Great Falls Writers Group: Evening with the Authors.
A local author is planning to put the story of her life on the silver screen. Sixty-one-year-old Mindy Mitchell of Reston is writing a screenplay based on her book, "Lube of Life: A Tribute to Sex, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness in the Boomer Age," which she released last year along with her co-author, 63-year-old Edward Land of Hampton, Va. "The content [and] energy contained in our book, ‘Lube of Life,’ would adapt easily to film: a comedic yet poignant tale of late-in-life love," said Mitchell. "A ‘When Harry Met Sally’ all grown up."
Local experts offer tips for keeping your family happy.
As Elizabeth Rees drove her daughter and two of her daughter’s friends to a library reading group recently, the Alexandria mother of three admits that she felt like a chauffeur at first. But she had a change of heart after hearing sounds of laughter.
Simple suggestions for supporting math and science learning.
Maria Kennedy was driving her 5-year-old son to pre-school when he asked a question that stunned her. "Mommy, why is the sun following us?" Kennedy, who says she was stuck in rush-hour traffic and running late for work wasn’t sure how to respond.
Local doctor undergoes second bar mitzvah at the age of 83.
When Dr. Scheldon Kress was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah 70 years ago, some important family members were missing from the coming of age ritual: his parents. Last month, Kress, who never knew his father and whose mother died when he was 8, had a second bar mitzvah. This time, family surrounded him: his wife of 59 years, Rose; his three children; their spouses and his seven grandchildren. The ceremony was held at Har Shalom, a Potomac synagogue. “It was thrilling to see my children and grandchildren contribute and realize that the event was so meaningful for them. [It was] something that they would remember through their lifetimes, and it would inspire them,” said Kress, who is a physician and still practices medicine. Boys become a bar mitzvah when the reach the age of 13. Because Jewish tradition says 70 years is a lifespan, the age of 83 is an opportunity to celebrate another bar mitzvah, though not everyone chooses to do so.
Three local couples share their secrets to a happy marriage.
Valentine’s Day is two days away. During this time filled with love and romance, three Potomac couples reflect on their relationships and what has kept their marriages strong.
A look inside the homes of some of the area’s top builders.
Remodeling industry professionals spend their days helping clients create dream homes, adding quartzite counter tops and outdoor, stacked stone fireplaces, turning ideas and photos into functional, chic living spaces.
Skin care experts suggest hydrating solutions that range from nutrition to treatments.
Andrea Myers and her two young sons say that one of the challenges of winter is dry, itchy skin. Her boys, aged six and four, can only stand wearing soft clothing, because rough fabrics like denim irritate their skin.
Local experts offer suggestions for helping youngsters get a good night’s sleep.
When the clock strikes 9 on any given evening, 13-year-old twins Timothy and Danny Gulyn and their 11-year-old twin brothers, Christopher and Jonathan, know that it’s time for bed. Whether they are on vacation during the summer or at their Arlington home on a school night, the siblings follow a consistent routine that has them tucked-in at the same time every day.
Local chefs suggest hearty, bone-sticking recipes
On a frigid winter day, you might find Chef Cary Prokos preparing chicken for a long soak in a red wine marinade for Coq au vin, standing over a cauldron of bouillabaisse to ensure that his scallops, rockfish and other seafoods are seasoned with hefty proportions of saffron and garlic to create a hearty soup. His goal is to create meals with enough brawn to stand-up to the ravenous, cold-weather induced appetites of the patrons at his Potomac restaurant, Normandie Farm.
Applications for many camps open in January.
The frigid January temperatures can make summer feel like a distant fantasy of sunscreen and popsicles, but it’s actually not that far away. If you have children who want to attend camp after the current school year ends, now is the time to start planning, said experts. In fact, registration for many camps begins this month.
Experts say helping little readers become authors can deepen a love of reading.
K.J., 8, and his sister Kalina, 3, love reading books, particularly books they’ve written themselves or with their mother. In fact, K.J. is an avid reader of both homemade and traditionally published books, and his sister is following in his footsteps.
Local organizers, designers and culinary experts offer smart tips for making space and clearing clutter.
If organizing an unruly kitchen, one where there never seems to be enough space for storage containers and pots and pans, is on your list of resolutions this year, the project might be less daunting than you think. From creating a system for grouping spices to keeping plates in easy reach, local experts share secrets for a well-maintained kitchen. Hang pots and pans inside pantry doors, says Sallie Kjos of GreyHunt Interiors in Chantilly. "It organizes them, but decoratively can look effective."
Local builders look back on their most impressive spaces.
From outdoor patios with the comforts of indoor family rooms to a stark white bathroom replete with Carrara marble flooring, local designers said they’ve created some spectacular living spaces in 2013. Their personal favorites may be surprising, and include a lot of kitchens and bathrooms.
Local designers offer tips on using this exotic hue tastefully and share their own color predictions.
It has been called exotic, vibrant and even magical. Now it has been named the 2014 color of the year: orchid, or radiant orchid to be exact.
Simple strategies for storing bathroom essentials.
Cluttered bathrooms where the medicine cabinet contains everything from batteries to old toothbrushes and a linen closet where towels and sheets are intermingled with flashlights and scrub brushes can be the bane of anyone’s existence. However, a new year can offer a fresh start in one of the most-used rooms in one’s home.
What is it and how does one achieve it?
As we begin a new year, many are focused on their spiritual health and well-being. In fact, the National Wellness Institute names spiritual wellness as one of the seven dimensions of overall wellness. It’s essential in life, say experts.
Creative ideas for housebound parents and children.
Winter brings frigid temperatures, icy roads, snow and often school closures. While sledding and building snowmen are fun, hazardous weather conditions mean much of the time is spent indoors, and soon the novelty of time off can become cabin fever. Local child education experts offer activity suggestions for filling those long winter days. Susan Friedman, executive editor for digital content at the National Association for the Education of Young Children and a Bethesda resident, suggests parents encourage a child’s natural curiosity. "In the same way that school classrooms have activity centers, parents can create boxes that focus on different activities like playing dress up with clothes, hats and neckties," she said. "You can create a box with art supplies and a box with games or puzzles."
Keeping children entertained on lengthy airplane rides.
Liz Henry is nervous about her upcoming flight to San Francisco. It’s not TSA regulations or long lines that are causing her anxiety, however. It is traveling alone with her three children — all of whom are under the age of 6.
Experts say modeling, nurturing are keys to raising generous children.
Elena Santiviago walked her 6-year-old son down the aisle of a grocery store near her Arlington home. They picked up five boxes of toothpaste and two bottles of mouthwash, several bars of soap and a few sticks of deodorant. The shopping trip was part of a school project in which students fill holiday stockings with personal hygiene items for the homeless.
Stories offer children and parents innovative ways to explore art.
Elizabeth Augenblick Smith, 10, spent a recent Saturday afternoon gluing strips of brightly hued tissue paper to create a collage. There were no rules or guides to follow.
Local gourmets share their favorite products for the food lovers on your list.
Whether you’re shopping for a seasoned cook or a budding culinary enthusiast, buying presents for a foodie can be a daunting task. What’s the best pan? The coolest gadget? The latest trend in desserts? Local gourmets come to the rescue with culinary goodies to entice even the most discerning of food aficionados.
Local designers offer suggestions for home decorating.
’Tis the season for decking the halls. Whether your style is traditional and colorful, muted and demure or metallic and glittery, three local designers offer distinct holiday decorating ideas to spark your creativity.
Local designers unveil inviting spaces that are perfect for dreaming of sugarplums.
Bedrooms are no longer just for sleeping, at least according to some local designers. They’re for relaxing and watching television, but they’re also for reading and for eating a lazy weekend breakfast. In fact, some modern bedrooms are probably larger than their owners’ first apartments. Three local tastemakers unveil master bedrooms that are so opulent and amenity-filled that it’s surprising their owners ever want to leave.
Designers describe the perfect spaces for baking, cooking and entertaining.
With the holiday season in full swing, many people are finding themselves spending more time in the kitchen. Whether you hate to cook or love it, it can be more enjoyable when done in the kitchen of your dreams, complete with state-of-the-art appliances and custom-made marble topped islands.
Mental health experts say being realistic and seeking support can help you avoid holiday stress and depression.
While the holiday season is filled with parties, shopping, decorating and other festive activities, mental health experts say it often brings unwelcome guests as well: stress and depression. While they can be difficult to manage when one is in the midst of a bout, with a few strategies one may be able to prevent both before they ruin the holiday season.
Local experts suggest turning to yoga and meditation to relax.
Marybeth Montoro says her entire body relaxed as she lay stretched out on a yoga mat for savasana, a relaxation pose, at Pure Prana Yoga Studio in Alexandria, while her yoga instructor guided the class through a breathing practice.
Staving off extra pounds during the season of sweets.
Patty McAndrews works out with a trainer twice a week at of TRUE Health and Wholeness in Arlington. She found that restarting her fitness regimen about two months ago has strengthened her abdominal muscles and toned her body.
Strategies for keeping traditional treats healthy
When Alice Jenkins saw her doctor two months ago, he diagnosed her with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and suggested she change her diet and lose about 30 pounds. Lawson, 45, started a diet program and has lost nine and a half pounds, but now that she’s in the midst of the holiday season, she’s concerned about losing the strides that she’s made with her dietary changes. "I have a large family and we get together a lot during the holidays," said Lawson, who lives in Alexandria. "There is always sweet potato pie, macaroni and cheese, and deep fried turkey."
Supporting local artisans and getting one-of-a-kind gifts
Madeline Marzilli plans to start making her Christmas list right after her Thanksgiving house guests leave this weekend. On her list will be one-of-a-kind items for family and friends that she hopes to pick up at some of the local holiday craft shows.
Local charities in need of help from the community.
Rahsan Baatin bikes to his Arlington, Va., office on most days. He runs every day. His wife Victoria swims each morning. The two are gearing up to spend Thanksgiving morning running The Trot for Hunger, a 5k race to raise more for the local charity SOME (So Others Might Eat).
Focusing on gratitude on a day reserved for feasting.
"Pilgrims," said James, 5, as his mother helped him fasten his helmet for a hockey lesson at the Cabin John Ice Rink near Potomac. "Turkey and pie," said his 6-year-old classmate Aiden. Both boys were responding to a question about the meaning of Thanksgiving.
Local designers offer suggestions for laying the perfect tablescape.
While food preparation can be all-consuming on Thanksgiving Day, the table décor also plays a major role in a Turkey Day feast. Whether your style is subdued and casual or chic and sophisticated, local designers offer ideas and inspiration for table settings that are as delectable as the meal itself.
Ideas for prepping your home so that visitors feel welcome.
When Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season next week, it will mean an onslaught of house guests for some. Local style gurus offer simple ideas for getting your home ready for visits from friends and family.
Local pros offer tips for staying on track from Thanksgiving and beyond.
"If you’re organized, you’ll definitely experience less stress this holiday season," said professional organizer Susan Unger, of ClutterSOS in Vienna. "If you figure out what your goal is and map out everything in advance, you won’t find yourself staying up late wrapping presents and other chores and you’ll have more time to spend with family and friends."
Local art experts offer crafty gift ideas.
Gifting your child’s teacher, grandparents or other family members with holiday cheer doesn’t have to add another line item to your budget. Homemade gifts from children are among the most cherished, say experts, and creating them can be as memorable for the child as the recipient.
Local photographers offer suggestions for taking great family photos.
Amber Wilson has spent the last week scouring her computer files in search of the perfect pictures for her holiday card. One image missing from her collection is a shot of her entire family.
Local chefs and culinary experts share family stories and recipes.
As a teen, Chef Guiseppe Ricciardi’s Thanksgiving dinners were anything but traditional. Ricciardi , the proprietor of Dolce Vita and Dolce Veloce in Fairfax, moved to New York from Italy with his family when he was 14. His family celebrated Thanksgiving in their new country, but they put an Italian twist on the holiday.
Local culinary instructors offer suggestions for bonding in the kitchen.
Maria Kopsidas recalls childhood holidays filled with turkey, sweets and merriment. Because she grew up in a family of professional chefs, cookbook authors and culinary enthusiasts, the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas always brings fond food recollections.
Local designers share ideas for a striking Thanksgiving table.
While a menu of turkey and gravy will satisfy the belly this Thanksgiving, a well-designed centerpiece that reflects the warm hues of fall will be a feast for the eyes.
Local designers offer tips on how to banish blank walls.
When Anne McCloud and her fiance, Mark Graham, moved into their Herndon home two years ago, with the exception of a large, deep red Chesterfield sofa, a present from Anne’s parents, the furniture they had was left over from graduate school: a tattered antique chair in need of reupholstering and two side tables.
Sackler exhibit is first of its kind.
Yoga instructor Luann Fulbright of McLean moved her practice from the mat to a gallery recently when she joined diplomats, philanthropists, artists and fellow yogis at a gala to celebrate the opening of "Yoga: The Art of Transformation" at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. It is the world’s first exhibition on the art of yoga.
During Women’s Small Business Month, local entrepreneurs offer advice.
After a career in television and radio, Potomac mother and entrepreneur Cari Shane carved out a freelance writing career for herself, penning articles for publications ranging from the Washington Post and its Sunday Magazine to Cooking Light Magazine. Fellow Potomac mother and marketing executive Julie Schumacher pitched Shane a story idea. Shane was intrigued, wrote the article, and the two women stayed in touch. Schumacher later came to Shane with another idea: The two women should create a company that would transform traditional public relations strategies for small and mid-sized businesses, also incorporating social media. Shane put her freelance writing career on hold and the two women formed a small business called sasse (pronounced “sassy”) agency. “Building a business with a platform for differentiation appealed to me,” said Shane. “Julie and I built sasse to help small- and medium-sized business get what they deserve, the chance to shout out about themselves the way big businesses do.”
Tysons restaurant to host pumpkin carving event to raise money for local food bank.
Few things say Halloween like a carved pumpkin. Whether they’re smiling orbs on a front porch or eerie candlelit gourds in windowsills, jack-o-lanterns are an iconic symbol of Halloween. This weekend, however, the rib-skinned fall squash will also symbolize charity. A group of children get a lesson in pumpkin carving from local Executive Chef Eddie Ishaq of Wildfire, at Tysons Galleria, with all of the proceeds going to a local food bank. “I enjoy seeing all the smiles on the kids’ faces as they carve their pumpkins, and [I like] the fact all the money goes to a great cause,” said Ishaq. “I [also enjoy] passing along all of my carving skills.” Proceeds from the event will help support Food for Others, a Northern Virginia food bank. During the class, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 3-4 p.m. at Wildfire at Tysons Galleria, parents and children will get a hands-on pumpkin carving lesson led by Ishaq. At the end of the class, the children will take home their creations.
Local experts offer their best tips for creating your jack-o-lantern.
Whether your goal is to carve and decorate the best pumpkin on the block or simply use this fall gourd for Halloween inspiration, local culinary experts offer pumpkin ideas that will keep the season festive. Before embarking on a pumpkin carving project, take a look at the condition of your knives. “Generally speaking, a dull knife is a dangerous knife,” said Christine Wisnewski, a culinary instructor at Culinaria Cooking School in Vienna. “And a pumpkin, because of its size and shape, can be a challenge, even if you have good knife skills. If you use a knife, make sure it is sharp and work slowly.” Wisnewski generally advises eschewing chef’s knives for a pumpkin carving kit, usually found in supermarkets and craft stores. “The cutting tools may look less impressive than your best kitchen knife, but they do work well,” she said. “The small blades are deeply serrated and make quick work getting through dense pumpkin flesh.” Pumpkin carving kits are also a solution to the safety issue. “If the kids do want to carve, no one’s fingers are at risk with these little carving tools,” she said. “Our family has managed to get many years of use out of the tools that came with our first kits.”
University offers safe and festive Halloween celebration for disadvantaged children.
Local college students are working to ensure that some underserved area school children have a festive Halloween this year. Students at Marymount University, in Arlington, are turning their resident halls into themed wonderlands that run the gamut from Disney princesses to superheroes. The celebration is part of Marymount’s 19th annual Halloweenfest, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25, 3:30-7 p.m. “Each year, Marymount University opens its doors to disadvantaged children in the area to provide a safe and fun place to celebrate Halloween,” said Ashley Wells, community outreach coordinator at the school’s Office of Campus Ministry. During Halloweenfest, children receive free Halloween costumes and take tours through the resident halls where they trick or treat for candy donated by students, faculty, staff and community members. After trick or treating, they spend time participating in activities on the basketball court of the university’s Rose Benté Lee Center. “The gym is completely decorated and children have a blast as they visit over 35 tables with different activities … like face painting, crafts and games,” said Wells. “A dinner … is provided for each guest.”
Local culinary experts offer ideas for turning an ordinary meal into a ghoulish adventure.
Halloween dinner in Christine Wisnewski’s Vienna home is often a balancing act between healthy and sugary. On the sweetest holiday of the year, for example, the mother and culinary instructor at Culinaria Cooking School, also in Vienna, prepares a wholesome dinner for her eager trick-or-treaters, managing candy-induced sugar highs and inevitable post-confection lows.
Local literature experts recommend their favorite Halloween books for children.
Mark Burch, who lives in Oak Hill, recently browsed through the children’s Halloween book section at a library near his Washington, D.C., office. He had his three children in tow and an armload of books with covers that included carved pumpkins, willowy ghosts and witches in black hats. “We’ve got about 15 books,” he said. “I think the limit of books you can check out is 50 and we might reach it.” Children’s literary experts say the month of October is a perfect time for children to explore their imagination, address their fears and have fun reading with their parents. In addition to traditional Halloween favorites, local booksellers say this season brings forth new offerings in children’s Halloween literature.
Local educators offer advice on selecting the right independent school for your child.
Marta Soltes was sitting in an Arlington coffee shop recently pouring through catalogs and application packets from some of the area’s most elite independent schools. Her stack of brochures was almost as high as her extra-large latte.
Local artists suggest Halloween crafts to make with your kids.
Local artists say one of the best things about the month of October is the opportunity to find inspiration in nature and create spooky crafts that stretch from now through Halloween and beyond. Samantha Marques-Mordkofsky, of the Arlington Art Center, suggests finding inspiration in nature, such as the abundance of falling leaves in vibrant colors like red, orange and yellow. “We’re collecting leaves and other natural materials. You can take paper plates [and] decorate them with leaves and feathers, which is a cheap and easy thing to make,” she said. Kathryn Horn Coneway, of Art at the Center in Mount Vernon, believes in getting out into nature while temperatures are still mild. “Fall is a great time for taking art outside,” she said. “Let kids paint outside. If you use washable paint, it doesn’t take a lot of parental supervision.”
Local students turn lost internship into a learning experience.
Katie Barack, an 11th grade student at The Madeira School, in McLean, was looking forward to spending the fall semester working in a congressional office, walking the halls of U.S. Capitol and getting a first-hand view of the legislative process. Instead, she’s strolling along the National Mall engaging in conversations with those whose lives have been affected by the government shutdown.