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Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 | 0 comments

Greetings from the MV Big Flea!

Greetings from the MV Big Flea!

We’re deep into MV Big Flea season right now. The temporary showroom is filling up with donations, merchandise is selling left and right… it’s all to raise money for our local school, Mount Vernon Community School. In our last post about the Flea, we shared a few of the great finds the Flea has to offer — some (not many!) of these are still available, but so much more has arrived waiting for a new home. Since we both have kids at Mount Vernon, Leslie and I volunteer for the Flea each year. We live-tweet some of the interesting things we see during the Shop ‘N Drops. For example, the mid-century mod dresser seen here sold for a cool $40. This guitar sold for $50. An espresso machine, still in original packaging, for $60. I helped a woman carry this wardrobe in to the last Shop ‘N Drop. She said her husband found it on the side of the road, fixed it up and restored its cedar lining. It’s...

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 | 2 comments

Tips for Inspiring Your Kids to Read: A Consult with Melissa LaSalle

Tips for Inspiring Your Kids to Read: A Consult with Melissa LaSalle

A few months ago, we introduced you to Melissa LaSalle, an Alexandria resident who writes the very thoughtful and informative blog What to Read to Your Kids. In addition to the blog, Melissa also provides in-home consultations as way to help parents decide what books are the best for their particular children — what is appropriate for their reading level, what will challenge them as they get older, and what will inspire their imagination and, hopefully, a life-long love of reading. I tagged along on one of her recent consultations with Mary and Chris and their 7-year-old daughter Alora. Before diving in to Alora’s collection of books, Melissa listened attentively as Alora told her what she’s currently reading and what other types of books she likes to read. Just as you would do a deep clean of your closets and basement or attic every once in a while to figure out what you don’t need anymore, Melissa suggests doing the same with your kids’ books. She carefully sorted through...

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Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 | 2 comments

Coming Soon: Seva’s Farm Fresh Market

Coming Soon: Seva’s Farm Fresh Market

If you’ve walked by Seva (2016 Mt Vernon Ave) recently, you may have noticed the large wood plank sign on the side of the building is gone, the furniture in the dining room is covered with drop cloths and there are no inviting chalkboard signs out front luring you in for a hot bowl of soup and a warm panini. What is going on? Has Seva closed down just four months after opening? Nope, not to worry, Seva is still here — big changes are coming, including a new cafe menu and a farm market. The changes are the result of a recent partnership between Seva owner Dan Bender and Jawad Laouaouda and Tania Leach, owners of Bon Vivant, a company that sells meats, cheese, eggs and produce from local farms. When Seva re-opens next week (soft launch February 19, grand re-opening March 2), the cafe’s front entryway will be filled with local farm-raised meats, seasonal produce and dairy products you can purchase and enjoy at home. On the...

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Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 | 0 comments

Cool Design and Musical DIY at ROAM

Cool Design and Musical DIY at ROAM

I take my girls every week to Rock of Ages Music (ROAM) in Del Ray for piano lessons where I sit patiently with other parents and siblings to a backdrop of squeaks and clangs and strumming coming from the practice rooms. Children and adults alike come to ROAM to learn piano, drums, guitar, woodwinds, and more. Founded by John Patrick (J.P.) in 2011, ROAM has been expanding their music center over the past year significantly, taking in more students, and renovating the rooms little by little. The space is starting to look really fantastic – unique and hip – with musically themed DIY elements in the interior design that co-owner John Patrick (J.P) and his wife Ellen Hunt, a real estate associate with Bobi Bomar’s Homes of Alexandria and certified stager, created together. The initial wow factor comes from the DIY mosaic of old cassettes that at first seem randomly arranged, but when you step back reveal each letter in the word R-O-A-M. The other obvious sign that you’re in a...

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Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 | 2 comments

Decluttering and Bargain Shopping with the MV Big Flea

Decluttering and Bargain Shopping with the MV Big Flea

When we posted about the MV Big Flea last November, the showroom was pretty sparse. Now, after a few Shop ‘N Drops, the Flea is bustling with treasure. But let’s step back for a moment. In case you aren’t familiar, the MV Big Flea is a HUGE fundraiser for Mount Vernon Community School in Del Ray. The main event happens in the Spring (this year on April 26, 2014), but starting in the Fall, there are monthly Shop ‘N Drops at the temporary showroom where you can drop off household items you no longer want or need and purchase anything that has already been donated. Not only is this a great way to get rid of household clutter, but you can also snag some pretty good deals. Leslie and I both volunteer for the Flea, so we have the inside scoop on the latest merchandise. Here’s a few things we saw at the last Shop ‘N Drop — if you see something you want, email me and I can...

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