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Marilyn Campbell

Stories by Marilyn

Coat Drive for the Needy in Montgomery County

Share the gift of warmth this holiday season.

A local charity is joining forces with an area music center to help ensure that Montgomery County’s neediest residents are warm this winter.

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New Dining Option in Alexandria

BurgerFi opens restaurant in Old Town.

There’s a new dining option in Old Town.

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Thinking Beyond Serving Meals

Experts advise finding age-appropriate ways for children to give back.

During this season of giving thanks, opportunities for expressions of gratitude can seem ubiquitous.

Easing Election Fears

Local therapists say acknowledging, reassuring are keys to easing anxiety.

On the morning after what was possibly the most adversarial election in recent history, psychologist Carolyn Lorente, Ph.D. felt an urge to send a text message to her two teenaged children.


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Setting a holiday table

Local tastemakers offer suggestions for creating festive tablescape.


As Thanksgiving draws near, thoughts of table settings and holiday décor abound.

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Guest-Ready Home for the Holidays

From organizing to decorating, a guide for getting a house ready for visitors.


Ready or not, the holidays are coming.

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Decking the Halls, Stuffing Bellies

Local cooking schools offer crash courses in holiday dishes.

Ever since Bernadette Lott can remember, she’s had a sweet tooth as big as a sugar cane field.

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Additional Factors Impede Efforts To Quit Smoking

Public encouraged to learn about challenges faced by smokers with mental illness who want to quit.

Despite her mental health challenges, Deneice Valentine quit smoking in part by learning to meditate.

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Making STEM Fun for Children

Event offered opportunity to learn about STEM subjects.

A local educator used carrots and broccoli to teach girls about science and technology.

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Advice from the Pros

Local private school admissions directors share wisdom they’d offer to their own children.

From interviews to essays to standardized tests to open houses, the season for submitting independent school applications is underway. For families vying for a spot at the area’s most elite schools, the process can be fraught with anxiety, stress and confusion as parents and students wade through the myriad academic options in the Washington, D.C., region.

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Discussing the Election with Children

Local educators offer suggestions for navigating a complicated political climate.

While Colleen K. Vesely has watched televised debates and political events with her children throughout this election season, an event during which the American Civil Rights movement was discussed stands out. It was a concept her 3-year-old daughter didn’t grasp, of course. But Vesely used the moment as opportunity to start guiding her children through this year’s election season.

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Potomac: Countdown to Halloween

There’s still time to for spooky design.

Grown up Halloween preparations aren’t just about ghosts and smoke machines anymore. They include home décor with a twist, perhaps glittered or velvet pumpkins, or spooky fine china.

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Showcase Home Offers Design Inspiration

DC Design House was transformed by local designers to raise money for charity.

Those in search of interior design ideas now have a source of new inspirations, at least temporarily. The 2016 DC Design House is now open to the public and runs through Oct. 30.

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Home Improvements for the Holidays

Local contractors say there is time to spruce up your house and yard.

Changing temperatures and falling leaves are a signal the holidays are near. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, homes are filled with guests and schedules are stacked with parties. Getting one’s home guest ready by the holidays may be daunting, but it’s doable with proper planning and realistic expectations, say local contractors.

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Potomac: A Taste of Serbian Culture

SerbFest DC offered food, music and dance.

Hundreds had a chance to experience Serbian culture and heritage through food, music and dance at SerbFest DC recently.

Senior Living: Regaining Mobility

Local orthopedic surgeons offer keys for successful joint replacement surgery.

Tired of the limited mobility and pain that have thwarted her love of foreign travel and fall hiking, Lynda S. Johnson, 72, scheduled a knee replacement surgery for later this month. She chose a doctor, found a pet sitter to watch her Cairn terrier, and enlisted her sister to live with her while she recovers. “I had been debating for months about whether to have it,” she said. “I was in so much pain, though, that I don’t really think I have anything to lose.”

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Potomac: Serbian Festival this Weekend

A taste of Serbian culture is coming to Potomac this later this week. SerbFest  DC’s Fall 2016 festival kicks off Friday, Oct. 7, bringing authentic Serbian food, culture, crafts and entertainment.

Homework Overload

Some educators say less can be more, stress balance when it comes to homework.

Paula DeMarco dreads one time of day the most: weekday evenings at 5:30. It’s the time she has set aside for her children begin their homework. That means no screen time, music or other distractions.

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Walking to End Alzheimer's

Northern Virginia walk set for Sept. 25

When Paula Dierkes was growing up in Arlington, she would often hear family stories of a grandfather who sat on his front porch screaming at his neighbors and asking for his shotgun. She recalls a grandmother who shut out her family, literally, by closing doors and windows when they came to visit.

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Comfort Zone

Local furniture maker combines style and comfort

John W. Smith treks through a maze of sleek chairs and stately sofas in a large, sunlit showroom tucked in an industrial warehouse center in Fairfax. He pauses at a dining chair, upholstered in beige linen and framed with espresso hardwood.

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Potomac: Creating an Inclusive Community

Local non-profit offers friendship, care and fun to those with developmental differences.

As the sun poured from a mid-summer sky, the aroma of beef gently roasting on a grill filled the air along with the squeals of children petting fuzzy fauna such as rabbits, hedgehogs and mini alpacas.

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Create a Back-to-School Game Plan

Educators tell how to make the transition less jarring.

As a single mother of a fifth grade student, Christine Schull is already making back-to-school preparations.

Potomac: Support Annual Back-to-School Backpack Drive

Local organization collects school supplies and backpacks to support low-income families.

A local organization is working to make sure some of the area’s neediest students have the supplies they need when school begins this fall.

Considering a Private School?

Educational consultants can help families navigate application process.

For families considering an independent school for the 2017-2018 school year, the admissions process begins this fall. From essays and interviews to school visits and standardized tests, the process for getting into kindergarten may feel nearly as daunting as applying to college.

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Alexandria: A Home with a View

Alexandria abode has remained in the same family since 1923.

Among the stately homes in Alexandria's Rosemont neighborhood, nestled between Del Ray and Old Town, is a testament to one family’s predilection for entertaining.

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Stylish Solutions for Organized Homes

Practical and chic ideas for making a home back-to-school ready.

Before school begins later this month, taking the time to organize home and school supplies can take the stress out of the transition from a laid-back summer to a structured, schedule-driven school year. Local home design and organizational experts share ideas to help parents add practical organizational tools to their home without sacrificing their sense of style.

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Potomac: Rebuilding after the Storm

A screened porch once again provides a peaceful oasis for a Potomac homeowner.

During a violent thunderstorm late last year, a Potomac homeowner heard howling winds, relentless rain and then a loud crash.

Challenged Brain, Healthy Brain?

Social engagement and mentally challenging jobs might keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay.

Most days of the week, Ana Nelson can be found educating others about Alzheimer’s disease in her role as vice president of Programs and Services for the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. Her free time is spent touring historical sites in Northern Virginia and staying fit through competitive running and other activities. She’s currently training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

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Staying Fit and Healthy on Vacation

Advance planning is key to maintaining a healthy diet and fitness on the road.

Listening to Christian Elliot describe part of a recent vacation that he took with his wife, Nina, you might think he was attending a fitness bootcamp.

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Potomac: Local Retirement Communities Honored

Award designed to recognize quality of care for seniors and the disabled.

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) announced the winners of its National Quality Award Program. Several local retirement communities were honored, including Sunrise Senior Living facilities in Bethesda, and Arlington, Mount Vernon, Alexandria and Fairfax, Virginia.

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White Kitchens Are a Trend with staying Power

The clean, crisp look of a white kitchen has staying power and versatility, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Pushups For Charity Challenge Benefits Veterans

Local veteran opens gym, Rebel Fit USA.

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Healthy Summer Entertaining

Tips for serving bounty of tasty, fresh produce.

Strategies for Preventing Concussions This Summer

Local physician is pioneering traumatic brain injury treatment.

Summer has been dubbed “trauma season” by health care professionals.

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Online Classes Offer Flexible Options for Earning Credentials Outside the Classroom

Interested in learning to landscape your yard using sustainable practices?

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Tips for Memorable Family Vacations

As summer gets underway, vacation-bound families are packing their bags and heading out of town. Vacations often fly by — months of planning and anticipating can be over in the blink of an eye. With a little advanced planning and forethought, however, even a quick weekend trip or a visit to relatives can become meaningful and memorable.

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Considering Private School?

Small steps this summer can minimize stress of application process.

The school year has just come to an end … which means it’s the ideal time to prepare to apply to leading independent schools.

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The Gap Year Trend

The pros and cons of taking a break in academic studies before college.

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Octagonal Dream Home on the Market

Home's shape and large windows make it a sun-drenched space.

It was during a trip to California almost 20 years that McLean resident Susan Jordano first laid eyes on her dream home.

Staying Safe This Summer

Tips and precautions for avoiding warm-weather hazards.

The start of summer means pools and backyard grilling. It also means an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

A Mindful Family

Family mindfulness meditation practices can bring calm to a hectic day.

Every evening after dinner and bath time, Elizabeth Rees, a Mount Vernon mother of three, instructs her children to lie on the floor keeping as still as possible. With soft tones, she recites a phrase, slowly and purposefully. These moments of serenity allow her family to release the chaos of the day.

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Potomac: Discovering Flora and Fauna at NPS Centennial

Event at Great Falls Tavern marked the Centennial of the National Park Service.

"For the Birds" took on a positive meaning this weekend as hundreds of scientists, students, teachers, and the general public explored and documented the birds and plants of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) National Historical Park at the Great Falls Tavern's Bird Blitz.

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Language Immersion for Young Children

Experts tout the benefits of an early start

When Martha Davis’ daughter Alice was ready for kindergarten, she decided to enroll her in a Spanish language immersion program.

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Potomac: Trunnell Electric Celebrates 80 Years

“Dad taught us that you can’t sit back in life and hope that somebody recognizes your raw talent. It doesn’t happen.”

Sitting in the living room of her Potomac home where she raised five sons, Jean Trunnell and her son Jack reflected on the family’s business, Trunnell Electric.

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Local Designer Honored for Remodeling Reston Townhouse

Home transformation gives family of five more living space.

Mina Fies, CEO of Synergy Design and Construction, was recognized for remodeling a Reston townhouse that was built in 1968.

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Creating Space for Family Oasis or Outdoor Entertaining

Local designers unveil recent projects and offer tips.

Lured outside by rising temperatures and blue skies, homeowners are deciding that it’s time to spruce up patios, gardens and other outdoor living spaces. Local tastemakers are hard at work transforming winter-worn al fresco spaces into lively oases in time for a season of warm-weather entertaining.

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Working to End the Longest Day

Event to raise awareness and funds for research programs of Alzheimer’s Association.

Emily Rusch says her mother died a slow and heartbreaking death from Alzheimer’s Disease. The experience felt continuous and excruciating.

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Potomac: Broadening Horizons During the Summer

Local enrichment program keeps disadvantaged children on track when school is out.

A local school will join an effort to help prevent the “summer slide” for some of Montgomery County’s neediest students. Norwood School will partner with Horizons Greater Washington to offer a summer camp program aimed at halting the academic achievement decline that some students face when school is not in session.

Preparing for Summer Camp Away

Many emotions arise when a child leaves for camp.

A child’s first residential summer camp experience can be fraught with emotions that run the gamut from excitement to terror.

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Academic Camps Combine Education and Fun

Local camps help students maintain school skills in a relaxed environment.

One summer Ana Lado created a summer camp activity for students at her neighborhood pool. The Marymount professor set up a picnic area, and included activities and books. Her plan was to engage the students and give them the opportunity to read and build reading skills while still enjoying fun activities traditionally associated with summer.

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