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July/August 2019

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Inspiring a Generation with Empathy

A Community Publication Proudly Inspiring, Educating & Connecting Northern Virginia Women Since 2009

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Fairfax Woman Can a spelling bee change the lives of women around the world? Meet philanthropists Monika Samtani and Sarva Rajendra as they open up about producing their movie “Bee the Future” and educational foundation, Sahasra Deepika. Flip to page 25. Alexandria Woman Magazine Local writer Alysia Dempsey believes in acknowledging every person and giving them a voice. We sat down with the inspiring self-published author to learn about her passion, motivation, and plans for the future. Turn to page 17 for the full interview.

health&wellness By D. Dennis Faludi, MD

Ultherapy: Non-Surgical Lifting and Tightening Ultherapy® is the only FDA approved device for non-surgical lifting and tightening over the face, chin, neck, and chest. This procedure is safe for all skin types, and it has become one of our most requested services for both women and men. In our practice, I customize Ultherapy treatments to provide optimal results for each individual patient. The procedure is performed in our office and there is no post-treatment downtime. To help you understand more about Ultherapy and why it has become so popular, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about the procedure: How does Ultherapy work? Ultherapy utilizes microfocused ultrasound technology to create fresh, new collagen deep beneath the skin’s surface. The heat from the ultrasound waves bypasses the surface of the skin

Beautiful Feel

and disrupts the worn collagen in the treatment area, stimulating the formation of new collagen that is tighter than the original. As the new collagen builds and matures, it causes the treatment area to be lifted, firmed, and tightened. Ultherapy includes ultrasound imaging, which allows viewing of the deeper structures in real-time, and ensures that the ultrasound waves are applied precisely where they will be most effective for specific treatment areas.

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Which areas can be treated? Ultherapy may be used to lift and tighten the skin of the brow, upper face, midface, jaw, chin, neck, upper arms and knees. Additionally, it is used to treat fine lines and wrinkles on the chest. Most patients will only need a single treatment session; however, individuals with more skin laxity may require a second treatment for optimal results.

Does the treatment hurt? Comfort thresholds vary from person to person, and we do not want our patients to feel pain and anxiety during any procedure. For all Ultherapy treatments, we use the Pro-Nox analgesic system. ProNox is a patient-controlled nitrous oxide/oxygen mixture which, when inhaled through a mouthpiece, provides immediate relaxation and pain relief. Patients control how much of the analgesic they inhale for comfort. There are no narcotic pills or injections involved, and because the gas mixture clears quickly from the body, the patient can safely drive within 20 minutes after undergoing the procedure. How long does a treatment take? We allow between 45 minutes to two hours for an Ultherapy appointment, depending on the size of the treatment area. Will I need to take time off after the treatment? There is generally no downtime after an Ultherapy procedure; most patients resume normal activities on the same day. You may experience some redness for a few hours, followed by mild swelling that may last a few days and is typically not noticeable to other people. You may also

experience slight tenderness and/ or tingling in the treatment area, which resolves in hours to days. When will I see results, and how long will they last? You may see slight effects immediately following the procedure, but the most visible, significant results occur over the following three to six months, as new collagen in the treatment area continues to form and tighten. At the end of a year, the newly formed collagen is mature and normal aging begins anew with fresh, oneyear-old collagen. Overall, results last for years. Additional factors, including smoking, excessive sun exposure, and general health will impact collagen aging and the results of any cosmetic rejuvenation treatment. If you are considering Ultherapy and would like to learn more, I encourage you to visit our office for a complimentary consultation. To schedule your appointment, please call us at 703-992-7979. We see patients Monday through Saturday of most weeks, and we look forward to meeting you!

Dr. Dennis Faludi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery with the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Hand Surgery. A native of Northern New Jersey, Dr. Faludi graduated Albany Medical College in Albany, New York, with an M.D., followed by an orthopedic surgery residency at Johns Hopkins University, where he trained further in reconstructive arthritis, hand, plastic, and microsurgery. After finishing the San Francisco Hand Surgery Fellowship, he settled in Northern Virginia to practice reconstructive, hand, and microsurgery. He pioneered the intraoperative use of lasers in orthopedic surgery. Dr. Faludi is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.

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health&wellness By Nathaly Granja

Dream Big with the Help of SMART Goals Ah, goal setting. Often reserved for New Year’s resolutions and sales teams, I find many people are intimidated by the very idea of creating goals for themselves. Be it for fitness, finances, new skills, or even relationships, at the very core of this intimidation is a deeply rooted fear: Fear of failure. I’m going to give you three strategies to go from feeling stuck in the same old cycles, to moving through the discomfort and into the life of your dreams. In order to create any change for ourselves, we must first bring honest awareness to where we are and become clear on what our current reality looks like. Ask yourself: What needs to change? What beliefs are keeping me in this version of myself? What do I need to give myself permission to do? The reason you

might not enjoy goal setting is because you must look under the hood of your life, which can be very challenging. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Only once we’ve been openly candid with ourselves can we begin to map out our true goals. As children we would allow our imaginations to run wild. However, along the way our conditioning, and perhaps some hardships, slowly began to stop our dreaming. So, during this next phase, I invite you to connect with that part of yourself that still believes anything is possible. I always encourage my clients to be in a relaxed state of mind before answering these next

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few questions, either through deep breaths or post Reiki. Ask: Who do I want to become? What parts of myself do I want to develop? In my ideal world, what does a day in my life look like? What do I need to do to create this? Though these questions seem easy enough, there might be some of you who have a hard time connecting to what it is you really want. That’s where working with a coach can really help. It’s an extra set of eyes and objective perspective that can navigate it with you together. Once we know your goals, we can create a strategy that will feel good but also stretch you enough out of your comfort zone to create actual change. As Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” There must be growth within your habits to create a new identity that helps you commit and crush your newfound goals. This next step will give you a framework to begin implementing your new life vision. You just have to be SMART: Specific: The more specific you become with your goal, the more you can begin to visualize and take aligned action. If you can get super specific, it is a good indicator that you have an emotional connection to the goal. And creating a deep meaning to the goal will give you an extra push to complete it. Measurable: Sometimes when the goal isn’t tangible, it feels very removed from our current reality. This step is all about creating a way to measure progress. Be it numbers, pictures, recordings, or another measurable trait, there should be a way for you to track. Achievable: This is one of those tricky ones. What seems achievable to you now might not reflect true capabilities, and you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Here, accountability and mentorship can be super useful. Work with someone who can help you break your goals down into digestible, weekly goals that

lead up to your larger, overall goal. Relaxed: With the changes and incredible results you’ll be experiencing, it’s important to prioritize time to integrate the success. Relax! Enjoy a zen day, incorporate some essential oils into your daily rituals, take a bath, or get a massage. Be kind, compassionate, and know that you’re doing great! Timely: Create deadlines for yourself so that your goals begin to manifest into physical form. I encourage my clients to take it a step further and do something that really stretches them to use their new goal and courage. For example, if your goal is to become a better public speaker, then signing up for an opportunity to speak in front of an audience a few months from when you start your goal will be the perfect way to create commitment of time. If any part of creating goals and sticking to them feels tricky for you to navigate, do not let that discourage you from making those beautiful leaps. Your soul and your life is evolving with you. Work with a mentor who can guide you through the process. You owe it to yourself to live the life you always desired. It’s time.

Nathaly Granja is a Spiritual Life Coach that helps conscious leaders awaken to their true soul purpose so they can lead with impact and create personal wealth. She has been featured on WUSA 9 and ABC 7 and has a background as a Reiki Master teacher and Hypnotist. She incorporates her tools into all of her coaching in order to create real life long changes starting on an energetic level.. Her method is a beautiful blend between Intuition and Strategy to transform the whole self. You can follow her Instagram for free daily content @NathalyGranja_ or find her at The Wellness Cooperative in Old Town Alexandria.

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Considering Breast Implants This Summer? Breast augmentation with implants still reigns as one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around the world according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Women choose to have this procedure for different reasons. Common goals of having breast augmentation with implants are often to restore lost volume post pregnancy or weight loss, to create symmetry due to deformities or underdeveloped breast, and breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. The number one reason we hear from patients during the summer season is the desire to look better in summer clothing and enhance self confidence. At New Image Plastic Surgery, Board Certified Female Plastic Surgeon Dr. Roberta Gartside answers some of the most asked questions in her practice regarding breast enhancement surgery. Silicone vs. Saline? It’s not unusual to be confused

about the type of implants with the many options out there today. For the most part, you will probably find most plastic surgeons recommend silicone gel filled implants more often. The is because they feel more natural followed by a slightly reduced risk of seeing rippling through the skin. Saline implants are made of the same silicone shell as silicone but are filled with sterile saltwater. The only time I would recommend saline implants verses silicone to a patient is to offer adjustability for women who have asymmetry in the volume of one breast versus the other. Saline implants offer the ability to do more fine tuning and adjustments to the size. Additionally, since these implants are placed prior to being filled they can be inserted using smaller incisions, while silicone implants are pre-filled and require larger incisions. The biggest difference between saline and silicone is that if a saline implant ruptures, you will notice it immediately. If a

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silicone ruptures, it can be more difficult to detect and require imaging such as an MRI.

work, depending on the nature of the job. Strenuous activities will be restricted for at least a month.

What is the difference between Saline and the IDEAL Implants? All implants come with a silicone shell. Saline and IDEAL implants are both filled with sterile saltwater. When comparing the standard saline implant to the IDEAL saline implant, the distinct difference is that the IDEAL implant has an internal baffle system, which reduces the risk of rippling. This is more similar to the silicone implants in that they feel more natural than regular saline implants.

How long do breast implants last? Do they need to be changed every 10 years? The general rule with breast implants is if they are not broken, don’t fix them. There seems to be a written myth that implants need to be changed every 10 years. I think this comes from the impression of the warranties associated with breast implants, which are for 10 years. Reasons to have your implants either exchanged or removed fall into a few different categories, such as rupture or leak, breast changes, and capsule contracture (formation of scar tissue). The lifetime of breast implants depends on a lot of factors, but in most cases it’s important to remember that they’re not intended to last a lifetime with no upkeep. You may need to remove, replace, or revise them at some point.

Under vs. over the muscle I recommend the location of breast implant placement based on my patient’s physical examination and desired breast size. In general, the position under the muscle is favored as studies have shown a lower risk or capsular contracture, although that difference is very small. Under breast tissue may be recommended in extremely physically activity women to lower the risk of any muscle distortion as well as in women with borderline sagging or ptotic breast who choose not to have a breast lift. Best Incision site and why? There are generally three locations of incisions: the crease under the breast, around the areola, and under the arm near the armpit. I favor the crease under the breast (inframammary fold) for a number of reasons: it tends to be well hidden in the crease of the breast, allows access for any size implant whether it be silicone or saline, and may have a slightly lower risk of capsular contracture around the implant because there is less contact with breast tissue during insertion. How long do I need to take off work after a breast augmentation surgery? Typically, the recovery from breast augmentation surgery is quite quick. Within one week, most women can drive and return to

Interested to learn more? Call 703-742-8004 to schedule your breast implant consultation with Dr. Gartside today!

Dr. Roberta Gartside is a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 30 years of experience in the DC Metro area. She is a member of both American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Treasure of the VA Society for Plastic Surgeons. She is also the Chair of the Board for the Society for Women’s Health Research. Dr. Roberta Gartside is one of the most experienced and sought after surgeons in the area. She takes the time to work one-on-one with her patients to customize their treatment plans to fit their specific needs and desires. In addition to a wide range of cosmetic surgery procedures, she also offers other non-invasive treatments such as Botulinumtoxin A (Botox), facial fillers (Juvederm, Voluma, etc.), micro-needling, ThermiVA (vaginal) and non-surgical body contouring (SculpSure).

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Saturday September 21 KAREN DURANA Full Body Prescence RITA NAOMI, PT Reclaim Your Life: Mindfulness And Mindful Movement For Healing And Recovery LAURA PURCELL VERDUN, M.A., CCC Your Voice: Find It & Use It OLYA WALKER, LMFT Finding Our Voices: Healing From Sexual Harassment And Harm NICOLETTE HORBACH, MD What They Didn't Tell You About Expecting AMY HEARD, PHD Relationships, Intimacy & Sexuality: Staying Connected As Your Family (& Body) Grows SUSAN MOORE, MS, RD Functional Medicine: How To Make It Work For You DEBRA CAPLOWE, LCSW After The Baby Arrives: Now What? RHODO NGUYEN, ND The Vibrational Power Of Words

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health&wellness By Jennifer Chu, MS, PT, WCS

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: What is it and what can you do about it? Do you notice an increase in heaviness in your pelvis after being on your feet all day? Do you feel pressure in your vulva? Does your lower back pain get worse the longer you are on your feet, or the more active you are? Do you have something bulging or hanging out of your vagina? If you have any of these symptoms, you may have a pelvic organ prolapse (POP). A POP is when one or some of the pelvic organs fall below their normal positions in the pelvis to the point where they can possibly fall out of the vagina. There are various types of prolapses. A uterine prolapse is when the uterus begins to fall into and sometimes out of the vaginal canal. An anterior prolapse, called a cystocele, is a relaxation of the

tissue that supports the bladder. This can cause the bladder to fall backwards and lean into the front of the vaginal canal, creating a bulge into the front of the vagina. A rectocele is similar, however involves the relaxation of the tissues holding up and supporting the rectum behind the vagina. If you have a POP, you may notice discomfort with intercourse as if your vagina feels shorter or your bladder is being pushed on. In addition, POP can affect

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and cause changes in your bowel or bladder habits. Some people with a rectocele will need to help themselves fully evacuate their bowels with their fingers. Over time, unchecked and untreated, your POP can get worse. Especially, if you are unwittingly doing things throughout your day that could be worsening the issue. Begin to pay attention to your breath. Do you hold your breath during activities that require physical effort? Do you hold your breath when you exercise, bend over, or get up from the bed or out of a car? If so, holding your breath throughout the day will be making your POP worse. It is important to think about how your body moves during any form of physical activity. Instead of holding your breath, gently pull in your lower belly and do a light pelvic floor muscular contraction while exhaling. Your bowel movements can also greatly affect your POP as constipation will make it worse. If you are not having full sausage like poops without straining, you may be constipated and should seek help. Thankfully, you do not need to just live with these symptoms. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help. Truly, the best thing you can do for yourself is get an evaluation to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. When you decide to take care of yourself and see a pelvic floor physical therapist,

you will not only learn exercises to increase the support of your pelvic organs, but how to avoid exacerbating your symptoms. You also will be assessed for a Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) as this aggravates your POP when not treated. At ITR Physical Therapy, our physical therapists are specifically trained to help women with all types of pelvic floor issues including pelvic organ prolapse. Make your appointment today. You deserve to know how to take care of your pelvis and to feel better!

Jennifer Chu, MS, PT, WCS, is one of the country’s first Board Certified Women’s Health Specialists. She has been a physical therapist since 1997 when she started her career working with musculoskeletal injuries in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. It was here that Jennifer began her specialty in women’s health. In 2001 she opened ITR Physical Therapy in order to create an environment where patients would receive the individualized, quality and manual care that she believes each patient deserves. Jennifer has spoken nationally at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Annual Conference and Exposition and has sat on the Board of Directors as the Director of Communication for the APTA’s Section on Women’s Health. She has participated in clinical research regarding myofascial soft tissue release techniques for painful bladder syndrome and painful C-section scars. She is committed to teaching and empowering women and men with pelvic floor dysfunctions how to help themselves. When not working, Jennifer treasures being the mother of two amazing girls, practicing yoga, meditation and spending time with her friends and family.

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Amy Latta is passionate about inspiring her online community by sharing honest inspiration for everyday life. On her award-winning blog amylattacreations.com, you’ll find all kinds of craft and do-it-yourself (DIY) Cancer canand happen projects anyone can create. Amy is happiest when crafting, when at any age, we she’s not covered in paint, you can find her working hand lettered artwe think about knowon this. But when and professional design collaborations. Her original lettered designs have skin cancer, most of the time our minds been featured nationally in GAP stores and Starbucks commercials. As a envision someone a bit older, who is former high school English teacher and a ballroom, Latin, and swing dance only now experiencing instructor, Amy is familiar with teaching and uses those skills to break symptoms due to carelessness ofachieve. their younger years. lettering down into a process that anyone can understand and Amy is a lifelong Maryland girl and a McDaniel College alumna lovesdoesn’t always Unfortunately, skin who cancer spending time with her husbandtake and two sons. 20, 30, or 40 years to develop.

at 22:


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Sometimes, it develops instantly.

In late January 2017, Southern Maryland native, Ashley, went to a local primary care office to get a routine physical. Living in Northern Virginia at the time, she was hoping to volunteer at a children’s hospital, and in order to do so, she needed a provider to sign off her health form. It was on this day her doctor noticed a mark under her right eye. He asked if Ashley had ever gotten it looked at, to which she said no. Though she had noticed the mark for a while, it simply seemed like a patch of dry skin or acne, so she didn’t think much of it. The physician thought otherwise—that it might be skin cancer—and recommended she go have it looked at by a specialist.


n February, Ashley visited a dermatologist in Washington, DC, where they took a biopsy of the mark. A few days later, she received a call. “They told me it was basal cell carcinoma (morpheaform), and that I needed to come in as soon as possible to get it removed,” Ashley recalled. Freaked out and worried, she took the necessary steps to schedule her surgery. “I was only 22 years old at the time. I was kind of shocked.” On Valentine’s Day, Ashley has mohs surgery, a surgical procedure in which thin, circular layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed. Each patch of skin is tested around the edges for remaining traces of cancer. If detected, more is removed. Ashley’s surgery required two rounds, taking about three hours. Face numb, Ashley received six stitches from the bottom of her right eye to the middle of her check. Throughout the following months, Ashley had various rounds of laser scar removal to help with the healing process. After all, this is her face we’re talking about, and no amount of makeup can cover up two inches of stiches. Though Ashley’s cheek and eye healed nicely, the experience was a wake-up call. “My form of skin cancer was not life threatening. However, it is the fastest growing kind of the basal cell carcinoma and if we would have let it grow, it would have been very deep and encompassed a lot of my cheek.” As someone who was so young and even made a point to never use tanning beds, she was upset this happened to her. The doctor thought the cancer had been growing for around two years, and Ashley theorized it was caused from a bad sunburn during a spring break trip in college. The upside, besides the fact that it was successfully taken care of, is that she can share her story. Not only with those she knows personally, but with other young adults who think they are immune from the sun’s curse. In fact, during the summer after her ordeal, she told her roommate at the time to go get a skin check. “Later that week my roommate found out she had stage 0 melanoma on her butt and had surgery to remove it,” Ashley said. “A month or two after that, my roommate told her sister to get checked and she found out she also had stage 0 melanoma on her arm.” Both Ashley and her roommate’s families have a history of skin cancer, which increases someone’s risk of developing the disease. Now, both women make sure to get annual skin checks and encourage their friends and family to do the same. “Skin cancer doesn’t always look the way we’re taught in school or the way it is portrayed in the media,” Ashley said. “Melanoma is usually the focus, along with odd-shaped

CANCER FAST FACTS One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Anyone who has more than

100 moles is at greater risk for

melanoma. Know your ABCDEs - Asymmetrical moles, uneven Borders, a variety of Colors, large Diameter, moles that Evolve or change in size over time. Only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas are found in existing moles, while 70 to 80 percent arise on apparently normal skin.

moles. But mine looked like acne. It had been there for months and I never once thought it was cancer, of all things.” Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 4.3 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. It’s important to understand the symptoms and how to avoid developing it in the first place. As someone who took this experience very seriously, Ashley decided to get all new makeup and facial skin care products with a minimum of SPF 15. She regularly wears hats while out in the sun and makes sure to reapply sunscreen. Unfortunately, basal cell carcinoma often comes back, therefore it needs to be monitored religiously. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self-examinations to find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early, like Ashley and her roommate’s, are almost always curable. To spot either melanomas or non-melanoma skin cancers (such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), the Foundation says to take note of any new moles or growths, existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly, and lesions that itch, bleed, or don’t heal. If Ashley had known what to look for, perhaps she would have questioned the spot on her face more carefully. Prior to diagnosis and in addition to not healing, her “acne” bled, itched, and grew in size. Even as an advocate of cancer prevention, it can still be hard to know when it is happening to you. Throughout college, Ashley regularly participated in Penn State’s 46-hour dance marathon benefiting pediatric cancer. As a senior, she even danced in the no-sit, no-sleep event. Unbeknownst to her—or anyone—at the time, that she had cancer herself. Looking back on it all, Ashley hopes others can learn from her experience and continue to join her in raising awareness about cancer symptoms, support opportunities, and treatment innovations. “Supporting those with cancer, their families, and educating the public is key to combatting cancer,” she said. “I always believed that, but now I know personally. Be smart about your choices and help those who are struggling. Everyone isn’t as lucky as I was.”

About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or Melanomas in blacks, Asians higher sunscreen reduces the risk of and native Hawaiians most often developing squamous cell carcinoma occur on non-exposed skin with by about 40 percent. less pigment, with up to 60 to 75 percent of tumors arising on the Women who have ever tanned palms, soles, mucous membranes indoors are six times more likely and nail regions. to be diagnosed with melanoma in their 20s than those who have never tanned indoors.

Sources: Skincancer.org and Yourtimeinthesun.com

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health&wellness Presented by Karl Smith, DDS, MS

Can Children Get Gum Disease? Periodontal disease in children and adolescents is generally rare. However, children should still learn the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy to prevent periodontal disease in the future. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and learn how to floss properly—if children learn how to floss at an early age, they will be more likely to make it a lifetime habit. These two simple acts will help protect their teeth and gums from periodontal disease. As a parent, you should also be aware of the warning signs of periodontal disease, which include red, swollen, bleeding gums or bad breath that won’t go


away. If your child develops any of these symptoms, tell your dental professional right away.

Types of Periodontal Diseases in Children Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease. Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterized by the

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severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus. Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Signs of Periodontal Disease Four basic signs will alert you to periodontal disease in your child. Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time; swollen and bright red gums; gums that have receded away from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots; and constant bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing. Adolescence Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. An increased level of progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque, and the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender. As a teen progresses through puberty, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. Advice for Parents Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis.

The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits. Follow these basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health: • Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth. When the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing. • Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself. • Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings. • Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath. Courtesy of the American Academy of Periodontology; visit www.perio.org for more information.

Dr. Karl Smith has been in dental practice for more than 34 years. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981 and immediately entered General Practice in the US Air Force Dental Corps. He successfully completed three additional years of advanced education in the specialty of Periodontics with additional training in IV Sedation and Dental Implants in 1992, at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center. He won the John Pritchard Prize for outstanding research which included looking for a vaccine against bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Dr. Smith completed a Master of Business Administration degree with a Certificate in Health Services Management while working full time as a Periodontist.

health&wellness By Mariam Alimi, RN, BSN, Aesthetic Director

Benefits Of Cheek Fillers

Cheek Augmentation, Facial Rejuvenation and Lifting of the Jaw Line As we age, beginning in our 30s and 40s, our skin begins to lose volume and elasticity, and thus wrinkles and fine lines begin to form. Fortunately, the contour and shape of your features can be enhanced with non-surgical techniques that do not require down time. There are specific dermal fillers that can lift and restore lost volume to the cheeks and tighten the jaw line. Cheek fillers can help sculpt and add youthful plumpness to the skin. The wrinkles and folds around your nose and mouth can also be treated with fillers. Results are immediate and will continue to develop during the first few weeks after the injections. Here we discuss a couple types of effective, longlasting cheek fillers. Juvederm Voluma Juvederm is a popular line of dermal fillers that is created by Allergan, the makers of Botox. Juvederm is comprised of hyaluronic acid. Juvederm Voluma was the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid cheek filler. Patients can see

results immediately and results from Voluma last up to 18 months. Voluma can also be used to give chiseled and tighter jaw line and help reduce the appearance of jowls. Restylane Lyft Restylane Lyft is another brand of dermal filler that is composed of hyaluronic acid. Lyft is made by Galderma the makers of Dysport. Lyft is a product that can be used effectively to lift the cheeks for a more youthful appearance and results last nine to 12 months. Radiesse Cheek Enhancement Radiesse is comprised of calcium hydroxyapatite and this triggers your own body’s collagen production. This dermal filler is highly effective for correcting

mid-face volume loss/drop, general deep lines, nasolabial folds, defining the contours of the chin, jaw, and cheeks, and giving a natural injectable facelift. Which cheek filler works the best? There is no single approach and every patient is different. Depending on the consultation, facial structure and skin condition, your experienced injector will determine which cheek filler will provide you with great results. What other areas can dermal fillers be used for? Nasal labial folds (smile lines), lips, chin, temples, lines above and below the lips, marionette lines, underneath the eyes, hands, to correct facial asymmetry and to fill acne scars. How can I save on cheek fillers? While we don’t recommend selecting a treatment or practice based on cost alone, there are ways to save on cheek fillers and other

aesthetic injectable treatments. For Juvederm Voluma and other Juvederm fillers, patients enjoy savings by joining the Brilliant Distinctions program. This is a service provided by Allergan, the makers of Botox and Juvederm. With each purchase of Botox, Juvederm, and even SkinMedica products and Latisse, you can collect points and bonus offers. This allows you to save on future treatments. Galderma, the makers of Restylane, provides a similar program called ASPIRE Galderma Rewards. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Advanced Injector Mariam Alimi at Impressions MediSpa by calling 703-273-0001.

Mariam Alimi, RN, BSN, is the Aesthetic Director and Advanced Injector at Impressions MediSpa. Mariam is an aesthetic nurse with a Bachelors in Nursing from Stratford University cum laude and a bachelors from Virginia Tech. She is an expert in laser technology and has more than 10 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic medicine. Mariam is certified in botox and dermal fillers including advanced techniques using Restylane, Restylane Lift/Perlane, Voluma, Juvederm XC, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Radiesse, and Sculptra. Mariam is a licensed in ArqueDerma® Artistic Restoration Lift® and InstaTox®. She has completed an intense training through InjectAbility® Institute, home of the ArqueDerma® technique. Mariam has also completed several courses using Sculptra, collagen stimulator, for facial rejuvenation, Sculptra Butt Lift and treatment of cellulite. Mariam is committed to restoring, sculpting and enhancing one’s natural beauty through non-surgical techniques. Mariam is a member of the Association of Medical Aesthetic Nurses, American Society for Laser Medicine and American Nurses Association. She is a native of Northern Virginia and her hobbies include spending quality time with her family, nature hikes, traveling and staying current on the latest advancements and research involving aesthetic medicine.

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Mom’s Corner

Mom’s Corner

8. False: A balanced diet does not guarantee the proper amount of fluoride for By Dr Angela Austin the development and maintenance of your child’s teeth. If you do not live in a community with fluoride in the water your child may need additional fluoride. Talk to your dentist about your child’s specific fluoride needs.

What’s Your Pediatric Dental IQ?

9. True: Water is so important in fighting tooth decay. Especially fluoridated tap water. It washes over your teeth and gums along with your saliva, helping to combat the acid and buildup of bacteria.

Dr. Angela Austin, a local pediatric dentist, wants to test what you know.

10. False: Can you believe it? You simply need to select items that have sugar in them wisely. A food with sugar is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Cavities form when there are multiple “sugar attacks”. So the fewer times the teeth are exposed to sugar, the better. Hence, if your child does eat sugary substances, it’s best to do it only once a day, or only at mealtimes. Chewing during a meal helps produce saliva which helps wash away sugary and starchy foods. Warning: sticky foods, like fruit snacks, raisins and other dried fruit and candy are not easily washed away from your child’s teeth by saliva, water or milk, so they have more cavity-causing potential. Talk to your dentist about serving foods that protect your child’s dental health. By all means, brush after those sugar attacks! Whether you got the answers all right, or all wrong, Dr. Angela and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry wants you to make sure you schedule an appointment for your child to see a dentist as early as age one! Let’s keep our little one’s smiling!


DR. ANGELA AUSTIN is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist in Alexandria, VA. She specializes in treating patients aged 1-21. She is also specially trained to treat special needs patients as well as patients with high dental anxiety. She is the owner of Alexandria Children’s Dentistry located at 6303 Little River Turnpike, Suite 345, Alexandria, VA 22312. www.LoveKidsTeeth.com | 703-942-8404





Del Ray Office Now Open & Accepting New Patients!

At Alexandria Children's Dentistry,


we provide an environment that eases fears and encourages

es. by of



Dr. Angela Austin Alexandria Children's Dentistry

on. the

Call Now to make an appointment at either location! Del Ray Location: 609 E. Monroe Avenue Alexandria, VA 22301 703-341-4418


Landmark Location: 6303 Little River Turnpike, Suite 345 Alexandria, VA 22312 703-942-8404 Proudly serves the surrounding areas of NorthernVirginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.




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How’d You Do? Here are the answers!

1. False: Contrary to popular belief, it’s not normal for a teething baby to havea fever. Diarrhea and rashes are also not normal. If your infant has a feveror diarrhea while teething or continues to be cranky and uncomfortable, call your physician. 2. True: Baby teeth hold places in the mouth for adult teeth. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. Taking good care of your child’s baby teeth may help to avoid other problems when he or she is older. 3. False: This one is tricky, but it’s sort of False! Sugar by itself doesn’t cause cavities. It is the acid produced by cavity-causing bacteria that cause cavities. The bacteria uses sugars to produce the acid. You can help prevent cavities by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, limiting between-meal snacks and, of course, visiting your dentist regularly. 4. False: Malocclusions, or bad bites, can be serious. If they are not treated early, a bad bite can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean where teeth are crooked or crowded, increasing the risk for cavities and gum disease. 5. False: Remember how we discussed that acids can cause cavities? Well energy drinks are loaded with acid and sugars! Sugars and acids together are a horrible combination and put our teeth in a very cavity-prone situation. The acid in energy drinks can over time erode the outer layer of our teeth (the enamel) and cause increased sensitivity. 6. False: Sealing a tooth is fast and easy and protects your child’s teeth from decay. Sealants coat the grooves of the teeth and they act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. 7. True: Your child should wear a mouth guard during all sports, even thesports that are not considered “contact” sports. It may feel funny at first, but mouth guards are the best thing they can do to prevent their teeth from getting broken or knocked out. 8. False: A balanced diet does not guarantee the proper amount of

fluoride for the development and maintenance of your child’s teeth. If you do not live in a community with fluoride in the water your child may need additional fluoride. Talk to your dentist about your child’s specific fluoride needs. 9. True: Water is so important in fighting tooth decay. Especially fluoridated tap water. It washes over your teeth and gums along with your saliva, helpingto combat the acid and buildup of bacteria. 10. False: Can you believe it? You simply need to select items that have sugar in them wisely. A food with sugar is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Cavities form when there are multiple “sugar attacks”. So the fewer times the teeth are exposed to sugar, the better. Hence, if your child does eat sugary substances, it’s best to do it only once a day, or only atmealtimes. Chewing during a meal helps produce saliva which helps wash away sugary and starchy foods. Warning: sticky foods, like fruit snacks, raisinsand other dried fruit and candy are not easily washed away from your child’s teeth by saliva, water or milk, so they have more cavity-causing potential. Talkto your dentist about serving foods that protect your child’s dental health. By all means, brush after those sugar attacks! Whether you got the answers all right, or all wrong, Dr. Angela and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry wants you to make sure you schedule an appointment for your child to see a dentist as early as age one! Let’s keep our little one’s smiling!

Dr. Angela Austin is a

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist in Alexandria, Virginia. She specializes in treating patients aged 1-21. She is also specially trained to treat special needs patients as well as patients with high dental anxiety. She is the owner of Alexandria Children’s Dentistry with two offices in Alexandria - Del Ray and Landmark. www.LoveKidsTeeth.com Phone: 703-942-8404

Inspriring a Generation

Alysia Dempsey believes deeply in the importance of acknowledging every person and giving them a voice. Based on that ideal, she founded her company Inspires to promote empathy and compassion, to promote empathy and compassion for others through her global travels and within her local community. Fueled by several chance encounters beginning at the National Museum for African American History and Culture, Alysia’s work has now brought to light the important missions of the Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Greensboro, NC, for immigrants and refugees, and the Pardada Pardadi School for girls in rural Delhi, India. Alysia’s goal is to further develop Inspires to partner with local and global leaders to strengthen our communities and encourage everyone to have a voice.

On Her Next


Alysia plans to publish several series of books: Welcome, Explore, Believe and Dream. The Welcome series invites everyone to the table and acknowledges their unique story. The Explore series discovers and captures life around the world. The Believe series encourages young girls globally to believe in their dreams and use their voice to help themselves and others. The Dream series takes young readers on a magical journey to explore the world. The first book in the Explore series will feature New Delhi, India. The first book in the Believe series will feature girls from Pardada Pardadi School in rural India, coming summer 2019.

There is beauty in the uniqueness of our diversity. Let’s welcome everyone to the table and hear their story.” Quoted from her first selfpublished book “Welcome” in 2018, Alysia plans to publish her next two books “Explore” and “Believe” in 2019. She has lived throughout the U.S. and Europe and loves to travel and learn about other cultures with her family. Her husband Ray and their four daughters have been a true inspiration and source of encouragement.

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On Her

passion In 2018, Alysia went on an amazing journey of empathy with more than 400 people in our community. Flint Hill School, McLean Bible Church, Ford’s Theatre, Fairfax County Police, and many others came on the journey with her to experience our shared history and talk about issues of race in our country at the National African American Museum in Washington, DC. Alysia spoke the words of “Welcome” to every single person who joined her on the journey. She wanted everyone to know that they were all going on the journey of empathy together. “In our country and world today, our children are witnessing hate and divisiveness all around them. In the news, on social media, even in our communities. Future generations look to us for guidance, direction and hope.” As a mother of four daughters, Alysia and her husband Ray have instilled in each of them a desire to find their true purpose and make a difference in the world around them regardless of their race or gender. They have known from an early age that they are loved, and their parents believe in who they are now and who they are destined to be. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

On Her


Her life purpose is to use her voice to encourage others to find theirs. “Everyone has a unique story. Both young and old we all have experiences that shape who we are today and who we will become tomorrow. We all share qualities that can unite us and enable us to have empathy and compassion for each other.” Alysia wants to help everyone share their unique story and discover that we are more alike than different. “A diverse and inclusive school and work environment encourages everyone to learn from each other’s story. Seeds of empathy, peace, compassion, and love will grow even in times of adversity. When we are taught empathy, we can have empathy for others. When we are taught peace, we can seek to resolve conflict by way of peace. When we are taught


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Anupshar, India Featured in Explore India by Alysia Dempsey Benefit Pardada Pardadi Education Society

compassion, we can have compassion for all regardless of race or religion. When we are taught love, we can have love for all and make a difference in the world around us. When we are taught respect, we can have respect for ourselves and others. Let’s inspire each other to plant seeds of empathy, peace, compassion, love and respect. We will all enjoy the harvest.”

On Being an


As a self-published author, Alysia Dempsey is inspired by Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, and others who have paved the way for her to discover and share her voice. She had the privilege of meeting author Nikki Giovanni at a book signing of “A Good Cry” at Busboys and Poets in 2018. “The way Nikki used her voice and spoke her truth was truly inspiring.” Alysia gave her a copy of her book “Welcome” and Nikki asked her to sign it. It was the very first time Alysia had signed one of her own books. “Words can inspire and encourage someone to use their voice for the good of society and others. They can move us in a way that nothing else can.” She hopes to inspire readers of all ages and cultures with her words. “There are many ways to say welcome but none better than Alysia Dempsey’s book. Share and welcome,” said Nikki. (continued next page)


BY ALYSIA DEMPSEY “Through our stories we will gain an understanding of each other. All can share the bread of empathy, peace, compassion, love and respect. By coming together, we are saying I see you, I value you, I love you for the beautiful person you are and what you can bring to the table. Let’s welcome each other and soon others will join us because they see the joy and light in building community together. Everyone has a place here.”

On Partnering with the

Newcomer School

During her journey of empathy at National African American Museum, Alysia met Michael Amend of Doris Henderson Newcomers School. He said, “I know students who would truly benefit from this journey.” Michael started a youth soccer program for immigrant/refugee students at the Newcomer School. Students are nurtured and given one year at Newcomers to transition into the American school system. Alysia decided to visit the school in 2018 and made an authentic connection with both staff and students. The student photos depicted in her first Welcome book are from that visit. One can see the hope and promise of a bright future in each of their eyes. She had the privilege of traveling back to Newcomers School in 2019 and was able to read her Welcome book to the new immigrant and refugee families during parent conferences as it was interpreted in four languages. The happiness on their faces as she read Welcome, brought her so much joy. Alysia told them that there are many others in our nation who feel the same way she does and want to welcome each of them. She looks forward to welcoming Principal Abu Zaeem and the first group of Newcomers student leaders to the museum this June. Alysia wants to show them the struggles that African Americans have gone through and the courage they have shown throughout history to rise above their circumstances and create hope for future generations.


what’s next

Alysia will be traveling to Senegal, Africa in July 2019 to inspire young girls for her second Believe series book and capture the beauty of Senegal for her second Explore series

Doris Henderson Newcomers School • Greensboro, NC Michael Amend, soccer coach/philanthropist

book. She is currently partnering with Andy Shallal of Busboys and Poets to welcome people to join her and share their stories monthly at 450 K in Washington, DC. Previously, Alysia had the pleasure of meeting Deb Bogenhuber from Australia at Busboys and Poets, who founded a program called Food Next Door, which works to build communities by bringing refugees and locals together to share food they have planted. Deb has invited Alysia to join her in Australia to partner with her in building community with refugees. In addition, Alysia will continue to welcome everyone to share their stories at her local Starbucks in Oakton, Virginia, monthly. She had an opportunity to welcome guest to share their stories at Starbucks in London, England, in the spring as well. Alysia will continue to partner with schools from early head start classrooms to university classrooms to share her program of empathy. Recently, she partnered with Ms. Allison Ribeiro, Head-start teacher, at Lake Anne Elementary in Reston, Virginia. “Mrs. Dempsey’s message of hope, inspiration, and inclusion supports the mission of FCPS and it is a message we can share beyond our classroom.” She also shared her empathy program with American University graduate students as on online collaborative classroom. Alysia looks forward to expanding her empathy program internationally with the digital platform in addition to traveling worldwide. It is her hope that by sharing our stories we will begin to have empathy and compassion for one another.

Where to Find Alysia website: iinspires.com

_iinspires • Email: inspires.alysia@gmail.com


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Happy Birthday… The Women’s Center is 45 Years Old! August 16 is a special day for The Women’s Center as it marks its 45th year of serving the mental health and wellness needs of the community. Our founders, Joan Alden Parks and Peggy Lockhart Mummerling initially focused on helping women return to the workplace after years of being homemakers. Throughout the subsequent years, the Center has grown into an organization that provides critical mental health awareness, education, training, and treatment services to thousands in the community regardless of their ability to pay. It is an institution for the community, sustained by the community.

Join the cause for a healthier community by becoming a sustaining donor and bringing us Forward 45 years! Supporting economic sustainability for the Women’s Center allows us to continue to do our best work – community outreach, counseling, and support to promote wellbeing. Being a Circle of Care Sustaining Donor will help ensure The Women’s Center can continue to be a beacon of hope, resiliency, and healing to all members of the community as transitions and challenges cross their paths now and into the future. A gift of just $25 a month supplies six individual therapy sessions for someone suffering from depression or anxiety. And if you sign up by August 16, your name will be entered into a raffle for Washington National baseball tickets, donated by a generous donor for the Circle of Care campaign. To learn more, visit TheWomensCenter.org/45-forward-circle-offriends or call 703-281-4928.

FAST FACTS: Did you know?


In addition to our office in Vienna, we also have one in D.C. at 1025 Vermont Ave. NE, Suite 310.

The Center provided more than 15,000 reduced-fee service hours in 2018, yet also accepts many health insurance plans.

The original name of the organization, Northern Virginia Information and Counseling Center for Women, was changed to The Women’s Center in December 1986.

Fifteen percent of the Center’s clients are men.

The Center serves nearly 5,000 people every year through counseling services, domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy, clinician training, career and financial counseling, educational workshops and webinars, and more.

The Center is able to provide services due to the generosity of the community, and in celebration of its 45th birthday, we have initiated the Circle of Care monthly sustaining donor campaign.

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The Center serves all ages from as young as four years old to senior citizens in their 90s.

law&finance By Virginia L. Colin, Ph.D.

Do Retired Judges Really Mediate? Over the years, I have often asked individual lawyers whether they ever refer cases to mediation. They almost always say yes – they regularly refer cases to a group of retired judges. That answer means they do not know how real mediators work. The service the retired judges offer, which they call mediation, should be called a facilitated settlement conference. Sadly, many honorable family lawyers with good intentions simply do not know that what retired judges do fails to meet the criteria for ethical family mediation established by the American Bar Association, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, and the Association for Conflict Resolution. In a divorce case or other family case, real mediators ordinarily meet with both clients together. Having the

clients’ lawyers present is optional. Retired judges send the two clients to separate rooms, accompanied by their lawyers. This means that the two clients will be paying three professionals for each hour of “mediation” — two lawyers and one retired judge. Paying just one professional, a skilled mediator, makes more sense for most people. You can get advice from an attorney and not need to pay them to attend your mediated negotiations. 

Working with a retired  judge not only involves more professionals, it also requires more time because the judge is practicing shuttle diplomacy, talking with one client at a time, and carrying proposals back and forth. During mediation with a member of Colin Family Mediation Group, you might sometimes have “caucus” sessions for short, separate meetings with your mediator, but most of the time you would be together. That is a more efficient way to communicate. 

Child custody? Divorce? Elder care planning? Get personal, private, professional help resolving family conflicts peacefully and constructively. ColinFamilyMediationGroup.com mediatorQ@gmail.com ǀ 703-864-2101 Virginia L Colin, Ph.D. Director, Colin Family Mediation Group LLC,

where we help family members stop fighting, solve problems, and stay out of court

Co-Author, The Guide to Low-Cost Divorce in Virginia Flat Fee Divorce Mediation $2,000. Details on website.

Retired judges usually expect you to be prepared to present your case almost as if you were arguing in a courtroom for the outcome you prefer. In contrast, real mediators can get involved much earlier and help with your first thinking about the best way to move forward. Real mediators help clients listen well to each other, express their thoughts clearly, and consider new ideas that arise during the discussion. Sometimes creative new solutions unanticipated by either client arise. Retired judges often pressure clients to stay in session until the matter is settled — all morning, all afternoon, and sometimes all evening and into the night. Real mediators do not pressure their clients. If the clients are satisfied with their progress in a meeting and want to go home, think things over, and meet again after a few days or weeks, that is fine. 

A retired judge often listens to the evidence and arguments presented by each client and then tells you how he would rule on the case if you were in his courtroom. This creates pressure to accept that decision, even though a different judge might rule differently. Some clients give up and settle for what the judge proposes. When we mediate, most of our divorce clients succeed in creating agreements that are OK with both parties. Divorce clients can choose to work with a family mediator who will help them develop the best plan they can make for their children and their finances, or choose to work with a retired judge who will probably guide them to the settlement he would order. The choice is yours.

Virginia L. Colin, Ph.D, is a professional family mediator and the Director of Colin Family Mediation Group LLC. Formerly a research psychologist and an Internet talk radio show host, she has been providing family mediation services since 1999. She specializes in helping couples and ex-couples develop co-parenting plans and financial agreements that support their children’s healthy development and their own well-being. She has helped hundreds of couples negotiate the terms of their divorces. Having survived a nightmarish divorce, Dr. Colin actively supports divorce reform efforts, helping people take a lot of the pain, financial cost, acrimony, and trauma out of divorce. Dr. Colin has written two books: Human Attachment (1996), a comprehensive guide to attachment theory and research, and, with Rebecca Martin, The Guide to LowCost Divorce in Virginia (2014). She is a former President of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. For a free consultation with Dr. Colin, email mediatorQ@gmail.com.

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Britepaths is working with Fairfax County’s Collect for Kids partnership to help 2,500 local students in need go back to school this fall with needed supplies and dignity. Donate Through August 16: • Funds for Supplies • Backpacks • Graphing Calculators Donate to Britepaths’ Back to School Program

Learn more at: britepaths.org

visit britepaths.org


703.848.2000 We are Open Sundays www.colourbarstudio.com

8100 Boone Blvd., Suite 115 | Tysons, VA 22182

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health&wellness By Connie Ruiz

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19th Annual Heroines of Washington Awards Gala Presented by Perspecta benefitting March of Dimes WHEN

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 WHERE

The Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner Heroines of Washington recognizes successful women in the Washington, D.C. area for their significant contributions to the community. © 2019 March of Dimes

Do you know a woman who is doing great work for the community? Nominate her to be a Heroine of Washington online at APP.REVIEWR.COM/S1/SITE/HEROINESOFWASHINGTON2019 For sponsorship, corporate tables and ticket information, visit: MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/HEROINES

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Photo by EMILY KORFF, Veralana.com

BEE THE FUTURE Philanthropy on film: A big win when words spell the future

A Conversation with Producers Monika Samtani and Sarva Rajendra By ODA SOLMS


ee The Future showcases a spelling bee for disadvantaged children from Bangalore, India’s poorest schools. The audience holds their breath as they witness the longest and most intense competition in the spelling bee’s history, which will change the life of the winner forever.

schools taught primarily in Kannada, the state language. In Bangalore, a city often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of India,” fluency in English can be the determining factor in getting a wellpaying job. And although English is a part of the curriculum, poor students often don’t get enough opportunity to develop fluency.

Sahasra Deepika, meaning ‘a thousand lights,’ is a foundation established more than 20 years ago by Northern Virginia residents Dr. T.V. Ramakrishna and his wife, Vijaya Ramakrishna. Today, the organization houses and educates 75 underprivileged girls on their campus in Bangalore and reaches more than 2,500 children in the community annually through their outreach program.

For the past 10 years as part of the foundation’s community outreach program, Sahasra Deepika has held an English tutoring program culminating in a spelling bee. Dr. Ramakrishna, Sahasra Deepika’s founder, modeled the program on the Scripps National Spelling Bee, using words from the students’ textbooks. Volunteers work with ninth grade students for several months and the top four students from local schools are eligible to compete. The winner of the spelling bee is granted a full college scholarship and a chance for a bright future.

The outreach program focuses its efforts on developing English language skills in children who attend underserved government

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of her parents, who founded it (after they retired), and the girls who have benefited from it. I JUMPED at the opportunity. Once I visited the foundation in India, I knew I had to bring this story home. As a storyteller, it’s been the chance of a lifetime to tell the world about this amazing family from Virginia and the impact the foundation has had on the children of Bangalore for two decades. I’ve seen firsthand the transformation of the girls at Sahasra Deepika, and its truly changing lives for the better and forever. If I hadn’t taken the leap of faith and left my job in broadcast television to start my own company, this never would have happened for me. So as the saying goes, “Dream Big.” SARVA, we understand your parents started the foundation two decades ago, what was their original motivation, and have they achieved what they set out to accomplish? S: My parents have always strived to make a difference. To them, serving those in need is the highest duty we have. They understood from a young age the role of education in transforming lives. Especially my father, whose widowed mother could barely make ends meet. None of his siblings went beyond high school, but he longed to accomplish his dreams. Poverty was a huge obstacle because it not only creates financial pressure, it can rob one’s self-confidence. One day a teacher recognized my father’s potential in front of the whole class. This made a huge impact on him, lighting a fire that led him to win scholarships, and eventually build a life with my mother in the U.S. But they never forgot those they left behind. They wanted others to feel the transformative power of education and change as many lives as possible. That original motivation is as strong as ever.

Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education is proud to announce that “Bee the Future,” a documentary short film about its outreach program, is the winner of a Silver Remi Award at the 52nd Annual WorldFest Independent International Film Festival in Houston, Texas.

Today, Sarva Rajendra, the daughter of Dr. Ramakrishna and Vijaya, heads Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based here in Virginia. Dedicated to Sahasra Deepika’s mission of empowering and enlightening lives through education, Sarva teamed up with Monika Samtani, president and founder of Ms. Media (msmedia.tv), an international Media Management firm in Washington, D.C., to tell the story of the Sahasra Deepika Spelling Bee. Well-known in the Indian American community as a trailblazer for her achievements in the media industry, Monika was one of the first professional South Asian broadcast journalists in Washington, D.C. Together Sarva and Monika share the impactful work that the Sahasra Deepika Foundation is doing in India through their award-winning, short film, “Bee the Future.”

Q&A WITH SARVA AND MONIKA MONIKA, how did you and Sarva initially connect and what was it about this that made you decide to bring this story home? M: Sarva and I initially connected when I started my firm Ms. Media back in 2014. She was my first client! Sarva reached out and asked if my company would be interested in telling the story of Sahasra Deepika,


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When Sahasra Deepika started, my parents couldn’t have imagined how it would grow and transform over the next two decades. Even if they had changed just one or two children’s lives, that would have been a huge success. My parents have touched so many lives, not only through the residential program at Sahasra Deepika, but through the outreach program, women’s empowerment programs, and the strength of their leadership. I believe that they’ve achieved and surpassed their own expectations, but they’d disagree and say that there is so much more to do! They’ve accomplished so much, providing children with the opportunity to rise higher than their parents and break the cycle of poverty. They epitomize the power of selfless service. SARVA, tell us about the most important lesson that you have learned from your parents? S: I’ve learned so many lessons from my parents. They’ve demonstrated that when you are armed with purpose and conviction, you can change the world. So many people wait until the “right” moment, but the best time to begin is now. The greatest lesson I’ve learned from them can be summed up in Nelson Henderson’s quote: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Living with a servant heart and helping others to rise in the world rewards us immeasurably. The education and nurturing that the children of Sahasra Deepika receive will echo through the generations to come, changing the world forever. SARVA, what is the message that you and your parents hope to spread through the work of Sahasra Deepika? S: Sahasra Deepika means a thousand lights of hope. If each of us can join hands and help a child in need, wherever they are, then the lives of their families and communities will change. There is so much talent and genius that exists in the most overlooked places. Children in poverty, without hope and opportunity, are what my parents call diamonds in the dust. Through education and encouragement, support and care, the path forward is illuminated, creating a ripple effect that will echo through the following generations.

MONIKA, you’ve spoken about involving local students in the efforts of Sahasra Deepika. How do you aim to do this? M: The girls at Sahasra Deepika come from difficult situations. My goal is to create a connection with kids in the United States to Sahasra Deepika by inspiring them to think about humanity as a whole, to pay it forward, and rid of an ‘us vs. them’ mentality. We are creating awareness about the opportunity that is fostered everyday at this extraordinary foundation, and show what can happen when children are given an education, love, encouragement, life skills, and are taught that they DO matter. We now have kids here thinking creatively at a young age about unique activities to engage and fundraise for Sahasra Deepika. They are the next generation of thought leaders, designing ways to become true change makers. The result is a wonderful satisfaction that they are connecting with children on the other side of the world – giving them hope for a better future. MONIKA, speaking about the film, was it pure coincidence that you chose the girl who ended up winning the spelling bee, to film and interview as she prepared for the contest, or did you see something exceptional in her? M: It actually ended up being pure, total coincidence that the girl we chose to interview ended up winning the bee. We had to take a chance and reach out to the families of the girls and the boys that were competing and hope that when our film crew arrived at their homes, many of which were more like shacks, that they would be there at the designated time. Priyanka and her family happened to be there... and we filmed them the day before the final spelling bee. When she ended up winning the very next day, we were all completely floored. It was an amazing moment, and a perfect coincidence. And then the crew followed her back to her home to tell her parents because they didn’t have any other means of communication. We filmed the reaction of her parents when she told them she’d won, that she now had the chance to go to college. It was so, so powerful and so emotional. Just a truly moving experience and incredible to witness. To top it all, the following year Priyanka ended up being invited by SCRIPPS National Spelling Bee to attend the weeklong festivities leading up to the final competition at MGM National Harbor in Washington, D.C. She was highlighted on local and national television here. MONIKA, we heard that you will be going back to Bangalore this summer. What’s the mission of your upcoming trip? M: I’m really excited to be accompanying a group of students from the Washington, D.C. area who’ve been working for the last couple of years on raising funds for the Sahasra Deepika campus. They wanted to create

programs that would improve the lives and learning environment for the girls there, and one of the things they came up with was a sports court. That’ll be completed this summer, and we’ll be going back for the ribbon cutting ceremony. A few of the kids will be teaching basketball and leadership skills to the girls, plus incorporating the overall importance of physical fitness. Another idea is a music program, and we have a student volunteer who will be teaching the girls a song, which they will perform at the ribbon cutting for the court. And the third idea is vocational training so some of the parents that are going can get involved. All of these are sustainable programs that can continue for years down the road. The students here in the U.S. plan to bring new volunteers back to Sahasra Deepika later and continue with the fundraising efforts. I’m very excited and blessed to be a part of such an important and impactful foundation, changing the world, one girl at a time. SARVA, how can local families get involved and support the work of the Sahasra Deepika Foundation? S: We want to spread Sahasra Deepika’s message far and wide. Please check our website, sdie.org, watch the films, and learn about the obstacles gender inequality and poverty create in the lives of girls. We also have a selective Youth Ambassadors program for high school students that’s worth looking into if you’re a motivated young leader who’d like to get involved in our mission.

Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education (SD) is a Virginiabased nonprofit dedicated to the education and residential care of impoverished girls in Bangalore, India. “Bee The Future” highlights the foundation’s 2016 Spelling Bee which is part of their outreach program for disadvantaged children from Bangalore’s poorest schools. The students not only improve their knowledge of English, they are given the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship by representing their school in the contest. The film provides insight into these children’s lives through interviews with the students and their parents and visits to their homes.

The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

— Nelson Henderson

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The key to getting the best look for your fine hair is getting the right haircut performed by a skilled stylist. Having the right shape for your hair type and texture, while also complementing your facial features, is essential. If you don’t have the right shape for your hair, there is nothing short of a miracle and a pound of lacquer that will keep it in place. Another way to give fine hair a fuller look is through heavy highlights to give the illusion of volume. Since fine hair can be completely straight to very curly, choose a stylist who is aware of these differences as well as how to give you fuller looking hair through the cut. Once you have the right cut, get the best look every day with these fine hair care tips.

washing You want to wash your hair as soon as it gets oily. However, just because it is less tolerant of skipping washes than thicker hair, that doesn’t mean you need to wash it every day. It will depend on what types of products you use and how you treat your hair. In fact, before you wash your hair, gently massage your scalp, which will increase blood flow and help to begin the exfoliation of your pores that may hold excess oil. Lofty Boutique Salon & Spa 354 Maple Ave W Vienna, VA 22180 www.loftysalon.com (703) 242.0609

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hair products With fine hair, you want to limit products but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid them. Try strategic use of hairspray to hold hair in place. You can also use a volumizing dry shampoo or a sea salt spray instead of hairspray. Try applying these products to the ends of your hair while avoiding the roots to avoid weighing down your do.


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Baltimore’s Ivy Hotel By ODA SOLMS


n today’s currency of credit card points, customer reward programs and discount memberships, one can feel the days of genuine customer service slipping away. Today we get service at whatever status some corporate rewards program deems us eligible, and at every turn we are reminded what you can or cannot have based on that status.

Step back in time to a place where hospitality and generosity remain core values. The Ivy Hotel, located in the heart of the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore, offers an escape to a period when the highest level of customer service was extended to every guest, where the royal treatment still exists. Jul y /A ugus t 2019 | FA IR FA X WOMA N .C OM


Tired of the typical, The Ivy sets itself apart by including full access to the mansion bar, breakfast at Magdalena, afternoon high tea served in the library, a fully-stocked mini bar in each room and access to the hotel’s private car service, among other perks of your inclusive stay. The Ivy is the only Relais & Chateaux property in Maryland. This world-wide distinction ensures that guests of Relais & Chateaux properties will experience the highest caliber of gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels.

From the moment you arrive the staff makes certain you feel welcomed. It is truly in the smallest details, like greeting you by name, offering you complimentary refreshments as you check in and asking how you prefer your coffee in the morning. The service is beyond what you would expect, even from an establishment that cares deeply about creating long lasting relationships with its customers.

designer Joszi Meskan. Several million dollars, three years abroad, and nine tractor trailers later, The Ivy had nearly all it could possibly pack in.

This late-nineteenth century mansion turned boutique hotel on the corner of Biddle and Calvert Streets opened its doors in 2015 after a six-year restoration. Earning its name from the once wild and unruly English ivy climbing up the red brick facade, The Ivy features a threestory tower, slate-covered roof, high windows and many of the historic interior details of the original home.

Yet, the property would not be what it is today without Baltimore locals. Baltimore-based philanthropists, Eddie and Sylvia Brown purchased the property from the City of Baltimore in 2010 and quickly partnered with Ziger/Snead Architects and Martin Azola, a Baltimore expert in restoring historic buildings. The Ivy’s custom furnishings (including their “barmoires” or mini bars that resemble armoires), along with the 1920s-inspired mural that wraps around the walls of the living room, was fabricated and installed by Baltimore’s artist and craftsman, David Wiesand and his team of local artists.

Perfectly curated spaces create atmospheres for conversation, entertaining and the lost art of relaxation. Much of what you see in the hotel today was hand-picked by San Francisco-based interior

There is an intention in the common areas to entice you to stay and enjoy the various nooks and crannies. Perhaps you fancy a game of billiards? A wooden jigsaw puzzle? Choose a seat for afternoon high tea


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Each of The Ivy’s 10 rooms and eight suites are completely unique, fitted with antique furnishings, age-old paintings, and books from around the world – literally. San Francisco-based Interior designer, Joszi Meskan, spent over a year galivanting around Europe hand-picking pieces that satisfied her voracious appetite for decor. Adding to the inventiveness and sophistication is the handy work of local craftsmen and artisans.

service in the library or living room, sip some bubbly or a hand-crafted cocktail from the self-service mansion bar. With each spot you settle into you find something interesting to gaze upon: the view out the window, shelves upon shelves of books, a commissioned portrait of the mansion’s original owner.   The color palette runs the gamut from soft, muted beige, deep blue, to vibrant salmon and fresh minty green. With a slight touch of Mediterranean-style, guests can momentarily be transported from the Gilded Age mansion in Baltimore to a friend’s home in Casablanca – radiant textiles, intricately handcrafted furnishings, exposed beams, decadently patterned and layered rugs, parquet flooring and gold-leaf detailing. The whole experience feels like a film noir movie set you can finally see in color. As you explore the first floor of the hotel you may not realize that just below you is the home of Magdalena, where the award-winning

Executive Chef Mark Levy and his team are waiting to provide you with a fine dining experience. With bistro-style indoor seating, a vaulted wine cellar and welcoming tables in the courtyard garden, the restaurant exudes the same level of service and elegance as the hotel above. Featuring locally sourced fresh ingredients whenever possible, Chef Levy will delight your senses – the perfect complement to your stay at the hotel. The Mount Vernon neighborhood is situated in the heart of Baltimore and provides easy access to some of the city’s finest attractions. It’s hard to leave the comforts of The Ivy, but if you find yourself wanting to discover Charm City many of the hotel staff are Baltimore natives and will happily provide transportation and recommendations on where to visit. The Ivy Hotel offers specials throughout the year. Learn more about this incredible hotel at TheIvyBaltimore.com. Jul y /A ugus t 2019 | FA IR FA X WOMA N .C OM


Summer in BALTIMORE With the world-famous Inner Harbor, renowned museums and attractions, award-winning restaurants, a locally loved music scene, and hip and historic neighborhoods, get ready to explore a truly authentic American city






in the


JU LY 27 TH at the Baltimore Museum of Art features Mantana Roberts on July 13 and Wendel Patrick Quartet July 27. Listen to rhymes of the soul in the perfect setting for an Instagramworthy summer night. Call 443-573-1701 to book. Artbma.org



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Artscape is the nation’s largest free outdoor arts festival. Gathering in tents, exhibition spaces and various performing arts venues throughout the city, attendees enjoy a vast array of visual arts as well as live performances, ranging from Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts to dance, opera and theater shows. Artscape.org




TH ROUGHOUT TH E SU M M ER offering free, family-friendly concerts throughout the summer, and Baltimore’s listener-supported radio station WTMD’s First Thursdays Festival, which features free concerts showcasing local and national indie acts the first Thursday of each month at the Canton Waterfront Park. PattersonPark.com/Concert-Series





The first female and black owner of an oyster bar in Maryland, opened her first brick-and-mortar on McHenry Row. The fast-casual restaurant and bar features a full-service raw bar and serves Norton’s signature chargrilled oysters; seasonal seafood dishes like Maryland crab cakes on homemade potato bread; and brunch items such as a shrimp BLT on a waffle bun, an oyster benedict and a lobster roll croissant. TheUrbanOyster.com

TH U RSDAYS JU LY 1 2-AUGUST 3 0 The American Visionary Art Museum presents a free Flicks from the Hill Series in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood, every Thursday at 9 p.m. from July 12 - August 30 (the museum also offers free admission from 5 – 9 p.m. on Flicks nights). Avam.org





adds a waterfront extension, “Ouzo Beach,” this summer, bringing a Grecian aesthetic to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with palm trees, blue stone and a 75-foot-long wooden trellis. The 120-seat bar and lounge includes light fixtures handmade in Greece, a DJ booth inside the restaurant, and more. OuzoBay.com

Beer garden and natural wine/ sake bar Fadensonnen offers an outdoor beer garden to warmweather imbibers in the Old Goucher neighborhood. Led by Lane Harlan, the woman behind Remington hotspots WC Harlan and Clavel Mezcaleria, Fadensonnen is part of Socle - a complex that also features a café, coffee bar and artist residency. Fadensonnen.com

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Photo by P.J. Barbour

Alexandria Symphony Re-introduces FORGOTTEN Voices to the Concert Hall


Coming off the heels of its 75th anniversary season, Maestro James Ross continues to push the envelope for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. Diving into his second full season as Music Director, Ross endeavors to feature forgotten voices—many of them women—as a common thread throughout the 2019-2020 programming. “I am committed to welcoming a diversity of musical voices to our stage while aspiring to draw a deeper connection to our community,” says Ross. “Alongside classical favorites, you’ll hear music of women composers on virtually every program this season.” Launching the season on October 5 and 6, 2019, Ross has constructed an “Imaginary Symphony,” drawing movements from works of four composers. This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and the symphony depicts visions of beauty juxtaposed with


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the realities of war. The first movement sets the scene, borrowed from William Walton’s Symphony No. 1 (mvt. 1) and composed prior to WWII. Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony (mvt. 2), paints pastoral and scenic landscapes; Beach’s symphony was the first composed and published by an American woman. An excerpt from suffragist Ethel Smyth’s opera The Wreckers furthers Beach’s narrative with “On the Cliffs of Cornwall.” Composed in 1946, Arthur Honegger’s Third Symphony (mvt. 3) presents a war march that evaporates into a call for peace. Also on the program is Beethoven’s dramatic Triple Concerto. Opening the performances on November 16 and 17, 2019, singers from the Alexandria Choral Society and Fairfax Choral Society will join the symphony for Lili Boulanger’s Old Buddhist Prayer. (Although she died at 24, Boulanger composed many acclaimed works in her short life, and she was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome for composition in 1913.) Following the prayer, cellist Wolfgang Schmidt will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and the program will conclude with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8. The ASO’s holiday concert on December 14 and 15, 2019, presents the Nutcracker in two formats: in excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ballet and Duke Ellington’s rendition. The Ellington version will be accompanied by visual images telling the story of an African-American girl in Harlem. Winner of the 43rd Mary Graham Lasley Scholarshop Morgan Short will perform Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, arranged for harp. Geared toward families and children, the program will be presented one hour earlier and with no intermission. ASO’s performances on February 15 and 16, 2020, call forth Latin warmth featuring classical guitarist Berta Rojas with CastelnuovoTedesco’s Concerto No. 1. Florence Price’s Andante Moderato from String Quartet in G Major will be expanded into an orchestral work, arranged by Maestro Ross; Price’s works have recently been rediscovered, as she was the first African-American woman to have a major symphony premiere her composition in 1933. The concert also features Schubert’s Fifth Symphony. A salute to the power of story-telling, the season finale on May 16 and 17, 2020, celebrates diverse voices through music. An original work by Baltimore Symphony’s percussionist Brian Precht unites the Alexandria Symphony with members of Sympatico, the ASO’s awardwinning education program. Three Latin-American Dances by renowned living composer Gabriela Lena Frank demonstrates both the mixed and distinctive cultures of our Latin neighbors. The concert culminates with Rimsky Korsakov’s death-defying saga of Scheherazade. The Alexandria Symphony is a fully-professional orchestra drawing from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region’s wealth of musical talent. The ASO performs Saturday evenings at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and Sunday matinees at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2019-2020 are now on sale. For tickets and more information, visit www.alexsym.org or call (703) 548-0885.


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Your one Stop Source for expert In-plant & In-Home cleanIng ServIceS. IN-PLANT SERVICES Oriental Rug Cleaning

Rug Repair & Restoration

Rug Storage & Appraisals


Rug Padding Sales

Wall to Wall Steam Cleaning


Upholstery Cleaning

Tile & Grout Cleaning

Free Pickup & Delivery!

Since 1955

Wood Floor Cleaning

Air Duct Cleaning

Free Pickup & Delivery Includes: Furniture Moving and Rolling & Laying the Rugs!**

Oriental Rug Cleaning & In-Home Services HADEED

Our Convenient Dropoff Locations

535 W. Maple Ave Vienna VA

Call today for a free estimate!

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Hanna Ayoub

4918 Wisconsin Ave DC /MD



3206 Duke St. Alexandria VA


6628 Electronic Dr. Springfield VA



**Available in MD, DC, & VA. Min. order required, some restrictions apply. Doesn’t include breakables. Call for details. †Some addit’l fees may apply.

Dryer Vent Cleaning


3116 W. Moore St. Richmond VA

Local Postal Customer


330 North Stonestreet Ave.-A Rockville, MD


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Alexandria Woman Magazine - July/August 2019  

Alexandria Woman Magazine - July/August 2019