Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why I LOVE the Mosaic District in Merrifield/Fairfax

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Okay, Merrifield used to be somewhat of a dump. Admit it. The post office is the only thing on that street that still resembles the old dumpy days. Now, the Mosaic arrived and all is right in the world of Northern Virginians. The Mosaic is off of 29 and Gallows Road, located near Vienna, Falls Church and Tysons. 

There is a fab glassed facade Target with escalators for the carts and your body. There is ample parking for the Target and surrounding stores and eateries in the free parking garages. Below Target are really yummy and organic style restaurants. Taylor Made is my daughter’s fave kids meal and I love their salad with the Goat Cheese. I can’t remember the name, but that is one cool and unique sandwich and salad place. The industrial look is killer!

Across from Taylor Gourmet There is the beautimous Angelika Theater reminiscent of Soho, or somewhere cool that is too glass all around. There is a chandelier inside and a bar to have drinks and wine and cheese pairings-swoon! Even though I have a kid, I am so glad that there are no kids movies there! Nice to go somewhere in the burbs that are not just for families. Outside of the theater there is an awesome large screen that shows live concerts, cool artsy videos, family movie night stuff, Cartoons and Coffee on Saturdays. LOVE IT!

There are some of the regular chains that are hip like Anthropologie, which is always fun and I love Neiman Marcus Last Call. So much better than Nordstrom Rack. Which is funny, b/c I love Nordstrom and despise Neiman’s probably because I can’t afford it. I digress. I also think that Mom’s Organic Market is cute. Cava Mezze is also there for yum cuisine along with Le Pain Quotidien which is the most darling French style bistro ever.

I cannot forget to mention the specialty chocolate shop and the various clothing retailers below Target. There are too many to put on this page. I will speak of them in detail next time I write of Mosaic. What the Mosaic brings to NOVA is special. DC comes to the burbs literally. There are solid restaurants, good shopping and funky and different events there all of the time. They just had fashion week there. Pretty cool. Also, there is a tiny fountain in front of the movies for the little ones. 

Check it out. Trust me. You will not regret it. http://www.mosaicdistrict.com/

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Need a bra? If you are not a woman, send your lady to this place…

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Okay, it is so embarrassing to say that I went to get a bra last week because all of my bras were ‘tore up from the floor up’. If you aren’t from GA, you may not know that term. Anyway, underwire was missing, hooks bent-a hot mess. So I go to Belle Mode Intimates to get a bra because it is a real lingerie store. Not like VS with the spring break collection. A classy ladies store. What VS used to be like before PINK took it over. Anyway, they measured me and looked for bras and I tried on 20-at least.

These people never faltered. They searched and critiqued and helped me immensely. I have large ones, so it was not an easy task!  I even changed my mind and returned one and got the one that I thought worked best the next day. I only spent 48 dollars for the bra. But, the time and energy they spent helping me was worth a hell of a lot more than that 15 dollar Target bra that works for 3 months and I buy it having no clue if it is right for me.

You should check them out. And no I am not getting paid to say this. ( I haven’t written on this blog for 2 years, so I hardly have sponsors.:) )The location is in Fairfax, VA at Fairfax Corner. For those of you in the District who are freaking at the distance, grin and bear it and get in your car for a ride down 66 West to 57 A and it is really not far from the interstate. You can try on a bra and buy one or some new undies or super cute workout wear, go to a movie and then go to Wegman’s to do some fab grocery shopping and eating. It is a win/win!

I feel so grownup now that I have been properly fitted. Who knew I was a band size up and a cup down!? Anyway, the website is: http://www.bellemodeintimates.com/ Check it out. Support small businesses. They are what make this country. Truly. You get what you pay for. 

National Bookfest never disappoints. Never…

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I am a mega-fan of the National Bookfest. I have been 7 times out of the decade that I have been here. Well technically 8, but we drove down one time and it was raining like crazy and I could not find parking and my 3 year old was asleep. So, we kind of didn’t get out.

This year, some of the notable people were Giada de Laurentiis and Khaled Hosseini. I got to see Hosseini speak, but I missed Giada while standing in line to get my daughter’s book signed by Jon Scieszka. He is a funny, funny guy by the way. He wrote: Spaceheadz, the True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and the most famous of them all, the Stinky Cheese Man. 

I feel like I missed out on a lot this year because I did not plan well. We got there after church and just started walking around aimlessly. Literally. One really does need to plan before coming to this event. Plan on who you want to hear speak and who you want to have sign. One big flaw in this event is that authors speak and sign back to back. It is great for the author because they can get the heck out of dodge in a short time period. But unless you have people to stand in the line early while the person is still speaking, you are screwed. Seriously. People stand in line an hour or more before the author is due to sign. If the author is really famous, if you did not get there an hour and a half before, you may be out of luck.

Two years ago, I got Toni Morrison to sign a book. I am not a huge fan, but she is talented and she is a big wig in the book world. I love signed books by famous authors so I listened to her speak with my friend and we left a bit early and ran to the line. It was a mile long-it seemed. They loop the lines like a snake, so it can really be much longer than a normal line. Lucky for us, she signed over her hour limit-more like an hour and a half. She signed 3 people behind us and then cut the line. We just made it! There were around 200 people that stood in line for nothing. Thems the breaks!:)

So, having a strategically placed adult or 3 would help you a lot. Making the decision on who is going to listen while the other one waits is important. If the person who waits wants to have their turn to listen to someone, you just switch places. Easy peasy rice and cheesy. 

If you have not been and lived here awhile, I do not get it. I really do not. Unless you are not a fan of books. That I definitely do not get.

Oh, by the way, you do not have to own books by these authors before hand. There have been times when I have read books by people and I never owned them. (library, borrowed from a friend) So, Barnes and Noble has a handy tent set up and you can get the books there. Some authors are cool enough to leave a stack of signed books so that you do not have to stand in line! That is awesome. And, B&N takes membership cards if you are a member and want to get your 10 percent off. They do not however take gift cards. I tried.:)

The last tidbit. It is 2 whole days now. The first 5 years I went, I complained that it was only one day. Then it got extended. But it seems from looking at the schedule so far, that you only have one shot for the author you love. They will not be there both days. I thought that Saturday had the best authors until I saw Hosseini was there. I am not sure which day is “better”. All I can say is the festival is wonderful. Going is worth it. I am hoping next year I can be my usual organized self and I hope to go both days.

This year the festival was the 21st and 22nd of September. It usually always occurs around the first day of fall or at least the week of. Hope to see you there!

Been away for awhile. Now I am back with a vengeance…:)

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Hi! I have my Master’s and now I am back at my two blogs. Well actually, I started my other one up a month ago. This time with Dana and the District, I have decided to mention places and events. Sometimes in advance, and sometimes after I have attended them to let you know if it is worth going later that week or weekend or in some cases the next year.  I will give my humble opinion on customer service, prices, quality, annoyances, etc. 

I will list some of my favorite spots to chill. Places that are not worth going to and why, etc. I hope that you guys like this new format. There are tons of blogs on here and facebook talking about upcoming events and I wanted to be different. I will be a critic of sorts.:) I will critique and you can add your thoughts or experiences if you like. The more participation the better because we get a better picture of the business, event or venue.

Thanks for reading and for your patience.