RWO'S August 2020 Edition

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Falicia Fracassi
































WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Jennifer Lake kijuana Crues





























SPECIAL FEATURES SHE HUSTLES TALKS SoFit Juices D’ACE Fragrances Third Eye Wellness Hip Hemp Kelly Wahl The Enchanted Butterfly Picture This









aug. edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }



242 104



























“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women that have her back.”


alk about empowering...all you have to do is take one look at our latest Rochester Woman Online cover woman Falicia Fracassi. Fracassi built her lash empire from the ground up and now has over 6 locations across the country.

“What they don’t know is that I developed my empire by taking risks, igniting passion, having faith, and putting in countless hours of work. Sometimes not even knowing what I was doing at all.” Read all about her journey, being a female entrepreneur, inspiring other young girls, and how she juggles being a wife, mom and “lady boss”. Her journey starts on page [20]. In this edition we are also highlighting some amazing women like Dr Rachel Farkas, breast surgeon with Vega Plastic Surgery page [52], Jennifer Lake the new CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes page [34] and some incredible female business owners in our ALL NEW She Hustles Talks insert like Keirra MacArthur and Sophia Natasha on page [77].



On the cover of our August 2020 edition of Rochester Woman Online we have an incredible creative entrepreneur and lash mogul named Falicia Fracassi. Fracassi pours her heart and soul into helping women and girls embrace their inner beauty. For more than a decade, Fracassi has worked to enhance the self-esteem of thousands of females through business, philanthropy and volunteerism.



Save the Dat e

Around the Table — Food from Your Family Tree

Friday, November 6, 2020 Live at Comedy at the Carlson OR Virtual Gala Experience With Live Emcee Celebrities Scott Spezzano & Sandy Waters Food, music, videos, silent auction, awards, and more Our 2020 Home, Heart & Harmony gala offers a choice of in-person attendance or enjoying the gala virtually from the comfort of your home. During this pandemic, CAP's waiting children are in even greater need of a permanent family. Please support us by attending the gala! Generous sponsorship packages are available. Call (585) 232-5110



Kelly Breuer


Kelly Breuer



Charlene Mann Ford & Natalie Sinisgalli Michele Ashlee NSP Studio Kijuana Crues Mike Harrison Michelle DiBernardo Natalie Sinisgalli Robin DeWind Bonnie Floyd Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Michele Dibernardo Denise Karma Clifford Dr Pam Denton Tracy Simone Dr Shanelle Benson Reid Ellen Feldman Alicia Hicks Tammy Vreeland Katie Wagner Angela Vahue Laylah Jennifer Frary Colleen Lefave Dr Farkas Ahlia Kitwana Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Kaitlyn Vittozzi Dr Yaslyn Vega Rita Pettinaro Hannah Costello


Kelly Breuer


Toni Natalie


Kijuana Crues Tamara MacDuff Kristin Bauer Gross Jennafer Pascarella Ebony Nicole Smith Catyra Polland Latiffany Anderson JoJo Johnson Beth Lynch Rumella Cameron Sheridonna Wilson Tasha Vila Angela Duncan Keirra MacArthur Lauri Mcnight Tiara Boyd Cindy Scribani Kelli LaPage Sonia Conlin Tracy Simone Kate Schneider Dr Pebble Kranz

Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2020 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.



Falicia Fracassi pours her heart and soul into helping women and girls embrace their inner beauty. For more than a decade, Fracassi has worked to enhance the self-esteem of thousands of females through business, philanthropy and volunteerism. From local high school girls to women in business across the country to celebrities from New York to Los Angeles, the Fracassi brand is well respected. As the owner and chief esthetician of Fracassi Lashes, a chain of eyelash extension boutiques with 6 different locations between N e w Yo r k a n d Florida, and online retail for wholesale lash and beauty supplies, Fracassi is no stranger to turning ideas into reality. She is the visionary of the signature “Dash Lash,” “Vegas Lash” and the “Million Dollar Lash,” eyelash styles that are used in specialty boutiques across America and often requested by media personalities, reality television stars and prominent celebrities. Fracassi has become a creative entrepreneur who consistently aims to identify new opportunities to augment 20


the beauty, social and professional advancement of women. In 2019, Fracassi expanded her brand when she invested in The Blow Dry Lounge, a natural hair styling boutique in New York state. She made local headlines

brand has employed more than 100 women with full-time careers, parttime jobs and contractual arrangements for health and wellness services at Fracassi signature workshops, training classes and beauty conferences. For a consistent decade, the Fracassi brand has steadily grown. How e v e r, w h e n t h e C OV I D - 1 9 pandemic made its way to Rochester, New York, claiming the lives of hundreds of people locally and hundreds of thousands worldwide, Fracassi determined what role she would play to help keep the community safe. She also knew that she needed to redefine her business strategy and services.

when she announced a partnership with a nonprofit organization that would offer underprivileged teenage girls with complimentary hairdos once per month. Strategic about strengthening women in a shifting economy, the Fracassi

“The unimaginable happened but I was thankful for my consistent relationship with God, and talking to God about my businesses is a regular prayer,” said Fracassi. “Before the pandemic hit the U.S. I had invested in thousands of N95 masks and face coverings. As a humanitarian I was inspired to figure out ways to help the communities I served. I organized several mask distribution days where a group of committed volunteers








“Governor Cuomo informed the world that New Yorkers must wear masks in public, I knew I was back in business. Family, friends, customers, and random people would call me all times of the day asking for masks and referring to me as “the mask lady.”



COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “The unimaginable happened but I was thankful for my consistent relationship with God, and talking to God about my businesses is a regular prayer.”

helped me pass out masks to health care workers, nursing homes, essential works, and marginalized community members.” For Fracassi, supporting the community has always been synonymous with business. While she gave away thousands of masks and face coverings for free, she knew she still had responsibilities as a business owner to stay relevant and to continue generating revenue. Her stores in New York were closed (not Florida) so she began to think of ways to still keep the Fracassi brand active. Once New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo mandated all New Yorkers to wear masks and face coverings, Fracassi said she knew she was back in business. “ G ov e r n o r Cu o m o informed the world that New Yorkers must wear masks in public, I knew I was back in business. Family, friends, customers, and random people would call me all times of the day asking for masks and referring to me as “the mask lady,” Fracassi said. “Within two months, I distributed over 2,000 masks between Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse.” This type of quick thinking as a business woman is likely why major corporations, entertainment companies and media organizations often rely on 24


Fracassi for thought-leadership and consumer engagement. Mercedes Benz once requested the Fracassi brand to work with models at Fashion Week in New York City where Fracassi staffed 25 beauty professionals to manage behind the scenes work. The Wendy Williams Show once featured Fracassi on the “Get the Look for Less” segment to inspire

Most recently, Fracassi was hired by one of New York state’s oldest Black radio stations. She hosts “The Quiet Storm” with Falacia Fracassi on Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight on WDKX in Rochester. Fracassi shares her experience and perspective about a variety of topics from relationships to love to family to best business practices. “I’m certainly passionate about being a business owner but my first passion has always been radio. My first radio show at the age of 17 was called ‘Young Disciples’ on 102.7 FM The Light,” Fracassi said. “ In college I spent years learning and falling in love with radio production and the power of radio. My professor Nancy Mallory once told me that I’d be a fool not to pursue television or radio. When I graduated college my professor was upset to find out that I accepted a job at a cellular phone company.”

viewers to take on hot celeb fashion trends for everyday attire. Fracassi has also been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Black Enterprise, XO Necole, MADAMENOIRE, Essence Magazine and other popular health, wellness and culture mediums, as well as dozens of radio shows across the country.

But for Fracassi, life wasn’t about the immediate successes. She knew her career path would be similar to a voyage-- sometimes smooth sailing and sometimes rocky, but she said she was willing to ride the wave. “People sometimes assume that life has been handed to me on a silver platter because of my current success,” she said. “What they don’t know is that I






COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Fracassi is a wife and mother of two children. She is a spiritual being and a consistent giver. She financially supports girl groups, churches, community organizations and mission trips.”

developed my empire by taking risks, igniting passion, having faith, and putting in countless hours of work and sometimes not even knowing what I was doing at all.” Fracassi says she’s proud of her growth and grateful for the women and girls who have followed and supported her journey.

Fracassi is a wife and mother of two children. She is a spiritual being and a consistent giver. She financially supports girl groups, churches, community organizations and mission trips. She’s an advocate for higher education and trade programs. With a degree in communications, an esthetician license and life coach certification, Fracassi’s message to

all people, specifically women and girls, resembles her personal journey toward success: Don’t be afraid of the process that will make you a boss and always understand the impact of having a big heart.




“What they don’t know is that I developed my empire by taking risks, igniting passion, having faith, and putting in countless hours of work. Sometimes not even knowing what I was doing at all.”








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Work-life balance is a concept women work so hard to achieve, but we constantly find ourselves disappointed when we can’t balance it all. That’s why, as CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes and co-CEO of the Lake Family Household, I’ve changed my thinking. Instead of work-life balance, I live by work-life integration, and it’s especially important in a COVID-19 world. I have to admit to myself that there are going to be times when family wins out and other times when work bleeds into my personal space. And that’s OK. Work-life integration is about integrating our “two worlds” and letting go of the guilt we put on ourselves. What I say to women struggling with the “integration” part: When it comes to work and home, “balance” doesn’t set us up for success. Give yourself permission to go to your child’s play in the middle of the day, knowing there will be other nights when you aren’t able to leave work until the kids are in bed or dinner is over. For me, it was so freeing when I stopped trying to have it all, and all at the same time. I trust myself to know where I should be at any given moment, and I remind myself of this often. We all should. The past five years in particular have been important in helping me understand my own limitations. Even as CEO today, I wonder if I am enough. But I remind myself—and remind the women around me often—that your best is way better than anyone else can offer. As a leader, as a partner, as a mother. 34


Your best is amazing. My best is amazing. I knew that accepting the position as CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes in April would create an even greater importance for work-life integration for myself, my husband, our daughter and my team. I had many conversations with my family about what this would mean for me, my relationships and our family. I went in with eyes wide open and knew what this shift in dynamics would mean for us, especially given the extra-long workweeks

during the COVID-19 pandemic. I had honest conversations with my husband and daughter, and we all had the same expectations for this time: The world is in a crisis and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes is at the front lines of responding to it. Our 24-7 211-Lifeline program has accepted over 50,000 calls during the pandemic, when last year is was 16,000. We’re the connector to important services our community members need, like food, mental health support and shelter, and we are working

alongside United Way of Greater Rochester, Foodlink, Ibero-American Action League, Catholic Family Center, and so many others. Goodwill and 211 are the connecting points to these services. When someone calls, they need help and don’t know where else to go. And for some, it’s the first time their stress and anxieties are being “heard” during the pandemic. We are responding around the clock to this crisis for our community in so many ways. Our work matters. Our community matters. For these reasons, Matt and Maddie were understanding, and I didn’t have to beat myself up over “having it all, all at once.” I finally admitted to myself, and it took years: Jen, you can’t do it all. Stop trying. And let me tell you: It was so freeing. You can’t do it all, you don’t have to have all the answers. You are the only person putting this much pressure on you. Accepting that you don’t have to do it all—that your best is amazing—is freeing, and I became so much happier. I often share this lesson with the women I mentor. It helps beyond measure that I work handin-hand with a team of leaders at Goodwill of the Finger Lakes who I trust, care for and respect. Across 20 counties, we all work alongside each other to achieve the same good in our communities. Before the pandemic hit, we were collaborative and reimagined procedures together. Now, I must say, COVID-19 has truly crystalized leaders’ realization, mine included, that any idea of control is a complete illusion. Your




“Work-life integration is about integrating our “two worlds” and letting go of the guilt we put on ourselves.”









{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMEN WHO INSPIRE “We are responding around the clock to this crisis for our community in so many ways. Our work matters. Our community matters.”

plan can be flipped on its head overnight. For all of us, that flip came in March 2020, and it still hasn’t returned to “normal.” At the end of the day, I chose a career in not-for-profit because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When I look at how many people are experiencing significant challenges today, in addition to people who were already in crisis before COVID-19, it pushes me every single day, because what we do matters. I would walk across fire to help our

community. I think most leaders would say the same about their teams and their communities. But after an exhausting day, I always acknowledge that what I did mattered today at work, and now what I do at home is just as important.

I didn’t want to choose anymore. I didn’t want to feel guilty anymore. Can you relate? The mental fight I allowed myself was the definition of insanity, and it wasn’t fair or healthy. So I said, “Jen, you must change the way you respond—or think—about work-life integration.”

It took me a couple years to finally get it. My leadership coach, other women I trusted and people dear to me told me not to “choose.” That’s work-life integration. I realized what I was doing wasn’t working. I wasn’t happy. I loved my work and I loved my family, and

In that moment, I chose to allow self-grace and free myself of the constant guilt I battled with for too long. The moment, that trigger when enough is finally enough, is different for everyone. For ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMEN WHO INSPIRE “But I remind myself—and remind the women around me often—that your best is way better than anyone else can offer. As a leader, as a partner, as a mother. Your best is amazing.”

me, it was realizing that I wasn’t happy, and I knew it was time to set up a new dynamic so expectations were realistic. Not every day is perfect. But I continue practicing my own self-grace and it is so much easier to go through life like this. It translates in so many ways—with your children, spouses, colleagues, friendships and more. Give yourself self-grace because you deserve it. I fully recognize that some days are harder than others to integrate work and family, especially during the pandemic, but through the work at Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, I am able to ensure our community and my team have access to the resources they need. Every day makes the next day better than the last. 40


My daughter keeps me going. She said, “Mom, it’s really amazing that you do so much for the community. You’re amazing because you’re always there for me, too.” She reminds me every day that I can have it all. It just starts with self-acceptance and self-grace.

JEN LAKE’S TOP 3 WAYS TO SHOW SELF-GRACE 1) Figure out where your center is at the start of the day. Jen looks at her schedule the night before and mentally plans out where she will be the next day. This helps her stay centered and focused at work and at home.

All women need to be supportive for whatever works for us. Whether it’s personal or professional, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. We can offer tips and suggestions, and at the end of the day, we need to lift each other up and stop pretending we’re superwomen. When things get tough, remember that you’re doing amazing and allow yourself to have self-grace.

2) Try to build in more travel (transit) time: This allows her to decompress and shift-set.

And work-life integration.

3) Balance—and her leadership team will tell you this: Jen has a meeting invitation at 4:30-5:30pm with a title “Nothing is that crucial that it can’t wait until tomorrow.” She’s intentional about blocking out the last hour of her day—it’s protected—and she can wrap things up as she needs to each day or see her family a little earlier.


KIJUANA CRUES I am an Artist. Artistic Self expression is the way that I connect best with the world around me. Art has helped me get through some of the hardest times in my life! But with the Lords help, I fought through and came out much stronger mentally and spiritually! If you are going through struggles in your life, remember that you CAN get through them! If my journey can help someone else get through their struggles, then what I went through was for good Purpose!

I injured my back when I was young. I still have herniated discs and degeneration. So in college I was in absolute agony. I had to leave Nazareth a semester before graduating because I was unable to attend classes in pain. From my back injury (2003) until 7 yrs ago, I had gained about 175 lbs... bringing me up to OVER 415+ lbs! This weight gain

A professional Singer/ Musician, Photographer, and Radio Host/ DJ on 100.9 FM WXIR, I have a passion for helping others to grow in their careers and gifts! I use my radio show as well as other platforms to help present opportunities for artists to get exposure in their artistic fields! Though the journey has been a hard, painful, stressful, terrifying, happy and a joyous one... it has ONLY JUST BEGUN! I transferred from Monroe Community College to SUNY Fredonia. (Graphic Design major) At Fredonia State I started facing major health issues. After a very traumatizing event I had to leave school and try to attend another closer to home and to my doctors. At Nazareth, I fell in love with Photography! I took a Graphic Design and Illustration Major... But also took courses in Film photography. I switched interests to DIGITAL Photography because it made more sense with my major. 42


only made my back worse. Around 2006, after leaving school I started trying to pursue a music career when I was capable. I started performing all over Rochester and upstate New York, But I was mostly at home in the bed because of the pain. After My father

passed away in 2008, I performed live for about another year or so then I submitted to my situation and started to sulk. My weight was steadily climbing, my health declining, and depression was growing. FINALLY... in Feb 2014, I made the decision to lose weight FOR GOOD! With God’s help and some medical assistance, I was able to lose OVER 250 LBS all together! I worked hard, exercised and so much more just trying to get healthy... And things were starting to get a lot better! I joined a Live Band called Royal Flow who was also nominated for the 2019 ROC Awards, landed a lead role in the indie film, “Lilly”, by We Shoot Films, and even joined the cast of the Stage Play “After the Hustle” by Playwriter Janet Baxter. Though I was still battling chronic pain and health issues, everything seemed to be going upwards and better... until one day early April 2018, my migraines got worse, I started getting dizzy... and suddenly my left eye completely stopped moving! I started having a “brainfreeze” type of headache that was nonstop. I finally saw an optometrist, the late brilliant Dr. Mina Chung took my situation extremely seriously and sent me to neurology. I was diagnosed with STAGE 4 Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after lots of painful testing, procedures, and even open surgery into my hip to take bone samples of my pelvis. They





“I am an Artist. Artistic Self expression is the way that I connect best with the world around me. Art has helped me get through some of the hardest times in my life!”









{ WOMAN WHO TALKS INSPIRES SHE HUSTLES TALKS {{ SHE HUSTLES { RECOVERX } } } “When I was going through a fight for my life, I had to ask myself “Have I done the things I really wanted to do with my life?” “If not... is it too late?””

were trying to determine what type of NH Lymphoma it was.

and as of the beginning of 2019 I am officially CANCER-FREE!!!

When I was going through a fight for my life, I had to ask myself “Have I done the things I really wanted to do with my life?” “If not... is it too late?” I promised God that if he brought me through that I would be obedient and chase my dreams with everything in me. Nothing could stop me short of HIM! Thank God, with my mom by my side every step, I made it through very aggressive RCHOP Chemotherapy,

Ever since my cancer-free declaration, I’ve been chasing my dreams with a newly lit fire! I entered a singing competition at the beginning of 2019, made it to the finals, and have been performing live as a solo artist regularly ever since! I’ve performed in multiple plays and theatre festivals, was an actress in a National Recording Artist’s music video, landed my own Radio Show, and was even nominated for “Female Vocalist Of The

Year” for the 2020 ROC Awards! Now I’ve officially entered the professional photography and graphic design field! I’m so grateful to God for bringing me through so much. If you are going through struggles in your life, do not give up. I am proof that you can get through it victorious! The journey’s just begun...



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The Story of JaBee, a South Korean Rescue Dog This story is dedicated to Gabby Cardamone, a wonderful friend of ACS with an endless reserve of love for animals. ---JaBee raised her head from her wire-caged floor with only passive interest. All around her, other dogs barked in a loud mania. She wasn’t really sure why her fellow canines would constantly yip and yell whenever these people approached – all they did was throw morsels of food at you and go on their way. Sure, you get excited for any food you get, but hunger was something you got used to here. But then she saw the people. Different people. But they didn’t just look different. There was a different energy about them. They seemed softer than the others – the ones that fed them only occasionally. These people were opening the cages – cages that JaBee had never seen opened in her years in this dirty, dreadful place – and taking the dogs out of them. But they were not yanking them out aggressively and hauling them away to some unknown end; they were gently taking the dogs out. They spoke to her terrified friends softly, coaxing them out rather than pulling them out. Touching them softly, whispering to them. JaBee now stood up – her slightly-webbed

paws spreading out over the wiry floor. She was curious, but alarmed. A small lady approached her cage and opened it – speaking softly like the others. This lady seemed nice, but nice was not something JaBee was familiar with – at least not with humans.

canines slated to be killed for dog meat in South Korea. HSI has closed 16 dog meat farms in the country since 2015, and JaBee was one dog on a farm of over 60 others. From South Korea, JaBee joined her canine friends on a plane headed for the United States and, ultimately, she was then transported with nine other dogs to Animal Care Sanctuary. But her story does not end here. The back doors of the truck were opened, and light flooded the floor. JaBee heard more voices. The nice man who helped her onto the truck opened her cage and attached a leash to her and led her to the open doors. She saw more new faces – soft, kind, smiling faces. The nice man tried to get JaBee to walk down the steps, but she didn’t like steps. She was scared. What if she fell?

From that moment on, JaBee’s life was forever changed, and time became a blur. The new, kind people she met were from Humane Society International (HSI), and the cage she was rescued from was one of over 100 that once housed

JaBee turned around to walk back into the truck. This vehicle is the nicest home she’s had. Why leave it? But the man insists, nicely. JaBee likes the man, and does not want to disappoint him. Finally, slowly, cautiously – she gets off the truck, and a weight is lifted off her shoulders. She smells all new scents. She smells grass, fresh air, nice people – not dirt, filth or death. She’s led to the ACS kennel by another nice lady and unleashed in a run. This ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ THE ANIMAL CARE CORNER { ANIMAL CARE CORNER } } “We’re so thankful that JaBee’s sad story had a happy ending, but for thousands of dogs every year, they don’t find their happy ending.”

was so much better than South Korea. She had food, a real floor and could go inside or outside as she pleased! JaBee continued to become more accustomed to being around people. She found that they are not all bad. In fact, they seem to care about her very much. They checked on her constantly and took her for walks. At one point, they even took her to the nearby vet clinic. She’d never been there before! It was not the best experience. They talked at length and seemed interested on a pain on her backside. JaBee caught words she didn’t recognize like “tumor” and “inoperable.” But oh well. For the first time in her life, she felt like she could trust these people. A day or two later, yet another friendly lady came to see JaBee – she thought she heard her name was “Gabby.” Gabby was different from everybody. She was so kind and nice – even more so than everyone else before. After some time together, Gabby let JaBee in her vehicle, but JaBee was not in a cage this time. She got to ride on the comfy cushions on the back seat and feel the wind in her fur. JaBee got to meet Gabby’s other furry friends, including a small thing called a “cat.” 54


It didn’t seem threatening. In fact, it was almost as nice as Gabby and was a perfect snuggle buddy. It could almost tell JaBee had never been loved before – and did not have a lot of time left to find out what love was.

Over the next two weeks, JaBee was showered with just that – love. Gabby was the most amazing person she had ever met. JaBee did not even know that humans could have as much love as Gabby. She took her for walks and car rides, gave her tasty treats and super

comfortable beds, and snuggled her with just more love and hugs. Those two weeks went by before JaBee succumbed to the tumor plaguing her health and crossed that rainbow bridge. While it certainly seems unfair that JaBee continued to strive through the squalid, horrendous conditions of her previous “home” in South Korea only to be truly loved for just two weeks, we at ACS want to believe she was holding on to something – hope. Hope that no matter how bad life was, that there was some good in this world for her. That no matter how much she may have wanted to give up on that dirty cage floor, somewhere out there, there was love for her. And when she had finally found the love and peace she was looking for, she was content, and let go. We’re so thankful that JaBee’s sad story had a happy ending, but for thousands of dogs every year, they don’t find their happy ending. It’s stories like those as well as JaBee’s that keep us pushing forward every day to continue our mission in rescuing animals and find them happy, loving, forever homes – even if forever isn’t as long as we want it to be.


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Rochester Woman Online had the pleasure to be able to talk with Dr. Rachel Farkas for a little Question & Answer session. These are some of the answere she gave us. Dr. Farkas is a truly, remarkable woman and we are excited to announce that she will be joining us as a regular columnist with “Ask The Doctor”. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, your family and who Dr Rachel Farkas is... This is such a difficult question to answer, but I suppose that who I am really boils down to the things that matter most to me: family, compassion, community, and faith. I grew up in NYC in a family where hospitality, charity, and caring for others were the core principles that permeated the house. Although there had never been any physicians in my family, I think that these values were the reason why all three of my siblings and I found a passion for medicine, and why we all still gravitate to colleagues who share in our commitment to serve and care for others. Together with my husband, who is also a surgeon, we moved to Rochester 13 years ago. Here, we have been so fortunate and blessed to build our own home with three children, and to become very deeply engaged in both the medical and non-medical community. We were also privileged to establish thriving professional practices where we continually strive to substantially and very positively impact the lives of patients and their families who entrust us with their care at a time when they are most vulnerable. How did you decide to become a surgical oncologist and how many years of schooling did you have to go through before becoming a specialist in your field? I knew early on that I was meant to be a physician, but my specific career path became 58


clear when I helped my mother through her breast cancer treatment during my second year of medical school. I was by her side at every doctor visit and treatment session, and was very personally affected by all of the great things that she experienced, and by the things that I wished were done better. My mother has been disease – free for more than ten years now, but since then I have felt a deep responsibility, an obligation, to treat every patient in the way that I wish she had been treated all those years ago. To do this, I completed a six-year residency in general surgery, followed by one -year fellowship program that was dedicated entirely to the various aspects of diagnosis and treatment that patients with breast cancer require. This gave me a very broad understanding of imaging, chemotherapy options, radiation treatment protocols, and reconstructive options that pertain specifically to patients with breast cancer. Over the past seven years, I have continually worked to refine my surgical technique so as to achieve the best possible oncologic outcomes while also ensuring that the cosmetic result is as good as it can be, which is why joining a private practice, and teaming up with Dr. Vega seemed like a natural choice for me so that I can best serve my patients. Where were you prior to joining Vega Plastic Surgery? Before starting my own practice at Vega plastic surgery, I was privileged to work at the Pluta Cancer Center. There, I worked with an amazing team of colleagues across all professional disciplines. I am excited to continue collaborating with many of these experts and friends so that my patients can continue to derive benefit from a multidisciplinary treatment model that has been repeatedly shown to result in superior outcomes for patients with breast cancer. What are you most passionate about

personally and professionally? For better or worse, I am an “all in” kind of a person. I don’t do anything halfway, and work very hard to ensure that every task that I sign up for is completed with no skipped or missed steps. This is particularly important in the care of patients with breast cancer who often require all sorts of laboratory testing, imaging, treatment modalities, and follow-ups. It is also really important during operations, where meticulousness and attention to seemingly minor details can make the difference between a great outcome and a regrettable result. I also believe that this kind of attention to detail is very helpful in most tasks, so as you might imagine, I run my house very much like my OR - everything has its place, and I don’t consider the day complete until everything that needs to be done is finished. That said, I do everything that I can to balance this meticulousness with a very positive and optimistic approach to life. I do my best to help people find silver linings in otherwise awful times, and see beauty in previously unimaginable situations. My true passion, then, lies in finding the balance between my uncompromising nature as it comes to results and effort, and my very positive, outgoing, and sometimes spicy disposition. What is your favorite thing about being a doctor and working with breast cancer patients? My favorite thing, of course, is giving news of complete pathologic responses and excellent surgical outcomes to my patients. That is the goal, always. Sadly, that cannot always the case, and I take enormous pride in the relationships that I’ve formed with some patients and families in cases where the cancer just could not be cured. Those are actually some of the interactions that I most clearly remember, and am most proud of. There is a great privilege in offering comfort and







“I knew early on I was meant to be LANAthat HASANIN a physician, but my specific career path became clear when I helped my mother through her breast cancer treatment during my second year of medical school.”






{{ ASK SHIFT+CONTROL THE DOCTOR } } “Over the past seven years, I have continually worked to refine my surgical technique so as to achieve the best possible oncologic outcomes while also ensuring that the cosmetic result is as good as it can be, which is why joining a private practice, and teaming up with Dr. Vega seemed like a natural choice for me so that I can best serve my patients.”

when even smiling seems impossible. The beautiful thing about my job is that even though my interactions with patients and families are relatively brief, the connection that is formed, and the trust and openness is incredibly profound and gratifying. What has been your most challenging procedure to date? The most challenging operation I have done so far was on a very close personal friend, and the hard part was actually not the procedure itself, but everything around it. This patient and I are of a similar age, our kids have been good friends since birth, and she is a busy, elite professional who is widely known and respected throughout Rochester. I vividly remember a late Friday night when she and her husband came to our house, only days after her diagnosis. They asked me and my husband to serve as a sounding boards for their worries which spanned the gamut from “how long will my wife live” and “who will take care of our Child”, and to answer many very specific questions about surgical technique and options. That conversation lasted for many hours, and one of the challenges, even then, when I had no expectation of being her surgeon, was to find the right balance. On the one hand, when seeing a patient with breast cancer, I always picture myself as if I were the patient and do my best to create a deep personal connection, and share my opinion on what would be the best combination of medical and surgical interventions. On the other hand, it is really important to remain objective and to present all of the alternative approaches, recognizing that what would be preferable to me might not be for someone with different priorities or values. In this case, there was no balance. The two of us are so close, that even in that first conversation, a big part of me became her, and I think that our husbands also related in ways that they

never imagined before. We discussed a few details which were not revealed to her by her other doctors, and these actually caused her to think a bit differently on how she wanted to be treated, and by whom. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Vega and I collaborated to treat her. You can imagine how hard it is to put a scalpel to the chest of a dear friend. Thankfully, she had an amazing result from her preoperative chemotherapy, and an excellent oncologic and cosmetic operation – but not without bumps in the road. Complications from chemotherapy, reactions from radiation, etc. Through it all, she has done very well, and has been disease-free ever since her surgery. In medicine as a whole, we are taught that we should not treat close friends and relatives, because these relationships can cloud our judgement and reduce our objectivity. In surgery in particular, this effect is even more dramatic because results are so direct, and so immediate. This case exemplified all of that. What if she did not respond well to the chemotherapy? What if there was a surgical complication? What if I advised her wrong? What if she has incurable disease? On the other hand, how could I say no to anyone in need, especially such a close friend, in such a difficult time? While this was the most challenging and emotionally draining of all of my patient relationships, there are no words to describe the privilege of being part of a team that treats anyone with breast cancer – a merciless, cold disease that does not discriminate. When the patient is a friend, that privilege is magnified even more, and despite the greater challenges, I would be honored to go through this journey with anyone who requested my help. Who has been your biggest influence and why? Having already discussed the early influence

of my parents, I think that there are two other individuals who I think most directly influence my approach to patients. The first is Dr. Marilyn Ling. Marilyn is the senior radiation oncologist for breast cancer care at Pluta, and is always impeccably dressed, composed in her appearance and demeanor, and is the most organized person I know. Her attention to detail and level of preparation and knowledge is so inspiring – she somehow always seems to know more about patients than anyone else – even about patients for whom she is not primarily responsible. What she exemplifies for me is that by doing more work upfront, Marilyn is able to use all of her time with patients and colleagues so efficiently, to guide them through complex decision algorithms in a clear, compassionate, and amazingly articulate way. She is always smiling, completely engaged, and is beloved by her patients and admired by her colleagues and students. As I am, she is married to a physician, and has three children, and her amazing organizational skills allow her to juggle numerous competing tasks better than anyone I know. The other person who inspires me every day is my husband. His love for me and for our children, and his demeanor with patients is unlike anything I’ve seen. He sets incredibly high standards and expectations for everything – ethics, effort, and outcomes – but holds himself to an even higher bar. He serves on executive boards of multiple local and national community and professional organizations, where he leads by example, does not accept mediocrity or complacency, and works harder than anyone I know. He is also a highly specialized surgeon, and despite being at the forefront of his field, is always challenging himself to improve the care that he gives his patients, and their experience. Did you ever see yourself as doing anything else, or did you always know you wanted to be a doctor? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


SHIFT+CONTROL {{ ASK THE DOCTOR }} “For better or worse, I am an “all in” kind of a person. I don’t do anything halfway, and work very hard to ensure that every task that I sign up for is completed with no skipped or missed steps.”

My earliest childhood memories, for as far as I can remember, involved caring for other people. As I mentioned, there is no legacy of physicians in my family, but somehow, I always knew that this was what I wanted to do. My other major passion while growing up was for art. I was constantly drawing, creating, and beautifying everyday objects. This passion still expresses itself in my work in the OR, where I do everything possible to reduce tissue damage and mitigate the disfigurement of women who require partial or total mastectomy. I never leave the OR until everything looks perfect. Additionally, this appreciation for the beauty of the female form manifests itself even more in women who undergo skin or nipple – sparing mastectomy as a gateway for reconstruction. There is such deep satisfaction in helping women conquer cancer AND have their natural beauty restored or even enhanced in the process. This is also a major reason why I am so thrilled to join Dr. Vega, whose appreciation for beauty and artistry at work perfectly align with mine. Have you had to overcome any obstacles in your field? If so, what were they? Yes. While I would change nothing about the last seven years, leading to my current position as an independent breast cancer specialist, the last several years have not been easy. Over that time, I have endured the loss of some patients who unfortunately died from breast cancer despite great effort. Additionally, while my work is incredibly rewarding, it does have the potential to encroach to varying degrees on my personal and home life. My kids have had to put up with me talking to patients at all hours of the day but have been great about understanding that sometimes such conversations cannot wait. Finally, my vision for offering highly personalized, attentive care to all of my patients, in the way that I would want to be treated, did not seem achievable within the confines of a large system. It was 64


because of this commitment that I felt the need to start my own practice so that I can personally direct the management of patients who entrust me with their care.

new job, my goal is to work hard to make sure that access, communication, and care as good as it can be, while continuing to embrace advancements in the field.

Do you have any advice for young women who want to be surgeons?

I see you are on the physician’s advisory board for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. Why did you decide this was a good fit for you, and what is something you have taken away from this experience?

I would just recommend that they learn as much as they can about medicine and surgery in particular, and spend some time shadowing physicians whenever possible, to personally experience life as it might be. There is no doubt that this is an incredibly gratifying profession where we get to make very significant and direct impact on patients’ lives every day. On the other hand, the commitment to this profession is nearly absolute. It requires very long training, which often extends into the mid 30s, and this has obvious implications on starting a family, which women in medicine commonly delay. They should also be aware that while payment for medical services has been consistently decreasing, the average debt coming out of medical school is now over $250,000 in this country. Finally, they should realize and accept the fact that being a physician is not a 9-to-5 job. There is a ton written and discussed about “work- life balance”, but the reality is that there is no such thing. You have to be “present” to do either one well, and accept that “life” will sometimes be significantly compromised on behalf of patients in need, but also for continued education. That said, there’s no other job that I would ever want to have, and despite all of the challenges that doctors and surgeons have to overcome in order to do their jobs today, there is nothing else that I can imagine doing. What are your plans for the future? Unlike many surgeons out there, I don’t have any major career aspirations that relate to advancement. My main focus is, and has always been, to simply provide the best care that I can to as many patients as I can. In my

In my opinion, the BCCR is an absolutely incredible organization. It is entirely run by volunteers who donate their time, ideas, and money to find and implement new and innovative ways to improve the lives of patients and families who are combating breast and gynecological cancers. This is a place where gender, race, socio-economic background, religion, and age make no difference. The only thing that matters is that we work together to help a group of patients who need support, listening, camaraderie, and a sense of hope and belonging that is nearly impossible to obtain in a purely medical or surgical context. Patients who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and those who were recently found to have a recurrence or metastasis of their tumor, are a particularly vulnerable group of individuals, and the BCCR does a phenomenal job helping these patients navigate an incredibly difficult time in their lives. I have gotten so much more from my involvement with the BCCR than I have given. I cannot describe how rewarding it is to see so many of my patients and their families at the annual breast Cancer walk on Mother’s Day, and that other BCCR events. Beyond that, the satisfaction of knowing that I can contribute to an organization that rounds out the care that my patients receive related to this terrible diagnosis is difficult to describe in words.




1050 Pittsford-Victor Road, Building B

Rachel Farkas, MD, FACS

Pittsford (Rochester), NY 14534 phone (585) 383-4040

Breast Surgeon

Introducing Dr. Farkas, the Newest Member of the Vega Plastic Surgery Team Dr. Rachel Farkas is the ideal surgeon to join our practice given her long record of compassionate, personal, and highly specialized care of women with breast cancer and those at high risk for cancer. Dr. Rachel Farkas, MD, FACS, is a highly regarded and sought– after surgical oncologist who has dedicated herself to the care of patients with breast cancer for the past eight years. Her clinical expertise, meticulousness, and personal attentiveness have earned her a reputation as a top choice in Western New York for the surgical treatment of breast cancer. She has great experience in all forms of mastectomy, including skin and nipple sparing approaches, hidden-scar breast surgery, as well as sentinel and axillary lymph node dissections, making her ideally suited to also care for patients who are at high risk for developing breast cancer. She and Dr. Vega have frequently worked side by side in the operating room, and we’re excited to bring this powerful collaboration to our clinical practice.

Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Farkas frequently lectures on breast cancer screening, prevention, and treatment. She is a member of the physician advisory board of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, an organization which she enthusiastically supports and where she frequently volunteers. Additionally, she is an active leader and advocate of numerous local organizations. Dr. Farkas is certified by the American Board of Surgery and is licensed to practice medicine in New York and in California. She completed her surgical residency and a dedicated Breast Surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she served on the teaching faculty for almost a decade prior to joining our practice. She is an active member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Breast Surgeons and is the proud mother of Nathan, Sarah, and Maddie.

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Farkas to the Vega team and are excited for you to meet her very soon. WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS. To refer, call our office today at (585) 383-4040 • Medicare | Blue Cross & Blue Shield | MVP | United HealthCare






CO N N E C T I O N , C O M PA S S I O N A N D COMMUNITY As we grapple with returning to physical work locations, we must first understand now is the time to design our new normal. Let’s be intentional about cultivating organizations that are diverse and all inclusive. Creating environments that embrace people from diverse backgrounds and situations is a complicated process that requires broad thinking and deliberate actions; at minimum, these environments need to foster an understanding of local, regional, national and global cultural and social conditions. The S.E.L.E.C.T. Diversity and Inclusion Method was designed to address these needs. The S.E.L.E.C.T. Method identifies strategies for creating environments that promote connection, compassion and community. These S.E.L.E.C.T. institutions prioritize the well-being of members of the organization. Furthermore, environments that promote connection, compassion and community are able to confront crises with innovative solutions and diverse perspectives. Settings that adopt this

method adjust to changes in the economy and the environment and are able to recover from unforeseen situations. When organizations are motivated by connection, compassion and community, the outcomes benefit everyone. This leads to solving problems constructively and

collectively. The S.E.L.E.C.T. Method (Social Awareness, Equity Advancement, Leadership Development, Employee Retention, Cultural Receptiveness and Team Dynamics) emphasizes the importance of relationship building, authentic communication, skill acquisition

and collective inclusion. SOCIAL AWARENESS Social Awareness allows people to view and comprehend the perspectives of others, despite differences. Being socially aware encourages and empathetic view of people who represent diverse backgrounds and situations. Professional, it promotes understanding and compassion among members of the organization. Understanding the social conditions of others fosters inclusiveness, responsibility and emotional intelligence. This allows members of the organization to constructively communicate as they pay attention to body language and listen with intent. In this manner, socially aware people become advocates for one another, thus enhancing collaboration and compassion. EQUITY ADVANCEMENT Equity is the assurance of being treated fairly, access to opportunities, and advancement for all people, while working to recognize and get rid of obstacles that prevent people from diverse backgrounds ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


“Creating environments that embrace people from diverse backgrounds and situations is a complicated process that requires broad thinking and deliberate actions; at minimum, these environments need to foster an understanding of local, regional, national and global cultural and social conditions. �

ACCESS GLOBAL }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Let’s be intentional about cultivating organizations that are diverse and all inclusive.”

and situations to fully participate in any organizations. Equitable learning and advancement is one way of making sure that people form various backgrounds are included and supported in the organization. Equity advancement encourages connection, compassion and community in the organization by applying the full capability of human creativity, talent, and innovation needed to drive education, research, and service, which sustain the institution. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leadership Development, now more than ever, must be teamdriven rather than individual driven. Leadership development focuses on creating leaders who emphasize collaboration, adjust to situations, share decision-making and appreciate the knowledge and abilities of their coworkers. Leadership development reinforces bonds between workers by acknowledging the value and perspective of each team member, which leads to understanding and inclusiveness. With this dynamics, leaders motivate and inspire team members and thus promote the growth of other leaders in the organization. This ultimately increases employee retention and promotes an organizational culture where communication, innovation and creativity are key. Leadership development ensures that leaders of a team are equipped with the entrepreneurial, social and cultural tools necessary for self-efficacy and increased productivity in an 72


ever-changing and diverse business environment. EMPLOYEE RETENTION Employee retention is when employees choose to continue working with their current company and do not intentionally look for other employment opportunities. Benefits to employee retention include decreased spending on newhire training / development and increased productivity. Employee retention promotes connections and collaboration by minimizing high turnover rates and encouraging work place relationships, which allows the organization to be more attentive to product and service delivery. Creating an organizational climate that values employees improves retention and therefore advances the organization. CULTURAL RECEPTIVENESS Relationship building, whether with employees, customer and or community; is key to the success of an organization. As the world becomes more diverse, building relationships has become more challenging, but more vital. Cultural receptiveness provides the base for accepting and understanding people from diverse backgrounds and situations. It promotes empathetic and active listening, acceptance and respect for cultural differences through perception. Culturally receptive companies create policies that promote diversity and inclusion, and train their employees to develop cultural

competency skills. When employees are culturally competent, they form better relationships within the organization, which leads to increased efficiency and employee retention. Cultural receptiveness promotes collaboration, creativity and innovation, which ultimately offers the company a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. TEAM DYNAMICS Team Dynamics is the unconscious, psychological forces that influence the direction of a team’s behavior and performance. Teams bring people with diverse skills, perspectives and experiences together to create ideas, innovations and strategies. The dynamics in teams are created by personalities and interactions, which grow and evolve over time. Teams with positive group dynamics tends to have team members who trust each other and are accountable to one another; they tend to operate as a single unit. Effective team dynamics are vital to the growth and development of the organization.













Kierra Natalie is a native of New Jersey who moved to Rochester NY in September of 2019. Early 2019 Kierra was diagnosed with a debilitating disorder that compromised her digestive system. Kierra’s desire was to explore natural practices that would aide and restore the diagnosis of gastrointestinal inflammatory disease without the adverse effects of medications doctors provided. Re a l i z i n g t h a t her diet had a big effect on her overall health, and going alongside of Positive Vibration Fitness f o o d p ro g r a m , dance fitness courses provided motivation for a healthier lifestyle. Kierra explored and studied healing via food and wanted to share the treasure of how food was healing her body. Kierra detoxed herself from meats and all unnatural pleasure that she once desired; fast foods, processed, and genetically modified quick fixers. Kierra cleansed and naturally detoxified her body with the assistance of fruits, vegetable, and herbs. Her body expelled the toxins from her pores, and she began to break out all over her body. Already understanding how food would be her medicine, it

was food that eased the reaction of toxins leaving her body on her skin. Kierra used apple cider vinegar to cleanse her skin directly. Cider is knownfor its cleansing and detoxifying properties. Apple cider vinegar is natures rubbing alcohol. To ease the burning sensation of the apple cider vinegar she used Aloe Vera leaf filling. By applying the gooey

film of the Aloe plant, it took away the harshness of the cider vinegar. Kierra completed that process for five days and the reaction was no longer present. Positive Vibration Fitness company (PVF) was designed to inspire everyday people to dance into their fitness goal. PVfitness company mission is to engage the community in selfawareness practices and increase

physical and mental health. The essence of PVF has influenced people like Kierra to evolve physically and mentally with the inspirations of offered dance classes like; Chakra healing providing self-centered activities, Confidence booster courses encouraging self-exploration, One on One classes for private sessions and studio rental for instructors needing a locations to practice and or provide a class themselves. So f i a Na t a s h a founded PvFitness Company in 2018 to increase physical awareness in the urban community and partnered with Kierra Natalie Creator and owner of SoFit Juice. PVF launched Sofit Juice in May of this year and it has left its mark on every taste bud willing to explore the goodness of how restorative Kierra’s product is. Sofit Juice combinations are distinctive in taste and very enticing with each gulp. These medicinal juices are a sweet blend on savory and bitter aromas that are evidently not friendly to our taste buds. Kierra mask those not so friendly bitter aromas so well that even her vegetable flavors are fruity. Not only are Sofit Juice thirst quenching and taste bud provoking they are also very nutritional and

{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Another highlighted drink that Sofit juices offers that really make them stand out is the Rose LemonAide. The star component is the benefits of the pain-relieving agent the rose herb provides.”

light on our diet. No sugars added and still this juice embodies the sweet sugar taste through using earth’s natural alternatives. By the end of each experience there is guaranteed satisfaction with improved intestinal health. Sofit LemonAide comes in 14 flavors. Sofit Juices are so aromatic and sweet-scented in taste that you will forget how they alleviates toxins in our digestive system; Beat the Beets, Lemon Balm, Strawberry Sea Moss, Ginger, Cucumber Mint, Peach, Raspberry, Pineapple, Green Apple n Kale, Orange Turmeric, Apple Cider, Berry Blast, Carrot and Rose. Each flavor remedies the body, it is personalized and geared to healing our digestive system while also boosting our immunity. PVF is in Rochester, N.Y and is offering Sofit Juice during the times of class listed at Pair a drink with a workout and you will maximize the benefits of both medicinal quality and workout. For instance, PVFitness drink of the month is Apple Cider LemonAide. Coupling the Cardi’O twerk session (one of the classes offered throughout the week) with Apple Cider LemonAide enhances the fat that is burned during a regular session. The Cardi’o Twerk class is a nonstop movement course that assist our body in burning calories and fat while dancing. Apple Cider LemonAide pairs well because of the qualities in Apple cider Vinegar (one of the ingredients inside Apple Cider LemonAide). Apple Cider Vinegar detoxify, boost immunity 84


and contributes to rapid weight-loss. The key factors of Apple Cider Lemon’Aide reinforces the benefits that PVFitness workout give, including the lemons with the Apple Cider and the Cardi’O twerk classes it maximizes the fat burned in the workout. Another highlighted drink that Sofit juices offers that really make them stand out is their Rose LemonAide. The star component is the benefits of

the pain-relieving agent the rose herb provides. Rose LemonAide gives you a sweet and Floral lemonade fragrant that permeates your tongue and nose with each swallow. The pairing of lemons with rose herbs reminds your taste buds of traditional lemonade with a Lightly flavored floral essence. Try incorporating the Rose LemonAide with any of PvFitness workouts and it will be guaranteed relief from any pain felt before, after and during workout. The soul purpose of PVFis to create

generational health and wealth. The Woman or man You practice being is the Man or Woman you will become. With practice and patience Kierra Natalie and Sofia Natasha aspire to set healthy eating habits and physical health along with inspiring and assisting the community to challenge themselves. Positive Vibration Fitness company and Sofit Juice are healthier options for the urban community. A good way to eating well is to have a healthy digestive system. Having different choices at affordable rates allow our community in Rochester options for better health. Many people set goals for weight loss and rid themselves of guilty pleasures their taste buds desire but Sofit Juices are a healthy pleasure. PVF is helping the community hold themselves accountable to creating healthier habits by allowing access to programs healthier food and making them available in the urban communities. Options are slim and expensive but there is no limit and lowering standards when it come to choosing what right for our health. When you donot have health you do not have wealth. PVF is also offering monthly subscriptions for juices and workouts, food prepping services and apparel. The best is yet to come. Rochester look out for PVF and Sofit Juices!







“ My only obstacle is the journey to my success “, is a quote that I used in my Senior yearbook. I often times found myself becoming flustered whenever I had to think of who or what I wanted to be during high school. This quote means that the only thing in the way of success is your journey towards it. The journey teaches you dedication, patience, perseverance, and most importantly strength. In order to be successful you must be strong enough to handle any obstacle that comes your way. When your desired success is reached, you will be like concrete not allowing anything to take you away from it. Born in the city of Rochester and raised in Greece NY I always enjoyed looking and smelling good. My first love for perfume came from my mother Elizabeth and my grandmother Ruth Grant. They both proved the power of a scent by taking much pride into their collections. The excitement and joy I observed when they applied at as well as the delightful smell intrigued me at a very young age. They were truly my inspiration.. I decided to create my own perfumes as well as apparel due to my passion for it. D’ACÉ pronounced Dee-A-Say was created in February of 2020. My first priority is to appropriately create high quality fragrances and apparel while being able to demonstrate happiness and joy when others adhere to their

well being. This name was intended to represent uniqueness as that is who I am. Me and my mother created this name by combining the last letters in my middle name which is Candace. D’ACÉ represents who I am. Every fragrance and apparel I produce will be

a reflection of me and my desire to be in touch with my well being. I believe that appearance is essential to humanity. D’ACÉ will be sure to provide authentic fragrances that will allow anyone to be remembered upon their exit. It is indeed “The Scent that follows you”. All of my fragrances and lotions have been skin tested. They contain

Ethanol, Isopropyl myristate, Monopropylene Glycol, & a combination of Fragrance Oils. . Currently available for purchase is D’ACÉ’ S Eau de Parfum original fragrance scent that consist of notes including Rose, Peony and ripe apple. This fragrance can be worn for any occasion as it will be sure to make any women feel beautiful and confident. I chose to include these notes as they provide an immediate reaction and directly connect with our emotions. The note of rose is used to reduce stress and to uplift. Rose, lily, and vanilla also included in my fragrances are some of the many scents guys are attracted to. The fragrance lotion is a wonderful enhancement with the Parfum as it is best to be applied directly after a shower. My second fragrance Epitomi most recently released on July 30th, 2020 is a combination of notes including mandarin, watermelon as well as sandalwood. Also not overpowering this fragrance is a breath of fresh air. I chose the name Epitomi because it is meant to exemplify pure elegance and confidence. Is is literally the epitome of what D’ACÉ REPRESENTS. Which is beauty, elegance, confidence, and happiness. Notes included in Epitomi are often used to reduce tension and nervousness. Sandalwood is commonly used to treat mental disorders. The aroma of both ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020



“I believe that appearance is essential to humanity. D’ACÉ will be sure to provide authentic fragrances that will allow anyone to be remembered upon their exit. It is indeed “The Scent that follows you”.”






{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} “Wearing perfume has several benefits. One can easily wear a perfume to match their mood, but the main purpose is to assure positive energy and to uplift.”

fragrances can be very beneficial to anyone. I plan on releasing several more fragrances as well as a men’s cologne as each will be sure to have a meaningful name and combination of fragrance oils. My current inventory of T-Shirts can also be worn for any occasion as they were meant to be simplistic and sleek. Many may ask “What is the purpose of wearing perfume?”. Wearing perfume has several benefits. One can easily wear a perfume to match their mood but the main purpose is to assure positive energy and to uplift. Whether one 92


is feeling extremely happy, timid, or even sneaky perfume can be worn to reflect that. Not only does perfume enhance our confidence it can be used to assure body odors will be controlled . Fragrances are a way for us to express ourselves no matter where it is that we are headed. D’ACÉ was created to make everyone whom wears it to feel good about themselves. It’s purpose is to build confidence while also making one feel attractive. Everyone deserves happiness and to live a stress free life. As my brand continues to grow,, my

goal is to uplift and empower.. I yearn to be an inspiration in other young women and young men’s lives much like my mother and grandmother was in mines. Although many of us aren’t taught how to feel and look good, D’ACÉ fragrances can assist anyone with self love. D’ACÉ can be used for all ages preferably starting at 13 and older. I encourage everyone to become a customer of D’ACÉ . You won’t be disappointed however more confident !



your hair





My name is Kimberly Minier Schall. I own and operate Third Eye Wellness, LLC. I envisioned opening a Wellness Center over a decade ago, and I’m thrilled to be able to realize this dream’s materialization. I opened in June of 2020 and my space is located on the first floor of the Blossom Medical Center on Blossom Road in the North Winton Village, where I’ve also called home for close to 20 years. The space is located in a fitting building, as I believe wholistic wellness can be a form of alternative medicine. I’ve been an Eyebrow Specialist for over 4 years and a Yoga Teacher for over 7. Both are passions! Eventually, as gyms are allowed to safely reopen, I will hold small, intimate yoga classes here at Third Eye Wellness. My Yoga room can comfortably hold a class of 6 people. I see Third Eye Wellness, LLC growing and expanding into a significant Wellness Center in the Rochester Community, eventually including Yoga Asana and Meditation Classes, Massage Therapy, Reiki, and Nutritional Counseling. Due to Covid Restrictions, Third Eye Wellness presently focuses solely on Eyebrow Waxing, Shaping, and Tinting. Eyebrow Appointments are 15 minutes long. In an eyebrow appointment, I assess your brows, and recommend a shape 96


best suited for you. I use a hard wax which is the gentlest wax there is, and a combination of trimming and tweezing to groom and beautify the eyebrows. As an additional service, I also have available a vegetable-based eyebrow tint, which I color customize to match eyebrow hair and/or facial coloring and

enhance eyebrow shape. The eyebrow tint I use lasts up to 6 weeks on the hair and up to 2 weeks on the skin. I like to suggest a combination of both eyebrow shaping and tinting in one appointment to create lush, naturallooking brows, and minimize the need for eyebrow makeup. A freshly shaped, clean set of eyebrows does

amazing things for one’s appearance. An eyebrow wax and shape usually lasts between 4 and 6 weeks. I suggest to each client to refrain from tweezing during that time. We want to encourage the growth cycle to respond to the removal that we do in each appointment. This is the best way to manage our brow growth. Refraining from tweezing in between appointments can eventually encourage regrowth in areas of our brows where the follicle has gone dormant, and stimulate the follicle to begin producing hair again. With regular brow maintenance, we can achieve dreamy, naturally elegant brow shapes! My work comes with a 100% money back guarantee! I always connect and collaborate with each client to ensure we are both understanding each other. This has led to many fulfilling and inspiring connections and many happy, returning, loyal clients. My approach to Yoga is a holistic one. I call the type of Yoga I teach “Capital Y Yoga”, as it incorporates all 8 Parts of a Yoga Practice. When Yoga Asana (or the postures we’re familiar with) is paired with breath and attention, it is an effective organic way to ease aches and pains, and spend some time in our body with mindfulness. I treat Yoga Asana as a way to stretch and lengthen muscles, and also as a natural form of body strengthening. There is no age






“I have a devoted spirit and I strive for perfection in all that do, but especially in my work. By perfection, I mean true connection and empathy with each client I see. I believe that all humans have value and purpose. ”









{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS TALKS { RECOVERX } }}} “A freshly shaped, clean set of eyebrows does amazing things for one’s appearance.”

limit for Yoga Asana. With the proper pose attention and kindness, we can dramatically improve our quality of life. I’ve been an active Yoga Practitioner for over 10 years. Diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and Clinical Depression in my teens, I was on and off antidepressants for over 25 years when I decided that I no longer wanted to medicate. With the help of my Medical Doctor, and Cognitive Therapist, I decided to instead treat my conditions with Nutrition, Yoga Asana, Meditation, and Cognitive Therapy. I stopped using anti depressants 13 years ago and have been able to effectively manage my illness.

I’m married and have 3 children. In my off time, I love spending time with my children, cooking, and going out to eat. I consider myself an amateur interior designer. I love organizing and creating atmosphere in my home and in my business space. I enjoy the whole aspect of rearranging furniture, cleaning and putting it all back together again. It adds a fresh perspective and gives me a great sense of accomplishment! I have a devoted spirit and I strive for perfection in all that do, but especially in my work. By perfection, I mean true connection and empathy with each client I see. I believe that all humans have value and purpose. Through my

work, I try to relate with each client I see on a human as well as spiritual level. Something as seemingly routine as an eyebrow appointment or a yoga class can lead to a meaningful and deep connection where clients feel seen and heard. The purpose of each connection is to have the client to walk out of my space feeling better about themselves than when they walked in. Third Eye Wellness, LLC 780 Blossom Road 1st Floor, Suite #4 Rochester, NY 14610 585.270.4761



Timeka Shaunail is a professional gospel artist, well-known drummer and aspiring actress. She performed “Grease Lightning & Grease lighting ll” in Broadway Theatre. She also starred in local theatre plays such as One Quiet Night, My High School Sweet Heart, Hard Times, I Love You Your Perfect Now Change, Hell is Real, and much more. She will be featured in the new movie coming 2020 titled “Gators Society”. She presented a civil right leader award to Mimi Easton, which is Martin Luther King Jr’s great, great granddaughter at the 2017 Voice Awards. Timeka Shaunail has worked with gospel artist Tallie Rogers, R&B singer Joe Barrino A.K.A Singer Teeny who is Fantasia brother, and R&B singer Sting. Timeka Shaunail just happens to be the cousin of the legend Oprah Winfrey and Mavis Staple. R&B Singer Bradd Young has been Timeka Shaunail producer for six years and counting.

Gospel drummer started playing drums at the age 8. When she was 9 years old she started playing an electric drum set. She originally grew up playing drums in church then moved on to do musical plays. At sixteen years of age she got her first Yamaha drum set and since than she has played drums at a conference for Pastor Shirley Caesar at Raleigh North Carolina in 2006. Plus she played drums for a documentary titled Nathaniel Barrino, Fantasia Barrino uncle in June 2007. She currently has over fifty-six thousand views on Youtube and counting. She has been featured in a numerous amount of publications such as Untouchable Magazine, Sheen Magazine, St. Louis Magazine, Elation Magazine, CIE Fashion Magazine and much more. Gospel artist Timeka Shaunail has been

guest on major television show such as Maryland Parker Show, Show Me Morning Show, The Bernie Hays Show, had a guest performance of her single “In My Life” on the show “Make a Joyful Noise” and performed it in the Ballpark Village in St. Louis. She was also a guest stared on the radio show, WBKE Vegas Raw Radio Queen G and Friends in which was interviewed by Queen G “Tyrese Gibson sister followed by a live performance of “In My Life”- Queen G live experience in Las Vegas Nevada. The Evening Showdown with celebrity actress Angelique Bates from “All That”, and she even did the “In My Life” tour in August 2016 in East St. Louis. She even attends the BET Awards when she in town. You don’t want to miss out on Timeka Shaunail story. Check her out below for more. Be on the look out for her TimekaShaunail World interview coming soon.

Watch her live: Single -- “In my Life”

Check her out as --“Drumming Mimi”

Making of -- “Marriage is honorable”

Interview with Maryland Parker

Contact info Main: 618-208-9040 Miss Brooks assistant Mr. Johnson Gmail:



“The Talk” That I Never Had Vaginal dryness and atrophy were not something my mother warned me would happen as I age. I was told about hot flashes, mood swings and weight gain, but nothing of my hoo-hoo drying up. Even the surgeon who performed my hysterectomy did not inform me that half of all women suffer from it due to the loss of estrogen. She certainly did not ask, “How is your vagina handling the lack of estrogen these days?” It was not until I joined Hip Hemp, LLC that I learned that my experience is common, and, for some strange reason, we are not talking about it. My name is Angela Duncan and I have been with this company from the beginning. We were founded in 2014 by Mary Jane Haake, a medical tattoo artist based in Portland, Oregon. She had tattooed thousands of women, many of whom were breast cancer survivors, and discovered that we share more in common than gender. Mary Jane states, “As we age, we experience changes in mind and body. One that affected survivors was the loss of estrogen, which resulted in atrophied tissue in their vagina and painful intercourse.” She began to experience similar issues as she aged and struggled to find a natural, chemical-free moisturizer. Years of research and education led her to the answer, Hip Hemp. Creating a healing space for those suffering from pain is something I’ve always been 104


passionate about. When I was offered a position to work for this company, I knew I had to say ,“Yes!” Mary Jane’s hempbased, organic formulas allow women and all people to experience wellness and intimate communication once again. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for you to find relief and learn how to

well-being. Unresolved pain can disrupt our intimate lives and drive a wedge between us and our partner(s). This does not have to be the case. Are you experiencing vaginal atrophy, dryness, or pain during intercourse? If you want to moisturize your intimate areas, then I recommend our In The Pink line of products. We offer two simple solutions, Moisture Drops and Intimate Massage Oils. Our estrogen-free, vaginal Moisture Drops are formulated using three humble ingredients, designed to mimic the vagina’s natural lubrication while restoring tissue elasticity. We combine a rich blend of hemp, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E in small “perles” that have anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and pain-relieving properties. For lubrication, aromatherapy, or enhancement of intimate play, try our Intimate Massage Oils. We have three varieties, depending on what mood you desire, each with their own unique characteristics: Serene; Unwind; and Uplift. (These products DO NOT contain THC or CBD, so rest assured that you will not experience a mind or body high.)

effectively communicate and advocate for your intimate needs. You may think that vaginal dryness is no cause for concern, but it goes deeper than physical discomfort. It can negatively impact one’s mental health and relationships. The added emotional changes that our bodies go through can take a toll on our overall

Aches and pains are not limited to the vagina but are a normal part of life. I experience muscle strain after an intense workout at the gym, or the added joint pain when my fibromyalgia decides to flare up. I cannot take over-the-counter pain relievers, and I used to be at a loss for relief. When I stumbled upon cannabidiol (CBD) oil, I was astonished at how effective it was in relieving my physical discomfort, even my anxiety.




“You may think that vaginal dryne deeper than physical discomfort. It can and relat

ess is no cause for concern, but it goes n negatively impact one’s mental health tionships.�

{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS { RECOVERX } }} “Creating a healing space for those suffering from pain is something I’ve always been passionate about.”

Just as Mary Jane was bold and daring in the face of stigma around vaginal health when she decided to create Hip Hemp, so were we when - in 2018 - we expanded our boudoir of organic wellness products to include CBD Balms. This natural, pain relieving substance fits right in with our belief in caring for the body with natural remedies. Our extra-strength, intensive moisturizing salves absorb quickly, providing soothing relief from muscle fatigue, spasms, and tension. With two different CBD balms to choose from, relaxation is only minutes away. Calming Balm has the added benefit of Lemongrass essential oil, which smells amazing and is a popular remedy for alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression. Rejuvenating Balm includes a tingling trifecta of peppermint, spearmint and cinnamon essential oils, which draw blood to the skin’s surface and promote circulation, facilitate local healing, and help to ease inflammation - perfect for areas with thin, dry skin such as the hands and feet. My mother taught me what she knew best when I was younger, and I can only imagine how frustrated she must have felt navigating aging without the knowledge that I have now. If I were educated earlier on what to expect with an aging vagina, 108


I could have been spared from a lot of anxiety and stress. Instead, I was stumped by what was happening to my body, and my partner did not understand my pain or lowered libido. When I would see my surgeon for a checkup, I would fall silent about my symptoms due to embarrassment. Society did that to me. When Mary Jane invited me to join Hip Hemp, I gained much more than just another job - I acquired the awareness

and dignity to make a positive change in my life. I gave myself that gift, and now I’m using our In The Pink products. I am more in tune with my intimate self than ever before. Organic relief from years of physical - and emotional - discomfort is why I love my job and continue to encourage women to speak up. There are few forums for women and people with vaginas to discuss vaginal health.

We offer an open space for engagement and discussion through various ways: conversations over the phone; our online blogs and podcast (Armchair Chats); and email. We are here to give you tools and new ideas on how to navigate this journey in your life. It is up to us to have “The Talk” with one another, our partners and physicians about the intimate changes we’re experiencing. As we continue to engage with these topics, the stigma surrounding them will lift and people will feel more comfortable living authentically. Now is the time for us to be the leaders in materializing this future - it starts with one person. You. Communicate and advocate for yourself, educate those around you and continue to share your truth. WE are strong enough to be brave in the face of stigma and WE will continue to grow and make a positive impact. Be kind to yourself, Angela Duncan 1-844-749-4367 2319 NE Glisan St Portland, OR 97232


KELLY WAHL “Vessel for Spirit” Kelly was always the kid with the wildest imagination, the gift for gab, and always off playing with her imaginary friends. It was only later in life when she accepted her gifts, trusted in herself, and embraced being a “Vessel for Spirit”.

they could see and hear and talk to. I especially loved this game I played with the wind or, Almighty Spirit, as I would call it. I would talk to the wind and asked him to create a big gust or a breeze and go on and on this for quite some time. I felt safe and comforted as if I was in my own

DISCOVERING YOUR GIFTS I believe that everyone has “the gift” - it’s intuition. Everyone has that little voice or gut feeling that tells them to pay attention or beware. Maybe I shouldn’t take the thruway tonight or I don’t want my son/daughter hanging around with so and so. When we start trusting in those feelings, we are building a stronger connection to Spirit or Source and quieting our ego which is what makes us doubt ourselves and think that we are going crazy. I was born and raised in “the city of good neighbors”, Buffalo, NY. I had your traditional upbringing. Raised Catholic, I was fascinated with God, the Saints, Archangels, and religion itself, the believing in a Higher Power. Since I was little, I always felt a presence with me. When I was young, I was always playing with my imaginary friends or talking to angels. I just assumed everyone had angels that 110


little world and only the two of us exist within this bubble. Spirituality was no stranger to my family. Growing up my Father’s side had the influence of the “science” side of spiritualism. My Great Aunt

Mary and Great Uncle Buddy were the last people that I would think to be into this “witchy” “voo doo” stuff. They were members of MESA. My Uncle was an engineer for Bell Aeronautics. He designed the cockpits to space shuttles. My Aunt Mary was always meticulously dressed with matching hat and gloves, pencil skirt, and always posed and “proper”. They were the ones to introduce me to Lily Dale: the world’s largest center dedicated to the development and practice of Spiritualism. It was my Aunt and Uncle who taught me about the history of spiritualism, founding father’s Edgar Cayce, Abraham Hicks, as well as the principals of the laws of attraction, numerology, etc. etc. I recall my Aunt Mary reading my palm when I was 7 years old. She then became very weak and almost fainted while looking at my hand. She told me that my connection with Spirit is strong. On my mother’s side of the family, you have the traditional “see-er”, the woman who wore a babushka on her head, heard voices, had visions and was viewed as taboo to visit her… but people did! That was my Bouschza! Bouschza didn’t care what people thought of




{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe that everyone has “the gift” - it’s intuition. Everyone has that little voice or gut feeling that tells them to pay attention or beware.”

her and her “fortune telling”. She knew that the people pointing their finger at her were the same people sneaking out at night to see her and ask for her insight. I think it’s only natural to wonder about what lies ahead or is there life beyond this mortal coil, or do we just expire and that’s it? COMING INTO MY OWN It took me a long time to step into owning that this is not only what I do but more so it’s honoring who I am. I started my massage therapy practice in 2006. I quickly realized that I wanted to be my own boss. Call my own shots. Create a safe space for people to come and not only ease their physical aches and pain but also a space where they turn off their brain from stress, worry, anxiety. To really allow healing on all levels, the mind, body, and soul. From massage I began to explore energy work, such as reiki, hands on healing, and other modalities that clear our energetic fields or chakras. The more I incorporated that into my massage the more I would tune into the persons feelings. My empathic side 112


grew stronger and I could no longer deny the messages I was receiving. Tuning into someone’s aura, feeling what they are feeling and seeing/ feeling/hearing why they feel that way is basically our “psychic” abilities. Like I said earlier, we are all psychic,

whether we choose to want to accept it or develop it is up to you. Growing from that is the connection of communication from those who have crossed or passed away. That is mediumship. Not all psychics are mediums but all mediums are psychic. It’s like we can all swim but there

are people who are predisposition to excel at it, like Michael Phelps for example. I had already established my massage practice since 2006, and more and more of my massage sessions were turning into “double dipping” sessions. My clients started to pick my brain for my spidey senses and ask if I was sensing anything from them or talk about things that they were going through, and could I give them a message from above? I realized that they really did value me and my insight, but I didn’t want to take away from the purpose of massage being to unplug, rest, and recharge. I then did what every entrepreneur does – took the leap of faith. I expanded my business to encompass Healing Arts. I strongly believe that my soul’s purpose is to help YOU heal YOU from the inside out. As Above So Below. Whether that’s through bodywork like massage therapy, balancing your chakras or healing past trauma through energy work, or a reading, giving you solace but connecting you with your departed loved one – that’s my purpose. I am a vessel of Spirit and I am humbled to do my part.









At The Enchanted Butterfly Shop we provide several services here at the shop! *Beauty: Lashes, Facials, Make-up Applications and Waxing *Healing: Reiki, Sound & Color Therapy and Shirodhara *Tarot Readings by appointment with Nicoya Poles who is excellent and highly recommended by me! I come from a family of Mediums & Tarot Readers. Nicoya amazed me with her insights on my personal reading, so please book an appointment!!

1) Sound Healing Therapy is a therapeutic application of sound frequencies applied to the body & mind of each client with the intention of bringing them into a state of harmony and wellbeing. The Universe is a constant state of vibration all around us! We perceive sound through our ears and in our whole body as well. Studies have shown the effects of sound vibrations

Fun fact, my family roots: In the Salem Witch Trials, Wilmot Reed is my ancestor who was hung for being a witch. Probably the only one hung who had “the gift“ or acting “witchy”. LOL *Local artists and crafters area displaying their creations. Stop by and find unique items for yourself or for a special gift! Jewelry, macramé, artwork, photography, skincare and more! But I want to talk about in this article is our 4 healing services here at the shop because not to many people understand what is Reiki or Shirodhara. Or that Color Light wave can be used to heal the body. So, I want to share some brief info on each.

on skin, bones, and cellular structure. It is an amazing experience to feel the vibrations live, clients are surprised how the vibrations are stimulating their bodies when playing each instrument! A sound instrument used at the shop is a sound bowl. The sound passes through the 7 chakras & aura of each client, the perfect tones from each bowl will help align and balance the body’s inner state of being, releasing emotions and blocking energies. This

helps in promoting the body’s own healing mechanisms. The human body is made up of 65-70% water which is a great conductor for sound vibration! {Our body’s 7 chakras (see photo for reference) for location, emotion balancing, color and which body organ/area effected with treatment.} Service provided by Tasha 2) Color Healing Therapy is using color light waves to enter our body effecting specific areas in the body. Color waves have vibrational energy too! Clients laying under the color lights for 1530mins will work on the body to cleanse, rebuild and heal itself, while listening to mediation music you will drift into a peaceful state. Some examples of color light wave healing= YELLOW light: heals depression. BLUE light: heals high blood pressure and GREEN light: heals migraines. Service provided by Tasha 3) Reiki Healing is a healing technique based on channeling energy into the client’s body by means of TOUCH, help to activate natural healing processes within our body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Reiki services provided by Nicoya & Andrea



{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} “Color Healing Therapy is using color light waves to enter our body effecting specific areas in the body. Color waves have vibrational energy too! “

4) Shirodhara Healing Oil Pour is over 5,000 years old healing practice treatment! Client is laying down and eyes are covered to prevent oil from falling into eye area. For 45 mins, a warm herbal mix oil is continuously slowly pouring over their 3rd eye Chakra or middle of forehead. This soothing pour helps aid in relaxation, restore harmony, mental clarity, enhances rest and sleep, stabilizes the nervous system, regulates hormones, spiritual intuition, and a great leave in hair treatment! Oh yes, the client’s hair will be oily after treatment, we recommend to leave 118


in overnight for best results. Service provided by Tasha The Enchanted Butterfly Shop also creates its own skin care line! Vegan!!! Natural and cruelty free • Night Cream • Face masks • Beauty Elixir (number one selling item) Face Moisturizing oil • Magic Potion Eye oil • Hair Serum • Sugar Scrubs

• Lip Balms • & more! Stop by soon! Make an appointment on website or Vagaro Website: www. Follow us on Facebook: The Enchanted Butterfly shop Instagram: theenchantedbutterflyshop



What is going on in the Real Estate market today As costs and prices continue to rise in larger cities across the United States, it can be a breath of fresh air to find affordable real estate markets in a good location, this would be Rochester.

19th Ward, Maplewood and 14621 Community. Consider buying or renting a home in one of these popular neighborhoods. Of Course, Park Ave, Corn Hill and Cobbs Hill continue to be popular among all age groups. A few developments in the last year

According to a report published by, the housing market in Rochester is one of those top markets. Among the selling points for Rochester: the high-caliber educations from the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology which are also some of the region’s biggest employers and sources of job talent. Growing neighborhoods in Rochester are also praised, including Park Avenue and Neighborhood of the Arts. Downtown Rochester’s nightlife, restaurants and “new luxe housing options” are also lauded. Some of the best neighborhoods in or around the city of Rochester are

Prepare your home to show well and you will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to offers. After you request your free home evaluation, I will create a free report with information that will help you determine your home’s value. I recommend printing it out and taking a drive to see the homes I’ve identified are comparable to yours. See how your home measure up. This will help you get an even more accurate idea of what your home is worth. Your agent is your personal eyes and ears. I look forward to meeting you.

• Many homes get multiple offers, some with waived contingencies. • Homes sell for about 2% above list price and go pending in around 9 days. • Hot Homes can sell for about 9% above list price and go pending in around 4 days.

Rita Pettinaro Real Estate Sales Person Keller Williams Greater Rochester Where Dreams Come Home 585 261 2096




GRIEF & CELEBRATION For everything there is a season, so they say. There is a time to grieve, there is a time laugh. I want to talk to you about my new friend, Grief. Grief has been a long time friend, usually coming and going as those I love have moved into their new homes in heaven or friendships come to an end & various other events that create a loss. Grief has been there.

phone call that came in September. September 2018 was going to be a busy month. We had a wedding! Everyone was giddy with excitement, and we were in the final weeks, prepping, making sure all the I’s were dotted and the T’s were crossed. It was just another day. Just another Monday Morning. September 3, 2018. Little did I know, there was an old friend about to call.

SEPTEMBER MOURN I love that Neil Diamond song, September Morn. Brings back many memories; some fun – like my Mom signing the song and singing with her in the car. Some not so fun – like the 124


Our Emily? Overdosed? Overdosed on What? Wait … she’s WHERE? ICU? ICU as in Intensive Care Unit? That was just the beginning – welcome to Monday. L I F E SUPPORT We fly to the hospital.

Two years ago, grief came to me. This time to stay. Grief has been a partner with me since that fateful day in September of 2018. You know the one, right? The ONE DAY that made your world stop. The ONE DAY that changed everything for you. What I did not know was that grief came bearing gifts this time; except it didn’t feel like that the moment I saw her.

Overdosed. She’s in the ICU.” What? How?

I have never texted and called so many people and so fast in my life.

I am sitting at the dining room table drinking my coffee and contemplating my To Do list for all the various projects I have going on. Sorting out the unimportant and the important. Then it happens. My world exploded with 5 words, never to be the same again. My husband exclaimed, “Emily

My husband, her stepfather, and I arrive first. We are greeted at the front desk and I ask where my daughter is. They tell us and we head upstairs to see what is going on. I’m hoping this is a speed bump, right? Just a blip. We will get through this. She is on life support. So am I. People start coming in, family, friends who have dropped everything. Questions. We are asked a million










IN HER HER OWN OWN WORDS WORDS }} {{ IN “For everything there is a season, so they say. There is a time to grieve, there is a time laugh. I want to talk to you about my new friend, Grief. “

different things by the doctors. Tests. More tests. Phone calls – where is her Dad? Have you called him, I am asked. No, I reply, will you do it? I delegated my first task. Emily has life support to help her breathe, because she can’t do it on her own. I have life support too … because, I can’t breathe on my own either. I am grateful to my family and friends who sprang into action when they heard. She was so loved and would have been impressed at how people dropped everything to be by her side. OUR OPTIONS Within a few hours of arriving at the ICU and after filling in various family members and friends the Dr walks into Emily’s room and asks me to step out into the hall. Dr says that they are seeing brain activity that isn’t good at this point in the game and apologizes. She gives me Emily’s best option is that she will be in a persistent vegetative state . Shocked again. Numb. WTF does that mean. (even though I know)Do I get her brother here to say goodbye? Yes, now would be the time. Funeral Home or Nursing Home were our options. Some options. Not the options you want for your 22-yearold little girl who is so spunky and now depends on a machine to help her live. 128


HELLO MY OLD FRIEND My friend grief came and sat beside me. She hasn’t left my side. I had to call her Dad and tell him the news. He was already on his way to the hospital from out of state and it would still be a few hours. I had to let him know what he was walking in to. When he got there and caught his breath and was updated. We had decisions to make. We made them. Together. As broken as I am and so are the rest of her family and friends, there are things to be grateful for. I knew there had to be; I just wasn’t seeing them. I searched and found meaning in everything, because I had to hold on to something, anything. We found her a niche at the cemetery in the perfect place. The name of the building, the direction it was in, the firepit that she loved sitting around and the number 3, which was the number of her niche. Everything made sense. It felt comforting. I put her urn in the niche. It was not comforting, but it was meaningful. I was with my daughter for her first breath … and her last. I put her down to rest for the first time … and her last. I kissed her goodnight, like I always did and placed her gently in her niche for her final rest.

Now I go and count my blessings. She is always among the first. Because I am grateful, I had 22 years to be her Mom. About the author: Tamara MacDuff is a digital strategist specializing in social media and content strategy for businesses who want to do something different. She is the Incoming Chapter Chair for Greater Rochester SCORE & she owns her own digital marketing firm, NOW Digital Marketing and loves being in the trenches and showing people how to stand out and be different on Social Media. Say HI at tamara@









We find ourselves in unprecedented times, enduring economic and emotional stress stemming from a global health pandemic. We are all striving to keep ourselves healthy and safe. As a member of the financial services industry, I would like to encourage you to apply those same instincts to your financial well-being and security. The stark reality is that while we fight this invisible enemy, fraudsters have chosen to seize this as an opportunity to prey the on circumstances surrounding this current environment. Today, I will offer points to consider in the prevention and deterrence of fraud, as to be armed with knowledge serves to minimize many instances of vulnerability. Fraud can be defined many ways: deceit, trickery, intentional perversion of truth to secure unfair or unlawful gain; the intentional false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon his injury. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the number of reported fraud annually is in the millions, and the amount of dollars lost are in the billions! It is a sizable problem, one that is on the rise and one that mutates as unique scenarios arise. The most common types of fraud are imposter scams, debt collection, and identity theft. Credit card fraud— in which a credit card account is established with stolen information—is the most prevalent in the ID theft cases. However, when opportunity

knocks, there can be some nuances on old schemes! For example, agencies that have been swamped with volume include the NYS Department of Unemployment and the Small Business Administration (re: Paycheck Protection Program loans). The calculated intent of these criminals was to get lost in this volume. There is currently a local investigation with FBI involvement with respect to fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits and fraudulent business loans. I personally know many individuals across many different companies in Rochester who have been victim to these attempts. The Red Flags here? A pull [inquiry] on your credit report for the SBA loan—it is important to monitor that report periodically or become a member of a service that monitors it for you. The unemployment benefits scam only became known when HR departments received notice of benefit claims by those who were still employed—as well as by the victims receiving NYS notices outlining benefit packages. There were attempts to switch direct deposit accounts submitted to Payroll Departments via a spoofed email from the “employee”. Sharp follow up by those payroll individuals with the real employees saved many from further detriment! So, what can you do? First, read! There are many internet articles with vast amounts of information and examples of different schemes. The Federal Trade Commission offers consumer information and scam details

at: Being able to quickly see similarities to those will serve as triggers to alert you. Many are repetitive. To outline a few: The Grandparents Scheme: a phone call from grandchild (a bad connection, hard to hear, of course), asking for bond money if in jail or “money to come home” if on a trip; The Sellers Scheme: a seller on Craigs List or eBay, etc., interacts with a “buyer” who sends a check in excess of price and asks for all or part of overage to be shipped with item. Of course, check comes back NSF [insufficient] after the merchandise and monies were sent; The Lottery Winner: you have won a sum of money! You just need to send a check first to cover processing fees! Of course, no winnings are ever received. These seem “obvious”, however, statistics show them to be widely successful. Additional points: (1) Think before you click links and/ or attachments in email and (now) text messages. Unless you know the sender and/or the link—hesitate, inquire, or delete. (2) Beware of what you share. Many fraudsters gather personal information (pet’s names, children’s names, birthday, etc.) from various social media sites. This information many times transfers to password composition. Lock down who can see that type of information. (3) Passwords; consider passphrases. String together random words or ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


sentences with symbols or numbers intermixed. Passphrases may be far easier to remember and much harder to hack. Example: Timef0rplayat5:00. Refrain from using the same password or passphrase multiple places as it increases one’s risk for multiple hacks. (4) Shop safely online. Look for the 132


https: on the site or a padlock icon on the page. Consider using Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, etc., when available. The purchase is completed with a secure one-time token vs. the actual credit card information (i.e., nothing to copy or duplicate!). The same benefit holds true at retail stores

and with in-person chip card usage. Strive to maintain a raised awareness with regards to safeguarding what is yours. Keep vigilant; stay well.

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Can creativity and pandemic go hand in hand? Picture this! This spring, instead of daffodils, COVID-19 bloomed and the unexpected and unthinkable became normality. Everyone was forbidden to work and relegated to their ‘home sweet home’, where they were told to do nothing and stay put, but did they?

this different and new group of strangers when the pandemic, like winter, arrived, and froze her plans. Jennifer is an award-winning photographer and the owner of Jennifer McHam Photography. Her love for photography began when her own children were young. Over time this grew from a passionate hobby into a full-time job. Now she is a respected photographer with over ten years of

Some highly creative people could not bear the idea to just stay idle and became very productive in their own sector. They came up with innovative ways to help others, ways to be more charitable, sometime by just donating their own time. Some made masks and donated them to the health care workers, others stepped out their comfort zone and collected and distributed food, others gave free classes on-line to share their knowledge with complete strangers. The list can go on forever! One specific example is photographer entrepreneur Jennifer McHam. Her life is a continuous change due to her husband job in sales that makes them move a lot, and forcing her to uproot the family and her work every time her husband is relocated. Her life is challenging and unpredictable on a regular basis. Fortunately, it did not discourage her, and she chose a job that she can execute from anywhere her spouse is assigned to. She arrived in Dallas (TX) from Little Rock, Arkansas about a year ago and started right away to establish herself in this new community. She developed and shaped her business in 136


because I wanted to share her creativity to the world, here’s the interview: S. Please tells us what inspired you to come up with the idea of the drive though photo shoot. J. I heard about a few other photographers doing something similar in their own neighborhoods as a way to document this time in their lives and raise money for charity and I thought “My neighbors will ROCK THIS!” S. You cannot really do such shoot with a regular camera, right? What camera do you have? J. Right. Because of social distancing you need to have an extra-long lens. I shoot with a Nikon D750 and used my 185mm lens for these shots. In most cases I was across the street from my neighbors when we took their picture. S. Did you already have it, or did you buy it after you came up with the idea?

experience. Jennifer’s motto is “find and capture joy in every single moment!”. So, after a few days at home, she decided to pick up her camera and document this unprecedented time in the way she knew best, with her artistic eye. Her thinking revealed to the world how other families coped with the pandemic, by documenting this speck of life through the distance of her lens. I first noticed her pictures in a Facebook group we are both part of, and suddenly I was ‘obligated’ to ask her a few questions

J. I have been a professional portrait photographer for eleven years now, so I already had the equipment. I have had my D750 for a few years now. S..How did you get in touch with people? J. I floated the idea on our neighborhood Facebook page, and it took off like wildfire! S. How was the feedback before and after? J. When I first started, I thought maybe I could make a day of this and shoot







{ WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT { {INDO SHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS } } IT? } “Everyone was forbidden to work and relegated to their ‘home sweet home’, where they were told to do nothing and stay put, but did they?“

5-10 families but is has exploded! I have shot over 50 families so far and people are still messaging me wanting their pictures taken too. It has been an incredibly uplifting experience during this time of uncertainty and grief, and a wonderful way to give back to our community too. S. You said you wanted to do for a charity. How much did you raise and for which cause? J. I asked each family to contribute a minimum of $30 to the charity of their

choice. These charities have included Lovepacs, No Kids Hungry, and local COVID relief programs, among others. So far, we have raised over $4,000 for various charities. S.What are your plans for the future? J. When this is all over, I hope to get back to my favorite type of photography: photographing children in various stages from birth trough their senior year. I love to capture the joy in every moment of a child’s life.

S. If people want to get in touch with you, how can they find you? J. I would love for people to contact me! They can reach me through my Facebook page “Jennifer McHam Photography” or my website www. S. Do you have other social media you want to share? J. Sure! I am on Facebook and Instagram – Jennifer McHam Photography





What does energy mean to you? This is a question I asked my social media platform. Where I received a lot of different answers, not one of them wrong. Most of the parents stating their lack of energy or that their child has all of it. Some answers were solar energy, National Grid and then there was the answer that I felt Divine Feminine Energy. There are all sorts of energies lingering around us and within us, good, light, bad, dark, and everything in between. The divine feminine is the one who finds the path of freedom within loving oneself. Have you ever w o n d e re d w h e re your child got all their energy? Really truly thought about when you lost yours? Did you lose it or do you think maybe it’s just taking a break like you are? Children are resilient, sometimes naive, yet very intelligent and I don’t think we truly understand how much our energy or lack of effects their childhood. Think back to when you were a child and try to remember a time where you were full of love and life; then think about a time where someone tried to steal your light. How did it make you feel? Did you allow this person to make you feel 142


bad? Did you allow fear to change you? Or did you push through and tell yourself to keep going? We all have a choice every minute of every day to allow the negative to take over or to push throughout in the work and create more positivity. We happen to lose a lot of people at

and allowed people to walk all over me. I allowed the people around me to talk down to me, to make me feel less than deserving. I allowed them to take my energy, my light. I guess I didn’t mind sharing, nor did I realize my light was being stolen. Every day I was a little dimmer; until one day my light was out. I was lost alone and had no idea what I was going to do. Twenty years young with a 2-month-old baby girl and an abusive boyfriend. I knew for my daughter I had to find my light again. I truly believe we are groomed to become who we are by everything we go through. We can choose to fade away into the darkness using drugs as a crutch or we can do a total energy reset and find the light we lost.

“push through and put in the work” it becomes too hard for them. They do not believe in themselves. They become so comfortable in the dark and cannot see to get out. Which is usually when someone falls into addiction. For years I repeated the same cycle

You see for those of us who are the light it never goes out all the way, there is a little flame in the heart like a pilot light ready to ignite at any minute. Every day is a new chance to create the life we love. New situations don’t deserve old energy! Cut off anything that holds you down. We only have one life to live, why struggle? Why not use all the resources around us to make the best of every day!




{ ENERGY RESET { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “Wake up every morning with a positive outlook. Drink a glass of water, Meditate, set goals, and find time to exercise. Be in nature, PUT IN THE WORK.”

“Earth, water, fire, wind where there is energy there is life.” Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the sun: There is energy in everything. I’ve been researching crystals and carrying them with me or I will wear them to help filter the negative energies that surround me. I make sure to cleanse myself and my house with my palo santo and I spend a huge amount of time in the water, whether its the lake, ocean, pool or even taking a bath so I can recharge. I will run around barefoot to ground



and become one with the earth. Being an empath is not easy, especially trying to deal with grounding, shielding, and protecting your own energies and not trying to take in others. Be willing to learn and try new things so that you can take care of yourself. Understand that sometimes less is more. Wake up every morning with a positive outlook. Drink a glass of water, Meditate, set goals, and find time to exercise. Be in nature, PUT IN THE WORK. Make

the changes you want to create a better life. Don’t just settle and be mediocre because it’s easy. follow your heart, reclaim your energy, and become the best you can be with everything that you go through. Find your divine feminine energy, look deep within love yourself and the life you manifest.









When I got back into pageants as an adult, everyone was always curious about the same thing. What’s it like backstage and behind the scenes? Is it anything like you see in the movies where girls are sneakily sabotaging, snubbing each other, or just being mean girls? Do you actually make friends at these things? For whatever reason, people seem to be shocked or surprised to find out that I’ve never found faster friends than I have in the pageant world.

effectively. I remember being absolutely terrified when I arrived on day one, and honestly the pit in my stomach was a lot like those first day of school jitters. Every voice inside my head was telling me not to do it, and to just hang it up

Honestly, competing in pageants is extremely empowering! Where else do you get the chance to meet other highly motivated, determined, kindhearted, like-minded women all sharing a common goal of changing the world for the better? Listen, not every single contestant will always be BFF material, odds are there’ll be a handful you just won’t click with, but the vast majority will be your kind of people, and you will likely come out of the experience with a new tribe of besties by your side. I personally dove headfirst back into pageants about four years ago, this time as a Mrs. contestant, not knowing at all what kind of experiences lied ahead. All I did know was that I had goals of driving change in the nutrition world, and I knew that becoming a titleholder would give me the perfect platform to use my voice

before anyone had the chance to judge me. I am so glad I hit the mute button on those voices and went for it, because I quickly realized that it was exactly where I wanted to be. At the end of that first pageant I was on such a high I couldn’t wait to compete again, and to this day I am still in contact with the friends I

made that week. From the beginning of competing as a Mrs., I had my sights set on the title of Mrs. New York America. This was no whim, I can remember watching Mrs. America live on TV with my Mom when I was little, dreaming about being on that stage someday. I mean, their motto is “We Are Family”, and if that doesn’t sound inviting I’m not sure what does. So in 2019 I signed up in my home state of New York, set my goals high, worked as hard as I could to put my best foot forward, and ultimately won the title! I never expected to win on my first try, thats the truth, but there I was preparing for the Mrs. America stage just like I’d always imagined! Arriving at Nationals was one of the most incredible feelings, but I remember those nervous jitters creeping up all over again. It’s almost like deep down you’re expecting that it really will be like the movies, where the women are all out to take each other down. Once again, that wasn’t the case at all. On the contrary, I met some ladies that I can now say are some of my very best friends. When they say it’s a sisterhood, they mean it wholeheartedly. From borrowing earring backs, to spray tans, and even butt glue, booby tape, and bandaids, you name it someone’s got it and is willing to share! At the end ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{{ BEHIND THE CROWN SHE HUSTLES TALKS { RECOVERX } }} “This was no whim, I can remember watching Mrs. America live on TV with my Mom when I was little, dreaming about being on that stage someday.”

of the day, only one lucky lady is going to walk away with the ultimate title, but you can bet that no matter what you’ll walk away with a new family of amazing friends. The COVID pandemic that 2020 has brought on has definitely thrown a wrench in the pageant world, at least for now. Although, in some ways I think it’s actually brought contestants closer 152


together, because everyone is having to adapt, and learn new ways of overcoming obstacles together. Never in my wildest dreams did I even think that a pageant could be done virtually, but here we are doing just that and making history! It’ll be exciting to see how the National pageant will ultimately take place this year with all of the restrictions and new guidelines in place. I have complete confidence that this organization will

make it an incredible production one way or another, and will come out on top in the end. One thing’s for sure, I will be there sporting my blinged out mask with my tribe of pageant besties by my side, cheering everyone on from the other side of the crown!









During a Pandemic I never thought this would be a topic I’d be writing about, but, as the months have seemed to float by…it’s one that has become increasingly important. There’s no doubt that the past few months have been difficult for business owners and the one question that I have been getting the most is, “How do I maintain my brand identity during all of this uncertainty?” That’s a great question and one that quite honestly, I’ve had to ask myself over and over again.

Keep moving forward—One of the most common reactions to COVID-19 has been that business owners suddenly feel paralyzed. Imagine campaigns and marketing efforts moving along like a well oiled machine and then, a sudden halt. That’s what the experience has been for so many. It’s important to stop and reflect while also re-aligning the sails to continue moving forward. Things may look a bit different, but, continuing

As I ponder the answer to this question, I reflect back on my own why and what makes my brand unique. You see, brand identity is something that circumstances cannot take away from you. Let’s dig in deeper: Get back to the basics—When in doubt, always go back to who you are and why you started your business. When I began my own marketing company, I sat down with my business coach and created my own set of core values. Despite changing times and business plans, those core values always remain the same. I’m committed to them and they are what I founded my company on. During times of uncertainty, like this, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the now and lose sight of the big picture. Sit down and re-visit those core values and you’ll be amazed at the clarity that comes from getting back to the basics. 156


to work towards goals and pursuing your vision can be a saving grace, while staying stagnant is a true detriment to your business. Open communication—Utilizing your communication channels with your existing customers during this time, is essential. While in-person meetings are now more challenging, there are other options to consider. Do you have an

extensive customer e-mail list? Using a FREE site like MailChimp is a great resource to stay in communication. How’s your social media presence? More and more people are scrolling Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date and connected. Communicate with your customers, let them know you’re still open and see how they are doing. Now is the perfect time to begin blogging to provide meaningful content and information that allows your network to feel cared for and connected. You can keep providing brand value, even during trying times. Stay connected—If networking was a large part of your sales approach, don’t give up now! Staying connected has proven itself to be incredibly valuable, especially over time. Are you a part of a smaller networking group that meets on a weekly or monthly basis? A lot of these type groups have now switched to meeting via Zoom. Be sure to keep making those meetings a priority—you want your network (and beyond) to know that you are still out there, providing value. Looking to meet new prospects? Many of the local chapters in the Chamber of Commerce are continuing to offer opportunities to connect. Rather than in-person mixers, folks are gathering on web meetings and business owners are even being asked to present about their business. One could argue that now, there’s more opportunity than ever to talk about your brand!




{ B.MOR } “There’s no doubt that the past few months have been difficult for business owners and the one question that I have been getting the most is, “How do I maintain my brand identity during all of this uncertainty?”

Give back—“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves” —Lydia M. Child. Feeling depressed by your own circumstances? Help those who are less fortunate. While this seems like a simple concept, it’s one that’s easily forgotten. I’m not talking about financial donations when I mention this…I simply mean, pursue giving back in whatever capacity that you are able. Whether that looks like volunteering at the local food pantry or giving of your time at an organization of your choice—the mere act of removing yourself from your current situation and 158


helping others automatically uplifts your spirits and leaves you with a renewed sense of purpose! Plan for the future—Preparation is an essential part of future success. As business owners, it’s important to plan ahead. This often takes time, research and resources, however, the payoff is worth it. One simple way to remain committed to planning for your future success, is by setting aside 1-2 hours per week to spend working on your business’ long-term goals—this may look like updating your website, writing

an e-mail blast or staying abreast on the latest trends in the industry. Planning for the future makes the here and now, even more meaningful. I hope that these tips have encouraged you to keep pursuing what you love with all of your heart and soul because you deserve to continue what you’ve started—regardless of what’s happening in the world around us! Stay safe and healthy, Bre






What does a Fashion Designer, Educator, Pod-Castor, Creator, Graphic Designer, Model, Notary, and Writer all have in common? It’s simple. They are excellent communicators. After, losing my best friend, and lover I was left with my two kids, my family, and myself. That was still pretty awesome looking on the bright side. Nevertheless, my heart was broken and so was I. I didn’t feel fulfilled anymore.

not ready for fame or fortune yet. I must first dive deep, to find myself. What makes me happy? This is the million dollar question? I was on the journey to answer. Thank you to all my mentors including Ralph Smart, Mindset Morgano, Wardell Sims Jr, Kim Coles, Mary Nelson, Mrs Hayden, Dupe Aleru, Gary Vee and countless others who have help to shape me into a humble, confident, phenomenal, patient, intelligent,

After, I told “him” I needed some space during are heated argument we broke up after two years of living together. He is my twin flame I will always love “him”. He has taught me so much about myself. Our separation has quickly made me look inside myself. I had to work on my temper, my manners, my finance, my attitude, my body, everything that I once thought was ok. I quickly realize I had to heal from my childhood issues, my divorce, and my family scars. I told myself I wanted to be happy so why wasn’t I. I was thinking about the why things weren’t going right in my life. The whole time the universe was putting everything I ask for and dreamt about. The only thing was I didn’t realize it until a year and half ago, when I started to do my reflection. I started to look at all the amazing things I have accomplished thus far a long the way. Not too much designers can say they perform on The Howard Theatre Stage, Howard University, Convention Center, Syracuse University, Fillmore and the list gos on. It all started to make sense to me. I asked the universe to allow me to showcase my gift and talent to the world years ago, and that is what is happening. I realize my success was already here, nevertheless I was

bossy saucy, wholeness, talented, creative, fierce, powerful, and beautiful woman, that I am today. I can humbly say I am happy and proud of myself. After, a year and half of being single I have master myself. Taking care of my needs first. Eating healthy, exercising, reading, developing and becoming my best version. I had to be by myself to accomplished this daunting task. This is the first time in my whole life I have been single. I am now in my late thirties. From my mom house to

being married over 15 years. Thats all I knew. So It feels so refreshing. Now, being a single mom of two teenagers Joseph Bedell now 18 and Isabella Bedell 17 years old. I can focus on ME!. Wow!! I SAID IT; It feel weird nevertheless, I am getting the hang of it and enjoying my manifestation process. Ever since Professor Long my fashion designer teacher at Syracuse University recommend me to be an educator to teach Fashion Design after graduation to Webster Elementary through the YMCA In Syracuse, New York. I got the calling and memo to teach the future fashionista and fashion designer of the world. I learned that I enjoyed teaching and I am great at it and it makes me happy!. As a fashion student at that time at Syracuse University, Professor Long would always see me helping my fellow peers with with their your construction, tailoring issues, or graphic design work. He was so impressed with my leadership skills he appointed me the president of our modeling division for our senior collection. I was in charge of measuring models, creating model application, keeping records, creating fliers, taking picture, and editing them for our model call. My job was to find the best models on campus for each designer collection. This was a great leadership experience I will alway appreciate it . I had my good college friend Wendy as my assistant designer. This was Good times. Unity fashion Institute was created to Educate and Inspire the future Fashionista’s, Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs life skills that will last for a lifetime using the arts positivity. Humble Confident Modeling Agency is our sister company that compliments this vision. We have to show ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


“So, what road will you take? Are you an Entrepreneur? No one can answer this simple yet complicated question for you. It’s a feeling and desire to create or make a difference. It’s a calling. Do you have a desire for change in your life?”



{ DIARY OF A FASHIONISTA } “My promise to myself is to work smart every single day toward my happiness and everything will workout in my favor.”

our students what humble confidence looks like, how it operates and function, as well as what classy and sophisticated looks like in this generation. In order to teach you much first embodied this energy. Why did I become a serial Entreprenuer you ask ? Why do I want to work more hours, have less vacation time with family, receive less pay in the beginning. This is the sacrifice that has to be made; it’s temporary. I time with family, receive less pay in the beginning. This is the sacrifice that has to be made; it’s temporary. I am in love with being my own boss I get it from my pops. I love making my own schedule and creating my own reality. Having financial freedom, generational wealth and having ownership of structures that was built with my sweat and tears. One of my favorite quote is ” If you don’t create your own reality some one else will” I truly believe that. So with that said I have been on the hustle to creating my own dream life of being a Fashion Designer who create Custom Couture Sustainable Design and being a Entreprenuer. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica there is two things you can alway expect me to have my camera, that my uncle Warren gave me, my dolls to play dress up, and me looking neat and fabulous. My mother Doreen Chambers-Hill and father Errol Lee Wilson always had their “Mama-Tu” that’s my nick name back home in Jamaica in all the latest foreign clothes. I was the baby in the family out of three kids. Some would say I was spoiled rotten in a good way though. Living on the hills in Haven Dales In Kingston Jamaica, going to private school. I was given a dream life some would say. I was alway well behave, polite but a quite young girl. This is why in my head I thought I would

become a lawyer as a teenager, because I now wanted to voice my thoughts as I got older. There was one thing about that, I didn’t like to read at that time Lol!! I always new I was different growing up. My dad always would call me his “foreign baby”. It’s like he knew I would do amazing things in the world. It was inevitable I would be a fashionista, which I have been my whole life and I love being best dress and standing out from the crowd. looking my best every where I go even to the grocery store or fashion galas is my mission and pleasure. Being the Founder and Owner of Sheridonna Designs LLC, Sheridonna Beauty Salon, Humble Confident Modeling Agency, Wilson & Bedell Communications, Unity Fashion Institute and our newest baby Mama-tu Natural Fruit Juice Company has been a dream come true. Why did I start all these company, because it’s needed in the world. I receive the blessings and the word. I started Sheridonna Designs because I wanted to wear clothing to fit my personality, mood, body shape, and energy. I couldn’t find that any where. I always had to mix and match different brands. I just started to add my own style and flare to my clothing by adding lace to my t-shirts. My mom was a seamstress and fashionista and my dad was a music producer who loves fashionable clothing and dress like a GQ man. The ladies love and adore him to say the least. Thats another story. Lol. I came to America two days before my 10th birthday. This was a very traumatic time for me and my family especially my mom. My dad was the love of her life. She still talk about like every day. She tell the same stories over and over. I know she misses him a lot. Raising a young girl with minimal help in a foreign country is not an easy task. My mom knew nothing about doing hair, she barely cook. My dad spoiled her too. We had a nanny Mrs olive. Mrs Olive or my

sister Stephanie Wilson-Lu would comb my hair. My sister didn’t like doing hair, she use to complain. When I came to the states I had neither. I really dislike going to school with big poo poo braids, that’s all my mom could do for me at the time. I didn’t speak English very well. I felt out of place. My mom use to send me to Miss Mozel salon in Washington, DC on 14th street to get my hair done. I use to get my hair done on Friday or Saturday, then go to church with Miss Mozel and her family on Sunday. I enjoyed this time a lot, this was my second home and family. I was introduced to operating a business and the salon. I grew in love. My eyes was wide open. During this time my accent was strong people would say ”What did you say?” it use to make me so upset. I use to ask my self why can’t they understand me? As a teenager about 14 or 15 years of age I started to do my own hair. My mom would say “you always in the mirror” in a Jamaican accent. My good childhood friend Stavawn Mc-Fadden and I use to do each other hair for fun. Stavawn was my neighbor at Houston Avenue apartments in Takoma Park, Maryland this was good times. I found my Love and passion for hair. I told myself when I become and adult I would get my license and open my own salon. Once, I moved to Syracuse, New York years later this dream became my reality after going to hair college and passing the New York State Board. Two years later I opened my first salon in Hamilton, New York. This and passing the New York State Board. Two years later I opened my first salon in Hamilton, New York. This accomplishment was so fulfilling words can’t express my gratitude, excitement, and blissfulness I have

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { DIARY OF A FASHIONISTA } “I have created Sheridonna’s Diary of A Fashionista podcast and tv show. I get to showcase all my gift and talent on one platform.”

manifest what I have been dreaming about most of my life. With great patience, diligent, insane work ethic anything is possible. As, I was going to hair college at Philip Institute at night I was attending Bryant and Stratton College in the morning. In high school, I was fascinated in graphic designs, and computers. Learning how to do morphing and building homes from scratch, editing pictures was thrilling to me. So I told myself I will become a graphic designer, so I did. There is nothing more joyful than when you accomplished something that you said you would do. It gives me great pleasure and peace. All of the profession are aligned with who I am to be ! Happy. What makes me happy? I am a service provider ? That’s what makes me happy? One of the service I cannot get enough of is Modeling! Modeling has always come natural to me, As I stated earlier I have been my parents baby doll for many years, I always enjoyed getting dolled up and taking pictures. I can do this for the rest of my life, so I will. Why did I become a Notary you ask? My mom introduce me, she is a notary as well. I find it exciting, fascinating, yet challenging at times. I get to help families in sensitive time in their life. I am now a notary because I wanted to exercise my left side of my brain. Being an artist I always use my right side of my brain. How would I get my lawyer vibes out. I know!, I would become an influencer and podcaster. I have created Sheridonna’s Diary of A Fashionista podcast and tv show. I get to showcase all my gift and talent on one 168


platform. I am truly bless and highly favor to be able to manifest everything I ever dream about and more. You can now listen to our amazing podcast on Anchor, Spodify, Goodpods, Bullhorn, Youtube, and any where music is played. Becoming an Entrepreneur is not for every one. If you like waking up the same time, doing the same things over, and over again then that’s cool a 9 to 5 is for you. Entrepreneurship is not for you. Entrepreneurship is a blood sport. It’s a solo race. Becoming a successful Entreprenuer is painful yet thrilling and fulfilling and worth all the sacrifice. There will be a lot of late nights working, no parting with friends, losing friends, no hanging out with family, did I mention late night working. Hardly eating out, budgeting for everything, down sizing where you live, what car you drive, how you dress. Basically, your life will be turn upside down. Are you ready for that? You will have a new life, new philosophy, a new perspective of life and yourself. You will become your own best friend and love it, because you will have a lot of (alone time aka me time) to enjoy your own company. Don’t be afraid? Don’t get the game twisted my life is far from perfect and I don’t want it to be. I am a masterpiece and a working progress at the same time. My promise to myself is to work smart every single day toward my happiness and everything will workout in my favor. The journey of a female Entreprenuer go a little something like this “I am gonna be my own boss yahhhh”, quickly “uh-this shit is hard”, then “I’m getting it”, later “maybe this just isn’t for me”, After, a

while of exercising this muscle you will say “gurrril watch me go”!. When you make a mistake “just another breakdown happening”. Then, you dust your self off, because you have all the tools you need within yourself, you will do a hair flip and say” I got this”! , then another fail attempt, “somebody call Iyanla Vanzant”, lol and last but not least when you finally get your stride and confident back you will say “I knew I could do this the entire time”!!!!……….lol. So, what road will you take? Are you an Entrepreneur? No one can answer this simple yet complicated question for you. It’s a feeling and desire to create or make a difference. It’s a calling. Do you have a desire for change in your life? There is only two direction, either you be a boss or you work for a boss. What do you choose? Go be great either way! To be Continued………..




STRESS and FEAR what is going on? If you live on Earth, you have witnessed a mostly unpredictable first half of the year 2020. If you participate in social media, you have also witnessed a whole lot of discussion about the pandemic and the subsequent topics related or not related to the whole situation. Last week, after dinner- the kids sat down to watch television while my husband and I were finishing up cleaning the kitchen. He was commenting about something he read in the news and some other things he saw on social media. I was perplexed and reflected on how much news have changed over the years. Seems like in the past, the news used to go through a great effort to bring into light all the details and angles about a specific topic to help people make better decisions, nowadays, not so much. Anyways, as I reflected on that, my mind wondered and for a second I asked myself‌. What is going on? Why is there so much fear, stress, unbalance, and disturbance? Not because I couldn’t follow our conversation, nor because my mind went into a tangent without a companion, but it was because a lot of what we have been focusing on lately seems to get a lot of people confused and into a deep emotionally fear based -estate. Whether it is the virus, the number of positive cases, masks discussion, protests, riots, human rights, presidential campaigns and election, businesses suffering, school re-openings or anything else; these are important issues for sure, but why are we so fearful and sometimes unable to take a moment to take a deep breath in and value what is around us? 172


Our bodies have been amazingly designed. Some people estimate that humans have lived on Earth for around 150,000 years to 200,000 years. That means that for at least that amount of time, we have shared the planet Earth with the rest of animals, plants, bacterium and viruses and whatever else is in the environment that we may not have discovered yet. Did you know that nearly 50% of human genome- our DNA- is made of viral genetic information? That means that we share about 50% of our genetic composition with viruses. According to Professor Luis P. Villareal Director of the Center for Virus Research at UC Irvine, says that it has been suggested that viruses are not only essential to placental mammals but also for the existence of life in general. We have developed ways to survive and help us overcome difficult times. In particular, our brains are well trained to deal with stress. In case of sudden stress and fear, our bodies are well equipped to decrease the supply of circulation and activity of certain areas of the body and brain and to focus it on other areas that are needed for that particular time period of stress or survival mode. When our bodies go into stress, survival or fear mode, it is basically for survival purposes. Our senses become hyperalert because we need to properly smell, see, sense, perceive danger and be able to react to it. Think about it, let’s go together to 10,000 years ago- living in caves and hunting for food. Imagine a much larger animal coming towards you, and maybe you do not consider him a meal, but he might be considering you his meal. What do we do? Run or fight? Well, those are the default modes in our brain. We go into survival stress, fear, primitive brain mode. We have to choose to run away or fight and win in order to survive. The interesting thing about this is that, when our brains are in the stress/ fear/ primitive mode, our frontal

lobe that is involved in planning, logical thinking has much less activity. It makes total sense, right? Why would we spend time, energy and brain time to sit and think about the list of things that we have to do, analyze our environment or thing about our next meal when we are just barely trying to survive that moment and not be killed by that larger animal? Well, those are the exact same times many of us are living right now! When we are in survival mode, we are just purely trying to make it alive. It is physically very difficult for our brains to do so. So, we are constantly reacting to our environment with that stress, survival, primitive brain mode. Long periods of time in this mode, will raise our stress hormones like cortisol, increase sugar blood levels, high blood pressure, will also cause an imbalance in our sex hormones amongst other negative changes. More stress, less logical thinking. More reacting, more focus on just surviving. The more we spend time in the fear, stress mode, our bodies are less able to adapt to the environment, the less we can think logically and make rational decisions, instead we make decisions based on fear. That, in general is not good for ourselves, our families, our communities, our country nor our future generations. So, what are we talking about here? How do we get off the hamster wheel of stress and fear? How do we become more aware of our environment, our families, ourselves, with our neighbors and environment where we live with less stress, less fear and connect more and in more meaningful ways with others? Let me share 12 ways to relieve your stress, to move away from fear and get your brain




“Let’s go back to the basics. I l individuals strive for peace a others. We care, trust, and t kind. Above all, let’s lov

like to belief that most and the wellbeing of try our best. Let’s be ve each other. �

{ LADIOLOGY } }} SHIFT+CONTROL { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “So, what are we talking about here? How do we get off the hamster wheel of stress and fear? ”

into a more logical-relax way of thinking. 1. Turn off the television or news radio. 2. Go for a walk or bike ride (exercise) with a loved one or friend. 3. Write down 10 things you are grateful for. 4. Watch a funny video on YouTube or call a friend and laugh together. 5. Visualize a safe, peaceful place. Describe it in details. Journal it. 6. Control the controllable- list your fears, worries and identify which ones you can do something about – the others continue 176


to pray for wisdom and/or meditate about them. 7. Activate your Vagus nerve. By stimulating the vagus nerve, you will send a message to your body that it’s time to relax, which leads to long-term improvement in mood, wellbeing and resilience. It can help your immune system, decrease anxiety and depression as well. (This can be done by: taking a multivitamin and Omega-3, taking a cold shower, gargling, chiropractic care, massage, singing, humming or chanting) 8. Read for pleasure. 9. Talk to someone that is supportive.

10. Sleep at least 7 hrs. per night. 11. Find opportunity in life’s challenges. 12. Be Kind to others, even if you don’t share the same opinions. We can all agree to disagree. At the end of the day, we have to realize that, we need to be together, as a community, as humans to continue to provide the best for our children and ourselves. Let’s go back to the basics. I like to belief that most individuals strive for peace and the wellbeing of others. We care, trust, and try our best. Let’s be kind. Above all, let’s love each other. ….Until next time!










Hormonal Transitions: Treating Symptoms and Optimizing Health During Perimenopause and Menopause Although menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life, each woman will experience it differently. Menopause is technically defined as beginning once a woman has gone one year without a period. However, menopause is about much more than the loss of periods. The changes of menopause are related to changes in hormone levels. These hormonal changes can begin in a woman’s 40s, a time called perimenopause, and culminate in a sudden drop in estrogen at menopause, usually around age 51. Women can be symptomatic from their early 40s, till long after their final menstrual period – potentially 15 years or longer. Not all women will be symptomatic during this time. However, all women need accurate information about the changes to expect during perimenopause and menopause, support with managing symptoms if needed, and assistance in optimizing health at midlife and beyond.

symptoms of menopause?

and sexual health?

A: The earliest sign that a woman may be entering perimenopause is period irregularity. Women may have periods that come more or less frequently; periods may also be heavier or lighter. With this, women may have breast tenderness, mood changes, sleep disturbances, and even hot flashes.

A: During menopause, women often experience vaginal dryness, vulvar irritation, pain with urination, and pain with sex. This is called genitourinary syndrome of menopause and is usually very easily treated. In addition, some women will also experience a drop in sexual desire. However, a vibrant sex life is possible after menopause; seek support from sexual medicine providers and sex therapists if low desire is a problem for you.

Q: How do I know if my symptoms are related to perimenopause or menopause? A: No one test can determine if a symptom is related to hormonal changes. The best way to help determine if your symptoms are related to hormonal changes is to track your periods and determine if they are becoming irregular. Your provider may also find it helpful to check hormone levels in certain situations. Ultimately, it is important to review your symptoms with a sympathetic and qualified provider who can help you understand your symptoms, their causes, and their treatments. Q: What treatment options are available for hot flashes?

My practice focuses on sexual health and menopause and I am a nationally certified menopause provider through the North American Menopause Society. When I work with women, I review how the hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause can affect their lives – from the physical to the emotional, cognitive, and sexual. Frequent questions that women ask me are:

A: The most effective treatment for hot flashes is hormone therapy. Every woman who has bothersome hot flashes or other symptoms during menopause should have an opportunity to discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy with a qualified provider. For those women who are not good candidates for hormone therapy or do not want to use hormones, medications such as paroxetine or gabapentin can be helpful. Integrative therapies, such as dietary changes, acupuncture, relaxation techniques, and exercise can also improve quality of life.

Q: What are the early signs and

Q: How does menopause affect vaginal

Q: How does menopause affect my overall health? A: In addition to these bothersome symptoms, menopause causes many “silent” changes. Loss of estrogen has been linked to many risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of women. Loss of estrogen also increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. However, hormonal changes are only one of many risk factors for illness and disease. The menopause transition is the perfect time to evaluate your individual risks for disease and develop strategies to lower these risks. When surveyed, most women report that menopause is a very positive stage in their lives. However, distressing symptoms can make it very hard for women to flourish during this time. At the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness, we are dedicated to helping women treat menopausal symptoms and optimize their health long term. We are available for virtual and in-person visits and look forward to meeting you.




Announcing Western New York’s first comprehensive resource for sexual and relationship wellness and menopause medicine.

Introducing the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness where sexual medicine specialists and certified sex therapists offer a holistic approach to sexual and relationship wellness. Offering confidential and open-minded care to people of all genders and sexualities that is specifically designed to help YOU meet YOUR GOALS. Also, featuring a nationally certified menopause medicine specialist to help make mid-life your BEST LIFE




I Am excited to be contributing my column Spiritual-Re-Ality with Rochester Woman Online. Thank you Kelly Bruer for the opportunity to contribute and share Light. The column will show the Spiritual perspective of the topics in today’s world. I am open to suggestions for topics and look forward to answering questions along the way. I hope to bring a light to darkness, strength to the fear and love everywhere. Simple… I love sharing what I have learned about life, death and the in between. I have been practicing and teaching Spiritual principles for over twentyfive years and like many the awareness will often be needed because of challenging circumstances. Whether it be a life changing choice personally or professionally or like we are seeing as I write this, a pandemic that affects us on global level. Let’s not forget it is election year. Yes, there is a Spiritual perspective to that! Stay tuned! As a Spiritual Teacher I have mentored all ages from eight to eighty open their perspective to what I say is, “beyond the physical capacity” at times. It is a reality that those who call upon me want to make a shift, to heal and live a happier existence. I have been helping families understand and heal grief because of loss of loved ones for over two decades. Believe me it was understanding how to heal my own anger and grief in the loss of my parents, that I opened my heart and 184


mind so my Spirit could lead the way. Looking back there were experiences that were knocking on the door to open me to be more mindful and live in a more “of a bigger picture” kind a way. But we are programmed at birth to do it “the right way”. If you haven’t noticed everyone has their own “right of way”. Yes, humor can often open the door to healing. It is not to disrespect the seriousness of any situation, but Spirit has shared with me many times as humans we could laugh a bit more at ourselves. Even though there are many things that are not funny at all there are some things Spirit will share with a humorous twist, that will bring us a clearer perspective. When I refer to Spirit in the column it will reference the Highest of insight, wisdom, and perspective that at times were a voice, a knowing but always will be something I experienced personally or in mentoring. Spiritual guides, angels, loved ones crossed, all the above are always inspiring us. It is emotional and inspiring and intended to help you as well. It is never a coincidence when something shows up for us. I trust as I type away for the column I will be channeling in from the Highest place. I am humbled to be a voice for them and hope as you follow along you open to their voice as well. In my sessions I always hope you can walk away feeling the love of Spirit and knowing you do not “need” me. It is our true purpose to open to our

Spirit to love, create and live in this crazy, beautiful world. I look forward to letting Spirit speak through me to guide, giggle and grow beyond our human potential. Stay tuned for the next column on “What does all this Spiritual stuff got to do with it”? Peace.Love.Live. Beth Lynch ROC BIO Beth Lynch is a Spiritual Medium & Teacher and founder of Inner Light Teachings. Lynch has been a Medium for over 25 five years, she has done thousands of readings and celebrates a private practice that extends throughout the United States. Her sensitivity to feeling beyond what is physical led her to understand life through the healing of her own loved ones death. Lynch shares, it is through the understanding and healing of death we understand the spirit of life. She has helped many families understand and heal grief. She also believes and teaches how to understand our Spirit as our source of intuition, creativity, and survival. In her teachings she shares how Spirituality is the missing link in mental and emotional wellness and that we must open to the higher principles of who we are to make the shifts personally, professionally and globally. Lynch has practiced and taught meditation for over twenty- five




INNER LIGHT } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “It is a reality that those who call upon me want to make a shift, to heal and live a happier existence.”

and knows the importance and benefits for the mind, heart, body and Spirit. Lynch is often invited to speak to medical professionals, teachers and students on the subject. She presently runs a meditation program for the high school in her community. Students benefits range from concentration to confidence. They deserve natural ways to cope and focus and given the opportunity to be the best they can be they will thrive personally and 186


professionally and build stronger communities.

distinguished group of Mediums, Helping Parents Heal.

As well as helping clients, of all ages incorporate meditation and mindfulness to deal with mental wellness, addiction and suicide.

For more information on services, classes or upcoming events 888.271.4487 Instagram bethlynchmedium444 Twitter@italk2angels Facebook: Inner Light Teachings

She is a graduate of Delphi University/ Patricia Hayes School of Metaphysics, Arthur Ford School or Mediumship and Certified under Mark Ireland’s




When a work colleague pours heart and soul into a job for his sheer love and dedication, he will never be forgotten. David Carsel was such a person. In 2006, under then-Executive Director Maryjane Link, Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) had the pleasure and good fortune of hiring David Carsel as financial officer. He was an efficient, organized and jovial addition to CAP. His supervisor at the time—Progra6m Director Patricia Burks— quickly realized David’s many additional talents and skills, advancing his position to office manager and finance, and bringing him on in development and event roles as needed. His eye for detail, ability to help set up any type of event, as well as finding amazing auction items, were second to none. David was able to juggle a mountain of financial obligations while keeping everyone in the office on their toes. Under his care, even the office plants grew wildly, spreading for yards across office cabinets. David was one of those well-liked staff members with whom everyone enjoyed conversing and sharing a good laugh. Without reservation, board and staff loved 188


and respected him. He was that staff person to whom everyone went for help, advice, support, and even home décor. He had an innate gift for beauty, finding unique antiques that he made into decorative pieces for his home. His kind heart also extended toward animals, especially

David’s love and commitment to CAP can never be replaced. He made CAP a priority in his life. At the recent celebration of his life, I had the privilege of meeting numerous people whose lives he touched. In a quiet way, David was the one who demanded perfection, and many of his close friends said they imagined he performed the same way at CAP. David’s talents also extended to figure skating, where, at the Genesee Figure Skating Club, he had many admirers. At his celebration, close friend and fellow skater Marianna O’Brien related David’s love and talent for skating over many years, often skating together. Other GFSC members told of David’s great skating ability and his love for the sport.

to his beloved cat. Everyone who knew David also experienced his wonderful and quirky sense of humor. He often joked about offering a “special” at CAP: every adoptive family would get two children for the price of one (referring to adoption fees).

Coming on as CAP’s executive director in late 2018, I only had the privilege of working with David less than two years, but—with his thorough knowledge of all aspects of the organization—he was my “go-to.” He could figure out the financial issues, pull a budget together in no time, help plan a gala, and keep the office neat. Recently, I struggled with our mutual decision to begin diminishing his hours so he could work toward retirement within the next year. COVID’s restrictions

{{ ASHE FAREWELL HUSTLESTRIBUTE TALKS { RECOVERX } }} “David was able to juggle a mountain of financial obligations while keeping everyone in the office on their toes.”

impacted David’s ability to work from the office, so we met every Friday, including a meeting during the week of July 13 with great plans for our office reopening and goals for 2021. But that meeting day would not come. Suddenly and unexpectedly, David was gone on July 16. Mary Jane Link was so proud she had hired David, who, with his 14 years at CAP, took on the unofficial role as

“CAP Historian” plus so much more. CAP Adoption Specialist/Program Manager Veronica Black related how she, Pat Burks, and David had become family, celebrating holidays together over the years. David supported Veronica in numerous ways both as friend and colleague. His true spirit shown through as an annual REC Center volunteer with Veronica, helping cook, clean and serve meals. “There was no one like David, he

would do anything for anyone,” Veronica said. And that was true. During COVID, David supported collections for families and youth, and even donated items for staff that he thought they might enjoy. CAP will never be the same. It is my hope that David’s love and dedication will act as an example—a beacon for the organization as we move into the future without him.

{{{ASHE FAREWELL SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLESTRIBUTE TALKS} } } “David’s love and commitment to CAP can never be replaced. He made CAP a priority in his life. At the recent celebration of his life, I had the privilege of meeting numerous people whose lives he touched.”



Finding Families for Waiting Kids. For more information contact: 888-835-8802 or 585-232-5110

Spring2020-CAP-RW-ad.indd 1


2/26/20 11:53 AM






A week from today, my only child leaves for her first year of college. As that day approaches, and the bins fill up with supplies and the essentials needed to create a “home away from home” I am recognizing a slowly growing stream of emotions welling up – ready to bubble to the surface at any moment. Of course, there is the obvious sadness that I will miss my beautiful girl every moment of the day. But there is also the overwhelming sense of pride I have looking at her – knowing what she has come through to succeed and what a kind, passionate person she has grown into. There is also a level of joy, excitement, and anticipation, knowing all of the opportunities, experiences and growth that lay ahead for her. And then…there is the fear. The funny thing about fear is that it can show up at any moment. It can creep up slowly or it can hit you like a ton of bricks. And it can be rational, based on a real risk that I worry may face her, or it can be completely irrational, dwelling on things that have almost no likelihood of occurring. And the one thing fear tries to do no matter where it comes from or how it appears – it tries to stop you in your tracks. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself ” FDR

Fear is certainly not new to me – or any of us for that matter. And unfortunately, this era we are in, facing down a pandemic, social injustice and unrest and economic uncertainty, provides plenty of room for fear to appear and take over. Our current environment presents so many uncertainties, and very real harmful consequences, that many people are finding themselves overwhelmed and fearful at a level they have never experienced before. This new (but temporary) normal has added a significant amount of opportunity for fear on TOP of what people are already dealing with in their personal lives. And what is unique about this time is that thousands of people are experiencing the same fears simultaneously. This “group fear” mentality is being exacerbated in the media and creates an even more overwhelming sense of fear in many because they look around and see others fearful. And even if that is an area they did not originally have fear – they begin to incorporate that fear into their own experience because so many around them are expressing it. It is no wonder that depression, mental health emergencies and even suicide have been reported (and likely underreported) in record numbers during the past months. I work with dozens of people each

week and the common thread since this pandemic has started has been fear. Fear of getting sick. Fear of a loved one getting sick. Fear of going to work. Fear of losing work. Fear of not being able to support family. Fear of being isolated. Fear of not knowing what to do or how to move forward. But the ironic thing is that when I talk with each individual, what they fear, or how that fear shows up in their lives, is very different. Because we each entered this uncertain time with our own lens and our own experiences, that shaped how we perceive fear and respond when we are faced with it. Never have the words of FDR been more essential to understand than right now, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself ”. Fear is what freezes us. Fear traps us. And fear overwhelms us. But we can all move through fear. And we can all not just survive fear – but we can thrive through it. The key is recognizing our fear for what it is - it is an emotion, not a threat. Recognize that fear does not have to disappear for us to be able to move forward. In fact, moving forward through fear is exactly what forces its retreat. As moving day approaches for my daughter, I continue to remind myself of the facts I know. I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT } “This new (but temporary) normal has added a significant amount of opportunity for fear on TOP of what people are already dealing with in their personal lives.”

have raised a strong, competent, intelligent young woman who is ready to take on the world – even this uncertain version of the world we currently find ourselves in. I remind myself that she is but a phone call and a car ride away and that she will find new relationships and new experiences that will support her continued growth and pursuit of her dreams. I remind myself that I will be ok, and I make plans to invest time in my fitness and my business and I look 196


forward to some new-found time to rediscover what I am capable of. In short – I will continue to move forward, knowing that fear may be next to me during this journey.

and new ones you may not have seen before. And go out and grab them. Fear is not there to stop your growth, it is there to make it even more meaningful.

What fear has been holding you back? How will YOU face your fear today? What action can you take to move through it? Pick just one small step. And do it. And then take the next. Look up – look around and see the opportunities that are still there

If you would like to learn more about WellTrail or inquire about one on one consulting with Kelli, you can contact her at klapage@






Confidence can be cultivated, created and nurtured, but cannot be taught. By not being taught, there is no step by step process or blueprint to follow. Confidence is something that has to come from within. Confidence emanates when you are authentic and true to yourself. To be authentic and in integrity and fully aligned with the gifts you were meant to bring to this world there is no way you cannot be confident. You know that you were gifted these talents, skills and abilities to bring to the world, to make impact, When you are on your path and you know what you are here for, your purpose --- you are in your power.

As self-confidence increases, self-esteem increases as well. Self-confidence lends itself to more chances to improve; it helps you take risks which in the end allow for improvement to overall quality of life. Here are 12 ways you can cultivate more self-confidence for yourself: 1. Think “Positive” – Thinking positive,

There are two additional terms that you should know when talking about confidence and more specifically, self-confidence, they are: Self-Efficacy: This term, as defined here is a person’s belief in their ability to accomplish specific tasks. Self-Esteem: The term most often confused with self-confidence is the one perhaps least similar to it. Self-esteem refers to a belief in your overall worth. Self-Efficacy is rooted in experience and Self-Esteem is rooted in being (who you are and the belief in your worth. Self-Confidence is a bridge between being and doing in that it is rooted in you being your most authentic self and evidence of past success and abilities.

instead of focusing on all the ways something can go wrong, think of all the ways it can go right. Visual it going right in your mind. Where your energy and focus goes, so goes your reality goes too. 2. Acquire a growth mindset - Believe in yourself and your ability to learn, grow and succeed. The confidence and belief that you are or can be successful does not and should only be based in your prior and past successes. Ground your belief in your ability to succeed

in your growth and learnings from past mistakes. 3. Gratitude Practice - A confidence building practice that is similar to a Gratitude practice is to write down 3 wins daily and 3 unique things you are grateful for each day. 4. Groom yourself – I know it is a small thing, but you will feel ten times better about yourself if you know you put a solid effort into your hygiene and looking presentable. Showers, deodorant and lotion make a huge difference. Look at the converse, how sure of yourself do you feel if you forgot to put on lotion? 5. Negative thoughts - Don’t let negative thoughts take up too much of your energy or space. You cannot banish them, but you can assume control of your own consciousness. The negative thoughts that play out in your head are only in your head, they are not necessarily fact or reality. Even if those negative thoughts encompass sound evidence and proof of past failures, I bet you can equally find evidence contrary to your negative thoughts and evidence in your memory to counter your negative thoughts. Don’t let the negative thoughts run the show, or your life. Your innercritic, fear, self doubt, etc. will always be a part of you, BUT you don’t have to give these feelings agency or a role in your decision making processes. 6. Get to know yourself – This ties ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Self-Confidence is a bridge between being and doing in that it is rooted in you being your most authentic self and evidence of past success and abilities.”

ties directly to the original premise that self-confidence is rooted in your authenticity. The more authentic you are as a human, the more self-assured you’re going to be. The more self-assured you are, the more self-confidence you will exhume and reveal to the world. 7. Know your values & live them – if you are living a life that is aligned and in integrity with your values, you are being your most authentic self. If you are being your most authentic self, you will drip with self-confidence. 8. Set small goals and achieve them – Smaller bite-sized goals are easy to achieve and give you a quick boost of confidence as you achieve them. Even if it’s a small thing, like sending out five emails, if its an improvement over yesterday, you start to feel like a winner. Be careful here, don’t build a life based solely on checking small things off a to-do list. This tip is 10x’s more effective if the small goal is part of a larger strategy designed to move you forward. 9. Exercise – When you exercise a physiological transformation takes place in your body, your body increases its emission of a chemical called endorphins. This chemical reduces 200


your body’s ability to feel pain and triggers a positive feelings in the body. In gaining a boost in positive feelings, you also increase your self-confidence. The more you workout over time, your health will improve, your body image will improve and overall, you will start to feel better about yourself overall. ***Sidenote: The more articles I write, the more times exercise shows up as the cure-all to everything. Get

moving!!! 10. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable (#levelup constantly) – The better you get at pushing yourself into uncomfortable situations, the more evidence that you will have to support your ability to take on new risks. The adept you are at taking risks, the more willing you will become to take on new risks and opportunities as they arise.

11. Do more of what brings you joy – Honestly, if you are living a joyful life and you are happy and content, you’ve basically cultivated a life you can love. You’ve brought into fruition your own joy, if you can create your own joy, you have to be confident in your ability to do most anything. 12. Don’t be afraid to fail – It is not failing; it is a learning opportunity. Learning opportunities are way we can learn, grow and get better. If you can get better at anything, that improves your chances of being confident in that anything. All these options for building up your selfconfidence are within your control and rooted in your authenticity. Embrace who you truly are and you can become unstoppable.










Women’s History Month celebrates ceiling-shattering women of the past, as well as the empowerment of women in the present. In recognition of the month, we reached out to some of our Financial Representatives, to shed some light on how they make it happen: in their businesses, in their lives, and for their clients. We also wanted to find out what motivates Financial Representatives to keep approaching their work with such a high level of commitment and integrity every day. Some commonalities emerged along with some illuminating insights.

meaning than her other consideration: computers and technology. It’s almost as if this inherent creative orientation and holistic thinking ability gives our Financial Representatives greater insight into how to best help clients.

FORTUITOUS BEGINNINGS One may think that people who get into the financial services field have always wanted to do so. Not the case. In fact, many of the Financial Representatives we spoke with have a creative orientation, having studied fields like languages or art history. For example, Amy Lampert of in Needham, Massachusetts originally wanted to be a French teacher, but found no open positions at the time. So, she went into financial services.

CLOSE COMMUNITIES Community involvement is something that seems to be decreasing these days, for various reasons. But Financial Representatives seem to put an emphasis on creating and contributing to their communities, which facilitates mentoring opportunities and builds stronger relationships. Nameche is involved with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), along with her neighborhood association, for example, while Susan Glusica of Libelle Prosperity Solutions in Pine Bush, New York runs Mastermind groups and learning workshops. For her part, Karen Jessey of Strategic Wealth Partners in Greenwood Village, Colorado is “focused on giving back through volunteering and monetary donations.”

Once there, Lampert found that the traditional firms were a poor fit for advising consumers, especially women “who are far more interested in security and preserving their wealth while they are building it.” Similarly, Andrea Nameche of Lifetime Financial Growth in Columbus, Ohio was a literature and art history major with a creative bent who found her way into insurance straight out of college because the field held more

CRITICAL MISSIONS People and companies talk a lot about mission and mission statements. But it’s something else to live a mission. This seems to come from having found a greater sense of meaning, which kindles a sustainable fire of motivation. “Being a financial representative is all about leaving a legacy of significance,” says Glusica. Similarly, Lampert emphasizes her “mission of empowering women to

become masters of their own financial destinies.” Klara Muratova of Forest Hills Financial Group in Forest Hills, New York echoes the sentiment, saying her motivation comes from knowing she has “people in her life whose well-being is important to me.” FINDING REALIZATION Yet another theme that emerged in our exchange with Financial Representatives was how the most successful clients are the ones who are most engaged in the process. While each client has unique needs, and requires a plan to be tailored accordingly, successful clients share strikingly similar characteristics. Lampert cites “self-awareness and a desire to learn in a comfortable atmosphere,” while Nameche points out her most successful clients “want a coach to guide them, but they understand that they are the ones who make the plan successful.” LIVING CONFIDENTLY Finally, it surprised us to find how well the Financial Representatives we spoke with instinctively understood what we found when conducting The Guardian Study of Financial and Emotional ConfidenceTM: The model behaviors of financial and emotional confidence are real and include proactive engagement with financial concepts and products. Adapting a thought from Glusica, “There is no such thing as work-life balance. It’s about harmony and flow.” That really says it all.








Build NEW Unstoppable Community that can Support You NOW Women thrive in community. We count on our friends, colleagues, workout buddies, and family to celebrate good times and support us during hard times.Our businesses need community. Our souls need community. And our bodies, more than ever, need the self-care that produces well-being and connection. Today, of course, we can’t attend a women’s circle, go to church, work out together at the gym, or meet up for happy hour with our friends. The communities that have traditionally been our support systems are functioning differently now, as the bulk of our interaction has shifted from in-person to online. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to reach out and get support for the everyday stresses that are facing us all. But online an online happy hour or virtual meeting is just not the same as a live women’s networking event. We can’t hug our friends or hand them a tissue when they are crying. Social distancing and masks may leave us wondering if we can truly connect at all. So how do we reshape our relationship to community? How can we connect in a world that has pushed us further behind our computers and cell phones? How can we be unstoppable together in community?

The COVID-19 pandemic hit just as I had ramped up my commitment to developing a conference and building a public speaking business. I found myself having to radically redefine my business plan to meet the needs of the online marketplace. And the clear message I received from women nationwide was that they needed new ways to achieve self-care and wellness. My own inner desire for well-being aligned with this mandate from other women. And that is how I discovered the community-building power of Seacret Direct. Seacret Direct provided what I realized I needed in this age of COVID-19: a relationship-building company that could empower me to help more people find health and well-being during critical times of change. And I needed the excitement and connection of an authentic community supported by amazing leadership. The tagline of our newest Seacret Direct video is On a Mission to Support Health and Well-Being through Community. So let’s think about redefining community from the standpoint of inner health and well-being. 1. YOU are a community. Inside of you are billions of cells that operate in community. Take this time of reorganization to invest in your inner

community. It’s natural to look outside of our body for the community you seek, but the community of cellular health is a powerful community that you can support right now and feel connected. Increase your self-care and body care. By tuning into your body, you will immediately feel connected. A great way to do this is to take a dead sea bath and mineral soak to bask in the healing energy of the earth and detoxify your body. Join me for a free well-being consultation. 2. Embrace NEW community business. The financial pressures that affect all of us in this time of financial insecurity can lead to feelings of stress, fear, and isolation. The good news is that there are new forms of community business leading the marketplace. Be fearless and join one! Seacret Direct has proven to be an amazing financial support for me during challenging times. Through team building and small gatherings promoting dead sea skincare, health, and wellness, I have found a new business community that is welcoming and supports my prosperity and growth. Seacret Direct Video, a company that supports community and culture. 3. Build it! Build your own community. Give yourself the opportunity to advance your leadership and build community in new ways. There are ways to connect virtually and build a community based on health and well-being. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


We are always looking for leaders like you to become Seacret Agents. Unprecedented times means having the courage to reinvent our businesses 208


and life. There are many ways for you to connect, find your authentic path, and become unstoppable! One sure way to find your unstoppable community is to become a Seacret

Agent. I can’t wait to chat with you!








Welcome back to this month’s issue of Rochester Woman Online and my column Fashion Forward. Now some of us wonder why we do not look as good as the model in the catalog did with a particular outfit. Am I right or am I wrong? There is a reason for this. With that being said, we may not be the same body shape as the model in the photo, or someone else who might have worn that outfit may be taller, or curvier, or skinnier. Today we are going to discuss 5 different body shapes. Hopefully, this will help you better understand your body and what will emphasize your shape to make you look phenomenal. We all pretty much start with the same shape as a child and that is the H shape. The H body shape consists of a straight waist. When having the H shape wearing full blouses, loose belts, wrap dresses, straight skirts and pants will make you stand out. If you are an H body shape be sure to avoid full tops and bottoms and any bulky fabrics. Celebrities that you may have seen with H body shapes are Kim Cattrall & Anne Hathaway. The A body shape is narrow above the waist and heavier below. You will want to go for modified A-lines, shoulder pads, calf-length skirts, belted waistlines, long sweaters, vests, or jackets. While having an A body

shape avoid busy details, side pockets, and any light colors on the bottom. Kate Winslet and Kristin Davis are celebrities with A body shapes. Now of course we all know of the

and reality star, Kim Kardashian are X body shapes. V-shape tends to have broader shoulders and narrower hips. If you have a V body shape you are going to want to go for V-necks, lol I’m serious though, anything off the shoulder slim skirts, long dresses, prints and color on the bottom. Now you’re going to want to make sure that you are not wearing any horizontal stripes and shoulder striped, any ruffles around your neck and empire waistlines. Naomi Campbell and Esha Deol are a couple of celebrities with V body shapes. The last body shape that we’re going to talk about today is the T body shape. The T has a heavier torso and thin legs. If you have this body shape you will want to go for darker tops, lighter bottoms, details on your shoulders, and skirt dresses. Cindy Crawford and Demi Moore both are T body shapes.

“Hourglass” body shape also known as the X body shape. An X body shape you’re going to want to go for loosely belted dresses, straight chemises, anything with a monotone color scheme or modified dresses, skirts, and sportswear. Well known plus-size model, Ashley Graham,

After hearing about all these body shapes you can now understand that every outfit is not made for you or your body so it’s okay if that dress or skirt or those pants don’t fit you right. There is something out there that will. So when shopping always make sure to try stuff on and those three-way mirrors are really a lifesaver. Try even sitting down with each outfit and see if it really looks good for your body shape. If you read last month’s issue you can pair ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ FASHION FORWARD } “After hearing about all these body shapes you can now understand that every outfit is not made for you, or your body so it’s okay if that dress or skirt, or those pants don’t fit you right.”


up your color season with your body shapes and find your attributes and showcase them. You are also getting the proper fit as well something too big is not going to make you look amazing or something too tight is also not going to look so hot.

fit, knowing your body shape and your color season. Together and you will be a fashion icon. Always be sure not to over-accessorize less is more! Below I have shared some of my modeling photos showcasing my X body shape.

MichelleDiBernardo.Com, also check my business websites out at www. DiBernardoProductions.Media and

We all have flaws but as long as we embrace our confidence others will see it with us. Whether expensive or inexpensive it is all about the proper

Stay tuned for next month’s issue on MAKEUP.

h t t p s : / / w w w. i n s t a g ra m . c o m / dibernardomichelle/


For updates on me check out www.

h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / MichelleDiBernardo/

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My mom once said “If you don’t learn the word no here at home with me, then god help you when you walk out into society and get smacked right in the face with it, one day your going to thank me. ” The world is full of the word no and people with different views than you. So you better be ready to take it. I often find myself quoting my mom. She seems to be one of the voices I carry with me that prevails during any important decision or when I internally seek answers. My mom has always seemed to attract people as if a campfire in the darkest of nights that moths are drawn to. She has always had a way with words, and people. She is a realist and gained respect from others by using her own life experience in the words she wove into advice for some, and empathy for others. My mom grew up on Joseph Avenue in the heart of the city of Rochester. Back when it was the “Jewish” neighborhood. Back when the neighborhoods were divided by race, and that was OK. My mom went to Hebrew school and learned about her own culture, but something else happened too. My mom met other kids in other neighborhoods, and they became friends. In fact her best friend was from the ukrainian neighborhood. How is it that living in neighborhoods that divided you by your race, religion or culture, can you be best friends, all the way through adulthood with someone? When here we are today barely holding on to having conversations with someone in public with a different color skin, because the TV tells us we hate each other? The Tv now tells us how to think, and strange enough, there are people who believe it. I personally will 216


not. I will talk to a stranger with respect no matter what they look like, or where they are from. Because my mother taught me this. My mom grew up in the days where she would reach out to individuals who were different, to learn about them and bridge the gap of differences by finding things in common. She once taught swimming lessons in high school to black kids, as she felt her love for the water could be utilized to help others swim. Not because they were black, it was because they couldn’t swim. My

mom didn’t categorize by color, or religion, or country of origin. My mom has always been a straight shooter and if she didn’t like you, it was never because you may have different skin color, or religious views. It has always been because you morally went against the code of being a good person. And she has never been afraid to voice it. Did she offend people? I’m sure she did, because not everyone recognizes that opinions should be valued, not argued. Getting offended was always a way of life, how you handle it proves your character.

How dare anyone think that life is this perfect bowl of peaches with flowers and rainbows where the world is exactly how we want it to be? That’s ridiculous to give this perception to anyone, and so my mother let us know that hearing no, and recognizing differences is just a way of life, not one your supposed to change to fit your narrow mind. The world is full of so much diversity, that the moment you stop accepting other people’s differences, you’re sure to be offended. I’m not sure what’s happening today, the words I’m offended rolling off of people’s tongues every time they disagree. My brother recently said, “people now mistake being offended with having different opinions”. He too didn’t fall too far from the mom’s voice of reason tree. We get our realistic views and people skills from our mom. We all three are very good at attracting the moths to the flame. To listen, and interact and bridge the gap between people who are different from ourselves, yet always finding the common ground to become friends upon. At least that was how life was up until recently. The media now telling us that difference is now offensive or racist. Force feeding this down our throats, dividing us. Dividing years of friendships that now get tossed into the flames to burn, because of differences. Different cultures, different backgrounds, different color skin. The media says if we don’t fight the same fight, we must be against each other. I disagree. Where once my mother came from a proud Jewish community, with best friends who had different color skin and preyed inside different buildings, some not even a building at all, or some who didn’t pray at all . Proud to learn about and stand up for others. We can fight the same







KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “If you don’t learn the word no here at home with me, then god help you when you walk out into society and get smacked right in the face with it, one day your going to thank me.”

fight but with different skills,in different ways. Can’t we all be wanting the same outcome, yet achieve it on different paths? Unity, respect and a voice that is listened to. I know this exists today, because I refuse to watch the mainstream media where it tells me I have white privilege, or I live in a racist world. I meet and talk to individuals every single day that are different from me. And we interact with respect for one another. While shopping I make friends, not enemies. I smile and share a joke with a stranger whose background I do not know. No Matter your skin color, your political stance, your religion, WE make a connection. I don’t let the TV tell me we are enemies because we like different icons, or pray to different idols, and especially because the skin tones we are born with. My mother once walked the streets of a neighborhood where her mother would talk for hours over the fenced dividing the homes of different cultures and backgrounds. Share recipes and parenting advice, all from different walks of life, all learning from each other. The TV didn’t tell my grandmother to hate the black family a street away, as they too walked to the same corner store, and bought the same loaves of bread or can of beans for the nightly dinner. Although they may have bought the same ingredients, none made the same dinner. It didn’t mean one family had made dinner wrong. The kids all respected the mothers in any neighborhood they went to. Because if word traveled from one clothesline to another’s back porch that a kid went against the grain, chances are before they got home they already got the wooden spoon to the back side, a slipper to the head, and knew their demise when they had to face their own mom. And their own cultures’ way

of dealing with the wrong doings of a kid in the neighborhood. Neighborhoods were run by the working class, and by backyard conversations. By corner stores run by the Polish man who made the best pierogi, Or the Irish guy who could fix any electrical problem you had, if you gave him a backyard haircut, or the Jewish mom who knew where every kid lived, and when the street lights came on would shout “say hello to your mom.“ as the gentle reminder it was time to go

home. You witnessed births of babies, and mourned the death of the elders. You held onto different color hands as families lost members. You celebrated and mourned in neighborhoods and with people where the most common ground you stood upon, was the differences you all brought to the table. But the TV never told you to hate each other. So you decided to come together and though the neighborhoods were divided in my mind’s eye the way my mom’s stories and life unfolded with her words. The neighborhoods always seemed like one to me. She said they were divided, but my mother never quite had an answer

for where one would end and the other would begin. Working class neighborhoods filled with people of differences all searching for the same thing. Unity, a good life, a community. So let me again quote my mother here. “Turn off the TV, and go outside.” She once said I would thank her in life, and I do. Thank you for making sure I have a thick skin and understand the difference between being offended for real, and just not getting my way. Thank you for teaching me that the word no means try harder, it does not mean cry harder. Thank you for the ability to see differences as learning opportunities, not barriers. Thank you for letting me know that standing up for who I am is just as important as them standing up for who they are. I once stood back silently and listened to all the things I didn’t agree with, being shoved in my face. Because listening is another skill my mother said was important. Yet you can only stay silent so long, silence does not mean agreement. More people should recognize that. Even though we can listen to things we don’t agree with, we should never forget what we believe in. So here’s to all those kids who weren’t taught no at home that having a fit on the floor isn’t how you get what you want in life. To those kids now grown up doing just that “buckle up buttercup, you’re in for a big big surprise.” You never really did earn that trophy. This one is for my mom, may she continue to be that campfire in the dark.





1. Speak to the editor. There is no replacement for a phone call or in person conversation. Schedule a call or meet and greet. 2. Ask about the editor’s expertise and niche editing field. You don’t know if you don’t ask. Make sure the editor can perform the type of editing you need.



3. Ask for a sample edit. Ask the editor to send you a sample edit from a previous client or better yet ask the editor to edit three to five pages of your writing. 4. Make sure the editor understands your writing voice and style. Also, make sure he or she respects and appreciates it.

5. Research the editor’s previous or current projects to make sure their experience aligns with your project. 6. Brace yourself for constructive criticism. Don’t take it personally when the editor provides suggestions, revisions or edits. That’s why you hired him or her, right? Have an open mind.




The elephant in the room is that we, the United States, have been infiltrated by entities outside of our borders. This has taken place over several years and was planned by those who do not like our freedom, our systems, or our way of life. One only needs to go back through the executive orders and new laws of the last few administrations to see the specific details and understand how we, The People, have lost some of our rights. A very unfortunate thing is that many people do not realize it and if we are not careful, we will not have a country to worry about. The other unfortunate thing is that people on the inside have helped them and continue to do so. Let us not forget that there are some extremely wealthy people who are looking to usher in a New World Order (NWO). That is, one world government, one religion, one currency, and if they get their way, considerably less people on the planet. This has been decades in the making, and it has been well documented. In the meantime, we have cameras on most street corners, surveillance through our phones and televisions, and if they get their way, a brand new vaccine that will carry a chip that will enable tracking of our every move. Most of the other things that we are seeing are distractions so that we lose sight of the master plan. The globalists want to remove the individual identity of each country. This, my friends, is why we really have all this recent craziness. This, and not race, is why we see the 222


mobs destroying any property that they think they can. Defund the police and move in their own forces? Take over parts of a city? Anarchy anyone?

stories because they are not allowed to be reported. Look up “Out of Shadows Official” on YouTube (if you can find it because it keeps getting taken down).

Through all the recent chaos, many people have missed the fact that the Federal Reserve is now part of the Treasury. They are also missing that the Deep State,

We have to remain mindful that while we have chaos and confusion (wear a mask, don’t wear one, stay 6 feet apart, go out and protest but don’t go to church, tear down a statue but not THAT one, etc.), we still have to keep an eye on the big picture. We still have families to raise and hopefully something to leave the next generation at some point. We still need to have food and supplies, a roof over our heads and safety. We are still citizens of the world and the whole world is in turmoil. We need to be the grown ups and do the right thing.

or Cabal, are catching Hell these days because many of them have been found to be part of a worldwide trafficking ring. Tens of thousands of children have been rescued and the indictments (sealed and unsealed) just keep coming. Many of our favorite celebrities, athletes, CEOs, politicians and world leaders are caught up in it and have found themselves in hot water. If we only watch the mainstream media, we miss most of these back

We must recognize that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything that is happening now has happened before. We need to educate ourselves on real history and not just that stuff that we were taught in school. The white knee on the black neck was a centuries old ritual brought to us by the secret societies (look it up). We need to realize that, of course, ALL lives matter. We need to be smart enough to distinguish the social/racial issues that we never really addressed from the organization called Black Lives Matter (BLM). Donations to them are sent to the party that allowed



{ TRACY TALKS } “Either we open our eyes to everything that is going on or we, The Sheeple, will be led to places that we probably do not want to go.�

their own American cities to be attacked. Whether we are aware of it or not, the organization is funded by the same people who fund Antifa (the group that delivered the bricks and weapons across multiple countries and paid people to turn protests into destructive riots). By the way, their current flag is just a modern version of the one that they used in Nazi Germany. Look up the Brown 224


Shirts and draw the parallels for yourself. So, we need to look both in the foreground and in the background for ourselves OR choose to rely solely on the powers that be for information and to push us closer to what they want. We can stand up for our rights to have real information, freedom of speech, no censorship, peace and the ability to defend ourselves OR

we can just wait and see what the New World Order will be like. Either we open our eyes to everything that is going on or we, The Sheeple, will be led to places that we probably do not want to go. We have had many challenges and we will have more for sure. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.








Vitalize Medical Center now offers several different options of injectable dermal fillers to help you look refreshed and younger by reducing wrinkles and fine lines. As we age, our collagen naturally starts to break down which contributes to wrinkles, fine lines, hollowed cheeks and sagging jowls. Dermal fillers are an excellent non-surgical option to treat these conditions and help restore one’s youthful appearance. We use only FDA-approved treatments resulting in no recovery time and immediate results. RESTALYN SILK The lips and the lines around the mouth, like other areas of the face, show signs of aging as you get older. This often results in lip thinning, loss of shape and an increase in vertical lines above the lip. Restylane Silk is designed specifically to provide naturallooking results in these particular areas by using smaller, smoother hyaluronic acid particles than those used in other Restylane®products. RESTALYN REFYNE As skin loses elasticity with age, the lines that run from the sides of your nose toward the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds) and the lines that run from the corners of your mouth toward the chin (marionette lines) appear more noticeable. Restylane Refyne is a specifically formulated hyaluronic acid dermal filler made with XpresHAn Technology™ that helps correct these lines for a more natural look to your face. The unique cross-linking of the gel in Restylane Refyne is also designed to help support

your natural expression—for real-life results that help maintain natural movement when you’re smiling, frowning and even puckering up. RESTALYN DEFYNE As we age, our skin loses elasticity and the lines that run from the sides of the nose toward the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds) and the lines that run from the corners of your mouth toward the chin (marionette lines) become more pronounced. Restylane Defyne is crafted with XpresHAn Technology™ to correct these deepened lines. The unique cross-linking of the gel in Restylane Defyne is also designed to help support your facial expressions—for naturallooking results that help maintain your natural movement. RADIESSE® This effective, safe, and long-lasting option aids in smoothing out wrinkles, while adding volume and contour to the face, to gain a younger, more radiant appearance. Radiesse® not only acts as a great replacement for collagen, it also stimulates your body’s natural collagen growth for beautiful, lasting results. Radiesse® is composed of minerals similar to what makes up our bones, and it gradually absorbs naturally into the body. It can be used on many areas of the face and is highly effective for filling and correcting smile lines and wrinkles around the nose and mouth.

moderate to severe parentheses lines and wrinkles by adding volume to the lines and wrinkles around your nose and mouth to produce subtle and long-lasting results for up to 18 months. JUVÉDERM® ULTRA PLUS Juvederm® is an FDA approved natural hylauronic acid filler, which makes it safe, effective and reversible. The Ultra Plus formulation contains anesthetic lidocaine to make the injection more comfortable. With its silky consistency and lightweight composition of hyaluronic acid, Juvederm® offers unparalleled, longlasting results. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring lubricant found in the skin tissue and can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water making it ideal to use. Because it is so well hydrated, Juvederm® offers visible yet natural-looking results with minimal recovery time. BELOTERO Belotero is a hyaluronic acid that works excellent on fine lines. It works by boosting the volume of hyaluronic acid naturally produced in your skin while fighting the natural signs of aging. Results are immediate and natural looking while facial expressions and movement remain normal.





Fashion Modeling’s Lesser Known Sister As a model coach, I have become acutely aware of the misperceptions within the modeling industry. Although there are numerous types of modeling, the type most people think of in our culture is: FASHION MODELING. When people think of fashion models, they stereotypically imagine young, tall, slender, leggy beauties globetrotting from NYC to London to Paris for fashion shows and luxurious photoshoots. But my view of modeling is much wider. I once read a statistic that it is easier to become a brain surgeon than a successful full time fashion model and also that physically and mentally only about 1 in 10,000 would have the height, measurements, looks, stamina and mental fortitude to excel in such a competitive industry. As American consumers demand a broader representation of beauty in advertising, we are refreshingly seeing the stereotype of a typical fashion model evolving, which is exciting. However, at this moment in history we are seeing the fashion industry collapse. Partly due to “fast fashion” which was an already unsustainable business model pre-coronavirus (perhaps a topic for a future article). And partly because people are staying at home. With fewer people leaving their homes, with fewer reasons for dressing up, more online shopping and less traffic into malls or retail stores, many retailers and fashion designers are struggling. We’ve recently seen many go bankrupt including Lord and Taylor, JC Penny, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, Joseph A. Bank, Brooks Brothers, Men’s 230


Warehouse, and many others are closing locations and laying off employees. If you have a local clothing boutique you love, now is a great time to make a purchase and help them keep their doors open in your own community. I have enjoyed seeing some fashion designers quickly adapt to making items currently in demand such as masks, PPE, loungewear, pajamas, fitness wear and comfortable, wear at home dresses. An excellent example of this is upstate NY based designer Khang Le who in 2019 was hopscotching the nation showing his avant garde collections at all of the top fashion week’s to adapt with the current pandemic is making comfortable fashion forward locally produced masks. When I first began modeling in the late 1990’s, it became apparent to me that at I was considered a “dwarf” in fashion modeling terms at a height of only 5’7”. I ended up finding it was unsustainable to maintain fashion model industry standard measurements of 34-24-34 that focusing my energy on other types of modeling would be a more successful avenue for my career. Today, I enjoy illuminating for my clients as well as Instagram followers on my IGTV series “Model Tips” @KristinBauerGross that there are many types of modeling: commercial, fashion, promotional, fitness, fit, parts, spokes modeling, glamour, fine art and more. Models that find a niche they enjoy and where their look and skills are in demand tend to bring the most success from my experience. Models who do not cater to the fashion industry but to businesses are commercial models. Imagine the term ‘commercial’

meaning business. One of the most exciting parts of being a commercial model is that unlike fashion modeling where there is very little paid fashion modeling outside of most major cities almost all small cities have paid commercial modeling work available. Any region or small city that has businesses flourishing is likely to have work for commercial models. What are examples of client’s who might need commercial models for their commercials, catalogs, brochures, and advertising campaigns? Some examples: banks, casinos, hospitals, credit unions, automotive companies, restaurants, hotels, pharmaceutical companies, amusement parks, wineries, resorts, breweries and more. Watch local tv or flip through local or regional magazines and look at the people featured in advertisements, commercials, catalogs, and infomercials. In most cases these are commercial models. Unlike fashion modeling, commercial models are often needed in a wider variety of ages, sizes, and demographics. Commercial models should be polished, professional, well-spoken, with vibrant skin, big smiles and symmetrical features but there are less stringent standards on height, weight, measurements, and more opportunities available in small markets. Commercial models also can branch out into commercial acting should they begin to feel confident not just moving for the camera but speaking on camera. According to author and casting director Terry Berland, “More people break into the acting business through commercial work than through any other medium in the industry”. So when models tell me they think they are too short, too old, or not thin enough to model, I share with

{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN } “If you have a local clothing boutique you love, now is a great time to make a purchase and help them keep their doors open in your own community.”

them my personal belief that there is so much work commercially and there are many niches and genres to modeling outside of fashion. If you’re thinking all this sounds pretty fun and exciting, that you’ve always wanted to pursue modeling, find a fun side hobby that pays, or an exciting new part time career in modeling but you thought because you live in a small town or that you missed the boat, that this wasn’t possible for you. 232


Then I have exciting news for you! Those I see become most successful are people who take regular and consistent action toward their goals. For those ready to take action now, I have an incredible online program called ‘ACTION’. A career development program for small market commercial models and actors to learn, connect, and succeed. Where you will learn: what niche is right for you, how to gain representation, prepare for photoshoots, use social media to improve your career, develop confidence, improve

mindset, learn from me your coach Kristin and industry experts via live Zoom classes monthly. Special Offer for Rochester Woman Online Readers! Get $50 off your first month of the ACTION Program. Use code: VIP50 Learn more about ACTION: www.KristinB. com/action-program






“Encouragement is oxygen to the soul” - George Matthew Adams Haven’t you ever once .. well, okay. Perhaps twice. Thought to yourself .. i wish to inspire. Move someone so deeply, it pushes them to action. Today. Tomorrow. And even years beyond my own lifetime. Leaving a legacy. You know? My own unique story. It’s funny how I only slightly pondered these intense thoughts. They’ve been there. With me. For years and years. But they were only little tiny specs of sparkles shoved high up on a shelf. I could barely reach them myself without needing some sort of step stool. I am only 4feet, 10 and a half inches tall. (that half inch is EVERYTHING, you know) I couldn’t possibly be expected to reach those jewels.. I preserved them well. They were kept in a box. A pretty gold, shiny box with a big red velvet ribbon. That box held secrets. Secrets only my heart could hold. You see, when I became a mom, my heart overflowed with wonder .. so I needed a box to hold my treasures. For safe keeping. For that someday. A rainy day. Perhaps .. Hi. I am Cindy. Welcome to my

column, Moving Beyond My Younger Years. Each month we will meet right here. Grab your coffee. Or tea. (I like tea, too!) find a comfy spot and come sit by me. I’ll share with you how I came to recognize my inspiration, build courage and become brave, step away from my invisibleness, overcome fear in pretty much any situation and to live. To live my life

world. Don’t get me wrong, they still are. But this thing they call, “empty nest” is certainly not for the light-hearted.

with true fulfillment. To discover my own purpose-driven life. So tell me, how do we build a strong culture, by design? How do we thrive together?

See you next month.

Do you ask yourself, ‘who am I .. at my natural best’ .. ‘how can I standout from the crowd; be that light God intended me to be’ And just like that, they’re gone. My kids. They were my life. My entire

So, you see.. there is much to chat about. I know I’m not alone. There are many of us out there.. I’m just hoping we find each other. Cling together. And learn. Grow. Inspire. Emily Maroutian once said, “as we grow older, we let go a little at a time: a bad memory, a negative habit, a toxic friend. Bit by bit we shed what no longer serves us until we reveal who we are underneath it all. We soon discover that even though we gave up many things, there is no feeling of loss. What we have gained in return is far more valuable.

I’ll be right here. How can I tell my own children to reach for the sun .. all I can do is reach for it, myself. You see, as much as we watch from a distance what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. Opening our hands .. palms to the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ MOVING{ BEYOND MY YOUNGER SHE HUSTLES TALKS { RECOVERX } } YEARS } “Haven’t you ever once... well, okay, perhaps twice thought to yourself , I wish to inspire and move someone so deeply, it pushes them to action”

sky .. releases them to be who they’re created to be (and it’s not necessarily what we want them to be). I didn’t give you the gift of life. 236


Instead, life gave me the gift of you.


A mother’s job is to teach her children not to need her anymore. The hardest part of that job is realizing you’ve

I’ll meet an old lady one day. And she’s arriving soon...

265 Meadowdale Drive Rochester, NY, United States 14624 (585) 217-3289



There I was sitting there completely consumed in the pity party I was throwing myself. I mean I had every right to, at least so I thought. When your diagnosed with multiple autoimmune conditions that come with a butt load of restrictions you can be prone to having some depressive tendencies. Especially when depression can be a symptom. So, there was a constant circulation of thoughts that consisted of “why me?”, and “ It is not fair that others get to do this and that, and they have all of this energy and I am over here like nope, sorry I am that pathetic friend that is limited”.

a huge depression on how fortunate they were in their life and their problems were not really all that bad. I was envious and was consumed with how unfair it was. I was in the comparison trap that most of us get swept up into. We have heard it again and again in all the years of our life on earth that special people have special circumstances. There is a group of people that have it made, and things come easily with little to no effort.

I’ve been in the position before of being overweight and not being able to do a damn thing about it while over on my right was one of my best friends that could eat whatever she wanted and not gain an ounce. Maybe you have been in or are currently experiencing that type of feeling and how much of a blow to your self-esteem that is. There was also a time that I would look around and see others as if they had life figured out and I was the one who was constantly getting knocked on my ass. They did not have student loan debt they were drowning in. Nor did they have to work 3 jobs and still not be able to make ends meet. I used to think to myself damn, they are so lucky! Even if they had something minor to complain about, I would tell them well at least you are not $80,000 in debt right now and cannot make the payments. That would bring a smile to their faces and they would reply “yeah, that’s true”. While I was trying to comfort them, the fact they would agree with me hurt like hell. It dropped me into

She has good genetics and my mom said I am blessed to carry the weight because it is like a family tradition, passed down like some family heirloom. His family comes from money so he will never have to worry about a dime or know what it means to go without. My family on the other hand will always break our backs and live paycheck to paycheck with our credit cards maxed out because that

is just how it is. When I started my personal growth journey, that is when the story I was telling myself started to change. Instead of someone else being the blessed one, I realized I could be the hero of my own journey. I started looking for ways to be grateful for what I have instead of focusing on everything I did not have or could not do. Let us take my autoimmune conditions with all their restrictions for example. I had to cut out a bunch of my favorite foods and really address my fast food addiction to start feeling better. When I started doing the work, at first it was a battle for me on how unfair it was that I could not enjoy my favorite foods with everyone else. How everyone else seemed to eat it and not be affected by doing so. Now I look at it now with gratitude because having these conditions made me step up my health game. When I go to eat something now, I question myself if this food is the best choice to be nourishing my body with. I am not sure if I did not have that wakeup call if I would have ever paid attention and took action. My body was literally screaming at me to stop the madness of all the crappy food I was eating. Now let us take my friend who could eat whatever she wanted and not gain an ounce. As I was sitting there envious of her, little did I know that her doctor was giving her a hard time about her weight. This doctor wanted her to gain weight because she was classified as being at an unhealthy

{ YOU ARE WORTH THE WORK } “When I started my personal growth journey, that is when the story I was telling myself started to change. Instead of someone else being the blessed one, I realized I could be the hero of my own journey.”

low weight. She was put on pills and weird shakes with the intention to cause weight gain that her body completely rejected. The fast food she was eating that I was jealous of her for was not even making a difference. From where I sat, the fact she could eat whatever she wanted and not gain anything was not a bad problem to have. The reality was she was going through a personal hell in her own way, on her own path to being healthy that I could not relate to. Just because your path does not look the same, does not mean that your destination of achieving a greater goal is different. After college I found myself not being able to find work in the areas that my degrees were in. I was broke and working 3 jobs and was so far in debt I thought I was taking those loans to my grave because there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I was working at a radio station at the time and overheard a guy on the talk radio station talking about personal finance and getting yourself out of debt. I bought his book, laid out a plan and a budget and took action. The journey has not been an overnight success. It has taken a ton of work, a bunch of saying no when I wanted to say yes, and an extreme amount of focus on the bigger goal. I have educated myself in depth on personal finance and it has become a real passion of mine. That might not have happened if I lived off my parent’s money. I feel like I needed to go through those tough times and lessons to come out a better person. Even if I did not like experiencing it at the time. You see, we get so caught up in our 240


comparisons to others that we lose sight of the fact that we could have what we want, we just have to get out of our own way to do it first. Let us take a current problem you are facing for example. Instead of looking at someone winning in that area and it sparks jealousy, have it spark inspiration. Ask yourself what action steps they are doing that you can implement into your own life and put your own unique spin on to push yourself forward. Let them motivate and inspire. Another thing to remember about comparison is looks can be deceiving. You might think that person has the perfect relationship, has it easy and has had success overnight. What you do not see is the hard work they put in when you are not looking. The long hours and the discipline. Remember things that come easy for them might take you a bit of extra time to get there, however the opposite can be true too. What comes easy to you that you think everyone else in the world has figured out I guarantee you there are people struggling in what comes easy for you. You never know what going on behind the scenes. There are millionaires out there driving Toyotas are Hondas, and there are people who look like they are living the high life but are on the verge of bankruptcy. You never know someone’s personal hell they are going through, their experiences and all the work it took for them to get where they are at. And frankly it is none of our business, just like it is not their business about what goes on in your life. “Stop comparing your path to

others. You have no idea where their starting line was or where their finish line will be.” Mel Robbins So, let go of the assumptions and the needing to have the same status as someone else. We are all unique individuals with unique sets of needs and wants that will ultimately make us happy. Is it really about the number on the scale or the feeling of being a powerful feminine force that just oozes confidence and loves the hell out of her body? Guess what you can have that and still have curves! There is only one of you and that is such a beautiful gift to give to the world. And yes, you read that right you are a gift to the world. The focus should be on being the best version of you and all the good that can bring. By putting the work and the investment into yourself and what really lights you up instead of someone else’s agenda, you can literally watch joy overflow into every area of your life. And as always, you’re worth the work! For more information please visit to find out more on how you can start living the life you want with help of hiring a coach. Follow on Facebook/Instagram: Kls_ squared



Hello, let me introduce myself, my name is Gabrielle Eden. I am a teenage actress, singer, and writer. I love performing on stage and working on movies in Syracuse, New York. I sing Broadway show tunes for concerts and Nursing Homes of my local area (Obviously before the quarantine), and I was writing poems for my school newspaper before the schools were shut down. What I want to accomplish in my life in the future is getting the role of “Christen Daáe” from my favorite show “The Phantom of The Opera” and maybe publishing a few fictional books of my own. Anyway, welcome all to Teen Talk! As a teenager in a pandemic, one thing has been on my mind ever since we were locked inside our houses: School. Back in March, I was at my Grandparents house when we got the call that school was closed and we would not go back until May. But what would happen then? How would the teachers know we were doing our work? Would anyone care to do homeschooling? So many questions came to my head. I was so glad our teachers told us to bring our supplies home. They told the students about their plans for homeschooling. Some would give us a ton of work, others would take it easy on us. But my main 242


concern was “how am I going to do my music through Homeschooling?”. I later learned that some of the teachers were going to teach through video chat. I’m going to be totally honest, I am not great with technology and I had no idea how to do a video chat. In fact, I never thought I was ever going to use it!

My very first video chat was at eleventhirty with my algebra teacher the following Tuesday. I was very nervous, I had no idea how to use it. I had not cleaned my room, so I did it on my bed. I put my hair in a ponytail so I didn’t give the impression that I wasn’t sleeping instead of doing my work. The minutes ticked by, I was getting

more nervous that no one cared to show up. Finally, eleven-thirty: time for algebra. I clicked onto the “join” button and (surprise, surprise) I was the first one to join the class. It was really great to see my algebra teacher safe in her home. Slowly but surely, the students came to class (Most of them anyway) and it went on like normal. After class ended, I said to myself “That wasn’t bad at all!”. A wave of relief that I finished my very first video chat swept over me. After a while, I got the hang of it, I even taught my little brother how to use it! Every day before she started the lesson, she would always fill us in on what was happening with the schools during COVID. As we reached May, they closed school yet again into the next month. I could hear myself thinking “What the heck?!” (I say “heck” because I don’t like swearing). I was really excited to see my teachers again for when we did go back, especially my chorus and music teachers. They were talking about a virtual concert where we record our songs and edit them together. I really hoped that was not the case, but it was. Not going to lie, it was really cool to hear ourselves on recordings like that. After a month, the school finally closed for the rest of the school year. It didn’t come as a shock, but I was not happy about it either. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one not happy








“ What I want to accomplish in my life in the future is getting the role of “Christen Daáe” from my favorite show “The Phantom of The Opera” and maybe publishing a few fictional books of my own.”



{ TEEN TALK } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “As a teenager in a pandemic, one thing has been on my mind ever since we were locked inside our houses: School.”

about it either. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one not happy about it either. My brother was really going crazy not being able to talk to his friends. But rumors started to form about school after the summer. One rumor was that some of us will go to school on Monday through Wednesday and the others went to school Thursday through Saturday. First reaction: absolutely not! No one wants to 246


go to school on Saturday! Another rumor was that some of us would go to school while others did video chats with the class in school. But honestly, I stopped listening for two reasons. One: I want to find out by the school what’s going on. Two: I don’t want to panic about anything to do with school. But needless to say, I really didn’t want to hear any more rumors. Personally, I just want to go back to

school with my music teachers and do my music lessons again. I’m sure we just want to go back so we can do the activities or subjects we love the most. Thank you all for joining me today on Teen Talk.








Do you ever feel like that start button on your computer? You click on it automatically expecting an instant connection but instead it just circles and circles. It is mesmerizing and hopeful all at the same time. Knowing that at any moment a connection to the outside world will magically happen, and all your problems will be solved if you can just connect, and then, nothing.

I tried to immediately re-connect, but the phone kept ringing. No one ever listens to a voice mail, so I sent a text, apologizing, but no response. Then I sent a second text trying to explain. All I got was an angry few line that has left me circling.

reminded me that I am definitely “inbetween” laying out in the sun slathered in baby oil, and old age.

I tried to work, I tried to exercise I tried

I stopped in to see her on my way home from not shopping. Walking in the door I hesitated to even tell her how I was feeling. My mother is wise, patient, tough and painfully honest. She also is living in her own ‘inbetween’.

I think that is where I have been living these past few weeks.

My mom was diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer’s more than a year ago and our family has been circling ever since.

Circling, in the ‘in-between’. Let’s face it, we’ve all been circling for the past five months. Disconnected from the past, not knowing our future, and forced to live in the meantime. My disconnect happened after a heated argument over the phone with someone I care about. I said something I regretted. I was tired, angry and all I wanted to do in that split second was to hurt them back for something they had said to me. Our conversation suddenly lost all connection when I verbally vomited. They hung up. I hate hang ups. I admit that occasionally for dramatic purposes I have done it, but I really do not like the phone hang up, especially when it happens to me.

Still feeling lost, I knew I needed connection, so I turned to the person who knows me best, my mom.

I miss my mom, even though I see her every day, sometimes several times a day. I walked in the front door and I knew immediately the circling had stopped if just for the afternoon. Her eyes were bright, she was smiling, and she recognized me. She knew I was her daughter; she knew I was Robin. to pretend that I was still connected. I even went to the mall and looked at cloths I had no desire to buy. Nothing. I ended up in wandering around Sephora buying undereye corrector and some coverup for my sunspots. The purchase

I had a connection. I made some coffee and sat on her couch while she rested in her over-stuffed chair. It was a familiar scene we have played out so many times. Me chatting away and getting worked up about a boyfriend, client, or parenting problem I was struggling with. She listens, offering up some the same advice every time.

{ HER EDGE } “It will be okay, just sit tight, be patient and breathe”.

“It will be okay, just sit tight, be patient and breathe”.

I took my mother’s advice and embraced life in the ‘in-between’.

She is a firm believer that time, even when nothing seems to be happening, is never wasted. Answers usually don’t come when we want them to. The ‘inbetween’ time, when we are waiting for something to happen is when we grow and learn and move forward. Better decisions can be made when we have had time to think during the in-between. Like many women I get lost on the road to self-awareness. I get too distracted by all the running around for meaningless daily “to-do” crap. I never stop to think about what I may need, want, or enjoy. I sound like a martyr. Had a become one?

I spent ten days moving a little slower. I read something inspirational every morning, attend a sunrise workout class, got to know my neighbor’s dog walker a lot better, and overall talked less, and listened more. I kept my circle small and tried to inhale each day without exhaling anger or resentment. On the tenth day, I went to get groceries and lost track of my phone. Loading the bags in my car I panicked. I remember putting it down in the store as I was checking out. Instead of getting upset I knew right where it was.

A young cashier had kept it, knowing I would not get too far without it. She handed it to me and when I turned it over there it was. A text from my friend when I least expected it. Standing in Wegmans, my mother’s words gave me pause. There is grace in the waiting. A week has passed since our long talk on the couch. My mom is now disconnected from me once again. I have so many things to tell her. I think I’ll enjoy the wait, until we can connect again.




Hi! Welcome back to the Socially Creative Column. If we didn’t meet last month, my name is Hannah Costello & I am the owner of Creatives Social Agency, a Rochester based Social Media & E-Commerce Marketing business created to help small business owners, creatives, makers, and entrepreneurs feel more confident in their online presence. In last month’s column I talked about finding the right social media platforms for your business as well as creating your client avatar. This month, I am diving into exactly what a client avatar is! (Think Video Games) Plain and simple, a client avatar is your visualized ideal customer or client persona. When creating your avatar, begin by asking yourself a series of questions to prompt yourself mentally as you begin to create your ideal consumer unique to your niche. (Here are a few examples): Who are they? What do they do? What is their occupation? What is their demographic? What is their marital status? What is their household like? What is their educational level? I have found it helpful to dig even deeper and paint a visual in my mind of what they look like. Feel free to actually draw them or just right your descriptive words out on paper (I give you permission to pull out your crayons and markers too!) If you have ever found yourself asking 252


the question, “Where are my people?” or “Why do I hear crickets every time I put out content?” Then this is the perfect place to start.

This is a crucial piece to your marketing efforts if you’ve felt as those you’re just targeting your audience blindly, hoping someone will eventually come around, find you and want to work with you.

The purpose of this client avatar is to put this mental image in your mind every time you are posting and sharing content, so you know exactly WHO you are speaking to. This avatar is who you would love to see walk through the virtual doors of your social media and e-commerce platforms.

When you try to attract everyone, you will attract no one.

Another benefit of this practice is how it helps you discover your client’s pain points, the “what they are currently struggling with?” aspect and HOW your services and products can help them and WHAT those services and products can do for them.

It is all about being on the right platforms & reaching the right people for your business without wasting money, time and energy on the people who aren’t your Lifers.

By starting with just one avatar, it allows you to more easily attract your targeted audience(s) because you’ve taken the time to create a detailed baseline for your ideal consumer. Oftentimes, when you are writing out the who, what, where of your ideal client, you realize you already attract this avatar because they match the clients and customers you already have. If you aren’t seeing this yet, that is okay. That is the point of using this visual marketing tool. Another very important part of this exercise is asking yourself WHY your business is right for your ideal client and WHAT makes you a match with them.

You can’t be everything for everyone in your marketing and advertising efforts. Trying to reach everyone will only leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated.

Knowing WHO you are speaking to and WHY you are speaking to them will also increase the effectiveness of your copywriting and content creation. If you are looking for a starting point to create your ideal client persona, you can send an email to me at info@ with the subject line “Client Avatar” and I will send you my FREE Client Avatar Worksheet. For a more in-depth look into your current marketing and branding strategies, you can also book a FREE 30 minute discovery call with me through the end of August via email or social media! ( creatives_social_agency or creativessocialagency)



DIVERSITY WITHIN HAIR SALONS AND BARBERSHOPS Should hair salons and barbershops provide more diverse services, have diverse teams, and have diverse guests? The answer is simple...YES! Is it as easy as yes? Well, not exactly. Hair is a fabric. Let us take in this truth. When you talk to people that knit, sew, stitch, crochet, etc.… they each have a fabric of choice. This choice may be based on texture, ability to do what is needed, or experience. This is the same concept with hair.

your salon or barbershop”. Another way is through education! This really is a must. Once out of school (and hopefully a school that teaches diversity), usually stylists get education based on the brands used in the salon or barbershop, or from the distributor that the products are purchased from. Usually if any barber or stylist is asked about education usually it falls within their current clientele base. Business

A hairstylist may not work with curly hair, straight hair, thinning hair, short or long hair, extensions, wigs, men’s hair pieces, the list can go on and on, but you get my point. The reason? Usually hair stylists get good at their own hair. A black, brown, or white person that is good at their own hair usually attracts clients that have the same hair texture as well. There are exceptions to everything, so this is not a concrete= fact, but more of an observation. So how can a salon be diverse? The answer is very simply, in the setup. Having all the right products, tools, and experts to attract a diverse clientele. This can be expensive. Every brand has a specific client they want to target. Go ahead… try it…. I will not provide examples because it is a fun game to play. Take a brand and look at its social media, website, pricing, and most importantly their mission statement. Salons should have the same strategy. Now, this strategy absolutely should not exclude people in anyway, but rather say “hey you, we are 256


classes are not taught to gain clientele from outside your demographic. At least they used to be based only on “Gaining more clients”, or every kind of technique known to man. But, there are not many stylists stepping out of their comfort zones to learn about hair outside of their cown circle. Basically what I am trying to say is that product brands need to be more diverse in order for salons and barbershops to be more diverse.

Products are expensive. But, product lines also have reward clubs. Some levels of the reward club allow access to certain elite levels based on that brand being the only brand in the salon. Then that brand needs to have products that can serve all clients. Have products that are multi use. There are some products that have multiple uses but there can be more. When you are searching for a new stylist or barber please keep all of this in mind. Salons and barbershops are not keeping anyone out. Believe me they will take your money and cut your hair. However, the industry needs to change, and slowly it is. But just like anything else it is the starting that is slow. Once change starts to happen it happens quicker and quicker, and will get better and better each day. I am sure there are many ways to create a diverse salon and barbershop. In Rochester, the only diverse salon atmosphere I have seen that serves everyone… is PRIME SALON & SPA SUITES. Each suite is its own business however as a whole, PRIME is the most diverse place in the area. There are different stylists and nail professionals available for you. There are different price points also for you. There is also a suite for you if you are a beauty pro looking for a new home. 301 Exchange Blvd LL1. Text 585-278-0314 for more info if you are looking for a new stylist or a pro looking for a new home. Cheer, Colleen PRIME SALON & SPA SUITES Prime Advisors
























There is a term in the health professions called, “Emotional I.Q.”. It refers to the ability of the health care provider to recognize, understand, and value a patient’s “emotional self-awareness” (a patient’s self-image and what, if anything, they want to change about themselves to improve their self-image). Emotional I.Q. considers the psychological benefit of treating the patient’s wants as well as their needs. Placing equal importance on a patient’s wants should be central to the overall treatment plan and results in treating the patient as a whole person . . . this is holistic patient care. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet Emotional I.Q. is not typically taught in dentistry. It’s the kind of skill that must be desired, sought out, and honed. An orthopedist treats the joints and bones. A cardiologist treats the heart. A dentist treats the gums and teeth. For Dr. Indra Quagliata, it is important not to become too focused: to remember that she is treating the person behind the smile. Her “Emotional I.Q.” is a skill that she cultures and refines continuously, actively listening to her patients to identify their “emotional self-awareness”. Patients rely on Dr. Quagliata to be a partner in their dental care for dental cleanings and managing tooth decay, but it is natural that her patients want their emotional 260


self-awareness as well as their goals for their dental care heard, understood, and valued. To succeed in this, Dr. Quagliata continuously invests in technology, education, and continued training of herself as well as her staff to provide advanced, twenty-first century, holistic dental care. Using technologically advanced digital x-rays diagnose conditions

for the planning and placement of dental implants and is used to provide the most advanced clear tray orthodontic treatments. CEREC Computer Aided Design is a digital 3D design and fabrication technology that Dr. Quagliata and her team utilize to create esthetically superior crowns and bridges in a SINGLE appointment. In office one-hour Zoom Teeth Whitening is also available and offers immediate results. Investing in this twenty-first century technology allows Dr. Quagliata to meet the expectations of her patients Using the most current and advanced methods and protocols available, Dr. Quagliata ensures that her patients enjoy thorough and individualized preventive care. When simple fillings are needed, Dr Quagliata places only natural looking composite fillings using the highest quality restorative materials. Saving teeth is always a priority. Root Canal Therapy is a treatment option to avoid tooth extraction and is an in-office treatment option.

of the teeth and gums in the earliest stages is important to treat dental conditions when they are small. Cone Beam CT Imaging is a digital 3D dental x-ray that allows Dr. Quagliata to visualize and diagnose conditions that would otherwise be missed on traditional 2D dental x-rays. It is necessary

But what about patients whose emotional selfawareness goes beyond their smile? What about those patients concerned with facial lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, sunspots, acne scars, or even hair loss? Dentists are trained specialists in head and neck anatomy and physiology and are uniquely qualified to offer treatments for facial esthetics and hair loss. Certified by the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, Dr. Quagliata has traveled



{ WORD OF MOUTH } “This “Emotional I.Q.”, believing every patient deserves personalized care, is what sets Dr. Indra Quagliata apart as Rochester’s twenty-first century dentist delivering holistic patient care.”

promote tissue regeneration. The science of PRF was introduced to dentistry in 2001 for dental surgeries and more recently for facial rejuvenating procedures. Micro Needling is a facial esthetic procedure that corrects fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, sunspots, under-eye circles, and acne scars. Trained and certified staff can use PRF topically during Micro Needling to enhance results. It is an effective treatment for women and men of any age or skin type. The mechanical action of skin injury during Micro Needling breaks up sunspots (called melanocytes), breaks down the collagen matrix of facial scaring, and induces collagen and elastin production within 262


skin cells. The healing biomaterial of PRF accelerates soft tissue regeneration which continues for up to one month. So, Micro Needling procedures are safe to repeat every 4 weeks. Improvements in the skin are noticeable after three or four treatments (3 or 4 months) depending on the level of skin damage to be corrected. When used with PRF, Micro Needling results can be long lasting, provided patients treat their new skin with care and do not return to old habits that cause skin damage. Once desired results are achieved, 1 or 2 Micro Needling treatments every 12–18 months are all that is needed to maintain results. William Shakespeare said, “Things done well and with care, exempt themselves from

fear”. Dr. Indra Quagliata believes that in delivering care that hears, acknowledges, understands, and values the emotional self-awareness of her patients, establishes trust, and trust negates fear. This is her mission and passion: to treat each patient as a whole person. This “Emotional I.Q.”, believing every patient deserves personalized care, is what sets Dr. Indra Quagliata apart as Rochester’s twenty-first century dentist delivering holistic patient care. She believes that is really should be that simple.

Live your smile to the fullest.







@IQ_Dentistry @IQFamilyDentistry

IQ DENTISTRY 300 White Spruce Blvd. Suite 134 Rochester, NY 14623



GETTING OVER THE FEAR OF REJECTION Back in March I found myself doing what just about everyone else I knew was doing, cleaning house. It’s funny but cleaning appears to be a great stress reliever. ‘If the house is in order so is everything else.’ At the time, I wasn’t cleaning my cupboards, I was cleaning up my laptop. Come to think of it, it could use a serious clean up right now!

even designed the covers. They have both been in that position for a long time, approximately four months. It’s my job as a coach, now to advise myself to get over the hump and publish them! But that’s a scary thought. That means I open myself to exposure and criticism. And who wants that? Not me! Go figure. Here I am writing this article, quite publicly. This brings us to the topic of adjusting your mindset. It’s a classic topic for all coaches to

As I perused m y m a n y, many folders, I stumbled upon one that was titled ‘my books’. I had been so busy that I had forgotten about it. Which has its positive side. That means I was generating business and leading a full, rich life. When I opened the folder, I discovered I had started not one, not two, but five books. All great ideas! ‘Hmmm …’ I wondered, ‘perhaps now is the time, the time to actually complete them.’ Coaching myself, I advised to start with one and move on from there. Whoever listens to their coach? So I completed two books. I finished writing them. I copyrighted them. And I uploaded them into the appropriate file formats. I 264


assist their clients in working out. No one ever said that coaches didn’t experience the same issues their clients experience. Ideally they, we, the coach have stumbled through the crisis and figured it out, allowing us to share that newfound wisdom with you the client. Now and again, as you likely know, even when you’ve got life figured out, you find out you don’t. Patterns are hard to change. And rejection is hard to face. Even if it’s just a story in your head with no solid foundation.

So I’m going to use this article as an opportunity to coach not only you, the reader, but me! Because I’m stuck. Not really sure what it is I’m afraid of exactly. I mean, exposure and rejection and criticism … those are all just big categories. So let’s see what’s underneath those headings. FEAR OF EXPOSURE I was talking to a client this morning and she shared a dream that she has had on a regular basis. You may have had the same dream. You’re suddenly exposed, naked in public or something like that, and you feel all kinds of uncomfortable feelings - shame, fear, confusion. W h e n we p u t ourselves out in the public eye, we reveal ourselves to a much larger audience then, let’s say, our friends and family. And we all know how tough some of those friends and family members can be. They know us. And therefore they can push our buttons. So why on earth would anyone, me or you, want to expose yourself to a much bigger audience than that? We’ll come back to the answer in a moment. FEAR OF REJECTION Have any of you ever auditioned for a role and been turned down? Not only did you not get the part, but someone else with less talent, less experience, and well they’re just not you, got it! You’ve been trying to sell a house and

{ MIND, BODY & SPIRIT } “It’s my job as a coach, now to advise myself to get over the hump and publish them! But that’s a scary thought.”

someone else sells it out from beneath you. You’re in your third stage of negotiation with a prospective client, and they select another company! You’re first in line for a job opportunity and it falls through. Each and every one of these scenarios is an experience of being rejected. The key here is not to take it personally! It’s really not about you. This is beginning to sound like a break up, isn’t it? ‘It’s not you. It’s me.’ 266


Quite honestly that’s usually the truth. But so very hard to except and believe. ‘If only I just … fill in the blank … she or he would still be here.’ Why then, would anyone in their right mind publish anything? Ego. Sure. Financial income. OK. How about this. What if what you have to say will save someone’s life. What if it could help someone be a better person. Lead a better life. Heal unhealthy habits. Be more successful in relationships. Establish a thriving career.

These are all great reasons to get published. If there’s a book inside of you, or an article, or a blog post for that matter, roll up your sleeves, get out of your head and into your heart and let it all out. My new book is called Mindfulness Tip of the Day. It offers creative ways to reduce stress and create peace and joy in your life. Wish me luck getting it off my laptop and onto yours! Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC. Grow your business. Expand your mind. Heal your soul. www.

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As we age, we purchase the latest lotions and creams to keep our skin vibrant, the latest exercise machine that guarantees miracles, and supplements that promise anti-aging qualities. We seem to be searching for that fountain of youth. But do you ever think about your bone health? What if I told you that our peak bone density occurs in our late 20’s? We begin to lose bone density after age 30. You are expected to lose 3-5% of bone per year after the age of 30. This is dependent on your activity level. Osteoporosis is a disease affecting your bone density. It is known as a silent disease because you are typically unaware of your diagnosis until a fracture occurs. Fractures are most frequently found in one’s spine, wrist, and hips resulting in chronic pain, loss of independence, and occasionally death. While females are at a higher risk of Osteoporosis, men are also at risk. Here are some lifestyle factors that increase your risk of developing Osteoporosis. GENETICS SMOKING INACTIVITY MEDICATIONS POOR NUTRITION There is good news! With a few lifestyle modifications, you can improve your bone health, even with a current diagnosis of Osteoporosis! Start by talking to your doctor. We always advise letting your doctor know before making lifestyle modifications. YOUR DIET: Eating a well-rounded nutritious diet full of fruits and veggies is a great place to start. The more vibrant the colors and the darker the greens, the better. We all know that calcium is essential for your bones. The common misconception is that dairy is the only way to get it! People start taking calcium supplements and filling their life with yogurt and milk. But there is a catch! Your body needs a multitude of other minerals and vitamins for calcium to be absorbed and used by the body properly. Without Vitamin D & K, calcium floats around your body, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. When eating 268


your calcium in the form of leafy greens and veggies, you get a blend of vitamins and minerals that work together for your body to absorb and build healthy bones. Soak up your vitamin D: No need to eat fortified unnatural foods. Get in the sunshine at least 10 minutes a day; that is all you need to get your daily allowance of Vitamin D. Skip the sunscreen, just for a moment. Sunscreen blocks the Vitamin D process. The sun is beneficial but only in small increments. LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS

Put down the cigarettes for more reasons than your bone health. Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption. These things, in abundance can increase bone breakdown and decrease bone formation. Both are okay in moderation. STRESS LESS: Did you know that stress contributes to bone loss? High cortisol levels in your body can lead to bone loss. Having high cortisol levels includes high steroid use or corticosteroid injections. Studies have shown that meditation alone can decrease chronic stress and improve your immune system. Not sure where to start? Check out our Mindfulness class and free meditation resources at

EXERCISE: We all know that exercise is essential for your health. Did you know that stronger muscles equal stronger bones? Studies show regular weight-bearing exercise can increase both bone strength and bone density. There are risks involved with exercise and Osteoporosis. Specific exercises will put you at a higher risk for fracture. It is imperative to work with someone familiar with the Osteoporosis diagnosis to keep you safe. How does exercise improve bone density? The weight-bearing force of gravity, along with the force of muscle tendons pushing and pulling on the bone, stimulates new bone tissue growth, improving bone density. Weight-bearing exercise is considered any activity that puts force on your bones. Such as walking and hiking, bodyweight exercises like yoga or Pilates, or any exercise using weight. These include resistance bands, free weights, or nautilus machines. Unfortunately, studies show that bike riding and water exercise, although great for general health, don’t seem to have a positive on improving bone density. To get all of the benefits of exercise for bone health, you will want to incorporate flexibility, balance for fall prevention, and postural work with your strength training. It can seem overwhelming! If you are looking for assistance to put together your exercise regimen? Wellness 360 has a program designed specifically for the Osteoporosis diagnosis. Wellness 360 is evidence-based exercises designed and led by a physical therapist. There are multiple ways we can provide you with safe and effective exercise programs, one on one treatment, online exercise program subscription, or in a group fitness setting. We provide you with affordable evidence-based exercise to improve your health and improve your bone density, safely and effectively (www.





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Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Italy with my husband and his family. We spent some time on the Amalfi Coast and in Florence and Rome. However, the bulk of our time was spent in the Umbria Region, where we were joined by my husband’s Italian cousins. There were 18 of us all staying at Villa Spaccini E Sensi, where we were well cared for by our hosts, Gianluca Spaccini and Stefania Sensi. It goes without saying that the food in Italy was fabulous. But the best meals we had were those prepared for us by Stefania. She is an immensely talented chef who puts so much intention, care, and love into her craft.

delicious yogurt I ever tasted. Every morning I ate yogurt topped with a spoonful of Stefania’s homemade apricot or cherry preserves – sooo delicious! Now, I have never really cared for yogurt. In my twenties and thirties, I would periodically go through a phase of thinking I needed to eat yogurt because it was so heavily marketed as a “healthy” food. In reality, typical yogurt you find in an American supermarket is full of

Every morning before we embarked on the day’s adventures, Stefania prepared a huge spread for breakfast. The kids ate pancakes or waffles with Nutella (in Italy Nutella has more hazelnuts and less sugar than the American version) there were freshly baked pastries, homemade bread toasted with butter, eggs, and, of course, espresso.

additives and sugars. After a week or two I would ask myself why I was eating something I disliked so much and stop eating yogurt.

My favorite treat at Stefania’s breakfast table was her homemade yogurt. She makes the yogurt with milk from the cows on their farm and then strains it - she saves the whey to use in her baked goods, which I have to say were scrumptious. Stefania’s yogurt was the thickest, creamiest, most

However, after eating it in Italy I started to occasionally crave yogurt. Not being up to the task of making my own yogurt, I began searching for a yogurt that would come close to Stefania’s. And I have found the holy grail of yogurts. North Country Creamery in Keeseville, New York is

a 100% grass-fed, Non-GMO, & Animal Welfare Approved dairy. The only ingredients in their yogurt are pasteurized whole milk and three live cultures: L bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, and L acidophilus. In his book Food, What the Heck Should I Eat? Dr. Mark Hyman states that probiotic-rich dairy like kefir and yogurt, from grass-fed cows and without added sugar, are healthy additions to your diet. “Cows that graze on their natural diet of grass produce milk (and meat) with a better composition of fats and nutrients than cows that are fed corn, soy, and grains” Dr. Hyman goes on to explain that organic dairy is somewhere in the middle. “But grass-fed is still best. It contains not only the best ratio of the essential fatty acids, but also the highest levels of carotene, vitamin A, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid,) which has beneficial effects on metabolism.” To get the thick, creamy texture I enjoyed in Italy I strain the yogurt by lining a strainer with cheesecloth or paper towel and placing the strainer over a large bowl. Then pour the yogurt into the strainer and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, lift the liner out of the strainer and turn it over a clean bowl – the yogurt will fall right off your cheesecloth or paper towel into the bowl. If you bake you can refrigerate the whey and use it in place of the liquid called for in recipes for more moisture and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2020


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “It goes without saying that the food in Italy was fabulous. But the best meals we had were those prepared for us by Stefania.”

I don’t have Stefania’s preserves, but one of the best things about summer in upstate New York is the abundance of fresh, juicy, sweet summer fruits. Among my favorites are strawberries, cherries, and peaches. This morning I sliced fresh peaches from the Brighton Farmers Market and sprinkled them with McCormick’s organic cinnamon. For lunch I am having the yogurt and 274


peaches topped with raw walnuts and a sprinkle of Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened and unsulfured coconut. North Country Creamery overlooks Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. My husband and I order the yogurt through the Headwater Food Hub in Ontario and pick it up on Wednesdays at The Harley

School. To find it in your area check out your local food co-ops. If you are planning a trip to the Umbria Region of Italy, I cannot say enough about what a delightful stay we had at Villa Spaccini E Sensi with Stefania and Gianluca.

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.� - Buddha At Blissful Balance our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Let us help you to author your own health. Offering wellness workshops, individual health coaching and essential oils.

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance





We have all heard the saying “Your body is your temple” or “Your body is sacred or pure”. Many of us have heard and repeated the statements as children but did not follow through as we blossomed into the women we are today. As adult women, overindulging, and being consumed by staying busy are how many of us live. There are some of us who do not give our bodies enough of what we need and have adapted a sedimentary lifestyle. We have treated our body as after thoughts, even more so we have treated ourselves as a whole in the same regard. The way I treated my body was a direct connection to how I felt about myself. If you have read my previous article, you are aware of my struggle with my reflection. As a child I did not know how to value what the mirror showed me. I started to appreciate, and value the body I was blessed with in my early 20’s. I’m currently in my 30’s and I’m still on this lifelong path. Every day I take a step on a complete self-love journey. It has not been easy, yet it has been rewarding. I have been able to share my battles with other women. In those conversations we relate on our desires to treat ourselves better. I asked our MS. Kurvie 2018 Jamequa Abernathy to join me in the dear body project. The dear body project was an idea that I journaled about in 2018. During this time my journaling consisted of poems, things I wanted to remember, and letters.

I wrote short letters to myself, as well as others. I began writing one to my body. My first dear body letter was an apology. It read: “Dear Body, I’m sorry will never be enough. I created spaces that harmed you. I did not appreciate you, your fullness, or your beauty. Because others ridiculed you, I saw you as ugly. I will teach my daughters, nieces and God daughter to love their bodies. I will not allow them to see disdain as I did.

Dear body despite my actions I love you. Ill prove it.” I wanted to continue this mission with women I was surrounded by. I hoped that it would inspire young women to look at themselves with love. I wanted anyone who was struggling with the way they look to see beauty in every part of themselves. I wrote two dear body letters that expressed how I felt about my outward appearance and how I promise to ensure my body will be cherished. In the first line of the letter it read: Dear body, you are beautiful. I went on to pour more

positivity, and declarations onto myself. My second letter I acknowledged the mistreatment I have allowed. The first line read: “Dear body, I promise the next energy that is allowed next to you will desire all that encompasses you.” I had to promise my body that the next gentleman that is allowed to experience her in any aspect will cherish all of her. He will have to honor her as a whole being, and not just the parts he dreams about. Seeing those words bought tears to my eyes and make me further realize I had more inner work to do. Jamequa Abernathy, winner of Ms. Kurvie North 2018, MUA and model wrote a moving letter to herself. She spoke on the hurt her body has experienced. She also praised her body for enduring life’s troubles. My favorite part of her letter read “Thank you for allowing love to win again, you’re worthy of it” This statement spoke to me as I can relate to feeling unworthy in the past. I have asked a few other women to join me in this journey. I am excited to read their letters and discuss our experiences. This process has and will continue to reveal my insecurities and my strengths. Even if the words are for your eyes only, I encourage you all to write a dear body letter. If you’d like to share a story or your letter with me please email me at, message me on my social media platforms.



{ THE KURVIE KORNER } “As adult women, overindulging, and being consumed by staying busy are how many of us live. There are some of us who do not give our bodies enough of what we need and have adapted a sedimentary lifestyle.”





Now that we have been living with the COVID-19 pandemic for several months, transformation seems like an excellent topic to discuss. Periods of great unrest, such as this pandemic, offer the potential to engage in substantive transformation. Transformation is defined as a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. It has also been defined as the metamorphosis during the life cycle.

include engaging in therapy/coaching, participating in educational courses, connecting with nature, learning new skills, reading, practicing meditation, and asking for feedback. Adjusting to the radical changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an enormous opportunity for transformation. Our typical routines have been radically uprooted.

Psychologists refer to transformation as a major change or shift in an individual’s thought and/or behavior patterns. Such types of changes normally require a major change in thought patterns and values. Psychological research stresses the importance of selfawareness for transformation. Self-awareness is crucial for us to experience self-development, take the perspective of others, engage in self-control, produce creative accomplishments, and experience heightened selfesteem. Research has shown that increased self-awareness can lead to increased self-care and decreased burnout. Furthermore, increased selfawareness leads to greater acceptance, both of oneself and others. Consequently, self-awareness is a crucial component of our psychological well-being. Several types of activities are associated with increased self-awareness. These 280


Previous work and family schedules have undergone enormous change. As with any stressor, our reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic is what is crucially important. We do not have the capacity to erase the enormous changes that this pandemic has introduced into each of our lives. Most importantly, we retain the power to choose how to

interpret the significant changes that have been imposed by COVID-19. Without a doubt, adjusting to some changes brought on by COVID-19 are enormously difficult. Some individuals must adjust to the significant loss associated with losing their business. Parents are struggling, to various degrees, with juggling working remotely and attempting to educate their children. COVID-19, of course, is superimposed upon our baseline levels of stress. If our work and/or personal lives had been relatively stable prior to experiencing this pandemic, we were in a much better position to weather the upheaval of COVID-19. Individuals who were already experiencing major losses or periods of transition in their life were much more vulnerable to dealing with COVID-19 related losses. I have personally experienced this, both with my daughter and myself. At the very start of this pandemic, my daughter’s now ex-husband announced that he was moving out of the house, after extended infidelity. My daughter subsequently sustained a serious foot fracture; her course of healing was compromised by being an organ transplant recipient. Concurrent with these major stressors, my daughter and I were both serving as caregivers for my elderly mother. She sustained multiple medical problems, before her death in early May.

{ MENTALLY THINKING } “Transformation is defined as a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.”



{ {RWO’S MENTALLY MENTAL THINKING HEALTH} } “Periods of great unrest, such as this pandemic, offer the potential to engage in substantive transformation.”

Personally, I have been continuing to cope with multiple medical issues during this pandemic. Most unfortunately, I was informed that my social security disability benefits were going to be revoked, due to earning above the Substantial Gainful Amount (SGA) that is permitted by the Social Security Administration. My ongoing problems with menorrhagia, which was so severe that it induced iron-deficiency anemia, brought me to a definite crossroad: I decided to undergo a total hysterectomy this past July. For a period of several months, I was continuing to work as a clinical psychologist in two nursing homes; given my pre-morbid medical problems, this introduced a certain level of anxiety. 282


Thankfully, neither of the nursing homes where I practice have experienced any cases of COVID-19. Of course, I was regularly tested for COVID-19. During this period, I was forced to learn how to teach my college class completely remotely. This was no easy task, given that I was dealing with high school seniors who were actively mourning the loss of what their final year in school should have been. Concurrent with these responsibilities, I was caring for my failing mother, plus assisting my daughter as she sank into a very severe depression.

away, on May 8, 2020, I decided to become much more aware of taking care of my personal health. I decided that I needed to take much better care of myself. I spent a lot of time researching the use of bio-identical hormones, as opposed to traditional hormone replacement therapy. I also heavily researched the health benefits of intermittent fasting (IF). In addition, I downloaded a WalkFit app, to track my daily number of steps. I evaluated my general diet and realized that there was considerable room for improvement. Finally, I evaluated how adequately hydrated I was.

I chose to consider this overwhelmingly stressful period as an unprecedented opportunity to engage in selftransformation. After my mother passed

I decided that COVID-19 was an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent myself.

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Here we are, in the month of August where happiness happens! It’s a thing, believe it or not, during this month. In fact, it so happens to happen, on August 8th - Happiness Happens Day! Have you ever heard of it? Neither had I but that’s what my articles are all about, learning new small trivial things to help us enjoy life. And I’d say, a month of happiness, is what we all need about now! So, what is this Happiness Happens Day? It was founded in 1999 by a society called the ‘Secret Society of Happy People’. I’m telling you, this is all true! Their goal, is to encourage members to recognize their moments and think about happiness in their daily life. They set aside August 8th, as a day to just let happiness happen! I have to admit that sounds pretty refreshing right about now! And really, what better month to have it? Summer is in full swing, still plenty of time to enjoy the sun and fun. It’s easy to see, how happiness could happen! So, what makes you happy? Can a premeditated day of happiness make you happy? Or, are you a spontaneous type of happiness person? It’s been said that it takes work to be happy. Take for example, a simple small smile. It takes ten muscles verses the six muscles for a small frown. However, since humans tend to smile a lot, these muscles can be stronger, making it actually easier to smile. A little bit of work or not, what result is that smile? Studies have proven that a smile can truly be contagious! Humans instinctively mimic other people’s emotional expressions. Giving us the ability to empathize with others. If you see someone smiling, are you not drawn in by smiling back? Such a simple little jester yet by mimicking it back, we ourselves release all kinds of things like, neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Which simply means, it makes us happy! So, I guess for our happiness to happen, we need to arm ourselves with a smile! Simple enough, what’s next? How about surrounding ourselves with others that make us happy? This can be

family, friends, a significant other, pets and yes - even strangers!

National Days do we have this month to help us with our happiness?

We all have that favorite coffee place we like, favorite cashier, friendly bus driver, helpful bank teller, you get the idea. The people who are strangers but are not. People we may see randomly but somehow always make us smile. You know who I am talking about, ones we may take for granted but when we stop and think about it ...are ones who provide us with brief moments of happiness. Why not try to fit them into this month of happiness, to help set the mood?

August 7th – Sister’s Day – A bit of confusion on this one, some say its August 5th while others say it August 7th …whichever the case it is, at least you have two days to try to meet up with Sis and have a happy day!

Then of course, there are our pets! A tried and true ingredient for happiness! Whether you are a dog or cat person, perhaps a bird or fish, even reptile or other furry little creatures – their unconditional love always makes us happy! And if pets are not something you may have, a trip to the pet store, shelter or even the zoo, can still easily allow our happiness to happen! Next up, I would think would be our environment. Sure, we’d all be happy to be in our dream environment! Whether it be on a beach somewhere or a remote cabin in the woods. Or, perhaps you prefer the hustle and bustle of a new city or even an amusement park? This is where our premeditated happiness would apply. Planning a day, week, or even the entire month away, to a place that makes you happy. Just thinking about it, brings a smile to me! But if for some reason, that is not within your reach, finding a closer happy place - may be easier than you think! Simply think of a place that makes you feel happy. Maybe, it’s a particular store you like to browse, a farmer’s market searching for the perfect produce for dinner, a stroll in the park or simply a relaxing bath. You may think all those would fall into the premeditated version as well, but not necessarily. Any one of these, could be done spontaneously to set the happiness mood! Point is, happiness can happen - if you just let it and then, acknowledge it! I think most of us, have happy moments throughout the day but stress sometimes overshadows those moments and we quickly forget about them. This month, let’s try to focus on the happy moments and let stress take a backseat for a change. What kind of

August 9th - Book Lovers Day – I thought this one applied since our audience obviously love to read so… what better way to dedicate a day to read? Catch up on some of those magazine articles you may have missed (wink wink) or treat yourself to a new book. (I may know a few, you may like) Or simply take the time, to finish the one you’ve started. Either way, reading can bring a smile to you which in turn can make you happy! August 15th - Relaxation Day – Now, this is a day that certainly can make us happy! Whether it be a massage, having your hair done, getting a pedicure, taking long baths, reading… ahhh the list goes on and on, to what we can do to relax! Which in turn, easily allows happiness to happen! August 21st - Senior Citizen Day – A day to celebrate our seniors and truly, they should be celebrated! For how many seniors in your life, have given you so much happiness throughout your own life? What with their wonderful stories, their shared recipes, and more importantly that precious smile of theirs when we, make time for them! Honor them, celebrate them, I guarantee you – making them happy, will bring you happiness! August 26th - Women’s Equality Day – This is a day ALL women should be happy! For it is this day, that commemorates the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote in 1920. In 1971, this day became recognized as a National Holiday. For all we have done and for all we still have to do, let us be happy - for this is OUR day! In closing, I leave you with a virtual smile  in hopes that your human nature will kick in and bring a smile back which in turn will put you on track, of letting happiness happen – enjoy!





Here we are in July and Covid -19 is still Affecting us. Mentally , emotionally, and physically. Not having gyms open it may seem downright impossible to keep yourself back on track. The key is to find your motivation! You have to want it yourself! finding the motivation to get back into shape after weeks of inactivity may cause some lack of motivation and also physical performance. Of course It can feel frustrating to get your body and your mind used to regular workout routine after such a huge break, here are a few things that can help motivate you. 1. Get yourself new gear that you love. one of the best ways to motivate yourself to work out is finding the cute workout clothes that you love that will make you feel confident and get you excited to go back into the gym. You can upgrade your look such as a new pair of sexy yoga pants or a nice new pair of sneakers, it really encourages you to put them to work. 2. Doing something different than what you used to do such as try new activities that you’ve never done before. Have you done yoga, Zumba, or even biking? These are things that will help keep the body active. 3. Challenge a friend with a weight loss goal. This will be a very fun and competitive thing to do if you have a friend that has the same goals as you such as getting in shape challenge each other to see who can lose the most weight within a certain amount of time kind of like the biggest loser, then discuss what the reward for the winner would be. Dinner and movie on them? Cash reward? This will challenge you to push harder. 286


Since A lot of businesses are closed and we’re unable to do the things we normally would like to do, there’s a lot of things that we can do on our own as well as with friends or family. 1. TEACH YOURSELF A NEW INSTRUMENT. Have you always wanted to learn to play guitar, violin and flute? take the extra time to learn. You never kno you could possibly create a good song. 2. EXPLORE NATURE! Try kayaking, hiking, biking , or even plan a camping trip. 3. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. Exercise your brain muscles by teaching yourself to speak a language you’ve always been interested in learning. There are so many resources available on google and YouTube. 4. EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN. Sometimes we struggle in the kitchen but take some time to sharpen your skills. Purchase a cookbook or follow a cooking show online and share your new cooking skills with friends and family. 5. GIVE YOURSELF YOUR OWN PERSONAL SPA DAY. There are tons of wonderful informative facials that you can do yourself online. Around this time of the year during summer it’s important to keep our skin hydrated. 4. DO SOME ORGANIZING. Organization is something everyone should do. Take a look in your home or office and think if there are things that could be in order. The other day I was

trying to find one of my favorite DVDs to watch and I thought to myself why not sort all of my DVDs in alphabetical order, so that way if I ever want to find one I will kno exactly ware to look. Organizing things makes life easier, especially when your a very busy person. 5. HOME IMPROVEMENT. Think of some things that you can do around your home that you can improve on. possibly paint the kitchen? New flooring? Sometimes adding new things into our home will make it feel new again, and make it more comfortable l. 6. TAKE A LONG DRIVE BY YOURSELF. This is one of my favorite things to do since I love music. it’s so relaxing to drive around at times with the windows down and the music up and just clear your mind while you explore the city, you would be surprised at new places you may have never seen. 7. CREATE A PIECE OF ART. Maybe you never thought of yourself as an artist but everyone has a creative side. experiment with paint, beads, and glitter. Look at artwork online and challenge yourself to recreate it. 8. DO A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS During this time that we’re all experiencing there’s many people that are probably stressed , you can make a huge impact on a stranger‘s life. try doing something nice for a homeless person, leave a large tip for a waiter, pay for someone’s coffee, give someone a compliment. You really could make someone’s day which will make you feel amazing.












Recently the word listening keeps cropping up in my life. To listen means to give one’s attention to a sound, to take notice of what someone says, to make an effort to hear something according to Yet how often do we really listen to each other? How often are we only kinda, not really listen to what someone else is saying because we are gearing up to say what we want to say or thinking about what is going on in our lives? I feel too often, too much, there is too little listening going on. Being an trained therapist, an LCSW-R, a huge part of what happens in therapy is I need to stand in someone else’s shoes, to absorb what they are saying to understand what they are feeling and why they are feeling how they feels. I need to get their “feels”. There have been times, probably more that I realize, that my focus was to speak my pearls of wisdom to help activate their personal power and selfworth. I superficially listened in preparation to say my stuff. What I have learned is when I acted in that manner in my relationship with my clients, I was missing a whole lot. I also realized too often, too much, in my personal relationships when I listened with the intent of saying whatever the heck I wanted to say it created gaps and barriers in my relationships. I am not sure when this happened, yet when I had the eye opening moment of whatever it was I was going to say was really not necessary, and if I did not say it then it could wait, or it just did not need to be said, it helped me become a better listener. My time will come to talk about whatever I was going to say. If it doesn’t it can wait, or even not be said at all. In uncomfortable, clumsy, courageous conversations when the other person is speaking if I am not completely listening to what the other person is saying why I am having the conversation? When I took the approach of being in a conversation to listen and hear what someone is saying and not make it about me a whole new world opened up.



Being a good listener means you focus on what the other person is saying. Your headspace, your focus, is on what the other person is taking about. Your focus is NOT on what you want to talk about. If you go into conversations with the idea you are going to learn something new (because you probably will), ask questions about what they are talking about, and use reflective language to let them know your hear what they said, that is active listening. In a VeryWell Mind article on May 25, 2020 some of the other features of active listening is that you listen from a nonjudgmental, neutral, safe space. You ask questions, reflect what you heard, ask of clarification, and summarize. The article also states that the purpose of active listening is to earn the trust of others and understand the situation. I overhear and experience people who are not listening. Individuals were are not listening. Nope. Yet think about the connections we could build when another person is talking we give them our undivided attention. We listen and learn about whatever is going on in someone else’s life that they want or need to talk about. When someone else is talking it is all about them. Yes all about them. What a gift that could be. I have found by being in the moment when someone else is speaking and focused only on what they are saying, I feel more peaceful in the moment, even when some difficult topics or experiences are being talked about. Being absorbed with what someone is talking about takes the pressure off and gives me more clarity. When I am listening, truly listening, my responses and reactions are more genuine. It is a powerful experience. I had experiences where I felt completely heard and listened to. It is an incredible validating moment that another person understood me and all my humanness. Do I have some people in my life whose tendency is talking mostly about themselves? Yes I do. When I am describing something occurring in my life they will bring what I have

said back to them with no acknowledgement towards me? Yep. These experiences gave me an opportunity to work on me. After some personal reflection I came to some new conclusions. I do have a few friends who bring everything back to them, so I have learned to expect this. I evaluate what I am talking about to see if it is really essential for me to talk about it or could I let it go. In conversations I realized I had choices when I felt I was not being heard and it was important to me. I say what I am saying again. I have asked people “what did I say because I feel like you are not listening to me”. There have been enough times the other individual was so in their headspace they did not have a clue to what I had said. When someone calls to talk I put my electronics away, because if I don’t I will be distracted and not focus on the conversation. I will not be listening. I have been in the presence of a few individuals that when I was talking with them it feels like the world slipped away. It is such a beautiful experience. I have put effort into being a better listener so I can give the same experience to others. In doing this I feel more fulfilled as a person. My relationships have become deeper and richer. I have had some cool conversations with strangers when I am out and about. My changes and my choices have improved my clarity and communication. I now truly listen just to listen. Most wonderful, valued person take a moment to reflect on yourself and your conversations with others. Do you give yourself the gift of listening, really listening to others in your life? If not today is a GREAT day to start! Steve Maraboli said “Sometimes we need someone to just listen. Not to try and fix anything or offer alternatives, but jut to be there to listen. An ear that listens can be medicine for a heart that hurts.” May your listening be with you.



“This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realise that it is August: the summer’s last stand.” ― Sara Baume Every year, transition from summer to fall brings all sorts of emotion. Some of us still get the back-to-school-chills, sad to see summer go. Then there’s the pumpkin-everything crew who is ready to get out of the sun and bring on the sugary spice and cooler temps. But, like everything in 2020, there is a good chance you could be feeling extra uncertainty or anxiety with that Augustto-September transition this year.

more energy during the day. While you’re in bed first thing in the morning is actually a great time to check in with yourself. Neck is a little tight, ok I’ll do some shoulder openers later. Little sleepy, ok I’ll go to bed earlier tonight. Great dinner planned with my sister, can’t wait to get there tonight. The early morning routine allows me to sit and taste my coffee or tea rather than the

So how do you take care of yourself when you mix emotional turbulence with? Here are a few recommendations. Even as the days get shorter and darker, keep a sleep routine. I started a course in ayurvedic medicine in early August for myself. (Ayurveda is yoga’s sister science, one of the world’s oldest medical systems designed for optimum health and wellness, rather than just disease prevention.) Since I was in this course I committed myself to moving through the ayurvedic daily routine or dinacharya. Generally ayurveda recommends being in bed by 9:30 PM and up at 5:30 AM. I tested out this habit. To be honest, even during the pandemic I’ve been working multiple jobs, so I felt like I needed more rest. If I could sleep in until 7 or 8 AM I jumped at the chance (I realize, some of you are laughing at 7 am being sleeping in). The 5:30 AM wakeup – though I fought it for the first week – has actually given me 292


abrupt shift from bed to laptop. I quietly watch the sun change colors. If you are a caregiver this might be your only quiet time for the rest of the day. Meditation can help you clear some space to take note of what you’re feeling, in these days of temperature highs and lows and the flood of everchanging news stories. I’ve always struggled to have a regular meditation practice, but early in the morning has really

worked for me. The first day I set the alarm on my phone for two minutes sitting of reciting the mantra silently to myself, “My body is balanced.” The two minutes flew by. The next day I added 30 seconds. Before I knew it 5, 10, 15 minute meditations were nothing. The dog walks are cooler which can be a break from the hot humid days. Indoor yoga studios won’t be open in New York State anytime soon, unfortunately. Even if yoga isn’t your primary form of movement, a little bit of it during the day could be a great compliment to help your muscles loosen up. In this season of transition, I’ve chosen yoga poses I’ve chosen have been a little bit more grounding – especially if you’re not a morning person. The heart opener pictured here is great for opening up hip and chest muscles if you’ve been sitting at a computer a lot. If you don’t own a yoga bolster you can prop up some pillows and blankets or even lie flat on the floor, and don’t hesitate to support underneath your legs. We’ve had very warm Septembers the past few years so there’s no reason to believe this one won’t be the same. Outdoor fitness classes will continue through the fall, I recommend checking then out. Whether it’s running, cycle, barre, outdoor yoga (if you know me, my preference is SUP Yoga on Canandaigua Lake). Especially if you have had a hard time getting motivated, sometimes a group setting could be just what you need, and you can still stay six feet apart.



{ LIFE IN BALANCE } “This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realise that it is August: the summer’s last stand.”

Eat what is in season. At the grocery store – it can be hard to tell exactly what is in season because everything looks so fresh. Try going to a small farm stand and grabbing some late season berries, apples, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes – ok even pumpkins. Whether you’re still grilling or onto soups and stews, farm stand produce is noticeably more flavorful, so treat yourself. Really feel the season, even if you hate that summer is fading, shying away or turning away from it like it wasn’t happening has 294


never made anything better. Go for a walk or hike – with your phone on silent. If walking isn’t an option right now, setup a comfortable seat outside, somewhere safe where you can be uninterrupted. Embrace what you’re feeling as you walk. The five sense are a good start. What is the temperature on your skin? How do your feet feel on the ground? What is the smell of the outdoors like today? Is there a taste to the air as you breathe in? What color is the sky? Walk quietly for a minute, what do you hear?

If you want to go deeper: What is your breathing like? How does the air feel coming into your lunges? What is your posture like? What are your facial muscles doing? If you need some class recommendations or help being with what’s happening in your life right now. Reach out to Kaitlyn@ or (585) 200-7209. Kaitlyn Vittozzi Vittozzi, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, RYT-500 Yoga Instructor.



New York State on pause: no meetings, campaign rallies or door to door campaigning. How are our political candidates handling the difficulties of running a campaign in the midst of a worldwide pandemic? You might think this task overwhelming. I reached out to several candidates to ask. Highly respected and beloved 25th District Congressional incumbent Joe Morelle, Jeremy Cooney, running for New York State Senate, District 56 and ChaRon Sattler-Leblanc candidate for New York State Assembly in District 133. Surprisingly, not so much. Different, certainly. Requiring new ideas and new thinking, yes! What each of these potential public servants did was work to their ideals. They have varying degrees of experience in the political arena, but all reacted similarly. Congressman Morelle is obviously very experienced. But he has to represent us in Congress and run a campaign during this national crisis, certainly no small feat. We asked what he saw as the biggest challenge. “The lack of physical outreach to my constituents. I am a door to door guy”. For him, knocking on doors and talking to people keeps him up to date on the constantly changing needs of his community and is a part of the task he loves. But the Congressman suspended his campaign in March despite a primary challenge. He felt strongly that the 296


needs of his constituents had to come first. Joe rolled up his sleeves and got right to work as our representative. He worked directly with Adam Bello and Doctor Mendoza to ensure our most vulnerable population was cared for. He personally inquired of community organizations and individuals, “Are you okay? Are you safe? What do you need? How can I help you?” He was there for Town Hall meetings to answer questions from constituents. He worked with the

United Way and food banks all over the county. He worked tirelessly to get Monroe County to a place that we might start to re-open. Congressman Morelle’s campaign started again in mid-May. He reports challenges for sure, but left us with two thoughts. “First, let us try to find balance, calm and thoughtfulness during this difficult time. Second, let us all make a contribution to each other by helping each other and working together as a society”.

Jeremy Cooney also suspended his campaign. “I picked my community over my campaign. We went right to it”. He volunteered for different community organizations including Jewish Family Services. He personally delivered meals to people. He worked with local food cupboards. He was quick to notice a gap in the system. Children could not get books to read. After all, we had put Monroe County on pause. “Our schools were closed, our libraries were closed, kids had no way to access books”. Jeremy set up a book drive. He posted on his social media accounts the need he had for books for our kids. “Well, it exploded”. He was able to collect more than 6000 books. He and a group of his volunteers had contactless pick up in driveways and on porches throughout his district. He was able to arrange for a local trucking company to donate their truck and time to deliver the books to local food cupboards. When families came in for food, they could also get books for their children. Cooney said “Being a government leader means filling the voids”. This is ChaRon Sattler-Leblanc’s first run for office. ChaRon is the Senior Director of Academic Success at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her challenges were a bit different. She had a campus of students and two children of her own to keep safe. And run for office. Charon worked closely with Livingston County. She too noticed the food cupboards were doing an incredible job




{ ROCHESTER WOMAN POLITICS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “I picked my community over my campaign. We went right to it”. -Jeremy Cooney

of food distribution and was there to lend her support, coordinating a food drive for Livingston County’s Office of the Aging. She learned many seniors were using their resources to feed their pets and included pet food in the drive. She attended rallies in several communities in support of Black Lives Matter, and discovered the leaders of these gatherings lacked equipment for the speakers. She 298


transported her own mobile equipment to rallies and provided a Bluetooth microphone system so their voices could be heard. The original intent of this article was to reach out and uncover what obstacles existed to a campaign. As it turns out, it wasn’t about what candidates couldn’t do during this pandemic, but what they could and did do. Yes, it is difficult

to run right now. Not being able to knock on doors is tough, that really is the best way to meet the constituents. These candidates did not focus on the negative. They reached for positive ways to help. The best way to campaign now is to do the same things you hope to do while in office, serve your constituents. At the end of the day, it was impossible after talking to these incredible people to put to paper the negative.







274 N GOODMAN ST SUITE B116 (585) 473-2090 I WWW.TH







How Being Creative Can Make You Braver When I think of creativity, it sometimes leaves me in a state of procrastination or so scared I feel frozen in time. I’m sure we have all been there at one point in time. Becoming an artist and teacher took years for me to build that bravery muscle enough to call and sign up for my first art class through our local continuing education program. My hands were shaking, and my palms began to sweat but I felt so compelled to get back to doing my art again. It was as though someone else had held me up and dialed the phone for me. Have you ever signed up for something and wondered what in the world you were thinking? Would you even end up going or making it through the entire duration? I know I questioned it, even as I made my way timidly into the classroom on that first night. But my excitement to be creative moved my feet forward and let me know I was about to open up in a way that wasn’t my usual M.O. That was strangely thrilling and so completely vulnerable. I felt fully alive and exhilarated! I had been an artist in high school and spent most of my class time doodling and dreaming up my next piece of work. That did not bode well for my grades so many times, I started to think there was something wrong with me. I just couldn’t stop thinking about art and creating. When I began high school, I loved experimenting with all types of mediums, including wood carving and copper relief work. I just wanted to have 302


something in my hands to be molding into what I had envisioned during my science or social studies classes. I felt free while I was in that room. Like the art world was my oyster. I didn’t care about the end product as much as I did being able to just create. I was ok with being unsuccessful, as long as I was learning and expanding my art knowledge.

always just enjoyed my solitude. I lost my motivation immediately and was ashamed of my work that two minutes prior had filled me with such depths of joy. It ruined my way to escape from the harsh realities of high school and the endless bullying that I had endured. I lost what it was that gave me joy because I was suddenly “not good enough.”

That is, until one day I asked the instructor for help with a piece I had been struggling with. He had always seemed to enjoy my enthusiasm and willingness to just put down

Try now to imagine a time in your life when someone stole your joy, even momentarily and left you feeling ashamed. Then remember how you later found a way to be brave and get back up again. Dusting off the leftover bits of humiliation and dig deeper than you knew you were able. To just show up is an act of bravery. To sign up for a class in a new subject is an enormously courageous act. We have all done that. We have all decided that it was better to be vulnerable than to die a little each day. Not creating in some way, shape or form is like slowly letting the air out of your life. It can feel dark and empty; totally alone in a world where no one seems to hear or see you. That’s where being vulnerable can make you your own hero. Knowing deep down that there is something worthy of being expressed and seen. To be given a voice that will sing out in a way that heals your heart and those within earshot.

what was in my head. He begrudgingly sat me down and told me, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn’t nearly as talented as my other classmates who were seated on the other side of the room; a side he said he put the better artists, he explained. Up until that point, I had had no idea. He put the rest of us “less talented students” on the other side so that he could quickly see what it was we needed and move on to spend more time with those who had a real future in the arts. I was devastated. I suddenly felt alone and splayed out for all to judge. Like I was the only one not in on the secret of the divided room. I had

After giving birth to my son, I realized that I needed to be a better example to he and his sister about how to get up and try again. Even when you thought that maybe that high school art teacher was right. You had




{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “When I think of creativity, it sometimes leaves me in a state of procrastination or so scared I feel frozen in time.”

no talent. How could I teach them to be strong and brave if their mom wasn’t being who she had found joy in? I couldn’t. I wanted them to know the thrill of the chase; the unimaginable jubilation when you do something well and the lessons you gleaned from glorious failures. If others didn’t love it as you had, that it really didn’t matter. You were living in a way that honored your soul. I had also wanted to teach them that being creative was what made life amazing. It’s what drives innovators, all facets of industry and convention. It’s how we discovered new worlds, vaccines and cures for diseases. This gift that we are given is not to be squandered. It is to be expressed fully and unabashedly. We need to build the muscles of vulnerability to experience that miracle. A few years after signing up for that art class and digging into it more regularly, I had been watching the Oprah Winfrey Show. She had the author, Brené Brown on as her guest. She became the catalyst that helped me recognize my shame and push my art mind. She was discussing her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection.” I was compelled to not only read her book but to take the course Brené and Oprah were offering on it. My daughter and my neighbor joined me. I recall that there was this beautiful quote in her book that I read and reread to commit to memory, it was that powerful. “When we experience shame, we feel disconnected and desperate for worthiness.” In that moment, I knew I was desperate for that feeling. That worthiness had never been in my mindset since the 6th grade. Issues at home and bullying at school left me feeling unworthy. That I was never enough. It also had thrown me into wanting to be the perfect mom, wife, friend, daughter and human. I wanted to emulate people like Martha Stewart and her perfect-looking home and dinners. I wanted my art to be perfect. I wanted me hair and makeup to be on point. I made sure my kids were immaculate when dad 304


got home. I was exhausted and unfulfilled. During the Brené course, she had us do a project where we found a picture of ourselves as a child wearing our favorite outfit and remembering how happy we were in that moment. We pasted it to our journals and then had to imagine those feelings again. It felt so sweet and innocent. I realized I missed that carefree child. We then had to find a picture of ourselves when we felt our worst. It was a picture of me on my confirmation day in 6th grade. I was miserable and desperately sad. She then had us write things that we would tell these

versions of our former child selves. How would we speak to them? All I wanted to do was tell her it would be okay. That this too shall pass and life will feel happy again. That she was truly enough. To hold her head high and be proud of that creative light inside of her because one day, it will help others find their own shining stars. I wanted to continue that journey of examining how I spoke to and about myself. To really pay attention to the words I used and the judgements I levied against the inner child in me. I realized that I had effectively shut down my ability to be vulnerable. The outer shell had become rock solid but there were some beautiful

cracks starting to appear. It took dedication and the hard choice to be kinder to myself. To tell myself I was enough and that being vulnerable was beautiful. It was how I was going to be able to spread that light that was seeping through the cracks. Even now, after ten plus years of my loving kindness practice, I still slide backwards on hard days but that’s ok. That’s what I have a therapist, my meditation and tapping practices for. I lean on those who love me for who I am and remind me that it’s why they love me. It’s what makes me fully me. That’s wonderfully enough. In a world where we hear continual jabs and pot shots for the sake of the other person building themselves up by putting us down, the thing we need most is to be vulnerable, which sounds strangely counterintuitive, I know. To not be afraid to say what is on our hearts, so long as it comes from a place of love is where the healing begins. Spreading that loving kindness that we begin with ourselves allows others to become brave. You are worthy of love and each of us deserves to be deeply and unconditionally loved. Expressing that creatively allows your heart to put on the substrate not only what it is you need to hear but what your future viewers had been waiting to feel. That confirmation from another that it is their God-given right to live in a way that gives them joy now writes permission slips to all those that cross their paths. That is where glory awaits us. You were born with a right to be happy. It is solemn and sacred. No one can take that away from you without your permission. Be brave. Just try. Then try again. It will keep you from losing the light in your sacred space. You alone can fill that space with loving, creative light that is there for others to share and languish in once you spread your wings. Your gift of bravery is what the world needs right now and frankly always will. Sharing that light is the most selfless and vulnerably beautiful thing anyone can do. Aren’t we all worth that? I truly believe we are.



My name is Dara Rennert and I am a licensed salesperson with Keller Williams Commercial. Analyzing the last decade of my professional experience, nothing could have prepared me for the Covid-19 shutdown. While tenants, landlords, businesses and humanity struggled to navigate basic survival tactics, the pandemic has shifted commercial real estate in many respects. I want to share some changes with you and clarify many misconceptions. The commercial real estate market in our region is truly changing daily, and the overall outcome is….. surprisingly optimistic! During the first two months of the shutdown, my time was spent checking in on my clients. My clients include everyone who I had helped over the years, not just clients with an active need. Many hours were spent brainstorming how to best pivot the business, how to work with the landlord, storage solutions for inventory orders and so much more. I have always taken pride in being an advisor to clients in relation to space and locations, yet this time was spent providing high-level problem-solving solutions. I was proud to share my thoughts and experience with my respective business owners. A majority of offices closed doors to both employees and customers. Zoom became an integral part of everyday business transactions. Laws were changed to allow remote signatures on legal documents. Our world had to change, 306


change quickly, to conduct business. Many people were of the mindset that office space was about to plummet. With offices shut down and people transitioning to working from home, the expectation was many professional offices would transition to remote-only operations. To date, I have not seen any location permanently close due to transitioning to remote only operations. I can speak from my personal experience that there is a comfort and convenience

factor from working from home, but long term, it is not a replacement for an in person meeting and the comradery that comes from working in an office environment. I am working with several smaller office users and in fact, there is very little office inventory in Monroe county in the 1,000-4,000 square foot range! Once real estate opened back up, the flood gates opened and commercial real estate

was back in business. Many businesses had to reposition operations and that meant new space. Smaller sized offices went from open floor plan space to built out offices with the addition of a dedicated technology room. Locations that work with high risk individuals needed to be in a stand alone or private entrance location to limit Covid-19 exposure to their patients. Manufacturing needs exploded during the pandemic and businesses needed additional operational space. International companies decided they need a US presence for operations should borders ever be closed again. Business continued and continues today, but the picture is different. During the pandemic shutdown, there was another shift. There was a shift in people’s hearts. Many people took the down time to revaluate life and some opted to follow their dreams of entrepreneurship. Some people were sparked by a passion for a specific industry, others were sparked by a lack of service and fulfilling a need in the community. These are the companies that are the beginning of their story, the ones that are fueled by passion, the ones we have not yet heard about. Historically, businesses that have been created during an economic downtown have been the most successful in our nation: General Motors, Trader Joe’s, Hyatt, Air BNB, Netflix (thank heavens), Hewlett Packard and Microsoft to name a few. I have been blessed to be a part of helping several new businesses identify locations for businesses that were




{ COMMERCIAL PROPERTY } “The commercial real estate market in our region is truly changing daily, and the overall outcome is…..surprisingly optimistic!”

On a weekly basis, we are hearing of big national retailers declaring bankruptcy and closing doors. All of these retailers are companies that were in trouble long before the pandemic hit for a multitude of reasons: the addition of new competition in the market, the lack of modernizing products, improper customer service, antiquated online presence and so much more. Many of these spaces will be repurposed, likely into a space that provides an experience rather than a product. As shoppers have 308


changed shopping habits, the ease to purchase online, it is the fun, athletic, creative experience that must be done in person. There has been a rise in types of businesses, such as smash rooms, axe throwing, gaming and arts and crafts for that precise reason. I have no doubt that the vacant retailers will be filled with exciting new concepts for us to enjoy! While the news and situations can appear bleak, I assure you that there is activity and growth in the business

sector. I am proud to be a part of the growth and helping businesses with their respective needs. I am seeing locations grow into larger space, open additional locations, reposition operations in order to dominate their industry. Companies are investing in buying permanent locations, because they are here to stay. Through the difficulties, there is opportunity.





One day, my husband and I went to a spa out in Greece, NY. It was my gift to him for his birthday, one of many gifts. I was so happy because I really wanted to do something special for him. I had been waiting for this day and it was hard for me not to blurt it out at any given moment and I am an EXPERT at keeping secrets like this! When we got there and checked in at the desk, they had no appointment for us that day. I called weeks before that and SPECIFICALLY, said that I needed it for that day. I was furious. I just have very little tolerance for incompetence. She said they have us scheduled for the FOLLOWING WEEK!!!!! I was HOT to say the least!!! Now I’m just seething. I just wanted to get in flesh mode lol. Then she had the audacity To ask if we were still coming the following week and I said no, cancel the dam appointment!!!! (Bear with me I’m going somewhere with this).

although I did calm down. Had to respect my husband. I did get even more upset inside, because I thought that was his way of shutting me up, even though he was usually the calm one between the both of us. Our marriage was a little rocky at that time. Whenever I’d get upset, his ears would shut off lol.

My husband and I were walking to the car and I voiced my anger about the whole situation. I didn’t scream or yell but I was a bit loud. My husband said, ‘Stop, you’re going to get me arrested.’ I thought, ‘What the hell is this guy talking about? No one is going to get arrested or be in trouble. He’s just crazy talking. I was not paying ANY attention to what he was saying

later, it came to me as to why he said what he said that day. If someone heard me, my voice raised, they could or would assume that I was in some kind of trouble. They wouldn’t have known that my voice was loud only because of my being disgruntled by the establishment we were just at. They wouldn’t know about the gift that I had planned for my husband and


We are divorced now. A few years

that it was now ruined. They would automatically assume that because the man I was with is black, that I was in some kind of distress or danger. My heart broke. That was MY husband. MY husband, that no matter how many buttons I pushed or how hard I would push them, he would NEVER lay a hand on me! They would never know that though. A f t e r t h i s enlightenment, I became angry. So angry that I had to get myself in a quiet place to calm myself down and get my thoughts together. Angry, at the fact that he had to even THINK that way and that even being with his OWN WIFE, he couldn’t just live normal. Normal without any worries of repercussions of just being free to think, act, etc, the way ‘normal’ (meaning a white ) people do. Angry because NOW I have to think this way too. I have to be self conscious with my BLACK male friends on what I say or do around them for fear someone would get the wrong impression and they end up arrested. I saw a post where a woman (white) was with her male friend (black). They were going to a concert and she was excited to get seated so she ran ahead of him. Innocent right? She was laughing and

{ IT’S IN THE STARS } “ I don’t want to see color because that’s what has separated us all these years and is STILL continuing to separate us as a people.”



{ ITS IN THE STARS } } SHIFT+CONTROL “What if we lived in a world that didn’t see color? What if we were still all different shades of color but we didn’t hate each other BECAUSE of the color of our skin?”

think you’re running away from me.’ She was broken-hearted too. Just like I was because we, meaning all 4 of us, couldn’t just be free! A black man should NOT have to worry and be afraid, having in the back of his mind what will happen to him. He shouldn’t have to worry getting 312


into his car and being pulled over for some lame excuse but just being black. No father or mother should have to tell their young son(s) that they can’t play with squirt guns like young white boys, especially dusk to dark because it may be misconstrued. NONE OF THIS SHOULD EVEN

BE A THING!!!! To say I don’t see color would be stupid. Of course I see colors ranging from milky white to almost pitch black. Beautiful shades of brown. Ok, except for the milky white people. You’ll just have to be white. When I say I don’t see color, it means that I don’t see you as being different from me. I see the person’s



Denial is not just a river in Egypt. “Ba Dum Dum.” I know you just rolled your eyes at me, but I can take it. Denial is a subconscious or unconscious defense mechanism that each and every person has utilized to avoid feeling something uncomfortable or unpleasant. It is not an active lie, but rather the conscious brain’s refusal to acknowledge and address the truth. Denial may also take the form of minimization (lessening the significance), rationalization (reasons or excuses), or intellectualization (disregarding emotional impact). When it comes to misuse of alcohol or other drugs denial is a common defense. Denial statements may sound like: I don’t have a drinking problem. I can quit anytime I want. Joe is an alcoholic, I’m not. I did not inhale. I can have just one. When it comes to experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder denial is also common defense. Denial statements may sound like: I’m not anxious, I’m just stressed. I don’t have any reason to be sad so I can’t be depressed. Others have it worse than I do, so I don’t need help. I’m fine. Honesty, in contrast to denial, is an acceptance of facts and a communication of such to self and others. Honesty is at the root of a successful recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. There is no change or recovery without honesty. So let’s begin by talking about honesty with self.

The Stages of Change Model theorizes the process humans go through in being ready for and making change. It begins with the Pre-contemplation Stage during which we don’t know that we need to make a change (ie; denial). This transitions to Contemplation: seeing a need for change but also reasons not to change. From there we move into Preparation, Action, and then Maintenance. Of course, it is not always a smooth transition from Stage to Stage because relapse is a part of the disease of addiction, and a component of many mental illnesses. Recovery is occasionally interrupted by a relapse. To move through these Stages we must be honest with self. If you’re wondering “Do I have a problem with substance use or a mental health disorder?” that may be an indicator that the answer is “yes.” The internet is full of quizzes and opinions that I’d ask you to avoid, however, there are some excellent resources like (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and MHAnational. org (Mental Health America). Alcoholics Anonymous introduces members to taking personal moral inventory in their Step 4. Looking at our strengths and struggles, hurts and hang-ups, is important to healing and recovery. No, its not easy to take a deep look at ourselves, but this honesty with self cannot be skipped over. Next comes honesty with others. This can feel tricky because it pokes at our insecurities: Will they believe me? Will they judge me? Will I get the help I need?

Some of the people closest to you may already suspect that you’re struggling. That doesn’t mean, though, that they are prepared to offer grace or assistance. Think critically about who you can be honest with. Support groups may be a helpful starting point for honesty. Honesty with others may mean you face potentially negative outcomes such as losing friends, rejection of loved ones or institutions, or damaged trust. It’s vulnerable to be honest, even under the best circumstances. Our truth is connected to our perceptions not just facts. Honesty with both self and others means saying what is true for you, as well as facts. Don’t get me wrong: your perceptions are your reality and your feelings are valid. Honesty means acknowledging both. Reaching out for help for the first time can be anxiety provoking. The only way to get the help you need, though, is to be honest and ask directly for it. Maybe you don’t know what you need, so be honest about that, too. When you arrive in my office, or one like it, I urge you to be honest. Honest about your past and present, to the best of your ability. I urge you to be honest about your strengths and your struggles. And sometimes telling your therapist “I don’t know” is acceptable, too, as long as that’s the truth! Healing and recovery is possible for all. Being honest with ourselves first, and then others, means we can begin to heal. That’s the honest truth.


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