Page 1








happy family • happy communityTM DEC/JAN 2014 • Volume 5 • Issue 6








pg. 20











Richard E Donatelli, DMD MS

PUBLISHER Nicole Irving ART DIRECTOR Allison Raber COPY EDITOR Dana Kamp SALES ASSOCIATES Mark Chestnut, April Tisher EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Sayeh Farah CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Selena Garrison, Kelly Goede, Tara Griffin, Dana Kamp, Helen Kornblum, Allison McAlhany, ARNP, Danielle Michels, Haley Ponnock CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Shandon Smith with Lifeprints Photography, Patricia Bishop Photography INTERNS Meg Konigsburg, Haley Ponnock

Mission Statement Giggle Magazine is a modern and refreshing magazine for the families and communities of Alachua County, Florida. With our sole purpose of keeping families and communities connected, Giggle Magazine will keep readers intrigued, informed and inspired, with up to date information and heartwarming stories. Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Irving Publications, LLC is not responsible for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Nothing that appears in Giggle Magazine may be reproduced in any way, without written permission. Opinions expressed by Giggle Magazine writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s opinion. Giggle Magazine will consider all never before published outside editorial submissions. Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/ or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates.

irvingpublications MAILING ADDRESS


5745 SW 75th Street 101 SW 140th Terrace Unit 286 Suite C Gainesville, FL 32608 Jonesville, FL 32669 p. 352.505.5821 f. 352.240.6499 Giggle Magazine is a registered trademark property of Irving Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Giggle Magazine is published by Irving Publications, LLC. © 2013




Dec * Jan 2014 happy family • happy community



pg. 23

Model photo by Lifeprints Photography. Snowglobe photo by Patricia Bishop Photography.

30 When the Holidays Take Over 33 Snow Cute Winter Crafts 37 Ultimate Gift Guide

59 Big Weight Loss Challenge #4



conception to college 70 EXPECTING

10 Proactive Steps to Decrease the Rate of Birth Defects


The Truth About Teething


Scared of Santa?


Saying Thank You One Letter At a Time


Let it snow!

Choosing the Right Middle School


Activities to Do As a Family GIGGLEMAG.COM | DEC/JAN



from the publisher “I forsee an amazing year...”



Like Us on



have to say, this was a great year. But also a year of goodbyes, lots of changes and new beginnings for me. As I look back I am reminded of how very lucky I am.

Go to gigglemagazine and like our page to talk to us and other parents, seeTweets! behind the scenes of photo shoots and become eligible for giveaways!


And now, as the holiday season is upon me, and the mad dash to shop, bake, wrap gifts, take holiday photos, put said holiday photos on cards and get them in the mail, decorate the tree and plan our annual holiday trip, it is even more important for me to stop and soak it all in. My babies are not babies anymore…but young men who will one day have families and plans of their own. (of course, I will be following them wherever they go… nothing wrong with that right? ) I don’t want to miss it…I can’t miss it. So, as 2014 nears, which I foresee to be an AMAZING year, I challenge you all to do something of meaning each day for the greater good of you and your family. Schedule it if you have to, but live each day to the fullest and enjoy this time with those around you. This issue is all about celebrating the holidays, the New Year and you. I wish you a holiday season full of love and laughter!





In regards to our article on Fridge Foods in the Oct/Nov issue, please note that the safety of your family is our utmost priority. If you have any questions about any of your food storage or refrigeration practices, please contact your health professional prior to changing your food habits.

THE BEST THINGS ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS … Making Struffoli with my father and boys. His recipe is showcased on page 26. Taking our annual

holiday trip

up north to see my family!

Watching Shane, along with my dad and brother tackle the brisk winter air to take the boys out and look for Santa and sprinkle reindeer food on the lawn.

Meet our Cover Cutie!

Jeans, boots, the smell of wrapping paper and tape, a REAL fire with REAL wood, my dad’s cooking, motorcycle rides with my brother in 30 degree weather, (yes, that really happens) and making new memories!

Age: 11 (12 in January!)


Favorite movie: Twilight (the first one) Favorite book: "Callie for President" by Robin Wasserman Favorite sport: Is trampoline jumping a sport? Favorite things: Loves fx makeup and makeup tutorials, DIY projects and pranking people!

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved. Cover photos by Lifeprints Photography.

Follow us @GiggleMagazine on INSTAGRAM! Publisher

Dec * Jan 2014 happy family • happy community




forks & spoons ON THE TABLE!

20 IN THE FRIDGE Setting A Proper Table


Indoor Activities for Cold Winter Days

10 THE PARENT LIFE Parenting Resolutions for 2014 13 JUST THE TWO OF US

Make It A Couple's Night 14 2 CENTS


Financial Goals for the New Year


The Scarborough Family

happy home 55 MAKE IT. FIX IT. CLEAN IT.

New Year's Cleanse: Nicole-Style 56 ORGANIZED CHAOS

Your Tipping Point 65 OUR SPACE

The Catalanottes' Holiday Mantle

health 48 GET HEALTHY



Cool Peppermint Products







Incorporating Movement Throughout the Day 9

happy family • happy communityTM DEC/JAN 2014 • Volume 5 • Issue 6


Teacher Gift Ideas That Are Sure To Please

Wash Those Hands! 50 GET PRETTY




Gainesville Homeschool Cooperative






SET A TABLE WRONG AGAIN! pg. 20 DEC/JAN 2014 • Volume 5 • Issue 6













Photo by Lifeprints Photography






Indoor Energy-Burning Activities for Cold Winter Days BY DANA KAMP

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

While it’s unlikely we’ll have any snow days in Alachua County this winter, there will be plenty of days we may not feel like taking our little ones outside to battle the cold temperatures and biting wind. But lounging around inside isn’t good for the kiddos’ bodies or Mama’s sanity. Our Energy-Burning Indoor Activities are the Lifesavers you’ll need to keep everyone happy (and warm) on the frostiest days of the year.

HAVE A SCAVENGER HUNT Give everyone a list of items to find and collect throughout the house, with prizes awarded for each item or to the person who is first to find everything on the list. Use photos or drawings for those too young to read so everyone can be in on the fun. Make sure the items are all over the house so they have to go up and down those stairs a few times.

ready. Produce it together or give everyone a job; painting a backdrop, choosing the fun outfits or choreographing a killer dance routine. What a great family memento!

HAVE A DRESS-UP PARADE Bring out those Halloween costumes and dance recital tutus (or even some of Mom's and Dad’s clothing) and let them have fun dressing up. They can choose a parade theme and make colorful banners, floats for their dolls and stuffed animals to ride on, and even a music playlist for the parade route around the house.

MAKE TUB TIME = FUN TIME Let them play in the tub for as long as they want, in the middle of the day, instead of rushing through it at bedtime. Throw in some cups, toys and bubbles and let their imaginations take over.

CREATE A MUSIC VIDEO Let your children choose their favorite song(s) and get that camera (or smartphone)

ENGAGE IN FUN EXERCISE DVDS Pop in a kids’ yoga DVD or one of Jack Hartmann’s educational exercise DVDs and burn some energy with kid-friendly poses, moves and music.

BUILD A FORT Go ahead! Take the cushions off the couch, bring the dining room chairs into the living room and grab a few sheets from the linen closet. Let them build the best fort on the block! My guess is they’ll play in it, and

add to it, all day (and you know you’ll crawl in there to check it out too)! PLAY INDOOR SPORTS ON THE XBOX OR WII Push the coffee table out of the way and put those holiday gifts to good use. The whole family can play together and you never know…you might just find you have the next Big Papi right in your own house! REARRANGE/DECORATE/ ORGANIZE Use this time to make those changes you’ve wanted in the playroom or children’s bedrooms. Let them have a say in how their trophies and artwork are displayed, where their desks are set up or what color paint is on the walls. Get everyone involved in this fun “work day” and the end result will be a fresh new space with proud (and tired) kiddos! 






What Are Your Parenting Resolutions for 2014? I resolve to be a

fun more


--yelling less and spending more one-onone time with each of my children. –Kelly Goede, mother of four

Even within the same family, children can develop different personalities. I would like to



each of my children's personalities, have consistent patience with each, and still have my sanity intact. -Lisa Katz, mother of two

To stop listening to what the books say I should be doing, and

start tuning in to what my son needs. -Akela Collins, mother of one

Less video games/tv,

more park time and adventures! Nothing beats a trek in the woods and climbing trees like I did when I was a kid!

-Mikea Crumity, mother of three

This year I am going to make a continued effort for my whole family to spend less time playing on techy devices and watching tv and more time

As an entrepreneur, I am always onthe-go and work with a lot of urgency so I am often trying to get my son Schaefer to 'Step on it! Let's go!' -Collin Austin, father of two

To be more intentional with parenting, instead of trying to do everything.

FOCUS ON WHAT I'M GOOD AT and not be so hard on myself if I'm not succeeding in what I'm not good with. -Jenni Williams, mother of one

My parenting resolution is to

put more effort

into cooking healthy meals and snacks for my family. Life gets so crazy and we get so rushed that I don’t take as much time as I want to prep for the week and come up with new, healthy meals they will actually eat. -Jenny Highlander, mother of two

Have more patience with the kids. Have a yell-free household.

Say “yes”

more often than no. “

-Meghan Henehan, mother of two

live in the moment more, and not take the time I have with them for granted. They're only little once--enjoy it while you can! -Debbie Sorgi, mother of two

To be more

PATIENT. -Elaine Almond, mother of three

I am going to try to remember something I used in the classroom when I taught--to

pleasures in life.

and scold/redirect/whisper instead of yelling across the room.

the simple



My resolution is to

enjoying -April Tisher, mother of four


More patience!

bend down to my children's level -Dana Kamp, mother of four


! site

With the EVEREST app, you can incorporate your new goals and resolutions into your day easily and have them readily available on your phone. Use this app for all dreams, big or small. So, go those dreams!


What would you do if... your child was ungrateful for his holiday gifts? "We do a lot of "prep work" on this. Prior to a holiday, whether it be a birthday or Christmas, we talk about how there are a lot of children in the world who don't get gifts and how every gift someone gives you was thoughtful of them and should be appreciated." -Maggie Jossi, parent of 3 "I always go through his room before a holiday to donate toys to less fortunate children and talk about all we have to be thankful for. I think I would donate whatever my child seemed ungrateful for right away as well to reinforce the lesson." -Kelly Freeland, parent of 1



Cultivating a relationship in this crazy journey we call parenthood Where there is love, there is life. -MAHATMA GANDHI

LOOKING FOR ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO WITH OTHER COUPLES? Try some of these fun, group-friendly date ideas for a start!

Make It A Couple's Night

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved


As a couple, my husband and I have to sometimes fight for every scrap and shred of time together we can get, and we try to carve out an official “date night” at least once a month. But some of our best times together have been spent in the company of other couples. I always come away from those times with a refreshed appreciation for my husband, a solid feeling that our problems and issues are not unique to us, and sore cheeks from laughing heartily. And my good feelings aren’t exclusive to my experience. Research backs up the notion that time spent

with others actually helps you live longer and have a fuller healthier life in the process. My good friend, Amy Hogue, attests that “having friends with kids is akin to having a user's manual for kids. Especially if you have friends with kids that are a little older. Because then they can tell you what they did that worked, didn't work, etc. Like a mentor.” I contend that spending time with our couple friends makes me fall for my husband all over again. Hearing his take on our lives, remembering difficult moments and laughing over them, and being out with him without our children are all perks that work in his favor. I also love hearing about our friends’ lives as it makes us feel (dare I say) “normal.” Turns out we aren’t the only couple who bickers over the teeniest minutiae and the finer points of keeping house. And money management. And whether or not to get a dog…

Our couple friends are also an amazing source of encouragement when we are hitting a rough patch. Spending time together and hearing affirming words from friends who have walked through rough patches themselves strengthens not only our marriage, but our friendship as well. And even beyond commiserating and encouraging and sharing parenting tips, tricks, and funny stories, being with another couple helps you remember that having fun together is as important as parenting well. Because someday, if all goes according to plan, your little sweeties will become adults and leave the nest...and hopefully you will have good couple friends with whom you can celebrate. 

Bowling Zip-lining Fishing Sailing Weekend getaway Camping Concerts Dancing Gourmet cooking classes Cruising Wine-tasting tours Golfing


2014 13



Financial Goals for the New Year BY SELENA GARRISON

We all know the number one New Year’s resolution every year is to lose weight, but this year, let’s focus on trimming some financial fat. The best way for our kids to learn proper money management is for them to see us managing our money properly, so let’s show them how it’s done! This year, I have four financial New Year’s resolutions that I would like to share with you. Maybe you will consider them, too!  CUT DOWN MONTHLY BILLS This will have a huge impact on your finances and enable you to tackle the next three resolutions. To do this effectively, you will need to bust out your monthly bank and credit card statements and take a close look at where you are spending your money. I also suggest tracking your expenses (i.e. writing down every. single.

thing. you spend for a full month) so that you can see where you money is “leaking” away. Then, cut back or cut out the things that you don’t need.  GET RID OF CREDIT CARD DEBT The interest that we pay on credit card debt is just ridiculous. The average US household owes a little over $7,000 in credit card debt, with interest rates lurking between 14 percent and 23 percent. Any way you cut it, credit card debt is costing you a ton of money on things that you probably bought a long time ago and may not even have anymore. To get rid of this debt, you will have to cut back on spending (see the first resolution) and pay as much as you can toward your credit cards every month until they are paid off.

 SAVE FOR AN EMERGENCY FUND Once credit cards are paid off, it is a good idea to put away some money for emergencies. Experts suggest having three to six months worth of expenses in an emergency fund, but if that seems overwhelming start with a smaller goal like $500 to $1,000 and work your way up.  SAVE TOWARD RETIREMENT Whether you are 20 or 50, saving for retirement is incredibly important, and the earlier you start, the better off you will be! If your employer provides a 401(k) or 403(b) with matching, make sure to take advantage of the highest match that you can. If your employer doesn’t provide a retirement plan, open up a traditional or Roth IRA and put away as much as you can every year (up to $5,500 in 2013). 





Specialty coffee (3x a week)




Fast food (2x a week)




Lunch w/ coworkers (3x a week)




Dinner out for a family of four (1x a week)




Vending machine snacks/soda (5x a week)




Movie rental (1x a week-no late fees)











© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved



life The


{ Brian, Erin, Lucy (7) & Leland (5) }

Scarborough Family

Pets: None yet, unless Furbies count. Favorite vacation: The beach—Crescent Beach for quick getaways and Seaside in the panhandle for longer trips. What makes my kids laugh: Nerf gun wars and terrible knock-knock jokes.

Photos by Ryaphotos

Occupation(s): Brian is an insurance agent and co-owner of Scarborough Insurance. Erin is a stay-at-home mom who stays busy serving as J.J. Finley Elementary’s PTA Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator. Favorite meal: Pizza—We all love Blue Highway. Favorite date spot: Downtown—Dragonfly and The Top are our favorite dinner spots, and we usually end up meeting friends afterward at Half Cork’d. Movie in our DVD player right now: “The Croods,” but the girls would rather watch “Teen Beach Movie” over and over. Our family is most like: A cheesy family sitcom. We legitimately get along 99.9 percent of the time and enjoy hanging out together. We know this will change as the girls get older and discover how much smarter they are than their parents.



The kids’ favorite books: We all loved silly Mo Willems books when the girls were younger. Now, Lucy is getting into the “Magic Tree House” series. Mommy and Daddy’s favorite TV shows: Erin—The Today Show and most reality TV competitions. Brian—Live sports and watching the Disney Channel on Saturday mornings with the girls. Websites we love:, Brian’s Gator football blog. Lucy and Leland are crazy about Favorite sports to play: Brian— Golf. Lucy and Leland—Dance, gymnastics and anything that involves throwing things at their father. Favorite sports to watch: Football, baseball, college basketball and golf.


Why we love living in Gainesville: We’re lucky to have a large group of amazing relatives living nearby. We love that Gainesville has great schools, all kinds of wonderful programs for kids and outstanding cultural events for a small town. The people here are incredibly friendly, creative and generous. And, of course, it is the only place we’ve found with a great big orange and blue football stadium in the middle of town—Go Gators! Something that we would want our children to have that we didn’t have growing up: Erin moved around a lot growing up, attending multiple schools in different states. It’s nice that Lucy and Leland will grow up calling Gainesville home. Favorite day trip: A typical Saturday family outing involves

the Gainesville Health & Fitness Center (and their great Kids Club), the Florida Museum of Natural History, Moe’s for lunch, and maybe a stop at one of the many public parks in Gainesville. Favorite picnic spot: The Santa Fe Zoo. The girls love to look and listen for peacocks while they eat. First word you think of when we say “family”: Fun. Must-have item: Satellite radio in the car tuned into the Radio Disney channel. Favorite family activity: With work, school, kids’ activities and community events, our schedules are often hectic. So, our favorite times are those when nothing is on the calendar and we can just hang out in our pajamas and relax together at home. Three words that describe our family: Laugh. Love. Repeat. Anything else you want us to know about your family? Our favorite charity is Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure. The Staab family is truly amazing. We enjoy working with them to raise awareness and money to find a cure for this debilitating disorder. Go to for more information.

Our favorite times are those when nothing is on the calendar and we can just hang out in our pajamas and relax together at home.

forks & spoons



Bread Knife

Place Card

Bread Plate

Dessert Spoon Cake Fork

Dinner Plate


Salad Plate Service Plate Salad Fork

Dinner Fork




ine out of ten dinner parties we would have, my mom would always make a little comment about setting the table wrong. Seems that she had "table setting dyslexia." "Does the fork go here, or here?" she would ask. It was always fun to approach the table to see what kind of display of table settings we would get. So, to help you with your table setting skills this holiday season, we have given you a table setting diagram. We encourage you to cut it out and put it on your fridge for easy reference all year (just hide it with the salad forks when the guests arrive).

Water Glass Wine Glass

Cup & Saucer Generally aren't placed on the table until the dessert course

Soup Spoon


Dinner Knife



Photo by Lifeprints Photography

It's the

holiday season!

Family-Friendly Dog Breeds BY DANIELLE MICHELS

If the kids have been begging you for a puppy for Christmas, and you like the idea of adding another member to the family (just a little furrier), you might not know where to begin. Here are a few of the notoriously family- and kid-friendly breeds to check out: SMALL BREED A Maltese is ideal for any family that already has a pet in the family since they have a friendly demeanor and love having company. This dog is also great for any family with someone who suffers from allergies as this breed barely sheds. MEDIUM BREED Beagles are incredibly easy-going and patient, making them a good fit for a family with equally energetic kids. Beagles will want to be a part of the nightly routine and sit in on bedtime stories as opposed to being off in their own corner of the home. LARGE BREED Labradors/Retrievers are known for being fiercely loyal and are good protectors of the household while also being overall gentle and friendly.





They say money can’t buy you happiness, but pleasure-producing chemicals such as dopamine and endorphin levels are released during the shopping experience. Happiness chemicals also increase even when you’re window-shopping.


The exchange you have with a worker in the store might help make your shopping experience less stressful since you have the aid of someone with product knowledge assisting you. Additionally, there’s a social benefit of engaging in small talk with a person that isn’t familiar with the ins and outs of your everyday life.

3 4

Studies show that shopping can burn serious calories. Between walking, climbing stairs and carrying bags, it’s a workout.

Shopping can be a great bonding experience by having a partner to bounce ideas off of and seek advice from. After all, who’s really going to be the one to help you find the best/worst/ tackiest sweater of the season?


Online browsing can serve as a short mental break that has been shown to improve performance and decision-making and get the creative juices flowing when it is time to focus on work.




Cool Holiday Websites For the Whole Family NORAD SANTA

The official countdown to Santa's launch will start on December 1st. Visit this site to track Santa in the sky.


Visit this website to send a personalized message to your children from Santa!


Watch Santa's reindeer eating and playing. You might even see Santa and his elves come out and feed them!

t COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE This tree has more of a bluish hue with silvery accents, a beautiful look for more “Winter Wonderland” themed décor.

q FRASER FIR This is the tree with the picture-perfect shape and firm branches to hold heavy ornaments.

GRAND FIR u If you’re looking for a floor-toceiling tree that isn’t fake, this is your best buy.



One of the most common holiday tree species, this tree has a sweeter scent with softer needles.

q EASTERN WHITE PINE This lush and long-lasting tree has flexible branches that aren’t great for holding heavier decorations, but extra branches do make for excellent wreaths and centerpieces.

Finding the Christmas tree with just the right shape and size can be a challenge. A good first step is to decide which tree species is the best fit for your family's needs.

HOLIDAY HAZARDS There is never a moment to drop your guard when it comes to the safety of your family. Take proper precautions to keep your family safe this holiday season!


Prevent mistaken identity with curious children. Keep all alcoholic drinks safely away and high up from children, especially at parties.


Perfect size for little hands = perfect sized choking hazard. Keep all small hard candies and treats out of the house for 100 percent fool-proof safety.



Prevent accidents Festive and bright, by keeping tree well these can still be watered, away from heat dangerous. Check all source and never put wires every year, turn off real candles on it. when leaving the house and unplug before bed.


2014 25

Carmen's Homemade Struffoli

A traditional Italian Christmas dish, struffoli symbolize abundance and good luck in Italian homes. Once the struffoli are made, Italians know that Christmas time is not far away. Our publisher shares her father's recipe here.

DOUGH INGREDIENTS 6 cups flour 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ cup sugar 1 lemon rind-grated ½ cup shortening or margarine 8 eggs-slightly beaten ½ teaspoon salt

HONEY MIXTURE 1 ½ pounds honey


Sift flour, make a well. To well add eggs, salt, shortening, sugar, baking powder and lemon rind. Mix into a smooth dough. Knead thoroughly and allow to rest one hour covered with a damp cloth. Roll dough into ½ inch diameter "ropes" and cut into ¼ inch to ½ inch pieces. Heat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Fry handfuls of struffoli at a time until golden brown. Lift with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Let cool.


Put honey and sugar and half of grated tangerine rind into saucepan and bring to boil. Boil until mixture is yellow and clear. Remove from heat. Dip handfuls of struffoli into honey and lift with slotted spoon. With wet hands, place and shape struffoli on wet plate. Sprinkle with pignoli, tangerine rind, confetti and powdered sugar (last).

1 tangerine rind-grated 5 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice Colored confetti Powdered sugar Whole pignoli

Photo by Patricia Bishop Photography

Some of the Giggle staff share their favorite holiday memories and traditions My fondest Christmas memories have always been celebrating with my family. When I was little and living in New York, our Christmas tradition was celebrating Christmas morning at my grandparents' house. When I moved to Florida, we would celebrate with our extended families on Christmas Eve. So many fond memories of family, lots of food, and plenty of Kodak memories! NICOLE IRVING Publisher

My favorite gift was Patty Play Pal, who I still have today. She was my size and I treated her like the sister I never had. KELLY GOEDE Writer

The first picture is of my older sister, Dede, and me in 1978. Gotta love Christmas photos in Florida-in sundresses! The next picture is of me holding my beloved Cabbage Patch doll. She was a "preemie" doll named Libby Elizabeth. I was the typical early-80s girl who wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas, but the demand was so high, I didn't think I was getting one. What a great surprise! DANA KAMP Editor

This is 4-year-old me on Christmas Day, 1991. "The Little Mermaid" was the first Disney movie I'd ever received and it remains one of my very favorites to this day. Though the tape itself has been lost in the shuffle over the years, I still have the original case; I can't bring myself to get rid of it! ALLISON RABER Art Director

Every year for Christmas my parents let us pick out our own little tree to decorate. We got to pick where we put it and how to decorate it. Some years we would model it after the big tree, some years it would be full of paper crafts. I have carried on this tradition with my own children and I just love seeing the excitement in their eyes as they find their own special tree at the tree lot. Last year most of their ornaments were made of Legos. I am looking forward to seeing what this year brings. The second picture is me before the big Christmas play at school. PATRICIA BISHOP Photographer Christmas 1979. We were visiting my grandparents on the west coast of Florida. This was the first year I heard Santa's sleigh bells outside the house. Knowing Santa would not come inside the house if we were all awake, I ran around the house trying to get everyone into bed! I was successful! When I woke the next morning, my first bike was waiting for me! Now, every year when we hear Santa's sleigh overhead, we make sure everyone is in bed so his delivery will not be interrupted! WENDY ECKHARDT Writer

In my family, we always got to choose one gift to open on Christmas Eve. It's a fun tradition that I was happy to pass on to my kids. The first picture is me (age 4) on Christmas morning with my first pair of roller skates. The next picture is of my kids about to open their Christmas Eve gift. TARA GRIFFIN Writer GIGGLEMAG.COM | DEC/JAN

2014 27


Welcome the holiday season as we celebrate with Santa, live music, a holiday parade and the Tioga Town Center tree lighting. Live entertainment will be performed by the Gainesville Community Jazz Band, Danscompany of Gainesville and the Sun Country gymnasts. Special guests: Santa and Mrs. Claus Free to all. For more info:

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING AND SANTA VISIT DECEMBER 6, 6 - 8 P.M. City of Alachua County Municipal Complex

Come out and celebrate the season as Santa visits the children from the North Pole and the Alachua community tree is lit. Free to all. For more info: (386) 418-6100

Holiday Celebrations



This festival of lights will be displaying more than five million lights throughout the park during the holiday season. The park will be open each evening until 9 p.m. On Christmas Eve, it will be a drive through only. On Christmas night, they will be closed. Cost to enter is $3 per person. For more info: 386-397-4331


Join in the holiday spirit with vendors, family-friendly fun and a Christmas parade at 5 p.m., followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Pocket Park, and music through 8 p.m. For more info: or contact Barbara Hendrix at 352-472-2112 

DECEMBER 6, 5 - 9 P.M. Haile Village Center

Get in the holiday spirit with music, horse and carriage rides, and seasonal food and drink.





BY HALEY PONNOCK Technology XBox, iPad, Camera, Laptop, iPhone, eReader

A survey of 100 college students was taken to see what they want this year for Christmas. The students answered with a plethora of ideas; most already knew what they were planning to put on their wish list. All the new technology gadgets such as laptops or the new iPhone 5 came in at the top of the list, with money and vacations following close behind. Some were your typical college-age requests, and some were more about the meaning of the season. Sam Stolberg, a junior at the University of Florida, said she asks for money from her parents each year for the holidays. But she doesn’t keep the money for herself. Instead, she donates it to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The hospital works to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric life-threatening diseases through research and treatment, according to the hospital’s website. “One year I just didn't have anything to ask for so I told my mom to donate money instead of getting me something,” Stolberg said. “I decided on St. Jude's because I think it's a really awesome organization. Since then I've just done that every year because to me the holidays aren’t really about getting presents. I just like to remember how fortunate I am and like to give back however I can.”





Concert/Sports Tickets








13% 12% Vacation/Plane Ticket

Accessories Purse, Watch, Makeup, Shoes



When the Holidays

Take Over

YOU KNOW YOU’VE GONE OVERBOARD IF... ...neighbors have compared your yard to the Griswolds' and you received it as a compliment. could open your own Bath & Body Works with your collection of holiday soaps.’ve bought more than one Christmas tree just to incorporate your ten Pinterest decorating boards.’ve accessorized yourself or your children with Christmas lights. ...your children’s hands are stained from one too many handprint reindeers/trees/snowmen/angels.

...your Elf on the Shelf has a larger wardrobe and busier extracurricular life than your children. ...your tacky Christmas sweater collection has its own closet. ...something on you jingles...daily.

...Santa greets you by name when you are at the mall. ...people regularly ask if you’ve been baking as your body lotion suggests a kitchen full of vanilla, gingerbread and peppermint.’ve replaced your Facebook profile picture with one of your dog...wearing antlers. 30




Every December

, I’m filled with a swirl of emotions, wanting to create memories with my family and shrugging off the excessive materialism and comparison that seems to accompany this season of joy. And now with social media, not only do we try to do our best, but we now see what everyone else is doing (or wishes they were doing)... and we compare, and feel obligated, inadequate, guilty and just plain worn out.

contribution to your child’s class holiday party. Creating an ornament together, reading a favorite holiday book, baking a simple holiday treat and watching movies together all work to create sustainable holiday traditions. Ask yourself if what you’re doing is meaningful to your family. If the answer is no, then cut it loose, even if it was going to make you feel like the queen of all things Christmas.

comparison is the thief of joy

The secret to enjoying the holiday season lies in our contentment with our lives year round, and being proactive about living a life you love requires intentionality. Theodore Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy,” with the holiday season magnifying the effect. Other people’s cookies are going to be more creative than ours, their parties a little more glamorous, their children always smiling. If we aren’t careful, we end up treating the holidays like a competition, and sadly it’s one that no one actually wins. The true meaning of the season lies in a spirit of giving, of simplicity, of investing in the people in our lives who are growing up quickly. Finding simple moments where the only agenda item is spending quality time with your family will reap more benefits than nailing a Pinterest creation or having the most innovative and creative

By following our children’s leads and setting an example for them in the way we spend our time and money, we can abandon “keeping up with the Joneses” and create a holiday season that is truly special. The magic of the season is captured by living in the moment...being present and content with our families. 


GO SLEDDING! Experiment with styrofoam balls to make snow-covered hills!

MIX IT UP! We painted sticks and added some glitter for a more rustic style snow globe.

Bring a little winter wonderland

inside with these cute and easy-to-make Snow Globes. Fun for kids of all ages, with a little imagination and some cute details, the ideas are endless! STYLING BY GIGGLE MAGAZINE • PHOTOS BY PATRICIA BISHOP PHOTOGRAPHY

What You'll Need: Mini trees (available at Michaels) Plastic or ceramic figurines Glass jar Acrylic paint (optional) Sandpaper Clear-drying epoxy Glitter Glycerin

What To Do:

If the jar lids are not in seasonal colors already, paint them with acrylic paint. Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough. Glue the figurine and mini trees to the inside of the lid with clear-drying epoxy, and let dry. Fill the jar almost to the top with water; add a ½ teaspoon of glitter and a dash of glycerin to keep the glitter from falling too quickly. Don't add too much, or the glitter will stick to the bottom of the jar when it's flipped. Screw the lid on tightly, being careful not to disturb the figurine. Turn the jar back over and let it snow!



2014 35






ON YOUR LIST! Gator Orange purse photo courtesy of Diana Kelly. Olloclip image courtesy of Olloclip.

 Clips directly on to your phone!

They will have so much fun playing word puzzles, games and doing art while in the pool or bath with these. AquaNotes®, $7.00 and up; This is perfect for the gator girl in your life. Cork clutch with gator accent, $75.00; This will turn a blank cooking area into a fun colorful surface. $26.50, JCPenney. Perfect for the photo enthusiast, this tiny lens can capture all their Kodak moments. Olloclip, $69.95;

Mosaic Photo book image courtesy of DKC Public Relations. Glass Zipper Bag image courtesy of Uncommon Goods.

 

Exact replica of the tissue

box on "The Big Bang Theory!"

 

 Sheldon and Leonard have one, so should your best friend. Rubik Cube Tissue box, $26.99; This photo book can be made directly from your iPhone and iPad photos. Mosaic, $20.00; A sophisticated and classy timepiece for that special someone. Michael Kors Watch, $225.00; Lang Jewelers, Tioga. This vegan and fair trade lip tint stays on all day with amazing color. Santa Baby Lip Tint, $8.95; lushusa. com. No more losing secret family recipes. Set of 10 Recipe Cards, $9.50; Share the gift of radiant and healthy skin with this gift set. $160; Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center. For the one with the sweet tooth. Unzipped glass zipper bag. $16.95; 38



Rocket-It photo courtesy of OrigAudio

Cute as a button holiday gift tags. $10 for 8 with twine; For the tea connoisseur of the group. Frog tea Diffuser; $12.50, With this, there will be no more need for huge boom boxes and clunky speakers. OrigAudio Rock-It 3.0, $19.99 ; origaudio. com.  Keep winter skin smooth and soft. Sandy Santa, $9.95; Perfect for the hostess with the mostest in your family. Happy Everything Big Platter and attachment $114.95/ $21.95; Prepping veggies with these colanders makes cooking fun for the foodies in your life. Zak! colanders, $8.49-$19.99; For smooth and soft lips this winter. Santa’s Lip Scrub, $8.95; GIGGLEMAG.COM | DEC/JAN

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2 3



ADD SOME SPARKLE Bold accessories can transform your look entirely, allowing you to wear that little black dress to more than one party. For a timeless silhouette, pair a sleek strapless dress with oversized earrings that sparkle. A little black dress is the perfect look for a statement necklace. Just don’t pair large earrings with an oversized necklace. Pick one or the other and you’ll be ready to dazzle. ADD A LITTLE GLAMOUR Planning to attend a special soiree? Up your beauty routine with a darker evening look. Pair a daring red lipstick with a thin stroke of dark eyeliner. Keep your eyelashes dark and the rest of your look minimal to draw all eyes in the room. WHITEN & BRIGHTEN Festive coffee drinks, red wine and fruity cocktails make holiday events special but they can quickly stain teeth. Keep your smile ready for the annual family picture and party perfect using ARM & HAMMER™ Whitening Booster, which is clinically proven to whiten teeth in just one week. Simply apply over your toothpaste and brush as normal. With 3X more whitening agent than a leading whitening strip, your smile will be ready for any occasion. Learn more at KEEP LOCKS CLASSIC This year’s blockbuster movies caught the attention of celebrities and fashionistas with their glamorous hairstyles. Get the look, without appearing too retro, by using styling gel to work short hair into sculpted finger waves. Those with longer hair should sweep it up into a loose knot and add a thin headband. GIVE YOUR NAILS SOME SHINE Beautiful bracelets and rings will draw attention to your hands. Keep them looking beautiful with a fresh manicure and the right shade of polish. A perfect manicure will also set off the one holiday accessory everyone must have – a cute clutch.


Giving Back

During the

Holiday Season


It’s very easy to live inside our own bubbles, insulated from the hunger, homelessness, and hopelessness that many folks struggle with all year long. When the holiday season begins, we are offered a glimpse into the world of those for whom a hot meal is not a guarantee. If we open our eyes and hearts to the needs around us, we will find that we can participate in alleviating suffering and helping the marginalized know they are not forgotten. Hopefully, the spark of giving ignited during the holidays will burn the whole year through. I’m sure you’ve heard before that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and no other time during the year are we more focused

on giving than when Thanksgiving ends and we crank up the American holiday season. Gift exchange happens during Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, and we pour out love and presents for those closest to us. But reaching out to remember those less fortunate does not have to detract from our custom of giving. In fact, having a heart for those in need and giving to them and organizations that help them can become an integral part of our family’s holiday traditions. My own children enjoy filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, a powerful tangible example of love conducted by Samaritan’s Purse. The conversations we have while shopping for items to pack are a poignant reminder to our whole family

gifts that

that we are ridiculously blessed, and that a toothbrush and underwear will light up the recipients’ face brighter than my own children receiving a slew of gifts. Even shopping at stores that give back (like Macy’s and Target), or purchasing products from companies that donate a portion of their profits, creates an atmosphere of altruism. For example, TOM’s donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold, to the tune of ten million pairs already donated by June 2013. As consumers, we do have choices where we spend our money and our dollars are some of the strongest votes we can cast for the agendas we wish to see perpetuated. Personally, I want to live in a world whose people care for each other and demonstrate love through practical means, all twelve months of the year. 

When you are out shopping or surfing the internet for the perfect gift, try searching specifically for ones that "give back." Not only will you be finding the perfect gift for your loved one, but also helping someone in need.


Lush has created a creamy body lotion that is filled with the finest ingredients, including fair trade organic cocoa and ylang ylang floral fragrance. The amazing part of the Charity Pot is that Every Single Penny that is paid for a pot (excluding tax) goes to fund and support grassroots charities all around the world. $5.95-$22.95,


Yummy "man" scented candles, each made in a can that, when purchased, was donated for consumption at a soup kitchen then when empty, collected, cleaned and made into an amazing candle. To date, 650,000 cans have been donated. Oh yeah...this company was started by a 13-year-old!





This hammered pink rose gold necklace is not only gorgeous, but when purchased, will also give back, year round, to the American Cancer Society. $32,

Rose Gold Bar necklace photo courtesy of Hollywood Connections PR. Charity Pot photo courtesy of Lush Cosmetics

give back



Perfect for the Rainbow Loom junkie. Rubber Band Jewelry Book, $7.99

Great for the kids... and Mom and Dad. KidzGear Volume Limited Headphones, $19.99

Furby Boom photo courtesy of Litzky Public Relations. Rubber Band Jewelry photo courtesy of Design Originals

What are the front runners on your child's list this year? FF Big Hugs Elmo

FF Snap Circuits Pro

FF iPod Touch

FF Tool Box

FF Rainbow Loom

FF Dragon in the Sock Drawer Book Series

FF Kurio 7s Family Tablet FF Hot Wheels Car Maker FF Furby Boom FF Skylanders Swap Force FF Ivy & Bean Books FF Boxcar Children Book Series FF Melissa and Doug Make-A-Face Sticker Pad

FF Harry Potter Book Series FF Piano Lessons FF Horse Back Riding Lessons FF Archery Lessons FF Disney Planes DVD FF iTunes gift card FF Cowboy Boots FF Karaoke Machine This year's hottest toy! Furby Boom, $64.99

How Technology Can Simplify Your

Holiday Season

Holly jolly entertaining with ease

Holiday shopping simplified

Taking the stress out of travel

Time spent with loved ones is what the holidays are all about. Here are some ways your smartphone can make these occasions even more joyous:

So many gifts to purchase and so little time. Try these handy helpers to get all the gifts you need and still have time to stop and enjoy the eggnog:

If your holiday plans require traveling with the family, the proper planning tools are essential. Try these holiday helpers that make traveling a breeze:

 Festive films and shows: Whether you want to entertain the kids while waiting to board the plane or just want to catch your favorite holiday movie from the convenience of your phone, you can do so with ease with the Netflix app. Included with your Netflix membership, this easy app lets you download and stream thousands of your favorite tele­vision shows and movies to enjoy at any time you please.  Merry-making invitations: Send out invitations to your ugly sweater party or caroling bash with unique, perfectly decorated invites with the Evite app.  Good tidings and great tunes: From kids’ school parties to a holiday feast with family and friends, you can create your own personal holiday playlists to fit every event and mood. This unlimited access to music at your fingertips is a gift in itself.

Festive holiday apps for kids Gingerbread Crazy Chef — Cookie Maker With ingredients for dough and plenty of fun ways to decorate, kids learn to make their own ginger­bread cookies with this creative app. Jolly Jingle This musical app teaches the words to popular holiday songs, encouraging kids to join in on the fun by singing along. Toca Hair Salon — Christmas Gift Let the kids take Santa to the salon for a special haircut or dye job. Kids will have a blast giving Santa a makeover just in time for his big night.



 Guesswork-free gifts: Some apps, such as the Pickie’s Best Gift Giver tool, use the Facebook likes and preferences of your gift recipients to create a list of suitable items they would love. It also combines all of these recommended items in a convenient, click-through catalog to make purchasing gifts easier. Make the shopping experience go even more smoothly by ensuring your phone has a strong, reliable signal. The zBoost SOHO cell phone signal booster kit increases signals up to 2500 square feet, making it perfect for your home or office. For more information, visit  Lists you’ll love: When it comes to keeping track of presents, there’s no need for pen and paper. The Christmas Gift List app allows you to create a budget for each recipient and then track gifts as they are purchased.  See Santa save: Ever wondered if you could get a gift at a better price? The RedLaser app allows you to search for a specific product and find its price at all retailers within the area. It’s “In-store pickup” function allows you to purchase the gift directly from your phone for easy pickup and to ensure availability during those last-minute scrambles.


 Joyful journeys: Need a break from the family? Want to explore the best attractions in Grandpa’s hometown? The Tripomatic app allows you to customize your own travel itinerary by entering the dates and location of your stay. Along with top attractions for your vacation spot, the app also pulls up an easy download of city guides so you can find the best diner, historic monument or shopping venue in town.  Travels by road: If your holiday travels require a car ride, give the RoadNinja app a try. Restaurants, gas stations and other points of interest are posted for each highway exit on your route. Make sure you can access such helpful apps by ensuring you have the proper signal in your car. The zBoost zForce Cell Phone Signal Booster improves signal strength for voice and data to help you enjoy the journey.  A cheerful stay: Whether you didn’t plan far enough ahead, or your mother’s house is overflowing with relatives, a peaceful hotel room is at hand with the Hotel Tonight app. By specializing in last-minute deals provided by area hotels, you end up with a luxurious room at a lower price. 


2014 47



Wash Those Hands! STEPS TO HAND-WASHING Dr. Amy Simonne of the University of Florida suggests six steps to teach your children proper hand-washing:


Keep your fingernails short. Mom or Dad will have to help with this one! Germs hide under long fingernails, so keeping nails short is a must, especially for small children.

2 3

Wet your hands under running water and add soap.


National Handwashing Week starts on December 1 this year. Sit down and think for a minute about everything your kids touch throughout the day. Toys, pets, food, dirt, playground equipment, other kids, door knobs, the floor, toilet seat lids…pretty much anything they can get their hands on. All of those things our kids touch are covered in germs that can cause illnesses like colds and the flu. The best way to keep germs from causing illnesses in our children is to teach our little ones proper hand-washing skills!

Try singing one of these songs twice while you wash your hands: source:

Wash, wash, wash your hands While you sing this song Rub and scrub, rub and scrub The germs swirl down the drain Scrub, scrub, scrub your hands While you sing this song Rub and scrub, rub and scrub The germs swirl down the drain

Twinkle, twinkle little star Look how clean my two hands are With soap and water, wash and scrub Got those germs off, rub-a-dub-dub Twinkle, twinkle little star Look how clean my two hands are

4 5 6

Rinse your hands under running water.

If you are in a public restroom, use a paper towel to turn off the water. Dry your hands with clean, disposable paper towels.

“For example,” she says, “if you are preparing foods or handling something dirty, handwashing is a must and you cannot use hand sanitizer in place of hand-washing. However, if you are going to eat food and there is no

place to wash your hands and your hands are not visibly dirty, you can use hand sanitizer. If you have a cold or stomach flu or handle sick children, it may be useful to use hand sanitizer after hand-washing to help further reduce germs.”

Dr. Amy Simonne is a professor and extension specialist in the Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department at the University of Florida, specializing in food safety and quality.




© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

WHAT ABOUT HAND SANITIZER? When asked about the best use of hand sanitizer, Dr. Simonne says that the role of hand sanitizer is different based on the situation.

Rub your hands together with soap while singing the Happy Birthday song twice (or try one of our songs).

health Cool Peppermint Products



 


Let the season inspire you to try (or gift) some of these yummy peppermint-scented body treats!

1 AELEMIS SPA AT HOME SHARP SHOWER BODY WASH This invigorating bath and shower gel is formulated with uplifting spearmint and peppermint essential oils, combined with plant extracts of nettle, wild marjoram, marshmallow, chamomile and thyme in a soya, wheat and milk protein base. This skin-friendly formula is deep cleansing with a rich creamy lather and is super gentle, leaving your skin clean, soft and tingling with freshness. $30. AVAILABLE AT TIMETOSPA.COM. 2 ABLISS FABULIPS GLOSSY BALMS Boost your lips and your breath with one swift swipe. These glossy balms provide sumptuous moisture from shea butter, nourishing oils and vitamin E, along with a boost of breath-banishing actives of parsley and peppermint oil so you are smooch ready. Three unique flavors – vanilla mint, citrus mint, peppermint. $14 EACH. AVAILABLE AT BLISS SPAS AND ON BLISSWORLD.COM.



5 AJUNE JACOBS PEPPERMINT MOISTURIZING FOOT MIST This skin-softening treatment cushions, protects and penetrates rough, dry skin as it replenishes lost moisture. A unique combination of rejuvenating oils, including apricot and sunflower, work to rapidly condition and soothe dry, tired feet and help skin retain moisture. Aromatic, antiseptic peppermint extract provides a refreshing effect to calm and revitalize overworked feet. $40. AVAILABLE AT JUNEJACOBS.COM. 6 AJUNE JACOBS PEPPERMINT HAND AND FOOT THERAPY Paraben- and preservative-free, this energizing hand and foot cream is formulated with nourishing oils of sesame, sunflower, jojoba and squalane to replenish lost moisture as natural antiseptic peppermint extract helps to cool and soothe. A powerful patent-pending antioxidant blend of white, red and green tea extracts combined with goji berry, pomegranate and grape seed extracts help to neutralize free radicals, protect skin from environmental toxins and combat the visible signs of premature aging. Leaves hands and feet hydrated, rejuvenated and revived. $40. AVAILABLE AT JUNEJACOBS.COM.


When the cold winter weather blows in, protect your skin and lips from chafing and chapping with these ultra-moisturizing products. Avalon Organics® Nourishing Lip Balm

Organic olive and coconut oils moisturize, organic shea butter protects against drying, organic stevia leaf provides a naturally sweet flavor, and vitamin E works to nourish and heal delicate lips. Free of parabens, sodium lauryl/ laureth sulfate, petrolatum, artificial colors and phthalates. $2.99 each. Available at natural food stores, Whole Foods Market and

Vaseline Deep Moisture Creamy Formula

Penetrates deeply to immediately increase skin’s moisture by 250 percent and protect skin from the drying effects of wind and cold weather. Provides 18-hour moisture, is fragrance-free and hypo-allergenic. $3.99. Available at Target.

Products courtesy of Allison Brod PR

3 AAVALON ORGANICS® PEPPERMINT STRENGTHENING SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER Peppermint essential oil, babassu oil, aloe and vitamins strengthen the elasticity of weak, brittle hair while smoothing split ends and fly-aways for renewed bounce and length. Shampoo also includes wheat protein and calendula and conditioner utilizes arginine to help prevent breakage for strong, smoother looking hair. NSF/ANSI 305 Certified: made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Free of parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, petrolatum, artificial colors and phthalates. $10.50 EACH. AVAILABLE AT NATURAL FOOD STORES, WHOLE FOODS MARKET AND AVALONORGANICS.COM.

4 AAVALON ORGANICS® PEPPERMINT HAND & BODY LOTION Peppermint essential oil, aloe, vitamin E and the rich oat nutrition of beta-glucan deliver advanced moisture relief to revitalize extra dry skin. Bottle is made with 100 percent recycled materials. NSF/ANSI 305 Certified: made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Free of parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, petrolatum, artificial colors and phthalates. $12. AVAILABLE AT NATURAL FOOD STORES, WHOLE FOODS MARKET AND AVALONORGANICS.COM.





Incorporating Movement into Everyday Life BY DANIELLE MICHELS

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

We’ve all seen the “fitspiration” pictures online claiming that a workout is only 4 percent of your day, so that must mean there are no excuses, right? Well when you have kids to parent, a household to manage and work to do, sometimes it’s not so easy to fit in a full hour of exercise every day. While we should all strive to fit in at least three to four good workout sessions a week to stay healthy and energized, there’s plenty of easy ways to sneak exercise in to your daily routine for those days you just can’t manage to find a completely free 45 to 60 consecutive minutes to devote to a workout. GIVE YOURSELF A CHALLENGE DURING MUNDANE TASKS Do squats while brushing your teeth, calf raises while washing

the dishes and bicep curls with those grocery bags that you’re trying your hardest to get in the house within two trips. TEMPORARILY RE-ADJUST When you’re setting your alarm the night before a day that you know is going to be insane, adjust your wake-up time to ten to fifteen minutes earlier. During those extra minutes do a quick set of pushups, crunches, jumping jacks and strike a couple of yoga poses. It’s just enough to get the blood pumping and jumpstart your metabolism for the rest of the day. WORKOUT WHILE YOU WORK Sit on a stability ball rather than a normal desk chair. This helps with engaging your core without having to think about it, and it’ll help improve your posture. Make a point to get up and walk around for two minutes at least once every two

hours to get in all the steps you can for the day. Also, take the stairs. We’ve all heard it a million times before, but that’s because it actually does make a big difference if you do it every day. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS Use a fitness-tracking tool to help keep you motivated by reaching daily goals or keeping your activity level in check. A simple pedometer, or a more involved gadget, like a Fitbit, gives you an accurate way of seeing your progress and why some days are better than others. You’ll be more inclined to make a habit out of those good days where you reach a daily goal of 10,000 steps when you see it on your tracking tool. 

Another useful tracking tool (one that exists right at your fingertips with no trip to the gym required) is the plethora of apps aiming to help you get fit. Here are some of our favorites:  COUCH-TO-5K This app gives you the steps to a 5K by guiding users through 30-minutes a day, three days a week for nine weeks running workouts that will leave you feeling accomplished and a lot less winded.  MyFitnessPal A free app with a database of food choices to help you keep track of all those extra bites that normally go unnoticed. Also log your exercise to keep a balanced watch of your daily activity, the key to losing weight the healthy and sustainable way.  YOGAmazing Perfect for people with a busy and stressful schedule, this app aims to provide mix-and-match mini classes to customize your yoga practice to fit your time and environment. People who engage in some form of exercise for as little as 15 minutes per day have a 14 percent lower risk of mortality than people who get no exercise.


2014 53

happy home


New Year's Cleanse: Nicole Style BY NICOLE IRVING

Photo by Lifeprints Photography

I won’t lie. I have a huge problem. I am a self-diagnosed hoarder. It isn’t that I have 100 plastic unicorns lining my bathroom shelf, but I do have the need to save things, collect things and I do have a hard time parting with things. Why? It’s quite simple I think. Some items make me feel good, like all my purses. Some items, like my grandmother’s tea cup, hold sweet memories and some, like the plethora of baby boy clothes in my garage, are hard to get rid of because what “if” baby boy #4 came along. (My husband just fell to the floor.)

"...No, your son does not want HIS children wearing his used, 30-year-old GAP jeans, no matter how cute they once were on his tushie…(sniff sniff)."

My husband on the other hand is a minimalist. His philosophy: Who needs two dressers when you can just clean out the clothes, get rid of the old, and save wall and floor space? For real!

never fit again and no, your son does not want HIS children wearing his used, 30-year-old GAP jeans, no matter how cute they once were on his tushie.

So, how do you balance the hoarder with the minimalist? Here is what I have learned through years of trial and error…and some tears, garage sales and plastic bins.

ºKeep special items and display them, but keep it to a small collection. You don’t have to get rid of memories. Memories are dear to your heart and should be displayed with pride. But, don’t keep everything.

First, ask yourself these questions:

ºThink of cleaning out as therapeutic. Sometimes, it feels so good to get rid of something that you have been staring at for five years and that well, you don’t really like…like that metal wall hanging thing that gave me a twitch. Bye bye!

Does it hold a memory? Do I use it? Does it fit? Why do I need it?


ºIf it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. That includes the baby clothes once you are done with them. They will

ºMake some money with your stuff. Every summer and winter we have a garage sale. I clean out the toys and clothes to make room for new. I use the money for school clothes, supplies and Christmas presents.

ºPut everything where it belongs. This has always been the hardest for me to remember, as I rush through my life at the speed of light. But, if it has a home, put it there. This will cause less clutter, less chaos and maybe less “junk drawers.” Items that are important should stay nice and organized and garbage should be thrown away. So, as 2014 arrives, I challenge you all to do the closet de-clutter! 


{FOR 2014}

Set rituals for staying organized and find everything a home. Return it there each time. Say NO. Cannot burn all candles at every end and some in the middle. Mind needs time to de-stress and re-organize. Eat healthy. A healthy inside promotes a healthy outside.

Check out my blog at for updates on organizing and decluttering. Send me your updated photos of before and after at GIGGLEMAG.COM | DEC/JAN

2014 55

happy home


well as sorts, here’s the starting point for reducing the stress.

Your Tipping Point

» Recognize that no one can

do everything well. We’re happiest when we live life from our strengths. So figure out what you’re good at and do more of it. Now may not be the time to take up a big challenge or to be shamed into taking on one that doesn’t fit your personal plan. It’s okay to say no to opportunities that don’t mesh with your goals. Be clear about your boundaries.

» Recognize time-wasters.

Negative people and social media will swamp your schedules if you let them. Parents complain about their teens being sucked into hours of screen time. How much screen time are you putting in? And what benefits do you get out of those hours? Technology can certainly be used to increase your efficiency in planning and dealing with change but don’t let it steal valuable hours.

» Stay organized…to a point.


balance might be simply to lighten up. Your world isn’t going to

collapse, no matter what you have left undone. Just soak in the present moment and be fully aware of your own thoughts. Let yourself drift a little to observe your mental landscape. Identify the joys in your life. Practice mindful awareness every day.

» You need to pick your

priorities in your professional and personal lives. Spend your time on what’s fun and productive. See if the life you signed up for matches the life you’re living. If you’re out of synch, as

Time is the one element of life that we share equally. The key to using it successfully hinges on how we assign the hours, how much pleasure we expect from life, how we think and talk about our days, and what we are willing to do to change our lives. Keeping a good balance in your life requires continually weighing your options and shifting your behavior as needed. 

 Helen Kornblum is a life coach and organizer in Gainesville, FL. She owns Her specialty is coaching teens and young adults who have ADHD or ADD.




© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Balance is the latest buzzword in professional and personal management. We’re grappling with the family balancing act and work-life-balance while describing ourselves as too busy, too stressed, and too sleep-deprived to get any of it “right.” We are busy, but many of us don’t feel productive. If your life seems like an endless to-do list, maybe it’s time to look into this balance business.

» Your first step to re-establish

Organizing is a tool, a means to an end. If you’re frazzled because you want everything to be perfect, you’re mistaking obsessive behavior for healthy living. Perfectionism is detrimental to your happiness and productivity. It’s usually better to get things done rather than to get them done perfectly. Perfect doesn’t really exist and it’s the enemy of moving forward.


2014 57







Photos by Lifeprints Photography

MEET THE 2014 CONTESTANTS! This year is going to be more exciting…more fantastic...and well, bigger and better than ever. The BWLC #4 ladies are fired up and ready to go. We will be pushing their bodies and minds to the max and challenging them to look deep down and try things they have never tried before. Giggle Magazine and Sweat Life Fitness are excited to see these ladies through this amazing “race” to the ultimate finish…a life of health and wellness. t A WORD FROM DAN & NICOLE I am excited and privileged to lead a brand new group of lucky finalists on a journey that will change their lives forever. We will challenge them to become the best they can be…and they will emerge from these 15 weeks stronger and healthier than ever! Enjoy the ride! - Dan I am thrilled to be a part of the BWLC #4 and be witness to this amazing life changing event! These women are going to have a blast and I can’t wait to see them start the journey of a lifetime! - Nicole GIGGLEMAG.COM | DEC/JAN

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I am forever changed in my eating, fitness and overall lifestyle changes because of my experience! April says she and her family eat clean now and have very little processed foods in their diets. She and her husband completed a Ragnar relay race in the Florida Keys together this past year! This was a 200-mile race run by a 12-person team. They have found ways to include fitness, races, events and training into their lives and entertainment. April also traveled to Napa, California, to run in another relay race with a team of women which supported and raised funds for childhood obesity awareness. She attributes all the BWLC knowledge, education and overall opportunity to be exposed to a new world of health and fitness for forever changing her life, and therefore her kids’ futures too!








If you would like to join us as a sponsor, please contact Nicole Irving at



Teacher Gift Ideas

We love this scratch map from uncommongoods! $20,

That Are Sure to Please BY NICOLE IRVING

FOR THE ONE who loves to read: Bookends for her home library.

FOR THE ONE who loves geography: A scratch map so she can document her travels. FOR THE ONE who loves math: A bedazzled calculator. FOR THE ONE who loves cooking: A set of colorful cooking utensils.

Check out these cute colanders in our holiday gift guide! Pg. 39

FOR THE ONE who loves crafting: A gift basket with pens, stamps, paper and hole punches.


FOR THE ONE who loves flowers: A funky vase with her favorite blossoms.

Š 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved,


FOR THE ONE who loves history: A year subscription to Smithsonian magazine.

Giggle's favorite coffee! Or as we call it, "productivity juice!"

FOR THE ONE who loves the beach: A wooden beach sign for her house.


FOR THE ONE who loves science: A mortar and pestle for cooking.

FOR THE ONE who loves coffee: A pound of locally-owned Gulejo coffee.

FOR THE ONE who loves Gator football: A 2014 Gator Sports Calendar; perfect for keeping track of game days!

FOR THE ONE who loves gardening: A set of gardening tools.

FOR THE ONE who loves movies: A Fandango gift card. Scratch map photo courtesy of uncommongoods.

Searching for the perfect teacher gift to say thank you to your child’s amazing teachers can be overwhelming; after all, what do you get the person who spends six hours a day educating and molding your child into the person they are going to be? Look no more! We have the perfect selection of gifts for all that won't break the bank! Remember, a nice handwritten note about what they mean to you and your child is always a nice bonus too!




happy home


As an interior designer, Brandi Catalanotte understands the important role that color can play in decorating. "Whites, creams, silver and gold are the colors I like to use for my holiday decorations. I choose this palette so it blends with my everyday decor," she says.

T he Catalanottes' Holiday Mantle

Brandi's grandmother always used this Pepsi bottle to roll out her dumplings. It never leaves her mantle!

Brandi also suggests always using things that mean something personal to you so that your holiday decorations are like art and not just items that collect dust.

Photos by Allison Raber

The beautiful train was bought for the Catalanottes' daughter for her first Christmas.


2014 65




Socialization. In the homeschool community, this is often referred to as “The S Word.” Everybody asks how, as homeschoolers, we socialize. Well, in the digital age we live in, it’s pretty easy. And I actually love homeschooling more than traditional schooling, if only for the ample Photo by mikifoto quality time involved in socialization.

Gainesville Homeschool Cooperative As homeschoolers, we have more time for quality time. Our traditionally schooled friends, when asked over to play, are often tied up with homework and afterschool lessons that we cover during the early part of the day. I’ve found that since I began homeschooling, my kids have had more playdates, more field trips, and just more time to hook up with other families and make new friends than they ever did in the traditional school schedule. With our rich homeschool community in Alachua County, there are so many ways for kids (and parents) to socialize. Here are my three favorites:

GAINESVILLE HOMESCHOOL COOPERATIVE MEETUP GROUP A recent convergence of the two largest local homeschool groups made this my official go-to for field trips, playdates, public events, classes and gatherings. Local parents update this group daily with fun, creative and awesome offerings. Through the meet-up group, my kids have attended homeschool classes at the Phillips Center, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Engineering Department at UF, the Cade Museum, the Planetarium, as well as many playdates and park outings.




in the GHC and the classes currently meet in the Yopp! space at the Union Academy/Rosa B. Williams Center. For more information: Gainesville-Homeschool-Cooperative

HOMESCHOOL RESOURCE CENTER The HRC is a growing resource for Gainesville homeschool families, and my kids are looking forward to attending future game nights, and really, really want to join the homeschool rock band. Newly opened, after years of collaboration and community support, the HRC offers homeschool classes, tutoring, parent-education, and overall support for homeschoolers from a group of educated and experienced teachers and parents. Current offerings include robotics classes, preschool classes, teen game night, homeschool rock band and private and group tutoring. Just this month, Florida Virtual School Foundation donated 10 laptops for the virtual learning lab, and with continued donations and community support, HRC is building a lending library for curriculum and supplies. I’m so excited about the HRC. It is going to be an awesome resource and space for families for years to come.

Art playdate at the Harn Museum

Polymers and Colloids class at the Cade Museum

playdates, ideas for future meet-ups, curriculum exchanges, and general digital camaraderie. This group is closed GAINESVILLE AREA HOMESCHOOLERS to the Facebook public, but any local homeschool parent (or parent interested in FACEBOOK GROUP homeschooling) may request to join. An interactive digital space where local homeschool parents (and teens) For more information: Gainesville Area are posting current, relevant and useful Homeschoolers group can be found on blog posts and articles, last minute  For more information:

Photos courtesy of Tara Griffin

My kids will say their favorite meet-up is Park Day. This is a regularly occurring, fun time to socialize and play. Sometimes there is organized kickball or soccer or Capture the Flag among the kids. Parents socialize and compare notes, make plans, and generally enjoy each other’s company. This is a great jumping-in point if you're new to homeschooling or to Alachua County. The meet-up group is also the primary communication tool for a variety of co-op classes. Recently, I’ve seen Meteorology, Yoga, Sign Language, Simple Machines, Art, Book Club, Zoology, Cultural Geography and Geology, but the offerings are always changing. The co-op instructors are volunteer parents

Possum Creek Park playdate

conception2college  EXPECTING 10 Proactive Steps to Decrease the Rate of Birth Defects

 INFANT | 0-1 The Truth About Teething

 TODDLER | 2-3 Scared of Santa?

 EARLY YEARS | 4-7 Saying Thank You One Letter At a Time

 TWEENS | 8-12 Choosing the Right Middle School

 TEENS | 13-18

Photo by Sweet Serendipity Photography

Activities to Do As a Family


2014 69

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Proactive Steps to Decrease the Rate of Birth Defects BY DANA KAMP

Every mom-to-be anxiously awaits those precious ultrasound appointments so we can have a sneak peek of the little bundle of joy growing inside. We want to see if the baby will have Mommy’s nose or Daddy’s ears, if the name “Emily” or “Elliot” will be on the nursery mural, but most importantly we want to be reassured that all is well with the baby’s development. While many birth defects are unpreventable, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network strives to inform expecting mommies (and their families) about what they can do to increase the chances of having positive ultrasound experiences and delivering healthy babies. The NBDPN Education and Outreach Committee develops posters, information packets and other materials to assist others in promoting the prevention of birth defects, especially during the month of January. By openly discussing the ways to prevent common birth defects, we can play a part in decreasing the likelihood of their occurrence.


Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This B vitamin can help prevent major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine.


Don't drink alcohol at any time during pregnancy. Alcohol in the woman's blood passes through the placenta to her baby through the umbilical cord. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant and it can cause a baby to be born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Don't smoke. The dangers of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth, certain birth defects (cleft lip or cleft palate) and infant death. Even being around cigarette smoke puts a woman and her unborn baby at risk for problems.


Talk to your doctor about vaccinations. Many vaccinations are safe and recommended during pregnancy, but some are not. Having the right vaccinations at the right time can help keep a woman and her baby healthy.


Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications. Taking certain medications during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, but the safety of many medications taken by pregnant women has been difficult to determine. Your doctor or midwife can inform you of those you should avoid during your pregnancy.


Prevent infections. Some infections that a woman can get during pregnancy can be harmful to her unborn baby. Learn how to prevent infections and follow the recommended steps in doing so.


Don't use "street" drugs. Using illegal or "street" drugs during pregnancy can cause the baby to be born premature, have a low birth weight, severe health problems and birth defects.


Keep diabetes under control. Poor control of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances for birth defects and other problems for the baby. It can also cause serious complications for the woman.


Reach and maintain a healthy weight. A woman who is obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher) before pregnancy is at a higher risk for complications during pregnancy and increases the risk of several serious birth defects for the baby.


See a health care professional regularly. A woman should be sure to see her doctor or midwife when planning a pregnancy and start prenatal care as soon as she thinks that she is pregnant. The topic of birth defects is difficult to think about and even harder to discuss, but by learning about the common birth defects and the ways to prevent many of them, we can become proactive in our children’s health and well-being before they are even born. 


»» The four most common birth defects are: heart defects, cleft/lip palate, Down syndrome and spina bifida.

»» The most common birth defects in

Florida from 1998-2009 were congenital heart defects.

»» The Center for Disease Control and

Prevention has provided a long list of breakfast cereals that contain 100 percent of the daily value of folic acid per serving. Check it out at ncbddd.

»» Visit to read

about Dr. Gary Shaw. Dr. Shaw was recently given the March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Award for his research linking maternal nutrition to birth defects.

For more information on birth defects prevention, visit




© 2013 iStockphoto. All rights reserved

Birth defects can be caused by genetic factors (such as chromosomal abnormalities), environmental factors (such as cigarettes, chemicals and drugs), certain infections (such as toxoplasmosis or rubella), and many still have unknown causes. These ten steps, recommended by the Center for Disease Control, are ways a woman can take control of her pregnancy and prevent many birth defects.


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AGES 0- 1

The Truth About Teething BY ALLISON MCALHANY, ARNP

Teething is a natural process by which your little one’s teeth erupt through the gums beginning sometime around 6 months of age. The age of onset of teething can range from 4-12 months. Generally the bottom middle teeth (central incisors) erupt first. This is followed by the middle and lateral upper incisors several weeks later. Babies’ responses to this teething process can be as different as the personalities of the babies themselves. Some infants will not show any symptoms of the tooth eruption and the parent seems surprised at the checkup when we mention that a tooth is poking through the gum. Many parents however have a different experience and the symptoms associated with teething can range from mild fussiness to less than a great night’s sleep for many nights in a row. Ultimately every baby goes through this process, so helping to relieve the symptoms becomes the focus of many parents during this fun time of infancy.

Drooling is frequently associated with teething and it may be helpful to have a bib so that her neck doesn’t stay wet, leading to an ideal environment for rashes to develop. Occasionally the baby’s appetite may be affected if her gums are sensitive. Be sure to offer



Fevers are greatly debated as being caused by teething and we generally do not see teething as the cause of a true fever of greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If your child is not eating well, has a fever and is very fussy, don’t assume teething is to blame as several viral and bacterial infections also have the same symptoms. We would recommend a visit to your primary care provider if these symptoms last more than 48 hours, or sooner if associated with an ill-appearing or dehydrated child. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is often used for discomfort of teething, however this can mask a true fever so we recommend only using it if the child is not able to be comforted with other methods. We do not recommend ibuprofen in an infant of less than 6 months of age. Just when you think teething is complete, you may suddenly have your 2-year-old putting his hands in his mouth. Remember that there are molars that erupt at approximately 2 years old, 6 years old and then again at 12, and finally the wisdom teeth at approximately 18 years of age to complete the set. Don't forget to begin brushing those little teeth as soon as they erupt to keep them clean and healthy. 


{ Teething Checklist} TEETHING AID Wet refrigerated or frozen washcloths are a good and readily available. BIBS Babies will drool buckets, so save their cute outfits and keep them dry during this time by carrying lots of bibs. Change regularly as the moisture can cause discomfort. PAIN RELIEVER Recommend if child can not be comforted by other means, but generally Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen are given to children over 6 months of age. (Always check with your care provider prior to giving your child any medications.)

TOOTHBRUSH As soon as the little teeth start coming in and popping to the surface, it is important to have children's tooth brushes on hand. PATIENCE And lots of it. Babies will be cranky and miserable. Remember, this too shall pass!

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Along with gaining new milestones including crawling, pulling to a stand and cruising, your child may often put his hand in his mouth to help soothe his gums. We recommend using a cool to cold gentle teething aid such as a wet refrigerated or frozen washcloth or one of the many available teething aids available for purchase. This allows babies to chew on something other than their hands and the cold can help soothe the gums.

soft foods if your baby seems affected and ensure adequate hydration.

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AG E S 2 - 3


My toddler was 1½ and dressed to impress for his Santa pictures. As we moved closer to the front of the line, I looked up from straightening his ridiculously adorable bow tie to see the little boy in front of us on Santa’s lap screaming in terror as his mom took pictures. I looked down at my little man, whose eyes were also filling with tears, stepped out of line, and took him to play in the coin-operated spaceship across the way. Yeah, I wanted his picture with Santa, but scaring him into a frenzy really didn’t seem very Christmas-y! According to Dr. Fogarty, an ounce of preparation will make all the difference, but it is important not to push your child to a level that he or she isn’t ready if the child shows an unusual level of fear. “In fact,” Dr. Fogarty says, “emotional self-regulation is developing through the early years, so when younger kids (up to age 5-6) are overwhelmed by a situation, they try to drown out senses by covering their eyes or ears, or removing themselves by running away.” And a crying, screaming child will not make for a successful photo moment! For the best possible experience, make sure to prepare your child for their visit with Santa, but be prepared yourself if they do not want to climb up into the big guy’s lap. When all is said and done, visiting Santa is supposed to be fun for kids, not scary. So, if your child is not having fun with the photo op, consider just skipping it this year and do something you can both enjoy. 

*Dr. Kate Fogarty is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Sciences at the University of Florida, specializing in the area of youth development.






SANTA PHOTO Do a practice run. A few days before you get your child’s picture taken, stop by the mall so he can see the Santa set-up. Let him get used to everything and see other kids getting their picture taken. Bring snacks. Hungry kids are more likely to act out, so have snacks to keep the kiddos happy. Bring a favorite toy or teddy. This little piece of familiarity might be just enough to keep your little one comfortable. Don’t skip naptime. If your little one is a napper, make sure he gets his nap on the big day! A tired toddler is far more likely to have a meltdown! Have a backup plan. If your child doesn’t cooperate, have a Plan B like visiting Santa a different day or in a different location.

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

So, what do we do when our kids are scared of Santa? Dr. Kate Fogarty of the University of Florida suggests that it depends on their age. Around age one, children begin to develop stranger anxiety. “I would argue not to push the issue with children that young who are strongly attached to their caregivers and averse to strangers,” Dr. Fogarty says. Instead of taking them to the mall, she suggests having a relative or friend whom the child knows well sport a Santa suit and hold your child for a photo. Around two and a half to three years old, Dr. Fogarty suggests doing a practice run at home with new friends or relatives before braving the mall photo line. “Better yet,” she says, “imitation is big at this age, so have them see peers who are experienced taking pictures with Santa climb onto his lap, interact with him, and take a photo. They may be more likely to follow a friend.”

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early years

AGE S 4- 7

Saying Thank You One Letter At a Time BY KELLY GOEDE

In our entitled culture, gratitude can be hard to come by. For all of our technology and electronic media meant to improve our lives, we are at our core people who retain traditional ideas about the protocol for giftgiving and receiving. And when we or our children are given a gift, no amount of technology can override the rudeness of neglecting to say “thank you.” Teaching our children to express their thanks can begin as soon as they can scribble on a paper, with the method of saying thanks evolving as the child grows.




Even when a verbal “thanks” is offered, the most polite and complete expression of gratitude should exist in some form of writing that spells out the appreciation the recipient feels towards the giver. Namely, a note card with several heartfelt sentences is still the most polite way to say thank you. And if you are floundering with how to proceed, a simple internet search for a thank you note template will yield numerous samples and examples— and your kids never have to know it wasn’t fresh from your brain. And writing a thank you note isn’t just a way to appease grandma. It’s also a skill that will carry them far into the workplace, as children who are taught to say “thank you” turn into grateful adults. 

 THANK YOU NOTE STATION Writing thank you notes for gifts big or small is an important habit to teach young children. After celebrations where there are multiple gifts, set up a Thank You Note station as soon as possible after the gifts are received. Have kids make their own thank you cards with a little help from Mom and Dad. This could become a good tradition and great lesson taught… WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 4x6 blank card stock cards Scissors Pens/crayons Stamps for decorations Give them Envelopes their own Stickers address book Address book this holiday season!

Have them decorate the cards, help them address them and then walk them to the mailbox to send them! They will feel so good about their gesture!

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Children who learn early to be grateful also learn empathy and politeness, key traits for becoming an emotionally mature adult someday. While children are small, parents can snap a photo of them next to the gift to send to the giver, while engaging their child in dialogue about why we say thanks. As children grow, they can begin to write simple sentences or draw a picture to show their appreciation, and then progress to writing their own expressions of thanks--something most children around age eight can accomplish. Parents can also utilize technology and

publicly thank the gift-giver on Facebook. Once children have moved into middle school, it’s time for a lesson in the traditional thank you note—something many gift givers still see as the “gold standard” in being thanked. After all, the person who has shopped for you or given their time or talent has done so when they very easily could have declined.




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AGE S 8- 12

Choosing the Right Middle School BY KELLY GOEDE

For students in public school, a world of possibilities opens up when they finish fifth grade. In Alachua County, students can choose to attend the school for which they are zoned, or they can opt to apply to the three different magnet programs offered at Howard Bishop, Lincoln and Oak View middle schools. During the middle of fifth grade, parents and students begin the arduous process of choosing the middle school that will be the best fit for the student and his or her family. The magnet programs offer additional rigor, even more challenging curriculums, and pacing that would engage students who are looking for something above and beyond what public school has to offer. Howard Bishop’s Academy of Technology and Gifted Studies, Lincoln’s Lyceum, and Oak View’s Center for Advanced Academics and Technology all have stringent entry requirements, considering not just academics but behavior and motivation. The programs begin offering open houses in January and applications are due around February.

From their website: “The differentiated curriculum allows for a faster pace of learning, greater independence, more student choice, and an emphasis on developing creativity and problem solving skills. Teaching strategies include simulations, improvisations, independent studies, acceleration, and the use of materials, activities and projects that are multidisciplinary, abstract, complex and open-ended.” Mrs. Anyana Stokes, Academy Coordinator 352.955.6701




Students wanting a closer look at the various programs can shadow and visit the schools, both public and magnet alike. Once enrolled in a magnet program, students experience benefits in

From their website: “All students at each of the three grade levels have the same core academic teachers. Because of the low numbers, these teams are "pure," which means that the subject area teachers—math, science, social studies, language arts, humanities (foreign language for 8th graders)—share the same students.” 352.955.6711 -click on Magnet Programs


Oak View

both the short and long term, including exposure to technology, challenging curriculum, and preparation for the rigors of advanced high school curriculum in Advanced Placement classes, International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge Program. Navigating the options for middle school is good practice for other decisions that come down the chute as middle schoolers turn into high schoolers and beyond. As parents, we all know our own children best and finding the right fit for middle school helps lay a good foundation to carry them far into the future. 

From their website: “The Center for Advanced Academics and Technology offers students the opportunity to enjoy the challenge of a rigorous academic program, enhanced by (CAAT) technology instruction, that will prepare them for high school advanced studies and magnet programs. A unique component of CAAT is that both its instruction and student performance elements are infused with technology. Students will move at an advanced pace through a technology-rich curriculum.” 352.472.1102 on Magnet Program

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Howard Bishop

Gainesville mom, Loren Smyth, said the process of choosing the right middle school for son Tyler was “complex,” and that the stress of applications and the worry that he wouldn’t be with his friends was tough on him. Smyth adds that, “it’s an awful lot to consider when you are only 10 years old.” In the end, “Tyler was the one who chose where he wanted to go and he is thriving there.”

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teens Activities to Do As A Family

AGES 13-1 8

...When Your Teen Would Rather Be with Friends BY DANIELLE MICHELS

The key to making a family activity something your teen wants to participate in is making it different and interesting enough so that it doesn’t feel like he is being dragged along. Sometimes all you have to do is ask your teen what he thinks would be fun to do as a family, but if he seems indifferent, give him some of the suggestions below to see if one sparks his interest.

game using GPS-enabled devices like a phone or tablet as your map. Your family can navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache–usually a trinket in a container–hidden at that location. Make sure to leave a little surprise of your own before you leave!


FOR ANY FLORIDA FAMILY, a day at the beach is generally fun for everyone. Teens can do more adventurous activities in the water with a boogie or skim board, or if your teen just wants to hang out and relax she can sunbathe or read. They’re still spending time with the family either way.

like bowling, go-kart racing or mini golf. Create a prize that will make your teen want to participate, like a gift card to his favorite store, a pass to get out of one of his chores for a day, or his choice in the next movie you all see as a family.

HUNT FOR TREASURE Give geocaching a try! Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting





Indoor rock climbing, paddle boarding or rollerblading are options that provide a variety of environments so you can do something active even in the midst of summer or on a cold, rainy day. An alternative option is to offer family time on a more one-on-one basis; the whole brood doesn’t always need to be present to have quality time. The important thing is to always let your teen know you want her there and you want to do things she enjoys too. 


IS IT REALLY THAT BAD? Take a road trip

See a Broadway show Take him to vote for the first time Take her to get her driver's license Take him on college tours Schedule dinner/lunch dates Get her a passport

AND JUST IN CASE…WHAT NOT TO DO: Be a third wheel on dates Post baby photos of him on FB Show any signs of affection in front of her crowd of friends Show up to his job with bag of lunch and note with a smiley face

© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved


Popular now are the “mud runs.” Sign you and your teens up for a local mud run, color run or savage race. Not only will you be exercising and getting fit but spending time together and having fun!


Picture your child’s perfect, healthy smile! We specialize in orthodontics for children, teens and adults utilizing state-of-the-art technology to create healthy, beautiful smiles that will last a lifetime.


Reid W. Montini DMD, MS, PA Dr. Reid W. Montini attended Florida State University for his undergraduate studies, received his dental degree from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and completed his residency in orthodontics at the University of Florida. Dr. Montini is an active member of numerous professional organizations and is dedicated to staying current with the latest advances in orthodontic treatment and technology.

At Cohen & Montini Orthodontics, our top priority is to provide the highest quality orthodontic care in a patient-friendly environment.

7520 W. University Ave., Suite C • Gainesville

352-332-7911 Call today to schedule your complimentary consultation


happy community December NOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 5

Happy Hanukkah!


Christmas at the Gaylord Palms® Resort 407-586-2000 NOVEMBER 22-DECEMBER 22

A Tuna Christmas

The Hippodrome State Theatre NOVEMBER 23-DECEMBER 21

A Christmas Carol

The Hippodrome State Theatre NOVEMBER 29-DECEMBER 22


Gainesville Community Playhouse at the Vam York Theatre DECEMBER 1

Tioga Town Center Holiday Kick-off

4-8 p.m. Free Tree lighting, Santa, parade and more DECEMBER 3

Sounds of the Season



Festival of Lights

Haile Santa Dash

DECEMBER 6-8 AND 13-15


Gainesville Christmas Festival

Operation Santa Delivery

Stephen Foster Cultural Center 386-397-4331

Westside Baptist Church

Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa Visit


4th Annual Reindeer Run/Walk


1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Danscompany of Gainesville

5-9 p.m. Haile Village Center




5 p.m. Tioga Town Center


Sleeping Beauty and the Saving Prince 6:30 p.m. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall DECEMBER 7



A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe

2 p.m. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall

Haile Homestead Holidays

Light the Village Night

Christmas Parade

2-3 p.m. Main Street, Downtown Gainesville




6-8 p.m. City of Alachua County Municipal Complex

7:30 p.m. Phillips Center Free tickets distributed at noon the day of show from the Phillips Center Box Office.

7:30 p.m. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall

10 a.m-1 p.m. Santa Fe College North Fields Pictures with Santa, games and more 352-334-1000



Choral Holiday Concert

8 a.m. Haile Village Center

Dudley Farm Cane Day 9 a.m.-3 p.m. DECEMBER 8

Noon-4 p.m. DECEMBER 13

Uptown Art Hop for the Holidays 6 p.m. Thornebrook Village



Santa Jam

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thunder Musical Park Toys For Tots Drive Live Entertainment By Country Music Legend David Ball At 3 p.m. Suitable for all ages 352-235-2803 DECEMBER 15

Gainesville Community Band Christmas Concert (Bright Christmas) 2 p.m. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall

happy community DECEMBER 15

Alachua County Youth Orchestra Winter Concert 7:30 p.m.


Newberry Main Street Festival of Lights 1-8 p.m.


Newberry Christmas Parade 5 p.m.



3rd Annual Night in the Big Apple Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall 352-955-7003


Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 10 a.m-6 p.m. (January 31-9:30 a.m-3 p.m.) Alachua County Fairgrounds JANUARY 26

Souper Fun Sunday

1-4 p.m. St. Francis Catholic High School

Alachua County Public Schools Winter Break DECEMBER 23

Live Nativity and Chapel Carols 6-7:30 p.m. Trinity UMC


Merry Christmas! DECEMBER 26-JANUARY 1

Happy Kwanzaa! January JANUARY 6

















10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Public Schools Back in Session JANUARY 12

Collectors Day

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free Florida Museum of Natural History JANUARY 17 AND JANUARY 20

No School for Public School Students JANUARY 20

















10 11

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday GIGGLEMAG.COM | DEC/JAN

2014 93




out of pages


s! but not idea



Each year January 1 comes along and with it, a brand new year, a fresh start to our lives, a clean slate. As 2014 rolls in, let’s make the best out of the year ahead with a fresh new outlook. Here are some great ways to make this year better than ever!

» GIVE UP one bad habit of your choice for the year. You will feel so much better. » VOW to try 14 new foods

» ALWAYS look your best when

this year.

you leave your house. Take 14 minutes to get ready for the day!

» COMPLETE one random

» PLAN 14 date nights with your

» SIGN up for a race/walk/

» PLAN 14 date nights with your

» SAY NO. Do not feel like

» VOW to eat dinner together

act of kindness each month.

marathon. Challenge yourself!

you have to overbook your kids or yourself.


write thank you notes for each gift and act of kindness you receive.




Meet April Tisher. You might recognize April from our 2nd BWLC. She is a dynamic mother of 4 and avid Giggle Fan. She officially joined our team in October as a website blogger and a member of our sales team.

Welcome April! What do you love about working at Giggle Magazine? It's the full package. I get to hang out with my awesome co-workers and help put together the best magazine around. What is your favorite fruit? Those pears from Harry & David that you can only get at Christmas time! Twilight or Harry Potter? Twilight for sure! What is your favorite thing about living in Gainesville? Homecoming weekend! Where else does a whole town come together for the University's homecoming parade? Plus, I love Gator football! If you could be any superhero, who would you be? I'm already a super hero, I'm a MOM :) Although the ability to fly like Superman would come in handy!



as a family every night that it is possible. No TV/computer/games/ phones.

» DRINK more water. » PLANT a garden. It is good for the soul.

Visit to see THE REST! 96

on Twitter! Follow me mag azine



Want to see what inspires April? Follow April's Pinterest board on the Giggle Magazine Pinterest feed!


miss our Feb * Mar ISSUE


© 2013 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

» READ 14 books this year.

Visit to see everything else we have up our sleeve!

Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine December/January 2014  

Giggle Magazine December/January 2014