Bella Magazine July 2024

Page 1


Be cool with breezy fashion, refreshing yoga, smart smoothies, skincare from the fridge and cryotherapy


• Gult Coast Kid’s House Roaring 20th

• Evening in White

• Glitz & Gallop Gala


from the editor

Just as summer is heating up, I am planning to chill out — way out. How about you?

I have a few favorite things to do when I need to disconnect, wind down or de-stress. One is to sit outside on my shady porch swing and practice mindfulness. Listen to the birds. Feel the breeze (please, please let there be a breeze). Focus on my breath.

I think the calm I get from this comes from my childhood, where I could often be found dangling and swaying on a swing. I was quite an imaginative, creative child, and many of my greatest ideas came as I was gently swinging back and forth on a homemade tree swing in my Tennessee backyard. Fast forward to today, and my swing is the place I unplug. Another favorite thing is to immerse myself in water somewhere. Pool, beach or sound — it doesn’t really matter where. The water is not only a sweet relief from our summer heat, but it’s also a relief from other burdens we carry every day, like gravity.

This is a childhood connection, too. I remember holding my breath and trying to sink to the bottom of a pool, floating in complete disconnected drift. Lighter than on land, and more graceful somehow too, I was a mermaid or an octopus, still and quiet, hair eerily curling all around my face, listening to the mysterious underwater sounds my ears could not interpret. Then my brother would come crashing into my reverie with the best-aimed cannonball he could muster, and that would be the end of that.

Here’s hoping your July breezes are cool and calm, your quiet moments are plenty and your interrupting cannonballs are few. When you find that perfect place and time, sit back, ignore the July heat and enjoy The Big Chill.

— Lisa Player

PUBLISHER / Kelly MacLeod

EDITOR / Lisa Player

ART DIRECTOR / Elizabeth Meyer




Toni Sparks, Kate Treick


Jennifer Harrison, Magi Thomley Williams

4 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Biggs, Alice Crann Good, Sharla Gorder, Allison McCrory, Chelsea Owens, Leslie Peck, Lisa Player, Leah Seacrest, Magi Thomley Williams
Bella is published the last week of each month and distributed free throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the editor. EMAIL SALES @BELLAMAGAZINE.COM OR CALL (833) 358-4486 To Advertise SEND EDITORIAL INQUIRIES AND STORY IDEAS TO KELLY@BELLAMAGAZINE.COM


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bella staff

Liz Biggs, writer/columnist

Liz Biggs is a Pensacola native and mother of four. Once upon a time, she had a high-pressure career, but now she has a pension and is a freelance writer for Bella Magazine. Liz enjoys music, dancing, tennis and travel and tries to find humor in everything.

Alice Crann Good, writer

Award-winning writer Alice Crann Good spent 20 years with USA TODAY and Pensacola News Journal; accolades include the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award. She was also a state college PR specialist and is author of Betsy the Bookworm children’s book series.

Sharla Gorder, writer/columnist

Sharla Dawn Gorder is a Pensacola Beach resident and columnist for the Island Times newspaper. She is the author of “My Vices Collide; a Celebration of Being a Little Messed Up,” and is currently working on her next book, entitled “Crayon Dawn,” due out in October 2024.

Jennifer Harrison, advertising

Jennifer Harrison is a Pensacola native (via the Navy). She is very involved in the Pensacola community through IMPACT 100, Pensacola Navy Days, Food Distributions for Representative Salzman, Leadership Pensacola, ECPS Foundation, Achieve Escambia, ECCPTA and more. Making an impact is what drives her to do more.

Allison McCrory, writer/fashion stylist

Allison McCrory is almost a Pensacola native who has worked in writing and editing since 1984 when she started with The News, an afternoon newspaper that later merged with the morning Journal. The mom of two adult kids, Allison suffers from a tennis addiction, practices yoga and loves to cook.

Magi Thomley Williams, advertising/writer

Magi Thomley Williams, ACB, ALB is a business and nonprofit consultant, writer, trainer and speaker. Dedicated to improving her community by helping nonprofits build their boards, improve their media presence and attract donor funding,Magi enjoys writing about impactful nonprofits, thriving businesses and the women who lead them.

Chelsea Owens, writer

Chelsea Owens grew up in Gulf Breeze and received degrees in communications and art from the University of West Florida. She has a lifelong passion for style and art, and over 10 years of social media and marketing experience. She is also a pilates instructor who enjoys both staying busy and relaxing at the beach.

Leslie Peck, writer/beauty expert

Leslie Peck is a local aesthetician, makeup artist, lash artist and brow specialist. She has experience in TV, film, print and celebrity makeup in Los Angeles and 11 seasons of NYC Fashion week. Leslie was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2007 for her work at Fashion Week.

Leah Seacrest, writer/fitness expert

Leah Seacrest, a seasoned fitness industry veteran with over 30 years, experience in group fitness and personal training, coowns REGYMEN Fitness Pensacola and is the SVP of REGYMEN Fitness overseeing operations and franchise growth. She is a mother of three and loves spending time outdoors.

Sonshine, writer

Sonshine is a Northwest Florida media personality, currenting hosting “Sonshine’s Corner” on BLAB TV. She is a business consultant, author, motivational speaker and fitness consultant.

Toni Sparks, photographer

Toni Sparks is a proud Pensacola native. As the visionary behind Short Story Studios. Toni is dedicated to creating magazine-quality images with unparalleled elegance and style. Her experiences infuse her photography with a unique perspective that celebrates and elevates every moment.

Kate Treick, photographer

Kate Treick is a professional photographer, writer, speaker and publisher who has called Pensacola home since 2012. She and her husband, Joel, have two teenaged kids and two funny little dogs. Kate loves spending time with friends, leading music at her church, reading and traveling.

Teresa Torres Zwierzchowski, social media

Teresa Zwierzchowski has more than 20 years’ experience in communications, including more than 15 years working for the Pensacola News Journal. She is a lover of all things communication including brand, culture and social media as well as community and public relations.

Elizabeth Meyer, art director

Elizabeth Meyer spent her early career as a designer and design director at newspapers across the country. She is currently an adjunct instructor and director of The McKinley Avenue Agency at Ball State University. Betsy was born in Pensacola while her father was in the U.S. Navy.

6 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 7 8 5 0 4 4 9 4 2 4 2 8 5 0 4 4 9 4 2 4 2 8 5 0 7 3 6 1 1 8 1 S H E R L Y N W A G H A L T E R T E A M 4 B D | 4 B A | 4 , 0 7 8 S F 4 B D | 3 5 B A | 4 , 8 9 8 5 0 . 4 4 9 . 4 2 4 2 8 5 0 4 4 9 4 2 4 2 8 5 0 . 6 3 7 . 5 7 2 8 5 B D | 4 5 B A | 4 , 4 0 0 S F $ 3 4 9 9 9 0 0 T H E A T E A M $ 2 , 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 $ 3 , 9 5 0 , 0 0 0 $ 1 , 8 9 0 , 0 0 0 8 6 5 6 9 6 7 5 7 0 3 B D | 2 B A | 1 , 5 0 9 S F 4 B D | 2 B A | 1 , 7 3 6 S F 3 B D | 2 B A | 1 , 6 2 5 S F 8 5 0 4 8 5 2 6 6 5 9 2 0 5 4 0 3 9 5 6 $ 4 2 9 , 0 0 0 C A R R I E C A R V E R 2 0 5 4 1 2 8 4 3 8 $ 3 2 0 , 0 0 0 $ 3 5 0 , 0 0 0 $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 8 5 0 6 0 2 7 6 8 2 J E N N I F E R C O B B $ 7 9 9 , 0 0 0 8 5 0 . 9 8 2 . 8 1 4 0 C H U C K S P I C K A 4 B D | 3 B A | 3 , 6 4 3 S F $ 1 , 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 $ 3 5 9 , 9 0 0 3 B D | 3 . 5 B A | 2 , 4 7 6 S F 2 B D | 2 . 5 B A | 1 , 3 3 3 S F S H E R L Y N W A G H A L T E R T E A M $ 7 9 9 , 5 0 0 B H H S P e n F e d . c o m E X P E R I E N C E D A G E N T S Y O U C A N T R U S T 8 5 0 4 4 9 4 2 4 2 2939 WINDING BROOK WAY,PACE 7 COLLEY COVE, GULF BREEZE 1 PORT ROYAL WAY, PENSACOLA 8 5 0 . 7 7 6 . 2 9 5 9 4 B D | 4 5 B A | 5 , 5 6 8 S F JENNY RUSHING 4 B D | 4 . 5 B A | 3 , 1 5 3 S F L O R R A I N E B R A C K I N 8 5 0 7 3 6 1 1 8 1 $ 3 , 9 0 0 , 0 0 0 $ 2 , 9 5 0 , 0 0 0 $ 3 , 9 9 9 , 9 9 9 8 5 0 6 8 6 6 5 8 8 F R A S I E R P H E L P S M I C H E L L E C A R L S O N 6 B D | 3 . 5 B A | 3 , 1 1 9 S F A N D R A M O R G A N T E A M 5 B D | 4 B A | 3 , 7 2 6 S F P E G G Y B R A U N 3 B D | 2 B A | 1 , 6 5 8 S F $ 9 4 9 , 0 0 0 1100 ARIOLA DR PENSACOLA BEACH 6 B D | 4 B A | 4 7 9 5 S F 5 B D | 3 B A | 2 5 9 3 S F 836 Gulf Breeze Pwky. Gulf Breeze Fl. 32561 850.932.6278 17 W Cedar St. Pensacola Fl. 32502 850.434.2244 7611 STEEPLECHASE BLVD PENSACOLA 3310 BAYOU DR., PENSACOLA 7797 GULF BLVD , NAVARRE 1697 OAK DR , GULF BREEZE 800 S PALAFOX ST 779 , PENSACOLA L O R R A I N E B R A C K I N 3231 EDINBURGH CASTLE DR , MILTON 3477 WILLOW LN , GULF BREEZE 9684 GUIDY LN. PENSACOLA 616 BAY CLIFFS RD, GULF BREEZE 4 PORTOFINO DR 803, PENSACOLA BEACH 11441 CLEAR CREEK DR PENSACOLA 1807 VIA DELUNA DR PENSACOLA BEACH S H E R L Y N W A G H A L T E R T E A M S H E R L Y N W A G H A L T E R T E A M S H E R L Y N W A G H A L T E R T E A M
8 • Bella Magazine • July 2024 10 SPEND OR SAVE 12 FASHION: Keeping it cool 22 BEAUTY: Skin cooling made cool 30 LOCAL FARE: Common Grounds Pensacola 38 LOCAL FARE: How do you chill? 40 PROFILE: Mamie Webb Hixon 42 BODY & SOUL: Cryotherapy 50 OUT & ABOUT: Gulf Coast Kid’s House Roaring 20th Anniversary 54 OUT & ABOUT: Junior League’s Evening in White 60 OUT & ABOUT: United Way’s Glitz & Gallop Gala 64 HER PERSPECTIVE: Just don’t do it 66 HER PERSPECTIVE: Dancing days COVER Art of Doing Nothing Page 24 inside this issue LOCAL FARE Everyday Nutrition Page 36 BODY & SOUL Cool Down Page 46 On the cover
: Model Paige Peters-Rust chills out in breezy fashion from The Market and Mainly Shoes. Story on Page 10. Photo by Kate Treick Photography


• CALLAS Milano printed silk twill scarf, $350,

• The Mesh Beach Tote, $78,

• Crochet sandals, $1,370,

• Satin scarf, $12.99,

• Mesh tote handbag, $10,

• Crown Vintage Kane platform, $49.99,

where to shop

H&M: Cordova Mall, 5100 N. Ninth Ave., Pensacola; 855-466-7467;

Target: Multiple area locations;

DSW: 1650 Airport Blvd., Unit 350, Pensacola; 850-512-1395;

10 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

Scheduling Made Easy!

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Book online appointments with Baptist Medical Group primary and urgent care providers from your desktop computer, smart phone or other electronic device. It’s simple.

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Once you’ve confirmed your appointment, you will have the option of receiving an email or text message to remind you of your visit. Visit, or call 850.434.4080, and EasySchedule your appointment today.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 11
Better at Baptist

Keeping it cool

Bright & breezy is best

Vibrant colors, feminine lace and florals, fluid sundresses in all lengths and goeverywhere sneakers are among fashion’s favorite ways to celebrate summer 2024.

Balmy Gulf Coast summers call for a cool plan and Anne Frechette of The Market & Mainly Shoes has ideas.

“Linens are always a staple in the summer because of their cool and lightweight quality,” she said. “Our warm climate is perfect for shorts, tanks and cool wraps. They are easy and the perfect look for summer days and nights. It’s easy to pack for travel with easy Sympli knits and Spanx air essentials.”

When buying pants, everything goes — so wear what is most flattering and comfy.

“Pants are full, cropped, straight and bootleg depending on the fabric and weight,” noted Frechette.

Keep the cool summer vibe going with accessory pops!

“The sling crossbody handbags and fanny packs are the biggest styles now. Many have organizing features and zip pockets,” said Frechette, adding that the tote will never go away as a timeless and functional summer workhorse.

Long, beaded necklaces are a pretty finishing touch. The Market & Mainly Shoes carries lots in versatile creams and neutrals.

“Big horn earrings and bracelets are summery and great to make a fashion statement. Beautiful scarves are always a fabulous accessory,” Frechette added.

Besides summer sneakers, look for “comfort wedges in lots of different fabrics — leather, raffia, metallics and stretchy materials,” said Peggy Woolverton, who buys all footwear for The Market & Mainly Shoes. “Flat slides are big with dresses and pants. We have a beautiful line of handmade Italian sandals from Florence in a variety of heights and beautiful neutral leathers. “

Shopping list: Sarape beckons back to centuries of merging Native American and European weaving methods. The colorful stripe channels the spirit of summer, especially since this set boasts a sleeveless dress for hot days and a duster for cool, air-conditioned spaces. Tysa dress is $195 and duster is $215.

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14 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

Paige Peters-Rust

Summer grilling or digging in the dirt or playing with her pups are among Paige Peters-Rust’s bestloved ways to chillax.

The Tate High and FSU grad, who has worn many professional hats, is currently a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker.

“I enjoy it as I have always been into home design and renovation work. The people I work with are truly the best,” said Peters-Rust.

“Anything involving the water or a sunset” are Peters-Rust’s favorite Gulf Coast ways to play.

Earthy gardening is also a passion.

“I really enjoy working in the garden. There is just something about beautifying my surroundings with natural elements and really getting my hands dirty.”

Four-legged creatures are close to Peters-Rust’s heart as well.

“While living in Los Angeles, I volunteered with several different rescues for events, pick-ups and transports,” she said. “While there, my daughter and I fostered over 250 dogs ... I wish more people would volunteer to do this.”

Fostering helps dogs unlock their true personalities, thereby making them more adoptable, Peters-Rust explained. She said would-be pup parents unable to make a long-term commitment make ideal foster moms and dads.

“Dogs can sniff out bombs and drugs, detect cancer and impending seizures in humans and alert us to all kinds of dangers. I would love to see them more protected in our society and treated with the respect they truly deserve.”

Shopping list: Northwest Floridians know summer means rain, so why not embrace it with a bold pop of very visible red with this Mycra Pac red slicker raincoat, $435? These white Spanx pants, $128, are uber flattering. Both the pants and the black mockneck top, $78, will be go-everywhere-with-anything staples.

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16 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Shopping list: The living is easy in this set by Aquavita. Pants, $88, and duster, $88, team here with a feminine Paige silk white tank, $170.

Shopping list:

Think pink for the win! Rory fuchsia silk dress is $265; sparkling silver accessories are cool and complementary.
18 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

Shopping list: This pristine linen jumpsuit by OndadeMar, $260, is cool in every sense of the word. Pure white is trending in summer 2024 and offers a multitude of accessory expression opportunities.

About the Location

5eleven Palafox The Loft 511 S. Palafox St., Pensacola; 850-637-1044;

Hair Compliments of Millicent Bennett, owner of Millie’s on Maura 1200 E. Maura St., Pensacola; 850-748-3552

Clothes Compliments of The Market and Mainly Shoes, 700 S. Palafox St., Pensacola; 850-434-3012;

Model Compliments of Izon Models & Talent LLC 301 N. Barcelona St., Suite E, Pensacola; 850-433-2099;

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 19

stylingthe shoot

20 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Tassel necklace, $145 Black resin earrings, $48 FS/NY black mules, $205 Bracelet, $115 Beaded pink eyeglass necklace, $50 MooMoo horn earrings, $72 Lisa Freed silver loops, $50 Photography: Kate Treick / Fashion styling: Allison McCrory Where to shop: The Market and Mainly Shoes
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 21
Mera silver sequin handbag, $365 Turquoise earrings, $98 Sarah Stewart raffia turquoise crossbody, $98 Wallaroo hat, $65 Turquoise ring, $48 Turquoise necklace, $90 Gold hoops, $68 Black resin ring, $48 Carrano platform sandals, $147 Latico white fanny pack, $135
22 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

From the expert Skin cooling MADE COOL

If you have a pre-teen or teen girl in your world, you know that a skincare mini fridge is all the rage. Having both a pre-teen AND a teen girl in my house at the moment, I’ve purchased not one, but two skincare mini fridges, and I honestly thought it was a way for them to sneak soda and snacks into their room. To my surprise, they keep them stocked with skincare and all the tools needed to “fix” their perfect skin. I laughed when they first begged to have these in their rooms, but I soon realized my jade roller and mini ice packs I use to depuff my eyes and face smell like frozen pizza and Eggo waffles coming out of my kitchen freezer, and they might be onto something.

We all know icing our bodies brings down inflammation, so it makes complete sense to ice our faces after a long day or to soothe morning puffiness. First, wash your face, neck and decollete with a gentle cleanser. Next, slowly glide ice over the entire area for up to 10 minutes. Then, apply serums, eye cream and moisturizer. Unlike icing a wound several times a day, skin icing for cosmetic reasons is best to only do once a day. Skin icing can reduce pore size and inflammation, soothe blemishes and exfoliate the skin. There are benefits of putting certain types of skin care in the fridge. First, let’s talk about what NOT to put in the fridge. Any oil-based products, clay masks and thick creamy moisturizers should not be chilled. The

ingredients will separate or harden and ruin the product. Always read the product label to make sure before you ruin your new favorite products. My girls learned this the hard way after putting an oil-based moisturizer in their mini fridge, of course after I told them not to, but what do I know? I only do this for a living. Some products can definitely be kept cool and used straight out of the fridge with added benefits, including a longer shelf life. Retinol and vitamin C thrive in a cooler environment because they will break down if exposed to heat and light. Hyaluronic acid doesn’t need to be refrigerated but it can increase its soothing properties. Organic products have fewer preservatives and last longer when refrigerated. Skin care with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide will be effective longer. Some medications used to treat acne need to be stored in the fridge at all times, so check the labels. Face mists and serums are also OK as long as the serums aren’t oil based. Sheet masks, gel masks and tools such as jade rollers, gua sha stones and cryo globes all feel amazing when chilled. So the other night when my lower back was throbbing from a long day of doing spa services, I sat on the couch with my feet propped up, glass of wine in hand, an ice pack on my back and rolled away my puffy face with a chilled jade roller that didn’t smell of frozen foods. (Thanks to Zona and Marlie, my teen experts, for hooking me up!)

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 23

cover story

That’s right, industrious multitaskers. Today’s lifestyle trend is all about the biggest chill of all — doing nothing, nada, niente, rien, niksen.

Oodles of people around the globe are writing, blogging, podcasting, posting, researching, surveying and producing news segments on “the art of doing nothing.”


• A search on Amazon offered more than 20 books on “The Art of Doing Nothing.”

• The Secret of Soul Facebook group posted about a peculiar train station in south Japan completely isolated in the middle of nowhere, the Seiryu Miharashi station. It has no entrance or exit. This station has one function: to remind people of the importance of stopping and doing nothing, both physically and mentally, and simply admiring the landscape, according to the post.

• A CBS Sunday Morning segment featured award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee and her book “Do Nothing, How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving.” Even MIT/Picower Institute professor of neuroscience Earl Miller got into the “do nothing” show.


24 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
• Bella Magazine • 25


Pensacola mental health counselor Catherine Quiring offers baby steps for “doing nothing.”

• Give yourself permission. Tell yourself you are being human, not lazy. Doing nothing is a vital part of your well-being.

• Explore. What flavors of “doing nothing” feel good to you? It might be with people, or alone. Perhaps it’s reading, enjoying nature or friends.

• Practice. Create new habits and rhythms that support time to do nothing.

• Fall out of love with achievement and productivity. Stop seeing them as your only source of worthiness and pleasure.

• Reduce expectations, tasks, pressures and to-do lists.

• Embrace humanness and needs.

• Return to the natural ebb and flow of life, which involves both action and rest.

• Notice when your brain and body say they need a moment to do nothing. Do not resist or suppress this.

• Add “do nothing” to your to-do list.

• Create a mantra to remind yourself that you have permission to rest. It is rejuvenating, nourishing, life-giving and necessary for your survival.

26 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

• As it turns out, the famously laidback Dutch have a word, “niksen,” that’s loosely defined as “doing nothing.” Intrigued, writer Olga Mecking, a Polish woman living in the Netherlands, looked into it, and wound up writing the book “Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing.” And she told CNN all about it in a lengthy, in-depth interview.

Even Pensacola mental health professionals Catherine Quiring and Cynthia Wells agree it’s a good idea for us to learn the idiom “stop and smell the roses.”

No doubt, this seems totally impossible for many Americans, thanks to our do-something obsessed society.

“Our society is focused on the outcome over the person and the journey, so if there’s not an outcome, we are not included or rewarded,” said Quiring, a licensed mental health counselor and self-trust coach. “We learn to equate our value with our outcomes. Thus, if we do nothing, we also might feel worthless and inadequate.”

In the United States, we are trained from a young age to constantly achieve and do something goal-oriented, causing our nervous systems to become addicted to action and productivity, Quiring said.

“Questioning the time needed to do nothing can be justified, but doing nothing should be included as personal and necessary self-care for your mental health,” said Wells, a psychotherapist/ life coach and creator of Destiny Launchers.

“Learning to slow down the fast pace of life and embracing some still moments of doing nothing can be hard to accomplish, but know that you and your society may need it more today than ever before.”

Look into the vast benefits of doing nothing, Wells advised. For starters, experts say it induces a state of relaxation, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion, renews energy, regenerates creativity and much more.

“It can help you justify the needed rest and the focused concentration,”


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Pubic bone pain during pregnancy

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 27
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28 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
At right, Cynthia Wells, a psychotherapist/life coach and creator of Destiny Launchers, says learning how to “do nothing” provides the opportunity to tune into our bodies and listen to what life is trying to tell us.

she said. “Chilling out and learning to do nothing as a daily requirement can possibly add additional joy, peace and even years onto your life.”

Wells added inspiring food for thought.

“You may think that it’s a waste of your limited quality time to do nothing, but making time to lay upon the crystal white sand looking up into the sun, or sitting on a park bench at the end of the waterfront gazing at the winds as they move across the water waves or even rising early to meet the magical sunrise can all be a rich resource of renewed strength.”

Quiring stressed the bottom line.

“We’re burned out and exhausted, but we don’t know how to get off the hamster wheel of action and take a break,” she said.

Over the years, Quiring said she learned to listen to her body when it told her it needed a break. Today, she reduces self-expectations, creates much shorter to-do lists, values rest, finds self-worth in times of rest and discovers how to be in the space simply being.

“For me, I call it following my nose,” Quiring said.

A frequent contributor to Psychology Today and a longtime proponent of “doing nothing,” Dr. Colleen Long advises that we learn from the Italian culture.

“The Italians have a concept for piddling around known as ‘la dolce far niente,’ which means ‘the sweetness of doing nothing,’” said Long, a New England-based licensed psychologist.

So, how different would our quality of life be if we made time throughout the day to experience “la dolce far niente”?

“Instead of using your free moments to catch up on what housewife bought what SUV on Hulu, instead of checking your email one last time to see if anyone else is needing you to do something, instead of using your free time to check your bank accounts or pay that cell phone bill — what if you just did nothing?” Long suggested.

Perhaps, experience the biggest chill of all.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 29

Common Grounds Pensacola


30 • Bella Magazine • July 2024 local fare


On a recent afternoon, music by Sona Jobarteh, an acclaimed Gambian instrumentalist, singer and composer, fills a spacious room at Common Grounds Pensacola.

International yoga instructors, collaborators, and friends

Alayna Butryn, Loise Diana Karlsson and Zarina Lunusova promote the power of yoga to enrich lives. You can learn more about Common Grounds Pensacola, located at West Palm Plaza, Suite A, 8200 US Highway 98, by visiting, on Facebook or by calling 850739-5220.

International yoga instructors, collaborators and friends Loise Diana Karlsson, Alayna Butryn and Zarina Lunusova pose on yoga bolsters in half lotus positions in the room’s center.

Two Tibetan singing bowls made by Tibetan refugees sit at Butryn’s feet. Across the room, six white crystal singing bowls glow in front of a large antique mirror leaning against a wall. The room also contains live palms, piles of pillows, blankets and yoga bolsters, and a selection of tea from India, Sweden and the USA’s only commercial tea farm, the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina.

At this west Pensacola yoga studio that opened in 2023, the threesome is devoted to promoting “healthy body, healthy mind, healthy world,” said Karlsson, Common Grounds Pensacola owner.

Offerings stretch from the simple to the challenging — from educational workshops to Zen kid yoga to vinyasa to restorative yoga to crystal sound healing to botanical wellness workshops to daily and international retreats to sailing/yoga retreats and so much more.

The women’s dynamically diverse backgrounds, skill sets and certifications ensure their clients benefit from some of the most respected yoga masters on the planet.

As the daughter of a father who worked worldwide for aid organizations including the United Nations, and in her positions as chief stewardess on luxury yachts and private luxury estate manager, Karlsson saw the world. She is fluent in Swedish, French, Spanish and English.

“Throughout my decade-long tenure in the (luxury yacht/ private luxury estate) industry, I traversed the globe, fueling my passion for yoga,” Karlsson said.

Her global adventures took her to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, South America, Central America, the Pacific Islands and the United States. Along the way, she found herself in spellbinding Nepal.

Nepal became “the chosen destination” for her to immerse herself in an Indian yoga teacher training school, earning her prestigious teacher training certificate. Here, she delved into the spiritual realm while visiting Tibetan monks and monasteries.

“Meeting my husband, Igor, in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, while working on a yacht marked the beginning of a new chapter,”

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she explained. “Together, we sailed for a decade, chartering our boat and teaching yoga to guests in remote and breathtaking locations. Our two children were born during these adventures, our daughter in French Polynesia and our son in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Transitioning from sea to land, Karlsson said they sold their catamaran and settled in Pensacola about three years ago.

“Here, I found solace in teaching ashtanga yoga at a local studio downtown,” she said. “Recognizing the absence of yoga studios in west Pensacola, I opened Common Grounds Pensacola, a sanctuary for our community to share the practice in a safe and inclusive environment.” Karlsson also started a boat and property cleaning and concierge service business, catering to luxury homes and vessels.

“At Common Grounds, we offer a variety of classes, day events and retreats aimed at fostering self-care and inner peace,” Karlsson said. “Our restorative classes, accompanied by live crystal sound bowls and Tibetan bowls, provide a space for practitioners to unwind and rejuvenate.

“As a mother and entrepreneur, I understand the importance of finding stillness amidst the chaos, which is why I remain committed to sharing the transformative power of yoga with others.”

Looking ahead, Karlsson said, “We are planning an international retreat in Costa Rica, inviting participants to reconnect with nature, indulge in cultural experiences and deepen their yoga practice.

“Whether through private sessions, group classes or corporate events, my mission remains the same: to guide others on their journey towards selfdiscovery and holistic wellness,” Karlsson said.


Lunusova is a certified yoga instructor whose yoga journey began in her home country of Russia, where she was introduced to Hatha yoga via 100 hours of foundational training guided by an

Indian Brahmin. She also expanded her yoga education in her free time, practicing in between university piano and flute classes, and while studying at a European yoga school, learning under some of Russia’s finest instructors.

“My teaching initially began in Russia; however, after relocating to the USA in 2021, I gained experience in various yoga methodologies within different studios, including Everman studio.”

Today, proficient at teaching in Russian and English, Lunusova specializes in hatha, vinyasa, pranayama and yoga therapy.

“Central to my teaching ethos is the fusion of hatha yoga and vinyasa into a holistic practice of vinyasa yoga flow,” she said. “I emphasize a profound understanding of traditional Indian philosophy and its integration into yoga.”

In addition to Common Grounds, Lunusova teaches at various locations, including resorts, studios and beach settings. She also conducts private classes for individuals, families, groups and vacationers.

“My passion for yoga stems from its ability to make my body feel great every day,” Lunusova said. “It fosters a deep connection with my emotions, enhances my understanding of others and contributes to better health for myself and my clients. I can confidently say that I cannot imagine my life without yoga. Practicing every day allows for continuous personal growth and the ability to help others in a meaningful way.”


Butryn, a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for 15 years before relocating to Pensacola three years ago, has an MBA in finance and a BS in international business and Spanish.

“Eight years ago, I was working on a trading floor selling foreign currencies at a corporate bank in Manhattan, stressed out of my mind, when I decided to quit my job and book a one-way trip to Asia to explore a new part of the globe,” Butryn shared.

“On this trip, I was able to visit 14 countries, one of them being India where I was fortunate enough to study in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world located on the sacred Ganges. There, I received my 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate in hatha yoga, a branch of yoga that has been practiced for thousands of years.”

Hatha, like vinyasa, typically involves a set of physical asanas (yoga poses) and breathing techniques (pranayama), but unlike vinyasa, hatha is practiced at a much slower pace and with more static holds, Butryn explained.

“I have been fortunate enough to travel to almost 40 countries in my lifetime and have practiced yoga with teachers from all over the world, which has greatly added to my approach and style of teaching,” Butryn said. “Our life experiences shape us, and with that we all can bring something a little different to the table.”

“I currently teach vinyasa, gentle yoga and chair yoga at Common Grounds Pensacola and the Downtown YMCA. I also offer private one-on-one lessons and private group classes.”

Butryn’s classes focus on positive messages/themes, proper physical alignment to empower students to better deepen their practice on their own, strong focus on “the breath,” guiding students through each inhale and exhale, plus showing them how to properly breathe via diaphragmatic movement and incorporating the healing sounds of singing bowls into every class.

“Transitioning from the highstakes world of finance to the serene practice of yoga has been such a transformative journey for me, one that has profoundly enhanced my mental well-being,” Butryn said. “I have personally struggled with anxiety and depression for years. Yoga has helped me find solace and strength on the mat and a newfound sense of inner peace and balance. To me, yoga is not just a practice, it is a lifestyle.”

It all makes sense. After all, said Butryn, “The word yoga literally means yolk/union joining body, mind and spirit together.”

32 • Bella Magazine • July 2024


Common Grounds Pensacola certified yoga instructor Zarina Lunusova says meditation and yoga truly transformed her life, delivering a deep sense of inner peace and joy. Through daily meditation, she discovered that everything begins in the mind.

“Last year, when I faced the loss of my mother, meditation became my sanctuary, helping me find the strength to care for myself and support my dad through his grief,” Lunusova shared. “Whether I’m traveling the world or experiencing a whirlwind of emotions, meditation keeps me grounded.

“And it’s something anyone can embrace, regardless of age, fitness level or background.”

How to meditate for beginners:

1. Find a quiet space: Choose a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.

2. Get comfortable: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. You can use cushions or a chair if needed.

3. Focus on “the breath”: Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing. Notice the sensation of each inhale and exhale. (Yoga asks us to contemplate and work with our “breath,” using it consciously. With practice, the breath and movement become coordinated and controlled. In yoga, this practice is called “pranayama.”)

4. Let go of thoughts: Thoughts will inevitably arise; the key is to observe them without judgment and gently guide your focus back to your breath.

5. Start small: Begin with just a few minutes of meditation each day and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable.

6. Be patient: Meditation is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient with yourself and trust the process.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 33 (850) 855-0597 500 N. 9th Ave. Pensacola n e s t i n t e r i o r s i n c b y k r i s t i n b o u c h a r d

Amy Day, owner of Everyday Nutrition, says the average person does not practice nutritional eating and stay hydrated. Unfortunately, says Day, most of us are missing out on vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbs, the essentials that provide energy and help support a healthy lifestyle.


• What: Everyday Nutrition nutritional smoothie business

• Where: 4421 Bayou Blvd., Pensacola

• When: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

• How: Get your drinks and go or chill out in the cozy lounge area with cushioned tables and sunshine pillows. Dog friendly.

• Info: 850-285-0153; everydaynutrition pensacola@gmail. com; Facebook/ Everyday Pensacola

36 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

local fare

A surge of nutrition AND SMILES

Apalpable positive energy hits you as soon as you walk through the entrance of Everyday Nutrition smoothie bar on Bayou Boulevard, courtesy of owner Amy Day and the peppy atmosphere she’s mastered.

As patrons pass the large floral mural with its cursive message, “Good Vibes Only,” a boisterous greeting of “Hi! How are you today?” is the first order of the day.

“I know every person who walks through those doors,” Day said as she greeted a regular customer and his Bernedoodle, Buster. “It’s a very personal experience here.”

After meet and greets, “every” customer is served a nutritious Herbalife Nutrition meal of a soothing shot of aloe, a calorieburning energy tea and a 200-calorie shake.

“The whole set replaces a meal,” Day explained. “Aloe helps digestion and the absorption of nutrients; the tea provides B6 and B12, biotin and collagen; and the shake has 24 grams of protein, 21 vitamins and minerals and 13 net carbs.”

Day is a mega fan of Herbalife Nutrition plant-based products, which she and her employees use to create the vast selection of basic and advanced concoctions on Everyday Nutrition’s menu.

The offering of teas and shakes captures your attention with fascinating names, including Electric Lemonade, Energizer Bunny, Salty Mermaid, Elvis, Monkey Oats and Rolo.

“The average human is eating but not getting the proper nutrition,” Day said.

“They are missing vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbs, the things that give them energy and help support a healthy lifestyle. And they are not hydrated.”

Day’s knowledge of living a healthy life expanded about five years ago when she was a stay-at-home mother who discovered Herbalife Nutrition products at Patriot Nutrition in Pace.

“I was on a health journey when I found them,” Day said. “Patriot Nutrition was welcoming, and I loved the products, experience, and their business model. I became Patriot Nutrition’s No. 1 customer and sent my friends and family there. Then they gave me the opportunity to partner with them, basically training me to run a successful Herbalife Nutrition business.”

After working for Patriot Nutrition for over a year, Day took the plunge and opened Everyday Nutrition in May 2021. And she opened up shop at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital near her Bayou location.

“I feel like Herbalife is a great opportunity,” Day said. “Gratefully, we are doing well here. We served 101 people who walked through the door yesterday.”

While Day’s goal is to expand her easy, grab-and-go business across Pensacola, she added that she can also help you get Herbalife Nutrition in your own kitchen, teach you how to make it and help with meal plans.

Check out her Everyday Update videos on Facebook, especially the one on the “Summer Shred.” It’s found under the name Everyday Pensacola.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 37

local fare

How do you chill?

We surveyed Bella readers to find out how they “chill” in the summer. Retreat with a book, take a dip, vacation in a favorite spot, sneak away for a well-earned pedi on a lunch break? What turns down the heat for you? Here is what a few of our readers say works for them. Visit our Facebook page to share your favorite “chill” ideas with us at

38 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

Pool floating with a book and margarita.

— Patricia Franklin

Downtown and East Hill are nice areas to ride bikes on a Sunday afternoon. There are so many local places to stop by and grab a refreshment or snack along your route. Hub Stacey’s, Badland’s, Winebar, just to name a few.

— Lindy Hurd, business development manager, First International Title

I love to chill in the summer on my sailboat, relax in the gorgeous sand on Pensacola Beach or have drinks with fabulous girlfriends! We are blessed to have so many ways to relax in this Emerald Coast paradise!

— Julie Duvall, executive assistant, The Dickson Team, Cornerstone Mortgage Solutions

For me, there’s nothing better than enjoying the long summer nights outdoors. One of my favorite ways to beat the heat is going for leisurely bike rides or paddle boarding in the calm waters of the Gulf when the sun starts to set. There’s something incredibly relaxing about being out on the water or cruising through neighborhoods with the warm evening breeze. Staying active while taking in the sights and sounds of summer is my ideal way to turn down the heat and recharge my batteries. Those tranquil nights make the blazing summer days totally worth it!

— Alejandra Ryan, customer success mentor and agency owner, Altius Marketing

Chilling with my toes in the sand and sipping a cold drink, feeling the gulf air blowing is the perfect way for me to relax, unwind and re-energize.

— Jennifer Harrison, owner/CEO, Gulf Coast Premier Promotions

Tubing on Coldwater Creek!

— Carolyn Fries, director of workforce development, CareerSource ESCAROSA

— Compiled by Magi Thomley Williams

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 39
40 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Mamie Webb Hixon is an assistant professor of English and Writing Lab director at UWF.

pro tips

Watchdog of the English language Mamie Webb Hixon

Mamie Webb Hixon has been an assistant professor of English and Writing Lab director at UWF since 1982. Known by many names, including the Grammar Grouch, Grammatizer, the Grammar Guru and the Corrector — she is, by profession, a watchdog of the English Language.

As Writing Lab director, Hixon created the UWF Grammar Hotline, a platform that responds to email and call-in questions about the written and spoken word from students and professionals.

Every Monday morning, you can tune into “It’s GrammarTime” on WRNE 980 and Choice 106.9 Radio, where Hixon, as a radio grammarian, gives writing and grammar tips. In 2020, she launched weekly sessions via Zoom called “Grammarcise” for students, professionals and lifelong learners. These sessions are a platform to discuss the fundamentals, nuances and creative potential of the English language in both academic and business writing.

She emphasized the importance of polished writing skills.

“With few exceptions, if your writing is seen as thoughtful, deliberate, edited and highly professional, then, even in your absence, your writing skills will be met with universal approval. On the other hand, if your writing is laced with objectionable errors, you, not your

writing, could risk being judged as selectively mediocre.”

Hixon is also the author of two books: “Real Good Grammar” and “Real Good Grammar, Too,” with a pocketbook companion titled “Grammar Shots.” Hixon admits she is always silently correcting someone’s grammar and frequently questioning her own.

It’s Hixon’s belief that “writing begins in isolation but quickly becomes communal when it reaches its reader(s), whether a specific person or a broader, inclusive audience.”

And she emphasizes that in professional work, communication skills, especially writing skills, should reflect the highest level of communication.

She warns of the dangers of AI in writing, stating that it eliminates thought and participation from the writer, thus promoting a kind of plagiarism. However, she also sees the potential benefits of AI, suggesting that it can be used as a tool to stimulate thinking about writing and grammar. Despite the complexities AI brings to her profession, Hixon remains committed to her role as a grammar coach.

If you have questions in your next writing project, remember the Grammatizer is an email or phone call away.


1.  Make deliberate and intentional language and punctuation choices rather than writing carelessly and haphazardly.

2.  Question what you write: Should I write this sentence in passive voice? Is this verb correct? Is it “who” or “whom”? Where should I place this comma — inside or outside the closing quotation marks? Should I use or omit decimals in money amounts? Is a salutation followed by a colon or comma?

3.  Switch gears appropriately from your casual T-shirt, or “home English,” to dressy English and tuxedo English for academic and business writing.

4. Know when you don’t know the rules; then look up the rules when you know that you don’t know.

5. Learn and absorb “book language,” the language of reading — by noticing how words, grammar and punctuation are used in good, published writing. Good writers are good readers.

6.  Write when you write, revise when you revise; never mix the two. Composing and editing are two different processes; the latter is not part of the drafting or writing process.

7.  Don’t allow your supervisor or professor to be the first person to read your writing; YOU should be your own first proofreader.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 41


42 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

body & soul

Cryotherapy Super cool trend is booming

What is trending as a dramatic way to reduce inflammation and pain as well as to induce cosmetic benefits traces its roots back to antiquity.

“The benefits of cold have been appreciated for many years,” states the National Institutes of Health website. “The ancient Egyptians, and later Hippocrates, were aware of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cold.”

Pensacola is diving deep into the cryotherapy rage.

Sonya Dukett, owner of ChillOut Cryo Spa, explained the magic of cryotherapy.

“With the cold, as soon as it touches your skin, it pulls all the blood to the surface. It’s protecting your body, keeping you from going into hypothermia. What happens then is inflammation is being released in that moment because the blood is drawn forward,” explained Dukett.

Pensacola resident Amatul Bean injured her thigh playing kickball and also had lower back and sciatic pain. She decided to give cryotherapy a try.

Bean spent a few minutes in a chamber followed by a laser treatment for both areas.

“The next day, the pain in my thigh was completely gone and it’s been gone since. But the sciatic pain is a different pain. It didn’t work for that,” she noted. “But I’m just glad it worked on the leg because it hurt so bad I could barely walk on it.”

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 43

While cryotherapy often mitigates sciatic pain, if the pain stems from a structural issue, other treatments may be needed to alleviate it, Dukett said.

Pensacolian Carla Nolen’s high school-aged soccer-playing son found pain relief at Chill Crotherapy in Downtown Pensacola.

“He has gone many times for various injuries over the past few years and has had enormous success,” said Nolen.

While clients often walk away from one session painfree, for extreme pain, as temperature returns to normal, sometimes partial pain returns. Depending on the severity, more than one treatment may be needed.

“But for the most part, every pain treatment you lose a percentage of how much pain you have to deal with every day,” explained Dukett.


In addition to pain relief, clients are seeking out slimming and toning cryotherapy methods as well as cryo facials.

“Ninety percent of women and 70% of men have body dysmorphia,” noted Dukett.

So cryotherapy slimming and toning methods may lift spirits as well as improve appearance. And they offer an alternative to treatments that may have detrimental side effects.

After Teresa Day retired from the Navy in 2017, she gained

weight. Exercise and healthy eating prompted weight loss but didn’t touch “that little pooch that won’t go away after 50,” she said.

That’s where treatments meshing slimming fat cell-freezing cryotherapy with a system that stimulates abdominal muscle building came in.

“This just really helped me,” said Day, who approached treatments holistically. “It was paired with diet, exercise and hydration. It was a definite result and non-invasive.”

Dukett said that when fat cells are frozen, they’re released through the lymphatic system.

Other benefits of various cryotherapy treatments, according to Dukett: Cryotherapy applied in the facial tissue can improve skin tone, at times mitigate migraines and TMJ symptoms, and a cryo-endocrine flush can rid the body of toxins. An added benefit is that most patients enjoy an energy burst the following day. The list goes on for options for maximizing the power of chill!

In addition to the cosmetic and pain relief benefits, cryotherapy treatments induce a response that is almost always positive, Dukett said, likening it to the response of the heart to a shock.

“It’s like a shock to the system. Cryotherapy can be a big boost for somebody’s lymphatic system and their metabolism.”

Where Inspired Days Begin

44 • Bella Magazine • July 2024 • 3603 N. PALAFOX, PENSACOLA (850) 860-6119 • Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday

times mitigate migraines and TMJ symptoms. A cryoendocrine flush can rid the body of toxins.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 45 CUSTOM ROLLER SHADES, BLINDS, PLANTATION SHUTTERS, WOVEN GRASS, AND DRAPERY Love your windows again Schedule a FREE consultation! Our showroom is open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 698 W. Garden St., Pensacola | (850) 332-2100 | Based in Pensacola, our team of window treatment experts have over 20 years’ experience helping our customers select the best custom shades, shutters, or blinds for their homes and businesses.
Sonya Dukett, owner of ChillOut Cryo Spa, says some of the cryotherapy applied in the facial tissue can improve skin tone and at

body & soul

Cool down to POWER UP

Why cooldowns are your fitness game-changer

46 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
By Leah Seacrest / Photos by Kate Treick Photography

Have you ever wondered why your muscles feel so tight and sore after a workout, or why you sometimes feel dizzy after an intense session? The answer often lies in how you end your exercise session. After pushing yourself hard, the cooldown phase is often skipped, but it’s a game-changer for your long-term fitness and overall well-being! Think of it as unwinding after a chaotic day — it helps your body transition from workout mode back to normal.

One major perk of cooling down is gradually reducing your heart rate. During a workout, your heart works overtime to pump blood and oxygen to your muscles. If you suddenly stop, blood can pool in your extremities, leading to dizziness or even fainting. A proper cooldown eases your heart rate down gently and prevents these issues. A cooldown helps your cardiovascular system transition smoothly, preventing unnecessary stress on your heart and blood vessels.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 47
48 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

Cooling down also helps flush out lactic acid and other metabolic waste that builds up in your muscles. By gradually reducing the intensity, you boost blood circulation, which carries these waste products away, reducing muscle soreness and stiffness. You’ll feel more comfortable and less wiped out after your workout.

Flexibility is another massive win from an intentional cooldown. Stretching exercises can help maintain and improve flexibility by lengthening muscles and connective tissues. Flexibility not only helps prevent injuries but also boosts overall muscle function and performance. Regular stretching during cooldowns can lead to long-term improvements in your range of motion and physical capabilities.

Remember the mental chill-out time that a cooldown offers. It lets your mind unwind, cutting stress and bringing on a sense of calm. This mental relaxation is just as crucial as the physical benefits, giving you a holistic approach to fitness and well-being. Taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and reflect can make a big difference in your mental health and help prepare you for your day or evening ahead.

A proper cooldown also speeds up recovery. Better blood flow and waste removal mean faster muscle repair and regeneration, so you’ll be ready for your next workout sooner and with less discomfort. Cooldowns accelerate recovery by aiding muscle repair, keeping your training schedule on track without setbacks.

Finally, a cooldown is the perfect time to reflect on your workout and set future fitness goals. It’s a moment to celebrate your achievements, assess your performance and plan your next steps, keeping you positive and motivated on your fitness journey. This reflection helps you stay focused and reinforces your commitment to your goals.

So, after your next workout, take the time to get your cooldown in. The cooldown phase should be a must-do part of every workout. Its benefits go beyond immediate relief, covering long-term health, better performance and mental well-being. Embracing a proper cooldown will boost your fitness experience and lead to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. By adding these few extra minutes to your routine, you’re investing in your overall fitness and wellness.

July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 49
Sandra Snellgrove, certified personal trainer, believes in properly cooling down, and she ensures her clients understand the importance of making cooling down a part of their fitness regime.


Gulf Coast Kid’s House 20th Anniversary

50 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Photos by Toni Sparks / Short Story Studios Ronita Hardy, Linda Kahl, Amy Stamey, Leslie Donovan The Roaring 20th Anniversary celebration for Gulf Coast Kid’s House on April 25 at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center was full of live music, food and dancing. All proceeds went to support GCKH and their mission to support child victims of abuse.
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 51
Arlene Coleman, Vickie Scott, Sherree Giberson, Leann Holcombe Penny Ruston, Jim Ruston, Teri Levin Chasity Brooks, Terry Pate Beth & Craig Clark Daniel & Athena Guice Kolleen Chesley, Jessica Duncan, Madrina Ciano Preston Danfield, Rhonda Hart
52 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Kaycee Lagarde, Rachel Smith, Kimberly Blair Drew Lick, Katin Davis Stacey Kostevicki, Teri Levin
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 53 Clothing | Jewelry | Accessories 850.432.1264 | @bluetique_pensacola 125 PALAFOX STREET, DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA
Ashley Thompson, Anthony Sawyer Jessica Jensen, Natalie Magaw


Evening in White

The Junior League of Pensacola’s annual Evening in White on April 27 was a success! Everyone was dressed in their finest white attire and danced the night away to live music. Proceeds benefited the Junior League of Pensacola, a women’s volunteer organization that strives to empower women through community service.

54 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Photos by Toni Sparks / Short Story Studios Andranette Hall, Michelle Grier-Hall, Chelsie Green, Kamaria Dunn, Christina Hawkins, Tonya Young, Tinese Graham, Maritza Woodfaulk, Carla Davis
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 55
Lusharon Wiley, Colette Davis, Jamilia Gupton, Teighlor Fryson, Lizeth Thaws, Felicia Mack, Desiree Brantley Hale Morrissette, Dierre Johnson, Latesa Jones Laura Griffen, Amanda Stannard, Maegan Mapoles, Jennifer Naylor, Jamie Mears, Dannon Byrd Madrina Ciano, Tracy Morgan-Frick, Jessica Duncan Kim Kramer, Tina Bosso, Stacie Hammer Mary Zaledonis, Kathy Andrade
56 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Pamela Paul, Iesha King, Jeanette Thetford, Allison Fingall, Alex Brommel, Denequa Rosado, Kenyetta Chambers Mamie Webb Hixon Faith Leonard, Catherine Underwood
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58 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
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July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 59 FRIDAY LUNCH EVERY FRIDAY FROM 11:00 AM TO 2:00 PM JACKSONSRESTAURANT.COM RESERVATIONS ENCOURAGED 850-469-9898 start your weekend at jackson's!
ABOVE: Semond Atkins, Kali Guidry LEFT: Johanna Allard, Julie Franklin


United Way’s Glitz & Gallop

60 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
Photos by Toni Sparks / Short Story Studios Jenny Grubb, Toni Bryant, Jessica Phillips, Lori Cornwell United Way celebrated 100 years by hosting this year’s Glitz & Gallop Gala on May 4. Guests dressed up to enjoy the 150th Kentucky Derby, all while raising funds for United Way’s Community Investment Process.
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 61
Ashley Kostelac Sally Gilbreath, Lucretia Hooper Cheryl Hinnen, Linda Hinson, Sally Bergosh, Sara Davy Katie Prestesater Aleigha Knight, Kayla Knight Regina Wright
62 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
George Cate, Lisa Von Dyke Mark & Barbara McNeil
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 63 EMAIL SALES @BELLAMAGAZINE.COM OR CALL (833) 358-4486 Beautiful Women. Sassy Attitude. Smart Magazine. Join the Bella family of advertisers and receive these benefits: ~ Strategic promotion of your business, product, service or event where women gather ~ Be a first-call content expert for stories ~ Connect with community through free digital issue distribution ~ Strong social media promotion with a monthly audience of up to 45,000+ local women
Janice George, Paula Shell Terry Himes

Just don’t do it her perspective

“Chill out,” he said to me. I began divorce proceedings immediately.

There are just some things that you never say to your spouse if you wish to remain wed. “Chill out,” and all of its many euphemisms — “Calm down,” “Relax,” or my daddy’s favorite, “Simmer down” — should be struck from the vocabularies of every creature with a Y chromosome.

This phrase has never, in the history of human interaction, been known to achieve its implied goal of deescalating a tense situation. It is, in fact, like throwing kerosene on the sun.

Most XY’s know better. But there’s another utterance that’s a little trickier, though no less explosive. So inflammatory is this little syllable, we have banned its usage in our humble home. It’s right up there with the f-word, eye-rolling and cupboard-door-slamming on our list of unacceptable communication practices.

sauntered into the kitchen and said it — “Just open the door, Sharla.” And he proceeded to do just that.

And all of the ice cubes backed up awaiting their turn to go down the chute now exited the freezer en masse — slamming into the floor and shattering at my feet.

And yes, the ice storm abated, but my fuse ignited. I had tried that solution before. And just as CTRL+ALT+DEL is not a novel solution for anyone who has ever used a PC, I took umbrage. I’m not an idiot.

And on the surface, it seems so innocent, even noble if you use it as an adjective. But, as an adverb, it’ll mess with your marriage in the most subversive of ways.

The word “just” as in “it was a just cause” implies fairness and is a very good thing. The word “just” as in “just hit CTRL+ALT+DEL” when my laptop has frozen solid and my deadline is 18 minutes away is not helpful at all.

It is infuriating. It is reductive. It is dismissive.

And it’s kinda funny.

Years ago, I was having an altercation with my refrigerator. The in-door ice dispenser would randomly malfunction. I never knew when it would happen, but every so often, the thing would begin spewing ice at me and refuse to stop. My glass would overflow and as I’d scramble for a bigger vessel, ice would fly around the kitchen like hail. I’d frantically mash all the buttons on the keypad in every sequence to no avail.

During one such skirmish, Ted, hearing the commotion,

And it’s not that these suggestions aren’t good ones. Actually, they are. In this particular instance, I, in my franticness, had forgotten that opening the freezer door would curtail the hailstorm (though not solve the chronic problem). And I’ve been known to forget that rebooting my Mac is often the only way to get that beachball of doom to stop spinning.

So, it’s not the advice that irks me. It’s the delivery. It’s that word.

That simple word. Using the word “just” expresses arrogance. It obliterates empathy. It implies that the solution to my struggle is so basic I’m something of a nitwit for not employing it first.

It is my firm belief that when someone is struggling — be it with a mischievous Frigidaire, a demon-possessed computer, or any challenging situation, my first response should be one of empathy, not authority.

And while this distinction may seem trivial in lowstakes situations like these, it can feel like the difference between contempt and respect when dealing with matters of the heart.

And this is where Ted redeems himself. His XY-ness seems to mandate that he approach petty problems with efficiency and authority, diplomacy be damned. But when my heart is hurting or my soul is wounded, he has been known to just hold me.

The divorce is off.

For now.

64 • Bella Magazine • July 2024

Dancing Days her perspective

Recently I read a fantastic article by Melissa Kirsch in the New York Times entitled, “Why Don’t We Dance More?” She waxes poetic about her high school dancing days and laments, “We don’t dance as much as we could, or as much as we want to, because we’re afraid to look foolish. That greeting card exhortation to ‘dance like no one’s watching’ caught on for a reason.”

I beg to differ, Melissa. Looking foolish is the least of my concerns. I can answer your question with one word — injuries. I don’t want to suffer a severe dancing injury again.

My first dancing injury was in the ’80s — I was 20-something and psyched to get tickets to the Buzzcocks at the Roxy in Atlanta. Living in London in 1983, I was into the punk scene, so I knew how to slam dance and navigate mosh pits. Stay away from the dudes with spiky dog collars around their necks and skinheads and I’d remain unscathed. (Although my postman had a mohawk and a spiky dog collar and he was very nice.) I was not prepared for the Georgia redneck punk rockers, though. They took it to a whole ’nother level. I bellied up to the stage, staring straight into the not-so-straight eyes of Pete Shelley, the lead singer, when BAM — my ribs were crushed into the stage by an errant slam dancer. Lucky for me, my ribs were only bruised, not broken. It hurt to breathe for a few months. After that, I was skittish around mosh pits. I lost my mosh pit mojo.

weeks out from a complete hysterectomy, I was not cleared for sports or core exercises. For some insane reason, when my sister played my favorite dance song, “Come On Eileen,” I thought I could do the can-can. I quickly learned I can’t-can’t. It was so fun to dance again until I felt a lightning-strike pain in my abdominal muscles. After staying in bed for a few days in the fetal position, I could sit up and walk again.

I chose the Monkees’ “I’m A Believer” for the mother/son dance at my son’s wedding. He wanted a classic waltz and I wanted to pogo/swim/pony so we compromised and it was a little bit of both. Nobody was injured. It will go down as one of the best memories of my life.

Fast forward a few decades for dancing injury number two. I was doing my beloved pogo to the Modern Elderados at Bands on the Bay, when POP — it felt like someone shot me in the calf with a BB gun. A grade-2 calf tear kept me off my feet for weeks. Yes, Melissa, I did feel quite foolish limping off the dance floor in front of the large crowd.

Number three was my own dang stupid fault. Five

But back to Melissa’s brilliant article: “This perception of dancing as unserious, as something frivolous people do, like eating a bowl of whipped cream or sleeping until noon, seems inaccurate, especially once you start deliberately dancing more, as I’ve tried to lately. I’m not talking about complicated choreography that requires learning moves or executing steps; I mean simply moving spontaneously to music,” she says. “If you start looking for opportunities to dance, you find them. While cooking dinner or cleaning house. Perhaps a spontaneous living-room disco with your kids. It’s sort of miraculous: Each little break offers a little dose of endorphins. A little moment of expression. Of returning to yourself in the midst of an otherwise chaotic life.”

I love that, Melissa. I truly hope my dancing days are not over. I’m a believer. But maybe I should just dance in the kitchen for a while — blast David Bowie’s “Heroes” and channel my favorite movie ending of all time, the epic dance scene at the end of “Jojo Rabbit.” I dare anyone to watch the last three minutes of that movie and not dance in delight.

66 • Bella Magazine • July 2024
July 2024 • Bella Magazine • 67 SHOWROOM LOCATION: 698 W. GARDEN ST., PENSACOLA BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: 850.432.2220
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