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Save a Fortune on Herbs and Spices

October 6, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Running Totals, Uncategorized Be the first to comment
money

By Cat Morris

We are coming into spice season. Mmmmmm! Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove come to mind as the weather begins to turn and the days get shorter. Now is a great time to clear out your old herbs and spices so you can start the cool weather season on a fresh, flavorful note.

If you’re like me, you never remember what you have in the cabinet, and often return from the store with a container of herbs or spices as insurance against being left short on a special recipe. I believe we all have that spice we can never recall seeing recently in the cupboard, and that spice, for me, is cinnamon. No matter that I possess pounds of the stuff: I inevitably find myself staring at grocery shelves, wondering, “Am I out of cinnamon?”

Now is the time to officially take inventory and update my holdings. In addition to lots of cinnamon, I admit to owning ancient jars of stuff I’ve barely touched. It hurts to think of tossing something for which I paid a pretty penny, and just possibly might need someday.

The good news is that since I first bought some of those ancient, pricey jars, I have discovered that quality herbs and spices are not expensive. In fact, if you have been buying your herbs and spices from a mainstream grocery store, as I used to; cease and desist: Supermarkets impose scandalously large mark-ups on spices. That .12 ounce jar of McCormick bay leaves that costs $3.99 at your favorite grocery store? The same quantity from a local health food store will set you back a whole 17 cents. Did that get your attention?

Let’s do some math:

As of this writing, McCormick bay leaves at one major grocery store cost $3.99 for a .12 ounce jar, which comes to $33.25 per ounce, or $532 per pound (not that you’d ever need a whole pound of bay leaves).

By contrast, Frontier brand bay leaves from the bulk section at Natural Mercantile of Hamilton cost about $1.21 per ounce, or $19.30 per pound. Yes, that would be a $512.70 price difference from the grocery store for a pound of the same product.

[Incidentally, if you were to actually need a whole pound of bay leaves, Costco sells a one-pound container for a whopping $6.40.]

Would you like another example? Ground cloves are priced between $6-8 dollars per ounce at one major grocery store right now. I found them elsewhere for $.86 per ounce. In a recent comparison shopping exercise, I found that I could replace one-ounce quantities of fifteen common herbs and spices for less than $14 total by buying them outside a supermarket, versus upwards of $60 at the supermarket.

Another fantastic, and often even less expensive, source for herbs and spices is ethnic food stores. Indian markets, or Mediterranean and Mexican grocers will have large quantities of excellent quality spices for a fraction of the cost at a mainstream grocery store.

Unless it’s a seasoning I use a lot, I prefer to buy herbs and spices from a health food store because I can purchase as little or as much as I like. I am charged only for what I take. If I need a larger quantity, I’ll hit a local ethnic store for high quality spices sold in larger amounts, and store them at home in pint sized mason jars. And of course, if you can use a pound or so of a seasoning (I can’t) warehouse stores such as Costco offer fantastic prices.

How long will your freshly purchased herbs and spices keep? The Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers indicates that dried herbs and ground spices will stay fresh at room temperature for six months, or one to two years in the freezer. Whole spices will last 1-2 years at room temperature and 2-3 years in the freezer. (Interestingly, the shelf life of ground mustard is reduced by chilling it, so always keep mustard at room temperature.) If you keep your spices at room temperature, keep them in a dry, dark location. Avoid storing them above your cook top, where their flavor will suffer from heat.

The best way to check the freshness of herbs and spices is to open the container, put some in your hands, and check for strong aroma, taste and color. Seasonings kept longer than recommended won’t hurt you, so don’t fret if your oregano is five years old. It won’t do harm, but it won’t have much taste, either.
I’d love to hear where you find the best bargains on herbs and spices in the area. Email me at Cat.Morris@earthlink.net or visit us online at brleader.com and leave your comment following my column.
In last month’s column I promised an article on extreme frugality. I spoke too soon. My apologies, but I couldn’t resist writing about getting great deals on herbs and spices first, what with holiday cooking right around the corner!

Ten Ways You Can Save Money this Month

August 30, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Running Totals Be the first to comment
money

By Cat Morris
 
Think about this: Once you spend a dollar on a one-time-use item or experience, your dollar is gone forever.
 
When I buy paper goods to use at a barbecue, I exchange hard earned dollars for those paper goods, and as soon as the cups and plates hit the trash, the value of those goods, and the dollars I paid for them, is zero. Gone forever.
 
This is obvious, right?
 
Now think about this: When I buy a needed piece of furniture with my dollars, I spend hard earned dollars, but I continue to own the value of those dollars, in a sense, as long as I own and use the furniture. If I buy wisely, my furniture might even increase in value over time. … Continue Reading

DIY Savings: Cleaning Fine Rugs

July 29, 2011 by Contributor Running Totals 1 comment
Carpet wash

By Cat Morris

When we lived in Denver, a girlfriend used to take her rugs to Robert Mann Oriental Rugs for cleaning. She had a beautiful antique rug and a several high quality woolen pieces that she’d clean about every six months, owing to her son’s severe asthma. This quality conscious friend, owner of many fine antiques and the most beautiful linens I have ever seen, informed me that Robert Mann’s was the best place in town for expert rug repair and cleaning. The best. … Continue Reading

Procrastination Is Expensive!

June 28, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Running Totals Be the first to comment

By Cat Morris

It’s been raining lately.

I assume that our visibly clogged gutters are at least partly to blame for my sloshy basement since water is draining straight against our foundation. Last year we paid $25 for someone to clean our gutters, saving us having to find and climb—eek–an extension ladder. I have just needed to make this year’s call, but I have been putting it off. Since March.

Every time my husband and I suffer a major upset on the domestic front it can usually be attributed to–or at least exacerbated by–procrastination or negligence by one of us, and “one of us” is usually me. It has taken a long time for me to see this, but it’s true. … Continue Reading

Food on the Road – Just Cool It

June 1, 2011 by Contributor Running Totals Be the first to comment

By Cat Morris

Vacation season is here! For the family that has time to burn in the summer, car travel tends to be less expensive than flying. If you see a “Great American Road Trip” in your future, a little effort will help you to save money and offset rising gas prices.

An area with vast potential for savings on the road is food.

You may hear that the most frugal way to eat on road trips is to bring what amounts to a makeshift kitchen with you, in the form of a cooler, camp stove, and groceries. A few people are organized enough, and have time and energy enough, to cook their meals at picnic areas whether they are camping or not. Many more may not cook on the road, but will travel with a large cooler packed with everything from orange juice and potato salad to sandwich fixings and condiments.

Me? I’ve never had much success with the Big Cooler. When we used to have one, I usually ended up going to the grocery store the night before leaving on vacation to buy packages of all the items I had intended to make from scratch. No matter how well I thought I’d planned, the last day or two prior to leaving was spent frantically cleaning house, doing laundry, packing, making arrangements for someone to cut our grass, and so forth. Resorting to buying all that prepared potato salad, hummus, and other food put a dent in the budget. “Oh well,” I’d rationalize, “This stuff will still be cheaper and healthier than eating out.”

Maybe.

The Big Cooler needs to stay cool, which means remembering to drain and replenish a lot of ice along the way.

Imagine this scenario, which may or may not have happened to me: During a sweltering summer day on the road you stop for gas. As the tank fills, you strain to haul the cooler out of the car, drain it, and check the ice. You judge that there’s probably enough ice to last until the next stop, a few hours down the road. At the next stop you forget about the cooler, meaning that when you eventually peer into the box, many more hours have passed. You discover that your cooler is barely cool and is filled with perishing perishables, submerged or floating in water. A mess of packages have been compromised, contents ruined, by the liquid. You pitch most of the food and go out for dinner (though secretly, you are a tiny bit pleased at not having to eat from the same, tired cooler food).

The next day, you stop at a grocery store to purchase new food. At a later stop for gas, you tip the cooler to drain water from the handy spout, and the dog whose leash is on your wrist suddenly lunges forward, causing you to overturn the unit, spilling food and ice onto the pavement. You pitch most of the food and eat at Subway for lunch (but secretly, you are a tiny bit pleased that you will not have dishes to wash that evening).

Some folks? Truly expert with Big Coolers, out of bare necessity or pure organizational skill. Me? Not so much. Any savings we achieved was negated, as far as I was concerned, by the hassle—the hassle of maintaining the cooler, restocking, and having to do dishes by the roadside or in motel sinks.

These days, in advance of our road trip I buy a slew of sale priced healthy entrees, such as those from Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, or Amy’s Kitchen, and pack them in a very small cooler that lives in the back of the car and is touched but once per day. When not staying with friends or family, we usually stay in motels and ask for a room with a microwave (though nearly every motel has a microwave in house somewhere, often near the lobby area). With a microwaveable entrée, each family member gets a solid evening meal without the expense of a restaurant, mess of dishes, or fuss of a big cooler. The most we usually pay for dinner for four on the road is about $10.00. It works for us: I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to open the cooler and find a trim stack of relatively healthy food options with little effort required to prepare them.

As for other food, we carry a lunchbox-sized cooler up front, stuffed to the brim with sliced fruit and cheese sticks. We also keep a tote, as we did back in our Big Cooler days, filled with non-refrigerated—but substantially filling—items, such as summer sausage, nuts, power bars, and dried fruit. We also bring crackers, cookies, and trail mix. Sometimes we only eat at designated times, but most usually we nibble all day and save the “real meals” for the motel.

Recently, my husband had a novel idea: Dry ice! Provided we can vent it properly and keep kids from touching it with bare hands, we may have a new solution for even lower hassle, thrifty, on-the-road food savings. I’ll keep you posted.

How do YOU save money on food while traveling?

Three more tips for the road: 1) Nix bottled water. Refill your own water bottles for free at gas stations, from the water tab on the soda dispenser. 2) Investigate discount restaurant offerings along your route via www.restaurant.com. While savings can be good with this service, they are substantial after you purchase from them once, and have access to frequent 80 percent off codes. 3) Check out www.groupon.com for deals at zip codes along your route or at your destination. This deal-of-the-day site may prove to be a source for great savings while you’re away from home.

Chicken Scratch

April 23, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Running Totals Be the first to comment
Chicken Scratch

By Cat Morris

When both my children were very small, my mother used to tell me that I ought to 1) dress myself to the last detail before anyone else was up in the morning, and 2) know what I was making for dinner before I climbed out of bed each day.

I secretly rolled my eyes at her advice. “Give me something a little more useful,” I thought, “Who cares how I’m dressed in this day and age?” I also considered it just short of insulting to place emphasis on my planning dinner menus. “I have more important things to think about. I have a life.” … Continue Reading

Running Totals … “Bald” Moves Toward Saving Money

March 10, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Running Totals Be the first to comment
money

By Cat Morris

Several years ago, when we lived in Colorado, my husband went for haircuts in California.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Sigh. It was a strange, stressful, and expensive time in our lives. My husband no longer commutes to the Bay area for work and he no longer visits the salon that he swore was the only place to get his hair right.

Years ago, during our first frugal mania, I borrowed a book from the library on cutting hair and bought some clippers with an instructional video. I was emboldened by the childhood memory of watching my neighbor cut her four children’s hair. I determined that a man’s cut was just an extension of a basic boy’s cut, and knew I could master it with a little practice. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Open Letter to the Board of Supervisors

25 Jul 2014

For the Public Input Session on September 3, 2014 Excerpts from the following article will be presented to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on September 3, 2014 at the public input session. “The vital signs reflect “the largest changes …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Concern Over E-cigarettes

3 Jul 2014

Michael_Pic

– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, I was very upset to find an e-cigarette in my son’s room the other day. At first I didn’t even know what it was but then figured it out. My son is 17, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Blue Ridge Mountain Road

3 Jul 2014

timjon

It wasn’t until I saw it all under heavy fog that this place really came to speak to me; sure, I’d seen it in rain, snow, sleet and just about every other condition you could name, but before that blanket …

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Mountville Road

3 Jun 2014

timjon

Glancing at a map, it really doesn’t look like much to the casual observer – one might think: “Hmm, just a little connector road in the southwestern portion of a place called Loudoun County” – from Snickersville Turnpike in the …

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Virginia Gardening

Let’s Start Thinking About Planning A Fall Garden

3 Jul 2014

fallgarden

– By Donna Williamson There is so much information out there about gardening and planting – it makes my head spin. Some good information, some bad information that just gets repeated over and over – so here is some info …

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Sushi's Corner

When Twinkle Lights Were Discovered!

3 Jul 2014

sushi

“Tails” From The Barnyard – By Sushi By now if you have been reading my “ Sushi, Tails from the Barn Yard” you have heard about the infamous story tree smack dab center in front of the large white farm …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

What Should I Do With The Rest Of My Life?

3 Jul 2014

- By Samuel Moore-Sobel Like many other students more than halfway through college, I find myself contemplating what I am going to do with the rest of my life. Lately I have been considering attending law school. Being a lawyer …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning For Life

3 Jul 2014

Smith0035

– by Amy and Dan Smith I’m pleased to join Amy in this column. There are topics, which I know from my years of experience in the estate planning field are of interest to folks and which can be rather …

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Student News

Loudoun Student Awarded Environmental Scholarship

6 Jul 2014

Allison_Arpajian

American Disposal Services is proud to announce Allison Arpajian, the Loudoun County recipient of their Annual American Disposal Services Inc. Scholarship. Applications were distributed to all public high schools in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. One winner was chosen from each …

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Local Residents Graduate from the College of William & Mary

3 Jul 2014

The following residents recently graduated from the College of William & Mary: Alexander Graeme Thomson, from Hamilton (20158), with a BS degree. Gabrielle Alana Graves, from Middleburg (20117), with a BA degree. Kathleen Warren Hale, from Middleburg (20117), with a …

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Kevin Sherman Graduated from Ithaca College

3 Jul 2014

Kevin Sherman, a native of Middleburg, Va., graduated from Ithaca College’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance with a degree in Sport Studies. The degree was awarded in May 2014.

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Events

July 2014
M T W T F S S
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Village at Leesburg VAL’s Pals

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June 30, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1602 Village Market Blvd
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Join us for this week’s FREE kids’ club program featuring a FREE movie at Cobb Theatres. Join us for “Turbo” or “Walking with Dinosaurs.” Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for more information.

 

1

Village at Leesburg VAL’s Pals

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July 1, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1602 Village Market Blvd
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Join us for this week’s FREE kids’ club program featuring a FREE movie at Cobb Theatres. Join us for “Turbo” or “Walking with Dinosaurs.” Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for more information.

 

2

Village at Leesburg VAL’s Pals

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July 2, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1602 Village Market Blvd
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Join us for this week’s FREE kids’ club program featuring a FREE movie at Cobb Theatres. Join us for “Turbo” or “Walking with Dinosaurs.” Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for more information.

 

VAL's Pals Kid's Club

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July 2, 2014N/A

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA
314-602-1325

FREE activity every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Held in Community Room at 1601 Village Market Blvd. #100, next to Plow & Hearth and across from Cobb Theatres, unless noted. 

  • July 2  – Paul Hadfield aka “The Funny Guy” Clown Theater program

3

Village at Leesburg VAL’s Pals

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July 3, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1602 Village Market Blvd
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Join us for this week’s FREE kids’ club program featuring a FREE movie at Cobb Theatres. Join us for “Turbo” or “Walking with Dinosaurs.” Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for more information.

 

4

Village at Leesburg VAL’s Pals

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July 4, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1602 Village Market Blvd
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Join us for this week’s FREE kids’ club program featuring a FREE movie at Cobb Theatres. Join us for “Turbo” or “Walking with Dinosaurs.” Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for more information.

 

5

Village at Leesburg VAL’s Pals

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July 5, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1602 Village Market Blvd
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Join us for this week’s FREE kids’ club program featuring a FREE movie at Cobb Theatres. Join us for “Turbo” or “Walking with Dinosaurs.” Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for more information.

 

Saturday Summer Music Series

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July 5, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd., SE, Suite 215, Leesburg, VA 20175
Leesburg, 20175
USA
314-602-1325

Enjoy the sounds of summer every Saturday night through August 16! 5 – 8 p.m. in Fountain Court FREE. Bring your own chair or check out our new patio-style furniture in fountain court. Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule.  Check facebook/villageatleesburg.com

  • July 5thTed Garber

Conversations in History Series: The Nature of Sacrifice

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July 5, 2014

Mt Zion Church
40309 John Mosby Hwy
Aldie, 20105

Carol Bundy, author and historian, will speak on William Hathaway Forbes and the California Battalion's confrontation of Colonel John S. Mosby, 1864. Co-hosted by Mosby Heritage Area Association and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

6

July Sunday Brunch at Breaux Vineyards

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July 6, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, 20132
United States

End your Holiday weekend with a delicious Sunday Brunch! Take a break from the sunshine and heat to enjoy a 3-course meal paired with delicious Breaux Vineyard wines while overlooking the sweeping views! Chef Author from Grandale Farms has prepared a delicious farm to table meal for you to enjoy.

Tickets are $60 per person / $55 Cellar Club members

Cavaliers, Courage & Coffee Program

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July 6, 2014

Mt Zion Church
40309 John Mosby Hwy
Aldie, 20105

As part of the sesquicentennial events for the Battle of Mt Zion Church, the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will offer a lantern lit dramatic evening. 540-687-5578.

7 8 9

VAL's Pals Kid's Club

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July 9, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA
314-602-1325

FREE activity every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Held in Community Room at 1601 Village Market Blvd. #100, next to Plow & Hearth and across from Cobb Theatres, unless noted. 

  • June 9 –  Zumba for kids

VAL Movies Under the Stars

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July 9, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last. July 9 – The Goonies  PG  111 mins

10 11 12

9th Annual Key West Festival

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July 12, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards
Purcellville, 20132
USA

Come enjoy our "Vineyard in Paradise" at the 9th annual Key West Fest!  Wine tastings, food vendors,  live music, kids' activities and more!

Local crafters and vendors will also be on-site selling their wares and have great items you could win!  We will draw prizes under the band tent during the band breaks!

Please remember, no dogs or picnics are permitted at our festivals! 

Ticket sales coming soon!

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14 15 16 17

Increase Your Reach: Social Media Advertising for Business

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July 17, 2014

Why use social media advertising? What should your goals be? Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn—what’s best for your business? How can you analyze results to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth?

Get answers. Maximize the power of your SM advertising.

Presenter:  Kona Gallagher,  Marketing Program Coordinator for Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development.

REGISTER at Loudoun SBDC.eventbrite.com

Fee:  $25 registration online; $30 at door
Those who pay at the door are not guaranteed seating or handouts.

18 19

Summer Saturdays

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July 19, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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21 22

JUL Loudoun Federal Contractors Group Networking Event

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July 22, 2014

Patrick McMahon, Attorney - McMahon, Welch and Learned, PLLC, will present briefly on “Negotiating Teaming & Subcontracting Agreements from a Small Business Subcontractor Perspective.”

 

SPONSOR:   TD Bank, N.A.

 

Let’s continue building federal contracting relationships in Loudoun. Whether you’re a contracting neophyte or veteran, this event can help you move forward on your contracting goals.

The group’s founder, Loudoun SBDC, is a resource partner with the SBA. It has been helping to launch/grow government contracting businesses for over 10 years. It has strong partners within the economic development community and is well-positioned to assist you!

 

FREE but REGISTER at LoudounSBDC.eventbrite.com.

23

VAL Movies Under the Stars

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July 23, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last. July 23 – Despicable Me PG  119 mins

Movies Under The Stars

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July 23, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Come enjoy free movie screenings at Village at Leesburg. July 23rd Despicable Me (Rated PG) will be shown. August 6th will be the winning fan favorite vote. Choices are: Superman (original-Rated PG), Willy Wonka (Rated G), Surf's Up (Rated PG), and Smurfs (Rated PG). Vote on Facebook!August 20th Frozen (Rated PG) will be shown. Free event chair or picnic blanket will be given to the first 50 families!

24

VAL Movies Under the Stars

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July 24, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last. July 23 – Despicable Me PG  119 mins

25

VAL Movies Under the Stars

Close

July 25, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last. July 23 – Despicable Me PG  119 mins

July Fourth Friday at Breaux Vineyards

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July 25, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, 20132
USA

July Fourth Friday! July 25; 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Each month our "Fourth Fridays" event boasts a fabulous evening of wine + entertainment worth sharing with family and friends.  This month's fourth Friday falls on July 25th.  We will have live music, wine to taste and food to eat.  Don't miss out on this fun summer evening - come soak in the views, the music and of course some terrific vino!

No reservation needed - We'll see you Friday the 25th!

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Village at Leesburg 5th Annual Summer Block Party

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July 26, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA
314-602-1325

Saturday, July 26

3 – 8 p.m.  FREE

Join us for this FREE family event with live bands, entertainers, inflatables, food, sidewalk sales and fun activities throughout the entire center.  Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. 

 

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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July 28, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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July 29, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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July 30, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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July 31, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 1, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Child Safety Day

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August 2, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

Saturday, August 2 from 12pm-4pm  FREE

Get up close to awesome rescue squad vehicles and cool interactive displays! Enjoy music, inflatables,  prizes and giveaways and more fun. Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule.

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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August 2, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Notaviva Vineyards presents their monthly Bluegrass Jam a FREE event held the first Saturday of every month!

An event for all ages featuring Ashby Run. Open to players of every skill level

3pm-6pm Saturday 7/5

Wine available by the glass and by the bottle, lite snacks available. Must be 21 to drink alcohol.

Summer Saturdays

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August 2, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

There’s a New Gang in Town – And Isn’t It Time?

3 Jun 2014

blueridge2

For many, the recent town-wide elections in Purcellville present all of western Loudoun with a significant opportunity to launch a more citizen-focused future. On July 1 there will be a new mayor and a decidedly different balance of power on the Purcellville Town Council, as four new members with fresh …

(4 comments)

Editorial

War Madness

25 Jul 2014

dying gaul

The Dying Gaul By John P. Flannery In a world that prefers to war, can’t get enough of it, innocents are killed, and those senseless incidents in turn provoke more war. It happened in the Ukraine and the testosterone is running high. Ukraine calls to the West to put up or shut up with military force, not just economic sanctions. …

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Bed and Breakfasts – Boon or Threat to the Rural Economy?

3 Jun 2014

malcolm_pamela_011

By Malcolm and Pamela Baldwin Breaking news, in case you missed it: the Board of Supervisors has created new rules for bed-and-breakfast establishments in Loudoun, among them an increase in the number and frequency of events – such as weddings – B&Bs are allowed to host on their properties. At the same time, the board also tightened fire safety, building …

(3 comments)

Lifestyle

Feed Loudoun – Fresh Food Drive

27 Jul 2014

Photo attached courtesy Julia Brizendine: What is gleaning? It is the harvesting of food for the needy. This tradition goes back to ancient times when landholders allowed folks in need to harvest left-over crops. In eighteenth century England, the sexton would often ring a church bell at eight o'clock in the morning and again at seven in the evening to alert needy families when they were invited to collect crops. As a volunteer, gleaning is a fun, family activity that usually lasts no more than about 2 hours on a beautiful day. It is also a good activity for groups who are looking for community outreach projects.

Special report by Mark Gunderman Photo courtesy Julia Brizendine: What is gleaning? It is the harvesting of food for the needy. This tradition goes back to ancient times when landholders allowed folks in need to harvest left-over crops. In eighteenth century England, the sexton would often ring a church bell at eight o’clock in the morning and again at seven …

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Susan Greenbaum to Perform in Middleburg

17 Jul 2014

Susan_Greenbaum-live

The Bluemont Concert Series is proud to present Susan Greenbaum on Saturday, July 26 for the last of our four Saturday evening concerts in Middleburg. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. The Middleburg concerts are now held at the Middleburg Community Center baseball field, located at 300 West Washington Street. Admission is $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont Friends and …

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Woodgrove High School Debate Camp

15 Jul 2014

Ms. Purvis’s WHS Debate Team is conducting a debate camp this summer from August 4 through August 8. It will be held each day from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Woodgrove High School and is open to students who will be attending Woodgrove HS or Loudoun Valley HS. The purpose of the camp is to introduce aspiringdebaters to the art …

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Wild Loudoun

Fireflies – Green Sequins Of The Night

3 Jul 2014

fireflies jar

I don’t usually start my Wild Loudoun column by sharing information about the scientific classification into which a given plant, animal or insect falls. But, in the case of the firefly, it’s too fun not too … Fireflies are part of an insect family known as Lampyridae … as in “lamp.” Of course they are, you say. Firefly larva – …

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Around Virginia

VDOE Names Chief Academic Officer

Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples today announced that John William “Billy” Haun of Charlottesville will become the Virginia Department of Education’s chief academic officer, taking the position of assistant superintendent of instruction on September 1. “I am delighted that Billy is bringing his knowledge, leadership and innovative ideas …

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LaRock Appointed to Joint Commission on Technology and Science

Dave_larock

Speaker of the House William Howell has appointed Delegate Dave LaRock as a member of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), effective immediately and lasting for the duration of his term in the House of Delegates. The Commission meets several times throughout the year to “Study all aspects …

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Virginia Earns Top Special Education Rating from U.S. Department of Education

Virginia is one of only 18 states and territories earning a “meets requirements” designation under the US Department of Education’s (USED) new results-driven accountability model for rating state compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Previously in rating states, USED focused on procedural requirements such as timelines …

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Sports

Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League Registration Ends July 28

20 Jul 2014

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Registration for the Fall 2014 NFL Flag Football league is currently ongoing for boys and girls, ages six to 14, and spots are filling fast. To secure a spot in the league, participants must register by Monday, July 28, 2014. The Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League is the premier …

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Lady Vikings Claim District Lacrosse Title

3 Jun 2014

ladyvikings

By Mac Shuford The Loudoun Valley girls lacrosse team beat Woodgrove 10-7 on May 22 for the district championship. It was a hard fought victory and a long time coming as Valley had never beaten Woodgrove until this game, having narrowly lost last year’s district and regional Titles in the …

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Letters

Good News – Virginia Budget Passed

3 Jul 2014

speak

I hope folks have heard the good news that Virginia has passed a two-year budget, and passed it without allowing our new governor to force …

(3 comments)

T-Mac Does an O’Bama

24 Jun 2014

blueridge2

Everyone by now has heard that the Virginia Legislature was able to pass a budget without medicaid expansion. This has infuriated the Governor who has …

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De-couple Medicaid Expansion from the Commonwealth’s Budget

11 Jun 2014

blueridge2

At a September 25, 2103, debate sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, then Mr. McAuliffe declared, “No budget will be shut down in Virginia …

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