Marilyn Campbell

Freelance Reporter

Recent Stories

Challenging A Child’s Mind

Experts say reading is critical to cognitive and emotional development.

Arlington mother Holly Karapetkova reserves time for reading in the schedules of her two young children. It has become such an important part of their daily routine that it is a treasured family activity. It is also vital to her children’s development says Karapetkova.

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Herald Spring with Fun Patterns and Bright Colors

Lively springtime accessories and flowers can make a room seem more cheerful and seasonable.

With yellow and blue flower buds starting to poke their way through the ground, you might be forgiven for believing that spring is actually coming this year. Even if your yard still looks like a winter wasteland, however, one place to make spring a reality is on the home front. Designers say there is fun to be had. Use bursts of bright colors, energetic patterns and spring accessories to create a seamless transition into the new season.

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Clean for Spring

Local organization experts offer tips to help with spring cleaning.

Betsy Fein found herself in the middle of a spring fling in Fairfax recently. She wasn’t at a festival or involved in a new romance, but in the midst of organizing a cluttered bedroom that was littered with piles of shirts, pants, shoes and books. Spring often means renewal and local organizers like Fein are offering suggestions for clearing out winter clutter. From closets that are overstuffed with wool sweaters and down coats to kitchen drawers overflowing with batteries and appliance manuals, they offer suggestions for getting organized without getting overwhelmed.

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Local Designer Honored

Alexandria tastemaker blends a variety of styles.

Old Town Alexandra-based interior designer Anna Kucera has a knack for helping her clients turn their fanciful ideas in to concrete realities.

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Keeping up with Neal Gillen

Potomac attorney, open-water swimmer doesn’t slow down.

The fog was thick in San Francisco as waves crashed against the rocks in the Pacific Ocean. It was a cold morning and 73-year-old Neal Gillen found himself fighting against the current, gulps of salt water burning his mouth. Far from his Potomac home, he was heading for Alcatraz.

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Seniors Rush to Yoga

Yoga teachers, research point to health benefits for seniors.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, 84-year-old Lola Wulchin can be found slowly stretching into a downward facing dog pose or lunging into a warrior one posture. The Vienna resident has been a yoga devotee at East Meets West Yoga Center in Vienna for slightly more than two years. In fact, she credits twice-weekly, gentle yoga practice with boosting her health and improving her quality of life. "I had been bothered by a lot of neck pain from arthritis," said Wulchin. "I had seen a pain management doctor who gave me shots, I had physical therapy, but I still had neck pain and very little range of motion."

How to Age in Place Safely

Local experts suggest techniques and programs that can help seniors stay in their homes longer.

The AARP reports that nearly 80 percent of adults age 65 and older want to remain in their current homes as long as possible. That population is growing. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, the population 65 years or older numbered 39.6 million in 2009. By 2030, that number will grow to about 72.1 million. While people are living longer and healthier lives, there are still barriers to aging in place, including medication management, self-care, socialization and transportation. But there are innovative strategies and initiatives to help combat these roadblocks.

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New Food for Spring

When Dara Yaffe Lyubinsky was growing up in Potomac she always enjoyed cooking, whether it was with her family and friends, or for her synagogue. Today, she’s passionate about cooking fresh, seasonal meals. Lyubinsky, like many chefs and culinary enthusiasts, is looking forward to strolling through farmers markets and creating fanciful spring dishes with the season’s freshest bounty, especially as she prepares to return to D.C. from New York. However, she and other chefs are making the most of the available spring produce even if warm weather seems a like a distant dream.

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How To Prepare for New SAT

Local experts say working hard in class is the best way to be successful.

Linda Mitchell and her 15-year-old daughter, Alexis, say they don’t really know what to expect when Alexis sits for the SAT college admissions exam in 2016, but they’re not too worried at this point. Two years is a long time.

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Art Educators, Galleries Celebrate Youth Art Month

Experts say art can teach valuable life skills.

Brightly colored self-portraits, landscapes dotted with spring flowers and hand-carved sculptures fill a gallery at the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean. All of the art was created by local school children. Meanwhile, in Alexandria, parents and tots dip their fingers in glue, clay and paint to create collages, sculptures and paintings.

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