Posts Tagged ‘NoVA’



Illustration by Libby Burns.

“If you don’t Instagram Crossfit, it didn’t happen”

(August 2014)

The Perfect Boots are One Click Away

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

 By Angela Bobo


Adie Brown Fitted Boots, $370;

It’s no secret that the style obsessed love fall fashion as it is the time when sartorial chops are expertly on display with carefully layered knits, scarves, leather and colorful jackets. One item that never evades the cold weather wardrobe starting five is a pair of boots. Whether cut short around the ankles or stacked tall to the knee, you could live in the right pair of boots all season long.  It is so frustrating to finally get your hands on the new must-have boot only to find that it wasn’t made for you; it’s too tight or the calf is too wide.  I seem to be in the latter tribe, which is why I was delighted to discover Duo Boots. The website offers a wide range of stylish shoes in 21 calf sizes and varying widths for a fit that will seem as if the cobbler made them solely for you. Visit the website today and grab your pair before the weather cools down. 

Brando Navy Chelsea Boots, $180;

The Fabulous 1940s Party Brings the Swing

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 25th, 2014

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

Itching for a fabulous night of be-boping and wild kicks? Join the party and make new memories the old way at the Fabulous 1940s Party at Oatlands this Saturday. This event will be hosted under the stars in a tented area for an evening of retro fun.

Photo courtesy of Oatlands Historic House and Gardens.

The Fabulous 1940s Party is new to Oatlands this year. Last summer, the Leesburg plantation began the decade-themed party series with its 1920s party, which attracted over 100 attendees. But why the 1940s?

“Our history inspired it,” says Executive Director Andrea McGimsey, 49. The Fabulous 1940s Party brings back the glamour of Hollywood, remembers the opening of the National Gallery of Art in 1941, and will be serving heavy hors d’oeuvres—including German wiener schnitzel and Polish pierogis—based on a theme of international peace.

The event also serves to honor Morton Eustis, who was the son of Oatlands owners William and Edith Eustis and who fought during World War II as a lieutenant in the 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division.

Most of all, the Fabulous 1940s Party is a celebration. “We just want to celebrate that glamorous time,” McGimsey says. The event is full-blown fun, featuring authentic music from Doc Scantlin’s Palmettos, swing lessons from Dance King Studios, two antique cars and plenty of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The event also features local wines from Fabbioli Cellars and Willowcroft, and cocktails from Catoctin Creek, the first distillery since prohibition in the 1920s. 

Although not required, 1940s attire is welcome. Last summer, a majority of attendants appeared in period clothing to party against the beautiful backdrop of the Oatlands estate, which stands almost untouched by history.

“It really was like going back in time,” McGimsey says.

Tickets for this unique vintage event are available now.


Fabulous 1940s Party
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg
August 30, 7:30 – 11:30 p.m.

Burning Railcars and Moving Museums in Manassas this Weekend

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Civil War Weekend in Manassas

Photo Courtesy of Historic Manassas, Inc.

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

Flames will light the night sky this Saturday in Old Town Manassas as Civil War re-enactors burn a railroad car to commemorate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1862 raid on the junction. This event is just one of many that will bring history back to Manassas as part of Civil War Weekend.

In addition, Old Town Manassas is commemorating Civil War Weekend with guest speakers like Bob O’Connor, author of “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War,” tours of the plantation Liberia, weapons demonstrations and a special three-day exhibition of the Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.

Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission's HistoryMobile.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.

The HistoryMobile, winner of the American Association of State and Local History’s 2013 Leadership in History Award of Merit, was established summer of 2011 in accordance with the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, also known as the Battle of Bull Run.

This museum on wheels is a tractor-trailer packed full of interactive exhibits and activities. The outside of the moving museum is laden with unique prints that depict places and people from the Civil War.

Inside, the museum is divided into four sections—Battlefront, Homefront, Journey to Freedom and Loss-Gain Legacy—where patrons can get a glimpse of what life was like for soldiers, civilians and enslaved families, while also learning about the sacrifices and benefits of the war.

Executive Director Cheryl Jackson says the museum’s new features include scanned family documents, photos and journals for patrons to examine.

In addition, visitors can become a part of the exhibit through the Legacy Project, which invites individuals to submit Civil War documents from their own families to the exhibit.

Civil War Weekend and the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile are free admission. The events and attractions are enjoyable for all ages.

Civil War Weekend
Historic Downtown Manassas
Aug. 22-23, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Aug. 24, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free Admission

The Universal World of Singledom

Every now and then we need to escape our lives. Getting away is therapeutic and oh-so-necessary. This is especially true in the Type A Land that is the Washington region.

Well, I did escape recently, as I do at least once a year. I went to Belize for a glorious, epic, furious, busy, exemplary 16 days. Some trips are relaxing. This one was invigorating.

I hiked, I snorkeled, I spelunked (which maybe sounds swankier than “I trudged through caves”) and I swam.

But along the way I also chatted and conversed with everyone who crossed my path— locals, fellow travelers, bartenders, guides. A constant topic, though not driven or instigated by yours truly, somehow always seemed to be relationships and the state of being single. Specifically being a single woman is, I guess, a situation that others crave to know.

“Why,” for certain, seemed to be the prevailing question, as if every singleton spins a “Wheel of Fortune” wheel and selects it.

It’s what the very first taxi driver of the excursion posed not 15 minutes after I had disembarked from a plane and wanted to not have to address. Actually, this gent’s phrasing was more like the following:

Why aren’t you married? You need to find a good man and then that guy should
handcuff you unless you’re traveling with him.

This sounds sexist or offensive. It was half in jest and half a result of not getting it, not being in my shoes. Yet his sentiment was somewhere along the lines of this:

I’m too independent. I’m too free, too wild. To some, the notion that a woman who
is not legally bound or otherwise tethered to a man is almost dangerous, crazy,
certainly out of their realm.

Why travel solo? Why run off and interact with strangers in strange lands? Why not follow the well-worn path?

Mind you, I met wonderful and progressive Belizeans with incredibly articulate perspectives on gender roles. Some men seemed honestly worried about being the type of man who allows a woman to do her thing. Yet, at the same time, they also want to “be a man” and flex their masculine muscles and step up as provider. It’s a tough spot to be in. I certainly didn’t have the secret formula for them to follow and concoct.

But I did have some answers for my taxi driver. We bantered for a few minutes, him saying how unusual it was that—at over 30—I’m childless. In Belize, he was quick to point out, many women have already delivered several babies by several men at this point in adulthood.

“I guess I’m behind. Or maybe I’m ahead. I don’t know,” I said to him, as some sort of ridiculous explanation.

The thing is it’s not really possible to explain such things. Why am I single? I haven’t met my soul mate. I date and I try. I’m not opposed to a male mate. Other than that, however, it’s a one day at a time pursuit.

Then it occurred to me that, way off in Belize, as I made my escape, it was the same type of discussion I’d have on American soil. Single ladies the region over constantly find themselves defending or explaining or just relaying stories from the war zone of dating.

I guess there’s no escape from that, even in far-flung travel.


Mark Your Calendar: SJP is Coming to NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

By Helen Ray

Ladies, grab your wallets and clear you schedules because Sarah Jessica Parker is coming to Tyson’s Corner on August 22. The “Sex and the City” star is celebrating the launch of her fall 2014 Nordstrom’s collection at local stores.

The line made its first debut earlier this year, making quite a wave in the fashion world. The collection, “SJP,” is designed by Parker and George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik, who together created a line of brightly colored shoes, trendy handbags and “city-chic” outerwear. The collection is nothing short of fabulous and a line we’re sure would have Carrie Bradshaw exclaiming “me likey.”

It’s going to be a real treat for die-hard SATC fans as well as the fashion obsessed of Northern Virginia to be able to shop the new collection and see SJP in person later this month. Check out the images  below for a sneak peak of the upcoming line. 

Where:  Nordstrom’s at Tyson’s Corner

When: August 22nd from 5-6pm. 

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What’s In Our Bags?

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 11th, 2014

By Helen Ray

To call a handbag just an accessory seems like an insult. A women’s handbag is like her life vest: she never takes it off and its contents prevent horrible incidents from happening—like having chapped lips or riding the metro without headphones. Since what you keep inside your handbag is just as important as picking out your trendy satchel, the editorial department at NoVA Mag has decided to strip down the contents of our purses and show you what our lifesaving essentials are.  


  • Angela, Fashion and Beauty.

    Life Essential: "Having a neutral bag that goes with every outfit."

    Must have beauty product: "Red lipstick because I believe a red lip goes with every look." Mac Lipstick in Ruby Woo. / Photo by Helen Ray.

  • Emily, Arts and Entertainment.

    Life essential:"My favorite product would probably be the wallet…because the gold studs are French bulldogs—my favorite type of dog. It’s a simple and classy way to show a part of me in my accessories.”

    Must have beauty product: The EOS chapstick! It slides on really smooth and smells good." / Photo by Helen Ray.

  • Elke, Arts and Entertainment

    Life essential: “ I’m obviously a Vera Bradley addict and I like anything that keeps me organized.”

    Must have beauty product:"Clinique almost lipstick also, the Covergirl fix stick.” / Photo by Helen Ray.

  • Kate, Arts and Entertainment.

    Life essential: “I always try to carry a book on me because if I don’t find time to read during the day I won’t find time at night.”

    Must have beauty product: "I always carry sunblock on me because I don’t need premature aging.” "Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock Broad Spectrum SPF 55." / Photo by Helen Ray.

  • Jess, Arts and Entertainment.

    Life essential: “My notebook I keep in there always, because I like to have something to write in, in case I get inspired for a story.”

    Must have beauty product: "The Burt's Bees chapstick in pomegranate." / Photo by Helen Ray.

  • Allison, Food Desk.

    Life essential: “I have a type-A personality so I can never leave home without my planner! Using the calendar in my phone just doesn’t cut it.

    Must have beauty product: "My Clinique lipstick in the color Berry Freeze" and a spritz of "Philosophy perfume in the fragrance Loveswept." / Photo by Helen Ray.

  • Stefanie, Food Desk.

    Life Essential: "Since I spend a lot of my life in restaurants and they can be chilly especially with heavy air conditioning in the summer, I always bring a cardigan or scarf to keep warm"

    Must have beauty product: Local Vienna-made Fat Lips chapstick because it's made out of cow fat and feels like I'm putting butter on my lips. I also always have a bold lip color because I feel like a bold lip will always pull my look together." e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color. / Photo by Helen Ray.








Sales and News in NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

photo courtesy of

South Moon Under Student Sale 
South Moon Under has paired up with Teen Vogue’s “Back to School Saturdays” series for the second year in a row, bringing students sweet deals before school starts again. On August 16 all South Moon Under locations will be giving students a 20 percent discount as well as an opportunity to win a shopping spree, get some free styling advice and get a special gift with every purchase.

Lili the First Fashion Support Launch 

As of August 1, Vienna boutique Lili the First, added a unique “Fashion Support” rack to the store in order to fundraise for The Women’s Center. The designated clothing rack is made up of locally donated gently worn clothes which are resold through the store all year long, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to the Women’s Center. The Women’s Center is a Vienna-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving “the psychological, career, financial and legal well-being of women, men, teens and children, regardless of their ability to pay.” 

The launch of the event will be on August 14th from 6-8 where CEO of the Women’s Center, Shirley Clark, will speak, hors d’oeuvres from Culinaria Cooking School will be served and a silent auction of boutique goods will be sold to celebrate the new way Lili the First is raising awareness.

Nordstrom Pop-In

Nordstrom is at it again this summer with a continuation of their Pop-in series. Beginning August 8 and going through to September 7 they will host Pop-In@Nordstrom with Rag & Bone as they introduce their Fall 2014 women’s and men’s collections. Pop-In@Nordstrom houses curated goods at select stores which features exclusive items and limited-edition collectibles. Visit Nordstrom at Tysons Corner Center or online at to shop this limited time offer when it launches.

Six Smart Sandals for Office Wear

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

By Helen Ray

When it’s hot and humid out the last thing you want to do is suffocate your feet with closed toe shoes. Sandals are the quintessential summer accessory and there’s no reason why our favorite trending sandals shouldn’t be worn seven days out of the week. So, before you splurge on a new sandal that’s only weekend approved, here’s a list of smart sandals that are the perfect combination of summer chic and office appropriate. 


'Syris' Sandal by Dolce Vita

Photo courtesy of

This sandal characterizes summer in so many different ways: the straps, wedge and color blocking are on point with summer trends. This is the perfect sandal for a picnic in the park or as an accessory to a pair of work trousers.  DV by Dolce Vita ‘Syris’ Sandal $39.47.

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Fashion Myths Ruled Out

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Photo courtesy of helenvray/

By Helen Ray

Getting dressed is similar to a game, where obtaining the perfect look involves a strategic method to get to the goal in mind. Like any other game, there are rules in the world of fashion that help govern what fashion savvy people decide to wear. While some rules set standards— like what’s appropriate for a night out verses an interview, others, like not wearing white after Labor Day, just seem outdated and silly. Since fashion is ever evolving, there’s no need to stick by the same rules our grandmother’s did, so here are a few fashion rules that we love to break. 

You shouldn’t mix metals

This rule claims that when layering accessories you must stick to one metal. Not only is this rule hard to follow but it’s unnecessary—your gold studs do not clash with your silver flats. In fact, intentionally mixing metals is stylish because it adds texture and glam to any outfit.

You can’t wear athletic shoes with a non-athletic outfit

No longer does wearing athletic wear in public mean you have to be going to or coming back from the gym. Pairing athletic sneakers with a skirt or dress is a style that is fresh, feminine and functional. 

Horizontal stripes make you look bigger

This rule has managed to resonate with women young and old for generations. But stripes are a wardrobe necessity; they look great when pairing with patterns and are seen on the runways season after season. Some stripes can even make you look thinner.  If you’re hesitant about wearing horizontal stripes try wearing thinner stripes and either tucking the shirt in or adding a belt to a dress to accentuate your waistline.

You can’t wear black with navy

Just because two neutrals look similar to each other doesn’t mean can’t be worn together. Black and navy together creates a look that is sleek and sophisticated and is a color combo that when you finally decide to dawn, isn’t as daring as our grandmother’s would lead us to believe.

Shorts are only for the summer

Sure, shorts are perfectly functional and trendy in the summer, but they can also be a chic piece to wear all year long, and let’s face it, pleated wool shorts were not made for August. By choosing the right materials and laying shorts with thick stockings and boots you can create a warm and versatile winter look. 

You can’t wear white at someone else’s wedding

With summer being prime time wedding season it seems unfair to rule out one of the season’s hottest colors. In reality, there is little a person can wear to a wedding that would take away from the showcased couple—especially when one is sporting a couture gown. Jazz up a little white dress at a wedding with funky accessories and unique patterns if you feel the need to exaggerate your separation from the bride. 

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