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8-9 Good Events 10-11 Good News 13 Good Products 25-27 Good Eating

Dunedin Downtown Market Soiree Everyday with Esther Edwards!


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Good Overall Health = Good Oral Health Dr. Mark Breiner, DDS


Announcements for Parents


A Note from Pinellas County Schools


A Note from Pinellas County Sheriff


Mind - Body - Health with Juli Lose the Baggage and Lighten Up! Juli Steinocher


Turning Simple Daily Disciplines into New Year’s Success Jeff Olson


Choose H.O.P.E. for Vibrant Health in 2014 Brenda Watson


About the Cover

This issue’s cover was shot on location at Horse Power for Kids on Race Track Rd. Our models were Zoey, Taylor and Julian who are friends that attend St. Paul’s School in Clearwater.

Five Life Lessons We Can Teach Our Kids from the Olympic Games Christie Bruner

30 My Story Corey Thornton


Winter Issue 2014 Volume 5 • Issue 1


Light Shine Media Group, LLC

Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle

Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher

Contributing Writers Dr. Mark Breiner, DDS Christie Bruner Dr. Michael Grego Bob Gualtieri Jeff Olson Juli Steinocher Corey Thornton Brenda Watson

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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.

Happy Valentine’s Day. May the year ahead be a heart healthy one!

Letter from the Editor Welcome to our WINTER edition of GoodLiving® Magazine.

Winter means something different to us in Pinellas County. It’s the time of year we look forward to because we can throw open our windows to fill our homes with fresh air. We spend our free time out of doors, riding the trails, playing golf, or strolling the waterfront. It’s our postcard time of year. Clear skies, moderate temps and low humidity. Our biggest dilemma is how to choose which events to attend because everyone’s calendar is jam packed with outdoor festivals and outdoor athletic events. As I write this our friends and families up north are digging out of another snow storm. It highlights one of the reasons we choose to live here. If you follow social media, you’ve no doubt seen the pictures of our beaches and palm trees to taunt, I mean, encourage our friends to come and visit us for a break from the winter snow storms. We are truly blessed to call Pinellas County home. And at GoodLiving® Magazine, we are truly blessed to publish a magazine that celebrates the good things that happen in Pinellas County: Good News, Good Events, Good People, Good Business and Good Eating. Our path regularly takes us on a journey to meet some of the most interesting, most loving and most talented people in our county. This month, meet Corey Thornton, the author of our “My Story” essay. I met him three years ago at a PTA event and have watched him grow his outreach to kids. He is a true Pinellas County success story; a product of Gibbs High School where their music program was a part of changing his story to have a very different ending. Today he encourages young people to say no to the bully lifestyle, to value education and to love their school and themselves. Following the Winter theme, you will ~ appropriately so ~ see Winter the Dolphin on our back cover. This incredibly special animal has done so much for our community, as have the talented and dedicated professionals who associate with her and have been instrumental in leveraging their mutual success into an investment for the future of Clearwater. Dolphin Tale 2 has just completed filming and many more positive things are on the way for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and families in Pinellas County. Be sure you are following them on Facebook to keep up with their good news. We wish you a lovely winter season in Pinellas County. Enjoy the weather. Enjoy our beaches, our parks, our outdoor markets and local sports. But most importantly, enjoy your families and your time together. Until next time,

Pamela Settle

events Good Event Picks for Healthy and Happy Families Art & Craft Festival

Meet 150 of the nation’s most talented artists showcasing life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, ceramics and much more! Free to attend. For more information, visit or call (813)962-0388. Saturday & Sunday, February 15th & 16th • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. in Downtown Dunedin

Chickens 101

Interest in backyard poultry has increased due to new regulations allowing chickens in some local Pinellas County communities. Robert Kluson, extension agent with Sarasota Extension, will discuss the fundamentals of raising chickens such as local laws, resources, the benefits of raising chickens, the basics regarding breeds, housing, feeding, health and chicken development. $10 per household. Saturday, February 22nd • 8:30 a.m. - noon Weedon Island Preserve 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg (727)453-6500 •

Wee-Time at Weedon

This program is designed to introduce preschool children to the wonders of the natural and cultural world. Held every second and fourth Thursday of each month, children are treated to a variety of stories and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This activity is recommended for ages 3 to 5. Free; advance registration requested. Thursday, February 27th • 10:30 - 11:15 a.m. Weedon Island Preserve 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg (727)453-6500 •

Mardi Gras

Enjoy “Fat Tuesday” in grand style and celebrate a day steeped in French tradition with food, drinks, live music and a parade featuring over 50 unique and colorful floats. Please no pets, no coolers and no glass bottles. Visit Tuesday, March 4th • 5 - 11 p.m. in Downtown Dunedin

Fireside Concert Series and Drum Circles

Enjoy the music of local artists and bands under the stars at the Park’s Fire Circle mini amphitheater. During intermission, enjoy beverages and toasted marshmallows around the campfire. Those with some camping cookout skills can make delicious s’mores. All the fixings provided. In case of inclement weather, the concert is moved indoors. Free with evening admission to park. Saturday, March 8th and April 12th • 7 - 9:30 p.m. at Moccasin Lake Nature Park in Clearwater.

Hog Wild Off-Road 8 Mile and 5k

The Hog Wild Off-Road 8 Mile and 5k is the third event in the “Run In The Wild” Off-Road Running Series. The Hog Wild Off-Road 8 Mile and 5k is not a trail run, it’s an off-road run. The course will offer an assortment of terrain that will bring a unique twist to your usual 5K. Runners will go through a small stretch of swamp trails, wind through the pines, and zip across the open field as spectators cheer. The HOG WILD after-party has dancing, cornhole toss and food. Sunday, March 16th Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa

Mutt Madnes

Dog singing contest, costume contest, Mardi Gras pet parade, adoptions, art sales, photos and discount microchips. For more information, call (727)812-4530. Saturday, March 15th • 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Highlander Park

Book Time at Brooker


Thursday, February 27th • 10:30 - 11:15 a.m. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs (727)453-6800 •

Saturday, March 29th • 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Main Library in Clearwater

Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. Free; advance registration required.


Winter Issue 2014

Free comic convention featuring programs and workshops from professional publishers, vendors and artists, game play, dealer tables, superhero training academy program for youth, films all day and a costume contest. Fun for the entire family.

events Seafood at your Fingertips

The American Heart Association recommends eating seafood twice a week to improve your heart health. But with so many consumer options, selecting and preparing seafood can seem a difficult task. Wild-caught or farmed, local or imported, and worries about mercury in seafood are only a few seafood topics presented by a Pinellas County Family and Consumer Sciences agent, along with a Pinellas County Sea Grant agent. Free; advance registration required. Saturday, March 15th • 10 a.m. - noon Weedon Island Preserve 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg (727) 453-6500 •

Gluten-Free for Life Expo

Anyone looking to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets should attend this expo to sample gluten-free food items from vendors. Also offered that day are classes, seminars and information about support groups. Tickets are $5. Children under 12 are free. Saturday, March 22nd • 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. St Petersburg Coliseum 535 Fourth Avenue North in St Petersburg

Florida Beach Halfathon and 5K Race

Both courses are located entirely inside scenic Ft. De Soto Park, starting and finishing adjacent to the park’s North Beach, regularly recognized as one of the nation’s best beaches. These races will be run on paved access roads and recreational trails are extremely flat courses. They are accurately measured and certified by the USATF. Sunday, March 23rd •

Athleta Iron Girl

One-half marathon and 5K run/walk event featuring a post-race Breakfast Café. Offering Iron Girl performance women’s shirts, personalized race bibs, new custom finisher medals specific to the event, Iron Girl jewelry, age group awards, on-demand results station, post-race giveaways and much more.

From our Faith Community Father Daughter Dinner and Dance

Attend the “More than Beautiful!” Father Daughter Dinner and Dance on March 1st. The semi-formal event is for middle school and high school daughters with their father (or father figure). Evening includes dinner, dessert, live deejay, dancing, silent auction and photo opportunity. Tickets are required and space is limited. $40 per father/daughter couple and $10 for each additional teenage daughter. Purchase online at RSVP by February 21st. Dance held at the St. Petersburg Garden Club, 500 Sunset Drive South.

Coach Gene Chizik Appearance to Raise Funds for FCA

The Pinellas Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes is hosting a fun, casual-themed “Tailgate Party” to raise both awareness and funds for the outreach ministry that serves area youth. The night will feature two-time National Championship Football Coach Gene Chizik, who not only is a native of Pinellas, but his early coaching career included a stint with Seminole High School. Coach Chizik travels the country speaking at events that are geared toward helping teens navigate the challenges of growing up and being successful in today’s world. Coach Chizik is currently hosting a national sports talk radio program, and during the season works as an analyst for college football television broadcasts. The event is Thursday, March 6th, from 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Indian Rocks Baptist Church. To purchase individual tickets, tables of 8, be a corporate sponsor, or simply be involved further in the investment of students in Pinellas, please contact FCA Area Director Chuck Peterman directly at or call (727)612-8727. Purchase tickets at

Sunday, April 13th Coachman Park, 301 Drew St.

Seafood Festival

Plenty of seafood, arts and crafts, and live music. Special appearance from Soul Driven Train on Saturday. All ages, free. Friday, March 7th • 5 - 10 p.m. and Saturday March 8th • 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. at the Safety Harbor Marina

Winter Issue 2014




AchieveHers, a New Kind of Networking

Founders of this new organization understand that women in today’s workforce need more than networking. They need support, camaraderie and mentoring from more experienced women in our community. The concept has intrigued professional woman associated with the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce and beyond. Women from all over the region packed Ruth Eckerd Hall for their inaugural luncheon at the end of 2013. The committee is planning events for 2014, including offerings for working moms.

On February 3rd, Carol Hague (pictured above) was awarded the AchieveHers Award at the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner for her commitment to launching this organization. Follow their activities on Facebook by searching and liking AchieveHers.

Support for Moms

A New MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) club has started at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church. The next meeting is February 18th at 10 a.m. One thing moms really need is a place to talk and gather with other moms for support and friendship. Join them for discussion, crafts and learning opportunities once a month. Child care is provided. No reservation needed. 1551 Belcher Rd. in Palm Harbor.

The Inspire Foundation Rocks to Help Kids

Enjoy a night of music, fine art, food and wine at Arts for Autism. Proceeds from the event will go to The Inspire Foundation and Inspire School of Music and the Arts, to continue their good work of teaching music to local children who have autism. Live bands are Shaun Hopper, 10th Concession and Hope Darling. Also planned are silent auctions, fashion shows, live ‘event artists’ and raffles. $25 general admission, $40 VIP backstage tickets for meet-and-greets with bands and photo ops. For more information call (727)859-7918. Event is from 6 - 10 p.m. on March 1st at the offices of Florin Roebig at 777 Alderman Road in Palm Harbor. To learn more about The Inspire Foundation and The Inspire School, visit

Sweetheart Adoptions

Take advantage of Sweetheart adoption prices at Pinellas County Animal Services through the end of February. Love is just a leash away. As part of the Sweetheart specials, the adoption fee for cats and large dogs will be $25 (regular adoption fee is $40). The adoption fee is $75 for puppies and small breeds. The fee includes medical checkup, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, internal and external parasite control and microchipping. The required Pinellas County license is also provided. Pinellas County Animal Services 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo (727) 582-2600 •

Local Group Wants to Help Children with Special Needs

Families who have children with special needs know exactly how much therapy can help their children develop. Many of them also know that insurance doesn’t always cover the therapy that is needed, and that therapy is expensive. Michelle Morales, founder of The Mr. Strong Foundation, Inc. wanted to help families in just that situation. Inspired by her own son, Landon, who has cerebral palsy, Michelle started the foundation in 2011. It is her intention that no special needs child is denied therapy services due to financial constraints and/or lack of insurance coverage.

Get Wet at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Did you know the aquarium has new animal interaction programs? If you ever wanted to swim with dolphins, they now offer swim lessons twice a week in the main pool with the star of Dolphin Tale 2, Hope. To make your reservation, please call our Reservations line at (727)441-1790, ext. 0 or book online at

Be a Dolphin Trainer for a Day: During this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you will shadow one of our program hosts to participate in programs with the trainers and our animals through three hours of They are currently looking for families who are in need of occupational, food preparation, animal enrichment, exhibit maintenance and record physical and occupational therapies for their child. To apply, go keeping. Morning session and afternoon session available any week to and click the NEED HELP? tab at day and limited to two participants. Reservations required. Guest the top of the page. Complete the Grant Application page and trainers get a photo, t-shirt, towel and a bag. download it with proper information. Book at

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Winter Issue 2014



County Concerts Showcase Talent

Pinellas County Schools and the Pinellas County Music Educators’ Association (PCMEA) present All County concerts which bring together gifted musicians and singers from across Pinellas County.

Culture Celebrated at Our Saturday, March 8th • 2 p.m. Lady of Lourdes in The All County Fifth Grade Honors Concert (including Chorus, Orff, World Drumming and String ensembles) Dunedin

Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic School in Dunedin celebrated Catholic Schools Week through community service, academic knowledge and faith. Their week-long celebration included a walk-a-thon that raised $3,700 to benefit The Kimberly Home in Clearwater, Grandparents Day and a multicultural day where each classroom was decorated to highlight the culture and traditions of a specific country. Students sampled food, had a parade of nations and saw a fashion show representing the many backgrounds of their students and teachers.

Photo caption: The Landeros Family modeled traditional Mexican clothing in the fashion show.

East Lake Band to Honor Veterans in Washington DC

The East Lake High School Marching Band was chosen to represent Florida in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. this May. The parade that honors all American veterans will commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Normandy Landings. Students will be given educational tours as well. Connie Hale, vice president of the ELHS booster club said the band is excited and humbled to have the opportunity to represent the East Lake community, Pinellas County and Florida in such a wonderful tribute to our Veterans.

First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg 1900 Gandy Blvd. in St. Petersburg Saturday, May 3rd • 7 p.m. All County Jazz Concert Palladium Theater 253 Fifth Ave. N in St. Petersburg

The events are open to the public. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the venue on the day of the performance. Ticket proceeds support music programs in Pinellas County Schools.

Three PCS High Schools Selected for College Board’s AP Capstone™ Program Registration begins in February for the 2014-2015 school year.

Countryside, Boca Ciega and Northeast High Schools are three of nearly 100 schools worldwide selected to implement AP Capstone™ – an innovative program that allows students to engage in the rigorous development of skills critical for success in college inquiry, research, collaboration and writing. The program includes a two-course sequence: Advanced Placement (AP®) Seminar and AP Research. The first of the two AP Capstone courses, AP Seminar, will start in fall 2014. The program is designed to be taken in sequence during the junior and senior year, targeting students who have passed or have the potential to pass an AP exam. “We are one of the few districts in the country to have an opportunity to offer AP Capstone™ to students at three of our high schools,” said Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego.

Current sophomores at Boca Ciega, Northeast and Countryside will be encouraged to apply to the program if they have passed or have the potential to pass an AP exam. Students who meet criteria upon completion will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™.

The band plans to take 70 band members with a cost of nearly $800 per student. They are currently in need of sponsors and donors to help with costs. If you can donate, please send a tax-deductible donation to the East Lake Band Boosters at: East Lake Band Boosters 36181 East Lake Road Box 192 Palm Harbor, FL 34685

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Good Overall Health= Good Oral Health By DR. MARK BREINER, DDS

From the moment your baby’s first teeth erupt, they need to be cared for. At every stage of a child’s growth, good oral hygiene can and should be encouraged. However, given that children’s physical systems are more vital and reactive than those of adults, you need to be especially prudent about the dental decisions you make for them. The dental choices that you make for your child can have an impact for years to come. More parents are seeking holistic approaches for their children’s dental care. Here are my answers to some common questions: My child’s first teeth are coming in decayed. Why? When a baby falls asleep at the mother’s breast or with a bottle still in his or her mouth, the emerging baby teeth are being continuously bathed in the milk sugar and thus lead to decay. It has also been my observation that decay occurs more frequently in babies whose mother is a vegetarian and is breast-feeding. Some children are just more susceptible to tooth decay.

Since my child’s baby teeth are going to fall out, do I have to be concerned about treating decay? Yes, the decay can progress to the point of producing a toothache and an abscess, which may require extraction. Your child’s front teeth will likely be in place until six to seven years of age, and these teeth are very important for proper speech development. The baby molars are normally retained until ten to thirteen years of age. If these are lost prematurely, the permanent molars will come in and move forward, blocking the space needed for the permanent teeth. This situation will necessitate orthodontics. How do I care for my toddler’s teeth? When the teeth first come in, wiping the teeth with a washcloth or gauze pad is sufficient. As the child gets older and permits it, use a small toothbrush with soft bristles and dental floss. At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist? A good time to bring your child to the dentist is at three years of age. Of course, if you suspect any problems prior to that time, you should immediately bring your child to the dentist. My child’s permanent front teeth are coming in with white spots. Why is this happening? White spots on permanent teeth are almost always the result of ingesting too much fluoride. Studies have shown that 30-40% of children today have this problem. These spots form because fluoride interferes with collagen production. Fluoride can have additional negative systemic ramifications.

The dentist said my child will need braces. Should I wait until all the permanent teeth are in place? No. Often there is not enough room for permanent teeth or there is a structural problem in the way the lower jaw meets the upper jaw. It is best to begin to address these situations at an early age, when the first permanent molars have erupted.

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Winter Issue 2014

My child is highly allergic. Do I have to be concerned about the materials used in orthodontics? Yes. Often the orthodontic metals are nickel-based. Ten percent of the population is reactive to nickel. Today there are alternatives to using nickel. If your child has experienced a decline in health while wearing braces, he or she may be reactive to the dental materials used.

My child has a cavity, should I be concerned about materials being used to restore the teeth? Yes. Never let a dentist place a “silver” filling in your child’s teeth. These fillings are half mercury and mercury is dangerous. Ask your dentist to use a tooth-colored composite filling instead. My dentist wants to take X-rays of my child’s teeth, is this a good idea? As with everything in dentistry, one must evaluate the benefits and risks. The main reason for X-rays in young children is to check for decay between the teeth. Often transillumination with a bright light will reveal decay between the baby teeth and X-rays can be avoided. If one suspects decay, it is better to take an X-ray than to end up with a toothache.

My dentist wants to apply sealants to my child’s teeth, is this necessary? Because deep grooves in the molar teeth very often become decayed, filling these grooves will prevent this from happening. A dental sealant is a liquid composite that flows into the grooves and is then hardened with a high intensity light. I think it is unnecessary to seal teeth that do not have deep grooves. I prefer placing tiny composite fillings in deep grooves, as sealants are often lost and begin to leak with time. These problems rarely occur when tiny composite restorations are used.

About the Author Dr. Mark Breiner has been seeing both children and their parents in his holistic dental practice for over 30 years. In his new book, Whole-Body Dentistry®: A Complete Guide to understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health, he stresses the importance of using the safest possible treatment approaches for both children and adults. His online newsletter can be found at

products Luca Lashes E-Books

Thumbpire App

Thumbpire is an app with stories and activities about a little vampire who needs to somehow stop sucking his thumb so that his fangs can grow in. Helping Thumby break the habit is a big job - not just for his parents, but for an entire community of comically helpful monsters. THUMBPIRE features beautiful illustrations, “vampire narration” or “read it yourself ” options, funny rhyming text, and music or sound effects on every page which play with a tap from a young reader’s finger (or thumb!). Developed by an educator and a former writer for the Barney and Friends TV Show, the app is both educational and entertaining. Available for Apple and Android devices at The App Store and Google Play.

Download these charming books to reinforce the importance of good oral health with your preschoolers while reinforcing reading skills. Apps have dozens of interactive opportunities so be sure to linger on a page and play by selecting the Play/Pause icon in the upper left. Dental books are: Luca Lashes, His First Trip to the Dentist and Luca Lashes Learns to Brush his Teeth. Learn more at Lucalashes. com. Both books are found on iTunes.

Baby Banana Brush with Strawberry-Banana Toothgel by Spry

Brush baby teeth with this all-natural gel that has no additives or artificial sweeteners. Spry uses Xylitol that when applied to the teeth, may promote optimal calcium absorption and the development of tooth enamel. It cleans gums and promotes healthy baby teeth. Can be used with a Spry Pacifier or beginner toothbrush. Set shown is $12.95. Shop for this and other Xylitol products by XLEAR at or select heath food stores.

Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care Products

Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care products come from four generations of dentists with a passion to produce pure and effective oral care products. Their line, which includes Dr. Sharp’s Fresh Mint with Green Tea Toothpaste, Wild Berry Kids Toothpaste, Fresh Mint Mouthwash and Green Tea Mint Dental Tape, is free of fluoride, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and alcohol. Products are developed with the philosophy to care about the environment while providing innovative and proven alternatives to fluoride-based products. Buy products at A Florida dentist and a Florida company!

CloSYS Oral Health Care

Professional dental products by CloSYS use Cloralstan™, an ingredient which naturally activates amino acids in saliva to eliminate germs and bacteria that may cause other health issues in your mouth and body. For a simple, more holistic approach to oral care, try these products: CloSYS Alcohol-Free Oral Health Rinse, CloSYS Sulfate-Free Fluoride Toothpaste, CloSYS Fluoride-Free Toothpaste, and CloSYS Fresh Breath Oral Spray. Sold at Walgreens, CVS and Walmart.


Flossolution is an invention born from a brainstorm session about how to convince patients to floss daily. Central Florida dentist, Dr. Tim Pruett, went to sonic technology to create a new way to floss and created the Flossolution 500. Specially designed to be safe for children as young as three years old because of technology that protects flossing trauma. Styled like a traditional sonic toothbrush, the Flossolution has arms that hold both the toothbrush head and replaceable flossers. Start-up kit is $119.95 at A Florida dentist and a Florida company!

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Announcements for Parents Parent Academy Workshops

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting

The P2ACC (Preparing Parents to Advocate for their Children and Community) Parent Academy workshops is a series of classes focused on promoting academic success, parenting and advocacy, and personal and individual growth. Upcoming Parent Academy workshops include

Paige Michaelis, SPHR, CPDE, CPC will guide a group of parents through an audio seminar led by Dr. Brené Brown. During the four evening sessions, the groups will go on a journey to transform the lives by learning how to: • Cultivate worthiness in families—the knowledge that we are each always worthy of love and belonging • Vulnerability—the key to true connection • Engaging in creativity and play as a family • Practicing gratitude and joy in the home • Respect and hard work in a culture of “fun, fast, and easy”

We always say that it takes a village to raise a healthy and happy family. Well this spring, Pinellas County Schools is bringing educational and parenting experts together to give support to parents in a number of workshops offered free at schools throughout the county.

Thursday, February 20th • 6-7 p.m. College Planning, Preparation, Applications & Scholarships Greater Mt. Zion AME Church 1045 16th Street South, St. Petersburg Thursday, February 20th • 6-7 p.m. Effective Communication & Discipline Boys & Girls Club Tarpon Springs, 111 West Lemon Street, Tarpon Springs Tuesday, February 25th • 6-7 p.m. Social Media and Your Child Cross & Anvil Human Services Center 1201 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg

Thursday, February 27th • 6-7 p.m. Transition to Kindergarten (Special Presentation) Gibbs High School 850 34th Street South, St. Petersburg Monday, March 10th • 7-8 p.m. Math at Home - Secondary Schools 6-12 Citizens Alliance for Progress Center 401 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Tarpon Springs

Tuesday, March 11th • 6-7 p.m. How To Move Out of Crisis Mode: Managing Money in Tough Times Fairmount Park Elementary School 575 41st Street South, St. Petersburg Monday, March 31st • 6-7 p.m. College Planning, Preparation, Applications & Scholarships Clearwater Aquatic Center 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater

Parents know it’s not possible to be perfect, but still struggle with the social messages that imperfect is synonymous with inadequate. This conflict causes us to spend precious time and energy managing perceptions and carefully editing the version of our families we show to the world.

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting is a practical and hopeful program for raising children who know that they are worthy of love, belonging and joy. The group will meet March 10th, March 31st, April 14th and April 28th from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at a private location. Space is limited. Cost is $40 for all four sessions.

Dates for a north Pinellas group will be announced soon. To register for the current group or to get on a waiting list for future discussion groups, send an email to Paige Michaelis is a Certified Positive Discipline Educator & ACPI Certified Parenting Coach who holds seminars for parents in Pinellas County. Her website is

PTA Health and Safety Fair

The 5th Annual PCCPTA Health and Safety Fair is being held February 22nd at Largo Central Park from 10 2 p.m. Free event with educational resources for parents and entertainment for kids.

Summer Bridge

Pinellas County Schools will once again offer Summer Bridge programs for elementary, middle and high school students who are performing below grade level or struggling to be at A full catalog of classes is available at To register or grade level. The extending learning classes are primarily for learn more, contact the Office of Strategic Partnerships at reading, writing and math and are part of a free program for (727) 588-6405 or email school district families. Session runs from June 17th - July 24th, from 8 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Thursdays. Parents are responsible for transportation and after-school programs may be IEP Workshop The Pinellas County Council PTA is hosting a workshop for families available. The district will also offer the Summer VPK Program, which is designed to prepare 4 and 5 year olds for kindergarten, who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) on Saturday, February 15th from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Learn to be a more-informed advocate and the ESE Extended School Year (ESY) Program, which is for eligible students with disabilities. Visit the website for your child and how to create collaboration with your IEP for school locations and information on how to register. team. RSVP to Event held at the All Children’s Hospital Education and Conference Center, 701 4th Street South in St. Petersburg. Winter Issue 2014

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a note from

Pinellas County Schools Dear Parents, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with the Pinellas County Council of PTAs. The members invited me to provide a State of the District address. The best way to examine the state of Pinellas County Schools is to look at our road map, also known as the District Strategic Plan, and see where we are in reaching our goals. The School Board of Pinellas County has determined our district plan should focus on several key areas: Academic achievement Curriculum and instruction Safe learning environment Efficient use of district resources Optimization of operations

These areas are covered in five specific Action Goals in an effort to energize the District Strategic Plan for more immediate results. Under each of those Action Goals, we have aligned various strategies to ensure our success in meeting the goals. Perhaps most important, we have created a measureable timeline and have assigned specific members of district staff the responsibility of following through on the action steps. We are already seeing numerous positive results as measured by these action goals. I am committed to continually focusing on the detailed road map we have laid out to make sure Pinellas County Schools educates and prepares each student for college, career and life.

I’m often asked by parent groups what they can do to help the district. Over the next year our district will be preparing for district-wide accreditation through AdvancED, the accrediting body for schools in our region. Part of the accreditation process is to gather input from parents through a survey. We’ll need as much participation as possible once the survey is available. Information will be shared with school PTAs and School Advisory Councils once they survey is open. I hope you will take the time to provide your input. It is an important piece of our accreditation process. Accreditation will provide a national model of standards for the district to follow and will help the district improve its systems and processes to better drive student achievement; align and focus its priorities, goals and actions; and gain access to national performance-based tools and strategies for continuous improvement. I look forward to receiving your input.


Michael A. Grego, Ed.D. Superintendent, Pinellas County Schools

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Winter Issue 2014

The U.S. Department of State estimates as many as 27 million people are being trafficked worldwide today. Modern day trafficking can involve the exchange and exploitation of humans including forced prostitution, labor, servitude and even debt bondage. Think these crimes occur overseas? Think again. After drug trafficking, human trafficking has become the second most profitable illegal industry in the United States.

Victims of human trafficking may be mistaken for prostitutes, runaway youth or migrant workers. What you may not know is that they can even be the neighbors or classmates that you see on a regular basis. Trafficking is a crime of control, and unfortunately, victims frequently feel the situation is their fault. They rarely ask for help for fear of retribution from their controllers. The Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office is actively working to find and stop individuals involved in this devastating crime, but we need your help in reporting suspicious behavior.

Have You Noticed any of These Common Warning Signs?

Physical abuse: Frequent physical injuries, hunger and malnutrition. Victims of sexual abuse may suffer from untreated sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, and kidney problems. Environmental factors: Does the individual have few or no possessions? Do they look to a guardian to answer basic questions or provide canned responses? Do they have control of their own personal documents (i.e. driver’s license) and money?

Psychological symptoms: Because trafficking is about control, it can have devastating psychological effects that you may witness but not initially associate with trafficking. Victims often appear helpless, disoriented and confused. They may suffer from panic attacks, phobias, or demonstrate signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

I urge you to keep your eyes and ears open. When you see warning signs call the Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office, or remain anonymous by calling CrimeStoppers, – you never know whose life you may save. Bob Gualtieri Sheriff, Pinellas County

Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office Special Victims Unit (727) 582-6200

Mind - Body - Health with Juli

Lose the Baggage and


Do we really believe this year’s going to be any different than last…or the one before that…in fact, do we really believe that tomorrow we’ll wake up feeling any differently than today?

First, please don’t be too hard on yourself. We humans are basically driven and live by a pattern we’ve created. It’s our routine called life. We wake up and hit the floor ready or not for the morning routine, which quickly leads into almost a routine du jour. Mondays pretty much go the same way throughout our day and so on and so on till the weekend, which has it’s somewhat same routine too.

It’s stored everything we’ve ever experienced and remembers how we “felt” about those experiences. Think about doing something new and it’ll quickly match it with other flight or fight moments. All the “baggage” of our lives is used to react to any conscious command.

Any perceived changes and instantly, our subconscious mind releases hormones and chemicals designed to give us that “uneasy” feeling. And for most of us, when we feel uneasy or uncomfortable, we’re quickly willing to go back to feeling safe and sound.

This pattern of living is our creation built by two systems - the conscious and subconscious systems.

So if you want to experience any meaningful changes in your life, you’ll need to work with both. When we say to ourselves we want change, it takes a conscious decision to do so. We know that if we want to lose a little weight, we should eat smartly and start exercising. Easy enough, right? So why do so many diets, resolutions or conscious decisions to change quickly revert us back to where we started? The culprit – our subconscious mind. It’s programmed with a “homeostatic” impulse to keep a consistent pattern for our life’s actions. And just like it controls the autonomic nervous system to ensure our bodies stay 98.6 degrees, heart pumping, lungs breathing – it too, controls our emotional state to ensure we stay consistent with what we’ve said, done and believe. Our subconscious is responsible for our mental comfort zone and does whatever it can to keep us there.

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ZIP UP Keep your energy positive

So how can we get through the uneasy feelings to change?

We can direct those same hormones and chemicals consciously, teaching the subconscious a new pattern to follow. And we’ll need to lose some of the old baggage to do so. We’ll need to be able to quickly identify when we’re receiving the “uneasy” feeling and have a few easy steps to calm us back into allowing our conscious decisions to take over. Here’s a few easy ways for working with the conscious and subconscious systems.

The first three steps (A-C) get us out of subconscious grip and engage our conscious system to provide clarity on what is desired. The last two steps (D & E) work with both systems to create new beliefs and patterns.

Step A: Become aware • What am I thinking and feeling? • I’m overwhelmed! • My boss/kids/spouse... drive me crazy! • Why can’t I lose this extra weight? Step B: Identify desire • What do I want? • I want it all to go away. • I wish I didn’t get so upset. • I no longer want to feel so fat.

Step C: Make “I am..” statement • How do I want to be? • I am relaxed and productive. • I am calm and confident. • I am fit and healthy. Step D: ZIP-UP with statement See Illustration.

Step E: Take action • What can I do? • I make a “must do” list, silence phone/email and take breaks every 45 minutes.

• I laugh with kids before school and take deep breaths. • I exercise and eat healthy (veggies and lean meats) at least 4 days a week.

If unable to create an “I am…” statement (step C), use any of these: I am safe. I am lovable. I am worthy of love/prosperity. I am deserving of love/prosperity.

It’s amazing how many of us share the subconscious belief of not being safe, worthy or loved… based on childhood experiences and other emotionally-charged events we don’t even realize still haunt our daily patterns.

To get started, simply try this routine on something top of mind you’d like to see change in your life and you will be on your way to controlling how you feel and live.

Turning Simple Daily Disciplines

into New Year’s Success by JEFF OLSON

The Right Way to Set New Year’s Resolutions

When I talk about success in the coming year, I’m talking about joy, love, fulfillment, enthusiasm, improved health, great relationships, financial security and professional accomplishment. However, don’t get overwhelmed by trying to change too much at one time. That’s a mistake that most people make when thinking about goals, whether in the form of New Year’s resolutions or business milestones. You can’t eat the whole apple in one bite. Keep it simple. Write down a goal in one area—perhaps your health or your business growth—and apply the success principles I lay out below to your resolution. By applying these small actions every day, you’ll see success like you never have before.

For a goal to come true, you must make it specific, give it a deadline, and write it down. Then look at it every day, and start with a plan of how to make it happen.

Nine Things Successful People Do Every Day

People on the success curve are pulled by the future and live in responsibility. People on the failure curve are pulled by the past The New Year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your daily practices and live in blame. No matter where you are, at any moment, you and make real, lasting change. If you’re already grumbling about can choose to step onto the success curve. Ignore the voice that how badly this year’s resolutions are turning out, then you’re not says, “New Year’s goals never work for me.” You keep getting alone. I’ve discovered that most people bounce between failure the same results because you keep doing the same things. and survival. They may strive for success, but they invariably turn To move forward, the right attitude is essential. Here are back and head downward, where they remain stuck as a result some ways to cultivate success in your goals and an attitude of of self-sabotage. People repeat this pattern with their finances, victory on a daily basis: health, relationships and in their lives as a whole. How do we break this cycle? Show up consistently and don’t blame circumstances or other people. Take responsibility for your success—and Over time, I’ve realized that the same “simple daily disciplines” your failure that continued to rescue me from failure and carry me to survival Focus on having a positive outlook. Look for the good in would also rescue me from being average and carry me from every situation. survival to success. Commit to the long haul and don’t look for shortcuts or This is the slight edge, the things that are easy to do—but just hope for a “big break.” as easy not to do. We each make small decisions daily that seem Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith—think knowing insignificant. But if we make small positive choices and take rather than hoping or wishing. small positive actions each and every day, the results compound Practice slight edge integrity. Do the things you’ve over time and lead us to success and happiness. committed to do, even when no one else is watching. Practice the daily disciplines that are assured to take you to your final destination. The First Ingredient to Achieving Success: Actively seek opportunities to learn, both from books Develop a Philosophy and daily experiences. Then accelerate that knowledge by Emerson wrote, “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” finding mentors and modeling their successful behavior. Nike simplified it to, “Just Do It.” Keep paddling when others give up and sink. The world economy, the marketplace and the neighbors don’t dictate Babe Ruth, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and Michael your success potential. You do. Jordan subscribed to a similar philosophy: “Failure is not an option.” Understand the slight edge, and put it to work—every day! Your philosophy creates your attitudes, which create your actions, which create your results, which create your life. Take this opportunity at the start of a fresh new year to think about your philosophy. Write one or two sentences that highlight what you know, how you hold For a goal to come true, you must what you know, and how it affects what you do. Your philosophy can make it specific, give it a deadline, include your goals and dreams related to your health, happiness, and write it down. Then look at it relationships, personal development, finances, career and your impact on the world. Don’t agonize over this step. Just get something on every day, and start with a plan of paper and move on. You can tweak it later.

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how to make it happen.


Taking Action That Moves People Toward Success

Do one simple discipline each day that moves your success forward related to your New Year’s goal, and make a habit of doing some sort of daily review of these activities, either through a journal, list, or work with a friend, colleague or coach. Taking the time to do this extra accountability step can make all the difference between defeat and victory.

Daily disciplines are the things that are so simple to do— successful people actually do them, while unsuccessful people only look at them and don’t take action. Little things may seem insignificant in the doing, yet when compounded over time, they yield very big results. For each area of life where you may set New Year’s goals, there are tried and true daily disciplines you can do. Here are a few to get you started: Take a few dollars out of a paycheck each week—put it into savings and leave it there. Do a few minutes of exercise every day—and don’t skip it. Read ten pages of an inspiring book—every day. Take a moment to tell someone how much you appreciate them—and do this consistently. Write a list of three things every day for which you’re grateful. Maintain a positive perspective, practice forgiveness and engage in meaningful activities.

The Power of Time

Once you’ve established your philosophy and goals and start taking daily action, it’s important to remember patience. In today’s society, people want immediate results, but research shows that less than 5 percent of people are willing to be patient and take simple daily actions over a period of time. Simply put: consistently repeated daily actions + time = unconquerable results

The Grand Canyon—arguably one of nature’s most beautiful masterpieces—wasn’t created quickly, but as a result of water running along the ground over some six million years. The same holds true with the city of Rome—it wasn’t built in a day. If you’re tired of treading in the murky waters of failure and survival and you’re willing to be patient and apply some simple slight edge daily disciplines to your everyday life, then success may be even closer than you think. You can turn around a losing streak and not only meet but exceed your New Year’s goals. Start today!

NeriumAD Face Creams address Fine lines and wrinkles Discoloration Uneven skin texture Enlarged pores Aging skin To learn more about Jeff Olson’s product NeriumAD or business opportunities, contact local representative Theresa Broughton at Please feel free to contact me for more details. I would love to explain how to get this product FREE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Olson, Founder and CEO of Nerium International, is a leader in the direct sales industry, earning an industry-wide reputation as a top distributor, earner, CEO, founder and more since he first joined the industry in 1988. He is also the author of The Slight Edge, which shares the philosophy and principles he used to achieve success as an entrepreneur and CEO. Follow Jeff on Twitter: and on Facebook: Learn more about the book, The Slight Edge at

Choose H.O.P.E. for Vibrant Health in 2014 At ReNew Life, hope isn’t simply a feeling; it’s a formula for living life at peak health. H.O.P.E. is an acronym for the four primary health ingredients: High Fiber, Omega-3 Oils, Probiotics and Enzymes. The nutrients in this formula benefit not only digestion, but also organs and systems throughout the body from the circulatory to the immune system and the largest organ of all, the skin.*

The H.O.P.E. Formula Follow These 4 Simple Steps to a Healthier Life*

1. The High Fiber element of the H.O.P.E. Formula encourages you to get enough dietary fiber each day. Scientific research has shown that an ideal 35 grams of fiber daily helps keep cholesterol levels healthy, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and helps flush toxins and waste from the body.*

2. Omega-3 oils, which are sadly lacking in our modern diet, are also being found in clinical studies as essential for digestive, heart, brain, skin and joint health, and for supporting the body’s healthy inflammation response.* Omega-3 supplementation is easily available in the form of softgels or chia seed. 3. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in a healthy digestive tract, can be consumed in fermented foods, and at higher potencies in probiotic supplements.* These are our inner warriors that keep our digestive systems healthy and balanced.* Taking a daily probiotic supplement can help maintain digestive balance.*

4. Enzymes refine the digestive process by helping the body break down and absorb food better.* There are natural digestive enzyme formulas available today to meet specific needs. From your first bite of breakfast to the last flush of the day, the H.O.P.E. Formula has your digestive bases covered to send you on your way to healthy digestion!*

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Brenda Watson, C.N.C. For over 20 years, Brenda Watson has dedicated her career to helping people achieve vibrant, lasting health through improved digestive function. A dynamic health advocate, author, speaker and celebrated PBS-TV health educator, she is among the foremost authorities in America on optimum nutrition and digestion, natural detoxification methods, and herbal internal cleansing. Brenda recognized a growing need within the natural products industry for a line of safe and effective digestive care products during her extensive clinical work, and in 1999 she accepted the challenge herself. The result is the ReNew Life line of superior-quality digestive health supplements based in Palm Harbor, Florida. Winter Issue 2014

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Green Acre Organics Island Breeze Soups Sausage Laboratory Healthy Heritage Beef Co. Florida Fresh Herbs Frivolous Fruit Products 20 Shekels Bread Magnis Munchies Neci’s Drumhill Maples Immune Solutions Joy Of Garlic Sweet Toots Gluten Free French Nugget Visit the fresh and new Dunedin Downtown Market and enjoy Taste Of Freedom Farm the tradition of good old fashioned community fun at John R. Zocala Salsas Lawrence Pioneer Park. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. Nauti-Girl Seafood to 2 p.m. Most products are fresh, organic and/or locally made, Sweet Ida Maes making it a unique shopping experience for healthier and tastier International Food Mart food. It also helps to support local entrepreneurs and that goes a Tampasta long way to creating a healthier community! If you’ve never been Pirate Johnny’s to the market, here is a short list of the vendors and products you Edens Nectar can buy for yourself or as a gift. GoodLiving® magazine is proud Culinary Pirate to be a sponsor of this local green market and supports healthy Jerky Rocks eating and entrepreneurs. Organic Sweetness

What’s at the Dunedin Downtown Market?

Organic Produce Vendor Fresh Healthy Soups Artisan Made Sausages Free Range Meats/Eggs Potted Herbs Jams/Jellies/Pickled Vegetables Sprouted Grain Breads Homemade Dog Treats Spices, Pickles Local Breads, Hot Sauce, Dips Wheatgrass & Detox Dressings, Sauces, Dips Gluten Free Baked Goods Healthy Chocolate Local Honey Farm Homemade Salsa, Mexican Tamales Fresh Florida Seafood Fresh Baked Goods, Desserts Hummus, Tabouli, Farm Eggs Fresh Local Pasta, Empanadas Spices, Sauces, Marinades Local Raw Honey Homemade Granola Local Jerky Organic Salts and Sugars

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A Little Time for Romance Soiree Everyday with Esther Edwards!

Everyone’s schedule is so full these days. But even so, we do need to take the wise advice to “stop and smell the roses,” especially when we do the stopping with those we love. Valentine’s Day is a good reminder to celebrate the love in our lives, but keeping romance in our relationships is important every month of the year. Parents in particular need to carve out time to focus on their marriage, so make an extra effort to find someplace for the children to go for the evening. You can help encourage a friend to do the same in her marriage (and save money) by trading nights for childcare.

Esther’s Dinner Recommendations

Risotto with Chicken and Spring Peas

Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice 2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1/2 cup loose-pack frozen tiny or regular-size peas Here are some of my Soiree Everyday! tips for creating a romantic 2 tablespoons coarsely shredded carrot 2/3 cup shredded cooked chicken dinner at home: 1 cup fresh spinach, shredded Find ways to add warmth to your environment: light the 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce) 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme candles, dim the lights, play soft music or light a fire.

Pull out the seldom-used dishes from the china cabinet, red table cloth and add fresh roses to the table.

Pour a glass of wine and reminisce with your honey while you add the finishing touches to dinner about that time that… Keep it light and lovely with just a few menu choices, leaving room for a little chocolate dessert for two.

Nothing is sexier than a clean kitchen after dinner, so plan your menu well in advance and budget your time by doing as much in advance as possible. Something as simple as having an empty dishwasher ready to load will help. Plan your outfit and get the kids’ things prepared earlier in the day so you can relax your mind and enjoy the romantic evening with your love. He deserves all of you, and so do you! Soiree Everyday!

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Directions In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender. Add the uncooked rice. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring broth to boiling; reduce heat to keep broth simmering. Carefully add 1/2 cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the broth has been absorbed. (This should take 18 to 20 minutes total.) Stir in remaining broth, the peas, and carrot. Cook and stir until rice is slightly firm (al dente) and creamy. Stir in chicken, spinach, Parmesan cheese, and thyme; heat through. Serve immediately. **This is a Gluten Free Menu item as well!

Crab Cakes with Orange Aioli Ingredients 1 egg white, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons chopped green onions 2 tablespoons chopped red sweet pepper 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (seafood seasoning) 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning 10 ounces cooked crabmeat or two 6-ounce cans lump crabmeat, drained and cartilage removed 1/3 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs) *for Gluten Free, use Parmesan or Gluten Free bread crumbs in equal measure 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Spinach leaves (optional) 1 recipe Orange Aioli (see below) Directions In a large bowl combine egg, green onions, red pepper, light mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon-pepper seasoning. Add crabmeat; mix well. Shape into four patties. Press panko (or GF alternative) onto both sides of each patty. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add patties and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden and heated through, turning once. If desired, serve warm on a bed of spinach. Serve with Orange Aioli.

Orange Aioli Ingredients 1/4 cup light mayonnaise 1/4 cup light sour cream 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel or zest 1 tablespoon orange juice 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander Directions In a small bowl stir together light mayonnaise, light sour cream, finely shredded orange peel/zest, orange juice, chopped fresh chives, and ground coriander. Chill until ready to use.

Esther is the host of Soirée Everyday! with Esther Edwards, an interactive television show that takes you on a culinary experience through cooking and entertaining. She is also the author of Soirée Everyday! Cooking and Entertaining Guide. Her passion and inspiration come from growing up in the kitchen next to the ultimate party planner – her father. His legendary baked goods and creative theme parties sparked her desire to make these happy moments possible for the culinary-challenged, as well as those who simply believe they have no time. After working several years as a SousChef de Cuisine, Personal Chef and Event Planner, she has developed a system that teaches home cooks of every background and skill level simple, creative and uncomplicated ways to add a little soirée to their everyday life. You can reach her at as well as at

for dessert... Gluten-free Chocolate Cake

Rich, decadent and amazingly chocolate is the gluten-free cake from the GateauOChocolat bakery in St. Petersburg. Referred to as “heaven’s chocolate cake,” it is totally gluten free and made with fair-trade chocolate. Buy a whole cake or buy a slice. Make sure to add the sauce.

for toasting... Low-sulfite wine

Shocking how smooth and delicious wine can be without all the preservatives. All wines sold come directly from small vineyards and boutique wineries and cannot be found in stores. They contain only naturally occurring sulfites (up to 20 parts per million compared to 300-400 parts per million added chemicals and sulfites found in many store bought wines.) Local independent wine consultant Carol Prokap says no headaches, hangovers or allergic reaction. Contact her for a wine tasting and information on how to buy.

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Set Goals & Keep Your Focus.

Five Life Lessons We Can Teach Our Kids from the Olympic Games By CHRISTIE BRUNER The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are an excellent opportunity for parents to help their children understand some important life lessons, whether they are pursuing sports or have other interests. Brooke Bennett, three time Olympic gold medal swimmer and Plant City native, offers excellent insight into some hidden lessons that the Games can impart on our little ones.

You Are What You Eat.

Top athletes know that nutrition is one of the more important aspects of training at a high level, but nutrition is also one of the best preventive measures to ensure a healthy lifestyle on and off the field. They key is to be prepared and to think ahead about what food you and your children will need during a day – quick and wholesome breakfast options, cut-up fruits & veggies for the ride home from school and a freezer meal ready for healthy dinner. Brooke is in the process of writing a healthy cookbook to be titled “Brooke Cooks” and she has shared one of her easy and tasty recipe for our readers.

Follow Your Dreams.

There is no dream too big! Whether your children have a dream to become a doctor, win the spelling bee or just be nicer to their siblings... we must encourage them and show them that they CAN do it. Brooke recalls a pivotal moment in her childhood, “I remember my parents sitting me down to watch the Seoul Olympics in 1988 when I had just started swimming. It made me realize that these Olympians were just people, people who had worked very hard and followed their passion to reach their goals.” Show your children that athletes were once kids just like them, and that they, too, can work hard to become an Olympic athlete. About the Author Christie Bruner is the National Director of Fitness Programming for Baby Boot Camp and operates her own franchise in St. Petersburg. Her Baby Boot Camp classes are offered at several locations throughout St. Petersburg. She has a B.S. in Exercise Science and is an AFAA certified personal trainer. Contact her at

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Brooke listed good time management and an increased ability to focus as two main skills she developed from being a world class athlete. As your children get older, these same skills are keys to success in a variety of settings – from school to work to home. As Brooke now prepares for a new and exciting endeavor, coming out of retirement and training for the 2016 Olympic Team in Open Water Swimming, keeping her focus strong will be more important than ever. Watch the athletes’ stories with your children during the Olympic coverage and encourage them to draw similarities between the goals the competitors have reached and how your children can do the same.

Open Your Eyes to the World Around You.

For Florida natives, it is difficult to understand the bitter cold and snowy conditions that that the rest of our country has been experiencing so far this year. Tune into the Sochi Olympics and use this opportunity to share knowledge about living in a cold climate and playing cold-weather sports. Your kids may have never heard of curling, skeleton or bobsled and this is a great opportunity to expose them to new sports and activities. Take the opportunity to research these new sports with your children and also the various countries that the athletes represent.

...But There’s No Place Like Home.

It’s so cliche, but it’s true. Whether in an academic or sports setting, kids can get easily frustrated by pressure from the outside forces, i.e., coaches wanting them to practice harder or perform better and teachers wanting them to score higher on tests. The comfort that comes from a loving and caring family environment will build a strong foundation for when kids falter and also a safe place to hail their successes. Brooke remembers how her mother played an important role in her mental attitude towards racing throughout her life, “My mom was just my mom. She celebrated with me when I succeeded, and was right there with compassion in my defeat with an encouraging ‘We’ll get it next time.’”

Brooke’s Oatmeal Berry Muffins

Everyone will love this healthy grab-n-go breakfast item. The muffins taste great and will give energy and brain power to start the day right. Ingredients 1/2 cup egg whites 16 ounces Greek yogurt 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce 2 tbsp vanilla 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tbsp cinnamon 1 tbsp honey 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 1/2 cups old-fashion oatmeal 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (go gluten if you’d like) 2 scoops plain or vanilla of your favorite protein powder 2 cups of berries: blueberry, blackberry or raspberry (or mix it up)

Directions In mixer add egg whites, yogurt, applesauce, vanilla, honey and blend. Add in dry ingredients. Beat on medium until mixture is completely blended. Remove bowl from mixing stand and HAND MIX in your berries. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake 12-15 minutes in a greased muffin pan or use paper cups.

TEACH KIDS ABOUT THE OLYMPIC SYMBOLS What’s so special about the Olympic torch?

The countdown to the Games kicks off with the Olympic torch relay, which delivers the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece to the Host City through a series of runners. For the Sochi Games, each runner carries an eye-catching, red and silver torch. The torch’s curved shape is inspired by the feather of the golden Firebird, a mythical creature celebrated in Russian fairytales and folklore.

Are the Olympic medals unique to this year’s Games? Yes! The Sochi medals are made out of metal and feature an etched glass-like insert with jagged edges resembling mountain peaks and the seashore. This design highlights Sochi’s unique position between the cold snow-capped Caucasus Mountains and the warm sandy beaches of the Black Sea.

The medals also feature the Sochi Olympics’ recognizable “Patchwork Quilt” design, a mosaic of 16 traditional patterns that celebrate Russia’s rich traditions and cultural diversity. Keep an eye out for the colorful quilt design everywhere at the Games, such as on the torch bearers’ outfits and Olympic souvenirs!

Do the Olympic Games have mascots too?

Yes! The winter Games’ mascots are a Snow Leopard, Polar Bear, and Hare. Russian citizens submitted their ideas for mascots, and Olympic officials selected the top three that represent the country’s spirit and embody the Olympic values. The Polar Bear is depicted as friendly, intelligent and always striving for new athletic heights, while the Hare is an excellent student and loves sports. Tough and strong, the choice of the Snow Leopard, a native of Sochi’s nearby Caucasus Mountains and a critically endangered species, draws attention to Russia’s increasing focus on animal conservation. Look for the three Olympic mascots spreading joy and Olympic spirit throughout the Games!

The winter Olympics are an exciting learning experience for kids. The company that shares cultural information with kids through its Little Passports boxes has this and more fun information about this year’s games at their website:


My name is Corey Thornton. I grew up in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Growing up I struggled with many of the same problems today’s youth are facing. I was raised by a single mother, rejected by my father, surrounded by negative peers and struggled academically. I was bullied in school because I was short and did not fit in with others. I was very angry in elementary school and acted out behaviorally. This anger continued into middle school. I was placed at Lealman Intermediate to help me with academics and behavior. While at Lealman Intermediate I found my love of music. The music teacher Mr. Payne connected with me and motivated me to develop my gift. I began valuing education. I went on to attend Gibbs High School and became involved with the performing arts department. I finally found something I enjoyed and was good at. I graduated high school and developed my gift of writing and creating music.

and slandering my name. These events sent me into a 6 month deep depression. One day I was lying in bed, flipping through the channels and stumbled upon Pastor Joel Osteen. I knew he was speaking directly to me. His positive uplifting message pulled me out of my depression. I began to renew my mind with God’s word. I started applying biblical principals in my personal and business life. I have never looked back.

Today, my mission is to inspire, motivate and educate our youth. My goal is to reach young people through music, mentoring and real life conversations. I proactively teach and encourage them to lead a positive and productive life. My musical lyrics are positive, catchy and engage everyone. Each presentation is informative and relates to all the issues kids are dealing with. I “edutain” youth of all ages on how to lead a successful life, stay in school and ultimately graduate!

In today’s society, I see many negative influences and peer pressures. Positive role models are a necessity for our youth to be successful. After graduation, I began working for a car wash during the day and in the evening worked the night shift at a hospital. In addition I believe that if we can reach them early enough we can make a difference in their life. to both jobs, I wrote music and performed at various venues in the bay area. I wanted to “make it” in the music industry. My music I believe parents must be the advocates for their children and at this point was rated “R” and more like the hip-hop/rap music that provide supports they need. If my mother, Althea Thornton did is prominent today. All my anger and past frustrations were coming not love me unconditionally, stay on top of me by providing out in my music. I thought this was how I had to make money in the the correction and guidance I needed, I would have become a music industry. I was surrounded by all the wrong people guiding statistic. Our community must unite to strengthen our families. me to make decisions that were not in MY best interest. Little did I This is my ultimate goal. know I was on a path to self-destruction. I wrote this spotlight to possibly encourage others to change My overnight job at the hospital was in the psychiatric ward. their life. This is where I came in contact with young people struggling with depression, addiction and a variety of mental health issues. I It may look like my road was easy and that I had it all but looks wanted to help. This prompted me to write a song called “Say No are deceiving. Things are not always as they seem. I have learned to channel my past experiences and anger into something positive. to Drugs.” This was the FIRST positive motivational song I had ever written. This song enabled me to connect with Officer James I now have a responsibility to teach others to do the same. Gillmore who worked with DARE, a school program to resist Take a Stand! Show Some Love! Spread The Peace! drugs and violence. I began volunteering in schools educating Corey’s company called Knuckle Headz is dedicated to inspiring students on saying “no” to drugs. This was the beginning of the today’s youth through music. His songs call for an end to Knuckle Headz and my motivational music career. bullying, advocate for graduation and proclaim school spirit in Although I was volunteering at schools and writing more the style that today’s kids love. His PTA and School Board approved positive songs, I continued my involvement with my so called shows have reached more than 250,000 students in Central “friends” in the music industry. Eventually, I found out these Florida. You can download his music and obtain information about “friends” were cheating me in business deals, stealing from me scheduling a performance for a school and even a birthday party at his website:

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P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677

2014 Winter Issue  
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