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Josephine August 2011

St. Joseph’s women’s magazine

At home with decor Mary Carol Garrity has made a business out of making houses into homes

Back to school It’s that time, and we’ve got tips to make things a bit easier

Looking good

Realistic expectations are the key to a good self-image

Make it your own

Don’t skimp when decorating an apartment

Over the top How to handle the drama queen in your life

from the

editorial: (816) 271-8594 toll-free: (800) 779-6397 advertising: (816) 271-8527 fax: (816) 271-8686 josephine@

Our staff Editor Jess DeHaven Presentation editor Paul Branson Photo editor Todd Weddle Writers Sylvia Anderson Tamara Clymer Shea Conner Jennifer Gordon Jennifer Hall Kristen Hare Lisa Horn Christina Hazelwood Heckman Kevin Krauskopf Betsy Lee Stacey Mollus Kim Norvell Alonzo Weston Crystal Wiebe Erin Wisdom Cathy Woolridge Photography Eric Keith Jessica Stewart Wonsuk Choi



St. Joseph News-Press P.O. BOX 29 St. Joseph, MO 64502

the regulars editor’s note


events calendar


the 5


average joe


getting real


meal time



Cover photography by Wonsuk Choi/Josephine magazine

cover girl Take one look at her resume, and it’s obvious Mary Carol Garrity has a flair for home fashion. Take one moment to talk to her, and it’s obvious she has just as great a passion for people. The owner of the home decor stores Nell Hill’s — which has locations in Atchison, Kan., and Kansas City — as well as Garrity’s Encore in Atchison, Mary Carol has 30 years as a business owner beneath her belt and could likely tell you minute details about some of her first customers and their purchases. Perhaps this easy way she has of connecting to others plays into why people come to her stores by the bus load from many miles away. Read more about Mary Carol, both professionally and personally, on page 16.

| Josephine magazine |

August 2011

Conquer closet chaos Getting organized will help you find what you want when you want it


The queen of drama How to handle that over-the-top person in your life


Busy making beauty Mary Carol Garrity has spent 30 years following passions for home decor and people


Grocery warrior Food savings take time, commitment and practice


Make it your own Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean it has to look like one


Back-to-school bliss Tips to make the process easier for mom


Realistic reflections Looking good in your clothes doesn’t have to be a fairy tale



editor’s note



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By JESS DEHAVEN It’s surprising to me that it’s taken us this long to feature Mary Carol Garrity on a Josephine cover. Mary Carol is best known as the owner of the Nell Hill’s stores that started in Atchison, Kan., and now have expanded to a Kansas City location. She’s also written books on decor and been featured in numerous articles. If you’ve never been in to one of her shops, which also include Garrity’s Encore in Atchison, you’re missing out. There are treasures big and small to be found on just about every surface. To read more about our homegrown design star, turn to page 16. If you’re up for a little design of your own, we have two stories that might be of interest. On page 22, we have a special feature for all of you renters. Even if you can’t paint or recarpet, there are plenty of things you can do to personalize your space, and we have those ideas. And just about anyone could benefit from a little closet redecorating. You’ll find a story on that on page 10. Also this month, we welcome Lonnie Taylor to Josephine. Lonnie is an experienced chef who has worked with culinary greats like Julia Child and Martha Stewart. She’s a St. Joseph native who has moved back to the city in recent years, and she’s agreed to share her recipes with our readers. You’ll find her first contribution on page 30.

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2011 august area events



Every Monday 9:45 a.m. (weigh-in at 8:30), TOPS (Take off Pounds Sensibly) a non-profit, weight-loss support and education group, East Hills Church of Christ, 3912 Penn. Aug. 1 7 to 9 p.m. St. Joseph Camera Club, Rolling Hills Consolidated Library.


Aug. 2 6:30 p.m. Pony Express Chapter of Cowboys for Christ, Pony Express Saddle and Bridle Club, north of K Highway on County Road 371. Call 238-7503. Aug. 16 6:30 p.m. Pony Express Chapter of ABWA meeting. Call 232-7462

Aug. 8 5:30 p.m. Show Me Women Who Care giving circle, quarterly meeting, St. Joseph Public Library at East Hills, downstairs theater room, 262-2461 or

Aug. 23 10 a.m. Welcome Wagon Social Club of St. Joseph, monthly meeting, Rolling Hills Library, 1904 N. Belt Highway. Call 279-1947.





Every Wednesday 7 a.m., Farmer’s market, 3821 Eastridge Village. 7:30 a.m., St. Joseph BNI weekly meeting, Pony Express Museum. Call 2629684.

Aug. 11 6:30 p.m. St. Jo Women On The Go, Moila, dinner, $15. Call 279-4583 for reservations.

Every Friday Friday Night Wine Tastings, 5 to 8 p.m., Smooth Endings Fine Wines, Spirits and Cigars, corner of Belt and Beck, (816) 749-4WINE, $5 per person.

Every Saturday 7 a.m. Farmer’s market, 3821 Eastridge Village

Aug. 3 and 17 6:30 p.m. Scrap & Chat, at Belt Branch, 1904 N. Belt Highway, of Rolling Hills Consolidated Library. Club gatherings are open to the public. The library provides long tables and an Ellison die-cut machine for scrapbook enthusiasts to use.

6 p.m. “Function Vs. Fashion, informational class on how back packs can be hazardous to your child’s spine, Green Family Chiropractic, 1338 N. Belt, 387-8994,

Aug. 12 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Young Living Essential Oils presents free natural health seminar, 1570 Calhoun St., Chillicothe, Mo. Call (660) 7070097 or e-mail millergloria@att. net.

7 p.m. Introductory session to Creighton Model Fertility Awareness and Appreciation, Heartland Medical Plaza. Course is designed to help couples cooperate with their fertility in family planning. Call 232-2258. 7 p.m. Young Living Essential Oils presents free natural health seminar, Chillicothe Housing Authority building. Call (660) 7070097.


Aug. 18 5:30 p.m. Third Thursday Wine Tasting, Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. Cost is $10 per person. Call 232-9750.

August 2011

| Josephine magazine |

Aug. 25 6:30 p.m. St. Joseph Aglow Community Lighthouse, St. Joseph Library at East Hills. Call 390-8081.

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tips for life

Stay in touch RELATE. You’ve promised not to be the kind of friends who gradually fall out of touch, but finding a time to talk on the phone can be hard for competing schedules and friends in way different time zones. Glamour blogger Rosemary Brennan suggests more unique approaches to catching up. Read the same book or watch the same movie: Mimic an activity you might do if you were in the same location and agree to see a movie or read a book one month, then set up a time to discuss. Send a package: Maybe you spotted a friend’s favorite candy or saw something in the sale bin that reminded you of her. Either way, the thinking-of-you gesture might just make her day. Use Skype: Set up a time and take advantage of Skype’s free video chat. It might just make you forget how far apart you two now live.

Lose weight with new habits HEALTH. No need for a new diet, just change your habits. Do you finish eating before everyone else? According to, women who were asked to eat quickly consumed more food (and in less time) than those who were told to eat slowly. The reason? When you pace yourself, your brain has more time to register fullness and tell you to stop eating. So count your chews. Slow down and chew each bite 15 to 20 times and pause before taking the next bite. Do you eat when stressed or bored? Having a high-carb snack when you’re feeling anxious will produce a tension-relieving serotonin rush. But it’s followed by a blood sugar crash that will leave you craving more. Break that habit by keeping a clear container on your desk. Every time you resist buying a snack, put money into the box. Then use the cash to splurge on a nonfood item, like a new swimsuit.


August 2011

| Josephine magazine |

Cellular savings

Up or down?

MONEY. In a list of life’s necessities, cell phones rank somewhere right below food, shelter and clothing. OK, that might be stretching it, but you can still save some money with these tips from

WHAT IS HE THINKING? Our Shea Conner gives us a look into a man’s brain. After a few stern lectures, I’ve always put the toilet seat down after I use it. I understand why I do it, but I’ve never understood why I have to do it or I’ll get an earful from my wife, mother, sister, etc. Ladies, why can’t you just lift it up? It’s not like you’ll fall in the toilet if we forget to put the seat down. Men use it up. Women use it down. But you never hear us complain when it’s down.

• Watch your texting habits. Can’t stop firing texts away like crazy? You’ll likely save with an unlimited texting plan. •Evaluate your existing plan. If you’re paying for a bunch of minutes you’ll never use, downgrade. •Get rid of insurance. Even at just $5 a month, the annual cost is about enough to buy a new phone anyway (high-dollar smartphones excluded).

Hang up ORGANIZE. You likely associate it more with the garage than your bedroom closet, but pegboard could be just what you need to aid with your organizational woes. Real Simple magazine suggests mounting some inside your closet door to create an inexpensive dressing station where you can hang belts, handbags, jewelry and other accessories.



Conquer closet chaos


August 2011

| Josephine magazine |

Getting organized will help you find what you want when you want it By CRYSTAL K. WIEBE Josephine magazine

Spring cleaning should have happened a while ago. Or maybe it did, but weeks later, your closet is already a tangle of clean and dirty, casual and formal, plus everyday items mixed with junk you just don’t want to look at. But you do look at that junk — and the mess — every morning as you struggle to assemble an outfit. It’s time to conquer the closet chaos. Like many of us, Rachael Dye-Arney has a hard time giving up clothes. But the manager of home design shop Keeping Good Company, 1311 N. Belt Highway, makes herself do it. “I’m big on donation,” she says. Some thrift stores offer drive-through dropoff service. And to make donating even easier, Dye-Arney recommends keeping a receptacle in the closet, so that you can sort out your former wear throughout the year rather than in one overwhelming episode. However, to reach organizational bliss, you do need to start with that one big clean-out. The standard rule for what to get rid of: anything you haven’t worn or used in six months (or a year at the most). The organization really starts once you know what you’re keeping. Rebecca Boehner, a personal organizer serving the greater Kansas City area, suggests sorting everything by color and type and then getting even more specific. Don’t just keep shirts in one section and skirts in another. Group long-hanging shirts or shorter skirts. Make an area just for blouses and another for knit tops. And don’t be afraid to break up suits. This will help you see new mix-and-match possibilities and help stretch your wardrobe. Boehner also suggests separating work and casual wear, so that “when you’re getting ready in the morning, you’re not flipping through all those T-shirts that you can’t wear to the office.”

So, what about those of us with tiny closets? In addition to running her own organizing and consulting business, Savvy & Simple, Boehner sells the famous California Closet system — custom, space-maximizing and attractive solutions for any disorganized area. California Closets can cost thousands of dollars for design and installation. Fortunately, cheaper and more renter-friendly avenues to orderliness also exist. “There are lots of tricks you can do,” Boehner says. Dye-Arney knows one: Convert containers you don’t use often into storage — for extra bedding, sweaters in summer, whatever. “Never store your luggage empty,” she insists. Boehner is big on containers, too. “You can make a neat place on a shelf for everything,” she says, “but it’s not going to stay that way.” With a box or a basket, you can toss in similar items willy-nilly, and the clutter will at least remain contained. Whether you’re organizing a clothes closet, a kitchen pantry or a medicine cabinet, Boehner says: “Put everything into categories and go get a basket that it will all fit into.” Just be sure to label the container so that it doesn’t become a catch-all. Boxes, baskets and tubs of all sizes abound at discount retailers and home improvement stores. There, you also can find other supplies to help make the most of small storage spaces: hooks, over-the-door shoe racks and Boehner’s personal favorite for clothes closets — a second hanger rod. “The easiest thing you can do for more space is to double hang your closet,” Boehner says. The best way to take advantage of the added room may seem counterintuitive. Put your pants on top and your tops on the bottom. The reason, Boehner explains, is that pants hang straight down, whereas shirts and jackets can jut out. “This way,” she says, “things won’t be sticking out in your face every time you open your closet.” Precisely.

Closet organization tips › Utilize all vertical space with hooks and over-thedoor racks. › Double hanging space by installing a second bar. Hang pants on top and shirts on the bottom. › Get shoes off the floor. On the back of the door is good. Shelving is better — in clear, plastic boxes, if possible. › Sort apparel by color and kind, and separate suit pieces to inspire outfit variation. › Use the same kind of hanger for everything (preferably not the flimsy wire kind). The continuity makes for one less distraction when you’re hunting for something to wear. › Utilize containers you hardly use. Suitcases can hold extra bedding or offseason clothes. › Schedule seasonal closetclearing sessions or keep a bag specifically for donateables you discover throughout the year. › Give away, sell or toss anything you haven’t worn or used in the past year. › Store similar items (lotion, hair care products, even cereal) in baskets or seethrough boxes. › Label drawers and containers that you can’t see into.


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Something’s not right Cold, tired and depressed? It could be your thyroid By SYLVIA ANDERSON Josephine magazine

After doing some research on the Internet, Cindy Biermann was convinced she had thyroid problems. The Weston, Mo., woman was suffering from missed periods, heart palpitations and fatigue. After she went to the doctor, though, she learned her thyroid levels were in the normal range and her symptoms were dismissed as problems many women experience when going through perimenopause. Years later, she still wonders if her thyroid is functioning correctly. Maintaining her weight has been impossible, even when working out every day and strictly watching her diet. Weight gain is one of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid, she learned. “I read on the Internet that sometimes the tests aren’t always accurate, but I never had it tested again,” she says. The thyroid is something to be concerned about. Undiagnosed thyroid disease can put you at risk for cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility. Pregnant women can have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and developmental problems in their children.

THYROID 101 The thyroid is a small hormoneproducing gland in the middle of your lower neck that regulates the body’s metabolism and affects body functions such energy level and heart rate. Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems, according to the American Thyroid Association. And one woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. “From an endocrinologist point of view, thyroid disease is a very common

In general, even if your thyroid is perfect, you should have the thyroid checked every year. It’s a problem that can be easily treated. — DR. JUNPING YANG, endocrinologist at Heartland Regional Medical Center

problem,” says Dr. Junping Yang, an endocrinologist at Heartland Regional Medical Center. In basic terms, you’ve got problems if your thyroid is either producing too much or too little thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is a condition where there’s not enough. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, depression and forgetfulness. “Most people can’t tell,” Dr. Yang says. “Typically, you feel colder. The thyroid hormone is responsible for heat generation in the body.” Other symptoms are hair loss, constipation, irregular periods, periods that last a lot longer than normal with a heavier flow. There’s also weight gain, but rarely weight gain alone. “Your thyroid should be screened,” Dr. Yang says, “but as we know in America, most weight people gain is not from thyroid problems.” When your thyroid is not producing enough hormone, you can gain about 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, he says. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you could gain 5 to 10 pounds. “If you become 200 to 300 pounds, most of the time the thyroid is normal,” Dr. Yang says. “And that’s caused from food.” Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, he says. It’s an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack the thyroid, causing gradual destruction of the gland and its ability to produce thyroid hormones. On the other side of the coin is hyperthyroidism. It’s when you are producing too much thyroid hormone, Dr. Yang says. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unex-

| Josephine magazine |

plained weight loss, sleep disturbances, vision problems and eye irritation. Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism. It is an autoimmune disorder that is genetic and estimated to affect 1 percent of the population.

DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? What makes diagnosis of thyroid problems tricky is that symptoms — if you have them at all — can be the same as other medical conditions. Menopause, for example, does not cause thyroid disease, but often the symptoms overlap, confusing the diagnosis. “In general, even if your thyroid is perfect, you should have the thyroid checked every year,” Dr. Yang says. “It’s a problem that can be easily treated.” Your regular doctor can do the test. For healthy people, screening for TSH should be enough, he says. Generally, the TSH range falls between .04 to 4.8. “For most healthy people, the range is 1.0 to 2.0,” he says. “If it is not in the normal range, we need to find out why.” There can be many reasons. Taking high levels of steroids, such as for poison ivy, could make a difference. So can medications, trauma, surgery or radiation to the neck. If the results can not be explained, you may be referred to an endocrinologist to run different tests. “The general public can look at other tests, too, but usually it’s not necessary,” Dr. Yang says. “Different tests will give ideas on how well the thyroid is working.” Once you figure out there is a thyroid problem, you need to work closely with your doctor to get the right amount of medication to get it back to normal. At the beginning, you need lots of monitoring to get the right dose. Eventually, you will get it. Dr. Yang says that usually takes six months to one year. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent thyroid problems other than avoiding radiation to the neck and not smoking. Smoking is associated with overactive thyroid and radiation can cause thyroid cancer. Some thyroid problems are genetically linked, but the cause for the majority of thyroid problems are still unknown. August 2011


The queen of drama

How to handle that over-the-top person in your life By LISA HORN I Josephine magazine

Your first meeting may have been in high school ... or depending on your family, you may have been introduced long before that. But regardless of when, chances are you have encountered a drama queen. These “perpetual victims” can be found everywhere — work, school, church and, of course, within your own circle of family and friends. Please see Page 15


August 2011

| Josephine magazine |

CONTINUED FROM Page 14 Their behavior can stem from past trauma, neglect, underlying self-esteem issues or a combination of these factors. According to a 2009 Scientific American article, overly dramatic people may have either borderline personality disorder, which includes unpredictable, rash behavior and constant chaos in their relationships, or histrionic personality disorder, in which a person constantly seeks attention and approval and displays high emotions in situations others find trivial. And some people, says St. Joseph therapist Nancy Piercy, simply don’t have enough life perspective to put things in balance. So, how do you deal with a person who reacts to a flat tire or a burnt dinner as World War III? Piercy, who is also a retired high school teacher and author of the book “Teacher’s Tackle Box� for first-time teachers, has seen how drama queens can affect the lives of others, especially in high school. When a coworker, friend or relative is making mountains out of molehills, Piercy says a little objectivity and patience can go a long way. “Be objective,� she says. “Are they

needing attention? Do they have low self-esteem? Do they seem to thrive on chaos?� Finding the answers to these questions may help to understand the drama queen’s emotionally draining theatrics. “It seems to me that we behave in certain ways to get our needs met,� Piercy says. “If we try to draw attention to ourselves, we are trying to get connected somehow to others.� Here are some additional tips from Scientific American on dealing with a drama queen:

› SET BOUNDARIES. Limit the time you interact with the person and what topics are up for discussion. › DON’T FEED INTO THE DRAMA. In other words, stay calm and avoid overreacting. Choose your words carefully, avoiding terms that can intensify the situation, such as “dreadful,â€? “furiousâ€? or “devastating.â€? › AFFIRM YOU’RE LISTENING, THEN REDIRECT. Acknowledge the problem, then help her highlight the positive or discuss solutions. Say, for example, “Well, of course you

are upset, but what’s a better way to handle this?â€? › WRITE IT DOWN. If the drama happens at work, document every emotion-filled communication, recording the date, time and nature of the encounter. Bring it to your human resources department if the coworker’s behavior becomes unmanageable to deal with on your own. If the diva in your life is a family member or close friend, it may be wise to suggest they see a counselor to develop healthier ways to get through life’s ups and downs. “If you take everything to the extreme, you’d have to be pretty strung out and anxious,â€? Piercy says. “That person could benefit from seeing a therapist.â€? In some cases, distancing yourself from the person may be the only way to avoid the drama. “I think you need to decide for your own well being that if they’re toxic and bringing you down, you don’t need them in your life,â€? Piercy says. “You have to look out for yourself and your own mental well being.â€?

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Mary Carol Garrity has spent 30 years following passions for home decor and people By ERIN WISDOM I Josephine magazine


ven the outgoing message on her cell phone’s voice mail is set against a busy background buzz. “You’ve reached Mary Carol’s phone,� she says, chipper, with sounds like those of a big-city street or jam-packed eatery playing out behind her. “Please try to call her back or, if you dare, leave her a message.�

It’s telling, perhaps, that she The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, couldn’t find a quiet moment to make Midwest Living, Country Living and Victoria. She also has her own series the recording. For Mary Carol Garrity, of books, a column syndicated weekly quiet moments are rare — but as somethroughout the U.S., a line of home one who’s doing what she loves, it’s not accents carried by 750 stores and even hard leading a hectic life. her own custom paint colors. “Being passionate about what I do Not bad. Especially for someone who has been the best,� she says concernstarted her business as something she ing how she copes with her seven-dayshas since realized she had no calling per-week work schedule as the owner for: a gourmet food shop. of three home decor “I never have been businesses: Nell Hill’s, a foodie,� Ms. Garrity which has locations in says. “Looking back, it Atchison and Kansas was probably a recipe City and was named in for disaster.� honor of Ms. Garrity’s Eventually, though, grandmother, and she phased out the Garrity’s Encore, also food in favor of what located in Atchison. was a good fit for her. Hailing from a small town obviously hasn’t — MARY CAROL GARRITY, She could talk for days commenting on what she likes most about decor, and for 30 held her back. The lifeabout operating her stores. years now, she’s been long Atchison resident able to do just that. has garnered national She notes the advantage she had in attention, with Forbes magazine dubbing her “one of the hottest little beginning her business in her midretailers� in America and her work 20s, without any marriage or family being featured on CBS’s “The Early responsibilities to balance alongside Show� and NBC’s “Today� show, her work. And now, she has another as well as in publications including advantage: A husband who runs the         

The people. I love the people. I love it when people walk through my front doors.

business side of her shops. According to her husband, Ms. Garrity has a rather unusual quirk in that she can’t remember a phone number to save her life but can remember what a customer bought three years ago. (Chances are she also remembers a story about that customer’s children or pets, too, as well as what their living room looked like in the photo they brought to aid with a previous shopping trip.) It’s an oddity she willingly owns up to and one that sort of makes sense, given the one thing that surpasses her passion for decor. “The people,� she says. “I love the people. I love it when people walk through my front doors.� A number of them come from far beyond the Atchison and Kansas City areas, drawn by the distinct character of the shops and their items. “It’s always Mary Carol and her personality,� Kathleen Armstrong, an employee at Nell Hill’s in Atchison for the past nine years, says of the store’s powerful appeal. “I know that because I shopped here before I worked here, for all of the 30 years.� Nell Hill’s will mark this milestone with a 30th anniversary celebration Nov. 18 and 19 in Atchison. As for other big plans on the horizon, Ms. Garrity has a few. But in a general sense, they’re just more of the same: meeting people, making their lives f low a little better in the way of well-organized rooms, meting out inspiration and finding it herself along the way. “When you like something like I like this, it’s 24/7,� she says. “For the most part, it’s constantly on my mind.�



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Grocery warrior Food savings takes time, commitment and practice



| Josephine magazine |

August 2011

Josephine magazine

Deal seekers think twice about hitting the snooze button come Saturday morning. Grocery stores expect the most customer volume on the weekends, and they’ll price food to make that a guarantee. Oftentimes, limited-time only deals will be on Saturday, and if that’s the case, you’ll need to get there before the shelves clear. “On the one-day sales, come as early as you can,” says Kevin Little, the assistant manager at Ray’s Green Hills Supermarket in St. Joseph. “Don’t come in at 10 p.m. to come shopping because there’s a pretty

good chance we’ll be out of that item you’ll be looking for, and we don’t do any rain checks on one-day sales.” Local couponer Debbie Helton echoes the sentiment, saying it’s best to hit the sales as soon as possible. The economy and TLC’s “Extreme Couponers” mean the best sales will be competitive. To really save money on groceries, as the “Extreme Couponers” do, requires practice and an understanding of store policy. Hy-Vee doesn’t accept Internet coupons or double coupons (where the store will match a manufacturer’s coupon) and will only combine a sale with coupons if the














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It’s a lot like playing poker, know when to hold them, when to fold them. Couponing is the exact same way. Hold onto it until the price drops the lowest to maximize your saving.

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combined savings comes to less than $4. “Obviously people who are very conscientious about prices shop the ads. A lot of the items in the ads are at a value you don’t see very often,� says Brad McAnally, St. Joseph Hy-Vee store director. The store runs a regular sale Wednesday through Tuesday but will sometimes hold an additional one-, two- or three-day sale over the weekend. Ms. Helton recently stocked up on half-price chicken on a Hy-Vee meat sale, even sharing some of the goods with the nurse who takes care of her daughter. Kovac’s Affiliated Superfoods and Green Hills also do not accept Internet coupons or double coupons but will run weekly sales and special event sales a couple times a year. Apple Market actually encourages Internet offers by e-mailing store deals to customers and routing people to manufacturers’ coupons from its website. Co-owner Todd Euler says fraudulent coupons are pretty easy to spot, and there are a lot of resources to help sort out the real deals from the fakes. — MELANIE FEEHAN, It also offers author of thecoupon double coupons up blog to 49 cents. Of course, newspapers are a great source of coupons. And Melanie Feehan, author of blog, says that store managers also are a good source of savings resource because they can tip you off about the specifics of a big sale. The fine print will be where a store makes money on a big sale, so make sure you know what items qualify before you purchase. Holidays are also good times of the year for bargain hunting. Around the Fourth of July, Ms. Feehan stocks up on junk food and soda. She says she currently has a half-dozen frozen turkeys in various freezers from Thanksgiving sales. With groceries, the key is to match clipped coupons with a store’s sale to optimize savings. Newbie couponers will run out and use the coupon on a full-price item, but Ms. Feehan advises waiting. Most offers come with a two-month window. “It’s a lot like playing poker, know when to hold them, when to fold them. Couponing is the exact same way. Hold onto it until the price drops the lowest to maximize your saving,� she says.

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Make it your own

Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean it has to look like one By KRISTEN HARE I Josephine magazine


o chances are you can’t paint your apartment. Or recarpet. Or do anything that’s in any way permanent. That doesn’t mean you can’t improve your space, though. And maybe the best part — you can take it with you when you move on to your next place. We spoke with Jamie Withrow, owner of Jamie’s Secret Garden, Casey Wallerstedt, owner of Mod Pod Boutique and Design Studio, and Jay Rock, property manager with Foutch Brothers, LLC, for tips on making a rented space into a totally personal one.

COLOR ME HAPPY Home Depot touts color as the No. 1 way to customize your space. Add bold pops and patterns with pillows, drapes and linens. And if you’re looking at investing in furniture, consider going neutral so that when you feel the whim to change out those pillows or curtains, your big pieces can stay. Fabrics in general are a great way to hide the things you don’t like, such as vanilla walls, and draw attention elsewhere. Consider anchoring your bed with a wall of curtains, for instance, instead of a headboard. And hang those curtains higher than the actual window to make the room feel

bigger, Withrow says. Also, fabric can serve another purpose, too. “The more fabric you put in a room, the more it absorbs the sound,” she says. Another way to bring in bold pops of color, or to anchor an area like a dining room, is with an area rug, she says. “‘Cause sometimes the carpet’s seen better days.” Wallerstedt recommends for great ideas, and says to consider framing scrapbook paper as a focal point. Withrow also suggests using large but light wrapped canvases to add both color and drama. “They give you a great splash of color that you can’t get since you can’t paint the walls.” And if your furniture is a mish-mash of hand-me-downs, grab some spray paint and unify your pieces with one color. Just sand first, then spray (outside, of course, and with a drop cloth below. Don’t want to get thrown out.)

LIGHT IT UP, SWITCH IT OUT So the lighting fixtures in your apartment may be a bit, well, sterile, but they’re easy to change out. Get someone with some electrical know-how to change out that builders’-grade light fixture for something that suits your style better, like a dangly chandelier or pendant lamp. But Withrow does add some caution on this one — definitely hire an electrician. If lighting is too much of a project, consider mobiles or decorative lanterns, says Wallerstedt. Rock has seen renters use fishing wire to hang things from the ceiling to create a cool floating effect.

DRESS IT UP Paint is probably a no, of course, but there are other creative ways to keep your walls from feeling institutional. has several tutorials on how to decorate your space, including creating a frame gallery that plays up your own photos or art and tips on arranging your accessories. If you’re worried about too many nail

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holes, consider wall decals instead, which come in everything from patterns to headboard images. Websites selling decals abound, but even discount retailers have them in stock now. “The new 3M hooks that come off the wall clean are very good for hanging things,” Withrow adds.

DOUBLE DUTY Finally, consider your space in your apartment. It’s probably small, without much storage. Withrow recommends making your furniture do double duty — get a trunk where you can store your off season clothes and make it a coffee table. Find a bedroom set with under the bed storage, or invest in some cheap plastic boxes you can stow under the bed. You could also cover boxes in decorative paper for storage, Wallerstedt says. And if you live in a loft or somewhere more industrial, you don’t have to stick with concrete floors. Rock has seen people use double stick carpet tape to put down new carpet, and they’ve even added floating wood floors. Whatever you do, check with your landlord or property manager first. In historic apartments, Rock says, you can’t do anything to the columns, for instance, so ask first, then add some color, fabric and personal touches to make your apartment your home.

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Back to school bliss Tips to make the process easier for mom

By SARAH ZAHND Josephine magazine

While there are definite details to focus on as it relates to your children returning to school, there are things you can do to help make the transition from summer fun to returning to the routine school schedule. These tips are designed to make your life and your children’s life easier to as they head back to school. Being prepared is the key to handling those unexpected moments. Awareness regarding what needs to be done in advance makes it easier to be flexible at a moment’s notice. Sarah Mollus, a third-grade teacher at Bessie Ellison Elementary School, suggests, “If you’re a visual person, it is helpful to see what is ahead of you. Make a list of what needs to be done and when. Also, try to not be overwhelmed. School starting can be overwhelming, but try and stay organized to stay calm.” Back-to-school preparation begins with the basics. It seems obvious, but it’s important to start with knowing your child’s first date of class. The return date to school can be a bright light at the end of the summer tunnel as well as a brief moment of sadness. Smaller children may experience some anxiety in starting school. Find ways to make the experience fun and exciting. For older children, who may be discouraged that their summer fun is over, find a way to encourage them as well. Sometimes one of the best ways to encourage a child about school starting is to maintain a

cheerful outlook yourself. While discussing the excitement for the coming year, this is a prime time to share your expectations with your child. School open houses may seem old hat to the seasoned mother, but don’t take them for granted. This is always a good way to meet their teachers. For those in high school, you can scope out future teachers. Parents who take interest have a better relationship with teachers and school authorities. It also shows your children you are interested in


| Josephine magazine |

August 2011

their school experience. Class registration for those older children and any special events or teachings meetings are important to mark on the family calendar as far in advance as you are aware of them. Summer is a great time for those muchneeded family vacations, but be sure to leave yourself enough time between the end and school’s start date. A week in between family vacation and school helps to settle things at home and prepare the kids. One of the best things a child can do

Gradually start getting your child back into their back-to-school routine. About a week or two before that first day of school ... — AMY SIMMONS, former St. Joseph teacher

during his or her educational career is participating in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs and areas of special interest. Take note of their event dates on your calendar. Make sure the school has updated information on you and an emergency contact if you cannot be reached. Also, get a copy of the schools accident and emergency procedures. From year to year these are updated and changed. Amy Simmons, an experienced and former St. Joseph teacher, offers another suggestion. “Gradually start getting your child back into their back-to-school routine,” she says. “About a week or two before that first day of school, reintroduce your child to their ‘school night’ bedtime and wakeup time to get their bodies used to the adjustment ahead of time.” Creating a consistent sleeping routine with your child prior to the start of school will make the transition even easier for you. Back-to-school shopping either puts a pinch on our budget or an argument ensues at the thought. Making the experience pleasant for everyone can happen. Start with setting a budget. Inform your child of the budget. Choose where to shop, and if you have an older child or teen involve him or her in where you’ll be shopping. Make a list of necessities and leave room for fun items. If you have a boy or girl who despises clothes shopping, try to make it as quick and painless as possible. You could even try to work out incentives. Set a time limit. School supplies follow the same suggestion. Get a list from the school and make sure to get the necessities while leaving room for those fun items. In the process of preparation for this year’s items, take the time to go through the previous year’s clothes and supplies. Throw away any irrelevant school or teacher information. You don’t want it to get mixed in with this year’s important information. If your child has grown out of last year’s clothes, donate them, consign them or pass them onto to a friend. Look through leftover supplies and see what can be reused or given to another child. The night before, help your child pack their backpack and gather necessities for the next morning. Most importantly, spend time together before the school year kicks off.

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Realistic reflections


August 2011

| Josephine magazine |

Looking good in your clothes doesn’t have to be a fairy tale By CATHY WOOLRIDGE Josephine magazine

Cinderella may be a fairy tale female but you have to give the gal kudos when it comes to clothing. She looks good in rags or a ball gown. No trying on anything, no “Does this make me look fat?� concerns. Just a song, glass slippers and a fairy godmother. If only looking good could be that easy. But the reality is that dressing to flatter your figure doesn’t have to be as difficult as many women make it. With a few common sense guidelines any woman can look great in her clothes. “It doesn’t make any difference what size a women is but she has to dress appropriately for her size,� says Tammi Gumm, owner of Clara’s Fashions in St. Joseph. While body size is one concern, age is another. What looks trendy and fun on a teen may look silly and just plain sad on a more mature woman. Women should re-evaluate their fashion look at every decade, says Jennifer Niehouse, wardrobe stylist and owner of It’s So U! in Kansas City ( “Styles change, our bodies change. Our mindset might need readjusting ...,� she says. “You might ‘feel’ 25 at 45, but the style or fashion may not be ‘appropriate.’� “Appropriate� doesn’t mean boring. There are options out there to suit every fashionista or any woman who just wants to look good no matter what she’s wearing.

GET THE RIGHT FIT The key to dressing to flatter your figure is making sure what you want to wear actually fits, say Gumm and Niehouse. The first step to finding the perfect fit is to look past the size on the clothing label. It’s only a number. Both pros point out that size varies from designer to designer, product to product and from person to person. “The average size of a woman in America is not a size 6,� Gumm says. “It’s now a size 12 to 14 and sometimes a 16.� What matters most, Niehouse and Gumm agree, is how your clothes fit and how you feel in them. If something is too tight, go up a size or two until it feels comfortable and looks good on you. If it’s too big, go down a size. Finding the perfect fit means that you have to try on clothing before you buy it.

“If it doesn’t fit, if it doesn’t feel good and you’re not going to wear it, then don’t buy it,� Gumm says.

CONCEAL AND ACCENTUATE The goal when dressing to flatter your figure is to play up your assets and downplay your trouble zones. “What is interesting is more than half of my clients wear clothes too big for them,� Niehouse says. Tim Gunn, one of the hosts of “Project Runway� and the chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne Inc., says trying to disguise trouble spots under oversized clothing often has the opposite effect. “The more volume your clothes have, the more volume you appear to have,� the fashion guru says in an article on If you have a thicker middle, skip form-fitting clothing. Choose clothing in a softer fabric that hangs a little looser, Gumm suggests. Are you a little hippy? If so, forgo the pencil skirt and opt for an A-line skirt in a softer fabric that “flows a little more,� Gumm says. And, according to Gunn, skirts look best when they don’t fall past the lowest part of your kneecap. When it comes to pants or jeans, fit them to the widest part of your hips and have them altered to fit your particular body shape, Niehouse says. “Alterations and having your clothes fit ‘your’ shape is an essential part of maintaining and creating a wearable wardrobe,� she says. Creating a wearable wardrobe doesn’t mean that you have to be locked into one main color choice. A basic black dress is

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a wardrobe must-have, but many women rely on black clothing because they think it makes them look slimmer. They miss the rainbow of color choices out there. Gumm says that, no matter what a woman’s size, she can still wear color — as long as the clothing fits. There’s that word again. Fit. Three letters that carry a lot of weight when dressing to flatter your figure. “What we wear and how it fits us affects how we feel the rest of the day,� Gumm says. And when your clothing fits, you don’t need a fairy godmother to feel like Cinderella.

JUST WHAT IS A WARDROBE STYLIST? A wardrobe stylist will, for a fee, help clients develop, define or revitalize their own sense of style. Wardrobe stylist Jennifer Niehouse says she will help clients save money in the long run. Niehouse earned a degree in fashion design from the University of Missouri, is the owner of It’s So U! (Wardrobe Solutions: edit, style, shop) in Kansas City. To “edit� a wardrobe, Niehouse will help a client go through their closet to discover what pieces are still stylish and wearable. “‘Style’ is mixing and matching to create new, fresh and fashionable outfits with the clothes they already own,� she says. And shop? She’ll help a client pick out clothing. “You learn what styles look best on your body type or what colors are most flattering which then helps you make smarter clothing choices ...,� Niehouse says.

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average joe


THE MOOCH: This guy is always broke — that is, whenever he’s around you. He’ll never buy a round, never pick up a lunch tab or drive cringe whenever I think about

on a double date. But he has more

the time I stayed late at a friend’s

expensive toys than you do. He drives

house on his anniversary and then

a better car. He has a better sound

tried to get him to go out. But I’m

system. Know how? You pay for the

proud of the times I’ve been there

rest of his stuff.

when a friend needed someone to tell

THE GARBAGE MAN: As soon as you

him that he was better off without the

break up with your wife or girlfriend,

girl who left him.

he’s there to console her, not you. And

I’ve been a good friend, I’ve been a

he’s ready and willing to tell her ev-

bad friend and I’ve been somewhere

erything you’ve confided in him about

in between. What I’ve found is that

her over beers. He’s more hyena than

you can be a bad friend without even

friend. You do the hard work of mak-

knowing it.

ing the kill, and he takes the leftovers.

Every man needs a friend he can depend on. The Lone Ranger had

Dump this guy. Quick. THE “TAKE IT TOO FAR” GUY: Ev-

Tonto. The Green Hornet had Cato.

eryone wants to have a good time but

A friend indeed

Sherlock Holmes had Dr. Watson. We

not so much that the cops crash the

all need that guy who will come help

party. He drives too fast and drinks

us build a deck or help us move when

too much. He says the most offensive

the girlfriend or wife kicks us out.

things around women. In fact, if you

We need someone to remind us not

take him on a double date, he’s sure to

to take ourselves too seriously and to

mess it up for you. No woman wants

There are all kinds of pals

bust our chops when needed. There’s

to hang out with a guy who has a

plenty of ways to be a good friend.

friend like him.

There also are a number of ways to be a bad friend. The Art of Manliness website listed

ALONZO WESTON is a columnist and reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press. The St. Joseph native has served on the News-Press staff

pulled. This guy agrees with you no

Here’s a few of them. The comments

matter what. That’s OK on some level.

are mine.

But you get the sense that he’d agree

like to have that guy in the Dos Equis

have two children and a dog. The St. Joseph

beer commercials who claims to be

native is also a sports junkie who doesn’t pick up

it is when needed, with no punches

a few examples of lousy male friends.

THE ONE-UPPER: How would you

for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Deanna,

THE FLIP FLOPPER: Every man needs a friend who will tell him like

with someone else against you. You need a friend, not a sycophant. THE “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO”

after himself. If you’d like to suggest an idea for

the most interesting man in the world

GUY: You could always count on this

this column, contact Alonzo at alonzo.weston@

as your friend? You may have a bud

guy to be the fourth poker hand and

who comes close. There’s no girl you

to always show up when you wanted

can date or sporting feat you can ac-

to hang out. He’s got a girlfriend now,

complish that will ever be better than

and you never see him. You pull up

what this guy has done. He’s the sexi-

in his driveway and he turns out the

est, toughest, most athletic man ever

lights. Don’t worry. You’ll see him

— in his mind. Every story you tell,

again after his wife or girlfriend

he will always have one better.

leaves him. He’ll need a shoulder to cry on.


August 2011

| Josephine magazine |


getting real

If this is your reason, please consider this: Dressing sexy to show the old flame that you still got it is OK, but lass reunion. The event that

dressing like Julia Roberts at the

just screams “I’m gonna need therapy

beginning of “Pretty Woman” is not.

after this!” I have seen confident,

Also, you have to consider how you

well-adjusted people leave a reunion

are going to introduce him/her to your

in tears because they were still tor-

spouse. For the record, “Uh, this here

mented by the drama from high school

was my extra-curricular activity in

and the class reunion sparked their

high school,” may get you into trouble.

suppressed memories.

To finally have all of your peers

Knowing this was the case, when I

together in one room so you can show

was recently invited to my reunion,

them the choreographed dance routine

my first response was “no.” But

you had learned for the pep assembly

thanks to the invention of Facebook,

30 years ago but never got to show be-

reunions have taken on a different

cause someone pulled the fire alarm.

flair, because those classmates who

To prove to your fellow football play-

used to just be a story-less face at the

ers that you can still out drink them.

desk next to you are now friends who

Of course, now you have to be careful

you share your life with online.

that the alcohol doesn’t affect your

These new-found, old relationships are what encouraged me to change my response to “yes.”

high-blood-pressure medication. Where else in town you can wear a micro-mini skirt and it looks appropri-

Throughout the evening, we shared stories, hugged and told one another

ate? To show everyone that you are not

that we hadn’t changed a bit. I couldn’t

really dead, despite the fact that they

help but think about how everyone

have your high school photo on the

had their own reason for fighting

memorial wall and a candle was lit in

through the insecurities and awkward

your honor. Twice.

feelings to attend.

To show the world that the brainy

Most attendees of a reunion just

guys may not have been the life of the

want to reconnect and relive a little of

party because they were always study-

the glory days, but some people have

ing but it paid off. And the best part

very specific motivation for return-

was you didn’t even have to brag about

ing to the high school crowd. Here

it. Just arriving in a limo with your su-

were just a few of the reasons I have

permodel wife told us the whole story.


And my reason? I just wanted to

Back to school Why go to your class reunion? STACEY MOLLUS is a humor columnist who believes laughter is the best form of exercise and happy people are the best looking people. She loves her family, chocolate, clothes that are stretchy and things that sparkle. You can contact

To return to the people who voted

pass out some hugs. As we mingled,

her at or follow her on

you “Most Likely to End up in Prison”

chatted and danced, I looked around

Facebook at “Queen of Chocolates.”

so you can proudly explain not only

at the people I used to admire and

are you not incarcerated, you are now

envy in school and thought how we

off probation.

all had changed, yet stayed the same.

To show off your new plastic

Then I looked up at my dance partner,

surgery enhancements. (FYI: Even

my husband, who I began dating my

though we shared gym class for two

sophomore year and realized I could

years, no, I don’t want to feel how

have never dreamed in high school

natural they are.)

that life would be this good. I no longer

To see the old boy/girlfriend and let

envied anyone.

them know what they missed out on.

| Josephine magazine |

August 2011


meal time

Use those fresh veggies Magnificent vegetables are in season with many ways to enjoy them. During my San Francisco catering days, I often served Le Grand Aioli (a-OH-lee), a garlicky mayonnaise sauce surrounded by the freshest vegetables, boiled eggs, bread, cold seafood and meats, copying a classic celebration from Provence in the southern part of France. While the original creamy sauce is always quite garlicky, there are many delicious variations, giving cooks an amazing repertoire for the summer go-to file. The traditional aioli uses garlic, olive oil and fresh egg yolks. With today’s concerns about raw eggs, the following recipes, while not exactly traditional, certainly are delicious.

Olive aioli Makes about 1 cup This is one of my favorites. I keep this almost gray-black paste in the refrigerator to season anything that needs a zesty bright flavor. 4 large garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup olive paste or pureed black pitted oil-cured Mediterranean olives such as Kalamata 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (use a big pinch of herbs de Provence if you don’t have fresh rosemary) 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s, do not use Miracle Whip) 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice In a food processor or blender, puree garlic, then add olive paste, rosemary and mayonnaise, process until well blended. Slowly add olive oil and when combined, add lemon juice. Chill to firm up a bit and serve as desired. Occasionally, the sauce will separate, so add a little more mayonnaise and it usually rights itself.


Tomato bread crisp With an abundance of really ripe tomatoes, make a tomato bread crisp. It only works with sweet, dead ripe, full-flavored tomatoes. And please don’t serve it hot; it is best at room temperature. 3 cups fine fresh breadcrumbs 1/4 cup minced parsley 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese 1 garlic clove, minced 5 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 pounds vine-ripe tomatoes Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes. They should be dry and lightly colored but not browned. Cool, then combine in a bowl with the parsley, both cheeses, garlic and olive oil. Toss well with fork, season highly with salt and pepper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cut a skin deep “X” in the bottom of each tomato. Place each tomato in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then lift them out with a slotted spoon, plunging immediately into a bowl of ice water. When they are cool, the skin should peel back easily from the “X”. Core the tomatoes and slice them 1/4-inch thick. Using a shallow gratin dish, approximately 14-by-8-by-2 inches, begin layering. First put one-third of the breadcrumb mixture in the bottom. Top with half the sliced tomatoes. Top with another third of the crumb mixture, then with the remaining tomatoes, then with the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake until browned and crisp, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

August 2011

| Josephine magazine |

TODD WEDDLE/St. Joseph News-Press

LONNIE GANDARA TAYLOR is a St. Joseph native who has returned home after a prestigious career in the culinary field. She taught cooking classes in the San Francisco Bay area for years and was a professional assistant to Julia Child, James Beard, Martha Stewart, Simone Beck and Martin Yan, among others. She is a graduate of the Paris Cordon Bleu, the Academie du Vin in Paris and the first culinary class held in the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, as well as the author of five cookbooks.

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Josephine August 2011  

St. Joseph Area's womens Magazine