By Eve Thompson
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.
By Eve Thompson
I 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.
By Eve Thompson
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.
By Eve Thompson
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 www.freezinforareason.com or become a Facebook Fan (Virginia Polar Dip).
Are you brave enough for the challenge?
By Eve Thompson
I admit I’m partial to Lake Anne neighborhoods—they are beautiful and convenient to all the amenities Reston has to offer. Lake Side Cluster is a great Reston neighborhood that does not get as much attention as it’s famous neighbor, Waterview Cluster. And frankly, the community likes it that way. This is a friendly, quiet, unassuming neighborhood.
The houses on Greenbriar Lane are nestled among the trees, making you feel removed from the hustle and bustle of Reston.
Lake Side Cluster has everything all of the neighborhoods that border Reston’s Lake Anne share—access to the lake, a quick walk to Lake Anne Village Center, well-designed homes (many of which are direct lakefront).
Lake Side Cluster was build between 1965 and 1969, and comprises 90 lovely two and three level town homes with two to four bedrooms—and garages (which makes them different than most of their Lake Anne neighbors). All homes have lake access via a trail to the cluster dock, even if they are not direct lakefront property.
The Cluster couldn’t be positioned better. It is located on Greenbriar Road and Orchard Lane off Fairway Drive, which is the south shore of Lake Anne. Fairway Drive provides easy access to both North Shore Drive and Wiehle Avenue.
For families with children, the cluster is an easy walk to Lake Anne Elementary. Children also attend Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. For the parents, Lake Side Cluster is only 1.5 miles to the Reston Station Metro, and a short hop to Reston Town Center and the Toll Road. And, of course, a five minute walk to Lake Anne Village Center—home of the Reston Farmer’s Market and several great mom-and-pop restaurants.
By Eve Thompson
Cupcakes are just a few of the treats at Edible Incredible Desserts in Reston.
In my opinion, January is not too early to start thinking about Valentine’s Day. And, let’s be honest, about the lovely chocolate treats that make it a day worth celebrating. One of my favorite local Reston businesses for cakes and confections is Edible Incredible Desserts at Reston Town Center. I can practically taste the fudge as I write this.
A common passion for desserts led couple Alan Furman and Robyn Hanna to pursue their dream of creating a shop specializing in irresistible gourmet treats. Edible Incredible Desserts launched in 1999 with a kiosk in Fair Oaks Mall, selling fudge and toffee. Today, Edibles Incredible Desserts is a local favorite—named winner of Northern Virginia’s best bakery & best kids cakes as voted by 150,000 readers of Northern Virginia Magazine. But the greatest joy for Alan and Robyn is when seasoned customers come in and begin telling others how great their products taste.
Immediately after launching their business, their two flagship products “Robyn’s English Toffee” and “Alan’s Secret Recipe Fudge” became hot sellers at Dean and DeLuca in Georgetown. Soon after, they opened their first store in the Reston Town Center (next to Pot Belly, near the fountain).
You don’t have to go to Reston Town Center to enjoy a delicious dessert—they ship their moist, dense & exquisite wedding cakes, decadent homemade fudge and brownies, beautifully custom-made and delicious all-occasion cakes, award winning chocolate truffles, high-end cupcakes for all occasions, scrumptious cookies, and artfully designed custom gift baskets anywhere in the country. In early 2007, they opened a commercial kitchen and production facility in Sterling, Virginia, just minutes from Dulles Airport. This allows them to ship their baked goods and other desserts right out of the oven and ship fresh directly. Their motto is to please palates everywhere. And they do … in our stores and on-line.
Enjoy browsing through their site, and maybe order a cake online. Call them anytime to discuss their products 703-437-3008.