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I’ve got soul
Echoing my colleague and fellow mom, Stefanie Gans, below, life with two young children, a husband (who travels!) with a full-time job in the city and me, chasing never-ending magazine deadlines, can get a little bananas. The thing that usually gets put on the back burner? Exercise. Pre-kids, I loooooved SoulCycle. I’ve never had a runner’s high, but I’m pretty sure being moved to tears while I’m on the bike is what all those joggers are talking about. But I live and work in NoVA and getting to a class in DC or Maryland just hasn’t been feasible. But the spin studio recently, finally, opened its first NoVA outpost in Clarendon. It’s time to get back on that bike. Sign-ups for the week open on Mondays at noon so you’ll find me at my computer reserving a spot. Instructor Kallie House, who shared her style and beauty tips in our July issue, has a class at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday. I’ll be the one in the back row crying happy tears. -KB // SoulCycle: 2700 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington; $20-$30
Just roll with it
There’s something very cool about making the food you eat with your own two hands. While cooking can mostly, for me at least, be pretty frustrating, especially when I’m learning a new dish, I do get satisfaction out of knowing that I was the one who put it all together. It makes me feel like one day I’ll get to a level where recipe books aren’t so intimidating. This Saturday, July 13 (noon to 2 p.m.), I’ll be taking a stab at sushi, learning how to make a traditional roll and an inside-out roll at Bangkok Bistro’s weekly sushi-rolling class, led by chef Daniel. -HG // Bangkok Bistro at Ballston: 715 N. Glebe Road, Arlington; $45.50
Why walk when you can crawl?
Since moving to the area, I’ve learned that there is no shortage of breweries in the Northern Virginia region. While I am more of a wine drinker myself, I have always been intrigued by the endless varieties of beer that exist in the world, and where better to become a beer drinker than Virginia? Aka one of the first states in America that figured out how to make the concoction (and how to make it well). From pale ales to dark lagers, each company here puts its own twist on a classic flavor of beer and this weekend, I am going to try a few at the annual Port City Old Town Pub Crawl in Alexandria. There’s nothing like a few beers to make exploring a new place that much more fun, right? -JF // Port City Old Town Pub Crawl: 1 King St., Alexandria; July 13, 1:30-6 p.m.; free to participate
Ready for take two?
Two days a year for fireworks (New Year’s and the Fourth) are just not enough. When I was young, I distinctly remember telling my parents that Independence Day was my favorite holiday, simply because I got to watch the colorful show light up the sky, eyes wide and filled with excitement. The first few years my dad’s bright-orange earmuffs came along to deter the sound, but those have since been unnecessary since the early 2000s (am I really losing my hearing this early in life?). But as I watched the sky shimmer behind the Lincoln Memorial on July 4, I felt like that little kid again, sitting cross-legged on a blanket on a humid night, feeling something stirring inside that always feels bigger than myself. That’s why I’m gearing up for a second round of fireworks at the Alexandria Birthday Celebration at Oronoco Bay Park. I’ll take a stroll, grab some food and hold on to my childhood spirit just a bit longer. -JZ // Oronoco Bay Park: 100 Madison St., Alexandria; July 13, 6-10 p.m.; free
My own secretary
I won’t pretend I’m unique in thinking I have a crazy, stressful, busy life with two kids under 4, a husband with a full-time job in the city and me, a dining editor and restaurant critic, who drives an hour to the office for writing by day and dines at restaurants from Purcellville to Fredericksburg by night. As I’m in the thick of what I call “eating season” for the November issue of 50 Best Restaurants, I’m still trying to figure out how to be a good parent, partner and employee. Often, I feel like I’m failing. I’m hoping the planning workshop at the Erin Condren store in Mosaic District will help me figure out life. New pens will do that, right? -SG // Erin Condren at Mosaic District: 2905 District Ave., Suite 140, Fairfax; July 14, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; $25