The PWC Life Blog

Living in Northern Virginia has a stigma of being hectic and busy, however this area is full of great community events and atmosphere. Our goal is to help the residents of Prince William County to engage with one another and to help others see how great living in this area is!

Enjoy the posts below, and feel free to comment!

Stay tuned for posts about upcoming community events, homes for sale, and more!

May 21, 2020

PWC Events May 23-29

PWC Events May 23rd to 29th

This week is extra special thanks to Memorial Day. Being prior military I am especially grateful for those who have lost their lives defending this county. I wanted to find a few special events that could help bring our community together while remaining distant to honor those who have fallen. I hope you enjoy the events we found this week. Let me know in the comments of any other events going on that aren't listed here! I would love to check them out.

love jazz, so getting to listen to great jazz from home sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday evening. This year the DC JazzFest is being hosted from YouTube and a link can be found here. This is a free video series that will happen every Saturday evening through July from 7-9pm. For more information click on the photo banner above to link to the FB event page. 

The Ashton Family Restaurant is one of my family's go-to food places. The food is great, the service is fast and friendly, and the atmosphere is nice! I am so looking forward to going out and supporting this business on Monday May 25th at 11 am when they will be hosting a food truck outside their business! They are doing drive-up orders and will be taking orders and bringing food out to your car. You can also call ahead to place an order and they would be happy to serve you that way, too. Click on the photo above to visit the Facebook Event page! 

Maybe you and the family would prefer to get out and picnic this memorial day (and who are we kidding, a glass of wine doesn't hurt, too!). Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery will be open for outdoor picnics on Memorial Day (Monday May 25th from 11am - 6pm). You will need to reserve a spot though, so click on the photo above to find out more information! 

These kiddos have been cooped up for so long! It can be challenging to find ways to entertain them all day. Thankfully Little Tots At Home has come up with a fun, educational, and interactive Facebook Live performance to entertain the kiddos. Tune in Wednesday May 27th at 10:30am to hear Groovy Nate entertain your kids. Click on the photo above to join the Facebook event page and for more information. 

 

I hope you enjoy this week's event picks. There is still so much happening in Prince William County! Happy Memorial Day and have a great, safe week. 

May 15, 2020

PWC Events May 16-22

This week has a lot of really interesting VIRTUAL events to look forward to. Here are our list of the Top 4 things to do this week in Prince William County. 

  1. Hitchcock Paper Company is hosting a virtual class on how to journal for organizing and creativity on Sunday May 17 from 1-4pm. This looks like an excellent opportunity to learn tips and tricks for journaling based off the bullet journal system! For more information and to register click here.
  2. Licensed Counselor, Kristi, is hosting a Zoom call to share ideas on different ways we can keep our minds healthy during COVID-19. You can join this Zoom call Monday May 18 at 7:30pm by dialing 301-715-8592 and using meeting ID: 959 2884 2351
  3. Abrakadoodle is hosting an online Fab (Fun and Beautiful) Art Class weekly on Tuesdays starting at 3pm. For more information and to register call 571-589-8133 or email emoore@abrakadoodle.com
  4. Courtney from Pediatric Achievements will be hosting an online dance party for kids at Noon on Friday May 22nd. More information and to tune in, visit their Facebook page here.

Prince William County has so much to offer and we look forward to being able to return to normalcy and attend events in person, but until then we will continue to bring you event information here online! 

Sign up for our emailed weekly newsletter so you never miss out on our Top 5 PWC events for the week!

May 8, 2020

PWC Events May 8-14, 2020

This week has a lot of really interesting VIRTUAL events to look forward to. Here are our list of the Top 5 things to do this week in Prince William County. 

  1. Virtual Painting - Muse Paintbar - for more information visit https://bit.ly/2wSlp7y
  2. Virtual Preschool Story Time - Cookies & Cream - every Friday from 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM - view on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/events/651387455603783/
  3. Virtual Sunday Stretch - Register online at www.mobileyogateacher.com 
  4. Virtual Quarantine Concert Series - https://www.facebook.com/groups/DMVQuarantineConcerts/
  5. Virtual Workouts - every Friday 9:30 AM - https://www.facebook.com/TheLiftersGuild/

Prince William County has so much to offer and we look forward to being able to return to normalcy and attend events in person, but until then we will continue to bring you event information here online! 

Sign up for our emailed weekly newsletter so you never miss out on our Top 5 PWC events for the week!

April 7, 2020

10 Steps to Avoid Family Feud

This original blog is from national speaker Jason Hewlett, and you can see the whole post with pictures in the link below. Jason is an exceptional motivational speaker, and if you sign up for his emails, you will enjoy the humorous and encouraging stories he shares!

https://jasonhewlett.com/family-feud-stuck-together-24-7-what-do-we-do-now/

“How long until this is over?”

This was the question my 8-year old asked us at the end of the first full day of our:

Family not having any guests over

Not playing with friends

Not going to sit down and eat out at the local restaurant

Or going to school

And just us having been a family unit for 24 hours!

Now it has been over 24/7 and things are getting mightily interesting.

Can you feel the squeeze just yet?

I can honestly say we’ve been in this lifestyle my entire career since the kids came along, so it’s still tricky but completely doable, and actually really so wonderful.

If you have never worked full-time from home, and now are assigned to, your life has just been shifted like the 5.7 earthquake that threw us from our beds this past Wednesday in Utah (we are fine, but wow).

(As if the virus fears aren’t concerning enough, just throw a little day of earthquakes in the middle of it…we were waiting for a swarm of locusts to come get us next!)

And if you have kids no longer attending school for 7 hours outside the home as well, trying to keep your work and home life together is a huge challenge.

So, here’s my 10 Step Strategy to (at least attempt to) avoid the Family Feud:

  1. Hold a Family Sunday Meeting to Plan Your Week  The kids actually really like this. Establishing family goals, making promises, it all comes together in this meeting.  Make sure the kids outline their commitments and have them displayed in the kitchen in their handwriting.
  2. Daily: Hold 3 Brief 5-10 min. Meetings – 
    1. Morning: Teach your children the best way to start a successful morning with family prayer, meal, meditation, thought for the day, and commit to the goals for the next few hours
    2. Noon: Lunchtime and a reconvening of how the morning went, a return & report, discussion regarding schoolwork, resolve any issues, establish what happens the rest of the day
    3. Bedtime: This final meeting of the day is simply a chance to watch a movie, reflect on the day, and determine what needs to get done tomorrow
  3. Work & Focus Stations – No matter the age of your children, establishing work stations for them is essential.  Help them realize sitting at a certain spot means focus for an agreed upon amount of time.  Kids enjoy this structure when they are celebrated for doing well with it.  It will take some training, but soon they will want to go to their special place to read, write, draw, play, and having these zones throughout the house makes a world of difference in productivity and your sanity.
  4. Tools – Making sure your children have the tools for online learning linked up with their school is essential, just as the younger children have active engagement with an older sibling reading to them or a parent guiding their efforts.  As you train them to do much without your help every second, you will be able to leave them to working on their projects, chores, assignments, and what they like doing.
  5. Roles & Goals – While I work in my home office my wife works with the children keeping them on track for the day while she does her household activities.  Equally, when she needs to come in the office and do her daily work, I switch with her and now take over the children’s needs, usually homework questions they have left over or projects to finish.  My wife makes food, I clean it up.  I do Zoom calls with clients, she keeps the house quiet.  She shops for food, I carry it in.  When we know the Roles & Goals in the house, and keep The Promise to one another, we work much better as a Team.
  6. Commit to Waking Up Early – If you are suddenly stunned by how little you get done in a day working from home, realize the importance of waking up earlier than everyone else.  Get your work-out in early, have quiet time for yourself, and then equally commit to going to bed early in agreement the family will do the same.   But you must lead by example.
  7. Commit to Ending Your Work Day – We are talking about a Hard Stop.  You can easily fall into the trap of becoming a “work every second” parent / spouse, even just as an escape from the reality of your home feeling like you need to work to feel productive.  Instead, shoot for 4 or 5 PM as the END of your work day, close the office door, leave the phone there plugged in, and BE WITH YOUR FAMILY.  And start a puzzle, do a craft, dig into the scrapbook bin that’s been waiting for years.
  8. Family Outing – By the end of the work day, your family (if they have been doing schoolwork, chores or projects all day), will most likely be stir-crazy.  Go for a hike.  Simply walk outside.  Throw the frisbee or shoot baskets after a bike ride.  Get sunlight before the sun sets.  Even the children that want to just be on their devices at this time will appreciate the family together time outdoors.
  9. Screen Time – Don’t feel too guilty that your Apple screen-time Sunday report went up, that is just the nature of this current beast.  However, take special account of what you’re doing when on the screen – if posting positive social media posts, comments on friend’s articles, writing your blog, or designing your new web site, then that’s awesome!  But if you’re scrolling social media all day, reading every news outlet, and getting too sucked in, remember your children see what you’re doing and won’t respect you telling them to turn the devices off when you’re out of control.
  10. Be Flexible – We had our Sunday evening meeting, everyone committed to the Plan, we put it on the wall in the kitchen, and by Monday morning no one was awake before 11 AM…  That could have been enough to upend the week.  Instead, we realize it’s ok to mess up, start again, try to not be harsh or judgmental, and begin again.  Monday afternoon we had a meeting, re-established our intentions and acknowledged what we missed, and it turned out to be one of the best days of the week.

Below are a few of the photos and videos from the week.

If you keep up with my articles you know I’m quite vulnerable already…well I think I’m taking it to a new level with some of my posts and videos lately.

I just hope it helps you realize we’re all in this together!

The 10 Step Strategy above is by no means a fail-safe for everyone.  Not every family makeup is like ours, and with 6 of us in the home, Daddy as an entrepreneur, we have many moving parts.

If you are the care-giver of a parent or spouse, a single parent home, or perhaps unemployed, dealing with illness, there are still many variations to what has been listed above that can work for you as you creatively come up with your solutions.

They become Your Promises.

I am sharing what we are trying to do.  It doesn’t always work, but it’s about 80/20.  To us that’s amazing success.

At this time of uncertainty know that I also feel your pain.  Having just lost every event scheduled until September I literally have zero income coming in until then.

I’d say that’s scary.

But at the same time, I know this is a wonderful time to work toward what’s next for our family.  So that’s exciting to me.

Being a Full-Time Keynote Speaker is the Dream Job for many people, but in this current economy and world order, if you have a salary or hourly employment, I hope you feel really blessed.

That isn’t to make you feel bad for me, I’m just telling you that everyone has a different situation and we’re all in this together.

I’d love to know what is working for you, and perhaps next week I’ll share more of what has worked for us, or what hasn’t.  But I hope this helps you, as it’s my Promise to My Family to do this, and my Promise to you to deliver thoughtful, helpful content.

Prayers are with you.  Seriously, I pray for you, and hope you feel comfort that more people than you realize are wishing the best for you.

We at The Lighthouse team wish you the best, stay safe!

For more from Jason, go to www.jasonhewlett.com

March 27, 2020

Social Distancing Activities!

This year has been a challenge so far with all the change and uncertainty. Now that schools are closed until the end of the year parents and families are feeling even more confused by what to do. Staying inside, especially if you have younger kids, can get old real quick, but what are we supposed to do now that we are to keep a good social distance? 

Well, we have done a bit of research to figure out some fun activities to do both indoors and outdoors in order to change up the pace a little. This isn't a comprehensive list, but it does have a decent assortment of ideas. If you have any other suggestions we would LOVE to hear them! 

Enjoy our list!

  • Decorate your home for Easter! Bring in those bright and cheery pastel colors, hang a wreath, plant a flower. 
  • Hide bunnies or Easter eggs around the house and have an impromptu Easter Egg Hunt!
  • Create a theme for each day and make your whole day revolve around it...dress like the theme, make food like the theme, watch a movie about the theme, etc.
  • Plant something new outside and record the growth each day!
  • Teach your kids or yourself how to make a new recipe.
  • Tour a Zoo online (Cincinnati Zoo as well as many other zoos are doing free live videos on Facebook everyday!) then re-create your favorite animals out of play-doh. 
  • Organize a different room in your house
  • Eat a meal outside! 
  • Take a long walk
  • Play social distancing BINGO! 
  • Create a new board game and play it together

There are so many fun ideas on the internet, try some out and let us know how they go! 

 

March 23, 2020

Hot Spot of the Week: MOD Pizza!

Image result for mod pizza

Have you ever tried to make your entire family happy at once with a dinner choice? Well, I have, and it is not always that easy. However, I've found that MOD Pizza is one of those places where everyone leaves happy! At MOD it's a lot like the Subway for pizza places, you get to personalize your own pizza all the way from toppings to sauce to crust.

I remember the first time my wife suggested it. I had never heard of MOD pizza, but what she described sounded interesting. We went in, and the atmosphere was a very casual mix between Chipotle and one of those Dominos where the preparation area is in plain view (I love the Dominos pizza at Hastings and Dumfries by Restore and McDonalds where they have those steps for the kids to climb up and watch, have you been there?).

Anyway, going into MOD, I was greeted with the most compelling mixture of mouth-watering aromas ranging from the splendid smell of delicious baked bread to the sweet fragrance of what seemed like an inexhaustible array of pizza toppings (some of which I never would have imagined putting on a pizza!) all emanating from the fire oven behind the counter.

The most common 11 inch pizza is $8.97, and you can add as many of the buffet of toppings as you like. For a small upcharge, you can also make the crust either gluten free or “cauliflower crust”. Now, I would NEVER have thought about getting a cauliflower crust and imagined that would go against all pizza etiquette I learned as a teen (I’ll let you imagine that), but my wife was on a particular diet and ordered it (for hers). I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted her pizza and very impressed by the texture and flavor. If you’re skipping gluten and want an alternative, the cauliflower crust was quite good!

I ordered a pizza with my favorite toppings which must have seemed most mundane to the person taking my order compared to the eclectic mixture my wife ordered, and we washed it all down with a beer which they serve there, too.

This quick and easy pizza place is top on my list, and I recommend it! There are two locations in PWC: One in Gainesville in Virginia Gateway near BJs and one in Woodbridge near Smoketown and Minnieville.

During COVID-19 MOD has also been trying to keep up with safety procedures and although they aren't doing a dine-in option right now, they are doing to-go orders and delivery through 3rd party sites. So go ahead and try them out! You won't regret it!

Posted in Local Hotspots!
March 16, 2020

Jirani Coffeehouse

One of Old Town Manassas's hidden gems is Jirani Coffeehouse. Who doesn't love a good cup of coffee? Not only is Jirani a great place to get a cup of coffee, it also hosts many community wide events ranging from new mom support groups to weekly Open Mic Nights. 

There is a lot to do at Jirani, they have a nice wide open sitting area inside, with plenty of food and drink options to choose from. There is local art on the walls for purchase, and larger booths in the back for groups to congregate at (a great place to study or play a game!). They also have a small library area which is generally open to the public but can also be rented out for groups/events.

More information about Jirani's upcoming events can be found here. Go on out and support a local business!

Posted in Local Hotspots!
March 16, 2020

St. Patty's Day and More!

This week has a lot of fun events to look forward to! It was hard to narrow down our list to just a few, but we gave it a try. Here are our list of the Top 5 things to do in Prince William County this week! 

  1. Comfort Food Friday - March 13 - 7:00 PM - Effingham Manor Winery, 14325 Trotters Ridge Pl, Nokesville
  2. Manassas St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 14 - 11:00-12:30 - Harris Pavilion, 9201 Center St, Manassas
  3. History & Science of Cooking, St Patty's Day Meal - March 14 - 10:00-12:30 $10 - Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10311 Sudley Manor Dr, Manassas
  4. Pup's St. Patrick's Photo Day - March 16 - 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM - Dogtopia, 5615 Wellington Rd, Gainesville 
  5. Catch The Leprechaun - March 17 - all day - Autobahn Indoor Speedway - 8340 Sudley Rd, Manassas

Effingham Manor is a less known but beautiful winery right here in Prince William County, this winery boasts a 250 year old house that still holds a lot of the original architecture. The property is gorgeous and the wines are delicious. This winery is definitely worth a visit!

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