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1 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

We won’t stop until the whole world is dancing... 412 2nd Street South Jacksonville Beach 904.372.4000 Shop Online 24/7 at

2 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

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contents 6

ONE OF US Noreen Young cultivates beauty in Jax


PAWSITIVE HABITS Kids and animals work together at JHS


PHOTOJAX Seeing the First Coast through the lens


CHRISTE BLUE “Fashion for a fraction” in St. Augustine



WICKETS TURNS 30 Ponte Vedra fixture celebrates milestone


SPRING 2014 FASHION Trends and predictions for the new season



REAL WEDDINGS Shots from favorite local photographers


FIRST COAST VENUES Using Florida’s natural beauty as a backdrop


BRIDAL FANTASY Sawgrass show offers the best in bridal


BRIDAL SHOWERS De-stress your party planning


MOSH GOES GREEN Eco-zibit shows Jacksonville’s green side


ONE WILD CENTURY Jacksonville zoo celebrates 100 years


WHETSTONE A delicious history in St. Augustine

ART & ANTIQUES Impressions of India in our back yard

about this magazine


The First Coast Register is a bi-monthly general interest magazine published by The Ponte Vedra Recorder and OPC News, LLC. The magazine can be found throughout the upscale areas of greater Jacksonville. For advertising inquiries call 904.285.8831. Susan Griffin, Publisher Kelly Hould, Editor Rob Conwell, Circulation Manager Elizabeth Middlebrooks, Staff Writer Carrie Resch, Staff Writer/Sales Coordinator Ed Johnson, Senior Account Executive Kristin Flanagan, Account Executive Cary Johnson Howard, Manon Zamora-Barwick, Publication Designers April Snyder, Sales Assistant


1102 A1A N., Unit 108, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 • 904.285.8831

on the cover



4 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Cover photo courtesy of Robert Max Photography. Visit for more, or turn to page 30.

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One of Us! NOREEN YOUNG Noreen Young, of Noreen Young Cosmetics & Makeup Studio, is beautiful inside and out. by CARRIE RESCH

Noreen Young is a professional makeup artist and motivational speaker who grew up in New York. Twenty years ago, she opened a beauty cottage located on San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville. She lovingly refers to her store as her “candy shop of beauty.” Before she found her passion for beauty products and makeup, Noreen was actually studying to become a nursing nun. After taking a job at a cosmetics counter at a major department store in New York City, she discovered an affinity for makeup, and realizing that nuns of course do not wear makeup, decided to pursue her newfound passion instead. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting her store, it should be no surprise that lips are her favorite part of the body. In fact, you could say that she’s obsessed with perfectly painted pouts she has signature pink lips on her business sign along with her slogan,“A woman without lipstick is like a day without sunshine.” Inside you’ll find a lip couch, a lip phone and lipstick swag. She even has pink lips on her shopping bags. Noreen is passionate about makeup because she finds joy helping people feel good about themselves. She strives to bring out a person’s best features and to show them simple ways that they can look and feel gorgeous. She believes that when a woman puts on lipstick or other cosmetics, it transforms her emotional state, improving her mood and her perception. Noreen has a personal and professional website, and she maintains a blog where she shares homemade beauty treatments and tips, driving home the fact that she believes that pampering your body is not only a necessity, but a right. She also believes that not all beauty products come from a jar. She shares monthly recipes for homemade beauty products on her website ( She is also a regular on Channel 4 for a beauty and lifestyle segment where she speaks on various health and beauty topics including skin care, fashion, makeup and looking and feeling your best.

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How did you come to live in Jacksonville? I met my husband on a radio talk show. I was answering beauty questions on the radio talk show and that’s how I came to Jacksonville. I met him and the next year I moved here. I was working for Diane Von Furstenberg in New York as a makeup artist and I traveled across the country doing promotions and the love story happened that this southern gentleman was here waiting for me. I have lived here for 24 years. My husband’s name is Reginald Carter, and he is a commercial real estate appraiser. Why did you decide to open a store in Jacksonville? I noticed Jacksonville didn’t have the things I could bring. Everything that I would wear or do had that New York twist. People suggested,“Why don’t you bring a taste of that New York to us?” I wanted to bring Jacksonville something different. When I first moved here, there wasn’t an Ulta, there wasn’t a Sephora — there was nothing quite like me. I understand you are involved in the Down syndrome community. Why is that something that’s important to you? When I was growing up and after I moved here, besides having the business, my responsibility and my attention went to my twin brother Norman. My twin brother had Down syndrome. I was born without Down syndrome and he was born with Down syndrome, and that’s very unusual. I would fly him here a lot, and I would fly to visit him often because he didn’t understand why I had to move. I understand everything about people who were born with Down syndrome and I love to give back to the community. I donated money to the Special Olympics for different events and sometimes do promotions on my products where the proceeds are donated to Down syndrome organizations. But I also love to donate my time where I either speak to groups of people with Down syndrome or the girls or women come here and I have

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a cupcake and cosmetics party for them -— either one-on-one or in groups. I teach them how to do their makeup, and I teach them about skin care. I know how to talk to them. I don’t talk down to them, and all girls want to have fun and look pretty. It’s about feeling fabulous inside and bringing out the best outside and having the confidence. Is confidence something that comes naturally to you? When I was young, I was extremely shy and introverted, and I didn’t have the confidence. Now, I can guest speak for groups of 2,000 or 5,000, and it is no big deal for me. I just love it. Through the magic of makeup, I came out of my shell. I love making all women of Jacksonville look and feel good. What kind of events do you speak at and what topics do you cover? I do speaking engagements once a month. I teach at beauty conferences all over the country on makeup, skin care, marketing, promotions, business and more. At other events for the consumer, I teach for businesses and the girl next door - how to put your best face forward and dress for success for the workplace. For conventions and ladies who lunch, I entertain the wives while the husband is at a convention on my signature: “You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune to Look Like a Million,” “Beauty from Your Garden” and “Beauty from Your Kitchen.” What types of products do you carry in your store? I carry makeup from around the world. I love offering the unique and I love offering it at a fabulous price. I don’t think you have to spend a fortune to look like a million. I have a collection that’s my own line, and we also do custom blend products. One of the custom blends we do is powder but it’s a powder with a twist because its rice powder mixed with American powders. I just love the mix. We also do a custom lip gloss blend called Custom Kisses. I went to lip gloss school and they taught me how to mix different lip gloss ingredients — pigment, flavors, sunscreen, lip plumpers and shimmers. I make a custom made lip gloss for you. You pick out the color, you pick out the flavor, and you pick out the name. Name it after you, your lover, your dog — whomever.We ship locally, nationally and internationally. What is a favorite product of yours that you carry in your store? Rice powder.It’s known for its staying qualities on the face,and it makes your colors stay true, and it tones down shine. It’s excellent for combination skin, acne or people who have hot flashes. I use it on photo shoots, for newscasters, for models, etc. It’s an ancient Chinese secret that I did not make — it’s thousands of years old, but it’s something that I advocate to people. It’s excellent for the Florida weather.

8 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register


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‘pawsitively’ A


JHS debuts Pawsitive Reading Program that benefits students, animals



Darian Stevens and Ceasar 10 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

alia Cravens, 10, doesn’t mind getting interrupted when she’s reading aloud at the Jacksonville Humane Society on Wednesday afternoons. After all, her audience isn’t trying to correct her or ask questions about her reading material; the puppies “just listen,” she said. “Sometimes they interrupt you, but they’re very sweet,” said Kalia, a student at Alimacani Elementary School, after reading to puppy Sammy.“They don’t mind being read to, and it calms them down.” Kalia is one of several students participating in JHS’s Pawsitive Reading Program, a new initiative at the shelter. JHS ran a pilot program in the fall with just three students then opened registration in January, according to Amy Pierce, director of development. Now, 30 students come to the shelter each Wednesday to read to the cats and dogs. The program is great for students to practice reading aloud and gives the animals much needed human interaction, which can increase their adoptability. “Anecdotally … the animals seem to enjoy the attention. The cats in the kitty living room gather around the readers,” Pierce wrote in an email. “The kids all seem to really enjoy themselves too.” Besides being the cutest listeners a reader could ask for, the animals provide a non-judgmental audience for the students, helping increase their confidence in reading aloud. “It’s a great investment to our pets and to the community as well,” said Development Coordinator Katelyn Walters. JHS hasn’t formally promoted the program; parents have learned about it through Facebook and word-of-mouth. Heather Stevens brought her daughters, Rayven Villaluz, 9, and Darian Stevens, 13, after a friend told her about a Facebook post for the program. Rayven, who is homeschooled,“is a young cat lady,” Heather Stevens said, as her daughter settled in to read to Smokey and June, two of many adoptable cats at JHS. Soon, though, Rayven put down her book and worked on coaxing the shy June from a windowsill. Meanwhile, her sister Darian read to dog Ceasar in an empty office. As she began reading, Ceasar was active in his crate and barked loudly. After about 10 minutes, though, he had settled down and listened intently as the LaVilla School of the Arts student read to him.

Kalia Cravens reads to puppy Sammy.

Mila Tomaro and Momma

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Community Outreach Coordinator Jenn Ruliffson said she’s received positive feedback from parents and children about the program, and she said she expects many return visitors. Several parents said they signed up their students for multiple weeks, and nearly all interviewed said they plan to bring their children for as long as the program continues. Currently, the program will be offered during the school year only, Pierce said, but it’s open to all students, not just Duval County. And although JHS is limited by hours of operation and facility space now, there are plans to offer additional days during the week later this year, according to Pierce. Nine-year-old Mila Tomaro read to Momma, an older mixed-breed dog who’s been at JHS for several months. She said she’ll come back again and likes reading to dogs. “She likes to read and she loves animals,” her mom said. “It’s perfect for her.” Pawsitive Reading Program is available on Wednesday afternoons at JHS, located at 8464 Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville. Advance registration is required. For more information, contact Jenn Rullifson at (904) 725-8766 ext. 4569 or volunteer@

Emma Champagne and Storm.


12 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

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14 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register


hotojax 2014, a celebration of photography, returned to the First Coast on Jan. 24 and 25. Photojax is a nonprofit organization coordinated by a small group of dedicated volunteers who share a love of photography. The annual festival brings together artists, enthusiasts, collectors, dealers, educators, galleries and museums — and invites the public to share in the exploration of photography. Photojax was founded by Missy Hagar and Charles Gilman to share their combined passion for photography with the community by showcasing local photographer’s works — whether professional or amateur through exhibits in local galleries. This year’s festival included shows in three different venues: J. Johnson Gallery in Jacksonville Beach, 725 Gallery in Atlantic Beach and CoRK Arts District in Riverside. “The Camera’s Eye,” the exhibit at the J. Johnson Gallery, opened in January and will be on display through the end of March. The exhibit features about 30 photographs from the 20th century to present day. Photographic works from iconic photographers including Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, Edward Steichen, and Walker Evans, as well as, works by present-day photographers Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe and contemporary artists Carlos Betancourt, Candida Höfer, Cecilia Paredes, John Huggins and Liu Bolin.

The opening night served as a fundraiser for Photojax, with the $10 admission proceeds going to the non-profit organization. The J. Johnson Gallery held a benefit in 2012 for the inaugural Photojax 2012 exhibit, raising over $2,500. The J. Johnson Gallery is located at 177 Fourth Ave. N. in Jacksonville Beach. For more information, call (904) 435-3200 or email info@ The same weekend saw a festive opening at CoRK Arts District. CoRK includes more than 80,000 square feet of warehouse space centered around artist studios and galleries. As these are Susan Glaize and Adam Moss true workspaces for the artists, access can be stand in front of Liu Bollin’s gained during public events or by appointment. “Hiding in the City No. 92 – The district is located at 2689 Rosselle St. Temple of Heaven.” The opening at CoRK included featured curators and exhibits including Carolyn Brass, Aaron Levi Garvey, Staci Bu Shea, Ben Thompson, Natalie Krick, Alexander Oyhoven and Kedgar Volta. The opening also included an innovative way to amp up community involvement: #Photojaxhoods. The community was invited to submit their own digital images, taken on the First Coast, via Instagram or Facebook. These photos were then integrated into a large collage of local images on display at CoRK. The images are still available for viewing online at Photojax. For more information about Photojax, visit Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville member Mason www. Martin and Cam Brown.

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fashion 16 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Photos by Susan & Matt Cafiso

St. Augustine’s

BEST-KEPT THRIFTY SECRET “Fashion for a Fraction” is the motto at Christe Blue, a locally-owned and operated upscale resale boutique in St. Augustine.


usan and Matt Cafiso founded Christe Blue in 2004, seeking to offer a variety of women’s fashion apparel, jewelry and hand-selected “odd and eclectic items” at affordable and value-driven prices for name brand and designer items. “We wanted to offer a great experience and destination for women’s apparel in St. Augustine, where practically all woman’s fashion and high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories could be found,” said Matt Cafiso. The venture has expanded with the generous support of the St. Augustine community as well as a repeat clients and customer base that is regional, national and international in scope. “Consigners are the engine of Christe Blue,” Susan Cafiso said. “I cannot be thankful enough for the support of our vast populace of consigners and customers. Customer service is as important in our business as the products and services we offer. The experience at our destination has to be exceptional.” With unique decor and a funky feeling, the destination certainly stands out from the crowd. “Our local, regional/national and international patrons have helped our endeavor to grow and they have spread the word about Christe Blue in their respective locales,” Matt said. “It amazes us how many repeat customers we have from Germany, Ireland and Austria for our world class collection of furs and formal evening gowns … even the following from New York City who come to ogle over our vintage collection.”

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In 2011, Christe Blue invested into St. Augustine’s historical Anastasia Boulevard corridor by purchasing and moving into its current 6,000-square-foot location. This new location at 1035 Anastasia Blvd., just south of the lighthouse, next door to the Alligator Farm and across the street from the entrance to Anastasia State Park. The new location’s spacious design and layout permitted expanded higher end merchandising and inventory options including vintage and hardwood furniture and Northeast Florida’s largest collection of furs and formalwear in a salon setting. Christe Blue is also expanding into couture wedding apparel and accessories, bridal gowns and accessories for the brides-tobe of Northeast Florida.They have a wide selection of gowns and accessories that include everything from never-worn items to vintage wear in perfect condition.Their selection is reviewed and chosen from only the highest quality of materials, name brands, styles and workmanship.The shop also stocks a large selection of formalwear for bridesmaids and before- and after-parties. Christe Blue also offers an in-house couture seamstress and dressmaker who will consult with customers on fit and alterations for any formalwear. Original design dressmaking options are also available. The motto “Fashion for a Fraction” means more than great prices and one-of-a-kind, hand-selected products: It means keeping money in the local economy by recovering some of the initial investment on apparel and accessories. Shelves and racks are filled with items from Coach, Louis Vuitton, David Yurman and other fashion heavyweights. Proceeds from consigning, according to Susan, are re-invested in the local economy, from businesses to the tax base, by consigning new or lightly-worn apparel that has value and is hand-chosen, but no longer has any use for its present owner — all while reducing waste and making quality products last longer. Consigners thus turn around and spend their proceeds from Christe Blue’s merchandising and sale of their items at businesses in St. Augustine and the surrounding area to pay expenses, avoid additional debt and save for their future. Christe Blue wants people to find name-brand pieces at affordable prices using a model of local re-investment, and believes good business is keeping money local to bolster the regional economy. Visit Christe Blue at 1035 Anastasia Blvd., St.Augustine, MondayFriday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call (904) 808-1235 to learn more about consigning and purchasing services, apparel offerings, formal wear and bridal alteration, or the extensive selection of 20th century jewelry and interesting and one of a kind furniture pieces and local and national artisans paintings and sculpture.

18 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

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of local fashion at Wickets


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First Coast Register | February - March 2014 21


ickets, a local clothing boutique, opened 30 years ago in 1983 in the Sawgrass Village Shopping Center. Back in 1983, the Ponte Vedra Recorder did an article on the opening of Wickets.“After the Recorder wrote the article, people started to read it and eventually started coming in the store,” said owner Gay Brown. Wickets is a men’s and women’s clothing store that was opened by Gay and Cliff Brown when they were newlyweds. At the time it was the first store in the Village. Publix opened up three months later. Over the years,Wickets has come to cherish the clientele and all of the people that have shopped with them.“We’ve grown to love the people who shop with us. People even come from other parts of the country to shop with us.We really enjoy establishing relationships, it is very special to us,” Brown said. In fact, Brown says the reason why the store has been so successful is because of their great clientele. “We have a wonderful and very loyal clientele. We have established personal relationships into second and even third generations,” Brown said. The clientele aren’t the only people that have been constant in Wickets’ 30 years.“Our staff is fantastic and loyal.We have staff that have been with us since the store opened 30 years ago,” Brown said. Wickets has come a long way in 30 years.They were grateful to receive the 2013 Best Women’s Boutique in Jacksonville award by Jacksonville Magazine. With spring quickly approaching, Brown mentioned the hottest new trends for the upcoming season. “We are seeing a lot of dressy, colorful shorts that you would wear to go out to dinner in. We are also seeing a lot of maxi dresses,” Brown said. The staff truly loves the relationships they have built with their clientele over the years and hope to grow even more relationships. They treat each customer as if they were family and they love to get to know each customer on a personal basis. Visit, call (904) 285-7200 or visit the store at 860 Sawgrass Village Drive in Ponte Vedra Beach for more.

Wickets Staff celebrates 30 years (Provided by Gay Brown)

22 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Gay Brown (Photo by Kara Goemaat)


First Coast Register | February - March 2014 23

SPRING fashion From runway to First Coast by KELLY HOULD



s the weather changes, it’s time to look to the runways of New York for this year’s new fashion trends. It takes a very specific personality and fashion confidence in order to sport complete off-the-runway looks — and most of the outfits that appear on runways simply don’t translate to real-life wear. That’s why it pays to spot the trends of today’s runways to determine what the next off-the-rack trends will be. Yes, it often takes retailers and those of us who aren’t fashion models a few seasons to catch up to Fashion Week trends — but early trend adopters benefit from the opportunity to buy new pieces of clothing that will get the most mileage. In other words, look at the runway trends and you’ll avoid buying clothes that will only last you a few months before they look dated. So, what were designers sending down the runway at Fashion Week 2014? SPRING COLOR TRENDS Bucking the trend of choosing one hue to define the season, designers’ color palettes were quite diverse in collections this season. Light pastels were prevalent, with frosty pink apparently making a comeback. The pastel trend is good news for us on the First Coast, as mint and lilac have been big colors here for many seasons. Choose pale pastels that will flatter your skin tone as you transition from the winter. Black and white will make a comeback for spring. Through the winter months, designers tended to design monochrome looks and utilized grays. Graphic black and white is back for spring with gray falling by the wayside. Choose black and white patterns that lean towards more white to keep the look fresh and crisp for spring. Palettes went far beyond pastel,black and white,however.Design heavyweights like Calvin Klein and Chanel sent bold primary colors down the runway evoking the feeling of Pop Art. Others like

24 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Helmut Lang and Thakoon utilized eye-popping metallics. If you want to try this trend, lean toward warm metallic like rose gold or bronze. SILHOUETTES OF 2014 A few new silhouettes were gaining prevalence this season, including the boxy shift, the cropped jacket, the wide leg pant and the tea-length skirt. These trends, when stacked together, aren’t going to translate well to real life. Choose one at a time and, for the most mileage, choose pieces that echo the trendy silhouette rather than completely embracing it. For example, you might find a shift blouse with the kimono-style sleeves of the boxy shift that still flatters your shape while staying on trend. BACK TO THE FUTURE Like it or loathe it, near-past retro is making a comeback. We’re talking 1980s and even ’90s, here. Look for low-heeled pumps, wayfarer sunglasses and fringe on everything. Unless you’re ok with looking ironic, use near-past retro trends sparingly. Two retro trends we’re happy to see making a comeback are athletics and structural sequins. Designers borrowed from retro gym uniforms to create dresses, skirts, shorts and even formalwear that echoes the bold colors and fabrics normally seen on basketball and tennis courts. Designs were overtly sporty, and many designers utilized tennis wear and varsity jackets in their collections. A sporty dress or light varsity-style jacket would be a good addition to any wardrobe this season. As for structural sequins, think about the prom dresses of the ’80s — and then dial it back about 10 notches. Designers layered on rosettes and unusual sequins that hearkened back to this era while keeping the looks fresh. Keep your formalwear on point by adding a bolero, blouse or even wide belt featuring structural sequins. More is less with this trend.

FIRST COAST FASHION PREDICTIONS For whatever reason, the First Coast loves its stripes. If you’ve been waiting for this trend to die down, don’t hold your breath. Stripes will continue in every size, direction, weight and color this season. Oversized knits paired with structured or slim bottoms will continue to be a go-to for local wardrobes. Keep this trend on point when shopping by choosing pastel knits in order to keep your outfit from looking like a winter hibernation holdover. Tea length skirts will be a huge hit in Jacksonville and surrounding communities. Just as maxi dresses were a go-to for the fashion pack in the past few years, these not-quite-maxi, not-quite-midi skirts will enter many First Coast wardrobes with good reason. Look for Florida-appropriate cuts and fabrics — breathable and flowing. In the same vein, hippie chic styles will continue their popularity through spring and even summer. If it looks like an outfit you’d wear to an outdoor music festival, it is perfect for walking the streets of downtown Jacksonville, St. Augustine or Amelia Island.If you’re unsure of what someone would wear to a music festival, look to the popular bohemian boutiques of the beaches, such as Sidney Cardel’s. The boutique is launching Mamie Ruth clothing, which channels the ’60s in an updated way that’s (Provided by Sidney Cardel’s) perfect for life in Jax.

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history by CARRIE RESCH

Whetstone Chocolates tasting tour gives guests a look into locally made confections


ver since Roald Dahl wrote about that infamous little chocolate factory in his 1964 book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” it’s pretty safe to say there has been substantial worldwide interest in the candy-making world. For those envious of Charlie and the other youths immortalized in the classic children’s book, you too can step inside the world of candy-making and take your very own chocolate factory tour at Whetstone Chocolates in St. Augustine. Whetstone has offered chocolate tours since the early 1990s. Visitors get so much more than simply a tour of the factory: They embark on a quest that delves into the history of chocolate, how it’s made and what distinguishes one type of chocolate from another. In fact, the owners of Whetstone call the tour a “chocolate tasting tour” rather than a factory tour.Virginia Whetstone Maguire, daughter of Whetstone Chocolate founders Henry and Esther Whetstone, joined the company in 1983 and serves as president of Whetstone Chocolates. One of her missions is to educate consumers on the variances of chocolate. Chocolate quality and taste depends on the different grades of chocolate and the different locations and climate conditions in which the cocoa beans are cultivated also have a bearing. “We don’t feel like the chocolate consumer is as well educated as say the wine consumer,” Maguire said.“Like wine grapes, cocoa beans vary from year to year according to climate conditions and their location.” And the Whetstones know their chocolate. They’ve been developing artisan chocolates and confections since the 1960s. There are three Whetstone Chocolates locations in St. Augustine — one in the historic district on St. George Street, one on Anastasia Island and the factory store location on King Street. where tours are conducted.

26 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Head Chef Reggie Taylor demonstrating wrapping machine

Milk chocolate shells coming off the wrapping machine

Photos by Elizabeth Middlebrooks

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4700 Amelia Island Parkway Amelia Island, Florida 32034 904.277.8015 | First Coast Register | February - March 2014 27

The 45-minute tour begins with a short video on the history of chocolate and how cocoa beans are produced. Visitors then learn about the different ingredients used to make milk, white, and dark chocolates. The tour guide will pass out freshly made samples of artisan Whetstone chocolate and ask visitors to sample the chocolate and use the senses of sight, smell and taste to deconstruct the different chocolates and discern what makes them different from one another. Then visitors walk to the factory next door to see confection making in action. There are five chocolatiers on staff who produce Whetstone products through a combination of handmade and machine-made chocolate. “We have always felt that people, once they start understanding chocolate, they’ll appreciate it more and it’s not,‘Any old chocolate bar will do,’” Maguire said. Whetstone Chocolates has received many accolades including Trip Advisor’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence and was named one of America’s best spots for chocolate lovers by Food Network Magazine. Whetstone Chocolates used to be the exclusive supplier to Disney World’s Main Street Confectionery store before Disney signed an exclusive contract with M&M Mars Inc. Some of their best sellers include salted caramels, almond toffee and Whetstone’s signature chocolate sea shells that come in seven flavors — Valencia orange, mint crunch, milk chocolate, toffee crunch, key lime and two types of dark chocolate. There are 13 different flavors of fudge, and the store also carries a variety of including hot cocoa mix, made from grated chocolate and available in three flavors (milk, dark and the Datil pepper hot-and-spicy mix), chocolate truffles, dessert toppings, two types of chocolate wine sauce (chocolate cabernet and chocolate amaretto), molded chocolate, non-chocolate confections and gelato. For Valentine’s Day, Whetstone Chocolates is adding fresh dipped chocolate strawberries to their offerings. In addition to the chocolate tours, Whetstone Chocolates participates in the St.Augustine First Friday Art Walks from 5-9 p.m. At the King Street location Whetstone offers chocolate and wine pairings with three to four chocolates and a wine that complements them. The cost is $5 per person. Chocolate tours are offered daily, several times a day. Tours are limited to 25 people, so reservations are suggested. The cost of the tour is $8 for adults and $5.50 for children ages 5-17. Children under the age of 5 are free. Each adult ticket includes a $2 coupon for the store. Group rates for 15 or more guests are available. The tours begin at the Whetstone Chocolates factory store located at 139 King St. in St. Augustine. For more information or to make a reservation, call (904) 217-0275 or visit

28 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Norma Morris decorating chocolates

Billie LeGear getting chocolates ready to pack

Tour Guide Joe Higgins in production area

Tour Guide Joe Higgins before tasting

Tour Guide Joe Higgins

Virginia Whetstone Maguire


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PRIVATE CLIENT INSURANCE Homeowner • Flood • Auto Fine Arts • Jewelry • Boat

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(904) 273-9838 •

First Coast Register | February - March 2014 29

Bridal Guide 2014

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Photographer Robert Max is a self-taught natural light photographer, working in the Northeast Florida area since 2010. Max works meticulously to capture the intimate details that make his clients’ events personal-whether it’s working for the perfect shot of a cat or initials carved in driftwood. In additiont to weddings, Max shoots for engagements, maternity portraits, fashion, newborns, families and kids. For more information about Robert Max, visit First Coast Register | February - March 2014 31

Cut • Color • Foil • Design Facials • Peels Pureology - Morroccanoil Kuene - Image Skincare Keratin Treatments - Cinque Science Schwarzkopf 3000 South 3rd Street Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250

249-4424 32 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Going to the Chapel... Beaches Museum & History Park Exchange your wedding vows in the Romantic & Historic setting of the Beaches Museum Chapel 381 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville Beach

(904) 241-5657

The Beaches Museum 125 Year Old Chapel is available for Weddings, Memorials, and Musical Venues.

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Alex Quijano of Art & Alex Photography commemorates intimate and fun moments for clients on the First Coast. “For over twenty 25 years, photography has been my full-time profession and passion,” Quijano writes on his website.“From the days when film was the medium to now, where digital is the choice, my images endure. My greatest reward is to see the moments I have captured displayed on a special place at the home of my clients.” Quijano’s portfolio includes weddings, newborns, events, commercial, landscape and sport photography with a specialization in golf.To learn more, visit

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Papered Heart Photography specializes in capturing the feel of rustic weddings and engagements. Based in Westchase, Fla., photographers Erin Whitman and Elizabeth Boyd travel internationally to capture the look of events that are just as unique as their clients. “With photographing your love, our approach is fresh, natural, and relaxed, to bring out the best in your love, creating moments that you will want to remember forever,� they write on their website. For more photos, visit their website at www. Photos provided by Cara Murphy & Travis Burky

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Chillula More than Music Weddings • Private Events • Bars • Clubs

Chillula will add spice to any party. Whether you want a solo singer/guitarist, full 6 piece band, or somewhere in between, Chillula is able to play appropriate styles of music for any type of event while putting a fresh twist on popular songs.

contact Chase Rideman 904.315.4505 First Coast Register | February - March 2014 37

Nature’s Bounty Love blooms at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens by CARRIE RESCH 38 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Ryan Caffrey Photography

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises,� Pedro Calderon de la Barca


he Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville is a 62-acre garden facility with 24 major collections that features specialty gardens such as an oriental garden, butterfly garden, rose garden and water feature garden, to name a few. The botanical garden is open year round and is host to special events and wedding ceremonies, receptions and rehearsals. As a wedding venue, Kapapaha offers both indoor and outdoor wedding rentals. Outdoor locales include gazebos, a pavilion, garden settings and a large oak tree known as the Wedding Oak. The most colorful months to visit Kanapaha Botanical Garden are from June to September. There is a guided walk at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month led by a master gardener. The annual Spring Garden Festival is March 22 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. First Coast Register | February - March 2014 39

and March 23 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Gainesville’s premier horticultural event features about 175 booths with plants, landscape displays, garden accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits, food and more. There is also a live butterfly conservatory, children’s activity area, live entertainment and live auctions. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 2-13. A Moonlight Walk is planned for May 10 from 7-10:30 p.m. The park will be decorated in twinkle lights, lanterns and approximately 1,500 lumanarias along a 1.25 mile walkway. There will also be live entertainment, food and refreshments. The cost for the Moonlight Walk is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 2-13. Regular admission to the botanical garden is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 6-13 (plus tax). Children under six are free. Annual memberships are available. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is located at 4700 58th Dr. SW, in Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 372-4981 or visit 40 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

Spirit of the Dance by William Zorach Ryan Caffrey Photography

Ryan Caffrey Photography

Ryan Caffrey Photography

Don’t miss our next issue!

first coast

Register Home Decor and Spring Home & Garden

Publication Date: April 10th Advertising Deadline: March 31st For more information, give us a call at (904) 285-8831 First Coast Register | February - March 2014 41

Tega Photography

Suwannee River Way down upon a Suwannee Wedding by CARRIE RESCH

42 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register


t the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, their slogan is “Music Lives Here.” Apparently, weddings live there too. The 800 acre campground and resort venue, known for hosting famous musicians such as B.B. King, Chris Kristofferson and the annual Magnolia Fest, Suwannee River Jam and other popular folk festivals, is also becoming a popular (albeit rustic) wedding destination. The destination wedding venue for hippies, music lovers, adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike offers a secluded, relaxing and picturesque spot to say “I do.” Create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests overlooking the iconic and tranquil Suwannee River with the white sandy beaches contrasting against the dark river waters and the spell-binding forests of cypress trees decorated with tinsel-like Spanish moss. The ceremony can be held at several of the park locations ­— the Grande Hall which can accommodate 150 guests, the quaint lakeside Chapel, the decks overlooking the Suwannee River or even on one of the music stages. Horses are allowed to stay at the property for the couples looking to ride off into the sunset after their nuptials. Cabins are available to rent for your overnight guests. Many newlyweds opt to stay in the private Spirit Treehouse. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located in Live Oak, Fla., just 10 minutes from Interstate 10 and 25 minutes from Interstate 75. For more information or to coordinate your wedding, call the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park wedding coordinator, Michelle Goddard at (386) 364-1683 or visit

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First Coast Register | February - March 2014 43




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he “Something Blue — Under the Sea Bridal Fantasy” bridal show event at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa in January was a smashing success for brides. There were over 3,500 people in attendance at this year’s event. There were over 110 Jacksonville wedding vendors at the event. There were vendors displaying their photography, sampling food, giving away prizes, giving information about venues and more. There were many different types of food, from desserts like brownies and pie to meals like pulled pork, mashed potatoes and beans. There were many giveaways, but the biggest ones were a Sandals honeymoon and three Carnival cruises. Many brides put their names in the drawings, hoping to win the trip of a lifetime. After brides met the most preferred local wedding vendors, they got to enjoy the bridal fashion show. The “Something Blue” theme was inspired by color and fashion from the ocean. There were women modeling bridal gowns with their hair and makeup done by celebrated makeup artist Paulina Perez. Many brides left the bridal show with many great ideas for wedding venues, photographers, dresses, food and more. Visit JacksonvilleWeddingStylesOnlineMagazine for more information.

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Come see us at 1035 Anastasia Blvd. St. Augustine, Florida Just south of the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine

Store Hours: Monday - Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-5


First Coast Register | February - March 2014 45

showering THE BRIDE

A quick guide to stress-free bridal shower planning by ELIZABETH MIDDLEBROOKS


bridal shower is a great way for a bride to celebrate her upcoming nuptials with friends and family, and throwing a shower can be a lovely gift from bridesmaids, friends or relatives. When a close friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, of course I was thrilled and honored, but later I considered the idea of party planning and got a little nervous. In planning her shower with the matron of honor, we had a lot of the same questions: What would she like? What could we afford? Where would we host it? Fortunately, with some creative ideas and a lot of DIY, we hosted a fun “Burgers and Bourbon” themed shower the bride loved. It was traditional with a personal twist, which was exactly what we were going for. Like planning any party, the first things you need to do are establish a budget, a theme and a guest list. After that, it’s all logistics. Here are some common questions and answers (with tips from personal experience!) to help guide the process.

Hosting the shower

Bridal showers are typically hosted by the maid or matron of honor and bridesmaids, but moms, family members and other friends are breaking tradition and co-hosting with the bridal party or taking the lead and hosting separate showers. In many cases, the bridal party is geographically spread out, so it might not make sense for them to all try to host a shower together. Consider who’s closest to the bride or in her current city, or invite the bride’s mother, sister or other close friends to co-host. When a bride has more than one shower, hosts should consult each other to avoid duplicating the guest list.

The guest list

Ask the bride whom she would like to invite; all shower guests should also be invited to the wedding. Make sure you have plenty of time to gather guests’ addresses to mail invitations; ask them individually via phone, email or even Facebook, or use White Pages or the Property Appraiser’s website to find addresses. (It’s not a creepy as it sounds!) Mail invites a month to six weeks in advance and set a realistic RVSP-by date so you have enough time to plan food and favors 46 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

for the confirmed number of guests.

Shower themes and traditions

When the MOH and I were brainstorming themes and activities for our friend’s shower, we kept in mind that she is not an especially traditional bride and doesn’t necessarily enjoy being the center of attention. One of us jokingly suggested a “burgers and bourbon” theme because these are two of her favorite things, but we agreed that would be perfect. We planned the menu around three different types of burgers and gave guests a bourbon flight instead of doing a traditional shower game. Favors were Mason jar shot glasses and flight boards painted with the initials of the bride and groom. Just think about the things the bride enjoys: Does she have a particular hobby or activity she enjoys? What is her favorite type of cuisine? If the bride is laid back and casual, plan the shower accordingly, just as you would if she would more enjoy a fancy party.

Shower gifts

As the name implies, guests should

“shower” the bride with gifts to celebrate her upcoming marriage. The couple should have already created a registry by the time of the shower, and hosts may include registry information in the invitations. Hosts can also incorporate a gifting theme, such as kitchen items, lingerie or something of personal interest to the bride. This can be tricky sometimes, so it’s still best to give guests the bride’s registry information.

Paying for the shower

A tight budget doesn’t have to put a damper on the party. The MOH and I talked about what we wanted to accomplish and established a budget together that we could both live with. We hosted our friend’s shower at the MOH’s home and cooked the food ourselves. Decorations were simple bouquets from the grocery store that we split up into bud vases. Her husband helped us make the boards for the bourbon flights, and we scoured the internet for bargains on invitations, shot glasses and other party necessities. Obviously, if several people are hosting the shower, it can be easier to pay for than if just one person was responsible.

First Coast Register | February - March 2014 47



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reen. Everywhere you go, you hear that term. Many have heralded the call and become wiser consumers and more aware of their carbon footprint. The new exhibit at Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History, “Green Revolution REnewed” focuses on further educating the public on environmentally friendly tactics. “The exhibit has everything from really small, easy changes that people can make to larger ones,” said Christy Leonard, MOSH’s deputy director. “The range is broad, so there’s something that everyone can take away and do no matter their age or their budget.” This is the second time MOSH has exhibited the Green Revolution ecozibit hence the “REnewed.” The exhibit was first displayed at MOSH in the Spring of 2012. Green Revolution created by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and distributed by the Smithsonian Institution. It’s called an “ecozibit” because designs and instructions are supplied by the two organizations for local museums to build their own exhibit using local materials. “We changed it up a little bit and added new components,” Leonard said. This year’s re-imagined exhibit includes a living room made entirely out of wood pallets labeled “The Green Room” and eco art from local environmental artist Sarah Crooks Flaire. Flaire uses repurposed materials in her art. She created a community involved piece hanging in the MOSH lobby entitled “Prayers for Transformation.” The piece is made up of cut out butterflies printed on recycled paper. The public has the chance to color the butterflies and write their hope for transformations on the back, and the pieces are added to the artwork. Green Revolution REnewed runs through May 4. There are coordinating events planned in conjunction with the exhibit including art workshops with Sarah Crooks Flaire; a special Seniors on the Go gardening program;WaterVentures, a 53-footlong science lab on wheels; and a MOSH After Dark event focusing on raising backyard chickens. For a complete list of MOSH events, call (904) 396-MOSH or visit

First Coast Register | February - March 2014 49

10 Eco Tips from Green Revolution Ecozibit:

• Use a rain barrel to catch roof runoff • Hydrate plants with leftover drinking/pet bowl water • Make natural cleaners with vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda • Avoid single-use “convenience” products • Take public transportation • Use your library card • Give eco-gifts: Thermos bottles, travel mugs and plants • Use post-consumer recycled paper • Water garden at night or early in the day • Plant a tree. One mature tree cleans up after 13 cars!

The Gootch

For your special day, let THE GOOTCH supply the music that will make memories for a lifetime. Combining funk, R&B, hip-hop, rock and soul, the quintet gives its audiences a hip-shaking, sweaty good time at Northeast Florida’s various live music venues.

(904) 482-5913 50 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register




n January, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens held their 100year anniversary celebration kickoff with Mayor Alvin Brown. Beginning in 1914 with a single red deer, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens have come a long way in the past 100 years. The zoo now has over 1,000 plants and over 2,000 animals. The zoo also started with 37 acres and now has 110. Last year, the zoo had 816,000 visitors, 300,000 of them being from other states. It has been 15 years since the zoo has had tigers, and they announced they are finally bringing them back. The zoo will open the“Land of the Tiger”exhibit on March 8-9, with a weekendlong anniversary celebration on May 11-12 to follow. “The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a wonderful cultural resource with a great impact on our city’s quality of life,economic development and education,” Brown said.“It has had a great and lasting impact in our community in the last 100 years, and I look forward to many, many more.” Chase partnered with the zoo and provided 100 free one-year memberships to Chase clients.“An organization that can survive 100 years is truly a remarkable achievement,” said Chase Market President Michael Butler. Visit for more information. First Coast Register | February - March 2014 51

Fragrances of Florida

A r t & A l e x

Visit our website: Available at: The Ponte Vedra Shop and the Surf Shop Open 9am-7pm

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P h o t o g r a p h y

904-273-4442 Ponte Vedra Beach

Impressions OF INDIA 37th Arts & Antiques Show by AMANDA MARTINEZ


he 37th Annual Arts & Antique Show, Impressions of India, recently took place at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The Arts & Antique Show was held on the opening night of the weekend event, supporting the Pediatric Surgery Center of Distinction at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. This year’s show took place with an Indian-inspired theme. The opening night featured vibrant colors and decorations throughout each room, displaying antiques from all periods of time, up to modern arts. Bruce Johnson, owner of B & B Johnson, has an antique store in Kennebunk, Maine, and brought all his favorite antiques to display and sell at this years’ 2013 Arts & Antique Show.“I’ve been in this business for 25 years. It started out as a hobby (collecting antiques) and then I had so much, I had to start selling it,” Johnson said. Johnson has brought his son, Brent Johnson, into the business too, where they both share the love and passion for finding antiques and being able to share with anyone. Both father and son showcased their antique collections and shared their love for it with every person that walked by their booth. “It’s a true passion for us, and we love coming to this show. We always have a great time here,” Bruce Johnson said. The show would not have happened without the Show Chairs from The Women’s Board, Katherine Forrester, Laura Magevney and Natalie Rosenberg.These ladies dedicated all their time to make this show a success, and a success it was. The 2013 Arts & Antique show was presented by BB&T, with proceeds going to the Pediatric Surgery Center of Distinction at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The Women’s Board undertook a five-year, $4 million pledge to fund this center and provide advanced pediatric surgical services and technologies to all patients. The Arts & Antique show started in Jacksonville, Fla. and still resides in Jacksonville. It is one of the top-notch black tie events that only happens once a year. Wycke Hampton, a frequent to the show, said,“This is hands down the best black tie event in Jacksonville.”

Bruce and Brent Johnson who own B & B Johnson in Kennebunk, Maine.

Julie and Chris Henderson

Wycke and Darlene Hampton in their best dress attire! “Best black tie event in Jacksonville,” said Wycke.

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Jackie Bargas, Laura Magevney, Natalie Rosenberg and Katherine Forrester - These are the ladies that made the show a success!

Cindy Purcell and Joy Lamb 54 February - March 2014 | First Coast Register

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Profile for Cary Aliza Howard

February March 2014 Register  

February March 2014 Register