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Come see this updated Fairlington classic today from 1-3

4168 S. 36th Street

Weekend Planner

Beautiful jewels, spooky cookies and arts and crafts. It’s a full weekend in Alexandria!


Saturday, October 11th – Jude Frances Trunk Show at MYSTIQUE JEWELERS

Fans of JudeFrances will get to meet the designer behind the hoop and charm collection. Mystique Jewelers is hosting a JudeFrances Trunk Show, including a personal appearance by designer Jude Steele.  Check out our Monday’s Must Haves to see some of our favorite new pieces from the collection.

Saturday, October 11th – 19th Annual Art Safari at the TORPEDO FACTORY

An Alexandria tradition, Art Safari is a day of hands-on craft activities for kids and families. Throughout the day, visitors can participate in activities such as origami, giant papier-mache animals, and more. The Art League and the Alexandria Archaeological Museum will offer even more engaging programming. Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty. Most activities are appropriate for children kindergarten age with parental supervision through middle school.

Sunday, October 12th – Halloween Cookie Classes at LA CUISINE with Katrina Tines

This may come as surprise to all her students who have taken Katrina’s Christmas cookie classes, but Halloween is her favorite holiday for decorating cookies. Take this class, which is geared for beginners, but with a spooky twist and you will leave the shop with skills for decorating your own scary cookies (which both adults and children will love) Proper mixing of frosting, how to correctly hold and work with a pastry bag to decorate–which is very rarely taught correctly–and how to master the details of an artfully decorated cookie will all be covered. Spaces are limited/$120 per person. Register online here. 

New Listings this Week

For more information about these listings or to schedule a showing please contact me at or (703) 864-3438.

Hooray for Books! Expansion


Hooray for Books! is the only bookstore in Northern Virginia that specializes in children’s books.  The locally owned bookstore is right in the heart of Old Town and constantly has fun and exciting events such as story time and book signings – where kids can meet the author of some of their favorite books.  After six years, the popular store has decided it’s time for an expansion.

This month, Hooray for Books! has launched a campaign on the popular crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to raise funds for their upcoming expansion. Funds will be used to buy bookcases, remodel the author event space, and provide a more varied offering of books, including more books for adults.

The campaign will run for 30 days with the expansion scheduled for January.  You can donate to the project and get cook perks in return.

Watch their video below and click the campaign link here to give:

Mom’s Pumpkin Bread

Growing up my mom always baked pumpkin bread around the holidays.  Her recipe was simple but it put all others to shame.   The secret is in the spices. This recipe calls for more than double that of other recipes.   It was always a hit with our family, friends and teachers. I remember bringing little loaves in to school.

to share with my class.

Mom’s Recipe

3 cups of sugar (I decrease this to 2)

1 cup of Crisco (we’ve tried butter, oil and margarine and nothing works as well)

1-1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, & allspice

2/3 cups water

2 cups pumpkin pie filling

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 & 1/3 cups flour



Preheat oven to 350

Cream sugar and Crisco together and add salt.

Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine water and pumpkin pie filling.

Mix together spies, baking soda and flour. Combine all ingredients well.

Place in 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 60 minutes.





Monday’s Must Haves: JudeFrances

We are huge fans of JudeFrances Jewelry – lucky for us, Mystique Jewelers in Old Town is hosting an exclusive Jude Frances Trunk Show on Saturday, October 11th.  What makes this event even more special is that you can meet the designer behind the hoop and charm phenomenon  – Jude Steele!

New for fall is the JudeFrances Earring Charm Frame, adding another component to the ever popular hoop and charm silhouette. The frames stand alone as a charm or can be combined with any JudeFrances hoop and charm to create a look unique to the collector. Here are some of our favorites from the new fall collection.

Don’t miss this one day event.  It’s perfect timing to start making that Christmas wish list.  Saturday, October 11th from 10:30am to 5:00pm at Mystique Jewelers (211 The Strand, Old Town Alexandria)


Silver and 18kt Venetian Kite Cuff | Tiny Hugs & Kisses Pendant Necklace | 18 kt Gold Hoops with diamonds | Charms and Hoops | Charms, Hoops + Frames | Oval Turquoise Florentine ring with diamonds

Weekend Planner: Art on the Avenue + Chloe & Isabel Pop-up


One of our favorite Del Ray events is taking place this weekend. Art on the Avenue is a multi-cultural arts festival that will be held Saturday, October 6th from 10am to 6pm – rain or shine!

Stroll  down Mt. Vernon Avenue and view booths with over 300 artists (jewelers – silversmith & beaders, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, unique painters, sculptures, fabric artists), musicians (Irish, folk, rock n’ roll, country and more), and food vendors (hot dogs, BBQ, Indian, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, home made cider donuts).

There are plenty of kids activities as well – stuff your own scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, lotus flower design, and weave screen art.

Learn more about the festival at

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Another fun event is a Chloe + Isabel pop-up shop at Hotel Monaco.  This event takes place right after the weekend, so mark your calendar for drinks, jewels and prizes on Monday evening.

Monday, October 6th at Hotel Monaco

Who: Chloe + Isabel
What: Flock Together Pop-Up Event
Where: Hotel Monaco, 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA
When: Monday, October 6th, from 6pm to 9pm

Try on and buy Chloe + Isabel’s costume and vintage-inspired jewelry
Enjoy drinks and appetizers with other Chloe + Isabel fans
Enter to win a variety of raffle prizes
Bring a gently used item for Dress for Success Washington D.C. in exchange for a Chloe + Isabel gift (Chloe + Isabel will donate 30% of all pop-up shop sales revenue to Dress for Success Washington D.C., meeting a minimum donation amount of $100.00).

New Listings this Week

For more information about these listings or to schedule a showing please contact me at or (703) 864-3438.

Smoke- James Beard Award Winner


One of the things that fall makes me think of is smoked meats and it occurred to me that I haven’t shared the cookbook designed by my sister-in-law, Blair Richardson. of Little Mule Studio.  This cookbook was the winner of the 2014 James Beard Award in the General Cooking Category

From Little Mule Studio  – We’ve done a lot of cookbooks and have more on the way; Smoke: New Firewood Cooking by Tim Byres has made many of 2013′s best-of lists. This book is great for it’s larder-stockers alone, but you can also learn to roast a whole pig or smoke some trout. Photography by Jody Horton and cover illustrations by Jorge Munguía Matute  (my brother-in-law)



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Smoke described on Amazon:

A Texan chef shows there is a whole world of flavor beyond just barbecue. Smoke is a primer on the most time-tested culinary technique of all—but one that we have lost touch with. Chef Tim Byres shows how to imbue all kinds of foods—not just meat—with the irresistible flavor of smoke. Here he gives innovative ideas for easy ways to use smoke in your everyday kitchen arsenal of flavors—such as smoking safely on the stovetop with woodchips, putting together relishes and salsas made with smoked peppers and other vegetables, grilling with wood planks, and using smoke-cured meats to add layers of flavor to a dish. For serious cooks, there are how-to sections on building a firepit, smokehouse, and spit roast at home. As a Texan, Byres draws on the regional traditions of Mexico, Louisiana, and the South. He takes down-home foods and gives them brilliant twists. The results are such gutsy recipes as Pork Jowl Bacon with Half Sour Cucumbers, Boudin Balls and Brick Roux Gumbo, Cabrito and Masa Meatpies, and Coffee-Cured Brisket with Rustic Toast. Everything is made from scratch—not just the sausages but also the accompanying sauces, jams, and pickles. This is cooking at its most primal, and delicious.

Purchase Smoke on Amazon


Weekend Planner: Barre Bazaar

BARRETECH. is celebrating two years in Del Ray this weekend! In honor of their anniversary, they are bringing together local vendors to host a Barre Bazaar on Saturday from 6-8pm.  There will be raffle giveaways, a silent auction and a big announcement about future plans.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), a community organization finding cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Here are the full details:

Barre for a Cause | 5:00 PM – 60 min Barre Class taught by Nicole Fratianne. Class is $22 and will be held prior to the Barre Bazaar. All proceeds will benefit LLS. Register Online HERE.

Pure Aesthetica will be giving chair massages $1/1 minute – with proceeds benefiting LLS. There will also be products available for purchase including their Cucumber + Cranberry Mask & Lip Balms.

Bronzed Berry will be offering their Classic ($25) and Signature Tans ($35) – $5 from each tan will benefit LLS. Also, available for purchase their popular “Tan in a Can!”

Preview Stella & Dot’s new fall line and enjoy 50% off special items with a $50 purchase.

Plus a Silent Auction including a One Day Detox from Gouter, Signature Tan and Tanning Party from Bronzed Berry, a Shopping Party with Stella & Dot and more!


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