Central Florida Lifestyle December 2021 Lake Nona

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y pp a s y H a d i l o H






MINDFULLY & PEACEFULLY www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com







THEIR BEST START. At Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, we deliver the most-advanced level of neonatal care. Ranked a “Best Children’s Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for newborn care and neonatology, our award-winning team is dedicated to giving your baby their best start in life. Plus, our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) offers the highest level of neonatal care, so you can be confident your baby has access to all of the specialized, expert support they might need. U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22 Best Hospitals


+ LETTER From the Associate Publisher

Just Believe I’ve always followed the mantra, “Just Believe,” and I think it’s even more meaningful during this time of year. I like to say it’s important for us all to believe in something. Believe in love. Believe in yourself. Believe in humanity. Believe in the good in people. Believe in the magic of the holidays. Believe in the wonder of the New Year. Anything is possible if you just believe. In this issue, we hope to inspire you to believe. As you flip through the pages, you’ll find how five teens came together to make an impact, the meaning behind some holiday traditions, a list of 2021’s most inspiring moments, ways to celebrate the holidays with Disney Springs, and so much more. You’ll learn how to stay mindful during the busiest time of year and how to make realistic and attainable New Year’s resolutions that will power you through a great year. You’ll also read about how Goodwill of Central Florida believes. For me, I believe in the power of community. The word community is, without question, central to human experience. At Central Florida Lifestyle, we get to witness every day just how special our community is, and we are so grateful for our strong community partnerships that embrace spirit, pride, character and support of each other. As the year comes to an end, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of those who have helped us continue to do what we do every day. This includes all the members in our community, who are a source of inspiration, our valued readers who welcome us into your homes each month, and our advertisers who continue to support us year after year. Whatever it is you believe, we hope you enjoy this issue and have a wonderful holiday season filled with love and laughter, and have a very happy New Year!

Kaitlyn Fusco Associate Publisher

CEO/PUBLISHER Kristi Gomen Kristi@KarstMediaGroup.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kaitlyn Fusco Kaitlyn@KarstMediaGroup.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Alexis George Alexis@KarstMediaGroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Feland EDITORIAL CONTENT COORDINATOR Gabriella Dedmore INTERN Kendall Beebe WRITERS Tarre Beach, Kendall Beebe, Kimberly Blaker, Michael Brehne, Katherine Ceballos, Stina D’Uva, Larissa Hamblin, Kristen Jackson, Don Long, Rich Maladecki, Eric Shattuck




www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com Lifestyle® publications comprises multiple monthly editions, each mailed directly to homes and businesses throughout Central Florida. Lifestyle® publications are published monthly by Karst Media Group. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. ALTAMONTE LIFESTYLE®, COLLEGE PARK LIFESTYLE®, HORIZON WEST LIFESTYLE®, LAKE NONA LIFESTYLE®, METROWEST LIFESTYLE®, OAKLAND LIFESTYLE®, WINDERMERE LIFESTYLE®, WINTER GARDEN LIFESTYLE®, WINTER PARK LIFESTYLE® and CENTRAL FLORIDA LIFESTYLE® are federally registered trademarks. Reproduction or use, in whole or in part, of the contents of this magazine or of the trademarks of Lifestyle® publications without written permission of the Publisher is prohibited. Lifestyle® publications makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of content published. Neither the publishers nor advertisers will be held responsible for any errors found herein, and the publishers accept no liability for the accuracy of statements made by advertisers in ads and/or in paid promotional features. December 2021.

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+ WHAT’S Inside

Contents | December 2021 Departments 10







Features 8


Chris Jaskiewicz of ICON Park sheds a light on some of tourism’s top legends who laid the groundwork for his success.







In 2022, consider making one of those realistic resolutions that are beneficial for your mind, body and soul.


Let’s look at some of our most inspiring and favorite moments of the year for our Central Florida community.

DESTINATION SHOPPING: MAGIC AT DISNEY SPRINGS Celebrate a brand-new year and the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World® Resort at Disney Springs®.


Celebrate the season with these holiday cocktail recipes.

Go to CentralFloridaLifestyle.com to see what’s happening near you! Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Hearing and Seeing

Conversations for Your Community


5 Winter Jewelry Trends






38 42



Do you dread the hustle and bustle of another holiday season? Follow these tips to make this holiday season easier!

Web Life



Protect Your Children in the Event of an Unexpected Death



Six Ways to Declutter Before the New Year


The Meaning Behind Classic Holiday Traditions


DIY: Candle Making


New Soles to Young Souls


A Bowl Full of Comfort


Six Ways to Repurpose Your Holiday Leftovers


Get the Dish on Proper Nutrition for New Pets


The Lake Nona Chamber of Commerce on Looking Back at 2021 and Looking Forward to 2022


12 Tips from Michael Brehne Law, P.A.


Taxes in Retirement



Arnold Sanchez

Happy Holidays!


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for new patient exam, x-rays & initial cleaning The $99 special offer is for new patients without insurance. Not valid with any other offer. Good through 1/31/2022.

+ LIVING Mindfully

Stress Less This Holiday Season Add some mindfulness to the holidays this year and reduce your stress. By Tarre Beach


or some of us the holidays mean decorating, sharing meals with family and friends and feeling totally stressed out. If that sounds like you, take heart. According to Joseph Noecker, licensed psychotherapist and mental health counselor, life coach and founder of the Center for Self Balance in Winter Park, holiday stress can be calmed in many ways but first it may be helpful to reframe the idea of stress. What is stress? For many Americans it is both a motivator to achieve things and something that keeps us up at night. The American Psychological Association says Americans are more stressed than ever. Even before the pandemic a whopping 44% reported that their stress levels had increased over the last five years. Noecker says in most cases stress or what he calls an emotional imbalance is an internal negative response to external circumstances. He suggests working from the inside out to help relieve emotional imbalances during the holiday season. Breathe Deep

Keep it simple and try doing some 3-1-4 breathing. Here’s how you do it: breathe in deeply for a count of three, hold it for a count of one, and breathe out for a count of four. This technique will engage your parasympathetic system which controls your rest and digest state. The sympathetic system deals with the fight or flight state which is where your stress response resides. When you breathe slowly and deeply, you can help switch from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic system helping to calm your mind and body.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Pay Attention

Many of us like to predict the future or replay the past during the holidays. To help limit the anguish both practices can produce it’s a good idea to take an active role in being in the present. You can silently say to yourself what you are doing while you are doing it to hold your attention and stay in each moment. For example, you can silently narrate how to wrap a gift while you are wrapping it. This is just one of many ways to keep your mind where your feet are.

Attitude of Gratitude

Whether it’s Christmas, Hannukah or Diwali, the holidays for many religious traditions are often about celebrating our good fortune. Making gratitude a focus this holiday season is a great way to help curb stress or any potential emotional turmoil. What Do I Really Need?

If you are a worrier and often think about how things will not work out, try distilling those thoughts to find out what you’re really upset about. Noecker recommends asking yourself: What do I need to hear? Then say it to yourself. If you are overwhelmed, ask for help. This inner self-care is an important way to reduce stress and support your emotional health. Outer self-care is useful too. Make sure you are getting enough rest. That means sleeping eight hours a night and resting your emotions too. If you often over-indulge in food or drink, make a plan that feels appropriate to serve both your physical and emotional health.

Chris Jaskiewicz of ICON Park Named CEO of the Year During the celebration, Chris Jaskiewicz shed a light on some of tourism’s top legends who led the groundwork for his success.


hris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park President and CEO, was named one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2021 CEOs of the year for his role in restoring the tourism and entertainment industry as the first attraction to present to the Orange County Economic Recovery Committee with a plan for reopening. Using an innovative combination of B2C and B2B marketing that included branding The Orlando Entertainment District, Chris signed or opened 12 new tenant projects from June 2020 to June 2021 during the pandemic making the ICON Park entertainment complex one of the most dynamic real estate projects in the United States. Chris recognizes that this success through the pandemic would not have been possible without his team, noting that “The biggest lesson was one I already knew but it was validated most clearly: the best way to successfully navigate a crisis is to have a team already in place that is capable, smart, reliable and loyal to the company mission.” When selected for this prestigious distinction, Chris also invited three special guests who deserved acknowledgement. These guests each had an important part in making Orlando the top entertainment destination it is today and in inspiring Chris throughout his career.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

“We are honored that these three legends of our industry attend today’s luncheon as our guests,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “Their contributions to laying the groundwork for Orlando as a top tourist destination deserved recognition.” Jim Passilla, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources at The Walt Disney Company

Jim Passilla, one of the three honored guests, was a key player in the launch and operations of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, MGM Studios, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland. From the start of his career in 1964 to his retirement in 1992, Jim was an integral part of Disney’s growth from a single park in California to a multinational theme park operation.

Bob Snow, Church Street Entertainment Complex Developer and Promoter

Bob Snowis Orlando’s most legendary entertainment developer and promoter. Bob Snow developed Church Street Station into an entertainment complex where guests could enjoy restaurants, lounges, nightclubs and more for a single admission price. The complex was one of the largest attractions in Florida and drew over three million

people each year. It was because of these contributions that Bob Snow was selected as one of the Ten Most Important People in Orlando’s History in 1989. Lee Cockerell, Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World

Lee Cockerell, prior to his retirement in 2006, led a team of 40,000 Cast Members at Walt Disney World as Executive Vice President of Operations. At the same time Cockerell also took charge of over 20 resort hotels, entertainment and recreation complexes, and numerous theme and water parks. One of his lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies, which trained 700 leaders at Walt Disney World. ICON Park is at the center of the Orlando Entertainment District in the International Drive Resort Area. With free parking and conveniently located near I-4, Universal Boulevard and the Beachline, this premiere entertainment complex is easy to access for any Central Florida resident or Orlando tourist.



+ YOU ASKED We Answered

Protect Your Children

in the Event of an Unexpected Death While estate planning is essential to everyone, it is particularly important for those with minor children. Learn about the importance of estate planning options to not only transition assets should you unexpectedly pass, such as a car or home, smoothly to children, but to ensure they are taken care of financially even after you pass.


When my parents died, I, an only child, was still a minor and my parents left me penniless, so I found myself tossed into the foster care welfare system because I had no other family. How can minors protect themselves from such abuse by parents that leave their children financially unprotected and exposed to state’s foster care and the welfare system?

By Kristen Jackson, Jackson Law P.A.


Unfortunately, minor children are at the mercy of their parents to do the right thing by setting up protections for their children should something happen to the parents. Approximately 65 percent of all adults fail to do estate planning of any kind and of the rest, about 1/3 of them still get it wrong. If you have minor children, be one of the few parents who doesn’t endanger them; prepare estate planning now. A simple will or trust can go a long way. Consider the failure caused by the following parents. Kevin and Carolyn saved for 20 years to go on the honeymoon they never had. In late February 2020 they finally saved enough to take that honeymoon and purchased a travel package to Italy. Before leaving Florida on their trip, having no other family, they left Allison, their 16-year-old daugh-

ter, with close friends until they returned home. Almost immediately thereafter, their honeymoon turned into a nightmare and a family tragedy was in the making. Two days after arriving in Italy, the U.S. President closed the U.S. borders to incoming travelers from Europe due to COVID-19. Travelers arriving in Italy had to present a negative coronavirus test. The unvaccinated were required to quarantine upon arrival. Italy was considered the country with the worst cases of COVID-19. That was just the beginning of the nightmare. Without hesitation, Kevin and Carolyn realized their need to return home. Unfortunately, airlines were limiting flights and they were stuck in Italy for 3 weeks before finding a flight to England whereby they were required to quarantine for another 14 days before leaving for New York. During their flight, they both fell ill. After arriving in New York, they were hospitalized with COVID and twelve

days later they died. The nightmare wasn’t over. Back home in Florida, Allison was now parentless and homeless. Since Kevin and Carolyn never set up any family estate planning, their friends had to give up custody of Allison to the state. A court appointed a guardian for Allison and she was subsequently placed into foster care. Because there were insufficient funds in the parents’ bank account to pay the mortgage on the family home, the guardian filed probate and subsequently sold the house. The funds received through probate were exhausted to creditors leaving nothing for Allison. She struggled with school during the period following her parent’s deaths and once she turned 18, she dropped out altogether. Protect your family first before placing them at risk. See an estateplanning attorney today and learn how to protect your children, family and assets..

Kristen Jackson is the founding partner of Jackson Law P.A. (407-363-9020). She is experienced in estate planning, real estate law, business and contract law. Her firm has earned an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell signifying the highest level of professional excellence as obtained through opinions from members of the bar and judiciary. For more information, visit www.JacksonFloridaRealtor.com


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

+ DANIEL’S Corner


and Seeing Through the W. Daniel Mills Apprenticeship Program, an aspiring sound designer and playwright gain perspective and training.

By Tarre Beach


wo W. Daniel Mills apprentices at the Garden Theatre—junior Luisa Luo and senior Jackson Dowling, both students at Windermere Preparatory School—highlight how homing in on different senses has enhanced their performing arts skills. Luo, who recently worked under the guidance of director Joseph Walsh on “Big the Musical” at the Garden Theatre, says her apprenticeship is helping sharpen her playwriting skills. “As a playwright, you need to be able to visualize how the story will unfold through movement and sound as well as words,” Luo says. So far, Luo has written several one act, 10 minute, and longer plays which she hopes to produce for the stage. As a first-generation Chinese immigrant, Luo says she wants to give a voice to under-represented cultures such as hers. “I like to write fictional as well as autobiographical stories,” Luo says. “Playwriting is a unique platform that allows audiences to deeply experience the differences and similarities between cultures, periods in time, and socio-economic backgrounds.”


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

She’s working on three plays she’s written: “The Other Son,” about a 16-year-old Southeast Asian boy finding his identity in the 1980s; “Take Me to the Garden,” which Luo calls an Asian version of August Wilson’s play “Fences;” and “Trapped in the Cold Night Air,” a play that blurs the line between reality and the dream world in the wintery landscape of Maine. Luo says the encouragement and sense of belonging she’s received from the community of artists at Garden Theatre has been invaluable to her. Jackson Dowling, who has enjoyed acting in Windermere Prep plays as well as playing trombone for the orchestra for years, says he fell in love with sound design only recently. A sound engineer/designer amplifies, mixes, records, syncs, and reproduces sounds and effects to help tell a story on stage. Part of the attraction for Dowling is being in a fast-paced environment and helping give the audience a fuller theatrical experience. At Windermere Prep, Dowling helped work on a production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which included running sound effects over

music, which can be a challenge. Dowling says he enjoyed the work because of the challenge, not despite it. Dowling says not that long ago, he had something of an epiphany. “I’d been running electrical wires and crawling around under the stage for hours. My fingertips were sore from splitting wires and twisting them, but I didn’t even care. I had so much fun,” Dowling says. “I felt like what I was doing really mattered.” Working under sound designer Anthony Narciso and audio engineer Cheyenne Dalton for the Garden Theatre’s “Big the Musical,” Dowling has started to consider a career in sound design/music production. Recently accepted to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Dowling admits that sound engineers/ designers don’t get as much attention as actors and directors. He says he sees sound engineers/designers as the unsung heroes of the performing arts. “The thing with sound design and sound engineering is that if it’s good, you don’t notice it. But if it’s bad you do and that’s not good,” Dowling says.

+ TALK of the Town

Conversations for Your Community As the end of 2021 nears, here are some life transformations you can consider incorporating into your schedule in the new year. By Rich Maladecki

For 2022, add the simplistic goal of drinking more water daily as a way to maintain your health.

Traditionally, it’s that time of the year for genuine reflection. Please consider adding one or more of the following life transformations to your monthly or weekly schedule in the new year. Research and listen regularly to podcasts that are of interest to you and your goals (entertainment, sports, education, or the arts).

As you start or continue your personal workout program in 2022, attempt to find an exercise partner. This individual will offer support to your program and should help you fulfill your work-out objectives.

In today’s world, it is common to experience pent-up frustrations relating to the ability to travel. Take this time to initiate your Travel Planning Process for 2022. Remember, planning a vacation can be as rewarding as the vacation itself.

Try a new volunteer experience by researching and offering your assistance to a nearby charity. Experts agree that volunteering offers important self-satisfaction and rewarding personal growth.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

It’s always rewarding to declutter your home or place of business! Set a goal to accomplish this objective by Feb.1. Helpful Hint: look to remove 2-3 items per day during a one-month process.

Make it a point to visit your community library regularly. This neighborhood asset can fulfill several needs for you and your family.

Realistic and Attainable Resolutions for the New Year In 2022, consider making one of those realistic resolutions that are beneficial for your mind, body and soul. By Larissa Hamblin


very year, we set New Year’s resolutions that usually consist of drinking more water, eating healthier and planning to exercise more. While they are set with good intentions, they typically fall off the radar by the time spring rolls around. With 2021 almost behind us, it’s safe to say that some self-care is truly needed in the year ahead. So, challenge your-self to set realistic resolutions centered on your wellbeing, even if you have already made a resolution that revolves around the usual topics of health, fitness and finance. Here are some ideas for your mind, body and soul. Reserve 30 Minutes for You

As a society, we are constantly rushing, from the moment we wake up to the time we get home, and in return, we overlook the things we can do to better ourselves, and our minds. Resolve to take 30 minutes each day to do something that you find relaxing and meaningful. Whether that means reading a couple chapters of a new book, drinking a cup of coffee without distractions, watching a guilty pleasure TV show or taking a walk around your neighborhood, be intentional with choosing an activity that will boost your energy and productivity.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions

Start a Gratitude Jar

At the end of every day, write something you are grateful for down on a piece of paper. It can be something that specifically happened during your day or something that you surround yourself with. Then, fold it up and place it in a designated jar. On New Year’s Eve, open up your jar and take time to reflect on all of the things that made your year brighter.

Write Letters to Loved Ones

There’s nothing worse than coming home from work to a mailbox full of bills, but finding a letter from a loved one can brighten anyone’s day. Offering a small act of surprise and love through simply mailing a letter shows those closest to you how much you love them and that you are thinking of them. Not only will it help you spend time in your day spreading admiration and positivity, it will help bring light into your loved ones’ lives too.

Unplug Before Bed

The last thing we see before we go to bed should be our loved ones, not our screens. Make it a ritual to turn off your TV and phone at least 30 minutes before you lay your head down on your pillow. Instead, read a book, have a final conversation with a friend or loved one, or just drink some tea while writing in a journal. Countless studies prove that not only will you rest better but waking up in the morning will also be easier with a sounder sleep cycle.

Practice A Self Care Routine

Whether it’s once a week or every day, take time out of your night to tend to yourself in the form of skin care. Light a candle, grab a new facial scrub and try a new facemask. Don’t rush through the process – just relax and soak in the time that you have for you. No matter what you choose to do for 2022, make sure it’s something that will make you feel good about yourself and the year ahead.

In a divided world, one thing we can all agree on is saying goodbye to 2021, and hello to 2022. If starting the New Year with resolutions isn’t your cup of tea, try the following ideas to set yourself up for a better and brighter year. By Kaitlyn Fusco

Set Your Intentions With so much going on in the world around us, it is important to remember we can’t control others, but we can control our attitude, and our intentions behind our own actions. So, this year set the stage for your own intentions. This requires more than simply writing down a goal; it is about setting a specific mindset or feeling, and declaring what it is you want to attract or confront in the New Year.

Press the Refresh Button on Your Life Maybe there is one particular area of your life you’d like to press Command+Shift+R (or Ctrl+R for my PC friends) on, and refresh a little bit. Maybe you let something go this year. Or maybe you de-clutter your living space. For one reason or another, we can all benefit from a fresh start, and there’s no better time than the start of a new year.

Choose a Word of the Year A new trend in the world of resolution building is choosing a word of the year to help guide you through the next 12 months. Since many resolutions don’t last, this is meant to be a longer-lasting approach. It is suggested to choose one word, or a short phrase, to help guide your decisions in an effort to reach your goals.




+ ON Trend

Winter Jewelry Trends

It is time to start prepping your wardrobe for the cooler winter months, and yes that means your jewelry, too! Here are some of the top jewelry trends to keep in mind as you start refreshing your winter wardrobe. By Kaitlyn Fusco


ast year, as we were all stuck on our Zoom calls, waistup accessories became the heroes in our closest, and now, runway designers showed us 2022 is all about ditching the smaller, dainty pieces for more bold, statement pieces. Whether you need to command that big Zoom meeting, or want to sparkle at your in-person holiday festivities, here are some of our favorite jewelry trends to try this winter:

Dependable Pendants

Whether you’re drawn to vintage-inspired pieces or more modern and sleek pieces, pendant necklaces are something to embrace this winter. Especially popular this season is the bar pendant with a modern minimalist design. While one pendant creates a great, clean look, don’t be afraid to layer pendants of different sizes and shapes to create more of a statement.

Chains, Chains, Chains!

Large and chunky, fine and layered, or fringed, chains remain a staple for the winter season. Large, clunky chain necklaces were prominent on the runway, but choker chain necklaces made an appearance as well. New trends to keep your eye on this year are fringe chain earrings, and layering smaller chain necklaces.

Pearl Power

While pearls are often seen as small and delicate, and usually reserved for special occasions, don’t be afraid to go bold with pearls. This year, designers are focusing on incorporating pearls in everyday wardrobes in the form of chokers, anklets, earrings and more.

Floral Additions

Winter may be coming, but floral designs are here to stay. Lighten up your winter wear with some floral-inspired jewelry. From statement floral earrings to large flower brooches, these blooms are adding a bit of optimism as we look ahead to 2022.

Ring In the New Year

While we ponder if shaking hands is still taboo, make an anything-but-subtle statement with a ring that will be even harder to forget than a solid handshake. To make a lasting impression, the rule of thumb (pun intended!) here is to choose one knockout cocktail ring. For this jewelry statement, go bigger, bolder and add more color.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021



Ways to Declutter Before the New Year

By Alexis George


s a new year approaches, you often hear people say, “new year, new me”. This is because for many the new year signifies a rebirth of sorts. It is a chance to refocus and start fresh. What better way to do so than by decluttering the home? Decluttering the home might look different from one person to the next, so it is important to first determine a plan that works for you. Once a plan has been made, the goal is to concentrate on one area at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. As you begin the process, remember your why and allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment as you evaluate the value of all things in the home. This makes the organization or removal of all things that don’t bring you happiness or that simply take up unnecessary space easier. Here are 6 ways you can declutter your home to start your new year off with a clean slate.

Clear out the kitchen

The goal in decluttering this area is to get rid of all expired foods, cookware, utensils, or appliances that are likely to sit untouched. The essential items that are remaining should be tucked away in specific drawers and non-essential items should be stored in specific cabinets.

Organize your closet and drawers

Remove clothes and shoes that you no longer wear or can no longer fit. This will allow for extra storage space for new items. You can also reorganize both areas by assigning clothes to designated spots based on color, occasion, or another method of your choosing.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Throw out old kid’s toys

First you will want to gather all toys in one area and then look for ones that are broken or unused. For the broken toys you can throw them out and for toys that are unused plan to donate them. For toys that are being kept, find a designated room or area to store them in.

Sort through stored holiday decorations

By the time you reach the end of the year, you have probably purchased a ton of holiday decorations. Collect all decorations from their current space in the house and separate them into seasonal item bins. This way when specific holidays come up you know exactly which box to sift through.

Organize office space

Go in and throw out or shred old documents that aren’t needed. Get rid of pens and other writing utensils that don’t work. Once completed make sure remaining papers and supplies are neatly organized and stored in designated spaces.

Clear out the garage

The garage can be a big area to tackle, but it’s doable. You can choose to take the time to sort through each box and assess what can stay or go. You can simply look at the label of boxes and throw the whole thing away or you can remove everything and host a yard sale.

of Just like that we are getting ready to ring in the new year and kiss 2021 goodbye. After an incredibly tough year fighting a pandemic, things shifted to a re-imagined reality. Let’s look at some of our most inspiring and favorite moments of the year for our Central Florida community. By Kendall Beebe February 7, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers become Superbowl LV champions. This win made history because it is the first time a team won the Superbowl in their home stadium. The Bucs defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. This was the second time the Bucs won the title, and Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar became the first women coaches to hold this title. Sarah Thomas also was the first female to referee the big game.

March 6, 2021

In Oviedo, a monument was unveiled to mark the site of a Navy plane crash site from 1962. On January 15, 1962, Lieutenant Charles Hodgate, Delton Wilson, John Bush and Horace Marks took off in their aircraft from Sanford Naval Air Station when the plane began to fail. Wilson was able to parachute out of the falling aircraft and survive. Lieutenant Hodgate and Petty Officers Bush and Marks stayed in their aircraft and directed it away from it’s path toward the Oviedo School. The bravery of these men saved many children and educators. The children of Lieutenant Hodgate unveiled the monument at the intersection of Clark Street and South Lake Jessup Avenue in Oviedo.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

April 28, 2021

The Garden Theatre in Winter Garden announced the William Daniel Mills Apprenticeship Program. Harold and Rosy Mills selected the Garden to launch this new apprenticeship program for young artists ages 13 through 22. This generous gift and program was created by Harold and Rosy Mills to honor the memory of their beloved son Daniel Mills, a passionate student of theatre who tragically passed away in 2020. June 12, 2021 A remembrance ceremony was held to commemorate the five years of healing after the tragic Pulse Shooting. OnePulse CEO Barbara Poma, survivors, first responders and community members gathered together to share their thoughts and stories. President Joe Biden made a statement that he would sign legislation, that was passed by congress, to make the site a national memorial. The “49 Bells” tradition, which was started in 2016, continued on the five-year remembrance. A bell rang as each of the victim’s names were read. June 30, 2021

2021 was a big year of firsts for women across Central Florida including Janet Petro. She is the first female

director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy’s Space Center. Petro is no stranger to breaking the glass ceiling as she was also part of the second class of women to be accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. July 23, 2021

Congratulations to the 10 Central Floridians who competed in the 2020 Olympics. ■ Perry Barkey of New Smyrna Beach, US Men’s Rugby Team, 6th place. ■ Phil Dalhausser of Ormond Beach, US Men’s Beach Volleyball, tied for 9th. ■ Teahna Daniels of Orlando, US Track and Field, Silver Medal for the Women’s 4x100m relay. ■ Katelin Guregian of Orlando, US Women’s Rowing, 4th place. ■ Mark Kolozsvary of Eustis, US Baseball, Silver Medal. ■ Noah Lyles of Clermont, US Track and Field, Bronze for the Men’s 200m race. ■ Caroline Marks of Melbourne Beach, US Surfing, 4th place. ■ Alison Riske of Orlando, US Women’s Tennis, 17th in Doubles, 33rd in Singles. ■ Mattie Rogers of Orlando, US Women’s Weightlifting 87kg, 6th place. ■ Donald Scott of Apopka, US Track and Field, Men’s Triple Jump, 7th place.

October 1, 2021

The Walt Disney World Resort has been synonymous with Central Florida. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Disney bringing its magic to the Orlando area. There are now four different theme parks including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Let’s not forget to mention the worldfamous hotels, restaurants and countless memories that are made every day through the dedication of Disney and its employees.

October 28, 2021

In a world filled with angst as we volley through this seemingly neverending pandemic, a new sculpture was unveiled at Rollins College in Winter Park honoring Mister Rogers’ legacy. Mister Rogers graduated from Rollins in 1951 and he developed his unique worldview and curated his positive attitude while studying on campus. The sculpture reminds us the importance of being kind and how we could all use a little more Mister Rogers in our life.

August 23, 2021

A milestone in the battle to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic – the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine became the first to receive full-approved use for ages 16 and up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While this vaccine was available under emergency use authorization since December 2020, full FDA approval meant it met FDA’s strict approval standards to become more widely available to the public.



+ DID YOU Know

The Meaning Behind

Classic Holiday Traditions

The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry. Here is an explanation for some of the most classic holiday traditions. By Kendall Beebe


uring the holidays, we spend time with family and friends, and celebrate with timeless traditions. These traditions can look different for each household, but let’s take a look at where they first originated.

Kissing Under the Mistletoe

We hang mistletoe under a doorway or a mantle and if two people are standing under it, the pair will share a kiss. Mistletoe grows on many species of trees and shrubs around the world, and is used for different purposes. Historically, mistletoe was viewed as a symbol of fertility, but some cultures, like the Greeks, have used it for healing and medicinal purposes. The earliest signs of mistletoe dates back to the Celtic Druids, approximately 1 A.D. Mistletoe was able to grow during the harsh winter months, and the Druid’s would hand it out to help increase fertility for both animals and humans. During the Roman era, enemies would meet under the mistletoe to


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

restore peace. Romans would also use mistletoe around their houses and temples to please the gods. Mistletoe became widely popular during the Middle Ages and by the 18th Century it was considered a holiday decoration staple. The kissing tradition is said to have started in England, where if a girl refused a kiss, she would have bad luck.

Cookies for Santa

Today children might prepare a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Mr. Clause. Did you know that one theory behind this tradition is that families used to leave little gifts in a stocking under the chimney for Santa? Since chimneys were his ideal choice for his entrance, the stockings served as a welcoming gift. The tradition of leaving out a welcome, or thank you, for Santa comes from Ancient Norse mythology. The Norse idolized the god, Odin. He had a horse named Sleipner, and during Yule season children left food out for the eight-legged steed, with the goal of Odin leaving a gift or two

for the children. This tradition is still practiced in the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. This took off in America during the 1930s, during the Great Depression. Parents wanted to teach their children a lesson about giving back and being thankful for the gifts they received.

Hanukkah Gelt

In the Jewish religion, Hanukkah is celebrated in the wintertime and is the “Festival of Light.” Hanukkah lasts for eight days and starts in the month of Kislev. In the English calendar this is generally in late November or December. One Hanukkah tradition is giving out gelt, which is Yiddish for money. This started back in the 18th century when Jewish parents would give their children money, gelt, to give to their judaic studies teachers as a token of gratitude. Today it is still common to give money for Hanukkah but you can also find chocolate gelt at most grocery stores around Hanukkah time.

NEW Year


Traditions Disney Springs


Celebrate a brand-new year and the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World® Resort at Disney Springs® By Alexis George


fter celebrating a season of holiday joy at Disney Springs®, come back to celebrate a brand-new year AND the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World

Resort! The 18-month long celebration called “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” first began on Oct. 1 and Disney Springs® is thrilled to bask in the excitement with you. Over the years, Walt Disney World Resort has been known to make dreams come true and Disney Springs® is doing just that by giving you exactly what you need to start your new year off right. Take the time to embrace big, small, and in-between moments with family and friends at this magical place all year long. During your visits you’ll have the chance to enjoy enchanting entertainment, discover trending pieces and delight in delectable dining. You’ll even be able to purchase fabulous 50th Anniversary merchandise at World of Disney store and The Vault Collection Experience at Marketplace Co-Op. Amazing brands like Anthropologie, Under Armour Brand House, lululemon® and Free People are also available to shop. They provide everything from fashion-forward finds to the perfect workout attire so you can be sure to find the looks that fit your needs and make you feel good inside and out. Beyond new clothing, you can find décor for your home and workspaces. Everything from classic Disney at The Art of Disney to the inspirational Sugarboo & Co., await you. As a bonus, limited-time 50th anniversary desserts and specialty beverages will be available at eateries including House of Blues® Restaurant & Bar, Paddlefish, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Amorette’s Patisserie and T-REX ™ Additional dining options created by award-winning chefs including Morimoto Asia, Jaleo by José Andrés, Frontera Cocina and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ can offer you an experience of a lifetime. As you ring in the new year, remember to include Disney Springs® in your fresh start! You won’t regret it!


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021


Amorette’s Patisserie

Morimoto Asia ®

Ghirardelli ®

Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop

Jaleo ®

Planet Hollywood®

by José Andrés

Wolfgang ® Puck Bar & Grill

W A L T D I S N E Y W O R L D ® R E S O R T 5 0 T H A N N I V E R S A RY C E L E B R AT I O N T R E AT S T O S A V O R • F A M I LY F U N & A D V E N T U R E

©Disney WDW-20-1265352




hat better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than being immersed in the wonderland that is Disney Springs®? With its festive décor and variety of store and gift options, Disney Springs® is the perfect place to get ready for the holidays. Enjoy the cheer as you deck your halls with ornaments and wreaths––and even plates and glassware from the dazzling Icy Winter collection from stores like Disney’s Days of Christmas. You can even deck out yourself and your loved ones with holiday-themed outfits and pajamas at World of Disney® store. Think about how great everyone will look for the holiday photos! When it comes to gift shopping, there’s no shortage to what you can find. From toys and restaurant gift cards to jewelry and personalized items, Disney Springs® has something for everyone on your list. And if you need extra last-minute stocking gifts, be sure to visit stores like D-Tech on Demand at the Marketplace Co-Op and Francesca’s. Once Upon a Toy, Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories, Levi’s, and UGG® also carry gifts that will fill your loved ones with joy. Once you’ve finished shopping, take some time to admire the 20 themed Christmas trees and a special Snow Zone. You can also enjoy festive entertainment, a magical Santa experience and more. The magic doesn’t stop there! Top it all off with a meal that warms your heart with holiday flavors at eateries including Wine Bar George, Terralina Crafted Italian and Chicken Guy. When it is all said and done, Disney Springs® has you covered. You will leave happily having found whatever you were after!

Wrap yourself in

HOLIDAY MAGIC at Disney Springs


By Alexis George


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Ever After

Jewelry Co. & Accessories


World of Disney® Store

World of Disney® Store Once Upon a Toy

C E L E B R A T E T H E M O S T W O N D E R F U L T I M E O F T H E Y E A R W I T H G I F T S , J O Y A N D H O L I D AY C H E E R .

©Disney WDW-20-1265352





DIY: Candle Making 2 Candles are the perfect gift any time of year — a small gesture to let someone know you’re thinking about them. Here’s how to customize your own for that special person in your life.


human’s sense of smell is one of the more powerful abilities we possess. A 2014 study revealed people can identify up to one trillion different odors. Various aromas are said to trigger much more vivid emotional memories than images. Create your own memory-triggering scents through aromatherapy with at-home candle making!

The benefits:

• Costs less than store-bought candles • Customize your own fragrance • Choose fun candle containers (sentimental items or just reuse bath and body works glass candle jars!) • Makes great gifts

The supplies: • • • • • •

atural Soy Wax N Natural Candle Wicks Candle Container Essential Oils Glue Gun Scissors

The process:

1. D epending on which candle container you choose, you might have some cleaning to do first! If you decide to recycle an old candle jar, take a butter


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

knife and scrape the wax and old wick from the bottom of the jar. Once the jar is clean, start by us2. ing your glue gun to glue down the candle wicks to the bottom of your candle containers. Depending on how large your candle is, you can use anywhere from one to four wicks, as long as each wick is 1 inch apart. 3. Then, melt your wax in a large pot on the stove. For every cup of wax needed, add 10 to 15 drops of the essential oils of your choice. Feel free to customize your fragrance. Use different scents to guide your senses to your ultimate fragrance. 4. Once you have the perfect mixture, pour the melted wax into your candle container. Try using a pencil or knife to steady the wicks if they are leaning.



5. L et dry and trim your wick. Add a fun label or, if this is a gift, add a list of the scents and why you chose them for that person. It will be their own customized candle! Wait three days to burn to maximize your scent! Light your new candle and ENJOY!


+ YOUNG Achiever

New Soles to Young Souls A group of Windermere Preparatory School students started a nonprofit called Play for Keeps where they host different fundraising events and volunteer opportunities benefitting the community.

By Kendall Beebe


t all started back in May when five classmates and friends held a virtual 5k run called Kicks For Kids through their own nonprofit Play for Keeps. Their goal? Raise enough money to buy 300 pairs of shoes for kids in Orlando. Matthew Lucas, JT Rattigan, Maaz Mohiuddin, Jackson Bennett and Michael Crocetti, juniors at Windermere Preparatory School who oversee the Play For Keeps organization, not only met their goal – they surpassed it. With their 5k run fundraising money, they donated 400 pairs of new soles to young souls at the Molly Ray Elementary (MRE) school in Orlando. They partnered with Track Shack, which provided the shoes at cost. Lucas, whose primary role was coordinating the partnership with Track Shack, says he has always made the time to volunteer. “I see how much something that we would consider small, like a single meal, could mean to someone. I also love sports and knew I wanted to


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

bring that joy to these kids,” Lucas says. “I wanted to make a difference in the community around me and truly change the lives of the kids we’ve helped.” According to the Orange County Public School’s website, MRE is a Title I school. This means the school has a large concentration of low-income students who receive supplemental funds to assist in meeting their educational goals. Lucas says he and his team members came up with the idea for a shoe drive after they heard that students at MRE would miss school because of the conditions of their shoes. “We wanted to supply these kids with athletic shoes, because we don’t want anyone to be left out on the playground,” Lucas says. “We saw the impact first hand when we delivered all of the shoes to the kids and they were all extremely excited.” Lucas says the 5k run was their biggest event yet, and the community has been very supportive with volun-

teering. He says Play For Keeps hopes to expand into more communities throughout the Central Florida area. Lucas says the team is inspired by helping the kids and seeing the smiles on their faces. “It’s always amazing to see the smiles on the kids’ faces. The smiles really are contagious and it fuels our fire to keep doing more,” Lucas says. “A sports ball may seem like such a small and simple thing to a lot of people, but the difference it makes in the lives of these kids is huge. It gives them something to do outside of school, keeps them active, and healthy.” The five teens are currently planning their next project – a ball drive benefitting Cypress Elementary school in Kissimmee. They are asking for donations of new soccer balls and equipment to help the school create a new soccer program. For more information about Play For Keeps visit www.pfkfoundation.org.


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Your Holiday Survival Guide By Kimberly Blaker


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021


o you dread the hustle and bustle of another holiday season? Between shopping, wrapping, baking, holiday cards, parties, and other obligations, surviving the season can be a feat. This year, why not make a pact to make this holiday season easier by following these tips?

6. Give gift cards. Hard-to-shop-for recipients will appreciate something practical. Gift cards to restaurants, department stores, sporting good outlets, specialty shops, or a massage, pedicure, or a round of golf make great gifts.

Early planning

Decide with whom it’s essential to exchange gifts. Then talk to extended family, friends, coworkers, and others about forgoing gift exchanges, putting a cap on the price, or drawing instead. You’ll likely learn many feel the same as you do.

First, close your eyes and think about what percentage of holiday activities and tasks you would need to eliminate to make the season truly enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Next, make a list of everything you need to do during the holiday season. This includes parties you’ll need to attend and how much money you’ll need to spend. Now cross off the least important, least necessary, and least popular events and tasks. Now review the list and calculate how much time and expense you’ve shaved off. If you haven’t reached your predetermined reduction, go through your list again. Once you’ve decided which commitments you’ll make, plan how you’ll say ‘no’ to all the others, so you’re not caught off guard.

Share in the preparation

Money saver

Holidays with children

Plan family get-togethers either on Christmas Eve or on the weekends before or after the holiday. If that’s not feasible, have an early celebration with your kids the day or weekend before the holiday. Traveling and holiday visiting are also stressful for young children. Have your kids help with packing, even if it’s only for the day, to make sure their favorite toys aren’t left behind. A security blanket or stuffed animal can also reduce stress for your young child in strange surroundings. Don’t forget to leave yourself plenty of time for rest stops as well.

Enlist your family to help prepare for the holidays by divvying up the tasks. This is a way to lessen expectations of perfection from yourself or your family. Sharing in preparation can include planning a potluck gathering so that all the heavy lifting doesn’t fall on one person. You can either suggest what each person should bring or, to avoid duplicates, ask guests to let you know what they’ll bring. Remember, you probably don’t notice or mind the imperfections in others’ holiday gatherings. They’re just as unlikely to see any in yours.

Care for yourself

Holiday time-and-energy savers

Things to do for next year

1. Save time in gift-wrapping by setting up a station in a spare room or the basement. Stock a large box or basket with wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, tags, tape, scissors, and pens, so everything is stored in one place. Have extras of everything on hand. 2. Keep cleaning to a minimum. Dismiss unused areas guests won’t see or use, and clean only the obvious in rooms that will be seen. 3. Make everyday meals quick and easy throughout the season. Some examples are soups, sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables, cottage cheese, pre-cut veggies, dips, and other prepared or semi-prepared healthy foods. 4. If possible, do your holiday shopping early in the day on weekdays while your energy is high, and crowds are small. 5. Shop online or by catalog. If an item lacks details, search for a manufacturer’s website to get the information you need.

Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. High fat and sugary foods can lead to tiredness and stress. Keep goodies stored in the freezer where they’ll be less of a temptation. Have plenty of convenient, healthy snacks such as raw vegetables and nuts on hand. Prepare low-fat meals that won’t bog you down and pace yourself, don’t try to do everything in one day. Finally, give yourself a break. Get plenty of exercise such as a brisk walk in the fresh air, and set aside time for relaxation, like a long bubble bath. Start your shopping early. Create a new tradition with a friend or family member and set a monthly shopping date for the upcoming year. By making a scheduled commitment, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Keep the early holiday shopping fun and choose a different town or shopping center for each trip, focusing on unique malls or trendy cities. Also, get a label printing software program or app early in the year and enter all the addresses on your holiday card list. When the holidays roll around, you can print the labels and eliminate the most time-consuming aspect of sending out holiday greetings. Remember the holiday season should be a joyful time for everyone, including yourself, to join in the good cheer with family and friends. Maximize ways to ease your stress to keep the ‘happy’ in your holidays!



+ IN THE Kitchen

Tomato Tortellini Soup By Lemons + Zest

A Bowl Full of Comfort Soups are the go-to comfort food of this chilly season. Whip up a batch using these tips.


t’s cold outside, which can only mean one thing. It’s comfort food season. Here are some of our favorite soup preparation tricks. Twists for Classic Recipes Skip the boring, outdated recipes and make your soup your own with some minor ingredient adjustments. Instead of egg noodles or rice in your chicken soup, use orzo, a type of pasta that’s shaped like a grain of rice. Then, finish it with a squeeze of lemon for freshness. Modernize your chicken and dumplings with gnocchi. You will still have the pillowy dough, just in a different form. Sometimes all you need is an extra ingredient. Spice up your tomato soup with sriracha or make your broccoli cheese soup into a beer cheese version by including your favorite brew. Craving a creamy soup? Try using half the cream and blend 36

Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

roasted garlic into the mixture to make it feel creamy while giving you an extra serving of veggies. Top Soup Tools When making blended soups, such as butternut squash soup or tomato soup, an immersion blender will go a long way. While you can use a regular blender or a food processor, an immersion blender means less mess since you can blend it right in the pot you’re cooking in. A slow cooker is best when you want to set your soup and forget it. For the most part, this appliance allows you to dump all the ingredients, set the timer and go about your day. Once your soup is ready, complement it with carbs. Simply top it with croutons, slice up a chewy baguette for dipping or serve it in a doughy bread bowl.

When you’re in the mood for comfort food, a bowl of this hearty soup will do the trick. Ingredients: • 1 24-ounce jar marinara • 1 onion, diced • 2 14.5-ounce can tomatoes (not drained) • 3 tablespoons tomato paste • 2 handfuls spinach • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced • 1 teaspoon basil or Italian seasoning • 4-5 cups broth • 1 /4 teaspoon red pepper • 1 8- to 12-ounce package tortellini • Sea salt and pepper, to taste • Olive Oil Directions: Over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Sauté garlic and onion until translucent. Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and spices (including salt and pepper). Stir to combine. Add in the spinach and allow it to cook down into the soup. Turn the stove to medium low and allow to heat at a light bubble for about 10 minutes. Several minutes before ready to serve, toss in tortellini and allow to cook until softened. Add more tomato paste to thicken the broth or if you prefer your soup more broth based, you can even add more broth. Enjoy with fresh basil, garlic bread and your favorite shredded parmesan cheese! Source: LemonsAndZest.com

+ IN THE Kitchen


Ways to Repurpose

Your Holiday Leftovers

Tired of dry, reheated turkey but not sure what to do with it? These ideas will help you give new life to your holiday meal.

By Katherine Ceballos


he holidays are always full of memories with loved ones, whether you're making them virtually this year or safely in person. But, at the end of the day, they may have also filled your fridge with leftovers. We’ve compiled some of our favorite Pinterest ideas that will change the way you prepare the leftovers from your holiday spread.

Leftover Stuffing Waffles

Your leftovers can help you spice up your usual waffle brunch. Simply moisten your leftover stuffing with some chicken stock or an egg then place it in the waffle maker. When it's ready, place it on a plate as a base then some stack mashed potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce then drizzle some gravy over the top. It's like a holiday version of chicken and waffles.

Loaded Turkey Panini

Don't just make any old sandwich. Instead, prepare a warm, fresh panini containing only the best ingredients — yours. Make sure to choose a sturdy bread, like a French baguette


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

or Ciabatta, and consider adding some leftover cheese from the charcuterie board to hold it all together. If you don't have a panini maker, put your cast iron skillet to work.

Holiday Leftovers Pizza

Pizza is probably the last thing on your mind after a traditional holiday meal, but rather than pack everything into separate dishes, pack it all onto a pizza. Simply substitute the pizza sauce with your gravy then layer mashed potatoes, cheese, turkey, cranberry sauce (and maybe some veggies) on top. Make it deep-dish style in a pie pan or pile the toppings on a prepared pizza crust.

Turkey Pop Tarts

Completely change up the turkey sandwich routine with this tasty recipe. You can either use leftover homemade pie dough (if you have any) or grab an extra tube of prepared pie dough from the grocery store in advance. Pull all of the ingredients together into the dough for a wonderful treat right out of the oven.

Holiday Egg Rolls

For a fun twist on leftovers, stuff the turkey and all your favorite fixin's, such as mashed potatoes or stuffing, inside an egg roll wrapper. Then fry it up and dip it in cranberry sauce or gravy. You will be happy you did.

Holiday Leftovers Lasagna

One thing that is just as comforting as sharing a holiday meal with loved ones is a nice, hearty slice of lasagna. With this dish, you get the best of both worlds. All you have to do is layer all of your favorite leftovers in a casserole dish and bake it together. Leave the mashed potatoes for the final layer so you can top it with cheese and broil it to a bubbly finish. Of course, you can use pieces of your leftovers in a variety of dishes, such as turkey enchiladas using the main dish or mashed potato croquettes that are prepared with the holiday's star side dish. But if you prefer to use all of your leftovers in one shot, these ideas have you covered.




Raise Your Celebrate the season with these six festive holiday cocktail recipes.

Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate

Reindeer Punch

Drink your dessert with this classic candy cane martini. It tastes just like Christmas.

Try this playful adult spin on the traditional holiday classic – hot chocolate!

INGREDIENTS: • 1 ½ ounces vodka • ¾ ounces peppermint schnapps • ¾ ounces white chocolate liqueur • Mini candy cane and red sugar

INGREDIENTS: • 2 cups ice • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup • ½ cup half and half • 1 packet hot chocolate mix • 1½ oz. white crème de cacao • 1½ oz. peppermint schnapps • 1½ oz. vanilla vodka

With its bright, raspberry garnish, this festive cocktail is perfect for Christmas Eve. Maybe even leave one behind for Santa.

Winter Wonderland Courtesy of Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs

DIRECTIONS: In a large pot of salted boiling water, add green Mix and chill ingredients. Pour into a red sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a candy cane hanging on the rim.


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Courtesy of Cocktails Catering

DIRECTIONS: Blend together, serve with a peppermint stick and enjoy!

Courtesy of Margaritaville Resort Orlando

INGREDIENTS: • 1½ ounces Grey Goose vodka • ½ ounce Chambord • ½ ounce Margaritaville Triple Sec • 2 ounces Ocean Spray White • Cranberry Juice • Prosecco • Blueberries and raspberries, garnish DIRECTIONS: Add ingredients into shaker with ice and give a healthy shake. Strain content into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with raspberries and blueberries if preferred.




Bourbon Ball Drop

Cranberry Punch

Courtesy of Melissa Perez

Courtesy of Garrison Brothers Distillery

Courtesy Carmen Rossetti

This traditional Puerto Rican cocktail is similar to eggnog but has a tropical twist. INGREDIENTS: • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut cream, such as Coco López • 1½ cups white Don Q rum (adjust to taste) • teaspoon cinnamon • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg • cinnamon sticks, for garnish DIRECTIONS: Mix all ingredients with a hand whisk and chill in the freezer. Serve in glasses with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Ring in a brand new year by toasting with this twist on an old-fashioned. When served in a flute, you won’t even miss the champagne. INGREDIENTS: • 1 ounce Garrison Brothers Small Batch whiskey • 2 dashes Angostura bitters • 3 ounces dry hard cider • Sugar to taste • Cherry, garnish • Orange peel, garnish DIRECTIONS: In a flute glass, add Garrison Brothers, bitters and sugar to taste. Top with a dry, hard cider and garnish with a cherry and an orange peel.

When looking for a pretty holiday cocktail to serve your guests, look no further. This reader recipe is sure to impress! INGREDIENTS: • Cranberry juice • Orange juice • Prosecco • St. Germain • Cranberries, for garnish, frozen • Oranges, for garnish, frozen • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish, frozen • Rock sugar, for garnish DIRECTIONS: Freeze cranberries and slices of oranges. Wet rosemary, pat dry, sprinkle with small rock sugar and freeze. Once frozen, combine and mix all ingredients. Place a few frozen cranberries in a flute glass and a frozen orange slice on the rim of the glass. Pour mixture into the glass, and garnish with the frozen, sugarcoated rosemary. www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com


+ YOUR Pets

Get the Dish on Proper Nutrition for New Pets Use these tips to ensure that all of your pet's unique nutritional needs are being met so they grow into healthy, strong adult animals.

Courtesy of the Pet Food Institute


s families continue to cope with changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are taking advantage of more time at home by welcoming a new puppy or kitten to their households. One possible reason for animal lovers expanding their households is the mental and physical health benefits from the human-animal bond. A library of studies shared by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found that pet ownership can lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of loneliness or stress, and help manage depression. Before welcoming a new pet, even seasoned pet owners may benefit from a refresher on proper care, especially when it comes to feeding and nutrition. Dogs and cats have unique nutritional requirements, so their food must be carefully formulated. Puppies and kittens need more of certain important nutrients, such as protein, fat and key minerals, to grow into healthy, strong adult animals. If you’ve welcomed a new pet to the family, or plan to soon, learn how to care for its special nutritional needs with this advice. 42

Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

Identifying Life Stages

Food labeled for puppies and kittens or pets of all life stages include different levels of nutrients than food for only adult pets. It includes additional sources of energy, such as protein and calories, to support rapid growth and development. Your veterinarian can help determine an appropriate time to transition your pet to adult food — usually when it's nearly full-grown. For kittens, that may be around 10-12 months. For puppies, the timing varies depending on size, with larger breeds taking up to two years to fully mature.

Understanding Food Labels

Pet food labels help shoppers make informed decisions about their dog or cat's food. Some key pieces of information include the pet's intended life stage and a claim of complete and balanced nutrition, which confirms each serving provides the proper levels of more than 40 essential nutrients that pets require. Labels also include a guaranteed analysis, which identifies a minimum or maximum of at least four nutrients: protein, fat, fiber and moisture. State regulators,

who read pet food labels for compliance, also review the package to ensure accuracy. In fact, pet food is one of the most highly regulated food products in the U.S. with oversight at both the state and federal levels.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Pet obesity can lead to health issues such as joint damage, difficulty breathing, cancer and heart disease, so helping your pet maintain a healthy weight is important. For example, consider how many treats you give your pet throughout the day. Treats can reinforce good behavior, keep pets occupied, aid in training or show love. However, they should be given in moderation, accounting for no more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Pet food is formulated to provide dozens of essential nutrients that pets need in their diets, so avoid using treats in place of regular meals. Also know that sharing table scraps adds calories and many common human foods can be dangerous for animals. Providing your pet with the right nutrition early in life can help ensure proper growth and long-term wellbeing.







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+ YOUR Local

Looking Back at 2021 and Looking Forward to 2022 The Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce shares the advances local businesses have made despite another challenging COVID year, and gives us a look into what 2022 may have in store for our area.

By Don Long, Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce


he year 2021 brought the Lake Nona region numerous new opportunities and advances while also presenting challenges. Looking forward to 2022, local chambers of commerce are here to help business owners plan to build on opportunities while also addressing challenges of today and the future. Orlando’s vibrant communities change constantly as new progressive businesses, large and small, focus on the advantages of locating their businesses in Central Florida. Companies notice the local infra-structure improvements such as the autonomous shuttles from Lake Nona’s Beep, approaching completion of the I-4 Ultimate project, future arrival of Brightline high-speed rail, opening of the Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C, plans for a new Vertiport for electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing passenger aircraft, and the list goes on. For these reasons and others, the Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce (LNRCC) welcomed more than 160 new business members to its membership rolls during 2021. This year, several reputable global companies like Disney, Amazon and KPMG chose the Lake Nona community as the perfect location for their


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

new ventures, or as in Disney’s example, the prime place to relocate approximately 2,000 of their professional level employees. Also of significant impact is the opening of the new UCF Lake Nona Medical Center in March 2021. This opening brought a full-service medical center to the community that already boasted the most modern VA medical center in the country and Nemours Children’s Hospital. One of the most exciting additions to Lake Nona in 2021 is the Lake Nona Performance Club, which opened in July and provides “a tailored approach to whole-person health.” In November, the club celebrated the grand opening of the Chopra MindBody Zone and Spa. This collaboration with Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Global presents proven programs to “improve overall wellbeing through a focus on physical, mental and spiritual health.” Other noteworthy additions to the Lake Nona business community in 2021 are the new Springhill Suites Orlando/Lake Nona combined with The Wave Hotel plus numerous new eateries and recreational outlets. Starting construction in early 2022 is a new Aloft Hotel. Over the past year, the COVID-19 Delta Variant presented persistent health and financial

challenges. LNRCC, alongside other regional chambers, continued to help distribute essential information from government agencies plus reputable health and financial sources. LNRCC specifically assisted several businesses with guidance in methods used to apply for financial aid and practices used to avoid COVID-19. Additionally, with the help of partner AdventHealth along with the office of City of Orlando District 1 Commissioner Jim Gray LNRCC distributed more than 20,000 masks and hand sanitizers to the entire community. As 2022 approaches, LNRCC is proactively cultivating relationships with organizations that can help chamber members and the entire community. Readers may find out how to become involved by reaching out to LNRCC. LNRCC is a membership not-for-profit organization with offices located in Lake Nona at 6555 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827. It is not a ffiliated with, or sponsored by, Lake Nona Property Holdings, LLC, or its affiliated entities. Comments or requests for information are encouraged at Administration@LakeNonaCC.org.





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Top Things Learned from Michael Brehne A highlight of the most important law information provided throughout 2021. By Michael B. Brehne, Esq., Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A


or over 2 decades I have had experience providing personalized and dedicated legal representation to individuals throughout Orlando and the greater Central Florida region. As 2021 ends, here are some of the top takeaways of this year. Personal Injury Settlements

Personal injury damages are calculated immediately after the accident and into the future. At the time of settlement and afterwards, your case is valued based upon the medical bills you’ve already incurred as well as the lost wages and pain and suffering up to the date of the proposed settlement.

Pulled Over While Driving

Homeowners Insurance Checklist ■

Check declarations page to make sure your policy will fully protect your home Check if your policy includes “right to repair” and understand what it means Gather presale inspection reports maintained by title companies or receipts from roofing companies

Pool Safety 101

The owner of a body of water is not liable for drowning merely because a person may be too young or of insufficient intelligence to understand the danger of water. The responsibility for the care of such people remains with parents and guardians.

Although you are not technically under arrest once an officer pulls you over, you are detained, and have constitutional rights against self-incrimination. Be careful of comment making as statements will be documented and used in traffic court if you contest the citation.

Personal Injury Protection

The Divorce Process

Pedestrian-Related Traffic Accidents

In an action for dissolution, nothing is certain. These cases twist and turn based on the case’s circumstances and the personalities of the parties and the attorneys representing them.

The current PIP statute provides protections for insurance companies to legally deny claims that haven’t complied with strict statutory requirements, but also includes penalty provisions when insurance companies wrongfully deny proper claims. Drivers: When in doubt, yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian. Pedestrians: Use the sidewalk or crosswalk and make sure you’re visible to motorists by using reflective clothing, high-visibility colors, or a flashlight if you’re walking at night.

Protect Your Roof: Hurricane Season

Florida recently enacted a new law for homeowners insurance claims under which homeowners are protected by some provisions that prevent dishonest contractors from soliciting insurance claims by making payments, giving gifts, or otherwise enticing homeowners to employ them for their claim.

Are Vaccine Passports “Legal”?

To be determined by the courts under the test of “Strict Scrutiny.” The court would ask if the individual’s fundamental rights were implicated by a government regulation. If so, the court would then ask whether there was a compelling governmental interest and whether the restriction was narrowly tailored to achieving that interest, using the “least restrictive means” possible.


The offense of DUI occurs when you are found to be in physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical or controlled substance when affected to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired; or you have a breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.

Michael Brehne has dedicated his 24-year career to representing injured people in motorcycle and car accidents, and represents people when their insurance claims have been denied. He has earned a reputation as a tenacious and skilled trial lawyer when representing his clients against large corporate defendants and insurance companies. He is also the author of “Watching Out for Florida Motorcyclists: Legal Rights of Injured Bikers.”


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

e t a t s E l a e R n i d Your Best Frien

Alicia Spears

BSBA-Real Estate, Lic. Real Estate Broker, Realtor® GRI, ABR

407-963-9141 www.aliciaspears.com

+ MONEY Matters

Taxes in Retirement Your retirement years are meant to be enjoyed. These six strategies can help you reduce your tax burden once you have retired. By Eric Shattuck


axes are an inescapable fact of life, and for those who are preparing to retire or have already left the workforce, those taxes can put a painful dent in their retirement income. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to trim your taxes and keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, whether retirement is years away or you are already enjoying your golden years. Contribute to a Roth IRA

Contributing to a Roth IRA ahead of your retirement is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your tax burden. Unlike a traditional IRA or 401(k), the money you put into a Roth IRA is taxed before contribution, in exchange for coming out tax-free during retirement. Because you are likely in a lower tax bracket when you are just starting to save for retirement, paying taxes at that time, instead of after you retire, can save you thousands of dollars. While most people will be very well served by investing early in a Roth IRA, there is one major exception. If your employer provides matching 401(k) contributions, you should always aim to contribute the maximum amount they will match before investing the rest in an IRA.

Open a Health Savings Account

If you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, opening a health savings account, or HSA, is one of the smartest post-retirement financial moves you can make. In an HSA, money is contributed pre-tax, enjoys tax-deferred growth and can be withdrawn tax-free as long as the money is spent on qualifying health care. Since medical costs make


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

up a large portion of most retirees’ budgets — even for people in excellent health — opening an HSA is virtually guaranteed to trim your tax bill. Reduce Your Expenses

Because money taken out from most retirement fund sources, such as traditional IRAs and 401(k)s, is taxed upon withdrawal, cutting down on your expenses after retirement is a sure-fire way to cut your taxes as well. If possible, create a financial planning strategy that involves paying off your mortgage before you retire. Getting rid of your largest monthly expense significantly cuts down on how much you need to withdraw from your retirement fund. Additionally, since you are likely to be paying off principal on your mortgage rather than interest by the time you retire, the mortgage interest deduction isn’t nearly as beneficial.

Consider Proportional Withdrawals

Many financial consultants advise recent retirees to withdraw money from taxable accounts first, followed by tax-deferred accounts and, finally, tax-free accounts. While this approach can certainly work, and has the benefit of paying much lower taxes during the beginning and end of your retirement years, it also leads to a large “tax bump” once you transition from taxable to tax-deferred withdrawals. The alternative is to use a proportional withdrawal approach, where you take a portion of the money for your monthly costs from all of your retirement accounts at once. The benefit of this approach is a more stable tax burden across the length of your retirement, longer-lasting savings

and lower overall lifetime tax payments. Proportional withdrawals aren’t ideal for everyone; however, if you have multiple kinds of savings accounts and a relatively steady retirement income, it can be an excellent tool for cutting tax costs. Time Your Investment Sales Wisely

A simple method for trimming your taxes in your golden years is to time the sale of your investments, whether they have earned or lost money. If your stock holdings experience significant growth and you don’t consider it a volatile investment, it would be wise to sell them during a year that your overall income is lower so that you pay taxes in a lower bracket, as well. Conversely, if you are looking to sell off under-performing stocks, realizing losses in an otherwise high-income year can also translate into tax savings.

Donate From Your IRA

Once you have reached 70 1⁄2 years old and have to start withdrawing money from your traditional IRA, it is worthwhile to consider making charitable donations directly from that IRA. Not only does this ensure that the charity you choose receives the amount of your donation in full by avoiding federal taxes, it also counts toward your IRA’s minimum distribution requirement, up to the $100,000 annual limit, all while being excluded from your adjusted gross income. Your retirement years are meant to be enjoyed. The last thing you should have to do is worry about whether taxes are impacting your financial security or eating into your savings. By applying the strategies above, you can significantly reduce your tax burden after you retire, even if you are playing catch-up on your retirement planning.



+ SOMEONE You Should Know

The Power of

Believing in People Meet Goodwill’s VP of Retail and Donated Goods, Arnold Sanchez. By Alexis George


any people know Goodwill as a place for thrifting, but for Arnold Sanchez it is so much more. After a long career in the for-profit sector of thrift-retail industry, Sanchez finally decided that he wanted to impact people and community. So, in March 2020, he took a leap of faith and joined the Goodwill team as a Territory Manager. “I oversaw 8-9 locations, so just working closely with the stores out in the field to maximize how to become better stewards of the donations we received in our community,” Sanchez says. In his role he immediately recognized that the organization was a perfect fit. At Goodwill, his passion for people and developing others directly aligned with his talent for improving processes. “For me as a leader I always believe in the 3ps: people, products, and process,” Sanchez says. “I spend 99 percent of my time on the people part.” That strong belief in people is why Sanchez’s motivation is always finding ways to continue to push the mission forward. “Everything that we do here on the nonprofit side, really contributes to our community,” Sanchez says. “Our mission is to build lives that work.” He has done just that by empowering his employees through the mission. Kim Praniewicz, VP of Marketing & Mission Advancement for Goodwill shared how in her time of working with him to advance Goodwill’s mission she’s found that he truly is an expert in the retail field. “Arnold’s a great leader,” Praniewicz says. “He has created a following because of his management style as well as he provides great solutions to streamlining processes that makes it a really great place to work for the employees and an awesome place for people to donate because their items go directly to helping the community.”


Central Florida Lifestyle | December 2021

A few of those streamlining processes included placing new equipment and creating a safer and more efficient work environment in the back rooms. In January 2021, Sanchez was promoted to VP of Retail and Donated Goods. According to Sanchez, the role allows more influence to teach, coach, develop and motivate others. “I’ve never been one to care about my title,” Sanchez says. “I’ve always believed that leaders lead without the title so anywhere that I can influence behavior and share my over 20 years of thrift experience with others I openly accept that opportunity and privilege to do so.” Sanchez will continue that mindset in the new year with his goal to see others grow and celebrate their hard work. “It’s exciting to come to work every day with this group of team members and leaders that we have,” Sanchez says. “So, without a doubt the goal is to continue to come up with innovation on processes and systems that will make us that much more efficient in a safe work environment in our industry.”

To find out more about Goodwill’s vision and the community it services, visit https://www.goodwillcfl.org


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