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Things To Do in Fredericksburg This Weekend

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 9, 2015

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Fredericksburg.com shows a calendar full of great events taking place this weekend in the Fredericksburg area.  Here are just some of the events we thought you might like.

 

1) “Selfies” Art Exhibit

Now – March 1, 2015

For more information visit brushstrokesfredericksburg.com

 

2) Horseback Riding for Beginners

Saturdays 10-11am

Ever wanted to take up horseback riding?  Here’s your chance!  These are hands on classes that teach all the grooming skills, tacking techniques, general ground manners and care and riding.Lessons will expose the student to the full range of requirements for safely enjoying the horse and deciding if they wish to continue to master the ride. Class is six weeks. Shoe or boot with a heel is needed. Pre-registration required.

Location: White Buffalo Horse Farm.  Click here for more information

 

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3) Performance: The Drunken City

The University at Mary Washington, Repeats every day until Sunday, February 22, 2015 starting at 12:00 AM.

Performance, The Drunken City; duPont Hall, Klein Theatre; Feb. 12-14, Feb. 19-21 at 8 p.m., Feb. 15, 21, 22 at 2 p.m.; AfterWords discussion following the 2 p.m. performance on Feb. 15; $12 for general admission; (540) 654-1111

 

4) Model Trains Exhibit

National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle. Repeats every day until Sunday, February 15, 2015, all day.

All Aboard!! The National Capital Trackers “O-Gauge Train Club” will have their steam, electric, and diesel engines from the early 20th Century to modern day chugging down the track.  Free admission, free parking. For more information, call 703 784-4463. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway Triangle, VA 2217

For more information visit: http://www.usmcmuseum.org

 

5) Railroad Museum and Train Rides

Free Event at Rapahannock Railway Workers Museum, Fredericksburg. Saturday, February 14th starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 12:00 PM EST.

Spend Saturday reliving history at the Railroad Museum.  Located in Spotsylvania Business Park accross from the Fairgrounds and near Shannon Airport.  See th tools and equipment used to build and maintain the railroads.  Sit in the seats of the restored cabooses and weather permitting step aboard the restored maintenance of way train for an open air excursion out of the business park and along Deep Run.  Museum is open every Saturday morning from 9AM to noon and train rides conducted when weather and commercial rail operations permit.
Rapahannock Railway Workers Museum 11700 Main St Fredericksburg, VA 22408

 

Holiday 2014 Schedule

Categories: Blog | Posted: November 26, 2014

In observance of the upcoming holiday, our sales offices at our communities in Richmond, Apex, Wake Forest, and Roanoke will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  We will reopen for normal hours on Friday, November 28, 2014.

For more information on your next home at one of our communities in Virginia and North Carolina, give us a call!

Villas at Magnolia Lakes – (804) 726-4310

Villas at Wake Forest – (919) 569-0043

Orchard Villas Apex – (919) 267-6701

Orchard Villas Roanoke – (540) 330-7787

6 Reasons to Come Live in a Cornerstone Community!

Categories: Blog | Posted: November 19, 2014

Are you on the fence about moving to an active adult community? It is a big decision, one that will affect not just WHERE you live, but HOW you live. After so many years of taking care of everyone else, now it’s all about you. So why not enjoy yourself! You’ve earned it!

There are countless benefits to the active adult lifestyle in a Cornerstone community. Here are a few of our favorites:

1) There’s always something to do!

At Cornerstone Homes, we celebrate the “active” in active adult community. From the incredible amenities we offer, to the beautiful locations we choose for our neighborhoods, we foster a relaxed and active lifestyle. You can choose among so many activities… Go on day trips. Meet for coffee. Take a yoga class. Go fishing. Have a swim. We take pride in having an entire world of activities right outside your door.

 

2) Location, location, location!

Part of simplifying your life is living in a great location that’s near your grandkids, your doctors, your bank, and anything else that’s vital. Cornerstone communities are located near health centers, golf courses, and shopping centers, so you won’t waste your time traveling long distances. Cornerstone chooses lovely areas, with picturesque natural amenities, close to vibrant cities and attractions, so you’re a short trip from museums and theatres, and sports arenas.

 

3) A sense of community!

No matter which Cornerstone home you choose to live in, no matter what amenities you choose to take advantage of, one of the most wonderful benefits we offer is a true sense of community. Our neighborhoods are designed to foster close-knit relationships. From meetings to classes, clubs to teams, you’ll run into your new neighbors all over the place. Before you know it, you’ll have your very own circle of friends!

 

4) It’s time for you!

You’ve raised your kids, worked the long hours, and saved for your golden years. Now is the time to enjoy it. Cornerstone gives you a life where you are free to do whatever you want – whether it’s traveling, enjoying your family, or pursuing your hobbies. Our communities are Lock and Leave, so you can travel for months and know that your home is safe. Spoil yourself – you’ve earned it!

 

 5) Safety & security

We want Cornerstone residents to feel safe and secure in their new homes and community. To that end, our neighbors know one another and look out for each other, and look out for each other. All of our homes have attached 2-car garages with remotes for safe and easy access. Our communities are designed with sidewalks and streetlights, and no “drive-thru” traffic. Our maintenance crews take care of yard work and home maintenance so that you are never at risk atop a ladder or wielding power tools.

 

 6) A brand new maintenance-free home!

After years of taking care of an older home, embrace the pleasures of new construction! Cornerstone homes are brand new, energy efficient, single -story, and maintenance free! From the innovative designs to the quality construction, the energy efficiency to the warranties, a Cornerstone home is a great value. Not only does this leave you more time to do the things you want, it helps control your monthly costs. (Not a bad thing if you’re on a fixed budget!)

 

10 Things to Do in Fredericksburg This Weekend

Categories: Blog | Posted: October 17, 2014

Fall.  Virginia.  Fredericksburg this weekend.  Those words go together when you’re looking to get out and about during the weekend.  While Virginia has no shortage of things to do (click here for the Best of Richmond), this weekend is shaping up to have quite the array of activity in the Fredericksburg area.  There are always things to do in Fredericksburg!

fredericksburg.com recently published their 10 things to do around town, and we happen to agree.

 

1) Fredericksburg Brewfest

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For the single cost of a ticket to the event, attendees can get unlimited samples from the following Virginia Craft Breweries: Devil’s Backbone, Starr Hill, Blue Mountain, St. George, Parkway Brewing, Heritage Brewing, Hardywood Park, Old Bust Head, and local ones including Rusty Beaver Brewery and Blue & Gray Brewing Co.

For more information, visit fredbrewfest.com

 

2) Wings and Wheels Festival

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Cool, crisp October air gives a lift to this wonderful Fly-in and Air Show! The Wings and Wheels Festival gates officially open at 10:00 am. Proceeds from the Wings and Wheels Festival benefit many community organizations and programs like the Dictionary Project, which provides every 3rd grade student in Stafford County a dictionary free of charge and scholarships to graduation Stafford high school seniors.

Vendors will be available with a variety of crafts, jewelry, activities for children, delicious food and beverages.  Regional non-profit organizations will also display their programs and activities. There will be a food tent and on-site restroom facilities. Attendees are encouraged to bring their folding chairs for the demonstrations.

For more information, visit http://stafford350.com/index.aspx?nid=130

 

3) Bowling Green’s Harvest Festival

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Featuring music, crafts, a beer garden, food, and fun for the whole family!

For more information, click here

 

4) Tribute to Leonard Bernstein

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Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, will join the UMW Philharmonic to narrate “A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein” this Saturday evening at Dodd Auditorium on the University of Mary Washington campus. The performance kicks off the UMW Philharmonic’s 44th season, appropriately dubbed “Tribute to the Masters.”

 

5) Stafford County Agricultural and Homemaking Fair

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The fair begins Friday and goes through Sunday and promises rides, a garden tractor pull, a demolition derby. Admission is free.

 

6) Fall River Cleanup

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This Family-friendly event, organized by Friends of the Rappahannock,  cleans trash and debris out of the river, streams and nearby lands. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Call 540-373-3448 to help out!

 

7) Medical Living History Event

11am – 4pm See a free medical reenactment from the Cival War period, featuring re-enactors John Pelletier and Doc Wheat.  In period attire, there will be presentations on medicine, treatments and surgical practices of the Civil War.

For more information, visit http://owb.org/ellwood

 

8) Spooky Stories by the Shore

At Motts Run Reservoir, 6600 River Road. Walk a trail of spooks and spiders to the shore for hot chocolate, marshmallow roasting and spooky stories. Bring a flashlight and a blanket. 6:30-8 p.m Friday $5. Minimum age: 5. Rain date: Oct. 18. Registration required. Tickets available at Dorothy Hart Community Center. 540-372-1086.

 

9) Creepy Crawly Carnival

Creepy Crawly Carnival, Massad YMCA, 212 Butler Road, Fredericksburg. Crafts, games, treats and costume contest, Extreme Obstacle Course, Haunted House and Haunted Trail Ride. 7-9 p.m Saturday. $6 per person or $20 family (up to four). 540/371-9622

 

10) Community Appreciation Day

Love you community?  We do too!  Come to the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds at 2400 Airport Ave.

This free event will feature live music, food, a gyrosphere, moon bounces, barrel train rides, classic cars, monster truck rides. Sponsored by Rappahannock United Way. Noon to 5 p.m Sunday. 540-373-0054.

Organizing Your Garage – Ideas, Tips & More!

Categories: Blog | Posted: September 15, 2014

Downsizing and decluttering your home may seem like a project, but by using your garage as storage you’ll find even more living space can be available to you.  There are even options to use your garage for storage space while still housing your vehicle(s).  Many Cornerstone Home models include a garage, so here are some ideas when organizing your extra space.

 

garageInstall Cabinets in Your Garage

Cabinets aren’t just for your kitchen and bathroom. Garage cabinets keep tools, cleaning supplies, and off-season items organized and out of sight. Create zones by grouping items by category, project, or activity, and designate a specific cabinet or cabinet shelf to store them. This will help maintain order in your garage and ensure that everything has a permanent home. Organize frequently used items in cabinets and drawers that are easiest to reach. Take special care to store items such as cleaning supplies, paints, and motor oil in a cool, dry place out of reach of children and pets.

Tip: Storage labels are a foolproof way to sort, date, and locate items in your garage. These chalkboard garage storage cabinets make it easy to label and re-label contents.

 

Keep Items in Sight

Reclaim garage space by organizing items in plain sight. Small open-storage units are ideal for organizing often-used items such as sports equipment and kids’ toys. Varying sizes of open containers let you tailor storage to your garage and your belongings.

 

garageSave Space with Hanging Storage

If you lack floor space, look to your garage’s walls and ceiling to store more. Adjustable shelves give you the flexibility to organize in a way that’s efficient for your family’s evolving storage needs. Transparent rubber tubs stack neatly on shelves to maximize storage space and make supplies easy to spot. Rubber tubs are also an economical way to organize clutter, especially if your garage tends to get damp.

Consider hanging your belongings on hooks if you want them out of the way but easy to access. Hooks are an excellent solution for tools with long handles and large seasonal items such as bikes, lawn chairs, and sleds. A pegboard is an easy, inexpensive garage storage solution for organizing small tools in one convenient location. Install a pegboard above a table or potting bench to transform a small space into a simple garage workstation.

 

Enlist Mobile Helpers

Rolling carts, cabinets, and bins are easy to maneuver through the garage. Store lawn, garden, trash, and recycling bins near the garage door so they can easily move to the curb for collection or into the yard for outdoor projects.

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Tailor Your Needs

While many garages have common storage needs, garage storage isn’t one-size-fits-all. Customize your garage with a storage system to suit your budget, lifestyle, and stuff. Units that offer both open and closed storage are excellent for the garage. Reserve prime, easy-access space for most-used items, and stow seasonal and seldom-used items on high shelves or overhead.

 

Get more home improvement projects and ideas from Better Homes and Gardens here.

 

Furniture Arrangement: 7 Quick Tips

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 27, 2014

Whether you’re trying to maximize your space or provide a more creative touch to the furniture arrangement around the house, you probably know there are many directions a “project” like this can take.  Luckily the experts have us all covered!  The folks at HGTV.com recently posted the following 7 helpful tips to keep in mind when re-arranging furniture.  It’s actually not all about feng shui!

Keep the following in mind when you decide for a different spin on furniture arrangement:

1-furniture-arrangement-measuring-tape1) Get out the measuring tape.

The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of a room. Or, a quick tip: Measure your foot and then walk heel to toe across the room. This is an easy way to estimate the basic size. Then, check the dimensions of the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the eternal challenge for a homeowner, being sure the entrance and egress of the room are large enough for potential purchases.

The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of a room. Or, a quick tip: Measure your foot and then walk heel to toe across the room. This is an easy way to estimate the basic size. Then, check the dimensions of the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the eternal challenge for a homeowner, being sure the entrance and egress of the room are large enough for potential purchases.

 

2-furniture-arrangements-mix-furnshing-sizes2) Mix furnishings of various sizes.

Every object has a height, depth and width. To add visual interest to any space, incorporate a variety of furniture with different characteristics. If you’re going for a serene, unchallenging area for rest or recovery, keep the furnishing volumes in a room similar. This rustic living space from HGTV Dream Home 2011 uses an extra-large sectional with small armchairs and side tables to create an energetic space with various volumes.

 

3-furniture-arrangements-scaled-balance3) Use scaled pieces to create balance.

The size of pieces relative to one another and the size of the space is their scale. Similarly scaled pieces are more serene when used together, but a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities of height, depth and width throughout a room. When furnishings are out of scale, you’ll notice that it just won’t feel comfortable or right.

 

4-furniture-arrangements-healthy-relationship4) Form a healthy relationship.

The relationship of items to one another to form a pleasing whole is called balance. There are two forms of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Bilateral symmetry is like the human body: There are two of everything. Asymmetry refers to an imbalance, such as two candles of slightly different sizes next to each other. Symmetry is very restful, while asymmetry is used to add visual motion and excitement.

 

5-furniture-arrangements-artist-perspective5) Use an artist’s perspective.

Look at your space as a painter looks at a work of art. There are visual tricks that painters use to create the appearance of depth in a space. You can use these tools, too. 
The first trick painters use is “triangulation.” In interior design, triangulation is the placement of two end tables on either side of a sofa with a painting above the sofa. If you can imagine this scenario, it is lower on the corners with the apex of the view just above midcenter at the top of the painting.

 

6-furniture-arrangement-artwork6) Create depth in artwork.

The second trick painters use is the creation of depth in artwork, which is a two-dimensional medium. Paintings often have a foreground, midground, background and vanishing point. Stand at the threshold of your room. Place a chair, perhaps at an angle, in the foreground closest to you. The cocktail table will provide a midground and the sofa with the wall behind it will serve as the background. A window in the scene will give you your vanishing point. Or, the vanishing point can be within a work of art placed above the sofa.

 

7-furniture-arrangement-gestalt7) Think Gestalt.

All furniture arrangements have a certain gestalt, or “totality,” a “form.” Large rectangular spaces can be dealt with by dividing the “form” of the space into another form. A long, narrow living space, for instance, can be split in two by creating zones of function. Say, one half is for the sofa, or the function of conversing, and the other half is for a dining set, or the function of dining. This helps you take the bite out of large rectangular rooms by dividing them into squares according to their function. Humans tend to feel more comfortable and less formal in square furniture arrangements versus rectangular.

 

Have anything to add?  Let us know in the comments!

It’s Time To Consider Right-Sizing Your Life!

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 21, 2014

You’ve been having a nagging feeling. You look around your once bustling home and wonder, “Do I really need all of this?” The reality is that you can’t remember the last time you actually set foot in some of your rooms. And your grown kids don’t want all the stuff they left behind. As you begin to sort through closets and de-clutter rooms, you’re on the path to right-sizing your life.

right-sizingRight-sizing is the concept of taking what you have, and making better use of it. It is taking stock of what you have, and figuring out what you actually need. The right-sizing movement has been growing as Baby Boomers figure out how they want to spend the next decade or two (or three!). They’ve discovered that paring down a lifetime of possessions and beginning a “new” life with things that have meaning liberates them so that they can pursue their passions such as travel or hobbies without the responsibilities of too much “stuff” weighing them down.

In the case of many 55+ adults, right-sizing leads to downsizing. Once they’ve pared down their belongings and reflected on what they really want, many decide to move to a smaller home, often in an active adult lifestyle community from Cornerstone Homes! Our Villas at Magnolia Lakes community is perfect for people who’ve decided to simplify their lives! Here you can focus on enjoying life more – without the hassles and expenses of a big house and yard. At the Villas at Magnolia Lakes, our homeowners have chosen to live worry-free and joy-filled; to live every day like it’s a vacation.

So what do you do with all of your time? Anything you want! Spend your days cooling off poolside or watching sports on TV on the outdoor Lanai. The community is graced with the natural beauty of a lake, just waiting for you to throw in a line! The Clubhouse, complete with a kitchen, fitness center and fireplace, is the perfect place to meet up with neighbors and friends. At the Villas, it is so easy to make new friends and have fun. And there is always something going on.

The Villas at Magnolia Lakes has a neighborly atmosphere, as well as easy living, single story, maintenance-free homes that are specially designed with an active lifestyle in mind. Our two- and three-bedroom homes offer charming and spacious living for an exceptional value.

Once you’re ready for the good life at the Villas at Magnolia Lakes, you may still need to sell your current home first. No problem. We’ve thought of everything! Cornerstone Homes’ exclusive Own A Villa program is designed to make the transition to your new lifestyle easy and virtually painless. The program covers preparing your home for sale, selling your home, securing your financing, and organizing your move. The Own A Villa program also includes discounted fees and services from our team of experts. With our 5 easy steps, you’ll be enjoying the freedom you’re dreaming of in no time!

So, think things over and right-size your life by moving to the Villas at Magnolia Lakes.

The Best of Richmond

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 14, 2014

Whether you are moving to Richmond, VA or have lived in the area for quite some time, you may want to experience what the best of Richmond has to offer. From sugary snacks to shopping and events, our river city really has it all. No wonder Richmond was recently voted the happiest city in the country by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research!

Browse our homes for sale in Richmond, VA here

Keep reading for what we think is the best of Richmond has to offer. Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

 

best of richmondBest Beach, The Outer Banks (OBX)

While Virginia Beach ranks high on most Virginian’s list due to its close proximity, it’s the oceans of North Carolina that appeal most to those in the Richmond area. A 3 hour drive for most in the area, the slightly extended car ride is worth it for the appeal that is the Outer Banks (or as we call it, the OBX). Close beaches in the Outer Banks area include Kill Devil Hills, Ocracoke, and Duck. Great weather, bars, dining, and activities for the entire family make this area of North Carolina a “must visit”. Be sure to check out the Wright Brother’s Memorial and Jockey’s Ridge – even in the Fall and Spring. These beaches are ideal for a vacation hot spot year-round.

 

best of richmondBest Donut Shop, Sugar Shack

Opened in June of 2013, Richmond’s Sugar Shack Donuts is located downtown and has become one of the most popular local dessert shops in the area. While there may be lines out the door now for their delicious specialty donuts like “Baby Ruth Style” and the popular “Maple Bacon” (trust us, it works – and is amazing), the local business is expanding to additional locations to meet the demand. They are also well-liked for their coffee – brewed fresh on-site.  For regular updates visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SugarShackDonuts

 

best of richmondBest Winery, James River Cellars

The lush landscape and solid air of Virginia make vineyards across the state plentiful. The Charlottesville, Virginia area alone features numerous wineries – including a winery owned by famous native Dave Matthews. Cooper Vineyards is the closest winery in Charlottesville to the Richmond area, and has an annual “Blessing of the Animals” which is beautiful and serene to take part of with your pets. The close proximity of Charlottesville wineries make it possible to see multiple vineyards in a day through wine tours.

Closer to the Richmond area is James River Cellars Winery, located in Ashland, Virginia. Family-owned and operated, James River City Cellars is pet friendly, and open 7 days a week for wine tastings. Learn more at www.jamesrivercellars.com.

 

best of richmondBest Weekend Getaway, Washington DC

One of the many benefits of being a Richmonder is your ability to make a day, or weekend, trip to our nation’s capitol – Washington DC. Only a 90-120 minute drive north, you can experience most of the “musts” in DC in a single weekend stay. A bonus for making DC great for a quick getaway is that most exhibits and monuments are free admission – so it won’t cost you anything to see the National Gallery of Art, walk through the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, or see the expansive zoo and collections of the Smithsonian.

 

best of richmondBest Brewery, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

In recent years, Virginia law allowed establishments to sell beer for on-site and off-site sales. SB-604 led to an explosion of startup breweries making some of the most innovative beer blends in the country – and the world. While Legends brewery is the oldest, celebrating their 20th year in 2014, we recommend Hardywood as a must-visit. Famous for their renowned Gingerbread Stout — available each November and December, Hardywood’s location in Scott’s Addition in Richmond is worth the weekend visit to hear live music, enjoy innovative local food trucks, or just have one of their beers. Other close breweries in the area include Strangeways, Center of The Universe, Legends, and Isley just to name a few. Like our wineries, it’s easy to see multiple breweries in a day through an organized tour. If a visit or tour isn’t something you’re into, most grocery stores in the area stock locally brewed ales.

 

best of richmondBest Golf Course

Hitting the putting greens in Richmond?  You have a wide range of links in and around the area to choose from.  According to Golf Digest Magazine, Virginia is home to one of the top 100 golf courses – Kinloch GC in Manakin-Sabot. If you’re interested in staying closer to city limits, The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond features a beautiful view of the James River and also ranks high on several golf afficianado lists.

 

best of richmondBest Summer Event, The Watermelon Festival

Weekends in Richmond during the Summer always have something fun to do. The Vegetarian Festival, Wine Festival, and the local’s favorite – The Watermelon Festival. Hosted in Carytown, the event draws 115,000 people who reportedly consume 3000(!) watermelons during the 8 hour fruit celebration. The festival also features local exhibitors and live music throughout the day.

 

Best Fall Event, St. Benedict’s Oktoberfestbest of richmond

Germany has Oktoberfest and Richmond OKTOBERFEST. Started in 2005, St. Benedict’s Parish located in the heart of the “museum district” downtown is host to one of the greatest Oktoberfest celebrations in the state of Virginia. German music, games, drinks and food make this family-friendly event the must October event celebration to attend. Other area Oktoberfest celebrations are held in Shockoe Bottom in downtown Richmond, and at area Capital Ale House locations.

Another Fall festival worth mentioning on any best of Richmond list is the Richmond Folk Festival.  Drawing folk music fans from around the country, this annual weekend celebration features multiple areas of music, food, and experiences with folk music and art.

 

best of richmondBest Spring Event, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

As the Winter weather leaves Richmond, the outdoors shine in full bloom. Whether you see our dogwoods start to bloom, or visit one of our multiple area well-maintained state parks, there is definitely no shortage of Spring activity. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens is one of the most-visited attractions in Richmond. Featuring multiple “themed” gardens, beginning each Spring you can really see the garden come alive. One of the biggest events in the Spring at Lewis Ginter is “Butterflies Live!”, showcasing beautiful species of butterflies exhibited in and around the garden area.

 

best of richmondBest Shopping, Short Pump Town Center

Located on Broad Street, which stretches from Richmond through Louisa, one of Richmond’s newest mall is an outdoor mall with some of the best shopping in the area. Short Pump has an Apple Store, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom, Kate Spade, Brookstone, and MANY more. For a complete store list visit: http://www.shortpumpmall.com/directory

 

best of richmondIf you’re looking for more of an independent and locally owned shopping experience, Carytown is where to go. Although there are familiar national shops like Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt (which corporate is based out of Richmond), you’ll find many locally owned favorites – some which have been around for decades. Carytown Cupcakes, For The Love of Chocolate, along with consignment stores and antique clothing shops make up this one-way introduction of downtown Richmond. If you’re looking to grab a bite while you’re out, visit Can Can for French food with a view or go to the new wave 50s diner experience at Galaxy Diner.

Who Can Afford to Travel in Retirement? You Can – Here’s How

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 11, 2014

travel

Travel is one of the two most popular retirement goals, along with spending more time with family and friends, according to a Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report released in December 2013. Seventy percent of Americans feel travel is worth saving for, and 47 percent regard it as a necessity rather than a luxury. However, only 18 percent have factored travel into their retirement savings plan. If you want to have enough money available to make your dream vacation come true, start putting these strategies into practice now.

Estimate Your Travel Costs

Start by estimating the cost of the travel you want to do. Create a spreadsheet to itemize your expenses, and then identify potential locations and how long you plan to stay. This gives you a basis for estimating major costs such as transportation and hotel fees, along with additional expenses such as sightseeing and meals. Don’t forget to include a souvenir budget and emergency expense fund.

To help estimate your costs, you can consult travel agents and guides, conduct online research or use travel apps. You can also use the online cost calculator for estimating major expenses at TravelMath.com.

Set a Savings Goal

Once you have an estimate of your travel costs, you can set a savings goal. To keep your travel plans affordable, this should fit within your overall retirement savings plan. Investment management company Vanguard recommends factoring your retirement travel goals into a bigger picture that considers things like everyday living expenses, health care and projected inflation. You can estimate your retirement savings needs on Vanguard.com.

Plan a Budget

With a savings target in sight, you can plan your budget and monthly saving goals accordingly. Financial expert Susan Warren recommends putting 20 percent of your monthly budget toward savings goals, and then split the rest between 50 percent for necessities and 30 percent for discretionary spending. To achieve your travel savings goal, you can either prioritize it as part of your monthly savings budget or periodically devote part of your discretionary fund toward it.

You will have more available to put toward your travel goals if you have low monthly debt obligations for expenses such as loans and credit cards. If you receive regular payments from an annuity or structured settlement, explore whether you would be better off selling your future payments for a lump sum of cash now. You could then use this money to decrease your monthly debt obligations and save more toward your travel goals. You can learn more about selling your future payments at JGWentworthCashNow.com.

Create a Savings Account

You can save toward your travel goals faster if you use a smart savings vehicle. Personal finance expert J.D. Roth advocates using online high-yield savings accounts to target saving for particular goals. Another way to save is to obtain a travel credit card. You’ll find a recent review of the best travel credit cards at NerdWallet.com. Many offer free hotel stays, free flights and frequent rewards.

Back Pain for Golfers: How It Affects Your Game and Your Life

Categories: Blog | Posted: July 30, 2014

golfers

The drive called for power and focus but sometime during the downswing, you pulled a back muscle. It could have possibly been avoided, if you had remembered to focus on body position, follow-through and suggested pre-play exercise routines. But now the pain is here and the discomfort may last for weeks. But at least you lucked out. That pre-existing disc lesion escaped damage. In some ways an easy lesson can be worth the pain.

Back Injuries in Golf

If you are golfing with back pain, you’re definitely not alone. In a review of golf-related lower back injuries, the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine discovered that 17 percent of the surveyed amateur golfers suffer from back injuries. The review also determined that lower back injuries accounted for 25 percent of all golf-related injuries, and that the follow-through phase of the swing is the likeliest point of injury. Male golfers, weighing in with a 25 to 36 percent damage rate, suffer a slightly higher incident percentage than female golfers, who weigh in with injuries in the range of 22 to 27 percent.

What to Expect Beyond the Pain

Back pain is a common and expensive ailment affecting Americans today. According to a University of New Mexico study, medical costs for dealing with lower back pain topped $24 billion in 1990. In 2013, WebMD estimated the cost for treating back and neck pain at $96 billion. Taking care of your back and preventing injuries can save you from high costs.

Take a Proactive Approach

Many spine and back professionals make resources available through their social media platforms and blogs to give you expert advice. For example, Laser Spine Institute keeps a resource page with a PDF dedicated to helping athletes get back into the swing of things, and they also continually update their blog with tips and advice. Laser Spine Institute’s Community Wellness blog gives healthy eating and exercise tips, as well as industry updates. Stay current on tips and advice from experts and other people who have experienced similar back issues.

Avoid Future Back Pain

To help reduce the risk of golf-related back injury, there are things you can do off the course and before a game. Some warm-up stretches and exercises will help prepare your back for a day of golf without the pain.

Spine-Health.com suggests you warm up before playing golf to lessen your risk of back injury. First, do some basic muscle stretches, focusing especially on your torso, hips and shoulders. Another way to warm up your back is by practice swinging. This doesn’t just improve your game, it stretches out your back and prevents you from pulling it. Practice a smooth, rhythmic swing. This will lessen stress on your back and minimize muscular effort. Balance is another important aspect of a good swing. Bend slightly at the knees and distribute your weight evenly on the balls of your feet.

If you’ve suffered a back injury, your golf game doesn’t have to suffer, too. Listen to your body’s needs and get back on the green in no time.

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