Page 1




p a re n t i n g


happy family • happy communityTM


u e! ss

d ay i l i ho


easy diy ornaments OUR FESTIVE BAR HOT CHOCOLATE 31 days of piness holiday hap

and more!

DEC/JAN 2016 • Volume 7 • Issue 6 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016 1




PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nicole Irving ART DIRECTOR Allison Raber COPY EDITOR Colleen McTiernan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Claire Stortz Vice president of sales Shane Irving ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES April Tisher executive assistant Sayeh Farah Event photographer Anabel Wheeler Contributing Writers Selena Garrison, Tara Griffin, Allen Haynes, Nicole Irving, Lisa Katz, Helen Kornblum, Danielle Pastula, Olivia Pitkethly, April Tisher Contributing Photographers Lifeprints Photography, Verve Studio Interns Ale Russian

Excellence in Pediatric Eye Care 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. © 2015

• Full range of eye care services for infants, children and adolescents • Strabismus (crossing or drifting of the eyes) • Sports related eye injuries • Amblyopia or lazy eye • Blocked tear ducts • Ocular allergies • Evaluations of premature babies • Tracking and ocular motility issues • General eye care for kids and adult strabismus

Dr. Nausheen Khuddus, M.D.

Board Certified Fellowship Trained Pediatric Ophthalmologist 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.

Tammy Toskes

Certified Orthoptist

(352) 372-9414 ext. 257

4340 Newberry Road, Suite 301, Gainesville, FL 32607 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


from the publisher I have talked to many, and the consensus is that this year flew by. Anyone with us? For me, 2015 went by in the blink of an eye. For some reason this year seemed to be on high speed; could it be that I’m busier…older…wiser? Maybe it's all the above. Now all I want for this year to do is slow down. I don’t have finals to get through or a summer break to rush off to; I just have little boys, that I want to bottle up as newborns, running around as preteens talking about Minecraft and Football. So, just as I have to say goodbye to my boys' newborn years, I must say goodbye to 2015. Thank you for the memories and good times; it’s time to move on and see what’s next!

Hello 2016. A new year is upon us. New beginnings, new adventures and new opportunities. So, as parents and the like, I challenge you this year to unplug and embrace each new moment with your children, family and friends. It’s going to go by too quickly and we can’t miss it. As I told my Uncle Manny, an artist who lived in NYC and who worked a crazy hectic day…every day, “You have to just look up, or you're gonna miss it.” We can’t miss it! Happy New Year everyone!

Follow us on Instagram Check out our Instagram and follow us for fun snapshots, giveaways, event photos and more! Find us: @gigglemagazine

Nicole Irving, Publisher


Age: 8 Favorite books? The first three Harry Potter books


Favorite activities: Baking, reading, drawing, dancing, singing, riding her scooter and playing with her friends

Like us on Facebook /GIGGLEMAGAZINE


Three words that her mom would use to describe her: Vivacious, creative and kind follow us on Twitter @GIGGLEMAGAZINE | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Visit us on Pinterest /GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Sign up for our newsletter and get access to more of the things you love - free printables, recipes, parenting advice, giveaways and more! Sign up today at! Follow us on Instagram @GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Photos by Verve Studio.


Favorite thing about the holidays? Having a break from school and candy canes

Want Even More Giggle Goodness? | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


Live Life at Legacy at Fort Clarke in Gainesville FL

Experience vintage Florida living nestled in the northwestern sector of thriving Gainesville, Florida. Legacy at Fort Clarke Apartments is an enclave unto itself, which is convenient to lakes, creeks, springs, and rolling greenery. Here you can appreciate the atmosphere of academia and take advantage of the finest medical facilities, while also enjoying the wilderness and outdoor recreation.

Apartment Ratings’ Top-Rated Community in 2013! (352) 224-4197 1505 Fort Clarke Blvd Gainesville, FL 32606 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016 6

EGACY L L at fort clarke


Happy New Year!

December * January 2016 happy family • happy community


life 9

THE parent life

Helicopter Parenting

10 TWO CENTS Understanding Your Credit

38 94

12 lifesavers 8 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet 16 happy family

74 Instilling a Love of Reading Early On

The Silva Family 18 GRANDPARENTS Grandparents’ Guide to Surviving

76 Teacher Gifts: What Do They Really Want?

Theme Parks

An Interview with Torie Griffin

21 Power Parent Meet Craig Wilburn

100 calendar

48 "Does that have peanuts?"

One Mom's Journey of Raising a Son with a Food Allergy 50 Add a Spark to Your Holiday Cocktails

conception 2✱ college™ 82 expecting

Understanding the Placenta

53 Ice Cube Innovations

84 infant


Engaging in Playtime with Your Baby


Taming the Toddler Tornado

56 Show Dry Hands Some Love! 58 Creating A Healthy Home Environment 62 The At-Home Workout Kit

90 early years

Raising an Introvert in an Extroverted World

92 kids

Taking the Drama Out of Playtime

happy home

94 tweens

What's On Your Tween's Reading List?

66 Homemade Holiday Ornaments

98 teens

72 Queries from the Curious

Senior Year Stress






happy family • happy communityTM

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! 50 Under $50 Gift Guide Hot Chocolate Bar Happy Hanukkah 31 Days of Holiday Happiness Celebrating A Christmas Baby Scents of the Season

92 18 53


liday ho easy diy i


ornaments oUr FestiVe Bar Hot CHoCoLate 31 days oF ness HoLiday Happi




u e! ss

Hot chocolate bar photo by Verve Studio. Tween and drink photos by Giggle Magazine.

78 Ask a Home-Schooler:

happy community

40 Giggle stamp Scents of the Season

forks & spoons



and more!

DEC/JAN 2016 • Volume 7 • Issue 6 | DecemBeR/JaNUaRY 2016 1

Photo by Verve Studio | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




t h e pa r e n t l i f e Elizabeth Patton is a licensed mental health counselor and mother of two who has worked with children and families for 18 years. Patton said the biggest effect of helicopter parenting is that children are missing the essential developmental skill of self-regulation. “They tend to focus more on waiting for someone to save the day and not on their ability to problem-solve,” she said. “They almost seem programmed to report all of the day’s worries to mom and wait for her to handle and manage them. This really interferes with social relationships because the normal ups and downs that come with social interaction are turned into awful injustices.” So how can we show our children support and also give them room to grow?

Help your child identify his emotions

Helicopter Parenting: Being Involved Without Going Overboard BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

When your child comes home from school, crying about his day, help him label how he’s feeling. “You seem sad or upset about something.” If your child has difficulty verbalizing his emotions, use a mood chart of various faces that depicts how he is feeling.

Teach her appropriate ways to cope

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Helicopter parenting has been a hot topic for the past several years. Many parents pride themselves on this trait, while many others are on the other end of the spectrum. A child’s birthday party can host all types of parents: those that let their children run carefree, those that follow behind their child’s every step, and those somewhere in between. A helicopter parent is defined as someone who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child, and often it doesn’t stop when the child moves away to college. In fact, in a recent interview, a former dean of students at Stanford University noted the trend of freshmen coming to college with the inability to care for themselves. Author Julie Lythcott-Haims recognizes parents desire to shield their children from failure and disappointment, but she says it ends up doing more harm than good. “It can leave young adults without the strengths of skill, will and character that are needed to know themselves and to craft a

life,” she writes in her book, “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids for Success.”

A helicopter parent is defined as someone who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child, and often it doesn’t stop when the child moves away to college.

If she’s angry and begins throwing toys around the room, again recognize her emotion but also let her know her behavior is unacceptable. Show her a different way to handle her anger, such as punching a pillow or taking a few deep breaths before speaking.

Invite him to solve his own problems Before you come in to save the day, brainstorm different solutions. Make a suggestion or two, but have him take the lead and responsibility.

So does that mean being over involved with our children’s academics and activities will damage our children? A University of Texas research team studied parents and adult children and found that helicoptered children who continued to receive intense emotional and practical support had a higher level of life satisfaction.

Bottom line is, it’s all about balance. Our children did not come with a parenting handbook, and we are all trying to do the best we can. Instead of focusing on one end of the spectrum or the other, aim for somewhere in the middle, tell your kids you love them, and don’t forget to have some fun! ] | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




Understanding Your Credit BY SELENA GARRISON



10% 15% 30%

» What is included on a credit report? Your credit report is an in-depth report of your use of credit. It includes your demographic information (name, social security number, employment, address(es), etc.). It also includes information on all of your credit accounts. This information includes the lender, current balance, highest balance, amount past due, any late payments and your current status (paying as agreed, 30 days past due, 60 days past due, etc.).

» How does all of this affect my credit score? The credit score is made up of several indicators, each of which has a different impact on the score: • Payment History: Making up about 35 percent of your credit score, your payment history is basically your track record of paying your lenders on time. Making frequent late payments will drastically impact your score. • Amount Owed: Your “debt utilization,” or how much money you owe compared to your credit limits, determines 30







Simply, credit is a contract between a borrower and a lender. The lender provides money now, and the borrower repays it (with interest) later. For many people, typical uses of credit may include a mortgage, student loans, car loans and credit cards. Credit reports (and credit scores) are an indication of how responsible we are with our credit and have a big impact on our ability to borrow, our interest rates and sometimes even our ability to get a job!



We hear about credit all the time. We are inundated with advertisements for credit monitoring, free credit reports, free credit scores and credit repair services. But how does credit actually work and how does it affect us?


AMO ) I ON UNT O T A Z I L WED (DEBT UTI percent of your score. For instance, if your total credit limits were $10,000 and your total debt was $5,000, your debt utilization would be 50 percent. Generally, you want to keep this amount lower than 30–40 percent. • Credit History: The general length of time you have had credit makes up 15 percent of your score. Closing out old accounts and opening new accounts will both have an impact on this portion of your score. • New Credit: Applying for or opening multiple new credit accounts will impact your score by about 10 percent. When you shop around for a loan, its important that you do it in a short period of time and you definitely do not want to open multiple credit card accounts at once! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

• Types of Credit: Lenders want to see a good balance of installment loans (think car loans, student loans, mortgage, etc.) and revolving credit (credit cards). This will affect about 10 percent of your score.

» How can I get my credit report? While there are many websites available for you to pull your credit report, many require you to sign up for a credit monitoring service or pay a fee. While you do have to pay for your credit score, the good news is that EVERYONE is entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. The website you should use is You can choose to pull all three credit reports at once or space them out throughout the year. Regardless, it is important to pull your report and make sure that everything is accurate! ✽ | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




8 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet

Think Santa might be bringing a new pet to your house this year? Make sure he reads this first!


The decision about whether your family should adopt a pet is a tough one. It’s a classic dilemma every parent will experience at least once, if not more often. On one hand it’s a great way to develop your kids’ sense of responsibility, but at the same time, it requires a lot of upfront commitment.

To make sure you know what you’re getting into before adding a new furry family member to your brood, here are eight things to consider before signing on the dotted line.

1 ❉ Budget

One of the biggest undertakings with a pet is the cost, not only to get your new pet (adoption fees and supply costs), but also in the long-term. Routine vet care, spaying/neutering, food and toys all add up. You’ll need to start by seriously evaluating your budget to determine if this is a smart decision for your family or the animal. According to Margot Wilder, the director of development for the Alachua County Humane Society, an added bonus to adopting an animal from a local rescue or shelter is that many adoptable pets are generally already healthy, vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered, which can help cut your upfront costs.

2 ❉ moving

3 ❉ family expansion

When you adopt a new pet, you’re adding a family member. Pets have to assimilate into your family dynamic and get used to your home now being theirs. If you’re also working on bringing a new baby to the family, you should consider waiting a little before adopting a pet.

4 ❉ your children's responsibility

Pets are a great way to teach your children about responsibility, but consider testing them with additional tasks and chores first so they can show that they’re ready for the increased responsibility that comes with caring for a pet.

5 ❉ other pets

Do you already have a pet at home? Think about testing out how well they would do with the new pet you’re considering for adoption by coordinating a home visit or meet-and-greet.


“Many trainers will offer a complimentary consultation for new pet owners and your veterinarians and local shelters will also have resources they can provide,” said Wilder. If the idea of potty, leash or behavior training scares you, you may want to look into adopting an older pet.

7 ❉ allergies

Your kids may be begging for a dog, but have they ever spent extended time around one? Consider spending some time around the kind of animal you’re thinking about adopting to make sure you don’t run into an allergy problem later.

8 ❉ your time

Finally, you’ll need to consider how much time you truly have to dedicate to a pet. Aside from spending quality time with them to make sure they’re exercised and loved properly, you’ll also spend time caring for and cleaning up after them as well. There’s no doubt that pets require a significant commitment, but for some, the work is completely worth the unconditional furry love they bring. Just make sure you have the time and means to show them love too! ]

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

If you know you’ll be making a big move in the next year or two, you may want to hold off on getting a pet. Making a big move, especially to a new state, can complicate transportation and is generally unpleasant

for pets. However, sometimes moves are unexpected, so if you do end up making a big move down the line, Wilder recommends getting in touch with your veterinarian or a local rescue group for tips on stress-free traveling with pets. Pets are for life and moving should not change that!

6 ❉ training

Whenever we think of getting a new pet, we tend to think of getting a kitten or puppy, which means you’ll have some training to do. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



Trained in the Practice of Collaborative Law

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

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

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

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




ha p p y f a m i ly What are your children’s favorite meals that you cook? Spaghetti Bolognese, risotto and buttermilk pancakes that dad makes on Sundays. What is your family’s favorite holiday? Christmas. We’re not sure who is more excited: mom or the kids. Describe your family in 3 words: Christian, loving and growing. Favorite games to play as a family: Rummikub, Scrabble and any card game. Why do you love raising your family in Gainesville? We love the fact that Gainesville is a small community of very outward-looking people, due in large part to the University of Florida. It is great to have our kids grow up next to world-class educational opportunities but still be able to have a tranquil childhood so close to nature. The short drive to the beaches and theme parks is another plus.

Photos by lifeprints Photography

The Silva Family { Rodrigo, Ana, Daniel (6), Lucas (5), Samuel (3) & Sarah (20 months) } Occupation(s): Rodrigo is a pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon at the UF Health Shands Hospital. After graduating from law school, Ana is now a stay-athome mom. Movie in our DVD player right now: Star Wars: Episode III The kid's favorite books: "Mother Goose", the "Billy and Blaze" series, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" and "Goodnight Moon.” Mommy and Daddy's favorite TV shows: “House of Cards” and “Narcos.” Websites we love:,, and


Favorite sports to play/extracurricular activities to do: Swimming, basketball and piano lessons. Favorite sports to watch: Soccer, tennis and college football. Favorite day trip: Blue Spring State Park, Coon Hollo Farm and Universal parks. Favorite picnic spot: Town of Tioga playground. Favorite local restaurants: Manuel’s Vintage Room and Saboré for mom and dad. Blue Highway Pizza for family meals. Favorite local “must go” places: Blue Spring, the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History and a game at the Swamp. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

What makes your kiddos laugh? “Curious George” stories, watching “Shaun the Sheep,” being tickled and jumping on the trampoline. What would your family's dream vacation be? Spending the summer in a beach house in Brazil with our extended families. Is there anything exciting coming up for your family? We will spend Christmas and New Year’s in Brazil and see our baby niece and nephew for the first time. Anything else you would like to share? The last six years in Gainesville have been very exciting for our family. Our children were born here, we made wonderful friends and joined a loving church. We could never imagine that our life would be the way it is now when we got married. We look forward to what the next few years will bring. ✽

It is great to have our kids grow up next to worldclass educational opportunities but still be able to have a tranquil childhood so close to nature. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



g r a n d pa r e n t s

Grandparents’ Guide to Surviving Theme Parks by allen haynes

Minnie and Mickey may get to ride, but you'll have to walk! Make sure to wear comfy shoes!

So you’ve decided to take your grandchildren to a theme park as a holiday gift. You’ve bought the tickets and planned the trip. Now, it’s time to think through the actual visit — a task that can become quite the headache if not properly mapped out. The first rule of visiting a theme park with your grandchild? Have a plan for the entire day, but be flexible. Check out our Giggle-approved strategies for planning a trip that won’t make you wish you bought them an iPad instead.


} Pick your top three rides/ attractions in advance. A week or two before your trip go online and look at the park’s map with your grandkids. Ask them which ride or show they want to go to first. Unless you’ve also purchased express passes, it’s important to remind your grandkids they may have to wait an hour or more depending on the popularity of the ride or show. Many of the major theme parks often have suggested itineraries on their websites, including Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Disney World. Take time to determine your favorite activities and rides you don’t mind missing.

2} Show up early.

Way early. Arrive at the theme park at least 30 minutes before it opens. This ensures you’ll get into the park as soon as it opens and avoid some crowds. This is one of the easiest ways to get a jumpstart on your adventure and many people don’t take advantage of it, electing to sleep in or take a long breakfast instead. Don’t be one of them.

3} IF YOU Want to ride again,

4} Buy the express passes.

It’s worth the price. Many theme parks like Disney, which offers free FastPass+ service, and Universal have passes available that allow you to avoid long lines at the most popular rides and attractions. If


you didn’t purchase them when you booked your trip, visit the guest-relations kiosks as soon as you arrive.

5} MAKE SURE TO Take breaks throughout the day. Trying to cram a full day of fun into miles of theme park means you will get tired. If you or your grandchild starts to wear out, find a bench and rest, visit the souvenir shop, or find something to eat. Take a breath and return to the rides and attractions when everyone is refreshed. Which brings us to our next point…

6} Get a good night’s sleep.

Theme-park days are long and can end with lots of grumpiness if you and your grandkids are running on fumes. Go to bed early the night before, especially if you’re traveling a few hours before the park opens. Your experience will be much more enjoyable if everyone is well rested and energized.

7} Wear sneakers.

This one is pretty straightforward. There's a lot - A LOT - of walking. If you are purchasing new sneakers for the trip, be sure to wear them in ahead of time. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


} Bring snacks. Many theme parks, such as Disney World, allow you to bring in your own food and it is wise to take advantage of it. Kiddos like to snack and will burn lots of calories and energy as their little legs carry them around the park. Pack healthy, non-salty/ non-sugary treats.


} Bring the stroller (or rent one). Even if your grandchildren are school aged, they will get tired and hot, especially in the Florida heat. Little legs need a rest.


} Pack a bag. Nothing can ruin a trip to the park like a wet kid, soiled pants, or a lost pacifier. Pack an extra set of clothes, plenty of diapers, wipes, pacifiers, snacks and formula. Plan out what you will need to get you through all of life’s little daily mishaps with the kids.


} Make Memories. Remember that this is all about making memories with your grandkids. Don’t stress about making sure you get to each attraction. Be patient, have fun and remember to take lots of photos!

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Do it now. If your grandchild gets off a rollercoaster and says, “I want to go again,” get back in line immediately. If you wait until later, the line will only be longer.

Giggle Tip: Have everyone in your party wear the same color; this way if one of you get separated from the group, you'll be easier to spot in a crowd. It's also a good idea to take a photo of your group on your phone before entering the park. If anyone does get lost, you'll have a recent photo to show park employees. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


you belong here.


p ow e r p a r e n t

Meet Craig Wilburn!

THE FAMILY MAN Craig Wilburn, REALTOR, Broker-Associate at Keller Williams Gainesville CEO & President of Team Dynamo Spouse: Rhoda Wilburn Children: Noah, Justus, Jaida, Dion & Kiana

As CEO and President of Team Dynamo at Keller Williams Realty Gainesville, Craig Wilburn has a rewarding, yet busy work life. Though he loves his career, it’s his family that truly inspires him. No matter how busy Craig gets, he always tries to set aside time to spend with his wife, Rhoda, and five children.

on balancing work and family life: Two words: TIME BLOCK. My calendar is my guide. I time block for everything! My staff often makes fun of me because since they schedule appointments for me, they have access to my calendar and they sometimes see me time blocking for personal time and activities, even for silly errands. Also having a great team around helps me to delegate the MANY tasks that every Realtor has to do in order to properly serve their customers. We have a large customer base so having the right systems in place is vital.

Advice for other working parents:

Photos by Lifeprints Photography.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WORK DAY LOOK LIKE? There are no "typical" workdays; that's what I LOVE about my career. The key words are variety, creativity and spontaneity. I spend a lot of time communicating with others, strategizing about and problem solving real estate matters, studying the real estate market, and planning ways to better serve our current and future customers. We are building a business of professional services to assist people who are relocating in, around and out of Gainesville and the surrounding areas.

NEVER let your career take the place of getting in quality time with your family. If you have a career like mine that requires much of your time and attention, then you have to be all the more focused on making your family time intentional and high quality. Be present. Also, there will be times when you will be out of balance. Don't beat yourself up about it [but] don't stay there, either! My wife and I have regularly scheduled date nights and lunches and I have scheduled time blocked out for each of my five children individually and in small groups depending on the activity.

What sacrifices/compromises have you had to make?

The biggest sacrifice I make is that I don't always get to do things for myself as often as I would like to. [That] doesn't mean I don't get me time because I for sure do. It's just that there are times when I would prefer to be alone and recharge but other priorities come first, whether it be taking care of a customer’s needs or attending to my family.

mUST-HAVES What are five things you must have at work?

My smartphone, laptop, black notebook, Jenny and Terry. What is your go-to breakfast?

Banana, yogurt, a KIND® bar and of course...COFFEE!! What's your coffee order?

Venti Americano with an extra shot! Straight black.

When and how do you make time for yourself? I am a big fight fan (boxing/MMA) and I have a group of guys I get together with on a regular basis to watch fights. Wifey gives me a "fight pass" so I can have this guy time. I also make it a point to get up between 4:45 and 5:15 a.m. every day to spend quiet time before everyone is awake so I can read, pray, study the bible and work out.

Who is your greatest inspiration?

To me this is a question of what is my "Why". My six biggest motivators are my amazing wifey who home-schools three of our five children and holds down the fort at home so I can go out and do what I do every day and those five kids of mine who I have a strong desire to provide for at a greater level than my parents were able to provide for me.

Who are your biggest supporters?

Same list. I would also add to this list my real estate team. The individuals who make up Team Dynamo work with such a tireless passion for excellence that they push me constantly to want to be a better leader for them.

I hope that I have taught my children: to love and honor God first with their lives, to

show love to those around them from a genuine heart, and be humble and serve others unselfishly. This life is not only about you, but what YOU can do to positively impact another. Since we are not perfect people and we don't live perfect lives, when we make bad choices and go off the right path, we need to get focused, forgive ourselves and keep moving on. ✽


Say goodbye to payroll hassles with professional services from


Payroll service up to 10 employees for $100/month Includes: • Direct deposit • Florida New Hire Reporting • Paying state and federal payroll taxes • Filing state and federal payroll tax returns ACCOUNTING, LLC • W2s • Employee access to online paystubs Stephanie Travis • Employer access to online payroll reports • Employee online time sheet entry 352-575-0736 • Free data import from your old payroll system to ours • Can also include payments to independent contractors




This holiday season, we bring you tidings of joy, mixed with crafty ornaments, yummy hot chocolate and scents of the holidays. Sprinkle in a gift or two and snuggle up for a wonderful winter! PHOTO BY VERVE STUDIO




Did someone say "affordable?" We did! Check out our favorite gifts under $50 that will be sure to impress everyone on your list!



Initial Wine Bag $9.99, Agapanthus

Laura Geller Luster Lip Gloss 4 Piece Collection $25,

Wine Bottle Accessory Kit $22, Agapanthus

Wishing Ball $32,

Etched Gator Wine Glass $33.99, Kitchen & Spice and other things nice.

Cities Coaster Set $16/set of 8,

Baby Gold Rim Milk Vase $36,

Deer Head String Art $40, | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


Spa Royale Gift Card Any amount, Spa Royale



for the Giggle girls!

Lilly Pulitzer Party Cooler $28, Pink Narcissus

HydraTank Water Intake Calculator $14.99, Pure Fiji Coconut Sugar Rub $45.95, Spa Royale

Take off a band and wear it after finishing each bottle!

People Feeder $38, (M&Ms not included)

Mention Giggle Magazine and receive a FREE class with the purchase of a quart of paint! This is a great gift!

Holly Salad Servers $31.50, Kitchen & Spice and other things nice.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint $38.95/qt, 8LP Design

Includes 12 letterpress dividers and 24 recipe cards

Citrus Floral Recipe Box $34,


100 hour burning time!

Rebecca Starter Bracelet (with magnetic clasp) $43, Lang Jewelers Love Lock Charm, $34 Silk Bow Charm, $34 Pave Round Charm, $39

Tassle Keychain $7.99, Target VOLUSPA Candle $26, 8LP Design Avabody Candy Cane Scrub $18.95, $2.00 from the sale of each ornament goes directly to St. Jude!

Lovable Livable Home $27.50, 2015 St. Jude's Ornament $15,

'lil Fairy Door $36, (Other colors available)

Yuthica Candle $24 and up,

SO cute!

Lilly Pulitzer Gold Accessories $48, Pink Narcissus

Mason Jar Measuring Cups $12.99, | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




Multi-Craft Weaving Loom $29.99,

Guinness World Records 2016 $20, Target Guinness World Records 2016, Gamer's Edition $11, Target

Stackins $3.88-9.88, Wal-Mart

The Game of Life: Minions Edition $19.99,

Monopoly: Jurassic World Edition $39.95,


Butterfly Poster $20, 8LP Design

Color Alive Easy Animation Studio $24.99,

Gold Foil Notebooks $10/set of 2,

Little Pnuts Subscription Box $30,

Personalized Phone Case $49.95,

Shopkins Fashion Boutique $34.99, Toys R Us

Cordy Roy Gator $24, Agapanthus

Great Minds Puzzle, Set of 5 $20, Harry Potter Adult Coloring Book $15.99, Target

POP! Dinner Set $8.99, Babies R Us

Journey Girls $39.99 each, Toys R Us | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



Flipbelt $28.99,

Moscow Mule Mugs $19.99, Homegoods

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Set $49,

SCOUT Halfpint Tote $28, Agapanthus

Bliss A-Bright Face $49, Kohls and

Misfit Flash Fitness + Sleep Monitor $49,

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Trio $49,


Dove's Necklace; 18 karat yellow gold, diamond, mother of pearl with clear quartz $2690 Lang Jewelers

Grow fresh herbs indoors. Just plug it in and fill the tank!

Click & Grow Herb Garden $59.95,

Queen Tempur-Pedic Pillow $150, Wayne's Bedding


splurge! tint du soleil, UV Protective Foundation $54, Gainesville Dermatology and Aesthetic Center . enjoy

$10 off any formurlife order with promo code: Giggle10

Eminence Youth Shield Starter Set $58, Spa Royale

Need to go bigger? We've got you covered!

Etched YETI Tumbler $52, Chic & Unique Designs

Custom 3D Printed Drives Hard drives starting at $139.95, flash drives starting at $24.95,

Madewell Transport Tote $168,

Baby, it's


Warm up with our hot chocolate bar!


Perfect for your next holiday party or as a fun family activity, our sweet hot chocolate bar brings the best flavors of the holidays together for one tasty treat!


When setting up for your hot chocolate bar, make it festive by

adding holiday decor, ornaments and garland. Ornaments are a great way to add personality and fun. Make sure to put out all the fixings. Some of our favorites include

marshmallows, cinnamon, sprinkles, caramels and sea salt!

Add a personal touch to your hot chocolate bar by making your own napkins. We bought a yard of red and black fabric and cut it into squares. Then we tied the squares up with twine to complete the look!

Gingerbread men are the perfect cookie accompaniment to a warm cup of cocoa!


scents of the season


Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie Ever wish you could just bottle the smell of sugar cookies? The Christmas Cookie candle from Yankee Candle is just that. Cream, vanilla and brown sugar mix into one amazing scent. $19.99, Yankee Candle.

Pine, cinnamon and vanilla are quintessential holiday scents. This year, we went searching for the most amazing smells of the season wrapped up in the perfect candle that would complete any holiday décor.

Average size

White Barn 'Tis the Season Inside this red jar lie scents of pine, apple and cinnamon. The ‘Tis the Season candle from White Barn has the perfect amount of spice for an afterdinner scent that says “happy holidays.”$22, White Barn Candle Co.


ava anderson Peppermint Candle Sweet peppermint fills the air with Ava Anderson’s organic coconut wax candle. This fresh scent will lighten up any room. $24.95,

by nicole irving

Apple ‘n’ Spice Pineapple Pinecone Candle With its festive red color and pineapple pinecone shape, the Apple ‘n’ Spice candle from Aspen Bay Candles wraps up the amazing sweet mixture of apple pie ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla into one heavenly scent. $39.50, Agapanthus. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

THYMES Frasier Fir Holiday Woodwick Candle The minute you open this simple wood décor box, the aroma of rustic frasier fir fills the air. This THYMES candle will bring back memories of sitting around the tree with family and friends. $40, Agapanthus.

Vanilla Bean Noel Always a holiday favorite, the Vanilla Bean Noel candle stirs together a creative blend of vanilla, cocoa and cream with a touch of caramel. This candle makes you want to relax in front of a fire with a cozy blanket. $22, Bath and Body Works. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


31 Days of Holiday Happiness

by nicole irving

Enjoy holiday cheer all month long with these warm and cozy ideas for the chilly month ahead! 1






Light a fire, no matter how cold or hot it is outside, and cuddle up with the family.

Bake, bake, and then bake some more. Nothing says happiness more than baked goods.

Trim a tree.

Craft. Crafting not only releases stress, but also gives you something cute in the end!

Play holiday music all day at work on your computer.

Decorate your mantle for the holidays.





Go food shopping and fill up a box for your local food bank.

Hang up your holiday cards from family and friends around your doorways.

Holiday shop with cash only. Stick to a budget and don’t charge anything. Trust me, you will thank me in January!

Have a holiday movie marathon with your kids and some popcorn.


Host a “Hot Chocolate” open house party for friends and family. Check out page 38 for ideas!




Find (or create!) the world’s tackiest holiday sweater and wear it to your next party, or to work the next day!

Drive around with your kiddos to see all the lights.

Shop local and say hi to all the amazing stores here.



16 Use a roll of craft paper and markers to create your own wrapping paper with kids.

Burn a fir or pine scented candle. Try one of our choices on page 40!



See “A Christmas Carol” at the Hippodrome. A family favorite!

Spread good cheer by volunteering as a family.







Honor those who are no longer with you by reminiscing with old photos.

Change your normal sheets to cozy flannel sheets!

Start a family tradition, any tradition, with your kids that you carry through the years.

Make hot apple cider! All you need is a gallon of apple cider, a slow cooker, cinnamon sticks and some whipped cream.

Unplug. Create memories…don’t post them.



Did your kids get duplicate toys this year? Collect any toys that aren't being used and donate them to a local charity.

SMILE. Embrace the moments and enjoy the season.

Make a photo album for the grandparent gifts. They will cry tears of joy!

Visit the neighbors with the kiddos and bring cookies!



Turn off your phone, eat leftovers and have a pajama day!

Wash all your scarves and mittens with yummy smelling fabric softener to make them cozy.


Create a list of New Year's Resolutions that the whole family can do.


Enjoy a day of rest. 2016 is on its way!




Wish List PARTY

Hosted by Lang Jewelers and Giggle Magazine PHOTOS BY GIGGLE MAGAZINE

'Tis the season for friends, celebrations and traditions and Giggle Magazine and Lang Jewelers were not going to miss on the festivities! On November 12, they hosted their annual “Wish List” party at Lang Jewelers' beautiful new Tioga Town Center location. Food, spirits and jewelry were abundant, as friends and family came into the new store to kick off the season. Guests were treated to Sabore, prizes and desserts as they shopped for that perfect gift to give…or receive! We can’t wait for next year! Happy Holidays from Giggle Magazine and Lang Jewelers!




Welcoming a new baby into the world creates a whole new set of logistics for parents. Having a baby on Christmas Day can make things even more complicated. Now that he is here, how do you make him feel special on this very celebrated holiday that shares his birthday?



If your plan is to keep the two celebrations separate, set the tone early with family and friends. Have a non-Christmas themed shower, use non-holiday themed baby announcements and wrap baby in something other than red and green on her way home.

Many places are open on Christmas, such as movie theaters. Take the birthday boy to a movie with popcorn and treats. If other parents allow, try to organize for him to bring one friend.



Remind relatives that her birthday is separate and to refrain from doing the “joint” gift, at least while she is young.

As your little one gets older and you find many families start to travel during the holidays, planning a birthday party can get tricky. Some parents opt for a half birthday party tradition, celebrating the festivities in the summer.


Always get a birthday cake! "Birthday Fruit Cake" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Make sure to get his favorite!

Celebrity Christmas Babies Do you or your child share a birthday with these famous folks?

• • •

Annie lennox, 1954 isaac newton, 1642 sissy spacek, 1949

• • •

jimmy buffett, 1946 humphrey bogart, 1899 robert ripley, 1890

Mary Wintercorn says her parents always did a great job of making her feel special on her birthday, which just happens to be Christmas. Here she shares a few tips from personal experience that will help make your kiddo’s day extra special.

• If you are worried about having a

Christmas baby, or any holiday baby, Mary suggests planning. She said that she, “tried to make sure [her] sons weren’t born on or around holidays.” Knowing December birthday kids can sometimes get "cheated", she planned to have her children away from the holiday season.

• Schedule parties early. Mary says you

should “try to plan your child’s birthday party in early December, before school is out and people start traveling or getting busy for the holidays.”

• When it comes time for gift giving,

Mary suggests NOT wrapping your child’s birthday presents in Christmas paper. ]

dHanukkah! Happy



December 6th marks the beginning of the eight-day celebration of the Festival of Lights. This year, share these special times with friends and family by welcoming in new traditions and celebrating with family favorites. 1 Serve amazing potato latkes. 2 Play the dreidel game.

3 Display a beautiful Menorah to light each night with friends and family.

4 Create special, lovely place settings at the table.

5 Enjoy challah bread at your meal. 6 Share Hanukkah gelt (chocolate

coins) with the children each night.

7 Make homemade fried doughnuts.

8 Celebrate and make new memories! Ingredients: 1 pound potatoes 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

With Dreidel I shall Play! Spinning the dreidel is a fun part of the traditional Hanukkah celebration! Dreidels are four-sided spinning tops inscribed with the Hebrew letters ‫( נ‬nun), ‫( ג‬gimel), ‫ה‬ (hei) and ‫( ש‬shin). Together these make an acronym for a saying that translates to “A great miracle happened there.” According to the Jewish faith, when the Jews were hiding from the Greeks in caves, learning about their religion, teachers would tell the children to

1 large egg, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.

put their scrolls away and take out the dreidels when soldiers were approaching.

How to Play The game starts with every player putting a piece into the pot and spinning the dreidel. The pieces can be anything but are typically gelt, or chocolate coins, and the letter that lands face up tells you what to do: Nun – Nothing happens Gimel – Player gets all the pieces in the pot Hei – Player gets half of what is in the pot Shin – Player has to put a piece in the pot

f Potato L atkes! A Hanukkah Tradition submitted by laurel housden

Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.




forks & spoons

"Does that have peanuts?" One Mom's Journey of Raising a Son with a Food Allergy BY APRIL TISHER

For us it started with an innocent bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at a birthday party followed by an errant piece of Halloween candy containing peanut butter and finally a few chicken nuggets fried in peanut oil. His symptoms ranged from hives to swollen lips and eyes to severe abdominal pain. A blood test and a skin test confirmed what we had suspected.

If you suspect your child has a food allergy, contact their pediatrician for testing or for a referral to an allergist.

Our son was allergic to peanuts. And, for this first-time mom with little experience in dealing with a food allergy … I was scared. Very scared. The fear wasn’t limited to the physical aspects of having a child with a severe allergy. Yes, I was afraid to let him out of my sight. The school, grandparents, parents of his friends and any caregivers had to be trained on how to use an epinephrine injector (most commonly known as the brand Epi-Pen). We had to learn to read labels on prepackaged food and how to inquire at restaurants and people’s homes about what ingredients were in foods. It is a sobering task to teach your 3-year-old how to ask, “are there peanuts or peanut butter?” anytime anyone gives him something to eat. We learned about cross contamination. For example, he can never eat M&Ms. Even the plain ones contain too much peanut dust to be safe.

As hard as it is to believe we also faced the occasional (or not so occasional) parent


Lisa Chapman, RN has been the school nurse at Talbot Elementary School for nine years. She says that peanuts and tree nuts (peanuts are not actually a nut, but a legume) are the most common food allergy she sees. She explained that the school has an “emergency box” containing two doses of epinephrine injections located in a central hallway. This is so anyone who is trained on giving the injection can access it for any person showing signs of an anaphylactic reaction if the school nurse is not available. She highly recommends that parents “notify your school nurse of any chronic conditions so they can provide the best care for your child.” She also advises that you fill out a “self-carry form” so that your child can carry their own medication with them at all times. This goes for Epi-Pens, insulin or inhalers. In some schools the clinic may be farther away from the classrooms or cafeteria and the student may need assistance faster. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

These days we are doing OK. I still panic a little on field trips when I cannot chaperone because it means another parent volunteer or teacher becomes responsible for his Epi-Pen. When he started middle school this fall I worried because it meant a new school nurse to collaborate with. He doesn’t go anywhere without Benadryl and an Epi-Pen and we had to teach him how to self-inject if he had to. I am more comfortable with speaking up instead of worrying about offending someone else. One day we were at a UF football game and there was someone eating roasted peanuts behind us. The dust from the shells alone is enough to trigger a reaction (which also means we can’t eat at restaurants with bins of peanut shells or shells on the floor). When a great play happened the guy stood up to cheer and dropped peanut shells directly into Andrew’s drink. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed one floating just before he took another sip. I shudder to think of how that day could have turned out if I hadn’t spotted it. Luckily the guy was really understanding about it and ditched the rest of his peanuts. That’s not always the case, but I can promise that no family with an allergy wants to be a spectacle or cause hardship on anyone else. We didn’t choose this and even though you may not be able to see the effects unless you are around when a reaction occurs, they are very real. ] For more information about food allergies visit and visit to download a food allergy field guide.

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

There was another factor to overcome as well, one you wouldn’t expect; the social stigma. Today, food allergies, gluten intolerances and specific diets are all commonplace, especially among school-aged children. You would think that would mean the world has become more tolerant to these differences from the norm, but as everyday as they are, these are still children that don’t like to be different from their peers. My son spent his very first day of kindergarten lunch at the “peanut table” sitting all alone with tears streaming down his face. Thankfully a dear neighbor friend of ours was at the school volunteering, saw him sitting there and went over to comfort him. The peanut table was intended to protect him, I knew, but, to him, it seemed like a punishment for something he could not control.

who felt like it wasn’t fair that they had to consider my child’s allergy when packing their own child’s lunch or bringing treats for the class/team/playgroup. It felt as if they thought we were making up the part about how anaphylactic shock could actually kill him. To be fair, I was always willing to bring in separate snacks and treats for Andrew so that other families wouldn’t be inconvenienced by his allergy. It was such a relief to find out other students in his class also had an allergy so we didn’t feel so singled out. I wish I had been a better advocate in the beginning instead of always apologizing for his allergy and the extra consideration it created for others. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


forks & spoons

Add a “Spark” to Your Holiday Cocktails BY APRIL TISHER | PHOTOS BY GIGGLE MAGAZINE

It’s party season! What better way to have your holiday event stand out than by serving a signature cocktail to complement your spread of delicious food? The Giggle Magazine girls were excited to spend time with the Wine Director and Certified Sommelier at Embers & Spark, Justin Hall. He began his career at Embers when they opened six years ago, and has not disappointed. He has added signature drinks to the menu and brought in many different wine and cocktail varieties through the years to complement the menu. We had a wonderful time with Justin and as you will see here, we were able to sneak off with a few of his favorite holiday drink recipes that can be easily replicated at home! The first tip he gave us was to be prepared. Just like with cooking, he says, you need to have all your ingredients and some at home essentials. He suggests buying a few “bar essentials” to ensure the at-home bartending experience goes as planned. First, a bar tin or stainless steel cup is a must have. The metal will ensure the drink is cold and served at the proper temperature. A bar spoon for stirring, a vegetable peeler for adding zest, a strainer for keeping the final product clean and a muddler for adding flavor from herbs round out his list of bar tools. One of the secrets to great cocktails is to use fresh juice whenever possible. Just as a chef uses quality ingredients in their recipes, freshly squeezed limes, lemons and oranges are the key to achieving the higher end taste you want. Another nice thing to consider is to use “whiskey cube ice”. This large ice cube will melt slower in the glass giving you a better finish.

Gin Basil Smash Goes well with: Lighter foods such as salads, seafood or a tomato mozzarella salad. For someone who likes: A light and refreshing drink. • 2 ounces of London dry gin (Hall recommends Beefeater or Hendrick’s) • 8 basil leaves; muddle for 30 seconds to get the color out of the basil • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice • ½ ounce of simple syrup (make your own by adding 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of almost boiling water) Add all ingredients to a bar tin and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to ensure the correct color and temperature. Strain drink. Hall recommends double straining the drink to ensure that the drink doesn't contain any small pieces of lemon or basil.

Negroni Goes well with: Meats and cheeses, as well as appetizers and antipasto. It is a great before-meal drink because, as Hall explains, it stimulates the appetite. For someone who likes: A classic, prohibition style cocktail. • 1 ounce of London dry gin • 1 ounce Campari • 1 ounce of sweet vermouth (Italian aperitif fortified wine) • Served with a curled orange peel for zest

Once you have your ingredients and bar essentials, it is time to begin!


Pour equal parts in your rocks serving glass and stir for 30 seconds.

Mocktail Raspberry Fizz Goes well with: Everything; a Giggle favorite! For someone who likes: Sweet, fun and refreshing drinks. A shaker was used to create the texture and fizz we loved. Just add all the ingredients below to the shaker and shake hard for 30 seconds, strain and pour into a Collins glass over ice. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.



• 2 ounces fresh raspberry juice • ¾ ounce of fresh lime juice • ¾ ounce of simple syrup • ½ ounce of ginger beer (Hall recommends the Fever-Tree brand that can be found at Publix) • Mint leaf Most of today’s ginger beer is considered non-alcoholic so this would be a good choice for those who are driving or can’t drink alcohol for other reasons. Be sure to always inquire about the contents of the particular beverage you are drinking before consuming and never drink and operate an automobile.

| DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016 • P L E A S E D rin k R esponsiblY | D O N O T D R I N K AND DRIVE •



forks & spoons

Ice Cube Innovations by nicole irving

Ice trays come in so many shapes and materials these days that you could just about morph water into any ice figure you want! But, why just use them for changing water to ice? Try these simple tricks that turn some everyday liquids into frozen treats.

Easy Ice Hacks Coffee Cubes Make your favorite coffee. Let it cool slightly, and then pour it into a cube tray. Freeze the coffee until you’re ready to use it, and then combine your cubes with milk for an iced coffee treat!

hot cocoa cooler Make hot cocoa and freeze in cubes. Perfect for cooling down a too-hot cup of holiday cocoa without watering it down.

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

lemon juice Squeeze the juice of 10 organic lemons. Pour the juice into ice trays and stick the trays in the freezer. Next time you have a glass of water, place one lemon cube in and enjoy for a refreshing drink. Smaller ice cube sizes work well for lemon juice.

spaghetti sauce

Scoop a tablespoon of your child’s favorite tomato sauce into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. One cube is the perfect amount for one portion of kiddo pasta. These are especially handy when baby sitters are over.

berry puree

Puree raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays, then place in the freezer. Next time you are making a smoothie, add one or two to the blender with banana, chia seeds, water and yogurt. Yum!

yogurt pops

Stir up your favorite fruit yogurt until mixed well and scoop it into ice cube trays. Freeze the yogurt for 30 minutes, or until just frosty. Place a Popsicle stick in the center of each cube, and then freeze them all the way. Pull one out for a healthy treat.

infused cubes

Love having a hint of fruit or cucumber in your water? Try freezing whole raspberries, strawberries and blueberries with water in cube trays. For cucumber, cut thinly and add three slices to each cube with water. Once they are completely frozen, place them in your water and you’re ready to go!

Keep It Cool

with these fun ice trays!

• Star Wars™ Yoda and R2-D2 Ice Cube Tray Trust your instincts and make fun ice cubes using this Star Wars-themed Yoda and R2-D2 Ice Cube Tray. You can keep your drinks cool with cubes shaped Yoda's head and R2's iconic design. $9.99, Available online at

• Lékué Slim Star Ice Cube Tray Add some fun to any beverage with the star-shaped ice cubes made from this Slim Star Ice Cube Tray from Lékué. These fun cubes with their stand-out shape are sure to help spice up any cocktail or fruit punch. $4.99, Available online at | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016





Show Dry Hands Some Love! BY NICOLE IRVING

This winter, keep your hands feeling smooth and hydrated with these hand-picked creams.

BURT'S BEES Aquaphor

This thick ointment is ideal for dry, cracked, or irritated skin and helps protect hands from the effects of wind and cold weather. Price: $7; Available at Walgreens/CVS

bliss ‘Glow’ of Hands


This mega-moisture duo includes two moisturizing hand creams that leave hands feeling soft and smooth.

This hand cream both moisturizes and nourishes hands for amazing softness. No added fragrances or greasy formula.

Price: $10; Available at Ulta/, Kohl’s,

Price: $13; Available at


Anthony Hand Cream

With anti-aging benefits and AHAs, this hand cream will help even skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It contains glycerin to hydrate, wheat protein to tighten and aqua cacteen to replenish dry, dehydrated skin. Price: $16; Available at

avaBODY Hand Body Lotion

This lotion is gentle on the skin and will hydrate and moisturize while leaving hands feeling powdery and soft. These products do not use ingredients that are harmful to the environment or you! Price: $13.95; Available at

BURTS BEES HAND SALVE A must-have for any gardener or outdoor enthusiast. This thick salve, once rubbed into skin, will moisturize and soften after a day outside. Price: $9; Available at

Photos courtesy of manufacturer.

Eminence Vanilla Mint Hand Cream

Made with organic shea butter and a soft hint of fresh vanilla, this organic hand lotion will leave your hands feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. Price: $14; Available at Spa Royale | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



Creating A Healthy Home Environment BY DANIELLE PASTULA

From our children’s success at school, to how we perform at work, to how happy we are in our relationships with family and friends, many things can be linked back to our home environments. One way to adjust how we look at our home is to break down our activities and improvements into the main three categories of health: physical, mental and emotional.

Creating a Healthy Physical Environment Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the piles of junk stacking up in the garage or the mountain of clothes that seems to magically reappear the day after you’ve finished laundry? Oftentimes the physical clutter of our lives can act as manifestations of stress we carry with us. To minimize the stress that clutter creates, take a weekend with the family to purge your home of things that are beyond repair or won’t be used, and create systems of organization to simplify your physical environment. Another aspect of physical health includes keeping your home safe in regards to chemicals and other substances that occur in everyday products. For example, using greener cleaning products can cut back on harmful chemicals that irritate our skin and respiratory systems. Ditching plastics such as food containers and water bottles in favor of ceramic or stainless steel containers also helps safeguard from chemicals such as BPA and phthalates, which are known hormone disrupters.


We’ve all heard the “no TV in the bedroom” rule, and it exists for a reason. We are constantly bombarded with outside distractions. Whether it’s TVs, phones or social media, something is always vying for our attention. Create space for quiet time and activities that don’t involve a screen so that your family can develop and ignite that natural desire for creativity, learning and play that often gets reduced due to mental distractions.

É Take Action

Now it’s time for some homework. Take pen to paper and make three columns for each area of health within your home. List out ideas for improving that area, list things you think you’re doing right, and get your kids involved. Through this process you’ll see that even small changes can create a big impact! ]

Healthy Home Ideas

Building a Healthy Emotional Environment Lastly, don’t let schedules or the previously mentioned distractions interfere with time you allow for healthy emotional connections to be strengthened. Make time for family togetherness, whether it’s during a weekly family date, or just during dinner. Be sure there are ample opportunities for emotions to be addressed and cared for. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


What We're Doing Right:

Ways We Can Improve:

Family} {The ____________________ MENTA L

What We're Doing Right:

Ways We Can Improve:


What We're Doing Right:

Ways We Can Improve:


download our printable at!

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Of course, physical health also includes our eating habits, so it’s important to take an in-depth look at what ingredients are in our food and switch to organic fruits, vegetables and meats whenever possible. By choosing whole foods and organic offerings as often as possible, we can avoid pesticide residues and nonbeneficial ingredients used to prolong shelf life.

Fostering a Healthy Mental Environment | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016






The most common reason why people don’t work out? They don’t have enough time. I always thought this was the worst excuse — until I had children.

Kettlebell: Forged in the furnaces of Russia since the 1700s, the kettlebell is arguably the most versatile piece of equipment. This cannon ball with a handle can work just about every muscle in the body in a way that mimics real world movements. From your calves to your traps, this powerhouse piece is a must-have in any home gym. I recommend getting a weight between 8kg and 16kg.

Behold: the Giggle Magazine at-home workout kit for 2016!


We recommend some must-have pieces of equipment, as well as items you should avoid. What we look for in exercise equipment is the most bang for your buck: You want equipment that offers versatility as well as functionality.


resistance bands: Typically made with surgical tubing, resistance bands give you the opportunity to tone and sculpt your chest, back, arms and shoulders. The bands take up very little space and come in varying levels of resistance. Be sure to buy all the different levels (green, red, blue, black and gray) so you can continue to challenge yourself.

jump rope: Another piece of equipment that has been around for hundreds of years, the jump rope can burn a ton of calories in a short span of time. Channel your inner child while revving up your heart rate and building your coordination.

body weight: Your own body weight can be used toward more exercises than any piece of equipment. From pushups to squats to the infamous burpees, all you need is you! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

With children, a spouse and a full-time job, everyday life can make it difficult to find time to work out. But what if you could exercise while your child plays in his or her room or between school pickups? It can be done and you can do it!

timer or watch: The traditional “three sets of 10 reps” workout is a thing of the past! You can use a timer to dictate how long you exercise, as well as how long you rest in between sets. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is hot in the fitness world and a timing device is all the equipment you need. You can purchase a timer or just download one on your smartphone.

w hat n o t t o b u y • Anything that’s “As Seen on TV” • Treadmill/elliptical (unless you need more space to hang clothes) • Bowflex Trainer

t r y i t y o u r se l F Set a timer for 10 minutes and perform each exercise in sequence until you are out of time.

10 pushups 10 kettlebell squats 10 resistance band rows 10 burpees 50 jump rope skips ➜ Christopher Pregony, BS, CSCS, has his Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Master Trainer at Sweat Life Fitness, Inc. Chris has been in the fitness industry for more than 10 years and has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals through positive reinforcement and a vast knowledge of the industry. He is a proud husband and a father of an amazing 3-year-old boy. For more information on exercise routines or health and fitness in general, contact Chris at

✱ Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




happy home

Homemade Holiday Ornaments by nicole irving | photos by giggle magazine

Making ornaments with your children is a wonderful holiday tradition to start! These little trinkets can make great gifts for grandparents and relatives, and each year they will have a new one to add to their tree or holiday display. Our ornaments are perfect for all ages and crafting skill levels!



Melted Snowman

Directions: To make the nose, roll out a very small piece of the FIMO clay into a carrot shape; it can be as big or little as you want. Use a toothpick to make little lines through the nose for a realistic look. Lay the carrots on a baking sheet and follow FIMO clay instructions to bake. Once done, pull them out and let cool. Carefully take the top of the ornament off and lay aside. Use a small funnel (or a folded piece of paper) to pour kosher salt into the ornament. Add black peppercorns to represent the eyes and buttons. Drop in a carrot nose. Once everything is in the ornament, place the top back on. If it needs added security, add a touch of hot glue to the top. Finally, tie a festive ribbon on to complete your ornament!



Cinnamon Stick Tree WHAT YOU'LL NEED Directions: Cut green fabric into three 4-inch strips. Tie them to the cinnamon stick, equally spaced. Trim the fabric to desired length. Next, hot glue the three small buttons to the green fabric where it is connected to the cinnamon stick. Hot glue the star button to one end of the “tree.� Once dry, hot glue the ribbon to the tree in a loop, and then hang from your tree or another holiday display. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




Sewing Spool Train Directions: Paint the large and small spools black. Once they are dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the two large spools together (see photo). Next, use the hot glue gun to attach the small spool to the train where you want the smoke stack and let dry. Attach the large black buttons with hot glue to represent wheels. Once dry, paint on details as you like with gold paint. Finally, twist in the eye hook and tie a festive ribbon to it so that it can be hung on the tree.

JOY Ornament Directions: Paint the chipboard letters with silver paint and let them dry. Using the hot glue gun, attach the letters together. Punch out snowflakes from the white cardstock using the snowflake hole punch. Attach them to the letters with hot glue. Next, create a ribbon “hook” by attaching a small piece of ribbon to the letters with the hot glue. Once dry, hang the finished ornament on your tree or some hooks as festive décor!

Giggle Tip:

A glue gun will make these projects even easier! Always supervise children who are using hot glue guns.





happy home

Younger children are natural mimics and love to help with chores!


Queries from the Curious

I want my kids to learn about organizing and to do household chores. They aren’t interested in helping out in any systematic way, and I have trouble getting their cooperation without nagging. How do I make them understand the importance of helping out?

Parents are the role models for children’s behaviors in the early years. What message do you convey about doing housework? If your approach is negative, you won’t attract much of a following. Being cheerful will capture the imagination of the youngest kiddos. Toddlers, being natural mimics, are eager to help with chores. Narrating what you are doing teaches them in a natural way. A positive attitude and a lot of praise are more important than a perfect outcome.


© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

You’re not the only parent who has trouble getting all hands on deck to keep the household running smoothly while encouraging responsibility. But don’t give up on the ship before you evaluate your recruitment efforts.

One way to get your younger children to help out is to turn chores into fun games.

• Toddlers and preschoolers can play “beat the buzzer” to pick up toys and win a sticker.

• Have them dust low surfaces with socks on their hands, pretending their “puppets” are eating yucky stuff.

• Instead of telling your kids it’s time to clean up, keep the game going by having them drive their toy trucks and cars back to the “garage” when the day’s work has ended.

• Try playing restaurant to encourage them to help with cooking, setting the table, emptying the dishwasher and clearing the table. Match the chore to your child’s likes. Audition your child to see how he or she reacts to helping with sorting laundry, gathering toys, feeding the pets, etc. Kids aged 5 to 8 may not be enthusiastic about some of the tasks now expected of them, but they have learned to enjoy a feeling of competence after a job well done, as well as recognition for their efforts. Keep teaching them how to do the chores by using a checklist of the steps involved. Better yet, have them create the checklist once they know the drill. Provide good tools to make chores easier. To clean up and organize their bedrooms, kids need accessible closet space, hooks, a dresser, storage bins and shoe racks or baskets. Talk about the options for organizing and take the kids shopping to pick out their preferred items. If they have too many stuffed animals or toys, hold a purging party, especially before an upcoming birthday or the winter holidays. The prospect of new toys arriving works miracles for perceptions of space. Resistance grows through the preteen and teen stages. These are the years to recognize your kids’ growing independence by having them choose the chores they prefer and set up routines to fit around school and extracurricular schedules. Because school has to be their first priority, even the most efficient routines have to be flexible in the face of big exams or project deadlines. Supervise your kids’ learning through each developmental stage of household citizenship. Demanding their help or nagging them into compliance creates a lot of stress — for you as well as them — and negativity. Try recognizing their efforts, say “thank you” at every turn, and tell them how their contributions to the family benefit everyone. Age-appropriate rewards help, too. How much laundry would you fold without complaint for an ice cream sundae? ]

 Helen Kornblum is a life coach and organizer in Gainesville, FL. Find her at Her specialty is coaching teens and young adults who have ADHD or ADD. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


learn Here are a few of Patterson’s book recommendations for various reading stages: AGES 0-6 • “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow • “My Very First Mother Goose” by Iona Hope • “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” by Mem Fox • “No, David!” by David Shannon • “Olivia” by Ian Falconer • “Billy and Milly, Short and Silly!” by Eve Feldman • “Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans • “When Dinosaurs Came with Everything” by Elise Broach

Instilling a Love of Reading Early On

AGES 6 & UP • “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett • “Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish • “Judy Moody Goes to College” by Megan McDonald • “What’s the Matter in Mr. Whiskers’ Room?” by Michael Elsohn Ross


As a parent, one of the most effective ways you can instill a love for reading in your children is to simply read aloud to them. While this may seem natural when they are infants, it is just as important to continue when they are in elementary school. It has been shown that reading aloud to your child daily from an early age will help them become children who love to read.

Reading can help develop imagination and exposes children to experiences other than their own. Books can be a great source of entertainment at any age and finding the right book for your child is key!

Of course, practice makes perfect. The more children read, the better readers they will become. James Patterson, the author of numerous novels, created an inspiring website called It’s a place where you can “get and share tips and ideas with thousands of likeminded parents.” ]

AGES 8 & UP • “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White • “Big Nate: In a Class By Himself” by Lincoln Peirce • “The Homework Machine” by Dan Gutman • “A Black Hole in NOT a Hole” by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano • “Looking for Bobowicz: A Hoboken Chicken Story” by Daniel Pinkwater AGES 10 & UP • “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine • “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins • “North of Beautiful” by Justina Chen Headley • “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak • “Holes” by Louis Sachar • “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger • “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green • “Hidden Child” by Isaac Millman • “The Way We Work” by David Macaulay • “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton • “Code: A Virals Novel” by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading,” - B.F. Skinner 74 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Let your child see you reading on a regular basis. Children love to replicate what they see. Whether it is newspapers, magazines or novels, modeling this behavior regularly will impact them. Curiosity will peak their interest and they will want to imitate what you are doing.

Read to your child or with your child at the same time each day. The structure and repetition will set a precedent that is just as important to them as brushing their teeth. Vary the location so that boredom doesn’t set in. You can read together at home, on a couch, at a coffee shop or even in the local library. This is a great bonding time between the two of you so make it fun. Not only will your child begin to look forward to this time together, it can turn reading into a habit. That’s a habit you’ll hope they’ll always have!


Teacher Gifts: What Do They Really Want? BY GIGGLE STAFF WRITER

For those of us that are parents of school-aged children, the upcoming holidays can cause us to spend countless hours looking for just the right gift for our child’s teacher. Oftentimes, we have more than one teacher to buy gifts for and anxiety sets in as the last day before holiday break is upon us. So, we at Giggle Magazine asked a group of Alachua County teachers to make it easy on us and let us know what they would really like to receive from their parents if the parents want to buy them a gift. The first thing every teacher we interviewed wanted us to know is that they appreciate anything that they receive. But, with the direct question of “what do you really want?” being asked of them, they let us know.

1 Gift Cards. Teachers all feel gift cards are easy. They also allow them to buy things that they really need or want. Many teachers shared that gift cards to office supply stores or craft stores allow them to buy things that they need for their classroom (as they spend a lot of their own money covering the costs of paper, ink and cardstock regularly). The amount of the gift card does not have to be large either. Anything is much appreciated and very helpful. If you are in the market to try and purchase something more personal for your teacher, a

iewed "The first thing every teacher we intervcia te wanted us to know is that they appre anything that they receive." gift card to a specialty store works well too. Often, class parents will pool their money together and can put their collection together and purchase one larger gift card. If this is done, an easy gift card to purchase is a VISA gift card as they can be used almost anywhere. Of course, gift cards to restaurants or entertainment venues are a special treat, too.

2 Homemade Gifts.

3 Personal Cards from Students and Their Families. A handwritten note that expresses how much you and your children are enjoying the year so far is worth more than

4 Teachers Pay Teachers Credit. Teachers love new ideas and is a great resource for finding new ideas online. Having a credit to use on this website is a great resource for your teacher to use throughout the year for their class.

5 Things That Are Useful. Teachers do not need more coffee mugs, ornaments or candles (even though they appreciate receiving them). What they want is something they can really use in their classroom or personal life. Classroom books and office supplies are very much appreciated. ]

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Teachers do enjoy receiving handmade things as long as time and a lot of thought were put into making it. Of course, they treasure every drawing their students give them, but they really appreciate something that can be considered a real work of art and be hung on their classroom wall.

anything money can buy. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season are always wonderful to receive from the kids they care so much about and knowing that your kid took the time to write a note to their teacher is priceless.

New Patented Lenses for

G PROBLEMS READING E B E ChromaGen is a new life changing lens technology which is patented, cleared by the FDA, and is now available in the United States for patients suffering from words that move up and down or side to side or blurry most common with Dyslexia. Call for additional information


The Optical Shop • 352.331.1933 Bill Hogan L.D.O. // ChromaGen Screener 6830 NW 11 Place • Gainesville, FL

There are many tax-deductible ways to support our mission through contributions of goods or funds. PSF provides gifts to the more than 1,200 children in our care at the holidays and meets many needs through our resource centers.


Partner Families have the challenging task of helping a child heal and prepare to go back home, if possible, or on to a new permanent home.

Partner Families are urgently needed in our community, especially for teens and sibling groups.


Sometimes children are unable to return to their family of origin. There are many supports and incentives afforded to encourage adoption from foster care.

Partner and Adoptive Family training classes start in January! Call us today at 352-213-7219 to learn more or go online to begin the orientation! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



Ask a Home-Schooler: An Interview with Torie Griffin BY TARA GRIFFIN

This is Torie's third year of home school. She is wise beyond her years, and that gets her into trouble. I have often contemplated sending her back to school because of being unsure that I can give her all she needs to get her happily to adulthood. After interviewing her, my perspective has changed; I love that some of her answers surprised me! Tell me a little about yourself.

I'm 8 years old, and I like singing, playing piano and guitar, making potions, and playing outside. Where do you think you’ll go to college?

I have like 10 choices for that! If I had to pick I'd say UF, Berklee School of Music, Belmont in Nashville, or Yale. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Maybe a singer/songwriter, a chemist, or a surfer. What are your favorite subjects?

History, chemistry, art and music. What are your least favorite?

Um, right now I'm not that much into math, or anything in a workbook. What do you think is your best skill?

Self-sufficiency. Like, taking care of myself and everybody else. What are your favorite books?

What is your favorite movie?

“Pippi Longstocking”, “T he Baby-Sitters Club” movie, and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” What activity do you like to do outside of school?

Climb trees. 78

Fruit picking, museums, Orlando Science Center, [and] MOSI in Tampa. Place you most want to go on a field trip:

New York to pick apples or backstage at a Taylor Swift concert. You’ve been to traditional school and home school. How is home school different than traditional school?

T he schedule. We wake up later, get more learning done during the day, there's no homework, we have a lot of free time, and we get to travel more. And the friends. My home-school friends seem more supportive, more kind, more interested in real things, and they like to play more than my school friends. Do you feel like you’re missing anything by being home schooled?

No. I literally don't miss anything. Anything you're glad to be free of from traditional school?

Everything. Homework, bullies, lines, cafeteria lunch. Do you feel like traditional school children are missing anything?

Yes. I feel like they miss out on life. Especially the being a kid part. I get so much more encouragement when I'm working on something and WAY more time to play now that I'm home schooling. How do you make friends?

Just, you know, the normal ways. Like going up to someone, say “hi,” see if you have anything in common. Where is your favorite spot to do schoolwork?

Hanging upside down from a T RX at Dad's work. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Is your mom a good teacher?

Yes, because I'm learning how to be a better human, not just schoolwork. Anything else you want to add?

I feel like I'm getting more attention than I was in school. I can study things that I'm actually interested in learning, and grownups take me more seriously now. I really love home schooling. Can I go outside and play now? Ha. Sure. And, thanks. You reaffirmed my desire to keep helping you grow into an awesome adult. ]

Photos provided by Tara Griffin.

“T he Baby-Sitters Club” series. T his is a bad question because I like pretty much every single book right now. Oh, “Harry Potter”! I love “Harry Potter.”

Where are your favorite field trip spots? | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




 expecting Understanding the Placenta

 infant | 0-1 Engaging in Playtime with Your Baby

 toddler | 2-3 Taming the Toddler Tornado

Photo by Patricia Bishop Photography.

 early years | 4-5 Raising an Introvert in an Extroverted World

 kids | 6-9 Taking the Drama Out of Playtime

 tweens | 10-13 What's On Your Tween's Reading List?

 teens | 14-18 Senior Year Stress | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




pregnancy health practitioners believe it aids in labor recovery, relieves pain, lowers your chances of postpartum depression, and prevents breastfeeding ailments, among other things.

Placental Problems • Placenta Previa Placenta previa occurs when your placenta is lying lower in the uterus and partially or fully covers your cervix. Placenta previa may be present in your first trimester, however the placenta is likely to move further away from the cervix as your pregnancy advances. According to Dr. Kay Roussos-Ross, the Medical Director of UF Health’s Women’s Center, if your ultrasound still shows placenta previa halfway through your pregnancy or in the third trimester, you’ll be advised pelvic rest and will have to have a C-section. Placenta previa occurs in approximately three to five pregnancies out of 1,000, Roussos-Ross said.

Understanding the Placenta BY Danielle Pastula

Pregnancy is a beautiful and exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also be confusing and even scary for first-time expecting moms. We’re guessing you’ve stocked up on all the “What to Expect…” types of books you can get your hands on, but even if you’re a mom-to-be who has no interest in poring over books, here’s some essential info about the placenta that you’ll be glad to know come your due date.

The Role of the Placenta

The placenta is a separate organ that develops during pregnancy and attaches to the wall of the uterus. The role of the placenta is to act as a filtration system for your baby. The placenta delivers oxygen and nutrients to your baby, and it also removes waste products from his or her blood. This transfer and removal of nutrients and waste is facilitated through the umbilical cord. The placenta doesn’t just gradually disappear after you have your baby. If you deliver your baby vaginally, you’ll also experience what’s called the “third stage of labor.” You’ll have some more mild contractions and need to push to deliver your placenta. If you have a C-section, the placenta will be removed during the procedure. After delivering the placenta, the medical staff will properly dispose of it for you, or, as some women are choosing to do, you can keep some of your placenta for postpartum consumption. This practice is referred to as placentophagy and many holistic


Placenta accreta occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow into the uterine wall, which results in the placenta remaining attached to the uterus after childbirth. According to Roussos-Ross, the main risk factor for placenta accreta is the occurrence of prior C-sections. The risk exponentially increases with each prior C-section, and if present, placenta accreta typically requires a hysterectomy at the time of delivery. Placenta accreta can usually be detected during a routine ultrasound. However if you experience any bleeding, especially in the third trimester, Roussos-Ross advises that you let your doctor know immediately.

• Placental Abruption Placental abruption refers to the occurrence of the placenta detaching from the uterine wall either partially or fully before delivery. It can either develop rapidly due to force trauma such as a car accident or fall, or develop slowly over the course of the pregnancy, due to factors such as pre-eclampsia or smoking. While rare (roughly 0.3 to 1 percent of pregnancies), placental abruption is a very serious pregnancy complication for both mom and baby as it can deprive the baby of oxygen and cause major blood loss for the mother, Roussos-Ross said. Some symptoms of placental abruption include painful vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal and back pain, and rapid contractions. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately seek medical attention. It’s a lot of information to take in, but don’t let it scare you. The more you know, the better you can prepare for anything pregnancy throws your way! ✽

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

What Happens with the Placenta?

• Placenta Accreta | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



infant Engaging in Playtime with Your Baby ag e s 0 - 1


❉ 6 - 9 MONTHS • Babies will now begin to learn about object permanence (that objects still exist even when we can’t see them), so games like peekaboo will become very fun!

• As baby begins to roll over, sit up and

crawl, she will be very interested in babysafe toys of all shapes, sizes and textures.

• As baby continues to learn language

development, reinforce the sounds that he is making by repeating them. Also introduce new sounds and simple words and watch as baby begins to imitate you!

• Keep reading to baby! Point out objects,

people and animals as you read about them.

• Encourage crawling during tummy time

As the mommy of a 4-year-old little boy and a 3-month-old little girl, I find myself going back and forth between playing superheroes and peekaboo. I have preschool activities pretty well handled, but it’s hard to remember what to do with a little baby when it comes to playtime!

• Slowly move brightly colored items in

front of baby’s face. As she gets a little bigger, she will begin focusing on them and even following them with her eyes!

❉ 3 - 6 MONTHS

Here are some ideas for playing with baby from birth all the way up to one year!

• Make different faces for baby to imitate. • Provide toys of different colors, shapes and

• Help baby explore her hearing by gently

shaking a rattle on one side of her face and then the other.

• Gently clap baby’s hands together, stretch his arms out, and move his legs in a pedaling motion.

• Talk, sing and read to baby. While it may

seem like you are talking to yourself, your

• Let your baby have time on his tummy to begin pushing up and strengthening neck and shoulder muscles.

• Talk to baby and let her respond. At this point, she may be cooing and laughing when you talk with her.

textures for baby to touch and grab onto. He will begin learning to reach for and hold objects and will likely put them right into his mouth! Make sure that none of these objects is a choking hazard.

• Teach language and conversation by

talking to baby and responding to the sounds she is making. These sounds will move from cooing to consonant sounds like “dadada,” “bababa,” and “mamama.” | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

❉ 9 MONTHS - 1 YEAR • Continue much of what you have already

been doing, but get a little more advanced.

• Instead of playing peekaboo by covering

your face with your hands, cover your face with a blanket and let baby pull it off to find you.

• Play hide-and-seek by having your baby

watch you hide a toy that she can then go and find.

• Continue to talk, sing and read to your baby. It is equally important to give your baby time to play alone (but not unsupervised). For example, you might place the baby on a blanket on the floor with several soft toys within reach and allow him to explore his surroundings. As babies grow, this kind of play encourages creativity, curiosity and problem solving. While there are many examples of ways to play with your baby during the first year, the important thing is that you just play! ✽

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is very important for a child’s development cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally. But how do we play with someone who can’t talk or really do much of anything just yet? And how long should we play with them?



baby will begin to associate your voice with comfort.

by helping your baby onto her hands and knees. Then put a favorite toy just out of reach for her to move toward. Put the toy a little farther out of reach and continue the game for as long as she enjoys playing. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


Register for

Spring League!


HOLIDAY CAMP | DECEMBER 21 - 23 Register Online! | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




ag e s 2 - 3

Taming the Toddler Tornado by nicole irving

Toddlers are like little tornadoes — a mixture of abundant energy with the ability to cause mass chaos in the blink of an eye. Just like tornadoes, it isn’t their fault or intention. They just want to get into everything. Toddlers use their talents of exploration and mischief to learn about their world and, as parents, this can cause a great deal of stress, yelling and tantrums — from both parents and kids. Here we share a few simple and easy ways to keep our toddlers engaged, learning and happy all while maintaining control and our own sense of peace and comfort!

Find a helper

Kids love to mimic their parents. Set a routine where your toddler can begin helping you set the table (napkins), wash dishes (plastic ones) and sweep (small handheld broom).

Get on their level

Sit on the floor and let them come to you. Have them bring you their favorite stuffed animal, book or toy. Spend time playing and engaging. Set a time each day to do this.

Recognize limits

If you know your child is going to have a meltdown at the grocery store because they are tired, then don’t go. Going will just give you a melting kiddo in the frozen section and put you at your wits end. Staying at home will make for a happy mommy and toddler.

If you don’t have time to get them to every mommy and me music class, that is OK. Music is a wonderful outlet for toddlers. Have them make their own instruments out of Tupperware and spoons. Allow them to get their own “instruments” of choice from the pantry (with supervision of course) and let them go at it. Sing and dance with them as they play away.


This is either a parent’s favorite part of the day or most dreaded; however toddlers love to create. To keep things calm, allow only one craft out at a time. Place your toddler into a booster seat at the table so they can be safe and secure. Keep art projects on their level and encourage them to have fun. Once done, have them help clean up.

Let them explore

Fresh air always does a body good. Set a time each day to have them run and explore outside. Give them a scavenger list and have them go find the items on the list and bring them back to you. Not only will this wear them out, but they will also love getting their hands dirty and exploring the yard. The best time for these types of activities is either before naptime or bedtime. The fresh air and running will wear them out, and a hot bath after will help calm them down.

Train your little chef

Dinnertime, or any mealtime for that matter, can be stressful with kids. However, it can also become one of the best times. Cooking can teach toddlers how to count, measure and form a love of food and cooking. Have | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

toddlers wash veggies, stir mashed potatoes or sprinkle cheese on homemade pizza. Always supervise!

Rely on routine

Children thrive on routine. At preschool their day is structured from beginning to end. At home, it can be hard to be as structured and engaged the same way, but even having a loose routine can help. On the weekend schedule naptime, snack time, playtime and craft time as much as you can.

Don't forget safety

I had locks on everything, and yet my kids still managed to get into the fridge, pantry, arts and crafts, and diaper cream. Toddlers are sneaky and quick, but the more you think one step ahead the better. Use safety locks where you can to prevent your toddler from getting into things he or she shouldn’t. This will help keep the tornado in control.

Don't fight it; engage it!

Your toddlers will only be toddlers for a little bit; you don’t want to miss it. Put down the phone, walk away from the computer and engage with your toddler. ]

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Make time for music

Do arts and crafts | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



early years

ages 4 - 5

Raising an Introvert in an Extroverted World BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

When most people hear the word “introvert,” they think of a quiet, painfully shy homebody. Parents Kristin and Jay never considered their talkative, funloving boy as an introvert, until his 5th birthday. “We planned this great birthday weekend,” Kristin explained. “We stayed at a nice hotel and met up with friends and family at a theme park, but JJ just didn’t seem happy about it.” She said her son was withdrawn at the theme park and didn’t appear relaxed until they stopped at a restaurant on their drive home. “It was just us having a regular meal, nothing fancy, but he was happy,” Jay described. “That’s when I thought, maybe he’s an introvert.” In her book, “The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child,” psychologist Marti Laney writes that though introverted children, or “innies,” as she calls them, are very in tune with themselves, they are often fatigued and overwhelmed by interacting with the social world.

Other qualities that introverts possess are a strong sense of self-awareness and capacity for depth. Because they spend so much time inside their heads,

In the classroom, an introverted child is able to focus and listen well, but may get lost in her own thoughts. Due to her quiet nature, she also runs the risk of being overlooked, so be sure to keep in communication with her teacher. She may also need time to process her thoughts and feelings, so if she doesn’t immediately tell you about her day, don’t be alarmed. It may take her up to a day to figure out how to express herself. As with anything, though, there needs to be balance in an innie’s life. Don’t be afraid to introduce your child to new people or experiences, and model

relaxed, friendly behavior toward others to promote confidence in your child. Understand if he needs down time afterward in a less-stimulating environment. Many parents may feel conflicted about how their innie can succeed in an extroverted world. They may feel pressured to help their child adjust his or her personality. Laney strongly advises against this. “Trying to impose a new personality onto an introvert will only lower his self esteem, increase his guilt and shame about who he is, and add crippling shyness to his introverted temperament,” she states. “Confident introverted children will forge adult lives of meaning, value and creativity. By supporting their natural resources, you will allow their gifts to grow.” ] *Names changed for privacy.

 Tips for raising an introverted child • Respect her preferences. Introverts often value quality over quantity. If she is happy and comfortable with 1 or 2 close friends instead of a whole social group, thats okay!


• Celebrate her when she steps out of her comfort zone. Let her know when you notice that she talked to the new kid on the playground and praise her for it.

• Understand and respect her need for "alone time." Socializing can be draining and some quiet time reading or playing alone in her room can help her recharge.

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

She states the main difference between innies and extroverts is the source of their energies. While innies gain their energy from thinking and processing, extroverts gain their energy from outside of themselves, which is why they may seem very outgoing and active. So, when JJ had the opportunity to regroup and be with familiar surroundings, he was able to re-energize and just be himself.

they are stimulated and energized by processing their feelings and developing ideas.

Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is to be lice free!

FDA APPROVED • ALL NATURAL, CHEMICAL-FREE LICE-FREE IN 30 MIN • BACK TO SCHOOL SAME DAY OUR 100% GUARANTEE Lice-free for 30 days or we treat you again for free.


3601 SW 2nd Avenue, Suite V • Gainesville FL 32607 352-745-3455 • • | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016 91 For more information on lice, visit



ag e s 6 - 9

Taking the Drama Out of Playtime OLIVIA K PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

Act 1, Scene 1. Two children and their mothers arrive at the park. Mothers greet each other and begin chatting happily, grateful for socialization. One child begins throwing mulch at the other who quickly climbs to the top of the monkey bars and cries uncontrollably. The end. If every theater production were like this playdate, there would be no one buying tickets. No wonder so many parents actually avoid playdates. However, not every playdate needs to be filled with such drama. Here are a few things to consider when organizing your child’s next gettogether. Characters: Who does your child play with? Find a child who shares the same temperament as your child. If your child is the rough-and-tumble type, he or she may not play well with someone who is quiet and reserved. Also make sure the children have similar interests. My daughter loves playing with baby dolls so she has fun with another little girl who enjoys the same thing. If possible, have the other parent present to correct the other child’s behavior if necessary. Scene Where will your playdate be? Many parents prefer a neutral location away from home to avoid the mess and territorial attitudes than can come along with a playdate. A park, zoo or an indoor play area are all fun choices to keep your kiddos entertained.


Dialogue: Before setting up your playdate, have a talk with your child about good manners and common courtesy. Remind your child of the importance of taking turns and sharing their toys with friends. To further help them understand how to treat others, read “Llama Llama Time to Share” with your child. After the playdate, recognize all the positive behavior your child exhibited and address any problems he or she might have had. Ask your child if he or she would like to do it again, and hopefully you will be contacting the other parent to arrange a sequel! ✽ | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Share a Story! • "Llama Llama Time to Share" by Anna Dewdney tells the story of a little llama who learns to share his toys during a playdate. • "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister is a classic tale about how its more fun to share than it is to keep everything for yourself.

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Program: If you decide to host the playdate in your home, develop a flexible schedule. How long will your playdate last? Two hours seems to be a manageable time – just enough time to have fun, but not enough time for them to get tired of each other. What will the kids do at your house? Young children need a balance of structured and free play. Give them a supply of sidewalk chalk or a bouncing ball and have them play outside. Will you feed them? Depending on the time of day, have enough food on hand that both children will like and definitely keep them hydrated.

Two hours seems to be a manageable time – just enough time to have fun, but not enough time for them to get tired of each other.

Danscompany of Gainesville


Resident Company of Cameron Dancenter since 1981


The Spring Concert followed by


Join us a s we eas

e on

do w



a ro

d .. . Saturday, March 12th, 2016 | 1:30 & 7:00 p.m.

UF Phillips Center • 3201 Hull Road | Gainesville, FL 32611 GENERAL ADMISSION $15 • Children under 10 free with a new educational game, toy, book or art activity which will be donated in 2016 to Children’s Home Society (while ticket supplies last) Ticket Information: 352-371-0761 | | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016



tweens What's on Your Tween's Reading List? ages 1 0 - 1 3


Books have the power to benefit kids in amazing ways. Reading exposes children to extended vocabularies, complex ideas and new horizons. They visit other cities and worlds, make new friends and explore galaxies far far away. We interviewed four local tweens about their love of reading and asked for their top book recommendations for their peers. "I like the 'Heroes of Olympus' series because the books are big, but easy to read and they keep you entertained. My favorite book is 'Esperanza Rising' by Pam Munoz Ryan because it's about a little Vietnamese girl who comes to America and reminds me of my mom. I'm actually reading it for the second time now."

Clayton, 6th grade

Maddie, 5th grade • "Esperanza Rising" by Pam Munoz Ryan • "Rogue Wave" by Jennifer Donnelly • "Deep Blue" by Jennifer Donnelly • "The Hobbit" by J. R. R. Tolkien • "Holes" by Louis Sacher • "Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen • "Flush" by Carl Hiaasen • "Chomp" by Carl Hiaasen • "Inside Out and Back Again" by Thanhha Lai • "The Son of Neptune" by Rick Riordan • "The Lost Hero" by Rick Riordan • "The House of Hades" by Rick Riordan • "The Blood Olympus" by Rick Riordan 94 | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

"'Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban' is my favorite book because it introduces the character Sirus Black. He is Harry's godfather and is misunderstood because he is mistaken as a murderer. I enjoyed the entire 'Wings of Fire' series because of the magical dragons and they helped to open my imagination."

• "Harry Potter "series (Books 1-7) by J.K. Rowling • "Wings of Fire" series (Books 1-8) by Tui T. Sutherland • "Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


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


Reid W. Montini DMD, MS, PA Dr. Reid W. Montini attended Florida State University for his undergraduate studies, received his dental degree from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and completed his residency in orthodontics at the University of Florida. Dr. Montini is an active member of numerous professional organizations and is dedicated to staying current with the latest advances in orthodontic | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016 96 treatment and technology.

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

7520 W. University Ave., Suite C • Gainesville

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


"It’s very hard to narrow it down to just one but my top two

favorites have to be 'Princess Academy' and 'The WaterFire • "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale Saga.' Both books are action packed and filled with magic. • "Half a Chance" by Cynthia Lord • "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by Kate For a starter book, I recommend the 'Treasure Hunters' series by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein." DiCamillo • "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio • "Elvis and the Underdog" by Jenny Lee • "Ungifted" by Gordon Korman • "Treasure Hunters" series by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein • "Canterwood Crest" series by Jessica Burkhart • "The Imaginary Veterinary" series by Suzanne Selfors • "Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel" by Megan Morrison • "The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot" by Caroline Carlson • "Emily Windsnap: Two Magical Mermaid Tales" by Liz Kessler • "Smells Like Pirates" by Suzanne Selfors • "The WaterFire Saga" by Jennifer Donnelly • "Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library" by Chris Grabenstein

Abbie, 6th grade

"I love 'The Hobbit.' I've read it twice and plan to start it again tonight! It's strange, creative, and filled with action."

• "Peter and the Starcatchers" series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

• "The Hobbit" by J. R. R. Tolkein • "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling • "Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo • "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo • "Mysterious Benedict Society" series by Trenton Lee Stewart • "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle • "George's Secret Key to the Universe" by Lucy and Stephen Hawking

TANNER, 5th grade

• "Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis • "Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain • "The Giver" by Lois Lowry • "Indian in the Cupboard" trilogy by Lynne Reid Banks • "Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen • "Spiderwick Chronicles" by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi • "39 Clues" series by various authors • "Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren • "Wings of Fire" series by Tui T. Sutherland • "Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016




ag e s 1 4 - 1 8

Senior Year Stress by bobbi bloom

The stress of your child’s senior year is like no other. What I noticed with my own children is that it is most likely due to their fear of the unknown. Seniors feel an enormous amount of pressure. Whether the pressure comes from within or from outside sources, the stress is definitely real. Parents are not the only ones who recognize the stress that seniors are under. As the school counselor at the Oak Hall School, Laurie Gehler works with students to reduce the effects of stress during the school day. “We start with basic organization skills and talk therapy and move to breathing exercises and ‘meditative’ techniques. Finally, I do an anxiety assessment to determine if we need to bring in outside help. To be honest, the first phase is generally effective. I use Beck’s anxiety survey to determine if there is a greater need than I can provide in my office with our limited time,” said Gehler. At this time in their lives, seniors have many decisions to make, especially in regards to college. Their questions may be as largescale as “should I even go to college?” and “what do I see myself doing as a career?” or as detailed as “do I want to live in a city or maybe a college town?” While college may be the leading source of stress for high school seniors, it is not the only one.

Additional causes of stress in high school seniors include: • Being overscheduled • Feeling pressure to perform at a very high level • Blended families or two working parents • Problems with boyfriends or girlfriends • Judgment by peers • Disagreements with parents, teachers or friends The UCLA Higher Education Research Institute conducts an annual survey that, among other topics, assesses feelings of stress in incoming college freshmen. The survey found that 9.5 percent of those questioned had frequently felt depressed during the past year, as compared to the 6.1 percent reported five years prior. Those who said they felt overwhelmed by schoolwork and other commitments rose by 7.5 percent over five years, bringing the current total to 34.6 percent. Parents can be of great help in teaching their child how to better handle stress. Explain that what he is feeling is normal and that it will pass. Remind him that there should be balance in his life. There is a time to work and there is a time to play. It is tough being the parent of a high school senior. Remind yourself that you may need to do more listening than you are used to. Be a sounding board for your child. She needs you now, even if she does not say it. ]

what can parents do? • Let your child vent to you. This may not be an easy one but it can be extremely helpful to your child. Oftentimes, your child will feel worlds better once he gets everything off his mind. • Teach your kids relaxation strategies or breathing techniques. • Stay positive and try to be extra sensitive during this time. • Suggest some form of exercise to help her clear her mind. • Try to help them to keep things in perspective. Your child may tend to exaggerate the circumstances or situation. Your job is to reel them in and help them to see things more realistically.


Signs that your child is stressed include: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Headaches Chest pain Rapid heartbeat Stomachaches Fatigue Anxiety Social isolation Withdrawal from usual activities Mood swings Emotional outbursts Aggression Difficulty concentrating

Left untreated, stress can cause your teen great angst. According to the UF Health Department of Psychiatry, there are many symptoms that can develop from unresolved stress.

Some physical symptoms may include: • • • • •

Changes in eating habits Headaches Nightmares Upset stomach Stuttering

Some emotional or behavioral symptoms that may also develop include: • • • • • • •

Crying Whining Inability to control emotions Clinging New or recurring fears Aggressive or stubborn behavior Unwillingness to participate in family or school activities

Ý If you feel like your child may be expressing the above symptoms, contact your doctor.

© 2016 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

• Teach your senior not to procrastinate. Proper planning is important and using some kind of agenda may be helpful.

Michelle L. Bailey, M.D. is a pediatrician and a medical instructor at the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University. She is also the author of “Parenting Your Stressed Child.” According to Bailey, there are several common signs of stress to be mindful of. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


happy community

December 4 - 5 Festival of Trees Tioga Town Center Benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital December 4 26th Annual Pond Lighting North Florida Regional Medical Center 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. December 5 Danscompany presents “Cinderella” Shows at 1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center December 5 Breakfast with Santa Oaks Mall, Chic-fil-A 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. December 6-14

Hanukkah December 12 LifeSouth’s Operation Santa Delivery Santa Fe North Fields 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. December 12 Alachua Christmas Parade 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Main Street, Alachua


D E C EM B ER / J A N U A RY ca l e n da r

December 12 High Springs Twilight Christmas Parade 6:00 p.m. The parade route begins at NW 2nd Ave and US 441, then continues down Main Street and goes to Railroad Avenue. After the Parade: Santa will visit with the children at the Downtown Pocket Park Gazebo December 12 Keystone Heights Christmas Parade 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. December 12 Merry Melrose Christmas Parade 10:00 a.m. Parade starts at Centre Street on SR 26 in Melrose. December 11 - 13 Consign-a-Rama Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. December 13 Cookie Exchange Kitchen & Spice and Other Things Nice 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Info: December 15 Annual Winter Holiday Concert The Square at Tioga Town Center 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. December 16 Children's Live Nativity Trinity United Methodist Church 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

December 18 The Nutcracker Curtis M. Phillips Center 7:30 p.m. December 23 All Day Spaliday Shopping Extravaganza Spa Royale December 25

Christmas January 1

New Year’s Day January 9 37th Collectors Day at The Florida Museum of Natural History 10:00 am – 3:00 pm January 30-31 30th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire Alachua County Fairgrounds 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. January 26 5th Annual A Night in the Big Apple Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. January 31 Souper Fun Sunday St. Francis Catholic High School 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Holiday Breaks Alachua County Public Schools Dec. 21- Jan. 1 (resume Jan. 4) | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016







Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine -December/January 2016 - Gainesville  

Our holiday issue is filled with seasons greetings, hot chocolate, 50 under $50 and more!

Giggle Magazine -December/January 2016 - Gainesville  

Our holiday issue is filled with seasons greetings, hot chocolate, 50 under $50 and more!