Sorting Things Out

An organized house may seem like fantasy for a busy family. However, Stephanie Jackson, executive organizer and owner of local company Sort Me Out, believes anything is possible with a little bit of planning. “The secret to organization is evaluating your needs,” she says. “When you know why you’re organizing, it’s easier to get everyone [...]

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2017 CoVa Idea House: A Pearl Of A House

Photos by Jonathan Edwards Media An oyster shell—where ruggedness and refinement coalesce in one intriguing package—was the perfect inspiration for the 2017 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House, the second partnership between Coastal Virginia Magazine and Stephen Alexander Homes and Neighborhoods. From seafood market casual to Oysters Rockefeller classy, The Gloucester, a new floorplan for Stephen [...]

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Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Coastal Virginia

When you become a parent, your dining out experiences change instantly and drastically. Pre-children dinners consisted of quiet, intimate evenings where you relished each and every morsel of multiple courses, from the amuse bouche to the exquisite dessert. Each selection was, of course, paired with a fabulous wine that you carefully swirled, sniffed and sipped. [...]

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Virginia Arts Festival 21st Season

When Virginia Arts Festival director Rob Cross sat down with his staff to begin planning the 2017 season, he faced a daunting task. Last year, to mark the Festival’s 20th anniversary, he pulled out all the stops, with extra financial support from donors, sponsors and the cities of Coastal Virginia. “We knew going into 2017 [...]

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2017 Must-See Virginia Arts Festival Events

The 2017 Virginia Arts Festival will run from March 31 through May 28, with a wide variety of performances across our region in venues ranging from Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall and Virginia Beach’s Sandler Center, to more intimate venues. For a complete list of Festival events visit VaFest.org. Following are 15 events that sound especially promising: [...]

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2017 Spring Performing Arts Events with SevenVenues

Spring is a wonderful time of year to be an arts lover in Coastal Virginia. You probably have a full list of VAF shows you plan to attend, but don't forget to add these SevenVenues highlights to your must-see schedule for additional stand-outs this season. Brain Candy Live! Adam Savage and Michael Stevens are touring [...]

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Something to Stout About

We look forward to St. Patrick’s Day each year, both for the opportunity to break out that random article of green clothing or accessory that we almost never get to wear, and for the chance to participate in a number of local festivities. But mainly, there’s the beer. No, not the plastic cups of light [...]

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CIV Celebrates 10 Years

If you think culinary school is just a way to learn how to cook, Andy Gladstein, Campus President for the Culinary Institute of Virginia, has a message for you. “We always tell people that the biggest misconception about culinary school—at least our approach to culinary education—is that we are a place where people learn how [...]

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Craft Brews and Oysters By The Dozen at The Tides Inn in Irvington

As the sun slowly descends over Carter’s Creek, the evening is just beginning at The Tides Inn, located on Virginia’s Northern Neck. Out on the Chesapeake Terrace, fire pits are blazing, guests are mingling, beer is flowing, and I’m preparing my palate for consuming as many oysters as I can—in as many ways possible—in just [...]

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The Heroin Problem Hitting Home in Suburbia

Ron* remembers vividly the first time he felt “the warmth of the opium embrace,” as he puts it. “I was 23 at the time,” the now-33-year-old Norfolk resident recalls. “I’d been doing a lot of cocaine and pills but had always been afraid of heroin because I didn’t want to stick a needle in my [...]

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Top Teacher: Margaret Beckner

A love of language lured Margaret Beckner into the classroom 36 years ago, and every day the French teacher at Cox High School in Virginia Beach finds something new to love about her work. Originally from Greensboro, N.C., Beckner started out working for an investment banking firm on Wall Street but quickly realized finance wasn’t [...]

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Top Teacher: Dana Wakefield

Dana Wakefield dreamed of being a teacher when she was a little girl, and now her dream has come true. As math specialist at Willard Model Elementary School in Norfolk, Wakefield divides her time between working with small groups of students to improve their math skills and assisting teachers with planning and delivering their math [...]

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Top Teacher: Christine Contakes

Educating people has always come naturally to Christine Contakes. As the oldest of three siblings, she positioned herself in a leadership role early on, caring for her little sisters. But the skills she utilizes in the classroom today were honed over the years by the teachers she admired while she was a student. “I have [...]

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Top Teacher: Elyse Vaughan

Elyse Vaughan didn’t start out to be a teacher. She was working as a chemist at the Union Camp International Paper Company mill in Franklin when the plant shut down. She and her family moved to Alabama for a few years, then had an opportunity to return to Coastal Virginia. “I’ve been a chemist since [...]

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Top Teacher: Ryan Nunley

“The greatest thing about being a teacher,” says Ryan Nunley, “is watching a student work with a challenge, being there to facilitate, then watching them overcome that challenge”—not unlike a group of young scientists working to confirm their hypothesis in the lab. A pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade science teacher at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Newport [...]

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Coastal Virginia Top Teachers 2017

Throughout our school years, we may not recall the hours spent mastering long division, the day we grasped the concept of photosynthesis or the exact moment we learned to spell hippopotamus. But, chances are, we remember some of the educators who taught us these practical lessons. Most of us had that one teacher (or, if [...]

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JMU Football Champ Plays Against The Odds

As running back for the James Madison University Dukes, Khalid Abdullah’s college career is one for the record books. His performance on the football field shattered records for rushing touchdowns (41), total touchdowns (45) and scoring (270). In January, he claimed MVP status after running 101 yards and scoring two touchdowns, helping lead the Dukes [...]

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The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Home Stager

Location, location, location is a familiar mantra for real estate. But when it comes to selling a house, more and more real estate agents and homeowners are thinking appearance, appearance, appearance. With more home choices than ever on the market today, home staging is a great way to showcase your house’s best features using furniture, [...]

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The Outer Banks Taste of the Beach Food and Drink Festival 2017

The 2017 Taste of the Beach in the Outer Banks is scheduled for March 23–26. This year’s event will feature some of the most popular events from previous years, plus several new events to keep things interesting. “We have a new event category called Pop-Up Oceanfront Restaurants, which is a neat concept we came up [...]

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Retirement Communities Are Helping Residents Stay Active

In 1900, the average life expectancy for a male in the United States was 46.3 years. For females, it was 48.3 years. By 2014, the ages had jumped to 76.3 for males and 81.3 for females. One reason is the shift in the leading causes of death and illness from infection and parasitic disease thanks [...]

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How to Afford Private School

In life, a well-funded bank account is always a nice thing to have, but for students interested in attending independent schools, it’s not essential. Coastal Virginia private school leaders say other factors, such as generous financial aid and a good school-family fit, are instead the keys to attending a private school. At Norfolk Collegiate, with [...]

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Restaurants at Hilton Norfolk The Main

Seated at tables blanketed with chic, grey tablecloths, creative sheet music menus and spring tulip centerpieces, a crowd of approximately 300 enjoyed lunch inside Hilton Norfolk The Main’s stately Granby Ballroom in early February. Music from the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet filled the room as guests dined on kale BLT salad, roasted chicken with [...]

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Preventing Colon Cancer

If there is one form of cancer that people are most reluctant to talk about, it’s likely colorectal cancer. But whether it’s an unpleasant thing to discuss, like any other form of cancer, the key to battling it is early detection. “I think a lot of people who have never had a colonoscopy have a [...]

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Continuing Your Education Can Help With Your Career

Things move fast in the ever-evolving world of business. In order to help you keep up with the pace, local colleges and universities offer a number of business degrees, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and certification programs to keep you ahead of the curve. Old Dominion University’s Management Certificate Program focuses [...]

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Discovering a Delicacy on the Eastern Shore with Virginia’s Oyster Trail

A young Ernest Hemingway’s ode to the oyster celebrated both the flavor and the exuberance of feasting on the bivalve. He wrote of “their strong taste of the sea … the succulent texture,” that led him to “be happy and make plans.” Thanks to Virginia’s Oyster Trail you can follow Hemingway’s lead. Make plans to [...]

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Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art

Organized by the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, Pa., Mindful is no typical “craft show.” Rather, using traditional craft materials in unexpected ways, the 14 artists in Virginia MOCA’s latest exhibition explore the often subterranean and misunderstood range of mental illnesses affecting some one in four adults in hopes of connecting creativity and community [...]

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Battle of the Brussels Sprouts

It’s no secret that Brussels sprouts get a bad rep. Kids often push them to the edge of their plates, and some adults even turn their noses up with merely a mention of the miniature cabbages. All that changes, though, with a little crisp and creativity. We’ve noticed a trend with local restaurants offering crispy [...]

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Right Side: Pride Assemblies in Public Schools

I remember the fat kid in high school. Of course, there was more than one, but I specifically remember this kid in particular because I recall some of the things people said about him. You can imagine that "big boned" wasn't one of the compliments lobbed his way. Back then it was called being mean. [...]

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Left Side: Pride Assemblies in Public Schools

When Cox High School announced late last year that it planned to hold a student-organized gay-pride assembly, some people—predictably—voiced opposition. Incoming school board member Victoria Manning was chief among them. In an email to the board chair, she argued that the assembly would set a bad precedent. “Additionally,” she wrote, “this is a controversial subject, [...]

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The Running Man

​ Photo by Jim Pile Ashok Arora is always on the run. As the owner of five local eateries—Masala Bites in Virginia Beach and Nawab Indian Cuisine (with locations in Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg)—he’s constantly traveling from restaurant to restaurant. But working hard and conquering challenges is something that he’s been doing [...]

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The Hampton LEGO Club Connects Kids While Learning

Sean is crazy for LEGOs.  The 7-year-old is among the first to arrive at the Hampton Public Library's LEGO Club meeting, held every fourth Saturday of the month. Sitting with his mom at one of seven long tables, each adorned with two or three shoebox-sized containers of LEGO parts, he looks like he's about to [...]

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2017 Real Estate Trends And Tips

Ask three Coastal Virginia real estate experts—Terry Gearhart, Katie Zarpas and Becky Claggett—to predict the future, and they’ll each respond the same: 2017 should be good. After 10-plus years of a twisting and turning market that kept experts and neophytes alike on their toes, this year points to stability. “It’ll be low to mid growth, [...]

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One Flock at Paradise Creek Nature Park

Scottish artist Rob Mulholland, known for his creations depicting the interplay between humans and nature, has displayed his environmental sculptures around the world—Russia, France, South Korea—and now, in Portsmouth. Mulholland had been invited to install projects in the U.S. before and hadn’t accepted. But when asked to take on a creation with the Elizabeth River [...]

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BJ Griffin Mixes Music Styles to Captivate Audiences

Growing up in Detroit, Mich., a couple of houses down from Hitsville U.S.A.—Motown’s first headquarters, founded by Barry Gordy in 1959—probably had a pretty significant impact on BJ Griffin’s love of music. Even more impactful was the family heirloom violin that has been passed down for generations for more than a century. “Everybody in our [...]

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Villa Tempesta at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens

The second graders’ eyes bugged, and their mouths fell open as they entered a walled-off garden and spied a giant sculpture made entirely of sticks. One boy pointed and said, to no one in particular, “What is that?” “Castle,” another child guessed. The class, from Richard Bowling Elementary School in Norfolk, was cautioned about touching, [...]

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