Simply Alexandria March 2022

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Expert Realtor

Lisa White Ensures All Clients Achieve Their Real Estate Goals

ASA Roofing, Inc

Spring Weddings Are In Bloom

Is Your Trusted Neighborhood Roofing Company

Check Out Virtual Trends & Amazingly Creative Desserts

"Ownership is power, build a legacy that will last!"

Lisa White Multi-Million Dollar Producer Children's Miracle Agent Marketing Specialist

"Call Me Today for a

FREE Property Analysis!"

Tailored real estate services to meet your needs! • Over 30 years Real Estate Experience • Licensed in MD, VA, & DC • MS Marketing Degree • Certified Project Manager Professional • Real Estate and Transformational Speaker

(703) 307-9913

RE/MAX Allegiance Office (202)547-5600



March/April 2022


August 2020 | 15


March/April 2022

Table of Contents

8 14 18



Publisher’s Corner

Welcome Home


Letter From The Editor Home Is Where The Heart Is



14 18

March/April 2022

Lisa White Real Estate ASA Roofing, Inc The Perfect Housewarming Gift


Simply Style At Home


The Newest Trend Is Virtual Weddings

Diamonds Are Forever


The Most Creative Wedding Desserts

Kitchen & Bath





33 Front Cover Photography By Sheldon Johnson PUBLISHER Veronica Fountain EDITOR IN CHIEF Alyson Turner

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alyson Turner Courtney Williams Nyah Marshall Kayla-Ajanae Archer-Buckley CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Sheldon Johnson



March/April 2022

LAYOUT & AD DESIGN Natthaphon Foithong ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Veronica Fountain


CORNER Last year was the biggest and most successful year for new Home Owners especially FirstTime Home Buyers. Record low interest rates led to many people being able to achieve lifelong dreams of purchasing their own homes. To that we say: Welcome Home! Now, it’s time to invite family & friends over for a great housewarming! This Issue features expert realtor Lisa White, ASA Roofing, Inc, and the Perfect Housewarming Gift. New homeowners will also love Simply Style at Home: Kitchen & Bath Renovations. It is also that time when we feel love in the air with Spring Weddings! Check out our wedding section with new virtual wedding trends, diamonds, and the best creative wedding desserts!


We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Veronica Fountain Publisher


March/April 2022


from the


Your Home Is Your


f there is one thing that we have learned over the past two years it’s that our homes can truly be safe haven. When the pandemic began we had no way of knowing how much time we would really be spending at home. If there was one really interesting thing that came from our changing world, it is the amazing ways that people have transformed their homes into their offices, their entertainment venues, their schools and so much more. In our “Home” issue, we hope you enjoy some amazing stories of home renovation projects, tips from an expert realtor, and from roofing professionals on the importance of home maintenance. We also have a special wedding section this month! Thanks for bringing us into your home, Alexandria. As always, we wouldn’t be here without all of you! Light & Kindness

Alyson Turner Editor-In-Chief



March/April 2022

is “ Ownership Power. Build

A Legacy That Will Last.

Lisa White Real Estate is helping all clients achieve their real estate goals.

Article By Alyson Turner Photography By Sheldon Johnson

Realtor Lisa White is a top agent licensed in Maryland, DC & Virginia, with over 30 years of industry experience, and is a multi-million-dollar producer with a 5-star rating. She is also a philanthropist and an advocate for her clients and her community. In 2021 alone, Lisa helped numerous families purchase their dream home and sellers earn a great profit. When it comes to serving her buyers, she will use her savvy negotiation techniques to win deals. She will meet with you



Who is Lisa White?

first, to identify your needs, desires, and timeline. Then she will generate a plan of action to identify, win and close your dream home. If you are a seller, she is going to perform in depth property research in advance of the first meeting to ensure she has a good knowledge base of the property. She will meet with you to view the property, gain an understanding of your needs, and then present her strategy to maximize your profits. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs with many generations

March/April 2022

of real estate investors and business owners. She grew up in Bailey’s Crossroads, VA with her family who has been there since 1913. “Real Estate is in my blood. My father was my role model and where I learned about entrepreneurship. He owned J.F. White Construction Company located in northern Virginia. His specialty was brick masonry on residential and commercial properties. He was a builder and a real estate investor. I became a licensed realtor in 1986. I sold for a while, gave referrals and was a landlord. I went to George Mason University for my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and I received my Master’s Degree in Marketing from University of Maryland University College. I am also a certified Project Management Professional,” Lisa tells us. She has several certifications including Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, Seller Representative Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, Military Relocation Professional, as well as possessing a number of other certifications. When it comes to fun, Lisa loves enjoying herself and seeing others happy as well. Music and the Arts are passions of Lisa’s. She hosts annual “Jazz Under the Stars” concerts for clients and the community, golfs, travels, and loves to dance. She often feels that she is, “Dancing through life.” When she went to college Lisa didn’t know she was going to pursue real estate, at first. “Marketing has always been interesting to me. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I watched them actively market their businesses through networking, business cards, and flyers. Often times, leaders and entrepreneurs are born with that drive, and, as for me, I get joy from making things happen. If something is too easy it is not as rewarding to me. I don’t get as much joy from it. I like helping people win,” Lisa says, “Let’s strategize to get to the next point. It is all about “Let’s” it is not about me; it is about you. “Let’s” is important to me. Two is always better than one. You must have a meeting of the minds in order to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. That is part of why marketing and Project Management are a good fit for me.” Lisa has held a number of different positions, but real estate is her passion. “I went into real estate in 1986. Interest rates were between 10 and 12%. Home prices were high for the time. The real estate market was bad. In 1989, my father and role model passed. My heart was broken, but I knew he lived on in me and wanted to do something to carry on his legacy. I ended up going to beauty school and eventually opened “Fritz Hair Gallery” named after my father. The salon was on the first floor of a beautiful building located in Rosslyn, Virginia . The first three years were great, but then the building went into foreclosure. In addition, the government agency that was leasing spaces in the building moved their employees back to DC into a government owned building. I lost more than 50% of my business overnight. Many of my clients worked for Verizon. I called a friend who was an executive at Verizon and he informed me that I would have to possess a degree in order to be in management. Not having a degree had haunted me for years. I decided to put the ghost to rest and re-enrolled in school,” Lisa says, “I wanted to then see how Corporate America runs a business. Once I



finished my Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing I went to work for Verizon. I always believe in growing from both formal and informal education. As a Verizon employee, I truly learned the importance of marketing. That is when I learned the significance of colors, images, diversified marketing strategies and brand exposure. This is the reason why my car is partially wrapped with my photo and business contact information, my business card is red and black, my website coordinates with my social media as well as other marketing tools. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree when I was 31 and my Master’s Degree later which was paid for by Verizon. Higher education is important and it is never too late to achieve your educational goals.” Ownership is Power When it comes to owning real estate, Lisa wants everyone to know that, “Ownership is power!” Owning real estate is a way to build generational wealth and leave a long-lasting legacy for your family. “You have to build your vision first. You have to decide what your life will look like in retirement. What does your day look like? What does your house look like? Do you have kids? Are you traveling? Develop your vision and start building your life around that type of vision so you will be more apt to reaching those goals. Owning real estate is a part of reaching that vision. Investing in real estate helps you to build wealth. It is an asset that grows and you can build equity. You can use that equity to buy other properties. You build equity and you can leverage real estate. The first thing owning real estate does is it provides shelter, and the second thing it does is provides security. When you own a property, you don’t have to worry about the rent going up, the property being sold or have annual increases from the landlord. It is a way to build wealth with the equity, it can be used to buy other properties, it is something you can leave to your heirs, something to be rented out, or it can be a tax shelter. That is just one house, let alone multiple properties. Real estate requires maintenance, taxes and insurance will increase over time, but it is still a great asset to have in your wealth building portfolio,” she says.

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Lisa is here to help clients achieve the goal of owning real estate and guide them through the process. “My focus is on meeting the clients’ needs and brand management. Clients see me everywhere so they feel that I can market for them as well. You cannot be a secret agent. I make sure that I have a clear understanding of their vision, needs and wants, challenges and resources. I am willing to invest time and money upfront in order to make sure we have a successful sale or purchase. I have the resources to invest in my business to ensure that the clients’ needs are met,” Lisa says. There are some extremely important points that both buyers and sellers should know before jumping into the process. “I wish buyers knew that they should to plan early at least a year in advance. I wish they knew how your credit impacts your brand including your financial credit worthiness and more. It is important to talk to a lender at least a year in advance so you will be more financially ready, and you need to identify in advance where you would like to live. Last, but not least, buyers should interview realtors and get to know the market early so they will not be blindsided. Know in advance about down payment, closing costs and cash reserve,” Lisa says, “For home sellers, [the steps are] vision, plan, implementation, measure, close and celebrate. Sellers should know where they are moving, why they are moving, know how much they owe, how much they need to move, and the importance of having the right realtor. It is important to get a market analysis at least three months in advance. Sellers should also be preparing the house, decluttering, repairing, painting, and staging early.” “There are also major milestones to expect from the realtor including, hiring a professional photographer, re-running comps, entering the property into MLS as “Coming Soon”,



advertising the property, holding open houses, reviewing and negotiating offers, negotiating repairs and appraisals if needed, and tracking loan progression to name a few. A realtor will also help identify other real estate professionals needed to complete a successful transaction,” Lisa says. Lisa explains her thoughts on how COVID has impacted the real estate market. “A lot of homeowners have been hesitant to list their property because they didn’t want people to come in and out of their property which created a housing shortage. Some people didn’t want to live in condos because of the shared common areas, then the interest rates were so low for so long. We are literally living in LOVE IT OR LIST IT. Sellers were either loving their house, by staying in it, refinancing and doing some upgrades to make them more comfortable, selling for a new house that fit their lifestyle, or they sold their house then rented until they found the right house. They wanted to get top dollar while the getting was good. That is the beauty of real estate because this is the way to build wealth at the end of the day. The saying goes, ‘Location, location, location.’ If you buy a property in the right location, at the right time at the right price, you are going to win. My job is to help people get across the finish line, but my calling is to help people. My job is that I am imparting as much information as I can to help clients make the right decision.” Building Generational Wealth Over the last 30 years many things have changed in the real estate market and a great realtor like Lisa White can help you navigate the ever-changing market. Lisa says, “The internet has made it so that consumers have a lot of more information readily available. Buyers are researching and finding homes on

To connect with Lisa today, March/April 2022 call (703) 307-9913,

the internet, which is the most momentous change. However, finding a house and closing on a house is different. Purchasing a property is a legally binding action, it can be complicated and risky. Having the right professionals to navigate the process is important. I have been licensed since 1986. I used to use a map book to get around. Showing houses was totally different. The interest rates were much higher, they were between 10 and 12 percent. People weren’t able to afford as much house at that time, the incomes were lower and the interest rates were higher, but the beautiful thing is that a house that is 30 years old has appreciated tremendously, depending on the location. When you are buying a house, you want to know what the vision is for the area, what retailers are in the area, what the highways are like, and what hospitals are nearby. When you buy real estate, don’t just buy it for yourself, buy it as though you might have to sell it tomorrow. We never know what life changes or emergencies may arise. Investing properly in real estate is a key to building generational wealth.” What is generational wealth? Generational wealth is investing in something that will grow and that you can leave to your heirs such as real estate properties. Lisa tells us, “Generational wealth includes purchasing real estate, holding on to it, making improvements so that it appreciates, so you can leave it to your heirs or whoever is in your will. Generational wealth is all about purchasing real estate or making investments and investing your money in things that will grow. Making strategic real estate investments that will appreciate for you to leave to your heirs. Some real estate can pay dividends and that is great. It can be your primary residence, other residential properties, multidwelling units, as well as investing in the stock market. It is important because that is how you ensure that your family will grow and prosper to be successful in life. Building generational wealth makes sure you have finances to invest in education,

housing, keeping your lifestyle, making sure your family has shelter, food, safety and can live a lifestyle comfortably. It allows you to leave financial wealth to your family and heirs so they can have a successful life. They can have education, housing, and lifestyle without having to struggle so much.” Philanthropy Lisa says, “What I hear from clients is [satisfaction with] my professionalism, organization, listening and communication skills as well as availability. I am easily accessible to my clients. I am just a text away. My clients love that I give back to the community. My clients know that I have a heart of giving. They love the idea that on every transaction I am donating $250 to Children’s National Medical Center and every year I give at least $5000 back to Children’s, in addition to all of the other organizations I donate to each year. As long as I focus on my clients’ needs, He [God] is taking care of me. I have an event every year called “Jazz Under the Stars”, and the event is all about giving back to the community. I hire Geno Marriott and the Spirit of Jazz. In 2021 I held it in collaboration with The Woodmore Country Club. There was a DJ and several vendors. We held a live art auction and raised funds for The Ivy Community Charities of Prince George’s County, Incorporated. I have a diversified approach to giving back to the community. When I say I love it, I absolutely, truly do love it. I know I heard God say to me, “Take care of my people and I will take care of you.” When I am writing my business plan and preparing for the next year, I make sure that my income allows me to donate to the non-profit organizations close to my heart. I know that I am here on Earth to help people.” Every year, Lisa gives a major donation to Children’s Miracle Network and participates in several other charitable

email, or visit 11 | March/April 2022

organizations. “My niece Shiloh was born with sickle cell and I see how Children’s National Medical Center takes care of Shiloh and her family. That is why I donate so heavily to Children’s National Medical Center and that places me as a “Miracle Agent” donor. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Iota Gamma Omega Chapter where I volunteer and give back to the community in various capacities. In addition, I am a member of The Ivy Community Charities of Prince George’s County, Incorporated (ICC) which is an organization that provides help along with training to youth and families in Prince George’s County. We are currently building out The Ivy Vine complex whereby ICC will expand the training and development footprint along with providing non-profits and entrepreneurs access to conference rooms and office spaces. Part of my donations go to this initiative. I am sowing into the Ivy Vine complex which is a landmark that will exist for years and support our community for generations. At the end of the day, it is all about helping people and building a legacy that will last,” Lisa says. The Significance of A Legacy One component of building a legacy is what you leave behind financially, but it is also important to teach people about financial legacy and brand management. Families can leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren by purchasing

the right property so that they can build equity. “Ideally you are giving them a house that is already paid off, or they can have an asset they can leverage to buy other properties. It is teaching them the importance of home ownership. In addition, building a legacy includes the intrinsic things you do. It is allowing others to see some of what you are doing. Everyone has a brand. You are developing your legacy while you are living, everything you do, say, touch, teach and even wear. It is all about building what people are going to remember about you and how you positively impacted their life. I am Chair of the Economic Legacy Committee of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Iota Gamma Omega Chapter. We host public webinars to include: the importance of financial literacy, how to manage your income, understanding your credit, how to invest, homeownership, entrepreneurship and more. A legacy is about what you are doing now that will impact others today and when you are gone.” Through it all, Lisa’s favorite part of the job is helping others. “I love helping clients build wealth through buying and selling real estate. I enjoy educating clients upfront on the real estate market and strategizing to help them win. My goal is to take care of my clients’ needs and as a Christian, God takes care of my needs.” During her spare time you may see Lisa on the golf course, on the dance floor, at a restaurant with family or friends, at community meetings, on her Church Zoom link, or traveling.

Lisa White, Realtor Licensed in DC, MD, VA

Multi-Million Dollar Producer Children’s Miracle Agent Marketing Specialist RE/MAX Allegiance Office (202) 547-5600 Cell (703)-307-9913

Home Selling Checklist Here is a brief checklist of tips when preparing to sell your home: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Know why you are selling & start early Know where you are moving Hire the right realtor Obtain comparative market analysis Know your numbers Prepare your house Stage your home

8. Hire professional photographer & videographer 9. Price the home right 10. Market the property 11. Hold open house 12. Vet, negotiate & select offers 13. Review home inspection report 12 | March/April 2022

14. Meet appraiser 15. Monitor lender progress 16. Monitor title company progress 17. Ensure required repairs are complete 18. Pack & remove all personal items 19. Contact utility companies 20. Attend settlement

Full-Service Wedding Photographer Events & Fashion Photography Owner Sheldon Johnson @shelshotphotography Sheldon Johnson Shel Shot Photography




March/April 2022

ASA Roofing, Inc.



March/April 2022

ASA Vice President Camila Santander shares the importance of using a trustworthy, professional roofing company that will take care of your home maintenance needs. Article By Alyson Turner Photography By Sheldon Johnson

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments that most people will ever make. What comes after the home buying phase is one of the most critical responsibilities of homeownership–regular maintenance. Once you have settled into your home, it is important to find licensed and insured experts to help you care for your investment. When it comes to the home, the roof is not only a necessity for shelter, but it is one of the most expensive pieces to repair. That is why you need to call on the roofing experts, ASA Roofing, Inc. This Alexandria-based, family-owned business opened in 2009. Camila Santander, Vice President, and 2021 finalist for top female roofer, tells us, “In 2003, we were new immigrants to the United States. As a military family, we were used to traveling to new places and we were very excited to start our life here. My father, Antonio, always had an entrepreneurial spirit and so he was anxious to try and make it on his own. He envisioned himself leading a team to success and what better way to do that than with the expertise he has as a contractor. What began in a small walk-in closet of our apartment, quickly grew to what it is today. We now have 18 employees along with a storefront and we have serviced countless of neighbors in the past thirteen years. My father is now President of ASA Roofing, and he works with the company



every day. He loves to be out in the field, doing inspections, talking to our neighbors in the community and making connections.” ASA Roofing is a general contractor that serves as an umbrella for anything home related, with an expertise in roof work, and roof replacement of all types of roofs. “We work both in residential and commercial roofs. We have done work in office buildings, churches, schools, and recently a homeless shelter in Alexandria. We are experts of the roofing system including gutters and skylights but our services also include windows, siding, painting and decks. Our company always has a guarantee on our work which gives our clients peace of mind. For example, if a client sees the same leak that we had previously repaired, we will go out and fix the issue with no additional cost ” Camila says, “For the roof, you really do need someone who is knowledgeable so you will actually be taken care of.” The professionals at ASA Roofing will also help clients prepare their home for sale. One of their many services that they offer depending on the property type, is that they will conduct the necessary repairs up to a certain amount and allow the client to pay the cost of repairs on the day of closing. It is a concierge-type service for clients who can get more for their home without worrying that they do not have the funds before the sale is complete.

March/April 2022

Camila discusses the importance of using a trusted, licensed professional when it comes to your roof. “To not hire a professional is to do a disservice to you and your investment as a homeowner. We have seen time and time again that a customer went with a company that gave a cheaper quote, but it was not the same quality of work. You pay for the expertise. If you were to hire a company or individual that doesn’t have liability and workers comp insurance, if a roofer falls off the house, they can sue you. Anything can happen, but if the company is protected, so is the homeowner. It is in the homeowner’s best interest to have the right paperwork. ASA Roofing has all licensing and proper insurance needed to safely work on your home.” Overall, ASA Roofing’s top priority is customer service and being a great neighbor to those in the community. “We are a small family-owned company and at the end of the day we thrive with our customer satisfaction because we are your neighbors and we will do anything in our power to protect your home.”


ASA Roofing, Inc today for your free estimate at (703) 459-5781 or (703) 451-6505. They offer same day service and a guarantee on all repairs and replacements. You can also visit to learn more about their services from roof repairs to gutters to windows and more.

ASA ROOFING, INC. 5706 General Washington Drive, Suite K Alexandria, Virginia 22312 Office Phone:

(703) 459-5781



Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

(703) 451-6505

Sat: 10am-3pm Sun: Closed



March/April 2022

FROM THE EXPERTS AT ASA Roofing, Inc “All homeowners should have a professional take a look at their roof once a year. Unless there are water signs like stains or bubbling on the ceiling or walls which require immediate attention, I would recommend making it a To-Do item for the month of November. At that time of year, most of the leaves have fallen and we are headed into the winter season. Get a professional opinion on the current condition of your roof and if there are any repairs needed. Securing loose shingles, resealing old caulking, removing debris to keep it from damaging the shingles, adding attic insulation, clearing the gutters, are all examples of some repairs that may be needed. Making sure the roof is secure is the best investment a homeowner can make. A properly installed/ventilated roof that is maintained will save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs and interior damage to the home.”



March/April 2022

The Perfect Housewarming


Article By Nyah Marshall

Gift giving is an art that we all have trouble mastering. We often strive to find a gift that’s practical, but not too boring; unique, but not too strange; and personal, but not too predictable. This type of consideration often results in weeks of gift searching, particularly when you’re trying to pin down the perfect housewarming gift for that special new homeowner that comes to mind. The word housewarming alone dates back to the 16th century, proving that moving into a new home has always been a momentous occasion that calls for finding the perfect gift. No matter your situation or the type of person receiving the gift, a housewarming gift should be the perfect mixture of uniqueness and utility. The goal is to find that stylish, special item that your new homeowner will fall in love with and will be able to use. Everyone deserves a little luxury in their lives, especially a new homeowner; for that reason we’ve curated a list of five luxury gifts worth splurging one for that new homeowner in your life.


Essential Oil Diffuser:

Vitruvi Move Diffuser

Aromatherapy, specifically though essential oil diffusers, is the newest trendy way people are using to fill their homes with beautiful fragrances. These devices disperse natural oils, like lavender and eucalyptus into the air which helps freshen up the room and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. This simple, easy to hide gift is great for even the pickiest of people— everyone needs a little luxury and self-care in their life! Vitruvi, a “fashion-forward” diffuser brand, is one of the most trusted brands in this department. Their recently upped Move Diffuser is the perfect housewarming gift. It’s a cordless, sleek, cylindrical model a new homeowner will be to take with them anywhere in the house. Once you add about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil, it runs up to eight hours before needing to be charged. It comes in seven stylish colors, including Terracotta, the rose-gold colored one pictured here. Where to find: Move Diffuser on



March/April 2022



Wine Basket

Silver Oak & Cakebread Red Wine Gift Basket Yes, wine is a common gift for many occasions, but it’s a gesture that never loses its value, especially when being presented as a housewarming gift. Wine is often presented as a traditional housewarming gift with the symbolic meaning : “May you always have joy and never go thirsty.” To give this traditional gesture a twist with a hint of grandeur, try gifting a wine gift basket.


This high-end wine basket is sure to please any red wine lover. The basket features two of the winery's distinctive Cabernet Sauvignons—the world’s most popular red wine grape which is a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux, France. Surrounded by an assortment of tempting gourmet foods such as sweet Soppressata, gourmet cheeses and truffles, this captivating gift is guaranteed to be loved by any new homeowner. Where to find: Product #5098 at

One-of-a-kind coaster set Horn Luxe Veneer


Belle and June’s Horn Luxe Veneer coaster set is a worthy housewarming gift that’s the perfect combination of practicality, uniqueness and artistry. The one-of-a-kind craftsmanship of this coaster set was inspired by South America’s rich ranching heritage, with the warmth and texture of sunset views and vast grasslands. It’s natural, neutral colors make it a great, usable coffee table accent for someone still trying to fine tune their home’s details. Inside the signature box are six oversized coasters that’ll delight guests.


If you’re looking to splurge a little bit more on that special new homeowner in your life, complete the room by purchasing the Horn Veneer cheese board, revolving tray and serving bowl—all in which match perfectly with the coaster set. Where to find: Item #443-083 at



March/April 2022

Luxury also means less work! iRobot® Roomba® Vacuum (9550)

Depending on what your new homeowner needs, it may be a great idea to gift them something more practical for their housewarming— especially when it’s the iRobot Roomba selfemptying vacuum. iRobot is one of the world’s smartest, most powerful self-cleaning vacuum’s out there. The self-powered cleaning system lifts, loosens, then eliminates debris and pet hair from deep within carpets and floors. This is the only vacuum capable of learning the layout of your home and builds personal Smart Maps, enabling it to expertly clean and navigate in neat, efficient rows. Sometimes luxury comes in the form of leisure and ease. Where to find: Item #s955020 on



4 $1,000 The Hour


Vintage Amethyst & Gold Art Decanter Set The Hour has one of the most extensive curated collections of vintage barware and cocktail glassware available in today’s marketplace, and it’s right here in Alexandria. Home entertaining is all about being unique and having style, which is why one of The Hour’s vintage cocktail sets will make the perfect gift for a new homeowner that’s a home bartender or an aspiring one. The Amethyst & Gold Art Deco Decanter Set is a gorgeous find that includes a tall amethyst glass decanter and 5 matching shot glasses with 22k. gold embellishment. This high-quality vintage, cocktail set was likely made in Bohemia and is an original piece of useable art. Where to Find: Item #00007823 at The Hour or



March/April 2022

PH: 301-346-5634

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Simply Style at Home Pinterest-Inspired Bath and Kitchen By Courtney Williams



March/April 2022

It was not long ago that colorful baths and kitchens were deemed outdated and replaced with more neutral patterns. Being introduced around the 1920s, these retro designs were a common sight in American households and typically sported an array of pastel tiles. Now in 2022, seeing shades of pinks, greens, yellows and blues would be enough to bring us back to our grandmother’s house. Yep, not quite the look we would be going for this time around but like many old trends, the use of color in kitchens and baths is coming back, only this time it’s with a modern twist that is simply elegant and simply unique. We’re going to look at six Pinterest-inspired kitchen and bath designs that incorporate the perfect mix of colorful and classy.

1. TWO-TONED CABINETS If you are a frequent viewer of home improvement channels, you may have already seen this look on your TV screen. This design is a simple way to add color that is eye-catching but not overwhelming. This look can be achieved by painting your lower cabinets and top cabinets different colors. This look is typically done using white or natural wood tones at the top while using dark, bold colors on the bottom. Top off your two-toned cabinets with modern hardware to bring your kitchen into 2022. Whether you choose a deep navy blue, an emerald green or something in between, a little bit of color can go a long way.

2. WALLPAPER According to The Atlantic’s ‘A History of Wallpaper’s Deception’ by Jude Stewart, wallpaper swung in and out of the mainstream until the 1980s. When people began swapping busy designs for the clean look of paint or paneling, wallpaper never regained the popularity it had in previous decades. If you have ever done a renovation in your home, you may have seen some evidence of wallpaper’s glory days. Does that mean wallpaper is gone for good? Far from it. For those who love the contemporary look, wallpaper is here to add a splash of color and a pinch of pattern. While wallpaper can be the perfect finish to your kitchen or bath, the possibilities of where you can apply it in your home are endless. The best part, if you don’t like it, removal is quick and easy.

3. PERFECTLY FINE PINK Pink bathrooms were a hit in the postwar 1940s and 50s. According to the National Park Service, Former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower’s love for a particular shade of pink led White House staffers to refer to the building as ‘The Pink Palace’. This shade has been dubbed ‘Mamie Pink’ and was popular for bathrooms during this time. Admittedly, the look of a Mamie Pink bathroom is either an instant hit or a catastrophic miss. Though there are significantly fewer pink bathrooms being built now than there were in the 40s and 50s, there are those who are eagerly preserving the pink.



March/April 2022 was dedicated to getting not-so-proud pink bathroom owners to see the color’s full potential.

4. COLORFUL FLOORING The answer to a colorful kitchen or bath may be right at your feet, literally. Consider adding colorful tile floors in your next home renovation. While some are intimidated by the commitment of color the possibilities of how to decorate your bath and kitchen are far from restrictive. Your floor tiles don’t just have to include color, they can go a step further and incorporate a pattern. These tiles work great in full and half baths and can even work as accent tiles in showers. What makes colored floor tiles particularly good in baths is that they can add so much character to smaller spaces where decorating may be limited. If you are afraid of making the space look too busy, try pairing these tiles with white or a solid color of your choosing.

5. RECONSIDER RETRO Remember those pink bathrooms we talked about? Turns out, the retro look isn’t just for bathrooms. If you want to give your new kitchen a vintage look that is as unique as you are, consider adding retro appliances. We’re talking about those rounded, pastel refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. These adorable appliances were popular in the 1950’s as pastel colors were flooding homes in post-war America. According to Forbes ‘Pops of Color in Appliances’ by Sheri Koones, pastel appliances turned to more pronounced colors such as avocado green and harvest gold until the 1990’s when homeowners switched to neutral or stainless steel. A little bit of color in a kitchen can make all the difference so it’s no surprise that more people are choosing to give this unique look a try.

6. OWN YOUR COLORFUL COUNTERTOPS Tile countertops were popular in the 1980s due to their cheap installation, variety of color, and the ability for homeowners to create custom patterns. Today, these countertops are not seen in as many homes; their common replacement being granite, quartz, marble, and corian. While ceramic tile countertops may be fading from the realm of mainstream home design, this has not stopped people from adding their own sprinkle of color to their counter. Whether you go with a solid look or find a way to add sprinkle of color into your stone, a little can go a long way in tying the whole room together. If there’s one thing we know about home design, it’s that trends come and go throughout time. Color versus neutral, maximal versus minimal, pastel versus bold. Regardless of what’s popular in the world of renovation, the important thing to remember is to own your space. While neutral tones are definitely safer, taking a chance on color could take your kitchen or bath to the next level. These six, Pinterest-inspired designs are one of the many ways you can make your space just as unique as you are. And who knows, maybe your renovation will be the trendsetter.



March/April 2022

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Diamonds Are Forever

Article By Nyah Marshall

That memorable, special moment when your partner drops to one knee and pops that famous question is one like no other. It’s a daunting task to be able to profess your love and promise of commitment—but it could be a little less nerve-wrecking when you’re confident that you’ve chosen the perfect engagement ring for that special someone! Firstly, congratulations if it’s about that time to start ring shopping! Whether you’re searching for rings together or heading to the shop alone, this extensive guide is key for selecting the perfect engagement ring. And if it isn’t your time yet, let this guide serve as inspiration for what you’d want your future engagement ring to look like!

1) Educate Yourself on the 4C›s The 4C’s— cut, color, clarity and carat weight— each play an important role in the quality, price and beauty of a diamond. What’s important to know is that even if a diamond ring hits high on the scale in each of the 4C categories, it’ll naturally cost the most but may not be any more beautiful than a more affordable one. In other words, it is a misconception to say that a diamond has to be perfect across all 4C’s to be valuable. What matters most is that the diamond is beautiful in the eyes of your SO, and that you’re getting the best quality diamond within your budget. However, educating yourself on cut, color, clarity and carat weight will help you narrow down your options during your search for the perfect ring, as well as help you understand the diamond jargon you may encounter during your search.



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As a general rule, most diamond experts suggest a high quality cut above all else, as this greatly impacts a diamond’s beauty and brilliance. The cut refers to how well the diamond is proportioned and polished, which in turn determines how well it interacts with light. If you want an eye-catching diamond that effortlessly sparkles and shines, be sure to consider the cut and ask your jeweler about it.

On the other hand, finding a good balance between cut and clarity is essential. Clarity refers to the number of natural imperfections, called inclusions, present in the diamond. Diamond experts suggest that your goal should be to find the most affordable, “eyeclean” diamond. “Eye-clean” describes diamonds that may have inclusions but the typical person can’t see them with their naked eye.


Carat Weight

A diamond’s color is graded in terms of how “white” or colorless it is. The scale is measured from D-Z, with D meaning completely colorless and most expessiexe, and Z meaning the diamond has a yellow hue. This component may not matter too much in your search, being that a diamond color is a personal preference and doesn’t necessarily indicate quality.

What many don’t know is that the carat weight of a diamond is not equivalent to how large the stone is. Depending on the diamond’s shape and cut, two 1 carat diamonds might be quite different in size. Be open to lowering your carat weight to ensure you purchase a stunning diamond; brilliance and beauty will outshine mere weight each and every time.

2) Understand your partner’s style and preference The perfect engagement ring should perfectly compliment your partner’s lifestyle and personality. The ring style may very well bee the most personal component of an engagement ring. To decided on the perfect style, take notes on your partner’s personal style. Would you describe it as modern, elegant, or unique? Another way to do this would bee to reach out to friends and family who know your loved ones’s taste. Need more inspiration? Here are some styles that have been suggested by leading diamond company Brilliant Earth:

Traditional and Elegant

Stylish and Outgoing

Outdoorsy and Nature Lover

The most timeless setting is the classic solitaire setting—it showcases the diamond without any distraction. Solitaires are the most popular types of engagement rings and would best complement a person who loves a classy, refined look.

If your SO loves a luxurious, glamours look you’ll want to choose a diamond setting that holds the diamond higher. Halo engagement settings add a circle of diamonds around the center diamond to add sparkle and make the center diamond appear larger.

When they’re not with you, is your SO most happy when they’re outdoors? Are they very active and a nature lover? If yes, you may want to select a ring with a setting that has organic elements such as leaves and flowers. A bezel setting is great for an active person because it’ll keep the diamond protected.



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3) Choose a Band Metal

5) Let’s talk money

Engagement rings are usually made from yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum. Although, roses gold emerged as a fresh, modern addition to the traditional band colors. The key to the best ring metal is that it should complement the overall design and stone you choose. if you’re unsure what would go best, the safe, traditional route would be to go with white gold as it fits perfectly with the majority of designs and gems.

Have you ever heard the saying that an engagement ring should cost abut two months’ worth of a salary? This saying came from a De Beer advertisement; they are the diamond company that completely revolutionized the diamond world in 1947 with their slogan: ‘A diamond is forever.’ It was the first time diamonds began to be marketed as a romantic purchase a man could make for his lover.

4) Get Measured Correctly Learning the 4C’s, picking the right ring setting that goes with your partner’s style and selecting the best band metal all won’t matter if the ring doesn’t fit! Ring size is an essential consideration to this process—no one wants to get it wrong. If you don’t already know your partner’s ring size or you want the proposal to be a complete surprise, here are step by step instructions to help you find the perfect ring size, with only three tools: string, a pen and a ruler. 1. Cut a piece of string to at least 3 inches long 2. SNUGGLY wrap it around the base of the finger you plan to wear your ring on.

Prior to this slogan and the advertisements accompanied it, during the 1930s, diamond engagement rings were not necessarily normal or expected. In 1940, only 10% of first time brides were receiving diamond engagement rings, while in 1990 that number skyrocketed to 80%. With that being said, there are so many more options at your disposal today. An engagement ring does not have to be worth two months of your salary—it could be more or less depending on your comfort and your partner’s preferences. Also, you could always upgrade the ring later on in life or inquire about a financing plan. Ultimately, you SO will value the love and thoughtfulness behind the engagement ring more than it’s price.

3. Mark where the ends overlap 4. Lay the string flat and use ruler to measure the length in millimeters 5. Use the Ring Size Conversion Chart below to find your corresponding ring size

Ring size conversion chart, courtesy of Brilliant Earth Traditional and Elegant, courtesy of Brilliant Earth Stylish and Outgoing, courtesy of Brilliant Earth Outdoorsy and Nature Lover, courtesy of Brilliant Earth Color scale, courtesy of GIA Diamond Solitaire Engagement, courtesy of KAY Jewelers De Beers ‘A Diamond is Forever’ advertisement, courtesy of



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Webcam Weddings

Why Virtual Weddings Should Not Be Forgotten By Courtney Williams



March/April 2022

This pandemic has had us in situations we never thought we would be in. So much of our in-person world was transferred to a virtual space seemingly overnight. Whether we wanted to or not, we learned to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and even weddings through a computer screen. Now that we’re getting back to normal, we have some interesting choices to make which trends stay and which ones we leave behind.

Though we are not completely past the pandemic, normal wedding traditions are making their comeback. Does this mean that virtual weddings will completely disappear? Not likely. There are some things about virtual weddings that may remain useful even when Covid is in our rearview. In fact, there are several reasons why a webcam wedding might be ideal when tying the knot.

When it came to weddings in 2020, many couples decided to wait for the all-clear from their state or the CDC. According to statistics from The Knot, 32 percent of couples decided to push their receptions to later dates. Of the 22 percent who decided to completely push back their wedding, 7 percent decided to cancel. Overall, 96 percent of couples had to alter their weddings in some way.

For starters, when we say virtual wedding, we mean a wedding that is taking place either partially or completely online. Regardless of how much of the event is conducted in-person, there are some advantages to both. If a wedding is done completely virtual, there are some cost elements that no longer need to be considered. In a virtual space, there is no need to worry about extra food, fancy decorations, or



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paying for a larger venue. And here’s the best part; whether there are 10 guests or 200, everyone gets a chance to be equally part of the event. Not only can having a virtual wedding be less expensive for the soon-to-be newlyweds but more convenient for friends and family. Having a destination wedding provides a wonderful experience for both the couple and the attendees but it does not come without downsides. It can be costly and requires commitment from those who are going to make the trip. With everyday responsibilities to consider, attending an event that needs dedicated time and money is simply impossible for some. Virtual weddings allow guests to save the date without worry of conflicting schedules. Another great thing about virtual weddings is that there is no pressure to have an extravagant ceremony. Fairytale weddings are full of luxury, glitz and glam but some couples prefer a smaller, minimalist experience. Virtual weddings offer a sense of intimacy. Even though guests are viewing the event, it can still be very personal. For those who would prefer a calmer, scaledback event, a virtual wedding gives the couple more control over what is shared and what is kept between spouses. Virtual weddings are also a great way to bypass the numerous months of planning that goes into putting together a traditional ceremony. According to the all-



things-wedding site, Brides, couples typically spend anywhere between six months to a year preparing for the big day. Don’t have that type of time? A virtual wedding could be a good alternative. Only the basics are needed, and the couple decides how formal or informal their day is. It is true that traditional wedding celebrations are done surrounded by friends and family but if 2020 taught us anything it’s that life is all about rolling with the punches. We found new ways to make our loved one’s part of our special moments even from afar. No matter if in-person or online, it’s important to remember the purpose of the day is seeing two people create a family. It may take a little convincing to get others on board but at the end of the day, a virtual wedding is just as valid, just as important, and just as special as one conducted in-person. With all the benefits that exist, it looks like virtual weddings are here to stay. The pandemic showed us just how much our world is changing and implementing technology into tradition could create a unique experience that works for both the couple and their guests. What started as a way to get by during covid, could be something that one day becomes custom. Even if you have an in-person wedding, adding virtual elements may be something to consider; no global pandemic required.

March/April 2022

15 Non-Traditional Wedding Dessert Ideas Article By: Kayla-Ajanae Archer-Buckley It’s no secret that most people love a traditional wedding cake, but what about those who prefer to stand out? If you like going against the grain, you may enjoy a more non-traditional-style wedding. There are tons of ways to personalize your wedding and showcase your individuality. And what better way to do this than through food – specifically, desserts! Consider skipping the cake entirely and opting for one of the unique dessert options below. These eccentric and delicious desserts will leave a smile on every guest’s face and create an unforgettable wedding!

Mixed Dessert Bar This is a perfect option if you’re unsure of what you want. Dessert bars are also great because there’s something for everyone! From cookies to brownies and ice cream, your guest will have plenty of options to choose from.

Macaroons These French pastries are gorgeous! The great thing about macaroons is that they look just as good as they taste. Macaroons come in a variety of colors, so you can have them made to match your wedding theme.

Ice Cream I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This is another great option for those who prefer variety. You can serve individual cones or have an ice cream bar equipped with toppings and multiple flavors! There are endless flavors of ice cream, so you can choose some that correspond to your wedding theme.



These 15 unique dessert options will ensure that your wedding is unforgettable! Most of these desserts can be fun D.I.Y projects, or you can hire a professional. Either way, these delicious and non-traditional desserts are sure to create a lasting memory amongst you and your guest. Who knows, you may even start a new tradition!

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Cake Pops

Belgian Waffle Bar

If you still prefer cake, consider this unique spin! Cake pops are made from the same ingredients as a traditional cake. They can be made in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. These individual treats are perfect as a standalone option, or you can incorporate them into a dessert bar.

Waffles have been slowly making their way into the wedding scene. Belgian waffles can be a great option, and they can be made into any shape. Consider adding different toppings such as fruit, sprinkles, syrups, and candy!

Fruit Kabobs For those who prefer dairy-free options, fruit is a tasty and healthy option. With spring approaching, you may want to consider some inseason fruits such as strawberries, pineapples, mangos, kiwis, and grapes. To spice it up, you can also include fondue, granola, shredded coconut, or honey.

S’mores A S’mores bar is great for an outdoor wedding. Allow guest to make their own s’mores or have them pre-assembled. To make this more exciting, include different types of chocolates such as Reese’s, dark chocolate, or cookies n cream chocolate.

Doughnut Tower If you’re a doughnut lover, this may be the perfect option for you! Consider offering different flavors and matching the frosting to your wedding colors.

Cookie Shots Cookies and milk are a classic combination. Cookie shots combine the two, creating an edible shot “glass” with a sweet cream filling. These desserts can also be made in a variety of flavors! 34


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Personalized Cookies This is a cute and super unique dessert option. Personalized cookies can be made in the shape of you and your partner.

Pie Fries Pie remains one of America’s favorite desserts! Pie fries are a great alternative to regular pie. They’re made from pie crust and topped with cinnamon sugar. These treats can be served with a dipping sauce, but they taste great on their own.

Crepe Bar Crepes are super fun to make, and they can be sweet or savory. Include a variety of fillings and toppings to appeal to your guest. Consider including hazelnut spread, cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, a variety of fruits, chocolate chips, and other candy.

Gourmet Popcorn Gourmet Popcorn comes in so many different flavors, from caramel to cheddar jalapeño there’s a perfect flavor for everyone. You can serve the popcorn in custom bags or decorative jars.

Cotton Candy Unleash your inner child with this fluffy treat! Cotton candy is a super fun option, and it comes in many different colors. Cotton candy can be pre-made, or you can rent a cotton candy machine.

Hot Chocolate Bar Drinks are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of wedding desserts, but this is sure to stand out! For a twist, you can offer flavored alcohol such as coffee liqueur, peppermint vodka, whipped cream vodka, or spiced rum! You may also want to include marshmallows, whipped cream, or chocolate straws. 35


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Spring Weddings Are In Bloom Check Out Virtual Trends & Amazingly Creative Desserts

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