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Local Gift Guide


Season's Greetings

A Hines Community




Dear Reader, I have always admired people who do their gift shopping way in advance of the holiday season and then have the chance to enjoy the festivities without the stress (or at least less stress). Alas, I am not one of them. You will find me agonizing over gift ideas, scanning Pinterest and asking friends for their novel ideas. In the end, I usually pull it all together but it always helps to have some idea lists. This month we have our annual gift guide with recommendations from local shops to help you finish up your gifting so you can focus on fun. Our beautiful cover features Markland, a new community in northern St. Johns. Its Manor house is decorated with a taste and sophistication that brings to the imagination another time and place. You may learn more about it in this issue. As always, please enjoy St. Johns Magazine. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Sincerely,

Debbie Gaylord Publisher

Established November 2012

Celebrating 4 Years 4

Connecting the Growing Communities of Northern St. Johns

December 2016

Holiday Issue PUBLISHER Debbie Gaylord EDITOR Darren Rosenbaum CONTACT 904-687-8538 All rights reserved Š2012-2016 St. Johns Magazine LLC. Printed by The Hartley Press Published monthly and distributed by US Postal Service. In print and on the web and distributed free of charge to consumers. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lori Allen Jennifer Yarbrough Crystal Spencer


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Centerpiece of 345-Home Community

The Markland Manor House adds to the rich heritage of the area. The classic, architecture combined with impeccable interior detailing and extensive landscaping, made a memorable impression on all who attended. Paul Basham, who led the design effort noted, “Attention to detail was critical in the design of the Manor House–given our goal to authentically reflect the rich tradition of 19th-century Greek-Revival manor homes.” The Markland Manor house is the amenity centerpiece of the community and its architecture is inspired by the historic grand homes of nearby St. Augustine. The tree-lined walkway leading from the community gatehouse to the Manor House provides a dramatic and formal entrance that complements and frames the building. The first floor of the Manor House is warm and expansive with a gathering room, card room, several large televisions, and a coffee bar for residents to enjoy daily. The second floor is dedicated to residents’ health and wellness with an impressive array of Life Fitness strength and aerobic equipment, free weights and a yoga/spin studio equipped with an innovative “on-demand” fitness class system. The elevated location of the fitness room provides inspiring views of the pool grounds and expansive central lakes. The exclusive, resort pool adjacent to the Manor House has a zero-entry area, lap lanes and fountain jets, and is framed by private cabanas, shaded pergolas and lounge areas on all sides. Beyond the pool, and beside the 30-acre lake network, is a fire pit and event lawn where residents


and friends can gather to enjoy community concerts and share stories. Outside of the Manor House and pool, residents and guests can play tennis by the lake on the two hard surface tennis courts which have been adapted for pickle ball use as well. Numerous neighborhood parks are purposefully spaced throughout the neighborhood so that young children can play “sandlot” games of soccer and football within earshot of home. The central playground features a Kompan “Explorer Dome” designed to inspire imaginative and collaborative play and the grand lawn for any variety of field sports. All of the amenities within Markland, as well as nearby shops, are connected by a series of linear parks and sidewalks that promote residents to walk and bike in their travels or they can use a golf cart on the roads within Markland. Those in attendance at the grand opening took note of the quality and early delivery of amenities. Lisa Vernon of Keller Williams noted, “I saw the plans for Markland when I visited Palencia a while ago, but they did not do it justice. To see it all built is just magnificent.” While Debbie Pappas of All County added, “Having the main amenity center available to future residents as their homes are being built makes it easier for realtors to convince potential buyers to move into the community.” Hines took an unusual approach in the planning and development of Markland and rezoned the property from over 800 homes down to only 345 homes.

Walter O’Shea, managing director of Hines explained, “By limiting the number of homes, we have been able to create a unique offering in St. Johns County. Residents will enjoy more access to the amenities in Markland than in much larger planned communities - residents will have more use of the pool, fitness equipment and the tennis courts as there are less people competing for these facilities. In addition, the reduction in density has allowed us to offer larger lots to homebuyers. The added lot depth and width will allow builders to offer homeowners the ability to have a home, a pool and still have a backyard for the children to play. Finally, we hope that Markland responds to families, couples and individuals who want an amenityrich lifestyle but want to do so in a setting where you see more familiar faces and get to know your neighbors.” Markland is centrally located on International Golf Parkway just east of I-95 with model homes open daily. Our six outstanding home builders offer a diverse mix of house plans with pricing that ranges from $300,000 to over $700,000. Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with locations in 192 cities in 20 countries. feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit for more information.



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Calendar December 2 – 4, Greek Festival Greek Entertainment, food, dancing & games and vendors! Friday 3-9, Saturday 11-9, Sunday 11-5 St. Augustine Marketplace 2495 S. R. 207, St. Augustine 32086 904-479-6729 Nov. 28 – Jan 1, 2017 TPC Sawgrass Tour of Trees Spectacular decorations, free & open to the public! 9AM – 5 PM 110 Championship Way Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 904-543-5105 December 3 Taste of Chocolate Holiday Tour, Admission: $59, reservations required. When: From 1 to 3 p.m.. The tour departs from Tour St. Augustine Inc., located at 4 Granada Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Phone: 904-835-0087 Dec 1 - Dec 21 Dressing of the Palms in Vilano BeachDressing of the Palms along the Vilano Beach features palm trees decorated in holiday finery. Dec. 8 Nutcracker Tea, The St. Augustine Ballet presents a partial production of the magical Nutcracker. Performances take place during two seatings, at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Palencia Club, 600 Palencia Club Drive, from U.S.


1 North. Tickets are $25 per person and includes lite bites, beverages and Nutcracker ballet dance performances. Call 904-824-1746 or go to Dec. 8: Grammy nominated for Best Blues Album, Shemekia Copeland performs at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, in Ponte Vedra Beach. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24 and $29. Call 904-209-0399 or go to Dec. 8 Sculpture Garden concert, picnic in the park and enjoy live music and the from 4 to 6 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month in the St. Augustine Sculpture Garden, 2300 A1A South, adjacent to the St. Augustine Beach Police Station. Bring picnics, blankets or chairs for seating. Admission is free. Go to or call 904-824-4493. Dec. 9-11 Pioneer Barn Holiday Show Each evening, The Pioneer Barn will host an entertaining holiday show filled with music, dancing and fine cuisine. Beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner will be served at 7 p.m., and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. Call for reservations and ticket prices. The Pioneer Barn is at 259 San Marco Ave., at Fort Menendez. Call 904-824-8874 or go to

December 2016

Dec. 9-10 Charlie Brown Christmas with David Benoit. A part of “A December to Remember,” the St. Augustine Amphitheatre will host “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with David Benoit at 7 p.m. both nights. The free performance is sponsored by the Community First Credit Union. Call 904-471-1965 or go to Dec. 13 Night in Bethlehem. The holiday season comes alive from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. during“A Night in Bethlehem” at Memorial Lutheran Church, 3375 U.S. 1 South. The event features the ancient city of Bethlehem where visitors can explore a marketplace, learn to bake bread, make crafts, visit a stable with real animals, and chat with Joseph and Mary as they hold their newborn baby. Throughout the evening, students will be singing some of their favorite Christmas songs Call 904-797-8777 or go to LutheranChapelSchool. com. Dec. 13-14 A Celtic Christmas Celebration The St. Augustine Community Chorus and the St. Augustine Children’s Chorus present A Celtic Christmas Celebration, including selection from Handel’s Messiah. Show times are 7:45 p.m. Dec. 13; and 1:45 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Cathedral Basilica, 38 Cathedral Place. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door for adults; and $5 for children and students. Go to

Dec. 14 Regatta of Lights, The annual holiday Gates parade of motorized vessels — sailboats, trawlers, shrimp boats and other vessels with lighted displays will begin at 6 p.m. on the Matanzas Bay, between the Bridge of Lions and the Castillo de San Marcos. Awards will be given for the best theme, most colorful, best in class and best overall. The Regatta of Lights is hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club. Call 904-824-9725 or go to sayc2000. com. Dec. 14, 15th Annual Breakfast with Santa Santa will be at the Ponce de Leon Mall for the annual Breakfast With Santa, which benefits the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. and includes breakfast (three pancakes; two sausages; milk, juice and coffee) and photo opportunities to capture moments with Santa. Parents & caregivers can bring cameras. Donation $5 per person, adults and children; free for under age two. Reservations must be made by Dec. 12 by calling 904-501-4684. Friday, December 2 Castillo by Candlelight: Enemy at the This special candlelight tour at the Castillo de San Marcos re-enacts the preparation for Oglethorpe’s 1740 Siege 6:45 – 8 PM at Castillo de San Marcos. Tickets $8 for 16 and up, $4 per child 5-15 and 5 and under, free. 11 South Castillo Drive, St Augustine, Fl 32084 Nov 19- Jan. 31 Saint Augustine Night of Lights Visit the Oldest City in America as it lights up for Christmas! No admission cost

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Calendar Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, EMMA Holiday Pops Concert 2016 Annual performance is seasonal music both classical and popular has become a holiday tradition to many in St Augustine! Favorite Christmas selections. 7:30 PM Lewis Auditorium is located at 14 Granada Street in St. Augustine. Tickets are $40, and can be purchased online The EMMA Concert Series Pops Concert is a popular annual tradition in St. Augustine.

Dec. 21: Dinner & Movie: “It’s A Wonderful Life” As part of “A December to Remember,” the Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre will host dinner and a 7 p.m. showing of the holiday classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Admission is free; this event is sponsored by Community First Credit Union. Call 904-471-1965 or go to www.staugamphitheatre. com.

Saturday, December 17 Las Posadas del Viejo San Agustín Saturday, 7 to 9 p.m. This torch-lit procession and heritage event is based on a 400-year-old Spanish colonial Christmas tradition, re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search for lodgings (Spanish: “posadas”) in Bethlehem on the first Christmas Eve. Florida Living History, Inc.’s volunteers will present this holiday heritage Event, set in the year 1580, along St. George Street. (877) 352-4478

Thursday, December 22, 2016 It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at 8 p.m. Ponte Vedra Concert Hall 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedre Beach, FL 32082 (904) 209-0367. Admission: $15.00 for General Reserved Seating.

Dec. 21: Navidad en el Viejo San Agustín — Christmas in Old St. Augustine. This annual Heritage Event features the Christmas music and customs of 16th century St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. This holiday celebration takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. at Mission Nombre de Dios, where the Great Cross stands, off San Marco Avenue in uptown St. Augustine. Free admission and parking. Call 1-877-352-4478 or go to


December 28 Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker in Jacksonville Buy tickets in advance online 7:00 PM . Florida Theater, 128 E Forsyth St, Unit 300, Jax, Fl 32202 904-355-2787 Dec. 28-29: Old Town Arts & Crafts Show Art and fine craft show features artists and craftsmen from St. Augustine and around the country — from exquisite jewelry to funky and functional pottery, abstract sculpture to glistening glass, handwoven fashions to photography, paintings to won-

December 2016 derful wood carvings – and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive. Admission is free. Call 904-794-0084 or go to Dec. 30: Boat Parade! St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida, Vibrant Jacksonville Light Boat Parade & Fireworks Spectacular. This event wows with free admission, beautiful lights and explosive fireworks. Boats of all shapes and sizes are decked out to enchant and awe guests. A community treasure, this annual celebration offers something for guests of all ages. 7 p.m. Friday, in the St. Johns River downtown. Dec.. 31, 2016: Beach Blast Off from 4- 10 PM Beach Blast Off 2016-17 at St. Augustine Beach Pier Park is a New Year's Eve extravaganza. With live music, delicious food and drinks, a kids' zone, and a fireworks show, this event is fun for the whole family. FREE entrance. Tickets available for Kids' Zone activities and food and drink purchases. December 31 4 to 10 p.m. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m., St. Augustine Beach Pier Park is located at 350 A1A Beach Blvd. (904) 669-5670.



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The Cookie Swap & Some of my favorite Cookie Swap Recipes! by Jennifer Yarbrough Tis’ the Seaon for parties galore! There are cocktail parties and sit-down dinners, potlucks and breakroom treats, but my favorite is the Cookie Swap! The Cookie Swap has become a highly anticipated event among my friends and family, every year a week or so before Christmas we gather to enjoy each others’ homemade creations and to swap cookies! Everyone goes home with a variety of goodies to share at their Holiday parties and dinner.

What is a Cookie Swap and how does it work?

A cookie swap is a party where guests bring a specified amount of one type of cookie that they bake themselves. The amount depends on how many you want your guests to take home. Some Cookie Swaps send each guest home with a dozen of each cookies and suggest you invite ten guests, so your guests would need to bring 11 dozen cookies, one dozen for each guest and one for tasting and sharing at the party. I don’t require my guests to bring that many cookies, usually only 3-4 dozen. One dozen for sharing at the party (I limit my party to 12 guests or less), and the rest for taking home.

Who do you invite?


I invite friends and family that love to bake. Since this party requires bringing homemade goodies, I don’t want to put pressure on anyone who might not enjoy baking.

What do eat and drink at the party? Just cookies?

To balance all of the sugar at the party, I serve a meat and cheese tray and veggie platter. Any nibbly, appetizers are good, too! For drinks, I set out a Coffee and Hot Chocolate station with a few flavored coffee creamers, marshmallows and candy canes for stirring.

How do you box up the Cookies that your guests will take home?

Some hosts box up the treats themselves while guests are mingling, but I take a relaxed approach. I set out Christmas-themed Shirt boxes pre-lined with tissue paper that guests grab and fill up with treats before they go.

What kinds of cookies should guests bring?

Any kinds you want! I let guests choose what they will bake and bring, but you can pick a theme if you like. Don’t limit yourself or your guests to cookies, though! Bourbon and Rum balls are delicious, so are Blondies and other Cookie “Bars!”

Ginger-White Chocolate Cookies Ingredients: 2 cu sugar (for recipe and then ½ to 1cu for finishing step) 1 ½ cup oil 2 eggs ½ cu molasses 4 cu flour 4 tsp baking soda 1 tbsp ginger 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp salt 2 bags white chocolate chips Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Combine sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time. (I do this with an electric mixer) 3. Stir in molasses. (It flows out of the measuring cup better if you use the same one you measured the oil with) 4. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to creamed mix—stir well. (I use a wooden spoon and then my clean hands for this step) 5. Shape into ¾” balls, roll in sugar, bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 9-15 minutes. (Since the temp is high and my oven cooks quickly, mine are usually finished in 9 minutes.) 6. Once cookies are cooled, place on wax paper and drizzle with melted white chocolate. (I like to spread the melted white chocolate on half of the cookie—see pic—it looks similar to a “Black and White Cookie,” when finished.

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Don’t limit yourself to cookies! Cookie Bars and fudge are both great for Cookie Swaps! Since fudge is generally cut into smaller portions than cookies, I make about three times as much so guests can take home more. Make your favorite fudge recipe (I like the recipe on the Nestle Tollhouse Morsels package) then sprinkle with Datil Pepper Salt. You can find Datil Pepper salt at shops in St. Augustine that sell Datil Pepper products. This fudge is the ultimate in sweet and savory with a little spice from St. Augustine’s most popular pepper. White Chocolate Bark Bark is a perfect item to serve for a sweet nibble at Holiday parties and Cookie Swaps and it couldn’t be easier to make. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or heat in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time. Once chocolate is melted smooth, spread out on a cookie sheet

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and top with items that you like. Two favorites of my parties and swaps are Dried Fruit and Nut Bark and Peppermint Bark. For dried fruit and nut, I chop pistachios, dried apricots and dried cranberries and sprinkle over the melted chocolate. For Peppermint Bark, I sprinkle the warm chocolate with a half a bag of crushed mints. Whichever toppings you choose, when you top it, place in refrigerator to cool for several hours. When Bark is cooled and hardened break into pieces and place on serving tray.

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Design Trend Watch:

Color Color Color The second in our series of the home design trends: bold, beautiful color. The trend is gaining momentum and will likely continue throughout 2017. There are two directions for this home trend. The first is use of dark, saturated colors on walls and furnishings, such as matte black, dark navy and purple. Pick up any design or home store magazine to get a glimpse of this trend. It offers a very different look in contrast to the current trend of using whites and grays. In sun-drenched, coastal Florida this look may be tough to pull off, but in the right house or room this look could be stunning. The other direction of this trend is using a backdrop of neutral colors with pops of rich, bold colors as accents. This concept of decorating – neutrals with pop color – isn’t really new. What is new are the colors being used. Pink (fuchsia), navy, teal, deep coral and dark emerald green are the top five up and coming trend colors. Jewel tones have returned with a fresh, updated twist. A recent family room project featured here provides a wonderful example of how to blend and balance neutrals with a bold pop color.

by Crystal Spencer, Room by Room Interiors

and mix rustic with glam, shiny with matte, traditional with contemporary, and formal with casual. Just remember to use an element at least three times and spread them throughout the room. Equipped with these guidelines, be courageous and decorate with your favorite bold color. It is the perfect time of year to explore a new trend. The added bonus: decorating the Christmas tree with colors to match! Have a wonderful, color-filled holiday. Merry Christmas!

Reimagine • Redecorate • Refresh

Get the Look

• Select your primary pop color to set the direction, but build from a neutral base first and foremost. Select neutral colors for the main furniture. For upholstery use a combination of leather and fabrics with different textures and/or trim to keep it interesting. • Choose a neutral paint color that is lighter or darker than your furniture that compliments but doesn’t compete with your pop color. • Add in the pop color sparingly. Choose one item that provides a big chunk of color, like an area rug. Then use smaller doses of color in accents and accessories. Spread the color throughout the room for balance. A little color goes a long way; no need to overdo it. This is the key to keeping the overall look sophisticated. • Mix in secondary colors and/or mixed metals. Opposites attract so go ahead


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The Perfect Bite

Moon Dog Pie House By Lori Allen A Local Foodie

So you know when your kids tell you that they want Pizza for dinner and you groan and think not again! Well there is one place right here at Bartram Oaks Walk called Moon Dog Pie house and let me tell you..this is not your average pizza joint! First of all have you ever tried their BRUCHETTA-EXTREME....MOON DOG STYLE -It comes out on this plate that looks so pretty you don't want to eat it! But once you smother a piece of their lightly toasted garlic bread slices with it you can't stop! This stuff is made with their "House Ricotta" which is so creamy you swear they must have put it in a blender because it's almost like you are eating whipped cream! Then it is topped with diced roma tomatoes, fresh chopped basil, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil and drizzled with balsamic glaze which makes it taste so light and fresh! Another great app is their Cosmic Street corn- Which is whole ears of corn roasted then they put some kind of butter sauce on it and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. The roasting gives it a tougher quality which is good because it soaks up all the goodness you get in every bite. It is a little price (4 buck an ear) but it is something different to try if you are looking for something a little less Italian that nite. I have heard that people rave over their wings(half price Mondays).....for me that was not a favorite but if you like really saucy wings( I prefer to call it glompy) then order the Chipotle Ranch ones.. There's not much heat but there's TONs of sauce and flavor! Another non pizza item that is worth a try but it is not for the light eater is their APOLLO'S GYRO- this thing is Ginormous! Being from theNorth we like to call it a Jiro(with a J) but however you want to pronounce it you won't be disappointed.loaded with really good seasoned meat, lettuce, tomato, onion and Greek yogurt sauce its a 2 hander for sure! There is something to be said about their sauces...most are homemade so of course I had to try their alfredo sauce but if I ate a pasta dish I was afraid I wouldn't get to try their famous pizza so I asked them for a side to dip my pizza crust in. Boy oh boy was that a good good and Ididn't have to miss out! This stuff is made with 40% heavy cream, fresh garlic, butter and some kind of 3 secret cheese blend...when you dip in your crust and lift it out of the cup the cheese just follows you up to your mouth..YUM! So lastly the pizza....the dough is homemade (of course) light and crispy and then the list of choices are crazy. I tried 3 (with the help of my friends) HOLY MAC N CHEESE, BAT MAN- is just what it sounds like , their rich creamy mac n cheese on top of a pizza. The cheese from the mac n cheese oozes out all over the pizza dough along with a little extra then they add bacon- real- not bits, pop it into the oven so that the cheese crisps up and what comes out is a cheesy, gooey somehow crispy wonderful


pizza. SHROOM MY SHROOMis a much lighter pizza. There is actually no real sauce on it, instead it has olive oil, garlic, rosemary, sliced sausage and of course mushrooms! They then cover that with Fontina, Mozzarella and Gouda cheese and top it off with arugula and balsamic glaze for the veggies. It's a great alternative to a sort of veggie pizza minus the sausage...I'm sure you can ask for it without. And last but not least GOAT, WITH FULL MOON PRESENTATION- this is a pesto base (the green stuff made with basil, pine nuts, garlic and a few other ingredients) has that Prosciutto (spicy ham) on it along with goat cheese that they melt then pop in the oven to crisp up and throw on the top tomatoes, spinach more basil, olive oil and balsamic. Such a great combination of flavors kinda like a fancy grilled cheese on pizza dough with lots of fresh greens added. It surprised me when it came out loaded with fresh spinach on the top but after the first bite I was sold! And later for left overs the spinach melts and is just as good the second time! Enjoy!

What You Need to Know Location 115 Bartram Oaks Walk #105, St Johns, FL 32259 Phone Number: (904) 287-3633 ✓Kid Friendly ✓Great Music ✓Fun Atmosphere ✓Awesome Food Website

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Minorcan Mama is Modern Mama & St. Augustine Minorcan imparting a love of history, culture, and nature on her two little ones. If you have a question for Minorcan Mama please send her an email at

Curious & Hungry

Count Your Blessings

Dear Minorcan Mama, I am curious, since you are a St. Augustine Minorcan, do you serve any Minorcan dishes for Christmas?

Dear Minorcan Mama,

Merry Christmas, Curious and Hungry Dear Curious and Hungry, St. Augustine Minorcans are known for our rice dish called perlo and our Minorcan Clam Chowder, and while I can cook those up with the best of ‘em, I don’t usually make them for Christmas. The sweet-spicy, St. Augustine pepper, the Datil, found in both of those dishes can be found in other dishes on my table, though. I like to serve Datil Pepper jelly over cream cheese with crackers as an appetizer for my guests. Datil Pepper Jelly can be found in shops in St. Augustine. My favorite is made by the “Minorcan Datil Pepper Company,” and can be ordered from their website. Another way that I add a Minorcan flair is with Datil Pepper Deviled Eggs. I mix the boiled egg yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, minced onion, and 4-5 minced Datil Peppers (minus seeds), salt and pepper. I then place the Datil mixture into the sliced egg whites using a pastry or sandwich bag. I sprinkle with paprika and they are ready to be devoured. If you don’t have fresh Datil Peppers, you can use a few from a Datil Vinegar jar, which can be purchased in St. Augustine. Be sure to wash the peppers off before using. When using Datil Peppers, it is important to wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly. A recipe I am working on this year is Datil Pepper cornbread. Stop by my Facebook Front Porch, check out the progress, offer suggestions, and snag the recipe! Hope your Christmas is finer than a frog’s hair! Minorcan Mama


My family is so blessed—my kids have so many toys and electronics. My parents and in-laws tend to go overboard with gifts for the kids. I am afraid that this is teaching my kids the wrong message about the Season. How do I ask them to limit the gifts they will give my kids during the Holidays? Sincerely, What Do I Say? Dear WDIS?, I understand where you are coming from, we want our children to appreciate the Holidays for all that they are—family, friends, tradition, and not turn into greedy, little gift monsters. The end of November and beginning of December is the perfect time to have your children sort through their toys and electronics and set aside items to donate to local charities. Talk to your children about kids that are less fortunate and explain to them that they may be helping them have a Happy Holiday. Take your kids with you when you donate your items, getting them involved helps them see the bigger picture. Many businesses collect new toys for children, if you are able, have your child choose and purchase one of these toys. Also, include your kids in charitable activities like serving at soup kitchens or putting together food baskets. Make these items routine and they will become beautiful family traditions that drive home the message of the Holidays and make the focus less about getting gifts and “me, me, me” and more about giving to others. Now, to your question, how do you ask family to limit gifts. Do not bring this up, but address it when they ask what your children would like to receive. When they do ask, be honest with your feelings, but gracious in the way you word them. I love the idea floating around the internet about giving children 3 gifts, because the Magi gave Jesus 3 gifts. Modern parents that do this have suggested giving “something you want, something you need, and something to read.” You could even use this suggestion with your parents and in-laws. If your family does end up getting more than what you ask for, think about the oft-needed parenting mantra “pick your battles.” Don’t mar the celebrations by pouting about this, and for goodness sake, don’t say anything. Try and enjoy this special moment and special day with your family and count your blessings that you have people that generously love your children. Happy Holiday, Minorcan Mama

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A Message From The Vet

With Dr. Kathleen Deckard, DVM Pets R Family Veterinary Hospital

Holiday Travel Tips for Your Pet

Taking a trip with your pet this holiday season? While ensuring that pet-friendly travel plans go smoothly can take a bit of extra effort, many of us can't imagine celebrating the holidays without our furry friends. Here are some tips to help you and your pets have a safe and enjoyable journey. 1. Be prepared Make sure your pet is in good enough shape to travel by making an appointment with your vet. Let them know how you'll be traveling and what your destination will be. Be sure to talk about specific concerns such as motion sickness or anxiety. Contact the airline before your vet visit to get all the necessary requirements including the size crate allowed in the cabin. Your veterinarian can provide you with all of the necessary paperwork needed for travel. 2. Driving? Get the right gear! Restraining your pet while you drive is the right thing for your safety and your pet's. Select a good harness that is made for car travel and be sure that you pick the appropriate size and follow all instructions. You can also keep your pet in a crate that is secured to the vehicle. They also make car seats for smaller pets that allow them to see outside, which can make travel easier. Also, don’t forget to have a water bowl and snacks handy for along the way. 3. Make sure that your pet is welcome. You'll want to make sure that wherever you're staying is pet-friendly and pet-safe. If

you will be staying with friends or family, be certain everyone in the home will be comfortable with your pets. Be mindful that if children will be there, always supervise their interaction. If you're going to a pet-free home, talk to the homeowners to ensure your pet won't run into any hidden household dangers. 4. Know your closest veterinarian. Research nearby veterinary hospitals located at your destination and along your route of travel if travelling by car. On top of all that, it's important to make sure your pet's tag and microchip information are up-to-date with your cell phone number and you have a copy of your records with you. 5. Bring everything you're going to need. A new litter or a different food might not seem like a big deal to you, but for a pet in a new place, it could be a disaster. Changing an animal's food or treats suddenly can lead to GI issues which is no fun while you’re away. Be sure and bring familiar toys and bedding which will help your pet to feel more comfortable and at home. Also bring enough prescription medication to last you throughout your trip and then some just in case your stay is delayed for any reason. All of these things will ensure a happy, safe trip for you and your pet. Happy holidays everyone! Dr. Kathleen Deckard is the owner of Pets R Family Veterinary Hospital, 3035 County Road 210 West;

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St johns mag december 2016  
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