Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

Keep Your Cool: Jeans and Tanks Re-purposed

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 14th, 2014

By Helen Ray

You know the heat is too much when you wake up and it’s already 90 degrees. You want to dress trendy but you know more then likely you’re just going to end up feeling sweaty and wanting to hide away in the air conditioning. You’re wondering ‘what’s the point in dressing up’? So, you opt for a classic look– something that’s comfortable, familiar and appropriate for multiple occasions. We’re talking about the good ole jeans and tank look. And yes, we love our jeans and tanks, but just because we’re opting for a simpler outfit doesn’t mean it has to be boring. To help inspire your heated mornings we’ve put together four looks you can keep your cool in, while being comfortable and still feeling fabulous. 

Leather tank and white jeans

Photo courtesy of helen-ray/

Leather tank, white jeans, red flats, necklace and bag

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Strong is the New Skinny: Four Ways to Get Your Muscle On

4 Ways to Get Your Muscle On

Photo courtesy of Edyta Pawlowska/

By Helen Ray

The trending mantra “strong is the new skinny” has made a wave in women’s health in recent years.  Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are seemingly flooded with images of women flaunting their six packs over six ribs.

This world of strong women has even welded their own celebrities including Virginia native, Christmas Abbott, who is a well-known CrossFit enthusiast, NASCAR’s first female pit crew member and mega-muscle woman. If becoming the next G.I. Jane is an interest to you, here are some exercise routines and nutrition information you can adopt to suit your new muscle needs. 

Is a general strength and conditioning technique that incorporates functional moves such as squatting, jumping, pulling and lifting, performed at high intensity. CrossFit varies workout routines by following a workout of the day (WOD) method so you avoid a monotonous routine.  CrossFit is great for people who get bored at the gym easily, who don’t have a lot of time to work out and who thrive off working in groups.  

Ballston Crossfit, 1110 N. Glebe Road Arlington, 22201

Crossfit Verity, 22710 Executive Drive Sterling, 20166


General Strengthening
There are some local gyms that specialize in strengthening, incorporating similar functional moves to build strength but don’t follow the intensity of CrossFit. These gyms are great for people who are looking for more personalized routines, who like working out  in a smaller group of people and if you’re not quite the competitive type.

Underground Athlete, 3150 Spring Street Fairfax, 22031 and 101 Executive Drive Suite D Sterling, 20166


Was adopted from the idea of generating controlled movements. It incorporates a unity of mind and body where you’re constantly trying to strengthen your “powerhouse”— the core of your body including your abdomen, lower back, inner thighs and buttocks. Pilates is great for people who want a general body strengthening and toning, who are introverts when it comes to working out and who believe in quality of quantity.

Inner Core Wellness, 2108-A Gallows Road Vienna, 22182

Mind the Matt,  3300 B Fairfax Drive, Arlington, 22201 and 2214 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, 22301


Pole Fitness
This type of exercise has become very popular in women’s fitness as a way to hone strength and confidence. Pole fitness incorporates acrobatics and dancing for an ultimate workout that tones your core, arms and legs. It’s great for open-minded women who work out best in female-friendly zones and who want to work out in a unique and feminine way. 

Diva Fit, 4080 Lafayette Center Drive Suite 210 C Chantilly, 20151, 157 B Hillwood Ave Falls Church, 22046 and 317 Sunset Park Drive Herndon, 20170

Pole Pressure, 2304A Huntington Avenue Alexandria, 22303


While deciding the right workout is important for the appearance of your body, you also don’t want to neglect what you put into it. Danielle Omar, local registered dietitian/nutritionist, suggests keeping your calories up through protein intake and watching portion sizes. She also recommends increasing water intake since muscle is mostly made out of water, “you need to keep your water intake up to preserve muscle and to build more muscle. The more dehydrated you are, the less muscle you’ll be able to build.”

The Pursuit of Curls

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 7th, 2014

Curly Hair

Inga Ivanova/

By Helen Ray

While the summer weather brings about joyous cheers for most, to those with curly hair the humid weather prompts screams in fear of dry, unruly and frizzy curls. So, as we prepare for the middle of summer in the notorious swamp region we call home, we’ve reached out to two experts, Mona Harb, “curlyologist” and owner of  Lofty Salon, as well as Denise Viveiros of W Salon for tips and tricks on how to prepare our curls for the worst. After-all, all curly haired gals ever want is everyday perfect Carrie Bradshaw-esque curls, and is that too much to ask for?

The Cut:

Viveiros explains that a cut won’t eliminate frizz but the key to well-shaped and manageable curls begins with a pair of scissors. Harb agrees telling us that, “the cut is super important, you need enough length to pull down the curls but want it to frame the face and not be too short.” So, don’t skimp on who you go to for your cut–even if that means going to one stylist for color and another for your curls. 

Before and after mellow curls

Style by Mona Harb, photo courtesy of Lofty Salon

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Forget the crowds and bad seats, bring the theater to you

What You Need to set up Backyard Theatre

Photos courtesy of Nejron Photo/ and

By Jessica Godart

Summertime is the best time to relax outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with friends and family; so why not spend an evening watching your favorite movies in the comfort of your own backyard? These tips and products can help you create a cinema just outside your door.

Blu-Ray Player:
Of course you’ll want the best quality to put up on your own big screen and with the Samsung Blu-Ray Player you can hook it up to your projector and pop in your favorite movies to enjoy on the lawn.

Photo courtesy of

Samsung BD-F5700 2 Channel Blu-Ray Player; $94.69 


Projector Screen:
You’ll probably want something big enough to get the best quality out of your movie, but small enough to fit in your backyard. This 100-inch screen fits that perfectly and gives you the option to move it wherever you would like with it’s foldable stand.

Photo courtesy

100-inch D Tripod Portable Projector Projection 16:9 Screen 87×49 Foldable Stand 1.3; $79.95 


It’s a good idea to make sure your projector delivers the right resolution for the size of screen you plan on using. Research your sizes before purchasing.

Photo courtesy of

Epson V-S230 SVGA 3LCD Projector; $339.99 


Sound System:
Yes, the projector offers speakers but just in case they aren’t loud enough, be sure to have a back up sound system.

Photo courtesy of

Panasoni SC-HTB370 2.1 Home Theater System – 240 W RMS; $276.95


Lawn Chair:
If you run out of blankets and pillows, some lawn chairs work great for movie seats. With a cupholder and comfy back, you won’t need to get up for the whole movie.

Photo courtesy of

Room Essential Backback Folding Chair; $30.00

For help installing check out the local stores that sell the products you’re looking for. For example, Best Buy offers full installation of your products for a starting cost of $149.99.

Earl’s Sandwiches Adds Salads and Meat-Free Options with New Menu Debuting Tomorrow

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Photos Courtesy of Earl’s Sandwiches

By Allison Michelli 

Vegetarians, vegans and green-feins will now have more reasons to go to Earl’s Sandwiches. Tomorrow the Arlington sandwich shops will debut more meatless options and salads. 

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Red, White and Boom: Fourth of July Weekend Sales and News

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

By Helen Ray

In addition to cookouts, celebrating independence and a day off, the Fourth is  a great weekend to shop. So, if you find yourself wandering away from fireworks and into the mall keep your eyes peeled for great sales.

529 Kids Consign

Photo courtesy of 529 Kids Consign

Treat the kids to something special with a new outfit from 529 Kids Consign.  Stop by either one of their two locations in Old Town and Hollin Hall to score 25% off all full-priced summer items.   The store accepts and sells high-end brands with sizes ranging from babies to tweens; they also carry items for expectant mothers. The sale will be happening from July 3-7.

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Six Fashionable Reads for A Weekend Getaway

Posted by Editorial / Monday, June 30th, 2014

Fashion Books
Created on Polyvore by helen-ray

By Helen Ray 

There’s something about summer that seems to reignite my love affair with books. Maybe it’s the longer days, the promise of holidays or simply the desire to sit outside more; but every summer I find myself reuniting with my dusty library card and searching for the latest page turner to feast my eyes on. Since there’s a long weekend approaching, I’ve compiled a list of books that every fashion lover should immediately dive into. The list is a buffet of fashion novels that suits all tastes—including a style guide, biographies, history of fashion and even a fun murder mystery. Plus they won’t take up too much room in your Fourth of July weekend bag.

1.“#GirlBoss” by Sophia Amoruso

The highly anticipated novel, written by the founder of Nasty Gal, details her rise to success in creating the mega online store and gives straightforward career advice from the “girl boss” herself.

2. “Influenced” by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

The superstar twins compiled a series of interviews with their biggest fashion influences. The interviews are genuine and thoughtful and are meant to provide insight into a few of the highly coveted roles in the world of fashion.

 3. “Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet” by Tim Gunn and Ada Calhoun.

The title says it all. This is an informative and fun book that explains the history of fashion. Tim Gunn explains how western fashion has evolved with need to know tidbits about the origin of the clothes we love to wear. 

4. “Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life” by Justine Picardie

No fashion list is complete without Chanel. This biography is a tell-all tale of Gabrielle Chanel—from her meager upbringing to the monumental person she became.

5. “Spying in High Heels” by Gemma Halliday

This book is a total guilty pleasure. It doesn’t have anything to do with the industry, but it does involve one fashion obsessed protagonist and a thrilling murder mystery.   

6. “The Little Black Book of Style” by Nina Garcia

Fashion director of Elle magazine and notorious judge on Project Runway, Nina Garcia, dishes out her best tips, tricks and how to’s for a complete style guide. It covers everything from casual to formal wear, how to mix patterns and how to develop your own sense of style. 

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Hands NoVA Chefs, Butchers and Restaurateurs Rammy Awards

Posted by Editorial / Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Pastry Chef Caitlin Dysart / Courtesy of 2941 Restaurant

By Allison Michelli

On Sunday, June 22 The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) honored the best of restaurants, chefs, restaurateurs and managers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area at the 32nd annual RAMMY Awards

The 20 award winners included a smattering of Northern Virginia culinary figures: Caitlin Dysart of the 2941 Restaurant (Falls Church) was named Pastry Chef of the Year and Michael Babin of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group was named Restaurateur of the Year

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5 Giftbasket ideas for any Housewarming Party

5 giftbaskets for any housewarming party

Photo courtesy of Korolevskaya Nataliya/

By Jessica Godart

It’s always hard to decide on presents for people. Is that enough? Should I get more of this? How should I wrap this?

Housewarming parties are especially difficult, whether you’re buying for a couple or someone who just bought their own place. What better way to say “welcome to your new home” than with a basket of goodies made especially for the recipient? Here are five gift basket-ideas for your discerning friends and their new domicile. 

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6 International Looks for Stylish World Cup Fans

Posted by Editorial / Monday, June 16th, 2014

By Helen Ray

The World Cup has officially begun which means we can look forward to a weekend of happy hour deals, greasy food and watching endless amounts of soccer. While we love the World Cup because we enjoy watching the game of soccer (and the men who play in it); there’s also the international appeal, motivating us to wear outfits inspired by our favorite international teams. After all, just because we go to sports bars to watch the games, doesn’t mean we can only throw on a soccer jersey to show our support. Here are five looks inspired by some of our favorite World Cup teams that are stylish, spirited and perfect for a summer weekend sipping on worldly cocktails


This jeans and tee shirt look screams proud (and stylish) American. The boyfriend jeans and white peasant top are comfortable and loose which is perfect for watching the games outdoors in NoVA’s notorious humid weather. Since the red, white and blue inspired outfit sticks to basics, the outfit incorporates bright and bold accessories which truly show your American pride.

USA Outfit

Photo courtesy of


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