Virginia Bloggers

Guest Post Archive



January 2016



Literacy on Wheels: Books on Bikes

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I’m so excited for today’s guest post from Julia Travers, because this organization is a great one! Read below to see how you can get involved with a great community program!
For some students, a break from school means a break from books. For elementary students, book access is crucial to literacy development. Books on Bikes is a program in which teachers and librarians from Charlottesville City Schools load books into bike baskets and deliver them to local neighborhoods. You can see videos of their work on their site, volunteer, start your own chapter, make donations, and also buy books for them that they’ve requested on this Amazon page. As well as being important, being read to and reading stories is fun and a big part of a kid’s world. Books on Bikes also brings along friendly service dogs and offers Freezy pops, warm, clothes, and cocoa, depending on the season.

books and bikes

Literacy on Wheels: Books on Bikes

Books on Bikes, Image credit: Books on Bikes, 2015 parade, Image credit:

On, member Stacy Diaz says,

“Kids love to read, so just to allow them to choose their own book, that they might be interested in and have something to read over break, is great for them.”

In June, they hosted their second Bike Parade, ending at the JMRL Summer Reading Kickoff Hullabaloo at the Central Library downtown, with help from local police and groups such as the Charlottesville Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee and Community Bikes.

Books on Bikes, 2015 parade, Image credit:

Books on Bikes led a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and members have presented their work at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference. They also ran Books on a Bus book delivery in summer 2015 and they have given out hundreds of books. You can find out more about this organizations’ work on their site as well as view their calendar and get in touch on their team contact page.


Julia Travers, 2016



July 2015



Plank Tutorial [Guest Post via Hello to Fit]

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Today’s guest post is from Jess at Hello to Fit! She’s a plank pro and offered to share some tips with us! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, head on over for some health & fitness inspiration!

Planks can be considered the base or foundation of all core work. While using just our bodyweight, planks can build up our muscular strength from head to toe – literally! Every muscle in the body must be engaged and active in order for us to hold a proper plank.

Why Plank?

When you think of abdominal strength, do you think of sit-ups and crunches? Those can be good to strengthen the abs, but not much is being done for the rest of our core muscles (the back, glutes, hips, shoulders, and chest). Sit-ups tend to engage mainly the hip-flexors, and can be tough on the back (since you are in a “flexed” or rounded position).

According to Harvard Health Publications, planks “recruit a better balance of muscles on the front, sides, and back of the body during exercise than sit-ups, which target just a few muscles”. This is more functional for our activities of daily living, since all of those core muscles have to work together when we do chores, pick up our children, and play sports.

Planks for everyone!

So…you want to be in-the-know about proper “planking”. There are many variations, but we’ll go over two ways you can plank on the floor: modified and full plank.

Correct modified plank

Place hands under shoulders and knees slightly behind hips, so that the hips are in a diagonal line with the shoulders. Elbows are soft, not locked, and shoulder blades should feel “plugged” into the joint. In other words, pull the shoulders slightly down and away from the ears.

Incorrect modified plank

Make sure abdominals are engaged; otherwise, your modified plank my look like this. Which is incorrect. Allowing the hips to sink can put unwanted pressure on the spine – back pain is no bueno!

Plank hands

Plank elbows

For more of a challenge, you can come into a full plank. Safety cues are the same as for a modified plank, except that you’ll come onto the toes. Depending on personal preference (or if there is a wrist injury), you can stay on hands or drop down to the elbows.

Incorrect plank on hands

Hips too high plank

A couple of big things to watch out for when you’re in full plank are hips that sink too low, or hips that are too high. Channel your inner Goldilocks and find that position that is “just right”: hips are in that diagonal line from the shoulders.

Plank better to perform better

Mastering any variation of a plank can help us be better at basically everything in our daily lives. We might be able to sit up a little taller – and with better posture – at work. When we’re at the gym, we can better protect our spine when lifting weights. With a stronger core, carrying our small children can be done safely and more efficiently.

What am I trying to say? If you haven’t planked today yet – drop down and give yourself a minute or two of some solid core work!

Jess Dang of Hello to Fit

Jess is an ACSM certified personal trainer and AFAA certified group exercise instructor from Charlottesville, VA. Through her personal training and blogging, she hopes to share her experiences with living a balanced lifestyle: a lifestyle that includes an emphasis on strength and core training, moving as much as we can for health, while also enjoying those moments of indulgence.

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October 2014



5 Outfits in 5 Minutes- Guest Post via Juliet Ly

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Today’s guest post is from Juliet of Lilly Rose! She’s got some tips for getting ready in the morning. Honestly, who couldn’t use a few extra minutes of the snooze button? Here are her tips! –Liz

Everyone has those mornings where you just don’t want to get out of bed till the very last minute.  Burying yourself under your covers and just hoping with all your might that it was Saturday.  But, it usually isn’t and you have to drag yourself out of bed eventually and get dressed.

There are five outfits that I immediately go to when I’m in one of these situations.  The first outfit is super comfy and super easy to throw on in the morning.  You can even get dressed in the dark and still look fabulous!

My first outfit it perfect for those chilly fall days that are coming our way. I paired my favorite loose cardigan with a long tank I scored during Topshop’s sale for a super comfy, yet cute look!  And who can live without a pair of black leggings this fall? And for a little bit of edge, I wore my outfit with my Jeffrey Campbell Everwell boots.

Can you tell I’m obsessed about them?

My second outfit incorporates a long shimmery sweater that is perfect for a night out in to the perfect day time outfit with the help of, yet, another Topshop tank!  The deal was too good to pass up! And my trusty black leggings are always there for me!  This time I paired my outfit with one of my favorite Dr. Martens.  They are super comfy and take seconds to just slip on!

For a cool, yet effortless vibe, I go with black and black.  This top is originally from Free People and I scored this top from Poshmark for under $20! Leggings and cut out boots are my go to essentials this fall.

There are days where the weather decides that it’s going to feel like summer.  And on those days, I love to rock an all neutral outfit.  They are super easy to put together and they complement each other beautifully.  And of course, I couldn’t leave my cut out boots at home!

This beautifully bold printed dress just screams fall from the great autumnal colors to the elongating vertical pattern.  I am in love with the little poms poms!  Because this dress makes such a beautiful statement on its own.  I just paired it with my Jeffrey Campbell France boots for a quick and easy fall look.  And for a little added warmth, you can always pair this look with a great denim jacket!

The key to getting dressed fast is looking at color and texture.  As you can see, most of my outfits are a mix of neutrals.  But they aren’t boring!  Each of the outfits play with texture and pattern.  For example, the speckled knit cardigan and the shimmery sweater really stood out over my tank and black leggings.  And the monochromatic black on black look stays interesting with the sheer paneling on the sleeves.

For quick outfits, keep your colors simple and the textural element will add the interest or find a really bold piece such as the dress above and play it up by matching the dress or top with some key basics.  With these tips, you can’t go wrong!  Have a great semester this fall!

 What are your go-to outfits?



September 2014



DC Thrifting Tour with Thrift & Boast

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We have a really fun announcement today from Tanesha of Thrift and Boast! She’s got an awesome event planned and we’re hoping to see lots of DC bloggers there! I’ll let her fill you in on the details: 

New to the blogging community, I wanted to formally introduce my blog, Thrift and Boast, and self while extending an invitation to the upcoming DC/NOVA Thrift and Boast Thrift Tour on Saturday, November 15th.

Tanesha of Thrift and Boast

Tanesha of Thrift and Boast

My Self: A lover of thrift shops, finding unique pieces, and putting them together to create distinct looks. I am also on a personal mission to share with anyone I come into contact with the benefits of shopping second hand and how it helps our pockets, public and planet.  There are so many myths about thrift stores and hidden truths. My goal is to dispel the myths and share the truths.  Not only does shopping second hand help our households and the budgets we maintain, but, it allows us to support our local organizations that are helping our communities and keeps our landfills clear. Triple win for all!!!

My blog, Thrift and Boast, is a platform to re-cap my monthly thrift and boast meet-ups at different organizations that make money to support our local communities through different outreach projects; talk about my life experiences with thrifting and a home for my online resale store of beautiful dresses, Discard to Distinct.  Whether you are up for a chuckle, a styling tip or looking for a thrifting buddy, this is a great place to start. Thrift and Boast is a way to highlight organizations that need our donations to continue their outreach in our local communities. Most people only know of the main stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and now CHKD but, with my help and the meet-ups this gives people other choices when choosing where to donate and shop.

thrift 4

My Invitation to all:  Sometimes we need a day away, a chance to recharge and what better way to do it then with good people, an in-transit movie, light refreshments and some shopping.  We will be chauffered on a shuttlebus to Northern Virginia to the 2nd Largest Salvation Army, Thrift Store of Virginia, then we will stop for lunch and then in head into Georgetown to visit Second Time Around and Buffalo Exchange. I had a chance to visit all of these stores and each store has something for everyone. Not only will we shop but, there will be raffles and give-aways to include visa gift cards and more. The cost is $50 and is guaranteed to be a good time. Bring a friend or come alone, you are guaranteed to make new friends. To purchase tickets or find out more information go to DC/NOVA Thrift and Boast Thrift Tour.  I hope to meet all of you and make some new friends.

For details or questions, e-mail Tanesahbrown (at) comcast (dot) net.



September 2014



Trendy Tuesday Inspiration- via Glamista Home

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Today’s guest post is from Glamista Home– a lifestyle blog. It’s about the things that make you happy, the things that make your life richer and the things that make your place a home. Her blog posts are full of home decor inspiration, trip and activity ideas, some food recipes that spark your fancy and much, much more to live a beautiful life. Enjoy! –Liz

Labor Day marked the official end of the summer and I miss it already. As much as I love summer I am looking forward to the beautiful colors of fall. I always enjoy the gold and reds of the Indian summer foliage.Today’s post was inspired by the changing colors of leaves. Although this post was inspired by the gold tones of autumn, this color can be used in a variety of items, such as lamps, candelabras, bowls, etc. the entire year round. I hope you enjoy the gold and brass shades as much as I do.Here is a list of all the items featured in this week’s Trendy Tuesday:Gold_Inspired_Collage

(as with other Trendy Tuesday posts, I do not owe any of the images and the sources are listed below)

ZGallerie Phantom Candelabra this candle holder could perfectly decorate a fireplace or an entryway.

Pottery Barn Clarissa Chandelier I can totally imagine this beautiful chandelier over a breakfast nook table

Jonathan Adler Gold Glazed Birds these bowls would be perfect for any room. They add a touch of elegance to a dining table or could be a perfect conversation/focal piece on a coffee table.

CB2 Ai Bud Vase These vases would look lovely on a book shelf where you display some of your favorite treasures.

Pottery Barn Cheetah Pillow Who doesn’t like some animal print in their life? :) I love this pillow; it’s perfect to create a cozy spot on the sofa or a comfy reading nook.

Pottery Barn Vince Accent Stool This stool can be used as a side table or additional seating.

Which is your favorite piece?  Do you like decorating with gold or changing your home decor with the seasons?


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