Refresh your closet & cash in!

It’s an all too familiar scenario. Your closet is overflowing yet you have NOTHING to wear. New sites and apps are making it easy to clear the clutter and make some cash along the way. I take a look at the booming trend of digital thrift shops. Here’s a web extra listing the best apps to sell your clothes. Click the video box below to see:

72 Year Old Grandma to run 76th Marathon

Meet 72 year old Betty Smith of Rockville. This grandmother will run her 76th marathon when she hits the road at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. She has a story that will inspire you whether you like to run or not.

I’m so glad I got to do this story.. because it gave me some extra motivation as I prepare for my second MCM!

Click the picture below to see her amazing story:

Foxy Leesburg Lights Show

This morning in my morning report I showed a local house that’s really getting into the holiday spirit. Ylvis’ song “What does the Fox Say” has more than 150 million views and it’s now drawing scores of eyeballs to Leesburg Virginia.
The incredible Halloween light display is powered with more than 8,500 lights. Although cool– does this annoy the neighbors? Don’t worry this isn’t blasting 24-7, in fact to hear the lights you drive by and tune into the radio. If you wanna see it.. head to the Edwards Landing Community in Leesburg. The show runs on a continuous loop from 7PM to 9PM through Halloween. You’ll wanna tune in to 98.1 FM to hear it. More info here on their facebook page. Oh and as for that electric bill– the family says it’s about 25-35 dollars to run the display for the Halloween season. Not bad.

DC Couple Posts Ad on Facebook, Adopts

Brad Benton and Brad Letson got frustrated with the long wait of tradition adoption and turned to the web for help. They started a website and posted an ad on facebook. They couldn’t believe the response. They’re part of a growing number of hopeful couples using social media in their quest to adopt. Click below for their amazing story:

Furloughed workers #GattaEat

This morning I reported on the website which tracks how much Congress is making during this Shutdown mess.

I also showed how the furloughed are coping. Many workers are taking to Instagram and posting penny pinching foodie pics.

Here’s my report that aired on @News4Today this morning

Escaping North Korea

When I met Mike Kim and learned his story I was blown away. This was a guy who had a successful financial planning business.. had a new promotion.. a bright future ahead and he have it all up. It was a decision he made after a visit to China. It was originally just to see the country.. the Great Wall among other things. Then he met a girl who changed his life. She was 16.. from North Korea.. and had been sold across the border to a 50 year old Chinese man as a sex slave. After his return to the US Kim decided to return to the border and with friends help North Koreans find their freedom by using a modern 6,000 mile underground railroad to escape. Here is his story…

Booming Online Trend: Home Bakeries

Alexandria mom Courtney Demers is booked making cakes every single weekend through the summer

Home bakeries: They’re a booming trend that can make you big bucks. I checked in with some women finding financial success from the comforts of their kitchens.

Courtney Demers‘ Alexandria kitchen.. has quickly become her corner office. Cake pans, cookie cutters sprinkles.. supplies fill the cupboards.
Add taking care of two kids to the mix.. she’s got the ingredients for cake baking success at home.

“One led to another led to another and very quickly I was booked through the summer not even knowing this was something I was gonna do!”

Demers is part of a booming trend of home bakeries- people making stuff at home-using social media smartly to sell it.
It started when she made a birthday cake for a kid’s birthday party.. a string of orders followed- she found no storefront necessary.

“It’s been entirely online… all back and forth via email.. all word of mouth.. through Facebook likes and re-posting.”

Through her website Sweetest Soiree Demers turned her love of baking into a money making home business.
Profit possible because she lives in Virginia…one of nearly 40 states with a Cottage Food Law or restricted law that allows bakers to sell food made at home. Maryland has a limited law.. and just last month the DC Council introduced legislation to make it legal.

“It’s a really nice opportunity especially having children. Being able to work on my own schedule work in the evenings or work when they’re in school.”

One town over, Michelle D’Ettorre does the same but for the dogs. She started Aunt Sasha’s Barked Goods– an online bakery for pets featuring dozens of all natural treats made at home. In less than 3 years D’Etttore says engagement online has helped triple their profits. No paid advertising, no marketing, just pushing petworthy products and contests through tweets and facebook.

Facebook fans recently chose the name for Aunt Sasha's Barked Goods' newest dog treat

“There are so many great ways to interact with our customer without having them have to walk in our door!”

Baking at home obviously comes easy for a lot of these women but when it comes to running a business there’s definitely a big learning curve. Cheryl Savastano says she now drives like her grandmother… so her creations don’t get squished. Savastano is learning the tricks of delivery after ditching her cush corporate sales job for cupcakes. She’s also becoming an expert on driving traffic to her site Savvy Treats.

She says she started doing SEO or Search Engine Optimization. In other words, she found ways to make her website rank higher in search engines like google and yahoo. So when people like Judith Koritsas searches for cupcakes here…Savvy Treats is one of the first to pop up.

“If I have a special request I can do that also online and it’s so easy for me, Judith says.”

With International orders now coming in and business growing Savastano is looking to the next level- renting a commercial kitchen.

“I’m so comfortable taking that next step!”

She’s well on her way.. and like the others finding sweet success working from home and using the web to ge the word out.

Watch the story as seen on NBC4

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Belly Barre & Interval Training for Moms in Making

So here are the two workouts I discovered in the area that are really becoming a hit with expecting and new moms. There’s the Belly Barre class at Mommy Bootcamp where you use a ballet barre for exercising and Interval Training to burn the fat (at a modified pace) at MASE Training!

Watch the workouts in action!

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How do you Seuss?

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors. As a child I found he made reading fun. I remember reading his books and poems by Shel Silverstein cover to cover. It brought so much joy and laughter into my life. That’s why I love Read Across America Day so much. Students celebrate the art of reading while remembering one of literature’s greats.

PHOTOS: Read Across America in PGCPS

Today the News4 Today Team visited different schools in Prince George’s county. As someone who spent some of my childhood years living in Fort Washington I was so happy to return to the area to read Miss Lacey Greene’s 1st graders at J Frank Dent Elementary. We chose which Dr. Seuss book to read based off their applause. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” brought the house down. So there we had it.. Christmas in March!

Festive front officeTom Kierein having a blast!

Photographer Irene shows kids at Spring Hill Elementary the LIVE Truck. Tony Tull read to them today!

Eun Yang ready to read to Ms. Barber’s first grade class at Greenbelt Elementary.

Richard Jordan at Laurel Elementary’s..  Ms. D’s Kindergarten class

Watch the shout-out on TV!

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Getting the scoop with the Girl Scouts!

More than a thousand girl scouts from our area headed to the Newseum for Girl Scouts Get the Scoop! It’s a huge event where the gals have a chance to spend the day learning about news and media. I was asked to sit on a panel along with other great women in our profession including Danielle Ivory, Debbi Jarvis, Angela Keane and Andrea Stone! We took questions from the girls and their parents. It was really a neat experience… and you can see below there were perks!

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