Orange Appeal May/June 2023

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this over to enjoy the Spring/Summer issue of Interior Appeal!


Cheers To 15 Years! A Celebration of Anniversaries

WOW! Orange Appeal is happily remembering covers and stories from over the years that highlight the founders’ personal favorites, interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes and tributes to important contributors. There is also a shoutout to other local companies and venues that are commemorating significant milestones.

76 Pretty Presents

This spring selection includes fabulous items from local boutiques that are perfect to give to someone special or to keep for yourself. Peruse the variety, from fashion forward to wildly whimsical and everything in between, from LaBella Intimates & Boutique, Maitland; Clementine, The Grove, The Hunt, Frank , Monkee's, COCO Indigo, and Tuni, Winter Park; Gold Dust Home and The House on Lang, Mill 50 District; Maffrey’s and YAY!, Ivanhoe Row; and Pistil Home & Garden, Windermere.

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CHRISTI ASHBY 76 72 TAMARAKNIGHT may | june 2023 1
on the cover: Orange Appeal founders Christi Ashby and Kate Slentz photographed by Tamara Knight. Hair and makeup by Marjorie Robinson (pictured on the right), 407-375-1345. Story on page 72.


People, places and things: Young artists are blooming at Howard Middle School, the visual and performing arts magnet, in the heart of downtown Orlando; Neiman Marcus presented the fresh spring fashions at Camp Boggy Creek’s Heart of Fashion; Morning Star Catholic School’s 60th Annual Fashion Show, A Runway For Giving, featured an array of ensembles from local retailers; Two jewelers, Almut Belote and Lauren Sigman, are opening their doors in new Winter Park locations; the Women’s History & Cultural Center is a space highlighting women and girls; Women to Watch: Dr. Sarah Layton’s $3 million gift to the Orlando Science Center for Life!, a new 10,000-squarefoot permanent nature and conservation exhibit.


Clean Your Dirty Face, a facial bar founded in 2015 by Shama Patel and locally franchised by Hyun Ah Perez utilizes the in-house CYDF product line addressing specific needs; they successfully navigated medical school, residencies and opening their own practices, but Dr. Stephenie Poris and Dr. Ruth Hill Yeilding say motherhood is their greatest accomplishment and reward; Women Are Incredible: Christina Pinto Rogers is passionate about empowering caregivers through her Long Term Concierge consulting company.


Farm & Haus, the popular from-scratch café in East End Market opened a stylish Park Avenue location with an expanded menu offering fresh, seasonal, locally-purveyed breakfast and lunch items; Secluded, serene and seductive, the Bungalows Key Largo, an escape on 11.5 waterfront acres with lushly landscaped grounds, is truly a paradise found; Bits & Bites: Liv Sain supports mental illness programs at The Realize Foundation through her Pickles for Prevention mission; Hog’s Head Barrel from Heaven’s Door Whiskey has found its home at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster.


Spring season’s soirees, galas and more including Camp Boggy’s Creek’s Heart of Fashion, Morning Star Catholic School’s 60th Annual Fashion Show, EasterSeals’ A Pair to Remember; Winter Park Fashion Week; Mennello Museum’s An Evening with Fabulous Friends; Orlando Museum of Art’s Art in Bloom; the Victory Cup Initiative; and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Celebrate the Children Gala.

Orange Appeal makes a great gift any time! Subscribe at Get all the event info by signing up for the e-newsletter or visiting our interactive website. For changes of address, or to cancel or renew your subscription, visit may | june 2023 columns 40 22 36 18 14


In 2007 there was a dream to create a community for Central Florida women via a high-quality print publication. Then there was the reality of the 2008 financial meltdown. Too late to turn around we persevered and pushed ahead not knowing if the situation would ever improve. But from the very beginning we have had supporters and partners who have continued to believe in our vision. So, before I share some special moments, THANK YOU ALL!

When Kate joined me, fresh out of journalism school at the University of Florida, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was torn about what to advise her — part of me wanted her to venture out and explore other magazine worlds and part of me desperately needed her to be by my side. When your child chooses to go into your profession, it’s an invaluable validation. Hopefully, she doesn’t have too many regrets about her decision.

My family — Rob, Nick, Wendy and Laurie — has never wavered in their unconditional support of Christi’s crazy ideas. My

friend Margie has always been there when I need to vent or receive a pat on the back. Rita has beautifully put together each issue with such care and diligence. Harriett, Melinda, Cal, Walt, Irene, Deb, Shelly and Todd made the impossible possible. And over the years so many more have joined in.

My philosophy that all publications and media companies need to evolve and stay relevant led to the creation of the Orlando Women’s Conference — a very bare-bones affair at first — in 2010 and Interior Appeal magazine in 2014. We have continued our mission to provide original content in a quality setting from the issues to all our events, including our Women of the Year reception, Jingle, Jingle, Shop & Mingle holiday event, and our newest offering — BEAUTY BODY SPIRIT — addressing important issues for women.

It’s been incredibly hard work with a whole lot of rewards. I can’t imagine doing anything else and when I am asked if I am going to retire my response is always the same, “Why?” I truly enjoy what I do, even those 4:30am start times as deadlines near

and those weeks with seven or eight events. At the end of the day though, we could never do this without you. So, keep reading, attending and engaging with us and we promise to keep producing with passion and allegiance to our mission. THANK YOU!

Two of my favorite covers featuring Kate and my grandchildren with my niece Kacy.


Christi Ashby


Kate Slentz


Mollie O’Shea


Robert Ashby





Copyright 2023. No materials may be reproduced without permission. Please do not send unsolicited articles or photographs. Publisher not responsible for individual opinions contained herein.

Orange Appeal (Permit #201) is published bi-monthly by Appeal Media & Events Group, 1903 Michael Tiago Circle, Maitland, FL 32751. Printed in USA. Standard postage paid at Harrisburg, PA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Orange Appeal, 1903 Michael Tiago Circle, Maitland, FL 32751

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the list

nextgen artists

Young artists are blooming at Howard Middle School, the visual and performing arts magnet, in the heart of downtown Orlando, where students study band, orchestra/strings, chorus, guitar, piano, dance, theater, musical theater, visual arts, and digital art. One of them, Loren Williams of Windermere, took top honors, the Middle School Best of Show — 3D, for her paper dress sculpted from book pages. Her teacher Jesus Marin changed up the mix of mediums students used to create their pieces and inspired the final piece. Kudos to the teachers encouraging young artists in all disciplines.



After a pandemic hiatus, the Heart of Fashion luncheon and show, benefiting Camp Boggy Creek, returned to The Alfond Inn with founding chair Diane Holm’s theme of “back to camp” with the décor, food, and even the runway designed to make guests feel like they were happy campers.

Neiman Marcus Orlando presented the fresh spring fashions.


A Runway For Giving Celebrates 60 Years

Morning Star Catholic School’s 60th Annual Fashion Show, A Runway For Giving, featured ensembles from Arabella, The Collection Bridal, John Craig, Orlando Vintage and Tuni. Modeling were supporters and students of the school which provides children with special needs the opportunity to embrace their potential.

Arabella The Collection Bridal Tuni John Craig
Orlando Vintage

Almut Belote Jewelry Opens

Winter Park Location

Almut Belote brings her beautiful jewelry designs to Winter Park with a new location in the Shops On Park. “It was unplanned and unexpected but very welcome that the space was offered to me. I love the opportunity to meet new people and show my work because my location [Thornton Park studio] right now is very specific — it’s a destination store downtown — and I love that Park Avenue has local and tourist foot traffic,” she explains.

The jewelry designer is also excited to be bringing her daughter, Anna, on board. She’s training to be Almut’s assistant

Lauren Sigman Collection’s Larger Location

Jeweler Lauren Sigman sold her collection wholesale for 10 years before opening a small shop inside The Grove in Winter Park. But she recently transitioned to her own larger retail space on New England Avenue — right across from the Winter Park Farmers‘ Market. “It was the right time, right opportunity. We have plenty of parking,” she says.

Her fine jewelry collection is colorful and whimsical — she’s definitely known

for her flower pieces. While she has some larger flower pendants in her collection, most of her pieces are daintier, meant for layering or customizing.

“We always talk about layering. Jewelry is a lot like getting a great dress — sometimes you have to take it to the tailor. So with us, sometimes we have to add an extender or an extra clasp. People will bring in their jewelry and we’ll show them how to style it,” she explains.

In her new space, she’s looking forward to collaborating with other retailers and artisans, and sells carefully curated gift items — she’s brought in exclusively Marimekko, a Finnish design house celebrated worldwide for its original prints and colors. Her jewelry collection is also available at

manager to help run the business side so Almut has more time to create and design jewelry. “It’s really amazing to have someone that I trust, and I love, and that I get along so well with join us. You build this business, and you hope it will outlast you — you can’t really worry about that when you’re doing it — but when my daughter came on board, I thought, this could last another generation,” Almut says.

Almut’s team also includes long-time business manager and friend Cheryl Van Hook as well as three goldsmiths — Gery, Melissa and Cass.

520 E. Church Street, Ste 105, Orlando 32801 | 407-203-0909 216 N. Park Ave Winter Park 32789 | 321- 972-1600
Almut Belote and Anna Belote
227A W. New England Ave. Winter Park 32789 321-444-6941 16

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE: A Space Celebrating Women & Girls

Opening during Women’s History Month in March, the Women’s History & Cultural Center, located on the second floor of the Girls Scouts of Citrus building, is a series of spaces devoted to the celebration of women and girls.

Longtime volunteer and former staff member Sherry McMaster says the project actually began in 2005 when a group of local alumnae started adding to the Council collection of vintage items and forming the GSC Archive Team. “We wanted to have an exhibit in our boardroom for the council’s 50th anniversary. A lot of the items were already here in the offices, but we have purchased things on eBay and at swap meets with other Girl Scout councils. Then people started calling and dropping off stuff for us,” she recalls. As the collection grew, they leveraged opportunities to exhibit both locally and nationally — and the dream of establishing a museum was born.

The actual groundbreaking for the cen-

ter was March 11, 2020. “We started with a plan for downstairs where the parking garage is, but we discovered that would be too expensive. Because of the pandemic everyone was working from home. And since that was going to continue, our CEO [Maryann Barry] thought that we could use the second floor,” she adds. After dealing with rising costs and supply chain delays, they raised additional funds and credit McCree General Contractors & Architects with helping them find workable solutions.

The WHCC, open Monday – Saturday, runs with a total of six volunteers. The Girl Scouts exhibit area is filled with all types of uniforms, badges, camping paraphernalia, cookie boxes, and even a quilt made from actual sashes and blue mariner uniforms. “We are so excited to be open and we will be constantly adding items,” Sherry explains.

As to why the Girl Scouts exhibit grew into a women’s history center, Sherry explains it was about funding: “We were applying for a grant, and it was decided that we needed to be more to successfully receive funding. We added women’s history because we discovered there wasn’t anything else here — there’s not even a whole

lot throughout the nation.” In June of 2019, Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program had established a grant to partially fund construction of the Women’s History & Cultural Center.

In addition to the permanent Girl Scout exhibit and rotating exhibit space to focus on women’s contributions throughout our history, the WHCC features an exhibit celebrating our rich cultural diversity; an inspiration room for youth with fun activities; a community meeting space providing a place for people to gather to learn and collaborate; and an outdoor pavilion (undergoing repairs after hurricane damage).

Women’s History & Cultural Center

Girl Scouts of Citrus

341 N Mills Ave. Orlando 32803


Dr. Sarah Layton Swims with Sharks

A generous donation may get your name on a wall, but it doesn’t guarantee you will get all your wishes. Dr. Sarah Layton’s $3 million gift to the Orlando Science Center for Life!, a new 10,000-square-foot permanent nature and conservation exhibit — the largest in the Center’s history — scheduled to open in late 2023, afforded her input and sneak peeks, but at this point it won’t give her the access she really wants — to get in the tank to feed the sharks.

It would not be surprising if that changes though because Sarah has a deep drive, determination, and that extra special quality — spunk. Almost immediately into our conversation she shares with me a very close-up shot on her phone of a bull shark from a trip to Tahiti. When I ask if it was really as close as it seems or if she zoomed in, she confirms it was right in front of her face. An accomplished diver with more than 175 dives, she has traveled the world to explore the seas.

But it’s how she got into the sport that tells a story of being a businesswoman decades ago and navigating the oftenunfriendly waters. While working with a group of men, she discovered they all shared experiences diving together. So, after getting her training and certification she joined in, not letting gender hinder her. But that was hardly the first time she had jumped into something new and uncharted.

Sarah and her sister grew up in Miami with parents who may have lacked advanced education (6th and 8th grade), but who knew the value of hard work well. Her father, a welder by trade, decided to quit his job one day. He went to a construction site and walked away with an order for something he was not even familiar with. Later he opened his own metal manufacturing company from their garage and successfully parlayed his knowledge and grit into a thriving business building Miami Beach. While working with her family, Sarah tried her hand at welding, but was encouraged to learn other aspects of the business as well. She experienced firsthand how to grow a company and the importance of strategic planning.

Her parents made sure college was never a question. “It wasn’t if you go to college, it was when. I studied biology and chemistry and was trained in medical technology. I graduated as a medical lab technologist. And then I got a master’s in clinical pathology,” Sarah explains.

She came to Orlando after marrying the man who supported her through all her degrees. He thought he would see her achieve an M.D. but Sarah was burnt out by then and did not find a medical school in Central Florida that would work for her. So, years later she ended up with a doctorate in business.

“My first professional job was director of medical technologies — I had never even done curriculum before. I started the medical lab program at Valencia at the two-year level,” she says. She started “selling” her program against four-year programs competing for valuable student internships. After a successful run, she

decided to leave and discovered the way to wealth was straight-commission sales with a Fortune 500 company.

“I made more money than I ever thought possible during those 10 years. My husband and I had the financial strategy of saving all my income and a little of his while living on the rest of his, which continued as my income soared. But we didn’t increase our standard of living, so I used what we had accumulated to invest in real estate,” she adds. Sarah went into real estate full time and discovered two things about herself: “Money didn’t make me happy, and I didn’t like real estate as a career.”

Sarah ultimately founded Corporate Strategy Institute, Inc., a strategic planning and management consulting firm where she played key roles in planning the strategic direction for services industries and manufacturing/production industries. She was also an active, accomplished speaker throughout the world on

thelist WOMEN to WATCH
Dr. Sarah Layton and Orlando Science Center President and CEO JoAnn Newman

strategy, strategic planning, innovation, management and competitiveness. Her interest in learning more about best business practices led her to the Blue Ocean Strategy Initiative Center in Paris where she became qualified to lead programs.

As for Sarah’s philanthropic beginnings she says, “I was traveling and got a call from the president of Florida Southern who asked if I would serve on the board, which I did for 15 years.” In addition to attracting another serious donor,

she funded the Mishalanie-Layton Garden Plaza and a faculty room.

Sarah has also served on the national board of the Institute of Management Consultants USA, as corporate secretary for Junior Achievement of Central Florida, director for Junior Achievement of Central Florida Foundation, and as business advisor with SBDC (Small Business Development Center).

With her great love of science, it was natural for Sarah to be involved with the Orlando Science Center and she was introduced to the Center through Bob Finfrock, whom she met at a charity event she hosted. She recently rolled off the Science Center board due to term limits, but is still very involved and hints at a comeback in the future. For now, she is overseeing her real estate endeavors, spending time with friends, and enjoying walking and biking.

thelist WOMEN to WATCH

beauty body&spirit

clean your dirty face

Clean Your Dirty Face is a facial bar founded in 2015 by Shama Patel. Utilizing the in-house CYDF product line, customers can enjoy 30-minute facials that address their unique skincare needs delivered by licensed estheticians. The straight-forward, accessible skincare concept is locally franchised by Hyun Ah Perez with its Winter Park location (Trader Joe’s shopping plaza) recently celebrating one year in business. Facial add-ons — such as peels, oxygen boosts and neck massages — and memberships are available. Use code VIRGIN at checkout to receive your first facial for $35.


Doctors + Moms: Building Businesses while Raising Kids

They successfully navigated medical school, residencies and opening their own practices, but Dr. Stephenie Poris and Dr. Ruth Hill Yeilding say motherhood is their greatest accomplishment and reward.

Dr. Stephanie Poris

For 20 years I focused on becoming a plastic surgeon and building a private practice. When my husband and I married we were excited to start a family, but it wasn’t until I was blessed with my two amazing boys that I realized how much more meaning my life could have. When Dylan was born during my fourth year of surgical residency, I learned how quickly something so small could become the most important and fulfilling thing in my life. My selfishness quickly took a backseat as he became my world!

I believe being a parent is one of the most challenging things you can do in life. I laugh that not even my hardest day in the operating room could come close to the concern, love, passion and forethought that being a mother demands. It is a love like no other!

Starting a family during 80-hour work weeks and 24-hour hospital calls isn’t the most glamourous or healthiest of life choices, but deep down I knew that my life was not defined by my career. Everyone warned me that there was never a great time to start our family, but we decided that it was our choice and nobody else’s. Fast forward three years and Brody was born. Child number two and two weeks off work — that was really hard. Brody was my little angel, and thank gosh he was, because at that point, I was finishing plastic surgery fellowship in the middle of the pandemic, working 12-hour days, and living on Pop Tarts and saltines. Add opening a private practice in a different state, and here we are. WE DID IT! I would be remiss not to mention that I have the most amazing and supportive husband and a wonderful nanny who both keep the ship sailing. You cannot do it all alone — and that is what my kids taught me. Perfection is something I strive for, but their love and mine for them does not require it!

Dr. Ruth Hill Yeilding

Practicing medicine has been my lifelong passion since I was young. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and by the time I reached high school, my career trajectory in the medical field was set in stone. After undergoing more than a decade of intensive training through medical school, internships, residency and fellowships, my dream of becoming a physician became a

beauty body&spirit

reality. I opened the doors of my solo private practice in Winter Park immediately upon completing my fellowship in 2010 and embarked on my newest journey as a business owner and double board-certified facial plastic surgeon.

I was convinced there was nothing else in the world that could fulfill me more than making my patients happy; that is, until I had the privilege of bringing two extraordinary little people into this world who made me what I believe is the greatest honor of my life — a mom.

Rudy (10) and Scarlett (8) are undoubtedly my biggest accomplishments and greatest joy. They gave me a brand-new meaning to life and opened my eyes and heart to the purest love I have ever known. They have always been my biggest supporters, and their natural passion for life and hunger to learn motivates me every day to continually strive for excellence and to be the best version of myself.

I have been blessed to have the privilege of being a mother, plastic surgeon and business owner. And while balancing these different responsibilities doesn’t come without its challenges, it is my hope I can continue to lead by example and teach my children how to fall in love with who they are, challenge themselves, and never stop chasing after their biggest dreams.

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women are incredible!



Family caregivers often overlook their own needs for the benefit of others such as caring for an aging parent. Yet, their own needs exist and can affect the lives of people within their support system. Combining her skills as a Certified Financial Planner™ at an independent firm in downtown Orlando and personal experience as a caregiver for her mother, Christina Pinto Rogers set out to empower caregivers through the launch of Long Term Concierge — The Greatest Gift is a Plan, a consulting business for long-term care planning.

She credits her father for her entrepreneurial spirit: “My father was an entrepreneur at heart, and he inspired me to follow in his footsteps. We were all born in Cuba and he had his business there and then continued his entrepreneurial pursuits in Orlando for many years once we moved to the United States,” she says.

After her father passed in August 2000, Christina naturally started spending more time with her intelligent and independent mother who had also helped with the family business. “It was years later when I then started noticing that role reversal. Growing up, she’s the mom and you’re the daughter — she’s still giving you advice or telling you what to do in a nice way. When you see they need your help, they don’t always want to accept your help. I think that is the hardest transition — when sons or daughters are going through that aging process with their parents and all of sudden you go through that role reversal, and you have to take a step back because you don’t want to tell them what to do because they’re your parents, but at the same time you want to keep them safe

and you want to do what’s right for them just like they did for you,” she explains.

While caring for her mother, Christina realized she needed to get organized in order to maintain her career and personal life. She was fortunate her mother had a long-term care insurance policy that allowed Christina to hire a caregiver. She created checklists for her mom’s care and made a book for the caregiver that included daily routines, medications, likes and dislikes, grocery lists, etc.

“I became a resource to folks dealing with the same thing with their parents. My mother passed in May 2019, and I realized what better way for me to honor and continue her legacy than by sharing what we learned with others. I knew our journey together had a purpose. I decided to combine that experience with my caregiving passion to open this business later in 2019, which we officially launched in November 2022 due to COVID,” Christina says.

The book she created for her mom’s care is known as the “DIY Personal Playbook” and was the start of Long Term Concierge. Today, the business offers dif-

ferent plans — from DIY to full-service — with various price points. Part of her business model is connecting clients with helpful resources and making it affordable for everyone. So, for a small fee, anyone can download the DIY Personal Playbook at and fill out the playbook.

“All of the plans come from my experience and what I needed at the time. For our newest addition, the Essential Plan, our nurse practitioner will complete a detailed medication review, write a medical history summary, and perform a cognitive assessment. I found these to be some of the most concerning issues when caring for my mom,” she explains.

Practicing what she preaches, Christina and her husband, Ben, recently completed their own Personal Playbook. “If a crisis happens at any age, someone other than yourself has access to your information and can be of better assistance. While our initial concept is to benefit caregivers and the elderly, we have realized that our Personal Playbook can also benefit other age groups. As an example, mothers and their minor children,” she adds.

beauty body&spirit

As a CFP®, Christina is passionate about educating people on the importance of long-term care planning as many of the costs associated with care are not covered by medical insurance or government programs. “Caregiving is a very emotional, physical, and financial issue. It’s really a women’s issue as well as more than 60% of caregivers are women,” Christina says.

In addition to supporting women, Christina has always been a strong supporter of community causes and recently joined the board of Seniors First, Inc. where she’s hoping she can use her experiences to help make a difference.

Her other passion is traveling with her husband. “When I was younger, my dad told me that traveling enriches your life and makes you a more rounded individual. I can’t agree more, and we love to travel and explore any chance we get,” she says.


A health navigator is a specially trained registered nurse whose job is to make life easier for each and every woman through expert clinical assistance and educational, emotional and spiritual support. All calls are confidential; anyone can self-refer; and insurance is not required to talk or meet.

AdventHealth for Women’s health navigators provide complimentary services that help you coordinate your overall care and answer any questions you may have. These services include:

• Finding a care provider

• Answering your health care questions

• Assistance with scheduling annual office visits and screenings

• Resources and support for you and your family

• Coordination of care among multiple providers and facilities

To contact the Health Navigation Team, call 407-720-5191 or visit

beauty body&spirit
Doreen Forsythe, BSN, RN Viviana Diaz, BSN, RN


farm & haus

The popular from-scratch café in East End Market opened a stylish Park Avenue location with an expanded menu offering fresh, seasonal, locally-purveyed breakfast and lunch items along with craft beer, local coffee and natural wine selections. The cheesy grits are a must try! Farm & Haus is co-founded by Winter Park residents Patrick Lyne and Brittany Walsh Lyne, who together have three sons.


Paradise Found: Bungalows Key Largo is All That and More

Secluded, serene and seductive, this Keys escape on 11.5 waterfront acres is easily passed by as you cruise down the Overseas Highway. But behind the lush landscaping at Mile Marker 99, you will find the Bungalows Key Largo, a relaxing respite catering to couples who want to reconnect, have fun in the sun, dine in style, and sip cocktails under the stars.

AN ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT, your stay includes accommodations in your private bungalow — either waterfront or garden options with outdoor soaking tubs — meals, drinks, cruiser bikes, valet parking, poolside cabanas, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear, and daily yoga classes. Gratuities are at your discretion and for stays less than four nights, there is the option to dine at Bogie & Bacall’s (I recommend) for a multi-course experience ($300 per person).

tastes &experiences
Bungalows Lobby

tastes &experiences

Even without the waterside locale, the property’s gardens and paths are enough to make you want to toss your phone and totally unplug. As soon as you check-in near the front of the resort, you are escorted to your bungalow via golf cart and the pampering begins. I am an early riser so venturing out at dawn to walk the freshly manicured paths down to the pool deck and watch the sun slowly rise up into the pink clouds while sipping my coffee was sublime.

Leisurely breakfasts can be enjoyed indoors at Fish Tales or just outside by the Sunset Tiki Bar before exploring on bikes provided at each bungalow. Everywhere you look — 180 degrees across the beachfront — there are water sports options from paddleboards to boats, and the calm ripples of the Gulf are rhythmic reminders that you are away from the rest of the world. You can arrange to take a sunset cruise, with libations, nibbles and music, that is the perfect pre-dinner activity. Staying on shore, you can lounge under the sun on the large pool deck or on the beach under wafting palms with servers checking in regularly to see about quenching your thirst or hunger.

For those looking for a little solitude, there is the Zen Garden and Zen Pool nestled among the native greenery. If you want to get in some exercise, the Fitness Tiki Hut is equipped with a variety of machines and weights, and daily yoga classes are offered on the beach. And what is a chill retreat without a spa? The Beach House features a small boutique — in case you forgot something or just want to shop — along with five outdoor treatment cabanas, bayside waterfront treatment tiki, luxurious men’s and women’s locker rooms, whimsical state-of-the-art steam room, Himalayan salt treatment room, and plush indoor relaxation area.

The drinking and dining venues onsite offer enough that you won’t even be tempted to venture off property. Fish Tales is the all-day restaurant with Mediterranean-

inspired cuisine. Sea Señor, open for lunch and dinner, features “Mexican flavors with a Keys twist.” Bogie & Bacall’s offers a multi-course fine dining experience with sommelier-curated wine list with an island elegant ambiance. Start with a craft cocktail at Hemingway’s Bar to set the mood — cue the Bertie Higgins hit Key Largo

Overall, the bungalows are charming, the food and drinks are a treat, the staff is superb, the activities are practically endless, and the views are exceptional, begging the question: Can I come back tomorrow?

Hemingway’s Bar
Bogie & Bacall’s


LIV SAIN SHARED HER VERY PERSONAL STORY of addiction and mental health issues in Orange Appeal’s July/ August 2020 Women Who Inspire column. It included her journey of hitting rock bottom, coming back, and her wish to help other people, particularly teens and young adults, to live knowing they are not alone in their challenges. In addition to her book, Liv To Tell, she was relaying her story to local students.

And now she has a new passion that still supports her mission. Several years ago, she turned to cooking as a way of coping with life’s obstacles. After struggling with food allergies, she had to learn how to get creative and make food fun again. According to her, one day she found she had

bought way too many cucumbers and did not want them to go to waste so she decided to make pickles the way she liked them — thick, crunchy, fresh and flavorful.

Her process starts with English (no burp) cucumbers that she chops into exactly oneinch pieces. Then she carefully adds the spices and herbs that make the batches extra special. Her current varieties, sold cold, include dill and rosemary (with garlic,

sweet onion, mustard and coriander seeds), and sweet jalapeno (with sweet onion, mustard and coriander seeds).

To support mental illness programs at The Realize Foundation, her Pickles for Prevention donates money for every 30oz jar and every gallon of pickles sold. Pickle lovers can order online with a pick-up option and limited delivery available.

tastes &experiences BITS & BITES

A New Old Fashioned

Hog’s Head Barrel from Heaven’s Door Whiskey has traveled the world to find its forever home at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster. The barrel is one of only six in the world with such an impressive story that began in Jerez, Spain, where it aged in sherry for five years. It was then sent to Ireland, where it spent 15 years at the prestigious Redbreast Distillery, contributing to the creation of what many consider to be the finest single-pot still whiskey. Lastly it was secondarily aged in the U.S. to create Heaven’s Door’s mature 10-year-old bourbon for a collaboration known as the Master Blenders’ Edition. Now, guests can enjoy a taste of history and celebrate the journey of this barrel and the art of barrel aging with the Christner’s barrel aged old fashioned.

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CHEERS TO 15 YEARS! A Celebration of Anniversaries

WOW! It’s hard to believe we have been creating content for so many years. We have some great memories and have loved sharing stories of the amazing women (and a few men) in our community. But it’s never been just about us, so we are also including a shoutout to other local companies and venues that are commemorating significant milestones.

It’s been a wonderful run so far — and there’s a lot more in store! Thank you for joining us on this journey. We promise to keep you connected and to continue delivering relevant content.



October 2012:

Sara Von Braun

One of our most beautiful covers, this one celebrated the strength and determination of Sara Von Braun

who has battled breast cancer more than once. She is a bright light who was so easy to work with and that came through in the images. We wanted a fairytale setting and Diane Holm graciously offered a bedroom in her new Winter Park home. Kate and I selected and rolled in the fall fashions, our dear collaborator Marjorie Robinson did the hair and makeup, and Karen Smutz was behind the lens.

I first met Sara when I co-chaired Celebrity Stroll, an event that supported the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. As one of our models, she ruled the runway. When she got to the end, she asked everyone to close their eyes, and when everyone opened them, she stood there defiantly with her bald head to a standing ovation, I will always remember.

November/December 2010:

Harriett Lake

There are not enough pages to express our love and admiration for the feisty fashionista and philanthropist who left an indelible mark on Central Florida. Kind and outspoken, this former Marine showed us how to live life to the fullest. Harriett’s talented daughter Shelley photographed her in one of her favorite ensembles and signature fur hat.

September/October 2014:

Sisaundra Lewis

What a delight to work with the extremely talented Sisaundra. She was fresh off her run on The Voice and still glowing. It was our annual fall fashion issue, and she wore each ensemble with grace and confidence. The Grand Bohemian Hotel was the perfect backdrop and the cover shot by Karen Smutz at the piano was a true portrait of her personality.

March/April 2009: Val Demings

Photographed as Orlando’s first female police chief, we knew Val Demings was an important figure. But we could not have guessed she would also rise to national prominence as a Congresswoman. Although she did not succeed in her senatorial quest, we have no doubt she will be back in the spotlight soon.



We obviously have a special affinity for mother-daughter stories and have been able to focus on these special relationships many times over the years. Each photo shoot was filled with love and a little magic.


July/August 2020: Dr. Ginny Botts, Stacie Rathel, Vanessa Echols, Stephanie Garris and Nina Yon

This was probably the most difficult year we faced because uncertainty reigned over everything. The March shutdown was followed by novel ways of navigating — the May/June cover was comprised of submitted photos we superimposed in frames. By June we were facing more upheaval, tackling tough topics including race relations, mental illness, and the lack of a COVID vaccine. For safety reasons, we photographed each of these ladies separately and then combined them. Jim Hobart successfully maneuvered angles and lighting so they would match up.

Their stories were about coming together as a community, and we learned: how Grace Medical Home was providing essential services during the pandemic; how helping first-gen college women can change the trajectory of their future; how to start and continue a conversation about race; how The Sharing Center launched Operation Good Samaritan; how social media and ZOOM could keep us connected; and how we could assist those with a life-threatening illness.

One of the most asked questions we get — has there ever been a man on the cover? The answer is yes; four times, but only in the company of women. November/December 2009: Susan & Rick Goings; January/February 2009: Sen. Mel & Kitty Martinez, January/February 2012: Vanessa & Jason Brewer; November/December 2014: Bryce L. West, Sharon & Marc Hagle, Judge Winifred J. Sharp and Dr. Jennifer Thielhelm.

Another question routinely asked — how do you select the Women of the Year? We started honoring Women of the Year in 2011 with the January/February issue, but we did not make it an annual selection until 2017. We chose the beginning of a new year because the women we highlight have not only accomplished remarkable things but will continue to do so. We have named as few as three and as many as 10 depending on who we see in the community as shining standouts.

So far, the list includes: Dr. Ann McGee (twice), Dr. Deborah German, Sherrie Sitarek, Meg Crofton, Carol Wick, Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Kathy Ramsberger (twice), Marla Silliman, Mayanne Downs, Val Demings, Candy Crawford, Anna Eskamani, Ida Eskamani, Heather Fagan, Karen Keene, Tessa Hahn, Shelley Lauten, Barbara Poma, Melissa Wiggins, Sharon Line Clary, Sandy Hostetter, Elisha Gonzalez Bonnewitz, Tiffany Moore Russell, Joanie Holzer Schirm, Amy Lockhart, Rosene Johnson, Martiza Martinez Guerrero, Marci Doyle, Whitney Laney, Dr. Romie Mushtaq, Stephanie Darden Bennett, Suneera Madhani, Patty Sheehan, Andrea Eliscu, Stephanie Bowman, Pamela Kancher, Arlene Blake, Sue Chin, Dana Marie Roquemore, Lindsay Muscato, Casandra Matej, Sibille Hart Pritchard, Shannon Fitzgerald and Dr. Laine Powell.

From left: May/June 2010 — Josie, Alessandra and Valentina NeJame; May/June 2011 — Katie Morgan Benzel and Ultima Morgan; November/December 2011 — Diane and Danielle Holm; May/June 2012 — Carol Massey and Andrea Massey-Farrell; July/August 2011 — Abby Rizor, Hattie Wolfe, Lauri Godfrey and Betsy Godfrey ; May/June 2015 – Linda Landman Gonzalez, Elisha Gonzalez Bonnewitz and Jenny Bohnert
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Our most challenging cover story? That’s easy — our 10th anniversary edition when we asked all the cover models to join us for a photo shoot at Jim Hobart’s studio. We thought we would have a couple of dozen say yes, but actually 49 ladies joined us for the celebration.


100 YEARS | The Ritz Theater

In July of 2022, the Ritz Theater began a year-long celebration marking its 100th Anniversary of entertaining the community. Completed in July 1923, Sanford’s Milane Theater seated 823 patrons, contained a four-story fly, and included a proscenium arch and orchestra pit. Through the years the theater changed owners and eventually closed in 1978. But it was brought back to life in 2000 as a performing arts center (Ritz Theater at Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center since 2014). Christi was one of the kids who enjoyed the Wednesday matinees.

60 YEARS | Morning Star Catholic School Fashion Show & Luncheon

Since 1960, Morning Star Catholic School has provided children with special needs the opportunity to embrace their potential. Since opening, the school has served more than 2,000 students. The Morning Star Catholic School Auxiliary has presented an annual fashion show and luncheon since 1963. Now known as A Runway For Giving, students are part of the show featuring fashions from local retailers.

50 YEARS | Orlando Ballet

Some of our other favorites…

Orlando Ballet began in 1974 as The Performing Arts Company of Florida. In 1978 it became Southern Ballet Theatre and began performing at the Bob Carr Theater. The company now performs at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Cheryl Collins

“All of us at Orlando Ballet are excitedly anticipating our upcoming 50th Anniversary Season. This milestone will include the gift of a fully reimagined production of The Nutcracker for the Central Florida community and beyond. As this goal completes our current long-range plan, we will also create and present the next plan which will set the stage for our next 50 years. Thank you, Orlando, for so many years of love and support,“ says Executive Director Cheryl Collins. Christi served on the Orlando Ballet board for several years.

50 YEARS | Allen Dyer Doppelt + Gilchrist

Since 1973, Allen, Dyer, Doppelt + Gilchrist has been a formidable presence in Florida law, specializing in intellectual property and complex business litigation. Practice areas include patent, trademark and copyright prosecution, licensing, intellectual property litigation and business litigation, as well as computer and internet law, and entertainment law. Partner Ava Doppelt has served as Orange Appeal’s trademark attorney since 2008.

40 YEARS | Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

From one small building in Orlando to four distribution centers and 625 feeding partners serving neighbors in seven counties, Second Harvest now distributes enough food for 300,000 meals every day. Ten years ago, the Food Bank launched its Culinary


we asked, and you shared!

Training Program to provide adults facing barriers to employment obtain the hands-on culinary skills and life skills needed for a sustainable career in the food industry. More than 440 graduates have completed the program to date. Second Harvest Food Bank is feeding inspiration, change, achievement, health — and families facing hunger.

35 YEARS | Eric Horner Interiors

Eric has become widely known and respected for his large resume of design work throughout the country. His creativity has been commended in numerous publications, interviews and awards. Although based in Central Florida, his multi-generations of clients reside from coast-to-coast. His design niche is creating timeless interiors for the individual client’s needs and tastes. Eric’s projects have been featured in Interior Appeal.

25 YEARS | Workscapes

Workscapes is a certified woman-owned business that started in 1998. As a turnkey commercial interior solutions partner, Workscapes offers services including space planning and design with products including furniture, modular walls, acoustical products, and flooring. The company now has four Florida locations: Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Ft. Myers. As a certified MillerKnoll dealer and DIRTT partner, Workscapes and interior construction division Buildscapes, also represent more than 300 manufacturers of high-quality office furniture and modular solutions. Founder Elizabeth Dvorak has appeared on two Orange Appeal covers.

25 YEARS | Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine and Events

Chef Jamie McFadden was inspired to bring the high-end, cutting-edge cuisine of fine dining restaurants into the homes of discerning clientele. Now a full-service event and catering company, Cuisiniers continues to be chef-driven. Chef Jamie’s other career highlights includes: preparing two Central Florida inspired meals at the James Beard House in New York City, and co-founding The PEAS Foundation, which provides foodinsecure households with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Jamie has been a contributor to Orange Appeal and Interior Appeal

25 YEARS | A Gift for Teaching

Community philanthropist Gary Landwirth established A Gift For Teaching in 1998 after realizing the great needs in the community. Now providing $65,000+ worth of supplies daily to teachers and their students in Orange and Osceola County public schools, A Gift For Teaching has distributed more than $158 million in school essentials over the past 25 years.

25 YEARS | Rinat Halon Photography Communication

Rinat Halon, Cr. Photog., CPP, is an award-winning photographer whose career has spanned the globe — with dual Israeli and U.S. citizenship. She has photographed portraits of high-ranking government officials and celebrities, weddings, culinary, high fashion, jewelry, architecture, and more. Her photographs have appeared in magazines and exhibits internationally. Today Rinat captures family, beauty, and high school senior portraits in her studio or on location.

20 YEARS | Eola Eyes

Eola Eyes opened in March 2003 in a historic office in Thornton Park, one block from Lake Eola. The practice was started by Doctors Brighid Williams and Kerry Giedd, two young optometrists. They founded Eola Eyes on principles of integrity and were committed to providing patient-centered care and fashion-forward eyewear in a welcoming, boutique-style environment. They also wanted a good work-life balance for the staff. Today, the modern office is on North Mills Avenue in downtown Orlando with an expanded staff including four doctors, opticians and optical technicians.

10 YEARS | East End Market

The novel neighborhood market and food hall in the Audubon Park Garden District of Orlando was reimagined from a church building by John Rife and designed to be a community space fostering creativity and collaboration. The Market showcases some of Central Florida’s top food entrepreneurs, makers, artisans and chefs. The two-story structure is home to a dozen merchants, a large event space, a demonstration kitchen, an incubator kitchen, offices, retail shops, and Michelin Bib Gourmand 2022 awardee restaurant Domu.

10 YEARS | Felsing LLC

Carol Felsing founded her boutique CPA firm, located in Winter Park, in 2013. Her firm specializes in entrepreneurial and start-up services, trust and trustee services, and personal and business taxes. The company has received the Winter Park Chamber’s recognition as Best Accounting Firm for the past four years.

5 YEARS | Oxford Eyes

Oxford Eyes, an independent, familyowned eyewear retailer located on Ivanhoe Row in Orlando since 2018, has recently added the eyeQ360 exam experience in addition to eye exams, customized eyewear styling. “The Oxford Eyes team is thrilled to be celebrating a major business milestone this year and introducing a state-of-the-art eye health exam experience,” says owner Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson.

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pretty presents

Tessa’s Table resin and wood cutting board, $95, The Hunt; The Tiny Orchid Co. orchid in white cachepot, $30, and Extraordinary Mothers & Daughters, $30, The Grove; pink woven bag, $75, Monkee’s of Winter Park; Nashi Home medium resin bowl, $75, Clementine; Park Hill Poppy Garden cappuccino cup, $33, Pistil Home & Garden; Hyacinth Petal earrings, $40, Monkee’s; Floral claw clips, $12.50 each, The Grove; Baldiz Sophia zipper clutch, $125, and crossbody strap, $65, Monkee’s; WirrWarr Wraps big bauble beads, $44, The Grove; Rafe New York Berna raffia embroidered handbag, $395, The Hunt.

Photos by Christi Ashby

Cloud Chess Set, $73, Gold Dust Home; Tiana NY Random Crap beaded pagoda bag, $200, and Chinoiserie beaded clutch, $68, YAY!; Baobob Collection Waves Belharra Max10 candle, $150, and Greenbox Flower Garden coaster set, $35, Pistil Home & Garden; Fleur’t Hampton Blue dainty chemise, $94, and robe, $109, LaBella Intimates & Boutique; Sea Urchin dish with lid, $40, COCO Indigo; Mariner pearl bracelet, $162, Yochi 3-pearl square cuff, $105, and Yochi rectangular pearl bracelet, $105, all from Tuni.

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Blossom square art tray, $90, COCO Indigo; Geometry Salle Rose tea towel, $18, Frank; MOOD Interiors & Inspirations by Anne Hepfer, $60, YAY!; Fiona Italian leather bag, $295, COCO Indigo; Krewe St. Louis Classics sunglasses, $365, Frank; Laura Park acrylic serving set, $60, Clementine; Michele Lopriore Milano Amalfi leather sandals, $185, COCO Indigo; Butterfly acrylic tray, $115, Frank; Michele Lopriore Milano Bee Jewel leather sneakers, $250, Tuni; Malibu Sugar bracelets, $28 each, Maffrey’s.


Austin mint hat, $42, The House on Lang; Modern Picnic Not Your Average Lunchbox, $139, and woven heart earrings, $98, The Hunt; Trove wooden puzzle, $42, Curious Botanicals Florida Sunshine Tea infusion kit, $25, Flouwer Co. Orange Blossom cocktail cubes, $19, and Musee Jasmine Petals & Quince candle, $24, all from Maffrey’s; Barefoot Dreams faded Rose Pearl bathrobe, $118, Pistil Home & Garden; Decadence Adeline slides, $188, Monkee’s of Winter Park; Looking Good standing eyeglass holder, $24, The Grove; Cabo crocheted fringe top, $48, sunglasses, $18, and Moda Luxe Calista bag, $70, all from The House on Lang.

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La Sablesienne 1670 Marquise de Sable box of assorted shortbread, $36 each, The Hunt; Rock Star handmade ceramic poppy candleholders, $47 each, Gold Dust Home; The Lady Di Look Book, $35, YAY!; Musee message soaps, $10 each, Maffrey’s; Leopard champagne flute, $20, Clementine; L’Objet Litto Candle Green, $220, Pistil Home & Garden; Bam Forever rockstud bag, $78, and Ella Stein Love You Mama earrings and bracelet (made with diamonds), $159 and $105, all from Tuni; Musee Rainbow bath bomb set, $26, Maffrey’s; Chillhouse Chill Globes ice massage facial tool, $45, The Grove; Quotable Do More trinket tray, $13, Maffrey’s; Voluspa Yashioka Gardenia candle, $20, LaBella Intimates; beaded leopard print and stripe earrings, $45, The Grove.


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