Mompreneur Spotlight: 20 Questions with Ginny Wright of Body by Ginny

Ginny-Wright-Body-By-Ginny-Clarendon-Moms

When juggling busy careers and lives, it’s not always easy to find the time to hit the gym or prepare a healthy meal let alone start a business from scratch that truly motivates people. For inspiration, I interviewed fitness guru and founder of Body by Ginny (BbG) and TWC (Total Wellness Challenge) on her decision to become an entrepreneur and share her experience on developing her powerful brand and the company that inspires so many other amazing women.

Body by Ginny is an outdoor fitness class located in Northern Virginia (with several locations in Arlington). The workout is high interval intensive training in a small group form. The Total Wellness Challenge (TWC) is a 30-day online wellness game where participants work to develop sustainable, healthful habits in the areas of nutrition, fitness and lifestyle.

20 Questions with Ginny Wright

1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business? About 15 years ago I was looking for a second career after having been a retail buyer, followed by being a stay at home mom for 16 years. My best friend told me she’d just read an article that said when looking for a career we should do what we love..and the money would follow. I’ve always loved to exercise, even in college so a career in fitness was an obvious choice!

2. What was your mission at the outset? My mission was to provide a venue that would make fitness fun for everyone who loved exercising outside with a group.

3. How many employees? BbG has 4 instructors not including me. Amy, Christa, Susie and Tammy are our original team. I’m proud to say they’ve been with us for over 10 years!

4. How do you advertise your business? Word of mouth referrals have brought us more clients than anything else. We are included in the Arlington County Enjoy Catalogue because we have contracts with the county to use the parks and schools. BBG has been voted Best Of Arlington for the last 3 years in a row–which is great advertising!

5. To what do you attribute your success? Forming a connection with clients is what it’s all about for me. Every time someone new tries a class, I follow up to ask about their experience. If someone misses class we send an email to check on them to make sure they’re ok. We keep rosters of every class attendance so we know who’s there and who’s not. We try our best to get to know our clients. Keeping our workouts fun and always challenging is also important.

6. What made you choose your current location? I work from home and it’s wonderful. All of our class locations are in parks and schools.

7. What are your company’s goals for 2017? Our goal is always to help our customers get and stay fit, injury free. Our other goal is to keep all our clients and hopefully increase our class sizes! I also own the Total Wellness Challenge LLC , so much of my focus is on spreading the word about this on-line game which teaches people to develop life-long healthy habits. (twcfit.com)

8. What is unique about your business? We focus on the total person in terms of wellness and have been doing so for almost 10 years. Exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand. We pride ourselves on good customer service. We form a connection with our customers and make them feel special (because they are). Also, the camaraderie at BbG is important to our exercisers. I think another thing that sets us apart is that all our instructors are trained to offer alternative exercises for those with limitations or injuries.

9. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher–which I guess is what I am now. (Smile)

10. What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? Don’t be afraid to charge people a fair price for your services.

11. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had? How to be a good boss and how important it is to let your employees know you appreciate them. Compliment often, don’t over-react when people make a mistake. Treat employees the way you want to be treated: with respect.

12. What did you learn from your biggest failure? The past is the past. We cannot change it. Chalk it up to experience then let it go and move on.

13. How do you find inspiration? When I was starting out I kept Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote: “Do the thing you think you cannot do” hanging where I could see it. Every time I felt like giving up she motivated me! I’d tell myself you can do this

14. What was the best piece of advice you ever got? Nobody wants to be around a negative person or someone who complains a lot so…”be the kind of person you want to hang with”.

15. What’s your productivity secret? Rewrite your daily list of things to do and re-prioritize each day. At the top write “Just one thing” that you must accomplish that day before you go to bed. If I have too much to do I make an hourly plan to give me time limits on each project.

16. How do you cope with nerves before public speaking? Close my eyes, breath deeply and/or meditate before its time to go on. Rehearse your talk out load to someone else. Super important! I competed on the public speaking team in high school so it’s not as hard for me as it is for most people. I admit I’m a bit rusty though!

17. What’s your favorite quote? I have this on my wall: Helen Keller “The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive and God-like. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering it is also full of the overcoming of it”.

18. What do you think is the most important innovation of your lifetime thus far? By far the personal computer! I can’t imagine running my business without one!

19. What are your favorite restaurants in the DC area & why? I love the cosmopolitans and sushi at The Hamilton. I like The Old Ebbit Grill for it’s history.

20. What are your favorite places to take family & friends when they’re visiting from out of town? The Tidal Basin in spring. It is so beautiful and never gets old.

Ginny Wright is an award-winning, certified health coach and personal trainer who founded Body by Ginny in 2003. BbG specializes in boot-camp style classes held in parks and other locations. All classes meet outside regardless of the weather. Ginny is a mom of three (2 daughters and one son). She lives with her husband Andrew in North Arlington.

To learn more about Body by Ginny and Total Wellness Challenge, visit www.bodybyginny.com and www.twcfit.com

30 Amazing Kids Birthday Party Venues NOVA/DC (2017 Guide)

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Birthday Party

Every year I add to the list of amazing birthday party venues for kids celebrating in Northern Virginia and DC based on reader recommendations. This year (2017), I’ve added five newcomers to the list. These venues may have been around a little while, but it took some exploring and great feedback from my audience to find out about them. Happy Celebrating!

30 Amazing Kids Birthday Party Venues NOVA/DC (2017 Guide)

  1. Jumping Joeys North Arlington finally has a birthday party venue very close to most residents where children 2 to 13 can go bounce and celebrate their birthdays. They have several giant inflatables as well as a rock climbing wall for hours of endless fun.
  2. Busy Bees Located just a short drive from Clarendon in Falls Church. This cute, indoor playground is suitable for children 48 inches in height and under. Everything at this cute little place spins, moves and flies.
  3. Dynamic GymnasticsDon’t flip about the mess in your own house, take the party to Dynamic Gymnastics and they’ll bend over backwards to make your party memorable.  Their birthday party planning team will work with you to plan the perfect party for children turning ages 3 to 12.  Certified gymnastics coaches will lead your partiers through 45 minutes of age-appropriate gymnastics activities in a brand new, fully-equipped gym featuring the longest tumble track in Arlington.  Either before or after the gymnastics, enjoy 45 minutes of refreshments and revelry in one of two party rooms.
  4. Fort Meyer Bowling CenterHave all the fun and none of the fuss by planning your child’s next birthday party at Fort Meyer Bowling Center located on the Joint Base Meyer Military Base in Arlington, Virginia. Perfect for a group of 12 guests at only $11 per person, this party includes a meal, one hour of bowling, bowling shoes, reserved separate party room with decorations and a gift for the birthday boy or girl. Most suitable for ages 4 and up. It isn’t a requirement to be a military family. This venue is open to the public.
  5. Tennis Birthday at Army Navy Country ClubOne of the best Kids Birthday Party Celebrations I’ve ever been to was hosted here. In order to host a party, you either have to become a member or have a member sponsor the party for you. The office is very helpful and if you don’t know a member who can sponsor you, the staff is very accommodating and will work with you to locate someone interested in sponsoring you. Prices vary. Contact Rebecca Pipkins for more information at 703-521-6800 ext. 1265. Perfect for ages 4 and up.
  6. National Building MuseumThe National Building Museum offers exciting birthday party opportunities for children turning ages 3-11. Parties at the Museum feature hands-on, interactive activities with construction and building themes. All parties include use of the Museum’s party space including tables and chairs for the celebration, party favors for child guests, a Museum t-shirt for the birthday child, and complimentary tickets to the Museum’s exhibitions like the latest PLAY WORK BUILD Exhibit, an absolute favorite. A Museum teacher is present at all parties to lead the activity, read a story, and help supervise children. Birthday parties are a member benefit and can be booked by Museum members at the Family Level or higher. It is worth the price of membership to host your child’s birthday party here.
  7. Ultrazone Laser Tag Step into a high-techlaser tag adventure where identity is limited only by imagination. Dodge lasers, and strategize with teammates as you compete for high scores and glory in this futuristic version of Capture the Flag. Whether it’s a business meeting, Birthday Party, or Club Fundraiser, Ultrazone® transforms the routine into the extraordinary. Click here for price packages.
  8. MOBU KIDS This is my absolute favorite place to throw birthday parties for my kids between the age of 1 and 3. This is a huge venue with plenty of room for kids of all ages to play while offering a big party room for the parents to take a break and enjoy themselves too. The place smells fresh, clean and is completely “green”. My children have taken classes there and have attended many parties including their own there. They’ve never caught any communicable illnesses there. I believe it’s because of how clean the venue is. The staff is always passionate about what they do and are especially fantastic at time management, organizing the activities and taking care of the small stuff. Located in Falls Church, this is definitely worth the drive. The price is unbeatable beginning at less than $300 for up to 20 kids for 90 minutes to 2 hours of worry-free fun!
  9. JW TUMBLESThis is is one of the most popular venues in the area to throw birthday parties and take classes. JW Tumbles in Arlington is a very cozy venue offering both the party area and the play area within the same room for little ones. They offer music, zip line swinging, bubbles, sport play, dancing and more for ages one to nine. You get 90 minutes of joy and excitement for your child’s birthday.
  10. Sport & Health Kids ClubThis is my second favorite place to host birthday parties. The party includes: invitations, pizza, juice boxes, decorations, candles, party supplies and party favors. They offer two to three large, spacious rooms for your kids and your guests to spread out. This is the only venue where you have the option of dropping your children off and leaving while your children enjoy themselves under Sport and Health’s staff supervision. There aren’t any venues where you’re able to have “drop off privileges” and not that many other venues that offer to take care of the food and beverages. All you bring is the cake.
  11. Kettler Capital Iceplex offers a package for $185 that includes party room rental, admission for 10 kids and 2 adults to the public skate session, skate rentals, food and drinks, party host, and party supplies. More guests can be added for an additional fee. Perfect for those winter birthdays.
  12. Sprinkles Cupcake in DCI had the opportunity to see first hand how fun a party at Sprinkles Cupcake in Georgetown is while attending a Mother’s Day event in 2012. This is a fantastic place to host a Cupcake Decorating Party complete with dozens of cupcakes, generous cups of frosting and sprinkles. They offer vegan cupcakes by request too. The upstairs party room is very feminine and beautiful, just perfect for a birthday party.
  13. Buzz Bakery in Ballston/ArlingtonI was surprised to find out that this cute, cozy bakery near Ballston Mall offers Birthday Party packages. You can choose to host a very small party in the very back of the bakery or on their outside patio next to the water sprinkler playground. Buzz offers cute cupcake and cookie decorating kits for only $5 per child. This is a steal compared to the price at Sprinkles. The decorating kits include: 2 mini-cupcakes, a tiny container of frosting and a tiny container of very stylish sprinkles. This is the perfect place to order cupcake decorating kits and host a party at your house or at a larger venue.
  14. American Girl Cafe Tyson’s CornerThe all-inclusive package features: a delicious meal with signature pink-and-white cake and ice cream, special goody bags featuring doll tiaras for each guest, a commemorative keepsake for the special birthday girl, a set of invitations and matching thank-you notes. Parties begin at $30 per child and $20 per adult, excluding tax and gratuity. Suitable for ages 3 and up.
  15. The National ZooKids love the animals and Washington DC’s premier zoological park is a great place for a birthday party. For children ages 4-8, FONZ (Friends of the National Zoo) will provide an indoor party room and expert tour guides. Parties are held Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon, subject to availability.
  16. Nationals Park Baseball Stadium Is your child a huge baseball fan? The local ballpark is a great place to host a birthday party. Nationals Park has a family picnic area that is ideal for small groups and the Family Fun Area is a kids-oriented play area that features interactive games including the Exxon Strike Zone, Build-A-Bear Workshop, GEICO Racing Presidents, and Jungle Gym.
  17. Kidville (Bethesda) is the perfect place where parents and kids can put creativity, fun, and play-time first.With fifteen party themes and the option to customize your own, birthday parties at Kidville are nothing short of a smash hit. Choose between the Kidville Birthday Party (the exclusive use of the entire facility, a customized birthday cake, two birthday party leaders, and more) and the Big Blowout Birthday Party, which includes everything from the Kidville Birthday plus an inflatable Jumpy Castle, even more party guests, and two more birthday party leaders to do all of the set up and clean up for you. When you have a party at Kidville, you have the rare opportunity for a stress-free birthday bash for your little birthday guy or gal, up until age nine. KidVille provides everything you need from the invites to decorations to pizza and juice and even the birthday cake.
  18. Sur La TableTreat your kid and their friends to a cooking class this birthday season! Drop the kids off with Sur La Table for a 2 hour cooking class of homemade pizza, calzones, pasta and more! They can even make dessert pizza. You can enjoy a day out while the kids master their meal-making skills with the trained, professional staff.
  19. Sprout Co-Work/Co-Playprovides three types of studio rentals for birthday parties to meet every families budget. Their unique in-door play space and party packages offer fun for children of all ages.
  20. Urban Pirates (National Harbor) creates amazing birthdays for riders of all ages! You can choose from one of their packages or buy individual tickets on any regularly scheduled cruise.
  21. Sportrock (Alexandria) Looking for an opportunity to take a group of friends “rockclimbing”? Sportrock Climbing Parties are an ideal format for both children and adults and include 90 minutes of climbing with dedicated instructors and all of the necessary equipment. Afterwards, your group will have an additional 45 minutes to relax and celebrate in their private party rooms – complete with fridge and freezer!
  22. I Fly World (Loudon) Take your party to new heights by celebrating with an indoor skydiving session. Flying is fun, safe & thrilling for everyone ages 3 to 103 (at least that’s what it says on their website). And we can’t wait to try it out this year for our son Logan’s 7th birthday!
  23. Ocean Dunes Water Park Make it a beach day — with waterslides — at the beach-themed Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Arlington’s Upton Hill Regional Park. Find excitement on a 230-foot open slide, or 170-foot covered waterslide, or set the kids free in the play area to splash, slide and play in the water jets. Their 500-gallon dumping bucket is a favorite hangout during the hottest days of the year. Sliding is hard work! Take a break under the shade umbrellas and order a meal at the snack shack. Forget about “exclusive pools” with their wait lists and expensive membership fees, this pool is open to the public and great for planning family friendly pool parties in the summer!
  24. Art Jamz An ArtJamz paint and pizza party is a unique, fresh and insanely fun idea. How many times have you been to pizza places, pool parties, or bowling events as the go-to pillars of the kid’s birthday party canon? Quite a few too many, we suspect … enter ArtJamz.
  25. David M. Brown Planetarium The planetarium may be scheduled for a private shows subject to staff and theater availability. Rates are set by APS and dependent upon time and the type of group that will be using the facility. While this is a perfect venue to entertain a small group of children and parents alike, unfortunately the planetarium doesn’t provide a facility for party activities. However, you may book a private show for your party goers at the planetarium then celebrate with cake, ice cream and games at home or some other suitable venue nearby.
  26. Long Branch Nature Center Have an outdoorsy type that longs to be outside with their family & friends exploring nature, talking about wildlife and petting furry and slithery creatures? The Long Branch Nature Center is an intimate venue suitable for pre-schoolers and elementary grade children. Nestled behind the Virginia Hospital Center and Medical Building, this center borders the WO&D trail. This is a small, yet interesting exhibit center home to a variety of natural life from the area including snakes, turtles and owls be introduced and discussed to the guests. There’s also a nature craft. Add snacks and cakes and you have a great party for your nature lover.
  27. Circle Yoga for Kids This is perfect for the zen-master! Circle Yoga provides yoga birthday parties for kids of any age (ages 3 or older).The party lasts 1 1/2 hours (1 hour of yoga, 1/2 hour for eating &/or gift exchange). Yoga parties can be coordinated around almost any theme… Native Americans, Beach Blanket, Hawaiian Luau, Space Travel, Animal Farm, etc. Families provide the food & drink, cake, paper products and party favors…
  28. DC Aikido Your child can experience a karate party they will never forget! And best of all, you can sit back, take pictures, relax, and enjoy the excitement! DC Aikido has you covered, from set up to clean up. Your child’s birthday will be literally worry-free. It may seem unbelievable that your child will be the envy of all his or her friends, but wait until you see how great this celebration is. They plan stimulating age-appropriate activities that the kids will love. As a bonus, the karate parties are educational, too.There’s even an authentic samurai sword cutting of the birthday cake.
  29. Encore Stage & Studio Perfect for the actor or theatre buff. Encore Stage & Studio loves to celebrate birthdays! Our birthday package includes a party room rental before the children’s theatre performance, and an exclusive backstage tour (for ages 8 and up) or cast and crew question & answer session (for ages 7 and younger). Plus, your child’s birthday will be announced to the entire audience before the start of the show! The birthday party room is available 90 minutes before show-time. Birthday families are responsible for providing food and decorations. Birthday party packages are only available for shows located in Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre.
  30. Roller Skating Birthday Party at Thomas Jefferson Community Center Parties may be booked October – March. There aren’t availabilities between April-September.Children ages 4-11 and their guest will have lots of fun roller skating. For $70.00, the birthday child and nine guests will have use of the skating rink from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., party room for 1 hr, along with a server.

Do you have a favorite birthday venue? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

12 Meal Delivery Services For Busy Moms in 2017

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Meal Delivery Services are the perfect solution for busy people who want convenient, nutritious and delicious food right at their doorstep. Pre-planned, pre-prepped ingredients (meals in a box) are such a great concept for very busy people who enjoy eating fresh, healthy home cooked meals. There are meal kits that fit just about every meal plan and lifestyle choice including: Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Pescatarian, Omnivore, Carnivore and Gluten-Free. I’ve sampled a few national and local meal delivery services for this article and they all delivered great, fresh tasting ingredients along with easy to follow recipes. I’m completely hooked! Dinner will never be the same for me again.

Here are the benefits of using a meal delivery service over your standard cookbook or go-to place for dinner:

  • Complete meals in a box delivered right to your door (it’s like getting a present)
  • No more stressful meal planning
  • No more grocery shopping (which, if you’re a mom like me means that you don’t have to cart the kids and have them buzzing around you while you’re trying to get the task at hand completed)
  • You spend less money because you get perfectly portioned meals and get exactly what you need for each meal (goodbye to having to spend money on a seasoning or other ingredient you only need for one dish)
  • You will surprise yourself at how fun & easy it is to cook an incredibly delicious meal (which will improve your joy of cooking)
  • You know exactly where your food is coming from and the quality of the ingredients
  • The ingredients are typically higher quality and fresher than those you purchase at the grocery store
  • Less waste (think of all the fresh food that spoils or leftovers that you end up throwing away)
  • Most meals takes 30 minutes or less to make (that’s less time to decide where you’re going, walking/driving there, waiting for a table, figuring out what to eat, ordering and waiting for the food)
  • Each meal is delicious and nutritious
  • Convenient, healthy meals that cater to those interested in maintaining their weight or improving their health are available

Meal Delivery Services

Purple-Carrot-Review

Purple Carrot

This is the only all vegan, plant powered meal delivery service that delivers nationally. This meal plan is perfect for those who are vegan or are interested in having meatless meals. The prep is typically 45 minutes or so, which is only a few minutes longer than all the other meal services and makes sense when you consider how healthy and good these foods are for your body. Mark Bittman, food journalist and former New York Times food columnist creates the delicious recipes.

Green-Chef-Review

Green Chef

This is the only USDA certified organic meal delivery service that offers 100% organic ingredients. The plan offers Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Omnivore, Carnivore and Vegan options.

Chef'd-Review

Chef’d

Longing to eat like a celebrity? Chef’D partners with a fantastic variety of highly accomplished chefs and exceptionally trusted culinary brands. The complexity depends on the plan selected. I’m very intrigued over the selection of meal plans available, which include: Atkins, American Diabetes Association, Tone It Up Fresh, New York Times Cooking, Spoon University, Weight Watchers and Vegan. There is something to fit literally every type of diner and lifestyle.

Terra's-Kitchen-Review

Terra’s Kitchen

This service offers the best packaging in the form of a mini-fridge they call a “vessel”. You have to “pop” the locks, slide out drawers that contain all of the fresh ingredients, which are perfectly chopped, sliced and diced. After unloading, lock the box back up, peel off the shipping sticker which reveals the return sticker beneath, leave the box on the front porch and the shipper picks it up the next day. I reviewed this amazing service last year. For more about my experience, click here.

Plated-Clarendon-Moms

Plated

I haven’t yet tried this service, but feedback from my friends and neighbors is very positive. This service is big with foodies, sophisticated cooks and those who have a lot more time on their hands than the super busy jet set. The meals seem to be a bit more complex, requiring all of the dicing, slicing, marinating, searing and roasting to be done at home. This seems to be a “go-to” plan for those that have the time and are looking to impress a date or a group of friends and family.

Blue-Apron-Clarendon-Moms

Blue Apron

Very similar to Plated, this plan requires a lot more time to prepare the food. It requires chopping, slicing and dicing. This meal kit is great for beginners and those new to cooking.

Hello-Fresh-Clarendon-Moms

Hello Fresh

This plan seems to be very nice and simple offering three plans: classic, veggie and family. The company also partners with British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Jamie Oliver is very well known for his campaign Feed Me Better, banning junk and providing healthy food for children in schools across London.

Peach-Dish-Clarendon-Moms

Peach Dish

This Atlanta-based company delivers southern-inspired meals from prominent chefs (Steven Satterfield, Virginia Willis) and seems to be a favorite among people who enjoy a good three-piece meal. An entrée and two sides is the standard in a meal compared to one bowl meals in other services.

Home-Chef-Clarendon-Moms

Home Chef

While researching the websites of each of these services, Home Chef looked like it would really appeal to families. A lot of what they provided appeared to be comfort food and party food. Granted, it is the holiday season.

Munchery-Clarendon-Moms

Muncher

Chef designed meals delivered in a very cute, fashionable plaid box. You can order on the website or with a very user friendly app. There are two different options: already pre-cooked meals that you can heat and eat and shipped cooking kits that promises dinner in 15 minutes! This is the shortest amount of time suggested by any of the meal delivery services to prepare a meal.

Martha-Marley-Spoon-Clarendon-Moms

Martha & Marley Spoon

Martha Stewart has partnered with this 2 year old company that is available in Europe, Australia and now the U.S. The new venture, named Martha & Marley Spoon is very exciting for Martha Stewart fans because now they one step closer to cooking like her. Each week you can choose from seven different recipes on the two meal plan and five recipes for the family plan. Each recipe has been well tested and the delicious quality is what you come to expect from Martha Stewart.

Meal-Delivery-Services-For-Busy-Moms-2017

Sun Basket

Sun Basket only sources grass-fed, antibiotic-free pastured meats and sustainable seafood from ranchers and fishermen they trust. Sun Basket also says they deliver ingredients from source to end customer three times faster than conventional grocery stores, so its customers receive fresher, higher-quality food.

Meal-Services-Reviews-Clarendon-Moms

What’s your favorite meal service? Please share in the comments!

Tips on Protecting Your Roof This Winter from Long Roofing

Long Roofing - Clarendon Moms - Blog

Will your roof make it through the winter?

The holiday season is coming! Whether you’re expecting a houseful of people or just a visit from Old St. Nick, the last thing you want during this busy season is trouble with your roof.

What can wreck a roof during the winter months?

According to the experts at Long Roofing, one of the greatest threats your roof faces during the winter is ice damming.

Ice damming occurs when the heat of the sun and warmth escaping from your home melts the snow and ice on your roof. When that meltwater flows to the gutter, it refreezes and creates blockage—a dam—that prevents future meltwater from running off. That water then seeps into any opening it can find, no matter how tiny, and freezes as well. This can cause serious long-term damage your roof, attic and interior walls.

When you see icicles, especially really big ones, it’s a bad sign. If you’ve had large icicles on your roof in the past, call a professional to have your roof inspected before the worst of winter strikes again.

And if you’re icicle-free? That’s great, but there are other red flags that can signal a roof is in need of replacement.

Here are three more signs of roof damage:

  • Missing, uneven or damaged shingles. When your shingles begin to peel from your roof, water may be able to penetrate into the sheathing (base layers) of the roof. This can lead to serious issues, like a rotten deck. If you see the roof sagging, that’s a clear sign of rot.
  • Gutter debris. If you see asphalt granules or pieces of roofing material when cleaning the gutters, your roof may literally be coming apart.
  • Flashing failure. Flashing is the corrosion-resistant metal strip you see at roof edges and seams. Flashing is designed to protect the places where water is most likely to penetrate through the shingles or sheathing. If the flashing is rusted or missing around chimneys, vent pipes or the valley between section of the roof, water can seep into your attic.

Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a few tough winter days for you to realize that your roof has reached the end of its useful life. When that happens, you don’t want to waste time – you want to get a new, quality roof quickly. You want a contractor you can trust. You want a company like Long Roofing.

The Long family name has been synonymous with outstanding home improvement service and professionalism in the Washington, D.C. area since 1945. The tradition continues with Long Roofing, a company ranked among the nation’s elite roofers as recipients of CertainTeed’s SELECT ShingleMaster accreditation. One percent of roofers in the U.S. earn this coveted certification.

Concerned about the condition of your roof? Call Long Roofing at 1-866-328-1187. You can also visit Long Roofing online or schedule a free consultation. Don’t forget to ask about their 50-year roofing warranty!

{Disclosure: This is sponsored post courtesy of Long Roofing.}

Happy Holidays! Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th Gift Card Giveaway

 

Saks-Off-5th-Sparkle-Like-You-Mean-It-Clarendon-Moms

Saks-Off-Fifth-Congressional-Plaza

There are only a few days of shopping left before Christmas Day. And for those last minute shoppers, I’ve got you covered–“all in one swoop”! I’m also offering a $50 Gift Card to Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th for one lucky winner just in time for the holidays!

Congressional Plaza in Rockville, Maryland has become one of my favorite shopping destinations this year, especially thanks to all of the unique boutiques, family restaurants,  a gourmet grocery store and a Starbucks. With more than fifty stores and restaurants, running errands is not a chore at Congressional Plaza. It’s the quickest and easiest way to find everything you like and need on Rockville Pike. And get all your shopping done in one swoop.

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th is the newest addition to the outdoor mall. The store covers a whopping 40,000 square feet and features two floors filled with hundreds of men’s, women’s and kids designers at 40-80% off.

It was love at first step! As soon as you step inside the store, you’re enticed with the most amazing display of high end designer sunglasses including brands like: Burberry, Celine, Chloe, Coach, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Ray Ban, Tory Burch and Versace. I spent over an hour just trying on sunglasses. On the same floor as the eyewear, you’ll find a ton of great designer handbags including: Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Gucci, Prada, Versace and Hermes. You read that right! There’s even Hermes!

Now, onto the second floor! The inventory here is so good! There are designer brand coats like Laundry by Shelli Segal, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. You can find luxurious cashmere scarves, gloves and hats! And new to me was the actual Saks Fifth Avenue label of clothes. I had no idea! With so many choices, I seriously spent about half my day inside the store and have made it a weekly excursion ever since. I was able to buy all the dresses, shoes and accessories I needed for all of my holiday parties. I was able to buy all of the gifts for my family. (I offered a holiday gift guide over on my Snapchat & Instagram Stories last week.)

Congressional Plaza has a ton to offer! For parents, there’s a Mommy & Me (& Daddy, Too) Club that meets for “a special morning out” every second Thursday of the month—April through October, with active learning and creative play at all your favorite stores! There are special offers from the eateries, story time, arts & crafts, musical entertainment, prizes and a whole lot more!

Congressional Plaza is located at: 1683 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD

To plan your visit and learn more, visit www.congressionalplaza.com

ENTER TO WIN
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest is open to the US and will close at 11:59 PM on December 30, 2016. I will draw the winner by Random.org, and they will have 24 hours to respond to the email notification that they won.

{Special Thanks to Congressional Plaza for partnering on this post!}

Exciting Holiday Giveaway: Win 2 Tickets to The Nutcracker at The Washington Ballet

The Nutcracker - Washington Ballet

The Nutcracker - Washington Ballet - Clarendon Moms

Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker

Holiday Magic

DC’s perennial favorite! This celebrated production is set in historic Georgetown with George Washington and King George III among other historical figures. Join us again with family and friends or start a new holiday tradition with your loved ones.

To purchase tickets by phone for performances at the Warner Theatre, please call 202.397.7328. To buy tickets online for performances at the Warner Theatre or THEARC Theater, please use the BUY TICKET links below.

Special 15% Discount Offer for Military Night, Tuesday, December 6: Doors open at 5PM; Performance at 7PM: Details below. Use promo code STARS to receive a 15% discount in select price levels; offer valid until December 6 and only for the December 6 performance: not to be combined with any other offer; not valid on previously purchased tickets.

For information on this year’s Nutcracker Tea Party, an elegant and quintessential tradition benefiting The Washington Ballet education and community engagement programs, click here.

Enter To Win:

This year, I’m doing something a little different. Visit my Snapchat & Instagram Stories everyday this week for a chance to “snap” & “re-gram” a part of my story to enter to win one pair of tickets to attend a 7 PM performance on December 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th or 7th (No Substitutes or other times). Announcement will be made on Monday, November 28th via Snapchat & Instagram Stories.

Meet the Soapberry, Nature’s Most Gentle Soap

Tree to Tub

Did You Know That Soap Grows On Trees?

Well for Tree To Tub, yes, soap does grow on trees! Check out their amazing line of ultra-gentle, organic body care products featuring the soapberry, an exotic fruit that makes a gentle, nourishing lather when you rub it!

Never heard of the soapberry? Keeping reading to find out!

Meet the Soapberry, Nature’s Most Gentle Soap

Tree to Tub - Soapberry

Just give this berry a rub, and it produces a creamy, luxurious lather

Yes, the soapberry lathers, and it’s also the most nourishing soap for the human body. For thousands of years, its ultra-gentle and antibacterial properties have been used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine for all skin and hair issues. Its vitamin-packed froth shields and repairs the skin & hair from dryness and damages.

Tree To Tub is the first to make the soapberry available, so you are washing with the botanical lather of the soapberry, not a lather made from synthetic chemicals.

And We Get the Exclusive Deal,

Only On Clarendon Moms

I’m happy to announce that Tree To Tub is giving Clarendon Moms  a special 50% pre-sale discount, only 60 available to ONLY our readers here.

This 5 piece collection includes their Organic Soapberry Facial Cleanser, Organic Soapberry Shampoo, Organic Soapberry Body Wash, Organic Argan Oil Conditioner, and Organic Shea Butter Body Lotion.

What the Soapberry Will Do for You

Instead of using synthetic lather that is severely damaging your body, the                                                                                       soapberry will completely transform the health of your skin & hair.

Soapberry - Tree To Tub

Here’s What We Get!

Tree To Tub - The World's Most Gentle Soap

Looks AMAZING, But

Where Can I Get It Or Learn More About It?

The brand launch is taking place on Indiegogo, the global platform for young companies to bring their ideas to life.

To access the exclusive offer, you must be a Clarendon Moms reader, go to our unique campaign link here: http://bit.ly/TreeTub-Clarendon

You should see the Secret Perk for their Basic Collection, which is listed $79, 51% off their $160 Retail. There’s only 60 left, so get yours now.

{This is a sponsored post courtesy of Tree To Tub.}

AmazonFresh available in Northern Virginia & Maryland

Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh DC

Amazon Fresh

Amazon is my favorite online retailer for a reason.  Fast shipping, amazing customer service and easy returns are the standard.  Friends and family have been suggesting I sign up for Amazon Prime, a service that ships in two days ever since I can remember. But, it wasn’t until recently that I decided to make that leap from “standard customer” to “prime customer”. Amazon Prime offers perks like free music and movies, photo storage and unique deals.  With the ease of getting almost everything you want with a few clicks and a walk to your door step, it’s not hard to understand why Amazon is so amazing.

And something even more awesome just happened. Amazon has recently announced that AmazonFresh is now available in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Prime customers in eligible zip codes can use AmazonFresh for a monthly fee of $14.99 as an Add-on to their Prime membership.

After trying the service, here are the highlights:

  • Convenient Delivery Options
  • Customers can combine grocery and other shopping into one seamless experience that easily fits into their routines and improves their busy lives.
  • Customers can order from a wide range of items including everything from fresh groceries and prepared meals to beauty products and household goods.
  • AmazonFresh offers the convenience of same-day and next day delivery to your doorstep, with the choice of attended and unattended two-hour delivery windows.
  • Place a grocery order by 5pm and have it that same evening, or order before going to bed and have items on your doorstep by breakfast.
  • Delivery is free on orders over $40.
  • Customers can also easily shop AmazonFresh from anywhere they are using the Amazon Mobile Shopping app.
  • Low prices across its entire selection. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, baked goods, and dairy, customers can also choose from a wide range of pet supplies, baby, health and beauty products, and more.
  • AmazonFresh also offers selection from various Northern Virginia merchants through the Local Market program, including Compass Coffee, Cake Love, Capital Kombucha, and Frontier Kitchen (a food incubator for Virginia’s culinary entrepreneurs).
  • All Local Market items are delivered as part of customers’ AmazonFresh orders.
  • Eco Friendly: Amazon doesn’t note this as one of the features, but I think it’s something that needs to be noted. The totes and coolers that food is delivered in are reused (Empty ones are picked up when your next order is delivered).  The plastic bags that come in the coolers are recyclable.  And the ice packs can either be reused or recycled.

AmazonFresh is delivering to areas including: Reston, Oakton, McLean, Fairfax, Arlington, Annandale, Alexandria, Burke, Springfield, Fort Washington, Woodbridge, Dale City, Suitland, and more.

To use AmazonFresh, Prime customers can simply go to www.amazon.com/amazonfresh and sign up for a free 30-day trial of the service. After the free trial, Prime customers can continue to shop AmazonFresh for a monthly fee of $14.99 as an Add-on to their Prime membership.

{Thank-you to Amazon for partnering on this post!}

DC Tot Squad

DC Tot Squad

As busy parents, it’s a challenge to find the time and energy to keep everything clean. We outsource our home cleaning to a maid service. We outsource our car cleaning to an auto detailing service. And now, thanks to DC Tot Squad, we can outsource the cleaning and installation of our baby gear.

DC Tot Squad comes to the rescue of busy parents everyday by cleaning and repairing their strollers and car seats.  They offer services at your personal residence (a service that actually comes to you), as well as a few retail locations. They offer four cleaning packages that use natural, non-toxic cleaners from the Honest Company, and can repair most stroller brands, including Bugaboo, Orbitbaby, Uppababy, and Maclaren.

They recommend parents clean their gear every three months to keep it not only looking great, but also in tip-top shape from a health and safety standpoint. Car seat buckles can get sticky and difficult to unbuckle in an emergency and strollers can harbor dangerous bacteria like E. Coli and Salmonella. By regularly maintaining your baby gear, it can extend its useful life and be passed down to siblings or families in need.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting DC Tot Squad owner Hayden Little. A former Systems Development consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, she graduated from George Mason University with a BS in Business Management. As a busy mom to Kennedy (2 years old) and James (6 months), she recognized the need for services in the Washington DC area that would help other busy parents.

Hayden of DC Tot Squad

Hayden of DC Tot Squad

Hayden and a member of her staff came out to service a lucky Clarendon Moms reader. Cheryl Householder received a complimentary service that included a cleaning of one car seat and one booster seat. To say the car seats were grimy is an understatement. If they weren’t dirty, there wouldn’t be a need for a service like Tot Squad. And I’m certain most parents will be happy that they exist!

“We decided to come to terms with our procrastination and call the experts to get the job done. DC Tot Squad came to our house and in about an hour, I could not believe my eyes (or nose) when I saw my kids’ hardly recognizable car seats. They looked brand-spanking new and smelled fresh, thanks to their organic kid-safe cleaning products. Right up there with cleaning car seats, I’ll admit to loathing installing car seats. Well, they installed them both perfectly and snugly, as the team is certified car seat installers. I could not have been more impressed with the professionalism and efficiency of the crew.

If you’re like me and so many other parents and in a perpetual state of procrastination when it comes to cleaning your children’s car seats, re-installing them–I’d highly recommend outsourcing it to the pros. It may seem like a bit of a first-world service at first, but I guarantee it is worth every penny!”

To find out more information, visit www.DC.thetotsquad.com.

{Thank-you to DC Tot Squad for partnering on this post!}

Where to Eat? What to Do? Ask Ouli

Ouli app

I love Arlington and going to my favorite spots, but I also like finding new places. The Ouli personal concierge app is changing the way you dine, shop and enjoy your neighborhood and it’s one of the must-have apps I have on my phone this year. Do yourself a favor and download the app! You’ll thank me when you’re out and about!

You can spend a lot of time Googling neighborhood restaurants, theaters, where to find an after school snack, and dinner options, or you could use Ouli. The app provides users with personalized offers and suggestions for local merchants and events that are based on their chosen activities, time, location and search history at “app-solutely” no charge. Ouli is available for free download on iOS and Android devices.

Ouli is currently available for use in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Mosaic District (Northern Virginia) and several DC neighborhoods.

 Whether I’m going out with girlfriends, shopping for gifts or pampering myself, Ouli has it all and can help me decide where to go. But of course, I have my favorites and some of them include: Modern Nail Bar in Courthouse, Trade Roots Gift Shop & Coffee in Westover and Osteria da Nino in Shirlington. These are all amazing spots that I may not have ever discovered, had it not been for Ouli. And I’ll let you in on a secret; you can get exclusive offers at these locations with the Ouli app.

In today’s society people are busy and overwhelmed with options when they search on the Internet. Ouli simplifies the process by providing users with three options based on their preferences. With Ouli, users can find what they want to do and then make it happen all within the app. No additional searching and planning required. Whether you want to go out to dinner, celebrate life’s events, shop or visit the theater, Ouli can help. So many options, so little time! And just recently, Ouli announced that users can add events to their calendars, set up a ride with Uber and book a table with OpenTable – all within the app!

Ouli is your neighborhood guide. A free, easy-to-use app, check it out!

For more information find Ouli online:

Facebook: Facebook.com/ouliapp
Twitter: @Ouliapp
Instagram: ouli.app
Website: www.ouliapp.com
Contact: support@ouliapp.com

{This is a sponsored post courtesy of Ouli.com}