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holiday cheer, Party hair to try & more

k Quic Gifts

The McInnis Family



More Than A Magazine! ACCESSTHEBAY.COM December 2019


Greek Fest Charity Gala On November 2nd the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church presented its Fourth Annual Charity Gala. Through love and care for those in need, the Gala seeks to raise awareness and support for both local charities and Orthodox Christian Ministries. Recipients this year included Nest of Mobile, Victory Health Partners, and The Learning Tree. Guests enjoyed live music from Black Jacket, a fabulous silent and live auction, delicious eats, Southern Veranda’s florals, and perused the art talents of Amber Ivy. The Church thanks everyone who made this year’s Gala a tremendous success once again. By Caroline Edmondson Photos by Layla Lambert

Chair Dr. Stephanie Grosz & Husband Dr. Demitri Kyriazis

4 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019




ENDS JANUARY 2 Experience the excitement of giving at the December to Remember Sales Event, featuring extraordinary values on some of our most popular models. The event ends January 2, so don’t wait. Visit your Lexus dealer or kiss these offers goodbye.

LEXUS OF MOBILE 3024 Government Blvd. (251) 478-3300 Options shown. ©2019 Lexus | #Lexus

6 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Rise, Shine, &


ACCESS and Simply CBD hosted a pop-up Saturday soirĂŠe where guests sampled the best local goods and services aimed at helping us live our best lives! Think yoga, gluten-free treats, and so much more! By Keylee Fillingim Photos by Layla Lambert

Fairhope Juice Company Fairhope Juice Company specializes in handcrafted, cold pressed, and organic juices out of local seasonal produce. Committed to the environment and this community, Fairhope Juice Company only serves juices out of glass bottles and juice pulp is pressed into compostable bags. Bonus: the company will also soon offer baked goods!

Simply CBD Simply CBD helps customers experience the healing benefits they deserve by providing the highest quality hemp-derived CBD products in multiple ways. In order to meet your wellness needs, Simply CBD is constantly growing and researching product offerings. Simply CBD products are being sold all around the nation, and can easily be ordered and shipped to you from their website! 2005 US-98, Daphne 251.586.8890

759 Nichols Ave., Fairhope

Healthy Town Company Healthy Town Company is on a mission to spread the word about whole foods and plant-based nutrition. Their goal is help you succeed on a plant-based diet with all the right tools, motivating you to eat nourishing foods, transform your body and lifestyle for better health, and to strive to reach your fullest potential.

The Happy Olive The Happy Olive is known for its hand-selected oils, custom-blended vinaigrettes, a variety of local products, and more. Their first and favorite Happy Olive oils even came from Italy’s Fasolo vineyards! Stop by The Happy Olive for oils, seasonings, teas, mustards, gifts, or a private testing!

2200 US-98 Suite 4 #318, Daphne 770.714.9143

314 De La Mare Ave., Fairhope 251.929.0711

8 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Our world really does revolve around you. What better way to show what it means to join the Truland family than to treat you like our only customer. This is our ultimate goal at Truland Homes. With caring sales agents guiding you through the home buying process, project managers focusing on the important details of each home, and an attentive warranty team providing continuous support even after you close on your home, you will see that at Truland, YOU are our whole world!


Peak Alkalinity Peak Alkalinity understands the benefits of proper alkaline water levels in your body and works to improve immunity and boost the body’s natural detoxification process. Peak Alkalinity offers alkaline water machines and refills, ion cleanse footbaths, and fullspectrum infrared services with the natural pathogen-fighting properties and pro-alkaline balance a water ionizer produces. Discover optimal health from the inside out. 217 B Fairhope Ave., Fairhope 251.270.7200

Southern Veranda Flower & Gift Gallery Committed to offering only the finest floral designs with friendly and prompt service, Southern Veranda Flower & Gift Gallery tells a story with their creations. Carl Clark Jr. and his team use their experience to make your florals exceptional and offer fresh stems to those who like to create their own. 105 N. Bancroft St., Fairhope 251.928.4433

Guncles Gluten Free Specializing in artisan small batch treats, Guncles Gluten Free Bakery only uses wholesome, fresh, gluten-free ingredients to create flavorful recipes inspired by the owners’ parents, travels, and rich Southern culture. Guncles is the only dedicated gluten-free bakery in Mobile and Baldwin Counties and even delivers locally and ships nationwide!

ColoréVous Salon Co. The team at ColoréVous Salon Co. consists of stylists focused on providing a high-end luxury experience in a comfortable and relaxing environment. If you are looking for fun, music, and excitement while getting your best style, ColoréVous Salon Co. is the place to be. A plus: they offer environmentally friendly packaging and refill hair care options.

1252 Government St., Mobile 251.800.1348

5 N. Church St. Suite A, Fairhope 251.270.7171

Hues Salon + Skincare An official Aveda salon, Hues is all about holistic beauty and environmental responsibility. With a full product line derived from plants and minerals, this talented team aims to make clients feel at home while delivering five-star service. 1802 US-98 Suite B, Daphne 251.200.2131

Chicken Salad Chick Chicken Salad Chick strives to enrich lives and spread joy by bringing friends and family together to enjoy quality food. Each item is made in-house every morning using premium chicken tenderloins and secret blends of spices. For comfort food that is made fresh daily and served from the heart, visit Chicken Salad Chick of Mobile and Daphne. 1802 US-98 F, Daphne 251.220.9921

10 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

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Singer Stephen Sylvester performed Soul Shine Yoga - Daphne Soul Shine Yoga offers a wide variety of heated and unheated yoga classes for all ages. The team at Soul Shine Yoga is committed to holding space for transformation on and off the mat with a spirit of joy, abundance, commitment, and gratitude. 28623 N. Main St., Daphne 251.225.4597

Powered By Kimberly Kimberly Mullek is a local integrative nutritionist, health coach, and personal trainer. Empowering clients to live healthy, energized lives in a way that is flexible and fun, she works to discover goal-oriented solutions that ensure lifelong changes. Dropout Hippie From rose water toner and coconut milk cleanser to Himalayan salt scrub and balancing facial oils, Dropout Hippie is a local gem. Made from all-natural ingredients and sold in the Simply CBD store, these beauty goods are your newest must-haves. 2005 US-98, Daphne 251.586.8890

Local Appetite Growers Committed to growing the cleanest, freshest fruits and vegetables, this local farm services many of the Bay’s best restaurants and now offers a four-week subscription to Baldwin County residents. Family-size portions of five fresh and seasonal items are delivered weekly to your door, making clean eating easy. 411 Azalea St., Fairhope 251.656.9265

12 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Fresh Healthy Café Fresh Healthy Café is all about wholesome, good food. Knowing the amazing affects a balanced diet has your mind and body, Fresh Healthy Café guarantees the healthiest and freshest ingredients they can get their hands on. Even the packaging is biodegradable, because they believe the choices we make not only affect us, but the planet. Located in Spanish Fort, you will find the healthiest smoothies, refreshments, wraps, power bowls, and more at the Fresh Healthy Café! 10184 Eastern Shore Blvd., Spanish Fort 251.444.7170

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Dia de los Muertos

with the Malaga Inn

Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos as it is known in Spanish, is a multi-day Mexican holiday celebrating the lives of family and friends who have passed on. This beautiful, colorful, and joyous occasion was recently hosted at the Historic Malaga Inn downtown on November 1st. Staying true to the theme, the party welcomed The Stolen Faces, a cover band performing the music of The Grateful Dead, as guests feasted on delicious food provided by the August House. A great time was had by all! By Caroline Edmondson Photos by Layla Lambert

14 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Your story starts here




CEREMONIES • RECEPTIONS • SPECIAL EVENTS 111 S. Royal Street | (251) 301-0273 |

from the EDITOR...


Photo by Devin Ford Photography

ometimes you meet people and you just click. They share your vision, and that can be validating, empowering, and downright intoxicating. The entire ACCESS team had this experience when we met John and Shelly McInnis. While our paths have crossed over the years, extended time together sealed the deal for us. In spite of their picture-perfect life, this family is all about keeping it casual and serving their community. John’s simple philosophy of “what a wonderful world it would be if we all looked out for the people in our own backyards” rings true. With his business acumen and our media capabilities, we look forward to partnerships that serve our readers, clients, and community. Perfectly timed to the season of giving and dedicated to making our backyard the best it can be, it’s what I call a full circle. With the mindset that “we are stronger together,” stay tuned for details and know you’re always welcome in our circle. With 2020 fast approaching, we hope your circle is filled with love and all the joys of living on the Bay. Happy holidays from our circle to yours. Enjoy!




4 24 32






ART DIRECTOR Mallory Godwin



CONTRIBUTORS Keylee Fillingim

EDITOR Caroline Edmondson

COLUMNISTS Cart Blackwell Jerry Taylor Charlotte Kilborn Carey Kristin Philips Tim Burt


December 2019 / Volume 60 Number 53

MARKET EDITOR Kristi Welford Hicks

66 74

PINK CARPET AND HOT PICS Take a peek inside the Greek Fest Charity Gala, dive in to the Día de los Muertos celebration at the Malaga Inn, and check out our health and wellness pop-up in partnership with Simply CBD. PHILANTROPY McInnis Unmasked: Meet the family behind the famous Flora-Bama as they share their holiday traditions, dedication to philanthropy, and love for one another. YOUR GUIDE TO THE HOLIDAYS Whether you need a last-minute gift for someone on your Christmas shopping list, the hottest hairstyle to complete your festive party look, or the perfect cocktail for a cold winter night, these three guides will help you navigate the holiday season. LOCAL CULTURE Dr. Koehler walks us through his new treatment to help improve skin laxity; we introduce the area’s only female retina specialist; and get to know two local female small business owners: JJ Lamb of JJ Eyes and Amanda Bacon of The Garage Studio. COLUMNS Becoming Mobile, Couple’s Dinner Therapy, Pink Table Talk, Women & Wealth, New Year, New Decluttered Closet, and The Lush Life CALENDAR What not to miss this month!

COVER & F E A T U R E C RE D I T S Photo Stevye Photography, 228.547.1191 Makeup Courtney Matthews Makeup Artistry,


Manuscripts, photos and art material will be considered, but will be recieved only with the understanding that the magazine or its employees shall not be responsible for loss or damage, unless otherwise agreed to in writing. All contents @Hayley Hill Style Access, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. ACCESS mobile.baldwin is published 10 times per year. Subscription rate is $21.95 per year. All subscription inquiries should be mailed to P.O. Box 8586, Mobile, AL 36689-8586 or visit If the post office alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within two years.

Shelly Sweater , $495, Earrings, $295; Debra’s; 251.343.7463. Jeans, $188, Boots, $160; CK Collection, 251.990.9001. John Shirt, $250, Boots, $265; CK Collection Men’s, 251.928.4824. Jeans, $226; East Bay Clothiers, 251.928.6848.





6611 Wall Street • Mobile, AL 36695 | 251.607.0110 - local | 2620 College Avenue • Jackson, AL 36545 | 877.660.1103 - toll–free |


‘Tis the Season for the Flu It’s the most wonderful time of the year... unless you’re bedridden with a severe case of the flu, forced to miss out on all the festivities. So, why do the winter months bring in an influx of sickness, and is there any way to ward off this unwelcomed holiday guest? Dr. Don Sanders, an internal medicine specialist at Alabama Medical Group, walks us through the best way to avoid getting sick this season and spreading the virus to others. By Caroline Edmondson

During the festive seasons most people are more concerned with finding the perfect present, hosting their loved ones, and attending all of the exciting activities of the season than worrying about keeping the flu at bay. With around 200,000 people hospitalized with the flu each year and 36,000 deaths attributed to the flu annually, it is important to understand your risks during the winter months, and the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe. “After all, a flu diagnostic will set you out of school, work, and any activities for at least the week with symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, runny nose, and even fever,” Dr. Sanders says. These helpful tips will help you tackle the holiday season and hopefully keep the illness away.


Perhaps one of the most effective ways to avoid coming down with the flu is getting vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine reduces the risk of the flu by between 40 and 60 percent among the overall population and prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. But remember: the vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective, so the sooner you get your shot, the sooner you will be protected.


It goes without saying, but washing your hands can get rid of dangerous germs you may have picked up while out and about. The holiday season means getting out in public more, whether shopping for the perfect present, traveling through an airport to your Christmas vacation destination, or running to the store for holiday feast ingredients, but it also means coming in contact with those already sick. “Whenever a sick person sneezes or coughs, the droplets they emit remain in the air to be swept away and onto other people and surrounding surfaces,” Dr. Sanders explains. “That is why washing your hands is so imperative, as it kills many of these germs.”


It’s no secret that during this time of year our social calendars quickly fill up with holiday parties, performances, and other fun activities. This often leads to us putting our once-healthy habits on the backburner. We indulge in far too many of Santa’s cookies, don’t get enough rest, and exercise less than normal, so it’s no wonder our immune systems start to decline, thus leaving typically healthy people more susceptible to illnesses during this time. The best thing you can do is to make sure to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat treats in moderation, and keep up with your workouts. Remember, the flu is more than just a common cold. In fact, it can be quite serious – especially for children and older adults who have weaker immune systems. “If you do get sick, try your best to prevent spreading the illness by covering your cough, avoiding contact with others, staying home and resting, and drinking plenty of fluids,” Dr. Sanders says. So, in a season where we tend to put others first, remember to still look after your own health so you can enjoy the most wonderful time of year with all of your friends and family. 18 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

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Injuries and Illness Don’t Check Your Schedule. When a minor injury or illness requires immediate attention, the Walk-In Clinic at Alabama Medical Group is here at a moment’s notice. It was designed for the reality of life in the 21st Century and the inevitable minor injuries and illnesses. With convenient hours and no appointment needed, the AMG team you know and trust is ready to treat your healthcare needs. Whether it’s flu symptoms, a burn or a sprain, we’ll get you on your way to feeling better. We realize that good health is sometimes not by appointment— so give us a call at 251-414-5900 or just walk in.

Specialties | Family Medicine • Gastroenterology • Infectious Disease • Internal Medicine • Neurology • Rheumatology

101 Memorial Hospital Dr. (Building 3) • Mobile, AL 36608 A Multi-Specialty Practice • 251.414.5900

Winter Gloom Can Affect You Most have noticed the days are growing shorter with fall in full swing, thus ushering in winter’s arrival, but did you know the changing seasons can place some people at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of seasonal depression? By John Conrad, LICSW Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. It typically starts in the late fall or early winter and goes away in the spring or summer, according to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). Symptoms of the winter pattern of SAD include having low energy, hypersomnia, overeating, weight gain, craving carbohydrates, and social withdrawal (you may feel like hibernating). Statistics show that people with a family history of other types of depression are at a higher risk of developing seasonal affective disorder, and women are four times more likely to be diagnosed with SAD than men. It’s also important to note that this is not limited to adults; children and teens can experience seasonal affective disorder as well. Thankfully, we live in an age where research, technology, and innovative products are available to help people suffering from seasonal blues. Mental health professionals recommend counseling to help minimize symptoms and practicing self-

care, such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. Medication has also proven to help in some cases. If you find you need help with Seasonal Affective Disorder or any other mental health issues, BayView Professional Associates’ highly qualified and experienced, professional staff can help you live your best life every day. BayView has two locations for your convenience: one in Mobile and one in Fairhope. For more information, call (251) 660-2360.

John Conrad, LICSW

BayView Professional Associates 1015 Montlimar Drive | Mobile, AL 36609 (251) 660-2360 John M. Conrad, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a Substance Abuse Professional with more than 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist. He is the Assistant Director at BayView Professional Associates. He earned his undergraduate degrees in psychology and behavioral science from Athens State College and his master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Conrad has extensive experience in marital and family systems, addictive disorders, and general psychiatric disorders. He is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems theory, and addictive medicine. He has extensive experience in the areas of program development, supervision, and direct client services.

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Sophisticated Elegance Opened in March of 2019, Stephanie’s Downtown has quickly become the new go-to shop to find the perfect outfit. Bringing back the tradition of personal style and beauty her mother started nearly 40 years ago at her own boutique in Fairhope, Stephanie Beedy, along with co-owner Kathy Lambert, has curated a look for her store that blends style, elegance, and grace with fun and sophistication. Known for their cashmere pieces, great-fitting jeans, dramatic Gracia looks, and a wide range of accessories from brands such as Julio, Yochi, vintage Chanel, Gucci, and Christian Dior, Stephanie’s Downtown has the perfect piece for every budget. Photos Stevye Photography, 228.547.1191 // Makeup Courtney Matthews Makeup Artistry, 22 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

“We offer our customers beautiful and unique pieces from designers from all over the world. Our No. 1 goal with every one of our customers is personal attention. No matter if they need something for a special occasion or just a great top to pair with jeans for a night out with friends, we want our customers to leave feeling good about themselves and their new pieces.” – Stephanie Beedy Owner, Stephanie’s Downtown

Stephanie’s Downtown 14 S. Section St. Fairhope, AL 251.270.7001 Facebook: Stephanie’s Downtown Instagram: @stephaniesdt

Shelly: Turtleneck, $88, The Holiday, 251.342.4911. Jacket, $440; Debra’s; 251.343.7463. Jeans, $195; CK Collection, 251.990.9001. // John: Sweater $225; CK Collection Men’s, 251.928.4824. Jeans, $226; East Bay Clothiers, 251.928.6848.



While the name McInnis has been well known locally for generations, John and Shelly McInnis are adding to the legacy. Complete with a beautiful family, a dream home, and open hearts, their kindness seems to know no bounds. Here, they share on faith, fundraising, and the Flora-Bama, all over a healthy serving of humble pie. By Hayley Hill // Photos Stevye Photography, 228.547.1191 // Makeup Courtney Matthews Makeup Artistry,

Shelly Sequin Top, $498 Jeans, $215 The Holiday; 251.342.4911 Boots, $390 Debra’s; 251.343.7463


n a beautiful night under the stars, John and Shelly McInnis opened their Orange Beach home to more than 400 guests to bring awareness to and raise funds for Youth-Reach Gulf Coast, a cause near and dear to their hearts. Set up in their expansive beachfront backyard with a “Great Gatsby” theme, fireworks, live music, and rows and rows of sparkle lights, this perfect pair welcomed everyone with genuine gratitude. So refreshing, their kindness was tangible and the entire ACCESS team was smitten. Most are familiar with the deep history of John’s family-owned construction company, McInnis Industries, known for major regional projects from bridges and roads to disaster relief related efforts and more. A natural businessman and a true humanitarian, John proved invaluable in several emergency cleanup operations after Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina (one of the largest FEMA-funded projects in history), and after the BP Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. He also served as the Director of Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City Foundation, leading 26 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

the nonprofit response to devastating Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. Then there’s the iconic Flora-Bama. As part-owners of the world’s biggest country music venue (yes, you read that correctly), being kind is a major part of the success John and Shelly enjoy. “Nothing we do is possible without our employees,” John says. “From the janitor to the CEO, everyone is equally important. When we got involved in the late 2000s, it was clear previous owners Joe Gilchiest and Pat McCleland had always treated their employees like family. The success of the Flora-Bama and the hard work of our staff allows us to do a lot for our team.” John and Shelly also treat their employees to several trips each year to destinations like St. John, New Orleans, and Nashville. “The St. John trip is extremely fun, as we have the employees (about 500) pick the top 40 people based on attitude and reliability,” John shares. “Those winners spend a week in a villa overlooking Cinnamon Bay, and everyone loves it! We also do a lot of dinners and parties, and take employees out on boats, jet skis,

and fishing trips. We even started a program at our local Urgent Care where the Flora-Bama pays for 90 percent of our employees’ non-emergency medical expenses, in addition to offering low cost catastrophic health insurance. We also provide counseling services, substance abuse programs, and the church at the Flora-Bama is a great resource for all. We’re a big family, and that’s what makes the magic,” John says. No strangers to the Flora-Bama, we wonder about the fun side. “The best part is meeting wonderful people from all walks of life from all around the world,” John says. “Hearing live music every day and meeting people in the music world is pretty great, too. The coolest thing about a beach bar is everyone who comes is in a great mood and has left all their problems at home. It’s like a utopia. It’s the way life should be,” John beams. While all of these accomplishments are impressive, we were most wowed by how down-to-earth and humble John and Shelly are. John grew up in the Bay area on Mon Loui Island, which is South of




4068 OLD SHELL RD, MOBILE, AL 36608 251.343.7463

Fowl River. “Growing up on the Bay set the course for my life,” John says. “I enjoyed the peace and quiet of living on the water and have many memories of fishing, crabbing, and waterskiing as a kid. My friend Angelo Depaola and I were neighbors, and I don’t think there was another kid or family for five miles. We learned to keep ourselves busy,” John recalls. Married for eight years, the couple initially met via an introduction by Shelly’s father, John Freeman. With three busy boys, John describes their family as you’d expect. “A typical traveling-for-work husband, a full-time mom, three boys, and a honkey tonk – life is hectic and fast paced,” he jokes. Although originally from Birmingham, Shelly is thrilled to raise her children in Orange Beach and shares, “We love the safety and beauty of our area. It’s country living at the beach and hard to imagine a better place to live and raise a family. We enjoy going to Mobile and Fairhope to visit friends and show the boys where dad grew up,” she says. With an older brother (John), and an identical twin sister (Jennifer), Shelly is more than a mom. “My family is everything to me,” she says. “We are blessed with wonderful parents who have been married for 42 years and I can’t imagine my life without my sister. We even had the opportunity to be spokespersons for WB21 in Birmingham for more than 10 years and continue to do advertising for 10 to 15 different car dealers across the U.S.,” she shares. Spending much of her time on various sports fields, Shelly describes her children as extremely sweet, but also very competitive and independent-minded. However, at the center of this family there is a deep connection to God and their faith. And while they all enjoy hunting, boating, Alabama football games, and taking family trips, John and Shelly’s ultimate hope for their children is simple. “We want them to live long, healthy, happy lives,” John says. “While we hope they have great opportunities due to our family businesses, we don’t want that to dictate what they do with their lives. Our wish is for them to live the life God designed and we fully expect them to strive to be the best at whatever field they choose to enter. It’s fine to be outsmarted, but they better never get outworked!” John jokes. With varied prosperous businesses, the family’s overall lack of pretentiousness is admirable. And clearly (from the gala we just attended), charity begins at home for the McInnis family. “I believe we can change the world if everyone focuses on their communities to fix common problems,” John says. “Imagine several hundred people in one community focused on feeding and clothing people, fighting addiction, helping the abused and elderly, and sharing God’s love.” And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. “Two of our favorite charities are Youth-Reach Gulf Coast and Operation Reconnect,” John says. “Based in Summerdale, Youth-Reach is a Christian program where we turn around troubled young men, ages 18 to 28 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

21, on the wrong path. It is an all-expenses paid one-year program and, together with its sister program in Houston, we’ve transformed several thousand young men from inmates or prison-bound to leaders and great fathers in our community,” he says. And it’s thanks to the program’s many area donors that it is able to afford such life-altering assistance to so many. “We have tried to figure out a way to fund Youth-Reach without the normal suffering a charity goes through to stay afloat,” John explains. “Like all charities, they spent half their time worrying about money and the other half taking care of the boys. We decided to throw one huge annual party to try and raise enough funds in one night to last them all year. This year we raised close to $300K, which was way beyond our expectations. Once the program is fully funded through this annual gala, we will donate the balance of funds to other local charities. We hope that is next year! Plus, the Roaring 20s ‘Great Gatsby’ theme was so much fun,” John shares. Based out of Orange Beach, Operation Reconnect’s mission is simple. “We try to get people to donate their condos and resources to active duty men and women who are returning from deployment so they can spend time with their kids and spouses to reconnect physically and emotionally,” John says, adding that each year they also raffle off a jeep and raise close to $200K at the Flora-Bama for this cause. On the disaster side, the McInnis family has also made their mark. “I have been blessed to have been a large part of the response to many disasters like Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Michael, Irma, and Maria, as well as the BP Oil Spill,” John says. “People lose everything after a major disaster and it’s a blessing to be with them in their time of need. Recently, as the director of Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City Foundation, we were able to supply the islands with emergency supplies and evacuate more than 2,000 people and 2,000 animals, and even placed the animals in loving homes in the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma,” he adds. With the philosophy that there is no greater gift than giving, when it comes to the holidays, John shares, “We are simple! We stay home and do nothing. When we aren’t home, we’re in the woods.” As for that stunning home? “It’s the first new home my family has built in a few generations,” John shares. “Shelly and I bought the property after we got married and then designed what we are blessed to call our dream home. It’s coastal living meets Southern living. What makes it special is Shelly’s father – a homebuilder – built the home for his daughter. Because of him, everything is perfect,” John says. For Shelly, Christmas is a big deal. “We try to make it as magical as possible,” she says. “My parents did that for me and I have such wonderful memories. We love to decorate the tree as a family, listen to Christmas music, and sip on hot chocolate! The boys love to decorate gingerbread houses and bake Jesus a ‘Happy Birthday cake.’” On Christmas Eve, Shelly says the family enjoys a big

Shelly Dress, $260 Earrings, $285 Debra’s; 251.343.7463 Heels, $175 CK Collection; 251.990.9001 John Blazer, $1595 East Bay Clothiers; 251.928.6848

Shelly: Sweater, $495, Earrings, $295; Debra’s, 251.343.7463. Jeans, $188, Boots, $160; CK Collection,251.990.9001. // John: Shirt, $250, Boots, $265; CK Collection Men’s, 251.928.4824. Jeans, $226; East Bay Clothiers, 251.928.6848.

family dinner while cousins exchange presents and open gifts from the grandparents. “You can always count on ‘Christmas Vacation’ playing in the background and eggnog being served,” Shelly jokes. “We let the kids open one gift which is always Christmas pajamas – a tradition passed down from my family. When I was growing up, we had a rule that nobody could go in the living room until our parents were ready for us. The anticipation of waiting at the top of the stairs with my siblings while my parents lit the fire, turned on the music, and got the video recorder ready is a memory I will

never forget.” Shelly says Christmas day is spent at home in pajamas watching “A Christmas Story” on repeat while the kids play with their new toys. “We enjoy relaxing with the kids on this day and truly remembering the meaning of what Christmas is all about,” she says. With their lives built around tradition and purpose, it’s easy to see how this enviable family keeps their roots firmly planted on our shores. And while there is no specific recipe to follow, it’s pretty clear: kindness is the main (and most important) ingredient.

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GIFT GUIDE – for her –

1. Monogrammed Hand Towels $14.95-$18.95 | Objects | 251.626.7225

2. The Fleur Hat in Dusty Mauve $99 | Hemline | 251.287.6875

3. Marina Earrings | $53 | John Cauley Jeweler | 251.660.4759

4. Krewe Eyewear Billy Reid Collection MADISON | $295 | JJ Eyes | 251.929.0015

5. Tom Ford Fabulous Candle $132 |

6. Side Table | Price upon request DUH For Home & Garden Pensacola 850.439.0640 |

7. Gucci Ophidia Medium GG Flora | $420 Cosmetics Clutch Bag |

8. Julie Vos Catalina Demi Hinge Cuff Gold Pearl | $245 | CK Collection | 251.990.9001

9. Rachel Carney Miranda | $215 Debra's | 251.343.7463

10. Faux Fur Eye Mask | $29 | 251.974.1907

11. Rolex Lady Datejust | $19,450

12. Chubby Fur Jacket | $132 The Garage Studio | 251.928.3474

13. Sugarfina Sparkling Chocolate Rose Bears | $23 |

14. Mini Truffle Trio | $35.99 The Happy Olive | 251.929.0711

15. Champagne Clutch | $37 The Garage Studio | 251.928.3474

16. Sideways Cross Necklace | $125 Karat Patch Jewelers | 251.344.5614

32 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

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for 39 months, 7.5k miles a year

$3,795 Due at Signing* Sales: (251) 243-7656 Service: (251) 264-3113 *2019 Volvo XC60: $3,795 due at signing. 7,500 miles / 39 months. Offer expires 11/30/2019. WAC inc all rebates excludes taxes and fees. See dealer for details



GIFT GUIDE – for her –

17. Consuela Tote | $279 | Sarah B. Atchison's | 251.473.4086

18. Morganite Set In 14K Rose Gold $1,999 | Karat Patch Jewelers 251.344.5614

19. Fairhope Mug | $25.95 Objects | 251.626.7225

20. Sama 'Jaclyn' Sunglasses $595 | JJ Eyes | 251.929.0015

21. Limited Edition Siberian Fox Fur Throw | $279 | Cindy Meador Interiors 251.974.1907

22. B's Knees White Box Candle $35 | CK Collection | 251.990.9001

23. Sam Edelman Linnie | $140 CK Collection | 251.990.9001

24. Vintage Necklaces | Louis Vuitton $198 | Chanel | $298 | Stephanie's Downtown | 251.270.7001

25. Tocca Travel Fragrance Spray $46 | The Holiday | 251.342.4911

26. Confetti Trees | $24-$34 | Sarah B. Atchison's | 251.473.4086

27. Luggage | $159 The Garage Studio | 251.928.3474

28. Ornaments | $7.50-$14.50 Sarah B Atchison's | 251.473.4086

29. City Lips Plumper | $34 Stephanie's Downtown | 251.270.7001

30. Earth Grace Sterling Silver Bracelets $53 | John Cauley Jeweler | 251.660.4759

31. Swig Wine Tumbler | $19.95 Objects | 251.626.7225

32. Cashmere Scarves | $100 Stephanie's Downtown | 251.270.7001

34 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

14 S Section St, Fairhope, AL | 251.270.7001 Stephanie’s Downtown | @stephaniesdt




GIFT GUIDE – for him –

1. Southern Proper Field Fleece Vest $99.50 | CK Collection | 251.990.9001

5. Rolex Sky-Dweller | $48,850

2. The Truffleist Honey | $20.95 The Happy Olive | 251.929.0711

6. Gentlemen's Hardware Stainless Steel Portable Barbecue | $102

3. Dubarry Atrim Boot | $279 CK Collection | 251.990.9001

4. Krewe Eyewear Lafitte $255 | JJ Eyes | 251.929.0015

7. Hagen Shirt | $185 | Cashmere Scarf $195| East Bay Clothiers | 251.928.6848

8. Boozy Bacon Barbeque Sauce $9.99 | The Happy Olive | 251.929.0711

9. Camo Wrapped Cocktail Shaker |$114 Camo Ice Bucket | $190

10. Alan Payne Loafers | $215 | East Bay Clothiers | 251.928.6848

11. Sennheiser Wireless Around Ear Headphones | $180 |

12. Royall Yacht Cologne | $55 G Harvell | 251.344.4200 |

13. Vuarnet Eyewear | $400 JJ Eyes | 251.929.0015

14. Painting | Price upon request | DUH For Home & Garden Pensacola | 850.439.0640

15. Maple Bacon Onion Jam | $9.99 The Happy Olive | 251.929.0711

16. Dry Gear Bag | $83 | The Garage Studio 251.928.3474

36 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019




GIFT GUIDE – for kids –

1. Geosafari Talking Globe $140 | Big City Toys | 251.308.8997

2. Escape the Grand Hotel Game | $29 The Garage Studio | 251.928.3474

3. Fashion Angels Transparent Rainbow Micro Mini Backpack | $22 Big City Toys | 251.308.8997

4. Vew-Do Balance Zippy Deck Balance Board With Rock | $160 Big City Toys | 251.308.8997

5. Teething Rings | $11 The Garage Studio | 251.928.3474

6. Crazeeheads: The Viking Helmet Cover $30 | Big City Toys | 251.308.8997

7. Funboy Holiday Inflatable Snow Sled $99 |

8. Hatley Yellow and Navy Splash Jacket $62 | The Holiday | 251.342.4911

9. Organic PJs W/Distressed Buoys $40 | The Holiday | 251.342.4911

10. Jocelyn Rabbit Fur PomPom Ponytail Holder | $15 |

11. Pig Painting | $69 The Garage Studio | 251.928.3474

12. FAO Schwarz Toy Ride On Plush Unicorn | $249.99 | Saks Fifth Avenue


1. Haute Diggy Dog Toys $16 each |

38 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

2. Easy Tiger Adopted Dog Bandana $18 each |

3. Magisso Dog Bowl, Medium $32 |

4. Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor | $129

You Deserve

Everything Beautiful

WE ARE HERE TO PROVIDE QUALITY COSMETIC CARE in a comfortable, friendly environment. We can educate you in the proper care of your skin and body, and help you meet your weight goals and aesthetic desires.

(251) 621-4950 30941 Mill Lane, Suite A Daphne, AL LABELLARX.COM



Making Spirits Bright Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm yourself and your guests with three holiday-inspired cocktails made from delicious Tito’s Handmade Vodka, infused with classic tastes of the winter season. Each concoction is warm enough to melt even the frostiest of snowmen on a cold night. By Caroline Edmondson Photos

Tito's Peppermint Hot Chocolate Hot chocolate has been a staple holiday drink ever since we were children, so it only makes sense to tweak the recipe into the perfect warm, adult beverage to sip by a roaring fire as we all patiently await St. Nick’s arrival. This simple recipe makes it easy to whip up if you’re craving something toasty and sweet while watching a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie or looking for the perfect after-dinner drink to serve your guests on Christmas Eve. Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Peppermint-Infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka 4 oz. Hot Chocolate Directions: Just add infused Tito’s to your favorite hot chocolate mixture.

Our Love, Tito’s platform has allowed us to spread the love by turning spirits into love and goodness! “So far this year, we have helped raise over $500K for local nonprofits and charitable organizations in Alabama alone.” "Trip" James R. Cobb III Tito's Handmade Vodka Alabama Sales Manager 42 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Pumpkin pie martini Who doesn’t love a nice slice of pumpkin pie after a wonderful Christmas feast? Thankfully, this cocktail covers all of the flavors without all of the calories (or so we like to tell ourselves). The Pumpkin Pie Martini is far beyond classic, but still easy as pie. Just remember to double strain for a silky, smooth texture. Ingredients: 2 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka ½ oz. Half & Half 1 tbsp. Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix 1/8 tsp. Vanilla Extract 1 dash Cinnamon Directions: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into a graham cracker-rimmed martini glass.

Tito's fallen apple Apple is the perfect seasonal flavor. This crisp-tasting cocktail is made with an apple and cinnamon-infused vodka that is sure to please any holiday guest. Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Apple and Cinnamon-Infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka 2 oz. Ginger Beer ¾ oz. Lemon Juice 1 tsp. Agave 1 dash Bitters Directions: Add infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka, lemon juice, and agave to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice into a cinnamon/sugar-rimmed glass.

H O L I D A Y H A I R: The Nice List Nothing finishes off a festive dress quite like a party-worthy ‘do. Whether you’re sashaying at a debutante ball, exchanging presents with family, sipping cocktails at a holiday party, or hosting an extravagant holiday dinner, these classic hairstyles are the perfect accessory to any outfit. We asked the hairstyle professionals at Studio PH, ColoréVous Salon, and Salon West Hairdressers to compile a list of their favorite festive styles.

Twist It Up

By Caroline Edmondson

From an angelic halo braid to a simple fishtail, the stylists at ColoréVous Salon in Fairhope say braids are in this holiday season. These easy-to-achieve looks add a touch of class to any ensemble. Even celebrities are opting for the effortless look on the red carpet, including stunners like Jessica Alba and Taylor Swift. No matter your face shape or hair type, braids are the look for the holiday season. Ask your stylist at ColoréVous Salon to incorporate some subtle braids into your classic updo to give the look extra texture and dimension.

ColoréVous Salon 5 N. Church Street Fairhope 251.270.7171

44 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019




Our team of board-certified surgeons is here to serve you with a broad range of specialties as well as the most advanced medical technologies and surgical techniques available. Surgeons you trust with more locations to serve you than any other surgery practice across the Alabama Gulf Coast.



SPRINGHILL AVE. 251-438-4440






Add Some SPARKLE Remember the thousands of barrettes, headbands, and hair pins your mother made you wear when you were a child? Well, hair accessories are all the rage again, gracing the heads of celebrities on every red carpet. Starting with classic looks such as elegant waves or a standard bun, add a fun, sparkly accessory like a jeweled headband or crystal pins to easily elevate your hairstyle with minimal effort. And something as fun as glitter can be intertwined throughout your hair to give it that “lights on the Christmas tree� look. Your stylist at Salon West Hairdressers can add this fun sparkle to your hair with a mixture of hair gel and glitter. Salon West also offers Vomor (tape-in hair extensions) to add volume and thickness to create healthier looking hair that will hold your style better and longer. This easy trick adds the perfect finishing touch to any holiday look. Celebrities such as Ashley Graham, Charlize Theron, and Sofia Carson all sparkled down the carpet in their fun accessories this year.

Salon West 5400 Cottage Hill Road Mobile 251.662.8370 1752 Old Shell Road Suite A Mobile 251.378.8665 46 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Get fantastic food service that’s catered to your tastes with Stevie’s Kitchen! 41 West I-65 Service Rd N, Suite 150 | 251-287-2793 |

The Christmas C L A S S I C S

Studio PH 60 Springdale Boulevard, Suite A Mobile 251.219.4955

The experts at Studio PH believe some of the best holiday hairstyles are the classics, as they never go out of style. From beautiful curls and sophisticated buns to vintage-inspired waves, these hairstyles are perfect for the holiday hostess as well as the polished woman attending debutante balls or holiday soirées. The best part? Curls go perfectly with every outfit. Celebrities like Carrie Underwood tucked one side behind the ear in a sleek down style with plenty of body, while Julianne Hough rocked the always-in-style party pony. Ask your stylist at Studio PH to add lots of volume throughout your crown section of hair to give your pony the extra pizzazz it needs to stand out. And Studio PH stylist Amy Jones, says her “Blonde Upstyle” is perfect for any more formal occasion, and can be topped off with a fresh flower, broach, or hair pin to give it that extra holiday sparkle.

P R O F E S S I O N A L . LO C A L . E F F I C I E N T.

MY Mov ing S erv ices Locally owned and operated private moving and delivery service in Mobile, AL. Specializing in the delivery of high-priced and valuable items while also servicing small residential and commercial moves. MY Moving Services | 251.421.4624

A l l Ey e s


Top, $320 Pant, $275 Gold Bangles, $70 each The Holiday, 251.342.4911 Dita Frames

Earrings, $165 Debra’s, 251.343.7463


JJ Lamb is a force. While small in stature, make no mistake: she is mighty! As the owner and president of Fairhope’s designer eyewear boutique JJ Eyes, she shares her journey as a local small business survivor.


By Hayley Hill // Photos Stevye Photography, 228.547.1191 // Makeup Courtney Matthews Makeup Artistry,

ong before I relocated to the Bay and started Access, I read about this one-of-a-kind boutique in Fairhope. This cool chick, JJ Lamb, had decided to open a high-end designer eyewear shop and shared everything – from securing funds from perplexed bankers, to landing those oh-so-hard-to-get brands. Knowing in her gut it would work, she jumped in head first. I was an instant secret admirer from afar. Fast forward a decade, and JJ feels like a sister from another mister. Just as I had imagined, she is strong, funny, smart, and all with that little edge I just love. Most importantly though, she’s incredibly honest. Having blazed oddly similar trails, it was refreshing to hear the ups (as well as the downs) of building her “fempire.” Her success wasn’t overnight. “It’s like having a baby: you have to do everything for five years before you realize any independence,” she jokes. “It’s about survival – sometimes life gives you lemons, so you make lemonade… and I make great lemonade,” she quips. And as local brick and mortars work tirelessly to compete with big box chains, the internet, and more, her story was about first surviving, and then thriving. And thrive she did. With a proven plan, JJ opened a second shop in Birmingham. As wife to Chip and mom to Zoe Janë and Joe Dixon Vanche, JJ has mastered the b-word: balance. Hailing from Luverne and Troy, her path was set in motion a long time ago. “My grandfather and parents were all eye doctors, and as a kid my parents made me work at their offices and maintain the yards of their buildings,” she laughs. Naturally, we wonder about being a woman in business. “There have been times that being female has made it tougher, and times it has helped,” she says. “My parents reared me with very strong ethics, and I think as long as you’re a person of your word and do what you say you’ll do, you will ultimately succeed,” JJ shares. Living by the motto of treating people how she wants to be treated, JJ and her business are in a good place. Listing the relationships she’s built with her employees as her favorite part of owning her business, she adds, “I hire super smart, conscientious people, and we are a family!” In addition to offering some of the biggest designer brands such as Prada and Chanel, JJ’s other favorites include frames by the funky but oh-so-comfortable Orgree; Dita’s cutting-edge and quality options; those fabulous lenses by Vuarnet that take her back to college; Barton Perreira frames that are the best buy for the craftmanship; and, of course, the fun-yet-affordable Krewe line. And while you might be tempted by those seemingly simple online offerings, keep in mind that not all frames and lenses are created equal. “Glasses are like shoes: you get what you pay for,” JJ says. “Not only do we get exact measurements ensuring the perfect fit by using cutting-edge technology with state-

of-the-art lens brands, but we help clients choose frames that best suit their face, coloring, and personality and happily make adjustments and repairs well after purchase as well. We also have on-site optometrists and eye care services ranging from comprehensive eye exams to preventative care and contact lens fittings,” she adds. Although many dream of the day when drones drop online goods at our door, most local business owners would tell you that supporting local is crucial. Somewhat numb to the message, consider what our streets would look like with empty stores. JJ’s take? “Oh my goodness, I could write a novel,” she says. “First and foremost, we pay taxes in this community and employ a lot of people. I would rather shop in Fairhope than any other place on the planet. I have clothes from East Bay Clothier that I love and are older than my youngest child. I have spectacular shoes and clothes from CK Collection. My daughter has a better wardrobe than me because she is beautiful in everything and loves Sway, Sadie’s, 7 South, and Lucca at The Wharf. I love to eat in Fairhope’s Dragonfly and Red or White, and hit the Tongue & Groove for a great cocktail. The Fairhope Inn is my favorite place for a ‘girls’ lunch.’” We’re also pretty sure you can’t buy confidence online. “Nothing feels better than helping customers feel more confident in a new look, especially when they come back for another look,” JJ says. “It is our joy to find that one perfect pair or to build eyewear wardrobes for those who want a lot of looks,” she adds. When not working, the outdoors call to her. “I love to paddleboard, do yoga, read, and hang with my family,” JJ says. “We love great food, sports, and games. My family are all super smart and sarcastic and they keep me laughing. I get so much joy from doing for them.” As for her relationship with ACCESS? “I would like to add how much I appreciate ACCESS,” JJ says. “They produce a NYC-quality magazine for our area. I am so impressed with Hayley and her team. Working with them reminds me of how hard being a business owner and single mom was. Hayley is a Rockstar with an amazing vision,” she says. While blushing, I’m extremely touched and remind her that because I knew she did it, I knew I could, too. If hindsight is 20/20, I guess we’re not only building businesses.

JJ Eyes Optical Boutique 7 S. Church St. Suite D Fairhope, AL 251.929.0015



YOU R L O O K WITH RENUVION Suffering from skin laxity? Dr. James Koehler, MD, and his team at Eastern Shore Cosmetic Surgery can help.


t’s often said the opportunity to grow old is a gift, but the inevitable effects of aging (i.e. skin laxity and sagging) are the unfortunate accompaniments we often wish we could return. Despite our best efforts and skin care routines, the hard truth is that none of us are immune to the passing of time – though we can alter its physical effects. For those looking to pull a Cher (that’s a classic “If I Could Turn Back Time” reference for you), Dr. James Koehler, MD, of Eastern Shore Cosmetic Surgery is prepped with a brand new procedure to help reverse the aging process and tighten things up a bit. Debuted at the practice roughly three months ago, Renuvion is a minimally invasive surgical procedure offering a safe way for men and women of any age with skin laxity that is mild to moderate in severity to tighten the skin. The product has been FDA approved since 2012 for coagulation and ablation and is now becoming a leader in the field of cosmetic surgery for minimally invasive skin tightening. “I see many patients who wish to have skin tightened in the neck, arms, abdomen, and inner thighs that do not want invasive surgery,” Dr. Koehler explains. “I was having to turn these patients away because aside from making large incisions, I had no way to tighten the skin effectively. But now we can offer patients who have mild to moderate skin laxity a minimally invasive way to tighten the skin,” he says, noting that surgery is still the best option for those with more severe laxity. So how does it work? “Several small incisions five millimeters in length are made,” Dr. Koehler begins. “Next, a liposuction cannula is used to create space for the Renuvion probe. It is often used in combination with liposuction, which can remove fat, but does nothing to tighten the skin. With Renuvion we can combine the treatments to address the fat as well as tighten the skin. The Renuvion probe is then inserted and the Helium plasma energized with radiofrequency is used to tighten the skin.” Renuvion is typically one treatment and is usually performed under anesthesia. The length of procedure time will vary depending on the size of the area to be treated, he says.

52 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

By Jessica Goolsby

Dr. Koehler says that an initial consult is required to explain the procedure and determine a patient’s candidacy. During the visit, the potential patient’s health history is reviewed, and the determination is made as to whether certain medications should be paused prior to surgery in preparation for the procedure. “Recovery will vary depending on how many areas are treated, but typically one week of recovery is normal,” Dr. Koehler says. “Bruising varies from person to person, as we have seen minimal to no bruising in some, as well as patients who have bruising for a couple of weeks.” Dr. Koehler says swelling subsides within a few weeks, and final results will be seen in three to six months, which he says is the typical length of time for new collagen to form. “We’ve seen impressive results in neck laxity, upper arm laxity, inner thigh laxity, and abdominal skin laxity,” he says. There are those for whom Renuvion is not the best option, however. “Patients with significant skin

laxity would still require surgery,” Dr. Koehler notes. “They could do Renuvion but would have to be realistic in how much tightening could be achieved. Some patients would still require a tummy tuck, facelift, thigh lift, or arm reduction.” As a proponent of patient satisfaction, Dr. Koehler adds, “I love to offer new technology, but only technology that proves to do what it claims. Before purchasing the Renuvion system, I had been looking at several products that do minimally invasive skin tightening. I was most impressed with this system, especially after talking to colleagues that had the system already. One colleague of mine that I spoke with told me that it was the best technology he had invested in for all his years in practice. He was excited because both he and the patients were pleased with the results. I have found my experience to be the same and I am very glad that we added this technology to our practice,” Dr. Koehler says. “We are really excited to offer this to our patients.” For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Eastern Shore Cosmetic Surgery at (251) 929-7850.

Eastern Shore Cosmetic Surgery 7541 Cipriano Court Fairhope, AL 251.929.7850


Dr. Anne E. Barañano


I m p orta nc e


Losing your vision can be terrifying, especially if accompanied by a disease, trauma, or the pains of growing older. Ophthalmologists and vitreoretinal surgeons such as Dr. Anne E. Barañano of Retina Specialty Institute (who happens to be one of the only female retina specialists in the area) can calm your fears by managing your vision loss and even correcting it through restorative surgery.


nspired after accompanying her ophthalmologist father on a medical mission trip to Guatemala in high school and witnessing how impactful physicians like her dad could be on patients’ lives, Anne E. Barañano made it her mission to do the same. Having received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, her time there laid the foundation for being a caring, thorough, and welltrained physician. The eye, its beauty, and function fascinated Dr. Barañano, ultimately leading her to specialize in vitreoretinal surgery. “I enjoy the challenges of the delicate nature of ophthalmology and retinal surgery and being able to see patients of all ages in my clinic, helping protect or restore their vision,” she shares. While completing her residency in ophthalmology and fellowship training in vitreoretinal surgery at Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles, Calif., she saw some of the most advanced, complicated eye diseases which provided her excellent training. Having grown up in Mobile, she was thrilled to return to the Gulf Coast and join Retina Specialty Institute in 2013. Without a doubt, Dr. Barañano’s work is extremely important, as retinal disease is very common in the United States. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects approximately 11.2 million Americans, and nearly 7.7 million suffer from diabetic reti-

54 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

By Caroline Edmondson // Photos Stevye Photography, 228.547.1191

nopathy. “Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina,” Dr. Barañano explains. “It is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in working-age Americans, and it occurs in more than half of people who have diabetes. It can affect any race or gender and can affect people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Age-related macular degeneration is a deterioration of the retina that occurs as the eye ages, causing distortion or loss of central vision,” she says. AMD is a leading cause of significant vision loss in people over the age of 50. The primary risk factor is age – meaning the older you are, the greater your risk. It can affect any race or gender but is more common in Caucasians. Unfortunately, there is no cure for either disease. However, there are many ways patients can protect their vision, such as not smoking, eating leafy greens, and having regular dilated eye exams. If significant disease is found during an exam, a patient’s vision can be saved by in-office treatments with medication or laser therapy. Dr. Barañano also performs restorative surgeries to help those patients suffering from retinal tears, retinal detachments, and macular holes. “The retina is very fragile and can be thought of as a piece of wet Kleenex that lines the inside of the eyeball,” she explains. “If there is a tear in the ‘Kleenex,’ fluid that circulates inside

the eye can get behind the retina and lead to a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.” Dr. Barañano says the typical symptoms of retinal tear and detachment include new onset of floaters, flashing lights, or a dark curtain or veil that blocks vision. “If we diagnose the retinal tear when it is small, we can treat it in the office with laser therapy and prevent vision loss,” she says. “If there is already a large retinal detachment, the patient can experience permanent vision loss if it is not repaired quickly. Different methods of repair include pneumatic retinopexy and scleral buckle and vitrectomy, which have an overall success rate of 90 percent. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who loves their job more than Dr. Barañano, who says her daily interactions with patients and their families is her favorite part of her job. “I am very proud of my staff and the way they treat each patient like family,” she says. “It can be very nerve-wracking, especially for new patients, to see a retina doctor. I love meeting patients for the first time and take my time explaining my findings and educating them about their disease. We discuss the treatment plan, and I explain what they can expect and steps they can take to protect their eyes. Some of my patients come in for monthly exams, so we get to know each other well and develop a strong partnership to protect their eyes. I strive to provide

the best quality care with compassion and dedication to each of my patients,” Dr. Barañano says. And although vitreoretinal surgeons such as Dr. Barañano have the ability to prevent patients from losing or even restore their vision thanks to modern medications and surgery, she wants potential patients to be aware this can only be done in partnership with the patient. “It is important to be aware of the importance of protecting your eye health, having regular dilated eye exams (especially if you have diabetes), and finding a physician you trust that will work their hardest to preserve your vision,” she says. Looking to the future, Dr. Barañano hopes to give back to the community as a vitreoretinal surgeon by continuing to protect and restore vision for her patients while also participating in the development of novel medications and adapting innovative surgical techniques as the understanding of retinal diseases grows and the technology improves. “I feel incredibly fortunate to play this role in my patients’ lives, and I respect the trust they place in me when it comes to protecting their vision,” she says. “I’m very proud of the meaningful impact I can have on their lives.”

Retina Specialty Institute 3290 Dauphin St., Suite 502 Mobile, AL 251.272.3618

Happy holidays, happy skin At Providence Medical Group – Skin and Laser Specialists, we’re putting the happy in holidays all month long. Call or visit us on Facebook for our weekly specials on products and services.

Join us for our Holiday Party Friday, Dec. 13 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Meet Dr. Kimberly Donnellan and her team of skin care professionals. Enjoy doorbuster specials and refreshments, and shop our skin care products. Gift cards and gift wrapping available. 6701 Airport Blvd., Suite B123, Mobile, AL 36608 251-250-1997

© Ascension 2019. All rights reserved.

Closet Factory Gulf Coast / 25251 Friendship Rd. Daphne, AL 36526 / 251.243.2225 /

Custom Closets • Home Office Suites • Entertainment Centers • Pantries & Laundry Rooms • Garage Systems • Children’s Spaces & Much More

D e b u t a n t e s

GIVING BACK The holiday season means the presentation of hundreds of young, college-aged women into society through debutante balls. Behind the beautiful dresses, fun parties, and amazing memories is a group of women who are committed to selflessly giving back to their community. Mobile Ballet’s Nutcracker Charity Ball (NCB), first held in 2003, places heavy emphasis on raising money for deserving charities right here in our community while inspiring its debutantes to live a life of serving others. By Caroline Edmondson

Chad Bartz and Aaron VanHauter


ach holiday season, the Bay area is abuzz with the excitement of the Nutcracker Charity Ball. With its extravagant decorations, beautiful ballet performances, and outstanding young women, this ball is eagerly anticipated each year. But what truly sets this ball apart from others in the area is its emphasis on giving back. Originally founded with the intention of being the first charity ball in Mobile, the charity aspect and inclusivity are the key reasons this ball is such a success today. “We definitely think the charity aspect of the ball is an important reason our debutantes want to participate in the NCB,” says Edie Terreson, NCB chairman. “It gives a deeper purpose to the experience and makes the event not just about themselves.” For its inaugural year, Mobile Ballet selected two charities: the Ronald McDonald House and Friends Interested in Neurological Disorders – both of which were well-received by the public. The process for choosing the partnered charity is extensive, as they often change partners each year. Every spring, Mobile Ballet invites local children’s charities to submit applications to be considered for the designated NCB charity partner. A sub-committee of the Mobile Ballet Board of Directors then reviews those applications. The committee considers how the funds will be used by the organization and the impact the organization has on the community and populations they serve, then finally makes a decision. “Though we usually choose a different partner each year, we have repeated partners in the past,” Edie says. “In fact, this is the second time Wilmer Hall (this year’s charity) has been a charity partner.”

56 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

Wilmer Hall is thrilled to be partnering with the NCB once again. “We believe in the importance of our community and working together,” says Mae Dennis, Wilmer Hall’s Director of Development. “We have enjoyed working with the debutantes and Mobile Ballet on service projects at Wilmer Hall and are grateful to have the opportunity to continue to spread awareness about what we do.” Wilmer Hall has been a crucial resource for vulnerable children in Mobile for more than 100 years, serving as a residence for those who cannot live with their natural parents. “Wilmer Hall’s application this year was for support for its Transitional Living Program,” Edie explains. “This program serves older youth/ young adults who have aged out of the Foster Care program. Wilmer Hall provides housing and the encouragement and support they need to become productive members of the community.” Considering the program’s participants and the debutantes’ closeness in age, the committee believed Wilmer Hall was the perfect choice for this year. The debutantes and the Ballet have been hard at work with Wilmer Hall since the summer when they helped paint rooms at its newly renovated Education Center with a special paint allowing the walls to be used like white boards. “In December, the debutantes will have another project at Wilmer Hall where they will help wrap Christmas presents for its residents,” Edie says. “And of course, members of the Wilmer Hall administration have, and will, attend all of our debutante events such as our initial mothers’ meeting, the Champagne Celebration, the Mother/Daughter Luncheon and the ball itself. These representatives have educated the debutantes and their families about the work that

R E TA I L SH OW RO O M & D E S I GN S T U D I O 25299 Canal Rd Orange Beach, AL 36561 | 251-974-1907 MONDAY - FRIDAY 9:00AM - 5:00PM OR BY APPOINTMENT ON WEEKENDS

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Wilmer Hall does and about the Transitional Living Program they are supporting,” Edie adds. Philanthropic work is very important to Mobile Ballet, and they view the experience of making one’s debut as an important transition from youth into adulthood. “We want the young women to know that as adult members of their community, they are expected to give back and help make their community a better place,” Edie says. “The debutantes are invited based on their past service to their communities and we want the Nutcracker Charity Ball debutantes to go forward as important examples of women who make a difference in the lives of others.” Having raised more than $1.2 million for the programs of Mobile Ballet and charity partners since its first year, the NCB has helped countless members of its community live a better life. And while a portion of the money raised is allocated to their partner, the ball also funds the important programs of Mobile Ballet. “Funds raised help support the three beautiful productions we put on for the community each year, enables us to share the productions with under-served communities who may not otherwise get to experience such productions through our Discover Dance and Share the Dance programs, and provides scholarships for talented youth who may not be able to study dance without financial support,” Edie explains.

Mobile Ballet 4351 Downtowner Loop N. Mobile 251.342.2241

58 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

2602 Old Shell Rd, Mobile, AL 36607 | 251.473.4086 Tuesday-Friday 10-5 Saturday 10-2ish |

Vendor Spots are still available! Email for application. Proceeds benefit Wilmer Hall Children’s Home.



If you drive along Scenic Highway 98 in Point Clear, you’ll notice a charming little gray studio and shop called The Garage Studio. Amanda Bacon, owner and lover of all things artsy, turned this seemingly forgotten old gas station and garage into a wonderland of collectibles, paintings, and everything creative in between. By Caroline Edmondson Photos Layla Lambert,

A Few Fun Facts: - Loves animal rescues - Established the annual Fairhope Witches Ride

60 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019


pened eight years ago, The Garage Studio has become the place for locals and visitors alike to find the perfect piece of art to add to their homes. Owner Amanda Bacon recalls her store being a bit of a “happy accident” – one she is grateful to have made. “I didn’t really set out to open a shop,” she says. “I was looking for a place to use as a studio and had been dreaming of finding a place to create away from my home. When I found the old gas station, it was too large for just me, so I asked a couple of friends to join me, and what was meant to be a studio evolved into an art gallery. Eventually, those friends went on to other opportunities and I began to add more and more retail merchandise, and the shop was born!” Art (and being creative in general) has always been a large part of Amanda’s life, she says, adding that she’s always had “happy hands.” “I am at my happiest when creating, whether it is teaching myself to paint or decorating my house or playing with clay,” she says. “I love experimenting with new mediums and coming up with new projects.” Most of the art Amanda carries in her shop comes from local artists, with most of the paintings done by her two resident artists: Bill Harrison and Jean Marie McDonnell. “Their working studio sits right next to the shop and they can be found in there painting away almost every day,” Amanda says. She even puts

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her artists’ skills to the test with the store’s sign, which undergoes a creative revamp every Christmas. “The holiday decorations are always an evolution,” she says. “I usually come up with the general theme and then everyone starts brainstorming possibilities, and Bill Harrison takes our ideas and works his magic! We have great fun with them.” Amanda says she gets a kick out of seeing people stop to take pictures of their displays. “This year’s display is a boat filled with presents being pulled by alligators, with the Grinch himself at the helm,” she shares. Besides the amazing pieces of handmade artwork, Amanda carries a wide collection of clothing, home décor, small presents, and more, perfect for anyone on your Christmas list this year. Each item is hand-selected by Amanda while “treasure hunting” for the store. “I love to find unusual and one-of-a-kind pieces,” she says. “I work very hard to have merchandise that no one else in town sells. Discovering new pieces – whether clothing or décor – is what keeps the shop fresh.” Some of her favorite shop items include wooden Mobile Bay maps and Mobile Bay fleece blankets, Leigh Ann Hurst’s cross necklaces, and shotgun shell holiday wreaths. As much as Amanda loves her shop, she loves her customers even more, saying getting to know the new families moving into the area who are drawn here by the coastal ease of living is one of the best parts of her job. “I love when our customers come in with pictures of their homes featuring items purchased at The Garage Studio,” she says. “It is quite a rewarding feeling knowing something from the shop added a little something special to their homes.” With Amanda’s exceptional customer service, friendly demeanor, and love for her community and customers, it’s easy to see how she has gathered a large following of loyal fans who often stop in her store to browse multiple times a week. Of course, Amanda says the success of her studio and store would never have been possible without her employees who she says keep her grounded. “They always go the extra mile,” she says. “I am grateful for each of them. They are no longer employees, but family and best friends.” Add in husband Robbie, son Stillwell (16), and their two dogs, and Amanda’s got all the support she could ever need. “My husband has patiently put up with my long hours, and my son is the joy of my life. I call him my ‘catcherman,’ as he spends all of his spare time fishing,” she says. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love our life on the Bay. I love that our son can hop in his boat and go fishing whenever his heart desires. And, there is nothing quite as restorative as our stunning Bay sunsets at the end of a long day.” Eclectic, energetic, happy, and ever-changing, this little studio is the epitome of Southern, coastal life. For now, Amanda loves her time spent out searching for the next great find and creating at The Garage Studio, hoping to bring a smile to every visitor’s face.

The Garage Studio 17070 Scenic Hwy. 98 Fairhope, AL 251.928.3474







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t h e N ew Y e a r Hard-pressed for New Year’s Eve plans? The Mobile Area Association of REALTORS® has the perfect solution for you. Break out your suspenders and flapper dresses and come celebrate 2020 at a very fitting Roaring 20s-themed party! You won’t want to miss this one. By Stephen Jones, Communications and Governmental Affairs Director


he Mobile Area Association of REALTORS® was founded in 1914 and is the voice of Real Estate in the Mobile Area. The Association provides its members with education and resources enabling them to conduct their businesses successfully, profitably, and ethically while bringing value to the community. The Association achieves these goals by advocating for private property rights, protecting and promoting property ownership, and giving back to the community through community service projects. Our members are a diverse group of individuals who enjoy being a part of assisting their community. This year the Young REALTORS® Committee (a group of realtors made up of all ages and levels of experience who want to make a positive impact in the Mobile community they all love and cherish) has chosen to raise funds for The Mobile REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. The Mobile REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is a 501(3)(c) not for profit corporation founded in 2010, formed by The Mobile Area Association of REALTORS® as an ongoing effort to enable its

64 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

REALTORS® members to improve the quality of life for all Mobilians and to help bring awareness of the many charitable actions of local REALTORS® in the Mobile Community. One of their most recent efforts included providing upgrades of equipment to the Mobile Parks and Recreation centers. This equipment allowed children the necessary tools to keep them active, out of trouble, and away from harm. The Young REALTORS® Committee wants to continue efforts such as this, and in an effort to raise funds to do so, they will be hosting an epic New Year's Eve event that will take place at The Temple Downtown. To roll into 2020, the committee befittingly chose The Roaring 20's Speakeasy as the theme of the party! The Young REALTORS® want to extend an open invitation to the community to attend the NYE bash. It hopes to give members of the community a chance to become familiar with all that REALTORS® do to make the community a better place to work and play. Their goal is to bring awareness to the fact that REALTORS® do not just sell real estate; they are real people who have

been living, working, and investing in the Mobile Community for more than 100 years! So, come on out and celebrate welcoming in the 2020 New Year with the Young REALTORS® committee of the Mobile Area Association of REALTORS®. We are sure it will be a night to remember, full of outstanding music, fantastic food, and an open bar with specialty cocktails! Help us to make 2020 just as roaring, jazzy, and fashionable as the 1920s by dressing to impress with your frills, glitz, suspenders, and vests and dancing the night away. We’ll ring in the New Year with a champagne toast. Doors open and drinks start to flow at 9 p.m. For more information about the event or details on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephen Jones at or call 251.479.8654.

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BECOMING MOBILE! Classic Design Enlivening Holiday Traditions Mobile’s favorite architectural historian, Cart Blackwell, spreads holiday cheer by showcasing cozy home features. By Cart Blackwell

Jib Windows of Ludlow House, formerly Church Street. Library of Congress.


he holiday season combines both the past and present, with recollections of yesteryear constantly filtering into present-day revelry and the preparations for it. The past (in terms of the traditional spaces in which recollection and action interact) figures more prominently than it might otherwise during the rest of the year. Many of us spend more time with family in those rooms of our homes that are not necessarily used as frequently the other 10 to 11 months of the year. Formal living and dining rooms are decked out and trafficked by family and friends alike. A number of features – fireplaces, pocket doors, jib windows, and galleries – that distinguish Mobile’s historic residential buildings come to fore as vehicles of furthering fun, festive, and traditional yuletide and New Year’s affairs. The hearth, that quintessential anchoring element of the American interior, takes on a heightened significance at Christmas. Regardless of whether they are stacked with logs or filled with coals, fireplaces were a necessity for homes well into the early 20th Century. Known as Santa’s pathway, stockings and garlands often hang from mantel shelves and in advance of fireboxes during the holidays. The want to have a fire can be at odds with actual temperature here in the South, as most all Mobilians have experienced t-shirt weather Christmases of 80-degree weather! A number of features that distinguish Mobile’s historic residential buildings – fireplaces, pocket doors, jib windows, and galleries – come to fore as vehicles of furthering fun, festive, and traditional yuletide and New Year’s affairs.

Fireplace of the Marshall-Hixon House, Tuthill Lane. Library of Congress.

Whereas fireplaces nestle one within a room, doors might simply be seen as means of either ingress to and egress from a given volume. Many older Mobile residences are home to a special type of door – the pocket door. Allowing for connection and separation, the opening and closing of a pocket door transforms a space. Ordinarily, pocket doors generally separate double parlors or parlors and dining rooms. They allow for a more gracious flow of people during a large gathering with just the same ease as they afford a more intimate setting for a smaller one. Rhythmically spaced windows take on a heightened dimension during the holidays as well. The glimpse of an illuminated Christmas tree or menorah within a window and the view of a wintry street through the same are equally refreshing. But windows do more than inform structure and provide glimpses that increase the holiday spirit. Many older Mobile homes feature a special type of window: the jib window. These two-part openings (a lower casement that swings out like a door with sashes atop that slide up into the frame) allow indoor living and outdoor revelry to become one. Sometimes the festive fire in the fireplace grows too hot (as can the family banter), so windows provide a convenient means of connection and escape.

Pocket Doors at Oakleigh House. Library of Congress.

Holidays are not meant to be spent solely indoors. Children and adults alike want to try out their new outdoor toys (and a good holiday toddy tastes a tad better when sipped on an umbrage to boot). Be it a sturdy porch or a lacy gallery, a covered outdoor space has long been a defining characteristic of the real and mythologized American home. Southerners, with our predilection for indoor-outdoor living, love a good porch. During the holidays they are optimal viewing platforms for enjoying the antics of youthful family members and ideal perches for when one is with drink in hand. Fireplaces, pocket doors, jib windows, and porches are traditional design features that take special significance during the extended holiday season. Tried and true constructions and elements, they are not inhibitors of progress or fashion, but vehicles of innovating everyday life. These attributes of older buildings should be employed more often in new buildings, as their enjoyment is not Porch fronting Calef-Staples House, Old Shell Road. Library of Congress. limited to the holidays – only heightened during them. 66 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

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Therapy Life is quickly picking up for the Parkers as they prepare for the holidays and new arrivals, but they couldn’t say no to stopping in for a delicious meal at Buster’s Brick Oven in Daphne. Opened in 2017, this small-yet-amazing restaurant is known for cooking almost everything on their menu in their brick oven. You can’t beat any dish from Buster’s, but of course their pizza is out of this world! By Caroline Edmondson / Photos Stevye Photography THE AMBIENCE: Buster’s Brick Oven is a true hidden gem in the heart of Daphne on Main Street. In fact, the small room that houses Buster’s was originally overflow from Manci’s Antique Club. “We decided to renovate the room and create a totally different atmosphere while still retaining the old décor vibe and history of Manci’s,” shares Garrett DeLuca, managing partner of Buster’s. “The south wall inside is actually our old deck that was repurposed; it adds a very intimate and rustic feel.” “This place has a comfortable atmosphere where there is no need to dress up, and everyone is super friendly,” says ACCESS’s Jennifer Parker. “You can have a beer or a glass of wine and feel totally in place. The dining room is small but roomy with booths and bar height tables mixed throughout, and a small bar at the far end.” THE LIBATIONS: Buster’s offers a full bar, tending to emphasize their bourbon selection that includes hard-to-find items such as Blanton’s, Weller Antique, Eagle Rare, and Buffalo Trace. They also offer a wide selection of beers, wine, and spins on classic cocktails such as a Limoncello Cosmo or Peanut Butter Whiskey Martini (though Jennifer and husband Chuck opted for more classic refreshments, including a refreshing cucumber martini and an Old Fashioned). The best part? Wednesdays offer an all-night happy hour. Yes, please! THE FOOD: The thing that sets Buster’s apart is the fact that they cook just about everything on their menu in their brick oven, leading to a

Char-Roasted Brussels

68 ACCESS Magazine / December 2019

House Charcuterie

beautiful char and flavor on almost every dish. Jennifer and Chuck started with a round of Buster’s best-selling appetizers – the char-roasted brussels – which happens to be Garrett’s favorite dish on the menu. “There is a great mesh of flavors from the brussels, goat cheese, and pesto, not to mention the char we achieve cooking it in the brick oven,” Garrett says. Brick oven beef marrow, Buster’s crostini, and a house charcuterie board were also sampled. For their mains, Chuck ordered their best-selling dish, the 45 day dry aged 16 oz. bone-in rib eye, which is served with potatoes and butternut squash. “The ability to sear meat at such a high temperature in our oven allows us to cook efficiently and consistently,” Garrett shares. Jennifer decided on the veal chop, which she said was delicious. Of course, they couldn’t leave without trying their specialty pizzas, opting for a pie with fresh buffalo mozzarella. “It was absolutely to die for,” Jennifer shares. Finishing their meal with two desserts, the couple decided on the warm chocolate chip cookie in a cast iron skillet topped with vanilla ice cream, and the Oreo chocolate mousse. THE THERAPY: Chuck and Jennifer have been busy renovating their kitchen at home for the past few months. They’ve painted cabinets, replaced countertops and faucets, and have even added some open shelves and new appliances. “Chuck has been so helpful with the renovations because I cannot do a lot of the work it requires, such as replacing appliances and installing shelves,” Jennifer shares.

Buffalo Mozzarella

Chuck & Jen Parker

“He is working every day so it has taken a while to finish and has been a bit of a challenge, but in the end we are so happy with how everything has turned out,” she adds. And with the holidays right around the corner, Jennifer and Chuck are busy with preparations. For the first time in five years the Parker household will be full of family. “Our daughter Kennedy is coming home from UAB for Christmas break, and we have Chuck’s parents that have just recently moved here full-time, as well as his cousin and their children.” Another big change the Parkers are preparing for is becoming grandparents for the first time. Their oldest daughter Madison is due with their first grandchild in May of 2020. “We are feeling so many emotions from happy to scared, overwhelmed, and feeling like we are all too young,” Jennifer jokes. “She is still feeling a bit of morning sickness and has lots of questions of course, but I am enjoying letting her in on all of the mommy secrets.” THE BILL: Around $85 BUSTER’S BRICK OVEN 1715 Main St. #4495 Daphne, AL 251.264.2520

Bone-In Rib Eye

Oreo Chocolate Mousse

251.662.8370 | 5400 Cottage Hill Road Mobile, Alabama 36609

251.378.8665 | 1752 Old Shell Road Suite A Mobile, Alabama 36604

Vendor Spots are still available! Email for application. Proceeds benefit Wilmer Hall Children’s Home.


TABLE TALK Meet local influencer, Charlotte Kilborn Carey. With her quick wit, varied interests, and a passion for living, we are thrilled to share her Southern voice. Traditional-yet-modern, Charlotte brings points to ponder that are sure to inspire us to live our best lives.


recently found myself at a table with some extraordinary women. As I looked around at these beautiful, savvy, and accomplished ladies, I couldn’t help but think: “How did I get HERE?” I was finally at the cool girls’ table. I’ll be honest: I certainly didn’t get there alone. I was pushed, pulled, lifted up, and placed there by the decades of women who’ve become my friends, my family, and my tribe. These steel magnolias have inspired me with their femininity and fortitude, their grits and grace. Not only did they clear a path; they made a place for me at their table. The invitation to join them was, of course, by way of personalized stationery printed on good card stock. Where would I be and who would I be without my girlfriends? You see, female friendships are as important as oxygen. Quilting bees were not born out of a high demand for quilts, but from a need for women to share, sympathize, laugh, and create something as a group that is the sum of their talents. Science even backs up our bonding rituals. Having strong connections with other women is proven to reduce stress, improve mental health, boost careers, and even help us live longer. Hail to the Girls’ Night Out! I’ve been fortunate to cross paths with some pretty incredible ladies whom (even from a distance) I could tell were doing what they loved and enjoying every minute of it, all while transforming their surroundings. They are always leaving things (and people) better than they found them. It’s my privilege to have turned some of these girl crushes into my closest friends. They challenge me, inspire me, love me, and give me courage to pursue my own dreams. They truly are my chosen family. I’m proud to say my menagerie of friends includes a Miss Rattlesnake, a Miss Phenix City (yes, autocorrect… that’s Phenix City), and my beloved Miss Boll Weevil. These friendships are woven into the fabric of who we are and who we will become, and their value is immeasurable. With the holidays upon us, give yourself a gift and schedule time with the ladies in your tribe. Here’s to more girl time and a very happy holiday. See you on the Pink Carpet! Riding high in the Hamptons with Southern royalty, Charlotte with friends nicknamed Miss Phenix City and Miss Boll Weevil.


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Meet Kristin Phillips. A Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors in Daphne, she is dedicated to helping clients navigate life’s critical financial decisions helping them to reach their goals. She believes for women, this is critical. True to her Texas roots, assisting her clients in developing and implementing strategic, holistic investment plans aligned with their personal needs and desires is where she feels she excels. In my experience, while often a touchy subject, money must matter to women. Why? Research shows at some point in their lives, most women will be in charge of their family’s finances. In fact, nine out of 10 women eventually will take charge of their family’s wealth (Source: “Women’s Quick Facts: Compelling Data on Why Women Matter.” STEMconnector, November 2016). Also, women outlive men on average by five years, so that’s five more years of living expenses women may need beyond the needs of men (Source: World Health Organization, 2016). Combining that knowledge with the fact that most of the women I have spoken with both personally and professionally say they have little to no investment experience (or knowledge of investing at all), I’m excited to walk this path with you. In the upcoming issues, we’ll be covering topics such as key investment concepts, truths all investors should know, tips for pursuing an active retirement, taking care of finances during divorce,social security planning, estate strategies, insurance, education funding, IRA’s, and more. I am looking forward to sharing this with you. It is my hope this column will help women of the Bay area stay informed and become comfortable with the subject of money. Until Next Time,

Kristin Phillips Financial Advisor Wells Fargo Advisors 251.621.4807 Wells Fargo Advisors is not a tax or legal advisor.


Investment and Insurance Products: NOT FDIC-Insured/NO Bank Guarantee/MAY Lose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.


NEW DECLUTTERED CLOSET If you haven’t noticed already, here at Closet Factory we are really into home organization. We’re always looking for ways to help you pull it all together, with tips and suggestions for every room in your house. With 2020 bearing down on us, why not commit to purging your master closet and starting the year organized? We have a seven-step plan to help make what appears to be a massive undertaking, easier. By Jerry Taylor

Because we spend a lot of time figuring out how to get the most out of storage systems, we’ve discovered some great low-cost (or even free) ways to get a ton of mileage from the space you have. Whether you’ve acquired one of Closet Factory’s custom storage solutions or not, these suggestions will start working for you in no time.

Premier Medical Welcomes Dr. Drew Salisbury! Dr. Drew Salisbury and Family

C.C.Drew has returned hometown DrewSalisbury, Salisbury, MD MD is returning to to hishis hometown of Mobile toto join of Mobile joinhisfather his fatherininproviding providing specialized specialized eye care patients along the the GulfGulf Coast. HeHe spent 2018 eye to care to patients along Coast. spent as Chief Resident forfor Tulane’s Ophthalmology 2018 as Chief Resident Tulane’s Ophthalmology Department and has has since sincecompleted completedaaFellowship Fellowship in Corneal Atlanta. in CornealSurgery Surgeryat atthe theEye EyeConsultants Consultantsinin Atlanta. On August 12, he will join Premier Medical as a He has joined Premier Medical as a board certified, board certified, practicing clinician and surgeon, practicing clinician and surgeon, bringing expertise in bringing expertise in cataract, refractive and corneal cataract, refractive and corneal transplant surgery. transplant surgery.

Call today to make an appointment: 251.341.3300

THREE PILES Start by making three piles: one to keep, one to donate, one to trash.


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If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. When in doubt, try it on. If it doesn’t look good, let it go.

OUT OF STYLE, OUT OF YOUR LIFE Those bell bottoms will come back in style, right? Resist the urge to hang on to outdated fashion trends. If you honestly can’t let go of an item, find a place for it in the garage or attic. Your closet should be about function, not about storage.

EXPIRATION: ONE YEAR A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn something in over a year you should get rid of it. If you don’t love it enough to wear it at least once a year then it should go in the “to donate” section.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY Do you really need 15 pairs of black slacks? Most people don’t. Where there are duplicates in your wardrobe, keep the items that are of higher quality and donate the rest. The same logic holds true for shoes.

GET RID OF RAGS If it has stains, holes, or is simply past its prime, toss it. If something has been sitting on a hanger with a hole growing bigger by the day for the last six months, it may be time to acknowledge you’ll never get to it. Throw it away and move on.

KEEP WHAT REFLECTS YOUR LIFE As our lives change, so should our wardrobes. Our choices of what we keep should reflect our true everyday lives, not our past or fantasy lives.

At the end of the entire purging process every single piece in your closet will end up being something that you genuinely love to wear. With added space and easier access to your wardrobe, getting dressed will be fun again!


(251) 433-5471 For more information, please email us or visit our website.



The best Chicken Salad in the South!

A pro decorator and expert in all things floral, Tim Burt, owner of LUSH Home Garden Event, tells ACCESS the best ways to decorate our own homes for the holiday season.

Locally Owned & Operated By Misty Hudson Whitehead

Allie Hughes, Area Manager

Almand J. Westbrook, Jr., M.D. 2651 Old Shell Road | Mobile, AL 36607 P (251) 243-7058 | F (251) 243-7059 Dr. Kimberly A. Westbrook, MD 101 Lottie Ln Unit 6, Fairhope, AL 36532 P (251) 990-1980

“How do you decorate for the holidays?” I get that question often. As the owner of home décor store, people look to me for advice on decorating all the time, but especially around the holidays – that’s when family and friends will be coming to visit, and you want to create an inviting and exciting environment for them. My first question is always, “What is the style of your home?” I think it’s important to follow through with that theme, even during the holidays. A mid-century ranch might have an aluminum tree with a color wheel reminiscent of that era, while a craftsman bungalow should have a live tree and a more homemade feel, perhaps with popcorn garland. I love doing beach-themed Christmas trees and recently completed a total beach theme Christmas on Ono Island that included a nautical rope garland and shell ornaments – very appropriate for that home. Think of the style of your home when it’s time to start decking the halls. If you don’t know the style of your home or think it’s a mixture of numerous styles, I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and do a little of all of them. Choose a distinguished element of your home and follow through with that. Are your kitchen cabinets shaker style? That’s a wonderful style to mimic throughout your holiday décor! Is the exterior of your house stucco? Mediterranean is a great holiday theme. No matter what the style of your home is, you will find lots of ideas online and in local stores to add to what you may already have to make your holiday really pop with style! Have fun, enjoy the process, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Much love,

Tim Burt

LUSH HOME GARDEN EVENT 1910 Government Street Mobile / 251.473.6121

The Calendar

Happy Birthday!

December 2 019

December 6

Fairhope’s Magical Christmas Parade

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Fairhope’s Magical Christmas Parade begins at the intersection of Morphy and Section Street, and continues down Section to Oak Street.

December 7

Breakfast with Santa in the Crystal Ballroom

8:30 AM – 11:30 AM The Battle House Renaissance 26 N. Royal St., Mobile, Alabama Reservations are required. Please call 251.338.5441

December 7

Spanish Fort’s Spirit of Christmas Parade

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern Shore Centre located on State Highway 181, Exit 38 off Interstate 10.

December 7

Daphne’s Christmas Parade

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Route runs from the Daphne Civic Center complex through Olde Towne Daphne and back again!

December 7

Holiday Party at Dog Days Barkery!

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Dog Days Barkery 5552 Old Shell Rd. Suite A, Mobile, Alabama Photography by Deep South Focus Photography, a special Novmeber 10 holiday a hot cocoa bar, The Markettreat, at The Pillars raffles, more! 12:00 PMand – 4:00 PM The Pillars 1757 Government St, Mobile, Alabama Local Eats & Live Music Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar

December 8

December Brunch On The Patio 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM The Cheese Cottage, LLC 650 St. Louis St., Mobile, Alabama We will have our special limited menu, a bubble special, and, of course, music! Let the tradition continue! No reservations; first come, first served.

December 8

Coastal Grinchmas!

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Gulf State Park 20115 State Highway 135, Gulf Shores, Alabama Enjoy holiday crafts, Whoville activities, refreshments, witness Santa Grinch’s arrival, and get your photo made with Santa Grinch!

Marissa Fleming Thetford December 2nd

Carl Clark Jr. December 8th

Yvonne Breland December 16th

Jana Williston December 17th

Amy Mac December 21st

Richard Mcgill Hamilton December 23rd

Lawren Reaves December 24th

Dana Martin Yance December 24th

December 21

Fish River Christmas Boat Parade

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM Big Daddy’s Grill 16452 Ferry Rd. off C32 west of H59, Fairhope, Alabama The parade route is from the 98 Bridge to the 32 Bridge. It starts at dusk on Saturday, December 21st. It is free to participate in the parade but you must have a permit. Permits available at Big Daddy’s Grill and Fish River/ Marlow Fire & Rescue.

December 23

Roaring 20’s New Years Eve Party 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM The Temple Downtown Hosted by the Mobile Area Association of Realtors-Young Realtors Committee. This party benefits the Mobile REALTORS Charitable Foundation. Proceeds will be donated to the City of Mobile for economic development, building revitalization, and urban improvements.

Tripp Atkins December 26th

Julia Prichett Liller December 27th

Amber Ivy Bostwick December 27th

Locally owned polished, casual restaurant.


Chef, Adam Alford, and Su Chef Eddie Nash work weekly to keep the menu interesting & exquisite.


Multi-functional venue for baby and bridal showers, birthday parties, work parties, & wedding rehearsals.

We also provide offsite inclusive catering services for weddings & other events. Kayman Beach, our event planner, cares for every meticulous detail of planning a wonderful event for you; reach out to her today for your event and catering needs!

4513 Old Shell Rd, Mobile, AL 36608 251.287.0976


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