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moms m oms keeping you current with all things mom






Mindy Black shares her journey with pregnancy

Super Moms


budget-friendly for a

Ever yday Real Life Superheroes

Holiday 2015

Pinterest-worthy holiday home


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Cosmetics that are NOT safe during pregnancy

What your pediatrician

REALLY wants for


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moms holiday 2015


moms Volume 6, Issue 6 ~

Holiday 2015


Check out Meteorologist Amy Sweezey’s new book!

In This Issue 6 – Get The Expensive Look For Less Pinterest-worthy home decor on a budget

13 – Autumn Farro Salad Farm-Haus shares a fresh salad from


their Thanksgiving menu

EDITOR IN CHIEF kristi corley

EDITOR shirley neff

14 – It Never, Ever Snows in Florida Meteorologist Amy Sweezey gives us the scoop on her new book Pin it and decorate! Pinterestworthy holiday decorating on a budget

16 – Super Moms Everyday real life superheroes

18 – When Motherhood Meets Prognosis Mindy Black shares her journey with pregnancy

From the experts


Farm-Haus shares this fresh salad from their Thanksgiving menu

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS mindy black greg gordon, m.d. farm-haus lexi merritt david ruggieri stephanie white

PHOTOGRAPHY sara kearney photography

20 – What’s Hiding On Your Cosmetic Shelf ?

Ingredients that are NOT safe during pregnancy

22 – Ask the Pediatrician What your doctor really wants for Christmas. It might surprise you!

WEB AND DESIGN andy corley

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Mindy Black


Mindy Black is a licensed esthetician and owner of a results-driven skin care clinic, Inner Beauty Skin Care, in Lake Mary, Florida. She is a regular on-air contributor for Fox 35’s Good Day Orlando TV show and has been featured in an array of magazines (like this one!). Mindy is the founder of Feisty Girl, a program dedicated to instilling confidence in teens transitioning into adulthood. Mindy is a loving wife to her husband of 10 years, and their party of two is growing to three in April when their daughter is set to arrive! Mindy is committed to her community and believes in building relationships. She is involved in the Lake Mary Rotary, which gives her the opportunity to work with several local non-profits, fueling her love of giving back. In her free time, Mindy enjoys yoga, working out, painting and going to Gator football games. You can find her on social media at @innerbeautysc on Instagram and Twitter, and by liking “Inner Beauty Skincare” on Facebook.

Get the expensive look for less

by Stephanie White

If you're like me, you're addicted to Pinterest, especially during the holidays. I'm always envious of the perfectly decorated, insanely cozy, magazine-worthy homes, but what I'm not envious of are the price tags that come with those excessively pinned rooms. So, I've put together a small list of tips to help you achieve a Pinterestworthy home this Christmas, without putting a match to all of your holiday shopping money! 6

Turn O ld into New

This boxwood wreath and picture frame duo was made from an old frame and some scrap burlap. Get an old frame from your local thrift store for under $10 and add a touch farmhouse flair with a wreath to set atop your mantle.

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Get Cozy.

Paper is Pretty.

Make comfy blankets and pillows available in every room. Don't hide them. Raid your linen closet(s) for your favorites and toss them over dining room chairs, benches, baskets, sofas, etc. If you're short handed on knit blankets, I picked up some of my favorites at discount stores for a steal. (Black checkered blanket, deer head pillow, gray knit pillow: Target. White faux fur pillow: Marshalls)

One of the most inexpensive ways to decorate for any holiday is by using scrapbook and card stock paper. Create a Christmas countdown calendar that all of your friends will envy with just an empty frame, twine, washi tape, clothespins and paper envelopes. These few supplies can do amazing things together and should cost less than $20.

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Keep it Simple. You don't need an over-priced mantle or entry table for it to look "pin-worthy." Sometimes, simple is best. Forgo the expensive garlands this year and just add a large bulb string of lights, a photo frame or mirror with a wreath hanging over top, and a few inexpensive Christmas pieces.


Use What You Have. Many things in your home can easily be tweaked to fit the Holiday season. We've added a Christmas-themed grocery list to our chalkboard, used jumbo Scrabble pieces as place cards, and displayed our cookie cutter jar on the kitchen counter. Mason jars or milk glasses can also be decorated with a simple Christmas-colored paper straw and baking twine.

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DIY Your inspiration. Gifts on Display. There are so many things that can easily be made from home without the scary price tag. Bunting banners, filled ornaments, and table setting pieces are just a few. Grab some Rosemary, floral wire, and twine for a natural piece to add to your holiday table settings. They smell amazing and don't cut too much into your holiday budget. I've also made some frayed linen napkins with muslin fabric from a local fabric store. Cut a rectangle from your linen, fray the edges by pulling, and fold over your dishes to get the expensive, model home look!

Now, I know this may be a bit difficult for the kids to handle, but gifts that you've picked up throughout the year solely for gift exchanges, teachers, parties and spouses can be wrapped in matching paper and used as a display to fill under your tree for the season. Not quite that ready? Wrap some empty boxes in inexpensive gift paper or brown packaging paper and gift bags until Santa's debut! No one will know they're empty, and it only takes a few large boxes to fill such a space. Washi tape, stamps and stickers are a great addition to packages to make them look finished!

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Trying to find the perfect gift for the person who has everything? • Fill their stocking with a year’s worth of fun and adventure with an annual pass to the Zoo! • Visit the ZOOfari Outpost Gift Shop (special discount Dec. 1 to Dec. 15, 2015)! • Check out the Zoo’s Adopt an Animal program! • Participate in Breakfast (or brunch) with Santa! For more information, visit or call 407.323.4450.

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Autumn Farro Salad just one of the yummy dishes from the menu of Farm-Haus, on their Thanksgiving catering selection

Autumn Farro Salad


1-½ Cups organic farro 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1-inch cubes 2 Tablespoons olive oil 5 sage leaves Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 5 ounces baby kale, washed and dried 1 Cup candied walnuts ½ Cup pomegranate arils 1 Granny Smith apple Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Dressing ¾ Cup orange juice 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 Tablespoons minced shallot 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Follow directions on farro package to cook the grain. Drain and set aside. Toss the squash and sage leaves with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, turning once, until tender and lightly brown. Thinly slice baby kale. Thinly slice Granny Smith apple. Make the dressing: In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, cider vinegar and shallots. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 6-10 minutes, until mixture has reduced to ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Assemble the Salad: Add the farro, squash, kale, walnuts, pomegranate arils and sliced apple to a large bowl. Crumble roasted sage leaves on top. Toss with dressing and taste. If desired, sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on top to taste and re-toss. (Optional) Serve with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

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Orlando Moms Blog Interview

It’s no secret that we have a celebrity crush on WESH-2 meteorologist Amy Sweezey! So when we discovered that this super mom authored her first children’s picture book about weather in Florida, we immediately wanted to know more! Orlando Moms Blog – So what’s this book all about? Amy Sweezey – Well, “It Never, Ever Snows in Florida” is a children’s picture book designed to showcase winter weather Florida-style. The book features a little boy named AJ, and his mom, who happens to be a TV meteorologist. AJ lives in Florida where it never, ever snows. He dreams of a day when he can build a snowman, or wear warm boots in the winter like other kids. AJ soon learns he can’t say “never” when it comes to weather. Just because he hasn’t seen any, doesn’t mean it never snows in Florida. Orlando Moms Blog – What was your inspiration for writing this book? Amy Sweezey – When I started reading to my Florida-born kids about the seasons, I soon discovered most winter books are about cold and snow. I decided Florida kids needed a story to remind them that our weather is a little bit different than our friends and family who live up north. My kids have always been jealous of other kids who have snow in the winter. They don’t understand how lucky they are to not shovel or scrape ice! Orlando Moms Blog – This is perfect! And I’m certain Florida moms (especially Orlando moms!) will definitely want to get their hands on your book! How can they get one? Amy Sweezey – The book is available for purchase RIGHT NOW at Amy’s book will be a perfect addition to your child’s library! I can totally relate with the challenges of explaining winter weather to my Florida-raised kids! My 12 year old STILL has yet to experience snowfall or build a snowman! Even though we travel north every other Christmas, we inevitably miss the white fluffy snow by days! Instead, our winter months are filled with imagination as we walk in our flip flops through theme parks’ faux snow, then watch the animated fireplace on the TV and snuggle up with a snowman shaped coffee mug. I know I’m not alone in saying that I’m excited to get my hands on a copy of Amy’s book!


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Central Florida photographer Central Florida photographer specializing in children, families, specializing in children, families, maternity, newborn, engagement, maternity, newborn, engagement, and birth photography and birth photography 386.960.3551 • 386.960.3551 •

Sara Kearney Photography

Super Moms

Everyday Real Life Superheroes By: David Ruggieri Florida Technical College President and CEO

For most women, motherhood is a rewarding labor of love. But the joys of being a mom come hand in hand with lots of demands and sometimes, difficulties. Add to that a job outside of the home and full or part-time college enrollment and you’ll get a real life super hero like many of the mothers that fill Florida Technical College’s classrooms. Unlike their fictional counterparts, their days don’t always have a happy ending and they don’t win every battle. But with remarkable strength and perseverance, they are building better lives for them and their children. I see this every day in my role as President and CEO of Florida Technical College, an institution with six campuses throughout the state. Many of our students are women who had children before they expected to and had to push their dreams aside to focus on raising them. But eventually, they realize that they can’t postpone their education indefinitely.


Maggie Roa, 40, is one of these heroes. She became a single mother at 16 and delayed for many years her goal to earn a college degree. Instead, she worked full time to support her son, John Amaya. When he was still young, Roa left her native Colombia and moved to Florida in search of a better future. “I worked sometimes two and three jobs, Monday-Sunday, with no time off,” Roa said. “It wasn’t easy, but I wanted to provide the best for my son and for him to have opportunities I never had.” But soon enough it dawned on Roa that without an education, opportunities to earn a living for them and their families are limited. Florida Technical College offers diploma programs like cosmetology, medical assistant and medical coding technician, as well as Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in business, criminal justice and IT, among others. Class schedules are flexible and include night and online classes, which is helpful for moms and people with busy lives determined to achieve success. But bear in mind that success is a destination, a process. It will elude those looking for instant gratification. I recently had the opportunity to co-write a book titled Soul of Success with bestseller author Jack Canifeld, of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. In it, we stress the importance of identifying which ones of your passions and affinities can help you make a living, then set short and long-term goals and start moving towards those. Roa understood these principles. Applying techniques learned in

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meditation, which she practices on a daily basis, she envisioned herself as a business leader. Working in retail had opened a window into a world of which she wanted to be part in a more impactful way. She knew she could do it now that her son was a successful adult pursuing a career in the U.S. Navy. She wanted to make him proud, but had hesitations about going to college in her late 30s and working full time. “I knew it was silly, but it held me back for a while,” Roa said. “You think you’d feel ridiculous sitting in a classroom with people younger than your own child. You also wonder if juggling work and school when you are no longer a spring chicken can be too much.” In 2014, at age 39, Roa overcame her hesitation and registered at Florida Technical College. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and expects to graduate in 2017.

“We fulfill our responsibilities at home, at work, at church, but often do not fulfill the promises we have made to ourselves,” Roa said. “We don’t make time for the things that fulfill us and bring us pleasure. But when you take time to love yourself, you’re more focused on your goals. You find purpose in life and that shows in everything you are and do.”

David Ruggieri’s tips for juggling home, work and college • Be very organized. Have a daily calendar and use it. Map your days out to avoid scheduling conflicts. • Remember that time doesn’t just happen. You make it. Make time for school and work, but also for your family, your pets, your hobbies and yourself.

“I felt welcomed from day one,” she said. “The student body is very diverse. I have friends that are in their 20s and others in their late 50s. We all help and encourage each other when we feel overwhelmed. Dropping out is not an option.”

• Build a relationship with your professors and instructors. Most of them know firsthand how difficult it is to juggle multiple responsibilities and are willing to work with you. If you need to miss class, email them. If you’re falling behind on classwork, let them know what’s going on. Chances are they’ll do whatever they can to help.

Like many of our students with busy lives, Roa plans her school schedule around her job as a sales person for a high-end cosmetic line. Her bosses have been supportive. Her son John, who is now 24, couldn’t be prouder.

• Find an activity that brings personal joy and fulfillment, and practice it consistently. It will do wonders for your wellbeing. For Roa, this activity is daily meditation. But this could also be practicing an instrument or a sport, joining a book club or any other healthy hobby.

“He even helps me do homework,” she said. “He is my accounting tutor. He tells me he is very proud of me.”

• Know when to take a break. Sometimes too much is too much, and you just need to spend a few more hours in bed or watch a movie, even if that means not cleaning the house or letting someone else pick up a shift for you at work. Do it.

During our conversation, Roa brought up a point I often discuss with students: do not forget to take care of yourself. You can’t be successful in school, at work or in life, unless you’re mentally and physically strong.

For information about Florida Technical College call (844) 402-3337 or access:

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You can tell by the litter of packages on her desk – one elegantly wrapped wood box contains a custom baby blanket, another a set of newborn clothes. There are flowers on the counter with a note reading, “Congratulations!” You get the feeling something exciting has happened. At 28, Black, owner of Inner Beauty Skincare in Lake Mary, was misdiagnosed with premature ovarian failure and told she’d mostly likely never become pregnant, a conclusion that was accepted and mourned until age 33 when Mindy and her husband decided to seek a second opinion. They met with a reproductive endocrinologist specialist, who gave a more hopeful diagnosis: hypothalamic dysfunction.

The Blacks were told after each round of treatment that their chance of conceiving was less than five percent. It took three months of trying naturally, three months of trying with medications and three months of medication, shots and a full IUI procedure, before the couple got some incredible news. Mindy was pregnant. “Receiving a call from the doctor’s office confirming the blood work and hearing, ‘Congratulations, you’re definitely pregnant!’ was indescribable. You’re in such shock because finally, after all the negatives, you get a positive,” Black said.

Due to their particular circumstances, Mindy and her husband Jay went the way of an intrauterine insemination, or IUI. An IUI requires the practitioner to physically place the sperm into an ovulating woman’s uterus, increasing the number of sperm reaching the fallopian tubes and giving a better shot at pregnancy. 18

What isn’t surprising is where Black was when she received the official call: at work. A licensed esthetician, she’s in the office nearly every day of the week, practicing everything from clinical facials and peels to long-term consulting services for small-business owners. She carries a big workload, especially for a new mom, but Black has an unwavering trust in her clients and herself. “The support and confidence my clients have in me is so strong that I’m sure I’ll be able to take a maternity leave and come back part-time and continue sharing my gift,” Black said.

Hypothalamic dysfunction is, as it sounds, an issue with the brain’s hypothalamus, which controls the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is responsible for telling the ovaries to ovulate, so the diagnosis is a dysfunction that can make getting pregnant pretty difficult. However, with the right doctors and medications, it is possible to jump-start ovulation. So once the Blacks had the proper diagnosis, it came down to deciding when they wanted to get pregnant. “Choosing to not have children is one thing, but when your right is taken away from you because of what a diagnosis or doctor says, that’s when it’s disturbing,” Black said. “Definitely get a second opinion. If it’s in your heart and this is what your mission is, that’s motivation to keep going.”

Black said. “It’s easy to feel like you’re broken and alone. It shouldn’t be embarrassing – sharing our stories, symptoms, fears, concerns … that’s how we change the perception and educate our communities. At the end of the day, if I can help one woman through this process, that’s enough to give my own struggle a purpose.”

With their baby girl due in April, everything is changing for the Blacks. On the subject of motherhood, though, Mindy is as sure as ever. “I believe you have to love yourself in order to love others, and I have so much love to give. I’m excited to give my next generation inspiration and motivation to be the best she can be, and to be a part of the legacy she’ll create,” Black said. “It’s fascinating that there are so many variables that have to be in alignment for it to work,” Mindy commented. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Mindy and Jay’s fertility journey was relatively short in comparison to many couples who sometimes spend years trying to conceive. “It’s a serious issue and topic that most people are not even willing to disclose,”

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So yes, Mindy Black is loved: by her husband, by her clients, but most importantly by herself. She has the kind of confidence and kindness that exudes from within – an important quality for someone practicing the art of clear skin. Despite the big responsibility coming in April, it’s easy to see that she was destined for motherhood. She’s just the kind of woman you root for. - by Lexi Merritt


Mindy Black is loved.

When Motherhood Meets Prognosis

what's hiding on your cosmetic shelf? Pregnancy comes with a lot of do’s and don’ts. You know the basics – no alcohol, less caffeine and absolutely no smoking – but have you baby-proofed your cosmetic shelf? The ingredients list on the average beauty product probably looks like gibberish to you, which is why you need to know exactly which products to avoid. Experts agree that these ingredients are NOT safe to use while pregnant.

1. Retinoids Normally, we’re all about retinoids, the powerful substances found in most anti-aging creams and moisturizers, because of how well they reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. They do, however, contain a high dosage of Vitamin A, which some studies have shown can be harmful to an unborn baby. Retinoids come in a variety of names, so check for anything beginning with “retin” – as well as the ingredients differin and tazarotene.

2. Salicylic Acid When you’re checking your beauty stash for ingredients, this is probably the one you’ll run into the most: salicylic acid. Found in everything from major acne treatments to even the most basic of toners, the acid is great for clearing pores – but it’s a big no-no during pregnancy. Since salicylic acid is in the aspirin family, high doses of it can cause pregnancy complications or even birth defects. Look out for products with salicylic acid, beta hydroxy acid or BHA on the label.

3. Phthalates Often found in nail treatments and anti-aging products, phthalates are plasticizers that are commonly used to improve texture and keep product (mainly nail polish) from chipping. Some researchers believe phthalates are responsible for developmental issues, particularly in unborn boys. Check your labels for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP).

4. Formaldehyde Probably the most well-known ingredient of the four, formaldehyde is a controversial ingredient used as a preservative and hardener in a wide variety of cosmetic products – particularly hair color and nail treatments. Already heavily restricted in Japan and Canada, formaldehyde can pose a serious risk to you and your baby during pregnancy. It should be clearly marked on the label of any product you use.

By Mindy Black Licensed Esthetician and CEO of Inner Beauty Skin Care


With any new product, you should always consult with your physician. One of the most important things to keep in mind during this journey is there are so many unknowns, so what worked for your skin before may not work for you now. Even if you don’t physically see or feel changes, your skin will fluctuate constantly during pregnancy. Err on the side of caution – this isn’t a time to be experimenting with new products. Keep up with a routine. Less is best, from ingredients to steps. Focus on hydration (including serums!) and tons of SPF. You’ve got a lot to look forward to. Motherhood comes with concerns, but your skin shouldn’t be one of them. I’m on this journey with you – you’re not alone!

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Does your child struggle with reading or schoolwork? • One out of four children struggle with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems. • It is estimated that over 60% of problem learners have undiagnosed vision problems. • The majority of the vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are very treatable. • Seeing clearly is just one of 17 visual skills critical to academic success.

Do you know the symptoms of vision problems that interfere with reading and learning? Following is a list of some of the more common symptoms: □ □ □ □ □

Doesn’t like to read Skips or rereads lines Prefers to be read to Loss of place when reading Trouble seeing the board

□ □ □ □ □

Headaches Difficulty remembering what has been read Difficulty paying attention, ADD/ADHD Number/letter reversals such as “b” and “d” Homework takes longer than it should

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What your doctor really wants for Christmas

By Dr. Gregory Gordon Pediatric Associates of Orlando

Every year during the holidays my patients shower me with gifts. Homemade cookies, bottles of wine, Christmas ornaments and piles of holiday cards. It is a great perk of being a pediatrician. I love it. But what I’d really like is more online reviews. Online reviews? Really? I know that might sound odd, but let me explain my reasons. Online reviews are a great way for moms to find a physician, but currently online reviews are inadequate for two reasons: 1. There is no check and balance system. Doctors are often legally limited in their ability to publicly disagree with unhappy patients. 2. The limited number of reviews means that extreme opinions carry too much weight. I’m convinced that parents use online reviews to choose their pediatrician. It seems that expectant parents initially ask their family and friends for a few names, and then they google them. The results of these Google searches are paramount. A doctor’s medical training and experience seem secondary to reviews written by anonymous persons.

helpful, the doctor can’t reply that the patient refused to take the prescribed medication. This information is legally protected – as it should be. Medical care is just different. In medicine, the patient isn’t always right. Over the years, I’ve tangled with parents who inappropriately wanted antibiotics called into other states, narcotic pain killers for minor illness and forged notes for missed school. Saying “yes” in these situations would have actually hurt my patient, but it didn’t make their parents happy. Our job is to take care of the patient, and sometimes that doesn’t mean “pleasing” the patient. Admittedly, I do read reviews when purchasing stuff online. Through these purchases I’ve learned a little about reviews. First, a good four-star review will provide more insight than a perfect five star one. Three- or four-star reviews usually acknowledge a both product’s strengths and its weakness. Secondly, you can pretty much trust the average review when there are more than 100 reviews.

Unfortunately, most doctors have a single-digit number of reviews. These limited numbers make each review critical to their “online reputation.” And these reviews could have just as easily been filled out by the doctor’s office manager as by a fired employee. Online reviews of doctors seem to be limited to two distinct types of people: 1. Those who are extremely pleased with your services 2. Those who are extremely displeased with your services There are way too few four-star reviews and not enough overall reviews to rely on averages. You simply can’t judge a doctor based on three or four reviews. Crazy people can make all sorts of allegations and we doctors are unable to defend our reputations. A doctor’s only hope is that a flood of honest, positive reviews will drown out potentially baseless, negative reviews. So this Christmas, skip the cookies and fill out an online review for your doctor.

I know that all businesses and products are susceptible to negative online reviews, but we doctors are particularly vulnerable. You see, we often legally cannot refute these online allegations. If someone says the restaurant “refused to serve them” a restaurant could respond that “the patron did not come wearing a shirt.” This reply allows reader to at least hear the restaurant’s side. However, if a patient complains that their treatment was not

Dr. Gordon is the proud father of nine children. He is the Vice President of “The Gift of Swimming” (a local charity that provides swim lessons to Orlando’s needy children). In early 2010 Dr. Gordon started to share his pediatric and parenting experience.


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It’s a 12-story

thank-you to women,

because you make life


unique medical needs. That’s why we’re creating a new hospital just for you, bringing together all of Florida Hospital Orlando’s women-centric services in one beautiful setting. Our new Florida Hospital for Women is a thank-you to those of you who work so hard to keep everyone else going. Because women are one of the reasons



We know women are special. You have your own

The Moms Magazine, Holiday 2015  

Featuring budget-friendly holiday decor, cosmetic concerns during pregnancy, a farro salad recipe to die for, and everyday real-life superhe...

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