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 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.

I’ve lived in a 10 different states over the span of my life and Virginia is easily one of my favorites. VMFA in Richmond VAThere is a little of something for everyone. If you’re an outdoorsy person that likes poetry and quaint little coffee shops, settle down near Charlottesville and explore the Appalachian Trail. If you are a surfer that can’t get enough of local seafood, Virginia Beach is a thriving area with street performers and restaurants for miles on the boardwalk. And for the city folk, Richmond has a thriving music scene with attractions like the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. The cost of living here is surprisingly low comparative to how much there is to do. Consider living just 2 hours north in Washington D.C where living expenses like renting an apartment can be 2 to 3 times here for the exact same square footage as a place even in downtown Richmond.

Here is some sage advice for the local Virginian trying to save a few dollars:

Do your homework when applying for a mortgage. You want the home you purchase to appreciate in value for when you sell it (if you ever do). The bank and even history of the neighborhood’s real estate prices can’t always tell you the whole story. For example, there are plans of turning Floyd Avenue into a bike boulevard. This could either increase property value by making the road a scenic treat for cyclists and pedestrians, or it could reduce home resale value by reducing street parking and make the homes harder to access for residents. The current plan has been intentional about avoiding such a negative outcome, but execution of the project is important nonetheless. Ask around the neighborhood and talk to real residents to get a full picture of what has happened and is going to happen in the area.

d327b8c9-8ee4-405d-9847-6342a97071fcWhen trying to find one of the most reputable Virginia electrical companies you have to set a certain type of criteria that fits inside of this industry. Unlike with our rating of Metropolitan Contractors we are going to look for a few different aspects electrical companies in Virginia. When picking one of the best electrical companies we looked into the variety of services provided, brand popularity, and customer service ratings. Through our evaluation we have decided that Mr. Electric of Fairfax is the most reputable electrical companies in the state of Virginia. Our reasoning for choosing this company is because of the following:

Variety of Services

This company provides electricians and electrical contractors for the Northern Virginia region around Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield. They have been providing quality electrical services for businesses and residential home owners for many years now. They can help any type of customer with any type of electrical work – from exterior or interior lighting to full building wiring and panel upgrades. They also help customers look for area in their buildings to change and help them become more energy efficient.

Brand Popularity

Mr. Electric of Fairfax is a franchise of the Dwyer Corporation owner of Mr. Electric. The Dwyer Group gives their franchises great customer oriented tools and tips for providing their customers with the best service. Mr. Electric of Fairfax is the textbook definition of customer service – from the way they are dressed to the great amount of professionalism they exude during a scheduled appointment. It is very difficult to find an unhappy customer with complaints about this company.

Customer Service

Going along with brand authority we have already mentioned that they are textbook professional with their customers. This company will always show up to appointments on the scheduled time and if they are running late then they will notify the customer of the delay. Every electrician also brings a welcome mat and shoe coverings to prevent bringing mud into the home or damaging the flooring. Every technician is trained to be respectful of their customer’s home and will always clean up after themselves.

When it comes to evaluating reputable businesses in Virginia you need to have a certain criteria in order to evaluate different companies. For finding the best residential contractor in Virginia I evaluated a majority of the contractors in the state on variety and quality of services, accreditation and popularity. Through our evaluation we have found Metropolitan Contractors of Northern Virginia to be one of the most reputable contractors in Virginia. I will explain how I came up to decision to label Metro Contractors as one of the most reputable contractors.


This business was established in 1991 and they have been in business ever since servicing a wide range of geographical areas that include Fairfax, Arlington, Springfield, and the other cities with in the Northern Virginia area.  Metro Contractors are considered experts in the damage restoration area and there are recommended by many insurance agencies for reputable contractors. If anyone has ever had to replace home windows, siding, roof, or any sort of remodeling they will most likely hear about this company. This company is very popular in Northern Virginia and they are one of the top five considered by most home owners in this area.


Metropolitan Contractors is an accredited business since 2006 from the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. The BBB is a very reputable agency that provides consumers with quality information about a business or corporation. They judge companies on the length of time a business has been operating, the amount of complaints filed against the company, and the amount of information they have on them. An A+ rating is the highest rating from the BBB and the lowest you can receive is an F. Because of Metro’s high accreditation rating from this organization is another reason why they are the most reputable.

Variety and Quality

This company provides a wide range of services pretty much cover everything with the physical structure of your home. Not only do they provide a wide range of services but they also complete them with professionalism and accuracy. This company has many great reviews that are found on their website and different reputation rating websites like Google Reviews and Yelp. This is the final reason why we have rating Metropolitan Contractors as one of the most reputable contractors in Virginia.