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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "kids"

3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids

Westlake Legal Group KID-ROOM-2 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
A mix of embroidered and printed pillows in a red, white and blue palette adds color and warms up slipcovered Pottery Barn seating. The old-school Williams Sonoma popcorn maker is on hand, echoing the vibe of the vintage vehicle photographs framed as art. Furniture includes family pieces, like this side table, lending a collected vibe. Meanwhile, throws, including a red one from Crate & Barrel, are perfect for cooler nights. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

Great Guest Rooms

Sometimes surfing the internet pays off. For this once-Manhattan-based couple, what was to become their forever home simply popped up online—a four-bedroom 4,400-square-foot home on Little Hunting Creek in Mount Vernon.

“It got our attention right away—the house, the riverfront location, its potential for hosting family and friends,” says one of the homeowners, who has roots in the area, having gone to William & Mary and lived in DC. “We have lots of family who come visit, between us we have seven nieces and nephews of different ages. We wanted the overall design to be fun and suitable for kids, as well as for adults.”

The couple hired Alexandria interior decorator and home stager Alexandria Davenport of Décor Decorum to help with furnishing the interiors.

“They wanted larger spaces for entertaining, both indoors and outdoors, but they also wanted fun and cozy rooms for their younger guests,” adds Davenport.

One of the three guest bedrooms was set aside for little kids. Here, Davenport embraced an all-American feel with respect to its patriotic palette, while integrating the tan and cream neutrals from the overall decor.

Westlake Legal Group KID-ROOM-EDIT- 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
A Union Jack pillow dresses up one twin bed, with an American flag pillow on the other. Davenport effortlessly blends stripes, stars, checks and chevron patterns for a fun feel. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

“We varied the furniture materials, like the wrought-iron twin beds and the painted wood night table, because we wanted everything to look collected, not like it was bought all at once. The intent was to give the air of a multigenerational family home,” Davenport says.

Younger visitors nestle up to read books in the beds, which are adorned with patchwork quilts and flag pillows. During the day, there is also a selection of American vintage toys from the homeowners’ collection on tap.

For the couple relaxing alone, as well as for their youthful guests, there is also a cozy media room tucked beneath the eaves. Easy-to-launder slip-covered armchairs and a sofa provide plenty of comfortable seating for playing games or watching TV. There is also a popcorn maker on hand for movie nights.

“The home’s design was primarily to allow our families to visit and stay with us comfortably,” says the homeowner, adding, “We have them all come for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and also for fireworks off our dock on the Fourth of July.”

Westlake Legal Group KID-EDIT-4 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
The vintage wall art inspired the room’s palette. To the left, a hanging curtain covers unsightly storage.
A vivid Aztec-patterned rug from the Land of Nod grounds Max and Vaughn’s room. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

Whimsical Wonderlands

Arlington-based interior designer Danielle Sigwalt and her husband, Seb, put down roots in Clarendon when they purchased their family home more than a decade ago. At that time, they only had a son (Charlie, now 18) but soon enough along came Max (7) and their only daughter Vaughn (5).

“My No. 1 goal in our home—and in the rooms that I’ve created over the years for our kids—is always to combine comfort, with great flow and a dash of fun,” she says of her approach to design.

Max and Vaughn have been sharing a room, though that will likely change when Charlie heads off to college. The little kids’ room was designed knowing that they would be playing in their room a lot. Sigwalt created a ‘secret’ hideaway for them in the dormer; it features patterned wallpaper, a colorful rug and an orange block-printed curtain that drops down to let them really hide out.

“Charlie was older and he had a say in his room,” says Sigwalt, who gave that space a headboard feature wall in a scalloped blue wallpaper. “He uses his space to do homework, and also as an oasis to get away from the noisy younger kids.”

Westlake Legal Group KID-EDIT-5 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
Sigwalt repurposed a damaged antique kilim as a one-of-a-kind headboard. The sham covers are from Jill Sorenson, while the striped woven rug is from IKEA. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

Sigwalt, who has a knack with color, as well as with layering in vintage pieces, painted an old desk in coral-red for Charlie’s room. She also finished an antique wicker peacock chair in emerald-green and a chest of drawers in turquoise-blue for the little kids’ room.

“Downstairs I also designed a playroom,” she says of another cozy space, which is furnished with a cotton-print chaise, as well as with a vintage Oriental rug. “The aim was to create a place for the kids to do artwork, sit down to read or simply play on the floor.”

Westlake Legal Group KID-EDIT-6 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
The children love to use their creatively fashioned hideaway for playing or curling up with a good picture book. The paper is by Serena & Lily and the rug is a Kate Spade design. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

In keeping with her whimsical approach to spaces, Sigwalt crowned the playroom ceiling with a canary-yellow chandelier and applied ‘flying bird’ cutout motifs to one wall.
“Like most of my designs, I always add playful touches,” she says, adding, “Must be the child in me.”

Westlake Legal Group KID-EDIT-8 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
Hinkley lights sandwich the double daybed built-in, with twin mattresses for napping and drawered storage beneath. Floating tables can hold drinks during the day and be nightstands at night. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

Best Bedroom

When the Benjack family decided to turn their weekend farmhouse in Franklin, Virginia, into their full-time home, they enlisted the help of Burke-based interior designer Alison Giese to help them smooth the way.

“We have three grown boys aged 19, 21 and 23,” says Claire Benjack. “Though only one of them is still living at home, we needed a space that all three boys could share whenever we had a full house over the holidays. It also functions as another guest room.”

Giese set to work right away. In terms of color palette and decorative style, the converted attic room tucked beneath the eaves had to fit the full redesign of the elegant farmhouse, a larger project her firm had been involved with since late 2017.

“We were working with a muted palette, mostly of water colors—blues and grays—and our design approach was to create a ‘breathable’ home, where the family and their friends felt free to relax and be themselves,” she says, adding, “The boys’ bedroom had to fit that overall scope.”

The boldest decision was to wallpaper the entire room—both straight and sloped walls—in a higher-contrast striped wallpaper.

“The angled ceiling was the perfect place for a tented-effect wallpaper, setting the stage for a grown-up camper vibe,” says Giese.

A pair of matched full-size beds in a matte black finish are set on either side of the dormer window; beneath the latter is a built-in chest of drawers. Brass wall-mounted reading sconces also keep things clutter-free.

“Our clients wanted the boys’ room to feel like a place where they could hang out too, so we always envisioned a part-lounge/part-bedroom space,” says Giese.

Westlake Legal Group KID-EDIT-7 3 local designers share tips on creating stylish rooms for your kids kids interior design Home & Design Home Family August 2019
The Brewster Home Fashions wallpaper adds a high-contrast stripe on white in charcoal-black, with softer striations on either side. Bedding in quilted washed-grays and crisp white sheets is welcoming. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

Directly across from the beds, there is now a built-in, wall-length daybed, with double bench cushions in a twin-bed size, as well as deep drawers beneath.

“The room has plenty of storage, as well as style. The daybed also serves as extra beds!” says Benjack, adding, “The boys offered no input but they love the outcome.”

This post originally appeared in our August 2019 print issue. For more Home & Design content, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids

Westlake Legal Group Books-Feature Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids reading parenting Kids Food kids books kids Food Family Features Family Education cookbooks children
Photo by Mike Ramm

Christine Carroll, a scientist (neurophsycology) turned chef (French Culinary Institute grad) turned James Beard-nominated cookbook author (Come In, We’re Closed) turned executive director and founder of a nonprofit sending chefs on volunteer service trips (CulinaryCorps) is also a mom of two in Old Town Alexandria who runs an Instagram account curating the top books about food for kids.

Food-themed books, writes Carroll, are “a bridge connecting young readers with other cultures, unfamiliar traditions and new ways of life. It’s amazing to see how food-centric books trigger understanding of how we are all deeply connected. These types of books make incredible conversation starters, especially at the dinner table.”

Working on her own middle-grade fiction book, as she says, “where STEM meets sous vide,” she is deep in the culinary-kid book world. Here are her suggestions:

 

Westlake Legal Group Books-4 Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids reading parenting Kids Food kids books kids Food Family Features Family Education cookbooks children
Photo by Mike Ramm

Chapter Book
The Winner Is …
By: Charise Mericle Harper
The finale in the Next Best Junior Chef series is the perfect beach read for your budding Gordon Ramsay. // Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $8

Westlake Legal Group Books-2 Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids reading parenting Kids Food kids books kids Food Family Features Family Education cookbooks children
Photo by Mike Ramm

Board Book
Cook In A Book: Tacos!
By: Lotta Nieminen
An interactive series of books to get your little chefs “cooking” while you read aloud about how to make tacos, pancakes, pizza and cookies. // Phaidon, $17 

Westlake Legal Group Books-3 Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids reading parenting Kids Food kids books kids Food Family Features Family Education cookbooks children
Photo by Mike Ramm

Picture Book
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
By: Jamie L.B. Deenihan
A clever, intergenerational story about turning what you think is sour, into something very sweet. // Sterling Children’s Books, $17

Westlake Legal Group Books-5 Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids reading parenting Kids Food kids books kids Food Family Features Family Education cookbooks children
Photo by Mike Ramm

Middle Grade Book
A Woman’s Place: The Inventors, Rumrunners, Lawbreakers, Scientists, and Single Moms Who Changed the World with Food
By: Deepi Ahluwalia
A curated group of trailblazing women who changed the world from their kitchens. Innovators, instigators and inventors, A Woman’s Place features stalwarts like Julia Child and Leah Chase, but also unsung heroes, like Georgia Gilmore whose food helped finance the Montgomery Bus Boycott. // Little, Brown and Company, $25

Westlake Legal Group Books-6 Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids reading parenting Kids Food kids books kids Food Family Features Family Education cookbooks children
Photo by Mike Ramm

Cookbook
United Tastes of America: An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State!
By: Gabrielle Langholtz
Some food for thought for that epic summer road trip. // Phaidon, $30

This post was originally published in our August 2019 issue. To get even more food stories to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly Food newsletter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

National Children’s Museum set to open its new location in DC this November

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-74 National Children’s Museum set to open its new location in DC this November Things to Do stem Science National Children's Museum museum kids family friendly Family Features Family exhibits Education
Rendering photo courtesy of National Children’s Museum

On Nov. 1, the National Children’s Museum will reopen at a new location, bringing a cornerstone the region’s kids a STEM-focused museum for the first time since the original site, Capital Children’s Museum, closed 16 years ago. Before the doors open, we spoke with museum CEO and President Crystal Bower about creating the kid-focused concept in an era driven by technology.

The museum is being billed as celebrating “modern childhood.” What does that mean?
I think that for today’s child, what they expect from a children’s museum is very different from what you and I expected at a children’s museum. They want to see things that they cannot see at home. So, if you take them into a traditional children’s museum and they are seeing the same grocery store with plastic food and items that they might actually play with at home, it’s not as engaging of an experience. We have this rule of thumb that anything that’s in the museum would not be something that you would expect to have at home. We are trying to spark imagination, spark curiosity and really inspire the children through the experience.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-82 National Children’s Museum set to open its new location in DC this November Things to Do stem Science National Children's Museum museum kids family friendly Family Features Family exhibits Education
Rendering photo courtesy of National Children’s Museum

What can families expect when they visit?
Everything that we’re doing is theme focused. We’re trying to teach STEM through the integration of the arts throughout the experience. We will be the first children’s museum that’s also a science center and a children’s museum in one. We’re really creating a full, family engagement experience. We’re trying to reach children up to the age of 12 with our learning objectives, so that this is an experience that an entire family can come and enjoy together.

Why is it important to have a children’s museum here?
Washington, right now, is the only major city in America without a children’s museum, so while we have this amazing cultural landscape of federal institutions under the Smithsonian umbrella, many of those institutions are collection space. For young learners, they’re not able to have those hands-on learning experiences that really resonate with a younger child. We also right now are the only major city without a science and technology center, so this is so incredibly important for Washington’s kids. You need a place where you’re engaging them in hands-on STEM content before they reach an age where they start to lose interest. There’s tons of research around children losing interest in STEM at the age of 12, so if you don’t hook them earlier, you miss that opportunity to inspire these young innovators. It’s vitally important that we have this space here in Washington, and we’re very excited about the opportunity of really merging the worlds of a science center and a children’s museum in one for our nation’s capital.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-92 National Children’s Museum set to open its new location in DC this November Things to Do stem Science National Children's Museum museum kids family friendly Family Features Family exhibits Education
Rendering photo courtesy of National Children’s Museum

What is the mission of National Children’s Museum?
Our mission hasn’t changed [from when it was Capital Children’s Museum]. Our mission is to inspire children to care about and change the world. We can’t really think of a better mission than that. Since our mission is to inspire these children, that’s why we believe we need to do things that are different than what they would find at home or at school or in their community center. When they go into this museum it can spark something in them that really inspires them to do something special, and makes them believe they can be innovative and do innovative things. We’re very, very excited to get our doors open for this new generation. // 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

This post was originally published in our August 2019 issue. To stay up to date with all the latest openings in the region, subscribe to our newsletters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How damaging are Biden’s gaffes?

Westlake Legal Group b-6 How damaging are Biden’s gaffes? white The Blog President poor Parkland kids Iowa gaffes biden

Pretty damaging, I think. Not now, maybe, but an outlet as mainstream and Democrat-friendly as CNN has already noticed the pace at which they’re happening, as you’ll see below. Imagine Iowans going to caucus six months from now having digested three new Biden mistakes per week every week since summer. How many undecideds will want to roll the dice on grandpa for a grueling general election campaign instead of the much sharper Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris?

The first and third errors there are self-explanatory. The middle one about Parkland is a chronological error: He wasn’t vice president when the Stoneman Douglas shooting happened.

“Note to Biden Backers: A Senescent Gaffe Machine Might Not Be the Safest Bet,” writes Eric Levitz today at New York mag:

Thus far, Biden’s Democratic rivals have been too polite to make an issue of the candidate’s increasingly conspicuous senescence. But some of his allies have been more forward; in interviews with the New York Times last month, “some of Mr. Biden’s own donors” evinced “significant unease about Mr. Biden’s ability to be a reliably crisp and effective messenger against Mr. Trump.

”Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has already demonstrated that it can and will work to disqualify Biden, one gaffe at a time. The most widely shared clip of Biden’s “poor kids” slip-up on progressive Twitter Thursday night was packaged by the president’s official rapid-response director. On Saturday, Trump himself called out Biden’s “truth over facts” flub…

None of [the other] candidates inspire euphemistic whispers about whether they’ve “lost a step.”

It is true, as David Axelrod noted a few days ago, that putting his foot in his mouth isn’t a habit Biden acquired in old age. His best defense to whispers about senility would be to note, accurately, that he’s been saying dumb sh*t for decades. But it’s also true that, a la 2016, Democrats might be on the brink of nominating someone uniquely ill-equipped to prosecute the case against Trump. Trump ran on a populist “drain the swamp” message in 2016, to which Dem voters responded by nominating … one of the swampiest, most unpopular figures in their party. Biden’s long track record in Washington would give Trump’s populist message some renewed vitality, allowing a sitting president to potentially run as an “outsider” a second time, but more importantly the concerns about his age would help neutralize voters’ concerns about Trump’s own fitness for office. It should be easy to run against a guy who amplifies something like this after a federal prisoner dies in the custody of his own Justice Department, as Trump did by retweeting it on Saturday afternoon…

…but if Trump gets through four years with a strong economy and without starting any wars, lots of voters will rationalize the tweets by telling themselves they’re just a sort of harmless release valve for him where he can indulge his inner crank without hurting anyone. Meanwhile, Team Trump will magnify every errant word out of Biden’s mouth in order to redirect attacks on Trump’s fitness back at Democrats: “You say our guy’s a mental defective? *Your* guy’s the real mental defective.” Righties already ran a variation of that strategy in 2016, in fact, by cutting and circulating viral clips every time Hillary had a coughing fit. The Trump approach then and now isn’t so much to sell the electorate on his strengths as to present him as the lesser of two evils to swing voters, no less fit for office — physically and morally — than the competition.

Biden could end up making that easy for them. One truly bad gaffe in a big spot next year that can’t easily be explained away as a simple verbal flub might raise enough doubts in voters’ minds as to tilt undecideds towards Trump. “We survived four years with him in charge, we can survive eight. The other guy seems not to know where he is anymore.”

All of which explains why Biden’s Democratic opponents will inevitably start raising this as an issue this fall, however much they may have to talk around the subject of his age. One candidate already did so at the first debate, in fact, and ironically he’s the one candidate who’s since dropped out of the race.

The two pillars of Biden’s campaign are his support among black voters as Obama’s VP and his perceived electability, a metric in which he continues to utterly crush the field in polling. Kamala Harris tried to knock down the first pillar in the first debate by attacking Biden on busing and succeeded in getting some of those black voters to waver for awhile, but at last check they were back on Team Joe. The obvious move now is to try to knock down the second pillar, and one equally obvious way to do it is to suggest that Biden doesn’t have the, ahem, “stamina” to endure 15 more months on the trail, especially against an opponent as nasty as Trump. Dem voters prefer him right now because they know that he’s polling better against POTUS than anyone else. Seed some doubt in their minds about whether that trend would hold after 100 more gaffes that call Biden’s mental acuity into question and they’ll start to soften up.

I’ll leave you with this:

One aunt said something my mother said to me nearly a year ago. That it’s going to take a white man to straighten out the mess we’re in. “The way the system is set up now, there is so much racism that it’s going to have to be an old white person to go after an old white person,” my aunt told me. “Old-school against old-school.” She talked further about what this meant for younger candidates such as Buttigieg. “The whole world is in a crazy state, and somebody’s gotta put it back in order. And I think a lot of the young people who want to put it back in order, want to change it completely,” she continued. “But first, you’ve got to put it back in order before you can start changing it.”

Which way does that cut? Is an experienced old white guy still the best bet for Dem voters even if he’s “lost a step,” or does the perception that he’s lost a step start to shake Dems’ faith in Biden’s ability put the world “back in order”?

Update: No sooner did I finish this post than this clip (from CNN again) began making the rounds. Harris isn’t ready to accuse Grandpa Joe of having lost a step. Yet.

The post How damaging are Biden’s gaffes? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group b-6-300x159 How damaging are Biden’s gaffes? white The Blog President poor Parkland kids Iowa gaffes biden   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

10 tips for eating at restaurants with kids in tow

Westlake Legal Group Dining-with-Kids-Feature 10 tips for eating at restaurants with kids in tow restaurants Parenting Tips kids Food family friendly Family Features Family children
© goodluz / stock.adobe.com

Our restaurant critic, Stefanie Gans, has two young children (who, thanks to her career, love seaweed salad and other surprising dishes). Here, Gans shares 10 insider tips and tricks for eating in public with your kids.

1) Hank’s Oyster Bar gives out bowls of Goldfish crackers as soon as you sit down. // 1026 King St., Alexandria (plus DC location) 

2) Don’t underestimate children’s sense of adventure in eating. Always offer everything on the table. You’d be surprised at what they like: seaweed salad, sashimi, (Takumi has sweet, friendly service), fried Brussels sprouts, chana masala or the spectacle of a whole fish deboned table-side (Nostos). // Takumi: 310 S. Washington St., Falls Church; Nostos: 8100 Boone Blvd., Vienna

3) Catch on the Ave features build-your-own bento boxes on the kids’ menu. // 2419 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

4) Take walks between courses, outside if possible. Bathroom trips count.

5) Bring your own water bottle to prevent spills (and refuse single-use plastics).

6) While family dining can get hectic—and kids feed off each other’s tendencies to go bonkers—one-on-one dates with those as young as three are not only adorable, but doable. It’s a good moment, especially, to give attention to an older sibling with a new baby in the family. Use this solo spotlight to push culinary boundaries while children are glowing with attention. Of course, pack books, crayons and other quiet toys.

7) Eat outside, if possible. The backyard garden patio at L’Auberge Chez Francois is especially charming and can introduce refined French fare. Snails, anyone? // 332 Springvale Road, Great Falls

8) Try an Ethiopian restaurant (Enatye) and teach kids how to tear pieces of injera and scoop up split peas, carrots and slow-cooked meats. Rememer: Food is fun. // 275 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon

9) Introduce kids to restaurants early. The more they dine, they better they behave. Or, at least they know how they should behave.

10) Kids are people and they have a right to eat at restaurants, too. Sure, they’re messy, loud and don’t always/never listen, but they deserve a night out, just like we do.

This post was originally published in our August 2019 issue. Interested in more food content? Subscribe to our monthly print magazine and weekly e-newsletter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Local 15-year-old Alana Andrews is on a mission to inspire self-confidence in others

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-71 Local 15-year-old Alana Andrews is on a mission to inspire self-confidence in others Profiles kids Family Culture Features Culture Community author Alana Andrews
Photo by Robert Merhaut

Alana Andrews was just 7 years old when Oprah Winfrey aired her last episode, but if Ms. Winfrey’s motivational hour was still on the air today, it’s a pretty good hunch that Alana would have been a shoe-in to sit on her couch.

A rising sophomore, Alana is a motivational speaker who has already authored two books, runs a mentorship program for fifth graders and is readying a winter product launch—an all-natural sports drink aimed at kids—all under the umbrella of her company, So Positive.

“So Positive develops products to help teens create the self-confidence they need in order to achieve greatness while pursuing their goals in life,” says Alana, of her company’s mission. “I’ve always grown up in a really positive household. My parents have always taught me the importance of self-confidence and positivity, but I noticed at a young age that a lot of my peers did not have a high level of self-confidence like I did. I realized what that can lead to … and the negative results that can lead to. I wanted to create a company that can help my peers.”

Her talent for public speaking has led to a number of high-profile local speaking engagements. Last year, for example, she spoke at the Northern Virginia Women’s Business Conference, the state’s largest women’s business conference, and she’s on the lineup again for this December. This winter, she’ll also serve as an ambassador for the B.O.L.D. Conference (formerly the Young Women Business Leadership Conference) at Harvard University.

As part of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she developed her business plan for Swey, an all-natural sports drink she plans to take to market this winter. The idea for the drink, she says, was born when she was looking for a healthy way to replenish herself after exercising. But, says Alana, all the sports drinks were targeted to adults and had too many artificial ingredients in them.

Alana still has three more years of high school ahead of her, but she’s already got plans well into adulthood. She wants to attend Stanford University for both her bachelor’s and master’s in international business before heading to Oxford University for her Ph.D.

As for So Positive, “I want to continue what I’m doing right now, which is owning my own company,” she says. “I really do see So Positive becoming a household brand name. I really do see it becoming a huge company and that is what I’m working on developing now.”

She’s already got her third book in the works (a collection of interviews with “strong, independent women”) and has her eye on launching a line of professional clothing for Generation Z.

Forget that missed opportunity on Oprah. It seems like the premiere of The Alana Andrews Show is only a matter of time.

This post originally appeared in our August 2019 print issue. For more profiles on inspiring NoVA notables, subscribe to our newsletters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Before summer ends, take a spin on these 5 carousels

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-42 Before summer ends, take a spin on these 5 carousels Things to Do Features Things to Do summer fun rides parks kids kid-friendly family friendly children carousels August attractions
The carousel on the National Mall is a popular attraction for families, but options also abound in NoVA. (Photo by Casey McAdams, Smithsonian)

August might be the month when summer plans slow down as families start to prep for the school year, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Amusement rides are staples of summer and carousels are a classic example. Pony up to these five merry-go-rounds before they close for the season.

Lee District Park
The newest addition to the NoVA carousel family offers the most inclusive ride yet. Opened in July 2017, the carousel at Lee District Park has benches that move vertically to ensure children of all abilities get the full experience. The carousel includes traditional horses and animals native to the Chesapeake Bay. // 6601 Telegraph Road, Alexandria; $2-$3; open daily until Sept. 3

Burke Lake Park
Head over to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax for a relaxing day, and take a ride on the colorful carousel. Children younger than 2 get to ride for free; parents who ride with their children need to buy a ticket. The carousel may have a vintage look, but it’s sure to provide plenty of fun for the kids. // 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station; $0-$3; open daily until Sept. 2

Frying Pan Farm Park
Gallop back in time to a century ago on the Frying Pan Farm Park carousel. It underwent an extensive restoration last year, and now the circa-1920s Hirschhorn carousel is back open and ready to go for a spin. // 2739 West Ox Road, Herndon; $2-$3; open daily through November

Lake Fairfax Park
Spend the day on a lake with a skate park, trails, campgrounds and, of course, a carousel. Go for a round of rides on the carousel at Lake Fairfax Park. Little ones will love going round and round on this small lakeside attraction. // Lake Fairfax Park: 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston; $2-$3; open daily until Sept. 2

The Carousel on the National Mall
Head into DC for one last summer hurrah and step right up to The Carousel on the National Mall. The large carousel—there are 60 horses total—is popular among tourists and locals alike taking a break from Smithsonian sightseeing. There are plenty of horses to choose from, but it’s the sea dragon that is always the first to be claimed. // 867-919 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC; $3.50

This post originally appeared in our August 2019 print issue. Want to stay up to date on all of the best places to visit this summer? Subscribe to our biweekly Things to Do Newsletter. 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How 12-year-old Skylar Raiyn Johnson became a NoVA-based fashion designer

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-13 How 12-year-old Skylar Raiyn Johnson became a NoVA-based fashion designer young entrepreneur style shopping Profiles kids fashion design Family entrepreneur design
Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

When Skylar Raiyn Johnson was “early 8” as she describes her age, she was watching a kids show on television where the main character was upcycling her clothes. Skylar was fascinated by the idea that she could take old clothes from her closet and turn them into something even better. “I had a size 3T Donna Karan dress in my closet,” she recalls. “It was way too small, but we had it because it was a Donna Karan dress, so I cut that and made it into a skirt.”

Her mom recognized her potential talent and enrolled Skylar in private sewing lessons. Turns out, she was a natural seamstress. “By my third lesson, I pretty much knew most of the ropes,” says Skylar. “My sewing teacher even said she could tell by my hand movements that I was a seamstress.”

Her sewing quickly went from a hobby to designing custom pieces for high-profile, local clients. Phyllis Randall, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chairwoman, wore one of her designs (white wide-leg pants and a purple satin shirt) to deliver the State of the County address in 2018, and she created a one-of-kind red dress for Reston Limousine CEO Kristina Bouweiri, who wore the design to the Sterling Women 10th Anniversary Luncheon last summer.

This spring, Skylar officially launched her clothing business with sewflysky.com, a website where clients can connect with her for custom designs, sign up for sewing lessons and, coming soon, she’ll have ready-to-wear designs available in her online boutique. In April, she was also honored by the Northern Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Club with their Young Entrepreneur Award 2019. She was also the winner of the “Make it in Wool, Virginia” design contest last fall for her one-piece gray jumpsuit.

Still in middle school, Skylar already has her sights set on attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in California for college. Given her early success, an acceptance letter can’t be far behind.

This post originally appeared in our August 2019 print issue. Want to know all about NoVA locals who are doing cool things in the community? Subscribe to our e-newsletters.  

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District

Westlake Legal Group So-Chic-FEATURE Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Photo courtesy of Wee Chic

When Bridget Quinn Strickline had her first child, she started searching for durable-yet-cute clothing to dress her newborn in.

As a longtime professional retail buyer, she knew what she wanted, but felt she couldn’t find what she had in mind all in one place. So she left her buying job with a well-known women’s brand and opened Wee Chic 10 years ago in Baltimore.

This past March, she brought the popular store to Mosaic District. The store stocks clothing from newborn to 8 years old for boys, and all the way up to 16 years old for girls, as well as plenty of gifts, books and accessories.

With everything she carries, she strives to keep it relatively affordable and environmentally friendly.

“I’m not spending $400 on a dress, I’m just not going to do it,” says Strickline. “But I will spend a bit more on play clothes that wear better and that are made responsibly that I can consign on the other end. [I want the clothes I carry] to have more life to them and not end up in a landfill.”

Here, she gives us a sneak peek of what you’ll find in the store for back-to-school season.  // Wee Chic: 2905 District Ave., Suite 120, Fairfax

Westlake Legal Group dinasour-sweatshirt Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Hatley dino sweater, $48
Westlake Legal Group hoody-coverall Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Toobydoo broad stripe fleece hoody coverall, $68
Westlake Legal Group rainbow-hatley-tee Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Rainbow Hatley tee, $28
Westlake Legal Group buffalo-plaid-hatley-coat Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Buffalo plaid Hatley coat, $94
Westlake Legal Group feather-detail-dress Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Toobydoo feather detail dress, $78
Westlake Legal Group rainbow-hat Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Hatley rainbow baseball hat, $30
Westlake Legal Group egg-baby-fawn-coverall Wee Chic opens Virginia outpost in Fairfax’s Mosaic District shopping parenting mosaic district kids clothing kids family friendly Family fairfax clothing
Egg Baby fawn coverall, $68

This post originally appeared in our August 2019 issue. For more style and family content, subscribe to our newsletters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com