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happy family • happy community TM

FEB/MAR 2011 • Volume 3 • Issue 1

Toasting to tradition: Four-Leaf Folklore Traditions of St. Patrick's Day

Dad’s Camping Survival Guide

a fresh ways to express yourself with flowers!

A Glamorous

Quinceañera plus!

Our Exclusive Hollywood Sweet 16

dream i in ng

Chocolat pg 34


Nominate your


Nicole Irving Publisher


Shane Irving Vice President Alison Walker Managing Editor Julie Rezendes Art Director Amy Keene Visual Designer and Coordinator Contributing Writers Wendy Joysen, Chris Wilson, Helen Kornblum, Dana Kamp, Janet Groene, Sondra Randon, Kelsey McNiel, Tamara Herchel, Leigh Menninger, Christina Vila, Sarah Loftus, Daniel Griffin, LeAndra Valentine, Stephanie Thomas

Do you want the opportunity to tell your community about how much you appreciate one of your children’s teachers? Here’s your chance! To nominate a teacher, you or your child can write a short essay (100 words or less) sharing how much you appreciate them and why they deserve to be giggle’s teacher of the year! Teachers from kindergarten through grade 12 who teach in any school located in Alachua County are eligible for nomination.


Submityour on or before by February 25, 2011. Chosen teachers will be featured in the April/May Issue.

Contributing Photographers Laurel Housden Photography, Kelsey Lynn Photography, Lifeprints Photography Sales Tracey Hardin, Shane Irving Marketing Intern Stephanie Thomas 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 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 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 Unit 286 Gainesville, FL 32608

Physical address 9127 SW 52nd Ave Suite D-102 Gainesville, FL 32608

p. 352.505.5821 f. 352.240.6499 giggle magazine is registered trademark property of Irving Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. giggle magazine is published by Irving Publications, LLC. © 2010 al ac hua

coun t y’s


FaM I ly


M aGaZI n E


happy family • happy community


delic ayd holid kies! ious



DEC/JAN 2010 • Volume 1 • Issue 6

the peace akeeping with the family during the holidays it’s potty training time! creative gift

wrapping ideas!


Members of

happy family • happy community





every issue


24 giggle Stamp

13 Birthday

Camping Gear

25 For Dads. By Dads. Camping with the kids

34 In The Kitchen

The History of Chocolate

43 Health & Wellness National Nutrition Month

46 Lifesavers

How to get greens into your kids tummies

50 Family Spotlight

columns Parties

Celebrating your child's Quinceañera and Sweet 16

21 The Big Weight Loss Challenge

44 Legal Side

Know the laws when it comes to your rights at school

49 All Kidding Aside

Puppy love - How to help your child deal with heartache

31 Express Youself...with Flowers 38 It All Began with Hello

Giggle family members share their own love stories

69 Organized Solutions

Professional organizer Helen Kornblum helps us find easy ways to keep our busy family lives organized.

55 Easy St. Patrick's Day Crafts 56 Dental Health 72 Luck of the Irish

The Holloway family shares their love for the Gators and each other

53 Ladies’ Night Out Hippodrome Theater

60 Why I Love Raising My Family in Alachua The Brindise family

63 giggle Dollars

How to spend Valentine’s Day with loved ones on a budget

65 giggle trips

Camping in the Panhandle

on the cover Four leaf Folklore 72 Dad's Camping Survival 25 Guide Fresh Ways to Express 31 Yourself with Flowers Toasting to Tradition 14 A Glamorous Quinceañera Hollywood Sweet 16 16 Dreaming in Chocolate 34







happy family • happy community TM

FEB/MAR 2011 • Volume 3 • Issue 1

Toasting to tradition: Four-Leaf Folklore Traditions of St. Patrick's Day

Dad’s Camping Survival Guide

a fresh ways to express yourself with flowers!

A Glamorous

Quinceañera plus!

Our Exclusive Hollywood Sweet 16

dream in


Chocoinlate pg 34







Cover, Emily's Quinceañera Photo courtesy of Laurel Housden Photography



If you live in Alachua County and are interested in receiving giggle magazine for free, visit our web site at to subscribe now! giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011






Letter from the Publisher


ell, we survived the holidays. Yes, we survived our 20-hour car trip with three munchkins to my parent’s home in Connecticut this year. I even followed my “Mommy’s car travel survival check list” from our December issue to make sure I didn’t forget a thing. The boys had a blast in the snow, thanks to the North East Blizzard that blew through. It was so much fun watching them play for hours in the white fluff, throwing snowballs at their Uncle and building a snowman that, according to my parents, is still standing today. We survived and had a blast, as I hope all of you did too. So now, it is back to reality - homework, chess, gymnastics, lunchboxes and birthday parties. It is a very busy time. I don’t know about you, but I have had a hard time sticking to those simple New Year’s Resolutions that I made only a month ago. Seriously - no cookies, coffee or purse shopping? What was I thinking? However, one thing that has inspired me to get back on track with my own exercise regime are the wonderful seven ladies who are competing in our Big Weight Loss Challenge. These ladies are working hard and have dedicated themselves to getting healthy and fit. In this issue we give you a glimpse at their hard work and an introduction to the trainers at Sweat Life Fitness who are helping them reach their goal. Our February/March issue would not be complete without a little bit of love, luck and fun! So, dive right in and enjoy our features on Four-leaf Folklore, the history of Chocolate, and even an adorable tribute to Dr. Seuss. In the honor of Valentine’s Day, some of the giggle family shared their True Love stories.

Irving Christmas 2010

aNicole Publisher

Meet Emily

in other giggle


giggle magazine is on ®

a School- Buchholz High School a Favorite subject- History a Favorite movie- Legally Blonde 1 & 2 a What she loves about living in Gainesville, is meeting new and adventurous people. Plus hanging out with her friends. a How did she find her dress? She found it in a boutique in Miami. (FYI) pink is her favorite color... a What did she enjoy most about her party? It was seeing her ideas and creativity come to life and sharing her big day with family and friends.



twitter® and facebook® Join us Today!

Photos by Laurel Housden Photography

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a by Rachael Pino

very year in the United States, more than half a million E babies are born prematurely. That’s more than 500,000 reasons why you should join the fight against the birth of pre-

mature babies with the March of Dimes. Originally founded in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the March of Dimes changed its focus from researching polio after a successful polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s. Since then, the organization has fought to research and prevent birth defects and infant mortality. “Premature babies can happen to anyone,” said Lindsay Krieg, the organization’s community director for North Central Florida. “A mother can do everything right and have a ‘textbook’ birth and go into labor at 29 weeks,” she said, adding that most misconceive nine months as sufficient time for a healthy pregnancy. Planned Cesarean sections that are preformed too early or just to relieve the mother may also contribute to the number of premature births. “In reality full term is 39 weeks,” she said. Krieg’s passion for the program grew once she realized how much the March of Dimes has helped those close to her.

“March of Dimes was instrumental in saving my family,” she said. - cousin was born with

The success stories of Jack and Will Ryan are two more reasons to support the cause of raising awareness and fighting premature birth. Jack, born six weeks premature on Feb. 11, 2008, suffered from apnea, which causes breathing to stop for more than 20 seconds, and bradycardia, a slow heart rate. He was able to go home after spending 12 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). According to the March of Dimes website, the NICU Family Support



signature program at Shands at UF Hospital in Gainesville provides free emotional support and needed information to the families with babies in the NICU and in the event of an infant death. “For so many of these families, they are often in the hospital for four, five or six months,” Krieg said. The NICU’s support system is sometimes the only way families get through it. “It helps them see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “It’s a war. It’s something no one should ever have to go through.” But the Ryans, just like so many other families, did have to go through it. “The first five days were the scariest,” said Katie Ryan, the boys’ mother. When Katie and her husband, David, decided to have a second child, they didn’t know what to expect. When Will was born on July 22, 2009, a little bit after 36 weeks, his lungs weren’t functioning. “He just wasn’t ready,” she said, adding that the second time around in the hospital was much more stressful because she had another baby at home. “I kinda had to juggle with the two,” she said. Will was given a lung medication shortly after his birth to help him breathe. The March of Dimes supports research and invests millions of dollars in the creation of lifesaving drugs such as the synthetic lung surfactant for infants born too early, just like Will. After nine days inside the NICU, Will went home. According to the March of Dimes website, “widespread use of surfactant has contributed to a significant drop in deaths from RDS [respiratory distress syndrome] and a drop in the U.S. infant mortality rates.” After their traumatic entrances, the boys adjusted to home and have remained free of complications. Jack has had no complications due to his prematurity. Will undergoes hearing tests twice a year because studies have shown that there is a correlation between pulmonary hypertension and hearing loss. So far, he has tested normal. “You wouldn’t even know now,” Katie said of the boys’ hospital days. “They’re healthy and happy and good little boys.” Katie and her family feel very fortunate that they have not had serious complications, as they realize that many families do. In order to continue the research for preventing prematurity and creating medicines like the one that helped baby Will breathe,

Photos by Lifeprints Photography

a birth defect, her brother had complications to a healthy delivery and her boyfriend was born premature. All were able to lead healthy lives after receiving medical care provided by March of Dimes research.

Saving the Lives of Babies Born too Soon

the March of Dimes is continually raising awareness about babies born too soon and the funds to prevent infant mortality. Communities across the country come together to celebrate the lives that are changed due to the efforts of the March of Dimes by hosting an annual March for Babies walking event. Katie and her family has teamed up with another family for the March for Babies this year and has set a goal to raise $5,000. The Ryans' will be walking to give back to the organization that saved their family and to spread awareness to the public. “Our local chapter is very strong and has a lot of resources for families going through the NICU,” Katie said. “We’ll always be supporters of the March of Dimes.”

The 41st March for Babies in Alachua County will be held on March 26, with

registration and other events taking place at Westwood Middle School’s Athletic Field. This year’s event will try to surpass last year’s fundraising of about $765,000. Registration for the march is easy and is available online and on the morning of the walk. This year, the date of the walk coincides with the beginning of spring break for many schools, which may impact the amount of money raised. But Krieg has faith that the community will come through, as Alachua’s event is the third highest walk site in the state. “That says something about what the residents in this town believe,” Krieg said. The March begins at 8 a.m. and ends around noon. Participants will walk for about eight and a half miles, receiving plenty of snacks along the way. “It’s the only athletic event in Gainesville that you can walk eight and a half miles and still gain weight,” she said. Walkers will pass through Ambassador Avenue, where families with premature children can wait, and Memory Mile, which honors those families who have lost a child to the fight. “It’s a good way to put a face on the reason we’re doing it,” Krieg said. Not all babies who are born too soon are as lucky as Jack and Will. With the help of many volunteers and generous donors, the March of Dimes continues to raise awareness and funds to increase the number of babies who have a chance to make it home. For more information about the March of Dimes or how you can be a part of the March for Babies in Alachua County, visit a

Make a Difference! Join the giggle magazine team today for the 2011 “March of Dimes - March for Babies” March 26, 2011 email for more details

giggling for babies™

giggl e ®



giggl e scoop

news and information to keep you informed

Today’s distractions no worse than those of yesteryear With the rise of technology comes tension between parents and children. Studies have concluded that using today’s media and social network sites is no more harmful to children than watching television was for their parents. Each generation has a form of mindless entertainment, and this one has turned to computers and cell phones instead of television sets. One harm that may arise is the need to multitask, which could really have a negative effect in the classroom. (

Hunger act applauded by President and First Lady President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The act increases the number of children eligible to receive free meals at school and improves the quality of the food provided. The law aims to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. (

Cereal giant helps curb childhood weight issues Post Foods, a popular cereal maker, decided to cut back on the amount of sugar used in Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles. The decision came as an effort to help curb childhood obesity. Favorites among children, with the help of Fred Flintstone on the box, the breakfast options will now contain less sugar and be gluten-free. (

Fussy parents may lead to fussy eaters A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that nagging children until they eat could have adverse effects on their eating habits. Children enjoyed food more when they weren’t being pressured to eat. The study found that restricting a child’s diet to only healthy foods may cause them to become picky eaters and ultimately indulge in unhealthy foods. (

Brain growth a welcome side effect of having a baby In a small study recently conducted, a team discovered small but significant increases in the gray matter in certain parts of the brain of new mothers. The changes come about within months of giving birth. The areas of the brain where the changes were observed are involved in motherly behavior and motivation. Women who praised their babies saw more growth in their midbrains, the parts involved in motivation, reward and emotion processing. (



Celebratingyourchild'sspecialdaywith glamour and style


birthday parties


magazine • feb/march 2011


It’s Party Time! It’s Party Time!


It’s Party Time! It’s Party Time!

Quinceañera A Celebration of Life and Tradition

By Christina Vila Photography by Laurel Housden Photography


t’s every girl’s dream to be the princess, to wear the beautiful dress and to be the center of attention - even if only for a few hours. For Hispanic girls, that dream comes true with her 15th birthday on the night of her Quinceañera. Like a sweet sixteen or a debutante ball, a Quinceañera formally introduces Hispanic girls into society. What began as a tradition to celebrate a girl’s transition into womanhood has become one of the culture’s greatest celebrations. In early Latin American history, the tribes of Meso-America had rituals to celebrate a girl’s passing into womanhood - celebrations that would mark her passing into society. These traditions, still very much alive in Latin American

14 giggle

and Caribbean countries, originated on the Iberian Peninsula and were brought to the New World by missionaries. In more traditional families, especially in those of Latin America, the festivities begin with a Mass. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, this service gives the quinceañera an opportunity to renew her baptismal promises. Members of the girl’s family give her signs of faith, including a Bible, a rosary and a prayer book, after the priest blesses them. These gifts are a reminder of her commitment to the church and her duty to continue with these customs in adulthood. After the religious celebration comes the most exciting part of the whole affair, the dinner banquet. The quinceañera makes a grand entrance before all the attendees, who

can total between 50 and 500 people on average (with some parties going way beyond that number). While the Mass is a more intimate affair, the party is a chance for the girl to invite friends and acquaintances.

It’severygirl'sdream to be a princess During the party, the girl puts on a show for her guests along with 14 couples she has chosen to be in her court. The quinceañera, her escort and her court dance a waltz and other numbers of the girl’s choosing. These dances have been choreographed and practiced for weeks in advance. The quinceañera celebrates wearing a beautiful gown similar to a wedding

birthday parties p


dress. There are many stores that cater to renting the perfect dress for the occasion, but you can also choose to buy the dress or make your own.

Birthdaygirland her mom

As a commemoration of the occasion, the quinceañera will also take professional pictures in her dress. Most girls choose to take pictures in the photographer’s studio and in an outdoor setting such as a garden or the beach. In recent years, there has been an upsurge in alternative celebration methods. Girls are now opting for family trips or specialized Quinceañera Cruises instead of elaborate parties. On these cruises, the girls have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays with a group of other quinceañeras, an opportunity for the girls to celebrate along with all their friends. In groups of 30 to 40 girls, they spend the week taking pictures and creating videos with their group while taking in the sites of countries like Puerto Rico and Mexico. The week’s main event is the girls’ own ball. They put on their dresses and take pictures with their families before heading to the stage. At their ball, the girls dance the waltz with their fathers after presenting themselves to the rest of the attendees.

Sweet treats for guests

It’s Party Time!

Theyputontheirdressesandtake pictureswiththeirfamiliesbefore heading on stage. For families with a smaller budget, this is a great option. Although it is still pricey, the expense of going on a cruise is nothing to the tens of thousands of dollars spent on most quinces. At a time where things seem to be moving too fast and family customs are being pushed aside, it appears that the tradition of the Quinceañera still thrives. Hispanics find tradition and cultural history very important, and today’s generations seem to be preserving these customs. Although it may only seem like an opportunity to have a huge party, a Quinceañera, a time-honored tradition, doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. a

Emily on her big day giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011


Hollywood Sweet 16

Our Exclusive Hollywood Sweet 16 BY: NICOLE IRVING Photography by Laurel Housden Photography

Giggle magazine is proud to present our very special Hollywood Sweet 16 birthday celebration. With all things Hollywood as our backdrop, we took the “sweet” to the next level. We brought in all the candy and treats a teenaged crowd could ask for as we set up the perfect venue to celebrate that special day! Perfect for both a girl and boy, our Hollywood Sweet 16 just screams fun. Photos are a must for any Hollywood star. We set up a where our guests or photographer could have fun snapping away. Set up a “prop box” with simple and appropriate themed props, such as hats, sunglasses or scarves. Your guests will enjoy dressing up as their favorite Hollywood actor or actress, sports figure or supermodel. Having a photo booth allows your guest to immerse themselves into the theme, get creative and capture lasting memories all at the same time!

photo booth

special "ticket" invite

All things “sweet” was the theme of the menu. From homemade cookies to marshmallows, we had it covered. were served In lieu of a traditional cake, with simple party themed accents to tie it all together. In keeping with the theme, we set up a red carpet to lead our guests straight up to the candy bar so they could indulge in all of their favorite sweet treats throughout the evening.



Did you know that each candle on a Sweet 16’s cake represents something special? In a traditional Sweet 16 candle lighting ceremony, each candle that the birthday girl lights represents someone important in her life. For example, the guest of honor can explain to her guests how special her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and best friends are to her. Once the candle lighting ceremony is over, the guests can sing “Happy Birthday,” serve up the cake or cupcakes, and party the rest of the night away!

giggle tip

Try to color coordinate all the treats to match your theme!

great invite

It’s Party Time!

Every great party begins with a . By incorporating your theme into your invitation, you give your guests a taste of the Hollywood glitz and glamour-filled event that they will soon experience! We added just the right touches of Hollywood to ours. Remember, be creative! Celebrating your child’s 16th birthday is a time for honoring them - who they are and what they are going to become. It’s a big milestone worth rejoicing, so most importantly, have fun with it and let their personalities shine. a

photo booth


Specniakl tha you

Plantation Hall at Haile

ADORE Events

Grande Events


magazine • feb/march 2011


Ask the

Party Planner


my Keene, owner and lead planner for ADORE Events, answers frequently asked questions about birthday party do’s and don’ts.

1. Are birthday party favors required?

No. If you are not able to give a favor or do not want to add on to the party, make sure you have something for your guests to enjoy while they are attending. It can be as simple as tasty snacks or a great cake to remember.

2. Are competitive games appropriate at my child’s birthday party? Age appropriate games, of course. If your child is not interested, then their friends will not be either. If your child enjoys competitive games, then make sure you have a prize that will be enjoyed by all the children attending so no one is left out.

3. My child got more than one of the same gift. Should I ask the parents for the receipts so that I can exchange them for something else?

5. My daughter got a diamond bracelet for her birthday from a close friend. Do I make her graciously give it back or should I allow her to keep it? Do not give the bracelet back. The friend gave the thoughtful gift with your child in mind. Depending on the age of the child, keep the bracelet but maybe only allow her to wear it on “special occasions” and keep it in a safe place.

6. What types of invitations are appropriate for a small birthday party for my child and their friends?

Depending on the age of the child, allow them to help you pick or even create an invitation. Most craft stores will have a ‘do it yourself’ home kit. If it is teen party, create something related to the theme of their party or have a local printer help with a design and printing.

7. Should I call people if they have not RSVP’d or do I accept that as a “NO”?

If a parent sees that their gift is a duplicate, allow them to offer the receipt to you. You do not want to offend them by choosing one and hurting the other parent’s feelings. If you do not get the receipt back, take the gift to the store and see if it can be ‘exchanged.’

If you are throwing a party and a caterer or venue is involved you will want to check in with each guest who has not responded in order to give an ‘accurate head count’. If you are having a party at your home, count in one more family worth of guests and assume the rest who have not RSVP’d will not show. Always over prepare for the ‘just in case’ guests.

4. My child does not want to have a big party; however, I know that our family wants to throw one for him. What should I do?

8. I feel like I don’t get to enjoy my children’s parties because I’m always ‘working’ them. What should I do about asking for help so I can enjoy it too?

A simple family dinner is always a great way to celebrate without throwing a big party.

If you don’t have family in town, it’s okay to ask an organized friend or hire a party planner to run the event for you so you can enjoy the party. Most vendors are affordable and will allow you to take the stress off and have a good time.


It’s Party Time!

It’s Party Time!

party essentials

PetiteTreatIndividual Cupcake Stands Designed by Rosanna® use these adorable cupcake stands to showcase any special sweet treat!

18 giggle

Merry Menagerie Candle Set

Candle Tin Favors by Event Blossom

Designed by Reed & Barton®, this adorable set of candle holders include a duck, fish, turtle, frog, quail and dove. Comes with a blue cake giftbox for boys (pink for girls). Candles included.

These adorable personalized candle favors are the perfect compliment to any sweet sixteen or quinceañera.


m n i

on enti

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oe rfv i fc e s t 1y o0u r % s r fi

Recently Named 2010 Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Leading Women’s Enterprise!

Residential & C o m m e r cia l C l e a n in g La u n d r y Erra n d s D o g Wa l ki n g Pe t Sitt i n g Ba b y s itt in g H o u s e Sitt in g O rg a n izin g Pa rt y Pre p & Cleanup H o l i d a y Se t U p & Ta ke Do w n

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is over! a solid foundation of muscle, balance and coordination. The training will become more demanding as the participants successfully complete each component of their program. By the time they reach the halfway point (week 8), they will be doing things they never thought possible.

by Daniel griffin Photos by Laurel Housden Photography

Danielle, April, Laura, Elissa, Betty Jo, Elaine and Daphne have officially taken the first steps toward changing the rest of their lives. Below is a brief description of what the first 8 weeks of their journey will consist of. It all begins with an Initial Evaluation. We need to obtain a starting point and have data to measure their progress against. The Initial Evaluation is extremely thorough. We dig into their medical, exercise, behavioral, and nutritional histories. We evaluate their current state of nutrition, behavioral patterns, and fitness level. We perform the Initial PhysioGraph body composition measurement to discover their pounds of body fat, pounds of lean body mass (muscle), hydration levels, and Basal Metabolic Rate (resting metabolic rate). Then, armed with all of this valuable information, we set their goals for the next 16 weeks. Each participant’s goals are different; but the one thing they all have in common is that they want to make a change – and change they will!

Our Participating Sponsors 20 giggle

Goals are nothing without a great plan of attack. So the next step is to develop our plan. Our plan must be realistic and sustainable. It must encompass the Three Pillars of Fitness: Proper Nutrition, Physical Training, and Mental Conditioning. The first step in our plan is to take a tour of the supermarket. This is where everyone will be getting their food, so they must know what foods are conducive to their success and which foods will hinder their progress. Since weight loss is a goal of each participant, we focus on foods that give us more “bang for the buck “ – foods that are high in nutritional value, but lower in overall caloric value (i.e. lean meats, vegetables, fruits, beans). We use the Glycemic Index as a guide to choose foods high in fiber and lower in sugars. Next, we introduce the Physical Training. Our participants will participate in Group Training sessions at Sweat Life Fitness three times per week for 60 minutes each session. They will be taken through a proper exercise progression that will allow them to establish

Go G

ator Green

Finally, our ladies will become mentally strong. We will teach them to say “I CAN do it” and approach their new lifestyle with excitement and enthusiasm. Negative thoughts will be squashed! They will write, in great detail, their vision of what they want to become. We will revisit that vision every day; until they create an unbreakable mindset for success. We will also issue "homework" which will consist of reading, writing, and educational strategies to keep their mind strong. a

Join our facebook page now to see pictures and follow their progress.

meet the trainers DAN GRIFFIN, BS, NSCA-CSCS Certification/Degree:

NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist; EMERY Behavioral Medicine Certified Weight Managagement Specialist; MedX Spinal Rehab, Reebok RNT; CPR/First Aid Certified, BSExercise Sport Science, University of Florida.

Be my Valentine

Training Specializations:

Weight Loss; High Intensity Strength Training; Sport-Specific Training; Group Training.

Hobbies/Special Interests: Sports – any and all; Exercise; Home Improvement; Fishing; Music; Playing With My Two Kids. Philosophy on Exercise: Quote:

Train like an athlete.

“Commit. Train. Live the Sweat Life!”

MEGAN MERKLE, CPT Certification/Degree:

ACE-certified personal trainer; Applied Physiology and Kinesiology - Fitness and Wellness specialization track, University of Florida.

Training Specializations:

Sport-Specific Training; Speed and Agility Training, General Fitness.

Hobbies/Special Interests:

All sports; college football; reading books.

Quote: "There is a world of difference between knowing what to do, and doing it."

Caitlyn Shepard Certification/Degree:


ACE certified, I am going back to school to get a bachelor's degree in nursing. Ultimately, I want to be a first assistant surgeon.

Hobbies/Special Interests:

Running is my passion. I ran cross country and track in high school. My event in track was the 400m dash. Currently, I'm training for the Disney Princess Half-marathon. I'm interning at Sweat Life Fitness, where I'll be deeply involved in the Big WeightLoss Challenge project. I graduate from UF in Spring 2011 with a BS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.


Leset w et Forg

One Mother’s View on the Importance of Camp – Summer Camp’s Role in the Education of Children

By Elizabeth B. Morse

There I was, surrounded by piles of dirty laundry. Several things, especially the towels, were scarred with the little black spots that are mildew’s calling card. We had been unpacking the foot-lockers all morning and still had 101 miscellaneous, but essential items that needed homes for the winter. How many times did I hear, “Mom, NO - you can’t throw that away!” How silly of me not to know that the damp, folded square of paper, when opened, would yield my oldest daughter’s best riflery target of the summer. I realized again that I must be careful with these treasures saved from a whole season’s worth of experiences.

Why do we participate in this yearly ritual? Talk of camp spreads throughout the year, but the intensity builds to a crescendo in May. The lists of “Things I Need for Camp” elicited from my girls can fill volumes. Naturally, my twelve year old, after three seasons, has the art of I have to have’s down to a science! Camp is so special that to have our school district even consider year-round school makes the whole family think seriously of moving. I cringe when I hear educators saying that summer camp isn’t an important consideration when marketing year-round school. In my opinion, camps have a special purpose that, when incorporated into a child’s life, create a well-rounded adult. I know that in today’s world of specialties that term may sound dated, but I would rather work with an individual who has varied interests and experiences than one who has been focused in only one direction. While the general schooling system is one that educates the masses, I feel in many cases the individual is lost or side-tracked. The children are taught what they “need to know” to move from one level to the next, and not what they want to learn at any given time. Of course, there is a happy medium, but with the volume of information that is to be assimilated and carried into adulthood, the task is one of monumental proportions. While I have been, and continue to be supportive of our local school district and its philosophies,

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there is a part of me that is uncomfortable with the “toe the line” mentality that rules the school day. Educators in the 80s add 90s have been and will continue to be faced with more problems than in past decades. With the breakdown of the family network, are we not asking too much of teachers? How can we expect our school system to produce happy, wellbalanced, well-educated young adults with high self-esteem, when many children’s lives outside of school are filled with stresses that even a healthy adult would struggle to handle?



Why do we participate in this yearly ritual?

Summer camps are special places. They are set apart from the pace of everyday life. The staff can nurture the potential in children and their abundant curiosity and capacity for learning. My daughters learn more life skills in two months at camp than in nine months of school. I do not measure growth by the awards earned, but by the daily choices that were made along the way. The girls use problem solving skills that would impress any teacher. Time management, study techniques, memory skills, data collection, leadership, language skills and goal setting are used on a daily basis. The list goes on: priority setting, intergenerational and interracial interaction,

decision making and the reaping of benefits or paying of consequences - it’s all there at camp. I am not a great saver of memorabilia. I guess I was always excited about moving on to the next adventure. While my sisters have large boxes of souvenirs from childhood, I have only three things: a shoulder braid from my riding school uniform, the stirrups I used for years, and my original camp sweatshirt. I have never lost that little girl love of horses nor of the camp where I spent so many summer hours. A co-worker asked me last month if I was ever going to grow up. Of course I said no, but it started my brain working overtime. I am a registered nurse in charge of 11 beds in a 16-bed critical care unit. I feel that I do a good job and have been recognized by my supervisor as a valued employee. The reason I share this with you is that I think to be “grown-up” is to lose your youthful enthusiasm. I feel lucky that I’m still a little girl at heart - as are so many people that are involved with running a summer camp. We have a zest for life that no one can take away. Co-workers have trouble understanding how we could “send our children away” for the summer. They don’t understand that it is always the girls’ choice to go and that we have made camp a priority in our budget. The girls know it is their decision and we talk of other options, but camp always comes out on top. We all work together and make some sacrifices in our family to make summers at camp possible. The girls give up joining softball teams with their friends because they leave in mid-June. Special music opportunities are refused due to their summer absence, and half of their allowance is contributed to the camp store fund. I went back to work to make the tuition affordable; pleasantly, it is a job I love. When we visit during the summer, we love watching the vitality in all the campers and staff. The growth we see in our daughters makes us

proud. Getting to know some of the other campers and counselors is fun and makes us feel part of the camp experience. After assessing all the positive aspects of camp, I am tempted to respond to doubting educators by saying that school is a mere interruption of camp.



we have made camp a priority in our budget

We’ve finally finished unpacking. The ribbons have been hung proudly in the appropriate bedrooms, and all the rolls of film have been developed and stories recounted. Best of all, in the quiet moments just before sleep, we lie on the bed and talk of last summer and next. Hopes and dreams are explored, and the summer days are planned out with assuredness in a way only the child in us can do. In the hectic pace of today’s world, camp can be a place to go in body, mind and spirit. Isn’t that a special gift to give our children? a Originally published in the May/June Camping Magazine. Reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association. ©1993 American Camping Association, Inc.




If we love it and would use it, we stamp it











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Infinity Bowl Set

How cute are these “garden bugs” tablecloth weights? They are the perfect addition to any camping trip or picnic. Clips attach easily to the bottom edge of the tablecloth to prevent wind accidents!

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Great for lightweight packing, camping and hiking! TJ Maxx

Alligator Bottle BUDDY Perfect for carrying those water bottles on hikes and camping trips. Miracles Maternity & Children's Boutique 352-338-2040

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Photos by Laurel Housden Photography

Pewter tablecloth Weights

Dad, Are We {Lost?}

for dads. by dads. p

Avoid Getting Lost in the Woods On a Family Camp Out By chris wilson

A peaceful night of stargazing around a gently popping campfire sounds like an excellent way to regroup with the ones you love. There’s a lot of planning involved in engineering a family camping trip. But whether it’s a camp out, a cabin, a lodge or a hotel, you’re going to have fun. There are millions of websites related to the things you must have. The one major thing that Dad needs to avoid are the big mistakes. Here’s a list of DON’Ts:

• Don’t let everyone pack a 75 lb. backpack for a three-day trip. Overpacking can lead to a really sore vacation. Remind everybody what “roughing it” means for your family. At the same time, it never hurts to have extra shoes, socks, batteries and bug spray. • Don’t forget your compass(es) or maps. Finding yourself slightly off course in some parks can be frightening. • Don’t forget toilet paper. Make sure everybody is comfortable with the camp site’s bathroom arrangements (or lack thereof) prior to departure. • Don’t camp close to a stream, even if it seems like a small trickle. If unexpected rain creeps in, you could find yourself white water rafting in the dark. • Don’t get sprayed by a skunk. Learn about the local wildlife. Bear-proof containers are available. Packing too much food can attract animals.

• Don’t forget the stakes for your tent. If it’s a new or borrowed tent, pitch it in the backyard first. Sometimes tents are tricky to set up. Make sure you’re not missing any pieces. • Don’t carry a burned out flashlight. Check the condition of your equipment prior to the trip. Learn how to use any new gadgets before you get out in the woods. • Don’t let the sun go down on the family. Arrive at your camp site with enough daylight to prepare the area. • Don’t let the rugrats run loose. For the sake of safety, keep a close eye on all of your loved ones. • Don’t stink up the joint. Pick up all your trash and be respectful of nature. Remember that others may like to enjoy that site, too. Experienced campers leave no trace.

Photo courtesy of

Of course, don’t stress too much about what is supposed to be a vacation. Even if Dad does make mistakes, it will soon be chalked up as a funny family memory. Everybody will remember a lot more about the hiking, canoeing, fishing and marshmallow roasting. a

for more


Camping safety information is available from the U.S. National Park Service at


magazine • feb/march 2011



is no laughing matter

tweens p

ages 8 - 12

bullying, and harassment is no longer limited to deserted hallways and bus stops. The APA suggests that parents “can insist that phones are stored in a public area, such as the kitchen, by a certain time at night to eliminate nighttime bullying and inappropriate messaging.” Bullying can cause depression and lead to extreme consequences. Consider taking your child to a counselor where they can feel safe discussing their feelings. A professional can help teach your child coping skills and ways to improve their selfesteem, which will minimize the effects of bullying.

What if your child is participating in bullying behavior?

What you must know to help your child By LEIGH Menninger


e’ve all heard the news reports about school bullies who pushed kids too far, with horrifying and heart-wrenching results. Too many teens have already taken their own lives because they felt alone, with no one to turn to for help. Bullying is more than just a hot-button topic. It’s not something distant that happens to other people’s children. Somehow, at some point and time, your child will most likely be affected. Whether your child is being bullied or you realize your child is the bully, steps need to be taken to stop the behavior. Early intervention can make a world of difference.

What is bullying?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines bullying as “aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength.” Further, bullying behavior is repeated and can be physical, verbal or relational. It can be harassing text messages, mean Facebook posts or messages, excluding a child from group activities, teasing, starting or spreading rumors or even physical harassment.

How can you tell if your child is being bullied?

Talk to your children about the situations they find themselves in at school. Do they often feel left out? Are they depressed? Do they come home with unexplained scrapes and bruises? Are they anxious or do they try to avoid school? These could all be signs that your child is being bullied.

Photo courtesy of

What can you do if your child is the victim of a bully?

Make it clear to your child that you support them. Talk to them about the times they find themselves being bullied and help them come up with a plan of action. They may find that bullies frequent certain hallways or situations and your child may be able to avoid those areas. Find teachers and friends who your child will feel safe going to if they are being bullied. Report the bullying to your child’s school and remind them that it is never okay to bully back. Monitor your child’s access to technology such as text messaging and Facebook. The Internet has opened new avenues for

Bullies are often characterized as being aggressive, having little concern for the feelings of others and having low selfesteem. Through her research, Dr. Swearer found that “[if the conditions in the environment are supportive of bullying, then almost anyone can bully. In fact, the mother of a daughter who committed suicide after being bullied once told me that the girls who bullied her daughter were just ‘regular kids.’” She also found that “if left untreated, children who learn that bullying is an effective way to get what they want are likely to continue bullying behavior into it is critical to intervene and stop the bullying during the school-age years.” Talk to your kids about bullying and the consequences, including the very real legal ones. Starting at an early age, create an environment where bullying is not tolerated, at home or at school. As parents, you can teach them the importance of helping others and not condoning bullying behavior that they witness. If your child sees bullying occurring, they should go find a teacher or other adult to help the victim.

What resources are available to children and parents?

Some local schools have implemented programs to prevent bullying and intervene when it occurs. For example, Darlene Coogan, guidance counselor at Queen of Peace Catholic Academy in Gainesville, Fla., explains that the school’s Middle School Mentoring Program “is a goal oriented, confidence building program that aims to empower our middle school students by challenging them in a secure environment to be problem solvers, community leaders, and advocates in lessons of tolerance and compassion.” Once a week, students meet with their mentors in a small group setting. Through this program, the school aims to create a safe environment and discourage bullying behavior among their students. If you are concerned about bullying, contact your child’s school or guidance counselor, and reassure your child that adults are there to help. Encourage your child to talk to someone about what is happening, whether it is a guidance counselor, the school nurse, a coach or a favorite teacher. Like many aspects of raising healthy and happy children, parents and schools can work together to create a supportive, bully-free environment. a

For more information about what constitutes bullying behavior and how you can help your child, visit the following web sites: Stop Bullying Now! American Psychological Association HelpCenter Alachua County Public Schools Guidance Counseling

teens p

ages 13 -18

Technology Age Terror Help your Child to Stop Cyberspace Spats Before the Damage is Done

By Kelsey McNiel

Before it started with fists; today it starts with fingers. Before they were waiting near the Dumpster, plain-faced and gathering a crowd; today they’re attacking anonymously, hidden beneath a bluish-screened mask. Before it ended with a bloody lip or mussed hair; today it can end with a funeral. Cyberbullying is the newest evil of our technologically-empowered youth, and simply turning a blind eye can prove deadly.

Photo courtesy of

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, cyberbullying occurs “when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.” It can cause great harm to others and result in serious consequences. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, approximately 20 percent of 10 to 18-year-old students reported experiencing cyberbullying in February 2010, and girls reported being bullied almost twice as much as boys. Though the numbers of victims have decreased in the past six years, the stakes seem to be getting graver. Adolescent suicides caused by bullying, exemplified by the deaths of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi and Florida fifth-grader Celina Okwuone, have become prevalent side effects of internet bullies. Many parents, teachers and even school administrators are often unsure of what can be done to punish and perhaps prevent harassment or stalking conducted through electronic means. But at least in Florida, the law provides protection. In April 2008, the Florida legislature enacted an anti-bullying law (including cyberbullying) called the “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act” (Fla. Stat. sec. 1006.147 (2010)). This law protects any student or employee at a public, kindergarten through twelfth grade institution from harassment, whether in person or online. Any act of harassment that places

a person in reasonable fear of harm, interferes with a student’s educational performance or disrupts the orderly operation of school constitutes harassment. Getting the attention of the police is often a parent or teacher’s last resort, and understandably so if the perpetrator can barely drive. Follow these simple steps to help your child both handle and prevent cyberbullying.

Make sure that all technology being used by your child is age appropriate. Preventing cyberbul-

lying, particularly with children in elementary school, can be as simple as saying no. A child who is completely unaware of how to respond to an unfriendly text message or friend request from a stranger perhaps shouldn’t be using those technologies. Don’t forget that new privileges can come in stages. Maybe texting can wait until a certain birthday, or joining Facebook® can become an eighth-grade initiation. Remember, technology provides an easy, fast and widely visible mechanism for perpetrators of online bullying or harassment. As expected, adolescents who use social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook® are more likely to experience cyberbullying: 39 percent of teens using social networking sites had versus 22 percent who did not frequent such sites (Pew Internet Project, 2007).

Cyber what? The first step to stopping cyberbullying is being able to identify it. According to the Pew Internet Project, the most frequent form of online harassment involves one child making another child’s private information public. Warn your children that what they send across cyberspace is just as delicate as, if not more so, what they say in real life, since it can be duplicated and repeated to many more people in a matter of seconds. Help your child understand that their Continues on page 30 giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011


Technology Age Terror | Continued from page 29

online persona should be just as accountable as he or she is in real life. Tell your child to imagine saying each thing he or she writes in cyberspace, whether in an e-mail or on a social networking site, to another person. If they feel too embarrassed to say it, your child shouldn’t be writing it.

Unlike a black eye or a tussle in the hallway, cyberbullying can easily go undetected by adults. Talking to your child about cyberbullying before it occurs could help them or a friend long before the cyber punches are thrown. a

For more information on cyberbullying and how it can be prevented, visit the following web sites:

Help your child understand how to respond to Internet conflicts. For example, if your child receives a Cyberbullying Research Center friend request from someone they don’t normally hang out with, help them to be cautious. They don’t have to ignore the National Crime Prevention Council possibility of new friendships, but they should be aware of the nature of their real life relationships with different people and Stop Cyberbullying can adjust the privacy setting on their social networking sites accordingly. If your child does receive an unfriendly message, or a person provokes them by writing something mean where many people will see it, help them to ignore the bullying king publicly. They can send that “friend” a private message telling rstal them how much it hurts their feelings, while also reporting the Cybe What’s the Difference? g incident to the school (if they are classmates). rbullyin When it’s an adult engaging in cyberbully- e Cy b ing, it is often referred to as cyberstalking or Alert school authorities or police immediately. Even for harassment toward another using electronic the tiniest of incidents, documentation keeps everyone credmeans. Florida law specifically defines “cyberstalk(ing)” as ible. As soon as your child reports that a classmate is sending engaging “in a course of conduct to communicate, or to them harassing text messages or cyberbullying them, write the cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by school. Regardless of whether the person doing the bullying is or through the use of electronic mail or electronic commuyour child’s classmate or not, print the evidence and keep it on nication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial hand for the police should the situation become serious. emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose” (Fla. Stat. sec. 784.048 (2010)). Any person that Cyberbullying is not a chance event caused by an irresponsible willfully, maliciously and repeatedly cyberstalks another can teen that lingers in chat rooms and gives out too much inforbe charged with a misdemeanor. In addition, if a person mation. In 2006, one in three teens who went online reported makes a threat to harm another or their relative, they can be having experienced some sort of cyberbullying. And a 2008 charged with aggravated stalking and charged with a felony study of more than 2,000 teens showed that cyberbullies are in the third degree. almost always of the same age and background as their victim.


walking together for stronger, healthier babies Alachua County - Gainesville Walk March 26 - 8 a.m. Westwood Middle School 3215 NW 15th Avenue

start your walk at

Expressyourself… withflowers! By Sarah Loftus Photo by Laurel Housden Photography Florial Arrangement by Crevasse's Regency Florist

Who doesn’t love getting flowers? When one thinks Valentine’s Day, red roses is sure to pop into the mind. But, what happens when Valentine’s Day comes and goes and you want to send a message to a loved one or friend, and you’re not quite sure what kind of flower to send? Here is a handy guide that will help you pick out the perfect flowers and brighten someone’s day!

Blue flowers such as hydrangeas represent peace, understanding, tolerance and

calmness. They are good flowers to give if you are attempting to make peace with someone after a fight. Blue hyacinths embody sincerity. Blue flowers show that you are trying to bring tranquility to an anxious situation; in addition, they signify intelligence, unity, and confidence. Blue flowers are also a great flower to give if you are trying to gain someone’s trust. If you are in a fight with a significant other, blue flowers may be the right choice, but you may also want to consider giving red roses because red signifies love, passion and desire.

White is the color of innocence and humility; it is a simple, yet elegant, color.

White flowers depict humble beauty, regardless of the type including lilies, gardenias or roses. Specifically, white lilies symbolize virtue. Additionally, white flowers are sometimes given to express sympathy, and the white stargazer is the particular flower that does this. This is a good flower to give if someone is getting over an illness or if a friend is in mourning.

If you’re trying to show joy or kindness, any flower such as roses or caellias will do the trick. Along the same line, pink roses are the perfect flower when you are trying to say thank you. They demonstrate appreciation and admiration. Pink carnations are a great flower for mothers to give their children because they communicate a very important message - a mother’s everlasting love. Pink orchids are perfect to give when you are bursting with affection for someone.



usuallyconveyspride, Thecolor and it is no different when it comes to flowers. If you are unsure why you are giving flowers and you’re simply doing so on a whim, purple carnations are a good flower to give. Another occasion purple flowers are good for is if you are showing you are proud of someone’s accomplishments. Maybe you want to give your daughter, sister, or mother flowers, and you are thinking what kind of flowers should you give and are they going to be sending the correct message. Well, flowers are a great choice. They represent mature femininity and show that you think the women in your life are beautiful! Also, lavender flowers are adored in nature, and therefore show that you cherish that special someone.


Red , the color most commonly associated with flowers demonstrates

passion, love, fervor, and courage; they are usually given to girlfriends and wives. Red roses are known as the “lover’s flower.” Red carnations also portray one’s affection.

For most, when people see the color , they instantly feel happier, which is why it is highly appropriate that it portrays feelings of enthusiasm, warmth and energy. Not surprisingly either, a bouquet of orange flowers shows a passion for life. While red roses are usually associated with love, orange roses can also be given as way to show extreme passion and love for someone else.


Green flowers are the ideal flowers to give in situations of renewed health after an illness or surgery. They signify optimism, and therefore, one should give a green bouquet of flowers after a happy event or as a way to show that things are good. Now, you don’t have to spend your time racking your brain searching for the perfect gift or worrying that your gift of flowers will send the wrong message. No more stressing about whether the person will like this gift because who doesn’t love flowers? No matter the occasion, you’ll always have a thoughtful personal gift to give!


withflowers! If you are looking to give flowers as a birthday present, you may want to consider giving birth month flowers. It shows that not only are you thinking of them on their birthday, but you are making an extra effort by getting them flowers that represent their particular birth month. January: Carnation or Snowdrop February: Violets or Primroses March: Daffodil or Jonquil April: Daisy or Sweet Pea May: Lily of the Valley or Hawthorn June: Rose or Honeysuckle July: Larkspur or Water August: Gladiolas or Poppy September: Aster or Morning Glory October: Calendula or Cosmos November: Chrysanthemum December: Narcissus or Holly


magazine • feb/march 2010


Go {Red} For Women It’s time to put a little

love in your heart!

This tool will help you:

• Answer questions about your health factors and lifestyle behaviors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, smoking status, weight, physical activity and diet. • Discover your personal heart health score where you’ll get a number between 1 and 10 to show your overall cardiovascular health based on the information you input in the tool. • Create action plans where you can select from seven simple action plans that are right for you. • Generate a results report that allows you to preview, print and save your personal ‘simple seven’ action plan and heart score. • Share a link with friends, family and coworkers.

By Jennifer Denault


ebruary is all about hearts, but not the paper Valentines that may first come to mind. February is National Heart Health Month. Friday, February 4,

2011 is American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day

to promote heart health awareness and a way to spread the word about the Go Red For Women campaign. Go Red for Women is a grassroots effort developed to help inform women that heart disease and stroke are not diseases that affect just men.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking the life of 1 in 3

Now that you know heart disease kills, join the American Heart Association (AHA) in their mission to fight heart disease in women. The AHA encourages you to tell five women you want them to live and we can help stop heart disease in our lifetime. Heart disease has already touched you or someone you love, so help the AHA save a woman’s life today.



In addition to the Go Red For Women movement, the AHA works every day to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. For the first time, the AHA has defined poor, intermediate and ideal cardiovascular health using seven easy-to-understand measures called “Life’s Simple 7,” which was published January 20, 2010, in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Americans think they are in better heart health than they really are. According to a recent AHA survey, nearly 40 percent thought they were in ideal heart health, when in reality 1.8% of Americans have an ideal profile. To find out how healthy you are, the AHA has developed a new health assessment tool, called My Life Check, at heart. org/mylifecheck. It will give you an overall health score and create an action plan to move you closer to your individual health goals. No matter what you score, any healthy change can help you live a longer, better life.

Jennifer Denault is the Regional Director for the American Heart Association, Greater Southeast Affiliate.

 Life’s Simple 7

American Heart Association knows that even simple, small changes can make a big difference in living a better life. Known as “Life’s Simple 7,” these steps can help add years to your life: 1) Don’t smoke 2) Maintain a healthy weight 3) Engage in regular physical activity 4) Eat a healthy diet 5) Manage blood pressure 6) Take charge of your cholesterol 7) Keep blood sugar, or glucose, at healthy levels

Photos courtesy

women each year. This means women just like you – mothers, sisters, and friends – are dying at a rate of once a minute because they don’t know that heart disease kills. American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women asks you to bring your network into their network.

The AHA wants you to make it your mission to learn all you can about heart attacks and stroke — don’t become a statistic. To get more information or join the Go Red For Women movement, visit their website at

Sogetyourhearthealth scoreandWearRedon Friday February 4. Yourheartandourswill thank you.

Chocolate The History.

By Stephanie thomas

We can’t help it, but chocolate usually falls into our hands at this time of year. It’s understandable, since chocolate manufacturing is a 4 billion dollar industry in the United States alone and the average American consumes about a half a pound of the stuff per month!

The U.S. is only the eighth largest consumer of chocolate. Switzerland, whose citizens eat more than 21 pounds per person each year, leads the world in chocolate consumption.

It wasn’t always this way back in the 16th century, when only pre-modern Latin American civilizations considered chocolate a delicacy. The Aztecs and Mayans believed cocoa beans had magical properties and also used it as currency, according to old Aztecan documents. Chocolate flourished as a fashionable drink in Europe for the rich and privileged in the 17th century. Europeans believed the treat had special medicinal and nutritious properties. The first modern chocolate bar wasn’t crafted until 1847 by Joseph Fry’s chocolate company in Bristol, England. Corporations Joseph Fry & Son and Cadbury Brothers displayed chocolates for eating two years later in Birmingham in 1849. Realizing Valentine’s Day was a marketable holiday to sell his sweets, Richard Cadbury created the first known heart-shaped candy box in 1861. White chocolate didn’t come around until Nestle® introduced the first white chocolate bar, Galak, in 1930. HERSHEY® first Hugs candies made the cream-colored confectionary a crowd favorite in 1993.

People celebrate the sweet treat all over the U.S. with celebrations from the Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax, Va. to the amusement ground Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa. (also known as Chocolate Town, USA). Even though Americans love their chocolate, the largest recorded chocolate bar is in Italy, weighing in at 5,000 pounds. As society learned to both indulge in chocolate through decadent forms of the dessert and to cut back on sweets during the health and fitness craze, people enjoyed their chocolate in different ways. Options such as dark raspberry, strawberry, sea salt and mint were released for chocolate connoisseurs to savor every taste.

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Most importantly, the best cocoa characteristic is that there is no reason to stress over the small indulgences. The American Dietetic Association has stated a 500-calorie chocolate feast, which only results in a two-ounce weight gain which can quickly be burned off at the gym. Ultimately, the best way to enjoy celebrate with chocolate is to eat it! a

Photos courtesy

If you want to go healthy with your dessert, choose dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa. The dark delight gives you more benefits with higher levels of antioxidants, including nitric oxide, known for keeping the threat of high blood pressure at bay. Don’t have a palate for the dark stuff? You can still receive these benefits by gradually increasing the percentage of cocoa in your choices. Even some milk chocolate bars contain up to 50 percent cocoa.

v v a a vav v v a a The Children’s Home Society of Florida Gainesville Auxiliary cordially invites you to...





& White

Sunday April 10, 2011, 7-10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $140 (in advance) $150 (at the door) Florida Museum of Natural History Annual Fundraising Event benefiting Children’s Home Society of Florida

For sponorship and ticket information: • (352) 334-0955




'Tis the season of love! In honor of the holiday celebrating love and affection for friends and family, the giggle staff wanted to share some of our favorite quotes about love. Wishing you a very Happy Valentines Day filled with lots of love and giggles!


Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you. - Baby, "Dirty Dancing" (1987)




If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you. - Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne)



A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartaches, whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling thru. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true. - "Cinderella" (1950)



™ ~

Faint heart never won fair lady. - Miguel de Cervantes


I made a wish upon a star, I turned around and there you were. - "Bolt" (2008)

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You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. - Sam Keen



Love Stories

Everyone has a true love story. Whether it is sharing a first kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower or eloping to Vegas, each is unique and always fun to share. Here are some true love stories, straight from the hearts of members of our giggle family. Photos by Laurel Housden Photography

Blind Date Success


uring college, one of my roommates worked at UF with a woman who had recently moved to Gainesville from North Carolina. Her family was urging her youngest son to move down here from the Outer Banks for more opportunity. He would be visiting for the holidays and they arranged for us to meet...on a blind date! My roommate shared stories with me that her co-worker had told her about her son. I was told that he was a surfer and mountain biker; had a quiet side, but a great sense of humor. There was something about this guy -- this guy I hadn’t even met yet -- that drew me to him. Shawn and I met for the first time on a Saturday in early January and I drove him around Gainesville, showing him a few different places that make this town unique. Only moments had passed after I dropped him off, and I was ready to see him again! With hardly any hesitation, I called him up and asked him to go to the movies with me that night. We will be celebrating our 10th year of marriage this March. Every day I’m thankful that we were brought together. Some things are just meant to be.

-Shandon and Shawn Smith

High School Sweethearts


pples and Bananas. Peas and Carrots. Oil and Vinegar. That is basically how our friends would describe us together. When we first started dating during our senior year in high school, our closest friends even placed bets on our success. Would the surfer dude and school geek make it? Well, they lost that bet. Shane and I met in 1994 during our senior year in high school. Our differences made things fun and interesting. He went surfing, I watched. I studied, he watched. I went to London on vacation to shop and sightsee, he went the same week to Costa Rica to surf and fish. We complement each other, which is what makes our marriage a success. Because of him, I spent my spring breaks camping in a tent in Key West, snorkeled with a shark and tried Sushi for the first time! I have taught him how to take in the sights of Manhattan and how to enjoy a good bottle of red wine. Eleven years ago this Valentine’s day, he proposed and the rest is history. Today, we see ourselves in three beautiful and amazing little men. They like to shop, surf, fish, and eat sushi with chop sticks. They are 16 years worth of love wrapped into perfect packages.

-Nicole and Shane Irving 38 giggle

French Quarter Romance


ew Orleans is where it all started. We both attended the 1995 Sugar Bowl to cheer on the Gators. I went with my sister and he made the trip with his college roommate. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, we were both on Bourbon Street and shared our first kiss as the confetti and beads flew in the air. I was love struck and knew I wanted to see more of this great guy. We started dating a few months later, went back to New Orleans the following year for a Gator victory in the Sugar Bowl and got married in March 2000 with a New Orleans themed wedding reception! Our dining room has a New Orleans theme as well, with much of the decor coming from our trips to the Sugar Bowl and Mardi Gras. We even said one day we’d name our daughter Nola, after this great city that has meant so much to us and given us so many incredible memories. Not sure if we would indeed have a daughter, we gave our third son the middle name Nolan, in honor of the place that started it all.

-Dana and Jeff Kamp



ulie and Eric met in a mud puddle in November 2000 at the St. Petersburg Sail Expo Boat show. Eric, a sailboat salesman, was instantly enchanted by Julie’s uplifting spirit and beauty. Julie, an employee of the boat show management company, admired Eric’s positive outlook, cute smile and infectious enthusiasm for life. Over the next several months, they continued to find themselves close to each other as the winter boat show circuit traversed the country from Atlantic City to Chicago, Miami and Oakland, CA. With Eric’s home in Gainesville and Julie living in Rhode Island, their geographicallychallenged relationship waned for the summer, only to rekindle again in the Fall of 2001 when another boat show rendezvous coincided with the tragic events of 9/11. In a new world with different perspectives for both, their appreciation for each other deepened and the two managed a difficult long distance relationship for nearly 17 more months.

In Love In London


e met, officially, on a camping trip in High School. From that weekend on we both knew it was an instant friendship that would last a long time. Within the next few years we started dating and became high school sweethearts. Family trips and summer tours all over the US and parts of Europe were just the beginning of our travels and life together. We like to say we "fell in love in London."

On Valentine’s Day 2003, a beautiful evening during the Miami boat show, Eric popped the question and Julie said YES! With the moving and career changes that ensued for Julie, concrete wedding plans took some time to develop - 7 years to be exact. But their commitment was finally formalized here in Gainesville on October 30th of last year with friends and family cheering the summation of the marathon engagement.

-Julie and Eric Macklin

After spending a few years apart, we realized that our friendship and love are stronger than anything we had been through. It only took us eight years out of high school to realize it was the rest of our lives that we were meant to spend together. In our marriage, we find that "dating" is our favorite thing to do. From cooking at home, to catching a movie, to going out of town for a night; we encourage any married couple to 'date' your spouse. It allows you to grow and cherish each moment you have together. When love conquers all it truly is a beautiful thing!

-Amy and Matt Keene


magazine • feb/march 2010


Ask the Pro

Tips on

{using} your new DSLR camera is that you’ll truly find your passion once you start photographing a range of objects and activities.

Shoot Often. Have your camera with you at all times.

Practice makes perfect. Look at the exposure numbers of each image when you load them onto your computer and compare the differences between them, things like blurriness and clarity. Shoot in different situations like low light and bright sunny days, and look at the exposure settings. The more you do this, the better understanding you will have of how exposure works. It will become instinctual to you the next time you choose your camera settings. And more importantly, you’ll understand WHY you chose them.

You received your very first Digital SLR camera over the holidays, and it’s still sitting there in the box. Perhaps you are wondering where to begin. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Read the Manual. I know what you are thinking – boring! But this will really get you started. Focus on the basic controls and features of your camera. It’s not a novel you have to read cover to cover, so don’t worry about cramming all the information into your head. Once you begin using your camera, what you have read will become clearer. Consider downloading the manual onto your iPad, phone or laptop so you can always have it with you. Learn the Basics of Exposure. You have to have a basic understanding of the three elements of exposure: • Shutter Speed: the time a shutter remains open when taking a picture • Aperture: the size of the opening, which controls how blurry your background is • ISO: the sensitivity your camera’s sensor has to light The only way to get past the Automatic Mode is to understand how these elements work together. There are many books and Web sites available to help you, such as Experiment with the different Camera Modes.

Turn OFF the Flash button.

It’s not very good anyway. It blows out everything and gives you that “deer caught in the headlights” look. This will help you capture the beautiful purple sky at dusk as the lights start to twinkle in Cinderella’s Castle. To do this, you will need to turn off your flash, bump up the ISO and open up your aperture (set it to the lowest number – the lower the number the larger the opening) to let as much light in as possible. This is basically what your camera does for you when you put it in the Night Setting.

Photograph a Variety of Things. I was living in Ireland when I got my first digital camera, and I wanted to capture the stunning landscapes that I saw every day. I always had my camera and photographed anything and everything that inspired me. By doing this, I realized that my passion was people and capturing them doing everyday things, such as talking to friends and playing. You may find out that you really love shooting your child’s sporting events and turn into the next “Sports Illustrated” photographer. The bottom line 40 giggle

Print Your Images. With the thousands of digital images that you will start to store on your hard drive, it is easy to forget the events you have captured and all the little milestones (and improvements) that you’ve made with your photography. Take the time to get some photographs printed. Put them on your walls for you to enjoy every day. It is great to be able to see your images right away on the back of your camera or on your computer screen, but nothing beats an old-fashioned printed image to archive forever. Create a Theme. With all the photography opportunities out there, it is easy to get overwhelmed and lose your creative eye. By giving yourself a theme to stick to when you go out with your camera, you can give that creative eye a workout. To help me find a different perspective, I try and find numbers and letters in everyday objects, sometimes with the help of my 8-year-old son Aidan. I have found the number 8 in a snowman and the number 9 in a wrought iron fence. Try just shooting doors when you head out to create a collage. Continuing Education. Take a basic photography

class at the Community College or check out the photography section at local bookstores for a wide variety of how-to photography books.

Laurel Housden is owner of Laurel Housden Photography, LLC and specializes in children portraiture. She is a member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and Professional Photographers North Central Florida (PPNCF). Her work can be seen in Giggle Magazine. She is also a proud Mammarazi of her own three children, Madison, Rowan, and Aidan.

Photo courtesy of and headshot photo by the Verve Studio

Once you have a better understanding about how exposure works, you are ready to start using your camera’s different modes. AP (Aperture Priority) and S or TV (shutter priority) are simpler modes, and Portrait, Night, and Macro modes are a little more creative. I recommend starting in the AP Mode where you choose the aperture and your camera chooses the proper shutter speed to give you a proper exposure. The possibilities are endless.

Try a Different Lens. The lens that comes with your camera is usually a medium zoom lens with a variable aperture, which means it will change the aperture as you zoom. In my experience, they tend not to be ideal for lowlight and indoor situations. You may want to try out a “fast” lens, which will allow you to shoot at larger aperture openings such as 1.8 and 2.8, ideal for getting blurry backgrounds and especially good in low light situations. I recommend renting a few types of lenses at or and see what works best for you before investing a lot of money in good glass.

Explore the New Food Pyramid

health & wellness p

It's National Nutrition Month By ALISON WALKER

National Nutrition Month is an education and information campaign implemented each year in March. This year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color.” The American Dietetic Association’s annual campaign brings attention to the importance of making healthy food and physical activity habits. Registered Dietitian Day is also celebrated in March. Registered Dietitians are valuable resources for food and nutrition information. They are trained to guide individuals in making everyday healthy food choices based on the science behind nutrition. National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to look at our eating habits to see how they stack up with the most recent version of the food pyramid. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a new food pyramid. The original Food Guide Pyramid was released in 1992. According the website, the overall purposes to updating and revising the original Food Guide Pyramid were: “1) to improve its effectiveness in motivating consumers to make healthier food choices and 2) ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food guidance system reflects the latest nutritional science.” Although the new food pyramid is almost six years old, the USDA is continually providing new resources and tools for parents to size up how well our kids are making healthy food and exercise choices through the website

Photo courtesy of

To get started, parents should visit for information on the latest news relating to nutrition, background information on the food pyramid system and resources to answer common questions and guidance on implementing the guidelines into adult and children’s lives. The website features information that can be tailored for specific audiences, including preschoolers (2-5 years old), kids (6-11 years old), pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and the general population. Parents can customize a

MyPyramid food plan for their preschoolers.

After entering your child’s name, sex, age and physical activity level, a personalized food plan is created for your child. The customized plan also includes tips on how to implement the plan. The food plan will show your child the amount of food that is recommended in the following food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and meat and beans. The plan also includes information about extras (solid fats and added sugars), salt and oil intake, snacks and smart beverage choices.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women have unique nutritional needs as they are the sole or primary source for nutrition to their growing babies. is also an ex-

cellent resource for moms looking for information about what they should be eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding. One of the newest features of the website is the “My-fooda-pedia.” This feature provides quick access to look up nutritional information about a particular food. Users can look up foods ranging from blueberry pancakes to a beef burrito. This is helpful to moms and dads looking to implement their child’s plan and provide the healthiest food for their growing bodies on a daily basis.a

What is the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist? According to the American Dietetic Association’s website, the “RD” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association. In order to be an RD, individuals must have earned a bachelor’s degree (at a minimum), completed a supervised practice program and passed a national exam. In Florida, dietitians/nutritionists must be licensed and uses the designation “LD/N”. giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011


p the

legal side

Student Rights in Public Schools Know the basics to keep it legal By attorney sondra randon, esq from Folds & Walker, LLC


his issue of The Legal Side explores the rights and limitations your child is given or in the alternative, denied, while enrolled in grade school. School administrators continue to add rules and restrictions to the already long list of school policies. Some of these policies are in direct conflict with certain civil rights afforded to your child as a citizen of the United States. For example, your child can be required to wear a uniform (violation of freedom of expression), prohibited from cursing or wearing certain clothing with messages (violation of freedom of speech), and restricted from writing about certain topics in a school newspaper (violation of freedom of the press). Additionally, your child could also have their property confiscated by the school or be the subject of a random search on school property. On the other hand, there are certain constitutional rights a school cannot violate under any circumstances. For example, your child cannot be forced to salute the American flag or participate in a school prayer because of the Establishment Clause which prohibits a government entity from establishing or endorsing a religion. Please take note: this article only applies to public schools because private schools are private institutions that have more authority over their students. Since there are many twists and turns in the study of Constitutional Law, this article only touches the surface of the law. In the event you do find yourself making up hypothetical questions, I shall uniformly respond (in true lawyerly fashion) - well, it depends.

Why can the school violate a student’s rights? Because of the doctrine of in loco parentis, Latin for “in the place of a parent” or “instead of a parent.” Essentially, a public school is given the freedom to act in the best interests of their students, sometimes at the expense of the student’s civil liberties.

Freedom of Expression

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Freedom of Speech

• The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a student’s rights were not violated when the school suspended him for using crude language during his speech at a school assembly. The Court emphasized the distinction between an adult’s right to use offensive forms of expression and the appropriate restriction and punishment of a student invoking the same right at school. Bethel School v. Fraser (1986). • For example, your child can be suspended for using foul language in front of a teacher or administrator.

Freedom of the Press

• The U.S. Supreme Court declared that a school is able to censor a student newspaper if the school itself is represented in the newspaper and the articles are counter to the educational mission of the school. Hazelwood School v. Kuhlmeier (1988). • For example, a school could edit a student newspaper and strike certain articles that criticize the school administration.

Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

• The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a student is not able to assert the same rights as adults in other settings when dealing with an unreasonable search or seizure. New Jersey v. TLO (1985). • The Supreme Court also determined that a school has the ability to force drug testing of its student athletes. The Court stated that the rights from unreasonable search and seizure “are different in public schools than elsewhere; the ‘reasonableness inquiry’ cannot disregard the schools’ custodial and tutelary responsibility for children.” Vernonia School v. Action (1995). • For example, your child can be subjected to random locker searches without probable cause.

This information should not be used as a substitute for seeking needed advice from an attorney or other qualified advisor regarding your individual needs.

Photo by Kelsey Lynn Photography

• The U.S. Supreme Court determined that a school can limit a student’s conduct or speech if it materially disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969). • In a more recent case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a school has the ability to suppress speech and expression at an off-campus event in which other students,

school administrators and teachers are present. Morse v. Frederick (2007), a.k.a “Bong hits 4 Jesus” case. • For example, your child’s school can establish a strict dress code in an effort to remove the potential of distractions from learning.

Veggie Lifesavers BY DANA KAMP

I was so proud of myself when my firstborn shoved lima beans in his mouth like they were jelly beans. All that I’d read about “picky eaters” was not going to be an issue in our house! Then he turned three. He no longer liked lima beans, or anything green for that matter, and it was as if a different child was sitting at the dinner table. All of a sudden those “picky eater” issues were in our house! Now we have the rule that our little ones have to try each thing on their plate, but I still feel the need to sneak those veggies in wherever I can because a bite here and a bite there isn’t going to give them what they need. Hopefully, this list of ways to disguise your vegetables will help get those nutrients in your child’s tummy too. And we can look forward to the day when they realize how delicious steamed vegetables really are! Puree your vegetables and mix into everything! As long as the pureed veggies don’t change the color of the food, your child won’t question it. Mix carrots, celery, bell peppers, and onions into hamburgers, meatballs or meatloaf. Cauliflower and carrots can easily be blended into macaroni and cheese. Even cheese quesadillas can hide winter squash. The deep red color of marinara sauce will camouflage almost any vegetable so get creative on spaghetti night! Also, if you don’t have a food processor, grab a few jars of baby food for your blending. Bake veggies into breads and desserts. Carrot cake, zucchini bread and sweet potato pie are all delicious treats that don’t taste like you’re eating anything healthy. My boys love my spinach corn muffins (although I don’t call them that) and they don’t think for one second that they’re

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eating that slimy green stuff! You can also mix spinach into brownies without it being detected. And don’t just put fruit in your smoothies; add some carrots, kale, or spinach along with the berries of your choice and get an even healthier version of the frozen treat.

Top it with cheese. You can get most children to try anything with cheese on it. Whether it’s adding veggies to your pizza and putting extra cheese on top to hide them, or melting cheese on a helping of broccoli, cheese makes everything more appealing to little ones. You’ll be amazed by what you can hide in a cheesy layer of lasagna. A favorite in our house is shredded cheese. My guys like to sprinkle it on tricolor pasta (made with dehydrated tomato, spinach and beets, but they don’t know that!) or spinach tortellini. Both types of pasta are available at your local grocery store. Don’t forget about breakfast! Any orange or white vegetable can be hidden in a cheese omelet. Sweet potatoes, squash and carrots can all be blended into pancake mix. My family especially loves the sweet potato pancakes. Chopped bell peppers in biscuit mix and pureed carrots in bran or cinnamon apple muffin mix have proven to be a hit with my little taste-testers. Put them in your child’s hands. This tip isn’t so much about disguising the vegetables, but more about getting the children to be a part of the food preparation and seeing what they can create. Growing vegetables in your own garden (or even just choosing one vegetable to grow) may perk your child’s interest in a new veggie. They can pick them and you can have a tasting party. Make a list of all the ways to prepare vegetables and let them choose what they want to do with them. Whether it’s adding them to a favorite casserole or soup or slicing them into fries (sweet potatoes and turnips both make great fries), let your child decide what seems appealing to him and run with it. Cutting them into bite-size portions and serving them with several dips or making a smiley face of veggies on his plate are two more ways to make this a fun project and not a chore. It’s all about the perception and presentation! My nephew gobbles up avocado that is cut into squares and served with toothpicks. My sister initially used a little reverse psychology (“This is a special treat for Mommy and Daddy, I don’t know if you’ll like it.”) and it worked! So, don’t be afraid to try different ways to get those healthy foods into those little tummies! a




et t forg r Doni'ments fo conddipping!

Photo courtesy of

our community’s life-saving answers for every age!




Stole Our Hearts

Seuss’ first book about Mulberry Street was his publishing debut, and then he wrote tales based on World War II. The war sprouted ideas of Sneetches and Whos, long before he wrote of Christmas or how to run zoos. A publisher challenged Seuss to write books by only using words from a given list. If it weren’t for this, his best-selling books like “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” would not exist. Only four of the 44 books written and illustrated by Seuss don’t rhyme. He wrote in limericks, a type of poem, nearly all of the time! In 1991, at the age of 87, Dr. Seuss died. However, his joyous characters and educational stories are still known and enjoyed worldwide. BY: LeAndra Valentine

r. Seu


Register to Win a

Dr. Seuss Prize Pack

We all know the Grinch, Sam I Am and the Cat in the Hat. But who is the man who created all of that? Theodor Seuss Geisel is Dr. Seuss’s real name, and writing for children is his claim to fame. Did you know that Seuss should be pronounced more like “zoice”? But the man born March 2, 1904, used “soose” by choice. He wasn’t a real doctor, although at Oxford he studied English, but because of his artistic talent, he decided not to finish. He created colorful ads for a bug spray called Flit, and the whimsical slogan clicked with many and made Flit a hit.

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go to by March 2nd to enter

What is your

favorite Dr. Seuss

Book of all time?

30% Oh,The Places You'll Go! 22% Green Eggs and Ham 11% How the Grinch Stole Christmas 11% One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish 7% 7% 4%

Horton Hears a Who! Hop on Pop The Cat and the Hat *Results from our giggle® Facebook® Poll

keep baby

HEALTHYand HAPPY easily puree


baby food

Retired elementary school counselor, Wendy Joysen, answers tough questions about kids, schools, parenting, & everything in between.

all kidding aside p


y 15-year-old daughter just had her heart broken by her first love. They were only together for six months, but I know she truly believed their love would last. I don’t think I handled the situation well and would like some advice as to how I should help her after a break-up.

Experiencing heartbreak for the first time in your life can feel devastating. Experiencing your child’s first heartbreak seems to hurt even more than you could ever imagine. Watching our children undergo a tough break up can break our hearts all over again. I appreciate you asking this question as it is an experience that every parent will probably go through with their child and understanding and knowing how to react, support and work with your child will make things easier for you and, hopefully, easier for your daughter. Most teenagers tend to overreact when things go wrong in their lives, and they may feel like this is the end of the world. But the first thing that you should know is that your daughter’s feelings and emotions are valid no matter how long the relationship lasted or how serious you thought the relationship was. The fact that your daughter is heartbroken should not be dismissed. Make sure you recognize her feelings and tell your daughter how sad you are that she is hurting. Do not down-play her emotions and tell her to “get over it.” That will only cause anger toward you, and she needs your support right now. Let her know you understand and that you will be there to help her as much as she would like you to be. It is ok, and normal, for your daughter to need a few days to sulk or mope around the house. It is important that you give her the space and time she needs to process the breakup and handle the situation the way she needs to. However, you do not want her to close herself off from the rest of the world. Although she may not feel like being around her peers, she must continue with her main responsibilities, especially if school is in session or she has a job. If she is interested in getting out of the house, take her shopping or to a movie. A great comedy is something fun that can get her mind off of her heartbreak, even if only for a couple of hours. It can also give her some bonding time with you that she may need. Recruiting your daughter’s best friends for support can also be very helpful. Encourage your daughter to spend some time with her friends. No matter how close your relationship may be, having a friend to listen to her and

talk with her can help your daughter tremendously. The support of her friends through this difficult time in her life can be extremely beneficial. It is important that you keep an eye on your daughter’s emotional distress. If you begin to see signs in her life that are affecting her ability to do well in school, maintain close friendships, interact with you and the rest of the family, and a loss of interest in activities that she once loved, please seek professional assistance and support from a professional counselor or family doctor right away. Trust your instincts and make sure that you keep the lines of communication open with your daughter. If you feel that she is in any way depressed, seek the help that you need and allow a professional to determine if your instincts are correct. In either instance, finding out that your daughter is healthy or receiving the help that she needs is more important than anything else you can do for her at this tumultuous time in her life. a

p family spotlight his children and his team acquiring tools like unity and understanding that will carry into their future endeavors. Holloway tells his teams they are ladies and gentlemen first, scholars second, and athletes third. The better they are as people, the better they will be as professionals. A professional athlete’s schedule may be daunting, but a coach’s can be even more so. Besides a couple weeks a year when he is not allowed to leave campus for recruiting purposes, Holloway’s job takes him across the nation and sometimes even across the world to find the next best athletes and bring them to Gainesville.

“Training is a 9 to 5 job, but the recruitment process and travel never stops,” he said. While this may prove to be too much for some families, the Holloways have it down to a science. When their 9-year-old son MJ was not yet in school, Holloway’s wife, Angela, would travel with the team to a lot of the meets. Now that he’s older, the family, including his 23-year-old daughter Michele, attends big meets, especially championship rounds.

Field Starand Family Man The Holloway Family By CHRISTINA VILA Photos by Lifeprints Photography

Mike Holloway holds two coaching jobs: one coaching both Track and Field teams at the University of Florida, the other as head coach of his family.

In order to keep his family close, they enjoy TV and movie nights when everyone’s home. They also attend sporting events together, like basketball and volleyball games. To keep them involved with his teams, they sometimes host gatherings for the athletes, like the Christmas parties they had in years past. And ultimately, the family just talks to each other.

Holloway’s presence exudes confidence and commands respect, but in the most subtle way. He possesses all the qualities of a winner, on the track and in the home. His athletes’ NCAA titles and SEC Championships, evidence of his coaching abilities, contrast sharply with his quiet demeanor. In his fourth year coaching the women’s team and his ninth coaching the men’s team for the Gators, Holloway’s accomplishments pile up. The coach, whose coaching career began at Gainesville High School and then continued at Buchholz High School, recently won an NCAA title with his men’s team. But for him, winning comes as a side effect of hard work. He gives his athletes tools for success. For Holloway, success means being able to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Holloway says the opportunity to give his children a good education is one of his greatest accomplishments. He explains that an education is more than just schooling. He stresses the importance of education for future generations, about

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“Communication is key for us,” Holloway said. The family has an open and honest relationship and a strict “No Drama” rule. This keeps things simple for them, even amidst the chaos that their schedules provide. His family and his team are sacred to Holloway. In many ways, the two overlap. But he knows when to draw the line. The way he keeps sane is by following one of his personal rules: do not let problems cross over. Leave work at work, and leave family troubles at home.

Holloway’s keys to success include trust, prayer and belief in God. They keep him motivated and focused, and able to give back to those who need his help.

“Don’t focus on the negative. You need to stop for a moment and think about how blessed you are. I do it several times a day.” MJ isn’t sure if he wants to be like his dad when he grows up. He likes coaching, but he likes playing sports better. His father tells him with a smile on his face that he can do both. And in many ways, Holloway has done just that. He has blurred the line between work and family, accepting both as huge parts of his life and loving both parts equally as much. a


night out Gainesville ladies take a break.

Photos by Lifeprints Photography. Photo of Rusty Salling as Scrooge by Michael A.Eaddy.

A night at the theater... Nestled in downtown Gainesville, amidst all the hustle and bustle of college life, there sits a beautiful white building with large columns. Inside, a quant and romantic play house sits. What is this that I speak of? Why, it is the Hippodrome Theatre, of course! We were honored to behold a wonderful performance by the talented actors at the Hippodrome Theater as they performed the holiday classic - A Christmas Carol. Perfect family entertainment, the show’s cast of characters captured the audience’s hearts and true meaning of Christmas as they walked through the classic tale without missing a beat. The 2010-2011 season at the Hippodrome, which was founded in 1972, will have six different shows, ranging in performances from Dracula to This Wonderful Life. Also home to the Hippodrome Cinema (which hosts 700 viewings a year) to its art gallery, the Hippodrome is a true community gem. So weather you are up for a night of theater or catching a movie in the cinema, the Hippodrome Theater is a must! Complete with hot popcorn and refreshments of your choice, you are to be sure to have a great time! We did!

giggle recommends: Any show that you see at the Hippodrome is a sure winner, but our favorites from 2010-2011 season are: Boeing Boeing This Wonderful Life A Christmas Carol End Days Hippodrome State Theatre 25 SE 2nd Place Gainesville, FL 32601 Box Office: 352-375-4477

Easy St Patrick’s day crafts Who doesn’t enjoy crafting? These simple and inspired crafts are fun and easy for the whole family to make.

Leprechaun Hat Cupcake Holder What you’ll need: Construction paper Scissors Glue or double-sided tape Cupcake w/ green icing Here’s how to make it: Cut a 2 inch (approx.) wide strip of green construction paper and form a cylinder with it, using glue or double sided tape to hold it together. **It is helpful to measure it around the cupcake(s) for a more precise fit. Cut a circle out of green construction paper. The diameter should be about 1 inch wider all the way around when you place the cylinder on top of it.

Photo by Laurel Housden Photography

Cut a smaller 1/2 inch (approx.) strip of yellow construction paper and wrap it around the base of the cylinder, holding it in place with glue or double-sided tape. Cut the square button for the hat out of black construction paper and adhere it with glue or double-sided tape. Cut a shamrock out of green construction paper and adhere it to a toothpick. Center the cupcake on top of the green circle and then slip the cylinder over it, forming the hat. Top the cupcake with the shamrock.

4 Leaf Clover Button/Magnet

Pot of Gold Centerpiece

What you’ll need: 4 wooden craft hearts Decorative button Paint Paint pen Glue Magnet(s)

What you’ll need: Paper mache pot Styrofoam craft ball Silk flowers Ribbon Paint Glue

Here’s how to make it: Apply 2 coats of paint on both sides of the hearts (allow drying time in between coats).

Here’s how to make it: Apply 2 coats of black paint to the paper mache pot (allowing drying time in between coats).

Put the hearts together at their tips, forming a 4 leaf clover. Apply glue (hot glue, or any type of craft adhesive glue will work best) to the back of the button and then center it on the hearts (allow time to dry completely before picking it up). Glue a magnet on the back of the clover. Using a paint pen, write whatever you wish on your clover. ** giggle tip: If wearing it as a button, take a 2nd magnet and place on the inside of your shirt to make it stick.

 special


Using a dry brush, apply a minimal amount of gold paint to the pot to add an antiqued effect. Paint the Styrofoam ball gold and allow time to dry completely. Place the Styrofoam ball inside the pot and glue your flowers (silk orchids were used for this example) all over it to provide complete coverage. Glue a green ribbon around the pot and finish it with a bow.

Kristy Cardozo KC Kids Creations giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011


Keeping Your Child’s


Healthy When should I schedule my child’s first trip to the dentist? Should my 3-year-old be flossing? How do I know if my child needs braces? Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don’t always know the best way to do so.

When Should Dental Care Start?

Proper dental care begins even before a baby’s first tooth appears. Remember that just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw. Running a damp washcloth over your baby’s gums following feedings can prevent buildup of damaging bacteria. Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush or rub them with gauze at the end of the day. Even babies can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding habits. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term — but it can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they may eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Severe cases result in cavities and the need to pull all the front teeth until the permanent ones grow in. Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth.

Pediatric Dentists

Consider taking your child to a dentist who specializes in treating kids. Pediatric dentists are trained to handle the wide range of issues associated with kids’ dental health. They also know when to refer you to a different type of specialist such as an orthodontist to correct an overbite or an oral surgeon for jaw realignment. A pediatric dentist’s primary goals are prevention (heading off potential problems before they occur) and maintenance (using routine checkups and proper daily care to keep teeth and gums healthy).

Preventing Cavities

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist take place by the first birthday. At this visit, the dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques (you need to floss once your baby has two teeth that touch) and conduct a modified exam while your baby sits on your lap.

need to floss once } you your baby has two teeth that touch ~

Such visits can help in the early detection of potential problems, and help kids become accustomed to visiting the dentist so they’ll have less fear about going as they grow older. When all primary teeth have come in (usually around age 2½), your dentist may start applying topical fluoride. Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel, helping to ward off the most common childhood oral disease, dental cavities (also called dental caries). Cavities occur when bacteria and food left on the teeth after eating are not brushed away. Acid collects on a tooth, softening its enamel until a hole — or cavity — forms. Regular use of fluoride toughens the enamel, making it more difficult for acid to penetrate. Although many towns require tap water to be fluoridated, others don’t. If the water supply is not fluoridated, or if your family uses purified water, ask your dentist for fluoride supplements. Most toothpastes contain fluoride but toothpaste alone will not fully protect a child’s mouth. Be careful, however, since too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration. Check with your dentist before supplementing. Discoloration also can occur from prolonged use of antibiotics, and some children’s medications that contain a large amount of sugar. Parents should encourage children to brush after they take their medicine, particularly if the prescription will be long-term. Continues on page 58

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Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy | Continued from page 56

Brushing at least twice a day and routine flossing will help maintain a healthy mouth. Kids as young as age 2 or 3 can begin to use toothpaste when brushing, as long as they’re supervised. Kids should not ingest large amounts of toothpaste — a pea-sized amount for toddlers is just right. Parents should always make sure the child spits the toothpaste out instead of swallowing. As your child’s permanent teeth grow in, the dentist can help seal out decay by applying a thin wash of resin to the back teeth, where most chewing occurs. Known as a sealant, this protective coating keeps bacteria from settling in the hard-toreach crevices of the molars. Although dental research has resulted in increasingly sophisticated preventative techniques, including fillings and sealants that seep fluoride, a dentist’s care is only part of the equation. Follow-up at home plays an equally important role. For example, sealants on the teeth do not mean that a child can eat sweets uncontrollably or slack off on the daily brushing and flossing — parents must work with kids to teach good oral health habits.

If Your Child Has a Problem

If you are prone to tooth decay or gum disease, your kids may be at higher risk as well. Therefore, sometimes even the most diligent brushing and flossing will not prevent a cavity. Be sure to call your dentist if your child complains of tooth pain, which could be a sign of a cavity that needs treatment. New materials mean pediatric dentists have more filling and repair options than ever. Silver remains the substance of choice for the majority of fillings in permanent teeth. Other materials, such as composite resins, are gaining popularity. These resins bond to the teeth so the filling won’t pop out and can be used to rebuild teeth damaged through injury or conditions such as cleft palate. Tooth-colored resins are also more attractive.

But in cases of fracture, extensive decay, or malformation of baby teeth, dentists often opt for stainless steel crowns. Crowns maintain the tooth while preventing the decay from spreading. As kids grow older, their bite and the straightness of their teeth can become an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it once did, but what once was a symbol of preteen embarrassment — a mouth filled with metal wires and braces — is a relic of the past. Kids as young as age 7 now sport corrective appliances, and efficient, plastic-based materials have replaced old-fashioned metal. contraptions. Dentists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with relatively minor orthodontia, thus preventing major orthodontia later on. In some rare instances, usually when a more complicated dental procedure is to be performed, a dentist will recommend general anesthesia be used. Parents should make sure that the professional who administers the medicine is a trained anesthesiologist or oral surgeon before agreeing to the procedure. Don’t be afraid to question the dentist. Giving your child an early start on checkups and good dental hygiene is an effective way to help prevent this kind of extensive dental work. Encouraging kids to use a mouthguard during sports also can prevent serious dental injuries. As kids grow, plan on routine dental checkups anywhere from once every 3 months to once a year, depending on the dentist’s recommendations. Limiting intake of sugary foods and regular brushing and flossing all contribute to a child’s dental health. Your partnership with the dentist will help ensure teeth healthy and a beautiful smile. a © 1995- 2011 . The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth®. Reprinted with permission.

why I love raising my family in alachua


a The Brindise Family Noah, Jen, Caelan (7) and Jackson (5) Photos by Cotton Blossoms Studio


few years ago we had the opportunity to move back to Gainesville and decided to do so because it is the place that most seemed like home to us. Living here previously as college students, then as young professionals, we have experienced our town in different phases of life. Now as we raise children, we knew this was the experience we wanted for them. This third time around has brought about broader experiences than just the heart of our county – the streets between University Avenue and Archer Road and I-75 and Main Street. A year ago we moved out to Alachua and love our new location. The rural landscape provides the most beautiful backdrop for the sunrises we see each morning on the way to school. Our local adventures have brought us out to our county’s borders – picking blueberries and visiting the Greathouse Butterfly Farm in Earleton, visiting the horses at the retired horse farm in Alachua, visiting Dudley Farm in Newberry, a boat ride on Lake Santa Fe in Melrose, swimming in Ginnie Springs and hiking through San Felasco. We also love trying out the restaurants in each neighboring town and walking through their quaint downtowns. Twice during the past year while on these outings we have stumbled upon a community parade. These small-town parades evoke such sense of community togetherness and American pride. It was such a delightful surprise to be able to watch the festivities. As we are out and about or through the kids’ activities it is so wonderful to see the talents of those who live in our area.

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From Molly Cobb Smith, who teaches horseback riding at Pony Paddock at Cedar Lane, to Chontelle Steadman Brown, who took these pictures of our family to local musicians playing at the Great Outdoors restaurant in High Springs, you realize the rich talents of those who make up our community. And while we have loved further exploring Alachua County, we still love all that made us want to move back here – from attending Gator sporting events to exploring the latest exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, and from seeing locally crafted art at the festivals to enjoying the tastes of local flavors from the farmers’ markets. We love to drive down the roads canopied by beautiful oaks draped in moss and look forward to the vibrant azalea blooms each spring. We are so appreciative to live in an area that offers the comfort of a small town feel, but with much opportunity for diverse experiences and little adventures. a

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Join the GCO for these upcoming events that every music-lover in your family will love!

The Beloved Pops

March 4, 2011 | University Auditorium at 7:30pm Our pops concerts have always been a great crowd pleaser and this one promises to be bigger and better than ever! You'll enjoy famous classical and popular pieces, culminating in the rousing 1812 Overture, which is sure to blow the roof off!

American Vistas

May 6, 2011 | Phillips Center for Performing Arts at 7:30pm Come be a part of our spectacular featured concert of the season! The highlight will be a new audio-visual experience integrated into the GCO's performance of Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite along with other treasured American pieces. The festival will also include exhibits by local artists, fascinating historical and geologic exhibits, and the ever-popular annual “Walk Through the Orchestra.”

Visit for more information and additional concert dates.

The GCO is funded in parT by:


O RC H E S T R A | 352.336.5448 | Follow us on

Romance in a Recession:

Say ‘I Love You’ This Valentine’s Day Without Breaking the Bank By Kelsey McNIel


ove is a many-splendored thing, but where’s St. Valentine when the check comes? Expressing your love can feel like it needs to be expensive, particularly when it’s already been a penny-pinching year that has tested the toughness of your relationship. But a special, and debt-free, Valentine’s Day can be yours with these simple tips.

Super size that order of ‘special.’

For your kids (or even your spouse) it could be as simple as pancakes instead of cereal, an extra cookie in the lunch pail or a sweet note reminding them why you love them – all in heart shapes, of course! With simple but special on your mind, think of other things that can make your loved ones feel great. Taking the afternoon off and doing an activity your kids love but rarely get to share with you can make for a very memorable Valentine’s Day. Or, surprise your significant other in the parking lot when he gets off work with a change of clothes and a surprise destination. If staying in makes more sense, try a picnic. Put the kiddos to bed early and lay out your honey’s favorite spread on the living room floor (the backyard will likely be too cold based on the weather that we’ve been having). For those kid-less couples, surprise your cupcake with their favorite takeout. The candlelight, special food and attention will make it a Valentine’s Day to remember.

Photos courtesy of

Less Than a Penny for Your Thoughts.

Flashy, singing cards and bouquets of roses can be pricey, but using your brain can create a more thoughtful and budget-friendly V-day. Would your lovely lady like a tour of all of your ‘first’ places? Swing by the spot of your first date for an appetizer, then take her to the proposal site for a drink and end the evening with a picnic on the steps of the church or reception hall you were married in. Or perhaps you’re newlyweds and your hubby has been dying to get your wedding day snapshots organized: surprise him with a slide show or photo book, which costs little to nothing. Or skip putting on your thinking cap and leave all


giggle dollars$ p the work to your fingers by giving them a massage. Step up your game by doing some research a few days before, and give your love’s muscles a much-needed break. Take it a step further by setting the atmosphere: fresh sheets on the bed, candles around the room and soothing music. The stress will melt away, without any lingering buyer’s remorse.

Give Her This Over Chocolates Any Day.

When it comes to gifts, love doesn’t have a dollar sign. So show your love with a little help from your pen - write him or her a letter, detailing your favorite things about him, or specific memories that you don’t want her to forget, either. If you’re not a wordsmith, look through quotes or poems and pick out ones that remind you of your loved one (you’d be surprised what e.e. cummings can do to a girl). Try printing photos from the past year and put a caption to each one. Or, use your kids’ ultra-cheesy cards from classmates: they may be chock full of puppy wuv, but they can be great inspiration. Beyond the-best-card-ever, the best way to make your honey smile may be to leave her alone. Though time spent together is certainly what being a couple is all about, giving your lovely lady or lad some time off from dad duties or ordinary weekend routine to do what they love can be a great – and free – gift.

Your Best Days Are Yet to Come.

If the purse strings are too tight to even think about Valentine’s Day, consider making plans for a romantic weekend in the future. Sit down together and, over a $3 bottle of wine from your local grocery store, discuss places within 2 hours driving distance you’d love to visit. Then pop out the calendars and pick a weekend. Setting down the plans and actually making a “what-if” happen can be more exciting than any romantic dinner. Plus, by waiting for a more financiallysecure time to celebrate, you’ll truly be able to enjoy yourselves when the time comes. Whether it’s dinner on a down blanket or at a four star spot, just showing your loved one that you want the day to be special is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Remember that sometimes love can be inexpensive, but not cheap. Opt for a great dinner if that’s all you can afford, rather than a wilting bouquet and a luke-warm meal. With a little forethought and care, this Valentine’s Day can be your best yet – recession and otherwise. a


magazine • feb/march 2011


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giggle takes you to... The Florida Panhandle!

Cold Weather Camping in the Florida Panhandle BY JANET GROENE


he snow-white Gulf of Mexico beaches along North Florida’s Panhandle can be cold as a witch’s well in winter. Yet smart families know that many winter days here are sunny, warm and inviting. Add to this the rock-bottom winter rates at luxury camping resorts, and you can see why many families vacation here in winter rather than in South Florida, where it’s warmer but also crowded and platinum-priced.

Photos by Janet Groene

Avid campers love the famous Em-

erald Coast beaches and dunes between Pensacola and Panama City Beach. Here you will find campfire evenings and cold nights perfect for burrowing deep into a sleeping bag and shortsleeve days that soon turn warm after the occasional cold snap. One look at the tourism menu explains why this is a year-round bonanza for families who love outdoor life. Golf courses and tennis courts invite active play in

cooler weather. Most tourist attractions stay open. Beaches are perfect for jogging or sand castle building, and fishing action is hot any time of year.

Camping Options

have camping equipment. Campsites are usually smaller and more costly but permit longer stays. Many visitors lease sites by the year or season and reserve a year in advance.

Both upland and beach campsites are available throughout the Panhandle, famous for its sugar-bowl sands and clear Gulf waters and for having the only whitewater kayaking and canoeing in Florida. For a natural setting, stay in one of the Florida State Parks, the National Park Service campground in Gulf Shores National Seashore or Blackwater River State Forest north of Pensacola.

Typical of these resort campgrounds is the Emerald Beach RV Park at Navarre Beach. It offers pull-through campsites that can accommodate big RV’s. The park has a private, white sand beach, big swimming pool, 12 geo-cache sites, sea kayak rental and wash stations for both RV’s and trailer boats. Its big meeting room accommodates parties, groups and reunions. Rates are in the $59 range by the night in winter, $79 nightly in season. Winter rates are even less when campsites are leased for longer periods.

Government parks offer fewer bells and whistles, but campsites are usually larger and leafier. State campsites have a two-week limit and low prices all year. The region also has dozens of other government campsites on county, city, state and national lands.

Florida State Parks that offer camping include Big Lagoon, Pensacola; Blackwater River (inland at Holt); Dr. Julian Bruce/St. George Island; Falling Waters (inland at Chipley); Florida Caverns (upcountry at Marianna); Rocky Bayou at Niceville; Greyton Beach at Santa Rosa Beach; Henderson Beach State Park, Destin; Perdido Key, Pensacola; St. Andrews, Panama City; H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Port St. Joe; and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach.

Commercial campgrounds in this popular tourist region range from bare-bones trailer parks to luxurious, destination resorts with golf, shuffleboard, heated swimming pools, planned activities, game rooms and full hook-ups for RV’s. Some have cabins or on-site RV rentals for those who don’t

However, more than a dozen additional giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011


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Panhandle state parks without campgrounds are ideal for day visits for hiking, historic sites, interpretive tours, fishing, picnics and much more. You’ll find sightseeing and nature watching in government parks that charge modest day fees, about an hour's drive away.

What to See and Do Panama City Beach is one of the South’s premier party towns, known for nonstop beach fun spring through fall. Even in winter, it can be a good place to sunbathe, see and be seen. Water park attractions are closed until late April, but indoor pleasures include a 15-gallery Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Laketown Wharf shopping and dining center. Gulf World Marine Park opens every day, rain or shine, although hours vary. Call ahead. Stay all day to see the displays, have lunch, and see shows including dolphins, sea lions, a parrot show and shark feeding. Zoo World with its animal displays is also open all year.

Pensacola is the home of

the world’s largest collection of naval warbirds at the National Naval Aviation Museum. It’s the ideal place to spend a rainy day, although outdoor exhibits are eyepopping too. New this year, (opened November 10, 2010) it's the first addition in more than a decade. The new Hangar Bay One houses 35 aircraft. The museum’s massive collection includes both U.S. and foreign-built aircraft.

Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s show-off aviation team. You may catch a practice session on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning through November and resuming again in early spring. Usually after the Wednesday session, pilots are on hand for questions and autographs. Pensacola’s inner city is worth a special visit to see historic homes and some excellent museums. It was actually settled before St. Augustine and has historic sites dating to the Spanish era. Don’t miss its historic landmarks, old neighborhoods and Historic Pensacola Village.

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Beaches, fishing and the sea are the crowning glory of Gulf Shores National Seashore in the westernmost Panhandle, but don’t miss Fort Pickens and, if time allows. Fort Barrancas. Brick forts built before the Civil War, they have a fascinating history from the Indian Wars era into World War II. a

u if yo For more information


Getting there: Driving distance from Gainesville to Panama City Beach is about 225 miles depending on the route; to Pensacola it’s an additional 100 miles.

For more information:

Florida State Parks Information Center (850) 245-2157 - www. Panama City Beach tourism information (800) 772-3224 - Pensacola area visitor information (800) 874-1234 - The Florida Association of RVParks and Campgrounds One of the best references to non-commercial Florida campgrounds is Florida Atlas and Gazetteer (DeLorme, $19.95).

About the Author

Janet Groene is a Florida-based travel writer and author. An avid camper, she creates healthful, homemade snack recipes for

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Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC 5542 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32653

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in our next issue! Eco issue


Happy Second Birthday giggle® magazine! Be sure to get your hands on our

April a May Issue!



Professional organizer Helen Kornblum helps us find easy ways to keep our busy family lives organized.

Serve up better nutrition Did you resolve to improve your family’s diet in 2011? Have you made much progress? It’s a good idea to supplement talk about healthful eating with a kitchen makeover. Food preparation is easier for gung-ho chefs as well as reluctant servers if the kitchen is designed for efficiency. Here are some tips to help you dish up good meals and snacks. • Clear the counters if you are serious about food preparation. You can’t make much headway if your work areas have been hijacked by mail, schoolwork, newspapers and tote bags. Find other areas in the house for your executive work or restrict papers to just one place in the kitchen. Remove knickknacks and other decorations from your cooking space, too. • Kitchen cabinets benefit from reorganization. Keep frequently used items up front. Move seasonal items (the punch bowl, perhaps) to the back of a cabinet or elsewhere in the house. Keep heavy items below the counters. Put food preparation items—measuring cups and spoons, cutting boards, mixing bowls, mixers—within easy reach. Make storage easier by using turntables, pull-out shelves or drawer dividers, which can be as informal as dollar store trays. Adjustable shelves allow you to maximize space. • Police the pantry by eliminating outdated foods. Donate unexpired food if it fits the list of items wanted by a charitable organization. If you have multiple open boxes, mark the one currently in use so your family knows to use it first. Group the foods by frequency of use (breakfast cereals) or into centers of activity (baking). Put up signs to help your family know where to put items away. Store small, loose items (gravy packets, spices, birthday candles), in clear plastic or wire baskets so they are visible. • Rescue the refrigerator from disorganization by grouping related foods. Use the vegetable, fruit, meat and cheese bins. Keep condiments, sauces and dressings on the door shelves. Some folks like to keep leftovers together in one area. Label the leftovers and include a date. • Spare the spices and herbs from the effects of heat and moisture by moving them away from the range top. Try to fit the most frequently used of them into a drawer or on a turntable inside a cabinet. Planning saves time and yields better meals, so after the kitchen has been restructured for more efficiency, plan some simple menus, check the pantry for the needed ingredients and create your shopping list. Having your spatula handy means you’re ready to cook up the nutritious meals your family needs!

Helen Kornblum is a professional organizer in Gainesville, FL. She owns giggle

magazine • feb/march 2011


Four-Leaf Folklore By Tamara Herchel

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! Traditionally a religious holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is a Christian festival celebrating St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and is honored as a feast day. In recent times, it’s evolved into a celebration of Irish heritage and culture. The date, March 17, is the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death, although the modern celebration is more about revelry, the color green, shamrocks and luck. Whether you’re Irish all year round or just believe that everyone’s Irish on March 17, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate. Gather your wee lads and lassies together to share some fun facts about this legendary holiday and get everyone in the spirit!

Who was St. Patrick? St. Patrick originally from Britain, was captured by Irish raiders and sold into slavery. Although he escaped six years after his imprisonment, he was drawn back to Ireland and returned to spread Christianity. The story of St. Patrick driving snakes out of Ireland actually refers to his banishing paganism in favor of Christianity. Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. St. Patrick wore shamrocks, or three-leaf clovers, and used them to describe the Holy Trinity to the Pagan Irish - each leaf representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Modern belief suggests that the three leaves of a clover represent hope, faith and love.

And leprechauns! What about them? Leprechauns are magical Irish fairies, and folklore has it that they thrive on mischief. They store their gold in pots at the end of rainbows. It’s rumored that if a leprechaun is captured, he will grant three wishes in exchange for his release. They are iconic of Irish heritage and fable.

Want to show your Irish spirit? Deck out in green and bring the family together to share your own “good-luck” charms! Traditional Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread with a “pot o’ gold” cheddar fondue can bring out the Irish in anyone. Add some Irish or Celtic music and you’re all set for a St. Patty’s Day celebration that will make the whole family feel lucky! a

Photos courtesy of

But wait! What about four-leaf clovers?! Four-leaf clovers are the very symbol of the mythical luck o’ the Irish! Tradition claims that the fourth leaf of a four-leaf clover stands for luck and you are certainly fortunate to find one. The happy chance of finding a four-leaf clover is one in 10,000.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a day of revelry with celebrations worldwide. Festivals feature Irish folkdance, Gaelic sports, Irish food and drink, and music. Many cities across the globe host parades to commemorate the occasion as well. The three largest St. Patrick’s Day parades take place in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. The Windy City takes it one step further by dyeing the Chicago River green. Other cities with jubilant celebrations include Savannah, Ga. with its festive parade and dyed green fountains, and Seattle, with the oldest and largest celebration in the Northwest - their parade runs over a mile and attracts over 20,000 spectators.

Dance Florida ... original concert pieces A dance adaptation of



1x 1x

Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

*Featuring guest artists from our Sunshine State...

Calendar of Events February American Heart Month Black History Month National Children’s Dental Health Month National Weddings Month January 29 & 30 February 5 & 6

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire

10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The entertainment never ceases as jugglers, magicians and a colorful cast of characters fill visitors with laughter and amazement. Watch as royal knights joust on horseback and human chess pieces battle for a win on the Living Chessboard. Indulge your appetite with delicacies fit for a King at the Food Court, and enjoy your day wandering through the marketplace filled with the wares of 150 skilled artisans selling and demonstrating their time-honored arts and crafts of the Middle Ages. Alachua County Fairgrounds 352- 393-8536 February 2

Ground Hog Day

Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the rest of winter weather since 1886. February 4 & 5

Dudley Farm Plow Days

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mule teams, oxen and draft horses demonstrate old-time farming before the days of tractors. 18730 W. Newberry Road - Newberry 352- 472-1142 February 4

Robin Hood

11:30 a.m. “In England, in the days of yore, there lived an outlaw bold. He fought for the good, did young Robin Hood, For his king, his life, his love.” A delightful rendition of the story of Robin Hood. Appropriate for all ages. Some sword play. Comic vignettes. Excellent sets, props and costumes. Cofrin Theater, Oak Hall School 8009 SW 14 Ave., Gainesville

Dance Alive National Ballet 352- 371-2986 February 5

Lady Bug Action Hero!

2:00 p.m. Lady Bug – Action Hero! is the story of a beautiful, sweet and very strong little Lady Bug who lives in the ‘forest of forever’. She is friends with a ditsy blond butterfly, wise old Mr.Turtle and a hip-hopping frog. This is the tale of her mighty efforts to save the forest friends, proving that a ‘hero may be small in size, but is always big of heart’! A wonderful message for children of all ages. Cofrin Theater, Oak Hall School 8009 SW 14 Ave., Gainesville Dance Alive National Ballet 352- 371-2986 February 5

The Next Gneration Spring Concert

7 p.m. Another family friendly show! Gifted students along with guest artists from Dance Alive National Ballet will present an entertaining evening for all! Works performed include classical ballet, contemporary and jazz by six different choreographers. Mary Ann Cofrin Theatre at Oak Hall School Tickets are $10 Dance Alive National Ballet 352- 371-2986 February 8

February 12

Queen of Hearts Valentine Tea Party With Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses

2:00 p.m. Tea party supports Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic literacy program High Springs New Century Women's Club High Springs 352-226-9009 February 12

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday February 12

Gainesville Heart Ball

6:30 p.m. An elegant evening of live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing benefitting the life-saving research of the American Heart Association. Hilton UF Conference Center Gainesville 800-257-6941

Valentine’s Day February 14


Boy Scout Day

Boy Scouts of America celebrates 101 years! February 12

Hoops for Health Workshop

Noon - 1:30 p.m. Join Physical Therapist Jodi Jainchill, for fun and fitness with hoop dancing. Learn how to move your body and get a full body workout! Receive all the health benefits of hooping while smiling! Improve your posture, increase core strength and release stress. Hoops will be provided during workshop and available for purchase. IndepenDance Studio


Over 1,000 listings for kids’

Activities Around Alachua County

February 17 - 19

2011 Will Muschamp Scramble for Kids

This two-day event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, Children’s Home Society of Florida and the Girls Club of Alachua County. Since 1991, scores of volunteers and thousands of golfers have participated in the Scramble for Kids. Actively supported by former University of Florida Football Coaches Steve Spurrier and Ron Zook, the Scramble for Kids has raised more than $1.5 million dollars for area children in need. February 19

5 Points of Life Kids Marathon

9 a.m. FREE This is an extension of the Five Points of Life Marathon which is on Sunday, February 20th. The goal of the Kids Marathon is to promote good health and physical fitness by giving kids the opportunity to accomplish the goal of running an entire 26.2 miles, just like marathoners! The difference is that the kids will be running and training the distance between now and race day. They will complete the final 1.2 mile run on Saturday, February 19th. and click on the link for 5 Points of Life February 19

Zumba Master Class with Marjorie Zink IndepenDance Studio 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. 352-337-0017 February 21

President’s Day February 25 - 27

Winter Fine Arts Fair at Tioga FREE Town of Tioga, Gainesville February 26


Family activities all day, live entertainment Charitable event produced by and benefitting The Centers, Rebuilding Hope Silver Springs Nature's Theme Park

March National Nutrition Month March 2

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1904. March 4 & 5

Baby & Kid’s Consignment sale to benefit the March of Dimes Friday 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall 9700 W. Newberry Road - Gainesville

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. FREE Think! Plan! Create! Join the Discovery Center and the Florida Engineering Society in a family day of hand-on engineering challenges. Discovery Center: 701 NE Sanchez Avenue, Ocala Registration opens January 1st.

March 20

First Day of Spring March 26 & 27

Gator Nationals

Spring Garden Festival at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

March 12

March 26

Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia 99 years ago.

8:00 a.m. When you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that Join threaten our babies. We’ve been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2 Team! billion to benefit all babies. Westwood Middle School 3215 NW 15 Ave - Gainesville 352-378-9522

March 10 - 13

The traditional East Coast opener and the season’s first of 17 events for Pro Stock Motorcycle riders, this event is one of the sport’s most revered with a rich tradition of historymaking performances. This hallowed quartermile has entertained spring-break-loving fans for decades with such notable occasions as the first 260-mph Top Fuel and Funny Car runs in 1984 and the first 270-mph and 300-mph Top Fuel passes, in 1986 and 1992, respectively. Its 675-foot concrete launch pad is one of the longest on the tour. Gainesville Raceway 11211 N. County Road 225 - Gainesville 352-377-0046

Girl Scout Day

March 12

Dancing with the Gainesville Stars

6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Exciting evening of drinks, dinner and dancing. Presented by the Junior League of Gainesville. 352-376-3805 March 13

Daylight Saving Time Begins

February 26

Discover Engineering Day

Second Annual Family Arts Festival to celebrate Youth Art Month. Watch local artists recreate famous works of art on the sidewalks. A special section will be dedicated for children of all ages to try their hand at original designs as well as recreations of famous works of art. Easels and materials including paint, chalk, charcoal and more will be provided so that you can step into a live painting. Live music and food will be available as well. Chalk it up for Youth Art Month and join us for this inspiring event. Thornebrook Shopping Village

March 17

St. Patrick’s Day March 17 – 19

Just Between Friends Sale Alachua County Fairgrounds Exhibition Building 2900 NE 39th Avenue - Gainesville March 19th

Family Arts Festival 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. FREE

Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The weekend affair features more than 200 booths offering plants, landscape displays, educational materials, arts and crafts and food. Educational seminars and entertainment are offered throughout and both live and silent auctions offer many bargains on arts, crafts, plants, and gardening supplies. About 10,000 individuals usually attend the event; parking is free and two off-site parking areas are serviced by shuttle buses. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens 4700 SW 58th Drive - Gainesville 352-372-4981

March for Babies


March 27

1st Annual Florida ICED Cake Competition

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Don't miss the biggest cake competition in Florida! Benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Three different competition categories - Romantic Wedding Dress Cakes, Wedding Accessories (sugar art displays) and Decorated Cupcakes & Tasting. We will have great demonstrations by Mercedes Strachwsky, Edna de la Cruz, and Rebecca Sutterby! There will be a special area where you can sample FREE cake. Holiday Inn & Suites Ocala Conference Center 3600 SW 38th Avenue - Ocala 352-262-8497

Over 1,000 listings for kids’

Activities Around Alachua County

Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine February/March 2011  

St. Patrick's Day traditions, dad's camping, Quinceañeras, sweet 16.

Giggle Magazine February/March 2011  

St. Patrick's Day traditions, dad's camping, Quinceañeras, sweet 16.