Thursday, October 23, 2014

Make Your Own Jewelry With These Easy Tutorials

Making jewelry is a stylish, creative craft beloved by people of all ages. Crafters love that they can customize each piece to their exact preferences, and it also saves you money if you’re a bit of a jewelry addict. Here are three helpful tutorials that will show you how to start making your own jewelry right in your own home.

Suede and Chain Woven Bracelet []
This DIY jewelry project is worlds away from the braided friendship bracelets from your youth. With a bit of glitz from the metal chain and a touch of neutral color from the suede rope, these bracelets rival the ones that you would buy at a pricey jewelry boutique.

Bobby Pin Earrings []
You may not have ever considered using bobby pins as jewelry, but once you see this adorably edgy jewelry DIY you’ll wish that you had thought of it sooner. Painting the pins with nail polish also enables you to add a bit of color to coordinate with the rest of your wardrobe.

Polymer Clay Bead Necklace []
Polymer clay necklaces have been floating around the blogs for quite some time now, but this completely customizable version is one of the best. You can mold the clay beads into exactly the sizes that you want, and you can also choose paint colors to create your favorite palette.

Aida Spa: Look Good, Feel Good

Since 1983, Aida Fekir has studied beauty and wellness treatments around the world. She brings her expertise to Aida Spa in Old Town Alexandria, where clients are impressed by her warmth, attention to detail, and ability to get results. Facial services include basic organic, peeling, and collagen intensive anti-aging facials. Body therapies include massage, aromatherapy, and warm bamboo therapy. Exfoliation, waxing, manicure, and airbrush makeup are also available. Choose from several treatment packages or create your own spa day.

Regulars report that Aida puts them at ease and customizes her services to their needs. Check the website for a full service list, specialty package information, media reviews, and more information.

Aida Spa
1309 King Street, 2nd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 535-7875

The Tender Rib: Barbecue and More in Temple Hills, Maryland

Temple Hills' The Tender Rib is a family-owned barbecue joint that's been thriving under the ownership of locals Cynthia and Wendell for a decade, and the ooey-gooey mac and cheese is only part of the reason.

This barbecue joint is also known for the sauce that its cooks slather on tender meats. Order the combination dinner to try a bit of everything—but be forewarned, even in a pair you might not be able to finish it all! The platter includes your choice of two of the following: pork ribs, beef brisket, hickory-smoked chicken, or North Carolina barbecue. Add another two sides, like the beloved mac and cheese, corn fritters, or corn bread, and you have a full-out feast. You can also opt for a smaller sandwich stuffed with the savory meat, or get a small or large serving a la carte.

The Tender Rib
3443 Branch Avenue
Temple Hills, MD 20748

Fuji Mountain Steak House: Steak and Sushi

Fuji Mountain Steakhouse is a offers steaks and much more. Hibachi-style dining is equal parts entertainment and flavor, as you watch your knife-wielding chef slice, dice and flip your meal on a sizzling hot iron grill. Sushi is also an option, if you like your fish raw and crafted into cute little packages. Sit at the sushi bar and have the chef whip you up some super-fresh fish, either ala carte, or as an entrée.

Fuji Mountain's teriyaki entrees come with soup, salad and white rice and include your choice of Chicken, Beef, Scallop, Salmon, Shrimp, Lobster, or Vegetables. Other entrée options include Spicy Mango Chicken, Fuji Grilled Duck and Crispy Red Snapper.

Fuji Mountain Steak House is open every day. Visit its website to find out more!

Fuji Mountain Steak House
4237 Branch Avenue
Temple Hills, MD 20748
(301) 899-8666

All the Taste, Less Fat: 2 Handy Stand-Ins for Butter

Whether you practice a vegan diet or you simply want to reduce harmful fat and calories from your meals, cutting out butter is a healthy food choice. These simple butter substitutes will enable you to eat the foods that you love in a healthier manner, and they’ll taste just as delicious.

  1. Olive oil. While olive oil is also high in calories, it has a number of other health benefits that butter doesn’t. For every cup of butter, you can easily substitute 1/4 cup of olive oil plus two tablespoons in order to maintain the same texture and consistency. Olive oil is also completely vegan, and it can be used to grease pans as well.
  2. Commercial butter substitutes. Your local grocery store likely sells a wide variety of commercial butter substitutes and margarines that can be used in place of butter. These products usually have the same look, feel and taste, but they have much less fat and calories. Brands like Earth Balance and Smart Balance taste very similar to real butter, but unlike butter they’re completely vegan. Most chefs advise against browning commercial butter substitutes, however, because they burn very easily and don’t achieve the same effect.

Common Ingredient Substitutions [All Recipes]
Top 3 Ingredient Substitutions [The Kitchn]

Fort Ward Museum: An Important Historic Spot in Alexandria

During the Civil War, Fort Ward stood as a symbol of strength, protecting the nation's capital (and the president who called it home), Washington, D.C. The fort still stands today in its original Alexandria home as a reminder of the brave men who fought not only for their own freedom, but also for that of others. It's touted as one of the best preserved Union forts still standing, which is why it makes for the perfect spot for a Civil War museum.

Fort Ward Museum houses exhibits that explain the role it played in the Civil War. Learn about everything from the way its military personnel lived and operated at the time to its effect on history as a Union Army crossroads. The museum also hosts special events, such as Civil War reenactments and lecture series.

Fort Ward Museum
4301 W. Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 838-4848

3 Easy Projects for New Knitters

Whether you want to create a handmade gift for a friend or you’re simply looking for a low-key craft to do with your hands, knitting is becoming increasingly popular among people of all ages. Here are 3 great knitting projects that are accessible to even the most novice knitter.

Basic Scarf
A scarf is one of the most straightforward, expected knitting projects, but that doesn’t mean that it’s boring. This simple pattern enables you to customize the color and the length of your scarf to tailor it to your tastes or a loved one’s preferences. There’s even a border along the edges of the scarf to take it from basic to perfectly chic.

Quick & Easy Knitted Infinity Scarf
If you want to create a scarf that’s a bit more modern than more traditional options, an infinity scarf is a great choice. Infinity scarves are popular because they’re so secure, and this one also features rows of texture for an intricate look.

Seagrass Throw
Create a knitting project that’s out of the ordinary with this impossibly warm throw blanket. The flat, square surface makes it easy to make, but the chic, luxurious look makes it seem much more elaborate.

Happy Labor Day!

We hope everyone has a happy and safe Labor Day!

NY Chicken and Grill: Chicken and More in Maryland

Fast, friendly and flavorful are the code words at NY Chicken and Grill. There’s plenty of chicken on their expansive menu, but there’s also a whole lot more going on at this tasty little Maryland eatery, including Quesadillas, Tacos, Burgers and Sub Sandwiches.

The fried Chicken comes with biscuits and your choice of sides that include Coleslaw, Potato Salad, French Fries, Corn on the Cob, Rice & Beans, Hush Puppies, Mashed Potatoes, Mac & Cheese, Spinach, and Black Beans. Wings, Chicken Tenders and Chicken Nuggets are also served. The Grilled Platter menu includes New York Strip, Steak & Shrimp, Chicken Breast, Tilapia and Jumbo Shrimp. Fajitas come sizzling hot with Steak, Chicken or Shrimp and include green peppers, onions, rice & salad.

NY Chicken and Grill is open every day.

NY Chicken and Grill
2914 Colebrooke Drive
Temple Hills, MD 20748
(240) 695-5207

Washington, D.C.’s Must-See National Parks

The national parks in Washington, D.C. encompass both the rich history of our forefathers and the beauty of the land as it was centuries ago. Visit some of the most famous monuments in the world and stroll through the majestic forest, both of which are within reach of our nation’s capital.

National Mall and Memorial Parks
Popular landmarks like The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, and The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial are just a few of the famous destinations within National Mall and Memorial Parks, which are located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Visitors enjoy taking walking tours through the National Mall, guided bike tours starting at the Jefferson Memorial, or teeing off at the East Potomac Golf Course. All of the tours are free, and the park is open 24 hours a day.

Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park intersects the northwestern side of Washington, D.C., providing the beauty of nature as well as a range of public park amenities. It was one of the first National Parks in the country, and the park is known for how closely it brushes with the massive urban area that is our nation’s capital. See a show at the Fort Dupont Summer Theater, catch a concert at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre, or visit Linden Oak, the largest known white oak tree in the United States.