<![CDATA[Real Housewives of Northern Virginia - BLOG]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:25:43 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[{GIVEAWAY} Win a Kate Spade Hawthorne Tote from Miller and Smith!]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 17:15:38 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/giveaway-win-a-kate-spade-hawthorne-tote-from-miller-and-smithHead over to our Facebook Page to win a Kate Spade Hawthorne Tote from Miller and Smith! While you're at it, RSVP for our "Townhome Test Drive" private event at Signal Hill Station.

{FLASH GIVEAWAY} Win a Kate Spade New York Hawthorne Lane Tote from Miller and Smith! (see photo in comments!)To enter...

Posted by Northern Virginia Housewives on Friday, February 12, 2016
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<![CDATA[Disney on Ice Opening Night at Verizon Center]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 17:23:54 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/disney-on-ice-opening-night-at-verizon-centerLast night was opening night for Disney on Ice at the Verizon Center. I was hosting an event, so I personally could not attend. Instead, I sent my good friend Deanne from Classic Portraits downtown to check it out. She said her two little girls had the best time! Disney on Ice is always one of my family's favorite shows -- so I know they had a blast! The show is running at the Verizon Center through Feb 15. It'd make for a great Valentine's Day family date night! Check out the photos below or you can find the full album on our Facebook page!
For more details, show times, and ticket prices, you can visit www.disneyonice.com.
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<![CDATA[Make the Perfect Filet Mignon for Valentine's Day]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:51:40 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/make-the-perfect-filet-mignon-for-valentines-dayValentine's Day is on Sunday night this year,  so my dreams of a luxe date night out on the town are probably going to be thrown out the window. We have busy work schedules on Monday morning and I have to get my first grader off to school early, so a family date night at home looks like a good plan to me!

If you're like me, and staying in for a special Sunday night with your sweetie (or planning a family date night), I always like to try a new recipe and show off my fancy cooking skills -- because the old saying is true: the key to a man's heart is through his belly!

I reached out to my friends at Safeway for some tips on how to cook the perfect filet mignon - and they partnered me with celebrity Chef Huda Mu'min to create a five-star date night meal at home. I asked her to help me create a tasty menu that everyone would enjoy - and that wouldn't be too hard to follow, or too hard on my wallet.

So, what does Chef Huda think is the key to a man's heart? Her famous Jerk Filet Mignon paired with Bourbon Maple Sweet Potato Mash and Sautéed Garlic Kale. (photo credit: Chef Huda)
JERK FILET MIGNON WITH BOURBON MAPLE SWEET POTATO MASH 
Recipe By: Chef Huda,  Yields: 2 Servings

Bourbon Maple Sweet Potato Mash
2 medium sweet potatoes - peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons bourbon or honey bourbon
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions
Over high heat bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Drain sweet potatoes and set aside. Place the same pan back on over medium heat. Add butter, sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, pineapple juice and bourbon. Cook mixture for 2-3 minutes and stir. Add the sweet potatoes back into pan and toss. Once sweet potatoes are coated, use a smasher or food processor to smash sweet potato to your desired smoothness.

Sautéed Garlic Kale
1 pound Lacinato or Italian kale - cleaned and de-stemmed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of garlic - minced
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add in olive oil. Add in garlic and cook until tender. Slice kale into strips or ribbons and add to pan with water. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jerk Filet Mignon
2 Filet Mignon (6-8 ounce)
1 cup mushrooms - sliced
1-2 tablespoons Jerk seasoning 
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper
3 tablespoons butter - unsalted
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
~ Preheat oven to 400℉ degrees

Directions

Start with seasoning the filets generously with jerk seasoning, salt and pepper. Place medium size pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of oil and butter, let butter melt. Once the pan is hot place seasoned filet in pan. Sear filets on both sides for about 2-3 minutes or until desired browning occurs. Once seared remove pan from heat and place into oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on desired temperature for filet. 

Chef Huda Tip: Recommended cooking temperature for this filet is medium rare or medium. 125℉-130℉ for medium rare and 135℉ for medium. Always let meat rest away from heat for 3-5 minutes before serving.  

Once filets are done remove from pan and let rest. In same pan add in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil or butter and mushrooms and stir. Place over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until tender. Add salt and pepper, if needed.

Now let’s make something pretty and delicious. Once all components are done. Plate as desired stacked and side by side. This dish pairs beautifully with Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. 

If you're the man of the house and you're going to be cooking "for her" - don't forget to add the desserts and flowers. While you're grabbing your filet's at Safeway, swing by the floral section and pick up their $5 tulip bunch, or splurge on their "Unforgettable" bouquet of roses (and their roses come with the Safeway 5 day guarantee).

Of course, I wouldn't mind if my Valentine's Day dinner was finished with Safeway's chocolate covered gourmet long-stem strawberries! (just in case someone I know is reading this...)

Cheers + Happy Valentine's Day, Ladies! 

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<![CDATA[January Girls Night Out at Trio Grill]]>Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:57:24 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/january-girls-night-out-at-trio-grillWe had an awesome time last week at our January meet up. If you didn't make the event, you can take a look at the full event album on our Facebook page! RSVP for our next Girls Night Out -- a trunk show at River Creek Club in Leesburg!
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<![CDATA[Celebrate Valentine's Day with Whole Foods Market]]>Wed, 03 Feb 2016 15:22:04 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/celebrate-valentines-day-with-whole-foods-marketValentine's Day is right around the corner - and when love is in the air, that means chocolates, champagne, and roses are hitting the shelves at Whole Foods. On Friday, I popped into the Whole Foods Market in Tysons Corner to check out their Valentine's Day specials, flower arrangements, and choose my top picks for Valentine's Day!
Who doesn't want roses on Valentine's Day? If you're looking to buy for your significant other -- or maybe even just to spoil yourself -- their Whole Trade roses are gorgeous!

My top picks for Red Roses:
Pick #1:  Premium Long Step Roses with the Deluxe Upgrade ($34.99). The arrangement comes with a dozen gorgeous premium, long stem Whole Trade roses, wrapped with an extravagant sheaf of greens and accent flowers, ready to be arranged in a vase.

Pick #2: Double Dozen Roses with Upgrade ($29.99 - or only $24.99 without the Baby's Breath upgrade!). Treat your love to two dozen Whole Trade™ roses wrapped with greens and accent flowers, ready to be arranged in a vase. 

Guys, here's a tip for you: Did you know that you can avoid the lines and empty shelves on Valentine's Day by ordering your flowers online and picking up in the store?  Makes for a quick pick up and guaranteeing you'll get the best price if you wait until the last minute!
What pairs well with Red Roses on Valentine's Day? Well, chocolates and affordable bubbly, of course! I couldn't decide on a single champagne, so I picked two - a his and hers, if you will.

Valentine's Day Champagne
Pick #1: De Chanceny Brut Cremant De Loire ($15.99) - an elegant sparkling wine from the Loire Valley, rich and refined with notes of peach. This would be delicious served with shellfish!

Pick #2: De Chanceny Brut Rose ($11.99) - a sparkling Loire wine. Fresh and lively with aromas of fresh strawberries and hints of almond. Perfect for brunch, the patio, or anytime the mood calls for something festive!

As for chocolates, I could have easily picked the biggest box offered because I can be a lush - but I decided on a smaller box for my top pick: the Timeless Love Assortment. It's small and features nine pieces of chocolate with intricate designs and luscious fillings - all heart-shaped and wrapped in a heart-shaped box! The flavors inside incldue: Honey Caramel, Dark Chocolate Rum Caramel, Milk Chocolate Caramel in red foil, Raspberry in pink foil, and Peanut Butter Sensation.

If you're looking for more Valentine's Day ideas, you can visit the Whole Foods Market e-store and browse the selection online. If I were you, I'd set up my order today for in-store pick up. I don't know where else you'll find 2 dozen Whole Trade red roses for $24.99!

*special thanks to Whole Foods Market for partnering with me on this post!

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<![CDATA[Dentistry for Children: Pediatric Dentist in Northern Virignia]]>Mon, 01 Feb 2016 21:47:26 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/dentistry-for-children-pediatric-dentist-in-northern-virigniaHave your kids ever heard of "sugar bugs"? They sound cute and sweet, but after having 5 cavities filled, we are REALLY trying to stay away from them in our house. To keep my son Brennan on track,  I recently took him to the new Fairfax pediatric dentistry office that opened across from GMU in University Mall to meet Dr. Eric and the staff at Dentistry for Children.
If your kids are uncomfortable in heading to the dentist, I bet they'd change their mind if you brought them in for a tour. I was thinking -- I take B to a pediatrician that specializes in children, so why haven't I been taking him to a pediatric dentist? I'm telling you that you wouldn't have even know that you were in a dentist's office when you walk through the doors. Aside from the staff being super friendly and welcoming (Dr. Eric's smile alone will keep you coming back!), the amenities geared towards the children are like I've never seen in a dental office.

There are flat screen TVs mounted on the walls, a custom built play house with fluffy chairs, and even an arcade with old school games like Ms. Pac Man! In the back, the rooms are painted with scenes of local monuments and tourist spots.  The waiting room even has a Keurig for mom and dad.

When you and your child are taken back for your treatment, the coolest thing is that each child's chair has a flat screen TV mounted on the ceiling above it. There's even a nail bar for little ones to get their nails painted after they leave. And of course, there is an abundant amount of "treasure" in their treasure chest.
Dentistry for Children now has two offices in Northern Virginia -- one in Fairfax at University Mall, and the other is in Herndon near Worldgate. If you need a great online resource, their website offers a wealth of knowledge for parents too -- check out the "parents corner" for all FAQs about your child's dental care.

You can check out my photo tour below -- or  find more information about their office and services by visiting www.dentistry4childrenva.com or follow on their Facebook page.
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<![CDATA[Date Night: The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner]]>Sat, 30 Jan 2016 03:38:06 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/date-night-the-ritz-carlton-tysons-cornerritz carlton date night
After being trapped in the house for 3 days, we were so excited to get out of the house on Monday night for a date night. Is there a better place to go than The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner? Not many folks braved the roads, so there were only a few people in Entyse that night... it was a romantic, private dining experience for the two of us!

We started off with the calamari while we browsed the menu for an entree. There were so many great options that we couldn't narrow down to one choice. Our server recommended that we go with the chef's special of surf and turf -- perfect choice! We each had a small filet with lobster, grilled shrimp, and salmon served with whipped potatoes and grilled asparagus.

I had hardly finished my meal when I started thinking about dessert. Instead of ordering a rich, heavy item off of the dessert menu, I opted for their signature Key Lime martini. Actually, I opted for 2 of these delicious drinks. OK - call me a lush because I also decided to have the creme brulee and fresh berries. Because who doesn't love creme brulee?

If you're getting ready to plan your Valentine's Day date night in Northern Virginia - definitely check out the special packages that The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is offering. You can set up a fancy afternoon tea, romantic dinner for two, a relaxing massage, or one of their overnight packages with rose petals and champagne.

Check out their calendar of events for specials and packages. And don't forget, there's live music every Friday and Saturday night!
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<![CDATA[Race to Election Day with Ford Motor Company at Central Michel Richard]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 03:58:14 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/race-to-election-day-with-ford-motor-company-at-central-michel-richardIt's Washington Auto Show week! On Tuesday night, I was invited by to "Caucus with Ford Motor Company" as we "race" to election day. Basically, it was a really fancy reception with great people, flowing drinks, and of course, top notch eats. (I feel like lately, I've become a professional eater. and I think my scale will confirm that!). I went with my friend Melanie from Be Car Chic as we made our rounds at the event. I ran into quite a few old friends and connected with a few new folks. There was a super sexy new mustang parked outside - but none of my photos turned out. womp womp. However, I did snag a pic of the awesome centerpieces that would make any truck-lover happy!
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<![CDATA[A day with Chevrolet at the Washington Auto Show]]>Thu, 28 Jan 2016 04:26:02 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/a-day-with-chevrolet-at-the-washington-auto-showThe Washington Auto Show is back in DC - and last week I got a sneak peek before the show opened to the public. I join the girls from SheBuysCars and the Chevrolet team in DC for a 2 day adventure, vehicle test drive, and of course -- a wonderful private dinner.

What's cool about the Auto Show for women? I personally think it's great because you get to check out all of the vehicles, ask questions, see new features, and get comfortable inside the car without any pressure from a salesman to buy the vehicle or sign on the dotted line.

Chevrolet had a great lineup at the Washington Auto Show - and it's hard to miss the sexy 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Chevy Camaro. I used to have a Tahoe and loved it... but if I ever went back to Chevy, it'd have to be for the Corvette z06 convertible

Technology is really the focal point of the show. With vehicles coming standard with everything from On-Star to BlueTooth, and DVD players to wifi-capable vehicles, you'll definitely find technology that will fit your family's needs. Of course, while you're at the show, you're going to want to stop by and check out the technology and MPG of the new all electric 2017 Chevy Bolt.
You can find details about tickets and schedule for the Washington Auto Show on their website: www.washingtonautoshow.com. Thank you to Chevrolet and SheBuysCars for inviting me to join them at the Washington Auto Show again this year!
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<![CDATA[Avocado and Lime Salad]]>Wed, 27 Jan 2016 21:42:44 GMThttp://www.novahousewives.com/blog/avocado-and-lime-saladI don't post recipes often, because the truth is - I rarely follow them. I cook almost daily, but I never measure or follow a recipe step-by-step. While we were trapped in the house this past weekend, I started using whatever I had on hand to feed my family and created this healthy, fresh avocado salad with cucumber, homemade pickled onions, cilantro and lime.
Here's what it takes:

2 ripe avocados, sliced and diced
4 cucumbers, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, pickled (quick pickling recipe: 1 large red onion finely sliced, 1/2c vinegar, 3T sugar, pinch of salt. let sit covered for 20min at room temp)
6 packs of True Lime (this is my new obsession - perfect for everything from salads to Bloody Marys
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
pinch of salt (to taste)

To assemble: toss together cucumbers, pickled onions, cilantro, lime, and salt. Add avocados and fold in so that they don't smash. When you serve, you can top with Siracha if you dare!

We ate it as a side the first time I made it - and then later topped our beef brisket tacos with it. Delicious and no added fats - just flavor!
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