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Women’s Heart Health


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39 T AKE A ROMANTIC BITE of the Big Red

SIERRA Giving Women Tools To Improve Their Lives 8  ATTENTION WOMEN: Yes, You Should Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First 9  MAKE EXERCISE ONE OF YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS 10  WOMEN: YOU NEED TO KNOW THE SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK 11  CHEMISTRY TRULY FEEDS THE FLAMES OF ROMANCE 12  FROM THE HEART Reno Couple Goes “Red” for Women’s Heart Health 14  FROM FEAR TO FIGHTER Coming to Terms With My Heart Condition 15  4 STEPS TO YOUR BEST SELF IN 2017 16  5 STEPS TO STAYING MOTIVATED In The New Year 17  REMEMBER YOUR “WHY” Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet


Apple for Valentine’s Day 40 NORTH LAKE TAHOE WINTER Much to See and Do 41  THE LADIES OF ROSE Skiing’s Power On & Off The Slopes 42 WOMEN: REALIZE THE POWER OF BEING YOU 43 POST-HOLIDAY: A PERFECT SETTING FOR FLOWERS 44 REDISCOVER DATE NIGHT with 44 NOTE-ABLE MUSIC THERAPY SERVICES Music Therapy Is Enchanting 45 MUSE: Inspiring Style For Women Moving Forward 48 THE SEASON OF LOVE IS UPON US 49 MIDTOWN RENO 50 LOWER YOUR VOICE and Stop Yelling at Your Kids 51  THE PLEASURE & NECESSITY of Sharing A Meal 52 ULTA BEAUTY & WHOLE FOODS: Bliss Babe Valentines Picks



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The new year is a chance to reinvent yourself and start fresh with learned lessons from the past and enlightenment with exciting possibilities, new friends and better opportunities for change ahead in 2017. I do hope this year brings you that change within yourself which you’ve committed to. I hope this year brings you a new career that fulfills your soul, new friends who accept you for who you are, and family who provide you warmth, compassion and tough love when you need it. I hope this year gifts you with pivotal moments that direct you toward your calling, and I hope that most important, you fall in love with yourself. You cannot give what you don’t have, and if you don’t truly love yourself, then you cannot completely attract the love you so deserve. We hope you enjoy our first issue of 2017. We are also celebrating our 1-year anniversary! It was this time last year we were prepping for our launch party for our inaugural issue at LEX Nightclub in the Grand Sierra Resort, which packed over 200 people! Well, here we are entering our second year, and we are excited to provide you with great content and sponsors who support the vision of Bliss Babe Magazine. We also are so grateful for our staff. They work so hard and more often than not they burn the candle at both ends until the 11th hour. So, welcome to 2017 and may this be the best year of your wildest dreams! And don’t forget to check out our new web site for all the latest of Bliss Babe online. We are so proud of our new site designed by the amazing talent of Design on The Edge! Never stop believing in yourself!



Yours Truly, Leslie McCarroll

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THE BLISS CONTRIBUTORS Heather Cannon Debbie McCarthy Leslie McCarroll Laticia “Action” Jackson Dr. Erin Oksol Britton Murdock Kristine Kadel Gentile Jeff Glass Anastasia Warren

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Giving Women Tools To Improve Their Lives



ore than 26,700 women in Washoe County live in poverty. These women are forced to exist dayto-day, crisis-to-crisis because of their financial situations. Planning becomes a luxury, making it even more difficult to improve their circumstances. The Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra (WACCS) was founded in 2008 in response to the recession’s impacts on them. “While it certainly hit a lot of people, it was particularly difficult for poor women,” said WACCS Executive Director Pam Russell. “When jobs start disappearing, the people at the bottom of the economy will be the first to be let go. They were already living on the edge, and the recession pushed them closer to it.” There are many reasons women find themselves in poverty situations, but much of that can be attributed to a lack of education. “In order to move out of poverty, education is essential,” Russell said. “For example, obtaining a high school diploma or equivalency typically results in an extra $10,000 a year. Being bilingual is a huge advantage in the workplace, but exclusively speaking only Spanish limits you. It’s also beneficial for the kids to see their moms learning so they know education is valued. This helps break the generational poverty cycle.” WACCS helps their clients by giving them the tools they need to improve their situations. “When a woman grows up in poverty, she might not have role models to guide her. They might not know how to find a good job, or how to dress properly and interview,” Russell said. “We work with our clients to find out what is holding them back and then we offer them programs, with us, but also with different organizations they might not know about.” Since WACCS opened its doors, more than 2,000 families have built new futures through their programs. “My self-esteem was really low and I just didn’t think I would be able to get a job,” said Pearla, a WACCS participant. “They just told me, ‘You have a purpose and you need to do it for your children.’ And the support that I found here with all of the girls has been phenomenal.”


Many women find WACCS through its Diaper Bank, Russell said, adding, “Diapers are essential, but they’re expensive and you can’t buy them with food stamps. If families can’t afford them, they’re forced to reuse them or even use plastic shopping bags.” In addition to the obvious hygiene issues with these solutions, there can be longlasting physical and psychological effects. “The babies can get terrible diaper rashes that can lead to kidney problems, but they’re also uncomfortable and cranky,” Russell said. “Meanwhile, the mom is feeling guilty and overwhelmed. And you can’t put kids in daycare without leaving a supply of disposable diapers, which makes working difficult.” Members of the community are encouraged to donate diapers whenever possible, and they don’t have to be full packages. Another big way to support WACCS families is through Old Treasures, New Futures, an annual jewelry and accessory sale held at the Atlantis. The sale will be held on Thursday, March 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. The event features different styles of jewelry (from costume to couture), accessories, gloves and scarves, all for sale for much lower prices than buying them new. Admission is $10 or a package of diapers, and includes a glass of champagne. “This is such a great event because the money raised will help women in our community avoid or escape poverty,” said Event Chair Francine Burge. “The other reason is more selfish in that you’ll be able to find great deals and unusual finds to add to your wardrobe. All while hanging out with a fantastic group of people.” The committee will be collecting donations through the end of February. If you have something to donate or would like to host a jewelry drive, contact Burge at For more information, visit From top to bottom: Teri Sandoval Editorial Coordinator Client Ruth WACCS and her daughter Pam Russell Executive Director Patricia Sanchez was a WACCS participant and now works as a Bilingual Advocate JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤



YES, You SHOULD Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First!



f you’ve flown on a commercial airline in the last decade or so and even remotely paid attention to the flight attendant’s safety presentation, you’ve likely heard this: “In case of emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” And chances are, you might have thought to yourself, “Yeah, right” --because

of us in order to keep caring for others.” With busy lives, energetic kids, grandkids and/or pets, most women just don’t have time to get sick. For pregnant, adolescent and adult women, advice and information from a trusted health-care provider play an important role in not only the decision to get vaccinated, but to follow through on many other activities that keep us healthy.

But the bottom line is: By putting your own mask on first, you ARE helping others; you have to be alive to help others, after all. you’d want to help others first, right? But the bottom line is: By putting your own mask on first, you ARE helping others; you have to be alive to help others, after all. And this is an important metaphor for women’s health. “Women are often the heart of the family and the ultimate caregivers, and as such, sometimes our own health needs are pushed aside in order to attend to the needs of everyone around us,” said Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada. “Especially as we shine a spotlight on important topics like heart health in February, it’s necessary to remind ourselves: We need to take care

“And considering February is heart month, it’s important to note: People with heart disease, or those who have had a stroke, have a higher risk of serious medical complications from the flu and vaccinepreventable diseases,” Parker said. “People with heart disease are at almost three times higher risk of being hospitalized with flu than those without heart disease. So the CDC recommends a yearly flu shot as well as pneumococcal vaccines — once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older.” Parker suggests consulting with your health-care practitioner or pharmacist about what vaccinations you may need.

And if you don’t have insurance, you can visit a health center that will charge on a sliding fee scale. Nevada has a number of these locations across all areas of the state. AT YOUR ANNUAL CHECK-UP (YOU ARE GETTING ONE, RIGHT?), BE SURE TO DO THE FOLLOWING:  Get a seasonal flu shot.  Ask what other shots you need.  Get your blood pressure checked.  Talk to your doctor about any domestic and interpersonal violence.  Get an HIV test at least once in your lifetime.  Talk to your doctor about stress, depression and other mental health concerns. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, WOMEN CAN PROACTIVELY CARE FOR THEMSELVES BY:  Eating healthy  Getting active  Quitting smoking (or never starting in the first place) Limiting alcohol use “We need to remember to put that mask on ourselves first and never to feel guilty doing it,” Parker said. “When you take care of yourself, you’re ensuring that you’ll be protecting others for as long as humanly possible.”

For more information on vaccines women may need or to find a local health center, visit 8



About 15 percent of people making New Year’s resolutions include getting more exercise on their lists. If you are among that group, you will enjoy benefits from sticking to your resolution. Regular exercise helps you improve your health beyond controlling your weight. Daily physical activity strengthens your heart muscle, lowers your blood pressure, raises good cholesterol (HDL), lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), enhances blood flow and increases your heart’s working capacity. Exercise also reduces body fat, which can help prevent or control Type 2 diabetes. As another benefit, regular exercise can help prevent back pain by increasing endurance and muscle strength and by improving posture and flexibility. Exercise elevates your metabolism, which enables you to burn more calories every day. For people with diabetes, exercise burns glucose and thus reduces your blood glucose level. It also makes the body more sensitive to the glucose that you produce. For most people, a good fitness program consists of exercises that work out the entire body. In your routine, include aerobic (or cardiovascular) exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises. If you have a chronic health condition or a family history of heart disease at an early age, however, talk to your practitioner before starting a new physical activity program.


involve moving every muscle through its full range of motion every day. Be sure to stretch the spine along with all of the muscles. Do this enough to feel the stretch but not pain. Stretch with slow and relaxed motions, avoid bouncing and stretch only to the point of mild tension. Hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds each while breathing slowly and naturally. Then relax the stretch. Stretch a little farther each time. FOR AEROBIC EXERCISE, aim for 30 minutes of walking or cycling a day. Start with five or 10 minutes a day, and as that becomes easy, add a few minutes. Continue adding a few minutes until you reach 30 minutes a day. FOR STRENGTH, do resisted exercise every day, using weights for the legs and arms. As with other fitness activities, start out easy with light weight and build up. Move each joint through its full range of motion and avoid causing pain with any exercise.

However, if you have a chronic health condition or a family history of heart disease at an early age, however, talk to your practitioner before starting a new physical activity program. • WORKING IN THE GARDEN or doing chores around home every day. • WALKING INSTEAD OF DRIVING for errands near your home or work. • TAKING THE STAIRS instead of riding the elevator or escalator. • CHOOSE ACTIVITIES that you enjoy and will be more likely to continue

doing. Vary your routine from day to day to avoid becoming bored and to exercise different muscle groups. Even short bouts of activity benefit your health, so do yard work or find other reasons to move. Northern Nevada Medical Group physicians can offer advice and treatment to help you live a healthier life. To make an appointment, call 775-851-1505.

Leslie Peek, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, is a board-certified family nurse practitioners seeing patients at the Northern Nevada Medical Group’s South Reno location at 5575 Kietzke Lane just south of Kietzke and Neil Road. Peek holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Colorado State University and earned a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Peek is accepting new patients and is on most of the area’s health plans, including Medicare. Please call 775-851-1505 to make an appointment.




You need to know the signs of a heart attack BY AMR MOHSEN


he number one killer of women is heart disease, and more women are dying of heart disease today than men. This might be because women, and even cardiologists, interpret the signs of a heart attack in men as typical and thus do not recognize the signs that are typical in women. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is reduced severely or cut off altogether. This reduction in the blood supply results from the blockage of arteries by a buildup of plaque, which is a combination of cholesterol, fat and other substances.

AMR MOHSEN, MD, FACC, RPVI, is a board-certified interventional cardiologist. He earned his medical degree from the University of Alexandria and served as Chief Medical Resident in internal medicine at the George Washington University, Washington, DC. Dr. Mohsen completed a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville and a subspecialty fellowship in interventional cardiology/peripheral vascular diseases at William Beaumont Hospital in MI. Specializing in interventional cardiology and vascular medicine, Dr. Mohsen is board-certified in cardiology, vascular medicine, endovascular medicine, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, internal medicine, and is a vascular interpretation-registered physician. Dr. Mohsen uses advanced techniques to treat cardiovascular and peripheral diseases and he is proficient in varicose vein treatment.


Women need to understand that they can have heart attack symptoms that differ from those experienced by men. Thus, recognizing these signs of a heart attack is vital: UNCOMFORTABLE PRESSURE, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. PAIN OR DISCOMFORT in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. SHORTNESS OF BREATH with or without chest discomfort. OTHER SIGNS such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Calling 911 for an ambulance will bring the care that you need much more quickly than driving to a hospital. The emergency medical services team has



the training and equipment to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Women might believe the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable, such as feeling intense pressure in the chest. The signs, however, can be much more subtle and even confusing. You could feel short of breath even though you have not even been moving. Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them. Others report a hot or burning sensation, or even tenderness to touch, that may be located in the back, shoulders, arms or jaw. Often, they have no actual chest discomfort at all. Some women do not believe they could be having a heart attack, and they attribute the symptoms to something less serious such as acid reflux, the flu or signs of aging. This tendency to ignore signs other than intense chest pain can have serious, even fatal, consequences. A recent study found that women under 55 are much less likely to experience chest pain with their heart attacks than older women or men. Because they feel other symptoms and do not seek immediate care for their heart attack, these younger women have a significantly higher mortality rate than older women or men. At any age, remember that when you are having a heart attack, minutes count. Get medical attention immediately if you experience heart attack symptoms. Northern Nevada Medical Group has an experienced team of cardiologists who can detect and treat heart disease. To make an appointment, call 775-356-4514.



omance is a hot topic, and the romance novel industry knows something about it as it brings in a whopping $1 billion annually. We are interested in keeping romance alive, yet while time passes, most relationships will be plagued with the romance blues. Researcher Helen Fisher details her findings in the Chemistry of Love. Fisher’s research explores the various neuro-hormonal pathways of love and the longevity of such chemicals, and theorizes the idea of a love map. Many factors contribute to the decline and the rate at which couples may experience diminishing romantic feelings, such as each partner’s sexual constitution, lifestyle, health, finances, work schedule, children, living situation, religion, etc. Also, one’s expression of romance is important to understand to ensure that their love language is conveyed in a way that is received. The bottom line is, we are wired to connect. Within a very complex neural network, we have a reward motivational system that is activated when we encounter a potential mate. This juices up the system with dopamine and norepinephrine. This gives us the craving for that person, leading to focused

attention, obsessive thinking and euphoria. We may relate to this as “the fall.” Serotonin, which helps regulate moods, emotions, sleep and appetite, drops during this phase, causing lack of appetite, reduced sleep, and emotions and moods that feel uncontrollable. Our bonding hormone, oxytocin, ensures

the attachment and provides the peace and calm we feel when in their presence. Of course, testosterone needs mentioning, as this propels us into the pursuit and desire for sex. Once sexual activity takes place, these hormones and neurotransmitters go into overdrive to essentially ensure

procreation and pair bonding. However, there is a caveat: It’s a short-lived experience. It’s essentially not sustainable. The question becomes how to create sustainability and satisfaction for both partners. First and foremost, hormone levels are important to know as hormone replacement may be all it takes to ignite the desire and pursuit of romance. Of course, communicating wants and needs is fundamental to a healthy bonded relationship. Stella Resnick, PhD., a leading researcher in keeping the spark alive in long-term relationships, says there are three distinct behaviors these couples exhibit with each other. First, they eye-gaze and attune to their partner. Second, they touch each other and hold hands often. Last, they have continued kissing throughout their relationship. As a sexuality counselor, these behaviors are usually absent from couples I see. Training in these behaviors alone gives the kick start. From there, it’s scheduling dates, doing activities together that arouse a sense of excitement and fun, and mostly, the true desire to want to engage with each other with an authentic and connecting approach. CHEERS!

SHERRI AIKIN is a Fellow of Integrative Medicine, NursePractitioner, Sex Counselor, Mindfulness Facilitator, and Life Coach. Her unique synthesis of degrees and certifications provides an expertise in thefield of mind-body wellness. She specializes in sexuality, hormonalbalance, nutrition, mindfulness, prevention and promotion of overall health andwell-being, affirming the beauty and vitality of a whole and complete life forher clients. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤


from the

HEART: Reno couple goes ‘Red’ for women’s heart health



a longtime nurse, Ellie Lopez-Bowlan makes sure her patients, most recently in the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System’s Reno hospital where she’s a family nurse practitioner, know about heart health. But since she joined the American Heart Association’s local Go Red for Women movement and its Circle of Red fundraising arm for promoting women’s heart health, she has looked inward, too, and made changes to her own health. She cooks healthier meals for herself and husband Steve. She’s trimmed her blood cholesterol numbers. She squeezes in walks during her brief 30-minute lunch breaks at the VA hospital. And, she says proudly, she’s lost 14 pounds. “I needed to do more for me even though I was doing it for my patients,” she said. All of which helps fuel the mission of Ellie Lopez-Bowlan and the 75 other local women in the Circle of Red: Reaching out to others about the risks they face, risks that until recent years were not as well publicized as men’s for heart disease and stroke. “The reality is, one in three women die of cardiovascular disease every year,” she said. “I’ve seen first-hand the effects of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It’s real, and it’s something we as women need to be involved with to take charge of our lives.” She’s doing her part. Last year, she chaired the Circle of Red. This year, she is chair of the 13th annual Reno Go Red for Women Luncheon slated for Friday, Feb. 3, in the Downtown Reno Ballroom. More than 700 women and their men supporters are expected to attend. The crusade is not Ellie’s alone in the LopezBowlan household. Last year, Steve, CFO at Resource Capital Management in Reno, took up the cause for men, founding Men Go Red, a small but potentially influential vehicle for men

to join in the fundraising ride for women’s heart health. Steve was talking with members of the Circle of Red about Ellie’s role in the 2017 Luncheon and, noticing the Circle’s roster of influential women business leaders and other movers and shakers, voiced the possibility of getting their husbands involved. “I took the idea to Allison Edwards (local AHA business development director), and said I was concerned about stepping on toes in the women’s group,” he said. “Allison said, ‘Let’s call it ‘Men Go Red.’ I said fine, and she said, ‘You’ll head it as a reward for having a good idea.’ ” The challenge was on and Steve took it. In its first year, Men Go Red has 11 members, including Marc Johnson, president of the University of Nevada, Reno. Steve said the venture has proven not as easy as he had expected, but, “We’re plugging away.” More important, he said, Men Go Red’s mission is one of support. “I’m a behind-the-scenes kind of guy with respect to my wife. I’m not looking to be the performer at the front of the stage, but I’m happy to help the stars achieve their main objective. Ellie is the star and I’m supporting her.” Men Go Red has held several social events to drum up interest, usually “piggybacking” on the Circle of Red’s calendar, he said. On one occasion, two guest speakers brought in a brain scanner. “They went through the whole thing, and got volunteers to have his or her brain scanned. Everyone in the room wanted to do it. Everyone thought it was a really cool thing.” The crusade for women’s heart health has become personal for Steve as well. “I have two brothers who had strokes. Fortunately for both, it was limited in damage. Both carry around a lot of weight, so it’s bad lifestyle,” he said. Phto by Jeff Dow



“There was a period in my career when I put on weight, ate too much, didn’t get enough sleep. I ended up 30 pounds heavier than I am today. But now I’m back to my weight of 25 years ago,” he said. In the Lopez-Bowlan house, it’s all about team effort when it comes to heart health. “We don’t go around telling each other what to do, but we think in a constructive way. It’s part of the overall conversation,” Steve said. “Ellie’s big thing is walking. Sometimes she’d get off it and I’d say, ‘You have to make time for walking.’ It helps weight, it helps posture, it gets rid of stress. It allows you to be more open to new ideas for old problems. We encourage each other to exercise and eat right and keep old age at bay.”


In Northern Nevada, it’s all about raising funds for women’s heart health education. Fully 75 percent of what the local division of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red, and to a smaller extent, Men Go Red, raises stays in the community, Ellie said. The endeavor goes beyond the annual Luncheon, she said, with frequent smaller events in between, ideally one a month, aimed at women who might otherwise lose interest with other things competing for their attention. “The Go Red movement really focuses on the fact that we need to include women in heart disease research,” Ellie said. “In the past, research focused on men. Women have been less likely to receive aggressive treatment. A few


years ago, they wouldn’t have thought of an EKG for women. Now, local health-care providers know women’s symptoms are so different from men’s. “We try to prevent heart attacks and recognize symptoms, if you are feeling chest pain, or jaw pain or indigestion, so you don’t end up having a heart attack or stroke.” It’s the little things, she believes, that make a difference. Cooking healthful meals to keep cholesterol levels in check. Exercising regularly, walking being a key heart-friendly option. Getting regular checkups and monitoring your data. “You can do it if you really put your mind to it,” Ellie said. “It can change your life.”


1. Total Cholesterol 2. HDL (good) cholesterol 3. Blood Pressure 4. Blood Sugar 5. Body Mass Index (BMI)


Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 1 in 3 women each year, or about one woman every 80 seconds.

About 80% of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable. #1 killer of women, heart disease is taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Only 17%

of women consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today.

More than one in three

women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease.

About 30% of women in American have high blood pressure. 293 fewer women in the U.S. die from heart disease

and stroke each day, through the outreach and efforts of Go Red For Women, today about.

LUNCHEON FRIDAY, FEB. 3, 2017 10am - 1:30pm DOWNTOWN RENO BALLROOM, 401 N. Center St. $150 ($1,800 table of 8)

775-322-7065 GO RED FOR WOMEN:

CIRCLE OF RED/MEN GO RED: More information: email or call 775-322-7065



From that day forward, I vowed to take power over the situation, and even though the problem comes and goes, I refuse to give into fear. .... It owned me for almost a decade, but I took my life back and now it must deal with me rather than me dealing with it.”





stood up to sing a Christmas hymn and fell back, passing out into the pew. I was 13 weeks pregnant with my third child, and I just sluffed it off to dehydration and exhaustion. But the dizziness and feeling out of breath would not go away, and finally an emergency room visit yielded my heart rate of 154 beats per minute. The pregnancy and eventual delivery of my daughter at 31 weeks was just the beginning of my heart journey. I was 31 years old, and although getting her here was a miracle considering my average heart rate when I was finally hospitalized at 27 weeks was 192 beats per minute, this was just the start of a life-altering heart condition. After the delivery, my hope was that my heart would return to normal. But it is now 14 years later and that did not, and probably will not, ever occur. After my daughter’s birth, I was able to control what the doctors finally diagnosed as Super Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT) with medication only. That would all change in 2009 when I started having many episodes of rapid rhythms combined with 6,000-7,000 skipped beats daily. I would awaken in the night gasping for air and terrified as I felt my heart stop and flutter back into a fast pace. It was finally time to take surgical action that I hoped would end my long nightmare of out-of-control heart problems that would come at unexpected moments. I had a cardiac ablation in November of 2009, and they do not use general anesthesia for the procedure. I knew the doctor would be using the main artery in my groin area to feed a camera and a laser up to and into my heart, but I didn’t realize how awake I would actually be.



While the medicine they gave me relaxed me and made it hard to communicate, it did not stop the horrible burning sensation from the laser. They tie your hands to the operating table so you can’t move, and several times the pain was so severe I thought I was dying of a heart attack. A nurse who caught the fear in my eyes finally talked to me and walked me through the rest of the procedure, calming my fear. I was lucky that the seven pathways that were ablated eliminated the skipped beats, but my SVT was not fixable. I was stable again until 2012. On Aug. 5, 2012, I was driving to meet a client at BJ’s restaurant and noticed my heart was beating incredibly fast. I started feeling numbness in my arms and legs as I parked, and I was lucky I had Bluetooth set up in my car when I called 911 as I couldn’t hold my phone. The ambulance took 11 minutes to arrive, but the 911 operator truly was my hero that night. He walked me through what was happening to me and why I felt numbness and he kept my fear down as much a possible. That was my first ambulance ride, and with my husband out of town, I felt very alone and scared. Several months later, after repeated emergency room visits, I had my second cardiac ablation. In this procedure they continued to inject adrenaline into my bloodstream and it created a feeling of terror I had never experienced. I was crying throughout, and unfortunately they could not get my heart to go into SVT and find the pathways causing the problem. I left the operating room feeling like a failure and feeling like my life was over at age 40. I didn’t have any way to fix the problem and I was scared to even get into my car alone. A change in medication brought some stability, but many times

I would be driving alone and my heart would go from 75 beats per minute to over 200 in an instant. I was determined to continue living the same life, but it was getting harder. On a drive home one night from Carson City, I was on the bridge and my irregular rhythm started. I yelled at it. I told it that it would not control me or change my life. It would not stop me from working and traveling and coaching. It would not take me away from my children. From that day forward, I vowed to take power over the situation, and even though the problem comes and goes, I refuse to give into fear. I laugh at it or just feel slightly annoyed but never scared. It owned me for almost a decade, but I took my life back and now it must deal with me rather than me dealing with it. It scares our children and sometimes they dream I have died while they are home alone with me. They are all trained in CPR and they also know how to use a defibrillator which I carry in my car. Someday I will probably require a pacemaker, but for now I control my SVT with diet and exercise and medications that make me tired. I have to rest more than I want to, but I also feel like I accomplish a great deal every day. In 2014, my husband and I decided to pursue our dream of having one more child (we have seven together). I had a partial hysterectomy in 2004 so I could not carry my child, but a friend of mine offered to be our surrogate and carried our biological son who was born on Father’s Day in 2015. He is my daily reminder that I can overcome this no matter what. He reminds me that miracles do happen regardless of how long or how hard the journey feels. His name is Miles, which was chosen to symbolize that I can walk this road no matter how far I have to go.


Photo by Diana Drexler


There is a chance that the holidays may have taken a toll on your health and fitness. The new year brings a fresh start, renewed hope, and an exciting chance to make it anything you want it to be.

SO HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE THIS YEAR YOUR BEST YET? VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WANT! Visualizing is an important tool in reaching your goals. Before writing your goals out, take a few minutes to visualize yourself. How do you want to feel this year? Where do you want to be in one month, six months, a year from now? Create a mental picture of how you want your year to be. Take this picture and visualize it every morning! GET MOVING! Your body is built for moving. Those gorgeous legs are meant for walking, running, and biking. In addition to your daily workouts, park your car farther away from your destination, take the stairs, lunge down your hallway, squat while doing dishes, take a two-minute break every hour from the computer and bust out some strength or cardio moves. The possibilities for movement are endless! DRINK UP! Water, that is. Getting enough water each day is vital to your health. Dehydration causes fatigue, slows your metabolism, and creates unwanted cravings. So, increase your water intake! Make sure you are getting at least half your body weight in ounces per day. Add a little flavor to your water with lemon, mint or other fresh fruits. Fruit adds a pop of flavor and helps you beat boredom from plain water.

FIND YOUR STRONG • Small Group Training for Women • 4 Reno Locations 5:30am & 9:45am • 6 Week Sessions • 6 Week Clean Eating Program • Cannon Fitness Fit Fuel Formula

GRAB A FRIEND! There is no better way to stay motivated than when you know someone is there with you. Friends keep us accountable, help us show up for workouts, and cheer us on! Everything is always better when you have a friend by your side.

You have the tools to make this year amazing. Now it is up to you to create your best self!

775.771.3669 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤


Photo by: Ari Nordhagen of Amen Photography





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Every year, you are sure to be among the many who set new goals to achieve in that upcoming year. Oftentimes, those goals fade away within the first few months of the year...except this time, not this year. Follow these guidelines to make the most of your resolutions and achieve your goals.


WRITE IT DOWN! Write down your goals and why they are important to you. Put them some place where you can see them often. When you are lacking motivation or are in doubt, read it. Remind yourself why you wanted it so badly!

SET SMALL REALISTIC GOALS! Don’t put the expectation of working out seven days a week and never eating a carb again on yourself! Start with a goal of tracking your food, knowing what you are eating and what your portions mean in calories. Work out two to three times a week. By setting weekly goals, you are setting yourself up to succeed. When you want to lose 20 pounds, you can’t expect it to happen in a week, but you can set a realistic goal of losing two to three pounds a week. Every week you hit your goal, you will feel empowered to stay true to your goals.

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SHARE YOUR MISSION! Telling your friends and family about your goals and how you plan to achieve them will help keep you accountable. Encourage your support group to help you make the healthy choices daily, whether it’s avoiding the doughnuts in the office or not skipping out at the gym. Instead of meeting a friend for dinner and drinks, go for a hike or a walk.

REWARD YOURSELF! Some people choose food as a reward; you eat clean six days of the week, you eat one cheat meal. Some people give themselves a new pair of sneakers! Find what motivates you!

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Look at your goal as a lifestyle change, not as a trend. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle or work out more often, you will have failures, and it’s okay. Change is hard; forming new habits takes time. Don’t give up because you ate a cookie or skipped a workout. Pull yourself together, call your support group, get up, and get back on track. Remind yourself why you set that goal in the first place!


We'll help you prove it.

775.827.1995 • • 895 E. Patriot Blvd. #108 • Reno NV 89511 16


r e b m e m Re ’ y h W ‘ r you Make 2017 your best year yet BY DR. ERIN OKSOL

It’s a new year. New possibilities. New goals. The other day, I told my daughter, “2017 is going to be the best year yet!” To which she laughed and said, “Mom, you say that every year!” She’s right -- I do say it every year, and every year I’m right! As a personal development junkie, psychologist and success coach, I believe in the power of having a vision for what you want and a belief system that tells you it is possible. So how can you guarantee that 2017 will be your best year? First, knowing the specifics about HOW you will achieve your goals is important. However, knowing WHY you want to reach them is often even more important. If you know your WHY, you can withstand any HOW. Whatever your goals are for 2017, start by asking yourself, “Why is this goal so important to me?” Your WHY is the set of core-desired feelings you are chasing as you journey

toward your goal. For example, you may want to lose 10 pounds, but when you really get clear about WHY it is you want to lose the weight, it is likely the feelings of confidence, pride in yourself, or feeling comfortable and at ease in your body that you desire. A simple technique to help guide and determine your WHY is to add the words “so that…” after you declare each goal. For example, I want to make $100,000 this year SO THAT______. Or, I want to travel this year SO THAT _______. Now that you have defined your WHY, get connected to it in a personal and emotional sense. It is YOUR why and it needs to be something so important to you that it is highly motivating. Visualize yourself driving the new car you want and how you will feel driving it off the lot. Visualize the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves as you walk along the beach. Hold your WHY so high that no obstacles can get in the way of achieving it.

And know that sometimes you have to give up the good for great. Realize that when you say “yes” to something, you say “no” to something else. For example, saving for your dream vacation will likely require you saying no to other purchases and luxuries. The last piece of the puzzle -- sometimes the most forgotten piece -- is actually REMEMBERING your why. Revisit your WHY often, even daily. Motivation can easily wear off. Write your goals down. Did you know that people who write down their goals are 42 percent more likely to achieve them than those who don’t? Telling a friend or family member increases this rate to 78 percent. Post pictures around your house or any place you regularly visit. Change your screensaver on your laptop or the wallpaper on your phone to a visual picture of your goal. So, make 2017 YOUR best year yet! Remember your why. Stephen Covey said Begin with the end in mind. I believe you can and you will!

Dr. Erin Oksol is a psychologist and success coach, corporate trainer, author, and speaker. She helps people define their mission, get on mission, and stay on mission in their personal and professional lives.




Photo by: Debbie McCarthy

HERE ARE SOME SUPER STRAIGHTFORWARD TIPS IN YOUR EATING HABITS THAT CAN MAKE A CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCE: STICK TO LEAN PROTEINS – chicken, pork, turkey (no gravy this time!) and bison. Salmon is a good choice! Eat only complex carbs with your veggies and starches. Start experimenting with vinegars and salsas. Avoid all refined sugars. GET YOUR HEART RATE ABOVE 80 PERCENT AT LEAST THREE TIMES A WEEK. You can easily accomplish this with 20 minutes of fast walking, elliptical or aerobic exercise. Here at Roundabout Grill, there are several healthy options on the menu. Examples are: our Paleo bowl and Colin’s special for breakfast, spaghetti squash with turkey marinara, and paper-wrapped salmon. You can also ask us to grill your vegetables or chicken as you order (many restaurants offer this, so don’t be afraid to ask!).



HEALTHY EATING: HOW TO GET IT RIGHT ON A BALANCED MEAL PROGRAM THE NEW YEAR IS UPON US. The gym is packed. You may have put on a few loving pounds. I think the key to a reasonable and successful health resolution begins in the supermarket. Educating yourself about food is the single most important aspect of weight loss. You cannot have long-term results unless you shop correctly or have someone do the shopping for you. You can thoughtfully take off as much as 7 1/2 pounds in January and February if you slowly diminish your calorie intake over the month of January so you can experience strong calorie burning weight loss in February. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS: In the first week, reduce your caloric intake by 200 calories; then the second week, 300; third week, 300; and the fourth week, 400. Then in February, take down your intake to 1,200-1,800 calories a day based on your weight, for a total weight loss of 7.5 pounds in January and February alone. I started the Gym Rat and Caveman meal programs more than two years ago. The Gym Rat line stands for clean eating, using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Gym Rat foods are designed to be in a balanced and proportioned fashion. The approximate breakdown is 45 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 25 percent high-quality “good” fats as general macronutrient guidelines. Caveman is a Paleo-style meal program that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients. The approximate breakdown is 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 30 percent high-quality “good” fats as a guideline. Caveman replaces all grains with vegetables. We also offer Show Prep meals for fitness “freaks” such as those who are training for bikini, fitness or bodybuilding competitions. All our meals are planned and prepared by our Roundabout Catering team in our very own kitchen. If you’re a busy individual, it’s a good idea to consider a meal program like this combined with a sensible exercise regimen. We do the science and proportioning for you, so it allows you to open up your time to go to the gym or take a fitness class. Our customers are always asking how we prepare the meals, so that is another good way to educate yourself on the foods you take in. Our programs are based around a few fundamentals: seasonal ingredients, lots of good veggies and low-fat proteins. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, so it’s worth thinking about committing to a meal program for two to three months. Start thinking about food as a lifestyle. The results will be longterm and enable you to make healthy eating sustainable. Over 1,000 customers have been a part of our meal programs. Learn more by giving Roundabout Catering & Party Rentals a call at 775-747-2090.



GRILLED SALMON WITH ASPARAGUS AND ROASTED PEPPER SALSA 28 ounces salmon fillet 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 21 ounces yams 14 ounces roasted peppers, roasted and sliced yellow and red 1 tablespoon pine nuts (Pignolia), toasted 1 tablespoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons capers 1 tablespoon parsley -- chopped fine Italian only 1 tablespoon chopped shallots -- chopped fine 1 tablespoon oregano -- chopped fine 1 pound asparagus -- sliced on bias 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil salt/pepper to taste ¾ cup brown and wild rice

SEARED SEA SCALLOPS, CARROT CURRY SAUCE, BELUGA LENTILS, BROWN BUTTER CAULIFLOWER SCALLOPS 4 ounces scallops, large 1 teaspoon clarified butter 1 pinch Moroccan seasoning blend 1 teaspoon lemon/ orange zest 1 tablespoon butter

CARROT CURRY SAUCE 1 cup carrot juice 1 teaspoon curry paste 2 tablespoons butter 1 pinch kosher salt 1 teaspoon ginger

CAULIFLOWER 5 ounces cauliflower steak ½ teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon butter 1 pinch kosher salt 1 pinch Moroccan seasoning

BELUGA LENTILS 1 cup black lentils 3 cups water 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVVO) 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 tablespoon chives salt/pepper

SCALLOP PREP Place sea scallops on plate and season with salt, heat olive oil very hot and add scallops, cook 2 minutes on each side

CARROT SAUCE PREP Place ginger and carrot juice in pot with curry paste and simmer for 5 minutes. Add butter and move to a blender. Blend for 30 seconds and strain.

CAULIFLOWER Cut the steak and sprinkle with Moroccan seasoning, place in pan with whole butter and turn on high; as it browns, flip it over and place in oven at 400 degrees for 4 minutes; finish with zest and season.

Cut salmon into pieces, 4 oz. each. Place grill on high and let heat for 10 minutes. Rub salmon with extra virgin olive oil and salt/pepper Grill salmon for 3 minutes on each side and remove

SALSA Bring large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt; the water should be salty like the ocean. Slice tough ends of asparagus off and cut into 1/4 inch pieces on a bias. Drop asparagus into boiling water, cook 1 minute, remove, drain then drop asparagus into ice water. Roast peppers on grill or stove top (you can buy preroasted peppers) and peel and cut into small strips. Add asparagus, roasted peppers, lemon zest, capers, lemon juice and olive oil in bowl, and chop; add in fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper and add pine nuts. You are ready to eat!

LENTILS Place lentils in water and bring to a boil, season water with salt and pepper. Next, sauté shallots in EVOO and cook until translucent. Remove from pan and place in bowl; add zest, chives set aside. When lentils are cooked about 25 minutes, remove from pan and rinse with warm water. Place lentils in bowl and mix with shallots, season and set aside.

PLATING Place carrot sauce down and mirror the plate, then arrange scallops side by side at top left of plate and place cauliflower at dead center, garnish with lentil salad. .

Per Serving: 615 Calories; 47g Fat (67.0% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 153mg Cholesterol; 1048mg Sodium

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 388 Calories; 11g Fat (25.8% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 59mg Cholesterol; 223mg Sodium.




Be sure to check out the next issue of Bliss Babe. I will be highlighting my favorite designer from LA, along with the have-tohave trends for spring!




own The Biggest Little Fashion Truck, a mobile fashion boutique. It looks like and operates like a food truck, but I sell clothing, not food. I’ll be checking in every issue of Bliss Babe to bring my style picks of the season and insights to the hottest new trends, along with some added inspiration. Here is a little background: This past summer, I flipped my life upside down. I decided to follow my dream and take a chance on a mobile fashion truck. I made a career move that was not easy and I had many people wondering why I would do such a thing. I knew being in fashion was something I wanted to do, but I had fears… I was scared of what others thought, I was scared to change my identity, and I was scared of the F word: FAILURE. However, I didn’t let these fears stop me. After I quit my job and started my new career, I felt so liberated. I learned a ton about myself, about how business works, and how to see a vision to the end. One thing that surprised me was the people I was worried about second-guessing my career change were actually incredibly supportive. Here’s the thing: When you are passionate and confident about something, people are drawn to the energy, and they really dig it. As I write this today, my mission is this: to empower women by clothing and styling them with a unique wardrobe that makes them feel confident in themselves. I hope that encourages them to chase their dreams and find what makes them happy and fulfilled. Pretty simple.

HERE ARE MY FASHION TIPS FOR WINTER: THREE MUST-HAVE PIECES THAT YOU CAN WEAR AGAIN AND AGAIN AND GLAM UP YOUR WINTER LOOKS: 1. Metallic: Dress up basic and plain pieces with a metallic! Example: a metallic gold top tucked into jeans and booties. 2. Faux fur: Add glamour to any outfit with faux fur scarves, vests and jackets. Wear over any outfit. Take a casual outfit to the next level with a vest, and even wear over a dress, skirt or blouse. The perfect addition for your winter wardrobe. 3. Over-the-knee boot: Pair over-the-knee boots with a sweater and jeans, a top and leggings, or a skirt or dress. Over-the-knee boots will soon become a staple. They add a rich and stylish look to the outfit. ACCESSORIZE THE LOOKS WITH THESE ACCESSORIES: 1. Choker necklaces: All sizes and colors including lace and velvet. Chokers are in; embrace them. 2.Beaded bracelets: Boho beaded bracelets are stackable; get a variety of colors and wear one or mix it up and wear them all. Check out the matte beads, too! 3.Hats: Beanies with poms, Panamastyle suede hats and fedoras all add a little extra something to an outfit.

DON’T FORGET TO ADD MASSAGE THERAPY TO POST-HOLIDAY WORKOUT KRISTINE KADEL GENTILE a licensed massage therapist and owner of Reno Midtown Massage NVMT License: #5338

Some of the important benefits of a massage after a workout:


• Reduces muscle tension • Promotes relation • Delayed onset muscle soreness • Increases exercise performance • Increases blood circulation • Increases range of motion • Improves soft tissue function

It’s that time again… Time to get back into your exercise routine after the busy holidays. There is an important addition to your exercise routine that you definitely should do, and that is regular massage! This will benefit any fitness level, from the athlete to the daily walker! Make sure to ask your massage therapist to include some light stretching during your session, as this will be very beneficial. See you at your next massage, and happy workout!



ORENDA BY RIC DE LA ROSA The Iroquois believe that a supernatural force flows through all people, animals, plants, and even the cosmos in our universe. Known as Orenda, this energy is believed to inspire the accomplishments of humans, drive the magic of divination, and even cause miracles. A shaman would need to harness Orenda through song and prayer to call upon the spirit realm. A hunter would need to channel his Orenda to summon the deer in the forest or the fish in the river. A warrior would need to overpower the Orenda of his enemy in order to win a war. Chelsea Harrah of Reno hopes to channel this mystical concept of Orenda into the realm of fashion with her new boutique enterprise, Orenda Styles, set to open its premiere brick-and-mortar location in early 2017. “We hope to curate designs from all over that world that will help people step into their own power,” said Harrah, who plans to stock selections for both men and women. “Whether that is a statement piece like a couture gown, or more of a daily staple like the perfect black T-shirt,



Orenda will be the place to come if you are looking to get your rock star on.” Orenda will open for business at a retail location inside of downtown Reno’s newest underground shopping center, The Basement, in addition to an online shop at Harrah hopes her fashion endeavors will help elevate the street style of her hometown while also spreading her vision to the far reaches of the globe. “Our first featured designer, Clayton Beck, has a saying that I absolutely love,” Harrah said. “He always says, ‘Inside each of us is a light that, if we can open up to it, will shine through our everyday lives.’ I hope that our shop will help do that for people.”

Photographer: Clayton Beck Model: Samantha Tolkien Fashion: The Leviathan Jacket by Clayton Beck Available at Orenda Styles in Reno, NV or online at Article: Written by Ric De La Rosa






reat entrepreneurs are not only born with greatness, they are often born-again. What is the difference between successful business owners and dynamic entrepreneurs? Risk? Courage? No. It is the ability to reinvent themselves out of hardship to rebirth and to touch the hearts and minds of others. When I first met Shari Fitzpatrick ten years ago, I ran a service business in Northern California. We received all types of calls that complemented our portfolio of diverse clients. I was not always the one to answer the phones, but there was one call


in particular I would never forget. A lady named Shari called me asking to trade strawberries with our company. That was a first, and it was just an intriguing enough proposition that I agreed. If you have ever had the privilege of enjoying some of Shari’s Berries individually chocolate dipped, highly addictive strawberries, then you will know why trading services for $600 worth of berries per year was a win-win for me. I thought I was a great negotiator, but so was Shari. I was the king of gifts among friends and family for years. Shari’s rise to fame is filled with love, family, trials, and faith. Shari was born with


an entrepreneurial spirit and learned to recognize opportunities from an early age. When she was just a little girl, she picked strawberries from patches planted by her father. She had a passion for berries and family; they would be the fuel and fruit of her career. Her faith in God gave her the courage and the strength to build a strawberry empire and face some of her biggest challenges. At its peak of success, Shari’s Berries was lost to partners and investors with a different vision, disrupting the culture Shari worked many years to build. This was a turning point, to say the least, in her career. She may

“The key to success is to find what you love to make your life and the lives of others more fruitful.” -Shari Fitzpatrick, Berried in Chocolate

JEFF GLASS Serial Entrepreneur, Writer, and Chocolate Dipped Addict

have been dipped into hardship, but she certainly came out sweeter than ever. “It is during the difficult times in our lives when we grow the most,” Shari testifies. Many years ago, I had the privilege of meeting a successful woman who schooled me in negotiation and mastered the art of business with berries. Today, I am reacquainted with an amazing woman of dynamic character who uplifts other entrepreneurs with her testimony, wisdom, and philanthropic heart. She is still a creative pioneer and serial innovator living out her passion to influence people all over the world through her new company, Berried in Chocolate. Shari is now a national celebrity, author, keynote speaker, berry and wine aficionado, and a cruise-experience

specialist. She is teaming up in March of 2017 with fellow entrepreneurs Nello Olivo of Nello Olivo Winery and John Miller of John Miller Vineyards to host a celebrity cruise on the beautiful luxury ship Reflection, with a two-story wine tower. This exclusive cruise will consist of business consulting, wine pairings, and of course, some time and tasting with the chocolatier herself. Up to 100 guests on this cruise will enjoy the experience of seven nights filled with wine, chocolate, and the experience of a lifetime. Shari will be teaching everyone how to dip their own strawberries and pair them with wine. This is a berry special event you do not want to miss! Join Shari and some of my favorite Bliss Babes and entrepreneurs this spring.

Cabins aboard Reflection are booking fast. To book your reservation and take advantage of this incredible opportunity, contact Ships and Trips Travel by calling toll free (877) 347-9092 or online at You can also call or go online regarding current pricing and new cruise options. For more information about this adventure with Shari and her incredible works of edible art, go to







“As a taster, I want to help others do what I do: look at food with curiosity and love and notice colors, aromas and flavors. Then you’ll know good quality.”

We sat down with certified olive oil, honey and chocolate taster and third level advanced Sommelier Orietta Gianjorio to share an incredible six-course meal at Formoli’s Bistro in Sacramento, owned by husband and wife Chef Aimal Formoli and Suzanne Ricci. Chef Formoli incorporates a European background to the influence of his food, drawing mostly from France, Spain and Italy, and proudly sourcing from local California farmers. Orietta has a vibrant and energetic personality that draws in those around her. She is incredibly successful and educated, and loves to share her passion and knowledge with others. Long ago, Orietta made a name for herself in her native Italy and is now working to spread her message here of slowing down and enjoying food. She has made many TV appearances, including America’s Heartland on PBS, The Doctors on CBS, Fox News Sacramento and Good Day Sacramento, and she hosted her own TV show in Italy. She travels frequently and might be in Los Angeles one week and Paris the next. Even with her busy schedule, she remains committed to living her message of slowing down, enjoying life and single tasking. She believes that mindfulness and being present are essential to a happy life and to our ability to truly taste and enjoy food. While Orietta is very proud of her work with academic organizations, including The University of California, Davis, her passion is consumer education. When she moved to Sacramento from Italy, she was struck by Americans’ relationship with food. The focus on quantity and convenience over quality and enjoyment inspired her to teach others to look at food with love, curiosity, appreciation and fun. She believes her message is important: slow down, taste your food, look for quality and be healthy. She spreads her message through appearances at public and private events. During tastings she educates consumers on quality standards, showing them how to taste to differentiate between quality and low-quality ingredients. She encourages them to retrain their senses and focus on simple recipes for everyday home cooking, hoping to inspire them to take the time to slow down and enjoy food and wine as a leisure activity to be shared with friends and family. She is also the author of Guide to Olive Oil and Olive Oil Tasting: Learn How to Select, Store and Taste Olive Oil with this Simple and Informative Guide, as well as two children’s books about food and olive oil. Her goal in writing the children’s books was to teach the next generation to enjoy food by learning how to taste, and she says one of her most

recent gratifying experiences was meeting a child who quoted her book. Sensory evaluation, the technical term for what Food and Wine Tasters do, involves looking at, touching, smelling and tasting food, in order to evaluate, quantify and describe each aspect. Orietta has completed multiple certifications in Europe, other than her third level advanced sommelier. She is considered an expert in the tasting of olive oil, honey, chocolate, vegetables and wine. Beer sensory evaluation may be next on her horizon. She does not believe in so-called Super Tasters, asserting that tasting is a skill developed through education and practice. While some people may be more naturally inclined, she draws the analogy that to become Picasso, you have to go to school to learn how to paint. She is on the California Olive Oil Council and says the front label of olive oil containers means nothing. The harvest date is the most important factor, as the date of harvest is the date of production. You want your olive oil to be fresh. She has several favorite olive oils that range from $10-$20 per bottle, with the price typically depending on the size of the producer. There are 500 varieties of olives in the world and 100 of those are grown in California. Sensory evaluation is by no means Orietta’s only career. When she was young, she dreamed of being an actress. She studied the Strasberg method and attended the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the International School of Theater in Rome. She was involved in theater for 10 years and was one of the leading actresses in a French movie, but moved on because her career was not manifesting as she hoped. She describes herself as someone who needs to be the best or she loses interest. She returned to school for her Masters in Editorial and Journalism, which led to hosting a newscast show for four years. She also wrote a textbook about the Strasberg method, detailing its history and current implementation. Toward the end of the evening, our conversation meandered to a discussion of the dichotomy women face in the U.S. We are given the message that we can be beautiful or intelligent, but not both. Much of the criticism we face comes from other women when we should be supporting and encouraging each other. Orietta is a great example of how we should be treating not only ourselves but the women around us so we can all become the women we are meant to be. We loved our evening with Orietta and hope to bring her to Reno, so watch Bliss Babe’s Facebook page for upcoming events. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤


“You don’t need to spend $30 to purchase a highquality bottle of olive oil. There are more affordable options available; you just need to be willing to do research for your family.” “My extra virgin olive oil of choice is a robust oil with a good bitterness and a nice pungency. But it really all depends on what I am cooking. Different oils will pair better with specific recipes.”




M Mike is the founder, CEO, and El Jefe of Crystal Basin Cellars and Bistro in Camino CA

uch like the flavors of love, wines made from the Zinfandel grape show an incredible range of nuances. To be specific, there are as many Zinfandel flavors as there are facets on a diamond! In a more prurient way, you might easily say there are 50 shades of Zinfandel! From sweet and pink to brooding and serious to brambly port-style, Zinfandel wines claim an incredible range of colors, flavors and textures. A lot like the flavors of love! From their murky origins around the Adriatic Sea, Zinfandel grapes have been monopolized by California winemakers, and they have made it their own in a big way. There is no grape that speaks to the romance of California winemaking more directly than Zinfandel – it is tightly interwoven with the storied 166-year history of the state. So many of the ways wine lovers

use to describe the flavors of Zinfandel wines overlap with the language of love. You can describe a White Zinfandel as soft, sweet and pink. You may taste the winemaker’s passion for her job in a raspberry fruit bomb Zin from the Russian River. You’ll taste the bright sunlight from a past summer’s vacation in a racy Zinfandel from the Sierra Foothills. The experience of cuddling with your love by a warm fire can be had by sharing a glass of deep brooding Zinfandel port. No matter which favorite flavor you pick, you can be assured that, just like love, Zinfandel wines are best shared with friends and family. But they may be the very best to enhance a quiet and special moment with your lover. We say: Pull a cork on a bottle of Zinfandel this Valentine season and experience the magic of the grape. Cupid would be proud! JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤


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to Rd.



2120 Four Springs Trail Placerville, CA 95667 Open Daily, 10am - 5pm, Except major holidays



To Carson Pass


Map not to scale

To Jackson/Yosemite

CONSISTENTLY WINNING Gold, Double Gold Best of Class and Region

The Grapefather “Never underestimate wine from a man confident enough to go shoeless in a magazine ad.” Nello Olivo a.k.a The Grapefather

Placerville, California

THE HISTORIC CARY HOUSE HOTEL In the heart of California’s Gold Country wine region, the Historic Cary House Hotel has been a popular respite since it first opened in 1857. Through the years it has hosted many leg-endary guests including Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, Bette Davis, and Elvis Presley. Conveniently located in the center of town the hotel offers 38 uniquely designed rooms and suites, each with all the modern conveniences. Some suites feature sitting rooms and kitchenettes. Yet The Cary House retains its historic charm with a fully functioning original elevator that is over 100 years old and intriguing antiques and memorabilia in the lobby. Many beautiful weddings, gala parties, family reunions, and other celebrations have taken place in the hotel’s banquet facility, and there is a conference room ideal for small meet-ings. Wine tourists are drawn to the charming, secluded courtyard with a fountain and ivycovered brick walls where they can relax over coffee or a glass of wine.

530.622.4271 • 300 Main St • Placerville, CA 95667


643 Bee Street, Placerville 2 blocks from Hwy 50 530-409-5603

Miraflores proudly stands as a premier winery in El Dorado County—with unparalleled natural beauty and wines that complement the bounty of the land.



VINO wan·der·lust a strong desire to travel


T MARTIN CODY President and Founder of Cellar Angels, a leading direct-to-consumer company which also allows every customer to select a charity during their transaction and Cellar Angels donates proceeds from the transaction to the charity



here’s a magic in travel which, when allowed, takes hold of your soul and transports you into a shared space with nature. Be it the rhythmic sight and sound of rolling surf upon the sand or the mesmerizing swaying of grapevines in the breeze, travel is indeed magical. When we put down the smartphones and get more in the moment, we experience more and our lives are fuller as a result. Here’s an excursion to help welcome you to the Cellar Angels’ inner world of wine wanderlust. It matters little how you enter Sonoma County; from the north or south the main thoroughfare is U.S. Highway 101. What matters is getting there and getting off the beaten path. Sonoma County is large-

nearly twice the size of Napa County-and has the Pacific Ocean as its entire western border. The topography and landscape, like the 400-plus wineries calling Sonoma County home, are varied, eye-catching and, yes, magical. Nearly dissecting the county is the 101, and there are a great many starting points all along the highway for your daytime Zen pursuit. A Cellar Angels’ favorite is the town of Healdsburg. One could easily vacation within the town of Healdsburg for a week, never dine at the same location twice, taste exceptional wines at dozens of tasting rooms within walking distance, and have a vacation of a lifetime. However, it’s what resides just outside the town’s limits that will have you smiling from within. Sonoma’s rustic and laid-back style is evident five

minutes outside of Healdsburg on First Street: Davis Family Vineyards. Nestled alongside the Russian River, Guy Davis and his family have been producing world-class wines for two decades. A box lunch from any of Healdsburg’s delis, coupled with a glass of Davis wines and gazing upon the Russian River drifting lazily by, is the bedrock of wine wanderlust. The hospitality at Davis is superb and if Guy Davis is not tending the nearby vineyards, chances are he’ll lead your tasting. You’ll feel the calm settling in as the water, wine, sunshine and breeze all work their spell on the psyche. Your next stop, mere minutes away, immerses you in a 360-degree panorama of vines. Head down First, left on Healdsburg Avenue under 101 to Limerick Lane, go left, then travel under 101 again, over the hill and then venture to Viszlay Vineyards. JOHN VISZLAY was a Chicago commercial real estate professional who finally had enough. Wine was flowing in his veins, and after years of tasting and collecting some of the finest in the world, he decided it was time to take the leap. And leap, he did. Purchasing and renovating a working winery and vineyards is not for the faint of heart. However, when you sit on John’s back patio in a virtual bowl-shaped geologic formation staring at vines as far as the eye can see, you are convinced he made the right choice. You’re literally tasting in the vineyards here and their cadence is not like ours. There’s no rushing great wine, and sitting among the vines tasting ultra-boutique wines rarely finding their way outside of California is a perfect perspective from which to understand and appreciate the beauty of nature’s intentions. This is true laid-back Sonoma in the Russian River Valley, and while it seemingly borders on the impossible, you must find the strength to pull yourself away and venture down the road. Backtracking to Healdsburg Avenue, you will find yourself at a crossroads. Should you go left on Westside Road to visit the 10-plus wineries within five miles, or take the road less traveled, West Dry Creek, and see what adventures lay ahead? There’s no downside to either choice, hence the beauty of travel. The open wine road is ahead of you and beauty, new experiences and great wine are your reward. Seize the opportunity-get to Sonoma.



ANY PORT IN A STORM BY MICHAEL CHRISTIAN Not really any Port, though. Many people try the Port that lives on the bottom shelf at a grocery store and costs under $5 and conclude that they don’t like Port wine. Port wine is a heavy (usually) red (usually) sweet fortified wine and tends to be more of a winter drink than a summer one. It’s richer and more alcoholic than most other styles of wine, even others in the dessert wine category. Port is not just one thing, though. There are many different styles out there. Here I’m going to focus on some of the main styles of Port. I’m also going to limit myself to those that are coming from Portugal. Many American winemakers make Portstyle wines. However, these wines will mostly be in one of the common styles listed below but often done with non-traditional grape varieties. RUBY PORT: The youngest of the styles. Typically aged three years in oak or six years if labeled Reserve or Special Reserve. Made from several vintages. Fresh and fruity, not overly complex.



TAWNY PORT: Aged for longer in oak, usually six-plus years. Intentionally oxidized and develops an amber or tawny color, thus the name. Made from a blend of several vintages. Often has a nutty or caramel character. Those not labeled specifically as 10, 20, or 40 years are usually a blend of six to 10 year barrels. LATE BOTTLE VINTAGE PORT: This is done in a ruby style (i.e., not oxidized) but is a vintage Port from a specific year. Usually if something is labeled LBV, it is not from an exceptional year. This doesn’t mean it isn’t good, and these ports are considered higher on the Port food chain than a standard ruby. Usually aged four to six years in oak prior to bottling. VINTAGE PORT: Made from the best grapes from a vineyard in an exceptional year. Vintage Port is usually bottled after two years, but it needs a long time in bottle to mellow before it’s pleasant to drink. It’s typical to leave a Vintage Port for 20+ years in its bottle before drinking it. Brits have a tradition of buying a Vintage Port when a child is born and giving it to them when they reach adulthood in their 20s. It is complex and usually expensive. It should also be decanted and allowed to breathe for a couple of hours before drinking.

AJ in the Morning Mon - Fri 6am-10am

There is some disagreement on how long a Port wine will keep after opening. My rule is one to two months for any style, except a Tawny which will keep four to six months. Port goes great with dessert, on dessert (drizzled on cheesecake), or as dessert itself. Tawny Port can also be consumed as an aperitif, as it is the most versatile. I’m hoping that reading this will encourage you to give Port another try if you have had it in the past and found it wanting, or if you have never tried it before and your curiosity is piqued.


6300 Mae Anne Ave #3 • 775-787-6300 • 34




Photo by Debbie McCarthy


What if you could find a quality winery that felt like home, some place where you are a part of the family as you sip delicious wines and enjoy the company of others? At MV Winery in Northern California, the wine is top notch and the people are even better. “We treat people like family, and that really makes it nice. They are a part of our lives and we are a part of theirs,” said Cindy Miller, co-owner of MV Winery with her husband, John Miller. They operate MV Winery with the help of their daughter and have been in business for over 10 years in Fair Play, California. Each wine they make is crafted with extensive thought, resulting in big, beautiful wines that stand up to wines from all over California, the Napa region and beyond. MV Winery has won awards in many competitions, focusing on quality over quantity in their different wines. The vineyard is 11 acres of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinotage and Lagrein. Their goal is to grow premium grapes, use new, premium French and American oak barrels, and make big, beautiful wines. What makes MV Winery so special,

in addition to the divine experience that hits your taste buds with each sip, are the culture and love surrounding the winery that start from within. As John Miller says, “Everybody comes in with a smile on their face and we drink wine. It’s not a job.” John and Cindy agree that what they love most about the business is their loyal customers and friends. Remaining intimate and personalized is important to them and their business, creating a familiar and warm atmosphere for all. While the wine business is saturated in Northern California, they don’t see it is an issue, but rather a positive. “It’s a really good group of people up here,” John said. “Everyone is doing their own style and following their own dream, and that’s nice. We can recommend other wineries for different tastes and palettes.” What’s clear about MV Winery are the care and authenticity that go into creating a brilliant end product. Cindy said of her husband, “John is passionate about what he does, and this translates into beautiful wine.” For more information go to

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Kimberlin Brown



BY KELLY RUSH t’s not often that you find actresses being asked to give speeches at the Republican National Convention. But that’s exactly what happened with former soap opera star Kimberlin Brown last year. Brown started acting in the early 1980s and got her big break playing the villainous Sheila Carter on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful for 16 years in addition to a number of other spotlight roles. She has always had an eye for architecture. She ran her own custom home design business and was recently featured on two seasons of Dramatic Designs on The Design Network. As a businesswoman who owns an avocado farm with her husband in San Diego, Brown has become increasingly concerned with how things like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have affected American farmers and consumers. “On the business side, we tried to prepare for the future,” Brown said. “The first years were really great while we were here, but then I noticed the numbers dropping off consistently in dollars offered for our product. “Mexico would come in

Regardless of your political ascription, Kimberlin Brown is an inspiration – as an actress, a business owner, and a woman. She doesn’t give up or give in. and flood our market when it was time to pick our harvest. They’d drive our pricing down, and it would literally make it unaffordable for people where I live. It used to be the avocado capital of the United States, and it made it unaffordable for them to farm any longer, so they were cutting down their groves! That’s when I started taking a closer look at NAFTA and the way that it was affecting our business personally.” Brown attended a California Businesswomen for Trump meeting where the future president-elect’s staff heard her speak. She didn’t know it at the time, but they began vetting her and she got a phone call the week before the Republican National Convention in July asking if she could rile up the crowd in Cleveland. “I said, ‘Yeah, absolutely I’ll be able to do that. I’m very passionate about all of this.’” “But the minute they announced that I was going to be speaking there, that’s when all the hate stuff started,” Brown said. “It was horrible. Only because of the party I was affiliated with, not because of my actual beliefs. Everybody just assumes that if you are affiliated with the Republican Party, all of a sudden I was a homophobe, I was racist. I mean, the stuff they labeled me with was

just ridiculous! But it’s what they [mainstream media] did and it’s what they do. I think the mainstream media completely dropped the ball. They didn’t report the news. They didn’t report the polls. They were steering and driving, trying to drive the election, and they failed.” Making the point that politics is not what is important now, Brown said, “Looking at the direction Donald is already taking, a business approach instead of a political approach, I think is speaking volumes. Businesspeople delegate, that’s what they do. They have people give them reports, then they act upon those reports. I’m happy to see him taking business steps. The one thing I really like about Donald Trump, some people didn’t like what he was saying but he kept on saying it. He didn’t waiver from that, and I think that people are so tired of being told one thing, and then nothing happening.” Regardless of your political ascription, Kimberlin Brown is an inspiration – as an actress, a business owner, and a woman. She doesn’t give up or give in and says, “Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. I’m living proof that if you put your mind to something and really follow through, you can do it!”

Kimberlin Brown with Ben Carson

Kimberlin Brown with Senator Jeff Sessions

Kimberlin Brown with General Michael Flynn




Solo Style


MOLLY has been the Hungry Dater in Reno for almost a year. She’s a sassy, sexy, thirty-something single looking for her Prince Charming, and whiling away the years in the meantime by eating great food and writing about all the frogs she has kissed along the way. You can follow Molly at



or a single, Valentine’s Day can be either a day of ecstatic anticipation or one of debilitating depression. Most of us deal with the latter by planning friend dates, attending last-minute parties or, in my case, crashing my parents’ Valentine’s dinner. But this year, with Valentine’s Day on a Tuesday, I’m leaving the stress and left-out-ed-ness at home and taking a long weekend solo road trip. I’m goin’ 80 and making my own wonderful time. If I’m happily stationed in one of my favorite cities in the world, even if I’m alone, I’ll be able to embrace the inherent charms of this holiday rather than the depressive qualities. And San Francisco is just the place. I’ll be able to do whatever I want, eat wherever I want, see whatever bad movie I choose, and take up the entire bed at my favorite hotel. One of the wonderful things about traveling alone is, I’m on my own schedule. And because Saturday is the Farmer’s Market day, I’ll leave as early as I can so I can make the market. Saturday night, I’ll see friends in the Marina. I have plenty of friends in S.F., and though most don’t like the Marina, they come for me. But I looooooove it. It’s hip and young and full of beautiful people. Sunday, I’ll get breakfast with a friend and



shop all day. Ever since I moved back to the mountains from the city, I have missed La Boulange. They specialize in great coffees served in bowls instead of cups and the most beautiful array of French pastries. But the coup de gras of my trip is dinner at Nopa. In all the years I lived in S.F., Nopa became my favorite restaurant. If there’s anything that will make me enjoy my singledom on this most couple-y of holidays, it’s a three-course meal at Nopa, complete with cocktails and wine. Nopa takes reservations 30 days in advance and if you want one, you have to be on OpenTable at noon exactly 30 days prior to your visit or you won’t get in. But in this case, being a single diner has its benefits! It’s exponentially easier to get a seat at the bar or community table if you’re alone. Nopa reveres a locavore menu with wonderful and unusual additions. My very first meal at Nopa consisted of my first taste of rabbit, a charcuterie plate that included head cheese, and a cheese plate with honey that was supposedly harvested on their very own roof. This is a place that will make a couple-less Valentine’s feel like a treat! I’ll likely come home over-fed, over-shopped and hung over, but a weekend in the City by the Bay is always worth it, and, indeed, the perfect way to remind myself that I’m a pretty good Valentine’s date!

Take a Romantic Bite of the



Come along for a little New York City adventure!


BY DANELL WILSON-PERLMAN nother Valentine’s Day is approaching and the rosesand-chocolate route is way past its prime, so why not spice up your love life with a little getaway to the city filled with history, beauty, arts and loads of culture? Come along for a little New York City adventure! This does not have to fall on V-Day; making it a surprise sometime during the month of February might be even better and add to the “Wow” factor. You can fly nonstop on the red-eye from Reno to JFK via JetBlue Airways. So pack your bags (in secret, of course, for both of you!), book a fun scavenger hunt that will end with being dropped off by car service at Reno-Tahoe International Airport where the journey will start to NYC. My favorite hotel there is The Roosevelt, but there are so many to choose from, and these days there is AirBnB to add to the list. The Roosevelt is centrally located and across the street from Grand Central Station. From the moment the car pulls up to the curb and the well-dressed bellman with top hat and white gloves opens the door, you know you are in for an experience. The hotel lobby has been featured in many movies, and it feels as if you are stepping back into a bygone era. The bar serves the best Manhattans ever. Warning: Don’t have one before you have to walk six blocks to your Broadway play - you’ll want to experience the hustle and bustle of the city!

HERE’S A SHORT LIST OF TO-DO’S BESIDES THE USUAL NYC LIST: USING THE SUBWAY. Don’t miss the best restaurant choices ever in a train station located downstairs in Grand Central Station. STATEN ISLAND FERRY. The 5-mile, 25-minute ride provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride for free! WALKING FOOD TOUR. So many to choose from, but a fantastic way to experience the global food options the city offers. THE HIGH LINE. A 1.45-mile-long linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of the old New York Central Railroad. Treat your loved one to high tea at The Plaza Hotel. Put time aside to lose the GPS and just walk with no destination in mind, because it’s then that you find the gems and best experiences in New York City. Until next time, explore, dream, discover. It’s a brand-new year. Make it a memorable one filled with new adventures! RiddleMeThisNV on Instagram • • • • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤




he lucky residents of Lake Tahoe are in a constant battle between north and south. This battle, and which end of the lake locals prefer, is a matter of intense personal opinion. However, it is hard to argue with some of the strong offerings North Lake has to offer this winter. For starters, Tahoe is now easier than ever to get to. Reno/Tahoe International Airport has added new non-stop flights, including JetBlue Airways from Long Beach, Delta Air Lines from Atlanta and Southwest Airlines from Dallas. Tourists should be aware that if you’re coming to Tahoe to ski, both Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Squaw Valley/ Alpine Meadows offer discounted or free lift tickets on the day you arrive if you show your airline ticket. Skiing at Mt. Rose has improved with changes in snowmaking which allow the amount of snow to be doubled and made more efficiently. Grading and contouring improvements on the trail connecting the Slide Bowl side to the Main Lodge trail will allow the Slide Bowl side to open much earlier in the year. As for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, if you are


concerned about avalanches from all the snow Tahoe will hopefully get this season, the resort enhanced its avalanche mitigation system. Four new major Gazex Avalanche Mitigation Systems, costing $1.2 million, are designed to minimize delays in lift start times and increase the efficiency of Ski Patrol. Additionally, if you are concerned about future lack of snow due to climate change, Squaw Valley/ Alpine Meadows has also partnered with Protect Our Winters (POW) to offer free premium parking to guests who carpool with four or more passengers. So, guests who participate will not only get discounts on parking but can spend more quality time with friends! In other North Lake ski news this season, Diamond Peak Ski will celebrate its 50th anniversary all season long with historical ski films and various speakers featuring changes in the industry since the 1960s. Diamond Peak also added a new “golden” Flex Pass, a multi-day lift ticket available in twoseven day increments. It is valid all season long. For more information, visit,,,, and

Meghan Di Rocco is passionate about many things: animals, skiing, fitness, the outdoors, coffee & good food. Her friends & family, too. The order of these interests depends on the day. In between all these things, she occasionally finds time to put her thoughts to paper. Photos provided by Squaw Valley





My mother once told me I first skied when I was a toddler. She later said I was 7. I may never know the real age when skiing became a part of my life, but nevertheless, I have been skiing a long time. Skiing has impacted me physically, professionally and personally for the past 11 years. Now in 2017, I am fortunate enough that I get paid to ski: I work at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe coaching children and adults. Every Thursday at Mt. Rose is Ladies’ Day when women can buy a lift ticket for $29 and get a two-hour ski or ride clinic for $25. Season pass holders can participate for free. Each Thursday, an average of 50 women of varying abilities participate. I have been involved in this program for four seasons. Last year, I had the opportunity to become the lead female instructor, and I have loved every minute of it. Working with female skiers is an eye-opening experience since women tend to underestimate their physical abilities. The beautiful thing about this is when women gain more confidence on their skis, their outlook and selfperception off the slope also improve. I have met many amazing women through Ladies’ Day. For this article, I spoke with Linda Liewer, Sherri Hashemi, Diane Bartholomew and Susie Tell to find out what skiing means to them. They are just a few of the women I have had the pleasure of getting

to know while skiing. I hope their perspectives bring others up to join us on the slopes! What does skiing mean to you? Linda: “Perseverance and lots of practice.” Sherri: “Freedom and speed, fun!” Diane: “I invest in skiing as a financial and time priority because I find it therapeutic. I call it ‘Therapy Thursday,’ which is not a trite alliteration for me. I’ve lived with mental illness and suicidal ideations my adult life. One of my favorite coping mechanisms and preventative behaviors is skiing. The sunshine and fresh air feed my soul.” Susie: “Skiing means independence and release of tension and everyday stress. Most importantly, it inspires me! I am a local wedding planner and I come up with ideas on the chairlift and gliding through trees!” Has skiing given you more confidence or improved your fitness? Linda: “As a woman, I’d say skiing has been an exercise in endurance. I am more confident as a result of the effort of 34 years!” Diane: “Skiing is my primary form of exercise during the wintertime. Exercise is one of the greatest tools for mental and physical health. My skills have improved immensely. I am now an advanced skier with the confidence to ski most terrain and conditions!” Susie: “Skiing is a sport that has built my confidence season after season, which in turn has given me a more positive perception of

self and encouraged me to be more authentic in everyday life. When I push myself to ski longer, faster, harder or steeper and I succeed, it completely changes your view on yourself!” What goals do you have related to skiing? Linda: “To stay healthy and moving about under my own control and then to die in my sleep. But to become a more accomplished skier until that day!” Sherri: “To have fun!” Diane: “The social connections are also important to me. These connections I make skiing also help improve my mental health and prevent me from sinking into a depression. There is no better place to spill your guts than on a chairlift!” Susie: “I am always pushing myself to be in better shape and have better ski legs so I can ski longer. Last year, I helicopter skied and got married in the Ruby Mountains. My weekly clinics at Rose gave me the self-confidence and drive to ski the chutes and powder in the Rubies!” Meghan Di Rocco is passionate about many things: animals, skiing, fitness, the outdoors, coffee & good food. Her friends & family too. The order of these interests depends on the day. In between all these things, she occasionally finds time to put her thoughts to paper. For more information, visit JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤


WOMEN: Realize the

power of being you



few days ago, I had the opportunity to sit and listen to a client express how different she was compared with everyone else in her social and workplace environment. From her body language, it became apparent that being different was perceived to be a negative thing in her life. As we wrapped up our session and said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but feel a pinch of sadness. Why feel sad, you may ask? I felt sad because my client resembles millions of other women who don’t know the power of individuality and difference. In essence, many women don’t know the power within themselves because so often women are taught to be like someone else. We’ve all felt the pressures. The media tell you to look and be like the latest and greatest female celebrity. Your family members compare you with other family members. And then there’s your own voice, that voice that utilizes the success of other women as a measuring stick of your own. Can we be honest and admit we have all been in this unhealthy state of being? It is fine to visit this place, but it’s not a good place to remain. Therefore, as you enter a new year, it is my goal to encourage you to use these five tips to tap into the power of yourself and your individuality. Yes, you! You’re amazing and you need to realize it!


you’re really great at, due to being afraid you will stand out. Sure, someone else may be good at what you can do, but they can’t slay it like you do! There’s only ONE you!

2. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF. Every time you covet the gifts, skills and beauty of another woman, you’re diminishing your own abilities and beauty. Therefore, stop comparing yourself with other women and embrace the power that’s within you!

3. COMPLIMENT ANOTHER WOMAN. Nothing says confidence more than a woman complimenting another. Complimenting another woman tells the world that you value yourself and other women.

4. TAKE THE COMPLIMENT. Sometimes women believe it’s being

humble when they don’t take a compliment. This is far from the truth. Denying a compliment is saying you don’t believe you’re worth the compliment being given. Therefore, the next time someone compliments you, graciously say thank you and don’t overthink why the person complimented you. You’re awesome!

5. TOOT YOUR OWN HORN. As often as possible, find someone

new to introduce yourself to. If possible, spend time getting to know that person as well. In the process, don’t be afraid to share your life experiences, gifts and talents with that person. How will anyone know how amazing you are if you don’t tell them?

In a world where it is encouraged through the media to be like someone else, it can be hard to invest the time, energy and effort in tapping into and discovering the power of difference and individuality. However, just like anything else, the more you repeat something, the easier it becomes. At first you may feel awkward focusing on what makes you different. Eventually, you will begin to appreciate not only what makes you different, but you will begin to embrace the differences in others as well. 42


Photo by Roberts Photography

IF NO ONE HAS TOLD YOU TODAY, I THINK YOU’RE AMAZING! WRITTEN BY: Laticia “ Action” Jackson Olympian, Author, Motivational Speaker, Transformation Coach PERSONAL WEBSITE: BUSINESS WEBSITE:



always find that after the hustle and bustle of the fall and holiday season, I get a little gloomy with the long months of winter still ahead. However, I also find the slower season is the perfect time for small get-togethers with family and friends whom I don’t often get to see during the busy months of vacations and school and holiday shopping. During these gatherings, flowers are the easiest and most often-overlooked small detail to any party.

Don’t underestimate the power of how stylish florals of well-thought-out themed décor can make any occasion all the more enjoyable for your guests. Ask your local florist to help you utilize the best of what any season has to offer, from making a simple centerpiece for the table in your favorite dish, to tiny favors to utilize during the party and then give to your guest to take home and enjoy. Make their time with you “Bee” remembered for a long time to come.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20th-Feb 18th)

*Flower: Carnation *Blooming Plant: Primrose *Green Plant: Ivy

PISCES (Feb 19th-Mar 20th)

*Flower: Freesia *Blooming Plant: Cineraria *Green Plant: Fern

From decadent gourmet chocolates to soothing candles, we build the experience to fit your occasion. Our product partnerships are a key element in creating that one-of-akind look by Bumblebee Blooms.

135 N. Sierra St., Suite A-2 775-348-2799







you’re like the vast majority of couples, you may find coming up with affordable and fun date night ideas nearly impossible. Rather, you probably end up either spending above and beyond your budget to make a special night possible, or you forgo date night all together. It’s important to allot purposeful time to nurture your relationship. Date night can help you reconnect with your spouse or significant other, and unplug from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, these activities are usually the first to go onto the back burner when time is limited.  Thankfully, there is now a way to preserve date night, your schedule and your budget -- simultaneously! Date Box is a subscription-based service that will deliver fun and unique date night ideas and products straight to your front door. Don’t have time to brainstorm a special evening with your honey? Date Box has you covered. Once a month, you and yours will have everything you need at your fingertips to keep that spark alive! With three types of subscriptions offering month-to-month or multimonth options, you are sure to find something that fits your situation. And what better time to start than in advance of Valentine’s Day? We all know the pain of trying to get into a restaurant on the biggest date night of the year. Why not skip the crowds and stay home?  Let Date Box take the stress and hassle out of your dedicated time with your significant other. Visit to sign up, and check “make Valentine’s Day plans” off your to-do list! 

SWEETHEART SPECIAL CHOICE RIB EYE STEAK butterflied in the shape of a heart with




Music therapy is



has transformative powers in so many ways -- as an art form, a means of communication, for celebration, and as a method of healing, to name a few. Note-Able Music Therapy Services (NMTS) at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center in Reno uses music for all that. Originally formed in 1999, NMTS is a non-profit dedicated to providing performance opportunities for people of varying ages and abilities. NMTS currently has three licensed music therapists and three contract instructors on staff. Their programs range from individual sessions to group music therapy, classes, workshops and contract services with partner organizations in the community. Development Director Sarah Toney started with NMTS 2 1/2 years ago, having first started working with them part-time while she also owned HiPoint Coffee & Café. “I’m with them full-time now, doing communications as well as fund raising. I really like it,” Toney said in an interview. “There’s such cool work going on that people really want to be involved. So, if you tell your story and ask people if their heart leads them to be involved, they’re happy to give. They want to give.” The NMTS 13th annual Evening of Romance Enchanted Masquerade Ball is slated for Feb. 4 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. This evening of elegance kicks off at 8 p.m. and includes everything from flowing champagne and delectable desserts to music and dancing to auctions and other magical surprises. The GSR will become an enchanted forest of local art displays and performances by the Note-Ables playing pop rock favorites and the Reno Jazz Orchestra providing Big Band sounds. The Note-Ables perform 30 to 40 times a year and have collaborated with major stars such as guitarist Craig Chaquico of Jefferson Starship fame as well as Grateful Dead drummer and musicologist Mickey Hart. They are available for bookings at area events. For more information, visit




Inspiring Style for Women Moving Forward


BY SUSAN G. HILL enore Aguilar waited more than 40 years to make her dream come true, and now she is helping other women fulfill their dreams. As the owner of MUSE (My Unique Styling Experience), she works with women from all walks of life to solve the eternal conundrum: “I have nothing to wear!” Aguilar’s dream began early as she aspired to a fashion career. She started fashion school after high school, but when her money ran out, reality set in. She had received a financial aid offer from Santa Clara University, so she decided to follow that path toward a psychology degree. Marriage, the birth of a son, an MBA in marketing, several moves, and a career in telecommunications followed. And her dream of a career in fashion remained just that, following her wherever she went. Aguilar’s 20-year career in telecommunications ended with the company’s decision to move her department to New Jersey. That allowed her to advance her long-delayed dream by enrolling in the world-renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. When she and her husband moved to Las Vegas in 2012, Aguilar met the perfect opportunity to apply her passion for fashion to helping other women achieve their ambitions: She became a volunteer personal stylist for Dress for Success Southern Nevada. This international nonprofit assists women seeking to better themselves economically. The group prepares women to succeed in job interviews, bolstering their self-

esteem and offering personalized head-to-toe styling with the perfect outfit and accessories. Aguilar’s success as a volunteer Dress for Success stylist launched her into leadership as chair of the group’s stylist team. “I’m inspired by the almost 150 strong and determined women whom I’ve styled,” she said. “They are my MUSE and motivation; they are facing difficult circumstances while improving their lives and their families’ futures.” Now, she is merging her professional preparation and extensive volunteer experience to create her MUSE personal styling service. She adds innovation with a Virtual Wardrobe and Lookbook styling app customized to each client. “I assist women in analyzing their personal style, unique needs, body and face shape and best colors, and then plan around their existing wardrobes with new finds,” she said. “The technology makes the process fun – and I can work with clients locally or long-distance.” MUSE services include wardrobe editing and a customized shopping plan, both locally and online, with recommended buys. “Your appearance is a form of expression,” Aguilar said. “If you pay attention to how you dress, will you have more opportunities to achieve your goals. My message is to hold onto your dreams, and never forget your best accessory: your smile!” For more information about MUSE, visit musepersonalstyling. com or call 702-757-8629. To learn more about Dress for Success Southern Nevada, visit



Consider a Nurse Practitioner for Primary Care If you’re searching for a medical professional to provide you and your family with primary healthcare, be sure to consider a family nurse practitioner. Leslie Peek, APRN, a board-certified nurse practitioner at Northern Nevada Medical Group, believes nurse practitioners are especially qualified to treat the whole person and to foster wellness. She says, “We provide sensitive, personalized care for men, women and children at all life stages in a safe, nurturing environment.” Nurse practitioners hold a four-year nursing degree and a master’s degree in nursing. They can provide care and services that include diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions; prescribing medications and therapies; managing patients’ overall healthcare; ordering, performing and interpreting lab tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests, and other functions of a primary care provider, including women’s healthcare.

Leslie Peek is accepting new patients, and is on most of the area’s health insurance plans, including Medicare.

To schedule an appointment, please call 775.355.5120.

5575 Kietzke Lane | Reno, NV 89511





C U T. C O L O R . S T Y L E . M A K E U P. B L O B A R . B R I D A L .








he season of love is upon us! There is soon to be a tempest of red and pink in all the supermarkets. With that come the floral, hearts, lace, baby cupids, and of course, chocolate! Since Saint Valentine first facilitated the exchange of love letters back in the Middle Ages, the tradition of giving on Valentine’s Day has exploded. Originally, Valentine’s Day was intended for those in the deepest throes of passion. Lovers would send poems, write love songs, and give flowers to their beloved. But that all changed with the importation of chocolate from South America to Europe. By 1861, Richard Cadbury revolutionized Valentine’s Day with the invention of the heartshaped box of chocolate. Sweethearts stormed the chocolate factory to purchase the gently erotic, milk chocolate treat. Hershey’s took it a

Photo by Chris Holloman

step further with the creation of the chocolate Kiss, a small yet adorable twist on love. Now, Valentine’s Day calls for nothing but the sweetest tokens of love. Maybe you will want to give your lover a bouquet of a dozen red roses or a fancy bottle of wine. But you cannot go wrong with Dorinda’s Chocolates. You might be wondering what to get your S.O. this year (and for those who prefer to celebrate Single’s Awareness Day, we’ve got you covered, too). Dorinda’s Chocolates makes chocolatecovered strawberries for you and your lover to share! Juicy, plump red berries are coated in the finest Belgian dark chocolate and then decorated with drizzles of milk and white chocolate. Perfect for cozying up in front of a fire with that special someone, champagne flute in hand, Dorinda’s chocolate-covered strawberries are the quintessential romantic move to end your Valentine’s Day.

Also available are custom boxes that can be manufactured to your lover’s favorite flavors. Beautiful heart-shaped boxes adorned in red will send your sweetheart through the roof, especially when they take a nibble from a hazelnut praline Kracken, or taste a lemon-raspberry truffle. These rich, full flavors are perfect for Valentine’s Day and scream “I love you.” Available in small, purple 16-piece or large red 36-piece boxes, both provide a heavenly palate. Dorinda’s also recommends a box of award-winning sea salt caramels that are both salty and sweet! Planning on popping the question on Valentine’s Day? Dorinda’s can help you out! A proposal ring fits beautifully into a sea salt caramel in the center of a custommade box. You know she will gasp when she unties that ribbon and slides the top off to see a sparkling gem and her loving man take a knee right before her!

the perfect gift for that special someone


We Ship Nationwide 775-432-2024 48



775 Riverside Dr. Reno, NV 89503

SQUAW VALLEY 1960 Squaw Valley Rd. Olympic Vallley, CA 96146

NORTHSTAR 5001 Northstar Dr. Truckee, CA 96161

NVMT License: #5338


After a hectic holiday season filled with travel, celebrations and finding the perfect gifts, it’s about time you give yourself (or your sweet Valentine) the gift of relaxation. Reno Midtown Massage has the luxurious treat your body has been craving. Specializing in deep tissue, lymphatic, therapeutic and even pregnancy massages, there’s a piece of indulgence for everyone. It’s a brand-new year; start it off right and treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated. 712 S. CENTER ST., (775) 721-8268.


IT’S NO SECRET chocolate is a musthave for Valentine’s Day, and your love deserves only the most amazing treats. Sierra Nevada Chocolate creates hand-rolled truffles where every bite is filled with the world-renowned Guittard Chocolate. Nothing says “I love you” quite like a custom box of their decadent truffles, the timeless Valentine treat of the juiciest chocolate-covered strawberries, or the classic pair of smooth chocolate and glass of wine. Whatever you find, you’ll be sure to share the sweetest moment with your Valentine. 1290 S. VIRGINIA ST., (775) 323-2462.


THOUGH THE HOLIDAY season is behind us, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It’s time to start searching for a look that reflects just how sexy and confident you are. Chocolate Walrus, the premier adult boutique in Northern Nevada, has beautiful, high-quality lingerie to surprise that someone special or fun gifts for your girls’ night out. You might even find a little something for yourself. 1278 S. VIRGINIA ST. (775) 825-2267.

mexican kitchen

Celebrate Nevada


IF THERE’S ANYTHING Nevadans don’t take lightly, it’s their state pride, and 1864 Tavern is a clear reflection of that. Be taken through Nevada’s rich history and tradition while sipping on one of their handcrafted specialty cocktails created with only the freshest of ingredients. Close your eyes and while you sip on their Gordon’s Cup – a perfect balance of gin, fresh cucumber and fresh-squeezed citrus – you’ll fall even further in love with all that is Nevada. 290 CALIFORNIA AVE., (775) 329-1864.


THE FESTIVITIES NEVER stop in the Biggest Little City, and Junkee is always a staple for any celebration there could possibly be. That said, Reno is ready to celebrate Fat Tuesday with our Mardi Crawl, and Junkee has all the crazy costumes you could ever need. If costumes aren’t your style, check out the amazingly affordable vintage furniture and décor to jazz up your home for a fresh start to the new year. No matter what you need, Junkee’s amazing team is always ready to help you blow away that costume contest or find that missing piece to your perfect room. 960 S. VIRGINIA ST., (775) 322-5865.


THERE’S NO BETTER time than the beginning of a new year to spice up your life. Mari Chuy’s Mexican Kitchen has something for everybody to do just that. Whether you’re looking to take the family out for a deliciously unique Mexican dinner or enjoy a specialty jalapeno margarita (or two) with your best girls, this is the place you can’t forget. Their extensive menu has classic, tasty dishes made with only the freshest of ingredients, and each has its own Chuy twist. Just be prepared for your life – and your taste buds – to heat up. 764 S. VIRGINIA ST., (775) 322-6866. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤






ou’re frustrated, exhausted and at wit’s end because your kids are driving you crazy. I know it’s not easy being a parent, and the frustration at times can push you to the brink. Maybe you think, “They just won’t listen to me.” Try not yelling at them. Think about it. Were you yelled at as a child? How did it make you feel? Here are a few tips I hope will help you create some peace and harmony for you and your family. When you yell at your children, the content of what you want them to understand is lost. The only things they experience are feelings of shame, fear, anger, sadness and overall discomfort. What they internalize is, “My parent is upset, and I’m responsible.” They either want to run away or fight back. This erodes their sense of self-worth and disempowers them. When your child displays a behavior you disapprove of, lower your voice when confronting them about it. Lowering your voice is not threatening to them and prompts them to listen more intently to what you have to say. Speak to their strengths, and be curious. If they’re loud when they play, let them know it’s good they like to have fun. Then explain how the noise is disturbing to you and tell them to take their fun somewhere else, to their room or maybe outside. Empower your kids by having them make choices. For example, “Would you like peas or carrots with dinner tonight?” Giving them choices gives them a sense of control. What if they’re picky eaters? I believe picky eaters are created and are not so just by nature. What if 50


they won’t eat what you’ve prepared? Let them not eat it. It’s their choice. Respond with “OK, you don’t have to eat it, but that’s what we’re having for dinner. If you’re hungry, you’re welcome to have some.” If they want something else, don’t give in to their demands. Acknowledge you know they would like something else, but this is what is for dinner tonight. It’s their choice whether they eat it or not. Don’t force them. This takes away their sense of control. If they refuse to eat what is prepared, let them. They won’t starve overnight. Remind them it’s their choice and they’re the ones deciding to go hungry. Don’t get angry or get into a shouting match. They need to know where the boundaries are. You are in control and they feel in control when they make a choice. What about the times when you enforce the rules where they have no choice? For example, “It’s time for you to go to bed.” They get to choose whether or not they go to sleep, but going to bed at a particular time you determine is not their choice. If they refuse, put them in bed -- over and over again if you have to. Control your frustration and don’t give in to yelling. Eventually they will give up once they know you won’t budge. When the struggle is over, affirm your love for them and wish them a good night. When it comes to school work, don’t make their grades about you. They should want to get good grades for themselves, for their sense of accomplishment. Encourage them to work hard and let them know you’re proud of them for the work they do. When they perform well, be sure to praise their effort that led to the accomplishment.


is a Professional Coach, Speaker, and Educator who helps women who are insecure with self-doubt to become fully empowered with self-confidence. Learn more at

This way they learn that success comes as a result of effort. This will empower them with a can-do attitude. I’ve never allowed our children to say they can’t. We’ve told them, they may choose to or they may choose not to, but there is no “can’t.” A fellow student of our daughter once told me, “She’s really smart.” My response was, “Yes, she works really hard.” If you want your children to grow up to be confident and self-assured, you need to take a good look at yourself. How self-assured and confident do you feel as a parent or in general? Do you feel you’ve lost control? You can’t give what you don’t have. Teaching children love and respect starts with loving and respecting yourself. Take care of yourself and affirm your love for them often. Let them know they are valued. Not yelling at them but explaining to them why certain behaviors are not acceptable communicates respect. Don’t yell at them… teach them.

The Pleasure



Chefs Josh and Whitney Deri, owners of Blend Catering Company invite us to connect with each other through cooking and eating year-round, not just during the holidays. Chefs Josh & Whitney Deri of

The holidays have once again come and gone, and we are reminiscent of the joy and inspired by the promise of a New Year. As we say farewell to another bustling gifts-and-treats season, chefs Josh and Whitney Deri urge us not to focus on our full appetites and empty wallets, but instead hold onto the cherished yet dwindling concept of thoughtful meal preparation. Across cultures, food shared with love is understood to provide a special type of nourishment to our bodies, to our personal well-being and to our culture. In fact there are notions in various cultures urging to cook with love, or don’t cook at all. Cesar Chavez famously said, “people who give you their food give you their heart,” while Italians believe the main ingredient to a perfect meal is sharing it with friends and family. The french are historically known for associating food with pleasure. Arab cultures are community-centric in their food consumption, hosting iftars (the breaking of the fast during Ramadan), which involves family-style meals eaten with their hands from the same dishes. Josh and Whitney recall that this concept of connecting with the process of preparing and sharing a meal is not something they learned in classical training, but instead in their homes, as children with their families, passing down recipes and stories and techniques fueled not by precision but by love. Growing up, the culinary couple celebrated different holidays--Whitney, Christmas and Josh, Hannukah--but they gathered the same love for the connection between food and family, between food and love. When they came together, they were delighted to experience one another’s culture. Josh’s family ate with

a “come one come all,” mentality. “There could be 10 people, or 50 people, but you always make food for 100 people,” he smiles. “We are inspired by this and want to share this universal idea to people cooking at home throughout the year.” Whitney remembers how she came to love the connection between food and family, “My great grandma was an amazing cook, getting to peek over her shoulder to see what she was cooking, I have her recipes that were over a hundred years old.” Josh and Whitney wholeheartedly embrace this as an essential part of their cooking philosophy, both in their catering business and at home in their own kitchen. They carry this into their professional community as well, creating a “family” with other chefs in the area. “The culinary industry is generally cut throat, but we are lucky to have connected with like minded chefs in the area who value connecting over a meal, instead of competing over who cooked better, who booked more events,” says Whitney. Once a month, a group of Reno chefs gather for a meal together to celebrate their successes, share food and simply enjoy each other’s company. “Everyone is busy, but everyone still makes time to get together and remember why we were drawn to this industry in the first place.” As we settle into this New Year, Josh and Whitney look to the love and connection felt during Holiday meals and urge us to infuse this practice in our daily lives. To once again connect with others and the process of meal making, and to deter from the fast and soul-famished ways of weekday American consumption. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤




By Leslie McCarroll February is the month of love, and as we embark on a new year, we naturally look for fun new beauty products to fall in love with. We found ourselves falling for these new products that ULTA Beauty and Whole Foods has out for 2017 and here are our latest Bliss Babe picks! You can find these ULTA Beauty and Whole Foods Bliss Babe Picks at our local stores in the Reno/Tahoe, Roseville/Sacramento and Las Vegas areas with locations below or online. Tell ’em Bliss Babe sent you!

Scent of a Woman and a perfect Valentine’s Day giftClinique’s Happy Heart (fragrance).

Your eyes will have it and stop traffic in Free Love with Urban Decay’s golden vibrant peach shimmer eyeshadow. So bat those eyes and allure with sexy winks!.

TOVOLO’S CLEVER COLOSSAL CUBE ICE MOLD brings the art and science of the cocktail to your home. The 2.25” mold and innovative silicone cap create larger cubes, won’t leak or tip in your freezer and stack neatly to conserve space.

Pucker up and get kissableready with Provolips 16-hour Kiss Proof Lip Colour in Heart Breaker (red color) by Rimmel London

Break Hearts with Too Faced Sweethearts Baked Bronzer in Sweet Tea.

OPI’S HOT HOT HOT Nail Lacquer is a 2017 color to have for the Spring Season.




5110 Mae Anne Avenue, Suite 601 Reno, NV 89523

4891 Kietzke Lane, Suite A Reno, NV 89509-6549




EVERY MAN JACK was founded on the idea of bringing naturally derived formulas to men in masculine, recyclable packaging at an accessible and affordable price. Their variety of products for your hair, body and skin give you exceptional performance using only naturally derived ingredients. No parabens, no phthalates, no dyes, no sodium lauryl sulfate, and never tested on animals.

PACT is about super soft clothes and putting people first. All PACT apparel is sweatshop free, ethically produced, and part of a movement transforming the way apparel is made. Sure they’re (comfy, amazing) clothes, but they’re more than clothes. They’re an impetus for the best kind of change

BIGTRUCK was founded on a vision to create a movement and community connecting people through creativity and fun first. Since 2010, bigtruck has specialized in the design, marketing and manufacturing of hats. From its initial two-man team, bigtruck has evolved from a small Lake Tahoe hat company into a global community that has chosen to reflect their passion in what they wear.

Tours & Tastings - Saturdays, Noon-4pm | | 775.423.4000 | Fallon Nv JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 â?¤







To interact with this design, visit the model at Villagio by Desert Wind Homes.

Breathe new life into your space. Located in the Sticks Complex at 716 N Virginia | Reno, Nevada 89501 Desert Wind Homes’ Preferred Design Team

(775) 499-5432 • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 ❤


G O R E D 2 017 Friday, February 3, 2017

Downtown Reno Ballroom Call 775-322-7065 for tickets and sponsorship information. 56


Profile for Bliss Babe Magazine

Bliss Babe January/February 2017  

Bliss Babe January/February 2017

Bliss Babe January/February 2017  

Bliss Babe January/February 2017