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January+February 2015


7 8 Column

19 Teen Talk

What your kids wish you knew!

Show Her You Care, Show Him You Care���25-26 Snacks—Recipes for tasty get-togethers��������29-30 Crafts—Get creative with your kids��������������� 32-33 Teach Your Kids Something New���������������������� 34

Articles Teaching Your Child: How Much Is Too Much?

Family Fun Guide Calendar of Events

Teach your kids how compassion and empathy can make a difference

Seasonal Events�������������������������������������������������� 40 Runs, Walks & More�������������������������������������������41 Sounds Fun�����������������������������������������������������������42 The Arts�����������������������������������������������������������������43 Recurring Local��������������������������������������������������� 44 Volunteer������������������������������������������������������������� 44

7 Compassion: Let Your Kids 8 Catch You Being Generous!

The best way to teach your preschooler


Get to know the people, places and things that make this coast special!

10 Resource Directory Confessions of an Ex-Tooth Fairy 17 4 5 Family Builders Creative Ways to Show Kids You Love Them!

Your children will love these fun Valentine’s Day ideas

Is the tooth fairy out of a job or just getting started?

Community resources offer a wide range of information and services for you and your family!

Listings������������������������������������������������������������������� 45


Families are important. Spend time enjoying life together at home and on the go.

The Family Chatter Challenge���������������������������������� 22 That’s Good to Know!—Information you can use������ 24

Emerald Coast

parent It’s Your MagazineTM

This is your magazine! Welcome to Emerald Coast Parent magazine. We like to consider this your magazine. We look forward to hearing from local readers like you on a regular basis. Let us know how we might be able to participate in the continued improvement of this beautiful area where we all live and work. As busy parents ourselves, we place a high value on spending quality time with our children and are always looking for fun crafts, recipes, events and outing opportunities to add to our family calendars. If you have fun, easy and cost-effective ideas that you'd like to share with our community of readers, please feel free to email them to us at Your ideas might just end up being featured in an upcoming issue! Here's a list of things we'd love to receive from you: • Personal stories and pictures of you and your family out and about, enjoying a favorite local attraction, restaurant or event • Recommendations and endorsements of local stores, services and restaurants • Ideas for fun crafts • Your family’s favorite recipes Let’s make this a great local magazine, together! Thanks, The EC Parent Team To advertise in Emerald Coast Parent, contact Nathan Wilson: Phone: 503-710-1720 Publisher  Nathan Wilson Creative Director  Rob Williams Snacks & Crafts Editor  Tasha Williams Contributing Writer  Heidi Smith Luedtke Contributing Writer  Kim Seidel Contributing Writer  Joanna Nesbit Contributing Writer  Jan Udlock Contributing Writer  Kara Martinez Bachman © 2015 It’s Your Magazine. All rights reserved. Emerald Coast Parent content may not be used or reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopy, without the express written permission of the publisher. Emerald Coast Parent is not responsible for the loss of or damage to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork or any other unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned. It’s Your Magazine and its affiliates, contributors, writers, editors and publisher accept no responsibility for errors or omissions with information and/or advertisements contained herein. It’s Your Magazine’s liability in the event of an error is limited to a printed correction. It’s Your Magazine does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein and assumes no responsibility for claims made by the advertisers.

4 • EC Parent Magazine • • EC Parent Magazine • 5

Teaching Your Child:

How Much Is

Too Much? By Myrna Beth Haskell

now, that left an indelible impression on me.

Why Parents Want to Rear Child Prodigies

I met a group of novice parents, with their

Many parents compare the age at which their children learn their

I vividly remember a day, many years ago

eager toddlers in tow, at a nearby park for first ABCs and the legibility of their little ones’ signatures. Making a playdate. One mother spoke of her son as if he were the next budding Einstein: “My Frankie can read Goodnight Moon cover to cover already.” One of the other moms in the group tried to explain to her that he had simply memorized the text, and an intense quarrel ensued. All our children wanted to do was play in the mulch pit, but we had created a competition to see whose child was the most intelligent—better yet, who was the best parent for having made him so.

our children the best they can be at the earliest possible age seems to establish an unspoken proof that we have succeeded as parents. Dr. David Elkind explains how attitudes have changed over the years in The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon: “During the 1960s parents were bombarded with professional and semiprofessional dicta on the importance of learning in the early years. If you did not start teaching children when they were young, parents were told, a golden opportunity for learning would be lost.” This fostered aggressive teaching in the home before a child even stepped onto school grounds. Today our schools expect more from our children. The curriculum for kindergarten is similar to what it used to be for the first or second grade. This puts additional pressure on parents who become worried that their child won’t be able to keep up with the curriculum if he is not given a head start. When discussing what my son was responsible for grasping during his kindergarten year, a friend responded, “Homework? Didn’t we play in kindergarten?” Continued on page 11 • EC Parent Magazine • 7

Compassion: Let Your Kids Catch You

Being Generous By Christina Katz

We hear a lot about making sure our children have math skills and athletic skills, but what about skills like compassion and empathy? As parents, we can be as intentional about imparting these skills as we are about teaching our young children the alphabet or our older children how to put their laundry away. What’s the best way to teach generosity? Live it. Let your kids catch you being kind so that they will have real-life memories to recollect later that remind them to be a positive force in the world today, no matter how others choose to behave. Often children are better at compassion and kindness than adults. When this is the case, we should follow their lead. Cultivating a spirit of generosity encourages us to see the humanity in any situation rather than defaulting to judgment or condemnation. So, if you want to raise thoughtful, peace-loving kids, show them the way. Get some generosity going and keep it flowing.

8 • EC Parent Magazine •

Help Those Who Need It Most Grandmother and author Jessica Morrell likes to give her granddaughters a cool lesson in generosity when they are in the car stopped at highway ramps or intersections and see a homeless person: “I create little bags to pass out—a few dollars, a protein bar, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc. I change the items depending on the season—add cough drops in winter, try to give out water bottles on hot days.” If you don’t feel comfortable giving money, give sturdy, healthy food items or even a nice cup of hot chocolate. Ask your kids what they would like to give and act on their ideas.

Give Nationally or Globally When a national or international tragedy strikes, get your kids involved in donating to the Red Cross ( or other emergency organizations. Explain that when disasters happen, it helps to do a good deed, even if it’s just making a modest contribution. If your child just had a Bar Mitzvah or a big birthday, encourage him to give a small amount to a cause he believes in and see how it makes him feel.

Catch Them in the Act If you notice your child going above and beyond, let him know you feel proud. I was wondering if I was nagging my daughter too much about extending kindness to the new girl in dance class. Then I met her mother at the fall mixer and she commented that her daughter always speaks highly of my daughter. Rather than mostly focusing on correcting negative behavior, I try to make a point of telling my daughter when she makes me proud. This was one of those times. Be a Good Tipper: Let kids help you work out 15% for tips on restaurant meals, and then teach them how to tack on a little extra. The waitress at the restaurant works hard—so does your local barista, postal delivery person and babysitter. Talk to kids about creating a holiday thank-you gift together to express your family’s appreciation, and then add in a small cash bonus or gift card.

Don’t Overlook the Little Things Hold doors open for those behind and ahead of you. Teach kids to reply, “You’re welcome,” when someone thanks them for anything. Ask them to smile at seniors and say hello to folks who walk by with well-behaved pets. When a friend wears something pretty to school, teach your child how to offer a genuine compliment. Sincerity is important. Make sure your kids know what it means, and don’t try to use compliments to snow people.

Books That Encourage


Books That Encourage Children to Be Generous Reach Out and Give by Cheri J Meiners, M.Ed. Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Mike and Jan Berenstain Books That Encourage Tweens to Be Generous The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist by Nicole Bouchard Boles The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects by Barbara A. Lewis One Good Deed a Day, A Journal from Chronicle Books

Sharing Close to Home Feed the birds around your home all year long. Get kids involved in taking stray pets to a local no-kill shelter if they are in need of a new home. Bring frozen meals or warm muffins to an ailing senior or to a neighbor who has just delivered her third baby. Get the kids to mow someone’s lawn a couple of times, bring in the mail and feed the pets for a neighbor on vacation. Small, selfless acts can boost kids’ self-esteem and make them feel like more integral members of the community. v

Christina Katz’s favorite memories are those times someone was compassionate or generous towards her during a tough time, so she knows that the way we behave makes a difference. She strives to cultivate generosity in her personal life and in her work life and hopes it rubs off on others. Her latest book is The Art of Making Time for Yourself: A Collection of Advice for Moms. • EC Parent Magazine • 9

Aloha wau ia oe

Je t’aime I Love You!

Wo ie ni

mo a e T

Creative Ways to

Show Kids You Love Them! By Heidi Smith Luedtke

Ditch the heart-shaped box of chocolates and show your affection with these creative gifts and activities. Your little cherubs will fall in love with these fun Valentine’s Day treats. 1. Worth a Fortune Bake your own fortune cookies with personalized messages inside to remind your kids just how lucky you are to have them. Find recipes online at Got baker’s block? Order custom cookies online at

2. Tattoo Love You Write your child’s name in a heart on your bicep tattoo style, snap a photo, and send the picture to her cell phone or email account. She may laugh or groan, “Oh, Mom…you’re so lame,” but deep down she’ll know you love her.

3. Teach Speech Give your kids the gift of giggles with Mad Libs in Love by Roger Price and Leonard Stern (Price Stern Sloan, 2001, $3.99), a collection of 24 stories for kids to complete using nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives of their choosing. Aimed at kids ages 4-8, these wacky stories make loving fun.

4. Bursting with Love Write a Valentine note on small strips of paper, and slip each strip into an inflated balloon before tying the knots. Let your child hop and pop and then reassemble the phrases of your love letter. Make sure to keep balloon bits away from little mouths—they can be a choking hazard.

5. Love in Any Language Je t’aime (French). Te amo (Spanish). Aloha wau ia oe (Hawaiian). Ich liebe dich (German). Wo ie ni (Chinese). Make a set of heart-shaped flash cards. On one side, write “I Love You” in a foreign language. On the reverse, give three hints to the language displayed. For instance, “Home of the Eiffel Tower. Capital city is Paris. Famous leader was Napoleon Bonaparte.” You’ll build social studies skills and laugh like crazy pronouncing your love for each other. Find “I Love You” in more than a hundred languages online at

6. Hungry for Love Make lunchtime all about hearts by cutting kids’ sandwiches into a heart shape using a cookie cutter or knife. Want to go all out? Buy bread tinted pink at your local bakery to make sandwiches extra Valentine-y. Continued on page 15

10 • EC Parent Magazine •

Today our s chools expe ct more from o ur children. When discu ssing what my son was responsible for grasping during his kindergarten year, a frien d responded, “Homework ? Didn’t we pla y in kindergarten ?”

Continued from page 7

Of course there are also those parents who want to see their child excel to establish bragging rights or to accomplish things that they were unable to do themselves. I believe, however, that it is more often the pressure of wanting the very best for their children in a society that expects more and more that drives most parents to obsession.

Pushing Too Hard and Too Soon There are some negative aspects to teaching our preschoolers too much too soon. That is not to say that teaching your child at home is inherently negative. Rather it is intense, formal teaching, such as rote memorization practices, that is inappropriate for the preschool age group. Experts agree that one of the problems with this type of pedagogical teaching is that it can stymie the child’s innate love of learning. Instead, it often produces anxieties and a general lack of enthusiasm from being pushed too hard at an age when constructive play should serve as a valued learning tool. In his book Toddler Taming, Dr. Christopher Green states the following about teaching children to read too early: “There is a real danger that being forced to read and pushed too hard at too early an age can turn some children off the whole idea and a definite resistance will appear, which might hinder an otherwise normal approach to the subject.” Parents who create a stressful learning environment are often doing more harm than good. Experts have found that the child who is pressured to learn things before he is ready develops a fear of failure because of the constant burden to perform well. He may also have trouble developing his own goals because goals have always been set for him by his parents. Burnout can also be a problem. A child who has been pushed too hard before school even starts may not enter kindergarten with the same enthusiasm as the child who does not equate learning with pressure to perform. Many parents are overly enthusiastic about their child learning to read early, for this skill often presents a child as bright for his age. The child who begins to read before kindergarten will have a head

start over the other children in his class. However, experts agree that this head start is transient, as the other children will soon catch up. Dr. Green explains the dynamics of reading and why a child of three does not use the same cognitive skills as a child of six. The three-year-old utilizes his photographic memory to recognize “sight words.” However, this skill can be mastered by any child who has a good attention span. On the other hand, the child of six can actually master the skills needed to read unfamiliar words. Dr. Green states, “Unfortunately, the human brain is not sufficiently mature to handle all this computation before the developmental age of six, and it is then that we will see who are destined to be good readers. All this will probably have little relationship to the number of sight words the child could recognize at an earlier age.” I learned the hard way that pushing a child to learn something before he is mentally capable can result in negative consequences. When my son was only two, he was pointing to letters in a magazine and naming them. I attributed this to his love of Dr. Seuss’s The ABC Book, but I was also amazed at his recognition of the letters out of context. I was excited for my little genius to move on to the next step, so I began to teach him the lower case letters by using flash cards. He became completely confused and started to mix up some of the uppercase letters. I now understand that he remembered his letters from The ABC Book because they were presented in an amusing, rhythmic cadence that he wanted to hear again and again. Consequently, he was able to memorize all of the letters. As soon as additional information was prematurely presented in a more formal way, he lost interest and regressed.

The Best Way to Teach Your Preschooler Teaching your child on a daily basis is one of the greatest gifts you can give him. It is how we teach, not what we teach, that sometimes Continued on page 13 • EC Parent Magazine • 11

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aily child on a d Teach your everything a e k a M . is s a b rience. Trips e p x e g in rn lea arket or the rm e p u s e to th rovide great farm stand p d hands-on exposure an ke yourself a M . g in rn a le ncourages e is h T . le b availa unicate and him to comm ns. ask questio

Continued from page 11

needs to be modified. Many experts agree that it is beneficial for your child to be exposed to letters, numbers, colors and shapes before kindergarten. How then do we get there without hurrying the child or causing undue pressures? A valuable passion you can pass on to your child is a love of books. Dr. Elkind instructs, “In our own studies, and in those of others, we have found that what is crucial to beginning to read is the child’s attachment to an adult who spends time reading to or with the child.” Read to your child at least once a day. Attend your local library’s “Story Time” (a reading session for preschoolers often given at town libraries), and check out new books on a weekly basis. Make up creative stories with your child, and develop your own book. Have your child do illustrations while you write down the words. Your child will want to be able to read all by himself if he has developed a love of books. Instead of using flash cards and workbooks, try some of the following to help your child learn his ABCs and 123s: • Play alphabet bingo. • Put magnetic letters on your refrigerator so that your child can make words with them. • Label things in your child’s room (e.g., bed, toys, lamp, hat). • Have him count his pretzels at snack time. • Draw pictures and write your names in the sand. • String necklaces with colored beads in different patterns. • Make alphabet soup.

Try to make everything a learning experience. Trips to the supermarket or the farm stand provide great exposure and hands-on learning. Make yourself available for lengthy conversations with your child. This encourages him to communicate and ask questions. Most

importantly, let your child take the lead. Does he seem interested in what you are doing and eager to continue, or bored and anxious? Preschoolers are not ready for marathon learning experiences and homework. They need exposure and encouragement. They are also entitled to a childhood filled with mud pies, ice cream and ponies. However, finding the time for some creative teaching in between carefree jaunts is definitely worth the effort. v


are not read y for maratho n learning experiences and homew ork. They need e xposure and encouragem ent.

Myrna Beth Haskell is a feature writer, columnist and author of LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you (Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2012). For more information see: Also available at • EC Parent Magazine • 13


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C LA S S o f 2 01 5 s e nio rs ! po




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Continued from page 10

7. Just Say “Spaaaaa” Make bath time extra special with bubble bath, heartshaped soaps and pink and red bathtub paints. To make your own, mix a few drops of food coloring into a dollop of shaving cream in a bowl. Let kids paint the walls of the tub or themselves for some foamy fun. Be careful to check that the paints won’t stain fixtures or skin before indulging.

8. Buy the Book Give your child a book that says how much you love him. For little readers, try I Love You Through and Through (by Bernadette Shustak, Cartwheel, 2005). Take an older child to the bookstore, and enjoy a hot chocolate together while browsing. Call it a date.

9. Puzzled by Love Buy a do-it-yourself puzzle card, or create one yourself by mounting a picture and message on cardstock and cutting puzzle pieces your child can reassemble. Decorate a box or envelope to hold the pieces.

10. Can’t Hide My Love for You Have a scavenger hunt at home. Hide chocolate kisses with clues attached to direct your child to a final family event—perhaps a love-themed movie night or an indoor dinner picnic complete with a heart-shaped pizza. Spending time together is the best way to show your love. v

Heidi Smith Luedtke is a personality psychologist and mom of two. Learn more about her at

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Confessions of an Ex-Tooth Fairy Parents play many roles—comforter, teacher, disciplinarian—but only a few of them are as fun as the Tooth Fairy.. When I imagined our lives with children, I thought about my role as the Tooth Fairy. I knew which parts I would keep from my own childhood and dreamt of ways that I could make the character even more magical. I remember the excitement of the Tooth Fairy’s first visit to our house. She wrote a sweet note explaining how things worked in the Land of the Lost Tooth. Next to the note, my daughter found a silver coin left for a special first tooth and a new dollar bill saved for such an occasion. My daughter proudly showed her younger siblings what the Tooth Fairy had left for her. They all stared at the coin as if it were the Hope Diamond, and my daughter placed it in her jewelry box for safe keeping. As planned, the Tooth Fairy took the tooth back to the Land of the Lost Tooth and carefully placed it in an envelope with my daughter’s name and the date. Mission accomplished. Soon, our other children started losing their teeth. They got the same note, coin and treatment for their first tooth. Every tooth thereafter was collected before the Tooth Fairy retired for the evening, and each tooth was given the same care as the first one. About five years after the Tooth Fairy’s first trip to our house, something changed. She didn’t leave notes anymore, she stopped putting dates on the envelopes, and sometimes, she didn’t come for the tooth until right before the kids woke up. One time, she left four quarters instead of a dollar bill. How lame! What happened to the magical character in my dreams?

By Pam Molnar

When I discussed this with the Tooth Fairy in the bathroom mirror, all I heard were bad excuses—working mom, traveling husband, exhausted from carpools and coming up with dinner ideas. To make matters worse, she claimed that she was overwhelmed with the two extra kids we added to her route. The Tooth Fairy even suggested that our kids were eating hard candy, as they were losing teeth at an alarming rate. I was appalled! Things went downhill from there. By the time my youngest child started losing his teeth, his sisters started working for the Tooth Fairy. She often came to our house unprepared and had to ask the girls to borrow singles in order to pay for their brother’s tooth. At the end, a lost tooth would sit in the Tooth Fairy pillow for a couple of days. I lied for the Tooth Fairy and told my son, “You lost the tooth too late in the day and you weren’t on her schedule last night,” or “She sent me a text and said she was running behind and would pick the tooth up while you were at school.” Sadly, my son believed me. Until he didn’t believe anymore and the Tooth Fairy was out of a job. At our exit interview, I asked the Tooth Fairy how she thought we did. She told me that the kids will remember the good things, like the silver coin and the notes. Yes, but what about the quarters and the forgotten teeth, I wondered. The Tooth Fairy told me that they will remember those, too. One day, they will be the ones holding the wand and fairy dust, and it will be a reminder that the Tooth Fairy is only human. v

Pam Molnar is a former Tooth Fairy and mother of three. Thankfully, their memories of the Tooth Fairy have not been tainted by her shortcomings. • EC Parent Magazine • 17

18 • EC Parent Magazine •

Is it simply the date January 1st that convinces most of us as well? to attempt to change our patterns and sometimes ourselves So many new opportunities and hopes begin to appeal to us, resolutions but have we ever stopped to think about how many goals and ary? we plan will just fade away after the first few weeks of Janu hair or flaunt We can’t really change who we are, no matter if we dye our inside out our new clothes or get a new car. We are who we are from the little boxes and that’ll never change. We can put parts of ourselves into away and tie them up with a nice blue ribbon and then hide them h despise. into crevices so that people don’t see those flaws we so muc nded to be But I do not believe we should ever change who we were inte ’s resolution, no matter how hard we try to. But to really fulfill a New Year start with being happy and comfortable with yourself, and er, don’t try to change for others around you. Because rememb no one can understand you better than yourself.


15 years old - Sophomore

Te e n Ta l k

What Your Kids

Wish You Knew! • EC Parent Magazine • 19

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FAMILY BUILDERS Whatever New Year’s resolutions you make this year, be sure that some of them encourage you to spend as much time as possible with your friends and family. Enjoy life TOGETHER!


FamilyChatter Challenge

What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?

What is your least favorite New Year’s resolution?

If you had a million dollars to give away, what would you do with it?

What is your happiest memory from last year? Why?

If you had the world’s attention for one day, what would your message be?

What are some things worth suffering for in life? Explain your answer.

22 • EC Parent Magazine •

What should you spend more and less time doing in life? Do others agree?

What is the one thing you are most afraid of in life? Is it possible to lie without ever saying even one word? Explain.

Is there a difference between happiness and contentment? Explain.

Use these questions to spur on great conversations: • At the kitchen table • In the family room • On road trips • By yelling them out loud—out of the blue—just for fun!

Is crying a sign of weakness or strength? Discuss you answer.

Are you curious about what life has to offer or just happy with how things are?

Are you holding onto something that you should walk away from? Why?

What are some things you have to do so that you can do what you want to do?

Which is most important: time or money? Explain.

If you were challenged to try something new this year, what would you choose? Which activities in life make you lose track of time in good and bad ways?

If you could help others change their lives in any way, who would you help? What are some bad decisions people make in life that can change them forever?

Live Laugh Love and Talk Together • EC Parent Magazine • 23

That’s Good to Know! Information You Can Use!

This Edition:

Seven Tips to Prod Your Child out of Procrastinating As I overheard a conversation with a parent discussing her child’s routine and the late hour the child completed her homework the night before, I thought about how easily we allow our kids to slip into procrastinating habits that result in disastrous consequences. Instead of encouraging behavior toward meeting their responsibilities, we allow distracted effort or inaction.

that must be done? Be clear with your expectations. If your child doesn’t immediately start his task, make sure he understands why he’s allowed a break (so that he will be more productive later) and how much time he has before he must begin the task.

Consider the “why.”

If we teach our kids to overcome the temptation of procrastinating, we give them a valuable skill that reaches into adulthood. Here are a few tips to help your child complete required tasks without procrastinating.

Is there a legitimate reason your child hasn’t started his assignment? Does he have the resources he needs? Is there a clear goal in mind? Does he need some organizational help to get started? Does he have a quiet place to work? Every child has different needs, and as parents, we help our children succeed when we provide them with what they need to accomplish the task at hand. That doesn’t mean we dive in and tackle the assignment with them, but it might mean we take them to the store to buy necessary supplies to get started.

Determine your child’s most productive period.

Break it down.

Sometimes parents insist their children complete their homework immediately upon arriving home from school. However, it might not be the most productive time for your child, which encourages procrastinating his best effort. Talk with your child about how he feels when he comes home from school. Does he need a snack break? Does he want to shoot the basketball first? Does he want to immediately start his required tasks at home to allow more time to play later without having to think about the chores or homework

It’s easy to procrastinate a task that appears overwhelming. Our son had an assignment recently that required multiple tasks to complete the finished product. When he looked at the project all at once, he became overwhelmed with the amount of work to do. But as I helped him put together a step-by-step outline to proceed to the goal, it empowered him to tackle the assignment. Placing large projects into smaller assignments makes them more manageable to complete and, thus, less likely to be procrastinated. Continued on page 37

24 • EC Parent Magazine •

Cut out this page. Then, cut it down the middle. He takes his half; she takes her half. Now it’s time for you both to do your part. Keep it simple. Don’t keep score. Just enjoy life and each other—as often as you remember!

Let’s face it, most of us could use a little jump-start now and then when it comes to relationships. That’s why we’ve included this section. Simple acts of kindness are a great way to say “I care about you.” Date nights are great, but when life gets busy, sometimes all that’s necessary are little reminders!

10 WAYS to sh w

R E H y u care Let her go out on her own without the kids for the night. Do something active together to lift her spirit—even taking a walk hand-in-hand. Spend time discussing and deciding on a few family goals for the New Year. Give advice in a loving way when she asks for it. Take her on a spontaneous date. Do something fun and unexpected. Surprise her by doing something you don’t normally do (dishes, laundry). Turn off the TV and go for a walk or just spend time talking. Verbally express your love— especially if you normally don’t.

Challenge yourself to complete all 10 ideas each issue. Don’t just focus on the easy ones!

Say thank you as often as possible. Make her feel appreciated. Be willing to apologize and say “I’m sorry.” Email us your ideas! Let us know how you go out of your way to SHOW HER YOU CARE!

Cut out this page. Then, cut it down the middle. He takes his half; she takes her half. Now it’s time for you both to do your part. Keep it simple. Don’t keep score. Just enjoy life and each other—as often as you remember!

Let’s face it, most of us could use a little jump-start now and then when it comes to relationships. That’s why we’ve included this section. Simple acts of kindness are a great way to say “I care about you.” Date nights are great, but when life gets busy, sometimes all that’s necessary are little reminders!

10 WAYS to sh w

M I H y u care Try doing a sport or activity together that he enjoys. Wake him up with a kiss and a cuddle. Never go to bed angry. Prepare a healthy lunch for him— include a love note. When confronting him, realize he has feelings also. Compliment him often. Do little things for him—bring him coffee, let him sleep in, etc. Don’t disagree with him in front of the children.

Challenge yourself to complete all 10 ideas each issue. Don’t just focus on the easy ones!

Give him a massage. Take him for a weekend getaway without the children.

Email us your ideas! Let us know how you go out of your way to SHOW HIM YOU CARE!

SNACKS & CRAFTS Set a little time aside for some good, old-fashioned fun. Snacks and crafts are a great way to connect with your children. Enjoy! • EC Parent Magazine • 27

Popcorn Snowballs Compliments of Natalie Dicks,

YOU NEED • ½ Cup Popcorn Kernels • 3 Tbsp. Canola Oil • ½ Cup Sugar • 4 Tbsp. Butter • 5 Cups Mini Marshmallows • ¼ tsp. Salt

Tip: Cover your hands with a light layer of Cooking Spray.

• • • • •

¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract 1 Cup M&Ms Optional - Sprinkles & Nuts Pam Cooking Spray Large & Medium Saucepan

DIRECTIONS • In a large saucepan (medium heat) add oil and popcorn and stir the kernels so that they are evenly coated. When the oil becomes hot and sizzles, add sugar. • Shake the pot or pan until the first few kernels pop. Place the lid on top and continue gently shaking back and forth while the remaining kernels pop. • Once the popcorn stops, remove from heat and place into a large mixing bowl to cool. • In a small saucepan (medium heat), add butter and marshmallows. Stir continuously until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla extract. • Pour over the popcorn and coat evenly. Add M&Ms, sprinkles or nuts. • Cover your hands with a light layer of Pam Cooking Spray. • Form the popcorn mixture into 3” balls. Set them on a piece of waxed paper to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Compliments of Cathy Trochelman,

Strawberry Applesauce YOU NEED • 8 Cups Apples, peeled & chopped • 4 Cups Strawberries, fresh or frozen • ½ Cup Water • ½ Cup Sugar • 1 tsp. Cinnamon • Some cute canning jars • Valentine print material DIRECTIONS • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. • Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until fruit is soft and you are able to mash it with a potato masher. • Remove from heat and cool slightly. • Transfer applesauce to a blender and blend until smooth. • Place in a cute canning jar and add material of your choice to decorate. These make great healthy Valentine’s Day gifts. • EC Parent Magazine • 29

YOU NEED • 1 Cup Heavy Cream • 1 Cup Low Fat Greek Yogurt • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup • 1 cup Frozen Strawberries

Compliments of Miryam Quinn Doblas M.S. R.D.,

Strawberry and Cream Popsicles • 2-3 Tbls. Orange Juice • Dixie cups • Pospsicle sticks

DIRECTIONS • In a blender puree strawberries and orange juice. • In a bowl whip heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in yogurt and half of the strawberry puree. • Snip the top edge of the Dixie cups with scissors for easy peeling. • Fill Dixie cups ¼ of the way with the whipped mixture. Add about a teaspoon of the strawberry puree and spread evenly using your finger over the top of the whipped mixture. • Fill the cup with remaining whipped puree. Place a popsicle stick in the middle of each popsicle and freeze 4-5 hours before serving.

Chocolate-Dipped Elf Mugs • • • • •

1/4 Cup White Chocolate A Steak Knife 30 Toothpicks Waxed Paper 2 Pastry bags

DIRECTIONS • Place a toothpick in each large marshmallow. • Using a steak knife, saw the two upper arches from a mini pretzel to use for handles. • Melt your dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave using low power. • Dip marshmallow in melted chocolate until it comes just up over the sides of the top. Shake off excess chocolate. • Set the dipped marshmallow on the waxed paper. • Immediately set a pretzel handle in place. Continue with remaining marshmallows. • Transfer some of the melted chocolate to a small bowl that is deeper than the height of the pretzel handle. • Holding the toothpick, gently dip the pretzel handle in the melted chocolate. • Use another toothpick to quickly poke inside the opening in the “handle.” • Shake off excess chocolate, and return the marshmallow to the pan. • Add a white chocolate embellishment to the mugs using melted white chocolate in a pastry bag. • When chocolate has completely set, remove the toothpicks by placing a finger on either side, then pulling up. • Melt your milk chocolate in the microwave and place in a pastry bag. Pipe chocolate into the top of the mug. Immediately garnish with mallow bites. 30 • EC Parent Magazine •

Compliments of Jenn Erickson,

YOU NEED • l6 oz. Large Marshmallows • 10 oz. Dark Chocolate • 20 Mini Pretzels • Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits • 1/3 Cup Milk Chocolate

Tip: Substitute your favorite fruit or make an assortment of flavors. Children love these because they’re fun; you’ll love them because they’re healthy.

These may take a little, more time but they taste great and are a great snack for any party!

Where Learning Meets Imagination!

Join WSRE each Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9 a.m.–noon for hands-on fun, discovery and exploration! Located at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, 351 West Cedar Street.

Discover the world of PBS KIDS, WSRE & Pensacola State College with hands-on learning, technology, smiles, friends and fun! Share stories with friends...



Explore touch-screen technology and PBS KIDS resources!

Have fun with PBS pals!

Engage in professional development, college classes, career training and parent workshops.

Enjoy books, games, puzzles and much more! 4260-0614 WSRE EC AugSept FP ad.indd 1 • (850) 484-1200 6/2/14 2:46 PM

Chalkboard Mason Jars

INSTRUCTIONS • Place a strip of painter’s tape on the jar and draw a heart. • Using your knife, cut around the heart and remove the excess tape, leaving the heart taped to the jar. • Spray paint the jar using the chalkboard paint. Allow to dry. • Using a q-tip, make a red-and-white-dotted heart around the window frame. • Use chalk to draw a curly heart on the jar. • Draw a heart with Sharpie markers on the tag and tie it to the jar with twine. • Fill the jar with Sweethearts candies.

Compliments of

MATERIALS • 1 Mason Jar • Painter’s Tape • Sharp knife • Black Chalkboard Spray Paint • White & Red Acrylic Paint • Q-tips • Metal-rimmed tag • Red & Black Sharpie® Markers • Chalk • Twine • Sweethearts Candies

Tip-This jar could also be used as a candle.

MATERIALS • Duck Brand® tape • Mini Matchbox

Compliments of Linda Braden,

Matchbox Valentine • Decorative Accents • M&Ms®

INSTRUCTIONS • Cover the outside of the matchbox with Duck Brand® tape. The box is slightly wider than the tape, so you will need to use two pieces. • Cover the center of the box with a contrasting Duck Brand® tape. • Add any decorative accents you might desire. We used a mini clothespin, a heart sticker and coordinating ribbon. • Fill the box with M&Ms.

Let your child choose his/her favorite Duck tape pattern to personalize the valentines.

32 • EC Parent Magazine •

Heart Hand Warmers Compliments of Kimberly,

MATERIALS • Fleece • Scissors • Sewing Needle and Embroidery Cotton • 1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Rice • Lavender Essential Oil or Dried Lavender INSTRUCTIONS • Cut 4 hearts from the felt. Mine measure about 4 inches across and 4 inches from top to bottom. • Using embroidery cotton, sew a simple blanket stitch around the edge of the heart leaving a 1-inch opening for filling. • Place the uncooked rice in a bowl. Add lavender and 2-3 drops of essential oil. Stir. • Fill the hearts with rice. I use a simple funnel made from a piece of paper. • Stitch the opening closed

Tip: Place the hearts in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. Do not overheat as the rice can get very hot and may cause burns. Place one warmer in each jacket pocket and enjoy warm fingers for up to 20 minutes! These warmers may be reheated indefinitely.

Threaded Valentine’s Tins Compliments of Natalie,

MATERIALS • A Tin • Sharpie Marker • Hammer • Screwdriver • Foam Brush

Tip: Using a can with a pull tab lid keeps the edges neat and safer.

• Acrylic Paint – White, Light Blue, Gray • Twine or Thick Thread • Large needle • Candle

INSTRUCTIONS • Fill the tin with cold water and set it in the freezer. This will help keep the shape of the tin. • Once the water is frozen, draw your heart onto the tin using a sharpie marker. • Carefully turn the tin on its side on a level surface and using the hammer and screwdriver, make the holes. • Allow the ice to thaw and dry the tin out. • Paint the inside and outside of the tin white, using the foam brush. Allow to dry. • Paint the tin blue. When dry, paint a gray heart on top of the area that you punched. • If you desire the distressed look, gently sand. • Thread the needle and “sew” the heart shape. I ended off with a little bow. • Place a candle in your tin, or use as a valentine holder. • EC Parent Magazine • 33

Teach Your Kids Something New!

This Edition:

SELFCONTROL It’s never too early to start giving your children the tools they’ll need to be successful throughout their lives. As you focus on this goal, remember that self-control isn’t just about waiting; it also includes self-regulation and self-motivation. Read on for tips on how to help your children learn self-control.

look a lot different for your six-year-old than for your two-year-old. Once you have decided on goals for each of your children, as well as consequences when expectations aren’t met, communicate those to your kids.

When children understand what behaviors are expected of them, they are more likely to do them. Simple lessons on delayed gratification may include cleaning their rooms before getting TV time or, for older kids, no loans until payday when it comes to allowance. Whatever you decide, be consistent.

Say no to kiddie extortion—period.

At times, it may seem like your kids are zoom focused on getting “stuff” as rewards, whether that’s a new toy, a favorite dessert or even a special privilege. Remember, though, that even if they don’t verbalize it, your children also value the love, approval and time you have to give.

Never underestimate the power of praise, hugs, treats—like a trip to a favorite park—or special time together as the real rewards in life. Notice when your child has done something wonderful. Say so loud and clear!

Picture this: Your three-year-old comes to you and says, “Mom, I want some a dose cookies ova dere.” You know exactly what she is talking about: the bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies your mother-in-law dropped off earlier in the day. Problem is, it’s almost bedtime, and the last thing you want is your child on a sugar high. You start to shake your head, and it starts: The trembling lip. The flushed cheeks. The watering eyes. You’re tempted to give in and hand over the cookie now before the crying or—heaven forbid—full-out hysterics begin. Don’t—be strong!

Don’t cave into whiny demands and offer a reward for a measly effort at self-control, or no effort at all. This is what I call kiddie extortion: Parents are held ransom by a fitful child until they too want to scream. Yes, we have all been there.
And I know from experience that it’s a great temptation to give them anything they want to stop the unwanted behavior. However, a better choice is to remove your child from the situation and give the child some time alone to reflect and calm down. Tell your child to take a deep breath and then another one. Once your child has calmed down, tell how you expect him or her to behave, and give the child another chance to succeed.

Set reasonable expectations and consequences. Before you start a family-wide campaign focused on perfect selfcontrol (or bust!), take a step back and think through what’s doable and reasonable. Remember, a reasonable amount of self-control will 34 • EC Parent Magazine •

Remember, not all rewards are objects.

Banish “failure” from your vocabulary. If your child is putting forth effort but getting discouraged on a project, stop and give your child a hug. Encourage your kids to keep trying and reassure them that they can do it. And if you see that your child isn’t up to the task of finding the solution or completing the proposed project, gently suggest that he or she stops, takes a breather and tries something else.

One of the most crucial things in helping your children learn the pleasure of effort is letting them know that there are many solutions to any situation. There is no such word as “failure” unless you decide to give up. Choosing to stop and try something else is not failure but part of the creative process that often leads to better solutions.

Help them learn through play. My sister, Marisa, has invented a game called “Jellybean-Hide-andSeek” to teach my two toddlers the rewards of both effort and sharing.

“Close your eyes and count to 10,” she tells them, while she hides groups of two jellybeans around the house. Each time either one of the children finds the two jellybeans, the treats are shared. Thus, the success of one child becomes the success of the other—a fun lesson in teamwork.

“The kids then have the option of saving the jellybeans or eating them immediately. Alessio, who is three, used to gobble up the treats as fast as he could get his hands on them. Now he is starting to save some of his jellybeans to savor later.”

Let them make decisions. Yes, mom and dad usually know best, and dictating the “right” behavior can often save time, effort and tears. But sooner or later your kids will need to navigate life without you calling the shots, and good decision making takes practice. Let your children know you have confidence in their ability to make good decisions, and very often they will.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. If your young child accepts direction without complaint and never needs further correction, it’s time to start worrying: your child may be a robot. All joking aside, though, it’s a fact of life that children often won’t absorb new behaviors the first, third or even tenth time you offer instruction. That’s why it’s so important to repeat what you’d like them to do and why. 

Especially with very young kids, you may not see any return for a while. Your children just may not “get” why you want them to do or not do something. The key is sticking with it. Even if you sound like a broken record, talk through your expectations again and again. Seek out examples where you see selfcontrol or self-motivation happening, and narrate why they caught your eye. Sooner or later, your words will sink in.

Be a good example. “Do as I say, not as I do” has never been (and never will be) a valid parenting strategy. To put it simply, kids learn the bulk of their behaviors, habits and attitudes from watching you. That’s why it’s

important to make sure you’re not invalidating your instructions with your actions.

Believe me—I know that self-control can be hard for adults too. “If your kids have never caught you stuffing your face from the bag of chips in the pantry after you told them they couldn’t have any more, for example, then my hat is off to you! When you do make a mistake, be sure to acknowledge it to your children. I also suggest teaming up with them to practice self-control for both of you. For instance, you might say, “I know you want to go see the movie that just came out—I’d like to go with you! If you can help me pick up all your toys and put them away tonight without whining, we can go to the theatre tomorrow.”

At the end of the day, remember that each child is different, and each one develops at a unique rate. Don’t use your brother’s kids, the students in your son’s preschool class or even his older sister as a measuring stick for success or failure. Just be persistent and consistent, and one day, you’ll be amazed and impressed by just how much self-control and persistence your child is displaying. v Ivana is a modern Cinderella married to an Italian prince. She has a Masters of Education and has worked with kids for over 20 years - from designing learning toys to tutoring homeless children. For Ivana, life is more about attitude than money. The Super Mom juggling act between life, love, kids and career inspired her award winning book, A Simple Guide to Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year, co-written with her mom, Magdalene Smith, and sister, Marisa Smith. Their blog is a blend of humor, practical advice and lifestyle tips on the essentials—how to live well on any budget.

Continued from page 24

Discourage perfectionism. Striving for perfection on every assignment and every test leads to stress and encourages procrastinating habits. When a child thinks he must make a 100 on his assignment, he has less motivation to even begin the assignment. Be realistic with your expectations, particularly in the early years as children are adjusting to new routines. We want our kids to enjoy school and the privilege of learning, not labor over perfect grades.

Set a timer when necessary. When our son is having a particularly hard time settling in to work on an assignment, we determine together how long he must sit and work and then set a timer. When he knows he gets a break after a predetermined time, he more easily commits to beginning the work. A timer is a great tool to help kids develop consistent study habits as they get older and need to commit to longer periods of study.

Maintain a balanced routine. If we allow our kids to participate in every sport, music, drama and school activity that occurs, we create an unmanageable schedule with little time left over for responsibilities at home. When our children can’t visualize the satisfaction of completing a task when they begin, it’s likely they won’t want to start. So, ask your children what activities interest them most and prioritize their desires to create a schedule that allows time for starting and completing other tasks as well. Rearrange the schedule as necessary to maintain balance.

Model good habits. Avoid procrastination in your everyday routine. Our children are watching us and will emulate what we do. I love the poem by Edgar Guest that captures the importance of example. Here’s a portion of it: “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day. I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear. Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear.” If we want to raise young adults who will avoid procrastination, we must avoid it ourselves. Procrastinating habits become harder to break the longer they’re practiced. But through intentional effort, we can teach our children to avoid the pitfalls of procrastination. v

Gayla Grace is an author and stepfamily coach with a his, hers and ours family. She loves helping nontraditional families learn to thrive in their relationships. • EC Parent Magazine • 37

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FUN GUIDE CALENDAR OF EVENTS Welcome to a More Exciting Life! No matter how busy you find yourself these days, you might want to make your to-do lists in pencil rather than pen. With the Emerald Coast’s year-round sunshine and laid-back lifestyle, the stage has been set once again for an abundant year of festivals, concerts and special events. We live on a beautiful coast that has so much to offer, and we’re here to make sure you know what’s going on in your own backyard. Don’t miss out on life just because you didn’t know what was happening. Enjoy!

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some food vendors in its parking lot­—both during and after the parade. The hotel is also offering special Mardi Gras Super Room Rates. Contact the hotel at 850-243-9444 for more information.

Winter Guest Concert Series

Every Sunday in January, HarborWalk Village All winter guests and locals are invited to HarborWalk Village to enjoy a free concert every Sunday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the Destin Harbor. Concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 850585-5541.

7th Annual Mardi Gras Parade  

Sat., Feb. 7 (2­:00–4:00 p.m.) - HarborWalk Village

ARTwalk on the Harbor

Every 3rd Sunday, along Destin Boardwalk Art event along the Destin Boardwalk, from HarborWalk Village to AJ’s, features local and regional artists and vendors. This event is free to the public and will take place on the 3rd Sunday of every month from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit You can also visit or call 850-585-5541.

Enjoy dazzling floats, colorful costumes and street performers! The Destin Harbor transforms into New Orleans as brass big band music fills the harbor and floats parade through HarborWalk Village tossing beads, moon pies and more!

Abita Mardi Gras Parade

Sat., Jan. 17, 2015 (1 p.m.) - Okaloosa Island There are exciting changes in store for our ever-popular Abita Mardi Gras Parade on beautiful Okaloosa Island! Our theme this year is “Bringing a Little Lagniappe.” There will be after-parties at the Boardwalk and at Helen Back, and the Best Western Ft. Walton Beachfront Hotel will host a bar and

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See Our Ad on Page 28

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Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon 10K/5K

Jan. 15, 2015 (7:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.) - Casino Beach, Pensacola Beach Run through the beautiful, undeveloped sand dunes of Gulf Islands National Seashore. The Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon and 5K/10K is one of the premier destination road races in the South! The half marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. and is a run-only event. We will not accept walker registrations, and there will be no awards category for walkers. The 5K/10K starts at 8:00 a.m., has a walkers division, and as always is a “pick your distance” event!

Destin’s 5th Bayou, Bay & Back 1-Mile Kids Fun Run, 5K Run/Walk, 10K & Half Marathon Sat., Jan. 24, 2015 - Clement Taylor Park

Destin’s 5th Superhero Bayou, Bay & Back 1-Mile Kids Fun Run, 5K Run/Walk, 10K & Half Marathon sponsored by Shoreline Church is set for Saturday, January 24, 2015! The 10K and half marathon courses are USA Track & Field–certified. While all courses are set alongside Destin waterways, the half marathon course yields breathtaking views of the Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin Harbor, and East Pass, as it leads you through Destin along a 4-mile undeveloped stretch of Okaloosa Island and back.


Glow in the Park 5K Fun Run

Jan. 31, 2015 (5:45–9:00 p.m.) - The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL Glow in the Park 5K fun run to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life hosted by the Wharf. Awesome fun run with glowing body paint, foam pits, fluorescent lights, music & neon glow sticks! Glow in the Park is the best way to light up the night! To register, visit

to individual runners/walkers. A “stroller division” has been added this year. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring their dog, big or small, to run or walk the race.

Apple Classic 5K and 10K presented by the Walton Education Foundation Sat., Feb. 21, 2015 (7:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.) Hammock Bay, Freeport, FL

The Walton Education Foundation proudly presents its primary, annual fundraiser, the 4th Annual Apple Classic 5K/10K Run. The race will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 21, 2015, at the beautiful Hammock Bay Town Center in Freeport. Registration will be available before the race online and at the race beginning at 7 a.m. All proceeds benefit the Walton Education Foundation.

Run with the Dogs 5K

Sat., Feb. 28, 2015 (9 a.m.) - Destin City Hall Annex The City of Destin Parks & Recreation Department will host the 15th Annual Run with the Dogs 5K Run/Walk. This run is open

Don’t See Your Event? Send calendar events to us at • EC Parent Magazine • 41

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Champion at the 2015 Destin Desserts competition, Friday, January 30, 2015, at The Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center, 4201 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin. The Destin Desserts chefs’ competition showcases the best local chefs competing for the title of champion as they create original desserts using Girl Scout cookies as the main ingredient. All proceeds from the 2015 event will benefit the Girl Scout Council’s Camp Kolomoki.

30A Songwriters Festival

Fri., Jan. 16–Sun., Jan. 18 - Various Locations along 30A The perfect mix of cool beach weather and red-hot music is what you will find during the 30A Songwriters Festival. More than 120 artists perform in intimate venues and large amphitheaters, allowing you to experience a wide variety of music and beach neighborhoods in South Walton. For more information, visit

53rd Annual Antique Show and Sale Fri., Jan. 23–Sun., Jan. 25 - NW Florida Fairgrounds

Tickets are currently available for the 53rd Annual Antique Show and Sale to be held at the NW Florida Fairgrounds on Jan. 23–25, 2015. Purchase your tickets at $4 each through Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and save $1 off the regular admission. A great gift for those who love antiques! In addition, money from presold tickets benefits the Fisher House and goes to support military families undergoing a medical crisis. For more information, including about purchasing tickets, contact Kim Henderson at or call 850-259-4956.

Destin Desserts

Fri., Jan. 30, 2015 - The Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center

The 25th Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival Fri., Feb. 13–Sat., Feb. 14 (12:00–4:00 p.m.) The Village of Baytowne Wharf

This winter festival favorite is back for the 26th Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival. Sample a variety of gumbo, and vote for your favorite as the “People’s Choice” winner! Dark or light roux? Chicken, sausage or seafood? Celebrity judges will name the “Area’s Best” and award the most creative setup as “Best Display.” Gulf Coast restaurants will be featured along with live music and children’s activities. Enjoy live music and family entertainment. For more information, visit or call 850-267-4164.

Mardi Gras Dog Parade

Sun., Feb. 15, 2015 - Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Seven local chefs representing six businesses will vie for the title of Destin Desserts

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The streets will be filled with costumed dogs and their humans throwing a myriad of beads and parade favors. Themed convertibles, small

floats (pulled by masters), golf carts, bicycles and decorated wagons will be everywhere, and Mardi Gras music will fill the air! The Mardi Gras Dog Parade is one of the premier canine events on the Emerald Coast with members of the four-pawed community coming far and wide to participate.

Island Dance Party/Dirty Bird Reunion

Feb. 21, 2015 (6:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m.) - Emerald Coast Convention Center Benefits the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. For more information, call 850609-3800 or visit

9th Annual Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club’s Chili Cook-off

Sat., Feb. 28, 2015 (11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.) - Crab Island Cantina Join HarborWalk Village for one delicious and spicy afternoon as chili experts compete to prove they have the best chili around at the 9th Annual Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club’s Chili Cook-off. Proceeds benefit Emerald Coast Relay for Life. Tickets are $10 for presale and $15 day of the event. Also join in or come and watch the 2nd Annual Lick’em, Shoot’em, Bite’em and Eat’em Contest sponsored by Crab Island Cantina! Ladies’ and Men’s Divisions will be held in this hot & wild competition! Live entertainment by Continuum!

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T H E A RT S appears Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. (CST) in a Guest Artist Recital to benefit the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO). The soloist recital will be presented in the Tyler Recital Hall of the Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College. NFSO Guest Artist Recital tickets are now on sale for $25 each (purchase all 3 Guest Artist Recitals for $75). For more information, call 850-729-6000 or visit www.

Menopause The Musical

Tue., Jan. 6, 2015 - Mattie Kelly Arts Center Enjoy a return engagement of MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL. Billed as a “hilarious celebration of women and The Change,” this mega hit show has had millions of women worldwide cheering and dancing in the aisles along to this musical parody set to classic ‘60s, ‘70s & ‘80s tunes. For more information, call 850-729-6000 or visit www.

Branson Performers: George Dyer & Family Fri., Feb. 6, 2015 - Ft. Walton Beach Civic Auditorium

Branson Performers: Barbara Fairchild & Roy Morris

Sat., Jan. 10, 2015 (2:00 p.m.) - Ft. Walton Beach Civic Auditorium Branson Show Camp 2015 presents: Singers/ Songwriters Barbara Fairchild & Roy Morris. Barbara Fairchild performs with her very talented husband, Roy Morris. They are really in love, and it shows. In the tradition of other husband and wife teams that brought laughter to millions, Barbara and Roy have a natural flare for comedy that is delightful to experience. They are such an important part of the Branson Entertainment Community. For more information, call 850-243-3809 or visit

La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini

Sat., Jan. 10, 2015 (11:30 a.m.) - Niceville Community Center The Choctaw Bay Music Club presents its Opera Brunch on January 10, 2015. Come out and enjoy some great entertainment and delicious food. Tickets are available and on sale now: $25 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets may be purchased at Bayou Books, Niceville; PS Gifts, Fort Walton Beach; UpBeat Music, Crestview. For more information, please contact Gloria DeBerry at gjdeberry@, 850-642-0756, or Karen LeGrand at, 850-855-0068.

Winter Guest Fest

Jan. 16, 2015 (8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.) - Emerald Coast Convention Center Area’s largest seasonal guest expo. Admission is $1.00. For more information or directions, please contact the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce at 850-244-8191 or visit

Sand Spurs Open House

Thurs., Jan. 22, 2015 (7:00–9:00 p.m.) - Pasarda Hall The Sand Spurs Square Dance Club, in affiliation with Northwest Florida Square and Round Dance Association, is sponsoring 2 free nights of introductory square and line dancing, Thursday nights, January 22nd and 29th, 2015, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Please join us for a super fun night of beginning dance lessons! You’ll meet some wonderful folks, hear some great live Top 40 music, and get some exercise too! No partner required. Dress in casual, comfortable clothing and shoes, and come prepared to dance and laugh the night away. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Pasarda Hall, 17 Industrial Street NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL.


Thurs., Jan. 22, 2015 - Mattie Kelly Arts Center They took Broadway by storm as the stars of the smash hit musical Jersey Boys, and now these four brilliant performers are together again—as the nation’s premier 1960s throwback group on its 4th national tour in THE MIDTOWN MEN. For more information, call 850-729-6000 or visit www.

Artist Recital - Anna Bulkina, Piano

Sat., Jan. 24, 2015 (7:30 p.m.) - Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Tyler Recital Hall

Branson Show Camp 2015 Presents: George Dyer & Family performing at the Fort Walton Beach Auditorium, 107 Miracle Strip Parkway SW, Fort Walton Beach, Fl 32548. George Dyer is acclaimed by many as one of the finest tenors in the world. George Dyer adds a polished showmanship and audience connection that will make you feel as if you were on Broadway, in Las Vegas or at the Met. George & Family sing a variety of musical genres, including power ballads, Broadway hits, love songs, classic standards, favorite oldies, gospel and more.

Northwest Florida Ballet Presents Swan Lake

Fri., Feb. 28 and Sun., Mar. 1, 2015 (7:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.) - Mattie Kelly Arts Center February NFB will present one of the crown jewels of classical ballet: Swan Lake. After 120 years since the ballet’s revival by Petipa, the same renowned Russian ballet master who brought The Nutcracker to life, NFB Ballet Mistress and former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dancer Dorothy Daniels Lister will be staging a season finale performance that is not to be missed. Like all the best tales of enchantment, Swan Lake weaves together a beautiful princess, a passionate prince and an obstacle that only true love can overcome. Will the evil Von Rothbart succeed in keeping Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried apart? Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky creates a thrilling and magical soundtrack for what is truly one of the most iconic and enduring ballets of all time. Performances will be Saturday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. For more information, call 850-729-6000 or visit www.

Pianist Anna Bulkina, a native of Turkmenistan and the Gold Medal winner at numerous prestigious piano competitions, • EC Parent Magazine • 43


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to connect popular children’s movies with available themed reading materials on the same topic or genre at the library. Movie selections will be announced prior to the scheduled movie date.

Winter Guest Concert Series

Every Sunday on the Destin Harbor Shake off the chills of winter with free live music on HarborWalk Village’s main stage! All winter guests and locals are invited to enjoy a free inspirational concert.

Recurring Local

Opportunity Place

Contact CC Fearson at 850-659-3190.

Baytowne on Ice

Jan. 1–Feb. 14, 2015 - Baytowne Village


For those visitors who miss the cold and ice, the ice skating rink at the Village of Baytowne Wharf is the perfect opportunity to get into the winter spirit. The seasonal ice skating rink has become a local holiday favorite. The first hour of each day is reserved for “kids skate” for youths 12 and under.

Contact Nikole Wood at 850-863-8999.


Contact Alicia Sikes at 850-243-1525.

Salvation Army

Contact Lisa Martinez at 850-243-4531.

Habitat for Humanity

Live Music Fridays

Contact Mark McEnaney at 850-685-0686.

Marina Bar & Grill

Enjoy live music every Friday at the Marina Bar & Grill from 6–9 p.m. FREE and open to the public. Featuring Max McCann.

Florosa Fire Department

Contact Tom Peele at 850-581-2900.


Story Hour at Starbucks of HarborWalk Village

Contact Harvey Eckoff at 850-244-3834.


Every Thursday in January (3:30 p.m.) HarborWalk Village

Looking for some afternoon fun with the kiddos, while getting your coffee fix? Every Thursday, Starbucks at HarborWalk Village will be hosting “Story Hour @ Starbucks.” There will be hot chocolate available for the kids, and all parents get 20% off their purchase!

Early Release School Day Movie Series at Destin Library

Jan. 8th, Feb. 5th, Mar. 5th, and Apr. 2nd - Destin Library The Destin Library’s Youth Services Department has scheduled 5 Early Release School Day Movie dates geared for students in grades 3 through 5. The program is designed

44 • EC Parent Magazine •

Contact John at 850-837-8516.

Destin Community Center

Contact Lisa Firth at 850-654-5184.

Waterfront Rescue Mission

Contact Tina or Sharron at 850-244-2726.

Don’t See Your Event? Send calendar events to us at

Destin History & Fishing Museum Contact Kathy Blue at 850-837-6611.

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

Contact Susan Leivelle at 850-650-1880.

Boys & Girls Club

Contact Rita Cummins at 850-862-1332.


DIRECTORY Planes, trains & automobiles . . . and everything else in between! The Emerald Coast has a wealth of attractions for all those who visit or call the coast home. It's amazing just how much there is to do if you embrace your adventurous spirit and simply explore your own backyard. Whether you're looking to plan a field trip or just a fun family outing, there's always something to look forward to on the Emerald Coast. Here are just a few ideas for places to visit. And don’t forget to send us your favorites!

Wesley Mansion Welcome to Eden Gardens State Park The focal point of this 161-acre park is the beautifully renovated, two-story Wesley house with its elegant white columns and wrap-around porch. The moss-draped live oaks and ornamental gardens inspire visions of hoop skirts and landed gentry. Named after a wealthy Florida timber family, the park is part of the family's estate. The house holds the second largest known collection of Louis XVI furniture in the United States. Visitors can also take a stroll along the grounds and enjoy the picnic area. 181 Eden Gardens Road Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 850-267-8320 EdenGardens/ • EC Parent Magazine • 45

EMERGENCY NUMBERS Sheriff & Police Okaloosa County Sheriff�������������������� 850-651-7400

Libraries Destin���������������������������������������������������������850-837-8572

Ft. Walton Beach����������������������������������� 850-833-9590

Walton County Sheriff������������������������� 850-892-8186

Walton��������������������������������������������������������850-267-2809 or walton/about.asp?p=22

Bay County Sheriff���������������������������������850-747-4700

Escambia County Sheriff�������������������� 850-436-9580

Santa Rosa County Sheriff����������������� 850-983-1100

Navarre����������������������������������������������������� 850-981-7323

Crestview������������������������������������������������� 850-682-4432

Niceville��������������������������������������������������� 850-279-4863

Ft. Walton Beach Police���������������������� 850-833-9546

Panama City Beach Police����������������� 850-233-5000

Florida HWY Patrol������������������������������ 800-665-2794

Florida Poison Control������������������������ 800-222-1222

US Coast Guard���������������������������������������850-244-7147

Fire Department Destin���������������������������������������������������������850-837-8413

Ft. Walton Beach����������������������������������� 850-833-9565

South Walton�������������������������������������������850-267-1298

Navarre����������������������������������������������������� 850-939-5236


Chambers of Commerce Destin���������������������������������������������������������850-837-6241


Ft. Walton Beach����������������������������������� 850-244-8191

Walton County����������������������������������������850-267-0683

Niceville��������������������������������������������������� 850-678-2323

Crestview������������������������������������������������� 850-682-3212

Pensacola������������������������������������������������� 850-438-4081

Panama City Beach������������������������������ 850-235-1159

Museums Air Force Armament����������������������������� 850-651-1808

Crestview������������������������������������������������� 850-682-6121

Destin History & Fishing��������������������850-837-6611

Panama City Beach������������������������������ 850-872-3053

Medical Centers & Hospitals Destin Emergency Care�����������������������850-837-9194

Indian Temple Mound Museum����������� 850-833-9595

Heritage Museum of NW FL�������������� 850-678-2615

Walton County Heritage����������������������850-951-2127

Ft. Walton Beach Medical������������������ 850-863-7610

N. Okaloosa Medical Center�������������� 850-689-8100

Wesley Mansion������������������������������������� 850-231-4214

White Wilson Medical-Destin������������850-837-3848

Emerald Coast Science Center��������� 850-644-1261

White Wilson Medical-Ft. Walton��������� 850-863-8100

Post Offices

Sacred Heart������������������������������������������� 850-278-3000

Emerald Coast Urgent Care��������������� 850-654-8878

Niceville Twin Cities���������������������������� 850-678-4131

Navarre Baptist�������������������������������������� 850-939-4888

Destin���������������������������������������������������������850-837-6312 Ft. Walton Beach����������������������������������� 850-244-2625 South Walton������������������������������������������ 850-269-1186 Navarre����������������������������������������������������� 850-939-0381 Niceville��������������������������������������������������� 850-678-2021 Crestview������������������������������������������������� 850-682-2634

46 • EC Parent Magazine •

Destin History & Fishing Experience the feeling of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with an awardwinning exhibit of fish caught in Destin. View a large collection of antique fishing rods and reels. The most unique is constructed of split bamboo with an original Penn Reel that belonged to Ernest Hemingway. Enjoy vintage photographs of early Destin settlers, boat captains and much more. Tues.  10:00 am–4:00 pm Wed.  10:00 am–4:00 pm Thurs.  10:00 am–4:00 pm Fri.  10:00 am–4:00 pm Sat.  10:00 am–4:00 pm Admission Fees: Adults $5 Seniors & Military $4 Children $3; Children under 6 are Free Destin History & Fishing Museum 108 Stahlman Ave. Destin, FL 32541 850-837-6611 www.destinhistoryand

Public Transportation

Delta���������������������������������������������������������� 800-221-1212

Okaloosa County Transit���������������������850-833-9168

Mid Bay Bridge���������������������������������������850-833-7562

United Airlines��������������������������������������� 800-864-8331

Movie Theaters

AMC Destin Commons 14�������������������850-650-4579 At the Destin Commons Mall

Cinema Plus���������������������������������������������850-302-0129 Downtown FWB

Lively 10���������������������������������������������������850-654-2992 Off of Hwy 98 in Destin

Regal Sun Plaza�������������������������������������850-244-4252

Air Force Armament Experience the aviation warfare armament from the early days of World War I right through to today's high tech planes and bombs. Inside, you'll find an extensive collection of weaponry and interactive displays that will amaze and intrigue. Outside displays include vintage military aircraft including the fastest plane ever built—the SR-71 Blackbird! Admission is FREE and all are welcome! Mon.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm Tues.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm Wed.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm Thurs.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm Fri.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm Sat.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm Sun. Closed Air Force Armament Museum 100 Museum Dr. Eglin AFB, FL 32542 850-651-1808 Service may be provided by Delta or a Delta Connection carrier. Provides nonstop service daily to Atlanta, GA (ATL).

Mary Esther Cutoff

UA Santa Rosa 10����������������������������������850-243-5260 At the Santa Rosa Mall in FWB

Radio Stations Express Jet provides nonstop service to Houston, TX (IAH).

US Airways���������������������������������������������� 800-428-4322 Provides non-stop daily service to Charlotte, NC (CLT) and Washington, DC (DCA).

Southwest���������� 1-800-I-FLY-SWA / 800-435-9792 Provides non-stop flights daily to and from Baltimore, MD (BWI), Houston, TX (HOU), Nashville, TN (BNA), and Orlando, FL (MCO) with connecting service to international destinations.

AirTran��������������������������800-Air-Tran / 800-247-8726

1120 AM – Progressive Talk 1260 AM – Fox News Talk 1340 AM – ESPN Sports 91.1 FM – Contemporary Christian 92.1 FM – Oldies 93.3 FM – Adult Contemporary 95.3 FM – Talk Radio–Local Crestview 98.1 FM – Country 99.5 FM – Rock 102.1 FM – Classic Rock 103.1 FM – Adult Contemporary 105.5 FM – Country 106.3 FM – Smooth Jazz 107.3 FM – Classic Rock 3 Daily Flights to Atlanta with 351 seats.

Rental Cars

Avis�������������������������������������������������������������800-331-1212 Enterprise�������������������������������������������������800-261-7331 National���������������������������������������������������� 877-222-9058 Budget������������������������������������������������������� 800-527-0700 Hertz�����������������������������������������������������������800-654-3131

Airports NW Florida Regional Airport - VPS�������850-651-7160

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport–Panama City Beach���������������850-763-6751

Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional���������850-436-5000

Destin Airport������������������������������������������850-651-7160

Crestview Airport - Bob Sikes������������850-651-7160

Airlines American Eagle��������������������������������������800-433-7300 Provides non-stop service to Dallas, TX (DFW).

It’s our goal to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. If we have omitted any resource you feel could be useful to our community of readers, please feel free to send us your recommendations at: • EC Parent Magazine • 47

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Family & Cosmetic Dentistry G E N E R A L D E N T I S T RY

• Complete Family Care • Low Radiation Digital X-Rays • VELscope Cancer Screening • Painless Dentistry Techniques • Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Partials • In-Chair Entertainment System • Oraquix No-Injection Anesthetic • Extractions, Root Canals, White Fillings

A D VA N C E D C O S M E T I C S • Complete Smile Makeovers! • Orthodontics, Clear and Traditional by General Dentist • Painless Veneers • White Fillings and Bonding • ZOOM Whitening

The Ultimate 1-Hr Whitening

redefining beauty

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Cleaning • Periodontal Care • Scaling & Rootplaning • Sealants • Fluoride

Katherine Bartlett, DMD Kristin M. Shinnick, DMD Ashley L. Brooks, DMD John J. Cash, DDS


Uptown Station

Eglin P k

Fort Walton Beach

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Hwy 98


Ft. Walton Beach, Florida (Near Uptown Station, Off of Hospital Dr.) Destin

Profile for Rob Williams

Emerald Coast Parent Magazine January+February 2015  

Emerald Coast residents truly enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the rest of our country. Our beautiful, clean and uncluttered beaches ar...

Emerald Coast Parent Magazine January+February 2015  

Emerald Coast residents truly enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the rest of our country. Our beautiful, clean and uncluttered beaches ar...