RWO February 2018

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bruary 2018 { TABLE OF CONTENTS }

















IN HER OWN WORDS Karen “Powerhouse” Palatto















WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Mary Gurnow Jennifer Sanzo










HER EDGE Destiny Lashae
















FOR A GOOD CAUSE Steven’s Closet


















PLATTER CHATTER Branca’s Cheesy Eddies













ON THE WAY UP Shavon Ashford

































“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.”




Thrive to Survive founder, teacher, mother and all around amazingly inspirational woman, Jennifer Venuti-Harris was shot on location in Geneva, NY (my hometown) by Jennifer and Pat Tellier of Tellier Studios.



he February edition, just like the month, is filled with love, inspiration, and plenty of women with incredible stories to share.






Kelly Breuer Cheryl Kates-Benman Cassondra Kubit Kelly Breuer Tellier Studios Natalie Sinisgalli Rock Beach Photography Brandon Vick Photography Sarah Salvilla - Artistic Photography Rob Daniels Photography Marisa Nicodemus Cheryl Kates-Benman Mary Therese Friel Phyllis Haberer Rebecca Jaffarian Sheila Kennedy Cassondra Kubit Tamara MacDuff Julie M. May Mary Elizabeth Nesser Jason Pierce Doug Jones Debbie Santillo Amy Cavalier Kathy McClare Christine Buff Sami Sheehan Chloe Corcoran Denisse Dirlam Dave Jenkins Angella Luyk Tracy Echeverri Megan Cormack Alicia Caoila-Hicks Kathy Gleason Mary Gurnow Wilmot Susan Rook d’ettorre Christina Duco Nicole Derenda Selma Hammer Karen Palatto Ann Marie Ebling

Rebecca Jaffarian Robert Brenna, Jr. Julia Antenucci Alison Omalley Monica Infante Alana Cahoon Julie Donofrio Patricia Sunwoo Denise Peters Tim Shanahan Elaine Lennox Sharon Lamendola Nicole Fess Karen Messina Teresa Galbier Justine Smith

Kelly Breuer


Cassondra Kubit


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.

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It’s the only way to describe Jennifer Harris. Jennifer was born and raised in Geneva, NY and says she is “thrilled that my adult life has been here, too.”

She taught in the Geneva City School District for 18 years, and in 2013 accepted a position at Hobart and William Smith Colleges working in the Education Department. She is also a founder of “Thrive To Survive” a local non-profit whose mission is to help adults living with cancer thrive through the diagnosis by providing free programs as well as financial assistance. Life has not always been easy for Jennifer. She first got introduced to cancer in the worst possible way. In 2010, her son Max, just two days shy of turning 11, was diagnosed with brain cancer. “In a split second our entire world changed,” Jennifer said quietly. “About a month before his diagnosis, he started sleeping quite a bit. Initially, we chalked it up to a growing spurt, but it was weird. He would come home from school and literally lie face down on the carpet in the living room and fall asleep. We took him to the doctor and they did some blood work. They thought he might be anemic (I am) so no real concern. In the two weeks before he was diagnosed he had a series of 3 terrible migraines. “My husband Ken and I were both plagued with migraines too, so again it wasn’t a huge concern other than we felt terrible for him. Each time he had them he would wake up around 4 am, vomit, and then feel better and go back to sleep. On April 15, 2010 he woke up at 4 again, vomited and thought he felt better. I went to work and Ken stayed home with him. “He had told Ken he didn’t know when his birthday was.” It was just two days away. That’s when the alarm bells went off and her mom instincts kicked in. Told by her son’s doctor that it would take weeks to get insurance approval for a CT scan, they decided to go to the Emergency Room.

“The ER physician ran (literally) into the room we were in 5 minutes after the CT and said, ‘we know why Max is having headaches. He has a tumor on his pineal gland. We have an ambulance ready to take you to Strong Memorial Hospital.’ “My knees went weak,” Jennifer said. “I thought he must be wrong. I had never heard of a pineal gland. He handed me a printout and into the ambulance we went.” “What isn’t scary about having a child with cancer?,” Jennifer asks. “Every little thing about it is the absolute scariest. The unknown, the helplessness. The trust you have to put in your own instincts, the doctors, the surgeons, and the research. The lack of research in childhood brain cancer is scary as hell. Then there is unrelenting fear that your child can die.” Jennifer also had Jack, Max’s younger brother to care for. She wondered how the diagnosis and treatment would affect him as well. Because of the position of the tumor deep inside Max’s brain, surgical removal was not an option. Max underwent aggressive chemotherapy at Strong Memorial Hospital, and then Jennifer and her husband uprooted the family and moved to Boston for Proton Beam Radiation therapy. At the same time that Max was in treatment, her sister-in-law Pam’s brother, Matt Foe, relapsed with brain cancer. He had originally been diagnosed 7 years prior, and was experiencing another relapse. “He had been diagnosed with brain cancer 7 years prior to Max, and when he found out about Max his first stop was at our house to tell Max that he would kick some cancer ass. That was Matt, so positive and inspiring. Matt’s cancer then returned, and much more aggressively than in the past. He had two sons, Zach and Austin, and a daughter Izzy. He went through similar grueling chemotherapy and radiation therapies that Max did,” Jennifer explains. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


“100% of what we raise goes directly to people living with cancer. We are a small board of (now) 5, and we all do this on top of our full-time jobs and families. We are all super passionate about helping others and giving back.” 18




“As we navigated this seemingly parallel path, we began to notice a huge discrepancy in services offered for adults and children. As a family with a child with cancer, we were shocked and humbled by how many organizations were available to us to help with costs incurred, sibling support, etc.” However as an adult, Matt tried unsuccessfully to get help from organizations, some national ones, and was turned down 20


time after time. Unable to work, yet still responsible for bills, times were tough to say the least. Unfortunately, Matt lost his battle with cancer in January 2012. Jennifer, her sister-in-law, Pam, and a dear friend, Roseann, wondered why this happened to them, and what the universe was trying to tell them. Following Matt’s motto to THRIVE, ‘Thrive To Survive’ was born,

specifically setting out to help adults with any type of cancer and their families. “By March 2012, we had successfully gotten our 501 (c)(3) status and we eagerly set out to help those in Geneva,” Jennifer said. “We started simply by helping people with their daily living needs, and now have grown to include more communities, offer more programs including emotional support, research support and financial support.

{ COVER STORY } “What isn’t scary about having a child with cancer?,” Jennifer asks. “Every little thing about it is the absolute scariest. The unknown, the helplessness. The trust you have to put in your own instincts, the doctors, the surgeons, and the research.”

“100% of what we raise goes directly to people living with cancer. We are a small board of (now) 5, and we all do this on top of our full-time jobs and families. We are all super passionate about helping others and giving back,” Jennifer said. One of the foundations biggest fundraisers is the Middle Finger 5K. This year it’s planned for May 5, 2018. “Last year I organized it on a whim because I love to run, and I am an early morning runner. We capped the race at 500, and sold out a month before the event. So, this is our second year, and I am hoping to have the same great results!” Jennifer is particularly proud of all the connections she makes with people diagnosed with cancer. “We are offering a service that they wouldn’t normally get. Knowing that what we do allows people to forget the diagnosis for a little while we distract them with things like mediation, art therapy, or stand-up paddle board lessons makes me smile. As important, providing a space for them to talk about their diagnosis in a safe, respected place is also heartwarming.

One particular story was a client who told me that she took the grant check we provided her, and went to the bank to have it cashed. She asked the teller to give it all to her in $20.00 bills. She stacked them in her house so that she would now be able to pay for treatment, as each copay was $20.00, without disrupting her ability to cover her regular bills. Sometimes it is the little things.”

Jennifer is married to her self-described “high school sweetheart.” “I knew in High School that I would marry Ken, he didn’t know it and we didn’t start dating until 2 years after high school. I knew I wanted to marry him when he took someone else to a dance, and I was so jealous….and jealousy isn’t something I typically feel. I realized then that I had feelings for him other than just friendship. He was a great friend, and he ALWAYS made me laugh. We took drivers education together and a ceramics class, and we got to be pretty good friends. We ended up both going to Alfred State College right out of high school, and the friendship continued to grow. It wasn’t until the end of our time there, he asked me out to dinner for my birthday in June…and we have been together since!” “I think the keys to any happy relationship whether it be companionship, a work relationship or a marriage are honesty and good communication. Any good relationship takes work, and I feel that we don’t really learn that,” Jennifer said. “What works for us is that we are each our own person, and we respect and support that about one another.



{ COVER STORY } “I think the keys to any happy relationship whether it be companionship, a work relationship or a marriage are honesty and good communication. Any good relationship takes work, and I feel that we don’t really learn that.”

We have our own passions and interests that are separate from our passions and interests together. Additionally, we are still great friends, and that has been the glue that has gotten us through some pretty hard times. When our son was sick, we quickly realized what was important in life, and we really started to love differently, and cherish every moment together as a couple and as a family. And when we have had disagreements along the way, I feel lucky that we are both able to take a step back and assess what we could have done differently. We are a good balance!! It is a two way street for sure.” Today, their son Max is 18 and her son Jack is 17. “I am excited for Max and Jack to continue and begin their careers as college students,” Jennifer said. “They have so many incredible opportunities ahead of them, and potentially they can be in careers that don’t even exist today. They are so open to learning and creative in their thinking. I know they have bright futures ahead of them, and that makes me so proud.” Jennifer describes her life today by saying “I find joy in helping others and giving back. I genuinely have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the good in my life, and as long as I can share a smile, I will.” 100% of all donations received to ‘Thrive to Survive’ go to support adults living with cancer in our designated areas. To find out more, to register or make a donation, check out their website, www. 22




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I am completely humbled and honored to have been asked to share my story in this powerful woman’s magazine. I’ve struggled with writing this article, because while I have been through some very difficult times in life, I never have viewed my struggles as something that would be article worthy. There are so many women facing much harder circumstances and challenges. Incredible women. I’ve come to realize in the last few years is that we can all inspire one another. By being vulnerable enough to expose the realness about ourselves, that’s where we find the most strength. It’s also where we can remind others, everything’s going to be ok, and see, I’m not alone! Statements we all need to hear and have felt, often! So many people, most often without even knowing, have pulled me from very dark places simply by sharing their story and being vulnerable.

you both to the moon and back a billion trillion times. You are the best parts of me. Through everything I did wrong in life, and believe me there’s been some hick ups, I take one look at you both, and realize I’ve done 2 things right. My kids! ~ Mom ~ My story starts with my very first love, music! I have done theatre and sang for most of my life, starting at age 5. I’ll never forget it. I was standing on a chair, in the middle of a busy restaurant singing at the top of my lungs. I kid you not. Talk about not having a care in the world. When I was done everyone started

Thank you for that. Thank you so very much! I honor you. I respect you. I encourage everyone to share. And most of all, I hope by sharing my story I will inspire someone in the same way I have been inspired by others. My journey! Man, it’s been a hell of a ride!!! I want to preface my story with my biggest and most rewarding accomplishment, my sons! God knows without them my journey would have been much different. These young men have been my very reason for keeping my eyes forward! I knew they needed a strong woman that could lead and teach. I had no choice. To my oldest son Anthony, age 27 & my youngest Joey, age 25 - Thank you. Thank you for giving me strength as a mom, friend and person. Thank you for loving me through it all. Thank you for becoming the amazing men you are today! You both make me so proud. You are what have kept me strong in every single challenge I’ve faced, and still do to this very day! I love 28


clapping and cheering and I started crying, it scared me! What in the heck are these people doing? I mean after all, I was just singing. (smile) Those tears soon turned into curtsies and gratitude in the years to follow and many, many proud moments. Thirty-five years singing professionally, seems like a blink of an eye really. I retired in 2014 at the age of 49. Music and being on stage was my “normal”. It was how I expressed myself. It was my outlet and my safe place. My place of peace and confidence. The bigger the audience, the better I liked it! It was a way of life for me that allowed me to experience so many different things, cities, states and people. It was also my livelihood later in

life for many of those years! I sang through everything -love, hurt, happiness, death, pain, joys, pregnancies, divorce, falling, getting up and everything in between! The minute my foot hit the stage, it was like a light switch turned on into another place where I knew regardless of what was going on, I’d be ok. It was an escape. It made me happy! It was my passion and my very being. It still is. It doesn’t ever leave you. I just choose to use it differently now. Fitness, in many ways, has become that very same thing. While I was always active as a kid and even a young mother, teaching step aerobics, lifting and whatever else I could get my hands on back then, I kicked it up a notch or 12 in 2009. I had been struggling with my weight and reached out for help to a trainer. I’ll never forget it, it was November. I started training, HARD, like never before! Completely changing my eating habits and following super strict meal plans. I remember I had offered to sing the national anthem for a body building show. They said “sure, but the only stipulation Karen is you need to compete!” Me; Um.. no.. Not happening, I’m not getting up there. Have you seen me? I can’t do that!! Like what are you thinking?? HOLY DEER IN THE HEAD LIGHTS BAT MAN! Who me?? Like how?? Like what?? No way!!! Two months later, I’m going to do the Anthem - in a posting suit! Five months later, I stepped on stage in a bikini the size of a band aid next to girls half my age, shaking in fear, feeling like a million bucks, AND WON!!! Months of dieting to extremes, training twice a day, endless amounts of chicken and tons cardio and no cheat food! Talk about testing my will power. And this was all while singing, working 3 or 4 jobs and being a Mom! It was hard. Very, very hard. It was also one of the







{ IN HER OWN WORDS } “My story starts with my very first love, music! I have done theatre and sang for most of my life, starting at age 5. I’ll never forget it. I was standing on a chair, in the middle of a busy restaurant singing at the top of my lungs. I kid you not. Talk about not having a care in the world.”

most incredible experiences I have ever had. I went on to do 3 more shows. I did well, but most importantly it helped me to evolve as a woman and person. It tested my limits on every level. It showed me I am strong both mentally and physically. It put me in a better position to focus on me. It gave me a goal. Something to work on just for me, that didn’t involve a job, friends, music, kids or my other life responsibilities. It helped me to get back to “Karen”. As so many can relate, we can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of life taking care of everything and everyone, but ourselves! What was my most memorable moment of my bodybuilding journey? It was when my son said “Mom, I am so proud of you and all you’ve done to make this happen!” I’ll never forget when they announced I won. I screamed, cried and looked out into the audience to see my kids screaming for me too! I could not believe I actually did it! Those are the photographic memories in my mind for which I will forever be most thankful! It was incredible!

jeans.. all of it. I was teeny tiny, my rib cage sticking out and I could walk in any store and buy a size zero and it would fit! That’s healthy right???? That’s how woman are supposed to look right??? That’s ok right??? WRONG!!!! Someone get me off the crazy train please!!! Fast forward to 2015. I was invited to go to a boxing class. I was like BOXING??? WHAT??

When I walked into the gym that day, I was dealing with a failed marriage, hypothyroidism, weight gain, a few scares from skin cancer and lots of testing, and retesting, and the sadness all of that brought. I was defeated many ways and afraid to reach out for help even though I knew I needed it! Here I was, not even a year prior feeling on top of the world and - BAM, life said, “oh don’t get to comfortable Karen, things are about to change!” I did not tell anyone what I was going through with my personal life. I was too afraid of letting everyone down. I still don’t share much of that story. Its personal, and quite frankly it still stings at times, but I’m evolving with that too.

In-between then and now, so much has changed. My love for fitness has always been there, it’s just changed over the years. I hopped on the weight gain and loss roller coaster over the last few years trying to figure it all out. That was fun - said nobody. Ever! I was either lean or I was fat. No in-between. Up and down I went. And I swear, once I did a bodybuilding show, and my body fat was so low anything above that never felt good enough. If I was thin, I wasn’t thin enough. If I gained weight I beat myself up horribly. I didn’t have enough muscle. I had too much muscle. I was on. I was off. I was up. I was down. It was, and somedays still is a constant battle not to talk negatively about the way my body looks. There was no balance. I either lived out of plastic wear eating chicken and broccoli 6 times a day, so I could be “lean” or, I got fat. Sooooo frustrating!! The 122 pound me never had a problem looking in the mirror. I could fit into anything. I looked good in a bathing suit, skirt,

I’m competitive by nature in all that I do. After all, just a few years prior I was a lean bean and now, I was overweight again and just miserable. I admired her strength, agility and ability to do what she was doing. I was embarrassed I got fat and felt like a slug! I wanted to be in shape and good at things and I wanted to be back to myself!! I was horrible, but I kept going. Even though I was tired and panting after just 5 minutes because my head wasn’t in it, neither was my heart. It left an impression on me, to say the least.

I was willing to try, but I wasn’t happy about it. I walked into the Rochester Fight Factory and met Coach Bernie Barco. I reluctantly put on some gloves and started training with him and a friend. She was way better than me. Way better. Younger than me and way more fit than me. And yes, I noticed these things because

A few months later in January of 2016 my marriage ended. I knew I had no choice but to come to terms with it. I knew I had to get my ass back up, no matter what! Here I was embarking on a new career and now, back to being single. Scared was an understatement. I was home on a Sunday and I was sitting on the couch thinking, “what the hell am I gonna do now?!!” I needed so badly to come up with a plan. I remembered that day I had a few months back at the Factory with Coach Barco. I remembered how I felt when I left there. How tired I was, and yet when it was over I actually felt good. So I reached out to Coach Barco again and we set up some training. Coach and I started working together. And time progressed, I started to feel better. Weight started coming off. My mind ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


“I aspire to be an empowered woman with vision and grace. Soft hearted but strong. Self-aware and sure. Respected for my mind. Admired for my heart and above all, always honest, open and raw.�




“ I did not tell anyone what I was going through with my personal life. I was too afraid of letting everyone down. I still don’t share much of that story. Its personal, and quite frankly it still stings at times, but I’m evolving with that too.”

was becoming clearer. He was a huge part in that change for me. When Coach and I started working together it was just me and coach doing training sessions, then I asked if I could invite some friends. “Sure, let’s do it!!”, said Coach. Then I asked more friends, and even more!! Two years later Coach and I have a program that has 7 classes a week with anywhere from 8-15 people in each class comprised of women and men! I’m very proud to say I am officially on his spar team! It’s crazy right? What 50 year old female wakes up and says, I’m gonna become a boxer??!! While that was never my intention at first, it’s definitely the direction I’m heading! And.. I’m having so much fun!!!

Most importantly because it stopped me from giving up! On everything! Because it gave me a new direction! A purpose and a goal!! Because it pulled me out of a place pain. Because it shined light on what felt like a black hole in my world. Because it empowered me to believe in myself again. Because it feels damn good to punch things - especially when you’re pissed off at the world!!! And what I’ve discovered is… I’m one tough B*tch! Because in the midst of my own healing others were inspired to do it too!! Come to class and regain your own path of happiness. Because if I can do it, so can you!!”. The list of “why” I box goes on for days!!

So when people ask me “Why do you box? You’re too pretty to box! Woman are supposed to be soft, not muscular and getting punched in the face”….. I just smile. It’s not the first time I’ve had to break a stereotype!!

Boxing for me is that place, that thing I do that nobody can take away from me. It’s my road to follow. How far I choose to take it is also my road. My roots with it all are deep for many reasons. We all have reasons as to why we do what we do, and why we feel what we feel, and that’s ok. We’ve all had things or people that have caused us pain or hurt. Retaliation, dwelling and grudges only


consume you. Stopping you from moving on sincerely! I’ve done it. I’ve sat there trying to understand, make sense of it, figure out what I did wrong, and dissect it 100 different ways. The result.... NOTHING accept more frustration and pain!! The best decision I’ve EVER made and continue to mindfully make is to put those “hurts” in their place. Acknowledge them then LET THEM GO!! Focus on what DOES work. On what DOES make you happy on every level. What you put out, you get back. Love yourself and encourage others often!! By being REAL!! It’s empowering!! And it helps others to do the same. So please share your story. Let the world know what it is. It’s too powerful to NOT share!!! These days along with my boxing, I strive for balance. Balance in everything. Family, work, training and nutrition. I’m 100% certain this has been the hardest of all my goals. It’s taken time for me to be ok with “rest nights” and going out to dinner without the guilt. Boxing has helped me to achieve this balance. It’s a different type of training. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


{ IN HER OWN WORDS } “So when people ask me “Why do you box? You’re too pretty to box! Woman are supposed to be soft, not muscular and getting punched in the face”….. I just smile. It’s not the first time I’ve had to break a stereotype!!”

What’s that saying, “You think you’re in shape until you box!”. That is SO true!! It’s what works for me, when I’m in the gym boxing I’m focused and I train like my life depends on it. Sometimes it feels like it does. When I’m with my family and friends I enjoy my time, food and wine! I’m present without the guilt or negative self- talk. I’m not missing out on any more moments because I have to go to the gym or because I can’t eat what everyone else is eating, I did that. It was part 36


of the journey that brought me here, and “here” is the best place I’ve ever been! And if I can do it, so can you. Believe in yourself.

Self-aware and sure. Respected for my mind. Admired for my heart and above all, always honest, open and raw”

Trust your gut. You are the one that knows what is best for you. Love yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s completely necessary. Strong woman, empower other woman to be strong!

~ Karen “Powerhouse” Palotto ~

“I aspire to be an empowered woman with vision and grace. Soft hearted but strong.



Welcome 2018 Walk With Us... In Mind. In Body. In Life.

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Rochester Woman is proud to announce Susan Rook as a new writer who is joining our fabulous team! Susan’s column will be called, “Vision to Reality”. Susan started her career in journalism as a local reporter in Fort Myers, Florida. While some see the internet as a vast source of information, it harmed some industries and lowered the credibility. Journalism took a new twist once social media launched in full-force, changing the entire industry, forcing huge upheavals in news, as we once knew it. What happened to the reporter with their pencil and pad? Clark Kent and Lois Lane style? While change is good, it can also lower the standards when opening the forum to a free-for-all. Susan shares: “At my core, I am and will always be a journalist. I love learning and sharing what I learn. The nature of the person who views journalism as a calling hasn’t changed. For me this means searching for information and using my communication skills to be of service to others. I bring those qualities to RWO along with a strong sense of community. I’m super excited about the RWO events, Diva’s Nites and other opportunities to get together with like-minded women and begin empowering each other”. Susan went on from Fort Meyers and became a national journalist with CNN. In the crux of the METOO movement, RWO wondered how it was for a woman to break into journalism, approximately twentyfive years ago and whether there were obstacles along the way, throughout Susan’s career. Susan reflects: “Like any woman my age, it never occurred to me that any of this behavior could be considered wrong. Sure, it felt wrong, to be on the receiving end, but the culture was, “You’re lucky to be here at all, suck it up, and don’t make waves”. Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace is not something any of us wishes to be the subject of. Let’s face it there is a thin line between love and hate. Many people work well with their spouse or loved one. Many others do not. What happens when the relationship ends. This is when things get fuzzy in this context. Many of us have experienced a relationship with someone we work with. Work is where we spend a good portion of time so of course we meet people when we are working. How does this fit in with the METOO



movement? When does a consensual relationship turn non-consensual? As women in the career force this becomes an issue for many of us. When the person was part of your supervisory team or administration it can turn ugly. Susan reflects when she experienced this treatment: “When someone doesn’t want to end a relationship, this makes things difficult. I remember being subjected to my ex, speaking messages in my ear piece while live on the news. I threatened to go to management and was told “Oh yeah! Well that’s been tried before. Want to know what happened? Those people are gone! I’m still here. Your career will be over!”

are all in drag. I’m just more obvious about it”. I’ll never forget the caller with a strong Southern accent, who drawled… ”Wellll… I don’t know about all of the stuff you are talking about. I never thought about these things and you have some good points. And…you’re a damn pretty girl.” We all laughed, and Ru was so gracious”. Susan favors this interview because it taught her about the importance of listening to others, the value of kindness and the strength to stay true to yourself. Susan will be venturing soon into the world of entrepreneurism. RWO discussed with her the evolution of woman. How we as women change throughout our lifetime as we grown and how this affects the journey we travel upon. Susan shares she started with a communication degree but was willing to sell handbags ad accessories. She always contributed to her community doing various types of volunteering. She recalls volunteering at an adoption agency talking with prospective parents about what it was like to be adopted. This work led to a huge opportunity and her break into reporting the news. A woman approached Susan after she gave her speech. This conversation led to Susan meeting the woman’s husband who was a director of a local news channel. After three months, Susan convinced him he should give her a chance at being a reporter. She recalls going back to her boss, after she began to work on her first story

As a young woman, in a place where many were not. This was fearful. What if she lost her job behind trying to stop the harassment? Susan was a pioneer. Instead of cowering to the man, she sought legal help and began to document the harassment she suffered. Once she went to management with the evidence, he was moved. Susan had no idea what was said or why her complaint was taken seriously but it was. Susan during her career as a journalist was able to experience many things, most of us just dream of. She recalls her favorite interview. It was actually someone, who took her by surprise! “My favorite interview might come as a surprise, RuPaul was a guest on TalkBack Live. She was so real, smart and amazing. She pointed out, “We

asking him, “Why in the world did you hire me?”

His reply was, “You wouldn’t leave me alone. I had to hire you to threaten to fire you if you didn’t get out of my office. Now get out and learn to do your job.” The rest is history. Susan looks forward to using her column to inspire others. She leaves us indicating: “I want to inspire all of us to live by design, not default. I call myself a resilience specialist. Something powerful happens where an individual creates a vision for the future. My column will be stories, tips and ideas to encourage us all to dream it, see it, plan it, do it, have it. The “it” will be different for each person but the practical skills to bring that vision to reality can be used by anyone….

“I want to inspire all of us to live by design, not default. I call myself a resilience specialist. Something powerful happens where an individual creates a vision for the future. My column will be stories, tips and ideas to encourage us all to dream it, see it, plan it, do it, have it.�





This column is a new venture. Welcome! Thank you for being here. I want to inspire you to live by design, not default. In the coming months, I’ll share my life with you. You’ll find out why I left television news at the height of my career with CNN. You’ll learn why I call myself a resilience specialist and how you can harness the power of reinvention in your own life. The stories, tips and ideas are designed to encourage you to explore your vision for your life. I also want to give you practical skills to bring that vision to reality. Having a vision is more than merely having goals. The vision is what pulls you forward in life. What really matters to you? What are your hopes and aspirations? I know what happens when the vision goes dark and life is lived on autopilot; that’s why I left television news. It looks glamorous to be a television news anchor. It’s exciting to be famous. It’s also a little crazy. I was once recognized by a cabbie in Kashmir. That’s when I began to grasp the power and seductive nature of fame. In the beginning, I just wanted to be 42


paid to learn things and then tell people what I learned. I like learning and I like telling stories. The stories got bigger as I moved from local news in Ft. Myers, Florida and New Orleans, Louisiana to CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta. I was the youngest international news anchor. My overnight shift often had Ted Turner walking behind the anchor desk in his bathrobe on the way to the coffee room. At that time, CNN hired people who were young and cheap or old and troubled (so they were cheap).

I grew with the network. It is humbling to look back and realize I had a front row seat for the biggest world events from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s: The fall of Communism and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The Oklahoma City bombing. The explosion of the Shuttle Challenger. Princess Diana’s death in a car crash. The OJ Simpson murder trial. The first Gulf War. The 1992 Presidential debate between George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. The start of the worldwide web. Interviews with stars of the political arena, entertainment and sports: Madeline Albright, Oliver Stone and Olympic athlete Carl Lewis. The controversy over New Coke. Why leave all that? The short answer is this: I got into addiction r e c o v e r y. I eventually joined the ranks of other highprofile women who went public with addiction in order to show the reality of addiction re c ove r y. It takes courage and commitment


{ VISION TO REALITY } “What I need in the next phase of my life is YOU. Being part of a community is powerful. I believe that we are more powerful together than we are if you add up the sum of all our parts. Something special happens in a community.”

to disclose something this personal. Women have a long history of doing what is necessary for a profound belief. Rochester’s own, Susan B Anthony, openly talked about her recovery from alcoholism. The self-inventory of the recovery process is a means to take stock, make amends for past actions and then make changes going forward. For me, that meant leaving CNN and my career in journalism. I ended up crossing that unknown sea to discover myself and my purpose. I didn’t set out to do any of that! I just wanted to stop drinking and get control of my life.

I bet you created New Year’s resolutions. I know I did despite the fact that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep without structure, accountability and a community that holds your intention when you are discouraged or stuck. I get stuck when that evil voice in my head spews negativity. Community helps drown out the bad voice.

The Rolling Stones song lyric sums up my life and maybe yours as well: “You can’t always get what you want But if you try sometime you find You get what you need.” What I need in the next phase of my life is YOU. Being part of a community is powerful. I believe that we are more powerful together than we are if you add up the sum of all our parts. Something special happens in a community. Women come together to support one another, cheer each other on, provide solace and comfort, laugh at life and ourselves, and, above all, create ways to live out our dreams and visions. This is a powerful community. 44


Here’s just one example. When I testified before Congress to advocate for addiction treatment, I told a story about being denied a job because I didn’t hide my recovery. The CEO said, “Why would we hire someone like you?” Indeed. When I think back on that I realize that this is something that we, as women, often

tell ourselves. I know this is a human attribute yet I hear this struggle from so many of my female friends and my own negative voice that I think of it as female. You know the snotty voice I mean. It’s the one that spreads doubt, discouragement and resignation. I need other women to say, “Stop it! Don’t go there. You can do it!” Women like Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The CEO was a man. My circle of women put me back together after that crushed my soul. Today, it is my female friends who know me the best, who love me as I am, who encourage me to be bold, who help me grow into my best self. I want to be that friend to you and I want you to be that friend to me. I want to use this column to create a community around finding your vision and then supporting you as you bring that vision into reality. Think of this space as a reinvention resource. You don’t have to be at a total crossroads in your life. You might want to create one small change. Or, you might be struggling with a huge transition. I get it. I am a resilience specialist and I know that together we become more than we ever are when we’re alone.



Imagine this. A bride is in search of a specific dress. She had the picture of the dress long before ever meeting her fiancé. She goes to the bridal salon where they have the exact dress. They go through the appointment and save her dream dress for last. Once she put it on it is instant tears. Her dream had come to life. Sound’s like an episode of Say Yes To The Dress, but it’s just a typical day in the life of Stella Jones, owner of Stella’s Bridal Boutique, located on 7770 East Main Road in Le Roy. Stella began her fashion career studying Fashion Me r c h a n d i s i n g Management at GCC before she left to continue her studies at LIM, a private college, focused on the business of fashion in Midtown Manhattan. Her focus at the time was on menswear before she found her true love was bridal. Since the first bride that Stella ever had the privilege of working with, she knew in that very moment that this is what she was destined to do. She calls bridal “her life’s passion.” “The decision to open Stella’s Bridal was based off of a 48


very spirited and ambitious 21-year-old who was not afraid to take a risk and live the American dream. With a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management as well as experience in the bridal industry, all signs pointed toward starting up my own boutique and nearly seven years later, Stella’s Bridal is a vibrant and reputable Bridal Boutique,” Stella said. “Stella’s is a different shopping experience in that we are a bridal destination boutique. We offer private bridal suites with a

personal stylist who pulls all of the gowns for you. Even pulling up the drive way the bridal house nestled back in the heart of Leroy on the historical property of Mercy Grove is an experience in itself,” Stella said. Brides eagerly book a “Diamond Appointment” to be styled by Stella. During this type of appointment, the main showroom becomes the Brides personal stage for her and her guests only. The bride is given her choice of music and will have her own private bridal suite custom adorned with family memorabilia. Guests are treated to champagne and treats while the bride tries on gowns. “At Stella’s we feel it is our calling to serve our brides and give them the love, attention, and guidance they so deserve. A wedding dress is not your ordinary dress. We believe it is a symbolic garment in which two souls will profess their love for one another with. It is a gift to be given the opportunity to help our brides find their perfect dress.”




{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR } “My favorite part about working in bridal is the unique opportunity to help women feel beautiful and let their inner goddess shine.”



“At Stella’s we feel it is our calling to serve our brides and give them the love, attention, and guidance they so deserve. A wedding dress is not your ordinary dress. We believe it is a symbolic garment in which two souls will profess their love for one another with. It is a gift to be given the opportunity to help our brides find their perfect dress.”

Each appointment ends with a special “Say Yes to the Dress” celebration for the bride and her entourage. “My favorite part about working in bridal is the unique opportunity to help women feel beautiful and let their inner goddess shine. To any brides who are getting ready to say ‘Yes,’ I always tell them to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and ask yourself if you feel beautiful, confident, and most importantly like a bride,” Stella says. “If you can imagine yourself walking down the aisle towards the love of your life in this gown, then it’s the one!” Stella specializes in carrying dresses from specific designers, but can accommodate almost any budget. “Our pricing starts at around $1,000 and goes up to $4,000 for special orders with our current designers. We also offer a large selection of discontinued gowns. These are no longer available for reorder but are available off the rack. These styles are marked down 30-50%.” She’s often asked by eager brides, when is the best time to shop for a dress? “Since our designers are cut-to-order, it takes anywhere from 5-7 months for your special order dress to arrive. You will also want to allow another 6-8 weeks for alterations, prior to your wedding,” she said. “Overall, we typically recommend purchasing your wedding dress 9-12 months prior to the wedding, if not earlier!” As for her personal life, Stella now lives in

LeRoy with her “love of her life husband Stephen,” and her three-year-old son Diesel. “Diesel is always keeping us on our toes, there is never a dull moment in our house,” Stella said. She also finds time to exercise even though she thinks about her business 24/7. “As a business owner, I find it very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that I am performing at my peak. I enjoy running, yoga, weight-lifting as well as horseback riding,” she said. She laughs when asked about time off. “When you own a business it does not come without sacrifice. Honestly, I would love nothing more than to binge watch Real Housewives and be wined and dined for an entire day! I was just dreaming out loud there but in all seriousness, I cherish the little moments in life with my friends and family. Being present in the moment and letting life surprise you is what matters most to me.” What’s next for Stella? “We are currently very passionate about our Luxe Bridal Services that we recently launched at Stella’s Bridal. We are gearing up to take the boutique to the next level by offering more wedding day services to all of our Stella’s Brides! It is my mission to break the industry norms and create a new path for Bridal Boutiques,” she said. We are so excited for what is to come!” To schedule an appointment or look for specific dresses Stella carries, visit her website at








A Q&A With Mary Gurnow Wilmot

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from many things and many people. I come from a family that is no stranger to the arts and I have been involved in a myriad of mediums for as long as I can remember. My mother, aunts and grandparents were all involved in musical theater for many years. My grandfather was an incredible artist and his talents seemed unlimited. He was one of the Art Directors for Kodak for several years. He was gifted at drawing, painting, photography and creative makeup as well as acting. My grandmother was equally as gifted. She sang, played the piano, acted and she was quite comfortable drawing and painting. Additionally my grandmother was a seamstress and she would make the costumes for their local theater guild. My Mother and aunts were no exception, all three of them were included in the performances and they are all very crafty and creative. My father and members of his family have wonderful singing voices and some of them possess instrumental abilities as well. That being said, I was surrounded by the arts from the time I was born. I took to drawing and painting very early on and as I progressed though my school years I was increasingly involved with a variety of singing groups and performing musical theater. My knack for painting transposed into makeup. Musical theater allowed me to get very creative and I found that I was being asked by my peers to do their make up for shows, proms and eventually their weddings and special events. It has been passed along through generations and now even my own children continue to surprise me with their own talents. My family is most certainly my inspiration.

How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get your start in the industry? I’ve been interested and experimenting with makeup since I was very young, probably about seven or eight years old. I remember when my Mother bought me my first “real” makeup. It was an eyeshadow stick and tinted Lip Slick from CoverGirl. We sat on my living room floor and she showed me how to apply them. By the time I was twelve I was very proficient at apply makeup on myself and on others. Eventually my Mother started asking me to do her makeup! I have always been incredibly independent and have marched to the beat of my own drum.

Once I graduated from High School I moved out and had my own apartment not far from where I grew up in Webster, NY. I worked full time and then was enrolled in college at night. Initially I was enrolled in a Nursing Program and I was on track to pursue that as my career. I loved helping people and I did well enough academically to end up with a scholarship to continue my education at St. John Fisher. During the course of those years however, I ran into a friend with whom I had previously sang and performed with and he and I ended up getting married. Not long after I became pregnant with my first daughter, Mia. I did continue my education throughout my pregnancy but once our little bundle arrived I wanted to spend every moment with her that I was able to and so I put school on hold for a bit. Married life was not without its challenges and unfortunately Mia’s father and I were just not suited to be married. As the years pasted I became increasingly involved with makeup artistry and I had immersed myself in a network of photographers and models locally. I also had been going through a period of growth as an individual. I had been divorced for about four years and I had been working steadily with a career as a Worker’s Compensation Claims Examiner. I was in a good place in my life and my yearning for another child grew stronger. I had not remarried but adoption was always something that was in my heart. I knew at a young age that even if I could have my own children I wanted to adopt a child and provide a loving family and home to them. I then began to research adoption options and ultimately decided that as a single woman and being relatively young, Ethiopia was the best fit for me. Every country has its own set of parameters as to who is allowed to adopt. All signs pointed to Africa. So, at 27 years old I traveled across the world and brought my second daughter home to the United States. Janae was a perfect fit to fill out our little family. It was also during those years that I realized I had the potential to make my hobby, my art into a supplemental income. I had looked into the process of becoming a professional makeup artist. As it turned out there were not any schools locally that really specialized in that arena. Ultimately, I ended up doing my training and certification for makeup in none other than the glamorous Hollywood California. It was a wonderful experience and quite honestly I would have stayed there if it was possible but my entire support network ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018





{ SHIFT+CONTROL } “My inspiration comes from many things and many people. I come from a family that is no stranger to the arts and I have been involved in a myriad of mediums for as long as I can remember.” PHOTOS BY BRANDON VICK PHOTOGRAPHY

was in Rochester, NY. Once I returned I began taking paid makeup clients. I wanted to continue my education and make myself as marketable as possible. I started really building my portfolio and that meant doing trade work. Like anything else in life experience is the best teacher. I also enrolled in school here in NY to obtain my esthetics license. For as long as I was interested in makeup I was simultaneously interested in skincare. By the time I was twelve years old I had a formal skincare routine and began loading up on anti-aging products! Prevention is key! My esthetics license allowed for me to increase my clientele by offering a variety of services including, makeup applications, facials, body treatments, and waxing services. I ended up working at Shear Ego Salon and Spa providing these services. I really enjoyed the position I held there however it proved to be a challenging schedule to keep when I was a single parent of two young children. I ended up going back to a career in insurance which allowed me the nights and weekends with my girls. I continued taking clients on the side however eventually I ended up branding my business as ADDICTED ARTISTRY. I went through the proper channels in order to establish it as a legal company. I worked with a graphic designer to perfect my logo and I ended up building my own website. Let me tell you that was an interesting process! Life eventually led me back to the salon life and I took on the role of managing a makeup department. It seemed to be a perfect fit for me but unfortunately the economy was not in my favor. I would watch as people continued to come in steadily to have their hair appointments but makeup was just not in the budget for most. I would watch all of the stylists on my downtime and realized that I could be doing hair too. I had always been a natural at styling hair and I was already somewhat familiar with color processes. My real training came in the form of two curly haired daughters! I ended up going back to school yet again. I obtained my full cosmetologist license which allowed for me to expand my business to include full

hair and nail services. After working full time in another salon life handed me some tough decisions. Although I knew I was investing in my education, the period of time in which I had returned to school proved to be tough financially. I was no longer working full time and consequently my income was reduced. Additionally, I had taken in two foster daughters unexpectedly and they lived with us for a few months. Eventually the pressures of school,

As we get older, many of us start families and have other people who rely on us whether it be a spouse, children, parents or siblings. All those variables create a unique set of circumstances for each individual. Everybody needs to do what’s best for them and their families given their present situation. For me, that meant leaving the Salon where I was and working my business on my own schedule. As much as I wanted to solely focus on my business my client base was still in growth mode and I had to be able to show the bank a steady set income. I subsequently returned to the corporate world in order to secure a set income dollar figure. By the grace of God along with my family and friends we managed to save our home.

What do you love most about makeup?

I love the transformative element of makeup application. It can also be very empowering. For many women it provides them a bit of additional confidence while going through their day. For others, it may be what allows them the strength to wake up each day and keep fighting. For women who are victims of domestic abuse or have gone through a tragic accident or life-event make up may actually be therapeutic during their journey to recovery. Other women who may suffer skin conditions or have prominent birthmarks also may find makeup gives them a boost of confidence.

work and home became overwhelming. It reached the point where I was about to lose our home. I had to make a difficult decision regarding the necessary steps to ensure that did not happen. I feel that choosing education is never a wrong decision. I am an avid supporter of continuing to learn throughout your life. That is not to say that it will be easy however.

Personally, I love that by varying your products and application techniques a person can transform into a different “character” or role. As a model and stylist, I use makeup to produce the overall effect I am looking for in a project and ultimately the final images.

How would your closest friend describe you?

I honestly had no idea how to answer this! So, I did the next logical thing and asked my best friend how they would describe me. This is the response they provided: Determined, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


My family is non-negotiable and by that I mean my family comes first. That is really one of the biggest reasons that I love owning my own business. I have the flexibility to work around my children’s schedules. If there is an important family function I can tweak my schedule to ensure I’m not missing important moments.





If you weren’t a makeup artist, what else would you do?

This is a very interesting question because I do have two completely separate resumes really. My background is quite varied in terms of positions I have held and the experience I have. I have been in the field of healthcare as well as in Corporate America. I have been extremely lucky to have had a creative outlet for my passions in the arts. I must say, if I was not able to be a makeup artist I would still most definitely keep it as a hobby. Additionally I would return to school to continue my education. I really do enjoy esthetics and the sciences so if I was afforded the opportunity I would definitely pursue a career in dermatology. In fact it’s still not off the table as far as I’m concerned.

How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your signature style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?

I’m not sure I have a signature look. I think one of the things that sets me apart is that I really try and vary my look. I never wear the same makeup look two days in a row. It would depend on both how I’m feeling and the occasion. My wardrobe and my makeup arsenal are well stocked so I can recreate myself each day and for me that is what fashion is all about! I would be interested to see what others had to say about what they think my signature look is though, haha.

What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women? Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Dry skin leads to wrinkled skin. Even if you have oily or acneic skin you still need to moisturize. Oily skin is not the same as hydrated skin. The body is 80% water so you should address it form both

internally and topically, drinking plenty of water to ensure you are not dehydrated as well. What you consume and put it your body directly affects your skin and exterior. The same goes for your hair and nails.

What are some common beauty mistakes that women make?

One of the most common mistakes I see and also a personal pet peeve is when someone wears eyeliner on only the bottom lash line. If you elect to wear eyeliner but do not use it on the top and bottom lash lines you should only wear it on the top. Wearing liner on the bottom only really makes the eyes look heavy, tired, sad and disconnected. To piggy back off that, I also see many women wearing a heavy black liner for their daytime look and if not applied properly it can be quite unflattering. The structured wing liner is always a classic if executed the right way. Generally speaking though, a softer look is more desirable for daytime wear and heavier applications are for evening looks or special events. That is not to say that you absolutely should not wear black liner during the day but you really should be mindful about application and ensure it is cohesive with your overall look. Heavy black liner during the day on someone with fair skin, fair hair and lighter eyes typically results in a very severe look. It is also very outdated and it can actually make you appear older! We lose color in our skin as we age and the skin becomes thinner. This can make the shades that you used to wear appear too dark. Instead try opting for a gray or brown liner. Using a liner brush or a cotton swab can also help to soften the effect. Another frustrating issue I experience as a makeup artist is actually not one that is the fault

of women but rather the fault of manufacturers and cosmetic companies. My clientele base is widely varied yet the choices on the market for foundation colors are not. In September of 2017 singer, songwriter, and actress Rihanna launched her company, Fenty Beauty “so that women everywhere would be included,” creating formulas that work for all skin types and focusing on universal shades. While many companies are expanding their lines to be more inclusive we are still a long way off from meeting the beauty needs of women of color.

What products do you think should be a staple in every women’s handbag? What are in yours? I always carry lip balm or a cocoa butter stick, especially during these cold winter months when skin is dry and sensitive. There is nothing fun or attractive about cracked, chapped lips. Plus, the cocoa butter stick can be used on dry skin patches and to lighten hyperpigmentation.

I also feel concealer is a great item that is small enough to throw in your pursue and bring with you. Personally I am fair skinned and any lack of sleep or stress shows instantly in the form of dark under eye circles. Even if you don’t have the time to do a full face of makeup a little concealer can really go a long way to perk up your look!

What’s your superpower?

I persevere, and I have a tattoo to remind myself on those days that just seem too overwhelming. No matter how many times I have been kicked down, pushed down, tripped or stumbled I manage to persevere by the grace of God.

What best motivates you? How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


Motivation is an interesting thing because it can change and evolve as the individual evolves. Initially I was a young budding artist who was hungry to learn and I wanted to pursue my dreams of making my passion into my vocation. After I reached my initial goal of becoming a professional makeup artist I set a new goal for myself and that was to obtain my esthetics license here in NYS. Once that milestone had been achieved I continued on with the goal of securing a second license for cosmetology. All the while I kept my eyes on the big prize which essentially was to establish my own business. I think it goes without saying that money is a great motivator but for me it is more about trying to live a life that I truly enjoy and to be sure my children are taken care of. Above anything else, my daughters are my inspiration and my motivation. I want to be the best version of myself for them.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur?

In the beauty industry networking is imperative. I think the fact that I am an extravert has been extremely beneficial. Networking allows you to connect with new people who have the potential to become clients or they may recommend you to someone else. I will say however I don’t consider myself to be a sales woman but I do love talking beauty and conversation subsequently opens organically.

Who is the one entrepreneur to be your greatest example and inspiration?

I can’t say that I have one specific person who is my inspiration as a business owner. I will say that I greatly admire individuals who have reached their goals even when they may have started with nothing. I say this because those people work hard, are diligent and do not give up. There are some entrepreneurs

who are well known and are considered to be a wonderful success but not everyone has the same starting place. Some people have advantages from the beginning whether it be someone they know in the industry and allows them an opportunity or they may have access to capital for initial business investments that other individuals may not be afforded. That is not to say that they did not work hard but I find those individuals who literally make something from nothing to be quite inspirational. I believe Oprah Winfrey to be one of those who is very tenacious and inspiring.

How do you define success?

Success is a concept often associated with the attainment of wealth and while that is certainly one way to measure your accomplishments it is not really the only way I look at it. For me, success means doing what I love while also being able to provide for my children. Don’t

get me wrong, if I had the opportunity and the means to jump on a plane and head to Hawaii tomorrow I’d be all over that! But for me, right now I feel a great sense of achievement in my children. I look at them sometimes and just think “wow, they are some awesome humans”! When I see my girls growing and evolving into productive members of society that is what is rewarding to me. When I watch them or hear about them and the ways in which they interact with other people and hear nothing but positive things that is what makes me feel successful. Both of my girls are not only kind and intelligent but also very talented. Mia (15) is extremely talented with makeup. She has mastered techniques that many women still have trouble with. She has also taken an interest in skincare and she has expressed an interest to also secure her esthetics license at some point as a trade to work while she pursues her own dreams of writing music and

performing. Janae (10) is already showing signs of being skilled with styling hair and she has expressed wanting to do something with it in future also as a second job. She hopes to become an attorney as well.

If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it?

I’ve actually pondered this very question because at some point I just may write a book! I think I have a few stories to tell and if any of my life experiences could be of benefit to someone else then I’d love to share the bit of knowledge that I have acquired over the years. As for a title, you’ll just have to wait and see!

What makes you feel out of your comfort zone? What are your ways to handle these situations?

I try my very best to keep lines of communication open with my clients so that we are on the

same page regarding the desired end result. I consider myself to be fairly opened minded and I do my very best to respect others. The only time I can recall ever feel uncomfortable was when I was doing prom makeup on a young lady. She had ideas for what she wanted and she came to me with some great examples of photos on her phone. Her mother who was paying for the service had very different ideas so as you can imagine it meant I had to come up with a look that would appease them both. In the end everyone was happy and pleased with the results. As a business owner you need to be able to manage those types of situations with a level of professionalism that I think takes time and experience and becomes easier as you become more confident in yourself and your skills.

What’s non-negotiable for you?

My family is non-negotiable and by that I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



I mean my family comes first. That is really one of the biggest reasons that I love owning my own business. I have the flexibility to work around my children’s schedules. If there is an important family function I can tweak my schedule to ensure I’m not missing important moments.

What were your greatest failures and what did they teach you?

We are all human and make mistakes throughout our life. It’s a matter of what you take away from that experience that defines you. There is video going around social media right now of the incredible actor Will Smith where he elaborates on the concept of failing your way to success. I encourage anyone reading this article to look it up because he so eloquently puts into perspective how the hurdles throughout your journey give rise to the best rewards. Smith says “fail early, fail often, fail have to get comfortable with failure, you have to seek failure because failure is where all of the lessons are”. He goes on to say “practice is controlled failure”. Successful people do not necessarily have it easier than anyone else but rather they have endurance and they keep getting back up every time they get knocked down. I try to keep this mentality and let me say I have to make it a conscious effort and keep reminding myself. That is also part of why I have my “Persevere” tattoo, it’s a constant reminder to myself to keep pushing and that I am strong enough to endure what life throws at me. By keeping this philosophy it allows you to see that when things do not turn out how you may have envisioned that it is not a failure but rather a lesson.

What else would you like the readers of Rochester Woman Online to know about you and Addicted Artistry?

If anyone is interested in learning more about the services I provide please feel free to check out my website Should you have any questions feel free to email me at



50 Heberton Road • Rochester, NY 14622 585.483.2254 Mary Wilmot • Owner Licensed Esthetician & Cosmetologist

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“I have to laugh when someone asks me what I do,” says Jenny Sanzo. “It’s definitely not a simple answer. I’ve spent the last five years building my brand part-time, from home, while raising my babies.” In that time, Jenny has launched a fashion blog, which launched a styling business. That created the opportunity to become a personal shopper for a major brand. That same blog became a platform to create No More Lies a program to bring to light media bias and body image. That led her to start accepting to speaking engagements and then into event planning. “That same blog produced a product review that inspired me to dive into network marketing and less than three years into that business, I lead and mentor an extraordinary international team of entrepreneurs.” “I get paid to wash my hair, take selfies, play dress up and shop. I have time freedom and financial freedom. I choose my tribe, I set my vibe and I love this life I began to build six short years ago,” Jennifer says. “I want to tell women everywhere that if you listen to your heart – if you work hard and have patience, you can wake up one day with a life most people only dream about. YOU can define success any way you want. If your dream job does not exist YOU can create it for yourself.” Jenny didn’t go to school for fashion. “I have an English Degree and an Elementary Education Masters. And one day, when I had it with the stay-at-home-mom grind, when I feared I was losing myself, my best friend said to me ‘why don’t you start a blog. You love fashion, you love to write, and you need SOMETHING so you don’t go crazy,’” Jenny told us. “Since we had planned on being a single income family, I had the luxury of writing from the heart and letting my passions dictate my content,” Jenny said. “I was able to let my business grow organically without having to worry about pesky nuisances such as rent or the electric bill.” “You see, that blog was my lifeline,” Jenny said. “It got me writing, thinking, socializing. It scratched the itch that motherhood couldn’t: entrepreneurialism.” “Before I knew it, that blog launched my personal styling business – where essentially I get paid to play dress up, clean out people’s closets, and help countless women define their personal style and craft their self-image.” Jenny thinks everyone can benefit from a stylist. “It’s a common misconception that only celebrities and the ultra rich have stylists. Most of my clients are just everyday people: working moms, young professionals... Having that unbiased opinion is so helpful. I think most women don’t know where to start. They have this closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear.” The process does sound intriguing. “We assess what they have, do a considerable amount of purging, and then start

building a wardrobe that reflects their life and personal style. It’s so much fun. And the general consensus is less is more. There might be less hanging in the closet, but my clients always find they have more to wear.” Five years ago Jenny started the Bloggers Closet Yard Sale event. “I gather local bloggers, boutique, owners and artisans to sell items from their closets and close out items from local shops and makers. We partner with Dress for Success Rochester and host a raffle, clothing drive, and give a portion of proceeds as a donation. This year will be held at the Culver Road Armory next to Fleet Feet from 11-4 pm on Sunday, April 29.” Within a few years, Jenny felt the transition from blogger to creative entrepreneur. While she always loved to write, she couldn’t deny that things were evolving. Her styling business was booming, she was planning events, traveling to work with national brands, and working on international social media campaigns. Jenny Sanzo was becoming a brand. Her life changed again after some samples of shampoo were sent to her home. “A Monat market partner sent me samples to review on my blog. I was really impressed by the product and signed up to sell with the hopes of treating it as an affiliate relationship on my blog. I quickly realized the opportunity in front of me with Monat being a new company, the first direct sales brand to lead with haircare and the first haircare brand to market themselves as naturally-based and anti-aging. I saw the huge market potential and decided to invest more time into building a team and a business with Monat. Just under three years later, I’m one of the top leaders with the company, I have earned numerous trips, drive a free brand new white Cadillac, and have drastically changed our family’s financial situation. My side hustle network marketing business now makes up over 90% of my income and has ignited a passion I never knew was missing.” Jenny says “With my network marketing business, I’m most proud of my team. I get more excited for their successes than I do my own. Watching them earn trips and cars, watching mamas get to stay home with their babies, families go on vacation for the for the first time in years, people get out of debt, pay medical bills, it’s honestly the best job in the world.” Jenny wears so many hats, we asked how she manages her time. “I don’t! Ha! This year is like a whole new world because both of my boys are in school. I schedule all of my meetings and do all of my office work from 9-3. I have to be really good about blocking my calendar a few months in advance to know when I have time to fit in all the things I do.” She admits her husband is a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



“I want to tell women everywhere that if you listen to your heart – if you work hard and have patience, you can wake up one day with a life most people only dream about. YOU can define success any way you want.” huge support and shuttles the kids around evenings and weekends when she has events to attend. “I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work. I thrive on being busy. There are days it’s midnight and I’m still replying to messages and I have to make myself go to bed. I have gotten better at delegating, but I could probably still outsource some more. I think it’s a constant work in progress. And I maybe watch 4 hours of tv a week... I think that frees up a great deal of time.” We wanted to know Jenny’s three favorite places in Rochester? “To shop, Peppermint.... To eat: I’m going to cheat and say Village Gate: Goodluck with a group of friends so I can eat all the things, Gatehouse for the burgers, and Salenas because those stuffed avocados are life... And my favorite place to cocktail: Revelry.” Jenny said her advice to women entrepreneurs is ”own it.”

“Do you. Dream big. Commit fully and OWN IT. I see so many people fail because they are derailed by negative people, or rejection, or fear, or perception. Don’t fall prey to worrying about someone else’s opinion. If it sets your soul on fire and you can figure out how to monetize that - give it all you’ve got. Stay authentic and you will attract the right people who will connect to the heart of whatever it is you have to offer. Don’t apologize for who you are, don’t be afraid to have big, audacious goals, and don’t let anyone steal your dreams.” Jenny dreams big when she talks about her future. “I see my styling business becoming the fun sideline and my network marketing business staying my focus. I see myself leading a global team as a Senior Executive Director and mentoring over 100,000 women across the globe. If that isn’t a lofty five year plan... I don’t know what is!” Her bucket list also has big dreams... “I want to write a book, buy a house on the water, and travel wherever my heart desires with the

people I love best. And I’m still holding out for that reality show.” When it comes to defining success, Jenny said she looks at happiness and impact. “I don’t care how much money is in my bank account. I consider myself a success if I can go to bed at night fulfilled feeling like I have made a difference, and wake up in the morning excited for the future. So it’s that constant checking in with myself. Am I living my best life? Are my kids happy? My husband? Am I making a difference? That’s success in my book... personal contentment and a legacy of kindness, love, and putting others first.” To contact Jenny to book an appointment or learn more about this vivacious lady, go to



Geraci Realty is certainly not a new company in the Rochester area, but its humble beginnings were like so many successful small businesses. In the early 70’s, an ambitious Italian American by the name of Vincent Geraci decided to devote capital, time and sweat equity into something he believed in. That something, was helping people find an affordable place they could call home. It would take time, effort and doing right by clients to build a brand that can be recognized by real estate professionals throughout the Rochester market.

firm and industry. Although qualified to continue in Vincent’s footsteps, it was not an ideal time for his daughter to do so, as she was already a partner of a clothing boutique. Despite its challenges, Sonya could not live to let her father down, and forged on to manage Geraci as well as continue her role as partner of the boutique.

With all of the growth to the firm is was only natural to bring on long-time friend and former client of Solia Boutique, Cindy Blair. Cindy’s knowledge of the real estate market in Rochester comes from her over 22 year career in Real Estate.

Like so many small businesses, this was a family business that incorporated V i n c e n t ’s w i f e Josephine and his daughter Sonya. After years of growth and development, there was a time of change that would come about for the firm that no one could have foreseen. Vincent’s battle with cancer would ultimately end his career and life, placing the future of the real estate firm in jeopardy without a successor. It was his daughter, Sonya who did not want to see her father’s passion and hard work come to an end and decided to continue the business. She had worked alongside her father for a number of years and learned both the operational and business aspects of the 72


friend and former business partner to forge a partnership and truly focus on growing the company and the brand. The practice was showing true signs of growth without losing the personal connection to each and every client they worked with. Lisa and Sonya became business partners once again and leveraged their collaborative efforts to overhaul the firm into a competitive boutique real estate firm.

The real estate firm became primary focus when Sonya and her business partner, Lisa Gianvecchio decided it was time to move on from the retail business. They closed the doors of Solia Boutique in 2012, and things for Geraci were about to change once again. With time devoted to the business, revenue began to grow and the company had capacity to increase its footprint. Sonya decided to approach her good

Cindy was born and raised in Brighton, NY, where she grew up in her family businesses, Sue Handlin’s Fashions for Sophistikids & Boy’s Country. After graduation from FIT in NYC, she worked for a number of years in the fashion industry. After getting married Cindy joined her husband in his optometric practice both on 57th Street in Manhattan and Greenwich, CT. It was during her divorce, when she was volunteering at a public summer camp so her daughter could attend, that another mom sought her out, telling her she owned a Real Estate firm, and thought she would be a natural. And this was the beginning of Cindy’s success as a Realtor. After a 3 year initiation in the






The trio employs a team approach on most, if not all of their endeavors. Feedback from the client experience has been extremely positive and comforting to know that there are dedicated partners.




city, Cindy moved back home settling in Brighton. Not only does she bring all of this experience and knowledge to the team, she compliments and adds another dynamic to the firm. Together this power house trio will continue to carry on the Geraci legacy in the Rochester Market. Today, Geraci Realty consists of six producing realtors, and continues to expand their presence throughout the Rochester and surrounding markets. Although growing their client base, there are some personal touches that will never be compromised in exchange for expansion. Every client is treated with a comprehensive, well-thought out plan on how to achieve their goal.



Time, research, knowledge and making use of extensive experience has kept clients worries at bay. The trio employs a team approach on most, if not all of their endeavors. Feedback from the client experience has been extremely positive and comforting to know that there are dedicated partners. This kind of personal service is the foundation of Geraci Realty that still holds true today over 40 years later. Nothing is more exciting to them than the gratifying feeling they get from helping people meet their real estate needs. You can count on Geraci Realty to always do what’s in their client’s best interest.

They pride themselves on being honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable in the real estate market. They know how important it is to help their clients find their dream home or get the best offer for their property. Therefore, they make it their responsibility to help them achieve all their real estate goals. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, land, or interested in commercial property, Geraci Realty will treat you like family, with dedicated professionalism.

“They pride themselves on being honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable in the real estate market. They know how important it is to help their clients find their dream home or get the best offer for their property. Therefore, they make it their responsibility to help them achieve all their real estate goals.�

“Whether you’re buying or selling a home Sonya Geraci-Russell 585-615-8384

Cindy Bl 585-802-

e ~ let us walk you through the process�

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Lisa Gianvecchio 585-737-8806







Every woman has their own perception of what defines a perfect body. Although I believe our imperfections are what make us unique and beautiful, not everyone agrees with that assessment. Sadly, we live in a society that constantly reminds us we aren’t perfect. And that’s not right. The media is making a fortune telling us all of the things we need to do to make us look as close to perfect as possible. There are serums, lotions, lasers, veneers, implants, liposuction, plastic surgery, and the list goes on. It frightens me how many young women critically observe celebrities like the Kardashian’s to discern what is beautiful and what is not. Sometimes I think there is something critically wrong with me because I could care less how big Kim’s lips and butt have gotten.

When You Aren’t Happy With Your Hoo Ha

What I find most disturbing is that women tend to be critical about their bodies anyways and the media perpetuates our neurosis by making us bat shit crazy about the most random body parts. I think all women possess beautiful qualities and I would love to start a new trend that celebrates our unique attributes instead of buying into the Stepford Wives mentality. On the other hand, if there is something about your body that you are truly unhappy with, then it should be your prerogative to have it fixed. Due to the nature of my profession, I’ve come across countless women who are dissatisfied with their body. For example, it never ceases to amaze me how obsessed a woman can get over a body part that most people will never see. Yes, you know what I’m referring to – the infamous hoo-ha. It may surprise you how many women aren’t happy with their genitalia. And I believe if a woman feels insecure or uncomfortable about her body, then she should be able to do whatever it takes to make it the way she wants. Over the years, I’ve heard complaints about the size, shape and even the texture of the labia. Although pregnancy can often change the appearance of the vagina, I think having a baby is worth the battle scars. However, there are times when the simple act of delivering a baby can disfigure a woman’s vagina, and, if that happened to me, I’d want it fixed too. I’ve discovered that women who don’t have the excuse of a ten pounder ripping through their core can be just as unhappy with their anatomy as a mom who has suffered permanent changes to their baby making parts. Thankfully, we live in a day and age that has sympathy with their plight. I love that there are surgeons who have dedicated their lives to helping women be happy with their hoo-ha.

Labiaplasty has become a fairly popular surgery. Specifically, labiaplasty refers to the surgical alteration of the labia majora and/or minora. I am sure there are many of you who cannot fathom having that done, but wait until you hear this story. I came across a college girl a few years back that had labia surgery when she was in high school. Her inner labia were so large that she had to tuck them inside of her vagina so they wouldn’t be visible through her clothing. Yoga pants were never an option, because it looked like she had a penis between her legs. She was an athlete that was mortified to shower with her teammates because she didn’t look like the other girls. Although hoo-ha’s are like snowflakes – no two are exactly alike – there was a significant difference between hers and the other girls. She told me she was extremely embarrassed by what she referred to as her ‘disfiguration.’ She begged her mother to have it fixed and I’m happy to say, the mother agreed. The surgeon simply cut some of the excess skin off of her, leaving the clitoris in tact, and made her labia a normal size. Her story brought tears to my eyes, because the surgery was life changing for this girl. The notion of this type of surgery may seem strange, but if you would have met this girl, you would be as thrilled as I was that there was a surgeon out there who could make her feel normal. I can’t imagine trying to tuck my parts inside my vagina so they weren’t visible through my clothing. Like being a teenager isn’t hard enough? Her scenario is a reminder that we should never judge another person’s actions. I can only imagine the ridicule she felt trying to change in front of her peers with her enlarged labia hanging low and apparent. She told me she never would have come to me to get a Brazilian if she hadn’t had surgery because she would have been too embarrassed. Whether you got beat up internally from Little Johnny, got stretched out and disfigured from his ginormous head, or were born with a hoo-ha that doesn’t make you happy, I am happy to say there are options. And I’d like to think that any woman who has this done isn’t trying to get a hoo-ha that looks like Kim’s and is doing it to make herself feel better about herself. I think every woman should have a happy hoo-ha, whether that refers to the inside or the outside of her body. I also want women to be bald and sexually satisfied on a regular basis, but that may be my article for another month… ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



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The Mrs New York America Pageant is held to give honor and tribute to the incredible married women across our state. The pageant is scheduled for Sunday, March 25th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the RIT Inn and Conference Center. Our winner will compete at the acclaimed Mrs. America Pageant competition! Tickets: $25 adults, $15 children 12 and under Tickets will be sold at the door (doors open at 1:00 p.m.)

Alice Lee Giannetta

Mrs. New York America 2017 Mrs. World 2018

For information please contact: Diane Hardgrove, Executive Director




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icon online awards Announcing the 1st Annual Rochester Woman ICON Awards coming in November of 2018.A celebration of Rochester’s most iconic and trendsetting women.

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Home of the most unique, extrodinary stylists. Our talented team can do everything from color, cut, treatments, and lash extensions to a manicure/pedicure and makeup application! Gift certificates available for any occasion. 32 SOUTH MAIN STREET I PITTSFORD NY 14534 I 585.383.8482 I SALONBELLAVITAPITTSFORD.COM




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{ DATING IN 2018 }


Many of us find ourselves thrown back into the dating game, due to unforeseen circumstances such as divorce or longterm relationships breaking up. In 2017, research shows one divorce occurs every 13 seconds in the United States (1), so chances are your true love will not be your only love! 80% of couples’ head to divorce within the first four years of their marriage (1). So, what are you doing for V-day? Many people may be having a G-day! Hanging with the girls. Finding a new love isn’t as easy as it used to be. The dating game is way different than it was 20 years ago. Pick up your cell phone and let’s go! You don’t have to get dolled up anymore to start looking for your next man. Technology takes over, swipe to the right. Fr o m p e r s o n a l experience, I can tell you dating of the millennium is quite frustrating! From receiving unrequested dick pics, to disgusting direct messages from strangers and random video chat requests be prepared for it all. etc. Certainly not the days of a gentleman opening the car door for a lady! Or taking your time to get to know one another. This is all about the world of technology; Texting, 104


Video Calling and Tinder!!!! No one simply meets up anymore. People equate the communication through technology as actually spending time with a person. There seems to be no standards everything has fallen by the wayside. There are a lot of broken people out there. Match did a survey, of 5,000 single people between ages of (18-70+) and found we as a generation are more likely to be looking for love; are frustrated with dating; and 40% of us have tried online dating (2).

We feel lovely. People crave intimacy. It’s cuddle season. Be prepared to feel frustrated. Be prepared to be lied to. Be prepared to waste hours of time talking to someone only to find out they aren’t what they say they are or they just disappear as quickly as they rode in on that pony. Be prepared to have the person you meet look nothing like the profile pictures they posted, or the picture was from 20 years ago. Be prepared for single profiles to actually be married, but oh yeah, they forgot to mention that. Dating out there is a pure social media circus! Send in the Clowns! People can say whatever in their profiles and often do. A person flipping burgers calls himself a chef. People think being on social services means self-employed. On a positive note, I also know many people who met their current spouses online so it’s working for some people. You may be the lucky one that finds the diamond in the rough or your true love. Muaaahhh!!! If you have your Facebook profile set at single, you will get unwanted guests hitting you

{ DATING IN 2018 }



If you have your Facebook profile set at single, you will get unwanted guests hitting you up. So, the first tip is, you don’t have to do anything but set your relationship status to single and they will all find you! So, do nothing! Sit back and let them come to you. This works on most social media sites. You will receive private messages on Facebook and Instagram. My second tip is post a picture. People like graphics. Show a little leg, this will definitely increase the traffic to your inbox. I posted a sarcastic post, meant to encourage plus-sized women after receiving a message in my inbox telling me to let the person help me lose weight. I had a million people in my inbox after posting a picture with some sarcastic comments. I guess getting to know people is a thing of the past. The most talked about dating 106


site is Tinder and it simply tells you to swipe right. You basically swipe right if you like the picture, Are we this shallow? I’m the first one that cannot talk about “find the inner beauty” as I am someone who does like certain things about the men I date, such as they can’t need a bag over the head. LOL. But just swiping a pic seems a little shallow even for me. Yes, being attractive is a good thing. I would at least want to know how tall the guy is. Maybe If he has a job. How many baby mommas does he have. That kind of stuff. It’s need to know. You can’t just be cute. People who are hesitant, these sites are not just for the kids everybody is on there. So, come on ladies, check it out it might lead to your happily ever after. But I must warn you ladies watch out for

these young ins. I have been hit up by men who are the same age as my son. Be careful. If they tell you, you are a MILF. This means “A mom they want to F#$%”. Make sure you know the lingo. People have no filter so be prepared to discuss all kinds of things. Get your selfie game tight as they always want pictures! Swipe Right everybody! Swipe right! Resources 1. WeVource (2017). Retrieved January 10,2018, from 2. Toglia, M. (Feb. 6, 2017). How Single Millennials Feel About Dating in 2017, Because it’s Pretty Complicated, Bustle, Retrieved from how-single-millenials-feel-about-dating-in2017-because-its-pretty-complicated-35988





Rochester’s Premiere Comedy Club Some Of Our Upcoming A-List Shows!

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A masterpiece of a restaurant owned by Tyler Wolk, Josh Miles, and John Ramey. This location, was chosen for its historical relationship to the area. May I start by saying, these people are banging out fantastic, delicious, beautiful food and beverages. What a winner! Located at 683 Pittsford Victor Rd., Pittsford, N.Y. 14534 and can be reached at 585-3107415, or at Believe me, you will want to visit them! Exceptional, delicious, detailed food, from its preparation, to its presentation! I was invited into Branca Restaurant out in Bushnell’s Basin for what they called their food show. I felt privileged to be welcome by the staff in this awesome gathering. Tasting the new winter menu of foods and cocktails was taken seriously, therefore, the staff is fully knowledgeable of the menu. General manager, Andrea Hughes, has been in the restaurant business since 2004, in several capacities such as, manager, server, bar tender, including owning her own café for a few years. Andrea is respected and loved by her staff and when you have a happy staff, you know it is because of management. Working in a family environment and where all the staff is truly happy with their jobs helps her to enjoy her position as well. The floor manager has been with Branca

almost three years. Carly Straight has worked in restaurants since she was seventeen years of age. She has a culinary education from MCC, and has had positions including hostess, server, and now management. I sat next to Carly during our tasting and found her to be very food knowledgeable. Carly’s favorite part of her position is helping and training staff. The bar manager / mixologist, was very impressive. Megan Goodney has been with the company for one year, and was introducing her second seasonal craft cocktail menu, and man did she bring it! It was quite clear that not only does Megan enjoy her career but excels at it. We took just a small sip of the new cocktails, and they were unique and delicious. You can’t help noticing the copper mugs hanging proudly on the bar’s back wall. The Milan Mule is the most ordered and loved on the cocktail list. This cocktail combines vodka, a strawberrybasil shrub, lime juice, and Gosling’s Ginger Beer, with a basil leaf garnish. It was yummy! The Juice Cleanse cocktail was bright orange with carrot, lemon, pineapple juices and vodka along with other ingredients and was double strained. It had a light floral then grape back taste to it, which was brought on by the aloe water included. Pear Pressure was a sexy looking drink. It was a combination of Jim Beam double oak bourbon, lemon juice, a pear-fennel shrub and simple




{ PLATTER CHATTER } syrup, with a pear slice as garnish. Typically, a shrub is defined as a sweetened vinegar-based syrup from in which a cocktail is made. It is often infused with fruit juice, herbs, and spices for use in mixed drinks. Very tasty! I enjoyed the taste of every cocktail! Introducing Executive Chef Jim Zobel and Sous Chef Michael James Seifert. These two talented men have been friends since childhood. They have cooked at other restaurants together, and followed similar paths. Jim was mentored by chef Jeromy Nucelli of Char Steak & Lounge at the Strathallan. Jim loves to take simple foods and give them a complex twist, and does a great job doing it. Michael has worked at his mom Lisa’s restaurant, The Lamplighter, helping her with wine pairing dinners. Both these two men have Hospitality Management and Culinary degrees from MCC. Both Jim and Michael love intermingling with the guests, when they can step out of the kitchen. Both these two men were brought up in Gates and were raised preparing fresh foods from scratch daily in their homes. Michael’s dad George, made the fresh pasta, and passed his craft and passion down to Michael, whom creates all the homemade pasta for Branca. Michael is also in charge of making the desserts. These two men have taken on the charcuterie program over. When looking around, you will see meats wrapped, drying and curing, properly hanging in a window for guests to view. Both love their positions, are hardworking, passionate chefs and I wish them great careers. They are blowing the doors off this place! Branca creates wood fired Neapolitan pizza and takes pizza selections to its finest. I tasted Little Sprout Farms. It has a garlic oil base, parmesan, piave, and pecorino cheeses. It is topped with locally grown mushrooms, a rosemary cream sauce, fresh shallots, and parsley. The crust was thin and crispy, not too charred by the fire, just perfect. The Seared Octopus, as a first course, is seared and braised. Delicious sitting on a beet puree, along side cubes of butternut squash poached in simple syrup and spiced cubes of pork belly, which is cured for three days then roasted for three hours. Quite a cool looking plate. I would order this and all the foods I tried! Bib lettuce from Bolton Farms made a wonderful salad with its red shaved onions,

pickled mustard seeds, oven roasted pancetta chip, and gorgonzola dolce(foam), and topped with a balsamic glaze. Very enjoyable. Scallops with a sunchoke puree, buttered leeks, topped with American sturgeon caviar and sorrel espuma(foam) were enjoyed. Sunchoke are a tubular-shaped thin-skinned root vegetable from a type of sunflower. They are like potatoes and other root vegetables. The ½ chicken entrée was wonderful. Crispy on the outside and juicy inside. It had a fresh poultry flavor and was oh so tender. The chickens are brined two days, marinated one full day, then roasted. Veal Osso Bucco comes out in a cool pot just for you, filled with root vegetables, baby kale, charred herb baguette, rosemary, and braising liquid. The center bone comes with a small spoon for you to spoon out the bone marrow from the veal shank. The creamy potato mousseline that comes on the 6 oz. 1855 Filet Mignon plate was delicate and flavorful, along with that and the tender meat, are carrots cooked in duck fat, carrot juice and thyme, and comes with a rich flavored demi glaze. A meat and potato lovers offering for sure! Four pasta dishes were sampled. Truffle Ravioli, so light and delicate. Spaghetti with Clam sauce was an eye opener. The lemon saffron pasta was bursting with taste, topped with one half dozen clams in the shell and the sauce that comes along delicious. To make it even better, topped with very crispy bread crumbs, that sort of catch you delightfully off guard. Loved them! The fresh made Cavatelli Lamb Bolognese was rich in flavor. The pasta was dense and the cream-based sauce out of this world. Finally, the meat of the Seared Oxtail Gnocchi was tender and full of character and the gnocchi perfect. A side dish of small Meatballs with ricotta piped onto the plate would be worth ordering. I could eat a lot of those! Finally, we were introduced to Deconstructed Cannoli, delicate cream, orange butter tuile cookie, candied orange peel, chocolate bark, and pistachio powder. A great dessert to share. Chocolate-Hazelnut Crème Brulee. This was delicate, not too sweet, and wonderful. I noted that it did not have a heavy eggy taste, which was a good thing as far as I was concerned, and the delicate crisp topping was perfect. I visited again before my final thoughts on ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018





You can’t help noticing the copper mugs hanging proudly on the bar’s back wall. The Milan Mule is the most ordered and loved on the cocktail list. This cocktail combines vodka, a strawberry-basil shrub, lime juice, and Gosling’s Ginger Beer, with a basil leaf garnish. It was yummy!

this restaurant. I just could not get enough of this place. Our server that visit was Drew. Impeccable service! Brought out to me was an appetizer of Ricotta which came with whole roasted garlic bulb, EVOO, (extra virgin olive oil) and herb crostini. I could not stop myself from spreading the rich roasted garlic and ricotta on the toasted bread rounds and consuming one after another! Also tried was the Antipasti Board. An assortment of their own aged meats thinly sliced, cheese, a house made giardiniera, which was an Italian relish of vegetables pickled with a vinegar. Also packed on this dream boat was

mostarda, which was an assortment of dried fruits, such as apricots white raisins etc., all marinated in a sweet glaze with a hint of a wine or vinegar base. I loved it. Included were also delicious toasted marcona almonds. From the Contorni menu, which are their side dishes, I tried Gnocchi Alla Romana. These ample sized gnocchi are different from the menu entrée selection. They are as light as air, sit in a rich red sauce and I suggest everyone try them! I would order them again in a heartbeat! Thanks, Branca. I will come again. Your food hospitality, service and ambiance were superb!



cheesy eddies { PLATTER CHATTER }


and it’s many layers And I’m Not Just Talking Cheesecake! Cheesy Eddies was originally established on Monroe Ave, then moved to South Ave. in 1982. It wasn’t until November of 2003 that owners John and Colleen Baker took over. The shop moved to the South Wedge area, around the beginning of the areas rejuvenation. They believe that their bake shop should not only be a neighborhood stop in, but a planned visit. They value the close community vibe, as well as clients coming to them from all over the county and further. Cheesy Eddies provides fresh quality products that you can enjoy, purchase and will be happy to serve your family, guests, and clients, whether at a home, businesses, area restaurant, or at an event. Everything is made from scratch, using natural ingredients, and they provide impeccable service. Along with the amazing variety of cheesecake, they will not allow any ingredients to over shadow the rich creamy base of their cheesecakes. Everything is incorporated in recipes, keeping that in mind. Cheesy Eddies has many layers due to the vast amount of product, and services it offers. In the past, when thinking about Cheesy Eddies, I bet a round plain, cheesecake in which they call their Rich Original Vanilla, came to mind. Maybe you envision a flavorsome swirl. While there are still these tried and true flavors, such as Marble, Amaretto, Raspberry and others,

John and Colleen and their brilliant staff have stepped it all up quite a few notches! When first owning the shop, they did not want to rock the boat and change how clients perceived the pre-owned bake shop, but in time a burst of talent, imagination and skill hit the menu. As a matter of fact, as John’s favorite remains the Rich Original Vanilla, Colleen now leans towards the Apple Carmel Streusel Cheesecake. You can stroll into Cheesy Eddies at 602 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620, Monday-Thursday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am4:00 pm. You may look up their web address, to see what they offer, call at 585-473-1300, or 1-800-268-5910, or go to Cheesy Eddies Bakery on FB. You can e-mail them at, They are tried and true and deeply established, so it is not hard to find them at all. Cheesy Eddies not only provides a variety of cheesecakes, but also very tasty, fresh, moist carrot cake, muffins, brownies lemon bars, muddy bottom bars, cookies, Russian tea cookies, cakes by the slice, cupcakes, cheesecake stuffed cupcakes, and cupcake shaped cheesecake, often right on the spot in their location. They also offer what they call the “Over the Top” list of cheesecakes. Cherry Delight, Snickers, Pecan Turtle, and Carrot Cake Cheesecake are scrumptious, and are just to name a few, including ‘Over the Top” samplers, with either four pounds or two pounds included. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


What most people do not know is that when you order a piece of cheesecake at several restaurants and events around town, you are often getting Cheesy Eddie Cheesecake. There are just too many, seriously, to mention! Cheesy Eddies is very happy to offer their wellbeloved Carrots cakes. The moist delicious layers are filled and frosted with an extremely light, wonderful, cream cheese frosting, and topped with distinctive buttercream frosting carrots, and they can custom decorate them for you. Chocolate lovers are not forsaken here. They offer Very Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting, or with a cream cheese frosting, or their famous Chocolate Log which is a light chocolate cake covered in creamy chocolate mousse, rolled and frosted with a bittersweet chocolate! It comes handsomely wrapped in a long rectangular box with ribbon, decorated differently for different seasons or occasions. They also have cheesecake topped with a chocolate ganache and Peanut Butter Mousse Cake. Ask about other chocolate possibilities. When first running the bakery, they had a niece that would come and loved to eat the buttery, delicious oatmeal cookies as a treat. I cannot blame her. Jillian would insist on the bakery chef topping her cookie with the cream cheese filling. Eventually they decided to make a cookie sandwich out of them, filled with the cream cheese filling. Since then “Jillian Delights” have been offered. Later, a chocolate chip cookie got the same handling and became the “Jack Delights”. These two cookie sandwiches are very popular and come in different sizes. Call ahead, to ask what fresh baked items they have on hand. Got a craving for sweets

or an upcoming need of baked goods for such events as corporate function, wedding, anniversary, birthday, graduation, Mother’s or Father’s Day, christening, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Quinceanera, baby or wedding shower, engagement party, group reunion, please contact them. They have a tremendous number of baked goods offerings, in all shapes and sizes, all in which are exquisite. They even offer two bite cheesecake minis that are small oval shaped, perfect if you would like to try many different flavors! Cheesy Eddies offers many layers of service. Of course, there is their retail store. They can sell your organization, product for your charitable events, helping your organization raise money. They ship product throughout the Continental USA. When shipping, they use special reusable coolers, in which your fresh baked product becomes freshly frozen and tightly wrapped, so that it is at a premium texture and flavor by the time it reaches its destination. They sell their product wholesale to restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores. Gift baskets are not new to Cheesy Eddies, they make great personal, and corporate gifts. Go to to see what they can do for your corporation. Wedding cakes made from Cheesy Eddies, are offered in a variety of cheesecake flavors, carrot cake and chocolate. Call Lindsy Palmer, whom is their wedding consultant. You can go

to to see what they offer, and to start to communicate with all the ways Lindsy can help you. You can also visit to see their wedding gallery. Call and make an appointment with Lindsy. She can offer cheesecake wedding cake and provide lovely dessert trays in many sizes. Lindsy offers two packages. They have their retail package and their full-service package. When contacting Lindsy she will have a conversation with you to make sure Cheesy Eddies can fulfill your requests, make suggestions, find the right look and cake flavor(s) and amount of service you would enjoy. As a matter of fact, it is at a wedding that John Baker, owner, had Cheesy Eddies cheesecake wedding cake and was so impressed, that he was fully convinced he wanted to pursue owning the business! Lindsy and owner Colleen say they are beginning to get second generation Cheesy Eddie wedding cake clients! They make wedding cakes that make memories. Colleen and John understand that Cheesy Eddies would not be the premier bake shop that they own, with out exceptional staff, not only do they employ their wedding consultant Lindsy Palmer, but others as well. Peter Martusciello is their head baker for five years now. Last name sound familiar? John has a bread making background with his family’s business since his youth. He has a team of creative dedicated, talented workers whom help him six days a week to accomplish all the shop has to offer. There ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



is Jenny, Megan and their newest employee, Shelly. Ali handles all cake designs including what is needed for wedding cake dreams come true! Ali excels in cake design. What most people do not know is that when you order a piece of cheesecake at several restaurants and events around town, you are often getting Cheesy Eddie Cheesecake. There are just too many, seriously, to mention! Next time you are ordering cheesecake out, ask if it is Cheesy Eddies! If it is, order a slice. You will not be disappointed. During my visit, I tasted their carrot cake, that was out of this world. It was full of fresh carrot, extremely flavorsome, moist and enjoyable. I loved the Jillian Delight, which

you can get addicted to real fast, along with many other cheesecake flavors, including the Rich Original Vanilla which is made with only a very high-quality Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and as well is in all their cheesecake bases. The second I took a bite of that cheesecake, I understood why Cheesy Eddies beginnings were such a success, and continue to be! Every bite I took was pure bliss. My palette was quite happy by the time I left. I have been craving cheesecake ever since! Getting to know all the many layers of Cheesy Eddies was a pleasure and I highly recommend you experience their many layers yourself!



Alex Fashion & Bridal I 3300 Monroe Ave, Suite 200 I Rochester, N

Ready to Say Yes to the Dress? Schedule an appointment today!

New York 14618 I (585) 506-8506 I



My story is one of a dream fulfilled. As a child I dreamed of a career that would focus on the wedding industry; I wondered about maybe owning a wedding dress shop or being a wedding cake decorator. Many dreams fade with the overshadowing reality of life, family, and financial challenges, and mine did for a time. T h e d re a m was rekindled, mostly due to my great disappointment with the direction of my career path. Suddenly,the memory of that childhood d r e a m resurfaced, and with it a desire to take that entrepreneurial risk rose up inside me. That was when Trusted Treasurez was realized. The name “ Tr u s t e d Treasurez” was how I envisioned the initial product I offered: beautiful, uniquely created, silk bridal bouquets that would symbolize the trusted memories of the bride and her groom’s love, and a treasure of that memory for them, their family and friends for a lifetime and beyond. Bridal bouquets by Trusted Treasuez are exclusively created to include each bride’s own vision, 126


colors, and style. A true connection and sometimes a deep friendship are realized through the creative process which is so precious. I’m completely invested in every bride’s desire to have the bouquet of her dreams; one that is a focal point of her wedding, a reflection of her personality, and the love and care she feels for her groom and all of her family and friends. It

really is a special feeling to be involved in such a meaningful way in one of the most memorable days of a bride’s life. It’s my passion and honor to help her realize her dream. Amazingly, the initial focus of Trusted Treasurez has greatly expanded to include so many other wonderful additions, that not only make any wedding special, but

also many other event celebrations, like bridal showers, baby showers, quinces, birthday parties, anniversary’s and more. Trusted Treasurez now offers not only bridal bouquets and all of the wedding party flowers, but also, full wedding and reception décor, 10 different styles and colors of king and queen chairs, 2 styles of love seats, custom backdrops, table linens (including specialty linens), chair covers, complete d e l i v e r y, set up and take down, and event design and coordination! Phew! It’s all hard work, but is truly a labor of love. Everything I’ve been able to accomplish through Tr u s t e d Tr e a s u r e z has been, and continues to be, supported b y m y amazing staff, family and friends. They work with me regularly to help with delivery, set up and take down, and the administration of the business. I have an incredible team! But I still exclusively hold the creative design of all bridal bouquets, wedding party flowers, décor arrangements and backdrops…it is my love, my passion, and my signature that is Trusted Treasurez!




{ LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS } “I still exclusively hold the creative design of all bridal bouquets, wedding party flowers, décor arrangements and backdrops…it is my love, my passion, and my signature that is Trusted Treasurez!”



Treasurez TRUSTED

Trusted Treasurez offers full event services, rentals, including King and Queen throne chairs, furniture, linens, centerpieces, Decor, backdrops, Bouquets, and so much more! 1742 Long Pond Rd I Rochester, NY I (585) 802-9050



This recurring column by David S 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!

was at the house I just left. He smelled. I think he was drinking. He didn’t act right. He tried to grab me and pick me up but I was starting to panic and I was trying to scream but I couldn’t. I tried to jerk away from him but he grabbed by breast and crushed it. That’s when I knew something was very wrong. I was scared and I didn’t know what to do.

This month’s story comes from one of our students. I polled some of the women that had completed our EQUALIZER courses to see if they would share their story and out of the few that felt comfortable enough, this one stood out:

I still remember the smell of his breath when he told me to ‘Shut the F**k up or I’ll hurt you”. That’s when he grabbed by my hair and around my chest and made me go between two houses into a yard. I remember feeling numb. This is not happening to me. My mind was trying to think of something to do. My mother always said that I should kick guys in the nuts and run. I couldn’t do it. He was hurting me and making me go with him and I couldn’t do it. I got scared. What was he going to do to me? Beat me up more? Steal my purse? Or worse? That’s when I started to panic more. I started screaming and he slapped me. I tried to pull

How I found out I needed to learn to fight. – by Madelyn (name changed to protect her identity) There’s no way to ease into this story. I was what I imagined to be an average woman. I was working at a good job, had lots of friends, and I felt safe. I mean it. I watched the news, saw my Facebook feed of things happening elsewhere but I thought “That’s someone else. That’s somewhere else. That can’t happen to me.” I don’t have enemies because people at work like me, my friends all love me! How could a criminal go after me? Until I was wrong. I was leaving a friend’s house after a bunch of us got together. There were lots of people I knew and a few that I didn’t. It was a nice evening and I walked the short way home. It wasn’t late. It wasn’t dark out. Then HE came out of nowhere. It was sudden and I was shocked. Where did he come from? I froze. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t want to realize it. This guy just came up behind me and pushed me to the ground. Hard. It hurt. I landed on my side and my arm and it hurt. I thought I broke it. He didn’t stop. He grabbed me and pulled me up by my hair and arm. I recognized him. He 130


away from him and he punched me. That’s when he said “I warned you to shut up” and he hit me again. I was dizzy and II felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t want to pass out. I felt him grabbing my breasts and him pulling my pants down. Is this what a rape is? This can’t be happening now! Then I screamed. Loud. He tried to hit me but I got out of his hand and pulled away. I yelled again. “Get away from me” “Leave me the F**k alone!” I don’t know what it was but I got angry. The more I yelled the angrier I got. I don’t know what happened but I was able to get him off of me and I started running. He was yelling at me and I was yelling at him to stay away from me. I did not know what I was going to do if he grabbed me again so I ran faster. At the end of the sidewalk, there were a few people. One guy heard me yelling and was coming towards me. All he asked was “Are you OK? Where is he?” I could only point behind me and he left me and went where I pointed. The other people came over and walked me towards their car. We stood there for a few minutes and she asked me if I was OK. ‘Where did he hurt you?” I could only point to my arm, my chest, and my face. He said he was calling the police and I panicked. What if they didn’t find him? Would they believe me? What would I say? Who do I call? I started crying and shaking. I felt better but I was starting to think what could have happened. What if I didn’t yell, or fight, or run? What would he have done then? I called my Mom. I started crying and tried to tell her what happened. They lady helped by taking my phone and started telling my Mom where I was. She was going to come get me. I felt better.



Then I felt that I didn’t do what she told me. I didn’t know what to think!

to freak out. I decided that I needed to do something about this. Soon. Now.

The other guy came back and said that he couldn’t find the other one. He had run off. He looked in all the yards close by but he was gone. By then the police had arrived. The lady officer was great. We sat on some steps while we talked. I told her what I could about how the guy looked. She wrote it all down and took a couple pictures. She gave me her card and a hug. I felt better. Then, she said I’ll wait until your Mom gets here. I felt safe.

I went online and looked up rape prevention courses and self defense training. At first, all I found was a bunch of karate schools. Then, I saw something that hit me. This place called Rochester Personal Defense. There was an ad for a Ladies Equalizer class. I read it and it sounded like something I wanted. They said this class would teach me how to avoid being a victim and I thought: “Too late” but I kind of laughed. I called a couple of my friends and said I am going to go, come with me. They thought I was kidding but they all signed up and we went.

After my Mom arrived, we all talked and then she took me home. All I could think about was taking a shower and washing his smell off of me. I think I spent an hour in there just boiling and scrubbing. While I was in the shower I kept thinking about other things. What could I have done more? How did that happen to me? Why? I just didn’t have any answers. I did not like that. While I was in the shower, my Mom called my friends and let them know what happened. They were all shocked and tried to figure out who it was. They had an idea but couldn’t remember his name. I just wanted to forget it and get back to normal. After a few weeks, I had a reminder. Someone that looked like HIM walked by me. It wasn’t him but this guy was close enough that I started 132


I have to admit that I did not know what to expect but when I got there, the instructor was friendly and I thought “He’s nice, but how can he show me how to fight someone?” but when we all sat down and started talking about changing my mindset, reading body language, and learning how to tell yourself it’s OK to be assertive and also fight, I was interested. I started to replay my attack in my head and wanted to know more. I wanted to win. When we went into the other room, there were these three big dummy hitting guys. They all looked mean but I just wanted to hit them all! We did some striking with what the instructor said was the heel of my palm, then we did elbows, and fists. It felt good to hit these dummies! We

also did some knee kicks and some skills on the ground. I have to tell you the more we did and learned, the more I wanted. I felt powerful! At the end of the class, we got to train with the instructor. He had on this big puffy looking suit that let us hit him without hurting him. I was so scared but I did it. After the first time, I wanted more. I ended up going four times. Each time I asked for more. I wanted to know I could win and wanted to fight! At the end of the course I was exhausted. My hands hurt, my elbows hurt, and my voice was scratchy from yelling. But I felt great! We all sat around for a bit and talked about our favorite part of the class. I wanted to say everything was great but I found that my brain had switched from scared to confident. I felt like I could do anything! I stayed after with my friends and told the instructor what had happened. I wanted to apologize for hitting so hard or fighting and he smiled and said “That’s what you need to do to win. That’s what you needed to do so you could use your attack to get better. This is the best therapy ever” and he was right. I WAS attacked. I WAS a victim. Not any more. Now, I am smarter, stronger, and I will fight. I will win. I am NOT a victim! Not me. Not now. Not ever.



Tonya spent night after night in different hotel rooms, with different men, all at the command of someone she once trusted. She was held against her will, beaten and made to feel like she had no other option. “Some men would laugh at me because I would start crying,” the 15-year-old said. “I had to close my eyes so that that I wouldn’t see what they were doing to me, so that I wouldn’t feel anything.”

Police: Massage parlor a front for prostitution Democrat and Chronicle - November 3, 2016 City man sentenced for sex trafficking Democrat and Chronicle - May 19, 2016 Couple charged with sex trafficking minors Democrat and Chronicle - May 13, 2016 Man pleads guilty to sex trafficking Democrat and Chronicle - February 16, 2016

Tonya felt she couldn’t escape. Afraid and confused, she thought the emotional and physical abuse she endured was for the man she loved. It’s a common belief that human trafficking — luring young people, making them dependent then demanding that they work, most often in the sex trade — is a Third-World problem. Yet an estimated 17,500 people are trafficked into or around the U.S. each year. Many victims are first exploited as children and teens, and individuals living in poverty or from refugee families are particularly vulnerable. Exploitation often continues for years, as victims fear for their safety and survival if they try to escape their trafficker. In 2016, the number of reported cases of human trafficking in the United States jumped by 35 percent. Recent local headlines of cases right here in Rochester are alarming: 134


room personnel aren’t trained to identify and treat trafficking victims. Students from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry organized and hosted a daylong conference in January, to bring attention to the global epidemic of human trafficking. Their goal was to educate health care providers and members of the community about the role they can play in identifying and helping victims. “Human trafficking awareness is lacking in the broader Rochester community as well as within the University of Rochester,” said Shea Nagle, a second year medical student at the U of R and a conference organizer.

The numbers are concerning, but advocates say it remains an often overlooked or forgotten issue because prostitution is often characterized as a ‘victimless crime.’ Yet an alarming number of sex workers are minors with nowhere to turn. It’s reported that in this country, less than 1 percent of hospitals have a plan for treating patients who are being trafficked and 95 percent of emergency

“My colleagues and I noted during our first year of medical school that human trafficking awareness was not in the curriculum. We think this is a really important topic and wanted to address it within the medical c o m m u n i t y. We came up with the idea of organizing an educational conference open to URMC health care providers, URSMD students, and the public. It was our hope that this conference would teach providers how to recognize the signs of human trafficking in patients and connect them to community resources that are available for those patients.” An estimated 150 nurses, doctors

Money can be earned. Time can be made. Education can be acquired. Relationships can be nurtured. Habits can be broken. YOUR GOALS CAN BE ACHIEVED!



and community leaders attended the conference, which was by all accounts, a big success to raise awareness in our region. “The issue of human trafficking strikes particularly close to home in Rochester, as our relatively small city has staggering numbers of trafficked individuals due to its high poverty rate,” says second-year medical student Anna Bowen, one of the event coordinators. “We are hoping our conference raises awareness of an issue that is often forgotten, and engages more health care professionals in anti-human trafficking efforts.”


changing or don’t make sense with the injury. When your gut tells you that a story doesn’t make sense, it probably doesn’t and that may warrant further questioning. It’s also really important to conduct medical interviews with a patient in private. Sometimes the trafficker may come with them to the hospital, and so making sure patients have a chance to speak with providers alone is crucial.”

Physicians, nurses, social workers and other providers have a large opportunity to identify victims when they come in contact with the health care system for such incidents as physical abuse injuries, sexually-transmitted infections, pregnancy, drug or alcohol abuse, or other issues requiring emergent care.

Dr. Celia McIntosh of the Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking, says that many of the signs a health care provider should take note of are the same signs they look out for in patients who are victims of interpersonal and domestic violence. This can be useful in helping providers frame their approach to a patient who they suspect is a victim of human trafficking. Other things to keep in mind as red flags include frequent fractures, recurrent sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorders, and homelessness.

“Physicians and nurses need to listen carefully to patients,” Shea said. “A huge red flag is when the details about how someone was injured either keep

The Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking is a local resource that is dedicated to eliminating human trafficking in our communities through


education, advocacy, and networking with individuals and organizations. The coalition accepts money donations and care pack item donations such as toiletries, clothing, and food which are distributed by local law enforcement and outreach workers to victims of human trafficking. In the coming weeks, the conference organizers will be meeting to discuss our next steps. “Our goal is to use the momentum we gained from this conference to help us move forward and implement more permanent anti-human trafficking developments at URSMD and URMC,” Shea said. “This may manifest as making the conference an annual event or developing learning modules for students, residents, faculty and staff. At the end of the day, this is a really important issue that we hope to continue shed light on.” To donate or learn how to volunteer to help visit the Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking website at



Founder & Executive Director Brightstar Community The cycle of addiction, prostitution and human trafficking have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Sadly, this problem is especially severe in the Rochester area. It is for that reason a program called Thistle Farms, developed in Nashville, TN which has been helping women trapped in sexual slavery and prostitution for more than twenty years is being brought to Rochester by Sue Kirby, founder and Executive Director of Brightstar Community, a locally based organization using the Thistle Farm model. Brightstar is one of 41 sister organizations to Thistle Farms and a member of the Thistle National Network. Rochester Women Online sat down with Brighstar founder and Executive Director Sue Kirby last month to discuss this passionate and powerful project. 1. What is the mission of Brightstar Community? Brightstar Community’s mission is to help women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction find healing, hope, and freedom. We do this by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners. We believe that in the end, love is the most powerful force for change in the world. 1. What role does Brightstar play in our community? What needs does it meet that are not already being met by other nonprofit agencies doing similar work (Coffee Connection, Project Empower, Willow, Angels of Mercy)? Brightstar Community will 138


provide services needed to Rochester’s women who have suffered from addiction, prostitution and human trafficking. These services include, but are not limited to rehabilitation from addiction, trauma-informed and mental health care, counseling, business skills, and rent-free housing for two years so they can fully recover from their traumatic situations. We follow a twelve-step recovery program that is customized to each woman’s needs based on their situation. Our biggest differentiator from other local charities is that we focus on healing victimized women and providing two years rent free with no live-in authority figure. This allows the women to recover, heal, and avoid relapse. We do this by partnering with other organizations in our community; raising funds within the community: individual donors, grants and corporate sponsors; and following a successful national model. We receive zero federal or state

funding. We are backed by a national network of over 40 sister organizations around the country that form the Thistle National Network, based on the principle: To drive systematic change by growing a survivor-led community that connects those directly impacted by trafficking, prostitution, addiction and abuse to opportunities for healing and empowerment. All sister organizations in the national network are modeled after the highly-successful program at Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN. This program provides survivorcentered care and education in a residential environment, building their programs on three key pillars: Health, Employment, Housing. Data will be shared with all sister organizations to show not only the individual success rate at each organization but throughout the entire network. Thistle Farms has a nationally-recognized model that is working, and we are bringing that to the Rochester community. 2. Have you had difficulty, or do you think you may have difficulty attracting donors, foundation grants or any other support because there are other organizations in our area that have the same mission as Brightstar Community? Human trafficking and prostitution is a growing epidemic in our community. Because of this we have already seen incredible interest in our organization. There is so much work that needs to be done. Through monthly conference calls with our national network, we are constantly sharing ideas and

resources for funding. It is about creating a team of people that share the passion for our mission to put our heads together for creating new ideas for fundraising events, meeting new people and telling the story of Brightstar Community. Every person on our team can share our mission and tell our story. 3. What is your personal connection to Thistle Farms? In the Fall of 2015, I was introduced to Becca Stevens and her program in Nashville, TN. I was able to attend an event where she was speaking at Hamilton College here in Central New York. Becca explained their effort to educate those interested in bringing this program to their community through workshops held at the facility in Nashville. Becca encouraged me to attend. After experiencing Becca’s genuine regard and true humility toward women at risk, I knew that Brightstar Community had found a solid model to follow. I signed up to attend a one-day workshop in April of 2016. Then, I returned for a two-day workshop in October of 2016 and that’s when Brightstar Community

became a sister organization, shortly after the newly-formed Thistle National Network was formed. 4. What unique challenges and rewards come from working in the nonprofit sector? I think a unique challenge we have encountered in starting a nonprofit is all the paperwork and requirements to become a nonprofit organization in New York State. After sharing with other sister organizations around the country, I have learned that New York State is one of the more difficult states in the country to start this process. 5. Who or what are your biggest inspirations in your life? My biggest inspirations in my life have been my mother who left this world far too soon, when I was 11 years old. She exuded love and acceptance for everyone she met. After my mother, I would have to say my Aunt Peggy, one of my mother’s sisters, who shared light and love that I try to carry with me throughout everything I do in my life. These two women

had a way of allowing you to just feel loved and accepted right where you were in life! I never felt judged or “less-than” in their presence. It is a rare quality! 6. What are some of your professional goals for the future? My professional goals are, first and foremost, to get our first house, “Lisa’s House”, up and running by the end of 2018. Continue building a community of partners in the Rochester/ Monroe County area. Also, to welcome the first women of Brightstar Community into their home and start the healing process and the journey to reconnecting them to their genuine self. 7. What traits are needed to be a successful in development in the nonprofit sector? I think the biggest traits needed are humility and a team of people surrounding you that share Brightstar Community’s vision and mission. Knowing that I don’t have all the answers and I need the help of the people around me is ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE } The cycle of addiction, prostitution and human trafficking have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Sadly, this problem is especially severe in the Rochester area.

something I never want to forget! This is not about “me”, this is about building a community for these women and a safe place for them to recover and rebuild their lives. 8. Define “Success”. Success, to me, means meeting the needs of the women who we will be helping. To have our words match our actions. Also, to be able to collaborate in such a way to engage the community, and always be developing innovative ways to meet those needs. 9. Who are some of your influences today? Why? My biggest influence today, obviously, is Becca Stevens. She embodies everything I aspire to be. She is humble, approachable and still teachable. These are qualities I always want to have. My other influences are all the men and women that are doing this, or similar work, with the sole purpose to help women achieve their authentic purpose in this life. 10. Growing up, who were some of your role models? Mr. Lalik, my social studies teacher in 10th grade. I was NOT a good student (especially



with social studies) and he saw something in me that I could not see. He encouraged me to believe in myself and assured me that I could do what was being asked of me and made it fun in the process! He used humor when he taught and that really helped me. He, sadly, passed away while vacationing with his wife during spring break. I made it my goal to pass that class and got extra help to do that. I ended up getting a B+ that year in Social Studies!! This was all due to Mr. Lalik and his believing in me and encouraging me! I wasn’t “stupid”! He helped me see that I just learned differently than others. I try to do this for other in my life. 11. Do you think it’s important for nonprofit organizations to partner with other nonprofit’s? and why? Have you thought about partnering with one for Brightstar? Why or why not? I know that it is important to partner with other nonprofits in our area. It is important to support our community in the work we are doing through partnership and collaboration to achieve the goals we all have to help the community we are working with. We have been in talks with many nonprofit organizations to work together for this cause. Part of the model we are working with includes partnering with the community, which includes nonprofit organizations. We need to work together for

the greatest good. 12. Why is the nonprofit sector important to you? Why is community service important to you? I have worked in the corporate world my whole life and this is not what appeals to me. Making a profit is not my end goal. In my life, I have been helped far more by organizations that are not out to make a profit by helping me! It makes a big difference when money doesn’t get in the way of your vision. I believe strongly that people helping people in our communities works so much better than depending on someone in Albany or Washington to do it. We are more familiar with what is going on right in our own community and can help more effectively and efficiently because of that. 13. What are your three (3) biggest accomplishments? My three biggest accomplishments are, first and foremost, my own sobriety since April 13, 1992, which is only by the Grace of God and a fellowship of others that have travelled the same road and share experience, strength and hope. Second, would be overcoming my own trauma, sexual abuse and addiction and not giving up on myself. Finally, being in a healthy, loving and

supportive marriage with my husband for the past 14 ½ years! He is my rock and has been such a huge support throughout my journey to start Brightstar Community. 14. What other woman leaders do you admire or look up to? Why? All of the women that have stood up for their beliefs and fought for the rights that I sometimes take for granted. After I watched the movie, “Suffrogate,” I was in absolute disbelief of what the women had to endure just to have the right to vote! To live in the city where Susan B. Anthony lived, and just around the corner from the cemetery where she is laid to rest, is so indicative of what this city is all about. Empowering women. 15. What’s on your bucket list? Personally, and Professionally.

First, professionally, is to have the ribbon cutting ceremony of Brightstar Community’s first safe house, Lisa’s House, and welcome the first women into their new community! Second, personally, I would love to be able to see more of our incredible country. I am not a world traveler and had always thought that I wanted to travel overseas. But, recently, I have realized that I am more interested in discovering more of our own country. I would love to visit all the National Parks before I die! 16. If you could not be doing what you are doing what other occupation would you have chosen? Why? Well, being 55 years old, I have pretty much done other occupations that have not always been satisfying and some that have. I would not choose any other occupation than the one I have been envisioning for the past 13 years, which is finally coming to life! It is so fulfilling

and rewarding and that’s all I ever wanted. 17. What would you like the readers of Rochester Woman Online Magazine to know about you and Brightstar Community? I would like the readers to know that Brightstar Community started one morning in 2004 when my husband and I, newly married, were sitting and having our morning coffee. I shared with him, “I really want to create a safe place where individuals can recover their true self.” He replied “You need to write that down. You just found your mission statement!” I wrote it down and it evolved over the years into what Brightstar Community is today. I am so grateful to him, for recognizing that statement was something that needed to be honored for what it was. For more information about Brightstar Community please visit:


MONTH 1: Learning What It Means to be A Fighter BY JULIA ANTENUCCI

My first month at Title Boxing is complete! Title officially opened its doors on January 18th and since then, I’ve been going to 2-3 classes a week. I’m also training for the Flower City Half, so I’m using these workouts for crosstraining. It’s kicking my butt. I have a lot of feels about my own experience, but I want to start with what the Boxing 60 class is all about. They also offer Kickboxing 60 and Boxing 30, but I have yet to take either of these. Give me time. About the Workout Tr u e t o i t s description, Boxing 60 is a 60-minute class that’s broken into three parts: warmup, boxing, and core/cooldown. D u r i n g warmup, we s t a r t by preparing our bodies for boxing. I like to think of it as revving my internal engine. The intensity is already at play here, and I find I’m usually sweating pretty hard by the time the first boxing round begins. The boxing segment of the workout consists of 8 three-minute rounds, where you glove up and take to the bag with 142


a number of different combinations. Many of the instructors will include some shadow boxing (not hitting an opponent or bag) in the warmup and will start with simpler combinations. While I’ve been doing this on and off since I was 14 in varying shapes and forms, I still had trouble nailing the combination the first few rounds of

my first and second classes. Naturally, the more I practiced, the better I got. Between each round, there is a 60-second active recovery round. During this time, you do low-intensity, strength building workouts like squats or lunges. The goal, during this time, is to allow your heart rate to recover so your strength is restored for your next round. This is

also a great time for water. Each instructor is different, so every workout ends up being different. The instructors come from a wide array of backgrounds, and the workout reflects their ranging areas of expertise. Some instructors, for example, are professional fighters and focus on form. Others comes from a more fitnessoriented background and serve up a mean, calorieburning boxing session. Regardless of who is teaching it, however, it’s a sweaty and fun affair. F i n a l l y, t h e r e’s core -- 13 dreaded minutes of it. For this part of class, we take to the mat (often with a medicine ball in tow) and complete a number of core-tightening exercises. In boxing, a strong core is everything. It’s where your power comes from. That being said, this is definitely the most challenging part of the workout for me. But, as a runner, my core is something I need to work on to promote stability and prevent injury. So, despite taking several breaks and having many red-faced




WTF moments, I soldiered on. Fighting my Own Mind I like to think of myself as a very kind, happy-go-lucky person. But you wouldn’t know that when you see me hitting the bag. As soon as that bell rings, it’s like I become a monster: sweat is flying, my mind is buzzing in this terrifyingly blissful way, and suddenly it starts swinging so hard I have to stop for a second to stabilize it for a second. And after class, I find myself in this divine state of calm and relaxation. In fact, I’m coming to learn that emotionality and mindset is one of the most important aspects of boxing. Giving myself the space and time to make room for these workouts, to actually show up and to give my all for the entire hour of class brings to light all of the thoughts racing through my skull – both positive and negative. A few minutes into each class, I hear a scared, nagging voice trying to stop the zen-like buzz before it happens. This hurts. Should you really be doing this? You’re going to hurt yourself. Maybe you should leave. I’m no stranger to this voice. It shows 144


up when I’m working on an article I care about, or having a meaningful conversation with a friend. The more I think about it, I’m not sure where this voice comes from. But the more I listen to it without reacting, the more I can see that it comes from a place of fear – a place I no longer want to be. During a particularly grueling plank session, Jason, one of the instructors, said something pretty damn poignant: “Boxers need to become familiar with their discomfort.” And that’s when I realized this is exactly what I need to be working on. Getting comfortable with my discomfort. Truthfully, it’s usually easy for me to keep going in a workout; I find that I often give up on myself when things feel too difficult outside of the gym. There’s a lot of power in showing up, even if it hurts. I’m going to keep doing that, when I’m hitting the bag and when I’m shadow boxing out there in the real world. TIPS FOR JUST STARTING OUT: • Buy hand wraps. Your wrists will

thank you. • Show up at least 10 minutes before class starts so you can get your hands properly wrapped. Otherwise, you’ll miss part of warm up! • Hydrate throughout! Since you’ll be gloved up during your rounds, I recommend bringing a water bottle that has a straw so you don’t have to continually remove your gloves. • Your punching power is in your hips and core! • Fuel properly before and after. Calorie burn varies on body type and exertion, but I burn a minimum of 600 calories in a 60-minute class. Make sure you’re eating plenty of complex carbohydrates and protein both before and after your class to ensure you’re energized and getting the most out of your workout. • It’s okay to go slow at first. Be kind to yourself when you’re just starting out, and know it’s normal to go slowly when first getting the hang of combinations. Soon, it will become second nature.


Our authentic, transformative, full-body boxing and kickboxing workouts reawaken the fighting spirit in you. How far can you push yourself? Start pushing and see. Your first class is free.

TITLE Boxing ClubClub of Mountain TITLE Boxing - PittsfordView Monroe Ave. Suite 300 157 E. 3240 El Camino Real, Mountain View, ST 650-963-9111 (585) 203-7270








Destiny Lashae:

Beauty Influencer and Online Sensation

My name is Destiny, also known as Destiny Lashae Makeup to my online family. I’m my parents oldest child, born and raised in Rochester New York. I am married and have a 3 year old daughter. I became interested in beauty and makeup when I was about 16 years old. In middle school I was always intrigued by art and I loved how much creative freedom I had while creating it.I love editing and technology as I studied it at Eastern Monroe Career Center in high school. Editing and technology really helped fuel my passion to record because I already had the skills to make it happen. I worked hard but my hard work paid off. In high school I spent most of my free time in the art room, because that’s where I loved to be. I began studying beauty in magazines and by watching YouTube videos all the time. I started practicing and following makeup tutorials online. I also just started just playing with makeup, in my bedroom.

At the time I was a teenager with no money and bought most of my makeup at the drugstore and also used what my mom had laying around. I decided one day to record my first tutorial with my computers webcam. This video’s quality was horrible looking back at it now, but I’ve learned today you can’t despise small beginnings. To my surprise people online were responding to my content in a very positive way, leaving comments asking for makeup tutorial etc. People wanted to see more from me, little ole me! So I continued to record just playing around with makeup and my hair. I never took this youtube thing seriously, my room was always messy and my bed was never made and you could clearly see all of that in my videos! My mom told me all the time “clean up your room, make your background look neat” but I never cared. Looking back at it I feel as though people liked me for me, and didn’t care if my room was a mess. Eventually I cleaned up my bedroom and continued to record. I was so excited to help give makeup advice and began to love ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018




Destiny Lashae (25 years old) is a Rochester based beauty influencer, and she’s actively been working in this field for 5 years.



{ SHIFT+CONTROL } “I’m still on a journey and I still have so much more to learn. But that’s the beauty in living. I learn everyday and in turn my quality of my videos gets better and so does my makeup.”

it more. That’s when I put all my energy into my channel. I went on amazon and purchased a camera and the whole lighting setup, and created my mini studio. I set up a studio in my basement and I went to work. I worked all the time, brainstorming, creating content and editing my videos. I was so excited to help people all over the world to feel beautiful. I started my channel, not knowing what it would become.

Prior to starting my online career, I spent years as a customer service representative for diverse range of organizations, After getting fired from my job at Staples, I worked a couple part time jobs just to get by. I never felt happy or fulfilled by those jobs and knew I could do more to help people. Getting fired was the best thing ever, because it forced me to find my passion and work it.

Showing the steps of makeup application made people feel as though they were getting a private makeup lesson, and my viewers still love that today! So becoming a beauty influencer was easy for me. I’ve been actively working in this field for 5 years. I’m loving it!

I still work hard to keep up with social media and to continue to let my viewers all over the world know that makeup is accessory not a necessity.



I have over 265,796 subscribers and 213 vides on YouTube. On Instagram I have over 250 posts and 58.5K followers. Just to name a few. My subscribers have become like family, I get emails from them with beauty and makeup questions. My plans for the future are to travel the world teaching other how to apply makeup, and of course always continue to create content for my YouTube channel.

I always told myself if I could help one person feel confident then I’ve accomplished my goal. Letting my viewers know that you can work with what you have, and be confidant no matter what life throws at you.

Being self-taught was a little tough, but I used social media to help. Social media a great tool to use if you need help getting started.

I am also on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Today I create content for some of the top makeup brands including Maybelline, KISS, Derma blend, CVS and many more. I have been featured on Buzz feed, and in the recent issue of Sheen Magazine. Also feautured on Channel 8 and Channel 10 both in Rochester, NY.

Being an influencer has its perks, but the best one is having a huge group of friends from all over the world that share the same interest. I’m still on a journey and I still have so much more to learn. But that’s the beauty in living. I learn everyday and intern my quality of my videos gets better and so does my makeup. People often ask “how do you handle the haters” I simply reply “I don’t.” I stay focused on why I started. aToday I know what I do really helps and encourages others. This alone makes it all worth it to me. I hope I can help more people in the future become their own kind of beautiful!













If you are in a happy relationship, you have my permission to skip this month’s No Excuse column because it’s dedicated to all the single ladies. Cue Beyonce… then again, you may want to read it just to give you ideas on how to celebrate YOU no matter what your Facebook relationship status is.

mix of people to get to know one another. As for size, keep in mind the space where you’ll be hosting. A Wednesday night party is the perfect time. First, it’ll keep your party casual and low-pressure, and second, it gives guests the opportunity to make weekend plans if they hit it off.

I picked the topic because February 14th is Valentines Day. No doubt the hardest day of the year to be single. It’s like a day made just to shame single people. Nothings worse than spending it alone right? WRONG.

3.GIVE YOURSELF A SPA NIGHT. Invade your local beauty store and indulge. Buy yourself a face mask, bath bombs, and a new expensive lotion that normally you wouldn’t spend the money on. Run yourself a bubble bath complete with wine, candles, your favorite music and the book you can’t put down. But skip shaving your legs. You’re single, you’ve earned this one little bonus.

As awesome as it is to have an SO on the most romantic day of the year to do all the exceptionally romantic things couples do, there are definitely many, many advantages to being single. Don’t let Valentines Day get you down if you are currently without a partner. Use this day to remind yourself just how fabulous you are. Here are 10 ways to celebrate YOU: 1. BUY YOURSELF A VALENTINES DAY GIFT. You know that if you were in a relationship with someone you really cared about, the money you’d end up spending on a romantic dinner and gift would totally be worth it (despite your anemic bank account). So go ahead and splurge on yourself. Get concert tickets to a favorite band, a new pair of expensive shoes, a cut, color and facial at a salon. Seriously, do something to show yourself how much you love YOU. 2. THROW A PARTY. Seriously, you are not the only single person on the planet this Valentines Day. Why not celebrate it with other singles by planning an Anti-Valentines Day party? Gather your closest friends and plan it together. Invite friends new and old, then have your friends do the same. This will create a good 154


4. GO SEE A MOVIE. I mean it. This Valentine’s Day, imagine yourself going to see Fifty Shades Freed while sitting next to couples who are only half-excited to be there (and by that I mean that it’s obvious only one person wanted to see it and they selfishly dragged the other person along). Go by yourself or gather a group of girlfriends to go with you. As a side benefit, it makes for an entertaining people-watching exercise, as well.

5. GO TO THE GYM. Let’s face it: Making new friends is one of the hardest parts of being an adult. The gym is the perfect place to meet people (you already have something in common!) and it’s easy to strike up a conversation. Not to mention, having a workout buddy can hold you accountable for your fitness aspirations. Research shows having friends with similar goals may increase your chances of success. It’s a win-win. And the gym is going to be filled with others who are using Valentines Day to improve themselves. Going to the gym can also inspire you in other areas of life. Research shows that regular exercise can have a positive impact on creativity. If you want to bring more imagination to your job, your hobbies or your life in general, lace up those sneakers. 6. HAVE A GOOD CRY. Whether it be Old Yeller, Love Story, Schindler’s List or Steal Magnolia’s we all have that film that makes us cry every single time we watch it. Crying releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain. Once the endorphins are released, your body may go into somewhat of a numb stage. Oxytocin can give you a sense of calm or well-being. So find a sappy movie on Netflix and have yourself a planned cleansing cry. 7. PLAN DINNER FOR ONE. We all cook up a storm when we are cooking for others.. but why not plan a night of cooking just to treat yourself to your favorite dishes? Buy a bottle of your favorite wine and try a recipe you’ve always wanted to try. Set the table with your finest china and cutlery and serve yourself dinner for one. Make enough for yummy leftovers to take to work and enjoy again for lunch the next day. Indulge yourself. You are worth it.

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } You’re fabulous and you will always be fabulous… but perhaps not single for long.

8. CREATE A VISION BOARD. A vision board is a visualization tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and pictures that represent your goals and dreams. The best way to achieve your goals is to keep them top of mind, so you’re always looking for ways to move yourself closer to them – and a vision board is the perfect tool to help you do that. By putting a vision board somewhere you can see it every day, you will prompt yourself to visualize your ideal life on a regular basis. And that’s important because visualization activates the creative powers of your subconscious mind and programs your brain to notice available resources that were always there but escaped your notice. Through the Law of Attraction, visualization also magnetizes and attracts to you the people, resources, and opportunities you need to achieve your goals. 9. GO TO THE LIBRARY OR A BOOKSTORE. The new year is here, and there’s no better time

to start fresh and make 2018 the best year yet. No matter what you’re going through — whether it’s a break-up, confidence issues, or just a general life rut — self-help books will help you feel like you’re not alone and offer sage advice to help you through whatever issue you choose to tackle. Invest in yourself. I recommend Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Shonda, best known as the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, chronicles the year that changed her the most. The year she said “YES.” Rhimes discusses how answering “yes” to the unexpected invitations that come your way can change your life for the better. It will definitely motivate you to have your own year of YES. 10. GO ON A DATING APP AND FLIRT. Internet dating is never going away. So why not fish where the fish are? If you Google phrases like “flirting tips” and “how to flirt” you’ll pull up over 40 million articles on this topic alone. Why do so many people believe that being able

to flirt well is an important part of the mating game? In part, it has to do with the fact that you come across as relaxed, playful and confident. Whether you try, Tinder, e-harmony or one of the hundreds of other dating apps, you can harmlessly flirt with other people who are probably just as bewildered to be alone on Valentines Day as you. Who cares if you meet the one? Flirting gives us a confidence boost. I guarantee, the universe has rich and meaningful plan for your single days — days that should be spent focusing on what you have, not what you don’t. Think about things you may regret not doing five to 10 years from now — regardless of whether you’re in a couple or not - and do what you can to make your dreams happen now, while you have flexibility and time. You’re fabulous and you will always be fabulous… but perhaps not single for long. Make the most of the time with yourself. No excuses. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018




A MEDITATION ON LOVE We all want it. We all need it. No. It’s not chocolate. It is L.O.V.E. love. But sometimes it just doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel accessible. So here’s an exercise you can do to activate love in your heart. STEP 1 THE BREATH Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a nice deep breath in and a long exhale out. Bring your awareness to your chest. As you inhale, feel the sensation of your chest expanding in all directions. The sides, the back, and the front. Upon your next inhale, open the front of your chest, rolling your shoulders back and dropping them upon your exhale. Now allow your breath to come back to normal, and focus on the very center of your chest. Breathe into this space as your chest naturally rises and falls. Your heart chakra is beginning to be activated. It is located in the very center of your chest. It is the center of loving compassion. This is where we hold all of our loving memories and all of our heartaches. When we fall in love, we may feel butterflies in our stomach, but we also feel an ease in our breath and an inner peace within our heart. By healing the pain you may be holding in your heart and focusing on the love that is stored there, you will be able to not only feel love within you, but attract love to you. STEP 2 CREATIVE VISUALIZATION: THE STAR Now I’d like you to use your imagination. 156


You are going to continue breathing in to your heart center, into the very center of your chest, but this time I’d like you to imagine a star, like the stars in the sky, or any star that appears for you. Imagine its light shining soft and bright. Illuminating your loving nature. We all have a loving nature. Sometimes it may get buried. This light will bring it to the surface.

look like a twinkling star in the sky? Or a five pointed star you can draw? Breathe into your star and let its rays begin to expand throughout your chest. In front of you, through your sides, and out your back. As if there are light beams streaming from your heart in all directions. Relax. STEP 3 CREATIVE VISUALIZATION: THE FLOWER Using your imagination, I’d like you to visualize a flower blossoming in the center of your chest. Notice its color. Is it pink or yellow or red? Blue, purple? Notice the shade whether light and soft or rich and dark. How does the texture of its petals feel? Are they smooth like a baby’s skin? Do they have ridges? What are the shapes of the petals? Are they rounded? Pointed? Squared? How many petals are there? What size is the flower. Is it big and round? Can you hold it in your hand? What kind of flower is it? Do you know its name? What it represents?

Breathe deeply into your heart center and activate the star’s light, sending rays throughout your chest. Like an inner light show! What color does your star have? Is it golden? White? Silver? Is it another color? What shape does your star have? Does it

What does its stem look like? Are there any leaves? Thorns? Take a deep breath in and smell the fragrance of your flower. Imagine it permeating your heart, becoming your very own fragrance. Rest in the beauty of your inner flower.


{ MIND, BODY & SPIRIT } Feelings may surface. Place them in the light of your heart chakra as well. Allow both the memories and the feelings to melt away.

STEP 4 CREATIVE VISUALIZATION: THE STAR & THE FLOWER MERGED Bring your awareness to your flower in the center of your heart chakra. Breathe into it as the petals blossom. Now imagine your star appearing within it. Shining its rays of light, bringing your flower to life.

desirable, respected. You may see the person you were with. But I’d really like you to focus on how you felt. What the experience of being loved created within you. Think of that now.

STEP 5 HEALING HEARTACHE With your Star and Flower fully activated within your heart center, imagine a past heartache that has not yet healed. Allow it to simply rest within your heart chakra. Being held by your illuminated flower. Sit with this visualization. Allowing it to heal the past, making room for the new.

Allow the love within you to rise up today. Now. Let your beauty shine. Your amazing fragrance to permeate your self and your surroundings. Be the loving soul that you are. Activate her your self. When this aspect of you is alive, you will naturally attract love from outside. Who wouldn’t want to be around you? When you are feeling so wonderful? It is contagious! Take a deep breath in and a relaxing exhale out. Your Heart Chakra is now fully activated. You are ready to love and be loved. Today.

Feelings may surface. Place them in the light of your heart chakra as well. Allow both the memories and the feelings to melt away. Take a deep cleansing breath in and a releasing exhale out. STEP 6 A LOVING MEMORY Now I’d like you to recall a time of being loved and cherished. Of feeling like you were in heaven. When you were adored, and placed on a pedestal. That may have been yesterday or even this morning. Or it may feel like it’s been a long time. Recall just one time when you felt this way. Beautiful,

illuminating flower. See your self. Beautiful. Radiant. Amazing! This is truly you. She is always there waiting to be called upon. Yearning to rise.

Now place that feeling or feelings into your heart chakra. Right into the center of your

Alana Cahoon is a Natural Health Professional who offers creative coaching to professionals in transition, leadership & entrepreneurship. Her signature program, ‘Mindfulness for Professionals’ trains the mind to achieve calm, clarity and balance. Her group program, ‘Body Mind Connection’ provides a holistic approach to weight loss and body image. She teaches meditation, reiki and yoga. Alana can be reached at (585) 9530503 - - www.


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Holistic & Wellness Practitioners, Natural Health Products, Metaphysical & Spiritual Gifts, Crystals, Gems, Candles, Clothing, Soaps, Jewelry, Oils, Music, Healers, Health Services, Clothing, Artisans, Books, and MORE! The Grapevine Banquets

333 Dick Rd, Depew NY 14043



Is your closet cluttered? Are you constantly purchasing new clothing and accessories to keep your wardrobe fresh and exciting? Do you have nothing to wear? Over the past six years, I’ve transitioned from a sweatpants-and-hoodie-wearing student to a working professional with a small but versatile wardrobe I truly love. Here are my best tips for creating a curated closet:

attention to price at first. Also, don’t solely shop the clearance racks. The probability is much higher that you’ll select clothing because it’s discounted, rather than because you are obsessed with it. Take your time. Don’t expect to rebuild your wardrobe overnight. Feel comfortable walking out of a store without buying anything. If you’re shopping online, don’t add random items to your cart just to get free shipping.

GO THROUGH EVERYTHING The most important and time-consuming step! Set aside time to try on everything you currently own. Keep only what you love.

Another classic case of wardrobe fatigue occurs when the seasons are changing, when you just want a few new pieces! I am all for that, as long as your stick to the tips above. Make sure your purchases are intentional and can be worn beyond the current season.

The general rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in a year, you really don’t need it.

BUY ONLY WHAT YOU KNOW YOU’LL WEAR I can’t stand ironing. So, I don’t purchase items that require ironing (though I do have a handheld steamer for emergencies). I’ve bought countless cotton and similar wrinkle-prone items that I ultimately donated or sold.

EXAMINE WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT Now that your closet is full of items you love, examine what’s left and make a list of what you need to buy. If you kept only one blazer, perhaps you need one or two more. Did you keep clothing you adore, but that may need replacing? Keep that in mind as you begin shopping.

Does that skirt have a cute pattern but you’d never actually wear it because it’s too short? And sure, you may feel like a million bucks wearing those heels during the first thirty seconds you slip them on, but if after several minutes you can barely walk because they’re so painful, they don’t belong in your closet. Try to avoid looking at the price of an item, initially. Since the majority of my shopping is second-hand, it’s much easier to not pay 160


APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE There will absolutely be a day when you become bored with your current wardrobe. My advice is to seek inspiration - find new ways to combine clothing you already own! I recommend Pinterest, where there are endless ideas for what to wear. Try a sweater over a dress. Or a skirt over a dress. Add a belt over that cardigan.

Too big or too small? You don’t need it taking up space. A special occasion dress for no particular occasion? Sell it on Poshmark or eBay. Thirty cardigans, when you only gravitate toward the same three? Why not donate to your local thrift store?

BUY ONLY WHAT YOU LOVE & TAKE YOUR TIME Commit to buying only what you LOVE. If you can’t immediately picture how an item would fit into your wardrobe, you probably shouldn’t buy it..

This is not to say that you shouldn’t have a few “fun” pieces in your wardrobe, but the more versatile every piece is, the more outfits you have and the more you resist buying new items!

STRIVE FOR VERSATILITY Versatility is everything. This is why I’m a big fan of neutrals (black and gray) and small patterns that can be combined. Aim to create a wardrobe that can be mixed and matched as much as possible. Don’t buy the patterned pants that require purchasing a matching top. If you can only create one outfit from those items, what’s the point? I’d rather own black pants that I can wear with literally any top or sweater in my closet.

Be careful with trends. I used to buy puffer vests because they looked so wonderful on everyone else, but I’ve accepted that I am not a vest person. So, I don’t spend my money on them, and my wallet and closet are happier for it. Aim for quality over quantity. I used to have twelve pairs of booties, but now I own three pairs of comfortable, quality booties that go with my entire work wardrobe. Until they wear out, I don’t need more. It’s as easy as that. The process of creating a minimal wardrobe can seem daunting. But, using these tips helped me create a beautiful, minimal, versatile wardrobe and with patience and commitment, they can help you too!






What’s your Social I.D.? Rochester’s New Social Platform & Media Company. Ok Rochester….calling all the ladies in the 585 to connect and inspire. I have always loved connecting and sharing and helping one another to be the best version of themselves. I knew that there was a way to develop a platform to make it all come together! After some time to think, and get inspired myself I knew I found what would work.

Now I.D. Sociale is also a pro when it comes to social media marketing. Need to take your business to the next level? The power of social media could be the missing link in your business. I.D. Sociale is an expert in taking you to the next level of growth and branding through

I.D. Sociale was developed to create a community of inspiring women striving to succeed and empower each other to grow not only professionally, but personally as well. I wanted to develop a platform that would help you achieve your I.D. We want YOU to be Socially | Fashionably | You! With daily features on health, wellness, and fashion to keep you on point with our crazy day-to-day lives, I.D. Sociale wants to connect and touch on all aspects of your lives. If you don’t want to miss any of these awesome daily features, make sure you follow us on social media to get all the tips, tricks and the latest 411 around town. Since we are about connecting – be sure to be on the look out when I.D. Sociale hosts events that will feature items on health, fashion, how to’s and positive empowerment. 162


Facebook and Instagram, and you may want to throw your hands in the air and give up as a business owner! Well, not so fast. I.D. Sociale is ready to take that stress off your hands. “Social media is a valuable inbound marketing tool that can entice leads to reach out to you, rather than the other way around. When used properly, social media marketing won’t look like traditional outbound methods that technically ‘interrupt’ a user’s activity, but rather will enhance their social media experience and place your company top-ofmind when they’re in need of your specific service.” ..... Mark Schmukler, Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Brand Strategist at Sagefrog The true power of social media is influence. Social provides an avenue for companies to not only engage with customers, but also influence them with the right content that helps them make a decision. Many companies are not leveraging the power of social media to the best of their capabilities. These companies are: • Reposting the same content across social every channel

your social platforms. We customize packages to meet your business needs. With ever-changing technology and a new social media platform every minute (or what seems like it), it can be tough to keep up with the best online presence. Factor in the algorithms that often hinder business profiles on sites such as

• Not using the appropriate voice for the social platform • Asking for likes • Posting only conversion posts: i.e. Fill out this form to download <insert piece of content>



{ I.D. SOCIAL } I.D. Sociale was developed to create a community of inspiring women striving to succeed and empower each other to grow not only professionally, but personally as well.

• Lacking a social strategy that aligns with the marketing strategy • Using every social channel out there The undeniable truth is - Social Media is a platform for real networking, growth and engagement for any venture irrespective of the industry. There was a time in the digital world when marketing was merely confined to website building and pondering information over the first ten pages of 164

ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018 Today, the most powerful source of marketing – be it, online or offline is undoubtedly ‘Social Media’. To understand the actual potential of any social media tool one should understand four important steps. • Strategize • Optimize • Socialize • Monetize Today, social media is a powerful and viral vehicle that is increasingly becoming a

major source for brands to engage with their audience. Let I.D. Sociale take you to the next level! Join us and lets combine forces with our platform to find your Social I.D, and take your business to the next level. Cheers! Denisse

What's Your Social I.D.?

Spaces with Style

Selma Hammer Designs 585.797.3564 •



What draws people to like beautiful things in their home? Is it the commercials we see when we are stuck watching live TV, is it the HGTV makeovers, is it the envy we feel when we go to a friend’s home and their space has ample seating with comfortable furnishings and the latest appliances? I think typically we are comfortable with a home that we are used to. A house that has a similar layout and function to our previous home and if you are a first time home buyer we seek maybe the layout our parents home had.

see cute stuff when you go to Home Goods that seems affordable. You go to a furniture store and you see a room set up then you can just finance and plop it into your space. Even better

1. [http://www. free-floor-plantemplate/] Fortunately, a lot of us have the Internet right at our fingertips to look up how to design a space. There are even Apps that you can decorate your space in a game format! So with all this said, who needs an interior designer these days? Can’t you just do it yourself? I mean you

2. [] Furniture and renovations can be costly endeavors, but you hate your kitchen. It has drawers that are broken or a corner cabinets that your have to shove your whole arm to grab a mystery object that has been forgotten in a blind cabinet. Have you ever cooked and felt like an angry chef? Maybe the kids or the hubby keep coming in to see what you are doing and asking when dinner is going to be ready? Is your head ready to explode? Have you gone in to the big box home renovation spots, looked at kitchens you may like but don’t understand how they would work in your home? 3. [ Illustration: Robyn Lee]

some furniture stores have designers that come to your home for free and suggest what furniture to buy.

I would say many of us could easily go and purchase multiple cars during our lifetime. Maybe even spend anywhere between thirty to fifty thousand dollars and feel like we deserve it. When it comes to our homes, we might feel more comfortable in getting a good deal on ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



6. 3.



{ SPACES WITH STYLE } “What draws people to like beautiful things in their home? Is it the commercials we see when we are stuck watching live TV, is it the HGTV makeovers.”

a sofa or those kitchen cabinets that are in the back of the store that look pretty good. Have you thought that your home is your biggest investment? Do you love going on vacation because the rooms are thoughtfully put together with beautiful colors, bedding, black out drapes and spa like bathrooms?


4. [Before and After photography and design by Selma Hammer] Why couldn’t you have that kind of space in your own home? It probably seems intimidating and you probably don’t have enough time to research what would work best for you home. You have probably tried buying stuff on your own, had it delivered but for some reason it doesn’t look right in your home. Maybe the color looks off or it doesn’t look like it fits the space right. Maybe you have tried moving it around several times and just gave up. What’s the solution? A fairy godmother? How about a fairy interior designer? That’s where I come in. When I walk into your space, listen to your needs, see what types of things your like, I can see your new space coming to fruition. Of course the hardest part is trying to explain what it will look like. Trust is a big factor. I urge you to do the research or get a referral for an interior designer you prefer. If the designer has a public space they have designed, go check it out. Recently, I designed a wine bar in Victor where may potential clients can sit back and enjoy a nice aesthetic while sipping some great wine. 5. [Cork49 Wine Bar in Victor, NY;

photography and design by Selma Hammer] As an interior designer, I’m a professional on finding the best solutions for your space and lifestyle. People often ask me what my style is. Frankly, my style doesn’t matter. No matter what, your home, office or commercial space with have the look that emulates your style. They aesthetic you are hoping to achieve. You might not know what that is. My job is to work with you find the best fit with regards to material choices, furniture selections, window treatments, lighting layouts and choices, paint colors, spatial allotment, wall art and many other factors. 6. [Master Bedroom Closet Rendering by Selma Hammer Designs] Basically, while working on your project, I’m wearing your glasses in the world, finding what suits you and your needs. I find what works best in your space that when you walk into it at completion, you are proud of your space. It will feel like an extension of you and family. If it’s a commercial space, you will see how your clientele will enjoy it and rave about to their friends and family. Stay tuned for more articles every month on how to tackle your space, trends and insight into the industry of home décor and home fashions, what new and exciting with home technology. I’ve attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS 2018) in Orlando and the Las Vegas Furniture Market this year, so I’ll be sharing what’s new and greatest in my next article!



Celebrate 50 Years of the Corn Hill BY ELAINE LENNOX

The Corn Hill Arts Festival presented by ESL Federal Credit Union is celebrating its 50th year on July 14th & 15th, 2018. This vibrant community event is organized and run by the Corn Hill Neighbors Association and over 200 volunteers. Created in 1969 by a handful of artists who lived in the neighborhood, the Festival had a humble beginning on Greenwood Street. In July, we will be turning back the clock to remember and celebrate the early beginnings! In celebration of this milestone, the Neighbors Association has unveiled a new Festival logo, that artfully highlights the iconic Lunsford Circle gazebo and a new message to visitors, “Come for the art. Stay for it all”, which speaks to the range of experiences that the festival now offers. 1969 was an unmistakably lively and fascinating year. A parade is planned to course through the Festival itself beginning at 11 am on Saturday morning. We plan to honor and celebrate many of the year’s historic milestones, in addition to the inception of our Festival. We will be featuring floats of the historic Moon landing, Woodstock Music Festival, Beatle Abbey Road Album and more! Expect a lively, dance and music event with cool opportunites to engage and get that perfect “selfie”! Today, art and music come together in beautiful historic Corn Hill. Over 365 original artists come from across the US and Canada to display and sell their original works of art and crafts. Visitors explore nine streets lined with artisans displaying and selling beautiful and original work. Art in a variety of mediums such as glass, jewelry, painting, photography, pottery, ceramics, textiles, weaving, leather, and



woodworking offer unique gifts for homes, offices or lake cottages. The artists compete for $8,000 in prize money awarded by the Corn Hill Neighbors Association. The Festival also offers a showcase for young artists at the 10th Annual Emerging Artists Expo sponsored by MVP Health Care. Twenty artists between the ages of 15-25 exhibit and sell their work in a variety of mediums. Check out Eagle Street and who knows, you might meet the next up and coming breakthrough talent? If you know of a young artist who would like to participate, please send them to our website for details. Music has always been a big part of the Festival and continues to feature salty blues, jazz, and contemporary music from four stages. Rochester Woman Online is our sponsor of the stage at #27 Atkinson Street. We’ll have a very special concert at noon at the Main Stage/Food Court/ Beer & Wine Garden area. A special tribute band will entertain with music from the late 60’s! Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People will headline our entertainment line-up in 2018. Food, music and a great choice of beverages make for the perfect post afternoon shopping stop. Twenty-four performances to enjoy, all of which are free of charge! This family-friendly Festival offers a variety of activities for kids of all ages. We’re bringing back the popular Stokoe Farms Express! This beautiful reproduction of a steam train can be found off Adams Street. The train features a working steam whistle an engineer and a conductor. Baby goats will be available for petting too! Kids of all ages will have fun and

enjoy an aww moment together. Our signature family event is the 6th Annual Fairy Houses Tour. These beautiful, whimsical homes are created by people from Rochester out of all natural materials and are a delight to see. Feel inspired? We encourage you to enter and build your own Fairy House. It’s a fantastic family bonding activity that moms, dads and kids of all ages can enjoy. Planning, gathering building and displaying at the Festival provides experiential learning and mobile device free time. All the details are on our website. If the kids need something more active, try the Bounce Houses and the Bristol Mountain Mobile Aerial Climbing Park. Four to twelve year olds try out 8 different climbing activities that challenge and build self-esteem. Fifty years later, the Corn Hill Neighbors Association’s ongoing mission “to protect and promote the residential and historical character and beauty of the area; to further the interests of the residents of the area; to promote and encourage a better community and civic spirit; to foster goodwill and friendship between and among the residents of the area and surrounding areas for the general welfare and good of the community” is still strong. The Festival is free. Free Coach style bus shuttles take you from downtown lots in comfort. Wear comfortable shoes, a smile and bring your appetite as you explore The 2018 Corn Hill Arts Festival! You can find all the details online at www.

50 Years of Poster Art

Please join us for a special evening and

Experience 50 Years of Poster Art at RoCo March 23rd 6-9pm This pop-up exhibition celebrates the art and history of the Corn Hill Arts Festival, dating back to 1969. The Corn Hill Arts Festival poster art is more than a well-designed souvenir. These iconic works of original art—from regional artists—tell the story of art and life in the historic Corn Hill district across five decades. Originally designed as advertising posters, they quickly became collectible. Presented by the Corn Hill Neighbors Association with the support of:

and Details at • Open Special Days & Hours: March 24–27, 1–5pm To learn more about the Corn Hill Arts Festival please visit Rochester Contemporary Art Center • 137 East Avenue | Rochester, NY 14604 | (585) 461-2222 |



As I drive home from the gym feeling accomplished that I am meeting goals, losing weight while gaining muscle and feeling great, I see wonderful changes in my body, even at the age of 47. Yes, it’s more difficult as we age to meet our goals as our metabolism slows, our regeneration of our body slows, and it’s harder to do things like we used to. Aging can be graceful, but for most it’s not. It’s a loss of our youth, it’s a loss of our beauty, and it’s a loss of collagen and elastin which decreases our skin’s firmness and tone. There are ways outside of the gym that conjoins with your workouts to allow your skin’s elasticity to strengthen and stimulate the muscles at the same time to give you the life and firmness that you desire. Is it a magic wand, or some magic potion? This process is called High



Frequency. A wonderful treatment offered at The Best You Spa. High Frequency can treat not only the face but the body also, and perform numerous beneficial treatments. The High Frequency facial is a skin care treatment used by professionals like myself to help treat and prevent a number of skin conditions such as acne, shrink enlarged pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decongest puffy eyes, fade dark eye circles, rejuvenate the condition of the scalp, nourish hair follicles for healthier hair, strengthen and life loose skin from rapid and great weight loss. It’s a safe and gentle alternative to dramatic plastic surgery procedure, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, Collagen and Botox injections, and other invasive skin

recovery procedures. Using High Frequency for an anti-aging purposes can produce some great results, although results will vary from individual to individual and skin type, are gradual, and do not occur overnight. High frequency has also been shown to produce an immediate and temporary effect, but with continued daily or weekly application can provide more cumulative long-term, lasting results. Interestingly, many acne sufferers have found improvements in their complexion after only a few days of use. The body can become immune to certain acne medications if used over an extended period of time. When combined with an effective acne treatment lotion, regular

Using High Frequency for an anti-aging purposes can produce some great results, although results will vary from individual to individual and skin type, are gradual, and do not occur overnight.

applications of high frequency can keep acne away long after other expensive medications and treatments can fall. High frequency gently cleanses the skin of acne-causing bacteria and unwanted toxins while making the skin more receptive to acne lotions, creams, and other skin care products. The results can be extremely dramatic even after only a few treatments. It can also reduce enlarged pores and blackheads by softening skin and controlling excess sebum production. Cleans out the toxin and debris in the skin. In conjunction with high frequency a nice application of a clay or mud mask on the skin. High Frequency can reduce puffiness of the eyes and dark circles by aiding in lymphatic drainage and disperse excess fluid while increasing blood circulation. The result is a reduction in the appearance of congested, tired, puffy eyes. High frequency also helps the skin more efficiently absorb skin care 174


products thereby extending their effectiveness. High frequency also is able to soften fine lines and wrinkles, and sagging skin. It increases blood circulation, which in turn nourishes the skin’s surface and renews underlying cells. It also produces an enriched form of oxygen, which strengthen muscles, increases, collagen and elastin of the skin, and provide the skin with a youthful, firm, vibrant glow. It can tighten even the most stubborn double chin or turkey neck. Combining this treatment with an effective skin care product and wow, you have the ultimate skin care plan. It can also reduce the appearance of cellulite. High frequency and hair growth go hand in hand also. It nourishes and gently exfoliates the skin, nourishes the hair follicle, stimulates glandular activity, supplies heat to the area which is soothing to the nervous system and significantly improves the scalps receptiveness

to and the overall effectiveness of post treatment hair growth formulas. High frequency is considered safe and gentle however the following contraindications should be noted. Avoid using aggressive AHA or glycolic acid products as they can over dry the skin, especially during the winter. Also no broken capillaries should be treated or spider veins, and rosacea. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a pacemaker or subject to seizures. The Best You Spa cares about you and the wellness of your skin. We only use high quality equipment and products to produce the best results for you. The Best You Spa is offering a special on High Frequency treatments. Purchase and book 5 high frequency appointments and receive 2 free. At The Best You Spa, our goal is to make you The Best You that You can be!


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Rochester’s First Hemp Boutique Opens on Park Ave. In November, Hemp it UP!, Rochester’s first boutique devoted to hemp products, opened its doors on Park Avenue. Hemp it UP! is the latest project of local entrepreneurs Patricia Sunwoo and David Brickman. The husband and wife team of classical violinists also own Bodymind Float Center in Rochester and Syracuse. “This business is consonant with our deeply held personal beliefs,” says Brickman. “Global climate change is the greatest problem facing earth’s denizens and we know that restoring hemp to its prominent place in human affairs will be part of the solution. Hemp requires much less water than cotton, little in the way of pesticides and no herbicides at all! It grows from seed to maturity in only four months. One acre of hemp can produce four times the paper of an acre of trees which has taken decades to grow!” The owners seek out brands and companies that conduct fair trade practices. “Almost all of the manufacturers we’ve encountered so far use sustainable, vegan practices, and value fair-trade and organic farming. It’s been an inspiring journey!” says Sunwoo. Hemp produces the world’s strongest natural fiber. Garments made from hemp are extremely durable, are breathable and antimicrobial and hold their dyes well. Bags of all sizes, backpacks, wallets, t-shirts, hats, and scarves are among a few of the fabric products available at Hemp it UP! “We’ve had many customers come in to tell us about a hemp product they’ve 176


have had for years, so we know that these products are really durable,” says Sunwoo. The hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) has been used by humans for at least 8,000 years and is arguably the most useful plant on our planet. Hemp seeds are extremely high in protein and produce an oil which has the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, a balance that has been shown to support heart health and promote proper cardiovascular function. The oil has a relatively low smoke point

and is not suitable for frying, but is lovely added to salads. Hemp it UP! sells unique food products including coffee roasted with hemp seeds, hot sauce, protein powders and hemp seed butter. Hemp seed oil is also the base for the many brands of cosmetic products such as lotions, scrubs and hair care products found at Hemp it UP!, including Earthly Body, Cannasmack, and Hempz. A popular gift item is a line of fragrant candles by Kushed Candles which is infused with hemp seed oil.

Hemp it UP! offers the area’s most extensive collection of CBD products. CBD is s short for cannabidiol, the compound primarily responsible for the benefits of medical marijuana, including controlling pain, anxiety, appetite, seizures, sleep and mood. There is no card or prescription required to purchase Hemp it UP!’s CBD products. Their knowledgable staff will educate you on the various products, which include sub-lingual oils, capsules, vape liquids, topical ointments and edibles such as nut butters, chocolates and gummies. Brands carried have been extensively researched and were selected based on several important criteria: the hemp must be organically grown, the company must make available third-party testing of its products and, finally, fair pricing. Hemp it UP! takes the worry out of purchasing CBD. “Typically, we keep our politics separate from our businesses” says Brickman, “but the act of opening Hemp it UP! was itself a political statement. We believe that the federal government should not infringe on the right of Americans to grow and use hemp, as people have for millennia. This plant is food and fuel. It’s fabric and it’s medicine. We hope to convince Rochesterians that it’s time to Hemp it UP!” Hours: Open daily. 622-2 Park Avenue. (585) 434-4962. For more information on brands carried and upcoming events and sales, go to their website:, or facebook @HempItUpGifts.

{ HEMP IT UP } “Global climate change is the greatest problem facing earth’s denizens and we know that restoring hemp to its prominent place in human affairs will be part of the solution. Hemp requires much less water than cotton, little in the way of pesticides and no herbicides at all!”



“BHAM!!!!! Total relaxation.” ~Michael R., Yelp reviewer

Your winter getaway without the airfare. Our Float Tanks are always 95°F. Floatation Therapy for pain and stress relief Salt Therapy for your respiratory health

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Now serving two locations: Rochester 622 Park Ave (585) 413-0616

Syracuse 2949 Erie Blvd E. (315) 992-8656



Dermaplaning, is it a must for your beauty regimen? Dermaplaning is a skin procedure that involves using a sharp tool to exfoliate the surface of your skin, while also removing small, fine hairs and dead skin cells. An esthetician will most likely be the person performing the procedure, they will take a small scalpel and very gently scrape the surface of your skin using light, feathering strokes. Anyone who has unwanted facial hair or wants exfoliation will benefit.

This is false, it is ideal for individuals who have sensitive skin allowing the ability to lightly resurface the skin when a peel or microdermabrasion is not an option. Myth number three pregnant woman cannot have dermaplaning. This is false, it is safe for pregnant women.

Myth number two, you cannot have dermaplaning if you have sensitive skin. 180


The side effects are minimal with dermaplaning but can occur. Possible side effects include skin redness, swelling, tingling, burning, aching or scabbing. It should be noted theses side effects are very rare. The average cost of Dermaplaning is between $75 and $100. It may be offered with a light chemical peel. The average time between sessions is four weeks. The procedure itself averages about thirty minutes.

Dermaplaning will accomplish immediate skin exfoliation and loss of peach fuzz. The most significant benefits include the ability for your skin care products to penetrate deeper, removal of soft facial hairs that trap dirt and oils, smoother skin, and diminished look of fine lines. The procedure removes up to three weeks of dead skin cells. Dermaplaning is good for all skin types. If you have pustular acne or are on blood thinners you cannot have dermaplaning. Myth number one regarding dermaplaning is the hair will grow back thicker. This is false, the removal of the hair will not stimulate more hair or thicker hair.

The is no discomfort associated with the procedure.

Dermaplaning will improve the absorption of your skin care p ro d u c t s a n d provide a smooth foundation for your make-up. It can also be used prior to a peel or laser treatment to allow increased results.

Myth number four, there is down time after dermaplaning. This is false, you can go about your day after the procedure and even apply make-up right away. Myth number five, it is uncomfortable.

Dermaplaning is a highly efficient, safe, physical exfoliation procedure used to clear away dead and superfluous skin layers. If you have not tried dermaplaning it is a must on your to do list. Beware it may become a new habit and a great addition to your current beauty routine!



Happy February my lovely stunning pregnant and non-pregnant ladies and gents!! My first article regarding my new “situation” or what folks call “a blessing” was more of a tell all and I did not focus as much as I would have liked on fitness and healthy eating. I dove into my first internal response to being pregnant and all the crazy thoughts that went through my head all at once. Your feelings are as important as your health when you are pregnant. Actually, your feelings are your health and they affect how you feel immensely. In this issue I want to center the attention more on what I am doing to stay fit inside and out and of course throw in some fun pregnancy stuff to get some laughs out of you. My due date is July 26, 2018. At this moment I am almost 15 weeks pregnant. My baby is the size of a lemon although I feel my appetite may be feeding a medium sized dog! I won’t exaggerate on cravings or needing to eat specific things. I am not eating whole pizzas in bed or devouring ice cream by the gallons. I will say, I have been steering more towards creamy food. I definitely want butter and mayonnaise and smoothies look yummy. I also always have loved bread and this has become a comfort food for me during this time. Lately every morning I have a piece of toast with butter with my decaf coffee. Although I may want to eat every bad thing I can think of; I am still trying to focus on consuming not only what I crave but what my body needs. No matter what; a person’s diet should consist of fruits and vegetables with healthy portions of meat or the protein of your choice. This goes for everyone! But when you are pregnant those basic dietary needs do not change, if anything; it needs to be exaggerated. You are not 182


only eating for you but for a little one. So, whatever you ingest, the baby does to. You are what you eat my friends!! In a way this keeps me focused on being health conscious. Of course, I still eat my pizza or go out and get chicken wings, but that is still for my husband and I, considered a treat. This means balance. Most of the week you concentrate on getting those healthy nutrients and then treat yourself to that ice cream or pizza once or maybe twice a week. Exercise wise I spoke about being so exhausted the first few months and struggling to do any type of exertion other than walking my dogs. In my fourth month of pregnancy, I am starting to get my energy back here and there. I also avoid caffeine so I tend to get tired quicker, but I want to listen and pay attention to my body when it is saying it is time to rest. At this point, since I worked out heavily before being pregnant; I am continuing to try to hit the gym at least 3 days a week. I still run, do other cardio and weights. I am only avoiding exercises where I would lay on my stomach because its uncomfortable and pregnant women should avoid that. I will say I have felt the frustration. The idea of going to the gym is wonderful but then when I try on my gym clothes that motivation disappears. I feel insecure because I do not have a flat stomach and it is becoming harder to hide. I bought larger size tights since my old pairs were uncomfortable but most of my tops do not look good either. Advice to my pregnant ladies- get clothes that you think you look good in. Splurge just a little on yourself. I am ridiculously miserable because I have no clothes but was refusing to buy any just yet. This then resulted in I never wanting to leave the house because I wasn’t comfortable in anything I put on. This is important

and a lesson I am teaching myself now. My husband told me this weekend we are going shopping so I have a few things I feel happy in. I am not at the stage where I need maternity items so I was avoiding purchases till then. That was a bad idea! What I am trying to say is- we need to feel beautiful. You need to do things that make you feel good about yourself. Even if it’s just getting a haircut or doing your nails. I can’t spray tan anymore or was told not to so I am very pale which I also despise. Hence, I went back to splurging on expensive tanning mousses because it makes me feel better and I just love looking tan. Again, this is just me and what I am going through right now but it’s real and your feelings matter. You are not being ridiculous because you need to feel decent in your own skin since these immense changes are making you feel anything but that. To my lovely ladies. Pregnant or not. You need to like how you look. You must make a point to take care of that part. Feel awesome in your clothes and of course your own skin. I know this is a huge growing stage for myself and especially my ego during this period. I am making a miracle and my body as well as my mind need to adjust. So, if you are working on yourself after a baby, during a pregnancy or just trying to lose weight; take it all in. Embrace the journey. Enjoy the changes and understand all your hard work will lead you to the prize. May it be a little baby or a six pack- either or; they both will put a gigantic smile on your face. Much Love xoxooxoxoxoxo Tracy Echeverri~





Aren’t triggers interesting? A single sound, a single word or a single image can transport you back – perhaps to a place you would rather not go. Yet there you are. Last November, I was immersed into a faux leather sofa, black of course, in the waiting area of the DFW Gun Range and Training Center on Mockingbird Lane, while my husband and step daughter fired rounds into silhouettes with a variety of handguns. See? Two triggers there – the Munsters and the sound of gunfire. Are either meaningful for you?* Mockingbird Lane conjures the image of my childhood home in Watertown, NY, watching TV with my older brother in the evening. Mom puttering in the kitchen, probably preparing for the next day’s lunches. Dad in the easy chair, reading the newspaper, humming softly. Comfortable home, comfy lifestyle and good memories. Just like the sofa I am sunk into now, laptop balanced carefully, trying to shut out the sound of gunfire. I am even turned the other way, back to the counter so I don’t see the holsters on hips, the guns on the counter or even the boxes of ammo sliding across from salesperson to shooter. Among the baggage in my virtual locker at the train station is a relationship with a diagnosed psychotic drug addict. In the middle of the violence I wondered how 184


this could even have happened. Then the months and years previous flash through my mind like a slide show. High school graduation, decision to not pursue college (fell in love), full time job at Kodak (Dad’s urging as he also worked there), marriage, loss of father through cancer, resignation from Kodak for being overlooked for a promotion (beginning of woman’s equality awareness), loss of a baby and accusation

relationships (several), my career. My life’s happiness was my family. My daughters, Stephanie and Kelly, and eventually their partners and Stephanie’s two boys, my grandsons, Nathan and A.J. They were and are my rock, my foundation, and my life’s blessings. It was because of them I kept moving forward. Yet finally I arrived at an epiphany. I am important. I am entitled to be happy. I am unique. I am blessed. I am loved. I won’t bore you with the introspection. Suffice it to say, I did a lot of pondering, some wallowing, some whining, a bit of grumbling and, like the caterpillar emerges from its larva I finally could say my baggage was all packed into a locker (large though it may be) at the station. It was over, done and in the past. I would only look forward. Here are my principles: 1. Be Kind. 2. Be Positive. 3. Be Open.

by husband of responsibility for death. You get the idea. And with each of those, no time taken to heal, to grieve, to grow. Just keep moving forward. My time to heal did not occur until several years ago, a good 40 years after most of these losses. I had been unhappy with my life, my

The world today is filled with Hate and Negativity. Let it Go – Get Rid of It! I know it is difficult, but just try once a day to find something kind to do or say to someone. To someone you don’t know. That’s right, to a stranger. For no reason at all, other than to offer this person some kind words in their day. See that woman in the grocery store? The one with the children sitting patiently in her cart while she selects the best option from the shelf? Compliment her parenting skills for that juvenile patience. Tell her the braid on her daughter is adorable, or you love her purse, or that color blue is perfect for her.

{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE } Aren’t triggers interesting? A single sound, a single word or a single image can transport you back – perhaps to a place you would rather not go. Yet there you are.

And then let me know how you felt when she smiled at you, or when she seemed confused at what to say because she is not at all used to people saying anything, let alone something kind. It feels good. It makes ME happy. Many of us wallow in negativity. Here is another challenge for you. For 24 hours speak no negativity. Nothing bad, nothing derogative, nothing shameful, NOTHING negative. If you find you have accidentally done so, immediately retract your words and utter positive words to reframe that negative thought. If it’s a rainy day, don’t complain about it. If you can’t think of anything positive about the gloomy day, don’t say anything. If you do find yourself saying how

nasty Mother Nature is to make it rain when you had plans, switch your words to positive ones like, “Mother Nature knows I prefer sun. I guess she thinks I need a break from it today. Maybe there is someone else I should be doing.” Or, like I chose when my girls were little, put some boots on, grab an umbrella and play in the rain. It’s only water! I found when I allowed myself to remain open I gained incredible insight into people, places and things. I now try to learn at least one new thing every day. If I hear a word I am not sure of, I check the definition. If I see a building under construction I try to find out what new company will be in the neighborhood soon. If

someone mentions a topic with which I am unfamiliar, I research it a bit so I can contribute to a conversation in the future – or help someone else learn about it. I endured the long, dark, middle of my life and feel I have now emerged from it alive, renewed, strong and vibrant. Sometimes I wish this experience had occurred at a younger age, but I’m not sure I would have appreciated it. This is my rebirth, my renaissance and I can’t wait to see what the years ahead have in store for me. Join me, won’t you? *Yes, I realize there are really THREE triggers, the third being the literal gun trigger, but I didn’t want to distract you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


Home e h t e r e h w s i s i t r a e H Brought to you by the Local Expert Home Financing:

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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.







You may or may not know that there are a number of federally funded programs designed to make homeownership more affordable. The USDA, FHA, VA programs, and the federal mortgage interest deduction are a few examples of help that are available throughout the US. But did you know that just by being a resident of the state of New York, you may have access to even more money saving programs? Brand new mortgage programs are now available from the State of New York Mortgage Agency – SONYMA for short. I am pleased to endorse and offer these affordable financing programs to residents of our great state. There are many benefits to the SONYMA programs, and they’re only available in New York! What is SONYMA? Dedicated to providing homeownership opportunities for New Yorkers, SONYMA offers several programs to assist first-time and low-to-moderate income homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership. SONYMA programs through Premium Mortgage feature competitive interest rates, low-down payments, and no pre-payment penalties for qualified buyers.

Home Buying Assistance in New York State

BENEFITS OF SONYMA LOANS: · Competitive fixed rate mortgages with up to 97% financing available · 97% financing on 1-2 unit properties, and 90% financing on 3-4 unit properties · Down payment assistance available up to the greater of $3,000 or of 3% of the home purchase price not to exceed the maximum of $15,000 · 1% borrower cash contribution for 1-2 unit homes, condos, and manufactured homes permanently affixed to a foundation. 3% borrower cash contribution for cooperatives and 3-4 family homes. · 120 day rate locks for existing homes and 240 day rate locks for new construction at no cost · Special Program for active duty Military, National Guard & Reserves and those veterans who served and were honorably discharged or released · Special Program to finance needed repairs or desired updates based on the value of the home after the repairs are completed. FEATURED SONYMA PROGRAMS Down Payment Assistance: Get More Money for Your Closing Costs Down Payment Assistance Loans (DPAL) may be used with any SONYMA program by borrowers toward their down payment and or closing costs. With assistance up to the higher of $3,000 or 3% of the purchase price (up to $15,000), these funds may be used along with any SONYMA program. Borrowers can include those funds to pay upfront private mortgage insurance (when required), along with the other closing costs on their home loan. And my favorite feature is that the DPAL is only

required to be repaid if you are in your home for less than 10 years. If you remain in your home for 10 years or longer, DPAL will be completely forgiven! HOMES FOR VETERANS PROGRAM: 97% FINANCING FOR MILITARY VETS I am very pleased to announce that I now offer the Homes for Veterans program from SONYMA. With SONYMA’s lowest available rate, down payment assistance up to $15,000 (!), and as little as a 1% borrower cash contribution, this financing program is a true gift to our service members and vets in New York State. Further, financing for home improvement costs can be included in the loan, which provides up to 97% financing. Veterans can apply with a non-spouse as the applicant, too, which is very helpful for unmarried veterans. This program is open to all veterans who have served on active duty and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. It is also available to all NYS service members (including reservists/ National Guard) of any discharge status who are first-time homebuyers. GRADUATE TO HOMEOWNERSHIP: BUYING MADE EASIER FOR GRADUATES Available for first time homebuyers who have graduated with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree within the last 48 months (from a program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education), SONYMA offers low-interest rate mortgages, down payment assistance, and homebuyer education. This program is available in Geneva, Oswego, Elmira, and Jamestown, NY only. I am very excitied about these new programs, unique to New York State! Please call, email or text me to learn more about these, and the huge variety of other programs I have access to. Whatever your circumstances, I am happy to sit down with you, discuss your options, and find the perfect financing program to get you into the home of your dreams! To learn more about our services and current mortgage rates, call give me a call at (585) 314-8511, or visit our website to find your nearest location and apply for a loan: You can also connect with me on Facebook (/ MtgageGirl )and Twitter (@MTGAGEGIRL) Phyllis Haberer (@MTGAGEGIRL on Twitter) Senior Loan Officer | NMLS# 58078 (585) 241-0000 x104 Premium Mortgage Corporation 2541 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618 Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 3254 | Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS




HOME BUYER Frequently Asked Questions BY DANIELLE & FALLONE

Have you ever considered selling your home and/or buying a new one? Real estate can sometimes be a confusing process to navigate, so The Property Girls Team is here to answer some of the questions that we hear most often! HOME BUYER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Budget, location, ideal number of bedrooms and baths are good places to start. Once you know that, we can really get down to business. Our team takes advantage of technology to make it as easy as possible. We do the research and arrange for properties matching your exact criteria to be emailed to you the

• How do I know what my budget is? o The very first thing you should do is meet with a local lender to start the pre-approval process. This should happen before you even start looking at houses. Why? Because getting your pre-approval will give you a much clearer idea of what you qualify for and what you can actually afford. This will allow you to narrow down your choices and help you avoid falling in love with homes that are out of reach. And, having a pre-approval ready will save valuable time once you find your dream home and are ready to make an offer. • I’m overwhelmed by my options and don’t know what to start. What should I do? o Know the essentials, aka your ‘musthaves,’ before you begin your search. 190


o Our negotiation gurus are experienced in getting the best deal possible. It is our job to do as much research as possible to determine a fair price. We will look at recent sales of similar homes, seller motivation, and the condition of the property to help determine what a house should sell for. Ultimately though, the buyer and seller are the ones who determine market value of a property; it is only worth what a seller is willing to sell it for and what a buyer is willing to pay! • What happens if there are multiple offers on a house I’m interested in? o If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation, you need a Realtor who knows how to navigate these murky waters. There is nothing worse than finding a house you love, writing an offer, and walking away without being the winning bidder.

moment they hit the market. That means you won’t have to spend hours online sifting through hundreds of houses! • How do I know if I’m getting the best deal? How do I know what is a fair offer?

Asking the right questions to come up with the best terms and conditions for your offer can really help: What did a seller pay for the property and when? How much do they owe on their mortgage? Why are they moving? In addition to finding that information for you, we have some other tricks up our sleeves that help OUR

buyers get those keys in their hands! HOME SELLER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS • What is the best time of year to list my home? o Most sellers are waiting until Spring when the flowers are blooming and curb appeal is at its finest. But, there is a serious lack of inventory between January and April! There are more buyers than there are houses for sale at this time of year, which creates high demand and a HOT seller’s market! So, while your magnolias may not yet be in full bloom, the Spring market is already here. • How do I know how much my home will sell for? o That’s where we come in! We look at the recent sales in your area and help 192


you hone in on your property’s market value based on the features of your home and what is happening with the market in your neighborhood. Pricing competitively is crucial if you want to sell quickly and for top dollar (and who doesn’t, right?). We will also give you pointers on the features and upgrades that buyers in today’s market are looking for that may help boost your sale price. • Is staging my home really that important? o Yes! We are staging certified and know a thing or two about how to make your house shine. Staging emphasizes a property’s strengths and minimizes its weak points. Then our professional photographer will be able to capture all of your home’s best angles, presenting it at its maximum potential. First impressions are everything!

And creating a space that buyers can see themselves living in is so important. • What timeframe should I expect from accepted offer to closing day? o Whether you are buying or selling, generally you can expect about 3060 days from contract to closing. The timeframe can vary based on financing type and any unique situations present for the buyer or seller. We try our best to ensure that the transaction goes as quickly and smoothly as possible for our clients, while keeping them updated through each stage of the transaction. We hope you found this information helpful! Are you thinking about buying, selling, or investing in real estate in 2018? The Property Girls Team would love to help!

Meet The Property Girls Team

SOLD 108 HOMES IN 2017








{ CLASS 101 }

College Is More Affordable Then You Think! BY TIM SHANAHAN

There are 5 Secrets that can unlock college for any student. This article will focus on the first-and most important- of these 5 secrets. A COLLEGE LIST IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD CONSIDERABLE SAVINGS ON TUITION The average cost of attendance for a public college is approximately $24, 000 per year, and it’s even steeper for private college at nearly twice that amount. That’s a shocking 40% increase for public four-year institutions since 2005 according to the College Board. As a result, more than 40 million Americans are saddled with student loans, collectively racking up billions in debt. College debt is growing at the terrifying rate of nearly $3,000 per second, according to Student Loan Hero and MarketWatch. Worse, a shocking 33% of college students drop out during the freshman year! The college selection and application process is effectively broken for most students who don’t understand how to select the best schools, don’t start the process until it’s too late to qualify for the best grants and scholarships, and don’t receive enough personal attention. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! Step 1: A College List is the First Step Toward Considerable Savings on Tuition Developing a college list is the most important first step a student should take during their Freshman year of high school. The average high school 194


student chooses from a limited universe of 2-3 schools: the schools their parents attended and the schools that are the popular go to picks with their peers. Unfortunately, this small selection of schools is almost always the wrong fit for your student. The schools may not specialize in what they want to study, may not have much money available to give out or may be the wrong cultural and social fit. A staggering one in three freshmen drops out after his or her first year, according to U.S. News & World Report, and those who drop out struggle to get back on their feet and have a successful college career. It doesn’t have to be this way. With over 4,000 colleges and universities to choose from, there is a perfect school for your child and more importantly, there are schools that both have ample money to give out and that they will love.

What if you could help your child find the perfect school AND save money on college expenses? You can! The first step toward saving on college costs and fees is to start NOW. Freshman year is an ideal time to begin the college application process. Most students wait until the end of their junior year and by then they are missing out on opportunities and money. We’ve established that students need to begin thinking about college much earlier. Now what? Develop a list of potential colleges. The list might include the schools you already know about as well as other options you should explore further, including both public and private schools, schools in and out of your geographic area, and schools that match your child socially and culturally. There are five important factors to consider when creating the college list. Narrow your college list down based on these considerations: 1. L o c a t i o n , location, location. Consider distance of school from home and how comfortable your student is with being away from home as well as the size of the campus and enrollment. Look at schools far away as often as you look at local schools one of the main reasons for high dropout rates is forcing your child to attend a local school when there may be a better fit further away. Your child may fall in love with a remote school that awards



{ RWO { CLASS SURVIVORS 101 } } The average cost of attendance for a public college is approximately $24, 000 per year, and it’s even steeper for private college at nearly twice that amount. That’s a shocking 40% increase for public four-year institutions since 2005 according to the College Board.

further away. Your child may fall in love with a remote school that awards much more money so be open to and look at a wide number of schools. 2. Amount of available grant money. Some schools recruit specific types of students and have more money to give out. Don’t assume that college has to be expensive, even the really high priced liberal arts schools. In some cases, it is less expensive to send your child to a $50k a year private college than it is to a local state university. 3. Major areas of study - Certain colleges are ranked higher for certain concentrations of study. If your student is interested in pursuing a music career, for example, you’ll want to narrow your college list to those 196


with strong music programs. If you want to specialize, create a list of 5-10 schools that excel in that subject and look at all of them. 4. Special scholarships - What special interests and talents does your student have and what colleges offer scholarships focused on that particular area? There is a wide range of hidden or special scholarships available and if you start the process early in high school - as early as the freshman year - you might have time to compete for these. 5. Campus tours - It’s very important to tour as many colleges as you can, and to tour them when class is in session. A thorough college selection process often starts with college visits in the Sophomore year and many students wait too long to start visiting.

Look at 10-15 school and more if you can - visiting during the fall or spring semester helps you child determine cultural fit and they will need to find schools they love. WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW? You now know the first of many tips on how to help make college more affordable. Don’t be left in the dark, scrambling to file applications at the last minute and winding up at the wrong school. Start the college planning process early, and don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a professional college counselor to help with this exciting, yet sometimes complex and scary journey!

It's never too soon to start planning for college. • College List Development • ACT/SAT Test Prep • Athletic Recruitment • Financial Aid • Scholarships • Grades

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It’s funny how things evolve, constantly change, then seem to revert back in a full circle. Many years ago my now dear friend Peter’s wife and my wife worked together as teachers. Their school held a talent show for all of the teachers, and a party after. Peter asked me at the party whether I knew any particularly good litigation attorneys. I told him I did, and I suggested several names to him. Since I didn’t know him, I had no way of understanding that despite his gruff exterior, he actually had a heart of gold, and really was more of a teddy bear than a grizzly. “Don’t you to do this kind of work?” he asked brusquely I replied that I did. “Why aren’t you telling me about you?” he wondered. I explained I simply had a distaste for attorneys who constantly handing out their business cards at social events, that we had met because our wives were socializing as co-workers, and that I was merely answering his question. Then he asked me to tell him more about my practice. A few days later he called to say he had been “handed some papers.” Needless to say the game was on, and he had been sued, as he had anticipated. I undertook the battle, and we became very dear friends throughout the litigation. Initially a temporary restraining order was placed on his business, which meant that if I could not have it lifted his career would be over. He had just started his new business, and his old boss — a person I grew to dislike immensely — was trying to keep him from getting it going, despite the fact they had no non-compete clause. It didn’t work and, in the end, he wound up paying my client money, instead of the other way around. Since Peter’s probably the best salesman in the world, my investment paid off: I know that no matter where he 200


travels whenever anybody mentions the word “attorney,” he mentions his.

seminar. I joked that I didn’t have time to go, but the fact is I needed it desperately.

I’m not sure whether it was just coincidental, but since he was paid by the hour I thought there was some relationship to his insistence that I accompany him to a time management

I actually think he was more concerned about the impact it would have on my life and practice over whether I would be able to more efficiently keep track of my

“It’s important for parents, too. As they age, we need to listen. When our children are young we need to listen.”

billing on his file. I have revisited the list I made during the initial portion of the first of several of those time management seminars. Invariably it starts with taking care of yourself as a person, and those around you, and making sure you have enough time to enjoy life in addition to having

enough time to do your work competently. So the funny thing is that in addition to trying to make sure I set aside items on the list about family and private time, as well as having time to enjoy life, one of my primary goals was to make sure every client had

the opportunity to be able to speak freely, knowing I was listening with my full attention. Although I have failed at that on far too many occasions, every time I reread that initial list I realize how important that one concept is. It’s important for parents, too. As they age, we need to listen. When our children are young we need to listen. As they age, or a spouse ages, we need to listen. A good lawyer needs to listen, and that’s more difficult than it sounds. Anyway, back to the full circle I mentioned in the first part of this column: We were fortunate enough to have one of the greatest trial attorneys who ever lived, Louis Nizer, speak at our law school graduation. Before I ever met with my first client in my own practice, I listened to that wonderful man say the most important thing he could impart to us was that we must listen to our clients. He explained that by the time our clients reach our desk, something gravely important has happened in their lives and they need our help. He explained they need to have the opportunity to talk, without interruption, and that they need to we know that we are listening. I’m not writing this column to teach other people, I’m writing this column to remind myself. Robert L. Brenna Jr. is a partner in the Rochester law firm of Brenna, Brenna & Boyce PLLC, which his father founded. He is Past President of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and Founder and CEO of Mastermind Lounge LLC He also hosts a Sunday morning radio program, “The Brenna & Brenna Law Forum,” on WHAM 1180 AM at 8 a.m., and on iHeart radio.








1. What is the mission of Steven’s Closet?

Our mission is to provide weather appropriate clothing to patients upon discharge who otherwise would go without. Steven’s Closet is one way we are able to serve our community and to send a clear message that… we care. The closet is filled with clothes from the strong and compassionate employees of our emergency department. The closet is named after a homeless gentleman who has since passed. Steven was a daily reminder of humility, kindness and courage. The closet helps represent these attributes and allows them to continue by serving others.

2. What role does Steven’s Closet play in our community?

Steven’s closet’s role in our community is to provide weather appropriate clothing for any patient in Rochester General’s Emergency Department, that need them at time of discharge. This allows our homeless population, victims of crimes and anyone who lost clothing due to illness or injury and weather appropriate clothing to wear home.

3. What has contributed to the success of Steven’s Closet?

Perseverance, persistence and heart are the driving forces that keep Steven’s Closet full of clothes and paying it forward. The closet started out of necessity, has grown from a card board box to an actual California Closet.

4. What unique challenges and rewards come from starting Steven’s Closet?

In the beginning, the main challenge for the closet was keeping it filled with weather appropriate attire and keeping it filled at all. With time, perseverance and persistence Ruth and I have been able to keep the closet afloat. We were blessed last year with a monetary donation as well as trucks full of clothes from O’Connell electric. Their generosity was overwhelming and very much appreciated.

5. What are some of your future goals for Steven’s Closet?

The only goal we have for the closet is too keep it filled and ready to serve out patients when needed. Our goal is that every patient who leaves the ED is in warm clothing and has the sense of “they care”. We want to continue to serve the people in our community no matter how small or large the impact.

6. Who are some of your influences today? Why?

Claire: I would say my two strongest influences in my life are definitely my parents, Greg and Christine Coughlin. Throughout life everyone suffers ups and downs and my family and I are no exception. I grew up watching my parents overcome hardships they have faced with integrity, dignity, self-respect and courage. They refused to take defeat as an answer, they refused to lie down and just accept life as it came, they took charge of their lives. My parents always held themselves and all 7 of my brothers and sisters accountable for our actions and decisions. They taught us compassion by example. No matter how little we had, my parents always found a way to still give. My parents have instilled this way of thinking into me and I pay it forward whenever I am able. Ruth: One of the biggest influences in my life is the staff I work with every day. Their integrity, service and willingness to give back are inspirational. My co-workers are often selfless and seek out ways to help the community we serve every day.

7. Growing up, who were some of your role models? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



Our mission is to provide weather appropriate clothing to patients upon discharge who otherwis a clear message that… we care. The closet is filled with clothes from the strong and compassiona has since passed. Steven was a daily reminder of humility, kindness and courage. Th

Claire: Growing up my two biggest role models were my grandparents, Anthony and Joan Pizzarelie. My grandparents both grew up working hard for everything they had. My grandfather became an OBGYN and did very well for himself. Throughout my entire life, my grandparents like my parents lead by example. They were empathetic, compassionate, honest and of high integrity. They treated all people the same no matter what economic class, race or gender they were. They expected the same from all of us. During a hardship my family suffered my grandparents taught me the meaning of family by living it in real time. They went above and beyond in providing what we needed at that time. My grandparents taught me the importance of hard work, taking control of my own life and always give back to family and those less fortunate. Ruth: My father was my biggest role model. My father led and taught me by example. He was a hard worker with strong work ethic. He took pride in all tasks no matter how big or small. He taught me to take pride in anything I do and to always put forth 100%. Mostly, he taught me to always give back to those who need and to pay it forward whenever I can.

8. What are your three (3) biggest accomplishments?

Claire: My three biggest accomplishments have to be my children, my career and Steven’s closet. While I was pregnant with my second child my first husband passed away. At that time, I had not gone to college and was working as a server in a local restraint. For the next four years while in nursing school, my kids tolerated so much. They were shuffled to and from sitters, my parents and our home. I worked full time and was in school full time. My parents called them, “nomads”. All the while they never complained and always greeted me 206


with love and patience. They are strong, independent and empathetic and I am by far most proud of them. My journey to become a nurse was full of hurdles that I had to overcome. The journey is what made me the person and the nurse I am today. Setting a goal and achieving it is exhilarating and leaves you with such a sense of accomplishment! Lastly, I would have to say that Steven’s closet is by far one of my biggest accomplishments. Being able to help cloth someone who might have

gone without or to provide comfort to someone who has been through something is rewarding in and of itself. There are no words to describe how good it feels to be able to look at someone and provide a piece of comfort and a little gesture that says, we got you. Ruth Kuhns: Three of my biggest accomplishments are raising my daughter, being able to care for my grandchildren and being able to take care of my parents in


se would go without. Steven’s Closet is one way we are able to serve our community and to send ate employees of our emergency department. The closet is named after a homeless gentleman who The closet helps represent these attributes and allows them to continue by serving others.

their final stage of life. Raising my daughter as a single mother had its challenges. I have watched her grow into a strong, independent, self-assured woman and a into a beautiful mother. Seeing her in the life she has created for herself and her family gives me a sense of pride and is my number one accomplishment. I was able to put myself in a position where I have been able to help my daughter with my grandchildren and child care. I value this time with my babies, it is the

high light of my days and helps keep me young! Being able to help out with my grandchildren is a true blessing in my life and I look forward to being able to help more once I retire! Lastly and something I am very proud of was being able to help care for my parents before they passed. I was able to give back just a portion of the love, understanding, compassion and empathy that they instilled in me. I was able to show them the type of person they raised, taking pride in them and the care

they received. It was truly an honor to be there for them in that way.

9. What other woman leaders do you admire or look up to? Why?

Claire: When reflecting back on the woman who I admire most, it was hard to choose from. I finally was able to narrow it down to two great women of our Time. The first is Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor was a pioneer in human rights and made it her and the US governments priority. Her influence was significant during a time when woman just starting to make strides in our communities. Eleanor Roosevelt was not afraid to stand by what she believed in, even publically disagreeing with some of her husband’s, the president’s, political views. She set a high standard for woman to follow. Set the bar high, people will reach it. I also admire Deeneen Borelli who is an author and TV personality. Deeneen is a strong woman who encourages people to think for themselves and become informed. She encourages people to form their own opinion based on information and not be compelled or swayed based on socioeconomic class, race, gender or political affiliation. She encourages independence and offers a unique perspective on what independence means. I may not agree with all her beliefs but admire her challenging people to think and use their brains to form their own opinions. I truly believe that seeking truth and looking at situations from all perspectives is a lost art. I appreciate anyone who encourages people to more informed! Ruth: I admire Michelle Obama for all the work she has done with our youth. I admire the time and effort she made to educate youth on healthy choices and took the time to exam what we were putting in our children’s bodies. Michelle teamed up with celebrities to bring to light the lack of educational opportunities for young girls ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


around some parts of the world. Michelle Obama was a great example of a strong first lady should be.

10. What’s on your bucket list? Personally, and Professionally?

Claire: My bucket lists are not that long. Professionally I am working on becoming a CEN, Certified Emergency nurse. When I pass it will be an accomplishment that took discipline and hard work. It is a nationally recognized certification. I also would love to get involved in advocacy for the mentally ill and educate people about mental illness and suicide. Mental illness is so prevalent and misunderstood. I feel as a country we do a poor job caring for those who need help being cared for, our mentally ill, our elderly, military and our children. Personally, I would love to travel with my children and husband. I would like my children to see other parts of the world and how fortunate we in America are. Number one on my bucket list, to become an Alpaca Farmer! It may sound odd, but my husband and I love animals, love the outdoors and hard work. We plan on starting a small farm when our children our grown. One day maybe you will see a “Simbuls’ Farm”, when you do, know I did it!



Ruth: Personally my bucket list consists of traveling, all over and to warm places w/ my fiancé Billy. I would like us to enjoy retirement together and start the new chapter in our lives. I of coarse want to soak up every minute with my grandchildren and be there for every little to big millstone. I don’t want to miss one thing! Professionally, I am coming to the end of my career and retirement is around the corner. With that being said I would like to continue giving back to the community and possibly find new ways to do it when I am retired!

11. If you could not be doing what you are doing what other occupation would you have chosen? Why?

Claire: Many people have told me, including the Dean of my nursing school that if nursing does not work out, I should become a lawyer or get into politics. Law and justice have always intrigued me. I see myself more has someone who fights for social injustices, fairness and equality. Maybe, in my next life I will be a politician! Ruth: I would love to be a travel agent. I would love to help make people’s dreams come true. I love to travel and have been blessed to be able to travel to many different places. I have learned so much form

meeting people all over the country and encourage everyone to get out there and explore the world!

12. What would you like the readers of Rochester Woman Online Magazine to know about you and Steven’s Closet? Claire: I would like Rochester woman’s magazine to know that Steven’s closet was started from a place of love, kindness and humility. Everyday Ruth, our Co-workers and I are lucky enough to be touched by so many different types of people from all walks of life. With that you see many stories of struggles, perseverance, defeat and hope. Anyone of us are one slip, one medical emergency or financial hardship away from needing help. We all have a reason to pay it forward as well, all of us. It feels good to do good and Steven’s closet is an example of that!

Ruth: Claire and I love and take pride in Steven’s closet and giving patients what they need in order to go home comfortably. We have some patients who return to us often and often do not have what they need. It does not matter to us if they were here yesterday or earlier today, keeping patients warm, clothed and letting them leave with dignity is our expectation and the standard we hold the closet too.

Willa before…

Willa after…

Willa came to Rescued Treasures Pet Adoptions emaciated and pregnant. Despite her suffering, Willa delivered 7 healthy babies. All the puppies were fully vetted and adopted to local homes right here in Rochester. Rescued Treasures is a non-profit agency run solely by volunteers who have a passion to help society’s abandoned cats and dogs. You can help us by adopting… If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, donate. If you can’t donate, volunteer. Come and meet Willa at a fundraiser for her medical bills!

At the Brindle Haus Brewing Company on March 3, 2018 from 3pm - 6pm 377 South Union St. Spencerport, NY For a $20.00 donation you receive your own glass and 2 pints of craft beer.



Shavon Ashford, is a master holistic health coach. She teaches women to break through their emotional traumas. By analyzing their past, addressing what is broken inside first, the women work together to resolve all the internal issues, this allows them to seek the ultimate health and wellness. As a motivated, driven woman, who raised two daughters, Shavon strives to ensure everyone around her learns her message; “Don’t let your past stop you. But instead let your past create your future!” Often underlying hurt and pain fuels our choices to use food as comfort food or medicine. To achieve ultimate health, we must overcome this, developing positive coping mechanism as opposed to destructive ones. Shavon says: “Stop feeding your feeling with food”. Shavon struggled herself with emotional eating which produced a weight-loss roller coaster. Once Shavon learned how to conquer these evils, she began sharing her knowledge with others. Shavon helps frustrated, unmotivated women re-discover confidence, re-learn how to love themselves, redefining self-esteem and love for self-image. She shares: “I watched my mother struggle her entre life with her weight. I never realized I was developing the same struggle she endured. For years, she tried to lose weight and keep it off and so did I. We would do diets together. She never realized it was much deeper than following through with a diet. It was more than gastric bypasses. It was deeper than the scale. It was about fixing and healing the inside. In 2010, I started boxing with Charles “the Natural” Murray. I was overweight, depressed and I truly hated myself. Charles worked with me one-on-one. Not only did he work on my boxing skills, he worked on my mind. He told me to box, you have to train your mind because your body will give out before your mind does. But your mind controls the body. I gained confidence, love for myself and joy. Plus, I gained amazing skills. I knew from that point on, I found my passion. I wanted to help women just like me. I wanted to inspire, build create. I want women to know they are special”.



Sharon says, “Fear is one of the largest obstacles we face. Working through fear frees us to allow our light to shine. This unlocks the potential to find the best version of yourself”. Shavon describes fear: “I feared judgment for my past. I feared not being good enough. I feared being a woman of worth”. Letting these fears go allows an individual to break through the obstacles holding one back. Shavon’s inspiration came partially from the experience of raising her two daughters on her own. She describes her mother as being “her person”. “The most inspirational person in my life is my mother. She was the greatest version of love. Her love was so pure. She was amazing. She always made people feel good. She always made people laugh. People remembered her because of the way she made her feel. She always comforted people in their time of need. She esteemed others above herself. She was the true representation of God’s love. And I said I want to show love like she did, I want to care for people like she did”. For many of us like Shavon and her mom, weight-loss is a life-long struggle. Rochester Woman asked her the important question what makes your program work? Shavon without hesitation told us: “There are three important keys: (1) The right system; 2). The right support; (3) The right accountability. I am always available to assist in boosting spirits when my clients are down or losing faith in the process. I also the person to kick them in the but when they fall of track. Most of us know what to do we just don’t do it. Once we set up the conditions for inevitable success and we follow through the client will be successful. Learning what to eat for your body type is also an important factor. Fad diets do not work. It’s a plan to learn how to eat for a life time. Developing behaviors that last. End roller coaster dieting!” Over the span of the next five years, Shavon hopes to increase her business and the women she serves. She has goals to develop and create

some live virtual workshops assisting in changing body image perceptions and individual health and wellness. Shavon’s biggest obstacle was to overcome her own thinking. She reflected on this struggle: “I hated myself for years. I thought my truth was I wasn’t good enough. I thought I was a terrible person. I became introverted. I kept things to myself I became a person who suffered in silence but wearing a smile. I wanted God to take me out of this world because I was never going to be good for anyone. I chose men from that truth. I handled business from that truth. I dealt with my health from that truth. When I lost weight and gained it back I was a failure. No one loved me. In 2014, I lost my mother unexpectedly. This was something I was not ready to handle, everything in my life changed. I went from being a single-mother to a single- mother and care-taker for my father. He has dementia. I was working, taking care of my pre-teen daughter and taking care of my father. I had to decide after knowing it was too much. I placed my father in a nursing home. So, I let go, that was the hardest thing to do. I chose between myself, health, family and my father. I was grieving the physical loss of my mother and the mental loss of my father. All the while, I was able to earn my health coaching certificate. This began my new life. The learning process helped me to switch my truth to I am more than enough. I am victorious. I am important, and I matter. Also, I learned to deal with my grief. I built habits to overcome the emotions that come with grief”. Shavon pointed out: “The weight loss battle starts in the mind. Everything happening on the inside is always reflected on the outside. You can be successful. You are perfect naturally”. Rochester Woman is very thankful of Shavon. Her story is truly an inspiration to all of us.

{ WOMAN ON THE RISE } “Fear is one of the largest obstacles we face. Working through fear frees us to allow our light to shine. This unlocks the potential to find the best version of yourself”.





Let’s face it…there are more forms of exercise these days than we can count. It can become a little confusing trying to figure out what is just right for you and will get you the results you’re looking for. Many factors go into searching for the right gym, trainer, bootcamp, group exercise, etc. As a former one-on-one certified personal trainer and now owner of Webster Fit Body Boot Camp, I have heard them all! Consumers take into account everything from finding the right equipment at the gym right down to the feel, smell or atmosphere of the facility. Trust me, I get that. I’m all about the right vibes in my life too! And truthfully, finding something that you enjoy is where you will find you will stick with it longer and hopefully make it part of your lifestyle. Even as a former athlete with a background in Exercise Physiology, it was a culture and mindset shift that occurred for me to understand and accept that HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a method of exercise that would soon become my entire world, and that just 30 minutes of HIIT per day is enough! I was and many are still under the assumption that for a good quality workout, you must slave away at the gym bouncing from machine to machine for at least 45 minutes to over an hour. Not so! Been there, done that! 212


To dive in a bit deeper on HIIT-style workouts, you should first know that as a former bodybuilder and lover of the weight room, I resisted any and all forms of cardio! To me, that was a naughty word. And mostly because I just didn’t enjoy it, and never considered myself “good” at it. My mind would wander all over the place and I would end up cutting my

treadmill or elliptical sessions early due to boredom or lack of interest. Plus, for a good ten years my goal was to build as much muscle as possible. Not the typical goal for many women out there I know, but I was obsessed with obtaining a muscular physique. And so to me, cardio meant the possibility of burning off that precious muscle along with some fat of course. Luckily, I had a great mentor and trainer at the time that enforced the importance of nutrition for fat-burning

and even introduced me to the idea of HIIT training once a week as I prepped for my bodybuilding shows. For me, this is where the foundation of bootcamp-style workouts began and sparked an interest. I was certainly not bored during our Saturday morning bootcamps. We had an amazing group of people of all fitness levels present, where we pushed each other through every single interval…especially the cardio ones!! But, I could do it and eventually my cardiovascular system caught up to speed and I was no longer ‘afraid’ of it. And it didn’t matter if you were training for a competition or working on gaining strength or trying to lose weight; we were all in it together! That’s the great part of our bootcamp group workouts; we can tailor to many different fitness levels, ages, etc. I see much of the same mindset shift and atmosphere at Webster Fit Body Boot Camp now. After opening a year and a half ago, we have truly become a Fit Family. And this is where you’ll see all ages and fitness levels coming together to complete their 30-minute heart-pumping workouts daily. Many potential clients walk in with the same exact thoughts or skepticism that I had about the 30 minute workouts.



{ BOOTCAMP WITH MEGAN } Many factors go into searching for the right gym, trainer, bootcamp, group exercise, etc. As a former one-on-one certified personal trainer and now owner of Webster Fit Body Boot Camp, I have heard them all!

do cardio on a machine as part of this program if I want to lose weight?” Or “Maybe I should double up and do 2 sessions in a row or come twice in one day.” To which I say the same thing, “NO! Those things are not necessary. The 30 minutes are enough dependent on three main things. The first is your intensity level at each workout. They are designed to be HIGH intensity,

which means if you are carrying on a full conversation with your workout buddy, you are NOT working at a high enough intensity. The other factor will be your nutrition. The third and most overlooked thing is rest/recovery. If you are working to your highest capacity during the 30 minutes, your body will need rest and recovery periods to achieve best results.” Many still give me the ‘uh-huh, yeah, ok’ look after I explain this, but we now have

several veteran bootcampers that will tell you they workout 3-4 times a week doing the 30 minute workouts, eat clean 80% of the time, and take time to recover. That’s the recipe for success!


JOIN THE REVOLUTION! Webster Fit Body Boot Camp 585-371-8616 1682 Empire Boulevard Suite 100 Webster, NY 14580 /webster tbodybootcamp @webster_fbbc


“If your mind is ri

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Let’s talk about makeup trends for the upcoming Spring 2018 season. If you’re a “fashionista” and pay attention each season to the up and coming runway makeup trends, I think it’s safe to say that some are little hard to translate to reality. So that’s where I will come in, making a runway look useful for you each and everyday.

glitter to play up an eye or lip is a-ok in my books! One more trend coming up in the next few months is the true, blackest black, lined eye. The makeup artist’s had black

One of my favorite looks for Spring is a repeated look we have seen for some time now, highlight. A pretty, soft hightlight was the focus before, but a strong gold toned highlight is hitting runway and everyday in full force. To make this look translate perfect for everyday is making sure there isn’t so much “glitter” as much as a glisten. Let’s keep that for other parts of the face. This leads right into my second favorite Spring trend. Shimmer and glitter on the eyes and lips! Shimmer tones are always a yes for the eyes. This look suits everyone to your daily life. A softer toned shimmer for day and then a little something deeper at night. One thing I am personally happy about is the lip getting some love again. The liquid lip “matte” look is getting a make over by adding a beautiful glitter or shimmer gloss pop on top instead. Shimmer and 216


liner in all different shapes and styles around the model’s eyes on the runway. This is one where we have to step back and say to ourselves, “Girl, this is not ok for everyday”! The style with the shapes

and “rounded wing” needs be to kept on the runway, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep a regular cat eye in play, right? Or also just a true black liner lining just those top lashes to make the lash line so thick and full. I have always been a black liner fan myself, but not everyone is. This look is all about balance; finding the way black will look good on you! I really encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone each season with their makeup. Even if you’re spending the night in with a glass of wine; try some new looks out! Some will stick and you’d be surprised what one small change can do for your look. There are no rules to makeup, so have fun! For each of these up and coming trends, I have listed product recommendations. My favorite true gold highlighter is from Rihanna’s new line, Fenty Beauty. The match stick in Blonde worked for every skin tone on a recent photo shoot I worked on! A more expensive, but illuminating gold highlight is one I use all the time, even on the eye, Charlotte Tilbury’s: Bar of Gold!




{{ LET’S LET’S MAKE MAKE YOU YOU BLUSH BLUSH }} If you’re a “fashionista” and pay attention each season to the up and coming runway makeup trends, I think it’s safe to say that some are little hard to translate to reality.

My next trend recommendation is for that glitter and shimmer on the eyes. Anything color from Stila’s Shimmer & Glow and Glitter & Glow liquid eye shadows are perfection! They have every shade for any event you may need. Go as glittery or shimmery as you want in pure liquid shadow perfection. If you want a little less shimmer/ glitter in the eyes my favorite products to use are shadow 218


sticks! The shimmer and glitters aren’t as strong, but the impact is just as beautiful. With lips, adding shimmer and glitter with a gloss is easy! Spend and much or as little as you want ladies! Lips come off quick so I’m more partial to NYX shades but my other glitter favorites come from Bobbi Brown! You decide! And for true black perfection on the eye

my favorite go to’s are, liquid liner: wet and wild, gel liner: Maybelline, Cailyn or Bobbi Brown and kohl liners: Urban decay. Marc Jacobs new liners have true staying power and any shade in this line is a true, true pigment! If you need longevity give that black a try!


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What is a Boundary and when should you use one? *Set your boundaries for the new year and to flow through your life* Boundaries can be very confusing. Saying “no” is not setting a boundary. You don’t need to say no to people in order to set a boundary. The correct way is to say no and then follow up with your own action. That is what makes a boundar y. Saying no and threatening someone or telling them how they should behave is not setting a boundary. A boundar y is usually required to prevent any boundary violations. A violation is when someone comes into your emotional or physical space without permission, right? A boundary violation is also someone doing something in your “world” or life that you do not allow. So, a boundary is you deciding what you will and will not tolerate in your life. You must, however, announce it, state it and make people aware, otherwise they will not be able to respect your boundary. By not telling others what your boundary is and not having enough self-respect for 220


yourself and what you want in your life, you basically create a situation where boundary violations can happen easily. Here is an example, let’s say you have a couple of friends out of your group of 10 friends that smoke pot. You do not allow pot smoking in your home and frankly you don’t like to be around it. You must let people know of your boundary

regarding this. If they are true friends, they will respect your boundary and refrain from smoking in your presence. Now, let’s talk about consequences. There is always a consequence with every boundary, but here is the interesting part, the consequence is for you, not the other person/people. Interesting, right…...? Yes, that brings us back to being able to say NO. So, the consequence will

be that you won’t be spending time with those people and they won’t be welcome in your home while smoking pot. Try to remember that the reason the consequence is not for them is because people are allowed to do whatever they want, agreed? Also, adult people don’t like to be told what to do, so they can smoke pot all they want, whenever they want. You have just set a boundary in which YOU will not allow it in your life and/ or your home and if they violate YOUR boundary, your consequence will be that you will not be spending time with that person. That is what makes the boundary for you and not them, as they will continue to do whatever they wish, which we all know is called free will.… make sense? Saying no is something you have to get good at doing so you can get good at saying yes to the things that you really want to do. Remember, you don’t have to do anything. You always have the option of saying no. This goes back to my blog about “people pleasing” and never being able to say no. We sometimes worry about what people will think of us if we say no to something, therefore we lose our selfrespect and violate our own boundary just to people please.

{ SPECIAL FEATURE } By not telling others what your boundary is and not having enough self-respect for yourself and what you want in your life, you basically create a situation where boundary violations can happen easily.

If you haven’t ever told people the truth or what your boundary is and then you blurt out, “I’m so sick of you doing this,” the person may not even know what you’re sick of because you never announced it or stated it up front. Just remember two things, you can always say no and you don’t have to offer an explanation, ever…. ALSO, adults get to behave as they want to, always. You cannot control other people, you can only control your own life.

What are emotional boundaries you might ask? Some people have boundaries around swearing, using God’s name in vain or even loud arguing. Others don’t have boundaries or any problem with these things. Some people have boundaries around time and around space. Whatever it may be, we need to respect other people’s boundaries and we need to respect our own boundaries that we have set up for ourselves in order to have respect for ourselves and feel fulfilled within ourselves.

To learn more about this concept you can contact me via my webpage to set up a free mini session at: https://kmessinalifecoach. Or email me at



{ YOU CAN BE...! }


This article is the second installment of a two-part feature on acting. Part one (see last month’s edition of this magazine), focused on Commercial Acting. Part two, focuses on Dramatic Acting. You will find the information in these articles valuable if you are going pursuing a career in this field, or if you just want to be able to do a better job when presenting ideas and information.

to be diligent, tireless, flexible, patient, resilient and deserving. After hearing about an opportunity (or searching one out) and going after it, the first step is to audition for it. An audition is an opportunity to “try out” for a modeling or acting job. The job may be a film, TV episode or series, a commercial, or corporate video, to name a few.

As I addressed last time… acting on camera, is an important skill set for models to develop if they wish to broaden their career from the print and runway realm, into the world of television, films, commercials and web videos. Modeling and acting are very closely related and the skill sets of each are tightly interwoven. One key differentiator, however, is speech: Actors have a script - Models do not.

Good auditioning skills are vital to your success. It starts with a true desire and all out preparation, including practice, practice and more practice. Now comes your performance, that is where you deliver! Your performance is your opportunity to showcase your talents. You can reveal your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You can use gestures, body language and eye contact. Most importantly you must be animated.

DRAMATIC ACTING Most models/actors breaking into the business have to work very hard for their big break. They need talent, drive, determination, skill and desire. They have

Casting directors have to take many things into consideration when deciding who to hire to fill a role. This includes the demands of the script, the character’s age, physical appearance, personality, voice, demeanor,

appropriateness, etc. The person who will fill that character’s role will also have to have personality, talent, credibility, believability, experience in some cases and be animated. THE MONOLOGUE A good vehicle to showcase your talent is a monologue. This is a short script performed alone. It is material that a model or actor chooses to reflect their person and their talent. They select, practice and memorize their material (usually 1-3 minutes in length) to perfection. To find a monologue, go to a bookstore or library and look in the drama or acting section. You will find many options available there. Some are happy and some are sad. Some are serious or very dramatic, while others are funny or lighthearted. Above all, be sure to select one that you can relate to. Maybe one dealing with a character of your gender, in your age group who has similar life experience. Most importantly, you should be comfortable with your choice and pick a monologue that you will truly enjoy! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


{ YOU CAN BE... } Most television commercials are complex and expensive productions, from their inception to their completion. Many commercials use people in them; some of these people are professional actors or models, some are celebrities and others are just real people.

After you find your monologue, take time to get acquainted with it. Read it through several times to yourself. Go back over it and commit it to memory. Next, visualize what is happening in the story. See your character. See what your character is doing. Are they alone, or with someone? Is that person affecting the behavior of your character?

actor of this little play, so you have complete control over all the elements of it. Make it your best friend. SOME TIPS 1. Break down your monologue into smaller parts so that you can concentrate on it, one segment at a time.

What is being said, felt, implied, expected, etc.? What happens next? Recite the monologue out loud, over and over. As you do use your imagination to bring the words to life. Try different approaches to delivering the lines. Your tone should reflect the different emotions and situations that your character encounters. Develop a sense of timing, knowing when to speak, when to pause and when to use an expression instead. Be animated. Your body should also express/reflect the different emotions and situations that you are going through in the story. Add gestures and movement to enhance your performance. Use your imagination and creativity to fine tune your performance. If you need to, make necessary changes in the script. You are the producer, director and principal

A DRY RUN Once you have put it all together, consider performing in front of your family or friends. Their reactions and input will give you some valuable feedback. Did they believe you in the role? Were they drawn into the story, by your performance? Were there mistakes that you can improve on? Experienced models and actors find it advantageous to learn a number of different monologues. This allows them the ability to have a variety of rehearsed material, that they can draw from, to show the versatility of their talent. You don’t want to be considered a “one-shot wonder.” THE AUDITION An audition is your opportunity to present what you are capable of doing to those casting the project. Auditions can take a variety of forms. Below are a few things to be aware of. • Before you begin an on-camera audition, “slate” your name and your agent’s name.

2. Show the contrast of emotions (happy/ sad, glad/mad, surprise/angst) with real feeling. 3. Handle the transition of your character’s thoughts, emotions and actions with care. Use the natural punctuation breaks in the script to create pauses where you can achieve these transitions.

• The audition may be as simple as a personal interview. • It could be as complex as a cold read. (You are given a script to look over for just a few minutes and then you are expected to perform it. • You may be asked to participate in a dialogue. This means that you will have

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } There are many components that make up a successful performance. They are: your voice, (tone, pitch, speed, inflection) facial expressions, body language and eye contact (or lack thereof).

another actor. The merit of your performance will depend on how well you do and how you interact with the other actor.

2. Let your entire body relax.


3. Take a deep breath; exhale.

• The casting director could ask you to perform a monologue.

4. Now do small marching steps slowly, then begin to march faster.

9. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart.

• The casting director might ask you to improvise (they give you a word, prop or situation, and you act upon it).

5. Remember to keep your entire body relaxed, including your head.

• After you audition you may receive a “callback.” This means that the casting folks are requesting you to audition again, because they liked your performance. There may even be a series of callbacks before the role is finally filled. It is difficult to know, exactly what in particular, any casting director is looking for. Stay focused on what you are, able to do. Regardless of the format, do your best to present yourself with confidence in your abilities and remain relaxed. Performance Preparation It’s time! You have practiced and you are ready, but all of a sudden you are overwhelmed... your nerves take over, you feel like you are going to forget everything and you panic! RELAX, you’ll be fine (many wonderful performers experience this). Here is a great exercise to help you chill-out. 1. Stand with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. 


6. As you’re doing this exercise say one positive 2-3 syllable word.

10. Do a small bend of the knees and pretend you are driving a car, turning door knobs with both hands at the same time or shaking the hands from the wrists down. 11. Now quicken the pace.

7. Do this 5-10 times.

12. As you are doing this, say one positive 2-3 syllable word very fast.

8.Then stop and focus your eyes straight

13. Do this 5-10 times. 
 14. Then go back to the beginning and do the entire exercise 2-3 times (or as needed). 15. Now you are ready, go out there and SHINE! 
 - This great Performance Preparation advice is from someone who has been there, Cynthia Andresen, Professional Performer & Choreographer. About the Author For most of my life I have been involved in the modeling industry. I began modeling at age 11 and worked my way to the very top of the industry. At age 19, I won the coveted title of Miss USA and went on to model for the prestigious Ford Agency. My career spans both sides of the business, both in front of the camera and behind it. I am the founder and CEO of The Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency, a company that is 30 years old. My role today, is as an agent and a coach, working with aspiring models and actors, as well as clients looking to improve their overall image.



THE INSIDIOUS METHOD OF NEGATIVE MOTIVATION FITNESS MARKETING TOWARD WOMEN Negative Motivation Marketing. While I am certainly NOT a marketing or social media guru, I am incensed by the marketing campaigns that utilize negative motivation to elicit action or change a behavior. Before I continue, let me bring clarity to what Negative Motivation is and how it is applied in marketing ANY number of fitness products, services, classes and more. This form of motivation is designed to hone in on what you want to avoid happening, to prevent from occurring, designed to intimidate and criticize your current state of affairs, wellbeing and your body. With sarcasm, and at times, guiltladen commentary, negative motivation techniques abound in the fitness world. And guess what….they are predominantly directed at WOMEN. This method is so common that you may not even notice it anymore. Your subconscious voice may be silenced because the method to get you mobilized worked, although it was created by a negative factor rather than a positive one. Negative motivation campaigns have proven effective in the fitness world. Increased membership. Classes have greater attendance. Membership increases after such a campaign. It is extremely challenging to ignore its efficacy. As a marketing tool, it has proven it works. At what cost to YOUR mindset though? What part of you are you giving away without realizing it? What part of your being is being accosted by this method? Playing on your intentions to improve 228


your health and wellbeing by using an insidious series of words or presentations to create anxiety about yourself is bad for the psyche. However, we have been bombarded with it for so long, it slips on by without a blink of an eye. Pictures of extremely fit women wearing attire that exposes their rear ends, with the tag line, “Bust Your Butt” ~ sign up today to get the butt you know you want!” Or “Slay your Slab! Find your Abs.” Trying to instill the belief that your body is subpar, including treating your body to a whole host of negative thoughts in order to achieve the result THEY want - which is increased membership, more income. I suggest you start looking around at the various fitness campaigns, locally and nationally. Many of them apply shame, and draw assumptions that your body is a battleground. Something with which to be reckoned or you will….you will what? What will happen? This form of marketing is enlisting low frequency or “bad” energy and it doesn’t address one’s intrinsic desire for health and wellness pursuits. It generates a message that your body is the fight zone and you are the warrior. When did we start fighting with our bodies in order to become healthy, fit and happy? How did all this come about? I have seen group fitness classes over the decades with names such as : Get Your Fi(a)t Butt In Here” with the A being transposed over the “I” to be read as Fat . A friend, whom I adore, owns a fitness center called the Fitness Asylum. Are we crazy to be fit or is it a crazed environment? It is an odd word combination and connotes subconscious negative motivation. Motivation is motivation right? Whatever gets you mobilized toward your wellness or fitness goals is a good thing, right?

Not necessarily. Consider the extreme attrition seen just weeks after New Year’s Day. Many of the individuals who did not maintain their goals were likely drawn into them through negative motivation. It is not sustainable for the long run. Nor is it a truly inspiring way to initiate. Do not accept that your body is a battle ground. Do not accept that everyone has to have a round and exposed butt in order to be fit! Embrace your place in this world. Your body wasn’t designed to be attacked by you. Your body loves being loved and being honored that you are in it. You will have successes and failures, speaking here specifically fitness and wellness. That is a time of learning. Failing YOUR goals does not mean you are inherently doomed to not achieve what you may desire for yourself. It means you have achieved more pieces to the puzzle. Positive motivation methods such as dwelling on your strengths, know when to take time off (yes…your body needs rest as does your mind and it does not mean you are weak or avoiding your goal if time off is applied well). Adding humor and fun to your workout or fitness pursuit. You need not be sequestered inside 4-walls to achieve what you desire for your fitness and wellness goal. Mainly, embrace your individuality and not the mentality of negative motivation. I suggest you take a look around your fitness center, magazine articles, fad diets and fashion trends. Then compare to how many positive motivation methods you find. Care to share? Please do!



The Burn Boot Camp mission is to ignite a global health transformation through empowering women to maximize the quality of their lives. Burn seeks to build confidence, happiness, and disciplines that transcend fitness into a community of mentally, emotionally and physically strong women. Western New York natives, Shannon and Tom Lamendola, brought the concept to the Rochester area in 2017 with their first location in Pittsford. The two live in Huntersville, NC now, where Burn started in 2014. Shannon was part of the original founding members when the concept began in a parking lot! She was instantly hooked to the high intensity workout style, nutrition philosophy and the community of woman at Burn. Shannon’s motivation and dedication to a healthy lifestyle had never been so great. She knew she had to be a part of Burn in a bigger way so she studied to become a Certified Personal Trainer and was brought on by the founders, Devan and Morgan Kline, as one of their first trainers. Shannon is extremely committed to helping other women follow in the wellness journey she has discovered. She is passionate about educating moms on the importance of fitness and clean living. Shannon enjoys helping others achieve their sports and fitness goals; she believes working out should be fun and something you look forward to every day. When the opportunity to franchise presented 230


itself Shannon and Tom knew right away that Rochester was where they wanted to be. The importance of family and community is unparalleled in their hometown of Western NY. What you’ll realize when you step foot into a Burn is that it is so much more than a gym, it’s a community of like-minded men and women, supporting each other through the journey. They knew Burn and Rocheter would be an amazing combination.

The team in Pittsford is absolutely top notch. The expert trainers, led by Ian Greene as Head Trainer, are in the top 2% in the field nationwide. They are passionate about helping each individual get the results they desire! The warm welcome you will receive from the Burn Ambassador team at the front desk will put any fear you may have about starting, to rest. Burn offers free child care at certain camps so mom can workout worry-free. The child care team is wonderful, all of them moms themselves! The Fit Member Ambassador team plans group get-togethers and organizes

several charitable partnerships throughout the year. The team looks forward to meeting you; training together and helping you reach your goals! Burn builds more than healthy bodies. It is more than a gym. Burn is a lifestyle fitness company that transcends into all areas of your life. Some examples in Pittsford include a client who gained the confidence to interview for a big career change. She got the job! Clients who have never worked out before and now come to boot camp every single day. Women who ran their very first 5k together after thinking they’d never be able to do something like that. A women who has lost 54 pounds in 10 months. Several members have shared that their relationships at home have improved significantly because of their overall happiness and positive outlook. Clients working out through pregnancy to stay healthy and moving. Brides-to-be getting ready for the big day. Members bringing healthy nutrition habits home to their families, getting the kids and husband on-board. It is truly amazing to see the changes taking place in everyday life, because of Burn’s influence, in and out of the gym. If Burn is not conveniently located for you now, it will be soon! Two more locations are coming to Webster and Victor, NY in the very near future. There are two ways to start for free: Saturday’s at 9:30 is always open to the public and a FREE 14 day Test Drive pass.














Yes, Alzheimer’s I​s​a Public Health Issue BY TERESA A. GALBIER

It’s time to change the conversation about Alzheimer’s disease. ​ While Alzheimer’s has been viewed as an aging issue, it also has an effect on a community level. Specifically Alzheimer’s meets a set of established criteria for identifying a public health issue. These three criteria are: the burden is large; the impact is major; and there are ways to intervene. ​ More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s. It is the most expensive disease in America with costs now exceeding a quarter of a trillion dollars per year. And, the burden is growing larger. The number of people living with Alzheimer’s is projected to triple to as many as 16 million in 2050, and the costs are expected to rise to $1.1 trillion! ​ How are we changing the conversation? ​ We are working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which leads the nation’s public health efforts and funds most public health activities at the state level, to support CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative, a program that launched in 2005. This initiative created the ​Public Health Road Map that includes action items for public health departments to promote cognitive functioning, address cognitive impairment, and help meet the needs of caregivers. We are now asking the United State Congress to strengthen CDC’s efforts to combat Alzheimer’s disease by passing the​ Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act​. The bill would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective 232


Alzheimer’s interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. This Act proposes to establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence around the country to expand and promote innovative and effective Alzheimer’s interventions, provides funding to health departments to implement these interventions and to carry out the ​Public Health Road Map, and increases collection and

reporting of cognitive decline data to inform future public health actions. ​ With public health support and intervention of healthy living we can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and we may be able to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s itself. Brain health messages can be integrated into public health providing opportunities for these messages to reach the masses. In addition public health can undertake public awareness campaigns to promote early detection and diagnosis. And, equally as important access to care and services can be encouraged by health professionals to

follow evidence based clinical care guidelines. ​ In addition to our advocacy work on BOLD the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (​the sister organization of the Alzheimer’s Association which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization) h​ ave combined forces to ensure that the federal government has committed to a goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. But achieving this goal requires a significant research commitment at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ​ AIM has worked with the Alzheimer’s Association to propel the U.S. government to rise to this challenge, resulting in nearly tripling Alzheimer’s research funding in just five years - including a historic $400 million increase for Alzheimer’s research at the NIH in 2017. Today, funding for Alzheimer’s research at NIH is $1.4 billion. If signed into law the new appropriations bill that includes an additional $400 million would bring total Alzheimer’s research funding to $1.8 billion annually. ​ Consistent with the ​National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease​and to address the needs of all Alzheimer’s caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Association is proud to announce that the​ Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act​has passed both the US Senate and the House of Representatives and, as of the writing of this article it is being signed into law by the President of the United States. This Act will require the United States Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy to address the

{ PARTNERS ON THE JOURNEY } “Alzheimer’s is the most under-recognized threat to public health in the 21st century.” Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

needs of caregivers, including education and training, long term services and supports, and financial security. In addition it will create a​ Family Caregiving Advisory Council to provide advice on how the federal government can recognize and support family caregivers. We are grateful to the United States Congress and to the President for their unwavering support of American family caregivers through the passage of this Act. Recently there has been an exponential rise in the number of companies attempting to lure vulnerable Alzheimer’s families to purchase products that claim to reverse dementia, prevent Alzheimer’s, and improve memory. With only four prescription medications on the market today that, at best, modestly assist in the



memory issues that accompany an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I would ask that you be very wary of any other products that propose to reverse, prevent or improve memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s or another related dementia. With expensive flashy advertising and lofty promises they are attempting to convince the consumer to invest in their claims to cure, prevent or treat Alzheimer’s. When being approached to consider spending out of pocket for these types of products stop for a moment and call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1​ .800.272.3900​. We’ll be able to suggest questions you should ask before making a financial commitment to these products and services. Today, there is no known prevention, treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s. But, there is a tremendous amount of clinical and scientific research being conducted by

reputable, skilled medical professionals some of which is being conducted right here in our own community at major universities like the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health. The Alzheimer’s Association longs for the day when we can celebrate a cure, prevention or treatment. In the meantime we will continue to fight the good fight to support you on your journey and to spend every waking moment advocating for legislation that will enhance the quality of life for those impacted by Alzheimer’s and, ultimately to find a cure. We remain ever hopeful for that day, when soon, we can all pause and celebrate that breakthrough.

Advocacy Day 2018 March 20, 2018 Each year, New York State Alzheimer’s Association advocates storm our State Capitol. Join us on Tuesday, March 20 as we advocate on behalf of the 390,000 New York State residents living with Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary Itinerary: 6:00 a.m. - Departing from Rochester Area to Albany 10:00 a.m. - Arrival in Albany 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Presentations & Award Ceremony, Complimentary Lunch, Visits to Legislative Offices 3:30 p.m. - Departing from Albany to Rochester Area 8:30 p.m. - Arrival in Rochester Area Registration is required. For more information, contact Kelly Harris at 585760-5405 or via email at


Culinary Clash

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Hyatt Regency Rochester

For ticket information, contact Kelly Harris at 585-760-5405 or via email at







Mike and I are back at it again after a short holiday break. We have decided that we would be putting food on the menu this year, but it won’t be your typical food chain restaurants. We are on the hunt for those small diners that you don’t know about unless you know about them. Rochester is full of small family owned restaurants that nobody knows about. For our first stop of the year, it is one of our favorites. If you have been looking for a place that you’d only find on back country road or in wine country we have found the place for you. If you are wanting a place that makes you feel like you just walked into Grandmas kitchen with great food, this place has that as well. If you take a trip down Dewey Avenue in Greece, you’ll come across your Grandma’s house on a Sunday morning. Patti’s Pantry looks like every other restaurant on the outside but when you walk in you enter a consignment shop which makes you wonder if you made a mistake about the place being a restaurant. I had that thought the first-time walking in, but once you take a sniff you are greeted by a heavenly smell, just like Grandma’s house. You walk through the many items that are being sold to find yourself at the check in desk. You are greeted by a very friendly staff and a restaurant that makes you feel like you have walked into country dining room. You feel right at home. As you wait for your table you do not get bored because of all the things to look at, from the decorations to the items being sold all around. Patti’s Pantry has opened their restaurant to local artists to sell their jeweler, clothing, baked goods, sauces, dressings and much much more. You could spend a good hour just looking through the items that are in

waiting area and another hour upstairs where they have even more items for sale. Patty’s Pantry also has local small businesses business cards on display.

With all of that going on you may forget that you are actually there to eat, which is of course a sin. Patti’s Pantry serves breakfast and lunch most days. A breakfast and lunch that is to die for I will add. They have a wide selection of breakfast foods that have a nice twist to each one. If you like MacDonald’s McGriddles than you must try Patty’s Double and Triple Stackers. They are large pancakes with bacon baked into the batter and there is a huge piece of cheese, sausage, ham and eggs in between each pancake. I can’t even finish the whole thing. If you are more of a French toast kind of person you must try their Orange Blossom French toast. The toast is dipped in egg and orange juice and then garnished with fruits after they are cooked. Yummy. Patti’s also has a wide range of omelets that will fill your plate right up. For lunch, Patti’s serves many kinds of sandwich including their Apple Brie Melt, Portobello Mushroom Melt and let’s not forget their great Chicken Pot Pie and Quiches. Their menu is 4 pages long and will hit the spot with everyone in your party. Patti’s has 2 dining rooms, so they can accommodate larger groups. They also offer Party Special Event Buffets so if you are needing a space for a special event. So, if you are looking for a wonderful place to eat breakfast or lunch take a trip down Dewey Ave and try Patti’s Pantry. You will not be disappointed. You may even run into Mike and I on a Sunday Morning eating our fill of their pancakes and eggs. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018



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Western New York winters can take a toll on our skin, making our winter beauty routine seem more about skin prevention and healing than beauty at times. What we really need is skincare and makeup that keeps our skin in its best shape through every season! Who wouldn’t love skincare and makeup that heals and brings our healthiest skin forward? SeneGence International has a full line of skincare, body care, face care, and beauty products that carry top-quality cutting-edge components to give you the most beautiful and healthy skin that you’ve ever had. You may know SeneGence as the umbrella company for the ever-popular LipSense liquid lip colour. This is one of our “wow” products – as in, “Wow! How does your lipstick last all day?” But SeneGence is internationally renowned and even more well-known for its patented skincare and makeup products. All liquid and cream products created by SeneGence International contain a p r o p r i e t a r y, patented ingredient for cellular health and renewal. Skin cells are their healthiest when they are their youngest. Every part of your care routine can contain this SenePlex Complex – a kinetic enzyme found in all of our body and face cleansers, lotion, facial products, and even your eyeshadow, foundation, and lipstick. Using these products regularly will bring your most vibrant skin forward and nourish it with only the best ingredients. Our products provide a healthy, safe, and effective approach to restoring the youthful appearance of the skin while encouraging new 240


cellular growth without inflammation and irritation. Additionally, orchid and botanical extracts protect the skin from environmental damage while the powerful combinations of Vitamins A and E protect the skin from cell-destroying free radicals. What is a “kinetic enzyme?” This means that SenePlex Complex speeds up the natural process of reproducing cells without changing the process itself. Simply stated, SenePlex Complex impacts the growth of living cells and increases the cellular renewal process at

products are concentrated – no where can you find a bottle of moisturizer that lasts 6-9 months. One small pump from our air-vacuumed bottles (no waste of product) will cover your entire face. Independent testing of hundreds of women over 8-week trials has shown: • Increased cellular renewal rate of the skin by an average of 23.3% • Increased skin moisturization and hydration, an average of 54.2% • Increased skin firmness and elasticity, an average of 51.9% • Decreased skin sagging by an average of 25% • I n c r e a s e d skin luminosity & softness an average, of 48.7% • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles by an average 55.7%

a rate never before seen in the cosmetics and skin care industry. Our Anti-Aging Systems provide our clients the most effective anti-aging skin care system known today and can be combined with our patented long-lasting color technology of our SenseCosmetics. The SenseCosmetics line of creamy color cosmetics delivers the same continuous benefits of the anti-aging skin care systems. The SeneDerm Anti-Aging products, combined with our SenseCosmetics creamy color cosmetics, provide both day and night benefits for our skin. All of our

If you care about the health of your skin and want to maximize your efforts at skin health and beauty, SeneGence products deliver on every level. With our 100% guarantee, you will see that your skin has never looked or felt more naturally beautiful. 100% non-GMO, gluten-free, lead-free and vegan, we stand behind the quality and preparation of each bottle. Nicole is a regular contributor for RWO magazine. Contact her via email at luxelipsbynicole@ & also on social media as Luxe Lips by Nicole on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to schedule your complimentary expert skin consultation.






You have decided it’s time for a new kitchen. Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your existing home, creating this new space can be fun and exciting. The kitchen is one of the larger investments you will make in your home. Cabinetry is often one of the more expensive products in the kitchen. Taking time to learn a bit about the cabinetry options available in today’s market will help you make informed decisions.

kitchen that is unique to your home. The lead time for custom cabinets can range from 5-12 weeks.

Stock cabinets are produced in quantity and are budget friendly. Although the options are limited when it comes to door styles, finishes, and cabinet sizes a stock cabinet can easily be used in simple designs. A talented craftsman can give onsite details that enhance these cabinets. Typically, stock cabinets have a shorter lead time. They are available off the shelf at the local home improvement store or within two to three weeks of ordering.

Framed cabinetry has a frame of 1 ½” inches to hide the edge of the cabinet box. This frame is typically constructed of ¾” wood that matches the doors and adds strength to the cabinet. Cabinet doors are mounted to the face frame of the cabinet. Doors that are mounted to the inside of the frame, creating a flush mounted look to the front of the cabinet are referred to as inset doors.

Semi-Custom cabinets offer more size, style, and finish options. These cabinets are fabricated specifically for your project. Decorative options such as corbels, pilasters, and turned legs are available in semi-custom lines and help to create a custom look without the custom cost. Many semi-custom cabinet lines have continued to expand their design capabilities and finish options, making semi-custom cabinets the favored choice in kitchen design. The lead time for most semi-custom cabinets is typically 4-5 weeks. Custom cabinets are created with much more attention to detail, often with artisan rendered hand finishing applied. They feature high quality materials, unique sizes and accessory options. The options are endless with custom cabinets allowing for the creation of a 242


Ensuring the proper installation is key when working with any line and even more so with custom cabinetry. Stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinet are available in framed and frameless construction. Both applications offer endless styles and design.

Doors that overlay most of the frame are called full overlay doors and doors that leave a reveal showing part of the frame are referred to as partial overlay. Few cabinets boxes are made of solid wood anymore. Typically, the boxes are made of plywood, particle board, medium density fiberboard or a combination of two of these. Framed cabinets are a great choice when looking for an old world or tradition look. Frameless cabinets have no face frame and the cabinet door is attached directly to the sides of the cabinets. A more European style which is growing in popularity in this area. The door is attached directly to the sides of the cabinet and covers the entire box. Frameless cabinets have full overlay doors. Because they have no frames the cabinet offers maximum storage with larger drawers and cabinet openings. Modern designs are created




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your existing home, creating this new space can be fun and exciting. The kitchen is one of the larger investments you will make in your home.

with frameless cabinets because of the true full overlay doors offering clean, sleek lines. This style cabinetry is composed of plywood or particle board with laminate or wood veneer edge banding. Frameless cabinets tend to be slightly less that framed cabinets due to the reduced amount of materials used. Working with a professional kitchen



designer will help ensure that you get the best value from which ever cabinet level you decide to work with. Knowing the benefits and the application requirements of each construction line is key. You will be guided to get the best value from your purchase in terms of aesthetics, function and style. Designers can help you achieve the kitchen you desire while helping you avoid expensive mistakes.

The experienced designer will determine how to make the space function and look as you had hoped – with no guesswork so you can enjoy the process!

Denise Peters

It’s thyme for your dream kitchen AWARD WINNING

“ D E S I G N S PA C E , T H AT R E F L E C T S Y O U R S T Y L E ”


Call for your appointment today! 585-385-9149


February, It’s Time for Comfort Foods! BY DEBBIE SANTILLO

Burr cold! Yep here in the North East where I live we switch from tolerable chilly weather in late fall, to the downright freezing temperatures of winter. That is when it hits. People dash to their local grocery stores and load up. They haven’t loaded up since the holidays, so it’s time again. Often, the recipes and menus seem to convert from salads, vegetables, grilled meats, on to hearty soups and stews, we call them comfort foods. Who doesn’t like chicken and dumplings, basically a creamy chicken stew topped with dumplings? How about some cassoulet, slow cooked beans, duck, Andale sausage and smoked ham? Nothing beats good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup. Even as you read this, you wish your refrigerator was stocked up with these welcoming comfort foods, don’t you? Well I want to encourage you to follow some simple recipes to keep your tummy full and satisfied during these harsh days of Winter! You know, sometimes I forget that some people just simply have not cooked much in their lives. What may seem easy to me, may seem like a huge chore and challenge to others. I will present these two comfort food recipes as simple as possible. Let me start with a very easy Chicken Noodle Soup. Start with a whole chicken, bought whole, or cut into parts. Wash it, season it with salt and pepper and roast it in a 375-degree oven until 165 inner temperature. Let it rest, and cool, keeping all the juices, then pull all the meat off the bones. Put meat aside after pulling or cutting the chicken into bite size pieces. Take all the juices along with the skin, fat and bones and put it all in a soup pot and cover with water. Simmer for at thirty – forty-five minutes, strain, keeping all liquids, which need to be returned to soup pot. Throw away all parts that are strained out. Dice two peeled carrots, two stalks celery 246


including celery leaves, and one large Spanish onion. This is called your mirepoix. Sauté all three in a sauté pan with very little vegetable oil, until soft. Put mirepoix into pot along with pulled chicken and stock. At this point you can add two large cans or boxes of your favorite chicken broth to your fresh made stock. Simmer for thirty minutes. While soup is simmering add one tablespoon each of oregano, and basil. Add one teaspoon of pepper. Add two bay leaves. When soup is almost done simmering, boil some noodles and then after straining, pour into pot. Do not overcook your noodles! Generously add one cup of graded fresh Parmesan cheese, (not canned). Turn off the soup and let sit about fifteen minutes and serve. If you want to skip a big step, purchase from your grocery store a plain pre-roasted chicken, using all the fat and juices that come along with it. Bone it and go on to cook down all parts and continue with the rest of the recipe. There are also containers of prechopped mirepoix in some local grocery stores in the produce section, and hopefully yours. Purchasing some of these pre-prepped foods costs more, but will save you time, energy, and clean up. You can make a nice size pot of soup, and after it has cooled off, freeze some for several days in the future. That way your effort is spread out for the few days you enjoy it now, and the few days you get to enjoy it later. There you go, Chicken noodle soup! Got leftovers? I know there are some that do not care to eat leftovers, but what if you reinvented them, disguising them and create a dish that is presented differently than the original meal? Trust me, it works! For instance, I am thinking of a meal I made recently where I made prime rib roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, sautéed mushrooms and assorted roasted vegetables, and salad. The new dish, Beef Pot Shepherd’s Pie. Mine is a bit different than many recipes, but follow this and you will get a thumb

up! You can also shop and cook purposely to make this. Take your leftover prime rib and put all in a large pot with water covering it. Simmer for just a few minutes, until it loosens up. Pull it out, cool it off a few minutes, then trim all outside fat and remove the bones and put trimmings and bones back into the water. Simmer for thirty – forty-five minutes. While that is simmering make a two-crust pie crust recipe. One stick of unsalted butter, one stick of Crisco, one half teaspoon salt, one half teaspoon of sugar, and six-eight tablespoons ice water. Along with the water, I substitute just a dash of cider vinegar. Cut your lard and butter into two and one-half cups of all-purpose flour, adding sugar and salt, until flour crumbles then add ice water, only enough until crust holds together. Separate into two even balls. Roll out crust on floured surface into two round disks, putting one into lightly greased pie plate. Cut cooled prime rib into bite size cubes. Take your leftover vegetables and cut approximately the same size. I had carrots, parsnips, leeks, green beans, a few slices red pepper, asparagus, and sautéed mushrooms. I was a bit more generous with the leeks and mushrooms. Strain simmered stock. Make a roux with four tablespoons of each butter and flour, cooking it until it almost smells nutty. Do not brown. Whisk roux into the stock, making gravy, adding leftover gravy to it. Toss together chopped vegetables and meat, and several ladles of gravy. Cover the bottom crust with mashed potatoes. Then, fill pie shell with meat, gravy, vegetable combo. Top it with the second rolled crust. Pinch edges, and poke a round hole in center of pie. Place on a foiled tray and bake at 400 degrees for forty minutes. Serve with extra gravy. Also serve any leftover salad. Winter eats!





Monroe County Family Court Judge Stacey Romeo is much more than a Judge. In her own words, the three ways to best describe her are Family, Friendship and Faith. People that know her would agree she lives up to the meaning of all three of those descriptors. Allow me to share some of the questions and answers from my interview with Stacey for the Living Book Series. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her as much as I did.

box stores like Target or Staples. I used to love shopping for school supplies there and to this day have a love of school supplies. It was a whole store devoted to stationary and cool stuff like that. As my first job, I didn’t realize how lucky I was. It was a small store and there were older

Was there a childhood event that occurred that helped shape who you are today?

SR: The most significant event was the passing of my father when I was 14 years old. You don’t really know how that is going to affect you when you are 14. It was traumatic and devastating, but as I look back, I think about the people who appear before me and the decisions they make. If you look at anyone’s life, there is a turning point, no matter what their age is. They have to make decisions. A lot of people make decisions that are not beneficial to them or they have let traumatic events bring them down. So, as I look back, I always had a goal. I was going to go to school, even though I wasn’t sure what I was going to do yet at that age. I never thought that I was going to stay home, curl up into a ball and feel sorry for myself or have everyone else feel sorry for me. I was going to make my father proud. He was a prominent physician in the area and I wanted, not only for people to remember him fondly, but to have them say, “Look at Dr. Romeo’s daughter and look at how great she turned out!” I wanted to make my living family proud, but also his legacy and memory to be made proud too. I never wanted that event to hold me back. I wanted it to make me stronger.

What was your first paying job and what did you take away from working there? SR: My first paying job was at Scrantom’s in Irondequoit Plaza. There were no big

What is your favorite place that you have visited?

SR: It is so hard to narrow it down. I’m not sure I have a favorite place. We try to take the kids someplace different every year. We always thought it was important for us to travel within the United States and show them our country. We try to go places with them by taking road trips and show them where we live. There are so many great places here. We have also taken them on a cruise and are going to the Domincan Republic this year. So, I don’t have a favorite place. I like exploring different things and we don’t go back to any one place. We love visiting a variety of places. What is one thing you have learned that you want to share with the readers? SR: I often get asked by high school kids or college kids who think they want to be a lawyer, “What should I do?” or “What Major should I pick?” “If I want to be a lawyer, should I choose Pre-Law as my major?” I tell them all the same thing.

and more seasoned employees that were managers, and then there were those of us that were in high school and it was our first job. The seasoned staff really taught me and my co-workers how to work well together. It is really important. If you can’t work well together, you are going to be unhappy and probably won’t do so well. If you don’t know how to play well in the sandbox, it will limit your career path.

First, go to college and do what you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter if someone is Pre-Law or not, in my humble opinion. I wasn’t. I was an English Literature Major. I tell them to enjoy their college experience and to do well. If they do well and get good grades, they will have many more doors open to them. If they choose Pre-Law and don’t really like it, then they won’t do so well. Do what they enjoy and if they still want to be a lawyer, then go to Law School. BUT … Don’t be pigeon holed into a specific type of law and think that is all you are going to do for your whole career. I took a winding path to get to where I am today that I didn’t see at the starting line. Be open to change. Be open to whatever opportunity knocks on your door. Answer the door and pay attention. Then make the decision of whether you want to something that is different and challenging and try it.



When Biscuit, a 7-year-old Shih Tzu, was surrendered to Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester she was very dirty and covered with lice. At the shelter, she finally began to receive the care she had always deserved. Then Biscuit had a litter of puppies. Biscuit was treated for her lice, and the puppies were doted over by shelter staff. When the puppies were 3-weeks-old, the family was ready for foster care. Lollypop Farm reached out to long-time foster volunteers Della and Bob Cialini. A home environment paired with care from the Lollypop Farm veterinary clinic would provide this family with everything they needed for a fresh start. At first, Biscuit was a little wary of people,

but every day, became more outgoing. “You can tell it’s a whole different life for her,” says Della. “Biscuit loves her toys and to play with her babies, but most of all she just loves to be outside in the yard.” In fact, Della and Bob say their only struggle was getting everyone back inside because they love the freedom of the yard so much. Della and Bob provided loving care for the mom and puppies. They named the three pups Popcorn, Peanut, and Crackerjack and watched as they each grew into their own unique personality. Popcorn is a daredevil while tiny Peanut is now a thoughtful and bright puppy. And big brother, Crackerjack is always ready to nap and snuggle.

Thanks to community support, Biscuit and her puppies have a new chance at a happy, healthy life. Biscuit and each of her puppies were adopted just before the holidays. Now, each of these bouncy puppies are growing up in loving homes and Biscuit is being loved the way all pets should. Interested in learning more about how you can help other homeless and abused pets? Make a donation to the Lollypop Farm Tails of Hope Telethon and tune in on Saturday March 3, 2018, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. Watch as Lollypop Farm broadcasts live from Eastview Mall on 13WHAM ABC, CW Rochester, and, to raise support for Rochester’s homeless and abused pets. Learn more at


Tune in, donate, and see how your support saves the lives of homeless and abused pets. Saturday, March 3, 2018 | 3 P.M. - 9 P.M. LIVE ON:




February is American Heart Month, so you’ve probably seen something about the Go Red campaign recently. Maybe you even wore red on February 2nd. But do you really know what this Go Red business is all about? Despite its importance for every single woman, this campaign isn’t nearly so ubiquitous or widely understood as initiatives involving the color pink. The message, however, couldn’t be more critial. The conditions Go Red aims to prevent – heart disease and stroke – should be understood by all women, especially the moms among us. If you only do one thing for yourself this February, set aside a small amount of time so you can find out your risk for these conditions and take a few simple actions to protect your heart health.


• 80% of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, may be preventable with education and lifestyle changes. Lots of factors go into determining whether or not a woman will develop heart disease. Some of these, like our age, gender, and heredity, are entirely outside of our control. Other factors, however, can be managed with lifestyle changes and healthy habits. The first


• Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women. • Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men. • Misconceptions about heart disease in women can put you at risk. If any of these facts comes as a surprise to you, then read on. Go Red was created to help women like you and me get real about heart disease – despite our busy, hectic lives. If you’re a mother or caretaker, you’re used to putting the needs of others before your own. In a survey at, 12% of respondents said were too busy taking care of others to take care of themselves. As a mom, I think that number sounds awfully low! On the other hand, I’m not surprised at all to hear that studies show that women, who tend to be primary caregivers, most often receive a heart-disease diagnosis only after they’ve experienced a life-threatening event or hospitalization. That means we’re waiting until things get bad before we take action.

step toward ensuring your heart health is to get a handle on five key numbers: total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI (Body Mass Index). These numbers are significant because they allow you and your doctor to determine and track your risk of developing Cardiovascular Disease. With your numbers in hand, you can embark upon the changes outlined by the American Heart Association known as “Life’s Simple 7.”


Reduce your blood sugar. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Exercise regularly. Lose weight. Control your cholesterol. Manage blood pressure. Stop smoking.


Easier said than done, right? Moms hear all the time that we should be making time for self-care, but the realities of raising a family make that kind of alone time pretty much impossible. There’s one type of self-care, though, that’s worth prioritizing even in the thick of the terrible twos. This isn’t about getting a massage or a manicure, or making it to yoga. This is about making sure we’re around to take care of our kids, not just when they’re in kindergarten, but when they’re having kids of their own. By taking steps to protect our own health, we’re making an investment in them. Even when we don’t find the time to decompress and stay mindful, we have to make it to those well-woman visits. If your child needed two more doctors’ visits a year to be okay, you’d figure it out. Well, your child needs you to make the time to make sure your heart is okay. It can be a giant pain, but taking care of your health is one of the most important and meaningful things you can do for your family.


About those misconceptions… Even as you’re pursuing prevention, it’s critical that you know the warning signs of heart disease and stroke – especially since the symptoms are different for women than for men. Warning signs of heart disease include decreased exercise tolerance, breathlessness with exertion, increased fatigue, and a lack of stamina for no apparent reason. If you’re

experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to get to your doctor for an assessment of your heart health. The signs of a stroke, however, require immediate action. If you or someone around you have sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination, call 911 right away. Another loving and impactful step you can take is to talk to your female friends and loved ones about women’s heart health. Make sure the women in your life are aware of how the signs and symptoms are different for us.


We’re fortunate in Rochester to have access to some of the best medical resources in New York State. When it comes to women’s heart health in particular, our local care options are getting even better. UR Medicine has taken the problem of heart disease head-on by putting together Upstate New York’s largest team of female cardiovascular experts, dedicated to the unique health challenges women experience. The Women’s Heart Program at the University of Rochester is led by eight women doctors and supported by over 70 cardiologists and surgeons. This unique program offers comprehensive care, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart and vascular disease. To learn more about women’s heart health, check out the series of talks and free health

screenings hosted by UR Medicine Heart and Vascular throughout February. If you’d like to make an appointment with specialists in the Women’s Heart Program, call 585275-2877. At the very least, visit your PCP and get your numbers checked! Monica Infante is the founder of Babies & Bumps and Toddlers & Tykes, annual events designed to educate parents and connect them with local resources that support their growing families. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two young children.



Julie Donofrio (Julie Dee) is a comedian and writer. Her advice is for entertainment purposes, and is generally not helpful or useful. Follow it at your own risk.


Dear Julie Dee, My wife and I have been married for 29 years and have three children. My 27 year old son still lives with us, and shows no signs of ever moving out. I don’t understand why a grown man is ok with living at his parents’ house, especially since both of his younger siblings have good jobs and have their own homes now. He dropped out of college at 19, and said he wanted to pursue a career as a musician. We’ve always supported our children in every way possible, but so far his music “career” consists of going to karaoke once a month with his friends and singing loudly in the shower. He bought an old guitar at a garage sale a few years ago, but hasn’t taken any lessons or even replaced the broken strings. He only works part time (because he says he needs time to work on his music) and spends most of his time playing video games. He pays us nothing, and has no expenses. I don’t see any reason why he can’t work more than a few hours a week and move out. My wife and I have even started leaving advertisements for nice, affordable one bedroom apartments all over the house, especially in his room, and taped to his door. When we ask him about getting his own place, he just says, “You know; my music.” Our 30th anniversary is coming up, and I think we’ve earned the right to finally have the place to ourselves. How can I try to get my son to claim his independence and get out of what’s left of my hair? Crowded in Conesus Dear Crowded, I recommend that you and your wife start looking at the nice, one bedroom apartments, find one you like and sell your house. Your son can talk to the new owners; maybe they’ll let him stay. If not, he’ll just have to get a real job or move in with some of his “musician” friends. Dear Julie Dee, Every year, I have the whole family over for Easter brunch: parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. There are



23 of us altogether, and it’s a lot of work. My sister, my mom and my cousins always offer to bring something but I like my cooking better than theirs so I just tell them no, thank you (my aunt makes very good pies, so I do let her bring dessert). This has become more of an expense than I’d like, and I wondered if it would be ok if I asked everyone to pitch in a few dollars for the meal this year. My husband said that would be tacky and he’d be embarrassed if I did that. He also added that I’m too picky, and if I just let everyone bring their favorite dish to pass, things would be just fine. What do you think? Tonawanda Top Chef Dear Chef, I think your husband is a wise man and you should keep him. To avoid paying for everything, let the others make dishes to pass. You can have your own cooking any time. Also, if you have any truly horrible cooks in the family, you can always ask them to bring a fruit basket or bagels. (Apologies to my cousin Bethany, who we always ask to bring fruit or bagels). Dear Julie Dee, I see all kinds of help, and sympathy, for snorers but nothing for the long suffering people who have to share their beds. My husband snores loud enough to wake the dead, and I can’t remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep. He’s been tested for sleeping disorders, and doesn’t have any (I’m not surprised, since he’s the one who sleeps well and wakes up rested). Most nights, I end up moving to the couch, but I don’t want to keep having to do that. How do other people handle this? Sleepless in Seneca Falls Dear Sleepless, My grandfather was a world champion snorer; sometimes he would fall asleep in his recliner and the windows would shake from the noise. It sounds like your husband is also in this loud category. My grandmother was a wise woman, who was also tired of being tired, and of having to move to the couch often. She found a better place to get some sleep by moving into their spare bedroom. She decorated her room beautifully, and my grandparents were happily married for 50 years












{ THE “O” TALK }






“You’re so brave!” Every trans woman has heard this affirmation. It rarely follows the common definition of a heroic act, or conquering a common fear. This bravery refers to authentic existence. To exist as a trans woman is to be forced into an enduring bravery that spans the public minutes of every day. Folklore tells us of those brave souls who slayed the dragons and conquered the seas. History shares tales of brave women and men who confronted danger and tyranny wherever it stood. Bravery is often associated with overcoming extraordinary obstacles, facing danger, and defiantly standing for what is right. What do these connotations of bravery, then, say about a world in which trans women are brave simply for realizing their authenticity? This bravery is real.

Authenticity’s Forced Bravery

The variables of daily life become extremely dangerous for transgender women. A stranger’s bad day can mean humiliation, degradation, and violence if we cross their path. Existing in the outside world becomes much more difficult when the fear of using a public restroom rules the day. Wegmans is less a grocery store than a circus, where it feels every passerby has an extra five seconds to gawk. And maybe they do. Grocery shopping becomes an act of bravery. An oft heard refrain is to just ignore the stares, don’t mind the dirty looks, and let those ugly comments roll off your back. Unfortunately, these actions denigrate the necessity of awareness. Reading the eyes, hearing the words, and feeling the level of hate creates an awareness of how likely we are to experience violence. The endurance of emotional pain can often save us from physical violence as we become hyperaware of our surroundings. Words are not, as is often quoted, just words. Words create space. In this space exists a degradation of trans humanity. As the humanity of trans women decreases, the propensity for, and acceptance of, violence against us increases. If trans women are not people, then it is ok, in the eyes of many, to harm us. This lessening of our humanity has consequences anywhere

that people congregate. A walk in the park becomes an act of bravery. These public minutes are so difficult to bear that many of us choose not to. This denial of self is evidenced through the sometimes invisible decision to delay and/ or deny transition, and the horrific reality of a staggeringly high transgender suicide rate. The private minutes of transgender reality stretch on as long as the public ones. Questions haunt us. Will I ever be safe again? Will I ever be accepted? Will anyone ever love me? These are very real questions we must weigh before deciding to transition. Acting without knowing the answers is an act of bravery. Existence should not equal bravery. When people call me brave, it is certainly intended, I assume, as a compliment. It definitely acknowledges the reality of the world we live in. This naming of bravery is a recognition that society is not comfortable with our existence, and often seeks to create conditions in which it is impossible for us to be seen. I am thankful for the people that recognize these facts, and the bravery they take on themselves when speaking up for us. As trans women, we can own this bravery. Trans women take on this bravery in the name of authenticity. Call us brave because we have earned it. Recognize our bravery in the random acts of life. Witness our bravery in the simple tasks of life that most would take for granted. We should bask in the accomplishments of defying of a system that is stacked against us. It is important to name our bravery, and also to examine why the normal becomes extraordinary. Name this bravery to those who would mock us, visit violence upon us, legislate against us, and exhibit hate towards us. More importantly, tell them why we are brave. Bravery is not a solo activity. One does not exhibit bravery if the conditions do not provide the opportunity for it. Bravery is to stand in opposition. Bravery is forced upon us. We continue to work to erase the need for us to be called brave. Without those who stand against our existence, we are not brave people, but simply people. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018


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Wedding planning season is upon us and Rochester Drinks is here to help you with one of the most important but overlooked aspects of your big day, the bar. First, don’t even think about hosting a dry wedding reception. This is no fun for anybody. A proper reception with fantastic open bar is something to truly celebrate, and to be remembered fondly for the rest of your days. Your wedding day is an opportunity for your family and closest friends to let loose and celebrate one of the biggest days of your adult life. Don’t mess around when it comes to the adult beverages. Go beyond bottom shelf booze, bargain wine, cheap beer, and flat bubbly. Remember, it is your big day. The coordinator at the event space, the caterer, and the bar staff want to do everything in their power to make you happy. So put some extra thought into the beverage service and bring your vision to life. It may seem a little expensive, but the extra cost is well worth it. Your guests will defiantly appreciate your efforts and thoughtfulness. Open bar? Yes, at least 2 hours, hopefully more. Beer…cold. One light beer, one craft beer, and one cider. If you know friends and family have a favorite, make sure you ask for that brand. Wine…good. Don’t pair cheap wine with the food you serve your guests. Choose something that will appeal to a wide range of people and compliment any cuisine you choose. We recommend the Argentinian wines from Terrazas de los Andes or the beautiful wines of Smoke Tree from Sonoma County, CA. When choosing a champagne think about the photo ops. 264


Keep an uncorked bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial or Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label in a champagne bucket at your head table. Just like pictures of Hollywood stars at your favorite awards ceremony, every picture of you while seated will feature that iconic bottle. Then pop that baby when you cut the cake or once the dance floor gets moving and capture some more great pics. No need to pop for Moet or Veuve on every table. Place Domaine Chandon Brut or Domaine Chandon Rose at all the guest tables, or if you know most of your guests prefer something a

little fruitier opt for Domaine Chandon Sweet Star. You can even give out 187ml bottles of Chandon Sparkling with custom labels as gifts for your guests to take home. Last, but definitely not least, create some signature cocktails that show your personality and style. Check for ideas to create your custom wedding day cocktail menu full of drinks you both love. Have some fun with it and give your selections unique names with special meaning to you and your guests. Print out enough custom cocktail menus so that guests can take a copy home and recreate your signature cocktails any time they want. Insist on call brand spirits like Smirnoff Vodka and Tanqueray Gin or premium selections like Bulleit Bourbon, Johnnie Walker Scotch, and Ketel One Vodka. After dinner offer Baileys Irish Cream. Even banquet service coffee tastes great with a splash of Baileys. Empty champagne and spirit bottles can even be incorporated into table decorations and centerpieces. Recently the staff at the contemporary event space La Luna, in High Falls, created beautiful tablescapes using fresh greenery, flowers, and empty Bulleit Bourbon bottles. Have fun creating a cocktail program that guests will talk about for a lifetime and remember that excellent bar service can easily cover up any part of a reception that may not go according to plan.

{ ROCHESTER DRINKS } Have fun creating a cocktail program that guests will talk about for a lifetime and remember that excellent bar service can easily cover up any part of a reception that may not go according to plan.





In October 2017, news about decades of predatory sexual behavior against women by movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, broke in a NY Times exposé. Actress Rose McGowan was among the women who had been sexually abused by Weinstein and went public with her story, years after she agreed to a settlement from Weinstein that included a gag order; but didn’t prevent Weinstein from destroying her reputation or career. The story was the first of many that has revealed the prevalence of sexism and sexual assault in the glamorous world of entertainment and media. Since October, famous and powerful men have fallen from their illustrious perches because of the seemingly endless stories of how they had sexually exploited women – and even other men – for no reason other than they could. While you wouldn’t know it today, the media didn’t respond well to this story when it first broke. The media sided with Weinstein, the perpetrator, and looked for ways to discredit and scrutinize McGowan’s story. Yet, Rose McGowan persisted. She simply would not be silenced. Her responses to the scrutiny were so adamant, raw and unfiltered that Twitter suspended her account for 12 hours citing that she violated their policies. Ironically, it was Twitter’s attempt to silence McGowan that raised the profile of the story and focused the conversation on what happens all too often when women speak truth to power. McGowan’s Twitter ban spawned a backlash from famous and everyday female Twitter users (#WOMENBOYCOTTTWITTER), who called for a 12-hour boycott of the popular 268


social media outlet. This was the first time-- in what has become a movement -- that women worked together to prompt change through awareness. Well Behaved Women rarely make History (Ulrich,1976) Rose McGowan is a portrait of courage and tenacity. She spoke for herself and she spoke for others. She didn’t mince words or make masked inferences. When she spoke, she was clear, angry and forceful. She demanded accountability from those who perpetrated the abuses and from everyone who knew about it but looked the other way. She called out -- often by name

-- those who were complicit in the rampant violation of women in her business and was unapologetic. McGowan’s behavior breaks every single rule in the good woman handbook. She is brash and offensive, disliked by many, called crazy and unstable; but her passion and justified anger have fueled the first sustained dialog about sexism and the imbalance of power that -- nearly 60 years after the Equal Rights Amendment -- still governs relationships between men, women, and LGBTQ persons in our homes, workplaces, churches, and communities. Like her or not, McGowan, in all her rebellious glory,

is indeed making history. Four years ago, RESOLVE of Greater Rochester, a local nonprofit that is working to prevent domestic violence launched a campaign in October to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness month. The campaign is called “Domestic Violence Stinks!” (#DVSTINKS). The focal point of the campaign is a 6 foot tall replica purple outhouse (it’s actually an empty shed), clad with statistics and information about the prevalence and realities of domestic violence. The outhouse was selected for the campaign because: everyone knows that outhouses stink; like domestic violence, outhouse business happens behind a closed door; and finally, because the appearance of the outhouse on a residential front lawn or in the lobby of an area business is startling and unsettling. The goal of the campaign is to get your attention and to start a conversation about topic that most people don’t want to talk about. It’s supposed to invoke a reaction. RESOLVE knew when they chose the campaign theme that people would either like it or hate it, but decided it was better to provoke than to choose something pleasing that might well be overlooked entirely. The overall response to the outhouse and the #DVSTINKS campaign has been positive. One of the most touching stories that came from the campaign was that of a woman working in the drive thru of a fast food restaurant. She saw the outhouse in the back of a customer’s pickup truck and asked him about it. When she opened

the window to present his order, tears were streaming down her cheeks and a smile stretched across her gentle face. He was concerned for her and then she said, “Thank you for that, mister. I escaped domestic violence a few years ago. I was forced to keep it a secret and nobody believed me when I told them. People need to see that outhouse! I hope it helps them to understand.” As the driver pulled away, he was surprised by her response and so glad that he was about to put that outhouse right on his own front lawn. Not all responses are positive though. Some people are downright offended by the outhouse and the campaign slogan because they think it makes light of a serious situation.

All responses are valid and ultimately satisfy the goal of the campaign. CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS IS HARD Human beings thrive in systems of rules. Rules make us feel safe and comfortable, we know what’s expected of us and then we work toward it. Speaking truth to power is an exercise in changing the rules; not for the one, but for everyone. Being a voice for change, like Rose McGowan or RESOLVE’s #DVSTINKS campaign, requires risk and takes courage. The change they are calling for challenges the status quo, it asks those currently in power to, at best, change something about their leadership, or

at worst, give up some or all of their power. Voices for change rarely deliver a message that is something the person or people in power want to hear, so they resist. No meaningful societal change in American life has ever happened easily. Champions of the movements are by nature disrupters and it is through this disruptive leadership that we are all forced to grow. #DVSTINKS, #ROSEARMY, #METOO





2017 was a fascinating year for women, particularly in the political realm. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but until this year, I largely took for granted the freedoms I have always enjoyed as a white, middleclass, professional woman in America. Born in 1969 and raised in the 1970s-1980s, my generation was the first to grow into womanhood with an expectation of equality or at least the expectation that women could compete on an even playing field with men. Of course my experience as an adult woman has shown me repeatedly that gender equality has yet to be attained; but I never imagined that the progress women had made toward equal rights was at risk. I naively thought we would only continue moving forward. Like many of my contemporaries, I had not even considered myself a feminist. I never thought it was necessary to fight for what I’d always known as my rights. Yet, on the heels of the 2016 election, the political became personal and my dormant inner feminist awoke. On January 15, 2017, I attended my first political rally with Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who



was convening constituents in Rochester, because congressional Republicans and the President-elect had promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) their first legislative priority. It was an interesting experience; but I didn’t leave feeling like I’d had an impact. In fact, I didn’t really get the point of the gathering. While my first experience at a political rally had been less than inspiring, I knew that I had to get involved somehow. But the idea of protesting the day after the President’s inauguration felt wrong to me. It seemed… disrespectful and petty, like sour grapes. In spite of the election outcome, I wanted to believe in the democratic process and longed to find common ground with my fellow Americans who had chosen this man as our President. INSPIRED BY WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN OUR DEMOCRACY I watched the Women’s marches from the safety of my home and was in awe of the brave women – too many to count in their pink pussy hats -- who were marching on

our nation’s capital and around the world for women’s rights, for human rights; for equality regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. I started to feel better; to feel some hope for the future. Their message resonated with me and I was inspired. I took great comfort knowing there was an army of women around the world exercising their right to protest in efforts to protect the freedoms I hold dear. I went to bed that night with mixed feelings – grateful that they were fighting for me and sad, maybe even ashamed, that I had not participated – I felt the call to don my feminist armor and take to the battle field with my sisters. At once scary and exhilarating, the call to act pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Galvanized by the courage displayed in the first Women’s March, I began writing to my representatives to express my opinions on legislation. It dawned on me that being a member of this democracy demands that I participate in it; that exercising my right to vote begins when I walk into the polling booth but is only fully realized when I hold elected officials accountable for how they exercise their vote on legislation.

I began to follow the news more closely and challenged myself to listen to both liberal and conservative perspectives, so that I might understand where we align and where we diverge. As plans for the 2nd Annual Women’s March began to circulate, I knew that I would be participating. JOINING THE MARCH On January 20,, 2018, my friends and I emerged from the Historic Gould Hotel in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of women’s rights, into a massive, peaceful crowd. It was powerful to stand on the hallowed ground where Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and their contemporaries had stood more than a century earlier. Ironically, the federal government had failed to pass a budget the day before and closed down, so the Women’s Hall of Fame, a federal landmark, was closed to visitors. But nothing was going to deter the powerful

speakers or the thousands of marchers. It was a sunny, crisp morning with bright blue skies and wispy clouds. I marched in the company of long time friends; it was the first time for all of us. The atmosphere was electric and overwhelmingly hopeful. Women and men of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds were present. Everywhere you looked people were standing shoulder to shoulder and smiling, many with handmade signs conveying their frustrations about the present state of our Union or their hopes for the future. The Seneca Falls March was organized by a group called per-SISTERS, and theme was “per-sisters for women’s equality”. One of the many calls to action was “power to the polls”, a link to the national Women’s March Anniversary rally, intended to drive voter registration before the mid-term elections

and to encourage more women to pursue elected office. Before the march, New York State Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, and Rochester Mayor, Lovely Warren, spoke powerfully and stood as examples of successful women in politics. During the march, that looped through the quaint town, we chanted “This is what democracy looks like!” and other messages. We were stunned when we came to the end of the loop and realized that there were still thousands of people just getting started. There were people as far as the eye could see. While the march itself does not change the status quo, I now understand its value and importance. It gives each of us a voice, a way to participate in our democracy and remind our leaders, “The Power of the People is greater than the People in Power” (Wael Ghomin, Egyptian Activist).





You don’t need to be an expert in Feng Shui, the Chinese art of harmonizing a room, to know how a room feels when you enter it. Clutter can cause anxiety whereas a room that’s simply and tastefully decorated tends to be welcoming and serene. You might be surprised to learn that minimalism can help clear both a cluttered room and a cluttered mind. According to Joshua Becker’s blog “Becoming Minimalist,” minimalism is a lifestyle that “is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.” My journey into minimalism began with tactile objects...the clothes overflowing from my closet, boxes filled with mementos in my attic, rubbermaid bins filled random house and holiday decorations in my basement. Once I started to get to the bottom of that clutter, I began to take a closer look at my food waste, how I spend my time and who I give my energy to. The final frontier in my minimalism journey has been my mind. LIVING WITH INTENTION In January, the Rochester Minimalists were introduced to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Chelsea Muth, MA and Victor Bucklew, PhD. Seated in a circle along with 20 strangers, we rolled raisins in between our fingers as part of an exercise about mindfulness. Afterwards, we shared how the exercise of holding, observing, tasting and swallowing a raisin made 272


us feel and what thoughts came up as we rolled it in our fingers, held it in our mouths, and then bit into its sweetness.

just noise. What are you doing to put space between your notes? What does the sheet music of your mind sound like?

Some people talked about the way the raisin tasted. Another spoke of how they had a song playing on repeat in their head for days, until they stopped and took time to think about the raisin. Afterwards, they could not recall the name of the song. Another person spoke about the fact that they realized they were overdue for a dentist appointment. The exercise illustrated just how many meaningless thoughts we have going on in our minds each second of the day, playing over and over again on repeat, making it difficult for us to stay present and focus on the moment.

CULTIVATING THE GARDENS OF OUR MINDS In Buddhism, the various potential states of mind are referred to as seeds which contain the potential for all the different emotions, thoughts and perceptions we may have, according to “Learn to Fight” by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk, a renowned Zen master, a poet, and a peace activist.

A yoga teacher once told me that when you look at sheet music, there is space between each note. Without the spaces, the notes are

“The lower level of consciousness is like the basement and the mind is the living room,” Hanh writes. “If you allow anger to come up from the basement, it will occupy the whole living room. And if you allow anger to stay there for a long time, then the seed of anger will be strengthened in the lower level of consciousness.” So how do we water the right seeds? “How do we pull weeds and plant flowers in the garden of our minds,” as Dr. Rick Hansen so aptly puts it? T h a t ’s w h e r e minimalism, meditation and making an effort to live with intentionality can assist. Just like that raisin, taking time to consider how much value the things, commitments and people in our lives contribute to our overall happiness is important work. Taking time to remove clutter from the rooms of our mind can reduce anxiety, improve your mood and create the space


your passions and discover your gifts. How are you feeding your mind? Do you turn on television or mindlessly scroll through your Facebook feed? How does that make you feel? Do you notice yourself longing for things you don’t need because of a commercial on the television or comparing your life to others and feeling yourself coming up short? These are the moments when you have a choice on what you feed your mind, body and soul. Perhaps reading a self-help book or watching a podcast would be a more productive use of your time and will leave you feeling more fulfilled than binge watching Netflix or liking a dozen statuses on Facebook. Maybe replace time on the couch in front of the television with time on the floor doing some physical exercise or yoga. Minimalism of the mind is not for the faint of heart, but investing time into determining what truly brings value to your life can be an eye-opening exercise.

Building a daily meditation practice and taking time to play every day (my word for exercise) has allowed me to put space between my notes. I’m seeing that making small changes - like the importance of creating sacred space for myself in the morning and being more aware of the long-term consequences of short-term decisions - has helped me find a better balance and even given me permission to say no to people and things do not feed me. Next time you find yourself in a space of overwhelm, take a deep breath and put space between your notes. Determine what is a priority and what is an obligation. Don’t be ashamed to admit you have to take things off your plate. By learning to say no to things that aren’t adding value to your life, you can take back your power and peace of mind. Amy Cavalier is leader of the Rochester Minimalists group and a co-administrator of

the Beechwood/Homestead Heights/CulverWinton Buy Nothing Facebook community. A full-time communications and marketing specialist, she is dedicated to building community and encouraging comunal living and shared resources. She is passionate about helping others discover what brings true value in their lives and live the most awesome life possible. Resources -To learn more about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Rochester, visit -Sign up for Dr. Rick Hanson’s free e-newsletter for a simple weekly tips grounded in brain science, positive psychology, and contemplative training aimed at bringing you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind and heart. -Check out Thich Nhat Hahn’s “how to” book series which delve into the essentials of mindfulness practice. The series shares explicit, simple directions on how achieve the awakened, relaxed state of clarity to cultivate concentration and compassion in daily life. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018




Recently I went to a networking event with a friend. We were a little shocked at the way people were networking. They came across as if they were part of a contest to see who could hand out the most business cards. Numerous people came up to us and asked what we did, ok not a bad start. They then proceeded to hand us their cards, state what they did and walk away. I looked to my friend and said, “I feel like we should have just gotten a cheeseburger with that drive thru order”. It was quick, in and out just like when you go to a fast food joint, no real substance. I know some may be saying, the more people you meet, the more people you can connect with. Yes, this is true, but there was no connection. There was no opportunity to qualify me as a customer or as a referral partner. No chance to get to know me and what I may have to offer to you, or what services I may need from you. Simply asking me what I do, state what you do and be gone does not build a relationship. Here are some simple steps you can follow: 1.) Introduce yourself, let them know who you are and what you do. This is a great time to give your “infomercial” be sure and tailor this to who you are talking to. 2.) Ask a few questions of the person, find out what 274


they do and if you can be of help to them. Its ok to start out casual, with general questions. Remember you are not asking for anything for yourself, nor are you pushing your product or services on them. 3.) Ask a few more questions, find out

as much information about this person’s needs as you can. How can you help them if you do not know what they need? As you learn about them, you can ask more detail questions You are trying to find a good referral for them in your vast network. 4.) Be present in the moment. Do not be distracted by the next shiny object/ person. People can tell when you are being fake. 5.) Decide if they may be someone you want to further communicate with, even if you decide they are not a good candidate now be polite, you never know who they know or where they will go next. Excuse yourself by simply saying, “It was great meeting you, I don’t want to monopolize your time, perhaps I can introduce you to someone here in the room”. 6.) If you feel like they would be a good person to get to know better, ask them if you can connect with them further. Offer to follow up with them through a phone call or email (their choice). 7.) If cards have not been exchanged, ask for their card and give them yours. Let them know you will be in touch. If you have offered to connect them, go ahead and do this now. Take them up to the person you want to introduce them to and make the introduction.

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } I know some may be saying, the more people you meet, the more people you can connect with. Yes, this is true, but there was no connection. There was no opportunity to qualify me as a customer or as a referral partner.

8.) FOLLOW UP with them, the most crucial part and the reason you do not want to run around the room grabbing cards. Be sure and do this within 3 days of meeting them. People get busy and they may forget how they met you, so when you contact them, offer up how you met them. Do not try and sell them during this conversation. You are still building the relationship. The point of networking is to start to build a relationship. When you meet someone you are deciding if this is someone you want to learn more about. Do we have anything in common? Can we be good referral partners? Can I work with you on

future projects? None of these questions can be answered in the brief time we will spend together. And this definitely cannot be determined by you asking me one question and handing me a card. Spending 5 minutes with each person you talk to, will still allow you to meet 12 people in an hours’ time. Do you have time to build a relationship with 12, maybe only you know the answer? Remember the work is not done, relationships take time to build. Angella Luyk is a national award-winning business owner at Angella Luyk LLC, Midnight Janitorial, and One Stop Janitorial and Office Supply. She understands what

business owners go through and wants to help end the struggles with proven techniques. For more information check out her website or send her an email successhappnes@angellaluyk. com Bring her donuts and she will provide the coffee. Connect with her today and start taking your business to the next level.




Facebook Loves You: Promise BY TAMARA MACDUFF

Want to know what’s really happening with Facebook? Nothing. Seriously, nothing new is happening. The things they are talking about with some of the changes they’ve just made, this is the direction it’s been going for quite some time. I warned people about this in my classes or in conversations I’ve had with them. It’s all about perception and mindset. Did you honestly think Facebook was going to love you forever so much it would just GIVE you everything you ever wanted for your business for FREE? Did you honestly think that Facebook wasn’t using your online habits to create better performing data for their advertising clients? You were blinded by love, my friend. Facebook is a business – just like yours. They have grown and prospered, like I hope your business is doing. With growth and prosperity there must be change. Without change, there is no growth and prosperity. So, this month I’m answering some questions I’ve been getting regarding Facebook. Rest assured – Facebook is just getting back to basics. They are putting the social back into social media and you are going to help them. Ready for some answers? HERE WE GO: Is it true Facebook is a Pay to Play platform? Yes and No. Perception. You can still play all day on Facebook for Free. The real question you have to ask yourself is “Where does Facebook fit into my 276


online marketing strategy?” Does it still hold the prominence it once did? You are probably paying to boost a post or run an ad. Make sure you are talking with your audience and that Facebook is giving you the right return on your investment – whatever that is; time or money. In my opinion nothing is really “Pay to Play,” however, to get results, that, my friend, may cost you. Evaluate how much business is really being driven by Facebook to you and if it’s still the platform of your choice. Tie the platform to your business goals. Will I see more of my friends posts if I ask them to comment on MY post? NO. Please stop posting this. Where do you find this stuff? That’s NOT how the Facebook algorithm works – at all; not even a little bit. Whomever told you to post that status, you know the one making the rounds now:

“I don’t want Facebook to determine what I will see. So I’m taking control, please put an emogi in the comments if you are seeing this.” Or some version. That won’t help you. Do you know what will, though? Having MEANINGFUL conversation with your friends on their post. Instead of just “liking” it and running away – start a conversation with them. THAT’s what Facebook is looking for from both personal and business pages. I don’t have a budget to pay Facebook, how will I reach my audience? For this, I ask you, “Did you have your business before Facebook?” If Yes, then “What did you do before Facebook?” Guys, business has been around longer than Facebook. Is it still a powerful platform, YES. Should you be on it? Most likely. There are other ways to reach your audience, if you know where they are and haven’t lost touch with where they hang out and what they want. Tradeshows, email marketing, coffee meetings, networking events. Many don’t have a problem paying for any of these things, yet they have a problem with paying Facebook a similar amount. You get more out of face to face meetings. All the online platforms did was open a wider door – you still had to walk through it and make it happen for your business. Be strategic and start with your own personal goals for your business. How do you want to grow? How do you want to increase sales or awareness? How will you support your

online efforts – not just with the checkbook. I’ve said this from the beginning. Integrate your offline with your online marketing. Turn it off occasionally and truly engage with your prospects, clients, family and friends. YOU HAVE THE POWER, NOT FACEBOOK Yes, Facebook is powerful, no doubt. Remember, YOU are the one running your business. Facebook is not. Facebook did not build your audience or give them to you – YOU did that. You attracted them to your page. If people liked your page and didn’t come back, I’m not surprised; that happens a lot. All the power of making your business a success is in your hands. Being on Facebook is NOT going to make or break your business. Trust me, it won’t. Be strategic about it, please. Stop giving your power away to Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, or whatever happens to be coming along next. They are there to serve YOU. Use them, absolutely; think about how you use them first.

If conversation and personal relationships have started and grown businesses for over 2,000 years, and it’s still going strong; why do you not invest in more conversations? Need Help? Call me, connect with me, email me. I’m here to help you think strategically about your social media presence. Your online success only depends on one thing: YOU. It’s not about the hashtags or trending topics or the platform. You are not missing the boat because you didn’t post with #MondayMotivation or #WellnessWednesday, truly, you aren’t; so, stop. Your Take 3 Action Plan • Ask yourself What Can I do for Facebook? Not What can Facebook do for Me? Quality content and meaningful conversation will make everyone happy. Allow Facebook to serve you, not the other way around. • Think Strategically. What are the goals for your business? How can social media help you achieve them? It’s not about random

postings or the trending hashtag. Meaningful hashtags and tying industry trends or local news into your business posts will help you • Ask For Help. Find an expert – there are millions of social media experts. While I’m not endorsing anyone; many I have met here in Rochester know their stuff and can help you. The best ones will start with your business and goals and not the platform. See you in the Social Sphere! Tamara MacDuff, business owner at NOW Digital Marketing. She drives sales for business owners through social media & content strategies. When she isn’t being strategic with her social media, she teaches workshops on social media, social media strategy and content creation & strategy. For more information reach out on Twitter (@TamaraLMacDuff), Facebook (fb. com/digitalstrategysocial) or LinkedIn (linkedin. com/in/tamaramacduff) She loves great coffee, conversation & rock and roll.




















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