What We Love

Grandpa Titan

If you have ever been to a T.C. Williams Football game or men’s basketball game, there is a good chance you have seen and heard Mike Oliver, a.k.a Grandpa Titan.  A beloved fixture and super-fan, Oliver has been attending T.C. Williams athletic events for decades, cheering loudly and proudly!

Although he himself did not attend T.C. (he attended high school in West Virginia and was student body President), he was introduced to T.C. when his two daughters, Kathleen (class of 1982) and Sarah (class of 1987) attended the school.  Kathleen participated in crew while Sarah played soccer.  And that spirit can also be found in his wife, Linda, a.k.a Grandma Titan, who was awarded an academic letter for her service as the T.C. Williams cafeteria manager.

He mostly attends home games but has traveled as far as Charlottesville and Lynchburg to watch the Football team vie for State Champion.  Some were successful and others were not.  He recommends bringing a T.C. Williams seat cushion for the Football games with aluminum seats in December!  He has also traveled to Richmond to watch the basketball team in the State Finals.

After the Football games you might find him in the end zone giving words of encouragement, especially after a tough game.

Between games you can find him sitting in front of his house in a a chair by the street.  During this interview at least 12 people stopped by to say hi or give a wave from their car!

If you see him at a game, give him a wave!  Go Titans!


Rosie Wiedemer, Yoga Instructor

Meet Rosie Wiedemer – mom to two boys, 12 and 10, wife, and popular yoga instructor. She has been practicing yoga on and off for as long as she can remember. As an early teen, her mom brought her to the Sivanda Yoga center for a couple of yoga retreats. Then, in her 20’s, she got more interested in yoga and started practicing more regularly. She worked at Bloomberg LP in NYC until her oldest was 1 year old but got frustrated that she was gone from him too many hours of the day (7am -7pm). So, she quit her job and stayed home full time. She decided to pull together a group and teach yoga to that group. After moving to Alexandria, she led another group in her living room. Through word of mouth, the group grew. In 2010, she decided to go through an official teacher training program at Dancing Mind Yoga in Falls Church and was certified in 2011. Last year, when their family moved to a new house, the carriage house on the property was a perfect place to teach her classes. Since then, her classes have grown.

She now teaches in the carriage house Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:45AM and Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 8:30 AM. She also just recently started teaching a small teen yoga class and loves it! She is also teaching at Ease Yoga Studio & Café Mondays & Wednesdays at noon. Busy gal!  If anyone is interested in finding out more, they can e-mail or call rosie.wiedemer@gmail.com or (703) 907-9924.




Tara Casagrande, Owner, Ease Yoga Studio & Cafe

Meet Tara Casagrande, owner of Ease Yoga Studio & Café (3051 Mt Vernon Avenue). ​ ​Tara has long held the dream of opening a space that focuses on whole body wellness and nourishment of our minds, bodies, and spirits. Her journey began 17 years ago when she was pregnant with her first child. She gave yoga a try and enjoyed it. Two years later, while pregnant again, she found out she had cervical cancer. Luckily, the cancer did not spread during her pregnancy. She attributes her luck to Reikki, a mindful diet, massage, yoga and slowing down. Fast forward a few years and the family decided to move to Costa Rica. There, she decided to sign up for the yoga teacher training at the Nosara Yoga Institute. Prior to that, she never had imagined that she would teach yoga, let alone open a yoga studio. So here she is today, opening Ease and living an authentic life.

Ease will be much more than just a yoga studio and juice bar. The hope is that Ease will attract those of you who need a place to drop your shoulders, slow down and explore the relationship between mind and body.   They have classes for both beginners and experienced practitioners. In the cafe and juice bar, they offer delicious coffees and teas as well as healthy soups, salads, sandwiches and snacks. They also feature fresh pressed juices and smoothies from Senzu Juicery.

The official Grand Opening is May 30th but they already offer classes seven days a week.  And they are offering a special deal – 50 days of classes for $50.  Visit their website at​www.easeyogacafe.com​.  Try Ease today – we have and we loved it!




Jaime Dawson, Instructor, Swēt Ride

Alexandria loves Jaime Dawson for her high energy and enthusiasm. She leads a boot camp, she is a cycle instructor, on the PTA Board and mom of 4! She started teaching indoor cycling four years ago, taking advantage of her love of fitness and music.  It isn’t easy teaching a 5:45AM class twice a week (on Wednesdays and Fridays) with four kids ages 1 – 11 years!  Luckily, her supportive husband gets up to care for the kids so she can get in there and get you moving! Jaime Dawson is a popular instructor at Swēt Ride (2413 Mount Vernon Avenue).

Indoor cycling at Swēt Ride is a sweet experience because you are getting an intense aerobic workout that will burn calories and build strength. And the studio takes the time to get to know their clients. Recently, a client compared their studio to the 80’s sitcom “Cheers”. He explained that it feels great to go to a place where everybody knows his name. Another unique benefit of their studio is that you can choose your bike ahead of time online. Data collected from their on-bike computers tracks your RPM’s, heart rate and calories. Their technology keeps track of your progress, and privately gives you a “rank” in class.

You can learn more about the studio, their classes, instructors, their “sweet spot” training and register for classes through the website www.swet-ride.com .  And now they are offering a buy one, get one free for $22 to anyone new to the studio.

Give indoor cycling a try at Swēt Ride today!





Laurel Conger, Realtor, McEnearney Associates

I have lived in Braddock Heights in Alexandria for 10 years. I am raising three awesome boys here.  We know and love our community.  All of my boys have gone to George Mason Elementary, a local public school serving parts of Northridge, Jefferson Park, Beverly Hills and Braddock Heights neighborhoods. My oldest is now 16 and attends TC Williams High School.  My boys have participated in soccer, baseball, basketball, crew and scouts, a great way to get to know more of our neighbors.  My community is so important to me.  I have sponsored an Alexandria Little League baseball team for four seasons and an adult Masters Soccer Team for two years.

I grew up in Texas, my parents are still there.  I graduated from Texas A&M in 1990. Gig’em Ags!! Being an Aggie, I honor tradition and loyalty. In Texas, I learned the importance and effect of kindness, and I show it to everyone.  I try to see the best in every person and situation.  My parents have both been in public service industries and I find that it comes naturally to me!  I truly enjoy helping people find and purchase their next home and quickly and efficiently sell their current home.

I was a professional organizer for many years and learned through my experience about the psychology of process and how systems put in place can put people at ease.  I find myself using those same principles in Real Estate. The best compliment I can receive is when a buyer or seller comments on how simple I made the whole process, buying or selling.  It is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.  I can help to take the stress away with my knowledge of the process and neighborhood.

I am a great listener and I would love to hear from you and how I can help you simplify the process of buying or selling your home.





Laine Hardman, Professional Organizer, Tidy Up

I truly enjoy the process of organizing and the sense of accomplishment that comes with a peaceful, organized space. Tidy Up is a professional organization business that I started with the goal of helping people gain control of the clutter in their lives. My life experience as a stay-at-home mom of four, along with my passion for staying organized, has allowed me to help clients get their homes organized in a way that makes sense to them so that they can maintain the new system. I have found that two people, myself and the client, working together and staying on task allows for great progress in tackling a project. My approach is gentle, but focused. As a former economist for the Federal Government, I believe that the benefits of hiring a professional organizer far outweigh the costs. Every client that I have worked with has found a “lost” item, eliminating unnecessary repeat purchases. You will gain free time formerly spent looking for lost items, peace of mind from orderly surroundings, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering your clutter.

Although I welcome all types of clients and projects, I have the most experience helping busy Moms organize their kitchens, toys, closets, garages and more.


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