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Taking a Stand and Making a Difference in Pinellas County

23 Go a Little Greener This Season by Pamela Settle

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26 - 27 GoodLiving Guest Blogger: Isabel Laessig: The Family Foodie Christmas in my Home

30 My Story by Tammy Dunne

I am a

The Good Stuff 8-9

Good News GoodLiving Community Challenge

13 - 15 Good Adventures

16 - 21 About the Cover Read about the Dunne Family, a tale of love and adoption, on page 30. Photo was shot at the Dunedin Marina by Michelle Nault, one of the many devoted Heart Gallery photographers. This issue is dedicated to all those involved with the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco: donors, volunteers, sta, the children and the families who open their doors to give them loving homes. Learn more at

Good Products: Annual Gift Gift Fitness Books Green Market Gift Baskets A Few More of Our Favorite Things

26 - 29 Good Eating The Family Foodie Holiday Treats with a Healthier Twist


Holiday Edition 2012 Publisher Light Shine Media Group, LLC

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a 2013 full of blessings!

Letter from the Editor Welcome to our year end special holiday issue!

Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle

Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher

Account Manager Tory Perfetti

Data Manager Tom Eckert

Website WP by Design

GoodLiving™ Magazine & P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (727) 776-3656

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION GoodLiving™ magazine is a publication of Light Shine Media Group, LLC and is available to readers by a paid annual subscription available at Promotional copies are distributed through establishments as a courtesy to their customers and clients. Additional copies are donated to local schools as a community service. To request copies, contact All photographs, artwork, design and editorial are the sole property of GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC are not responsible for statements made by advertisers and writers for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Readers should verify the advertising information of the advertisers and all specials are valid to the expiration date set by the advertiser. GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC reserve the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved.

It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy the decorations, the parties, the concerts, the shopping and my personal favorite… the many festive parades that happen around the county. I just love a parade and as a northern transplant, it still makes me laugh to wear short sleeves at a Christmas parade in December. As a kid we didn’t have parades this time of year; we went ice skating at the town’s park and sat in a warming house to drink hot chocolate. Our parade was walking home in the snow with our skates draped over our shoulders. Florida is full of people who grew up with different types of Decembers. And for one reason or another, we are now residing side by side in Pinellas County, Florida – a culturally rich and varied micro melting pot. What every one of us has in common today is that right here, right now, this county is our home and our neighbors are our community family. No matter where we are from. No matter which pro sports teams we still root for. No matter our personal walk of life. Pinellas County is home. So as we celebrate this December in our own traditions and as a community, we can take a moment to be grateful for all the good things our county has to offer. We can also take a moment to recommit ourselves to being an active part of our community. A house that is not tended to will fall into disrepair, and so it is the responsibility of every citizen to contribute some maintenance and repair to our larger home. Countless clean up projects are out there. Helping neighbors with paint, planting a community garden, landscaping an elderly person’s yard or adopting a road for litter clean up. As a community family we need each other, too. A friendly smile to a stranger, a kind word to a store clerk, encouragement to a co-worker, mentor to a child, coach to some youth or delivering meals to the elderly. These are just a few of the ways that we can be a good family to one another. Our county is filled with non-profit organizations, ministries, schools and clubs that are taking the lead to clean up our home and care for our family. They have volunteer opportunities just waiting for you. Or take the lead yourself. Find a way to be a part of something that is bigger than you. It will open doors and your heart at the same time. GoodLiving magazine says thank you to our readers, our advertisers and our community partners for a tremendous year. We wish you all the very best of the season and a blessed year ahead. Until next time, be good!

Pamela Settle

news TM

Community Challenge

Fill the Food Banks!

During the month of December, every resident of Pinellas County is asked to give a donation of food to at least one food pantry in the county.

While we had a good deal of fun compiling this special year-end holiday issue, we felt it fitting to devote the first two pages to those in need, recognizing that many in our community are struggling with hunger, loneliness, illness and hopelessness. Christmas is the season of giving and Pinellas County is full of generous, loving and caring people who reach out in both big and small ways to help others. Everyone can be part of the giving season. No matter your individual situation, there is someone who needs you and someone you can help. Please don’t assume that others are doing it or that you’re not rich enough to make a difference. It is in this true spirit of caring and giving, that GoodLiving magazine has issued a community challenge called “Fill our Food Banks!” We are asking each and every person in the county who is capable to give at least one item of food to a food bank or to a collection drive. If you can’t make a donation of food, then please find a way to give a small financial contribution. A good way to multiply your effort is to hold a small food drive in your office, your class or in your neighborhood. The following is a short list of food banks that need your help. There are many more that can be found at Contact them by phone first before dropping off food as hours of collection vary by organization.


GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012

Abundant Life Ministries 1550 Belcher Road South Largo, FL 33771 (727) 210-LIFE x5433

Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center 1003 Dr. ML King Jr. Street North Safety Harbor, FL 34695 (727) 791-8255

Calvary Episcopal Church The Beach Community Food Pantry Northside Baptist Church 1615 First St. Benevolence Ministry Food Pantry Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

Countryside Christian Center Helping Hands Ministry 2565 Blackburn Street Clearwater, FL 33763 (727) 724-1290

F.E.A.S.T. Food Pantry 2255 Nebraska Avenue Palm Harbor, FL 34683 (727) 789-5275

First United Methodist Church of Pinellas Park Can Cupboard 9025 49th Street North Pinellas Park, FL 33782 (727) 546-5741

6000 38th Avenue N. Saint Petersburg, FL 33710 (727) 381-3642

Oldsmar Cares

163 State Road 580 West Oldsmar, FL 34677 (813) 415-7373

R.C.S. (Religious Community Services) Food Bank 700 Druid Road Clearwater, FL 33756 (727) 443-4031

Salvation Army Clearwater Social Services

1521 E. Druid Rd. Clearwater, FL 33756 (727) 446-4177

Northwood Presbyterian Church Food Pantry

Salvation Army St. Petersburg Food Assistance

Lealman United Methodist Church Food Pantry

Salvation Army Tarpon Springs Social Services

2875 State Road 580 Clearwater, FL 33761-3231 (727) 797-8276

4090 58th Avenue North Saint Petersburg, FL 33714-1133 (727) 526-6240

1400 4th Street South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 821-9123

209 S. Pinellas Ave Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 (727) 934-4476

St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church Ministry of Helping Hands 1507 Trotter Road Largo, FL 33770-4366 (727) 584-2318 x330

St. Paul United Methodist Church Open Arms Ministry

Christmas Toy Shop Christmas Toys 2012 North Pole

People that Love Free Toys for Kids Christmas Eve Day 2012 People that Love Mission

550 16th Street North St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 898-3962

817 5th Avenue N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 820-0775

1199 Highland Avenue Largo, FL 33770 (727) 584-8165

St. Petersburg Dream Center Ministry 1360 16th St. S. Saint Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 520-1909

Tampa Bay Harvest

13620 49th Street North Clearwater, FL 33762 (727) 538-7777 x1

Organizations around the county are also collecting toys. Please contact these agencies about helping them with their eort. Metropolitan Ministries Holiday 2012 Taking it to the Streets Countryside Christian Center 1850 N McMullen Booth Rd Clearwater, FL 33769 (727) 799-1618

Metropolitan Ministries Holiday 2012 Taking it to the Streets Pasadena Presbyterian Church 123 Pinellas Way North St. Petersburg, FL 33710 (727) 520-1909

Metropolitan Ministries Holiday 2012, Taking it to the Streets Taking it to the Street Ministries 7320 47th St. Pinellas Park, FL 33781 (727) 546-5767

Metropolitan Ministries Holiday 2012, Taking it to the Streets Together Step by Step 1250 Holt Avenue Clearwater, FL 33755 (727) 631-3157

St. Petersburg Free Clinic We Help Christmas Baskets 2012 We Help Services

We asked our friends at the RCS Food Bank about the best kind of food to donate so that people in need can eat healthy, too. Here are their suggestions:

Canned Meats for Protein chicken, chili, spaghetti sauce with meat, low sodium hearty soups and stews

Canned Fish for Protein/Omega-3 salmon, tuna, white ďŹ sh, oysters

Peanut Butter and Nuts for Protein, Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber smooth or crunchy peanut butter, almond butter and cans of nuts that have low or no salt & sugar

Canned Vegetables for Vitamins, Minerals & Fiber all vegetables, all types of beans, canned greens, canned tomatoes and canned soups that are low or no salt

Rice and Pasta for Fiber & Minerals whole grain pastas, macaroni and cheese, wild, brown, enriched rice

Bottled and Canned Juices for Vitamins & Minerals 100% juice, no sugar added, calcium & vitamin enriched, no high fructose corn syrup

Special Note Food banks are always in demand for baby and toddler food and diapers Learn more about donating food to the RCS Food Bank at or by calling (727)443-4031 for a pick up.


Help & Hope for Those in Need

863 3rd Avenue North St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 821-1200 x114

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012



SUPPORTING SALVATION ARMY AT CHRISTMAS Lokey Automotive Group and Lokey Charities are wrapping up 2012 by supporting the Clearwater Salvation Army’s efforts to collect money and food to help our area’s poor and needy. To help raise awareness, we’ve provided this VW Beetle to Lt. Col.Tom Jones. If you see him out driving, honk and give him a friendly wave.

On Saturday December 15th join us for some fun at Lokey VW in Clearwater.We have a concert by the Oak Grove Middle School Chorus and Band at 1 pm. From 9 am to 3 pm we will have a 6-foot red Salvation Army Kettle up on the roof and we want people to come by and help us fill it up! Lokey volunteers will be in Santa gear to ring bells every time someone makes a donation. Stop in to see the oversized kettle and bring a few dollars to help out a neighbor.

NOVEMBER CELEBRATIONS Lokey employees were busy making Thanksgiving a special time. They chipped in to donate food items and cash to provide dinner to 25 families at the Homeless Emergency Project for a Thanksgiving Feast. On November 10th, we participated with the Project Family celebration with Skycrest Ministries. Over 350 families with children were entertained and then given a week’s worth of free groceries.

LOOKING AHEAD The 4th Annual Lokey Charities Golf Classic is coming up Friday, May 3rd, 2013 at the Belleair Country Club. Golfers, save the date!

GRATITUDE Paul Lokey would like to thank the wonderful sponsors who have partnered with Lokey Charities, Inc. to bless families here in Tampa Bay throughout 2012.They are: Port Consolidated, Sullivan Benefits,Auto Safe ‘n’ Sound, BarG Products, Impact Custom Marketing,, Dealer Services Network,Your Auction of Tampa Bay, JM&A Group, B2B Sign Resource, Hopkins & Raines Co.,Auto Body Express,The McDavid Group, Bandes Construction Co., Fidelity Insurance,American Products & Glass, Car-Research,Aramark Uniform Services,,Auto Showplace,AutoNation Direct,AutoZone, Blume Mechanical LLC, Dealer Profit Services, Direct Auto Dealer Supplies, FCC Environmental,Wallace Welch & Willingham, Prospect Renovation Lending, LKQ Corp., Skycrest Ministries, Enterprise Holdings and many others.

Taking a Stand and Making a Difference in Pinellas County In Zig Ziglar’s book, “Better than Good,” he talks about how important it is to have passion for life and your life’s calling. Passion, he says, is fueled by inspiration and inspiration comes from investing, inquiring and getting involved. Passion and inspiration are not gained haphazardly, but rather through intentional living and planning. 2012, then, can be described as a better than good year for GoodLiving. Passion for building a strong community that is filled with happy families and healthy bodies drives the content for the magazine. Inspiration is gained from the community every day of every month. “We don’t need to go far to find good people, good businesses and good news to share. In fact, we could do 24 issues a year and still not have enough space to share all that is good in Pinellas County,” said Pamela Settle, publisher of GoodLiving. “That amount of inspiration certainly gives us the fuel we need to stay passionate about what we do.” The work doesn’t end with having an informative and inspirational magazine. “Our actions and community involvement support our overall mission to be an active part of making a positive difference,” she added. “We believe strongly in taking a stand on issues that matter and being a voice in the community for good.”

Lots of Good Stuff Happened at GoodLiving in 2012! The creation of Tampa Bay Women of Action to connect and honor women Held the first Healthy Happy Family Expo in September Partnered with Local Shops1 to promote local small businesses Partnered with Going Green Tampa to promote green living Launched Good Works Pinellas to match ministries with donors and volunteers Partnered with Pinellas County Council of PTAs to promote parental involvement Sponsored numerous charitable organizations and events with editorial and free advertising including Live Free!, National MS Society, National Day of Prayer, Clothes to Kids, RCS Food Bank and the Heart Gallery. • Supported women in business with Working Women of Tampa Bay and Biz Moms Connections. • Publisher Pamela Settle provided leadership on committees such as Pinellas County Council PTA’s Health and Safety Committee and Learn to Succeed. • Publisher Pamela Settle was asked to serve on the Parents 4 Pinellas Students Steering Committee, was appointed co-chair for the Children’s Movement of Florida for Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and was asked to serve on the Advisory Council for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. • • • • • • •

GoodLiving is more than a magazine. It’s a publication with a purpose to inform, inspire, celebrate and encourage balanced, healthy and meaningful living. Our passion is inspired. Our inspiration comes from the community. And our work is intentional, based on what we stand for: Strong families. Children. Healthy Bodies. Quality Food. Healthy Relationships. Quality Education. Service to Others. Philanthropy. Media Literacy. Supporting Local Business. Sustainable Living. To learn more about GoodLiving, visit the website at Read “What We Stand For” in the About Us section.


In 2012 editor Pamela Settle was named co-chair for the Children’s Movement of Florida for Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. She serves with Dr. Terry Collier from St. Petersburg College.


adventures With Christmas falling so early in the winter break, you may find yourself with some days to fill with family activities. Fortunately, several local attractions have new offerings that range from high speed thrills to the long-awaited opening of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens When it comes to holiday-themed events, it’s always exciting to take the family to see something new, and this year Busch Gardens has outdone itself by creating Christmas Town, a series of holiday-themed evening attractions that make the park sparkle with 80 miles of breathtaking lights, special shows and an area for kids to play in snow. This is the first time in the park’s 53-year history that visitors will experience all-new evening attractions, shows and shopping. This is wonderful news for local families who have already seen it all.

Among the many new offerings are:

Matt Marriot/Busch Gardens

SnowWorld®, a 10,000-square-foot area with drifts of man-made snow. This snow play area will have a slide and space for kids to build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Mittens are suggested. Ride on the Christmas Town Express, their vintage-style steam locomotive that has been decked in decorations and will have a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. Stroll through Candy Cane Lane and take the kids to see Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves at Santa’s House. A dinner buffet with stories and songs can be purchased separately. Shop for unique gifts or indulge in a delicious seasonal treat at Christmas Town Village where tiny Christmas cabins have apple pies and strudels, gingerbread cookies, eggnog, roasted nuts and more. Stroll through the park to be dazzled by light displays at Poinsettia Parkway, Flamingo Valley and Ice Wonder Way. Take in special holiday entertainment. Each night Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian artists Jars of Clay will provide an uplifting finale concert. Jimmy Osmond’s Christmas Jukebox will be at the Stanleyville Theater.

Safari Wilderness and Giraffe Ranch For a truly unique day trip during the holiday break, take the kids or the out-of-town company to visit the new Safari Wilderness, a 260-acre natural adventure park in Lakeland. Here visitors can completely forget they live in Florida while they enjoy a safari-like experience. Unlike the busy theme parks, there are no lines and no crowds, and reservations are recommended to ensure you can get in. Experienced guides drive visitors in customized safari vehicles to view exotic animals as they roam freely in their herds, just as they would in the wild. Camel rides are highly popular, as are the budgie parakeet encounters and lemur feedings. Their ring-tailed lemurs are polite and will line up to carefully remove a grape from an outstretched hand. Safari Wilderness is the sister park to Giraffe Ranch, which is located near Dade City. Here also, visitors get an intimate safari expedition with great views of their wildlife. You can ride a camel, feed a giraffe and get up close and personal with their rhino and pygmy hippo. Both parks are family owned and operated and attendance is strictly limited. It’s worth a look at their websites and to learn more. They accept school groups too.

The event requires a separate ticket and is open from 6 to 11 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. General admission for adults is $39.99 plus tax. Check for discounts from Chick Fil-A, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and Fantastic Sam’s. Buy online and get an advance ticket price of $9.99 for children. A special note of mention: A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to All Children’s Hospital. Kudos to Busch Gardens for supporting kids!

Like our Facebook page and learn how to win free tickets to Christmas Town and Safari Wilderness.

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012



Richard Petty Driving Experience Adult drivers (albeit mostly men) have been slipping into the driver’s seat of a real NASCAR style racing car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway for years now. Starting at $449, visiting drivers get to put on a racing jump suit, strap on a helmet, slide in the window and actually drive a 600 HP car a full eight laps around the oval track. A racing instructor is in the passenger seat with constant radio communication, telling the driver when to steer to the wall or “turn harder” as the case may be. The driver only goes as fast as he or she is comfortable with, so even beginners can have an authentic racing experience. New this year are sleek exotic cars and an expert handling course at the Exotic Driving Experience also at the Speedway. If a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi or Porsche are more your style, then for only $169 you can drive six laps around the circuit. Thrill Rides with a professional driver behind the wheel are available for $99. Reservations can be made at or by calling (855)822-0149.

Like our Facebook page and learn how to win a free Junior Ride-Along certificate just in time for Christmas. A terrific gift idea for the younger car fanatics is their brand new Junior Ride-Along Program for children ages 6 to 13 (height requirement is 48 inches). A great deal for $59, this ride along could be the most thrilling experience of their little lives. A very friendly staff gets them into their smaller sized jump suits, fits their helmets and lifts them up so they can go feet first through the window. These rides were made possible because of specially-designed safety seats commissioned for this purpose. Parents can watch knowing their children are having the safest drive possible.


GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012

The driver revs the engine and they speed off to complete three full laps. Again, the speed is determined by the comfort level of the guest, but be sure they will go much faster than the minivan on I-4. Because everyone wants to be able to share this exciting experience with their friends and family, every driving guest gets a flash drive with a video presentation that combines both angles shot with cameras: the driver in the car and the view of the track. It comes with full audio from start to finish as well, so make sure you only say what you want your mom to hear!

Legoland Brand new to Legoland is the Star Wars Miniland Cluster crafted entirely from 1.5 million LEGO bricks. The new interactive area includes a scene from each of the six live-action Star Wars™ movies. Some of the 2,000 LEGO® models will be more than 6-feet-tall. Interactive buttons will allow children to activate animations throughout the scenes. Also offered is the Christmas Bricktacular with holiday-theme festivities on Saturdays and Sundays in December and is included with park admission. Take a family photo in front of the 30-foot LEGO® Christmas Tree made with 270,000 blocks, help Santa in a fun-filled scavenger hunt and enjoy decorations and holiday entertainment throughout your visit. And finally, take the kids to celebrate New Year’s Eve LEGO style on December 31st. A giant LEGO brick will drop at midnight KST (Kid Standard Time) – otherwise known as 6 p.m. EST. Other event elements include fireworks and a dance party DJ.


For locals who love everything Disney, the long awaited opening of the new Fantasyland is finally upon us. December 6 marks opening day for Beauty, Beast, Ariel and the rest of the new residents at Fantasyland.

Also new to Fantasyland is Storybook Circus. Fans of the Flying Dumbos will be pleasantly surprised at how they’ve reconfigured and updated this iconic ride and created a method for handling the The expanded section has new attractions, restaurants and entertainment wait so parents with toddlers won’t need to stand in long lines. with the focal point being Beast’s castle in the Enchanted Forest. Storybook Circus attractions In the Enchanted Forest you will be immersed in the popular The Barnstormer Disney films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Take to the sky with The Great Goofini on a spiraling stunt plane adventure. In the tradition of classic air shows, The Great Goofini Enchanted Forest Attractions takes riders away on a spiraling stunt plane adventure where they Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid twist and turn on their roller coaster “flight” that takes you high Enter Prince Eric’s castle, board a giant clamshell and behold a above the grounds of Storybook Circus. world teeming with color and characters as high-energy songs and incredible effects take you inside scenes from the film.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant

Ariel’s Grotto

Feast in one of three incredible dining rooms in the middle of Beast’s Castle, serving French-inspired cuisine.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant now has two rotating squadrons of airborne pachyderms. Just as before, riders can maneuver the easyto-handle joystick to go up or down. The rides are housed with a circus-theme play area, where upon entry you are given a pager that holds your place in line and notifies you when it’s your turn to ride. Now while you wait, kids can play in an air-conditioned recreation area with slides, nets and a toddler play area.

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station

The journey begins in Maurice’s workshop, where an enchanted mirror becomes a doorway to an unforgettable experience. Step through the mirror to find that you’ve been transported to Beast’s magnificent library, where Belle and Lumière lead visitors through a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”

A circus-themed water play area where guests can enjoy cooling off and getting wet.

Take photos and get autographs with everyone’s favorite undersea princess.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Also at Magic Kingdom is the favorite Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which has a separate admission ticket of about $60, depending on which date you pick. The upside is that you can see the new Fantasyland while enjoying the Christmas parade, fireworks show and other holiday festivities. These special events run on select nights until December 21st. The new Art of Animation Family Value Resort is also now open. The resort has four areas that salute Walt Disney and Disney/Pixar classic films: Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. Every room is decorated to the theme and spacious family suites that sleep six have two separate bathrooms, a master bedroom and a generously sized dining or work table. The resort has three swimming pools and four playful courtyards - one for each film - to complete the themed experience.




Say “I Love You” and “Merry Christmas” with gifts that will get or keep someone active.

Schwinn Bikes Bring back the fun of bike riding with two models made by Schwinn® that are reminiscent of childhoods from an earlier time. The iconic banana seat bike is back as the Schwinn® Spirit, and at just the right time to get kids outside and active. Imagine this pink beauty by the tree on Christmas morning! This 20” cruiser is for girls. Comfortable and stylish with coaster brakes, low step-over frame and colorful streams on the high-rise handlebars. Sold at Walmart for $119. A mom and her daughter could spend many an afternoon enjoying a leisurely ride together, chatting, stopping for a cool drink and getting much needed fresh air. On the Pinellas Trail, at the beach or in the neighborhood, mom will look and feel like a retro princess on her turquoise City 2 Cruiser also by Schwinn®. The City has a lightweight yet strong step-thru aluminum frame and Shimano Nexus® 3-speed drivetrain with Revo® shifter for extra gears and easy shifting. Its large size and construction make it durable and comfortable. It rides a smooth ride and is seemingly effortless. The city comfort saddle is named appropriately. A little on the pricier side for an upright, recreational bike, but good quality, good design and good health are worth it. This model is only available at Schwinn® Signature Independent bike shops for around $700.


Pedal while you surf the net or read that work report? Absolutely! Pedal away on the FitDesk™, a combo stationary bike and desk, while you rest your laptop, tablet or e-reader on the foam pad in front of you. It is the perfect gift for the person who sits too much at a computer and needs to get circulation going for at least part of the day. Or maybe for a grandparent who wants to read their email or watch TV while peddling. The patent pending design allows you to rest your elbows comfortably on a padded, non-slip surface while you spin. This allows you to support your body while in motion, and frees your hands for typing. It’s compact and folds up quickly and easily. It’s also surprisingly sturdy. FitDesk™ was invented for the busy world so people could be efficient with their time and have no excuses for not exercising. According to the book Brain Builders, movement improves brain function, mental abilities, gains in intelligence, performance speed, ease of learning, detail recollection, reduced levels of anxiety and depression. $249 at

Monster Hoops Hooping for fitness has really caught on, and it’s not just for kids. Adults are using them at fitness centers, dance classes, night clubs and parties. St. Petersburg resident Abby Albaum is a hoola hoop expert who sells custom made Monster Hoops and offers classes for adults of all levels of expertise. Her hoops are larger and heavier than the store bought ones to give the user better body control. She can make larger hoops for fuller figured customers and smaller ones for kids. (She does birthday parties, too.) Hooping can be done by anyone, anywhere, making it an affordable, transportable and fun method of exercise. It promotes cardio, ab strength and better coordination. Monster Hoops can be purchased at the Sunken Gardens or at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg or on their website for about $40.

This innovative training push bike uses foot power instead of pedal power to teach small children how to ride a bicycle. The bike’s designer and company owner pulled from his Dutch heritage to design a bike for his own two-year old child. Kinderfeets are handmade using a low step-through frame, ergonomically JuggleFit designed seat and handlebars, foot-pegs Research shows that learning to and a cushioned, washable seat. Made three-ball cascade juggle increases gray from birch and every tree used to make Kinderfeets is replanted. matter in the occipito-temporal cortex Several colors offered in a chalkboard finish so children can decorate in just a week. Translation: after seven their bike to make it their own. Designed for ages two and older days of tossing, catching, and yes, sometimes dropping three balls, with a maximum weight of 65 lbs. $110 at you’ll build motor skills and strengthen the part of your brain that processes information. Double bonus: You’ll burn up to 280 calories an hour. And since juggling is a low-impact exercise, JuggleFit makes a great brain and body workout for ages 14 through 114! Kit includes instructional DVD, three high quality juggling balls and 3 GoodLiving nylon juggling scarves. $24.99 at Holiday Edition 2012


products Spin Gym This is a must have for anyone for who works at a desk or at a computer, and a wonderful gift for anyone wanting or needing to be in better shape. The Spin Gym is the creation of St. Petersburg business woman Forbes Riley, a fitness celebrity, entrepreneur, professional speaker and fitness product expert for HSN. She based the design of the Spin Gym from a child’s toy, but this is a highly engineered product made from quality materials. The disk of Spin Gym is weighted and creates 20 pounds of gyrotronic resistance when you pull the cords out to keep the weight spinning. Alter positions and change the exercise. For about five minutes a day, arms can get toned. It’s compact and can be used anywhere. Forbes has created a variety of exercises that are demonstrated on the included DVD. Purchase it for $29.99 at

Kool Tool Being active in Florida means being hot. Keep the Kool Tool cooling cloth with you as a simple and fast way to keep cool or cool down. Take the cloth, wet it, wring it, snap it and wear it to lower your ambient temperature around you by 20 degrees. The cloth is lightweight, reusable, washable and antimicrobial. It doesn’t drip. Snap again to reactivate or rewet it at a water fountain. A good gift idea for walkers, bikers, golfers, gardeners, hotfl ash suff erers or anyone who could use a little cooling off . $20 at

BodyMedia Fit Link

Springfree® Trampoline Take family workouts to the backyard with the new Springfree® trampoline, touted as being the safest trampoline available. Inventor Dr. Keith Alexander had a goal of creating a trampoline that eliminated the hard surfaces (springs and frame) that are known to cause injuries. His innovative design also removed the risk of falling off. A safer trampoline means the whole family is safe to jump while enjoying the fun and the numerous fitness benefits. Did you know that a ten-minute jump is like a 30-minute run, making it 68% more efficient with your time? Jumping can improve cardiovascular fitness for all ages; it is a low impact exercise; it helps to build stronger bones; it stimulates the free-flowing lymphatic drainage system and it stimulates endorphins.

BodyMedia FIT Link is an on-body monitoring system that gives the wearer valuable data about calories in versus calories out, information that can help people lose or maintain weight. An armband monitor is worn 24 hours a day to collect data. Data is then shared via Bluetooth with a mobile device. Data analysis and reports require a $6.75 a month membership. The wearer must also maintain a food and activity log for proper calculations, but the effort can really help someone learn how their body works and how to adjust calories eaten or activity levels to achieve the desired result. While wearing it, the armband automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities, works as a fitness monitor to measure the intensity of your workouts and monitors the quality of your sleep, all important factors in weight loss. Requires some technical savvy and a willingness to wear the monitor everyday. $120 for the armband kit at

Other Gift Ideas to Consider Gym Membership Personal Training Sessions YMCA Family Membership Massage Gift Certificate Juicing Store Gift Certificate

Recreation Center Family Membership Sporting Good Store Gift Certificate Running Store Gift Certificate Entry Fee to a 5K or other race Dance, Karate or Swimming Lessons

This trampoline makes a great family gift that will be used for years to come. The fitness benefits over time are well worth the investment. The smallest 8’ size is priced at $1,249. Purchase at Woodplay of Tampa Bay, 3744 W. Lambright St. in Tampa or order online from

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012




Despite all the digital reading options available today, books still make wonderful gifts. There’s just nothing like holding a book and children need them to discover the love of reading for a lifetime. In our product search, we discovered a wealth of local writers who have books that will make thoughtful holiday gifts. A Mouse’s First Christmas: A Holiday Tail by Christopher Barrett This children’s book written by a local author tells the story of Samuel Mouse whose perfect tree home ends up in the house of the Atwell family. On his way to finding a new place to live, he discovers the magic and meaning of Christmas, friendship and love… all while his greatest dream comes true. A 170-page chapter book written for grades 2 - 6. Barrett, who is also the Publisher and Managing Editor of the World of Westchase magazine, wrote this book in 2011 for his three daughters and presented it to them on Christmas Eve. His daughter Emma is his best salesperson, and recently he received a copy of a student’s book report that “had me smiling all week!” The soft cover book is available on for $8.50 and a hardcopy book can be found at for $20.

Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health & Home by Andrea Butje Andrea Butje brings the therapeutic use of essential oils to your home in this easy-to-understand and beautiful book. Her recipes teach beginners and experts alike how to create natural, safe products to replace synthetic chemicals and toxic ingredients found in many store brands. With a modest collection of essential oils and tools from the kitchen, readers can learn how to create cleaning scrubs, natural air fresheners and healthy body products. The book is available at for $15.95. Andrea lives in St. Petersburg and runs her company, Aromahead Institute which is a premier resource for aromatherapy information and instruction. The Institute offers exclusive online and in-person educational resources. Sign up for her monthly newsletters and blog, both found at

I Choose and I Choose, Too! These are inspirational books written by local author Suzin Buzas Carr and illustrated by her son Chandler when he was seven years old. Written to be thought-provoking about the choices humans make every day and more importantly a reminder that how we think and how we live are our choices. I Choose is for kids and I Choose, Too! is the adult companion. Each book is $10 and can be ordered at Suzin is often found around town talking about the importance of making good choices and she donates many books to local organizations.

Do You Live in a Tree? by Michelle Downs During her career as a first grade teacher in Pinellas County, Michelle discovered that many children do not know basic important facts like their address, phone number or parents’ names. This information would be necessary if the child was ever lost, plus it’s just knowledge that every child should have. Like every good idea, Michelle drew from her knowledge and experience. As a mother, she knew how boring it can be to teach this information and as an educator she knew how to use a story as a learning tool. The result is the book Do You Live in a Tree? There is a version for boys and a version for girls. Parent and child actually personalize the information right inside the book to make it a part of the story that can be read repeatedly to reinforce the information. A thoughtful and useful tool for parents who have young children. $5.99 at

Hold My Paw by PK Lichtenberger Hold My Paw is children’s book about Snapper, a puppy born with a birth defect that almost killed her. After life-saving surgery, Snapper must be on special food and medicine for the rest of her life. She learns to live with her limitations, while competing in canine sports, and becoming a Therapy Dog to help sick children. In this book aimed at ages 5 to 10, Snapper tells about being in the hospital and her road to becoming a Therapy Dog. The book shows that goals can be reached despite physical limitations and that failure doesn’t mean that you should stop trying. Available to buy at The $15 purchase price goes directly to PARC to help developmentally disabled adults and children.

Fit Kids for Life: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Brandon McIntosh and Chrisoula Kiriazis, MD Brandon McIntosh is a certified personal trainer for children, nutrition specialist and youth athletic performance specialist. As a Recreation Program Supervisor for the City of Largo, he runs their Fit Kids program. With Dr. Kiriazis, he founded his organization called Be a FIT KID, a comprehensive program of exercise and nutrition for children ages 6 to 15. The exercises are strenuous and challenging. The nutrition portion includes education and accountability through food logs. Motivation comes from being in a respectful, fun environment where children are positively reinforced. Taking from his success with this program, he co-wrote this book that is more of a manual to help parents. He teaches about the Fit Kids philosophy and gives parents practical information on how to coach their own children into being fit and healthy. The book is available at for $10.


Green Market Gift Baskets Say So Much More!

When it comes to gift giving, it’s not the money but the thought that really counts. With just a little thought, a short trip to a green market can open up loads of gift-giving opportunities that are both unique and healthy. Many items found at markets are not available in stores, so you’re already a step ahead when it comes to avoiding duplication. Food items for sale are likely locally-made, organic or healthier than store bought as well. By knowing just a little about what the person likes, you can create affordable, one-of-a-kind gifts that score you lots of extra points in the thought category.

Something Sweet

Buy one or more bags of homemade toffee from ToffeeTo-Go, a locally-owned company in Tampa that still makes all their products from scratch with whole ingredients and no preservatives. Choose from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, nuts or plain. Decadently delicious!

We took a day at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg to find these ideas to inspire and motivate you to try the green market gift basket idea for people on your list. The market is open each Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm near Al Lang Field in downtown.

A Taste of Italy

Surprise the hard to buy for client, friend or relative with a customized selection of foods for an Italian meal or two. Choose what looks good based on your budget. Just one or two small gourmet items stylishly wrapped with a bow can make a big statement. Remember it’s the thought that counts and you are saying, “I went to the market and picked this out especially for you.”

Fresh Pasta Sauces Bavaro’s Marinara or Antico Pomodoro Sauces in a jar made locally by a company in Tampa that uses fresh produce.

Homemade Pastas Choose from about two dozen different, flavored homemade pastas from Select more than one to share the variety.

Fresh Mozzerella Cheese Add a ball of fresh Bufala Mozzerella cheese from Bufalina, a family-owned company near Plant City that raises their own water buffalos and makes their own cheeses with no hormones, preservatives or antibiotics. A tasty addition to Caprese or Antipasti. Read more about their story and buy their products at

Gourmet Dipping Sauces Dipping spices from Briarwood Farms, a locally-owned company out of Dunedin that uses only fresh organic herbs in its blends. Their dipping blend is out of this world delicious. For a unique treat, include a jar of their Marcona Almonds in Rosemary Infused Honey. Serve atop a cracker with whipped cream cheese. YUM!

Fresh Basil from the Edible Plant Store

For the Tea Lover

This basket selection is for the person who loves tea.

Haraki Green Tea A jar of powdered green or red tea that can be mixed right into cold water. Healthy and perfect for someone who works in an office and likes drinking tea. No brewing necessary! Simply sprinkle in and stir. About $30 depending on the tea chosen.

Loose Leaf Tea from Lea’s Tea Multiple items to choose from depending on tastes.

Eden’s Nectar Honey Fresh local honey from Eden’s Nectar will sweeten teas and support local bee keepers at the same time. They sell seasonal honeys (which are great for fighting allergies) in small, medium and large sizes. They also make a dark honey that tastes like molasses.

Fresh Lemons Fresh Lemons from Bob and Daughter Produce. Not pictured is a small mint plant, which would also be a good addition to the gift basket.

Fresh Baked German Bread

Heritage Tomatoes from Worden Farm

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012



A Few More Of Our Favorite Things Taggies™Jingle Bells Book A sweet holiday story book to read with your little one. The story of a polar bear is featured on soft, bright fleece pages. Plus, an insert that jingles on the cover for extra cheer. Tags are on every page for simple, engaging fun at bedtime or anytime. $12.99 at Toys R Us.

Rainraps A convenient accessory for moms who don’t have an extra hand to carry an umbrella and for older women who find an umbrella too heavy. It’s also perfect for outdoor sporting events where umbrellas are not allowed. Reversible, lightweight, fast drying, easy to store (folds up to fit in your handbag and/or suitcase) and has a hood. Comes in eight color combinations. $48 - $60 at

Sprout Watches Sprout Watches are an eye-catching collection of eco-timepieces made from sustainable materials including conflict-free diamonds, organic cotton, corn resin and bamboo which all run on a mercury-free battery. With varieties of styles for men, women and children ranging from colorful and classic watches to detail designed dials, these affordable and sustainable timepieces are the ultimate convergence of eco and fashion sense.


GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012

Cravaat™ by DinerWear™ A thoughtful and practical gift idea is this stylish and discreet solution for protecting clothing while eating. The inventor was looking to replace her grandmother’s adult-sized bib with something more dignified. The resulting design is the Cravaat™, a fashionable scarf that protects your clothing from food spills, an idea that dates back to the 17th Century. Today people of any age or ability level can wear this product that comes in a variety of washable fabrics and colors. Made in the U.S.A. $19.95 at

Goodnighties Sleep comfortably in sleepwear made with patented technology called IonX, the same fabric that has been used for years by professional athletes to help restore strained muscles. The ionization of the fabric may lead to better sleep. The fabric feels substantial yet is soft to the skin. Goodnighties also wick moisture away so it is a good gift idea for someone who sleeps hot. A wide variety of styles and colors for nightgowns and pajamas. Styles for men too. Large sizes available. Prices vary.

products Teach My Baby This award winning learning kit for babies 6-18 months is a helpful gift idea for the new parent. It’s a smart gift that can benefit a baby for a lifetime, and unlike many new toys these days requires no DVDs or batteries. Instead one-on-one time with mom or dad is the stimulus. The all-in-one learning kit is divided into four sections for teaching baby First Words, First Numbers, Self and Sound & Touch. The kit has an assortment of tools for teaching the basics including nesting blocks, finger puppets, books, textured & mirrored flashcards, a story board and one & two piece puzzles. Comes in a portable case for $49.99. The company urges parents to BOND, TEACH, PLAY...20 MINUTES A DAY! Find it and other toys at

FreshTECH Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker

Domino Rally® Ultimate Adventure

Create fresh jams and jellies in under 30 minutes with the press of a button! Perfect for the DIY foodie on your list who loves to create homemade treats for themselves, friends and family. Also great for someone who likes to cook with organic or homegrown produce. $94.97 at Walmart.

The Domino Rally® Ultimate Adventure set combines the fascinating action of falling dominoes with even more incredible and exciting stunts. It includes a rocket tower, two straight and two curved speed tracks, a plane launcher, zigzag stairs, 36 speed dominoes and over 100 regular dominoes– everything you need to create your amazing domino adventure. This set is hours of fun for both new domino fans as well as the experienced pro! Domino Rally® is the adventure that never ends. For 1 to 6 players. Age 6 and up. $23.99 at or in major retailers.

One World Futbol When kicking around gift ideas, consider one that adds to the joys of soccer and helps those in need. The One World Futbol Project manufactures and distributes the One World Futbol—the world’s first virtually-indestructible soccer ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat, even when punctured. Through the simple power of a durable ball, the One World Futbol Project solves a fundamental problem of standard inflated balls: when used in harsh environments, an inflated ball soon goes flat and becomes useless. The One World Futbol stands up to such conditions and plays on any surface. Sold online as “Buy One, Give One.” For every ball you purchase for $39.50, a second one is donated to an organization working with children who live in harsh environments, including refugee camps, conflict zones, poor villages and inner cities.

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012


Go a Little GREENER this Season By PAMELA SETTLE In many ways, green holiday tips take us back to an earlier era when life wasn’t as complicated, technical and full of products to buy. The modern green movement involves hitting the brakes and reevaluating what we do to find a simpler, less wasteful and more thoughtful way of living. It’s good for the environment, good for your bank account and good for your relationships. So just when you thought being environmentally friendly was forward thinking, you’ll see that many of these earth-friendly tips would make your great-grandparents smile.


Make it by hand. Create great holiday memories with kits or craft workshops to make something beautiful and meaningful.

Be creative and original. Try shopping at local green markets


According to the Medical University of South Carolina, waste output increases 25% during the holiday season, so be creative to help reduce the amount of new paper that goes in the landfills after only one use. Re-use packaging from previous years, use the funny pages or use recycled wrapping paper. Get creative and use unique containers to hold gifts, such as cloth sacks or boxes from other products. Eliminate the paper and use only ribbons and bows to embellish gifts. Select fabric ribbons that can be reused. An Asian tradition from the past is one of the biggest trends in wrapping – fabric. Use scarves and other material cut from old dresses, table cloths, etc. You can also go ultra chic with scarves and the “how to” book from


Host an old-fashioned caroling party. Many people (kids and adults) have never done this. It is fun, inexpensive and a nice workout if you head out walking the neighborhood. Take a trip to the beach or a nearby hike. Afterwards, invite everyone over for hot cocoa. If you can spend a few dollars, spring for a few gingerbread house kits. Kids can take their creations home to last all season.

such as sports, music or art lessons.

Hold a white elephant gift exchange and play the game where people can steal each other’s gifts. People can clean out some junk and everyone saves money. Make a pact to donate unwanted items to a thrift store.

Share the gift of time and service. Consider a lunch date,

Buy organic or locally-grown produce for refreshments.

for gifts of food. (See page 19 for ideas.)

Give meaningful gifts. Shop for gifts that build future value

movie night, delivery of a home-cooked meal, babysitting services, yard work or car wash. To create a special holiday memory, take a loved one to a holiday event and make it a tradition.

Ask for educational gifts. Encourage relatives to chip in to buy a season pass to the zoo, local aquarium or museums that have year long educational programs and family events.

Re-gifting is not a crime. And neither is passing along hand-me-downs and heirlooms as special gifts for family members which carry stories and treasured memories with them.

Give a group donation. As a group, forego the gift exchange and pool your money to buy livestock for a village through Heifer International or Samaritan’s Purse. Or make a group donation to a local charity in honor of your group.

Support local family farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce. Not only does it taste better, you’ll be doing your part for the planet too.


The world of LED holiday lights has exploded. You can get almost every type of holiday light in this money saving, Earth-saving option. LEDs use up to 90% less energy than traditional lights and are more than twice as energy efficient as CFLs. For outside the home, find ones that are solar-powered for true energy savings. When it comes to candles, the absolute best choice is pure beeswax. Beeswax burns cleanly (inside air pollution can be much worse than outside), gives off the aroma of honey and lasts longer than conventional candles that are made from petroleum. Soy candles are also a cleaner option.

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012


eating Guest Blogger: FamilyFoodie .com Isabel Laessig, better know as the Family Foodie, is passionate about her family and believes that we can empower and strengthen our families by nurturing them around meals eaten together around the family table. With her blog, she is on a mission to bring back Sunday Supper in every home. She believes it starts off as one day a week and soon becomes an important way of life, especially for young parents who didn’t grow up with this family tradition. As the mother of four, she realized the impact her own Sunday Suppers had on her children the day her oldest child, Alexandra, left for college. When asked what she would miss most, she said she would miss the times they spent around the kitchen table as a family. That spark started Isabel on the road to becoming a highly popular food blogger, from right here in Dunedin. She is joined by other bloggers who are just as passionate about #SundaySupper. Each week they blog on a chosen theme and together reach over 1.5 million followers with their recipes via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Christmas in my Home I love traditions. In our home, they have always been such a huge part of our holidays. My children have grown up loving these traditions, including our special holiday meals. There is something to be said about getting out the china, silver and crystal and sitting in the dining room. We linger a little longer, chat in between courses and enjoy a menu that was made with love. On these special days, our menu tends to be a little more elaborate. We regularly try new recipes together, and are always so excited to see how they turn out. This year, we are having a Portuguese inspired menu. Having a theme and including children, both young and old, can add an element of fun and participation they will always remember. We are starting with Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce with crusty bread to dip. The marinade for the Crown Pork Roast will be simple: olive oil, garlic, paprika and sea salt. We will also try to reproduce Smashed Potatoes served to my parents during their last trip to Portugal. After hearing about them, I just have to try: you bake the potato and literally smash them with the side of a knife. Then you pour warm garlic and olive oil and garnish with parsley. So simple, yet they sound amazing.


GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012

No more boring stuffing this year. We found a perfect Portuguese Chorizo Stuffing recipe in Emeril’s Potluck Cookbook and we can’t wait to put our special touch on it. My kids are just like me: incapable of following a recipe exactly. The fun starts when the creative juices flow and we add our own twist. Our holidays are shared with my parents Vovo and Vo, who are Portuguese immigrants. My passion for tradition comes from them. Our Christmas dinner is an event with many courses and wonderful stories that transport us back to Portugal. My dad can hold court for hours, sharing stories of growing up on a farm, growing their own grapes to make wine, cooking in a wood stove and eating the precious fruits and vegetables grown in our backyard. You can almost smell the bread wafting through the house that my grandmother made from scratch. There is nothing we all love more than spending time around the family table listening to his stories. At Vovo’s and Vo’s house at Christmas time, Vovo is busy baking. To her, Christmas is all about the desserts and one of our favorite traditions is making a Bolo Rei or King’s Cake. It has been said in Portugal that there is no Christmas without baking a Bolo Rei and our recipe has been in our family for generations. We look forward to making it every year. Although it is called a cake, Bolo Rei is more like sweet bread. Traditionally there is a broad bean, usually large fava beans, and a coin placed inside the Bolo Rei. The tradition comes from a legend of the Three Kings. As they followed the Star of Bethlehem on their way to greet baby Jesus, they met a baker who gave them a loaf of bread with a broad bean hidden inside it. He told them that the one who ended up with the slice of bread with the bean should give baby Jesus his present first. So the tradition continues that whoever gets the bean bakes the Bolo Rei next year, and whoever wins the coin is said to be blessed with good luck. I always seem to get the bean! But that’s okay, because I am the Family Foodie and it’s all about tradition!

Our Christmas Dinner Menu appetizer

Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce

main course Crown Pork Roast


Smashed Potatoes & Portuguese Chorizo Stuffing


Bolo Rei | King’s Cake

Portuguese Chorizo Stuffing by Emeril Lagasse Ingredients 12 to 14 cups (1/2-inch cubes) day-old French bread 4 cups milk 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ¼ pound ground beef 1 pound chourico, chaurice, or chorizo sausage, coarsely chopped 1 ½ cups chopped onions 1 cup chopped green bell peppers ½ cup chopped celery 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 large eggs, lightly beaten ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves Instructions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the bread into a large mixing bowl and add the milk. Press the bread into the milk and let sit until the milk is absorbed and the bread is soft, about 15 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook, stirring until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and bay leaf. Season with the salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Bolo Rei | King Cake Portuguese Recipe Ingredients 1/2 cup candied citrus fruit 3 tablespoons. raisins 1/2 cup pine nuts 1/2 cup walnuts 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons port wine 2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons milk 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 7 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar Grated zest of 2 oranges Ron Hamilton Photo, 3 eggs, beaten Kroger Family of Stores 1 dried fava bean and large coin Topping 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water 10 candied cherries 1 package Natural Delights Medjool Dates powdered sugar for garnish

Add the meat mixture to the bread mixture and stir to mix well. Add Instructions the eggs and parsley and stir to blend. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Soak candied fruit, raisins and pine nuts in port wine overnight or Grease a 9 by 13-inch (3 quart) shallow baking dish with the remaining until plump. tablespoon olive oil. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and Sprinkle yeast into milk in bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until bubbly and goldendissolve. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in center and brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and serve warm. pour in dissolved yeast. Use wooden spoon to draw enough flour into

Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce Ingredients 1/2 cup of olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 small chorizo sausage, diced 1 green pepper, diced 1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced 1 bay leaf 6 oz tomato paste 1/2 750ml bottle of white wine (I love Portuguese Vinho Verde) 1 pound of mussels 1 pound of shrimp 1 sprig fresh parsley sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste Instructions Line a large heavy pan or clay pot with olive oil. Add minced garlic, chorizo, diced green pepper and large tomato and simmer until slightly browned. Add bay leaf, tomato paste and wine and stir at medium heat until your kitchen smells amazing and the sauce is blended well. Add mussels and shrimp and cover pot. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper and stir until well blended.

dissolved yeast to form soft paste. Cover bowl with dish towel and let stand until “sponge” is frothy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. In separate bowl, beat butter with sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add mixture to flour mixture and mix in flour from sides to until dough is soft. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until soft, smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in dried fruit and pine nuts until evenly distributed. Place dough into clean bowl and cover with dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size. We usually let it sit overnight, but as little as 2 hours is usually ok. Punch down, then let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into ring and place on buttered baking sheet. Wrap dried fava bean or trinket separately in wax paper. Insert tiny package into bottom of shaped dough. Cover with dish towel and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour. To prepare topping Brush dough with egg glaze and decorate with candied fruit and powdered sugar. Bake at 350°F. 45 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 Loaf

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012


eating Holiday Treats with a Healthier Twist There’s nothing more inviting than a table full of treats made from scratch to help celebrate the holidays. For many families, cooking together is an important part of the tradition. With so much emphasis on improving our diets, we have some recipes that put a healthier twist on holiday cooking.

Beautiful Fruit Centerpiece Materials needed to make:

1 green styrofoam cone (small or medium size) from your local craft store Toothpicks Cookie cutters with various shapes including a star Assorted fruits such as green and black grapes, strawberries, kiwis, dried cranberries and a honeydew melon Cilantro garnish


GoodLiving Magazine is an ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution for Pinellas County. As part of their community outreach, they have shared this recipe for healthier holiday cookies. Says Jamie, “This is a really easy, fun and delicious recipe – anyone can make cookies! They’re a great thing to share with your friends and will taste much better than shop-bought cookie dough.”

Using the cookie cutters create various shapes out of the melon slices Attach toothpicks to the styrofoam cone Attach one piece each of a fruit to a toothpick. Think free-form; as the tree starts building you will know more about which fruit combinations are looking better and how densely packed you want your tree to be Continue building the tree as dense as you want! Use cilantro leaves as grass garnish. Enjoy your new edible fruit tree!! Instructions courtesy of Prajakta Gudadhe, author of

Healthier Holiday Cookies Ingredients

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan ¾ cup dark brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¾ cup whole wheat flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1½ cups “old-fashioned” oats ½ cup raisins Dan Jones


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease one or two baking sheets. Cream the butter and the sugar together in a mixing bowl (by hand with a wooden spoon or using a handheld electric mixer) until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a separate mixing bowl. Beat them into the butter mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop the batter by slightly mounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Variation: Add ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut or 1 cup chocolate chips to the batter along with the oats and raisins.

Jamie’s Top Tips

This is easy to make fresh, but can be frozen. Be creative and add your favorite mix-ins to the cookies like dried fruit, nuts or chocolate. For round, flat cookies, press the cookies with the palm of your hand.


GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012 California Naturescapes

Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup agave syrup 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 1 egg 5 extra ripe DOLE® Bananas, mashed 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts, toasted (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flours, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk agave syrup, Greek yogurt and egg in medium bowl. Beat in bananas and vanilla until blended. Stir in flour mixture; beat until just blended. Stir in nuts. Pour into 9 x 5-inch baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Recipe and photo courtesy of

Recipes for the Road Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Community Traffic Safety Team remind everyone that while enjoying holiday parties, be sure to have a designated driver. Their annual Recipes for the Road booklet has delicious recipes for non-alcoholic cocktail alternatives. Recipes are submitted by restaurants.

Santa’s Little Helper from Gator’s Dockside 1 oz. strawberry puree 5 oz. ginger ale Splash of lime Fill pint glass with ice. Add ingredients and shake to mix.

Tiramisu Cream by Skidder’s Restaurant

Snowman Cookies

(No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites) Servings: 10-12

A quick and easy delicious dessert! Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter 1/4 cup honey 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder or powdered sugar (optional)


Put the oats in a food processor and pulse until they are a coarse texture, but not quite powdery. Put the cocoa powder on a small shallow dish. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, peanut butter and honey and mix until it forms a dough. (Add a little water if it is too dry). With wet hands, roll the dough into a long cylinder, then cut it into 10 – 12 equal pieces, and then roll each of those pieces into balls. Roll the balls in the cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve or refrigerate until you are ready to serve them Recipe from Kitchen Explorers at

2 oz. regular or decaf espresso ¾ oz. almond cocktail syrup 1/3 oz. vanilla cocktail syrup 1 small scoop vanilla ice cream 2 oz. cold milk Cinnamon powder Blend ingredients until smooth. Top with cinnamon powder.

Green Iguana Cooler by Green Iguana Bar & Grill

2 oz. cranberry juice 1 oz. orange juice 1 oz. pineapple juice Club soda Fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Add juices and a splash of club soda. Garnish with orange and pineapple spear.

GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012



As I was growing up, I remember being scared all the time. I remember my mother was not around very much. Going to school was good for me because I never wanted to be home, but it was also bad because I got made fun of for being poor. It was cold in Pennsylvania and I didn’t have a winter coat for the long walks to school. Teachers would always ask me if I was okay and now I understand why. When my mother was around, she was so mean to us that I couldn’t stand it. One day after school a lady was at our house and she told us we had to go with her. I wass so confused and scared. All I had was a small bag of clothes when I went too live in someone else’s house. That was the first of about 15 different nt places that I lived until I graduated high school. You know it as foster care. e. I know it as something else. At age 16, I was granted emancipation and was on my own as a legal adult. My plan was to live on the streets until I could finish my last year of high school. Eventually I landed in a group home where I rented a room, went to school and swam. I liked to swim. At graduation there was oma. no one there to watch me get my diploma. I was able to get into college where I spent a lot of time swimming, and even made it to the National Championships for Diving. I broke records that year and next, but then the school dropped their swim program for financial reasons. At a loss for what to do next, I hopped a bus to Florida where over the next years I got a job, got married, had two children, got divorced and raised two daughters as a single mom working two jobs. That brings me to my story today. In 2000 I met my current husband Chris and we built a happy life together. He too was in foster care as a child, but had been adopted into a family.


GoodLiving Holiday Edition 2012

At age 25 an illness required me to have a hysterectomy, but now with Chris I found myself wanting more kids. I told him that I would love to adopt a foster child someday and he said that he really wanted to adopt also. So after my daughters Stephanie and Samantha graduated high school, we started looking into adopting some children. It didn’t take long. As soon as I saw a group of four brothers on the Heart Gallery website, I knew in my heart they were the ones. I made a phone call and got some information. Now all I had to do was convince my husband. I pulled up their website again and said, “Honey, what do ya think about four boys?” He thought I was joking at first. We had concerns about space in our small house, but we knew that we could live in a tent and these boys would not care as long as tthey were out ou of foster care and in a family. G Galyn, Trisd Aaron, and John. If they would Trisden, h have us, we wanted to make our h home their home. Three of the boys moved in three m months later, while one remained at the gro group home because of some behavior issu issues. I remember telling the caseworker that there is nothing in this world that coul could ever make us send him back, so he move moved in a short time later. It took too that son the longest amount of time to realize real that he was being accepted into our fam family and that it was permanent. He is doing much m better, coming a long way in such a short s time. All the boys love their h l They are making friends, playing schools. sports and being just plain happy. We are looking forward to our second Christmas as a family. The boys hadn’t ever written a letter to Santa, so we make that fun for them. They enjoy big family gatherings for meals. In fact, they never knew what it was like to sit as a family around a dinner table, so we make that a priority whenever we can and they love it. My life is so different today. Just like these boys, I never wanted to live in foster homes. I did and so did they. It is lonely and scary. Kids don’t do anything wrong to end up in foster care. It’s not their fault. All they really want is to go home. To go home to parents who will love them and treat them good and be proud of them. Those are things I never had. I also never had letters to Santa, Christmas dinners or family celebrations as a child. I look forward to Christmas now. Celebrating with my children, all six of them!

2012 Holiday Issue  
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