My Blog

Blog :: 02-2015

Walden Cluster, South Reston

There are many hidden gems along the banks of Lake Thoreau in South Reston, and Walden Cluster is one of them. This charming neighborhood consists of 52 townhouses on Swans Neck Way (off of Ridge Height Road) built between 1980 and 1982. The homes are brick and cedar, 3-level, 2 to 4 bedroom homes. Each house also has at least one assigned parking space.

If you love the idea of living on one of Reston's lakes, this is a great neighborhood to investigate. About 30% of the Walden Cluster homes are direct lakefront property, but all the homes in the neighborhood enjoy the use of Lake Thoreau.

This cluster is wonderful for families--there is a great community tot lot. Better yet, it's located just across the street from Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. No missing the bus! It's also an easy walk to South Lakes Village Center--with several eateries, a Starbucks, and Safeway. And, of course, this neighborhood is close to the Reston Metro station.

So if you're looking for a place to park your canoe, take a look at Walden Cluster.

Restonians Love their Pets, and PetMAC

PetMACI love dogs. Any breed, any dog. They're great. So when PetMAC marketplace and adoption center moved from its Arlington location to Lake Anne Plaza, I was thrilled! This small, woman-owned business proves that doing good and doing good business go hand in hand.

Owner Cindy Williams opened PetMAC in 2005 in partnership with Homeward Trails Animal Rescue (a wonderful organization). Before that, she had an on-line business selling all-natural pet foods and supplies. PetMAC was a logical next step--combining her business skills with her passion for working with animal rescue organizations. She says merging the two loves is "a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in pets' lives - to be able to offer healthy foods and educate new pet owners on the importance of a good quality, species appropriate diet. We have the greatest customers who are so friendly and appreciative of the work we do - and the people are pretty cool too!"

PetMAC is a one-stop shop for everything your dog or cat needs to be healthy and happy. They specialize in offering all-natural foods with no chemical preservatives and no animal by-products. They stock not only traditional kibble and canned diets for your pet, but freeze-dried, dehydrated and frozen raw diets as well. If you've ever had a pet with allergies, you know how important a good diet it is!

They also carry all kinds of toys, including ones that can hold up to the strongest jaws, stylish and durable collars and leashes, comfy cozy beds, behavioral modification products, fragrant shampoos and grooming supplies, doggy apparel including raincoats, winter coats and seasonal clothing such as Halloween costumes and Santa suits.

Cindy and her crew are doing a lot of great work out of their small space at Lake Anne. In addition to selling products, they host adoption events and provide all sorts of fun classes for pet owners. They are truly a wonderful resource for dog and cat lovers.

But there is more. Cindy believes in supporting other American and local businesses by offering a large variety of USA and locally-made foods and supplies. Arlington's Max and Ruffies vegetarian dog treats, USA-made Bixbi Chicken, Lamb and Pork jerky, Wisconsin-based and family-owned Fromm dog and cat food, Florida's hand-made cat toys from Mouse Factory and California-made durable Goughnuts dog toys are just a few of the USA made products they sell.

And if you don't have a pet to buy all these wonderful things for? No worries. Cindy and her team work closely with local rescue groups to adopt dogs and cats out from the shop. Soon they will have resident adoptable kitties who love visitors (if you just need a feline fix, stop in for some love)--they just need to build an enclosure so the rascals don't escape the shop. They donate a portion of their sales to their partner rescue groups each quarter, donate to rescue fundraisers, and offer discounted supplies to their partner rescue groups and fosters as their way of saying "thank you" for helping rescue shelter animals.

If you want to support a local business, and you're looking for a shop that really cares about helping you do what's best for your pet, then PetMAC is the shop for you! We hope to see you soon!

Visit them at 11412 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190.

Sawyer's Cluster, Reston, VA

Reston townhomes make great homes for first-time homebuyers--couples, singles, or growing families--or people who just want to downsize. Sawyer's Cluster in South Reston is a particularly good neighborhood if you're looking for an affordable home in a great area.

This townhome community was built in 1974, and the residents take pride in maintaining this quaint and lovely cluster. The homes are on the modest size--most have around 1,200 square feet of living space, although a few are larger. They feature great basements and assigned parking spaces. The townhomes are mostly two or three bedroom, but there are a few four-bedroom units. Most of them have one and a half baths, although a few have three.

Located off South Lakes Drive in South Reston, Sawyers Cluster has easy access to swimming pools, tennis courts and basketball courts. The short drive to the Toll Road and Reston Metro make trips to Dulles Airport or into DC a breeze. And, of course, the miles of Reston trails, Reston Town Center, and South Lakes Village Center are also close by.

For families looking for an affordable townhome in Reston, Sawyers Cluster is the perfect place.


Go Jump in Lake Anne (Freezin' for a Reason)

freezin' for a reason

Doesn't this look fun? (Note the rescue divers in their 7mm suits...brrrr). 2014 7th Annual Freezin' for a Reason.

This weekend--February 7, 2015--you'll have a good reason to tell your friends and family to go jump in a lake!

That's right--people will be jumping in Lake Anne on purpose. But it's for a great cause, and that's why participants do it year after year. I'm talking about the Annual Freezin' for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip. Superheros, Gumby, and whole lot of BFFs in pink tutus will make the plunge for raise money for Camp Sunshine. It's the ice bucket challenge on steroids.

Charities don't get much worthier than Camp Sunshine--the camp provides respite, support, joy, and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families. The year-round program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour onsite medical and psychosocial support. Camp Sunshine also provides bereavement sessions for families who have lost a child to supported illnesses.

Freezin' for a Reason raises much needed money to send children to the camp. This year's goal is to raise $100,000, which will allow 50 families from the Mid-Atlantic area to come to the camp. Through pledges or self-sponsorship, each participant will raise/donate a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to take the icy plunge. In addition to knowing they've helped a child in need, they all also receive very cute shirt that proclaims "I DID IT" event shirt. If you aren't ready to jump, come and watch the fun--it's a great time on the plaza!

The plunge takes place on Saturday, February 7th at Lake Anne Plaza. It kicks off at 12:00PM with family-friendly activities and warm-up, and the actual dip is scheduled to start at 2:00PM.

For the fifth year, 97.1 WASH-FM morning show radio personality Chilli Amar will emcee the event.

Event sponsors are: Lake Anne Plaza, Whole Foods Market - Reston, Reston Lifestyle Magazine, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, David Madison Photography, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Spotted MP (Marketing + Public Relations), Kalypso's Sports Tavern, Fairfax Christian School, 97.1 WASH-FM, Salon Khouri, Fusion 360, Small Change Consignment, and Sheraton Reston Hotel. For more information about the event or to register to participate, visit or become a Facebook Fan (Virginia Polar Dip).

Are you brave enough for the challenge?

Waterfront like along a lake