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The Knutson Companies is thrilled to announce new opportunities for Loudoun County living with the release of a new section of rooftop terrace townhomes and a brand new community of garage townhomes. Each community offers a distinctive living experience tailored to fit your family’s lifestyle, blending Knutson’s signature classic design with the convenience and vibrancy of Brambleton.

The spacious townhomes in the new section at Knutson at Downtown Brambleton offer up to 5 bedrooms, nearly 3,000 square feet of living space and a loft and rooftop terrace — your Yard in the Sky. The previous section sold out quickly and this new section is now open for sales from the high $700s.

Knutson West Park at Brambleton presents a new community of garage townhomes from the mid $600s. These homes boast private backyards, ideal for family fun and neighborhood gatherings, 3 bedrooms and flexible home office space.

Both communities have a coveted location within walking distance of Downtown Brambleton, a retail hub with a plethora of dining, shopping and entertainment options. The Brambleton neighborhood also offers homeowners access to award-winning neighborhood schools, sport courts, walking trails, pools and more. There are also year-round community events with activities for everyone in the family to enjoy.

These homes provide the perfect backdrop for life’s next chapter, offering sought-after new construction options in Loudoun County and embodying the Knutson Companies’ commitment to crafting exceptional living spaces in enriching neighborhoods.

Learn more and schedule a tour at DowntownBrambleton.com and KnutsonatWestPark.com.

Earn top dollar with full benefits!

When you join the Electrical Alliance, you get to contribute to the biggest projects in the area, all while earning top dollar and employer paid benefits.

As an Electrical Alliance worker, you get:

  • Salary Range $11.50 — $54.00/Hour
  • Paid Apprenticeship
  • Continuing education to advance within the industry
  • Safer working conditions and top-tier safety training
  • Full Family medical care, eye care, dental care, and EAP programs
  • Paid time off
  • Employer Paid Retirement Benefits: Pensions and Annuity

Written by Mina Lucks, Synergy Design & Construction

While adopting sustainable changes may seem overwhelming at first, taking small and intentional steps in our interior environment is an easy way to care for our outdoor environment. 

In this blog, we explore the use of sustainable practices and eco-friendly materials that harmonize with modern design trends. 

Repurpose and Reimagine

By choosing to remodel, you’re already making a positive impact! Preserving and restoring an existing home is a more sustainable option compared to buying or constructing a new house. 

During your remodel, embrace creativity and think outside the box. Consider switching up items’ functions or giving them new life in another space. Maybe the living room lamp would work better in the kid’s room, or instead of discarding old sinks and towel racks, repurpose them into unique pieces for your garden, such as plant holders. 

Once you know you’re ready to part with something, try giving it to a friend, donating, or recycling before sending things to the landfill. There are many great resources to choose from — these are several of our go-to’s: 

Eco-Friendly Materials  

Modern design offers a wide range of eco-friendly materials that achieve wonderful quality and aesthetics.  

Popular sustainable materials include reclaimed wood, recycled glass, bamboo, and so much more. You might be surprised by options like countertops made with post-industrial scrap waste and recycled paper. Not only are these materials stunning, but they also offer a great alternative to granite, which is non-renewable and fossil fuel-heavy due to long-distance transportation. 

Even paint choices can have environmental and health impacts. Opting for low or zero-VOC paints instead of traditional ones reduces air pollutants and promotes a healthier indoor space. Low VOC paints, with lower concentrations of harmful chemicals, are especially beneficial for children, the elderly, and those with asthma or allergies. 

Sustainable Practice of Embracing Natural Light 

Embracing natural light is a sustainable practice that doesn’t require a full-scale renovation. 

If you’re ready for a more transformative remodel, replacing windows without mullions is a popular trend that increases light in a space. Look at this before and after to notice the change! 

 

You can also consider taking down walls to open an area and flood it with daylight, reducing the need to use your lights. This enhances the sense of openness and interconnectedness throughout your home. 

Check out how we removed a fireplace wall to create an open-concept space with abundant natural light and better connection to the backyard. 

 

Create a Sustainable Home with Synergy 

Eco-friendly materials and practices and modern living go hand in hand, and we encourage you to take an active role in planning for a sustainable future! 

If you’re looking for guidance, Synergy Design and Construction’s Founder and Certified Green Professional, Mina Lucks, has the expertise to help you navigate the world of sustainable design. 

Reach out today to get started with Synergy!  

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA and D.C. with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com.

The end of April, early May means that strawberries are ready for picking.

The weather this week looks amazing and I’ll take any excuse to get outside and enjoy it before we get the heat and humidity coming. This is my annual PSA that there are so many great places to go berry picking around Northern Virginia.

Don’t forget: they’ll shut down for a day or two if they get over picked so make sure you’re checking their websites/social media for current updates.

  • Messick’s Farm in Bealton, Virginia: Check their Facebook page for updates on the availability of U-pick. While Messick’s has their own custard and availability of treats and food, we drove about three miles down the road to the famous Moo Thru — an ice cream drive-thru, which was so good. (Coffee ice cream was delicious!) Their Strawberry Festival starts on Saturday, April 20th and includes Barrel Train Rides, hayrides, bounce pillow, zipline, goats, candy cannon and kids tattoos. Weekends from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Other dates include April 21, 27, 28 and May 4, 5, 11 and 12th.
  • Wegmeyer Farms has three locations in Hamilton, Aldie and Leesburg, Virginia. Make sure you follow them on Facebook for the most up-to-date information (as of this writing on April 15th, the berries are almost ready). Don’t miss their donuts!
  • Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland: Strawberries should be ready for picking in May.
  • Shlagel Farms in Waldorf, Maryland: Shlagel Farms will be open in May. They update availability on their Facebook page.
  • Swann Farms in Owings, Maryland: Check their website for updates, as they too should be ready for picking in May, with blueberries and blackberries.
Chocolate Donuts via Wegmeyer Farms/Facebook
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Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479.

Spring is a magical time in the D.C. Metro area, where cherry blossoms bloom, temperatures warm up, and outdoor activities abound.

Whether you’re a local Fairfax resident aspiring to become a D.C. tourist or just ready for some spring fun around the area, there are plenty of exciting things to do and explore during this vibrant season.

Become an Outdoor Explorer

Take advantage of the mild weather to explore the region’s parks and outdoor spaces. Visit Great Falls Park for breathtaking views of the Potomac River and hiking trails, or head to Shenandoah National Park for a day of scenic drives and wildlife spotting. Additionally, local parks like Burke Lake Park, Rock Creek Park, and Theodore Roosevelt Island offer serene settings for picnics and outdoor recreation near Fairfax County.

Become the Historian of the Family or a Museum Junkie

Spring is an ideal time to explore the area’s wealth of museums and historic landmarks. In Fairfax County check out the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, Reston Museum, Lucy Burns Museum, Gunston Hall, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

Of course, you can also wander through world-class museums in D.C. that are free, such as the National Museum of American History and the National Gallery of Art, to immerse yourself in art, culture, and history. Don’t forget to visit iconic landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol Hill for a glimpse into the nation’s past and present.

Outdoor Dining and Farmer’s Market Guru

Indulge in the diverse culinary scene of Northern Virginia and D.C. by dining al fresco at local restaurants and cafes. Many establishments offer outdoor seating options, allowing you to savor delicious meals while soaking up the sunshine. Additionally, explore the vibrant farmers’ markets in the area, such as Mosaic, Fairfax City, Reston, Eastern Market and Dupont Circle, to sample fresh produce, artisanal goods, and gourmet treats.

Outdoor Festivals and Events

Spring brings a flurry of festivals and events to the region, celebrating everything from music and art to food and culture. Attend the Virginia Gold Cup, a beloved horse racing event held in May, or explore neighborhood festivals like the Manassas Spring Carnival, Earth Day Fairfax, Shipgarten’s Sour & Gummies Festival, and Reston StreetFest. Check local event calendars for the latest happenings and plan your spring itinerary accordingly.

With its array of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and culinary delights, spring in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. offers something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re admiring flowers blooming, exploring historic landmarks, or indulging in local cuisine, make the most of this season in our area!

Sharmane Medaris | Live Fairfax | www.soldbysharmane.com | Sharmane@mcenearney.com | @soldbysharmane | 813-504-4479 | 374 Maple Avenue Suite 202, Vienna, VA 22180

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McLean-based Golden Boot Soccer has been a leader in youth soccer skill development and fun for nearly 30 years, and this summer features even more of their popular camps.

These morning, half-day and full-day programs for ages 3 to 13 combine positive, professional trainers with engaging activities and challenges, often featuring their signature cogno-technical approach.

“Cognitive training is a fancy way of saying we train the body and brain together,” says Golden Boot president and founder Tamir Linhart.

Tamir Linhart

“Our specialized curriculum improves soccer intelligence, reaction time, decision-making, situational awareness, and memory, while also developing technical skills such as passing, receiving, dribbling and finishing. The result is players who are always thinking ahead and are able to make positive and intelligent decisions on the field.”

Cognitive training is folded into each Golden Boot session, using innovative and creative activities appropriate to each level.

This summer, Golden Boot offers a variety of options for all ages and levels, including special camps for travel players, a VIP week featuring college and professional coaches, and an international week focused on Italian pro clubs. Most weeks feature morning Lil’ Boots camps for ages 3-4 and 5-6, plus half-day or full-day options such as Ball Mastery (ages 7-8), Positive Touch Footskills (ages 9-13), Art of Scoring Goals (ages 9-13) and Goalkeeper Training (ages 8-13). All full-day camps include indoor access, giving players air-conditioned breaks throughout the day.

“We plan our schedules with kids’ needs in mind,” explains Linhart.

In addition to Fairfax, Golden Boot has more camps planned in McLean, Vienna, Burke and Arlington, plus weekly skills classes on Saturday mornings.

If there’s one thing that’s constant at Golden Boot, it’s their commitment to innovation and growth.

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq

Our firm defends security clearance holders and applicants (federal employees, government contractors, and military personnel) when security issues arise. Here are some tips to consider when starting the security clearance process:

  1. Consult with an Attorney for Legal Advice When Issues May Arise: It is important to consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible if there is the possibility of negative security issues arising. An individual has the best chance of resolving security concerns when they recognize a potential security concern and seek legal advice early. Doing so at the beginning of the clearance process usually maximizes the ability of an individual to mitigate any security concerns. When an individual has serious security concerns the longer they wait for legal advice the more difficult overcoming the issues may become.
  2. Answer Security Clearance Forms Carefully: It is pretty common for individuals to receive clearance denials because they did not adequately read the questions or proofread their responses on the SF-86/e-QIP before submission. Additionally, many questions on security clearance forms can be confusing which can lead to incorrect responses. A mistake on security clearance forms can lead to an assumption that the individual has not been truthful in their application.
  3. The Importance of Truthfulness: When an individual is not truthful during the clearance process it not only can bar the individual from receiving a security clearance but can raise a host of other legal issues. For example, it is a lot easier for a security clearance lawyer to mitigate security clearance concerns involving prior drug or alcohol usage, than it is to defend against an allegation that the individual was not truthful in their clearance application or interview about these issues. A potential caveat here might be if the issue involves alleged criminal activity so it is important to consult with counsel.
  4. Prepare for an Investigative Interview: If an individual knows that there is a good chance that problem areas exist in a security clearance application, he or she should expect to be asked about the areas in advance by the assigned investigator. Preparation (and practice) for the interview can help prepare for any problem areas in advance.
  5. Dont React Defensively in Interviews: When asked about problem areas in a security clearance application by an investigator, do not react defensively. It is important to be calm and positive about the issues when speaking to an investigator. This is why we generally recommend preparing with counsel for a security clearance interview if there are significant security issues that may be raised. Arguing or acting defensive with an investigator will never benefit an individual in a security clearance investigation.

Contact Us

When potential security clearance issues arise, it is important to obtain the advice of an experienced security clearance lawyer as early in the clearance process as possible. Our law firm advises and represents individuals in the security clearance process. We can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070.

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Live Fairfax: Seasons 52

Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479.

In the heart of Tysons Corner, Seasons 52 offers a culinary experience that celebrates the best of each season. With a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and a commitment to calorie-conscious dining with an ambiance that will provide an elevated experience every time.

One thing that I definitely appreciate and have experienced first hand is the reality that Seasons 52 takes pride in crafting dishes that are not only delicious but also mindful of calorie counts with nutritional values.

By utilizing natural ingredients and innovative cooking techniques, they create flavorful meals without compromising on health. From vibrant salads to succulent entrees, each dish is thoughtfully prepared to provide a balanced and satisfying dining experience.

If you are planning a special occasion you definitely want to check out the unique event space with customized menus that will wow you attendees. Why settle for your typical ballroom space?

Get the insider scoop with this exclusive video with Managing Partner,  Matt Beverley. You will definitely want to add this to your dining adventures!

Sharmane Medaris | Live Fairfax | www.soldbysharmane.com | Sharmane@mcenearney.com | @soldbysharmane | 813-504-4479 | 374 Maple Avenue Suite 202, Vienna, VA 22180

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Trends in self-care include personalized services and products, holistic offerings, and technology-based solutions.

This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.

Gone are the days when spas were simply places where you would choose from a menu of three or four massage options. Today, trends in day spas and the self-care industry are in step with a broader trend of personalized wellness.

“People today want products and services that are customized to their specific needs, whether related to skin care or body work,” says William Wesley Myers, assistant vice president of wellness strategies for Mather, the organization that recently opened The Mather, a Life Plan Community for those 62 and better in Tysons, Virginia. “This trend is not surprising — it’s similar to what’s happening in other wellness areas, such as boutique fitness centers and exercise studios, the prevalence of personal training, and even individualized dietary supplement plans.”

The spa at The Mather, called Marzenia (the Polish word for hopes or aspirations), offers luxury services that are based on a mix of high-tech and holistic features. For example, residents might begin their spa visit at the Blend Bar, which features a live herb wall, collection of dried herbs and aromatics, and library of global wellness recipes. Working with a spa professional, they can concoct their own unique natural therapies, whether that means mixing a detoxifying mud or making a revitalizing scrub. “We offer a range of solutions that’s as diverse as the needs they meet, each crafted to address specific conditions of the skin and body,” explains William.

Holistic treatments such as this are a powerful spa trend. “People today are more conscious of what they put in — and on — their bodies,” says William. “By offering natural ingredients and therapies, we avoid introducing chemicals and, at the same time, lessen our community’s environmental footprint.” The Mather is working with Comfort Zone, an Italian company that uses natural products with a focus on global sustainability. “We use their line of regenerative, effective, and sustainable face and body products, treatments, and rituals, which are developed in a scientific botanical garden in Parma, Italy,” says William.

Residents of The Mather can also enjoy the all-natural therapeutic benefits of Marzenia’s Breath Lounge, which features a wall of Himalayan sea salt and a halogenerator that releases microscopic salt particles into the air. “Evidence-based research shows that this treatment promotes respiratory health, reduces inflammation, and enhances relaxation,” says William. “Regular sessions can significantly enhance your overall wellness, offering both physical and mental health benefits.”

Another spa trend, which may seem to be the flip side of holistic treatments, is offerings based on technology. “Today’s consumers are not afraid to embrace high-tech options, particularly when we can show them the research backing up the outcomes,” says William.

One example of this is the Gharieni Welnamis spa wave bed, which uses computer-controlled vibrational therapy and audio frequencies to train the brain to relax. Similar to meditation, certain sounds heard through stereo headphones slow mental activity, while the bed’s vibrational frequencies target the body’s energy centers.

“The wave bed can specifically target stress, depression, and poor sleep, as well as headaches and difficulty focusing,” says William. “The technology was developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorders of American veterans — but we offer it to allow residents to select their desired wellness journey.”

Another wellness-tech option available in The Mather: a private sauna, which uses infrared light therapy to boost circulation, relieve muscle tension, and promote cellular renewal. “This advanced technology gently heats the body, promoting deep muscle relaxation, enhancing detoxification, and boosting circulation, all within a comfortably warm environment. It’s an ideal start to stimulate your body’s natural healing process,” says William.

Those interested in self-care have so many more options now than in the recent past; it should be easy to build effective, personalized treatments that target personal goals and needs, whether that treatment involves live herbs or audio frequencies. “Everyone’s wellness journey is unique, and there’s no reason you can’t use a spa visit to create your very own transformative experience,” says William.

The Mather in Tysons, VA, for those 62 and better, is a forward-thinking Life Plan Community that defies expectations of what senior living is supposed to be. It opened in March 2024.

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If you’re asking, “how can I spice things up in the bedroom?,” then you’re asking the wrong question. The real solution, according to Espinoza Therapy, is understanding what’s holding you back.

It’s not about trying new tricks to spark romance. It’s about figuring out the obstacles that block intimacy every day.

These obstacles might be:

  • Mental health issues, like stress or anxiety
  • General tiredness or exhaustion with your life
  • Tension in your relationship caused by ongoing arguments

All of these can seriously affect how you feel about connection, romance and pleasure.

So what should you be asking instead?

Start by identifying the blocks to intimacy in your life, and working together with your partner to overcome them. This will create a stronger bond and a more intimate atmosphere. The key is knowing that relationships – and the people in them – are complicated. Real intimacy needs honest communication, understanding, and empathy.

If you want to dig deeper with the guidance of a qualified therapist, contact Espinoza Therapy for a free 15 minute video consultation.

Let us help you communicate better with your partner, for a more intimate and satisfying relationship!

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