it in Loudoun County?
I would most likely sleep in a little. Then, get up and work in the yard mowing, cutting wood, clearing fallen trees and branches. Maybe in the afternoon go to a restaurant or winery and relax.
Potomac Crossing is a combination of 914 single family homes and townhomes located on Battlefield Parkway in Leesburg Virginia. Amenities include 2.5 miles of paved foot paths, four tot lots, a pool, and a basketball court. A new playground at the intersection of Bluff Court and Garrison Court was completed during the Summer of 2015 and is accessible from the walking paths throughout the neighborhood.
Community Events are prevalent in Potomac Crossing including outdoor summer movie series, a community yard sale, an annual Turkey Trot and more!
Potomac Crossing is home to Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and covers some of the land on which a Civil War battle was fought between the Union and Confederate armies.
Ball's Bluff Elementary School services students in grades K-5. Students in grades six through eight attend Smart's Mill Middle School, located two miles away in the Exeter subdivision. and High School students attend Tuscarora High School.
Interested in making Potomac Crossing your new neighborhood?
One of the many benefits of living in the Lansdowne community is the close proximity, in many cases walking distance, to groceries, banking, a major pharmacy, boutique stores, salon services, home furnishings, and a variety of restaurants—all found at the Lansdowne Town Center. And this benefit doesn’t just apply to humans, but mankind’s best friend as well!
Meet Ross Wujkowski, the co-owner and operator along with his wife, Laura, of Happy Hound, “the Dog Lifestyle Company.”
Happy Hound is the one-stop shop for everything dog-related, but make no mistake, this is NOT your average, generic big-brand pet store.
Happy Hound is a locally-owned mom-and-pop business that prides itself in providing carefully selected grooming products, high-quality dog foods, and hand picked specialty toys.
In addition, there are two self-serve dog washing stations that beat the competition with their privacy and large size. Each station able to accommodate two dogs at the same time.
Ross explains that Happy Hound wants to be more than just another dog owner’s supply store. Happy Hound strives to become a “community center” for dogs and the humans that love them.
“People think of their dog as a member of the family,” says Ross, and just like any family member, “they want to offer their dog a good healthy diet, not fast food, and good quality healthcare.”
“If someone is new to the area and wants to find out about a good vet, walking services, or boarding, we can give them all kinds of recommendations. Or if they just want to know about a good trail to hike with their dog, we can give some good ideas, too.”
Happy Hound proudly sponsors regular charity events supporting local animal shelters or Rescue organizations, usually around holidays, such as their “Santa Paws” event or their Valentine’s Day “Smooch a Pooch” event, featuring a photo booth where donors can have their picture being kissed by a very friendly English Bulldog!
For more information, visit www.happyhoundco.com, or pay a visit to Happy Hound with your canine family member at the Lansdowne Town Center.
Monday CLOSED Tuesday-Friday 10am - 8pm Saturday 10am - 7pm Sunday 12pm - 5pm
Lansdowne Town Center 19352 Promenade Drive Lansdowne, VA 20176 571-333-2171
Welcome home! Large fenced-in yard, end unit, fully finished basement with gas fireplace and full bath, walkout with multiple windows.
Main level boasts gorgeous hardwoods, eat in / separate dining room and great room off the kitchen. Fabulous kitchen with a screened in deck, with secondary deck space for a grill. Lansdowne amenities with reduced HOA fees coming in January of 2016.
Three bedrooms, two full baths upstairs with upper level laundry as well!
Lansdowne amenities include:
30,000 square foot Potomac Club complex with amenities that include 25 meter indoor pool, heated whirlpool and locker rooms, outdoor resort style pool with spa, exercise and aerobics rooms, business center with computers, meeting rooms, ballroom facility, game room with pool table, television, air hockey table, foosball and video games.
If that wasn’t enough, access to a tot-lot, outdoor amphitheatre and a sand vollleyball court is also available. Additional amenities include three outdoor tennis courts and playing fields.
Stop by at our open house today, November 8 from 1-3pm ... comment on our Facebook page so we'll know to expect you!
We take a break from our normally scheduled blog posts to bring you Autumn in Northern Virginia! What a gorgeous time of year in Loudoun County and Fairfax County. I asked some of the ladies in my community in Western Loudoun County to share their fall foilage shots and they are so beautiful! Just for the fun of it, I'm also tagging in some of my favorite local businesses out in this area!
Speaking of beautiful things, take a few minutes to learn about the gorgeous Sunnyside Farm in Loudoun County, on the market with 8th & Home. The visual storytelling about the history and heritage of this home and property was provided by Jay Smith of Cavus Media and the results are stunning!
Interested in other properties available in Loudoun County?
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Meet Dusty Sparrow Reed
My name is Dusty Sparrow Reed. I am the mom of three children, married to a county police officer and am an attorney for families and at-risk children. Helping children realize their potential has always been my passion.
As a product of unmarried, teen-aged parents, I grew up on a farm in Indiana in a hardworking, blue collar family of farmers, plant employees, construction workers and veterans. I began working at the age of twelve. My local school district in Indiana is similar to Loudoun County, consisting of mostly rural land and today is experiencing explosive suburban growth. Like Loudoun County, it has always been known for being one of, if not the best school district in my home state. Education was the way I forged a different path for my life. As I reflect back, and in light of my family's background, decisions I made had a lot to do with the support of educators who helped me along the way and forged opportunities to which I was exposed in school.
While I believe the home environment and parental involvement play a significant role in a child's success, I believe a school that embraces the diversity in the community and addresses the environmental factors among its varying populations is most successful in growing children into successful adults. I am a strong supporter of the rural communities in our county and doing whatever it takes to preserve our rural schools. I am also a strong supporter of programs that enhance education for the large population of children in our schools that don't fit the traditional mold – children with disabilities, children with intellectual gifts and talents, children who are economically-disadvantaged, minority children, and our English language learners.
I believe Loudoun County Public Schools provide a well-rounded education for the 'typical child' - children who don't require significant additional resources to reach their education potentials. It is my goal to be a contributing member of the Board that takes LCPS to the next level – by providing a "world class education", one that inspires all diverse groups of children – the children that school systems often have difficulty reaching effectively – by meeting them where they are, engaging them and catapulting them to their individual potentials. When every child's learning needs are met, when each child is engaged, inspired, and learning, then all children - including our typical children - benefit from this high-functioning school environment.
My passion for helping at-risk kids succeed and my professional background underlie the perspective I will bring to the Loudoun County School Board. I am approachable, I am responsive, and I am results-driven. I can and will be a voice for an innovative, effective “world class education”. For the Catoctin District, for all of Loudoun County.
Meet Eric Dekenipp
Eric has been happily married to Elizabeth F. DeKenipp, Guidance Counselor at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn for the last ten years and is the proud father of two beautiful daughters, Ava and Alexa, students at Sycolin Creek Elementary School. Eric is the eldest of 8 children and spent a majority of his childhood trying to keep his siblings together while moving between various family members and foster homes in New York City. After the attacks on September 11th, 2001, Eric voluntarily enlisted and served honorably with the United States Marine Corps and through great mentorship, worked hard to establish a professional post military career and founded www.semperfistaffing.com, a Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (DVOSB) based in Loudoun County.
Eric currently serves as the Senior Manager of Human Capital at Vencore Inc. in Chantilly, VA. Prior to Vencore, Eric served as the Director, Resource Management with Unisys Corporation where he oversaw financial and resource management initiatives for over 22,000 employees that resulted in business operations and productivity improvements globally. Other leadership roles that Eric has held include serving as a Staff Advisor under Secretary Salazar at the Department of the Interior and oversight of deployment planning for the 3rd Marine Division of United States Marine Corps in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
We asked both candidates for the Catoctin District a set of questions that relate to how they view the current situation with Loudoun County Public Schools and how they aim to make a difference on the School Board.
What are your thoughts on large class sizes?
It's important that class sizes take into consideration the additional resource needs of special needs students.The more special needs children there are in the classroom, the more large classroom sizes are harmful to student learning. On the other end, if the teacher is properly trained and equipped, classroom size becomes less of an issue for advanced academic learners. In general, appropriate classroom size is important, affects overall learning - and one size does not fit all.
Class sizes are one of only four, evidenced based reforms that will further Loudoun’s progress toward improving student achievement. Therefore, as a matter of policy I believe the school board must regularly evaluate, report and make significant efforts toward improving our teacher/ student ratios. Whether, the student/ teacher ratio is 45:1 or 15:1- there are proven student achievement benefits to having smaller class sizes and we must strive for continuous improvement with the expectation that these ratio’s will improve over time.
We know there is a heated debate about full day kindergarten. What's your stance?
I support equity in education. To the extent we offer FDK to any LCPS students, it should be offered to all LCPS students. FDK should be implemented in all elementary schools within the next 4 years.
I support FDK but am disappointed that we’ve already begun to go down the path of implementation. In all my years as a leader, I’ve never initiated or approved a large scale project without a clearly defined schedule and financial plan. The fact is, full day kindergarten wasn’t properly planned for and as a result, it is now a heated and expensive debate.
With that, I think it’s important that we begin to recognize the strategic value that Western Loudoun schools (a majority of which are located in Catoctin) bring to the table with this discussion- CAPACITY. By using our capacity to meet county demand for full day kindergarten, we have the ability to effectively reduce the need for new construction, alleviate unnecessary boundary changes, help keep western Loudoun schools OPEN and get the additional resources our administrators, teachers and students so desperately need.
What would you do to ensure that Western Loudoun schools have the resources they need (since Eastern Loudoun schools are such a different dynamic)
Again, equity is a primary issue for me. The facilities and resource support in western Loudoun is lacking. I will be a staunch advocate for equity ensuring that new schools do not provide advantages over more established Western Loudoun schools. This is an area of big concern for me.
It’s about priorities and making sure our teachers and students have what they need to be successful. The key to ensuring our schools in the west have the resources that they need is 1) ensuring that decision makers know that the need exists and 2) what the needs are and at this point I am not sure the school board does. It still amazes me that we are several weeks into the school year and we still have teachers and students in western schools without basic classroom supplies. At the same time, the rest of the county is talking about building more turf fields and providing computers to all students. Don’t get me wrong, turf fields and computers are nice things to have but until I am 100% sure teachers and students in Catoctin have the basic resources that they need, I will not be comfortable talking about making luxurious purchases that will only further widen the resource allocation gap. I have the support of 6 of the 9 current school board members and I look forward to making sure they are aware of our needs and advocating and providing critical resources for all students in our western schools.
What are the top two issues you will work to change or protect if you win the school board seat?
Keep our rural schools open.
Bring equity to our schools so that all students receive the same opportunities and appropriate education, regardless of background or location.
Immediate priorities for me include improving communication with my colleagues on the school board, the public and the Board of Supervisors. I will also be placing significant emphasis on responsible financial management in terms of the administration and support functions of LCPS and addressing various workforce management issues.
By improving communication and ensuring it occurs regularly and consistently, I will be in a position to preserve the values and culture of the Catoctin district and our schools- this includes ensuring we keep all of our schools OPEN.
With proper financial management and forecasting, I will ensure that your tax dollars are effectively and efficiently managed and spent. With that, I can ensure that schools in the Catoctin district are funded and that more money is going toward academic programs and purchases such as investments in STEM, special education and ensuring our teachers and students have the resources that they need to be successful.
Finally, I intend to spend a significant amount of time working with our teachers to ensure we are attracting and retaining the best in the nation. At the end of the day, we all want our children to have a world class education experience and having the right teachers in our schools is absolutely critical to make this happen.
What do you wish most voters knew about you?
That I am genuinely bipartisan. I have a strong history of bringing together opposing sides.
I want voters in Catoctin to know that I share the same concerns as them with regard to our schools. I am a parent with 2 children who attend school in Catoctin and have been very involved in education in Loudoun for years. I want to use my experience to ensure our children are receiving a world class education and bring the skills required to make that a reality.
I bring many years of leadership experience from the executive levels of the Federal government and Fortune 500 companies and want to use that experience to ensure that we are preserving the values of Catoctin. Those values are why those who are native to Catoctin stay and why I decided to move my family here almost 10 years ago.
I have a steady track record of success and includes being recognized as one of Loudoun County’s “40 Under 40 Business and Community Leaders to Watch” in 2014, awarded “Marine of the Year” by Marine Corps Base Hawaii, managing large budgets and implementing policy and programs across organizations with 80,000+ employees.
With a budget of $980 million, 10,000 employees and 75,000 students at stake, it is absolutely critical that we have someone representing Catoctin with a holistic operational understanding of how LCPS works and that is exactly what I bring to the table.
What is the future of the small school in Western Loudoun?
OPEN and operating, business as usual.
My vision for the future of the small schools in Western Loudoun is they are not only able to keep the doors open, but they will thrive and continue to rank as some of the best schools in the state. Our small schools will feel comfortable asking for the resources that they need and not have to worry about “staying off of the radar”. Our small schools will receive the funding we need to restore and upgrade existing facilities.
I’ve advocated for our schools for years and those efforts continue today. As Catoctin district representative, I look forward to representing the community in an official capacity and working to enhance my efforts and deliver measurable results for our smaller schools.
What do you see happening for next year's budget when it is NOT an election year?
If I am in office, the budget will be fully funded. I believe that last year's approach leaves this year's budget problems. But I also know from experience that I am the type of person who can problem-solve and inspire solutions. I have no doubt that this year's budget will be challenging, but resolved favorably for LCPS.
The school board has already begun working on next year’s budget and early projections put LCPS at +10% over last year’s $980 million allocation. With that said candidates from the school board all the way up to our candidates for state delegate agree that education is a top priority for the county and voters.
In my many conversations with members of the board of supervisors, the common denominator is that they are looking for responsibility in the school boards budget. My question is, with the school boards budget accounting for 70-80% of the overall county budget, why aren’t members of the board of supervisors more active in the budgeting process?
This is a key reason why my top priority is communication. By pro-actively engaging the board of supervisors throughout the budget cycle, LCSB can ensure all stakeholders have input, priorities are aligned and we are working together to achieve Loudoun County’s education strategy.
What about YOU? What issues are at the top of YOUR mind as we get closer to Election Day? How do schools impact your life and what do you think these candidates should be most concerned with?
This weekend, October 17-18, the small village of Waterford, Virginia will provide a special opportunity to step back in time and observe first-hand the rich artistic heritage and craftsmanship of this region with the Waterford Art Harvest.
Established in 1733 by Quakers, the little village is remarkably untouched by the hands of time, with most of its 18th and 19th century homes, barns, storefronts, and churches not only intact but continuously used and lived in. Because of this, the entire village of Waterford is now listed as a National Historic Landmark.
This year’s Art Harvest will have several stations set up within the historical buildings of the town: The Bond Street Barn, the Corner Store, the Old School Auditorium, as well as the Heritage Farm Exhibit at the Schooley Mill Barn which celebrates Waterford’s agricultural history.
The large gathering of artisans and craftspeople creating everything from paintings to pottery and quilting to woodworking is advertised as “the oldest and best-juried crafts fair in Virginia.”
The Waterford Art Harvest will be held from 10:00am until 5:00pm both Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18th. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.waterfordfoundation.org
It is almost time to wrap up our Lucketts Summer Series! This next post is a doozy, filled with some of our FAVORITE vendors and artisans who will be showcasing their talent at this weekend's Lucketts Fair! Will you be there? Stop by and say hello! Some members of our team will be at the Lucketts Elementary PTA Booth selling some AMAZING hand churned ice cream!
Talula Bea Designs, Laurien Dowdy (read our post about her amazing creations) is the creator of unique and one-of-a-kind jewelry, and also the artist behind the "i am" pendant. A true labor of love, this piece was created using 3D imaging in the true organic shape of sea glass. Encouraging its owners to wear the piece close to their hearts, the raised letters “i am” allow the wearer to focus on the strength already inside them on a regular basis. Not all jewelry is interactive, or becomes a part of one’s daily routine, but we believe this Talula Bea Sea Glass jewelry DOES have a message and a purpose.
Swirladelic, John Bailey is a Harper's Ferry WV resident that has QUITE the amazing business! They say: “We have a tray of liquid; it’s a bit thicker than water. You drop paint on that, and with a stick, you can make designs — hearts, flowers or swirl it for something surreal and abstract.” After the liquid is prepared, a silk scarf is place on top of the liquid. “It’s really just a kind of print making,” Bailey said. “It’s fast, though. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to make a scarf.”
Wikiwood Naturals - A small family owned business located in Springfield, Virginia, the Blevins were inspired by a surprise romantic camping trip in 2012. Sitting around the camp fire, roasting marshmallows, and listening to the relaxing sound of the bonfire crackling, motivated them to bring that same relaxing feeling, aroma and atmosphere to our home and they have re-created that same atmosphere when we burn our candles.
Twins Polish Pottery - a little known fact about Jenny Puckett and Holly Trevino, the twins behind this beautiful polish pottery, their husbands built a "twin plex" where both families reside, and the sisters did all of the design work! They operate their business in the rolling pastures and vineyards of eastern Frederick County.
With You In Mind, Joette Dorosheff creates stunning wreaths made of natural materials. This artistic display will be a focal point of your decor. The wreath is created on a wire frame from pinecones, nuts and pods. This unique design will be a year round cherished feature of your home or office.
Back to the Basiks - What began as a single spice blend given to friends as a Christmas gift, has grown into a blooming business. The company was started by Anne Shomberg and Heidi Basik in 2008 out of a love for cooking and sharing food with others. Over a short period of time, the two moms were successfully selling Basiks Spice Blends to stores and restaurants around the U.S. They traveled across the country introducing people to their all natural spice blends at trade shows, women’s events, and craft fairs. f
The Larkin Tea Company was founded in 2001 with an initial focus on educational programs. Over the years, their high-quality loose leaf teas has become an important part of business from a sales perspective! Both Bill and Judy are certified tea specialists. Their teas are sourced from all over the globe. She says “We buy in small quantities to ensure the tea you purchase is as fresh as possible and hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for months. It is for that same reason we don’t carry a huge selection of teas.”
Sequoia Springs was started by Lorraine McConnell, an Interior Designer and is a line of luxury-inspired, pillows and throws continue to be popular to those seeking distinctive, beautiful, and wonderfully functional accessories for their home. In 2002, Lorraine's husband, Jamie, joined the business and they have expanded to include accessories that integrate the beauty of nature, using as many natural materials as possible including feathers (to pay homage to Jamie's love of fly fishing!)
Falling Bark Farm LLC - Syrup produced in small batches from select hickory bark and still involves the tradition of foraging and WILDCRAFTING in the Virginia forests. Bark from the shagbark hickory tree is shed naturally, so the tree is not harmed during the process.
Shenandoah Crafts - John and Karin Tipton offer sewing crafts, needlework and painted crafts and refinish furniture. Staunton, VA. 540-280-5519, Fabric and Woodwork
Nola Watkins Collection - produces high quality hand-painted ceramic christmas ornaments, herb and flower pots, and many other fine gifts.
Gypsy Hill offers amazing rubs and spices! Margaret O'Neill says “We have always had some herbs and then about 10 years ago we took what had been our flower beds and my husband, when would find an unusual plant or herb, would start planting,” and because there are only a few herbs they can sell fresh, the O'Neill's dehydrate them with their dehydrating machine to sell later.
Designs by Grace, Grace Rochford is a stay at home mom of three, with a love for Early American History, which led her being making colonial american floorcloths.
Wood Eye Wood Products, Keith Schoonover operates this Frederick County based full service sawmill providing quality lumber and wood products from local, sustainably harvested or salvaged timber. The Sawmill also facilitates custom processing of logs into usable furniture products. Each of Keith’s pieces is a one of a kind by its very nature; no two custom wood-workings can be the same.
Rennaissance Lavender - Marianne Weitzel wanted a new challenge and began growing lavender on her farm in Virginia. The intoxicating scents and healing properties of lavender along with other botanicals have generated many popular products that will be at the Lucketts Fair.
August 15-16, 2015 | 9 am-5 pm
Rain or Shine | $5. Children under 6 years old are free
Parking provided by the Lucketts Ruritan Club
Ready to search for your home in Leesburg/Lucketts, Virginia?
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