Focus on NoVA Real Estate

Northern Virginia

Things to Do

Things to Do in NoVA: Feb. 11-17

A handful of events to get on your calendar this week.

Celebrating Black History and love at Angelika Film Center
Throughout February
And in honor of Black History Month, multiple bog screen hits will be shown throughout the month, like Do the Right Thing, Poetic Justice and The Color Purple. And for Valentine’s Day there will be a showing of Casablanca. // Merrifield

Ain’t Misbehavin’
Through March 10
This Tony Award-winning musical is on stage at Signature Theatre and features all the classics of Thomas “Fats” Waller and brings the audience back to Harlem of the 1920s and ’30s. // Shirlington

Kick the Kegs at Ornery Beer Company
Tuesday, Feb. 12
The sudden loss of Fair Winds Brewing’s owner Casey Jones has the local beer community coming together to raise funds for his children. Eighteen breweries are headed to Ornery Beer Company with one keg each; first keg to kick wins. Proceeds go to the Jones family. // Fairfax

Corks and Cupcakes
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17
Pair your wine with cupcakes, Georgetown Cupcakes, as Bluemont Vineyard takes you through four pairings of their wine and the popular confectionary delights. // Bluemont

Planning 101 Workshop at Erin Condren
Sunday, Feb. 17
Now that we’ve all Kondoed our homes it is time to get our planners in order. The Erin Condren store in Mosaic is hosting a workshop to get your goals and planners on track and looking great. // Merrifield

Things to Do

Things to do in NoVA: Feb. 4-10

A handful of events to get on your calendar this week

Arlo Guthrie
Feb. 8-9
The Birchmere hosts Arlo Guthrie, who follows in his father’s (Woody Guthrie) footsteps of folk music with a focus on tackling social injustices. // Birchmere, Alexandria

Wine and Chocolate Pairing
Feb. 8-17
Paradise Springs Winery goes sweet with their special event that pairs decadent chocolates made by local artisans with a full tasting of their wines and Swagger, a port-style wine. And if you are there on Feb. 9, stay for their Valentine’s Wine Dinner. // Paradise Springs Winery, Clifton

Defining your outdoor space
Feb. 9, 10 a.m.
Experts at Merrifield Garden Center will take you through the steps of planning out your outdoor oasis as they talk about mixing plants, hardscapes and outdoor furniture to create a peaceful respite. // Merrifield Garden Center, Merrifield

Heart-Shaped Floral Wreath Workshop
Feb. 10, 10 a.m.
The floral masterminds at Botanologica are hosting a workshop where you will create a beautiful fresh wreath with the holiday of love in mind. Not only will you walk away with a piece of art, but you will also learn the history behind the sentiment of giving flowers. // Botanologica, Falls Church

Valentine’s Day Card Making Workshop
Feb. 10
Pop into Park Story on Sunday and make a card from the heart as Calligraphette and Co. showcases a workshop where those of all levels will create and walk away with a brush pen, four Valentine’s Day cards and envelopes, a calligraphy alphabet, guidelines and marbling supplies. // Park Story, Mosaic District

Things to Do

Things to Do in NoVA: Jan. 14-21

Events to get on your calendar this week.

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week
Through Jan 20
D.C. restaurants offer up great deals to get you in the door on these snow evenings but if you are willing to brave the cold and ice you are treated to renowned fare at discounted prices: $22 brunches and lunches, $35 dinners at over 100 restaurants in NoVA, D.C. and Maryland.

The Hip Hop Museum Pop-Up
Jan. 18-19 opening
The Source magazine founder and creator, Dave Mays, has set this pop-up museum in motion where patrons attending the kick-off show will be treated to a concert by The Sugarhill Gang, Trouble Funk, Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of “Rapper’s Delight”.
The museum, housed at Culturehouse, will be open until Feb. 18. 

Heather McDonald at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
Jan. 18-19
Known for her podcast and comedy shows, Juicy Scoop, White Chicks and I Don’t Mean to Brag, Heather McDonald is making her debut at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse this weekend and will surely put a smile on your face and some guttural laughter in your belly as she takes on relationships, pop culture and more, though she stays clear of politics.

Home + Remodeling Show
Jan. 18-20
Get design inspiration and advice all in one spot this weekend as the Dulles Expo Center is turned over to home designers and contractors plus workshops, talks and appearances by HGTV’s Design Star personality Tyler Wisler and John Gidding of TLC’s Trading Spaces.

Opens Jan. 18, runs through Feb. 24
Kenneth Lin, he of House of Cards, takes on Russia in a fictional manner with his theatrical show spotlighting the U.S.-Russia “relationship” and one man’s, Vladimir Putin’s, rise to power.

Alexandria’s Maker’s Mile
Jan. 18-21
Old Town Alexandria is putting the focus on its local makers this weekend with an event that will not only inspire you to buy from area artisans but also to get you using your hands by making your own items. Store that are participating include AR Workshop, fibre space, Penny Post, Red Barn Mercantile and Stitch Sew Shop.

Chefscape Opening
Jan. 19-20
A new food hall is hitting the NoVA scene, this time in Leesburg as Chefscape holds its grand opening this weekend. Find four concepts from Rooted and Bloomed, Muggerz BBQ, Sultry Soul Food and Sandwich Bistro.

Northern Virginia

Guide: Local Coffee Shops

Support your local baristas and roasters by frequenting one of these local coffee joints.

Alexandria Coffee Shops

Extra Perks Coffee Shop

Swing’s Coffee Bar

Killer ESP

Buzz Bakeshop

Stomping Ground

Junction Bakery


Bon Vivant


Nectar Del Ray Coffee and Wine Bistro

St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub

Arlington Coffee Shops

Bayou Bakery

Blumen Cafe

Chill Zone Coffee

The Java Shack

Bean Good Coffee Pub

Burn & Brew

Northside Social Coffee & Wine

Republik Coffee Bar

Fairfax Coffee Shops

De Clieu Coffee and Sandwich

Caboose Commons

Cameron’s Coffee and Chocolates

Simply Social Coffee

29th Parallel Coffee and Tea

Gathering Grounds Cafe

Corner Coffee House

Lake Anne Coffee House

Mom & Pop

Caffe Amouri Coffee Roaster


Weird Brothers Coffee

Loudoun Coffee Shops

Bean Bar

Blend Coffee Bar

South Street Under

Brew LoCo


3C’s Chai Coffee Café

Colada Shop

Route 15 Grind

King Street Coffee

Middleburg Common Grounds

Happy Creek Coffee

Side Bar

Shoe’s Cup and Cork

Petite Loulou

Cuppa Giddy Up

Market Street Coffee

Ridgetop Coffee and Tea

Baby Gifts: The Nest Egg Fairfax Corner

The arrival of a new baby is always an exciting even to celebrate. Finding the perfect gift for the new baby, the granddaughter or grandson, niece or nephew, or what ever your relation, is a simple if you know where to look. Well, here is where to look, The Nest Egg at Fairfax Corner. Located across from Ann Taylor Loft, you will get lost in all they have to offer. 

The Nest Egg’s owner, Ann, gives Tracey Barrett of FOCUS on NoVA Real Estate a tour of this wonderful corner of her shop. Please also visit the gallery below. 

Baby Gifts: The Nest Egg Fairfax Corner

Junior Achievement Financial Park: A Tour

I recently had a fantastic experience volunteering to be the “Automotive Maintenance” stop and station at the Junior Achievement Financial Park in Fairfax, VA. My 8th grader’s school sends all the 8th graders here each year to get an introduction to personal household budgeting. 

The student experience starts with planned curriculum in their class rooms and moves into the culmination “at JA Finance Park®, where these young people have the opportunity to put their newly-learned skills to the test in this digital, 21st century, innovative learning environment. The “mini-city” houses a variety of storefronts and kiosks, correlating to the personal budget lines each student must manage during their JA Finance Park® visit.

“The Finance Park website describes the experience “as these young people enter the doors of Finance Park, they leave behind their lives as middle school students and take on a life scenario: an avatar with a career, salary, credit score, debt, a family, and financial obligations. On tablet computers, students make their way through various phases of the day:”

Source: JA Fiance Park Website –

The students I helped through this process had avatars that ranged from 1) a single parent with 1 child making $39,000 annually with a credit score of 650, to 2) a gentleman making $84,000 annually, married with a child, to 3) a woman making $79,000 annually married to a gentleman making $12,000 annually, 1 child, 780 credit score, and $27,000 in student loan debt. From these base data the students performed the tasks above and had to make some hard choices at times. 

This was a wonderful practical application of real world numbers and monthly dilemmas households face each month. It is an incredible resource and I’m so grateful that our area has the JA Finance Park® as a resource. 

You can learn more by visiting the JA Finance Park® website here

Junior Achievement Financial Park: A Tour

Northern Virginia

Holiday Gift Guide: Stylish Patina, Falls Church

Kicking off the holiday season the team at FOCUS on NoVA Real Estate is bringing you gift guide ideas from some of our local boutiques.

Stylish Patina is a charming boutique in Falls Church City.  The boutique specializes in vintage furniture  as well as home decor items.  Their continuously evolving inventory of goods features bespoke vintage furniture, kitchenware, linens, vintage finds, tableware and cookbooks.

Owner, Kelly Millspaugh Thompson, after years of designing and painting vintage furnishings for herself she began selling her vintage finds and bespoke furniture on Etsy in 2010. She opened Stylish Patina in 2011.

Thinking of painting a piece of furniture?  They carry multiple Do It Yourself (DIY) products, including Annie Sloan Chalk Pain, to help turn your out of date furniture into a one of a kind treasure. The shop also offers workshops to get you started on do-it-yourself projects.  These workshops would make a great gift or fun event to do with a friend.

Stylish Patina also offers custom interior design services as well as custom furniture painting services. 

Check out their blog page for ideas and inspiration.

StylishPatina is located at 410 S. Maple Ave #114, Falls Church, VA. They can be reached by phone at (703) 663-8428.

Northern Virginia

Holiday Gift Guide: The Freeman Store and Museum, Vienna

Kicking off the holiday season the team at FOCUS on NoVA Real Estate is bringing you gift guide ideas from some of our local boutiques.

Sharon Ayers, with the FOCUS on NoVA Real Estate team, Century 21 Redwood Realty, stopped in at The Freeman Store in Vienna.  
The Freeman Store is a historic country store that gives visitors an opportunity to step back in time to experience what general stores in Virginia once looked like.

They sell a variety of exclusive hand-crafted gifts for the home, many of which are made by local artists. You will find pottery, classic children’s games and books, candy and jams, and Christmas ornaments. They also host afternoon teas throughout the year. The Freeman House Store was once called the Lydecker Store and is located in the Town of Vienna. Built in 1859 for Abram Lydecker, both Confederate and Union Army troops occupied the house during the American Civil War. History and treasures abound throughout. Stop by to see for yourself. But call first to find out the times it is open. The Freeman Store is located at 131 Church St. Vienna, Va. 22180 and can be reached by phone at (703) 938-5187 or

Sharon Ayers takes a quick tour to show some of the wonderful gifts they sell.

The Nest Egg in Fairfax Corner offers boutique shopping with a variety of styles for every gift giver. Tracey Barrett had the opportunity to interview the owner, Ann, and learn more about all the wonders The Nest Egg has to offer. 

Ann travels to the Atlanta and New York Home Markets to find the best possible accents and presents for that special someone in your life. You can find NEST candles, SCOUT bags, Cody Foster Villages, the cutest gnomes you’ll ever see, Karen Adams hand-adorned calendars, Les Georgettes by Altesse bracelets, La Chatelain lotions and Nora Fleming hosting wear. There are gifts for the woodland lovers, pastel lovers, tartan lovers, classic and contemporary. Gifts for teachers, hostess and host gifts, custom ornaments and more.

Take a minute to view our interview below and explore the wonderland of The Nest Egg. Enjoy the details in the gallery below. Best of all, stop by The Nest Egg at 11940 Grand Commons Avenue Fairfax, VA 22030.

Holiday Gift Guide: The Nest Egg, Fairfax