Pittsburgh, New York


writer, editor and communications consultant


Wedding wild card: those unpredictable toasts and speeches

Today’s weddings are often planned down to the tiniest detail, sometimes at great expense, to create a truly “perfect” day. But for better or for worse, one random element remains: the speeches and toasts that honored guests stand up and give. Often they’re sweetly, if awkwardly, memorable. A heartfelt toast might even be a highlight of the day.
The Tribune Link to Story

Memory books can help older loved ones recall past

If elderly family members struggle to remember faces in old photo albums, consider scanning those shots and printing them along with brief family stories in what memory researchers call 'memory books.' Along with including family photos in a memory book for an elderly person, consider including scans or photos of other memorabilia such as diplomas or invitations to events, as pictured here.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Link to Story

What Are Adaptogens, and Can They Help You Live Healthier?

You may not have heard much about “adaptogens” yet, but we’re guessing you will. This class of remarkable plants has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. And now, decades after scientists in Western countries first discovered them during World War II, research has been growing into the stress-protective and energy-giving properties of these ancient herbs. Link to Story

Veterans Serving With The Mission Continues Are Improving Thousands of Lives — Including Their Own

As Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean on a collision course with his Miami neighborhood, Derek Auguste didn’t hesitate. He and his platoon quickly pooled their military expertise to prepare. They spread the word via social media: If you need storm shutters installed or windows boarded up or anything else, we will make it happen. Link to Story

Giving My Mother-in-law Back to Herself

They’re her memories, her stories. I just held onto them for a while. <img class="progressiveMedia-noscript js-progressiveMedia-inner" src="*Yc2guxLtGTEJ9kp1bzlpuQ.png"> My mother-in-law outside her assisted-living facility, March 2017. Lately, I’ve been telling my mother-in-law a lot of stories.
Breadcrumbs via Link to Story

This year, pass the turkey AND the family photos

This holiday season, along with planning menus and decorating, consider collecting family stories and bits of precious data that otherwise might be lost forever.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

Welcome to the “pool party.”

In the photos, the suntanned girls are laughing. Their heads are askew, hair whipping around as if their happy motion can barely be captured by the camera’s eye. A cool blue swimming pool awaits in the background on this steamy Friday afternoon. Sunshine, palm trees and a cute boy from middle school has invited them over. Link to Story

Let Your Home Tell Your Story

Your home is your oasis, but it's also a spectacular canvas to celebrate your history. Carrie Nardini chose the soft shade of turquoise for her Brookline kitchen for more than just its beauty. It’s the iconic color of a range of Pyrex mixing bowls used by American moms — including Nardini’s beloved grandmother, who died in 2008 — since the 1950s.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Moving? How to choose the right school from afar

Janine Boldrin Gwinn has become an experienced house-hunter and an expert packer of boxes. Seven times, this Army wife has managed to move her family from one place in the U.S. to another, improving the process a little more each time. But the search for schools for her children is never easy. How can a parent choose the right school when it’s not possible to visit the potential choices?
Oshkosh Northwestern Link to Story

The Sleepless Generation

It’s ten p.m. and I can hear him in there. His baby brother is fast asleep. But my older son, Mason, is wide awake. He’s leafing through comic books and sneaking out of bed, rummaging around for action figures. Just a few weeks shy of his fifth birthday, Mason can write his name, throw a baseball, even croon a wicked rendition of “Go Tell Aunt Rhody.”.
Babble Link to Story

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits. Pittsburgh has been a center of higher learning since the earliest days of America’s history, and as our city has grown and evolved over the centuries, so too have our many colleges and universities.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Guests don’t know each other? Help them mingle

Couples who meticulously plan every aspect of their wedding can still have trouble predicting: Will the guests have fun? That question becomes even harder to answer when guests don’t know each other. A generation ago, couples from the same town or right out of college were more likely to have a cohesive group of shared friends.
The Detroit News Link to Story



For nearly two decades, Melissa Rayworth has explored the building blocks of modern life -- including marriage, relationships and parenting, how we design and organize our homes, the ways we interact with entertainment and pop culture in our marketing-saturated society, and more -- as a writer for regional, national and global media outlets. She's also served as a magazine managing editor and media consultant.

That work continues, and has grown to include the launch of a private storytelling service called Breadcrumbs (learn more at the soon-to-launch site, which Melissa has created alongside her husband, writer Ted Anthony.

After three years living and working in southeast Asia, Melissa currently splits her time between Pittsburgh and New York.