Haymarket Gainesville Lifestyle Magazine February 2024

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H A Y M A R K E T / G A I N E S V I L L E L I F E S T Y L E FEBRUARY 2024

meet

Chicca

Your pick for 2024’s Cutest Pet!

Get Your Fitness Routine in Gear Right Here Love Jazz? Check Out JazzWorx Big Band Special Advertising Section: Summer Camps & Private Schools


Quality care

means excellent care when you need it most. When emergencies occur, every minute matters. We’re here to take great care of you when you need us. As an accredited Chest Pain Center and Primary Stroke Center, we provide 24/7 emergency care close to home. Part of our commitment to you is to create a health system you can count on today and for generations to come.

To learn more, visit FauquierHealth.org


On 68 stunning acres!

CHARACTER

REIMAGINED FOR THE FUTURE! FOSTERING THE CHARACTER, CURIOSITY AND CLEAR VOICES THE WORLD WILL ALWAYS NEED.

CURIOSITY

The greatest challenge in education is preparing people to thrive in a world that is rapidly evolving. Yet certain fundamental skills will always be necessary for the successful and joyful pursuit of lifelong learning: acting ethically, thinking critically, and communicating effectively.

NOW ACCEPTING JK-12 APPLICATIONS

CLEAR VOICES

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE! www.wakefieldschool.org


F R O M T H E

26

E D I T O R

I

’m freezing as I write this, and sincerely hope you’re not freezing as you read it. If you are, I hope this issue warms you. Working on it for the last several weeks has certainly warmed me, particularly my heart. Just look at sweet Chicca – your pick for this year’s cutest pet – on the cover. What a beauty! And our second and third place winners are adorable, too. If you are indeed cold, grab yourself some hot cocoa or coffee and settle in with our February issue. We’ve got a heartwarming piece on a nonprofit that makes sure underserved kids get birthday cakes, a food feature devoted to dog treats (because it’s the pets issue!), and more this month. Enjoy, and stay warm!

EDITOR

Susan McCorkindale

H A Y M A R K E T / G A I N E S V I L L E L I F E S T Y L E Celebrating Western Prince William County CREATIVE

The Haymarket/Gainesville Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to over 15,000 selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Haymarket/ Gainesville Lifestyle Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustration, or photograph is strictly forbidden. ©2024 Rappahannock Media LLC.

The Lifestyle magazines are sister publications with Northern Virginia’s Leading News Source, INSIDENOVA.COM

PUBLISHER

Dennis Brack dennis@whglifestyle.com EDITOR

Susan McCorkindale susan@whglifestyle.com ART

SERVICES

DIRECTOR

Jay Ford creative@whglifestyle.com

DIRECTOR

Kara Thorpe kara@whglifestyle.com ADVERTISING

Sales Director: Jim Kelly jim@whglifestyle.com, 434-987-3542 Senior Account Executive: Cindy McBride cindy@whglifestyle.com, 540-229-6038

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Carina Richard-Wheat cwheat@insidenova.com 540-905-7791 SUBSCRIPTIONS

subscribe@whglifestyle.com 540-675-3338 EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING

OFFICE

Haymarket/Gainesville Lifestyle Magazines 1360 Old Bridge Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192 ON

THE

WEB

InsideNoVa.com/WHGLifestyle Facebook: @HaymarketGainesvilleMag

facebook.com/insidenova

Visit us today for the latest news, sports and features from Fauquier, Prince William, Arlington, Fairfax, Stafford and throughout the region. Sign up for daily news headlines, breaking news alerts and a Gainesville/Haymarket newsletter — delivered to your inbox!


Get the good seats.

Take the 66 Express to avoid traffic and have more time for life’s pleasures. Plan your trip & check current toll rates at ride66express.com Do more.

Attend more.

Sit less. See more. Enjoy more. Live more.


C O N T E N T S

26

8 The To-Do List 10

health & f itness

Get Your Fitness Routine in Gear Right Here: Hit The Running Store and PR Run & Walk BY M I C H E L L E PA I S

14

arts & entertainment

JazzWorx Big Band Takes CraftWorx Taproom by Storm

18

local business

Grab a Little Culture with Your Coffee: Gainesville bistro pays tribute to local Black community BY C A L E B M . S O P T E L E A N

20

cover story:

Meet the Winners of Our Cutest Pets Contest!

22

community

“Happy Birthday (Cake) to You!” Cake4Kids delivers smiles and confidence to underserved youth BY J E N N I F E R WA L D E R A

20 26

wine & dine

Warm Hearts Cold Noses: Homemade Valentine’s Day Treats for Your One True Luv BY K A R L A J O N E S S E I D I TA

30

in case you missed it…

InsideNoVa News ON THE COVER:

Cutest Pets Contest winner, Chicca. Photograph by Luke Christopher



to do list

CHILL

Play detective, bust a move, and more this month

TWIRL

Grab your sweetheart for a lesson on various styles of BALLROOM DANCING in this 45-minute class on Saturday, February 10 at 6 p.m. Dance the night away, learn all the right steps and spend the evening having a ball. $50 per couple, excludes tax and gratuity. Reservations required. To reserve, please call 540.326.4060. Salamander Resort & Spa, 500 N Pendleton St, Middleburg

Kick back after a long week at The Farm Brewery, Friday, February 9, from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. and relax to the sounds of singersongwriter BELLA MCDONALD. With her acoustic guitar, Bella performs POP, country, and folk covers, giving them her personal brand of soulful flare. 16015 John Marshall Hwy, Broad Run

Figure out “whodunit” at the murder mystery dinner theater production of ABRA SOLVE CADAVER, Friday, February 23, 6:30 p.m. at Out of the Blue Seafood in Gainesville. Tickets: 54.95. Includes dinner and interactive murder mystery show. To purchase tickets and for complete show details, visit http://tinyurl.com/2mp59m6w. Come out for an evening of love, betrayal, magic, and laughter! 5005 Wellington Rd., Gainesville

Bust a move at this year's SWEETHEART DANCE WITH THE SILVER TONES SWING BAND! Saturday, February 17, 7 p.m. at the Journey Church Dance-Hall (formerly Hope Church). Love will be in the air as guests are invited to make a free song dedication to someone special. Dance pro Valerie Pyle will give a refresher/beginner swing dance lesson at 7 pm. Admission: $19.50 in advance (purchase at http://tinyurl.com/3yxb83nc) and $25 at the door. Students and seniors 65+: $15 at the door. Valentine's Day desserts, coffee, and lemonade are included. Sweethearts are not required for attendance! 4177 Bludau Dr, Warrenton SWING

E SCAN FOR A COMPLET LIST OF EVENTS

8 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle

F E B R U A RY 2 0 24


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Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 9


health&fitness

Get Your Fitness Routine in Gear Right Here At The Running Store and PR Run & Walk BY MICHELLE PAIS

O

nce the ball drops and we’ve got a few weeks of the New Year in our rearview mirror, it can be tough to stay committed to the resolutions we made, particularly if we promised ourselves we’d run or walk every day. I mean, it’s cold out there. But, if the thought of something new to wear on your health journey motivates you (I know it does me!), The Running Store in nearby Gainesville and PR Run & Walk with nine locations in Northern Virginia and one near Richmond, have just the gear to get – and keep – you going. Family-owned and locally-based, PR Run & Walk “opened in the spring of 2003 in Loudoun County with the goal of sharing our passion for an active lifestyle with the community,” according to their website. “We’re your starting line for gear, advice, inspiration, community, and friendship.” In addition to great gear and training programs like its Speed/Interval and Endurance/Distance programs, PR Run & Walk also offers a fun and robust calendar filled with races of various distances and locations year-round. These events are always incredibly well organized with fun swag and brag-worthy medals! “We have a Race Pass (4 entries for $135) or a Race Pass Plus (4 races and a gift card for footwear) for $255,” says Lauren Haislip, PR Run Walk marketing manager. “This is a great gift for birthdays, or simply to encourage someone’s health and fitness goals.” Serving the community since 2007, The Running Store offers a warm welcome and incredible insight. Customers can expect an entirely curated shopping journey depend-

10 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle

F E B R U A RY 2 0 24

In addition to great gear and training programs like its Speed/Interval and Endurance/ Distance programs, PR Run & Walk also offers customers a high tech shoe fitting process. Photos courtesy PR Run & Walk.

ing on what they are looking for. And, if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, not to worry because they are there to help. “We celebrated our sweet 16 last month, which makes me very proud,” says Ian Connor, owner of The Running Store. “Any small business these days that has an anniversary is a special thing. Our evolution has led us to being, what I believe, one of the best sit and fit footwear stores in the country.” Although it is not their only focus, shoes are one of The Running Store’s specialties and areas of expertise. They carry the top brands and are well-versed on the latest trends. Best of all they are able to draw on a depth of technology and training so they can put customers in the right shoes when it comes to look, fit, feel and performance.


ROOMS TOO COLD?

FLOORS TOO COLD?

Subscribe! Not in our mailing area? Have Lifestyle delivered to your door monthly for only $35 per year. Call 540-675-3338 or visit

L I F E S T Y L E Serving Fauquier and Western Prince William Counties

F E B R U A RY 2 0 24

Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 11


“The majority of our sales are not to runners, but to the individual that values their bodies and actual human interaction,” Connor says. The same is true at PR Run & Walk, where Haislip says “many of our customers are not actually runners and use our shoes for walking, going to the gym, walking the dog, wearing at work, etc. So even if you’re not a runner, everyone can benefit from our fit process and comfortable footwear.” In addition to supporting small business and shopping local, there are plenty of additional reasons The Running Store and PR Run & Walk are eminently worthy of your support, and the ability to interact with a kind and caring staff is definitely one of them. “At PR Run & Walk we strive to give each customer a one-on-one, customized, experience,” Haislip says. “We have a shoe fitting process that includes a 3D foot scan, pressure plate evaluation, and treadmill gait analysis. Customers can sign up for a running or walking fitting ahead

12 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle

F E B R U A RY 2 0 24

The Running Store offers customers a warm welcome and unique, high quality TSR branded apparel. Photos Michelle Pais

of time or we also take walk-ins at any time. This hightech process gives our expert staff extensive data on your feet which then helps them recommend the best footwear and products for you. In addition to footwear, our staff can advise you on apparel and accessories that will help elevate your comfort or performance.” The Running Store also offers a high-tech fit process and gait analysis and on any given day, they are busy and bustling with activity. On a recent Tuesday this past holiday season, customers of all ages, interests and abilities were seated along rows of shoes as sunlight filtered in through the windows and a knowledgeable team worked one-on-one with each person. Upon entering, I was greeted with so many smiles and had a chance to meet “Salty” the “Gu on a Shoe” — The Running Store’s fun and festive take on Elf on a Shelf. Gu is a gel that provides quick, effective and sustained energy for all types of activities and is among one of the many types of fuel, nutrition and hydration items offered at The Running Store. Gu and other nutrition options are great for avid walkers and runners, along with socks, sunglasses, hats and water bottles. You can find all of these things and more at The Running Store. (My top picks include the super fun, super colorful, no slip, no bounce, all polarized goodr sunglasses. These are made specifically for certain sports and come with playful names and, best of all, a reasonable enough price tag you can get multiple pairs when it’s too tough to choose just one!) The majority of the clothing at The Running Store is sourced from a single manufacturer and is TRS branded and exclusive to the shop, making it unique while also ensuring consistency in high quality, durability and reliability. There is something for every season and personality, ranging from short- and long-sleeve running shirts to leggings, pants, shorts and more. The clothing is comfortable while also built for movement, lots of use and longevity and there are tons of styles and colors to choose from. Brenden Velez, a runner and manager at The Running Store, says that “while shoes and clothes make up two key categories for shoppers, technology and electronics are also very popular.” This includes watches and listening devices for on the run and rollers, massagers and more for post-run recovery. Don’t let the cold – or the heat – keep you from your fitness goals this year. Visit the pros at The Running Store and PR Walk & Run for running shoes and all manner of great gear to keep you going. L The Running Store is located at 7343 Atlas Walk Way in Gainesville. Visit them in person or online at therunningstore.com/. PR Run & Walk has locations in Arlington, Burke, Fairfax, Leesburg, Ashburn, Reston, South Riding, Springfield, Vienna and Midlothian. Visit them in person or online at potomacriverrunning.com/. This piece originally appeared in FauquierNow.


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Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 13


arts&entertainment

JazzWorx Big Band Takes CraftWorx Taproom by Storm Every Monday Night T

he CraftWorx Taproom in Gainesville, known for its vibrant atmosphere and eclectic events, has become the latest hotspot for music enthusiasts on Monday nights. The reason? The exhilarating JazzWorx Big Band shows have been captivating audiences with their dynamic performances. Every Monday, the CraftWorx Taproom transforms into a haven for jazz lovers, as the JazzWorx Big Band takes the stage, delivering an electrifying blend of traditional and contemporary jazz. The fusion of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments creates a symphony that resonates through the venue, offering patrons a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Mike Thorp, executive director, creator and producer of the band, said “The JazzWorx Big Band comprises a talented ensemble of musicians who bring their passion and expertise to the forefront. The band's repertoire spans across various jazz genres, ensuring that there's something for everyone in the audience.” CraftWorx Taproom has proven to be the perfect setting for these Monday night jazz sessions, with its laid-back ambiance and spacious layout. Music enthusiasts and families can enjoy good food and a craft beer or two while immersing themselves in the rich sounds of the big band, creating a truly unique and enjoyable evening. "We wanted to create a space where families could come together, relax, and enjoy exceptional live jazz music. CraftWorx Taproom provides the ideal backdrop for our performances, and the response from the audience has been overwhelmingly positive," said Mike. “I approached CraftWorx

Top and bottom right: JazzWorx Big Band’s Monday night shows have become an integral part of the local cultural scene, fostering community engagement and a shared love for jazz music. Bottom left: Grammy nominated saxophonist and recording artist Melissa Aldana performed with the band at its Blues Alley show on January 29.

back in the summer of 2022 with the idea and the band has packed the venue every Monday evening and on occasional special JazzWorx weekend events. The JazzWorx Big Band shows have not only become a staple for regular patrons but also attract new visitors looking for a memorable night out. The Monday night jazz series has turned CraftWorx Taproom into a cultural hub, fostering a sense of community among jazz aficionados in the area. Whether you're a jazz enthusiast or simply looking for a lively start to your week, the JazzWorx Big Band at CraftWorx Taproom promises an unforgettable experience. Don't miss out on the opportunity to witness the magic of live jazz music every Monday night – it's a musical journey that will leave you tapping your feet and craving more. L


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Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 15


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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A variety of summer of camps to fit your camper's desires & schedule.

Summer of Fun-Vint Hill

Engaging camps with two trips to the pool, arts & crafts, group games, field trips, special guests and more!

Summer of STEAM-Marshall

Weekly STEAM academic curriculums, field trip, visit the library and pool, group games, special guests and more!

Summer Encore-Vint HIll Serving campers whose school year might differ from the normal county schedule. THREE trips to the pool, arts & crafts, group games, special guests and more!

Specialty Camps-Various locations and dates Don't need full day care for your child? Choose from dance, adventure, arts, sports and more!

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Summer of STEAM 8:00am - 4:30pm

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summer camps & private schools

join us this summer! Summertime adventures with teachers we love!

Open House SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2023 at 10 AM – 12 PM

GAINESVILLE (HAYMARKET) 571-222-5576 • GoddardSchool.com

Primrose School of Bristow 9101 Balaton Lake Lane, Bristow, VA 20136 703.479.7918 | PrimroseBristow.com Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools is a registered trademark of Primrose School Franchising SPE, LLC. ©2021 Primrose School Franchising SPE, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Franchisor, LLC. Programs and ages may vary. Goddard Systems, LLC is Cognia accredited. License #CDC 1108100. © Goddard Franchisor, LLC 2024

2024 Summer Camps

Give Your Student A Unique Summer Experience!

Themed Camps Storybook Camp, June 24-28, 9am - noon. Ages 4 & 5 Princesses & Pirates, July 8-12 9am - noon. Ages 5 - 7 Heros & Villians, Aug 5 - 9, 9am - noon. Ages 4-6

Shrek Jr, Theatre Intensive July 15 - 26, 9am - 4pm

This summer we will be returning to our roots with a Summer Theatre Intensive camp. Join us for Shrek Jr.

Theatre Intensive with Fauquier High School June 17 - 27 (M-TH). Show TBA

This summer Allegro is excited to partner with Fauquier High School to present a Summer Intensive Camp.

AT HIGHLAND SCHOOL ACADEMICS / ATHLETICS / ARTS / ENRICHMENT CAMPS FROM JUNE-AUGUST, 2024

MAD Skills Theatre July 8 - 12, 1-4pm

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localbusiness

Grab a Little Culture with Your Coffee: Gainesville bistro pays tribute to local Black community FEATURE AND PHOTOS BY CALEB M. SOPTELEAN

A

new coffee shop in Gainesville aims to bring people together while honoring Black history. Nikki Brown, a former community liaison for Fairfax County and founder of The Culture Cup in the Madison Crescent Marketplace, held a grand opening this past September, just in time for National Coffee Day and International Coffee Day. The shop features photos of locals who were part of The Settlement, a Black community in Gainesville that dates to the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Brown said she worked with several descendants of The Settlement to gather photos for the dedication wall at the shop. The Settlement was located along Lee Highway (Route 29) and Carver Road, about two miles east of the business. Two local organizations also assisted Brown: The Alliance to Preserve Carver Road and The Coalition to Save Thoroughfare, another local road. Although she is no longer a community liaison for Fairfax County, Brown said she feels like she is still doing that kind of work. Her previous job, which she had for 10 years, is what introduced her to local history in Northern Virginia. “It started an obsession of collecting, researching and sharing,” Brown said. “I realized this is something I always wanted to do. Coffee is something many people love, and it brings people together.” “The whole point is to grow a more-connected community that’s inspired and encouraged through a cultural exchange,” she said, a theme that is posted on an interior wall at the business. Soft jazz and neo soul music reverberate throughout the The Culture Cup. “It’s a beautiful shop,” said Brown’s husband Justin, a captain in the Army Reserve who previously was a project manager for Ryan Homes. He is now the coffee shop’s manager. “She’s worked hard for two years to get this

18 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle

F E B R U A RY 2 0 24

shop open. She’s been working day and night to make this happen. I’m so proud. She’s the epitome of a beautiful, strong woman.” Nikki is a Baltimore native, and Justin grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The Gainesville residents have two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl. The shop is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday. Some of the items on the menu include coffee and espresso, teas – including black, green, herbal, chai, matcha and cold brew – sandwiches and pastries. Some of the drinks are inspired by Black pioneers, such as literary figure Toni Morrison. The “Maple Morrison” drink, for example, is a cinnamon and maple-infused latte that memorializes the late author’s “Song of Solomon” novel wherein the maple tree symbolizes optimism, goodness and hope, according to a press release. L

The Culture Cup is located at 8002 Crescent Park Dr, Gainesville. You can find them on Instagram @ theculturecupva and online at culturecupva.com This piece originally appeared on InsideNoVa.com.


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An d yo ur ch oic e for cu tes t pe t is…

Chicca Chicca is a 6-year-old purebred German Shepherd and the inspiration behind Miss Kibbles, a popular pet supply store serving Haymarket, Gainesville, Nokesville, Bristow, Manassas, and Warrenton. Chicca and her mom, Miss Kibbles owner Claudia Montoya, are on a mission to raise awareness about holistic and natural ways to raise our four-legged family members. We asked Claudia to tell us a bit about pretty Chicca and here’s what she had to say. How did Chicca come into your life and how long have you had her?

Well, twenty three years ago I lost my German Shepherd Ducce. Losing him was a heartbreaking experience. Many years later, I submitted an inquiry about adopting another German Shepherd and, while it took two years to happen, all of a sudden the week of my birthday, this sweet girl pup was on her way home to me. It was meant to be. My son and I have had her since she was 10 weeks old and she has brought so much love, joy and happiness into our lives.

What is Chicca’s favorite food?

She has food intolerances to chicken and lamb, but she loves her pork or beef from Solutions Pet Products. Once every other month she’ll have duck or rabbit mixed in with organic produce from OC Raw and Small Batch, and her go-to drink before breakfast is goat milk for its probiotics. For chews she has USA sourced bully sticks or tracheas, or single sourced dehydrated or freeze dried organs sourced from US farms. Due to her dietary restrictions, we avoid grains, fillers and unnecessary preservatives. If she eats anything with grains, she’ll be scratching her ears in bed. Her sensitivities are no joke.

20 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 4


An d the Cu tes t Pe t Co nte st run ne rs- up are … 2nd Place

Duke HAYMARKET

You cast so many votes for darling Duke! Who can blame you? With his soulful eyes and regal bearing, he’s simply a beauty. His mom, Shaili Priya, tells us that Duke’s favorite toy is his Squeaky Reindeer, one of his favorite things to do is to bark at squirrels, rabbits, and birds in the backyard, and his favorite people are his human siblings, Dhruv and Darsh. The three of them love playing fetch and tag together.

3rd Place

P H OTO S BY L U K E C H R I STO P H E R

Kayden

Does Chicca have a favorite toy?

We prefer unstuffed toys in the house (less mess), but you’ll find sensory and interactive toys in her toy box to keep her cognitively stimulated. In our freezer, you’ll find frozen filled kongs and licki mats ready to be used. She also has a snuggle mat that never fails to keep her distracted when we’re leaving the house.

GAINESVILLE

Just look at sweet Kayden’s face – of course you voted for him. He’s adorable! His mom, Ella Alexander, says that Kayden’s favorite food is Duck Jerky, he loves playing tug of war with his pals at Dogtopia Daycare, and his favorite person (other than his mom, of course!) is his beloved dog walker and sitter, Dee Dee. “Kayden,” said Ella, “is the best. He brings me so much joy.”

What are some of Chicca’s favorite things to do?

She loves fetching and burying her face in the snow and, if anyone is sitting next to mom (me) on the couch, she has the skill to make her 92lbs squeeze right in. If she could have full body massages and ear rubs all day, she’d take them! Exercise is key, so we have Meghan from Meg's Loving Pet care assist with walks since Chicca is too big for her grand-pawrents to take out. Lastly, socialization is also very important, so once every other week she goes to A Pup’s Valley to make new friends and burn some energy.

Who is Chicca’s favorite person?

Mom. And when I’m traveling for work, her brother takes the alpha role.

F E B R U A RY 2 0 24

Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 21


community

“Happy Birthday (Cake) to You!” Cake4Kids delivers smiles and confidence to underserved youth BY JENNIFER WALDERA

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magine never getting a birthday cake? Imagine not being able to provide one for your child? Cake4Kids and its network of talented volunteer bakers is out to change that, one princess and Baby Yoda cake at a time. Founded in California in 2010 by Libby Gruender, Cake4Kids is a non-profit organization that provides birthday cakes to underserved populations of children, particularly those in foster care. In 2019, one of the first chapters of Cakes4Kids was started in Northern Virginia. Since then, it has provided over 5,200 birthday cakes to youth in the area. Northern Virginia Ambassador and Senior Operations Manager Mary Campbell is enthusiastic about being a leader in the chapter that has well over 600 bakers that contribute to the cause. She became involved in Cakes4Kids when she realized the need to help support families that couldn't provide the annual celebratory treat for their children. “When I heard there are children that never receive a birthday cake I was shocked. It had never occurred to me. Also, with families that are struggling, they may not be able to afford a cake. I thought about what it would feel like as a parent to not be able to get my child a cake,” said Campbell. Others involved with the work that Cake4Kids does are enthusiastic about what the organization provides for children and families. From young children to teenagers, Cake4Kids positively affects the lives of those in the communities they serve. “Working with Cakes4Kids means the gift of joy can be given to children in our community. Whether celebrating the accomplishment of graduating or welcoming a new

When I heard there are children that never receive a birthday cake I was shocked. It had never occurred to me

22 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 4


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Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 23


Top: A baker meet-up for the Northern Virginia chapter volunteer bakers. Below: A happy cake recipient hugs the Cake4Kids volunteer who made her birthday cake, and a round-up of the incredible cakes (and Hawaiianthemed cupcakes!) the generous and talented volunteer bakers have made for the kids Cake4Kids supports.

year of life, the baked goods from Cakes4Kids is a round of applause wrapped in sweetness. Sometimes the only thing a parent can give to their child to celebrate, these baked goods allow parents to not stress about the ability to afford the centerpiece of any celebration,” said Yolonda Earl-Thompson, Executive Director of LAZERA Ministries in Fairfax. As a caseworker, Lisa Ellis has seen firsthand the joy that Cake4Kids has brought to a large number of children and families, as well. “We do get positive feedback from the centers where we drop off cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. Occasionally we get thank you notes. The families are so appreciative and the children are very excited to have someone bake just for them. It gives me a warm feeling to know I can bring joy to a child or teenager in doing something I enjoy very much.” Fundraisers and donations are largely to thank for the ability of Cake4Kids to do its work. Silent auctions, bake sales, and a yearly holiday cookie fundraiser help to drive the influx of funds. Campbell also credits Wind River Chimes of Manassas Park as being an impactful donor to the organization. Meanwhile, volunteers are at the heart of Cake4Kids, baking and decorating cakes for its recipients. Campbell stresses the fact that volunteers needn’t be professional bakers or decorators. And, the process of assigning the cakes couldn’t be more simple. “We review the request and place it onto a baker portal. The bakers can sign up for a cake request based on the location, delivery date, or if they are interested in any of the details. The baker will then deliver to the agency responsible for getting the cake to the child. The children get to request the type of treat (cake, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, or bars) , the flavor, theme, and celebratory message,” said Campbell. Courtney Park-Jamborsky, the Center Director of Laurel Learning Center in Reston, also sings the praises of Cakes4Kids and its incredible impact on the community it serves. “Cake4Kids has been the best volunteer program for Laurel Learning Center. C4K has provided over 125 birthday cakes and cupcakes to our children. The personalized cakes are beautifully decorated and delicious. All the kids are anxious to see each birthday cake delivery and seem just as excited as the birthday child. The volunteers and the organizers for C4K go above and beyond to bring such happiness to the kids. We love and appreciate them so much.” L If you’re interested in donating to, or volunteering for, Cake4Kids, visit their website at cake4kids.org.

24 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 4


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Warm Hearts Cold Noses Homemade Valentine’s Day Treats for Your One True Luv BY KARLA JONES SEIDITA, HOME ECONOMIST

M

y dog is the luv of my life. Oh, I love my husband and children but not like I love my dog. He is my main squeeze. And my dog loves me no matter what. He’s always excited to see me and covers me with kisses when I come home. He never has a bad day and is right there when I need a pup talk. My dog never thinks about himself. Just a pat on the head and a tasty treat is all the attention he ever requires. If I’m too busy or forget, he’ll wait patiently, never holding a grudge. Yup, I love my dog. That’s why I spoil him – especially on Valentine’s Day. A tasty treat is the love language he understands. Let’s get into the kitchen!

Canine Cookies I have never met a dog who didn’t luv cookies! These easy, homemade canine cookies are made with real ingredients – the kind you already have on your pantry shelf. What makes these cookies canine friendly is that they are made with no added sugar or salt and are very low in fat which, when you think about it, is the way dietitians want us to eat as well. Do we eat this healthfully? No. We overdo sugar, fat and salt every chance we get. But when it comes to our BFF, we make sure they eat right. E AC H R EC I P E S M A K E S A B O U T 1 D O Z E N C O O K I E S DEPENDING ON THE SIZE AND SHAPE U S E S C O O K I E S H E E T S A N D B A K I N G PA R C H M E N T

26 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 4

OATMEAL COOKIE INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup all purpose flour (plus extra for rolling) 3 Tablespoons old fashioned oatmeal (dry – uncooked) 2 Tablespoons smooth, natural peanut butter** 3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 1 egg PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE INGREDIENTS

½ cup whole wheat flour (plus extra for rolling) ¼ cup smooth, natural peanut butter** 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 2 Tablespoons unsalted or low salt broth (beef, chicken or vegetable) SAME DIRECTIONS FOR BOTH COOKIES

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment. Mix ingredients. Roll out ¼“ thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on lined cookie sheets. Bake till brown on the bottom and dry to the touch – 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on rack. BAKER’S TIPS

• •

**Use smooth, natural peanut butter. Other peanut butters may have added sugar and/or xylitol, which is a substitute sweetener that is poisonous to dogs. Size your cookies according to the size of your dog. Small cookies for small dogs. Larger cookies for larger dogs. The peanut butter cookies stay crisp. The oatmeal cookies soften the next day.


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F E B R U A RY 2 0 24

Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle 27


Great Gravy Who doesn’t love a great tasting gravy on something yummy to eat? Gravy makes everything better! MAKES ABOUT 2 ½ CUPS INGREDIENTS

3 cups water 1 pound ground meat (turkey, lean beef or chicken) 4 oz. chicken liver ½ cup frozen peas and carrots DIRECTIONS

Put ingredients into a medium pot. Bring to boil. Simmer (partially covered) until meat is cooked and water is reduced by half - about 30 minutes. Cool then refrigerate until any fat has solidified and risen to the top. Remove fat and discard. Puree remaining mixture and liquid. Add additional water if needed for desired consistency. Divide into serving size portions and store in freezer. Thaw for serving and stir into or use to top dog’s food.

Banana Yogurt Ice Cream Dogs LUV ice cream. You’ll see pup cups available at ice cream stands everywhere. Here’s a fast and easy way to make ice cream that your dog will find every bit as yummy. It’s really just yogurt and banana but the consistency is ice creamy without freezing. Couldn’t be easier!

Bow Wow Biscotti For the sophisticated canine who only needs a latte to make his morning respite complete. MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN USES 1 COOKIE SHEET AND B A K I N G PA R C H M E N T INGREDIENTS

¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour ½ cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup rye flour ¼ cup corn meal ½ cup cracked wheat cereal (like Wheatena - uncooked) ¼ cup milk powder (dry) 1 (.25 oz.) package instant or active dry yeast ¼ cup dried parsley 1 cup low salt or salt free broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) DIRECTIONS

1.

MAKES 4 (1/4 CUP) SERVINGS INGREDIENTS

1 medium banana 1 cup plain Greek yogurt DIRECTIONS

Coarsely mash banana. Fold in yogurt. Divide into 4 portions. Serve immediately or partially freeze till slushy. Store remaining portions in the freezer thawing as needed.

2.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Form into a log 9 inches long X 1 inch high on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake till set but not brown – about 25 minutes. Cool on pan 3 to 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut log into 1/8 inch thick slices. Return slices to pan, laying them on their sides.

28 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 4

Carrot Pup-Cup-Cakes Throw a party for your doggy’s birthday with the best, canine friendly cupcakes in town. Frost ‘em with a creamy, peanut buttery, pumpkin-y, sugar free icing. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for a few days or stash them in the freezer for longer storage. When my pup has his pals over for brunch, I serve these sans frosting for gorgeous muffins that round out every menu. However you serve them, they are oh-so-yum! Note: When offering ingredients unfamiliar to your pup, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet beforehand. MAKES ABOUT 8 U S E S A S TA N DA R D C U P C A K E PA N ( 2 ¾ I N C H ES I N D I A M E T E R X 1 ½ I N C H E S D E E P ) A N D C U P CA K E PA P E R S CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup peeled, shredded carrot (about 2 carrots) 1 egg ¼ cup creamy, natural peanut butter** 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil ½ cup water 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce 2 Tablespoons honey CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with baking papers. Mix the ingredients. Fill cupcake papers ¾ full. Bake till a toothpick comes out clean – 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in pan. Serve cooled cupcakes plain or ice with optional Doggie Frosting. OPTIONAL DOGGIE FROSTING INGREDIENTS

½ cup Greek yogurt ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce 1/4 cup creamy, natural peanut butter** ¼ cup pumpkin or sweet potato FROSTING DIRECTIONS

Mix till smooth. Spread on cooled cupcakes. Store frosted cupcakes in fridge up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage. L


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One more reason to love Farm Brew Live

Way to go, mom!

W

hen Culpeper resident Teresa Lewis graduated from Germanna Community College in December, she was just one of 1,204 graduates at the ceremony. But she was the only 46-year-old single mother of four who went back to school after a 20 year hiatus. After Lewis graduated from Liberty High School in 1995, she was attending Northern Virginia Community College. "Things changed and my life went in a different direction. I ended up having children. I quit school and raised my children, but always knew that I would return. Once [College Everywhere, Germanna’s completely online program] became available, I figured, ‘Why not? Now is the perfect time to pursue my dreams.’" "My mother has been my role model for as long as I can remember," said Lewis’s son, Capone Hoffman. "She’s always been a hard-worker and fights to get everything we could ever want and need. I couldn’t be prouder of what she has been able to accomplish over the years. I mean, she hasn’t been to school in over 20 years prior to this and now she’s the star of the class on top of being a single mother. It’s single-handedly the most impressive thing I have ever seen in my life. She’s amazing." She is indeed amazing. In January, Lewis started classes at Liberty University where she’s majoring in Criminal Investigation and minoring in pre-law.

A

Hilton hotel featuring a wine bar and speakeasy is coming to the Farm Brew Live campus near Manassas. Holladay Properties has announced Tempo by Hilton will be the planned hotel at the growing hospitality and entertainment development. “In a strategic joint partnership with Villagio Hospitality Group, Holladay will develop this innovative hotel concept from Hilton that is poised to redefine the hospitality experience,” states a news release from Holladay. “ …the Tempo will feature an open lobby design, multi-functional spaces for relaxation, work and dining, as well as premium food and beverage outlets.” The hotel adds to the expanding mixed-use Farm Brew Live development, which already features the upscale Black Sheep restaurant, 2 Silos brewery, a music stage and Brentsville Hall events space, among other businesses. The 60,000-square-foot, 90-room hotel is scheduled to open in mid-2025.

New owner, new name for The Front Porch in The Plans

S

easoned restaurateur Shawn Malone, former managing partner of Magnolias at the Mill and general manager of Tuscarora Mill, (long time staple Loudoun restaurants) has recently purchased The Front Porch in The Plains. He's thrilled to be bringing his love of food, wine, hospitality and people to such a lovely little town and hopes the restaurant, now named Bistro @ The Porch, will open in February.

30 Haymarket / Gainesville Lifestyle F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 4

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