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September_October 2013 | Issue 11



shopping for the


DĂŠcor Trends: Edgy & Livable

Investing in Yourself Your Wealth

Raising Children with Severe Food Allergies

The Life & Love of Charlie Wisbon


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September_October 2013





Role Model: Holy Lytle


The death of Holly Lytle’s young son in 2007 was the catalyst for the creation of The ISAAC Foundation, a resource for parents of children with autism. Holly shares more of her story in this month’s Role Model feature.

HerStory: A Tale of Self Discovery through Divorce


Home: Fall Décor Trends

Quality and investment are the newest buzzwords in home decorating. Remodeling and contracting companies that made it through the economic slump are now booked solid according to Rich Knight, owner of Knights Kitchen and Bath, a full service contractor. From kitchen and bath remodels to furniture and accessories, we offer the latest in home styles for fall.

Brigetta Norlander’s parents have been married for 38 years. She was raised in an extremely loving, supportive, and affectionate household. Completely abnormal, according to a therapist she spoke with during her separation from her husband. Brigetta shares her journey of losing herself to her marriage and then finding herself, after the divorce.



Wealth: Your Financial Future Starts Now As a woman, you may find that over the course of your life, your financial situation may differ from that of a man. So it is important to understand and consider the unique challenges you might face and steps you can embrace to take charge of your financial future.

Family: Allergies in Children, YMCA Act 6 Program, Library Card Sign-Up Month, Hello Flo

Model: Nicole

Leanne Salon / Lyuda Cook Photography: STUDIO 111 / Seth Barlow Production Assistant: STUDIO 111 / Alaska Bruneau Wardrobe: Tangerine Boutique / Echo Boutique Hair: JAAZZ

on the cover September_October 2013



Original Gourmet Cupcake Shop

Vol. 2 Issue 5 September_ October 2013


Editor | Stephanie Regalado

Art Direction | Graphics Art Director | Kristi Somday


Seth Barlow | Diane Carpenter | Sean Cotter Jodie Hommer | Sarah Katherine | Tia Kelly Kelley Kearns | Cheryl-Anne Milsap Ashley Potter | Urban Rose Photography Mary Noble Ours

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Spokane CDA Woman magazine is published bi-monthly by Bozzi Media. 104 S Freya | Ste 209 | Spokane WA 99202-4866 Phone: 509.533.5350 | Fax: 509.535.3542 All contents Š 2013. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Neither Bozzi Media nor Spokane CDA Woman magazine assume responsibility for errors in content, photos or advertisements.


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Editor's letter Honing Your Super Power, Honoring Yourself


ebecca answered the phone in the same cheerful, sweet manner she always does. “Hello, Lady! How are you?” I gulped down the tears, hoping to keep my composure. But what is it about a familiar, trusting voice that breaks the dam? “I’m freaking out,” I shared, steadying my voice in effort to control the heart trying to beat its way straight out of my chest. Rebecca later shared that she had several big-ticket life events rushing through her head after she heard the first crack in my voice. Was it cancer? Was my mom ill again? Were the kids okay? “I have been putting up a façade. And I need to stop. I need to save myself,” I spilled. “I’m on my way over,” she said. That’s the beauty of good friends. They drop life, show up when you need them. We didn’t need to chat for long; her presence, and her supportive acceptance, was the calm I needed in my moment of panic. A few weeks later, a male Facebook friend, whose girlfriend of a few months had just broken off their relationship, posted the disgruntled question to his social media board, “Do all YOU women go through the same training?! Are you all taught the ‘I like you as a friend, but I don’t see anything long term with you’ piece of bullsh*t?!” I wanted to post “Girl Power” to his timeline. Or “Be thankful for an honest woman.” But I held back. Until later down the thread, when one of his female friends, in an act of support, commented, “Some women just don't know how to commit, they aren't strong enough.” I wanted to post, “Are you KIDDING ME?!” But I kept my composure. I focused my reply on the woman he was referring to, and to all women that honor themselves. I found the kind honesty of her reply an act of beauty and strength. I wondered how many women stay in uncomfortable relationships even though their inner voice is crying out to them to break free, to move on.


If you could choose a super power, which would you choose? My answer is usually “reading minds” or “invisibility when I’m running late and need to break the speed limit.” But I have come to realize, as women, we already have the most treasurable super power of all; it’s our intuition. That little voice we refer to, and the need to listen to it, is not a cliché. We have a powerful mechanism built in and if we listen to it, honor it—honor ourselves—we will be led, we will forge ahead in all the right directions. The moment we ignore this, or stuff it away, or even fight it, is the very moment we are sent off track (and it is an excruciatingly painful trek finding your way back). I went through a period of time over the last couple of years where I fought off my super power, the very thing I needed to help me live the extraordinary life I am always writing about, internally pining for. As much as I love the sun, I kept myself in the storm. But I’ve broken free. I am listening to that little voice, I am finally, fully, honoring myself. I am honing my super power… and the sun has come out to spill its beautiful, warm, reassuring beams all over my life. This is our magazine, WE are Spokane CDA Woman. Together, we can be sure we are all better because of it,

Stephanie Regalado

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September_October 2013


Lunexxe Jewelr y : New Bride's Marketplace : The Art Coop : Zumbathon : Human Trafficking

leslie morgan steiner

Up Front

to Speak at YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

photo by Mary Noble Ours


t 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job at Seventeen magazine, a funky New York City apartment. Plus a handsome, funny, street-smart boyfriend who adored her. But behind a façade of success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She’d made a mistake shared by millions: she fell in love with the wrong person. >>

September_October 2013


Up Front leslie morgan steiner

to Speak at YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

At first Leslie and Conor seemed as perfect together as their fairytale wedding. Then came the fights she tried to ignore: he pushed her down the stairs of the house they bought together, poured coffee grinds over her hair as she dressed for a critical job interview, choked her during an argument, and threatened her with a gun. Several times, he came close to making good on his promise to kill her. With each attack, Leslie lost another piece of herself. Leslie Morgan Steiner is now a frequent speaker about family violence and will be speaking during the October 30th YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon. Her TED Talk about surviving domestic violence, titled “From the Ivy League to a Gun at My Head,” has been viewed by over one million people. She serves as a celebrity board member for the One Love Foundation, in honor of slain University of Virginia senior Yeardley Love; the National Domestic Violence Hotline; Liz Claiborne’s MADE council; and a former spokeswoman for The Harriet Tubman Center in Minneapolis, the country’s oldest shelter for abused women and children. YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Local women excelling in their fields of expertise and whose achievements have a powerful effect on our community will be honored at the 2013 YWCA Women of Achievement Awards during the 31st annual Women of Achievement Inspire Luncheon on October 30, 2013, 11:30am to 1:30pm at the Spokane Convention Center. “For 110 years, the YWCA of Spokane has worked to empower and promote the achievements of women; we’re excited to showcase these talents to the entire community at our upcoming luncheon,” says Regina Malveaux, YWCA of Spokane executive director. For more information about the luncheon, call (509) 789-9299 or visit


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Jewelry Designs

Andrea Smith’s design philosophy is pretty simple. “When everything

matches, the world is a dull and predictable place,” she says. “I like asymmetry and pairing components in new and unexpected ways. My pieces often meld different elements. Shiny things are my passion, so many of my pieces have crystal and metallic details.” Andrea is proud to be a member of Spokane’s vibrant fashion community and is especially interested in styling for photo shoots and fashion shows. She finds the process of creating to be meditative and centering. “My hope is that people love wearing my jewelry as much as I love making it.”

You can find Lunexxe Jewelry at Tafuri Studios in the Garland District in Spokane at 913 W Garland. photography by: Kelley Kearns Photography | Hair/MUA: Brianna Frost | Model: Kaley Way

Up Front Editor’s Favorite: Alis volat propriis, Latin for “she flies with her own wings.” Bestow this keepsake unto a woman who has demonstrated strength in times of weakness, courage in times of fear, and perseverance in times of hardship. This charm is for she who has the will to fly with her own wings. You can find it at

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After a couple of years of being a wedding blogger in Spokane, and in chatting with other wedding vendors, Dana Muchow realized there was a need for a tasteful local venue for brides to recycle their used wedding items; as well as for those planning their weddings: to source handmade, new and used wedding items such as gowns, decor and accessories. “Weddings have become such a huge investment of time and money and my hope is that Marketplace,, will help brides moving past the ‘Big Day’ recover a small portion of their investment while helping other bridesto-be save up front,” says Dana. “Brides can list an item in just two easy steps and it’s absolutely free!”

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September_October 2013


Up Front

The Art Coop: Art Classes for Chicks G at h e r a g r o u p of three to ten of your favorite gal pals, pick a craft, date and time, b r i n g y o u r f a vo r i t e s n a ck s a n d drinks and create your own art party! L o u C a r v e r ’s h o m e w a s o r i g i nally built as a farm testing a r e a b a ck i n 19 3 3 . T h e A rt C o o p wa s a ch i ck e n c o o p o n c e u p o n a time, but only used as one for t w o y e a r s . M o r e r e c e n t l y, L o u and her friend, Ginger Keogh renovated the coop, turning it into an art studio for women. With a professional career in graphic design and market-


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ing spanning 25 years, Lou now finds herself focusing on the WOW factor when creating art. “I love to tell the viewer that there is a bowling ball under that mosaic or the concrete leaf is not real but o n c e w a s ,” s h e s a y s . L o u h a s moved through the fine arts f r o m wa t e r c o l o r, s t a i n g l a s s , quilting, glass beaded jewelry and now mosaic and concrete forms. She is a very tactile artist: she moves and works fast, l i k e h e r p e r s o n a l i t y, a n d e n j o y s finishing a piece in one sitting. “My goal as an artist is to share the knowledge of how to make anything into something a n d h a v e F U N d o i n g i t . Yo u don’t have to feel creative to be creative, or be an artist to make something artistic. Just to be given the opportunity ch a n g e s t h e e n e r g y i n t o i n s p i ration and a passion for your p i e c e f o l l o w s ,” s h a r e s L o u . She enjoys leading groups of women through the discovery and creative process at The Art Coop.

You can find more information by visiting www. or by calling (509) 327-3726.


RDParty in Pink



Proceeds to Benefit Eastern WA Susan G. Komen for the Cure and national breast cancer research initiative

For the third consecutive year,

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians is sponsoring Spokane’s Party in Pink Zumbathon, by providing the ballroom at the Northern Quest Casino for a dynamic Zumba Fitness event. The venue will play host to the charity event to benefit Eastern WA Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization, as well as raise funds for national breast cancer research, on Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 10:00am to Noon. The two-hour Zumbathon will be led by 32 enthusiastic, licensed Zumba Fitness instructors from the Spokane/CDA area. This fun event is open to the public and admission is a $20 donation. Participants of all levels, from beginner to experienced, are welcome. Spokane has a vibrant Zumba community, with classes taking place daily across the metro area in fitness centers, health clubs, community centers, schools and churches. The Zumba event scene is thriving, as

well. “Every weekend, there seems to be a Zumba event for something or other,” said Bree Vestal, a licensed RN with Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital as well as fellow Zumba instructor. “I love that all of us instructors have banded together to put on one BIG event, to increase the impact in our community.” “With 22 retail merchants around the Spokane/CDA area selling tickets for us, and 32 licensed instructors donating their time to instruct at the event and a whole lineup of breast cancer survivors that are also devoted Zumba participants,” says Kate Armstrong, owner of ZMeDance and producer of the past two years’ events. “I have no doubt we will go over the 500 attendee mark this year.” For additional information about the Party in Pink event, visit

S hedding Light on Hu man Traff ickin g , Glo bal l y & L o cal l y Film Screening Event and Panelist Discussion

World Affairs Council of Spokane will host a screening of Not My Life, a documentary on human trafficking written, directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Robert Bilheimer. Not My Life is the first film to comprehensively depict the cruel and dehumanizing practices of global human trafficking and modern slavery. Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries, Not My Life features more than 50 interviews with trafficking victims and their advocates in government, law enforcement, civil society, and the private sector. From 10 year old girls raped in USA truck stops or brothels in India; to street beggars in Africa; to domestic servants in Washington, D. C., Not My Life takes viewers into a world that is difficult to imagine, let alone accept. The event will be held at the Bing Crosby Theater on Oct. 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at The film will be followed by a panel discussion about the issue of human trafficking in the Inland Northwest and a Q&A session with the audience. Panelist include: Sandie Morgan, Director of the Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University; Mark Kadel, World Relief; Mabel Elsom, Lutheran Services; and possible participation from the Spokane Police Anti-trafficking task force and FBI. Film trailer can be viewed at: September_October 2013


Up Front

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As the CEO and founder of Exclusive Matchmaking, matchmaker Susan Trombetti has made love connections for her clients all over the country. Although she doesn’t give the super shy single ladies dates without first addressing any extreme shyness or anxiety around dating. Because if they can’t open up enough on date one, they may not be asked out for date two. Here are some of Susan’s tips to help you work through the anxiety and step in the direction of love: 1) Leave your comfort zone. If you have

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only a handful of friends you hang out with all the time, force yourself to make more. Just go out with the point of talking and connecting with just one person and gradually increase it. It doesn’t have to be a member of the opposite sex at first, but start working that in as a goal.

2) Put yourself in a social setting with a lot of people. It could be a party or a happy

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hour. At first, just talk to one member of the opposite sex for 5 minutes and then leave. Knowing that you have a limit takes the stress out of it. Be sure to congratulate yourself on your accomplishment and gradually increase.

3) Pick three current events to talk about on a date that aren’t political or sad. This way you can make small talk. Think sports, birth of the royal baby, the sale of the Washington Post. Things like this go a long way. 4) Realize most people are too selfish to be that tuned into you even though you are worried about how stupid, how silly, how awkward, or insert whatever word you think they are thinking of you. They are more worried about themselves and maybe even their own awkward behavior to really notice the things you worry about. 5) Make a calendar of events for the month. Make sure each event is different from the other. Force yourself out to interact without your comfort friends. Do all this alone. At the end of this time, it will force you to become at least more comfortable socially and less awkward. At this point, you are ready to date. Sometimes just doing this will lead to dating. Shy people tend to stay home and never meet people. At least you are meeting people, which is key to dating.

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to carrying a tad bit of extra weight on your body is the glorious cleavage that tends to divert attention from your problem areas. Unfortunately, when you are in the process of shedding weight, you don’t get to decide which areas you want to keep. I have assembled a list of 5 methods to assist you in keeping “the girls” while you are on your weight loss journey.

TIP: Strengthen the pectoral muscles #1 Push-Ups– Push-ups greatly build up

the pectorals, giving an appearance of larger breasts. To perform standard push-ups, start in a horizontal lying position; face down with your body supported by your hands and feet. Once you’re in this position, lower your chest to the floor with your back straight and then return to the starting position. Modified push-ups are performed the same way except your body is supported by your hands and knees. To focus more on the upper pectorals, elevate your feet on a bench or stability ball.

#2 Incline Dumbbell Press – The dumbbell press is an excellent exercise for isolating your pectorals, which can greatly enhance your cleavage. This can be done by lying on an exercise ball or bench, at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees (elbows bent). To complete the movement, extend your arms until the dumbbells touch and then lower them again. This exercise also works the front of the shoulder as well as the triceps (the muscles on the back of the arms).

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#3 Incline Dumbbell Flys – Working your pecs with dumbbell flys is an excellent way to sculpt shapelier breasts by developing fullness. Start by holding the dumbbells over your head with your arms slightly bent and then lower them until your elbows are at shoulder height. Complete the movement by raising the dumbbells again. This exercise also strengthens the front of the shoulder. This can also be done by lying on an exercise ball or bench, at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees (elbows bent).

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Liberty Lake | Coeur d’Alene | Hayden | Sandpoint | Spokane franchises available *You should perform these three exercises two- to three- nonconsecutive days each week. When performing the push-ups, you can perform anywhere between 15 and 25 repetitions. For the incline dumbbell press and flys, use heavier loads that fatigue your muscles within 8 to 10 repetitions.

TIP: Compliment with cardio #4 Engage in cardio activities

that engage the upper-body such as dance fitness, swimming or boxing. Aim to do these at a moderate- to high-intensity for no more than 45 minutes, three- to fournonconsecutive days each week. This amount of cardiovascular training is sufficient enough to keep your BMI in check without burning exorbitant amounts of fat. TIP: Analyze your food intake

#5 Try to consume the majority of your daily protein from fish, poultry, lean meats and/or non-meat food sources. These are low in fat and will help enhance muscle growth and development. In addition, consume nutrient-dense foods like complex carbohydrates (vegetables, beans, whole-grain products), healthy fats, and fruit on a daily basis. Kate Armstrong produces Party in Pink, Spokane’s largest Zumbathon for breast cancer awareness and prevention, every October.

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September_October 2013


Travel montpellier

Montpellier, France Story and Photo By Cheryl-Anne Millsap


ontpellier may be one of France’s most under appreciated cities. At least for tourists from this country. While Paris steams with shoulder-toshoulder summer tourists elbowing their way to the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower and crowded tour buses carry sightseers through the rolling hills of Provance, Montpellier in the beautiful LanguedocRoussillon region of the South of France is breezy, pedestrian friendly and steeped in classic Mediterranean charm.


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Easily accessible by train or plane from Paris and just 11 kilometers from the Mediterranean sea, Montpellier is worth adding to your route when visiting France. With as much as a third of the city’s population made up of students— Europe’s first medical school was founded in Montpellier in the 12th century—there is a youthful vibe to the old city. The popular main square, the Place de la Comédie, is framed by the elegant opera house and bustling with pedestrians and busy cafes, the perfect place for those

who want to linger over a cup of coffee to see and be seen. At night, dramatic lighting emphasizes the historic architecture, especially the crown-jewel opera house. Nearby, Saint Peter’s Cathedral, with its dramatically tall tower-like pillars over the main door, dates from the 14th Century but the architecture is so unique and striking it resembles something from a fantasy film. As I walked past strains of classical music floated down the street from a nearby music school, adding to the effect. Sleek modern trams designed by Christian LeCroix move down streets lined with architecturally significant buildings, circling the old section of Montpellier—notice the city’s ultramodern city hall designed by noted French architect, Jean Nouve. The strikingly modern Antigone district curves around the banks of the River Lez. Montpellier is an authentic “South of France” experience without the crush of tourists. Go. See if you don’t agree. Where to stay: New Hotel du Midi: The newly remodeled hotel sits at the entrance to the Place de la Comédie and features dramatic, contemporary decor in the most beautiful of old buildings. Rooms are comfortable and affordable. What to see: Rue Foch, the grand boulevard leading to the Arc de Triomphe, the original Arc de Triomphe, by the way, predating the monument in Paris by quite a few years, was built on the site of the city’s old gates. The view from the top, worth climbing the 88 steps inside the monument, offers sweeping vistas showing the city to its best advantage. Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer whose audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of ‘Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons’ and can be reached at

September_October 2013


Girls groups By Robin Bishop

photo by Sean Cotter


Robin Bishop, Cami Hanson, Megan Marama

ave you ever met someone and within minutes knew they would be in your life for a while? That was my response to meeting a young woman four years ago. This is an extremely rare occurrence for me. Even with “friends” I kept the most vulnerable version of me tucked away and rarely did I allow other women glimpses of that girl. While I’m sure I’m not the only one that has used this protective layer, even with close friends, I began to realize I was not allowing something beautiful to happen in my life. My “self” was lost in layers of roles and expectations. I suddenly wanted to cry, this is where Megan came into my life. During this tragic and beautiful awareness, in walks this breath of fresh air. My “self” recognized immediately the connection to authenticity and the awareness of beauty in things around her, good and bad, in this woman. She was refreshing and contagious. We have been on a journey together since, that has been filled with discovery, renewal, tears, and lots of laughter. I want to introduce Megan Marama. While she is a licensed therapist, that is not her sole purpose or passion. She is a mom, daughter, spouse, friend to those in her life, but she has a passion for helping women peel back those layers of lost identity and reveal their authentic, beautiful, fractured, real self. Megan recently started a new women’s organization called “friends in bloom.” I sat down with her recently and discussed where this idea originated and what her hopes and dreams are connected with it.

Friendsin Bloom


Embrace your natural curves and ditch the rest!

Women growing, journeying, exploring… together What is “friends in bloom”? Megan: It is a women’s monthly membership organization that meets in small groups two times a month for a couple of hours each time. Each group selects activities they’d like to do when they meet (hiking, kayaking, walking, coffee, etc) and then I am there with a life topic that facilitates discussion, openness, honesty, and growth; but the main focus is the connection with others, building friendships, and just having tons of fun. So you are a licensed therapist, but this doesn’t seem like typical group therapy. How is this any different than group therapy? I got my degree so I’d have the knowledge base, but this comes from a deeper place… a soul-deep, organic, authentic place in me and the two have melded together in the “friends in bloom” idea. It is a place for women to learn to love themselves; their true selves. The layers get peeled back, the expectations are shed, and women can learn that vulnerability and imperfection is true beauty in its most joyful form. When did you first feel you wanted to start an organization like this? So long ago, that I can’t put a date to it. I knew very early in adulthood that I was going to work with women in a very organic way. It’s always been a part of me. I’ve had different visions over the years of what it might look like, but have always moved in this direction for this purpose. How is it that you came to this realization so early; at such a young age? My journey to date has groomed me for this. My experiences growing up and even schooling were for this reason. Have you ever heard of Malcolm Gladwell? He wrote a book called “Outliers.” His premise is that the key to any success is practicing the same service, talent, act, 10,000 times or more. That’s the case with me. I’ve been





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practicing this concept my entire life. How do you hope “friends in bloom” is going to impact women in this community? My biggest hope is that it would impact every woman individually. That it would help them see the beauty they don’t see in themselves. Everyone has a unique journey, a story that others can learn from or help with. As every woman’s heart is impacted in the unique way it is meant to, it will affect their lives, their group, and their community. What type of person is “friends in bloom” a great fit for? This is not a club. It is not a support group. It is a place for women that want more joy in life, who want to know themselves better and surround themselves with positive women who they can learn from and give back to. It’s for women who are at a place in their journey where they want to be present in all facets of life; for women who feel like something is missing and they can’t define what it might be; women who are seeking and want to have fun, laugh, learn, and grow.

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How can women get involved with “friends in bloom”? We have a book club and several groups meeting on a regular basis that are all open to new friends. Our website and Facebook page have all the details. Come introduce yourself at our Open House on September 24th, 5-8pm at our offices (608 W 2nd, Suite 203). Join. Hang out, talk, engage a couple of times a month. Laugh, learn to be more yourself, grab hold of the pieces you want for as long as you want. Hopefully you walk away with some of the best friends you could ever ask for. Learn more about “friends in bloom” at www. or by liking their page on Facebook. Megan can be reached at (509) 3157441 or

1510 N. Argonne Ste F Spokane, WA 99212 | 509.535.6423

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm September_October 2013


Inside the conversation

the ladies from

wishing star Inside the Conversation presented by Women’s Resource Partnership is an interview series that features local women. We ask each guest 10 questions. Below are excerpts from our interview with the ladies from Wishing Star (as pictured): Paula Nordgaarden, Executive Director; Sarah Carpenter, Development Director; and Veronica Smet, Program Director. By Diana Carpenter Do you have any tattoos? Paula: Wishing Star had a Wish Kid that wanted a tattoo and to go to Miami Ink. Chris Garver was amazing and helped us grant this wish. Sarah: No I don’t. I can’t decide on something that is important enough to have it permanent. Veronica: Yes, the word BELIEVE on the inside of my wrist. What is the best advice you have ever been given? Paula: My mother said to me, “When you are walking down the sunny side of the street, wear a slip,” basically, cover your ass. Sarah: It is only temporary Veronica: Be your authentic self and don’t judge people or take things personally Who inspires you? Paula: People that work to help the children of our community. Sarah: Kids in general, they are so innocent, they are so honest, and they make you see the importance of life. Our wish kids are so inspiring and strong. Veronica: Our wish families, their kids are going through so much and the families have such a positive attitude. What social media site are you addicted to? Sarah and Veronica: Facebook.

photo by Diana Carpenter

Believe in yourself


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What would you tell your 16-year old self? Paula and Veronica: Believe in yourself. Sarah: Relax. I wanted to be perfect. Relax, enjoy, have fun, and get in a little trouble. What is your biggest pet peeve? Paula: People who chew with their mouth open, smacking gum. Sarah: Negativity, whining. Veronica: Judgmental people and their inability to see the bigger picture.

What would your choice of super power be? Paula: To make mean people nice. Sarah: Mind reading. What is your biggest regret? Paula: I didn’t learn until I was 55 that I needed to put my work down and not be such a workaholic. Sarah: Not trying harder in school. I did well in school but I didn’t have to try hard, so I didn’t. Veronica: I should have believed in myself more, in a particular situation. Also not seeing my grandmother before she died. Do you have a guilty pleasure? Paula: I can sit and look up the river for hours and hours. Sarah: Reality TV, right now it is The Bachelorette. Veronica: Being outside. What is something not many people know about you? Paula: I am so transparent you can see through me. Sarah: My first kiss wasn’t until I was 19. Veronica: I was a gymnast and I speak German. What do you want us to know about Wishing Star? We are about changing lives; one wish at a time and that is just how we start. We grant a wish but then they stay in our system forever. We continue to support the wish child and their families forever. We are a community of support. Wishing Star is more than just a wish granting organization. You can find out more information on Wishing Star by visiting The vision of Women’s Resource Partnership is to enhance the lives of women in all walks of life and was created for women of all ages to come together and share their friendship, business, ideas, and connections. They host a monthly luncheon with a guest speaker and an evening networking event to help women come together. You can find them on Facebook. Diana Carpenter can be reached at (509) 768-1139 or 

September_October 2013


Role model

holly The death of Holly Lytle’s young son

in 2007 was the catalyst for the creation of The ISAAC Foundation, a resource for parents of children with autism. In this month’s Role Model feature we asked her to share more of her story.


photo by Sarah Katherine | Pictorian Photography

SCW: Give a brief introduction to the Isaac Foundation. HL: My son, Isaac Dennis Lytle, was diagnosed with autism when he was 18 months old. In 2007, Isaac passed away from an undetected heart issue, which was not related to autism. Feeling strongly that no child should be denied therapy interventions due to inadequate insurance benefits or a family’s inability to pay, my husband and I decided to honor Isaac and start The ISAAC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, to help provide resources, workshops, and financial grants for interventions and services to families who have children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders living in the Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, Whitman and Kootenai Counties.  The Isaac Foundation was created while you were grieving for your son. How has your work helped you heal? The ISAAC Foundation has been a huge component to my grieving process. As I work with families and meet the children who are benefiting from Isaac’s legacy I feel a tremendous amount of peace knowing that something good and beautiful came from something so horrible and tragic. I may have lost my child but I feel like I have gained 175 new family members. That is a gift I never expected. 

The Lytle’s recent family photo at Isaac’s memorial stone

photo by Ashley Potter

Passion is all you need to make a difference.

Holly with Josiah in front of his Faces of Hope exhibit picture during World Autism Awareness Day (April 1st) at Riverpark Square.


By Cheryl-Anne Millsap

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How do you think it has helped others? I look back at the years we had with Isaac and can’t remember a day that we were not overwhelmed with stress and anxiety worrying about therapy choices and how to pay for these therapies. It was such a burden and I didn’t feel like I had anyone to turn to for help.  Through the work of The ISAAC Foundation, parents and caregivers can have less of a burden. There is access to financial support for much needed therapies and a resource to call when they need answers and direction.  Since 2007, The ISAAC Foundation has given out more than 200 grants totaling over $280,000. Our hope is to grow those numbers so more families have the support they need.  How has your marriage grown or changed since you launched the ISAAC Foundation? What difference has it made to your family? While Reed has always been my biggest supporter, The

ISAAC Foundation was really hard for him to embrace in its early years. It never created a wedge in our marriage but I knew that it was too much to ask him to relive our loss, day after day. He chose to take a more backseat role in the Foundation until the day he met one of our ISAAC Foundation grant recipients face to face at a local park. It was then that he realized the legacy that Isaac left behind and he was able to look at the work of the Foundation as an outlet for his grief as well. Grief can cause spouses to drift apart. For us, it brought us closer together.    Two of our children were born after Isaac died. It has always made me sad that they will never have the memories that the older two boys have of their brother, Isaac. A few weeks ago my 5-year old son Caleb says while pointing to a picture, “Look! There’s my brother Isaac!” I shed happy tears that day. While Caleb and Kelly may not grow up with their big brother Isaac, they still know and love him very much. I truly believe that their exposure to the events surrounding The ISAAC Foundation has helped grow their awareness and love. Do you think your personal story has inspired others who may not have a child struggling with autism spectrum disorder? Absolutely! Some of my strongest supporters, contributors and donors do not have a loved one touched by autism. However, statistics suggest that that 1 in 50 children are on the autism spectrum so we will all likely have some exposure to these children. I believe people are starting to understand the importance of helping with this cause as it affects so many. I can only hope my passion to turn my personal tragedy into a means of helping others has had some impact.  What have you learned about yourself in this process? Passion is all you need to make a difference. If you have passion for your purpose, you can accomplish ANYTHING.    What would you like for The Isaac Foundation to become or grow into? I eagerly look forward to the day that The ISAAC Foundation breaks the $1,000,000,000 threshold of awarded grants and becomes a familiar name in our community for autism related services. You can learn more about the Isaac Foundation at

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September_October 2013


Her story

Divorce… Journey to a

By Brigetta Norlander


Better Me

For many years, my role as wife was one of strength, even when that was not the part I always wanted to play. I was an elementary school teacher for a short time until I had my oldest daughter. Four months after her birth, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The timing of the diagnosis ended up being a blessing, as there was no way I was going to let this disease beat me down when I had this most amazing child in my arms. Fear was not an option, though it took quite some time to fully believe and embrace that mantra. Three years later, my daughter was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Tough times, and that’s putting it mildly. Sprinkle in a family member’s addiction, and the financial ramifications of all of the above, a pregnancy and birth of a second beautiful daughter and well, yes, TOUGH times, with a Capital T and a few exclamation marks thrown in. Sometimes you are forced into a specific role and sometimes you accept that role and it defines you in a not-so-healthy way. I did both. I was forced to stand alone, and be the strong one for so long, it was interwoven into the basic fabric of “me.” Vulnerability was not an option. Self-care was not an option. I lost myself. I felt like I was treading the waters of life. I wanted something different, something more, but how could I place a greater value on my own needs versus the needs of my girls? How could I not do whatever possible to keep my family intact? Ultimately, it was something that my oldest said that tipped the scales for me. She walked into my room, giggling at the fact that my youngest wanted to marry their cousin. My response, “Well, I know you love your cousin, but we don’t marry our cousins…not even in Idaho, baby girl.” “Instead, one day you’ll find someone who treats you like a princess, is kind to you, loves you, and makes you smile.” My oldest was very quiet, looking down at my quilt; finger

y parents have been married for 38 years. I was raised in an extremely loving, supportive, and affectionate household. Completely abnormal, according to a therapist I spoke with during separation number two. She informed me that, given my background versus the background of the majority, my marital expectations were, in fact, slightly unrealistic. This “insight” influenced my decision to try the relationship again. I thought, perhaps, if I redefined my view of marriage, I could make it work. Stubbornly optimistic, that was another term the therapist used to describe me. I moved back in with my husband and twisted myself into a person I no longer recognized. In the years that followed, the optimism faded completely.


photo by Tia Kelly

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wrapped around a loose thread, and said, “Daddy doesn’t treat YOU like a princess. He’s not really mean, but not very kind, and he doesn’t make you smile and laugh. He kinda makes you sad and mad.” I sat there, stunned and quiet, before bribing them with a cartoon so that I would have time to compose myself. I glanced down and saw my daughters’ favorite book lying on the floor beside my bed. Princess Smartypants. Ha. Pivotal moments… Princess Smartypants is about a character of the same name who is told to become a Mrs. when she longs to remain a Miss. It was a favorite due, in part, to my encouragement. I was this mom who espoused all things overtly girly and princessy. I cringed at the prince charming stories where the princess waits for her prince to come and rescue her. Pahlease! Girl power was a common expression in our household. I wanted my girls to have spirit, spunk, be resourceful, and solve their own problems. I wanted them to know that there is reality and fairy tales. I also wanted my daughters to know there IS a prince out there for them. However, they

must not sit idly by, primping and looking pretty. Love will come to them and they can only truly accept and receive that love when there is a balance of strength and self sufficiency with vulnerability, and the ability to give and receive. If those were my beliefs, if that is what I wanted for them, then what in the hell was I doing? So, I made the final decision. Even after all that, it was not an easy one. The day we told our girls that we were getting a divorce will go down in my history as one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. When the choice was made, and more importantly, accepted, to divorce, I was tired, pure and simple. I was completely overwhelmed from years of too much. Exhausted from my role as single parent. I was stressed about caring for my girls. I’m not just talking about the extras every parent wants to offer their children, but the very basics: food, clothes, shelter, healthcare, and perhaps, more importantly, their emotional health. I was stuck; immobilized by fear regarding what to do, where to go, how to do it. I decided to venture into the crazy world of online dating, originally as a means to escape, and fill the void, so to speak. However, as financial and parental pressures mounted it morphed into a search for my very own prince charming. It became easier to think I wanted to find a man to come and take care of me; of us. However, I didn’t meet anyone to fit the bill. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t because I didn’t cross paths with some amazing men, but rather because I wasn’t being true to myself; to my core beliefs. I didn’t want to be rescued. I wanted to rescue myself, and that is what I’ve been doing. I set about making choices that would help me find myself again, making decisions that would help me live by example and be the woman I wanted my girls to become. I spoke with a life coach to help create this life I wanted to live and put my health first; to lose weight, and to get back in shape. I began writing again, something I’ve always been passionate about. I created a website,, to detail my journey through the crazy world of divorce, and hopefully, offer encouragement and inspiration to women going through their own. Girl Power is back in my vocabulary, and I’m not only using it, but also living it. Divorce is definitely a journey, and if you open yourself to the lessons being taught, you cannot help but live the life you’re meant to live. You cannot help but be the person you were meant to be. You cannot help but be a better person, better mom, better friend, and maybe even one day, if that Prince Charming crosses your path, a better spouse.

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By Julie Humphreys

Charlie Wisben had a lot in common with a hummingbird.

She was tiny. When she was born back in 1948 in rural Arkansas her mama said she was so small she could fit in a shoebox. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world. Charlie had more energy on a given day than most people have in a month. The hummingbird in flight, with the exception of insects, has the highest metabolism of all animals. Charlie loved color and used color to create beauty. The hummingbird is a bright, radiant, array of exotic coloration. Perhaps that’s why Charlie’s husband Gary could so easily answer a question posed by the grief counselor he met with after his wife’s death. “If Charlie were to ever show herself to you, how would she do it?” the counselor asked. “As a hummingbird,” Gary offered. Pointing to a feeder hanging outside the window, the counselor said, “I put up that hummingbird feeder two years ago. I have never had a hummingbird near it, until you started coming to see me.” There are other unexplainable events or moments throughout the couple’s life. Gary is certain they are not coincidence. Whatever they are, they provide glimpses into a love story we should all be so lucky


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to live. Gary told one such story at Charlie’s service this spring. It hushed the room. Charlie and Gary were celebrating their 20th anniversary hiking and fishing in Montana’s massive Glacier National Park. At over a million acres, the park hosts an untold number of beautiful and interesting rock formations, rocks, and pebbles. Charlie sat for a spell by a river while Gary wandered 100 yards or so upstream to fish. Gary was as enthralled by the billions of colorful river rocks as he was with the fish. A little round, brown rock with a perfect triangle of purple on the underside caught his eye; he picked it up and put it in his pocket. Reunited beside a log that Charlie was leaning against, the couple cracked open a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. It had been given to them more than a year prior and they had been saving it for a special occasion. That September day was the perfect occasion! As they toasted to two decades of a wonderful marriage, something on the log caught Gary’s eye. It was a small brown rock with a triangle of purple on the underside. Confused, he reached in his pocket and indeed the rock he had found was still there. “Where did this rock come from?”

he asked about the one on the log. “Oh, I wandered to the river and it caught my eye. I thought it was pretty so I set it on the log to show you,” said Charlie. When they held the two rocks next to each other they fit together perfectly; two halves of a rock broken apart and smoothed by water and time. Of all the possessions the couple had and would have, Gary explained to those gathered at the church, none was as precious as the rock he held before them. Charlie was an artist. And she could paint the town in more ways than one. Her business was called Paintin’ The Town and her work can be seen all over the Inland Northwest, in murals on the walls of some of the finest homes, to wine glasses for charity auctions. But perhaps her influence around town is best seen in the way she lived her life. “She was the finest human being I ever met. She was an inspiration to everyone on the planet to want to be a better person,” says Patti Marquis, Charlie’s friend and employer at The Links in Post Falls. In recent years Charlie and Gary had both worked a bit at the clubhouse, just for fun, and to golf! Charlie was also an artist in the kitchen. “She was a great cook, a great artist; she was beautiful, sweet, kind, and a hard worker,” continues Patty. “Charlie never had an unkind word to say about anyone. She was always in a good mood. She was like a ray of sunshine. She talked to everyone, including people who didn’t even have a friend.” And Charlie was a looker with that tiny frame and blond Farrah Fawcett mane. “Most of the time when someone looks like Charlie they are only nice to men. She was equally kind to everyone. Everybody stared at Charlie, but within minutes Charlie would put them at ease. When guys were flirting with her, within 5 minutes she was talking about Gary!” Part of the love story. Maybe Charlie’s death was so difficult for so many because she was so full of life. When someone is such a presence, the hole left in their absence can be gaping. And her death was unexpected. Certainly cancer takes millions of strong, healthy people, but everyone expected Charlie to beat it with her unend-

ing energy and upbeat personality. In May 2012, Charlie thought she had a bladder infection. She went to the doctor who thought she might have hepatitis. She did have a yellowish color. But a scan detected a blockage and surgery was scheduled to see what it was. The biopsy revealed the worst, a rare form of cancer with a nasty name, cholangiocarcinoma, also characterized by jaundice. Better known as bile duct cancer, it is considered to be incurable and rapidly lethal unless both the primary tumor and any metastases are fully removed. Charlie was stage three when the cancer was found. By the time she and Gary drove to Seattle to get additional opinions at two different hospitals specializing in cancer, it was a stage four, the last and final number in cancer staging. Gary says at one hospital they were told, “Biology is king and there’s nothing we can do.” Charlie’s response was so very, well… Charlie. She said, “Well you don’t know me.” Later a friend would print those words on a t-shirt, a visual support for this little woman who had decided she wanted to fight a big cancer. And fight she did with Gary right by her side. The goal was to shrink the tumor, determine it hadn’t spread and then surgically remove it. Charlie started chemotherapy, a daily dose of poison to kill any cancer. Charlie wore a chemo pump 24/7. Gary smiles when recalling how she carried the pump in a fashionable little purse so as not to appear sick. Charlie was always very stylish. Doctors performed frequent checks to see if the cancer had spread; at each check they reported with hope that it hadn’t. Next was radiation to shrink the tumor. If chemo was bad, radiation was worse. “It was horrible. She was so sick, constantly nauseated or throwing up,” Gary shares. Charlie had to have a feeding tube to get the nutrients her body needed. After six long months of treatment, doctors gave Charlie a six-week break in order to recover and to see how her body would respond. Gary seized the opportunity and drove Charlie to California, where they had first met. The couple spent two fabulous weeks

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laughing, going to the beach, riding bikes, eating tacos, lying in the sun and living. Charlie felt great. They visited friends and enjoyed the place where they had both grown up. But as she and Gary drove back to Washington, she grew weaker. By the time Charlie returned to a Seattle hospital, she had developed a liver infection and had lost two pints of blood. She needed a blood transfusion, presenting additional problems. Charlie and Gary patiently walked through those new medical challenges believing that as soon as Charlie was stronger she would undergo surgery to cut out the tumor and they would get their lives back. But, instead, the doctors delivered the dreadful news that the cancer had spread to her neck. Surgery would not save her. They gently told her to go home and get her affairs in order. “And all of a sudden, it was over,” says Gary. Charlie and Gary drove back to their Newman Lake home and began Hospice care. They never asked how long Charlie had to live. (They would have ten weeks together.) “The one blessing out of this is she and I had time to talk. But we never talked about the end until it was the end. Instead we had deep conversations,” says Gary. And they wrote. They picked topics like; what is the meaning of life, twenty things I want to do in the next year, and what is my purpose. Charlie started letters to her three daughters, her seven grandchildren and to her husband. Friends came to visit. “She never complained, she always smiled, she was gracious, and she never told me she was dying,” says Debra Wilde, a longtime friend of Charlie’s. “The closest thing she ever said was ‘I want my energy back.’” Debra met Charlie when she and Gary moved to Spokane and opened the first acrylic nail salon in the area in the mid 1980s. Debra, then a KHQ television reporter, instantly connected with Charlie. As Gary was Charlie’s soul mate, Debra was a soul sister. If you’ve ever heard Debra’s big, infectious laugh, you’ve had a glimpse of her joyful demeanor that matched Charlie’s so well. She and Charlie would giggle their way through thrift shops and garage sales going “junkin” as Charlie called it. Charlie was famous for her “junkin” finds! Debra was one of Charlie’s many close friends who walked through that last hard year with her. “I miss her so much. I miss “junkin” with her. We laughed all the time, she was a happy person,” says Debra.

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September_October 2013


That she was, right to the end, says Gary. Charlie was not someone who dreamed when she slept, according to Gary. But once during those last weeks, Gary says Charlie talked about a dream she had. “You know I was just thinking,” she said in a weak voice. “When you go to Heaven do you go to the place you dream about?” Gary replied, “I don’t know, why?” With a smile on her face, Charlie said, “Because I was just dreaming about the most beautiful place.” Charlie had shared that she knew she was going to Heaven. She believed in God and those close to her say she had made peace with Him about her cancer. Still, the last weeks were hard, Gary says, horrific. Charlie could no longer speak or see. Gary spent his days and nights holding her, stroking her hair and feeling her presence. What was left of her body, Gary says, was a bag of bones. Gary knew it was time to call in Charlie’s children, Lisa, Kim and Joy. She hadn’t spoken a word for a week but when the girls arrived she turned her head and said, “You really are here, it’s not a dream.” Charlie passed away the next morning. Gary says he and Charlie always thought an angel would come and simply say, “Okay, let’s go.” It was peaceful even if Charlie was too young at 65. Gary believes Charlie hung on two weeks longer than should have been physically possible because she just didn’t want to leave him. “We were perfect for each other, best friends.” But he also knows they will be reunited again. They both know that. That rock they found by the river told them so. Split apart, it found its way back together through the hands of two people who were also one. On a beautiful summer day in August, Gary, Patti, Debra, and others put on what they plan will be an annual memorial golf tournament in Charlie’s honor. Money raised will go to a budding art student. Charlie’s daughters and their families traveled back to attend. Later that day they spread Charlie’s ashes across the lake where she lived so happily with Gary in a home where she had painted every room, vase, chair, fixture; everything. That day on the golf course, a little hummingbird fluttered by.


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fall fashion : with this ring - brides night out september 27th


Striped long sleeve tee with frayed silk accents: Scrapbook originals $26 Distressed denim jeans: LTB $24 Available at Echo Boutique.

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Black knit top with gathered neckline, 3/4 slit sleeves, and embroidered braid swirl pattern in shades of brown and cream: Lauren Michelle $23 Braided belt, vegan: Coldwater Creek $19 Chocolate brown maxi skirt: Sigrid Olsen $26. Brown suede boots with stacked heel and gold buckle halter strap: Coach $199 Hand hammered bronze and copper jewelry by Northwest artisan jewelers, Union Studio Metals: Beaten Path Collection Bracelets $55 Earrings $45. Available at Echo Boutique.

September_October 2013


Turquoise hoodie with pheasant and ostrich feather trim: Dolce Cabo $32 Turquoise, brown, and saffon print silk top: Gibson $29 Black denim jeans: Beija Flor $39 Copper chain and faux turquoise nugget necklace: $14 Brown suede boots with stacked heel and gold buckle halter strap: Coach $199 Available at Echo Boutique.


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An inspirational wedding event on September 27th! 42

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By Rachel Sandall


magine a magical place where all your Pinterest boards came to life. A place where all your inner bridezilla’s deepest and most elaborate wedding dreams were realized, where you could hold that bouquet you saw in the magazine, could taste the delicious red velvet wedding cake you’ve been eyeing in the shop window and where you could see first hand the talent of the wedding planner you’ve thought about hiring. Well guess what brides of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, for one night only, that magical place will exist, and there will be wine there! Brides Night Out is an exclusive wedding showcase featuring some of the top professionals in the Inland Northwest. Instead of booths, vendors will be coordinating and styling mini wedding set-ups in various themes. Each set-up will include elaborate reception and ceremony ideas, giving you a chance to see firsthand what our amazing local wedding community is capable of. You’ll get ideas for everything from your stationery, your dress to your videographer, all under one gorgeous roof! If you’re planning a wedding, thinking about planning one or just love all things bridal; you really can’t miss Brides Night Out on September 27th at Barrister Winery! Each ticket includes a wine tasting and bites from Beacon Hill Catering & Events, as well as the chance to mix and mingle with some of the top vendors in the wedding business. Don’t you want to come and see what that gorgeous wedding you’re planning on Pinterest looks like in real life?

Don’t miss Brides Night Out! Rachel Sandall is the editor of the Inland Northwest’s premier wedding resource,

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September_October 2013


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Investment Fall home trends and remodels are a mixture of edgy and livable

By Jennifer Ferrero


uality and investment are the newest buzzwords in home decorating. Remodeling and contracting companies that made it through the economic slump are now booked solid according to Rich Knight, owner of Knights Kitchen and Bath, a full service contractor. From kitchen and bath remodels to furniture and accessories, here’s the latest in home styles for fall. >>

September_October 2013


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Home quality & investment New furniture Heather Hanley of The Hanley Collection and owner of The Tin Roof, Concept Home and Reskued says that people are more interested in making investments into quality furniture over quick fixes in decorating. She adds that during the recession, people would compare inexpensive sofas to a quality sofa and would choose the inexpensive one because at first glance it seemed comparable—and everyone was remodeling on a tight budget. However, she says, you could tell the difference in a couple of years when the foundation of the sofa would break down. Her grandfather used to tell her, “The bitterness of poor quality lingers longer than the sweetness of a great price.” She says that a good sofa should cost at least $1,000. “You want something with good bones that will last.” As far as cheaper furniture that may wear out and be replaced after five years, she notes that in Spokane fewer people are tied to the green movement and sustainability in furniture than in bigger cities like Seattle and San Francisco, but that they carry a furniture line to meet that need. Current furniture upholstery styles include linen and cotton twill—transitional in appearance. “If the piece is going to last 20 or 30 years it has to be transitional. If you start with a classic sofa in a durable, simple style it can last a long time,” Heather adds. Kitchen and Bath Rich Knight runs a full service kitchen and bath remolding company in Spokane. They handle everything from the design and consultation to implementation of hard surfaces, appliances, cabinetry and lighting. His business has seen a dramatic increase and he says that most kitchen and bath remodels are at the 15-year mark. They are consulting and quoting quite heavily on people squeezing into foreclosures that need a full remodel. They call in Knight to quote on remodeling costs during the appraisal period so they can factor it into their loans. “This is creating larger, more intensive projects for the industry—everyone in our business is busy.” They are seeing an increase in engineered flooring, which is hardwood flooring that is pre-stained, pre-finished, and comes in many colors and sizes. He explains that it wears a long time, is lower cost and easier to install. He says it’s popular because people can run it through a kitchen, into a family room and other rooms. He notes, “Carpet is still popular in bedrooms.”


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September_October 2013


Home quality & investment Additionally, people are looking for ceramic tile floors, and he says that granite counters are still very popular along with Corian. What miffs Knight is the number of people who hold on to beat-up cabinets while giving the kitchen a face-lift. He recommends NHance to renew cabinets whether scratched or faded when new cabinets aren’t in the budget.

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Color, Walls and Surfaces Lisa Marie Brown, a design consultant with Brown Contracting and Development, Inc. says that with their commercial condo and apartment projects in places like Sun Valley, Idaho and Sandpoint, they are seeing changes in wall texture and colors. The sprayed on orange peel texture for walls has dissipated and has been replaced by a smooth knock down stucco. Brown also said that open floor plans with fewer walled rooms are a must and even homes with arched doorways separating the spaces are less popular. Woods are throughout the homes for door and window framing and appear in lighter finishes mixed with hard surfaces and fixtures in the metals brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. She says, “Brushed nickel fixtures are twice as big as oil rubbed bronze.” Galvanized metals with rich carpets and upholstery and lighter tones of granite are trending in condos and commercial projects. Heather says that as far as color, “dusty rose” (collective groan) was trending at the recent furniture mart in Las Vegas. She also says that emerald green; the Pantone color of 2013 is being used in some decorating projects and looks great with a bright white. “People in Spokane have never been afraid of using color,” she says. Planning and Consideration a Must People are ready to spend money to update, but are much more cautious than in the past. They are giving more consideration to buying pieces that will last longer, and they are going for less clutter. For Heather and her team of eight interior decorators, she notes that they like to be involved from the beginning of a project—although in many cases people consider the furniture after painting and changing surfaces like floors and counters. She says that good designers know how to pull everything together and consider lifestyle and budget in the remodel.

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investing in Yourself and Your

wealth By Christina M. Balkenbush


s a woman, you may find that over the course of your life, your financial situation may differ from that of a man. So it is important to understand and consider the unique challenges you might face and steps you can embrace to take charge of your financial future: Women live longer—The US Census Bureau estimates an average life span for women is five years longer than men, and women who reach age 65 today are likely to live another 20 years. You will want to save, budget and plan for a longer retirement and potentially a reduction in lifestyle income from the loss of a spouse.

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Women earn less—The wage gap has narrowed, but average earnings are still 19% less than earned by men. This can impact Social Security earnings and many women may not have saved enough for a potentially longer retirement. Women spend less time in the workforce—According to the Social Security Administration, women drop out of the work force for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents. Because of this and the previous stated fact, women need to advocate for themselves in the workplace for comparable salary and career advancement. Additionally, when working, you will want to maximize allowed contributions into employersponsored plans or your IRA. Women tend to spend later years alone—77% of women between the age of 65 and 74 that are living alone are widows. That increases to a staggering 88% for women over the age of 75. Also, unfortunately, 50% of marriages in America end in divorce. Whether due to death or divorce, as many as nine out of ten women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point. Given these unique challenges women face, you can see the importance of taking charge of your financial life. The first step is gaining a clear overall understanding of your current financial situation and taking a responsible role in establishing and maintaining a budget, managing debt and living within your means. According to the U.S. Government Accountability office, when it comes to saving and investing, women tend to invest too conservatively. The risk of being too conservative is having an inadequate retirement nest egg, losing purchasing power due to inflation and potentially outliving your resources. Because many women will end up being solely responsible for their own financial well-being at some point in their lives, it is critical to become a more knowledgeable investor and gain

Creating long term security for women in transition. confidence to make appropriate investing decisions. Another area that can often be overlooked is protecting your household income and assets. If you or someone else in your household is the primary wage earner, do you have life or disability insurance to protect against the unforeseen? With the odds of women outliving men or being alone in their later years, long-term care insurance may also be a consideration to evaluate to ensure your care when alone. Additionally, the rising cost of health insurance and healthcare costs needs to be addressed in your budgeting and insuring decisions. It is estimated that 50% of American’s die without a Will. Your Will is typically the cornerstone of your estate planning and is a legal document that directs how your property is to be distributed at your death. If you have young children at home, a Will is paramount in assigning a guardian that will care for them until majority age. Finally, an important planning tool to help you prepare for your financial future is to compile in one centrally located and secure place all key documents and records. This should include such items as important financial, estate, and emergency information, along with login and passcodes. During an unexpected event or an emotional life transition, the last thing someone is prepared to handle is the scavenger hunt for important details and documents. In conclusion, women have unique considerations for which to plan and prepare and the earlier you take charge of controlling your financial future, the better. Christina Balkenbush is a Portfolio Manager for Hart Capital Management, Inc., a locally owned independent Registered Investment Advisor Firm. Consult your investment advisor for additional information and guidance. Hart Capital Management, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice.

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Back to School Can Be a Deadly Proposition For Kids With LifeThreatening Food Allergies

By Judith Spitzer

photo by Jodie Hommer


n late July Natalie Giorgi, 13, vacationing with her family at Camp Sacramento in California’s Eldorado National Forest, grabbed a crispy rice treat off of a dessert tray at the campsite, according to ABC News. It was dark, and Natalie failed to realize the treat had been made with peanut butter, before she took a bite. The teen quickly spit out the mouthful and alerted her mom, but it was too late. Within 20 minutes, she began vomiting and had difficulty breathing. Three epinephrine autoinjectors (devices used to deliver a measured dose of epinephrine) were used to quell the full-body allergic reaction but Natalie went into cardiac arrest. She was rushed to the nearest hospital by ambulance but pronounced dead upon arrival.

September_October 2013



The top 8 food allergies are: Eggs






Tree nuts

Wheat Allergists say many children will outgrow their allergy to milk, eggs, wheat and soy by the time they are five years old if they avoid that food when they are young. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish, however, tend to last a lifetime.


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It’s a story that struck terror in the heart of Jodie Hommer, a Spokane mom who has heard stories like it all too often. In 2006 Hommer and her husband spent four hours at Sacred Heart Hospital’s emergency room with their one-year-old son. The Hommers didn’t know it but their child was deathly allergic to peanuts. He had only just touched his tongue to a scant teaspoon of peanut butter on a cracker, when his mother says he turned into a “different person.” “He immediately went into anaphylactic shock,” Hommer says. “He had extreme swelling and redness. It was really bad on his lips, face and ears. He had hives on his upper body.” Normally a very talkative child, she says he turned completely silent with a concerned look – “what I would now characterize as knowledge of impending doom.” “Since that day,” Jodi says, “it’s been a life of hyper vigilance.” Allergic Disorders Rank First Among Children’s Chronic Diseases With nearly six million U.S. children suffering from food allergies, the fear of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal form of allergic reaction, rises. Anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis is a “worse case” severe allergic reaction by the body to combat a foreign substance that has been ingested, injected, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. In response, the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the substance, but also causes cells to release potentially harmful chemicals. Symptoms can quickly progress to skin rash and hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, itching, vomiting, nausea, changes in heart rate and lung function and/or unconsciousness. Similar to symptoms of shock, anaphylaxis is life threatening and must be treated immediately. Epinephrine can stop the deadly swelling of the throat and tongue that occurs but must be administered quickly and the child watched for signs of another reaction. Food allergy among children in the United States is becoming more common over time according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The rate of food allergies has more than doubled over the past decade, according to the CDC. Today, roughly one in 13 children will have a food allergy.

Life With Allergies Today, the Hommer’s one-year-old is age 7, and he has a brother, age 4, who is also allergic to peanuts. Both boys have food allergies not only to peanuts but also to tree nuts, beef, pork, eggs, beans and peas. Jodi, a child/family therapist, works from home and homeschools both of her sons. She says she doesn’t feel comfortable trusting the school system. “We tried (public school) for one year —kindergarten,” she says. “(Our son) was at risk several times. At a Valentine’s Day party he was given something with (peanuts) and I was there. I intercepted the treat.” Another time a school staff member gave him chocolate with peanuts and “he knew not to eat it.” She says the family went back to basics. “We don’t have many processed foods or packaged foods. We don’t eat out because you can’t read the labels,” she says. Hommer has a three-part system in place. At the grocery store she looks for about 118 different ingredients on labels. “I shop without the kids and I read every label every time,” she says. “Even if it’s something I buy every week. The next week, labels could have changed.” When she gets home she reads the label again and marks it off with a check mark on the packaging. The third time she checks for all the check marks. She says it’s kept her children reactionfree. Several years ago she formed an online group that ultimately became Team Anaphylaxis, to support parents and increase awareness of children and anaphylaxis. She says the group sends the message that anaphylaxis is a disability, which means a child is entitled to accommodations and modifications by way of a 504 plan. Section 504 outlines the rights of students to receive a free and appropriate education without discrimination based on disability. “A lot of parents are unaware of what a 504 plan is, they are unsure of how to obtain one, or they are having trouble because the school does not comply with the 504 plan in place,” she says. Hommer says the group promotes no food in the classroom so that “a child will not be sitting there with a risk of dying, in a learning environment.” There are many things people may not realize, she says, even parents. Things like:

“pesto has tree nuts, tempura paint has eggs in it. They don’t have to list allergens on suntan lotions or other products that may have peanut oil in them. DuraFlame logs have tree nuts in them. It’s not just food. Every product in the classroom needs to be safe. “And,” she adds, “we don’t need Fruit Loops to learn how to count.” Spokane Public Schools Currently in Spokane, children diagnosed with food allergies must have a doctor’s orders and a health care plan in place before attending school this fall, says Laurie Moyer, Health Services Coordinator for the district. “The schools have standardized forms and information for parents online or at the school. Parents must take the forms* to their doctor and have them completed,” Moyer adds. She says the School District has standards of practice including a requirement that a nurse administer the epinephrine shot. “Emergency medicine needs to remain unlocked at all times, in a central location where all staff knows where it is—and sometimes it’s in the classroom with the teacher,” she says. “We have some kids who are so deathly allergic that they have a fanny pack that goes with them wherever they go, or the teacher brings it with them every single time they leave the classroom,” she says. She says she can relate to parents like Hommer who are vehemently opposed to some school policies. “It’s got to be one of the scariest things for a parent. It has to be a horrifying feeling,” she says, adding that awareness of the problem is key. “The allergens are so around us all the time. It’s hard for parents. There are a number of children with different health conditions in the classroom, children with diabetes and other things. We try to educate for all and build in balance and safety,” she says. Moyer says the district works closely with the parents bringing together nurses, teachers, administrators and parents to provide for (the students). “We send a letter to all parents (in the class) that we have a student with a peanut allergy and request that they not supply their students with the allergen food. We have some books and videos (about aller-

gies) that we show the kids,” she says. Moyer advises adults to model positive behavior like washing hands often. “One of the biggest problems with food allergies is that hand sanitizers and wipes don’t work for getting rid of things like peanut proteins. The allergens are very hardy,” she adds. Most exposures don’t happen in the cafeteria Moyer says. “But we emphasize and emphasize NO SHARING FOOD,” she says. “But kids are kids, and you can’t put them in a bubble.” “It’s about being real with kids and making sure everyone is on board,” she concludes. District Does Not Yet Stock Epinephrine One-fourth of Anaphylaxis cases occur while children are in school to children who have no previous knowledge of an allergy. In April 2013, the Washington State Congress addressed this, passing legislation allowing schools to keep their own supply of “stock” epinephrine injectors. If a student has a severe allergic reaction at school, but does not have his or her own epinephrine available, this also increases the school’s ability to provide a life-saving injection. Despite the recent legislation Spokane School District schools currently don’t stock epinephrine, Moyer says. “We have been consulting with local doctors. Every school in the state is having a hard time with this (new law). We have to find a physician who is willing to prescribe epinephrine for the classroom. It would be nice if the two manufacturers of epinephrine would come forward and help with supplying the schools,” she says. “This fall we’ll probably be hitting this pretty hard to see how to stock epinephrine and watch how other districts across the state are handling it. We will then train all staff so that everyone will be able to give epinephrine if need be.” She cautions parents to remember that the new rules for epinephrine don’t replace the need for kids that have been diagnosed, to have a physician diagnosis and a health care plan in place.

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Team Anaphylaxis: teamanaphylaxis.weebly. com/anaphylaxis-101.html *Spokane School District’s section on allergies:

September_October 2013


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Act Six Spokane Affiliate

On July 1st, the YMCA welcomed the Act Six Program to the Y. Act Six is a leadership and scholarship initiative providing full-tuition, full-need scholarships to Gonzaga and Whitworth, as well as training and support to the scholars throughout their college careers. Alyson Atwater, Act Six program supervisor, has a passion for working with youth and helping them reach their full potential. Act Six was a life changing experience for her and she wants to be able to share what she has learned with others. She now leads the recruitment, selection, training and support of Spokane scholars. Act Six is in its 11th year, starting at Whitworth and expanding to multiple universities around the Northwest. This past spring, Gonzaga graduated their first cadre of scholars. The YMCA of the Inland Northwest is now the Spokane affiliate for the program, providing local support in recruitment, selection and collaboration with the partner colleges. Steve Tammaro, President and CEO of the YMCA, states, “The partnership between the YMCA and Whitworth and Gonzaga Universities is yet another example of great mission-focused organizations coming together for the betterment of the community. Act Six is not just about education but about creating leaders who will benefit our community for years to come.” Lucas Beechinor from Whitworth University says, “Over the past 11 years Whitworth’s partnership with the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative has yielded extraordinary outcomes and achievement among its students who are now providing leadership in a variety of

capacities in the northwest and across the country. The partnership with the YMCA provides Whitworth University with a local community partner that has an enduring commitment to young people in ways that closely align with Whitworth’s Christ-centered educational mission.” And Michaela Brown, a rising senior scholar with the second cadre of Act Six at Gonzaga University shares, “Act Six is a blessing. Not only do I have the opportunity to pursue a degree in higher education, but now I have the support and the resources to make my dreams come true.” “Since 2009, Act Six has selected 54 scholars for Whitworth and Gonzaga with 95% of those still enrolled or graduates,” states Tim Herron, Act Six Founder and President at Degrees of Change. Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation (NLF) in Tacoma, Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, 45 cohorts of ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholars from urban Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, and the Yakima Valley have enrolled at eight Northwest colleges and universities. For more information on Act Six or to nominate someone who might qualify (high school seniors or up to 2 years out of high school and enrolled in a local community college) visit or contact Alyson at (509) 777-9622 x 413 or aatwater@ The application is available online and is due by October 29th.

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September_October 2013


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September is

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Back to school may be top of mind, but September is also National Library Card Sign-Up month. So this year, Spokane County Library District dares all the moms and dads, aunts and uncles, and grandparents to be a role model for lifelong learning by getting your library card.

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Your neighborhood library is much more than books and everything is free! With your card, you can: Hear a concert. Find a job. Research your family tree. Plan a trip. Find new music. Decorate a cake. Lead a book club. Load your eReader. Host an event. Make a craft. Check out a movie. Access Wi-Fi. Find a project for the science fair. Build your resume. Play a game.

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September_October 2013


If they only knew

I stand on the deck of my parent’s lake cabin and watch my 2-year old son play in the sand and waters edge with his father; it is as if there is a cord of love and joy strung from my heart to his active little body. I am entranced with the vision of that day in my mind. But he is not little anymore—he is a grown man, a husband and now, a father. He loves his little boy and I am proud of the father he is becoming, proud that he is caring and kind and loving to this new addition in his life. But I am also sad. He was one of my best friends, and we spent summer days having coffee at Starbucks and catching up on our lives and work. We don’t do that anymore. His wife does not include me in their lives and he follows her lead. They are a family now, and I understand that, but I remember telling both of them that the more people you love and allow into your world, the more enriched your own life becomes.


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I love them both; he is my son, my only child. I love her because she makes him happy and as a parent nothing brings you as much peace as knowing your child is happy. But I am sad, sometimes so sad that I can’t catch my breath and I wonder what I did to make her not want to be involved in my life. Did I make a mistake, suggest something that she didn’t like… did I impose my opinion when I should have stayed quiet? I wonder if they would understand… if they only knew. “If They Only Knew” is an anonymous guest column featuring essays from the ‘snapshot’ life moments of courage and perseverance in Spokane Coeur d’Alene women. If you would like to share a moment of your life when you thought, “If They Only Knew,” please send an email to editor@spokanecdawoman. com or mail a hard copy to our editor, Stephanie Regalado, at 104 S Freya, Ste 209, Spokane, WA 99202. All correspondents will remain anonymous.

Spokane CDA Woman Magazine  

Local Spokane women's magazine.

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