Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

Going Bun-Less

Here is how I know I am changing.


Photo by Cassandra Sturos

This looks like a pile of not so great food. But what’s not photographed—what is already in my stomach— is grilled chicken, avocado and one tomato slice.

So why am I showing you my lunch? I ran out the door this morning for my workout with my water bottle and gym bag in tow, but neglected to pack any healthy fare or snacks. I had to work after my workout so having no forms of sustenance all day was a mistake.

I ruminated over what my options were for lunch acknowledging that I am most definitely on a budget. I wanted Chipotle. It seemed manageable and protein-packed, but spending nine dollars on lunch didn’t thrill me. I remembered that I had a coupon for five dollars off at a quick burger place. Though I didn’t want to be tempted by fries, pop or cheesy goodness, I felt a strong resolve after having worked out that I would pick a veggie burger. Plus, I really wanted to save five dollars.

I got to the burger joint and happily discovered that you could get grilled chicken in place of any burger patty. I got the California burger with chicken. I did get sweet potato fries, though I knew I wasn’t really fooling myself as they were deep fried and probably retained little to no nutrients after the fact.

I sat down and took a bite of the burger. It was topped with two tomato slices, some wilted lettuce, avocado, Swiss cheese and lime mayo. After one bite, massive guilt set in. This wasn’t healthy at all, except for the grilled chicken. I knew I could do better.

I have always thought that the health tip of getting rid of the buns on burgers or dogs was an absolute crock. I felt I could never do that as the bready exterior was the perfect compliment to grilled meat. Even though at home, I have long since kissed buns and breads goodbye, I find it so hard when eating out. Lately though, I have found myself missing bread less and less.

After the first bite, I took off the bottom bun and took a second bite. Still I didn’t feel it sufficed. I took both buns off, scraped away the melty cheese slathered in mayo, took away the rather sad looking lettuce and removed one tomato.

I ate what was left: grilled chicken, a few pieces of mashed avocado and one tomato slice. And, yes, a few sweet potato fries.

A pile of carbohydrates, dairy and unneeded calories remained. I couldn’t believe I did it. I pulled off not one but two buns and cheese and then threw it away after paying for it. Who am I? Clearly a changed woman that’s who.

Even though the lunch still packed some calories I could’ve avoided had I done that dreadful planning ahead thing, I am grateful that I had a lesson in making good health choices in the somewhat tumultuous waters of the restaurant world.


Bringing a Little Bit of France to Fairfax

Posted by Editorial / Friday, May 30th, 2014

film strips_144227392

Photo courtesy of Sashkin/

By Jessica Godart

You may have missed Cannes, but the best of French cinema is heading to Fairfax.

UniFrance Films brings France to the U.S. through some of the country’s most recent popular films. The organization’s first French Film Festival will be held June 2-5 in nine cities around the U.S., including at Fairfax’s Angelika Mosaic Theaters.

UniFrance promotes French cinema worldwide and plans to hold mini festivals on a quarterly basis for French films that have yet to find an American distributor.

The theaters will be showing up to three films a night, alternating which ones will be shown throughout the five days.

Abeline Monzier, U.S. representative for UniFrance Films, said the event was created specifically for the U.S. While 50-60 French films are run in the U.S. every year, Monzier said that there are over 250 in France.

“(There are) definitely room for more French films,” she said. 


After throwing away his promising legal career, Pierre throws himself into his passion: showjumping. Gambling everything he has on a horse with no chance of winning, Jappeloup, Pierre coaches and improves his abilities until the two build a relationship that takes them further than they had ever dreamed possible.


It Boy (20 ans d’écart)
Up for a promotion, 38-year-old Alice is keeping herself on a straight path to become Editor-in-Chief of her paper. After a mistake leads her current editor to believe she’s in a relationship with a boy 20 years her senior, management is intrigued and love the relationship. In order to keep herself in line for the position, Alice must go along with her fake relationship – but not with great outcomes.


Little Lion (Comme un Lion)
With a soccer dream close on the horizon, Mitri believes everything is coming together for him at 15. But when it all begins to fall apart in Paris, just when his dream is so close, Mitri feels too ashamed to go back to the home he once knew. On his own and penniless, he works to make his dream of playing professional soccer a reality again.


A Monkey on my Shoulder (À Coeur Ouvert)
The perfect marriage and perfect jobs was supposed to be enough for Mila and Javier after 10 years. They loved their heart surgeon jobs, they were crazy in love, what more could there be? But when Mila becomes pregnant, the relationship becomes off-balanced and Javier turns to drinking. Two people madly in love suddenly become strangers.


Tour de Force
When his obsession with the Tour de France drives away his wife and family, François decides to ride the tour himself, timing himself one day ahead of the race. As crowds gather for him and he overcomes obstacles he never imagined on his ride, François begins to realize what is really important in his life – the only obstacle now is, can he get it?


Under the Rainbow (Au Bout du Conte)
Happily ever after never really starts that way for princesses and Laura is no exception. Looking for her Prince Charming at 24, Laura wonders which prince will be her charming. Following each character into their own world, the movie is an entertaining comedy with a cast that makes it so.


French Film Festival
Angelika Mosaic Theaters

2911 District Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031
June 2-5 
Times and tickets can be seen here

You can also check SWAG to see what French-inspired ensembles to wear to the festival.



Star Chefs Come to NoVA for Vintage Virginia Festival This Weekend

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival

Photo Courtesy of Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival

By Allison Michelli

Everyone is familiar with the classic southern dish of shrimp and grits, but have you every tried it in a cake form? 

Chef Tia McDonald is taking this well-known dish and pairing it with cucumber radish salad to create a Virginia-inspired recipe. “By turning the grits into a seared cake it adds a new dimension of  crunchy texture to the dish,” says MacDonald. “The crisp, clean flavor [of the cucumbers] adds a great balance to the creamy, crunchy, shrimp and grit cakes.”

You can find this dish, and more like it, at the 33rd Annual Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival, where chefs Emily Ellyn, Barbie Marshall, and Tia McDonald will be serving up their versions of Virginia-inspired dishes like chicken and waffles and peanut butter and wine jelly “snow cone” at the Star Chef Seminars. Ellyn’s quirky snow cone was inspired by Virginia’s bold and spicy-sweet red wines.

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A Sugary Sweet Surprise from Fresh Beauty

Posted by Angela Bobo / Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Tulip, $22.50; photo courtesy of

It’s no secret that Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments are a must-have for all beauty lovers. The lightweight combination of highly-pigmented color and intense hydration makes it a truly unique product that can go from work to play, especially during the balmy days of summer. In a truly Beyonce-esque move, the company released a brand new lip color last night to the sheer delight of fans everywhere. Tulip, a  bright pink shade, is the perfect warm weather color to add to your arsenal now. Pick up this sure to be cult-classic at your local Sephora today.


Loudoun County Chefs, Farmers and Winemakers Gear Up For Farm To Fork

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

By Evan Milberg

This summer, Loudoun County farmers, winemakers and chefs will come together for “Farm to Fork,” an 11-day event from July 24 – August 3 that showcases locally grown products. Twenty-six restaurants, 14 farms and eight award-winning Loudoun wineries will be participating. “It’s like Restaurant Week, but with local products,” says Miriam Nasuti, the founder of Farm to Fork. For each restaurant that participates, at least 70 percent of the menu’s ingredients has to come from locally sourced products—from meats to wine—from Loudoun. 

Yesterday, many of the restaurants, farms and vineyards participating met in Ashburn for a “Meet and Greet” to network and discuss how they plan on collaborating to make Farm to Fork work. In her closing remarks, Nasuti said “farmers, be good to your chefs, and chefs, be good to your farmers.” On June 15, the farmers and restaurants and wineries will all decide who they’re going to work with for their seasonal menus. 

Arlington streetcar price tag rises; Concussion clinic comes to Loudoun

By Janeé Williams

Estimated price tags and ridership increase for Arlington streetcars.

Virginia’s legal community raised 1.4 million pounds of food.

Micro-unit apartment proposed for Crystal City.

Inova Loudoun Hospital’s concussion clinic brings relief to hundreds.
(Loudoun Times)

Hands-On: Six Summer Shades to Buy Now

Posted by Angela Bobo / Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

If the 80 degree days are any indication, summer is quickly approaching. Back away from dense dark colors and step into the sunlight with barely-there buffs, fiery reds and modern neons. Shop our favorite polished picks below: 


Deborah Lippmann

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Video Killed the Radio Star, $18; photo courtesy of

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The anti-inflammatory Arugula Orange Salad

By Shelby Robinson

Laurie Bosserman of Well & Good Nutrition & Wellness Studio in Leesburg is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle coach, meaning she teaches people to eat their way to better health. Proponents of the anti-inflammatory diet believe that most severe sickness, including cancer and Alzheimer’s, is caused by a diet with an excess of processed, dyed food. The solution is a dependence on natural antioxidants through food like fresh fruits, vegetables and fish.

Bosserman recommends this recipe for the hot days of spring and summer and says,  “Arugula is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it’s great for disease prevention and good for our immune system. I love this super simple salad because it’s tasty, refreshing, and simple to make. Option to add chicken to this salad for extra protein.”

Well & Good Studio.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Bosserman of Well & Good Studio.

Arugula Orange Salad
Serves 2

3 cups fresh arugula
1 orange (navel or blood); rind removed and fruit sliced into discs
1 avocado; sliced into long, thin strips
[optional] 1-2 roast beets or 1 raw beet shredded
[optional] 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

1. Arrange orange discs and avocado slices in alternating pattern on top of arugula. Incorporate beets, if using.
2. Blend dressing ingredients together in a bowl or blender.
3. Drizzle with dressing 


Laurie Bosserman is a certified holistic health coach and detox cleanse specialist as well as a registered nurse with a degree from North Dakota State University. Bosserman opened Well & Good Studio in February 2013 as a center of holistic wellness after seeing improvement in her sister’s breast cancer after a holistic approach to health and wellness. Her recipes are designed to help maintain a healthy weight, increase energy, and increase the consumption of naturally-occurring antioxidants.


Find the Look for Less at the Pink Armoire

Posted by Angela Bobo / Monday, May 12th, 2014

Pink Armoire Spring Lookbook shot; photo courtesy of Alexander Finestone

A tight budget should not mean the end of a fashionable wardrobe. Periwinkle owner Elizabeth Mason recognized the need for a more affordable clothing option in NoVA, which prompted her to start the online retailer Pink Armoire. Inspired by the colorful armoire she keeps in a guest room, Mason hopes that customers will view the site as a place to get fun pieces for work and play at a great price point. “The only real difference from Periwinkle is the constant of a super low price (think $45 for fabulous blazers and $58 for a dress that could be from Shoshanna) and the fact that it is only available online,” she states. In an effort to keep prices low without the cost of a lease and employees, Mason states that she has no plans to open a storefront at this time. For now, customers can find everything from playful skirts and printed dresses to flowy tops and color-blocked sandals for under $65 on the website today.


Celebrate World Fair Trade Day at Ten Thousand Villages

Posted by Editorial / Friday, May 9th, 2014

World Fair Trade Day

Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages, Alexandria.

By Janeé Williams

Start working on your all-natural-ingredient snacks because World Fair Trade Day is just around the corner. On May 10, Ten Thousand Villages will be helping us celebrate at its store with some great activities.

Honoring the theme this year “Fair Trade People,” the store will be encouraging customers to show what makes them fair trade and inviting them to take Polaroid selfies showing they are fair trade families. These photos will be added to their fair trade wall within the store for all visitors to see.

The store will also hold a coloring contest for kids. The winner will receive the book, “Fair Trade First,” an introduction for kids on the world of  fair trade. Along with all of this, a fair trade coffee break and refreshments with fair trade ingredients will be served throughout the day.

World Fair Trade Day

Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages, Alexandria

The store is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), a global network of 350 fair trade organizations in 70 countries.  Ten Thousand Villages hopes to spotlight fair trade and how it has impacted our spending money.




World Fair Trade Day
Ten Thousand Villages
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
915 King St.
Alexandria, 22314

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