RWO Feb/March 2019 Issue

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Jessica Lewis


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IN HER OWN WORDS Author Joan Young








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PLATTER CHATTER The Gatehouse Cafe


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“As you more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what the best is for you- the first time around.” - Oprah Winfrey




Jessica Lewis, owner of LaLew PR was photographed at the studio of Joe Marino Photography for our February/March cover of Rochester Woman Online. Make-up courtesy of Rosalind Matthews.








Kelly Breuer Cheryl Kates-Benman Kelly Breuer Joe Marino Photography Christopher “Goodknews” Cardwell Marisa Nicodemus Sandy Arena Joe Marino Photography Michele Ashlee Chris Conlon Cheryl Kates-Benman Robin DeWind Phyllis Haberer Olga Monacell Dave Jenkins Alana Cahoon Audrey Avirett Sandy Arena Glenna Colaprete-Hudson Ralph Merato Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Tammy Reese Ayanna Jackson Roberta Goheen Nicole Lambert Michael Quarteart Lori Nolan Becky Picone Christi Miller Mary Boyce Katie Flaherty Lori Nolan Joyce Apel Krystal Noriega Megan Cormack Greene Sara Pavia

Eleni Economides Mildred Strader Sherry Hale John Galleto Renee Hill Martha Conan Alyssa Marie John Galletto Casey Vattimo Joan Young Jamie Brodt Martha Conan

Kelly Breuer


The Next Design


The Next Design

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 © 2017 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.





Rochester Woman Online is proud to welcome new writer Jessica Lewis not only to our team, but also to our cover this month. Impressive, intelligent, successful these are just a few words that come to mind when describing Jessica Lewis. Her public relations firm, LaLew Public Relations is one of the fastest growing public relations firms in Rochester. Jessica is also the ROC the Future Communications Specialist at The Children’s Agenda. She was nominated to the Athena Awards, young professional category (2018) and was named a “Woman to Watch” by Rochester’s newspaper, The Democrat and Chronicle. Recently, she was featured by Rochester Business Journal in the “Small Business Feature”. If that wasn’t enough, she hosts a television show focusing on Black-owned businesses called Ujamaa Rising. As a student at Buffalo State (Bachelors; Social Studies 7-12) and U of R (Master’s Teaching and Curriculum) Jessica spent time engaging in activities such as serving as the president of Black Active Minds and other activities, where she raised awareness in the collegiate community around issues such as race, equality and social justice. She continues being involved in her community by being a member of the Rochester Association of Black Journalists, the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professional Advisory Council and Theta Omega Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma

Rho Sorority Inc. ROC the Future is an interesting community initiative, serving resources to improve the achievement of students at the Rochester City School District. ROC the Future indicates Monroe County has a poverty rate of 22 % (1).

This among other factors contributes to whether the students are successful. In 2017, there was an 83% graduation rate but the RCSD rate was 52% (1) (2). Data the organization was founded on, indicates African-American and Latino students languish at the bottom. The focus of the organization’s efforts is to address factors which contribute to racial inequalities and block access to

opportunity. The organization’s work directly benefits the students by using a data informed, evidence-based approach to determine the best practices to improve educational outcomes. Jessica enjoys her career and loves that the organization uses a unique approach in what they do. She especially is proud they can engage a broad array of community voices through building awareness and information sharing, involving and mobilizing the community towards improvement and co-developing solutions and strategies while using data to inform their work. Annually, the organization hosts “the State of our Children” which discusses the challenges and opportunities in their data-based report card and action plan for moving key indicators of children’s success. Jessica feels there are many moving parts when trying to define why schools are failing. There are systemic drivers attributing to low performance and compounding issues such as a low rate of teacher diversity, parent engagement challenges, and school-to-prison pipeline etc. among other factors. RSCD is trying to work on improving these things with a key focus on equity. They’ve started to implement restorative practice teams and launched My Brother’s Keeper, a program which involves initiatives to work with parents, adjust curriculums and incorporate implicit bias training for staff. Jessica in her own business works with entrepreneurs seeking their success. Lewis says, “Always stay the course. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


“I want girls to know that you can love yourself, be confident, strong, and in charge of your life and make decisions that make you happy and feel fulfilled. So, I commit myself to be a mentor to help groom young ladies into the best versions of themselves.�




{{ COVER COVER STORY STORY }} “Always stay the course. Entrepreneurship is hard, but very rewarding. I would encourage young entrepreneurs step out on faith and be unafraid to make mistakes. It is through mistakes, we learn and grow.”

Entrepreneurship is hard, but very rewarding. I would encourage young entrepreneurs step out on faith and be unafraid to make mistakes. It is through mistakes, we learn and grow. Don’t let fear or doubt get in your way. You are an achiever and victory is an arms reach away. Don’t compare yourself to others, as each business owner has his/her own journey. In the face of adversity, never compromise your integrity”.

be an example for others. She tells RWO, “I want girls to know that you can love yourself, be confident, strong, and in charge of your life and

Jessica relies on her relationship with Jesus to keep her grounded. She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at 16-years-old. Every day she spends time cultivating her relationship with him. She reads and learns his word, so that she can apply it to her life. As a little girl, Jessica always admired strong, beautiful women. She looked to those women for inspiration because she was always motivated to be the best person she can be. As she grew and matured, she knew how important it was for other girls to see someone who could be an example to them. She made it a priority to pay it forward to other young women coming behind her. Jessica always prided herself on living a life that could

Jessica also finds inspiration in being involved in her community. She strives to learn the best ways to combat racial disparities in the educational system and the community at large. She will sit on the Race Equity Planning team at Strive Together (a national N-F-P working to bring communities together using data-based decision making with the goal of improving results for kids). This is also the umbrella organization for ROC the Future. Make sure to stay tuned for Jessica’s column. It will focus on current events, entrepreneurship, natural hair and selflove.

Resources ACT Rochester (2018). Annual Report Card 2017, Future Inidcators and Reports, Retrieved January 30, 2019 from make decisions that make you happy and feel fulfilled. So, I commit myself to be a mentor to help groom young ladies into the best versions of themselves”.

Spector. Joseph (2018). RCSD June Graduation Rate Increases to 51.9 Percent; Still Worst Among Big 5, Democrat and Chronicle, Retrieved January 30, 2019 from www.democratandchronicle. com ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019








LáLew Public Relations provided top notch service organizing our annual luncheon and securing television coverage to promote this year’s event. William G. Clark

Urban League of Rochester CEO

LáLew Public Relations is a full service PR firm specializing in media relations, marketing, branding, web management, social media and community engagement. In August 2017, LáLew PR was recognized by the Rochester Business Journal as the Small Business Feature of the Week.

LÁLEW PUBLIC RELATIONS Jessica Lewis, Owner P: 585-773-1140 Email:




Because She Says So... DR. DEANNA KIMBREL



Kelly Breuer Cheryl Kates-Benman Kelly Breuer


Christopher “Goodknews” Cardwell Devin Mack


Regina Smith Gary Ariel Washington Shikeya Townsend Jessica Bain Jessica Lewis Yolanda Smilez Dr Kiki Michelle Mr Carlyle Williams Sheila Young Jamequa Abernathy Latiffany Anderson Renee Cobbs Hill Akilah Moore Tammy Reese


Kelly Breuer


The Next Design


The Next Design



Dr Deanna Kimbrel was photographed by Christopher “Goodknews” Cardwell for the February/March Cover of Something 4the Sista’s.

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 © 2017 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.






Our beautiful cover feature this month in Something 4 the Sistas, Dr. Deanna Kimbrel is MUCH more than just a pretty face… She is the heart, soul, and brains behind the local boutique we have come to know and love – She Says So. This lovely boutique specializes in high quality attire and accessories for women of all shapes and sizes.

Deanna was born and raised in Rochester, NY. She has a Doctoral Degree in Management in Organizational Leadership, has been teaching an Online Communication and Business Course for 10 years, and also has an impressive background in retail, communication, and marketing. She started as an entrepreneur over 10 years ago, through selling items

She Says So began as a traditional boutique with a storefront location in the Rochester, NY area in 2009. As of 2015, the boutique has expanded to also offer an online presence. Their products have been purchased for everyday wear, formal occasions, and corporate events by people from all around the globe. One of their best tools to reach potential customers is through word of mouth from delighted and loyal customers – and HERE WE ARE! I decided to personally visit the website, and I instantly fell in love. Such great products for an amazing price! Her boutique is filled with items that can appeal to all women. And, I don’t know about you…but knowing a business carries sizes ranging from XS to 3X (and can special order when needed) makes me more opt to shop, come back, and tell my friends and family. Such an amazing shop HAS to be owned by someone pretty amazing, right? Well, keep reading to get to know the magnificent and inspiring Deanna. She is not only the owner of such a positive and successful boutique. She is also a mother, motivational speaker, advisor, friend, and a true inspiration to women everywhere.

high school in 3 years, and got accepted to the University of Buffalo with several scholarships. I was named one of Rochester’s Black Scholars – this was an honor not many of my peers received.” From there she went on to receive her Master’s Degree from RIT where she delivered her second child and thesis presentation on the same day! “My water broke during presentation my presentation!” Any woman who can deliver an important college presentation while in labor most certainly fits the description of a true HEROINE! Unfortunately, she lost her son’s father due to violence in 2015. She had to navigate through the special education system to ensure her son had a proper and quality education after experiencing PTSD due to the loss of his father at such a young age. “I homeschooled him for 5 months. Now he’s phasing out of special education and is doing very well.” Almost a year, to the day, Deanna lost a close family member due to depression and drug addiction...

at various hair salons throughout the city. One of her biggest accomplishments of all – becoming a mother 4 days before her 15th birthday, and barley out of 8th grade for the second time. “This is a point where I decide to set my priorities in life and pursue those relentlessly. I completed

Despite her struggles and heartache, she was still able to successfully run her store, complete her Doctorate, and raise two children as a single mother. “It took me 5 and a half years to complete my Doctorate with no breaks, despite several obstacles.” She further explained that her mother was her rock during her troubling times. “My mother was a key support in getting me through each tragedy and obstacle thrown my way. I also created a tool kit to get myself through tough times – which included off brand foods, a wig, nail polish (to do my own beauty services), and Netflix and Hulu after I disconnected my cable to cut out unnecessary expenses. This helped ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{{ COVER COVER STORY STORY STORY }} { COVER } “I just hope to keep building on great experiences and partnerships and seeing where my dreams will take me.”

unnecessary expenses. This helped me get through financially. I didn’t go out with friends for close to a year, and spent full days and nights at the library to complete my goals. This was also the point I decided to close my storefront and operate online only.” Strategically speaking, this seemed like the best decision for her business, given the fact that she sold products to people in almost every US state as well as Canada and the Netherlands through her online boutique. These were some of the key sacrifices she made to reach her goals and be where she is today. The message that she always likes to leave with people, “In the face of adversity, persistence is truly key!” She also currently works for a large local company as an Inclusion and Diversity Professional working to create environments nationally where people feel a sense of belonging in order to perform at 100% productivity. “Feeling excluded and undervalued is what led me to entrepreneurship. This same thing is also what made me want to get a Doctorate and be a driving focus toward equality in workplaces and where people do business. She enthusiastically explained she has a passion for connecting with people and inspiring through sharing her stories and experiences, “I’ve been a part of several events both locally and nationally. I’m always glad to partner up with other professionals through my work. I would have to say speaking to a group of young girls in Chicago through the Girls Who Code program last year about how to Slay Difficult Situations was one of my greatest memories.” Deanna further explained she finds inspiration in all of the women in her life, especially her mother. “There’s a lot of women I admire 34


for their strength and resiliency. But there’s only been a few people I’ve had the chance to observe up-close and personal; on key personal has been my mother.” Deanna doesn’t believe in having regrets, she only believes there are lessons to be learned. “Everything happens for a reason. I think there’s always ups and downs. Being true

I’ve been through a lot to get to where I am today, and I know the sky is the limit.” Her family – most importantly her children are the driving motivation who fuels her passion to do her best in everything she does. “Don’t be afraid to take risk. Whether you win or lose, you’ve experienced something and have been given a chance to learn from that experience.” What makes her and her business stand out is the true care for customers and attention to detail. “Most customers tell me the items they purchase from me make them not only look good, but also feel wonderful.” Deanna has transformed her retail business to be MUCH MORE than JUST a boutique. She LOVES to empower women and share her knowledge with fellow dreamers to help them start their own retail businesses. “To me, there’s no competition, only growth and partnership.” She offers a variety of services and products through her website –, including: business development for women interested in opening an online boutique, business and leadership consulting, and inspirational speaking for events. “I just hope to keep building on great experiences and partnerships and seeing where my dreams will take me.”

to yourself and your work is what matters the most.” Aside from obviously having a heart of gold, Deanna is tenacious and willing to weather any storm. “I am very ambitious, and I go after whatever it is that I want. I enjoy seeing other’s win. I consider myself an inner-city girl with a world-class swag.

So, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? You should head on over to her website, and get in touch. She would love to hear from you about your thoughts on this article, and she would be honored to help you look and feel beautiful. She has clothing, accessories, and inspirational words waiting just for you… Website(s): Social Media Info: Linkedin: Deanna Kimbrel Phone Number: 585-414-2215 E-mail:






“Don’t be afraid to take risk. Whether you win or lose, you’ve experienced something and have been given a chance to learn from that experience.”






I talked about how I met my husband and how we kept our marriage a secret for over two months before sharing the news with family and friends. There are numerous reasons why couples decide to elope and/ or keep their marriage a secret.

expecting my first child out of wedlock with my future husband, whom my family had barely met. I just simply wasn’t ready to drop a second bomb on them, like Hiroshima, that we were also already married. To fully

Take the former Cosby Shows star, Lisa Bonet, and music legend Lenny Kravitz, they eloped in 1987 on Lisa’s 20th birthday in Las Vegas during the height of her fame. Bonet again eloped to Game of Thrones star, Jason Momoa, the couple secretly married in November 2017, after 13 years together. Billionaire power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé secretly married in April 2018 to escape the media For most couples the explanations vary. For my husband and I, we kept our marriage a secret because of me. I was terrified to tell my family I was married. I was the baby of the family for one, not to mention I was 20years-old and was out of high school only two years. I just built up the courage to tell my parents that I was

secretly gotten married. I think my mom was the most affected by the secret marriage because my brother was her first child and my brother had a lot going for himself. He was a straight A student all throughout school and was an undergrad student at University of Rochester. He was headed to Syracuse University College of Law. My mom wanted to make sure my brother stayed focused and she had an ideal woman for my brother, not to mention the relationship between my mother and his wife were complicated and not favorable.

understand why I didn’t want to tell my parents I was married, one would have to understand the history of it. My oldest brother secretly eloped in Canada of 1991 on my 11th birthday. It was a big shock to the family when it hit the fan that my brother had

Finding out that my brother had secretly gotten married was devastating to my mother. She missed out on these memorial moments, leading up to a wedding. I allowed for history to repeat itself. The thought of putting my mom through that again was heartbreaking. I wanted to get married but without ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ THE MARRIAGE CHRONICLES } “For my husband and I, we kept our marriage a secret because of me. I was terrified to tell my family I was married. I was the baby of the family for one, not to mention I was 20- years-old and was out of high school only two years.”

all the glitz and glamour. I didn’t want the big party and the stress that accompanies it. I wanted our day to be intimate and a celebration of young black love. I wanted it to be about us. His family didn’t really know me or had met me, and the same for my family, they didn’t really know him, so it was like why even create this big show when nobody knew each other. He wasn’t looking for a big show either, as both of us where lowkey and simple. We decided all we needed was a couple of rings, a couple of witnesses, and each other. I was interested in finding out other couples’ reasons for eloping or secretly marrying. Many couples who elope or secretly get married bypassing gaining anyone’s permission to do so. They don’t have the anxiety of someone speaking now and not holding their peace. For some, they don’t have to worry about breaking the bank, or the stress and anxiety of all the planning leading up to the day. Some simply don’t want any parts of tradition. Alex Williams pointed out in his research, the underlying reason for eloping is to not be bound by the wedding tradition. An example he used was couple Carry and Brian 42


Provost. This couple decided they did not want the traditional wedding which caters to a big party which is in essence for the guests. Instead, this couple used a planner and still followed what a wedding usually is, but it was for the couple only. Carrie wanted beautiful memories including

she was. Although there is no solid statistics on the rate of elopement, according to Linda Waite, a University of Chicago Sociologist, “eloping is becoming an incedingly attractive option for many.” No matter how you do it getting married effects a lot of people. It is an individual choice as to how you want to get married. Traditionally, a wedding is a beautiful thing. It brings two families together. It symbolizes in some cases, children will follow. I don’t regret my choice to elope and I did what was right for me at the time. I stand by my decision. Williams, Alex. “Does Elopement Mean what it Once did, Elaborate Weddings Minus the Guest.”, The New York Times, 23 March 2012, https://www.nytimes. com/2012/03/25/fashion/ weddings/Eloping-Does-NotMean-What-It-Once-Did.html.

a dress, photographic memories and a video of the couple saying their vows. Whatever the reasons are for people eloping or secretly marrying, there is a long history. A case example I read about was John and Ann who eloped 80 years ago to escape an arranged marriage. Ann’s father arranged Ann’s marriage to a man 20 years older than

Jones, Kevin. “US Couples Elopement Results in 80 Years of Marriage”, catholicnewsagency. com, CAN, 23 March 2012, https://www. HIBAW, Oliver and HREF and MAILTO. “Stressed out Americans Embrace Elopement”,, ABC News Internet Venture, 23 April 2002, story?id=91726.









In last month’s column, Something 4the Sista’s introduced you to Regina Doyle. A survivor. A warrior. We are not going to sugar coat things. Learning to face death, stare it right in the eye and defeat it is not a small task. Yet, this is what Regina Doyle faced in her struggle. She didn’t give up. She refused to lose hope. She went forward on faith and defeated the storm. Doing this is only half the battle. How do you pick up the pieces of your life? How do you go on living? How do you overcome the obstacles you now face? This is the second part of the battle. You survived, now you must master living after the storm. Regina had questions. No one had answers. How did the meningioma tumor invade her brain? What did she do to deserve this? How did God let this happen? Why her? Living life was not easy. Regina now felt as it she was submerged in a pool of water. The pain and agony she experienced was unbearable. She felt foggy and dizzy. She needed help to do even the simplest of her normal tasks she encountered in a day. Her mobility was compromised. The feelings of depression and vulnerability began to take over. She shares, “I hated that my children had to see me at my weakest. I considered myself an Alpha woman, an independent woman. I felt as if I

was “wonder mom”. Now, I am sick, feeble and helpless. I felt like no one understood what I was going through, so I felt alone. I thought of my mom Grace Smith, who died from breast cancer when she was at an early age. I always thought because I looked so

to think about it and all I have gone through. I was so depressed because life was passing me by. My family and friends would come and go. All I could do was weep because my life came to a complete stand still. I wanted my life back pre-tumor, pre-surgery. The incision alone depressed me. It was larger than I expected. The sharp pain shooting through it and the pressure was debilitating. I couldn’t hear out of my right ear. I think my expectations were higher than what they should be. My bald head would be exposed for months to prevent infection. This alone was very traumatic for me.

much like her, it would be me who inherited that gene out of her nine children. This thought bothered me for years, until I lived past the age that she died at 44. Look at me now, 45 with a brain tumor. I was devastated. I thought I was going to die. I am crying now because it makes me so emotional

I learned there is beauty behind the scars. I have learned through this journey, if you face your fears head on, embrace it and accept it, you will overcome it. I learned everyone will go through some type of life-changing experience and if you trust in God, he will allow you to find strength in the valley. He is always in control. Everything happens for a reason. There is a lesson to be learned from it. I learned to accept people for what they are. Meet them where they are at. We all love differently but the main goal is to love one another”. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ WARRIOR CHICK CORNER } “Learning to face death, stare it right in the eye and defeat it is not a small task. Yet, this is what Regina Doyle faced in her struggle.”

Regina climbed the first obstacle of her recovery. In 2018, her MRI showed no regrowth. This was a relief. However, there is data which indicates the form of cancer she suffered from does have the ability to return. Regina is not going to focus on that but rather trusting God and believing she Is completely healed. Regina attributes the support she received from her family as giving her the strength to overcome this. She says,“They are my special village and I am so honored and grateful to have them in my life. For all the beautiful women around the world, please be your best advocate when it comes to your health. You know your body better than anyone else. If you have symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, balance issues and blurred vision don’t ignore them. See your primary care doctor, it can save your life!”



As indicted in last month’s spotlight Regina Doyle was the co-owner of Tru Beauty Hair Lounge. As a stylist for 25 years, Regina was accomplished,

the fact she created a bond with her clients. She strived to make all of her customers feel comfortable and well taken care of. As a result of her circumstances, Regina and her sister closed their business. Regina shares, “Although it was the right thing to do, I was devastated. I still grieve the fact that my salon closed. It is hard for me not to do what I love; however, God is showing me that I have more gifts I can use to help others and care for others. I truly miss cutting and styling my clients but trust me…I’ll be back! I am a survivor!”

successful and dedicated to serving her elite clientele of professional women. Her work was even featured in Essence magazine. Regina prided herself in


Tune in next month for Warrior Chicks, where Akilah will continue to bring you the stories of phenomenal women who





Welcome to the “I Love Smilez” column. The purpose of this column is to make you smile, by the end of every read! I hope here, you will find you can smile, even when things in your life are not going right. Keep this in mind, “No matter what happened before in life or what is happening now, you will smile again”. Renewing your mindset, will help you find your smile again. That is often hard to do, as we find ourselves keeping the same mindset that we are used to. Doing this, will keep you stuck. You will feel like a slave to any current situation contributing to the frown you’re currently displaying. Look in the mirror and say, “Give me my smile back”. This sounds simple but guess what, it does help. We cannot allow certain life situations such as: relationships, finances, careers, insecurities, etc., to interfere with our happiness. The list goes on-and -on. Don’t let these outside factors take your smile. When will you stop allowing things you can’t control steal your joy? I’m not saying you will not experience things which make you sad or feel down. Never shut out the different emotions but get the strength to find your way out of these emotions. Your mind controls your actions. If you find yourself always in the same situation and it’s not adding prosperity to your life,

it’s time to change your mindset to find your smile again. How do you do that? Let me tell you. Changing your mindset can be very challenging. How many times have you told yourself I’m going on a diet today but then found

yourself at fast-food burger spot? How many times have you received your paycheck on Friday, but your out of cash by Sunday? This is because you never took the time to learn how to budget or change your spending habits. Changing for the better will take time. There are days you will find strength. You will have days that you may fall a few times. It’s an old saying to remember, “It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up”.

Get up with determination! Empower yourself! Stay consistent! Let go of things which are holding you back. Have yourself a mental garage sale. Take items out of your mind, that you have no use for or just are dwelling on. Get rid of the negative things and put out a sign that says, “Everything must go!” Think of the Angela Bassett character, Bernadine Harris in the movie,” Waiting to Exhale”. Everyone remembers the scene where set the car on fire and gave it all away! She cut her hair. These things are symbolic of shedding the old and beginning again. Destroy the things reminding you of pain, suffering, depression and grief. Get on the journey of finding your smile again. We can all do it. We just have to wake up one day and decide to put the mindset in motion. You control the key to your destiny. Just unlock it! My daughter was 9 months, when I found her on the couch not breathing. It was January 13th 19 years ago. I will never forget the day, the Doctor walked in the waiting room and advised us, “They did all they could do”. At that moment, I was hurting, with so much pain. I didn’t understand why God would do this. It wasn’t until I changed my mindset, I was able to understand God could not ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ I LOVE SMILEZ } “Get up with determination! Empower yourself! Stay consistent! Let go of things which are holding you back. Have yourself a mental garage sale.”

trust everyone with this type of pain and suffering. He gave me a tool to use in life, so whenever I’m facing a loss, I reminded myself I can lose everything and still make it. Obviously, the pain of losing my child never goes away but you find a way to live with it and go on. You must go on. It’s hard. You cannot change what happened. Life stops for no one. I used to prepare myself to be sad, on that day my daughter passed. It stayed that way for a while, until I changed my mindset. I found the strength to say,” I will not allow this day to steal my joy”. I will not allow the sadness to take over my thought process. I will celebrate my daughter, uplift and encourage others. Even when you feel like it’s all over, it’s not. You can get up again. Yes, it hurts. Healing will take time. Yes, it does, but you will be restored. Here’s a list of how to start changing your mindset to find your smile again.




6. Go to social events which stimulate your mind, (Hint, comedy shows);

2. Make a bucket list;

7. Renew, refocus, and rebuild the inner you.

1. Create a vision board;

Change is hard, but it’s worth the sacrifice, when you’re on the journey of finding the greater you! Change your mindset to find your smile again! “No matter what you’ve overcome or are going through, you will smile again”.

3. Set small goals; 4. Take yourself on a weekend getaway once a month; 5. Read a new book;

Jo k e o f t h e month: I have 3 beautiful kids. I gave all my kids individual things to show them I love them. I gave them their own entire father. Forget toys, you got a whole family. They don’t have to share nothing. They have their own auntie, grandma, and cousins. I felt like Oprah, you get a father, you get a father and you get a father! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!






Loud music, long Lines, and flashing lights are what some may say help make up a good night out. However, at the newest spot in town: MINQ Lounge located at; 398 West Main Street patrons will say: Live music, great food and amazing vibes are what keeps them coming back. I got the opportunity to meet up and interview with owner Gaye Williams and here’s what she had say: Having successfully owned and operated various bars and night spots in the past, how has the market changed since you first became involved in the industry? What I have observed is that people have become increasingly concerned about where they can enjoy a night out without their safety being compromised given the propensity for troublesome incidents to occur at venues with late night hours. Here at MINQ Lounge my husband and I pride ourselves on making sure that the safety of our consumers and staff comes first. We ensure this by maintaining a tight security team and setting a zero tolerance tone for violence. In what ways do you and your partner click and reinforce each other that contribute to the success of your business ventures? Are there any instances in which your opinions clash: I have learned through 18 years of marriage and 10 years in business partnership with my husband that in order to achieve success in both areas it takes trust, respect, and compromise. If you don’t share these three fundamental values 56


neither your business nor your personal relationships will last. My husband and I have known each other for many years so we have a great understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. There are times when I would recommend an alternative response or action to a particular situation, but I know that he is more strongly suited in certain areas so I trust him to take the lead and he takes the same approach with me. This is essential to

the growth and sustainability of a business. You have to know who you are partnering with and share the same long term goals. I can confidently say that I know the areas in which my husband excels, I know what motivates him, I know his intentions, I know when he’s overwhelmed, I know I can trust him to make the best decisions for our business. It’s about our family and there is no other business partner that is going to care more about my family than my other half. Owning the hottest new lounge in the city is

definitely exciting, but it also has to require a huge amount of work. Describe how you’ve overcome any especially frustrating challenges as an owner. What are the coping mechanisms you find most effective in dealing with stress? It’s so exciting to hear those words! We have worked hard to achieve and maintain that reputation by providing great entertainment and a safe environment for our patrons. This has also been a stressful process as it requires a lot of time away from home as well as very strategic investment of both our financial resources and our time. I work full time throughout the week and my husband helps to care for his elderly parent. We also have a child at home who is working vigorously at his degree in Optical Engineering whilst working full time. We both have a lot on our hands outside of the business, but we try our best to make time for ourselves and for one another. It also helps that we have family and friends that love and support us and help to encourage us through the storms. How do you balance your time between home and the lounge? My husband and I commit to taking at least three trips a year together to escape from the everyday hustle and grind. We are planning to visit our daughter, son-in-law and grandson this week in Mississippi. It’s time like this away from work and with our family that brings us our greatest solace.




“I have learned through 18 years of marriage and 10 years in business partnership with my husband that in order to achieve success in both areas it takes trust, respect, and compromise. If you don’t share these three fundamental values neither your business nor your personal relationships will last.”

{ COLLECTIVE SOCIETY } “Minq Lounge strives to offer a varied nightlife experience every night. We have excelled at providing the Rochester community with quality service and events that cater to a wider range of ages and backgrounds. ”

Have you noticed your kids taking any interest in following in Mom and Dad’s footsteps/becoming involved in the same industry? Both of our children have exceeded our expectations both academically and career wise. Our daughter has her MBA and recently launched Elegant Interiors by Jazlyn, her first venture in interior design and event planning. Our son is pursuing a degree in optical engineering and has just launched Williams Medical Transport. They have both inherited our passion for entrepreneurship. I don’t foresee them partaking in the bar industry as the night 60


life has never interested them and they are true home bodies. As a woman operating a business in a widely male dominated market, have you faced any professional expectations that your male counterparts haven’t necessarily had to deal with? In this industry, do women have to put in extra work to be respected as much as males in the same positions? From my experience I find that as a woman in this industry to maintain a level of respect I have to maintain a demeanor of assertiveness and sometimes a more rigid persona.

What sets Minq Lounge apart from the competition? What was your vision for Minq when you first considered opening it? Minq Lounge strives to offer a varied nightlife experience every night. We have excelled at providing the Rochester community with quality service and events that cater to a wider range of ages and backgrounds. This includes spoken word events, live music performances, networking socials, celebratory events, hosting popular recording artists, pop, hip hop, salsa night. We have something for everyone, but most importantly you can just have a wonderful time and relax.






So, the holidays are over! Time to decompress with a huge exhale and move on through life, right? Still moving at a hectic pace, even if your feet haven’t moved from their stationary place? Well don’t feel like you are alone. It is called stress, a necessary element we must all have in life. Believe it or not, we must have stress in our lives in order to live healthy lives. The caveat is, how we respond to and control the stress, and this determines our overall health. The better educated you are in being able to recognize stress, the more successful you can become at thwarting the harmful side effects of stress.

society, pollution, crime, safety, education, and traffic. The side effects of stress can alter the human body and shake an individual at the core of their existence. The physical effects of uncontrolled stress

Many people know stress can affect their physical health. However, I’d like to bring awareness to the other facets in which our miraculous beings are affected by stress, the signs and symptoms and how to counter possible side effects. The mental, emotional, and spiritual sides of each person’s existence can alter the course of their being, when stress is not properly dealt with. First, what are some of your common stressors? In most of the classes I teach, common responses include: job/ career; health; death; having a child, starting a family or raising children; trauma or crisis, marriage, divorce or relationships; relocating, moving, or financial issues (including transportation unemployment or childcare); and loneliness, or time management. Then there are the everyday things found in

stress effect the person experiencing stress, it also affects how a person reacts when parenting. If you find yourself lashing out at your children and displaying irritability with children, it could be the result of stress. Becoming easily frustrated, flustered, angered and exhibiting poor problem solving, especially during a crisis, could be the result of stress. Neglecting children’s needs, as well as being in a chaotic home environment, or exhibiting continued forgetfulness and poor discipline, are also signals you are not dealing with stress in your life properly. Please keep in mind, the way you respond to stress, gives your children a front row seat and direction in how to do the same. If you cope with stress in a negative or destructive way, your children will learn those same bad habits. If you want your children to handle challenges well, you must do the same.

can sometimes include headaches, high blood pressure, a lowered immune system, stomach aches, muscle tension and exhaustion. The emotional and mental effects of stress may manifest as depression, anxiety, discouragement, hopelessness, helplessness, anger, lowered self-esteem and pessimism. Not only does

A few positive strategies I provide to clients include: journaling, talking it out, exercising, problem solving, confronting the issues, taking actions, getting advice, do something fun, prayer, and meditation. Negative coping strategies which should be avoided are: denial, ignoring the problem, rage, taking it out on others, isolating/withdrawing, abusing substances, over and under eating, passive aggressive behavior, and addiction. While it is easy to say avoid certain reactions, it becomes easier when ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ DR KIKI SPEAKS } “Believe it or not, we must have stress in our lives in order to live healthy lives. The caveat is, how we respond to and control the stress, and this determines our overall health.”

we are aware of what a negative cycle of stress looks like. THE FOUR STEPS INCLUDE: 1. Stressful event – “fight or flight”; 2. Reaction – negative coping; 3. Temporary Relief; 4. New Problem. If you do not know how to begin the process of positively coping with 64


stress, start with mastering the skill of composure. The skill of composure requires self-control, self-discipline, knowledge of self, and the control of your thoughts and feelings. To adjust to positively coping with stress, you have to learn to manage the upsetting thoughts by producing calming thoughts. For every negative thought, you reframe those thoughts into something positive. Properly calming yourself includes proper deep breathing, thinking “this too shall pass” and making a conscience

decision to view the situation differently. We must all make a concerted effort to take responsibility for our actions and acknowledge and accept our feelings. Ultimately, the way to positively control stress, we must all control ourselves, and accept the reality that you can only control you. Only then, can we really help ourselves to live healthier stress-free lives.






Yes, it’s that time! Wedding season is coming. Its time for planning that special day. Starting early is very important. Brides start checking off your list, book that special location now because you are not the only one looking for an awesome place for their wedding day. There are so many options available for weddings and receptions. Be Creative! Consider outdoor weddings in a rose garden, on a beach, or in a park. But make sure to look at the time of the year and consider those bad rainy seasons. Yes, it’s an awesome setting for weddings PLAN A DESTINATION WEDDING! Look at choosing to jump the broom away from your home town. It can be very exciting, although planning a wedding from a far will be work. Jamaica…Hawaii…St. Croix…What stunning wedding photos you will have to share and the unique wedding venue to spark a WOW Effect.

Having the family experience a wedding on a cruise ship will have an awesome back drop on the sea. More and more brides are being creative to invite family and friends to share their romantic wedding. Destination weddings typically mean a smaller wedding party. Which means less headaches or nightmares! Sometimes less is better, plus you are already there for a honeymoon get away. Spend your wedding night away from everyone else. Get a cottage on the beach or even a hide away on the ship. Planning is the key. SIMPLICITY!! Do a wedding website with a checklist. Budgeting all the way. Your groom can be helpful so don’t exclude him completely. Share in the joy of planning. Dresses for you and your bridesmaids don’t have to be long and boring. Hot and sexy is the “in” thing.

they choose to wear. The groom with his groomsmen are opting to wear suits instead of tuxedos. It is still formal just “cooler.” Even wear sneakers or no shoes at all. Especially on the beach for a beach wedding. I have even designed men suits with shorts for the groom and his groomsmen. Its ok to be bold and beautiful. Wait until you see our Bridal Gown with shorts (Call Mr. Carlyle for details) It is so hot!! Being unique is the key. Enjoy your Wedding Day. But remember 20 years later you will be looking back at those pictures and pulling up your videos of your wedding day. Smile, Cry, its OK, Just Say Yes! “In Style by Mr. Carlyle” (470) 418-7277 IG: IAMMRCARLYLE Email:

Brides are choosing to wear any color ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019




Racism is rooted in American society, since slavery and continues to be an issue even today in 2019. At this point, we are all familiar with “Black Lives Matter” and the on-going controversy of law enforcement and their interaction with the African-American community, which is not good. Innocent men are being gunned down by officers without justification. Victim’s families are being left wondering “Is there any such thing as justice in America? Here in Rochester, recently we encountered several issues involving race and the issues cannot continue to be swept aside. One would think as we have a very mixed local government, including an African-American Mayor, Rochester would be progressive on issues of race. The recent occurrences indicate we are not. Recently, we’ve seen issues regarding college students stealing and destroying a Frederick Douglas statute, and college students on social media using unfavorable race comments singing song lyrics. We’ve watched as reports of officers beating an African-American man surfaced and one of the officers was criminally charged for his actions. Nationally, our city was recently plagued with reports of a news reporter being accused of stating the word “coon” in a report referring to Frederick Douglas. The community was divided as to whether this was a simple mistake or racially motivated. Rochester’s Mayor, Lovely Warren called for the newsman to be fired. 68


RWO took an initiative last month to try to address the issue where many AfricanAmerican women felt they had no voice in the local media by launching our new “Something for the Sistas” section in the magazine. In January 2019, also we held a special panel addressing the issues of “Race and Society”. Panelists included defense attorney and RWO editor, Cheryl L. Kates, RWO writer Renee Cobbs Hill

and Collegiate Professor Lucia Falsetti Guardino. This was held at the expo at JCC. The panel was a great experience where we were allowed to have “an intimate” discussion with the panel and also included audience participation. If a centralized theme to the discussion could be named, it is race plays into everything in society. While there may also be intervening characteristics such as poverty, resources of the community, gentrification etc., every topic we discussed could be reverted back to something about

race being a factor. It was beyond interesting to hear accounts from Renee growing up as a minority in the rural town of Sodus and her experiences and Cheryl’s attending Rochester City School District as a reverse minority as a Caucasian. Lucia added an interesting perspective by relaying an example of something which happened to one of her white student teachers’ who was accused of being racist after calling on a white child instead of an African-American one. An audience member shared a story of how when she was serving as the superintendent of an apartment building, she found herself in a position where African-American tenants accused her of “being for the man”. The landlord was white. She was in charge of the buildings and had to enforce the rules. Another audience member shared her views of how structural racism plays into systems and trickles down into almost every aspect of life. In discussing the current issues, a discussion was held about the recent state of Rochester politics and whether race played into the dealings of a local Judge and the “carpet bagger” accusations made about her successor. What was interesting in these discussions was although there were issues about wrong doings or rules being allegedly violated, it seemed that race could also be cited as a contributing factor either about media portrayal, enforcement and or how things



{ RACE & SOCIETY } “One would think as we have a very mixed local government, including an AfricanAmerican Mayor, Rochester would be progressive on issues of race. The recent occurrences indicate we are not.”

were being done. In closing, Renee shared a thought about the ability to eat healthy and how the big chain grocery stores do not have a large presence in poverty-stricken areas. The experience was one of growth and understanding. It was definitely the start of something great as when we talk about it, we learn about it. RWO SFTS writer Renee Cobbs Hill indicated when preparing to participate in the panel she was nervous. She was excited too. Usually, when a discussion regarding race comes about people have strong convictions in their views and it often does not go well and becomes counterproductive. In our experience, it was an intimate setting where the audience was able to join the discussion, so it allowed for a greater understanding of the issues people discussed and we were able to have a “conversation” as opposed to just panelists speaking their views. Renee indicates for her the most rewarding aspect of participating was how respectful, personal and candid the conversation was. Renee brought up an interesting point of view when she gave the example where she found it disturbing that low-income areas of the city where people may have transportation restrictions provide a lack of access to nutritious food in the corner stores etc. Larger grocery stores are found closer to the suburbs and this contributes to the people living in 70


inner city areas to have restricted access to good food. She feels this contributes to the increased health issues of obesity, diabetes and uncontrolled blood pressure. This was a point of view any of us did not have awareness about. Lucia Falsetti Guardino also indicated she was “terrified” when first asked to participate.

She shared, “I am very uncomfortable discussing race publicly. People these days do not work at listening and understanding each other. This is a generalization of course, but we weren’t sure as to what kind of audience would attend. It was interesting the audience and the panelists shared the

same mindset regarding the issues. It was a nice discussion and it was edifying, but I walked away knowing that talking with like-minded people is not productive. We need to teach people of unlike minds to listen to each other with the goal of understanding. I really mean understanding each other not debating or convincing each other to think alike. This is very difficult but there are protocols available that we could put in place to accomplish this. To address race and society we need to engage in dialogue as I mentioned above. We need to create a forum of people who need to understand each other better”. In closing, as a society we need to come together and address the issues we are presented with. Racism is not okay. It is something we must confront head on and try to foster understanding. All people must be valued. Justice must mean something in a civil society. It can not be handed down differently when taking into consideration the characteristics of the individuals being judged. There should be no division offering benefits to some and detriments to others. It must be fair and equal to be justice. At the end of the day, we all as human beings bleed red blood. RWO looks forward to revisiting these issues and gaining further understanding in the future.






Jackie Campbell is Director of ROC the Future, an alliance of leading Rochesterarea institutions and community partners working with the Rochester City School District to promote alignment of strategies, resources, and accountability for improving the academic achievement of Rochester’s children. ROC the Future, housed at The Children’s Agenda, is one of 70 StriveTogether national networks working to improve childhood outcomes, cradle-to-career.

the Black Women’s Leadership Forum, Parent Leadership Training Institute, and Facing Race = Embracing Equity, and other efforts supporting women and youth in the African American community, including the below listed affiliations: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Before joining The Children’s Agenda, Jackie was employed by the City of Rochester for 28 years, primarily in the Department of Recreation and Youth Services, including 4 years as Assistant Commissioner. While there, she lead the department’s efforts as a funder and provider of youth development and asset-building programs, and youth employment for approximately 1,000 youth and their families each year. Jackie has an Associates, Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Management Science, and is a true believer in early education as well as life-long learning. A devoted wife of 36 years, she and her husband Michael are Co-Founders of North Star Rites of Passage, LLC, a consulting company providing Afrocentric programming to youth and families, including Rites of Passage for males and females, staff training in cultural responsive programming, and parenting skills training in the Strengthening the Black Family workshop series. As a strong advocate for parent and family engagement, Jackie is active in several community efforts, including

ACTIVITIES: - Racial Equity Justice Initiative, Steering Committee Member (2018) - Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, Steering Committee Member (2017 – present) - Sankofa Study Group (2017 – present) - The Black Agenda Group (2015 – present) - Cultural Brokers/Community Advisory

Council Advisement Team (2015 – present) - Black Male Achievement Coalition, Advisory Council (2014-2015) - National Association of Negro, Business & Professional Women’s Club, Genesee Valley Chapter, Member (2012 – 2015) - Facing Race=Embracing Equity (FREE), Youth Leadership Committee Co-Chair, (2013 – 2017) - Volunteer Elder, Determined Divas, Youth for Change/Pathways to Peace (2010 – 2015) - Trustee, University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men (2009 - 2012) - Pillars of Hope, Adult Role Model Program (2006 – present) - Black Women’s Leadership Forum, Co-Founder, Steering Committee Member (2005 - Present) - Liberty Partnership Program, MCC, Advisory Board Member (2003 2009) - Board Member, Threshold Center for Alternative Youth Services, Inc. (2005 - 2006) - Advisory Board Member, Invest In Me Youth Financial Literacy Program (2004 - 2005) - Board Member, Cornell Cooperative Extension (2002 - 2005) - Member, UR Strong Families/Strong Communities Advisory Council (2003 - 2004) - City of Rochester Black Heritage Committee (2001-2018; Chair, 2008-2015) - Alum, African-American Leadership Development Program - Class of 2001 - Curriculum & Evaluation Committees, (2002-2004); - Selection Committee (2004-2006) - Alum, Leadership Rochester - Class of 1997 - Selection Committee (2000-2002 and 2004-2005) - Member, Rochester West Indian Festival ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE } Jackie Campbell is Director of ROC the Future, an alliance of leading Rochesterarea institutions and community partners working with the Rochester City School District to promote alignment of strategies, resources, and accountability for improving the academic achievement of Rochester’s children.

Organization (RWIFO), Inc. (1990 - 2003) - Pageant Coordinator, RWIFO Miss Carifest Pageant (1994 - 2001) FACILITATOR/TRAINER: - North Star Rites of Passage, LLC, CoFounder, Facilitator & Trainer, 2014 – Present - Prime Time Sister Circle© - 2013 - Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI)© - 2012 (Facilitator & Civic Design Team) - Overcoming Adversity Among Black Women© – 2009 - Organizational Management Facilitation – 2008 - “Working It Out”, Youth Employment Curriculum© - 2008 - Effective Black Parenting Training Curriculum© – 2006 - Youth Empowerment Foundation - Rites of Passage Program – 2005 74


- Mosaic Partnership / Youth Curriculum – 2004 FAITH ACTIVITIES: - Member, Immaculate Conception/St. Bridget’s Church (2010 - 2016) - Gospel Choir Member (2011 - 2016) - Member, St. Bridget’s Church (1992 – 2010) - Church Council Member (1995 - 1998 and 2006 - 2010) - Gospel Choir Member/Coordinator (1992 - 1996; 1998 - 2010) - Liturgical Committee, Chair (2005 - 2007) - Rites of Passage Program Coordinator (1995 - 1998; 2005) - Youth Ministry Coordinator (1997 - 2004) - Diocese of Rochester Pastoral Planning Team (1997 - 2005) AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS (2014 – PRESENT):

- Colgate/Crozer Divinity School - Black Student Caucus, Rev. Raymond Graves Award, 2019 - RCSD ROC Restorative “Being the One” Award, 2018 - Black Women’s Leadership Forum, “Doing the Work” Seasoned Sistah Award, 2017 - New Africa Cultural Center, Plate of Distinction (Couples) Award, 2016 - Rochester Area Black Journalist, Community Service Award, 2015 - Action for a Better Community, Inc., Signature Citizen of the Year Award, 2015 - Rochester A.B.O.V.E. Outstanding Leaders in the African American Community Award, 2014 - Teen Empowerment, Champion for Youth Leadership Award, 2014 - Alpha Kappa Alpha Everyday Hero Award, 2014








2018 was an amazing and devasting year, all at the same time. 2019 is here and Katlady Productions© came in with a BIG BANG. Bring in the New Year, with beautiful people. from the old school! Katlady Productions© is best known for custom-made furs, “Mature Play” as we call it, fur bikinis. The first design was created in 2010, using an incredible mastery of skins of 100% fox fur. Greatly influenced by Walter, a good friend of mine. While others said to me, “That don’t make sense!”, Walter said “GO FOR IT”!!! Sometimes as an entrepreneur we must take risks and jump off that cliff. Fear can stop you from making your greatest accomplishment. When Katlady Productions© was created, the dream of a company of elegance for the mature was the underlying concept. My vision included a company where the seasoned person could be free to play around with fashion. One concept included experimenting with colors that reflects the personality of the customer. More often then not, we have stronger ideas later in life. Experience is a great skill to have. It allows us to know what we want and don’t want in Life. Most seasoned people in fashion, love colors and in 2019 that’s what HOTT. Trends come and go, but those iconic images featuring high fashion & furs will always be in style. When it comes to fashion, Katlady Productions© models maintain professionalism that is classy and graceful. These models come from all over the world, are all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. They come to SLAY the fashion runway with

elegance. The shapes of models’ bodies have changed deeply throughout the years. Now you must be more than a size 2 in the fashion industry all over the world. This is amazing, because all models are not a size 2. Katlady Productions© models are of all sizes from a size 0 & up. The diversity is exciting and amazing! One thing I realized is history repeats itself. I learned how to take inspiration from

others. I don’t care about what’s in trend. I make my own trend. I go with what I feel is good to me. A lot of times I have a dream or vision of fashion, fabric or furs, or something it could be in the middle of the day sitting on my deck or walking down the block. I get inspired. Recently, I’ve been into fur mature play all year around. I am really on this kick of trying to change the fashion world with class & elegance and mature models who are of all sizes. Sizes

matter. Yes! However, Love the size you are! Take care of yourself! The power we gave to fashion & size, the more ownership you take for yourselves. Stay true to you. You & only you. You will fall in love with yourself. Self-love is the key to happiness. Often, the fashion industry can put unattainable goals on people. Staying in your lane is always perfect. Katlady Productions© models are all over 21-years-of-age. As a matter of fact, some of our models are 70! Being fabulous and full of life is a life concept not a size or an age. However, we do work with the youth and do volunteer classes with them. Teaching self respect, self-love and etiquette are skills young people need to be successful in life. We SLAY, in every way on-and-off the runway. Shaking off all negative vibes! We love dominating the runway. Our style is phenomenal. We make a life-long impression with remarkable transformations. We always remember there is patience in fashion & beauty. These concepts are important to carry over in everyday life. Look at life as your creation. Leave a mark that is memorable. You control the pen. Now just write the story. Your story doesn’t end here. It is just beginning. 101 Fashion & Furs is the theme of 2019, taking what was, molding it into something not new but more of a reflection of creative minds. Lately, Katlady Productions© began promoting her fashion collection in the entertainment industry with the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019



“Fashion, Film and Music Networking Mixer” at the Marriott hotel in Newark Liberty International Airport, as well as, the Fabulous Terrance on the Park in Queens, N.Y. What an amazing journey! It takes an amount of courage & willingness, with a great deal of commitment to pursue fashion at a mature age. Most of Katlady Productions© models discovered that even though they are older, their character and personality is different. Self-worth, along with independence shines 78


through. We SLAY the runway every time. We all have that in common. There is a place for everyone in the fashion industry. The doors are definitely opening to be all inclusive.

Uniqueness is a rule we go by and have for years. Therefore, we stand out in the fashion world! Bold & beautiful and brave! This became a game changer in the fashion world, and it can do the same in your life.

Katlady Productions© is on fire! We speak up for ourselves in a graceful manner. We trust life is absolutely, as it is supposed to be. Another amazing stunning factor about Katlady Productions© & 101 Fashion & furs is that we all are so very talented. It is notable each of us bring flavor to each other.

At the conclusion, Katlady Production© would like to thank you for checking us out. See you next month.






PART ONE 5 STEPS OF PREPARATION A wise man once said in order to truly compete at the highest level, you must master the golden rule of the “6P’s.” You are probably wondering what exactly is the 6Ps? It’s “Prior planning, prevents piss poor performance.” Now you are probably thinking, “How you knew this already, right?” In life, everything we strive to accomplish must encompass all proper steps towards “the goal”. We assume the goal is to win or gain something. This golden rule is set up towards differentiating true athletes and the benchwarmers, especially in the competitive sport of PAGEANTRY! In the previous article, I shared with everyone the pageant backstory. Now it’s time you learn, how to prepare yourself to actually compete. This article will provide the skeleton, anyone can use to build the proper winning pageant package. When starting your preparation there are numerous factors one must consider towards your pageant. When you start this planning, I always suggest the “old school” method of getting a notebook, a pen set with various colors, and planner. I am a firm believer of writing everything down, over and over, will keep everything you are doing truly organized. It is also easy to take with you everywhere. In using your notebook, you want to take each “area of competition” you are competing in and list them out. I then suggest, you have a brainstorm session towards the overall budget for your package. As we know, pageantry is a super glamorous, but sadly it’s not a free competitive sport. Likewise, in creating the budget keep in mind how it affects all aspects towards your package. Whether you have a limit of $700 or $7000, ultimately whatever your

presenting, should be everything you want, the judges want, the audience will envy, worthy of the funds, and more importantly, lead you to the ICONIC MOMENT of winning the pageant. Along with your budget, don’t be afraid to ask for who will support! Trust me by budgeting potential sponsors who may donate momentarily or even host a benefit show/bake sale for you will come in handy! Keep track of all those who donated, properly add this to your budget, and remember to always publicly thank those whom helped you,

may it be family or businesses those shout outs are priceless. After your finished with the scariest part of the prep work by creating the budget, now you are ready to move on to step two, which is setting your mental preparation. Again, in every sport, there is a psychology each athlete uses which helps them play the game and to essentially win. This category ranges from studying the system, appearances, and walking/talent rehearsals. Don’t forget to add the mental prep if you actually win the crown, it is overwhelming. Speaking from experience, every pageant

I compete in it requires a unique level of mental toughness, and I adjust accordingly. Furthermore, you must master in a short time, how to articulate what YOU know, what YOU can bring to the crown, and how amazing YOU are in all categories. I am a firm believer that the more ease I gained was when I exhausted every part of the preparation. It will work for you too. Especially, after having worked on interview questions over and over, finally having a clean talent rehearsal, every garment is fitted, and my vision towards my reign! You must psych yourself up. Stay truest to who you are, and essentially do not crack under the pressure. Remember the more mentally strong you are, the better you are at handling any situation that may come up last minute. Lastly, for some of you out there who can’t relate to sports psychology, don’t be afraid to utilize your faith. Behind the glamour of pageantry can be stressful moments, Faith adds that added crutch and much needed support system while competing. Now that your head is screwed on, you are focused, we can then start what most pageant competitors least look forward to which is physical preparation. Yes, this is the moment we talk about exercise, gym membership & trainer, if the budget permits, and strengthen up all aspects of your physical presence. Realistically, 90% of pageantry will have either a swimsuit or fitness wear category and YOU have to show off the best version of you possible. The better physically you are, the stronger mentally you become while hopefully reducing the budget on getting you right for the stage. For each person this outline of prep, will vary depending due to the fact we all have different bodies, faces, vibes, etc… ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ AN ICONIC MOMENT } “A wise man once said in order to truly compete at the highest level, you must master the golden rule of the “6P’s.” You are probably wondering what exactly is the 6Ps? It’s “Prior planning, prevents piss poor performance.”

vary depending due to the fact we all have different bodies, faces, vibes, etc… vary depending due to the fact we all have different bodies, faces, vibes, etc… Ultimately this requires for a commitment to a personalized exercise program with proper diet plan. Depending on your budget allowance, you can hopefully either find free assistance or directly utilize personal training, dietitians, nutritionist, even a massage therapist for this category. Joining a gym is the standard form of practice but its not always everything you actually need. Don’t be afraid of unconventional methods of exercise, whether it’s a Spartan Race, rock-climbing, parkour, power walking, or working out at home anything that will empower and motivate you towards the best. You DO IT! Establish a realistic body goal, determine the cost, the time, and how far your willing to go to get it done. My biggest note is whatever you choose for your plan, be safe, smart, and knowledgeable about how to get it! Especially if weights and supplements are involved which can alter the plan in all aspects. Now after all that, what could be left to prep? Well for every pageant your going to need clothing to wear. Now, I will admit I stress out the most during wardrobe preparations because everything must fit the ideal message I want to convey. I also admit this is also my personal favorite section because fashion is wonderful and makes clear distinctions. There’s also bonding with many people in the process. When, I take to my notebook about this section, I usually come up with a theme for each round. Utilizing themes in your wardrobe prep allows cohesiveness, pushes you to think outside the box, and in essence presents you in the best light. Reminder whatever your theme is honestly for you! Keep in mind what you know the judges maybe looking for, can this idea work universally, and will it produce the best execution, you can show. Some themes you could explore are fashions of the decades, 82


color explosion, patriotism, your favorite celebrity references, etc. A big part of the fun you will have in your prep is looking for your competitive wear.

100 pageant winners across the globe and I say that to mean I trust there credentials, I listen, and I have won 9 big pageants and competed in 8 national pageants .

Don’t be afraid to bargain hunt, utilizing layaway, going to every store trying on stuff, taking photos of all possibilities, and of course shopping online. When using online shopping, remind yourself of how much time you will need for arrival, fitting it properly, and adding those finishing touches. Again, in this section you don’t have to be the most fashionable or expensive, but you need to showcase what moments you can bring during the reign. Everyone always watches to see what titleholders wear, pageantry creates the trends you want to see. Remind yourself that the fit, styling, the accessories, hair to the under garments, must be in proper order. In the coming articles, I will go more in depth on the various section of pageantry fashion you may compete with and explain each of the expectations.

In return, as head coach of TEAM ICONS & I utilize the same strategies given to me mixed with 13 years of my knowledge, which in return earned a winning team. In this category specifically, you must find a coach who has the knowledge, competitive experience, and can tweak absolutely anything to make you better. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to have multiple coaches for certain categories or in general. As I stated earlier, it takes a village and having more than one Informed opinion is not always a bad idea. If you need the help, ask for it. A majority of coaches will in fact charge you for time & service, so budget accordingly. Also, reminder… not all coaches are the same, or use the same methods, so listen to your gut upon making this gut decision. Find the one who will invest in you on and off stage, the best coaches build a friendship through the mentorship.

Finally, the grand finale to your preparation may include hiring a coach to assist you on your journey. Pageantry is a sport but more importantly, a learning lesson and the best usually have a coach. I have no problem admitting that when I started professionally, I dived head first. Needless to say, I didn’t win anything, until I gained a coach to guide me to the goal. Much of what people think pageantry is just a solo game, when in fact it takes a team to really get some to the next level. I am fortunate enough to have gained coaching from legends Stacey MargulesGallagher, owner of One Step Ahead Pageantry Consulting & Kyle Ean Haggerty, director of the Miss Globe United States & World pageantry system. Both Stacey & Kyle, stay on top of all my pageant prep & success, not one detail goes by them. Between both my coaches, they have produced over

Well folks we made it through part one of proper preparation for a pageant. As we understand this preparation can be extremely stressful but needed when it matters most. Now you are learning what it truly takes to become a pageant professional. By setting up your plans this way, being honest with your intentions, and establishing realistic goals of investment in the financial, mental, physical, wardrobe, and coaching you will win any pageant. In my next article, we will explore part 2 of pageant preparation, specifically time management. Some compete monthly, while others compete once a year. I will help you find your ideal understanding of timing and the specifics of the checklist. Until next time, remember ICONIC MOMENTS are for those who want it, need it, and deserve it! Find your moment.






I always felt beautiful inside and out. When I was a small child. I remember having plenty of dreams and ideas of what my life would be. Of course, my dreams were inclusive of a big house with a white picket fence, being married with no kids. I wanted to be a lawyer or a hair stylist. I never realized my life would lead me into beauty of the body and ripping the runway, so elegantly, the way I do. Yes! I am a big woman model and I love it. I have the best of both worlds. As I stated in my previous article, I am a hair stylist, but I am also a model. In 2015, I started modeling, after helping Latiffany Anderson, owner of (Kurvie Kulture) and Director of the Kurvie Kulture Pageant, behind the scenes at Ms. Kurvie (with the 16-yearold contestants). I was introduced to Latiffany originally by Yolanda Smilez (Comedian). In 2016/17, I assisted again with the adult pageant. When 201718 pageant came along, I decided I belonged on the stage instead of behind the scenes and the rest is history. I knew I could be as flawless as these beautiful, big women, so I entered the pageant as a contestant. It was an awesome experience. I won “Mz. Congeniality”, in my

white beautiful dress. When my name was called, I didn’t move because I didn’t realize they were talking about me. Through that whole experience, I was nervous and shaking in my bones. I did it and I became great

every runway I could get on. Some modeling I volunteered, but a couple gigs, I was paid. Some were in the town of Rochester, NY and some I traveled. I also experienced photos shoots and participated with some great models and makeup artists. I’m proud to say my photos were featured in two magazines. These endeavors included working with many different people, but one of my favorites, is Rochester Woman Online. Being a model is not easy. It is not just having a pretty face and taking pictures. Everyone does not have the ability to rip the runway and be flawless at it. I learned so many different rules and regulations from being in this industry. I learned how to walk and use proper body tone. There are a lot of things you must be conscience of to perfect your craft.

at it. The quick changing of the clothes and being so open with your body in front of people gave me a whole new look on different bodies of women, skinny to plus size. We are all alike, except some have more skin then others. From 2017-2019, I’ve walked on

Modeling is not what it used to be, where all models are super skinny and tall. Now the “Kurvie Gals” are stepping in and taking over. You see, being a certain size does not make you less than the next skinny, pretty model. All women are beautiful. Once you master the skills required and develop your confidence to stand next to the skinny models, you earn your place on the run way.



For those who don’t know, I am also a ‘shorty”. When you think about runway models, the traditional models are 5’9 and above. I’ve defied the odds and made a niche for myself in this glamorous world. I take pride in being a plus size “kurvie” model. One day, I now dream I could be on someone’s billboard and/or bus. Having my name and photo splattered all over the city or any city for that matter would be a blessing to me. I branched out and started networking. I am now traveling to different cities 86


and states, trying to make a name for myself. In February 2019, you can catch me in NY Fashion Week, ripping the runway supporting the BIG GALS. If you don’t know me, check me out on Facebook (Sheila Young) and Instagram (Sheilayoung80). I realized through my experiences, being small does not make you pretty. Being YOU is what makes YOU beautiful, inside and out. I will leave

everyone with this. Look in the mirror daily, naked if you like. Tell yourself how magnificent God made you. Love every inch of your body, despite the size you are. Find the mindset to love yourself and think flawless of your body. You don’t have to be a model to be confident and know you are beautiful. All women should find that within yourself. You must love you and the rest will follow.






Raise your hand, if you ever got caught playing dress up in your mom’s makeup as a child? I know I sure did. As a young girl, playing in makeup was every girl’s dream. I mean we want to look beautiful, just like the pretty woman on TV. In this issue of “Glam Factz”, I’m dishing out all the exclusive tips about makeup and the love women have for it!

so apparent, in our day and age. From having to have perfectly arched eyebrows, to having on the right shade of lipstick, makeup is a big part of everyday life, since the early 1900’s. Now here’s a fun fact, did you know a man, yes I said a

BEGINNER’S ONLY I always say, “A woman should never leave the house without at least some lipstick or lip gloss on”! From the different shades of foundation, to the right concealer, to the edgy bronzer, to the vibrant highlighter, to the soft blushes, to the colourful eyeshadow, to the dark eyeliner, to the perfect eyebrow pencil, to the fierce mascara, and let’s not forgot the bold lipstick These are just to name a few of the most popular makeup products out on the market today. If you don’t have one of these items in your collection, then I don’t know what you have. Makeup has taken the world by storm over the last couple of years. From Facebook, to Instagram, and even You Tube, makeup artists and or enthusiasts are what’s hot in the makeup community. There are all types of videos and tutorials to show you just how to achieve the “beat face” as they call it and so much more. Just try watching one video, I guarantee you will be a pro in no time. THE ART OF MAKEUP I once read “Beauty is about perception, and not about makeup”!(1) , This is

man, named Maurice Levy in 1915, invented the metal lipstick container (2)?. Even the style of the flapper, in the early 1900’s catered to the dark and smoky eye, with a bold vibrant red lip which in today’s time is a very popular makeup look to wear .

STYLES OF MAKEUP Who doesn’t love rocking their own style? Now a days, being a trend setter is the “it” factor to gaining more followers and or friends in the makeup community by the different types of looks you can achieve when wearing makeup. Like for example there is “Natural Makeup” better known as the everyday look. This look includes earth tones and pinks, a simple look that doesn’t require transforming how you look but enhancing, the natural features you already have. Then you have your “Evening Makeup” better known, as the sexy look. This look requires more bold colors such as greens, blues, blacks and purples. This look is great for date night or a night of with the girls showing just the right “pop” to make a statement. There is also something called the “Prom Makeup” better known as the “Coming Out” makeup. Now we all know how beautiful and how much we need to stand out at prom, so this look requires more sparkle like glitter to add that perfect shine to our funfilled day. We all know and dream about our “Big Day” and how beautiful we want to look, so our next makeup look would be the “Bridal Makeup” . I mean we have enough to think about on this day, so our makeup has to be on point. This look can be worn many different ways, like for instance natural or glamourous?



It all depends on the bride. Fast forward to a more extreme out of the box look, and you’ll get the “Gothic Makeup”. This makeup look requires bold dark eyes and lips accompanied by clothing. Then you have “Celebrity Makeup” better known as the “show stopping, cameraready makeup”, and to get this look you must enhance your natural features by using high-end makeup products to hide facial features such as blemishes, scares, bags under the eyes, a big nose or even small lips. Last but not least, 90


you have “Airbrush Makeup” this look gives you a clean finished look almost as if no one has applied make up. The make up is applied using an air brush application and is sprayed on. TIPS FOR MAKEUP LOVERS Just like food, makeup has an expirations date and if you don’t check your makeup to find out when that is, it could lead to bad skin conditions and issues. For example, did you know that makeup like foundation (the liquid kind) should be

tossed after six months of use or non-use and two years for powder foundation (because it ages). Foundation can develop bacteria, which if put on your face, can lead to breakouts and skin irritations or even infections. We all know how much we love our precious mascara tube, but did you know you’re supposed to toss it after three months.? The tube that mascara comes in holds so much bacteria because of its little brush. Isn’t that something.

{ GLAM FACTZ BY LADY A } “I always say, “A woman should never leave the house without at least some lipstick or lip gloss on!”

Eyeshadow has a longer toss time about two years. After sitting for too long, the pigmentation and discoloration of the eyeshadow goes away making it harder for you to see the actual colors. This goes for lipsticks and lip glosses as well, about two years.

let go from my job as a secretary, that my love for makeup would go in this direction. You can catch some of my tutorials and lives, even re- creations on my Facebook and Instagram pages,

So, I guess now, you’ll probably want to clean out your makeup bags huh, better safe than sorry. MY MAKEUP JOURNEY

(1) Aucoin, Kevyn et al.(1994). The Art of Makeup. Prion, Retrieved December 28, 2018, from https://www.

My love for makeup has grown since I was a little girl. I mean I’ve been doing makeup seriously for the last two years now and my skills have improved tremendously. My love for bright colors and lipsticks expanded my interest in the makeup world today making me a “free-lance” makeup artist and influencer. I remember playing with my dolls and drawing thicker eyebrows on them and using different color eyeshadows on them to give them some of the same exact looks I described to you in this very article. I never thought after being

I wear makeup because I love it. It’s just something about showing off my creative artistic side I was blessed with that helps me reach other women in and out of the makeup community to feel and want to look their best. I want to one day go back to school to become a certified esthetician so I can open up my own beauty parlor and continue to help women look their best.

(2) Ashley, Diana (2017). “History of Lipstick”. Retrieved December 28, 2018, from https://www.

Jeweled_by_Lady A. People often say that women who wear makeup wear it because they are trying to hide what they look like, but I don’t believe that to be true. Just ask some of my followers, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019







We all know February is the month of love. We are expected to feel the instant rainbows and butterflies as soon as the heart shape chocolate boxes hit the shelves. The sight of flowers and teddy bears are expected to induce immediate warm and fuzzy feelings. That all sounds amazing, and would be perfect if it were everyone’s reality. When you’re single, most of us dread the sight of those cute cards. Entering stores like Walmart and Target are constant reminders of the cute things we won’t receive, and an aggravating announcement of the day of love that we won’t have the opportunity to participate in. Don’t fret! I have 5 tips to make the month of love not only bearable, but truly enjoyable. I am a firm believer in self-love. Every type of love stems from how you feel about yourself. Your inner love shines brighter than any light. You have to give yourself the love you plan and desire to give someone else. Take a moment, and pamper yourself. Go buy a new outfit, make an extra appointment to your hair salon. Go get a manicure, or pedicure. Read a

book, drink wine, dance in the living room to your favorite song. Do what makes you happy. Do what makes you glow. One of my own favorite things to do is to take bubble baths. It not only helps me relax,but it allows me a moment to clear my mind. This

will help with all the thoughts of the “Valentine’s Day Blues”. After you pamper yourself, plan a me -date. Me- dates are a fun opportunity to explore what you like, and truly get in touch with yourself. It’s as simple as treating yourself to a nice dinner. You can even go to a coffee shop

and order your favorite beverage. It doesn’t have to be expensive, the focus must be about you. My second tip is to plan a girl’s night. Communicate with your single friends and make concrete plans. “Galantine’s Day” is a very trendy date for women. It can be a wine and dessert night at your place or a night where you all get dressed up and go out. Galantine’s Day is about you and your friends pouring love onto each other. My third tip is to plan an unexpected date. Take time to examine your friendzone. Go through your inbox, DM’s and unanswered text messages. I’m sure there’s a person who is interested in you in your contact list. That person saw something in you, you may not have given them the time they deserve. Call that person, explore that possibility. You never know what spark may come, after all it is the month of love. My fourth tip is to spend time to in a different place. Change your normal routine, kueen switch it up. Your ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019



prince charming can’t find you, if you’re always locked up in the castle. If your routine is a continuous cycle of work, grocery shopping, church, and children’s activities, where are you going to be found? It would be nice if your knight in shining armor would come rescue you while your checking to see if avocados are ripe. But let’s be real, even though we may feel like it, we aren’t some damsel in distress and unfortunately this isn’t a 1900’s fairytale. You are a 20, 30, 40 plus something woman with deadlines, classes, kids and sometimes slight anxiety. I understand, you have goals to accomplish and the 94


whole horse drawn carriage isn’t in your line of sight. However, if you change directions, even if its briefly, your future mate just might find you. My ultimate tip is to travel. This world is full of excitement, passion and yes of course love. Love is found in the most unexpected places. My personal past is proof of this. I met an unexpected love on a vacation. I suggest you pick a place and begin to prepare for your departure. Use the funds you would’ve spent on a Valentine’s Day gift and save it for a vacation. Nothing can eliminate the blues faster than a gassing up your car, hopping on a train, or flying

between the clouds. You never know who is waiting for you in different area code. Whether you are exploring self-love, travel, Galantine’s Day, unexpected dates or switching up your routine, you will experience a form of love. Do not approach February with a dreadful energy, instead embrace it with open arms.




Faith AND THE Vision


Shanique Lee Hair Stylist / Entrepreneur encourages others to walk in authenticity and live out their dreams. She states “Keep the faith and the vision.” As she has made hers, a reality. As a young girl Shanique would spend hours styling her Barbie dolls hair. A feminine, artsy creative, Shanique has always been drawn to the Fashion & Beauty Industry. She states, “Hairdressing just flows naturally.” She began her career as a Salon Assistant, in one of the top salons in her area. It was there were she would learn salon etiquette, and experience luxury beauty brands. Her career would then expand over the course of 4 years, before opening her very own Salon Boutique.

The Glam Room is located inside of Sola Salon Studios in Dewitt, NY. Specializing in Bridal, Fashion, Color & Style Techniques. Today, Shanique Lee has styled hair for prestigious events, weddings, and New York Fashion Week. She loves working behind the chair and servicing her clients at The Glam Room, Styled by Shanique. Lee is a inspiration to many women especially in the African American Community who strive to open their own business . Through her experience, she has advice she to share to make those dreams a reality:

and you still have to bounce back from difficulties. Everyday is not glamourous, but if you keep the faith, have a vision, it is easier to overcome the valleys. Don’t give up. You can do hard things.” Shanique Lee would like to thank all of the Salon owners and Stylists who have been apart of her journey. She accredits her success to her faith in God, family and her loyal clients who have always believed. Shanique Lee can be contacted at Email : TheGlamRoom.Studio32@ Gmail.Com Website: StyledbyShanique.Com

“Go for the gold, write it down and accomplish things. Remember, some days come with challenges, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


Sharpe Fit is an Active Plus Size Clothing line that was founded in 2016. Sharpe Fit promotes the healthy lifestyle of a Curvy Woman, and getting Flawlessly Fit whether your in the gym, working out at home, or exercising outdoors. Sharpe Fit is more than a clothing line but a movement about accepting your curves and saying Eff the standards of society. The great thing about Sharpe Fit, is that it can be worn anywhere and you will look fabulous. To place an order Check out my IG and Facebook business page under Sharpe Collections. “BBWs make working out look good!�






ROCHESTER TO HOST SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK WINTER GAMES FEB. 22-23 Nearly 1,000 Athletes & Coaches to Compete in Six Winter Sports, Fans Encouraged to Attend

Athlete Jacob Booher-Babcock, of Brockport, is seeking his first gold medal, having just missed the opportunity at the 2018 Summer Games when his basketball team was defeated by a last-second shot made at the buzzer. Figure Skater Cori Piels, of Rochester, will look to add to her collection of approximately 50 medals as a Special Olympics New York athlete over the past 15 years. And then there is the Phoenix Fury Floor Hockey Team, coached by Frank Speciale. The

Nearly 1,000 Special Olympics New York athletes and coaches from throughout the state will be in Rochester Feb. 22 and 23 for the New York State Winter Games. They will be competing in six sports – Alpine & Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey, Snowboarding, and Snowshoeing – at several area locations all day Saturday. Special Olympics New York athletes train year-round and compete in a series of local events in order to qualify for the statewide Games. It is highly competitive – athletes attending from throughout New York next month have outplayed more than 30,000 of their peers in floor hockey and more than 2,000 of their peers in the five remaining sports. Nearly 120 of the Winter Games competitors and 43 of the coaches call Greater Rochester home. Snowshoe

Fury will be looking to repeat success at a recent regional tournament, where they won their first gold medal in eight years. Stacey Hengsterman, who is hosting her first Winter Games as president and CEO of Special Olympics New York, encourages the public to attend. “That roar of cheering from the fans often can be worth as much to our athletes

as winning a bronze, silver, or gold medal,” she said. “The opportunity to compete in Winter Games motivates our athletes all year, and we are so happy to be celebrating their achievements in partnership with the Rochester community,” Hengsterman, a Rochester native, added. “The Games are truly a shared accomplishment between our organization and the host community, which plays a leading role in attracting volunteers, raising funds, and promoting the event to ensure its success, not only for Special Olympics New York athletes and their families but for all those who attend.” The Winter Games will kick off Friday night, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. with a signature Opening Ceremonies celebration that will include the parade of athletes, reciting of the Athlete Oath, and traditional lighting of the cauldron by law enforcement officials. Riverside Convention Center will serve as the central location for the Winter Games and host the Floor Hockey competitions as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. The Games will also take place at Swain Resort (Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding), Genesee Valley Sports Complex (Figure Skating), Bristol Mountain Ski Resort (Cross Country Skiing), and Cobbs Hill Park (Snowshoe). ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “Special Olympics New York athletes train year-round and compete in a series of local events in order to qualify for the statewide Games. It is highly competitive.�

Rochester has a rich history with Special Olympics, dating back to 1979 when the SUNY College at Brockport hosted the International Special Olympics World Summer Games, which featured famous sports figures such as Muhammad Ali, Rafer Johnson, Hank Aaron and Bobby Orr as well as many celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christopher Reeve, Phil Donahue, Sally Struthers, and Susan St. James. Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, her husband Sargent Shriver and her brother Ted Kennedy spoke during the opening ceremonies. 102


The 2018 Winter Games were also held in Rochester last year, and they will return in 2020, as part of a three-year agreement between Special Olympics New York and Visit Rochester, with support from Monroe County. Honorary Chair of the 2019 Winter Games is Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. The Games Organizing Committee is led by Co-chairs Dennis Mullen, president and founder of The Mullen Group, and Maggie Brooks, vice president of strategic initiatives for the Regional Transit Service.


Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving nearly 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with nearly 150 schools statewide to offer unified sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. Learn more at and #SpecialOlympicsNY.






FOCUSED ON CHILDREN’S S U C C E S S , TOGETHER. Imagine a community where leaders in every sector work together to improve outcomes for children from birthto-career. Education is an important engine of economic growth as well as individual and family financial selfsufficiency. Growing a stronger economy and reducing poverty depends on better outcomes in education. To achieve these results, for every child, every step of the way, greater Rochester leaders at all levels of the education, nonprofit, community, civic, and philanthropic sectors came together to form ROC the Future. We began in 2011 as a StriveTogether community (one of 70 nationwide), using collective impact, a strategy that holds all institutions and institutional leaders accountable for not only working together to make change happen, but to change how and what we do individually and in our own organizations, to address very complex issues impeding positive outcomes for children.

OUR APPROACH At ROC the Future, we work every day to promote alignment and focus of community resources to improve results for children in the City of Rochester. We know that the challenges are many when it comes to the educational landscape in our community. No single entity or organization can solve these problems alone. Yet, improvement is possible when communities employ a collective

align and coordinate activities, and reduce duplication to accelerate and increase our impact. STRATEGY In 2017, we embarked upon a yearlong strategic review and planning process to refine our objectives and priorities, and to develop a plan of action to help us achieve our goals. As part of ROC the Future’s new strategic plan, we are putting a laser-like focus on three areas along the cradle to career continuum – School Readiness, Early Grade Literacy, and High School Graduation, which are critically important to a child’s future success. In 2018, we launched two Outcome Teams to help improve early grade literacy and high school graduation.

impact approach to agree on shared goals; use evidenced-based approaches and best practices to improve; and measure success together. ROC the Future convenes leaders at all levels of various sectors and work with more than 100 leading Rochesterarea institutions and community partners, including the Rochester City School District to provide leadership and infrastructure support to better

ROC the Future has set out to make reading by 3rd an ongoing priority. When kids fall behind in reading, it becomes more and more challenging for them to stay on track in all subjects as they move into middle and high school. We want to get ahead of this issue and ensure that all children are reading on grade level and developing skills not only in reading, but in writing, critical thinking and oral skills as well.



{ COMMUNITY ROCS } “Imagine a community where leaders in every sector work together to improve outcomes for children from birth-to-career.”

THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION Outcome Team will look at root causes for low graduation rates and identify strategies to make lasting changes. The team completed a deep dive into the research to better understand the factors tied to on-time high school graduation, and what stopped some students from reaching this critical benchmark. In 2017, 57% of RCSD students (August rate) graduated from high school. That number rose to 59% last year. The research showed that critical to improving the high school graduation rate was supporting students in the 9th grade year, so that they were able to obtain the right amount of credits and not fall behind. Two teams will be established at two local high schools (selected through a proposal process), to develop actions and interventions that support students in their 9th grade year as a strategy to improve graduation rates. Our goal - to reach an 80% graduation rate by 2022. Lastly, ROC the Future’s School 106


Readiness Outcome Team is working to ensure more children begin school ready and able to learn. Kindergarten readiness is a gateway to future academic achievement and life success. During the first five years, children need to develop fundamental skills across all developmental areas to build

strong foundations for self-awareness, coping skills, strong relationships with others, physical prowess, problem solving and language. A new focus on policy and advocacy efforts for early childhood funding, and related systems level efforts will guide our work for children during their early years.

THE FUTURE As ROC the Future enters our 8th year, our community is experiencing an unprecedented moment in time. The Distinguished Educators Report released in November demonstrates that there is systemic failure built into our educational system, and it is not working for the children in Rochester. Now, more than ever, is the time to think, act and engage as a collective much more than we have in the past. We know the problem is complex, and we know that a lot rests on the district’s shoulders. We also know that the community must be engaged as partners with the district to support what is best for children. They cannot do it alone. ROC the Future is uniquely positioned to support communitywide engagement leading to collective action that supports the districts efforts to get this right. To learn more about ROC the Future, visit on online at





Meet Kathryn Brown, cohost of Classically Black Podcast. “Most people call me Katie. I have found that Kathryn is too formal.” Classically Black Podcast is a podcast where classical music is discussed from the Black perspective.



Meet Kathryn Brown, cohost of Classically Black Podcast. “Most people call me Katie. I have found that Kathryn is too formal.” Classically Black Podcast is a podcast where classical music is discussed from the Black perspective. “People often view classical music as an elitist art form in which you have to be trained in order to enjoy. We, however, want to help change that narrative. We speak candidly and colloquially about classical music in the same manner that one might speak about any other musical genre. When tuning in one might hear things like, ‘Man! Tchaikovsky is lit. We never deserved him,’ or, ‘That piece is a bop.’ My cohost Dalanie and I are also black, classically trained musicians. So, in addition to changing the narrative about how one might speak about classical music, we are also breaking the stigma and adding to the conversation about who creates classical music. Black classical musicians are here, and we’ve been here. This is our music and we are not going anywhere.” Katie is a classically trained violist from Evanston, IL. She did her undergraduate studies at Illinois State University in Normal, IL in Music Education. Meaning she is certified to teach K-12 orchestra in the state of Illinois. She moved to Rochester to attend the Eastman School of Music in August of 2016. “Eastman is certainly my 112


dream school, so I was ready to move to Rochester the day I got my acceptance!” She is currently completing a double masters in Viola Performance and Literature and Music Education at the Eastman School of Music. So, WHO IS KATIE BROWN? In her own words: “I think that I am hilarious and most of my friends will say that I don’t take anything seriously. And while I think this statement is laced with a bit of

hyperbole, I definitely like to have a good time, laugh, and see the people that I love laughing around me. While this is true, I would still say that I am an introvert. On an off weekend, you’ll find me on my couch scrolling through social media or finally catching up on a book that I have been meaning to read. I am a Christian, and take my faith very seriously. I believe that everything always works out for our good in the end, even if it’s not exactly how we

pictured it or would have liked. You just have to ride the wave of life, believe that everything happens for a reason, and take comfort in knowing that whatever happens, the sun will always rise in the morning.” Who is Katie’s biggest inspiration? “I have been blessed with a multitude of strong black women in my life who have done a lot for me and have helped mold me into the person that I am today. My mom, a single mother, made a lot of sacrifices and went above and beyond to make sure that I got to do everything I wanted to do… like play a musical instrument. I will forever be indebted to her and she is certainly an inspiration. I will say, however, that my grandmother is my biggest inspiration. She immigrated to this countr y from Jamaica later in her life, and had to start from scratch. She worked as a certified nursing assistant and together with my late grandfather, was able to lay the foundation that supports me now. I would have never become a classical musician without her sacrifice. And to this day, I would be nowhere without her ceaseless prayers. She is truly an inspiration.” Being a Classical musician is a lot of work. Mastering an instrument takes hours of daily practice and years to achieve. When




“People often view classical music as an elitist art form in which you have to be trained in order to enjoy. We, however, want to help change that narrative. We speak candidly and colloquially about classical music in the same manner that one might speak about any other musical genre. When tuning in one might hear things like, ‘Man! Tchaikovsky is lit”




{ QUEEN OF ARTS } “So, WHO IS KATIE BROWN? In her own words: “I think that I am hilarious and most of my friends will say that I don’t take anything seriously.”

asked if she can shed some light about the obstacles she encounters as a musician she informatively responded with, “What I have found as a violist is that the better I become, the more work I find I have to do. The more you practice, the more your ear becomes nuanced. Therefore, you’re always searching for ways that you can turn a phrase in a more convincing way or play something cleaner. I would say, on average, I practice my viola 4-6 hours a day, depending on the day. The biggest obstacle for me is finding the balance between building a brand and committing to excellence on my instrument. This is especially true since I am still in school. There are certain quality expectations that I must meet in regards to how I perform and I still have weekly lessons with my viola teacher. I have goals that I plan to attain as a violist, like winning a performing job, that doesn’t always coincide with Classically Black Podcast. Juggling meetings, recording, and editing with my school, teaching, and practice load has definitely presented a new challenge but it is one that I am happy and grateful to take on.” It is apparent that the love Katie and her cohost, Dalanie Harris, have for classical music is the driving force behind starting Classically Black Podcast. It is a very new podcast. They made the announcement on November 1, 2018, and dropped their first three episodes on November 12th. Now that they are two months into the game, they have released 17 episodes. “We release a new episode every Monday. In the planning stages of Classically Black Podcast, which began back in March 2018, we were most concerned with developing an audience.” Most of the time podcasters have a fan base

before launching their work. They usually have a large social media following or have an audience based on the content that they have already put out. Katie and Dalanie did not have this. Therefore, they went into it knowing they had to put a lot of energy into advertising. “Our very first project was our photo shoot to help promote our podcast. We knew that we had to create a brand, and we thought having a face to

until now, Katie explained they are in more of a groove. “We switch back and forth on editing weekly, plan content out months in advance, and communicate with potential guests and sponsors.” They also try to diversify their content by filming videos for their Instagram and YouTube channel. For example, they did a video on five reasons we never deserved Tchaikovsky on Instagram back in November. “We were hoping to not only give people scrolling through our feed a look into the conversations we have on Classically Black Podcast, but also provide a different type of content for our followers. Navigating the brand Classically Black Podcast definitely feels better and more natural now than it did in the beginning.”

the brand would be a great way to draw people in.”

Since the podcast is fairly successful and in a constant state of growth, we asked her what she feels is her greatest achievement. “As a podcaster, I would say that my greatest achievement thus far has been creating content that people actually want to consume. You come up with an idea and you take a leap of faith when you present it to the public. It is such a vulnerable experience because regardless of how much it is loved, no one will quite understand how much you have tarried over it like you do. With that being said, people have been really excited about our podcast, with some calling it necessary. Using my voice to steadily build a fan base is an achievement that I am definitely proud of.”

When asked about their first project, Katie replied, “We spent months planning… There we were – microphones on, recording going, hoping that the content we put out will be well received. I remember having to call a friend right before we recorded to help us figure out how to record two separate tracks at once!” They have certainly come a long way from then! From that moment

So, what makes Classically Black Podcast special? What about the podcast is different and makes it stand out amongst other podcasts discussing Classical music? “Classically Black Podcast features two black girls having a conversation about classical music. This has never been done before. And not only do we talk about classical music, we are also classical musicians. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{{ SHIFT+CONTROL QUEEN OF ARTS }} “I have been blessed with a multitude of strong black women in my life who have done a lot for me and have helped mold me into the person that I am today.”

This is not how we have been conditioned to view classical music. That is, we do not normally see people of color in this space, loving this music.” This concept alone is what makes Classically Black Podcast different from any other podcast. Aside from who is talking about classical music, it is also the way in which these ladies talk talk about it. “When you tune in, you’ll feel like you’ve been invited to two home girls having a conversation about why a symphony is ‘lit’. We also discuss news in the classical music world and infuse pop culture into our discussions.” One of my favorite segments on the show is “Intermission” where they do a classical music inspired activity. “On our first episode, we compared classical music composers to mainstream artists. I found that Schubert, the Romantic composer, is most similar to Young MA, a rapper; in that their approach to writing music is similar. They both wrote music for the sake of writing music and enjoyed the process.” Don’t be mistaken, Classically Black Podcast is for everyone… It is very inclusive. “You don’t have to be black or a classical musician to listen. We speak candidly about classical music because it is what we enjoy, and we want our listeners to enjoy it as well. This is a podcast for the people, and we’ll make sure that you’re not lost while providing a cackle along the way. As a podcaster, I am hoping that our listeners continue to grow with us and consume our content. I also am hoping to diversify our audience so that people from all backgrounds are interested in learning about classical music and joining the conversation. Classical music is for everyone and it is everyone’s music. It is also extremely exciting once

you know what to listen for.” How has the content been received within the music community? Katie explained the community has welcomed them and their content with opened arms. “The conversation surrounding the lack of diversity in the classical music profession has been at the forefront of arts, administrators, and classical music leaders’ agendas. How can we get more musicians of color participating in classical music? Because of this, Classically Black Podcast was met with a lot of support and enthusiasm. Here, you have two black

we do have a chance to get together, it is always an amazing time.” When she’s not with her Sorors, she also enjoys travelling. “I have been very fortunate in that I get to travel a lot for viola. Most recently, I gave a lecture at the International Viola Congress in Rotterdam, Netherlands. I also get to travel for fun sometimes too. For example, I attended a family reunion in St. Ann, Jamaica last year. Depending on the time of year, I am always on the move so when I get a chill moment, you will most likely find me sitting on the couch scrolling through social media or trying out a new Vegan recipe. Classically Black Podcast releases new episodes every Monday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Play, and YouTube. Make sure to tune in, and let Katie know what you think about her after getting to know her through this article. Social Media Info: @kaybee727, @classicallyblackpodcast E-mail:,

classical musicians having discourse about classical music in a new and exciting way. This has never been done before. And because of this excitement, we have been welcomed into our industry with an intent desire to have our voices heard. When Katie isn’t working on Classically Black Podcast or practicing her viola, she enjoys hanging out with her sorority sisters. “I am a proud member of the Theta Omega Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Whether it is laughing at stroll practice or going out to eat, I always have an amazing time with my Sorors. We are all professional women and are all working on varying projects, but when

Katie wanted to make sure to thank some of the special people in her life with a shout out: 1) Jessica Lewis, owner of LáLew Public Relations and my beautiful Soror. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity. 2) Dalanie Harris, my cohost on Classically Black Podcast. Thank you for taking this wild ride with me. We really took nothing and turned it into a podcast. 3) George Taylor, Professor of Viola at the Eastman School of Music. Thank you for always believing in me and for always seeing the things that I can never see in myself. 4) Ena Brown, my mom for always supporting my dreams no matter how many times they have changed. 5) Countless friends who have been listening ears, helped with business questions, recording questions, and photo shoots. 6) My family, for their undying support. Every person has played a role in getting me to Eastman. 7) The ladies of the Theta Omega Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. for teaching this only child the true meaning of sisterhood.

The future looks bright for Laiza, 2019 will be filled with more community involvement, business plans, collaborations, and new photo/video projects.



When it comes to loving and raising the children of our hearts through the gift and calling of foster care, the idea of loving with the possibility of letting go is real and difficult. Our family has fostered approximately 12 children over the past 20 years including our twins Clyde and Claudia who are now with us forevermore. We have had our hearts ripped out unexpectedly and with intense emotion in many of these situations mostly with the twins for whom we cared for nine years before they became permanent members of our family two years ago. With each situation one may think experience would have enabled us to bode the unexpected separations well, but that was not the case. It always hurt. It never got easier. We always cried. But we never gave up the call God had placed upon our lives. And we are still healing from many of the experiences to this day. According to current federal statistics and as reported on the website, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, with the median timeframe a child spends in care being 122


just over a year. Over 50 percent of children in foster care will be reunified with their parents or primary caregivers, while nearly 25 percent will be adopted, usually by foster parents. For foster families, statistics like these mean the idea of saying good-bye may very well be part of the job description. Foster mom Kate from Pennsylvania says of her experiences of loss and grief when it comes to fostering: “We

foster simply because we don’t know the kind of impact the kids living in our home could experience in a short period of time. For them to feel safe and loved, and be part of a family dynamic that is supportive and caring makes it worthwhile. I think of the children we have cared for and I know for many of them we have provided opportunities and experiences they may never experience again including sports camps, day camps, vacations in

a beach house, and swimming pools, for example. All of this far outweighs the pain of letting go. It’s part of the unconditional love we give.” The first time our family experienced an unexpected separation of the twins, they were just seven years old and had been living with us for approximately five months. We received a phone call that said they needed to be returned immediately. At the time of the call, we were driving to drop Clyde and our biological son Caleb off at an overnight camp, the car packed to the ceiling with the gear they needed for the week. After receiving the phone call, we immediately turned the car around and dropped the twins off, barely a moment to say goodbye after being their family for five wonderful months. We drove away in utter shock and pulled the car to the side of the road so that all of us – parents and our biological children – could let out the cries we were bravely holding back for the sake of the twins. Little did we know this scenario would repeat itself at least once a year for the next nine years we cared for the twins before they came to live with us for good.




When it comes to loving and raising the chi foster care, the idea of loving with the

ildren of our hearts through the gift and calling of e possibility of letting go is real and difficult.


“I share here in this column a photo taken March 23, 2018 during our one year annive tears. No more abrupt and unexpected change of pla

Time has indeed softened many of the wounds, but I still get a pit in my stomach remembering the days and the trauma we experienced. So how do we heal in the wake of that kind of loss over so many years and even to this day? How do others heal? For us, we allowed ourselves time to grieve and surrounded ourselves with a support system of people who understood and cared. We talked to others who had similar experiences so we weren’t isolated in our pain. We remained committed to the call with the knowledge that our home and hearts are always available for other children God places in our care. We accepted and understood there is no timeline to grief and the tears can inevitably come with the smallest reminders of memories and times of trauma we shared. Finally, we channeled our grief into positive action to help others and continue to do so to this day with our Worth More Nation organization. It is the WHY behind what we do. I share here in this column a photo taken March 23, 2018 during our one year anniversary celebration of when the twins came to live with us for good. No more good-byes. No more tears. No more abrupt and unexpected change of plans. They were Home Sweet Home, and we finally exhaled. We celebrated the anniversary at a special dinner held at a local restaurant wearing t-shirts with our family acronym which has since morphed from AACCESS to JAACCCSS with the engagement of our daughter. We will celebrate our 126



ersary celebration of when the twins came to live with us for good. No more good-byes. No more ans. They were Home Sweet Home, and we finally exhaled.�

r two year anniversary March 23, 2019. Thank you to Rochester Woman Online and their readers for the opportunity to share this column and write about our work in foster care, our organization and our upcoming events. Worth More Nation empowers children in foster care to know they are worth more through events and initiatives including our Miss Worth More Nation Pageant for Girls in Foster Care, our Claudia’s Closet offering formalwear and special occasion dresses for girls impacted by foster care, and our annual holiday gift and Comfort Cases drives. Our next event is April 25 at the Rochester Woman Online fashion show at the Planetarium where our Worth More Nation ambassadors of foster care including our Claudia will hit the runway wearing a special collection of clothing designed by couture designer Justina Prince who herself grew up in foster care!



{ WORTH MORE NATION } According to current federal statistics and as reported on the website AdoptUSKids. org, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, with the median timeframe a child spends in care being just over a year.



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THE SWEETEST PLACE ON THE PLANET: THE HERSHEY STORY On the road again! For those that know us, know there is no place we would rather be than on tour. Russell, my significant other and soon to be husband AKA Big Russ Da Bully, is a battle rapper. We see the USA, when travelling state-to-state for his battles; NYC, Rhode Island, NJ, DC and many other interesting places. DC was fabulous. We stopped to see the pandas on our way out and began driving back to NY. I often look for excursions along the way to break up the time sitting in the car along the lonely stretches of highway. Today, we drove through and stopped in Pennsylvania, Hershey, that is. Groupon led us to a place which was lifechanging for both me and Russ. As you drive into town, it is refreshing and odd to see street lights resembling Hershey’s KISSES chocolates. Immediately, after getting out of the car there is a sweet smell to the air. Looking behind the museum, the loops from the roller coasters are visible off in the distance, where I can just imagine the sound in summer of the children and adults squealing and screaming, as their

stomachs get that feeling of butterflies, right before plunging down that roller coaster hill. Hands up everyone! We had no idea of the contributions to society Milton S. Hershey made. The Hershey Story Museum located on Chocolate Avenue was out of this world! This is the perfect venue for everyone. This is a place you can chill with the girls. Happy Galentine’s Day!! Go on a date. Even plan a family outing. It is simply amazing. You will learn something while there, it is a museum. There are hands -on activities, video-enhanced storytelling, interactive exhibits, a chocolate tasting area and even a Chocolate Lab. As you browse through the artifacts and memorabilia of the Hershey legacy, you quickly see Milton S. Hershey was beyond an entrepreneur and chocolatier. He cared about people. He built a whole town around his chocolate factory. He was a philanthropist. He was an inventor. He didn’t just do this in Hershey, PA, he also established Hershey, Cuba (sugar manufacturing; 1916-1946). His business was self-sustaining. He was a visionary. He changed lives, and whole communities. INTERESTING FACTS • Hershey transformed chocolate from ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019



{ DAY TRIPIN WITH RWO } a luxury to an everyday treat everyone could afford (2);

couples, where the art of making truffles was explored!

• Hershey was raised Mennonite. His family moved a lot when he was growing up which led to his having a “limited” education, and he was not from a family of wealth originally (3);

As you walk into the Museum, there is a mural painted in the lobby of Mr. Hershey with some children from Milton Hershey School. To the right, there is a fabulous store where you can load up on your favorite Hershey products. From a Hershey’s chocolate bar, Hershey’s KISSES chocolate to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, it is a chocolate lover’s paradise. The first floor lodges the Tasting area, the Chocolate Lab, the Museum Shop and the Cuba exhibit. The second floor contains the Museum Experience.

• Hershey completed a four-year apprenticeship with a Lancaster candy maker. His first candy business was started in Philadelphia and his second in NY, which both failed (3); • In 1833, Hershey returned to Lancaster, PA, and established the Lancaster Caramel Company (3). At this time, chocolate was a luxury item (Swiss) (3); • Hershey developed his own formula to make chocolate (through trying different things and errors) revolutionizing chocolate in the US (3); • In 1903, Hershey built his chocolate factory using mass production means (3). Hershey Chocolate was the first nationally marketed product (3); • After establishing his business, Hershey built a town for his employees and founded a school for orphaned boys (1909) (3); • In 1916, Hershey began establishing a sugar manufacturing plant in Cuba and a second Hershey town (4); • In 1918, Hershey endowed the school with his fortune (3); •

In 1945, Hershey died (3).

Everyone knows about Hershey’s Chocolate. It is February, so the chocolate industry is definitely booming this month with Valentine’s Day. Many are familiar with Hershey, Pennsylvania for Hershey Park. What we don’t know readily is that there is a whole town to explore! This stop can be a day trip but if you want to see everything there, you will need much more time. During February 14-18, the Museum planned a special family fun week complete with a focus on Hersey’s Kisses, a scavenger hunt and even learning how Hershey’s KISSES chocolate are packaged. The Lab planned a special evening for

Russ and I started out in the Tastings area, where we were introduced to the Tastings/ Chocolate Lab manager, Dalmar. . What an experience it was! The Tastings area provides a unique learning experience about the global world of chocolate. How many of us have actually pondered the question of how chocolate is made? What is it made of? Where does everything come from? All of these questions will be answered by the time you leave. The Tastings room has traditional 4-seated tables, higher bar stool tables and a counter area, which reminded me of the old pharmacy soda fountains, but with a contemporary flare. The area is welcoming and warm. There is a full map of the world on the back wall. Tastings is centered on sampling chocolate from around the world so the map comes in handy to visualize the areas the chocolate is produced. Who knew there was a philosophy to tasting chocolate? I normally just eat any chocolate I can get my hands on. We all know it tastes good. Chocolate connoisseurs indicate tasting chocolate is as easy as “paying attention” (1). Tasting chocolate involves using all of your senses ( 1). Specifically, when eating the chocolate, or in this case drinking, pay attention to the flavors and textures ( 1). Also, interestingly noted is chocolate can change flavors on you in the middle of the experience (1) . Notice what it first tastes like and also notice is there an after taste (1). The tasters at “The Latest Batch” share to look for “sour, bitter, sweet, acidity, and flavors of chocolate, fruity, nutty or minty tastes” ( 1). Even more interesting is that the chocolate flavors may be altered based on if you pair it with ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ DAY TRIPIN WITH RWO } things like “wine, beer, coffee, tea or even whiskey” (1). Now we have an idea about the philosophy of how to taste chocolate, let’s talk about the experience at Hershey! Dalmar tells us it is best to taste the chocolate starting with the darkest blends of chocolate first. The dark chocolate has a larger percentage of cacao. Chocolate ranges from bitter to sweet based on this ingredient. The Tastings experience at The Hershey Story Museum includes chocolate from Java, Tanzania, Ghana, Venezuela, Mexico and last but not least, Hershey. The drinking chocolate is served in color-coded “flights” and you are given a cup of water to cleanse your palette between tasting each variation. The chocolates we sampled are known as single-origin chocolates. This is where the regional factor comes in as some chocolatiers combine chocolates to obtain differing tastes/unique blends. The origins of the cocoa beans were the defining issue for this part of it. The overall experience is geared so we can distinguish the difference between “finer known chocolates” by origin and Hershey’s. Neither Russ nor I were chocolate tasting experts, and because this was a pop-up experience, I did not have the benefit of doing research prior to stopping at The Hershey Story Museum. It gave us a raw, blind tasting experience. We were experiencing “chocolate tasting” for the first time and had no idea what to expect or how to rate it, which is equivalent to the layperson’s view. Our experience was enhanced by the knowledgeable staff at Hershey, as they were very welcoming to us and very cooperative with sharing everything, we needed to know to get the most out of our experience there. We started out trying the dark chocolates; Tanzania (75% cacao) and Venezuela (72% cacao). Neither of us are big fans of darker chocolates due to the bitter nature. We’re usually dieting, so if we’re going to cheat, we usually go for the gusto (the sweetest version) we can find. We all know if we’re going to ruin our diet it better be worth it!!! The Tanzanian specimen is a rare chocolate. We both noticed the fruity and floral notes after Dalmar pointed it out to us to do so. The Venezuelan version was multi-noted with woody, wine and black olive flavors. Our first thought was, “Why would a black olive flavor 136


go with chocolate?” It turned out to be pretty good. Our experience followed the percentages of cacao, as we enjoyed each flavor better as the percentage lowered into the “sweetest” zone. Next, we sampled Mexican (66% cacao) and Ghanaian (40% cacao) chocolates. We had experience with Ghanaian chocolate as it is allowed on Keto (lower carb content). The Mexican chocolate presented with notes which were fruit, nuts and ginger. The Ghanaian notes were of sweet chestnut and red fruit. Lastly, we tried Java (33% cacao) and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (33% cacao). Java notes were of caramel, and green tea, while Hershey’s chocolate was sweet, buttery and complex. Hershey’s Tastings Experience supplies tasters a tasting guide so you can follow along while sampling. Hershey’s chocolate was the last chocolate we sampled. It was the sweetest and, in our opinion the best tasting. The chocolate tasting experience at The Story Museum was a fabulous experience, where we learned so much interesting information about chocolate. Prior to our visit, the things we learned about were not for the most part things we were aware of. The entire set up was impressive because of the versatility of the experience wherein even the youngest people coming in could participate in this activity, but it would still be interesting and appealing to adults coming in without children. Big Russ Da Bully shared, “Starting off, honestly speaking checking out a chocolate tasting probably would not be an activity I would readily choose, as something we would do in our free time. I was completely surprised by the experience and I enjoyed it. The moral of the story is don’t be so closed-minded about something different, as any experience you have can provide meaningful insight on life”. Diva 1 (Cheryl L. Kates) said, “I never really thought there was a distinct process in tasting chocolate. I certainly never thought about recognizing the “notes” prior to being exposed to this experience”. We then moved into the Chocolate Lab area. Dalmar is the manager, so she accompanied us into this area which looks similar to that where you would attend a cooking




{ DAY TRIPIN WITH RWO } “We were able to interact with real people and learn about their passion for what they do in their everyday life of employment. Looking beyond the obvious that chocolate is good, allowed me to learn so much more about it and the things Milton Hershey was able to do in this town and in his accomplishments”

class. There is a front area (classroom style) where employees are stationed to manage the chocolate and teach lab participants the process of making chocolate. The Chocolate Lab offers differing experiences, so it depends on what is on the schedule as to what you will experience here. In February, as stated above, one of the experiences was making truffles. We opted to get a behind-the-scenes experience, so we went in and interviewed the staff on a live feed, as opposed to joining the lab class scheduled for the day. Lab staff showed us the different things they do in the lab and some of what the finished chocolate products they may make in a class were shared with us by Dalmar. In the lab, there is a display of what ingredients go into making Hershey’s Chocolate and there were areas where both milk chocolate and white chocolate were being used. We saw a historical display of tools used in primitive Mayan production. Again, this is an activity where both adults and children could enjoy. You are learning in a fun, “hands-on” environment. Big Russ Da Bully says, “Seeing how the chocolate was made, the process of how they keep the chocolate, so it is usable, and actually taking the time to know what goes into making the formed chocolate was also pretty amazing!” Diva 1 (Cheryl L. Kates) shared, “My

overall thought so far is the things we take for granted by living in a world of technology where our faces remain glued to our phones and the various social media venues is distracting us from paying attention to things we can experience in life. We were able to interact with real people and learn about their passion for what they do in their everyday life of employment. Looking beyond the obvious that chocolate is good, allowed me to learn so much more about it and the things Milton Hershey

was able to do in this town and in his accomplishments”. After leaving the lab, we were able to wander around in the two exhibit areas on our own. Again, all we can say is we were in complete awe. Prior to visiting The Hershey Story Museum, we had no idea of the contributions Milton S. Hershey made in this world. Museum staff were readily available throughout our visit to point out facts, other interesting things in the town to see and answer any questions we had. The hospitality we

experienced was like no other museum experience we’ve had, where your mostly left to explore things on your own. The staff let you wander, but were there if you wanted to interact. As you can see, there is a lot to offer at The Hershey Story Museum. This was definitely an awesome experience for both Big Russ Da Bully and me. We ended our visit with a stop in the Museum Shop. . We stocked up on Hershey’s Chocolate favorites, such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and assorted Hershey’s Chocolate bars for the ride home! There is also a café. If you’re looking for an exciting excursion just a couple hours away, visiting Hershey, PA and stopping at The Hershey Story Museum is a great idea for all!

Resources 1. The Latest Batch Team (2018). The Simple and Fulfilling Art of Tasting Chocolate, retrieved February 17, 2019, from https:// 2. Bischof, Amy (2019). (Director’s Letter to Press) The Hershey Story Museum 3. The Hershey Story Museum (2019). Milton S. Hershey, Press Release 4. The Hershey Story Museum (2019) Cuba Exhibit Press Release



y e! e r h e s H r e s H rt a t S

Perfect for families and gu of all ages, The Hershey St is the place to discover all things Hershey: the man, t town, the chocolate and th school that bears his name

The Chocolate Lab explores the unique qualities of chocolate through playful, hands-on experiences. Participatory classes include molding and dipping chocolate. See the daily class schedule at

The Hershey Story | 63 West Chocolate Avenue in d

the he e.

HOW DID Milton

Hershey go from bankruptcy to brilliance, transforming chocolate from a luxury to an everyday treat? How did he invent a community? Why did he give away his fortune? That’s the Hershey story. Taste warm drinking chocolate prepared using cocoa beans from around the world. From the complex flavors of Venezuelan cacao to the milky richness of chocolate from Java, immerse yourself in the sweet world that inspired Milton Hershey. a rom roun d ef t a

orld ew th

cho co l

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downtown Hershey | |


INTRODUCING SHERRY HALE Sherry is the CEO and founder of the SHALEa Group, as well as being the motivating force behind its recent global expansion. With over 25 combined years in the beauty and Cosmetic micropigmentation industry, Hale’s name has become synonymous with dedication, passion, and tenacity.

in her work helping others and sees an average of 35 clients a week in addition to running her companies. Sherry excels as a technician and a trainer/educator, honing skills gained by studying with Masters of the craft

As Western New York’s preeminent cosmetic tattoo a r t i s t , Ha l e i s often called upon to repair extensive damage done by underqualified and unsafe technicians, or to offer solutions for clients struggling with hair loss for medical reasons such as chemotherapy or alopecia. S h e r r y ’ s commitment to helping people has garnered the attention of notable publications such as Good Housekeeping, Red Book, and Woman’s Day, who have heralded the work she has done at her clinic, Custom Beaute, the heart of the SHALE enterprise. Performing over 3500 eyebrow procedures, she takes great pride 142


around the world. As a product of her commitment to excellence, Sherry has become a Master herself and is eager to pass these skills on to the next generation of permanent makeup artists in her new role as a New York State licensed educator. Also an innovator, Sherry has patented

her own all-purpose permanent makeup tool, as well as creating her own line of pigments and organic skincare which are featured products in Hale’s Beautech division. It is with dignity and grace that Sherry has worked with her team to deliver an unprecedented, multi-faceted approach through the SHALE Group’s three factions— Custom Beaute, C u s t o m Beaucademy, and Custom Beautech. Together these divisions are dedicated to offering the best products and tech, the best teachers, and the best possible environment for the makeup magic to happen for her clients, while also setting standards for the permanent makeup industry. This is Sherry Hale’s vision.































Every time I turned on the news or opened my Faceboook or Twitter accounts, there was nasty back-and-forth commentary about the weatherman and the controversy that led to his firing. Whether he meant to say it or not is not the point of this article, but it’s the ugliness that reared its head. Social media has given us a medium to express ourselves at the touch of a button. We can express our thoughts, opinions, attitudes and beliefs for everyone to see. Others can chime in and confirm, affirm or disagree. But one thing that has prevailed since the onset of social media is that people are not scared to say what they think. All you have to do is read the comments in a post on a local news channel Facebook page. It’s all there for you to see. Social media trolls as some people like to call them. Since when do people have no regard for others? Or have people never had regard for others and now can hide behind the screens of their phones or computers? Rochester has made national news for two incidents, the theft of the Frederick Douglass statute by the college students and the weatherman’s use of a racial slur. The latter received attention from national correspondents and the daughter of famed Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. How could the home of Frederick Douglass, publisher of the North Star newspaper, be caught in an ugly firestorm of media and racism? Everyone has experienced prejudice, discrimination and bias, whether you were the sender or receiver. One thing is for sure, racism is real. There is a structural

and systemic problem in society, when one group has the power to institute public polices, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms that often perpetuate racial group inequality. This interacts with the effects of history, culture, ideology and interactions of institutions and policies that systemically privilege white people and disadvantage people of color. When we think about our everyday

interactions, we must pause to consider how we can spend our privilege to talk to other members of our racial group to have honest conversations about structural/ systemic, institutional and interpersonal racism. For people of color, it also includes conversations about internalized racism. These institutions have effects on people that allow for the media to capitalize on the fears

and emotions of the public and perpetuate the same ideas that need eradicating. To begin dealing with the realities of racism we must first acknowledge that it is real. The ever-present tension in our community is just one of the manifestations of our most serious illness in this country: racism. Racism undercuts poverty, education, justice system, healthcare, et al. Race and racism is deeply embedded in so many of our societal and cultural forms of communication and interaction that we often don’t notice it. Symbolic Racism, the use of images, code words, and metaphors that implicitly signal race, set off a chain of events in the mind that awaken deep lying, implicit biases which can result in specific attitudes and behaviors. To deal with bias, we must avoid suppressing or denying biased thoughts. Doing so can actually increase prejudice rather than eradicate it. We must be accountable and examine our own actions or beliefs and increase contact with people outside of own demographics, experiences and thought groups. ‘ I recently attended a training on advancing racial equity in Rochester at City Hall. It was led by the National League of Cities, a resource for city leaders nationwide. The training, REAL Action 101: Introduction to Advancing Racial Equity in Local Government, was a good introduction to the City’s work around advancing racial equity through smart policy decisions, strong civic engagement, and accurate and complete portrayals of people of color in our community. I would encourage you to visit the site ( REAL/ ) to learn more.





I have never been someone who enjoys exercise. My resistance to fitness dates back to the horrors of being in gym class, wearing a tight one piece navy blue romper did nothing for my preteen confidence. The iron-on white felt letters with my last name on the back were always falling off. By June it simply read “WIND”. The D and E and were long gone along with my pride. It should have read “WIND-ED”.

a new exercise workout. The school was hosting an aerobics workout with Jane Fonda.

made it to the school athletic center to see what this exercise thing was all about.

All I knew about Jane Fonda was that I thought she was old. I had seen her movie ‘On Golden Pond’

Jane was not there of course but it was 1982 and her new VHS exercise routine was playing loud and clear on a large screen in the athletic center. There was middle aged Jane smiling and wearing her stripped leotard, with her long thin legs showing us young gals how to properly perform ‘rovers revenge’. I marveled at Jane’s 45-year old body and her ability, as an “older woman”, to twist and turn and effortlessly get through the entire routine and still look good. All I could think was when is this going to be over.

If we weren’t running, dodging balls or being forced to vault over a horse via a spring board, we would be required as part of the insane curriculum to climb a rope that was suspended from the ceiling. I would stand at the bottom terrified at the impending humiliation.

After graduation, I learned - never.

It was the 1970’s and only the really athletic girls played the limited team sports that were offered. It’s a wonder I passed PE class at all. I resorted to after school volleyball to make up my credits. By the time the 80’s came along I was in college. Pressure was off and life was good and walking to and from class was all the cardio I needed. One winter day, a flier was posted in the dorm inviting all the girls to try 160


and her dad was one of my dad’s favorite actors. Simply because we were bored and firmly carrying our freshman 15 into our sophomore year, my roommates and I bundled up in our sweats and

As an adult I was back in a required uniform at the gym; only this one I paid money for. My drawer was full of thong leotards and leg warmers, offering me hope of finally getting buns of steel. I bought tapes, DVD’s, trainers, memberships, steps, weights and a stationary bike. For more than twenty-five years I walked across the country and back on my treadmill that eventually would end up being an all purpose hanger for my cloths in my bedroom.







{ HER EDGE } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “When I turned 49, I was downsized out of my job. I suddenly had nowhere to go. With my daughter in school, and no job in sight, all I had was time.”

My motivation for losing weight would be short lived and I would convince myself I didn’t have the time for exercise.

I went back the next week, and kept going back. I liked how I was feeling inside. I looked forward to the familiarity of the people and the

When I turned 49, I was downsized out of my job. I suddenly had nowhere to go. With my daughter in school, and no job in sight, all I had was time. When I was suddenly left with time on my hands, I had lost my excuse.

I was in.

I did not hurt anything but my ego. I was out of shape.

I was surprised by the older women who had made exercise a daily routine for years. They were grandmothers, former executives and woman who had stayed at home and raised their children. These women were fit and thriving well into their 70’s because they had made the time decades ago. They come to class with their braces, knee replacements and healthy attitudes. Seeing these women totally content with their bodies and their place in life inspires me. They aren’t consumed with weight and size. They make me appreciate where I am mid-life, and where I’m headed.

I was now living in the demographic check box where weights are a priority. Building muscle means there’s less room for fat.

I went to a class and stood in the back. My memory for lifting weights came back to me but unfortunately my body was not as quick to adapt. After a 50 minute ‘Body Pump’ class I could not lift my left shoulder. I was convinced for four days I had torn my rotator cuff.

for me.

When I want to skip class, feel too tired, or don’t think I have the time, I think of them. Maybe Jane and her generation were on to something. conversations. This time, it wasn’t because I had to lose weight, or be in better shape. I was there because it was the one hour of the day that made me feel like I was doing something ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019





Having children with special needs poses its own set of problems. No parent is ever prepared to hear that there is anything wrong with their child. From the moment that we find out that we are pregnant, we wish that they are healthy. When you hear that your child has anything wrong with them, we as parents suffer a death of that dream. Our dreams are that our children can live a “normal” life and be a productive member of society. When our child’s future seems bleak, then we as parents will consume ourselves with worry and fear. If we aren’t aware of community resources or if there isn’t a strong support system in place, we can also fall victim to despair and desperation.

will help your child thrive as well. It certainly gets tough for us but we have to get tougher. We must create a strong support system to rally around us and help as we need it. When parents, extended family members, good friends, teachers and treatment providers work together, we can

A diagnosis of any kind can be frightening. A parent will hear that their child’s disorder will be incurable and/or a lifelong condition. They may be unsure of how to best help their child. They may be confused by the conflicting treatment advice. This can make us feel helpless and hopeless. While it is true that our children may not outgrow most disorders, there are many treatments that can help a child acquire new skills and overcome a variety of developmental challenges. With the right treatment plan and a lot of love and support, your child can learn, grow and thrive. Every child is unique with different strengths and needs. As a result, we should accept our children with their quirks and all. Most importantly, we should celebrate each child’s accomplishments. As we practice and promote acceptance, we are able to celebrate the small successes. This will help your child feel unconditionally loved, accepted and 168


Being emotionally strong will allow you to be the best parent you can be for your child. For these reasons, we have created the committee “Parents United in Love”. It is comprised of parents of children with disabilities. These disabilities range from, but are not limited to, physical, mental, emotional and/or educational incapacities. We are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish, so that we can help break the barrier that many non-English speaking parents encounter as well. This group was formed in an effort to provide support to one another. We are planning on forming a support group where parents can find comfort and share information. We wish to offer some events, workshops and even recreational opportunities for the parents. In addition, we work hard at providing opportunities that will enhance the lives of our children. We have noted that there weren’t many activities in our community that our children can participate in because they are not handicap accessible nor were they sensory friendly. We try to create opportunities aimed at boosting their self-esteem with dignity, fun and laughter.

expect great outcomes to be achieved. This will undoubtedly have an impact on the future of your child and help them reach their fullest potential. It is very important for us as parents to recognize when we are overwhelmed and need help. It is then that we should seek out supports for ourselves.

That said, we are excited to announce our next event that is scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019. We are currently planning “A Star Studded Event for Our Special Stars.” This grand event is co-sponsored by the Alliance for Quality Education, Citizen Action of New York and the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York. It will be hosted by the City of Rochester Parks and Recreation Department and held at the David F. Gantt Center,



{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE } “Parents United in Love�. It is comprised of parents of children with disabilities. These disabilities range from, but are not limited to, physical, mental, emotional and/or educational incapacities.

located at 700 North Street. It will be a formal affair where the children in our community will have an opportunity to attend a prom of their own. There will be live entertainment, a kid friendly DJ, finger foods, raffles and many prizes. The whole family is welcome. We will celebrate each of our special guests (the child with the disability). Each child will walk down a red carpet and will receive a great round of applause. They will also be awarded a trophy for being our Special Stars. There will be a photographer on 170


site to capture the moment. The pictures will be printed on site so that the parent can take home their picture as a keepsake. This event can only be made possible by generous monetary contributions as well as the donations of goods and services from our local community. This support is crucial to our efforts in making this dream a reality. Please consider donating your time, your talent and or your goods to this worthy cause. Any support that our community can provide would be greatly appreciated.

We are hoping for 200 or more guests. If you are interested in attending, please contact me, Vialma Ramos, at 285-8696 to register your child. We are trying to get an approximate number of guests so that we can have enough trophies. We do not want any child to walk away empty handed. We also hope that you would find it in your hearts to consider supporting us in this venture. We thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and for your anticipated support.

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The Boss MOVEMENT Rashonda Flowers aka Bossy is a mother, professor, entrepreneur, Community leader, and music artist. The nickname bossy isn’t because she bosses people around in a rude manner. On the contrary, it’s a nick name because she encourages and supports women and young ladies to pursue their dreams of being their own boss. Caring for 4 kids by the age of 22 made Rashonda strong, focused and ready to overcome any obstacle. A true woman of motivation and much achieved greatness. The Boss movement she began is a walking movement going door to door , marketing through events, social media and more. Also working with youth and other agencies getting the word out about job development, proper etiquette, Resume building, self esteem, body image, dressing for success. Thinking ,speaking and acting like a boss. When women and youth take her advice and workshops they feel empowered and ready for their destiny. Realizing due to the high poverty rate in Syracuse this movement was so needed and it is taking off. Other

inspirational work Flowers does in her day to day life includes being a Professor at Bryant and Stratton college teaching juvenile justice and career development. Rashonda having a Master’s Degree from Kueka College made her perfect for this position.

2017 she has done shows in Cleveland and NYC also been featured in a four week spread of Hip Hop Overload Magazine, and signed a contract with Coast to Coast to be on one of their mixtapes where many celebrities have began their music careers.

She also enjoys working for the county as a program coordinator and supervisor in the mental health field. Just when you think wow Bossy is a true boss uplifting her Community, making her mark, giving back and inspiring other there’s way more she has achieved than what is mentioned.

To sum up Rashonda Flowers is a business woman , a teacher, music artist, mental health worker, community leader, youth advocate. All while empowering women and being a mother.

Falling in love with music as a child giving her friends concerts she always imagined performing in front of crowds . She won many poetry contests and writing awards. Her dreams came true traveling, being in competitions, writing her own music and performing her own songs. Coming in contact with a well know music industry professional Prada Prim who became her mentor showing the ropes of the music industry that has been super supportive of her so far. Rashonda gives huge thanks to Prada Prim and Game Killahz for the encouragement in her music career. Since Flowers has been performing in

There is so much more to come with every aspect of her life. She defines a Boss, which gives opportunities to others while she continues to grow too. Advice she has for women and young ladies who want to be a boss is have a vision board, have back up plans, don’t be afraid of rejection and remember if you fail to plan you plan to fail. This inspirational woman can be contacted at: IG: bossy.master Twitter:Queenbossmaster ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


“The nickname bossy isn’t because she bosses people around in a rude manner. On the contrary, it’s a nick name because she encourages and supports women and young ladies to pursue their dreams of being their own boss.”



CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL W O M E N ’ S D AY WITH SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY It’s not just the start of spring we’re celebrating in March—every year on March 8, thousands of events are held worldwide to celebrate and show appreciation for women’s economic, political and social achievements. It is also a day for us to celebrate the special women in our lives who inspire us with flowers and small gifts. This day has become recognized as International Women’s Day (IWD), a very special day for all women in the whole wide world, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or socioeconomic status. Celebrating and empowering women should absolutely not be restricted to one day, but having an extra special day to rejoice for all womankind and spread awareness is pretty great. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we want to share a local skincare brand from a female founder that is worth supporting: Kaia Earth 178


Skin Care. A few of Kaia Earth favorite things đ&#x;ŒŽ #plantbased #nontoxic #veganbeauty #crueltyfree #sustainable. Gloria Onderdonk combined her love of beauty and nature to launch the vegan and cruelty free Kaia Earth Skin

chooses charities close to our hearts, ones that we feel really make an impact such as Lollypop Farm of the Humane Society of Greater Rochester and One percent for the Planet. At Kaia Earth, we’re huge fans of anything that will make us feel good naturally - body, mind, and spirit. So this International Women’s Day, let all the ladies shine with a collection of our favorite beauty tips to embrace now. We only have one life so keep it simple: 1. BE HAPPY. Always be an authentic, unique, worthy YOU! You are good enough. Period!!!

Care line. Driven by her eco-conscious lifestyle, all of the formulas are both gentle and effective and use only plant based, non-GMO, and sustainable raw materials. Pure Moisturizer Day/ Night Serum ($) is a complete lifesaver during the drying winter months, and Intensive Botanical Night Cream ( is the best natural night cream. Kaia Earth uses the finest ingredients to get the richest possible results and

2. MOVE PLENTY. Exercise is one of the best medicines for prevention of skin aging and, in some cases reverse loss of elasticity, sagging, drooping and loose skin. Whether it’s a daily trip to yoga class or the gym, the best thing you can do for your skin is exercise regularly, to breathe and get your blood pumping. 3.DRINK WATER. The more H2O we take in, the more we can flush our system of toxins, keep our skin clear, increase smoothness (through hydration), and enjoy a more radiant complexion. 4. EAT HEALTHY. Keep a vegan






{ RESPONSIBLE BEAUTY } “While there are numerous ways to support the women in your life this International Women’s Day, supporting women-owned brands is one of the most consistent and palpable ways to promote financial equality.”

5. Get a good night sleep of at least 8 hours everyday.

Intensive Botanical Night Cream at an early age to prevent wrinkles.

6. KEEP YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE SIMPLE. Don’t overcomplicate it! High quality items like Kaia Earth Pure Moisturizer Day/ Night Serum and Kaia Earth Intensive Botanical Night Cream not only serve you better, but also help you stick with a routine that works.

8. STAY PRESENT. Worry less, laugh more!!

7. TAKE CARE OF YOUR NECK. Start your vegan journey with our best-selling vegan (plant based) beauty products. You never think of your neck until it’s too late. Because your neck doesn’t produce its own moisture, it’s imperative you keep your neck moisturized with

What better excuse to get together with some of your nearest and dearest than a day all about celebrating and empowering women? There are plenty of ways you can mark this special day in your life. Why not? Make a donation to your favorite women’s charity/ charities, introduce the special women in your lives to clean and sustainable beauty this Women’s Day, teach them beauty tips to embrace now, how the industry is trending towards natural and eco-friendly products, or

you can shop at small businesses owned by women like Kaia Earth Skin Care. Now you can buy Kaia Earth products (and save $10 off in your first order online using code “PUREBEAUTY” at Who doesn’t love getting a skincare product in the mail? While there are numerous ways to support the women in your life this International Women’s Day, supporting women-owned brands is one of the most consistent and palpable ways to promote financial equality. Get your glow on & put your best face forward not only today, but everyday with Kaia Earth Skin Care. Happy Women’s Day!!!



STIRRING THE S O U P. . . I N T H E BEDROOM What do we know about sexual fantasies? Do we all have them? Where do they come from? Do they differ between men and women? Sexual fantasies are mental images of erotic nature that can lead to sexual arousal. Some wish their sexual fantasies could come true ( w h o w o u l d n’t want to get some with Johnny Depp or John Dwayne!) but they don’t have to materialize to be “effective”. In fact, sometimes this is what makes them arousing. The fact that we know we don’t want them to ever come true and they most likely won’t (think whips and chains). We all know how successful and popular the book series “Fifty Shades” became. Our sexual fantasies can be connected to our first sexual experiences. These experiences tend to imprint in our brain and become memorable for years to come so they show up in our mind when we become aroused. What we fantasize when we’re getting it on can also be a result of something we watched or read about. Who hasn’t seen porn? 184


Pornography is one of the places people get their ideas from. It used to be playboy and other magazines, but pornography has evolved nowadays. Anything goes online. I am pretty sure you can find any kind of sex you can imagine if you google it! It can be interactive as well. You just sit in front of your computer or your phone and you can tell the people on your screen what you would like them to do….

Fantasies can reflect our personality. For example, extroverts tend to fantasize more about sexual activities with more than two people like group sex or nonmonogamy while introverts might be more into quieter activities or romance. Sexual fantasies are safe. No one else knows what they are but us. They happen in our mind when we masturbate or when we have sex with our partner. Usually the

peak of the plot in our fantasy is what pushes us over the edge and leads to a wonderful, delicious release. When people have fantasies that veer from what is “appropriate” they sometimes try to suppress them, and they end up being preoccupied or controlled by them. Think of a fetish for example. People are self-conscious enough to talk about their fantasies when these are relatively “vanilla” imagine what happens in someone’s mind when they get off by being dressed up as a furry or when they worship s o m e o n e’s f e e t . Being open about it can be difficult and the fear and anxiety about being viewed differently if anyone knew can be paralyzing. In my work as a sex therapist with couples and individuals I make a point to bring up the topic. People are initially shy or embarrassed to talk about it. They often haven’t told each other out of fear of being judged. Most of us would probably feel this way. We are socialized to think that there is only one right way to have sex: penis-in-vagina and we might feel that all other sex is not “normal” or “the right kind”. I find that when I ask my clients about their fantasies it’s liberating for them. They can finally talk about what’s in their head. They occasionally worry that something might be wrong with them


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Sharing our fantasies with our partner can potentially bring us closer and make for better sex but we must start with learning how to accept our sexual fantasies for ourselves and be good with that first.

{ STIRRING THE SOUP... IN THE BEDROOM } Some wish their sexual fantasies could come true (who wouldn’t want to get some with Johnny Depp or John Dwayne!)

but that is rarely the case. There are few kinds of fantasies that are considered “pathological”. Those would be fantasies of having sex with someone that cannot give consent for example a child or an animal and fantasies of inflicting pain, again without consent. When a fantasy becomes the only way for a person to derive sexual satisfaction that can also become problematic. Because this topic is a taboo, there is not much research about it. Justin Lehmiller Ph.D., a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, conducted a two-year study involving more than 4,000 Americans and his findings are both surprising and

comforting. He found that most people (men and women) fantasized about three things: threesomes and orgies (multipartnered sex), Bondage and Discipline acts ranging from spanking and light bondage to more hardcore activities and bringing variety and novelty into their sex life by using sex toys, new positions and new settings. He also fond that there most women fantasized about BDSM and group sex activities and that men’s sexual fantasies included more romantic and emotional content than expected. Most of the time, it seems we are fantasizing about having certain psychological needs met, like being wanted, and feeling desired and sexually

competent. Sharing our fantasies with our partner can potentially bring us closer and make for better sex but we must start with learning how to accept our sexual fantasies for ourselves and be good with that first. If you decide to share your fantasies start with the less adventurous ones and go from there. You don’t have to get it all out at once. This will help you start feeling more comfortable talking about sex and can contribute to increased intimacy and trust in your relationship.



Wellness Connects is exactly what the title implies. Wellness Connects came into being in July 2018. Danielle Filipski and I, Joyce Appel, long time friends and holistic entrepreneurs, have had a dream to support businesses and solopreneurs. Our vision includes connecting them with the public who need their services. Wellness Connects is an online directory of wellness providers in the community, but there is SO much more to it.

open to the public.

Let me tell you a little about us.

We are thrilled to have this platform in Rochester Woman Online. We look forward to sharing our philosophy and personal stories so that other holistic providers know they are not alone.

Danielle and I met at hospital Reiki events several years ago, and soon became close friends and business partners. Between the two of us, we had years of experience and a bazillion contacts in the community that we wanted to pull together.

The Wellness Connects MISSION: To nurture the expansion of radiant health, collaboration, and prosperous freedom creatively through integrity, connection, and teamwork.

Making the decision to strike out on your own as a wellness provider can be difficult and scary. Once you decide to move forward with it, so many other thoughts come into play. Do you dare to leave your safe, traditional job? What will people think? What if you fail? What is this going to cost? Will you work out of your home or find an office? Where will I find clients? Ugh do I have to advertise on social media? Who has time for all that? We have experienced the same issues in the past, and that is why we decided to create Wellness Connects. Built from love and infused with a collaborative, nurturing energy, we are here to help you and your services be seen and acknowledged. When you get down to it that is what entrepreneurs really want, right? Wellness Connects is an inexpensive venue for integrative medicine practitioners to advertise their services. They also have access to participate as vendors in healthcare events, corporate speaking engagements, business support meetings, and other gatherings 192


Notice how that feels, to be nurtured and not competing! That is the new way of doing business. The more of us who understand there is plenty of personal freedom and prosperity to go around the more it comes to fruition for ALL. We can all do what we love, help others, and be prosperous together. How did Wellness Connects come about and what was the sequence of events once we said “YES LET’S DO THIS”?

Danielle started at an early age opening and trusting her intuition, working with energy, heaaling, and meditation. She worked in social services until 2007. However, she knew there was so much more to explore! She became a licensed LMT, Usui and Karuna©Reiki Master and built her own holistic businesses. She continued expanding her abilities and progressed rapidly as a successful wellness solopreneur. She is a visionary, a healing intuitive life coach and is driven to share this loving vibration with the world. Danielle truly is the business brain of Wellness Connects! I am a now retired RN, and spent most of my life in the medical field as a Neonatal ICU nurse. Always curious, I delved into many different areas of spirituality, soaking up whatever resonated with me at the time. In 2003 I was introduced to Reiki and wow was it a mind-blowing experience! I started teaching and providing sessions as a parttime business. I was also able to implement a volunteer Reiki program for patients at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY. By taking several different courses with spiritual leaders and mentors, including Danielle, I expanded into doing intuitive life coaching and meditation. I enjoy having personal


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{ WELLNESS CONNECTS } Wellness Connects is an online directory of wellness providers in the community, but there is SO much more to it.

clients as well as connecting other holistic peeps out in the community. I have a dream everyone on this planet will recognize their own beautiful spirits and holistic modalities will become a routine part of life. Over the years, Danielle and I both realized we loved spreading the word, not only about Reiki, but also other wellness therapies. We found it a pleasure introducing members of the public to just the right practitioner for their needs. Separately, we naturally offered advice to wellness practitioners just starting out with their own enterprises.

The response from holistic practitioners and the public has been phenomenal. What are our plans for the future? The Wellness Connects VISION: To expand our mission to nurture the expansion of radiant health, collaboration, and prosperous freedom; creatively through integrity, connection, and teamwork ACROSS THE PLANET. As I wrote this article, Wellness Connects became incorporated! We are thriving and

Though we each continue with our own businesses, now Danielle and I have fun working together and coaching each other! FUN is a keyword in our personal mottos. We MUST enjoy what we are doing and feel the excitement as things fall into place. No more struggle! We go with the flow in every decision we make. This absolutely makes it all so much easier! We have learned that if something seems too difficult or we run into obstacles over and over, then it is not time for that idea to come into reality. We step back and let it go. If it is meant to be a part of our business, it will come up again when the time is right. Try looking at your own business plans with this perspective and you may notice a big difference! In the early spring of 2018, Danielle randomly said one day “Hey, do you want to start a wellness directory?” I of course said SURE, because I trusted her judgment and it sounded exciting. From then on things happened easily and very quickly. We were up and running by July! 194


some of our members and their passions, their struggles, their own visions. We want you to feel inspired, passionate, and fearless - eager to step into new possibilities and fulfill your dreams. Here are a few comments from some of our members: “I enjoy being part of a network of professionals focused on promoting wellness and self-care. The directory provides my patients with a great list of holistic practitioners interested in helping them thrive.” Kristin E. Brown, dc “Wellness Connects has given me the opportunity to be a part of a wellness community that is about collaboration not competition. I use it as my website because of how beautiful and functional it is. My potential clients send me a message and I get it right away! I love this community” Jody Tone, Reiki Harmony With Jody

here to stay! But wait, that is not all! Very soon, we will have an affiliate program! Affiliates will be Wellness Connects members who have the heart and the vision to create a similar bridge in their community, without having to start a completely new website and business. We call them Wellness Connects Innovators, and this will include income opportunities. More details will be revealed at a later date. We plan to go global! In the months to come here at Wellness Connects Corner, we will be featuring

“Joyce and Danielle’s integrity and genuine wish to help grow the Central New York holistic practitioner community shine through their Wellness Connects creation and commitment. It is a blessing to have all of us like-minded professionals come together and collaborate while also expanding our own businesses through this community and all of the events that Joyce & Danielle make available to us.” Tracey Wright, Beacon of Light Coaching. Thank you for connecting with us, Joyce Appel Danielle Filipski

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The GATEHOUSE The Gate House Restaurant on the bottom floor of Village Gate Square provides their customers with an affordable and casual dining experience without compromising the quality of their ingredients. They believe that food is best in its most natural state, and despite the higher cost, support humane and organic farm practices by serving cage-free eggs and organic dairy, and operate 100% on solar and wind power. In the summer, their organic garden provides fresh herbs and many items come from local farmers at the public market. The Gatehouse owners, Kristen and her husband --- Demeter strive to bring their guests the tastes of our region, infused with world flavors, and prepared and presented in a healthy and beautiful way. Please enjoy, I sure know I did when I had the pleasure to meet with my long time childhood friend Kristen, for a little Rochester Woman Online “Platter Chatter�.












THE NEW BREW IN TOWN Psst! Have you heard the news? There’s a new brew in town! Stop in at 46 Sager Dr., Suite E and grab one. You can sample quality craft beer or some quality artisan food. The new spot develops and crafts the beers on site. There’s a 5 BBL brewhouse, and a comfortable cozy tap house all located in the Culver/ University (CUE) area. How can you go wrong? The establishment offer ales, stout, lager, pilsner and porters. Enjoy a night out with friends, stop in for date night or plan your next corporate event or meeting. There’s definitely a little something for everyone. Sager Beer Works even showcases local artist’s work. Two special events are coming up at Sager Beer Works, so make sure to save the dates! February 6, 2019, there will be a food and beer pairing dinner series featuring a German Fasching Celebration. You will enjoy 4 Sager beers paired with 4 courses ($40.00). March 6, 2019, the food and beer pairing is a St. Patrick’s feast. The food/beer pairings will take place the first Wednesday of the month starting at 6 pm. Sager Beer Works is owned by Paul Guarracini and Don Tumminelli. The pair found the perfect location in a century old “industrial building” which possesses that old-world charm aura.

The dream started out growing, as they learned their craft doing home brewing. For over five years, Paul worked in the brewing business, while Don managed brew pubs. They are a perfect pair to start their own brewery! Sager Beer Works has 15 developed recipes. Some of the beers offered include: It’s my Jam (New England style IPA), Sager Saxon IPA (German style IPA), King Charles Porter (a London style Porter), No Hype Amber (West Coast Red Ale) and Gearhead Kolsch (Golden Hope Ale). Menu items include flatbread pizza, tacos, crepes, and bison burgers. You can count on having a unique experience, where great memories and a full belly will be what you leave with. The Divas stopped in at Sager Beer Works. What an experience it was! The atmosphere is warm and inviting. There’s bar seating, a cozy corner and restaurant tabling. You can look over and see the area where they brew the beer from your table. It was a very interesting evening. We sat down with the owners Don and Paul, met the executive chef Anthony and even Brent Sager Beer Work’s social media guru. It was immediately noticeable, how dedicated




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







ColemanFilms… If you’re in Rochester, then you’ve probably seen or heard of that name before. And if you’re unfamiliar with ColemanFilms, then you’ve been missing out on some AMAZING work by two incredibly talented young gentlemen in our area, Vince and James Coleman. These brothers have been nominated for a feature in our magazine, and it was an absolute pleasure getting to know these guys so that I could share their inspirational story with all of you. These two are very introverted and extremely quiet, until you get to know them…of course. So, it was quite interesting meeting them and having this interview. While they are incredibly talented and have even been awarded for their talents on a global level for their hard work, they are still amazingly humble people. As you can maybe tell by the business name, they offer full-service Video Production. They film weddings, feature and short films, special events, corporate videos, and more. “Being hired to do what we love by anyone is a blessing in our eyes, and we are so thankful that people have taken notice of us the way that they have. We will always give our clients 100% effort.” The Coleman brothers were born and raised right here in Rochester. Their very first filming experiences began in their basement and backyard with all of their friends when they were just small children! “The biggest obstacle for us was the start up. We did not come from a wealthy family, and the camera we used for many years was 210


not even our own. It actually belonged to a friend’s grandfather. We both worked jobs that we despised for years while building a portfolio, and we also used credit cards for the tools and equipment we needed. Keeping our minds on the goal has not always been easy.” Too many people struggle with continuing their passions, and they give up because the road can seem tough at times. But these boys are living proof that YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!

“We always envisioned these intense cinematic shots and productions without having the means to achieve them as kids, and we believe that is the biggest driving force in us…to prove to our younger selves that it was always in us.” Their first project was a Halloween film shot in their childhood home on a hi-8 video tape camera. “We learned movies can be made with something as simple as kids with an imagination and a camera. It was not very good, but to us, it was the

coolest thing ever! We have always made home movies as kids, but working on that short film made us realize we have such a love and passion for this…so, why not try and make a career of it? That particular project taught us that we are not going to be good at it right away. Filmmaking takes time, patience and experience to get better.” And, that’s the thing, they never gave up on their shared childhood passion… Now, here they are in the present with quite a few fantastic films under their belts. The list could honestly go on for a while... (Just think about the fact they have been working on films SINCE THEY WERE CHILDREN!) But, for time’s sake, I will name a few which are recognized on a much larger scale and/or have won awards: Book of Evil (been in multiple festivals won Best Cinematography and Best Score at Fear NYC – currently in global distribution), The Gateway (won RAFAS Mind2Movie Best Cinematography), Squatters (won best short feature at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, Best Score at International Horror Film Fest’s Fear NYC Event, Best Western New York Feature and Best Cinematography at the W.N.Y F.A.M.E. festival), Paralysis (won BEST NY HORROR FILM), and Buried in the Woods (won RUNNER UP at The Upstate New York Horror Film Festival). (Feel free to visit their website for the full descriptions, details, and years in which they were created/ recognized:





“Being hired to do what we love by anyone is a blessing in our eyes, and we are so thankful that people have taken notice of us the way that they have. We will always give our clients 100% effort.�

{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “There is so much negativity in the world, and sometimes you need to take a step back and embrace the positivity that is out there.”

As superb as all of these productions are, the Coleman brothers are actually most proud of their work with a local bride and her groom, Alyssa and Michael. Alyssa wanted to rush her wedding after finding out her father was diagnosed with cancer. Like most daughters, she was hoping to have her father walk her down the aisle to her future husband. Finding out she could lose her father before her planned date was absolutely devastating. These boys (along with several other venders) decided to donate their time and skills to the cause. “Along with other amazing vendors, we were able to make their day as special as it could be within an insanely short time to plan a wedding. This is our favorite event, due to the fact we were able to be involved with a group of selfless people who did something amazing solely out of the goodness of their hearts. There is so much negativity in the world, and sometimes you need to take a step back and embrace the positivity that is out there.” While their shared passion for filmmaking stemmed from their slight obsession with Halloween, these guys clearly have beautiful hearts, an obvious love for what they do, and an immense amount of appreciation for all of their clients/team members. It is quite amusing to see their extensive portfolio work because you can truly get to know them through their work, whether it be the horror aspect or the wedding aspect (and everything in between). They aren’t just horror flick guys, wedding guys, fashion industry guys, or whatever. They are passionate men who put their ALL into their work. When you choose them for your filming needs, you get what you 214


put into the thought…HEART! “It was never about making money or running a business for us. Our love of film is a lifelong dream, and we have never given up on it. Being able to utilize our craft and create beautiful movies for people on one of the most important days of their lives is truly an honor. The difference when working with us is a true love and passion for what we do. Our work is our legacy, and we want to be represented by our story-telling and

talent. With us, you get what we promise you. We will share our love and excitement of our craft with you and create a magical and priceless film that you will always have and can always look back on.” They find inspiration in many people, but the two main people worth mentioning are John Carpenter and Sylvester Stallone. This may go without saying, but John has always been an inspiration to the Coleman brothers due to his creation of the film, Halloween, the film that started it all for these two.

“Something about that film really resonated with us growing up, and we can honestly say he inspired us to be filmmakers. The film being simplistic and low budget was able to create an iconic villain and an extreme sense of dread. It was the first movie we saw that made us say, ‘We can do this too!’ We also love Sylvester Stallone. His drive and determination to make it no matter what the cost will always be inspirational.” A few partners worthy of mention are: Zazu Pitts of Sour Note Productions (“We met on a video shoot, and he has become somewhat of a team member in our quest for greatness. He is a sound engineer who has elevated our film quality immensely with his scores and audio work.”), Michale Del Rossa of Multivision FX (“He is an extremely talented make up and special effects artist.”), and Tom Mihalitsis (“He was the first person who took us seriously, and produced our very first feature film. We are forever grateful for what he has done to help further our career.”) A message from the Coleman brothers to you: “The best and most cliché advice we can give will always be this: Believe in yourself even when no one else does. If it is something you are passionate about then keep pursuing it, and eventually things will match the vision in your head.” *Connect with the Coleman Brothers for your next project* Website: Social Media Info: https://www.facebook. com/colemanfilms/



Though most women know what they need to do to live healthier lives, many report that family, caretaking responsibilities, fatigue and lack of personal time keeps them from making wellness a priority. Learn why making self-care a priority might just be the most important thing you do for both your heart health and your overall quality of life. Unfortunately, knowledge does not always translate into action. Though well-schooled in what is necessary to live healthier lives, many women report that family, caretaking responsibilities, fatigue and lack of personal time keeps them from making wellness a priority (Mosca et al., 2011). We are fearless caregivers and often put the needs of others ahead of our own until we are compelled into action by a serious health crisis. The prevention piece to heart health will always be problematic until we recognize how important it is and begin to make self-care a priority. Michelle Segar, Ph.D., addresses this issue in her book, No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. She offers an empowering message that self-care is not “selfish.” Instead, it is the fuel that allows us to be there more fully for the people and causes we care deeply about. Segar highlights the promising paradox of self-care by sharing, “The more energy you give to caring for yourself, the more energy you have for everything else” (Segar, 2015). According to Segar, giving yourself “permission” to carve out time in your day for healthy activities such as regular exercise is the key mindset shift necessary for taking bold first steps toward daily self-care. The practice of permission empowers you to take back control of your choices and connects you with meaningful and motivating reasons for seeking and maintaining good health. What once seemed like a chore or additional commitment to your already overstuffed schedule, becomes a “gift” you give yourself and the people in your life you care deeply 216


about (Segar, 2015).

for their support in your journey.

Putting yourself first may feel uncomfortable initially, but as you reap the physical and emotional rewards of a healthy lifestyle, your confidence and motivation to make changes will grow. Try on these five ideas for practicing permission this month and begin to feel the transformative benefits of self-care. Give yourself:

• Permission to say “No” more liberally. Creating healthy boundaries around your time, energy and emotional well-being ensures there is something left in the “bank” for you. Try making a list of things in your life such as unhealthy habits and mindsets that no longer serve you, and then choose one to practice the art of saying “No.”

• Permission to claim health and happiness as your birthright.Feeling worthy of the full potential of your life will give you the spark of courage needed to create space and time in your busy schedule to manifest the healthy life you deserve. Try creating a wellness mantra such as “My health and life are important” to move past initial feelings of fear and self-doubt.

Maya Angelou once said, “Nothing works unless you do.” In honor of Go Red for Women Month, take the courageous leap into self-care. Reach out to a friend and support one another to work through this empowering list of permissions. You may be surprised to discover that practicing daily self-care not only saves your life, but makes it one that is truly worth living.

• Permission to prioritize your daily schedule around self-care.Positioning your needs higher on your to-do list recognizes the benefits of recharging your body, mind and spirit so you can be there more fully for yourself and others. Try starting your day with a morning practice such as quiet meditation, journaling or exercise to validate your intention to make wellness a priority.

References Mosca, L. et al. (2011). Effectiveness-based guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women—2011 update: A guideline from the American Heart Association. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 57, 12, 1404-1423.

• Permission to carve out time in your day for activities that are unique to “you.” Making time for personal interests and creative hobbies that bring joy and fulfillment to your life connects you with meaningful reasons to take better care of your health. Try reframing healthy habits such as exercise as vehicles that support deeper personal values such as a love of travel or a desire to live well into the freedom of your retirement years. • Permission to ask and accept help from others. Learning to effectively communicate your needs and accept help to lighten the load frees up precious time, energy and motivation to invest in health-enhancing activities. Try sharing your self-care intentions with important people in your life and asking

Roger, V. L. et al. (2011). Heart disease and stroke statistics—2011 update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 123, 4, e18-e209. Segar, M. (2015). No sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. New York, N.Y.: American Management Association. Stampfer, M. J., Hu, F. B., Manson, J. E., Rimm, E. B., & Willett, W. C. (2000). Primary prevention of coronary heart disease in women through diet and lifestyle. New England Journal of Medicine, 343(1), 16-22.

AUTHOR Meg Root Health and Fitness Expert Meg Root, M.S. is an ACE certified Health Coach and Medical Exercise Specialist. She holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology with a focus in Integrative Wellness from Point Loma Nazarene University. Meg has worked in the spa and wellness industry for over 25 years and specializes in coaching individuals toward healthy, sustainable weight loss for the prevention and management of chronic disease.






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MEET US @ PENFIELD! Learn some heart healthy tips from the pros at Penfield to keep you and your loved ones well.

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Headaches affect almost half of the population. Fifteen to twenty percent of all headaches arise from problems in the neck and are classified as “cervicogenic headache.” Other common types are migraines, cluster and tension headaches. The most common trigger for cervicogenic headache is limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine. Normally, each of the joints in your neck move freely and independently. Sometimes, restrictions in the upper cervical spine initiate a painful cycle of stiffness, muscle tightness and joint inflammation. This may cause irritation to the sensitive nerves leading from your neck into the back of your head. Cervicogenic headaches are most commonly one-sided, but occasionally may be present on both sides of the head. Pain often radiates from the base of your skull toward the top of your head and sometimes over your eyes. In rare instances, the pain may travel into your arm. These headache episodes may last from hours to days. The pain is continuous but fluctuating and is often described as “deep.” You may also notice chronic neck tenderness and decreased range of motion. Cervicogenic headache symptoms may be triggered or reproduced by awkward movements and postures. Sometimes 220


falling asleep in a bad position or staying in one position for an extended period of time can trigger a cervicogenic headache. The condition is more common in patients who have recently experienced trauma, especially a motor vehicle accident or an earlier concussion. The condition often affects middle-aged adults and is more common in women at a rate of four to one. Cervicogenic headaches are sometimes accompanied

by poor posture, including a “slouched” or “forward head” posture. At our office, we have seen an increase in cervicogenic headaches in adolescents and adults over the last few years due to increased cell phone and tablet use. Be sure to seek medical attention if you notice your headaches are becoming progressively worse over time, if you experience sudden onset of a severe headache, a new or unfamiliar headache, or if you notice significant neck stiffness, rash, numbness or tingling on your

face, light-headedness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, nausea, numbness radiating into your arms or legs, or fever. Being dehydrated can aggravate or cervicogenic headaches. Make sure that you are drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day, more in hot weather or when you’ve been sweating. Since cervicogenic headaches result from a mechanical problem, medicines are often ineffective. Fortunately, our office has several tools to help solve this problem. After a consultation and exam with one of our doctors, a custom treatment plan is designed to treat your specific type of headache. At Irondequoit Chiropractic Center, around eighty-five to ninety percent of our patients see a significant reduction in the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches through a combination of joint manipulation, trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage, mobilization, postural analysis, lifestyle advice and nutritional recommendations. A significant majority of our patients with headaches have been able to reduce or eliminate the need for prescription and over the counter headache medications with a course of chiropractic care.




Achieve the healthy, active life that you have been missing




Think “tooth and gums” when you think Spring cleaning. Spring isn’t just the time to be thinking about cleaning your home- it’s also a great time to think about getting one of your semi-annual dental cleanings.


you get off to a great start with your oral hygiene and keep you on track to make the most of your insurance benefits.


Most dental plans cover preventative cleanings every six months. Regular dental exams and cleanings are important for preventing the development of diseases and can also save you money by catching decay at the earliest stages.

1. Care, don’t share Don’t share utensils with your child or “clean” a pacifier by putting it in your mouth. You can transfer cavitycausing germs to your child.

Scheduling and completing your first cleaning early in the year can help

2. Eat healthy and drink fluoridated water Get fruits and vegetables into your diet.


3. First dental visit no later than age 1 Your child’s baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they first appear— which is typically around age six months. 4. Seal out decay Ask your dentist about applying dental sealants to chewing surfaces of teeth. 5. Use fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth come through the gums. Most children age 6 and under are not effective enough to manage brushing alone. We recommend young children practice brushing their own teeth first with parents finishing up.












Have you ever wondered, “Just what are hormones?” It’s one thing to know that hormones play their role in our bodies, but do you REALLY know what hormones are, what they do, and how they can contribute to some of the major issues women face? “Oh, she’s just being hormonal!” Let’s be honest here, how many times have you heard the words hormones or hormonal used in a sentence with a seemingly negative connotation? Our guess… more often than we’d like to admit.

do not understand what hormones really do, or better yet, how they are meant to function properly. TAKE THE POWER BACK! Ladies, we are about to blow your minds. Are you ready for it? Hormones can be your best friend! Not only do they have the power to help your body work exactly as it was meant to, they can help you feel energized and youthful, help you stay calm even in times of stress, promote deep restful sleep, burn fat, and so much more! In short, they have the power to make you feel amazing!

When did the word hormones become a bad thing? Is there any truth to a statement like, “She’s not acting herself, her hormones are making her act crazy!” When YOU think of hormones, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it your adolescent or teenage son or daughter going through “changes?” Maybe you relate it to excessive emotions during a pregnancy or when PMS symptoms seem to completely derail you during “that time of the month.” Perhaps you think of hormones as something that only effect “older” women who are going through menopause. Although all these situations and phases of life involve a hormone connection, the truth is, your hormones effect every part of your body throughout your entire life. So, it’s safe to say most people truly 230


On the other hand, when imbalanced, they have the crippling power to make you feel miserable. YOU’VE GOT MAIL! – HORMONES 101 Hormones are often called “chemical messengers,” created in the endocrine glands. Let’s think of them as mailmen delivering important messages to recipients in your body 24/7. In terms of hormones, there

are about 50 different mailmen, and they are all dropping off important pieces of mail or messages that your body needs to survive. When they are on their “A-game,” everyone gets their mail on time. But when something gets in the way or they get interrupted, the messages may be delayed or lost in translation. So, what are these important messages? Hormones deliver messages that essentially tell your body what to do and how to function. These functions range from simple basic needs like hunger, digestion, and immune function to complex systems like reproduction, your metabolism, blood sugar, and even your emotions and mood. Not only do your hormones individually deliver these important messages, they work as a unit or a team. So, when one of them isn’t delivering their specific important message, it affects everything in your body. T H E ENDOCRINE SYSTEM – THE POST OFFICE Hormones are part of what is known as the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a set of hormone secreting glands within your body. The job of the endocrine system is to keep balance. Some of the main hormone-producing glands are: • Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is responsible for body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from

{ BE BALANCED } Let’s be honest here, how many times have you heard the words hormones or hormonal used in a sentence with a seemingly negative connotation?

other glands; and controls thirst, sleep and sex drive.


• Pancreas: This gland produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.

As we mentioned, your body has many different hormones. And although all these hormones work together, there are certain types that play a bigger role in your body’s health and wellbeing. Understanding these roles is important if you are looking to protect and manage your health at any age. Progesterone A fat-burner and diuretic that soothes mood, nurtures sleep and calms PMS and menopausal symptoms. Progesterone also helps to balance out blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

• Thyroid: The thyroid produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate. • Adrenal: Adrenal glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone. • Pituitary: Considered the “master control gland,” the pituitary gland controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth. • Pineal: Also called the thalamus, this gland produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep. • Ovaries: Only in women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone (the female sex hormones).

Estrogen A key hormone in ovulation and libido, it also supports many other functions in your body. When out of balance, it can also trigger weight gain (belly fat), fluid retention (breast tenderness, migraines, high blood pressure, leg swelling), mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, cravings, and thyroid issues. In addition, out-of-balance estrogen levels cause female issues including heavy periods, fibroids, endometriosis, and

even some female cancers. Cortisol A stress hormone needed to buffer our bodies from the effects of stress. Cortisol itself is not a “bad” hormone but is problematic when we cannot produce enough of it to meet our needs. Simply, when our bodies can’t make enough cortisol to meet the demand, progesterone is stolen and converted into cortisol, leaving our bodies with a condition known as estrogen dominance. This condition lays the foundation for stubborn weight and PMS/menopausal symptoms. Insulin A hormone produced by your pancreas which plays an important role in metabolism and blood sugar. Insulin helps your body convert the food you eat to be used for energy or for storage. However, if we are under chronic stress and/or eating a diet high in processed sugars and carbohydrates, our bodies will over compensate by producing too much insulin. Over time, this can cause our cells to stop responding, or become resistant to insulin. This can result in high ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ BE BALANCED } It’s one thing to know that hormones play their role in our bodies, but do you REALLY know what hormones are, what they do, and how they can contribute to some of the major issues women face?

blood sugar levels, fatigue, and sleepiness, brain fog, weight gain, fat storage, and high blood pressure.

questions (below), it’s time to take a closer look as to what might be going on with your body’s messengers.

• Do you have hot flashes or night sweats?

Your body was meant to be and wants to be in balance. But when even one system is out of balance – whether it’s your blood pressure or blood sugar (too high or too low), or your sex hormones (too much or too little), the results can be disastrous.

• Have you tried every diet and exercise plan out there with little to no success keeping the weight off?

If so, it’s time to turn your life around by using the power you have within. It’s time to get to the root cause of your symptoms. It’s time to get balanced from the inside out – naturally!

When hormones (mailmen) need a GPS. Sometimes the messages from our brain and organs don’t make it to the proper destination. If we have overloaded our cell with too much of a hormone, our body can stop receiving the message, telling it what to do, and will turn off communication. In other instances, we may stop making proper amounts of a hormone altogether. Whatever the case may be, if the communication isn’t there – we suffer. The good news is, there are natural options and lifestyle factors that help correct the miscommunication! So, if you and can relate to any of the following



• Do you struggle with intense cravings? • Are you having trouble sleeping and suffering from low energy levels? • Are your thyroid results coming back as “normal,” but you are dealing with symptoms of thyroid dysfunction? • Do you feel like your moods and emotions are all over the place? • Is your sex drive low to non-existent? • Do you feel anxious or have bouts of depression?

• Are your PMS symptoms unbearable?

Are you ready to start feeling better? Schedule a FREE consultation today to learn more at a BeBalanced center near you! Our mission is to help you feel empowered and to take control of your health and happiness through natural hormone balance. Click here to find a center near you or fill out our FREE hormone assessment to see if your hormones could be holding you back from living your most vibrant life!




TO SEND SUPERMAN UP, UP AND AWAY TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy) continues its 15th season as the second theater in the U.S. to perform the upcoming on-stage production of It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman, a new family-friendly musical based on the original Tony-award-nominated 1966 show of the same name. In TYKEs’ production, Superman flies up, up and away thanks to a collaborative effort between TYKEs and the company Flying by Foy. Foy is known as a world leader in theatrical flying – enabling Peter Pan to fly in more than 3,000 productions worldwide over the past 60 years, and flying stars from Lucille Ball and Gene Kelly to Sean Connery, David Letterman, Liberace and Carol Burnett. Over the years, Flying by Foy has created the flying effects for more than 50 Broadway shows, including Angels in America, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jesus Christ Superstar, Kiss of the Spider Woman, 9 to 5, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Seussical, Superman, The Who’s Tommy, The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins. TYKEs’ production runs for two weekends only, from March 9 to 17 at the Hart Theater at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue in Brighton. For the first time in TYKEs’ 15-year history, evening performances are included in addition to their typical matinees. Show dates are: Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $18 ($16 for JCC members) and are available at or by calling 585-461-2000. New for this season, TYKEs’ patrons can select

their own seats when they order on-line 24-hours a day. This family-friendly show about the virtues of the man of steel is recommended for “humans and superheroes ages four to 100.” TYKEs’ founder and director Freyda Schneider comments, “We created this production of Supermanfor the enjoyment of adults as much as it is for children.” Schneider claims, “I think


it’s possible I’m more excited about this show than any other show in our 15year history. For more than a decade, I’ve wanted TYKEs to bring a bona fide superhero to life on stage for a classic, iconic battle of good versus evil. I’m so honored and proud for TYKEs to be only the second theater in the whole nation granted permission to mount this production.”

The musical follows Superman’s attempt to defeat a vengeful scientist and 13time “Nobel Prize loser,” the villain Dr. Abner Sedgwick. Sedgwick is bent on revenge for all the indignities he’s suffered from the scientific community and has vowed to destroy Superman as the world’s symbol of goodness. The score includes the memorable song “You’ve Got Possibilities,” a cabaret favorite that was first sung by Linda Lavin in

the original Broadway show. TYKEs’ show is cleverly directed by Michael Krickmire with the directing assistance of Mary Krickmire, and musical direction by TYKEs’ long-time musician James Schmitt. The cast of 13 all-local adult, professional actors includes Nick Winger as Superman, Lauren MacDonough as Lois Lane, Drew Jensen as Dr. Sedgwick, acrobatic dancer Andreas Woerner as the Lead Bandit, and Kara DePorter playing the role of Sydney, the Daily Planet secretary. It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman is composed by Charles Strouse, with lyrics by Lee Adams and book by David Newman and Robert Benton. Based on the comic book character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics. SUPERMAN © & TM DC Comics. TYKEs’ 15th season culminates with The Pied Piper April 1 to 6, a special program featuring 60 local children. A limited number of performance slots are still available for children ages eight and up. TYKEs consistently ranks as the #1 Children’s Theatre Company in Rochester by, and one of the top ten places in all of Rochester to bring kids – for the eighth consecutive year. TYKEs also received the Family Favorite award for Best Children’s Theatre Performances by Rochester & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine (nowROC Parent). For a complete listing of TYKEs’ show dates and times, visit ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019




JOURNEY OF H E A L I N G , E M P OW E R I N G OTHERS AND RECLAIMING MY LIFE During my Part 1 segment, I shared my story, challenges, causes and effects it can have on a person’s life. I will admit, it was quite terrifying to share and I wanted to have a panic attack when I submitted my story. However, since then I have witnessed that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am helping so many women and being their voice is one of the highest honors I could receive during this journey. In this segment, I am looking forward to sharing with you the outcome of something that could have taken me down. But, I held on strong and overcame some severe adversity within myself. I kept the faith with God and trusted that he had a plan for me. Here is an excerpt from my forum that I have utilized to be transparent.

do this, anyone can!” In addition to sharing my own excerpts, I felt it would be a great idea to share excerpts from Dr. Peter Pacik and some supportive insight he had with the forum. ​He writes:​ “​Slow and steady has to be the mantra. Don’t give up. Don’t belittle yourself or feel “less than”. Don’t feel in a rush, you can’t fight your way through this; you need to

important to celebrate each success even if it is the smallest victory. The more positive interaction you have with yourself, the more you will develop self-love. Now this was not a quick process. From the time I considered getting treated until this moment that I am writing this story, it took me almost 5 years. I am still improving and striving to be the best with every part of my life. The last 5 years have not been easy. They have consisted of more pain, heart break, doubt, self-hatred, resentment, feeling of isolation, depression and giving up on myself. Another thing I need to share is not everyone has the same level of severity with their condition. I was in a severe stage of Vaginismus and pelvic floor dysfunction. However, there are indeed other women who do not have it as severe and then they feel they do not have it bad enough for a doctor to take them seriously.

JUNE 21, 2015: “I don’t know how to even write my feelings down. I haven’t been on here in awhile. I stopped my logs, I had given up for a while which my story is on another thread. However, today was 11 months from my Botox procedure and we were finally able to be intimate! Never give up! I’ve been going to pelvic floor therapy which has helped tremendously. On a side note, if you are successful with the dilators but still have pain, physical therapy has helped me tremendously. I could have never done this without Dr. Pacik and my physical therapist. I still have a lot to do, but there has been much improvement. The last 11 months have been hell; mistakes, my mindset, the pain, the constant dilating, health problems as I have lupus. If I CAN

successful women’s wellness exam. It was quite liberating to come out of the appointment with a smile on my face. I have never felt so free and content with myself. It was a moment of celebration. During the process of healing, it is so

go with the gradual flow of healing. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are great just the way you are​. ” To tell you that I received support from this physician is an understatement. He was amazing prior, during and after treatment. In January of 2016, I finally had my first

Here is another excerpt where a healthcare professional shared some of her insight: April 21, 2017: “​I have recently spoken with several patients who seemed hesitant to discuss their issues with painful sex. They said that after having read other women’s stories and their issues “were really not that bad.” They had all been able to use tampons, and have pelvic exams with a gynecologist. However, they were still experiencing pain with intimacy, and thought they should “just keep trying.” Just because you can use a tampon does not mean you do not have vaginismus. If you experience pain with intimacy, it is possible you have vaginismus (or some other medical issue) and please do not think your pain is “not bad enough” to

{ THE POWER OF HER } “My dream is to leave a legacy behind that everyone will remember and all women will receive the treatment they need to live a healthy and happy life.”

eek help. There is no contest as to how “bad” the pain is for you to get help. Vaginismus affects everyone differently, and there are treatments that fit all “sizes​.” This quote is probably the most valuable information I am ever going to share with you. Every woman is different and has their own level of suffering. Just because you do not have the most severe, does not mean that your suffering should be discounted. Even after being treated, healed and accomplishing other goals, I still have to focus on self-treatment for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I am stuck with this condition all because of trauma that happened in the past and was out of my control. As long as I keep with my treatment plan, I will succeed. The silver lining is I was able to receive help and now I can help others. To be honest, there were moments where I wanted to keep all of this to myself and be treated. That is the easy way in life, right? Then, I kept thinking about the women I got to meet during my procedure. Dr. Pacik had a structure in place where he would treat more than 1 woman in a day. This way we could meet each other and see that we were not alone. That is the one thing that kept me going. I am not a freak of nature, it is not my fault this happened to me and I can overcome this hell I have lived in for years. Since I knew that I was not alone, how many other women were suffering in s​ ilence? I​ s it possible that I can turn this into something good? I had been volunteering for another organization that I am quite passionate about which actually ended up leading me to pageantry. Initially the idea of being in a pageant was the scariest to say the least. I am not fit to be in a pageant. I was 99% sure that you needed lifelong experience to even be in a 240


pageant to participate at my age. Also, I always thought pageantry was about outer beauty, makeup and evening gowns. To my surprise after entering in the Mrs. New York America pageant in 2018, that is the farthest from the truth. I have never been surrounded by so many like minded, intelligent, beautiful and compassionate women. We are all motivated to make a difference in our community. When one of us was scared, we came together to support one another. For my first year competing, I did not place in the Top 10. In addition, I fell down during introductions. Which made me want to throw up immediately and run backstage. But, the remaining women on stage, rushed quickly to my rescue. I continued onward for the fitness and evening gown round. The moment they came to my rescue, is a moment I will never forget. I have continued to encourage other women to participate in Mrs. New York America and even had the chance to reassure someone that this step is worth it and will change her life. She wanted to give up and stop her plans of participating. I was so happy that she gave it another chance. I have decided to re-compete for my 2nd year at Mrs. New York America which is coming up on March 31st, 2019. In knowing that my platform is unconventional, it was a tough decision to make. Last year, I did not choose this platform as I was terrified with what the public would think of me. Would everyone hate me? Would they laugh and scoff at me? What if I communicated my platform or mission in the wrong way to the judges? However this year, I felt a renewed energy and courage that I can promote this platform. I am the voice for so many women after all. We only live once and if I can truly make an impact on this earth with what little time I have to live. I will go forth and share my

experiences, comfort other women and reassure them that there is hope. Before I even decided to re-compete, I had been promoted to Chief Passion Officer of Lady’s Sparrow Foundation who focuses on women’s sexual health. I lead panel discussions with healthcare professionals. I have partnered with OB-GYN physicians, physical therapists, Licensed Social Workers, Therapists, Intuitive Healing and Trauma recovery practitioners and other professionals. Secondly, I have the privilege and honor of mentoring other women who are currently suffering in silence. In addition, I have founded my own community support group to reach more women and I will be a motivational speaker at future events. So much has come out of my “Hell on Earth.” In conclusion, pageantry is truly amazing. Without having the courage to participate in the first place, it would have taken me a very long time to come out of the shadows to help others. This is not an easy topic to discuss as not many people talk about it or know much about these conditions. There has to be the one person who initiates a movement that will change history. I truly hope my story inspires other and starts the “From Shame to Shine” movement. My dream is to leave a legacy behind that everyone will remember and all women will receive the treatment they need to live a healthy and happy life.

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A four-thousand-six-hundred-mile trail? This is a typical reaction when people hear about the North Country National Scenic Trail for the first time. It’s the longest of the trails in the category, like the well-known Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. All National Scenic Trails are authorized by Congress. I am the first woman, and the ninth person overall to walk the entire length of the NCT, which goes from Crown Point, New York, to Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota. My trek had to be sandwiched between work and other responsibilities, so it was completed in sections, over the course of twenty years. I kept a spreadsheet to be sure I’d filled in all the pieces and hiked every mile. The strength of the NCT is the diversity of experiences one encounters along the way. From the Adirondacks of New York to the great plains in North Dakota, there are hills, forests, lakes and rivers a-plenty. Also, cultural and historic riches abound. Hiking this trail is as much about discovering the history of the northern United States as it is about having a back-country experience. Growing up in the rural Finger Lakes area of New York, I was free to roam the woods and fields as long as I followed a few family rules. Anywhere outside was always my favorite place to be. A father who gardened and hunted taught me many outdoor skills. My mother and grandmother taught me the names of flowers, trees and birds. Girl Scouts and summers at Camp Comstock on Cayuga Lake added to my education in camping, paddling and hiking. After raising a family, my best friend and I decided to find out if we still liked 244


hiking. After a three-day backpacking adventure in 1992 we said, “Yes, we want to keep doing this.” Twenty-seven years later, we’re still going out on a long hike every summer. In 2010, I finished hiking the North Country Trail, and over the next few summers completed the remaining sections of the Finger Lakes Trail in New York, and the Buckeye Trail in Ohio, becoming the first person to hike all of those trails. Sometimes I backpacked and sometimes day hiked. Although backpacking is my favorite, any organizational plan that got me more new miles on the trail was great. We had so many challenging, poignant and funny adventures, I began writing about our trips. Soon someone suggested the stories should become a book, and that is how North Country Cache came into being. This volume covers about half of the trail miles, and was published in 2005. It won an award from Independent Publishers, for Regional Non-fiction. The sequel, with the rest of the stories, North Country Quest, will be available later this year (2019). I began to think about writing more books, including fiction. I’ve always loved mysteries of all kinds, but decided that cozy mysteries would be a good fit for me, as I’ve always lived in small towns. Thus began a different kind of adventure, to create a fictional county and village where my main character, Anastasia Raven, gets into and out of scrapes, while solving local crimes. This series has “Dead Mule Swamp” in all the titles, which is the floodplain of the river which runs behind Ana’s house. This is a take-off on a real place, near where I live in Michigan, called Dead Horse Marsh. The first of six titles in

the series is News from Dead Mule Swamp, and the most recent release is Dead Mule Swamp Mistletoe. Because there have been so many requests for children’s books, I’ve also added a series of mysteries for elementary age kids. These are collectively called The Dubois Files, and they spun off the Anastasia Raven books. One of Ana’s friends is a woman named Cora, who has spent all her life in Forest County. Her maiden name was Dubois, and Cora tells of adventures she had, growing up in the 1950s. These books feature a diverse set of youngsters who live in a rural neighborhood. Suggested for third to sixth graders. I also write a monthly column for my local newspaper, called “Get Off The Couch.” It doesn’t matter if you can’t hike a long trail, or aren’t even interested in an extended walk. Get outside and do something whether it’s to garden a bit, stroll through a park, or paddle a kayak. Stay active! My home is now in west Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan. But I’m not done having adventures. My hope is to keep hiking and writing. I’m even fixing up a tiny travel trailer in hopes of being able to write while on the road. You can learn more about all my books at

“I am the first woman, and the ninth person overall to walk th NCT, which goes from Crown Point, New York, to Lake Sakaka



he entire length of the awea, North Dakota.”



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If you ever find yourself in Cayuga County in Central New York and happen upon a tiny little shop at 139 State Street in Auburn, you have found home. Open Door to the Immortal Phoenix opened its doors on December 1, 2018, owned and operated by Ms. Lorna Reynolds and Ms. Martha Conan. Lorna and Martha met back in 2009 in Moravia, NY when Martha had lost her mother and was searching for spiritual guidance and help in healing and they became fast friends. They communicated often throughout the years and in September of 2018, Martha received a personal message on her Facebook from Lorna saying that she had moved to Auburn and was working at a metaphysical shop and would like to meet up for coffee. Lorna, a medically trained hypnotist with many other certifications and talents and Martha, a mental health therapist, met for coffee that day at Connie’s a “tex-mex” restaurant on the corner of State and Wall Streets. They chatted about their families, jobs and other experiences that had happened in the past nine years. When leaving Connie’s, they noticed that there was an empty store front right next door. It had an inviting large front window and from what they could see through the dirt and dust, a very interesting store layout. Looking at each other and at the same time, they shouted: “It’s time.” They quickly jotted down the application phone number on the “for rent” sign in the window and made the call to rent the space and were quickly approved. The following month renovations began. Lorna and her friends did the work in the store such as the painting, cleaning and such while Martha helped with design work and furniture gathering. Picture this: monstrous tall yellow ivy twisted tin ceilings, burgundy red and gold stone and red brick walls, dark hard wood floors covered in burgundy 250


carpets and lace curtains draping the front window from floor to ceiling. All furniture dated the early 1900’s and several pieces were from Martha’s grandparent’s storage container that was recently unearthed. The shelves are stocked with the metaphysical items including crystal balls, tumbled stones, leather journals, incense and sage and the coffee bar has a selection of teas, coffee, hot chocolate and tasty treats. The practitioners’ room is same color as the front room and is adorned with batiks Martha had designed in Bali.

Not only is Open Door to the Immortal Phoenix a metaphysical shop, it is also a facility for alternative healthcare. An allin-one shop, where you can find chakra stones for harmonic balancing while you set up appointments with massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, a mental health therapist or a medical hypnotist. There are events, seminars, classes and support meetings planned monthly along with frequent ghost tours. 139 State Street was

originally part of the Auburn State Prison and also part of the Insane Asylum for the Criminally Insane from 1879 through 1893. It held 121 inmates of which 109 where men and 12 where women. The need for a women’s prison took precedence so the men were transferred out and women remained. After the women left, it became a blacksmith’s shop and retail stores till today. When you enter the basement you will find three, eight by ten foot cells with shackles and wooden doors with peep holes and a small bathroom. The back room of the basement has a door that went into a tunnel with metal bars and several large locks. For the on-looker, it appears to be a dismal place but for the historian, a treat for the eyes. Lorna and Martha realized that there was a need for not only spiritual healing but also mental, physical, and emotional healing. The public needed a place to have their needs met and they wanted it to be that place. So Lorna and Martha got the word out in their community and the surrounding areas that they were on the lookout for alternative healthcare practitioners who worked “outside of the box” and had a creative approach to healing. This fitted in with Lorna and Martha’s vision of having a distinctively unique therapeutic environment for their clients. And it worked, but they are always looking for more practitioners to share their experience, strength and hope. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm or if an appointment is scheduled on a Sunday or Monday. If you would like to come in and chat while drinking a hot coffee or tea, be our guest, as the saying goes, we are here to serve. Don’t be nervous or fearful about the history of the shop, all of our unseen residents are friendly. You can find information about our




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { THE IMMORTAL PHOENIX } Not only is Open Door to the Immortal Phoenix a metaphysical shop, it is also a facility for alternative healthcare.

Facebook page; Open Door to the Immortal Phoenix. Ms. Lorna Marie Reynolds, CH (Hypnosis NGH) Lorna is well known for her work across the country in the field of hypnotism and frequently holds training seminars, lectures, special events sharing her vast knowledge about its’ benefits.

or ticks, stuttering migraines, self esteem & self worth issues, goal setting, sports improvement, and retaining information. Ms. Reynolds has trained and certified the following Individuals: Ron Eslinger, Healthy Vision -Clinical Hypnosis Richard Sutphen, Master of Life Metaphysical Counseling

Grief, & Lyme disease Counselor. She has worked in the addiction field for over 27 years combining her skills with a strong holistic and spiritual approach with Traditional Chinese Medicine; the ancient practice of Huna, involving forgiveness and letting go; the naturebased religion of Druidism and reiki. She is also a practitioner in the Akashic Record Reading and Ho’oponopono

She shares that, “Hypnosis can help you succeed where you never thought success was possible. It is one of the fastest growing fields in the areas of human potential, personal growth and achievement. This process a l l o w s individuals the ability to break through stagnant obstacles in order to obtain their personal goals whether it is in their body, mind or spirit. Hypnosis reaches deep into the foundations of the mind it is an ideal approach to almost any challenge.” We offer and are not limited to the following services: Panic attacks, obesity, anxiety, asthma, chronic pain, fears and phobias, uncontrolled blood pressure, stress, anger management, insomnia, nervous habits 252


As a long time Lyme s u r v i v o r, Martha is actively involved in providing individual and group therapy and support. • Master of Science in Rehabilitation Therapy

David Quigley, Alchemy Institute Santa Rosa CA - Past Life Regression Romona Garcia NH, Intuitive Development Please contact us for more information. Ms. Martha Conan Rehabilitation Mental Health Therapist; Auricular Acupuncturist; Addiction,

Pastoral Thanatology

• N Y S Certification in Substance Abuse & Alcoholism Counseling • Credentialed Acupuncture & Detoxification Specialist &

• Member of the American Counseling Association & the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society






If you know anyone that was looking for a new home in Rochester or the surrounding area last year, you probably heard that the market was tight, especially if they were looking for a home in the $100k to $200k range. According to the Greater Rochester Realtor’s Association (GRAR), although the homes in the Rochester area were selling at a rapid pace, there was a 2.1% decline in sales. There are a few reasons why the market was so tight, and why it will continue to be in the coming year. Here are three of the big ones:

enough of the equity back for them to consider selling. • There was also a trend a while ago for baby boomers to build extravagantly large homes. Years have passed, they’re empty-nesters and ready to downsize. In putting their homes on the market, they’re finding there’s not a lot of buyers that want to commit the time, energy and expense that these large

• Around 2000, mortgage rates began their steady march downward to the low single digits. This caused two things to happen: o A lot of people jumped into the market for the first time to purchase a “starter home”. On average, these people are staying in their homes longer than previous first-time buyers have (10 years versus 6 years), creating a shortage of smaller, lower priced homes. o As rates continued to decline, some people who already owned $100-$200k homes refinanced their home and took out the equity they had built and have not yet recouped 256


homes sometimes require. A good percentage of today’s buyers want large life experiences, not large homes. Is this year your year to buy or sell a home? Will you experience the same challenges that were present in 2017 and 2018? What can you do to help yourself through the process? In the Real Estate world, Post-Super Bowl is generally when the seasonal uptick in buying and selling starts: since there

were fewer homes on the market at the end of 2018 than in 2017, what does this mean for the coming months? With over 30 years of experience in real estate, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that bring success to our buyers and sellers alike. Here are a few: • Home Buyer o Before you hop onto to look at homes available in your price range, make an appointment with a mortgage broker or banker and get yourself pre-approved for a loan. If you don’t have a trusted mortgage originator to work with, give us a call! We’ve been at this a long time and have several great ones to recommend. After asking you a few questions, your mortgage originator will determine how much of a home you can afford and will give you a letter to present to the sellers that tells them you’re qualified to purchase their home. Too many times, the difference between an offer being accepted or not is this letter. Put yourself in front of the field of potential buyers and have this at the ready. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a preapproval letter and a pre-qualification letter – the pre-approval letter is






and a pre-qualification letter – the pre-approval letter is “better” because you need to supply proof of income for your originator. o Take time to sit down and think about what neighborhoods you’d like to live in and what features you’d like your new house to have. Go beyond the number of bathrooms and bedrooms and think about how much yard you want, if you’re okay with (and handy enough) doing a few repairs in your new home or do you want move-in ready. • HOME SELLERS o As soon as you know you’re going to put your home on the market, give us a call. The further in advance you contact us, the better we’ll be able to guide you through what needs to

be done to get top dollar for your house. The more “move-in ready” your house is, the more appealing it is to buyers. The better it looks for Open Houses, the faster it will sell. If you’ve ever watched a home selling show on television, you know that you have a short amount of time to make a great impression. We’ll suggest you do things like freshen up interior paint, clean the carpet, fix the little and big things that are broken inside and out, mow your lawn regularly, weed your gardens (it will eventually be warm!), make sure the garbage is taken to the curb weekly, deep clean, declutter and depersonalize. You want to make it so that the buyers that visit your home can imagine themselves in it – having your pictures and “stuff” around will prevent them from being able to do

that easily. Sometimes this means that you’ll have to rent a storage unit but if it also means that in the long-run you’ll get top dollar for your home, it will be worth the time and money. Selling or buying a home does not have to be a stressful experience. A little information and preparation and the right agent to guide you through the process makes all the difference in the world!





I was diagnosed with cancer last month. It came out of left field. While it’s true I wasn’t feeling well, a terminal illness was not what I had in mind. The good news is - it was a misdiagnosis. The bad news is - it took a month to find out. Some of you may know what that feels like. To carry around the weight of the unknown. Suddenly you’re confronting your mortality. Thinking about who will take care of your loved ones. How you will cover all the medical expenses. How long you may have to live. Will you be able to fight this and if so, will you succeed.

Some of them will be great and effective while some of them will land you where I am right now. The truth is when you’re sick for a long time, you become willing to try anything. That’s what I did. And somehow I was diagnosed with the disease that had absolutely nothing to do my allergy.

This is what propels one to get answers, to get the drive to fight no matter how exhausted you may feel, to push through any fears. It did for me anyway.

I have been battling a severe allergic reaction for nearly 4 months, and have seen a considerable amount of specialists, both in the medical and holistic fields. Everyone is doing their best, and I believe we’re getting closer to the root cause.

And I meditated daily, seeking answers, and preparing myself for whatever they might be. So I’d like to share these tips with you if ever you are to receive unexpected news.

It has been determined that I now have asthma. Fortunately, it can be treated and may not be chronic. Soon I will be able to get back to the yoga floor and move through my asanas like I used to.

THE MISDIAGNOSIS What’s really beautiful about being ill, is the love that pours out from all of your friends and colleagues and clients. They’ll shower you with recommendations and referrals, and a host of ideas to heal you. 260


I talked to my colleagues who practice western and eastern medicine. And I did a lot of research. It’s amazing what kind of information is out there! I cried. I realized there was so much more life I wanted to live. So many more people I wanted to help. So many places I wanted to see. Most of all, how could I leave my loved ones?

Let’s backtrack a little.

I have always had environmental allergies. This attack however, has been severe and long lasting, effecting my business, ability to exercise, and overall well-being. It is nothing to make light of but … it is not terminal.

MY RESPONSE I only told a few family members and friends about the diagnosis. I knew they were strong enough to handle it. I also didn’t want to frighten anyone if it was unnecessary.

“Could this be happening to me?” I asked myself after receiving the cancer diagnosis only three days after receiving the diagnosis of asthma. As some of you may know, I could be called a health nut. That’s what I do for a living! I teach people how to eat wisely, exercise regularly, practice yoga and meditate as often as possible. This seemed like the most unfair diagnosis in the world.

TIPS Upon receiving a severe diagnosis: • Stay calm • Call a close friend or loved one • Don’t drive until you have calmed down • Breathe • Pray When you get home: • Eat protein, something solid to keep you strong • Get a good night’s sleep. Consider herbal supplements to support this • Hug your pet

While waiting for final results: • Contact your health insurance. Find out what is covered and what is not.

• Drink water - lots of it When you discover it was a misdiagnosis: • Take a big sigh of relief

• Research your Health providers network. You may find that rare specialist who can help you. • Meditate daily to clear your mind and calm your emotions

• Look at your bank account. It might be drained. If that’s the case, figure out how you’re going to pay off your debt and incoming bills • Offer forgiveness. If you can’t do it in person, do it in prayer

• Pray daily and ask for support and answers

• Thank God & Goddess you’ve been given another chance at life

• Offer gratitude for what you have

• Make a pact that you will live each day with purpose

• Eat healthy including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables 262


• Find joy in everything

• Let the little things go • Love you self so much that you will never get sick again! This comes with love, Alana Alana Cahoon is Creative Coach & Founder of Grow 2 B U, LLC, leading professionals to bring balance, joy & prosperity to their lives. Studio and Program information can be found at



CBD Best Oil has been working with two hemp farmers under the Colorado Industrial Agricultural Hemp Program since 2016. ‘Industrial Hemp’ means the Cannabis sativa L. plant and any part the plant, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3%. If it is over 0.3% delta-9 THC concentration it is not Industrial Hemp. The Hemp Farming Act, which makes the use and sale of products made from hemp completely legal across the nation but does not affect the legal status of marijuana (> than 0.3% THC). Since Hemp contains only trace levels of THC, the chemical component that gives marijuana its psychoactive qualities, you cannot get high from Hemp. Instead, hemp is primarily known for its fibers, commonly used to make CBD, rope, fabrics, auto parts, industrial materials, and a variety of other products. Hemp is also known for its highly-nutritious seeds (a.k.a. hemp hearts) and has been shown beneficial to both humans and pets. Cannabis sativa was one of the earliest plants cultivated by humans with its first hemp use documented in 4000 BC China. A very versatile plant, it was used for food, medicine, religious and spiritual rituals, industrial fiber, and recreationally. From China it spread to India, the Arabian Peninsula, and then to the European spice trade. Through European colonization, hemp spread to the Americas, Caribbean, and throughout the world in a variety 264


{ PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT } Since Hemp contains only trace levels of THC, the chemical component that gives marijuana its psychoactive qualities, you cannot get high from Hemp.

throughout the world in a variety of uses. The variety of cannabis known as hemp was primarily cultivated for its fibers with high tensile strength, making it ideal for creating rope and textiles. Hemp seeds and sprouts were eaten as a good source of highquality protein and beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. Though both plants look the same, their chemical composition is different due to the presence or absence of certain enzymes. Both marijuana and hemp contain a chemical substance called Cannabigerol (CBGA), which is concentrated mostly in the flower buds of the plant. Marijuana contains an enzyme that converts CBGA into THC while hemp contains a different enzyme that converts CBGA into CBD (Cannabidiol). Marijuana contains both THC and CBD. Concentrations of THC and CBD vary in both Marijuana and hemp plants . Those with high THC are used primarily for recreational use and plants with low or no THC and high CBD are best for medicinal use (like CBD Best Oil’s products). All our products are full spectrum, which means have up to 0.3% THC except the 3000mg Water Soluble Concentrate (Water Soluble Concentrates are used in water, tea, smoothies or any other favorite beverage). Both THC and CBD belong to a class of plant chemical compounds called cannabinoids. There are different receptors for cannabinoid ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


{ PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT } Hemp seeds and sprouts were eaten as a good source of high-quality protein and beneficial omega 3 fatty acids.

compounds located throughout the body. CB1 receptors are found in high concentrations in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are located throughout the body, but predominantly within the lower body and immune system. THC’s psycho-active elements come from its ability to mimic anandamide, an endocannabinoid or naturally occurring mood-altering substance in the body that binds to CB1 receptors in the brain. THC binds to anandamide’s CB1 receptors even more tightly than anandamide itself, triggering an altered or psychoactive response. Compared to THC, CBD has very different properties. It weakly binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body, gently stimulating and blocking them at the same time. This not only mildly activates the receptors, but is also thought to trigger



the body to create more CB1 and CB2 receptors and increase natural levels of anandamide. When the body experiences an increase in CB receptors, it becomes more sensitive to the natural endocannabinoids already present in the body. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that helps improve moods and reduces pain in a non-psychoactive way, so you don’t get high but feel less pain, reduced inflammation (Triple Relief Salve great for knees, backs, elbows, shoulders & sore muscles) and/or anxiety. Basically working to restore homeostasis or equilibrium in the body for both humans as well as pets (300 mg Chicken Tincture very effective for calming pets). CBD also modulates other receptors in the body. For instance, modulation of the 5-HT1A receptor (involved

with serotonin, a mood hormone) provides mood-balancing properties (our 300 - 500mg great for those with mild anxiety), it’s calming, but not highly sedating, although it often results in improved sleep for many people (our 500mg Spearmint Tincture has been helpful to many in aiding insomnia). CBD Best Oil 1000 - 2000 mg, along with Capsules are effective ingestibles for chronic pain and depression as well as reduced inflammation with many customers self reporting reduced prescription drugs and increase mobility. Beyond THC and CBD, Cannabis sativa plants contain over a hundred other cannabinoids that have a similar effect as CBD, but milder with THC still being the only psychoactive. Visit for additional information and ordering information.

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1474 Monroe Ave I Rochester, New York 14618 I (585) 473-8593



Homeownership can still be reached even with significant student loan debt.

debt, financial obligations, and loss of income progression during the Great Recession.

With close to 45 million Americans carrying student loan debt, there is nearly $5 trillion worth of educational debt, across the country. More than 80 percent of American Millennials, who have not yet been able to buy a home, blame their student loans (Source National Association of REALTORS®). Educational debt has prevented many Americans from buying a home throughout the country.

Generation Z (age 23 and younger) are more optimistic about homeownership. Almost 100,000 members of this young generation have already bought a home and have an average mortgage balance of approximately $140,000. However, with the high cost of college education and relatively low income of recent college graduates, many adults from Gen Z will face the same barriers to homeownership as their Millennial counterparts.

It doesn’t have to be like that! Continue reading to learn some great home buying strategies, even with student loan debt!

WHO IS AFFECTED? Millennials (born approx. 1982 - 1996) appear to be the hardest hit by student loan debt and inability to afford a home. These adults are delaying their first home purchase by an average of 7 years due to staggering student

Keep your balance below 50% of the credit limit Dispute errors on your credit report Get credit if you don’t have any! 3. Refinance your Student Loans Refi loans as little as 2.5-3.0% interest are available Works with Private and Federal student loans 4. Consolidate your Credit Card Debt Pay your balance before you apply for a mortgage

EDUCATIONAL DEBT AND HOMEOWNERSHIP More than two million Americans have more than $ 100,000 in debt for student loans. Therefore, it is no surprise that 1 in 5 Americans with educational debt is denied a mortgage because of their debt-to-income ratio. With a median annual income of less than $60,000 and average monthly payments for younger graduates of $350/month, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to have a qualifying ratio and keep monthly expenditure at 36 percent or lower, as lenders prefer for most mortgage loans. This has led to more and more graduates to return home with their parents.The number of recent graduates moving home increased by 28 percent between 2005 and 2016. Meanwhile, recent graduates in college that move in with a significant other decreased by 10 percent (Source: Zillow 2018 analysis of US Census Data). Homeownership has been dramatically reduced, especially among Millennials, largely to educational debt.

debts or collection accounts

Consolidate your debt into a single personal loan 5. Get Down Payment Assistance FHA, VA and USDA loans State assistance plans are also available in NYS 6. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Speak to a licensed mortgage loan officer, such as Phyllis Haberer of Premium Mortgage, before you find your dream home Find out how much you can afford for a house! WHAT CAN I DO? Even with student debt, you may still qualify to purchase a home. Here are some actions you can take to improve your chances of being able to purchase a home. 1. Manage Your Debt-to-Income Ratio: Repaying existing debts Earn more income by changing jobs, working longer hours or obtaining another source of income 2. Repair your Credit Score Pay all bills on time and pay off any outstanding

There are many great financing programs available! The dream of home ownership can still be reached even with student debt! Give me a call today and I’ll be glad to guide you. Phyllis Haberer Senior Loan Officer | NMLS# 58078 2541 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 (585) 241-0000 NMLS #3254 Equal Housing Lender Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS

Prepare for the Spring Market! When it comes to house hunting, looking for properties in the spring has its benefits! Most sellers who list their home in spring months are in a rush to get them sold, which means you have to be able to jump at the opportunity to get the home you want!

Not sure where to start? Give me a call!

Know how much you may qualify for, by getting Pre-Approved before you begin your home search!

Phyllis Haberer Senior Loan Officer | NMLS#58078

C: 585.314.8511 D: 585.363.7087 O: 585.241.0000 x104




2541 Monroe Ave. Rochester NY 14618 | Equal Housing Lender | Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS | NMLS#3254 Premium Mortgage Corporation does not intend to solicit business away from other mortgage banking professionals. If you are currently working with another mortgage banking professional, this communication is not intended for you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019




ROCHESTER GENERAL HOSPITAL’S TWIG GIFT SHOP Walk into the Twig Gift Shop at Rochester General Hospital (RGH) and you will find a quaint little respite from the hustle and bustle of the fast paced medical environment. Patients, guests, employees, and area shoppers can find incidentals like personal care items and snacks, as well as novelty gifts that welcome new babies and comfort those who need it. They can also browse among the chocolates, clothing, home decor, and other unique items lovingly handpicked by shop buyer and manager, Linda Leary, and gift shop volunteer chair, Anne Trocano. What sets this shop apart from the rest is that 1) it is staffed by dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers, many of whom are Twigs, and 2) it functions as one of the biggest fundraisers of the Twigs of Rochester General Hospital Association. A R E WA R D I N G V O LU N T E E R EXPERIENCE A few short visits with some of the volunteers is enough to see that they are more of a family than a group of individuals, and that they take pride in the work they do within the hospital walls. More often than not, a volunteer will mention how much they enjoy their work, how rewarding they have found the experience, and how appreciated they are by the people they work with. More than one volunteer has mentioned that although they know the importance of the practical responsibilities, like working the register 274


and stocking the shelves, it is the customer interactions that typically have the most impact. Whether a patient is browsing to escape the stress and tedium of a hospital stay, or a loved one is passing time waiting for a surgery to finish, the little shop is often a welcome break. It is common for a visitor to bend a volunteer’s ear as they realize that the woman serving them is as happy and willing to talk with them as she is to ring up their items. Carol, a volunteer since April

2018, was eager to share an experience she had during one of her shifts. A woman was visibly distressed while in line for the register, and when Carol asked if she was ok, the woman was able to share her story and find a bit of comfort in the moment. Upon seeing this warm interaction, many fellow visitors felt comfortable enough to offer their own words of support. This type of of human interaction is not unusual, and that is in large part due to the warm, friendly atmosphere that the volunteers have created.

Anne Trocano works diligently to satisfy the scheduling demands of the shop and is always looking for new, motivated individuals to join her team. The Twig Gift Shop, open Monday through Thursday, 9:30am-6pm, Fridays, 9:30am-4pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 12-3pm, relies completely on volunteers. There are always at least two volunteers per four hour shift, a requirement that has become more and more difficult to meet as the number of volunteers has been in decline in recent years. With only sixty people on the volunteer roster, many of whom travel south for the winter months or vacation in the summer months, it is often difficult to ensure that shifts are covered. If you are interested in becoming a Twig Gift Shop volunteer, or simply want to learn more, stop in and see us, or fill out a Gift Shop application online at makeadifference. Volunteers enjoy free parking, a food stipend during their shift, and a discount for items they purchase in the shop. A GIFT SHOP WITH A SPECIAL MISSION Profits from the Twig Gift Shop directly benefit the patients and guests of RGH. Open daily, the shop brings in a large portion of the fundraising revenue for the Twigs of Rochester General Hospital Association. Since 1987, the Twigs have contributed over $4 million to Rochester General Hospital and have supported initiatives such as the Twig Birthing Center,




{ HELPING { SHIFT+CONTROL PEOPLE HEAL } } Walk into the Twig Gift Shop at Rochester General Hospital (RGH) and you will find a quaint little respite from the hustle and bustle of the fast paced medical environment.

the Twig Family Health Center, a Patient Discharge area renovation, and two operating suites. Today the Twig fundraising efforts, including the gift shop, will contribute toward satisfying the $2.5 million they committed in 2017 for the new NICU. The shop also supports it’s mission through other fundraisers. For example, the 2018 Festival of Trees, sponsored by the ‘Hickory’ Twig, was a silent auction hosted at the shop. Various Twigs donated beautifully decorated trees for the cause. There is also an ongoing “Giving Tree” painted on the wall of the shop, with the theme changing seasonally. For a $1.00 donation, a visitor can write a name on a sticker and place it on the tree. The Twigs of Rochester General Hospital Association Philanthropic efforts, including 276


those listed above, as well as the history of the Twigs can be found on their website, Started in1887 by a woman named Lois Whitney and a few of her friends, the Twig legacy continues. Today there are seventeen active Twigs, each with their own themed name, in the Rochester area. Josie Gangemi has been an “Edelweiss” Twig since 1975. As a Twig, she continues to volunteer at the gift shop, has served on multiple committees, and is on the Rochester General Hospital Association Board. She is eager to see more women join one of the Twigs, or even start one of their own. The challenge is in getting the word out so that people understand the benefits and opportunities that belonging

to the group entails. As Josie explains, Twigs can be primarily social groups, or they can can have a strong connection with fundraising efforts. The hope is that the Twigs will continue to grow and fulfill the words of founder Lois Whitney, “Do not lose sight of the Twigs, for they may grow to be a power for good.” SAVE THE DATE! The Twigs of Rochester General Hospital Association’s Strikes for Tykes will be held at Radio Social on May 5th, 2019, 4-7pm. Tickets will be $50, and all proceeds will benefit the Twig Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rochester General Hospital.






Studies show in 2015, the US Census reported 2.6 million Black or African American owned businesses. Black owned business or Black businesses originated during slavery before 1865. The Emancipation & Civil Rights permitted Black folks to operate inside the American legal structure.

low income. The Obama Administration was given a $800 billion budget to simulate the economy and small business. However, much of those funds went towards large companies to focus on green energy and nothing went towards entrepreneurs and small business.

During the 20th century The National Negro Business League opened 600 chapters reaching every city with high African American or Black populations.

Most Black business have funded their business with their own cash savings, seeing as though funding can be limited through grants and loans. The Dodd Frank regulations make it very difficult for cash strapped Minorities to borrow due to credit and/or 278


I am a Rochester Native, born and raised by my parents Maria & Brian alongside my 3 beautiful sisters Tasha, Bianca & Camellia. My parents instilled respect, dedication & hard work into us allowing us as adults to sucessed & achieve anything our hearts de-sired. In my early years, I attended Benjamin Franklin High School, Rochester Business Insti-tute and Monroe Community College. I have learned how to be taught and how to teach others. Perfecting your craft in any field is key, my passion is my future and my future is my passion.

Blacks have continued to grow, operate and maintain every kind of business such as Soulfood Restaurants, Beauty Salons, Barber Shops, Record Stores & Record Labels all of which are considered Small Businesses. Throughout the years their have been organizations to assist with growth and funding however funding can be limited. 57% of Black Businesses see a profit but still face many challenges in a growing economy and ever changing laws. These business owners, many of which grew tired of working for Corporate American, laid off or out sourced are managing to gain brand awareness while growing their business passion and personal resources. Depending on the State, requirements can hinder the growth and outlook of businesses.

small business have been forced to close or minimise their staff leaving customers upset and under served.

I am a loving and encouraging mother & wife. My husband Percy and I are raising 4 amazing children. Juanita, 20, Perley, 16, and 11 year old twin boys Percy & Percival. Being business owners as taken time from being with the family, which is our biggest support system. We have built our legacy on hard work and dedication as an example of love passed on to us from our parents.

As we celebrate Black History Month in February of every year it is important folks un-derstand the business they are pursing before taking that leap of faith. As a Black business owner myself I have seen 1st hand the challenges that arise to grow, main-tain and prosper as a small business owner. 2019 brought increased minimum wage and NYS requirements, as a result many

I began working with Seniors in 2000, having trained as Certified Nursing Assistant, Medication Technician, Dementia Care Specialist and LGBTQ Laision. My passion is caring for and helping others, as a true CAREGIVER. Working in the Home & Health Care field for 15+ years has allowed me to gain knowledge, compassion & understanding for those who need us the most.




{ LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT } “As we celebrate Black History Month in February of every year it is important folks understand the business they are pursing before taking that leap of faith.”

My passion is to give back, I founded Universal Care Services, LLC in 2016, I opened a business that relects my hard work. UCS is a non-medical senior support service. Uni-versal Care Services, LLC offers solutions to local families who require assistance or guidance with a loved one with ADL’s in a safe and loving environment allowing Seniors and disabled individuals receive home care and companionship while build-ing relationships with professional caregivers.

for families in need. I am dedicated and eager to raise awarness to and for all families caring for a loved one, for better compensation and benefits to caregiving professionals and improving living

This has also allowed me to create opportunities for others in the home care industry to gain employment, trainings and advancements.



As Baby Boomers continue to age I take pride in the small organization I operate and the care we provide to families daily. Universal Care Services offers personalized and professional care services that pro-mote independence and dignity, which truly can change and enhance people’s lives. Families notice the importance of support being available and appreciate the one on one attention UCS offers. I believe nothing is more important then lending a helping hand. I recently took the pledge to work with all people and stop discrimination of all @ also I have taken the pledge to hire all people with disabilities @ for the in-clusion of all.

Since opening Universal Care Services, I have been featured in local newspapers in-cluding The Post and The Minority Reporter also heard on local radio airways such as The Senior Rock and Sustainable Living giving tips to caregivers, sharing important knowledge about Dementia and my experiences working with seniors throughout the years. I have been able to work efficiently & diligently on behalf of our customers that has built a solid reputation in home care market. Universal Care Services is listed with El-dersource, The Greater Rochester Area Partnership For The Elderly or G.R.A.P.E, NY-CONNECTS, AARP & The Out Alliance allowing easy contact

local causes involving children & seniors with Young & Gifted Global Ministries and by attending New York HealthCare Workers Rising trainings & informationals so caregivers are appreciated and respected.

We all have been affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia & Cancer, with our own families having experienced these terrible illnesses. Join the fight to find a cure within your local community. arrangements and care to allow our seniors to age in place. This has been achieved by raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association walk to end Alzheimer’s dis-ease and the Longest Walk, by volunteering to support

Universal Care Services enhancing one home at a time.




Am I the only one who feels like that? I don’t think so. I talk to countless women, and we all seem to share some things in common; the many challenges of being a woman today. It starts when we’re young girls, turning into teenagers, going into young adult life, to being a full blown woman of the world, becoming a mom perhaps, a working woman, juggling it all, only to start slipping in peri-menopause, then the fabulous season of menopause, to the Post menopause way of life. It truly is such a glorious privilege to be a woman, but at times it doesn’t feel that way, right? I coach my clients around fact vs, feeling, but feelings are a real thing, and part of the problem is, our feelings are often misunderstood, swept under the carpet or stuffed down so far that at any given moment we may explode ( and sometimes we do!)

many things… we bring beauty and life into the world in many forms: physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We are often the glue that holds family together or even in the workplace. We bring the soft side and the ability to analyze all at the same time. We have a unique and different way (than men) approach to life itself

Well I’m here to tell you friends, that it doesn’t have to be that way. We may feel many different things throughout our journey of being a woman, but it is not the end all be all. Feelings come and go, but the facts remain the same…. Yes, we will go through different seasons of life, but we can learn to celebrate each one. We may all have different thoughts, and different experiences during these seasons, but there is no one right way or wrong way to approach them, because we are all uniquely different in so many ways. We as women have the privilege of so

may have been told by well - intentioned friends, family or even health care professionals that your body will change in many ways.


Let’s just talk about peri-menopause and then menopause here for a minute. You

For example, your metabolism will slow down, you will start to gain weight in certain areas that you may never have carried weight before, your hormones will go crazy causing mood swings and hot flashes and that’s just the way it’s going to be….. not to mention you won’t have any energy or libido. This is totally false. While these changes may

begin an attempt to hijack us and the very person that we’ve known our entire existence, we don’t have to succumb to this. We can work with nature and not against it. How you ask? Just like everything changes, we may need to make some changes. I know I did! I’ve been through every stage that I mentioned above. I’m now not only living on the other side of menopause, I’m doing it successfully and better than ever. I had to shut out what all the well intentioned people told me it would be like, and go on a journey to find what would work best for me and my body, so that I didn’t have to settle and believe all the false facts. Truth is, I felt some of these changes, but the fact is and was, I didn’t have to render helpless to the changes of life. I did this without artificial stimulants or prescriptions. I paid attention to what my body was telling me, and did what I could to support what it was saying. I made sustainable changes that I do every day, and quite frankly, I feel fantastic! Every woman, every body, is unique, and we need to listen to our “gut” (literally) when it talks to us. Trust it, it’s your friend. I hear so many women question themselves and get confused. They listen to those well intentioned other




“We may feel many different things throughout our journey of being a woman, but it is not the end all be all. Feelings come and go, but the facts remain the same…”

{ BALANCED LIFE HEALTH COACHING } “We as women have the privilege of so many things… we bring beauty and life into the world in many forms: physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.”

when it talks to us. Trust it, it’s your friend. I hear so many women question themselves and get confused. They listen to those well intentioned other folks, when in fact, no one knows you better than you! I love to help others on their journey (particularly women, because I am one, and I’ve been there, done that!) It’s not that difficult, but it does take some determination and commitment to yourself to get through each season of life with grace and success.



If you’re interested in learning more, or have questions on how to navigate a particular season you’re in to feel your optimal best and take back your health, then please reach out to me. My practice is Balanced Life Health Coaching, LLC www. I’m in the Old Pickle Factory, 1 Grove Street Suite 117, Pittsford NY 14534 I offer free consultations, and can be reached at (585)755-1880 or email I’d love to show you can utilize the many choices

and options when it comes to having the health you want and ultimately a more Balanced Life.

Why Work With A Health Coach?

* Tired of a one- size fits all approach to Nutrition? * Confused by the latest fads and trends with food? * Drained from toxic relationships? * Overwhelmed by stress at work? * Fed up with nagging cravings and stubborn weight challenges? As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I will guide and empower you, while providing ongoing support as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness. Together we will navigate your unique bioindividulaity to find what truly works best for you to achieve a more Balanced Life.



A LIFETIME OF LOVE AND SUPPORT Jim and Rose Gulley of Penfield have been married for 47 years. Four years ago, Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “I think having Alzheimer’s disease brought us closer together. I depend on Rose much more now. She’s there for me all the time,” Jim said. Originally from Syracuse, Jim and Rose both went to Le Moyne College where they met during their senior year. “We were taking the same ethics class and he used to tap my back with a pencil,” Rose said. “He was cute,” she added. Jokingly, Jim recalls falling for Rose after he had a delicious Italian meal Rose’s mom cooked for him on the day they went to a football game together. They got engaged right before graduation. In the summer of 1971, Jim accepted a position at St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiovascular Lab in Syracuse where he was doing computer programming for videos of heart images. Rose started teaching math at the same high school from which she graduated. Jim and Rose got married on January 22, 1972. Rose’s students gave her a bridal shower at school, decorated the couple’s car and came to the wedding. The newlyweds went to Boston for what they call their first honeymoon. Two years later, they went to Paris on their second honeymoon. “We followed Arthur Frommer’s tips from his book ‘Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.’ We stayed at a nice hotel and ate at the restaurants 290


Frommer recommended—all for under $5 per day,” said Rose.

embroidery which has now taken over my life,” she said.

In 1975, Jim got a job at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the couple moved to Maryland. Rose was teaching at Lord Baltimore Junior High School in Oxen Hill. Their daughter Jenny was born that year. The couple laughingly recalls the day Jim was driving Rose to the hospital while she was in labor. Their car caught on fire and Jim had to find a payphone to call for help

There is a beautiful doll sitting on a baby chair in the living room. “I sent Rose’s picture to this company out in Colorado and they made a doll that resembles her,” explained Jim. “Oh, is this Rose? She is so pretty,” I said. “Is Jim Elmo?” I pointed to an Elmo puppet sitting in another baby chair. Rose laughed. “No, we just love Sesame Street,” Jim blushed. In Rochester, Rose taught mathematics and computer programming at East High School and Franklin High School. She retired from Joseph Wilson Magnet High School where she taught computer programming in the International Baccalaureate Program. After retiring, Rose became an adjunct professor at Monroe Community College where she taught intermediate algebra for nine years.

and then rent a car. They made it to the hospital on time to deliver their baby girl. Eventually, the Gulleys moved to Rochester. Soon after, their son Dave was born. In 1983, they bought a house in Penfield and have lived there since. It is nicely decorated with the quilts and embroidered runners crafted by Rose. “My mother taught me how to sew when I was just 5 or 6. I used to make my own clothes and some for Jenny and Dave until I discovered machine

A c o m p u t e r e n g i n e e r, Jim was employed by the telecommunications company Global Crossing, when he had a stroke 10 years ago. A few years later, he retired from his career in technology and went on to pursue a vocation in ministry. In 2013, having earned a master’s degree at the St. Bernard’s School of Theology, Jim assumed a deacon position at St. Joseph’s Church in Penfield. However, in 2015, at the age of 66, Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Although he had to retire from full-time ministry work after the diagnosis, Jim remains active as a volunteer at the church, providing care to others with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Rose and Jim attended an early-stage

{ PARTNERS IN A JOURNEY } “I think having Alzheimer’s disease brought us closer together. I depend on Rose much more now. She’s there for me all the time,” Jim said.




{ PARTNERS { SHIFT+CONTROL IN A JOURNEY } } “We meet people from the community and from the church. We make friendships. We are trying to get on with our lives and do what we can.”

orientation series at the Alzheimer’s Association where they learned about the disease and its impact on both the individual with Alzheimer’s and their caregiver, and decided to fully embrace whatever happens. At the orientation, they also met other couples going through similar experiences. “Everybody should attend the orientation as soon as they receive a diagnosis,” said Rose. “In the future, I’ll probably go to a caregiver support group,” she added. Jim said, “We meet people from the community and from the church. We make friendships. We are trying to get on with our lives and do what we can.” He offered advice to people who may experience memory problems, “If something doesn’t feel right, even if you just have a hint you might have some memory or brain disorder, don’t wait. Go and see a doctor. Get away 292


from the stigma of Alzheimer’s. Be open about what’s going on. See a doctor and do what they say.” Jim still drives his car but Rose accompanies him to most of his appointments. Jim and Rose both have an app on their phones so they can track each other at any time. “I can look and see where he is, as long as he doesn’t forget his phone,” Rose said. Jim added, “Having Alzheimer’s introduces limitations. It makes me dependent on my calendar and my phone.” Rose shared, “When we go out and see our acquaintances, some say, ‘Jim doesn’t look like he has Alzheimer’s.’ What does Alzheimer’s have to look like? Because he walks around, smiles and talks to people, they think there is nothing wrong.”

Jim and Rose became active Alzheimer’s Association advocates, volunteers and fundraisers. In recognition of their activism and volunteerism, Jim and Rose were invited to the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Leadership Summit in San Antonio, Texas. While standing on the stage at the summit, Jim shared his personal story with an audience of more than a thousand volunteers, advocates and staff from across the country. “Be not afraid,” Jim concluded his speech and earned a standing ovation. Rose was sitting in the front row. If your loved one is experiencing memory problems, call the Alzheimer’s Association to set up a care consultation 1-800-272-3900.

8th AnnuAl Dr. lemuel AnD GloriA roGers

AfricAn-AmericAn HeAltH SympoSium

Keynote presentation by Dr. Anton Portsteinsson: Brain Health and the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2019 4:30 TO 8:00 PM Mt. Olivet Baptist Church 141 Adams St., Rochester, NY Free event - Dinner included

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED Call (800) 272-3900 or click here to register online





LAUNCHING FIT BODY FOREVER Just over a decade ago, I found my ‘aha’ moment in the beginning stages of my fitness career. It was eye opening and what has kept me involved and motivated to make an impact on our community for years. You see, I started out working in big gyms as a one-on-one personal trainer. I loved it & it was so fitting for me. However, something was missing. I worked with a mostly ‘younger’ demographic where being skinny seemed to be a popular goal. I wanted more than that for my clients. I wanted them to feel strong, empowered and able-bodied to take on life! I was then presented with an opportunity that I couldn’t resist. I became the Exercise Specialist at the Jewish Home of Rochester for a program called SeniorFit. I will admit I was nervous to begin this new adventure with a brand new demographic/clientele. But something inside said, Go For It! I am so grateful that I took the leap. What I learned in my time at the Jewish Home was invaluable. I spent my time between the 3 separate facilities there (Skilled Nursing Facility, Assisted Living and Independent Living). What I learned right away is that numerical age means nothing! There were residents of all ages, but some much more independent and fit than others. It became very clear right

away that no one here was trying to become thinner. It was all about strength, stamina and staying or becoming more independent. I would hear things such as being able to walk up and down stairs, being able to visit with grandchildren, etc. I even worked with a gentleman that said all he wanted was to live long enough to see him and his wife’s 75th wedding anniversary. Talk about pulling at your heartstrings!

I enjoyed my time so much in this setting that I knew this was something I had to pursue after my time in this position was over. I was pregnant with our first daughter at the time, and so I decided to end my chapter in this position to focus on the start of our new family. However, it clearly made an impact on me to this very day. Fast forward 10 years after bouncing around in different fitness jobs and

bodybuilding competitions, I decided to open a Fit Body Boot Camp, which specializes in the signature Afterburn workouts, which keep your metabolism high and burning extra fat for up to 32 hours after each workout, with smart nutrition coaching and personalized accountability to deliver rapid, lasting, sustainable results. We serve a variety of clients at FBBC; many of whom are moms, busy professionals and even a few guys too! When asking our clients about their goals, I hear more than ever, increased energy and staying fit for their loved ones at the top of their list. This gives us meaning and a drive to help our clients more than simply being able to fit into their ‘skinny jeans’! (which is a nice side effect too!) Soon after opening Webster Fit Body Boot Camp, I learned about another business within a business opportunity, called Fit Body Forever. My interest was piqued immediately. I began researching and reading everything I could about it. I couldn’t believe that something like this hasn’t been launched sooner in the Rochester area! In a nutshell, Fit Body Forever is a fitness program designed for adults 55+ and Baby Boomers who want to stay fit and active, live with independence, and keep healthy for the long haul. With the use of safe strength and conditioning exercises, designed to improve balance, mobility, reduce pain, and increase energy.



{ FIT BODY FOREVER } I worked with a mostly ‘younger’ demographic where being skinny seemed to be a popular goal. I wanted more than that for my clients. I wanted them to feel strong, empowered and able-bodied to take on life!

I signed on with Fit Body Forever in October 2018 and headed right to my first training in Indiana with Dan Ritchie, PhD, the co-founder of the Functional Aging Institute. Dan Ritchie and Cody Sipe have a broad background in the fitness industry, including experience with personal training, university/hospitalbased fitness, exercise physiology, forprofit facilities, not-for-profit facilities, fitness education, and club ownership. They have spent many years of research and practice developing tailored fitness programs for specific health concerns,



including stroke recovery, Alzheimer’s, and mature adult fitness.

such as Webster Golf Club, Go Golf U.S., Generation Ready,

Since then, we have two additional coaches who received their certifications as Functional Aging Specialists alongside me. As a team, we are beyond excited to launch in early March 2019! We are planning a Grand Opening event on March 2 at 11am, providing an opportunity for members of the community to come and learn all about Fit Body Forever and our facility and team. We will have prizes to raffle off from local businesses,

Peter J. Pellittieri, DMD, PC and many more. Open to all at 1682 Empire Boulevard, Suite 100 in Webster. I am thrilled to have partnered with such an amazing and qualified program. We are extremely excited to bring this new program to Rochester and plan to make it the most caring, nurturing environment that really makes a difference in staying independent and healthy for a long time!




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Offer valid for new clients or clients who have not participated in a training session here in 12 months. Offer has no cash value & cannot be applied to or combined with any other promotion or offer. Expires 4/1/19. If you are a current client & would like to participate, contact us at 1682 EMPIRE BOULEVARD • WEBSTER • 585-571-8616



As the writer of this column, I will try to inform, educate, and entertain my readers. Since it’s February, of course I would write about important African-American’s, hey it’s black history month. Enjoy reading about these unsung heroes…. 1. Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African-American, ever elected to the United State Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi, from February 1870 to March 1871.

7. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, was an American author, educator, sociologist, speaker, Black Liberation activist, and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in the U.S. history. She’s the 3rd black woman and 1st woman from D.C. to receive a Ph.d.

N.Y. 12th Congressional district for 7 terms, from 1969-1983. 13. Bessie Coleman, was an American Civil aviator, she was the first woman of African-American descent and the first of Native American descent to hold a pilot license, she achieved her international pilot license in 1921. 14. Donyale Luna, American model and actress. Cited as the first black supermodel. Luna was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of the British edition of Vogue magazine, May 1966.

2. Blanche Kelso Bruce, was an AfricanAmerican politician, who represented Mississippi as a Republican in the United States Senate, from 1875-1881. He was the first elected black senator to serve a full term.

8. Nat Love, was an African-American cowboy and former slave in the period following the American Civil War. His exploits have made him one of the most famous black heroes of the Old West. He was also s rodeo performer, pullman porter, and author.

3. John Hope, born in Augusta, Ga., was an African-American educator and political activist, the first African descended president of both Morehouse College in 1906 and of Atlanta University in 1929, where he worked to develop graduate programs. Both are historically black colleges.

9. Bass Reeves, was the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of Mississippi river. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self defense.

4. Booker T. Washington, was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890-1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.

10. Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary & Black Mary, was the first AfricanAmerican female star route mail carrier in the U.S. from 1885-1893. She smoked cigars, drank whiskey, cussed, and carried a rifle and revolver.

17. Marie Van Brittan Brown, invented the first home security system, CCTV.

11. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., was a U.S. Army officer, he became the first AfricanAmerican to rise to the rank of Brigadier General, in the U.S. military in 1940, he was awarded medals such as, Distinguished Service, Bronze Star, WWI Victory medal, plus many more..

19. Garrett Morgan, African-American inventor and businessman as well as an influential political leader, his most notable invention was a smoke hood, he also discovered and developed a chemical hair processing and and straightening solution.

5. Ida B. Wells, was an African-American investigative journalist, educator, and early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She attended Fisk University and Rust College. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP). 6. Mary Church Terrell, was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree, and became known as a national activist for civil rights and suffrage. She taught in the Latin Department at 298

the M Street school, the first AfricanAmerican public high school in the nation, in Washington, D.C.


12. Shirley Chisholm, was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and she represented

15. Helen Williams, the first AfricanAmerican Fashion model to cross over into mainstream, rising to fame in Paris and N.Y. in late 1950’s and 60’s. 16. Dr. Shirley Jackson, American Physicist, first African-American to earn doctorate in nuclear physics from MIT. She has inventions such as, the touch tone phone, portable fax, caller ID, call waiting, and the fiber optic cable.

18. Mary & Mildred Davidson, sisters who invented the sanitary belt, the walker, and the toilet tissue holder.

20. Daniel Hale Williams, was an AfricanAmerican general surgeon, who in 1893, performed the first documented successful pericardium surgery in the U.S. to repair a wound.







This recurring column by Dave Jenkins of Rochester Personal Defense, LLC will explore different areas and methods of personal protection and self defense. Topics will range from using specific tools, techniques, or even yourself and your mind as the weapon. The goal is to create a more aware and safer you! Questions or suggestions are welcome! This month’s topic comes from recent clients and how they learned to be safer while working in their respective careers. Some have had close calls or were just aware of the risk but wanted to learn how to minimize it. A few actually had to face that risk head on. In today’s world, there are a lot of careers that take women into businesses and homes- usually by themselves. Positions such as home health care, realtors, insurance, sales, survey/census takers, party planners, and more. Regardless of the career, there are certain safety issues that prevail across each of them– safety. Safety is one of those easily overlooked factors which contribute to the enjoyment of our lives. Most people take safety for granted. Too often, they will assume that their own personal safety is someone else’s responsibility. They’re wrong. No one else can guarantee your safety, only you. At home, travelling, and even working. When your career is one that takes you in and out of the office, into businesses, and people’s homes, you have to take certain precautions. Some are simple and effective. 302


Some take a little bit more effort but the end result is what is important – being safe Regardless of an office setting, or visiting locations, you must employ certain basic safety habits. Communication and planning ahead are important. Self reliance and confidence are as well. Let someone know where you will be and how long you will be there. Also have information on who you will be visiting. Have a system set up where you get a checkup call after a certain timeframe –

even on a regular basis. Use code words or phrases to let the caller know if things are OK, are getting uncomfortable, or worse. Set up a plan with your team for a response as well. Use this plan every time because unless you can tell the future, you are not able to decide when to use this plan and when not to. Do not be afraid to be assertive when it comes to your safety. Too often, we will compromise our security just to be friendly or nice to someone. There’s no reason for you to do that. One client of mine was in sales and was asked to meet her client

at their house – a big house in a well kept area. His home office was a suite built above the four car garage. Upon entering, she described the feeling that ‘something did not feel right’ and she found a way to excuse herself and to make an appointment for the following day at another location which turned out to be her office. Was she in danger? Because she acted on her instinct, she may never know. The important detail to remember is that she listened to her ‘gut’ and acted on it. She did not worry about what her client may have thought. If you have to work in people’s homes, you need to remember that you are still responsible for your own safety regardless of their feelings. When you travel to people’s homes, you could be entering an unknown situation where you do not know the layout of the house, the neighborhood, or the people that live in or around the house. Do some research and find out what you will be entering. Ask other contacts if they know the area, who lives there, what are they like, have there been any identified risks? You can always get someone to accompany you if need be. Lately, a lot of home health care aides have been partnering with security guards and other employees to visit homes that have been identified as potentially dangerous. Meeting people in an office setting can be easier. You can control the access and security a lot better. Having other staff in the area or creating a meeting room where it is open and accessible can prevent any issues with




{ IN HER DEFENSE } Safety is one of those easily overlooked factors which contribute to the enjoyment of our lives. Most people take safety for granted.

clients who would rather isolate you or trap you. Security cameras, access control, even support staff and security personnel will all contribute to a better sense of safety. Have your staff or a co-worker politely pop in or call every so often to check on you. Again, you can set up a code word or phrase system to let them know what’s going on without alerting the client. Think of it this way: if you travel to their home or office, you’re on their ‘turf’. When they come to your office, they are on yours. You get the idea yet? Create a system that involves everyone around you! That way, the group as a whole is part of your safety net and everyone benefits! Travelling between locations is also one of those situations where you should take steps to ensure your safety. Knowing the



area is one step. Planning your route, having alternative routes, knowing where you could go for assistance if needed are important factors to consider. Don’t let yourself relax too much when driving. There are times where you can be targeted just because you were sitting in a parking lot, catching up on texts, voicemails, or Facebook news. I have lost track of the times I have seen people so focused on something else that they do not notice someone near their car. While driving, some of the best ways to ensure your safety are to check the back seat, make sure your doors are locked, and to never let anyone in your car that you don’t know. Better yet, while driving or stopped, don’t let anyone near your car. I know you’ve seen the people at the lights

and off ramps asking for money. They’re a security issue. The professionals such as the police and self defense guides all say to avoid giving them any handouts. You’re just letting them get closer to see what you may have in the vehicle. Next month, we’ll expand on more ideas for vehicle security for you and your family. Dave Jenkins is the founder of Rochester Personal Defense, LLC, Rochester’s personal protection experts. Come join the other women that have learned how to be safe, keep their family safe, and how they became their own bodyguards. You can reach Dave and his team of instructors at www. or 585406-6758. You can even email them at



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When you’re out shopping for clothing or styling your home, do you ever take a sustainable or ethical approach? Do you only buy items that are new? As an avid thrift store and flea market shopper, Sarah Pavia is working to challenge her clients by helping them take a different approach in the way they shop, style, plan, and buy. That is what Second Look Styling is all about – a local business focused on sustainable styling through secondhand shopping, upcycling, creative thinking, and mindful budgeting. Sarah helps to style your wardrobe, home, and events with an ecofriendly approach and a personal touch. Shopping new is so last season – and Sarah is a front runner in showing us that! Whether at work or out on the town, Sarah is dressed over 90% of the time in designer and high fashion items specifically from thrift and secondhand shops. Barely worn or brand new, Sarah shows others how you can look stylish by taking a second look at items others no longer wanted or needed. When Sarah first moved to Rochester, she instantly fell in love with the local thrift stores and flea markets. In fact, she used mostly items from Goodwill (her favorite store!) to help plan and style her 2016 wedding at the Inn on Broadway. She then went on to style her home with repurposed finds, and create a work wardrobe from Goodwill clothing that helped her look professional, poised, and stylish. Her outfits were so widely applauded that she was asked to speak at national conferences about dressing for success on a budget, and was featured in 585 Magazine. She also has an active social media following, over 5,000 followers just on Instagram alone (@sarpavia) and the local Goodwill noticed. After working on college campuses for over ten years in campus activities and having extensive event planning experience, Sarah transitioned to a 308


position overseeing the marketing and social media engagement efforts for Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. The position coupled her love of events and marketing with her passion for secondhand style. Sarah kept receiving requests from local women about thrifting tips, and the best ways to find a budget friendly approach to event planning and styling of wardrobe and home. From that, Sarah created Second Look.

Second Look operates as a consulting business, working collaboratively with organizations and individuals in the Rochester community to provide event planning, styling, design, consulting, and fashion all on a thrifty mindset. Sarah’s mantra is that living thrifty doesn’t mean living less, but simply maximizing opportunity by taking a “Second Look”. The business provides in-home wardrobe consultations

for those looking to reorganize, declutter, and remix. Most clients walk away with bags of items to go to Goodwill, and at least 50 new combinations of looks right in their closet without spending a dime! If you purchase the Glamour Package, Sarah will also bring champagne to help you celebrate the process - it’s a party in your closet! Services also include styling parties for you and friends, personal shopping, home styling consultations, secondhand clothing for sale that Sarah hand selects, and most requested is the Thrift Box. Thrift Box is a personalized, curated box of items built for you from secondhand stores that is sent directly to your home. Each item is individually wrapped, and complete with a style profile. You’ll get pictures of the items and given ideas of ways to wear them, how to mix them with other items in your box, and how to integrate them into your wardrobe. Thrift Box Home is also provided, with secondhand items from local flea markets and thrift stores based off of your style needs. Sarah is currently shipping Thrift Box all over the country, and would love to deliver yours right to your door! You can see all services at www. Sarah brings grit, passion, and innovative creativity to every task she takes on. You may not think you have style, or that a secondhand item couldn’t suit your needs – but Second Look is dedicated to helping others see the power of sustainable and ecofriendly style, and Sarah will help you get there with her out of the box thinking. You too can have your dream event, wardrobe, and home no matter your budget. We can’t wait to work together – and look forward to taking a Second Look with you! For further information visit our website, or email .

{ SECOND LOOK } When you’re out shopping for clothing or styling your home, do you ever take a sustainable or ethical approach? Do you only buy items that are new?





Sustainable Style

wardrobe. home. events. thrift box. @secondlookroc



In my last column, I said that taking care of yourself on the outside is great. BUT, there are some women who take it to the extreme! Face it, we are never happy with our looks, our bodies and we are constantly comparing ourselves to models in magazines, to beauty queens, Hollywood Stars, etc., you get the picture! Some of us go as far as having surgery to look as closely like a movie star as we can. Some have even become addicted to plastic surgery and what’s sad about that is, they believe they look good when they look as though they’ve been morphed out of their own body, (like the woman with triple D breast size who wants them to be even larger!). Even sadder still are the one’s who died trying to become someone beautiful. Look these things up on Google! Then there’s the other extreme. The women who don’t have the money to morph, will cover themselves up, hiding behind hair and clothes. But that’s another column! When you’re not in a healthy state of mind of loving yourself, you end up in bad relationships. You end up being used by people who say they love you and it doesn’t have to be male/female(boyfriend/ girlfriend) but your friends, people you work with, etc. If any of this resonates with you then, PLEASE read on! NONE of these things are good for your emotional or mental well-being! They won’t help because you’ll never be satisfied no matter what you do. IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH! In life, there MUST be a balance! Ask yourself: Do I want to learn to love myself the way I am? Am I willing to sacrifice my obsession of “fixing” all of my flaws? How do I learn to love who I am? Wouldn’t it be great to just love EVERYTHING about yourself? If you’ve 312


asked yourself these questions or ones similar, then again, keep reading. You got homework! Loving your flaws, your faults, your mind and in knowing that you were created special will take effort on your part to get there. If you believe in God, then THAT is a great start! He created you... all of us to be unique, different and set apart from the rest. We’ve ignored His divine plan for us and compared it to what the world has to offer. The world doesn’t offer us anything because as soon as we listen or do what the world expects, it changes! We will NEVER be enough in a world of materialistic things and the ever changing distorted view of others. The world tells us we are unworthy! Lies, all lies. I’m going to urge you to pick the Bible up and look up scripture’s that tell you that He created you to be special. Psalm 139:13-14 is one of them. Every morning start looking in the mirror and tell yourself that you were fearfully and wonderfully made and that you love yourself. It sounds crazy but think of all the negative things you say to yourself every day! Have you ever wondered why that is? Turn that negative talk into positive talk! Read the Bible. That helped me tremendously in knowing who God is and what He’s done for me, how much He loves me and who He created me to be! What does that have to do with my features or who I am, you ask? EVERYTHING! The more I read the Bible the closer I grew in my faith and started trusting God and learned just how special I am! Never in a million years did I EVER think that writing would be a part of my life! Once I became content as to who I am and accepted myself and started loving who I AM and choose to be, there is nothing that is going to stop me with my dreams! STOP listening to other negative people! I realized that the enemy (satan) wants to suppress us. When God

made us, He KNEW what He was doing! So if you want to stop the toxic cycle of never being enough and constantly changing or comparing yourself, follow these things and stick it out for a life time! Write down the positive things about yourself. Examples of that would be you volunteer at a shelte or you happen to like the color of your eyes, or you did something kind for someone and just keep going until you have a big list no matter how small you may think it is! Don’t worry if the list has just a few things on it! Over time, you’ll come up with more and write them down. Then, write down the things that you don’t love about yourself. I know, I just talked about loving every part of yourself and then I say that. The reason for doing it is that once it’s written on paper, you will see that there are things that you can improve on like a negative attitude and there are things that you can’t because they’re out of your control, like your eye shape, being big boned or small boned etc . Those are the things you will need to learn to accept about yourself. An example, you want blue eyes but your eyes are green instead. Sounds stupid right? Yet people get colored contacts just to make their eyes a different color! It takes real courage to overcome these obstacles. Do you want to be a woman of courage or a woman who spends the rest of her life trying to be something or someone else instead of just being you? No one but you can decide that. I hope you take the first step in learning to love how unique and special and wonderful, you’re meant to be! Giovanna






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Grace is defined as “the exercise of love, kindness, compassion, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another”. “Courteous goodwill, to do honor or credit to someone or something by one’s presence”. For some reason lately the word grace seems to be appearing frequently in my life. When this happens I have learned that it means I need to pay attention and spend some time delving more into what is going on. If I don’t pay attention it will keep cropping up in my life, haunting me, until I take a good long look at it. After I fight the life lesson being tossed in my face (and I do not always learn these lessons easily), I will say Universe what are you trying to teach me and get ready to go. As Brene Brown says I “lean into the discomfort”.

who are quieter, reserved can be referred to in a negative light. Shyness can be bad, introverts keep too much to themselves, and people who rarely speak are weak. We forget that silence can be golden. That valuable, lessons learned can be delivered in a gentle, soft, graceful way. Have you never noticed that sometimes when a person is talking to someone who speaks a different language they talk louder? It does nothing to help with the communication. It is just loud.

So let’s look at grace. As I take some moments to pause, ponder, and reflect it makes me think that grace is one of the ever so powerful, subtle qualities we tend to overlook. Seems the characteristics in people that get positive kudos are ones that are outgoing, charismatic, perhaps loud. Individuals 316


One day I had enough of what I was saying (and while I can be mildly entertaining and the things that happen in my life are pretty funny) and decided to listen more. To EVERYONE, including those people whose grace I had overlooked. By closing my mouth and opening my ears a whole new world became available to me. Not only did I learn and absorb powerful, beautiful, stories and life lessons my own grace began to grow. Karen Swallow Price said that “the human impulse to create and find meaning is a gift of grace”. I think she is right.

My guess is many of you reading this have felt this way. I also know that while my personal growth probably will be uncomfortable and not pretty something really good is going to happen.

communicative. I used to talk too much, I used to listen too little, I used to ignore the quiet, reflective, powerful statements of those around me who had so many awesome things to say, yet were delivered in a much different manner.

Sherrie Campbell wrote an article “The 10 Qualities of Exceptional People” for She listed grace as the number one quality. Yes, GRACE. She defined being graceful is to be “strong and assured who one is and to move gently within that energy”.

The funny thing is as my grace, my kindness, my compassion began to expand other qualities followed. I felt more confident, less anxious, more grateful, more living in the moment. I no longer felt the need to talk as much, control as much. I let so much go and it felt so good! Freedom and peace of self is a force of its own.

I am very much an introvert. I get my energy, calm, grounding from spending time alone, reflecting and working through all of the chatter going on in my head. In the world around me I am outgoing,

I cherished hearing the stories of others and learning so much from the people around me. As I was feeling more of the potential and possibilities in myself I was also seeing more of the potential

““People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou

I was also seeing more of the potential and possibilities in others. My trust of self was reflected in my trust of others. Grace is quiet, calm, steady and powerful. Grace under pressure is the true test for ANYONE. In situations where you need to lead, diffuse, calm, and connect because people are upset takes grace to a whole new level. Yet in reality you are using the same skills you are using everywhere else. Grace is grace regardless of circumstance. You are calm, breathing deeply, carefully listening, not being defensive, understanding why someone feels the way they do, empowering, clarifying and caring. Grace isn’t grace because of where you are. Grace is grace 318


because of who you are. Guess what people. It is time to get your grace on. Time to tap into your grace, your strength, your gentleness, kindness, courage, and compassion. All of these qualities are already residents of your spirit and soul. You do not need to develop them. They need to be located, dusted off, and put to use. Begin by listening to yourself. If you feel you talk too much, interrupt too much, and don’t listen enough stop talking and start listening. If you have something you want to say and you are afraid to say it, say it. If you feel the urge to do a kindness for someone else do it. Take a

pause, be still, and listen to the life lesson the Universe (or whatever spiritual force you believe in) are wanting you to learn. Have grace for others, yet most importantly have grace for yourself. You so matter to this crazy thing called life. The world needs the grace, compassion, kindness, courage only you can bring. Let it begin with you and then gracefully spread onto everyone around you. You can be the change you wish to see in the world. I just know it.

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Spring brings about renewal and hope. There is something so wonderful about hearing the birds sing again, longer days and the smell of fresh air finally allowed to come through our windows. It offers up a space for us to think about how we’d like to start fresh and honing our actual life intentions. For those of us who create for a living, it’s a time for new ideas to emerge and bring to life. While in my studio, I am always trying to think of new and innovative ways to see what it is we’ve all seen countless times. To give that landscape painting of the water or a field new life. I once heard someone say that yes, those subjects have been painted countless times but not yet by you. That felt like a giant permission slip to have at that scene that begs me to capture its beauty. To allow the worry of having “already been done” to shift into a space of my own interpretation. When a viewer is then drawn to that work that you thought might be seen as tired, the amount of satisfaction in that moment gives you fuel to keep pushing your own selflimiting thoughts about what is acceptable or coveted by others. You tend to forget that the ideals that art is based on is what it invokes for you audience. The artist is touching on a possible lost memory that is again infused with life. So, how do we make our lives ones of renewal and intention during a time when we are cleaning out the cobwebs of our old belief systems that are worn out and no longer serve us? By being brave. Make a leap and know that you truly are courageous just by being, pushing and experimenting with something new. Life has so many opportunities to 322


help us expand our horizons and we are so busy in our daily lives that we tend to stick to routines that haven’t helped us grow. Capitalizing on those gifts can offer us a respite from our worry and bring about mindfulness in all areas of your life. When beginning a new series, I first like to begin with a theme that needs a voice or speaks to me deeply. I am currently doing a body of work for Bella’s Restaurant in Clayton, NY that will be displayed

throughout the summer season. The owner had asked that I do a 1000 Island theme, which was so exciting for me because it’s my favorite place on earth. It also was something I had always wanted to do but I had let life get in the way of that dream. Now I was given an opportunity to make it a priority in my professional life. What more could I ask for? The next challenge was how to make it come from my voice? How do I see this place in a way that no one else does? I had to get out of my head and feel into what it brings up for me emotionally. What was I always so drawn to there? There is a certain peace it gifts to my soul and I

believed others should be equally as graced with that feeling. That is something we can give to one another that brings light even into the most hardened spaces. I believe it is important to ask ourselves what our gifts are and how do we go about sharing that goodness. I also believe that it is our duty to be of the highest good. In being of service, we become an energy that brings renewal to someone or something that is stagnant and fear-based. So often our egos want to hold onto that old, stuck way of being because it’s comfortable. It’s what we’ve always done and know. And who are we anyway to think that anyone wants to hear us speak our truths? That nagging voice is what keeps our mind’s closet cluttered and in a place we are afraid to emerge from. But what if we decide to not only peek our head out and see what the sunshine feels like? To dare to have the courage enough to truly live? Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that know not victory nor defeat.” A dull, gray being precludes you from joy and celebration. Have you ever tried something new to learn that you really are so much better than you ever gave yourself credit for? I surprise myself like that every time I put pencil or paint brush to my watercolor paper. For no real explicable reason, I’ve been given the gift of artistic vision and talent. But guess what!? So were you. Clearing space for yourself so that you can




{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Spring brings about renewal and hope. There is something so wonderful about hearing the birds sing again, longer days and the smell of fresh air finally allowed to come through our windows.”

emerge as a beautiful butterfly from that quiet, safe cocoon is what we are asked to do every day. This seemingly selfish act is the least selfish thing we can do. It allows you to come into your light and ripples out to those you know and love and expands it again at least seven times. That’s how powerful we are! We are modeling for others how to truly dare to be great. The only thing that holds us back is that pesky inner critic, also known as your ego. It loves to see you live small, to never dare, to think that you are an imposter. So why do we give it our power and restrict ourselves from that beauty that awaits us? No one else is talking to us like that (and if they are, kick them out!). Being loving and gentle, like you would to a child or your best friend opens up the door for you to flourish. That loving way of being is where expansion and grace reside. Finding joy in unexpected places you hadn’t dare to go to before. This is your super power and what we all possess deep down. Like Glenda the Good Witch told Dorothy; “You’ve had it all along, my dear.” When I take the time for myself to do the work that I’m being called to do, I love to meditate quietly with long, deep breaths. This allows my central nervous system to take a much-needed break and gives me grounded knowingness. Long, hot showers after a hard workout also help me to let ideas flow. (I do some of my best brainstorming in there.) Long walks in the woods are incredibly inspiring, as well. Getting into that state of mindfulness and flow is pure magic. It’s where we are guided and led to our purpose. The beautiful images I see during these times are what drive me. I load up my journals with these visions and ask for creative ways to solve life’s issues or how to execute what it is I’m being shown. I’ve also stood in front of a blank piece of watercolor paper or canvas with no idea which way I was headed. I asked that I 324


may be lead to do what would be of the most service to myself and others. The end product is always staggering. I will stand back once completed wondering who created this piece? I love when that happens! I got out of my own way and allowed life to flow and guess what?! No one got hurt, ended up in the hospital or had their hair on fire. It instead ended up being exhilarating!

those pesky inner critic lies that once kept you small. Your ego will push back but that’s ok. It only strengthens your resolve and toughens you up for the times you might get pushed down. Only this time, you rise up, dust yourself off and feel none the worse because you know you tried and pushed out of those self-limiting beliefs most of us have had since childhood. Halleluiah for that!

So how will you show up for yourself once you clean out all of the baggage that spring cleaning your life allows you to do so that you can live as abundant as the colors in

I also encourage folks to come try their hand at creativity in my studio. It’s a judgementfree zone. Just come with an attitude of openness and we can have the best time creating and expressing things that have laid dormant for decades just asking for you to look at, allow and let go of so that you can live a life that is free and ready to become joyfully realized. The world could use more light and art can help it to heal. Conversations can be had peacefully and with great respect through art. Sometimes, no words are even necessary. It opens us all up to looking at how we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us. Calling into question what we thought to be true and take it for a spin with a fresh eye can begin to halt injustice and bigotry, selfhatred and judgement. Especially when it comes from our own hands and heart. Spring’s abundance and feeling of renewal is something we can all call into our spaces to use as a salve for the harshness that winter left behind. We are being asked, how do we want to show up for this celebration of life? Coming out of the darkness into the bright colors and light can shine a ray of hope into your being that gives us each determination to carry on and be better. We again have energy to take on new challenges that we have always thought we couldn’t do before but suddenly seem attainable. Make this spring the gift it is meant to be for you-a time for renewal and discovery; new life that leaves us joyous. It is your birthright to be happy. So let’s begin again!

spring? Start a book club, write poetry, take up an instrument or language, try taking a class of which you think you have zero talent for, cook a difficult recipe or begin a workout routine that you keep saying you’ll “start on Monday.” Be willing to try everything and anything (I once took a welding class with my husband that he wanted to do and I was the one who enjoyed it. Go figure!?) This is where your power and courage grow. Abundance, joy and new knowledge only help you to rise up and be your highest and deepest self. They will expand your wings and soar like an eagle. Imagine yourself now able to try new things without a fear of failure, enjoying your new sense of freedom from



Not too long ago, I posted on my Instagram (@ movementcounselingservices, go follow!) about a book I recently read, named Eating in the Light of the Moon, by Anita Johnston, Ph.D. Let me just say that reading this book is has been an eye opening experience on every page and I couldn’t put it down.

the problem. So what causes them? Most of the time, they can serve as a signal that there is something else bothering you. Your weight and feeling fat may feel like it is the real problem, but it usually is a distraction from what’s really going

One thing that stuck out to me was the phenomenon of the “fat attack”. I never knew it had a name until I read this book, and I can say that this is something I’ve experienced. So what is it? Anita Johnston, Ph.D. describes it as an experience when you all of a sudden feel as is you’ve gained 20+ pounds over night. Rationally, you know this can’t possibly be true, but it definitely feels like you’ve put on the weight in a very very short amount of time. If you’ve ever struggled with body image and or disordered eating, you know exactly what this feels like. It comes on suddenly and can feel extremely intense. You might say to yourself that, “why do I feel okay some days and the other days I feel like a whale?”. While a “fat attack” is an unwelcome guest, it can actually be a good thing in that it gets you to explore the root cause of 326


on. Usually, it is something deeper beneath the surface. Issues with weight gain seem to have a simple answer; lose weight. But what happens when the real problem is you are unhappy in your relationship?

You have to confront a friend on something that’s uncomfortable? You hate your boss at work? These are problems that don’t have an easy solution. There is no clear cut “diet” when it comes to addressing these problems. They are complicated with many moving parts. They involve self-reflection and problem solving. They involve being vulnerable with others and once it’s out in the open, we can’t hide from it. We can’t use our weight or food as a distraction. Looking back on my own personal experiences with “fat attacks”, they have coincidentally happened around times where I’ve been struggling with something and not known how to solve it. I recently had to go to a family event where things were bound to be awkward. While it tried wishing the awkwardness away, I noticed myself trying on outfit after outfit because nothing seemed to fit just right or look good. In times like these, I need to remind myself that it usually has nothing to do with my weight and force myself to take a second, deeper look. So the next time you have a “fat attack”, ask yourself, “What is this really about?”

Do you Þnd that while you strive to be physically healthy and strong, your emotional and mental health is suffering? My aim is to help you Þnd a balance between your mind and body; to create a still mind for your active body. My name is Nicole Lambert. I am a: - Licensed Mental Health Counselor - Nationally CertiÞed Counselor I specialize in: - Body Image Issues - Emotional Eating - Weight Loss Goals & Maintenance - Self-Esteem - Depression - Anxiety - Athletes/Student Athletes - Those who are active/want to be more active

I work with: - Adolescents - Teens - Adults of all ages I also work with a wide range of individuals with other emotional or mental health challenges. What ever it is you are going through, don't hesitate to reach out. I’d love to learn more about you and I’m happy to help!

(585) 257-0529



My interest in Melaleuca was intense from the start because it spoke to my passion--helping people. I have been satisfying this need through work in the health and wellness field. In my case, that means both financial health and wellness as well as physical! My formal education is in Business; I hold both my Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Business Management. I currently work fulltime as a business banking officer. But, I am also a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. When my friend told me about Melaleuca and the “Life On Your Own Terms Team”, it really was a no-brainer. It seemed like a natural and consistent way for me to add yet another means to pursue what was important to me.

supplements, nutrients, and functional foods that effectively manage weight, im-prove nutrition, and advance health at any stage of your life.

Melaleuca’s mission spoke to me: “To enhance the lives of those we touch by helping people reach their goals. Not just any goals, big goals. The desire to be happy. To be well in every aspect of life. That’s what makes Melaleuca different. Melaleuca is The Wellness Company. And by wellness, we mean complete wellness”.

require less water to make, less fuel to ship, and less plastic to pack-age. They’re better for the environment inside your home and outside.

Total Wellness can be thought to have four key components: 1. Your Health - it all starts with improving your health. Melaleuca has a full-line of patented products, 328


2. Your Environment - Melaleuca’s mission is to improve the environment by promoting non-toxic, cleaning products that are safer for your home and family; allowing you to “live clean” without the dangers of harsh, caustic chemicals. Melaleuca is a world leader in concentrated products. Products that

im-prove your financial well-being. This is a referral business (you just spread the word)—no in-ventory to maintain—and there is a step-bystep support plan that may help you reduce your debt and increase your monthly income. 4. Your Quality of Life—this just follows the improvements in #1-3 above! I will leave you with this: Imagine an online store that offered… -Safer & Healthier Products -Priced 30-50% less than store brands -With a shelf life of 4 weeks or less (fresh is extremely important)

3. Your Finances – Melaleuca’s financial appeal is two-fold. If you choose to become a pre-ferred customer, all products are 30-50% less than store brands, cutting your “normal” purchase expenses almost in half. You are getting fresh, safe products at a lower cost. If your in-clination is to pursue it as a business opportunity, Melaleuca also makes it possible to

-That offers an optional referral program that pays you every time your friends shop there! The choice is yours: (1) Shop & save OR (2) Shop, save & refer! I feel as though my path in life is to help people in any way I can. I am so thankful that this com-pany and this team has become a part of my journey! Alyssa M. Serinis

{ PRODUCT { SHIFT+CONTROL HIGHLIGHT } } This company truly cares, not only for its consultants but for its customers as well. Both sets of clients are given a 60 Day Empty Bottle Guarantee





We have all been there. The alarm goes off, seemingly earlier each morning, beginning your rush to get out the door. You make a mad dash to the coffee pot ensuring that it’s brewed by the end of your shower. On your way out the door, you grab that granola bar to eat in the car on during your commute. You walk into work, thankfully right on time, only to realize you left your coffee at home. The messy morning unravels further as you find your co-workers having a seemingly perfect morning. They are full of energy and oh so “pulled together.” Oh look, they even remembered their coffee. Maybe for you, your morning was a fight to get the kids moving and out the door for school. Your morning continued to go downhill as you entered that play date you weekly attend. You walked through the door to see each mother with their prim and proper child. They calmly sitting around the table, hair and make-up done, talking about the latest milestone their child completed that week. There you are, feeling like a failure, fortunate that you remembered to grab the diaper bag during the mad rush out the door. Whatever your messy mornings look like, we can all relate to mornings where we find ourselves at the end of our rope. When we start to digest all of our emotions in these situations, it’s no 334


wonder we feel so defeated. Comparing our lives to those we see around us, will guarantee that our lives fall short. Let me let you all in on a little secret, one that at face value may seem obvious.

It’s probably even crossed your mind before. Everyone has crappy mornings, days, and weeks. No one is exempt. We are all a beautiful mess. Our weaknesses and struggles may be different, but we all have them. Let this sink in: We are all a mess. If I have to be completely honest, I regularly find myself in this rut. The comparison game. Comparing my life to

those around me, only focusing on my ugly moments and hardships. When you think about it, these comparisons really are unfair to us. My friend Laurie loves to remind me that “those social media posts and happy observed moments in a person’s life are all moments from that person’s highlight reel.” This statement became a game changer for me. It’s important to recognize that no matter how crazy life gets, there is still beauty to be found. As we start this New Year, I want to challenge you to join me in recognizing your messes and finding ways to make them Beautiful. Learn from your failures but do not fixate on them, creating beauty in our messy situations. Then focus on those beautiful moments. Maureen Dowd, an author and columnist for The New York Times, reminds us that “the minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” Likewise, one of my favorite motivational speakers, John Maxwell, adds to this in his book Own Your Dreams, as he states that “the difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” Embrace the fact that no one is perfect despite what it may seem. Recognize that we can have a beautifully positive new year. Know your life does have beauty.













January HEALTH &


Be sure to join us Sunday, March 10th as we return to the JCC, this time for a Family Fun Day with the Man Of Steel at the Centerstage Theatre from 12-5pm.

With over 125+ incredible local vendors, crafters and businesses, Rochester Woman Online joined forced with the JCC of Rochester and took over their entire facility for the day. Bringing you amazing speakers throughout the day, a LIVE hypnosis experience, panel discussion on Race & Society lead by our very own editor, Cheryl Kates and even dance performances from the DK Dance. It was a day filled with great businesses some even offered free samples and services, and the Rochester Kettlecorn was and amazing addition for all ages. Plus we even had a chance to raise some money for Worth More Nation founded by Sandy Arena to help Foster children in the pageant system. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019


















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