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Child Day Care Services in Virginia are Reliable

Best Convertible StrollersVirginia is one of the most child-friendly states in the US. There are not so many loud bars and party places. The crime rate is low and people live a relatively peaceful life compared with other highly urbanized states. This is why a lot of parents prefer to raise their children in a state like Virginia. They know that their kids will grow in a loving and a calmer environment.

Another reason why Virginia is a child-friendly state is because of its daycare centers. These places are reliable. If you are a working mother and you need to leave your child in a daycare center while you work, you have nothing to worry about.

Daycare centers in Virginia

Day care programs in Virginia don’t necessarily have to be licensed. Children under the age of 13 may be left in a day care center provided that the parents can prove that they won’t be around on a given time to take care of their kids. These centers also allow parents to leave their children for less than 24 hours only. There are also two options available. You can either drop your child off a day care center or you can ask a day care provider to come and babysit your child in your own home.

There are 4 types of day care centers in Virginia. The most reliable is the licensed day care centers. They can assume full responsibility if something goes wrong. They also have good track records when it comes to their job. Approved but not licensed day care centers are also fine. Before they have started operation, the government has already checked their facilities and services. The third one is called unlicensed but regulated. Though the idea of leaving your child in an unlicensed center is scary, it is offset by the fact that they are regulated anyway. Finally, there are unlicensed and unregistered centers. It is quite risky to leave your child here since the government has not checked their facilities at all. They also can’t assume responsibility if something wrong happens to your child. If you know that they are unlicensed and you still decide to trust them, then it is at your own risk.

A great time

Most licensed day care centers offer kids a great time while they are there. They don’t even want to go home since they are having fun. They take the kids to other places too so they won’t be bored playing inside the room. Some daycare centers have a mini park and a playground where kids can have fun. Day care centers caretakers get help from strollers to manage the number of babies left for them to take care of. Double strollers for instance help them if they want to push around a park two babies at a time.

If you want to get a double stroller of your own, you can check out these double stroller reviews and recommendations. You can also compare best double strollers so you can make the right decision.

Now that you know about day care centers in Virginia, you can fully entrust your kids to them while you are at work.

Hot Spots To Visit In Virginia

I may be a little biased but, I love Virginia. I think it’s not only a great place to live but an awesome place to visit as well. While many out there may not share the same love I have for Virginia I’m going to share some great things to do in Virginia if you ever find yourself in this area. So if you are curious about some things to do in Virginia or are contemplating visiting sometime soon, I hope you’ll enjoy this article.

Virginia has various national forest areas like the Shenandoah National Forest. It was set up in the late 1935 and incorporates the Skyline Drive. Roughly 40 percent of the national parks location is secured as part of the NWPS or National Wildlife Preservation System. About 30 trails as well as parks such as Prince William Forest Park and Great Falls Park are dealt in the NPS or National Parks System.

Virginia commemorates numerous festivals such as the Virginia State Fair, Neptune Celebration, Norfolk’s Harborfest and the Virginia Lake Celebration. The Virginia State Fair is well known every September at the Richmond International Raceway. Norfolk’s Harborfest is commemorated in June that includes air shows as well as boat racings. The Virginia Lake Celebration is commemorated during the third weekend of July at Clarksville. There are also two considerable film festivals in Virginia such as the VCU Movie Festival and the Virginia Film Festival commemorated at Richmond and Charlottesville, respectively.

Virginia is also the home of several hotels, among the best is the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort. This resort is situated about 20 minutes away from midtown Norfolk and the Norfolk International Airport. It is also 45 minutes away from Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. It is 5 minutes away from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Scientific Research. It is just 10 seconds away from the prominent Virginia Coastline boardwalk and beach. The resort features a full service front desk, a range of outside and inside dining in addition to complimentary shuttle bus services to some famous beach locations. The resort’s guestrooms have a 32 inch standard screen tv with premium cable television networks, broadband internet access, 2 telephones with voicemail, a coffee machine, hairdryer and iron with ironing boards.

For those that are looking to stay in shape while visiting Virginia be sure to bring your weight lifting wrist wraps and of course your top notch testosterone booster because The Hilton Virginia Beach also features a state of the art gym for those that want to get in a great workout while staying at this fine hotel.

Best Choice Inn Virginia is situated about a mile from the center of the community and about 20 miles away from the Norfolk International Airport. Several of the neighborhood attractions such as the boardwalk and the Virginia Maritime Scientific Research Museum are only 1 mile away from the resort. The resort includes coastline accessibility, fax machine, interior passage, seasonal exterior swimming pool, indoor swimming pool, bicycle leasings and a large parking lot. All guestrooms have refrigerators, iron with ironing boards, telephones, cable television service, wireless web accessibility, daily housekeeping, a veranda terrace and coffee machine.

The Sheraton Beachfront Hotel is 15 blocks from the fishing boat dock, 1 mile from the lighthouse and about 20 miles far from the Norfolk International Airport terminal. It is a mile away from the Virginia Beach Convention Center, 4 miles from the Seaside State Park, and also 11 miles away from the Verizon Virginia Beach Arena. This hotel showcases direct beach access, gym, indoor swimming pool and also exterior ocean view swimming pool, as well as hot tub. All guestrooms have refrigerator, iron, telephone along with cable, microwave, coffee maker, balcony terrace, and also broadband internet accessibility.

It’s Time to Make Preserves in WV: Get Out the Pressure Cooker!

Fall is a great time of year in West Virginia. In fact leaf color is peaking right around now around Cedar Creek. It’s a perfect time for a rural drive. It is also harvest time in gardens around the state and people are getting out their pressure cookers (reviews on this page: http://ricecookergoodness.com/best-pressure-cooker/ – looks like the All American Pressure Cooker/Canner is the best choice) to put food up for the winter. My mother was big on canning and now that I’m a little older I can see it has its benefits. Back when I was a kid it was just this annoying chaos taking over the kitchen! It’s especially good to can if you have your own garden and can control the pesticides and fertilizers that you put on (or don’t put on) your crops. I love having canned peaches and apples — two of West Virginia’s best canning crops — all winter. If you have a peach tree or two on your property make the effort to preserve some, you’ll be happy you did come mid-winter.

Here’s a few reasons to get a good large pressure cooker, some preserve jars, and take the time to do some canning:

  • Taste – this is the biggest one for me! Fresh from the garden right to the mason jar makes for maximum yumminess.
  • Poverty – I can afford fresh produce from the grocery store, but some folks can’t. Canning/preserves is very economical if you have all the equipment and you have food grown on your own land at little to no cost.
  • Generosity – nothing says “I give a damn about you!” like a jar or two of home-made preserves (especially jam)! When in doubt at Christmas time give a jar of something and you will be sure to please.
  • Waste not Want not – if you have a high-producing WV garden like my mom did you won’t be able to eat everything as it ripens. You won’t even be able to give all away! Canning the excess as it comes means no throwing perfectly good food into the compost.
  • You’ll feel good about it – There’s something really satisfying about taking care of your own food with your own hands and connecting to the land and the earth. Making preserves is kind of a back to basics, down-to-earth activity.
  • Good for the planet – Connected to the last point is that you won’t be buying food that’s been trucked in or flown in from a thousand miles away. This is obviously good for freshness but also reduces all those nasty carbon emissions we are so worried about.
  • Health – as mentioned earlier, if you are canning your own food you need not be concerned about what chemicals have been used to grown them and what chemicals have been used to keep the pests off. Usually it is better to avoid ingesting chemicals and additives if possible.
  • My mom did it – Yep, I can be a sentimental guy at times.

So there you have it. If you aren’t a canner already the first step to getting the necessary gear is to purchase a large electric pressure cooker http://ricecookergoodness.com/electric-pressure-cooker/ or regular pressure cooker and a bunch of mason jars. After that it’s not too hard. A good web search will get you all the info you need to successfully copy your mom.

Bass Fishing in Virginia? Yes!

As many of you know, I love the Old Dominion State. Everything about it. Now you may have heard that Virginia is for lovers. That may very well be true. However, I’m writing this post today to try to convince you that it’s also for bass fishing lovers.

States like Texas and Florida get all the mainstream press when it comes to bass fishing. With good reason. I’m not here to tell you that Virginia deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with Texas and Florida. I just want to let you know that there’s bass to be caught in this state and there’s more than one place to catch them.

Before I describe the various bass hotspots in Virginia there is one place I recommend you visit that’s not located in Virginia. I go here whenever I get the urge to get a few tips or a new crankbait. You really should check it out. Now, on to the hotspots.

One place to try your luck is the Tidewater Region. Particularly the James River, Herring and Powell’s Creek. I’ve heard there are plenty of bass in the 3- to 4-pound range. You could also try Lake Chesdin for largemouth bass. Make sure to bring shad colored baits as there are plenty of gizzard shad in the lake that the bass like to feast upon.

Next on the list of Virgina bass fishing hotspots is the Southern Piedmont region. This region is tough to fish only because there are so many places to go. Sandy River Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake, Briery Creek Reservoir and Buggs Island are the most popular. Fish Marrowbone Creek in March or April and bring your shad colored plastics.

I have a few spots in the Southern Mountain region as well. You have probably already heard about Claytor Lake if you’ve done any bass fishing in the past. Another lake to try is Rural Retreat Lake. The lake is on the smaller side but well worth your time. Plastic jerk baits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits in crappie and shad colors are the ticket here.

The Shenandoah River and Lake Frederick are great spots for largemouth bass in the Northern Mountain area. The heavy vegetation in Lake Frederick can make it a challenge to pull out those trophies. Use natural colored lures and bring a few of the weedless variety in case the vegetation wreaks havoc on your casts. Lures representing crayfish and minnows do well on the Shenandoah. Don’t be afraid to try your plastics and jigs.

I’ve saved the Northern Piedmont area for last but it’s certainly not. It contains the bass factory of Lake Anna. Herring and shad colored lures do very well here. The Rappahannock was suffering for a while but it seems to be making a comeback. Smallmouth can also be found here. Exploring the pools in a kayak while casting for that 7 pounder can be a great way to spend a day.

I will end by reminding you that you can’t catch fish sitting at home. So get out there and enjoy your Old Dominion State!

Virginia – Why It Will Always be on my Mind

When I was still in college, I’d always make it a point to go back to my home town in Virginia during the spring break. My college buddies would always ask me why I do this, since my home town is far away from my university. I’d always tell them that it would be better for them to personally see the reason why I’d rather spend my spring break in Virginia. We finally had the opportunity to visit my home town after graduation. When they finally saw the beautiful town of Norfolk, Virginia, they finally understood my reasons.

Not only is Virginia filled with beautiful sights to see, it is also a place rich in U.S history. Nicknamed the “Old Dominion”, the Commonwealth of Virginia (the state’s old title when the United States was still a colony) was the dominion of the English crown. It is also calle,d the “Mother of Presidents” because eight U.S Presidents were born in Virginia compared to the other states. During the Civil War, the city of Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy and the Virginia General Assembly is perhaps the oldest active law-making body in the world. Any history nut would basically think of Virginia as paradise.

Norfolk is one the most pleasant places to live in in Virginia. When I started working, I saved up a lot of money in order to build my very own house in Norfolk. Most people would think that my house is too far away from civilization. In fact, it’s not; I can have pizza delivered in my home and I my phone and Internet lines are very reliable, thanks to Broadconnect.com high speed business internet.

Anyway, back to my story. My friends were excited and we basically started our tour by checking out the Canal Cruises. We had to travel to Richmond for that, but it was worth the trip! You’ll see amazing sights while floating along the canal. After the cruise, we checked out the Meadow Run Mill and General Store in Charlottesville. Would you believe that the establishment was made during the early 1800’s? A friend of mine told me that it could be one of the oldest working mill in the world. Unfortunately, this same friend of mine tripped on a small stone while checking out the cog wheels of the mill outside the store. Fortunately, the only thing he got from that escapade was boisterous laughter from all of us.

Finally, we hit the beach. Most of the beach resorts in Virginia have everything you need for a fun spring break. You can go hiking, water skiing, beach volleyball, surfing and others. My friends and I had loads of fun there and even until now, they’re still talking about reliving the adventure again. It’s been five years since we graduated but we all chose to keep communicating because we all love the Old Dominion.

So if you’re looking for a grand vacation or a place where you can unwind and relax, then Virginia is the place to be. You won’t regret it, believe me!

Launch of Fantastic Community Exercise Program

What I love about the state of Virginia is the sense of community spirit you get, no matter which part of the state you live in. People tend to pull together to support one another and it is exactly what makes me so proud to live in this state. Recently, our local hospital announced their plans to provide free exercise programs to help the community get in shape.

Why Is This Important?

Exercise in necessary to achieve greater health and general wellbeing. Not only is this important for your body, but it is also important for your mind and spirit. It provides various benefits such as helping you to build strength, lose weight, relieve stress and avoid various chronic diseases. It’s a terrific idea for the hospital, because it helps people stay healthy and supports those who are recovering from an illness or surgery.

What Does The Program Provide?

The exercise program is free and open to the general public, so you don’t need to worry about having to be registered at the hospital. The aim for the programs is to help focus on building strength, improving flexibility and balance and managing weight. They are targeting those over the age of 50, or those who are at risk of developing a chronic disease, but anyone can benefit from the program. I know I can!

The program includes cardio classes to target weight loss, metabolism and improve cardiovascular activity. There will also be strength-training classes, which will focus on building muscle with the use of weights or exercise bands. Some examples of classes include Pilates, yoga, aerobics, Zumba and total body conditioning. There are lots of different classes to choose from to suit your needs and fitness levels, so no need to worry or feel intimidated, there are plenty of beginners attending.

My Favorite Class

I had a chance to try out a couple of classes to report back to you and I have to say my favorite class was the elliptical training. This involved using an elliptical trainer, also known as a cross-trainer, and it gave me an impressive workout. I don’t normally use this machine at the gym, so it was a great chance to learn about it and the various benefits it can provide.

The class lasted 45 minutes and it included a warm-up and cool-down. It was great for cardio and I found that it had less of an impact on my joints than the treadmill does. I left it feeling happy and energized, even though it was hard work! It really gets your heart rate up and targets various different muscles, so it provides a good all-round workout for your body. I would recommend this class to everyone and the trainers were really fantastic.

What Can I Do?

Local fitness programs need the help of the community to keep them running. You can start your own or enquire about helping existing programs. I would love to volunteer and offer a bit of my time to help out my community. It’s not just fitness trainers they need, they can always use help when it comes to setting up, cleaning or providing general administrative tasks.

You can also give money to help keep these kinds of programs running, or you can donate gym equipment. Exercise machines such as rowing machines, elliptical trainers and treadmills are more than welcome, either new or used as long as they are in good condition. Other equipment includes things such as mats, weights, jump ropes and gym balls.

Family Walks And Hikes Made Easy

I love outdoor activity and the only thing I love more is going for walks and hikes with family and friends. But for a lot of families with young kids this can be a challenge and tough advanced hikes are certainly out of the question with babies and young toddlers. However, there are plenty of options in our wonderful state of Virginia where young kids will get to experience nature without being overwhelmed. In this post I want to highlight how easy it actually is based on my experience with my sister and her kids.

Last summer I started to talk my sister into joining me again for some outdoor activities. Since she had her two kids we had not done this as regularly as we used to, which is understandable. During that conversation I threw out the wild idea that her kids, both under 3, could join us.

My sister was looking for a new stroller anyway and asked me if I could see which types would be suitable for outdoor and light hiking activities. During my search I found a site called BabyWheels.net which has tons of information about strollers in general. But the site also has a list of the best double strollers for all different types of uses.

This basically helped us narrow things down in order to make sure she would be able to join me at weekends with her two young kids. The first thing we looked at is whether a side by side or tandem stroller would be better suited. For most of walks and light hikes we do there is plenty of space for a side by side model, but this can be a tight squeeze at time. So we focused our attention on a tandem model and she went off and bought a Baby Trend stroller.

The very first weekend that she got the stroller we packed up the kids and went for our first kike; well it was actually more of a walk which included a few nature trails. We had planned to do a trail that would take about 45 minutes, but we ended up extended the walk to 2 hours.

This was mainly due to the fact that both kids absolutely loved the environment and they were incredibly easy to manage in the new stroller. Every so often we would stop and let the eldest girl (Lucy) get out and do some exploring and walk for a while. It was a huge amount of fun for all of us. This was made particularly clear when on the way home in the car Lucy requested we do the same again the next day.

Since then, we go every weekend to different places as long as the weather is good. Obviously snow and rain have meant we went for long periods without our little trips, and it’s great to hear Lucy ask when we are going for a walk again. At this stage I really hope that the kids will grow up looking for outdoor activites and all the health benefits that come with it.

Non-Cooking Jobs in Today’s Restaurants

When you enter a restaurant, it may seem like it’s only run by a couple servers, a bartender, and a cook. But the truth is, a restaurant is full of activity, with plenty of people who make it easier for you to dine out. If you’re the kind of person who plans to be around food but don’t want to indulge in any cooking jobs, then you have a number of options at your disposal.

If you’re interested in food services but are not a big fan of cooking, dont worry. You can still get a job in the food service industry. Not everyone has to be the chef or even be trained as one to be a star in the restaurant. You can take many positions outside of the kitchen and still enjoy working the the food service industry.

Dishwasher
Dishwashers have plenty of responsibilities. Aside from dealing with dishes and kitchen utensils, they may even function as a bus person or a waiter/waitress. A dishwasher is basically a starting point for people looking to work in a restaurant.

Waiter/Waitress
Waiters or waitresses will be the first people who take your menu order until the time you leave out a tip. They generally take meal orders, make menu recommendations, and always have a habit of asking how your meal is. Very much like bartenders, they also deploy liquor regulations and must be professionally certified to serve alcohol. Waiters/waitresses may be required to function as bartenders, a bus person, or as host/hostess.

Host/Hostess
Hosts or hostesses are usually people who greet and brings you to your seat as you enter an eatery. Their job is an entry-level position and is ideal for those who aim to be a waiter/waitress or a bartender. There may be times where they’re expected to cater duties as a bus person or even a bouncer.

Bartender
Bartenders are usually found behind a bar serving out beer, cocktails, or wine you’ve ordered. Depending on the eating establishment, the bar may have a social functionality or are simply utilitarian. Regardless of a bar’s operations, bartenders are required to deploy liquor regulations, and may undergo a specific certification.

Bus Person
The primarily responsibility of bus persons is to clear out used tables and glassware from tables. They’re expected to take responsibilities as a bartender, dishwasher, host/hostess, or a waiter/waitress. In a general, a bus person is a starting point for those aiming to be a waiter/waitress, or bartender.

The next time you ask for a menu order and a drink, think about the people involved in a restaurant that make your meal a convenient reality. In a restaurant where you want to work in, it’s a lot bigger than just serving a snack or meal to your family on the dinner table.

If you are interested in working in the kitchen though, one of my favorite sites that dishes all about that is http://culinarydreaming.com

Review of my Hunting Season

So, the Virginia hunting season is over (well, technically it was over a couple of months ago but I’m only writing this now so tough). I miss it already. As anybody who’s reading this blog knows (probably just my friends and family, lol), I’m an avid hunter, and while I understand why there needs to be an offseason for conservation reasons, every year I get bummed out when the hunting season is over.

I’m primarily a bow hunter (although I have hunted with a gun in the past), and this season was reasonably fruitful for me. I only shoot a recurve (no compound bows for me, I don’t like the way they look or feel), so my success rate is probably lower than a lot of other hunters, but I was pleased with the game I managed to kill this year.

I managed to net 2 deer this year – that’s only happened to me one other year in my entire life. Deer hunting is a tricky business, especially using a recurve bow, and most of the time even if I spot a deer I don’t want to take a shot because I’m not sure I can guarantee a kill. I don’t want to shoot a deer and then have it running around bleeding and injured – that seems unnecessarily cruel to me. So when I do take a shot, I try to aim for the typical kill spots, and the deer also has to be close enough so that my unassisted recurve bow can shoot with enough force to penetrate all the way through the animal.

Through the hunting season, I also netted a couple of other less exciting animals – a couple of (hunting-permitted) birds and such. Nothing overly exciting. But I am proud of my 2 deer – I know a couple of guys who hunt with guns who only managed a single deer this season, so I suppose it’s something of an achievement to manage two deer with an old school bow and arrow.

I’m currently shooting a Bear Super Kodiak, but I’m seriously considering switching to a takedown recurve just for convenience purposes. It’s quite a hassle to lug around a full bow and all the equipment – I think I want something that can be disassembled and packed in the back of the car with no fuss. A couple of years ago, I was pretty skeptical of takedown recurves, just because I’m an old school guy who likes his equipment simple and straightforward, but nowadays I have to admit that the idea of a bow that can be packed neatly into a box is really appealing.

I’ve been looking up the various bows that are available on the market and the best recurve bow according to this guide is the Martin Saber but I’ve never been particularly partial to Martin as a brand overall. I’m thinking maybe the Buffalo Hoyt – it sounds like a good all-around choice – or maybe the Samick Sage(they have a review here), which seems like it’s really flexible.

Anyways, if anybody has any thoughts on what takedown recurve I should buy, just reach out to me. If you’re reading this, chances are you know where to find me =).

Never forget – Virginia is the best state.

I’m out.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding West Virginia

West Virginia is not missing out on the growing popularity of paddle boarding. In fact, the newest thing is getting a good inflatable standup paddle board or SUP (reviews on this site) so that you don’t have to tote the thing on the outside of your car. Inflatable paddle boards are surprisingly good performers on the water, too. Trust me it’s not like trying to stand up on a water mattress…

Anyway, as temperatures start to rise in our beautiful state, my mind is turning more towards warm weather fun. There are so many rivers and lakes in West Virginia that are great for paddle boarding. And there are more and more places selling them and renting them out near those wonderful lakes and rivers. Though it is perfectly fine to use a paddle board on a river it is probably best to start on still water like a lake. You’ll want to get accustomed to paddling, balancing and steering the board on calm waters before adding the extra complication of the movements of a river pushing you around. Of course like any on-water sport you want to take safety precautions. A personal flotation device should be worn in case you fall in. A whistle attached to that PFD is a good idea. A knife is a good idea – preferably a fixed blade knife like a good hunting knife – for cutting your tether if you get into a bind. And, of course, appropriate clothing for the season so you don’t get hypothermia out there.

Once you’ve brought everything you need together then you are ready to go adventuring. Here are three of many great spots in the state:

1. The New River Gorge National River – the Gorge is a popular spot and has fairly easy as well as quite difficult stretches of river. It is a national park and is literally stunning. On thetripadvisorwebsite users rate for the location itself as almost 5 stars. Imagine adding the thrill of stand up paddle boarding there while in such a mind-blowing location – you’d likely go off the scales in your rating!

2. Summersville Lake – this lake is a great place to learn your skills. It is also perfect if you have a family with kids you want to keep track of. Even better, North American River Runners can rent you boards and teach everyone as well – it’s a perfect fun day or weekend family adventure.

3. The New and Gauley Rivers can be challenging rivers for the more experienced. There are calmer stretches too, so fear not – if you are intimidated there are other options.

If you live in the eastern part of the state you can even head to Chesapeake Bay or Virginia Beach if you want to have some salt water adventures. Many paddle boarders find their sport is a good bridge into out-and-out surfing and they use the paddle to speed themselves up to catch waves instead of paddling with the arms as most surfers do. Good luck and stay safe!