I'm here for my formal introduction! Courtney recently passed the reigns of the leader for the Richmond Housewives in the City Community to me and I couldn't be more excited (though I know she will be greatly missed and I'm hoping she still shows her beautiful face at our events)!
My name is Dannah and I'm a full time working mom to two kids (a 5 year old boy and an almost 4 year old girl) as well as a fur-mom to two dogs. To say I'm busy is an understatement but really, aren't we all? I was born and raised in Wisconsin where I also went to school (Go Badgers!). After I graduated, I knew I was ready to explore and see what the rest of the country had to offer. I took a job that moved me to Phoenix, AZ, Albany, NY (twice!), Raleigh, NC, Williamsburg, VA and then I finally landed (for good) in Richmond, VA. Knowing what a lot of the country has to offer, I think Richmond is an amazing place to be. The weather is nice, you can be to the mountains or the ocean in little time. The food is great, the shopping is awesome but most of all, the community of people here are really the best. When I moved here, I had one friend. I immediately joined a local moms group on Facebook and it emerged me into a great community of women which many of whom have become great friends. Not to mention, the sense of community among entrepreneurs here is also bar-none - everyone truly supports each other and wants the other to succeed! That is something special and not found in all places (trust me, I know!).
My hope as I relaunch Richmond Housewives in the City is that it will be a community that can support and promote local businesses but also be a space for the women of RVA to connect with each other. I find that we all get so busy that we typically need a REASON to get our girlfriends together and my mission is to create that reason. Our events are a space for ladies to get together with their current friends as well giving them the opportunity to make new friends too. (I'm in the process of planning the relaunch event now so keep an eye out for it - you won't want to miss it!)
If you've attended a RVA Housewives in the past, post in the comments what your favorite part of it was!
Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to meeting the ladies of this community soon!
What would Summer be without ice cream trucks? Farmville's coolest ( eh, eh- get it) new addition is Waldy's Ice Cream truck! Their grand opening was just last week and they are already scheduled to be at different events and venues throughout the season.
While their ice cream is sweet, the story behind it is even sweeter. Waldy's Ice Cream was created by one of my dear friends and her family as a way to bring awareness to Down Syndrome and Autism after her son, that sweet little face in the logo, was diagnosed with both.
I know that RVA has a serious love of yummy food and a good cause, so I wanted to bring my friend Chelsea on the blog.
I know that you guys are located in Farmville, but do you have any plans to visit Richmond this summer?
We do not have any plans as of yet, but are certainly hoping to come visit RVA this Summer!!
(Let's make this happen!!)
I love the name Waldy's Ice Cream - where did that come from?
The name "Waldy" is one of Landon’s many nicknames. So when the whole family was together one evening and we were trying to come up with a name for the ice cream truck, we thought his nickname “Waldy” would fit perfectly!
I know that raising awareness for Down Syndrome Autism is very important to you all, how do you plan on doing this?
Our mission is to be the best local ice cream food truck. To show love and support to those with Down Syndrome and Autism. To glorify God by working together as a family and by being faithful stewards of all that He has entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all we serve.
Check out their Facebook page to stay updated on where they will be next.
Sometimes you need to get out of the city and explore! Just 30 minutes outside of Richmond is Hobby Hill Farm, a store that offers café style dining ,a bakery, culinary classes, and much more. If you are looking for a fun way to spend your afternoon, head here! Come enjoy some shopping, eat at their award winning café, and finish it off with an amazing bakery item.
Meet Sharon, the woman behind all of the magic of Hobby Hill Farm! Sharon was at one of our recent Girl's Night Out events and I was so thrilled to be able to ask her a few questions about this hub of fun.
Hobby Hill Farm offers everything from Equine products to baked goods, how did it all start?
Hobby Hill was the name of our subdivision in Richmond. We moved to Powhatan in 2001 and started our Farmette of 12 acres. I have always wanted to live on acreage with horses. They are not only livestock but family. My Mother and I sew and in 205 we started our business Hobby Hill Farm. We specialize in embroidery, leather totes and purses,and cooling products for people, horses and pets. Our foods division started in 2008 when the economy took and turn and most of the customers we had started purchasing foods, It was at this time that we started focusing on foods such as bread, cheese, cookies and cakes. Additionally, we started offering classes on cheese making and canning via Goochland County Parks and Recs. Now a bakery, retail store and training facility in the heart of Powhatan.
I've heard a lot about how fun your classes are. What kind of classes do you offer?
Our most popular class has been our Mozzarella and Ricotta, We know time is precious and in todays world customers want products right away. We have specialized in making Mozzarella and Ricotta, Artisan Breads, Cinnamon Buns and Eclairs & Profiteroles.
All of your bakery items look AMAZING. Do you do custom cakes? If so, how can people order one ? Hobby Hill Farm does Custom Cakes and Custom Decorated Sugar Cookies. We have hired several new kitchen helpers with the baking and decorating experience to bring your favorite cakes and cookies to a whole new WOW factor. Please check our website, Facebook and Instagram accounts for photos. We are also Linkedin and have been very active on Google.
Thank you to all the ladies that came out for our first event with Richmond Housewives, We had a blast and look forward to meeting you at future events.
If you are like my husband and I, every week we kind of go back and forth about what we should do for date night and often settle on a movie and dinner **yawn**. Until last Friday night that is! We were so thrilled to spend the evening at The Virginia Axe Company honing (or just beginning in my case) our axe throwing skills.
The newly opened The Virginia Axe Company is located a few minutes outside of Short Pump and it is THE place for date nights, girl’s night outs, parties, and corporate events. Also, worth noting, if you are looking for a way to score cool points with your teenagers, this will do it. I often think of settings like this as having a bar like atmosphere, but this was completely family friendly. Think you will get bored just throwing axes at a target? No way. There are two targets in each axe throwing pit, one for each thrower. Every group has an axe coach there to teach you the right (and safe) way to throw. The coaches are so fun and are true experts, being experienced in axe and knife throwing competitively for years. This is a true art and can take a few tries to get down, but once you do it just comes naturally. After you get the throwing down, you can progress to competing against your fellow throwers with fun games. When you go, do not forget to try out the knife throwing. There is nothing that will make you feel tougher than hurling a knife at a target.
Are you ready to schedule your first session? Just book your session online at www.thevirginiaaxecompany.com.
Important things to know:
-Participants must be 12 and older.
-Each hour and a half long session is $30
-Closed toed shoes should be worn in the facility (lest you chop off a toe- kidding! Kind of)
-There is currently no alcohol being served on premises, but light snacks and drinks are sold.
Intermission Beer Company hosted us for a fabulous Girl's Night Out this month. My highlight of the evening came when someone said ," I look forward to meeting my girlfriends here every month- this is what we do.". This is exactly why I look forward to our monthly nights so much- to see some of my favorite familiar faces and connect with new ones. This truly felt like a Girl's Night with Kara Waggoner Beauty and Cameron Carson pampering us all and Pencraft and Post providing a hand lettering station.
Please support our local businesses and shop, connect, follow them on Instagram, like their Facebook page and help them grow!
All About The Beverage
Pamela with Stella + Dot
Chesapeake Bay Pearl Girl
Felicia with Paparazzi
Special Thanks To...
Kara Waggoner Beauty
Pencraft and Post
Emily Mandeville Photography
Don't miss out on our June Girl's Night Out!
Kids Just Want to Have Fun
Introducing Family Days at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest“By far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.”
—Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, Paris, August 13, 17861
FOREST, VA: Children and their families, and visitors of all ages are invited to join Poplar Forest for Family Days—three fun-filled Saturdays chock full of special activities designed to engage children and bring history to life—on June 15, July 13 and August 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Each Family Day has a unique focus: Exploring Plantation Trades in June, Archaeology Adventures in July and All Fun and Colonial Games in August. All feature special hands-on history activities, scavenger hunts, the Colonial Klaus Kids Quest and take-home crafts for kids.
“We understand that it can be challenging to bring children to an historic site,” says Jeffrey L. Nichols, president and CEO of Poplar Forest, “but it’s also known that those who are exposed to cultural institutions, like museums and historic sites, at a young age are more likely to become lifelong learners and more tolerant of new ideas. Thomas Jefferson philosophized that educating all of our children—rich and poor—would make the country stronger. We created Family Days with those concepts in mind...to help families cultivate their children’s curiosity and develop an interest in history by telling our stories through hands-on activities.”
Exploring Plantation Trades
Saturday, June 15
For the first Family Day, Poplar Forest brings plantation trades to life with special demonstrations of early American trades like spinning and weaving, wool carding and processing, and bucket and basket making. Take-home crafts include placemat weaving and other cut-and-paste crafts.
Saturday, July 13
Channel your inner explorer and inspire your budding Indiana Jones on this hands-on adventure in archaeology with special demonstrations of archaeological practices like cross-mending and screening for artifacts. Design your own retreat house or presidential china, assemble a cow skeleton or join us for a special storytime at 1 p.m. Try your hand at take-home crafts like spatter painting with poplar leaves and other natural plants.
All Fun and Colonial Games
Saturday, August 3
Leave your favorite video games at home and explore the games colonial kids played at this family-oriented day. Join a game of trap ball, run a three-legged race or roll a colonial hoop. Try your hand at strategic games like checkers, mancala and dominos. Explore the art of water coloring, learn how to tin-punch decorative designs and take home your original creations.
Family Days activities are included with general admission to Poplar Forest. Admission to Poplar Forest includes a guided house tour, the Enslaved Community Tour on Fridays and Saturdays and self-guided exploration of exhibits in the lower level of the house, the Wing of Offices, the ornamental grounds and the slave quarter site.
Interested in attending more than one Family Day? Poplar Forest Family Memberships—unlimited admission for two adults and all household children under 18, and a 10% discount on admission to special events—are available for $125 per year.
Admission fees: $16 for adults; $14 for seniors (ages 65+) and military (must show ID); $8 for college students (must show ID) and teens (ages 12-18); $4 for youth (ages 6-11); and free for children under age 6 and Poplar Forest members.
Admission for active duty military and their families is free (with ID) from Armed Forces Day (May 18) through Labor Day (September 2) as part of the Blue Star Museums programs. For more information about Family Days at Poplar Forest visit poplarforest.org or call the Museum Shop at 434.534.8120.
About Poplar Forest
One of only two homes Thomas Jefferson designed for his personal use, the Poplar Forest retreat was the place where Jefferson “came to indulge in the life of the mind and renew his personal creativity.” Jefferson and his wife, Martha, inherited the Bedford County plantation known as Poplar Forest from her father in 1773. When his presidency ended in 1809, Jefferson visited the retreat three or four times a year, often staying for several months at a time during planting seasons.
Designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior, and nearly lost to development, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest plantation in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains was rescued in 1984 by a group of local citizens who sought to preserve it for the cultural and educational benefit of the public. Poplar Forest was opened to the public for the first time in 1986, in its “before restoration” state. Today, the neoclassical architecture of the octagonal house has been returned to Mr. Jefferson’s design. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has recognized the meticulous research and restoration efforts with its highest award, and the plantation has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to Poplar Forest offers a unique opportunity to observe a “live” archaeological dig and historic restoration in progress, as efforts to reveal and restore Thomas Jefferson’s vision for his personal retreat continue.
Poplar Forest is open daily from March 15 through December 30 (closed on Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission includes a guided house tour and self-guided exploration of exhibits in the lower level of the house, the Wing of Offices, the ornamental grounds and the slave quarter site. Guided tours of the octagonal house begin at 10:00 a.m. and run every half hour, with the last tour of the day beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Admission is $16 for adults; $14 for seniors (ages 65+) and military (must show ID); $8 for college students (must show ID) and teens ages 12–18; $4 for youth ages 6–11; and free for members and children under age 6. Admission for active duty military and their families is free (with ID) from Armed Forces Day through Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums programs. Tours for groups of 20 or more are available by appointment at a discounted rate.
For more information about Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, visit poplarforest.org or call 434.525.1806.
1 The Quotable Jefferson, John P. Kaminski, Princeton University Press, © 2006, page 84
This month our Girl's Night Out was hosted at The Wine Loft, one of my personal favorite spots in Short Pump. So many fabulous ladies came and spent the evening learning about our featured businesses and of course, taking pictures in a fun photo booth provided by Hott Shotz Photo Booth.
Our RVA Housewives in The City community is so special in how we encourage and support one another month after month. Please continue spreading that love by liking, following, and visiting our amazing businesses.
Created by two local moms with a love for jewelry, Keva Style offers beautiful, handcrafted leather jewelry. Their jewelry can be dressed down or up and you can be sure that you will stand out when wearing one of their pieces. Every guest that stopped by their table gushed about their earrings, cuffs, and necklaces.
All About The Beverage
We are always thrilled to have All About The Beverage join us! All About The Beverage is a shop that offers unique, fun drink accessories. If you are looking for a gift for your wine loving girlfriend, look no further!
Hobby Hill Farm
Located in Powhatan, Hobby Hill Farm offers a full service café, bakery, and store. They are well known for their pretzels, breakfast breads, and ricotta cheese cookies. Looking to learn from the best? They also offer culinary classes. Not located in Powhatan? Don't worry, you can shop their goodies online!
Paparazzi with Deborah
Deborah represented Paparazzi Jewelry at our Girl's Night Out and everyone LOVED it. Paparazzi is known for their affordable jewelry that will keep you on trend. The first 25 ladies were lucky enough to score a pair of earrings in their swag bags from Deborah.To follow her and find jewelry to complete your looks, head to her website.
Young Living with Elisa Hayden
Elisa Hayden, owner of Little Owl Yoga and Young Living essential oils distributor, taught everyone about the benefits of essential oils and how to use them for our homes and our wellness. Everyone was able to make their own roll on bottles ( I headed straight for the Stress Away ) of different oil blends.
Vantel Pearls with Laura Matthews
What's better than jewelry with a story? With Vantel Pearls you pick a jewelry setting and then pick an oyster. Then the oyster is opened and the pearl in the oyster you picked goes in the setting you selected. Host a fun party with your girlfriends and win free jewelry! To follow Laura and order your own jewelry, head to her website.
Perk Elkin Designs
Margaux Shelton, owner of Perk Elkin Designs, brought her beautiful artwork. Beautiful art can completely transform a room. Margaux creates stunning, unique pieces that will look amazing on your wall and make wonderful gifts. Please follow her to see her new pieces!
Noonday Collection with Jennifer Case
Housewives in The City's main goal is to support and empower women and we love seeing that same spirit in other businesses. Through jewelry and other accessories, Noonday Collection partners with the world's most vulnerable communities to bring you beautiful pieces and support those communities. Jennifer brought so many incredible items that will make you feel like you have come back from a fun adventure.
Hempworx with Diane Barnard
CBD oil has been known to improve wellness, promote a healthy mind, and increase immune function. Diane educated all of our attendees on the benefits of CBD oil and how it can improve your overall wellness. The first 25 ladies to arrive were lucky enough to score a Hempworx coffee sample in their swag bags courtesy of Diane.
Relay for Life of Greater Richmond
Relay for Life holds annual celebrations to fundraise to fight cancer. Cancer survivors are honored with a survivor lap and those that have lost their fight are remembered with luminaria bags that are released as the sun sets. Richmond's Relay for Life event will be held June 1st at Pocahontas Middle School in Henrico.
I want to extend a huge thank you to JBella Photography for capturing our night with amazing pictures. Whether you are looking for business headshots or family photos, Saraellen , owner of JBella Photography, can bring your vision to life.
As with every month, I loved getting to see new faces and familiar ones. Please join us on May 16th at Intermission Beer Company! Get your ticket here. See you soon!
Ten years ago I am betting that you never thought you would be worried about Instagram algorithms or that you would obsess over getting that perfect picture of your letter board next to a cup of coffee. But here we are and we all know that running a business on social media is HARD and the competition is fierce. With all of that being said, I was thrilled to find out that Content and Connection was coming to Richmond. I went to the first meet up and I am happy to say it lived up to the hype!
What is Content and Connection?
A community of like-minded entrepreneurs there to help you create social media content through an online group, monthly meetups, expert training, and tips throughout the month.
What did we do at the monthly meet up?
We met up at the super cute Quirk Hotel and had time to network ( my personal favorite, I'm a talker). Then we split into groups and set out across the city to take pictures with some beautiful backdrops. When you get people with different skill sets and businesses together, magic happens and everyone ends up inspired.
You all know that I love having a community and I am thrilled that we have this new one here in Richmond. To learn more about how you can join, head to Content and Connection!
I knew from the moment that I walked into the AR Workshop for the first time that I would love this place (and it's wonderful owner, Rebecca) . I have continued to love it at each visit and last Thursday night was no exception. A huge thank you goes to the AR Workshop for hosting us in their beautiful space and for creating adorable spring projects for our attendees to make. We had 11 amazing businesses at our Pop Up and I want to take the time to highlight them so that you can connect with and support them.
Lyla Taylor Boutique
Lyla Taylor Boutique is a local online boutique that offers fashionable, boutique style clothing without the boutique cost. All of the pieces are hand picked by a local mama to be fashion forward and comfortable.
Created by local sisters, L&M Company creates women's leggings. We all love wearing leggings, but as we all know leggings are not always the most flattering. L&M has created the most flattering pair of leggings, so you will feel both put together and comfortable while you wear them.
All About The Beverage
Are you a wine lover? Of course you are! All About The Beverage creates fun drink themed accessories and barware perfect for gifts.
My Nourishing Kitchen
I was so thrilled to have My Nourishing Kitchen provide food for our Pop Up Shop and everyone LOVED everything that Karen prepared. My Nourishing Kitchen provides whole food, plant based meal prep workshops. You leave the workshops with healthy meals that take the guess work out of the rest of the week.
Tiny Bees Kids Shop
Are you tired of constantly seeing ugly, dysfunctional teethers? Tiny Bees Kids Shop creates beautiful handmade teething accessories and pacifiers clips, including teething necklaces that you won't even mind wearing.
We all love to dress up our little misses and misters. Haberdash creates beautiful, handcrafted bows and bow ties in a variety of colors and prints. No outfit is complete without one!
Founded here in Richmond, Liberatus Jewelry creates modern yet timeless pieces for women and men. All pieces are handcrafted in sterling silver, brass, and cooper.
Are you constantly finding yourself searching for meaningful gifts, but end up just spending a lot of money on something that you don't love? Worry no more because Gifted RVA specializes in the art of gifting! The owner, Noelle, creates gift boxes full of beautiful and local items that will make your family and friends wonder how you found such a thoughtful gift.
When the owners of Cache District noticed that they could not find high quality sheets at an affordable price, they sought out to create it themselves. Cache District creates beautiful, luxurious organic cotton sheets and throw blankets in a variety of timeless designs.
Ayla James is an online children's boutique that offers boutique quality clothes and accessories for your little cuties at a reasonable price. They have also recently begun offering Kindness Dolls!
Stella & Dot with Pamela
Stella & Dot is a favorite for everyone! They perfectly master the timeless yet modern look. Our beautiful stylist, Pamela, will be donating all proceeds from our Pop Up Shop to the local Down Syndrome Association in honor of World Down Syndrome Day. If you saw an item that you are still thinking about, head to her website above!
Feedmore is on a mission to stop hunger in Central Virginia. They collect, prepare, and distribute food to those in need across 34 counties and cities. To learn more about what you can do to help, head to their Facebook page.
Emily Mandeville Photography
Emily has had a long standing passion for photography and it clearly shows in her work. Winner of the Thumbtack Top Pro Award, Emily Mandeville Photography is able to assist you with all of your photography needs from portraits to kids' parties.
To see all of the photos from our Pop Up Shop, click here.
Thank you all so much for supporting RVA Housewives and our amazing vendors! See you at The Wine Loft on April 23rd !
oday is World Down Syndrome Day, which is observed to raise awareness about what Down Syndrome is and celebrate those who have Down Syndrome. Why is Down Syndrome celebrated on the date 3/21? Down Syndrome occurs when there are 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.
As most of you know, my three-year-old daughter, Charlotte, has Down Syndrome. It’s one of those things that I often forget about in our day to day, even though it is such a big part of our lives. To us, she is just Charlotte- who happens to have Down Syndrome…and more sassiness than a three-year-old should ever have. On days like this one, I remember a time when I didn’t know anything about Down Syndrome.
When I first found out that my sweet, unborn daughter had Down Syndrome, I quite simply lost it. I thought every single moment of my family’s days would be devoted to caring for Charlotte. There would be no vacations, no parties, we would go into bankruptcy, etc. I’m not dramatic at all. Well, this obviously could not be farther from the truth and we feel quite lucky every single day to have this extra special part of our life. In my quest to raise awareness about what Down Syndrome truly is and is not, I want to share with you twenty-one (get it? Twenty-one facts for twenty-one chromosomes) facts about Down Syndrome.
1. Down Syndrome does not just occur in pregnancies of older women- in fact, 80% of all babies born with Down Syndrome are born to women younger than 35.
2. Down Syndrome is very rarely hereditary. When it is, that is called Translocation Trisomy 21, and this only occurs about %4 of the time.
3. It is called Down Syndrome not Down’s Syndrome. Complete honesty- it is like nails on a chalkboard when people say Down’s Syndrome.
4. A high percentage of babies with Down Syndrome are born with a congenital heart defect, often requiring surgery.
5. People with Down Syndrome contribute to society in so many ways and want to live independent lives, just like the rest of us.
6. Everyone that has Down Syndrome has a cognitive delay, most often this ranges from mild to moderate.
7. People who have Down Syndrome are NOT always happy. While this is a sweet sentiment, it is very untrue. If you don’t believe me, stop by my house when I’m brushing Charlotte’s hair- you’ll see.
8. Children that have Down Syndrome often have low muscle tone. This do not mean that they are weak, rather that the typical muscle tension is not there. My favorite non-medical term for it is “floppy” because it describes it %100 accurately. Best thing about low muscle tone- the hugs.
9. Speaking of muscle tone…. most people that have Down Syndrome will need a few types of therapies (most often physical, occupational, and speech) often starting from infancy.
10. Life expectancy has increased drastically from being just 25 in the 1980’s to now being well over 60. This is thought to be largely due to better medical care and to decreased rates of institutionalization.
11. While children that have Down Syndrome do often share common features (almost shaped eyes, small stature, sweet round faces), they more closely resemble members of their family.
12. Unfortunately, people that have Down Syndrome are more prone to certain medical conditions: childhood leukemia, Alzheimer’s, Autism, and seizures.
13. The divorce rates among parents of children that have Down Syndrome is lower than the national average.
14. Inclusion in school systems has been shown to be beneficial for both the children that have special needs and their typically developing peers.
15. People that have Down Syndrome have all different kinds of hobbies and interest, just like everyone else.
16. A growing number of adults with Down Syndrome are now living independently with assistance from family or community.
17. A study showed that 99% of adults that had Down Syndrome were happy with their lives. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3740159/
18. 1 in 700 babies are born with Down Syndrome
19. Adults that have Down Syndrome can go to college! An increasing number of colleges are creating programs for those with intellectual disabilities.
20. Kayla McKeon is the first registered lobbyist to have Down Syndrome!
21. A small, but growing, number of people that have Down Syndrome have drivers’ licenses (including Kayla McKeon!)
With all that being said, I hope that what you take away is that we are all really more alike than different. However, as a good friend of mine said recently, the differences are really where the magic occurs.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day everyone!!!
Welcome! I’m Dannah.
I’m a full-time working mom of two young kids and a fur mom to a Boxer and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur with my main focus being on creating community for the women of RVA. I can’t wait to meet you at an upcoming event!