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COME AND SAVOR OUR DAILY PASTA TASTINGS Our espresso bar is a wonderful place to enjoy Italian coffee with a biscotti.

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If you have a loved one wit h dementia, you know the crippling effect it can have on the whole family. “I want to thank all the Home Instead CAREGivers that tended to my mother. I’m convinced that their attentiveness and the care

But it doesn’t have to..... > Dementia is a sydrome that can be caused by a number of progressive disorders that affect memory, behavior and the ability to perform everyday tasks. > The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which presently effects 5.4 million U.S. residents.

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Until there is a cure, we provide a solution . Ever growing and evolving to meet the changing needs of seniors and their families, Home Instead Senior Care of Plumsteadville has recently introduced their new groundbreaking dementia care program. The CARE Program (Changing Aging through Research and Education) was developed exclusively for the Home Instead network by physicians and geriatric specialists from leading teaching hospitals. This innovative whole-person approach enables our CAREGivers to successfully manage the specific behaviors, situations and conditions associated with dementia. Using tools to capture the elder’s “life journey”, the CARE Program is the only training program that teaches CAREGivers to work one-on-one with individuals in their homes, as opposed to a facility or group setting. Our CARE Program supports the families of dementia clients with their unique struggles and insures the client’s safety, comfort and dignity.


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Home Instead Senior Care On the Forefront of Dementia Care


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> Of Americans aged 65 and over, 1 in 8 has Alzheimer’s and nearly half of those over 85 are affected.

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> In 2010, 14.9 million family members provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $203 billion the emotional toll cannot be quantified,

But there is help... There is hope... There is Home Instead Senior Care of Plumsteadville...

Until there is a cure, we provide a solution . Ever growing and evolving to meet the changing needs of seniors and their families, Home Instead Senior Care of Plumsteadville has recently introduced their new groundbreaking dementia care program. The CARE Program (Changing Aging through Research and Education) was developed exclusively for the Home Instead network by physicians and geriatric specialists from leading teaching hospitals. This innovative whole-person approach enables our CAREGivers to successfully manage the specific behaviors, situations and conditions associated with dementia. Using tools to capture the elder’s “life journey”, the CARE Program is the only training program that teaches CAREGivers to work one-on-one with individuals in their homes, as opposed to a facility or group setting. Our CARE Program supports the families of dementia clients with their unique struggles and insures the client’s safety, comfort and dignity.


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HOME | COMMUNITY | LIFE FEATURES 10 Quality, Value, Convenience: Name the Network!

28 Home: Minor Work, Major Party 72 Mummers Strut in Fancy Finery! what’s cooking? 34 Homemade cookies: some of our favorite holiday recipes

39 Our Sommelier compiled the Wine Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide

46 Fork-1-1: The Proof is in the Pudding travel & culture 20 WTF: Experience the Parisian Holidays 96 Local Goes Local: McAdenville, North Carolina

living humor 61BackTalk: ‘Tis the Season to Drink Cocktails, Fa La La La La, La La La La

63 Musings of Motherhood: Moms, Grab Your Super Hero Capes… It’s the Holiday Season

79 Male Bag: Merry Happy Holy ~ Ho, Ho, Whoa!

fashion & beauty 24 Rejuvenate with La Bella Vita Italian Day Spa

49 Duchesse Gabrielle’s Beauty Lab: There’s more to pumpkin than pie!

52 Our Top Picks for Gifting with Glamour! health 80 Dental Excellence of Blue Bell: Don’t Miss Out on the Holidays


Local Living November | December 2013

law & finance 17 The Seiler Group: What To Do with Your Rollover

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Local Living November | December 2013

Writer Queries or Solicitations If you’ve got a must-read story or a good idea for an upcoming issue, what are you waiting for? Email us or send it through the mail at the respective addresses in the section above. (Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your mail. Local Living Magazine does not assume any responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.)

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Reprints & Back Issues High-quality reprints of articles are available, as well as entire previous issues. Make your request by calling (215) 257-8400 Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. Local Living Magazine makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without permission from Local Living Magazine.

Publisher’s Holiday Letter


Diane Burns, Joanna Chodorowska, Mary Cushing Doherty, Jillian Dunn, Donna Dvorak, Jenn Hallman, Nick Hamner, Esq., Charles Hansler, Marta Hobbs, Blair Johnson, Pattie Krukowski, Carla Papciak-Glatts, Loretta D. Hutchinson, Michele Kawamoto Perry, Tom Seiler, Susan Taylor, Lisa Walters,

Medical Contributors Matthew Candelaria, Matthew Gelber, Dr. Marc Rabinowitz, Dr. Robert Skalicky, St. Luke’s University Health Network

Account Executives Cynthia Price, Michael Shapiro, Jim Vanore

“Enjoy the little things for one day and you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault


oes it seem to you the time passes faster than it used to? Are we all so busy that we take advantage of quick communication made easier via cell phones and the Internet?

I was at a restaurant a few weeks ago when I noticed a family seated at a table nearby. Mom, Dad and both kids were each on their own gadget. It amazes me how easily we’ve slipped into this being acceptable. I do not accept it. It’s my hope that as we plan our holiday get-togethers there is a “slow down,” a time to talk with one another and a time to sit down and get to know each other. Our children, when given the time and the stories, can learn from the experiences of older generations. Children gain invaluable perspective as they listen to the trials and successes of those who came before them. It’s equally important for our children to share with us new ideas and their thoughts and dreams for the future. This became so apparent to me when I recently spent an afternoon rummaging through my closet and stumbling upon some old photos from past years’ holiday celebrations. Images of family members that are no longer with us reminded me of some of my favorite family traditions. Sharing these traditions from year to year and from one generation to the next is what keeps us connected. Do you still have a landline? How long has it been since you sent a handwritten holiday card and enclosed a printed photo? Do you get the youngest together to bake cookies? As multiple generations come together over the next few weeks take the time to simply enjoy each other’s company so that you will hopefully create a deeper bond that is far greater than any electronic device can give you. May your holidays with friends and family be a shared learning experience filled with joy, love and laughter. Happy Holidays!

Marketing & PR Kathleen M. McNicholas

Accounting Manager

Karen A. Lavery

Marge Rudzinski

Courier Services Harrisburg News Company

WARREN MEDIA GROUP, INC. Headquarters 2045 Bennett Road Philadelphia, PA 19116 Sales & Production: 530 West Butler Ave Chalfont, PA 18914 Phone: (215) 257-8400 / Fax: (215) 464-9303

November | December 2013

Local Living


editor’s page

Editor’s Letter


ell, if you have waited until the last minute to decorate, shop, clean, cook, bake or just plain mentally prepare for the holidays, then sit down and enjoy this issue. You can still pull it all off with panache using our top tips, tricks and picks from A to QVC. We could have called it “Local Living: E-Z Holidays.” Ever wonder if it’s worth hiring a caterer for a party in your home? Pattie Krukowski’s piece rings with a resonant “Yes.” Need tips for staying sober enough to remember the holiday work party? Jenn Hallman has your back. What about the gifts? From wine to tech, gadgets are covered. From hummus to Tiffany & Co., no stone is left unturned. A host and two hostesses from QVC make excellent suggestions also. By the way, if you get the chance to visit their global HQ in West Chester (PA, not NY) don’t pass it up. The sheer scale and beauty of the place is impressive. Scrub Daddy can tell you. What a fun story. And you won’t find a more genuine, funloving guy who deserves every cent of his success. As we wrap up the year, I’d like to thank the advertisers who have partnered with us throughout 2013. As experts in your fields, each of you brought a unique quality to our pages, either through your own brand of storytelling or with honest, useful facts about your industry. We appreciate your continued patronage and we look forward to enhancing the benefits of our relationship in 2014. For those beset by the heartache of loss, divorce, joblessness or worse, we hope you, most of all, can find warm comfort in this issue. Heartache does not discriminate, and it doesn’t take a break just because it’s Christmastime. You are not alone. So break out the rolling pin and get some cookies baking. Then think about going to the gym. Next year. In the meantime, eat, drink and be merry with loved ones and Local Living.


OR CALL 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787 SponSored BY

Sharyl Volpe Editor-in-Chief 8

Local Living November | December 2013

Media SponSor

November | December 2013

Local Living


Setting the Stage QVC is home to one of the most technologically advanced television studios in the U.S. The 165,000-square-foot broadcast operations center enables QVC to produce its live programming, which attracts more than 22,000 on-air guest visits each year and showcases more than 1,000 products every week. There are 18 permanent sets and more than 100 portable scenic elements. Since it is the “most wonderful time of the year,” the scenes we saw were lavishly decorated with trees and ribbons and glass of every color. There is one live audience studio that seats 130 lucky viewers. Tickets are free if you can get them, and often they are provided for surprise performances, Willie Nelson and Justin Bieber to name a few. “The Bieber show was insane,” according to PR Manager, Denise Kovalevich. “There were girls hiding in the bushes around campus trying to get a view!” It’s an intimate space for an unforgettable performance. Hosts and Hostesses As most of the population with television or an Internet connection already knows, 25 different engaging hosts and hostesses promote products, often featuring personalities with a vested interest in the product line. The shows are unscripted, which sounds a little risky, but chemistry is crucial. And there is plenty of it. There is a training program for hosts, but as Scrub Daddy king Aaron Krause told me, “They really are just seeing if you can sell your stuff. I was a little nervous the first time I did my screening test, if you will. But when I got done, the producers said, ‘Can you do that again?!’ So I was pretty pleased.” Many of the products have features that are exclusive to QVC and its customers. Their leading product categories currently include beauty, electronics, home goods, apparel and accessories, and jewelry. Presented are 1,150 products every week and approximately 288 of these are new to the QVC customer. Current brand leaders include philosophy, Dell™, and Bare Minerals.

Quality, Value, Convenience: Name the Network! By Sharyl Volpe


t is QVC® of course! Founded in 1986 by entrepreneur Joseph Segel, these were the three guiding principles of his company: quality, value and convenience. Today, QVC is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer with customers around the globe. They are buying product day and night through broadcast, Internet, and mobile sales platforms. You could say Mr. Segel had a knack for acronyms.

Local Living recently had the pleasure of touring the headquarter campus, or “Studio Park,” based outside of Philadelphia, in West Chester, PA. The extraordinary scale of the operation, the top-notch space and the first rate PR staff made a lasting impression. QVC’s success story is no surprise after seeing the state-of-the-art broadcast operations, and learning how they are connected to the vast ecommerce operations. Sprinkle in the charismatic personalities and all of their quality goods and you have the recipe for nothing less than global domination. 10

Local Living November | December 2013

The Numbers QVC is available in 290 million homes worldwide through its broadcast programming in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, Italy and a joint venture in China. More than 166 million products in 2012 went to these markets. There are 17,000 employees worldwide. Last year QVC’s websites worldwide attracted more than 600 million unique monthly visitors. Leveraging social networks, QVC has over one million Facebook fans around the world who blog, comment, “like”, and share 24/7. QVC’s 2012 sales generated $8.5 billion in annual revenues, $2.9 billion of which came from ecommerce.

For the season of giving, we asked QVC to send us some of their favorite gift suggestions from some of their most popular personalities. Look for pitch perfect items in this issue’s Gift Guide from the following host and hostesses with the mostesses. Enjoy!

Sharyl Volpe is Editor-in Chief of Local Living Magazine. LISA ROBERTSON has been a QVC program host since 1995 and, over the course of nearly two decades, has gained unique access into the world of fashion and beauty, making connections with the style elite. Robertson is one of QVC’s top hosts for apparel, accessories and cosmetics. She has also been the public face of QVC at major fashion events, including New York Fashion Week and Fashion’s Night Out.

“The holiday season is all about family time and togetherness, great food and fond memories… but we can’t forget the gifts! Whether you’ve got $20 or $200 to spend this year, you can make someone’s holiday with these thoughtful ideas. Keep it flavorful—and festive—this season!” DAVID VENABLE

JILL BAUER joined QVC as a program host in 1993. In this position, Bauer presents product information, conducts demonstrations and interacts with on-air guests, celebrities and viewers. Bauer serves as the host of “You’re Home With Jill,” which includes creative decorating ideas, easy crafting projects, gracious entertaining suggestions and delicious dishes from the kitchen.

Visit pages 52 & 53 to see what Lisa, David and Jill’s favorite holiday gifts are.

w h at n at u r e d e s t r o y e d it also preserved


The AmericanDream Dream is and The American is Alive Alive ~ And It’s Well ~and And Well It’s Smiling By Sharyl Volpe Smiling

eet Aaron Krause, the 44 year-old local who has made it Big Time. If you don’t already have one of his iconic round yellow Scrub Daddy sponges in your house, you will soon. These smiling scrubbers hold the title for best selling product ever pitched on ABC’s Shark Tank, retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond is selling over 30,000 a week, and they’re in every WalMart in America. His show on QVC airs weekly and is nearing one million sold. “I feel like I was born to do this.” Mr. Krause is positively excited. “Going to work is like going to a big playground.” He currently runs five companies plus a consulting firm advising other inventors. From where is this uncanny drive derived? “I have to give credit to my parents. They weren’t hard on me but they were very realistic.” As the middle child of three in a financially successful dualdoctor household, there was potential for spoiling. However, as Aaron and his two sisters got older, they received fewer and fewer gifts. This trend culminated on his thirteenth birthday when he was given the gift of appreciation for lucrative opportunity: Aaron got an allowance for chores.

Lear 45

Not only did he need a scrub for his hands that took off the dirt and not his skin, but Aaron wanted a new, gentler yet resilient buffer product too. He hired chemists and engineers who eventually produced for him product that would earn him the attention of one 3M. Again, some historic moments come when they are least expected. 3M bought everything Aaron had patented up until then except the peculiar yellow sponge, which sat in boxfuls in a warehouse Aaron owned. “They just couldn’t justify paying me the price I was asking for the patent on one of my sponges. So they took everything but that sponge with the two little holes in it.” Not until Aaron remembered the sponges he owned and pulled them out to scrub lawn furniture did he truly realize the yellow gold mine. The sponge became rigid in the cold hose water, but soft and malleable in warm water. In amazement himself, he began to use them on everything. It was while he was washing dishes when he realized the sponge needed a mouth. “The open smile was perfect for washing silverware.”

“The highest ROI was when I washed the car,” Aaron recalls. “That was $10. When I realized I couldn’t wash my parents’ cars every day, I took my soaps and sponges and a bucket and went door to door.” Aaron eventually built a local clientele of hundreds and kept track of them on a spreadsheet he designed using the family’s first MAC.

Aaron began to plan an intense grassroots marketing strategy that eventually began to move the sponges in spits and spurts. And then… “One night my wife and I were watching Shark Tank, seeing these totally unprepared guys get up there and fail miserably. I said to my wife, ‘I could kill these guys.’ And that is when it happened. That is when the light bulb came on. I knew I could kill these guys.”

After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Marketing, Aaron told his parents he was going to start a business. A carwash business. Compared to his Ivy League, first-in-class, cum laude sisters (yes, both) Aaron was branded as “the slacker with no future.” His mother cried. His aunt had no advice. “It was awful. I kept telling them, ‘No, I am not washing cars. I am starting a business.’”

After a series of phone interviews, he was flown to California to audition in October 2012. “So thirty cold exec types are staring at me. I was told, if you get a thumbs down, it means an escort straight to the airport. Thumbs up and you are moving on. When I got done, they were applauding.” Not only did Krause get national attention, but he also landed one of the judges as a minority investor and business partner, the brilliant Lori Greiner.

He was given a single summer in his parent’s garage (with overhead) to And this is only the beginning. Among dozens of other inventions in debuild his empire. At the end of that summer, Aaron had enough cash to buy velopment, look for new colors and uses for the current sponges and a a carwash. After firing his entire staff in one day for spiking their travel mugs, flower-shaped smile coming soon. Remember the name Mr. Aaron Krause. Aaron began high volume hands-on experience. Damaging a mirror on a Mer- You will be hearing it a lot. cedes might seem like a really bad thing, but in Aaron’s case it was the best Sharyl Volpe is Editor-in-Chief for Local Living Magazine. thing to happen to him. 12 Local Living November | December 2013

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November | December 2013

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The Seiler Group: What To Do with Your Rollover By Thomas A. Seiler


rior to retirement, you generally have one source of income – earnings from employment. However, during retirement, your income is likely to come from multiple resources, such as Social Security, pension and investment income. Planning for retirement means keeping watch over all of your savings and investments to ensure they are working to help you reach your goals. That can be difficult when you have to pull together information from many different sources. Many people who change employers or retire leave their assets in the former employer’s 401(k) plan. Often they are not aware of other options and how these choices can impact their long-term goals. Consolidating your retirement income resources into a single account, such as an IRA, or with a single institution can make it much easier to plan for and track income. To do that, you will probably have to do a “rollover” to move assets from your 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement plan. Consolidation makes it easier to track and manage your retirement investments and overall asset allocation. You can see your investment “big picture” and develop a retirement distribution plan – tapping assets in a logical order to minimize taxes and maximize ongoing growth opportunities.

It’s so close you can taste it. This is the season for family and friends, food and fun, sugar and spice and everything nice. It’s that time of year to savor the simple pleasures— the sounds, smells, sights and tastes—that live in your world. Celebrate all the gifts you have and take comfort in knowing they may be all the gifts you need. May this season leave you rich with warm memories.


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The following are some of the advantages of a rollover and consolidating assets in one place: 1. Keeping Track – Consolidating assets with one financial institution means you receive one set of transaction records, statements and tax paperwork. When you need to access your money, it’s all in one place. And, a consolidated statement reflecting all account activity during the year can help you keep track of income and expenses. 2. Flexibility and Choice – If you’re happy with your 401(k) plan choices, you may be able to invest in the exact same holdings in an IRA account and still have the option to change your allocations over time in response to market conditions or your personal situation. You can also expand your investment choices, selecting from thousands of stocks, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, REITs and other investments. 3. Simplicity – If you maintain IRAs, 401(k)s, managed accounts, etc., at more than one institution, it may be difficult and time-consuming to gather information and maintain records. Combining your assets at one firm makes it easier to review statements, initiate portfolio changes, monitor performance, track beneficiary options and calculate your required minimum distributions (RMDs).

4. Taxes – Rolling a 401(k) into an IRA allows you to continue growing retirement savings tax-deferred or tax-free (depending on the contribution type). This enables you to avoid any untimely or unnecessary taxation as well as penalties. If you choose to roll over qualified assets to a Roth IRA, you will incur an immediate tax burden now but avoid one in the future. 5. Protecting Your Heirs – IRAs generally have more flexibility in beneficiary designations. If you’re married, many 401(k) plans do not allow you to select anyone but your spouse as beneficiary and generally do not allow for multiple beneficiaries. A traditional IRA allows you to skip generations when designating a beneficiary, which allows them to spread distributions over a much longer time frame. Some call this a “stretch IRA,” which will allow your legacy the opportunity to continue growing tax deferred and minimize income taxes owed. 6. Lower Costs – By leaving assets in former employer plans or spreading them across multiple IRAs, you could be paying fees to each company for doing essentially the same thing. Consolidating retirement assets can eliminate redundant maintenance and management fees. Some 401(k) plans charge higher maintenance fees on accounts of former employees. 7. Benefits of Professional Advice – You can work with the financial advisor of your choice. Unlike advice that may or may not be available through your employer plan sponsor, you will receive professional advice that is customized for your financial goals and an allocation that is tailored for your needs and fits within the framework of your overall portfolio. Prior to making any decision, it is important to consult with your financial advisor to make sure that everything is working in unison to benefit your overall financial plan. Please contact The Seiler Group of Raymond James for a confidential consultation. Thomas A. Seiler is Senior Vice President, Investments, at The Seiler Group of Raymond James. A graduate of Montclair University, Tom has served as an NFLPA® Financial Advisor since 2003. For more information on The Seiler Group of Raymond James, call
toll free (1.855) 4SEILER or visit online at theseilergroup. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC. The Seiler Group of Raymond James 4 Caufield Place, Suite 101 |Newtown, PA 18940 Toll Free: 1.855.4SEILER (1.855.473.4537) | Direct: 1.215.968.7172 Fax: 1.215.860.7829 |

November | December 2013

Local Living


It ’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Susan Taylor


‘ew phrases conjure up such emotions of fond memories, anticipation, excitement and anxiety all at the same time. The Christmas season brings all of these feelings to our hearts and calendars become the center of planning the hustle and bustle of the coming weeks.

the surprised faces and squeals of delight from the children who soon began to anticipate our nightly deliveries. Favorite recipes were prepared, fond ornaments, activities for the children and always, the funny nightly quote, giving no hint of the giver.

When my children were young and well into their teens until leaving home, we had a family tradition centered around sacrifice and love. We would select several families to be the recipient of our “12 Days of Christmas” gift giving. Anonymously, we would deliver gifts of love, those being either food, seasonal treasures, or elf-like gifts to the door each night for the 12 nights before Christmas. We would together select these families, sometimes good friends, other times someone we did not know too well… a new neighbor, someone in need, or someone we wanted to get to know.

To this day, many of our benefactors will call to reflect on the experiences and the tender feelings all had who were involved. My children carry on the tradition in their own homes from the west to the east coasts and Fred and I still select a family on those years that keep us in Bucks County. Many of the families we selected for this tradition have made it their family tradition as well.

My father (now 94!) had written rhymes to accompany the gifts years ago. Here’s one of my favorites: On the 7th day of Christmas, we leave you with our hearts. We would have left our liver, but it’s one of our vital parts! You get the gist of the fun we had as a family! My children were involved in the deliveries, sometimes wearing wigs and entertaining disguises. Each night, we would pile in the car and make the trek to various neighborhoods, finding places to hide the car out of sight, yet giving us a vantage point to see 18

Local Living November | December 2013

It is the most wonderful time of the year. As the season approaches, I hope you will find time in your busy schedules to give of your hearts and talents and breathe love into every deed and service. The fond memories of family and friends live far beyond the December days and well into our hearts. We bind together those that are dear and find ways to share in the season of love and miraculous happenings. In a very personal way, I wish you your own most wonderful time of the year. Susan Taylor is the Owner and Designer at Black-eyed Susan.

November | December 2013

Local Living


By Marta Hobbs

WTF: Welcome To France

The everyday life in Paris of an American family


is just beautiful during the holidays. Lights are everywhere (more of them than usual, if you can imagine) and Christmas carols and holiday music are played in stores, cafés and out on the streets (even at Starbucks! And even in English!). It is a special time of the year in this special city. Each year, the famous Champs-Élysées becomes one huge Christmas market “Marché de Noël.” Numerous white booths line each side of the famous avenue selling everything from local food and wine (vin chaud is my favorite - warm wine!), candy, baked treats, Christmas ornaments, leather goods, clothes, hats and scarves to keep you warm, toys, art, you name it... There is also a Christmas Haunted House and an ice skating rink along with a few Christmas rides, the biggest of them being the ferris wheel which offers some amazing views of the town. It’s always a great time, Christmas music is piped in through the speakers, and on weekends its simply PACKED with tourists and locals alike. It is just a fun, festive event to go and experience around this time of the year. One of my other favorite ways to feel the holiday spirit is checking out the department store windows. Just like New York City has Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue and London has Harrods, Paris has a few department stores that do holiday windows too. The tradition apparently started in Paris in 1909 at the world’s first department store, Le Bon Marché (which ironically translates into “cheap” but happens to be one of the most expensive stores in Paris!). Galleries Lafayette is another decorated department store and also one of the most beautiful on the inside (complete with a Ruinart Champagne bar!!!). Last year, the windows there were decorated by Louis Vuitton for the store’s 100th anniversary. Last, but not least, is Printemps decked out last Christmas season by Christian Dior. This one was my favorite. 74 dolls were displayed in 11 windows, all wearing “iconic Dior pieces” and set against a backdrop of Paris’ most famous landmarks. They were all moving in some way and dancing to Christmas music, which was played outside.

which made them not so less expensive as initially calculated. One year, my thoughtful and romantic husband ordered a pair of shoes as my Christmas gift. We traveled to Paris to spend New Year’s Eve and stay a week since the kids were off from school. My awesome Santa thought it would be cool if I received the shoes while we were in Paris. It happened to snow while we were there and snow in Paris simply paralyzes the city. I mean, life almost comes to a complete stop. Half an inch on the ground and the busses stop running, banks close, metros don’t run and stores don’t open. Apparently this is also when DHL stops delivering packages with guaranteed “delivered by” dates. I got the shoes for Valentine’s Day back in the USA. While on the topic of delivery, recently a good friend of mine ordered me a birthday gift here in Paris and paid extra for two-day delivery – thinking should be pretty reliable. Two weeks later, the package finally showed up on her doorstep… Welcome to France! ;) However, I was shocked once when another friend kindly mailed a package filled with goodies to my daughter for her birthday from the USA! It arrived. I was properly notified that delivery was attempted but I was not home. And, and this really blew my mind, when I went to the post office to recover the package – it was indeed there and I took it home with me during that very visit. I guess I am becoming a little too French as I was anticipating this exercise to go as all my other experiences had gone with the post office – “très mauvais!” I will end by telling you one thing NOT to do while in Paris over the holidays. If you are here for New Year’s Eve, please don’t dress warm, layer yourself and the kids, wear hats and earmuffs, scarves and gloves and go outside to watch the fireworks at midnight over the Eiffel Tower. Just don’t do it. Why? Because, as we learned the hard way, there are no fireworks over the Eiffel Tower at midnight. So, keep drinking champagne and eating foie gras in the comfort of your warm Parisian apartment on Saint-Sylvestre. Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année, mes amis! Marta

Our first holiday season here brought with it the adventures of buying a Christmas tree in Paris. Quite a different process than what we were used to in Bucks County, PA! First, there are no tree farms or landscaping stores where you purchase a tree. Lowes, Home Depot, Tanners? Forget it. You get your “Sapin” at the grocery store or the florist shop on the corner. Second, we have no car here and are always taking the metro, bus, or RER. There’s no strapping the tree to the roof of the SUV and driving home. You pick the tree up, prop it on your shoulder and off you go. Did you know that the Parisian apartment buildings either have no elevators of have elevators that fit two people – not two people with a Christmas tree?! Yes, getting our purchase to the apartment on the 4th floor was quite interesting… Speaking of interesting, in France you don’t water your Christmas tree. The bottom is shaped like a tip of a pencil and inserted into a log. That’s that. And when Christmas is done, you bring your tree downstairs (or throw it off your balcony) and set it on the curb. What day is trash day? Who cares! Since we are on the topic of Christmas I have to share a WTF story with you which will also explain why you should never ever mail anything to France ever. You know already from one of my previous articles that sending a package to Paris is a bad idea. I had to pay taxes on my rain boots –

November | December 2013

Local Living



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Look Beautiful, Feel Good the La Bella Vita Way

La Bella Vita

An Italian Day Spa


t t La Bella Vita Italian Day Spa, not only do you look your best when you leave our salon but you feel your best too. We take a complete approach to beauty, inside and out. Our company is based on the commitment to your needs and the belief that there’s nothing more important. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals. We use products from Apriori Beauty and PCA SKIN Care. Apriori Beauty is a company created for women, by women. Their mission is to help as many people as possible look and feel beautiful with the purest, most natural and most innovative products available. When you look beautiful, you feel good. When you feel beautiful, you look good. And, when you can share this beauty with others, you make the world better too. PCA SKIN Care is a company with 20 years of experience in developing results-oriented topical solutions. In fact, it was one of the first companies

to offer scientifically advanced treatments for a general audience. PCA SKIN peels can help with multiple skin issues including aging and discoloration. A regular PCA SKIN peel will brighten, smooth and clarify your complexion. Our newest line of services includes Dosha Body Typing and Ayurvedic Balancing Massage. Dosha(s) are responsible for the physical and emotional tendency in the mind and body, along with seven tissues and three waste products all found in the human body. When a Dosha is off balance, this affects our everyday lives. Each oil we apply is designed for a specific Dosha. Thermal Gommage Body Treatment is another unique service. Exfoliate dead skin cells for renewal of the body. Heating properties penetrate through to eliminate and loosen fat cells. Afterwards, enjoy an Enzyme Facial with all natural fruit acid, topped with a creamy moisturizer packed with vitamins.

November | December 2013

Local Living



or an intensive detox, you will be amazed by our Ion Body Detoxification. This is an external detoxification method, which removes toxins through the feet. We place your feet in a warm footbath and then attach an ion generator onto your wrist and the array into the footbath with your feet. The generator will then produce a stream of positive and negative ions that will attach to the toxins in your body, drawing them out through the skin. The water in the basin will become murky with toxins from your major organs and body. We can actually determine by the color and texture of the waste where the toxins came from, and treat accordingly. Come experience the newest addition to the area’s beauty scene, natural Italian beauty secrets that you won’t find anywhere else. From relaxation to rejuvenation, we’ve got you covered. We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry. Visit, email or call 267.239.5369.

124 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106

Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm Sunday and Monday by Appointment Only


Local Living November | December 2013

showed up in black pants and pressed white shirts about an hour before the guests arrived and assisted with the last minute details. Flowers were arranged, the table was set and candles were lit. The guests were greeted by a server who took their coats and welcomed them in with a glass of bubbly, while another passed the cheese and fruit tray. After inviting us to sit in the dining room, they went to work in the kitchen splitting the lobsters in half, cracking the claws and presenting them on the plates with lemons wrapped like tiny gifts in cheesecloth to catch the seeds. Individual tea candle butter ramekins were filled and the feast was set. A guest’s glass never got below the halfway mark before it was refilled and my friends’ children got a helping hand on how to suck the legs and avoid the icky green tamale. Afterward, we were all seduced into taking a seat by the fireplace in the living room by a server passing truffles and cake while the other two servers cleared the table, washed the dishes, polished the countertops, put the linens in It was the first time I was really able to stop and smell the roses at my own party. The servers were there for about four hours total and worth every penny. The quality of the food, service and plethora of distinctive details far surpassed something I could have had afforded to fully cater.

Minor Work, Major Party By Pattie Krukowski


ore than a couple years ago, my husband approached me and asked what I wanted to do to celebrate my milestone 40th Birthday. As a new stay-at-home Mom to a bouncing baby boy, I was still adjusting to my role as domestic goddess. I have always enjoyed going a bit over the top in the planning, cooking and execution of house parties, but now, probably due to the fact that babies can’t be managed like employees, I sought to dominate my domicile. I told my husband that I wanted to host my best friends and their families at our home for an “all about me” dinner party. He immediately suggested a traditional caterer which I immediately pooh poohed. I wanted to pick up and prepare my favorite cuisine and add as many personal touches as I pleased. Although he was thrilled that he didn’t have to shell out the cost of a fully catered event, he was less than thrilled with the idea that he would become sous chef, bartender, food server and

clean up. So several phone calls later, the problem was solved. I found a local caterer that agreed to provide three experienced servers for the soiree. In all we had eleven people and one baby. We picked up my favorite Arina goat Gouda and two dozen seckel pears from the farmer’s market. Forty long-stemmed white roses were procured for $40.00 from an inexpensive produce junction. A plain, 3-tiered French vanilla cake came from the tiny bakery around the corner and I decorated it with edible sugared pansies I had purchased online. A box of Teuscher champagne truffles were sent via overnight delivery and my husband grabbed three magnums of Moet champagne from the wine store. We ordered whole poached Maine lobsters to be ready for pick up at 7:00 pm sharp from my favorite local fish market. In the meantime, I whipped up an asparagus risotto and a salad of yellow and red tomatoes, hearts of palm and Dijon vinaigrette. The servers

Today there are a growing number of event staffing agencies to choose from to assist you so you too can savor the fruits of your labor. Ask plenty of questions and describe in detail what your goal is. Get prices and appropriate tip amounts up front. You now can focus on the details that you really enjoy taking care of. Spotlight your talents or just spotlight that which is most personal to you. Showcase the oversized, lopsided, yet homemade birthday cake you baked with love while staff assists serving it. Crazy about decorating for a theme party? You now have the time to call your cousin in Florida and have her send you palm fronds and seashells to cover a buffet table of tropical goodies you prepared while your bartender, whom you request wear a Tommy Bahamas print shirt, blends up frozen rum concoctions. Have a small driveway? Hire a valet parker or two to keep track of vehicles and keys. Hosting a winter shindig? Hire a coat check to welcome guests and take their wraps. Love Brunch? Consider positioning an event assistant at a made-to-order waffle station to compliment the bevy of scones, strata and fresh fruit-skewers you previously purchased or prepared. Don’t be a radical Homemaker. Slow down. Breathe in the moment; unless, of course, you fancy toiling over dirty dishes. Special thanks to Melinda Kovacs of “Your Event Savers,” serving the greater Philadelphia area, for all her inside information and ideas. Visit for more details. Pattie Krukowski is a freelance writer and interior decorator currently residing in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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Local Living November | December 2013


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Local Living November | December 2013

RASPBERRY-ALMOND LINZER COOKIES Ingredients 2/3 cup almonds 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 large egg 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar 1 12-ounce jar raspberry jam Directions Heat oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. In a food processor, process the almonds and ¼ cup of the brown sugar until the almonds are finely ground.

Warm Your Holiday Home with Freshly Baked Cookies

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the almond mixture, then the flour mixture, mixing until just combined (do not over mix). Divide the dough in half, shape into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours. Heat oven to 350° F. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to a ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 2- to 2 ½-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a ¾- to 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the centers from half of the cookies. Reroll and cut the scraps as necessary. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle the confectioners sugar on the cookies with the holes. Spread 1 teaspoon jam on the remaining cookies and top with the sugared cookies. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

There is nothing like walking into a home sweet with the distinct aroma of baking cookies. No time for homemade? We knew you’d say that, so we made it easy. Here is a thoughtful selection of classics that are simpler than you think, and worth every minute. Enjoy!

SIMPLE GINGERBREAD MEN COOKIES Ingredients 1 (3.5 ounce) package “cook and serve” butterscotch pudding mix 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Directions In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Preheat the oven to 350째F. Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks. HOLIDAY SUGAR COOKIES Ingredients 3 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated white sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Royal Icing Using Egg Whites 2 large egg whites 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 3 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll. Preheat oven to 350째F and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Read more:

Wine Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide By Michele Kawamoto Perry


ith the holidays upon us, gift giving is top of mind. Of course, buying the right gift can be quite challenging. This is especially true when buying for wine lovers – there are so many wines to choose from and personal taste can vary greatly. So, to make your gift giving easy and worry free, I have selected some wine accessories that are sure to please your oenophile recipients. Now, you can choose a gift and continue to spread that holiday cheer!


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423 Baltimore Pike • Chadds Ford, PA 19317 610.388.7700 •

AERATOR If your wine is a bit tight and young, you may want to invest in an aerator. Aerators allow for the wine to “breathe” by exposing it to oxygen. This, in turn, allows the wine to open up and can soften the wine. To aerate your wines, you can pour them into a decanter. Decanters range widely in style, size and price ($20-$500). They all essentially accomplish the same aerating task. So, choose something that fits your budget. You can also get them monogrammed if you want to make the gift more personal. Another option is to aerate wines using a mechanism, such as the Vinturi Aerator. This is a small device through which you pour the wine to aerate it. You can pour the wine into the Vinturi Aerator directly into the glass or into a decanter and then the glass. It is available for red or white wines ($40). There is also a pack for both red and white wines ($70). PROFESSIONAL CORKSCREW There is nothing more frustrating for a wine lover than a broken cork or injuring oneself from a bad corkscrew. This Lever Style Rabbit Corkscrew is an ergonomically designed corkscrew and makes opening bottles quick and easy ($50). Now you can enjoy your wine hassle free! If the lucky gift recipient has been particularly good this year, you may want to give him or her the 6 piece set which includes a foil cutter, wax remover, wine sealer, drip stopper and an extra worm (screw) ($65).


Local Living November | December 2013

GLASSWARE A glass is a glass is a glass, right? Wrong. The type of glassware you use makes a difference in your wine drinking experience. Investing in a good set of glasses is well worth it! Different glass shapes are tailor made to fit the characteristics of specific wine types in order to enhance the wine drinking experience. Some good producers include Reidel, Spiegelau and Eisch. Prices vary depending on the glass style. A good starter kit is the Riedel Vinum Wine Tasting Set of 4 different wine type glasses ($118). CHILLER Serving wine at the right temperature isn’t always easy. Room temperature is usually too warm. Putting a wine in the refrigerator will make it too cold. To get it just right, try a wine chiller, such as the Cooper Cooler Rapid Chiller ($80). The proper temperature will allow the wine to show its best. PRESERVER Ever have a glass of wine from a bottle you opened a day or two before and noticed that it didn’t taste right? That’s because the wine was oxidized after opening and started to become stale like. To keep a wine tasting fresh, use a preserver. Preservers work by removing oxygen from the bottle and replacing it with inert gases like argon, carbon dioxide or nitrogen (all of which are heavier than oxygen). For a simple preserver, try Private Preserve Wine Preserver ($10), a can containing the inert gases. Just spray some gas into the bottle, replace the cork and voilà! For a more upscale system, try Preservino Portable Wine Preservation ($45), which includes the preservation device, a gas cartridge and two reusable custom corks. Michele Kawamoto Perry is a wine industry veteran, sommelier, and international wine educator. Michele is a Certified Sommelier and instructor through the International Sommelier Guild, and co-owner of Rouge-Bleu winery in southern Rhone, France. She received her MBA from Bordeaux Business School with a focus on the wine industry, and her BA from Harvard University.

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Local Living November | December 2013



November | December 2013

Local Living


Your favorite bar and cookie have joined forces in this indulgent blondie bar topped with a layer of chocolate and piled high with toasted macaroon. Merry Mash

BROWN BUTTER BLONDIES WITH MACAROON TOPPING Prep Time: 25 Minutes Start to Finish: 2 Hours 10 Minu tes Blondie Layer 3/4 cup butter (do not use margarine) 1 pouch Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 eggs 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips Macaroon Layer 1/4 cup granulated sugar 3 teaspoons water 1 bag (7 oz) sweetened shredded coconut (about 2 3/4 cups lightly packed) 3/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut 2 oz cream cheese, softened 1 egg white, slightly beaten Directions 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with foil, leaving edges of foil hanging over 2 sides of pan for easy removal later.

Betty Crocker’s DIY Holiday Gifts

2. I n 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook 8 to 11 minutes or until butter is light golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool completely, about 30 minutes. 3. I n large bowl, stir together cookie mix, brown sugar, vanilla, 2 eggs and cooled brown butter. Spread in pan. 4. B ake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 1 inch in center of pan comes out almost clean. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand 5 minutes. Spread evenly over bars.


This holiday warm up your home and your loved ones’ hearts by baking homemade, do-it-yourself food gifts Popcorn Reinvented

Copy Cat Candy

5. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, mix granulated sugar and water. Microwave uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds or until sugar is dissolved. 6. I n large bowl, place sweetened coconut and unsweetened coconut. Pour sugar mixture over coconut; beat with electric mixer on low speed until well mixed. Add cream cheese and egg white; beat on low speed until blended. Spoon and gently press macaroon mixture onto partially baked blondie layer. 7. B ake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. Store at room temperature, lightly covered, up to 1 week. Makes 32 bars 1 Bar: Calories 200 (Calories from Fat 100); Total Fat 12g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 125mg; Potassium 90mg; Total Carbohydrate 21g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 1g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch, 1 Other Carbohydrate, 2 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 Be sure to cool the brown butter completely to prevent the chocolate chips from melting and turning your blondie into a brownie. Perfect for gifting! This bar holds up well and makes the perfect gift. Wrap it up tight with plastic wrap, and place in a gift box with a copy of the recipe.



Visit us at for complete recipes

Eggnog Panettone Pudding Ingredients: 1 Scar Pier or Scarpato Panettone or Pandoro 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks ¾ cup sugar 2 cups half & half 1 ½ cups eggnog ¼ cup rum 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg vegetable cooking spray Cooking Instructions: Pre-heat oven to 475 With a serrated knife, remove the side crusts of Panettone. Cut remaining Panettone into 1 inch cubes to yield 5 cups. In a bowl, thoroughly whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, half & half, eggnog, rum, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over the cubes and mix gently.

From the Kitchens of Casa Casale in Lahaska, Pennsylvania The perfect mouth-watering end to the holiday meal… Just when you thought you could not possibly have another bite, the wonderful sweet aroma beckons you to take the holiday cheer to an all-time high. Panettone dates back to the 15th century. The best Panettone/Pandoro hails from the northern area of Italy near Veneto and Milan, and wistful romantic legends surround the origins of this holiday bread. Start your own family tradition and visit Casa Casale to make unique holiday table memories this season!

Spray a baking pan and put your mixture into the pan. Creating a water bath: add boiling water to one size larger baking dish. Carefully place Panettone pan into water bath. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until top is nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with syrup, ice cream, or whipping cream. Buon Appetito

The Yardley Inn 82 E. Afton Avenue, Yardley, PA 215.493.3800 |

the inn place.


Local Living November | December 2013

November | December 2013

Local Living



Fork-1-1 The PROOF is in the PUDDING By Kimberly Cambra


ooking with spirits and cordials has been occurring for as long as wine and whiskey have been flowing from the bottle or barrel. Simply adding a splash of either can sophisticate any appetizer or entrée and especially dessert. Who hasn’t had a parfait of vanilla ice cream layered with crème de menthe with a red cherry on top in a fancy glass as a child? Mmmm. Fancy. Perhaps one of the best-known desserts synonymous with accompanying liqueur-laden sauce is bread pudding, or “poor man’s pudding,” which dates back to the 13th century. Bread pudding was made popular by Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol but did not originate in England. Many believe it has a history as old as bread itself whereby frugal cooks found ways to enjoy the loaf after it lost its freshness. Today it has a global presence from Germany to China. Although bread pudding originally was a result of thriftiness, eventually sugar, milk, and butter were added to the dish later in its gastronomic journey, with many other rich sauces, rums and brandies. Still, it is a cost-effective side dish in the making; be certain to see if your market sells day-old bread at a reduced price. With today’s culinary trends, iron chefs and 24/7 food programming, haute bread pudding has emerged even sassier, more savory, and sweeter with an infinite amount of variations when you consider the explosion in the artesian bread market over the past two decades. Ingredients such as brioche and croissants lend a wonderfully light texture to a recipe versus stale bread which can contribute to a denser style. Savory, herb-infused bread puddings are more popular than ever in many upscale restaurants as an

accompaniment to grilled meats as refined comfort foods continue to grow in popularity. Whether you have a menu in your hand or in mind for the holidays, rest assured the so-called poor man’s pudding can be an impressive side dish. Why not consider adding a savory bread pudding to your own holiday menu this season? Sage, rosemary, thyme or even a dill pudding with grilled salmon is a perfect pairing which can easily be prepared ahead of time. There is something delectable when it comes to the simplicity of a recipe and how ingredients when paired with care and attention can be delicious and timeless. The sweeter varieties of bread pudding are most deserving of some “proof” in ya pudding, especially a rum or brandy sauce to add to the flavor profile of a dessert. Special touches that enhance your pudding recipe will add to the impression it makes on your palate and also to the experience of your guests. Nuts, raisins and fruit are safe additions to a bread pudding recipe but more imaginative ingredients include marshmallows, chocolate chips and graham crackers. Top it all off with a Godiva liqueurdrenched whipped cream for an unforgettable new take on s’mores. As visions of sugar plum fairies and the bombardment of holiday cooking programs dance in your head, stick with the proof in your pudding and create a new tradition this season. Your proprietary bread pudding recipe could be the specialty of your house for the holidays, one that can be passed on for generations. Wishing all of our Local Living readers “Seasoned Greetings” from the FORK-1-1.

November | December 2013

Local Living


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There is More to Pumpkin Than Pie By Gabrielle Mwangi

all brings a delightful abundance of pumpkins. I won’t lie. I’m baffled at the idea of curving a pumpkin into a face then illuminating it for display on the front porch. Some of the creations are remarkable, but still that doesn’t demystify the connection between scary Halloween and scrumptious pumpkins, something my African culture considers food. A super food packed with numerous vitamins (especially high in vitamin A) and essential minerals, the fleshy shell, seeds, leaves and even flowers of a pumpkin are edible.

anti-oxidant Vitamin E), and turmeric (great for maintaining skin’s elasticity to prevent pre-mature aging) increases the mask’s efficacy.

Pureed pumpkin makes a wonderful facial mask. And because they are mild, pumpkin puree facial masks are nourishing and suitable for all skin types. Fall presents a wealth of fresh fruit, which means all nutrients are intact; fresh is always better. So there’s no better time than autumn to indulge in a nurturing pumpkin facial treatment in the comfort of your home. Here are four reasons why a pumpkin facial mask is worth a shot:

4 tablespoons honey

1. Pumpkin’s fleshy shell contains fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which increase cell turnover and brighten skin when applied topically. 2. Pumpkins seeds contain zinc, a mineral that helps to control oil production at the hormone level to regulate sebum (natural oil production) and inhibit acne breakouts. 3. An abundance of Vitamin A and C softens and soothes the skin and boosts collagen production to encourage cellular regeneration.

Ingredients: Pureed, cooked fresh pumpkin Unflavored full fat yogurt

1/4 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon turmeric Mix 1/2 cup of pureed, cooked fresh pumpkin with yogurt and mix well. Add the honey, olive oil and turmeric to the mixture and stir thoroughly. For the mask to glide on easily, apply on moist skin immediately after gently cleansing and light exfoliation. Leave mask on until completely dry to touch. Rinse with tepid water and pat face to dry. Tone, moisturize and enjoy soft supple skin. Thanks to its gentleness, this mask can be used as often as you like with superb effects at every use. Tip: If possible, take a photo of your face before you begin using the mask. Within a few weeks of continued usage, take another photo to compare. This is a great way to gauge if a product is working or not.

4. Pumpkins are easy to find and affordable. While the mask is potent enough on its own, addition of other skin soothing ingredients like yogurt (packed with exfoliant alpha hydroxyl acids), honey (antibacterial, antiseptic and soothing), olive oil (contains high amounts of


Local Living November | December 2013

Gabrielle is Fashion & Beauty Editor for Local Living 
Magazine. Her YouTube channel, Duchess Gabrielle, focuses on homemade skin and hair care products. She has modeled for Bergdorf Goodman, Lucky and Glamour. She left East Africa in 2006, where she was an actress and radio personality.

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Local Living November | December 2013

SoapRockettes 3-Piece Gemstone Glycerin Soap Set A219313 $22.00

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the busy life we all lead, trying to have a balance between work and play while being fashionable is not always easy. The key is having outfits that can do double-duty! Day-to-night dressing is a fun new twist for taking work appropriate attire to a more playful look for the evening, especially during the holidays. As all women know, appropriate work attire is not always the most fashionable. Just a few styling tips can lead the inner fashionista to shine in less than ten minutes flat after a long day at work.

If jackets or suits are required at your workplace, you still have options. Keep the skirt or pant, the base layer of your suit, but replace the suit jacket with a printed or brocade version, or one made of a dressy, evening fabric. If you love dress suits, you can steal the tip from above and just add a sweater, keeping in mind the more feminine and softer the sweater, the 56

Local Living November | December 2013

If you prefer a pant suit for work, just replace your basic layering piece from your suit with a silk tank or blouse to soften your look. The same accessories mentioned above apply to this quick-change outfit as well. Here are a few final double-duty tips to remember for keeping the day-tonight conversion time to ten minutes or less. Pack only a small bag to take to work with you for nighttime changes; keeping the pieces to be changed down to two or three makes it a simple update. Take only the pieces you have tried at home with your work outfit! They should be easy pieces that make you feel instantly special and ready to play the night away.



If dresses are your go-to at your job, you have the easiest double-duty outfit to transform. Dresses take the least effort to convert to a more playful vibe for an after work party, date or event. Just take a cashmere or dressy sweater in a color (no neutrals, please!), add a fun necklace and a higher heeled shoe, then pair it all with a smaller bag that you tucked in your work bag that morning. Viola! Instant glamour achieved.

more nighttime your look will be. Just think soft and approachable, especially for an after-work date.



Double-Duty Fashion: Daytime to Party Time!

Save new outfits and experimenting with new looks for when you have more time on the weekends! You can always incorporate a few of those playful weekend pieces into your double-duty work looks after you take them for a test drive.

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Local Living November | December 2013

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‘Tis the Season to Drink Cocktails, Fa La La La La, La La La La By Jenn Hallman


think some holiday parties are set up as traps: mainly the parties associated with one’s job. We’re the mice flocking to every cheese-filled, Pinterest-inspired appetizer. We are the moths drawn to each flamboyant cocktail lit with Christmas cheer and tomorrow’s shame while our employers keep a tally of how many times we’ve refilled our wine glasses. They’ve got us on surveillance like the Wicked Witch and her crystal ball. They’re watching, waiting for us to pass out, say something inappropriate, or dance on a table. Poppies, poppies. Or in this case, poinsettias, poinsettias. Maybe I’m paranoid, but if I weren’t consumed with panic and guilt, it just wouldn’t be Christmas. Recovering Catholic, party of one. Because of my unnerving fear of “the man” I am uncharacteristically well behaved at company parties of all kinds. Believe me, I realize the dull conversation about the color copier and the new brand of staples we ordered (which “just aren’t the same”) is enough to inspire alcoholism for a Mormon. However, there are a few simple rules this party girl follows to make sure she isn’t the one being whispered about by the water cooler on Monday. 1.) I feed my holiday hunger. I always eat a protein-rich snack and drink a giant glass of water before I go. It helps me pace myself when I arrive because I look for the drink I really want or the food I’ve never tried instead of shoveling eighteen cookies in my face while guzzling three vodka tonics. I’m not drinking as much and I’m not racking up 900 Weight Watchers points.

2.)I drive my own sleigh. If I am my own designated driver, I will have a cocktail when I get there, nurse it for an hour and stick around for two more sipping water. I am responsible for my own life as well as others when I’m behind the wheel, so driving after I’ve been drinking is never an option. Period.  3.) I give myself a present. I make a trip to the liquor store the day before the party so I have some libations waiting for me. I know that in the privacy of my own home I can drink that magnum bottle of wine without worrying about getting judgmental stares from anyone but my dogs when I pass out, say something inappropriate, or dance on a table.   These rules may seem simple and obvious, but when your friend tells you a story about the incriminating photos that have surfaced on Facebook of her and Santa’s helper, AKA the hot, twenty-something intern from Penn, you feel the need to spread the word. It is, as it turns out, the season of giving, so you’re welcome. I hope your trees are trimmed, your stockings stuffed, and that neither of those two things happen at your job’s holiday party. Santa’s watching, and so is your boss.  Jenn Hallman graduated from West Chester University with a BFA in English, a focus in theatre & creative writing, and a strong liver. She is also a teacher, actress, singer, comedian, and Co-Founder/Director of Marketing & Outreach for H.O.P.E. Players in Elkins Park.


Moms, Grab Your Super Hero Capes… It’s the Holiday Season

By Lisa Walters



perfect gift


hen it comes to the holidays, moms make it all happen. Does your husband stress about the decorating? A hostess gift for the neighbor’s party? Or getting the Christmas cards addressed and in the mail before New Year’s? Husbands don’t worry about these things because we routinely take care of them. Sure, he may have helped along the way, but he stepped it up only because a.) You very politely asked him to (yeah, right) or b.) He discovered you rocking those sexy flannel pajamas for over 24 hours, cursing at a tray of burnt cut-out cookies, and aggressively reminding him that yours is the only house on the block without the festive outdoor lights. Yep, a good ole’ fashioned frazzled freak-out usually gets a husband moving. Moms, we are super heroes throughout the entire year. But during the holidays we overextend and exhaust ourselves so that we are unable to enjoy the parties we’ve eagerly volunteered to bring a crab dip to. The holidays tend to be a time of heightened stress, it is true. Although I am only in my early years of being a wife and mother, I’d like to share a few of the things I’ve learned to help trim my December “to-do” list. Nobody likes a Momma Scrooge! 1.) If you mail Christmas cards, order them early. When you get a coupon for one of those handy photo websites, use it. Spend 20 minutes designing your holiday cards, order them early, and stuff those envelopes. 2.) Speaking of which… Address labels. I spent a couple hours one night only one time typing all of our family and friends addresses onto those Avery label templates in Microsoft Word. Save, print, and stick… it couldn’t be any easier.

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3.) Just say “no” to Pollyannas. Pollyannas are a great concept, but not when you’ve signed up for five of them. Often times it turns out that everyone is just exchanging gift cards for the amount decided on. “Thanks for my $20 to Starbucks, here is your $20 to Macy’s.”

4.) Buy on clearance. In January, when holiday items are drastically marked down, pick up a few things and stash them away to use as hostess or teacher gifts the following year. 5.) Donate instead of exchanging. Tired of buying a gift for all your adult siblings and their spouses? Plan for the entire family to get together and donate the money they would typically spend on each other to a charitable cause. If budgets are tight, plan to meet up and donate your time helping out at a charitable organization. This is a great tradition for your children to observe and experience. 6.) Set up a Christmas Club bank account. The first year I did, I put in only $50 a month. Although not enough to cover all the extra spending that goes on during the holidays, it did prevent me from swiping my credit card and helped offset the cost of our annual holiday party. 7.) Hire a cleaning service before hosting that Christmas dinner. I know you usually can do it all, but the $50-$75 is worth your sanity. 8.) Start new traditions. When you get married, your holiday routines and traditions merge with your spouse’s. Often the compromise is that you do both instead of choosing one side over the other. Result: Quickly swapping gifts, eating, and jetting off to the next place without enjoying yourself. Try spending time with one side on a different day. If you find yourself overly stressed and not enjoying some part of the holiday mayhem, then reevaluate and make changes. It is okay to say no, delegate duties to other members of the household, and start new traditions in order to reclaim your sanity. The holidays truly are a time to eat, drink, and be merry with the ones you love. Lisa is a freelance writer, elementary school teacher, and new mom. She resides in Perkasie with her husband Jason, son Jack, and two dogs Winchester and Trigger.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Do I Really Need a Financial Planner? Loretta D. Hutchinson CDFA, NCC

financial planning. Investment, insurance and tax professionals sometimes specialize in certain areas of financial planning (such as retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, or investment management) while others take a more holistic approach.


his is a question I am always asked. I respond by quoting Loren Dunton, founder of the National Center for Financial Education, from his book “Financial Planning Can Make You Rich” (1987). “Most people need a planner. The ones who don’t need one are usually smart enough to use one.” In this age of the Internet, Twitter and the iPhone App, financial and investment information is available at the flip of a switch or the touch of a button. But putting that information into a cohesive personal financial strategy is a bit more complicated. The risk is that the results end up being uncoordinated and reactive. Not a plan at all. As a financial professional, I am passionate about educating and motivating individuals to take charge of their financial futures. Too many of us are busy with our daily lives that we tend to focus financially more on the short-term. But what about your long-term investments? Are they positioned appropriately for your needs and goals? Are you on target for meeting your retirement savings? So, do you need a financial planner? You can certainly go it alone when it comes to managing your money. But you could also try to do it yourself when it comes to auto repair or fixing the sink. In both areas, doing it yourself is a brilliant idea for some, and a flawed plan for others. Mastering personal finance requires many hours of research and learning. For most, it’s not worth the time and ongoing effort. As you get older, busier and (it is hoped) wealthier, your financial goals – and options – get more complicated. A financial planner can save you time. More detailed personal planning regarding asset allocation, investment vehicles and tax strategies may be needed.

The cost of hiring a financial planner can vary depending on who you hire, where they are located and what type of “fee structure” they use. A fee-only financial planner earns a flat fee, hourly or otherwise, for their services. A feebased planner generally prefers to charge advisory fees (often .50% to 2.00% annually of the assets under management) for his or her services, rather than commissions linked to investments or product sales. Some advisors, like myself, have adopted a more hybrid model that takes into consideration the financial needs and risk tolerance of the client. In most cases, your initial meeting with one of these professionals will be free of charge (be sure to ask in advance about this), and you can discuss fee schedules and compensation arrangements at that time. So how do you choose a planner? In two words… ask questions. Sit down with any planner you’re considering and find out how long they’ve been in business, what their credentials are, how they operate, etc. Most importantly, make sure if and when you hire a planner that your personalities will mesh. This is someone you may well be working with for the rest of your life, so you should choose someone you feel comfortable with. Looking for retirement or financial divorce planning from someone you can trust? Loretta Hutchinson CDFA, NCC is a Financial Advisor with Harvest Group Financial Services and Financial Divorce Plan, LLC. Loretta was awarded Philadelphia Magazine’s Five Star Wealth Manager Award for 2012 & 2013 and the 2013 Woman’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors. You can contact Loretta at 215-860-6056 and Sign up for our divorce e-newsletter at Registered representative offering securities and advisory services through Centaurus Financial Inc., a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA and SIPC, Supervisory Branch: 3902 State Street, Suite 101, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, 1-888-569-1982. Harvest Group Financial Services and Centaurus Financial are not affiliated.

Financial planners can also help you remain disciplined about implementing and maintaining your financial plan. They’ll make the moves for you or hold you accountable to make them yourself. Procrastination, that 800-pound gorilla, can cause all sorts of money issues or unrealized potential, so it pays to have someone looking over your shoulder. Ideally, he or she will look at your financial “big picture” and help you work to enhance it via money management. Depending on their credentials, they may recommend specific investments, long-run investing strategies, insurance options, retirement planning, risk management methods and more. Many individuals refer to themselves as “financial planners”, but not all perform true multidisciplinary

November | December 2013

Local Living



For the Holidays By Mary Cushing Doherty, Esquire

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Local Living November | December 2013



hat family with teenagers doesn’t hear that their family is dysfunctional? In most families, the holidays are not times of bliss and merriment, but rather good times mixed with the tensions of reuniting for the perfect event that often goes awry. When a family is touched by divorce, special challenges should be considered to make the best of the season of celebration, notwithstanding tensions at home. Articles have been written about children who begin college when their parents decide to separate after having “stayed together” until the children graduated high school. If separation happens during the first weeks of college, the student may get a phone call from mom or dad to say they are separated. Thanksgiving and Winter Break will never be the same. Change is inevitable in every family. It takes years to build traditions; then life events interrupt those traditions. If severe illness causes the interruption, often a family may resign themselves to the loss of tradition due to unfortunate illness. When it comes to separation and divorce, blame might be heaped on one who is viewed as being at fault. If a marriage fails, emphasizing the hurt by chastising one person for causing traditions to be disrupted may be unfair and divisive. From the perspective of someone who has been giving legal counsel to divorce clients for thirty-five years, traditions will change for a wide variety of reasons. Divorce is only one of those reasons and should be taken in stride as best as possible. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend or ten-day Winter Break may become segmented. In families that view the disruption more philosophically and less melodramatically, change may lead to refreshing new traditions.

Post-separation care should be taken to emphasize to children that certain traditions will remain. If there are Christmas Eve services or a first-night Hanukah party, both sides of the family could embrace preservation of that celebration. Families may realize that the big dinner, (exhausting and overwhelming), can be replaced by attending a restaurant where food is served without the stress. In-laws who may have added to past tension may be politely excluded so that children can focus on one parent or the other. Teaching children to adapt to change and to release past traditions is a worthy life lesson. Why not embrace something new, look at the glass as half full, and fill the punch bowl with new plans for time spent with family members in a more intimate setting? The family members who experienced chaos over the holidays may find that they enjoy quieter times that were never possible before. Talking about how those changes can reflect the needs of a now-divided family may lead to more dialogue about how to redefine a family that has experienced separation and divorce. Accepting these changes may help the family heal during the divorce process, so once the legal work is behind, the children will appreciate the family they have. Mary Cushing Doherty is a family lawyer and partner at High Swartz LLP, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In recent years, she has received recognition from her peers and the community, including the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Lynette Norton Award in 2012 and one of the 2012 Women of the Year by the Legal Intelligencer. She was one of the Women of Distinction chosen by the Philadelphia Business Journal and received the Margaret Richardson Award from the Montgomery Bar Association. Mary can be reached at mcdoherty@highswartz. com.

November | December 2013

Local Living


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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Gadgets) By Nicholas Hamner

The holidays are full of opportunities for gift giving and plenty of chances to give a bad gift, leaving the recipient disappointed and you to Google “vacuum cleaner head wound”. Keeping you out of the doghouse, and making for happy holidays, are these fun gadgety gifts.

For the Kids Pleygo –

Since the only thing you can build with a “jelly of the month” subscription is a sandwich, opt for Pleygo, which bills itself as the Netflix for Lego. Set your younger gift recipient up with a monthly subscription, and they can rent as few or as many Lego sets as they like each month, play with them as long as they want, and return them for new sets when they please. Bonus: no charge for lost pieces!

For the Gearhead Automatic –

Like the “safe driver” plugs offered by car insurers, only guaranteed not to result in a rate hike, the Automatic snaps into your giftee’s 1997-or-newer car’s OBD port and syncs with their smartphone. It can then provide trip stats (miles driven, gas used, etc.), decipher engine codes and warning lights, call emergency services if it senses an accident, and message the phone with parking information.

For the Numbers Runner Braun ET 66 Calculator –

Fun fact: Apple’s design chief Jony Ive pulls a lot of inspiration from the minimalist designs of old Braun products. Want proof? Here’s the reissued, dead-simple Braun ET 66 calculator that looks eerily close to the iPhone’s own number-crunching app, stands out on a desk or in a backpack, and totally trumps brains.

For the Wine Lover Savino –

For the Expectant Parents Baby Brezza Formula Pro

Collective parents of Local Living, you might want to sit down for this. The Formula Pro stores powdered baby formula and water in a coffee maker-like machine, mixing up fresh bottles of warm formula on demand. No 3am bleary-eyed math, no dried clumpy messes on the counters, no bottle warming guessing games. Expectant/new parents will love it. The rest of us will just sulk that we didn’t have it so easy.

For the Family

For the Art Lover Nobilified –

Like a hilarious Boardwalk photo stand-in, only really upscale, Nobilified lets you have anyone’s face painted into a variety of classic artworks. Send them a digital photo and select from hundreds of classic works, from El Greco’s “Lady in a Fur Wrap” to Frans Hals “Man Holding a Skull”; within 30 days, you’ll have a rolled canvas of Uncle Irv as Prince Albert, suitable for hanging anywhere… even the can.

Designed by a man whose wife wanted a better way to store excess vino that didn’t involve “bloodstream”, the Savino is a wine-keeping system housed in a sleek glass carafe. While other chard-savers do so via bulky machines and inert gasses, Savino keeps things fresh for 16 days through a specially designed bottle, float, and silicone seal.

Nicholas Hamner is an attorney and writer living in Bucks County and currently managing communications for a procurement firm.

PS4 –, amazoncom, and others

This season sees the release of two new much-anticipated video game consoles – the Sony PS4 and the Microsoft Xbox One. You want to get the PS4, and here’s why. It’s $100 cheaper, is an absolute powerhouse and more machine than the Xbox, doesn’t force motion control gaming/cameras in the living room, and its premium online service is $10 less a year.

Happy Tech Shopping!


MADE IN AMERICA 2.0 “10 Big Ideas for Saving the United States of America from Economic Disaster” In his newest book, J. Henry Warren presents a concise discussion and a practical action plan for addressing the need for job creation in the manufacturing sector of the United States. An author and natural entrepreneur, Warren’s experience over decades as an American manufacturer bring credibility and common sense to his perspective on how to reinvigorate the industry. Available through your local bookstore’s order desk or at these online bookstores:,, Xlibris. com or by phone at 1-888-795-4274 ext. 7879.

Best of the Valley 2013 Family Law Our family law attorneys have experience in all aspects of family law including:

Lauren L. Sorrentino, Esquire

Catherine A. Curcio, Esquire 70

Local Living November | December 2013

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Host of MSNBC’s Hardball and Philly native Chris Matthews Speaks at National Constitution Center By Charles Hansler


n October 22 Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s popular political talk show Hardball, came to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to be interviewed by local radio host Michael Smerconish. Matthews was here to promote his new book Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. The book and his talk revolved around Matthews’ time as a legislative assistant for Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas “Tip” O’Neill Jr. (D-MA) from 1977-1987. Matthews is a native of Philadelphia and graduate of LaSalle College High School. He still speaks fondly of his hometown on Hardball. Michael Smerconish, the interviewer of Matthews at the Constitution Center, was born and raised in Doylestown and attended Central Bucks High School West. The story Matthews wove detailed Speaker O’Neill’s mostly contentious, but in the end productive, relationship with Republican President Ronald Reagan during his time in office from 1980-1988. The Gipper half of the Matthews’ title comes from President Reagan’s nickname earned after playing the role of All-American Notre Dame football player George “The Gipper” Gipp in the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American. The moral of the story was that two of the federal government’s most powerful men, who had stark differences in ideology, could nonetheless come together and compromise for the good of the country and still see each other as decent human beings who just happened to disagree politically. Speaker O’Neill even came to pray with President Reagan at his bedside after his attempted assassination. The sense of comity that used to prevail in Washington is what Matthews said is most sorely lacking today. This friendly attitude that developed between the Speaker and the President was displayed in their political dealings early on.

The unreconstructed New Deal liberal O’Neill allowed President Reagan, the most conservative elected President since Herbert Hoover, a legislative “honeymoon” after his election. He permitted the President’s entire conservative economic agenda get a full up or down vote in the Democrat controlled House. Eventually the gloves would come off so to speak between the two but they accomplished much together. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 was passed with the support of both the President and the Speaker to help counter the deficits created by Reagan’s first dual program of tax cuts and defense spending buildup. They also ended up making sure Social Security was on a sound fiscal basis for the next two decades. Of most interest concerning the event was Matthews’ response to questions from the crowd. One audience member asked him why he never followed through on his race for the Senate in Pennsylvania against Arlen Specter in 2008. His answer was quite revealing: “I’m a Philadelphian not really a Pennsylvanian… I know Philly; I’ve been down the shore. Basically, anything from Sea Isle to Feasterville and between… I’ve been to Reading once. I was at a bar there and they were playing country music on the jukebox and I was thinking, ‘Where am I?’ I’ve been to Pittsburgh once, Erie once, I’ve been to Scranton. I like Scranton.” He also said in the end he just did not wish to challenge former Senator Specter because he liked him personally. In the end, Chris Matthews’s appearance was very popular with the full capacity crowd at the National Constitution Center. They enjoyed hearing a local Philly guy who hit it big, talk about a time in American politics when partisan differences in Washington did not mean nothing got done and that the two parties had to hate each other. Charles Hansler is a recent 2013 graduate of Temple Universitywhere he majored with Distinction in Political Science. In addition to freelancing for Local Living he is a law clerk in a Center City law firm.

Michael Smerconish

Chris Matthews

Divorce Custody Alimony Spousal and child support Equitable distribution Prenuptial agreements Postnuptial and property settlement agreements Adoption The Paragon Centre • 1611 Pond Road, Suite 300 Allentown, PA 18104 t: 610-391-1800 • f: 610-391-1805

November | December 2013

Local Living


Mummers Strut in Fancy Finery!

Never attended a Mummers Parade? Head to Philly where merriment and joy rules! “Older String Bands featured all string instruments,” adds Leso. “Today’s are primarily saxophones playing in fourpart harmony with professional arrangements and choreography. It’s a 4 ½ minute presentation containing elements of a Broadway Show performed right on Broad St.!” Can’t get to the parade? Click on your TV! Channel PHL17, home of the Mummers, and SugarHouse Casino continues its parade support. “I’ve been the main host for the Mummers Parade and am there from start to finish,” explains Steve Highsmith, Director of Community Relations at PHL17 (WPHL). “We’re always expanding our coverage and trying to find new ways to bring the vibrancy and sound quality of the great string bands and, in general, bring to the screen the extraordinary pageantry that is the Mummers Parade.” Or, visit the Mummers Museum, a fun time for the whole family! “I’m director of the fancy divisions and President of the Mummers Museum,” says Rusty Martz, a 38-year member of and former President of Golden Sunrise New Year’s Association and Fancy Division. “For me, NYD starts at 4 a.m. as Philadelphia Officials vote to proceed or postpone the parade due to inclement weather. I then head to the clubhouse where the fun begins!” During the next few hours members arrive for face paint, make-up, and to suit up in costumes, including the 75-pound back pieces that add the pizzazz and sparkle.

By Donna Dvorak


hiladelphia is party-town USA! On New Year’s Day our beloved Mummers strut and sashay up S. Broad Street. The roar of the crowd excites as an orgy of lavish costumes embellished with sequins, feathers, satin, glitter, opulent boas and famous ‘golden slippers’ dazzle in their revelry! Our Mummers Parade began in the 1600s, and is America’s Oldest Continual Folk Fest. It is Philly’s ‘Mardi Gras.’ Today 15,000 Mummers, including women (they were banned until 1983!), who have spent the entire previous year getting ready come out to celebrate with elaborate marching and electrifying performances. Don’t know the Mummer’s Strut? Yo! Someone will teach you–right on the street! What started this enthusiastic celebration? According to documented information, the Mummers date back to early Egypt, France, Rome and Greece. The Mummers moniker derives from Momus, the Greek God of Ridicule, a man’s dream of getting outside of customary life as old as his imagination! Early Philadelphia settlers fused Old World customs combining pistols for protection and celebration and muskets joined with bells and noisemakers for New Year’s sounds. Eventually, those who ‘shot in’ the New Year became the New Year’s Shooters and Mummers Association. Groups traveled to each 72

Local Living November | December 2013

home, entertained, and were rewarded with food and ale. By the 1870s, neighborhood celebrations became a parade. Not a fan of cold weather? No problem. Although hotels line the parade route, The Double Tree by Hilton, Philadelphia Center City, is our family’s favorite ‘New Year’s Home.’ Four Mummers entertain and tables are filled with festive hats, beaded necklaces, tiaras and noisemakers–treats for all ages. “We’ve been on the parade route since 1983 and guests always look forward to the variety and excitement that the Mummers provide each New Year’s Day,” says Kevin T. Murname, General Manager. According to Joe Leso, longtime Mummer (Polish American String Band) and Publicity Director of String Bands, this is the 114th official parade. Although umbrella-clad individuals marched for the Centennial Celebration in 1876, the parade was sanctioned in 1901. “My father-in-law, two nephews, son-in-law, and two daughters have been Mummers,” says Leso. “Another nephew, a professional musician, writes music for two string bands, Ferko and Durning.”

“Approximately 150 people leave our clubhouse about 8:30 a.m. to walk to Broad and Shunk,” he says. “Our DJ probably blares the music too loud during the walk, but most neighbors welcome us. It’s important to entertain and mingle with the spectators who take pictures, and fun is had by all. We only have 30 to 45 seconds to perform in front of the judges at City Hall.” Later, Rusty returns to the city offices for results, then back to the clubhouse. “Whether we win, lose or draw it’s always about putting a smile on the faces of the spectators and enjoying the day,” he says. “Then it’s time for us to celebrate our accomplishments and hard work.” The parade now features four divisions: Comics, Fancies, String Bands and Fancy Brigade. The Fancy Brigade presents entertaining mini-musicals indoors at the Philadelphia Convention Center on New Year’s Day and other times. All Mummers are available for fundraisers or any event all year round. The Mummers Museum also appreciates financial and physical support. Get ready! New Year’s is almost here! For more on this fascinating tradition, visit: Donna Dvorak is a Philadelphia-born freelance writer, reporter, award-winning poet, author, columnist, and gallery artist. She currently resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Happy New Year 2014!

Holiday Decorating – no plug attached!


or an interior and exterior designer, this is the time of the year when the lines between outdoor living spaces and interior places mesh together. Many of my landscape clients ask us to come back and decorate their homes and businesses for the holidays. There is no more eco-friendly holiday decorating idea than harvesting Mother Nature’s offerings. Take a walk around your yard, your neighborhood, or your local park; that’s where you will find the latest craze in holiday decorating…. Add a little spray paint and glitter for that holiday sparkle. You’ll be amazed at the unique things you can find when you open up your eyes and look to nature for inspiration. Take for instance all of the shrubs with berries, especially Ilex Verticillata, or “winter berry holly.” This deciduous holly has fabulous fruits in a variety of reds and even oranges. Another great berried shrub is Callicarpa Issai. This “beauty berry” has amazing purplish lavender berries that are attached along the stem. The trick with bringing these berry filled stems indoors for holiday decorating is to clip them before the deciduous leaves fall of. Cut the stems with the leaves on and then pick the leaves off. The remaining berries are striking and should last through the holidays especially when placed in a vase of water or used in outdoor planters. Another great plant to cut and bring in for the holidays are hydrangea blooms. Once they are dried they are wonderful to spray paint silver, gold or red… whatever your scheme or theme. Then try spray glue and sprinkle some glitter. These blooms are fantastic to fill in planters, vases or containers indoors and out. They also look great placed into your holiday tree, resting on your mantle or decorating a wreath. Ornamental grasses are great natural selections to spray paint also. I have a client that bought a 10’ artificial tree last year after many years of a 14’ cut

tree. With her enormous soaring ceilings the tree felt dwarfed, so I cut the ornamental grass “Miscanthus Giganteus,” sprayed it in her copper and rust color scheme and stuck clusters popping out in all directions pointing towards the ceiling. Suddenly her 10’ tree appeared to soar to 14’. The look was very dramatic. Thankfully I have clients that take risks and let me think out of the box and be creative. If you insist on having something with a plug to shine a little light on the occasion, stick with white lights, be they candles in the windows, spotlights on your house or miniature lights on your trees and shrubs. It’s not that I’m totally against colored lights but they often tend to detract from your other decorations. What you want your lights to do is highlight your architecture or your ornaments not discolor them. I know children love colored lights but it’s never too soon to teach good design. Pick a theme… possibly one that celebrates your previous year and welcomes the new. Take for instance that one year my garden was a major part of my year, with an international Garden Tour and four design awards… I wanted to celebrate this fact so I built my 16’ tall Christmas tree out of dried ornamental grass from my garden. I used 2,800 tiny white lights and all of my glitzy ornaments; it was a huge hit at my semi-annual eve of eve party. Scott Rothenberger is the owner and principal designer at Scott Rothenberger’s PLACE. With more than 19 years of combined design and installation experience Scott is a multiple awardwinning designer that donates many hours to community projects. He enjoys sharing his passion for great design with his clients and his community and beyond. Visit his website, email, or call 610.428.1801.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Gif ting Pets with Bling

that dogs can solve and then be rewarded by the treat they find inside. The puzzles provide a challenge for your dog that is stimulating but can also help with those dogs that inhale their food. Horse balls, frisbees, Nylabone, Kongs, and agility toys for your yard also make great gifts.


For cats, a big-ticket item is the outdoor cat enclosures, essentially minienclosed tents, which are great to take your indoor cat outside for some fresh air. With many designs, even canopies and hammocks, how could a cat resist? Other ideas are scratching posts and elevated cat houses for the indoors. Cats are notorious for sleeping, and most of these have cubbies for cats to hide in and take their “cat nap.” Play and speed circuits made by Hagan Catit are a great way to entertain cats. These are toys with a ball, flashing lights and various tubes that interconnect with an option to add more. The same manufacturer makes a Senses Massage Center, which appeals to your cat’s senses by offering a variety of textures for pampering. Catnip is included, which heightens the experience. Other toys like laser pointers, cat dancers, feather cat toys and meal dispensing balls and puzzles are very popular items at any regional pet store.

By Carla Papciak-Glatts

uring the Christmas season many of us are out shopping for loved ones. Purses, jewelry, clothing, shoes, toys and gadgets are the staples of Christmas shopping. We spend endless hours shopping in malls, boutiques and online to find that perfect gift for our family, friends and co-workers. If you are like me, even the family pet receives a few gifts. They too enjoy a tasty treat or squeaky toy to open on Christmas Day. But what about those pet owners who go to the extreme? It’s not only Hollywood celebrities that spoil their pets; if people can afford it, they’ll buy it. Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Coach all carry various dog products from carriers for little dogs and kitties to collars and leashes, clothing and coats. There are also designer accessories such as dog hair bows, tutus, scarves, and booties. And lastly, there is jewelry, bling bling jewelry and collars! Your pet can have gold, platinum, or silver with diamond, crystal or rhinestone designs. These collars look great on any pet, male or female. You can also purchase expensive, luxury bedding and feeders (bowls and stands). So what gifts can you buy for your pet on a holiday budget? I did some exploring on the web and made some trips to local pet stores and came up with some unique ideas. For dogs, “Chuckit Launcher” is a great toy for the outside and it enables you to throw the ball far distances. Kyjen puzzles and balls offer a wide variety of treat-hiding, easy to clean, plastic puzzles


Local Living November | December 2013

If you’re looking for a carrier, clothes, or bedding for your pet, there are many pet stores and boutiques that have these and the prices are reasonable. Of course if you want that bling-bling, designer item and are on a budget, instead of shopping retail, maybe try eBay first. After all, dogs and cats don’t have opinions and as long as it’s comfortable, fun and possibly offers a reward, they are game for anything! Carla Papciak-Glatts is an animal activist, shelter volunteer and a busy mom of two girls and two German Shepherds, residing in Upper Bucks County.

Merry Happy Holy Ho, Ho, Whoa!


hat wonderful time of year has arrived again! It is the season of Holidays, x2 or x4. This is a potentially stressful time, riddled with miscommunication, and hurried panic.

When I speak about this with other single dads and moms a universal gesturing kicks in, complete with headshaking and a soliloquy of, “Oh-nos…” and “Yes, here it comes.” Funny, again I remember a different time when holidays were stress-free and filled with magic. But that was when I was a kid! Whether you are married or single, the holidays mean dividing time to dedicate and celebrate with in-laws and various homes and relatives. If you are lucky to be within short driving distances you can logistically celebrate in one day. (Heck, if Santa can do the whole world in 24 hours, I figure two or three counties should be no problem!)

By Blair Johnson that something can and WILL come up so be prepared with a Plan B. Also, and this is important: Plan something for just you. Often after a divorce, you may be depressed, and the holidays can wreak havoc on self-esteem. Plan and do something just for you… a visit to a favorite place, a gift for yourself, a new adventure, read a book you’ve always wanted to. Start an exercise program now, therefore making it a habit by the high holy days. This will help keep you in balance mentally and emotionally, and oh, you may lose a pound or two and so may enjoy an extra fruitcake or slice of holiday pie. Take some time and connect with a friend from the past. Forgive and allow someone else to know the “you-now.” Send some cards. Take some pictures. This was my personal weakness, photographs. I had to be notified when to take a picture. Without someone reminding me, I often forget. Adding on to that note, make sure you are IN the picture; it doesn’t matter how you look. This is now physical evidence for you, and everyone else, that you exist, and by the way, you do really matter.

Then there are those whose in-laws live in a different time zone. This requires a lot of communication, dedication and probably sacrifices in some capacity.

May you have the warmest and best holiday season yet. Merry Christmas to all and see you in 2014!

If you are juggling schedules with an ex or current, do everyone a favor and write everything down, preferably on a calendar, and make copies for all so that everyone is on the same page, including the kids. Realize and accept now

Originally from New Orleans, Blair Johnson, consultant, writer, creator, and compulsive over-thinker, currently lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with his daughter and dog.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Missing Out on the Holidays


t’s that time of year when homes begin to brim with the delicious smells of favorite holiday foods. Most of them are yearly traditions that our mouths have looked forward to all year long, but some of us can’t enjoy them as we used to because of our teeth. From toothaches to missing teeth to poorly fitting dentures, all of these things can prevent us from enjoying the holidays the way we did in years gone by.

Dr. Siegel gives these tips on making sure your dentures fit properly: “Invest in quality dentures that will fit and function better. Find a denture dentist who isn’t running a volume practice and can take the time to make sure your dentures are right. Don’t be surprised if with traditional dentures you need to have your dentures refit or replaced every few years due to changes in your jawbone.”

Pain has a way of sapping enjoyment from everything. Being with family is great, but it can be a real bummer if you have to avoid sticky or tough foods because your dentures aren’t strong enough to bite or chew that brisket or turkey. And if your teeth are sensitive to sweets or hot foods, you won’t be able to tuck into that pumpkin pie or sip that mulled wine with your usual gusto. And that’s a real shame, because your sister’s pumpkin pie is so good.

Dr. Siegel also recommends that people consider alternatives to traditional dentures that are more secure and may last longer. Implant dentures are secured to the jawbone by artificial tooth roots, which means they can be used to eat all your favorite foods, won’t slip out, and won’t cause pain when you chew. Neuromuscular dentures are partly supported by your jaw muscles, giving them benefits similar to implant dentures. Neuromuscular dentures are also designed to give you a more youthful appearance by promoting fullness in the lips, reducing jowls, and improving the appearance of the lower third of your face.

We talked to Dr. Ken Siegel at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell about how to make sure your teeth don’t ruin your holidays. Tooth Sensitivity: When Food Bites Back Tooth sensitivity is when you feel pain in your teeth or gums in response to certain foods or drinks. Sweets, hard foods, hot foods, and cold foods are common triggers for sensitivity. According to Dr. Siegel, this may or may not indicate a serious problem: “There are many possible causes of tooth sensitivity. It could be minor damage to the surface of your tooth, exposing tubules that transmit heat to your tooth nerve or metal amalgam fillings and metal crowns that conduct heat. It could be exposed tooth root, which tends to be more sensitive. Or it could be serious decay or even infection in a tooth.” People are encouraged to see their dentist to learn the cause of their tooth sensitivity. Treatments may range from brushing with desensitizing toothpaste to practicing more careful oral hygiene to getting dental work.

Getting Ready for the Holiday This year, if you want to be able to enjoy yourself at all your parties and family get-togethers, make seeing a dentist part of your holiday preparations. You will have a much better time if you are able to join in all the food, drink and fun of the holidays without having to worry about your teeth. Matthew Candelaria received his PhD from the University of Kansas in 2006. Since then, he has written thousands of articles, blogs, and web pages. Special thanks to Dr. Ken Siegel for his contribution to this article. People with additional questions for Dr. Siegel can reach him at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell in Blue Bell, PA by calling (610) 272-0828 or online at

Help is just a phone call (or click) away.

St. Luke’s Goes MOBILE! For more information please visit from your mobile device or call St. Luke’s InfoLink toll-free at 1-866-STLUKES.

Missing Teeth: Biting without a Full Deck If you have one or more missing teeth, it can make it hard or uncomfortable for you to eat certain foods. It can also make you self-conscious of your smile, which will prevent you from smiling, talking, laughing, or eating in company. However, according to Dr. Siegel, the problem can be more serious than that: “If you have one or more missing teeth, it puts your other teeth at risk. Biting can cause your teeth to drift when they don’t have each other to lean on. And hygiene becomes harder, so you’re more likely to get decay that threatens other teeth.” There are several tooth replacement options, including partial dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Depending on which you choose, your replacement teeth may be ready before Thanksgiving. Problem Dentures: Plate Tectonics Poorly fitting dentures are another cause of problems at the holidays. Dentures that are not right for you can result in pain when you chew or may just be inadequate to the task of eating some of your favorite foods. They can also click or slip out of place, especially as the evening rolls on to cocktail hour and your cousin busts out his funniest stories. You want everyone laughing with you, not at you. 80

Local Living November | December 2013

1-866-STLUKES (785-8537) Call St. Luke’s InfoLink for physician referral, information on health screenings, lectures, support groups and community programs.

Creating a healthier community...


Your Tail on the Trail is a fun and effective wellness initiative encouraging people to get off the couch, to move and become healthier by taking advantage of the amazing outdoor resources in our own backyards. By linking St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) healthy lifestyle expertise with the regional trail leadership of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L), thousands of community residents are participating in a six month 165 mile challenge. The goal is to connect people to the outstanding recreational opportunities along the D&L Trail while increasing health awareness and improving the health status of the community. This collaboration is introducing individuals and families to the towpaths and rail-trails located in the backyards of thousands of people in Bucks, Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon and Luzerne counties. The program presents nutrition and exercise programs that create and promote a culture of personal wellness, family participation and a sense of community. Through monthly special events and themed walks, participants also get together with regional health care professionals as well as the talented team building and connecting the D&L Trail. “St. Luke’s is very excited to partner with D&L to encourage the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas to become more active by walking, running or biking on the beautiful local trails,” said Bonnie Coyle, MD, Director, Community Health Department, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “Daily exercise increases strength and endurance, helps to maintain a healthy weight, decreases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and provides you with a more restful sleep. Benefits of regular exercise include an improved self-esteem, especially for children and adolescents.”

One mile at a time. According to Elissa Garofalo, D&L President, “Get your Tail on the Trail is raising the visibility of the D&L Trail – more so than any other program we’ve undertaken. The 165 miles represent the length of the trail from Wilkes Barre to Bristol as it travels through dozens of communities. Participants are experiencing a wealth of natural and historical treasures in their backyards and along far reaching stretches of newly opened trail.” “For years, St. Luke’s has been involved in creating and sustaining community health partnerships that aim to improve population health,” said Kenneth Szydlow, St. Luke’s Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations. “Programs such as Get Your Tail on the Trail bring physicians, administrators, nurses, staff and patients together in an atmosphere far removed from hospital-based environments, yet with similar overall goals to sustain and improve health.” In excess of 200,000 miles have been logged, and participants are sharing their individual stories of improved fitness, weight loss and surprising discoveries along regional trails. With a robust social media presence, accounts being posted on Facebook are inspirational. One recent entry enthused, “Little over a year ago I couldn’t jog for more than 20 seconds. This year I will attend my first 10K and I did three 5Ks in the past 12 months. I got MY TAIL ON THE TRAIL.” The final 2013 Get Your Tail on the Trail event was Saturday, October 26 at 10 am at Hugh Moore Park in Easton. This inaugural program ends November 3, and St. Luke’s and D&L encourage participants to use the trail tracker at www.tailonthetrail. org to log miles and achieve individual fitness goals. “We encourage everyone to continue to ‘Get Their Tail on the Trail’ and watch for upcoming information on new initiatives and programs in 2014,” finished Szydlow.

Since Get Your Tail on the Trail launched in May, St. Luke’s and the D&L have encouraged more than 2,400 participants to take the “165 Mile Challenge.” Men, women and children are walking, running and biking 165 miles and more. In turn they receive a welcome packet and log miles using a web-based (online) trail tracker. As specific mileage goals are reached, participants receive token incentives.

2013 165 Mile Challenge For more information about the Get Your Tail on the Trail program, please visit the website or call St. Luke’s InfoLink at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537).

2013 165 Mile Challenge To learn more about the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and its work to connect, preserve, revitalize and celebrate the region, visit

family health

“Obamacare” is Rapidly Approaching... Are You Prepared? by Marc S. Rabinowitz, M.D.


he numbers are staggering: 35 million new people added to the healthcare system, 10 thousand baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next 19 years, and 50 thousand doctors retiring in the next 7 to 10 years should make everyone feel concerned about the changing face of healthcare. Already, it’s been increasingly more difficult to get an appointment with a doctor in a timely fashion, and with a shortage of primary-care physicians that will only increase, this could mean the end of the patient/ doctor relationship like our parents grew up with, where we can trust when we need our doctor, he (or she) will be there for us. Or is it? What if you spoke with a live person every time you called the doctor’s office, you were seen the day you called without waiting, and you were treated like a VIP immediately upon arrival? Imagine the doctor spending half an hour with you to discuss your concerns comprehensively, any appointments for tests or specialist visits immediately made for you by the office staff to expedite your care. Think this service is unattainable? Guess again – it’s here, and it costs only 4 dollars a day. Welcome to the world of Prevention First Healthcare as practiced by Dr. Marc Rabinowitz. First, meet some patients who have elected to invest in their health and wellness by putting prevention first: Like many of us, Barry felt fine until he ended up hospitalized with sudden, frequent headaches and weakness. Once he realized he needed to make a change, he joined Prevention First. “Dr. Marc has become the CEO of my personal healthcare. Everyone seems to have a lawyer, a financial adviser, and an accountant, but when it comes to healthcare, I have found that many of my friends and family don’t have a true primary care physician who will take the time to analyze, organize and implement a strategy for one’s overall healthcare needs, including preventive measures. The cost of healthcare is on the rise, but for what it costs at Starbucks each day, you can receive REMARKABLY better health care because now you are receiving efficient and thorough healthcare with a CEO who can navigate you through the inefficient and complex healthcare system within our country today.” Herb enjoyed good health until he was stricken with a fever of unknown origin requiring a great deal of time and coordi-

nation to solve his problem and bring him back to the good health which he enjoys today. “Dr. Rabinowitz is more than a physician, he is truly a friend. A friend that without hesitation, consults with recognized specialists to successfully diagnose a difficult medical condition. Marc truly cannot rest until he has restored our health as evidenced by his follow up phone calls to our home to determine our full recovery.” Immediate access to the doctor, even “after hours” by calling the doctor’s personal cell phone (a benefit all Prevention First patients enjoy), has dramatically reduced hospitalization rates for many people like Sol. “Dr. Marc Rabinowitz was the best thing to happen to me. After six pneumonias and hospitalizations, he has kept me out of the hospital with anything major for years. The care and preventive medicine he gives his patients is amazing. It costs a pittance to have this care, less than I spend for coffee. In all seriousness, if Dr. Rabinowitz is not your doctor and you are able to join his practice you’re making a mistake if you do not take advantage.” Access to the doctor is invaluable, but the foundation of true health lies with prevention. Most healthcare is reactive, as people tend to seek attention only once they become ill. Prevention First Healthcare is just the opposite: proactive. We perform 90-minute comprehensive annual physicals with special follow up visits to prevent illnesses before they rob you of your health and ultimately your life. No traditional medical practice can provide this as the standard time a doctor has with a patient is no more than five to 10 minutes. Andrea, a Prevention First patient for many years, says “To top off his extensive medical knowledge, Dr. Marc’s demeanor is calming and his engaging personality and quick smile are just what makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have found him as my internist.” The world of healthcare may be rapidly changing for many, but hundreds who choose to put prevention first are clearly adding years to their life and life to their years. Why don’t you join them today? To schedule your FREE consultation, call 215-PREVENT (215-7738368) or visit

July | August 2013 Local LocalLiving Living November | December 2013

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Stop Living with Knee, Hip and Joint Pain

Innovative Techniques, Personalized Care Algier says Dr. Pavlides “is not one to jump into surgery” as the only option. He first advises weight loss, exercise and other nonsurgical options to alleviate knee pain. Her praise for Dr. Pavlides includes not only her hospital care and comprehensive therapy, but also her scar. “I’m proud of my scar,” she says. “At therapy other patients noticed it and other doctors have asked about it.” Dr. Pavlides uses minimally invasive surgical techniques and closes the incision from the inside out. It’s a cosmetic approach, he explains. “I don’t use staples or close from the outside, so you don’t get that railroad track effect,” he says. “It takes more time, but I feel patients don’t need a big scar that’s a constant reminder of the surgery.” From her sisters’ experience, Algier also knew she would receive an extraordinary level of personal attention from Dr. Pavlides. “He spent time with me every day in the hospital and made sure I had everything I needed,” she says. “I’ve never had a better experience.”


The physician you see in the office is the one who performs your surgery and is also The physician you the one you see after see in the office is the surgery. It’s very one who performs your —Nikos Pavlides, personalized care. surgery and is also MD


surgeon the oneOrthopedic you see after Independent Member surgery. It’sofvery the Medical Staff personalized care.

– Nikos Pavlides, MD Orthopedic surgeon


arole Algier and her two sisters work together, baking and selling specialty cakes. Their days, she says, are just filled with joy. Their business, Full Spirited FlavoursTM, is a second career for each of them and something the closeknit trio believes was destined to be. But that’s not all these women do together. In the past two years, all three have had double knee replacements, Carole this past June. All had surgery at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, by the same orthopedic surgeon, Nikos Pavlides, MD, of Brandywine Institute of Orthopaedics. And they all stayed in the same room at PMMC’s Center for Orthopedics and Spine. “Dr. Pavlides is so tuned in to you as a patient, and his team at Pottstown is the same way,” says Algier, a Glenmoore resident. “Everyone is on the same page. You feel safe and secure in their hands and so well cared for.” Sister Sue was the first to have surgery, two years ago. Algier calls her “the scout” who researched and found the best doctor for “mature” knees pained by arthritis. Kathy had surgery a year ago. “We were there for one another through the surgeries, and that support was great,” Algier says. “But also, Dr. Pavlides has such a complete program at Pottstown. There’s no way you can’t recoup!”

Independent Member of the Medical Staff

Why Choose PMMC for Knee Replacement?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Post-Op Cake Walk for These Three Sisters

Dedicated orthopedic center with private rooms

We love what we do and it comes through in everything we bake.” Susan Algier was simply gushing at her kiosk at the recent TASTE 2013 Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine and Spirits.

High standard of quality care New techniques/gender-specific joint replacement

The passionate joy these women put into their cakes is potent stuff. From the limencello infused decadence to their amaretto soaked delights, there is no slowing down the growing success of their company, aptly named Full Spirited Flavours. Not even double-knee replacements could hold them back, as the previous page can attest. Within the past two years, sisters Sue, Kathy and Carole all had surgery at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, by the same orthopedic surgeon, Nikos Pavlides, MD, of Brandywine Institute of Orthopedics and Spine. It’s a good thing too since there’s no time for stopping now.

Lower infection rate Demonstrated successful outcomes


Designated as a Blue Distinction Center in knee and hip replacement by Independence Blue Cross


Quality care in knee and hip replacement accredited by the Joint Commission

“Life goes by quickly and as three sisters with more than a century of experience, we knew it was time to realize our dream to build a business that we can work together,” explains Sue. And I can tell you they chose their business wisely because I got to sample the selections they brought to TASTE. Their rich creations are full-blown happiness in the shape of cake.

Stop living with knee, hip and joint pain!

Occupational Health & Spine Center for Orthopedics To learn how our orthopedic experts can call us at 610-327-7200. To learn how our orthopedic experts can helphelp you,you, visit Serving employer’s healthcare needs for over 25 years. Cake Girls 8.375 x 10.875 4C Ad 2.indd 1


Local Living November | December 2013

By Sharyl Volpe

10/25/13 3:16 PM

TheCenterPost • Fall2013 • 5

In a family with seven kids growing up in the catering business, food was a central theme in the women’s lives. Their parents ran the company and a restaurant out of a hotel they owned, which also doubled as home. As adults, the sisters would occasionally cater special events and dinner parties, family weddings and the like. For almost thirty years, Carole Algier also

ran a successful business as a glass artist. Sue, a retired corporate manager, had a reputation for an amazing amaretto cake. It took two days to make. When Carole’s livelihood as a glass artist slowed down she was forced to reinvent herself midstream in mid-life. The sisters had always talked about going into some kind of business related to food but never before took any steps towards it. It was Carole who told her sisters it was time. “We’re in our fifties and I can’t waitress anymore. It’s the time for us to do it.” The women landed a regular spot at a local farmer’s market and sold out regularly, the first time in less than three hours. They knew they had something special. After a lot of grassroots marketing on a budget, the sisters could have been on the Martha Stewart show but they would have had to share their recipes. This they would not do, but the Rachel Ray show worked out and featured the cakes as “Snack of the Day.” “Believe in what you do and be grateful that you can do it. Yes, we know we have a really good product that makes people happy,” Kathy sagely says. “But we don’t take our sales or successes lightly. It means something to us that people are buying what we have.” To order this divine decadence, visit and have fun making your selections. Sharyl Volpe is Editor-in-Chief of Local Living Magazine.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Babies Delivered with Tender Loving Care Gift Wrapping Optional Feel confident and comfortable knowing our team of five obstetrical physicians are here to deliver your baby. Make the right choice. Call for an appointment today. JEAN O. FITZGERALD, MD • VIVIAN YEH, MD • CAROLYN IANIERI, DO NESTOR I. SENDZIK, MD • TUAN A. LE, MD

Injection Perfection: The Art of Erasing Facial Wrinkles


hile looking younger has always been a priority in society, new advances in cosmetic surgery techniques have made wrinkle removal procedures even more desirable for both women and men. At present, there are a multitude of injectable substances on the market that are all geared at rejuvenating facial appearance and disguising the signs of aging. The main injectables being used in plastic surgery today include Botox, Juvederm, Dysport, Restylene, and Sculptra. While each of these injectables can help restore a youthful facial appearance, it is important to realize that the technique used by the plastic surgeon is as important as the substance being injected. According to Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Skalicky, “The use of injectables in plastic surgery such as Botox or Juvederm can turn back the clock on the aging process and help put off the need for larger, more invasive procedures but the way that the injection is performed is critical to achieving a natural result as opposed to an artificial, overdone look.” Many patients want to regain their youthful appearance from years gone by but fear the unnatural look that can occur if either too much filler is injected or it is not accurately placed. Dr Skalicky further explains this point. “The more is better philosophy is not always the best approach when injecting facial lines and wrinkles. If too much is put in, the normal facial contours can be violated and give a very unnatural look. On the contrary, if the procedure is done properly, a beautiful, youthful appearance can easily be obtained.” So how does a patient assure that their injection will be performed the right way and result in a natural look? Dr. Skalicky emphasizes the need for patients to have an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon to outline their specific goals and desires. This part of the process is extremely important to both discuss the pros and cons of each procedure being considered and also to make sure that the procedure will meet your specific expectations.

708 Shady Retreat Rd., Suite 7, Doylestown, PA 18901 215.340.2229 • Most Insurances Accepted

At times, the requested procedure may not be able to give a patient the result they want and, subsequently, may result in patient dissatisfaction. According to Dr. Skalicky, “I think that honesty from your surgeon is the most important quality to have when discussing treatment options to avoid unhappy outcomes resulting from false promises. I’d rather steer a patient toward another procedure that better addresses their concerns then have them spend money on a procedure or technique that falls short of their desired result.” Many times other “minimally invasive” procedures may be discussed in a consultation that can also help rejuvenate facial appearance. These procedures include office based smaller surgeries such as mini facelifts, eyelid lifts, fat injections, Fraxel laser resurfacing, or Thermage skin tightening. These procedures can be performed in conjunction with injectable procedures or in lieu of them if they are more focused on correction of the aging problem. “It is important for each patient to fully understand their options regarding facial rejuvenation so they can make the right choice for themselves. I like to educate the patient not only on the specifics of a particular procedure, but also, on how successful that procedure will be for their specific anatomy,” adds Dr. Skalicky. While the effects of gravity and aging are inevitable over time, there are many tools in the plastic surgeon’s toolbox to help fix the problem and restore a beautiful youthful facial appearance. What’s important is making sure the right tool is selected for the job. Dr. Skalicky is president and founder of Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center and The Rinklefree Center. He is board certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has received multiple awards for his work including Best Plastic Surgeon in Bucks County, 2013. Consultations with Dr. Skalicky are complimentary. His office is located at 104 Pheasant Run, Suite 123, Newtown, PA. (215) 702-8600.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Senior Perspective: Unique Holiday Traditions By Diane Burns


was sitting at home some time ago enjoying my second cup of coffee when it dawned on me that the holiday season was fast approaching. It is a time filled with family traditions passed down from generation to generation. The dictionary states that a tradition is “a custom, habit or ritual,” Something that is important enough to be repeated year after year. As I sipped my coffee I thought about the traditions that I have in my family, ones I have passed down to my children and in turn they are passing on to their children. Families all over the country have special Christmas traditions they must adhere to. If they weren’t we wouldn’t hold on to them so fiercely, would we? In our family we have to have a cookie exchange every year before Christmas. The women each bake their favorite cookie and then exchange. The independent judges (usually my son-in-law and my grandson) choose the winner who then gets to wear the prize jester’s hat. It’s a day filled with fun and flour. Another tradition is the Christmas pajamas. The kids and sometimes even the adults get new pj’s to wear on Christmas Eve for that important holiday photo. In the morning it is important that the kids come downstairs in size order, also a necessary for the photo.

Wood River Village Retirement Community

UKRAINE – Spider webs are hidden in the trees and whoever finds one will have good luck in the New Year. VENEZUELA – The streets are closed to cars so the people roller skate to church on Christmas morning. CZECH REPUBLIC – Single people throw their shoes over their shoulder on Christmas day. If the shoe lands with the toe pointing toward the door you’ll be married soon. FINLAND – Families leave lighted candles on the graves of their loved ones presenting a beautiful sight in the cemeteries. PHILIPPINES – Clean socks are left on the window sill for the Three Kings to fill with gifts. Traditions, traditions ---- some may seem strange, some unique but all are important to those who celebrate them. What are your family holiday traditions? Diane Burns is a freelance writer currently residing in Montgomery County.

When we gather to unwrap gifts our tradition has the youngest one starting and then so on until it’s the eldest person’s turn. That would be me! Reflecting as I was, I also began to wonder what kind of traditions people in other countries celebrated. What was of such importance that it was passed down in the family year after year? What I discovered were some very unusual and unique traditions that I will share with you. AUSTRALIA – Because it is summer there and the temperature is 68-84 degrees, Santa Claus arrives on a surfboard.

“Discover the



AUSTRIA – Young men walk the streets dressed up as a devil-demon creature called Grampus equipped with cowbells and rods scaring children as well as adults. DENMARK – Families leave a bowl of rice pudding or porridge for a devilish creature called Nisse. If the pudding is not left, presents are often stolen.


p h i ucation

Local Living November | December 2013




ri d



Established 1692






NORWAY – Witches are believed to roam on Christmas Eve so all the brooms are hidden hampering the witch’s mode of transportation.

The Seal of

l e m To w s ain Business and n s

it y


INDIA – Because there aren’t any fir or pine trees banana and mango trees are decorated.

215.741.3030 Bucks County B

GREAT BRITAIN – Letters to Father Christmas are not mailed but are thrown into the fireplace hoping the draft will carry them to the North Pole.

Exce e n llen

FRANCE – Children place their shoes by the fireplace in hopes that Pere Noel will fill them with candy and toys.

Co m mu n ity o



C o u n t y,


Thank You

for making us the best office for your sports injuries! • Active Release Techniques TM Performed by the doctor, this patented, stateof-the-art soft tissue movement based massage technique treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. • Kinesio Taping – Kinesio Taping gives support and stability to joints and muscles while allowing a patient to move through a normal range of motion. It decreases inflammation and reduces pain. • Fusion Therapy – We use traditional physical therapy exercises combined with specific pilates exercises on the mat and Reformer to increase range of motion and strengthen the healing area to prevent re-injury. • Triton TM DTS Decompression Therapy – Nonsurgical solution for herniated discs in the neck and low back; also effective for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. • Neuromuscular Re-education – This is another soft tissue therapy geared specifically to athletes that addresses strains/sprains, shin splints & healing fractures. • CranioSacral Therapy – Relieves tensions deep within the body to relieve pain and dysfunction. It can improve whole-body performance by helping the body naturally unwind. • Myofascial Release/Trigger Point Therapy – Our certified massage therapists & doctor use this technique to break up scar tissue & increase range of motion.

• Laser Therapy – This therapy has been used by professional sports teams for years to dramatically speed up healing time and promote healthy cell growth. • Traditional Chiropractic Manipulation and traditional physical therapy modalities such as ultrasound, TENS, heat/ice, and kinesiotaping in your treatment plan. • Pilates Reformer Lessons – Build long, lean muscles with the Pilates Reformer, ladder barrel and MVE pilates chair. Private lessons or Duets. • Therapeutic Massage – Deep massage targeted to decrease muscle spasm and pain.

Having a Blue Christmas?

• Pre-Natal Massage – To ease aches and pains of pregnancy. Can be combined with pre-natal exercise and stretching. • Hands-on Performance Enhancement Training – Under the expertise of 2-time NFL Super Bowl champion and former Philadelphia Eagle Vaughn Hebron. Vaughn brings you world-class personal training and sports conditioning for athletes and men and women of all ages.

Dr. Jennifer S. Grozalis Chiropractic Physician 105 Terry Drive Suite 114 Newtown, PA 18940 P: 215.860.9798 F: 215.860.3422

By Matthew Weldon Gelber MS


he holidays are meant to be times filled with holiday cheer and happiness spent around family and friends. For some this is a tough time of year. Starting in autumn I see many clients who suffer with the change in seasons and feeling less motivated. Clinically, this is called seasonal effectiveness disorder; in my practice I call it the winter blues. It is a big change: More time inside, less sunlight, less exercise and the added stresses that the holiday season can bring including, more work, spending more money and trying to make everyone happy in your life because of the time of year. The winter blues are a very real thing. Here are some great steps to take now so that your holiday will be bright and as cheerful as you want it to be. The first thing you need to do is focus on what truly makes you happy. Don’t get caught up in how retailers want to make you believe you should live; you live the way you want to. Make a plan now so that once the holidays are upon us you’ve checked off as many things you wanted to get done as possible. This may include planning a winter weekend away to de-stress, or taking some time off so that you’re not racing at the end to get everything done quickly. This should be a season to enjoy, so plan and then you can enjoy it so much more.

body needs light and energy. Much of our stress comes from sitting at work or calling it an early day since the night seems to come so quickly. Take care of your body just as you do in the other warmer seasons. Thirdly, and most importantly, pace yourself when it comes to all the great holiday food and drinks. So many clients of mine spend a lot of time at holiday parties and dinners only to realize in the New Year they are unhappy with the extra weight they have put on. I say, enjoy but just be smart about it. This is a magical time of year so make it yours and do what you want to do. The holidays have been commercialized and we have been given a skewed view of what it is all about. You make it what it’s all about. Have a wonderful holiday season and take care of you. That will be the best gift you will ever get! Cheers and happy holidays! Matthew Weldon Gelber MS, is a Psychotherapist and owns and operates the Weldon Center in Malvern, PA. Known for his personalized care for individuals, couples and families. Please visit for more information or call 610.310.5898 to speak with Matt personally.

November | December 2013

Local Living


Stoneridge Obstetrics & Gynecology

Stoneridge has expanded with an additional office location in Dublin. Meet the Physicians Nicholas O. Lindberg, MD, FACOG - Dr. Lindberg joined Stoneridge in 1990. He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biological Science from the University of Pittsburgh and attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania. He is past Chair of the OB/GYN Department at Grand View Hospital. Lane A. Moskoff, MD, FACOG Dr. Moskoff joined Stoneridge in 2005. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University and attended Temple University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Sellersville Stoneridge Professional Center 670 Lawn Avenue, Suite 4 Sellersville, PA 18960 P: 215-257-0414

Kimberly G. Smith, MD Dr. Smith joined Stoneridge in 2011. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Susquehanna University and a Master of Science in Molecular Biology at Northwestern University. She attended the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed her residency in OB/ GYN at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Elizabeth Grasmeder-Smith, MSN, CRNP - Ms. GrasmederSmith joined Stoneridge in 2005. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from DeSales University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Gwynedd-Mercy College. She is board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.

Harleysville Meadowbrook Plaza 270 Main Street, Suite 4 Harleysville, PA 19438 P: 215-256-4501

Stoneridge Obstetrics and Gynecology warmly welcomes you to our practice. Since we opened our doors in 1978, we’ve been caring for women throughout every stage of life – from adolescence to childbearing to menopause. Our board-certified/ board-eligible doctors have developed a reputation for excellence and medical expertise that is on the leading edge of today’s medicine. Schedule your appointment at Stoneridge today. We look forward to getting to know you and guiding you in making knowledgeable decisions regarding your health and wellness. Dublin Office (adjacent to the fire house) 174 North Main Street Dublin, PA 18917 P: 215-257-0414 F: 215-257-1740 Hours: Mon., Wed., and Thurs.: 8 am – 4 pm

Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees

By Charles Hansler


n 1953 America’s beloved “Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry, now most famous for his classic renditions of “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” recorded a now forgotten Christmas song called “Freddie, the Little Fir Tree.” The song revolves around an apparently emotive fir tree named Freddie who is just hankering to be chopped down and made into a glorious Christmas tree. The song did not take off probably because you cannot humanize a Christmas tree. Children might be disturbed when after the holiday season is over Dad ends up tossing little Freddie in a ditch somewhere. Now however the hottest issue concerning getting a Christmas tree for one’s home is whether to purchase a natural, real Christmas tree or an artificial one. Here is some information on the pro and cons of each option to help you decide.

Local Goes Local

McAdenville, North Carolina

NATURAL CHRISTMAS TREES The natural Christmas tree has many positive environmental benefits. Natural Christmas tree farms act as small-scale mini “carbon sinks” that suck up carbon pollution and put more oxygen back into the air. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the industry group that promotes the growing of natural Christmas trees, “The farms that grow Christmas Trees stabilize soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife while creating scenic green belts. Also natural Christmas trees are biodegradable and can be recycled into mulch. Worse still there is a risk of lead poisoning with artificial trees the longer they age because the older the tree gets the more unstable the lead used in the PVC becomes and hence becomes more prone to contamination. The lead found in artificial trees is too little to seriously affect the average adult but it can be very dangerous to children exposed to it. It is estimated the real Christmas tree industry employs over 100,000 American jobs! The cons are that real trees require much more maintenance than an artificial tree. It is not just about cutting the tree down and hauling it back to your house and setting it up but you have to water it throughout the month as well. Not to mention there is usually a pile of pine needles on the floor to clean up! ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES Generally artificial trees are considered less environmentally friendly than natural trees. They are made from petroleum products, most notably PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Artificial trees are not biodegradable and not recyclable. One positive argument for artificial trees is that they require considerably less upkeep than a real tree. Also, you do not have to keep going out every year to buy a new one. Before concluding this article it would be worthwhile to mention that there is a third distinct Christmas tree option. Depending on one’s location it is possible to get a “potted” live tree. This is a live tree that is sold in a pot with soil in it. After the holiday season you could choose to plant the tree in your backyard. Now that you know the main and essential facts in the debate about the difference between purchasing a real or artificial Christmas tree, you can make a more informed decision about which kind to purchase this season. If you want the environmentally best option and the one that supports your local community, then getting a real tree is right for you. But if you value convenience over all else, then the artificial tree wins hands down. Charles Hansler is a recent 2013 graduate of Temple University where he majored with Distinction in Political Science. In addition to freelancing for Local Living he is a law clerk in a Center City law firm.

November | December 2013

Local Living



M – Meaningful. Your Healthy You goal has to resonate with you, or youwon’t do it. It doesn’t matter if your friend is doing the Paleo Diet, or the newest CrossFit class. Find your own reason for being more healthy, as in losing weight so you can play with your kids vs. just watching them.

It Never Seems to Be the Right Time to Start! By Joanna K. Chodorowska


happens every year. We get close to December and realize that those plans we made at the beginning of the year to be more healthy, to exercise more, to start eating less junk food, etc., they have all seemed to disappear off our radar. Somehow there is always next week, or next Monday, or next month when we can start. Is there not a right time to start a healthy plan? When we want to start something new, (taking a new class, learning to cook, starting to exercise, or eat better) we get all excited. We also make plenty of excuses why it is not the right time to start.

A – Alternate. Switch it up. You can do this in several ways. Choose to drinkwater with lemon, or iced tea or sparkling water instead of soda. Choose a different beverage for a day. Add a new vegetable every week. You can do the same with exercise, where you choose a different activity every few days. Keep it exciting and fresh! You can also choose to work on a food item one week, exercise another. R – Repeatable. With any healthy plan, the key is also to make it repeatable. Can you do this daily? If not, maybe you do need to modify so you can. I know with my nutrition clients, keeping it realistic and fitting into the schedule easily is a must. You can be strict for a little bit, but it probably won’t last more than a few weeks. The goal is to be consistent, not vigilant.

“I am not ready”, “It will be too hard”, “I am not going to like it” or maybe you have already decided that you are going to fail yet again, as you have in the past. The trick is not to revamp your life and start a new one, but to make a change that you can live with.

T – Today. Focus on what it is you can do today. Not what you couldn’t do yesterday, or what you will do next week (although some planning for tomorrow is needed). Stay in the present, and allow yourself to enjoy today and today only. Do one thing for yourself today.

Setting realistic goals are something coaches talk about regularly. SMART is an acronym commonly used to help make Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic goals and set a Timetable for those goals. Maybe by this year’s end, you will be able to rename SMART to mean what you need it to mean.

It might be time to rethink the goals you set up this year. Maybe you can create your own SMART goals for a healthier you now, so when the new year comes, you have already started. The truth is, there is no time like today to get started. Your healthy life is waiting for you to answer!

S – Simple. We need this new goal as easy as can be. Not because we want to make it so easy, but so it is not so confusing with so many steps, you have really no idea how you will proceed. Stop making the goal so hard that you avoid starting. Hmm, maybe “S” should stand for Start!??! Be like Nike – Just Do It!

Joanna K. Chodorowska, BA, NC is a nutrition, sports nutrition coach and competitive triathlete. She founded Nutrition in Motion specializing in personalized nutrition programs for athletes, triathletes and health minded individuals including Race Day Nutrition, Anti-inflammatory and Gluten-free plans. If you cannot live with your plan, it is not the right plan! Please visit or or more information.


Local Living November | December 2013

Acclaimed Autistic Animal Science Trailblazer, Dr. Temple Grandin Comes to Bucks County By Charles Hansler


ressed in her trademark Western attire, Dr. Temple Grandin, the famed autistic rights activist and world-renowned animal science pioneer of humane animal slaughter techniques, spoke to a full capacity crowd at Moumgis Auditorium at Delaware Valley College on October 2. Grandin has done consulting work in this capacity for McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. She is also the subject of an eponymous biopic starring Claire Danes about her breakthrough in the husbandry field and her struggles of doing so while being both a woman and autistic in the 1970s. Her speech topic however was called “The Autistic Brain” which was based on her recently released book of the same name. The main thrust of the speech was her explaining her vision of how to successfully educate and successfully train autistic children for future careers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one child in eighty-eight has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Getting closer to home, Bucks County has the fifth highest population of individuals on the Autism Spectrum out of Pennsylvania’s sixty-six counties. Dr. Grandin’s speech was fluid and articulate unlike the stilted speech personified by Claire Danes’ portrayal of her in the HBO film. The most prominent theme she hammered home was that she did not want autistic young people to be fatalistic about their diagnosis and symptoms and to waste their time in activities that do not help them grow intellectually. She spoke out against the trend of autistic children who end up becoming obsessed with videogames and hung up on their own autistic symptoms instead of focusing on constructive academic, creative passions that can lead to a career in the future.

“I don’t like kids with autism focusing on their autism instead of focusing on their passions that can lead to careers.” Dr. Grandin gets worried when she sees them “becoming their labels.” Her biggest fear for autistic children is the over-coddling they receive from their overprotective parents. She said this essentially paralyzes the mental growth and social growth of the children by not exposing them to new challenges; their parents are sequestering them. Grandin is horrified by the number of autistic kids she meets who are not familiar with simple, yet essential social skills such as shaking hands or ordering food at counters because their parents try to “protect” them from potentially stressful interactions. Dr. Grandin’s speech went over well with the audience. She was compelling and the topic at hand is a vitally important one because virtually everyone knows someone, or has a relative, who has autism. I asked her for parting advice while she signed her book for my mother, who is a special education teacher. This is what she told me: “Develop kids early and find their interests, then develop their interests for future careers.”

Charles Hansler is a recent 2013 graduate of Temple University where he majored with Distinction in Political Science. In addition to freelancing for Local Living he is a law clerk in a Center City law firm. He plans on continuing his education by either going to Law School or getting his Master’s degree in Journalism.

November | December 2013

Local Living


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Local Living November | December 2013


Local Living November | December 2013

Local Living Magazine Nov/Dec 2013  

Philadelphia based lifestyle magazine including food and wine, gift guides for the holidays and recipes.

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