Who is

Catherine Laughlin

 

Let’s Connect:

Phone: 215-880-7912

Email: cathilaughlin@comcast.net

 
Cathi Laughlin is by far one of the most seasoned and polished journalists I've had the pleasure of working with. Her stories are engaging, accurate and compelling. My clients are always extremely pleased by the way she shares their stories and sentiments. She's always on the cusp of all topics trending and delivers true "news you can use" in an entertaining, yet informative, fashion.

Mindie Barnett, President & CEO of MB and Associates Public Relations

5.0
2016-03-06T19:37:49+00:00

Mindie Barnett, President & CEO of MB and Associates Public Relations

Cathi Laughlin is by far one of the most seasoned and polished journalists I've had the pleasure of working with. Her stories are engaging, accurate and compelling. My clients are always extremely pleased by the way she shares their stories and sentiments. She's always on the cusp of all topics trending and delivers true "news you can use" in an entertaining, yet informative, fashion.
Cathi Laughlin has worked on numerous stories for me that have appeared in the Burlington County Times, always delivering high-quality work on deadline. She is one of my go-to freelancers, since I know the work will be done in a timely, professional manner that provides an informative lively read.

Martha Esposito, Assistant Managing Editor, Burlington County Times

5.0
2016-03-06T19:40:29+00:00

Martha Esposito, Assistant Managing Editor, Burlington County Times

Cathi Laughlin has worked on numerous stories for me that have appeared in the Burlington County Times, always delivering high-quality work on deadline. She is one of my go-to freelancers, since I know the work will be done in a timely, professional manner that provides an informative lively read.
In her four years as a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Real Estate section, regularly authoring the weekly "Haven" feature, Cathi has helped treat the newspaper's readers to intimate glimpses of how people live, making them feel like welcome guests in houses big and small, grand and not-so-big, artsy and traditional, cozy and cool. Her prose is crisp, her style is brisk, and she delivers her assignments clean and on time. She's a total professional, a true collaborator.

Joanne McLaughlin, Former Deputy Business Editor/Real Estate Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Author of "Never Before Noon"

5.0
2016-03-08T17:12:46+00:00

Joanne McLaughlin, Former Deputy Business Editor/Real Estate Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Author of "Never Before Noon"

In her four years as a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Real Estate section, regularly authoring the weekly "Haven" feature, Cathi has helped treat the newspaper's readers to intimate glimpses of how people live, making them feel like welcome guests in houses big and small, grand and not-so-big, artsy and traditional, cozy and cool. Her prose is crisp, her style is brisk, and she delivers her assignments clean and on time. She's a total professional, a true collaborator.
Cathi has edited two books for me. I will continue to utilize her services. She has excellent editing skills, is easy to work with, and offers affordable rates. I'm most impressed with her insightfulness, thoughtfulness, and her inspirational motivation that shines within her content editing. I would have to fill the pages of another book to include all the positive comments that I could say about my experience in working with Cathi.

Cathy Reimers, Ph.D., child and adult psychologist and author of "The Perfect Family Storm: Tips to Restore Mental Health and Strengthen Family Relationships in Today's World" and "The Mind Heart and Soul of Depression"

5.0
2016-03-19T14:37:09+00:00

Cathy Reimers, Ph.D., child and adult psychologist and author of "The Perfect Family Storm: Tips to Restore Mental Health and Strengthen Family Relationships in Today's World" and "The Mind Heart and Soul of Depression"

Cathi has edited two books for me. I will continue to utilize her services. She has excellent editing skills, is easy to work with, and offers affordable rates. I'm most impressed with her insightfulness, thoughtfulness, and her inspirational motivation that shines within her content editing. I would have to fill the pages of another book to include all the positive comments that I could say about my experience in working with Cathi.
If you need a true professional to support you with any and all writing projects, the smartest move you can make is to work with Catherine. She is well versed in the many different writing styles that are in demand for a good communications/marketing professional. Her journalism background, combined with industry knowledge, makes her one of the strongest writers and editors I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Her intellect and personality make her very easy to work with. She never says no, and something that I value dearly is she never misses a deadline. I am fortunate to not only work with her, but she is someone I consider a colleague and a friend. Make a smart decision today and work with Catherine.

Lisa Bien, Vice President, Communications of Acuity Healthcare

5.0
2018-04-17T18:33:00+00:00

Lisa Bien, Vice President, Communications of Acuity Healthcare

If you need a true professional to support you with any and all writing projects, the smartest move you can make is to work with Catherine. She is well versed in the many different writing styles that are in demand for a good communications/marketing professional. Her journalism background, combined with industry knowledge, makes her one of the strongest writers and editors I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Her intellect and personality make her very easy to work with. She never says no, and something that I value dearly is she never misses a deadline. I am fortunate to not only work with her, but she is someone I consider a colleague and a friend. Make a smart decision today and work with Catherine.
5.0
5

As a young girl, I kept a diary. But at some point, I stopped writing about myself, and instead, I wrote about the world around me.

I’ve been a freelance writer since 2008. I have written about real estate, a dying man, prom dates, vodka drinks, tap dance, a Jewish youth group, social media, traveling with grandparents, a boy band, dog volunteers, French pastries, and much more.

Since 2010, I’ve helped others by editing and/or writing content for websites, white pages for high-level companies, press releases, newsletters, and two self-help books.

As a journalist, I report unbiased and engaging stories. I have become a “nickel expert” on many subjects, whether it’s about geothermal digging or the latest in red carpet gowns.

For me, freelancing is liberating and never lonely. I think at my best when I’m alone, although most days, “the girls,” my two dogs, are at my feet.

I have an easy, yet direct voice, and when needed, a casual use of language, along with robust editing skills.

I graduated from Temple University with a bachelor of arts in journalism and a concentration in photography. I hold two writing certificates (nonfiction and fiction) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Every stage of my professional life has involved writing, editing and communication. Before dedicating my time to words, I had diverse backgrounds in the insurance, marketing, food and hospitality industries, which, fortunately, I am able to apply to my passion of words.

Since 1995, my husband and I have lived in Riverton, New Jersey, a tiny Quaker hamlet across the river from Philadelphia.

Now that my four kids are more self-sufficient and beginning to leave the nest, distractions from my work are less common, not counting the times the girls need duty time.

Services

  • writing and rewriting
  • manuscript consultation and evaluation
  • developmental editing
  • stylistic editing
  • copyediting
  • proofreading
  • fact-checking/reference-checking
 

Writing

I’m a versatile and accomplished writer who has written more than 500 articles in national and local magazines and newspapers, in print and online.

If you have a writing or editing project, I am dedicated to preserving your ideas and turning your concepts into concise content for a business website, a newsletter, magazine, or newspaper. Perhaps you have an idea for a book but need assistance. I can ghostwrite for you. Or, if you have written your own manuscript and think it might have problems with logic, clarity or style, I’ll revise or create a new one for you.

Editing

I cherish the written word, whether I’m writing or editing. Having your writing edited professionally is not a frivolous option. Every writer needs an editor (and editors need editors) to “see” mistakes in narratives that might be overlooked. Whether you are a writing intern or seasoned novelist, your goal should be to provide clean copy.

Not all editing is alike. There are different levels of the editing process. Editing levels include substantive editing, structured editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, and manuscript evaluations.

Proofreading

Proofreading is done after editing. Content is important but if the appearance of the written word is haphazard, the message might be negatively judged. During proofreading, more word and grammar errors might be found, but a proofreader looks for accuracy in page breaks, cross references, word breaks and page numbering.

A manuscript often needs to be fact-checked/reference-checked, which are important editorial tasks, sometimes overlooked in today’s fast-paced, “get-it-out-there-now” environment. Any written work bearing your name or your company’s name should be meticulously examined for errors.

Samples from my

Portfolio

Click the greater-than icon “>” to view full project details.

Portfolio

  • + >

    How staging a home can attract a buyer and bump up the sale price

    Philadelphia Inquirer, April 11, 2018

  • + >

    Old Bones, Modern Charm

    Philadelphia Inquirer, March 4, 2018

  • + >

    Creating Space That Works

    Philadelphia Inquirer, November 26, 2017

  • + >

    Who Do You Think You Are?

    Burlington County Times, November 11, 2017

  • + >

    At Temple, talk show host tackles tough topic with students

    Philly Voice, October 12, 2017

  • + >

    An Everlasting Bond

    Philadelphia Inquirer, August 30, 2017

  • + >

    Grungy auto shop takes a polish well in S. Kensington

    Philadelphia Inquirer, June 11, 2017

  • + >

    Third’s the charm? A letter to my son as he prepares for college

    Grown and Flown, June 2017

  • + >

    City Life at a Lower Price

    Philadelphia Inquirer, May 21, 2017

  • + >

    We Can Dream: A Spacious Modern Farmhouse on the California Coast

    Houzz, March 19, 2017

  • + >

    Classic Modern Living in the California Desert

    Houzz, December 13, 2016

  • + >

    Dog Lovers Mobilize To Tail A Runaway

    Philadelphia Inquirer, November 30, 2016

  • + >

    ‘The Firmest Friend’

    Burlington County Times, October 9, 2016

  • + >

    A HELPING PAW Mount Laurel rehab center employs four-legged therapist

    Burlington County Times, Oct. 1, 2016

  • + >

    Evesham garden helps parents honor daughter’s memory

    Burlington County Times, August 7, 2016

  • + >

    A genealogy search to define her mother – and herself

    Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2016

  • + >

    Right On Cue

    Burlington County Times, May 22, 2016

  • + >

    Fostering Survival

    Burlington County Times, April 24, 2016

  • + >

    Thanks to technology, food is ready for its closeup on social media

    Burlington County Times, April 13, 2016

  • + >

    Habitat for Humanity

    Philly Voice, March 01, 2016

  • + >

    The Mind, Heart and Soul of Depression: Your Guided Journal for Emotional Healing and Getting to the Truth of the Matter

    Balboa Press, 2016

  • + >

    What to keep, what to donate from the home of a missed mother

    Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30, 2015

  • + >

    Haven: On G Street, an architectural gem

    Philadelphia Inquirer, November 30, 2015

  • + >

    Website gives humorous home to ‘stepchild’ of publishing world

    Philadelphia Inquirer, June 4, 2105

  • + >

    Essay: On Mother’s Day, a sense of loss

    Philadelphia Inquirer, May 7, 2015

  • + >

    Weapons of Opportunity

    Realtor Magazine, Dec. 12, 2014

  • + >

    Empowering homeless

    Philadelphia Inquirer, November 12, 2014

  • + >

    Feet First Into Fitness: Hardcore Parkour

    New Jersey Magazine, August 4, 2014

  • + >

    A Millennial Nun-To-Be

    Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 2014

  • + >

    One & Done

    Philadelphia Inquirer, July 10, 2013

  • + >

    For The Love of Music

    Burlington County Times, April 16, 2013

  • + >

    He Put Heart and Soul Into His Pastry

    Philadelphia Inquirer, August 30, 2012

  • + >

    Jersey Girls On Wheels

    New Jersey Monthly, July 2012

  • + >

    The Enemy on Your Plate

    Girlfriendz Mag, Winter 2008

  • + >

    Bodies of Work

    SJ Magazine, May 2008

  • + >

    Plump It Up

    Girlfriendz Mag, Fall 2007

How staging a home can attract a buyer and bump up the sale price

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

April 11, 2018

Excerpt:

As much as you love them, your great aunt’s old brown armoire and the gold leafy wallpaper you couldn’t live without could be stumbling blocks for a potential home buyer. If you want to sell your house faster and snag more money, according to real estate professionals and design experts, hire a stager to make it a showstopper. Home stagers dress up a home on the market with the hope their creative touches will dazzle prospective buyers. Staging has become a vital part of selling, said Francis Mangubat, a real estate agent with Advance Philly of Keller Williams in Center City Philadelphia, who handles condos and houses in the city’s gentrifying areas. Most of his clients are 25 to 40 years old.

Read More

Old Bones, Modern Charm

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

March 4, 2018

Excerpt:

Tiffany Fasone jokes that although she didn’t get the job, she and her husband got the house.

Last year, Fasone, owner of Voila Design Home, a home staging and interior design firm, was asked for a quote to stage a brick townhouse. The 19th-century house, which was a short walk from Rittenhouse Square, had fallen on hard times, but Fasone immediately fell for it.

“The thought of bringing this old house to a new splendor was very appealing,” says Fasone, who asked the sellers to let her know when it was listed. They did, and in December 2016, Falsone, 40, and her husband Gabriele Bossi, 36, acquired the four-story property.

Fasone knows a little bit about style. Her firm redesigns and stages about 400 properties a year in the Tristate area for Realtors, developers, and private homeowners.

Read More

Who Do You Think You Are?

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

November 11, 2017

Excerpt:

For much of Dominic Gagliardi’s life, there were whispers in his large Italian family that the man he’d known as his grandfather was not related to him. “He was such a kind man,” recalled Gagliardi, 43, of Mount Laurel. His grandparents had three sons. Their youngest, who was Gagliardi’s father, was rumored to be the child of the married Jewish owner of a uniform factory in Camden, where Gagliardi’s grandmother had worked during World War II. So, back in 2000, Gagliardi, a lawyer, decided to do some digging. With his permission, he swapped the insides of his grandfather’s cheeks and sent the sticks to a Texas laboratory used by courts for paternity cases.

Read More

At Temple, talk show host tackles tough topic with students

Published By:

Philly Voice

Date

October 12, 2017

Excerpt:

Inside the TV studios at Temple University’s Annenberg Hall, three cameras zoomed in and out on talk show host Lisa Bien during a taping of “Bouncing Back.”

Created by Bien, the show zeroes in on sensitive topics – sexual assault, suicide, eating disorders, transgender issues, stress – that young adults endure, sometimes silently.

With her thick red hair skimming her shoulders, Bien listened attentively to Mark Moore, who described himself as a “skinny, pimply, slow-learning kid,” whose self-esteem all but disappeared after years of being bullied in grade school.

Read More

An Everlasting Bond

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

August 30, 2017

Excerpt:

Once again for their annual photograph, the girls posed in the backyard.

Under blue skies and a warm sun, the summer picnic was the latest reunion among five of seven families, thrown together by chance 20 years ago when they adopted their daughters in China.

“We became connected through the amazing journey,” said Valerie Parry of Cinnaminson, an elementary schoolteacher who, with her husband, Jack, adopted Madison at 10 months. The couple already had a daughter, now 40, and a son, now 37. “I still find it a marvel that each girl fits perfectly into her family as if it were meant to be.”

Read More

Grungy auto shop takes a polish well in S. Kensington

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

June 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Just murmur the words industrial living to any urbanite, and his eyes light up.

So when Matt Yaple found out that a grungy automotive shop-turned-hip family home in gentrifying South Kensington was for sale, he jumped on it and moved there in July 2015.

“As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect place,” says Yaple, 66, a longtime Philadelphia resident, who wanted a domestic landscape that would double as a “rehearsal hall” for the band he started after retiring as a production manager five years ago.

The previous owners, who were artists, had transformed the cavernous garage into a modern home without eliminating many of the raw elements that make such urban projects so sought after to begin with. Wow features include brick walls; a wood-burning stove; radiant-heat cement floors; a wall of steel windows; a courtyard with concrete benches; and a series of upper spaces that overlook the mostly ground-floor rectangle.

Read More

Third's the charm? A letter to my son as he prepares for college

Published By:

Grown and Flown

Date

June 2017

Excerpt:

When I was pregnant with you, my third child, I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought about how much fun it would be to have a little girl, a little pink in my life. At the time, I had two little boys, and a houseful of Legos, superheroes and dump trucks, not to mention, everything painted, clothed or covered in blue. Daddy and I decided not to find out the genders of your brothers. So, in keeping with tradition, we didn’t know what you were. We figured this would be our last baby (well, we know THAT wasn’t so: after giving away our baby things to charities, four-and-a-half years later, your sister was born… But I digress). We were both getting older and, alas, more tired chasing tots. Whoever this new baby was going to be, life would become more hectic.

Read More

City Life at a Lower Price

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

May 21, 2017

Excerpt:

Over nearly eight years, Raza Properties has developed rental housing in several of Philadelphia’s gentrifying neighborhoods: Sharswood, Point Breeze, Francisville, Brewerytown. The son of blue-collar Pakistani immigrants, CEO Rahil Raza, 32, of Broomall, says he is passionate about providing affordable housing – defined as costing no more than 30 percent of a family’s income – for the city’s working-class and lower-middle-class populations, those earning between $45,000 and $85,000 a year. “Our vision involves delivering high-quality housing at affordable prices,” Raza said. In turn, “we try to highlight the businesses already established. We also want to put in parks and nonprofits, in hopes that all of this builds up in the community.”

Read More

We Can Dream: A Spacious Modern Farmhouse on the California Coast

Published By:

Houzz

Date

March 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Opulent isn’t a description one should use easily, but when it comes to Blair Box’s California dream haven in Newport Beach, it’s entirely appropriate. When her large home was built a year ago, Box enlisted the help of Kathryn Smith of Kensington Smith Design to create a home so enchanting that it would make Box feel as if she were on an endless vacation and would entice her two grown sons to stay for long visits. To get that, Box called for “a modern farmhouse style with French overtones and vintage charms,” Smith says. An artfully created landscape by Perennial Design greets visitors as they approach the home. The exterior includes limestone, Pennsylvania bluestone and board-and-batten siding. A front porch overlooking a water feature provides an inviting spot to perch and say hello to neighbors.

Read More

Classic Modern Living in the California Desert

Published By:

Houzz

Date

December 13, 2016

Excerpt:

As a builder, Avian Rogers knows a diamond in the rough when she sees one. Where some saw just a decaying post-and-beam house, she saw the vast potential left by the home’s designer, famed 1950s architect William Krisel, whose Palm Springs, California, homes are noted for their high-quality construction, large windows and simple floor plans that seamlessly integrate with the outdoors. Last year, Rogers, an independent contractor in California, spent upward of $200,000 (not counting labor costs) restoring this gem to its present glory. “I wanted to create a soulful, primal kind of vibe that was true to its classic design and embraces the surrounding desert and the San Jacinto Mountains,” she says. Rogers is not just a contractor; she approaches her projects with a designer’s eye. She’s also a longtime midcentury aficionado and has restored several similarly built houses in her neighborhood.

Read More

Dog Lovers Mobilize to Tail a Runaway

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

November 30, 2016

Excerpt:

It was 11 a.m. on a Wednesday when pet-sitter Chris Scherrer and four of her charges were descending a trail into the woods behind Cinnaminson High School. Off-leash in the secluded area, the group approached a creek at the bottom of the trail. That’s when Scherrer noticed that one of the dogs, Nessie, a 65-pound 5-year-old, wasn’t with them anymore. Through the thicket, Scherrer screamed for the dog, but she was gone. “I took my eyes off her for less than a minute,” she said.

Read More

The Firmest Friend

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

October 9, 2016

Excerpt:

In the documentary “The Firmest Friend,” Jon’s gentle blue eyes stare at the camera. He has streaky blond hair that sticks out from beneath his backward-facing baseball cap. An oval metal clasp pierces one ear. The other ear has a small hoop. Scout, a towny, muscular pit bull, bearing scars on his head and wearing a scarf and dog pack, sits by his feet. Jon rescued him from a shelter in East Harlem 47 minutes before he was to be euthanized. Jon is homeless and a heroin addict. He said he usually makes money playing his guitar. “When I’m running low on dog food, I make sure the money I make goes to his food first. And then after that, I worry about eating,” he said.

Read More

A HELPING PAW: Mount Laurel rehab center employs four-legged therapist

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

Oct. 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Inside the therapy gym of Bancroft NeuroRehab Resnick Center in Mount Laurel, Kyle Derrick, 26, of North Wildwood, held two fingers to his head, thinking hard, trying to jog his memory — the same memory that became impaired two years ago when he crashed the car he was driving into a tree, after he fell into a diabetic coma. Minutes earlier on this Tuesday morning, he spread out nine cones on the floor and hid dog treats under three of them. Now, Derrick, whose lime-green mohawk was visible from under a camouflaged baseball cap, had to remember where he’d put them. It was a game of sorts he was playing with Seamus, a good-humored, tawny 7-year-old Labrador and golden retriever mix, a Canine Assisted Therapy dog who works with the medical team, helping to untangle the roadblocks that obstruct Derrick’s memory. “I think he saw where I put them and is going to cheat,” said Derrick, swaying lightly. But Seamus, who’s trained in 40 commands, just waited patiently. After a few attempts, Derrick, who worked as a car mechanic before his accident, found the treats and fed them to an overjoyed Seamus. As the morning progressed, Seamus worked further with Derrick. Seamus opened and closed a drawer when Derrick instructed. The two played tug of war to help with Derrick's equilibrium and balance. And later, after Derrick instructed him to fetch his lease, the pair went for a walk around the premises. In the sunny and airy facility, it didn’t matter so much to those watching if Derrick mastered each task because something else shone brighter on the young man’s face: the big dog, whose encoded DNA is to please humans, made Derrick feel accomplished in whatever he was doing. “It is fun to be with him,” Derrick said with a smile.

Read More

Evesham garden helps parents honor daughter’s memory

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

August 7, 2016

Excerpt:

Each day, Kelly Sparks works through his grief by gardening in his Evesham yard. It’s been said there’s no greater sorrow than the loss of a child. Five years ago this month, Sparks and his wife, Myra, lost their oldest daughter, 39-year-old Leah Sparks, to cancer. By the time she’d discovered a melon-sized tumor in her pelvic region, the disease had metastasized to her lungs. It had been Leah’s second occurrence of sarcoma, a rare cancer that grows in connective tissues. At age 13, she lost her left leg above the knee to sarcoma. She went on to graduate from Harvard and Oxford universities, and eventually became an intelligence analyst for the FBI. “On days I can’t get out there, my grief is worse,” Kelly Sparks said softly, with the faint cadence of his West Virginia roots. The retired United Methodist pastor sits in the couple’s kitchen, overlooking their ever-blooming garden that backs up to Kings Grant’s Lake James, known for its wildlife, hiking and boating activities.

Read More

A genealogy search to define her mother - and herself

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

May 26, 2015

Excerpt:

As a young girl, I never knew where my mother came from. I'd ask her where her mother was, and she'd tell me she died. When I'd ask her where her father was, she'd tell me he got sick and died, too. If I prodded too much, her engaging disposition and wide, crooked smile would vanish. "Why do you want to know so much?" she'd snap. "What does it matter?" My father, a quiet man, whose green eyes hardly missed a thing, never knew either and never really cared or questioned her. But others could be more critical. When my parents were newly engaged, his cousin asked, "Why are you marrying someone who doesn't know who she is?" Mom was by her own definition "made by God," a statement I initially adopted as fact given my Catholic upbringing. But as I got older, the urge to know her family was always with me, like a constant tickle in my throat that needed relief. I wanted to know someone who possessed my mother's slender wrists, shared her peculiar love for horse racing, or danced in her snapping-fingers-sort-of-boogie, a cross between a hip-hop hustle and the Mummers Strut. I wanted to know her legacy, her roots - something more to not only define her, but to define me.

Read More

Right On Cue

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

May 22, 2016

Excerpt:

In the brightly lit room, balls bang and plopped into pockets. Waiting for their turns, the regulars stood holding their cue sticks. One player sang along to Diana Ross and the Supremes trilling “Baby Love” from a portable iPod player. Another guy passed around a box of powdered mini donuts. Just another day inside the billiards room at the senior center at the Kennedy Center in Willingboro, where a tight-knit group of 15 men have played the game they love and forged lasting friendships over the last six years. The Willingboro Ball Busters, the moniker they’ve given themselves, are retired township residents. Their backgrounds include careers in the military, engineering, sanitation, commercial printing, criminal justice and a transit system. They’re fathers and grandfathers, married and widowed.

Read More

Fostering Survival

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

April 24, 2016

Excerpt:

When Vanessa Smith, of Cinnaminson, first met Julius at a shelter, he was dirty, limping and had infected bite wounds from dog fights all over his tan-and-white body, requiring a regimen of intravenous drugs. The young, small pit bull mix was found by the Philadelphia police wandering the streets of Fishtown. He was slated to be euthanized in 24 hours. That was a few weeks ago. These days, Julius is a lovable and loyal dog being fostered by Smith, who lives with her boyfriend and two dogs, Zoe and BlueBear.

Read More

Thanks to technology, food is ready for its closeup on social media

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

April 13, 2016

Excerpt:

Did that picture of foie gras you just posted on Facebook appear fuzzy? Or did your lunchtime taco look tasteless on Instagram? Not to worry. Foodie, a new camera app for iPhones and Androids, offers a bounty of features designed to make even your mashed potatoes look like a masterpiece. Foodie is from Line, a messaging and social media platform.

Read More

Habitat for Humanity

Published By:

Philly Voice

Date

March 01, 2016

Excerpt:

Toni Gibson, a graphic designer, was delighted to find an oak rolling file cabinet that cost $15 and two metal black lamps totaling $30, that would get a second life in her home office in University City. On a recent Saturday, she waited in the checkout line to purchase the furnishings at the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Washington Avenue in Point Breeze. “These are a steal,” said Gibson of her score, noting that had she bought the merchandise brand new, the price tags could’ve easily been double...

Read More

The Mind, Heart and Soul of Depression: Your Guided Journal for Emotional Healing and Getting to the Truth of the Matter

Published By:

Balboa Press

Date

2016

Excerpt:

Introduction

Do you suffer from depression? If so, reading and completing the written exercises in this journal can be a tool to help you expand your mind, heal your heart and reach into the depths of your soul.

The truth of the matter is that depression is a common but a serious illness that can become a chronic condition.

In fact, many Americans are living with major depression disorder. Nearly seven percent (16 million) of adults experience depression, according to a 2015 report from the National Alliance on Mental Health.

Women are almost seventy percent more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime.

Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages fifteen through forty-four, according to a 2010 Center for Disease Control report.

Nineteen to twenty-four-year-olds report depressive symptoms more than other age groups.

So, what is depression? Severe depression can be characterized by intense and prolonged sadness; loss of pleasure and concentration; low energy; feelings of worthlessness; and eating and sleep disturbances. If depression worsens, suicidal thoughts, ideation or homicidal acts can occur.

The truth of the matter...

What to keep, what to donate from the home of a missed mother

Published By:

The Inquirer

Date

December 30, 2015

Excerpt:

The day I’d been dreading arrived.

The best I could hope for was that it wouldn’t rain.

It was seven months since my mother died of cancer. When her sturdy, yet worn, two-bedroom rowhouse in Mayfair sold in the fall, I was thrust into the inescapable and forlorn duty of cleaning out her house. An only child, I’ve been responsible for setting her affairs.

Even though my name was on the deed, I always considered it my mom’s home. After I bought the house, I lived in it only a few years before I married. My mom always loved the house. Twenty years ago, she and my father moved into it when his Parkinson’s disease progressed. The one-story structure seemed like an affordable and safe spot for them to age in place, although my dad lived there for only three years before moving to a nursing home.

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Haven: On G Street, an architectural gem

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

November 30, 2015

Excerpt:

Old-timers who grew up near the legendary intersection of Kensington and Allegheny still refer to the architectural gem on G Street as "the Mansion." Indeed, the splendid fieldstone structure, which towers above red-brick rowhouses, was the grandest private home in Philadelphia's Kensington section when it was built more than a century ago. For the last 40 years, it's been the residence of Betty Ann Guckin, as well as the epicenter of Guckin Funeral Mansion, the family business she maintains. "I can't imagine living anywhere else," says Guckin, 45, partly about her home, and partly about the surrounding neighborhood, where she has spent her entire life. During its heyday, K&A was a bustling blue-collar district, where generations of breadwinners toiled in textile mills and meat-distribution centers. Over time, industries pulled out, leaving Kensington a gritty facsimile of its earlier self. Today, abandoned factories, shuttered churches, and hollowed-out houses wait patiently, hoping that gentrification will save them. In 1907, Irish immigrant Michael O'Rourke, who was a municipal contractor, spent $106,000 to build the 15-room mansion and three outbuildings. After his death, businessman Conrad Campbell owned it from 1914 until 1970. Ascension of Our Lord parish owned it for four years afterward.

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Website gives humorous home to 'stepchild' of publishing world

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

June 4, 2015

Excerpt:

Donna Cavanagh says the world is brimming with mockable material - like the sex toy designed for those grieving the loss of a partner. The glass device can be filled with ashes of your dead lover. "I mean, come on. That story was like handing me gold," Cavanagh, 53, of East Norriton, says of the essay she wrote about it. Her writing finds a home on the website she founded four years ago, Humor Outcasts, where now more than 100 other humorists - cartoonists, novelists, stand-up comedians, and TV producers and writers, many well-known - contribute essays, memes, parodies, satires, and cringe comedy at a blush-under-R rating. A dozen or so posts run daily, collectively amassing 3,000 to 7,000 hits - with the occasional piece reaping viral traffic of 30,000 views or more for HumorOutcasts.com.

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Essay: On Mother's Day, a sense of loss

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

May 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Even though I'm the mother of four wonderful kids, this year I will hate Mother's Day. I will also hate my oldest son's graduation from graduate school later this month, and his brother's birthday in June. I will hate summer barbecues, trips to the beach, and shopping at Macy's, my mother's favorite store. The mere thought of eventual Thanksgivings and Christmases translate into great gloom, too. That's because they won't include my mom, Carmela Sarnese Lazarovich, who, on April 20, while I held her hand in the smoky predawn, died at 83. A few months ago, I told family and friends that my naturally effervescent and bubbly mother seemed "off." She'd become sluggish and lethargic. Usually the life of the party, she'd curtailed socializing, stopped volunteering at Holy Redeemer Hospital, and seemed to sleep more than normal.
One Sunday, she arrived at our home for dinner not wearing her pink lipstick, a no-no for her. Her heart-shaped face had lost its beam. Her pantsuits drooped on her body like flung laundry. My mother, who could be gentle, yet willful, dismissed any idea that her body might be sick. She'd grown up scrappy, with little medical attention. She'd always prided herself on being "as healthy as a horse." It's a virus, she told me. "All I need is some rest and a few Tylenols." On Feb. 26, when the ER doctor quietly explained they'd discovered a mass behind my mother's abdomen, the tiled floor floated like a tartan blanket. I composed myself by leaning against the wall. Outside my mom's room, I wept quietly, overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty.

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Weapons of Opportunity

Published By:

Realtor Magazine

Date

December 12, 2014

Excerpt:

Carol O’Connor, 47, adopted a boxer’s stance as she faced Rinaldo Rossi, the muscular trainer and co-owner of Israeli Krav Maga in Cherry Hill, N.J. During a 90-minute self-defense class, Rossi taught O’Connor and several other students from the real estate industry—six women and one man, all middle-aged—to serve up hammer fists, eye pokes, and kicks to the groin. They weren’t preparing for combat, nor were they there for the sole purpose of shedding extra pounds. They engaged in a class created just for them called “REAL SAFE — Self Defense for Real Estate Professionals.”

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Empowering homeless women with essentials

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

November 12, 2014

Excerpt:

The homeless woman receiving the gently used business suit was very grateful, she told the social worker. But was there somewhere she could get a bra? She didn't own one. When Joanie Balderstone, who had donated the clothing, heard that, she knew she had to lift this woman up - in more ways than one. "Apparently, it's a common occurrence," she said. That was November 2009. Four months later, Balderstone, 42, and her wife, Rebecca McIntire, 41, held their first Mardi Bra party, inviting all the women they knew. Guests brought 80 new bras and hundreds of feminine products that the couple delivered to shelters in Camden...

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Feet First Into Fitness: Hardcore Parkour

Published By:

New Jersey Magazine

Date

August 4, 2014

Excerpt:

One of these days, Ross Donolow might leap a tall building in a single bound. For now, he’s content to swing among the ropes and horizontal bars of Pinnacle Parkour Academy in Cherry Hill. “I’d much rather do this than lift a dumbbell 20 times,” says Donolow, a windsurfer, kiteboarder and competitive runner from Philadelphia who plunged into the French discipline known as parkour about a year ago. Although rooted in military obstacle-course training, parkour caught on among civilians as an unfettered street activity in recent decades, with participants scaling walls, vaulting over railings and leaping...

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A Millennial Nun-To-Be

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

April 23, 2014

Excerpt:

Consider some of the so-called defining characteristics of the millennial generation - narcissistic, entitled, suspicious of institutions, especially religious ones - and then consider the future that 22-year-old Becca Gutherman sees for herself. She wants to be a nun. For the last five years, Gutherman, a senior at Immaculata University, has been in discernment, a spiritual-training process that can last up to 15 years before the final vows are taken, involving prayer, outreach projects, and convent visits. Her blog, "Road Less Traveled" (the title a nod to Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"), chronicles her pilgrimage in the preparation for the final vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity that she plans to take one day when she joins the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary or the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

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One & Done

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

July 10, 2013

Excerpt:

Katie Schuyler says that she knows she's the focus of her parents' attention, and she doesn't have to work hard to get it. A gifted student with an aptitude for English, her parents ferry her to the field hockey and choir practice, a lifeguard training course on Long Beach Island, and volunteering at the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees. "Because it's just me, I'm lucky," said the willowy 14-year-old, of Medford. "My parents have always been able to spend more one-on-one time with me."

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For The Love of Music

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

April 16, 2003

Excerpt:

Kristi Digman stood before the podium smiling. She had just finished leading 11 of her middle school music students from the King’s Christian School’s jazz band in a rendition of “Rock This Town.” The music director said that she has seen many evidences of God’s blessings in her five years at the Cherry Hill school, but today’s fortuitous gifts might be because God likes music, too. “Music is a gift for us to be enjoyed,” said Digman. Nearly 300 students, teachers and family members seated in padded chairs in the all-purpose room on this early spring morning applauded, showing their appreciation to the three men, who had come this day bearing gifts -- a donation of new musical instruments: a trumpet, clarinet, trombone, and two flutes, cases included.

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He Put Heart and Soul Into His Pastry

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

August 30, 2012

Excerpt:

For those unfamiliar with Gil Ortale - or rather, with his quest to bake the perfect French canelé (pronounced cahn eh LAY) - it's the story of a local guy who in his midlife years not only established his métier in pastry, but also became absorbed in an endeavor that saved his soul. Ortale, who held a number of cooking and other jobs in the city over the last three decades, had been out of work and struggling till he started baking the obscure French pastry. "I was kind of in a tailspin," he says. "I had to work at mastering this thing of beauty. And there was a real redemptive part of it." The cooking tale goes back to when Ortale was an undergraduate at Temple University in the early '80's when he started at the famed Steve Poses' Frog restaurant at 16th and Locust, where he rose through the ranks. "I went from chopping garlic to being promoted as a chef," says Ortale, now 55, who grew up in the city's Northeast and now lives in Bella Vista. He then opened a grill at the Reading Terminal Market in 1985 that lasted three years; profits dwindled and he closed shop. His next endeavor was running the food-service operation for Cigna for five years. When the insurance giant farmed out Ortale's department to Aramark, Ortale's position changed, and feeling dissatisfied, he left in 2000. He then quit food...

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Jersey Girls On Wheels

Published By:

New Jersey Monthly

Date

July 2012

Excerpt:

The cold can bite. The rain can pierce. And the wind can chafe your face. None of that bothers Gloria Tramontin Struck, a biker babe – yes, you can call her that – who at age 87 is still riding her 2004 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softtail Classic. For 66 years, the plainspoken grandmother has been a member of the Motor Maids, the oldest continuously operating all-women motorcycling organization in North America. It was a revolutionary idea when founders Linda Dugeau and Dot Robinson started the group in 1940. Today, there are nearly 1,200 members nationwide, including 17 in New Jersey. The group stages rides and the occasional charity event. On a recent Sunday, Struck and 13 other Jersey girls motored to Country Griddle in Flemington for their monthly meeting. The women in the group are variously mothers, single, married, divorced; artists, caterers, teachers, homemakers and writers, says Raritan Township fire chief Risa Hynes. Riding means different things to different members: adventure, freedom, power. But there’s one common denominator: “We all like to ride,” says Hynes, a member for eight years.

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The Enemy on Your Plate

Published By:

Girlfriendz Mag

Date

Winter 2008

Excerpt:

In 1982 shortly after her daughter was born, Leah Edelstein began experiencing bloating, cramping, and severe diarrhea that would not go away. Then one night, fear gripped Edelstein and her husband. “I was paralyzed on both sides of my body.” The couple headed straight to the emergency room. “Everyday I was there I had a different diagnosis. For two weeks the doctors kept saying that I had a malabsorption in the body.” Edelstein found out that she had Celiac Disease (CD). We have all heard the expression “you are what you eat,” but for almost 1 in 130 Americans, her diet could be literally making her sick. CD is a highly misdiagnosed disease that many people have but don’t know. Some reporters say that while awareness is increasing, as many as 95 percent of cases are undiagnosed. When a person who has CD consumes gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley – it causes the individual’s immune system to attack the small intestine. The very tiny finger-like threads called villi become damaged and stop absorbing nutrients. Most patients experience bloating, diarrhea and a red bumpy rash called Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH). Less than 10 percent of patients with DH have gluten-intolerant symptoms; yet, if you have DH, you always have Celiac Disease.

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Bodies of Work

Published By:

SJ Magazine

Date

May 2008

Excerpt:

Annette Boulden strolls into Starbucks and passes the glass case of muffins and pound cakes that she will not allow herself to eat. Boulden is a 5-foot-1 petite woman with blond hair, blue eyes and chiseled muscles. She is wearing a red knit top and blue jeans which emphasize her curvy body. Two men on sofas check her out as she orders a beverage. If she notices, she doesn’t mind. “I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning, I did some wash, cleaned some, and got my kids off to school,” Boulden says. “I am a typical type A, always doing something.” She flashes a wide white smile. “I am heading to the gym after here.” She looks a good ten years younger than her 43 years. Boulden is part of a growing segment of women who are breaking the mold of the female bodybuilder. Over 40 and mom to three kids, she still completes a rigorous training schedule in preparation for fitness competitions.

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Plump It Up


Published By:

Girlfriendz Mag

Date

Fall 2007

Excerpt:

The varied fields of plastic surgery are growing by leaps and bounds, with one segment in particular that is booming – vaginal rejuvenation and augmentation – technologies that promise to enhance bedtime frolicking.

Have I gotten you attention yet?

While men have been able to pop a blue pill to play wildly in bed, women have had to undergo the knife with a cut and slice scenario for a tighter, closer, or snuggle nether region. Yikes! Is the pain worth the gain?

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