Posts Tagged ‘NoVA’

January’s #NoVA

Libby Burns #NoVA

Illustration by Libby Burns.

“Now, did that make you feel ‘sad emoji’ or ‘crying loudly emoji’?”

(January 2015)

NoVA School Districts React to #CloseFCPS, Gunmen Kill 12 in Paris

By Michael Balderston

NoVA school districts apologize for messy handling of school closures on Tuesday
(Washington Post)

Student hacks Prince William County Public Schools’ website to post fake apology.
(The Vane)

12 killed by gunmen at Paris satirical magazine
(Washington Post)

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell sentenced to two years in prison for public corruption

Bao Bao, panda cub at National Zoo, frolics for snow for the first time

Tail of missing AirAsia flight found in Java Sea

‘How to Get Laid … Before the Main Course”

There are men out there trying to, as they proudly proclaim, get laid. Oh, how I hate that term. A date means an opportunity to get in a girl’s pants, is how they figure it. Hit a home run. Get action. Basically, pick your sexual metaphor, and it’s the total aim of some guys. “Getting laid,” as impersonal as it is, does convey the motivation and intent rather well.

I should be fair and acknowledge that this is the aim of some ladies as well. Consider that acknowledged.

Regardless, it’s an unchangeable fact.

But a book that’s titled “How To Get Laid … Before the Main Course?” Oh wow. I didn’t believe or want to think that a full-fledged instruction book was out there for getting laid. I didn’t want to believe it, that is, until it arrived in my mailbox.

The publisher sent me a copy of the paperback (whose subtitle is “A Gentleman’s Approach for the Big Date“) to peruse and assess. I read it over quickly, with a pained expression at certain points I’m sure.

Essentially, here’s the skinny on the book: The author is apparently named ViMal. This is information I only know because of the letter that the publisher sent me. Who is this getting-laid genius? According to the back cover, he was born in Africa, grew up in Europe, traveled across the globe and now lives in California. Oh, and he has an English accent. That’s got to help.

“Getting Laid … Before the Main Course” is broken down into several sections. First, the introduction states the goal of the book and sets its importance into context. This is designed to be a choreographed course of action for a guy to take once he has taken the female on at least one date. ViMar emphasizes that maybe they’re locked lips already so this is at least the second of third encounter. (This somehow brought a tad bit of comfort, I have to say, though, to be honest, what guy would go to all this trouble as part of a one-night stand). The stakes are high, and the pressure’s on. “No restaurant, no movie, no distractions,” he says.

Next there are the golden rules and steps that the author would like men to follow in order to have an evening that ends in success—aka sex. This takes the shape of lists about what to say and not say, how to prep the meal and dazzle a date.

The last section is more “Food Network” with recipes for a handful of complete menus that men that can use to get their ladies into bed. The idea is that the food is easy to prepare, easy to eat and sets some kind of open mood so that the woman will feel inclined to be in a romantic frame of mind. Ideally, the three-course dinner doesn’t make it to the end; the couple heads straight to the bedroom by the end of the main course. But if they do get to food dessert, it’s yummy and not especially taxing to make.

Amidst these sections I didn’t hate every point and tip presented (though I did hate some). So, here what’s I found appealing, appalling and even more halting:



A constant theme is good hygiene and manners. “Don’t give her a reason to question your personal hygiene,” he says plainly. This may seem like a no-brainer but the author keeps reminding male readers to smell good, dress nicely and think about the details of presentation. Duh, but also kudos. As a lady, that’s appreciated.

Similarly, encouraging men to make their dates laugh right away to put them at ease is an obvious—yet certainly positive and true—pointer. ViMal is a stickler for humility, as well, so dinner conversation shouldn’t be a brag-fest. In the D.C. area this could serve some men well to abide by.

Lastly, I enjoyed a few analyses he made of body language. If the woman is interested she’ll, in a way, mirror or synchronize her movements with the man’s. She’ll grab at her fork as he does. After some soul searching, I realized that this actually makes sense and is a natural response to indicate some level of attraction.



Then, we have the strategies and insights that the book taps into that made me cringe. Yes, women want a guy with  his stuff together and who’s polite. Yet there was an assumption that a guy is “in like flynn” if he acts like a well-trained human. It’s certain that she’ll take her clothes off if he can master a few tricks and classic moves. In fact, the author guarantees that the man is getting laid. Guarantees? This isn’t a smartphone purchased at a store; it’s a person with quirks and preferences.

Specifically, if the woman has agreed to stop by the man’s house for dinner “there is a more than 65 percent chance that you will get laid. Your job is not to screw up. It will take her less than 3 seconds to decide that you are not going to get some,” ViMar lets the male readers know.

This attitude riles me up a bit.

As does the book’s steps for what should happen as soon as the lady walks through the front door.

“As you walk through the hallway, maybe slowing down and giving her the guided tour, you are probably checking out her ass and other attributes. Look discreetly.”

In other words, it’s a primer on ogling a female without her noticing. Joy.


Even more halting

In the area of compliments, the author says yes but with restrictions.

It’s OK, he says, to remark that she looks nice. (Well, I should hope so). Three, though, is the limit to the number of niceties men are allowed, using this strategy, to dole out over the course of an evening.

The reason? “Women’s minds work in ways we will never understand. Compliments are a minefield. … Some compliments reveal your desperation. They are an ugly display and a complete turn-off.”

Funny. I always thought noticing and expressing positive attributes of another person only helped your case. The rationale reminded me of the technique of “negging” made popular by the Pick-Up Artist several years ago. Here, the notion is that a beautiful woman will be so used to compliments being thrown her way; a guy sets himself apart by teasing her, slightly insulting her. This keeps her on her toes and puts him in a position of strength.

I never bought it. And I don’t know that “negging” has ever worked on me.

Overall, the book, should be taken with a grain of salt. Expecting that there’s a logical multi-step process to trick—or maneuver—a woman into bed by feeding her a strategically executed meal is a bit insulting. I’d advise men to stick to the tips around hygiene and focus on respecting their lady companion, getting to know her. Then, who knows, she might want to get intimate with you all on her own.


Be the Most Stylish Couple on New Year’s Eve with These Outfits

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 26th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

Most people look forward to New Year’s Eve for obvious reasons such as celebrating with friends and having an excuse to dress up. If you and your significant other need some inspiration then look no further. Here’s three outfit ideas to get you ready to fashionably bring in the New Year.



Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-Harvey


Outfit details: (For Her) Top, Pants, Necklace and Shoes (For Him) T-shirt, Jeans, Jacket and Shoes

Read the rest of this entry »

Last-Minute Gift Ideas Under $40

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

We’ve all fallen victim to being part of the last-minute shopping crowd. With busy work schedules and various other engagements during the holidays, it’s no wonder people might have to finish up their shopping right before spending time with their loved ones. If this sounds familiar then check out these gift ideas that are perfect for the procrastinators. Happy Shopping!

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-Harvey


Item details: (Clockwise order) Midi Rings, T-shirt, Headphones, Coffee Thermal Mug, Flash Tattoos, Mobile Charger (Center) Kate Spade Book

Bring in the New Year in Style

Posted by Editorial / Monday, December 22nd, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

With many of us focused on finding the perfect outfit for Christmas, another holiday is fast approaching. New Year’s Eve outfits can be tricky because you don’t want to be seen at the same party as another person in a typical sequined dress. Here’s some alternatives to be just as stylish and a little more unique:

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-Harvey


Outfit details: Dress, Heels, Clutch and Lipstick

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-Harvey


Outfit details: Top, Pants, Shoes, Bag and Lipstick

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Q&A: Doku Fashion’s Akila Hunte on Bringing Global Style to NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 19th, 2014

By Angela Bobo

Do you have that friend that travels the world and has amassed an amazing and unique wardrobe because of it? Thanks to the founders of online retailer DOKU, that dream of a specially curated global closet can become a reality. We got the scoop from the Arlington-based co-founder Akila Hunte on why this new website is a win for the NoVA fashion scene and when you can expect a pop-up store in our area.

photo courtesy of DOKU fashion

photo courtesy of DOKU fashion

Q: What prompted you to start this online boutique in Arlington?

I went to undergrad in D.C. along with our co-founder. After college, we moved to Arlington and really loved the area! We started traveling together and discovered so many amazing designers. However, once we returned to the states, it was really hard to place orders with the designers as a customer. Either the shipping rates were outrageous or the designers didn’t have a secure way to purchase their items. This is was the birth of DOKU.

photo courtesy of DOKU fashion

photo courtesy of DOKU fashion

Q: How do you decide what designers to carry?

Our mission is to give emerging, indie designers a platform to retail their clothing outside of their local markets. During our recruitment efforts, we want to see that prospective designers have participated in major shows in their local market (i.e, Ghana Fashion & Design Week, Altaroma Fashion Week, Lakme Fashion Week, etc) and are contributing something fresh and new to fashion.  We also look at their aesthetic to determine if it would be a good fit for the various types of women that we target. Since our customers’ style runs the gamut, we make sure that every designer we bring on board will fit one of the various style persona(s). Additionally, we request samples from each designer prior to stocking their items to ensure that the finish and quality craftsmanship is present.

Q:Why do you think this site will interest the Northern Virginia shopper? 

Women in Northern Virginia are some of the most well-educated, well- travelled women in the country. As a result of their exposure to various cultural influences, a desire for access to a global closet has emerged. Who doesn’t want to be able to easily purchase a designer dress online that they saw while on traveling on business in Accra?

Q: When do you expect to host a pop-up in the area?
We will be partnering with some local bloggers to host an event in Early Spring 2015.


photo courtesy of DOKU fashion

photo courtesy of DOKU fashion

Holiday-Inspired Hair and Beauty Looks

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, December 18th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

Change up your daily beauty routine from a more natural appearance to something a bit more glamorous for your hair and makeup for the holiday season. Take a look below at three videos to help inspire your next look for a holiday party or event.


The holidays are a time to incorporate your favorite metallic eye shadows and here’s how to achieve a classic look from Camila Coelho.

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Gifts Ideas for the Beauty Queen in Your Life

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

If you or someone you know is always looking for the latest beauty trend or gadget, then look no further. While some prefer makeup brushes over jewelry, these ideas are great for anyone who wants to look their best at any given moment. These gifts range from $10 to $150, so you’ll be sure to find something for anyone on your list. 

Photo Courtesy of Polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo Courtesy of Polyvore/dd-harvey


Details: Hair brush, Makeup brush set, Nail polish, Eyeshadow set, Lip balm, Perfume, Clarisonic set, Mascara and Eyelash curler

December’s #NoVA


Illustration by Libby Burns.

“I’m looking for something mid-century modern rustic.”

(December 2014)

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