Page 1



Please take one!


A Living Legacy of



Sleep: The Key to Productivity

make the most of your

Outdoor Space


/ contents

EVERY MONTH 4 Letter From The Publisher 5 Contributors & Testimonials SASS FACTORY: STUFF WE LOVE 6 Sassy Time SASSY BOOK REVIEW 7 Exit West By Mohsin Hamid

Reviewed By: Sara Maloney

SASS 8 9 Designer How-To’s For The Home

By: Andrew Skipper

10 Make The Most Of Your Outdoor Space

By: Andrew Skipper

LIFE 12 Art Is In The Air

By: Christina Clark

14 A Newbies Guide To The Farmer’s Market By: Christina Clark

16 Selling A Home? Pick The Right Realtor!

By: Kristine Smith

HEALTH 18 Hibernation To 5K By: Christina Clark

ON THE COVER 20 Claire Guy Powell: A Living Legacy Of Giving Back

By: Christina Clark

WORK 22 Sleep: The Key To Productivity

By: Allison Boelcke Smith


SASSY Magazine would like to give a big thanks to Claire Guy Powell for gracing our Summer 2017 cover along with her furry companion, Belle! PHOTOGRAPHY:

Classic Image Photography Makeup:

Maria Gonzalez Styled By:



from the publisher


t’s summer time, and the living is easy…so the song says. And I have to agree. Lazy summer days are the best! Sunshine, fresh air, outdoor dining, actually outdoor anything, water sports, picnics, long days, day trips, ice cream, cookouts, long walks, all sorts of wonderful things happen in the summertime.

President & Publisher: Sue Heinrich

MANAGING Editor: Jessica Haviland


GRAPHIC DESIGN Manager: Zuzanna Zmud


This summer at SASSY Magazine, we have decided to do a summer issue with all the good things of summer. Starting with the cover…what fun to be out in a field of long grass with a beautiful Shar pei puppy named Belle. Thank you Claire Guy Powell for gracing our cover! Inside you will find Claire’s story and her legacy of giving back. Claire is the daughter of our February cover model, Laura Guy, who, at the time, was the Corporate Director Michiana Chapter American Heart Association.

Distribution Manager: Chad Haviland

In line with our outdoor cover scene, you will find several stories to keep you outside. First is one about making the most of your outdoor space. You will find lots of ideas here about how to decorate and style your outdoor areas whether your yard, your deck or other outdoor spaces. Next, we take you out to enjoy the summer art festivals in the area. This is one of my favorite summer activities. While our story focuses on art fairs in South Bend, don’t be afraid to venture outside the area. Another fun thing to do in the summer is the topic of another article and that is shopping at the local farmer’s markets. Our story gives you tips for experiencing them to the fullest. And, of course, summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and exercise. And we have a story on getting out and beginning to run for the first time and training for a 5K.

The FAMILY Magazines P.O. Box 577 Granger, IN 46530 PH: 269.228.8295 • FX: 574.217.4700

We don’t stay outside for the whole issue. We also answer some burning questions about decorating your interior spaces. You will also find guidance about picking the right realtor for selling your home. And last but not least, the most relevant article for me at this sleep-deprived moment in my life is one about sleep and how important sleep is to productivity. It’s very convincing and I think I’ll make it an early night. I hope you have a wonderful summer filled with lots of lazy, hazy days and lots of sleep and that you find time to read this summer issue of SASSY Magazine!

SASSY Magazine is a division of Michiana Family Publishing, LLC established in 2006. All rights reserved. We would love to hear from you! Please submit press releases, event information and inquiries to:

Permission from the publisher is required for any reproduction or reprint of this publication. Read SASSY Magazine online each month! Go to and flip the pages, cover-to-cover the organic and green way! SUMMER 2017 Volume 7: Number 5


follow us on Twitter, and become our fan on Facebook. @MichianaSassy


/ contributors



Christina L. Clark

is a digital marketing specialist for Indiana University South Bend, and a freelance writer who loves to focus on topics of career and personal finance geared toward working women and mothers. She resides in South Bend with her husband and toddler daughter. During any free time she can manage, she is a foodie whose goal is to actually make more recipes on her Pinterest boards.

Andrew Skipper is an interior decorator and lifestyle expert who believes that life should be celebrated every day. His company, Andrew Skipper Everyday, focuses on helping people elevate the everyday tasks they perform and objects they live with. He is the lifestyle expert for NBC affiliate WNDU TV in South Bend, IN, giving decorating and entertaining tips. He is also the official lifestyle expert for Elkhart County, IN, working with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Christina L. Clark is brunch lover and puppy snuggler. She studies Communication at IUSB, works as a licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist, and loves to write whenever given the chance!



On the cover Meet the cover photographer!


a living legacy of

G iv in G

B ac k

Sl ee p: the key to productivity

make the most of your

outdoor Space Over the last 14 years, Nicole Waldron, photographer and owner of Classic Image Photography has lived, traveled and established photography clients throughout the country. With east coast and west coast influences, Classic Image Photography provides clients with unique images, custom art work and exceptional customer service. Specializing in family, senior and corporate photography, Nicole looks forward to serving you with all of your photographic needs.


Please take one!

READER testimonials

“One thing that I love about SASSY Magazine is that the writers are local! It’s great to see names that you know!” – Aubrey R.

“I love bringing my SASSY Magazine with me to the beach! I even had a couple of people stop and ask me where they can pick up a copy!” – Natalie S.

“SASSY Magazine keeps me up-to-date on fashion, health and new business techniques each month!” – Liz. M.

Thank you! SASSY | SUMMER 2017



SASSY Giveaway:

Dew Puff

July 2nd: Antiques On The Bluff, 10:00 A.M., Downtown St. Joseph, MI

Summer has officially arrived! Keep your skin glowing with Dew Puff konjac sponge! This one simple tool will help keep your skin healthy, fresh and blemish-free! They remove dull, flaky skin, cleanse and refresh and help new skin cells to the surface, restoring your skin’s natural PH balance! All natural, chemical & preservation free, resuable and eco-friendly! Visit SASSY Magazine’s Facebook page on July 10th to enter-to-win!

July 8th: Linton’s Classic Car Cruise-In, 11:00 P.M., Linton’s Enchanted Gardens – Elkhart July 15th: Lemon Creek Winery’s Vintage Blues Bash, 12:00 P.M., Lemon Creek Winery – Berrien Springs, MI July 29th: 2nd Annual Rock N River Music Fest, All Day, Kamm Island – Mishawaka

Summer Dresses

August 5th: LOGAN’s Run, 8:00 A.M., Notre Dame Campus August 11th: Meet Me On The Island, 5:30 P.M., Century CenterDowntown South Bend August 19th: Bike Elkhart Quilt Garden Bike Tour, 7:00 A.M., Knights Of Columbus – Elkhart August 27th: Michiana Renaissance Festival, 10:00 A.M., Pinhook Park – South Bend

Navy High-Low Dress

Retro Print Dress

Floral Printed Maxi Dress





Gold Tube Bracelets Materials: • 2mm x 38mm Curved Noodle Tube Bead • 2 Feet of 0.5mm Chinese Knoting Cord • Embroidery Needle • 2 Spacer Beads

Photo Courtesy:



Directions: 1. Cut the knotting cord into 12 inch pieces. Thread gold noodle tube bead through one of the strands and cross the ends. 2. For the sliding closure fold over the overlapping ends and start styling square knots. Fold the top cord over the bottom cord and bring top cord under both the bottom and middle overlapping strands through the loop, into a knot. 3. Repeat the same step on the right side. Continue to make 5-6 more knots. 4. Thread one of the cords onto a needle and sew up the center of 2-3 knots along the backside. 5. Trim away any excess cord. 6. Thread two gold spacer beads onto each cord and tie tips into a knot. Trim. (For additional instructions and pictures, visit


book review

Exit West By Mohsin Hamid

Reviewed By: Sara Maloney, St. Joseph County Public Library, Main


"Location, location, location, the realtors say. Geography is destiny, respond the historians." Exit West begins in an unnamed but recognizable country, in the very near future. It could be Syria, Pakistan or any strongly religious country with growing political unrest. By removing the cultural specificity, readers don't have to worry about historical details and are less likely to be biased. The vague setting also made it easier to imagine myself in the position of Saeed and Nadia, the main characters, who fall in love and then become refugees after militants overtake their country. They meet in a night class on corporate identity and product branding. Saeed is more traditional and lives at home with his parents, "as was the case in those days in his city with most independent-minded, grown men, unmarried, with decent posts and good educations." Nadia is free thinking, went against her conservative family's wishes to move into her own apartment and rides a motorcycle. Their relationship starts with coffee and lots of texting, a path familiar to Millennials everywhere. But from the beginning there are warnings of impending disaster. There is also something mysterious happening; in locations all over the world, people enter formerly mundane doors to closets or offices and emerge in an entirely different location. This is the one magical element in an otherwise realistic story. The device allows the author to address migration and globalization in a fresh, creative way. Since people can change their location instantly, large numbers begin leaving poor and war torn countries and flooding richer ones. The rich countries begin "building walls and fences and strengthening their borders, but seemingly to unsatisfactory effect." Rich countries like Britain and the United States are forced to deal with the masses of refugees whom they cannot prevent from entering. Hamid’s writing is poetic, with long clause-filled sentences and repetitive structures. Almost every passage is insightful and worth savoring. The book is fairly short (under 300 pages) and every element serves the whole. Nadia and Saeed are very relatable and recognizable characters. Perceptive observations about romantic and familial relationships drew me into the story, and I imagined myself in their place, wondering how I would feel in the same situation. While the personal side of the story kept me eagerly reading, Hamid asks many deep questions about religion, technology, migration and the future of the world, leading the reader to think about nations, borders and the very concept of “natives.” Sometimes brief interludes illustrate these ideas. For example, one section describes the many changes an old woman has seen take place in her city while living in the same house. Progress moves quickly now and is unavoidable, the interlude suggests, so the ability to adapt is essential. Overall, Exit West presents a realistic yet optimistic view of the future. Human history is based on migration, and if it truly is inevitable, what is the best way to deal with it? While recognizing that hardship may be unavoidable in the changes to come, the story also celebrates our human resourcefulness and caring. Whether you are a reader who enjoys perceptive writing about modern relationships, or you want to ponder issues with contemporary relevance in a new light, this is a beautiful, thought-provoking and highly recommended book.  SASSY | SUMMER 2017





Designer How-To’s For the Home

By: Andrew Skipper

When it comes to creating a beautiful home, there are many tricks of the trade that designers use. From the ceiling down to the floor, I'm pulling out my magic box and sharing answers to 9 of the most common questions I get from clients. Use this how-to guide to enhance the look and feel of your house just like a designer would!

1. How do I create a gallery wall? Gallery walls allow you to display various art pieces in one grouping. Whether you choose to stick with a theme or vary the styles of art, a gallery wall is a smart way to show off your taste and style. You may want to hang a selection of landscapes or perhaps a wall of nautically themed pictures; maybe even a mixture of subjects all related to a certain style such as English country. Select two or three large pieces to focus the eye, then fill in with several smaller works. The frames can have different sizes and styles, just make sure each piece is hung at least three inches apart.

2. How do I choose a dining room rug? The trick to finding the right size rug for your dining room is to make sure that each chair fully rests on the rug when pushed in and when pushed out from the table. A general rule of thumb is to add 6 feet to the length and width of your table and choose an interesting pattern to counter a plain table. Go with 100% wool for easy cleaning. Remember, natural fibers are your friend!



3. How do I decorate a built-in? Many older homes have built-ins and even modern architects often add built-in shelves and alcoves for interest, but what do you put in them? Organize books neatly (hardcovers are especially nice) then add a few picture frames to break up the lines. Finally, layer in accessories and artwork. If you collect anything, mix in a collection as well. Alcoves make wonderful spots to display large vases, urns and sculptures.

4. How do I decorate a coffee table? The coffee table often needs to serve multiple purposes, but form can commingle with function if you select hardworking pieces. Start with a tray that can be removed when you need to serve food or drinks, then layer coffee table books, lidded boxes (perfect for stashing away remotes), a vase for flowers and a special treasure. Mind the balance between old/new, hard/soft, luxe/organic.

8. How do I choose the right-size chandelier? Sometimes a large chandelier can really make a statement in a small room, however a small chandelier almost never looks right in a large room. While there are no strict rules, a good trick is to add the room's length + width in feet, then use that number, in inches, as a guide for the chandelier's diameter. Example: 10' + 14' = 24' so look for a 24" chandelier.

5. How do I measure for window treatments? While there are many ways to dress windows, the simplest DIY answer is to hang one rod and two curtain panels. Measure the width of your window and multiply window size by 2.5 for width. For height, mount hardware as close to the ceiling as possible, and measure length so that drapery hits the floor. If you can’t find ready-made panels that meet your specifications, purchase fabric by the yard and contact a seamstress to hem and sew in rod pockets.

9. How do I decorate my foyer? Whether you have a grand foyer or a tiny entryway, there are a few key pieces to complete this space. Start with a mirror which comes in handy for guests to check their appearance when they first arrive. If space permits, add a table under the mirror to place keys and mail on. A vase with fresh flowers is a nice welcoming touch. And finally, a sturdy rug made of natural fibers completes the foyer. An extra touch could be a chair or stool for people to perch on when removing their shoes. ď §

6. How do I properly light my bedroom? Here are a few secrets: Low wattage bulbs, dimmers and candles. Overhead lighting can be harsh, so use low wattage bulbs and install dimmers. In the bedroom you want to be able to control the atmosphere whether you are reading in bed or trying to set a romantic mood. Multiple light sources such as wall sconces, bedside tables and reading lamps allow you to control the lighting. A few candles sprinkled throughout the room lend a touch of sexiness for those special moments. 7. How do I choose a lampshade? Choosing a lamp shade can be tricky whether you are trying to decide on style or size. When it comes to size, remember: 60% lamp, 40% lampshade. As far as style goes, match classic shades with classic lamps and save drum shades for modern pieces. For the shape, let the lamp base be your guide: Pair round bases with round or square shades and rectangular bases with rectangular or oval shades.

Sharp style for the dog days of summer! 211 S Main St . Elkhart, IN . 574-294-6486 Special thanks to Classic Image Photography SASSY | SUMMER 2017




Make the Most of your

Outdoor Space By: Andrew Skipper

Summer is the time to enjoy outdoor living. Dining al fresco, playing lawn games, lounging in the shade or basking in the sun are just a few ways to take advantage of this season. Whether you have a large yard or not, there are ways to enhance the experience of being outside. Here are six ways to make the most of your outdoor space. 1. Create a Place To Be Regardless if your outdoor space is a sprawling estate or an apartment balcony, the end goal is still the same: Create a place where you want to be. If you’re idea of the perfect garden is an orderly, formal and traditional layout, consider a boxwood garden that utilizes symmetry. Even on a balcony you can incorporate aspects of a formal garden by potting two boxwoods at either end, then planting flower boxes to hang over the railing with classic choices like geraniums, miniature roses and English ivy. Conversely, if you long for a space that is modern and clean, opt for cement planters filled with succulents and tropical plants. In either scenario, be sure there are at least two comfortable chairs or a bench that fit your style so that you and a friend can enjoy a respite in your outdoor room. 2. Pick a Pot When it comes to planters, consistency is key. Nothing disturbs the eye more than seeing several different styles and colors of pots all jumbled together in the same space. Decide what your preference is, then stick with it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bit of variety, but the idea is to have a cohesive theme. For instance, if you like the rustic, country look, go with all terra cotta. If you like a traditional feel, try cast iron urns. For a modern alternative, use zinc or streamlined concrete planters. The idea is to allow the eye to flow from focal point to focal point without getting confused. The same goes for outdoor furniture. You don’t want your outdoor space to look like a yard sale, but rather a well thought out place to enjoy yourself. 10


3. Layer Away Creating a luscious and enveloping garden is all about layering, just as you would indoors with different colors, textures and patterns. Start by determining how much privacy you want and where you want it. Perhaps you could plant a hedge or maybe it’s better to put up a fence. You may even have the ability to plant a section of trees to help control noise pollution from beyond your property. Once you have your larger elements in place, it’s time to layer other plants in. Work your way from large shrubs down to perennial flowers & evergreens, all the way to small annual plants. In addition to plants, layer in statuary, sculpture and garden art. One lovely statue tucked into a bed of ferns can create a magical effect.

4. Get a New Point of View When planning your outdoor space, consider the view. Go to where you will be sitting or dining and look around you. What do you see? If you’re simply looking at a privacy fence, take the opportunity to add something pleasing to look at like a statue or flowering plant. Create a focal point where people are most likely to be looking when sitting down for long periods of time. If you already have a beautiful view such as water or a stunning tree, plan your seating areas around that. There’s no use having a beautiful view if no one can see it!

5. Structure Your Space What is the architecture like in your outdoor space? If it is lacking, why not spruce it up with some structural enhancements. A pergola is a lovely addition to any patio, and can help filter strong sunlight, not to mention act as a support to climbing plants. A gazebo is another alternative that can be built to suit any style. Need a place to store things? Rather than go with a run-of-the-mill shed, create something custom with reclaimed materials. Add a weathervane, window boxes and a dutch door, and you’ve got a charming garden house that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.

6. Use Plants to Show Off Your Style The word “garden” conjures up many images for different people. Some instantly think of a traditional English rose garden, while others imagine an oldfashioned vegetable garden with row upon row of carrots, tomatoes and lettuce. The reality is that a garden can be whatever you want. It all depends on the plants you select and how you choose to arrange them. Precisely trimmed hedges and perfectly pruned roses create a completely different style than free flowing tall grasses and exotic philodendron. Keep this in mind when deciding what plants to use in your garden. After all, a garden should reflect who you are and be a place where you are totally comfortable. 




Art Beat Photo Courtesy:



is in the Air By: Christina Clark


iewing art can be a wonderfully thought provoking past-time for some, and anxiety inducing for others. While most people can agree that art is “important” in some way or another, many will skip the option to appreciate it in person. Art doesn’t need to be locked away in granite buildings to hold value or to enrich our lives; art should be all around us and accessible to all. Walking into a busy market or festival type setting is a joyous occasion for those who already know makers or artists, create themselves, or were infused with the art-bug at some point earlier in their lives, but for others? It seems like a hodgepodge of creativity. That’s not totally wrong either—you’ll see artistic skills of many levels from beginner to master craftsmen depending on the theme or reputation of the festival.

Where To Find It Luckily for you, the Midwest is home to quite a bit of creativity in addition to utility, so you’ll find both at these events! Michelle Fitzgerald, founder of MAKE South Bend, weighed in on a few artistan markets in the area. With founding the space at MAKE in River Park, Michelle has a front seat to a lot of the goings-on in the area, as MAKE is a hub of creativity that offers classes in many types of artistic crafts, provides equipment and space for makers and artists to sustain themselves and the artistic community. “The Madison Road Artisan Market is a local market that’s been happening twice a year for around the past five years. I’ve been involved in the last three, they do a spring and fall show. The fall show is usually in the beginning of October, it’s one of the most creative, local festivals,” says Michelle. “It’s all handmade, there’s a lot of women makers and crafters, which it doesn’t necessarily have to be, but there are a lot of them. It’s impressive and awesome,” she says of the Market. 12


Another option for the South Bend area is one of the area’s largest art events. “Of course there is Art Beat, and that one is huge. Something like 300 local artists doing all sorts of things. There’s nothing else that can beat that for local shows in the summer,” Michelle says. “It’s going to be your largest crowd of vendors, and then there’s food and music and performances, so that one is a really cool show to start with,” Michelle says. Art Beat takes over Michigan St. in downtown South Bend and fills it with everything from crafts and housewares to fine art, performances by dancers, musicians and living art displays, as well as a sampling of foods in the area. “The Leeper Park Art show is also in the summer, and that one usually has more fine art and stained glass. I’ve seen some blown glass and yard ornaments and things like that, it’s definitely more geared towards fine arts and décor,” Michelle describes.

What to Expect

Where to find information:

The prices will be higher than at a box store, and that’s for good reason—this is direct from the artist and maker themselves. Something to keep in mind is that it is rude to belittle artist’s work with comments how one could make something themselves, because in this case the artist has already produced it for you with their time, materials and skillset. Being inspired to create your own art is a great thing to come away with, however.

Leeper Park Art Fair: LeeperParkArtFair.Org Art Beat: Madison Road Artisan Market:

“You’ll recognize that a lot of things are priced more than they would be at a Hobby Lobby or Walmart because they’re made by an actual artist in town that’s trying to make some sort of living wage out of their work—and it’s going to be unique,” Michelle says of the prices to expect. “You’ll get one of a kind pieces and support the local economy.” “A lot of people going into a show should just know that if you’re going into an art show to find one of a kind art, you’re going to pay more than you would elsewhere. Some people are going to have prints, and those can be pretty affordable, and there’s usually some way to get what you’re looking for.” Enjoy the open air markets offered throughout the summer and fall, and stop to get to know the artists. Ask questions and learn about their work, or if you’d rather just observe, that is always welcome as well! You just might surprise yourself at what catches your attention.  SASSY | SUMMER 2017


Farmer’s Market



A Newbies Guide to the

By: Christina Clark


he idea of the farmer’s market is a wonderful one in my mind’s eye—perusing wares and fresh produce sold by people eager to tell you about it and help you with your decision making. The local culture is integral to supporting a local community, and learning about where our food comes from and who produces it.

I have worked a couple farmer’s markets myself and I know that they attract an abundance of goods, foods, produce and samplings. It’s a great way to motivate yourself on a Saturday morning to join in on the joyful bustling of the market, joining the like-minded shoppers who want to buy local and catch up on their community. At all farmer's markets you will find a wide array of local, seasonal produce, meats and cheeses, baked goods and small business owners with their wares. Some niche vendors like leather workers, hot sauce makers, and jerky makers as well as jewelry, tea leaves and sometimes even whiskey can be found nestled into the many booths. It can often be overwhelming the first visit or two, since it is an open air or open-concept type layout, without walls between the booths, so the chatter and conversation is immersive. There’s always going to be something unique, and there’s always a story to go with it. So here are my tips for experiencing your local farmer’s market to the fullest:




Bring a grocery or tote bag (or two.) Not all vendors have their own bags to give you, and it’s easier to carry one or two larger ones than many smaller ones. You will have local businesses that have a brick-and-mortar presence, but you will also have more hobby businesses as well which won’t spring for the extra branding money. (Plus—it’s greener to bring your own reusable one!)


Bring cash. Many vendors now will take card payments as well, but for those old school booths with some of the best goods—bring $20 or more just in case.


Do a lap first. Take a quick perusal of everything at the market first. You might get caught up with some fantastic looking apples on one end, and by the time you’ve gotten to the other end where they’re even bigger or the specific type you wanted, you’re out of room!


Take time to ask questions. That’s what the makers, growers, craftsmen, brewers, etc, are there for! They have an intimate understanding of what goes into each product they are selling, and can let you know things about the process or what to expect that you wouldn’t get out of a purchase at a big-box store.


Come hungry. There are always things to tempt your appetite available to purchase.


Adjust seasonal expectations. Winter in the Midwest, you’ll see much less produce and fewer vendors, than in the warmer months. You will still have a selection in the colder months, as some have indoor operations to grow or have stocked up preserves for the winter, but in the warmer months you’ll find fresh, local produce and a wider array of meats and cheeses and other goods than colder months. (Now is a GREAT time to see it in full-swing!) 



Selling a Home? Pick the Right Realtor! By: Kristine Smith


ome owners selling their home in Indiana typically work with a licensed real estate broker or agent. A good real estate agent will help price your house, market your house to buyers and handle other tasks, such as reviewing house purchase documents and negotiating with buyers. I recently sold my home and can tell you, from experience, it was much more stressful than I thought it would be, and part of this was from a realtor that tried to sooth me with responses such as, “Things always work out.” While this may be true, it certainly wasn’t the response I was looking for. It pays to get a realtor onboard that is in sync with your wishes and even your personality if possible. Reading online reviews and word of mouth is a good way to narrow down your options. Once you choose a real estate agent, you’ll sign a “listing agreement” giving the agent the right to handle the sale of your house. Most real estate agents use standard forms created by their state Realtor association, such as the Indiana Association of Realtors. The listing agreement typically will explain the agent commission that you, the seller, will pay. The typical commission in Indiana is five to six percent of the house sale’s price. This is split between your agent and the buyer’s agent. While most will not vary from this commission, it does not hurt to ask the realtor if this commission can be lower. Most listing agents will want you to sign an exclusive right to sell listing, which obligates you to pay a commission to the agent regardless of who brings in the buyer. Other arrangements are possible, however,



such as an open listing (you agree to pay a commission to whichever agent brings in a buyer), or an exclusive agency listing (in this case, your agent is the only agent you authorize to sell your house, but you agree to pay a commission only if the agent brings in the buyer (not, for example, if you do). Talk this over with the agent in detail in order to get the best option for you financially. Trust me, it is worth the time to go over their commission in detail. Glossing over this like I did may leave you wondering where the rest of your equity went when you get to the closing table and get your check. Part of the agent’s job is recommending the appropriate selling price by comparing prices of similar homes (“comps”) that have been listed in your immediate area, and data found in a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Websites such as Zillow can also help give you a sense of a home’s worth. Again, research the realtor to make sure that his or her reviews do not show them downplaying a home’s value for a quick sale. It is better to price too high and lower the price if needed, than price too low and find out later that you undersold your place. A buyer who wants to purchase a particular Indiana home will make the seller a written offer, specifying the price, proposed down payment and any contingencies. You may reject an offer outright, accept it as or (as is most typical) give the buyer a counteroffer, accepting some or most of the offer terms, but suggesting changes to others, such as a higher price. It is the realtor’s job to

examine the offer and advise you on the offer’s value. The realtor has an obligation to tell you what is a reasonable offer and what is trash. My realtor was quick to jump in when I had multiple offers and weed through ones that were less than desirable. However, do not be shy about expressing concern over any offer that does not sit well with you. A good realtor will listen and respect your concerns. A legally binding contract, typically called a purchase agreement, is formed when you accept a final offer (agreeing to any changes from the original offer) and notify the buyer of its acceptance. Your agreement will contain key terms of the sale, such as the agreed-upon price, contingencies, financing terms, dispute resolution and closing date. Once you and the buyer both sign the purchase agreement, the closing date will be set at an agreed upon date and time. At my closing, which I did attend, I had the realtor’s partner at my side instead of the realtor. It felt a little off-putting, considering the amount of my money they were “earning.” In fact, after the closing, the buyer and her realtor were discussing where to grab lunch. I have yet to receive even a gift card from Starbucks as a thank you. While choosing a realtor is not for everyone and you certainly can sell a home on your own, using a realtor does, in some ways, make your home selling easier. That being said, using the right realtor can make all the difference. The right realtor will be knowledgeable about the market, respectful of your individual needs and wishes, and add those personal touches that make them stand out from the rest of the agents. A realtor should act like you are his only client even though that obviously would not be the case. Don’t be afraid to be picky. Selling a home is a big decision. Picking the right realtor makes this big decision easier. 

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Hibernation to


The uber-beginner’s experience

“Another reason to start? Low startup cost.”


By: Christina Clark

armer weather means for many Midwesterners that we get outside a bit more, and become more inspired with our physical activity. It seems every week there is a 5k within driving distance in a few directions, and many, including myself this year, will use it as a personal challenge to keep themselves motivated. Having had lots of friends my entire life who swear by running, whether to keep their weight in check, their stress down or just to have some time to themselves, I knew there had to be a reason people do it and a place to start. On the other hand, I have almost always hated the activity. Where to begin?

Running Apps I have used apps on my smartphone off and on to keep myself active and accountable. The Zen Labs Fitness C25K (Count to 5K) program that prompts you when to walk and run, in intervals, until the intervals get longer and longer and suddenly, supposedly: you’re running a 5k. I know many who have had success with the program. If simply being prompted to run isn’t enough to light a fire, there is Six to Start’s “Zombies, Run!” app. A friend pointed me this direction as it gives you a reason to move. The app is an immersive game where you must avoid zombie hoards and gather supplies, and you have to run in real life to avoid pitfalls in the game. If ever there was a reason to run, that’s it, right?

Group Training If you’re walking into a real-world training scenario, it’s always a little daunting. Especially with the hardcore training videos advertised on television, the massive people flipping tires outside of crossfit studios…what does it take to start this? I wanted to find out. Joining up on Mishawaka’s Riverwalk in Beutter Park on a Wednesday evening, the Fleet Feet No Boundaries 5K session is abuzz with conversation. They move locations for different settings and challenges. People seem to have brought friends or recognize those showing up and welcoming

them. The couple at the center of the group, Kristin and Brett Albers, owners of Fleet Feet in Mishawaka, are friendly and approachable, and making sure that everyone they have registered is staying accountable.

“I’d been sort of running for three years,” said Phyllis, who joined the group last year. She said that she enjoyed training with others and with coaches because they both kept the group moving but also taught the runners how to be safe.

Walking into this, I wasn’t sure that I’d measure up; I am brand new to running myself, a little softer around the edges than I’d like, and run out of breath even easier with spring pollen in the air. But I showed up. This has to be half of the battle, right?

She also had signs of osteopenia, or bone loss, prior to running. Osteopenia is a step before osteoporosis. After pounding the pavement for a dedicated time, Phyllis has had her bone density increase.

Kristin and Brett rally the group and they lead us over to a clearing to start warm-ups. There’s an explanation for each warm up, including one alternating walking on one’s toes and walking predominately on one’s heels: to prevent injury, strengthen joints and guard against shin splints. Another nugget of wisdom that was given to the group was that when you’re jogging up hills, it might feel like you are running slower than you can walk, and that’s OK as long as you keep pushing yourself. The couple also emphasizes to not look down at your feet while scaling hills, and to push yourself up the hill, not pull. The group splits into two, “the runners” and “the run/walk group.” There is emphasis on starting where you’re comfortable pushing yourself. The groups start out with a warmup, and then the runners take off for their timed run, and the run/walk group listens for their cues for alternating activities. Everyone in the groups is friendly and encourages one another. Susan, who is doing the No Boundaries 5K training program for the second time, gives me a little wisdom about setting your personal pace that I missed from the past training sessions: “They say you should be able to talk while you run, but not sing.”

Sharon’s motivation was her health, after a cardiovascular wake-up call, and has been running for two years in July. She has done six 5Ks and finished a 10K last October. “I didn’t think I could do it at all, maybe I’ll just go with this group and walk. Then I decided to at least try and run,” she said. “I didn’t hurt at all after my 10k,” Sharon said, “If I can do it, anybody can do it.” She likes to be social with her workout, and that’s a motivation to keep showing up. Another reason to start? Low startup cost. “I just started running because all you had to do was buy shoes,” said Nancy. She bought shoes at Fleet Feet and was told about the group, so she decided to make her investment work for her. Having proper footwear is important, and finding the proper fit is something that Fleet Feet provides its customers. They have running mentors and training groups available, and more information can be found at 

Quick tips: • Staying hydrated is very important when beginning any physical activity, including training for a 5k. Try not to down a bottle of water all at once before running, but rather drink it throughout the day or make sure to drink a bit before and more after a morning workout, to stay comfortable while moving. • Fancy clothes you can Instagram not required. Wearing something comfortable and breathable is important. After wrestling with what I thought were some cute running leggings on a treadmill, that kept slipping down every time I sped up, I decided my best bet was some ugly drawstring pants for now. They stay up when I move and I don’t worry about how I look; I worry about moving forward. • Start out slow. Walk a pace fast enough to warm your body up and increase your heartrate. I’ve now trained with fast and slow runners, and the ones who have run marathons tell me the same thing: run your pace. It might be slow. You might be able to walk as fast as you can run, and that’s OK. Just commit to the form, and the speed will follow. • Register for that 5K! Keep yourself accountable by investing the registration fee. Make sure you give yourself enough time to confidently train, and get friends on board with you! Make it a fun event. If it’s more motivating, start some friendly competition with friends, or just set your sights on finishing!

Others have started the program to stay social and accountable, motivated and for health reasons. SASSY | SUMMER 2017



on the cover

Claire Guy Powell A Living Legacy of Giving Back By: Christina Clark Sitting across from Claire Guy Powell, she radiates energy and passion she has for the work she does. With a sunny disposition that infuses joy and pride into her work, it’s no small wonder that she has found her calling in non-profits, working to improve the community around us. In her second year as Events Specialist at CAPS (Child And Parents Services) in Elkhart, her drive has only increased in her love for her work. “The reason I love what I do at CAPS is that I am able to help plan all of these events that help raise money to keep the programs that we have there for kids and families to be able to use,” Claire says. “It makes my heart feel warm to know that what I’m doing is making a difference. I’ve always wanted that. I didn’t know that this was on the path my mom was on. It was almost like an epiphany where I realized this is where I need to be.” Growing Up Giving Back With her parents as role models, her mother being Laura Guy, Corporate Events Director for the American Heart Association in the South Bend/Elkhart region, and her father involved in the community as well as working prominently within the local news broadcasting field, community involvement was instilled in her from a young age. Now, as her parents relocate, she takes over the helm of the legacy her family has prepared her to steer. Coming to the area as a fifth grader

from Decatur, IL, on the heels of 9/11, Claire saw her mother’s work with Hannah’s House, a local charitable organization in Mishawaka that provides a safe home, support and programs to help pregnant women. Around the time she started high school, she began to volunteer there herself, helping babysit so the mothers could take classes and other things that needed done for the organization. “My biggest thing is that I love kids so much. It’s where the volunteering started for me at such a young age,” Claire says of her experience at Hannah’s House.

“I love it here, and I want to make a difference in my hometown.” Next came getting involved with the American Heart Association, which led her to her work with CAPS. “After the first time I helped with an event, I helped with every single event I was at, and I enjoyed it and loved it. I loved being a part of something that raises money for a great cause. There’s nothing more fulfilling than to be a part of that process,” Claire says. Having originally attended IU South Bend for Mass Communications, with

a concentration on Journalism, she realized that her calling was in non-profit work. After deciding against transferring to another school after the first two years and remaining in the South Bend community, she continued to make connections and lay down roots in the area. Claire found herself poised for an opportunity that came quickly after graduating: Events Specialist for CAPS. “I was volunteering at the American Heart Association, which is where I crossed paths with CAPS,” Claire says. Community Involvement is a Priority Even after accepting the position with CAPS, “I stayed involved with the American Heart Association, being on their committee and helping with their volunteers, and anything possible for their fundraising events,” Claire says. She has also recently joined the Junior League of South Bend, to help bridge her connection of living in St. Joseph County but working with CAPS in Elkhart County. Making a difference in her community is a priority. “I’ve noticed that both communities— the counties of St. Joe County and Elkhart County—come together one way or another. They cross paths with helping each other and it’s great, I love it,” she says. “The amazing thing with events and non-profits is that we all sort of work together and volunteer for each other, or just being there to support one another. I see that a lot and it’s a wonderful thing.”

In regards to the events that she puts together at CAPS, her passion shines through when speaking about each one. “We just recently had our Superhero 5k in the spring. That’s a great event that we have for people to learn about CAPS, an outreach event. It’s great for families, friends, coworkers and even our clients at CAPS to all come together for a fun day as a superhero, dress up and run. A lot of work, but so much fun,” Claire says. With CAPS, there is always something happening to plan, and the next big event in the fall on November 11th, their Vines, Steins and Stills event. The event features tastings as well as a silent, live auction. “It’s one of our biggest fundraising events of the year,” she says of the upcoming event. Claire also spoke about CAPS adopt-a-family program for the holidays entitled Heart of the Holidays. Families provide a list of four items each—a want, a need, a wear and a read. “Our donors will go and shop for the families,” Claire says. “I’m part of organizing that with our development staff. It’s a great team!” “Get Involved and Give Back Where You Live” “I chose to stay [in the South Bend area] because I’ve learned from my parents how important it is to network in the community and to help one another. I felt that, considering I realized I wanted to go into nonprofit, it helped me build relationships in the community by staying here and going to school. I felt it would help me with my career someday. I just felt it was very important to get involved and give back where you live,” she says. Leaving crossed her mind, as it does with many teenagers and young adults maturing in their hometowns. A love of community and giving back rooted her here. “I love it here, and I want to make a difference in my hometown, especially now since my parents are leaving, and my in-laws are leaving. My husband and I are going into that together. Hopefully our kids someday will do the same thing,” Claire says. 


Classic Image Photography




The Key to Productivity By: Allison Boelcke Smith


unning on minimal sleep is often seen as a badge of honor - the less you sleep, the more time you have for work, right? Well, maybe you have more hours available to work, but you aren’t likely to actually get more done than you would if you had invested your time in a full night’s sleep. Check out all the reasons why getting more Zzz’s will improve your productivity: Less Prone to Give Into Distractions In order to reach peak productivity, you must be able to focus on the task at hand. Unfortunately, when you aren't fully rested, it's harder for your brain to muster up the strength needed to focus (making it even more tempting to waste time online, on social media, or chatting with other people). When you get enough sleep, you won't be as likely to give into those workplace distractions that can eat up your time. Better Decision-Making Abilities Making informed decisions in an efficient but thoughtful manner takes a lot of concentration, analyzing data and logical thinking. Being drowsy can make it more challenging for your brain to juggle all of the cognitive processes required for decision-making, which is pretty mentally taxing as it is. Making it a point to get enough sleep can help you make decisions more quickly, and ensure you make judgment calls you won't regret.

Easier to Retain Information The yawns and need for repeated coffee refills are common occurrences on the workdays when you're running on insufficient sleep. You may also notice that information slips your mind a lot more often too. When you're operating in a mental fog due to lack of sleep, your brain has more difficulty retaining information. This is a productivity killer if you have to waste time hunting down answers or rushing to fix forgotten tasks.

Increased Accuracy Mistakes happen to the best of us, but when you protect yourself against ones that could be easily prevented, you save yourself a lot of wasted time that would have to be used for investigating and resolving the issue. Fueling your body with a full night's sleep puts you in a position for maximum productivity - since you're better able to pay closer attention and maintain accurate work, you're not spending time "putting out fires" and dealing with crises.

Limited Workplace Safety Risks Fatigue or outright falling asleep is a common cause of workplace accidents. Even if you work in a standard office environment, there are still possible circumstances where not being fully alert could put you or your colleagues at risk of injuries. From falling or running into objects because of drowsiness to parking lot vehicle accidents, workplace safety risks (and the accompanying loss in productivity) could be reduced if everyone prioritizes proper rest before coming to work.

Decreased Chances of Health Issues Nothing brings your productivity to a screeching halt like issues with your health. However, not getting enough sleep over an extended period of time can wreck your immune system and contribute to illnesses and chronic conditions that end up forcing you to take time away from your work. Beyond being more susceptible to catching the latest contagious colds and viruses, being sleep deprived puts you at higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart attack.

More Positive Emotional State Being able to keep your composure during times of stress significantly influences how productive you can be in the midst of chaos or conflict. Unfortunately, when you're running on limited sleep, it's harder to keep it together and not have inappropriate emotional responses to workplace stress. Your state of mind is crucial in your work performance, and if you're irritable or cynical because you're sleep deprived, your attitude and output will suffer.

Remember: Sleep isn’t for the weak, and it certainly isn’t optional. When you’re tempted to attempt to power through and work instead of sleep, remind yourself that it will actually cost you more productivity than it will gain in the short term. 

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FREE Public Art Exhibit on display until October 20! Reaching 10 amazing years of Quilt Gardens calls for a massive celebration! Grab the whole family and see how many poses you can recreate with 56 stunningly realistic life-size sculptures and a 25-foot tall monumental-scale sculpture by American artist Seward Johnson. While you’re out creating memories, enjoy 19 super-sized Quilt Gardens throughout Elkhart County!

SASSY Magazine Summer 2017  


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