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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.

Tomorrow is National Taco Day, on Taco Tuesday no less! You know I love talking about food places, so indulge me on this one!

Plus who doesn’t need an excuse to eat tacos?

Here are some local favorites to try:

  • Taco Bamba — Who will donate $1 for every taco sold to Smile on the World, up to $1,200/store
  • Mama Tigre — They also have great vegetarian options like the Cheese Tikka Tacos
  • Anita’s
  • Tippy’s Taco House
  • District Taco
  • Rango’s Tex-Mex
  • Bartaco
  • La Campesina — Tex-Mex and Salvadorean Food

Some of the larger chains are also running promos tomorrow if you like them:

  • California Tortilla — Every purchase on October 4th gets you a coupon for a free taco during a visit from October 5-11
  • Taco Bell — If you sign up to be a rewards member, you can get a Taco Lover’s Pass for $10 via their app. The subscription allows you to get 1 of 7 tacos every single day for the next 30 days.
  • Chevy’s — $3 per taco for build your own taco bar (this runs every Tuesday!)
  • Rosa Mexicano — Will have half price tacos all day for every Tuesday in October
National Taco Day
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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.

Can you believe we’re approaching the last 100 days of 2022?

October 1 marks 100 days to go. Did you have goals for 2022 that you still haven’t achieved? I certainly do. Let’s do this together. Let me help you reach those goals, whether they’re investing in real estate, dropping weight, saving money, or being a better parent.

One of the awesome things about my job is that I know so many people in different industries and I love connecting them together to create mutually beneficial relationships. Here’s an example of some people that you should know… and if you’re looking for someone specific, please don’t hesitate to email me and ask. I don’t mind at ALL. This information sitting in my head doesn’t help anyone.

If you’re looking to get your finances in order

Call ReFrame Wealth. A fee-only, fiduciary financial planning firm in Fairfax, which is Women Owned, Vienna Mom Owned.

If you’re looking to be a better parent (this means so many different things to different people)

Listen to Rachel Bailey’s podcast or join her coaching club.

If you’re looking to make more mom friends

Join Vienna Moms. Playgroups are back! Mom’s night outs, social events, etc.

If you’re looking to figure out that long perplexing health problem

Reach out to Whole Body Health Chiropractic (soon to open in Vienna!). When you’re tired of doctors only treating the symptom, Dr David Gustitus digs deeper.

If you’re looking to invest in real estate

Me, obviously. I can help identify your long term goals with real estate investing and we can talk about what might work best for you.

If you’re looking to lose weight

This is a multi faceted approach. You can join a local gym (F45, Orange Theory, Pure Barre, Equinox, Evolution Health, CrossFit) or you can search medical care with a therapist, nutritionist, or other doctor. Figure out what you think might be your best approach — mental, physical, or internal.

What goals can I help you with this year?

Photo via Alexa Williams/Unsplash
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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.

I would really love for these 85 degree humid days to subside already!

I’m so happy football has started, now I’m ready for sweatshirts, fire pits and more fall things, including apple picking! Make sure you’re checking their social media and/or websites to verify when they’re open.

Some orchards/farms close down if it’s raining, or if they’ve been over picked to allow more fruit to ripen. Many will also have fall festivals if you check websites to make a whole day of it.

Photo via Natalie Grainger/Unsplash
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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.

This summer I have fallen in love with the peaches at the Vienna Farmers Market from Kuhn Orchards, paired with these low acid yellow/orange tomatoes and burrata with a balsamic drizzle. It’s pure summer heaven on a plate.

With only a few weeks to go in both the Vienna Farmers Market and peach season, I wanted a resource of where to get late fall produce when the season changes.

Below I’ve highlighted some local farmers markets, where they’re located and when they’re open. Go early if you can. As the morning goes on, the lines get longer.

This weekend I tried to get empanadas at the Mosaic market and the line was 30 people deep so I gave up.

Local Farmers Market
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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.

If you’re trying to hold onto the last few days of summer and make the most of your 4 day weekend, here are some great weekend trips to look at if you’re looking for an escape.

Outdoor Getaways:

  • Aquia Landing Park, Stafford, Virginia: About an hour from Tysons, this is a popular fishing spot and beach for swimming. Note there’s a fee for parking.
  • Colonial Beach, Virginia: Colonial Beach is about 90 minutes away from Tysons. It has easy parking, is on the Potomac River (so very few waves), has shallow water and there’s a fishing pier. You’ll find a cute snow cone and ice cream spot, too. (Try the chocolate éclair ice cream!)
  • Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, Virginia: This small hidden gem is located under an hour from Tysons and offers fishing plus canoe and kayak rentals. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. You’ll also find spots for swimming and walking trails.
  • Lake Anna State Park, Spotsylvania, Virginia: About two hours away, you’ll find lots of sand and water for swimming and playing, camping grounds for overnight stays and walking trails. Tents are not allowed on the beach.
  • Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, Maryland: An hour from Tysons, Sandy Point is a popular beach before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge with lots of space for distancing. This is a great spot if you just want to escape for a day.
  • Calvert Cliffs State Park, Lusby, Maryland: Located about 90 minutes from Tysons, Calvert Cliffs is a Maryland state park featuring fishing, swimming and walking trails. It’s $7 per car for day use if you’ve got Virginia state plates.
Photo via S’well/Unsplash

Noteworthy Stays:

  • Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia: Here you’ll find a spa, restaurants, wineries, an infinity pool, hiking trails, zip lining and, for golf fans, access to the club at Creighton Farms.
  • The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia: Find a top-rated restaurant at The Inn and the quaint town of Washington is perfect for exploring.
  • Inn at Perry Cabin, St. Michaels, Maryland: On the beautiful Chesapeake, Inn at Perry Cabin has a spa, restaurants, pool, fitness center, golf and tennis.
  • The Inn at Vaucluse Spring, Stephens City, Virginia: This is a romantic bed and breakfast perched along the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Nemacolin Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania: Nemacolin has many types of lodging, a spa, golf, ax throwing, zip lining and tons of restaurant choices.
  • The Omni Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia: Filled with historic charm, this huge spa features hot springs, a water park, golf and lots of other family-friendly activities.
  • The Tides Inn, Irvington, Virginia: Find a spa, wine trail, sailing school, golf and newly redesigned rooms!
  • The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia: This resort contains a spa, a casino, pool, arcade, bowling and so many other activities to keep you busy!
  • Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia: Located in historic Leesburg, Lansdowne Resort has a spa, golf course and more.
  • Tidewater Inn, Easton, Maryland: Explore the spa, luxury accommodations, historic Easton and Hunters’ Tavern.
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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.

The summer went by so fast! I am thrilled to get my kids off to the first day of school and they were both thrilled to be going back.

I’m a creature of habit and routine and I’m taking the day to clear out, clean up and get everyone into a new routine. If you’re anything like me and can’t wait to dig into their stuff while they’re gone, please consider some of these places to donate your items.

Of course there’s always the option to sell items as well, but if you want to just drop it all off, here’s a list of places:

Women Giving Back — Sterling, Virginia
They’re accepting women and children’s casual, professional and formal attire, shoes (like new), maternity apparel and winter gear. They don’t accept books, toys or car seats. Check their calendar for drop off times as the days and times can vary.

Second Story — Vienna, Virginia
Donations of items like food, clothing, personal hygiene supplies, and household items help teen mothers and homeless teens.

CHO – Vienna, Virginia
Accepting donations of food (PBJ, small canned hams, oil, canned fruit), boys and men’s clothing, bath towels, and furniture.

Children’s Hospital — Washington, D.C.
Don’t forget about Dr. Bear’s Closet. It’s looking for brand new, in-original packing, non-toxic and no latex items with tags. For infection reasons, they do not accept anything used.

Buy Nothing (3 different Vienna Facebook groups based on location) — You can give away items to people in your community

Hope everyone has a great first day!

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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.

Teachers are already back to work at FCPS and gearing up for #FirstDayFairfax. Hard to believe it’s only one week away!

Some kids are excited, others are nervous and some are sad to see summer go. Regardless of how your kids feel, why not plan a celebration for them (and you!) for the first day of school!

Just a tip — especially if you have a kindergartner or maybe you moved to a new school — plan something for yourself for the first day of school if you don’t have work to distract you so you’re not worrying about them all day!

Here are some suggestions on ways to celebrate the return to school:

Card My Yard: Whether it’s at your home or at the school (looking at you, PTA), it’s a fun little thing to make a great photo op or fun walking destination.

Sweet Treats: What kid doesn’t love an afternoon treat?

  • Crumbl Cookies
  • Nothing Bundt Cake
  • Kiln & Co. custard
  • Ben and Jerry’s
  • Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard (opens this Friday!)
  • Milkshakes at Social Burger or Elevation Burger
  • Pie Gourmet
  • Magnolia Dessert Bar

Parents: if you have the ability, why not schedule a mimosa break after drop off to celebrate the start of school? Or a coffee date with a friend.

Or, if you’re like me and go on a cleaning rampage once they’re out, next week I’ll have a highlight of places to donate toys, clothes, etc.

Enjoy your last week of summer!

Fairfax County school bus (staff photo by Jay Westcott)
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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.

With the start of the school year quickly approaching, there are many ways people are starting to help teachers and schools set up their rooms for a successful year.

As some of you may know, my husband is a high school teacher, so I love supporting educators. They work so hard. So, so hard. Many of them spend a lot of their own money on their classrooms, especially elementary school teachers.

Here’s a list of ways you can directly support teachers as well as schools:

  • Complete a Teacher’s Amazon Wish List: A recent Facebook group was started for FCPS educators to post their Amazon Wish Lists for people to purchase items off of. You can do so anonymously or with your name, either way, they’re getting many items for their classroom that will directly benefit the kids.
  • If your school doesn’t have a Blessings in a Backpack program, consider adding one. The organization quietly provides food for kids over the weekend who need assistance.
  • There’s also a website called DonorsChoose.org where teachers can post projects they want to do with a funding request. You can see which teacher, which school and how much they need. I did a quick search for Vienna, Virginia and found multiple opportunities!

Whether you decide to donate or not, consider sending a simple thank you to your favorite educator just to give them a little boost as they head into their final days of summer. Many are already in planning mode for the upcoming school year.

Photo via Nic Rosenau/Unsplash
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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.

Today is National Wine and Cheese Day!

Looking to celebrate? Here are some of my favorite charcuterie options and places to pick your own wine and cheese!

If you’re willing to travel, here are some of my local favorites around Northern Virginia:

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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.

There are so many home maintenance checklists out there, compiled of stuff nobody actually does.

I’ve been through more home inspections than I care to remember so I’ve seen the dirty secrets people hide when it comes to taking care of your home. If you’re looking for a list of stuff you should actually do, here’s my list. I do them all on my own home, so this is definitely something I stand behind.

  1. Wash your windows inside and out, all ledges and screens. I call E&R Services for my own home.
  2. Check your chimney to make sure you still have a cap. Many times people don’t notice if the wind takes it away, but it keeps the elements and animals out of your chimney. It should look like a metal mushroom at the top.
  3. Change your filters — HVAC, fridge water filter, microwave or hood vents, etc.
  4. Power wash any surface that is now green. Consider sealing your deck or any other stripped or rotted paint. Rotting wood attracts termites and other insects and could get worse.
  5. Clean out your gutters and downspouts if you haven’t from the spring. The fall will bring more rain and more falling leaves, so beat the issue of clogged gutters!
  6. Clean your dryer vent!
  7. Get rid of any empty or old propane tanks. They serve no purpose if they’re empty.
  8. Check for tree roots — if you see cracks in your driveway (raised ones, not just hairline cracks), or similar cracks in your walk way, you’ll want to have them checked out. Tree roots can cause foundation damage and continue to grow.
  9. If you plan to do any lawn care, consider getting estimates now for the early fall if you want to aerate it.
  10. Check your sump pump. We get a lot of rain in Northern Virginia during the summer and prevention is the #1 thing you can do when it comes to your foundation. Check your drainage when it rains. If the water is pooling in one spot, you’ll know where your issues are.

Small things like this have big rewards in the long run. You can avoid larger home maintenance repair bills by staying on top of regular routine check ups.

Photo via CDC/Unsplash
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