Mindie Barnett, President & CEO of MB and Associates Public Relations
Martha Esposito, Assistant Managing Editor, Burlington County Times
Joanne McLaughlin, Former Deputy Business Editor/Real Estate Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Author of "Never Before Noon"
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"
Lisa Bien, Vice President, Communications of Acuity Healthcare
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. I am currently an adjunct professor in the public relations department of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.
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.
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.
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 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
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Philadelphia Inquirer, April 11, 2018
Philadelphia Inquirer, March 4, 2018
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 26, 2017
Burlington County Times, November 11, 2017
Philly Voice, October 12, 2017
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 30, 2017
Philadelphia Inquirer, June 11, 2017
Grown and Flown, June 2017
Philadelphia Inquirer, May 21, 2017
Houzz, March 19, 2017
Houzz, December 13, 2016
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 30, 2016
Burlington County Times, October 9, 2016
Burlington County Times, Oct. 1, 2016
Burlington County Times, August 7, 2016
Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2016
Burlington County Times, May 22, 2016
Burlington County Times, April 24, 2016
Burlington County Times, April 13, 2016
Philly Voice, March 01, 2016
Balboa Press, 2016
Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 30, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer, June 4, 2105
Philadelphia Inquirer, May 7, 2015
Realtor Magazine, Dec. 12, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 12, 2014
New Jersey Magazine, August 4, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer, July 10, 2013
Burlington County Times, April 16, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 30, 2012
New Jersey Monthly, July 2012
Girlfriendz Mag, Winter 2008
SJ Magazine, May 2008
Girlfriendz Mag, Fall 2007
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.
March 4, 2018
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.
November 26, 2017
What do you do when you outgrow both your house and your work space? You have your architect husband design a spacious modern farmhouse that includes your new office.
At least that’s what Vanessa Parry Zoog and Chris Zoog of Cinnaminson did, and they couldn’t be happier.
Three years ago, Vanessa, the owner of Serenity Counseling, had outgrown her practice and needed to hire another therapist.
“It was either find her a bigger space, or build that dream house and include her office,” says Chris, 42, an architect in the Center City office of H.O.K., a global design firm.
But there was one challenge: They wanted to stay in their Burlington County hometown, where vacant lots are few and far between.
Burlington County Times
November 11, 2017
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.
October 12, 2017
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.
August 30, 2017
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.”
June 11, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 30, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Mind, Heart and Soul of Depression: Your Guided Journal for Emotional Healing and Getting to the Truth of the Matter
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...
December 30, 2015
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.
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.
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."
Burlington County Times
April 16, 2003
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.
New Jersey Monthly
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.
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.
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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