Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria’

VA Made: Together We Bake

Posted by Editorial / Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Gist: A non-profit teaching female ex-offenders personal development and life skills, plus training in food safety, baking and running a business.

Who: Stephanie Wright and Tricia Sabatini, stay-at-home mothers who combined their expertise—social work and baking—says Sabatini, to “use our talents for good in the community.”

Started: Wright and Sabatini met through their children and became running buddies, completing four marathons together. Over many workouts, the two decided that after more than 10 years out of the workforce, they would start a business helping their Alexandria neighborhood.

Inspiration: A self-taught baker, Sabatini used to run a business out of her house. She taps two recipes from her repertoire—chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon pecan granola—to teach baking. The business component includes food safety certification, labeling, packaging, marketing and social media training. Treats are sold at the Alexandria Whole Foods, Del Ray Farmers Market, Market 2 Market and Cheesetique, among others.

Details: They found partners in Friends of Guest House, a non-profit housing and support system for ex-offenders, and Downtown Baptist Church, which provides rent-free space and a commercial-grade kitchen with a 20-rack oven. (They only use 10 racks at a time: cookies need air flow.)

Next: Wright and Sabatini are looking for more business partners, especially local businesses willing to employ graduates—71 women since January 2013—and finding more outlets to sell cookies and granola. /  —Stefanie Gans

(December 2014)

A Food-Inspired Gift Guide

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

NoVA shopkeepers reveal the hot items of the season. —Nicole Bayne & Susannah Black

Northern Virginia Magazine Foodie Gift Guide 2014

Photo by Mollie Tobias.


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Loudoun High School locked down, one in custody; All 6 victims ID’d in fatal Gaithersburg jet crash

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

Loudoun High School locked down at 9 a.m., one in custody
(The Washington Post)

All 6 victims ID’d in fatal Gaithersburg jet crash

TIME names its 2014 Person of the Year

Glassdoor names Motley Fool in Alexandria best small company

The Top Reasons to Visit Alexandria’s Holiday Market

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 5th, 2014

By Micaela Williamson

Alexandria’s Holiday Market

Photo courtesy of Alexandria Holiday Market, Whitney Stringer PR.

Alexandria is always beautiful during the holidays, but this year, the first ever Alexandria’s Holiday Market gives visitors and locals even more reason to celebrate. The free outdoor European-style market opens Dec. 5 and offers a full, family-friendly holiday experience.

“The first ever Alexandria’s Holiday Market will offer a unique holiday experience by paying ode to traditional European traditions and an opportunity to find special gifts from local craft vendors,” says founder Sandrika Berthias.

Little ones will delight in the holiday magic by participating in special activities in the Children’s Corner. Festivities include interactive arts and crafts, such as painting unique ornaments, activity books and exhibits geared at learning fun facts about holidays around the world. Plus, Santa Claus is coming to town. Beginning Sunday, Dec. 7, weekend visitors will have a chance to meet and take photos with Santa at the market.

The enchantment will continue on the stage.  From local bands, folk singers, Irish jig dancers to German party music, there’s a great line up of performers to get attendees in the holiday spirit. See the full schedule online here.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without food. Families will have a chance to eat, drink and be merry by indulging in traditional German street dishes like Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and schnitzels and sweet French crepes. For those little ones with a more “local” taste buds parents will find staples like hotdogs and fish and chips dishes. For those that want a cozy drink, Artfully Chocolate will offer hot chocolate, and adults can sip mulled wine at the Spicy Wine Bar.

Since it’s better to give than to receive, Sandrika and the Alexandria’s Holiday Market team are requesting attendees to donate canned goods for Hunger Free Alexandria. Donations will be used to fill food gaps for Alexandrians in need. Cash donations will also be accepted on-site. Additionally AHM attendees are encouraged to support the Alexandria’s Holiday Gift Drive by donating baby items and any toys for children aged one month to 12 years old.

Alexandria’s Holiday Market is free to enter so grab your coat and take the entire family! The market will take place at John Carlyle Square Park, easily accessible via King Street and Eisenhower Avenue Metro Stations, and run on select days and weekends from Dec. 5-24.

Alexandria’s Holiday Market
John Carlyle Square Park
300 John Carlyle St.
Alexandria, 22314


Courtesy of Tiffany Brown, Mamaratzy Photography

Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.




Trend Report: Home for the Holidays

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 5th, 2014

The holiday season requires an arsenal of event-ready pieces to fit any function, no matter the dress code. Instead of frequenting congested chain stores or battling mall-goers for a parking spot, head to some of Old Town Alexandria’s most popular boutiques for fun, festive looks. –Angela Bobo

  • Cocktail Party
    Veer away from the basic cocktail look by opting for a dress with texture.
    Pair a shorter hemline with a longer coat for a polished look.

    Coat: Juicy Couture, $99.99, Current Boutique.
    Dress: Ark & Co Gold Textured Cocktail Dress, $64.95, 3 Sisters Boutique.
    Shoes: H Williams Corey in Dark Blue Calf Hair, $275, Bishop Boutique.
    Clutch: Pewter and Gold Clutch, $49.95, 3 Sisters Boutique.
    Necklace: Geometric Necklace, $28.95, 3 Sisters Boutique.
    Bracelets: White Leather Bracelet with Gold Detailing, $24.95; Plaid Bracelet with Gold Bangle Set, $22, 3 Sisters Boutique. / Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • Meeting the Parents
    If your significant other’s parents are in town, you want to look comfortable yet sophisticated while showing them the sights. Keep cozy in a fur vest with separates in subdued colors.

    Vest: Machican Fur Vest, $373, Coco Blanca.
    Sweater: Baci Shimmery Pastel Sweater, $160, Coco Blanca.
    Pants: Joe’s Jeans Mid-Rise Skinny in Faded Olive, $215, Coco Blanca.
    Shoes: Joie Dagny in Charcoal, $410, Bishop Boutique.
    Bag: Big Budda Navy Blue Crossbody, $70, 3 Sisters Boutique.
    Necklace: Lori Albert Designs, $260, She’s Unique. / Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • Office Party
    Transition from your desk to a workplace gathering by mixing neutral-printed pieces and accessories for a creative look that is still office appropriate. Top it off with a sparkly sweater for cozy coverage suited for the occasion.

    Blouse: Dani Collection Black Lace Peplum Top, $46.95, 3 Sisters.
    Sweater: Acrobat Metallic Open Drape Cardigan, $199, Coco Blanca.
    Pants: Banana Republic Black & Tan Printed Slim Leg, $24.99, Current Boutique.
    Shoes: L.A.M.B Black Suede with Cream Accent Top, $119, Current Boutique.
    Bag: Taxidermy Carrie Watersnake Crossbody, $429, Bishop Boutique.
    Earrings: Loren Hope Vera Clip-On Earrings in Pixie, $48, Bishop Boutique.
    Bag: Taxidermy Carrie Watersnake Crossbody, $429, Bishop Boutique.
    Bracelet: Loren Hope Sarra Large Cuff in Jet Black, $78, Bishop Boutique./ Photo by Erick Gibson.


(December 2014)

Cravings: Breakfast Sandwich at Society Fair

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Stefanie Gans

Dish: Breakfast Sandwich, $4.50

Where: Society Fair, 277 S. Washington St., Alexandria

Taste: When thinking about breakfast sandwiches, I prefer Swiss cheese melted over a medium-fried egg on a pumpernickel bagel, served open. Eating two sides of a bagel is too much for a mouth my dentist described as the smallest she’d ever seen. Which is why it’s peculiar that my favorite current before-noon sandwich consists of none of those elements. 

At Society Fair, the reasonably priced (most items are not) breakfast sandwich consists of a wonderfully soft biscuit encompassing fluffy scrambled eggs incorporated with the cheddar-like Prairie Breeze. It’s filling, but not a monstrosity; it arrives fast, but not quick enough that it’s pre-assembled; and best of all, they serve it until a procrastinating 11 o’clock in the morning during the week. 

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How generous are Northern Virginians?

With the holidays coming, it is a time of giving. But how many in this affluent area give their disposable income to charity? A new study by The Chronicle of Philanthropy shows that low- and-middle-income households are supporting more charities since the recession by handing out more of their income than upper-income households. Here, a breakdown on which county residents are digging deeper.

How Generous are Northern Virginians

Design by Mike Ramm.

(December 2014)

Coming Soon: Portland-based Greenleaf Juicing Company Set to Open in Old Town Alexandria

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014


Annette Antonelli shaking and pouring Greenleaf Juice / Photo Courtesy of Greenleaf Juicing Company

Antonelli shaking and pouring Greenleaf Juice / Photo Courtesy of Cully Wright

By Susannah Black

“After a couple of years of wanting all of my lunch dates to be at Whole Foods, I started thinking seriously about starting my own organic business,” says Annette Antonelli, who is opening the area’s first Greenleaf Juicing Company. An Alexandria resident, and the owner of Izalia Laser Hair Removal and Rejuvenation Spa, Antonelli hopes for a mid-January opening of the juicery. 

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The Potomac River Glows for the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Posted by Editorial / Monday, December 1st, 2014

Photo courtesy of Visit Alexandria.

Photo courtesy of Visit Alexandria.

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

One of the most popular holiday traditions is decorating the Christmas tree with bright and brilliant lights, but boat owners at the 15th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights take it to the next level. Grab a riverside view on the Alexandria Marina this Saturday to watch approximately 50 powerboats and sailboats light up the water with holiday cheer.

Visitors will watch as dozens of boats sail by with innovative holiday themes, like “Christmas in the Bahamas” and “A Reindeer Goes for a Boat Ride”. Families and friends can cheer on their favorite boats as they sail before a panel of judges, who assess the boats based on a number of categories. Last year’s Best in Show winner was the 25-foot sailboat Firefly for its portrayal of the movie “A Christmas Story.”

Firefly wins Best in Show for portraying "A Christmas Story." Courtesy of Visit Alexandria.

Firefly wins 2013 Best in Show for portraying “A Christmas Story.” Courtesy of Visit Alexandria.

The parade begins on the north side of Old Town, cruises south on the Potomac River, sails by the Alexandria Marina and ends by looping back around towards D.C.

Fresh FM personality Tommy McFly makes a special appearance as the M.C. this event, stationed on Old Town’s Cherry Blossom Paddlewheel Boat to announce each boat as it sails past. The Water-Skiing Santa, makes his Alexandria debut this weekend as a prologue for his Christmas Eve show, which will be hosted in Alexandria for the first time this year.

The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is part of The Campagna Center‘s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, a holiday tradition that features the 44th annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade on Saturday morning. This holiday staple honors the Scottish heritage of Old Town with pipes, drums, Scottish clans, dancers and dogs and Santa Claus. The celebration also features A Soldier’s Christmas at Carlyle House and a Holiday Open House at Torpedo Factory Art Center, where visitors can enjoy live music by the Alexandria Choral Society, visit open art studios and take pictures with Santa.

Celebrate the first Saturday of December with bright colors and boats cruising with holiday cheer. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs for less than an hour, so be sure to arrive early for a good view.

15th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Alexandria Marina
0 Cameron Street, Alexandria
Dec. 6, 5:30 p.m.

Cravings: Roasted Bone Marrow at Columbia Firehouse

Posted by Editorial / Friday, November 21st, 2014


Photo Courtesy of Susannah Black

Photo by Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

Dish: Roasted Bone Marrow, $12

Where: Columbia Firehouse, 109 S. St., Asaph St., Alexandria

Taste: Two luges of bone, plump with delicate, beige-colored tissue, sit crisscross on a white plate accompanied by a touch of greenery and toasted bread on which the marrow can be eaten. I scoop out the silky marrow (or attempt to) with the tip of my knife and onto a crunchy slice of bread, and I vacillate between feeling like a scavenger of the Ice Age and a refined Frenchman with a proclivity for delicacies. The marrow is briny, a slippery tissue of rich earthiness and mild sweetness. A marmalade topping couples the cloying flavor of honey with the pungent kick of a shallot, complimenting the marrow’s salty and savory tang. The flavor of toasted hazelnuts within the marmalade completes the dish with a nutty and buttery finish. Scavenger or Frenchman, this dish satisfies the primal and the pretentious in us all.

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