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Celebrating, Empowering, Inspiring... the Women of Omaha.

Real Chicks Hike Planting an Indoor Herb Garden

Valentine’s Day

Congenital Heart Defects February/March 2011 •

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February/March 2011, Volume 10 / Issue 1


February/March 2011 Feature .................. 10 Arts For All, Inc.

Celebrating, Empowering, Inspiring... the Women of Omaha.

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Above: Clair looks through a jeweler’s loop at a 3.38 carat Bixbite, a rare red Beryl found only in one place in the world—the Wah Wah mountains of Utah. Borsheims, $75,000. More Gifts 2 Give 4 Valentine’s Day on page 16. Home DIY......................................... 6 Planting an Indoor Herb Garden For Her Profile ............................... 9 Omaha Love Auto Tips For Her ......................... 11 Car Accident Repair

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Health Focus ................................. 23 Congenital Heart Defects A Letter from the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska ................................... 28 Girl Scout Findings: The Impact of Social Networking A Letter from YWCA Omaha ........ 29 National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month Food With Flair ............................. 30 Bring Back the Cornish Game Hen!

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Editor Linda Persigehl

Dear Readers, Wow! Seems like just last week it was New Years, yet here we are in February already! My guess is that so far, 2011 is flying by for you, too! With so much to juggle, life goes by so fast. Take a few minutes out of your crazy day for yourself, and enjoy this issue of HER magazine. It may just inspire you to take up a new hobby, venture outside for some exercise, or even plan a Valentine’s Day to remember! In our Home DIY feature, we offer up steps and advice for “Planting an Indoor Herb Garden.” Even if you’re not much of a gardener, you’ll see it’s quite easy to grow your own fresh cilantro or basil, and in the process, make all your culinary creations taste a little better. Dare I say, it may even cause you to WANT to spend more time in the kitchen? If you’ve ever thought about taking up piano as an adult, or struggled to afford your kids’ art or dance classes, you’ll be pleased to learn about the good work being done through Arts For All, Inc. This non-profit offers classes in the arts —on everything from painting to violin to belly dancing—for all ages and at more affordable rates than you’ll find anywhere else. If your idea of fun involves getting out in the great outdoors, you’ll be inspired to get moving after reading about Real Chicks Hike, a women’s hiking club that meets monthly in the metro. Many of the women who’ve become regular trekkers have formed

strong friendships…bonds that have helped them overcome life’s adversities. Truly inspiring! Two other great features definitely worth checking out—our profile on artist Jane Tan Creti, a dedicated iconographer who will begin teaching her craft at Joslyn Art Museum in March, and our Health Focus on congenital heart defects. Thirty-four-yearold patient Jody Leonard shares her life-long ordeal overcoming a heart defect, and doctors update us on how new advances are allowing many with this condition to live long, normal lives. Lastly, enjoy our photo feature on dream Valentine’s Day gifts. Our models are all local young women, wearing local fashions and jewelry and gifts provided by Omaha merchants. Behold all the beauty, and enjoy!

Linda Persigehl Editor

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Planting an Indoor Herb Garden Whether you’re a “green thumb,” itching to get your hands dirty, or a health-conscious cook who favors locally grown and organic ingredients, February is a great time to plant your own indoor herb garden. The benefits are many, and you can enjoy the hobby yearround. Kathy Cowles, manager at Canoyer Garden Center in Papillon, said knowing where your food came from – your own kitchen! – is a major incentive to plant your own herbs. “[Using locally grown produce] is big for a lot of people these days.” So, too, is the

savings an herb garden can offer. “Instead of going to the grocery store every time you need a fresh herb, you can plant it and harvest it at home the whole season. It’s truly cost-effective.” And then there’s the convenience and freshness factors — you pinch a delicious new leaf and use, on the spot! What could be easier? Herbs are sold in seed form, as seedlings, and even as full-size plants in three-quart pots at many garden centers in the metro. Some, like parsley, basil, oregano and cilantro, are easy to start

6 HER • february/march 2011 •

story by linda persigehl Photographs by

from seed and very popular, said Noel Olson, who works in the vegetable and herb department at Mulhall’s Nursery. Others, like tarragon, rosemary and curry, are better grown from a cutting or require a root planting. Some herbs are annuals, while others are perennials. When in doubt about what and how to plant, consult a garden center expert. “When choosing your herbs, consider what they’ll be used for,” said Olson. “Lemon herbs and chamomile are good for teas, oregano and basil are great for Italian cooking, lavender for potpourri, and so on. Also, consider how often you’ll use them in your cooking. The most popular right now are cilantro, basil, flat-leaf parsley and several varieties of thyme.” Others gaining ground include stevia, a natural sweetener (used in Truvia); lovage, a perennial that tastes like celery; borage, an annual whose flowers taste like cucumber; and nasturtium, a pepperytasting herb. To begin your herb garden from seed, follow these simple steps for each variety: • Fill a quart-size clay pot ¾-full with a good garden soil. • Sprinkle the herb seeds on top of soil; cover with soil up to rim of pot. • Soak soil with water, and set in a plastic tray to catch drainage. Dump any standing water. • Place in a south- or east-facing window that receives at least four hours of sun daily. • Once fully dried out, repeat soaking/ dry-out routine. • Begin a regular watering schedule, keeping the soil just moist. “In Nebraska, it’s best to wait to plant until mid-February, when the days have grown a bit longer,” said Cowles. Also, keeping the plant in a humid environment will help the seeds germinate faster. “A plant dome can be used to trap the moisture,” added Olson. Most herbs will begin to germinate within five to seven days; if not, move the plant to a sunnier and/or more humid location. Once the plant is established, small, regular doses of liquid or granular herb fertilizer may be given. Be careful not to overload with fertilizer and “burn” continued on next page

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the roots, which will kill the plant, Cowles warns. “As soon as you have 10 to 12 sets of leaves, you can begin to harvest the plant,” Olson said. “It’s best to pinch the leaves back to where they come right from the stem. This promotes a stalkier, healthier plant.” Leaves can be used fresh, right from the plant, or left to dry out and used later. Olson said it’s best not to let the plants bloom, which means they are going into “seeding mode.” “Keep the plants contained. By pinching off, you keep them from becoming invasive and spreading too 1:40 PM much.” Finally, once the ground thaws and warms, you may want to move your herb garden outdoors. “Mother’s Day is typically the earliest you want to transplant outside. That’s when the amount of sun and heat is sufficient,” Olson said. In the meantime, enjoy all your homegrown goodness! Maybe even dig out a few new recipes to try with your fresh basil or cilantro. After all, summer barbeques and Memorial Day weekend are just a few short months away!


profile Courtney Hawkins enjoys playing matchmaker, and she’s no doubt talented at it. In recent months, Hawkins and her staff at Omaha Love, the Omaha dating service she founded in 2009, have successfully paired up dozens of clients seeking a love connection. Within recent weeks, two of these pairings resulted in engagements! Hawkins, born and raised in Omaha, said she worked for another local dating service following college before striking out on her own. That experience, along with strong communication skills (she was a journalism major at UNO) and a knack for working with all types of personalities, have served her well. “I was always good at matchmaking my friends, but it was not something I really knew existed as a profession. I am grateful I found my niche!” Hawkins said. Over the past 18 months, Omaha Love has signed up over a thousand new members. Why is Omaha Love seeing such great interest? Hawkins says there are multiple reasons singles are flocking to her service. “Omaha Love specializes in introductions, but also sponsors speed-dating events, singles parties at trendy local venues, and other social gatherings,” she said. Those events have proven quite popular among clients. Clients are varied, and serious about meeting someone special. “Our members’ ages range from 21 to 81. They’re individuals who are divorced, never married, separated, or widowed….who are looking to meet new, like-minded singles with the overall goal of having committed, longlasting relationships.” Omaha Love’s thorough, in-person screening process also puts clients at ease they’ll find quality partners. “We screen members to make sure they are employed, emotionally ready to date, financially stable, and overall good quality people. We also do criminal background checks on all our members.” In addition, clients are allowed to see each others’ pictures and profiles, “rather than relying on the old-school ‘blind dating’ concept,” Hawkins added. Based on the success of the Omaha service, Hawkins said she hopes to open up at least three more dating service offices in the next five years: one each in Denver, Chicago, and Phoenix. “[Connecting people] is what gives me a sense of accomplishment. I love being able to see two people fall in love…[people] who would have never met if it weren’t through Omaha Love. “I want to be know for helping people find love and happiness,” Hawkins said. Hawkins also hopes to find her own personal love match and have a family of her own. Her profile might read something like this: “Bubbly, outgoing and driven 20-something, enjoys being active and working out, reading, traveling, writing and spending time with friends, family and my two dogs.”

Courtney Hawkins

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER


feature story by Heather heier lane photos by minorwhite studios

Instructor Elaine Oetjen, on right, with student Mirando serrano

Judy mallor

Putting the ARTS back into heARTS

Thanks to Arts For All Inc., learning to dance, sing and love the arts doesn’t have to be out of reach. 10 HER • february/march 2011 •

Art is a little bit like air—necessary, but not fully understood. We all know that in order to live we need air to breathe; yet most of us do not appreciate the air that surrounds us. And we certainly do not understand the science behind breath, and how it correlates to our everyday existence. Many people are the same when it comes to the arts. They gleefully sing in the shower, color with their kids, and cry at the movies, yet they would never say they are artistic or have an affinity for the arts in general. Yet indeed they do. Judy Mallory appreciates air and art equally. As executive director of Arts For All, Inc., Mallory is on a mission to help everyone fall in love with the arts, and perhaps more importantly, to make it affordable. With that goal, Arts For All, Inc., offers classes celebrating all areas of art—dance, writing, music, art, drama, and even film. There are six locations in the metro area and all use donated space to teach children and adults of all ages the fine arts. Classes are lead by professional instructors, and at $6 per class, are affordable for families that might not have the money for private classes or expensive studios. Children can dance without having to spend money on frilly tutus, and during the summer kids can even learn the violin without having to rent an instrument.


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Mallory does not remember a time when she did not love music, or paintings, or beauty in general—so it is no surprise that eventually she would head an organization devoted to arts education. Her father was a photographer and played the violin, and there was constantly music playing in their home. Trips to the theater were common, and visits to museums were plentiful. When asked why she started Arts For All, Inc., Mallory says that years ago when she was a young student at UNO, she had a bit of a cultural revelation—that she needed to help students learn to see the world around them. “To me the world is so beautiful,” says Mallory. She realized that everything on earth is created, and says, ‘There really isn’t anything but art.’ Mallory also points out that when people say they are not creative that they are simply misguided. Mallory explains that science and music are related, and believes all things and ideas stem from sparks of creativity. For Mallory it is also important to note that research has shown that involvement in the arts on a regular basis improves school performance, develops leadership skills, and enhances self-esteem. Inna Kulagina wholeheartedly agrees. As an art teacher with Arts For All, Inc., Kulagina says, without sarcasm or even a bit of exaggeration, “Art is who I am, it makes me feel complete. Painting is, for me, like breathing.” With a master’s degree in painting, Kulagina is an expert in her field. She believes art is the language children value most and says, “Students in good art classes learn to think, to organize space, to make things functional.” She added, “You Inna Kulagina with son Alexander can learn facts, but to learn how to think artistically is the best way to look at things from different perspectives.” Of course Kulagina’s 6-year-old son Alexander is in every class possible, and she was very proud to be there when he had his very first piano and drum recitals last December. She was thrilled to see the progress he made in just one semester, and was equally excited to see her student’s artwork lining the recital walls like little murals. Elaine Oetjen is another teacher and parent who is grateful for Arts For All, Inc. Oetjen initially found comfort in dance when her 10-year-old daughter Lilyanne was diagnosed with leukemia. She signed up for belly dancing classes and soon dancing became a great way to escape, and to release tension. Oetjen first found Arts For All, Inc. when she was searching for a safe place for her daughter to be around other children—but eventually both mother and daughter became involved with the organization. Lilyanne fell in love with piano as a student in Mr. Robinson’s class, and Oetjen now teaches Middle Eastern dance. Classes gave both of them something to look forward to, and Oetjen is forever grateful for Mr. Robinson, who since day one has treated her daughter with kindness and compassion. “When I see her do piano, it makes me feel good to see that she is here, she is alive, she is a normal kid,” says Oetjen. It turns out we all appreciate art in different ways. Some are born artists, some cannot breath without it, and some throw themselves into new experiences when life throws them a curveball. But in the end, we all love art—we just need the opportunity to try new things, the confidence to shine, and teachers who are ready and willing to inspire us with their passion. For information on classes and times visit

Skidding, sliding, and slipping are all common this time of year. Unfortunately that can be followed by a bump or even a crash! Auto accidents are a pain for everyone, but knowing what to do in an accident can ease some of the stress. The first thing to do is report the accident to the police. If there are no injuries, go ahead and begin to exchange information with the other driver. Make sure to get their personal information, along with the type of vehicle, and all insurance information. The next thing to do is to determine if your vehicle is drivable. If not, the police can call a tow truck and you should have your vehicle towed to the shop of your choice. After the police have finished at the accident scene, if the vehicle is drivable, you will want to call the insurance company of the driver at fault. Depending upon the insurance company, they may want you to go to their “drive thru” claim place, or they may make arrangements to come to your vehicle to do an estimate. Another option is that they may want you to take it to a body shop for an estimate. The most important thing to know now is that you are the vehicle owner and no one can tell you where to have your vehicle repaired. There is no law that requires you to have your vehicle repaired where your insurance company recommends. It is always your choice. When determining where you have your repairs done, there are some things that you may want to take into consideration. What type of warranty does the shop offer? Whether or not your insurance has a warranty -- it is the shop that is ultimately responsible for the repairs. Also, do the technicians at the shop receive ongoing training? Is the shop involved nationally, keeping up with all the newest procedures and technologies? The best thing to do before you are involved in an accident is to do your research and know where you will take your vehicle if the unexpected happens. Please visit for more information on what to do in case of an accident.

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER


herart Photos by minorwhite studios

Jane Tan Creti

A Written Purpose

It is common to hear of icons—they’re pictures representing computer programs, companies (aka logos), or visual shorthand (think icons on a weather map, “pieces” in a computer game); or it’s used to describe some one or thing of significance. But in a religious sense, an Eastern Orthodox Christian sense, an icon is a strictly codified painting illustrating scripture. Jane Tan Creti is female, Episcopalian, and a Midwesterner. So how is it that she has a successful studio in Omaha where she teaches and makes icons according to a thousand-year-old Russian Orthodox protocol? I ask her this on a winter morning when pale sun fills

an east window, illuminating a large icon on the north wall. “My older brother,” she says simply. “I admired his artwork.” The two were raised Catholic, a religion with a strong visual culture, and he had joined a Byzantine-rite monastic order. “I began painting in acrylic in the late ‘70s, following a back injury,” Tan Creti says. “My brother encouraged me and sent me sketches.” She read, studied, and painted on her own until 1999, when she attended a workshop given by iconographer Vladislav Andrejev, founder of The Prosopon School of Iconology. “It was very moving,” Tan Creti recalls. “I cried as I began working.”

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Writing an icon follows a series of steps based on church canon which defines the process, subject, and style. (Icons are written rather than painted, revealing scripture, the holy word, using color and symbol. They are not intended as creative work made by an artist.) Before she begins, Tan Creti prays for divine guidance. Her studio, with Venetian plastered walls of warm yellow, is spare, appointed with low bookcases and work areas, pots of rosemary, a lute; icons—large and small, simple or complex—are all about. In one corner, an altar. “This is my ministry,” she says. But don’t mistake this room for a cloister—Tan Creti, a retired nurse, is a busy wife, mother, and volunteer, loves travel and gardening, and working with color. She has become a Prosopon instructor, and continues to study. The process of writing an icon demands time and focus. There may be more than 20 steps, and some, like gessoing the board, may be repeated 12 times with intermittent sanding. The techniques include mixing and applying glues, clay, and egg tempera paint, drawing, incising, and gilding. Traditional iconographers use only natural materials, as even these have their symbolism, beginning with the wooden board representing the tree of life. Images on icons are stylized, hieratic, and every color and object has meaning. Somber expressions, narrative gestures, golden background—these convey the sacred nature of the icon. Each finished icon is invested with days of time, years of study, and some of the iconographer’s spirit. Most of Tan Creti’s work is commissioned, and she used to feel loss when it left the studio. “But now I believe that the icon is made for a purpose. When it goes, that purpose is accomplished.”

Jane Tan Creti will teach a six-week introductory Icon Writing Workshop at Joslyn Art Museum beginning March 5. In May, an intensive workshop will be offered by Master Vladislav Andrejev. Both are offered in conjunction with a major exhibition, The Glory of Ukraine, at Joslyn Feb.12 through May 8. For more information, contact the museum, 342-3300. Tan Creti’s work can be seen at All Saints Epicsopal Church, Church of the Resurrection, and Trinity Cathedral. An exhibition is planned for 2012 at Sunderland Gallery, Saint Cecilia’s Cathedral Cultural Center.

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FEATURE story by shannon smith Photos by

Real Chicks Hike Passion for the outdoors unites, bonds women

The cold, crisp air is full of laughter as a group of women prepare to go hiking. They list off their favorite piece of winter gear–everything from long underwear to wool socks to insulated running tights. It’s early on a Saturday morning, and the woods at Platte River State Park are just beginning to fill up with that painfully bright, piercing sunshine that comes in the winter,the kind of light that provides no real warmth for the rosy-cheeked, glossy-eyed women. Though they don’t seem to mind the cold, as their voices produce little trails of breath. These are all “real chicks.” They come from all different walks of life, all sharing a love of the outdoors and a sense of adventure, brought together through Backwoods’s “Real Chicks Hike,”which celebrated its third anniversary in 2010. “That’s the main thing I feel about it,” member Eleanor Alston said. “Even though we’re all very different and in different stages of life, we’re all there because that’s a commonality.” 14 HER • february/march 2011 •

Beyond serving as a way to get women outdoors and active, the group also facilitates strong relationships. “I think it’s a way for women to come together and realize that they like being with other women,...that it’s not always competitive, that women are not out to judge them or criticize them. It’s just supportive,” founder Jessie Wormington said. In 2007, Wormington formed the group after participating in two different hiking trips where she was the only woman within

a large group of men. An employee at outdoors supplier Backwoods, she set out to discover what was holding women back. Every aspect of Real Chicks Hike was designed to combat the specific intimidation factors women listed. A consistent time, place, and carpooling all coordinated to make it easy and appealing for women to participate. “The hike was really designed so any woman can show up and feel successful,” Wormington said. “It’s a way for women to learn outdoor skills with other women.” Real Chicks Hike grew from that first outdoor trek with five women, including three of Wormington’s family members, to 10, to 15, and kept growing. Wormington quickly realized this was something women desperately wanted to be a part of, they just needed an outlet. Some of the women, such as Christine Anderson, are using Real Chicks to train for bigger challenges. Anderson has run five marathons, hiked the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, and is training for Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dream she’s had for 30 years. The Kilimanjaro trip is sponsored through Backwoods Adventures, one of several offered as a way to expand the horizons for Real Chicks Hike members and Backwoods customers. “So many amazing experiences are had on these trips, and watching people enjoy these adventures is more rewarding than I can explain,” Backwoods CEO Jennifer Mull said in an email. “People often discover parts of themselves they did not know existed, or work through personal challenges that might not have been tackled back in their everyday life.” The most remarkable thing about Real Chicks Hike is the women who comprise it. Their shared passion of the outdoors has resulted in many thriving friendships and support groups, not just for active lifestyles, but for life in general. Members Eleanor Alston, Cara Stirts, April Romeo, Marijo Bosiljevac, and Carla DeVelder all became close through the Real Chicks’ Colorado trip. They share stories and adventures, from accidentally cycling in a rainstorm, intentionally running in a blizzard, to scheduling conflicts like training for a half Iron Man while trying to make time for a baby. For these women, Real Chicks Hike is a way to embrace their passions, to have an identity beyond their job, being a wife, being a mother, etc. They’re not perfect. They are real women with excuses and fears. “But you kind of have to go out and put your big girl panties on,” Romeo, a lawyer, said. “You’re like OK, these girls are going to tough it out so I better suck it up and do it as well. It’s that kind of competitiveness that makes you a better person.” In the end, it’s that overwhelming feeling of self-worth and accomplishment, the drive to push harder and feel truly alive, that wins people over and keeps them coming back. “I think it boils down to just an adventurous attitude,” DeVelder, a lawyer and mother

of two, said. “We’re always up for trying, even if we might fail spectacularly, and we don’t really care because we are going to have a good time doing it.” Alston, who works for the Department of Defense reviewing grants for breast cancer research, said what Real Chicks is about for her is “just truly living, experiencing, being alive.” Alston knows what it means to feel alive. She’s a 2007 breast cancer survivor who is currently battling stage 4 cancer. Alston had a prognosis which only gave her until September 2010, and is still holding strong, despite the cancer spreading to her brain, lungs and pelvis. “She’s such a fighter and it is so inspiring. When I am out on a run and I am struggling, Eleanor is the person I think of,” Romeo said. The mother of three young girls, Alston said the support from Real Chicks has made a huge impact on her, and she’s staying positive, tackling her cancer like she would any other challenge. “All that stuff I was doing with my training ordinarily, that’s how I am with my cancer,” Alston said. “I’m not taking it lying down. I am setting goals. I am active, I am doing everything I can to fight it. And these guys are all there.” For the members, Real Chicks Hike has become a movement, symbolizing solidarity, identity, friendship and empowerment. They are always looking for new members, for more women to discover their love of the outdoors. “We’re all capable of so much, and I think a lot of women in general don’t realize that,” member Stirts said. “We’re not afraid to tackle things, even though we might fail. It’s a reaching your potential thing. It’s a good feeling knowing that you took a risk.” For more information on Real Chicks Hike and their schedule of events, contact Rachel at Backwoods at 345-0303, or become a friend of Real Chicks HIke on Facebook.

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER


Strolling through the Parc du Champs de Mars with the Eiffel Tower glowing in the mid-afternoon sun, you’re holding your loved one’s hand and you feel like you’re on top of the world. When you awake, you realize you’re actually in the Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Omaha, but this hotel transports you to a world where you feel as if you’ve just spent the weekend in France. Abby & GC are truly in love. Abby is seen wearing a beautiful Mulberry Mist dress from BCBG MAXAZRIA, Dillards, $218. GC wears a stunning black Hudson tux and beige Sand Prism vest from Gentleman’s Choice. 16 HER • february/march 2011 •

photography by: christian behr | story by: john w. gawley | hair & makeup by: heather dizmang | clothing provided by: Dillards, Oak View Mall | jewelry provided by: Borsheims locations: Magnolia Hotel, Downtown Omaha, Dillon Brothers, Borsheims at Regency Court Omaha

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER 17

After spontaneous dance lessons in the suite of the Magnolia, Abby slips into a long-sleeve Cinder dress from BCBG MAXAZRIA, Dillards, $108, before going for a stroll through the courtyard. A romantic evening downtown and an overnight stay at a luxurious hotel are just what this busy couple needs to refresh their love. From classic to trendy, Dillards has their finger on the pulse of what’s fashionably hot. With the only BCBG boutique store at the Oak View Mall inside Dillards, you need not go any place else for your romantic Valentine’s Day look.

18 HER • february/march 2011 •

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER


A piece of jewelry, an elegant dinner, a nice bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers remain atop the list of most women’s dream Valentine’s Day gifts. Now show your man how much you appreciate being treated like a princess. Nothing is more manly than a motorcycle. Surprise him with the bike of his dreams from Dillon Brothers. Shelby rides a Candy Red/Raven 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1, $13,590. And don’t forget all the hot outfits you’ll be able to wear sitting behind your man when he’s speeding down the road. Black Harley Davidson hat, $25. Harley Davidson black leather jacket, $250. Harley-Davidson Maribel black leather tall Slouch Boot, $199.

20 HER • february/march 2011 •

The old saying still holds true: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Clair is seen here in a stunning white halter dress from BCBG MAXAZRIA, $318, from Dillards, while draped in jewels from Borsheims. The most stunning baubles are matched Fancy Intense Yellow diamond earrings totaling 14.10 carats set in platinum and 18k yellow gold surrounded by half mooncut white diamonds. $715,000, $498,000.

Roberto Coin “Tiny Treasure” key pendant in 18k yellow and white gold. Each Roberto Coin piece features a ruby worn next to the skin, which brings the wearer good luck and fortune. $580. Fancy-color diamond pendant that also doubles as a brooch. In 18k yellow gold featuring nine fancy color and fancy shape diamonds totaling over 10 carats surround by 1.02 carats of vivid yellow micro-pave diamonds. $340,000. $266,000. Roberto Coin 64” Diamonds by the Yard chain in 18k yellow gold. Each Roberto Coin piece features a ruby worn next to the skin, which brings the wearer good luck and fortune. $14,080. 18k yellow gold multi-shape light yellow diamond bracelet with 15 diamonds totaling over 20 carats. $220,000. $172,000. Platinum and 18k yellow gold bracelet featuring over 11.68 carats of fancy yellow princess and round diamonds, surrounded by white diamonds. $80,000. Platinum and 18k yellow gold oval ring featuring over fiver carats of multi-shape fancy vivid yellow and white diamonds. $45,000. $31,050. Yellow and orange sapphire brooch set in 14k white gold with diamonds and chocolate South Sea cultured pearl. $7,950. $5,295. Denotes Borsheims price.

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER


beautysheet story by traci orsuna Photos provided by creighton vein center

A surgeon who understands a woman’s concerns. Member American Society of Breast Surgeons Certified by the American Board of Surgery Comprehensive evaluation of breast complaints

Vanquish those Spider Veins by Summer Warm weather fashions are ready for you…Are you ready for them? If you’re someone who is prone to spider veins, you may not be very excited about donning the season’s leg-baring fashions, including skirts, shorts and swimsuits. The tiny, pinkish veins that sometimes appear in the topmost layer of skin can come from a variety of causes, but in the majority of cases they are hereditary. If one or both of your parents had spider veins, chances are good that you will too. If you are prone to spider veins, they can be exacerbated by pregnancy, or by standing for long periods of time. According to Dr. Attila Csordas of Creighton Vein Center, those that are susceptible to spider veins often have them result from even by the slightest skin irritation: friction on the skin, or extreme and rapid temperature changes. “Even a mosquito bite can give you spider veins,” Csordas says. “Whenever the skin is stretched a little bit more, around the knee…around the hip, you have more spider veins.” While they can appear anywhere on the body, spider veins most commonly develop on the legs. This is because veins-the vessels that carry deoxygenated blood back up to the heart-must work against gravity, putting added strain on the veins. The walls of the veins weaken and become more visible through the skin. The good news is that they can be easily corrected. Injection sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure in which Sotradecol, an FDA-approved solution, is injected into the problem veins using a tiny needle. “The medicine breaks down the lining to the wall of the vein so that the vein can dissolve and go away,” explains Jackie Torpy of Omaha’s Totally Vein. The process generally involves four to six procedures given at three–or–four week intervals. “It’s about a six-month process,” says Torpy. While not life-threatening or even painful, spider veins are often a source of distress for those who experience them. Fortunately, now is a great time to seek treatment. Soon you’ll feel much more confident about wearing that flirty skirt or sporting your new swimsuit, and showing off those lovely legs!

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22 HER • february/march 2011 •

s e i t r a P e i r Linge


story By Susan Meyers

Congenital Heart Defects Outlook for patients improves

Within just 24 hours of her birth, Jody Leonard of Lincoln, Neb., was in an operating room, undergoing heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. Now 34, Leonard has had five heart surgeries in all. But Leonard considers herself one of the lucky ones. When Lenonard was born in 1976, doctors were just beginning to develop techniques that would allow patients with complex congenital heart defects to live into adulthood and beyond. Leonard’s condition was one of the more rare and complex forms of congenital heart disease. Called pulmonary atresia, Leonard’s pulmonary valve, which allows blood to flow to the lungs, did not form properly, causing her blood supply to bypass the lungs. With little or no oxygen circulating through her body, Leonard’s face was not a healthy pink when she was born, but blue. She was rushed by ambulance to The Nebraska Medical Center where a shunt was placed between the aorta and pulmonary artery to allow blood flow. Six days later, open heart surgery was performed to open the atretic pulmonary valve. By the time she was three years old, another operation was needed to accommodate Leonard’s growing body. Congenital heart defects are the most common of all congenital defects occurring in approximately one in 150 births and most having no known cause, says John Kugler, MD, cardiology clinical service chief at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and professor continued on next page

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER



Photo by Scott Dorby Pictures

Dr. John Kugler, cardiology clinical service chief at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

of Pediatrics at University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Creighton University School of Medicine. Many of the young patients he follows have been patients he has been seeing since birth or early childhood. “At one time, many of these patients didn’t make it to adulthood,” he says. “But with advances in procedures, medications and heart–assist devices, many are now living well into adulthood.” For instance, prior to the mid-70s, approximately two of every five congenital heart disease patients died before surgery. Today 96 to 97 of every 100 patients will survive to adulthood. The trade-off is that many of those with congenital heart disease must undergo several surgeries throughout their lifetime to accommodate a changing body and to replace depleted prostheses. They must also learn to live with and manage complications that have developed over the years due to their disease. Physicians like Dr. Kugler specialize in managing their condition and providing specialized care and treatment therapies throughout their lifetime. But with proper management of their condition, doctors say congenital heart disease patients can live a very normal life and they encourage them to do so. “We want them to have the same opportunities as “With advances in procedures, everyone else and to live as normal medications and heart–assist a life as possible,” says cardiothoracic devices, many (patients) are now surgeon Kim Duncan, MD, a living well into adulthood.” member of the medical staff at — Dr. John Kugler

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24 HER • february/march 2011 •

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healthfocus “We want them to have the same opportunities as everyone else and to live as normal a life as possible.” — Dr. Kim Duncan

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and UNMC. “Our goal is to treat them so they can be sent home and treated like

everyone else. We try not to let the heart limit their choices.” Leonard didn’t let her heart condition set limits for her. From the beginning, she was determined to be just like everyone else, she says. In high school, she participated in many extracurricular activities including the marching band and student government. She began running daily in college and went on to become a full-time registered nurse. At age 29, she gave birth to her first child. “I’ve never given myself any restrictions,” says Leonard. “I think the reason I’ve done so well is because I am strong-willed and try to be just like everyone else.” Leonard’s pregnancy, however, was not without complications. Her heart valve became infected and she needed continuous intravenous antibiotics during the last trimester. “I was very weak and spent most of the time in the hospital,” she says. Her new baby daughter was born at 36 weeks and will be her only child, she says. “My pregnancy was too risky,” she says. “I can’t have another.” The risks associated with becoming pregnant vary depending on the type of congenital heart disease a person has. “For most women with single ventricles, we strongly recommend not getting pregnant because the risks are so high for maternal complications and mortality,” says Dr. Kugler.

Photo by minorwhite studios

Dr. Kim Duncan, cardiothoracic surgeon at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and UNMC

continued on next page

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Women with large heart chambers have an increased risk for low blood pressure and blood clots should they become pregnant. If a woman with congenital heart disease should become pregnant, a variety of extra precautions need to be taken during her pregnancy, says Ruby Satpathy, MD, interventional cardiologist at Alegent Health. Prenatal counseling is critical. There also needs to be an awareness between the patient and doctor about the condition and potential risks and the fact that testing and monitoring will need to be performed throughout the pregnancy and several months after delivery, she says. The patient should also be followed by a cardiologist that is knowledgeable and experienced at treating the specific heart Photo by Malone & Co defect. A maternal fetal specialist should be involved if there are any concerns about the baby. After birth, the baby should be Dr. Ruby Satpathy, interventional cardiologist at Alegent Health tested for other associated syndromes. Atrial septal defect (ASD) and “In many cases, the hole does ventricular septal defect (VSD) are the not cause any symptoms and closes two most common types of heart defects. on its own by the time a child The more common of the two, VSD, reaches adulthood.” involves the wall that separates the right — Dr. Satpathy and left ventricle. Before a baby is born, the right and left ventricles of the heart get older, the hole becomes larger and are not separate. As the fetus grows, a wall can cause atrial fibrillation, pulmonary forms to separate these two ventricles. If hypertension, cyanosis, hypoxia or stroke. the wall does not completely form, a hole, If complications occur, most holes can be called a VSD, remains. “In many cases, closed purcutaneously by interventional the hole does not cause any symptoms cardiologists, avoiding open heart and closes on its own by the time a child surgeries.” reaches adulthood,” says Dr. Satpathy. Interventional cardiology allows “For those defects that do not spontaneously procedures to be performed on the heart close, a good outcome is usually achieved through catheterization as opposed to open with surgical repair, if needed.” heart surgery techniques. Advantages ASD is a congenital heart defect in include decreased pain, less risk of which the wall that separates the upper infection, avoidance of large scars and heart chambers (atria) does not close shorter postoperative recovery times. completely, allowing blood to flow between Dr. Duncan says the outlook for the two chambers of the heart. Many congenital heart disease patients is problems can occur if the shunt is large, promising. “Technology is continually but small atrial septal defects often cause improving,” he says. “While we currently very few problems and may not be found don’t have the perfect replacement parts until much later in life. that are going to grow with the patient, “Some people can go undiagnosed until there may be something of that sort in their 40s,” says Dr. Satpathy. “As they the future.”



New Private Rooms in Our Level III NICU We’ve been busy preparing for a special arrival – our new Level III NICU. Now with 32 private suites, each one is equipped with the latest technology and is designed to maximize each baby’s development. With enough room for parents and family members, they can remain at the baby’s bedside during their stay and actively participate in the baby’s care. And once families are nearing discharge, they can choose to stay in transitional rooms to help them prepare for life at home while still having access to physicians and nurses. Our new Level III NICU is just another way Alegent Health cares for new beginnings from the beginning.


Alegent Health is a faith-based health ministry sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel.

message from

Theresa Cassaday, Chief Communication Officer

Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

A nationwide survey conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) revealed that increased exposure to social media puts teenage girls in a situation where a girl’s image is not always what it seems. Nearly 74 percent of girls surveyed believe other girls their age use social networking sites to make themselves “cooler than they really are,” according to the national survey released last November by Girl Scouts of the USA. The survey, which included more than 1,000 female respondents, ages 14 through 17, found that girls downplay their own positive characteristics online, most prominently intelligence, kindness and efforts to be a positive influence. Girls will tell you in-person that they come across as smart (82 percent), kind (76 percent) and a good influence (59 percent), whereas online, girls consider themselves fun (54 percent), funny (52 percent) and social (48 percent). Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to admit their social networking image doesn’t match their in-person image (33 percent vs. 18 percent of girls with high self-esteem) and are also more likely to claim that the image they portray online is sexy (22 percent vs. 14 percent) and crazy (35 percent vs. 28 percent). “Adults and teens alike need a greater understanding about the ways girls represent themselves 
and communicate on social networking sites,” said Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the GSRI. “If girls are portraying themselves differently online than they are in person, this can impact their identity, sense of self and relationships.” The GSRI survey also sheds light on the fact that a majority of girls understand their emotional safety and reputations are at risk online, yet 50 percent admit to not always being as careful as they should be online. A staggering 68 percent of girls have had a negative experience on a social networking site, such as having someone gossip about them or being bullied. Furthermore, many girls are concerned they won’t get into their college of choice (42 percent), will miss a job opportunity (40 percent), and will get

Girl Scout Findings:

The Impact of Social Networking

More than half of the girls surveyed said they are getting involved in community service due to social networking.

into trouble with parents and teachers (40 percent). In contrast, and perhaps one of the most refreshing findings of the study is that the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend. The study also finds that social networking provides an avenue for girls to maintain better relationships and feel more connected to causes they care about. Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networking helps them feel closer to their friends, and 36 percent think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships. Fifty-two percent of girls have gotten involved in a cause they care about through a social network.

The Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), formed in 2000, is a vital extension of Girl Scouts of the USA’s commitment to addressing the complex and ever-changing needs of girls. Comprised of dedicated staff and advisors who are experts in child development, academia, government, business, and the not-for-profit sector, the institute conducts groundbreaking studies, releases critical facts and findings, and provides resources essential for the advancement of the well-being and safety of girls living in today’s world. For more information about the GSRI and their findings, visit: research/.

In Every issue, Her Magazine brings you an important message from the girl scouts spirit of nebraska. You can help, get involved!

28 HER • february/march 2011 •

message from

Natalia J. Peart, PhD Chief Executive Officer

YWCA Omaha

Unlimited: • One in five teens report being hit, slapped or punched by a boyfriend or girlfriend. • One third worry about their physical safety. • A quarter say they’ve been isolated from their family and friends, and more than half say they’ve compromised their own beliefs to please a partner.

Emerald Star Porter

National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month Meet Emerald Star Porter. She is a former client and now spokesperson for the YWCA about teen dating violence. In her own words: “A year ago, I could not have imagined I would be where I am today. I grew up with my mom’s parents, who financially provided us a life of privilege. In fact, I’m a trustfund kid. I began dating Nick at the age of 12, at a time when many other “normal” adolescent girls were having sleepovers, browsing fashion magazines for the hottest looks, and fantasizing about where they would honeymoon when they married Brad Pitt. This wasn’t my childhood. Nick first hit me at the age of 14. From there, it escalated into years of full-blown episodes of rage and violence from Nick.” Rarely do parents realize that their teenage daughters (and sons), are exposed to being punched or threatened by their dating

partners. A Teen Research Unlimited study indicated that teen girls face relationship violence three times more than adult women. Teens often think that this behavior is “normal” and therefore will not tell anyone about the abuse. It can happen anywhere and in any zip code. Last year, the U.S. Senate declared the month of February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month (TDVAM). This followed a Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention initiative that was spearheaded by teenagers from across the nation. Teens chose to take a stand toward ending teen dating violence. However, there is still much to do to raise awareness and educate teens, parents and families in order to prevent these violent situations from occurring. The statistics are often startling. According to Teen Research

This highlights the need to educate our youth about healthy relationships, raises awareness among parents and other caregivers, and provides communities with an important opportunity to work together to prevent the ongoing cycle of abuse. The YWCA Omaha has been partnering with our local colleges, universities and pre-K through high schools in educating, raising awareness as well as in providing intervention services. Porter is one of the many teens who finally seek help and break the cycle. “I developed skills which built up my self-esteem and I learned how to believe in myself and my capabilities,” she said. “I came to recognize and believe that I am a strong and intelligent young woman who is capable of achieving my hopes and dreams.” “The YWCA gave me a voice, and I now use my voice to bring awareness and hope to help the youth in this community. Today I can proudly say, I made it and I am a survivor,” Porter said. Today, Porter is focused on completion of her Associate’s degree at Metro Community College and will transfer to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Theater. There is much you can do educate yourself on the warning signs of teen dating violence and the resources available to you. Visit the YWCA at

Within us, lays the simple answer to all the questions we are looking for. Within us, we know already how to create the life we really want. Sometimes we just need to be reminded. Every issue, Her Magazine brings you an important message from YWCA Omaha. you can help, get involved!

WWW.READONLINENOW.COM • february/march 2011 • HER


FOODwith flair

Column by Judy Gilliard

Bring Back the Cornish Game Hen! OK, how long has it been since you made Cornish Game Hens? If you’re like me, too long. They’re easy to make, reasonable in cost, they taste great, and they always make a meal special. Game Hens also can create a romantic dinner for two--with your table set with its best, candlelight and a few flowers. Of course, music is a must! Start out with your favorite salad, then a serve perfectly prepared hens, paired with sides of rice and green beans. Add sparkling wine, and for dessert, a chocolate chip sponge cake--light and delicious. This also makes a wonderful company meal. Just double the recipe, watch the store for when they go on sale, and pick them up and store in the freezer. They’ll be always at the ready, since we’ve rediscovered the Cornish Game Hen.

Orange Cornish Game Hens Servings: 8 2 Cornish Game Hens, cut in half Sea salt and black pepper 1 teaspoon thyme 2 oranges Grapeseed oil, spray 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 2 tablespoons grand Marnier 1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed in water 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pat dry the Cornish Game Hens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and thyme. Place on baking sheet. 2. Cut one of the oranges in fourths. Squeeze juice into sauce pan, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. 3. Place the orange sections that you squeezed the juice from under each hen half. Place hens in the oven for 30 min. Then turn up the heat to 400 degrees for 10 min. Take out and let rest (internal temperature should be 170 degrees when you take it out of the oven.) 4. Reduce the sauce to half the volume, add grand mariner and the cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. 5. To serve, arrange the hen on a plate top with sauce, then garnish with orange slices and chopped parsley. Per Serving: 380 Calories; 24g Fat (59.8% calories from fat); 32g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 170mg Cholesterol; 232mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Fat.

CHOCOLATE CHIP SPONGE CAKE Servings: 8 A very simple variation on the basic sponge cake, however it is guaranteed to put big smiles on the faces of chocolate lovers. You can also add ½ of chopped nuts, just fold them in at the end. 5 egg whites 2 eggs ½ cup sugar 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon almond extract ¼ cup water 1 cup unbleached flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup mini chocolate chips 70% cocoa In a clean bowl, beat egg whites, gradually adding ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form, set aside. Beat eggs with ¼ cup sugar, vanilla, almond extract and water. Sift flour and baking powder on top of egg mixture, mixing well. Fold 1 cup of beaten egg whites into flour mixture and mix to lighten. Pour batter into remaining beaten egg whites and fold. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with a nonstick spray, pour cake batter into pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool 45 minutes before serving. Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 198 Calories; 5g Fat (23.8% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 53mg Cholesterol; 173mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

30 HER • february/march 2011 •


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