Autumn in Kid-Friendly Niagara Falls

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan ™Niagara Falls

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan ™Niagara Falls

My husband and I were trying to decide where to squeeze in a mini vacation before the end of the year. We tossed around a few destinations in the South where it’s warmer. But, we have had plenty of warm weather here in DC throughout September and October and I’m over it. I want to experience Fall! I want changing leaf colors, crisp cool weather and I want to wear sweaters and scarves. We hadn’t been to Niagara Falls or Toronto in exactly 20 years! After a game of paper, rock, scissors—Niagara Falls won out over Charleston, Hilton Head and Savannah.

If you’re interested in taking the kids for a quick family vacation, a romantic weekend retreat or a mom’s getaway, Niagara Falls is a perfectly simple, beautiful and affordable destination to visit all year round.

STAY

The American side of the falls offers a plethora of affordable family friendly hotels while the Canadian side offers the most breathtaking views of the falls.

These are my favorite hotels on the American Side:

  • Holiday Inn: 114 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls NY. For business or pleasure, relaxation or entertainment, the Holiday Inn has everything you need for a memorable trip to see Niagara Falls. Just a five minute walk to the Seneca Niagara Casino, the mighty Falls, and a three minute drive to the Rainbow Bridge. Free high-speed internet, free parking, in-room coffee makers and fridges, indoor heated pool, brand new Sealy pillow-top beds.
  • Four Points by Sheraton: 7001 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls NY.Located on the banks of the Niagara River and only minutes from the Falls, this newly renovated hotel features river view rooms and Bella Visa Ristorante, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and offering waterfront dining.
  • Barton Hill Hotel & Spa: 100 Center Street, Lewiston NY. Located in the quaint Village of Lewiston, the Barton Hill Hotel & Spa combines the charm and comfort of a historic country inn with the service and amenities of a luxury boutique hotel. This hotel and spa is only minutes from the Niagara Falls State Park and includes luxurious accommodations and exceptional personal service in a serene location. The Barton Hill Hotel & Spa overlooks the lower Niagara River and is perfect for a romantic getaway or a business retreat.
©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan at Cave of The Winds

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan at Cave of The Winds

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan Thank-you Niagara Falls Tourism Bureau

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan
Thank-you Niagara USA Tourism Bureau

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan

©Clarendon Moms/Angelica Talan

EXPERIENCE

The absolute BEST way to get the complete Niagara Falls Attraction Experience is by purchasing the Discovery Pass. It covers all of the world class attractions! It covers:

  • The Maid of the Mist® -Aptly named, this one-of-a-kind boat journey embarks from the base of the Observation Tower at Prospect Point for a round-trip adventure into the frothing waters beneath the American and Horseshoe Falls.
  •  Cave of the Winds- Explore beneath the American Falls, navigating your way across the catwalks to the famous Hurricane Deck. Those rain ponchos you see aren’t optional-you’ll be surrounded by the thundering power of water pounding down nearly two hundred feet above.
  • Niagara Legends of Adventure Theater - Witness Niagara Falls’ incredible stories and history that would otherwise take a lifetime to experience. Discover the thundering falls from a completely new and exhilarating perspective, and plunge over them with history’s daredevils. Located on the Lower Level of the Visitor Center. No individual reservations accepted.
  • Niagara Gorge Discovery Center – With hands-on learning for all ages, this family-friendly attraction includes interactive displays, a 180 multi-screen theater showing 12,000 years of the Niagara River, and just nearby, for a separate fee, stands a 26 foot rock-climbing wall that replicates the Great Gorge.
  •  Aquarium of Niagara- Home to more than 1,500 aquatic animals that represent ecosystems ranging from the Great Lakes to coral reefs. Enjoy performances by sea lions, shark feedings and penguin antics every day.

EAT

Niagara Falls USA restaurants offer many dining options for visitors to chose from.

Click HERE to visit Niagara USA for a comprehensive list of restaurants, places to shop and tips on planning your trip.

{Disclosure: Special Thanks to Niagara USA for sponsoring our Discovery Pass and to The Ford Motor Company for sponsoring our Ford Fusion Hybrid. All opinions are my own.}

Top 5 Fitness Trends in the DC Area

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan ™Soul Cycle

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan ™Soul Cycle

Fitness is a lot like fashion, very trendy. And DC is one of the most fitness friendly cities in the U.S. Whether you want to bulk up like the incredible Hulk or lengthen your muscles to look like a ballerina, DC has something to offer. So, forget the treadmill, ditch your average aerobics class and try one of the hottest classes offered in DC.

1. SoulCycle: SoulCycle is a marriage between a cycling boutique, rave dance party and weight training class. With a cult-ish following, tons of DC residents have been flooding the new cycling studio to find out what all the hype is about. Our first lady, Michelle Obama and celebs such as David Beckham, Lena Dunham, Kelly Ripa and Katie Holmes have been seen tapping into their soul at other locations and now you can too. This class promises to burn over 900 calories in one session, sweat is an understatement for these soul sisters (and brothers).

2. Barre: Based on the movements of ballet but coupled with the burn of cross-fit, Barre is no easy lift. The class is set to upbeat music and consists of a warm up, sequence of upper-body exercises using light free weights, push-ups and planks so participants will surely be put to the test. Slow and targeted movements are the key here. Your biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and back muscles will feel the burn during a series of ballet barre. There are about a dozen different types of barre available around DC, but my absolute favorites include: Pure Barre, Xtend Barre and Barre Tech.

3. CrossFit: CrossFit is an intense exercise program featuring dynamic exercises like plyometric jumps, and Olympic lifts while using non-traditional weightlifting equipment such as kettlebells, sand-bags, suspension systems or water-filled implements. You will often see cross-fit participants running in the streets drenched in sweat and that’s usually only the warm up. This class is definitely for those looking for a high-intensity, balls to the wall work out.

4. AerialYoga: Aerial yoga mixes together ancient yoga techniques with modern acrobatic exercises in order to create a total body workout that is fun yet challenging. This class is designed for the person who is looking to work out without feeling like they are working out. By utilizing soft, Ariel hammock fabric, this class stretches your body to the ends of the earth. The fabric allows for full support while participants try new positions elevated off of the ground. Think Cirque Du Soleil for beginners, for all those willing to try new things, this class is for you.

5.Tabata: Want to get in shape but don’t have a lot of time to do it? Tabata training is just what you need. Tabata is high intensity interval workout that last for only four minutes. The workout consists of high intensity movements for 20 seconds followed by a rest for 10; participants are expected to repeat this sequence eight times. An example of a high-intensity movement sequence is: burpees, squats, jumping jacks then sit ups. Participants are expected to do their desired sequence for 20 second straight as hard as they can then rest. For anyone who doesn’t have the time or the money to pay the new DC fitness tax, this workout is for you. Do it in your living room, bed room or even office when no one is watching.

Things To Do In Cleveland With Kids

Things to Do In Cleveland With Kids

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Custom candy dish gifted by the Ritz Carlton Cleveland. Photography by Bonnie Sen.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Original photography: ©Bonnie Sen. Candy gifted by Ritz Carlton

 

 

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

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©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan.

I have visited Cleveland more times than I’ve visited any other city in the world. My husband is from Fairview Park, a western suburb of Cleveland. And most of the friends I met in college (Bowling Green State University) are from Cleveland. The residents of greater Cleveland are proud and boastful of their city and super enthusiastic about their Midwestern lifestyle. However, I never really quite understood its attraction until this past summer.

Cleveland is a post-industrial city worth vacationing in and exploring. The city is currently undergoing a massive transformation with developers pumping millions of dollars into the city. Just last month, the 2014 Gay Games was held in Cleveland. Exciting news about Lebron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers is making headlines. The Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland in 2016. All of these amazing changes will undoubtedly convert Cleveland from “rust belt” blue-collar city into a stylishly steel hip city complete with neoclassical architecture, postmodern historic bridges, state of the art museums, trendy restaurants and unique boutique.

Cleveland is a remarkable family oriented midwestern city that I highly recommend. Here are my favorite picks for a fun filled family vacation.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

STAY

Ritz Carlton Cleveland, 1515 West Third Street, Cleveland OH. Ask about their “Ritz Kids Program” for your little ones. Appropriate for kids ages 5 to 12, Ritz Carlton aims to delight your children by making memories that will last beyond their stay at the luxury family hotel. A junior suite will certainly create a comfortable home away from home for the entire family.

ALOFT Cleveland, 1111 W. 10th Street, Cleveland OH. Ask about “Camp Aloft”. Appropriate for ages 12 and under, Aloft offers kids sized air mattresses complete with fun kid’s bedding and lots of yummy snacks.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan Ella & Logan excited about the Butterflies & The Lego Exhibit

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan Ella & Logan excited about the Butterflies & The Lego Exhibit

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Dave & Logan enjoy a $5 Camel Ride at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Dave & Logan enjoy a $5 Camel Ride at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Ella in the middle of Playhouse Square Center.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan

EXPLORE

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Logan & Dave inside Cleveland's West Side Market.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Logan & Dave inside Cleveland’s West Side Market.

EAT

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Logan & Ella exploring Ohio City.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan. Logan & Ella exploring Ohio City.

Cleveland Beaches

Cleveland actually has a few beaches that may actually surprise you! Pack a picnic, some blankets, swimsuits, sunglasses & check them out.

Cleveland Professional Sports

Cleveland has three major professional sports teams.

Happy Traveling!
If you have any questions or tips about Cleveland that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Disclosure: Positively Cleveland sponsored our visits to: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Cleveland Aquarium, The Cleveland Zoo, The Cleveland Botanical Garden and our accommodations at the ALOFT Hotel Cleveland. Special thanks to Christopher Moore! It was a real pleasure partnering with Positively Cleveland. All opinions are my own.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Lynn Colletto and Kelsey Williams at The Ritz Carlton Cleveland for sponsoring our accommodations. It was so great to partner with them. All opinions are my own.

The 5 Best Apps For Busy Moms (Let’s Talk Live|WJLA|ABC)

 

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It’s no secret that moms are incredibly busy. And during the back-to-school season, they have to kick it into high gear to get everyone ready for the new year!
So, moms need all the help we can get! I stopped by Let’s Talk Live to chat about my favorite apps and websites to help moms stay on top of everything they juggle day-to-day.

Click on the link below to see the segment:

Let’s Talk Live | WJLA.com.

Apps & Products Featured On The Segment: 

Angelica’s Wardrobe Consideration Courtesy of: The Jennifer Lopez Collection at Kohl’s

Language Stars Back To School Open House & One Month of Free Classes Giveaway

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Check out programs at a Back to School Open House at Language Stars now through August 16th. Language Stars is a play-driven foreign language class for kids between the ages of 1 and 10 years old.

Activities during the Open House include a free trial class, an ice cream social, a webinar, and more. You can also learn about FunImmersion®, their high-energy method of instruction, in which students learn a foreign language through games, art projects, music and more. There are many locations throughout the VA/DC/MD area.

Language Stars is hosting a giveaway for one month of free classes

Enter to Win

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Gillette Launches Blade Refill Subscription, Perfect for Back to School Season #Shaving Rebuilt

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles Model: Devin Felli #ShavingRebuilt

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles Model: Devin Felli #ShavingRebuilt

 

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles Model: Devin Felli #ShavingRebuilt

 

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©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles

©ClarendonMoms/©TellChronicles

Many of you have sons that will be leaving the nest soon to begin college. And I’ve got some exciting news to share to help to simplify your life and make it easy to cross off an item from your Back To School To-Do List. 

Gillette offers a blade refill subscription service that is a practical, hassle-free option that delivers Gillette’s blades directly to your son’s door. This service provides busy moms like us one less thing to think about, making it easy for college aged sons to look handsome and clean cut or their facial hair perfectly groomed.

Gillette’s blades are very affordable too—only about $1 a week for most guys.

College kids have enough to think about. With Gillette’s blade refill subscription they can spend more time “studying.”

Now if this is your son’s first year shaving, here are a few tips:

  • Select the proper razor: The Gillette Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall Technology is the perfect razor for beginners as well as experienced shavers. It is the first razor of its kind, with a new handle that adjusts and pivots to respond to the contours of a man’s face for fewer missed hairs. Using existing Fusion ProGlide cartridges, the new handle lets the cartridge move in three dimensions for maximum contact. The result is #ShavingRebuilt for an entirely new shave experience.
  • Use a moisturizing shaving cream to protect your sensitive skin
  • Shave with the grain of the hair
  • Rinse your razor often while shaving
  • Use an aftershave suitable for your skin type to repair and protect your skin

Gillette’s blade refill subscription is the perfect back to school gift for your son, your brother, your husband, your father and every man in your life.

{Disclaimer:  Compensation was provided by Gillette via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Gillette or MomTrends}

{Photography courtesy of Tell Chronicles. Model: Devin Felli}

24 Hours in Montreal With Kids

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan  Logan & Ella at Parc du Mont Royal/Montreal

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan
Logan & Ella at Parc du Mont Royal (Montreal)

24 Hours In Montreal With Kids

Montreal is Canada’s second largest city and considered by many to be “the cultural-capital of Canada.” It was recently named the UNESCO city of design and is a huge economic and cultural center. Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. (Paris is the largest.)

Earlier this summer, my family and I took a road trip from Ottawa to Montreal, where we stayed for 24 hours. While I personally recommend spending a minimum of 3 to 5 days visiting Montreal, you can pack a ton of fun within 24 hours. Here’s an itinerary to show you how.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan Enjoying the living room of our Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Junior Suite

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan
Enjoying the living room of our Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Junior Suite

 

 

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan Logan & Ella relaxing in our Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Junior Suite

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan
Logan & Ella relaxing in our Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Junior Suite

 

STAY

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel: At the heart of romantic and cosmopolitan Montréal where French and English meet, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth offers guests outstanding comfort and attentive service. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has a central location downtown near some of the best tourist attractions, and is a very kid-friendly (and dog-friendly) hotel. Kid-friendly features include an amazing salt water kiddie pool, a lending service for bicycles, babysitting services and kids’ programs during holidays. The suites are very spacious and plush with great amenities and luxurious bath products. A cool piece of trivia: The hotel reached worldwide fame when John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who had been refused entry into the United States, conducted their Bed-In in Room 1742 at the hotel between May 26 and June 2, 1969.The song “Give Peace a Chance” was actually recorded in this room on June 1, 1969 by André Perry. This song is the first solo single released by John Lennon, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s.

EAT

Breakfast

Eggspectation: One of the things I really enjoy while on vacation is to talk to the locals and find out where they enjoy dining. I really like to have a “where the locals dine experience” for at least one of our daily meals. And the most popular place recommended was Eggspectation. There are five outlets in Montreal, this restaurant takes a simple egg and creates an entire menu around it. It offers delicious drinks and an ambience suitable for everyone.

Lunch

Au Pied de Cochon: Founded by Chef Martin Picard, this restaurant is located at 536 Duluth Street East in the borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal and is considered one of the Top Restaurants in Montreal by Eater Magazine.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan Logan didn't realize a sunset dinner was a good idea until after this picture was taken

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan
Logan didn’t realize a sunset dinner was a good idea until after this picture was taken

Dinner

Toqué!  Hailed as one of the BEST French-Canadia chefs by several culinary publications, Chef Normand Laprise is one of mine and my husband’s favorite chefs in the world (along side of Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulod). We love Toqué! because of it’s amazing 7 course Tasting Menu—which believe it or not—we absolutely considered having with our kids. Thank-God we came to our senses and instead enjoyed a 3 course meal instead. I’m positive our kids would not have enjoyed sitting for a 3 hour, 7 course tasting menu very happily. However, if your young ones are with a babysitter or you have older kids, this is a delectable gastronomic experience for the entire family.

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan Logan & Ella in front of the Montreal Science Center waiting for Canada Day Fireworks

©ClarendonMoms/Angelica Talan
Logan & Ella in front of the Montreal Science Center waiting for Canada Day Fireworks

SIGHT SEEING

  • Notre Dame Basilica: Built between 1824 and 1829, the Gothic Revival Notre-Dame Basilica captivates hundreds of thousands of admirers every year. Paintings, sculptures, glittering gold leaf and dazzling stained-glass windows illustrate biblical passages. Coolest thing for kids might be the evening’s sound and light show that tells the story of Montréal and the creation of the church.
  • Parc du Mont-Royal: Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer behind New York City’s Central Park, was the brains behind this 200-hectare park. This is a great place to hike, mountain bike, toss a Frisbee or rent a paddleboat and explore Beaver Lake. This park even has beautiful panoramic views from the observatory overlook and a little café. This place is an outdoor lover’s dream and a fantastic place for your kids to explore and burn off all that youthful energy.
  • Insectarium Those without bug phobias can examine 160,000 living and naturalized insects: see an ant farm, beehives and other homes for creepy crawlers. Entomologists are on site to answer questions.
  • Montreal Science Center: This is located in a fantastic neighborhood and along Lake Ontario. So much to see and do in and around this awesome site!
  • Parc Jean-Drapeau: I couldn’t believe it, but Montreal actually has a beach! And if your kids are anything like mine—all they care about is sand and water during the warm months. This beach is sure to impress your little ones.

Some Tips:

  • Known as the city of festivals, Montreal hosts a different one each month of the year, including a world-renowned jazz festival in the summer.
  • Montreal is a predominantly French speaking city and you will find that the street signs and menus that are mostly in French. However, the street signs have pictures and it’s pretty simple to figure out. And most of the waiters and waitresses speak perfect English and can translate the menu.
  • Make sure to have some Canadian cash.
  • Montreal is a very metropolitan city. Dress up a little.

Happy Traveling!

If you have any questions or tips about Montreal that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

{Editor’s Note: Thank-you to Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth for sponsoring our accommodations. All opinions are my own.}

 

Summer Beach Essentials For Your Family (Let’s Talk Live|WJLA|ABC)

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Summer is the perfect time to pack up the car and head to the beach! But with sweltering temperatures and the kids in tow, a day at the beach isn’t always easy.

I stopped by Let’s Talk Live to share my favorite products that will help make your next beach trip simple, safe and fun!

Products featured on the segment:

Angelica’s Wardrobe Consideration courtesy: The Pink Armoire

UberFAMILY: For Parents On The Go Available Now In Washington DC

Starting today, Uber is making life easier for parents in the DC metro area with the launch of uberFAMILY, their new on-demand car seat option. With the touch of a button and a $10 surcharge, parents can easily request a ride that’s equipped with a car seat.

To develop uberFAMILY, Uber DC teamed up with The Car Seat Lady’s Dr. Alisa Baer, who trained the service’s highest-rated partner drivers on how to safely secure the seats — which were all manufactured specifically for Uber by IMMI.

In celebration of the launch, Uber DC is kicking things off with a surcharge-free week brought to you by Care.com, the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care.

To learn more about UberFAMILY, including how to request UberFAMILY on your Uber app and safety details, head to: http://bit.ly/1vXbOjz

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uberFAMILY: For parents on the go

Getting around with your child just got easier with Uber’s new on-demand car seat option.

 1) Use promo code ClarendonMoms25 for $25 off your first Uber ride!

2) Download the App and enter the code.

3) Request uberFAMILY and be connected to a highly rated driver with a car seat.

WHAT IS UBER? Uber is an app that connects you with a driver at the tap of a button. Request a ride and have a driver curbside in minutes. There’s no need to carry cash. When you reach your destination, your fare is automatically billed to your card on file, no need to tip. Good for one ride, up to $25, new riders only. Expires 11/1/14. Excludes uberTAXI.

Already have Uber? Simply toggle to your vehicle option at the very bottom of the screen (uberFAMILY is available on both uberX and UberBLACK), and tap the ‘FAMILY’ button above the slider.

UberFAMILYDC

{Disclosure: This post was sponsored by UBER.}

Floor & Decor Grand Opening Saturday, July 12th and Floor & Decor $50 Gift Card Giveaway

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My parents have flipped houses for years. They’re what you call “Do-it-yourselfers”. When my husband and I purchased our latest home, my parents told me about this amazing store called Floor and Decor. They said it was a “remodeler’s dream store” offering family friendly environment, easy to navigate aisles, a knowledgable staff, had very low prices and focused on hard surface flooring options. Best of all, they were able to find the most beautiful tile at a huge discount. That was great for them since the store they were talking about was close to them in Ohio.

I’m happy to announce that Floor & Decor is currently open and will be hosting a Grand Opening this Saturday, July 12th  in Woodbridge, Virginia. The festivities will feature a variety of family-friendly activities like face-painting, complimentary icy treats and a Nascar Race Car Simulator. Also starting at noon that day, the first 200 people to register will have a chance to play a dice game that could result in one lucky player leaving with $500,000, additional prizes will also be given out throughout the day.

Saturday, July 12: Grand Opening Day

11am – 6pm: NASCAR Simulator
11am-2pm: Face painting and Cruise-In with Prince William Cruisers
11:30am: Wounded Warriors Donation Check Presentation
1:30pm- 4:30pm: Treats for customers from Kona Ice
Noon – 2pm: Roll the Dice for a chance to win $500,000
Location:

14041 Worth Ave Woodbridge, VA 22192

Follow them on Facebook to get Tuesday Tips, Thursday Trends, Love or Leave it polls or Sustainable Sunday ideas. You can also follow them on Twitter @FloorandDecor.

Floor & Decor is a fantastic place for DIYers. They have an incredibly large selection, the best prices in town because of their relationships with distributors and have an in-house design team to which customers have access.

{Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Floor & Decor to help spread the word about its new Potomac Mills location including a true story of my own.}

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