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If you need furniture NOW and at a holiday discount, Herndon’s Furniture Max is standing by!

Furniture Max in Herndon wants you to know they have a wide selection of American-made furniture and accessories in stock and available for next day delivery. Come take advantage of their store wide savings events going on now for Memorial Day.

If you need furniture now and not months from now, Furniture Max is standing by to help, with not just an enormous showroom of the latest designs and decorating styles for every room of the house but also with financing options to fit every pocketbook and wallet.

Be warned: While everything is in stock and ready for delivery today, quantities are limited.

While supplies last, sofas, sectionals and reclining furniture is priced at an extra 20 percent off. Dining sets, entertainment areas, home office furnishings, and bedroom furniture are all priced to move as well.

Surprise specials are scattered throughout the store. For example, with the purchase of an Italian leather sofa, the loveseat is free. During the Memorial Day event, each Serta mattress includes a free bedding bundle. Visit the store to see more deals on products made in the USA by American companies.

Furniture Max is at 2441 Centreville Road in Herndon. Call 571-459-2333 or email ali@myfurnituremax.com.

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD 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

ViVA Vienna, the town fair, is my favorite event of the year.

Rides, games, fair food, street vendors and the entire town coming out to have fun. It’s glorious. It’s always hot, but the event takes place rain or shine (lighting is another story). If you’ve never been, please enjoy some of my favorite tips!

ViVa Vienna is made of rides for the kids — some for the smaller crew and some for the older crew who like faster/higher rides, usually games (knock down the clown, pop the balloon, fishing for a duck), vendors (arts, crafts, photos, local businesses), and fair food. Think meat on a stick, turkey legs and fried everything. It’s glorious and fun. They also have shows on the town green in the amphitheater.

You can buy tickets ahead of time (and they’re cheaper through Friday, May 27). This year you can buy an unlimited rider pass for $40 per day or a “mega pass” which is unlimited rides for all 3 days for $100 (if you buy before May 28), but the mega pass isn’t recommended for kids under 36″ tall.

This year they also have a Backstage BrewFest for the 21 and over crowd, held at the Vienna Firehouse. There will be live bands, beer, wine and food on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Here are my tips to make it as fun as possible:

  • Bring water! Bring snacks if you don’t want to buy food. The kids (and adults) get hot and hungry and that’ll ruin anyone’s day.
  • Saturday is the least crowded day because there are no vendors yet. It’s just food and rides/games. If you’re trying to avoid larger crowds, go on Saturday.
  • Sunday/Monday is fun if you want to check out local vendors and companies. Many have fun things to check out, artwork to buy, and freebies to snag.
  • Plan to use porta potties — the local businesses on Church Street shouldn’t be inundated by toilet-goers who are not patrons, but they will line the area behind Vienna Inn with bathrooms and likewise over by the Red Caboose.
  • Bring cash for the games. Everyone’s going cashless these days, but these fair games still usually take cash and you can avoid the ATM fee.
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The Kensington Reston Open House Weekend

Spring is in full bloom and we’re celebrating the sunshine!

Join us for our Open House Weekend at The Kensington Reston for a peek inside our community. You’re invited to gather on our patio, soak up the sun and plant a beautiful flower arrangement alongside our residents and team.

Learn about how our assisted living and memory care services are multi-faceted and highly personalized. We are a family of families that cherish the fact that every single day, we get to contribute care, attention and friendship to our residents.

Visit our community to experience the Kensington difference for yourself. From the moment you step inside, you’ll feel an indescribable sense of family, belonging and home.

To RSVP, or for questions about joining our Kensington Family or our COVID-19 protocols, please email Alex Ramsey, Director of Community Relations, aramsey@kensingtonsl.com.

Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — click here to RSVP
Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — click here to RSVP

The Kensington Reston Open House Weekend

Spring is in full bloom and we’re celebrating the sunshine!

Join us for our Open House Weekend at The Kensington Reston for a peek inside our community. You’re invited to gather on our patio, soak up the sun and plant a beautiful flower arrangement alongside our residents and team.

Learn about how our assisted living and memory care services are multi-faceted and highly personalized. We are a family of families that cherish the fact that every single day, we get to contribute care, attention and friendship to our residents.

Visit our community to experience the Kensington difference for yourself. From the moment you step inside, you’ll feel an indescribable sense of family, belonging and home.

To RSVP, or for questions about joining our Kensington Family or our COVID-19 protocols, please email Alex Ramsey, Director of Community Relations, aramsey@kensingtonsl.com.

Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — click here to RSVP
Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — click here to RSVP

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Undertaking your first major home remodel can be a daunting task. It’s not always easy knowing where to start and what to look out for when deciding on which home remodeling company or general contractor is right for you.

We’ve all heard the renovation nightmare stories. As a professional home remodeling company, the last thing we want is for any homeowner to end up in a situation where their remodel is dragging on and on with no end in sight, or to hear that the initial estimate given has now doubled and the total cost is growing by the day. So, this month, we’re looking at a few red flags and things to ask to help you pick the perfect remodeling partner for your project!

Red flag #1

A general contractor or home remodeling company tells you they can start construction in a few weeks. This should cause you to pause and ask why.

We’ve heard from a number of homeowners in the area recently who have told us they can’t even get remodelers and tradespeople to return phone calls. As with the housing market, the construction and home remodeling industry is still booming. There is no excuse for an unreturned email or phone call, but the reality is many companies have no bandwidth to start any new construction projects until later 2022/early 2023.

At Synergy, we can start the design process within the next six months, but construction start dates for new projects are now booking in early 2023. So, if someone comes to your home with promises of being able to start construction ‘in a few weeks’, ask questions why they have availability.

When it comes to how long it takes to complete a remodel, we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: no major home remodeling project is going to be completed within a couple of weeks (and at minimal cost) from the time you sign on the dotted line. Any company or individual who tells differently is setting you up for disappointment. Design thoughtful remodeling takes time. Design comes first, construction follows. We have a saying at Synergy “materials wait for construction, construction doesn’t wait for materials” meaning you should have made all of your design choices with most of them ordered (especially things like cabinetry and appliances which have extensive lead times — especially in recent times due to supply chain issues) before anyone comes anywhere near your home with a sledgehammer.

The point is, if you’re thinking of a home remodel, have realistic expectations about how long the process will take. Start the conversation now and don’t call in the early fall expecting to have your new kitchen by Thanksgiving!

Red flag #2 

The contractor gives you a cost on their first visit.

This one makes us crazy! We know you want to know on the first visit, but asking a professional remodeler how much a remodel costs is like asking, “How much is a car?” The make, model, engine size, alloy wheels, leather seats, heated steering wheel and that third row you really want to ferry the kids around all increase the price. The same thing applies to home remodeling. Providing a free estimate for a simple pull and replace powder room remodel or to paint your main level is one thing, but totally different for a full kitchen or other home remodel.

A number of things impact the cost of your remodel from changing the footprint (which usually requires plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical changes), to the cabinetry line you want to the level of finishes you expect. No one wants to be change ordered at every turn during the remodeling process when you have no option but to pay more to get the job done. Not every remodeler takes the same approach, but we’d rather be realistic about cost with you upfront so you know what you’re getting yourself into rather than get to the end of the project with your budget blown and costs twice what you’d been told initially.

Read more in Square Foot Pricing for a Home Remodel: What Every Homeowner Should Know.

Kitchen Remodel in Fairfax (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction). At Synergy, we pride ourselves on coming in on-time, on-budget for every home remodel!

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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.

When federal employees are fired, demoted, suspended, face Whistleblower issues, retirement problems, military discrimination or a host of other civil service issues they often can take their cases to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

The MSPB is an administrative court that functions much like a civil court for federal employee claims. Here is a summary of the MSPB process, which varies depending on the type of claim.

Filing an MSPB Appeal

The first step in the MSPB appeals process is for a federal employee to file a MSPB appeal. For most types of cases that the MSPB hears (e.g., those involving removals or severe suspensions for federal employees), the deadline to file an appeal is typically 30 days from the effective date of the decision. It is critical to timely file an MSPB appeal or it will most likely be dismissed. Appeals are mostly filed electronically these days through the MSPB e-Appeals website. Different deadlines may apply for some whistleblower, military discrimination and other types of cases so having counsel is very important in MSPB cases.

Receipt of the Acknowledgment Order

Usually, within a week of filing an MSPB Appeal, an administrative judge will be assigned and issue an Acknowledgment Order setting the ground rules and timelines for the appeals case. Of key importance are deadlines to conduct depositions and/or seek documents related to the case from a federal agency. In some cases, the order may also require the federal employee to prove that the MSPB has jurisdiction (i.e., can hear the case) over their case or to require a federal employee to respond to other issues in the appeal.

The Agency Files a Response to the Appeal

Usually, 20 days after the issuance of the Acknowledgment Order, the federal agency involved in the appeal is required to provide their case file to the MSPB administrative judge and the federal employee. This file will include the documents related to the federal agency’s case and also their initial response to the Appellant’s appeal. The file is often helpful for use in the case.

Settlement

The attempt to settle an MSPB appeal can happen at any point of the MSPB appeals process. We often find that it takes place most often before or slightly after the discovery process. The settlement process at the MSPB can take many forms: (1) informal settlement talks between the parties; (2) MSPB settlement judge involvement; or (3) the Mediation Appeals Program at the MSPB. It is very important to focus on settlement early in the process, where appropriate.

Discovery (Seeking Documents and Taking Depositions)

In most cases, 30 days after the issuance of the Acknowledgment Order, the parties are required to submit initial discovery requests to each other if they choose to engage in discovery. The discovery stage is very important as it is the federal employee’s chance to obtain documents, correspondence, emails, video, data or audio in the agency’s possession which can be used to help the federal employee during the hearing. One of the most important aspects of discovery is the ability to question federal supervisors or others, under oath, in depositions. Depositions by a federal employee’s attorney can lead to very important information which can be used in a federal employee’s appeal.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD 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

My husband and I got to sneak in a Sunday morning breakfast date where we got bagels at Call Your Mother and sat by the Georgetown Waterfront with the ducks for a few peaceful moments alone (highly recommend if you are looking for some time by a body of water).

Eating that led me to think about the breakfast options in Vienna. We have quite a few!

I’m on the hunt for the best breakfast sandwich in town. I am making a few nominations, but I’d love to hear where you sneak a good egg, cheese or veggie breakfast sandwich in around town. I’ll post the results on my social media at the end of the week!

Photo via Ben Kolde/Unsplash

Follow me on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or on Facebook at Facebook.com/GuidingYourMove.

Nominate your favorite!

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With Tysons booming, one award-winning senior living provider, Mather, announces that vertical construction has begun on The Mather, a luxury Life Plan Community (for those age 62+) in development at 7929 Westpark Drive, with first move-ins expected in 2024.

“Tysons offers so many opportunities, and future residents love the ‘hipsturbia’ vibe that provides an urban location that’s walkable to the Metro, retail, entertainment, outdoor spaces, and fantastic restaurants,” said Mather CEO and President, Mary Leary.

The Mather, which is pre-certified LEED Gold, is pursuing a WELL Building certification, and will feature Biophilic design, a human-centric approach focusing on incorporating natural elements into design to prioritize wellness and mental health.

Situated on nearly four acres, The Mather abuts a publicly accessible park, offering residents opportunities to enjoy outdoor concerts, walking paths, dog park, badminton court and bocce court. Onsite, The Mather’s amenities include a fitness center, spa, indoor pool, multiple restaurants, outdoor terraces, art studio, rooftop clubroom and more.

As a Life Plan Community, it offers a continuum of living options which enables people to plan ahead to access additional services, including health care, if ever needed. Homes range in size from 850 to 3,300 square feet, with entrance fees starting at $646,700. Prices are dependent upon apartment size, location, service package, and health plan selected. The homes feature open floor plans, expansive views, luxury finishes and innovative smart home technology.

See photos, floor plans, and more, at TheMatherTysons.com. To speak with a team member, call (703) 348-8522 or email info@themathertysons.com.

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD 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

May 1st marked the opening of strawberry picking season!

Most of the patches will be open by mid-May for the month and into early June or until everything is picked! Many of these farms also offer other food and treats, so make the most of your adventure!

  • Messick’s Farm in Bealton, Virginia: Check their Facebook page for updates on the availability of U-pick. They don’t require reservations, but you will have to use their baskets for picking which are $4.99 per pound. While Messick’s has their own custard and availability of treats, you can also make a trip to Moo Thru — an ice cream drive-thru.
  • Wegmeyer Farms in three locations in Hamilton, Aldie and Leesburg, Virginia: They have strawberry picking by appointment, which opens up the night before and fills up fast. Make sure you follow them on Facebook for the most up-to-date information. Don’t miss their donuts! They hope to be open by Sunday.
  • Hidden Gems Farms in Centreville, Virginia: Their strawberry picking will start soon (check the website for opening info) and they’ll have blueberry picking this summer. They also have other activities like playing with goats, plus food like donuts, bread and cheese.
  • Hollin Farms in Delaplane, Virginia: Hollin Farms will open in late May for strawberries and spring vegetables. They have a lot of other fruit throughout the year as well.
  • Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland: Reserve strawberry picking by appointment later this month. Reservations go live on Sundays and Thursdays at 5 p.m., so keep an eye out on their website! Walk-ins are welcome if there’s availability. Be sure to check their website for more details.
  • Shlagel Farms in Waldorf, Maryland: Shlagel Farms is open now for strawberry picking! They update availability on their Facebook page.
  • Swann Farms in Owings, Maryland: This farm is opening in the next 2 weeks for berry picking now! Check their website for updates.

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Now is your chance to discover how blissful life can be at Faraday Park, and trust us — you don’t want to miss out!

The West Tower is now more than 80% leased with the East Tower starting pre-leasing this month. These contemporary residences offer unique urban living with all of life’s conveniences just steps from your front door. Faraday Park gives you unprecedented access to the heart of Reston, just steps away from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and shopping, dining and entertainment at Reston Town Center.

Faraday Park elevates your lifestyle with amenity spaces thoughtfully designed to enhance everyday life. The co-working spaces offer work from home essentials with WiFi and private office pods. Faraday Park provides space for you to explore your hobbies and side hustles with a makerspace with tools for DIY and a baking space with commercial kitchen accessories.

The rooftop pool with sundeck, outdoor bar and grill are sure to be your favorite spots in warm weather. In addition, Faraday Park offers two state-of-the-art fitness centers and numerous other inviting spaces to gather and connect with your community.

Each of the pet-friendly studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences are thoughtfully appointed with high-end finishes and ultimate comfort in mind. Large windows create light-filled spaces, while the modern kitchens are outfitted with quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, and sleek Delta chrome fixtures. Spacious bedrooms and closets ensure plenty of room for living, while select homes feature balconies for an indoor-outdoor feel.

Don’t miss out — schedule your tour today!

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