Lalo’s, Mbargo, Southerly and Southbound reviews

Lalo’s Cocina Bar & Grill — 3 stars — The Fan

Mbargo — 3 stars — Rocketts Landing

The Southerly — 2 stars — Henrico

Southbound — 3.5 stars — Bon Air

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2015 RVA restaurant reviews thus far

A roundup of restaurant reviews for the beginning of 2015:

Commercial Taphouse & Grill — 3 stars — The Fan

Coda Urban Bistro — 2.5 stars — Downtown

Nora Taste of Lebanon — 3 stars — Henrico

The Betty On Davis — 3 stars — The Fan

Perry’s Restaurant & Delicatessen — 3.5 stars — Downtown

Urban Tavern — 3 stars — Henrico

More Richmond restaurant reviews here.

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Williamsburg, Virginia travel story in Southern Living

southern living december 2014 overGrab a copy of the December issue of Southern Living to read my travel story on where to shop and grab a bite to eat in Williamsburg, Virginia. cheers and happy holidays, marissa

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Morgantown, West Virginia travel story in Southern Living

I wrote a travel story on “where to shop now” in Morgantown, West Virginia, for Southern Living’s November issue. It also is posted online here. Read up! And, if you are feeling adventuresome, it’s worth a trip to Morgantown. Not mentioned in my story: the college town has great local beer and pepperoni rolls! cheers, marissa

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Richmond, Virginia travel story in Southern Living


I wrote a travel story on Richmond, Virginia, which was featured in the September issue of Southern Living. The story tells visitors how to experience the River City on a high and low budget, whether you are tubing on the James or shopping at a high-end boutique. Grab a copy on newsstands now! cheers, marissa

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Writing for HelloGiggles

I recently wrote two pieces for HelloGiggles, a fabulous blog started by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi. I’ve been a fan of the site for awhile, because of its fun content, honest tone and supportive community of women. With all the snark and cynicism on the Internet these days, this blog is a breath of fresh air.

I wrote a personal essay about my struggles as an extrovert (read here), and a piece about how to decorate your house like a fancy cat lady (read here). These pieces were a blast to write. So happy to write for a community of hilarious, fun and smart women. xo, marissa

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What’s new: food writing + The Scout Guide

I have a few exciting journalism moments to report from the past month. I’ll be taking over the Richmond Times-Dispatch‘s weekly “Dining Out” column, which publishes on Thursdays in the Dining section. Each week I will visit a restaurant in Richmond and write about my experience — the food, drinks, service, people, ambiance, consistency, etc. Dana Craig has been writing the column for the past decade and I’m excited to fill her shoes. More from the Times-Dispatch on the transition here. My first column will run Thursday, July 24.

Also, earlier this month, I started copy editing for The Scout Guide, which is headquartered out of Charlottesville, Va. TSG has more than 50 publications in major cities across the country. I’ll be copy editing and fact checking their publications on a freelance basis.

In other news, a few of my Southern Living stories are slated for publication soon. Stay tuned!

xo, marissa

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What’s new: Alcohol, art, travel + writing

Since January I have been hustling, learning a new full-time job and writing more freelance copy than ever. I’m feeling inspired, ambitious and hungry for more. There’s a fire in my belly to write new pieces, and more importantly, a drive to break out of my comfortable and habitual writing format.

Here are a few highlights from the past six months:

New job In January I made the very difficult decision to quit my job as Richmond mag’s associate editor and R•Home’s managing editor for a job as communications manager at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. At VisArts I wear many hats: I do public relations, marketing and branding, ad purchasing, graphic design, website and social media updating, among may other things that come my way in the form of communications. I couldn’t completely say goodbye to my former job, so I’m writing for Richmond, R•Home and Richmond Bride magazines on the side. (This reminds me: You should pick up the Summer 2014 issue of Richmond Bride mag to read my Q&A with couture wedding dress designer Aimee Lauren. She is creating exquisite gowns!)

Southern Living stories For nearly two years I’ve been freelancing for Southern Living, and in the past few months I’ve been working on a handful of travel and style stories for the publication. My pieces are slated for publication at the end of the summer and early in the fall. This writing gig is such a blessing. When I was at Boston University’s journalism school I remember seeing a travel journalism class and thinking “What a dream job.” Some days, I take a step back and look at what I’m writing for Southern Living and my heart just explodes. I grew up with the magazine on my parent’s coffee table and my mom taught me how to cook out of SL’s cookbooks. It’s beautiful to have many chapters in my life with this publication.

Paste magazine stories In April I started writing stories on the alcohol industry for Paste magazine. My pieces include features, lists, recipes, reviews and hopefully in the future a few personal essays. To see what I’m writing for Paste, click here.

Virginia Press Awards In early April I attended the VPAs. I knew I won an award but wasn’t sure what for specifically. Turns out R•Home mag won first place for cover design. I’m so happy to share the award with two of my favorite Richmond publishing ladies, Brandon Fox and Lee Hawkins. Lee Hawkins is an amazing, talented graphic designer who is forward-thinking and always knocks it out of the park with her designs at the VPAs. If you’ve ever picked up R•Home off the local newsstand you’ll know what I’m talking about: all Lee’s cover designs are winners.

Art stuff With my new job at VisArts I have been taking art classes. I just finished up a six-week Intro to Woodworking class and next week am starting a graphic design class to better my marketing skills. I’m enjoying these extracurricular classes because I’m using my brain and hands in a new way.

A few other exciting projects are on the horizon. Stay tuned! xo, marissa

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R•Home’s May/June 2014 issue

Rhome may:june 2014 coverIn the May/June issue of R•Home magazine I did a Q&A with Bill McCarthy, a local picker and furniture transformer. A few months ago when doing a scour of Born Again Furnishings, I came across a delightful bar cart that he made. I asked the owner of Born Again Furnishings about Bill and found out that he works with my friend designer Wendy Umanoff. (If you saw Wendy’s loft in the September/October issue of R•Home you’ll see that indeed her space has some of Bill’s pieces.) Anyways, I bought Bill’s cart, brought it home and now use it as a bar cart in our home. Buying this piece and seeing his other beautiful pieces inspired me to reach out and do the Q&A for the mag. To read the story click here.

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Shepherdstown, West Virginia travel story in Southern Living


Pick up a copy of Southern Living’s May issue to read my travel story on Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a charming little town an hour-and-a-half drive from Washington, D.C. My story highlights the cool places to shop and tasty places to eat in the little town of 1,700 people. Also in this issue, my friend and fellow journalist Kristin Luna wrote a wonderful travel piece on Louisville, Kentucky’s East Market District. It’s always a treat to share some ink with writers you admire. Happy reading!

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