Lorena Bobbitt 20 Years Later

I caught up with Lorena Bobbitt 20 years after she was aquitted of doing the unthinkable to her husband while he slept.

ICYMI: Honoring Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders

Thanks to all of you who tuned in for our half hour special that honored local Asian Americans who are really making a positive impact where we live. In case you missed it.. don’t worry. We have all the stories up online. Here are the two that I contributed this year. The first is very inspiring. It’s a true rags to riches story about a single mom who fled Vietnam after the war and was able to overcome welfare and cancer. The second story captures a growing trend in the DC area.. the Korean Dol. It’s the 100 day celebration of life also known traditionally as the child’s first birthday. Learn the intriguing history and fun fortune ritual that takes place at these parties which we learned could cost up to $10,000!

MORE: Watch the Stories

Rosemary’s Tran Lauer: Helping Single Parents and Children in DC area

Party Trend: Korean 1st Birthday

Redskins Player Reaching Out after Losing Son

When it comes to the Redskins we often get so wrapped up in the game it’s hard to imagine the personal battles some of these athletes fight everyday at home.

Defensive end Stephen Bowen is one of them. In 2011 he lost a son. 2 years later he and his wife Tiffany have found coping is easier… when they can provide comfort for others.

I recently sat down with the couple at their Virginia home. Click below to watch their inspirational story.



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 My2Brads.com 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 CongressStillGetsPaid.com 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

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

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