If you have rugs or carpet, dealing with stains is inevitable.  So as a rug owner, you will want to be prepared for the worst.  The problem is that there are so many variables to take into consideration, making being prepared quite difficult.  So before you get down on the floor to start your carpet cleaning, do a little research and consider the following options. So I called around the Northern VA area to many carpet cleaners and compiled a list of helpful tips. The  majority of these tips were provided from Absolute Carpet Care.

 Keep Foot Traffic Awayfrustrated carpet cleaning

Once the stain has been made, you will want to keep people and animals from walking on it and spreading the stain even further.  If you cannot easily block off the space, don’t hesitate to send everyone to a different room and keep Fido occupied outside with some toys for a bit.  The last thing you want is for the mess to become even bigger.

 Blot, Don’t Rub

You will be tempted to rub out the stain using circular motions as it feels like it would be the most effective.  In reality, all this will do is turn your stain into a nice, large circle. You’re just pushing the stain down even more. When it comes to carpet cleaning, blotting is best.  Get clean rags and press down on the stain, absorbing as much of the item as possible.

 Know the Stain

Here is the first step that requires some research.  Depending on the staining agent, you will need to use different cleaning items.  It takes a bit of science.  Different liquids will require various cleaning agents and those for fats will be completely removed from those used with liquids.  And it goes on and on.  Google is your friend on this step. It holds many free resource at the tip of your finger.

 Know the Carpet

Another variable to consider is the type of carpet you have.  Different types of fibers require different care.  Determine what is needed before you buy or at least before you need the knowledge. Usually you can resort back to the provider but if they don’t have proper cleaning techniques for your rug then you can always hit up your friend Google again.

 Keep at It

Oftentimes you carpet cleaning endeavors will not be successful on the first go.  Keep at it until you get the results you need.  And if you cannot, call a service to professionally clean your rug like Absolute Carpet Care. That’s what I ended up doing…. They came out to my home in Fairfax VA, but they are also available in Arlington, Sterling and Alexandria as well. I wasn’t disappointed at all!!

Many of us don’t know left from right when it comes to our cars, trucks, and SUVs.  That can be a scary realization that we face when our vehicle breaks down and we need a repair FAST!  We all hear about them – the scammy car repair shop that takes advantage of the uninformed customer that walks in the door.  They start charging you for this and that, and before you know it you have an auto repair bill that begins to compete with the total cost of your car.

Now, I’m a typical commuter just like you probably are, and I’m terrified when it comes to picking out a repair shop.  What if I choose wrong and they begin charging me for parts I’ve never heard of?  Well, recently I had to go through the trouble of having my radiator replaced, and living in Richmond means there’s more than enough auto repair shops to choose from.  After some quick research, I decided to put my faith in Aarrow Transmission and Automotive, and I must say they did a terrific job!  While in their shop I had the opportunity to speak with one of their technicians about my fear of repair shops.  Gratefully, he was able to provide me with some very helpful tips to use when seeking out a good service shop and I wanted to share a few of those with you.auto-repair

  • Always check online reviews.  Sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google+ can help narrow down your search to those that have high customer satisfaction ratings.
  • Research some automotive certifications.  Typically, a good mechanic will ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified in at least one area they are proficient in.  Also search for any affiliations the shop may be associated with such as AAA.
  • Ask your friends and family for recommendations on certain shops.  Most people will be quick to tell you about any and all negative experiences they’ve had in the automotive industry.  Most are also happy to tell you about the great shop they went to when they were in a pinch. So ask around!
  • Shop around.  Visit a few shops and get estimates for the service you’re looking to have done.  Compare the costs as well as their methods.  By the way, final cost shouldn’t always be your determining factor – many times a lower cost could indicate less quality work, so be sure to always ask about their process.

I hope these tips help you out the next time you find yourself looking for an auto repair service to give  your trust to.


Why So Many Trust Car America

When it comes time to make a large purchase like a new vehicle, it’s important to get all of the facts and look at your different options in Virginia. There are plenty new and used car dealerships in your area to choose between, and you need to assess your financial situation to see what type of cars are within your means. Once you have filtered out your options, you are ready to start your search. If you are looking to buy a used vehicle, consider visiting Car America.

  • This dealership is the top choice for many people in Richmond for the following reasons:used car
  • Great Financing Options: At Car America, their goal is to find a car for everyone no matter what their credit looks like. The dealership has relationships with 18 lenders to help people in any financial situation. They understand that in this economy some people are having trouble, and they are willing to go the extra mile to come up with a plan for you.
  • Inventory Variety: Car America carries a wide variety of inventory that is easy to search online before visiting the dealership. Furthermore, if you are set on a certain type of car and cannot find it online, let them know! They will find what you are looking for even if it wasn’t in stock when you searched.
  • Safety Assurance: Car America does more than a simple state inspection before selling their vehicles. They invest twice as much as the industry average in making sure your car is safe to drive. They also have a service area specific to their buyers for continuous repairs.
  • Reputation: Just look at their reviews! Car America has a great reputation in Virginia. They have an enthusiasm for finding you the right car unmatched by any other dealership in the industry. These people make you feel at ease because they care about making you feel comfortable with your purchase.

Click here for more information on this used car dealership in Richmond. If you are unwilling to travel this far or have something else in mind, make sure you find a seller that takes the time and attention to detail to give you the best vehicle possible.

Virginia is full of entrepreneurship and new businesses. When you are opening an office, it’s important to make sure your company is provided the right resources to work efficiently and maximize output. The equipment in your office can be a large investment, but the right equipment is essential to get the best return on this investment.

CaptureOne important piece of technology for a business is document management. These solutions can help increase productivity in an office while reducing costs. Organized business processes can help people quickly retrieve information and collaborate properly.

The most important factor is that your document management system needs to be customized for your industry. Cobb Technologies in Richmond VA prides themselves on their experience in digital document solutions and imaging. They evaluate your current workflow, find the best solution for your office, install and test a system, and train employees to ensure everyone can make the most of the new system. A beginning to end program is often the safest way to ensure your document management system will give you the highest ROI.

Some other office equipment you need to pick out will be desks, copiers, and printers. And never forget about the little things! A good coffee Capture1machine and a refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks could increase productivity in your office more than you know! It’s also essential to provide employees with clean work spaces and remove distractions. Cubicles could make sense in an office where there are few phone calls or loud meetings. However, in a sales office where people are constantly on the phone, it could help to give them some quiet in a closed office space.

One important rule of them when purchasing a printer is, the cheaper the unit, the more the ink will cost. In an office that rarely prints, cartridges will last much longer. In this case, you will probably be fine getting a cheaper system. However, in most cases companies are printing out plenty of forms and records. In these instances, opt for a more expensive printer with cheaper replacements. Figure out how quickly you currently go through ink cartridges to find the best option.

Time to Move

Because I got a job offer in Charlottesville Virginia, my wife and I decided it was the right time to make a move to a new state and start again. One of the first things are less to do before we came down to Virginia was to find a new home that we could see ourselves living in far into the future. While Charlottesville is a very nice town, full of things to do, and even the University of Virginia we found ourselves wanting to get outside of the city and try our hand in buying farmland so we can start a large part in and possibly even an orchard or small vineyard.

Starting Our Search

We started our search simply by looking at online at local listings of real estate. Then we decided we needed more help and a Realtor who could help us find the perfect farmland for sale in Virginia that we could call home. After looking into a few different options we found McLean Faulkner, a real estate company who has apparently been in the business for years in Charlottesville and specializes that not only well kept up homes but also land and farms for sale throughout Central Virginia. They were extremely knowledgeable, and after we sat down and office with one of their local Realtors, they had a good understanding of what we were looking for and it showed.

Help from a Realtor

farm home for sale in VirginiaEven though we started our surge on the Internet trying to sort through pictures and looking at maps of where different pieces of land for sale were with farmhouses on them in various conditions, our search was about to get a lot easier. The Real Estate Agents at Mclean Faulconer were quick to point out a few pieces of land not far from Charlottesville that fit our description almost exactly. After only a third showing we were able to find a quaint seven acre farm house with just enough space to enjoy a living in the country while not being overwhelmed. It even has some of the modern amenities that we had previously become accustomed to which was a nice little bonus as well.

Moving to a new town can be pretty stressful, not only do you have to deal with selling your current home that finding a place to live in an area you are not familiar with can be even more challenging. Finding a Realtor that is local, and knows the area well can make all the difference in the world. We didn’t think we would be able to find farmland for sale so quickly. This was a pleasant surprise and made moving to a new city a lot easier. Now I can focus on my new job, and enjoy taking care of my land and growing crops on the nights and weekends without dragging on the moving and acclamation process.

Collegiate School Aquatic CenterWhen it comes to the best aquatic centers in Virginia you don’t have to look any further than the Collegiate School Aquatics Center, located at 5050 Ridgedale Parkway. This swimming center is well known for their Olympic sized swimming pool with stadium seating for spectators. Collegiate School Aquatics center was used for holding time trials for the 2008 Olympic swimmers. Just last year, Katie Ledecky, Olympic Gold Medalist, visited the center and practiced for her next time trials. A large amount of professional swimmers have come to this center, being only one of a few Olympic sized swimming pools on the East Coast.

CSAC goes beyond just providing a pool for people to swim in; they also provide certified swim classes for younger children. The staff at this aquatic center is making it there mission to teach as many younger children as possible. They even have their Angel Fish program to give people the chance to help drownproof Richmond. You can donate money to the program and that will pay for one second grader to learn how to swim. If you feel like you would like to make a donation to this program then click here.

CSAC programsThis center is also great for non-professional swimmers or adults looking for alternative exercises. They provide different aquatic classes, water polo leagues, and peluso open water training. All of the Collegiate School Aquatic Center’s available programs can be found at http://www.swimrichmond.org/programs.htm. You will find it very difficult to find something that you are not interested in. They even provide a variety of land classes that you would find at all of your other top level gyms in Richmond.

If your son or daughter is looking to become a life guard then you can also take advantage of the center’s Red Cross Lifeguard Certification classes. It can be difficult to find these classes for an affordable price but CSAC has very fair pricing. All of the instructors are certified to teach this course and will make sure that all students learn the skills and knowledge needed to save lives.

Whether you are a professional athlete, a young child, a teenager, or adult you will be able to find fun and exciting water activities at CSAC. After seeing the facility and reviewing all of their awesome programs we have say that this is one of the best swimming centers in Virginia.

There are countless types of window treatments to choose from when you are looking to dial down the amount of sunlight entering your home. Most home décor stores categorize them into two camps. Those are hard and soft window treatments, and both have a time and a place in the home depending on what kind of style you are hoping to achieve. Soft treatments include curtains, shades, and blinds. Hard window treatments would encompass things like wood blinds and shades made from bamboo. We are going to go into a few types of window shades today to help you best understand and shop for this particular style.

Roller Shades
These roll up into a coil at the top much like an old pull down projector screen from your schooling days. The idea is to cover a large expanse of window with no gaps like blinds tend to leave.

Roman Shadesroman shades
This style is very similar to the one above with one major difference. Roman shades are segmented into rectangles that stack over each other when the screen is not in use. The folds and creases in between the segments creates a more textured and ornamental look that accents many rooms well.

Solar Screen Shades
This particular product is a popular item for commercial locations. The screens are usually black which creates a very modern look for businesses, doctor’s offices, and the like. They also help reduce the energy usage by keeping heat from entering in through large windows that are sun facing.

For local Virginia residents, all of these window treatments and others can be found at MannKidwell of Richmond, VA.


Whether you are looking for an engagement ring or a new pair of earrings to celebrate your recent raise, it’s important to go to a jewelry store with inventory that you like. Some stores in Virginia may be known for their unique charm bracelets and others may be known for engagement rings and carrying certain brands. Whatever you choose, understand that the overall reputation of a store and customer service are important factors to evaluate.

Customer service is important because you should never deal with a store whose associates pressure you into buying a piece of jewelry. Diamonds, stones, and precious metals are important investments, and the sales people should understand that it needs to be something you love and have no doubts about purchasing. It is also in their best interest to make sure that you love it because if you don’t, you will probably tell your friends about how you did particularly like the piece of jewelry but felt pressured to buy it in the moment.Wedding_and_Engagement_Rings_2151px

Another thing to look for is a store that offers good warrantees and repair services. If you need a piece of jewelry that you bought from a certain store in VA sized, adjusted, cleaned, or polished, they should provide the service for free. Make sure you can get a good deal with insurance on diamonds, because sometimes they fall out of loose settings.

Associates should also be happy to let you try every item on in the store if you want. If it’s truly quality pieces, the salesperson should understand that it is worth taking time to decide on what you would like and what you are willing to pay for.

Finally, look for a store in VA with ordering options. If you have a specific type of jewelry in mind, it’s best to visit a store that has the capability of ordering different colors, settings, or stones even if they are not on display. For example, if you like a necklace with a sapphire stone, but would rather have it in the emerald version that you saw online, the jeweler should be able to order it for you if they have good relations with the manufacturer.

Until I brought home my first dog, I didn’t used to spend much time out in my yard – let alone look forward to doing yard work. But having a dog changed all of that. He loves to spend hours in the yard – rolling on his back, sniffing everything, barking at passerby, and providing great company for me no matter what I’m doing. Now I have two dogs to keep me company in the yard.

When I had just one dog, it didn’t seem like I was spending that much time looking for poop to clean up. But now that I’ve got two, it seems like I’m spending more than double the time to keep my yard clean. I don’t know why, but the habits of two dogs seem to be a lot less predictable than the habits of one. I used to know where to pick up the poop. Now the deposits can be just about anywhere – and that means trouble.

Nothing can cut short a play session in the backyard faster than stepping in a pile of poop. That makes for disappointed dogs and a frustrated dog owner. I’ve had to replace at least two pairs of shoes; even now that I’m more careful to wear more rugged, more washable shoes, cleaning them after a misstep is still a really unpleasant task.

The last time I stepped in the poop, I’d had enough. I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do about the problem, so I was wondering if anyone had any bright solutions to the problem of dog poop. I got online and looked around. And as it turns out, there is a solution – at least for people who live near a DoodyCalls. Thankfully, they have a poop-scooping service near my home in Manassas, VA. Perhaps there’s one near you.

DoodyCalls is a local company that provides a solution to yards – and dog owners – that are plagued by poop. Sign up for their service, and they’ll regularly send someone into your yard to find and remove the poop. That’s a great idea – if it works. So I gave them a shot.

I had to admit that I was a little skeptical. After all, it was hard enough for me to find the poop in the yard I knew well. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the DoodyCalls crew was sharp-eyed and diligent enough to find just about everything my dogs leave behind. While I’m not positive about it, I don’t think they’ve ever missed a poop.

It’s been a while since my time in the yard has been cut short by a misplaced step in some poop. Sure it may happen someday, but for now I’m enjoying a cleaner yard as well as some extra piece of mind. While my dogs don’t care who picks up after them, I know they love to play – and they haven’t had a play session end prematurely because I stepped in something. That makes me happy, so they’re happy, too.

Insurance DoctorWhen talking about reputable Virginia businesses it can be very hard to just pick one because of all the great services that are provided in the state. When examining the auto insurance market in this state we will always notice the big name brands like State Farm, Allstate, and Aflac, but just because these large corporations have larger advertising budgets does not make them the most reputable in Virginia. After a careful examination of all various types of insurance purchasers and providers in the area there was one that stood out above the rest and that company was Insurance Doctor.

You may have heard some of their radio advertisements saying that they can save you up to 50% on car insurance or they will purchase dinner for you at a location of your choice. Out of the thousands insured by them I am pretty sure they haven’t had to purchase one meal. You will always see these big businesses promise you things like you have your own agent and that you can call them at any time, but sometimes they fall through the cracks. Your agent is actually an office with multiple people working for that one agent and they only operate under normal business hours.

With physical locations across Virginia you can always stop into a local branch for claim or questions if you don’t want to go through their online services. Insurance Doctor provides motorcycle, auto, renter and home insurance policies that are the right price for anyone’s budget. They will take your profile that is made up of several factors and shop the market for the best rate you can possible receive. They can provide this search over the internet, on the phone, or even in person at one of their physical locations.

I took a trip into their physical location in Richmond, Virginia, and talked with one of their representatives about switching insurance companies. The representative was extremely friendly and they actually were able to save me 30% on my car insurance. I was also able to bundle my auto insurance with my renter’s insurance so that I only had to pay one company each month.

This insurance company has the product, services, and customer service that out performs any other in Virginia. I would strongly recommend that you stop by one of their many locations and chat with a representative. If your experience was anything like mine then you will most likely switch to the Insurance Doctor right then and there.