PATHWAYS TO PARENTAGE A Shared Gift BLISS BABE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE ALL JAZZED UP in El Dorado Wine Country JUMPING HURDLES with Brittany Gaines CHRISTMAS with the CARANOS THE WOMEN of TEDX JETBLUE to LONG BEACH BABES IN TOYLAND
COLIN AND MARYBETH
of Roundabout Grill and a Roundabout Romance NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
pictured: italian sausage & marinara over creamy polenta, crostini
Enjoy 25% OFF all ‘small plates’ from 4-6pm Monday - Friday at ROUNDABOUT GRILL, located inside the Whitney Peak Hotel in Downtown Reno.
ROUNDABOUT AT WHITNEY PEAK HOTEL
FREE VALET PARKING FOR RESTAURANT GUESTS 255 N. VIRGINIA ST. | DOWNTOWN RENO | 775.398.5454 roundaboutgrill.com
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
TABLE OF CONTENTS 07
CHRISTMAS WITH THE CARANOS
THE WOMEN OF TEDX
BRITTON MURDOCK BRINGS FASHION TO THE BIGGEST LITTLE CITY
ALL THINGS COMING FULL CIRCLE: COLIN & MARYBETH SMITH OF ROUNDABOUT GRILL
THE BUZZ WITH QUEEN B
TRES BENZLEY: HIGH CALIBER, HIGH STYLE
SQUEEZE IN LAS VEGAS
IT’S A BIRD. IT’S A PLANE. IT’S TEAM VACCINE
LAS VEGAS EVENTS & SOCIAL CALENDAR
GOIN’ 80 SOLO STYLE WITH THE HUNGRY DATER
HOLIDAY WINE PAIRING
THE GENDER EQUALITY: IT CAN BE ACHIEVED
DECIDING ON A CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT TO FIGHT OSTEOPOROSIS & THE CHALLENGE OF CARING FOR YOUR SKIN IN WINTER
OPEN HEARTS IN OPEN ADOPTION: STILL BROTHERS
KATHLEEN SANDOVAL: THE LADY AMONG US
ADOPT A FAMILY & HOLIDAY CHOCOLATE
CELLAR ANGELS: WHY YOU’RE LOSING THE GAME OF WINE
“ABOUTTOWNDEB” JET BLUE TO LONG BEACH
CLAYTON BECK, PHOENIX RISING
FOSTERING LOVE FOR CHILDREN IN NEED
TO FRIENDS WHO ARE FAMILY & FAMILY WHO ARE FRIENDS
BABES IN TOYLAND
MARK ESTEE: FROM QUARTERBACK TO QUICHES
“ALWAYS WANTED” ADOPTED - AND PROUD OF IT
DO YOU EXFOLIATE? & MAKEUP 40 & BEYOND
HOLIDAY TRAIN: ADVENTURE TO THE CITY BY THE BAY
POUR A BIT OF GRAPEFUL JAZZ
12 DAYS OF FITNESS
ITS TIME TO BRING HOPE TO LIFE
A SHARED GIFT
COOKIES ARE THE BESTKEPT SECRET AMONG NURSING MOMS & BE FRUITFUL: ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO CONCEIVE
EL DORADO COUNTY WINE MAP
JUMPING HURDLES WITH BRITTANY GAINES
THE AMAZING JOURNEY OF SURROGACY
CREATING FAMILIES: PATHWAYS TO PARENTAGE
SPAVIA AT THE SUMMIT
FROM WALLFLOWER TO QUEEN BEE
MAKING HOLIDAY MAGIC
HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE
THE BIGGEST LITTLE CHRISTMAS
CEMBER 2016 NOVEMBER/DE
TO PATHWAYS PARENTAGE A Shared Gift
ON THE COVER: MaryBeth Smith and Colin Smith PHOTO CREDIT: Exit 186 Imagery HAIR AND MAKEUP: Kristina McKeegan JEWELRY: Natasha’s World Jewelry
BLISS BABE HOLIDAY E GIFT GUID UP ALL JAZZED in El Dorado Wine Country JUMPING HURDLES withs Brittany Gaine CHRISTMAS NOS with the CARA EN THE WOM X of TED JET BLUE toH LONG BEAC BABES IN TOYLAND
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
COLIN AND MARYBETH
Grille and of Roundabout Romance a Roundabout ER 2016 ❤
A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Photograph by Kiley Howard
elcome to our endof-year special edition, and what a whirlwind year it has been! We set out with a vision and a brand to empower and inspire others by telling stories and sharing experiences about life, successes, heartbreaks, heart songs, hopes and dreams. Over the year, we’ve had our ups and downs, stresses and struggles. But we’ve accomplished what we set out to do. We’ve also made new friends, connections and relationships that will last a lifetime. We’ve given people opportunities to cultivate hidden talents, dust off stowed-away dreams and voices waiting to be heard. Most of all, Bliss Babe has been a labor of love, and there is no stopping our momentum with a talented team of exciting and unique people. We are honored and thank you all for your consistent contribution and commitment. It’s not easy being the new kid on the block. You learn to take the hits and swallow your pride. When you get knocked down (and it happens a lot!) you get back up, dust yourself off and get back in the ring. Now, on the to our most exciting issue yet! Come with us as we explore El Dorado Wine Country. After you’ve had all the tannins your taste buds can take, cruise over to San Francisco for the holiday festivities in Union Square. Keep the festivities alive by heading south and hitting that LA scene! While you’re in LA-LA land, get dolled up and attend the Babes in Toyland charity event supporting the Midnight Mission. Then roll the dice in Sin City for an exquisite Vegas Christmas. Finally, Jet Blue it north back home to spend Christmas with the Caranos. Don’t forget to check out our special Holiday Gift Guide with our Bliss Babe picks, including ULTA Beauty, Whole Foods, Natasha World’s Jewelry, Transcend Interiors and many more!
In closing, we invite you to check this issue’s special section on creating families. The holidays are when family and friends get together to celebrate. We thought it was important enough to share with you the gift of family. The gift of a child. For some, it seems like an impossible gift. It’s not. Family comes in many forms and in many ways. So enjoy our special section Pathways to Parentage. Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making it a reality. And a special thankyou to Kim Surrat of Surrat Family Law for sharing her vison with us! We have arrived and we look forward to many more successful years ahead. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support! Bliss Babe magazine is a women’s beauty, fitness and lifestyle multi-platform publication empowering women to be their best at any level, age, orientation and life stage. Our goal is to assist women to fulfill their desire and passion, giving them the opportunity and tools to live a life full of purpose while becoming physically and mentally fit. Through captivating editorial content, stunning photography and riveting videos, published across various media including social media, mobile, email, and print, Bliss Babe Magazine serves its readers in the Nevada and Northern California area with the latest fitness and fashion-forward trends, technology, health advances, beauty, spiritual growth, personal development, and various other tools and services to help women become their best. Bliss Babe’s intention is to encourage its readers to share their stories and experiences so we can all learn and grow and build a thriving network of women from the Battle Born State to the far ends of the earth. Wherever you are reading Bliss Babe, we wish you an amazing journey filled with miracles and blessings. Never stop believing in yourself!
aka About Town Deb Business Development
BE BRAVE. BE BOLD. BE REMEMBERED! Yours Truly, Leslie McCarroll Leslie@Blissbabe.com
THE BLISS CREW
EMILY REESE Editor
67 BILL O’DRISCOLL Editor
THE BLISS CONTRIBUTORS
Yvette Auger Steve Fowler Martin A. Cody Emily Reese Kelly Rush Whitney Hovenic, MD Amanda Magrini, MD Sherri Aikin, MSN
Jennifer Harrington, APRN Fara Chaerani Molly LeGoy Meghan Di Rocco Tina Mokuau Jackie Shelton Tiffany Brown
Dorinda Vance Michael Christian Katie Knapp Jackie Peacock Craig Nielson Alyssa Starr Mena Spodobalski Tessa Marie
Morgan Dawn Sara Robbins Katie Coombs Danell Perlman Meg Steinitz Britton Douglass Kylie Rowe Colin Smith
Ric De La Rosa Christi Quatro Chrisie Yabu Andi Tyrell Rachel Karry Natasha Bayt Lynn Marie Kremers Wine Concierge
BLISS BABE STAFF EVENT PHOTOGRAPHERS Mike Stram & Gavin Graham of Exit 186 Imagery CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Clayton Beck Creative-Clayton Beck • Debbie McCarthy • Exit 186 Imagery -Mike Stram & Gavin Graham
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Sherry McConkey with The Shane McConkey Foundation Jill Tolles with the National Judicial College & UNR Instructor
Photos provided by Tim Dunn
LOCAL, NATIONALLY KNOWN SPEAKERS WILL ANCHOR ROSTER OF NEW AND ENGAGING TALKS AT RENO’S 2017 EVENT
ow entering its fifth year, the University of Nevada, Reno’s annual TEDxUniversityofNevada event offers a truly incredible opportunity for anyone wanting to share big ideas worth spreading, expand their knowledge about the world and better understand the perspectives of others. Next year’s event will be held on Jan. 21, 2017 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Grand Sierra Resort and will feature talks from a variety of individuals across multiple disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives. Did you know that collectively, the TEDxUniversityofNevada’s talks have garnered more than 10 million online views? Among the top 10 most-viewed talks in the history of this event, six were delivered by women. In 2015, journalist Sharyl Attkisson spoke about Astroturf and the manipulation of media messages. To date, her talk has received more than 714,000 views. Similarly, Elizabeth Smart’s 2014 talk about the process of healing following her childhood abduction has collected more than 365,000 views. Past events have featured a variety of impressive local female speakers, including Sherry McConkey of The Shane McConkey
Foundation; University of Nevada, Reno faculty member Jo Harvey; and health care improvement advocate Leilani Schweitzer. When taken together, so many strong, incredible and inspiring women have graced this platform. There’s certainly a lot to live up to, but based on the fantastic history of this event, 2017 gives us plenty more to get excited for. If you need proof, 81 percent of attendees surveyed in 2016 shared that they were truly delighted and are excited for the next event. Some of the women performing at TEDxUniversityofNevada’s 2017 event include country music singer CAM and The Warning, a Mexican-based rock band featuring three young sisters who have not only performed at TEDxUniversityofNevada before but who tour internationally and have also appeared on “Ellen.” Iskra Lawrence, Ebonee Davis, and former Miss USA pageant winner Tara Conner will deliver important talks about various issues. Others, like Larissa Martinez, a high school valedictorian who gained attention after sharing publicly that she was an undocumented immigrant, as well as advocates like Saram Naraghi-Anderlini and Samina Ali, will certainly not disappoint. UNR’s own student competition winner, Ashley Evdokimo, locals
Ashley Clift-Jennings, Ming Li Wu, and faculty members Vanessa Vancour and Ashley Greenwald-Tragash will also have important talks to share. Rounding out the list are NBC/ MSNBC journalist Maria Atencio and nonprofit leader Alexis Jones. While the nature of each talk is not shared in advance, everyone knows that TEDx talks can have nothing or everything to do with a person’s publicly shared biography. This reality opens the door to an unpredictable and highly informative experience, and there’s nothing quite like attending the event in person. To read the full biographies about each of the event’s upcoming speakers and to purchase tickets, please visit www.tedxuniversityofnevada.org. TIFFANY BROWN is a marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience working for global corporations such as CBRE, Trammell Crow Company, and Warner Bros. Studios. She is a graduate of the Masters in Business Administration program at the University of Nevada, Reno, and obtained her B.A. in Journalism at California State University, Chico. She is a part of the TEDxUniversityofNevada volunteer team, and also an active board member and Past President for the Reno-Tahoe chapter of the American Marketing Association. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
Christi Quatro of Big Fish Consulting Solutions
➜ NOVEMBER EVENTS ● NOVEMBER 18
12TH ANNUAL GOLF FORE! KIDS DINNER FOR FIRST TEE AT ELDORADO
Join First Tee for a cocktail hour, live and silent auctions and meal provided by Eldorado. VIP Speaker Danyelle Musselman, Cost: $125 single ticket/ $1000 table of 8.
CHEMISTRY OF THE COCKTAIL AT THE DISCOVERY MUSEUM
You’re invited to explore the artistry of mixology by taking a handson look at the science behind the craft of tiki-themed cocktails. At The Discovery’s premier annual fundraising event, you’ll explore your favorite libations in ways you’ve never experienced before. Cost: $95
FANTASIES IN CHOCOLATE AT GRAND SIERRA RESORT
Starlets and debutantes, gentlemen and scoundrels… Reno’s spectacular, extravagant, blacktie, costumed wine tasting and chocolate sampling event is back. Taste chocolate confections and savory creations presented by some of the region’s best chefs at society’s most talked about event. Pair those bonbons and bites with wine, beer, spirits and champagne that keeps flowing. Cost: $ 90/ $195 VIP.
POWER OF THE PURSE AT GRAND SIERRA RESORT
THE 13TH ANNUAL WILD WEST SHOOTOUT
The Nevada Women’s Fund’s Power of the Purse is a festive event featuring holiday shopping, raffle opportunities and food . All proceeds from the event support the Nevada Women’s Fund’s mission to strengthen the community by empowering women to improve their lives and those of their families. Cost: $40
nevadawomensfund.org NOVEMBER 22-JANUARY 1
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET THE MUSICAL
“Miracle on 34th Street” is a heartwarming musical based on the classic 1947 holiday movie of the same name. The story revolves around single mother, Doris Walker, who doesn’t want her sixyear old daughter’s head filled with romantic notions about Christmas. That is, until they both discover that the Macy’s department store Santa Clause may actually be the real Kris Kringle. For tickets call 775-786-5700
➜ DECEMBER EVENTS ●
PET PHOTOS WITH SANTA PAWS AT NEVADA HUMANE SOCIETY
Santa Paws will be available for photos —whether dog, cat, or other small creature, your pets are welcome to sit on Santa’s lap for a photo you will cherish this holiday season! Susan Koppel, owner and photographer at Susan Koppel Photography, will be offering digitally retouched images for a $5 donation. Donations for Santa Paws also benefits homeless pets at NHS. DECEMBER 3-4
MAGIC OF SANTA CRAFT FAIRE AT LIVESTOCK EVENTS CENTER
Find beautiful hand-made crafts from toll painted snowmen to fine wood works. Cost: $5
tannersreno.com ❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Annual Wild West Shootout is set, 2016 at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School (110 Bishop Manogue Dr, Reno, NV 89511). The Wild West Shootout brings together top high school basketball teams from throughout the West, to benefit the Sierra Kids Foundation, which supplements the efforts of the breakthrough University of Nevada, Reno Early Childhood Autism Program to rescue children and families from the darkness of autism through Applied Behavior Analysis. All-tournament passes are $25 for adults and $15 for students, children seniors and military. Daily passes are $10 and $6. For more information,
wildwestshootoutnv.org DECEMBER 17
UGLY SWEATER WINE WALK
Join us for our Ugly Sweater wine walk (the original, and still the best!) in the Riverwalk District. Where your ugliest or most creative holiday sweater and sample wine from more than 25 locations along the Truckee River and neighboring streets in downtown Reno. 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. $20 Admission per person
FLAVORFUL FOOD, FRIENDLY SERVICE, IN A WELCOMING, LOCAL ATMOSPHERE. 2 7 5 H I L L S T. R E N O , N V 8 9 5 0 1
LET OUR EXPERIENCED STAFF HELP MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT OR PARTY SOMETHING YOUR GUESTS WILL TALK ABOUT LONG AFTER ITS OVER. DETAILS ABOUT OUR FULL SERVICE EVENTS + PLUS SPACE AVAILABLE AT
S O D O R E N O.CO M
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
BRINGS FASHION TO THE BIGGEST LITTLE CITY WRITTEN BY AND PHOTOS BY FARAMEITHA CHAERANI It’s Ladies Night for the Biggest Little Fashion Truck at Liberty Food & Wine Exchange and the room is filled with delicious food, intricate cocktails, and a lot of style. Spotted showcasing the latest trends from her mobile fashion boutique is Britton Murdock. Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Britton Murdock is ready to take the fashion world by storm with her modern and mobile fashion boutique, the Biggest Little Fashion Truck. Murdock attended the University of Nevada, Reno, for her Bachelors and Masters degree while also playing softball and working as a graduate assistant prior to venturing into the world of fashion. “I love athletics and it will always be a part of me, but I was ready for a new adventure,” said Murdock. Now at twenty-seven years old, Murdock shares her story of how she broke through into the fashion industry and her inspirations. Fashion is something that has run in the family for Murdock. Her grandparents were the owners of Murdock’s clothing store, with locations in Carson City and Reno. “At that point I knew I had a passion for fashion,” said Murdock. Being in high school at the time, Murdock already knew that she loved clothes and getting dressed up and already showed an interest in working with fashion. Murdock knew that she wanted to stand out and do something different that would allow her to stand out in Reno and because of nearby festivals and events that are going on, as he knew a mobile boutique would be fitting for the Reno fashion scene. Murdock’s fashion career came to life when she met with the current mayor of Reno, Hillary
Schieve, for a cup of coffee; that same day, Schieve agreed to sell Murdock her truck, which is now the famous pastel pink Biggest Little Fashion Truck that can Britton Murdock and Reno’s Mayor Hillary Scheive be seen all over town. After spending some time in Europe, Murdock has taken some inspiration from European style. Murdock also keeps everything in the Fashion Truck up to date on current trends and affordable at under a hundred dollars. A notable brand that Murdock already carries is Ellison. Ellison is an up and coming brand known for being homemade and hand washed before being sold. The Biggest Little Fashion Truck caters to girls and women of all ages, sizes and different styles ranging from vintage pieces to plain, versatile pieces that Murdock calls the “staples of your closet”. Murdock is an advocate and mentor for young girls and being confident in your own skin. She encourages young girls to go after their dreams like she did, and to take any opportunity that is given to them. The Biggest Little Fashion Truck has a bright future ahead, with an online store opening later this year and goals to open up a brick and mortar shop along with a whole fleet of trucks traveling along the west coast. The Biggest Little City won’t be the last stop for the Biggest Little Fashion Truck! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
YOUR CLOSET IS A GOLDMINE! RESALE REINVENTED
Designer goods and Handbag Exchange
Gift Cards Available
WE PAY CASH ON THE SPOT
BRAND NAME, GENTLY USED WOMEN’S APPAREL
& BETTER WE MOVED! BIGGER LOCATION! 5075 S. McCarran Blvd. Reno • 775.284.0680 Clothesmentor.com or find us on facebook
䰀䔀䄀嘀䔀 夀伀唀刀 倀䄀匀吀 䤀一 吀䠀䔀 倀䄀匀吀 圀圀圀⸀䔀嘀伀䬀䔀䘀䤀吀⸀䌀伀䴀 ⠀㜀㜀㔀⤀ 㠀㈀㜀ⴀ㤀㤀㔀 㠀㤀㔀 䔀⸀ 倀䄀吀刀䤀伀吀 䈀䰀嘀䐀 簀 刀䔀一伀 㠀㤀㔀 12
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
The Buzz with BY BRITTON DOUGLASS
HIVE HAPPENINGS All I want for Christmas is you and my DNA results. Chromosomes may seem like an odd gift to get in your stocking from Santa, but not to 23andMe, an at-home DNA testing company. Christmas came early to more than 10,000 Northern Nevadans who were a part of a study born from a partnership with Renown, the governor’s office, the Desert Research Institute and 23andMe. With one simple mouth swab, the test will tell the client about heritage, any predispositions to diseases, and other useful genetic information.
(New Business and/or milestones for companies) You can have your CAEK and eat it, too, without ending up on the “naughty list.” Reno is becoming a hub for tech-savvy gurus and global industry. This trend of startups coming into the community just got a whole lot sweeter. CAEK Inc., a female-founded software company dedicated to helping companies stay in HIPPA compliance, has moved its headquarters to downtown Reno. Sprinkles on top, the location is in the heart of “Startup Row,” where many new tech-savvy companies have made their home. Welcome to the Biggest Little Hive Queen Bee’s!
SWEETER THAN HONEY (Community Campaigns) The Riverwalk District warmed up to Volunteers of America (VOA) this winter to collect linens and bedding for those in the shelter. This cozy partnership will assist the VOA, the organization that operates our local homeless shelter in the Brewery District. The donation wish list includes blankets, bedding, towels and other items that help people stay warm in these winter months. You can join in on this feel-good, warm and fuzzy feeling by donating today through their website.
THE BEE’S KNEES (A highlight of the season – Event/Launch/ Campaign) Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might have the best Christmas shopping options tonight. West Elm opened its doors this fall in the revamped old Post Office along the Truckee River. While visiting, take a tour of the Post Office’s Basement for additional shops that make for sweet gifts like Sugar Love Chocolates and Kalifornia Jean Bar. No one deserves coal in his or her stocking, so ditch the grinch attitude and get shopping at these wonderful local vendors.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
AN OLD FAVORITE COMES TO A NEW TOWN!
SQUEEZE IN LAS VEGAS BY MEGHAN DI ROCCO
OPENS ITS DOORS: CULTURE IS DUPLICATED
It is a widely used and culturally accepted idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While there certainly are a multitude of breakfast choices at the Squeeze In, it is certainly not the only option on the menu, nor is it the ‘thing.’ Serial entrepreneur and Squeeze In owner, Misty Young, and area developer, Chris Lowe, say what’s truly important is what you find when you look beyond the extensive menu. The attitude and ethos of the restaurant is actually front and center. Young attributes their culture to their wide spread success, along with their current expansion into Las Vegas, which is being led by Lowe. Anyone who has ever stepped foot into any of the six current locations can instantly tell that the restaurants are more than your average breakfast and lunch joint. They are a successful and relevant brand. The Squeeze, as it is affectionately called by Young and Lowe, is known for its delicious food, casual friendly vibe, and “the writing on the wall.” Literally, the writing is actually left by guests on t he wall. After being seated and getting a cheerful greeting by multiple associates, you can testify to one of the things that Lowe says makes the Squeeze so unique: There is no one demographic. The Squeeze In appeals to all ages and varieties of people. Unique and delicious food, happy service, and a fun, laid-back environment translate to a positive outcome for everyone. Culture is a giant part of the success at the Squeeze In, from the top down. “Culture is critical. Culture eats strategy for lunch,” Young says. Chris Lowe, who actually lives in Reno, is in charge of continuing this same feel in Las Vegas. Lowe is committed to ensuring that customers in ‘Sin City’ get the same overall positive dining experience guests are used to here in Northern Nevada and California. The vital word is guests. Young insists on using the word guests whereas most businesses use the word customers. Furthermore, the Squeeze hires for personality, as their philosophy is that you can train for anything else. As anyone who knows Young can attest, these viewpoints are preached and practiced. Hidden behind the colorful walls and vibrant atmosphere are strong business values that have proven their value year after year. The Vegas location, which is actually the first official franchise, opened its doors in early July. The plan is for ten total locations in Clark County, with the second Vegas location opening later this year. The new location already has thousands of ‘Egghead Club’ loyalty members. To advertise, Lowe uses traditional means and a ‘boots on the ground’ approach of community involvement. However, Young and Lowe are also huge advocates of social media and are quite successful. Lowe has always used Yelp and recently started using Grub Hub. Online ordering is also now available. The Squeeze In adapts to cater to its community and is doing exactly that in its newest location. “We strive to be flexible. It is absurd for us to expect our guests to act a certain way,” says Lowe. “We aim to nail the deliverables and service; the rest is noise.” As a loyal Squeeze In customer myself, I would argue that if the Squeeze In Las Vegas franchise delivers in the same way their devoted guests are accustomed, there will be many more walls to write on in the future. www.squeezein.com/las-vegas-nv 702-485-7899 Meghan is passionate about animals, skiing, fitness, the outdoors, coffee, good food, her friends, and family. The order of these interests depends on the day. In between all of these things, she occasionally finds time to put her thoughts on paper. 14
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Photo provided by Squeeze in Las Vegas
CHRISTMAS IN THE DESERT
Las Vegas at Christmas is a charming delight. The festive seasonal displays in the strip hotels are amazing, especially at the Bellagio resort where they go all out in transforming their conservatory into a 14,000-square-foot floral playground, showcasing the distinctive sights and colors of the best that the winter season has to offer. On a side note, actual Christmas is not as busy in Las Vegas, before the mad rush of visitors arriving for the New Year’s Eve celebrations STONEY’S ROCKIN’ COUNTRY, located at Town Square, celebrated its nine year anniversary for being Las Vegas’ premier venue for country music with a VIP Party and meet and greet with country music star Keith Anderson. We enjoyed free drinks and food, and also a live performance of all of his country hits. We also enjoyed the free line-dancing lessons, mechanical bull riding, beer pong and pool tables, which the public can also enjoy at this country nightclub weekly, from Wednesday-Saturday, 7 p.m. — late.
We got to check out the new TOPGOLF COURSE and entertainment complex close to the strip for an exclusive cocktail party and meet and greet with the famous UNLV head Men’s Basketball Coach, Marvin Menzies. I must say, Topgolf is an absolutely brilliant place. It describes itself as “the premier entertainment and event venue with fun point-scoring golf games for all skill levels, upscale bar food and drinks, great music and more! Players hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield.” This place is definitely worth checking out, even if you don’t like playing golf, because they have plenty of other activities, including a swimming pool spectators can hang out in while waiting for their friends to hit some balls. It has the best of both worlds for everyone! Last but not least, I couldn’t sign off without mentioning my free weekly networking mixers. You’re invited to come check them out with me at our first-class venues around Las Vegas at cosmopolitanconnections.com.
Photos provided byYvette Auger
Yvette Auger is a licensed Las Vegas real estate agent, along with her husband Eric. She is also the founder of Cosmopolitan Connections Inc., a free weekly Las Vegas Networking Events entity, which brings together like-minded business professionals and entrepreneurs. Photo Credit: Juliana Goldberg/ The Boudoir Club
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
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❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
HOLIDAY WINE PAIRING
BY MICHAEL CHRISTIAN
Holidays are a time for opulent meals with family and friends. Matching the right wine with a dinner or a course can help both the dish and the wine taste that much better. Here are my recommendations for some common holiday dishes. TURKEY: Off-dry white wines pair exceptionally well with turkey. Think Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Riesling and Chenin Blanc. If you would rather pair a red with your turkey, I suggest a lighter Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir, or perhaps a Beaujolais. Don’t go too heavy in the red department or you will lose the flavor of the bird. GLAZED HAM: For glazed ham, an oak-aged California Chardonnay is going to be a good match. A light- to medium-bodied red will also work very well. Pinot Noir, Monastrell/Mourvedre or a Rhone blend should work very nicely.
GO RED 2017 Friday, February 3, 2017
Downtown Reno Ballroom Call 775-322-7065 for tickets and sponsorship information.
BEEF AND LAMB: Rich red meat calls for rich red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is an obvious choice, but Zinfandel, Malbec and Syrah will also work very well. If you make lamb and dress it with mint sauce, I can’t help you. I have yet to find a wine that pairs well with mint, though Zinfandel aged in American oak is probably the least objectionable option.
More important than any of these recommendations is that you like the wine you are drinking. If you only drink Chardonnay and it will make you happier to drink that with your prime rib, then you should do that instead. I’m pretty sure sparkling wine goes with everything, though I’m sure many folks will disagree with me. CHEERS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Fine Vines CHEESE AND WINES
T H E J U N G L E R E N O COM
6300 Mae Anne Ave #3 • 775-787-6300 • FineVines.net NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
3.8” wide x 2.47” high
3.8” wide x 2.47” high
3.8” wide x 2.47” high
3.8” wide x 2.47” high
3.8” wide x 2.47” high
3.8” wide x 2.47” high
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Pro Men photo by Jeff Namba
CRAIG NIELSON MA, CPC
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 myinternalimage.com
o begin, I want to stress that this is written from one man’s perspective -- my own. This comes as a result of my work with women over the years, coaching them through tough break-ups, job interviews and transitions, and in achieving success in the workplace. I’ve also been asked several times what men think when it comes to women and what do they look for in a potential partner or co-worker. With that, this is my take on what women need to know when working with men. This is not a blanket statement on all men or all women. I also want to debunk some myths that I see continuing to prevail. Like “only attractive women get promotions and have an advantage in being selected for a position.” This may be true in some instances and it is certainly what is often portrayed in the media. However, the truth is it’s more about who you are, what you have done and what you can do that makes you a desirable candidate. Studies have shown that women at times minimize their accomplishments. When asked how they got to where they are, they say things like “I got lucky” or “I was at the right place at the right time.” Men admire hard work. When you’re asked how you got to where you are, mention the work you did to achieve your success. It’s not bragging or being conceited to take pride in what you have accomplished. Let your efforts shine.
THE GENDER EQUALITY: IT CAN BE ACHIEVED Be conscious of preconceived judgments you may have about men, such as men will automatically discount you for being a woman, or men are only after one thing, or men don’t believe a woman can do as good a job as a man. Though at times these ideas may ring true, do not discount men based on an assumption. There are plenty of respectful men who admire women and believe women have equal value in the workplace. This is true of the men
I know, including myself. This works both ways. I’m a coach who works with women and a professional speaker who speaks on topics to help empower women. In the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve heard women say things like, I’m a man and I couldn’t possibly know what a woman goes through. I’ve been shut out of speaking engagements because some women’s organizations have the “no men allowed” mentality. Now, do I believe all women have this impression? Of course not. If I did, I’d be out of business. Fortunately, most women don’t think that way and they know and respect what I do.
There is plenty of discussion today about the wage gap and how women are not being paid the same as men for equal work. This is true and a much-needed discussion. Certainly discrimination in the workplace contributes to this. Another contributing factor, however, when it comes to getting an increase in pay is women don’t ask for it, whereas men are more likely to ask for a raise. Research has shown that many women don’t ask for a raise in pay because they feel lucky to be where they are and don’t feel they will be taken seriously if they did ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for a pay increase, but be able to justify and articulate why you deserve it. Most men, if they’re worth their salt, appreciate effort and will support rewarding work well done. Who do you want on your team? Think of women you admire for what they have done and accomplished, and then work to emulate their traits and behaviors. Think of men you’d like to work with who respect and encourage you to be your best. If I had to pick my dream team, I’d choose Sarah Reinersten, Lauren Manning and Elizabeth “Liz” Murray, for starters. These are all amazing women who have inspired me. True gender equality is the vision I have, men and women working together to bring out the best in each other. Yes, we are different, but I believe we have equal value and when we can all see the value in our differences, we’ll have it made. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
with Brittany Gaines BY EMILY REESE
“I want to call Mr. Moore!”
From top: Brittany crowed Miss Shingle Springs Cameron Park 2016 Our family before the crowning Our family and County Supervisor, Shiva Frentzen Sisters Brooke and Brittany Photos Provided by the Gaines Family
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fter sifting through Brittany’s words several times, Brittany’s mom, Wanda, and Brittany’s assistant finally realized what Brittany wanted to do. But they were unsure why Brittany wanted to call her old principal from high school. Was it to share that she finally was able to graduate with an advanced diploma? Or was it to show anger that the school district didn’t believe in her for some reason? Wanda finally did relent and let her leave a message with him. Mr. Moore called back and the ball got rolling for celebrations and awards that just five years earlier, the Gaines family couldn’t have dreamed would happen. Brittany, at 23 years old, has lived her life as a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. She is legally blind and her speech is difficult to understand. From an early age, Wanda and Bill Gaines had to advocate and fight every inch of the way to get Brittany what she needed to succeed in public schools. It was an uphill battle, and even with an advocate helping them, resistance was met by teams of “specialists” saying what they thought Brittany could accomplish, while her parents knew all along what Brittany wanted and was capable of doing. Specific stories of battles they fought to get what Brittany needed could fill up a book. Besides her junior high special education teacher erroneously assuming that Brittany had a mental disability for an entire year, one of their battles included insisting that they test Brittany for braille capabilities, which was denied. Instead, Wanda, Bill and her sister Brooke tested her capabilities on elevator braille instructions and anything else they could get their hands on to see if she had the neurological skills to be able to learn it. She did. Yet, no one in the district would conduct the tests. Year after year, and meeting after meeting, Wanda and Bill Gaines became more and more frustrated with the IEP (Individual Education Plan) process, which sometimes included more than 20 people sitting around the table, thinking they knew what was best for Brittany. Were there people in the district who cared? Of course. Unfortunately, Wanda and Bill were viewed as a thorn in the side of the district, who brought to light the shortcomings of Special Education services in California and the nation as a whole. They continued to fight for their daughter’s rights and what they knew she wanted. But in the end, the family chose to pull her out of school her Junior year and put her in online classes through Hadley School for the Blind in Chicago. The school district’s special education programs were too underfunded, too overcrowded, and too overworked to take the time to hone in on their daughter and what it would take to get her what she needed. In just a couple of years, Brittany accomplished her goal of receiving her high school diploma, including a GPA of 3.83. Mr. Moore, the principal from her high school, was someone who supported her, even though the district failed her in so many ways. He often had Brittany in his office to sit and chat and show the love he had for her. Brittany knew he cared. So once he returned her phone call, a small graduation celebration turned into a town event, and Brittany’s hard work became an inspiration for all students and families with special needs.
Nearly the entire town and significant people in her life attended the ceremony, which included a stage and a video made by people who sent in their stories and well-wishes for Brittany. Her sister Brooke, who sings professionally, emceed the event, and Brittany exuded joy in her cap and gown while seeing the tribute to her life. Congressman Mike Thompson from Napa Valley even sent a video from Washington D.C., congratulating her for her grace and determination, saying “there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.” The images of loved ones, family and friends moved the crowd, and being able to see pictures of her friend Sean Guillory taking her to dances and school events were touching, especially since he passed away a few years ago. He was a special soul who, along with her friends in high school, made her school experience amazing for Brittany, despite the academic hurdles. Brittany’s graduation ceremony and speech she had transcribed for the crowd of loved ones was inspirational, and can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/ rlTkgu5qetc. When Mr. Moore, whom Brittany insisted be the one to present her diploma to her, shared a poem and some encouraging words, he announced her accomplishment by proclaiming loudly and directing his statement proudly with a smile toward Brittany’s mom: “Wanda, this is NOT a certificate! This is a high school diploma!” Everyone cheered and Brittany went wild. To close out the ceremony, Brooke, Mr. Moore and Brittany took a selfie from the stage with everyone from the crowd. When asked what Brittany was most proud of, it was being crowned the very first Miss Shingle Springs Cameron Park from the Chamber of Commerce in a beautiful ceremony. As Miss Shingle Springs Cameron Park, she has all the same duties that someone crowned as a representative of the area would have. She attends events and ribbon-cutting ceremonies and inspires the people, who often take pictures with her, since she is truly a celebrity. The Chamber will offer this annual award to an individual who shows the qualities that Brittany exudes: a good GPA, a good heart, volunteer efforts, and reaching goals in the face of great difficulty. Brittany’s parents and sister see Brittany as an example that all students, regardless of ability, are capable of learning, succeeding and reaching the highest of goals. The road has been very difficult; Wanda cannot imagine what it would be like for parents who are beholden only to what the government, federal funding and state boards of education have to offer. She sees that what they were able to accomplish as a family is not something that everyone may be able to do. “So many times the things that went on in the school district, I wanted to go public with, but my first priority was to protect my child.” It is a common struggle for families wanting to publicize wrongdoings but also wanting to protect their children in the process. This causes families with special needs students to feel as though the “school district holds all the cards.” Wanda didn’t want to call the media and bring attention to it because she feared her daughter would be degraded publicly by the district in an effort to defend themselves. “But,” she said, “My daughter did it. She chose to do it. She chose to complete her high school education despite all the hurdles she had. She was ticked off that they didn’t believe in her; she got the 3.8 GPA. And guess what? It wasn’t because of me that I’ve overcome that hurdle of being fearful of going public with how smart my kid is. It was because of her that I was able to jump that hurdle. Had she not done what she did, the public wouldn’t know.” “She is the one that jumped that hurdle.” Brittany Gaines is not done jumping hurdles. With supportive family and friends, Brittany will continue to impact others with her determination and example of what every student and people with all abilities can accomplish. Her goals are important to her, and she lives with gratitude, perseverance, and strength, a lesson each of us can learn from Miss Shingle Springs Cameron Park. Keep jumping, Brittany. We will follow. To find out more about Brittany, her family and their activities, visit Brittany on Facebook at Miss Shingle Springs Cameron Park 2016 or her .com website with the same name. You can also stop by Wanda’s business online, called Camo Queen: The Elegant Outdoor Woman at CamoQueenClothing. com. Be sure to follow Brittany’s sister, Brooke, and her singing career at BrookeGaines.com. Brooke can be found performing with her grandfather and solo at wineries in the El Dorado County area.
From top: Graduation Selfie - A selfie of the Graduation Celebration with Brooke, Brittany and past Principal of Ponderosa High School, Chris Moore Sisters Brooke & Brittany at Graduation Celebration The Gaines Family and Mr. Moore at the Graduation Celebration Emily Reese is a mother of three, a teacher, a speaker, a writer and a passionate advocate for students and education. Having survived colon cancer twice, she knows a strong person when she sees one; Brittany Gaines has inspired her tremendously while she faces her cancer hurdle for a third time. You can follow Emily on Facebook at Emily Fay Reese, or visit her at SameSidesSupportForStraightSpouses.com, an advocacy blog for Straight Spouses and their LGBTQ counterparts. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
12 Days of Fitness
BY MENA SPODOBALSKI AND JACKIE PEACOCK
The holidays are a tough time of the year to maintain your weight and your hardearned work through the year. This is typically the time of year when people binge at holiday parties and drink more than normal due to all the festivities. We’re here to tell you that it does not have to be that way. Here are some tips on how to make the holiday season a healthy one heading into the New Year! 1. JACKIE - Keep those obliques trim over the holiday season with Elbow Plank Hip Drops. Here’s how: plank position. Elbows directly below shoulders. Knees or toes on ground, neutral spine, chin off chest, tailbone pushing slightly forward (booty down). Drop right hip toward the ground and engage oblique to pull it back up to plank. Alternative sides. Go for 30 seconds with a 10 second break. Repeat 2-4 times. 2. MENA - Don’t skip meals! Head to the holiday party with a light meal in you. This will help you avoid overeating because you are “hangry” and ready to eat everything in sight! 3. JACKIE - Eat a small protein-rich snack to satiate hunger prior to a holiday party so you don’t go in starving. (Protein takes longer to digest so you naturally feel fuller longer.) Almonds, yogurt, eggs, turkey cutlets, even a protein bar are all good examples. 4. MENA - Do drink lots of water. For every cocktail you enjoy, have a glass of water in between. This will help you stay hydrated as well as slow down the alcohol -- and empty calories -- intake. 5. JACKIE - If you are going with the liquid calories, try a uniquely healthy protein drink such as this Oatmeal Shake recipe: 1 cup dry oatmeal, 2 scoops vanilla protein, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 cup sugar-free maple syrup, 1 tbsp. chopped almonds, 1-1/2 cup water or low-fat milk. 6. MENA - Do try to fill your plate with mostly healthy options. Veggies, lean proteins, a cookie; avoid creams, cheeses, rich dips and fried foods. Those are the calorie-dense foods with little nutritional value.
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7. JACKIE - The Buddy. Remember the scene in the movie “Elf” when Buddy the elf was jumping excitedly on the trampoline? Translate that to the floor for a quick cardio pump: squat, star jump, squat, tuck jump. Modification, no jumping: Squat, 1 side leg lift -- squat -- same side leg standing knee crunch. Repeat 20 times each, alternating sides. 3 rounds total. 8. MENA - If you are bringing something to share to a party, make it healthy! This way you will have at least one option you know is healthy and delicious! 9. JACKIE - Stay at least an arm’s length away from buffet table so you don’t mindlessly nibble while you chat. Make the conscious decision to choose the healthier options first and try the others later -- and use a small plate. 10. MENA - No time for the gym? Pull up a workout video on YouTube and get 20 or 30 minutes in! 11. JACKIE - Do your workout first thing in the morning! This will get you motivated and those endorphins going so you can take on the day! 12. MENA - Here is a quick and effective workout for you to do on your own! 5-4-3-2-1, GO! 50 jumping jacks, 50 mountain climbers, 50 squats, 50 sec plank, 50 lunges. Then take it down to 40 of each, then 30, then 20, then 10.
PHOTO BY BILL LARKIN
TO KEEP YOU HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Do You Exfoliate? BY LESLEY ALUFFI What is exfoliating, you ask? The definition of exfoliation is “to shed or remove the surface” of skin and everyone should be doing it regularly. There are many different ways to exfoliate. There are chemical exfoliants like acids or enzymes and physical exfoliants like scrubs or dermafoliants. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells and exposes fresh, new skin. It can make your skin smoother, help prevent signs of aging, stop or prevent breakouts and also help your serums, masks or moisturizers penetrate more easily. Generally, you should be exfoliating your face at home about three times a week. If you use a dermafoliant, which is usually a powder made from a rice bran base, it is safe enough to use daily. I save some time in my routine by mixing my dermafoliant in with my cleanser. Then I’m cleansing and exfoliating at the same time! There really isn’t any exfoliator that is better than another, I think it’s just personal preference and what fits into your routine easier. If you choose to use a physical exfoliant, be sure to use something that is naturally round ground? and not something that has been crushed, like apricot seed, etc. Those tend to have sharp edges and can cause micro tears in your skin. If bacteria gets in there, you’re in trouble. Don’t forget that your skin doesn’t stop at your neck. Exfoliating leaves your whole body soft and smooth. A delicious-smelling sugar scrub followed by a hydrating body lotion will leave your skin baby soft.
BEAUTY BEYOND 40
BY TINA MOKUAU - The Makeup Artist
You’re no longer a princess, but a queen! Maybe you’re in your late 30’s, just entered the 40’s, or you may be beyond 50. Whatever the case may be, the makeup and skincare routine you had in your youth may not be what’s best for your needs now. As we age and become more fabulous, our skin and facial structures change. You may notice drier, thinner skin, fine lines, age spots, adult acne and changes in your lashes and eyebrows. Don’t panic! It’s completely natural to experience some of these things. Here are a few pointers to keep you fresh and lovely, no matter what age you are!
UpdateYour Makeup Routine! Take a look at your skin care and make sure it addresses your skincare needs now, not issues from years ago. Switch out sparkly and glittery shadows for matte colors to accentuate your peepers without drawing attention to wrinkles. Lose the dark lip liners, lipsticks and frosty formulas. They make the lines around your mouth more noticeable and make your lips look thinner. Opt for pinks, mauves, and peach colored lip gloss instead. It will give a more plump, youthful look. Consider less or no bottom eyeliner and mascara, it can cause more darkness under your eyes and drag down the eye. Keep the attention on the upper part of your eyes and avoid smudges.
Get a great face primer and eye shadow primer. It makes a huge difference in smoothing out your skin, diminishing pores and helps your makeup stay put. Pay attention to your brows, fill in thin brows to frame your eyes and give a more youthful appearance. Use a sheer foundation that provides coverage you can build instead of heavy formulas. Curl your lashes. It’s like an instant eye lift! Switch to a water resistant mascara instead of water proof, which can cause dry, brittle lashes. Keep powder only to shine prone areas, such as nose, forehead, etc. Keep it away from under your eyes as it tends to collect in the creases. Try a cream blush in a rosy pink or apricot to add a dewy, youthful glow to cheeks.
Have fun trying new techniques and if you’re looking for more guidance, make an appointment with a professional makeup artist who has experience working with women your age. Enjoy the confidence and wisdom that comes with age and know that you are beautiful always! Please follow me on Facebook and feel free to ask me any beauty related questions. www.facebook.com/tinamokuaumakeupartist NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
DECIDING ON A CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT TO FIGHT OSTEOPOROSIS BY JENNIFER HARRINGTON, APRN, Northern Nevada Medical Group Jennifer Harrington, APRN, is a family nurse practitioner with Northern Nevada Medical Group. She earned her master’s degree in nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno. She sees patients at 5975 South Los Altos Parkway, Suite 100. Harrington is accepting new patients, and accepts most of the area’s health plans including Medicare. To schedule an appointment please call 775-352-3080.
You might have seen recent news reports that have questioned the value of calcium supplements in preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. It affects more than 28 million Americans and accounts for 1.5 million bone fractures each year. Bone is living tissue, which is constantly being absorbed and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone does not keep up with the removal of old bone. Gradual bone loss becomes serious after age 50. In women, the hormonal changes of menopause, and the resulting drop in estrogen levels, can greatly worsen the imbalance. Calcium is essential to building new bone, and the body does not produce calcium on its own. Thus, you may need a calcium supplement. Starting a calcium supplement requires some research, so begin by consulting your provider. Also ask your provider or pharmacist about possible interactions with any prescription medications that you take and which type of calcium supplement would work for you. Women 51 and older should have 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day with an upper limit of 2,000 mg. While calcium is important to bone health, vitamin D also plays an important role in bone growth and remodeling. It helps your body absorb the calcium that you take. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 international units per day. Of the several calcium compounds used in supplements, calcium carbonate contains 40 percent elemental calcium while calcium citrate contains 21 percent elemental calcium. Other compounds have even less elemental calcium. You need to
When shopping for a calcium supplement, remember that: T he USP sets purity and quality standards, so look for the USP label. C alcium citrate (versus calcium carbonate) might be more helpful if you take an acidreducing medicine for acid reflux. L iquid or chewable supplements often are the most easily absorbed. A ll varieties of calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) at mealtimes.
know the percentage of elemental calcium so that you can calculate the actual amount of calcium that you will absorb from a given supplement. Refer to the Supplement Facts label on calcium supplements to determine the amount of calcium in one serving. For example, 1,250 mg of calcium carbonate contains 500 mg of elemental calcium, because that form of calcium has 40 percent elemental calcium. Be sure to note the serving size (number of tablets) when determining how much calcium is in one serving. Calcium supplements can cause side effects, such as gas, bloating or constipation. Calcium carbonate usually is the most constipating. You might need to try a few different brands or types of supplement to find the supplement that you can tolerate best. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate each have advantages and disadvantages. So do your research, choose one, and switch if you find that another works better for you.
The challenge of caring for your skin in winter BY DR. WHITNEY HOVENIC MD, MPH, FAAD Skin Cancer and Dermatology Institute Here it comes again… falling leaves, crisp mornings, chilly evenings, cozy nights by the fire and that ever-familiar dry, cracking, itchy winter skin. But this winter, enjoy the change of the season by learning how a few simple changes to your skin-care regimen can keep your skin happy all winter long. Let’s start with a few basics. First, if you live in a four-season climate, your skin-care regimen will need adjusting with the change in the weather. Winter in cooler climates not only means exposure to the elements, but more time indoors in heated rooms which tend to be dry with low humidity. Keep your skin happy by applying, at least twice a day, moisturizing lotion that is free of perfumes. If you wash your hands frequently and notice that this is particularly difficult with cold exposure, carry a small 24
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moisturizer in your purse or coat pocket and apply after every hand-washing. I recommend patients get a moisturizer that comes in a pot or jar, as it is easier to apply a good coating rather than having to pump from a bottle. One myth out there is that frequent bathing worsens dry skin and therefore the answer is to decrease water exposure. But in truth, water is good for our skin; it is just a matter of trapping the moisture into the skin surface. This can be accomplished by applying moisturizers within three minutes of bathing. Too long of a hot shower can be harsh on the skin (and not a great idea for our diminishing water supply) so keep shower temperatures at lukewarm to warm and limit showers to five to 10 minutes. After bathing, pat the skin dry so it is still slightly damp and then apply a good layer of moisturizer. Ensure the soap is mild and avoid antibacterial washes unless instructed by a physician. If these measures aren’t enough to keep your
skin with its winter glow, visit a board-certified dermatologist as you may need a course of topical steroids to calm down the skin so it can heal enough for the moisturizers to do their job. Winter does not mean it is time to skip the sunscreen. Especially for active types who venture into the Sierra, high altitude and reflection of sunlight on snow increase sun exposure. I recommend a zinc oxide- or titanium dioxide-based sunblock. These do a better job of reflecting sunlight and are less likely to cause irritation than absorbable sunscreens. Zinc also serves as a good barrier from the elements. Don’t forget your lips and the tip of your nose, often the only two areas exposed on those of you fully suited up for a day on the slopes. The sunblock should be reapplied every few hours for maximum sun protection. So moisturize away and have a great winter! And pray for snow.
From Quarterback to Quiches hriving in the heart of the Biggest Little City is Reno’s premier place to wine and dine; Liberty Food & Wine Exchange fills the Biggest Little City with flavor and style. Among the polished décor, clinking wine glasses and the hustle and bustle of the Biggest Little Fashion Truck event, is the owner Mark Estee who hails from Boston, Massachusetts, and shares his journey to culinary success. Estee came down from Truckee, California in 2011 to expand his business, starting with the Italian restaurant, Campo. Today, Liberty Food & Wine exchange is Estee’s tenth restaurant he’s owned and the most recent. “We wanted to
celebrate all the farmer and ranchers that we knew were down here; that’s what we did in Truckee and we wanted a bigger market here in Reno,” said Estee, who’s motto is Simple, Seasonal, Local, and Fresh. At Liberty Food & Wine exchange, Estee takes pride in what makes his culinary creations stand out among the rest of the crowd and his “farm to table” methods do just that. “Bold in seasoning, passionate about cooking, and the best ingredients,” said Estee, who also works with forty-two farmers and ranchers. Starting off as a football player in high school and college, Estee’s plans took a turn when decided to go to
culinary school. “When I went to culinary school I knew I was home. I fell in love with it,” said Estee. “Being a quarterback is a lot like being a chef because you’re working with and leading a team.” When Estee is not at home cooking his go to meals and favorite foods for his family, he also enjoys the food scene in Reno, which he believes has been progressing over the years with more ethnic cuisines; however, he does not enjoy fast food. Estee continues to follow his passion and travels and cooks at food and wine places all over the country, all while managing his own restaurants here in Reno.
Photos provided by Liberty Food & Wine Exchange
BY FARAMEITHA CHAERANI
We believe in you. Yes, you. We believe you can make your dreams into reality — and we can help. At The Visionary, we’ll guide you to create a vision board, a physical manifestation of your innermost desires. It’s a beacon, a focus point, and a divining rod. It reminds you to believe in yourself just as much as we do right now.
960 S. Virginia Street • Reno NV 89503 (Next door to Junkee) • 775-322-5865 visionaryreno.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
Phoenix Rising When staring at these portraits of Samantha Tolkien, it is easy to imagine that the model simply flew into place for this photograph to be taken. Her grace appears effortless as the champagne feathers from The Phoenix Gown cascade down the Nevada mountainside, glowing in the rays of sunset. “There was actually smoke from a nearby wildfire creating this golden haze in the sky for this photo shoot,” said Clayton Beck, designer of the gown and the photographer responsible for the images. “It is amazing that Samantha was able to look so stunning. By the look on her face, you can’t even tell we had just hiked for miles to reach this location. Or that there were 50-foot drop-offs on either side of us!” The Phoenix Gown is the artist’s most intensive fashion project to date, featuring nearly 1,000 hand-sewn ostrich feathers and a Swarovski rhinestone applique. “As soon as I finished making the dress, I knew it would need to be photographed in some kind of magical location,” Beck said. “So I went for a long drive into the high deserts of Northern Nevada. While I was driving up Highway 395, I saw three red-tailed hawks, and I ended up following them up to this place called ‘Red Rock Road.’ I just fell in love with the color of the mountains up there. It was like something I had never seen before.” Beck knew right away that he had discovered the location for his Phoenix Gown photo shoot. WRITTEN BY: RIC DE LA ROSA
PHOTOGRAPHY: CLAYTON “And I also knew rightBECK away that SamanMODEL: CHELSEA MARY HARRAH tha was the only model I could think of who wouldn’t think I was crazy for asking her to channel her inner mountain goat and shimmy up the side of a cliff wearing a couture ball gown,” he said.
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Fashion: The Phoenix Gown available at ClaytonBeckCreative.com Article: Ric De La Rosa Photography: Clayton Beck Model: Samantha Tolkien
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CHRISTMAS WITH THE
Downtown Reno is festive, fun and family-friendly this holiday season BY SARA ROBBINS, PUBLICIST
Photos provided by Eldorado Reno
While many in Northern Nevada hope for a white Christmas, at the Eldorado Resort Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno, we always celebrate a different kind of chromatic Christmas – a neon one. Downtown Reno is filled with vibrant events, décor and libations during the holidays, from the first slice of turkey at Thanksgiving until the ball drops and the fireworks color the skies to welcome us into the New Year. As such, and in the spirit of the holidays, we welcome our closest friends and family (that’s you) to wine, dine, dance and play your way through the most joyous time of the year. With family of all ages visiting you from out of town, now is the perfect time to check out the recently reimagined Midway of Fun at Circus Circus Reno. Filled with old carnival-style favorites and hi-tech games of today, everyone’s inner child comes alive under the Big Top. Head to the brand new carnival stage, which will open just in time for Thanksgiving, for free circus acts daily, including JR Johns and his incredibly trained dogs, then have a family competition at the Camel Races. Everyone’s inner child will come alive at Circus Circus. Another exciting all-ages venture for the holidays is “Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical” appearing live at the Eldorado Theatre from Nov. 22-Jan. 1. This heartwarming musical is based on the classic 1947 holiday movie of the same name. The story revolves around single mother Doris Walker, who doesn’t want her 6-year-old daughter’s head filled with romantic notions about Christmas. That is, until they both discover that the Macy’s department store Santa Claus may actually be the real Kris Kringle. Tickets start at $29.95 with children ages 5-12 just $19.95 and seniors over
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60, $24.95 and can be purchased at EldoradoReno.com. The biggest stars in the Biggest Little City can always be found at the Silver Legacy. Treat your family and out-of-town guests to a star-studded night in the Grande Exposition Hall. Upcoming artists include The Psychedelic Furs (Nov. 4), Dwight Yoakam (Nov. 5), Celtic Thunder (Nov. 11), Gabriel Iglesias (Nov. 12 at the Reno Events Center), Adam Carolla (Nov. 19), Rodney Carrington (Nov. 25), Anjelah Johnson (Dec. 2), Lost 80’s (Dec. 9), and Lisa Lampanelli on Dec. 17. Tickets for all concerts can be purchased at SilverLegacy.com. Cooking for the masses can be stressful, so to that we say, “Forget about it!” and leave the cooking to us. Our fabulous culinary team will ensure all of your holiday favorites are on the menu at The Buffet at the Eldorado or Flavors! The Buffet at Silver Legacy. Turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving? Check. Prime rib, ham
and cherry pie for Christmas? We’ve got it. Champagne for New Years? You know it. Both buffets will be open throughout the holidays for your lavish enjoyment. As the clock strikes closer to 2017 (already?!), we want you to slip on that little black dress that’s been hanging for far too long in the closet, #treatyoself to a mani/pedi and use half a bottle of hairspray to hold the curls so you can be at the most happenin’ New Years party (or should we say... parties) in Reno. Enjoy holiday martinis at Roxy, dine on a steak dinner at Sterling’s Seafood Steakhouse, get down to live music at The Brew Brothers and find your midnight kiss under the explosive fireworks that will be set off across the downtown skies. So, there you have it – your entire winter is planned, and if you spend it with us, it’s sure to be a good time. From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful, joyous season and we’ll see you in 2017!
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ALL THINGS COMING FULL CIRCLE By Chrisie Yabu Photography by Exit 186 Imagery
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hey say that behind every great man is a great woman. Or perhaps, in this day and age, behind every great woman, is a great man. In the case of Roundabout, both statements reign true. Colin and MaryBeth Smith have been in the Roundabout business of things for the last 10 years, starting with Roundabout Bistro in the Somersett area (where the name came from), which quickly became a locals’ favorite. The Bistro expanded to include a market filled with fresh produce, locally sourced products and even a burger bar, back before burger bars were trendy. They started to offer catering services for special events and parties due to the demand from their customers. During the recession, the Bistro closed so that Roundabout Catering could focus on the event planning and catering side of the business. It evolved from a home kitchen to a comprehensive catering facility. Today, Roundabout Catering & Party Rentals is a 20,000 squarefoot complex in Sparks, Nevada, complete with two large kitchens, a fleet of delivery vehicles, a full-sized food truck and a warehouse of party equipment. Some of their corporate gigs include the League to Save Lake Tahoe Saks Fifth Avenue and Oscar de la Renta event, Breitling at the National Championship Air Races, the Tahoe Fund Founders Circle Dinner and the Western Governors Dinner. In addition to catering, Roundabout also runs the Gym Rat, Caveman Cuisine and Show Prep healthy meal plans, all prepared fresh in the Roundabout Catering facility. Several years ago, Chef Colin realized the need for a quality, healthy program for nutrition-conscious individuals, and turned it into a successful product line. To top it off, Roundabout Catering services six local area schools with their school lunch programs. You won’t see bland tater tots and watery green beans on these lunch trays. Furthermore, in June 2016, The Smiths had the opportunity to transition one of the most beautiful restaurant spaces in Reno and call it their own. Roundabout Grille opened with a brand new menu showcasing American-inspired cuisine, with Chef Colin at the helm as Executive Chef of both the restaurant and the Whitney
GIVING BACK Roundabout believes in the spirit of community. The Pro Start program allows Colin to mentor younger chefs. Colin is also a “big” with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization in Northern Nevada. Every year, he enthusiastically partakes in Big Chefs, Big Gala – an event that he founded. Roundabout also supports numerous nonprofits in town such as the American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, Care Chest of Nevada and Casa de Vita.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
Peak Hotel. Roundabout serves as the caterer for The Third Floor banquet and catering space of the hotel, while providing the hotel’s room service. MaryBeth is at the heart of the operation, keeping things moving, budgets in-line, staff happy and working hard. With more than 23 years experience, she is the perfect balance of ingenuity and inventiveness for Colin in both marriage and business. Helping to grow the company through acquisitions and leadership, she is the backbone of Roundabout. MaryBeth also has a keen eye for design, always seeing that Roundabout’s clients are pleased with their event décor, and delighted with the end result of their concept and vision. Colin is, of course, the creative engine. With a solid foundtion in the classical European style of cooking at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, he can do anything from innovative and comfort cuisine to healthy and ethnic choices. You’ll know what delicious, approachable, creative food tastes like when you sample your first bite. Earlier this year, MaryBeth and Colin’s daughter, Beth Bach, joined the team. She earned her wings with RPM Steak and Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago, Illinois. She is now the general manager for Roundabout Grill and the director of catering and corporate events for Roundabout Catering. Some say the Smiths have turned Roundabout into an “empire,” but to them, instilling family values into their everyday operations is what sets them apart and keeps them happy. It’s the reason why several of their employees have been with them for the past 10 years. One of the biggest changes since running both the catering business and the restaurant, is having to balance life and family with work. Clocking in at about 70 hours a week apiece, Colin and MaryBeth relish the time they have with their family. They have five kids, each with a busy schedule. As if that wasn’t enough, MaryBeth also has what she calls her “real job” as the vice president of sales for an International medical supply company. Although the holidays are typically busy for caterers, the Smiths love the season, because it is a time for the family to get together and celebrate their blessings. Whether or not it is a great man holding up a great woman, or vice versa, it is an opportunity for Colin and MaryBeth to celebrate each other, their wonderful clients and customers, and their entire Roundabout family. That’s what the holidays are all about. For the Smiths, it’s the perfect time to acknowledge that everything has come full circle.
The apron that Marybeth is wearing is special because she did Sunday brunch in memory of her dad. He passed away on the day she opened Roundabout. He loved brunch and she had a brunch for him every Sunday. She would hostess and wore a different apron every Sunday. It became something their guests talked about and loved. Colin’s jacket is from St. Helena. Nothing too nostaligic just a great find during a trip to the wine country. 32
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
HIGH CALIBER, HIGH STYLE BY KELLY RUSH
Photos Provided by Caliber Salon
eno wasn’t part of Tres Benzley’s long-term plan. He was sent here from Salt Lake City to open the Meadowood Mall Regis Hair Salon in 1997. Reno was just a rung on the corporate ladder, or so he thought. Twenty years and four salons later, he is now the owner of Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio in Midtown. Having grown up the son of two hairdressers, Tres spent his life surrounded by the beauty business and it is what he truly loves. “We did a full rebrand a year and a half ago to focus on what we do best, which is hair and makeup, also weddings.” Another impressive aspect of Caliber is Tres’ intense focus on
education, both for his staff and his clients. “It’s about educating people, offering better service options as a whole, and taking our services industry to a higher professional level. We have a consultation process that I developed inside the salon to give a better spectrum of service that’s unlike any consultation you’ve ever received. It takes about an hour to consult with our new client, discover who you are, what are your passions and work, how you want to present when you step into a room, what face framing is, etc.” Despite not originally choosing Reno, Tres not only consciously decided to stay in the community, he chooses to give
back by helping Volunteers of America. “We chose to help create self-esteem, self-awareness, and those kinds of things for people who may have been broken in some way. It’s a 10 week program and toward the end of their course and the work program, they get to come to Caliber to be treated like clients. Cherry Bomb Catering brings food and we just have a really good time. We do hair, makeup, and maybe color to get them ready for interviews. Most of these men and women have jobs or are getting jobs lined up, they have apartments and are getting back out into the world. It’s a really great thing for my staff and me to be involved in.”
L E A D YO U R FA S H I O N TRIBE LOOK STUNNING. TURN HEADS. EMBRACE YOUR CONFIDENCE.  284.8620 | calibersalon.com 141 EAST PUEBLO STREET | RENO, NV 89502 TUES–FRI 10AM-7PM | SAT 10AM-5PM
RENO’S LEADING FASHION & BEAUTY STUDIO
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 .
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
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
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
IT’S A BIRD. IT’S A PLANE. IT’S…TEAM VACCINE
PHOTO BY JEFF ROSS
IMMUNIZE NEVADA PROMOTES HEALTH AND PREVENTS DISEASE — NO CAPE NECESSARY BY MIKALEE BYERMAN
tanding just under 5 feet tall, Reno’s Heidi Parker may not exactly have the stature of the stereotypical leader of a team of superheroes. “Yeah, I’m 4-foot-11 — and fearful of shrinking in old age,” she laughs. Sure, she lacks the ability to stretch to incredible lengths like Elastigirl. But what she does do, is save lives, every day. “We do hear the superhero comparison a lot,” she nods somewhat sheepishly. “It’s the greatest compliment we can possibly receive. We take saving lives through the power of education about vaccinations very, very seriously.” As the only statewide nonprofit in Nevada dedicated to immunization, communication and outreach, Immunize Nevada fills a significant healthcare void. The organization’s goal: to create a culture of immunization, making parents and community members aware of the ability to secure affordable vaccinations and according to the CDC recommended schedule. Their goal translates to successes — some small, but others significant. Case in point: Under Parker’s direction, the team at Immunize Nevada has coordinated onsite flu clinics focused on Title I, at-risk schools in the Washoe County School District. “We’ve analyzed the data, and these clinics are making a difference; flu vaccination rates are higher in the communities surrounding these schools,” she says. Parker points to her team of 10 — immunization ambassadors whose functions include education,
outreach, volunteer coordination and more — as the underlying reason for their success. “I think the running theme among the Immunize team is the ability to be strategic and creative, to take bold steps,” she says. “They have to be flexible — one day we’re dealing with a national measles outbreak, another it’s a new CDC recommendation that needs to be communicated far and wide. So the ability to switch gears is essential.” And community partners recognize the power of Team Vaccine. “This team has a special knack for inspiring partners and driving collaboration to help bring healthcare resources to all of Nevada’s communities,” says Katie Nannini, community relations manager for NV Energy. The NV Energy Foundation helps fund Immunize Nevada programs and partners with them on community projects serving low-income populations. “Immunize Nevada is viewed as one of the leading healthcare nonprofits in Nevada and also as one of the leading immunization coalitions in the country,” Nannini continues. “The team deeply cares for the many different people they serve.” A combination of skill, passion and resources: Sounds like a Marvel-inspired superhero recipe. “The fact is, we can all be superheroes,” Parker notes. “We all have a community responsibility to ensure we’re keeping ourselves, our children, our seniors and those with compromised immune systems protected from disease. Vaccines accomplish this all at once.”
WE ASKED HEIDI PARKER TO WAX PHILOSOPHICAL ABOUT SUPERHEROES. Who’s your favorite superhero? “Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider Man, of course.” (which, not coincidentally, is the name of Heidi Parker’s husband) Tights or cape? “Oh, definitely cape; tights are too restricting. And we all wear superhero capes, most are just metaphorical.” If you could pick one superpower, what would it be? “I’d love the ability to stop or create time, just so we could have as much time as we’d need to accomplish our goals — to keep people healthy. Or the ability to prevent disease; that would be a huge superpower.”
JOIN TEAM VACCINE To learn how you, your business or organization can get involved with Immunize Nevada’s efforts, call 775-624-7117, visit immunizenevada. org, get involved, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
with the HUNGRY DATER by Molly LeGoy
or close to a year now, I have been Reno’s own Hungry Dater. I’m a sassy, sexy, thirty-something single looking for love. In the interim, I’ve made it my mission to find and report on awesome date places within my little oasis of Reno, Nevada. However, there are some times when a person just needs to get out. Those are the days I decide to get in my car and Go 80. For years, goin’ 80 meant coming home for the holidays and answering an endless diatribe of “You’re still single? Why don’t you have a boyfriend? Don’t you want to get married?” These questions made me want to throw up my beautifully prepared turkey dinner on their wonderfully set table. Nowadays, goin’ 80 is a fun get away. However, with singledom often comes solitude. Over the years I have learned solitude creates two choices: 1) learn to appreciate the upsides of eating, traveling and being alone, or 2) accept that life is adventureless and unhappy. The bottom line: I have little patience for being unhappy, but traveling is the most difficult activity to get used to doing alone. If you’re ever goin’ 80, you need to know about Ikeda’s. I’m a baker, a cook, and a food blogger; in fact, I cook a lot. However, even after offering my grandmother’s homemade pumpkin pie with butter-only crust, I
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Photo Credit: Molly LeGoy
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.
still get asked if I’m stopping at Ikeda’s. Ikeda’s is a local grocery store in Forest Hill. They have fruit so tasty you could cry, a great burger bar, and an array of wonderful wines, cheeses, chips, dips, and microbrews. But the crown jewel of Ikeda’s is their pies. This is why, in spite of my offer of homemade pies, everyone asks whether I’m stopping at Ikeda’s—which, of course, I am. A note of caution: Ikeda’s is so fabulous it’s not uncommon to see everyone you know. I once stopped early one morning without makeup and wet hair. I figured, since it was early, it wouldn’t matter. Huge mistake. Instead, I ran headlong into my ex and his family. They were wonderful about it, but it was less than ideal. Goin’ 80 has shown me I like solo travel. This holiday season, I hope you’ll gain confidence by goin’ 80 too. That should help you accept those probing questions about your lack of romance with a warm smile and answer them Hungry Dater style: “Nope, still single. But I’m goin’ 80, and having fun doing it.” At least that’ll confuse those old, obnoxious family members while they figure out how you could possibly drive, eat, put gas in your car—and yes, even travel—alone. AND that you like it. That should buy you at least four minutes of relationship-free talk. Add in an Ikeda’s pie and you might get five!
HOLIDAY TRAIN: Adventure
to the City by the Bay
Return to Reno: board the Megabus from San Francisco’s Caltrain Station, leaving at 9 a.m., arriving Reno at 1:50 p.m. at Silver Legacy bus stand. Book in advance: Megabus.com. Accommodations: There’s too many options to name, but always search booking.com, Kayak and AirBnB.
DANELL WILSON-PERLMAN RENO TAHOE LIMOUSINE RenoTahoeLimo.com 3200 Mill Street, Ste A Reno, NV 89502 Cell: 530-277-0431 Reno: 775-348-0868 Truckee: 530-582-1300 Toll Free: 800-660-4546
BY DANELL WILSON-PERLMAN
eno’s air is crisp. A lone snowflake floats down and lands on my bright red glove as we wait for the westbound California Zephyr Amtrak Train to pull into the downtown station for an 8:30 a.m. departure. Destination: San Francisco for holiday shopping and a Christmas spirit experience. As we approach the Truckee station, the wind picks up suddenly and snow begins to descend in sheets. The air is filled with excitement in anticipation of the winter wonderland awaiting us. The summit does not disappoint -several feet of glowing white snow covers the pines. The seven hours to Emeryville near Berkeley fly pleasantly by with fun, relaxing events like a dining car lunch and meeting new friends in the viewing car. We imagine the
weary motorists on Interstate 80. Today, San Francisco ferries are inoperable due to heavy rains, so it’s BART from Emeryville, a fast and easy option. The idea of traveling under the bay is pure excitement. We arrive at Union Square station just past 5 p.m., invigorated and relaxed. Outside, we are greeted by the season’s joyous sounds and sights. On Powell Street, strolling carolers serenade us while the cable cars rumble by, bedecked in holiday lights. A table at Kuleto’s on Powell Street awaits us for some warming, mouth-watering Italian cuisine. A giant Christmas tree lights up Union Square and the iceskating rink is abuzz with people. Macy’s windows are pure, magical art. Our wanderlust takes us to the Top of the Mark, where we toast the holidays with expertly
prepared martinis as we admire the 360-degree view of this sospecial city. Finally, we peek in the Fairmont Hotel’s life-sized gingerbread house and dazzling holiday displays. I could share more of my “What not to miss in San Francisco this December” list, but let’s assume you’ll be completing the list yourself. Until then… just a few more highlights: GRACE CATHEDRAL’S CHRISTMAS CONCERTS: gracecathedral.org SF BALLET’S NUTCRACKER: Dec. 10th-29th: sfballet.org BABES IN JOYLAND - NOURSE THEATER: Ride a magic sleigh with San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus: SFgmc.org WHITE CHRISTMAS: Golden Gate Theatre
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
WINE COUNTY Georgetown
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Oakstone Charles B. Mitchell
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To Carson Pass
300 Main St, Placerville, CA 95667
Perry Cr ee k 49
Within El Dorado Coloma to Placerville: 10 miles Placerville to Camino: 7 miles Placerville to Pleasant Valley: 15 miles Placerville to Fair Play: 17 miles Placerville to Mt. Aukum: 19 miles
From nearby areas Sacramento to Placerville: 40 miles San Francisco to Placerville: 120 miles South Lake Tahoe to Placerville: 60 miles Reno to Placerville: 125 miles Plymouth to Mt. Aukum: 13 miles
Sly Park Rd
To Hwy 50
581 Cold Springs Rd, Placerville, CA 95667
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rso Jacquier Rd n Rd . . Jodar it x E Flat Carson Rd. Smith Exit
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3550 Carson Rd. Camino, CA 95709 Tasting Room Hours: M-F: 9-6 | Sat: 9-9 | Sun: 9-4
Crystal Basin Cellars
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643 Bee St. Placerville, CA 95667 Tasting Room Hours: T-T: 12-5 | F-S: 11-7 Closed Monday
Nello Olivo Winery
. Au kum
Miraflores Winery 530-647-8505
Map not to scale
2120 Four Springs Trail Placerville, CA 95667 Open Daily, 10am - 5pm, Except major holidays www.mirafloreswinery.com
The El Dorado Wine Country Map is proudly sponsored by:
Lynne Marie Kremers • 775-815-8688 LKMwineconciergeservices.com 38
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Danell Wilson-Perlman • Reno Tahoe Limousine 3200 Mill Street Ste A, Reno 530-277-0431 | 775-348-0868 | 800-660-4546 www.RenoTahoeLimo.com CPCN# 1101 | MC#258670 | TCP#8185P
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
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.
MIRAFLORES WINERY 2120 FOUR SPRINGS TRAIL PLACERVILLE, CA 95667 530.647.8505 • OPEN DAILY 10AM TO 5PM www.mirafloreswinery.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
Pour a Bit of
GRAPEFUL JAZZ BY MEG STEINITZ AND DEBBIE MCCARTHY
PHOTOS BY DEBBIE MCCARTHY
Mastroserio provided extensive education about the wine we were drinking, and we were impressed to learn that he does not use pesticides or herbicides in his growing.
Top photos: Ruggero Mastroserio entertaining us with his saxophone Debbie McCarthy, Ruggero Mastroserio, Meg Steinitz & Peggy Terranova enjoying lunch 40
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
PHOTO BY ANGELO TERRANOVA
n a leisurely Monday, we found ourselves at Mastroserio Winery in Fair Play, just 30 minutes outside of Placerville, Calif. Because it was a weekday, we had the place to ourselves as well as the full attention of owner and wine maker, Ruggero Mastroserio. Originally from Italy, Mastroserio never imagined himself a winemaker or a Californian. He earned degrees in architectural engineering, music theory and geology, and eventually took over the family’s architectural firm in Milan. He began visiting the Sierra Foothills in the early 1980s and became enamored with the wine scene. He took courses in viticulture back at the University of Milan and earned a diploma in sensory evaluation from the Associatiore Italiana Sommelier. His mentor urged him to go to California to make wine, which he did in 1998. Mastroserio poured us a variety of wines, which he ferments and ages in barrels of French oak. It was difficult to pick a favorite, as each pour elicited an enthusiastic “this one is my favorite!” Being the sentimental creatures we are, we were drawn to the Tinaldo, a super Tuscan blend named for Mastroserio’s parents, Tina and Aldo. Mastroserio provided extensive education about the wine we were drinking, and we were impressed to learn that he does not use pesticides or herbicides in his growing. By now it was lunchtime and Mastroserio joined us on the patio to share our picnic and a bottle of Tinaldo. Several times during our visit, he took a break from conversation to play saxophone for us. Did I mention he is also a jazz musician? On weekends he regularly invites other local jazz musicians to play at the winery. We left Mastroserio with the happy and content feeling of having just met a new friend. mastroseriowinery.com
To Friends Who are Family &Family Who Are Friends BY MEG STEINITZ AND DEBBIE MCCARTHY
Friends and family can relish each other’s company at Sentivo, which is
Italian for “I felt.” As the newest winery to open in Fair Play in the Sierra Foothills?, partners Sara and Zack Fuelling, Michele and Scott London and Daniela and Paul Devitt opened Sentivo’s doors this past June. Michele and Daniela are sisters, and Sara is Daniela and Paul’s daughter. This family-owned winery is built on a passion for wine, the beauty of the vineyard and love for each other. They purchased the Fair Play vineyard in 2010 with vines that were planted in 1999. In 2011, they harvested their first vintage of Estate Syrah and Petite Sirah grapes and have been hand-crafting wines with care and dedication ever since. Sisters Daniela Devitt and Michele London spent half their lives not knowing the other existed. When Daniela was 30, she received a phone call from her mother telling her they needed to talk. She arrived at her parents’ home, sat down and was told that her father who raised her was not her biological father, and that they thought not telling her had been the right thing to do. The reason they were telling her then was that her half-brother, Rainer, was searching for his birth family and waiting in the next room to meet her. Daniela was thrilled to meet Rainer, and also learned about Michele. She flew to California to meet Michele the next weekend and the connection was instant. They have not stopped talking since. The siblings’ biological father, Danny, raised Michele until he passed away when she was 18. “He was a great dad, and we all understand that it was a different time and certain things were not talked about,” said who, Michele or Daniela? Daniela said her relationship with her father did not change after learning he is not her biological father, and laughingly says, “It finally explained why I look so different from my siblings, and I am grateful for the way things came about, otherwise I wouldn’t be who I am today.” They appreciate that the love of each of their mothers and fathers made them who they are today, and they are grateful for their expanded family. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon with new friends, sharing stories of family lost and family found over a delicious glass of wine. We sat overlooking the gorgeous views that seemed to go on forever. We retreated to the beautifully crafted tasting room after taking in the view to choose our wine, which is creatively showcased on the wall. We will absolutely be back to share stories and to relax by the fire pit, and Debbie cannot wait to share with Daniela and Michele her own story of family lost and found. Be sure to check out their website at Sentivovineyards.com or call them at (916) 9363306 for more information.
Photo by Debbie McCarthy
Photo provided by Sentivo Winery
Photo by Debbie McCarthy
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
WHY YOU’RE LOSING THE GAME OF WINE
here’s some very smart people working behind the scenes at some rather large companies, and whether you know it or not, they’re studying you. If you are buying wine online or simply searching the best wine deals, they’re watching. They’re studying your buying habits, diet habits, office commute, spending habits, social media likes and virtually any other data element they can get their hands on, all with the intent to understand how to market to you. And sadly, it’s no different in the wine industry, or rather, the big wine industry. What exactly is big wine and how does one effectively buy wine online? Knowing the answers may at first alarm you, but it will allow you to play and win at the “game of wine.” Everywhere we look, there are movements afoot regarding the products we put on our bodies and ingredients we put in our bodies. We’re becoming increasingly vigilant in desiring to know the source, the people and locations behind the items we ingest. Inspiring movements like farm to table or buy local are removing the power and sway from giant, multi-national corporations and placing it in the hands of the consumer. The same action is slowly 42
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
BY MARTIN CODY
happening in wine as increasing numbers of wine consumers are turning away from the corporate controlled wines and instead sourcing higher quality, smaller production wines. CONSIDER THESE NUMBERS: •A s of December, 2015 there were 8,287 wineries in the United States with 47% (3,913) located in California •6,495 wineries (78%) produce under 5,000 cases • 5 8 wineries produce over 500,000 cases ENTER THE WINE GIANTS: •T hree companies, E&J Gallo, The Wine Group and Constellation accounted for nearly HALF of all wine sold in the United States. (172.3 million cases!) •T hose three companies represent 173 different wine labels! This is where the wine game is rigged against you. Sure, you may think that wine bottle with the elegant label adorning the The Prisoner is a cutting edge wine with a cult-like name and individualistic swagger, but it’s actually owned by Constellation and they now produce 170,000 cases. Long gone are the days when founder Dave Phinney walked the vines and production was a mere 4,000 cases. Several ownership changes later and the factory like production of this wine is firmly entrenched, but the customer is none the wiser. There’s a sensory magic in small production wineries where
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
you personally get to know the owners. Over 3,000 wineries in the United States produce under 1,000 cases and nearly all their product is available in the fastest growing segment of wine purchasing called Direct to Consumer. Here consumers have the upper hand as there’s no slick marketing, glossy-shelf talkers or the constant drumbeat of creepy digital drip-marketing campaigns following your internet travels. Many of these producers actually place their cell phone numbers on the corks just in case you have any questions about the wine. How cool is that? Similar to the small farmer selling local, or the independent coffee shop locally owned and competing with odds clearly stacked against them, the small winery is here for you. I implore you invest the time getting to know them. Your pocket book, the winery, and the environment will all be better off as a result. Cheers!
BABES IN TOYLAND BY STEVE FOWLER
Lindsey Pelas and Steve Fowler
he 9th Annual Babes in Toyland Charity Toy Drive will take place on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at Avalon in Hollywood. Since 2008, the Babes in Toyland Charity Toy Drive has been one of the hottest tickets in Hollywood during the Holiday season. Thousands of children in need have benefited from the generous donations of toys provided by event attendees through local non-profit organizations such as The Midnight Mission, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the LA County Sheriff ’s Department. Babes in Toyland gives patrons an opportunity to give back to
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY STEVE FOWLER
Babes in Toyland Models: KhloeTerae, Kennedy Summers, Stephanie Knight
the community alongside some of the most beautiful women in the world. This year, ‘Babes in Toyland’ will again benefit The Midnight Mission (www.MidnightMission.org). The Midnight Mission is the oldest, continuously operating human service organization in LA. The 9th Annual Babes in Toyland will be hosted by over 50 models, actresses, and social media influencers, including the star of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, Brande Roderick. The combined social media reach of the hosts is expected to exceed 100 million followers.
Entertainment will be provided by nationally acclaimed DJs and music artists. Founded in 1914, The Midnight Mission offers paths of self-sufficiency to men, women and children that are experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Every year, The Midnight Mission works to secure toys for homeless and near-homeless children. Santa Claus and his helpers will be granting Christmas wishes to impoverished children as they can select toys of their choice at The Midnight Mission’s Santa’s Village. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
Credit Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
BY DEBBIE MCARTHY
ong Beach, Calif., is known for its beautiful Mediterranean climate, picturesque beaches and cultural diversity that is second to none. So when I was offered the chance to go on the inaugural JetBlue flight from Reno to Long Beach, I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough! I had the pleasure of spending three days touring “The International City” and was treated to a host of exciting events and outings that showcased the amazing food, atmosphere and activities that make Long Beach such an exciting destination. I quickly learned that it’s impossible to see and do everything Long Beach has to offer in
one weekend. But here are a few “musts” for your first trip. Let’s start with one of my top picks — the fantastic murals! Similar to what you will find along the streets of downtown Reno, Long Beach is home to beautifully eccentric building murals that highlight the diversity of the city. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or not, you are sure to appreciate the color these murals add to the businesses, underpasses and bridges they cover. And if you think these works of art happen by chance, or to the chagrin of city officials, you’re wrong. In fact, the city of Long Beach takes great pride in the edgy expression these local artists are able to share with the community. You don’t have to look hard to find
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this artwork — just keep your eyes open while you’re driving around the area! Another unexpected attraction are the gondolas that propel you along the resort area of Long Beach to the Belmont Shore, or “The Shore” as the locals affectionately dub it. Before you write off the gondoliers in Long Beach as being substandard to those you’d find in Rome or Venice, you should know that these guys and gals take their profession very seriously. So much so that they compete in Venice alongside folks whose families have been doing this for generations. To say they’re the “real deal” would be an understatement. And like anyone who loves their work, they’ll be happy to tell you about their adventures in Italy!
abouttowndeb A trip to Long Beach wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the historic and legendary RMS Queen Mary, the most beautiful and technologically superior ocean liner of the golden age first launched in 1934. Perhaps more commonly known for her status as a haunted ship, the Queen Mary made her final voyage, ending in Long Beach harbor, in 1967 where she has served as a tourist attraction, hotel and event venue ever since. Not many ships get a second career once they make port for the last time, but the Queen Mary is possibly more famous and utilized now than she ever was out on the sea. If that weren’t enough, you would also be remiss if you don’t make time to wine and dine at the stunning and decadent Parkers’ Light-
house on the harbor. I was sold on the idea of fresh seafood, but finding out that they boast a two-story wine cellar was the icing on the cake for me. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a dining experience and ambiance that can match the beauty and romance of Parkers’ Lighthouse. Anytime is a beautiful time of year in Long Beach. But until March 24, 2017, you can book a flight on a JetBlue’s Airbus 320 for only $59 from Reno to Long Beach in celebration of JetBlue’s expanded flight options at the Reno/ Tahoe International Airport. And don’t think you’re sacrificing comfort or luxury for a great price. From the time you set foot on the A320, you’ll feel like a first-class passenger. Every one of the 150 seats is equipped with both XM
Satellite Radio and a personal LCD screen with 36 channels of DirectTV programming, not to mention FlyFi (think wifi, but with a cuter name). With all of these amazing sights to be seen, what’s holding you back from making Long Beach your holiday vacation destination? During the Christmas holiday, Long Beach is transformed into a beachside wonderland. Between the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, the annual tree lighting ceremony and the Parade of 1000 Lights, there won’t be any shortage of Christmas joy to be found! Two things are certain: You can’t beat the price or luxury of JetBlue, and you can’t top the cultural jewel that is Long Beach.
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find your bliss 1
DRAGONFLY BATH & BODY 728 S Virginia St • (775) 470-8505 www.dragonflybath.com
MARI CHUY'S MEXICAN KITCHEN 764 S Virginia St • (775) 502-0191 www.chuysmexicankitchen.com
SIERRA BELLE BOUTIQUE 726 S Virginia St • (775) 470-8390 www.shopsierrabelle.com
CEOL IRISH PUB 538 S Virginia St • (775) 329-5558 www.ceolirishpub.com
RENO MIDTOWN MASSAGE 955 S Virginia St, Ste 219 • (775) 772-8325
1864 TAVERN 290 California Ave • (775) 329-1864 www.1864Tavern.com
HELLO YOGA 732 S Virginia St • 775) 420-5357 www.helloyogashop.com
MIDTOWN WINEBAR 1527 S Virginia St • (775) 800-1960 www.midtownwinebar.com
CALIBER HAIR & MAKEUP STUDIO 141 E Pueblo St • 775) 284-8620 www.Calibersalon.com
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CHOCOLATE WALRUS 1278 S Virginia St. • 775-825-2267 www.thechocolatewalrus.com
SIERRA NEVADA CHOCOLATES 1290 S Virginia St. • 775-323-2462 www.sierranevadachocolates.com
T R E S
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B E N Z L E Y ’ S
PATHWAYS TO PARENTAGE
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THE AMAZING JOURNEY OF SURROGACY BY KATIE COOMBS
n 2004, I had a hysterectomy as a result of a serious heart condition that I developed while carrying my third child. It was hard to be sterile at age 31. I felt too young to have these options taken away from me even though I had been blessed with three healthy children. I didn’t know at the time that the fact that they had left my ovaries would allow me to attempt to have a child again using a surrogate. I really resented my hysterectomy when I married the love of my life on New Years Eve 2007 and knew that we could never have a child together. I dreamed of a little boy and the two of us having a picnic lunch down by the Truckee River relaxing and laughing. I tucked this disappointment away until I was lucky enough to be introduced to one of Chris’s longtime friends Rob, and his wife, Robin. The very first time we met, Robin asked if Chris and I had any plans to add to our already large family of six children. Sadly, I told her that we wouldn’t be
able to have a baby the traditional way as I lacked the right parts to make this a beautiful reality. Without even hesitating, this wonderful woman offered to be a surrogate for us if we ever wanted to try having a biological child. I was blown away. She barely knew me and was offering us the opportunity we never thought we would have, meaning she would be willing to go through pregnancy, and in the end, give that child to us. I had heard of surrogacy, but had never had another person make me feel so incredibly special. I was overwhelmed with emotion. It would be almost eight years from this initial meeting to the call where I asked her if she was still interested. My husband Chris and I were so busy with our six children (both of us had three from our first marriage), that it was hard to even think about adding another child. During those eight years, Robin had two more children of her own, and neither of us were considered very young in the fertility world. I was
approaching age 42. She was almost 44. When I finally had the guts to call her she said she would still do it as long we got it done before her 45th birthday. I was so nervous entering this strange world of embryos and shots and legal documentation. It was almost too much to bear and my anxiety started creeping up before I ever even set foot in the office of Dr. Scott Whitten in Reno, Nevada. The first step was to be sure I still had viable eggs and when we found out that I did, the crazy journey of Invitro Fertilization and Surrogacy started. Both of us underwent tests, procedures, and blood work, and we also began working with the law offices of Kimberly Surratt to draw up a Gestational Carrier Agreement that outlines who is carrying the baby and who ultimately becomes the legal parents of that baby. My two month stretch of hormones and shots and surgery to remove the eggs seemed so hard at the time but would be nothing when compared to what Robin would
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PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KATIE COOMBS
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endure to attempt to carry our child. Robin was there for me daily and I can say with 100% certainty that I would not have made it to the day of my egg retrieval without her unwavering support. She would call, text, stop by, and do whatever it took to encourage me through the abdominal shots and all of the side effects. Her husband was supportive, too, and it was amazing what a spouse of a surrogate has to accept when they are willing to let you borrow their wife for nine months, knowing that in the end it is to provide a selfless gift. We were so fortunate to end up with two healthy embryos at the end of my part of the adventure and Robin began all of her shots which would go on for the entire first trimester if we achieved a pregnancy. Well, Robin never had a doubt that she would be successful. That was a good thing because I covered all of the doubt and anxiety on my own. After watching our embryo being transferred into Robin with her husband and mine standing close by, we realized that we were all a part of a miracle. Robin talked me through the 10 day wait to hear the results, which felt like 10 months. I got the call on November 24th that Robin was indeed pregnant. I felt shock, disbelief, love, anxiety, appreciation, fear and relief, all at once. Robin left
for the Thanksgiving holiday and was out of cell contact in Oregon for the next five days; that is probably the loneliest I have ever felt. I knew our baby was there but it was so early in the pregnancy and I wanted to hear her comforting voice daily. I was so glad when she returned. We also kept getting great news about hormone levels and had successful ultrasounds. After the nine week check at the fertility clinic, where we heard our son’s heartbeat for the first time, it was off to a normal OBGYN for the duration. All-in-all, we had a smooth pregnancy, but not having my son actually in my own body was strange and lonely and I kept most of that to myself as it seemed greedy and unappreciative. Every time I saw Robin, I loved her more and I loved talking to the baby. Towards the beginning of the third trimester, we were told that there was excess amniotic fluid and the changes of a premature birth were increased. That chance became a reality when Robin’s water broke in the early morning hours on June 20th. Our due date wasn’t until August 2nd (which was good as we were just a week ahead of Robin’s 45th birthday!). Driving to the hospital with my husband that morning was exciting and scary. My daughter Hannah had been 9 weeks early and Miles was going to be 6 weeks early. I knew he would be alright but I also knew what being in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was going to mean for us and our large family. Robin had to lay still all of that Saturday which I know was uncomfortable and then around midnight she went into hard labor. I can’t express what it was like to watch another person go through so much pain for me. I had felt bad every day just knowing she was taking the shots. She refused any pain medications which would only help our preemie boy and at around 3:00 a.m. on Sunday (Father’s Day), she started pushing our son into the world.
Most women don’t ever get to watch the birth of their children. I was standing right next to the doctor (a friend of mine from high school) and when I first saw the blonde hair of my son I started crying. He came out breathing without any difficulties and he was a big guy for six weeks early. Robin was absolutely incredible. The nurses said it was best to not let her hold him and I ignored that bit of advice. I watched her hold Miles Andrew Coombs and speak to him in the sweetest way. He knew her voice because to him she was his mother; she was the one that he heard for nine months. Interestingly, I didn’t feel anything but love about that. She explained to him that her part was done now and that he was going to go be with his mommy and daddy and siblings. It was the most touching part of the entire experience and I will never forget the warmth in my heart towards this beautiful woman. We are still close friends and always will be. Miles still knows her voice and is very comfortable when she comes to see him. He is 15 months old now and his nurture mama (Robin) and his mommy (me) have a bond for life. Surrogates are amazing women. They have to deal with being pregnant and keeping their spouse and own family on track while also keeping in contact with the prospective parents and dealing with the anxiety of not carrying their own child. Surrogacy is a not a job or a task. It is a reflection of true human tenderness and kindness and I will never be the same after knowing another person would do so much for our family. Robin and other surrogates like her are true heroes. Our family is forever changed because this woman selflessly connected all of our children with their half brother.
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HELPING TO CREATE FAMILIES IN THE MOST UNIQUE WAY
Supported by a highly experienced alliance of medical and legal professionals,
Surrogacy Options of America will facilitate and coordinate the necessary services to provide qualified surrogates and egg donors to intended families with patience, understanding, and professionalism.
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VISIT - SOASURROGACY.COM OR CAL 702-425-5588 REFERRALS ALSO WELCOME 52
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A SHARED GIFT
ADOPTION CHOICES OF NEVADA 789 E. 2nd Street, Reno, Nevada 89506 FREE CONSULTATION 775-825-4673 www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org A LOCAL Full Service State licensed adoption agency #125402470 Serving all of Nevada Provide services to Birth and Adoptive Families Walks the adoption journey with every step of the way.
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A SHARED GIFT f you want to know about adoption, Maire Burgess is the woman you need to talk to. Maire has worked in Adoption and Child Welfare for 32 years, and has been the Executive Director of Adoption Choices of Nevada since the agency opened offices in Reno and Las Vegas in 2008. Not only have I had the privilege of knowing Maire since 2008, I have also worked for her at Adoption Choices since 2013. Maire is an amazing boss and mentor, and Bliss Babe sat down to talk about how she has seen adoption change over the years, as well as what she believes is most important. Maire spoke a lot of the culture of the office, saying we are more like family than coworkers. “We laugh together and cry together, and we try to extend that feeling of familiarity to our clients.” The Reno office is located in a renovated brick home that feels cozy and comfortable, and the walls are decorated with photos of babies, adoptive families and birth families. The majority of adoptions are now open, which means that there is some degree of contact between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and child. What this contact looks like is different for every situation, but the most common scenario is meeting and developing a relationship prior to the birth of the child, and exchanging photos and updates after the adoption of
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Maire Burgess, Executive Director Adoption Choice of Nevada
the child. Research shows this is better for all parties than historic “closed” adoptions, as it removes secrecy and mystery. Maire encourages adoptive families to hang photos of their child’s birth parents in their home to honor that connection, and to give the child permission to speak freely about his or her adoption. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the multitude of adoption service providers who advertise online, and it is important to start local. When adopting in Nevada, the law requires that services be provided by a local, licensed, child-placing agency. The exceptions to this law are stepparent and second parent adoptions, as well as adoptions of a relative related within the third degree of consanguinity. All social work staff in both offices are Licensed Social Workers in the State of Nevada with extensive experience in adoption. A full list of agencies licensed by the State of Nevada can be accessed at: http://dcfs.nv.gov/ Programs/CWS/Adoption/Guide/LicensedPrivateChildPlacingAdoptionAgencies/. Adoption Choices of Nevada has a strong commitment to offering ethical and comprehensive services, and to providing accurate information about adoption to the community. There is never a charge or commitment for consultation, and staff is available to provide adoption training to professional
Photos by Debbie McCarthy
BY MEG STEINITZ
Adoption Choices of Nevada Reno Office Staff
“We try to help them give themselves credit for the incredible decision that they’re making, their bravery, their courage and their sensitivity to the needs of their child.” MAIRE BURGESS Executive Director, Adoption Choices of Nevada
groups that work with pregnant women in the community, also at no charge. They facilitate a birth parent support group at the Reno office on the first Wednesday of each month from 6 – 8 p.m. This group is open to anyone who has placed a child for adoption and is looking for support. They are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and recently started Tomorrow’s Hope Fund, which allows them to provide expanded services to birth parents, provide grant funds to adoptive parents to assist with adoption related expenses, and purchase baby supplies for birth parents who make the decision to parent
their child. 100% of donations go directly to Tomorrow’s Hope Fund, and donations are tax deductible. When asked how she has remained in the high-burnout field of social work for so long, Maire offered, “I was blessed with a good egg and good sperm that created me, and born into a family where I had opportunities. Understanding this luck helps me be compassionate with others who struggle in life. I believe that if I can have a positive effect and change part of my cosmos, that positive change will have a ripple effect and bring about more positive
change in the world, like a pebble thrown into a pond.” Maire also seeks balance through community involvement through Hot August Nights since 1989, and has been a key player in Sheep Dip since 1996. She is also proud grandma to six beautiful grandchildren. For information about any of Adoption Choices’ services, to make a donation to Tomorrow’s Hope Fund, or to schedule a consultation or professional presentation, visit www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org or call 800681-HOPE (4673) to be connected to either the Reno or Las Vegas office.
The Adoption Journey Step 1: Contact Adoption Choices of Nevada Interested families can contact the agency online or by phone to discuss the adoption process that will best suit their needs. If they want to pursue adoption, the next step is completing an application. Call toll free 800-681-4673 (HOPE) or visit www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org.
Step 2: Step 2: Home study Home study In accordance with Nevada state law, a social worker will complete a home study, which includes visits, interviews, and background and reference checks. On average, home studies take around 60 days to complete.
Step 4: Review adoptive families
The final step: Placement
Step 3: Step 3: Create a family Create a family snapshote snapshot
View potential adoptive families’ profiles, which Adoption Choices helps narrow down to the families that match preferences.
Once two families have selected each other, Adoption Choices case workers help facilitate communication throughout the pregnancy and after birth. During pregnancy, families can meet via Skype as well as in person.
Families create a profile book which birth families use as a tool to help select an adoptive family. In it, families can include photographs of themselves and their home, stories of how they met and some of their favorite activities.
Post-placement agreement options:
Step 4:birth Step 4: Review Review birth families families
Closed adoptions have no contact between families. Open adoptions have regular communication between families. Semi-open adoptions, the most common type, are where families exchange letters and photographs through the online service, ChildConnect.
Step 3: Connections to community resources If help is needed, Adoption Choices can connect birth families with things like Medicaid, prenatal care, housing connections and WIC benefits.
From there, adoptive families are given information on different birth families in order to decide which ones they would like to be introduced to. The average time for placements to be completed is six months to a year.
Step 1: Step 1: ContactAdoption Adoption Choices Contact Choices of Nevada of Nevada Birth families are interested in making a plan for adoption
Adoptive families are interested in adopting a child
Families can call any time of day for information about the adoption process and to talk to a birth parent counselor over the phone. While the agency’s focus is adoption services, staff will discuss all of the different options available. Call toll free 800-681-4673 (HOPE) or visit www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org.
Step 2: Meet with Adoption Choices staff If adoption is the best option, then staff will help make an adoption plan. They will help go over post-placement agreements and preferred types of adoptive families, including race or religious preferences and what type of community they live in.
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It’s Time to Bring Hope to Life… Understanding Surrogacy in Nevada. Surratt Law is a law firm that focuses exclusively on families by assisting them with adoptions, assisted reproductive technology law, surrogacy, parentage, mediation, parenting coordination, estate planning, guardianship, child custody, divorce and child support. Surratt law has four attorneys in Reno, Nevada and two attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several of their attorneys are also licensed to practice in California. Two of the attorneys at Surratt Law were the pioneers in Nevada’s cutting edge reproductive law, giving soon-to-be parents many more options for having children that they will be the legal parents of. We spoke to Kim Surratt to get a better understanding of Surrogacy in Nevada.
What did you and Jason Frierson do to make Nevada have great reproductive parentage laws? Kim: I drafted and lobbied the passage of the law that we have today. Jason Frierson was a member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee in 2013 and he sponsored the bill and pushed it through our legislature. What makes Nevada’s reproductive law great? Kim: Our old law only covered sperm donations and had a very narrow surrogacy statute. Today, we have a statute that covers embryo, egg and sperm donations and the surrogacy portion of our statute is comprehensive. The new statutes are marital status and gender neutral. They allow for people to receive donations and not risk the donor having parental rights to the children. Is Surrogacy allowed in the State of Nevada? Kim: Yes, Nevada does allow a surrogacy/gestational carrier arrangement. You must comply with the minimum requirements of Nevada law, including but not limited to having a valid contract. 56
Are Surrogacy / Gestational Carrier agreements enforceable in Nevada? Kim: Yes, a gestational carrier agreement is enforceable in Nevada. In fact, Nevada requires that you have a gestational carrier agreement in place before the Carrier is on her medications in order for the intended parents to be declared the parents of a child pursuant to the arrangement. Can you explain the difference between a Surrogate and a Gestational Carrier? Kim: A “surrogate” has in the past referred to what we call “traditional surrogacy” in which the third party that is carrying a baby is also the egg donor, meaning she is genetically related to the child. A “gestational carrier” is a woman who carries a baby for a third party or parties who is not genetically related to the child, meaning her egg was not used. Traditional Surrogacy is not allowed in Nevada. However, the term “surrogate” is interchangeable with the term “gestational carrier”.
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In what other ways do you help people become better parents? Kim: At Surratt Law we focus exclusively on families and assist in domestic adoptions, stepparent adoptions, adult adoptions, guardianships, egg, embryo and sperm donation contracts.
“Cast away your fears and doubts, we aim to find the ideal solution for each future parent.” - Surratt Law Attorneys
Reno: 3705 Lakeside Drive Reno, Nevada 89509 Phone: 775-636-8200 Las Vegas: 3303 Novat St, #1st Floor Las Vegas, Nevada 89129 Phone: 702-318-7095
“ALWAYS WANTED” ADOPTED – AND PROUD OF IT BY ANDREA TYRELL PHOTOS BY VERITA PROTHRO
“I chose him and he chose me. If you ask Skyler, he will tell you that God brought us together. He sent me exactly who He wanted me to have.”
ay 9th isn’t my birthday, but in my family we celebrate the day as if it were. That day is my adoption day, the day my parents swore before the Mercer County judge, promising to love me unconditionally and provide me with a safe and nurturing home. An estimated 1.5 million children are adopted in United States each year, both domestically and internationally. In the Truckee Meadows, there are seemingly countless kids wanting and waiting for forever homes, as well as people who were proud adoptees and adoptive parents wanting to tell their stories. Verita Prothro, owner of Verita’s Empowerment Boutique in the Reno Town Mall, adopted her son Skyler when he was 16 months old. After going through six years of infertility treatment and failure with a surrogate, Prothro took in Skyler after Social Services called to say his biological mother was unfit to parent. “I remember praying,” Prothro said. “I asked God, ‘God, do you want me to have a baby? Please put one in my house.’ ” A year and a half after that prayer, she received a call from Social Services asking if she could take an infant, Skyler, in. If she couldn’t, he would be placed in foster care. “I had no preparation,” Prothro said. “I had a baby nursery, but when I couldn’t get pregnant, I turned it into a guest room. When Social Services called, the first thing I bought was plastic electrical plugs for the outlets. I had some food and some diapers, but he came with
nothing, just a little blanket and that was it. It was a growing experience.” Skyler’s and my adoption stories are similar -- we experienced in-family adoptions where our adoptive parents were very open and honest with how and why we became their children. “He doesn’t remember a time where he wasn’t with me,” Prothro said of Skyler. “He knows that he is adopted and is very proud of it.” She added with a smile, “I chose him and he chose me. If you ask Skyler, he will tell you that God brought us together. He sent me exactly who He wanted me to have.” Every year on my adoption day, my parents call. We talk about my adoption process and how they knew from the moment they saw me, they wanted me. They always wanted a daughter like me. That’s the thing about them and Verita Prothro: They might not have gained us, their children, in a traditional way, but they always wanted us.
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WANTING TO ADOPT A CHILD OR USE A SURROGATE IN NEVADA?
200 Ridge Street, Suite 222 • Reno, Nevada 89501-2014
(775) 337-1444 • nevadaadoptionlawyer.com 8AM - 4PM, Monday - Friday
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Eric A. Stovall is an experienced Nevada adoption and surrogacy attorney that can address any of your adoption needs for parental rights issues, surrogacy, mediation, termination of parental rights as well as legal matters in business litigation and personal injury. Please contact us for a free consultation.
FOSTERING LOVE FOR CHILDREN IN NEED BY MEG STEINITZ
FINDING HOME FOSTER CARE ADOPTION IN NEVADA
id you know there are more than 70 children in foster care who are in need of forever homes in Washoe County? There is a need for adoptive families, especially for sibling groups, said adoption supervisor Samantha Sevcsik. “Children in the foster care system experience a great deal of trauma,” she said. “They are in foster care because they have experienced abuse, neglect and/or abandonment at the hands of their biological family. This makes it especially important to keep siblings together, as they are often the only close and consistent connection in one another’s lives.” Karl and Cindy Johnson became foster parents 21 years ago, never intending to adopt. They had two daughters and felt their family was complete, and saw fostering as a meaningful way to give back to the community. And then they fell in love. Their foster sons were 3 and 4 when they were placed in their
home, and the Johnsons felt a deep sense of commitment to giving them stability, being their forever family, and keeping the brothers together. Cindy Johnson describes the adoption process as a “roller coaster of emotion that starts the moment they enter your home and does not end until that gavel hits the desk” -- the moment in court when the adoption finalizes. “Once the adoption was final, everyone was finally able to relax,” she said. Adopting two children presented many of the same challenges that every blended family faces, but the Johnsons would not change a thing. Their sons are now 19 and 20, both high school graduates now serving in the military. The Johnsons are strong advocates for permanence for children in foster care, and they love the phrase “forever family” vvbecause the commitment does not end when the child turns 18. They encourage people who are exploring foster care adoption as an option to “follow your
heart but also use your head. Be realistic about what you can handle, and about your expectations for the child or children who will eventually come into your home. Start where the child is at, not where you would like them to be.” They said transitions and separation are traumatic for children, even at a very young age. But they have witnessed amazing transformations in children once they become stable in a forever home, and they are strong believers in nurture trumping nature. Individuals and couples interested in becoming foster/adoptive parents can start by calling 775-337-4470 and requesting an information packet. Washoe County and the state of Nevada have partnered with KOLO 8 News to present “Have a Heart,” which airs the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., and features a child or sibling group in need of an adoptive home. You can also visit www.haveaheartnv.org for information about some of the children in need of permanent and loving homes. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
NEVADA CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE Russell A. Foulk, M.D. and Scott J. Whitten, M.D. 645 Sierra Rose Dr., Ste 205, Reno, NV 89511 Tel. (775) 828-1200; Fax (775) 828-1785 www.nevadafertility.com
NEVADA CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE
re you struggling to conceive? Have you been trying to become pregnant for over a year? You are not alone. Fifteen percent of couples have difficulty becoming pregnant and are diagnosed with infertility. There are many reasons for infertility and a few simple tests can be done to diagnose most problems. 60
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The majority of causes of infertility are treatable. Let the experts at the Nevada Center for Reproductive Medicine help you. Drs. Foulk and Whitten have assembled an outstanding team of compassionate professionals to help you overcome your infertility struggle. Their team will guide you every step of the way of your journey from
your initial consult to your final appointment, celebrating your success. We use the latest technological advancements to provide you with outstanding success rates that compete with top centers in the U.S. Begin your journey today by calling to schedule your initial consultation. Let us help you create the family you have always dreamed of!
BE FRUITFUL: ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO CONCEIVE BY SHERRI AIKIN
Lactation Nation Cookie Co. Photo Credits: Sarah J Grady Photography
COOKIES ARE THE BEST-KEPT SECRET AMONG NURSING MOMS BY ALYSSA STARR
actation Cookies are the best-kept secret among nursing moms. The ingredients in these cookies work in a number of different ways to help increase and maintain milk supply. Lactation Nation Cookie Co. specializes in bringing mothers a unique, out-of-thebox variety of cookies which contain galactagogue substances that can promote lactation in humans. Galactagogues are found in various herbs and foods. Brewer’s yeast, flaxseed meal and steel cut oats in lactation cookies are the ingredients that specifically help increase a lactating mother’s milk supply. • BREWER’S YEAST, most commonly known for its use in making beer, contains iron, protein, B vitamins, chromium, selenium and various other trace minerals. Not only does it promote milk supply, it is believed to help with fatigue and the “baby blues.” • STEEL CUT OATS are another staple ingredient for nursing moms. They are loaded with fiber and full of iron, protein and complex carbs. It is important to keep iron at
optimum levels to keep your milk supply established. • FLAXSEED has good fats and enzymes which are most important for increasing breast milk production. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which aid in brain development. Anyone can consume lactation cookies, even dads! They are high in nutrients and will prove to be beneficial to even the toughest cookie! Lactation Nation Cookie Co. has a variety of specialty flavors which include S’more, Snickerbooble, M&M (Milk Makers), “Pump”kin Spice and B”udder”scotch Brulee. You can keep up to date with the latest and greatest cookie creations on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/ lactationnationcookies or you can purchase them locally at The Nurturing Nest at 7693 S. Virginia St. in south Reno which is a mother’s dream store. Have special requests or allergens? Please email lactationnationcookies@gmail. com for further assistance. Being a nursing mom can be stressful enough, so sit back, enjoy a cookie and go with the flow!
Sherri Aikin is a Fellow of Integrative Medicine, Nurse Practitioner, Sex Counselor, Mindfulness Facilitator, and Life Coach. Her unique synthesis of degrees and certifications provide an expertise in the field of mind-body wellness. She specializes in sexuality, hormonal balance, nutrition, mindfulness, prevention and promotion of overall health and wellbeing, affirming the beauty and vitality of a whole and complete life for her clients. www.sherriaikinhealth.com The aspiration to become a parent is a primitive impulse rooted within us often longing to be fulfilled. Yet when that imprinting seems to have failed, a vast emotional questioning and pursuit of medical interventions become the path for couples confronting infertility. Current estimates on infertility report that approximately 13 out of 100 couples are unable to conceive naturally. Causes include anatomic, genetic, infectious or inflammatory, ovulatory dysfunction, age, and low sperm count to name a few. While modern medical approaches yield success in one-cycle conception of about 40 percent, the cost of these interventions may exclude some couples. That said, for hopeful parents, what alternatives and health interventions could augment medical treatments and/or be beneficial in promoting a pregnancy? To help facilitate fertility, various alternative treatments and lifestyle are helping some couples to conceive. Dr. Victoria Maizes, author of “Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child,” discusses these options and necessary lifestyle habits with exercise and nutrition. Acupuncture in some studies suggests increasing conception rates by 26 percent in conjunction with medical treatments. This ancient eastern medicine is said to activate the body’s energetic system, revitalizing, restoring and promoting proper energy flow throughout, helping to return reproduction function to a normal rhythm. Meditation practices help reduce the stress response, create resiliency, stabilize emotions and decrease the inflammatory response. When under stress, the hormone cortisol is secreted, which may alter normal reproductive function. So with the exponential growth in research on meditation confirming the health benefits, make this a daily practice. It can never be stressed enough, but a diet rich in vegetable proteins, lean meats and essential fatty acids, and avoiding refined and processed foods and taking a prenatal vitamin that includes folate, iodine and iron, are essential habits to incorporate. Here’s to your fertility health! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
OPEN HEARTS IN OPEN ADOPTION:
Still Brothers BY MEG STEINITZ
hen Jessica Rodriguez learned she was pregnant in August 2013, she made the difficult decision to plan an adoption for her unborn son. A single mother of four sons who works as a server at a local casino, she did not arrive at the decision easily, but felt it was her best option. Rodriguez contacted Adoption Choices of Nevada in Reno, where she participated in counseling that included discussion on all of her options as well as the adoption process. “Working with an agency and knowing all of my options and what was going to happen made it easier,” she said, and she was steadfast in her decision once it was made, which helped her to remain committed to the adoption plan. She included her sons in the process, and they helped her choose the adoptive parents. Rodriguez’ family is close, and one of her top priorities was to find a family who would honor the connection among the brothers and allow them to know each other and have a relationship. Her sons even helped pick their new brother’s name What’s the name?, although he goes by his middle name, Gaje, which is an anagram of their initials. Rodriguez offered this advice to other women who may be facing an unplanned pregnancy and are considering adoption: You have to be comfortable with your decision. You have to know that this is the decision that you want to make. Make sure it is yours and nobody is forcing you to make it. The whole thing is up to you. Then it’s you and your child, and what you feel is best for that child. Really take time and know what you want, know you are in control, and to pick out the family that you want. Being comfortable with the family is the most important thing. Gaje’s adoptive parents, Kevin and Gertie, live out of state. They initially met Rodriguez via Skype, then traveled to Reno to spend time together prior to Gaje’s birth. “I asked if they could come out before birth so the boys and I could meet them in person, just so I could see if the chemistry we had over Skype was the same in person,” Rodriguez said. “And everything went better than I could have ever expected. The boys loved them.” Kevin and Gertie hoped to make it back to Reno in time to be in the delivery room with Rodriguez, but Gaje had other plans and was born the day before they arrived. Rodriguez kept in close contact while they traveled, texting them pictures and updates. The families now stay in contact primarily through Child Connect, a secure service Adoption Choices of Nevada utilizes for nearly all adoptions that allows for easy online exchange of photos and updates. Rodriguez said she and her boys miss Gaje, but they firmly believe adoption was the right decision. She said she looks forward to the day when he is old enough to form a relationship with his brothers, and she is now keeping busy making him a special Christmas gift.
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
JESSICA RODRIGUEZ AND HER SONS, JASON, DEVON AND GABRIEL
“You have to be comfortable with your decision, you have to know that this is the decision that you want to make. Make sure it is yours and nobody is forcing you to make it. The whole thing is up to you. Then it’s you and your child, and what you feel is best for that child.” MOM JESSICA AND BABY GAJE
LEFT TO RIGHT: JASON, GABRIEL, DEVON AND ERIC HOLDING BABY GAJE
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The Lady Among Us BY CHRISIE YABU
Incorporating balance between work, family and First Lady-dom: “I don’t sleep much. People get emails from me all times of the night! My kids come first, and I’m also lucky I have the ability to get work done on the go. I sometimes have to prioritize my attendance at events so that I can have family time and not miss out on things like my daughter’s first basketball game. I think everybody goes through that kind of balancing.” “Brian and I couldn’t do what we do without our kids. They have been so adaptable and supportive while staying grounded in the process. They’re amazing and I’m proud of them.” Biggest inspiration: “My dad, Jim. He is actually my step-dad and raised me since I was 3. He showed me how to work hard and was always there for us. He taught me to believe in myself.” Favorite thing to do: “Reading! It’s my best getaway. I read more than 100 books a year – fiction, non-fiction, mysteries and thrillers. Currently, I am reading Unintended Consequences.” Photos provided by Kathleen Sandoval and Craig Marshall
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
ometimes you see her behind a podium delivering a speech. Sometimes you see her shopping at the grocery store. But you’ll likely see her interacting with kids and working hard as the director of operations at The Children’s Cabinet in Reno. She’s Kathleen Sandoval. Many people know her as Nevada’s First Lady, a role she upholds with grace and integrity. Add to that, mom of three well-balanced, level-headed children, and add to that, working mom. Fourteen years ago, Sandoval started as a part-timer at The Children’s Cabinet overseeing the Family Resource Centers. Less than a year later, she became a program director, carrying a caseload assisting families and their kids. “Working with the kids is what I have enjoyed the most,” Sandoval said. “Empowering them to make decisions, and helping them be successful in life no matter what things get thrown at them, have always been what I loved.” The kids at The Children’s Cabinet definitely feel that love. They gravitate toward her – in and out of her office, visiting her, sending her funny text messages and sharing stories. It is her coaching, support and care that are omnipresent within the walls of The Children’s Cabinet. It’s not just compassion. Sandoval is driven by her willingness to continuously progress and reach even bigger goals. Earlier this year, The Children’s Cabinet and the state of Nevada launched Enliven, a program that assists individuals between the ages of 15-25 who are experiencing the first episode of psychosis. Sandoval spearheaded the set-up of the Enliven program on the state Mental Health Services campus on Galletti Way in Sparks, which has already reached its caseload in less than eight months. By the end of the year, The Children’s Cabinet will open a new transitional living center called The Center for Aspiring Youth, specifically suited for Safe Place, runaway and homeless youth on the same campus. In addition, Sandoval and her team have
led the ginormous task of establishing an Enliven program and facility in Las Vegas, also set to open by the end of the year. Sandoval’s next goal will be to focus her efforts on running the programs successfully. It’s the end result that makes Sandoval light up. “I truly enjoy seeing these kids on a path to success,” she said. “Some of them come back years later and work for The Children’s Cabinet.” Ricardo needs last name is just that person, working with youth everyday as a case manager. In addition to that, he speaks to groups across the country about the impact of good programs like these that are greatly needed in communities across the U.S. “I think the biggest accomplishment is that we’re providing wrap-around services in all of our programs to impact an entire family,” Sandoval said. “No matter what door they walk through, we have a case manager wrapped around that child. It’s people like Mike Pomi, our executive director, and the entire staff that make good things happen every day. I cannot do what I do without Mike around.” The next time you see Sandoval out in the community, you’ll know that she’s probably trying to get things done like many women who “do it all.” Just like many of them, she’s among us, making a difference. Have you read all the Harry Potter books? “Yes, except the last one. My daughter will finish it soon, and it’s my turn next.” What makes Nevada a great state? “People make connections they don’t want to lose. It’s that human connection that makes Nevada different than other states. People know each other. They see the governor out having dinner with the family. Everyone is down to earth and genuinely cares about each other. “ Bucket list: “I am going to drive up the coast of California on a motorcycle by my 55th birthday! I used to ride dirt bikes as a kid. My team bought me motorcycle lessons. I can’t wait.”
ADOPT A FAMILY!
HOLIDAY HELP WITH THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF TRUCKEE MEADOWS BY TESSA MARIE This time of year, we share joy on Christmas morning by carefully selecting, wrapping and gifting perfect presents. But some households are contemplating a holiday without. That can change, however, with your care and the helping hands of the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. Each holiday season, BGCTM qualifies about 200 families from the Reno/Sparks/Fernley region whose children attend the club regularly, are living on very limited income or are homeless. These families are able to make a list that expresses their needs, such as clothing items and sizes, cleaning and toiletry needs, and occasionally something fun, like a bike. Kathleen Vanderziel, donor relations director for the club, said, “We have tremendous donors in this town, it’s truly amazing! We definitely encourage companies to adopt the larger families, or families of four to adopt other families of four if they can.” She also said the club works with the families in the program to help create independence so that they don’t have to depend on it. What kind of items can you help with if you are unable to take on a whole family? “Things like gas cards and grocery cards are extremely useful,” Vanderziel said. Additionally, wrapping paper, bows and tags are a fun way to pitch in. “We love to have the parents come in and wrap the gifts themselves.” Collections are going on now, and your efforts will impact more than 1,500 youngsters and teens in Northern Nevada. Donors may drop off wrapped gifts, labeled only with age range and gender, at the Donald W. Reynolds facility at 2680 E. Ninth St., in Reno, or even volunteer to help in the hours leading up to Christmas Eve. Remember, Boys & Girls Club never turns away children from their year-long resources, no matter what their family’s financial circumstances. Plus, the facility serves more than 280,000 meals annually along with after-school and summer programs at Safe Place locations. Contact Vanderziel with questions at (775) 3602450, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found online at http://www. bgctm.org/ways-to-give/holiday-help-program/. Thanks for reading, and may you have a blissful season of spreading cheer!
BY ALICIA SONTAG
hat is it about chocolate and the holidays pairing so well? Maybe it’s that warm, happy feeling chocolate creates, or perhaps it’s the tradition of leaving sweets out for Santa at night. Whatever it is, chocolate is seasonal magic. It’s the perfect gift for giving, an enjoyable snack to share as you slice the turkey, pass do you mean “light”? the menorah, or empty the Christmas stockings. Chocolate makes you feel comfort. What else would you want during this season of love and friendship? There is just something special about celebrating the holidays over chocolate. Whether it’s snowing, raining, or just a little bit chilly, hot chocolate warms you and fills you with affection for one another. Nothing quite stirs up a sweet tooth like winter flurries! Chocolate has been a holiday tradition for as long as we can remember. Since 1920, gold chocolate coins have been a long-standing Hanukkah tradition. During World War II, when food was rationed, chocolate was saved and then gifted as a sweet treat. German advent calendars with chocolate surprises became the norm in 1958 as children counted down the days until Christmas by opening each door on the calendar. Chocolate unquestionably is a part of the spirit of giving! Winter is a special time at Dorinda’s Chocolates, and the chocolatiers are never so busy as when the holiday season rolls around! Dorinda’s Chocolates offers seasonal pieces that capture the cheery spirit. Throughout November, Dorinda’s offers a Pumpkin Spice Truffle made with real pumpkin! As Thanksgiving passes, Dorinda’s will begin offering Eggnog Brandy Truffle, Peppermint Truffles, Peppermint Bark, and Cocoa Cones. All the holiday spices and flavors you could possibly wish for will be available. Other holiday specials include seasonal Christmas Boxes, available in red-tiered packaging, and holiday mugs with a hot cocoa cone! Nothing is better than sitting by the fire in your favorite sweater and sipping a hot cup of rich, authentic cocoa complete with marshmallows and Belgian chocolate chips from a decorative mug! Dorinda’s Chocolates loves the holidays, and the holidays wouldn’t be complete without your favorite sweet treat! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
spavia at The Summit Relax. Escape. Thrive. That is the motto of spavia. By Tessa Marie Opened just a few short months ago on the north end of The Summit, spavia is delivering excellent services for thrifty shoppers and spa junkies. Owner Merirae Tackett is beyond proud to be treating Northern Nevada to fully rounded, yet affordable peace and relaxation. After working in the corporate world for over 20 years, Tackett, her husband, and a friend sat down one day and talked honestly about their lives, their futures, and what they wished to do going forward. They knew it had to be something that made a difference; something accessible to the masses that brought happiness. Thankfully, just two days later, the answer came in the form of spavia. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Spavia is a newer franchise (based out of Denver) that is aiming to change the perception of what a luxury spa experience can be. They offer high-end services without the high-end price tag. This is a chain like no other. Imagine going every month to relish in the energy of healing and unwind. You’ll enjoy sipping teas and reading inspirational books in the ambient relaxation area. A therapist will lead you to a serene
room with a warm table to pamper your body with care and attention, including a sumptuous lotion of your choice. You may also choose to gratify your skin with a customized facial that treats your needs and feels like bliss, all the way to your fingertips. By the end of it all, you may want to skip showering because you smell so good, and you will love how your skin feels, yet you are able to take advantage of full amenities that are available to refresh before heading back out into the world. The added bonus: everything is at a price that is accessible for your pocketbook! A special point has been made by Merirae and her incredible staff to ensure that little something extra exists in all the right places. On your intake form, you get to customize your experience by choosing what kind of music you wish to hear (including your personal iPod) and how much talking or silence you would prefer during your session. In the relaxation room, you’ll find warm, lavender neck pillows and sweet mint chocolates to add to your lounging while you nourish your mind with inspirational reading material. By
the end, you’ll be thanking your specialist for her professional recommendation on what products or treatments are customized toward you, and for providing you with much needed tips to take home with you! Want to share a day like this with others? When booking a party of six or more, spavia reserves the ENTIRE SPA! Food can be brought in, and supreme fun can be had along with everyone’s essential remedies. Also, if you are a spavia member, you have the option to designate a family member to enjoy your treatment for the month. What a great way to ensure your loved ones can enjoy wellness without blowing the budget. If you mention you are sharing it as a birthday gift, they may just find a special cupcake bath-bomb and a card waiting for them in their locker! A monthly visit to spavia at The Summit is sure to help you maintain balance and harmony, and it leave you the extra cash in hand to enjoy the dining, shopping, and entertainment as you walk out the door. For a rundown on their signature, premier, and ultimate treatments, visit http://spaviadayspa.com/. To book now, call 775.432.6572.
Make it a destination day at The Summit! Shop fresh with the Farmer’s Market, and get groovy with “Sounds of Summer” music series! Visit thesummitonline.com/ for all the details.
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
FROM WALLFLOWER TO QUEEN BEE: Building a Blossoming Floral Business It was while working for someone else that Katie Knapp discovered her desire to own her own business and do it the way she really thought it should be done. By Katie Knapp-CFD Owner, Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique “Customer service always seemed secondary to money at other places I had worked and I always felt exactly the opposite. While I completely understand that one is in business to make money, I was once told that if you put the customers first, the money will always follow. So I always felt frustrated when I saw others in business put money before people. I also felt that in working for others, many of my own ideas were never taken seriously and I was always underestimated. I reached my breaking point when the company I was working for decided not to sell to me after seven years of hard work and dedication to something that I thought was going to be my own. “A few months later, feeling very let down and defeated, I was on vacation in Hawaii and sitting on a beach reading the book, ‘The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life.’ And it was then that I came to the realization I needed to stop waiting around for other people to help make my dreams happen, to start taking
ownership of my life and do something about it. “Growing up, I was what you would consider a wallflower, and I suddenly realized it was getting me nowhere. I really wanted to be noticed for my talents and passion, and I had an epiphany that I had been playing small by the ‘rules’ and playing the ‘waiting game’ most of my life and constantly getting knocked down. I knew I was capable of so much more that included a life and a career that I loved and desperately wanted to succeed at… Not giving in to defeat was where my journey truly started.” With the help of her amazingly supportive husband and friends, and a little start-up money from the TMCC and Governor’s Cup business plan competitions, Knapp stepped outside of her comfort zone and started her busi-
Photo by Exit 186 Imagery
ness in a small 900-square-foot location in 2011. She must be doing something right, because in 2014 she expanded her business into a 2,600-square-foot location and is still growing, offering some of the best selections of gifts, seasonal decor and original floral art in Northern Nevada. “My goal,” Knapp said, “is to be creative and responsive to our customers’ needs while providing a great working environment for my employees, doing our very best for every customer, every time.”
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
MAKING HOLIDAY MAGIC
BY KATIE KNAPP-CFD Owner, Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique
am one of those designers who insists on having a live tree in my home every year for the holidays. The scent of evergreens that fills the room brings a feeling of family and comfort, and the vacuuming of pine needles after New Year’s is a small price to pay for getting to be creative year after year. Each season, I choose different-colored lights (something not available on most artificial trees) along with different beautiful decorative ribbon that I then mix and match with all the beautiful ordainments I’ve collected over the years. The result is a different masterpiece each year that I get to admire all season long. Flower Tip: The trick to a long-lasting tree
is to get it as soon as possible from the tree lot and then into its water source immediately after you put a fresh cut on the end to open up the cells from the sap, allowing it to drink. Keep the house cool during the day and put the tree in a place away from heat vents and drafts, and be sure to check the water reservoir regularly. Creative centerpieces and mantel pieces can be made to last longer by designing the fresh evergreens in floral oasis and using elements such as pinecones, ordainments, artificial berries and ribbon to make them last all season long. (Make sure to water it every day so the oasis doesn’t dry out; once it does, it doesn’t allow the branches to draw water again.)
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❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❤
THE BIGGEST LITTLE CHRISTMAS BY BRITTON GRIFFITH-DOUGLASS
The word “Christmas” means so many things to so many people. To me, it sounds like my sister laughing and feels like a cozy fire and tastes like peppermint sticks in hot chocolate. It represents tradition, love and a little magic. Reno is the ideal city to enjoy each piece of this season and to help you to #BELIEVE again. No need for a white beard when you have the most festive places to shop local and fill up your Santa sack with presents for everyone in your life. Reno eNVy in the Riverwalk District has gifts, apparel and even home décor for those who have Battle Born pride. The cutest item for a new baby (or maybe an elf) are the “Made in Nevada” onesies that would make even the Scrooge smile. While you’re in the shopping mood, ride Rudolph down to Midtown District. Take a peek in the windows of Junkee for your fashion-funky friends, Happy Happy Joy Joy for the little guys and Chocolate Walrus for all those on your “naughty list.” The best part of any holiday party is always the bubbles in your glass and a
❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
delicious bite to eat. The new Whispering Vine located on Fourth Street is a great place to enjoy a glass of seasonal wine, sip some tomato soup and shop till you drop for stocking stuffers. When choosing a caterer for your office party, pop over to Wild River Grille and enjoy watching the Truckee River run by as you place your order of red and green bruschetta that will give the office a holly jolly feel. If you have something very special to tell the Big Guy up at the North Pole, your best bet is to write him a letter at the Old Post Office downtown. This magical location will be open to write, ship and make sure Santa gets your letter this holiday. If you are looking to feel warm and cuddly from the inside out, there are many organizations that can use a warm helping hand these cold winter months. The Nevada Youth Empowerment Project houses homeless young women ages 18-21 in a home that provides life skills and programming that allow them to be successful in life. Each year they
write a wish list of items they hope Santa will leave under the tree for them. You can help make their Christmas bright by purchasing and donating presents to open on a white, snowy morning. In Reno, there are so many snowy streets to walk down, cozy places to enjoy a cup of cocoa and special shops to make memories in. I hope that this year the Biggest Little City gives you a big charmed Christmas.
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PICKS FOR THE HOST: Thistle Farms room sprays and candles make wonderful host gifts with an empowering message. Thistle Farms is a community, a sanctuary and social enterprise led by women survivors o trafficking, addiction and prostitution. It also provides housing, recovery support and education with the message that love is the most powerful force for change. Each room spray or candle purchase directly benefits the women who made it. Pair it with a bottle of wine to really add some Wow! GIFTS FOR THE DIFFICULT PEOPLE ON YOUR LIST: A Whole
Foods Market Gift Card. One Card. Many Gifts. Gift cards are available for purchase at the register or online at wfm.com/giftcards.
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Global Girlfriend Handmade Scarves make a great, unique gift for the fashion-lover in your life. Each colorful scarf represents fair working conditions and an economic opportunity through social enterprise for the woman who makes it.
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❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
FOR THE KIDS: Exceptionally detailed animal pals – including endangered species - are ready for hours of play and sweet cuddles! Made with no PVC or phthalates by a global leader in high-quality plus toys. Whole Foods Market also offers smooth, durable toys made from a revolutionary composite featuring rubber wood from mature trees that no longer produce latex. Whole Foods Market is also donating 1% of total sales from these toys to Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to support schools and inspire families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness.
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(775)2016 499-5432 ❤ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER