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Marilyn Campbell | Stories

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Marilyn Campbell

Stories by Marilyn

Planning for Summer Camp

Local camp fairs help families navigate the maze of summer camp offerings.

In an effort to confront religious intolerance, a group of local middle school students will attend a camp aimed at bringing together children from different religions and giving them the chance to come together, make new friendships, visit houses of worship, learn about other traditions and practice dialogue to confront Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.

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New Year, New Order: Organizing an unruly linen closet

If retrieving an item from the top shelf of one’s linen closet sets off an avalanche of mismatched sheets and tattered towels, it might be time for a linen closet reorganization.

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Organizing a Home Office

Design ideas for workspace order.

Whether located in a basement, spare bedroom or kitchen corner, one of the keys to creating a functional home office is organization.

Keeping Resolutions

Realistic goals and specific plans among keys to success.

Keeping Resolutions

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A Stylish, Budget-friendly Kitchen in Alexandria

Local homeowners transform their kitchen, without breaking the bank.

When Janet and Frank McDermott purchased their Alexandria home in 1997, it was already outdated.

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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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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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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.

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.”

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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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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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.

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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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.

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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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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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.

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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From Colonial History to Future Entrepreneurs

Campers can explore diverse interests in specialty summer camps.

This summer dozens of elementary school-aged children will travel back in time to the Colonial Era where, among other things, they’ll learn to spin cotton into cloth for garments.

Removing a Barrier to Pomp and Circumstance

Gowns for Grads program at George Mason provides regalia for needy graduates.

When Muntaha Choudhary walks across the stage during George Mason University’s graduation ceremony this May she will celebrate not only her bachelor’s degree, which has been eight years in the making, but also the fact that she is the first person in her family to graduate from college.

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Historic Garden Week in Virginia

Elegant homes and gardens in Old Town, Arlington and Falls Church will be open to the public.

Some of the most spectacular gardens will be in bloom and on display during the 83rd annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

Luxury Condos are a Growth Market for Seniors

Active retirees seek options for independent living, including condos in Alexandria, Arlington, Tysons, Reston, McLean, Bethesda and Chevy Chase, among others.

When Joyce and Don Lipman decided to move out of their Potomac, Md. home, they opted for a high-end townhouse instead of a retirement community.

Private Schools: When Leaving Unexpectedly

Spring is time to commit to one’s school of choice.

When Ashley and Clark Leonard enrolled their son in a local independent school, they were excited about the prospect of him thriving in a new, smaller academic environment.

‘Do You Keep a Gun in Your Home?’

Starting conversations about gun safety can help prevent play date tragedies.

Starting the conversation felt awkward. After all, she didn’t want to offend another parent.

It Takes a Village

Campaign designed to end homelessness in Fairfax County.

When speaking with Kathy Albarado, one might not guess that she’d experienced periods of homelessness as an adolescent.

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Nanny Suites Add Value

High-end live-in quarters attract au pairs and can increase property values.

When Peggy Delinois Hamilton relocated to the Washington, D.C. area and began working full-time after spending eight years as an at-home mother of two children, childcare was one of her top concerns.

Small Lifestyle Changes Can Have Big Impact

Researchers found that moderate weight loss improves health.

Dropping as little as five percent of one’s body weight can lead to significant health improvements, according to a new study published in the Cell Metabolism journal.

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Managing Medication Can Be Challenging

“Let’s Talk about RxSM” helps seniors avoid prescription drug mishaps.

It was around 2 a.m. on a frigid winter night when Janet Russell was awakened from her sleep by the sound of woman calling for help.

Uncovering the Roots of Slavery

Local student creates slave index to help descendants trace family history.

A local college student is spending much of her senior year scouring the last wills and testaments of residents of Northern Virginia.