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Celebrating the Wonderful Women of Wisconsin February 2017

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Magazine Staff Editor/Owner/Publisher:

CT US CONTA

Kathleen Walton Kathleen@queenofthecastlemagazine.com (715) 579-8077 3132 Louis Ave. EAU CLAIRE, WI 54703

Collaborating Editor: Jenn Chapman

Director of Marketing & Operations: www.queenofthecastlemagazine.com Find the magazine near you!

Jen Guntner Jen@queenofthecastlemagazine.com (715)-225-2617

Layout Designer(s): Marisa Bee Chelsea Anibas Jordyn Marie Braley Quall Jacob Bauer

Ad Designer(s): Chelsea Anibas Jordyn Marie

Ad questions: ads@queenofthecastlemagazine.com

Writing questions:

writer@queenofthecastlemagazine.com

Distribution questions:

queen@queenofthecastlemagazine.com Thank you to all the contributors and advertisers! We’re so grateful to have you!

© 2017 Queen of the Castle Magazine. Queen of the Castle Magazine is published by It’s Your Journey, LLC. The writing, artwork, and photography in Queen of the Castle Magazine remain the work product of the respective authors, artists, and photographers creating the same. It’s Your Journey, LLC and Queen of the Castle Magazine are not liable for use of any copyrighted work provided by its writers or advertisers. Opinions expressed in Queen of the Castle Magazine are the opinions of the writers, artists, photographers, or advertisers themselves, not the opinions of its editors nor staff.

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We are proud to print on partially recycled paper. Please pass this issue around to help reuse and when you are finished paging through it, please recycle it as well! Thank you for doing your part to help us be environmentally friendly!


39th Annual

HOME&GARDENSHOW February 17 - 19th, 2017 Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center $6 through Feb 16th / $8 at the door $12 for a weekend pass at the door

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pm m - 8pm • Saturday 9am - 5

• Sunday 10am - 4pm

Win the Grand Giveaway Valued at $12,000!

Each attendee can register to win a Dream Backyard donated by Green Oasis that includes: 13’ x 19’ patio • outdoor kitchen • outdoor fireplace 2 sitting walls • column • grill & sink (No purchase necessary)

130+ Vendors • Daily Educational Seminars • Daily Plant Sale Purchase your tickets TODAY at Green Oasis, Gordy’s Market (Eau Claire, Osseo, Chippewa Falls & Augusta) or Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association!

Visit www.cvhomebuilders.com for more info.

Est. 1978

February 2017

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The Heart & Soul Issue

06 16 30 46

06 Through the beat of your heart 10 Lessons on loving what’s for you

Health & Wellness

16 18 21 22 24 28

A joyful soul comes from within Vibrate from fear to love Sealed with a kiss Excercise with the one you love A heart worth hearing Don’t forget what love is all about

Moms 30 35 36 38

Unconditional love for an unbreakable bond Creative kiddos Simple “I love you” means forever Love is the best treatment

Careers

43 The path to joyful purpose 46 The love of it all

Bridal

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Featured

54

February 2017

48 52

Advice for newlyweds Wedding dress consultants speak!

Home & Garden 54 57 58 63

Redesign your home sweet home Office Recipes Home is where the heart is Creating love within your home


Hell o, beautiful souls! Here we go into February, the turning point from winter. I know there could be a lot more snow, but the coldest part of winter should be behind us as we move into February. The sun starts to feel warmer and as you head out to do your winter activities, you do not have to have so many layers bulking you up. Enjoy the last of your winter activities because as we move through this month spring is getting closer. I am a strong believer that you make your time everyday what you want it to be. My 11 year-old often starts his day off with the grand, “I don’t want to go to school”, “I don’t like school” or “I don’t want to be around those people”. UGH!! I always tell him to set his intentions for the day before you get out of bed. Tell yourself what a wonderful day you’re going to have, you get to learn, see your friends, laugh, smile, etc. Intentions do not have to be grand, but the smallest positive thought you can put in your head can make all the difference on what your day is to bring. Knowing your intentions can bring you a day of true gratitude and joyfulness.

Kathleen Walton Owner/Publisher

With that said I bring you the February issue of Queen of the Castle Magazine, “A Joyful Soul”. Take your “me” time and sit idle while you fill your soul and set your positive intentions with all of this month’s incredible articles and tips. Enjoy your February and everything it brings your way as winter begins to turn us towards spring.

Hugs, Kathleen Each month we have a themed issue, but we also have reoccurring sections that cover all aspects of a woman’s life- they are color coded! (see the key)

Take a tour of the

content

Tell us your story: Know a Wisconsin woman who is doing great things for her community? Do you have a story of triumph after trial, love after loss or just overall great tips or advice you’d like to share with our 60,000 readers? Share it with us at: writer@queenofthecastlemagazine.com

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Through The Beat of Your Heart By: Jenn Chapman

F

or more than a decade Eliz Greene has travelled the country explaining to women why their heart health matters. Her mission since 2000 has been to get busy women, also known as women, to pay attention to what’s going on inside them. Eliz was 35 years old and finishing up five years of trying to start a family when an infertility treatment worked. She and her husband, Clay, found out they weren’t going to have one child but instead twins. At the time Eliz was a dance teacher and choreographer who envisioned a pregnancy with a cute basketball belly while continuing to work fulltime. Unfortunately she was met with a much different reality. “I was violently ill with morning sickness for three months, and then was put on bed rest. At six months I went into labor and spent the next month in the hospital. If contractions got too close together the doctors would give me medication to slow them down, “ she explains. At the end of that month, the babies had developed enough that they were getting close to the point it would be safe to deliver them. The doctors had even started discussing when Eliz might be able to go home and wait out the rest of her pregnancy. “That quickly changed. On November 12th I was sitting in the shower, since I wasn’t allowed to stand, when I felt a burning in my chest,” she remembers. What began feeling like common heartburn, quickly morphed into very intense pain. Luckily Eliz was in the hospital and able to reach for the nurse call button.

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In a short period of time there was a team of doctors and nurses in her room. Eliz turned to one of the nurses and said, “There’s something very wrong.” At that point, Eliz stopped breathing and her heart didn’t beat for ten minutes. Tell this to someone in the medical profession and they will gasp understanding the gravity of this situation. Fortunately for Eliz and the babies there was a cardiologist immediately available to restart her heart using a defibrillator. “They had to make a lot of decisions very quickly. The inside lining of the artery of my heart peeled away from the outside. That flap fell over the opening and stopped the flow of blood. At that time the technology didn’t exist to fix her heart without surgery. C-section delivered Eliz’s twins in the cardiac operating suite and then the cardiac surgeon immediately began a five-hour open-heart surgery. In some ways the story is so much about right time, right place. Eliz was fortunate to be in a hospital when she went into cardiac arrest. “I was very lucky to survive it. Most women this happens to don’t have the help right there.,” she shares. Waking up in the ICU, Eliz says she immediately realized she’d been given a second chance at life and a story to tell for a purpose. Ever since that day her mission has been to deliver medically responsible advice and inspiration to improve heart health to women. And that begins with women understanding that heart issues are the number one killer for women. “As women we tend to neglect our health. I think the busyness of our lives does play into it. We are more likely to take care of other people and other peoples business than ourselves. We take our kids, husbands, friends, and others to the doctors before we take ourselves,” Eliz says. One of the stigmas of heart disease is that it’s a patient’s fault. In fact when she was first sharing her story, interviewers would ask her if she was overweight at the time or not taking care of herself. She says these questions wouldn’t be asked to a cancer patient but

when it comes to heart disease it is extremely common. Eliz works directly with the American Heart Association and their Go Red campaign in an effort to get women to wake up to what’s really at stake. “The most common story I hear is that people are trying to do their best to do what they’ve been told. Trying to eat right, to exercise, not smoke, all those things, but it’s not working. One of the things that I’ve noticed, of the risk factors, stress is the hardest to understand and the hardest to actually have impact on. And probably the one that women struggle with the most,” shares Eliz. In 2015 Eliz began research for her book, The Trouble with Busy, set to come out this year. Common thought is that women are more stressed at work than men., and this stress builds from managing both the home and work duties. Her research revealed different results. Men and women reported the same amount of stress, and even the majority of women with children did not report caring for children as a major stress factor. “What’s really interesting and alarming is that 7 out of 10 people report they are highly stressed at work. Stress is a fascinating chemical reaction in our body , which makes our blood pressure and heart rate go up. Blood actually gets stickier which is good for survival. We need that burst of energy to deal with crisis but eventually when that crisis pass we are supposed to be able to recover, but because we live at this high stress all the time we don’t have time to recover and the cortisol level builds and builds,” Eliz says. And that’s where most women find themselves. Luckily, Eliz message to her audience is one of hope. There are proactive steps that all women can take. “I am often asked to present on work-life balance and yet if I’m honest with myself I am constantly figuring that out. I don’t think I’m alone. The idea that work and life are supposed to balance each other out doesn’t work because they don’t happen separately,” she shares. The concept of work-life balance began at the 20th century to advocate for workers rights. An 8-hour workday was advocated for and accepted but thanks to technology at our February 2017

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ready, we are back to combining work and home life. “It’s not that we can’t manage our homes it’s just all blended together. We can do things to clarify priorities and protect time to recover from stress, but it takes a cultural change to make a real difference. I think that is possible,” Eliz says. So when that work email pops up on your phone when you’re at home watching TV with the kids, whether you respond to it or not, your mind will begin processing the message. Ultimately taking away the divider from home and work life and thus the stress rises.

absolutely everything I needed. In that bubble of contentment I realized I could survive a lot of craziness…which is helpful now that I have teenage daughters,” she says with a laugh.

Eliz's work helped pass the indoor smoking ban in Wisconsin

One of the most common effects of stress is added weight around the mid section. The most efficient way to process cortisol out of the body is to sleep but studies show that very few women get enough sleep. And so the cycle of busy and stress continues. “We eat away at the margins of the day to get stuff done. But yet sleep is the most efficient way to get rid of our stress. We have to be working not just for our family but also for our quality of life that makes it worth it. If we work so much we don’t see our families, we missed it,” says Eliz.

Her daughters are now 16 years old, and mom-described as sassy and healthy. The Milwaukee resident’s whirlwind of a story will be shared at the Minneapolis Go Red event and other Go Reds across the country this year. Her message to the common busy woman: focus on what is important.

“We live in this sense of urgency state. It has become our norm but everything can’t be a priority because then nothing is really a priority,” she adds. Learn more at Embraceyourheart.com and find out more about Eliz On facebook @ElizGreeneSpeaker

“Eight days after they were born Clay and I were holding them together for the first time. That moment is pivotal to me. Even though so much was still chaotic, in that moment, I had

Three Sets of Risk Factors: Inherited: ethnicity, gender, age- set you up naturally for heart disease risk, women of color are more at risk than those who come from Northern European ancestry Internal: Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar- how well we are doing right now, can be tested and is pretty non-invasive Lifestyle risk factors: in our control like obesity, smoking, and stress- Check your waist to hip ratio. Measure the smallest part around your waist and largest part around your hips. Women should have their waist area to be 80% of their hip area. curvy as opposed to straight or round. If you are carrying excess fat it tends to go around the middle, around your hips and thighs is more muscle and bone.

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February 2017

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L essons on Loving

By: Ashley Kosharek

WHAT’S FOR YOU

Lesson One: Starting a business is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. As with everything in life, there will always be the good, the bad, and the ugly. Business ownership is much the same. It takes blood, sweat and tears. There’s no sugar coating that. However, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever encountered. The people and experiences that have entered my life from taking an idea and starting a business are absolutely irreplaceable and something money cannot buy. My mission with my business has never been to get rich (although I wouldn’t mind if it happens – wink!) My goal was to allow more quality time with my son, as a single mother, and provide for us financially. To help those around me: i.e. my clients and their families, my employees, our community

As with any business (service or product based) there is a need that someone is trying to fill. Mine began out of my personal need to find something of my own that I wanted to do with my life. I worked for many small business owners in the community and learned so very much. Yet could not truly find what I wanted to ‘do’ with my life or any specific interest to pursue while my friends were working through college. I felt lost, yet I was really good at helping people run their businesses. It was at that time that I knew I wanted to pursue my own business venture. But the what and the how weren’t clear yet. In the meantime I thought why not clean some houses to make ends meet while I figured it out. What went from a side job/hobby turned into a business in no time.

and improve everyone’s quality of life.

Lesson Two: Don’t count your eggs before they hatch.

My friends at Queen of the Castle asked if I would be inter-

quit my job working for someone else, and decided to make a

ested in writing an article for one of their issues about taking what you love and making it your business. How exciting, right!? Definitely didn’t want to pass up that opportunity. So I sat down at my computer and thought where do I even begin? Explaining how I went from a craigslist ad with $20 worth of dollar tree cleaning supplies to a multiple location, with 30+ employees, and a 2-shift operating business?! That’s right… blood, sweat and tears!

I remember it as if it were yesterday. The day I completely go for it with my business full-time! My nerves were a mess. I remember telling myself that it had to happen to be able to take on the newest potential client, which would be the biggest account we had yet! It was just one month earlier that I had formed the LLC and I went back and forth a million times whether it was the smart thing to do or not. And it was the same week that I quit my job to pursue my business fulltime; that we didn’t get the large account that I was preparing for. February 2017

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Lesson Three: You can’t fall unless you jump. If you don’t

Lesson Five: People are your greatest commodity.

jump you never get to see what’s on the other-side.

Finding the right people to add to your team is one of the most

It was a very devastating moment because I was afraid that I

important decisions I’ve had to make. And knowing when it’s

had made the wrong decision. I don’t think I was truly con-

time to let go of people on your team is probably the hardest

fident in my decision that it was the right time to make my

decision to have to make.

side business a full-time adventure. But I took advantage of the time that I now had on my hands and put my head down

Lesson Six: When you have the right people in the right plac-

and worked as hard as I could to get new accounts that would

es, magic happens.

equal that one large one. A began focusing on the marketing,

Creating a team and a culture in your business that envisions

branding and learning how to improve the business and how

the same mission you have is a huge success for you, your

it operated. Taking risks are necessary. I used to believe that

business, your team and your clients.

taking risks meant someone was careless or reckless in their decisions. I absolutely never would have considered myself

Are you ready to make the leap?

a risk taker before. It wasn’t until years later I looked at my

Many people have such great ideas they just don’t take the

business and the decisions I made and realized that every day

leap and believe in their idea/product to see it through fruition.

we take risks. Some are calculated as close to the best odds of

There will always be the ‘what ifs’. The Good. The bad. The

success, while others are a toss up for which way they can go.

ugly. However, the rewards of business ownership are end-

But in the end we experience and we learn from those deci-

less. I’ve benefited from the many contributions made in the

sions by whether they work or fail. The majority of the time

spirit of humanitarianism because of what I’ve created with

I’ve learned more from my failures.

AMK. The flexibility in my schedule to run a business and yet be a mom are what its all about for me. Make the leap and start

Lesson Four: You have to spend money to make money. It wasn’t until about nine months later, after I quit my job, when we moved the business out of my home and into a commercial unit that I knew I was on the right track from my decision for a career change. I remember signing the three-year lease that cost more than my townhouse I rented and thinking, “Well, worst case scenario, I will move in with my parents or the office!” That was a pivotal moment for me. Focused on rebranding, getting our business out in front of the community, and our clientele base. Our business grew quickly due to my efforts during those nine months where I focused whole-heartedly on my own business, and I knew I made the right decision to leave my job at this point.

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applying your business idea to the outline below!


Make a P lan/Work the P lan

Perfection & Change: Understand that there are no such things as perfection. Everything is a rough draft. Be open to change. Business Plan: (start basic/outline… how does the following apply to you and your idea?) • • • • •

Cause/effect…. How will your business operate? What makes you different? Be thrifty, analyze costs with an accountant ahead of time Will you need Industry Experience? Are you prepared for? • • • • • • • • •

Long Hours What’s going to give in your schedule? Support System (People, Finances, etc.) How aggressive do you want to grow? Do you have the skills necessary? How will you get them or hire them? (Communication (verbal & written), computer skills, sales, people person? etc.) The Why? What are you doing this for? Why are you starting your business? Mission, Vision, Values? Target Market (TTM – Time and Territory Management: How will you attack your target market?) Will your business be: Business-to-Business, Or Business to Consumer?

Fundamental Skeletal Support Structure of a business:

BUSINESS OPERATIONS Employees/Management • • • •

• People: People are your greatest commodity

Mistakes/Problem Solving: Mistakes are the fundamental building blocks of learning and growing. We learn more from our failures than our triumphs. • The ‘Triple A’ of repairing a mistake • Acknowledge the problem • Apologize • Ask what’s fair

• Pick up and Forgive yourself • Energy Focus (When employees make a mistake) • • • •

• Structured Appropriately

• Will you need funding? • How will you get it?

• Lawyer

Resources:

• Know who you will work with before you need them • Will/Exit Plan or Strategy

• SCORE, UWEC, Western Dairyland, DECI, Chamber, etc.)

Networking Groups:

• Micromanaging = cripples employees • Don’t enable bad habits/Be assertive and direct • Communicate effectively

Culture

• Legal/IRS

• Properly/Adequately Insured • Accountant/Book-keeping • Banker

Hiring: When is the right time? How do you find Management? Employee Behavior (what will you tolerate/not tolerate?) Working on Business Vs. In the business • As you grow and ad employees it is crucial that you focus working on the business vs. in the business

Less Negative Focus/More Positive Focus Encourage more than discourage Catch more flies with honey than vinegar! Treat others how you want to be treated

Growing the Business: Growth Plan… how big do you want to be, or how small do you want to stay? • • • • •

Always be Networking! Education – You’re always learning! Consistently Refining Systems/Processes Technology = Productivity/Efficiency Are you interested in becoming a larger entity? Or keeping business in your family? • Franchising/Corporations? • Family Succession Business?

• Chamber, PolkaDotPowerHouse, BNI, Industry specific (i.e.: CVHBA), DECI, etc.

Systems/Processes:

• If you were taken out of your business how would someone know what to do? Can your business operate with you? • Do you have the documentation/manuals for how your business will run?

Capture Data (CRM)

• Records of Clients • Records of Leads

Marketing

• Beginning: FREE marketing Rules! (Start there!) • Important:

Branding • • • •

• Website • Social Media • Ads (craigslist/local literature)

Colors Logo Specialty Name

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CEPT OF FOSTER-BIOLOGICAL CO-PARENTING. WE WORK WITH F THE SAME FOSTER HOME WHENEVER POSSIBLE. WE ALSO BELI ABUSE, NEGLECT OR OTHER SAFETY ISSUES. WE DO UNDERSTA TION. THE VAST MAJORITY OF CHILDREN WHO ARE ADOPTED IN THIS OPTION BECOMES AVAILABLE. WE HAVE DEVELOPED A CON WHEN CAREGIVERS NEED A BREAK, AS WELL AS RESIDENTIAL T TRANSITIONS TO CHILDREN WHO REQUIRE DIFFERENT LEVELS O FROM INFANTS TO 17 ARE REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES IN MI VERSE GROUP OF FAMILIES IS NEEDED IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY LIEVE THAT, IN MOST CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BEST PLACE FOR A ENTS TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS, WHICH SUPPOR FOSTER CARE SHOULD BE A TEMPORARY SOLUTION FOR CHILDR SOME CHILDREN MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN HOME AND NEE ARE ADOPTED BY THEIR FOSTER PARENTS, AND THEY ALWAYS H OUT-OF-HOME CARE SERVICES THAT INCLUDES NOT ONLY FOSTE INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES TO YOUTH AGING OUT OF FOST FERENT TIMES AND TO MINIMIZE DISRUPTIONS. THE NEED THE COUNTY EACH MONTH BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SAFE. MORE TH – WHO ARE WILLING TO OPEN THEIR HEARTS AND HOMES TO CH BIOLOGICAL FAMILY, AND WE EMBRACE THE CONCEPT OF FOSTE FICATION, AND WE STRIVE TO PLACE SIBLINGS IN THE SAME FO WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS BECAUSE OF ABUSE, NEGLEC PLACEMENT, SUCH AS GUARDIANSHIP OR ADOPTION. THE VAST PURSUE ADOPTING A CHILD IN THEIR HOME WHEN THIS OPTION ALSO CRISIS STABILIZATION AND RESPITE CARE, WHEN CAREGIV CONTINUUM ALLOWS US TO PROVIDE SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS PARENTS IS GREAT. AS MANY AS 100 CHILDREN FROM INFANTS ARE IN FOSTER CARE AT ANY GIVEN TIME. A DIVERSE GROUP OF FANTS TO 18. FOSTERING PHILOSOPHY WE BELIEVE THAT, IN MO CO-PARENTING. WE WORK WITH FOSTER PARENTS TO BUILD AN WHENEVER POSSIBLE. WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT FOSTER CARE S ER SAFETY ISSUES. WE DO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME CHILDREN OF CHILDREN WHO ARE ADOPTED IN MILWAUKEE ARE ADOPTED AVAILABLE. WE HAVE DEVELOPED A CONTINUUM OF OUT-OF-HO BREAK, AS WELL AS RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT AND INDEPENDE WHO REQUIRE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CARE AT DIFFERENT TIME REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY EACH M NEEDED IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY – AND BEYOND – WHO ARE WIL STANCES, THE BEST PLACE FOR A CHILD IS WITH THE BIOLOGIC RELATIONSHIPS, WHICH SUPPORT SUCCESSFUL REUNIFICATION TEMPORARY SOLUTION FOR CHILDREN WHO CANNOT LIVE WITH ABLE TO RETURN HOME AND NEED A MORE PERMANENT PLACE TER PARENTS, AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PURSUE VICES THAT INCLUDES NOT ONLY FOSTER HOMES, BUT ALSO CR SERVICES TO YOUTH AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE. THIS CONTIN MINIMIZE DISRUPTIONS. THE NEED THE NEED FOR FOSTER PAR CAUSE THEY ARE NOT SAFE. MORE THAN 2,000 CHILDREN ARE OPEN THEIR HEARTS AND HOMES TO CHILDREN FROM INFANTS AND WE EMBRACE THE CONCEPT OF FOSTER-BIOLOGICAL CO-PA STRIVE TO PLACE SIBLINGS IN THE SAME FOSTER HOME WHENE LOGICAL PARENTS BECAUSE OF ABUSE, NEGLECT OR OTHER SA SUCH AS GUARDIANSHIP OR ADOPTION. THE VAST MAJORITY OF ING A CHILD IN THEIR HOME WHEN THIS OPTION BECOMES AVA BILIZATION AND RESPITE CARE, WHEN CAREGIVERS NEED A BRE LOWS US TO PROVIDE SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS TO CHILDREN W GREAT. AS MANY AS 100 CHILDREN FROM INFANTS TO 17 ARE R CARE AT ANY GIVEN TIME. A DIVERSE GROUP OF FAMILIES IS NE TERING PHILOSOPHY WE BELIEVE THAT, IN MOST CIRCUMSTANC WITH FOSTER PARENTS TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN RELATIO 14 queenofthecastlemagazine.comWORK February 2017 WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT FOSTER CARE SHOULD BE A TEMPORAR DO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME CHILDREN MAY NOT BE ABLE TO R


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WE HAVE DEVELOPED A CONTINUUM OF OUT-OF-HOME CARE SE AREGIVERS NEED A BREAK, AS WELL AS RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT AND INDEPENDENT LIVING IONS TO CHILDREN WHO REQUIRE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CARE AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND TO FANTS TO 17 ARE REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY EACH MONTH BECAU UP OF FAMILIES IS NEEDED IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY – AND BEYOND – WHO ARE WILLING TO O IN MOST CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BEST PLACE FOR A CHILD IS WITH THE BIOLOGICAL FAMILY, A LD AND MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS, WHICH SUPPORT SUCCESSFUL REUNIFICATION, AND WE S ARE SHOULD BE A TEMPORARY SOLUTION FOR CHILDREN WHO CANNOT LIVE WITH THEIR BIO LDREN MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN HOME AND NEED A MORE PERMANENT PLACEMENT, SU OPTED BY THEIR FOSTER PARENTS, AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PURSUE ADOPTIN OF-HOME CARE SERVICES THAT INCLUDES NOT ONLY FOSTER HOMES, BUT ALSO CRISIS STAB PENDENT LIVING SERVICES TO YOUTH AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE. THIS CONTINUUM ALLOW T TIMES AND TO MINIMIZE DISRUPTIONS. THE NEED THE NEED FOR FOSTER PARENTS IS GREA ACH MONTH BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SAFE. MORE THAN 2,000 CHILDREN ARE IN FOSTER CA RE WILLING TO OPEN THEIR HEARTS AND HOMES TO CHILDREN FROM INFANTS TO 18. FOSTER LOGICAL FAMILY, AND WE EMBRACE THE CONCEPT OF FOSTER-BIOLOGICAL CO-PARENTING. W CATION, AND WE STRIVE TO PLACE SIBLINGS IN THE SAME FOSTER HOME WHENEVER POSSIBL SaintA needs responsible individuals/couples with a strong WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS BECAUSE OF ABUSE, NEGLECT OR OTHER SAFETY ISSUES PLACEMENT, SUCH AS GUARDIANSHIP ADOPTION. THEfoster VASTparents/respite MAJORITY OF CHILDREN WHO commitment to children toOR become treatment RSUE ADOPTINGparents. A CHILD IN THEIR HOME WHEN THIS OPTION BECOMES WE HAVE Find outRESPITE if a child CARE, in yourWHEN community needs you. VisitAVAILABLE. SO CRISIS STABILIZATION AND CAREGIVERS NEED A BREAK, AS WELL A GrowHope.net or call 855.GROW.HOPE. ONTINUUM ALLOWS US TO PROVIDE SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS TO CHILDREN WHO REQUIRE D R PARENTS IS GREAT. AS MANY AS 100 CHILDREN FROM INFANTS TO 17 ARE REMOVED FROM N ARE IN FOSTER CARE AT ANY GIVEN TIME. A DIVERSE GROUP OF FAMILIES IS NEEDED IN MI FANTS TO 18. FOSTERING PHILOSOPHY WE BELIEVE THAT, IN MOST CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BES CO-PARENTING. WE WORK WITH FOSTER PARENTS TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS, WHENEVER POSSIBLE. WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT FOSTER CARE SHOULD BE A TEMPORARY SOLU ER SAFETY ISSUES. WE DO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME CHILDREN MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETUR ITY OF CHILDREN WHO ARE ADOPTED IN MILWAUKEE ARE ADOPTED BY THEIR FOSTER PAREN S AVAILABLE. WE HAVE DEVELOPED A CONTINUUM OF OUT-OF-HOME CARE SERVICES THAT IN A BREAK, AS WELL AS RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT AND INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES TO YO REN WHO REQUIRE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CARE AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND TO MINIMIZE DISR ARE REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY EACH MONTH BECAUSE THEY AR IS NEEDED IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY – AND BEYOND – WHO ARE WILLING TO OPEN THEIR HEA STANCES, THE BEST PLACE FOR A CHILD IS WITH THE BIOLOGICAL FAMILY, AND WE EMBRACE ELATIONSHIPS, WHICH SUPPORT SUCCESSFUL REUNIFICATION, AND WE STRIVE TO 15 PLACE SIB February 2017 queenofthecastlemagazine.com PORARY SOLUTION FOR CHILDREN WHO CANNOT LIVE WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS BECA E TO RETURN HOME AND NEED A MORE PERMANENT PLACEMENT, SUCH AS GUARDIANSHIP O

TREATMENT FOSTER PARENTS/RESPITE PARENTS

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GROW HOPE IN A CHILD


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Joyful

By: Kathleen Walton

J

oyful self-love is such a magnetic personality trait. When we love ourselves unconditionally we attract immense positivity from others and the universe around us. You know the saying, “Give love and light, receive love and light”. What exactly does this mean? I really do not think there is a direct answer to this question. For me, it means so much ranging from a small act of kindness to completely being there for someone who needs your undivided attention. One way I try to give love and light is simply by complimenting someone. You never know how one small compliment can put a smile on someone’s face and bring him or her sincere joy. When we bring joy out of others it ends up feeding our own soul, because it makes us feel good that we made someone else feel good. One of my all-time favorite quotes is from celebrity make-up artist, CEO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. In an interview Bobbi Brown was asked, “What do you feel are your top products to make someone beautiful?” She responded, “Let’s be clear, I cannot make someone beautiful, because true beauty comes from within and I have encountered some ugly models in my career.” There is so much truth to this comment. The most appealing people are the ones that have a sense of grace, inspi-

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Soul

ration, beauty and true joyfulness to their soul. I have someone in my life that exudes joy from their smile to their everyday actions. Yet this person puts themselves down regarding their personal appearance. I never entertain their negative self-talk and instead go right past it with positivity. This person is truly a joyful soul from within and the energy they give off is incredible, which makes them an amazing soul that attracts other amazing souls. There are so many ways to feed our souls, so as individuals we can exude joy. For some it is being creative and doing beautiful projects, writing, being with friends that enjoy the same interests, spending time with family, being active, the list goes on. We all have our self-doubting moments and I mean “moments”. Take your moment and let the negative energy out, you are allowed. Don’t dwell in the moment, because you are alive with a light that needs to shine on those around you. Find that one thing or several things that bring you joy and after you have your moment, move back to being joyful and taking in everything around you. One day I picked up my 11-year-old up from school. As he got into the vehicle he said, “why are you so happy?” as I


Comes From Within

was smiling from ear to ear. I looked at him and said, “I was reading an article about this really inspirational lady and she is a happiness coach. Could you imagine having a job where you go around making people happy every day?” As he did not share in my excitement he said, “Mom, you do go around making everyone happy all the time”. Awww! That little comment in itself made joy rise up inside me. Perfect example of how you never know what one nice comment can do for someone else. Therefore, always be kind. Give love and light, receive love and light.

to make their day a little brighter? Sometimes it’s a smile and a genuine thank you for the help they have given me. I love catching cashiers off guard when they robotically say, “how are you today?” I stop what I’m doing, make eye contact with them accompanied with a smile on my face and say, “I’m good, how is your day going today?” If they are in a robotic demeanor it brings them back to the moment and they always respond with a smile and a positive comment in return. It’s so important to fill your surroundings with joy, because it will always come back to you filling your own soul with joy.

Recently I have found the world of podcasts. Within the podcasts I found a mentor. She is an extraordinary woman that always begins her podcasts with this statement, “Get all the inside secrets and tools you need to help you bust through your fears, connect to your soul and get focused and clear to elevate your life, business, and relationships.” She is a self-proclaimed “self-love junkie” and I have to say every time I listen to one of her podcasts I feel as though I have literally filled my soul with joy. When I’m in public and come into contact with someone who seems to be in a negative space, I think about my mentor and what an inspiration she has been to me. My thoughts often go to a place of what can I do for this individual in front of me

My wish for all you joyful souls is to find your joy every day and always give joy back to those around you. I leave you with this quote: “Every morning starts a new page in your story. Make it a great one today,” Doe Zantamata. Owner/Publisher of Queen of the Castle Magazine. Enjoys inspiring and uplifting all those around her with daily positivity and quotes. Has lived in the Chippewa Valley for 23 years, has been with her incredible husband for 18+ years and they have an amazing 11-year-old son.

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Emotions vibrate from either fear or love. When there is a diagnosis of disease, fear is the first emotion that is felt. Feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety and depression stem from fear. Quality essential oils can aid in taming the brain to a higher vibration of acceptance, gratitude and love. Having a choice is a high vibration. Take action to choose love and get the life you want.

Three steps to help make that lifestyle change:

1. Intention – Be clear of what you really want. 2. Attention– Focus on what you want to happen. 3. No Tension – Let go of the outcome. Surrender to what happens along the way. Do not focus on when or how for it will manifest as magic happens. The sooner we learn to let go of the outcome, the happier we are, and the sooner we manifest what we want.

By: Joyce Sobotta

VibrateFrom Fear to Love

Essential oils are not all created equal. Today every store has their brand of essential oils. Many of these oils are made from synthetic components. The truth is the FDA has no regulation for what companies put on their labels. Medicines have been formulated from the same plant components that are in essential oils. Be wise and learn how to use these marvelous missing links to wellness. Internal use of EO’s should be directed by a clinical aromatherapist or health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. One of the safest and most effective ways to use essential oils is to inhale them. An ultra-sonic diffuser with a micro mist system is very effective in dispersing essential oils into the air, bringing love and healing effects into the room.

Immediate benefits from using quality essential oils regularly include the following:

• • • • • • • •

Lift the vibration of the immune system to become more efficient Bring more oxygen to the blood Release less cortisol (the damaging stress hormone) Change negative thoughts Tame the brain to a calm and refocused state Clear the mind from unnecessary clutter Become grounded to help make better decisions Feel acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude for life.

February is heart month, both physically and emotionally. Think about sharing love in several ways. Breasts lie in the fourth quad quadrant of our body, just over the heart. Loving them with a gentle lymphatic self-massage will help to balance, detoxify, promote lymphatic circulation, and soften them from fibrocystic tissue. All of which will stimulate the immune system to ward off disease. This is not only an intelligent and beneficial act; it brings accep acceptance and gratitude to the individual and in turn changes negative or fear based thoughts to a higher vibration of love. Joyce Sobotta has a BS in education and certifications in holistic aromatherapy and reflexology. She is the founder/owner of Healthy Girls Breast Oil, a home based, international business. She is available for presentations, consultations and essential oil classes. Her website is: http://www.aromatherapynaturesway.com

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REGISTER NOW! www.theozrun.com 5K & Half Marathon A unique, fun, and challenging 5K Run/Walk and Half Marathon for all fitness levels!

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May 27th, 2017 A local race benefiting Irvine Park & Southview Elementary Barrier Free Playground

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YESTERDAY YOU SAID TOMORROW

New Eau Claire location NOW OPEN!

Why wait? Join the Y today! Take advantage of all the features and benefits included in each membership: Free Towel Service Free Locks & Lockers

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Februa r

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Scheduling routine dental visits at an early age along with good oral hygiene and snacking habits can lead to a lifetime of bright smiles and healthy teeth and gums. Find out what there is to love about us at www.sim4kids.com

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EAT DESSERT FIRST! www.GetDessertFirst.com 715-833-8440

Eau Claire Locations: Awards and More, Avalon Floral, & Metropolis Resort Altoona Location: Rump’s Butcher Shoppe


i t h W A d K e l i a ss e S W

hen I was a young girl, I was not sure of what I wanted to “be” when I grew up. A ballerina, a teacher or secretary? The only thing I did feel sure about was that I wanted to be a mom. I remember always adoring babies and wee little ones and I wanted to take care of them. I also had the strong desire to show them nature and teach them what I had learned. Once I became a mother, I knew in my heart I was forever blessed. My greatest heart’s desire had been fulfilled. I took to it like a duck to water. Fast-forward 30 some years and I am blessed to be watching my precious daughter raise her little girl. She had her little boy first, but this grandma had her heart set on a little girl, too! That little chubby-cheeked bundle came flying in with a bounce in her step and a smile on her face in 2012. She even has the same middle name as mommy and me. Kaydence (Kaydie) Louise even had a lot of grandma in her! The values and ideals that my daughter, Sarah, is teaching her daughter, Kaydie, mirror the ones I instilled in her. God and family, great work ethic, The Golden Rule, being kind to others, giving back, honesty and forgiveness, being kind to animals and respect, to name a few. Sarah was taught these values and honors them in her own life. Now the unexpected blessing I get, is to watch my daughter teach those same values to her own daughter. It makes my heart happy. Sarah watched me become a single mom, go back to college at 40, and work hard to make ends meet. As I look back, I think it taught her to be independent, face challenges, and work hard. She certainly knows how to work hard and I know she will teach Kaydie the same. (She is already very independent and seemingly fearless at 4!)

By: Glenda Stokes The best thing about this three generations thing is that the opportunities and roles women take on has grown. Kaydie can choose any career and hopefully by that stage of her life, make the same as a man in an equal position.

involved, too!

It has sometimes surprised me to watch Sarah follow in my footsteps. I loved teaching her about nature – everything from trees to wildlife to fishing and plant/flower identification. Now, I watch her doing the same. She spends as much time as possible outdoors with her kids. I really do remember telling Sarah and her brother they could play outside until the street lights came on! Another solid trait that seemed to follow the generational lines is urge to “cuddle up” with her little girl and read. We did that a lot and there were many smooches I have spent the last four years spending almost daily time with my granddaughter, Kaydie, and it is the best. Last summer I taught her and her brother, Kanyon, the simple pleasures of marbles, jump sticks, and the limbo. Playing ball was a favorite of ours, too. I know when she starts a game, she plays to win! I like that fire in her.

Watching Sarah start her own business came as no surprise to me, as I too, was an entrepreneur and started three of my own. Sarah is a natural and I am super proud of the business woman she is and the example she is setting for Kaydie. I can only imagine the heights our little Kaydie will soar to as well!

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F

ebruary is known as a month of love and a holiday to warm our hearts so this is a perfect time to exercise with your partner. Partner up, exercise and maybe have a laugh or two at the same time.

Reasons to Workout with Your Partner: > Workouts become more fun when you’re not alone. > Exercising with your partner provides an opportunity to spend time together. > Partner exercises can help you keep your form in check. > Partners provide motivation and support. > It’s easier to push yourself harder when someone is by your side. > You’re more likely to fit in workouts when you partner up. > Trying something new together is fun. > You can celebrate your successes together. Exercises you can do with a workout friend or with the one you love. I enlisted a couple of workout friends to demonstrate these partner exercises: Hect Puchete: Trainer, Herbalife Wellness Coach, and Boxer with goals to compete professionally. Contact Hect Puchete at puchetahector1993@gmail.com Photos take at The Grind Fitness Factory, Banbury Place, Eau Claire, WI.

Exercise 1: Back-to-Back Stand and Squat Start sitting on floor back to back and interlock arms. Simultaneously stand up pushing through the legs and pushing into your partner. Once in full standing position, push against your partner to return to sitting position.

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Exercise with the one you love By: Kim Larsen

Exercise 2: Mountain Climber /Sit Up: Standing partner places hands directly under chest with arms straight and places on other partners knees. Engage core and alternate lifting knees toward chest. The partner doing the crunches is flat on their back with knees bent. Hands to temples so not to pull on neck, exhaling and bringing shoulder blades off the ground in a small movement. This is not a full sit up.

Exercise 3: Plank / High Five Begin in plank position with back straight and weight distributed evenly between elbows and feet. Face each other in the same position. Maintaining body weight on three limbs, raise one hand in front of your body and reach to partner to high five their hand. Bring hand back to original position and duplicate this movement with other hand.

February 2017


Corbin Burkard: Head trainer at Burn Boot Camp - Eau Claire, WI .... Trained in Eau Claire area the past 2 years. NSCA certified trainer, BS in Kinesiology from UWEC. Defensive Backs coach at Eau Claire Regis - Division 6 state titles (2016) Contact Corbin at: 715-972-2876 Photos taken at Burn Boot Camp, Gateway Drive, Eau Claire, WI.

Exercise 3: Wall Sit and High Knees One partner needs to drive their knees up and bring toes over their partner’s knees. Stay light on the balls of your feet. The partner doing the wall sit needs to drive through their heels with knees behind toes.

Exercise 1: Partner Sit Up Slap hands together on top and dig your feet into each other to help pull up. Use your hands on your legs if you need assistance to sit up.

If you find that you’re doing more laughing than working out attempting these exercises that’s okay too! Did you know that laughter is good for you? Laughing can reduce stress, depression, produce a sense of well-being, and can actually work your abdominal muscles if you laugh long enough! Exercise 2: Front Facing Stand and Squat Knees behind your toes and keep your chest up and chin off your chest. Drive up through your heels and lean back against each others weight.

Remember to warm up 3-5 minutes before performing exercises. You can also incorporate walking or jogging in place or performing squats or jumping jacks in between exercises to increase the duration of your workout. Watch for more partner exercises on kimbentley Facebook February 1 through Valentines Day! *Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

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A Heart Worth Hearing By: The American Heart Association

S

ure you know that February is American Heart Month! After all we are inundated with pink and red hearts everywhere to remind us. But how did this all start and what does it mean? The first American Heart Month was set for February of 1964 when President Lyndon B. Johnson made Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963. The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, had requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month. At the time, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease, and now it is the number one killer, even more than all cancers combined.

While American Heart Month is a federally designated month in the United States, it’s important to realize that cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030. The American Heart Association wants to help everyone live longer, healthier lives so they can enjoy all of life’s precious moments. And we know that starts with taking care of your health. American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is a great way to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved. Together, we can build a culture of health where making the healthy choice is the easy choice. Why? Because Life is Why.

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American Heart Month statistics: In the United States: » Fewer Americans have been dying of heart disease and stroke since the 1980s thanks to progress in medical therapies for patients with a history of heart disease and stroke and from lifestyle changes that are curbing the risk. » In every year since 1900 except 1918, CVD accounted for more deaths than any other major cause of death in the United States. Stroke still ranks fifth. » An estimated 85.6 million people in the U.S. are living with cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and chest pain. » Among U.S. adults, 32.6 percent—about 80 million— have high blood pressure. » Despite an overall 28.8 percent drop in cardiovascular disease death rates from 2003 to 2013, the high blood pressure death rate increased 8.2 percent over that same time. General Women Statistics: » Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. » Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. » An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular disease. » Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease or stroke. » Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. General Men Statistics: » About 8.9 million men have coronary heart disease. » Among men age 20 and older, 7.8% of non-Hispanic whites, 7.2% of non-Hispanic blacks and 6.7% of Hispanics have coronary heart disease.

» Among men age 20 and older, the following have had a stroke: 2.2% of non-Hispanic whites; 4.2% of non-Hispanic blacks and 2.8% of Hispanics. » Among men age 20 and older, 32.9% of non-Hispanic whites, 44.9% of non-Hispanic blacks and 29.6% of Hispanics have HBP. Hispanics: » Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for Hispanic women, killing nearly 21,000 annually. » Among Hispanic adults age 20 and older, 32.4% of men and 32.5% of women have CVD. » Among Hispanic adults, 2.8% of men and 2.0% of women have had a stroke, 29.6% of Hispanic men have HBP; 29.9% of women. » Hispanic women are least likely to have a usual source of health medical care and only 1 in 8 say that their doctor has ever discussed their risk for heart disease. » Only 36% of African American women and 34% of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 65% of Caucasian women. African Americans: » Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African-American women, killing over 48,000 annually. » Among African-Americans adults, 48 percent of women and 46 percent of men have some form of cardiovascular disease. » Among African-American adults, 46 percent of women and 45 percent of men have high blood pressure. » Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.3% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 14% believe that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health problem. » Only about 50% of African-American women are aware that pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms is a sign of a heart attack.

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Live to Laugh, Laugh to Live Research suggest that laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation and increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol, said Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., an attending cardiologist and director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Once you start laughing, it forces you to feel better,” said Dr. Steinbaum. A bonus with laughter is that its effects have been found to last 24 hours, she said. That’s a good reason to laugh every day. It is beneficial for people to have a positive outlook in life. Studies have shown that the risk of heart disease increases in depressed post-menopausal women and that people with heart disease are 40 percent less likely to laugh than people without it. Laughter seems to have a wonderful health-enhancing characteristic. It has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety and may decrease inflammation in blood vessels. Although research on the subject is limited, studies over the past 40 years have found that people with certain personality types those who are hostile and angry,

for example - have higher rates of heart disease. So if laughter is the opposite of anger, it’s plausible that people with a better sense of humor may have a lower heart disease risk. In an interesting University of Maryland study, researchers examined circulation in the blood vessels in two groups of subjects who watched different types of movies. One group watched stressful segments of the war movie “Saving Private Ryan,” while the others watched parts of a funny movie, “Something About Mary.” Among those viewing “Saving Private Ryan,” blood vessel lining constricted and circulation decreased. For those watching the more upbeat movie, vessel lining dilated and circulation increased. Perhaps laughter should be prescribed as a part of the way to prevent heart disease. Just like we have recently discovered that “exercise is medicine”, it might be safe to say that laughter is a little bit like a medication for you as well. Want to know more about the American Heart Association: check out heart.org

Heart Attack Signs in Women:

1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. 2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. 3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. 4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. 5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

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Don't forget what love is all about By: Michelle Huesek

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ll too often around this time of year, Valentine’s Day, we are suddenly thrown into the trenches of past “lives” or experiences of heartbreak from years ago. I say past lives because sometimes, we grow and evolve so much that when we look back, we can’t even remember who that person was anymore (the person we used to be). All of those old memories, old feelings, old stories and ways of being rise up to the surface. Most people are left without a place to turn to in order to make any sense of it. How on this earth are we supposed to handle all that crap, especially at a time of year that is still centered around rebirth and bringing in the frequency of love? Did you forget who the most important person you are meant to love is?

How do we do that though? That seems like it’s tough and can take lots of time and tears. You’d be correct in the tears part; however, it only takes as long as you want it to take. Self-love includes looking into your past “lives” and coming to a place of forgiveness for how you managed your life at that time. Sure, you can dig deep into it and look for old patterns, where they came from, and how to find a new way to look at it. The easiest way to begin the process of self-love is to allow yourself to know that you did YOUR best with what you knew and your resources at the time. That’s it. And as long as you know you did your best, isn’t that all that matters anyway?

It’s YOU! So maybe you’ve got some skeletons in your closet; you cheated, he cheated, she cheated…someone lied…you were a reckless heartbreaker…maybe you slept around too much and are embarrassed… maybe you were abused or raped… Ouch, that last one stings a bit doesn’t it? That’s my story. I was in an abusive marriage, and chose it. WHAAAAAAT? Yeah. That’s a concept for another day though, taking responsibility for your life. I also chose NOT to live in that story anymore. I chose to rise above it. I chose to be the VICTOR instead of the VICTIM.

The other important piece of self-love is growing into authenticity. This involves disconnecting yourself from wanting to “fit in” and have people like you all the time. Impressing people gets you nowhere except for maybe a pat on the back or a high-five in the moment. Let go of your need to be noticed and popular. The only person that actually matters to someone is himself or herself. As crazy as it sounds, it’s true! If we can’t love ourselves for who we really are, then who will?! We’re stuck with ourselves for LIFE, so we must learn to love and accept who we are and live in our truth. PSSST! Want more love in your life? Start with ^ that! Grab that journal I talked about in last month’s article and start this journey. Writing brings clarity and a voice to what is buried inside of us. It’s ok what you find. Don’t judge it, just let it be what it is. And don’t be afraid of how the words flow out onto the page. It’s ok to swear or cuss, call people name, that’s how it feels. Be free and let it out. It doesn’t mean you’d actually say something mean to someone just because it is written on a piece of paper. That emotion is what is trapped and it has its own voice. And, it’s OK. Need more help? Reach out to a spiritual coach to be your guide on digging deeper. Love & Hugs, Michelle

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By: Margaret McCawley

M

y son is 16 months and loves his newly acquired skill of walking. With dimpled knees and dimpled, doughy toes, he fearlessly explores his world. Most of the time his sojourns are accompanied by playful screaming, singing, or laughing (he thinks he’s so funny). Recently, however, his trips around the house have grown increasingly silent. And stealthy. I sometimes imagine him to be capable of full conversations and mature motivations. “Perhaps he is unscrewing the bolt to the toilet,” I muse. “Or, maybe he’s unfolding all of the towels and refolding them the way that daddy does - just to mess with me.” Here is probably where I should note that Finnegan is not a naughty baby. In fact, he is the perfect child. Since two months old he has slept at least 12 hours a night - straight. He is happy. He is content. He is, in a word, a dream. So, naturally, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. (I wait in trepidation for the terrible twos). There have been times while making dinner, grading papers, or blinking my eyes that Finnegan has traveled in a direction that I could not say. When my husband comes home from work, I play it cool while

describing the moment I misplaced our son (in our own house). “Oh yeah, I couldn’t find him for like three seconds. It’s kind of hilarious, if you think about it...” But, as anyone can imagine, those three seconds seem to stretch into months. Within those months your mind churns over all of the awful things that could be happening to your baby under your watch. Maybe he jumped up and opened the front door. Or perhaps he’s feeding the toilet rolls and rolls of toilet paper. Maybe he’s caught his fingers in the vent crate. (Do we even have a vent crate?) The pure joy and relief when I lay eyes on him again is never diluted or faded. In fact, the more I love him, the more I realize I could never experience a diluted emotion again. That reunion is joyous, it is simple, it is a Tuesday afternoon with the windows open, it is my world. I lost my baby - if only for a moment - and found him again. The reunion provides closure, a bandage for the splitting ache. I can continue cutting up his strawberries and lean down to smell his sweet hair. But how do I find a bandage for this new wound? How does one let go of a baby you never got to hold? How do I let go? He was real. I felt it. I know he was. Somehow I know his

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hand would’ve fit perfectly in mine and know that someday he would have had delicious, dark curly hair. I’m not sure where it started, or why it started, or even why it is perpetuated that women do not share these losses. This is not a judgement call, as I find myself dreading telling the world my news too. But, it is a curious phenomenon. Perhaps the silence stems from not wanting to be told the wrong thing. That resonates. I, an affectionate person, find myself cringing when people hug me and tell me it is going to be okay. I, a reasonable person, want everyone to acknowledge my loss, but no one to talk about it directly to me. Not yet. (Ideally, I’d prefer for someone to stand next to me, and simply hold my hand while I cry). Or, perhaps the silence is for far deeper reasons. Perhaps society has conditioned women to believe that their loss is not a real loss after all. As if just because I could not hold my baby in my arms, his flesh and blood were any less my own. At one week shy of the magical three month mark, I will never forget the nurse who treated us with such dismissive lack of compassion. I was a number. I was an irrationally emotional woman, one whose time, or feelings for that matter, were of no consequence. When I finally was able to speak to a doctor after our devastating ultra sound, she showed great kindness to my husband and me. For that simple reason, I wept uncontrollably. I so desperately yearned for someone to acknowledge our loss.

As much as I dread sharing our news, I feel obliged to do so anyway. I am compelled to share not because I am unique, but because it is an experience shared by so many. For whatever reason – self-preservation or lack of validation – many women bear this unthinkable burden in tearful silence. I am one mother, one voice. I am quiet and so imperfect; in no way do I deserve to speak for the mass. However, I fear that not telling people would somehow deny my baby’s existence. I fear that if we all continue to bear our burdens in total silence, it would negate our experience as grieving mothers and fathers. While I am afraid of people’s reactions, I have found that more often than not, people know exactly what to say and do. At one point this past week my best friend said to me, “I don’t know the right words to say, so I’ll keep repeating the words I know: I love you and I’m so sorry.”

Statistically, 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage. While this was my nurse’s hundredth miscarriage this month, this was my baby. I dread sharing this news because we so joyfully looked forward to telling a different narrative to our friends and family - one where my belly was growing, baby was kicking, and Finn was kissing my stomach and calling it a “da” (ball). I never got to feel him kick or kiss his cheek, but I dreamt of his future daily. And while I can’t fault my nurse for not envisioning the same future for my baby, the lack of compassion was an unsettling punctuation mark on a devastating day. If finding Finnegan hiding around the corner of our living room couch is a Tuesday afternoon with sunlight pouring in, this is surely a bleak Sunday evening. It’s a repeated blow to the stomach; I am forever having the wind knocked out of me.

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At 11 weeks pregnant, I have lost my baby and will not find him again on this earth. It seems impossible that I could ever learn to live with this wound, that I could ever cope with this loss. But, I know that someday I will meet him again and our reunion will be joyous. Until then, I will find the baby I never met whenever Finnegan pokes his head around the corner. I’ll feel him in the breeze when our windows are kept open. Until then, I will love you and miss you every day, my sweet baby.


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February 2017


CR E AT I V E K I DDO S By: Vanessa Moessner

w o n S e k a F t s e B e h T

Materials: Baking Soda (big box) Hair Conditioner (grab some from the dollar store) Tub or large bowl Mixing and sculpting tools and toys

Pour out the box of baking soda into a tub or large bowl. Have little ones squeeze about half the bottle of conditioner onto the baking soda. This is a great activity to strengthen hands and fingers! Kids need strong hands when learning to write. Using a spatula, or other mixing tool, mix up the two ingredients. When kids get brave let them use their hands. If the “snow� does not pack together, add more conditioner. Enjoy playing in the snow but stay nice and warm!

February 2017

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S imp

l e "I l ove

By: SaintA Staff Member

I

n a e you" Can M

n December of 2016, one set of siblings has received the best Christmas gift they could ever imagine: A forever family! That’s because their foster parents, Chris and Wendy Attoe of Chippewa Falls, who officially adopted them, a boy age 13 and a girl, age 6. The family has been together for just shy of two years already. In fact, the Attoes were the first Northwestern Wisconsin family to be licensed as treatment foster care (TFC) parents through SaintA in late 2015. They took placement of the siblings in early 2015 and as of Monday, they will be SaintA’s first TFC adoptive parents in the region.

The Attoes are also providing foster care for a sibling group of three, including an infant who was just born over Thanksgiving. “The Attoes have a heart for caring for siblings,” says Becky Connell, Statewide Director of Treatment Foster Care at SaintA. “They know it can be difficult to place more than one child and understand the importance of keeping siblings together.” It’s that strong commitment to siblings that inspired the Attoes to build an addition onto their home to accommodate foster children as well as their biological son, Jayden, a teenager. Chris is now a full-time, stay-at-home dad and the couple are big advocates of foster care. “When these kids first say, ‘I love

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r e v e r o F

you,’ it melts your heart,” says Wendy.

There are more than 6,000 kids in out-of-home care in Wisconsin at any given time. About two- thirds are in rural areas and small- to medium-sized cities throughout the state. SaintA is currently recruiting foster parents statewide, so more children can have a home for the holidays – and every day. Become a Foster Parent With more than 7,000 children in out-of-home care at any given time in Wisconsin, the need for treatment foster care (TFC) parents is great. The primary qualifications are room in your home and heart. Though every story is different, the most common reasons for kids to be in foster care are abuse or neglect, and the kids who need you most often have special physical, behavioral and emotional needs. Learn more at growhope.net/statewide-tfc or contact one of our TFC Specialists below. Central Wisconsin: Heidi Seppelt 715.204.6585 | hseppelt@sainta.org Western Wisconsin: Nicole Johnson-Weltzin 715.520.7642 | njohnson-weltzin@sainta.org General: 855-GROW-HOPE | growhope@sainta.org


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February 2017

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Love is The

Best Treatment

By: Jenn Chapman

E

ach month the staff at Queen of the Castle comes together to pitch story ideas that fit the theme of the upcoming issue. When February was announced as the “Live, Laugh, Love” issue we got to work brainstorming about women who embody these traits whether it be through their personal journey or career path. I threw out the idea of finding a “Love Doctor”. To be honest, I don’t even know what exactly a love doctor is but it sounded like something that fit our theme. Turning to the ever trusty Google, I searched for ‘Love Doctor Eau Claire’. What popped up? Jodi Ritsch.

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What makes this comical is that Jodi Ritsch would 10 times out of 10 never describe herself as a love doctor, but when I mentioned how I found out about her she erupted into laughter. And if you are person fortunate to know Dr. Jodi then you know I mean it when I say she erupted into laughter. Her laugh is contagious and continuous and so the “love doctor” title may make some sense, however, she is truly known as the Joyful Doc. “The Joyful Doc came about because I myself got very burned


out as a physician. At the time of that burnout I was just searching, going to different conferences, listening to out of the box thinkers and I came to this conclusion that I should work on how I wanted things to be and not how I perceived they were,” shares Dr. Jodi. So what started out as just a change in her email address, four years later resulted in the naming of her very own practice. “Patients kept calling me the Joyful Doc,” she says with another laughs. “It definitely got to the point where I decided I was done cursing the darkness with everyone and wanted to light a candle instead. When it came time to name my clinic there was an obvious choice. It was time to go with the Joyful Doc Clinic.” The Eau Claire native was a family practitioner at Mayo Heath Clinic in Eau Claire for 15 years, 11 of those spent delivering babies, before opening up the Joyful Doc Clinic in 2013. She says her clinic is based on love and connection where as traditional care can often be rooted more in fear. “The body can do so much to heal itself and we don’t need to buy into this cultural idea that the body is always falling apart on us or letting us down. If treated well it will return the favor. So I do use medicine but I also support people in what they feel is helping them,” says Dr. Jodi.

“It’s not about people not having information but that sometimes they have so much information that they don’t’ know what they should be worrying about or not worrying about,” she adds. The Joyful Doc Clinic aims to provide more than just support to their patients but to also ensure that their health provider is a part of the support system. The patients aren’t just numbers or bodies in their office but that they are family. “We have been marketed to really well in that we as individuals are lacking in X, Y, and Z and if you purchase X, Y, and Z you will fix it. It’s really no different in medicine. But the problem is diagnostic codes don’t walk in the door, real people walk in. So when you try to manage or help by giving labels or diagnostic codes to people instead of having a conversation or truly listening, it doesn’t work,” she pauses before continuing. “I don’t blame anyone I was the same way. That’s the way the system is built. It’s like a factory, but it shouldn’t be, it should be about people.” In some ways she’s like a modern day Patch Adams. She believes strongly in the power of connection in the doctor-patient relationship and even more so now in a technology driven society. “I think that lost connection is one of the draw backs to our technology. Although I am a huge fan of technology as it allows us to work from different locations, the technology part

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gets in between the patient and provider and creates a real big problem in health care. We hope to bring back that human connection that we naturally crave by giving more time to connecting one on one with compassion and not behind a screen,” Dr. Jodi explains. With two locations in Menomonie and Eau Claire, The Joyful Doc Clinic seeks to not only assess the clinical needs of patients ranging from allergies, to depression, to heart health, but to also give off what Dr. Jodi calls a “high-vibe feeling”. “I heard once that happiness is related to external factors but joy is deeper. Joy is a more spiritual aspect you can call on at any time, so in any given situation there is joy to be found,” she says confidently. The Clinic cites that research backs up that there are health benefits to having a strong community. Therefore they hold a monthly wellness group that seeks to build community. This is especially important for those who suffer from anxiety or depression. In addition to meetings and guest speakers, The Joyful Doc clinic holds true to its name in another aspect with the practice of laughter yoga. Dr. Jodi says the ultimate exhale is a deep belly laugh. “Laughter is a really great, inexpensive medicine. Physiologically it’s been proven to increase endorphins which boosts healing and the immune system,” says the Joyful Doc herself, who credits her boisterous laugh to her parents. “Both my mom and my dad sides of the family were good laughers and I like to have fun myself,” she shares. “My mom was a labor and delivery nurse and people couldn’t tell between us with the laughter down the hall…I’ve definitely inherited my mom’s laugh,” she says, you guessed it, with a laugh.

structor. She discovered the practice right around the time she was getting ready to open the clinic. “It was such a great way to go in front of groups and not be so serious. Really there is not enough laughter in the world so spreading it is always a good thing,” she says. A physician in India started laughter yoga in the 90s while writing an article about the health benefits of laughter. Dr. Madan Kataria found that laughter lowered blood pressure and cortisol levels. He gathered 5 friends and each were tasked with trying to make each other laugh. Over 65 countries now have laughter yoga. It’s simple, childlike play that includes three to five minutes of continuous laughter by making animal noises or speaking gibberish. The total session can go on for about twenty to thirty minutes. Dr. Jodi tells her groups that if you can laugh and you can breathe, you can do laughter yoga. “When you spend time around kids you remember how much you used to laugh and then you see how serious we get as we age. There is so much to learn from preschoolers or toddlers in just being in the present moment. They don’t care about last Tuesday or this Tuesday, but the moment. Be grateful for the lollipop in front of you. It’s a great gift. Work with gratitude and what’s going right will become your new neural pathway,” the Joyful Doc concludes. Want to know more about Dr. Jodi Ritsch and the Joyful Doc Clinic? Check out: joyfuldoc.com

Dr. Jodi found it fitting to get certified as a laughter yoga inFebruary 2017

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P

b

u

Joyful Purpose Joyful Purpose THE PATH TO A

By: Lisa Harris

a

P

F

s

c

t

d

c

T

l

l

I

t

i

i

It

t

doesn’t feel that long ago when my husband found me

Seven months prior I had applied for the opportunity and it

s

sitting in the shade of a Black Walnut tree in our backyard one

must’ve been subconsciously on my mind up until that hot

c

hot July afternoon. I remember him pulling into the drive-

summer afternoon.

s

way as I was sitting there in a meditative mode with my legs crossed, my hands placed upward on each knee and he came

The job that I was thinking about leaving was one that I was

up in curiosity to ask, “What are you doing babe?”

good at. I had customers that followed me from one company to another over the years. You see, I had built a business and

I looked up to him and said, “I think I’m going to quit my

leaving all that I had known for so long was a bit scary. In

job.” He looked at me with wide eyes and said calmly, “Oh

fact, it was VERY scary because I had literally started with

yeah? What are you going to do then?” I said, without a hesi-

nothing and was told that I had to work everywhere I went

tation, “I’d like to teach at the college level. I miss the energy

due to the demand of the industry I was in… and so I did. I

of the people on campus and feel like it’s where I should be.”

literally worked everywhere I went to be successful. I worked 10-12 hour days and even the weekends. At the time, I had

Within days, I received a call from Chippewa Valley Technical College to go in for a part-time position. I was THRILLED! It was as though I could sense that the call was coming and I needed to be ready for a BIG change.

42 queenofthecastlemagazine.com

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something to prove, not just to my many bosses, but to myself.

t

f


Prior to working that job, I had never

I worked in that de-

been confident enough to simply strike

manding industry for

up a conversation with a stranger, let-

nearly 10 years and

alone a President of a major company.

on that July after-

People kind of scared me to be honest.

noon, I had realized

From the outside, I’ve been told that I

it was time… time

seemed so confident, but internally I was

for a new challenge,

completely scared! “What would they

one that was “soul-

think of me? What if I said something

type work” where I

dumb?

could help people in

So-and-so, is so much more

confident than me, how can I compete?”

a huge way.

These were some of the things that I allowed to flow through my mind regular-

And, so I did.

I

ly.

left that career and jumped into teach-

In that profession, I had high expecta-

ing as an Adjunct In-

tions placed upon me, competition with-

structor at our local

in the same company, very little training

Technical

if any, and the demands of customers

It was one of the best

that often, were upset at the products/

decisions of my life.

services of the company. It was a diffi-

I was teaching in the

cult job dealing with every type of per-

Behavioral Science

son you can imagine. However, it was

department

the absolute best experience to create the

I taught Sociology,

foundation of my professional career.

various Psychology

College.

where

courses, and diversity and ethics courses. It was a dream come true! My first year I was voted by the students as an “Educator of the Year” and it was one of the greatest honors of my life. To get to this place of JOY and purposeful work I had to do seven things that I encourage you to use when you are ready to make some changes.

February 2017

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February 2017


1

I had to ask myself, “Why do I want to change my life when I am making a decent living?” I had to determine my “WHY”. My “why” was to become happy again �.

2

I DECIDED that I was ready! If I could make it my reality, I would be able to and share more JOY!

4

I was GRATEFUL. I took the time to appreciate the good and bad of my current reality. I had learned a lot and discovered that without that experience, I wouldn’t have had the courage to get up in front of large groups of people and present, teach, and instruct with confidence.

5

I was BRAVE. I took the first step to making it possible by finding opportunities in the new desired field and applied without any expectations. I didn’t know if I would get a call or not, but I still put myself out there. I took a chance.

6

I VISUALIZED. That afternoon as I was sitting under the black walnut tree, I was visualizing already being an instructor. I imagined feeling how I later DID feel on my first day of class. I was excited, calm, and confident. I could see myself standing in front of the classroom.

7

I took ACTION. I said yes to the application. I said yes to the interview and in less than a year my dream was my reality!

3

I COMMITTED to the idea. I shared it with others.

Since then I have grown my family and I am a successful entrepreneur that helps people in their life, and their business, making changes and living the best possible life! My purposeful work has been a choice. I literally choose every day to live my life to serve others in theirs and I am so grateful for all the challenges, experiences and relationships in my Life Work. To you reading this, I send you Blessings to be Brave and follow YOUR Life’s path to live the most JOYFUL LIFE! The work is worth the reward! I encourage you to take one step today.

February 2017

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t i f o e v o L e h T All Merging Career & Motherhood

By: Sarah Stokes I’ve heard it said in so many ways. “You can have it all,” or, “You can have it all, just not at the same time.” Perhaps you’ve heard the more pessimistic option that says simply, “You can’t have it all.” I’ve fit pretty much every description in my time as a working mom. There were times when I completely subscribed to the pessimistic view, but now that our oldest just turned six, I’ve had some practice and I think you can have it all.

What do you consider to be your ideal life? (You. Not your spouse, partner, children, parents, siblings, friends, boss, co-workers, etc. You.) If you’re trying to live up to someone else’s idea of having it all, you’re going to miss out on your life. If you’re listening to advice or trying to live up to someone else’s expectations and that doesn’t match your soul, you will soon find yourself resenting everything. If I measured my “all” by the yardstick of another, I’d miss the joy that is in store for my unique life.

The secret? Define your all. So what do you want? That’s what’s missing in our culture. That’s what disappears when we judge each other. That’s what we don’t even realize we need to ask ourselves. What’s your all?

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The first time I was asked that question, I was stumped. More often than not, we have no clue. What the heck do we want?


s

okes

The secret to having it “all” is to first define it for yourself. What does it look like to have a delicious life? If you close your eyes and imagine your dream scenario, what are you doing, how many hours a week are you doing that and who’s by your side? What does your family schedule look like? Who’s cleaning your house? Are you working from home or getting out of the house and heading into an office? Who’s making the meals and picking up the kids? What sounds like heaven to you? This is where you start. When I changed careers, leaving my bread and butter, I leapt into the unknown. With two little kids at home, I had no idea how to run a business and be a work-fromhome parent at the same time. We experienced bumps in the road and what happened was I sacrificed my sleep to work while the babies were sleeping. It wasn’t ideal, but it led me to a place of exhaustion where I knew something had to give. I knew I couldn’t keep up that pace for long. I asked for help. A life coach encouraged me to create little bits of change in my daily life so I could come closer to the ideal scenarios I wanted. I mapped out where I thought my life stood when it came to career, home, my body, my hobbies, my friends and family, spirituality, and my finances. She asked me to rate them on a scale of one to ten and if they were less than a ten, (they were) I had to think about what it would take to get them to the highest level. I had to start dreaming. That’s how I began to realize I could have it all. My “all” consisted of following my heart. My heart knew I would feel like I have it all when I achieve a mix of career and motherhood. I love both.

As I listened to my gut, I realized I want to work outside the home and be flexible enough to be the mom I dreamed of being. It’s taken three years to get to my ideal scenario, but I’m here. In 2013, I would have laughed if you told me I’d be the “Businesswoman of the Year” and still be done with work in time to pick up our oldest from Kindergarten. I would have laughed if you said, “Your best year ever in business will be the year you work the fewest hours.” I am living my dream now. I have it all. My “all” is about freedom. I started saying no to everything that sucked energy away from that feeling. I’m still working on adding in other layers now like fitness, taking vacations, and getting out of debt. However, when you prioritize the keys to your happiness, even if it doesn’t all come at once, you’ll feel like you’ve got it all. Then, those additional dreams become a bonus you can build in later. I highly recommend the book, “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte. It has colorful language in it, but it sure takes you to the end goal mapping out the way to your “all.” Now, it’s your turn. Dream a little. No, scratch that. Dream a lot, then write it down. There is nothing wrong with working on the steps you need to take to make those dreams come true. If you meet resistance from your loved ones as you do this, ask them to dream too. The people who buck it the most are probably desperately in need of some dreaming time themselves! I bet you can find a way to merge those dreams in your household. Figure out how to get tiny, daily doses of your dream. Hire a cleaning helper or take a bath. Say no to another committee and yes to a new hike you want to take. Nap on Saturdays or start that business plan on Monday. Whatever it is that gets you smiling and puts that sunshine in your life, do it. Once you practice the smaller steps, you’ll feel more confident. Once you feel more confident, you can start moving faster down the path to loving “all” of your life.

February 2017

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Advice for Newlyweds Written by Wisconsinites

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Dad David K said to daughter Kate “Go into your marriage knowing divorce is not an option and you can work through anything”

“You will have a forever marriage if you go into it knowing everyday it is not rainbows and unicorns. There will be wonderful days and not wonderful days, working together will get you through any of them.”

“Always communicate the good and the bad. You’re not mind readers you have to talk.”

“Take the time are your wedding for each other to soak everything in, believe me it goes by too fast.”

“Appreciate every little moment. As people live they often forget the little beautiful things deserve appreciation. Always take the time to say ‘I Love You’, in every opportunity you get. It’ll mean the world to you one day and you’ll be happy that you took every opportunity to say it. It is very important to appreciate what you have and nurture it and guide it so it’ll become the best it can be.”

“Have faith and trustvery important. Share your thoughts, talk out decisions, and enjoy each other”

“Get to know each other, enjoy your courtship. Know where your life is going, discuss future plans and don’t be in a hurry.”

“Always put each other first because in the end you will only have each other to count on.”

“Never go to bed angry. Communication is key to any relationship.” “Never stop dating your spouse.”

“Learn the art of compromising.”

“It’s okay to spend time apart, ME time is a real thing.” February 2017

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February 2017


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February 2017

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Dress shopping from consultants point of view

Written by The Wedding Tree Consultants

From a Wedding Consultant point of view: I love working with brides but sometimes we get bridal parties in the store that are overwhelming for the bride. Too many opinions, others who think that their way is the right way. It can get very stressful for all of us and tensions can get high. The bride looks to us consultants to help them out. Ultimately it is all about the bride so that is where we keep the focus. When I can work through all the emotions and the bride finds the perfect dress I have done my job and that is the best reward. Gina Parish From Kathy Burgos Being a bridal consultant is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I think of every bride as a niece or a good friend’s daughter. I want to find the perfect dress for each and every one of my brides. There is nothing like seeing a young woman look into the mirror and seeing a bride looking back. In that moment, everything seems real. She is getting married. Sometimes there are tears, laughter, applause or even screams of joy. Many days I go home feeling very happy. I get to know many of my brides very well. They are very special to me. As with any occupation, being a bridal consultant has its stressful days. At times, us consultants have to be counselors, and sometimes referees. There can be dramatic conflicts between family members so we must be very careful in handling those situations. The bride should be the main focus of the bridal appointment and sometimes their entourage forgets this. I am always the bride’s advocate. These days are luckily few and far between. The special, rewarding moments outweigh the stressful moments. I wouldn’t trade my job for the world! From Jennifer Freitag One of my favorite things about being a bridal consultant is that every day is different because each bride is unique. She walks into our store with her own story. She brings with her a unique past and an idea of what she wants for her future, and I am the one she is looking at to make that happen. It is a challenge and I love it! What trumps all the other fantastic aspects of my job is helping a woman feel beautiful. Again, each bride is unique in personality as well as body. We all have one, two or more areas of our bodies we wish we could change and when a bride has to be on display over and over in front of her entourage to be critiqued, it can be terrifying. It is my job and my job alone to make sure that I walk her through what should be a fun and easy experience. From the moment she walks in, I am her advocate and expert. It is my job to make sure that no matter what past, present and future she brings with her, that she feels comfortable and well taken care of here. I will talk with her, listen to her likes and dislikes, learn about her wedding and pair it with my knowledge, experience and passion to find her the perfect bridal gown for her wedding day. There is no better feeling as a bridal consultant than when my bride puts on a gown that makes her feel like she has never felt before in her lifetime. Suddenly, she loves her body. She gets quiet and transforms right before my eyes from an anxious shopper into a confident, stunning woman. She begins to beam from head to toe and knows at that moment that this is how she has always wanted to feel from the moment she said “yes” to her fiancé. This is my job and this is my passion. And even though it is the bride who leaves happy, I have to say I leave here every day pretty darn thankful for 52 queenofthecastlemagazine.commy February 2017 awesome and rewarding job!


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Redesign your home sweet home Written by Amy Burke Lepper

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his past year I finally decided it was time to remodel both our master bath and kitchen. I took to heart what I always tell my clients, it’s your home and it needs to represent your personality when someone walks through the door. When it comes to our own home, the focus should always be on what makes us want to be there. I have been designing for over 20 years with a focus on kitchen design for more than 12 of those years. Your home is your retreat and happy place. Whatever you want the feeling to be is right- for you. We live in a very unique home- an Earth Berm. Our walls and ceiling are concrete which makes it very interesting to remodel anything. We decided to tackle the master bathroom first. It had not been touched since the house was built in 1981. Needless to say, the tan shell sink had to go. Whoever thought that was a good design choice didn’t have to clean it! I wanted it to fit the architecture of the house and have a modern organic feel. Having access to many different types of materials can be overwhelming for clients and myself included. I knew for sure we wanted to add in-floor heat in both the floor and shower. I decided to use my go-to tile for the main floor and a small hex tile for the shower floor. A clean and classic look in the shower was a must, so I decided on white tile with dark grout. Because it used to have a drop ceiling to cover all the pipes we decided to add a wood element for the organic feel. Cedar shiplap is now our drop ceiling along with Italian laminate wood-look frameless cabinets, quartz counter top and fabulous sconces from HB Lighting and Design. My favorite comment when the bathroom was finished was from my husband who said he “loved the bathroom”. This is big coming from him, a man of few words.

After a couple of months of recouping we decided to start the kitchen. I knew with three

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kids this was going to be a challenge. I planned it like I would for any client. I did two design layouts and presented them to my toughest clients yet- my family! They unanimously decided on one layout. All my designs are done on the design program Chief Architect. It is a very realistic program that shows everything in a color rendered 3D. I even got a “that’s cool mom, will it really look like that?” I said if I do it right, it will look even better in person. Once the design and finishes were all selected I put my budget together, the scariest part for most of us. I decided we are only going to do this once so let’s do it right with quality cabinets, quartz counter tops, great lighting, new appliances, open shelving and classic backsplash. I love to change things in my house often and didn’t want to get sick of my kitchen in a couple of years. Clean lined cabinets in a rich tone, light quartz counter tops to set them off and large white subway tile to stay classic but something unique. To bring in organic elements we used cedar and walnut. It also helped to tie the newly remodeled master bath with the kitchen. The eclectic materials will give the kitchen the longevity I need to love it for years to come. Unlike a lot of my clients, I love open shelfing and have a lot of it. Instead of looking at them as something I have to keep clean and organized, I look at them as an opportunity to change the look of the kitchen whenever I feel. It gives me endless possibilities with dishes and accessories. Your kitchen should tell your story just as much as the rest of your home. Starting the remodel was a lot of work because of how our house is constructed. They built it to last and when you try to demo that, it takes time. More time than any of us hope it takes but patience has to

February 2017 queenofthecastlemagazine.com 55


be present to make any remodel work. Trust me, I worked my patience! Once demo was done we had to take up the old flooring and put new flooring in. When we moved into our home 5 years ago, replacing the flooring was our first priority. We decided on cork and purchased extra boxes knowing one day we would remodel the kitchen. This is important to do with any type of flooring to assure you have the same dylot. Taking the old cork out and patching the new cork in was very simple. We realized because of the construction of our house the electrical would also be a challenge. This is when your business partners being a lighting expert and an electrian really come in handy. I hired my business partner, Marnie’s husband Mike to rewire the whole kitchen. Marnie, from House Blend Lighting and Design, came over and told me my lighting options since recess lighting wasn’t a possibility with concrete ceilings. She had a great idea for an LED strip light that is sleek and gives off great light. The biggest thing I was missing in my old kitchen was good lighting. Marnie took care of that problem for me! After repairing the walls and painting, we started installing cabinets. This is where I fell in love with the cabinet line, Décor Cabinets, all over again. They are so solid and well-made and with the adjustable feet, they are easy to install. My husband

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could not rave enough about the feet. When you have high and low spots, as we all do in our floors, the feet get you plum and level in just a turn of the foot. Next came counters, appliances, plumbing, lighting, backsplash and shelves. The reward is always the finished product and your kids saying “this is better than the pictures mom!” I learned a lot from doing my own remodels. I think every designer should either remodel or build their own home for experience. I grew a lot and hope it makes me a better designer for my clients. I love being a designer and helping people see their vision come to life. Your home is your sanctuary.


CREAMY ROASTED TOMATO BASIL SOUP Ingredients: 1.2 kg | 2½ lbs Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise 600 g | 1¼ lbs Grape (or Cherry) tomatoes, halved lengthwise 8 whole cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife 3 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 large onion, diced 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded and diced 2 potatoes (200 g | 7 oz), diced 3 tablespoons tomato paste 4 cups vegetable broth 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn Instructions: 1 Preheat oven to 430°F | 220°C. Place tomatoes on a baking tray with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 25 minutes, or until soft and charred on the tops. 2. While tomatoes are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-sized pot/saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers (capsicum) and potato; cook while occasionally stirring, until the onion is transparent and the potatoes begin to crisp on their outer edges (about 6-7 minutes). Stir the tomato paste through the potatoes and onion; pour in the broth/stock; season with extra salt; cover and bring to a boil. 3. Reduce heat to low; simmer for about 15 minutes or until potato is just tender when tested with a fork. Add the tomatoes, garlic and basil to the broth (save 2 tablespoons of basil to use as garnish if you wish); continue to simmer until the basil is just soft (about 2 minutes). Blend soup using a stick blender until smooth. 4. Optional: Pour the soup through a strainer or colander to remove any skins and thick tomato pieces, for a textured smoother soup. 5. Sprinkle with extra basil, shaved parmesan cheese, and serve with cheesy, crusty bread.

Peanut Butter, Berry & Oat Smoothie Ingredients: 1/4 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) 1/2 frozen banana 1/2 cup blueberries 2 tablespoons peanut butter 1/2 cup low-fat milk 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 cup ice Instructions: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with additional sliced bananas and oats, if preferred. Tip: For a smoother consistency, microwave the oats with 1/4 cup water for 1 minute, cool, then add to blender.

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Home is where the heart is Written by: Haley Wright

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or many, part of being a modern mother means juggling multiple roles, and oftentimes, working very hard to be in two places at once—at work and at home. This means making difficult decisions regarding career and family while trying to not miss out on the important things either. I caught up with several working mothers from around Western Wisconsin to ask them how they function as working mothers, and what advice they would offer to other mothers trying to figure out how to make it all come together. Brenda Wolf, an Invisalign Specialist from Kristo Orthodontics and a grandmother raising a grandchild. Carissa Apland, a Kindergarten teacher for Osseo-Fairchild School District. Holly McAbee, a counselor with Mayo Health Systems in Menomonie and co-owner of Complete Investigative Services in Eau Claire, Andraya Albrecht, a broker with Coldwell Banker Brenizer in Eau Claire. Shannon Larson, a family support and resource coordinator with the Family Resource Center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Question: How have you adjusted your schedule or changed your career to accommodate your children? In doing so, do you still feel like you are missing a part of the family life and/or a part of your career? “I don’t spend as much time with my friends or going on a date with my husband. Since I really only see my children in the evening and on weekends, I try to spend as much time doing family activities,” said Larson. “I have not changed my career. I schedule all my appointments certain days of the week to keep certain days open for my child,” says Albrecht.

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“I will work late at night and forego sleep to be able to spend more time at home. I have worked on the weekends too. I always feel like I am missing part of family life or career time. It always


feels like there are things to do and I’m always missing out on opportunities - whether family or career,” says McAbee.

“Trying to get time off to do things like to go to activities at the school while kids are in school,” says Wolf.

“I am not able (or willing) to spend as much time physically in my classroom as I used to (previously upwards of 20 extra hours each week). I had to learn quickly how to “trim the fat” in that aspect, and find ways to bring work home with me for after my kids are in bed. It’s a great balancing act to keep everything in check, and I feel that some days it’s “kids over career”, but other days exactly the opposite. I desperately want it to be balanced appropriately every day, which can take an emotional toll,” says Apland.

“The children’s schedule for extracurricular activities can be a real challenge. It’s so nice to have other parents who can help out. Don’t be afraid to ask,” said Larson.

“I haven’t adjusted my schedule as my husband has done so much for me. I feel like I have missed out on family activities because it is hard to get off work,” says Wolf.

What compromises have you made to be able to spend more time with family? “I am not as available as I would like to be for my clients,” says Albrecht. “I have given up work opportunities - whether networking opportunities, after-hours, or traveling to out of town/state trainings,” says McAbee. “I no longer coach or run any afterschool programs (I used to coach three seasons and directed an all-school variety show,” says Apland. What has been your biggest obstacle as a working mom?

“My free time is spent cleaning and grocery shopping, rarely have time for fun,” says Albrecht. “Balancing everything. It never feels like you have enough time for family. I am a working single mom and doing everything on your own can sometimes feel like a daunting task. You always question whether you’re doing enough, doing it right and there is always that fear about how your work schedule and demands will have a negative impact on your children,” says McAbee.

“Pumping. It takes SO much time, planning, preparation and dedication just to be able to feed your child while you’re away. I constantly have to consider how/when/where I will be able to pump enough during the day depending on what comes up,” says Apland. What has been your biggest “A-HA!” moment as a working mom? “My daughter wishes that I did not have a job,” says Albrecht. “Sometimes as a single parent I worry about providing “enough” for my son - enough presence, enough support, enough material things, enough guidance but then realizing that the things they will remember relate to the time we spend with them,” says McAbee. “I am so fortunate to have a career that affords me weekends, holFebruary 2017 queenofthecastlemagazine.com 59


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idays and summers with my children,” says Apland. What is the biggest perk of being a working mom? “I work with and meet such wonderful people,” says Albrecht. “In some ways you can get the best of both worlds. I always refer to my role as Mom as the most important job I have ever had in my life but I love having a career, too,” says McAbee. “I guess for me it would be the built-in network of other parents I work with every day,” says Apland. “Double income—otherwise you have to give up so much to be able to say home. I stayed home with my kids until they were in school, but have worked while raising my granddaughter” says Wolf. What is most helpful to you as a working mom in terms of getting it all done? “Completing my To-Do List is always a plus but I have been delegating more to focus on other things,” says Albrecht. “Having some type of structure or game plan is a must. Developing some type of “system” for all the tasks that need to be completed can help bring some sense of order to the inevitable madness!” says McAbee. “My mother. She is our daycare provider and about as close as a living Lutheran will ever come to being a Saint,” says Apland.

“Kids are busier these days and in a lot of activities. For some kids there is one activity after another, and I’m not sure if they have time to be kids. [But that is important too!]” says Wolf. What advice would you give to a new mom or a mom returning to work? Across the board, the working mother’s advice is about trusting your own heart and doing what works best for your family. “Have a schedule and make time for family time. After supper, we have family time where we play board games or cards. I could be making lunches for the next day or doing laundry, but I wait until the kids go to bed to do those things. On really busy nights, the kids help make their lunch with me so it goes faster,” says Larson. “Always have special, quality time with your child. The quantity may be tough but make it special and often!” says Albrecht.

How have things changed as your kids have aged?

“You are always going to feel a pull between your family and your career. There are times you will feel like you aren’t doing one role very well and other times you will feel like you’re bombing out on both. It is part of the push and pull and is inevitable. Accept and embrace the struggle of achieving balance and extend yourself some grace,” says McAbee.

“It is easier to work when they are older, they are more independent,” says Albrecht.

“Listen to all the advice, but always do what works best for you and your family,” says Apland.

“Having a cleaning lady come every couple of weeks helps to not have to spend extra time doing that,” say Wolf.

“As our kids age, they move from needing all their basic needs met to becoming more independent. And along those same lines, I think our focus shifts to more guidance, more on feelings and choices. While the demands of toddlers is constant and sometimes feels never ending, the demands as your children get older are more challenging emotionally and mentally in a very different way,” says McAbee. “Things were getting easier and more routine as my daughter grew...and then we had another baby” says Apland.

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6 Tips to Hiring a Reputable Contractor Written by Christina Thrun, Executive Officer of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association

Hiring a contractor that you can trust may seem like a daunting task. But there are some things you can do to make the process easier and to ensure that you’re hiring the right person for your project.

1.

2.

3.

Make sure they have a Dwelling Contractor license Any reputable contractor will have a Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor license. You can visit https://app.wi.gov/licensesearch and look up your contractor by their name or their business name. The state of Wisconsin requires any contractor pulling permits to have a license and 12 hours of continuing education every 2 years is required to keep a license.

Ask for references & follow-up The biggest mistake home owners make is not asking for a reference. Be sure to ask for some references, then FOLLOW-UP and call the references. Be sure to ask if they were happy with the time frame and if the contractor came in within budget. Those are usually two of the biggest complaints home owners have.

Trust realistic budgets If it sounds too good to be true, it might be. Don’t always go with the lowest bid; some contractors will under bid the job to get it. But in reality after they complete your project the costs end up higher than the bid. You also want to make sure the contractor is someone you can work with and who understands what you want.

4.

5.

6.

Let the project fit the contractor Contractors often specialize in certain types of jobs such as: additions, remodeling old houses, redoing kitchens, building new homes, etc. Research the contractor and know what they specialize in.

Get it in writing Get a complete contract that you both sign that outlines everything you’ve agreed to, including the materials, labor and the time frame. You also want to be sure to get proof of insurance!

Home & Garden Show February 17 – 19th at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center. Over 130 vendors will be on hand!

Take responsibility It takes both the home owner and the contractor working together to have a successful project. The home owner needs to take an active role in the building or remodeling process because you share responsibility for the success of the project. Be sure to clearly communicate your needs, make firm decisions, and share all needed information with your contractor. The more changes you make during the process, the more time it will take and the higher the costs.

If you’re looking to complete a house project in the near future, whether new home, remodeling, landscaping, redecorating, or just want to gather some ideas…be sure to check out the Home & Garden Show February 17 – 19th at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center. Over 130 vendors will be on hand and it’s a perfect opportunity to talk to many different contractors and find out who might be the right fit for you. For more information, visit www.cvhomebuilders.com.

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February 2017 Issue