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belle Party PoP Looking lush for the holidays

the CheCkout Girl’s Early Santa Encounter Festive GiFts Jewelry, decor, fashion and more

DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011

holiday ProjeCts to make with kids Four Winter outinGs Women you should knoW Sara Adduci, and Rita Ricks

You’re not seeing double

We’ve opened our second Mango at short Pump

Now providing the latest trends in hair color and cuts at our original location and our new location in the far west end. Expect organic opulence at these peaceful retreats.

libbie and grove | 123 libbie avenue Mango short PuMP | 11118 West broad street | 804.285.2800




collier Waran

EdiTor iN CHiEf:

Jason roop EdiTor: Deveron ArT dirECTor:


Jeffrey bland Scott elmquist Lauren Healy

PHoTogrAPHY EdiTor: fASHioN EdiTor:


Karen Guard, Valley Haggard, Katherine Houstoun, Hilary Langford, Jennifer Lemons, Karen newton CoPY EdiTor: G.W.


dEPUTY MANAgiNg EdiTor: ed



Dana elmquist MArkETiNg, SPoNSorSHiPS & EvENTS: Tonie



alice Gordon


Belle’s 2010 Perfect Presents for holiday giving, from jewels and accessories to home décor and stocking stuffers. also, a chat with motivational speaker rita ricks. by Katherine Houstoun

BodY & SoUL

ing projects to make with little elves. by Karen Guard 15



rob copeland, Shanon cornelius

dream itinerary. 26

ALMoST ALTErNATivES: When holiday

traditions coalesce instead of collide. by Valley Haggard 27


cheese mongering and bridal portraiture. by Karen Newton 17


fEATUrE: Velvet becomes the party girl.


by Lauren Healy, Jeff Bland, Scott Elmquist and the Belle fashion team. 18



Jennifer Waldbauer AdvErTiSiNg grAPHiC ArTiSTS:

Kira Jenkins, chris mason AdMiNiSTrATioN/BUSiNESS MANAgEr:

chris Kwiatkowski



Sarah Soble coyne

listen to and experience in December and January. by Valley Haggard, Hilary Langford and Deveron Timberlake 30


Janelle amrhein


LUSH LifE: Karen newton’s midwinter nights’

AgENdA: What to read,

ProfiLE: Sara adduci splits her talents between




Mod Mo MoM: merry decorat-



Toni mccracken, Taylor Falls, Hannah Huber





martha anderson, John massey


food: cookbooks that add

flavor to comfort and joy. by Deveron Timberlake 33

firST PErSoN


Do you hear what I hear? by Jennifer Lemons, aka the Checkout Girl 34

oN THE CovEr: See details on page 23.

photo by Scott Elmquist.

Belle is published monthly and is free. One copy per person. Belle may be distributed by authorized distributors only. Style Weekly subscriptions are available for $49 (third class mail) and $99 (first class mail). Style Weekly, 1313 e. main St., Suite 103, richmond, Va. 23219, (804) 358-0825; General fax (804) 3581079; news fax (804) 355-9089; classified phone (804) 358-2100; classified fax (804) 358-2163. e-mail: copyright © by Style Weekly Inc. Tm 2010 all rights reserved.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 3 |

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Gifts 2010

photo by scott elmquist

we all have friends whose holiday gifts have been wrapped, labeled and alphabetized since september. For the rest of us, it’s time to get cracking. before you join the gaggle of pavement pounders seeking the perfect present, we offer you our picks from local shops and boutiques. Add simple Scandinavian elegance to your holiday décor with Finnish-made laser-cut birch trees. The sculptural pieces work atop a mantel, in a centerpiece or as a gift to a lucky someone. The pieces fold flat for storage. Available in three different sizes, $109 to $750, at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Shop.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 5 |


Gifts 2010

jewelry clockwise from above:

Shashi’s glam-rock bracelets are an easy upgrade to any outfit, perfect for the girl who enjoys a late-night spin on the dance floor. $65 to $80 at Monkees of Richmond. August Nine Designs’ long, delicate earrings, handcrafted by local designer Austin Titus, are perfect for the feminine friend on your list. $130 at Compass Jewelry. You can’t go wrong with this locally made wraparound necklace, fashioned with silver beads and smoky pearls. $85 at Sheppard Street Antiques. If you’re looking for “wow” factor, try out local artist Chelsea Nicolas’ fabulous embroidered necklace, featuring a hefty chunk of turquoise, freshwater pearls and vintage glass components. $600 at Your favorite sophisticate will delight in Lucite jewelry from Alexis Bittar, recently crowned the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Accessory Designer of the Year. Bracelets ($136-$216) at Levys.

| 6 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


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DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011 | 7 |


Gifts 2010

home clockwise from top right:

Dinnertime gets a little more colorful with the addition of French-made Claude Dozorme steak knives, made from highgrade stainless steel and housed in a wooden gift case. $176 at Janet Brown Interiors. The coffee connoisseur will find much to love in Alessi’s Italian-made hand-crank coffee bean grinder. $179 at Compass Jewelry. Richmond artist Leigh Gordon pressed a pumpkin leaf into this ceramic bowl before adding colorful glazes and stained glass embellishments. Perfect for the artsy type. $150 at Living: Artisans for your Home. Together, these Harvey & Strait cloth napkins, accented with gold star-shaped napkin rings, set a beautiful holiday table. Separately, they’ll work year round. $43 for each set of six napkins at Paper Plus. $12 for set of four napkin rings at WNDY Hill Gallery. Functional and fanciful, carved wooden openers prove a stylish gift, particularly when paired with a six-pack of the recipient’s preferred brew. Available in six different designs. $21 to $28 at Ruth & Ollie.

| 8 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


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Three Sheets to the Wind

| 10 | DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011



Gifts 2010

fashion clockwise lockwise from top left:

Nixon’s clean and simple Time Teller watch, available in eight punchy colors, is the chicest way to stay on time. $60 at West Coast Kix. Santi’s colorful clutch, hand beaded by artisans in India, will carry her from day to night season after season. $196 at Levys. Free People’s knit hat with fur embellishments presents an easy way to embrace the winter fur trend without a mammoth investment. $48 at Bliss at 5812. VCU graduate Arlie Trowbridge hand-shreds her deliciously soft infinity scarves, fashioning unique creations that are perfect for piling on during the winter. $38-$68 at Italian designer Carrera resurrected its line of 1950s vintage sunglasses last year, introducing another generation to its retro-chic racing shades, great for him and her. $120 at Pink. Simple on the surface, these gloves have electromagnetic fabric fingertips that allow you to use your iPhone without exposing your hands to the elements. In other words, kind of brilliant. $38 at Monkees of Richmond.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 11 |


Gifts 2010

stocking stuffers clockwise from above:

Morning coffee gets a holiday kick with candy-cane stripes and swirling snowflakes. The single-walled porcelain mugs come with matching silicone lids and protective sleeves. $9.99 at World of Mirth. Local crafter Suzanne Vinson of Silver Tree Art hand-stitches her colorful felt circle pins and ornaments, which make unique present toppers too. $12 to $16 at EcoLogic or Do wine charms get any more charming? Durable rubber birds attach to the base of wine glasses with powerful suction cups, making it easy for guests to distinguish their own glass. Perfect for both the wino and the perpetual hostess. $4.95 at Mongrel. Quotes from Art 180 come to life in notecards featuring charming illustrations by local artist Chris Milk Hulburt. Set of 10 notecards, $20, at and the annual Holiday Bizarre Market at Chop Suey Tuey.

| 12 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011



s t y l e & s u b sta n c e

Fresh Focus How a life coach gets motivated for the New Year.

Rita Ricks doesn’t have all the answers, but she will give you the tools to find them for yourself. After a successful run as the owner of a professional and personal development company, Ricks transitioned into a career as a full-time life coach five years ago, dedicating herself to helping clients get “unstuck” and move forward, purposefully and intentionally. Since we’ve all felt stuck at one time or another, we thought we’d pick her brain for a few tips.

I’m sure you see people with a wide variety of problems. Do you approach them the same? The tools are the same. The focus is not on a particular issue or situation; the focus is how to manage the situation. It’s about remaining calm, indentifying the challenge, facing it head-on and figuring out the resources I need to manage the situation.

scott elmquist

Do you have a mantra? “What I do today forms my tomorrow.” I think that we should be focused, intentional and purposeful at all times so that we’re not wasting time; we’re using our time for our purpose.

On your website you say your clients include “underserved single moms and grandmoms who are ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired.’” Tell me about that aspect of your business. That is my ministry. I think underserved moms have been through a lot. In many instances, they’ve never had a break. If I can help them remove some of the chaos in their head, there’s a better rhythm in the house because the mom sets the stage for how the kids respond to the day. I think my coaching the moms while the teachers and counselors are working with the children is a good fit. They both need to be worked on, so both mom and kids come home bringing new tools and behaviors. December can be both invigorating and depleting. Do you have a good trick for maintaining balance? I love December. It’s a time to celebrate all the wonderful things that happened during the year. I don’t think we celebrate enough; we focus on the negative. So I’ve gotten into the habit of recording at night five things I’m grateful for, and at the end of the year you can go back and see all those wonderful things. I think we should reflect on the whole year so that we don’t take any negative behaviors into the new year, but also celebrate the good. Do you have a favorite gift to give? Books. I like “The Alchemist.” I like “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. It’s a thin little book that talks about how to reframe your thinking. It’s the easiest reading in the world, but it’s hugely powerful. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t, but I do make quarterly goals — anywhere from three to five goals — and start with the first quarter. Then I put dates on them, signifying when I’m going to start and when I’m going to complete them. After the holidays, we’ll be staring down another long winter. Do you have an antidote to the winter blues? I’m a sun person. January, February and March used to zap me. In the winter, I light candles. I also have fountains throughout the house; I like to listen to the sound. It reminds me of the ocean. I also meditate. It seems especially nice in the winter when it’s cold and dark outside. I’ll go the movies. In the summer I love exercising outside, but during the winter I’ll do exercise TV at home. And I love it. It’s up to me to take care of me. I’m not going to be a victim. See Ricks at the Women Who Mean Business summit at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Jan. 28. View information on her services at

find it HErE: Belle gift resources Art 180 0 East 4th St. 233-4180

Bliss at 5812 5812 Grove Ave. 440-9025 Chop Suey Books 2913 W. Cary St. 422-8066

Compass Jewelry 3530 W. Cary St. 342-1211 EcoLogic 1606 W. Main St. 254-7336

Levys 5807 Grove Ave. 673-0177 Living: Artisans for your Home 5714 Grove Ave. 285-5600

Monkees of Richmond 11709 W. Broad St. 360-4660

Mongrel 2924 W. Cary St. 342-1272

Sheppard Street Antiques 103 S. Sheppard St. 355-7454

Silver Tree Art

Stitch and Knot stitchandknot.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 200 N. Boulevard 340-1400


Paper Plus 5804 Grove Ave. 288-2662

West Coast Kix 3016 W. Cary St. 355-5808

Eurotrash 3009 W. Cary St. 622-3876

Pink 3158 W. Cary St. 358-0884

WNDY Hill Gallery 2418 E. Franklin St. 477-3931

Janet Brown Interiors 3140B W. Cary St. 358-9548

Ruth & Ollie 3445 W. Cary St. 288-3360

Urban Revisions


World of Mirth 3005 W. Cary St. 353-8991

DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 13 |




Create Memories Your Family Will Treasure!






By Burgess Clark Based on the Book By Margery Williams

AVISH APOTHECARY and the unexpected cosmetics, fragrance, skincare 5807 Patterson Avenue | Richmond, VA 23226 | 804-716-0187 plenty of parking behind The Shops at 5807

Join us for post-show receptions.

Meet the cast & Snow Bear!

LIVE ON STAGE NOW - JANUARY 9 at Willow Lawn | 804.282.2620

May your face be &

merry bright

Renew someone’s spirit this holiday season with a Renew Dermatology Gift Card. Available for the holidays and all year long.

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| 14 | DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011

1 6 0 3 S a n t a R o s a R o a d I S u i t e 2 0 3 I R i c h m o n d , VA 2 3 2 2 9 P 8 0 4 · 4 4 0 · D E R M ( 3 3 7 6 )


mod mom

Merry and [Unbreakably] Bright Do your neighbors get 2. competitive with their holiday decorations? This unique wreath will have everyone checking out your house. Forget about holly the coolest wreath on the block.

make holiday trimmings with your little angels. BY



aby proofing was a bit painful for me: Take everything pretty and nice and put it away somewhere you can’t appreciate it anymore. But don’t worry; in eight to 10 years, you can pull it all out again. So what do you do when it comes time to decorate for the holidays? I still use the breakable ornaments — I just put them at the top of the tree. I know — I’m living on the edge, right? Another way to make sure your decorations don’t get destroyed is to get the kids involved in making them. Not only will you have a fun time and probably make some memories, but also your kids will appreciate the things they make (and, let’s hope, not break them!).

branches and go get some funky colored felt. Felt is one of my favorite fabrics because it requires no sewing. I cut out scallop-edged strips and glue them around a straw wreath but the possibilities are really endless. You could cut out leaf shapes or circles — get creative. Then add some cute garnishes and a ribbon to hang it. I made flowers out of ribbon, but you could add felt flowers or a feather bird. Your kids will love helping to pick out the colors and the older ones can even help cut out and glue the shapes on the wreath.

Make your own garland. 3. I’m not talking about those construction-paper loops everyone made in elementary school. This is a more modern take that can be even toddlers can help with this.

used for any holiday, even birthdays, but it would be perfect for New Year’s. Find some pretty paper you want to use — old magazine pages or coordinated scrap-booking sheets. Cut out lots of circles using a craft punch or plain old scissors, all the same size or different sizes. Younger kids will love helping pick out which paper and colors to use and bigger kids can help you cut out the shapes. The next step will have to be done by mom. Take all your circles to the sewing machine and feed the paper circles under the needle one at a time — the machine will automatically connect the circles. You can sew your shapes as close or as far apart as you like. Remember to leave a length of thread at either end for hanging. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can punch holes in your circles and connect them using jump rings.

Start this project with a field trip. 1. Go to the park and gather some pine cones and acorns. You can always buy pine cones at a craft store, too. Make a glue wash Glitter is always Good.

photos by scott elmquist

by mixing some white craft glue and water. Brush it on your pine cones or acorns and sprinkle with your favorite color glitter. Martha Stewart has a pretty line of glitters that comes in all sizes and colors. An alternative is to make gilded pine cones and acorns by painting them with metallic paint. You can use these sparkly objects as table decorations, maybe stacking them in a glass jar. Or you can use a hot-glue gun to attach a pretty ribbon loop at the top. Then you can hang them anywhere or even use them to decorate wrapped presents.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 15 |

Lovely In Lace

boutique of good fortune

5807 Patterson Avenue • 804.288.5807

| 16 | DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011




among brides and Goats cheese pro Sara adduci digs into separate passions.

photo by scott elmquist


t was because of photography that Sara adduci became a goat-loving cheese whiz. the self-professed “kid with a camera” grew up to major in photography at new york’s rochester Institute of technology. Several bad experiences with a professor soured her on photography as a career option. but years later, a friend who was a wedding photographer enticed her to come along on a shoot as his assistant, with no pressure to do anything other than shoot what she wanted. She realized that she had a knack for capturing the small details and nuances of a wedding. “I love being able to step into someone’s most important day as an observer,” adduci says, discovering that her training as a massage therapist also made her a natural at calming nervous brides and hysterical family members. before long she was carrying safety pins and a compact in her camera bag to ensure that small emergencies could be easily solved. as a result, she’s never had to advertise her wedding photography business; word of mouth provides more than enough work. She loves wedding photography now, she says, but “10 years ago I never would have guessed I’d be doing this.” being a cheese expert wasn’t on her agenda either. after shooting the wedding of river City Cellars owner Julia battaglini, adduci began frequenting the Carytown shop to feed her love of


Karen newton

cheese. It was the nutty 3-year-old Gouda that was her gateway cheese; often she ate whatever she bought in the car on her drive home. when the holidays rolled around, battaglini needed seasonal help and asked adduci if she wanted to work for cheese. Like anyone with a habit to feed, she jumped at the chance to get her fix more frequently. before long, she was tasting all the cheeses and doing the cheese ordering. Despite having tasted and read about cheese production, a PbS documentary about a group of Charlottesville nuns who made cheese convinced adduci that she needed to spend time on a farm to learn the process. after contacting the convent, however, she learned that unless she was was willing to devote her life to the church, she wouldn’t be able to learn cheese making from them. Fortunately for adduci, Gail Hobbs-Page of Caromont Farm was a regular customer and didn’t require religious devotion. adduci visited the farm near Charlottesville and was “enraptured with the whole process,” she says. after short visits during which she got to know the animals and the work involved, she made arrangements to spend a month at Caromont working and learning about cheese. “It was everything I’d hoped it would be,” adduci recalls. at the end of the month, she felt that she finally had a handle on the process and how difficult it is to farm — and why cheese prices can be high. “It’s under-

standable because there’s always something that needs to be done. I realized that cheese making is mostly about doing dishes,” she says of the messy process, grinning. adduci also realized that her favorite part of farm life was the animals. “Goats have great personalities,” she says. “they’re like dogs — quirky and funny.” and difficult to forget. adduci continues to visit Caromont for a couple of days every three to four weeks to hang out in the dairy and visit the goats she’s come to love. now more than five years into her cheese odyssey, adduci beams when she talks about how many more american artisanal cheeses the shop carries. Unlike european cheeses that are governed by specific regulations, american cheese makers can do things europeans can’t, resulting in unheard-of combinations such as rinds with coffee and lavender or sea salt and honey. In the short-term, adduci wants to travel, write and photograph small farming operations. as for long-term goals, she laughs. “Hopefully there’s some sort of farm involved … but not too far from the city,” she says. “you get enough detox in the country. Sometimes you need some good oldfashioned retox.” this from the city girl who never imagined how much she’d love the country. “It’s just so different. the learning curve really challenges me. How do I get a goat’s head out of the fence?”


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 17 |

v3  lv3  t Party clothes to get your hands on.

Fashion editor: Lauren Healy Art director: Jeff Bland Photographer: Scott Elmquist Model: Dana P. at Modelogic Hair stylist: Alison Stokes at Red Salon Makeup stylist: Jonye Cordova of Jonyegirl Faces Location: Empire Room

at the Jefferson Hotel

| 18 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


Fa s h i o n C u e s


tuxedo knit blazer by yana Baraschi ($260) and black wide-leg pant by claude Brown ($198) at Wardrobe; black velvet scarf draped as top ($13) and vintage bangles in red, black and coral ($6) at exile; orange clear bangle ($12) at Verve in the shops at 5807; red swirl Bakelite bangle ($32) and vintage red velvet beaded hat by christian dior ($88) at Bygones; polka dot hosiery ($14) at urban outfitters; black quilted bootie by Beverly Feldman ($215) at saxon.

touch belle


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 19 |

1980s teal velvet blazer ($28), green Bakelite bracelets ($22/$78/$84) at Bygones; white bow blouse ($12) and white striped men’s scarf as belt ($9) at Exile; white pants by Elie Tahari ($248) at Levys; costume wolf brooch ($1) at Books Bikes and Beyond Thrift; metallic strappy heels by Elizabeth & James ($395) at Parlor in Pink.

| 20 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


Fa s h i o n C u e s


Beet-root velvet dress by Magaschoni ($510) at Frances Kahn; 1930s navy and eggplant hat ($78) at Bygones; polka dot hosiery ($14) at Urban Outfitters; necklace by One Sweet Peach ($110) at Glass Boat; navy knit bag with chain handle ($8) at Rumors.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 21 |

Velvet long-sleeve top with watercolor splotches by Dolan ($196) and black velvet leggings by Seven Jeans ($149) at Pink; vintage beaded sleeveless sweater ($9) at Rumors; peach comic book crystal costume earring ($14), costume reindeer brooches ($24), and black bracelets ($90) at Saxon; polka dot hosiery ($14) at Urban Outfitters; orange suede heels by Butter ($310) at Scarpa in Frances Kahn.

| 22 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


Fa s h i o n C u e s


1930s velvet plaid jumpsuit with matching jacket ($275) gold fishscale belt ($12), gold gloves ($24) and 1960s gold evening bag ($12) at Bygones; vintage gold earrings ($6) at Exile; gold bangles ($20) at Wardrobe; orange suede heels by Butter ($310) at Scarpa in Frances Kahn.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 23 |

gray velvet tank top by la Made ($95) at lucky lillibet in the shops at 5807; gray and white sweater shorts by urban renewal ($48) at urban outfitters; bright pink silk scarf tied at waist ($10) at exile; light pink gathered gloves ($16) at Bygones; thin swirl bangles ($53) at levys; pink lace anklet socks ($18) and charcoal suede peep toe heel by Boutique 9 ($160) at Pink; silver star cluster ring by c & r designs ($116) and vintage inspired necklace by one sweet Peach ($110) at the glass Boat.

find it HErE: Books, Bikes and Beyond Thrift 7 W. Broad St. 592-4591

Bygones 2916 W. Cary St. 353-1919

Exile 935 W. Grace St. 358-3348 Frances Kahn and Scarpa Shoes 6229 River Road 288-5246

Glass Boat 3226 W. Cary St. 358-5596

Levys 5807 Grove Ave. 673-0177 Pink and Parlor Shoes 3158 W. Cary St. 358-0884

Rumors Boutique 404 N. Harrison St. 726-9940

Saxon Shoes Short Pump Town Center 11800 W. Broad St. No. 2750 285-3473

Shops at 5807 5807 Patterson Ave. 288-5807

Urban Outfitters Short Pump Town Center 11805 W. Broad St., No. 1790 364-5216 Wardrobe 1322 Gaskins Road 397-5021

| 24 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011




Alverser Plaza/344-0150 • Cary Court/355-2136 Short Pump Town Center/967-0800

Lush Life

Stories, songs and sex withheld, with a side of meat.


Karen newton

Paul Warchol

redesigned interior of the Jameson-record House is a winner in the Design 2010 Show.

Storyteller Slash coleman cuts a figure with holiday humor.

greg nash

ash daniel

below: Hurry to The camel to catch birdlips’ must-hear music.

stePhen salPukas


ith all the craziness that accompanies holiday season, you’re probably not looking for what’s going on around town beyond what you have to do. and that’s a shame because sometimes the only way to deal with the nonstop madness of this time of year is by getting out and doing something completely different. So consider these options because no one wants to be holly jolly every minute. or is that just me? Birds and a Camel: I think music is the best diversion in the world and the duo birdlips is one of the most intriguing bands to come out of Virginia in a long time. It will play at the Camel on Dec. 1 and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s retro and current, spare and expansive and absolutely a must-hear. Imagine two musicians making the most of a 12-string guitar, a synthesizer and tambourine, and overlaid with both male and female vocals; add in some reverb and you have something sort of folky, sort of psychedelic and perfectly beautiful. stories and BarBeCue: How about an evening of storytelling to escape the cold and the crowds? on Dec. 3, the Virginia Museum of Fine arts will offer a storytelling concert with Slash Coleman. be warned, though, this is not storytelling for kids. Slash will share a collection of offbeat stories from his colorful childhood. If you’ve caught one of Slash’s shows before, you know that he has a humorous take on every good, bad and indifferent thing that’s ever happened to him. Should you find yourself needing some brisket after Slash’s tales of a Jewish youth, consider walking two blocks over to McCormack’s whisky Grill and Smokehouse. Mac’s crew does its own smoking, and both the brisket and barbecue are worth putting your mouth around. If your preference is just for drinking, he has you covered there, too … in spades. His back bar is a monument to the gods of drinking. but unless you want to pay a 10 percent surcharge, bring cold hard cash. Cards are discouraged but reluctantly accepted at a cost. night with the Bard: wh when you feel like your mind is turning to mush after hearing “Jingle bells” for the umpteenth time, feed your brain with a staged reading by richmond Shakespeare on Dec. 14 at richmond CenterStage. It will be doing “Lysistrata,” that classic tale of women withholding sex so that their men will stop fighting. there is no better play for fans of doubleentendres and explicit obscenities (and really, who among us isn’t?). your ticket to the reading will not only jump-start your intellect, but also includes a glass of wine to enjoy during the performance. Desserts are for sale in the lobby. dinner and design: If you make it through the holidays and find yourself looking at a blank calendar come January, get going with the opening reception of Design 2010 at the Virginia Center for ar architecture on Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m. the exhibit will feature some of the best examples of architecture, interior design and preservation projects from 2010, shown off in the splendor of the branch House. as is always the case with the center’s openings, there will be light refreshments and beverages. but because the event will be over by 7:30, a fun way to continue the theme would be dinner at Sprout, housed in the historic architecture of a former police station on Morris Street with an interior design that used repurposed materials to be green while honoring the building’s former use (the holding cell is in the kitchen). all its food is locally sourced, too, so you can virtuously wear your locavore hat. Karen Newton blogs about almost everything she does at

| 26 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


a filling repast at mccormack’s Whisky Grill and Smokehouse is the beef brisket sandwich with a side of fried green beans.

b o dy & s o u l


The Holiday Sweater

photo illustration by jeff bland


close-knit doesn’t begin to describe us.

verybody in my extended family has a different religion and a different last name. In many ways our motley crew exemplifies the american melting pot, but in other ways we are as unique as the baby coconut pies with dehydrated seed crusts my mother makes as a holiday treat. We are rife with divorce, remarriage, stepsiblings (who have their own stepsiblings), in-laws, half-relations and hyphenated last names. I was raised every other week between a New age Jewish mother and a once-upon-a-time Methodist father who were both creative in their religious approach. For every Christmas tree of my youth, there was an equal or better Hanukkah bush. I received gifts on both the eight little nights and the one big day. Mid-december meant fried latkes and gold-covered gilt, but also yule logs, eggnog and fruit cake. as a child, my mishmashed holidays were separated by whatever distance my parents were living apart at the time. I told my friends that I was half Jewish, a segment of the population once rare but now growing by leaps and bounds. lately the chosen few have


chosen to marry around. I married a Southern baptist. Our thrift store menorah is displayed right next to our dollar Store nativity scene. One of our ornaments says “baby’s First Hanukkah.” We string lights across our roof, but I try to limit the color selection to blue and white. Someday, my blonde, blue-eyed son will be just as confused as I, but for now he doesn’t distinguish his gifts from the cardboard box they came in. Still, no matter how conflicted our house looks around the holidays, there’s nothing like receiving a Christmas sweater from my mother-in-law to set off the identity crisis I’ve only barely managed to keep at bay. yes, I quoted the book of ruth’s “For wherever you go, I shall go” passage in a pre-wedding letter to her, but I was quoting the Old Testament. I so badly wanted to be the perfect daughterin-law that untying the white satin bow atop the red and green plaid paper to discover a delicate, black knit sweater tastefully embroidered with a deep red flower caused me actual agony. My own mother’s gifts always are wrapped in the story of how cheaply she managed to find

Valley Haggard

them. “What a bargain, this one! ... the best little yard sale … oy, my barter club!” but unlike the teddy-bear-spinning-a-dreidel socks from my mother that scream “ironic-kitsch,” my mother-inlaw’s gift was simply too elegant, too understated, too real for me to consider wearing. I worried. Could wearing a sweater endorsing one religion cancel out the other? does a proclamation of Christmas across my chest make me less Jewish? and, most importantly, can I don a poinsettia and still consider myself “cool?” To leave the house in my mother-in-law’s gift felt like a more serious commitment than actually marrying her son. I thanked her profusely and then took the sweater home to hold hostage in my closet. Finally, in a holiday tradition I can live with, regifting, I found the poinsettia sweater a happy home. I didn’t reconcile all of my feelings about how best to blend blood with the holidays, but I did answer one question: am I the kind of person who can pull off a holiday sweater? No, I am not. but I am the kind of person who will warmly embrace you while you wear yours, whatever religion — or lack thereof — is embroidered across the front.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 27 |

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| 28 | DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011


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Old Gringo leopardito boots from Ciao; they instantly update any look! For a more intimate gift, this one of a kind necklace from local artist Karen Shonk would make this holiday ever so special.

guide Strange’s has an incredible selection of fresh flowers to decorate any home for the holidays. Poinsettias, floral arrangementsthe perfect gift for everyone on your list.

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Image Maker photographer Sally mann, nn, whose ethereal work, such as the detail of a self-portrait above, captivates an international audience. “The flesh and the Spirit” continues at the Virginia museum of fine ine arts through Jan. 23, offering a contemporary perspective on vulnerability. free ee for museum members, $10 for nonmembers.

| 30 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011



& VixenS

Broadway’s longest-running american musical, “a Chorus Line,” kicks off at the Landmark theater for performances Dec. 3 and 4. the classic tale of dancers auditioning for a tough director still resonates with a dance-crazy public. tickets are $40-$60 through

big Hair & Shoulders

In their tribute to “the world’s most hedonistic decade,” The Legwarmers show off their ’80s styles and sounds in a dance party at The national on Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are retro too — $13 through

Here’s THe ParTy

Message Master after a ffter years of penning epic songs that rival even dylan, d y ylan, elvis llvis Costello could be completely devoid of a single creative thought. but his latest 16-song disc proves that he’s far from tapped. Joined by the Sugarcanes and producer TT-bone burnett, Costello takes us on a vibrant journey, introducing us to snitches, snoops, vagabonds and forgotten men. We feel their pain as we’re pulled through time and into exotic spaces. Costello hammers on his fender with rigor, tones it down to ten tender on a handful of vaudeville eLvIs CosteLLo numbers and tips his hat to “National americana roots. This disc is Ransom” hands-down one of his most Hear muSiC well rounded to date. — H.L.

f following the good vibes of their last disc, “grand,” brooklyn’s most adorable duo (below) brings grinb inducing beats just in time to alleviate the winter blahs. leveraging the warmth of Casio strings and chirpy tones, matt and kim kick out more electro-centric songs to move and groove you. never ones to provide hearty lyrical fare, the twosome tends to rely on catchy refrains and chants. it works because the engaging part of any matt and kim album is textured m sound. Whether they’re pushing the limits of toy pianos or mash mashing up samples, there’s always something curious happening Matt anD KIM behind the thumps and kick “Sidewalks” drums. — H.L. fader label


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 31 |

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g r e at ta st e


Comfort and Joy cookbooks for the Southern traditionalist and the city girl with a craving.



DeveRon TimbeRlAke

ie on the frilly apron and bust out the rolling pin. Retro is back, and if your kitchen isn’t smelling like green beans and ham or banana pudding, you might want to reminisce with Grandma and then delve into a cookbook that helps reinvent her wheel. These three new cookbooks aren’t big on technique or finesse; they’re chatty vehicles for memories and nostalgia. Southernisms are as predictable as porch swings, and recipes as familiar as berry cobbler and fried catfish. Do they capture the national psyche and that innate desire for simpler times? Absolutely. They’re drenched with photos and anecdotes and no thought to how much butter’s involved. Read at your own risk, or give without guilt. “bless your Heart: Saving the World One covered Dish at a Time”

Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson Thom AS nelSon PubliSheR S, 2 010. $24 . 9 9

it’s got a cutesy title, but this collection of stories and recipes is sincere. it’s idealistic. it elevates the casserole to a position of healing power in the Southern universe. it responds with love to the whats and whens of food anxiety — feeding the bereaved, the book club, the church potluck, the family reunion, the tailgate. Stories about Aunt lutie and a cast of characters pull the reader into an alternate reality, where the usual suspects — shortcake, corn chowder, beef stroganoff — sit next to relative newcomers. Where else can you find a recipe for aggression cookies? “my Southern Food: a celebration of the Flavors of the South”

“alice’s Tea cup: Delectable recipes for Scones, cakes, Sandwiches and more from new york’s most Whimsical Tea Spot”

Haley Fox and Lauren Fox

Devon O’Day, edited by Bryan Curtis

W illi A m moR RoW, 2 010. $24

Thom AS nelSon PubliSheR S, 2 010. $24 . 9 9

There’s Southern tea and then there’s the new york City version, popularized at girlish places such as Alice’s Tea Cup, where African dew and rooibos bourbon are in vogue. A tantalizing spread of pastries and gooey sandwiches gives this photo-laden cookbook a forbidden air. Throw in the chatter of party-loving sisters and a decade’s worth of carefully-crafted recipes, including a dozen for scones, and you’ve got a fantasy waiting to be served.

it starts with sweet tea, cornbread and fried chicken, and winds up with a poke cake some 244 pages later. What Southern belle Devon o’Day collects here is memory tasting, with a classic lineup of dishes from her past. She’s not embarrassed that velveeta lveeta is in the mac and cheese or Cool Whip in the punch. if there’s cream of mushroom soup in the sausage dressing, that’s the way her family likes it. And if you’re a sentimental sort, this might be a way to hang on to the old ways a little longer.


DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011 | 33 |

f i r st p e r s o n

Silent Nights Dickens could have seen this coming.


the CheCkout Girl

contend that Christmas, and the holidays in general, are at their optimal level of awesomeness when you’re between the ages of 5 and 10. you’re young enough to believe in magic that has nothing to do with hogwarts. young enough to see girls on television in pinafore-style dresses and Mary Janes whose lives are perfect because they have the prettiest barbie. one way prettier than yours, whose hair you cut because it would never lie flat after you took it out of the permanent ponytail she was wearing but it’s lying flat now, isn’t it?! Flat in the garbage can! that’ll teach her! Surely those ringletted princesses have parents who never fight and classmates who never call them fat because, well, you know — prettiest barbie. this is the very reason that crushing a child’s dreams during this critical time is a bad, bad idea. on top of being evil, i mean. My family, while not intentional dream crushers, and certainly not of the evil variety, outdid themselves with taking the “Jolly” out from between the “holly” and “Christmas” one year. i was 10, and woeful. i had early onset of both preteen angst and adultsize breasts and remain unconvinced, to this day, that one was independent of the other. the cards were stacked against me, as far as cool factor was concerned, but i had hope. that year i asked for some of the raddest gear known to the elementary school set: a pair of AM-FM headphones. you might be too young to remember these, so let me refresh. basically, they look like the giant, can-style headphones that hipsters are wearing ironically, and they had a dial on each earpiece: one side controlled the volume, one side changed the station. the pair i wanted, and asked Santa for in y s, the nicest letter i’d ever written, or have since, were orange. ye yes, cluding the i was an American Apparel ad, 30 years too early. including knee socks. i was pretty sure i’d get the headphones, being old enough to have figured out that being good didn’t necessarily mean you got better presents. My little brother always got everything on his list and he wasn’t good a day in his life. i, however, had a habit of rehabilitating baby birds and looking both ways before crossing the street. but i counted on Santa not knowing that i stole u” from a friend both a 45-rpm single of “hopelessly Devoted to you” | 34 | DecEmbEr 2010/January 2011


by stuffing it down my pants and awkwardly walking home (it broke in half, crushed between the waistband of my sweatpants and my considerable chub), and a pair of cubic zirconia pierced earrings during a sleepover at another friend’s house, even though my ears weren’t pierced. yep, no way Santa could be everywhere at once, and i figured there were enough fire starters to keep him busy, so i was in the clear. After the letter was sent, it was nothing but a waiting game. Finally, Dec. 25 came and i was ecstatic. My little brother was continuing the tradition of vomiting every single Christmas morning since birth, and i was impatiently waiting for him to finish sipping his ginger ale so i could get my jam on. on my head. i only hoped Santa had remembered to bring batteries for my fly gear. once the little technicolor fountain was scrubbed up and in fresh PJs, it was gettin’ time. Now, my family does this weird circle gift thing, where one person opens at a time and everyone else looks on and emits appreciative sounds like it’s Fourth of July fireworks all over again. Nice, i guess, but it’s torture to a kid who is waiting for the big score. Somewhere near the beginning, it was barfy McVomit’s turn to open, and his face lit up. i was ready to “ooh” and “aah” appropriately, when i saw what he was so excited about. orange AM-FM headphones. i was cool. After all, only Santa, in his infinite, portly goodness, could have had the foresight to get us both headphones, so that little rat wouldn’t be bugging me to borrow mine all the time. Shrewd, Santa. Well played. round after round of present roulette, but my headphones never appeared. i did, however, get a winter accessory set of a knitted big bird hat and bert and ernie mittens. i cried for days after because no balanced and benevolent universe would send the fat, awkward, practically teen girl to school in Sesame Street gear and no headphones. Well, i don’t know how your universe operates, but mine did just that. i guess Santa knew about the earrings, after all. that bastard. Jennifer Lemons is the Checkout Girl. When not judging you based on the groceries you buy or the way your children behave in the store, she can be found tweeting dirty jokes at She’s online at

photo illustration by jeff bland


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Belle December 2010/January 2011  

Style Weekly's magazine for Richmond women.

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