Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Friday, February 14th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Creme brulee | Savoir Fare Restaurant | Round Hill

Judge: Ban on gay marriage in Va. unconstitutional; new Arts center coming to Loudoun

By Anjelica Michael

A judge in Virginia makes same-sex marriage legal in the state
(McLean Patch)

A new musical arts center is coming to Loudoun, joining music schools in DC, Maryland and Virginia
(Loudoun Times)

Police look for connections in unsolved murders in North Ridge, Alexandria
(Alexandria Gazette)

Men’s figure skating in Sochi is proving to possibly be more dangerous than hockey
(Washington Post

Celebrate Washington’s Birthday at Mount Vernon

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, February 13th, 2014

By Janeé Williams

Photo courtesy of George Washington's Mount Vernon.

This weekend is all about love, flowers and chocolates. Wait, What? Get the roses out of your eyes and don’t forget about Presidents’ Day. After you and your significant other finish celebrating the day of love, head over to Mount Vernon and celebrate our first president.

Mount Vernon presents: George Washington’s 282nd Birthday Celebration. Enjoy three days of events to help you Celebrate George Washington’s 282 Birthday. Beginning on Saturday to Monday. The day will start off with breakfast with George Washington himself. Enjoy a preparing and sharing of “hoecakes swimming in honey and butter”, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Photo courtesy of George Washington's Mount Vernon.

After breakfast have a little chat with a costumed character from George Washington’s world. From 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Get as many questions in before “Dancing with the 18th Century Stars” begins at 1:45 p.m. Watch and participate in a dancing demonstration from the 1700′s. 

The day will also include stories told by George Washington himself, a wreath laying at Washington’s Tomb and concludes with a free tour of George Washington’s estate and George Washington’s Birthday Parade on Monday.

Photo courtesy of George Washington's Mount Vernon.

“This weekend is not about mattress or car sales, it is about celebrating the founding father of this country, George Washington. The best place to celebrate George Washington’s birthday is right here at his home, Mount Vernon,” said Melissa Wood, the director of media relations at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.

George Washington Birthday Celebration
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
PO Box 110
Mount Vernon, 22121; 703-780-2000

Q: What Should People Know about Irish Food?



A: They actually have a long, long food tradition that was affected by their economy and by their relationship with England for hundreds of years [which is why] a cuisine never developed. But they have all the raw materials there to develop a great cuisine. In the mid-’90s when the economy exploded in Ireland and they had that huge boom a lot of people … returned to Ireland and started opening restaurants there. Those guys have become pioneers in a fine-dining Irish movement.

Cathal Armstrong, the Irish-born, James Beard Award-nominated chef and owner of Alexandria’s Restaurant Eve, adds the title of author to his resume with “My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve” (written with David Hagedorn), which debuts in March. Armstrong is already planning two follow-ups: a health and fitness guide and Restaurant Eve recipes.

(February 2014)

Winter Storm causes 1 death in VA, a break in the Lyon Sisters Cold Case

by: Janeé Williams

1 road death due to Winter Storm in VA.

A Break in 39-year-old Lyon Sisters Case.

U.S. launches new global plan to fight infectious diseases.
(Washington Post)

Difficult weather plagues Sochi.

The World Needs More Love Letters

Back in college one of my boyfriends regularly wrote me poems. They often came in the form of emails with very descriptive, sappy language talking about beautiful light and my hair and these things called feelings. Other times they were hand-written into art books or cards he gave me. I must have the originals in my old Hotmail account along with forwards that cracked me up while bored in Geology class or coupons to get blonde highlights at my then-regular salon in Athens, Ga.

“What 20-year-old writes love letters?” I’d ask myself.

The prose was almost from another time. It was sweet. It was kind of sexy. It was strange and wonderful. And really, if I’m being completely honest, it also freaked me out a little. I felt ill-equipped to write any kind of a love letter back. “Thank you” also didn’t feel like a proper enough response to someone who took the time to share a piece of his heart.

I do, to this day, dig the idea of love letters. They’ve gone by the wayside, yet they can be truly magical and flattering.

At the same time, Valentine’s Day is fast upon us. It saddens me that when you’re a committed couple it’s a grand day, a special evening at a high-priced restaurant. However, if you’re unattached, it’s a wretched—or at least a day to rage against love.

Maybe I’m tired, but I don’t want to rage. Love is great. I may not have a stable romantic kind of love at this very moment. But I’ve had it before. I’ll have it again. Plus, I have other kinds of love around me.

So, in the spirit of channeling my former boyfriend, I scoured the Net for some heartfelt love letters and thoughts on love letters.

What spoke to me was a site called because, as the staff says, “the world needs more love letters.” Agreed.

The folks behind this site do a few special (some would say wacky) things:

1. They allow people to nominate a friend, family member or someone who is in their lives and in need of a heartfelt love letter. Then the site features the person’s story. Anyone has a chance to craft and send a personalized letter to the lady or gent nominated. It, then, is sent to the lucky person as a bundle.

For instance, one of the newer requests is on behalf of a man who works as a personal coach in Italy and who, his friend says ,“unfailingly works with love and passion.”

2. The site also posts found love letters.

Right now there’s a letter that a couple found in the peanut butter aisle of a grocery store that was meant for strangers to pick up and instructs him or her to “Embrace your ideas and share them boldly.” The couple who submitted the love letter said they happened to be enduring a rough patch and felt encouraged by the letter.

Call me hokey but there might not be harm in a little love letter.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


3 simple preventative tips for your dog’s health

By Anjelica Michael



Photo courtesy of Javier Brosch/


When our dog gets sick, owners tend to wonder if they could have done something to prevent the problem. This could help avoid inconvenient vet visits, and trying get your reluctant pooch to take the pills prescribed.

We caught up with Dr. Catherine McDaniel of the Old Dominion Animal Hospital in McLean to ask what simple things owners can do for their dog ahead of time to side-step illness or other health-related issues. 


1. It’s all about the food

McDaniel stressed was feeding your dog a good quality diet, “Not the store brand,” which may be cost effective, but does not compare to other brands. She recommended Science Diet and said that the food quality can really make a difference in your dog’s skin and coat. McDaniel also advises owners to brush your dog’s teeth daily, even though it may be difficult. Bad dental health in dogs can later lead to a multitude of health problems that people don’t realize including heart, liver, and kidney issues. 


2. Pooch Pedicure

With the rush of cold weather, McDaniel said it is extremely important to keep the fur around your dogs feet trimmed at all times, “to prevent slipping and sliding.”

“We’ve had a lot of dogs coming in who have slipped on ice,” she said. With excess fur in the way (especially between the pads on their feet,) the dogs feet cannot grip the ground well, which can lead to serious injury through a fall. Along the same lines, McDaniel says that daily brushing can save your dog from later discomfort. If not brushed frequently, she says that “the dog’s fur can become matted, and this can lead to skin sores from irritation.”


3. Always Watch behind the ears

Lastly, McDaniel pointed out that a lot of people don’t check their dog’s ears, but should once a week.

“Dogs are more prone to ear infections than cats,” she said. Moisture can become trapped in a dogs ear, leading to an infection. So when rubbing your furry friend behind the ear, peek inside to see if there is any redness, irritation or if something just doesn’t look right.

These easy tasks done by owners can keep your best friend happy and healthy, while also looking their best. But it is important to remember to keep up with your dog’s yearly veterinary check-ups, McDaniel says that along with yearly heartworm and flea/tick preventative medicines will be essential in warding off health problems in your dog. 



Herban Lifestyle Brings Fresh Scents to Fairfax

Posted by TaylorN / Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

By Taylor Ness

Herban Lifestyle in Fairfax

Herban Lifestyle in Fairfax. Photo by Taylor Ness.

When I walked into Herban Lifestyle’s new location in Fairfax, I was greeted by the delicate scents of coconut, lavender and everything else that one would associate with handmade soaps.  The store was originally an Etsy page that creator and soap connoisseur Mary Kearns ran out of her home. Now, antique bookcases, wooden tables and wire baskets hold Herban Lifestyle’s organic soaps, perfumes and lotions. The sustainable shop is just around the corner from the Mosaic District in a simple loft, accented with folded paper wall décor and mini chalkboard signs. Products like herbal shampoo bars and men’s shaving oils are both innovative and long-lasting. By not adding extra water to her products, Kearns estimates a single shampoo bar lasts 40 to 60 washes. All of her products are made and packaged in-store and can still be purchased through her Etsy page. But if you’re looking for something extra special, visit the Fairfax shop for the designer of the month, which previously featured Vita Pulita’s soaps that look so good you would be tempted to take a bite.

Organic bar soaps by Herban Lifestyle

Organic bar soaps by Herban Lifestyle. Photo by Taylor Ness

Five Event and Dinner Pairings for Romantic Procrastinators

Posted by Shelby Robinson / Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

By Shelby Robinson

In case you forgot to plan something spectacular for that special someone, we’ve got you covered. Here are five classy, adults-only goings-on for this Friday or Saturday.


My Funny Valentine: Comedy Night with NBC Series Last Comic Standing semi-finalist Jason Weems

Photo courtesy of Jason Weems Comedy.

Consider a night of laughs at Notaviva Vineyards if you have not yet made Valentine’s Day plans for this weekend. For $49 per person, you get a meal catered by Roaming Rotisserie, open dessert bar, non-alcoholic drinks (you have to pay for wine separately), and a comedy show. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. (Saturday, Feb. 15, is sold out). Notaviva Vineyards. 13274 Sagle Road, Purcellville, 20132. Questions – (540) 668-6756. Reservations Strongly Encouraged.


Casablanca Valentine’s Day Feast

Photo courtesy of Mexico70/

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn is having a special screening of Casablanca for Valentine’s Day, complete with a four course Moroccan feast. Come see your favorite classic romantic film on the big screen. The Valentine’s Feast begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. $65 buys your ticket and four-course meal, including drink pairings (alcoholic and non). If you miss this showing or want to see the film without the food, there is a second showing, Monday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. for $11.50. Reservations required.


2013 Nana’s Rosé Release:”Rosé & Roses” Valentine’s Wine Dinner at Paradise Springs Winery

Photo courtesy of Paradise Springs Winery.

Enjoy a four-course meal paired with Paradise Springs’ wines and discounts on wine purchases on Saturday, Feb. 15. For $119 per person ($109 Wine Club members, $149 VIP private seating in Barrel Room), you get four courses including an appetizer, first course, entrée and dessert, with gratuity included. Reservations are required; please call (703) 830-9463 to reserve seats. Details are available on the Paradise Springs website.


Valentine’s Day Latin Style

Photo courtesy of d-e-n-i-s/

La Sandia in Tyson’s Corner Center is offering a unique three-course Mexican dinner with a signature beverage or cocktail for $29 per person. Multiple dinner seatings, Friday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 16. More details available on their website.


Love Notes: A Valentine’s Cabaret

Photo courtesy of StageCoach Theatre.

If a theatrical production about love and life is what you would like to share with your valentine this year, look no further than the StageCoach Theatre Company. Located at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg, “Love Notes: A Valentine’s Cabaret” is a musical celebrating life and love. Your $68 ticket includes catered appetizers, salad, and buffet meal from Culinary Delights by Feist, an award-winning Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and the show. On Friday, Feb. 14, or Saturday, Feb. 16, Doors will open and appetizers will be served at 6:30 p.m. The show will begin at 7 p.m. with a break at 7:45 p.m. for dinner, then resume after dinner. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, 20175. Questions – (571) 477 – 9444 or StageCoach Website.

Big Winter Storm on it’s way to D.C. area; Shirley Temple dead at 85

By Janeé Williams

Flappy Bird developer grounds app because: ‘I couldn’t Sleep’

Alexandria Police search for killer

Big Winter Storm on it’s way to D.C. area
(Washington Post)

Shirley Temple dead at 85

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