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Marilyn Campbell

Stories by Marilyn

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Unscheduling Summer Play

Experts praise the benefits of free play for children.

What was once a time for catching fireflies, swimming and exploring has evolved into a period of elite day camps, academic enrichment classes and top-dollar sports clinics.

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A House by the Sea

Design ideas for beach homes.

As the sweaty days of summer slog on, many are dreaming about a home by the sea, a wistful retreat where cares flow as freely as an ocean breeze.

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July 4th Safety

From swimming to fireworks, safety precautions for a festive Independence Day.

It was a near accident at camp last summer that sparked action by one parent. Elementary school-aged campers splashed in the pool. Everyone was having fun. Then tragedy almost struck.

Ideas for Summer Learning

Experts offer suggestions for avoiding summer brain drain.

While summer is opportunity for fun, it can also be a breeding ground for stagnation.

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YouthQuest Runs ThinkLink

Experts say 3D printing can open a world of imagination and critical thinking.

Adonis Gonzales had always wanted to become a master electrician, but when he was asked to leave high school at 16 because of a poor attendance record, his prospects looked bleak.

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Trending in the Garden

Local landscape architects offer suggestions for updating.

As summer gets underway, so does time spent outside. The American Society of Landscape Architects recently released the results of its 2015 Residential Landscape Architecture Survey, a list of trends in outdoor design that yields a bounty of backyard design ideas. From adding a pond to planting a garden, local landscape gurus explain how these trends can be used to transform an outdoor space into a favorite escape.

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Potomac: Luxury Condominium Clubhouse Opens

Quarry Springs model grand opening set for June 28.

The developers of a new, luxury condominium complex unveiled the project’s clubhouse recently.

Potomac: Midyear Financial Checkup

Local financial experts offer advice for assessing financial health.

For those who set financial goals in January, perhaps as part of a New Year’s resolution, the beginning of summer provides an ideal opportunity to re-access those targets, say financial experts.

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Summer Fun, Summer Safety

Tips for averting summer danger.

It’s a familiar call. The sun beams down from mid-summer sky. Temperatures rise above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but safety conditions start to plummet.

Parents’ Role in Educating about Alcohol and Drugs

Suggestions for talking to teens about staying safe.

Graduation, prom and the summer before heading off to college are some of the highlights of a teen’s high school experience. While the season brings landmark events, it can be marred by the consequences of engaging in harmful activities.

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Alexandria: Roberdeau House on the Market

Historic property in Old Town up for sale for the first time in 40 years.

An expansive historic home is on the market in Old Town Alexandria for the first time in 40 years. Listed in the Historic American Building Survey, the four-story Roberdeau house has eight fireplaces, six bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and a basement.

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Potomac: Local Builder Receives National Honor

Anthony Wilder Design/Build received a national Contractor of the Year award.

A minimalist yet elegant design that includes a wall of glass with dramatic views of a woodsy landscape received top honors recently. Anthony Wilder Design/Build, in Cabin John, received a national Contractor of the Year (CotY) award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for transforming a bland bathroom into a serene spa retreat.

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An Arlington Kitchen Transformation

An Arlington kitchen is gutted to create a crisp, but elegant space.

When an Arlington couple decided to update their kitchen, they wanted the clean look of white cabinets and countertops without sacrificing warmth and durability.

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Healthy Relationships for Life

Researchers say meaningful friendships help preserve health.

Bill and Betty Kenealy, of Springfield, make it a point to socialize regularly with their long-time friends, many of whom are other couples they met through work and through the activities of their five children. They’ve watched their children become adults, worked, retired and even survived cancer. Now they’re living together in a retirement community in Springfield. Bill is 85 and Betty is 81.

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Potomac: County Council Honors Local Small Businesses

Montgomery County Council Member Roger Berliner recognized small businesses in Montgomery County earlier this week.

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Summer Fun for Adults

The region offers a wide range of programs for adults.

Summer fun is no longer reserved for children. Whether one’s interests lie in exploring nature and hiking in the woods or immersed in history, art and literature on a university campus, the region abounds with warm weather opportunities.

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How to Prepare for Summer Camp Away

Many emotions arise when a child leaves for camp.

Julie Kaminski remembers the language from her desperate letters to her parents: “I love you. I want to come home now!” She recalls penning a dramatic plea to be rescued from residential summer camp more than 40 years ago. Today, Kaminski is preparing for her daughter's first camp experience away from home this summer.

Potomac Home Sales Slow But Steady

Appearance and pricing are keys to selling.

The residential real estate market in Potomac didn’t have quite the boom this spring that some Realtors had predicted. The first four months of 2015 have brought slow, but steady sales.

Potomac Business Outlook: Little Growth

High cost of doing business makes survival a challenge.

The state of the business environment in Potomac has changed little in recent years as the cost of doing business in the area makes it difficult for small businesses to survive, say those familiar with the area’s business climate.

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Staged to Sell

Real estate agents give the lowdown on getting your home ready for the market.

When a Burke family hired E. Diane Neustrand to sell their home, she did her standard walk-through of the house to assess it, but when she reached the dining room, she stopped cold.

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Historic Home on the Market

18th-Century Shreve House for sale.

After stepping through the handmade, mahogany front door of a home nestled in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, visitors might feel as though they’d been transported back to the late 1700s, the period during which this Virginia home was built.

Moving for Academic Excellence

Researchers say frequent physical activity can lead to success in school.

Inside an elementary school classroom in Bethesda, Md., a class of third grade students is divided into small groups and given a task: to cross a desert using a limited supply of tools that often include a jump rope, a foam noodle or a scooter. Their mission is to devise a plan to cross the desert without touching the sand.

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D.C. Design House

McLean showcase home opens to the public April 12.

Local interior design enthusiasts will have an opportunity to tour a much-anticipated unveiling this weekend when the 2015 Design House opens in McLean on Sunday, April 12 at noon, with ticket sales benefiting the Children’s National Health System.

Potomac: Local Workshops Provide Help for Parents

Local parent workshops make the challenges of parenting easier.

Workshops are held at the YMCA’s Bethesda office as well as local libraries. Trained staff are available to lead workshops tailored for specific groups and address specific issues.

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‘The Big Event:' A networking opportunity for Potomac-area business owners

A networking opportunity for local business owners.

Potomac business owners will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the greater community later this month at “The Big Event.”

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Fit for the Golden Years in Potomac

Fitness programs for seniors are part of a trend

One night each week, Sue Thompson can be found dribbling a basketball down the court, leading her team, the Nova United, to victory. Thompson, who is in her 60s, is one of the youngest players in her league, the National Senior Women’s Basketball Association.

Fit for the Golden Years

Fitness programs for seniors are part of a trend.

One night each week, Sue Thompson can be found dribbling a basketball down the court, leading her team, the Nova United, to victory. Thompson, who is in her 60s, is one of the youngest players in her league, the National Senior Women’s Basketball Association.

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The Right Fit: Choosing a Summer Camp

How parents can ensure positive summer experiences for their children.

Though the official start of spring is still days away and the frigidity of winter is still recent on the minds of many, Janelle Wright, a Potomac, Md., mother of two, has already mapped out the summer for her children.

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Luxury Apartments Popping Up All Over Northern Virginia

Renters want resort-like amenities and access to transportation.

After a long, hard day at work, Jordan Coleman comes home to a large apartment with modern amenities, including a 24-hour concierge, ample living space, a state–of-the-art fitness center and a pool. The apartment features high-end appliances and finishes as well as an open, flowing layout and large walk-in closets. Coleman – a lawyer and Capitol Hill staffer – shares the pricey rent with a friend. The complex is owned by Avalon, which has properties in Arlington, Fairfax, Herndon, Falls Church, Tysons Corner and Vienna, Virginia, as well as Bethesda, Maryland, and Washington.

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Black History Month Celebrations

Local students learn about the history and accomplishments of African-Americans.

Fourth grade student Eli West crafted a poem this month that was modeled after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.

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A Contemporary Kitchen

Local family transforms their home with a red, black and white kitchen.

When a Springfield couple decided to remodel their 1960s home, they wanted to think outside the box, especially when it came to the kitchen. “Originally confined to a small kitchen ‘box,’ crunched in the back of their house, this couple wanted to expand and modernize their … house to a contemporary, European design,” said Stephanie Brick, associate architectural designer at Nicely Done Kitchens in Springfield.

Remodeling Expands Amount of Useful Space

Trend emphasizes open designs.

Open, airy and clean — that’s the look that a Potomac family wanted when they decided to remodel their dark and dingy, 1970s era kitchen.

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Workshop for Potomac Parents on Managing Family Stress

Feb. 11 event is part of Parent University.

Mental health specialist Elizabeth DuPont Spencer believes stress is a topic familiar to most busy families.

Free and Low-Cost Dental Care for Children

Special programs available as part of National Children's Dental Health Month.

Dental hygiene should start even before a baby’s first tooth emerges. That is one of the messages that dental professionals are hoping to convey this month.

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Mental Health First Aid

County program offers insight into mental illness and teaches strategies for intervention.

Leslie Roberts recalls hearing a mother talk about getting her stepson admitted to a psychiatric hospital. “Her stepson was angry and acting out,” said Roberts. “She didn’t understand what her stepson was doing.”

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Arlingtonians Eat Healthy, Hearty Food To Survive the Season

Local chefs and nutritionist share their favorite tips for cooking healthy comfort food.

Hearty comfort food doesn’t always get the respect nutritionists say it deserves. That’s because the image the often comes to mind is artery-clogging, fat-laden fare, but it doesn’t have to be that way. And let's face it, when temperatures barely crawl high enough to melt ice on the sidewalk, a dinner of arugula and pine nuts drizzled with olive oil falls flat.

Strategy to Succeed

Students master their own learning styles to overcome challenges.

Students who have learning and financial challenges often also face challenges getting into and attending college.

College Prep for All

The ANA Project offers college test preparation tools to students at all income levels.

Amir Mousavi of Arlington, owner of Langley Prep, a provider of private, in-home tutoring for standardized tests, says students with limited financial resources are often at a disadvantage when it comes to preparing for college admissions examinations such as the SAT and the ACT.

Backyard Dreaming

Local tastemakers say winter is the best time to plan an idyllic backyard retreat.

Spring may seem light years away from the frigid January temperatures, and lounging in your backyard is probably the last thing you want to do at the moment, but landscape designers say now is the time to start planning a summer retreat.

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A Kitchen with a View in Arlington

Cramped space transformed into open, airy oasis.

When a local couple decided to purchase a home to accommodate their growing family, they settled on a property in north Arlington. While the charm of the 1960s’ home appealed to them, some of its quirky spaces needed new faces, particularly the kitchen.

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Backyard Dreaming

Local tastemakers say winter is the best time to plan an idyllic backyard retreat.

Spring may seem light years away from the frigid January temperatures, and lounging in your backyard is probably the last thing you want to do at the moment, but landscape designers say now is the time to start planning a summer retreat.

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Keeping Health and Fitness Resolutions in Potomac

Local experts offer advice about how to make resolutions last all year long.

Many Americans begin the new year with vows to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise. For some, keeping those resolutions can become a source of stress, and by February, gym memberships and new fitness equipment often sit unused.

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Top Fitness Trends for 2015

Here are some low-cost and mobile routines.

The beginning of a new year is often a time when many resolve to begin a fitness plan or to ramp up their current routine. Officials at the American College of Sports Medicine rang in the New Year by releasing the organization’s annual survey of the top fitness trends for 2015.

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Gifts for the Home

Local shop owners offer suggestions to make holiday shopping easier.

While holiday shopping is part of the spirit of the season, for some choosing a present for everyone on their list can be overwhelming. Local small business owners come to the rescue with gift ideas for the home.

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An Essay To Remember

Local educators offer advice on acing independent school admission essays and interviews.

While many are knee-deep in wrapping paper and eggnog, some students are holed up with computer keyboards and books of quotations. In addition to driving to the mall for holiday shopping, some parents are throwing rapid-fire questions at their children to make sure they are fast on their feet.

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Battling Holiday Bulge

Nutritionists offer tips for avoiding weight gain.

With the merriment of the holidays comes food, friends and fun. But from office parties to family dinners, opportunities for overeating and weight gain abound. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that the average American gains an extra pound every year that he never loses. Those pounds add up over a lifetime of holidays, but a few local nutritionists offer the skinny on weight-gain culprits and strategies to keep them at bay.

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GMU Chosen To Join Healthy Campus Initiative

George Mason was recognized for its commitment to health and wellness.

George Mason University’s well-being and wellness programs recently received national recognition when the Fairfax-based university was chosen as the first higher education institution in Virginia to join the Healthy Campus Initiative, an effort to encourage colleges and universities to make their campuses healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity and programming.

Handling Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Local experts offer suggestions on how to diffuse family tensions.

Last month, Linda and Tom Bullen traveled from Boston to Arlington, to celebrate Thanksgiving with their son Matt, daughter Rachel and her partner Grace Knight.

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An Exceptional Education

Exceptional Schools Fair offers parents a chance to learn more about schools for their children with special needs.

Maureen Kleinman wandered from booth to booth, speaking with representatives from schools that cater to students who have special needs. She asked questions about each school’s resources and environment.

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Encouraging Girls to Pursue STEM

Holy Child will host female speakers in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

When Trish Whitcomb’s daughter Colleen began to express an interest in engineering, she and her husband were at a loss as to how to foster her academic and career aspirations.

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