“All new” Aeropostale coming in January, Menchie’s construction update (Photos)

Troubled chain Aeropostale is sending mixed messages at its Westfield Montgomery Mall storefront in Bethesda. Going-out-of-business-style signs screaming “Everything must go!!” and, “Entire store 70% off,” share equal billing with another sign, which promises an “all new Aeropostale” in January 2017, and a reassurance that “this isn’t goodbye.”

The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, and even shuttered its flagship Times Square store at that time. A recent rent deal has allowed the chain to keep open more stores than originally expected. I found that these exact same signs are on another store in Syracuse, New York. At the same time, unlucky locations like Pearland, Texas are still on track to close.

Menchie’s kiosk

Meanwhile, construction of the Menchie’s frozen yogurt kiosk at the mall looks just about finished. Let’s hope they can get open in time for the limited-edition holiday cup, spoon, and Egg Nog yogurt flavor. The kiosk is located right outside of Build-A-Bear on Level 1.


Bethesda construction update: Cheval Bethesda ultra-luxury condos (Photos)

The construction of the future Cheval Bethesda ultra-luxury condo tower is now beginning to reach the residential floors of the building. While the lowest floors will primarily be taken up by parking decks, retail, and the lobby, they are now working on the levels where residents will actually live.

Cheval Bethesda, at 4960 Fairmont Avenue, will house 72 units on 17 floors. It will include 7000 SF of retail space. Prices range from the $ 700s to over $ 3 million, and the sales center is now open at 7706 Woodmont Avenue. Delivery is expected next year. The developer is Duball, LLC.


Regency Centers’ sketch plan for Westbard scheduled for Feb. 2 hearing at Planning Board

Regency Centers’ sketch plan for the redevelopment of 22 acres in the Westbard area of Bethesda is now scheduled to be reviewed by the Montgomery County Planning Board on February 2, 2017, according to an email from John Marcolin of the Montgomery County Planning Department. He says the developer has resubmitted an amended plan since receiving extensive feedback from the Development Review Committee. Several issues are yet to be resolved, Marcolin said, including the line of dedication for the Willett Branch greenway park.

Some residents have questioned how Regency Centers can already be hosting a public meeting on their Preliminary Plan before the sketch plan has been approved. Marcolin says that while both processes can legally be concurrent, he does not expect the Preliminary Plan to catch up with the project’s sketch plan.

The properties in question are the Westwood Shopping Center, Westwood Center II, vacant Manor Care nursing home, Westwood Tower, Citgo I and II, and Bowlmor Lanes.


Natural Ways To Fight A Cold – As the seasons are changing and many of you are trying to fight off that welcome-to-fall sniffle, I thought it would be great to bring back one of my most popular blog posts (I have updated it with some new information):

The 10 Best Natural Way To Fight A Cold: 

1. The Basics:

  • Drink plenty of water–about half your body weight in ounces–each day.  
  • Eat a clean diet full of vegetables (green and orange ones are particularly great this time of year), animal protein (pastured & grass-fed is ideal) and low sugar fruit like berries, apples & pears (limit to 1-2 pieces per day).  Limit your grain intake to one organic non-gmo serving per day. Avoid added sugar as this suppresses the immune system. Interesting fact: 1 teaspoon of sugar suppresses the immune system from 2-6 hours!!
  • Sleep 7-8 hours each night. Ample sleep is especially imperative as we head into the colder weather.

2.  Use Your Neti Pot.  At the first sign of a cold do a nasal rinse with bottled or purified water, at least once a day but twice per day is ideal. If the Neti Pot isn’t for you, try this: get some eucalyptus essential oil from the local health food store, and to a pot of boiling water add 5 drops and then steam over the hot water. The eucalyptus will open your sinuses right up!

3.  Take Extra Vitamin C & D. Both of these vitamins are best when they come from food sources, however supplementing during cold season isn’t a bad idea either. Try for 5,000 ius of vitamin D daily (1 teaspoon/8 capsules of cod liver oil pills with give you around 2000iu’s).  To get some extra Vitamin D, take a few drops of this brand. And for the vitamin C, aim to get in about 3,000-5,000 mg/day. Get your vitamin C from fruit like blueberries and oranges and veggies like bell peppers and kale.

4.  Eat Garlic. Garlic is a potent cold and flu fighter. Thanks to an oily compound called allicin garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. For the ultimate cold fighting beverage, dice up a clove or two and add it to a mug of hot water along with freshly squeezed lemon, a few shavings of fresh ginger and a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne. 

5.  Drink hot water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. If your body can’t handle the garlic, or you have a hot date on your agenda, skip the garlic in the above recipe and drink 3-5 mugs per day of hot water w the juice from half of a lemon squeezed into it. Add some ginger and clove to it for extra cold fighting bang.

6.  Take Cordyceps. This is one of my favorite all time immune enhancing fungi. I recommend it in capsule or tincture form. This is my favorite brand.

7.  Take Probiotics. These natural good for you bacterial strains are one of the best immune enhancers put there. A great way to get probiotics in is thru eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and greek yogurt. In addition I recommend that you take one ir two capsules per day of probiotics made by MegaFoods, HMF or Garden Of Life.

8.  Eat homemade chicken soup AKA bone broth. For those of you who know me well or are a patient of mine, you know that I am all about bone broth! It is the ultimate in immune enhancing.  Follow my favorite recipe and boost not just your immune system but your overall health.

9. Exercise. This is to keep your immune system up- if you are sick, rest up and listen to your body. But for optimal health you should be exercising 3-5 days per week for 30-45 minutes.

10. Meditate. Daily. 5-15 minutes of daily meditation will keep you healthy–mentally, emotionally & physically. Check out my video on how to meditate & take some much needed mental downtime as 60-90% of all doctors visits is for a stress related disorder! For guided meditation, great app to try out is Headspace.

Good luck fighting off your winter cold this year!  Share this post with whomever you think could benefit!


Former Red Tomato Cafe demolished in Bethesda (Photos)

All that’s left of the popular Red Tomato Cafe this morning is their old brick pizza oven. It stands amid the rubble of the restaurant, which was condemned after the building was damaged during excavation for the neighboring Bainbridge Bethesda luxury apartment tower.

You’ll notice one wall remains standing, which means it is not technically a full demolition under Montgomery County code; in contrast, the old BCC Automotive facility adjacent to this had demolition permits posted.

This is part of the Lot 667 project by Greenhill Capital, which will transform an L-shaped collection of properties (old Fresh Grill and Dansez! Dansez building on Fairmont Avenue, and Red Tomato and BCC Automotive on St. Elmo Avenue – – renovation of 4901-A Fairmont has already been completed and is occupied by Tapabar and European Wax) into a new retail and restaurant center.

The project’s design is by the local architecture firm of Steven J. Karr, AIA, Inc.


Former Matuba restaurant building sold in Bethesda

The former home of Japanese restaurant and sushi bar Matuba has been sold. 4920 Cordell Avenue (the restaurant portion was addressed as 4918 Cordell), a 5250 SF two-story building, sold for $ 3,040,000. The deal closed on October 5, according to real estate records, and the buyer was Surplus Associates Limited Partnership.


Assaults on Westbard Ave., Jones Bridge Rd.; drug bust on Wisconsin Ave. + more – Bethesda crime update

Here’s a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on November 2, according to crime data:

Drug arrest. 7500 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Liquor arrest. 7200 block Arlington Road.

Assault. Jones Bridge Road at Glenbrook Parkway.

Vehicle burglary. 7800 block Custer Road.

Assault. 5500 block Westbard Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. Shops at Wisconsin Place.

Vehicle burglary. 6000 block Onondaga Road.


Bethesda man missing, car stolen on Old Georgetown Rd. + more – Bethesda crime update – Here’s a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 27, according to crime data:

Theft. Old Georgetown Road at Edgemoor Lane.

Theft from vehicle. DoubleTree Bethesda hotel.

Theft. 4600 block N. Park Avenue.

Pedestrian struck. Willard Avenue at Friendship Boulevard.

Daniel McNeil Hogan
of Bethesda

Missing person. Daniel McNeil Hogan, 25, of 5100 block of Westridge Road. Last seen October 24, last heard from via text message on October 26 at 3:30 AM. White male, 5’7” tall, 158 pounds.  Brown hair, green eyes.  Detectives believe he may be driving a black, 2005 Infiniti G35 with Maryland tag: 7CK4081. Anyone with information in reference to the whereabouts of Daniel Hogan is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (available 24 hours).  Callers may remain anonymous.

Theft from vehicle. 5000 block Aurora Drive.

Pedestrian struck. 6400 block Rock Spring Drive.

Theft from vehicle. 11200 block Old Georgetown Road.

Stolen car. 11700 block Old Georgetown Road.

Theft. 1600 block E. Jefferson Street.


Theft at Westland MS, 3 drug busts + more – Bethesda crime update

Here’s a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 21, according to crime data:

Drug arrest. Cordell-St. Elmo Parking Garage 40.

Disorderly conduct. Woodmont Avenue at St. Elmo Avenue.

Drug arrest. Rockville Pike at Jones Bridge Road.

Drug arrest. Rockville Pike at South Drive.

Theft. Suburban Hospital.

Theft. 5500 block Friendship Boulevard.

Theft. Westland Middle School.

Burglary. 4700 block Waverly Avenue (Garrett Park).

Theft. 5100 block Nicholson Lane.

Theft. Westfield Montgomery Mall.


What’s The Best Oil To Cook With?

Recently, I was asked: what’s the best oil to cook with?

One would think any oil suffices for cooking. That’s SO not the case.

Non-processed and organic saturated fats (the kind that are solid or semi-solid at room temperature) are typically the best for cooking at high temperatures, as they will not go rancid nor oxidize.

You see when an oil goes rancid or oxidizes, it produces free radicals. Free radicals are the ANTI anti-oxidant. Where anti-oxidants help prevent signs of aging like wrinkles and heart disease. Free radicals–the ANTI anti-oxidants– actually cause premature aging and diseases.

When cooking at high temps or with a high flame you should use a good, hearty saturated oil or fat that will remain stable when being heated and not produce any free radicals. Such fats are butter (yes butter–good organic butter, preferably from grass-fed cows, is actually healthy for you), coconut oil, sesame oil or ghee. (Read more about fats, oils and the myths about cholesterol here ; it’s a long and somewhat boring article, but it’s definitely educational.)

When using a low flame, or baking– monounsaturated cold- pressed, organic, extra virgin olive oil is a good choice. Olive oil will go rancid and create free radicals at high temperatures (or with a high flame). A good general rule of thumb: if you’re cooking with MORE than a medium flame on the stove-top: DON’T use olive oil. Use organic coconut or sesame oil, butter or ghee instead.

I’ve made this little, easy cheat sheet for you to look at so you can know what to cook with when.

• Eggs: when pan-frying eggs, use organic butter, ghee or coconut oil to cook. *DO NOT use olive oil to cook eggs.
• Chicken: grill, bake or cook on the stove-top. Use organic butter, ghee, coconut oil or olive oil (when baking or using a low flame on the stove-top) to cook.
• Fish: broil, steam or grill. Use organic butter,ghee, olive or coconut oil to cook.
• Meat: pan-sear, grill or broil. Use organic butter, ghee or coconut oil to cook. *DO NOT use olive oil to cook meat.

Heres another tidbit for your cheat sheet… when buying oils, its important that you only purchase oils that have these three terms on the label: cold-pressed, organic and extra virgin. This ensures that the process at which the oil was made for you did not use harsh chemicals (like hexane) nor high heat (which robs the oils of their naturally occuring nutrients).

Did you notice that canola oil wasn’t mentioned at all? That’s because canola oil is so refined and chemically processed that it really isn’t that healthy for us– and, why use it when we have other options to choose from. I personally wouldn’t recommend cooking with it, ever. For more information, read this article.

This should go without saying, but avoid at all costs cooking with any of the following commercial vegetable oils: cotton seed oil, soy oil, corn oil, canola oil, hemp oil and grapeseed oil; all margarines, spreads and partially hydrogenated vegetable shortenings. They’re over processed, offer us zilch for nutrition and are just gross.

Happy cooking!