Day: February 1, 2022

Arts & Entertainment, Events

Alexandria Events – February 2022

Celebrating Our Nation’s First President All events listed below are subject to change. The most up-to-date information about any celebration event is published on by the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee (GWBCC). 1st – 15th The Restaurant Cherry Challenge In honor of George Washington’s birthday, participating Alexandria restaurants will create unique, cherry-centric dishes. Each restaurant will develop its own cherry cocktail, appetizer, entrée, and/or dessert in honor of our distinguished native son, of course. The competing restaurants and their entries will be listed on the George Washington Birthday Celebration website and Facebook page, and the winners will be announced on Parade Day. 1st to 28th Hunt for Washington A fun and challenging game to uncover clues about Alexandria and George Washington. The hunt, which should take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete, will take individuals and families to places in Old Town Alexandria associated with the General. Start by printing a clue sheet from at home and bring it with you as you traverse the heart of Old Town and then use your sleuthing skills to find answers to the clues. Submit your findings to any time before the end of the day on February 28. There are prizes and mementos associated with this event. FREE. American Legion Post 24 Run, Walk, n’ Roll This George Washington Birthday Commemorative event is intended to build community and enhance the physical, mental and emotional resiliency of participants—veterans and non-veterans alike. This month-long event during February 2022 encourages participants to run, walk and/or roll on their own for at least 24 miles in increments and routes they choose. Registration is $24 and open until February 5th. Visit for more information. 3rd ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington in Laredo and Alexandria – Virtual 7 p.m. Alexandria has celebrated hometown legend George Washington for hundreds of years with parades and balls….

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

What’s Your Style?

By Doug Fabbioli As I sit back and think about planting and the types of vines I want to put in the ground, I realize that there is a good bit of guessing and prospecting to it. What will the customers be drinking in ten years, and how much of it? What styles will be popular? Is there a grape that will grow in both current and future growing conditions that will fit the bill? Is there already enough of that variety grown in this region? Lots of questions, but how about some answers? As a relatively seasoned winemaker, I have learned a few things over the years about wine styles and about making guesses as to future demands. Experimenting with new varietals helps us find out what works and what doesn’t, and can lead to “the next big thing” that the customers fall in love with. Planting what grows best in your climate and on your particular site is the most important choice, but experimental plantings can be fun. When you’re trying out a new grape on a small scale, though, it’s important to make sure your experiment fits into the reality of a larger scale operation. This means you can’t coddle the dozen or so vines in your trial in a way that you could not do on a larger scale. On the other hand, you can’t ignore any special needs they may have, either. If planting some vines to experiment, make sure you make time for said experiment. Getting those grapes through the cellar and into the glass is where the style comes in. Many grapes are used as varietal wines, highlighting the fruit characteristics, tannin structure, and acid balance that each particular grape variety is known for. Other grapes can be processed and blended to become…

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Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

 What Can Market Volatility Teach About the Fundamentals?

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce While market volatility can be painful, it can remind investors of the importance of sticking to the fundamentals. Market volatility, painful as it can be, can actually provide an important lesson for investors about why it’s important to stick to the fundamentals, such as having an asset allocation strategy and reviewing your plan. With that in mind, here are suggestions for turbulent times that may help you turn today’s worries into tomorrow’s good habits. Remembering asset allocation When market volatility occurs, investors have the opportunity to get back to fundamentals they may have forgotten. This is especially true for asset allocation — the strategy financial professionals return to time and again when investors want help dealing with volatile markets. At its most basic level, asset allocation is how you diversify your investments across different asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash alternatives, etc.). This varies based on a number of factors, primarily: What you want your investments to help you achieve (objectives) How comfortable you are with market volatility (risk tolerance) How long it will be before you will need to access your investments (time horizon) The asset allocation model that best suits any given investor depends on where they land in regard to these three factors. It’s important to remember that asset allocation offers investors a trade-off. During good times, a diversified portfolio’s return will lag the best performing asset class. On the other hand, during down periods, it will do better than the worst performing asset class. It’s up to each investor to decide what’s more important — participating more in the good times by holding more stock or avoiding the worst of the bad by holding less. Reviewing your plan regularly If you have an asset allocation plan and still find yourself lying…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Y – O – U – N – G!

By Kim Putens You haven’t found the fountain of youth yet, but you’re afraid to go under the knife. You sit in wonder of how to keep your skin looking young, particularly during these harsh winter days.    Many people ask me how I keep my skin looking young. They want to know my beauty tricks and if they involve botox. There is no doubt that in your mid-40’s it’s much harder to fight the signs of aging than at 21. But, I will avail you of the routine that helps me keep my skin looking Y-O-U-N-G and, no, it does not involve botox. I’m too afraid of the needles. Y – Yoga. I can’t live without yoga in my life. It helps relieve the daily stresses associated with running a business, keeping up with my two children and maintaining a busy household.  Research has shown that stress not only impacts your body, but your skin too. As your mom always told you – if you keep making those faces, your face may stay that way. Well, there is something to be said for that. Your frowns and furrows leave their mark when you make them often enough. O – Oxygen. Recent studies have shown that as the skin ages, there is a reduction in oxygen in the skin.  Luckily, there are ways to get oxygen back into the skin. I am an exfoliating queen. I always have been. I use a scrub on most days to help unclog my pores and reveal softer skin. By opening up your pores, you’re allowing more oxygen to get into the skin. Depending how clogged your pores are, a deep exfoliation or exfoliating mask will help to slough off dead skin cells and unclog surface pores.  If you’re skin has been neglected or has…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Cold Weather and Your Heart Health

By Nicole Flanagan Although winter is a beautiful time of the year, it brings low temperatures, shorter daylight hours and snow (only once every few years here). Cold weather can strain the heart, and according to research, increase the risk for a heart attack. Many people are not even aware that they are at risk until they have a heart attack, so it’s very important to know the risk factors. The risk of heart disease increases if you’re older, a smoker, overweight, have high blood pressure, don’t exercise enough or have a stress-filled life.  Heart problems can also be hereditary. If you’re at risk, you must be especially careful during the winter months. Why? Colder temperatures cause your blood vessels to get smaller, which reduces the flow of blood and oxygen supply to your heart. Your blood becomes thicker when temperatures drop, and this can cause an increase in the risk of clotting. Cold weather can also lead to an increase in blood pressure, which puts more stress on your heart.  If you’re not used to exercising, your risk of a heart attack during winter weather may increase from overexertion. If you are not accustomed to exercise, shoveling snow or even walking in deep or heavy snow can trigger a heart attack.  If you don’t know the dangers of being outdoors in cold weather, you could suffer from hypothermia—an abnormally low body temperature. Most deaths from this condition are caused by heart failure. It is also important to know the signs of a heart attack. If you experience any of the following signs you should call 9-1-1. -chest pain, pressure or discomfort -pain, pressure or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach -shortness of breath -cold sweat -nausea -lightheadedness Heart healthy living can be part…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Sweetheart Workouts

By Ryan Unverzagt I will admit that sometimes exercise can be boring, but working out with a friend is always better. As in years past, since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I would like to share a few “Sweetheart” exercises designed to keep you and your significant other from falling out of love with working out. Medicine Ball (MB) Sit-Ups: This exercise is done with both people on the floor. Sit facing each other with your knees bent about 45 degrees. Then interlock your feet behind each others lower leg. There are many variations to this exercise, but start in the upright or top position of the sit-up. You can hold a medicine ball at chest level. Both you and your partner lower yourselves to the mat until the upper back touches, and then perform a sit-up toward your partner. Hand the MB off to your partner at the top of the sit-up. Keep exchanging the MB until you have completed at least 15 reps. Partner Leg Pushdowns: If you want to turn up the intensity in your workout, try this ab exercise. Lie on your back with your legs straight, hips bent to 90 degrees, and the bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling. Your partner will stand with his or her feet at your shoulders and beside your head. First, grab your partner by the ankles so you have some leverage when performing this exercise. Next, have your partner push your feet or lower legs away from them and towards the floor. Your job is to tighten up the abs and hip flexors to resist the pushing forces and keep the back of your heels from touching the floor. You also want to keep the legs straight and bring your feet back toward your partner during…

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Let's Eat, Wining & Dining

Valentine’s Day Decadence

By Charles Oppman With Valentine’s Day “almost” upon us, you probably need to come up with a gift for that special someone. Why not make a gift of food, but not just any food, it must be chocolate. Lovers the world over consider chocolate to be sexy, sensual and few other gifts can say “Je t’aime ma chérie” like chocolate. Ever since the Spanish Conquistadors brought this wonderful food back to Europe, chocolate has been one of the most prized foods in history and the perfect gift for special occasions. We usually just hand over chocolates that someone else made. Why not make this Valentine’s Day extra special and hand-make your gift of chocolate this year. When I think Valentine’s chocolate I think chocolate mousse. Why not? Here’s a quick and easy chocolate mousse recipe served in a chocolate cup no less. This will be the most memorable Valentine’s Day ever.  While there are more complicated recipes involving meringue and gelatin, this one will do just fine. Ingredients 1 3/4 cups whipping cream 16 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips OR chopped bar (reserve 4 oz. for cups) 1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in warm water 3 tablespoon dark rum 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened The Mousse Chill whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl. Place 12 ounces of chocolate chips in metal bowl and place in a double boiler or over a sauce pan with simmering water. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while small chunks are still visible. Cool to nearly room temperature. Taste it, if it’s too hot to taste, allow continuing to cool. Add butter, rum and coffee mixture to chocolate. It might coagulate and clump at first, but continue to stir until smooth. In the chilled mixing bowl, whip cream to…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Single Space

February Weigh In

By Lori Welch Brown Don’t worry.  I’m not going to ask you to step up onto the scale.  Consider this more of a friendly check in, but feel free to weigh in as well.  We’re a month plus into the new year, and I’m curious.  Did you make any resolutions?  If so, have you been able thus far to stick with them? Personally speaking, I like resolutions because I’m a fan of goals, shiny new planners, and the belief that each new year brings a fresh, clean slate.  I’m also a bit of a self-improvement junkie, always stretching and reaching to be the best version of myself.  Frankly, I’m not even sure I’ve gotten to a ‘better’ version of myself, but at least I’ve written down some thoughts on how to get there in my planner. As of this writing, I have managed to abstain from alcohol for 18 days with a goal of 31.  ‘Dryuary’ has quite a buzz around it.  Sorry—I couldn’t resist the pun.  Millions of people take a hiatus from drinking during the month of January as a reset.  I’ve done it in the past, and wanted to give it a shot again.  It was time.  The over-indulgence of the past two years has been weighing me down in more ways than just the number on the scale. COVID-19 provided a nice excuse to indulge and coddle myself so, like many, I found myself drinking more and using comfort food as a security blanket.  Hello, pistachio ice cream.  While that plan provided some immediate gratification along with a false sense of security, I’m left with a pillow around my midsection.  The progress I had previously made with the nutrition app, Noom, went by the wayside, directly onto the waistline.  I now find myself staring down at…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

National Harbor Celebrates the Year of the Tiger

By Lani Gering I just love the Chinese New Year “stuff” every year. I really get excited when I go to a Chinese restaurant and they have the place mats that have all of the years and animals on them. You know, the ones that tell you who you are and aren’t compatible with, what your personality is like, etc.  According to my reliable source – – Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. “According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.” According to my source: “People born in years of the Tiger are fiercely independent and possess strong self-esteem. They like to act alone and are not very gregarious. They are most likely optimistic and enthusiastic by nature, and always seem to have endless energy, especially at work. Their energetic presence and intense eyes are the greatest charm of Tiger natives. Their vitality is apparent to anyone at a glance, and people are instinctively drawn to this larger than life quality in them. Tigers are lively and cheerful, and they love freedom and independence. They are a zodiac sign that absolutely must have their personal space. Tigers usually have a keen sense of justice. When faced with injustices, whether against themselves or others, you can be sure Tigers will not stand aside. However, Tigers may also appear unrefined or thoughtless in the way they handle things. In a less developed person, these traits can easily turn…

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Let's Get Crafty, Wining & Dining

Super Bowl Is A Perfect Opportunity To Support Your Local Brewery!!

By Timothy Long In 1991 I was in graduate school and bartending at the Fish Market in Old Town Alexandria. It was the beginning of my love for what would become my adopted hometown. The Fish Market in those days was owned by a man affectionately known as Mr. Ray.  Ray was a short, loud, stocky, gruff man and not always the easiest person to work for. If you followed his rules and did things the way he asked, you were fine…usually. Conversely, he could be quite charismatic and charming. And he was an astute businessman. Mr. Ray was quite a colorful character. I learned a lot from him during my time there.  The Fish Market was, and still is, famous for its schooners of beer. A schooner is a large, thick 32-ounce glass supported by a short stem. The schooners were served chilled and were to be poured in a way that allowed for a 2-inch head on the top. Mr. Ray thought it was important to have a good head on a beer, and he was right. A good head on a beer releases the aromatics of the brew and makes for a better overall presentation. It also ensures that there are a couple less ounces of beer in the glass. Mr. Ray would walk up to your bar to check the beers you had just poured, holding two fingers up to the head to make sure it was correct. This could be a little unnerving, Mr. Ray had big fingers. The Fish Market today serves a large variety of craft beer. But in 1991, they only served draft and the beer was not a craft beer. It was labeled Fish Market Beer, but we all knew what it was. It was Schlitz. Schlitz was at the end…

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