Recently, I hosted a Blogger Night Out at Fair Oaks Mall
after they have completed a few phases of their recent renovations. New restaurants are being added, new stores, and of course - a new Michael and Son's
children's play area. We first stopped for a happy hour with food and drinks at Champps and giveaways from AT&T.
Next stop was over to the Michael and Son's play area to meet with the site designer and learn about the new equipment. I was happy to find out that all of the materials used for the new design are anti-microbial. Around the play area are now cubbies under the seats to store children’s' shoes... and around the perimeter there are high tables with power charging stations for laptops and electronic devices! Love that!
After the fun zone, we headed to Lucianos for delicious pizza and beverages before pictures at the Ice Palace with Santa. This year, Santa has a new sidekick - the Ice Princess. A beautiful young girl sat in an oversized white throne that actually feels quite chilly when you touch it. Microsoft was onsite to take pictures with the Ice Princess.
We concluded the night with desserts from Sbarro and swag from Fair Oaks. It was great to see all of my blogging friends and to make new ones too! Check out some pics below compliments of Valerie Bey Photography
Thank you to Taubman for providing me with the opportunity to host the event!
Sponsored content provided by Taubman - Fair Oaks.
"The Intersection of Business, Blogging, and Branding"
Great night out last night as I launched a new series to connect bloggers and business owners in Northern Virginia. My goal with this quarterly series is to go beyond networking in a unique opportunity to build relationships between the Beltway's business owners, marketing directors, and social media influencers.
Speakers at last night's event
Keynote Address: "Social Media Success in Business"
Dr. Shannon Ginnan, Medical Director and Owner of Medalase Aesthetic Centers
Closing Remarks: Souny West, Owner of W Salon VA
and Board Member of the Young Executive Society (YES) Tower Club of VA
NOV 6 2ND aNNUAL rEAL hOUSEWIVES OF nORTHERN vIRGINIA bLOGIVERSARY bASH
The Real Housewives of Northern Virginia blog is turning TWO! Join our readers, bloggers, and business owners for a night out at The Winery at Bull Run to celebrate a FABULOUS year of award winning blogging, community outreach, and growth. Join the FB Event
Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door. Ticket includes complimentary glass of sangria and lite fare. Raffles and giveaways will take place throughout the night. The proceeds from ticket sales of the event will benefit a fantastic local charity, the Meant to Live Foundation. http://blogiversarybash.eventbrite.com
A HUGE THANK YOU to NOVA Plastic Surgery
for sponsoring the event! ICYMI: Take a look at the photos from last year’s party! http://goo.gl/B6c2Aj
NOVEMBER 13 BELTWAY BUSINESS SOCIAL SERIES
The Intersection of Business, Blogging, and Branding
Wednesday, November 13, 2013. 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Syrah Lounge @ the Sheraton Reston. 11810 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, 20191.
Go beyond networking in this unique opportunity to build relationships between the Beltway's business owners, marketing directors, and social media influencers. Keynote Address: "Social Media Success in Business" Dr. Shannon Ginnan, Owner of Medalase Aesthetic Centers. Closing Remarks: Souny West, Owner of W Salon VA and Board Member of the Young Executive Society, Tower Club.
NOV 14 PRIVATE PRE-SCREENING: DREAMWORKS DELIVERY MAN STARRING VINCE VAUGHN
Download up to two admit-one tickets: Go to seeitfirst.net
and enter code: 299013
Thursday, November 14 at 7:00pm. Rave 14 Cinema @ Fairfax Corner, 11900 Palace Way, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Seating is first come, first served. Space is limited. Get there early!
NOV 16 2ND ANNUAL SENSORY-FRIENDLY SANTA AT FAIR OAKS MALL ICE PALACE
NOV 20 SPA NIGHT WITH BITAR COSMETIC SURGERY INSTITUTE AT TOKA SALON
Champagne, hors d'oeuvres, and the latest trends in Fall beauty
Wednesday, November 20 from 6:30-8:30pm. TOKA Salon, 4907 Brenman Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22304.
Demonstrations by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert F. Centeno, cut & color consults, eyebrow shaping, and more! Swag bags, raffles, and giveaways throughout the night.
NOV 21 EXCLUSIVE BLOGGER HOLIDAY EVENT AT FAIR OAKS MALL
An exclusive night out at FAIR OAKS MALL for local bloggers and social media influencers
Mingle with the Ice Princess, get your photo taken with Santa and the elves, and sample the fare at different restaurants as we enjoy a “TASTE OF FAIR OAKS”. Be one of the FIRST to see the unveiling of the brand new Michael and Sons play area which will open to the public on November 22, 2013
Many of you have emailed me to ask about the Virginia Sales Tax Holiday
that starts today and goes through August 4th. I honestly am not the most savvy shopper or blogger to offer you the deals and match-ups. So, I'd like to introduce you to some of my frugal blogging friends who are local and awesome:
Sarah @ Capitally Frugal
Laura @ BeltwayBargainMom
Gina @ Moneywise Moms
Here are the basic details: August Sales Tax Holiday: School Supplies and Clothing
First full weekend of August (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) each year. This year the holiday will take place August 2-4, 2013.What's Exempt:
During this three-day period, purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax. Retailers may also choose to absorb the tax on other items during the holiday period, but they are responsible for paying the tax on those items to the Department of Taxation.
For more details, please visit: August Sales Tax Holiday
Last night, I hosted a blogger happy hour at Ozzie's at Fairfax Corner. It was great to see old friends and connect with new bloggers and business owners in the area! It was such a fun event, I'm thinking of hosting it monthly... keep your eyes out for details of the next event!
My friends over at Kid Trips
made this great list of things to do to this summer for kids - but hey, adults need ideas too! Check it out - I think I can knock out more than half of them :)
I was honored to be invited by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner
to host a Blogger Night Out Event for local social media influencers and their +1s. It was great to connect with old friends and meet and see new faces too! In the world of social media, you can never know too many people!
Iman, the marketing director, graciously invited us into Entyse Bar and Lounge
for a spectacular night of networking, laughter, and of course, food and beverage. I have to admit that Vincent, the wine director, had us all feeling quite fine with his luscious assortment of vinos (my new favorite is the White Haven Sauvignon Blanc
- try it, you won't be disappointed!). The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is not just a swanky hotel for out of town guests - they offer so much more! For example: there are classes for kids in the kitchen, manicure and martini events for women, and sushi nights every Thursday! Check out the pics below of the night out - Special thanks to The Ritz-Carlton for hosting!
If you're a social media influencer and you'd like to be invited to an event hosted by Real Housewives of Northern Virginia, please email email@example.com with your contact info so that we can connect! *sponsored content provided by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.
don't forget to swing by South Moon Under's
GRAND OPENING PARTY @ Mosaic District on November 13 from 6-9!
is a DC area nativewho is absolutely in love with the city. She's been lucky enough to do her fair share of traveling across the world, but is always giddy with excitement to see DC's monuments right before landing back at home. Meghan is also quite the die-hard Redskins fan, which has been trying, to say the least.
Meghan is a fashion and style maven. "I've always been interested in personal style & fashion - I really came into my own when I went off to school in the midwest. I went to a fairly liberal school & found that I was able to express my personal style more than I had ever been able to before."
Meaghan has a 2 year old rescue pup that she adores, she's fairly obsessed with mac & cheese, & she never met a sparkle she didn't like!How did you first become involved in with blogging?
I've been following blogs for as long as I can remember. I much prefer them to magazines as they are continually making drastic changes, are updated more frequently, & are much more personal than anything a magazine can offer. Intimately knowing my passion for fashion & witnessing firsthand the evolution of my personal style over the past few years, my best friend suggested that I create my own style blog. At the time, I was still trying to land my dream job and focusing time & energy on a creative aspect of my life that I really enjoyed seemed like a brilliant idea. District Sparkle was born. Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on your blog?
Blogging has created an unbeileveable amount of opportunities to meet new people. I have been fortunate enough to meet some absolutely stellar women & men during the lifespan of my blog. I am continually impressed by the openness & friendliness of my blogging community: The people that I have met helped me make my non-profit's, G.L.A.M.
, Inaugural Fashion Event a huge success & I am so grateful to have made these bonds.What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
Even though I've been here for 25 years, I very much enjoying exploring my city & discovering new things it has to offer. My pup & I are always jogging in new areas & checking out new scenes.
I also very much enjoy brunches with blogging friends & afternoons of bargain hunting :)What websites do you visit every day?
- a must for work & to stay up on important worldy issuesSuri's Burn Book
- I check in here, daily, for a good laughPinterest
- Obv.The Daybook
& Rockstar Diaries
- I get my daily dose of cuteness from these native DC bloggers. It should be a crime for babies to be this cute.What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
I'm a simple girl when it comes to drinks. I'm happy with a gin fizz that can be made at any restaraunt or bar.What book do you casually put out on your coffee table to impress visitors?
My 800 page biography of Nelson Mandela...I've gotten to the second chapter. Impressed?What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
Tysons. Judge me all you want, but that sucker's got everything you need in one place. It also brings back great memories of high school movie nights with friends. What is your goal for retirement?
This is such an important question for young women today. My goal for retirement is pretty simple - to be able to live comfortably & travel whenever & wherever. I think the path to getting to that retirement is the tricky part. My suggestion to anyone interested in seriously planning for retirement is to max out on your retirement nest egg each year. I find it's WAY easier to make monthly contributions to accompish this than to try & scrounge up funds at the very end. Also, head over to your bank & chat with a representative about your options & what is best for you & your lifestyle.Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own blog?
If blogging is something that you are interested in then go for it. Shoot for the stars. Whether it be fashion, fitness, culinary - do it. There are a few important things to consider before going live, but if blogging is something that you have a passion for then get after it. After you make the commitment, think about how many times a week you will blog & stay true to it. Think about your platform, design, & overall feel of your blog. What message are you trying to get across? Why do you want people to visit your blog? All important questions to ask yourself before you pour your heart & soul into your blog.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a working mom with two silly boys, Xander (age 3) and Noah (age 1). I spend my work days helping children with their speech, language, voice and swallowing disorders. The real fun happens when I'm at home with the boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. I blog about their silly antics at Simply Stavish. There you will also find the weekly speech and language feature, Words In the Sand, where I teach parents how to grow their child's speech, language and feeding development through everyday moments.
In addition to blogging, I have a bit of a yarn addiction, which I feed by wiping out the boring boy clothes syndrome one sweater at a time. I loves to decorate her house, including Xander's superhero theme room and Noah's owl nursery .
How did you first become involved in blogging?
I first started blogging in June 2008, when I became pregnant with my first son as a way to keep a virtual scrapbook of his pregnancy, birth story and then growth and development. I mainly started it as a way for friends and family to see updated photos. Since then my blog has become a creative outlet for myself and a way to give back to others. It has also inspired me to become a better photographer, as I
learn how to shoot in manual with my Nikon. Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on your blog?
I have met so many amazing ladies through blogging. Friends who I'm sure will remain friends for a very long time. I am so happy that I met my closest local friend Heather of Sugar N Spice Life (http://www.sugarnspicelife.blogspot.com/)
who lives just 5 miles from me . We met through blogging about building a house through Ryan Homes. Just this past summer, I had an amazing time meeting in real life many of the bloggers I have been following for quite some time. I also was able to meet more local DC bloggers, which was a blast.What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
I love to knit and dabble in sewing. What web sites do you visit every day?
Many of the blogs I follow through bloglovin. It is the easiest way to stay on top of the blogs you want to follow. Other than that I visit hootsuite for twitter, Facebook, and pinterest. What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
My favorite drink is sweet tea which is hard to find anywhere in the DC area. Well, you can find it but it's not the best quality. :) This summer we figured out the perfect recipe to make the best sweet tea. What book do you casually put out on your coffee table to impress visitors?
We have a huge ottoman that serves as the coffee table but it's more of a place for the boys to play these days. I don't recall ever putting books on it. They would for sure get destroyed if I did.What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
Shopping: Tyson's Corner Mall. Place to hang for the day: Old Town, Alexandria (so many great shops, restaurants, a fantastic playground, and a great place to shoot candid photos of the boys). Favorite Indoor activity with the boys: The Soft Playroom at the Chinquapin Rec Center. What is your goal for retirement?
Oh geesh I wish I could retire right now. I would much rather be at home with the boys than working. I hope to retire around 60 though. Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own blog?
Just do it! There is a fantastic blogging community! Find your tribe of people who are starting up a blog the same time you are and learn together. Don't be afraid to ask establish bloggers questions. Also get out there in real life. Go to conferences to make connections and learn. Blogging is constantly changing and a great community!