11 Ways to Keep Tick Away From Your Yard | Tick Ranger

LWM_MJ15_web_Page_39Loudoun County has seen the highest increase in cases of Lyme disease this year, across the state of Virginia. Protect yourself and your family from tick bites and the chance of contracting Lyme disease by following these simple property management practices:

1. Mow your lawn regularly. Ticks like to hide in tall grass and wait to latch on to a host.
2. Remove leaf debris and keep garden beds clean and dry.
3. Prune shrubs and bushes so they aren’t extending into walk areas where people or pets will brush up against them.
4. Keep ground cover to a minimum, as ticks like to hide there.
5. Avoid shady areas; ticks like the shade because they can’t tolerate heat.
6. Create a gravel or wood chip barrier around your property. These areas will be hot and dry making navigation difficult for the tick.
7. Keep pets out of wooded areas as much as possible.
8. Try to keep deer out of the yard as they are the preferred host of deer ticks.
9. Grow plants with a strong odor or essential oil such as lavender, lemon balm, or marigolds.
10. If you have a wood pile, keep it neat and in a sunny area. Remember, moist wood and shade is a tick magnet.
11. Hire a professional applicator such as Tick Ranger® to apply a natural tick repellent to your property.

Tick Ranger
(571) 267-7353

Celebrating Fall with The Real Housewives of Loudoun County!

Don’t look now, but, I think there’s a few leaves already changing color (made you look!). Fall is here and in the spirit of resuming school, gathering up our sweaters and preparing for a season that focuses on our kids, we had to know how the RHOLC group spends this activity-packed season in Loudoun. (Just as a plug, there are a TON of events they have going on, so, if you haven’t joined the Facebook group – get moving!)

How do you and your family celebrate fall in Loudoun County?

Rachael L.: Last year being our first fall in Loudoun, we weren’t too sure where the hot spots were for pumpkin picking and fall fun. But we went to leesburg animal park and had a great time! Picking out and carving pumpkins, taking a hayride and trick or treating are must haves! This year we are looking forward to checking out some local fall festivals and attending a few Halloween parties! As we get closer to the holiday season we enjoy spending time with friends and family.

rholc kimmyKimmy: For Fall, multiple visits to the pumpkin patch is a MUST for us! We always do a few different ones, but our favorite is Great Country Farms! We completely deck out our home and yard with fall decor, and we love collecting all sorts of pumpkins and crazy gourds from all different places (because you can never have too many pumpkins!) Other traditions we do are pumpkin carving/painting and of course, a lot of baking and fall crafts. For Halloween decorate our place like a haunted house. And lets not forget the start of football!! Fall is our favorite season!

rholc roxceRoxce: Fall has to be our favorite season,  we start getting ready for two of our favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  We buy a bunch of pumpkin flavored food just to get into the season.  A week before Halloween, we visit the pumpkin patch and have each of our kids pick out their carving pumpkin.  Decorating our house is also one of our favorite parts of the season; with the leaves changing colors, our house does the same thing as well.  With Thanksgiving getting close, we are already planning out our dinner trying to figure out something new to add to the menu and also planning on Christmas.

Tiffany H.: Halloween is my favorite holiday! We like to go to the Leesburg Halloween parade, we take the ferry over to the Haunted Forest, we also have a tradition of going to Leesburg to the little animal park and they do a fall hayride and have all kinds of fall activities like a maze made out of haystacks and throwing pies at scarecrows, pumpkin decorating contest, it’s fun! There’s also a bunch of stuff to do at the Temple Hall corn maze, they have these home made machines that shoot Indian corn ears out at targets they have a little concession stand with hot apple cider and homemade apple dumplings, and they have like paintball guns that you shoot at these running ghost It’s really cute!

So, pumpkin patches, decorations, food, fun and best of all: family! Let’s all welcome fall, get out there and enjoy the sights, sounds and feel of the season as only Loudoun County can provide!

real housewives of loudoun county

Whether you already miss our summer days or are looking forward to fall holidays, celebrations and festivals, there is an unending agenda of fun in Loudoun for kids and parents!  Be sure to check back for more expert tips from this great group of women, and definitely check out the group on Facebook!

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Summer Tips from The Real Housewives of Loudoun County!

summer tips loudoun countyWe all love summer, and there is no better place for moms, dads, kids and families than right here in Loudoun County. Whether you are are new parent, or spending the summer with a graduating high school senior, the opportunities for fun, learning and adventure are plenty – you just need to know who to ask!

That’s why we asked The Real Housewives of Loudoun County (RHOLC) how to keep families entertained in the DMV. For anyone unfamiliar with this group of women in Loudoun County (if a membership base of almost 3,000 can be called a “group,” and not a “movement”), they are accessible through Facebook, entirely welcoming to everyone who stops by their Facebook headquarters AND in person,  and they offer superb advice and recommendations about anything from breastfeeding to the best place for “date nights” to financial planning and more. Plus… Girls’/Moms’ Night Out Events!

Loudoun Woman Magazine gladly supports RHOLC for the impact they are making in the community, and for the example they are bringing to communities of parents, moms and women around the world. Really, we just think they’re all an amazing group of women and we want to give credit where it is absolutely due!

But, enough about RHOLC for now. Let’s let their words speak for themselves! Without further ado, we present The Real Housewives of Loudoun County:

What are some unique (to your family) things you do in summer to keep things fun for your kids?

Kimmy: On the last day of school we make a “summer bucket list” and we put all the things we would like to do this summer on a big poster board. We also pick one big “wish list” item (i.e. Disney World) on it as well. Since we both work full time, we are limited on long or day trips during the week. But we try to do the pool or park a few times a week, along with setting up a mini-water park in our yard to play in w/ the neighbors (pool, water table, sprinklers, picnic area). We have a lot of play dates with her friends from school and the neighbors! There are a bunch of things we do EVERY summer including Hershey Park or Kings Dominion, The Outer Banks, Ocean City/Rehoboth Beach, community pool, New York, Animal Park/farms, Zoo, Aquarium etc..) but the point of the “bucket list” is to explore other things we have not ever done, or really would love to do again. If we don’t end up doing everything, we try to save it for even the fall if possible!

Nikki: We do Disney, Busch Gardens and downtown Williamsburg with Great Wolf Lodge while we are there. We get Groupons to local water parks, go to splash pads for dinner when it has cooled down, go up to Hershey park and explore Amish country and the kids train museum, the Turkey Hill experience and also the Crayola factory.

We play in the pool on the deck or go to a shaded park. Of course the local Ashburn pools, too. We have a “mother’s helper” so the kids get a lot of attention! I let the kids watch movies and play video games while I work during the day. At night we make forts in the basement and they get to sleep in them because there’s no school the next day. We go to my parents’ house and play in their yard or down by their creek we catch tadpoles. Also, the Rappahannock River with family friends or northern OBX. Nice summer days we will do DC zoo, museums., or Great Falls picnics because it’s so shady.

Also, Chincoteague Island to see the horses…kids loved that! More of a late summer thing though. Road trip to Texas this year….stopping in Dollywood while doing  the “Dumpster Diner and Dives” road app and eating at those places along the way!

Rachael: With this being our first full summer here, everything about our summer vacation has and will be unique to us this year. We have been out exploring the area, with our favorite, so far being Great Falls Park and the local playgrounds and pools.

We try to spend as much time together as a family as possible. Usually, we try to take one weekend or week long family vacation to some place new. We like to experience new places, cultures and adventures and experience things through our childrens’ eyes.

Precious: To be honest, I’m not the typical mom who goes crazy spending so much $ just for summer camps. Being a small business owner, I take that as an opportunity to teach my kids life skills by having them work a couple of hours a week at the studio learning accounting, graphic design, etc. So far they still consider that as fun. For crazy fun, we order take out and stay up as late as we could watching movies and/or a TV series marathon.

Roxce: In our household we try our best to spend time together, whether it’s watching a movie or playing board games, but our absolute favorite thing to do is have a BBQ.  The kids love when their dad grills outside they help with everything they can. Every time my husband is off work he takes the kids out to do something, anything at all just to make their day/vacation a little more memorable. Our kids look forward to going to the pool, if they could they would live there!

summer tips real housewives of loudoun countyA huge THANKS to the RHOLC crew for all of the advice and insight about summer activities in Loudoun County Be sure to check back for more expert advice from this great group of women, and definitely check out their digs on Facebook!

Do you want to write for Virginia Woman Magazine online? Let us know


Healthy Cooking Class Offered in Whole Foods Market

Healthy Cooking Class Offered in Whole Foods Market

Healthy foods are essential to a wholesome lifestyle. We need to eat more natural foods in order to retain more nutrients. However, what we normally use for cooking is not always nourishing. We may be cooking foods at home, but these may not necessarily be considered healthy. In addition, not everything sold in grocery markets may be as nutritious as wemight think they are.

A healthy cooking class is one way to showcase what healthy foods are and how to cook them at home. Now, you can take part in a fun, interactive, healthy course thanks to the Health Cook Starts Here Cooking Class at the Whole Foods Market. Health Specialist Claire will spearhead this enjoyable cooking class, where she will share recipes for nutritious meals and do cooking demonstrations.

The Whole Foods Market is one of the nationally renowned grocery stores that offers all natural and organic products. They take pride in advocating sustainable agriculture and selling these natural products in their store, thus becoming one of thehealthiest grocery store chains in America.

The Health Cook Starts Here Cooking Class will be held onFriday, January 31 starting at 7 pm, in the Whole Foods Market located at 316 Kentlands Blvd in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Registration is free for everyone.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Sugarloaf Crafts Festival to Be Held in Chantilly, Virginia

Sugarloaf Crafts Festival to Be Held in Chantilly, Virginia

If you enjoy shopping for local arts and crafts, you will want to attend the much-awaited annual event, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. This year, the festival will take place at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly to cater to residents of Virginia County.

The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival is a yearly show where hundreds of local artists and suppliers gather to showcase their creations. Displays of beautiful jewelry, tasty homemade foods, creative pottery and sculptures, as well as home décor and fashion line the aisles of the event.

During the festival, kids can be entertained by live shows, including puppets and storytelling. Adults will be able to lounge and stay for a while, enjoying live music by groups like the Potomac Jazz Project.

If you want to know more about how to make arts and crafts, there will be interactive demonstrations available, where artists show how to make paper, spin metal, and make wheel thrown pottery.

The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival will be held from January 24 to January 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday and Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Make ‘n Take: A Terrarium Making Class for Loudoun County

Make ‘n Take A Terrarium Making Class for Loudoun County

Being close to nature brings harmony and peace to our souls. However, many of us lack the time to go on hikes, walks in the park or other such uplifting activities. Most of us find small ways to compensate for our missing touch with nature, using small shrubbery to decorate our homes with for example.

If you have no time to tend to your garden, but want bring the beauty of nature to your home, try having a terrarium. This mini indoor garden will give you that perfect balance of greenery without the high level of maintenance that comes with a full garden. Terrarium grows inside a glass container and plants are usually low maintenance. With this indoor garden, you can enjoy nature in the comforts of your home or office.

Make your own terrarium this weekend during the Make ‘n Take at the 868 Estate Vineyards. With delicious wines, great scenery, and people that share the same interest, you will surely enjoy this two-hour special on glass gardening.

Make ‘n Take will be led by Mary Ellen Coppage from Villa Rustica Design. Those who wish to attend may come to the 868 Estate Vineyards, 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd. in Purcellville on Saturday, January 18. Class will be held from 2pm to 4pm. The admission fee is $75, including supplies, instruction sheets and two glasses of wine.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

New Year’s (Pet) Resolutions

A Guide for Treating Your Pet RightYour How to Guide For Treating Your Pet Right!

As we all reach a shiny new year, we work to make resolutions that will bring us peace, new adventures, satisfy our hopes and dreams, and enhance our lives. In short, we are always striving to thrive. In our animal friends and companions, “thriving” means good food, preventative and appropriate health-care, and enriched and supportive environments. A novel idea this coming year: make resolutions for your pet to make sure they “thrive” and not just “survive”:

To begin selecting what changes to make, we first present some common myths about pets: their abilities, behaviors, and correlation to medical maladies.

Not all pets are secretly athletes in disguise and just waiting to go on a 2 mile hike. Many dogs get injured when a new exercise routine is started too quickly.

Gagging, coughing or vomiting is NOT a normal dog or cat behavior. We routinely see pet owners who say their cat or dog vomit on a regular basis and that the owners have come to live with this as a normal routine for their pet. This is oftentimes ACTUALLY a symptom of a medical condition (like asthma or allergies) for which there are very effective treatments.

Pet “accidents” in the home can be a sign of lack of fiber in food. Many pet foods (including even some “holistic” pet food) purposefully cut out grains, fruits and vegetables in exchange for high-protein concentrations.

Frequent pet bathing is “OK.” Pets think nothing of getting dirty or eating something very smelly. Washing or bathing your pet is a great time to check for any new bumps, hidden cuts and bugs such as ticks and fleas.

The wait-and-see approach to veterinary care can kill. We don’t mind the phone calls from concerned pet “parents” asking about a new behavior they noticed in their pet. Pets are remarkably adept at hiding pain. If you notice your pet looks uncomfortable, shivering, or has unusual panting or breathing, call us if the symptoms remain for longer than a day.

Just like in people, tarter on pet’s teeth harbor some of the worst bacteria they are ever exposed to. In addition to causing gum loss, tooth loss, and potential systemic infection, bad teeth can cause chronic and significant pain. Regular brushing, regular exams, and preventative cleanings can contribute to a happier and healthier life.

Recommended Pet Resolutions

Remember, start any new activity with your pet slowly at first and gauge how they are coping with the change.

Consider enrolling your dog in daycare.

Consider getting your pet allergy-tested if they lick constantly, have chronic ear problems, teary eyes, or scratch often.

Get pet insurance. Many studies have shown pets that have regular visits to their doctor live longer. There are many plans available. Check with us and we will help with the right plan for you and your family. We will even assist with submitting all claims.

Train/play with your pet. Pets are intelligent and love to learn. Spending even a short time in training with your dog several times a week, or creating games for your dog or cat, can brighten their day, enrich both your lives, and decrease stress for everybody involved. Talk with your veterinarian, or a good trainer for ideas.

Make sure that animals are safe, people are safe and belongings are safe. Crates, when used well (think about your pet having his/her own room), can provide a safe place for animals to go in times of stress.

Don’t skip your pet’s annual exam and tests: heart-worm combo tests and fecal tests for intestinal parasites are important. Heartworm is prevalent and causes significant and life- threatening changes to the heart and surrounding vessels and tissues. The tick diseases tested for are very prevalent in VA and can cause both immediate and chronic medical problems. Catching these diseases early can ensure a better outcome and is much cheaper to treat. Additionally, testing your dog can be an important indicator of whether your immediate surroundings have ticks that carry these diseases, which may help protect you. The GI parasites that dogs and cats can have can be spread to humans, and are especially worrisome for children. Regular testing protects everyone.

This New Year’s can be an opportunity to improve your pet’s quality of life.

Our 92-degree underwater treadmill is perfect for year-round exercise of older or obese pets that may injure themselves trying to keep up with a human’s rate of walking or jogging.

Pet acupuncture can relieve stress in pets, treat lethargy, and relieve arthritis. We have loads of testimonials from pet owners who are amazed at the changes even in their older pets after a 20-minute acupuncture session.

This New Year’s can be an opportunity to improve your pet’s quality of life. Ensure he or she makes it to the next by considering how brief their lives already are and what they mean to you and your family.

Dr. Chau

-Dr. Hanh Chau, DVM, CVA, CCRT
Dr. Chau is a graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Virginia Tech). She has a Doctor- ate of Veterinary Medicine, and has also trained and been certified in Veterinary

Acupuncture. She is also a certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist which she believes compliments both her surgical skills as well as her training in acupuncture therapy. She has been in practice for 15 years in the DC metro area.

Self-Care and Stress Management Program Offered for Women

Self-Care and Stress Management Program Offered for Women

For many women, it is a constant battle to resist stress in the midst of all of life’s demands, especially when they have a good career and a family life. However, women are strong and have the ability to fulfill their goals and make life better for themselves and their families.  All they have to do is learn how to tap into it.

To help women discover themselves more and learn ways to effectively handle stress, Group Therapy Associates will be offering a special stress management program specifically designed for women. More than a Mom is a stress management program that will help women understand the importance of caring for themselves and how to properly manage things in order to keep up with their goals in life.

Women will learn the benefits of caring for themselves and how that will affect their lives and their families. There will be tips and strategies on stress management and self-care.

More than a Mom will be held on January 13 at Group Therapy Associates, located at Costello Way in Haymarket, Virginia. The event will start at 6:00 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.. Registration is $45.00.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Yoga Class Offered at Stone Tower Winery

Yoga Class Offered at Stone Tower Winery

One of the most popular exercise-meditation practices is yoga. A lot of people find time in their day to lay down their mats and do stretching and breathing exercises to enhance their spiritual wellbeing, good health, and better physique.

Among the many benefits of yoga are a more flexible body, increased self-confidence, better sleep, and a peaceful mind. Others do yoga as a good alternative to weight-loss or for body-maintaining exercises.

The Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg will be hosting a yoga session in their vineyards this coming Saturday, December 21. Those who are looking for a calm environment with a refreshing ambiance to do yoga can join the class starting at 10:30 in the morning. All levels of yoga practice will be featured.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own mat. In addition, participants should also wear comfortable attire. The venue for the yoga class will be either indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. Admission is free for all.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Tax Smart Retirement Moves

Smart investing involves choosing the right assets to meet your specific needs. It also involves holding those investments in the right types of accounts – particularly when it comes to retirement savings. When managing your retirement savings, aim for tax efficiency, recommends Bev Doolin, IRA Product Manager at Wells Fargo Advisors. “And make sure you involve your tax professional as well as your Financial Advisor in assessing the tax implications of any investing strategy you’re considering.”

You can save for retirement in a variety of accounts:

Traditional IRAs and workplace plans such as 401(k)s can lower your taxes now, but distributions will be taxed as ordinary income
  • Roth workplace plans and Roth IRAs don’t provide an immediate tax break, but you generally won’t pay tax on your distributions
  • Ordinary taxable accounts face taxes on realized gains and investment income each year.

“The various types of accounts offer different advantages, not only when making contributions but also when taking funds out,” Doolin says. “But you have to set up the accounts properly to get the benefits.”

Here are a few considerations to help you make the most of the accounts available to you:

Tax deductions. Some investors delay making a traditional IRA contribution until they know it will qualify for a tax deduction. If there’s any doubt, Doolin suggests contributing to a Roth IRA. “It’s a no-brainer,” she says. You can contribute directly to a Roth IRA if you earn less than $125,000 (single) or $183,000 (married filing taxes jointly) in 2012. Otherwise you can contribute to a traditional IRA and then convert it to a Roth. One benefit of Roth IRAs: They don’t require minimum distributions after you reach age 701/2.

Growth versus income. As a general rule, it’s wise to keep investments with strong growth potential in Roth accounts, which shield you from tax on any appreciation. Taxable accounts can also be a good option for growth stocks, as long as you hold the stocks for the long haul. The reason: The capital gains tax you’ll pay when you sell the shares is likely to be lower than the income tax you’d pay if you held them in a traditional IRA, sold them and then distributed the cash – but be sure to review such a strategy with your own accountant and Financial Advisor to make sure that would be the case for you.

Investments that regularly spin off taxable income, such as high dividend-paying stocks or bonds, are likely best kept in tax-advantage accounts. The same is likely to prove true for mutual funds with high turnover. The funds’ frequent trading tends to generate significant short term capital gains, which are distributed to shareholders. The result can be a hefty tax bill in a taxable account.

Estate Planning. A Roth IRA is the undisputed champion of accounts when it comes to passing down assets. You won’t have to take withdrawals during your lifetime, and while your heirs will have to distribute a required minimum amount each year, they generally won’t pay any tax on it. Securities in taxable accounts come in second, at least in terms of tax efficiency: The inheritors won’t have to take required minimum distributions, and they’ll pay capital gains tax only on appreciation that occurs after your death. On the other hand, if you pass a traditional IRA or 401(k) to your heirs, they will be required to take minimum annual withdrawals and pay taxes on those distributions.

Note that assets in all types of accounts are considered part of your estate, and so may trigger estate taxes. Your Financial Advisor can work with your estate attorney and tax professional to help you craft a plan for minimizing the impact of estate tax on your financial legacy.

Distribution strategy. The rule of thumb for retirement distributions is to start tapping your taxable accounts first, your traditional IRAs second and your Roth IRAs last. But that’s not always the most effective order, Doolin says: “Liquidating an asset in your taxable account might push you into a higher tax bracket, which could affect everything from the taxes you owe to the cost of your Medicare Part B premium.”

Her suggestion: Lay out a general distribution strategy that reflects your anticipated income needs, then adjust your withdrawals depending on your situation in any given year. Again, consult with your Financial Advisor and your tax professional to make sure the strategy you develop takes into account all relevant changes in tax regulations as well as your own needs.

CAR Approval Number: 0812-03283
Wells Fargo Advisors is not a legal or tax advisor.

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and provided courtesy of
Katie McAuliffe, Financial Advisor in Leesburg, VA at 703-777-3803.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE.

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Financial Advisor
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
703-777-3803 | 800-888-3803 Fax: 703-777-2697
Email: katie.mcauliffe@wellsfargoadvisors.com

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