Joanna Cutrara

Copywriting and Editing for Creative Brands

How Lin-Manuel Miranda Gets Things Done

One look at composer-performer Lin-Manuel Miranda’s list of accomplishments and you’ve got to wonder how he does it all. His first musical, In the Heights, which he wrote and starred in, won four Tony Awards. He’s acted in TV shows, appeared on SNL, and was recently awarded the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Grant. He wrote the songs for Disney’s animated “Moana,” whose hit song “How Far I’ll Go” was nominated for the 2017 Oscar for Best Original Song. He’ll be starring in Disney’s upcoming Mar

Where to Retire: Find Your Perfect Retirement Destination

Retirement opens up a host of exciting opportunities—the chance to explore new hobbies, travel to new destinations and even relocate to a different city, state, or country. For previous generations, deciding where to retire mostly involved the pursuit of sunshine. And though it’s still true that we’re all looking for better weather, finding the perfect place to retire has a little more to it than that. Here are some additional factors you’ll want to consider during your search for where to reti

6 Ways You Can Get Inspired by Red Carpet Style No Matter Your Size

When you watch celebs on the red carpet are you admiring the dazzling gowns and glamorous fashion... or wondering when was the last time that actress ate carbs? The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and I for one will be kicking back with a glass of bubbly to enjoy one of the biggest fashion moments of the year. As a stylist I've seen how celebrity fashion can be an amazing source of inspiration for your personal wardrobe -- the red carpet is fabulous for spotting upcoming trends and gleaning ideas! -- but I've also found that a lot of women really struggle with this.

This Is How to Properly Introduce Yourself in an Email

Meeting someone in person is pretty straightforward. You smile, shake their hand, tell them your name. But what if you’re not meeting face to face? What if you’re introducing yourself via email? Maybe you’re reaching out to create a new connection, to ask for advice, or a collaboration, or a job. How do you compete with the other 700 emails in their inbox and convince them a response to you is worthwhile? Writing an introductory email can be nerve racking when there’s so much pressure to get th

Retirement Planning 101: What You Need to Know about Wills and Estate Preparation

If you’re in the midst of retirement planning, you’re probably thinking about your social security benefits, how much money you should be saving, and the best places to retire to. But have you taken care of your will and estate planning yet? We know, it’s not the cheeriest of subjects, but always putting it off until later can cause big problems down the road. Without a legal will, you’ll have zero control over who gets what after you’re gone. The fate of your house, your grandmother’s earring

10 Hilarious Out of Office Messages You Will Want to Copy

Leaving for vacation? Heading to a work conference? Beset with the flu? You’re taking a break from email correspondence, which means it’s time to set up the dreaded “out of office” message. Not only is it a bore to write, most people will be less than delighted to read it when they were expecting a real response from you. But what if you could turn this necessary evil into a way of engaging with people that’s informative, memorable, and even fun? Maybe they wouldn’t be as disappointed to get yo

Make Friday Your Most Productive Day

Is Friday a super productive work day? Or are you starting to wonder why you bother coming in at all? For many of us, getting through the day on Friday (especially the afternoon) can be a real struggle. Who doesn’t get that #FridayFeeling? After a long week of getting stuff done, we’re just ready for the weekend to begin. Staying focused on work can feel impossible, but indulging in a lighter work day can be guilt-inducing when we expect (or others expect) that we’ll get more work done than we

How to Cash Out Early With an Early 401k Withdrawal

Are you considering cashing out your 401k? Maybe you’re switching jobs and you’ve got some big expenses coming up. With cash from your old 401k freed up, you could pay off debt, buy a new vehicle or take the vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Sound amazing? It turns out things are a little more complicated. Though your 401k may seem like the perfect solution, early 401k withdrawals are almost never a good idea. Today we’re sharing what you really need to know about cashing out your 401k, plus s

Neil Gaiman’s 5 Must-see Tips on Perfecting Your Writing

There are many celebrated writers in this world, but few ever reach the rockstar-level status of dark fantasy author Neil Gaiman. Fans stand in line for hours at his book signings, only to faint when they finally meet him (or ask him to sign their body so they can get his signature tattooed). His beloved novels and comics—Coraline, Stardust, American Gods, Good Omens, and The Sandman (to name a few)—have gained cult followings and been adapted for the big screen and television.

How to Dress High-End at Low-End Prices

Do you have to buy designer brands to look high end? This is a question I get asked a lot! …And the answer might surprise you. One of the biggest compliments I get from people is that they think I spend big bucks on my outfits—when I really don’t! So in today’s episode of Crystal Cave TV I’m debunking the myth that you have to spend a million bucks to look and feel like a million bucks. You can have a beer budget and look like champagne-level amazingness!

7 Smart Ways to Handle Negativity on Social Media

You’ve just poured your heart into your latest blog post. You got real! You got vulnerable! …And now a total stranger is publicly ridiculing you. Life on the Internet can be stressful. As you express your experiences and opinions, you are bound to run into the naysayers, the haters, and the outright trolls. Dealing with these characters may not be fun, but they don’t have to ruin your day. Here are seven smart ways to handle negativity on social media and come out on top. The simplest and mo

Be Specific! How to Get to the Point in Everything You Write

You want your writing to have a clear message. You want it to be easy to read and reach more people. But your pieces aren’t getting a lot of engagement, and your readers are confused about your main points. You’re having to verbally explain to people what you wrote, and you’re getting fewer and fewer responses to your novel-length emails. Maybe you were aiming for your next writing piece to be strong, effective, and easy to understand . . . only to end up with a meandering piece of work whose

The Benefits of Hiring a Retirement Adviser vs. DIY Planning to Retire Online

With so many moving pieces to think about, retirement planning can get overwhelming. Should you focus on paying down your mortgage, or investing more in your 401(k)? At what age should you start collecting social security? Should you relocate to another state that has a lower cost of living? If these questions feel stressful, you may also be asking: Do I want to spend the time researching how to retire online, or is it worth it to hire a retirement planner? Bringing in a professional can elim

What Will I Do in Retirement?

Are you looking forward to retirement, but wondering what in the world you’re going to do with all that free time? If you’re pondering the age old question, “what will I do in retirement?” you’ve come to the right place. Finding multiple hobbies you love is one of the great secrets to having a happy retirement. Your hobbies can help you stay physically active, keep your mind sharp and connect you to new friends. And there are so many possibilities to choose from! You can finally get into the h

How to Find Your Unique Style: From Monet to Versailles

Do you ever have trouble really “owning” your style? In this week’s Paris Edition of Crystal Cave TV I’m sharing what the gardens at Versailles and Giverny can teach us about how we express and own our unique style. If you’ve been holding back, if you’ve been afraid to step out and express your style, or if you’re still trying to figure out what your unique style is, today’s episode is for you!
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