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From volunteering to the Capital Home Show: What we’re looking forward to this week, Sept. 16-22

This week, the editorial team is looking forward to the Weekend Food for Kids program, meeting Brett Tutor, ending summer with a movie, an art festival and loco mocos.

Alexandria King Street Art Festival (Photo by R Nowitz for Visit Alexandria)

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By Katie BiancoJess FeldmanHolly GambrellStefanie Gans and Jennifer Zeleski

What did you bring for lunch? 
Back-to-school season has always been filled with an equal mix of excitement and anxiety for me. Year after year, I would eagerly sift through stacks of folders and packs of pencils to find the perfect school supplies, and if I was lucky, a brand-new lunch box. I was a “packer” as kids called it back then. Thankfully, none of the anxiety I faced was ever associated with not having food at lunchtime, or dinner on the table when I finished my homework in the evenings. But that’s not the case for many students across the United States. In Fairfax County, 28% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, which is why I’ll use a few hours out of my Thursday to help pack food for local students in the Weekend Food for Kids program with the Assistance League of Northern Virginia. The initiative offers nonperishable food to children who qualify for free and reduced lunch at Title I schools in Fairfax and Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. Hopefully my lunch-packing experience will come in handy and no child will go hungry when they head home from school. -Jennifer Zeleski, Editorial Assistant // Dominion Energy Virginia: 3072 Centreville Road, Herndon; Sept. 19, 10 a.m.; free

HGTV IRL
We recently moved into a new house in NoVA. It’s in the perfect location for us and has a big yard … but it also hasn’t really been updated since it was built in the 1970s. My husband and I did that on purpose. He’s contractor-level handy and I’m a pretty decent amateur interior designer, so we wanted a house where we could do the work ourselves. But, now that we’re moved in, I’ll admit that trying to pick out bathroom tile and design a Pinterest-worthy kitchen while working full time and raising our two little ones has been overwhelming. Enter the Capital Home Show. The Dulles Expo Center welcomes the annual show Sept. 20 to 22 and you can find me there doing some one-stop shopping. Plus, getting some wisdom from HGTV’s Brett Tutor. It’s still going to take us literally at least five years to get our house where we want it, but the Capital Home Show isn’t a bad place to begin. -Katie Bianco, Editor // Capital Home Show: 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center,Chantilly; tickets $7 online, $10 at the door

Ending summer with a show
As fun as summer is, I actually love when it ends every year. Why? Because that means fall has finally arrived. Cozy sweaters, football games, bright leaves, pumpkin spice lattes (don’t judge me) … I could go on for hours about my favorite fall things. But, to say goodbye to the season with a bang, I’ll be going to this summer’s last Music & Movies on Mill event. Breakfast at Tiffany’s will play on the outdoor movie screen as I snack on my picnic and joyfully daydream about making my Halloween costume. See ya next year, summer! -Holly Gambrell, Digital Editor // River Mill Park: 458 Mill St., Occoquan; Sept. 21, 7-9:30 p.m.; free

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” -Einstein
I have always been a fan of the arts. While I can’t maneuver a paintbrush for the life of me, I appreciate true talent like renowned painter Georgia O’Keeffe or photographer and activist Nan Goldin. Growing up in Boston, there was no shortage of museums to keep me entertained, which was great for me, yet unfortunate for my friends who had no interest in the matter. And while I have yet to find a favorite museum here in NoVA, I’ll never pass up an opportunity to admire works of art. That’s why this weekend, I’ll be walking through the 17th annual Alexandria King Street Art Festival, where I can explore paintings, life-size sculptures, photography and more from across the world. I’ll also have the chance to meet some of the artists, too, and thank them for sharing their talents with the less adept. -Jess Feldman, Editorial Assistant // 220 King St., Alexandria; Sept. 21-22, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; free

Kalua pork, spam musubi and feeling breezy … Get to Hula Girl before it closes 
My husband and I vacationed in Hawaii, ditching our 18-month-old (at the time), knowing it would be our last big trip before we decided to have a second kid and not be able to do anything cool for the rest of our lives. Anyway, we loved it there, of course. So many palm trees, so many beaches and we stayed at such a cute, little hotel that Williams Sonoma was shooting a scene there for its upcoming catalog. We felt breezy. While we can’t even pretend to like poke back on the mainland, we do love indulging in Kalua pork and soaking up the vacation vibes at Hula Girl. Unfortunately, the Shirlington Hawaiian-themed restaurant is closing Saturday, Sept. 21. We need one last loco moco. -Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor // Hula Girl: 4044 Campbell Ave., Arlington

Want more fun? Check out the September issue’s NoVA in 19 to see what else should be on your radar as we kick off the fall season.

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