Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 26th, 2015
By Nicole Bayne
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Need a new spot to nosh? Here is a list of new restaurants now open and soon-to open. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 19th, 2015
Destination: Located right in the hustle and bustle of Old Town Alexandria, Duchess M is a perfect new addition to one of Northern Virginia’s ultimate shopping spots.
Atmosphere: This business is a family affair. Owner Susie Pollard Freimanis and her mother Mary Pollard, for whom the shop was named, work side by side. You can even occasionally find her two daughters running around the store, which is no surprise considering the boutique’s bright and feminine aura. A customer would never know that this shopping destination used to once be a beauty salon.
Bread and Butter: For having just opened this past October, Duchess M already has a strong identity. Freimanis describes the store’s strong suit as being able to go from “daytime to evening.” From a strong designer collection of Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk and Ted Baker to 7 for All Mankind denim and a table filled with luxury fur scarves by Linda Richards, customers get the quality they pay for. Anyone can come out of this boutique with a chic look for the winter.
Sweet Surprises: Although Duchess M carries mostly name brand items, Freimanis will make “specific edited buys” of a label. Therefore while it might be a name you recognize, it won’t necessarily be an item you have seen elsewhere—for instance, a shopping mall.
Fiercest Fan: With Duchess M only being a few months old, it does not quite have one concise customer yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fans. “It is a diverse mix [of customers] especially because Old Town is such a traditional environment. We wanted to make sure we had things my friends would like, but my mom would like as well,” Freimanis says.
Blows to Budget: A customer can find warm ponchos and tops for just around $45, mid-range Ella Moss sweaters and blouses in the $100 range. A designer dress might be upwards of $500.
Destination: 805 King St., Alexandria; 571-982-3118
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 15th, 2015
Wintertime is interesting when it comes to kids, especially coming up with ways to let them blow off some of their energy that won’t have you, in turn, pulling your hair out.
Knowing how treacherous our winters have become, shooing them outside to play may not cut it. Here are some unique classes to check out that will have them using some of their pent-up liveliness in a healthy way. –Lynn Norusis
Looking at the way children play, you’d think they were part ninja; the way they run at their top speed, hurdling themselves over and under obstacles. With Urban Evolution’s Parkour for Kids classes, the children get to romp about in an environment that will teach them fundamental skills in a play atmosphere. Classes start with those as young as 4 years old. As the age levels increase more refinement and conditioning is incorporated into the training, with 14-year-old students being able to test and graduate into the adult program.
Alexandria & Manassas
Dancing is in a child’s nature. A tune doesn’t even have to be playing, and they will hum it out and move to the beat. At Zumba, instructors take this love of movement and flow fitness into the choreographed routines. Steps are broken out into games and activities, some with the cultural elements from the dances. Not only do the children get to rock out to the music, they are also taught balance, coordination and confidence along with teamwork and leadership skills. Classes across the area are set up for 7- to 11-year olds through Zumba Kids and 4- to 6-year olds through Zumba Kids, Jr.
Multiple NoVA locations
The craze of CrossFit is now reaching children. Programs throughout the area focus on the basic skills of weightlifting and agility on a minimalistic scale—requiring little if any equipment. The focus in CrossFitKids is fun with integration of building basic exercise routines that children can take with them throughout life: strength, stamina, speed, coordination, flexibility, to name a few. Programs are offered for preschoolers—with exercises such as jumping jacks, crab walks and bear crawls—through teens—with exercises such as speed ladders, handstands, squats and more.
Multiple NoVA locations
Sportrock Climbing Center, with locations in Alexandria and Sterling, have a multitude of options for children who want to scale walls. From open climb times—for those who want to get a taste for climbing—to climbing teams, instructors help children learn the basic techniques for top roping (with the use of a harness and rope) and bouldering (sans harness and rope). Safety is priority and is taught throughout every lesson. And for those wanting to jump right in, Sportrock also offers overnight lock-ins where instructors teach children everything they need to know: harnessing, knotcraft and belaying.
Sportrock Climbing Center
Alexandria & Sterling
Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
By Susannah Black
“You can do Southern food without being gravy-laden,” says Nicole Jones.
Jones, the creative force in the kitchen at Stomping Ground, an upcoming, Southern-style restaurant opening in Del Ray next month, wants to debunk the myth that all Southern cooking is mac and cheese and fried chicken. Jones says she plans for ” healthy Southern recipes with Southern ingredients based in Southern tradition.”
Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 9th, 2015
By Micaela Williamson
Your house is already too messy from snow days and delayed openings. Bring the kids to one of these great paint-your-own pottery places in Northern Virginia to create one-of-a kind treasured gifts to last a lifetime and get the creative spirits flowing.
Art from the Heart
325 Garrisonville Road
No appointment is needed at this creative little studio. Try your hand at the great paint-your-own pottery selection or glass fusing. There are also “Pottery to Go” kits that allow customers to paint their pieces at home and bring it back to the studio for glazing. Refer to their website to learn about special events, such as a monthly homeschool days, preschool story hours, ladies’ nights and much more.
Clay Cafe Chantilly
13894 Metrotech Drive
Clay Cafe Falls Church
101 North Maple Ave.
Falls Church, 22046
These award-winning pottery studios continuously offer the largest selection of pottery and glass fusion pieces in the metro area. Plus, all materials are non-toxic, lead free and safe for the environment. Besides pottery, young artists can participate in origami, bottle cap magnets, scrapbooking, beading and card making. Always check the website for special events, coupons, and promotions.
Color Me Mine Ashburn
22855 Brambleton Plaza
Color Me Mine Fairfax
4209 Fairfax Corner Ave.
So much at the Color Me Mine locations is geared towards families. There are frequent kids’ nights out and pajama paints on the calendar. All the paint used is non-toxic and safe for kids. Both studios are in great locations (Brambleton and Fairfax Corner) near lots of shops and restaurants.
6504 Williamsburg Blvd.
The motto at Jimmy Potters Studio is “there are no mistakes in pottery,” and they strive to create a fun, artistic space for people of all ages. Jimmy Potters offers open studio time for clay work and paint-your-own ceramics, as well as parties, workshops, and special events. Their special handprint pieces make the perfect keepsake, and a staff member will even come to your home, upon request, to capture your little one’s handprint.
Kiln & Co.
132 Church St., NW
Artists of all ages are invited to work with pottery, sculpture, painting and other mediums at this new whimsical studio in downtown Vienna. Special classes and workshops are offered like Mommy & Me (ages 12 & under), Cupcake Sundays, Daddy-Daughter Date Night and Come Play Footies Fridays.
1013 King Street
Situated in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Paint This is a great outing. Families can select to paint pottery products such as dinnerware, ceramic pieces, and picture frames, or have a go at mosaics or glass fusion. Please check the website or call ahead for special events and promotions.
Paint Your Own Pottery
10417 Main Street
With a selection of over 600 pieces, everyone is bound to find something they want to paint. All their glazes are lead free and non-toxic. Studio hours, coupons, and updates are constantly updated on the website.
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.
By Michael Balderston
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell to be sentenced Tuesday on public corruption conviction
Jury selection begins for Boston bombing trial
Dogs rescued from South Korea meat farm coming to Alexandria
Chance of first snowfall of 2015 on Tuesday
Former Washington Redskin Fred Smoot’s domestic abuse trial set to begin
Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 2nd, 2015
Winter doldrums call for hilarious theater, and the area’s production companies are offering up that and much more this season. From a case of mistaken identity to a trailer park community, you’ll find something that will have you laughing so hard you’ll forget how much snow is on the ground. —Lynn Norusis
‘The Comedy of Errors’
The Arlington Players
The Arlington Players are taking on William Shakespeare’s slapstick tale of mistaken identity. The audience is taken to Chicago, where a man, Antipholus, and his servant, Dromio, are in search of Antipholus’ long-lost family. Unbeknownst to the two travelling men, they each have an identical twin that they were separated from at birth. As their journey continues, the two are caught up in beatings, seduction, theft and a father who is about to be executed. Not like many family reunions, it is a hilarious production having you be thankful for your own dysfunctional family.
‘The Game’s Afoot’
The Little Theatre of Alexandria
It’s a game of “Clue,” onstage. Ken Ludwig’s tale begins in 1936 when Broadway star William Gillette, known for playing Sherlock Holmes, invites fellow cast members to his castle for a weekend of festivities. Then, someone ends up dead. Gillette assumes the role that made him famous and begins to unravel the murder in a fast-paced, witty production.
‘The Great American Trailer Park Musical’
Welcome to Armadillo Acres Trailer Park, home to stripper-on-the-run Pippi, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth-collector husband, Norbert. After a shotgun wedding and a bad perm, Jeannie and Norbert’s baby is kidnapped, leading to the agoraphobia. Twenty years later, Norbert can’t take his wife’s shut-in life and heads out to a strip club where he meets Pippi. What ensues is an affair, a caught-with-the pants-down scene and a hurricane. The story is all wrapped up in country-rock and blues, flan, disco, spray cheese and lots of ‘80s nostalgia.
McLean Community Players
If someone showed you a film of yourself at 13 years old, it’s highly likely you would be laughing at your adolescent self. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. The McLean Community Players bring us ’13,’ a hilarious musical about the coming of age of the protagonist, Evan Goldman, who is moved from New York City to small-town Indiana after his parents’ divorce. He has little time to establish his social structure before heading to high school. He finds a group of middle school friends and they all struggle with trying to fit in, and stand out. The score is by Tony Award-winning Jason Robert Brown and the book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn.
Edited by Bailey Lucero-Carter
1Reston Camp Expo
It’s never too early to look into summer camps for kids. Over a dozen local non-profit organizations will be at the Reston Camp Expo displaying their offerings. Kids are encouraged to come for activities and games provided by the organizations while parents can speak with counselors and representatives about summer programs. / Jan. 24
2Creative Cauldron: Open House
Step into a world of wonder at this second annual open house event at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church. Families and friends can participate in theatrical workshops, classes and performances for free. The performances will feature ethnic and world musicians, professional actors and puppetry. / Jan. 17-18
Join Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and more of your favorite characters for this magical event. Attendees will waltz, drink tea and make crafts. One ticket allows one child and one parent to attend Cinderella’s Ball in honor of Encore Stage’s performance of ‘Cinderella.’ / Jan. 10
4Drop-In Snow and Story at Prince William Ice Center
Toddlers and preschoolers can play on the ice of the Prince William Ice Center like never before. Sleds and tricycles will be on the ice for kids to use, along with shovels and buckets for playing with snow. After, relax with a cup of hot chocolate during story time. / Through Jan. 1
The children’s book and musical sensation Gustafer Yellowgold makes an appearance at Jammin Java in this multimedia show. The pinecone-loving adventurer from the sun will be drawn to life on-screen while creator Morgan Taylor provides storytelling and live singing, featuring the hit single “Cakenstein.” / Jan. 10
6Sugarloaf Craft Festival
The Sugarloaf Craft Festival returns to Chantilly with over 250 artisans, hands-on demonstrations and costume storytelling for the kids. Middle Earth puts on a show that allows children to dress up and perform as the storyteller spins a tale. With events for kids and adults, this craft festival appeals to all ages. / Jan. 30-Feb. 1
7Move & Groove with Mr. Skip
Get your kids moving to the music with Mr. Skip. Every first Monday of the month, Mr. Skip sings classic kids songs like “Old MacDonald” and “The ABC Song” with children 5 years and under. The event in Fairfax’s Old Town Hall is a musical and mobile sensation that will even have parents tapping along. / Jan. 5
8GRACE Art for Preschoolers
The Greater Reston Arts Center has expanded its popular GRACE Art program for children ages 4 and 5. In partnership with the Reston Community Center, GRACE Art for Preschoolers teaches art appreciation to children through presentations and interactive craft projects in each of the seven sessions. / Jan. 5-Feb. 23
9“Flights of Fancy” – Stories for Children
Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at the Udvar-Hazy Center, children can enjoy a storytime session with the museum staff. This month features the children’s story “My First Airplane Ride” by Patricia Hubbell. After the story, kids ages 2- to 8-years old will participate in a hands-on art activity related to the reading. / Jan. 6-27
10Charles Ross: One Man Star Wars Trilogy
Fan favorite Charles Ross returns to the Birchmere in Alexandria for his hilarious one-man show. Even without props and costumes, Ross performs the entire Star Wars Trilogy, complete with sound effects and all your favorite characters. For several years, Ross’ show has been enjoyed in Alexandria by audiences of all ages. / Jan. 31
Posted by Editorial / Monday, December 22nd, 2014
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. /togetherwebake.org —Stefanie Gans