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Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 | 4 comments

The Animal Welfare League’s Lady Grey

The Animal Welfare League’s Lady Grey

We love visiting our local animal shelter, the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Both of our family pets come from the shelter including Wei, the sweetest Schnauzer mix you will ever meet, and BB-8, our Hemingway cat who has brightened up our lives since we got him in January this year. There is one special cat at the shelter named Lady Grey. She is beautiful and sweet as can be. Unfortunately, she has been at the shelter since January. This really upset both my kids because January is when we adopted BB-8. The thought of her being in the shelter all that time makes us sad. The Animal Welfare League has a great program called Adopt it Forward. There are generous people who pay the adoption fees for some of the animals at the shelter. Lady Grey’s fees have been paid! She has to be an only cat because she has an upper respiratory infection that is contagious. My daughter has a special affection for Lady Grey. She drew a...

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Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 | 2 comments

The Making of a Workout Studio

The Making of a Workout Studio

If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you may remember Angela Lutzker from her stunning home renovation we featured a couple years ago, or most recently as an artist in La Bella Strada: An Italian Street Painting Festival. Earlier this year, Angela embarked on a design project of a different nature, opening her own workout studio in town, Studio Barre. Leslie and I received a warm welcome when we stopped by to see how she’s designed the space and to try out a class. Angela worked hard to transform what began as an empty couple of rooms… …into a mirror-lined studio space with wood floors and dance barres along the walls. …as well as a set of French doors to lead from the front entrance and boutique into the exercise studio space. The finished studio is just as beautiful as you’d expect from someone with as much artistic and design talent as Angela — bright, airy, contemporary, with splashes of bold color and contemporary wallpaper — which...

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Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 | 2 comments

Meet the Maker: Mellenie’s Soap Subscription

Meet the Maker: Mellenie’s Soap Subscription

We’ve been big fans of Mellenie Runion’s eco-friendly soap business, Truly-Life, ever since discovering it a few years ago. In fact, her garden was one of the stops on this summer’s Urban Farm Tour. We love sharing news of local makers and Mellenie’s homemade business keeps getting bigger and better, now with a subscription service. Mellenie grows and creates her skin care products right here in her Del Ray home. The lavender that makes her soap and bath fizz so soothing grows in her backyard. The loofah grow on vines supported by a homemade trellis. It’s then dried and sliced and delicately tied with a ribbon on her packages (that little pot contains a bonus: seeds to start your own loofah plants at home). Her mud masks are made from coffee beans sourced from local coffee roaster Swing’s and the box is lined with, of course, part of a burlap coffee bean bag. Mellenie is now offering a subscription service where you can order — for yourself or as...

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 | 2 comments

A Guide to Cafes of Del Ray

A Guide to Cafes of Del Ray

I love drinking coffee, and lucky for me there are many cafe options for the coffee lover in Del Ray. It all started with St. Elmo’s back in the 1990s. They were the first coffee shop on the Avenue. In the past several years, several others have sprung up. They are not copycat cafes; they each have their own niche and personality. The Caboose Cafe is down the street from St. Elmo’s in the heart of Mount Vernon Ave. They are a favorite of Mount Vernon Community School teachers for their proximity to the playground and they serve a great Dirty Chai as well as a red eye that will keep any teacher wide-eyed all day. Their outdoor seating is welcoming to people who are joined by their canine friends. Stomping Ground is just a block down from the Caboose. It is located between the Farmer’s Market and the Happy Tart. They have delicious biscuit meals as well as great coffee! The interior is lively and their community table...

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 | 2 comments

A Day in the Life of a Dog Walker

A Day in the Life of a Dog Walker

Del Ray is a dog friendly neighborhood filled with furry friends. When their owners are busy at work, many are cared for by a dog walker like Stephanie. Stephanie is one of the many dog walkers from DoggyWalker.com. One warm afternoon, Stephanie let me join her on a walk with one of her clients, Mica. Del Ray is filled with places to walk a dog. Stephanie walks along paths, parks, and through neighborhood streets with her clients. She starts at 11 am and continuously picks up dogs throughout the day. What a great way of getting exercise! She spends most her day outside, walking. She walks from seven to eight miles a day (she counts her steps). As she walks, Mica gets a chance to sniff around and meet other dogs. There are plenty of opportunities for Mica to stay hydrated as she walks in dog friendly Del Ray. Being a dog walker is a great career choice for someone who enjoys being outdoors. Stephanie gets to spend her...

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