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 artontheavenue.org

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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 jessica@jessicarichardson.com 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!


New Listings this Week

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

Landini’s Penne in Cream Sauce

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I was going to make a pasta dish from a recipe I’ve had for years but never tried. Whenever I have an old written recipe, I try and find an online version that might have photos, tips or reviews. Just by coincidence, when I googled “pasta, sausage and cream”  I came across this similar recipe  by Landini Brothers Restaurant.

It was originally published in Bon Appetit in February 1997 and I figured I had to try it. I only made two modifications – I didn’t have penne so I used rigatoni and I substituted Rose’ for the white wine.  I’ve never had this at Landini’s but my husband has and he claims it tasted the same. I’m always using a different pasta than what the recipe recommends but I think this one really would be best with penne.



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Add sausage and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes. Drain any excess drippings from skillet. Add wine to skillet and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer

3 minutes. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.

Bring sauce to simmer. Pour sauce over pasta. Add 3/4 cup cheese and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley.

Happy Spaces- A Girls Bedroom

My friend, Shiloh, had the fun idea of  highlighting different spaces in our homes that make us happy. I thought I’d start with my own daughter’s bedroom.  About a year ago, we redecorated this room with the help of Teresa Shingler Interiors.

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  • The window treatments and bedding were custom made through Theresa Shingler using fabrics by Duralee
  • The diamond patterned matlasse  and blue duvet covers were purchased online through The Company Store
  • Paint used on the walls is  “Borrowed Light (n. 235) by Farrow & Ball
  • Rug was purchased previously and hand-made in Roanoke.


If you have a space in your home that makes you happy send us a picture and description. We’d love to feature it!

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