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Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 | 1 comment

The Charles Hill Park Bird House Collection

The Charles Hill Park Bird House Collection

This post started with a tip from a friend in Del Ray about an impressive collection of bird houses in a neighborhood park. And, true to my friend’s word, I found about 25 bird houses of all shapes and sizes hanging from the tree branches at Charles Hill Park on the corner of Oxford and DeWitt Streets. The person who’s responsible for the bird house collection is Pat Miller, a well-known Del Ray resident who runs the Del Ray Farmers Market and Art on the Avenue, and is involved in countless other civic and community organizations. The park is named after Corporal Charles W. Hill, a former member of the Alexandria Police Department who was killed in the line of duty in 1989. Pat is friends with Hill’s widow, Ginny Hill-Obranovich, who also thought the bird houses would be a lovely addition to the park. I met the two of them the other day for a tour of the collection. That’s Ginny on the left and Pat on the...

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 | 0 comments

An Indoor Farmer’s Market at Four Mile Run

An Indoor Farmer’s Market at Four Mile Run

The last time we checked in on the Four Mile Run Farmers Market it was spring and they were just reopening. But did you know that the Four Mile Run Farmers Market now runs all year long? The market is located inside the Conservatory Center at 4109 Mount Vernon Ave. with a wide variety of vendors every Sunday morning. There is plenty of parking for both cars and bikes. Many people come for the freshly made and wildly popular bagels from Bagel Uprising. There is usually a line, but it moves rather quickly. When I go I always enjoy a perfectly made scone made by Kremena at Savory and Sweet. Felicity’s soaps are a must have. How can you resist homemade soap? She has lovely Valentine’s Day packages. You can get loose leaf tea at Whole Health. They even made a special Valentine’s Day blend. I love that you can bring your compost to the market. The city of Alexandria runs a compost program at all the farmers markets....

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Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 | 0 comments

The Art of Building a Great Fire in Your Fireplace

The Art of Building a Great Fire in Your Fireplace

My father-in-law Serge takes great pride in his technique for building a fire and rightly so. He taught me a thing or two on how to get a beautiful fire going quickly and evenly, without a lot of excess smoke. I learned too that there are several techniques for making a fire. This post features just one of them – a method that Serge has perfected over the years. Before he came over the other night, I swept out the ashes from the last few fires we made and made sure the flue was open. Serge says you need to remove ashes when they get about 3 inches deep. I also gathered some newspaper and brought in some kindling from our front porch. My contribution to the effort was to make some fire starters using lint from the dryer, toilet paper rolls, and a birthday candle. You stuff the lint inside the toilet paper roll and place a candle in the middle. When you light the roll, the candle...

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Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 | 0 comments

Streets Market on the Avenue

Streets Market on the Avenue

Living within walking distance of the former Giant on Monroe Ave., I was devastated when they closed down last summer. There’s nothing better than being able to walk over to a local grocery for a couple of items. But the good news is that Del Ray now has another shopping option, Streets Market and Cafe, located at 3108 Mt Vernon Ave. Though they opened at the end of last year, I made my first trip to Streets this past week. During the recent snowstorm, my Facebook feed was full of posts from friends praising the shop and how well-stocked it was even during the storm, so I had to see for myself. And those Facebook posts were correct — Streets IS well-stocked! It may not be your weekly/bulk shopping kind of place, but it still has all the essentials. Produce, dairy, meats, cereal, canned/dry goods and household items are all there. There is also a prepared foods section and you can buy fresh-sliced deli items. I haven’t done a...

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Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 | 3 comments

A Mid-Century Nursery for Baby Mera

A Mid-Century Nursery for Baby Mera

After featuring J.P. and Ellen’s mid-century modern design style in a 2014 home tour, we couldn’t wait to come back and see what they did with their newborn baby Mera’s bedroom. Just like the rest of their stylish home, they accented the room with mid-century charm and personal touches, perfect for a baby girl. The collection of prints in uniform white frames shown to the right of the window above are an assortment of prints that Ellen picked out, as well as cards her friends and family gave her at their baby shower. “I hate tossing beautiful cards,” Ellen says, “and I feel that sticking them in a box in a closet is basically the same thing.” So she framed them. What a great idea. One wall was painted a handsome blue-grey hue when they moved in a few years ago. Unfortunately, they don’t have the name to share. (They had Home Depot match the color so they could use it throughout the room.) Ellen found the mid-century dresser...

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