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SPRING 2020

C E L E B R AT I N G 5 Y E A R S O F S A S S !

THE

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DESIGN TRENDS CREATING YOUR

OUTDOOR OASIS

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LOCAL FUNCTIONAL HANDMADE

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BRA BOUTIQUE & FITTING SALON

Every Woman Deserves a Bra That Fits Perfectly!

19 N. Market St., Frederick, MD 301.663.3632

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Come see why our customers have dubbed A Perfect Fit Bra Boutique and Fitting Salon “the most frustration-free bra shopping experience ever!”

Call for your appointment today!

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CONTENTS

Visit Us Online!

Look for our WEB EXCLUSIVE icon to view additional articles on SassMagazine.com.

For more great reads, go to sassmagazine.com

FEATURES 20 Woman to Watch Jessica Underwood 26 Women Lead the Way in Hosting Rental Properties 32 Spring Home Design Trends to Use Year Round 38

Fashion Reinventing Spring

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38

32 DEPARTMENTS 8 Business Spotlight A Perfect Fit Bra Boutique

48 Travel Preparing Your Home for Travel

12 Business Spotlight Long Fence

50 Travel Finding the Perfect Home Away From Home

14 Girl’s Guide to Creating Your Springtime Outdoor Oasis 45 Beauty Beautify Your Master Bath and Your Well-Being 47 Hair Spring Cleaning Your Hair Tools

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52 Career How to Successfully Work From Home 56 Wellness How Your Home Affects Your Health 60 Recipe A Toast to Opening Our Homes This Season

26 O N T H E C O V E R : Jessica Underwood is real-estate-attorney-turned-builder and the owner and principal of JR Capital Build. Read more about Frederick’s only woman builder in our Woman to Watch story on page 20. Cover Photo by Jessica Patterson. O O P S : In our Winter 2019/20 issue, Woman to Watch (pg 20), we mistakenly listed Frederick Health as Frederick Health Systems. The new name is “Frederick Health” and the former name is “Frederick Regional Health Systems.”


Washington DC April 18, 2020 The premier event for female leaders, entrepreneurs & executives is back for its 4th year in a row! Join us for a one-day event lled with authentic networking, entertaining panels, educational workshops, inspiring keynotes, a business marketplace and an empowering experience! Tickets available now at WomenEmpowerX.com Find us on Instagram & Facebook: @WomenEmpowerX


CATEGORY HEADER MAGAZINE

125 E. Patrick St., Ste. 3 Frederick, MD 21701 www.sassmagazine.com

Spring 2020 | Vol. 5, Issue 3 Kim Dow, Owner + Publisher kim@sassmagazine.com Chrissy Moore, Copy Editor Brittany Raymor, Fashion Editor Alicia Schwartzbeck, Accounting Tim & Donna Moore, Distribution Ashley Bailey, Admin Coordinator Gel Derossi, Digital Coordinator CREATIVE TEAM Marie Boshoff, Kim Dow, Cecelia Lee www.sasscreativestudios.com CONTRIBUTORS Lanna Ali-Hassan, Tammy Brandenburg, Rebecca Carrera, Stephanie Chizik, Gel Derossi, Julie Gaver, Charissa Hipp, Sarah Kurtanich, Rachel Lytle, Brittany Raymor, Laura Rennie PHOTOGRAPHERS Ashley Bailey, Sarah Kurtanich, Jessica Patterson ADVERTISING advertising@sassmagazine.com April Izer april@sassmagazine.com Kim Grimberg kimgrimberg@sassmagazine.com Melinda Yuhas melindayuhas@sassmagazine.com PRINTING Sheridan Press Sass Magazine is a free quarterly publication in the western Maryland region that is also available for a paid subscription. Customer inquiries should be directed to Sass Studios, LLC. All contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part for any reason without prior consent of the publisher. Advertising Information: advertising@sassmagazine.com

Dorothy said it best, "There's no place like home." And we are so excited for the Home Issue! Ironically, as this issue was being sent to press, we decided to click our heels together and return to working from a home office, allowing our employees and contractors to work from home as well. We'll miss our office space in downtown Frederick, but we're excited for this new chapter as we reset, recharge, shift and grow. Don't worry, we'll still be active throughout the region and you'll be able to find us at all your local jaunts — but we'll also be exploring new areas and focusing on our digital growth. Needless to say, BIG THINGS are coming! As they say, home is where the heart is! And for this issue, we wanted to explore all the things we love about our households and home living — but with a Sass twist, of course! In this issue you can read about women who are changing the game, like Frederick's only woman builder (p20) and ladies leading the way in rental properties (p26). You'll also be able to get some sound design and decor advice from four expert interior designers (p32). Plus, we learn how to prepare our homes for travel (p48) and how our homes affect our health (p56). For the new decade, we've got some wonderful initiatives in the works. Be sure to join us at one (or more!) of our quarterly Girls Night Out events (March 18, June 3, Sept 8 and a December date TBD)! Sign up for our eNewsletter to be notified of upcoming events, online articles, freebie downloads, and discounts. Visit SassMagazine.com for additional articles on topics such as travel, business, wellness, beauty and more (check out some upcoming web topics on page 7)! Be sure to shop our Sass merch (see back cover for details), and grab your exclusive Sass goodies while supporting our small, woman-owned enterprise. Follow and connect with us via social media — you can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And last, but certainly not least, be on the lookout for news about our upcoming Sass Like A Boss CONFERENCE! Sass is a free resource made possible by the support of our advertisers and contributors. Be sure to take note of the advertisers throughout this issue. Visit their shops, attend their events, use their services — and be sure to thank them for supporting Sass! We hope you enjoy this special home issue and look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events. Welcome home!

We thank our advertisers for their support!

/sassfrederick

Publisher & Owner

/sassmagazine /sassmagazine

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: J E S S I C A PAT T E R S O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

Marie Boshoff, Creative Coordinator


SASSMAGAZINE.COM We've got more home-related articles for ya online. Be sure to check out some of these upcoming articles on SassMagazine.com!

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Working from Home Create a Home Office Haven Looking for tips on how to create the perfect home office?

Upgrade Your Desk Space It doesn’t take much to turn your drab office space into a place that you can enjoy spending time in.

Love of Nature

Household Charm

Bringing the Outdoors In

Our Favorite Housewarming Gifts

Tips for how to create your own garden room and our favorite indoor plants.

Great gift ideas for a housewarming party, or to just treat yourself!

Design & Decor Creating a Beautiful Kitchen Space When it comes time to make an update to your home, start with the kitchen.

Add Personality to Your Home Our homes are our personal sanctuaries.

Home Design on a Budget To have the home of your dreams you do NOT have to break the bank.

SPRING 20

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Business Spotlight:

A PERFECT FIT BRA BOUTIQUE

A Perfect Fit Bra Boutique Everedy Square, 14 N. East Street, Studio 1, Frederick, MD 301-663-1233 | info@aperfectfitfrederick.com | www.aperfectfitfrederick.com /aperfectfit / aperfectfitbra For more information, turn to page 3!

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: N E E D P H O T O G R A P H E R

Peggi Joy, owner of A Perfect Fit Bra Boutique, has made it her mission to educate women about realistic bra fittings. Her goal is to shift our point of view from that of the commonly sexualized and unrealistic image advertised by popular brands to a more educated, body aware and breast healthy ideal. Bras can be a fashion statement AND fit well. But a true fit works with the body we actually have, making us look and feel our best no matter our stage in life. A Perfect Fit specializes in professional level bra fittings, quality bras, and lingerie for everyday and special occasions — all in a relaxed, friendly, and body positive atmosphere!


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Give us a brief description of your business and what you do. We are all about the fit — our goal is for our customers to have properly sized bras for their unique shape. We carefully curate our selections each season to bring our customers the right mix of “tried and true” with new innovations — all at the right price point. Professional bra fitting is about more than letters and numbers; it is also about matching bra frames to body frames and matching bra styles to activity levels and life events.

How did you decide on the business name? The “perfect fit” is based on choosing the right bra frame designed for each of our individual shapes and proportions. Bras are the most highly engineered and tailored item we put on our bodies with a distinct purpose — they are a performance garment! Bras maintain breast shape. They counteract breast weight and the pull of gravity. They should fit like a glove and move with us correctly. They should make us look great in our clothes and help our clothes tailor properly to the body. Our breasts impact our posture. Women need an expert who really knows health, anatomy, merchandise, and the industry to help us find that “perfect fit”. I really couldn’t call the store anything else — the name says it all!

What makes your business stand out? Bra shopping can be a frustrating exercise in futility for so many! Our goal is to change bra shopping into a body positive experience. To do that, we focus on personalized customer service, fitting expertise, knowledge of the products, and breast health. Our main focus is a genuine and caring relationship with our customers. Women often worry about being judged and we worry about our body shape. We help women in all stages of life, so they can feel confident with their bodies. For instance, we carry nursing bras and true athletic bras for all body shapes. We educate women on how bras work, as well as their function and purpose. We ask questions and listen to concerns.

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business? Before starting this entrepreneurial journey, I was a clinical social worker. Guess what? Back in the 80s and 90s social workers had to take human anatomy and physiology! Also, I worked in healthcare with breast cancer patients. Through that work, I became familiar with all aspects of the physical and mental changes as well as the health impacts of breast surgery. Prior to starting A Perfect Fit, I became a Certified Breast Prosthetist. I fit breast prosthetics for the first five years of this business. Being a social worker and working

in these emotion-filled environments definitely equipped me with the people skills I needed, as well as the expertise and knowledge. However, I didn’t have any prior experience as a business owner. So, I took a crash course in Entrepreneurship 101 — lots of research, some trial and error and good advice from others. I am also fortunate to have the most amazing support and guidance from my other half, Steve, who is a seasoned entrepreneur and was my first behind the counter employee (And yes, customers loved him!).

What is the best part about what you do? Most Challenging? The most challenging — helping ladies understand bras have a useful life of nine months to a year depending on breast size. The bra they have worn for years may still look good in the drawer, but doesn’t look good on them — the bra has stretched, fabrics and shape have deteriorated and their bodies may have changed. The second biggest challenge is helping women understand and accept their true size, and how our bra size is a fluid thing that is a part of our health journey. The best part? That’s easy — seeing the smiles and hearing the “Oh My God!” exclamations when one of our customers experiences a proper fit.

What changes do you see happening in your business in the future? Our focus will always be on making bra shopping a positive, successful and frustration-free experience for our clients. We will continue to teach women that personalized, professional bra fittings are easier, have greater success and are more time efficient. The trend in undergarments is for clean, comfortable and functional designs that have a modern aesthetic. New fabrics and lift technologies from our manufacturers are innovative and amazing and we can’t wait to share them with our clients!

Who are your customers? A Perfect Fit gal wants to be more comfortable and look her best, no matter what she is wearing or doing. She is ready to buy better quality items for herself that won’t break the bank. She may be starting a new job, making a career change, getting married, going off to college or is an at-home mom. She may be pregnant and in need of a size change or nursing bras. She may be starting a new exercise program. She may have worn the same bra size for years and recently can’t find anything that works as her body changes. She may have back pain or recently had breast surgery. She may have just started middle school or high school. She may be on the other side of childbirth and ready for some well-earned me-time. In other words, she’s most of us! SPRING 20

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LONG FENCE Business Spotlight:

Celebrating their 75th year in business, Long Fence is a leader in commercial and residential fencing, decks and pavers. A family-owned business at heart, Long Fence serves a wide range of customers from government agencies, municipalities and corporations to the residential homeowner— all with a high level of courtesy and expertise and a focus on customer service. 12 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM


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Give us a brief description of your business and what you do. We service residential and commercial customers throughout the DMV region. Not only do we offer a full line of fencing products (hence the name!), but also provide a range of decking, sunrooms, pergolas, screened porches, gazebos, pavers, automated gate systems and much more. Whether your goal is to provide fencing protection for your kids or pets, to provide privacy, or just to create a backdrop for you outdoor landscaping — our friendly team of designers, estimators, technicians and craftsmen have got your backyard needs covered!

What makes your business stand out? We’ve been in business for 75 years — a true testament to our quality work and attention to customer service! We are also a family-owned company, with a long history of being community oriented and involved. We work with an array of charitable organizations from Susan G. Komen to the Boy Scouts of America, to Frederick’s own Greek Festival! Additionally, we only source high quality materials for all projects, assuring that you’re getting top-notch materials and service.

What is a typical day like at your business? Well, a typical day can be a long one (no pun intended!). We work in a fast-paced industry with several projects happening at once. Our employees could be up doing a yard measurement as early as 8am, and finish with a new project consultation as late as 9pm. We do what we can to meet the needs of our clients, working within their schedules as much as possible.

What is it like to work at your business? Our company culture is focused on a collective team effort. We allow people to work with us, not for us. We have a history of well-trained, tenured employees — most of whom have worked with us at least a decade or more. We offer ongoing training so our employees can be constantly learning and improving—whether they are working in sales, design, construction, management or admin.

The most challenging part is that we are building an outdoor project, so construction is often dependent on the weather, which can affect a lot of production schedules!

What changes do you see effecting your business in the future? We are trying to incorporate a lot more automation into our work flow so that we can make the customer’s experience more efficient. It’s a balance though when introducing new technologies because we don’t want to lose the personalized service aspect. We’re currently digitizing several of our systems and processes to enhance the overall experience for both our clients and employees. Additionally, our manufacturers are constantly upgrading and enhancing their products — whether it’s introducing a new material or a new wood treatment for added longevity. We work hard to make these new products available to our clients as quickly as possible.

Who are your customers? Our residential customers are those looking for ways to better enjoy their outdoor living space or enclose their yards for either their children or pets. They could be an older couple living in a new home or a younger couple living in an older home — and everything in between! Our commercial clients range from small mom and pop shops to high end commercial establishments to government security. Some of our notable clients and projects include Clark Construction, Whiting Turner and Hensel Phelps; we’ve installed the fencing at the Spring training facility of the 2019 World Series Champions — The Washington Nationals — at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and you’ll also find our guard rail installations throughout our local highways. What matters most to you in your business? At the end of the day what matters most is our client’s satisfaction. Knowing that they are excited about the finished product and that we have exceed their expectations is our primary goal.

What is the best part about what you do? Most challenging? The best part is getting to work with a multitude of diverse people – both internally and externally. We love to assist our customers in thinking about something in a new way, bring new ideas to light, and then see their satisfaction when the project is completed.

CATEGORY HEADER

For more information, turn to page 2!

Long Fence 888-570-5664 info@longfence.com www.longfence.com /longfence

SPRING 20 13


CATEGORY GIRL'S GUIDE HEADER

outdoor

By Julie Gaver

14 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM

P H O T O G R A P H Y: C NU E EL D L EPMHBOETRO G PH RO AP TO HG ER APHY

Creating Your Springtime


CATEGORY GIRL'SHEADER GUIDE

Spring is upon us! It’s time to ditch those fleece blankets and hot mugs of cocoa and move outside for all things lighter and brighter. If your patio, outdoor entertainment space or sheshed leaves you wanting something more, here are some quick drab to fab tips! ■ Decorate from the inside-out. Think of your outdoor space as an extension of your home and incorporate some of the same touches outside that make your interior comfy. Outdoor rugs come in a variety of colors and styles. Hanging sheers or curtains from beams or arbors adds the perfect touch of whimsy. Imagine those sheers dancing in the gentle breeze of a warm summer night! ■ Outdoor lighting for today’s SASS-y space is not your mama’s lighting. With a plethora of new and unique solar choices, you are limited only by your imagination. Fairy twinkle lights add sparkle and glam to your space. Wrap trees and line outdoor sheds with white lighting to create a soft glow conducive to creating just the right mood. Use solar spotlights

to highlight a favorite statue or architectural piece in your garden. If you can’t see it, you won’t enjoy it so light that baby up! ■ You may have gorgeous in-the-ground flower gardens but add potted plants and flowers for increased flexibility and enjoyment. Potted plants are portable, allowing you to create more intimate spaces when the occasion merits it. Flower pots come in an assortment of looks ranging from formal/elegant to primitive/country to match your mood and style. And don’t feel limited to flower pots for your potted gardening pursuits. If an object has “space,” then there’s room for a planted flower. Think vintage metal picnic baskets, old work boots, or even that adorable metal toy truck your son has forgotten about.

Oasis

SPRING 20 15


GIRL'S GUIDE

s ’ e r e h t n e h t ,” ce a p s “ If an object has . r e ow l f d e t n a l p a or f m oo r ■ Wall art allows you to express your personality outside the same way it does in your home. Do you love inspirational quotes? Vintage metal art? Baskets filled with flowers or other treasures? Hang them on fences or the outside walls of your home or sheshed. Keep in mind that if they are directly exposed to the elements, spray with polyurethane or another weather protection product. Obsessed with vintage doors? They make excellent “room dividers” or focal points in your space. Hang a basket of flowers from the door or paint the window with chalkboard paint and let your creativity run wild with possible artwork. Better yet, make it a family affair and get the kids involved to create a unique family masterpiece. Won’t that be a fun conversation piece at your next picnic?

■ Beautiful outdoor spaces may capture the eye but remember to offer a symphony for the ear. Sound plays an important role in creating mood. Fountains offer a soothing backdrop to conversation and nothing nourishes the soul like the sound of a wind chime softly adding its own form of music. The higher the quality and larger the chimes, the more mellow and beautiful the melody. Stay away from less expensive alternatives that don’t create a rich sound. It’s worth the expense. The weather is delightful. Your space is ready. Invite your friends for a glass of wine or even better, savor that fabulous oasis with the best company you could ever have — YOU!

Julie Gaver is an author, professional speaker and lover of creating beauty on their 80 acre property where she lives with her husband, Dan. She enjoys hosting retreats, charity events, and special gatherings at Meadow Branch Farm in Myersville, Maryland. For more information, you can find Julie at www.juliegaver.com.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: C U L L E M B E R P H O T O G R A P H Y

■ Comfortable seating is a must for creating fabulous outdoor spaces. Think small, intimate conversation areas within a larger space as opposed to one substantial gathering area. Whether your seating surrounds a fire pit table or a fun, quirky trunk that doubles as an outdoor coffee table, remember — furniture arrangement should create such a feeling of cozy that people won’t want to leave. Until you ask them, of course!


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CATEGORY WOMAN TO HEADER WATCH

WOMAN

By Charissa Hipp

20 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM

P H O T O G R A P H Y: JNEESESDI CPAH OPAT T O TGERRASPOHNE RP H O T O G R A P H Y

WATCH Jessica Underwood


CATEGORY WOMAN TOHEADER WATCH

Jessica Underwood is a force to be reckoned with. The former real-estate-attorneyturned-builder is the owner and principal of JR Capital Build, a niche luxury builder in Downtown Frederick where she lives with her three children: Judah (8), Wynn (5) and Vida (4). A big believer in relationship building, she enjoys spending time with her friends and children, loves Frederick’s culinary scene and also enjoys yoga, travel and podcasts. Though Jessica attributes her journey to becoming Frederick’s only woman builder to “lots of good luck,” she’s keenly focused, efficient and driven to succeed.

What is your typical day like? Every day is different depending on the stage of construction and the project, but I keep a few things constant. I wake up as early as possible, always aiming for 5 am, and implement a morning routine of journaling, affirmations, and meditation. I have a detailed spreadsheet I keep up on my computer all day, which is also an app on my phone. I use the spreadsheet for to-do’s and meetings, but, more importantly, to track everything from my budget to my professional and personal annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. I also put everything that comes into my head onto the spreadsheet so I don’t waste any bandwidth trying to remember anything. Everything is stored on Google Drive, which has a “Priority” workspace that I pull up every morning with all the documents I need right there, readily available. I get a tremendous amount of joy from using my time productively and am always thinking of ways to make that moment more effective. SPRING 20 21


Growing up I always believed that if you worked hard enough, you would succeed.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: J E S S I C A PAT T E R S O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

CATEGORY WOMAN TO HEADER WATCH


WOMAN TO WATCH What three pieces of advice would you give to readers?

How do you reward yourself after a hard day of work?

1. Get in the game! Whatever industry you’re in, or want to get into, and for anything else you want to master in life, approach it with a level of intensity that eclipses all else. Master mental focus, take massive action and implement strategic planning. In other words, get in the game. You don’t need another degree. Trust me, I paid for four! You don’t need to go back to school, you don’t need more experience — there are people succeeding at what you want to do without any of that. It all comes down to pushing yourself to get in the game. You’ll be amazed at how things start working out and coming to you easily at the perfect time. 2. Destigmatize mistakes/failures. Mistakes and failures mean you’re in the game and getting feedback. Don’t take it personal. 3. Push yourself. You will not get a raise, meet someone who can help you in your career, brainstorm ideas, or change your energetic state watching Netflix. Get out of the house. Push yourself out of your comfort zone in ways that will move you forward and toward your fullest potential.

Happy hour at Hootch and Banter with friends!

What do you think has helped you the most with your success? Growing up I always believed that if you worked hard enough, you would succeed. Hard work is always helpful, but by far the most direct link to my success has been key relationships. Developing interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence has taken me light years beyond where hard work alone ever could and also had the added benefit of allowing me to work and interact with some of my closest friends every day.

What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome to achieve your goals? There are two actually. One, was realizing that most of my challenges were not external, but originating within my own limited thinking. The other was releasing the blocks that were holding me back. Those were the two greatest challenges I’ve overcome to achieve my current level of success, both professionally and personally.

Does working for yourself ever get lonely? How do you handle that? Today I have an incredible network and each day feels like I’m surrounded with my favorite people, both at work and outside of work. When I first started JR Capital Build and was transitioning from a nine-to-five job, I was incredibly lonely. I constantly craved coworkers to connect with and do normal job-type-things, like happy hour. I organized a small group of downtown friends who connected on a monthly basis, and four years later we have 500 members in the group. It’s since been retooled a bit and formally named Frederick Connection. I run it with three friends, the purpose of the group is to provide an engaging platform for women to connect, thrive, and support each other.

What is one sassy saying or quote that inspires you? Why? I start each day saying, “It’s a great day for a great day!” It keeps me in a positive state and reminds me what a blessing it is to have the chance for a new day. Another phrase I really love is, “begin again.” It applies to so many circumstances, big and small, and I remind myself of it often when I feel stuck.

How do you like to give back to your community? I try to get involved with and give to organizations that I’m passionate about and whose leadership I respect. I’m on the board of the Downtown Frederick YMCA and also give to the Downtown Frederick Partnership and Women’s Giving Circle. I was recently appointed as a board member to MEDCO (Maryland Economic Development Corporation), so I’m looking forward to getting more involved at the state level as well. www.jrcapitalrealestate.com

Charissa Hipp has a passion for connecting people to places through tourism marketing, storytelling, writing and hiking. A wife and mother of three, she encourages others to connect with nature to experience its physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Follow her outdoor adventures on Instagram at @hipphikergal.

SPRING 20 23


2 2 ND

A N N UA L C A T O C T I N A F FA I R Join us for a night dedicated to saving lives, saving families, and making our community emotionally and mentally well. Proceeds from this annual event benefit the Mental Health Association of Frederick County’s Crisis Services and vital programs that are essential to the day to day operations of our lifesaving organization.

fcmha.org/donate/catoctin-affair


P H O T O G R A P H Y: J E S S I C A PAT T E R S O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

FEATURE

W O MEN LEA D T H E WAY I N 26 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM

Hosting Rental


FEATURE

n By Rachel Lytle

Properties

In 1920, owning property was viewed as a man’s role, whereas the job of creating a welcoming atmosphere traditionally belonged to women. Flash forward 100 years, and women are now the queens of both. Throughout the past decade, home-sharing websites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeAway have made landlord side-hustles easier than ever, and women are leading the trend. On Airbnb alone, women host more than double the rate of men — so what gives?

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FEATURE

Once retired from commercial real estate, managing all aspects of the farm soon became Dawn’s full-time business with the help of a housekeeper who lives on-site. As her hosting duties continue to grow, she has learned a lot about being a landlord. If you want to run your property as a business and not just as a rental, she suggests using outside advertising. “I did a lot of targeted Facebook marketing and had a stand at the local farmer’s market with brochures. Your pictures are what sell it.” Charlotte Chaney owns several historic properties in downtown Frederick and has a personal website to help manage all of her rental homes. A life coach and author, Charlotte added landlord to her title in 2018 when the old Barbara Fritchie house was vacant and up for sale. Located right on Frederick’s famous Carroll Creek Linear Park, Charlotte quickly purchased and renovated the property. When the home next door –– the Hauer House –– went on the market as well, she jumped at the opportunity to preserve that historic space, too. “It’s my favorite. It’s got 28 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM

P H O T O G R A P H Y: J E S S I C A PAT T E R S O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

Former real estate agent Dawn Gordon bought her rental property, Fingerboard Country Inn, 12 years ago as a way to make extra money while enjoying a side hobby. A 25acre farm, Dawn’s historic property in Ijamsville, Maryland, is unique. “When the property came on the market, I saw a future value in the location and the charm and beauty,” she said. “My passion is people. I thought renting the house as a farm stay would be fun.” The large farmhouse often hosts groups of families and friends visiting for events. To help create unforgettable experiences, Dawn goes above and beyond to ensure the farmhouse is clean, full of amenities, and supplied with information about notable experiences and services nearby, like a series of local personal chefs for hire. “I love that I get to help people have a fun time,” she said. “I go all-out decorating for the holidays. I also have hens, so I try to give my guests fresh eggs, and we supply firewood for the fire pit on the patio.”


FEATURE

to Be the Hostess with the

Mostest a real edgy feel,” she said. Charlotte and her husband also have a third restored rental –– the Downtown 1850 Retreat. To keep her rentals running smoothly, Charlotte created a thorough house manual for each home and uses various smart apps to manage the properties –– Airbnb for reservations and messaging, Bluetooth-enabled HVAC systems for comfort, and electronic locks for security. She also hired a maid to help with cleaning and laundry. The couple works hard to give each property a personal touch. “We learn by doing,” she said, including staying at the home personally to make sure everything is up to par. “We are constantly upgrading things and offering amenities like chargers and outlets in more convenient places. We listen to feedback from our guests and use that to tweak the house.” All homes are modernized yet decorated to fit the time period with local items found mostly online. “Decorate it in a way that will accommodate a guest as best you can without putting you in a situation that could lose money. Sometimes it’s hard to look at a house as a business. Don’t get super attached to properties and everything in it because things will break.” The couple collaborates with other short-term rental owners in Frederick and have found great joy in hosting. “Being in this business has increased my hope in humanity,” she said. “If I were to watch the news, I’d hear horror stories

Do your research prior to buying; find out costs associated with managing a property, get to know the neighbors, and read up on local permits and zoning regulations. If possible, buy a home currently being used as a vacation rental. Look for a strong rental history and high online reviews. Decorate and personalize, but don’t get too attached. Make use of smart apps and housekeeping services to help with cleaning, lawn care, laundry, and managing other amenities. Get to know the area, local attractions, best restaurants, etc. Guests love to get the scoop from the host about where to go and fun things to do. Try your best to stay connected when a guest is staying at your property. It’s important to respond to any guest issues or questions promptly. Market your space as a destination — it’s easier to customize the experience for the visitor and earn money with more frequent, short-term stays. SPRING 20 29


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about people. Instead, I have strangers coming in and out of my properties who are honest and good and take care of my home –– it makes me really love people.” Local realtor Ashley Warthen feels the same and recently bought a cottage in the Florida Keys this December. “I’ve had so many great experiences with renting homes directly from owners, so I decided to look into doing it myself,” she said. Purchased as both an investment property and a personal vacation home, Ashley made sure to educate herself on the costs of supporting a property remotely and planning for the unexpected. “There are so many options to consider, like hiring a professional management company or self-managing. Self-management can be more lucrative for the owner, but it requires more time and attention.” Unlike Dawn and Charlotte, Ashley’s property was already in use as a vacation rental. “The former owners provided me with so much information and answered every question I had about self-managing from afar –– they did the same thing for years and had great success,” she said. “They connected us with all of their service providers, who have been working in and around the home for almost 10 years. We now have the same incredible team in place to prepare the home for each guest coming to stay.” Though a new venture, Ashley has high hopes it will be profitable and wasted no time making it her own. “We leave

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a personalized, handwritten note for each guest welcoming them to Key Lime Kottage. We want them to know we are only a phone call away if they need anything during their stay,” she said. “My grandmother and my mother are the ultimate hostesses, so I can truly say I learned from the best. Any time you host someone for a dinner or at your vacation home, it is an honor. I always want my guests to feel special and know I took every effort to make their experience a memorable one.” Women are often thought of as natural memory makers, so it’s only fitting that they are finding their place hosting and managing rentals around the globe. Will you be next? For more information about these rental properties: www.keylimekottage.com www.fingerboardcountryinn.com www.stayinfrederick.com

Rachel Lytle Southern Maryland native and Penn State Alumna, Rachel works fulltime in marketing and is a freelance writer for a variety of women's lifestyle publications. She has a passion for mental health advocacy and enjoys tennis, travel, and spending her spare time with family and friends. 

P H O T O G R A P H Y: J E S S I C A PAT T E R S O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

Special Thanks! Thank you to Wormald Homes and Eastchurch Downtown Frederick Living community for our beautiful photoshoot location.


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TREN SPRING HOME DESIGN

Whether you’re renting, building a new home, or just looking to refresh for the spring, your home should be a haven. According to Trish Albano, a home should help you rest and recharge, and it should tell your family’s story. With 14 years of experience, the owner of Trish Albano Interiors in Frederick understands the trends and traditions of home design. “It’s all in the details,” says

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: C NO E EUDR TPEHSOYT S O TGERPAHPAHNEIRE B R A D S H AW

By Stephanie Marie Chizik


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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES!! For more articles on design & decor, go to sassmagazine.com

NDS TO USE YEAR ROUND

Lanna Ali-Hassan, owner of Beyond the Box Interiors. “The little things bring the whole room together and make it personal to you. The goal is to walk into your home and feel comfortable, happy, and at ease.” That can be a year-round goal, and four successful, local designers have shared a few timely and timeless tips with Sass.

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“Your environment should make you feel happy to be alive. [The master bathroom] is a thing you use every day so if you’re gonna splurge, splurge on something like that,” advised Collien Driscoll, owner of Driscoll Interior Design. She is a Hagerstown native, working out of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and has been in the industry for more than 25 years. Ali-Hassan, an industry professional of 10 years, suggested keeping your long-term design goals in mind and then starting with the bigger furniture pieces that will last longer. Albano recommended splurging on the upholstery items that see daily use, such as the sofa and chairs. Lighting was a common theme amongst the designers. “It will make or break your room completely,” Driscoll explained. “A lot of folks aren’t aware

of the impact of lighting. They walk into a room, something feels off, but they’re not sure why.” Using light bulbs around 2700 kelvins will keep your home from feeling like a doctor’s office or cafeteria, Driscoll explained. “Lighting is key,” seconded Stephanie Bradshaw, owner of STEPHANIE BRADSHAW headquartered in Baltimore City. According to Bradshaw, even if you have a beautiful room, if it’s not lit well, that beauty could be lost. Another well-known consideration to personalize your home is paint. “Paint is the ultimate transformer,” Driscoll said –– with one caveat: Consult a designer to help you pick the colors. “Most people aren’t aware that color is fluid,” she explained. “Color changes in light, it changes with other colors. Whatever color you like in the paint store is not the color you’re taking home.” If you want to have some fun with trends, the designers suggested smaller items, such as dish towels, bedspreads,

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: T R A C E Y B R O W N / PA P E R C A M E R A , D R I S C O L L I N T E R I O R D E S I G N , L L C , B E Y O N D T H E B O X I N T E R I O R S , S T E P H A N I E B R A D S H AW

“Most people aren’t aware that color is fluid. Color changes in light, it changes with other colors. Whatever color you like in the paint store is not the color you’re taking home.”


“We’re going into this textural organic phase where you see rattan and bamboo, even in lighting fixtures.”

and throws. “Sprinkle it throughout,” Ali-Hassan said. “Don’t dive full-on into a trend.” Her trend-forward tips include using temporary wallpaper and changing your pillow covers. Another suggestion is to paint the whole room or add some different decorative elements, like pillows, and your whole space will look different. These small changes are cost-effective but can make a big impact. Albano’s main suggestion was to follow the 80/20 rule, plucked from the business world –– create a home that’s 80 percent classic and 20 percent trendy, “but always something you love,” she said. Driscoll suggested using “timeless” materials on the main design elements, such as flooring and fixtures –– avoid being “too trendy” here. She warned that although you might love a trend now, you’ll probably feel differently a year after those trendy floors are laid. Plus, trends are constantly changing –– the industrial look that has been popular for years now is on its way out. According to Bradshaw, the all white trim

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and door trend is also making an exit. Instead, she is seeing dark-painted doors as well as rooms with high-gloss paints in bold colors. Driscoll is seeing colors such as blushes and blues, along with brushed brass tones. “It’s so wonderful to see color again!” she gushed. Albano is seeing a trend toward what she referred to as “cleaner” colors, meaning brighter, and more saturated. Think emerald as opposed to sage green. There are a few additional trends quickly developing in 2020. Driscoll and Bradshaw have noticed a growing popularity in designs using rattans. “We’re going into this textural organic phase where you see rattan and bamboo, even in lighting fixtures,” Driscoll said. Bradshaw said plants are “hot, hot, hot,” and floral prints are coming back, some of which are inspired by the throwback 80s fashions currently being shown on runways. Of course, being environmentally friendly is always a design consideration. Ali-Hassan mentioned many designers are going

SPRING 20 35


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green by sourcing locally and frequenting reuse stores. Albano said that “there’s a resurgence in not filling the landfill.” To that end, she first tries to see what her clients have that can be reused –– even “embracing Grandma’s hand-me-downs.” She’s seeing those antiques combined with newer and handcrafted items. “It’s more curated, it’s more thoughtful,” she elaborated. When it comes to deciding when to update your home’s look, the designers’ ideas differ. Ali-Hassan said changing by the season may suit you well, while Bradshaw feels the frequency of updating your home depends on the homeowner. Someone with kids, for example, may need to repaint her walls more frequently than an empty nester. Regardless of timing, as trends continue to change, Albano recommended taking a walk through your local department stores to get clues. The colors of small appliances often change with the trends, so updating smaller items around your home –– bath mats, curtains, toothbrush holders –– to reflect those colors can freshen up your space. Whenever you buy big, consider the size and scale of your furniture, the flow of the room, and how the house comes together as a whole. “When the scale is off, the whole space is off,” said Bradshaw. “I’d say that’s one of the main things that interior designers can help you with is finding the right shape, size, traffic patterns. Do I have too much furniture? Do I need to edit things out? How am I going to live in this space? And what do I need?” You don’t have to go it alone if you want (or need) some outside help. Picking the right designer can make all the difference to your bottom line. They can help identify areas where you should be spending less, or more. “We know when things

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are overpriced,” Ali-Hassan explained. A professional can help you overcome the challenges associated with a redesign project. They have access to design markets to find “the latest and the greatest,” Driscoll explained, and many of them offer a variety of types and scales of services –– from two hours of consulting to designing an entire home. When looking for a designer, the experts suggest you do your homework. Use Pinterest to collect the things you like and dislike; review an interior designer’s portfolio, consult their reviews on Houzz, and ask friends and family who they’ve used (and liked); call your prospective designer and chat with him or her; go to a consultation; and before you sign on that dotted line, be absolutely sure you and the designer understand the project budget. “An interior designer will save you in the long run, but make sure that the designer communicates their fee structure,” advised Driscoll. This will keep things running smoothly throughout the process. As Driscoll said, “You can do so much with just a little bit of money if you have some direction and you have good taste. Just because you’re on a super tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a super cool house.” Let 2020 be the year your home becomes your haven!

Follow these design professionals on Instagram to get inspired and visit their websites for more information. Trish Albano: trishalbanointeriors.com | @trishalbano Stephanie Bradshaw: stephanie-bradshaw.com | @sbcreative_ Collien Driscoll: driscollinteriordesign.com | @driscollinteriordesignllc Lanna Ali-Hassan: beyondtheboxinteriors.com | @beyondtheboxinteriors

Stephanie Marie Chizik hails from the Annapolis, Maryland area but has called Baltimore home for nine years now. She’s an avid reader and hiker, and, during the day, she is the editor-in-chief of a trade publication. She is on Instagram at @schizik.

P H O T O G R A P H Y: C O U R T E S Y B E Y O N D T H E B O X I N T E R I O R S

“An interior designer will save you in the long run, but make sure that the designer communicates their fee structure."


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! g n i r sp or

ny Raym

By Britta

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: A NS E EHDL EPYHBOATIOLGE R YAPHER

g n i t n e v n i e R


CATEGORY FASHION FEATURE HEADER

or your home , e b ro rd a w your w, Whether it’s gs. As we gro . in n o th ti k n in e v th in re antly ct time to time for re e world const ke the perfe Spring is a th li ls to e t n fe s se y a re ’re dot, it alw ant to p te what they your mindse person we w la e u m th , e fe to li t e n c a er. w perien t to start ov illing it and n k a w re learn and ex a st o ju h I w loset and see others where I can ok into my c t live in a world lo changes. We n’ I s do I e , ly m te ti e na small ring. Som y life. Unfortu m e do by adding in ak m e g to a ve ing and wea st ha I w So ne MAZING?!?). irt or adding ms to fit this ldn’t that be A sing up a t-sh ou es dr (w Nothing see as on as sy se ea every ng as nt your Somethi s to reinve tire wardrobe I already own. g for easy way es replace my en on ec al pi w e th llo Fo ng . vels s and revampi outfit to new le trendy touche ke an ordinary ta n ca es ec ttern pi some pop, pa t from scratch! t having to star ou ith w e ob wardr

SPRING 20 39


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Make a St

ate

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: A NS E EHDL EPYHBOATIOLGE R YAPHER

ment If you know me persona lly, you kno What is a st w I LOVE a atement sle statement sl e ve? It’s a sh eeve. thing extra. ir t sl e e ve with a lit Whether th tl a e t’ s so a meb ell sleeve o puffy sleeve r ruffles or — one thin e ve g n is for sure, a full ment! Dress it’s bound to down a sta make a sta te m e n tet sleeve wit keep the lo h a great p ok casual a air of jeans nd fun! to


CATEGORY FASHION FEATURE HEADER

l 2020. Fee evival R for spring s y e a i w t r n jo a e rn m tte s. Sev g back in a d great pa

hems an e is comin nd a ith uneven The 70s vib w s e s on heels a s re lip d s i f x o a ir m a n p fu ute the vibe in lame you! rn with a c we won’t b eling mode t, o fe k fo o re lo a b e go Keep th decide to but if you t, e k c ja im den om to Springl print — seen in everything fr olor n i r e h t i l c a S y new IT anim through an

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SPRING 20 41


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sy feeling n. It's an ea o so re e h anyw e of the itude. As on is not going tt d a n f e o tr h c ip n sl u The tfit a huge p ring, the slip ives any ou robe for sp rd a w r u yo piece that g dd to rocker tee pieces to a skirt with a le ip ti sl a a rs ir ve a P st . mo y shirt down ssed up or h a chambra it re w d n e b w o ly d si ss it can ea piece. t out or dre r this classic r a fun nigh fo fo ls ss e le e d h n d e an ilities are The possib and booties.

Slip on In

Brittany Raymor is a Frederick native and graduate of New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology. She loves doing outdoorsy things with her hubby, taking Insta picks of her pup and working on her fitness. Follow her on instagram @stayyyfree for fashion inspo, puppy kisses and the occasional glam selfie.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: A NS E EHDL EPYHBOATIOLGE R YAPHER

Special Thanks ! All fashions and accessories provid ed by Velvet Lounge Boutique (Frederick, MD).


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y f i t u a e B Your Master Bath

BEAUTY

By Rebecca Carrera

and Your Well-Being

Winter is over and it’s time to emerge from that cold weather cocoon. Freshening up your master bathroom can work wonders for your self-care regime and get you inspired for Spring! It’s important to create a beautiful, calming space where you can start each morning with a fresh perspective and end each day with a few moments of peace. Here are my essentials for creating a personal oasis.

Incorporate Natural Elements

Add Some Foliage

Find a seagrass basket to hold your fresh fluffy bath towels. If you don’t already have one, purchase a bath sheet — a large oversized towel that encompasses your whole being. I highly recommend this splurge! A natural wood stool or bench tucked into a corner adds warmth and makes the perfect perch for your favorite candle and a good book. A few sprigs of eucalyptus tied with twine and hung over the shower head will give you an instant pick me up when you hop into the shower and take on the day.

Plants not only clean and oxygenate the air, but they lend a gentleness to any space. Hanging plants with macramé creates a boho feel, and you can never go wrong with succulents or air plants. Don’t worry if you have a windowless bathroom, the hearty snake plant can survive pretty much anywhere.

Consider an Oil Diffuser Set the mood to perk up or unwind with essential oils. I love picking up my custom blends locally at Anam Cara Apothecary in downtown Frederick, Maryland, but you can also buy more commonly used oils like lavender and bergamot too. These oils can also be combined with generic Epsom salts in the bath to create a soothing muscle soak.

Shower and Bath Necessities A luxurious sugar scrub and body oil are just what you need to slough off winter and prep your skin for a little added vitamin D. Use them if you’re a night time shower person — your skin will love the added hydration before you climb between the sheets. For morning showers an invigorating shower gel used with a soft gentle sea sponge is a must!

Rebecca Carrera Wife, mother, brow guru, green beauty obsessed, clean eater, design lover, and the owner of Maven Beauty Bar in downtown Frederick, Maryland. mavenbeautybar.com

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Cleaning Spring By Tammy Brandenburg

HAIR

Your Hair Tools

With every change of season comes a time to get cleaned out and organized. We clean out that infamous junk drawer (you know the one), vacuum behind the couch, and reorganize an out of control pantry, but our hair tools are often overlooked. When was the last time they got a little love? First let’s take a look at your blow dryer. See that little vent on the back, it’s a filter to keep dust from getting into your dryer, if it gets too full your dryer will not work to the best of its ability. You may notice it’s taking longer to blow dry than usual or that your dryer seems hotter than normal. If your blow dryer isn’t running properly you could be causing unnecessary damage to your beautiful hair. So let’s get to it — pop off the filter cap to clean the screen or pull the filter out. Use a soft bristle brush, like an old toothbrush, to get the big pieces then rinse the filter with warm water. Allow the filter to dry completely before putting it back in the dryer. Keeping the filter clean will save your hair from potential damage and extend the life of your hair dryer. Next on the list are your irons. Whether it’s a curling iron, style rod, or flat iron, they need to be cleaned every once in a while too. Heat protection sprays and good ole hair spray can build up on the iron over time. This affects the ability of the ironing tool to do its job and causes unnecessary damage to your hair. Here’s an easy recipe to keep your iron looking shiny and new. Slowly pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide over a tablespoon of baking soda and stir until a nice cream/paste develops. Avoid adding too much peroxide! Using a rag or your fingers apply the cream to your iron. Rub it over all the gunky stuff and allow the iron to sit at least five minutes. Wipe it off with a warm damp rag. Make sure your rag is not soaking wet, too much water could damage your iron. If your iron is in a bad way you might need to repeat the process. If you go through two cleaning cycles and it’s still bad then it’s time to invest in a new iron. Keeping your hair tools clean is just as important as changing the filters in your house or cleaning off that stove top to keep a nice even Tammy Brandenburg heat! So take the time to give some love Stylist, educator, mom and an everyday woman. to the tools that keep you feeling and looking Senior stylist at New York, New York Salon & Spa and always learning. Mom of two and constantly moving! @ tammy.brandenburg.hair beautiful from day to day! SPRING 20 47


TRAVEL

PREPARING YOUR

HO M E FOR TRAVEL By Gel Derossi

Planning a trip away from home can feel overwhelming. You’re taking a step beyond simply dreaming of serene beaches, wild mountains and fantastic meals to really experience the world. If you want to make your getaway a reality, all you have to do is make a plan. One thing that might fall to the wayside in your initial plans is how you’ll prepare your home for travel.

While traveling, you want to make sure you’ve taken precautions to ensure your home’s safety and care. Consider how long you’ll be traveling, the type of home you have, and what resources are available. To help define your process, here’s a chronological list of house prepping to-do’s –– remember to check back periodically as the day of your trip approaches!

1-2 MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE Gather and Organize a Trustworthy Crew: Contact dependable, trustworthy people to keep an eye on your home. Be aware of who you tell, keep that number low and keep track of who knows your travel plans. Organize and delegate tasks to your crew as needed.

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• Mail collection. A full mailbox can be an indicator of an empty home, increasing the risk of a break-in. Note: if you don’t have someone to grab the mail, the USPS can hold your mail while you’re away. Simply go online and request a hold for the dates you’re traveling. • Save the greens. Ask your house sitter to water the plants and inform them of any timers you may have on lights, televisions, or the thermostat. • A spare key. Whether you’ve decided to enlist the help of your friends or neighbors, leave a spare key with someone just in case. You never know when your keys will go missing or your luggage delayed (with your keys inside!). • Your automobile. If it’s not coming with you, figure out where to leave your car. An ideal location is either inside a garage or at the home of someone you trust.


TRAVEL Get Your Pets Set: If your beloved pet is staying home, ensure they have the best care before you go. Whether you have a pet-loving friend or you hire a pet sitter, take a few extra steps to ease your pet’s anxiety before you go. • Invite your friend or new pet sitter over to meet your fur baby ahead of time. • Show them how you portion meals and explain your pet’s daily schedule. • Alert them to any health needs and make sure they have your vet’s contact information in the event of an emergency. • Don’t forget to give them a key!

THE DAY BEFORE DEPARTURE Take out the trash –– bathrooms, office, bedroom, kitchen, and especially any food that won’t be preserved.

Secure Vehicle –– Move your car to its designated location.

DEPARTURE DAY Alright, you’re heading out the door! Here’s your final checklist: • Lock all windows, doors, and put a bar across any arcadia doors.

Create Activity Within Your Home 24/7:

• Shut your interior doors to create barriers in case of a fire.

While having someone check on your home will create activity and discourage break-ins, here are a few tips to keep the house secure throughout the day and night.

• Shut off the water to your house. Pipe bursts happen and some insurance companies won’t cover damages if the house has been unoccupied for more than four days while you’re on vacation.

• Buy timers from a store like Home Depot or Lowes to make your house look lived-in while you’re gone. Timers are easy to install and will turn on lights, TVs, and other electronics at specific times throughout the day. • While you’re there, if you have any arcadia or sliding glass doors and don’t have a security bar, go ahead and purchase one.

1-2 WEEKS BEFORE DEPARTURE Secure Valuables: • If you are concerned about any possessions of sentimental value, you can open a safety deposit box at your bank. • Not keen on the bank? Then purchase a fireproof and waterproof document bag or home safety box to store important documents like birth certificates, social security cards and your marriage license. Small valuables can also be thrown in for safekeeping while you’re away.

Send Reminders: Check in with any house/pet sitters to remind them of your travel plans.

Clean Up: Clean your home to discourage pests and dirt accumulation. No one wants to come home to a dirty house!

• Pre-program your thermostat to conserve energy. You can have it turn on shortly before you get home, or come on once in a while to make it look like someone’s home. • Consider turning off your hot water heater to conserve even more energy. • If you’re gone for two weeks or more, leave curtains open to discourage mold growth. • Unplug everything: coffee maker, clocks, microwave, televisions (unless they’re on the timer), DVD players, surround sound speakers, and if you want to go the extra mile, unplug your washer and dryer. Without this crucial planning, your mind may be stuck at home, wondering if everything is okay. Follow this comprehensive list and you’ll get to fully relax during your wonderful adventure away. You’ll be care and worry-free knowing your home and beloved pets are safe!

Gel Derossi is a writer whose work focuses on lifting up the experiences of marginalized folks, including transgender and gender nonconforming people, people of color, people living with diverse conditions, and people whose lack of representation has created a struggle to feel seen or heard. Gel is currently a student at Towson University pursuing a degree in Creative Writing.

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CATEGORY TRAVEL HEADER

Finding the Perfect Home Away from Home FIND MORE ONLINE!

By Laura Rennie

For more travel budget tips, visit sassmagazine.com

“THERE IS NOTHING LIKE STAYING AT HOME FOR REAL COMFORT.”

- Jane Austen I’ll never forget the “pinch me” feeling that overcame me upon arriving at our vacation house in Porto Venere, Italy. After lugging a toddler and suitcase up 108 stairs (you read that right), my eyes took in the view. Our cliffside villa overlooked the sparkly waters of the Bay of Poets, and snow-capped Alps loomed impressively in the distance. As if that wasn’t dreamy enough, a large patio table was set with fresh caprese salad, chilled wine, pesto lasagna, and tiramisu, all prepared by our Vrbo host. Era molto buono! It was very good. My family first experienced the benefits of a vacation rental home when we traveled to London. We lingered over coffee on the terrace of our charming Camden Town row house in the morning, and came “home” from exploring the city to play

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games around the kitchen table. Herein lies the very best part of a vacation rental: you feel as though you live in the location you’re visiting, versus playing tourist. And if you didn’t have the travel bug before reading this article, you likely do now.


CATEGORY HEADER TRAVEL Things to consider when looking for the perfect home away from home: Location is Key Do you want to go off the beaten path, or be right in the thick of things? There are perks to both! Rentals on the outskirts of cities tend to be cheaper, quieter, offer parking, and have more space (both indoors and out). Travelers staying inside of a city will have easier access to restaurants, public transportation, and things to do.

The “Cool” Factor One of the top perks of choosing a vacation rental over a hotel is having the option to stay in a truly unique space. You can rent a penthouse suite, a treehouse, a caravan, a houseboat... the list goes on! Even spaces that look typical at first glance might offer fun surprises upon closer inspection — themed houses, unique interior details, or unexpectedly lush backyards.

Amenities Provided This is where you can see everything a rental has to offer. While most offer basic amenities such as a coffee maker and mini fridge, not all will be equipped with what you’re used to at home, like free parking, AC, and a television. What’s important to you, and what can you live without? If you’d like to pack light, look for a rental that offers laundry appliances. If you like staying connected, be sure there is WIFI available. Most sites allow you to narrow down your rental search based on the amenities you require, and all rentals include a full list of amenities available. Take a good long look at the rental description, too. This is where a host will list any house rules, full descriptions of amenities provided, and any other pertinent information.

Rental Reviews Reviews are key! They not only alert you to any potential downsides to a rental, but also make you aware of unexpected awesomeness! Reviewers will note if a host goes out of their way to make a stay special, or if the café around the corner serves can’t-be-missed croissants. It’s worth reading both the positive and negative reviews. Airbnb allows users to search reviews for specific words, such as “clean,” “bad,” “love,” or “recommend.”

Your Host While you can get some sense of your host based on their profile and the reviews, direct communication before booking can’t hurt! A great host will make house rules clear and provide friendly assistance. If someone rubs you the wrong way, you might not want to rent their property. Before our trip, my sister emailed our Italian host, Roberta, to ask if we needed to provide sleeping arrangements for my toddler. Roberta bought a crib for us to use during our stay, as well as a few children’s books. And did I mention the meal she made for us? Amazing!

Hidden Costs Lastly, check to make sure you’re aware of all costs involved in the rental. In the initial planning stages, you might think to only multiply the cost per night with the number of nights you plan to stay. Once you’ve narrowed down your favorite properties and plugged in the dates you want to travel, you’ll notice a cleaning fee, service fee, and taxes are added to the total cost. Whether you’re checking in for an overnight staycation or an extended trip abroad, make your next trip extra memorable by staying somewhere unique. And don’t forget to leave a review once you’ve returned home! Ciao!

Laura Rennie is a writer, reader, and constant dreamer. Her perfect day includes coffee and quality time with her husband and daughter, meeting friends to eat out and exploring new places, and ends with a bubble bath and good book.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: N E E D P H O T O G R A P H E R

CATEGORY HEADER CAREER


CATEGORY HEADER CAREER

How to Successfully

WorkHome FIND MORE ONLINE!!

For home office design and decor tips, go to sassmagazine.com

FROM

By Stephanie Marie Chizik

“Do you watch TV all day?” “Do you do your laundry?” “Can you drink wine?” Friends and family rarely understand what working from home entails. It’s not a vacation, and it can be downright challenging. Yes, there’s more flexibility for errands and emergencies, but you can never leave something “at the office.” There’s less time wasted at the water cooler, but you also get fewer in-person interactions throughout the day. It’s a tricky balance, so whether you’re new to the remote life or you’ve been at it for a while now, here are six tips for honing in on the ideal work-at-home scenario.

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CATEGORY HEADER CAREER

Pick a schedule. Decide what your work hours are going to be (your employer may have core hours that you need to follow) and stick to them. Have structure, but give yourself the flexibility to move things around if necessary. Need to run an errand during the middle of the day? Shift your time in the office to accommodate. It might be helpful to track your hours in a spreadsheet if this happens frequently, but stick to whatever schedule you choose.

Find a place to park it. Your designated work area doesn’t have to be permanent, especially if your home has a small footprint, but it’s a good idea to designate a regular home base. In the case of a transient office, aim for a minimalist approach so you can pack up your work station at the end of each day. If you have the luxury of a permanent office, make it a place you’ll want to return to each day. Regardless, going back to the same space helps put your mind in work mode. Set the scene. Guess what — this is your office and you don’t have to play nice with anyone else. Reheat that seafood in the microwave if you want! Play your favorite music as loudly as you desire! Listen to a podcast, play white noise in the background, or revel in complete silence. As long as it doesn’t distract you from getting the job done, you should feel free to do whatever you want to create a happy work life.

Connect with others. Working from home may mean fewer run-ins. You probably won’t see people in an elevator, bathroom, or conference room on a regular basis, unless they’re family. That means you don’t have to put work clothes on, but it does mean your interactions are few and far between. Make the most of in-person interactions.

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Slow down and chat with the checkout lady, ride the bus, or polish your sisterhood skills. Schedule coffee chats or other in-person meetings when possible.

Stay healthy. Make exercise and healthy eating a priority. That might mean getting up early to go for a jog or scheduling a break to take a spin class. Try placing a yoga mat next to your desk to stretch during conference calls or to end your day. Give a wellness app a try. Do what’s right for you, but don’t let the convenience of working from home inconvenience your health!

Give yourself a break. No one’s perfect. If you only work seven instead of eight hours one day unexpectedly, give yourself the flexibility to make it up another time. If you go to bed one night and realize you’d forgotten to brush your teeth that morning (trust me, it can happen!), forgive yourself and try never to let it happen again. Give yourself the room for improvement and give up the attempt to find perfection. Working from home is a work in progress, but as long as you keep trying you’ll figure out what works best for you. At the end of the day: Just work it!

Stephanie Marie Chizik hails from the Annapolis, Maryland area but has called Baltimore home for nine years now. She’s an avid reader and hiker, and, during the day, she is the editor-in-chief of a trade publication. She is on Instagram at @schizik.


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Be heard. Dig in. Take action. Move forward. All while gaining greater knowledge, connections and confidence to achieve your goals in 2020 and beyond! CAREER READY • MANAGING CHANGE • CREATING A PORTFOLIO CAREER • MENTORING MOMS OF TWEENS & TEENS

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CATEGORY HEADER WELLNESS

How Your Home Affects Your Health

56 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM

P H O T O G R A P H Y: N E E D P H O T O G R A P H E R

By Lanna Ali-Hassan


CATEGORY WELLNESS HEADER The expression “home is where the heart is” relates to a deep emotional connection to your home and loved ones. But you should also keep in mind that your surroundings can affect your physical and mental health. The average person spends 90 percent of their time indoors­— mostly within their own homes, so it’s imperative to understand the ways your home may be affecting your health.

The colors you choose to decorate your home can play a major role in your mental state as specific color palettes have been known to impact mood. Blues and greens promote tranquility, while reds and yellows are stimulating. Painting your bedroom in a calming blue can promote sleep, which in turn affects your overall well-being –– your mind recuperates and relaxes while at rest. Dark rooms without a lot of natural light are perfect areas for brighter tones like yellow or even shades of white as they will reflect more light and open up the space, essentially lifting your mood. Using shades of green throughout your home represents life, growth, and overall positivity. Adding actual greenery is even better as plants bring life to a space (quite literally). They not only warm up your home visually but also improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Aloe vera, lavender and jasmine are all great options because they also lower your stress levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. Another way to lower blood pressure and anxiety is to get rid of clutter. You may not realize it but having piles of paper everywhere or too much “stuff” can make it harder to focus and hinder your memory. Your brain has to register all of the items your eyes are taking in rather than focusing on more important information. Don’t forget about your closets and drawers as well –– organization is key to keeping everything in order and in its proper place. Beware, having a home completely devoid of “stuff” can also hinder your mental well-being. Humans tend to connect to certain items that bring them joy and happiness. It’s important to find the happy medium between the two extremes in order to enjoy the most positive environment. So, go ahead, display your family photos and

your vacation mementos but it might be a good idea to rotate them out seasonally so you are able to enjoy them without taking up all your wall or shelf space. A clean environment does a body good in terms of eliminating potential allergens and dust. Deep cleaning your home a couple of times a year is a great idea. But, also have a regular cleaning schedule for each area or room. This assures a clean and organized home the majority of the time. The routine will keep you in a positive state of mind and a clean house will boost your physical health. While you are cleaning your home, don’t forget to wash your windows and let that light in! Natural light has been proven to increase mood and positivity while extended

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CATEGORY HEADER WELLNESS

Lanna Ali-Hassan With a background in science and interior design, Lanna brings a unique perspective to every design, combining both technical and aesthetic aspects into each project. Her goal is to create purposeful and functional spaces that are also inspiring. She has an eye for design and a passion for bringing her clients’ vision to life. Kitchen and bath remodeling is her forte but she also enjoys the many other aspects of design including styling, photography, and furniture design. www.beyondtheboxinteriors.com

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P H O T O G R A P H Y: N E E D P H O T O G R A P H E R

exposure to fluorescent lighting can cause eye strain, insomnia, and migraines. Keep your window treatments open as much as possible. If you’re worried about privacy install shades that allow the light to shine through while blocking visibility from the outside. In areas where natural light is limited and for evenings, it is important to layer your lighting to include ambient, task, and accent lighting. As we age, these become increasingly important to our health and well-being not only in terms of our ability to see, but they can also keep us safe. Proper lighting in bathrooms can support a safe exit from the bathtub or shower and lights near staircases can prevent falls. It’s also a good idea to switch to LED bulbs. They’re energy efficient, brighter and last longer. Pay attention to the color temperature –– 2700-3000K is typically the best for residential use as it is a softer light and easier on the eyes. It’s important to love where you live. Your surroundings should evoke positive feelings and emotions. On the same token, your home should love you back in terms of providing a suitable environment beneficial to your mental and physical health.


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CATEGORY HEADER RECIPE

r u O g n i n e Op A Toast to

This Season Here’s what I set out to create a spectacular Make Your Own Toast Party: • Whole grain bread

• Chopped parsley

• Pumpernickel bread

• Hard boiled eggs*

• Avocado

• Bananas

• Radishes

• Strawberries

• Quick pickled carrots*

• Honey roasted pistachios*

• Goat cheese

• Coffee & Coconut Milk Chia Pudding*

• Sautéed mushrooms*

Starred items are elements that can be made the night before. On the day of your brunch, you’ll just need to slice a few things, grab a good looking platter and make everything available so guests can easily help themselves. Should you need any help sautéing mushrooms (tip — use butter) or hard-boiling eggs, a quick Internet search will do you right. Otherwise, here are the recipes for those extra special touches.

Sarah Kurtanich is the Chief Eating Officer at Taste Frederick Food Tours, the co-host of The Mustache Mesa podcast, a Holistic Health Coach and Wild Woman Project Circle Leader. She believes in enjoying your food, taking care of yourself and doing things that make you feel good. She and her husband call Frederick home with their daughter and golden retriever. You can find Sarah digitally on her website, BySarahRae.com and on Instagram @sarahkurtanich. 60 SASS MAGAZINE | SASSMAGAZINE.COM

FIND MORE ONLINE!! For more delicious recipes, go to sassmagazine.com

P H O T O G R A P H Y: S NA E ERDA HP HK O U TROTA GN R IACPHH E R

I love bringing people into my home and feeding them, but I don’t want to be stuck manning the stove while I have visitors. If I’ve gone to the trouble of vacuuming up all the dog hair and organizing my toddler’s toys then I want to enjoy my temporarily tidy home with my guests. So here’s my suggestion for entertaining this season — invite people over for brunch and set out an epic spread of make your own toast options. It’s a really low stress spread with lots of delicious possibilities.


Homes

QUICK PICKLED CARROTS

3 L A R G E C A R R O T S, P E E L E D A N D S L I C E D T H I N ON THE DIAGONAL 3/4 CUP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR 1 TA B L E S P O O N H O N E Y 1 . 5 TA B L E S P O O N S H I G H Q U A L I T Y S A LT 3 G A R L I C C L O V E S, S M A S H E D A H A N D F U L O F F R E S H D I L L R O U G H LY C H O P P E D

Add carrots, dill and garlic to a medium glass bowl. In another jar, add the vinegar, honey and salt to create a brine. Put the lid on and shake until the salt dissolves. Pour the brine over the carrots in the bowl. If all of the carrots do not sit under/in the brine add a little water so everything is submerged. Cover and allow to sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes, or cover and place in the fridge overnight. They’ll get more pickled the longer they sit in the brine.

CATEGORY HEADER RECIPE COFFEE & COCONUT MILK CHIA PUDDING 1 CUP BREWED COFFEE 1.5 CUPS COCONUT MILK (FROM A CAN - MAKE SURE TO SHAKE WELL BEFORE OPENING) 2 T E A S P O O N S O F VA N I L L A 4 TA B L E S P O O N S O F M A P L E S Y R U P 2/3 CUP CHIA SEEDS C H O C O L AT E G R A N O L A F O R G A R N I S H ( O P T I O N A L )

Combine the coffee, coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup and chia seeds in a bowl. Divide the mix between four small bowls or mugs. Allow to chill for at least four hours. *These could absolutely be made the night before. If using granola to garnish, wait until serving to sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

HONEY ROASTED PISTACHIOS 1 C U P P I S TA C H I O S 1 T E A S P O O N AV O C A D O O I L 1 / 2 TA B L E S P O O N H O N E Y

Preheat your oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pour the pistachios into a bowl. Drizzle the avocado oil over the pistachios and toss to coat. Add honey to the bowl and repeat until well combined. Pour the pistachios onto the foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Take care not to let them burn.

SPRING 20 61


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