Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

Liner Notes: The Making of the Dessert Issue, on Newsstands Now

Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 7th, 2014

By Stefanie Gans

When I pitched the dessert issue to my editor and publisher I didn’t imagine a night where I would skip dinner and instead eat three different desserts at three different restaurants in two different towns. My publisher joked he wanted to weigh me before and after I finished working on this sugar-bomb cover story. I laughed at the time. But then I woke up after my dessert binge and still felt sick. The life of a food writer isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. 

What I ended up finding across Northern Virginia—a fried cupcake in Fairfax, a perfect chocolate mousse in Woodbridge, a pile of pretzels and popcorn with melted dark chocolate ganache (called The Junk) in Mosaic District‘s Angelika Film Center & Cafe—made up for my prolonged upset stomach. A pastry chef is an endangered species in the slim-profit restaurant world, but even in places where a chef pulls savory and sweet duty, there’s a lot to be grateful for on the chocolate side of the menu. Even at the movie theater.    

Theatre for the Whole Family in the Northern Virginia Area

By Shelby Robinson

Theater is a great way to inspire learning and get involved. With so many theaters to choose from in the Northern Virginia area, you can find exactly what your family wants.


Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre

Mount Vernon Community Children's Theatre

Mount Vernon Community Children's Theatre perfoming 'Much Ado About Nothing' in February 2014. Photo courtesy of Mount Vernon Community Children's Theatre.

MVCCT is performing Once Upon A Mattress throughout March. MVCCT specializes in theatrical performances that are by kids and for kids. They also offer camps and afterschool programs. 1900 Elkin St., Alexandria. (703) 360-0686/


Imagination Stage

Imagination Stage

Imagination Stage's Infant-age Show. Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

Although Imagination Stage is all the way in Bethesda, they offer shows designed to encourage the development of infants and toddlers, which is unique to the other theaters in the area. They also offer 6-week spring classes beginning Mar. 15, and a wide variety of camps and shows. 4908 Auburn Avenue Bethesda, MD. (301) 961-6060 (info), (301) 280-1660 (box office)/


Encore Stage and Studio

Encore Stage Theatre and Studio

Encore Stage's Theatre Ninjas class teaches 4th and 5th grade actors on-stage combat. Photo courtesy of Encore Stage

Encore Stage will be showing The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes soon and will also be hosting a spring break camp Apr. 14-18. Encore also shows plays and musicals for kids with kid actors. They offer a wide variety of summer camps, classes, private voice and piano lessons, auditions for upcoming shows, and Musical Theatre Intensive, which is a more challenging class to build singing and dancing skills. Located in the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, 125 S. Old Glebe Road Arlington, (703) 54 –1154/


Creative Cauldron

Creative Cauldron has an upcoming performance of Alice in Wonderland, March 14 – April 6. They offer “Passport Performances,” a unique opportunity to see the music and dances of other countries and cultures. Creative Cauldron also hosts workshops and camps for kids and young adults who want to improve their acting skills. Because Creative Cauldron shares its location with Falls Church Arts, the FCA Gallery is also on site. 410 South Maple Ave, Falls Church, (703) 436–9948/

Other Children’s Theaters include:

- City of Fairfax Theatre Company

- Dodgeball Theatre

- Fauquier Community Theatre

- The Flying Muskrat Theatre Company

- The Sterling Playmakers

Hungry for Linkage: Ballston Market Upgrade + Old Bust Head Beer Specials + Computer-Generated Meals

Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 7th, 2014

Yu Lan/

By Natalie Manitius

Cafe Shiraz in Alexandria recently closed and will be turning into a California Tortilla. [DonRockwell]

The Ballston Farmers’ Market and CSA, opening this May, will offer over a dozen more vendors and list them online, among other changes to the market. [FRESHFARM Markets]

Running through the end of March, La Tagliatella in Arlington is hosting “30 Days of Delizioso,” a  month-long celebration of the restaurant’s opening that includes extensive food specials. [Eater] 

Relish in what’s left of winter with Old Bust Head Brewing Company’s last weekend of test batch beer and test batch prices. Bonus: Black Bear Bistro, a new food vendor for the brewery, will be on site selling food to match beers.

Fitness buffs and beer lovers might have a solution for competing obsessions: Food scientists are experimenting with a beer that will restore essential nutrients post-workout. [NPR]

IBM’s supercomputer-led food truck makes its debut at SXSW this weekend in Austin, TX. Nicknamed Watson, the computer-chef scans recipes and data on human tastes to generate creative meals. [Time]

Cronut pioneer Dominique Ansel’s latest invention: A chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass. [FoodBeast]

Community members petition against Paul VI HS relocation; D.C. Council approves a bill to decriminalize marijuana

By Anjelica Michael

Community members form an online petition against Paul VI Catholic High School’s proposed move 
(Loudoun Times

D.C. Council approves bill decriminalizing marijuana
(Washington Times)

Kroger is closing in on purchase of Safeway chain of stores
(Vienna Patch

The Leesburg Town Council organizes a new Diversity Task Force
(Leesburg Today

Ex-head of Va. Tech sues over demotion; Same sex marriage divides Va. Dems in leadership battle

By Janeé Williams

Ex-head of Va. Tech sues over demotion

In Choosing Leader, Virginia Democrats Fight Over Same-Sex Marriage

Baltimore officer charged in killing girlfriend’s puppy
(Washington Post)

Arlington police: No plans to alter pot enforcement

Meet Your Personal Stylist, Robin Fisher

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Robin Fisher is an image consultant dedicated to helping professionals develop an individual style, and feel great in it. After working as a buyer for major department retail stores and as an International Production Manager for private designer labels, Fisher took business into her own hands and created Polished. Polished offers services ranging from personal style consultation to wardrobe and closet sweeps. She also recently started PolishedID, which offers wardrobe and image management for corporations and individuals. We spoke to Fisher about her love of fashion, success in the business and trends to look out for this spring.

Robin Fisher

Robin Fisher. Photo courtesy of a little bit of whimsy photography.

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Blogger Behind ‘Maria On Point’ Showcases Transitioning Looks

Posted by Angela Bobo / Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

 While it may seem like the weather is playing tricks on us with the temperamental temps, spring really is just around the corner. The next couple of weeks will most likely deliver an unusual mix of sunny skies and apocalyptic downpours that would confuse even the savviest of stylistas. Luckily, we were able to tap local blogger Maria Jose Abad of Maria On Point‘—known for her expert mix of uptown and downtown looks— to show us four perfect ways to seamlessly transition into spring no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.

“This is a casual yet chic look. I love skirts—skater skirts, full skirts, midi skirts, pencil skirts—you name them. To keep things causal and chic, I added a fun sweater and chambray shirt, as it’s always a good background piece, and topped it all off with a statement necklace.”

Photo courtesy of Maria Jose Abad


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The Lab: Preserving Underground Music in Northern Virginia

By Shelby Robinson

The Magpie String Band at Fest Too June 2013. Photo Courtesy of Heather McPherson 

Right off of Interstate 395, nestled between churches and the Fairlington Park, lies a gem of a venue, among the last of a dying breed. Convergence Church’s The Lab All Ages venue is one of the few of the “all ages” underground music venues in Northern Virginia.

The Lab is part of an underground music movement called “DIY.” Do-It-Yourself music refers to the artist or group’s distance from mainstream production.

Alex Heinz, the Lab’s local bands coordinator, said the Lab offers a unique service to the young, musically-inclined in the area, “An underground music scene provides a venue for a lot of people with alternative interests to make friends and meet each other and share art with each other in a safe and friendly environment.”

The Lab All Ages gives young people the opportunity to help coordinate and run shows, control sound, or play their music in front of an audience.  Convergence’s Arts Initiative is intended to provide the Alexandria area with a place to share culture and the arts. The Lab is considered part of Convergence Church’s community outreach art’s initiative, but does not push Christian beliefs on concertgoers.

Heinz pointed out that although there are many venues in Northern Virginia, there are few that encourage the involvement and participation of newer people, allow kids under 18, and do not tolerate drinking, drug use or offensive behavior.

“All of the shows are all ages and are substance free, which is part of being a ‘safe space,’ and having a dry space ensures that people are gathering and meeting to hear music rather than for other reasons,” he said. “Music is really important to teenagers, so it’s really good to have spaces that are safe for teens and trusted by parents.”

Heinz said although he likes some popular music, he loves having the opportunity to work at the Lab because, “I like to know about the people and bands that are making music and art in my own backyard.” He said that the Lab offers a unique experience, which he refers to as “art for art’s sake.”

Because the Lab is run entirely by volunteers, almost all of the money generated by shows can go to the bands. The only money kept by the Lab is the bare minimum needed to pay the bills.

Heinz mentions that contrary to what some artists and musicians might think, “DIY isn’t an excuse for a lack of professionalism. We work really hard and run good shows.”

The Lab has shows every weekend and also seeks to connect concertgoers and volunteers with other DIY venues. The Lab’s biggest event is their annual Fest Too, which is a three-day DIY festival with tons of local bands and workshops, which takes place in Alexandria, June 26-28. On March 28 there will be a benefit show for Fest Too, everyone who wants to learn more about the Northern Virginia DIY scene or get involved is welcome. 

The Harrison Four at The Lab All Ages. Photo Courtesy of Heather McPherson 

New Fitness App Uses Insults as Incentive

By Taylor Ness

CARROT Fit Screenshots

CARROT Fit Screenshots. Photo courtesy of CARROT.

For years now we’ve been watching the harsh tactics of fitness moguls like Jillian Michaels who insist on all-or-nothing attitudes. Now you can experience the insults, embarrassment and torture firsthand with CARROT Fit, the “judgmental weight tracker.” The hilarious motivational health and fitness app tracks your progress towards a weight-loss goal, offering comic relief on the way. The app that makes losing weight less of a drag is available for $1.99 on the Apple Store. But be careful and don’t say we didn’t warn you that “when CARROT gets mean, there is a 74.9 percent chance that she will make you cry,” according to the app description.


Start your day with a Green-ya Colada Smoothie

By Taylor Ness

Green-ya Colada Smoothie

Green-ya Colada Smoothie. Photo courtesy of Danielle Omar Nutrition.

Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you shouldn’t spoil it with something unhealthy. A quick and simple solution to breakfast is a smoothie. You can enjoy it at home or take it on-the-go, and with the right ingredients it can leave you satisfied for hours. 

The Green-ya Colada Smoothie was created by Danielle Omar, local dietitian/nutritionist, cookbook author and nutrition spokesperson. Her approach to nutrition consists of three steps, learn it, live and and love it. And there’s no way not to love this smoothie, which is filled with fiber and protein.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yields 1-2, 1 cup servings


- 4-6 oz unsweetened coconut milk

- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

- 2 cups bunch baby spinach

- 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

- 5 sprigs fresh mint

- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks

- 1/2 banana

- 2 Tbsp. Flax seed, ground



  1. Place spinach, yogurt and coconut milk in blender and process on high until liquid.
  2. Add pineapple, fresh mint, flax seed, shredded coconut and banana, blend until smooth.
Nutritional Information per 1 cup serving
- Calories: 351.7
- Total Fat: 10.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.8 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 1.0 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
- Protein: 32.2 g
- Carbohydrate: 43.8 g
- Sodium: 271.0 mg
- Potassium: 1.088.4 mg
- Sugars: 23.2 g
- Dietary Fiber: 32.2 g

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