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Freelance Marketplace Forum 17 topics
TIP ON PHOTO WEBSITE & COMPANY BEING RUN BY TEENS (1) 6/30/2014
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  Christina Valhouli
 
Professional/Personal Overview
  My expertise is writing about travel, beauty and lifestyle trends.

My freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Departures.com, Fodor's, the Huffington Post, The New York Post and Q, the blog of Equinox gyms.

Topics covered include the emerging trend of using Facebook to break bad news, to the growth of midweek weddings and chia seeds cropping up in beauty products.

Most recently I worked as a travel editor at Rough Guides in London, where I edited best-selling guidebooks to Barcelona, Vancouver and Bali. Prior to Rough Guides, I was the staff travel writer at Forbes.com, and have held staff positions at George and Town & Country magazine.

My work has taken me to over 30 countries, and my passion for travel and discovering unique places and products inspired me to launch my own travel and shopping blog, iTraveliShop.com, which was named one of the Top Travel Sites of 2007 and 2009 by The Times of London.
Work Info
 
Expertise
Editor 6 Years
Reporter 18 Years
Writer 18 Years
Specialty
Home & Garden 18 Years
Lifestyle 18 Years
Travel 11 Years
Total Media Industry Experience
18 Years
Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)
Fodor's (11+), Four Seasons magazine (11+), The New York Post (11+), The New York Times (6-10), The Wall Street Journal Europe Style Journal (3-5), Jetsetter.com (3-5), New York magazine (3-5), New York Observer (3-5), Salon.com (3-5), The Knot (1-2), The Nest (1-2), Town & Country (1-2), The Street.com (1-2)
Other Work History
While at Boston University, I interned for the Boston bureau of The New York Times as well as the Press Association in London.

In 2001, I wrote and produced a documentary about plus-sized models, called Curve, which featured Emme and Kathy Najimy.
Computer Skills
Word, Excel, CMS, InDesign, Photoshop, Social media (Twitter, Facebook)
Foreign Language Skills
Conversational French and Greek
Work Permits & Visas
Dual US/EU passport
References
Available on request
Awards
My blog, iTraveliShop.com, was named one of the Top Travel Sites of 2007 and 2009 by The Times of London. In Oct. 2001, Glamour magazine named me a "Wow Woman" for producing a documentary about plus-sized models, which appeared in several film festivals and had coverage in People magazine and The New York Times Sunday Styles.

My 1999 story "Faster Pussycat, Wax! Wax!" was named one of the top 50 stories of the year by Salon.

In 1997 I received an Overseas Press Club Award.
Other
I am a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism, and also have a BS in journalism from Boston University. I am an alumni of School Year Abroad in Rennes as well as Brooks School in North Andover.

Through my work as a travel writer, I have visited over 30 countries- including Brazil, France, the Seychelles, Mauritius, India, Greece, Vietnam, China and Mustique. Areas of expertise include England and Scotland, as well as the Caribbean. I have stayed at- and reviewed- some of the world's best hotels, including Skibo Castle, Parrot Cay, and the Paris Ritz.
Freelancer Availability
I freelance full-time. I live near New York, NY. I am willing to travel anywhere. I have a driver's license. I have access to a car.
Work Samples
 
Beauty  
(Q by Equinox, 7/24/2014)
After a particularly grueling session, sometimes you need more than just a hot shower. These restorative products, which can be added to a bath or rubbed on skin, help soothe sore muscles and alleviate aches-without the faintest medicinal scent. Time to trade in the Tiger Balm.
(The New York Times, 4/16/2014)
When celebrities are asked about their personal grooming habits, they often cite Marvis as their preferred toothpaste. But this beloved Italian brand is facing competition in the luxury mouth-freshening department.
(The New York Times, 3/27/2014)
Rejecting the big chain stores in favor of Etsy for natural products that are made at home and that sell for less.
(The New York Times, 8/21/2013)
Charcoal, long used as a purifier in air filters and fish tanks, is cropping up in beauty products. Proponents say it helps to naturally draw impurities and excess oil out of the skin, and works as a detoxifier.
(Four Seasons, 8/8/2013)
A recent luxury beauty trend promises that a surprising (and somewhat less decadent) ingredient-bee venom-can moisturize skin and solve a variety of ailments.
(The New York Times, 5/16/2013)
Chia seeds have gone from being the basis of Chia Pets to becoming one of the biggest so-called superfoods on the market. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high in antioxidants, protein and fiber. Now they are cropping up in skin care products.
(The New York Times, 8/24/2006)
The makers of mineral makeup say the products heal skin, provide natural sunblock, last longer than ordinary makeup and are so safe they can even be used in the sensitive days after plastic surgery. Can mineral makeup really do all that? Some dermatologists are skeptical.
(The New York Times, 5/5/2005)
Women are turning to beauty supplements from Olay, Avon and Nicholas Perricone, which promise to make hair shinier, skin smoother and erase cellulite. But do they really work?
Lifestyle & Social Trends  
(The New York Times, 9/12/2014)
When it comes to sentimentality, there are few events in life more steeped in it than the typical wedding. But a growing number of brides who aren't turned off by the gowns of the '60s, '70s and '80s, are wearing a family dress that is more meaningful than one off the rack.
(Spafinder.com, 7/22/2014)
I have been serving pretty much the same dinner all summer long, which tends to be grilled shrimp or chicken, veggie kabobs, and a salad. I was stuck in a dining rut, and to mix things up I decided to try a new meal subscription service called Blue Apron.
(The New York Times, 2/14/2014)
Everyone knows not to wear white to a wedding so as not to upstage the bride, but what happens if a bride decides to wear pink, yellow or even blue? The answer: added stress for some brides and sartorial confusion for wedding guests.
(Departures.com, 11/22/2013)
Miami-based Giovanni Theodoli Marine Manufacturing (GTMM), owned by yacht-world veteran Giovanni Theodoli, is one of the newest luxury speedboat companies to enter the market.
(The New York Times, 10/18/2013)
No time for that two week dream honeymoon? Consider a minimoon, a short wedding trip for those couples who put off a longer excursion because of work, lack of money or because they married in the wrong season.
(The New York Times, 2/21/2013)
While Saturday weddings remain the norm, more couples are considering midweek weddings because of the significant savings associated with them.
(The New York Times, 12/16/2012)
Some say that breaking bad news on Facebook helps both sufferers and their friends, while others find it an inappropriate way to reveal events like divorces.
Travel  
(Fodors.com, 10/13/2014)
This once-neglected area along the banks of the River Clyde is now home to a vibrant mix of restaurants, pop-up bars, and art venues.
(Fodors.com, 10/6/2014)
The Garden State offers up attractions like underground mine tours, quaint river and beach towns, and an aviation museum.
(Fodors.com, 9/17/2014)
It's not hard to see why most visitors fall in love with Edinburgh: its medieval castle, cobblestoned streets, and stone buildings provide no shortage of Old World charm. Luckily you don't need weeks to explore this compact city.
(The New York Post, 8/25/2014)
If you've heard of Lexington and Concord, it means you were paying attention in history or English class. These adjacent Massachusetts towns, just on the outskirts of Boston, are known as the birthplace of the American Revolution but they're hardly stuck in the past.
(Fodors.com, 8/25/2014)
The latest project from Firmdale hotels is Ham Yard, which opened June 1. The Kemps managed to snap up a ¾-acre plot of land in the heart of London, just steps away from Piccadilly Circus. Their idea was to create a hotel with an "urban village" feel.
(Departures.com, 7/3/2014)
Lexington, Massachusetts, is known as the birthplace of the American Revolution. Today the Boston suburb features historical sites, biotech companies and Nobel Prize-winning scientists and for the first time has a stylish place to stay.
(The New York Post, 6/4/2014)
When most people think about eating in Charleston, they think of the stick-to-your-ribs-stuff: the fried pickles, the fried green tomatoes and the fried oysters. While many restaurants still serve up such heart-attack-inducing food, Charleston's dining scene has been undergoing a renaissance.
(Fodors.com, 5/21/2014)
A day at the spa is already a wonderfully indulgent experience, but spending that time in a room with a great view takes it to another level.
(Q by Equinox, 4/3/2014)
Think about the world's most epic hiking destinations and remote regions-the Alps, Patagonia-likely come to mind. Yet plenty of dynamic international cities, including London, Vancouver and Rio de Janeiro also offer world-class trekking, often in the vicinity of treasured landmarks and skyscrapers.
(Q by Equinox, 3/27/2014)
Then you're stuck at an airport for hours, it can be hard to resist the call of a cocktail or trans fat-laden treat. A better way to kill time? These health-promoting amenities, which are popping up in top terminals around the world.
(Fodors.com, 3/6/2014)
If you happen to have children under the age of 12, we bet you know a thing or two about dinosaur obsession. So while you've probably taken the kids to see fossils in a museum, there are plenty of other ways to explore the world of dinosaurs.
(Fodors.com, 3/2/2014)
Charleston is known for its cobblestoned streets, gas lamps, and plantation homes, not to mention its ridiculously friendly locals, who are proud of their city and want to show it off. But this gracious port city isn't stuck in the past.
(Fodors.com, 2/28/2014)
As much as we love new, hip boutique hotels, there's something to be said for the grandes dames of the world: Raffles Singapore, The Plaza in New York, or the Ritz Paris.
(Fodors.com, 2/20/2014)
One of the joys of eating in the Caribbean is that great meals can be found everywhere, from luxury hotels to roadside barbecues and brightly painted seaside shacks. The island of Antigua is no exception.
(Fodors.com, 2/18/2014)
This Vermont town has long been a favorite ski destination in the Northeast, but its appeal lies beyond just the slopes. The village is postcard perfect, thanks to its church steeples and covered bridges, set against the backdrop of the Green Mountains. But there is plenty to do even for non-skiers,
(Huffington Post, 1/8/2014)
As the mother of two boys, it was only fitting to plan a trip to the City of Brotherly Love. Although enthusiastic renditions of "Yo, Adrian" would elicit blank stares ('Rocky who?'), Philadelphia is ideal for a weekend getaway.
(Fodors.com, 12/26/2013)
Unlike their predecessors, the newest producers aren't aiming for mass production. Instead, they're focusing on small-batch products created with premium ingredients that are often organic and locally sourced.
(Fodors.com, 12/23/2013)
While the temperature is dropping in Toronto, the city's bar scene is just heating up. Long known for its craft beer scene, Toronto is increasingly morphing into a destination for innovative cocktails, served up in decadent and dive-y settings alike.
(Fodors.com, 12/20/2013)
There's something wonderfully comforting about an old-school ski resort. They're not hip, they're not cool, and that is precisely the point.
(Fodors.com, 12/19/2013)
While nobody enjoys hanging around an airport for hours thanks to delays or long layovers, it's safe to say that once you're past security, the experience has greatly improved in recent years. Airports have spent millions revamping their terminals.
(Fodors.com, 12/6/2013)
At far too many ski areas across North America, the slopeside food options are dismal, consisting of little more than hamburgers, pizza, and wings eaten off plastic trays. In fact, some of the world's best ski areas are known as much for their food as for their slopes.
(Q by Equinox, 11/27/2013)
Every December, Miami steps into the international spotlight as its plays host to one of the world's biggest art shows, Art Basel Miami. While South Beach may have a reputation for excess, there is also a cleaner, greener way of life to which many of the city's best bodies can be attributed.
(Fodors.com, 8/30/2013)
London's culinary scene has never been hotter. In this food-obsessed city, the hard part isn't finding a great place to eat but narrowing down your choices.
(The New York Post, 8/19/2013)
Unless you're a Fulham Football fan or happen to watch the "Made in Chelsea" reality show, chances are you probably haven't heard of these London neighborhoods. But soccer balls and socialites aside, there is plenty to see and do in these adjacent London boroughs.
(The New York Post, 7/28/2013)
If you're looking for a vacation spot that combines hiking, biking and fishing with castles, stately homes and a microbrewery - as well as the buried heart of an old king - look no further than the Scottish Borders.
(Fodor's, 6/1/2012)
I contributed the shopping chapter to the Fodor's New York City 2012 & 2013 guidebook. Neighborhoods covered include Soho, Midtown East and the Meatpacking District.
(Fodor's, 6/1/2010)
I updated the shopping section of the 2010 Fodor's Guide to London. Neighborhoods covered included Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Covent Garden.
(Fodors.com, 2/1/2010)
I contributed approximately 30 European itineraries to Fodors.com. Destinations covered include Greece, Turkey, Ireland, UK and Italy. Please note that writers were not given bylines.
(CNNMoney.com, 3/7/2008)
Escape the winter blues at one of these seven new warm-weather destinations.
(TheStreet.com, 2/19/2008)
Yes, you can go skiing in Spain, and one of the best places to schuss down the slopes is in the upscale ski resort of Baqueira-Beret, tucked in the Aran Valley of the Spanish Pyrenees. It's the biggest resort in the area, and where the Spanish royal family goes skiing each year (they own a chalet in
(The Times (UK), 2/13/2008)
The pain of skiing in Spain is greatly reduced by a honey-drizzled apres-ski massage in the Pyrenees.
Personal Essay  
(The New York Times, 9/20/2013)
As I cuddled my baby in the dark, hot, salty tears began streaming down my cheeks. It had all gone a little too well - I was so focused on reaching milestones (I've dropped the 11 a.m. feed! And now the 2 p.m. feed! Only two to go!) that I had forgotten to savor these last few feeds together.
(Huffington Post, 9/18/2013)
Of course it's really hard not to look like you're a mom when you are one. Yes, I may be a suburban, station wagon driving mom but I don't want to necessarily look like one.
(The New York Times, 7/29/2013)
After scrolling through pages of pirate D.I.Y. on Pinterest, I started to feel inadequate as a mom, and slightly stressed out. Is this what other parents expected me to do? Would they show up assuming I had drawn parchment treasure maps with artfully torn and burned corners?