Page 1




p a re n t i n g


DEC/JAN 2018 • Volume 9 • Issue 6

ry Bright! r e M and

40 EXCITING gifts to give

8 Hanukkah Books to read

3 Holiday wreaths to make

2 christmas tree farms to visit

1 ...and a partridge in a pear tree! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018



PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nicole Irving CREATIVE DIRECTOR Allison Raber ASSOCIATE DEPUTY EDITOR Colleen McTiernan GRAPHIC DESIGNERs Emily Purvis, Claire Stortz Vice president of sales Shane Irving PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Alison Walker ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE April Tisher executive assistant Sayeh Farah ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Ashleigh Braun DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Patty Skelton EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER Kara Winslow Contributing Photographers Sincerely Gone Photography Contributing Writers Ashleigh Braun, Sawyer Carlton, Lori Evans, Jessica Franklin, Nicole Irving, Jennifer Jensen, Colleen McTiernan, Olivia Pitkethly, MA, LMHC, Mercedes Leguizamon, Meredith Sheldon, Danielle Spano, April Tisher, Lizzie Vasquez

Mailing address

headquarters address

5745 SW 75th Street 101 SW 140th Terrace Unit 286 Suite C Gainesville, FL 32608 Jonesville, FL 32669 Gainesville Office: p. 352.505.5821 Fax: 877.857.5140 Giggle Magazine is a registered trademark property of Irving Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Giggle Magazine is published by Irving Publications, LLC. © 2017

Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Irving Publications, LLC is not responsible for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Nothing that appears in Giggle Magazine may be reproduced in any way, without written permission. Opinions expressed by Giggle Magazine writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s opinion. Giggle Magazine will consider all never before published outside editorial submissions. Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates.


For more information on advertising with Giggle Magazine, please visit or call 352-505-5821.


Creating happy, healthy smiles, one child at a time. Providing specialized dentistry for children and adolescents in a “child-friendly� environment, we focus on preventive care to help each child have a healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

Serving infants, children and teens in Gainesville and surrounding areas State-of-the-art digital technology Latex-free office Now accepting insurance from Humana, Delta Dental PPO and Solstice

Dr. Robert N. Mixon, D.M.D., P.A. Dr. Michael G. Gooch, D.M.D. Dr. Andrew C. Gooch, D.M.D.

Haile Plantation Village Center 5209 SW 91st Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608 and Northwest Professional Center 4910 NW 27th Court, Gainesville, FL 32608

352-335-7777 Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Education Matters! We are proud to be Board Certified Pediatric Dentists.2018 | DECEMBER/JANUARY



publisher's letter


Anabel How old are you?

5 and a half What is your favorite holiday movie?

"The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story"

practice the pause

What is your favorite winter treat?

The day after Halloween, I walked into our neighborhood grocery store to grab a bag of candy thinking I would get a deal on the leftover bits of gooey chocolate for my class at UF. Instead what greeted me at the front of the store were candy canes and Santa-shaped chocolates. At that moment, I felt a rush of panic flow through me. I left the store, Blow Pops in hand, and thought, “how can this be?”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Candy canes A doctor, a mommy and a scuba diver

The holidays are here, and while I thoroughly enjoy each and every moment of the season, it seems to have come too quick this year. Anyone feel my pain? The hustle and bustle of this time of year brings joy to my heart, but I need a pause — a moment to think and gather my thoughts. Didn’t the kids just go back to school? Did I miss Thanksgiving? My busy life caught up with me that moment in the candy aisle. Time was ticking away, and I was still trying to catch my breath from the first day of school. Every year seems to go by quicker and quicker. Life is more uncertain and hectic as ever, and between work, kids, homework, sleep and still trying to figure out how to use my slow cooker, time has moved way too quickly for this momma. Trying to keep up with the Joneses was so last year. Now I am just trying to keep up with myself and my kids.

From my family to yours, I wish you a very merry holiday season filled with good tidings and love!

How old are you?

7 What is your favorite holiday movie?

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" What is your favorite winter treat?

Hot chocolate and candy canes

Nicole Irving, Publisher

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Veterinarian Like us on Facebook /GIGGLEMAGAZINE


follow us on Twitter @GIGGLEMAGAZINE | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

Visit us on Pinterest /GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Follow us on Instagram @GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Photos by Sncerely Gone Photography.

As we move forward into the season of giving, reflection and new beginnings, I challenge you all to practice the pause with me. Take a moment to regroup, breathe and tackle the world in front of you with all you have got! Life with kids (not to mention all those other things on your plate) is never going to slow down. In fact, it is only going to get busier. By being able to pause and reflect, the candy switch at the store becomes just a little bit more bearable, if you know what I mean!



Call tod ay for a


Happy Holidays! At Mathnasium, we believe every child has the ability to be successful in math—it’s a matter of teaching the way that makes sense to them. When math makes sense, kids excel—whether they’re far behind or eager to get ahead.

Math Help

Math Enrichment

Test Prep

Homework Help

Mathnasium of Gainesville, FL

(352) 519-4369 8 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

Tower Square next to Publix 5835 SW 75th St., Gainesville, FL

DEC ● JAN 2018

happy family • happy community™


conception 2 college™ 78 expecting

Lose the Pooch! 80 infant

Supporting the Fourth Trimester


Scared of Santa

84 early years

Wait a Minute! 86 kids

Beyond Little Outbursts

88 tweens

Not Just a Game

90 teens

The Secret to Scholarships


Cover and tree photos by Sincerely Gone Photography. Prooduct image courtesy of manufacturer.



10 a day in the life

Miguel Miranda 14 lifesavers

The Dangers Lurking Behind the Computer Screen 16 our unique family

The Schmidt Family 20 the parent life

50 get healthy Don't Get Choked Up 52 get pretty It's a Beauty Emergency! 54 get pretty Chock-full of Charcoal 56 get healthy Baby Blues

Look Up

happy home forks & spoons 22 delish Easy Edible Mason Jar Gifts! 26 in the kitchen The Best Way to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash 28 delish Tasty Traditions

58 make it Winter Wreaths





6 DEC/JAN 2018 • Volume 9 • Issue www.gigglemagazine.c om

70 in the classroom

¿Como se dice...? 72 Featured educator Karen Bethel

rry Bright! Me and

giggle stamp




74 Start Off on the Right Page

happy community 92 calendar December/January

64 clean it Room for Everyone



...and a partridge in a pear tree!




Find our cover stories! 40 Exciting Gifts to Give PAGE 31 8 Hanukkah Books to Read PAGE 44

68 family learning

"Who's Your Favorite Kid?"

3 Holiday Wreaths to Make PAGE 58

fe a t u res 31 44 47


Giggle Magazine's 2017 Great Big Holiday Gift Guide Our 8 Favorite Hanukkah Reads Oh, Christmas Tree

2 Christmas Tree Farms to Visit PAGE 10 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


life | a day in the life Jared, Grace and Addison, and wake up Alexa to play some morning music on the Echo.

6:35 a.m. Wake Kathy and Addison up for the third and final time. Their morning officially begins, and I am ready for them!

6:45 a.m. Wake up Jared with a very loud obnoxious song I made up that he loves for some reason. Then I make breakfast for Addison and Grace. 6:50 a.m. Make my first 10 minute “alert” to the kids for the time to leave for school. Grace and I like to arrive everywhere early.

6:55 a.m. Kiss Kathy goodbye and

wish her a good day, even though I am still pacing the house waiting on the girls.

7:10 a.m. Get ready to leave with the girls for real this time. I say goodbye to Jared and remind him of anything he is supposed to do that day as Kathy reminds me what I am supposed to do that day. I steal one more kiss from Kathy. 7:12 a.m. We are almost out of the

driveway when Kathy stops us with forgotten lunchboxes I had made earlier for the girls.

7:15 a.m. Drop off Grace early at

school for her safety patrol duties, kiss her forehead and wish her a good day.

7:25 a.m. Arrive at Addison’s school just in time to walk her into class and greet all of our favorite teachers along the way.

a day in the life o F

Miguel Miranda is the owner of Hobbytown USA. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children, Jared Austin (16), Grace Riley (11), and Addison Rose (6). 10

6 a.m. My alarm goes off and it is

time to wake up the girls. Well, for the first time at least.

6:10 a.m. Take a shower while mentally planning out my day.

6:20 a.m. Get out of the shower and wake up Addison for the second time. Grace listened to me the first time and is already dressed. 6:25 a.m. Start making lunches for | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

7:40 a.m. Off to work at Hobbytown USA! Finally, I have control of the music on my ride to the store. 8 a.m. Grab coffee on the way in and open the store to start the day. 8:10 a.m. Check emails and social media and reply as needed. 8:30 a.m. Make sure the store is presentable and ready for the day ahead. 8:55 a.m. Open the doors five minutes early and greet my first Continued on page 13

Photo courtesy of Miguel Miranda.

Miguel Miranda




Continued from page 10

customers. I work on RC repairs and answer numerous customer phone calls throughout the day.

10 a.m. Place orders with distributors and find out current promotions.

afternoon 12:30 p.m. Eat lunch, then head out to run store errands

and pick up Addison from school. Depending on the day, I either take her to softball practice or back to the store to hang out with me.

2:15 p.m. Arrive back at the store just in time to show one of my regular customers and his grandson some new magic tricks.

evening 6 p.m. Have Addison help me prepare the RC track for the upcoming race while we go over her spelling words for her test on Friday. 7 p.m. Close the store and call Kathy to see if we need to

meet them at the ball field or head home for dinner just in time to turn off the crockpot meal Kathy made before going to work.

8:45 p.m. Help tuck the girls in to bed and sing their favorite song, “A dormir,� multiple times on request. This was one of my favorite songs that my mom used to sing to me and my brothers. 9 p.m. Join Jared in a quick Xbox game as we try to dominate the world in any of our favorite games before his bedtime. 9:30 p.m. Sit down with Kathy and take a few minutes to

talk about our day and what is coming up next. Sometimes we even share a dessert we hid from the kids.

10 p.m. Read my Kindle for a minute in bed, check my calendar for the next day and finally set the alarm, knowing that in a few hours I will be ready to do it all over again and love every minute of it all.

Want to submit a friend (or yourself!) to be featured in A Day in the Life? Send your information to! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


life | lifesavers

The Dangers Lurking Behind the Computer Screen Teaching your children to beware of cybercrime BY JENNIFER JENSEN

We lock our doors to keep out intruders. We set alarms to take it one step further. We install baby gates near stairs to prevent accidents. We put protectors in sockets to ensure our little ones do not hurt themselves. We do all these things around our homes to protect our families, especially our children. But what are we doing to protect our children from the dangers lurking online? We live in a technological world. Most children are exposed to electronics at a young age, mastering the iPad by the time they hit elementary school. We need to be able to protect them from dangers they may come across or be exposed to while surfing the internet, playing on social media, streaming a movie or TV show, or listening to music. While we all know to be aware of online predators and cyberbullying, which are serious issues in and of themselves, we should also be aware of cybercrime and cyber theft, which can come in the form of a computer virus, phishing attacks or spam emails. According to the Office of Justice Programs, a computer virus is a hidden fragment of computer code that propagates by inserting itself into or modifying other programs. It includes viruses, worms or Trojan horses. Previously, the purpose of these viruses was to disrupt service. The focus now is on obtaining personal information for financial gain. The same goes for phishing attacks or spam emails. They


both disguise themselves as a trustworthy entity in order to gain sensitive information. While we as parents may be able to identify these kind of schemes, how do we teach our children to be aware of the dangers online? As soon as your children start doing anything that involves the internet, you should start talking to them about online safety, according to the Family Online Safety Institute. Relate the risks of the internet to those of the real world so that they may more easily understand the dangers of cybercrime. For instance, explain hacking as being similar to someone breaking into your home, but instead of stealing your TV, they steal your personal information. And just as your children should know not take a package from a stranger, they should know not open emails or click on links from people or websites with which they are not familiar. You should also instruct your children to never download anything without first getting parental permission. Specifically warn them against emails or ads that offer up free goodies, like cellphones or iPads, which are designed to lure you into giving up personal information. And if they do make a mistake, make sure that your children feel comfortable coming to you for help to prevent the problem from escalating. Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping children safe from | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

injury, encourages parents to get to know the websites their children are frequenting by checking their internet history. You can also set up filtering and monitoring software on the computer. It does not make you an overprotective parent to stay in the know.

Protecting Your Family from Cybercrime • Make sure your home computer and network have safety features installed, including a full firewall and antispyware. • Have a good, strong password that is complex and unique for your home network, as well as all of your email and social media accounts and any other online accounts. • Teach your children not to open emails from people they do not know and not to respond to ads. • Make sure your children never share their passwords with anyone else, even friends. • Make sure your children never give out any personal information online, such as full names, phone numbers or addresses. • Teach your children to log out of personal accounts, especially when using a public computer. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


life | our unique family

The Schmidt Family


charitable Family

The Family Who Serves Together Stays Together PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SCHMIDT FAMILY

For years Nick and Mary Schmidt dreamt of participating in one of the mission trips organized by Orphan Outreach, and when their good college friend joined the staff, they knew it was time to go. Mary is bilingual, so they wanted to find a Spanish-speaking country. In 2016, the couple traveled to Guatemala for the first time to tour several orphanages. On the trip, Nick and Mary partnered with an orphanage home for teen mothers and children in Guatemala City. The moms are placed there by the


city to escape horrible environments at home and, in many cases, to escape from sexual abuse. There are moms as young as 12 years old who live at the home with their babies. Mary spent her time teaching the young girls about their new roles as parents, such as how to discipline, cook, clean and properly feed their children. Nick played the role of a dad for the girls, spending his time talking to them and teaching them to grill. He provided them with a positive male presence, which is a vital element lacking in their lives. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

After their initial experience serving with Orphan Outreach, Nick and Mary determined it would be safe enough to bring their four children along for the next trip. So, this past summer, the whole Schmidt family returned to the same orphanage to continue building relationships with the teen girls. Although the Schmidt children are not fluent in Spanish, they were able to connect with the orphans through crafts, Bible stories and games. Alisa, 13, helped the young mothers build self-esteem by helping them get dressed up and giving

Now – January 7, 2018 • NEW ICE! theme - 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides featuring Christmas Around the World • ALL-NEW Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Show • NEW- JOYFUL, an atrium light show • More than 2 million lights, acres of stunning decor and a 60ft Christmas tree

• Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions • Breakfast with Charlie Brown™ & Friends • Build-A-Bear Workshop® and Scavenger Hunt • Gingerbread Decorating Corner • Snow Tubing & more!


Tickets and Packages on Sale Now!

(407) 586-4423

PEPSI, PEPSI-COLA and the Pepsi Globe are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc. FUJIFILM and INSTAX are trademarks of FUJIFILM Corporation and its affiliates. © 2017 FUJIFILM North America Corporation. All rights reserved. Peanuts © 2017 Peanuts Worldwide LLC. © Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.



them a photo shoot. David, 11, brought his playing cards and taught several tricks to the children. He even led the orphans in a lesson about baseball, and the family brought bats, balls and gloves

After their initial experience serving with Orphan Outreach, Nick and Mary determined it would be safe enough to bring their four children along for the next trip. for the kids to keep. Kailey, 8, was often seen holding babies and made a special connection with a young girl whom Nick and Mary had met the year before. Andrew, 6, had a blast with the little boys climbing trees and playing soccer. Traveling with children can be a struggle, and from her own experience, Mary suggested creating a system to keep kids engaged and ensure everyone has what they need. “It's all about preparation!” she said. Seeing that her kids were so involved with the children at the orphanage, Mary said she will be able to pack less things to entertain them for their next tour.

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Mary with one of the teen moms. Kailey was introduced to a child through video chat a year prior and was very excited to meet her in person. Mary playing with some of the younger children at the home. Nick and Alisa built stoves for three different families. David playing sports with the kids. The Schmidt children visiting another orphanage. Kailey playing a card game with some of the girls.

Mary said the best family moments from their summer trip were experienced while they were serving the kids. It warmed her heart to cook with the teen moms and to watch her kids make fun crafts with the children. She said it reminded them of what they are called to do: love others. “We go there with the intention of helping these kids,” said Mary. “But at the end of it, those kids help us remember what's important.”


life | the parent life

Look Up The importance of spending time with our children instead of our phones BY JESSICA FRANKLIN

It was a beautiful afternoon. My infant daughter slept peacefully in her car seat beside me, facing away so the mist from the splash pad would not bother her. Her brother was joyfully galloping through the fountains and splashing in the puddles, and somewhere along the way, he made friends with some of the other children there. I watched as they carried watering cans over to a nearby palm tree and sat under it together, acting out some scenario unknown to me. I smiled at their creativity and easy friendliness. I glanced over to the other adults sitting on the adjacent bench, intending to share a look of “aren’t our children the cutest?!� But that look was not to be had. They were all looking down at their phones. Now, I do not pretend to be a saint who is never digitally distracted. It is an active struggle for me sometimes because there is a real impulse to repeatedly check the same apps or scroll absentmindedly. I also do not by any means oppose the use of technology altogether. It can do amazing, positive things, like keep my little military family in touch with our faraway loved ones. But since having children, I am trying to be more aware


of how much time I am spending immersed in my little virtual world instead of in their real-life one. I have started forcing myself not to give in to that impulse so often, and I have been very pleased. Let me tell you why.

1. I get so much joy out of watching

my son play on his own. I marvel at how much he has grown in such a short time. I swell with pride when he is kind to others. I reminisce on the days when I was small and wild and free like he is.

2. I want to keep an eye out for cues

for teachable moments. Sometimes children need someone to step in and show them how something works or help them navigate a new social situation. Limiting my own screen time has helped me help my son in so many ways.

3. I want to make sure he stays

safe, and keeping my eyes and my attention primarily on him is the only way to do that. Children unknowingly walk into dangerous situations all the time, and it is our job as parents to prevent that from happening to the best of our ability.

4. I like to make new friends myself! I

know that many people suffer from social anxiety and for them this may not be an option, but I would | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

venture to say that the majority of us could really benefit from some face-to-face conversations and nearby friends who do not live in a computer.

5. I want my son to know that he

is important enough to have my full attention whenever I can give it, rather than to see himself as something distracting me from Facebook. I also want him to learn from my example how to interact with and pay attention to the people around him.

6. Children aside, I find that my

mental health improves the less time I spend on my phone. Living in the moment is so gratifying. I appreciate the beauty around me. I let my mind wander without trying to put a constant stimulus in front of it. I take joy in my own life instead of becoming weighed down with the plight of so many others.

So, my plea to you is this: look up. Look up and see your beautiful children being imaginative and outgoing. Look up and teach them about the things they are struggling with. Look up and keep them safe. Look up and socialize with the people around you instead of the people in your newsfeed. Look up and just be. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


forks and spoons | delish

DI Y Easy Edible Mason Jar Gifts


This holiday season, skip the shopping malls and forgo online gift hunting. Instead, consider making presents for everyone on your list. These easy, layered treats are bound to please people of all sorts of appetites!

no w o ffering TRY ON YOUR NEW LOOK in real-time with virtual reality!

We now offer patients 3D simulated previews of BEFORE & AFTER surgery results at no extra cost! • See how different shapes and styles of breast implants would actually look like on your simulated body

Contrary to popular belief, we’re more than just the best bagels in town. Try us for lunch. Millhopper Shopping Center 4113 NW 16th Blvd. (352) 384-9110

• See how your face will look like pre and post face lift or rhinoplasty • Patients can send in 2D photos which we can convert to a 3D Model prior to surgeon consultation.

FOR A FREE CONSULT (352) 332-1150

call today


Like us on Facebook | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018





Festive Five Bean Soup

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Holiday Hot Cocoa

Makes two dozen cookies

Makes three 8-ounce cups

Makes approximately 15 servings

For Mason Jar • • • • • • • • • •

M cup black beans M cup pinto beans M cup kidney beans M cup garbanzo beans M cup great northern beans 4 tablespoons dried minced onion 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon ground mustard 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Layer beans in a quart-sized mason jar. Add all spices to a clear plastic bag. Seal and place on top of the beans before sealing your jar.

To Cook

• 10 cups chicken broth • 32 ounce can diced tomatoes Rinse beans thoroughly and place in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and allow to soak for 1 hour. Rinse the soaked beans and return to pot. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes and spices to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until beans are tender.


For Mason Jar • • • • • • •

½ cup brown sugar ¼ cup white sugar 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ¾ cup dried cranberries ¾ cup white chocolate chips ¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts

Layer all ingredients into a quartsized mason jar and then seal. Be sure to pack down your brown sugar before layering other ingredients.

To Bake

• 1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened • 1 egg • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, beat together the egg, butter and vanilla. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix together until well blended. Drop a heaping spoonful (about 2 tablespoons) of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

For Mason Jar • • • • •

½ cup powdered sugar ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup powdered milk Mini chocolate chips Mini marshmallows

Layer all ingredients into a pint-sized mason jar and then seal.

To Drink Set the marshmallows aside and mix the remaining ingredients well. For one serving of hot cocoa, combine 8 ounces of hot water with ½ cup of cocoa mix. Top with marshmallows!

Decorating your jar We kept our decorations to just a simple directions tag and twine/fabric to tie it to the jar, but you can certainly get more creative! Add a sprig of spruce to the jar top for a seasonal vibe, or tie a bow with miniature bells around the middle for a more jolly feel. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


forks and spoons | in the kitchen

The Best Way to Peel and Cut

Butternut Squash



Butternut squash has become one of the trendiest winter vegetables. This widely-enjoyed squash is very versatile, and it contains numerous health benefits. According to the USDA, butternut squash is full of vitamin A, in addition to being a great source of fiber and vitamin C. This healthy winter vegetable is often served oven roasted, and can also be made into soups, thrown into salads, mixed with pasta and cream sauce and prepared in many other methods. No matter how you whip it up, this sweet, nutty squash will have your kids begging for seconds.


However, before you can begin cooking your favorite butternut squash recipe, you will need to know how to chop it up. And, unfortunately, it is notorious for being hard to peel and cut. Lucky for you, we have outlined helpful steps that will make preparing butternut squash much more manageable.

#3 Step # 1 Remove the ends of the squash. With your squash on its side, steady it using the fingertips of your non-dominate hand. When cutting into the squash, use a large, sharp knife to make an incision and then slowly cut through the fruit. As the knife gets deeper, it is safe to take your non-dominant hand and use it to apply pressure by leaning on the knife.

Step # 2 Peel off the skin. Now, use a peeler to remove the skin of your squash. Helpful Hint: If the skin is giving you a tough time and refusing to peel, poke holes around the surface of the squash with a fork and microwave for three to four minutes. This method will soften and loosen the skin, making it come off easier. This also slightly cooks the squash, which means you will not need to leave it in the oven for as long.


Step # 3 Cut the squash in half, then half the halves. Once peeled, divide the squash where the neck meets the body and begins to curve out. Then, vertically slice each half open from top to bottom.

Step # 4


Scoop out the seeds. The bottom halves of your squash contain seeds. Use a spoon to cleanly scoop out those seeds. Fun Tip: Save the seeds! Clean, salt and roast them for a healthy fall snack.

Step # 5 Slice and cube the squash. When you have cleaned out your squash, slice the halves at the thickness you want your cubes to be. Then cube those slices to your desired thickness.

Step # 6 Cook your squash. Now you are ready to take your favorite butternut squash recipe and bring it to life!


Family Mediation Solutions

Peaceful Divorce Mediation

Parenting Plans | Dissolution Agreements | Marital Settlement Agreements | Conflict Resolution | Financial Resolution Call for your FREE consultation 115 NE 7th Ave, Suite 103 • Gainesville, FL 32601 Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediators


Federally Insured by the NCUA.

Get in the game with FCU! Feel the hometown advantage with Florida Credit Union, a full-service financial institution with more than 84,000 members in north and central Florida. We offer a range of products and services designed to help you succeed.


Learn more at one of our 4 Gainesville locations, or call us at (352) 377-4141. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


forks and spoons | delish

Tasty Traditions

New Year’s Eve food from around the world BY ASHLEIGH BRAUN

As each year draws to a close and a new one rolls in, people across the world indulge in rituals and traditions they hope will bring them health, wealth and — of course — good luck in the new year. Whether following these customs appeases our superstitions or just our appetites, there is no doubt people around the world enjoy eating these lucky foods.

12 grapes

On New Year’s Eve, Spanish tradition — and superstition — says to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight (symbolizing the 12 months of the upcoming year) to avoid poisoning your fate. If one is bitter, watch out for the corresponding month! According to NPR, it is common belief that Spanish winemakers are behind this tradition to increase demand for grapes during the winter months.

Ring-shaped cakes and pastries

In many parts of the world, ring shaped cakes and pastries — sometimes with trinkets baked inside— are eaten on New Year’s to symbolize coming full circle. In Italy, people indulge in a ring-shaped pastry called Chiacchiere, while in Poland people enjoy doughnuts. In Denmark, a tall-ringed cake, Kransekage, is a New Year’s staple.


Many people consider pork to be a lucky food to eat on New Year’s Day because pigs tend to “root forward” in the ground with their noses, symbolizing forward progress. You can choose which way to eat your pig, including ham, sausage, bacon … is your mouth watering yet?

Bake a coin into a cake Cornbread

If you were ever looking for an excuse to indulge in one of America’s favorite comfort foods, look no further than this New Year’s treat. Eating cornbread, which symbolizes gold because of its color, is said to bring good luck in the new year. To ensure extra luck, you can even add corn kernels to your dish, serving as emblems of gold nuggets.

Smash a pomegranate on the floor

According to the Greek Reporter, when the clock strikes 12 a.m. in Greece, smashing a pomegranate on the floor in front of the front door reveals seeds symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. The more seeds, the more luck you will have in the new year!



Eating greens on New Year’s Day is a southern tradition that seems to have been around for as long as most people can remember. The reason behind this? Greens are said to resemble paper money, therefore eating anything from cabbage to kale to collard greens is said to symbolize a financially prosperous year. What’s not to like about that?

Toshikoshi soba noodles

In Japan, a unique New Year’s tradition says slurping Toshikoshi soba noodles symbolizes a long life. According to Japan Guide, these soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour and resemble spaghetti noodles in size. Although soba noodles are enjoyed year-round, they are only said to bring good luck if they are eaten on New Year’s Eve. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

Another tradition for good luck in Greece and other parts of eastern Europe involves a special lemon-flavored coffee cake, called Vasilopita, baked with a coin inside. Whoever finds the coin gets a year of good luck!

Black-eyed peas

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a tradition that has been around for hundreds of years, and these delicious good luck charms are rich in symbolism. Some say eating blackeyed peas represents expanding wealth because dried beans greatly expand in volume as they cook, and others claim eating them is an essential ritual because they resemble coins. Either way, it is a great way to start the year. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


Thank you for being a part of

WE ARE HUMBLED BY THE SUPPORT & GENEROSITY OF THE GAINESVILLE COMMUNITY All proceeds from our event went to Life for the Innocent, an organization dedicated to helping rescue children who are the victims of human trafficking and placing them in loving homes. This year we raised $92,000! Through the help of the community and our sponsors, we were able to make a global impact!

O C TO B E R 2




World Fusion Restaurant and Bar


Giggle Magazine's

Great Big Holiday Gift Guide


1. Edwin The App-Connected Smart Duck $49.99, This waterproof, app-connected rubber ducky features a dimmable night light and lullabies as well as wash time lights and sounds, making it perfect for both bedtime and bath time.

2. Zookeeper Sorting Box $34.99, With this sorting box, little ones can pretend to feed the zoo animals while becoming more familiar with colors and shapes.

3. Fish & Count Learning Game $19.99, This fun and interactive game is not only for fishing! It helps develop counting, matching, and size comparison skills while improving hand-eye coordination and finger strength. 4. Carter the Hedgehog Wood Rattle Teether $19, Made from untreated Indian hardwood and finished with nontoxic vegetable seed wax, this adorable wood teether is a safe way for your baby to soothe his gums.

5. ISSA mikro $99, Keep your little one’s pearly whites in tip-top shape with this electric toothbrush that combines silicone bristles with gentle sonic pulsations to create a baby-safe product. 6. Kellan The Elephant Rattle Buddy $28, Hand-knit using G.O.T.S. certified 100 percent organic cotton yarn, this rattle is ideal for little ones in need of a snuggle buddy. 7. 2-in-1 Light Up Music Maker $16.99, With lights that flash to the beat and various buttons for up to 20 different tunes, young children can enjoy music while developing gross motor skills.

WE’RE OPENING A WORLD OF DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY, ONE FAMILY AT A TIME Since 2012, Cox Communications has connected more than a quarter-million individuals to low-cost home Internet through the Cox Connect2 Compete program. In 2017, we’re continuing that mission by launching the Cox Digital Academy, an online resource with courses and tools to help students and their families compete in school and in the digital economy.

Internet access is essential for students and families. Cox Connect2Compete helps them achieve: • Better grades • Access to homework and research • Higher graduation rates • Easier access to job opportunities

To learn more, visit or email

Smart Tools for School | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


Toddler 1. Wooden Brew & Serve Coffee Set $19.99, Kiddos can pretend to make either iced or hot coffee with this 11-piece set. It is as simple as lifting the lid and popping in one of the three coffee pods, turning the knob and choosing a serving size! 2. Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy $49.99, These alligators will impress new walkers as they take turns chomping with every step that they take. This toy entertains while encouraging fine motor skills.

3. Slice & Toss Salad Set $29.99, This all-inclusive, 52-piece set comes with all of the healthy options your child needs to create salad after salad, including sliceable wooden veggies, proteins, a wooden knife and cutting board, and even a “squirting” salad dressing bottle.

5. Peek-A-Boo Barn Game $24.99, Children can work together in this fun farming game! Take turns with the spinner to see which animal needs help hitting the hay next.

❻ ❺


4. Zoe the Flamingo 15” Big Buddy $54, This soft, hand-knit buddy is made with nontoxic and eco-friendly dyes as well as virgin polyester to make washing that much easier!

6. New Sprouts® Mix It! $19.99, Made for little hands, this set includes all of the essentials for making the most delicious makebelieve recipes. The set’s crush resistant plastic is guaranteed to make it last for many years.

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas.”- Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”



Trained in the Practice of Collaborative Law

Pledge not to litigate • Voluntary exchange of information • Cost effective Commitment to respect both parties’ shared goals • Negotiate without having courts decide issues

Divorce • Child Support • Paternity • Custody • Domestic Violence • Post Judgement F LO R I DA S U P R E M E C O U R T C E R T I F I E D FA M I LY M E D I ATO R

Law Office of Jennifer Kirkhart Curcio Family Law, Collaborative Law, Criminal Law

352.327.1201 | 2835 NW 41st Street | Suite 240 | Gainesville, FL 32606 |

Little Kids

1. Magic Forest Baking Set $76, Little Jill & Co. Your little baker will love this set, complete with real nonstick bakeware, wooden rolling pin, stainless steel whisk and more.

2. GeoSafari® Jr. Critter Habitat $19.99, This super-sized habitat is perfect for the nature enthusiast. Children can collect and observe all different kinds of animals, whether it be frogs, fish, bugs or even leaves and rocks! 3. Gears! Gears! Gears!® Robot Factory Building Set $39.99, Let your robot-loving child build his very own robot factory! With robots that can bounce and spin, children will have fun while developing engineering skills.

4. Puzzle Globe $29.99, Put a whole new spin on learning basic world geography with the rotating Puzzle Globe. Young learners can investigate the continents, oceans, famous landmarks, different kinds of animals, and so much more.

5. Deluxe Double-Sided Tabletop Easel $39.99, This convenient tabletop easel is perfect for your little artist. Not only does it have a chalkboard and a dryerase board, but it also includes a paper-roll holder with a paper guide and tear-bar for more permanent works of art. 6. Power Rangers Ninja Steel Lion Fire Fortress Zord 20-Inch Action Figure $99, Toys “R” Us, Calling all Power Rangers fans! With three modes of play, including Megazord, Ultra Megazord, and Fortress, and 20 sound effects, the fun never ends with this Zord!

Happy Holidays from your friends at

Banks Carroll Group

Tower 24 | 2550 SW 76th Street, Ste. 110 Gainesville, FL 32608 | 352-380-1675 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


big kids 1. DIY Molten Lip Gloss Set $28, With two flavors (bubblegum and watermelon) and two colors (pink and purple) to choose from, your kiddo will have fun mixing up these lava lampinspired lip glosses.

❹ ❸

2. Bandai Tamagotchi Digital Pet Toy $14.99, Kids will love feeding and cleaning up after this smaller version of the original Tamagotchi. 3. GeoSafari® Constellation and Solar System Explorer $19.99, A gift perfect for all lovers of the solar system, this telescope-style projector allows children to observe all 12 zodiac constellations, the sun, the moon, and all eight planets from the comfort of their own bedroom. 4. R2D2 Star Wars Sculpted Piggy Bank $12.99, The iconic Star Wars character comes to life with this hand-painted piggy bank. Children can use it to simply decorate or to stash their coins away. 5."Baking Class" and "Cooking Class" by Deanna F. Cook $18.95 each, and These easy-to-follow recipes are perfect for the little chef and/or baker in your life.

❺ ❻

6. The Crazy Scientist Lab Optical Illusions $20, With over a dozen different optical illusion experiments inside, this kit will definitely teach your kiddos that “seeing is (not always) believing!” 7. Vivofit Jr. $79.99, This daily activity tracker designed for kids encourages your youngsters to stay active and includes a free parentcontrolled app that allows for chore/ behavior management.



Tweens & Teens

1. The Walk By Scrabble Board $29.95, This magnetic Scrabble board allows your children to keep a running game going with their friends and family members, and the dry-erase message board is perfect for keeping score!

❶ ❹

2. Rifle Paper Co. × LeSportsac 3-Zip Cosmetic Bag $32, For your beauty guru, this efficient cosmetic bag features a main closure and two front pockets that zip for easy access to everything she may need. 3. Draper James Trinket Tray $18, This fun, stylish trinket tray is a cute catchall for jewelry, coins and more. The pretty design and encouraging phrase makes for a perfect gift for tweens and teens.

4. Ozobot Bit Starter Pack $59.99, Perfect for your budding engineer, Bit the robot reads and responds to color codes, building both creativity and computer programming skills. 5. Rifle Paper Co. × Keds Triple Decker Slip-On in Lively Floral $60, and Let your teen strut her stuff in style with these canvas slip-on sneakers with a 1-inch platform for an extra boost.

6. “The Greatest Brick Builds: Amazing Creations in LEGO®” by Nathan Sawaya $19.99, Perfect for your LEGO loving teen, this book features full color photos of vehicles, buildings, scenes and works of art made entirely of LEGO bricks. 7. Prynt Pocket $149.99, Help your teen or tween take her selfies a step further with this handy gadget that allows you to filter and print photos instantly from your iPhone. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


mom & dad

1. Gold Necklace $269, Family Jewels and Purse Strings With a 14-karat overlay, this custom necklace features a champagne crystal centerpiece.

2. Vim & Vigr Women’s Nylon Compression Socks $32.95, The Nylon Collection uses the highest quality fabrics and compression technology. These socks will not only keep feet warm, but will also allow for comfort, flexibility and breathability. 3. Morris & David Bead Bracelets $1,650 each, Lang Jewelers Made with 14 karat rose, white and yellow gold, these stackable, stretchy bracelets feature inlaid diamonds.

❺ ❻

4. Zeus Pear Wood 100% Boar Bristle Pocket Beard Brush with Brush Bag $12, This beautiful brush comes with a European-sourced pear wood handle that will not warp. This product is perfect for maintaining a perfectly styled beard. 5. Rifle Paper Co. Raven Address Book $32, This charmingly detailed address book is both pretty and practical. With its gold foil-accented cloth book cover and ribbon page marker, it also features sections to keep track of your favorite people and most important dates.

6. Vintage-Look Pick-Up Sticks Set $9.99, Who says toys are just for the kids? These 41 hand-crafted wooden sticks bring back a classic game that everyone enjoys. 7. Multi Flask $39, Keep hydrated in style with the Multi Flask. This 6-in-1 system is perfect for all beverages, from hot to cold and filtered to infused.


Our avorite F 8

Hanukkah Reads

What better way to get into the spirit of the holiday than by reading Hanukkah-themed books with your children? With these eight books, you can read and celebrate together each night of the festival of lights!


“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Tina Schart Hyman

“Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah” by Tilda Balsley, illustrated by David Harrington

This Caldecott Honor Book tells the story of how Hershel of Ostropol, a trickster of Jewish folklore, helps rid a village of goblins that have prevented them from celebrating Hanukkah. $7.31,

This illustrated rhyming book tells the Hanukkah story of Judah and the Maccabees and imparts to children the lesson that it only takes a few to stand up for what is right. $7.95,

“Where is Baby’s Dreidel?” by Karen Katz This lift-the-flap book is a fun and interactive way to start introducing Hanukkah traditions to the littlest ones in your family. $7.99,

“The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story” by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown Perfect for lovers of Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” this book tells the story of a latke who runs away before being cooked (much like a certain gingerbread man) and runs into several Christmas symbols. Throughout the story the latke has to explain to the confused Christmas-related objects that he is not a part of their holiday, but Hanukkah instead! $8.32,

“Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale” by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Matthew Trueman This imaginative Hanukkah story tells the tale of Simon, a boy whose ship sinks on his way to a new life in America. Despite being stranded on an ice floe, Simon celebrates Hanukkah and experiences true miracles. $15.02,


“How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?” by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague From the “How Do Dinosaurs…?” series comes this fun read about what the dinosaurs should and should not do while celebrating the festival of lights with their parents. $10.99,

“Hanukkah Bear” by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka In this National Jewish Book Awards winner, an elderly woman mistakes a hungry bear for her rabbi and ends up feeding him latkes and playing dreidel with him. $6.99,

“The Trees of the Dancing Goats” by Patricia Polacco Based on the childhood memory of author Patricia Polacco, after Trisha and her family are spared from a scarlet fever epidemic, they decide to spend their eight days of Hanukkah helping their sick neighbors celebrate Christmas, despite not celebrating themselves. The book delivers a message of friendship and holiday spirit, no matter what holiday you celebrate. $6.79,


Oh ,




Growing up in South Florida, the closest I ever came to a Northern forest was when it was time to pick out our Christmas tree at the local Lowes. Walking into the pop-up tents that smelled like pine with rows filled with Fraser and Douglas firs truly felt like walking into the snow-covered winter woods to a girl who grew up with palm trees and mangroves. Since moving to Gainesville, I have discovered a new way to pick out a Christmas tree while experiencing the magic of the woods. Here in Alachua County, we have two Christmas tree farms: Unicorn Hill Christmas Tree Farm in Gainesville and BK Cedars in Alachua. And while they may not offer the kinds of fir trees we typically associate with the season, they do offer something else: fresh trees grown right here in Florida! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


Unicorn Hill Christmas Tree Farm

If you are looking for an authentic Christmas tree experience, consider taking a trip over to Unicorn Hill Christmas Tree Farm. The farm, which opened in 1982, provides families with an opportunity to stroll through six acres of trees, including tree types such as Carolina sapphire cypress, blue ice cypress, Burkii cedar, red cedar, sand pine, Virginia pine and spruce pine. As you explore, you may come across the deer, rabbits and other small animals that live in the surrounding woods, adding to the forest-like feel of the farm. Once your family has found the perfect tree, you can either cut it down with a provided saw, or have someone at the farm cut it down for you. The farm provides everything you need to get your tree home, and it also sells necessary accessories like tree stands and fresheners. Heather Bonnano visited the farm for the first time in 2016, but the nearby location and varied selection has her family intent on starting a new holiday tradition. “I wanted the true Christmas feel of buying a real tree, or at least as close as you can get in Florida,” she said, and Unicorn Hill Farm did just that.

BK Cedars

If you are looking to start a new holiday tradition with your family, make your way over to BK Cedars to purchase a potted tree. Susan Kossuth, owner and operator, started the farm in 1980 with her husband. With her background as a tree physiologist and geneticist and his experience as a biochemist at the University of Florida, they were able to implement a tree improvement program to develop a red cedar selection with a good green color that was also resistant to mites. The resulting Robin Blue cedar is now the only cedar tree that is sold on the farm. For those looking for a tree native to the area, southern red cedars like the Robin Blue are a good choice. If the Robin Blue Cedar is not your style, the farm also sells a selection of Arizona cypress called Carolina sapphire. “A lot of people like that one because it’s nice and blue like Fraser Fir,” said Kossuth. “And it has a real nice smell to it when you crush the needles.”

Unicorn Hill Farm is open starting Dec. 1 until all the trees are sold, weekdays 4–6 p.m. and weekends 12–6 p.m. BK Cedars is open on weekends 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. from Nov. 26 through Dec. 24.

With BK Cedars’ potted trees, you can keep your live tree indoors for the holiday season and then plant it in your yard and continue to enjoy it all year long. The Kossuth’s originally used to plant their trees in the ground and allow customers (they get about 100 each season) to cut their own tree down. But after several customers mentioned an interest in trying to re-plant their cut tree, they decided to start selling potted trees. “We have a lot of people who don’t like the idea of cutting trees,” said Kossuth. “So, they get two for one — they get a Christmas tree and they get a landscape tree.” The potted trees, which come in three, seven, 15 and 30 gallon sizes, also come with an instruction booklet on how to properly plant your Christmas tree. If you are looking for a real tree this year and want an experience beyond what a tree lot or a grocery store can offer, a local Christmas tree farm may be just what you need to start a new holiday tradition with the family.



l health | get healthy

Don't Get Choked Up

How to prevent choking incidents in children BY JENNIFER JENSEN

How many times have you said, “No, don’t put that in your mouth!” to your infant or toddler? Sometimes it is your car keys, other times it is “treasures” he found on the ground. Many of those found items pose a choking risk to children, but there are also many foods and other items parents and caregivers need to watch out for.

parents need to be mindful of include hard foods the diameter of your pinky, such as raw carrots, corn and nuts.

Food-related choking According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), food accounts for more than 50 percent of choking episodes. In a 2013 study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that an average of 12,400 children ages 0–14 were treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal food-related choking annually. Hard candy caused 15 percent of episodes, followed by other candy at 13 percent. Meat other than hot dogs accounted for 12 percent of choking, as did bones.

Parents should supervise children during meal time to ensure they chew thoroughly and do not stuff their mouths full. “Some of the time a child is in a rush, running around or talking while eating,” said McAlhany. Be sure that children are sitting down while eating and not running, walking, playing or lying down while food is in their mouths.

According to the AAP, hot dogs are the food most commonly associated with fatal choking incidents. They are cylindrical, airway sized and compressible, allowing them to wedge into the entrance of the esophagus and completely block the airway. However, Allison McAlhany, pediatric nurse practitioner with Healthy Steps Pediatrics, said that any food can be a choking hazard if it becomes lodged in the trachea. Some other foods she said The A AP recommends keeping the following hazardous food items out of the diets of children 0 – 4 years of age


Hot dogs

N uts and seeds

Chunks of meat or cheese

Whole grapes

Hard or stick y candy

P opcorn

Chunks of peanut butter

Chunks of raw vegetables

Chewing gum

Aside from eliminating certain foods from your child’s diet, McAlhany added that food shape and size also play a factor. “Cutting foods such as grapes into quarters can greatly reduce the risk of choking,” she said.

Nonfood-related choking Parents should be aware of small objects that can cause choking, such as coins, buttons, marbles, small hair bows, rubber bands, pen caps, refrigerator magnets and pieces of dog food. Check recommended age ranges on toys to ensure they are safe for your children. Age range guidelines take into account the safety of a toy based on the possible choking hazard. Parents should also be wary of latex balloons — an object most small children love. If a child bites a balloon and takes a breath, he could suck it into his airway and choke. What to do if your child is choking First, get someone to call 911. If the child cannot breathe at all (the chest is not moving up and down), cannot cough or talk, looks blue, or is found unconscious/unresponsive, begin first aid for choking. If the child can breathe, cry, talk or cough, do not start first aid. The child’s normal reflexes are working and that means the airway can be cleared on its own. If someone is choking, the American Red Cross recommends a “five-and- | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

five” approach — alternating between five back blows and five abdominal thrusts, aka the Heimlich maneuver. Lean the choking person slightly forward and give five back blows. If that does not dislodge the item, stand behind him and wrap your arms around his waist. Make a fist with one hand and put it above his navel. Grab that fist with your other hand, pull upward and give five abdominal thrusts. If it is an infant who is choking, the five-and-five approach is still used, but in a slightly different way. First, you want to assume a seated position, rest your arm on your thigh and hold the baby face down on your forearm. Then, using the heel of your other hand, gently but firmly thump the infant five times on the middle of the back. If the back blows do not work, hold the infant face up on your forearm with the head lower than the trunk. Using two fingers placed at the center of the infant’s breastbone, give five quick chest compressions. If the airway opens but the infant does not resume breathing, begin infant CPR.



Location, Location, Location

Co u


yR d2



3 ERs

Millhopper Rd.


NW 39th Ave.

NW 43 St.

NW 53rd Ave.

441 222



to choose from

Newberry Rd.


NW 8th Ave.




health | get pretty

It's a Beauty Emergency!

Size matters! Be sure to pick up a cosmetics bag that is large enough to fit everything you need, but small enough to fit in your purse.

BY ASHLEIGH BRAUN, COLLEEN MCTIERNAN AND NICOLE IRVING With Wunder2’s two-in-one brow liner and gel and a set of tweezers, your eyebrows will always look sharp.

Busy moms do not always have time to go home between running around town to pick up the kids and meeting friends for dinner. By keeping a beauty emergency kit in your purse, you will be ready for anything!

This Michael Kors lip gloss also doubles as a rollerball perfume!

Bobby pins can help turn your messy mom bun into a sleek up-do for an impromptu night out.

Consider a powder compact that comes with both a mirror and an applicator.

Keep a lint roller on hand to get rid of stray pet hairs and crumbs.

Millhopper FA M I LY


Call us to schedule your appointment today!

Happy, healthy smiles

since 1982 It’s what we do best.

Whether you are 2 or a 102, we look forward to creating and maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile.


Open 6 days a week | 30+ Years in business | 4 dentists on staff Evening appointments | Ask about our referral program

Evening and Saturday appointments available 3510 NW 43rd St. Gainesville, FL 32606

Mon-Thur 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Fri-Sat 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


health | get pretty


Until recently, you may have only thought of charcoal as a product used for heating up your grill, but this all-natural ingredient is now heating up beauty counters everywhere. For years, charcoal has been used as an antidote to serious poisoning, but now it is being added to everything from deodorant to facial cleansers because of its powerful purifying properties. Toxins bind to charcoal, making it ideal for removing impurities like dirt and oil from your skin. Luckily, there are many ways to incorporate this natural remedy into your beauty and wellness regimen to help you achieve a flawless complexion. Ba mboo Cha rcoa l Cleansing Soap

$12 , H erbivorebotanicals .com

Hyd rate T herapy Detox if y A lg inate Peel-Of f Mask $ 80/f ive , B eaut y.elvis- elvin .com

P u re-Clay Detox & Br ighten Face Cleanser $6 .9 9, Lorealparisusa .com and drug stores nationwide

P u re-Clay Detox & Br ighten Face Mask

$12.9 9, Lorealparisusa .com and drug stores nationwide

Hima layan Cha rcoa l P u r if y ing Glow Mask

$28 , Thebodyshop -usa .com

PiperWai Natural Deodorant

$11.99/jar, $16.99/stick applicator,

Ir ish Moor Mud P u r if y ing Cleansing Gel $3 8 , Peter thomasroth .com


skin best!




Helping You Achieve Visibly Younger Healthier Looking Skin Across a Lifetime


BOOK A SKIN CARE CONSULTATION TODAY! Meet with one of our highly qualified Cosmetic Specialist who will provide you with an analysis of your overall skin health and receive a custom designed treatment plan to help a achieve your desired results such as; Brighten Skin’s Appearance

Reduce the Appearance of Scars & Blemishes

Restore Your Radiant, Firmer Skin

Remove Unwanted Body Hair

Smooth Look of Stubborn Fine Lines

Permanently Reduce Fat Cells with Body Contouring

SCHEDULE TODAY! (352) 333-3223 ‘

Entrust your

Skins Health

to Gainesville’s Premier Board Certified Medical, Surgical, and Cosmetic Dermatology Experts ANTHONY AULISIO M.D.



love a great special?





Be the first to receive our Monthly Specials & Events! Visit our website today and join our mailing list.


follow us! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


health | get healthy

Baby Blues Removing the stigma of postpartum depression BY JESSICA FRANKLIN

Having a baby is one of the most joyful times in a woman’s life. Or so they say. But what happens when it is not? Postpartum depression and anxiety can rob new mothers of the joy they expected to feel at the arrival of their child. According to the American Psychological Association, up to one in seven women will experience some degree of mental illness during or after pregnancy. However a recently completed mental health needs assessment conducted in Alachua County found an alarmingly high one in three women at risk. Unfortunately, many women are unprepared for this reality and do not seek the help they need. The signs of postpartum depression and anxiety can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the normal aspects of new motherhood and, as a result, are often explained away instead of treated. You feel lethargic, but are told it is natural to be tired when you are up at all hours with a newborn. You feel overly emotional, but everyone says it is just your hormones from birth and possibly breastfeeding. According to Lauren DePaola, LCSW and owner/ therapist at Postpartum Wellness and Family Counseling, the symptoms of adjusting to parenthood should go away in a maximum of 12 days. If after this point you are still experiencing excessive worry, powerful mood swings, lethargy, or any of the many other symptoms of postpartum mental illness, you should speak to a doctor. Hormonal changes are a risk factor for developing postpartum mental illness, as are the stresses of dealing with a


newborn, especially if you have a child who is particularly challenging or has special needs. If your family has additional stressors such as financial trouble, this can increase your risk, as can a lack of social support. A personal or family history of mental illness also increases the likelihood that you will experience it during or after pregnancy, however women with no prior history are not exempt.

One in seven women will experience some degree of mental illness during or after pregnancy -American Psychological Association

Symptoms of perinatal or postpartum mental illness may not always present as you might expect. Depression can actually involve fits of rage. Anxiety can manifest as intrusive thoughts of unlikely harm coming to your baby or worse, thoughts of you causing harm to your baby (please understand that these thoughts are not indicative of your actual intentions). Symptoms range from mild to severe with regard to their impact on daily life, and they can affect both moms AND dads. They also may not present immediately after giving birth, but can creep up weeks or even months later. My personal experience with postpartum mental illness began with mild symptoms | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

that I rationalized as being normal. I worried about things that never would have entered my mind prior to becoming a mother. There were the typical scenarios, such as going near water and worrying about my son drowning or being on a second story and worrying about him falling. But I also worried about bizarre things like him falling forward in the bathtub and having the switch that operated the drain stab through the soft spot in his head. It was not until well past his first birthday that I started to question whether the way I was feeling was really normal. I struggled to get out of bed every day and would sometimes find myself crying for no discernible reason. I also started having strange hallucinations when I would first wake from a sleep cycle; I was seeing spiders dangling from the ceiling in front of me and once even a giant one lunging toward me. When my mom pointed out how unlike my usual upbeat, energetic self I was, I knew it was time to see a doctor. I started taking a low dose of medication and have since noticed significant improvements to my mental well-being and as a result, my parenting. Untreated mental illness can have devastating effects on families. If you or someone you love seems to be struggling with becoming a parent or does not seem like themselves, there are resources to get help. If you are unsure where to begin, you can always talk with your primary care provider or your OBGYN and they can refer you to a mental health professional. You can also visit or for support and guidance.



happy home | make it


For years, I would gather leftover pine cuttings from Christmas tree sales and create huge, fresh wreaths for the front door. At the end of the season, I was always so sad to see them go. So, that is when I decided to find a fun, creative and pretty wreath project I could do and save for years to come! Creating felt wreaths is easy, inexpensive and fun for the whole family. Whether you are decorating your home as a winter wonderland or adorning it with all the Southern charm a girl could want, we have three perfect wreath designs for the holidays!


Patty Wreath

materials • Foam wreath • 4 red felt sheets • 4 white felt sheets • Pushpins

• Hot glue gun and extra glue sticks • Gold ribbon • Sharp craft scissors • Holiday candy décor and foliage

getting started Step 1: Create Wreath Cut different sized strips of red and white felt. Wrap felt strips around the wreath in alternating colors and sizes. Secure with pushpins prior to gluing. Once you like the pattern, glue strips to wreath. Step 2: Create Flowers Use methods listed for the Winter Wonderland wreath. I just used the pop-up blossoms in this wreath, but you can use whatever you like. Step 3: Design Wreath When the flowers are finished, begin laying out your décor and flowers in a pattern you like. Use pushpins to place, then glue to secure. Use gold ribbon or door hanger to hang.


Check out our website at for a video tutorial!

Healthy Mind + Healthy Body Happy Family

Most parents won’t hesitate to consult their pediatricians with physical health concerns, but may be reluctant when deciding to consult with mental health experts. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Our team will develop a specific treatment plan aimed at keeping the special child in your life happy and healthy. Parent Education and Support – Medication Management – Diagnostic Clarification – Psychotherapy School Advocacy – Psycho-Educational Testing – Second Opinions – Physician Consults

To schedule an appointment, call 352.265.HELP (4357). To schedule admission to UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, call 352.265.5481.



TIPS: I generally glue flowers over where the wrapping begins and ends. To save your wreath for next year, store in a cool/dry place. Avoid attics.

Winter Wonderland Wreath getting started Step 1: Make Yarn Wreath Wrap wreath completely in yarn. Once complete, tie yarn ends together at the back of the wreath. To make a wreath the size of the one shown, it may take 30–45 minutes. (I usually watch “Harry Potter” as I go!) Step 2: Create Flowers Rosebuds Cut felt into CD-size circles, then cut those circles into spirals. For smaller buds, make circles smaller. For larger buds, make circles larger. Hold one end of the spiral in one hand and twirl the felt around with your other hand, wrapping it into a rosebud shape. The tighter you wrap, the tighter the rosebud will be.

materials • Foam wreath • 2 white felt pieces • 2 light blue felt pieces • 2 dark blue felt pieces

• Pushpins

• Gray yarn

• Hot glue gun and extra glue sticks

• Holiday crystal foliage branches

• Ribbon

• Pearl pushpins

• Sharp craft scissors

• White ribbon

Pop-up blossom Cut felt into 2-inch wide, 10-inch long strips (can be longer and wider for bigger blossoms), then fold the strips longways. Use sharp scissors to snip felt along the folded edge, creating loops about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Be careful not to cut it all the way through the felt. To create flower, pinch one end and, keeping the felt folded, begin rolling it into a ball. You will begin to see the bloom form. Once finished rolling, glue the ends together. When dry, glue the bottom to ensure it stays together. Step 3: Make Leaves Draw a leaf shape on one side of the felt and cut it out. Be sure to glue it so that the side you did not draw on is visible.

Step 4: Design Wreath Lay your yarn-covered wreath on a flat, heat-protected surface. Begin laying out your rosebuds and crystal décor in a pattern you like. I cut some of the crystal branches with scissors to make smaller pieces that fit better. Attach décor with pushpins as best you can. I like to use pushpins to secure everything before gluing the pieces in place. This saves your fingers from any unnecessary burns. Once you like your design layout, start hot-gluing the flowers and décor to wreath. For the rosebuds with pearls in the middle, I used pearl-tip push pins. Once all your flowers and décor are securely glued, you can tie a matching ribbon to the top of the wreath to hang it.

Carefully glue the ends and press together. Let dry.




Southern Woods Wreath materials • Hot glue gun and extra glue sticks • Floral wire • 3 cream felt pieces • 3 burgundy felt pieces • 2 gray felt pieces • Wood vine wreath • Ribbon • Holiday greenery • Pinecone picks (we found ours at the floral section of Hobby Lobby) • Holiday faux antlers (we found ours at Hobby Lobby) • Door hanger

getting started Step 1: Create Flowers Use the same method as the rosebuds, but instead of forming a tight bud, wrap the felt in a looser manner. This will allow for a more circle-like bud. Step 2: Design Wreath Lay wood wreath on flat surface. TIP: Be careful where you do this as the wood vines and décor WILL scratch your nice dining room table — I know from experience! Organize your greenery and antlers on the wreath by weaving the stems of the greenery in and out of the wreath. Once the antlers are placed, anchor the ends of the antlers to the wreath with floral wire. Do this by weaving the wire in and out of the wreath and tying the base of the antler to the wreath. Pull tight and cut off excess. The flowers will hide the green wire. Begin placing your flowers in a pattern you like. When you are satisfied with the design, begin gluing flowers to the wreath.


Keep in mind that glue will fall through the vines, so be sure not do this on a good surface. Once all your flowers and décor are securely glued, you can tie a matching ribbon to the top of the wreath or use a door hanger to hang it. NOTE: If you design your wreath like the one pictured, it will be heavier on one side. Keep this in mind when hanging it.

What Parents Are Saying "The people that work at Kiddie Academy in Gainesville are so welcoming and loving towards every child. I am always amazed how every teacher knows every child's name in the whole building! I feel very comfortable leaving my 5 month old there during the day and knowing that she is in good hands." | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


happy home | clean it

Room for Everyone Creating the ideal playroom for both a teen and a toddler BY LORI EVANS | PHOTOS BY ALLISON RABER

What do a toddler boy and teen girl have in common? Not much. So how do you create a playroom for them to share? Divide and conquer! We needed to design a playroom that would accommodate both our 3-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter. Our playroom at the time was a mess, so we knew it would require substantial work. It was time to put our house on the client list and give the room a much-needed makeover.

My goal for the room was twofold. First, we needed lots of storage and a play area for my little guy. He has a ton of toys, crafts and such; we needed places to store them. I envisioned a bookcase (or two), a teepee, a soft rug and a play table for him. For my teenager, I wanted to see a relaxing seating area orientated toward the TV. She already had a study space elsewhere in the house. The idea was for her to use this room to unwind and watch a few shows at the end of the day. It would also be a great spot for her and her friends to hang out with a little space away from mom and dad.   Visually, I divided the room diagonally. This gave them each their own space and distinguished each mini-room for their individual uses. I kept things cohesive by using the same rug in both areas and using the same neutral color palette for both sides of the room. We painted the bottom of the walls with chalkboard paint and the top in fun tone-on-tone horizontal stripes.

Although it is a kids’ playroom, I did not use much “kid furniture.” Other than my son’s little Lego table, everything is “normal” furniture. This is a better investment and keeps the room looking chic. Using more adult furniture also allows the kids to grow with the room without it having to be redone in a few years. We added lots of fun kid-style accessories, such as a world map, cute papiermâché animal heads and a porcupine lamp to keep the space looking young. The whole process took a few weeks. The result is a room with which everyone is happy. My little man can play to his heart’s content, my teen can relax and have her own area, and I love how it all works. Triple win! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


Looking To Create A Combined Space For Children Of Different Ages/Genders? Consider These Tips From Lori! 1. Give each child his or her own

space, dedicated to what he or she will actually use it for.

2. Create two mini rooms within one larger space.

3. Keep it cohesive with colors and fabrics throughout.

4. Use multiples of the same rug

to tie the two spaces together.

5. Accept that there will be a

mess and work with it. Storage is your friend!

6. Do not be afraid to mix things up! Not everything has to be kid’s furniture!

7. Enlist help from the kids. Show them a few options and let them have a say.

8. Make a budget you are

comfortable with and stick to it. Shop online for deals and repurpose old items from elsewhere in your house.

Lori Evans is the co-owner of both Evans Construction & Design, a local home building/design firm and The Evans Edit, an Interior Design blog.




learn | family learning

"Who's Your Favorite Kid?" How to handle sibling rivalry by OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

Sibling rivalry can occur at any age, and it can happen when there are changes in the family, such as a new baby, job change or move. When I think of sibling rivalry, I think of Kevin and Randall Pearson, two characters in America’s latest TV drama-filled obsession, “This is Us.” The show has depicted the two brothers as rivals on a high school football field, in a swanky restaurant and on a quick neighborhood run. More notable, however, is the competition for their mother’s affection, which seems to be the root cause of most instances of sibling rivalry. Attention “Most sibling rivalry stems from wanting parent attention,” Leslie Costello, mother of two teenagers, said. She advised parents to recognize individual traits in each child and to avoid comparing them to one another.

Encouraging a positive and loving relationship between your children can provide a solid foundation for the future. Teach your children how to resolve conflicts through open and honest communication. Discuss the importance of family bonds and note that one day, they will only have each other.

members to help out. “We try to give them one-on-one time as much as we can, even with Nana and Papa, so they get some time that is focused just on them,” Kimberly McAlhany, mother of two girls, said. “The one-on-one time helps everyone regroup and helps the girls realize there doesn’t need to be a competition for attention.”

Jin Robles credits her mother’s lesson from childhood for her friendship with her brothers in adulthood. “She gathered us and said, ‘look at each other. These are your only brothers and sister. Someday you will only have each other. Apologize, and think of a way you can work together,’” said Robles. “I really think it shocked us so much that it worked. She did this on more than one occasion, but I’ll never forget that first time. Epiphany.”

Comparison To further reduce competition, be sure not compare your children. This might seem obvious, but it can also be difficult, especially if you find your children are very much alike. Silvana Fajardo, a mother of twin boys, said that this is a challenge for her, but it is worthwhile to see her boys praise each other for their achievements.

“Recognize the unique talents and strengths that each one has,” she said. “Allow them to find their own paths, and then devote equal time to each child’s passions. Never allow one child to put down or dismiss another’s passions.” Individual time works well for children as well. By providing your child with individualized attention, you let her know how important she is to you. This shows her that she does not have to compete with her siblings for your approval. Adis Davis does her best to spread her time among her three active boys. “I try to give them individual time, like a date night,” she said. “It’s not the antidote, but it helps. They also have individual venting sessions on a regular basis.” If finding that one-on-one time is difficult with busy schedules, recruit other family


The Funny Side Parents were asked "What approach has worked for you?" when dealing with sibling rivalry. Some of the answers were too funny not to share! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

"Boxing gloves"

-dad of two


-mom of three

"I haven't figured it out yet. I'm hoping they'll just turn 18 and move out..."

-mom of three | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


learn | in the classroom

¿Como se dice ... ?

Why your kids should be learning another language by meredith sheldon

As children develop, we know how important walking, talking and learning their shapes and colors are to their learning foundation. What might not be so evident is how important learning a second language can be. Babies begin perceiving the sounds (hearing) of their native language at birth, and by 10 months of age the auditory cortex begins to specialize for the sounds of their native language versus sounds of the environment, said Dr. Tim Conway, director and neuropsychology researcher at The Morris Center in Gainesville. We have all heard the saying that younger minds grasp language better. But, Conway said this is not exactly true. At a young age, we are not strong in one language. Therefore, we do not get confused between the language we know and do not know. “It’s easier to pick up English and German at the same time because your brain doesn't know one language better than the other,” he said. “It blends them together and slowly differentiates.” Schools are a great venue for language immersion and education. Second languages are taught as early as Pre-K and the most common second languages introduced are Spanish and Chinese. Conway said that, ideally, students should work on speaking the language first. Then they can work on reading skills and lastly writing skills. “Don’t start with letters. Start with movements from the mouth,” said Conway. “Once they have the sounds down pat and can compare and contrast sounds, then add abstract letters.” Immersion and frequent practice for long durations is key to mastering a second


language. Start with basic concepts before moving on to complex vocabulary and grammar. If students are not receiving a second language education in school, they can partake in immersion summer camps, said Lisa Shiavoni, a licensed school psychologist and owner of Milestones in the Making. Learning another language can provide young children with many skills. Bilingual children have better communication skills, improved speech patterns, stronger focus and better reading comprehension. “It makes for a more flexible brain and they will be more flexible learners,” said Shiavoni. It will also give them stronger problem solving and multi-tasking skills since their brains are used to switching languages. If you do not speak another language, but you want to teach your child one, there are many ways to approach the situation. Sign up for online language classes with your child. Order language learning books and activities and do them with your little one. There are also language | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

teaching apps, such as Duolingo and Babbel, that can be fun activities for you and your kiddo to do together. It is never too late to pick up a second language, and approaching it as a family can be an easy way to keep up with your language education. “Your whole life your brain can make new connections,” said Conway. “There’s only one point when the brain’s plasticity stops, and you know when that is? Death.”

"At a young age, we are not strong in one language. Therefore, we do not get confused between the language we know and do not know." -Dr. Tim Conway | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


learn | featured educator

Karen Bethel What inspired you to work in education?


Bishop Middle School. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION?


18 years. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? "Invisible Man" by


Math, of course.

Visit to submit your favorite educator for a chance for him or her to be featured in one of our upcoming issues.


What path did you take to become assistant principal of Howard Bishop Middle School? After spending eight years as dean of students at Westwood Middle School, I knew that it was time to grow to the next level. I enjoyed working with students to develop strategies and interventions to modify poor classroom behaviors. I applied to become a part of the Aspiring Leadership Academy that was designed for those interested in educational leadership roles. I was ready for a role that would allow me to impact the lives of students on a larger scale. I also looked forward to mentoring and developing other leaders in the field of education.

What is your favorite part of being assistant principal? It is very difficult to narrow down a specific favorite part of my role. I am happy to be a part of the dynamic faculty and staff here at Howard Bishop Middle School. The lights in our classrooms are shining bright before the sun rises and long after the sun goes down every day. Our Hawk staff willingly invest whatever | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


Math, of course!

time and labor it takes to help their students learn and grow. We all want to know and feel that we are valued. I enjoy developing different ways to show appreciation for all that they do. I look forward to the time that I get to interact with the students. The math teacher in me can’t help but to find a reason to sit and work with a student that needs that extra support solving math equations at lunch or before/after school. It makes me proud to see the growth in our students from the time that they enter in August until they exit in June.

What has been your funniest interaction with a student? My funniest interaction was attempting to de-escalate a student that was increasingly upset about a situation. He would not allow me to have a discussion with him. He would not take a seat. He went to grab a chair to throw across my office. The only thing that I could think of in that moment was to place my right hand over my heart and sing the National Anthem as loud as I could. He dropped the chair, placed his right hand over his heart and joined me. An audience with faces of confusion was piled in my doorway by the time we completed the song. That was the end of that meltdown.


Do you know a teacher who goes above and beyond for his students? An administrator who is truly devoted to making her school a better place? Giggle Magazine wants to know!

I was inspired to work in education by my mother, who was a veteran educator. My mother carried the same care and compassion for her students at school as she did her very own children. I would see her work countless hours on “school work,” tutoring, parent conferences after school, local organization meetings for education reform, home visits and holiday meal deliveries to the homes of students in poverty. Although she taught the primary grade levels, she was often still active in the lives of students that had moved on or through high school.

Please join us for our

Open House Week January 22nd - 26th 10 am - 1 pm (Other times available by appointment.)

We’re Celebrating!

Millhopper Montessori provides an exceptional educational experience. In fact, our parents tell us their children leave here “SUPER PREPARED”. Our graduates’ performance in high school and beyond confirms it.

Age 2 e 8th Grad

8505 NW 39th Avenue, Gainesville 352.375.6773 | /millhoppermontessoruschool | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


giggle stamp | calendars


With the new year comes a fresh start. Along with your resolutions to eat better and travel more with the family, you may want to start off 2018 on a more organized foot. What better way than with a new calendar or life planner? Whether you prefer a beautiful wall calendar to remind you of the day of the month, a desk calendar with your work to-dos or a planner full of appointments, these six options are sure to keep you on track for a productive new year. 2018 Lively Floral Everyday 17-Month Planner $34, This 17-month planner features both weekly and monthly views along with a pocket folder, notes pages and sections for celebrations.

insid e look! Faux Foil Gold Hello Gorgeous Monthly Planner Starting at $36.95, With this customizable planner, you get to choose the size, color and cover type that best suits your needs. Aside from calendar pages, you can also select to include up to four additional sections, such as bills and notes.

74 | December/January 2018

Year of the Critter 2018 Desk Calendar in Corgi $12.99, This series of stacked silhouettes will not only help you keep track of your year, but also brighten up any tabletop!

insid e! look

Daily Artistry 2018 Wall Calendar $18.99, From animals to plants to treats, this colorful cardstock wall calendar will help you keep your month in check.

2018 Daily Simplified Planner $58, This chic 12-month planner arrives in a beautiful keepsake box and includes full month views along with a more detailed one day per page view with space for notes, to-do lists and meal planning. 2018 All Things Wild Poster Calendar $16.99, This 12-month poster calendar serves as both an organizational tool and wall dĂŠcor with its fresh modern palette.

insid look e ! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018



Feb. 10, 2018 8:30 a.m.

The registration fee includes a finisher’s medal, long-sleeved T-shirt and entry into the Scoop on Poop exhibit!

3215 Hull Road • 352-846-2000 •



expecting Lose the Pooch!

infant | 0-1 Supporting the Fourth Trimester

toddler | 2-3 Scared of Santa

Photo by Sincerely Gone Photography

early years | 4-5 Wait a Minute!

kids | 6-9 Beyond Little Outbursts

tweens | 10-1 3 Not Just a Game

Teens | 14-18 The Secret to Scholarships | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


c2c | expecting {PREGNANCY}

Lose the Pooch The lowdown on diastasis recti BY SAWYER CARLTON

If you are struggling to lose that last bit of baby fat, we may have just found your answer, and that answer is that it is not fat! The miracle of childbirth is often accompanied by morning sickness, cravings, involuntary urination, and other unpleasant surprises. For some ladies, pregnancy also brings diastasis recti. This condition is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles, the two long muscles that run vertically down your stomach that comprise the six-pack. Fatty tissue can push up on the abdominals and cause them to protrude. This is very common amongst pregnant women, but usually heals after delivery. If the condition remains postpartum, it can make it appear as though you are still pregnant or carrying baby weight. However, in most cases a little T.L.C. can help correct the problem. Causes Whole humans are expanding and forming in your uterus, and various hormone secretions are preparing your body to accommodate your baby. Estrogen and relaxin have their hand in weakening the linea-alba, the connective tissue between the two abdominal muscles. Extra pressure also forces the linea-alba to weaken and stretch, pushing the abdominals to the front of the stomach, which leads to diastasis recti. A woman is more susceptible to developing diastasis recti if she delivers multiple children at a time or is petite and carries a large child. The condition could become more severe with repeat pregnancies as well. A recent study showed that nearly 100 percent of expecting mothers experience diastasis recti sometime during their third trimester; fortunately, the prevalence greatly reduces postpartum. Symptoms Although this condition can be present postpartum without exhibiting symptoms, the most common sign of diastasis recti is “the pooch.� According to a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the abdominal wall as a whole stretches in diastasis, causing protrusion of the lower stomach. Fortunately, the linea-alba connective tissue can only stretch so far, one to two inches to be exact. Another common symptom is a reduction in abdominal strength and a possible belly button change. The stretched tissue and abdominal wall weaken the abdominal strength you once had, while extra pressure may cause your belly button to change from an innie to an


outtie. If this condition is left alone, it could carry with it the same issues of obesity, such as high cholesterol and heart disease. Prevention Although it is impossible to fully prevent this condition as it is a healthy, natural occurrence during pregnancy, there are a couple techniques for keeping it all taut and tight, especially after delivery. According to Dr. Joseph Iobst with All About Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, staying active during pregnancy can greatly reduce the extent to which the abdominals separate. Keeping an active, healthy lifestyle and eliminating body fat are the only proven methods for preventing your abs from separating too much. Healing If you believe you have diastasis recti postpartum, consult your OB/GYN. He/she might then refer you to a physical therapist to try to strengthen the stretched connective tissue through specific exercises to tone the muscles. Professionals recommend staying away from situps and crunches as these exercises tend to strain the back. In some cases, women will have a tummy tuck procedure after they finish having children, which can correct diastasis recti. According to Dr. Iobst, during a tummy tuck, the width of the fascia connective tissue is shortened in order to bring the muscles back together.

Although many cases of diastasis recti come without symptoms, there is a home test to determine if diastasis is responsible for your stubborn postpartum baby weight. One common way of determining if you have this condition is to lie flat on your back with your feet on the ground and knees bent. Then, place your right palm on your stomach with your fingers together and pointing toward your feet. Lift your head and shoulders slightly in order to engage the abdominis muscles while also gently pressing your fingers into your naval. If there is a gap between the two abdominal muscles, then you could have diastasis recti.

Be sure to consult your doctor for a true diagnosis.

mommy good


Treat yourself to the body you’ve always wanted!

FOR A FREE CONSULT (352) 332-1150

call today


TRY ON YOUR NEW LOOK in real-time with virtual reality! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


c2c | infant { 0 -1 y e a r }

Supporting the Fourth Trimester The benefits of a postpartum doula BY DANIELLE SPANO

You have waited nine months, and now your baby is finally here! And after just a few days in the hospital with the help and care of the hospital staff, you are on your own. This period of adjusting to a new baby in the household is called the fourth trimester, and the Journal of Human Sciences considers this a crisis period where the whole family experiences the stress of adaptation. Similar to birth doulas, trained professionals that provide coaching and support during the birthing process, postpartum doulas provide support during this often very difficult transition at home.

Learning how to be a parent

The most popular advice a new mom receives is to sleep when the baby is sleeping, but this advice is hard to follow because postpartum sleep quality is extremely poor. Hormonal fluctuations, breastfeeding demands and the newborn’s needs make sleep difficult to attain. Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to learn how to properly care for a baby. A postpartum doula adds a helping hand so that mom can get some rest. This not only helps her to better concentrate on the baby during waking hours, but also reduces symptoms of postpartum depression. In addition to sleeping tips, friends and family are quick to provide advice on caring for a newborn. This advice can be outdated, inadequate and sometimes judgmental. Postpartum doulas are trained to provide unbiased, current, evidencebased information to help parents learn to be parents. From assisting with mom’s emotional and physical recovery to feeding/breastfeeding instruction to soothing and baby’s basic care, a postpartum doula can serve as an on-hand, inhouse parenting class.

A helping hand

Spending anywhere from the first few days to a few weeks with the family, a postpartum doula is not only a parenting instructor! Along with sharing valuable information and tools to help care for mom and baby, a doula can do some light housekeeping, cooking or errands to allow the family time to practice caring for its newest member. It takes time to perfect all the skills required to care for a new baby — swaddling,


feeding, diapering and bathing are a whole new ball game to first-time parents. Doulas are not just for new parents; with parents focused on caring for the new bundle of joy, siblings need some help adapting to having a new member of the family, too. Postpartum doulas have spent time with many a growing family and help the entire family adjust to the changes. The scope of service a postpartum doula can provide contributes to variations in what they may charge. Typically, the hourly rate ranges from $15–$50 an hour, depending on location, the extent of services you require, and the doula’s skill level. The cost of a postpartum doula is relative to the benefits they can provide. “Postpartum doulas can be a vital source of help when family members are too busy or do not live in the same community to help with the care of a new baby,” Teonia Burton, owner/labor & postpartum doula at All Families Birth & Wellness Services, said. Clinical research shows that the emotional, technical and practical support postpartum doulas provide have positive benefits to the family. The physical support a doula provides, from chores to hands-on baby assistance can improve sleep, which aids in a mother’s physical recovery and promotes physical activity, which promotes weight loss and increases lactation. Technical support decreases anxiety and increases confidence as parents learn proper care for their child. Finally, emotional support helps the entire family bond with the new baby and enjoy the new addition!

ave h u o y Do m for roo ore one ming? stock

Visit or call 352.244.1684 to learn more!

Many local children cannot be home for Christmas because home is not safe. This holiday season, please consider the impact you can have on a child’s life by becoming a foster or adoptive parent. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


c2c | toddler {2-3 years}

Scared of Santa

Why your little one may not like a visit from Saint Nick BY APRIL TISHER

He is billed as a jolly ole’ guy that kids adore. He arrives once a year in his sleigh full of presents to deliver to children all over the world. Children whisper their Christmas wishes to him and we take thousands of photos with him. Santa Claus is one of the staples of Christmas tradition. Yet, for many children, a visit to Santa means tears and fears. What is it about Santa that makes his youngest admirers want to watch from afar? When my youngest son was 2, we excitedly dressed him and his big brother in matching shirts and went off to the mall for a traditional photo with Santa. We read the books and sang the songs. He was over-the-moon excited to see Santa and tell him that, more than anything, he wanted a Lightning McQueen car for Christmas. When it came for the big moment though, he freaked out, started crying (OK, screaming) and sailed back off of Santa’s lap and into my arms. Looking back, there were signs this might not go well, signs to which we had not paid attention. He screamed when Tigger visited our table at Disney, and he wanted nothing to do with Albert at Gator functions. My older two loved these characters, so I did not understand what was going on. Simply put, this fear is a phobia common among children under 5, sometimes even coined “Santaphobia.” The reasons why vary from simple stranger anxiety for young toddlers to a more involved development of their sense of reality in preschool- aged children. When your child does not even want to let Grandma hold him because he is attached to mom’s hip, it should come as no surprise when he does not want to sit on a stranger’s lap at the mall. And if suddenly a beloved character seemingly comes to life and does not look (or sound) exactly like a child thinks they should, the child’s perception of what is “real” may be threatened. “We teach our children to associate Santa Claus as being magical, so when they are confronted with him in real life, anxiety can be created over the inability to reconcile the images they have

Congratulations to our Scared of Santa Contest winner, Lucas (2 K)!

created of him in their head,” Tricia Rispoli, licensed mental health counselor, said. Rispoli said that another common reason some children fear meeting Santa is because they may feel shame. “We use Santa to motivate our children to behave, because ‘Santa always knows when you’re good and bad!’” she said. “Most kids can handle that message, but others internalize it and it can create a feeling of not being good enough.” The best advice is to respect your children and follow their cues. We are the ones who teach them from day one about stranger danger; we cannot undo that in a day just because we want a cute picture. Do not force them to visit Santa, do not laugh at them for being scared and definitely do not punish them for not cooperating. That will not “cure their fear.” It will only make them feel worse and might damage their trust in you as well. Instead, offer to go with your child or have an older sibling go first so that your child knows it is OK. Comfort your child if he does get scared. As with most things involving young children, familiarity and consistency helps quell fears. Our family visits the same Santa every year in a familiar environment. Although my children understand that Santa has many helpers, they are sure that the Santa they visit at our church’s party each year is in the fact the Real Santa.


photos courtesy of families.

We also loved these funny Santa photos! From left to right: Dylan (4), Molly (2 ½), & Myles (10 mos.); Connor (15 mos.); Amory (1) & Asher (6 mos.); Hayden (18 mos.); Aiden (4) & Madison (1); Alice (14 mos.).

c2c | early years {4-5 years}

Wait a Minute! How to stop your child from interrupting BY APRIL TISHER

You can just feel her excitement. She simply cannot control herself, and she has to tell you what she is thinking right now! If you have children, or have ever met one, you know just how impatient they can be sometimes. It can be so hard for them to wait their turn to speak, whether in a classroom, at the dinner table or just in casual conversation. It is not uncommon for my own children to have full blown arguments over whose turn it is to talk to mom! If you often hear the words “I was talking first!� or find yourself in sticky social interactions where your child interrupts you or other adults talking, you may be looking for suggestions on how to squash that behavior. Amber Tucker, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Gainesville, explained that children who interrupt are typically expressing their need or desire to be heard immediately! She has four steps to diminish the frequency of interrupting. Step 1 Have realistic expectations. When children are interrupting, they are typically thinking "I need your attention now!" Whether they want mom to give them a cookie, or they want dad to watch them do a cool new trick, they believe that their needs are the most important thing in that moment. Your child is most likely not trying to disrespect you, but rather seeking your attention. Step 2 Set boundaries. When your child interrupts, tell her that you will give her your undivided attention in a moment. It is important to actually follow through with this; continue your conversation to a stopping point and then return your attention to your child. Depending on your child's age, she may be able to only handle 30 seconds of waiting. If she is older she may be able to wait 5 minutes. Step 3 Explain. When you return your attention to your child, this is a good time to briefly explain that when people are talking, it is important not to interrupt. Tell your child why it is important for her to respect this boundary. Keep this brief, as she has already been waiting to be heard. Step 4 Now you listen. By following through with your earlier promise to give her your attention, you teach her that her needs are important. Try to be fully present for her in those minutes.


Tucker expressed the importance of being patient, both with ourselves and our children. We know that being interrupted is rude and impolite, but also remember that the need for our children to tell us everything may be short lived. So even if your child cannot wait her turn to blurt out what happened on her favorite TV show now, one day you may feel like you are pulling teeth to get more than a grunt when asking about her day. The same respect you ask from your child when others are speaking should be shown to her when it is her turn to speak. Listen to her and acknowledge that you are paying attention. If she feels like she is getting your full attention after waiting her turn to speak, it reinforces the behavior. If she still feels like she has to compete with another person, phone or task, she may not think it was worth the wait. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


c2c | kids {6-9 years}

Beyond Little Outbursts How to cope with an aggressive child BY OLIVIA K PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

Children express their emotions in physical ways before they learn how to verbalize them. I have a video of my 6-month-old daughter in a high chair, slamming her pudgy hand on the tray when she thought her brother was going to steal her food. While we have watched and laughed at this video over and over, as children reach elementaryschool age, this type of communication loses its humor. When a child does not know how to express himself verbally, he will act out in physical or aggressive ways. The behavior may begin as a child throwing items in a tantrum, continue with punching a wall, and escalate into physically abusing another person.

A child’s aggressive behaviors do not rely solely on parenting skills, but also outside triggers, such as bullying, medication interaction or brain injury. Traumatic stressors, such as recent hurricanes, can cause an increase in anger, frustration and fear, which leads to outbursts. Reid stressed the importance of parents finding the support they need. Social media has negatively impacted parenting due to the pressure of perfection. “Try posting the ‘realness’ of your children on any social media platform and wait for someone to bamboozle you with parent shaming,” she said. “Our life wants us to show only our ‘perfect’ children, marriage and even ourselves while we wither in isolation when something goes awry with one’s parenting. These inaccurate influences place undue pressure on parents to ‘control their children’ by strong-arming them into obedience and compliance rather than relationship building.” Reid said fear, shame, anger and doubt inhibits effective parenting. In her work, she focuses on the needs of the parent, including safety and support, rather than on parenting skills. “If [someone] is struggling to parent an angry, aggressive child, we want [them] to know there is hope, and there is help,” she said.

Laurie Reid is a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Breaking the Cycle Consulting, a program designed specifically to address child to parent violence and aggression issues. Reid’s program offers education, information and programs for the whole family. “While every child may engage in aggressive behavior at some time, a child headed down a path toward increased physical abuse will exhibit more an increase in hostility, and more frequently,” said Reid. “If you think your child may be becoming more and more aggressive, begin by noting and recording how frequently they exhibit these behaviors and under what circumstance. If you think your child is overly aggressive or becoming more agitated, it is important to address the behaviors as soon as possible before they escalate.”

ce i v Ad Reid offers the following advice to parents who are struggling with an aggressive child.


Remain calm. Maintaining your emotional state is important. Investing yourself in his/her outbursts can easily escalate and fuel the verbal abuse into physical rather quickly.






Take a time out. The importance of taking a moment to separate and cool down is vital as a parent. During this time, call a person you trust to help you remain calm and rational.

Get to the bottom of what is causing the angry outbursts. Once your child is calm, ask him/her what is happening in school, at home or in the community that could be affecting his/her aggression. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

Check in with his/her teacher, day care or after-school worker to see if something happened. Ask them if they saw or heard anything that could have contributed to the aggression. Lastly, seek professional help. Start with the pediatrician to see if there is a medical condition, then seek out counseling with a qualified therapist who is an expert in working with young children.

I think I can

I think I can I think I can . . . and at Oak Hall he will. Giving your child the tools to Accepting students 3 years old - grade 12

8009 SW 14th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32607 • 352.332.3609 •| DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 87

c2c | tweens { 1 0 -1 3 y e a r s }

Not Just a Game Helping your tween conquer video game addiction BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

Pac-Man, Mario Bros., Tetris. Video games have changed since we were kids. Now there are first-person games, multiplayer online role-playing games and multi-user domain games. Kids today can play online with people across the world or watch others playing the same game on YouTube. The growth of technology is astounding and therefore, so is the access. Unfortunately, some kids can find themselves increasingly addicted to video game culture. According to recent research, more than 8 percent of U.S. children are addicted to video games. “Internet Gaming Disorder” is now listed as a psychological condition. If your tween appears preoccupied with the game, is playing it more often, and cannot control or limit his game time, it is possible he might be addicted. Parents may also notice warning signs such as poor academic performance, depression and anxiety, and spending less time with friends and family in order to play the game. A study published in the journal Pediatrics likens video game addiction with other types of addiction. Authors studied more than 1,000 children in grades three through eight and found depression, anxiety, social phobia and lower school performance as results of pathological gaming. Depending on the type, gaming can also shrink or expand the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with spatial navigation, stress regulation and memory. Limit time spent per day Parents can reduce their child’s risk of addiction by setting boundaries on game time. Karla Roberts, mother of two teenagers, said her 13-year-old son enjoys playing video games, but she notices a change in behavior when he plays for too long. "I know when he's playing too much when he's more moody, snippy and anxious," she said. "More than two hours per day is way too much. It's too stimulating. Getting him outside seems to be the best remedy." Roberts said she limits him to around an hour a day and gives him a five-minute warning before it is time to end his game. Now that he is getting older, he tends to regulate himself when he has had enough game time. Find a reasonable amount of time to allow your tween to play his game. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctors recommend children in this age group should have consistent limits on time spent using any type of media, including video games. While a specific amount of time is not addressed, media should not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. An Oxford University study noted


that children who play an hour or less per day tend to be more social and happy than those who do not play video games at all. When a child spends more than three hours per day on a game, it can lead to hyperactivity, poor attention span and poor social skills. Help your child find a healthy balance Provide your tween with other healthy outlets. A tween’s recreational activity should also include outside play time, such as exercise, bike riding or sports. In the case of bad weather, encourage your tween to read, do something creative or play a board game with other family members. Parents should also make sure the child has met his other responsibilities, such as homework and chores. Do not multi-task When your tween plays his video game, that is all he should be doing. In other words, do not allow him to eat his dinner in front of the TV or computer or play on his smartphone while trying to go to sleep. Doing so will distract his brain from mindful eating or getting a restful sleep. Talk to your tween about cyberbullying While your child might enjoy playing online with his buddies, sometimes a cyberbully or, worse, a predator may find his way into the game. Teach your tween how to handle these situations. Let him know that people are not always who they appear to be and to never send personal information (real name, age, address, phone number) or pictures to anyone he does not know in real life.

c2c | teens { 1 4 -1 8 y e a r s }

The Secret to Scholarships How your teen can find and apply for college scholarships BY meredith sheldon

Going to college is a life milestone. But, an undergraduate education can come with a hefty price tag. Along with federal loans and grants, there are other ways your children can earn some extra dollars toward their education: scholarships. College expenses pile up not just from tuition but also from living expenses, parking, textbooks and more. The annual costs of attendance at in-state private and public universities can be costly. Per year, costs for public schools in Florida range from about $21,130 at the University of Florida to about $18,586 at Santa Fe, while per year costs at private universities range from about $66,274 at the University of Miami to about $42,716 at the University of Tampa. Jessica Velasco, a college counselor and former director of admissions for Northwest University, said there are many ways to seek out a scholarship that is the best fit for your teen. Velasco created her own blog to help prospective and current college students afford and receive higher education. How to Start Before scholarship hunting, Velasco said it is important that you and your teen know the school to which she plans to apply. Most financial aid and scholarship help will come from the institution, so look at schools in your budget. This will enable you to gauge how much financial assistance your child may require prior to starting the scholarship process. “Sometimes a college might be a great fit, but it might not be a great financial fit,” said Velasco. Once your child has determined which schools she will apply to, the first step in searching for a scholarship is for your teen to get to know herself. She should assess her favorite sports, hobbies, interests and passions. Look for scholarships that cater to her specific interests to increase her chances of getting the prize. Where to Look Velasco said to start your search by having your student join websites such as Fast Web and Cappex. She can create an account, take surveys and let the database narrow down the best scholarships for her. Your teen should also join the email Listserv for these websites to get email updates on new scholarships.


After navigating the web, use resources closest to you. Velasco said certain scholarship opportunities are only available at high schools. Your child should meet with her guidance counselor to evaluate and find scholarships that are unique to her interests and her school. If your child is in an honor society, a sports team, a volunteer organization or even a church or temple, there are scholarships within those. Your teen should reach out to her organization supervisors to get the scholarship scoop. National scholarships via school organizations and companies are great, but Velasco said they are super competitive. The best tip, she said, is to find scholarships with small applicant pools. How to Apply Once your teen has found the scholarships she is seeking, the last step is applying. It is important for students to really sell themselves in the essay portion. Your teen can do this by highlighting a personal story, scenario or interest that is unique to her. “If someone else could send in that same essay, you aren't gonna stand out,” said Velasco. “Find something you are passionate about and something you are really proud of.” Have your child apply to a handful of scholarships that pique her interest, but do not overdo it. Velasco said the important aspect to focus on is the quality of her application. These applications take time, so make sure your child sets aside time in her schedule to work on them. “Think about it like a part time job and dedicate a little bit of time every week,” she said. While the scholarship process may feel overwhelming, it will help significantly when paying for college. “Every little bit counts,” said Velasco. “Don't give up looking. They are out there. You just need to spend the time and energy to actually look for them. “

Where to Find Schol arships

• • • • • • • • Big | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


community | calendar

december | january November 30 –

December 1

December 1

December 2

Splash Jam

Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa Visit

Festival of Trees Tioga Town Center Watch the Gainesville community come together at this weekendlong silent auction of decorated trees, wreaths and other holiday-themed items. This event benefits the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. December 1

Tot Time: Cool Colors 11 a.m. Harn Museum of Art Tour the Harn with your little ones with this program designed for children ages 2–5. Space is limited, so arrive 15 minutes early to register. December 1

Frogs and Friends Friday 2 p.m. Education Building at Morningside Nature Center Little ones are welcome to join Morningside Nature Center animal caretakers as they feed the amphibians and reptiles.


5–6 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Swimmers of all skill levels can join in for 30 minutes of mixed group instructional time, followed by 30 minutes of open swim time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members. Repeats every Friday. December 1

Gym Jam Jr. 5–6 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Children between the ages of 3 ½ and 5 will participate in a coach-led warmup, receive instruction on each gym apparatus and have open workout time during this one hour program. Prices range from $12 for members to $15 for non-members. Repeats every Friday. December 1

Parent Night Out 6–10 p.m. o2b Kids! Gainesville Supercenter Five to 13 year olds will enjoy group games, obstacle courses and other fun activities as well as a pizza dinner. Prices range from $10 for O2B members and $15 for non-members. Repeats every Friday. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

6–8 p.m. Downtown Main Street Park Enjoy a tree lighting ceremony followed by a visit from Santa Claus during this holiday celebration. December 1

S-Connection 10th Anniversary Celebration 7–10 p.m. S-Connection Aerial Arts As part of Artwalk Gainesville, S-Connection will be celebrating their 10th anniversary with cirque performances, live music, light snacks and beverages. This event is free and open to the public. December 1–23

Festival of Lights 5:30–9:00 p.m. Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park Ranked a Top 20 Event in the Southeastern United States, this festival will ignite the holiday spirit in the whole family. The Classic Festival of Lights is $3 per person and the Drive Through Only Nights are $2 per person. Children under 3 are free. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


December 1

December 2

December 3

Stay and Play

Splash Jam

YMCA Open Gym for Kids

9–11 a.m. Sun Country Sports – West

Noon–1 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West

3–5 p.m. North Central Florida YMCA

Kiddos 5 years and younger will develop basic motor skills as they participate in obstacle courses and bounce around in the Bounce Room before ending with Circle Time and a snack. Prices range from $11 for members to $13.25 for non-members. Repeats every Friday.

Swimmers of all skill levels can join in for 30 minutes of mixed group instructional time, followed by 30 minutes of open swim time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for nonmembers. Repeats every Saturday.

Drop in to this non-instructional free time for kids to socialize, play and explore the gym in a safe and stimulating environment. Admission is $5. Repeats every Sunday. December 5

December 2 December 1

Gym Jam 5–7 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Children 5 years and older will participate in a coach-led warmup, receive instruction on each gym apparatus and have open workout time during this two hour program. Prices range from $18 for members to $20 for nonmembers. Repeats every Friday.

A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe 2 & 6 p.m. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall Bring the kiddos out to enjoy Winter Wonderland magic with crafts and refreshments before a Holiday musical performance they are sure to love. Do not miss your chance to see Santa Claus after the show! Children and UF Student tickets are $9, adults are $15.

Light the Village 5–9 p.m. Haile Village Center

Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration 6–8 p.m. Historic Thomas Center

Little ones will love this free holiday event packed with crafts, games and other fun activities.

Bring the family to watch the lighting of a giant holiday tree, listen to caroling and music from local groups, and see Santa himself! Admission is free.

December 2

December 2–3

Fall Farm and Cane Festival 9–3 p.m. Dudley Farm Historic State Park Experience an original Florida working farm from post-Civil War era as they demonstrate grinding corn into cornmeal, woodworking and washday. Enjoy children’s activities and toys, old-time music, quilt drawing, vendors and more.

Kiddos 5 years and younger will develop basic motor skills as they participate in obstacle courses and bounce around in the Bounce Room before ending with Circle Time and a snack. Prices range from $11 for members to $13.25 for nonmembers. Repeats every Tuesday.

Get Air Gainesville Toddler Time 10 a.m. – Noon Get Air Gainesville Parents jump for free with children 46 inches and under during this time designated for Little Air jumpers. Admission is $10 per child. Event repeats every Tuesday and Thursday.

Craft Festival 2017

December 6

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Stephen O’Connell Center

Gym Jam

This annual event showcases unique pieces from local craftsmen and artisans. Find the perfect gift for anyone on your list with the hundreds of vendors available. Tickets are available in advance for $4 or at the door for $5. UF Student tickets are $2 in advance or $3 at the door.

December 2

Living History Day

December 3

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Morningside Nature Center

GLAM Craft Show 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. First Magnitude Brewery Find unique creations for everyone on your holiday shopping list at the GLAM Craft Show. Enjoy local artisans and vendors as they create a memorable shopping experience.

December 2

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Guided Walk

December 3

10 a.m. – Noon Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Noon – 4 p.m. Historic Haile Homestead

Take your family out for a guided tour of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens’ 24 major collections. This tour is $8 for adults, $4 for children (5-13) and free for children under 5 as well as members.

Enjoy a Victorian Holiday with free admission and carriage rides around the plantation house. Visit with Santa, enjoy live music and sip hot apple cider all while perusing local vendors.

Annual Homestead Holidays

1:30–3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Children 5 years and older will participate in a coach-led warmup, receive instruction on each gym apparatus and have open workout time during this two hour program. Prices range from $18 for members to $20 for nonmembers. Repeats every Wednesday

December 8

Candlelight Visits 6–9 p.m. Historic Haile Homestead Take this rare opportunity to see the Homestead house at night, glowing with candles and holiday spirit. Enjoy live music and refreshments. Tickets are $7 online in advance or $10 at the door. Children under 12 are free!


Join the Morningside Nature Center as interpreters portray day-to-day life on an 1870 Florida farm. Experience the agriculture and history that Florida was built on, for free!

9–11 a.m. Sun Country Sports – West

December 5 December 2

December 1

Stay and Play | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018


December 9

December 9

Teen Driver Challenge

Alachua Christmas Parade

8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

2–3 p.m. Main Street

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office staff will train your teen to be a safer driver during this free one-day, eight-hour course. This hands-on challenge requires your teen to bring her own vehicle and lunch. Find the paperwork on the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office website.

Take the kiddos out to see Santa, floats and bands as they make their way down Main Street in Alachua!

December 9

UF Health Shands Childbirth Education Class 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital This expansive course covers the birthing process, pain management options, and postpartum care. It includes a tour of the labor and delivery and mother/baby units. The class costs $50. December 9

Dudley Kid’s Day 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. Dudley Farm Historic State Park Join your friends at Dudley Farm for a day filled with crafts, old fashioned games, hands-on demonstrations and some educational fun! Ages 5 and up are welcome and admission is $5 per vehicle. December 9

Back Handspring and Tuck Boot Camp 1–4 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Send your aspiring tumbler to this boot camp to help him/her finally master the back handspring and back tuck. Prices range from $26.25 for members and $29 for nonmembers when paid in advance to $40 the day of the event. December 9

Danscompany presents Cinderella 1:30 & 7 p.m. Philips Center for the Performing Arts Bring the family out to experience this classic. Meet Cinderella, the Prince, and all of your favorite dancers after each show. General admission is $15; children under 10 are free with a new, unwrapped toy or book.


December 9–10

All Aboard! Holiday Train Show Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 1–5 p.m. Alachua County Library District’s Headquarters Library Take the family out to the library to enjoy a model train show and interactive displays including Thomas the Tank Engine. Admission is free.

a Nutcracker performance up close and personal for their final dress rehearsal. December 13

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Group 5–6:30 p.m. Postpartum Wellness and Family Counseling If you are pregnant or recently gave birth and feel guilt, depression or anxiety, you may benefit from attending this free support group. Learn from other mothers who have been in the same place as you, and develop the tools you need to start feeling better. December 14

December 10

Stop Children’s Cancer Holiday Traditions Concert 4–5:30 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts See holiday performances from P.K. Yonge, Eastside High School, Buchholz High School, the Gainesville Youth Chorus and the Alachua County Youth Orchestra. A VIP reception will be held after the event with catering, champagne and silent auctions.

Harn Museum Nights: pARTner for a Cause 6–9 p.m. The Harn Museum Learn how you can support your community through art and various other activities while enjoying free refreshments. Admission is free. December 15

Date Night

DECEMBER 12 Hanukkah Begins December 12

UF Health Shands Breastfeeding Class 7–9 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital Room 2147 Perfect for expecting mothers, this class teaches you the benefits of breastfeeding, optimal latch positions, how to store pumped milk and more. The class costs $15 to attend. December 13

Santa Fe College Zoo Storytime 10–10:30 a.m Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo Bring the kids out for a free story time hosted by Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the Alachua County Library. December 13

Mommy and Me Onstage! 5 p.m. Curtis M. Philips Center for the Performing Arts Join the dancers onstage and experience | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

6:30–9 p.m. The Academy Preschool Drop your children off at The Academy Preschool and enjoy a parent's night out! Infants through children in third grade are welcome, and the cost is $20 per child. December 15 -17

Dance Alive National Ballet presents The Nutcracker Friday: 7:30 p.m. Saturday: 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sunday: 2 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts Don’t miss this holiday classic sure to fill your little one’s head with dancing sugar plum fairies and Christmas spirit. Tickets prices range from $15 to $45. December 16

Ninja Jam 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. Sun Country Sports – West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.

Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano presents THE 2 ND ANNU AL BEN EFIT EVEN T FOR TH E ALACHU A COU N T Y H U M AN E SOC I E T Y

Hendrix Sponsors

Thank you to all of our sponsors for your generous support!! Joplin Sponsors

Santana Sponsors

Creedence Sponsors Crosby Sponsors



December 16

LifeSouth Operation Santa Delivery 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Santa Fe College North Fields Children will enjoy bounce houses, face painting and a visit from Santa (who arrives by helicopter) at this free and fun-filled event.

DECE M BER 20 -23

Janua ry 17

Savior of the World: His Birth and Resurrection

Ninja Jam

Wednesday–Friday: 7 p.m. Saturday: 2 & 7 p.m. PK Yonge Performing Arts Center This theatrical production depicts the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, as well as death and resurrection. Tickets are free, but attendees are encouraged to bring Ronald McDonald House wishlist items to donate at the door.

2–4 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital Room 2147 Perfect for expecting mothers, this class teaches you the benefits of breastfeeding, optimal latch positions, how to store pumped milk and more. The class costs $15 to attend. December 18 ­– 22

Circus Camp for Kids 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. S-Connection Aerial Arts Bring your children between the ages of 5–15 out to S-Connection for five days of learning circus skills like juggling, balancing, aerial, tumbling, clowning and more! The cost of the full five-day camp is $225 and the drop-in rate is $50/day.

DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day December 31

Downtown Countdown New Year’s Eve Celebration

UF Health Shands Newborn Care Class 7–9:30 p.m. UF Health Shands Room 2147 This class is designed to help new parents learn to care for their newborn and covers topics such as diapering, soothing and infant safety. The class is $15 to attend.

DECEMBER 20 JANUARY 1 Alachua County Public Schools Winter Break December 20

Ninja Jam 2:15– 3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.


Janua ry 20

9:30 – 10:45 a.m. Sun Country Sports – West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.

9 p.m. Downtown Gainesville

Janua ry 20

Ring in the new year with a live concert, free noisemakers and dancing until the stroke of midnight!

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History

JANUARY 1 New Year's Day Janua ry 10

December 19

Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.

Ninja Jam

December 16

UF Health Shands Breastfeeding Class

2:15– 3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West

Santa Fe College Zoo Storytime 10–10:30 a.m Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo Bring the kids out for a free story time hosted by Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the Alachua County Library. janua ry 11

Harn Museum Nights 6–9 p.m. The Harn Museum Bring the family out to experience art in a whole new way. With multiple activities and intriguing performances, the Harn helps visitors see art in a completely new light. This monthly event is free and provides refreshments.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Alachua County Public Schools Student Day Off | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018

Collectors Day

Bring the family out to view collections from across the country, ranging from classic cars to Pokemon memorabilia. Janua ry 27

The Great Invader Rally 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Morningside Nature Center Volunteers will work to remove invasive plants and trash, and then celebrate afterward with music, games and food trucks. Janua ry 27

The Scoop on Poop Exhibit Opens 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History Running through May 6, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s first exhibit of 2018 explores how scat reveals new information about wildlife. Visitors will have the opportunity to compete in dung beetle races and listen to an animal’s digestive system in this interactive exhibit. Janua ry 27–28

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Alachua County Fairgrounds Step back in time with your family and enjoy jugglers, dancers, food and the medieval marketplace. Tickets are $18 for adults, $8 for children 5–17, and children under 5 are free. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018











. FO



. FLY . SU







Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine December/January 2018  

Gift Guide, Christmas Tree Farms, Hanukkah Books, Holiday Wreaths

Giggle Magazine December/January 2018  

Gift Guide, Christmas Tree Farms, Hanukkah Books, Holiday Wreaths