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p a re n t i n g


DEC/JAN 2017 | Volume 8 • Issue 6

us l p

6 3 gifts

y for an ! t e g d u b pg. 73

It's the


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PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nicole Irving CREATIVE DIRECTOR Allison Raber ASSOCIATE DEPUTY EDITOR Colleen McTiernan GRAPHIC DESIGNERs Claire Stortz Vice president of sales Shane Irving marketing assistant Delia Albert PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Alison Walker ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE April Tisher executive assistant Sayeh Farah ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Ashleigh Braun DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Kyle Willamson Contributing Writers Rizwana Fareeduddin, MD, FACOG, Selena Garrison, Nicole Germany, Kelly Goede, Tiffany Doerr Guerzon, Nicole Irving, Helen Kornblum, Colleen McTiernan, Danielle Pastula, Olivia Pitkethly, MA, LMHC, Taryn Tacher, April Tisher, Kara Winslow Contributing Photographers Ashley Daniell Photography, Sincerely Gone Photography

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 Tallahassee Office: p. 850.254.9704 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.

2 | DEC/JAN 2017

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 | DEC/JAN 2017 Education Matters! We are proud to be Board Certified Pediatric Dentists.


from the publisher MEET OUR

on the road again


I think we can all agree that this past year has been filled to the brim with more things than normal, all of which have taken their toll on us mentally and physically. I know that between traveling, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, trips to Jamaica and Dallas and our first trip to the ER (all in the same week) on top of a crazy election season, I am personally ready to say goodbye to 2016. But, before we can scream “Happy New Year 2017!” there are the holidays to celebrate, and there is nothing like saying goodbye to the old, and hello to the new surrounded by food, friends, family and festivities galore! As tradition has it, we are traveling up north once again to celebrate in the snow with my family! It is something my children look forward to, and although it’s hard to believe, my husband and I do look forward to the 20hour traditional car ride north. Yes, you can gasp, call us crazy and the like. Go ahead. It’s OK! Every year we pack the kids (three young boys), luggage and sometimes our dog into the trusty Expedition and drive straight through to the snowy northeast tundra. Some might ask, “Why do you do that when you could fly?” The answer is simple — control. The very first time we did this trip via plane with two kids, we ended up stuck in Atlanta with no luggage. They were trying to put Shane and one baby on one plane, and me and our other son on another! They also wanted to have us take planes to arrive in two different cities, neither of which was our home city or the city where our car was. So, that was that! I now have complete control of the children, the luggage, the food, the climate, sleep patterns, destination and the like. I also have my car and my kids’ car seats when I get there. Mommy win! But, aside from my own control issues, it is a time when all five of us are in the car. Alone. No activities or meetings to jet off to. Just us. As the kids have gotten older, we have been able to stop along the way to visit different cities and family members. We’ve added stops in North Carolina and DC, and we are able to do things together as a family. Many times on the drives I find myself looking back at my boys with a full heart and reflecting on how they have grown. I am also reminded that this too might end one day. All too soon they will have their own cars full of families, and I will have little control over how much time they spend with me. But, until then, I will continue to savor these crazy, fun-filled trips.

From my family to yours, we wish you a very merry holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

December 11th

movie? Elf

What is your favorite book?

"Fancy Nancy"

What do you want to be when

A ballerina in the Nutcracker and a mommy you grow up?

What is your favorite holiday

the tree | DEC/JAN 2017



Nicole Irving, Publisher

follow us on Twitter @GIGGLEMAGAZINE

5 on

What is your favorite holiday


Like us on Facebook /GIGGLEMAGAZINE


How old are you?

We'd like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Brent Griffin for graciously allowing us to photograph in his cotton field! Visit us on Pinterest /GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Follow us on Instagram @GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Photo by Ashley Daniell Photography

During this holiday season I hope that you are able to find time to celebrate as a family, to enjoy each other and spend quality time connecting, no matter where you are!

:Leighton | DEC/JAN 2017



Selena Garrison ➜ Selena has a master's


Kelly Goede

Helen Kornblum

Danielle Pastula

Taryn Tacher

➜ Kelly Goede has

➜ Helen used her

➜ Danielle is a

➜ Taryn may not

spent the past 12 years trying to figure out who she will be when she grows up. Wife to Todd and mom to four children (including a child with a limb difference and a set of twins), Kelly has a master’s in education from the University of Florida and has dabbled in preschool teaching, musical theater, photography and, of course, writing. If she goes missing, try finding her in the Wiles Elementary School PTA closet or at home in her own closet sneakeating Oreos.

M.A. in English in her first career as Director of Publications for an international education association. Since 2004, she has helped business and residential clients in Gainesville find organizing patterns that make sense to them. She is also a Life Coach, specially trained to work with teens and adults who have ADHD or other forms of chronic disorganization. Her monthly column about ADHD appears in North Florida School Days.

graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and is the founder of Punch Key Media, a copywriting and content strategy studio for businesses that seek to empower people to live more impactful, healthy and intentional lives. Danielle can be found hiking new trails, testing out new recipes and packing up all her things as she lives the life of a digital nomad with her husband.

have grown up in Gainesville, but she fell in love with it when she studied journalism at the University of Florida from 2011 until 2015. After graduation, she moved back home to Parkland, Florida and has since recently moved to New York City to work as a content operations associate for Condé Nast. When she's not writing, she loves to do yoga, cook, travel and bingewatch way too much television.

Nicole Germany

April Tisher

Olivia Pitkethly

Kara Winslow

➜ Nicole Germany

➜ April Tisher

➜ Olivia Pitkethly is a

➜ Kara Winslow has

started as an intern with Irving Publications and has worked her way up to contributing writer. Growing up in a Gator household, Nicole knew her orange and blue blood would lead her to the University of Florida, where she received her Bachelor of Science in journalism. She enjoys a perfectly frothy latte, cooking new recipes and frolicking through new cities.

graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in Psychology. She has worked for Giggle Magazine since 2013 as a writer and sales executive. She lives in Gainesville with her husband, Chris, and their four children and chocolate lab. April enjoys volunteering with the Junior League of Gainesville and her children's schools.

licensed mental health counselor practicing in Gainesville and mom of two. She combines her professional expertise and her background in journalism to bring educational and entertaining articles to the Giggle audience. She and her little family of four enjoy exploring the many nature trails in Alachua county, going to the beach and visiting with family.

20 years of experience in the beauty, entertainment and wedding industries and a degree in theater from Rollins College. She is an on-location makeup artist who has worked for MTV, AXE, UPS, Speedo, AT&T, Gatorade, Proctor and Gamble and more. Her celebrity clients have included politicians, actors and athletes. She spent eight years on TV representing ybf Beauty on HSN. | DEC/JAN 2017

degree from the University of Florida in family, youth and community sciences with a specialization in family financial management. She is a wife, mother and small business owner who loves to share what she has learned with others.

Tiffany Doerr Guerzon ➜ Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a freelance writer and the mother of three creative and messy children. When she's not at home taking care of her husband and kids, you can find her at her office — a local coffee shop — sitting back and writing about home and family life.

Rizwanna Fareeduddin ➜ Dr. Fareeduddin (better known as Dr. Fareed) is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist who is passionate about providing high quality, evidence-based and compassionate obstetric care. Raised in South Florida, she is an avid Florida Gators fan and a passionate supporter of charities that benefit the victims of domestic violence and champion women's rights. | DEC/JAN 2017


8 | DEC/JAN 2017

DEC · JAN 2017 happy family • happy community



happy home 58 5 Easy-Peasy Gifts Little Kids Can Make

for the Holidays

60 Queries from the Curious

learn 66 Family Resolutions 68 Don't Cross the Line


70 Beyond the Numbers: Teaching Your

life 10 Choosing Your Grandparent Name 13 POWER PARENT Martha Collada 18 Flying With Kids: A Headache-Free Way

happy community

conception 2✱ college™

98 Meet Cinderella 2016! 102 DEC/JAN Calendar 104 corkboard

to Travel

20 Turning Your Trash into Treasure 22 happy family Spiwak Family 26 "You Should Come With Us!" How to

Children Math Without Them Knowing

Vacation with Other Families

84 expecting


Sleeping for Two 86 infant

Is It Time to Ditch the Baby Food?


The Potential Risks of Thumb-Sucking and

forks & spoons

90 early years

How to Enforce the P's & Q's

30 The Right Stuff: Holiday Stuffing for Every Taste

92 kids

34 Must-Haves for the Holiday Hostess 36 Holiday Pie Swap Party

Playing It Safe on the Playground

94 tweens

Why Do They Have to Move?


96 teens

What Did She Say? Defining Teen Slang

40 Proper Posture: Not A Thing of the Past! 42 Achieving Your Best Brows ALACHUA

It's the Holiday Season! Counting on Cotton Happy Birthday to You! The Great Big Holiday Toy Gift Guide!


fe a tu res 45 56 63 73






Ballerina photo by Sincerely Gone Photography. Menorah photo by Allison Raber.

How to Break the Habit



DEC/JAN 2017 | Volume 8 • Issue 6

us pl



It's the


Photo by Ashley Daniell Photography | DEC/JAN 2017



g r a n d pa r e n t s

Choosing Your Grandparent Name BY TARYN TACHER

It is said that bringing a child into the world is the greatest moment of your life — a moment so overwhelmingly emotional that only one other milestone can top it: welcoming your first grandchild. Witnessing your baby, who you birthed, raised, loved and let flourish, follow in your footsteps by becoming a parent is a whole other level of joy — one you did not even realize was possible until you experienced the bliss of new parenthood through the eyes of your own child. With grandparenthood comes a significantly different experience. You are able to enjoy the cuddles, the giggles and the highlights without having to endure the diaper changes and the sleepless nights — and then there’s that “grand” title that goes along with it. Once that baby starts talking, you will be addressed by yet another name. Some people prefer the traditional grandma or grandpa, while others opt for the more formal grandmother or grandfather. Some people choose the term

for grandparent in their native language, like abuela or abuelo in Spanish, or nonna or nonno in Italian. Some people like nana or papa — even grammy or granny for grandmothers and poppy or gramps for grandfathers. And some people let their grandchildren select a name that rolls off their tongues as they learn to speak. Local grandparents Linda and Dennis Rocha opted for the typical Grandma and the not-so-typical DooDah for their grandparent names. Linda says she did not have a close relationship with her grandmother on her father’s side, whom she called Nanny. Her mother’s mother passed away before she was born, and it saddened her mother that they never got to meet. “She always told me how warm she was and that she would have been such a loving grandmother,” said Linda. “So I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a grandma, not a nanny or nana.” Dennis arrived at DooDah after he heard it in a movie two years before he became a grandfather. “He said that someday he wanted his grandchildren to get that look in their eye and call him DooDah,” said Linda, “and… they do!” If you’re having trouble picking your grandparent name, think about your relationship with your own grandparents. Were you close? Were they warm and

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Ukrainian: Baba and Gigi


Greek: Yaya and Pappoús


Hebrew: Savta and Saba


French: Mémé and Pépé


German/Dutch: Oma and Opa


Flemish: Bomma and Bonpa


Cajun: Mawmaw and Pawpaw


Icelandic: Amma and Afi


Filipino: Lola and Lolo

10. Hawaiian: Kuku and Kane

endearing? Do you aspire to have a similar relationship with your own grandchildren? Think about your personality and your character. Are you conventional or creative? Usual or unique? What type of grandparent do you envision yourself being? Whether you choose a classic moniker like Linda or a unique one like Dennis, grandparenthood will undoubtedly be some of the best years of your life. ✽ | DEC/JAN 2017


p o w e r pa r e n t



Administrative Support Assistant for Journalism and Public Relations at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida Wife to FRANK, mommy to Nicolas (15), Matthew (14), Christopher John, aka CJ (12) and Lucas (10)

For Martha Collada, making time for each of her four boys and her husband Frank is incredibly important. As a working mom, she gives her job 100 percent during the day, but switches gears when she gets home so she can enjoy the little moments with her family. How do you balance work life and family life?

My family is very important to me and so is my job, but I do disconnect from work when I am with Frank and the kids. When I am on the job, I give it all I have to get things done, but when I am with the family they have my heart and my undivided attention.

What does your typical workday look like? I wake up and get the kids out of bed with the help of my wonderful husband. Since we only have two bathrooms in our home, we have a schedule for bathroom time, and keeping the schedule is usually the first challenge of my day. I then drop the kids off at school and head to the office. Once I am done working in the late afternoon, I pick the kids up after school and head home. Most days of the week I spend about an hour at | DEC/JAN 2017


to get some time together before we shut things down for the evening and sometimes it is as simple as watching a favorite TV show before we go to bed or taking our dog out for a walk.

What advice would you give other working parents?

Try not to bring work stress home, and enjoy the time you have with your family. I think it is necessary to disconnect so you are not distracted, which I know is easier said than done. I am constantly trying to remind myself to enjoy the little moments because they grow up faster than we would like, and in the blink of an eye our kids are not so little anymore. Frank and I always say, “The days are sometimes long, but the years seem to go by too fast.” My oldest son is now 15 and I feel like he was just born yesterday. I still refer to my youngest son as “Little Lucas” and now he is 10. Time is precious and kids change every day, so make sure to enjoy those moments because you will never regret spending more time with them instead of being at the office.

What sacrifices/compromises have you had to make?

home doing whatever needs to be done, like getting a load of laundry in or getting dinner started, before I head out again to take the boys to soccer practice or martial arts. From that point on Frank and I tag team the picking up and dropping off depending on who has practice at what time. This can be challenging with multiple schedules, but we do a pretty good job of taking turns and working together. Communication with Frank about the schedule early in the day to make a game plan is key so we can both get things done. Dinnertime is also a challenge certain days during the week because my

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teenage sons sometimes train into the late evening, so on those days we have to have two dinner shifts. We always sit at the table with the boys when they are eating so it feels like we are all having dinner together and so we can maintain a sense of family time, but the younger boys eat first so they don’t have to wait until later. From that point on it is a combination of cleaning the kitchen, throwing in another load of laundry if necessary, picking things up around the house or doing anything else that requires my attention, like helping the younger boys with school-related work. Frank and I try

I have always tried to balance what is important to me and what life brings my way with an awareness that my kids are at the top of that list, which is why I would say that my career has been my compromise. I always envisioned myself out of college as having a big corporate job, and I was in several managerial corporate roles until I became a mother. Everything changed when Nicolas was born and I then chose to take time away from working outside the home. I never had any regrets about it, but I am aware that it forced me to reinvent myself several different ways and to rethink my work-related goals to fall in line with my new priorities of family first.

When and how do you make time for yourself?

I take a moment for me whenever I get one — anytime, anywhere. Sometimes it is as simple as a quiet moment while in the waiting room of the dentist office or sitting on my front porch enjoying nature for five minutes as I wait for the laundry to finish. I live in Tioga and I love walking my furry baby, Diamond, around the neighborhood or walking to my parents’ house, which is a couple of blocks away, for a short visit. When the schedule permits, I love spending | DEC/JAN 2017


16 | DEC/JAN 2017

time with friends enjoying a good meal and a nice glass of wine or two. I am always up for a girl’s night out and that usually recharges my battery and keeps me going until the next escapade.

Who is your greatest inspiration?

All the women in my family who came before me have been my inspiration — my mother, my grandmothers and my wonderful aunts who have always been such good mothers and loving women. They are great role models for me of what unconditional love is and have always been supportive of me as a woman and especially as a mother.

Who are your biggest supporters?

My parents are so supportive of my family and help us out all the time. They just moved to Gainesville earlier this year from Miami, and it has been a wonderful blessing to have them close by.

If you had a day all to yourself and money was not an object, what would you do?

That is challenging because all things that come to mind, like a day out boating on a beautiful yacht, I would want to share with my family. But if I had to be alone then I

would say that a day of pampering at a spa retreat, preferably by the ocean so I can spend part of my day at the beach, would be lovely.

Which TV character most resembles you?

I think I can identify with Claire Dunphy of “Modern Family.” She has a strong personality and is sometimes exhausted by her family responsibilities, but she is a great mother and is always there for her kids. I identify with her character, especially now that she has gone back to work after being a stay at home mom for some years. Like her, I am enjoying this new phase of my life where the kids are more self-sufficient and older but still need my love and support.

Finish this sentence: I hope that I have taught my children ... to be

good people, who are kind to others and loving to each other. I try to remind them that they will be brothers for life and that it is a friendship that will stand the test of time. I also try to remind them to enjoy life and make the most of all opportunities presented to them. ✽

What is your go-to breakfast? During the week I am not a big breakfast person, but I am Cuban-American so my go-to is a café con leche (Cuban espresso with warm milk) in the morning and a yogurt in the office around 10 a.m. On the weekends, my favorite breakfast is eggs over easy on a grilled corn tortilla with salsa and avocado slices and a café con leche, of course!

What is your coffee order? I think you may already know this … café con leche! But I do also love a pumpkin spice latte this time of year.

What is your must-have work tech item? A good computer and a strong internet connection.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? I think I would want to have more control over speed so I can do things faster. Why? This way I can do things I don’t like (like mopping) in less time, but still be able to enjoy the moments I do like in real time.

What are five things you must have at work? A good computer, my cellphone, my morning cafecito, a cute and comfortable pair of shoes to walk around in, and my Yeti thermos filled with ice water on my desk so I can make sure to drink it throughout the day.


Flying With Kids: A Headache-Free Way to Travel BY NICOLE GERMANY

Flying can be exhausting for just about anyone, and when you’re traveling with a little one the last thing you want is all eyes on your child when she decides to go into full meltdown mode. However, with a few tips and tricks to keep your kids content while flying, traveling can go from rough riding to smooth sailing. Airports can be an atmosphere for great chaos, which is why it’s important to prepare well ahead of time. Pack right, plan ahead and make sure your child knows what’s expected of her during the trip.


When preparing beforehand, make sure to take into account all aspects of being at the airport, including lengthy security times, flight durations and any expected layovers you intend to make before reaching your final destination. This will give you a better idea of exactly what you need to pack to make sure everyone is happy. Try sticking with healthy snacks such as dried fruit or veggies, and save some sweets as a treat.


If it will distract them, pack it. Consider the types of items your kiddo enjoys playing with and pack a personalized treasure trove with their favorites. If you can, bring along a tablet with preloaded apps and shows. You may also pack a few little wrapped presents that you can give to them as a reward for good behavior.


For first-time travelers, flying can be a little overwhelming to deal with, so help ease their fears by making sure they understand what’s going on before and during the flight. Try your best to keep calm and do what you can to help them feel as comfortable as possible while still setting proper expectations for behavior.

Advice From the Mamas Whitney Russell, mommy to 2-year-old Henley, said that depending on the age, you might want to travel during nap time or bedtime.

We usually try to do early flights so she wakes up, eats, we get to the airport and by the time we take off, she’s ready for a nap.

Megan Martin, mommy to 8-month-old Madelyn and 3-year-old Margaux said that she practices staying calm on long flights so the girls don’t get upset.

Products Great For Air Travel: • Trunki — These riding suitcases are a great way to keep track of kids and give them a great airport experience. Win one for yourself below! • Alex Toys My Giant Busy Box — With plenty of arts and crafts to entertain them, this box will keep them busy the whole flight. • Klutz Short Stuffs No-Sew Stuffed Animal Kit — Ideal for travel, this craft has easy-to-follow instructions that kids ages 4 and up can understand. • Wikki Stix — Created from wax and yarn, this fun on-the-go craft is perfect for engaging any child. • Bentgo Lunchbox — Made with a variety of compartments, this lunchbox is great for a mid-flight snack. • Gel Window Clings — Perfect as an easy, no cleanup distraction.


“I think the biggest way for me to keep the girls calm is for myself to stay calm, and even if I get frazzled, [I try] not to let them see it.” ✽

CHECKLIST: • Snacks • Diaper wipes/ disinfecting wipes • Changing pad • Sippy cup • Blanket/pillow


• Change of clothes

Kid Friendly Apps For Tablets:

• Extra diapers

• AppyKids Play School

• Hand sanitizer

• Hopster

• Stroller

• Grandma’s Preschool

• Pacifier/gum

• GazziliScience | DEC/JAN 2017

• Pancake Maker - Kids Cooking Game

Travel Pack Giveaway! Valued at $200!

• • • • •

Star Kids Snack & Play Travel Tray Star Kids Air Play Tray Table Cover Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock Beatrix New York Little Kid Pack Trunki Visit to enter for a chance to win! | DEC/JAN 2017



Turning Your Trash Into


It’s that time of year again. Christmas trees and sparkly decorations are filling up the display windows of every store, and you’re trying to figure out how on earth Santa is going to pay for all those presents that make your kiddo’s heart pitter patter. Before turning to your credit card for assistance, take a look around and see what you might be able to unload to earn some cash for this holiday season. Depending on what you have, there are many ways to turn your unwanted items into treasure! Of course, if you have a lot of items that aren’t super valuable but are taking up space, you may just want to have a good old-fashioned yard sale or post your items on one of the many Facebook sales groups. If you have items that are more valuable or collectible, however, there may be better options for you.

➜ Furniture

Perhaps it is time to update a bedroom set or unload an old sofa. Craigslist or a similar local “for sale” website may be your best option. If your furniture is in really great condition, a local furniture consignment store may be able to get you more money for your items. Antiques can be sold on consignment, as well. Check with local antique dealers to find out if they offer this service. You may also check out to sell your furniture and home décor online.

➜ Clothing

If you are like me and have little kids, you know that they can grow out of half their clothes before they get to wear them twice. You also may or may not have a wide array of clothing sizes cluttering up your own closet. Brick and mortar consignment stores will go through your clothing and sell it for you, keeping back a portion of the profit and paying you in cash or store credit.

20 | DEC/JAN 2017

There are also many online consignment sites such as, and that will do the same thing for you with a broader audience.

➜ Electronics

If you have used smartphones, tablets, MP3 players or computers that are lying around, you may be able to get good money for them using services like With Gazelle, you answer a few questions about your item, ship it to them in a prepaid box and get paid by check, Amazon gift card or PayPal. Similar services like and will do the same for your used video games and consoles.

➜ Jewelry

Your best bet for selling old, broken or unwanted jewelry is to consign it with a jeweler or jewelry-focused pawn shop. Often, if the piece if too damaged or out-of-style to be consigned, the shop will pay you for the value of the precious metals or stones in the piece.

➜ Collectibles

From baseball cards to figurines to stamps, there are all sorts of collectibles and just as many avenues for selling them. eBay is still a great option for the sale of these types of items, but you may want to cross-list them on Craigslist and Facebook sales pages. Also check around for local stores that may buy your items outright or consign them for you. Regardless of how you choose to sell your unused or unwanted items, the main thing to remember is that your trash is someone else’s treasure. This is a great time of year to put a little extra money in your pocket, so why not clear out the old and bring in the new? Or skip bringing in the new and use your extra chaching to pay off last year’s debt or save for a rainy day. ✽ | DEC/JAN 2017



h a p p y f a m i ly

Meet t he

Spiwak Family

Marc, Erin, Halle (8) and Parker (6)


22 | DEC/JAN 2017

Occupation(s): Marc is a residential mortgage sales manager with Landmark Mortgage Planners and Erin is a CPA and Partner at James Moore & Co.

First word you think of when we say “family”: Unconditional love (OK, two words).

Favorite family meal: Pizza.

Must-have item(s): Love, laughter and our pool!

Favorite date spot: Dinner out anywhere.

Three words that describe our family: Crazy, snuggly and weird.

Our family is most like: Fudge — mostly sweet with a little bit of nuts. Movie in our DVD player right now: “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” The kids’ favorite books: “Dolphin Tale 2” (Halle) and “Captain Underpants” (Parker). Mommy and Daddy’s favorite TV shows: “Fixer Upper.” Websites we love: and Favorite sports/extracurriculars to do: Basketball and gymnastics. Favorite sports to watch: College football. Favorite family activity: Going to the beach. Favorite local picnic spot: Our living room for movie night. Pets: None, unless you count the frogs, lizards and spiders that are caught all the time! Favorite day trip: The grandparents’ place on the Gulf in Suwannee. Favorite family vacation destination: A Disney Cruise. What makes my kids laugh: House dance parties, especially when Parker is dancing. Why we love living in Gainesville: The culture, sports and outside activities. Something that we want our children to have that we didn’t have growing up: We both had great childhoods, so we hope they can say the same.

Anything else you want us to know about your family? We are lucky to have each other. ✽

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"You Should Come With Us!" How to Vacation With Other Families BY APRIL TISHER

I grew up going on multi-family vacations, and those trips are some of my fondest childhood memories. Although the point of family vacations is to spend quality time together as a family, it is also fun to add friends to the mix! Multi-family vacations take some careful planning and coordination, but it can mean great times for both the adults and children if done right! We have spent several fun weeks at our family’s beach house with other families. Last winter my family rented a mountain house with another family and took six Florida children skiing for the first time. These trips were a success, but not all families are compatible to travel together and certainly not to spend nights under the same roof. Rule No. 1 is to make sure you think things through and talk with your spouse and children first about inviting other people along. You may love spending time with your best mom friend in the world, but if your children don’t have anything in common and spend the whole time bickering and tattling on each other, nobody will have any fun. It’s also important to be mindful of the type of vacation you are planning as well. If you are going to the beach and invite a family of children who can’t swim and are terrified of the ocean, you might be in trouble.

26 | DEC/JAN 2017

Some families have very specific ideas about sleeping arrangements, dietary restrictions and rules. Others are pretty laissez-faire. These are major key factors to discuss with the other family prior to making reservations. It also helps if your children are close in age, but it isn’t a deal breaker if they are not. As long as they have been able to play and have fun together, age and gender don’t have to be sticking points.

›› Sleeping arrangements

Some children go to bed early, even on vacation, while others don’t. If children are going to be sleeping in a shared space or common area, this might pose a problem, especially if some of the children need to go to sleep at 7:30 p.m. and the rest of the group is planning to stay up. Talk about this and decide who will sleep where and if any air mattresses or sleeping bags need to be brought along.

›› Food

What and when to eat is a major part of vacations. Assuming you are staying somewhere that you can bring your own food and cook, come up with a dinner schedule before leaving town. Usually we decide what meals we want to eat out and divide up the rest between the two families. I find it is much easier to eat breakfast at

The Tisher and Almond families in Boone, NC

Rule No. 1 is to make sure you think things through and talk with your spouse and children first about inviting other people along. “home” and buy lunch supplies that can be taken along. Of course there will be days when returning to the home base for lunch isn’t feasible, but keeping sandwich ingredients on hand and breakfast staples will make it easier to keep everyone fed. I like to go to the grocery store as soon as we arrive, but it is nice to coordinate with the other family to avoid overbuying and duplicating items. It’s also nice to communicate any dietary restrictions. My older son has a severe peanut allergy, so it’s important that those traveling with us are aware and don’t bring them into the house.




This can be just a day trip or an overnight trip where you share accommodations with another family. The beach is one of those places where kids and adults alike are happy for hours. Kids of all ages can play at the beach, and there are endless activities to do. The key is to pack plenty to eat and drink and a lot of sunscreen. When you run out of food or drink or the kids start to get sunburned, the day is done.

TRIPS TO THE SPRINGS OR A LAKE You can replicate the same fun you have at the beach at one of the many springs or lakes around town. Adding boats to the lake or ocean trips is also great for multi-family trips. Kids love scalloping, fishing, tubing and the like. Be sure you have life jackets for all boaters!

MOUNTAIN TRIPS Gainesville residents can be in the Georgia or North Carolina mountains in a day’s drive. This can be a great trip for summer or winter months. Like the beach, skiing, sledding and making snowmen are ageless fun activities! During the warmer months, families can enjoy the cooler temps and lower humidity while hiking trails, whitewater rafting and mining for gems.

THEME PARK TRIPS We are lucky to have so many options for theme parks close by. Pick a park ahead of time and buy your tickets before heading to the gate. It's also a good idea to plan what you want to do for meals before getting there.


This is the point of vacations, but agreeing on major activities is important. It is nice to do things together, but don’t be afraid to split up into groups according to interest as well. The boys might want to play golf while the girls shop for an afternoon.

If you can score tickets to an away Gator game or to see the Rays play in Tampa, this can be a lot of fun for family and friends to do together. Just making the drive flying team flags from the car gets the kids excited. Bring tailgate supplies or stop somewhere local to eat.

›› Traditions


›› Fun

Come up with a fun tradition you do every trip. Whether it’s a big crab boil the last night at the beach, s’mores by the fireplace or getting pizza from a local spot, find something that you will remember “always doing” when on vacation together. I promise your kids will never forget! ✽

Disney on Ice, a traveling Broadway-style show or even a concert is a great reason for families to travel together!

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28 | DEC/JAN 2017 | DEC/JAN 2017


The Right Stuff:


While stuffing may be a popular holiday side dish across the board, the way it is prepared differs from kitchen to kitchen. Whether you prefer your stuffing sweet or savory, meatheavy or vegetarian friendly, we have a recipe for you! Pick up your favorite boxed stuffing mix (we like Pepperidge Farm’s Herb Seasoned Stuffing) as your base. Then, depending on your taste, add some of the mix ins below! If you prefer for your stuffing to have a nice crunch, follow directions for your chosen recipe and then bake in the oven according to package directions.


• 1 pound crumbled Italian sausage • 1 cup yellow onion, diced • 1 cup celery, diced • 4 tablespoons butter


• 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced • 1 cup leeks, sliced thin and rinsed well • 1 cup celery, diced • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 tablespoons butter • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian) Place oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates. Stir in leeks and celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until softened. Pour in broth and heat to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in packaged stuffing mixture. Let stand and thicken for five minutes before serving.

• 2 cups chicken broth Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once cooked through, transfer the sausage to a plate. In the same pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onions and cook for 8 minutes, or until onions are softened. Pour in broth and heat to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in packaged stuffing mixture. Let mixture stand and thicken for five minutes. Mix in sausage and serve.

forks & spoons Onion Stuffin g ge

Sau s




Onion Stuf e l fi pp




• 1 cup Granny Smith apples,



m-Leek S o o r tu h f us

• 1 cup yellow onion, diced • 1 cup celery, diced • 4 tablespoons butter • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian) Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Add apples and celery and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until apples are softened. Pour in broth and heat to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in packaged stuffing mixture. Let stand and thicken for five minutes before serving. | DEC/JAN 2017


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forks & spoons


Holiday Hostess Hosting a holiday dinner can be a stressful event. With turkey, ham and side dishes galore, there’s no doubt that you’ll have a lot on your plate, and without the right kitchen tools, it can quickly become overwhelming. From cooking to serving, these items will help take the stress out of your next holiday dinner.



Interchangeable toppers available!



5. 7.

6. 8.

11. 10.


1. Eucalyptus Stoneware Basket, $43.99, Kitchen & Spice and other things nice; 2. Threshold Serving Set, $19.99, Target/ 3. Nora Fleming Garnish Dish, $35.99, Kitchen & Spice and other things nice; Pine Cone Topper, $11.99, Kitchen & Spice and other things nice; Christmas Tree Topper, $12.99, Kitchen & Spice and other things nice 4. Krups Savoy 12 Cup Thermal Coffee Maker, $99.99, 5. Waring Pro WT90B 400-Watt Stainless Steel Warming Tray, $69.95, 6. Olivewood 3-Piece Cheese Knife Set, $24.99, 7. Mauviel M’Heritage 150b Roasting Pan, $269.96, 8. OXO Softworks Baster with Cleaning Brush, $9.99, Target/ 9. T-fal AirBake Natural Mega Cookie Sheet, $11.99, Target/ 10. Threshold Round Rim Gravy Boat, $5.99, Target/ 11. Taylor Gourmet Digital Cooking Thermometer with Probe and Timer, $17.99, Target/ | DEC/JAN 2017


forks & spoons

Holiday Pie Swap Party by colleen mctiernan

We all know that the real hero of the baking world during the holiday season is pie. From pumpkin to apple to pecan, there’s something about pies that just goes perfectly with winter weather. So say goodbye to the holiday cookie swap, and say hello to the pie swap! Hosting a pie swap is much like hosting a cookie swap. Just invite some pie-loving friends over (a max of eight works best for nice, thick slices) and have each one bring along a homemade pie, along with enough recipe cards for everyone invited. Then each guest can take a slice of pie home from each of the other pies for a true culinary delight! Stumped for pie ideas? Try Giggle reader Debi Revennaugh’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie, a chocolaty twist on a seasonal classic.

Pie Baking and Swapping Essentials!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie

Submitted by Debi Revennaugh • 1 piecrust

KitchenAid Pastry Blender $13.99, Target/

The Pioneer Woman Pie Dish $12.72, Walmart/

T-fal Ingenio NonStick Rolling Pin $13.99,

3-Tier Stackable Cooling Rack $12.99,

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• One 15-ounce can

pumpkin puree

• ½ teaspoon salt • 1 ½ cups milk • 3 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the piecrust in a 9-inch (or larger) pie pan, then place the pie pan on a cookie sheet for baking. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, salt, milk, egg, sugars and spices and mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and then pour into the piecrust.

Cover piecrust edge with foil to prevent burning during baking. Bake (on cookie sheet) for 70–80 • 2 tablespoons sugar minutes, removing the foil after the first 60 • 2 ¼ teaspoons pumpkin minutes. The pie is finished baking when the center appears solid. pie spice • M cup brown sugar

• ¼ teaspoon ground


• 1 cup semisweet

chocolate chips

Let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Visit for free printable recipe cards! | DEC/JAN 2017


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Dr. Nausheen Khuddus, M.D.

Board Certified Fellowship Trained Pediatric Ophthalmologist

Tammy Toskes

Certified Orthoptist

(352) 372-9414 ext. 257

4340 Newberry Road, Suite 301, Gainesville, FL 32607 | DEC/JAN 2017



Although Cricchio didn't promote screen time, per say, she did recommend that if children are watching TV, they should lie down on their stomachs with their head supported by the hands on bent elbows. Much like tummy time for infants, this position strengthens head and neck muscles. Sitting crossed legged can lead to slouching over and actually cause posture problems.

Proper Posture: Not a Thing of the Past! BY APRIL TISHER

Did you know that improper posture can lead to poor handwriting and inattentiveness in school? It can affect fine motor skills and pencil grip. According to it can also cause strain on your body, fatigue, achy muscles and joint stiffness. Educators, care takers and parents can look for these signs (as provided by occupational therapists) of poor posture or poor core strength in their children.

Slouching back in their chair Leaning forward, close to their paper Constantly moving or shifting positions Resting head in non-dominant hand or on the table Dangling non-dominant arm/hand beside body instead of using it to stabilize the paper Poor balance in their chair Fatigue or complaints of tiredness Sitting with good posture in the classroom as well as during homework time is integral to success. One thing to consider is to make sure your child is sitting with his feet flat on the ground. This helps to ensure that he is properly supported and sitting with knees, ankles and elbows at a 90-degree angle with thighs parallel to the floor.. If feet are dangling or crossed it changes the alignment of the body. There is even some connection to

Stacey Cricchio, MS, OTR-L , a pediatric occupational therapist in Gainesville explained that good posture in school age children begins prior to them ever entering a classroom and impacts them throughout their entire lives. “The biggest thing to teach to a child is to be aware of their bodies,” said Cricchio. “In a lot of cases they aren’t even aware of their own space.” This is why you often see children running and bumping into other students or slouching over and impeding others’ work areas. She feels that while it is helpful to give verbal cues to remind children of their posture, it is much more important to show them how so that they are able to exhibit good posture independently. Just five minutes of exercises can help children to build core strength and improve body awareness. “Your posture sets your frame of mind,” said Cricchio, and if you are sloppy and lazy, it will show in your performance. ✽

Television image designed by Freepik

“Sit up straight!” I’m sure you heard these words from your mom all the time while growing up. In my case, it was my grandmother who was the stickler for good posture when I was young. It may seem that things like proper posture went out the window with the “children should be seen and not heard” era, but that is not necessarily the case. What has changed is why posture is important. Society may be less concerned with it from a manners standpoint, but we are more in tune with how posture affects daily life, especially for children. Posture is simply described as the way in which your body is positioned; this can be while sitting, standing or lying down. Having good posture is a key component to a healthy child and to a successful student.

ensuring proper footwear so that his feet are properly supported. If the student’s legs are too short to reach the floor comfortably, consider a stool or foot prop to assist him. Make sure that your child is sitting with a straight back, slightly inclined toward the desk. Paper positioning is also a factor. The non-dominant hand should stabilize the paper, and the paper should be slightly tilted up toward the direction of the dominant hand. We may assume these things come naturally, but that may not be the case, and bad habits that are developed early are hard to correct. | DEC/JAN 2017



Achieving Your Best Brows

Brow Products:

BY KARA WINSLOW, Makeup Artist

Your eyebrows are the frame of your face; they provide structure and strength. Making sure your brows are "on fleek" as the kids say is actually one of the most important things you can do when doing your makeup. It can affect how everything else on your face will end up looking. Understanding the proper structure of your brows and using the correct products are key to creating your perfect look.


Your brow should start straight up from your nose. If it starts too far in, it’ll make your eyes look close set. And if your brows are too far apart, your eyes will look too wide set. If your brows start straight up from the nose your eyes will look properly proportioned.


The arch of the brow should be at the line from your nose to the outside of the iris of the eye. If the arch is in the wrong place it’ll cause you to look permanently scared or mad. Having the proper arch is what gives your face strength. Don’t get too dramatic with your arch because again it can make you look perpetually shocked or fake.


The tail of the eyebrow should end close to the end of the eye. If you let the tail go below that (or even your eye shadow) it’ll make your eye look droopy.

1. Urban Decay Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush: $20,, Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s 2. Laura Geller Brow Gel Pencil: $24, and Ulta 3. Circa Beauty Face Framing Brow Pencil: $10, Walgreens 4. Jane Iredale Retractable Brow Pencil: $20, 5. FLOWER Draw the Line Eyebrow Pencil: $6.98, Walmart/ 6. ybf Beauty Automatic Eyebrow Pencil: $12, 7. Urban Decay Brow Box: $30,, Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s 8. FLOWER Brow Master All-in-1 Brow Mascara: $6.98, Walmart/ 9. Peter Thomas Roth Brows To Die For Turbo: $85, and Sephora 10. L’Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Prep & Shape Pro Kit: $14.99, and drugstores nationwide 11. L’Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Definer: $8.99, and drugstores nationwide

Things to Avoid • Don’t go too dark or too light. Match the product to the root of your hair color for the most natural look. • Don’t create crazy shapes with your arch. • Don’t use a solid line when filling in your brows. Use feathery strokes so that it looks like real hair.

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Inner Eyebrow Styles • Trendy — Squared off with ombre coloring • Classic — More of a rounded (but not fully circled) look that is one constant color

12. Urban Decay Brow Tamer Flexible Hold Brow Gel: $20,, Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s

1 2 3 4 5

6 My favorite is ybf beauty’s universal taupe pencil. It does 22 shades depending on the pressure and has a spoolie brush at the end to brush through your brows to make the product look more like natural hair.






12 | DEC/JAN 2017


I t's the

Holiday Season!

Make this holiday season one for the books! From giving back to the community and celebrating in a more eco-friendly way to finding the perfect Christmas tree and getting creative with DIY menorahs, we have everything you need to make the holidays special. | DEC/JAN 2017


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Get crafty this holiday season with DIY menorahs! Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly version or something more understated, these menorahs are sure to please this Hanukkah!

Wood Block Menorah Supplies • Ten 2-inch wood blocks (found at Hobby Lobby) • Drill • Paint • Paintbrushes • Hot glue gun • Hanukkah candles • Safety goggles

Instructions Have a parent drill a hole about a half an inch deep in the center of nine of the blocks; this will be used to hold the candles in place. Be sure to use a drill bit that corresponds to the width of your candles. Remember to wear your safety goggles! Use the paint to decorate each of the blocks as you like. Keep in mind that the block without a hole will be stacked below another block, so the patterns should match. Once the paint has dried, use the hot glue gun to glue one of the drilled blocks on top of the block with no hole; this will create your shamash. Once dry, glue four blocks on one side and four on the other side of the shamash. Let glue set and then insert candles into the drilled holes. | DEC/JAN 2017


The Menorahsaur Supplies • 9 small dinosaur toys • 9 birthday candle holders • One 4-inch by 16-inch routered

signboard (Found at Hobby Lobby)

• One 2-inch wood block (Found at

Hobby Lobby)

• Hammer • Nails • Spray paint (We used silver, dark blue,

blue and light blue)

• Hot glue gun • Hanukkah candles • Safety goggles

Instructions Have a parent create a small hole for the candle holders on the top of each dinosaur by puncturing through the plastic using the nail. Hold the dinosaur steady and tap the nail into the back using the hammer. Remember to wear your safety goggles! Remove nail so that hole is visible. Place hot glue on the bottoms of the candle holders and insert into the holes, being sure to hold each candle holder straight until the glue is dried. Once the glue sets, spray paint the dinosaurs, the wood base and the wood block (be sure to do this step outdoors!). We used silver spray paint for the base and the block and dark blue, blue and light blue for the dinosaurs to create an ombre effect. Let the spray paint dry and apply a second coat if needed. Once dry, hot glue the wood block to the middle of the wood base. Use your hot glue gun to glue eight of the dinosaurs to the wood base (four on each side of the wood block) making sure to maintain even spacing throughout. Glue the ninth dinosaur on top of the wood block; this one will serve as the shamash. Place the candles into the candle holders and enjoy! (For ours, our shamash dinosaur held the candle in his arms.)

48 | DEC/JAN 2017

Remember to always supervise children while crafting!

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Dur ing the Holidays



he holiday season is here. Neighbors are decking out their front yards with string lights and plastic figurines. Moms are baking gingerbread cookies and frying up latkes. The smell of pine needles is lingering from the ornately adorned tree in the living room, and the candles on the menorah are illuminating the windows. The remnants of wrapping paper rolls are coiled haphazardly in the closet, and loose ribbons are trailing out from beneath the door. But the cheeriest time of year is not all about presents, pine trees, Santa Claus and sweets. What makes the holiday season so wonderful is the giving spirit so many people exemplify. This year, embrace the holidays by enriching the lives of others in your community and all over the world. Below are some ways to can give back here in Alachua County.

Miracle on Main Street

Toys for Tots

The Junior League of Gainesville hosts a “toy sale” every year for families who are unable to purchase holiday gifts for their children. Participating families come to the Miracle on Main Street toy sale with their voucher on the first Saturday of December and peruse the warehouse to select gifts for their children. You can help by sponsoring a toy for $30, a bicycle for $60 or a family for $120. You can also donate new or gently used toys or bikes to contribute to the warehouse. For more information, visit

During the holiday season, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve collects new and unwrapped toys for children in need. You can help by donating toys to spread joy to underprivileged children. For more information and to find the drop-off location closest to you, visit  

Wish Upon a Star Holiday Gift Drive Every year, Partnership for Strong Families orchestrates a gift drive that benefits children in the foster care system and those who have abusive or neglectful living situations. The children make wish lists, and the Wish Upon a Star Holiday Gift Drive aims to fulfill every one of those wishes. You can help by sponsoring a child’s wish list and supplying them with the gifts they requested. For more information and to become a sponsor, visit

50 | DEC/JAN 2017

Angel Tree

The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program provides holiday gifts to children in need. You can help by sponsoring a child and donating the items on their wish list. For more information, visit

Operation Christmas Child

This seasonal project, run by the Samaritan’s Purse, fills shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and toiletries to send to children around the world who are in need. You can help out by donating shoeboxes and/or items and by volunteering to fill boxes. For more information and to find the drop-off location closest to you, visit ✽

Looking to volunteer your time or make a donation to a food pantry? Check out some of the below! • St. Francis House • Bread of the Mighty Food Bank • Gainesville Community Ministry • Catholic Charities Gainesville • University of Florida’s Field & Fork Campus Food Program • Holy Trinity Episcopal Church • Dome of Resources Food Pantry at Mount Olive AME Church • Gainesville Area AIDS Project • Project Downtown Gainesville • Manna Market Mondays at the Upper Room









e e r t

1 0 1 o by n ic

l e g erm


After the pumpkin patches disappear and the Thanksgiving china is put away, shiny garland and bright-bulbed strings of light begin to show their faces once more. They cling to evergreen pine branches and transform blank canvases into art. These works of art sparkle through windows and make the holidays complete, but what makes just the right Christmas tree twinkle for you? When deciding on just the right tree, it’s important to know the signs of a healthy tree. Picking a ripe tree has a lot to do with smell and touch. Make sure it not only smells fresh, but looks fresh, too.

What to look for

• When choosing a tree, grab a handful of needles — do they smell like Christmas? If so, it’s a keeper! If there’s no scent, move on to the next one. • Test branches by holding them in your hand and pulling them slightly forward. If needles fall all around you, the tree’s life is almost up. • Another way to test the freshness of a tree is by taking a needle and snapping it in half. If it snaps, it’s fresh. If it bends, it was cut sometime ago. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can pick the right tree after reaching three conclusions:

❶ Height — From floor to ceiling, what’s the height of the room the tree will be displayed in? Are you adding a topper?

❷ Type — Fresh cut or fake? Fraser fir or balsam fir? ❸ Shape — Short or tall? Skinny or bushy?

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top tips for Keeping trees fresh

Fake I t or Go F resh? FAKE TREES

• Get the base of the tree cut by about an inch so the tree is able to easily take in water. • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Just like us, trees need water to stay at their very best. Letting the water level fall below the base could prevent further water intake. • Don’t add anything to the water; straight H20 is all that the tree needs.

Safety tips for trees


• Check strands of lights for any frayed or bare wires, and always make sure to unplug any lights before leaving the house or going to sleep. • Place tree away from fireplaces, heaters, radiators and entertainment centers. • Be cautious of children and animals getting too close to the tree. Always make sure little ones are supervised when playing around the Christmas tree. • Don't try to burn trees in fireplaces or wood stoves. Burning them could cause flames and sparks due to the sap from the tree.


PROS Buying real trees can support small, local farmers.

It can be used over and over. It saves money. You don’t have to worry about keeping the tree watered. Cleanup is less messy — no needles!

Picking a new tree every year is a great activity to bring the family together. You get the fresh Christmas tree scent! They’re much easier to recycle and easily turned into mulch or fertilizer.

CONS You don’t get that fresh Christmas tree scent. Pieces go missing.

• Never use electric lights on a metal tree.


Fake trees are made from plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and sometimes can be contaminated with lead. They’re harder to recycle and made of non-biodegradable material that becomes an environmental issue.

Picking out a Christmas tree can sometimes be a bit costly. Upkeep includes continuously watering and vacuuming pine needles. Transporting the tree can sometimes be a hassle. Most real trees are grown with pesticides that can be become harmful in certain situations.

What happens to fresh trees after the holidays? Christmas trees are considered yard trash and will be picked up from the curb after the holidays. Limbs can be no longer than 5 feet, so you may have to cut your tree. If curbside pickup is not an option for you, then you can take your tree any of the Alachua County Rural Collection Centers. Visit to find a location near you. | DEC/JAN 2017


Making Your Winter



Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. That’s a ton of trash, no pun intended. Thankfully, there are plenty of things we can do to help minimize our holiday environmental impact.

Cut the lights

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle! We’re not saying you shouldn’t put up your favorite holiday lights. Going green for the holidays isn’t about stripping away all of the seasonal splendor, just being more mindful about it. So, instead of keeping your lights on all night ’til morning, turn them off when you go to bed. And instead of turning on the lights for the tree the minute you get home, wait until you’re settled into the room where you’ll actually enjoy the lights to turn them on. Not only will you use less energy, you’ll also save on your holiday electric bill, too. Win-win.

Regift your gift wrap

According to The Recycler's Handbook, half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. That’s a massive amount of paper, but the silver lining is that all this paper doesn’t need to go to waste. Rather than tearing it to shreds or crumpling it up and throwing it into the trash, just neatly fold the wrapping paper left over and stash it away to use for next year.

Party pool

Headed to your company’s holiday party or a friend’s annual shindig? Pair up with some other attendees in your neighborhood and carpool. Not only will this help to save the environment from emissions, but you might save on parking fees, too. And if you think a silly carpool wouldn’t really make that much of a difference, The Use Less Stuff Report said that if each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon (about 20 miles), we'd reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tons. As you can see, small individual changes can add up to a big collective impact. And if the holidays are all about giving, shouldn’t we give the gift of going green to Mother Earth?

Repurpose your tree What with the smell of pine wafting through the house and the family memories made while trimming the tree, it’s a shame that at the end of the season your tree simply gets discarded at the curb or in a nearby dumpster.

Give your tree a second life by making sure it doesn’t end up in a landfill, but instead goes to a center where it’ll be recycled into mulch or other recycled products.

Send season’s green-ings

According to CalRecycle, an estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States. That’s enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Now, we already know buying, writing and getting your cards in the mail is a chore, so why not make it easier for yourself and the planet by going digital with your season’s greetings? There are some beautiful digital card options you can find from Paperless Post, JibJab and American Greetings. If you really can’t let go of the idea of sending a good, old-fashioned card, opt for ones made from recycled or reused paper. | DEC/JAN 2017


Counting on

Cot ton


Fluffy and white, cotton has been grown in the American South for over 400 years, and now we’re never too far from a product made from cotton! But how much do we really know about this beautiful cash crop that has so infiltrated our lives? Here are some fun facts about one of our favorite fibers! • Cotton is grown in 17 states in the southern U.S., including Florida, New Mexico and Texas, which grows more cotton than any other state. • China and India lead the U.S. in cotton production. • Cotton is a fiber and a food crop. The seeds are used to make cottonseed oil. • It is illegal to grow cotton on your own in states where cotton is a cash crop due to the Boll Weevil Eradication Program. • Boll weevils are insects that feed on cotton buds and flowers, and they can destroy a cotton crop. • Cotton is not naturally absorbent. It is coated in oils and waxes so that it can’t get wet and rot in the field. These oils and waxes are removed during processing. • Cotton is stronger when it is wet and can absorb up to 27 times its own weight. • The most commonly grown cotton varieties are Upland, Egyptian, Sea Island, Tanguis and Pima. • One bale of cotton can produce 215 pairs of jeans or 313,600 $100 bills. • Cotton seeds have been found in Peru that date all the way back to 450 BC.


SOURCES (International Cotton Committee) | DEC/JAN 2017 | DEC/JAN 2017


happy home




Kids love to participate in gift giving during the holiday season, and anyone who loves your kids will appreciate a homemade gift. But it can be hard to find projects that little hands can handle. Here are five super easy gifts kids can make with just a little help from mom and dad.   by TIFFANY DOERR GUERZON

Tile Coasters and Trivets Drink coasters and trivets are a practical way to keep kids’ art on display year-round. Purchase plain ceramic tiles at a home improvement store — buy small tiles to create drink coasters and larger sized tiles for trivets. Turn the kids loose with permanent markers and let them draw, write or scribble directly on the shiny side of the ceramic tiles. To set the drawings, either spray with a clear sealer or bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Allow the tiles to cool completely in the oven before removing them.

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Coffee Cozies For a coffee-loving grandparent or parent, decorate reusable coffee cozies from felt. Next time you get a cup of joe from your local coffee shop, keep the paper sleeve that goes around the cup. Take the sleeve apart at the point where the two edges are glued together and lay flat; this will be your pattern. Trace the shape onto the felt and cut out. Older kids can stitch designs with embroidery thread onto the felt cutouts, and younger kids can draw with permanent markers. A parent can then sew the ends together for a thoughtful and eco-friendly gift.

Magnetic Frames Family members love to receive current pictures of the kids. Make the photo extra special with a personalized frame. Cut a piece of cardboard to a size that is one inch larger than the picture on all sides. Glue the picture in the center of the cardboard cutout. Adhere construction paper strips or Popsicle sticks to the periphery of the “frame.” Protect the picture by covering it with a piece of scrap paper and painter’s tape, then let your kids decorate the frame with paint, markers, glitter, buttons or stickers. When completely dry, remove the scrap paper and add an adhesive-back magnet to the masterpiece for displaying on the fridge.

Art Book Kids love to show off their handmade creations! Purchase a 1-inch binder with a clear pocket on the front, and fill the binder with top loading page protectors. Have your kid choose five to 10 of his favorite works of art and insert into the page protectors. Create a cover by dipping his hand in paint and making a handprint on an 8.5 by 11-inch piece of paper. When dry, label with the child’s name and age, and then insert into the front pocket cover. This makes for a perfect coffee table book!

Steppingstones Make a permanent memory with concrete steppingstones. This is a project best done outside. You can purchase a steppingstone mold at a craft store or use a disposable cake pan. Mix up a batch of fast-setting concrete and pour into the mold. Decorate the stone by making hand or footprints, or pressing in mosaic tiles/ pretty stones. Write in the child’s name and age with a sharp stick. Allow the stone to dry 24–48 hours before removing it from the mold. | DEC/JAN 2017


happy home reminiscing. Only you can decide how many cards or holiday letters you have the room to store. If the ghosts of holidays past start to overwhelm your space, purge the collection. ●●

Put away gifts after purging one or even two items from the same category. New mugs? Recycle old ones. A new sweater? Sorry, but you have to remove one or two worn models. You can start a box for items to regift, being careful to note who gave you the item originally, or a bag for donations as a tribute to your holiday spirit. You also might want to set aside inventory for a yard sale.


To avoid having the kiddos feel overwhelmed by the new toys, set up a rotation plan. Some folks call this a toy library. An old favorite that has been shelved for a while and then pulled out on a rainy day can spark hours of happy play. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, indeed. Formal toy drives may be ending, but many agencies around town still need donated toys for their young clients.


The kitchen usually takes a beating during the holidays because of the unrelenting emphasis on food. If you don’t have the time or energy to tackle those messy oven racks or sticky refrigerator shelves, invest in paid help, a practical present for yourself.


Unless you’re filling the accumulated empty mailing boxes with donations, recycle them. Now, take out that fresh 2017 calendar or use your favorite calendar app to schedule time for these organizing activities. Meet with the family to gather ideas for who wants to do what and when. All of you will transition out of holiday mode feeling nicely organized, just in time for Valentine’s Day! ✽


Queries from the Curious Q

I love the holidays because the activities stimulate my creativity and bring my family close together. I’m not so inspired by the thought of dealing with the aftermath — stuff that turns into clutter. Any chance you could give me a game plan to deal with, well, the mess? So you relate well to the Elf on the Shelf, but what you really want is guidance from the Mess Fairy? It’s ironic that one of the top five New Year’s resolutions is the vow that “this year, I’ll get organized.” OK, ease up on the consumption of sugar cookies so you avoid feeling lethargic and sink your teeth into these guidelines

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for making a graceful transition from December into January. ●●


Have a de-trimming party to involve the family with the packing. Put the decorations away carefully so they are clean and ready to be enjoyed again next year. Trees, wreaths, lights and all of your decorative trinkets probably have plastic or durable corrugated boxes. Buy whatever you need to house your collection and then label the contents or affix photos for easy identification. Put any extra lights into the boxes with the light strands. Use the holiday cards you received to update your contact lists. Cut out the return address labels and tape them to the front of the cards. Put these into a holiday box for “processing” later. Some of us like to save cards until the next holiday season, although few of us ever take the time to pull them out for

 Helen Kornblum is a life coach and organizer in Gainesville, Florida. Find her at Her specialty is coaching teens and young adults who have ADHD.

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EGACY L L at fort clarke | DEC/JAN 2017




! ! ! U O Y tiernan

by colleen mc

Birthdays come but once a year, and on that day the birthday girl/boy deserves to be pampered. But sometimes pampering can get a little expensive. Check out these free birthday goodies around town for a wallet-friendly way to be treated all day long. Most of these freebies do require prior signup, but just a little bit of work before the big day will add up to a lot of reward.

Gigi’s Cupcakes

Meals Beverages

Get a free birthday cupcake when you sign up for Gigi’s Cupcake Lovers Rewards.

Harry’s Join the Harry’s mailing list and receive a coupon for a special birthday treat.

If you want to spend your birthday sipping away on a complimentary beverage, swing on over to one of the below!

Krispy Kreme

Dunkin Donuts


Get a free birthday beverage by signing up for the DDPerks Rewards Program.

Planet Smoothie

Download the Krispy Kreme Rewards app for a free birthday treat.

Sign up for Planet Smoothie’s Birthday Club for a free smoothie.

Looking for something a little more substantial? Check out the below for a free birthday meal!


Ballyhoo Grill

Sign up for My Starbucks Rewards 30 days before your birthday to receive a free beverage or treat! Starbucks usually adds this reward two days before your birthday, so you can start your celebrations a bit early.

Sweet Treats

If you’re looking to celebrate with a sweet treat, try visiting one (or all!) of the below for complimentary desserts. Cold Stone Creamery Sign up for the My Cold Stone Club and get a BOGO ice cream coupon along with a coupon for $3 off an ice cream cake.

Dairy Queen Become a member of the Blizzard Fan Club for a coupon on your birthday!

Dragonfly Head on over to Dragonfly for a free birthday dessert. Just be sure to sign up for their rewards program beforehand.

Embers Make plans to stop at Embers for a complimentary serving of house-made specialty ice cream. They also offer ice cream (or champagne!) for anniversaries.

Join the Free Lobster Birthday Club at to receive a coupon for a free lobster to use on your birthday. Just be sure to bring your ID with you!

Beque Holic No sign up needed for this one! Just bring your ID and you can enjoy complimentary all you can eat Korean BBQ not just on your birthday, but two days before and two days after.

Firehouse Subs Sign up for Firehouse Rewards before your birthday to receive a free medium sub, valid once on your birthday or within the following six days.

IHOP Join IHOP’s Pancake Revolution and get a free birthday meal!

Moe’s Southwest Grill Sign up for the rewards program and get free burrito on your birthday.

Red Robin Become a Red Robin Royalty member for a free burger during your birthday month.

Zaxby’s Sign up for the Zax Mail Club and receive a free Nibbler on your birthday.



Ace Hardware Receive a $5 off coupon for your birthday after signing up for Ace Rewards.

Just for kids

American Eagle Outfitters Sign up for AERewards and receive 15 percent off during your birthday month when you share your email.


Join DSW Rewards for a special birthday offer sent to your email.

Exclusively available to Rewards“R”Us members, your little one can sign up for Geoffrey’s birthday Club. Until your kiddo turns 10, he or she can receive a birthday card and special gift from Geoffrey every year.

J. Crew



Join the Factory First email list for an extra 20 percent off plus free shipping on your birthday.

Sephora Sign up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider club for a free mini set available for pickup at checkout online or in store during the month of your birthday.

For kiddos 12 and under, be sure to sign up for the Journeys Kidz Birthday Club. They’ll receive a birthday card along with a special offer, like a 15 percent off gift card.

Sun Country Sports Center All customers in the Sun Country system receive a birthday card, and you can receive $5 off a birthday party package if you bring the card in!

Ulta Beauty Get a free birthday gift and double points on all purchases during your birthday month with by signing up for Ultamate Rewards.

Victoria’s Secret Just by signing up for their email list, you’ll receive a coupon during your birthday month!

Does your business have a birthday freebie not listed here? We want to know about it! Drop us a line at | DEC/JAN 2017


learn Suzie Carlisle,

Angela Bounds,

I resolve to teach my kids how to cut their own fingernails and wash their own hair because it's high time the full service salon I've been running for 10 years shuts down.

To be much more disciplined as it relates to getting homework done early in the afternoon. It can be overwhelming, but I need to make sure we don't push it too late because then it's even harder to get the boys to sit down to work. Wish me luck!!

mom of two

Rachel Espetia, mom of three

One day a week we will try to devote time to learning about a new culture/country! For example, if we are doing France we will to try to make a traditional French dish that we can make together as a family, and then research fun facts about the country that we can share with each other!

Danielle Spano, mom of two

Take a vacation!

mom of two

Family Resolutions

Nicole Irving, mom of three

Had enough of the stereotypical health and wellness resolutions that always fall to the wayside about halfway through the year? Instead of doing away with resolutions all together, try making a family-wide resolution that you can all keep together! Check out these local moms’ resolutions for the New Year.

This year I really want to be more fun and laugh more with the kids! Also, I vow to get my 8-year-old to try new foods, like spaghetti and meatballs, before the year is over!

Leslie Vega, mom of two

1. Tone down the schedule! Make more room for down time together.

Lesley Cox,

2. Have more patience. If I can conquer resolution No. 1, with that down time comes less stress, which equals a much more patient mommy.

mom of two

Acknowledge that some battles are not worth fighting! A good friend once told me that when you have kids you must evaluate everything by the three S’s — Simplicity, Safety and Sanity. You have to ask yourself "Is there a simple, less complicated, way to accomplish this task? Is everyone  safe? Am I still going to have my sanity to stay calm and enjoy living in the moment with my children?" Sometimes we go out of the way to create these "moments" with our children, when in reality, simply being present, attentive and stress free is best. 

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3. Get outside more with my kids and be active TOGETHER.

Brooke Newell, mom of two

To not spend so much time on my phone. Now that my business involves so much social media, I often am on my phone at times I shouldn't be!

4. Be more consistent with the disciplining. It can be tough sometimes for a single mommy with a passive disposition. 5. Dare I say it? Go to Moe's more often. The kids love it there. | DEC/JAN 2017




Children do not come with an instruction manual. For some parents, not having a formula or a guidebook to teach them how to manage their children causes a lot of anxiety and thus causes parents to create their own manual. There are people who need the manuals, routines, step-by-step instructions, and that is OK. However, while children thrive on regular routines, they also require some flexibility. And if a parent insists on having a harsh approach when it comes to these routines, the children will be the ones to suffer.

Strict vs Harsh

Let’s start with a couple of definitions. The dictionary defines strict as “closely or rigorously enforced or maintained.” So a strict parent has rules and doesn’t typically stray from these rules. Harsh is defined as “grim or unpleasantly severe.” An example of harsh parenting would include verbally abusing your child for making a mistake. It is important to understand the line between being a strict parent and a harsh parent to avoid having a negative effect on your child.


So, a parent’s anxiety about parenting can lead him to be a harsh parent, which can then lead to an anxious child. And the cycle goes round and round. A 2014 study of adult children of authoritarian parents indicated these individuals had difficulty facing adversity as a result of harsh parenting. Another study conducted at Stony Brook University had similar results. Clinical psychologist Greg Proudfit studied 3-yearolds and their parents as the children worked

on a puzzle. He analyzed the parents’ behaviors, noting how controlling and/or encouraging they were. Proudfit studied the same families three years later and the rate of anxiety disorders were higher in children with punitive parents. He explained that error-related negativity, which is a pattern in our brain that helps us become cautious of repeating mistakes, is impacted by parents who are quick to criticize. These children have learned to internalize parents’ feedback and respond to any challenge with anxiety.


Who knew that rigid rules in the home could lead to childhood obesity? Children of stern parents who refused to communicate with them regarding rules and their behavior are 30 percent more likely to be obese than their peers whose parents were affectionate and open to discussion. This suggests that children may overeat or use increased screen time to manage their symptoms. This doesn’t suggest that we should be relaxed and not set rules with our children to avoid health problems. But, in conjunction with the rules, there also needs to be a dialogue between parents and

As with everything in life, there needs to be a balance in your parenting, between control and warmth, between rules and freedom. 68 | DEC/JAN 2017

children. Communication is important in any relationship, and it conveys affection and respect when used effectively.

Self esteem

Punitive parenting can lead to a child having low self-esteem and make him more likely to experience symptoms of depression. Children need to be allowed to make simple mistakes in a safe environment. For example, if your child spills a cup of milk, instead of yelling at him, approach it with, “oh well, accidents happen.” When parents overly monitor their children, this behavior can contribute to a child’s delinquency. A parent’s controlling behavior does not give the child freedom to explore life on their own. So, when they do get a taste of freedom as adults, they may rebel in very negative ways.

Finding balance

Strict, harsh, authoritarian, permissive — so many choices! As with everything in life, there needs to be a balance in your parenting, between control and warmth, between rules and freedom. The relationship between you and your child is important for your child’s development and understanding of what a healthy relationship looks like. If you’re having difficulty finding this balance (either with imposing rules or allowing freedom), seek the help of a family therapist who can provide resources to assist you on your parenting journey. ✽ | DEC/JAN 2017



Beyond the Numbers: Teaching Your Children Math Without Them Knowing BY KELLY GOEDE

Long before your little peanut will be required to demonstrate algebra proficiency on an exam, she will look to you — her parent — to help her lay the foundations of her math knowledge and understanding. Starting when she is a baby, her brain is buzzing with activity, making sense of the world around her and learning the beginnings of math concepts just by interacting with you and her environment. And even before she enters preschool, you can help her learn concepts beyond counting and number recognition by occupying her in fun activities where she won’t even know she’s learning math. Water might just be the key to preschool happiness, and the water table invites children to explore concepts like volume and measurement. According to Carol M. Gross, at, “Recurring water play with varying tools and materials is certainly a natural venue through which to support beginning and ongoing science learning.” As children pour, predict and watch objects float, they are observing scientific and mathematical principles in action. And as the parent, you should engage them in meaningful conversation to help them make sense of their observations. Gross goes on to say that, “at strategic moments, during play with water and tools, [parents] typically ask intentional questions to extend children’s thinking.” Asking questions that go beyond

and laying out the shapes on a cookie sheet in a pattern primes their brains for geometry.

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yes or no answers will make your child’s play as meaningful as it is fun.

connect the math concepts he’s observing to something yummy he gets to eat.

Beyond the water table, the allure of food can entice your child to learn math concepts by helping you cook and bake. Using measuring cups introduces fractions. Using the oven launches the notion of temperature. Setting the timer invites a discussion of time. Using cookie cutters introduces shapes, and laying out the shapes on a cookie sheet in a pattern primes their brains for geometry. Engaging your child in discussion throughout the cooking and baking experience will help him

Using math language in everyday conversation is another simple way to help your child understand ideas that he will be using daily as she enters school and beyond. Kristin Stanberry, at suggests having your child name numbers and shapes and “help him understand concepts like more than/less than, bigger/ smaller, and near/far.” By age 3 or 4, she states that children should “correctly count at least five objects, put written numbers from 1 to 5 in the correct order, and understand concepts of quantity … and size.” Math — despite what you may have told your parents in the middle of fifth grade — is something we use every day and can actually be fun! Helping your child enjoy math concepts is a gift you give them that will benefit them throughout their entire lives. Look for opportunities to connect real life activities to math concepts and someday your child might just thank you.

© 2017 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

cookie cutters ›› Using introduces shapes,

Using measuring cups and spoons introduces fractions! | DEC/JAN 2017


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THE 2016

GREAT BIG Holiday Toy GIFT GUIDE! (psst...for every budget!) | DEC/JAN 2017


THE 2016


Emojiez Buddiez u Your emoji-loving kid is sure to enjoy these mini collectible characters and trading cards. $3.99, Specialty Retailers

Boiserie Toys Round Rattle q This fun and interactive rattle is great for developing hand and eye coordination. Dishwasher safe.




Super Impulse 3-D Motokits Construction Series q Build your own 3D, wind-up toy in minutes. Punch out, assemble, wind-up and go! $4.99, Walmart/

A-Maze-Ball Maze Game q Challenge their noggins with this handheld maze game. Each color represents a different difficulty level. $9.99,

Paperpunk Graffiti Stickers u These fun stickers are a modern mix of graphics, patterns, and letters, to customize notebooks, folders, planners and more!

$4.99, Specialty Retailers

World's Smallest Fisher Price Little People Schoolbus u This the smallest school bus you'll ever meet! Have big fun with these tiny travelers, itsy bitsy dog and spinning bus driver. $6.99, Specialty Retailers

t Safari Chunky Puzzle This extra thick wooden puzzle includes seven easy-grasp safari animal pieces with a matching picture underneath. $9.99,

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THE 2016

Melissa and Doug Don’t Be Greedy Game u This game of risk and reward challenges kids to strategize in order to collect the most jewels and win. $19.99,




Pressman Toys SMATH p This game makes learning math skills like multiplication, subtraction, division and addition fun for everyone! $17.99,

The Bridge Direct Space Invaders Mini Arcade Game u Take on waves of aliens with your laser gun (controlled by the mini joy stick) and enjoy authentic arcade sounds as you play. $19.99, Walmart/

LeapFrog Count & Crawl Number Kitty u Get your child started on learning number skills early with this musical counting cat. $19.99,

t Melissa and Doug Set of Fairy Tale Time Hand Puppets Kids can act out a scene from Little Red Riding Hood with these four simple glove puppets. $19.99, Alex Brands Scientific Explorer Geo Smash Mining u Perfect for kiddos interested in geology, this kit includes a block with four types of minerals for child to find. $14.99, Target/ | DEC/JAN 2017


Auldey Toys Sky Rover Voice Command Missile Launcher u This remote control helicopter comes with a headset so your kiddo can give commands like “Missile Fire” and “Enemy Scan.” $45, Specialty Retailers

THE 2016



LeapFrog Count Along Register p This cute cash register sings, counts and talks as your child pretends to check out shoppers. $24.99,


Strawberry Shortcake Retro House Playset & Dolls u These sweet-smelling, 6-inch dolls are authentic reproductions of the original characters that your kids will enjoy playing with. $31.99,

Just Play Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Diggity Dancing Mickey p Your kids can dance alongside this Mickey with five interactive sequences, including jokes from Mickey! $29.99, Walmart/ Just Play Lion Guard Training Lair q This 3-foot tall play set features a light up waterfall, a bungee launcher and a zip line as well as Kion and Janja figures to play with. $39.82,



t Nesting & Sorting Garages & Cars Each of the seven graduated garages comes with a car that matches in both size and color so that your child can exercise her counting and matching skills. $24.99,

p XShot Bug Attack Eliminator & 2 Predator TK-3 Combo Each of the seven graduated With five Creepeez Bug targets and three blasters, your kiddos can team up to go on a bug hunt.

$24.99, Toys“R”Us/

2016 Hess Toy Truck and Dragster u With over 50 lights and drag-racing inspired sounds, these this duo is a sleek addition to your kiddo’s toy car collection. $31.99,

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Mio Animal Set q Every house needs a furry friend! This dog and cat are a great addition to the Mio playset. $10, Little Jill & Co.

THE 2016



Mio Playing + Eating + Sleeping + Working + 2 People p This brightly colored multi-piece playset is perfect for inspiring any little builder's imagination. $100, Little Jill & Co.


HearthSong Set of Two BBOP Balls p Let your kiddos gear up in these translucent blue balls and then bounce and bump their way around for a funfilled day. $69.98,

p Sky Viper Hover Racer These drones race at up to 20 MPH and connect to your smart device to complete time trials or track races against up to four other drones.

WowWee 8015 Robosapien u Designed by a NASA scientist, this friendly little robot comes with more than 60 pre-programmable actions, accessible from the included remote. $72, Walmart/

$88, Walmart/

Melissa and Doug Turtle Ball Pit u This multi-textured ball pit comes with 60 squeezable balls, a teething ring and a soft ball rattle. $79.99,

Radio Flyer Classic Glide and Go Balance Bike q This pedal-free bike with adjustable seat is perfect for teaching beginners how to balance. $57.85, Walmart/ | DEC/JAN 2017


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❶ Blue Stone Bracelet Family Jewels and Purse Strings

❷ Etched Gator Wine Glass $34.99, Kitchen and Spice and other things nice

❸ Darwin’s Dinosaur Egg Puzzle $13,


for the


The holidays aren’t just about gifts for the kiddos … mom and dad deserve something nice, too! ❹ Planet Zak Arcadia Stainless Steel Growler $46.99,

❺ Nina Nguyen Zen Dharma Amethyst Druzy

$295, Lang Jewelers

❻ Nina Nguyen Wisteria Divine Lotus Amethyst Druzy Bracelet $195, Lang Jewelers

❼ Smathers & Branson Florida Life Needlepoint Belt $165, Pennington & Bailes

❽ Lilly Pulitzer Journal in Ocean Jewels $16, Pink Narcissus

80 | DEC/JAN 2017 | DEC/JAN 2017


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conception2college™  expecting Sleeping for Two

 infant | 0-1 Is It Time to Ditch the Baby Food?

 toddler | 2-3 The Potential Risks of Thumb-Sucking and How to Break the Habit

 early years | 4-5 How to Enforce the Ps & Qs

 kids | 6-9 Playing It Safe on the Playground

 tweens | 10-13 Why Do They Have to Move?

 Teens | 14-18

Photo by Sincerely Gone Photography.

What Did She Say? Defining Teen Slang | DEC/JAN 2017






Any new parent will tell you that getting sleep is almost impossible. But did you realize that sleep difficulties start during pregnancy? A poll by the National Sleep Foundation showed that almost 80 percent of pregnant women have difficulty sleeping. New mothers and pregnant women are more likely to suffer from insomnia than at any other point in their lives. Why is it so hard to sleep when you’re pregnant? Well, pregnancy is uncomfortable! Here are some common reasons why pregnant women lose sleep and possible remedies.


Pregnancy-related physical changes and weight gain cause lots of aches and pains. Using a maternity belt during the day can decrease discomfort at night. You should also create a sleep ritual to help you get a better night’s rest. Avoid any technology an hour prior to bed, set a comfortable temperature in the bedroom and use a supportive bed or recliner. A warm bath, yoga, meditation, stretching and deep breathing can prepare the body for rest. Many women find relief with a full body pillow or by placing a pillow between their legs to provide support. Although occasionally sleeping on your back will not harm a fetus, it is recommended to sleep on either your right or left side not only to help improve blood flow, but also to help support your growing belly.

Heartburn and reflux

Heartburn can also keep pregnant women awake at night. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t get heartburn because your baby has hair. Heartburn and

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reflux can occur due to a growing uterus pushing up on the stomach along with slower transit time through the G.I. tract. This causes acid buildup and slower movement through your intestines. Treat heartburn as it happens with over-thecounter antacids and by sleeping with an additional pillow.

positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a safe and effective treatment for sleep apnea during pregnancy. ✽


Nighttime bathroom trips

Pregnant women urinate more frequently because their kidneys are filtering twice as fast as when they’re not pregnant. The enlarging uterus can push on the bladder and also increase the sensation of having to go. Limit the amount of fluid you drink before bed to help this.


Increased progesterone causes nasal congestion, which can disrupt sleep. Using nasal strips to widen your nasal passages and elevating your head may help. Snoring is also common during pregnancy. Overweight or obese women who become pregnant, women who gain excessive weight and women who report heavy snoring or gasping awake should be evaluated for sleep apnea. Continuous

Restless leg syndrome can affect up to 30 percent of pregnant women. Although it is poorly understood, culprits may include deficiencies in iron, folate or calcium. Walking, stretching and improving your intake of green leafy vegetables and calcium may help relieve this. One of the best ways to improve sleep quality is exercise. Regular exercise during the week will help you sleep more soundly at night. And don’t hesitate to take a short nap! Follow these tips to help you rest and have the energy to care for your sweet newborn.

Dr. Fareeduddin is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist in Gainesville, Florida. Follow her on Twitter @rizwanafl


Take Care of You. 352.331.3332

Helping You Live a Healthy Lifestyle. | DEC/JAN 2017




ages 0-1

Is it Time to Ditch Baby Food? Introducing Baby-Led Weaning BY TARYN TACHER to your meal that are suitable for your baby to eat than it is to take out the blender or food processor to create “baby food.” Baby-led weaning puts less stress on your baby because she can eat at her own pace, without feeling the pressure of a spoonful of mush zooming toward her mouth in true airplane fashion. And because your baby is feeding herself, you are free to eat at the same time.

“I was breastfeeding and planned to keep doing that for a year,” said Caitlin Maribona mother of one with another on the way. “Baby-led weaning seemed like a natural fit for both of us. It allowed us to continue breastfeeding and [my daughter] to try out different tastes and textures.

Parenthood is new and exciting when you are experiencing it for the first time. It is full of changes, firsts and a ton of decisions. From the moment you learn you are expecting, you are faced with countless choices. And once the baby is here, the choices only multiply. What will you name your baby? How will you and your partner divide up the roles of parenthood? What type of parent do you want to be?

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Baby-led weaning exposes your child to a wide variety of healthy foods early on, which may make them more likely to enjoy these foods later on in life. “Some observational studies would seem to suggest that baby-led weaning may lead to healthier eating habits, healthier growth and infants who will be less picky about what they eat as toddlers and beyond,” said Dr. Howell. And while babies are feeding themselves, they are exercising their motor skills as they bring their hands back and forth from their food to their mouths.   “Right off the bat, she was exposed to various tastes and textures,” Maribona said of daughter, Cecilia. “She has never been a picky eater, and I truly think it’s because she tried such a wide range of food (that wasn’t mush) before her first birthday. We didn’t have to prepare separate foods or constantly run to the store for more baby food. She ate what we ate, and it was great! I would absolutely recommend this method to others.” ✽

© 2017 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

When babies reach about 6 months old, it’s time for yet another decision, this time about how to incorporate food into their diets. Instead of going for the traditional baby food method, some parents are opting for baby-led weaning and providing their children with foods that they are able to eat on their own. This means no jarred fruit purees and no canned vegetable mush. Your baby is eating real fruits, vegetables and other food items cut in to sizeable pieces that they can pick up and put in their mouths all on their own. You can steam carrots, bake apples, slice bananas — whatever your baby seems to enjoy. Avocados, sweet potatoes, ripe peaches and melons, egg yolks and soft breads are also great options to give your little ones as they start to feed themselves. The benefit of baby-led weaning is that it is much easier for you, as well as for your baby. It is far less time consuming for you to make adjustments

The main concern some parents have is that their babies may choke if they begin eating “table food” at such a young age. While little ones are bound to gag from time to time as they become accustomed to moving food around their mouths, babies’ gums are strong enough to break down the soft foods they are eating, so choking should not be an issue. In fact, a recent study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, addressed this issue. According to Dr. Diane Howell of UFHealth Pediatrics, the study showed that while infants between 6 and 8 months of age had more instances of gagging while eating than their counterparts receiving traditional baby food, the rates of choking were not significantly different. “That being said, if parents are not careful about the foods they offer and ensuring their infants are watched closely and fed only when in an upright and seated position, the risks of choking can go up significantly,” said Dr. Howell. | DEC/JAN 2017



toddler The Potential Risks of Thumb-Sucking and How to Break the Habit ages 2-3


When you notice your baby putting her thumb in her mouth for the first time, you pause.

“Oh no, should I pull her thumb out?” “Is this going to become a habit?” “What am I freaking out about, she’s only a baby! They grow out of this … right?” Those are probably a few thoughts you’ve had flood in when seeing your baby suck her thumb, or maybe you’re in the camp of, “It’s fine, that’s how they self-soothe.” No matter your opinions on thumb-sucking during infancy, once your child gets to toddlerhood, you can’t afford to waffle on whether it’s OK for your child to continue thumb-sucking.

The potential harms of thumb-sucking Non-nutritive thumb-sucking, or sucking that does not relate to providing nutrition to your child through breast or bottle feeding, can have adverse long-term dental and skeletal effects on your child.

However, if you’re looking to get started with some simple techniques at home early into your child’s thumb-sucking habit, here are some easy tips to try. ▶ Use a reward system: Whether it’s a sticker chart or a tabbed folder, create a visual praise system and come up with some fun rewards for your child if he meets the benchmarks you’ve set for not sucking his thumb. ▶ Find new ways to comfort: Thumb-sucking is often a comforting activity for children, so try to identify those moments and ask your child why he’s sucking his thumb. Replace that comfort action with another, like hugging a stuffed animal.

According to Dr. Andrew Gooch, DMD of Kids Only Dental Place, some of these effects include increased pressure on the teeth and the bones supporting the teeth, narrowing of the upper jaw, irregular positioning of teeth that can lead to an open bite (where the teeth don’t meet when the mouth is closed), and excessive flaring out of upper front teeth and flaring back of bottom teeth.

▶ Get the right gear: Ask your child’s dentist for recommendations on standard prefabricated thumb guards and customized orthodontic appliances that can help your child break the habit.

While sucking is a normal baby reflex that typically begins around the 29th week of gestation, non-nutritive sucking should be discouraged as soon as possible, but no later than 2 years of age, Dr. Gooch advised.

“Methods that work best will depend on your child, but no matter what method you use, positive re-enforcement when your child isn’t sucking their thumb is the most beneficial thing you can do through the weaning process,” said Dr. Gooch.

“We also recommend that parents take their child to the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting, so they can get a look at the child’s current dental development, evaluate any early thumb sucking effects and help educate parents,” said Dr. Gooch.

Tips for stopping the thumb-sucking habit So, what do you do if your child is engaging in habitual thumb-sucking?


According to Nguyet N. Beaufait, DMD Med of Millhopper Pediatric Dentistry, there are a variety of techniques to stop thumb-sucking based on the child's personality, intensity, duration and frequency of the habit. | DEC/JAN 2017

The bottom line

Dr. Beaufait also advised that one of the most crucial factors in putting a stop to a child’s thumb sucking habit is that everyone in the household and child’s inner circle including parents, grandparents, siblings and/or caregivers needs to be "on the same page" to help the child stop this habit. “Know that it’s never too late to stop the thumb-sucking habit,” said Dr. Beaufait. ✽ | DEC/JAN 2017



early years

ages 4 - 5

How to Enforce the P’s & Q’s BY NICOLE GERMANY

The Four Areas of Practice The magic words:

Our children are a reflection of us, and the earlier they are taught the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong, the better. Teaching little ones manners can be tricky, and sometimes they just don’t understand that picking their nose and wiping it on their friend isn’t exactly considered polite. By helping kiddos practice their P’s and Q’s as early as possible we not only speed up the learning process, but we also help them grow to be polite and respectful. SueAnn Brown, founder of It’s All About Etiquette, said that it’s never too early to teach your children good manners.  “Start with being diligent, patient and give gentle reminders regularly. These are the keys to teaching your child good manners. Children mirror their parent’s behavior and I strongly believe that manners start at home,” said Brown. “At the age of 3 you can begin to teach your child things such as how to wash their hands before dining and how to put their napkin on their lap when sitting down at the table.” Brown also said that it is important for parents to praise their child for showing good manners because it is a necessary reinforcement for them to understand what’s acceptable behavior is and what is not.

Consistency is the key to getting kids to pick up on proper etiquette and stick with it. Keep in mind the following when enforcing good manners.

Please Thank you Sorry Excuse me

Appropriate dinner table behavior: Chew with your mouth closed Keep elbows off the table Use your napkin Don’t reach Ask to be excused

Playing nice: Be sure to share If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all

You set the example and kids always take notice. Practice your best manners as often as possible because even when you think your children aren’t listening or watching, they are.

The more you encourage them to be courteous, the more likely they are to catch on.

Learning good manners doesn’t happen over night. Be patient and remember that teaching kids good manners and etiquette is a daily task.

Learning to be polite is an admirable trait. Children who demonstrate politeness are at a social advantage compared to children who don’t possess the same good-mannered qualities. ✽

Act like a lady or gentlemen: Practice good behavior, and leave the gross stuff at home Don’t say bad words Knock first before entering Hold the door for others

Activities to Encourage Good Manners


Read a book “Give Please a Chance” by Bill O'Reilly and James Patterson helps children remember how important a single word can be. This book helps us all see that sometimes a polite “please” can get you just about anything.

Play a game The Mind Your Manners board game crowns the winner with the best P’s and Q’s. Playing this game encourages children to remember the correct choices as they are faced with real life situations.

“Dude, That's Rude!” by Pamela Espeland and Elizabeth Verdick is a great help in getting children to understand appropriate behavior at the dinner table, in the bathroom and at school. Kids learn to avoid the bad words and practice the good ones.

Sing it! Anytime your kiddos forget to practice their very best manners remind them what's expected with a quick, catchy tune. | DEC/JAN 2017

Throw a manners party Set up a family dinner and create fun little reminders to help your children want to behave in a positive way. Craft a magic words poster Get the glitter out, set up the paint and let them create a work of art. Pick out the most important manners to learn and hang it up so they can be reminded of what's expected.




ages 6-9

Playing it Safe On the Playground BY NICOLE GERMANY

Safety First • The National Program for Playground Safety estimated that 70 percent of playground injuries are related to children falling to the ground, while 10 percent involve falls onto equipment. • Swings, monkey bars and climbing equipment have the highest number of injuries for children ages 5–9. • It’s estimated that 40 percent of playground injuries are associated with a lack of supervision. • After falls, the next leading cause of injuries on playgrounds is related to breakage, tipover, design and assembly of equipment.

Local Play Areas: The monkey bars were calling my name, and as my dad watched my two brothers, I climbed up the tall, metal tower. Five minutes later my arm was broken and my dad was in trouble for not watching me. Every year in the United States over 200,000 children are admitted to the emergency room for playground-related injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 75 percent of injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds, with most occurring at a place of recreation or school. The CDC also concluded that children between the ages of 5 and 9 had higher rates of emergency room visits for playground-related injuries than any other age group. But, with just the right education, injuries can decrease significantly.

Guide children to appropriate play areas

Most parks have separate areas that cater to different ages — babies, toddlers, preschoolers and so on. Keeping kids in the right area and ensuring little ones don’t wander off onto high platforms can protect them from potential dangerous equipment injuries.

Be aware of weather conditions

All eyes and ears

Appropriate clothing

Inspect playground surfaces and equipment Steer clear of any playgrounds with hard fall surfaces and look more for playgrounds made of | DEC/JAN 2017

Children should wear closed-toe shoes, and try to avoid shoes with long shoelaces that they could trip over. Long pants and T-shirts can help cover skin to protect from bug bites and scrapes, and you should tie long hair back so it doesn’t get caught in the equipment. Also, be sure to dress your children in weather-appropriate clothing before heading to the playground, such as warm jackets on cold days and rain boots if it has been rainy. ✽

Trinity United Methodist Church Playground 4000 NW 53rd Ave., Gainesville, FL Built as a fully wheelchair accessible playground, the park is designed to allow people of all abilities access to swings, instruments like bongo drums and a spinning ship’s wheel.   Depot Park 200 Southeast Depot Ave., Gainesville, FL Designed to evoke the creativity in everyone, Depot Park has a play area and a splash zone with waterfalls and hidden fossils.    Hal Brady Rec Center 14300 NW 146th terrace, Alachua, FL With brand new equipment, Hal Brady Rec Center features swings, slides and a merry go-round. The park also offers a splash area, a skate park and is right next to the rec center and ball fields.    Tioga Town Center Playground 105 SW 128th St., Newberry, FL Lined with unique, miniature houses, Tioga Town Center playground has slides, swings and a sandbox.   Albert "Ray" Massey Westside Playground 1001 NW 34th St., Gainesville, FL Situated on the corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue, Albert "Ray" Massey Westside Playground is in a great location for the whole family. Aside from the playground you can find the Gainesville Community pool, lit basketball and tennis courts, and an exercise trail.

© 2017 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Each playground can be different from the type of equipment, to the material of the fall surfaces, but a there are few things to keep in mind when visiting any playground.

Weather can change quickly and it can effect equipment by making it slick from rain and even at times cause second-degree burns on hot summer days. Stay up-to-date on weather conditions before heading to the playground, and always be aware of worsening conditions.

Supervision is the most significant role in reducing injuries. By pledging to be alert and attentive at the playground, you’re greatly reducing the chance of encountering problems.


rubber, mulch or sand. Aside from fall surfaces, playground equipment should also be examined to avoid things such as broken equipment pieces, objects that could break off and be swallowed, and any types of ropes that may cause danger. | DEC/JAN 2017




ages 1 0 - 1 3

Why Do They Have to Move? BY APRIL TISHER

writing never goes out of style along with email and text. If feasible, set a specific date and make a plan for when you will see each other again. Then you can make a countdown calendar for the kids to follow.

Saying goodbye is hard, but that doesn't mean that friendships have to end!

Have a going away party, make a memory book or create some other personalized gift. Having a project to work on for the leaving friends will help keep you and your child focused on something positive instead of dwelling on the impending loss.

Gainesville is known as a transient town. The University of Florida attracts some of the best people in the world for education and jobs. This also means that once those people graduate, finish their residency or change jobs, they move. We have experienced firsthand having great families who have become some of our best friends move away, taking their children and our children’s best friends with them. Growing up on the same street with the same friends and neighbors for 22 years, I was ill prepared for this scenario.

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Before the move, be sure to make a plan for how you will stay connected. With all the technology we have today, it is easier than ever to remain connected to people that don’t live near you. Schedule regular phone or FaceTime/Skype calls, and if your children are older then they can follow each other on social media to keep up. Our boys can even play each other in video games with the help of Xbox Live. Old-fashioned letter

Allow your children to talk about their feelings and to express sadness about their friends leaving. Acknowledge that there will be changes to their normal life and that it is OK to be sad and even fearful of what that will be like. The way their day looks now may not be the same when their friend leaves town, and it is OK to talk about what they will do differently. If they ride to school with their friend every morning and go to football practice together twice a week, that is a significant change in routine that should be worked out ahead of time.


It’s never easy to say goodbye to good friends, but it can be done in a way that fosters lifelong friendships, even from across the country! ✽

© 2017 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

The day they left town, my youngest son hid in the car so nobody would see his tears. I bawled like a baby because my daily confidant was leaving and my husband literally didn’t know what to do with himself with his buddy and our neighbors gone. This was a family we saw every day and shared meals with on a weekly basis. Our children roamed freely between our homes, and we even vacationed together. Now they were moving across the country for a new job. I knew I needed a plan to deal with this, not only for myself and the friend I was losing, but also for my children who truly didn’t understand why they had to go.

This may sound harsh, but get your child involved in new activities now and make plans with other friends, too. It will be hard to resist letting them spend every last minute with their best buddies, but it is important to show your child that they do have other friends and other interests to which they can look forward. | DEC/JAN 2017




ages 1 4 - 1 8

What Did She Say? Defining Teen Slang BY COLLEEN MCTIERNAN

These days, it seems like teens have a language all their own. With shortened words, acronyms, conjoined words and words that almost seem to appear out of thin air, it can be hard for parents to keep up with the hip lingo. So, to help you out the next time you just can’t figure out what the heck your teenager is saying, here is a brief guide to some of the more common slang teens use today.

Shortened Words

Conjoined Words Teens love to play Dr. Frankenstein with words these days. They’ll mash up any number of words, and sometimes the results seem truly monstrous, especially if you’re a language lover. Frenemy – Someone who is both a friend and enemy Tope – Totally and dope Graycation – Going on vacation with grandparents

Abbreviations Like the above shortened words, abbreviations often arise from texting. But unlike shortened words, it is far less easy to figure out what exactly those abbreviations your teen is using stand for. As someone who has seen FTW (for the win) confused for someone cursing the world at large, I know just how annoying abbreviations can be to decode.

Texting often leads teens to shorten words, and it’s when those shortened words make the jump from online to everyday language that parents can get confused. Sometimes the abbreviations are intuitive, but other times they just sound like gibberish. Awk – Awkward Totes – Totally

Bae – Before Anyone Else. Also thought to be derivative of babe or baby.

Cray – Crazy Adorbs – Adorable

GOAT – Greatest Of All Time

Whatevs – Whatever

IKR – I Know, Right?

The feels – Feelings

AF – As, well … I’m sure you can figure out what the F is for

Ship – Relationship. Teens will often use this as a verb and say “I ship it” when they like a couple together.

OTP – One True Pairing OG – Original Gangster

Fam – Family

Words With Double Meaning You may hear your teens using words that you’re familiar with, but in a very different context. Don’t worry, your teen hasn’t been slacking on her vocab lessons. There is some slang that gives new meaning to common words. On the other hand, you may hear your teens using words that Merriam Webster has never heard of. Again, don’t worry. Slang is to blame for that, too.

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Lit – Can be used to describe something awesome, or someone who is very intoxicated

Cyph – Smoking pot

Gucci – Good Basic – Describes someone who likes mainstream things

Snatched – When something looks really good

Fleek – On point

Netflix and chill – Not nearly as innocent as it sounds, this is code for hooking up ✽

We deliver state of the art orthodontic care in a comfortable, friendly environment designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.


Dr. Reid W. Montini, Harvard & University of Florida Educated

7520 W. University Ave., Suite C • Gainesville

352-332-7911 | DEC/JAN 2017


Cinderella 2016!

happy community

t e e M


When she was a child, Grace Parent used to walk around the house in her mom’s old pointe shoes. Then, when she got her first pair of her own, she was so happy that she wore them to sleep that night. “I could live in my pointe shoes,” said Parent. And as this year’s Cinderella for Danscompany of Gainesville’s annual production of “Cinderella,” Parent basically has for the past seven months. As soon as she learned that she was selected as Cinderella 2016 back in May, Parent began coming in to the studio every day to learn the part. Each Cinderella has to teach herself

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the choreography by watching videos of Danscompany’s past performances, and Parent wasted no time in getting started. “I was in there the next day practicing,” said Parent. For Parent, a 17-year-old senior dual enrolled in Buccholz High School and Santa Fe College, the role of Cinderella has been a dream for quite some time. In fact, it was a performance of Cinderella that she saw at age 10 that inspired her to return to dance after six years away from the studio taking gymnastics lessons. Since then, Parent has performed in five performances of Cinderella, with this upcoming performance as her sixth and final. There was no formal audition for the role. Instead, Nina Cameron, artistic director of The Danscompany, considers a dancer’s entire time at Danscompany and her personality when envisioning who will be the next year’s Cinderella. “It’s not just the best dancer,” said Tobi Potapow, president of Danscompany. “It’s the one who embodies Cinderella.” And the role really is about so much more than just technique. To be Cinderella, you must have excellent time management skills and a great attitude. “When you have school and work, it can be stressful,” said Parent, who balances three jobs on top of school and 20 hours a week of dance practice. Aside from the numerous weeks spent practicing for the performance, Parent has spent a lot of time interacting with children who look up to her as Cinderella, both in and out of the studio. As Cinderella 2016, Parent read the story of Cinderella to students at Idylwild Elementary School. She used the story as lesson to teach the students that, even though people may tell you “no,” you can


PASS: A Look at Grace's Pre-Show Routine

still achieve your dreams if you believe. And Parent has a lot of admirers at the studio, too. After her own practices are done on Sundays, she stays the rest of the day to watch and interact with the younger dancers. While others may find it a burden to spend their free time watching younger dancers, Parent considers it a privilege, especially because she always wanted to interact with Cinderella when she was younger. “I consider every single dancer there as a sister or a brother to me and I would set aside my whole life to help any of them out because I know they would do the same for me,” said Parent. This love of children has been a formative part of Parent’s life. She has been babysitting since the age of 14 and she hopes to attend Florida State University next year to become a pediatrician. Although she does not plan on pursuing a degree in dance, Parent does hope to continue dancing with the Golden Girls dance team at FSU. That, along with the role of Dorothy in Danscompany’s spring production of “The Wiz” are her next two dance goals. Seven years of dance practices and seven months of extra practices, performances and community outreach will culminate on Dec. 3, 2016. Parent will dance in two performances of “Cinderella,” and then her time in the role will be over. “It just goes so quickly,” said Parent. “You want to stop and take time to enjoy, but you don’t have the time.” Although the curtains will close on this year's performance, Parent said that she will always reflect fondly on her time as Cinderella 2016. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of it,” she said.

"I always get Starbucks the morning of show day. I have also always done my makeup at the CPA in the dressing room. Some dancers prefer to do it at home, but I like to spend as much time backstage as I can. About an hour before going on stage I like to put some headphones in, tune everything out, go side stage and just stretch on my own and take 10 deep breaths while listening to Disney music, my favorite."

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happy community

December 1

December 3

December 17

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

6–8 p.m. Historic Thomas Center

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Santa Fe College North Fields

December 1–3

December 3

Alachua County Public Schools Closed

Tioga Town Center

5–9 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza

December 24–January 1

December 3–4


Songs for the Season

Festival of Trees

December 2

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

December 2

Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa Visit 6–8 p.m. Downtown Main Street Park

December 2–24

Festival of Lights Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Holiday Tree Lighting

Holiday Shopping Extravaganza

Fall Plant Sale at Wilmot Gardens Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday: Noon – 3 p.m. Wilmot Gardens at the University of Florida

December 6

2016 Holiday Soiree 5–9 p.m. Lang Jewelers, Tioga Town Center

December 10

Alachua Christmas Parade

December 3

2–3 p.m. Main Street

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dudley Farm Historic State Park

December 10 High Springs Twilight Christmas Parade

Fall Farm and Cane Festival

December 3

6–9 p.m. High Springs Chamber

1:30 & 7 p.m. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

December 11

Danscompany presents Cinderella

December 3

A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe 2 & 6:30 p.m. Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall

Stop Children’s Cancer 20th Annual Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration 4–5:30 p.m. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

December 16–18

December 3

Dance Alive National Ballet presents The Nutcracker

3 p.m. Downtown Newberry

Friday: 7:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 2 p.m. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Newberry Christmas Parade


d e c e m b e r / Jj a n u a r y c a l e n d a r | DEC/JAN 2017

LifeSouth Operation Santa Delivery

December 19–January 2


December 25 January 1 New Year’s Day

January 16

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 16–17

Alachua County Public Schools Closed

January 21

Florida Museum of Natural History’s 38th Annual Collectors Day 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History

January 28 Great Invader Rally 9 a.m. Morningside Nature Center

January 28 International Festival 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oak Hall Lower School Pavillion

January 28–29

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Alachua County Fairgrounds | DEC/JAN 2017


happy community

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Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine - December/January 2017 - Gainesville  

Give Back in Alachua County // Easy Stuffing Recipes // Christmas Tree Care

Giggle Magazine - December/January 2017 - Gainesville  

Give Back in Alachua County // Easy Stuffing Recipes // Christmas Tree Care