Writing Portfolio

Writing Portfolio

Here are some examples of my writing for your perusal.  You can find more examples on my Blog.

And more on my Travel Blog.

Irish Castle Escape – Live Like Royalty

More shimmering shades of green than a box of paints. Gently rolling land with hundreds of acres to wander. A place to restore your spirits.  A place that slips you into a different world. Creature comforts embrace you. You can be as busy or as quiet as you like.

Welcome to the Dromoland Castle Hotel in County Clare Ireland, a mere eight miles from the Shannon Airport.

Make your way up the narrow winding drive amidst hues of emerald trees. Camera ready?  Go carefully; local geese frequent the road. Past the Golf and Country Club the lane rises, crests. Before you looms the 16th century, blue limestone, Castle with its Gothic towers. Perfectly groomed Victorian lawns and gardens extend to the forest and lakes.

Climb the 16 stone steps and be welcomed by liveried bellmen.  The friendly staff at Dromoland enjoy sharing the magic of a bygone era. They treat you like the nobility that Dromoland has hosted since rebuilt in the 1500s. This 450-acre estate was the home of the O’Brians of Dromoland who trace their lineage to Brian Boru, High King of Ireland over 1000 years ago.

Throughout this richly appointed five star hotel, restoration focused on reviving the elegance and luxury of the Victorian era, complete with modern amenities.  Ancestral paintings adorn wood-paneled walls. Stately stairways curve to the upper floors. Cozy chairs beckon. Sit, relax, and chat.

Your total comfort is behind the design and decoration of each unique guest room. Signature slippers and robes, custom linens and wall coverings, invite you to relax and let go of your hectic pace.  Gaze out of your windows on the serene gardens and ponds as you record today’s memories in your journal.

Surrounded by nature, stroll through the gardens. Take a tour of the extensive grounds. Ireland’s natural light makes for delightful photos – even when it rains. Golf, fishing, horseback rides, cycling and more await.

Need to unwind? Head for the spa!  Nestled on the lower level of the castle, immerse yourself in tranquility. The delicate fragrance of fresh cut flowers teases your nose. Candles and soft lighting soothe and calm.  Time stops as you soak in the gazebo covered outdoor hydro pool. Skilled therapists coax the stress out of every muscle, leaving you delightfully limp.  Whether you choose a stand-alone treatment or opt for a 2 to 5-hour package, you will emerge relaxed, refreshed and revitalized.

Hungry?

Visit the drawing room for Afternoon Tea.  Fresh petite sandwiches, pastries, scones with clotted cream, fruit tarts and more. Enjoy your favorite tea or a glass of champagne.  Smoked salmon, Irish steak and succulent roast rack of lamb compete as dinner choices. Every meal delights your pallet.

Dromoland is a great home base for exploring.  Head north to the craggy Cliffs of Moher and Galway. Let Bunratty Castle Folk Park take you back through time, to life over 400 years ago. If lucky, you might hear tales of Irish life from the storytelling lady who plays accordion there.

Unsure where to go? The concierge is happy to assist with tour ideas. Over 30,000 castles dot Ireland’s landscape. Leprechauns and four-leaf clover hide in the mists. Discoveries await in every direction.

Visit Dromoland as the focus, the start, or to end your trip, it’s an experience of a lifetime. You will leave with new friends and lots of memories. Traveling on a budget? Go in the offseason or check out one of their specials. To learn more or schedule your stay, visit http://www.dromoland.ie/.

 

Stressed?  Plan a Wellness Trip

Summer is the time when we think about VACATION! Getting away from our hectic lives and catching a breath, relaxing, rejuvenating. This year do your self a real treat and make it a wellness travel trip.
What’s that?  Wellness travel is when we intentionally plan to include things to

de-stress, relax, improve our health, laugh, move, connect. It can take on many different guises.

It might be a week at a women’s retreat where they will focus on helping you center down, discover new abilities, learn new skills, have fun, relax and much more. For anyone who is coping with a crisis, or just needs a total break from the rest of the world, this can be magic.  Don’t want to go alone?  Grab a girlfriend and go on a girl’s getaway.
Prefer to get away with the partner in your life? There are lots of choices near and far. Pick a spot that not only has great food choices, a fabulous spa, but some favorite new or want to do activities.  How about an easy bicycle ride through wine country complete with visits to tasting rooms? How about someone who will collect your purchases for you?  You can have this and a whole lot more 🙂  It’s available for the asking.
Taking the kids? There are great options whether you prefer the mountains, beach or even a cruise.  Look for places that offer age-appropriate activities that they will enjoy. Some offer classes so the kids can learn and expand and have a lot of fun while you and your spouse do other things.  Look for a mix of offerings both physically active and relaxing time.
All wellness vacations include the following as must have’s: NATURE, learning opportunity, peace, and quiet, physical activity, healthy food options, massage and rest and relaxation.
Include as many as you can and return home less stressed, rested, a more positive mood, steps toward being more healthy and maybe even shed a few pounds.

 

 

Why Wellness Travel?

Wellness travel is hot.  It is an exploding niche in the wellness and travel industries. There is a good reason for the growth.  People in the western world constantly cope with stress.

Screen glare assaults us daily.  Phones ringing, iPad’s beeping, emails, and other notifications surging in. We live in a fast-paced world where we tend to be in “fight or flight” stress mode all the time.  It’s exhausting. And that’s before dealing with traffic and family life responsibilities.

Today more people are taking charge of our own health and wellness.  The quality and source of foods have become more important.  Lifestyle and exercise are important.

We know that stress is hard on our bodies, mind, and spirit.  It can be a challenge to fit it in all the “need to dos”. Wellness travel helps restore us.

Wellness travel starts when we identify we need a break.  We may decide to improve our health or our well-being. We know we’re tired and need to be renewed.

In a recent survey, people revealed the most important things in their wellness travel. Nature and experiencing it topped the list.

Also important were peace and quiet, rest and relaxation.  We want a massage, learning opportunities, physical activities and healthy food options.

Everyone has their own definition of wellness travel.  Cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and even airports are trying to help meet the needs.  Quiet rooms, massage, yoga space, and walking trails are now available in unexpected places.

Most people escape on the weekends. If you’re tired of fighting those crowds, try an early in the week retreat. Many spas and hotels offer special discount rates for Sunday – Thursday travelers.

Here are three websites to get some wellness travel ideas flowing:

http://www.traveltowellness.com/  Travel to wellness is an online magazine offering wellness travel information since 2004.

http://www.wellnesstravelawards.com/  SpaFinder Wellness 365 recognizes leaders in the industry, globally, in 20 different categories.  Drop-downs give you the previous two years winners.  Candidates go through a complex two-part screening process. Consumers get to vote from finalists for the winners.

http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/01/top-ten-list-wellness-travel.html – A great review of this writer’s 10 favorite dream wellness breaks.

Enjoy!

Invitation to a local restaurant…

Email to: amica@xxxx.com

Topic:  Next Fabulous 4 Star Birthday Dinner!

Italian Chef Freshly crafted Cioppino, Lobster Mac and Cheese, Herb Rubbed Slow Roasted Prime Rib!

            Exquisitely served in a completely renovated vintage classic dining car!  You will feel like Garbo.

Hi Amica,

It’s our birthday time again!!  We have shared so many wonderful birthday dinners in restaurants across the US and beyond.  We’ve dinned and drooled in San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York City.  Now we are both in Eugene, Oregon, let’s visit a fabulous local icon.  We want mouthwatering food, great service, and comforting ambiance.

Eugene specializes in regional, seasonal, sustainable. It’s a NW tradition.  Eugene folk are foodies.  Great food is a source of pride here. It must be fresh, local, seasonal and mouth-watering.

We need to go to the Eugene Electric Station, its 4 Star. It meets all our criteria. Fabulous setting,  a  friendly, cozy, upbeat ambiance, fabulous service and marvelous diverse menu choices.

Everything looks and smells as good as it tastes.  From the moment you get out of the cab, you will catch the enticing aromas wafting toward you.  Enter through the restored vintage doorway and the smells of great cooking confirm this is the place.

Did I tell you this was Eugene’s original Electric Company office?  That’s how it got its name.

The bar is a popular place to start.  A blend of vintage and modern – the back-bar area towers 20 feet above with marvelous restored arching windows. Below is a long oak bar reminiscent of the early 1900s but so light and airy.

This place is known for perfect drinks with friends.  Or we can have a lovely glass of great Northwest-grown, or international wine and people-watch until our table is ready.  Don’t want to wait, they take reservations.  It is really busy there in the evening, especially weekend nights.

I think you will enjoy eating in one of the totally restored and preserved “train cars”.  These are vintage cars integrated into the building – no going outside to get inside.  Easy access, nice, warm and dry.  Tons of ambiance integrated into modern décor.  It has a bit of Garbo – Bogart luxury and at the same time easy comfy.

As we follow our waitress the aromas wafting from the kitchen make your mouth water.  Freshly baked bread,  Italian savory spices, grilling steak and fish.  All our favorite smells of Italy are right here.  Did you notice the sweet heady smells of Tarts, Cobblers, Chocolate and Crème Brule? Desert is spoken here.

Service is impeccable. Warm, welcoming, easy. The menu choices are diverse and extensive.  Maybe a glass of wine while we decide?

Picking a starter will be the first choice.  It is going to be a challenge – think we better plan on take-home boxes and there are so many to choose from: Ahi Tuna Tartare, Grilled Pear and Spinach, Tomato and Mozzarella…. Yummy.  Want to split a couple?  That way we get more tastes.

What will it be? Cioppino, Steak Diane, Chicken Piccata? Want to go with freshly made ravioli, spaghetti? Their prime rib is to die for, herb rubbed and slow cooked. Nothing like sharing great company and great food.

The only challenge will be the choices.  There is always the option of enjoying leftovers tomorrow.

Here are some of the reviews I found at Trip Advisor:

“OES has been a cornerstone of excellence in Eugene for decades. It continues to set the standard for excellent dining. Built around antique train coaches, the atmosphere is one of a kind. The menu offers fare for every taste. A full bar compliments the wait for dinner. Outdoor seating in summer and a nice private room for private parties.”  Steve, Eugene.

“A 4 million dollar renovation sure paid off. We chose the bar for a late night Happy Hour and was not disappointed. The onion rings rock, the beef sliders melted in your mouth. We wanted more…and we did. Such an array of booze….every taste should be satisfied with this display.” Steve B. Texas

“We dined here on a busy Friday evening while visiting the University of Oregon. Service was attentive, food delicious and well prepared. The old railroad station has been tastefully converted into an interesting and unique dining room. We will be back!” MDJ California.

“A large group of us (13) had a nonprofit board dinner. We sat at a large table in an old dining car. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the food and service. I had an awesome cioppino dish. Highly recommended.” Foodtrips, Colorado.

“Whether it’s Prime Rib or Seafood, the Oregon Electric Station is a fabulous restaurant. The atmosphere is “electric”, the bar is “classic”, and you will not be disappointed!” Kerry A. Eugene

Did I tell you the new owner Raffaele Ruggeri,  is an Italian chef and his family formed the Bice Restaurant Group? Their first restaurant was in Milan and his family has been running restaurants for 3 generations. They now have restaurants around the globe.  They are amazing.  I know, I’ve tasted it.

Yes, we get top quality Italian, regional, seasonal cuisine right here in Eugene.  Let’s go compare it to the restaurants of San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Italy.  I told you I’d let you choose, but as I said it can get quite busy there on Saturday evenings.  Please call them now and make our reservation: 541-485-4444.  Let’s go celebrate with fabulous food and an absolutely marvelous ambiance.

 

Take Control of Your Life – Hire a Team!

As beauty professionals, we love our work.  We are so lucky to be able to go to work every day and do the things we love, a fabulous facial, terrific makeup, gorgeous hair, stunning nails. But there never seems enough time to get all the “other”, less fun stuff done.  You know what I mean by other, the bookkeeping, bill paying, product ordering, dealing with telemarketers, to say nothing of trying to promote our business so we can grow it.

I remember deciding I needed a website and then the nightmare (almost as bad as the one from Elm Street) began.  I was lucky to have a son who knew how to build websites and he knew a little about the beauty industry.  He could make me a site and put words on the pages.

Woops, I had to write those words. That thought, that I had to write all the copy for those pages never occurred to me.  It was a lot of work, a lot of stress, trials and redoing.  It’s still not perfect, whatever is, but it’s certainly evolved a lot from what it was back in the ‘90s.

It was like taking on a second very demanding job and a real balancing act trying to keep up with the web pages, care for clients (how I got my income), and handle all the other parts of business operations.  So from the pain of experience here are some thoughts so you can have better balance in your life and time for a little fun.

Every successful career requires care, feeding, and hard work, but it shouldn’t have so much stress you, or your body burns out long before your career should be over. I was reminded of this recently when a woman I know who is only in her 50s had a stroke, actually more than one.  Talk about life changing.

What we need is to be able to clone ourselves to get twice the job done in the same amount of time.  Since that won’t be happening anytime soon, the next best bet is to get yourself a team.  I know we are all on budgets but some things are just worth it.

Do you have someone who helps you with the phones and business emails?  I know several businesses who don’t think they are large enough for a full-time employee who does some bartering with a college student who loves services but can’t afford them.

While waiting for the phone to ring, maybe she/he could be tweeting for you or posting pictures of your fabulous work on Instagram or Pinterest.  Make her your official spontaneous photographer and let her spread the word. Young people love posting, so let her do it and help build your business.

There is nothing like the picture a happy client to attract more! Include you in the picture too, that way the viewer connects with you and asks for you.

Want a webpage?  You need a webmaster. Someone who understands all those URL codes and the ins and outs of website development.  The best way to find one is to search for other businesses like yours.

Find businesses whose website you really like.  Scroll to the bottom of the main page and there may be a link to the webmaster. Bingo, you have a link to a person whose work you already like.  Knowing what you like, will help him/her get you up and running easier and faster.

Over a cup of coffee make a list of the words you would use if you were looking for someone like you on Google. Be sure to give the webmaster that list.  It will be how your clients will find you.  Next make a list of all the different types of services offered at your salon, spa or clinic.  Those will all become web pages.

The key page you need is your homepage which should be a “snapshot” of your business.  You also need a “meet us” page that showcases your staff, with pictures (viewers love pictures and it shows off your work), salon basics of hours and location with a map/directions link.

An appointment policy page is good because it helps set client expectations.  It would be good to include your service menu and price list.

You can also add a blog or lots of other options, it just depends on where you want to go.

Next step, the words to go on these pages.  If you are starting to want to skip the rest of this article or turn the page, wait!  There is an alternative.

You can hire a copywriter.  These are trained professionals who love what you hate, they like to write. You don’t want just any copywriter.   You need someone who is experienced in our industry.

They can do all sorts of drudge work for you, brochure content, web pages, e-newsletters, and the list goes on. They will brag about you and make you look great, something most of us find rather awkward to do about ourselves in writing.

You can hire them to just write web content, or you can develop a relationship where they will support your business and help it grow with a variety of writing focused on marketing you.

They can even do your Facebook business page for you and then you can monitor it, or if you are too busy for that, they can do it for you posting and building your business.

If you already have a web page, they can review it for you and make suggestions that can improve your success at getting it to bring new clients in.  Web pages, just like businesses need periodic updating and if you don’t keep the content fresh, the search engines start ignoring you.

Don’t think you can afford a team? What’s your stress level?  Do you like to create web pages or write copy?

When you think of the hours it will take, how much income might you be missing by writing yourself instead of playing to your strengths and focusing on your clients?  Sometimes it’s just worth it.

So take control of your life and gather your team.

 

Blog on a product:

Macadamia Oil

Although I have been attending skin care trade shows for the past 3 decades, every time I go, I come home with new information, new insights and sometimes a great new product. This year my biggest “ah-ha” was macadamia nut oil – direct information from the farmers.  Macadamia nut oil is the closest in composition to human sebum.

This means it is easily absorbed into the skin and its components become bio-available to the skin. The first thing I noticed when they “demoed” it on my hand and arm was that afterward there was no greasy feeling. Unusual from a product with significant oil content.

The skin felt super soft and had almost a glow to it. While it wasn’t greasy or sticky, it felt well, moist.  I walked around and tested other products but nothing came even close to the feeling I had gotten from this lotion. I went back and purchased some to test it out.

Hours later, I noticed my skin still had that nice, soft, moist feeling. Pretty amazing.  So following their suggestion for improving the skin, I applied it before bed. In the morning, my skin was still moist.  Nice surprise.

I continued to use it twice daily. In about 3 days, I noticed my teardrop psoriasis was fading away and my normally quite dry legs were staying soft and smooth feeling all day long.  Time for some internet research.

Almost 90% of macadamia oil is made up of 3 fatty acids; oleic acid, palmitoleic acid, and palmitic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid that moisturizes the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

It helps skin cells regenerate quickly, keeping skin smooth and supple. Palmitoleic acid is a monounsaturated, omega-7 fatty acid that helps to prevent burns, wounds and skin scratches.

It is the most active anti-microbial in human sebum and is surpassed only by palmitic acid as the main fatty acid in sebum.

Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid that helps maintain the skin’s healthy barrier function, by forming an occlusive layer on the surface.

Skin’s sebum consists of a number of complex lipids, such as triglycerides, wax esters, and squalene. As we age, the production of sebum changes in both quantity and in composition.

In early adolescence, our sebum production increases until we are in our 20’s and 30’s, where it begins to decline. The amount produced varies between males and females, with females experiencing a more noticeable decline around the age of 40. (No wonder we get dry skin when we go through menopause.

The composition of our sebum also changes with age. The two main fatty acids of human skin sebum are palmitic acid (22.5%) and palmitoleic acid (21.8%).

The level of palmitic acid in sebum remains fairly constant throughout our lives. However, the production of palmitoleic acid starts to decline once we are in our 20’s.   My research indicated it is not comedogenic.

While all the scientific information seems good, it gets even better when you talk to people who have been using it a while. It is particularly helpful to mature skin.

Its composition lets it soak in more deeply than other oils so the skin becomes better hydrated and skin seems to “recognize” the components and make use of them.

As a skin care professional, I use a lot of wonderful serums and products on my face, but I have never found a body product I could stick with – until now.  I have only been using it less than 3 weeks, but my skin is softer, smoother, firmer with no hint of the former dry flakiness.

Feel free to do your own test. Buy a bottle and try it twice a day for at least a month (how long it takes for the skin to completely turn over) and send me a message with your results.  You can find it on our website at http://www.estheticsnw.com/jindilli-delight-in-your-skin/ or pick up a bottle the next time you visit me at the clinic.

 

 

Social Media Post:

Every once in a while you stumble across an ingredient or a product that instead of being ho-hum actually impresses you. I had this experience recently with macadamia oil.

For years I have searched for a body lotion that could really control dry skin on my legs. My ideal lotion would be light, not greasy, no fragrance (I’ll wear perfume if I want to smell good), as natural as possible and it would keep my skin feeling soft and not dry all day.

This year at the San Jose skin care show, I discovered macadamia oil. For me it was pure…. well, magic. Soft, smooth, no dryness, no oiliness. Read more here….http://estheticsnw.blogspot.com/2015/09/macadamia-oil.html

EstheticsNW Blog: Macadamia Oil

estheticsnw.blogspot.com|By Judith Culp

 

Landing Page:

Hello Colleague,

Are you feeling overwhelmed with a writing project? Hate to brag about yourself? It’s not easy and most people struggle with it.  Let me brag about you. Whether you need a resume, professional bio., cover letter,  social media page or thank you note, I can do it for you.

Most people try to use the same resume to apply to very different professional situations. You just don’t get as good a result.  You need a customized resume and that’s where I come in.

I have coached many students and written many of these over the years. I can simplify your life, reduce the stress and will provide you with a tool to help you get that job.

Take advantage of my over 30 years inside this industry as well as intensive training in marketing writing to make you shine.

Need someone to bounce ideas off of, assistance developing a business plan, creating a brochure or crafting your e-newsletter, I can help you get it done. Just getting started in the industry?  I can write or polish your resume to help you get the type of position you’d really like to have.

Whether you need a consultation or assistance with a project large or small please call for more information and pricing.  Writing projects are priced based on the individual project and your specific needs.

Professional photographs or custom photography is also available.  For more information please email me at estheticsnw@msn.com or call 541-344-7789.