Project Bud Burst

Your observations can become valuable data for climate change and environmental researchers by participating in  Project BudBurst . Project BudBurst is a nation- wide effort to record phenology events that help research scientists better understand changes in our environment. There are many opportunities for citizen scientists to participate in this important work. The Project Bud Burst website has detailed information on how families and schools can participate. In fact, children comprised the largest group of people reporting data for Project Bud Burst last year! Get started by going outside and looking for new sprouts or blooms that appeared over night. See what others are recording on the website, or on their own web pages. What a great way to get your kids outdoors and observing nature.  Here are just a few of the blooms in my yard this month

Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens

  Create a Butterfly Garden Butterflies are some of the most beautiful, fragile animals in nature, sometimes called “flying flowers.” Butterflies and moths pollinate flowers, and both adults and larvae are an important food source for birds, bats, and other wildlife. Nearly 700 kinds or  species  occur in North America. About 20 species commonly are found in the Pacific Northwest. Attracting butterflies to your yard and garden is easy if you create a habitat that meets the butterflies’ needs for growth and development. Butterfly larvae, or caterpillars, eat leaves. Adult butterflies feed on nectar from colorful, fragrant flowers. Putting in the right plants for both of these increases your chances of attracting and keeping butterflies in your garden. Suitable habitat also includes shelter from wind and rain, open sunny areas for basking, and mud puddles for water and nutrients. This publication describes the life cycle of butterflies, how to design your...
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Love Our Earth

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4   In celebration of Earth Day tomorrow I wanted to share some information on recycling electronics and other products we use every day that contain chemicals that are potentially hazardous to our health and the environment. See the links below to gain access to the how, where and when of disposing of electronics and other hazardous items in your home that are no longer needed.  ALEXANDRIA - General information on rules and regulations of recycling in Alexandria.   FAIRFAX COUNTY - General information on recycling in Fairfax County.   I just became aware of a company called PCRecycler. They have a truly green approach to recycling electronics...mainly computers. The company does a free outreach to the community the 2nd Saturday of every month where consumers can bring their computers to their office in Chantilly and they will properly delete all information and recycle and dispose...
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Design Event on Saturday, April 24th

Simplify for Life is a new business partner with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Alexandria. I believe there is a synergy between my company's mission - to help people gain clarity and time through the process of organizing, and the ReStore's mission to support the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia's mission to provide affordable housing to low income families in the area. A significant part of organizing is purging and letting go of items no longer needed and a good way to do so is by donating them to a charity. This Saturday, April 24th, the ReStore is partnering with the Metro Washington DC Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) to host the third annual BIG Sale starting at 9:00 at the ReStore in Alexandria - 7770 Richmond Hwy (behind Gold's Gym). Members of ASID are donating items that will be sold at up to 75%...
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Clear the Clutter to Find your Life!

It is so uplifting to see everyone working on their yards, and to hear the sounds of nature and lawn mowers in our neighborhood. Spring is here finally after our long, hard winter! I feel the need, more strongly this year, to purge things from the inside of our home.  I want the weight of unnecessary things removed from our newly renovated home. I am really trying to push my agenda of simplicity which sometimes is met with resistance from everyone else in my family. One of my favorite columns to read in the Post is Michelle Singletary's, The Color of Money. She wrote this past Sunday about spring being the season of rebirth and that it is a good time to get busy throwing out the stuff clogging our homes, office, minds and spirits. I was very intrigued that a financial columnist was writing about decluttering and how clutter not...
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Celebrate Earth Day!

April 22, 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of the first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million people participated in activities that brought environmental awareness to the political forefront. More than 1 billion people today are expected to participate in Earth Day activities and issues of climate change, diminishing natural resources, air quality, and many other environmental issues are increasingly becoming a focus of public policy as well as daily life for many Americans. So what can you do this Earth Day? There is lots to choose from and more events that may not have made the list. Whether you decide to join the masses,  plant a tree in your yard, or simply remember to bring your own bag to the grocery store- it's all of our small acts that make a difference. be well. live green.    Get Involved in Local Activities: Earth Day Event Calendar  ...
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Backyard Habitats

As Earth Day Approaches, we may think about our "larger backyard," and the ways in  which we can encourage a healthy, welcoming environment.  Try planting Native flowers that attract beneficial wildlife, are well-suited to the climate and soil, and require less intensive maintenance. In my own garden, I've started reducing my lawn in favor of ground cover, vegetable beds, and perennial borders that attract beneficial pollinators.    Backyard Wildlife Habitats 426-070 Greg Eaton, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech and Barbara Wright, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech Wildlife Habitat The area where an organism lives and meets its basic needs for food, water, cover, and space to survive is called its habitat. Each species of wildlife has different habitat requirements. Why consider creating a wildlife habitat in your yard? As residential and commercial development by humans continues to expand, wildlife habitats in the affected areas are altered and may become...
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Community Reuse and Recycle Event This Saturday!

I meant to post this info earlier, but it has been busy. A large Shred and Share event is planned for this Saturday, March 27th from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. It is a collaboration of the City of Alexandria, County of Fairfax, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Landmark Mall, ProShred and McEnerney Realtors. ProShred will have a shredding truck to shred and recycle your old personal documents and the ReStore in Alexandria will be accepting donations. Shredding Details: Shred up to 5 medium-sized boxes of personal documents per vehicle. Only documents with personal information such as tax documents, medical or financial records will be shredded. Junk mail, newspapers, magazines and other forms of paper will not be accepted, but can be recycled through your normal recycling system. Please remove all paper from binders and remove all paper clips, binder clips and rubber bands. This event is for paper shredding only,...
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The Critical Hub of A Home

A client friend of mine sent me a link to some good products for organizing the kitchen . We have been working on her kitchen recently, and like most of us, her kitchen serves many purposes beyond cooking. We have been working on streamlining her desk that is in the kitchen, reworking her cabinets so that the shelves and cabinets that are most accessible hold items that she uses most frequently, and purging items that don't work for her any longer. The kitchen is such a vital room for most families because it is the gathering room, entertaining room, homework room, and place for cooking and eating together. We redesigned our kitchen last year and it is so great to have a gathering place that now functions so well. One common issue that I see a lot of people have is where to store paper that is needed regularly...such as school...
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Seed Starting

Starting seeds indoors Starting seeds indoors is one of the greatest joys of the vegetable growing season. In the dead of winter, we witness the magical transformation of a seed into new life. Gardening with kids provides a unique opportunity to teach life cycle lessons, and if you play your cards right, nutritious eating habits. I've had success on both counts in my own backyard vegetable garden: www. Knowing when to start seeds indoors takes some backward thinking. Find out the average date of the last frost in your area and the number of weeks before that date you should start a particular seed (the number of weeks varies and is listed on the seed package). Then count backwards on the calendar from the average last frost date. Most seeds should be started six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Some seeds can be started a few weeks before...
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School Closing Alert

Weather Update:  Due to icy road conditions, Brooksfield will be CLOSED today, Friday, February 19, 2021.  All child visits are canceled and will be rescheduled.  Stay warm!