30A Kids Club Magazine

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30A Kids Club m a g a z i n e


meet our local

art teachers

costumes & treats for

halloween blogging mamas postpartum depression


Table of



Friends Harper Lott and Scarlett Sweet played princess at 30Avenue. See page 21 for costume tips. Photo: Jade Lott Photography


Our Local Art Teachers 32 At-Home Art Supplies 39 "A Wrinkle in Time" Meets the Stage 41

In Every Adventure Issue Letter from the Publisher 5 Contributors + Team 6 Wall of Fame 9 Things We Love 10 The Poop Show Column 13


Footloose Shoes 14 Fall Styles for the Littles 15 Mompreneurs Celia Roberts Tucker & Cindy Krutz of Willow 18 Halloween Costume Tips 21 Nursery Style 24


Lunch Box Ideas 26 Teal Pumpkin Project 29 Sponsor a Student's Meals 31

Corn Mazes & More 42 Leaps & Bounds 45 Local Bloggers 46 When I Grow Up... 50 Why HomeSchool? 52

Wellness PostPartum Depression Lies 54 Eat Food to Make Food 56 Lion Curriculum 59

Events Calendar Listings by Neighborhood 60

Last Look Baby Shower 62

30A Kids Club Magazine


APOSTLES By-the-Sea Sundays at 11:15 a.m.

in the Rosemary Beach Town Hall Families Worship Together

+ Nursery Available

Come Worship With Us! www.ApostlesByTheSea.com



Worship God + Love One Another + Unleash Heaven 4

30A Kids Club Magazine


hope you’ll take a few minutes to read Ashley Smith’s honest and moving story about dealing with postpartum depression. Postpartum depression isn’t a topic that moms like to discuss. You’ve just had a baby, you are supposed to be euphoric and head over heels in love with this child … right? If not, then something must be wrong. Please know there is something wrong - your brain is struggling and it’s not something that you can push through. It’s okay and necessary to reach out for help. One in seven women suffer from postpartum depression. You have lots of company on this journey back to you. I didn’t have postpartum depression with my children, but I have had bouts of depression throughout my life. The sudden loss of my mom, the loss of close friends to cancer, struggles with the financial aspects involved with parenting a child with medical and/or special needs and having the empathetic heart of a writer have all led me to my own ups and downs. I recently attended the National Autism Association’s National Conference and had a wake up call while listening to a particular speaker. It was the father of a child with severe autism (Autism Daddy), who encouraged everyone to not always project the perfect picture on Facebook and Instagram. He showed a slide of himself standing in a messy, sloppy kitchen in his underwear. He’d had only a couple hours of sleep because his son could not settle down and spent the whole night pacing and talking and yelling and having anxiety. It was not an attractive photo, but it was real. How many real moments in your life have you deleted or not shared with loved ones? Are you struggling right now? Friends and family won’t know there is a problem if all they see from you are smiling happy photos of you and the kids. It’s okay to admit that you aren’t okay. Stress takes a toll. A physical and mental toll. The president of the NAA (who has a daughter on the

spectrum) died from a massive heart attack and was brought back thanks to fast acting paramedics. A n o t h e r presenter suffered from c r i p p l i n g anxiety attacks. Yet another is a well-known and respected doctor who is thankful for her husband’s airline job because it allows them to fly on standby — the only way they can afford to travel. Why? Because the out-ofpocket expenses associated with autism and special needs has cost them everything. When she shared that story at least 100 people in the room nodded their heads in agreement. To try and help locally, a group of moms have started a monthly meet up for mothers of special needs kids and kids who have some type of issue that “makes life a little spicier,” as I like to say. We meet the third Tuesday of every month at Cuvee 30A and take advantage of their happy hour specials and stellar service. I’m also starting a meet up in Freeport at Hammock Bay. Feel free to drop me an email or give me a call if you’re interested. We’ll post ongoing information on our Facebook page and our website. If you’re struggling right now, call someone. If you’ve recently had a child but don’t feel connected, call someone. You aren’t alone and there is help. As we head into the holiday months, issues with depression often worsen. Don’t let it get to that point. Please. We need you at your healthiest. Online: postpartum.net suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255 if you’re in a crisis. Thank you,

Susan Vallée Editor + Publisher Susan@30AKidsClub.com 30AKidsClub.com 850.217.7542 30A Kids Club Magazine


Hello P U B L IS H ED BY Bennett Vallée Communications, LLC E DI TOR + P UB L IS H ER Susan Vallée susan@30akidsclub.com 850-217-7542 AD R EP Sarah White sarah@30akidsclub.com 850-221-7982


Lauren Bacon lauren@30akidsclub.com (501) 213-5866 AS S I S TA N T ED ITO R Sarah Murphy Robertson


ART D IR EC TO R Jami Ray jami

REG U LAR CO N T R IB UTO R S April Brookhart, Bess Pooler, Jami Ray, Molly Carter, Amber Hunter and Kevin Boyle MAGAZI NE P H OTO G R A P H ER Jade Lott Photography W R IT ER S Sarah Murphy Robertson, Ashley Smith, Jessica Roberts, Ashley Wallace P HOTO G R A P H ER S Jacqueline Ward Images, Marla and Shane Photographers, Shelly Swanger Photography and Snapshot 30A Photography



G R AP H IC D ES IG N Outright Social Communication, LLC 30A Kids Club is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Remember the Golden Rule and don’t steal content. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission from the Publisher. The 30A Kids Club Magazine is published bi-monthly. Opinions expressed are not necessarily that of the publisher and are not shared by advertisers. Advertisers and the publisher will not be held responsible for any mistakes in this publication. Advertisements should not be seen as endorsements of any particular business or event by the publisher. We are also published online at 30akidsclub.com. For ads, contact our Ad Director or one of our Ad Reps listed above.


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(850) 650-0779 | www.GandCoGallery.com LIKE US ON




wall of fame! What 30A Kids Are Up To!

1. Sandcastle Kids Surpasses Goals The

Sandcastle Kids organization provides expense-paid vacations for families with children battling cancer and for terminally ill children. Casey and Shelley Joiner set a goal of providing vacations for 15 families this year. They met that goal by September. The organization is currently in need of a family sponsor for three additional families. Go to thesandcastlekids.com to learn more.

2. Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto Each year students from Seaside Neighborhood School participate in the BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics competition. Students are judged on teamwork, materials, creativity, engineering design process, attitude, ethics and community involvement. The first competition will be held Oct. 28 at the University of West Florida Pensacola campus. 3. Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors Gifts $10,000 The Emerald Coast Theatre Company

received a donation from Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors (idMI) based in Miramar Beach. Todd D. Reeves, a member of ECTC’s board of directors, and Jorge I. Saiz, owners of Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors, presented ECTC with a check for $10,000. This is the largest single donation ECTC has received from a local business and qualifies idMI as a Title Sponsor for ECTC’s 2017-2018 season.

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4. Destin Charity Wine Auction Raises $2.7 Million for Charities A few of the local

organizations and programs that received funding were: The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, $200,000 Children's Volunteer Health Network (CVHN), $225,000 Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, $225,000 Food for Thought Outreach, $240,000 The Emerald Coast Autism Center, $200,000 Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, $150,000


5. Sacred Heart Hosiptal's Family Birth Place

celebrated its 10th anniversary. Baby Zoie Anne Pierce was the first baby delivered at the new hospital. Now 10 years old, she attended the anniversary party and met the nurse and doctor who delivered her. Have boast-worthy news to share? We want to hear about it! Send your news and image to susan@30akidsclub.com.

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love For Our (Fur) Babies

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1 Chilled Teething Toy The Nuby toy for babies can be chilled for maximum comfort. Colorful keys keep little hands busy. Target.com. 2 Puppy Art Artist Julie Grace Martin captures forever the innocence of a loving puppy in these whimsical paintings that will last a lifetime. Duckies Shop of Fun. 3 Bunny Doll Treat your baby to a beautiful keepsake from Alimrose Toy Company. This sweet bunny will be treasured for generations. Duckies Shop of Fun. 4 Puppy Chew The Nylabone puppy chew keeps puppies busy and away from shoes, the sofa and everything else. Chewy.com. 5 Dog Costume This AT-AT Imperial Walker pet costume is too hilarious to pass up. Disney Store, Silver Sands Premium Outlets. 6 Leia Costume Channel the force of Princess Leia in this classic Star Wars costume. Disney Store, Silver Sands Premium Outlets. 10

30A Kids Club Magazine

5 Ways We Fight Childhood Hunger Weekly Backpacks

Full Circle Kitchen

Find out how


Monthly Snacks

Garden Initiative

Holiday Services

More info at: fftfl.org


The POOPSHOW A New Father’s Journey By Kevin Boyle // Photo by Jacqueline Ward Images


One Target Meltdown at a Time

judged parents. I mean, I JUDGED parents for a long time. Before I had Amelie, I would see a mom ignoring their kid as they had a meltdown on the floors of Target and think to myself, What an irresponsible parent, I would never! Oh, PreAmelie Kevin how stupid you were. Years later, I realized exactly how stupid PreAmelie Kevin was as Baby Momma and I literally ran from the back of that same Target with a completely limp, screaming Amelie all while yelling, “You check out! I’ll take her to the car! Don’t forget Cartwheel!” as if we were in the middle of a war zone. I forgot Cartwheel. It was a tough day. Pre-Amelie Kevin was stupid. And clueless. Selfish is also an accurate term to describe this shortsighted, free-time enjoying idiot. “You had a tough day, Pre-Amelie Kevin? You messed up the Blue Apron meal and forgot to DVR Homeland?” How about finding out Amelie didn’t nap at school, is going to come home teething like a rabid baby raccoon, and spit a strawberry pouch all over your shirt? Oh, and you missed the prize puzzle on Wheel of Fortune. That, my friends, is my new reality. What amazes me the most is how little I care about what people think of how we are raising her. When I’m at Cracker Barrel in Gulfport on the way home from visiting Baby Momma’s family in Louisiana, I’m indifferent to the stares from other diners as Amelie catapults an entire side of green beans straight into the air. We let her know that’s not okay and put other food in front of her to try again. We’ll add a couple extra dollars to the tip since our table looks like post-Black Friday at Dress For Less and I’ll give a wink and a nod to the sweet young couple who judged us as we walk out.

They don’t know, and I’m okay with that. We find ourself ordering food and asking for the check and to-go boxes as soon as it arrives. Just in case. Some days, we’ll get through a whole meal. Some days, I feel like I’m in the cafeteria on the show Oz eating my food as fast as I can. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of the parents I judged. I want to apologize specifically to the sheepdog herding dad - you may look like you don’t know what you’re doing, but I now know it’s an efficient way to keep your newly walking child from going somewhere they shouldn’t. I apologize to the quick draw iPad giving Mom - studies may show that your kid might only be able to handle one AP course instead of two their sophomore year, but I understand that playing Super Simple Songs for five minutes will avert disaster. I’d also like to apologize to the arguing in front of their kid about their kid parents - it may seem like you have a broken home, but I now understand that parenting simply pushes relationships to the limits where you start to resent someone for forgetting to use Cartwheel to save 10% off Fruit of the Loom underwear. This is an amazing time in Amelie’s life. I love every second of it. She’s laughing, eating, walking, and discovering new things every day. Even when it’s awful, it’s still better than Pre-Amelie awful. Because, frankly, that reality didn’t have this cute little human bug who, thank God, is starting to look like Baby Momma. She’s just figuring out the world one Target meltdown at a time and I’m happy to be along for the ride. Kevin will be sharing tales of new fatherhood in each issue. He’ll also be adding his humor to 30akidsclub.com every other week. When not parenting, Kevin runs an event and marketing agency, Poor Truman Creative.

30A Kids Club Magazine



footloose and fancy free

Transitioning Footwear from Summer to Winter By Amy Giles of Wardrobe Made Simple


iving at the beach, we often have mild climate into November and December, but we fashionistas still like to dress on trend for the season. Fall to me means boots and closed-toe shoes. Several of "my Fav" selections either include an open-toe bootie, or super cool cut outs. These fall shoes are on trend for the season, but still let your feet breath in our warm climate.

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Willow + Mercer

Rag & Bone Leigh boot


Dolce Vita Sevi boot

The rust color booties are fabulous for a pop of color when the weather starts turning into the mid 70s! I picture these rust beauties with a gorgeous floral maxi dress or a cool pair of distressed denim, a T-shirt and a lightweight bomber jacket. The possibilities are endless! This shoe is a show-stopper and will be your statement piece.


Willow + Mercer

Rag & Bone Walker boot

Every girl needs a pair of glam sneakers and these Metallic copper ones are perfect with shorts now, and denim in the fall and into winter.



Dolce Vita Zalen sneaker

The open-toe and cut-out booties can be worn with literally anything! Summer and fall dresses, jeans or leggings! The possibilities are endless. A nude, gray or black bootie is a must in my wardrobe recommendations. When the weather cools, throw on a pretty sweater, leather or satin bomber jacket or blazer (one of my fav must haves for fall) with any of your summer floral dresses, or sleeveless blouses and denim.

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Saks Off 5th

Loeffler Randall 30A Kids Club Magazine



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The sweetest personalized baby blankets!

golden child

featuring Fall's Hottest Hue

By Jami Ray 1 Varsity T-Shirt Dress $30, Love Fire, nordstrom.com // 2 Plaid Shirt $30, Janie and Jack, janieandjack.com // 3 Pop-Color Karate Jeans available in 11 colors, $29, Old Navy, oldnavy.com // 4 Bow Dress $30, Janie and Jack, janieandjack.com // 5 SuperStar C Sneakers $55, Adidas, nordstrom.com // 6 Baby Blankets in custom print with name, $40, etsy.com/shop/helloam // 7 Baby Moccasins in Gold Flax, $49, Freshly Picked, freshlypicked.com // 7 Stripe Onesie $12, Gap, gap.com

30A Kids Club Magazine







Minnie Mouse Rolling Luggage & Minnie Mouse Flats for Kids



Evelyn Rose Body Lotion


From September 29 through October 31, visit Silver Sands Premium Outlets to save 25% off one item at select stores. Stop by the Information Center and donate $10 to Susan G. Komen to receive a special booklet offering 25% off one single item at participating retailers including kate spade new york, Disney, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Crabtree & Evelyn & over 40 more stores.





Kids Embellished Dog Sweater


UNDER ARMOUR Kids Leggings



Marc by Marc Jacobs X Disney Cosmetic Bag





Leather Tory Burch Purse

Pink Chuck Taylor All Star



This Page: Celia Roberts Tucker and

Cindy Krutz launched three boutiques and changed how 30A shopped.


30A Kids Club Magazine


fashion forward at the beach

Q&A with cindy krutz and celia roberts tucker owners of Willow, Willow + Woods and Willow + Mercer.


Story by Susan Vallee, Photos by Marla & Shane Photographers

igh fashion wasn't always easy to find along 30A. Cindy Krutz and Celia Roberts Tucker took their frustration at never being able to find the clothes they wanted to wear and turned it into a business plan. These two busy moms have expanded their business while managing to juggle husbands and kids. Your first shop was in Rosemary Beach. Was it daunting to open a brand new boutique? How did you know it would succeed?

Cindy: In 2007 there weren't many options for high-end shopping. Since we felt such a need, we knew it would be a success. There have definitely been some scary times. We survived the Gulf Oil Spill and the horrific economy of 2008. I think anyone who lives here can tell you those things made us all stronger. Celia: We opened Willow in Rosemary Beach in May of 2007. It seems like eons ago! From the time we decided to go for it, everything moved so fast. We didn't have time to feel our nerves. At the time we probably thought, well if no one buys all these clothes we’ll have two fabulous closets! Somehow that

part still worked out. We have been very lucky to have had a business partnership thrive. Over the years, we have both sort of moved into our separate roles and we learned our strengths and weaknesses as business owners and partners. How have your families grown since you began?

Cindy: Well, we had no kids when we opened and have four between our two families now. It has been really fun watching our kids and Willow grow. We hope our kids will be proud of us once they are old enough to appreciate how hard their moms worked. Celia: Seems like there is some kind of a baby born every year; whether that's an addition to our families or another store added to our brand. How do you juggle managing the shops with time with your families? Can you offer tips?

Cindy: The struggle is real! We know all of our hard-working momma friends get that! It has always been important that our families come first. We even tell our Willow girls that in the interview process. We will always do the best

we can to accommodate family life. Living in a resort town and working retail can be tough during holidays. Our kids probably get the short end of the stick and don't get to travel when all of their friends do. But we make it up to them! We just take fun trips other times of the year. Your businesses have grown quickly. Is there a key to your success?

Cindy: We feel blessed to live in this beautiful area and attribute a big part of our success to where we live. We just adore the loyal customers we have met over the years. Many of them are like family to us. We know they will always have our back and for that we are forever grateful. Celia: We both come into work every day during the week and most weekends during season. We work hard alongside all of our Willow girls. Everyone is important in our company. Customer service and honesty are huge core values for us. What’s next for the business?

Celia: We have a couple of things we have been exploring, but to be honest it has been nice to be present and just focus on today.

30A Kids Club Magazine



30A Kids Club Magazine


Six Tips for


fun! 1


Look for “flame resistant” labels when purchasing a costume.


Wear costumes that fit properly. Costumes that drag the ground can cause children to trip and fall.

Discourage the use of masks. These can cause overheating and can make it difficult to see.


Test face paint in advance. If you’re painting your little ghoul or princess, have a test run in advance. Nothing says “trick” faster than an itchy hives breakout.


Leave pointy wands and swords at home. It’s hard to juggle a candy bag with accessories, and easy to lose.


Incorporate flashlights and glow sticks into the costume if possible. -- SV

Costumes: Rockfod Peaches, from Pistol and Arrow. Mermaid, custom made by Liboosha.

30A Kids Club Magazine



Dwell in Possibility T H E D ES IG N O F L AURA H AM I LTON M CKE E

By Erin Bakker


f you ask clients to describe Laura Hamilton McKee, you’ll hear things like, professional, ingenious, fantastic, refreshing, committed.

McKee is the creative force behind Dwell—L. Hamilton & Co., a full service staging and remodeling company based in Grayton Beach. She and her team refresh and restyle vacation rentals to maximize income, as well as remodel properties for sale. “You can’t underestimate the value of your property’s first impression,” she says. In addition to receiving the “Best of Houzz” award for customer service in both 2016 and 2017, she’s garnered a stellar reputation for interior design on 30A. “I like the challenge of creating fresh, current designs on a budget and the resulting transformation. It’s a balance between using what a homeowner has and incorporating new items." Connection with the homeowner is crucial, McKee adds, as she and her team are hands-on from start to finish. “I maintain a small, selective clientele because we have to connect. It’s supposed to be fun.” Of course, for McKee, the entire process is fun. “I’m involved with


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everything from the deep clean to the design choices and installation.” Just as she’s involved every step of the way, so is her team. “Regardless of anyone’s designated role, it’s a team effort. We all play to one another’s strengths and step in to help each other. I want it done right, and so does my team.” McKee’s attention to detail and dedication to each project has resulted in a devoted clientele, as her waitlist evidences. Dwell’s showroom in Grayton Beach, however, can be viewed by appointment and a portfolio of before-and-after transformations is available on the Dwell Houzz page. Learn more about Dwell and schedule your off-season remodel at lhcdwell.com.

30A Kids Club Magazine



nursery for two


30A Kids Club Magazine


hat do you think of when you hear the word “nursery”? Pastels? Primary colors? When it came time for Interior Designer bess pooler to design a nursery for her twins (a boy and a girl) she didn’t hesitate to buck tradition. “I’ve never wanted a pastel nursery,” she confessed. “We ended up converting our guest bedroom into the nursery. I had painted that room a dark grey years ago and I loved it. I couldn’t change it. It’s perfect for naps! I’ve had numerous family members offer to repaint it for me, but I refused. Hopefully the color scheme will instill a sense of creativity in the kids too.” Once she had settled on a rug for the room she designed the rest of the room around it. There are subtle nods to the beach (dresser knobs have lobsters on them), we have a pirate ship kite, a map of Florida. “My intent was for my husband to be as comfortable in here as I am.”

Bess' Design Tips:

1. Use artwork that you can repurpose in other

areas of your home. This will make the memories last longer.

2. Order frames with plastic (instead of glass) so they don't pose a safety issue for curious babies. 3. Put changing table basics in cute containers like a ceramic soap dispenser. 4. A sofa is the perfect spot to nurse or sleep when you have a sick baby. 5. Sneak storage in where you can, like an ottoman or in bins under cribs. 6. Slipcover furniture in the nursery. 7. Have fun with the room. One of Bess’ favorite

finds is the party garland she hung above the sofa. The babies love to look at it.

Rug: Dash & Albert, White dresser/changing table: Ikea. Hardware: Anthropologie, Pirate Ship kite: Haptic Lab. Bess Pooler, owner of Interiors by Bess, is a certified Interior Designer and new mom of twins! See her work at bessinteriors.com.

30A Kids Club Magazine





Master the art (and ease!) of school lunches.


By Amber Hunter, Owner of Nourish Meal Planning // Courtesy Image

reparing lunches for our kids can be a stressful job if you aren't prepared for the week. Having easy, accessible lunches will make your week easier, guaranteed!

Amber’s top tips for lunch prep:


Plan out a week's worth of lunches on Saturday. This sounds simple, but it’s easy to procrastinate and forget to do it. Actually schedule it on your calendar. I set a timer for 10 minutes on Saturday and dedicate that time to planning out my shopping list. On Sunday I purchase everything I need.

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Keep it simple with only three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Any extra snacks can be worked around the macronutrients.

I prep three proteins, three favorite carbs (or veggies) and three fats. These get rotated during the week. Favorite Proteins: shredded chicken, boiled eggs and mini meatballs prepped on Sunday. Favorite carbs: roasted sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli and raw carrots prepped on Sunday. Favorite fats: Almonds, peanut butter and cheeses.

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Let the kids help you prepare the menu for the week. You can write a variety of choices and let them circle which ones they want.

Let them pack their lunch! If the items are already prepped, they can easily choose what they would like to take from each category.

Check your school policy. Some schools prohibit nuts and other foods due to allergies. Help keep other children safe by respecting these rules.


30A Kids Club Magazine

After-school Snack Ideas

Edamame + sprinkled with parmesan + berries Boiled eggs + hummus + cherries Ricotta + drizzle of honey + strawberries Roasted turkey + hummus + bell peppers Find more foodie ispiration from Amber at @nourishmealplanning


30A Kids Club Magazine



30A Kids Club Magazine



Tricks Are Up to You! By Ashley Smith


his Halloween, please remember that 1 in 13 children in the United States have food allergies and food color/additive sensitivities. Getting dressed up and going door to door shouldn’t be an anxiety-filled event. If you love handing out candy, why not add a teal pumpkin to your doorstep this year? The Teal Pumpkin Project lets families whose children can’t have candy know that you have little toys or allergen-free candy available. Becky Basalone, the leader of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee, had the idea to paint a pumpkin teal to signal to families that her house had allergy-safe treats. The teal pumpkin idea spread quickly in her local community and then the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization partnered with her to make it a nationwide effort. “I think this caught on quickly because families managing food allergies need to feel more of a positive connection to others in their community,” Basalone said. “I think that the general public is eager to participate because most realize that this is a simple compassionate act that can make a huge difference to a child.” Ideas to fill a teal pumpkin include little gifts like stretchy spiders, vampire teeth, bubbles, stickers or skull and crossbones rings. If you’d like to include sweets, the Surf Sweets company has a line of candy that is organic and free from the top 10 allergens (you can find them locally at For the Health of It). Get creative, and let’s keep Halloween fun and safe for all trick-or-treaters this year.

30A Kids Club Magazine



This Year, Sponsor a


and help Food for Thought Outreach feed 2,825 students a week! By jessica roberts

Did you know you can “Sponsor a Student� through Food for Thought Outreach this year? Sponsorship levels range from $5 to $300. A $5 donation feeds a student for a week, $25 feeds a student for a month, $90 helps feed a student for a semester, $180 for the school year, and $300 helps feed a child for the school year and provides monthly snacks. What an easy and great way to support local families. Since its beginnings in 2010, Food For Thought has utilized a five-prong approach to providing hunger relief:

1) Weekly backpacks during the school year for students receiving free or reduced lunches to close the gap of missed meals over the weekend, 2) Monthly snacks provided to teachers in schools receiving Food For Thought services to fight immediate signs of hunger, 3) Holiday services to help feed families in need during long breaks from school including summer,

or cooking class, that fee helps pay for a child to attend a class in the future. Food For Thought Outreach is a local nonprofit fighting childhood hunger and food insecurity in Okaloosa and Walton counties. During the first two months of the 2017-2018 school year, Food For Thought will feed 2,825 students a week, host two of their signature fundraisers, and finish construction on their newest renovation project which will help the organization store up to 75 percent more food items and supplies in their Santa Rosa Beach Pantry. To accomplish all of this work, the organization needs an additional 50 volunteers per week. All ages are welcome! If you or someone you know would like to donate time, funds, or services to Food For Thought Outreach, please email info@fftfl.org or visit fftfl.org. Those interested in sponsoring a student may do so at fftfl.org/collections/ sponsor-a-student.

4) Garden initiatives at select schools and at the Destin Pantry, and the newest arm of the organization, 5) The Full Circle Kitchen. The Full Circle Kitchen will help provide skills and additional sources of food to some of the most at-risk students in Okaloosa and Walton counties by providing a variety of classes to students (and some to the public as well). When an individual registers for a dinner

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creat creat By Susan Vallée, photography by jacqueline ward images


’m willing to bet you’ve had at least one art project come home with your child that made you say “wow.” Art classes help children express their emotions, and study after study prove that arts education also increase scores in reading, math and literacy skills and increases graduation rates. As a way of saying thank you to our incredibly


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talented Walton County art teachers, 30A Kids Club Magazine and Grayton Seafood treated them to a delicious meal. Afterwards I asked them what they find themselves telling their students and what they wished parents would keep in mind. One request heard from every single art teacher? Teach your child to take care of their art supplies and clean up after themselves.





tivity tivity This Page: Kristy Green,

daughter Karter and son Walker wearing OKO, OKO Kids and Pretty Please

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Katlyn Arnold

Kendra Peloquin

Jennifer Rhea

“CON S TANTLY TRY BECAU S E YOU ’LL EV EN TUALLY G E T IT.” I really want to help teach life skills. They need to be prepared with their materials and they must clean their supplies. Kids choose art as an elective because they think it’s easy, but we use rubrics, we use math and English. It’s as academic as any science, math or history class. Look around you for inspiration. You’ll find art.

“ EV ERY S T UD E N T H AS T H EIR M O M ENT.” What I personally love about art is that everyone can be successful at it. When they’re proud of their art and hang it on their walls, that’s a big moment for kids. We paint on canvas, we work with plaster and clay a lot. I use Pinterest as inspiration sometimes. I like to set minimum parameters for maximum creativity. You don’t need money to make art, you just need to be creative and resourceful.

“M I STAKE S ARE J U ST P ROOF T H AT YOU ’RE T RYI N G .” Art is a skill and you have to practice it. You need to sit and paint and explore and ask questions. It might not turn out as you’d hoped, but at least you tried. It’s important to meet kids at their level. Some middle schoolers want a step-by-step guide, while others want to explore.

Walton Middle School

Liza Snyder Bay Elementary School

“SAY, ‘TE LL ME AB O UT YO U R DR AW I NG ,’ I N S T EA D OF AS K I NG ‘W HAT IS T H AT ? ’” I always advise parents to have their child tell them more about what they’ve created. As growing artists kids are super sensitive and they might take a question as a criticism. My kindergarteners are so open and draw big and large and by 4th grade they are drawing small and are worried what people think. Look up art projects on Youtube and have fun creating something.

Vivian Komando South Walton High School

“I T ’S D I F F I C U LT TO CREATE . THE R E ’S N O FORMU LA.” I see our students as young artists. I don’t want them manufacturing art, I want them to create art. That difficult process is something their families may not understand. Each person is on a journey with their art. It’s very personal and intense to create. Art is so much more now. We’re using technology in the classroom and we’re collaborating with our colleagues in math and science. It’s an exciting time.

Freeport Middle School

Constance Rogers Butler Elementary (Not Pictured)

" T H E A RTS A L LOW US TO IM AG IN E T H E UN IM AG IN A B L E .” I ask my parents to dedicate a space somewhere in the home where children can have easy access to art supplies, and to encourage their children to visit that place often to express themselves. I ask parents to celebrate their children's creative endeavors, to take time to ask about the work and display it in a special place etc. I remind parents that arts in education aren't about becoming an artist, but about becoming a person who has an understanding and connection to the world around us in all its aesthetic beauty.

Corinne Wilson Paxton Elementary

“A LWAYS TA K E P RI D E I N W H AT YO U D O.” I’ve seen students work hard on a project and once they’ve completed it they fold it and put it away in their pocket. No. Always be proud of what you create. At home, expose them to different types of art. Play music, but also play types of music that you don’t typically listen to. If you mainly listen to country, try playing Stevie Wonder. Do something different and see what resonates.


Marla Sillivant DeFuniak Elementary

“N O ON E I S E VE R TOO OL D FOR CRAYON S AN D M ARKE RS.” Parents need to put projects and objects in front of kids that they can manipulate. I’ve noticed some loss of tactile motor skills in students. Folding is a struggle. Keep crayons and paper at home, but help us teach them to have respect for the materials. A brush needs to be treated a certain way. Be respectful. That helps set them up for success.

Terri Shelley Freeport High School

“ART M I G H T BE WH E RE T H E I R SU CCE SS I S. D ON ’T P U SH T H E M AWAY.” Our program is growing again. Art programs are just as important as other AP classes. I require sketchbooks and pencils for class, but I usually supply good quality brushes and good paper. We do a little bit of everything. One of my students won Best in Show in the Music in Pictures contest. We have some very talented students.

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McWhorter Vallee Reese Design, Inc. AA26003107


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mcwhortervalleereese.com mvr.design



850.231.2281 • theseasidestyle.com

@bumpandbabyseaside • Seaside, FL


Corralling the

messy muse By Susan Vallée

Let’s be honest, art supplies can get messy. I spoke with art teacher Sarah Forsythe, owner of Active Arts, to see how she kept her studio in Seaside clean this summer, and she shared some ideas you can incorporate into your own home!.

1: Cheap table coverings (you could tear a trash bag in half if caught in a pinch) are your friends. Tape the edges underneath the table to prevent messy drips. 2: Remember school lunch trays? Cheap and easy to find online, these pull double-duty as supply trays. Sarah recommends storing brushes and jars of water on these trays. If the water spills, only the tray, and not the art, gets wet. 3: Store watercolor paints with the lids open so the colors can dry.

4: Buy tempera paint in red, yellow, blue and white and then mix to make all other colors. 5: Store paints in cheap plastic ice cube trays. You can cover with plastic wrap! 6: Buy copy paper when you see a pack on sale. Keep it in an area with crayons and markers. 7: Don’t throw out glass jam or baby food jars. They are perfect for holding water to clean brushes with.

30A Kids Club Magazine



30A Kids Club Magazine

a wrinkle in time Meets the Stage


By Susan Vallée

he Emerald Coast Theatre Company is performing “A Wrinkle in Time,” Dec. 7-24 in the upstairs theatre at Grand Boulevard. The classic tale, written by Madeleine L’Engle and adapted to the stage by John Glore, centers around young Meg Murry, a stubborn young heroine who joins forces with Mrs. Whatsit, Charles Wallace, Calvin O'Keefe, and more to battle the forces of evil so she can rescue her father, save humanity and find herself. In the end, we know two things for sure: Love can overcome evil and there is such a thing as a tesseract. “I’m so excited about being able to share this story,” Nathanael Fisher, producing artistic director of ECTC said. “As a father of girls it is important to me. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ has a female child protagonist who faces her worst fears and overcomes them! Children are under an immense amount of pressure nowadays. These are the type of stories that I want kids to experience. I think it’s very important.” Nathaniel said he was even more excited at the commitment our local school district has shown the production. “Both Seaside Neighborhood School and Emerald

Coast Middle School will be sending all of their students to see the play. ECMS is sending all of their 5th grade students and Seaside is sending the 6th and 7th graders. How exciting is that? We have our educators sending students because they believe this piece of literature should be supported. I’m passionate about bringing these types of stories to younger audiences. To be able to have that conversation with your child afterwards! Talk to your children about what their fears are. Talk with your daughters about how to overcome difficulties. It’s impactful and involves imagination. I can’t wait for people to see it.” BU Y T I C KE TS N OW AT E M E RAL D COAST T H E AT RE .ORG . Dec. 7-22: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7:30PM, Sunday 2PM Dec. 16 at 2PM Sensory Sensitive Performance for Special Needs Families Dec. 23 at 2PM Run time is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. The show is appropriate for ages 5 and older (no lap children please). 30A Kids Club Magazine



30A Kids Club Magazine

Corn Mazes, Pumpkins and Peacocks Have you ever run giggling through a corn maze? Ridden a cow train? Heard what a peacock sounds like in the middle of the afternoon? Here’s your chance. Life’s short and the tickets are cheap (and free for Rocking B-A-B Ranch)! We recommend carrying cash just in case and taking a camera. Get ready for fun on the farm. >> CYPRESS CATTLE & PRODUCE CO. Ponce De Leon cypresscattle.com Oct. 1-31 Ticket prices vary from $6-16. Children 3 and younger are free. Open every Friday 4-8PM, Saturdays 10AM-8PM and Sundays 10AM-4PM Cypress Cattle & Produce Co. has a six-acre corn maze with more than two miles to navigate. There’s also tractor-pulled farm tours, a petting zoo, you-pick pumpkins, hayride, bounce houses and more. It’s a full day of fun out at the farm. A season pass is available for an additional fee. Some additional games and food purchases are cash only. >> 9TH ANNUAL CORN MAZE & FALL FESTIVAL Sweet Seasons Farm Milton sweetseasonfarm.com Oct. 1-Nov. 5 Fridays 6-10PM, Saturday 9AM-5PM and Sunday 11AM-5PM Tickets range from $9-26 Sweet Seasons Farm features an 8-acre corn maze (and smaller kiddie maze). Each year features a new design. Enjoy pumpkin bowling, barnyard ball, hayrides, a corn popper jumping pillow, cow trains, a pumpkin patch, a playground, barnyard animals and more. >> ROCKING B-A-B RANCH Farm Day Nov. 4, 11AM-6PM Free This 310-acre ranch located just outside of DeFuniak Springs is the largest peafowl farm in NW Florida. The farm also sells hedgehogs and other goods. Enjoy a farm tour, playground and more. Visitors are invited to bring a covered dish to share.

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30A Kids Club Magazine

leaps & bounds Fun Meets Fitness in South Walton Cheerleading


by Sarah Murphy Robertson

he opportunities to become involved locally in cheerleading have grown in recent years. South Walton Seahawks Youth Cheerleading is a recreational program and a great area resource for those new to the sport. “We serve as a great stepping stone for one day trying out for middle school and high school squads.” Director Angela Denton explained. The sport of cheerleading is centered around motivating and supporting a fellow sports team. Today’s cheerleaders are also often implementing gymnastic and dance movements, so it would be a mistake to assume that cheerleaders aren’t themselves skilled athletes. In fact, even from a young age, a big component of cheerleading is fitness and athleticism. “We do pushups and strength training to become stronger”, Denton shared. These squads have a lot of fun while putting a focus on fitness and building camaraderie and character in the process. “That’s really what I love best about the sport” she added. Each summer registration is available for four different cheerleading age divisions who then correspond with the Seahawks recreational football teams. The divisions

include: The Boomers, The Pee Wees, and the Juniors and Seniors squads. Participants’ ages ranges from five until 11 years old. Registration is typically open until early August and everyone who registers on time is invited to participate. After the fall football season wraps up, cheerleading competitions and camps keep the cheerleaders active until the next season. The South Walton Recreational League’s Seahawks Pee Wee division won first place last year in the PYFA (Panhandle Youth Football Association) annual CheerOff held in Panama City Beach! This association was established in 1980 and has grown from including just four local teams to over fifty! Our South Walton PeeWees worked hard and we are so proud of what they accomplished. South Walton Seahawk football games run through the end of October. Come on out and root for our area’s ball players as well as their dedicated cheerleading squads! For more information on becoming involved visit southwaltonyouthfootball.website.siplay.com

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Blogger Local

Super Stars

By Molly Carter

Carrie Vitt


Is your family involved with your blog?


Carrie lives in Niceville with her husband and their two teenage daughters. She writes Deliciously Organic, a blog that focuses on finding better health through real food, detox, lifestyle, and essential oils.

“My husband manages the business strategy side of things and my oldest daughter mails out gifts to new paid members. My youngest daughter often helps me with the cooking and food photography.”

What is the most tedious aspect of blogging?

“The most tedious parts are the editing, the technical side and customer care. I hire people to take care of those things. It works much better that way!”

What advice would you give someone interested in starting a blog?

“Find a way to solve your reader’s problems and be different. The trend right now is to look like everyone else, post the same pictures on social media and share the same kinds of recipes, but that’s pretty boring and doesn’t truly help your readers. If you give them helpful information that will make a difference in their life, they will continue to come back.”

Jessica Fay

Photo credit:

lipstickheelsandababy.com @lipstickheelsandababy

How did you get into blogging? “I started

Deliciously Organic because I was able to overcome major health issues using real food and I wanted to share what I had learned. It definitely started as a hobby, but has turned into a career and full-time job.”

How has your blog evolved since it began?

“I started my website back in 2008 and never imagined anyone outside of my family and friends would read it. At the beginning, I shared recipes and small bits of health advice, and over the course of nine years it’s evolved to be more of a health website and is read by hundreds of thousands every month.”


30A Kids Club Magazine

Jessica writes her blog from Santa Rosa Beach, where she lives with her husband and their three young kids (two boys and a baby girl). Lipstick, Heels & a Baby is a beauty and style blog that allows Jessica to share everything from hair and makeup tips to her favorite gadgets for kids. How did you get into blogging?

“Lipstick, Heels & a Baby actually started as an online journal. I realized about four months into it that I could absolutely make money while writing and photographing things I loved, such as my family, clothes and makeup! The blog is now my full time job. I work from my home office.”

How has your blog evolved since it began?

Photo credit: Jacqueline Ward Images

“I originally started my blog while my husband, Ryan, was deployed - it was an easy way to update everyone on our lives. From there I noticed my images being pinned on Pinterest and noticed comments from readers asking me how I did my hair or makeup and what I was wearing. I couldn’t believe people I didn’t know were actually reading my blog! From there it transitioned into what is Lipstick, Heels & a Baby today.”

Is your family involved with your blog?

“My husband and two boys are supportive of my blog. Though I do all of the work myself, they are always up for being featured or helping me out with sponsored posts.”

What is the most tedious aspect of blogging?

“Emails take up most of my time. I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours on emails each day! Other than that, reading contracts and planning out my content calendar.”

What advice would you give someone interested in starting a blog?

as a creative outlet. I've always loved coming up with a project and bringing it to life so I created my own website using countless HTML tutorials on Youtube, honed my iPhoneography skills and eventually picked up more photography tips to get by. I already had a great foundation in marketing communication and graphic design, but I definitely didn't start down this path with a full blog career in mind. I just shared the things I loved.

How has your blog evolved since it began?

My blog today is mostly style along with beauty, lifestyle, travel and motherhood posts sprinkled in. When I began, I was sharing some of my own style with lots of others' street style and inspiration. As I gained an engaged audience and grew, I was getting more questions and requests for personal style. People wanted to know where I bought the maxi dress I was wearing, what makeup brands I used, where I shopped for my daughter, and where I recommended visiting on 30A, etc. The amazing thing about blogging and social media is that you get instant and honest feedback. Over time, my content evolved to be even more personal and I've really loved the evolution.

What's the most tedious part of your job?

Even close friends and family have no idea what it means to be a blogger. It's one of those jobs that, from the outside, is easy to overlook the work and only see the glamorous side, but it's a lot like having a startup or your own magazine and doing every job yourself. On any given day, I am acting as writer, editor, business manager (for contracts and collaborations), social media manager, photographer, photo editor, graphic designer and the face of the brand. It's definitely more than outfit photos and shopping! Preparation is the most tedious part because so much goes into the timing, strategy and content for just a single post. It's not always easy, especially when you're not in an office surrounded by people doing the same job who can relate, but it's also a pretty amazing gig and I love being able to wear so many hats.

“My best advice would be consistency and quality. This doesn’t mean you have to post every day, but set up expectations with your readers. Also, do not post content just to post. Make sure it is always of equal quality and consistent to your brand.”

Jami Ray


@30astreetstyle Photo credit: Hunter Ray

Jami shares her love of style and design from a cozy corner of her home in Freeport. She and her husband Hunter have one six-yearold daughter and one on the way. How did you get into blogging?

In the beginning, I simply set out to create a little home for myself on the internet and share 30A style

30A Kids Club Magazine


What's your best advice for someone interested in starting a blog?

Start for the right reasons. Having "influencer" as your job title has become trendy recently, but success doesn't happen overnight and in order to create something sustainable, a lot of work goes into it. You'll want to be sure you are truly passionate about what you're doing! Plus, it's so important to find a community of people in your field who understand what you're doing and deal with the same triumphs and challenges. I've been lucky to make such sweet friends through blogging (some of whom I've never met in real life!), who I can go to with questions or encouragement for any situation that comes up - whether it's finding inspiration, understanding the latest social media update or just saying, "I see you and you're doing a great job. Keep it up!"

Is your family involved with your blog?

Yes, it is definitely a family affair! Hunter has learned his way around a camera and shoots so much of my photo content and has traveled with me to shoot. He's become a great "Instagram husband" when he's not fishing with Florida Boy Adventures. He's also a great sounding board when I'm in the midst of negotiating collaborations with brands. And, of course, Emery is in quite a few of my photos and loves to style a flat lay. I might have a future blogger on my hands!

Susan Benton 30Aeats.com


Susan blogs about food, the best places to get it, and the people that create it or produce it. From farmers to fishermen to chefs and the best restaurants, locally and in her vast travels.

How did you get into blogging?

“30AEats.com began innocently enough, as a place for me to stash family recipes for our two tweens as they were soon heading to college and I knew they would need to cook. Like clockwork the phone calls started to come in from them. It was easy to direct them to the blog. I decided to name it 30A Eats because I have lived on 30A for a long time and we eat out a lot. I thought I could shed light on the regional food scene for interested locals and visitors.”

How has your blog evolved since it began?

“The most significant way my blog has evolved is through the introduction of social media (Instagram, for one, wasn’t around when I began) connecting with other bloggers, media hosts for cities, and brands like the U.S Potato Board or Lodge Cast Iron. Each connection opens a door to many more connections. 30AEats.com also inspired me to create GulfCoastRestaurants.com, a boutique restaurant advertising site. The restaurants showcased are where I would send my family and friends to eat, from Pensacola to Panama City.”

Is your family involved with your blog?

“My family was my inspiration for my blog’s beginnings, so yes. From early elementary school through our kids’ high school days, we each chose a restaurant that we would dine at on Thursday, alternating between the four of us. The rules were not to throw any shade. No sulking allowed. We would all go gleefully to Bud & Alley’s or Cheeseburger in Paradise. Our daughter has also participated in creating content, and recently graduated in Nutrition from the University of Alabama. Her internship took place on 30AEats.com. You can find Caroline’s healthy recipes on the blog, and videos on YouTube.”

What is the most tedious aspect of blogging?

“Email, social media, photography and the blog post. I get hundreds of requests by Facebook and Instagram direct message and via my email regarding restaurant recommendations and I try to answer them all. Most are seeking the best seafood options or the best places to take young children to dine. I also get invited to participate in many marketing campaigns. I’m now so selective as I want to make certain that it is worth the time I am taking away from being with my family.”

Photo credit: Aaron Snow

What advice would you give someone interested in starting a blog?


30A Kids Club Magazine

“Make certain that your blog is about a subject matter that you are very interested in, and realize that blog posts are time consuming when done well. Invest in a good camera as photography is really important, whether it’s of your babies, family, food or fashion. Don’t let your blog or your phone come between you and your family time. Most of all, don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. Share your voice. And, have fun doing it!”

Good Food. Good People. Good Times. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. BudandAlleys.com 850.231. 5900

When I Grow Up... I Wanna be a


Meet dr. stephanie baxter, a small animal veterinarian who sees patients at the Freeport Pet Clinic. We met with this busy doctor to find out how she got into veterinarian medicine and why she loves it. Photo: Snapshot 30A Photography Did you always know that you wanted to be a veterinarian?

Not exactly. I knew I didn’t want to do the same thing every day. Once I got to High School I read “All Creatures Great and Small,” by James Herriot and it pretty much changed my life. I decided then that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I also loved, "All Things Wise and Small." After I read those books I decided to pursue veterinarian science. I did get asked why I didn't become a people doctor instead. It was my back-up plan. Veterinarian Science is a big time commitment. You're looking at a four-year vet program, an internship and a speciality. It's a minimum of eight years usually. My days here at the Freeport Pet Clinic are full and always busy. That's how I like it. No day is ever typical or boring.

If I love animals and think I might want to be a vet, what should I do?

Volunteer with rescue programs, the Humane Society, or even start a dog walking or pet sitting service. Once you’re old enough, get a job at a clinic. It’s not easy work and it’s a large time commitment, but you’ll quickly find out if this is for you or not. (Dr. Baxter is a 50

30A Kids Club Magazine

graduate of Auburn University’s Veterinarian program).

What’s a weird animal story that you can share?

When I first started practicing there was a woman who discovered a feral cat stuck inside the workings of her car. I ended up having to crawl up underneath the car to get the cat. We ended up keeping him as a clinic cat.

Do you have any pets, or is your house animal free?

Ha! No, we have two rescue dogs, two cats who are brothers, one bearded dragon, two guinea pigs and one fish. I love being around animals.

Ways to Help Animals:

H.E.A.R.T. Animal Rescue provides assistance to families so they can fully care for their pets. s animal transport when needed. Donate to H.E.A.R.T. Animal Rescue at heartanimalrescue.org. Dr. Baxter works directly with H.E.A.R.T. to provide medical care to animals. You may also donate directly to the Freeport Pet Clinic to support H.E.A.R.T.'s program. Kids can also collect old blankets and towels to donate to shelters. -SV

> > BECOM E A VE T Some of the top ranked veterinarian programs are located in the South. AUBURN UNIVERSITY Auburn, AL UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA Athens, GA NORTH CAROLINA STATE Raleigh, NC UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Gainesville, FL LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, Baton Rouge, LA

> > D I D YOU KN OW?

The term veterinarian comes from the Latin world "veterinae" which means working animals. Approximately 46.3 million households in the United States own a dog! Veterinarians may also specialize in oncology, radiology, animal dentistry, dermatology, cardiology, exotic small animal medicine or large animal medicine.

Find Dr. Stephanie Baxter at: Freeport Pet Clinic 907 State Highway 20 E, Unit 7 (Near corner of US HWY 331 & 20) (850) 835-1500, 7:30AM-5PM

30A Kids Club Magazine




here are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to homeschooling. Tell people you homeschool and you always get some interesting responses. The responses range anywhere from the ever so affirming, “Are you insane?”, to the ever so laughable, “Oh, you must be a saint!” As interesting as all of these comments are, none of them describe me. I am just an ordinary mom who found that homeschooling was the best option for my family. And I am not alone. Over 1.77 million students were homeschooled in the United States the last time a government census was taken in 2012. That number has been steadily increasing each year, and is expected to continue to rise. Parents who choose to homeschool their kids do so for many different reasons. The most common reason given by parents is that they want their child to have a safe learning environment. Other reasons can be simple - a desire for more time with their children, or much more complex - the freedom to teach their children from a religious or moral point of view. Amanda Sause from Amanda Sause Photography will be homeschooling her children for the first time this year. When asked why she and her husband chose to homeschool their boys, she said it was because they wanted to follow a curriculum that “matched their family’s values, their children’s individual development and their unique gifts and talents.” She and her husband also wanted their boys to have less overscheduled time and more time out 52

30A Kids Club Magazine

By ashley wallace

in nature or with the family. My family’s decision to homeschool was not so thought through. As the time approached for our son to enter our local school system, my husband and I both felt uneasy about it. It seemed like our son was going to be a square peg forced into a round hole. We couldn’t see him thriving in a formal school environment, so we started looking into homeschooling. At first, I was so overwhelmed by the whole idea of homeschooling. How do I even begin? What should my approach be? What curriculum should I choose?There were so many options and they were all so overwhelming. But one of the advantages of homeschooling is its flexibility. We initially started his kindergarten year with a super intense classical curriculum. The worksheets piled up and our son gave up! I wanted to educate my child in a stimulating way, not in a way where he was crushed under the weight of excessive worksheets. So guess what? We CHANGED curriculums! I found another classical curriculum that focused on lots of reading, narration, and drawing pictures of what we had just read. Learning became fun again! Because of homeschooling, we were able to be flexible. Later on we discovered that my son was on the autism spectrum and had dysgraphia (handwriting is extremely difficult). Again we were able to alter his schooling to fit his needs. Typing programs and dictation replaced handwritten work. Excitement replaced misery.

Whereas flexibility is a great benefit of homeschooling, it can also be your undoing. I learned all too quickly that structure is ESSENTIAL to successfully homeschool. We start each day by eating breakfast and doing our chores. School promptly at nine. It is so much better that way. I’ve found that children thrive when they know what to expect and what is expected of them. Nine might be too early for your family. The point is not the specific time but having a regular schedule and sticking to it. That way, everyone knows what to expect. Another thing that I have learned over the years is to be available to your children. Phone calls are your enemy! Ask my friends and they will tell you, I do not take phone calls during school hours. As soon as I take a phone call, it is a complete disaster. Either a child needs help with a math problem or all schoolwork stops and the kids start running around the house acting like total lunatics. During school hours, I am their teacher and school comes first. “But what about making sure your children are properly socialized?” As a homeschooler that is a question I get all of the time. I am sure every homeschooler does! Amanda had the same concerns. How would she socialize her children? Would they be able to make friends? Fortunately, she discovered that there are a wide variety of activities available to homeschooling families. Homeschooled children are invited to participate in any public school sports or extracurricular activities. They can even attend classes at

chool? the public school. Her family is now part of Classical Conversations, nature study groups, playdates, and after-school activities. We found so many ways to socialize our children. There are homeschool support groups in your county. Facebook has several good groups. And there are probably homeschooling families in your neighborhood. Through these groups, fun outings are organized, textbooks are sold, problems are solved and questions are answered. Many local organizations like zoos or water parks offer special homeschool days where you get a discounted rate, avoid the crowds and get to know other families who homeschool. If you decide to homeschool, there are several requirements that each individual county has. First of all, you must register your child. Each county’s public school system has a website for homeschooling parents. On this website, they provide a form letter of intent. Fill it in before the school year starts and mail it in. Boom. Done. You are also required to keep a portfolio of all of your child’s work. What this means is that you keep and file all of their work throughout the year. The school system has the right to do a portfolio review at any time throughout the year if they suspect that you are not actually teaching your children. So keep on track, make sure that your child has completed their curriculum by the start of the next school year and you will be fine. Lastly, at the end of the school year, your child is required to be evaluated. You have several

evaluation options: you can either have your child take the FCAT with the public school in your county, you can have a certified teacher review your child’s portfolio or you can have a certified teacher administer a standardized test to your child. For some homeschooling families, financial aid might even be available. The Gardiner Scholarship is a Florida-based scholarship that provides up to $10,000 dollars a year for homeschooling families that have a child with special needs. The scholarship can be used to purchase approved services or products. Those who qualify as eligible are children who have autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, PhelanMcDermid syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, Williams syndrome, anaphylaxis, those who are deaf, visually impaired, traumatic brain injured, hospital or homebound or identified as dual sensory impaired. What about college admissions? Parents who want to homeschool their children often worry about getting their child into college. The great news is that colleges have recognized the value and excellence of a homeschooled student. The process of admissions for homeschoolers is simple and fair. Top schools such as Harvard, MIT, and Stanford actively recruit homeschoolers. These schools do everything they can to make a way for homeschoolers, recognizing that homeschoolers are often

among the very best students and are totally prepared for college. Another important thing to know is that a homeschooled student can apply for a Bright Futures Scholarship. The Bright Futures home education requirements are a little different from public school requirements, so home educators should take note and plan ahead! The requirements include the submission, by High School graduation, of a Florida Financial Aid Application. In addition, a homeschooled student must: 1. Be registered as a homeschooled student with their school district during their 11th and 12th grade year. 2. Document a certain amount of community service hours. 3. Meet ACT or SAT minimum home education test score requirements. Amanda is just starting her homeschooling journey and I have been homeschooling for eight years. Homeschooling is hard but it is also so rewarding. Nothing compares to spending more time with your kids. We get to be there as they learn, we get to help them when they struggle and we get to shape their hearts and minds for life in this world. There is nothing more rewarding than that!

30A Kids Club Magazine


I'm just tired Wellness

And Other Lies Postpartum Depression Tells By Ashley Smith

T HE N I remember sitting shirtless and hunched over on the couch, my infant son nursing on one side, a breast pump on the other, leaching every last drop. Silently, I cried; my body was raw and tender—an aching back, bloodshot eyes. I hadn't slept for more than two to three hours at a time since bringing my son home four months earlier. As I sat there looking down at him, his fingers wrapped around my unwashed hair, I thought, "Just let me die. I would rather die than do one more day of this."

N OW When I began to write this article on Postpartum Depression (PPD), I thought about asking some of the women I know to share their experiences. I had my pitch all lined up: you only have to share what you're comfortable with, and of course, I can change your name or write it anonymously. Then it hit me: I would do a terrible disservice to all women by encouraging them to remain anonymous in their battle with PPD. By refusing to give this disease a name and a face, thereby humanizing it, I would continue to give it the power to isolate and stigmatize us as mothers. Therefore, I decided the only way to do this story justice was to tell my own. Bound in the term "Postpartum Depression" is the fear that it must only affect women who do not really love their children, or as it was once told to me, women who "missed the motherhood gene," as if PPD were a supernatural affliction which separates the worthy from the unworthy. Yet, according to the National Institute for Mental Health, one in five women experience PPD. 54

30A Kids Club Magazine

That's 20 percent of all mothers suffering from sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, headaches, muscle pain, loss of appetite, low libido, withdrawal, emotional indifference, and suicidal thoughts, among other symptoms. The remaining 80 percent of mothers are reported to experience a less severe condition commonly referred to as "baby blues." So why aren't we talking about it? In recent years, discussion of the diagnosis has become more mainstream as celebrities including Chrissy Tiegen, Courteney Cox, and Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about their own PPD. However, the possibility of every day moms bringing it up over coffee (or wine) with friends still seems daunting. For me, PPD was like being in a fog that I didn't know existed until it lifted. Returning to my obstetrician for those monthly checkups after delivery, he always asked me, "Do you need anything for how you're feeling?" No, I told him. I assumed it was a standard question he asked all patients, with no relation to my current state. After all, I was just tired. Weren't all new mothers tired? Yet, as I reflect on those visits, it strikes me that such shame exists about PPD, that even my doctor wouldn't come right out and broach the subject. Obviously, he could see I had symptoms; I barely ate, I operated in a trance, I had pendulum-like mood swings. And while the subject was a fire he danced all around, even he—a licensed medical professional—didn’t want to risk getting too close and being burned. Because what if I were offended? Was he saying I was a bad mother, that

I didn't love my child, that I was unfit? Those are the associations society hurls at women diagnosed with PPD. Some would argue a female obstetrician would have asked me about PPD more directly, as if the unspoken laws of sisterhood would have made being honest with a woman easier. Yet, I tend to believe I might have been more reticent to admit my feelings on motherhood to a woman at the time. Because there also exists another unspoken law among women that we have to appear to have it all together even when we are falling apart at the seams—and believe me, I felt like I was falling apart at the seams. One thing I could manage, however, was to lie in bed and read. I stumbled upon a character who suffered from PPD, although her diagnosis was never stated outright. Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood recounts the inexplicable illness plaguing Bonnie Clutter, who after several stints in a mental institution relegated herself to an austere bedroom she seldom left. Capote explained, "After each birth, the young mother had experienced incredible despondency—seizures of grief...the mood of misery that descended never altogether

lifted...it lingered like a cloud that might rain or might not." What a light in the darkness those words were! They cut through the fog of my own PPD. For the first time since becoming a mother, I realized my not wanting to leave bed wasn't normal. That, in fact, I wasn't just tired, and there was a reason my doctor kept asking if I "needed anything for how I was feeling." I did need something. I needed help, a community, support. Someone to ask how I was and then really listen. I needed to unburden myself. To say that I wasn't sure I was cut out for motherhood and that being unsure convinced me I wasn't. That I loved my child with such fullness, it left me empty and I didn't know who I was anymore. So I found a phenomenal therapist who let me do just that. She let me unburden myself. She let me say it all, and then she said, "What a great mother you must be to love your son enough to have held on through all that." Resources:

Dr. Rhonda Adkinson (DeFuniak Springs), (850) 892-9955 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. This lifeline operates 24 hours a day. It is free and confidential. If you feel depressed, please reach out.


Eat Food to




reastfeeding can be a struggle. Between exhaustion and the constant need to feed a hungry baby, there can also be issues with milk supply or problems making enough milk while pumping. We picked our favorite edible treats that have been shown to help women boost their milk supply. If nothing else, it gives new moms a guilt-free reason to sit down for a moment with a nice cup of tea and a cookie or two. ME DJOOL DATES Dates are a delicious treat. Purchase dates that have already been pitted for maximum ease. It’s not easy to dig a hard seed out of a date when balancing a newborn on one arm. Sweet and soft, they are also heavenly when wrapped in bacon and baked in the oven. BR E W E R ’S Y E A ST Have you heard the old wive’s tale about drinking beer to increase milk supply? What actually helps is not the beer — it’s the brewer’s yeast. Add a spoonful to smoothies or cereal. Brewer’s Yeast contains lots of healthy vitamins new moms need. LAC TATI ON CO O K IES The secret to the success of the lactation cookies is the oatmeal. But who wants to eat oatmeal when you can gobble up delicious cookies? Even better, they now come pre-baked and ready for you to enjoy with a nice cup of tea. FE NU G R E E K TEA Adding a drop of local honey is a nice way to sweeten up fenugreek tea. Many moms swear by fenugreek when it comes to increasing milk supply. There are even Mother’s Milk blends of tea which rely heavily on fenugreek as the main ingredient.





Events Wellness

Lion League

Curriculum Expands to Four States Mom Takes Action, Changing School Approach BY SU SAN VAL L E E Inclusion. Are you familiar with the term? It’s not a complicated word. It means “to be included in a group.” In a school setting when dealing with children with special needs or disabilities, the term becomes weighted down with legal requirements, cost barriers and (usually) a shortage of staff. So what’s a parent of a special needs student to do? Imagine if you were in the situation. You’d like your beloved child to be accepted at school. To be engaged by other students and embraced as just another member of the class. Arielle Hobbs, mother to a son with special needs, didn’t think it sounded like an impossible goal. And yet, she could never quite get past this social barrier that seemed to surround him. He was pulled out of classes to receive special services and once back in the classroom, his classmates seemed hesitant to invite him into their activities. “I realized that unless you really know someone with a disability or you go through something yourself, it’s very difficult to understand. We

learn about other people’s struggles in life by walking in their shoes. I realized I needed to figure out a way to bring humanity to this situation.” At first Arielle created an inclusive sports program so able-bodied friends could learn the value and fun of being on a team with kids with special needs. But, she said, she realized that this approach wasn’t doing enough. It didn’t seem to be getting to the core of the problem. “I realized kids need to learn that it’s totally okay to talk directly to a kid with a disability,” she explained. “If there’s a blind classmate at school, it’s okay to ask them what it’s like to be blind.” Arielle decided to create a school curriculum that would encourage these types of conversations. “I thought it would be wonderful if kids were participating in a club and actively trying to figure out a way to involve their fellow students in school and everyday life. I mean, how great would that be?”

The Lion League was soon finalized. She hired her assistant Stephanie Swan to help her manage and promote the program. The not-for-profit program is defined as a social and emotional program for students. It can be adapted into an after school club, a school chapter or treated as a year-long program or special assembly discussion. There are currently 20 schools using The Lion League curriculum across four states. Here in South Walton, Butler Elementary is beginning to implement the program. The program is free to school districts and its stated purpose is to “engage students to be intentional about including their peers with disabilities.” “I’m just doing what my heart feels is right,” Arielle said. “If we demonstrate diversity and inclusion in the classroom, we’ll get naturally inclusive adults.” To make a donation, or to get involved with The Lion League, go to lionleague.org.

30A Kids Club Magazine



Local Events







DESTIN Destin Fishing Rodeo

Oc. 1- 31, 10AM-7PM Weigh-ins at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar from 10AM-7PM. Weigh-ins are free and open to the public. Share the excitement as anglers show their winning catch of the day.


Lulu’s Destin Oct. 28, 2-5PM Enjoy the annual Halloween Extravaganza with trunk-ortreat, costume contest, bouncy slide, pumpkin painting and more. Register for the costume contest by 4PM. Email lauren@ lulubuffet.com to register your trunk for the trunk-or-treat.

Billy Claus

Lulu’s Destin Dec. 10, 11AM Billy Claus flies in from Christmas Island to help his brother, Santa Claus, gather lists from the boys and girls of the Emerald Coast. Billy will read Lucy Buffet’s book, “Billy Claus and the Spirit of Christmas Island!” There will be Christmas arts and crafts and photos with Billy.

Grand Boulevard The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Emerald Coast Theatre Company Oct. 14, 21 & 28, 10AM


30A Kids Club Magazine

Enjoy theatre for young audiences with Emerald Coast Theatre Company. Stanley Lambchop was an ordinary 10-year-old boy until the bulletin board above his bed falls on top of him. Stanley’s journey takes him around the world.


Oct. 26, 5-7PM Dog-Harmony and Grand Boulevard invite families to bring their furry friends and join in a celebration of all things Fall. Enjoy puppy and people treats and complimentary refreshments.

Halloween on the Boolevard

Oct. 31, 4-7PM Children are invited to dress up and trick-or-treat in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard. Merchants will be handing out Halloween treats.

Festival of Trees

Nov. 21, 4-6PM Trees remain on display through Dec. 25 The Festival of Trees is held annually in Grand Park, and showcases uniquely decorated Christmas trees from area non-profits. The trees debut the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and remain in the park through Christmas.

A Wrinkle in Time

Emerald Coast Theatre Company

Dec. 7-22, Thursday-Sunday See Madeleine L’Engle’s classic tale come to life on stage. Meg Murry battles the forces of evil so she can save humanity and find herself. Appropriate for ages 5 and older.

Sandestin Emerald Coast Duck Regatta

Oct. 7, 10AM, race at 1PM The Duck Regatta benefits Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast’s Volunteer Guild. The event features face painters, Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters, and a scavenger hunt. Approximately 3,000 ducks will race across the Lagoon at the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Prizes will be awarded to the owners of the first ducks to cross the finish line, including a $5,000 first place prize! Ducks are available for adoption at the Sacred Heart Hospital Gift Shop in Miramar Beach, online at emeraldcoastduckregatta.com or at Baytowne Wharf the day of the event.

Throwback Thursday Movie The Village of Baytowne Wharf Events Plaza Lawn Oct. 26 -- Hocus Pocus Enjoy the spooky fun of Hocus Pocus under the stars. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Sandestin Foundation for Kids Gameday 5K

Nov. 11, 9AM 5K is $35, 1-mile fun run is $20 Wear your lucky gameday colors and team clothes and celebrate at the 2nd Sandestin Foundation for Kids Gameday 5K! The race includes a 5K for all ages and 1-mile fun run for kids 12 and younger. Don’t miss the postrace tailgate fun at Baytowne Marina with cornhole, bounce house, face painting, hot dogs, silent auction items and a college football game live on the jumbo screen overlooking the bay. Call (855) 225-1025 for details.

Here Comes Santa

The Village of Baytowne Wharf Nov. 24, 6PM, Watch The Polar Express movie from the Events Plaza Lawn Nov. 25, 6-9PM, Here Comes Santa Claus Santa parades around the streets of Baytowne Wharf and officially lights a 30-foot Christmas tree. Holiday tunes from The Village Brass Band play as Baytowne hosts face painting, family-friendly activities and a fireworks show. Visit Santa Claus to share Christmas wishes and take photos. This kicks off the first 12 Nights of Lights show, which incorporates choreographed lights and decorations (and continues every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night in December).

Freeport Where the Wild Things Run!

5K Trail Run/1 Mile Fun Run at E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center Oct. 14, 7AM-Noon Race through the woods like a Wild Thing! Run the 5K Trail or the “Little Critter” fun run to help raise funds for the Biophilia Center. Runners, joggers and walkers of all ages are welcome. All runners receive a great swag bag with a wooden finisher medal, T-shirt and more. Biophilia members enjoy a 20% discount. Trails are not stroller or pet-friendly. Awards announced at 11:15AM. Enjoy food, music, bounce house and interactive museum exhibits. Register at eowilsoncenter.org

Explore the Outdoors Festival

Live Oak Landing Oct. 14, 10AM-2PM The 8th annual festival introduces kids to the wonders of nature through outdoor experiences. Hosted by waltonoutdoors.com, kids can learn to fish on Black Creek (rod/reel giveaways), take a hydrobike cruise, learn archery, go boating with Wounded Warrior Fishing and Backwater Tours, see animal exhibits, look through telescopes and learn about gardening and beekeeping. Visit waltonoutdoors.com/explorefest or call (850) 267-2064 for more.

Santa Rosa Beach Fall Festival

Van R Butler Elementary Oct. 21, 3-7PM $10 for kids (accompanying adults free). The Butler Elementary PTO presents a fun evening of costume contests, games, story telling, dunking booth, food trucks, giveaways, games and prizes.

Tee up for Autism

Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club Oct. 28, 9AM Enjoy a fun day of golf, food, entertainment and prizes while raising money for South

Walton Academy, a new non-profit inclusion school. Email southwaltonacademy@ gmail.com or go to southwaltonacademy.com to buy tickets, volunteer or sponsor a child.

Watercolor 30A Half + 5K

Gulf Place Oct. 13-15 Enjoy a BBQ festival in WaterColor, vendor expo and then run for a great cause at Gulf Place. The 30A BBQ Festival is Oct. 13, race is on Oct. 15. Register at 30ahalf. com. Proceeds benefit The Sonder Project, a global nonprofit founded to spread awareness and help those in need, including local food pantries through Project: Feed.

Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor

Nov. 3 & 4, Gates open at 6PM, Films begin at 7PM Marina Park Amphitheater Celebrate the 17th Annual Mountainfilm on Tour festival with two days of extraordinary films created to inspire courage, thought and empathy. Kidz Kino is open to children ages 6-12 with admission through the purchase of Mountainfilm tickets for an adult and child. Kid-friendly films will be featured at the LakeHouse. For more info call (850) 534-5975.

Seaside Seaside Farmers Market

Saturdays, 9AM-1PM Get your pick of fresh produce, baked goods, and artisan offerings during the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

Improv Class

Seaside REP Theatre Every Monday & Tuesday in October, 3:45-5:15PM A professional actor guides kids into the fast-paced fun of improv comedy. They’ll learn how to create stories and develop characters quickly. Attendees are invited back to the Improv Army Showcase on Oct. 24 so they can showcase their skills to an audience.

Register at lovetherep.com.

Halloween Movie Night

Oct 27, 7:30PM It’s a ghoulishly good time with a spooky movie shown in the amphitheater. This is a great way to let your child test drive their costume and have fun before Halloween.

8th Annual Halloweener Derby

Oct. 28, 10AM-2PM $25 for dogs to participate There is nothing quite like watching dachshunds race to the finish line. Daschhund owners may register their dogs to race, while all other breeds are invited to participate in the hilarious costume contest. Go to seasidehalloweenerderby.com to sign up.

Trick or Treat with the Merchants of Seaside

Oct 31, 4-6PM Trick or Treating in Seaside has been a local 30A tradition since Seaside’s early days. Seaside Repertory Theatre actors will regale kids with spooky tales, while classic Halloween music plays in the amphitheater.

South Walton Holiday Parade

Nov. 25, Seagrove to Seaside, 4PM until Santa Claus leaves The South Walton holiday parade is a cherished tradition on 30A. Locals and long-time visitors decorate cars and golf carts and participate in this classic, small town parade. The crowd counts down at sunset as Santa Claus turns on the Christmas tree and the surrounding lights in Seaside. Santa and Mrs. Claus join kids for cookies, hot chocolate and photos in the amphitheater.

Rosemary Beach Harvest Market & Monstrous Halloween Oct. 28, 2-5 PM Bring the little ghosts and goblins for trick-or-treating throughout the Town Center businesses and the Harvest

Market Artist’s booths! Enjoy a pumpkin carving & costume contest with prizes, hayrides, a moonwalk, games, airbrush tattoos, music and more! Plus see Ohana Institute’s annual Scarecrow Lane and gobble up some goodies from their delicious bake sale!

30A 10K

Nov. 23 10K starts at 7:30AM and 5K starts at 7:45AM 1 Mile Fun Run at 9:30AM Go to 30a10k.com to register and learn more about this fantastic yearly event. Race proceeds benefit local charities. The race is family- friendly and is a fun tradition to add to Thanksgiving day.

Property Owners’ Association Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 25, Festivities begin at 5PM, Tree Lighting at 6PM Welcome the Christmas season with the lighting of the tree in the Town Square. Santa Claus makes an appearance too!

Breakfast with Santa Claus

Nov. 26, 8 - 11 AM Town Hall Meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Share your Christmas list and get a photo and goodie bag to take home.

Children’s Winter Workshop

Dec. 21, seating at 9AM and 11AM Pearl Ballroom Enjoy a pancake buffet with a hot chocolate station and then decorate a jumbo gingerbread man. The workshop also features toy making and a Letter to Santa station. Reservations required, $35 per person.

Pier Park An Emerald Coast Christmas

Dec. 8-9, Aaron Bessant Park A three-day community event featuring children’s activities, a petting zoo, school performances, arts and crafts, live music and more.

30A Kids Club Magazine


Lasting Moments

baby shower Celebration inspiration to help make everyday moments a little more magical.


30A Kids Club Magazine

Event Design: Wish by April // Photos: Jade Lott Photography








Fridays and Saturdays October 13-28, 2017 10:00AM All Ages

Fridays and Saturdays January 26-February 3, 2018 10:00AM Ages 6 and up

Fridays and Saturdays April 6-14, 2018 10:00AM All Ages

The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley is filled with infectious songs and non-stop adventure, making this a perfect show to introduce young audiences to the magic of live theatre.

A troupe of actors re-tell some of Mark Twain’s most popular stories. A Mark Twain Storybook is a vaudeville inspired, rollicking delight.

In this spellbinding production, storytellers use song, dance and drama to bring these famous fables to life.


Book your 4th through 12th grade group for the stage production of “A Wrinkle in Time” at 10am on Wednesday, December 13 or your 9th through 12th grade group for the docu-drama “The Amish Project” at 10am Wednesday January 24,2018. Educational matinee tickets are $12 for students and chaperones. Teachers may attend free of charge.

For tickets:

EmeraldCoastTheatre.org/tickets To book a field trip


KidsGrand Club Magazine 63 850-684-032330A | 560 Boulevard, Upstairs


Our convenient online program streamlines the car-buying experience. Skip the showroom, shop online, and pick up your car at your convenience.

Return any new or pre-owned vehicle within 14 days of purchase date for full credit toward a different vehicle of your choice.

We will match any competitors’ price on vehicle repairs and maintenance so you are always assured a fair deal.

ztdealers.com | 850-863-2167

We are committed to reinvesting an average of $100 per car sold in our local community and crucial organizations. Learn more at ztdealers.com/InTheCommunity.