Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 is Near in Fairfax County

Happy New Year!
2013 is right around the corner and is one of my favorite times of the year as it is so hopeful and full of new beginnings.  Lots of planning and goal setting for the coming year and 2013 is only going to be better for real estate and the economy.  

Every year I throw a party in our home in Fairfax County and do some traditional things and always try to incorporate some new trends.  Here are some things to do or remember when you host a New Year’s Celebration.  

I always start with a theme and go from there.  A trendy theme this year  but also a classic is using clocks as décor and classic color themes of black, white, silver and gold.   So, this year I am going to use gold as the main color, as gold is also a popular décor color for 2013. 

Everyone loves mini sized items.  A cute and trendy idea is to take Mini Moet & Chandon Champagne Bottles and place them in ice with the name of your guest to toast the New Year with!  Always have the noise makers and toss some gold glitter on table cloths.

For the food stick with small and simple.  You can also use some fun items that are traditional New Year’s Foods.  Such as black eyed peas for luck and prosperity.  Any type of green like collards, kale or cabbage which symbolizes money and the more greens one eats the larger one's fortune next year.  There are also bad luck food traditions such as lobster because they walk backwards could lead to setbacks.  Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past.

Don’t forget goodie bags to take along when your guest leave.  Some nice items are 2013 planners, alarm clocks, goal setters, journal etc.  Get creative but try to stay in your theme and always have a stocked bar!
Wanting to go out on the town for New Years Eve?  Take a look at these festivities in our area:

Not in our area?  Here are some major events around the globe:  

Got little one’s and want to spend New Year’s Day out and about?  
Check out these great events going on the D.C. area:

As the new year comes I hope you celebrate the past year and what's going to come.  Spend it with one's you care about and as always be safe!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Minute Holiday Shopping in NOVA!

Still haven’t found that one gift?  Last minute gifts can be stressful and can add more stress to our busy lifestyles here in NOVA.  I want to help you place that red check mark on your list! We have great shops in Fairfax that you’ll be sure to find that one unique item that I promise won’t be re-gifted for next year.  Forget the mall and step out of the big boxed stores.  Look right in your local area for the right item that will surely put a smile on that special someone’s face.  

Some places I have discovered over the years I would like to share with you. I frequently go to local boutiques not only for these holiday gifts but any time I need to find something I can’t anywhere else.

Need a special item for a lovely uptown lady in your life?  
Undeniable Boutique (Fairfax Corner, 11891 Grand Commons Ave. Fairfax, Virginia 22030) carries clothing and accessories for women who want to dress for the occasion but not like everyone else.

You boss, husband or dad adores good cigars but you have no idea how to pick them out? 
Fairfax Cigar Town (118877 Grand Commons Ave. Fairfax, Virginia 22030) Invites you to visit their location that is family operated and owned and will take the time to make sure you leave satisfied and educated.  

Heading to the families for the holiday and need to get your host a fab gift?  
Head to Oakton Wine Shop (2952 Chain Bridge R. Ste. A Oaktonm VA 22124) which carries wine, cheese and beer.  You’re sure to satisfy with the wide array of reasonably priced wines, expensive ones too and more than 40 handcrafted beers.

Also, to help your holiday spirit remember the Fairfax High School Winter Concert is this Thursday, December 20th at 7 p.m. The Fairfax High School Choral and Orchestra Department present a performance of Christmas tunes. Bring an unwrapped gift for a child to donate to the Toys for Tots drive.  Location: Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax; 703-219-2355; and the event is free.

I hope this helps with some last minute ideas and I truly wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.  I cannot believe the holiday is already near.  I am blessed to reside in such a great area in America and so happy to serve the community with their housing needs.  I hope all your homes are warm with love this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Earle Whitmore
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A New Diet for 2013

A new year is around the corner, and what better way to start it right than by dieting?  I don’t mean go get a gym membership and start Atkins.  I mean dieting for your home.  Get rid of the extra stuff and use your local resources to help freshen up your living space.  Is your dinning room still stuck in the 80’s or your bedroom looks like it’s been sleeping for the last 10 years? A wonderful part of living in Northern Virginia is the abundance of designers right at your fingertips.  Whether it’s painting, landscaping, furniture or unique knick knacks, I’m sure I can steer you in the right direction to give your home a good diet plan for 2013.

Local Interior Designers, Landscapers, Remodeling Companies and Store Fronts:

A.Houck Designs
 , Arlington; 703-237-2111;
Ellen Brotman Interior Designs, Fairfax; 703-573-6100;
Faulkner House Interior Redesign, primarily in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties; 703-689-9886;
Maureen McGough, 10332 Main St., # 235, Fairfax; 703-716-0076;
Jodie Okun for The Nest Egg, 11940 Grand Commons Avenue, Fairfax; 703-988-0944;
Commonwealth Home Remodelers, 208-A Dominion Road N.E., Vienna; 703-255-9861;
Cook Brothers Design, Building and Remodeling, 5521 Lee Highway, Arlington; 703-536-0900;
Michael Nash Custom Kitchens and Homes, 8630-C Lee Highway, Fairfax; 703-641-9800;
Oak Hill Building and Remodeling, 10615 Judicial Drive, Suite 501, Fairfax; 703-591-1200;
Professional Remodeling Group, 8632 Centreville Road, Manassas, and 11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 800, Fairfax; 703-281-0909;
TerraScape Design Build Company, 3160 Spring St., Unit E, Fairfax; 703-359-9264;
Red Barn Mercantile, 113 S. Columbus St., Alexandria; 703-838-0355;
Embellishments of Alexandria, 1303 King St., Alexandria; 703-299-6262;
Le Beau Chateau Home Décor, 8621 Lee Highway, Fairfax; 703-207-0022
Patrick’s Fine Linen and Home Décor, 106 N. St. Asaph St., Alexandria; 571-970-6931;

Some trends to consider for home décor in 2013 are as follows.  Animal prints are still a good print to use in a home.  However,  use them in more of a hidden way.  For example, the pattern of a Zebra but find the pattern using one color on an item like a pillow. It will give a room good texture.  When using floral patterns, don’t think of your garden but more painterly floral.  Stripes are still in and aren’t backing out for some time.  Use stripes on walls, pillows or rugs; they bring movement to a room.  Yellow, blue and red colors are trending for 2013.  Instead of black being a natural color in the room use navy or grey.  Need a pop of color?  Consider yellow to brighten an area that's lacking.  Need spunk or edge?  Try red but always in moderation.  Think 1940’s Hollywood with soft curvy lines when it comes to furniture.  Take a look at some new hotel lobbies for the new metropolitan look featured in 2013 home.  Another great resource for ideas is  Just type a word in the search box and get great ideas for spaces.  Revamping a lot or a little can keep you slimmer and always ready for a party, get together or that unexpected move.  It also will make you feel a little bit more lively, stress free and happier.  So, break out the pin and paper.  Get moving around your space and write down what you would like or what you would want to change.  Give yourself a budget and run with it.

Earle Whitmore
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spreading Holiday Cheer in Northern Virginia!

One great part of the holiday season is not just the beautiful lights the NOVA area brings and not always receiving gifts.  One of the greatest things is being able to give back to ones in need or ones that can use some holiday cheer.  The Northern Virginia area has many local charities’ that are in need for certain items.  Even though you may not be able to purchase items to donate, you probably have some items lying around that would be appreciated.

As the year ends and cold begins you may find you have a lot of items you accumulated over the last four seasons.  What to do with these items that you may or may not use over the course of next year?  Sure you can wrap them up for White Elephant to give away, but how about starting a pile to give to NOVA Charities? Grab your spouse, kids and anyone around that could use a good cleaning.  To begin have a designated area and start a pile.  Don’t worry about sorting till the end of cleaning.  Organize and see what you can spare to get rid of.  Look in the drawers, look in the closets, garage and under the couch.  You never know what you may have lying around.  An old book, pair of shoes or five extra tubes of toothpaste are perfect items to give.  Look in your pantry; do you see 6 cans of corn?  Spare one or two will do! Have a years’ worth of old magazines?  I’m sure someone would like to read it or a child would like to use a pair of scissors too.

Once you have all the items compiled take some extra boxes or bag’s and mark each with the charity you want to give to.  Here are some in the Fairfax County area and what they are looking for:

- Ecumenical Council Helping Others (ECHO) 7205 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield
ECHO Inc. seeks donations of food, housewares, bedding, clothing, small appliances, children’s books and toys. No furniture, please.

- Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Mental Health Services14150 Parkeast Cir., Suite 200, Chantilly.
Contact Carol Taylor.
Outer clothing, gift certificates for grocery and retail stores, toys, sports equipment and games, craft activities, food baskets and toiletries. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 14. 

- Food for Others Food can be brought to the warehouse at 2938 Prosperity Ave., Fairfax, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Food for Others, Northern Virginia’s largest provider of emergency food services, requests donations of nonperishable food. Items most needed include peanut butter, tuna fish, canned fruit, rice, macaroni and cheese, pasta, cereal, soups, canned vegetables, spaghetti sauce, meat chili with beans, dried beans and beef stew. For holiday assistance in December, frozen turkeys, stuffing and cranberry sauce are especially welcome. 

- Herndon-Reston FISH
Donations of nonperishable food items, toys, gifts and clothing for the needy will be collected at United Christian Parish, 2222 Colts Neck Rd., Reston, Dec. 18-20. 

- Lamb Center
This daytime drop-in center for the homeless needs men’s and children’s winter coats, hats, gloves, blankets and sleeping bags. Also needed are diapers, laundry detergent, coffee, creamer, powdered drink mixes, paper towels, paper plates, disposable utensils, soap, shampoo and monetary donations. Donations may be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at 3220 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax. For more information, contact Steve Schlossberg or Barbara D’Annibale.

- Prevent a Litter Coalition (PaLC)
PaLC advocates responsible pet ownership by promoting spaying and neutering. The group, made up entirely of volunteers, needs a desktop copier and cartridges, a black and white laser printer and cartridges, a Healthy Back office chair, a fax machine that uses plain paper, an executive desk, a computer credenza, a HON four-drawer Grey Letter filing cabinet, frequent flier miles and six copies of the American Bar Association’s “Guidebook for Directors of Nonprofit Corporations. The organization’s mailing address is P.O. Box 9294, Reston, Va. 20195.

- Shelter House
Shelter House, a nonprofit shelter for homeless families in Fairfax County, provides crisis intervention, temporary housing, training, counseling and programs to promote self-sufficiency. It is looking for donations of dishes, pots, pans, kitchen appliances, blankets, cold medicines, humidifiers and pillows. Volunteers are sought to work at the front desk. Contact Suzanne Nordfelt.

Even if the items may not listed include them with the organization that  seems appropriate. Include your children to be a part of the giving.  It is a great way to show them how lucky they are and to be more appreciative of what they have and how important it is to give.  Isn't that season is all about!

If you have time, a lot of these non-profits also need volunteers to get packages together, to help in sorting, and distributing items to the needy.  This is another great way to get the family involved in spreading even more holiday cheer.

And I end today with a quote from Henry Drummond, “There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving.”

Happy Holidays!