Scarlett | March+April 2021

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March+April 2021


A healthier you. Mind. Body. Spirit.

The latest in women’s fashion, beauty, home decor, lifestyle, and health.

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Live Your Best Life, Girl.



850-424-4779 • WWW.AMAZINGLASHSTUDIO.COM AmazingLash_MarApr21_2pg.indd 2

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Find your dream home at

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John Holahan Owner/CEO 850.582.2893

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Emerald Coast 155 Crystal Beach Drive, Bldg. A, Suite 100, Destin

MY EXPERIENCE I have been an active Realtor in this area for 15 years and am honored to be a part of helping people accomplish their goals in owning a second home or investment property. My company’s unique business model is designed to accommodate out of area customers, employing a team of dedicated specialists to ensure a seamless transaction for the purchase or sale of a property. We serve customers from Navarre to Panama City Beach, consistently exceed expectations with our attention to detail and ability to provide our customers with exceptional real estate experience. Prior to Real estate, I have 15-year corporate sales and financial background which enhances my role as a Real Estate agent.

My Community Involvement Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Emerald Coast supports multiple local charities and neighborhoods by sponsoring events to arise awareness and funds. Please feel free to call or text me at: 850-582-2893 for any real estate questions or to learn how our business model is different, better, and special than any other firms in this area. “John Holahan is truly a people person. His recommendations were spot on. He was so helpful in getting house ready to sell. He went over and above in his helpfulness and his knowledge of the market. Thanks John for a job well done and such an easy transition for all.” — Janice Toulon. Franklin TN

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What’s Inside Features 17





Take fashion notes for a Sunday Funday with Rachel Guidry.

Raise a glass to some amazing women in our community.

Get Ready with Me



See something you like? Here’s a closer look at some Scarlett fashions.

Leaders, mentors, partners, gentlemen ... a few good men.

Get the Look

The Life of Bailey Bailey King

Life is about the journey, and for Bailey, what a journey it has been! Bailey lets us in on the ups and downs she’s endured and the experiences she’s gained in the process.


Health 56

Let’s Get Physical

SUP yoga brings a new opportunity to connect your inner self with your outer surroundings.

A Heart at Home

Take a look at the beautiful home of Malgorzata.

A Few Good Men


Happy Hour

It’s tea time, and we have a list of herbal teas with wellness benefits.


Cover to Cover

Read any good books lately? Here are our picks to get you started.



Eating healthy was never simpler with meal prep made easy.

Learn more about this issue’s group of remarkable women.

To Prep or Not to Prep



Home Decor 52

Tour of Homes Pensacola

Jessica Duncan shares the story of a home built for wellness.


Henderson Park Inn

Step inside one of the world’s No. 1 vacation destinations.

The Clique


Anything He Can Do...

Sarah Drexler turned a life-long calling into a career in a maledominated field. She’s got this.

Beauty 62

About Face

Learn the secrets of keeping that healthy glow with Allyson Salon and Spa.

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March+April 2021




Food For Thought fights child hunger through programs specifically designed for foodinsecure children.

We love it, and we know you’ll love it too. Take a look at what we’ve chosen for this issue’s musthaves.

Before diving in, turn up this specially curated playlist inspired by this issue.

Be the Change

Wishlist Haul

Listen Up!

scan here 11

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| There’s Something About Mary


start every single day with a good stretch and a few deep breaths. It’s one of the ways I set a positive tone for my day. I’ve slowly learned over the last few years the importance of not only taking care of your body but your mind as well. Taking time for self-care helps me be a better mom, wife, friend, and editor. Whether your thing is a mani/pedi, a trip to the spa, a morning yoga sesh on the beach, or my personal favorite, a solo trip to Target, you do you, babe. Trust me, everyone in your circle will reap the benefits when you take the time to decompress, eat right, and sleep well! Welcome to our Wellness issue. We are going to touch on all aspects of the word. There are so many parts of our lives that require attention for overall wellness. Physical health, mental health, financial wellness, and spiritual well-being just to name a few. And while some are easier to follow through with than others, they are equally as important. Mental health is something that gets overlooked more often than not. It is so important to check in on your own mental state as well as those around you. photography by: Shanna Magnuson My favorite thing to do is Venmo my besties for a coffee. It’s a fun treat, a great surprise, and it lets them know I’m thinking about them. Interested in trying yoga? In this issue, we have a great yoga workout on a BOTE board. Yoga is not only a great workout physically, but it is a great time to work on breathing and mental strength. When talking about wellness, the first thing that comes to mind is physical health. I started a weight-loss journey a couple of months ago, and I feel better than ever. Even making simple changes in your routine can lead to big lifestyle changes over time. While bodies of all shapes and sizes are loved and beautiful, we all want to try our best to stay healthy. You can read about meal prep and setting yourself up for a successful week of eating in our article “To Prep or not to Prep.” We are so excited to keep bringing you the latest in women’s fashion, beauty, home decor, lifestyle, and health. Because frankly, we know you give a damn. Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram! We look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy the first Wellness issue.

Mary Aho Editor

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On the Cover March+April 2021


A healthier you. Mind. Body. Spirit.

The latest in women’s fashion, beauty, home decor, lifestyle, and health.

The Journey

I’m not crying, you’re crying! Our Wellness issue is graced by the beautiful Bailey King. In this issue, you can read about Bailey’s journey to overall wellness after many trials and errors. Her transformation in overall health is truly beautiful and quite the tear jerker. She embodies everything we were trying to capture in our first Wellness issue. Bailey is a Destin native and adores everything that involves soaking in the Florida sun. When she isn’t on the beach, you can find her painting or behind a lense. She is truly one of a kind. Read all about her story “The Life of Bailey.”


photography by: Mason Brunner model: Bailey King location: The Island, By Hotel RL 13

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Who is Scarlett? The Team

Steve Barber

Mary Aho


Sheila MacDiarmid Graphic Designer

Jessica Graña


Kristin Frazier Copy Editor

Creative Director

Shanna Magnuson Lead Photographer

Mason Brunner Portrait Photographer

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Contributors Here they are ... Our amazing team of contributors. Smart, talented, opinionated. The strength of this group is incredible. Scarlett is possible because of their wisdom, vision, perspective, and passion for their work because, frankly, we know you give a damn. We are proud to surround ourselves with this incredible talent:

Steve Barber, Publisher Mary Aho, Editor Jessica Graña, Creative Director Kristin Frazier, Copy Editor Sheila MacDiarmid, Graphic Designer Shanna Magnuson, Lead Photographer Mason Brunner, Portrait Photographer


Harrison Barber, Distribution Taylor Brown, Photographer Jessica Duncan, Writer Courtney Murray, Writer Kay Phelan, Writer Liesel Schmidt, Writer Kristina Wright, Photographer

Special Thanks The Island, By Hotel RL; Lynn Wesson; Connie Connelly


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written by: Liesel Schmidt photography by: Mason Brunner


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ife is full of choices; but there are things beyond our control that can often influence our choices, things that alter the course of our lives and influence how we live them. For Bailey King, the toxic choices she made as a young adult trace all the way back to childhood, when life should have been carefree and easy. It was the choice to rise above those decisions that has been the most important, however; and now she’s living a whole life that’s given her freedom. As a child, Bailey saw her mother struggle with cancer, the first diagnosis with breast cancer coming when Bailey was in kindergarten. At 6 years old, she became almost inured to the sight of her mother sick from chemotherapy; and over the next two years, she watched as her mother fought to live. Remission finally came when Bailey was in second grade, lasting only a year before the breast cancer was back again. During that time, her grandparents came to live nearby for support; and her mother had begun dating the man who would become like a father over the next years of her life. At the age of 9, Bailey was diagnosed with leukemia herself. The day after her diagnosis, she and her mother flew to St. Jude’s hospital in Memphis where she was admitted for a full month while undergoing chemo. After her release, she and her mother stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for the next four months while treatment continued. “I remember asking my mom if I was going to die,” Bailey says. “Right at the beginning, when we were in the hospital and they’d just told me I had leukemia. That was my only real melt-down. Part of me was super scared and part of me wasn’t because I had watched her go through it twice already. I wasn’t even afraid to lose my hair because I’d seen it with my mom.” Fortunately, Bailey’s treatment was extremely effective. She was in remission only a month after beginning chemo, but her doctors deemed it necessary to continue treatment for the next three years. In that time, a lot happened to Bailey — most notably changes to her body that made returning to school an emotional and physical challenge. She’d lost her hair and suffered long-term side effects from the steroids that caused avascular necrosis in her hips, leading to the death of bone tissue and loss of cartilage. For Bailey, who once flew through the air as a cheerleader and gymnast, that meant her feet were firmly tied to the ground. Treatment continued all throughout Bailey’s fifth- and sixth-grade years, requiring her to go every Tuesday to the hospital in Destin for bloodwork and to Pensacola on Wednesdays for chemo. She also made repeated trips to St. Jude’s for follow-up care. Naturally, all of that disrupted her life at school. It also shattered any hope she had of a normal social life. By the time Bailey reached middle school, her mother was battling cancer yet again. Meanwhile, Bailey was surrounded by other girls who were active and pretty, while her hair still hadn’t grown back. “I was bullied a lot,” Bailey admits. “It was really tough, because all the other girls were starting to like boys, and I felt like an oddball and like no boys would want to have a crush on the bald girl. I was made fun of for wearing a

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padded bra to cover up the port located on my left breast. Girls would joke about how I didn’t have boobs. I also had wrist crutches because of my hips, so I was made fun of for that.” Channeling her frustrations over her disability into art, she tried painting and took up photography. As time went on, she learned other ways to cope. Bailey’s hair returned by seventh grade; and by high school, so had her mother’s cancer — this time with a vengeance. It had metastasized and riddled her body. Still, she was determined to fight. Bailey, meanwhile, was determined to be as normal as possible. She made a lot of friends and tried at all costs to avoid making enemies. And, despite a longheld resolve to never drink, smoke, or try drugs, she began smoking marijuana to fit in. At 16, she was a heavy user, and by her junior year she had added alcohol to the mix. “I’d drink at school socials and house parties, and I would get really drunk and smoke pot,” says Bailey, who had also started dating her first real love at the time — a guy who was the very definition of wild. Then, on Christmas Day of 2010, her mother passed away at home. “Until the week she died, I never really thought she was going to die,” admits Bailey, who was a senior at the time. “Part of me avoided the thought, but I also just didn’t think it was going to happen. Her being sick was almost normal for us, so I just never thought it would take her away.” The next few years were a study in dysfunction. She’d become an alcoholic at 21; and by 22, she also started doing cocaine. “I loved it — it made me feel like I could drink more,” Bailey says. Her alcoholism worsened over the next two years because of the cocaine, and the two substances were like a self-feeding cycle. “I liked that I didn’t have to think about anything,” Bailey admits. The loss of her mother, her absentee father, her own childhood cancer and all the effects it had on her emotionally and physically — it all culminated into a dark, depthless pit that she wanted to avoid looking at. But there were times of 19

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photo by Taylor Brown

clarity — a five-month bout of sobriety that ended when she got into an abusive relationship. Then, seven months later, she woke up to what she had been doing to herself and has been sober ever since. Two years into her sobriety, she has a lot to be proud of. She’s also learned a lot about herself. “I know now that I’ve always had confidence issues which are rooted in my childhood cancer. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, trying not to think about things that were happening. Now I’m trying to be me, and I’ve learned a lot about myself in my sobriety, things that I tried to suppress and thoughts that I ignored,” says Bailey, who is now in a healthy relationship with a man who is also sober. At 27, she’s also in a stable job that she loves, working as a deckhand on a 70-foot schooner in Destin. “Physically, I feel stronger, and my mental state is better. I make healthier choices in everything I do. Staying sober is like a mental game. Growing up, I had so much pride in being a good person and making the right decisions until one day I wasn’t; and I was so sad and confused and lost that it overpowered any positivity I felt about anything. I’ve learned that situations are handled and feelings are handled — what’s important is how we decide to handle them. Staying sober has honestly been easier for me than harder. It was hard at first only because it had become such a habit. But we are all stronger than our substance abuse. The mind is a strong and powerful thing. Saying no really is that easy for me because I know that absolutely nothing beneficial comes from drinking — not to my body, not to my mind, not to my feelings. My mental state, my financial state, my relationships — everything was affected. Everything gets foggy, and nothing is clear. It also affected every job I ever had. Reminding myself of all of that is how I have stayed sober for the last two years.” Sobriety has also taught Bailey healthier ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, sadness, and depression — all of which she experiences frequently.

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photo by Taylor Brown

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“And breathing … Remembering to breathe and that the things you feel don’t always mean that something is wrong with you.”

Music has always been a big part of her life, and it now plays an important role in her ability to cope. “I listen to music as constantly as I can; and I really listen to what all of these people are trying to say, remembering that no one is really alone in their stories, even through all of their differences,” Bailey says. Cleaning also brings calmness for her, something she attributes to her “neat freak” mother. “And breathing … Remembering to breathe and that the things you feel don’t always mean that something is wrong with you.” The habits that were so toxic have been replaced by things that allow her self-expression — most notably painting, photography, and tattoo ink. For Bailey, acrylic and oils have been a great creative outlet, giving her freedom to let loose with color. Chronicling her life in photographs has also always been important to Bailey, and it continues to be. “Capturing moments in life — both good and bad — is really something special,” she says. The most indelible of all, however, are her tattoos. More than 20 tell her story, each of them chosen

for a reason. “My first tattoo at 16 says ‘survivor’ in Gaelic,” Bailey says. “My mother allowed me to get it because it really does say so much about who I am, and her parents are from Ireland — so it was only appropriate. I also have a cathedral from Belfast where some of my mother’s ashes were laid to rest. I have a sunflower with an eyeball as the center because sunflowers were my mother’s favorite, with a ribbon for breast cancer and her signature. I also have the St. Jude’s logo and a spider, which I found represents a motherly figure.” Naturally, Bailey has found a deeper spirituality in her sobriety as well. “It was foggy growing up because I didn’t grow up in a very religious household and always wondered how to believe in something good when such bad things kept happening to me,” she explains. “But I’ve learned that we all need something to believe in, something to turn to in bad times. We all need to believe in something better, happier — whatever it may be, whatever god that is. And I’ve chosen to always look at the good side of things now.”

photo by Taylor Brown 23

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The Pink Tax

Why Women’s Products Cost More

written by: Courtney Murray


retty in pink. Part of being a girl is personal maintenance. You wake up every morning as a blank slate, and for some women, the act of getting all dolled up is a form of self-expression. Getting done up can boost your confidence and in turn your mood; and let’s be honest, it can be a heck of a lot of fun too. If you’re a no-frills kind of gal your routine may be washing and drying your hair, putting on lotion and deodorant, a swipe of chapstick and you’re out the door. For the super girly girls out there though, this time can be meticulous and thought out. Each product is carefully curated and vetted through much trial and error. You have your hair products, your skin products, your everyday hygiene products, your perfumes, your makeup … the list goes on and on. Whether you are simple or high maintenance, the upkeep it takes to be a woman is expensive. But did you know it could be costing you even more than you know? Enter the dreaded Pink Tax. It’s a sad reality that in 2021 women are still at an economic disadvantage compared to men; and now we have to pay more for everyday products and services like razors and dry cleaning? Stop. This can’t be true — and yet it is.

The Pink Tax is a form of genderbased price discrimination that refers to a “tax” on items that span a woman’s life that frequently cost more than equivalent male products. Research shows that toys, clothing and personal hygiene products, and haircuts cost more if they are marketed to females rather than to men. The discrepancy in the costs is called “The Pink Tax” as sometimes the only difference between the two products is the color. We are talking about being charged more during every stage of your life. From purchasing girl’s toys and school uniforms up until purchasing adult diapers and canes. How is this fair? The price differences per item may seem insignificant. Maybe men’s deodorant costs $3.79 versus women’s costing $3.99. This 20cent difference adds up more than you can imagine. According to, a woman in her 60s has paid an astounding $82,000 in fees that her male counterparts didn’t have to pay. That could’ve been a down payment for a house, purchase of a luxury vehicle or a dream vacation. Out of curiosity, I used the calculator on the website and as a 34-year-old female The Pink Tax has cost me a staggering $47,064! Just thinking about it is enough to make me want to cry. Many retailers have gotten sneaky about hiding the price differences by keeping similar items with different prices separated hoping that we don’t notice. But we do notice. On average, women’s products cost 7% more than similar men’s products, and there is currently no federal law prohibiting companies from charging different prices for identical items based on gender. Even more infuriating is the fact that all but 10 states charge a tax on feminine hygiene products despite their necessity for women. This has been going on since at least the early 1990s. So how can you fight The Pink Tax? Comparison shop. You will probably discover that you can find similar products for less in the men’s

personal care products section. Check out companies that advertise they are “Pink Tax Free” or offer unisex services like Billie, a subscription razor company that offers a referral discount that they call “The Pink Tax Rebate.” You can start speaking up by calling out companies and using social media hashtags like #axthepinktax. In my opinion as a woman, it’s OK to be a little extra, but it’s never OK to be charged extra.

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ot all heroes wear capes, some wear fabulous heels. Being a woman can be a difficult job. We are often expected to be everything to everyone. Work hard to reach your full potential in your career field, but also raise a family in-between. Make sure you meet all of your deadlines at work, but also bake a casserole and join a book club. While it may seem overwhelming to “do it all,” there are a few local women who seem to have it figured out. And, for that, they are my heroes; or should I say heroines. Malala Fund said, “I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world.” This group of women are bravely climbing to the top and making a difference in the lives of those around them. In these articles we are raising a glass to some amazing women in our community. As successful businesswomen and entrepreneurs, these women are the examples that we need for our youth. Some are mothers, some are bosses, some are adventurous, some lead quietly from the sidelines, but there is one thing they all have in common — they are heroines. The leaders, the path blazers, the extraordinary women that always go a step above the rest. A heroine is defined as a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. These fearless women do that and more.

strong adventurous mothers daughters leaders bosses wives queens courageous loving fearless women


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| Heroines

Danica Phillips Media and Public Information Manager written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Reggie Phillips of Regg Trippy Vizuals

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kaloosa County local Danica Phillips is no stranger to moving around. Having grown up in Newport News, Virginia, as the daughter of two parents in the Army, she ended up marrying an Army man whose job brought them to the beautiful Emerald Coast. Danica attributes becoming the determined woman she is today to the strong women that led the way and paved the path in her family. Having attended undergrad at Florida State University and then enlisting in the Navy, Danica learned many life lessons that she has been able to carry into her personal and professional life. The life of a military child, and now a military spouse, can be challenging. It forces you out of your comfort zone, and in turn, makes you highly resilient and adaptable to an ever-changing world. Danica described, “With a military background, I’ve learned that community can make all the difference in how enjoyable my stay in any one place will be. I used to postpone investing in local communities until I knew for sure that I’d be homesteading, but then I realized that I should make wherever I go home to maximize my experiences.” Working as a Media and Public Information Manager has helped her to create roots in the area and has led to the opportunity to serve on the Board for the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) as the Design Chair. “A part of feeling at home means serving my community, reaching out and making my mark,” she said. And make her mark she certainly has. Working with the FPRA has allowed Danica to provide development and networking opportunities to local PR and marketing professionals. She has hopes to work with their student chapter to mentor and assist upcoming PR and marketing leaders in the near future.

Looking back, Danica would tell her 20-year-old self that God’s plan for you is greater than what you can imagine and to let him lead you. Danica is a huge believer in servant leadership and this has been shown throughout her life. “As a manager and a leader in my military and professional roles, I am working for the people junior to me in title and equal to me in effort and commitment,” she said. “I am only as successful as the people who have paved the way before me, and the team that I work for and with.” This philosophy has created a culture where she is supportive of the vision other people have for their lives and futures and strives to be a resource in every way possible to help them make those dreams a reality. One accomplishment Danica is extremely proud of is starting a blog and podcast called “Danica Explains It All.” On this platform she discusses normalized experiences ranging from military living, bonus parenting, being biracial and the millennial marriage experience. Danica has been grateful to have the guidance of her mother and grandmother throughout her life providing a blueprint of what it means to be a woman in all of its complicated facets. They were amazing examples of what it means to be a confident and authentic woman in this world and have helped shape Danica into the independent woman she is today.

• Ultimate Guilty Pleasure: Any Real Housewives series. • Dream Vacation: I’d love to visit Bali. • Go-to Cocktail: Margarita, please! Anything with horchata will probably get my vote, too. • Currently Reading: “​Writing​Without​Bullshit,”​by​Josh​Bernoff • The Beach or The Pool: The beach! • Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake • Fashion Icon: Rihanna for sure. • Hogwarts House: Garnet and Gold through and through, Gryffindor,​of​course!​ • Favorite Dish to Cook: Probably teriyaki salmon. It’s really quick, easy and delicious! 29

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| Heroines

Rachel Prescott

Studio Director at studio6twenty5 written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Dylan Carney Photography


here are certain experiences that can change your outlook in an instant. For Rachel Prescott that moment was when she became a mother. “Funny as it may seem, my daughter, Bea, has taught me so much more in her five short years on this earth than anyone or anything else in my lifetime,” she described. “I want to be the best person I can for her, and I want the world to be a better place for her. Every day is a chance to make a difference.” For Rachel, being a mother makes her a better person every single day and this carries over to her work as a ballet teacher. Ballet is more than just a sport, it’s about life lessons. These life lessons have been instilled in Rachel since a young age. Her father began to study dance in New York City while attending Pratt Institute’s Architecture School and never looked back. When Rachel was 6 years old she was cast in her first role in the local production of The Nutcracker and her father played “the grandfather;” a role that he has continued to play for the past 25 years! They have gone on to perform together on stage countless times in various productions, and at age 31 and 75, they still take ballet class together twice a week. Talk about fatherdaughter goals.

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Rachel is deeply rooted in the Destin community, attending Saint Mary’s School from K4 through 8th grade and began taking ballet at age 3 at Connie’s School of Dance. When she was 5 years old she began to train with the one-and-only legend, Mrs. Bernadette Clements-Sims, founder of the Northwest Florida Ballet. Throughout her youth she studied and was a company member under Ballet Mistress and former company member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Mrs. Dorothy Daniels Lister, and Artistic Director Todd Eric Allen of the Boston Ballet. She went on to continue her dance education with Steps on Broadway, Brooklyn Academy of Music, LINES Ballet and Westside School of Ballet. Rachel doesn’t take these incredible training opportunities she’s received for granted. “All of my ballet teachers throughout my life have taught me so much more than ballet,” she said, “My goal is to continue this oral tradition and to pass it down the way I was taught — in pure and classical form, to the next generation.” Rachel has been positively influenced by her father as well as her mother, Mabel Prescott, who was a strong female role model throughout her life. If she could go back in time she would tell herself to put trust in yourself and your taste. It’s important to do what makes you happy and not to let other people taint your intuition. Giving back to the community that’s given her so much is something that Rachel is very passionate about, and she loves being

• Fashion Icon: Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Gelsey Kirkland • Dream Vacation: Santorini, Greece • The Beach or The Pool: I am a bonafide Destin girl, and we love it all! • Currently Reading: “We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live” by Joan Didion • Favorite Show to Binge Watch: Bridgerton!!!! I am on round 3!!!

an active member of the Destin Woman’s Club. One goal they are working toward is producing and offering live performances to our local community throughout the year. You can check out a free public performance at MKAC Mainstage Theatre in Niceville on Saturday, June 12. Another immediate goal is starting a dance program for special needs students, both children and adults. Last year Rachel was asked to teach ballet to a group of beginner, all-boy students from Beyond Expectations ABA Therapy and Counseling Services as part of an arts enrichment program hosted by Destin School of the Arts. She described, “This experience, with these beautiful boys, was life-changing. I can assure you the person most enriched by these little artists was me.” Rachel’s goal is to offer ballet to everyone, and their studio embodies that mission.


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| Heroines

Tia Robbins

Co-Founder/Development Director for Mr. Robbins’ Neigborhood written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Kristina Wright


ia Robbins owes her determination and drive to her “go-getter” mother that exposed her to the benefits of connecting and networking with others. This attribute has definitely been applied to Tia’s life as she is very connected within the community. Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, and Plymouth, Minnesota, when Tia moved to Gulf Breeze she wasted no time getting involved. Her mother, Deborah Watts, inspired her to get involved in “matters that matter to me.” Tia serves on the Executive Board of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and Jack and Jill of America, Inc Pensacola Chapter, on the Board of Trustees at Creative Learning Academy, and on the Board of the Studer Community Institute for Early Learning. “I give back to the community by sharing resources, connecting people, volunteering, and co-founding a nonprofit with my husband,” described Tia. Tia is a hard working entrepreneur who is the Co-founder/Development Director for Mr. Robbins’ Neighborhood, an organization that is rooted in the couple’s passion to provide guidance and mentorship to young athletes on their life journey. “Over the next five years, I plan to continue to use my resources and connections and the support of the community to expand Mr. Robbins’ Neighborhood’s development programs for HS student athletes,” she said. As if all of this wasn’t keeping Tia busy enough, she recently founded Taste of Pensacola, LLC — a curated gifting experience offering unique gifting options featuring goods and services from local small business makers and bakers throughout

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Pensacola and surrounding areas. Tia is passionate about this mission and supporting small businesses by investing and shopping local every chance she gets. “I like to try to make projects fun, and I think my energy and passion rubs off on those around me,” she said. Tia is forever grateful for her family and friends’ unconditional love, support, encouragement, and prayers. Having friends that inspire and an amazing husband and children who are her consistent cheerleaders has played a major role in making Tia into the woman she is today. Tia grew up in a household where she and her sisters were taught how to “be the change” and stand up for what’s right. “I witnessed my mother write and publish her own book called ‘101 Ways to Know You’re Black in Corporate America.’ The book shed a spotlight on real stories from real people that endured racial stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace,” described Tia. “It was used as a diversity and inclusion tool for companies and organizations.” Her mother went a step further toward being the change that she wanted to see by running for Congress. What an incredible role model for her daughters. Tia was also exposed to what an impact you can have when you’re involved in your community as a youth member in Jack and Jill of America, Inc., a leadership development

• Last Google Search: Project Management Software • Currently Reading: “You are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero • Fashion Icon: Michelle Obama (classy but chic and sexy) • The Beach or The Pool: The Beach • Most Used Emojis:

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date, take a deep breath and keep going!”

and community service organization. All of these steps along the way have culminated with Tia having the skills to raise kind and empathetic children; her biggest accomplishment. Throughout all endeavors she tries to remember, “If you fail, never give up, failure is a part of success. Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date, take a deep breath and keep going!”


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| Heroines

Maxine Orange Artist

written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Sean Murphy


axine Orange isn’t a name that you’d soon forget, and neither is the woman behind it. As a multifaceted artist and business owner, being involved with other people in the community has always been a part of who she is. “I love connecting with all kinds of people, especially other creative people,” she said. “The experiences I had living in bigger cities keeps me driven to help our creative community grow and move forward.” Maxine Orange Bern is her married name, but in the art world she is known as the creative and unique Maxine Orange. She has lived all over — Montgomery, Alabama, then moving to Tuscaloosa after college, then to New York City and Huntington Beach, California, before moving to Destin. She and her husband moved to Destin in 2012 when he acquired an Allstate Insurance Agency in Fort Walton Beach. Before they even officially knew where they were going to live, Maxine didn’t waste any time getting involved and moved her art into one of the little shops at the Artists@GulfPlace artist colony. “Showing up with my graphic design skills and marketing knowledge, along with working and attending events at Gulf Place, I established many valuable relationships,” she described. She’s only continued to grow from there, exploring art shows and staying involved with the Cultural Arts Alliance, the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, and many other creative collaborations. Maxine is the type of person who loves to learn from experiences and is grateful for the opportunities given to her by her parents and grandparents who provided her with a balanced and well-rounded life. Her grandmother, Ina Orange, especially made an impact on Maxine by showing her what it looks like to be creative and selfless in giving. By filling her life with a wide variety of creative outlets and allowing her opportunities to explore the world, Maxine was able to find out who she wanted to become. “Trying to do all kinds of things and meeting great people along the way gives you the chance to learn what you don’t like and leads to the things you love.” If she was able to give her younger self advice for the future it would be to BE YOU and don’t worry so much about what other people think. Over the years she’s been able to implement that into her life. Working at art galleries (Gulf Place, Emerald Coast Gallery, CAA Foster Gallery) and helping out at Neal Bern Allstate have provided a major period of growth for Maxine since moving to Destin. Learning a lot about sales and relationships within business have transformed her from a shy and humble artist into a confident and knowledgeable woman. Throughout her journey, Maxine has had many

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professional accomplishments, but none stand out quite as much as creating a sculpture for the Underwater Museum of Art in 2019. Since moving to Destin, Maxine has served as a great resource for the community. She described, “With the variety of different creative jobs and experiences I have explored, I love to share my knowledge and ideas to help other creative people find their path to success.” This is her third year on the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Foundation Board of Directors, and she looks forward to being a part of some unique things happening in the near future providing more creative culture along the Emerald Coast.

• Guilty Pleasure: Taco Bell & Sour Patch Kids • Soundtrack to Your Life: Dirty Dancing • Childhood Dream Job: Architect • Fashion Icon: Lady Gaga • Most Used Emojis:


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| Heroines

Lane Redding

Senior Lender for Progress Bank written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Rhonda C. Schaefer Photography


he military life brought Lane Redding from Dallas, Texas, to beautiful Destin, Florida, in 2016. Her husband is a USAF Major who serves as a pilot. Over the last few years, Lane has integrated herself into the local community in so many ways. She’s a Board Member of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, a Finance Committee Member for Food For Thought, and a member of the Destin Rotary. “Since the beginning of my career, I have served for local charities, whether in a board position, committee position or general volunteer. I have a passion for women development and the growth and development of young children,” described Lane. “It has never been more important to support women in the workplace and child care providers, especially for low income families. Early childhood education is the key to our community’s future.” Giving back is clearly a passion for this driven woman. When Lane isn’t busy volunteering her time and talents to local organizations, she works as a Senior Lender for Progress Bank. She is inspired to be involved by her husband, Trevor. “While we both serve demanding jobs and attempt to balance that work with life with our beautiful boys, we both make time to be a part of community organizations and nonprofits that support children, music in schools and veterans in need,” said Lane. “We both were raised on the importance of giving back with your time and resources.” Having goals and dreams that line up with your spouse is so important to being a strong team, and Lane and Trevor are perfect examples of what can be accomplished together. Lane describes her mother as her greatest female influence. As the epitome of strength, she taught Lane to work hard and keep God in the center of everything. As a family, they’ve overcome so much since the loss of her father at age 6. In the midst of that tragedy and the years after, her mother showed her how to be strong and how to be the leader of a family with a balanced life. Lane described, “Alongside my mother was my faithful and resilient godmother, who would be typecast as the heroine of the old classic movie about honor amongst women. Then there was my aunt, who has a

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powerful presence that demands respect.” Each one of these strong women had a part in shaping Lane into the person she is today. They taught her how to trust in herself and gave her the confidence and the gift of freedom that she would later use to create a life of respect for herself and others. Being a mother is Lane’s proudest accomplishment. This is an exciting time in Lane’s life watching her boys grow and experiencing their unique personalities. They are growing into individuals that care for others and have begun to explore the world around them, and Lane can’t wait to see what kind of young men they grow into. It means a lot to Lane and Trevor to instill the importance of giving back in their children. “We try to bring them along as much as we can in community involvement. We want to show them that everyone is responsible for working to build a better community,” she said. Over the years, Lane has learned the importance of balance in her life and she would tell her younger self to make the time and take the trips. Lane tries to teach others the importance of not only balance but intentionally managing your time to align with your priorities. She believes this is what will drive your performance, your success, and your happiness, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it.

“It has never been more important to support women in the workplace and child care providers, especially for low income families. Early childhood education is the key to our community’s future.”

• The Beach or The Pool: The beach. Our Emerald Coast water and white sandy beaches never get old. • Go-to Cocktail: Moscow mule in my copper mug labeled “Mom” • Favorite Dish to Cook: I was recently bestowed the tradition of cooking our family’s chicken spaghetti. Since given the recipe, I love to make it when family visits. • Favorite Disney Princess: Ariel. Not only because she had red hair like me, but she left everything she had ever known to follow her heart and dreams. • Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Cookies ‘n Cream. And being from Texas, I am legally required to answer Blue Bell. 37

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en — can’t live with them, can’t live without them. But luckily we’ve found a few good men! Leaders, mentors, partners, gentlemen. There are approximately 161.6 million men in the United States. That’s a big number, but all we need is a few good men to make a difference. We are lucky that the Emerald Coast has as many good men as they do palm trees. Our area is booming with strong male role models helping to lead the way and to guide the younger generations down the right path. These men are out there in our community making a real difference. They are running businesses, they are volunteering, they are working at the local nonprofits, they are fathers, and they are husbands. These men are juggling all of these jobs and are doing it with style and grace. Being a good man is more than just following the rules, it’s being the individual who goes above and beyond. It’s being the man who isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right. A truly good man is one whose traits perfectly balance out. He is both strong and sensitive, he is a leader but can also take direction. A good man is someone you can look up to.

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dependable fathers strong sons leaders brothers husbands courageous loving understanding fearless men

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| A Few Good Men

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Chandler Williams Photographer

written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Chandler Williams Modus Photography


or Chandler Williams the obsession with photography began at a very young age. As a teenage surfer that loved to travel, shooting and developing film became a passion that went hand in hand. His first love was developing 35mm film, and the love just grew from there. Chandler grew up in Freeport, Florida, and now works as a professional photographer, entrepreneur and gallery owner living in beautiful Santa Rosa Beach. Being so deeply rooted in the area has allowed Chandler to be locally engaged in working with multiple nonprofits by donating his time and talents. His skill set has allowed him to assist with marketing efforts as well as donating art pieces to help with fundraising. If he had the chance to talk to his younger self he would say to pursue your passion sooner and don’t look back. There’s always time to work out the kinks along the way, so go ahead and follow your heart and take that leap of faith today. You won’t regret it. Family has always been a source of comfort and motivation throughout his life. “My sister is three years older, and we have been best friends our entire lives,” said Chandler. “She has influenced me and pushed me to be a better person no matter the circumstances.” This love of family has moved him to carry on his legacy within his own family. Chandler and his wife grew up together and have been married for 17 years. They’ve built a life together along with their twin boys, now 13, and a 9-year-old son. “It is the hardest work there is, but it is the most rewarding,” he reminisced. While his family is his greatest personal accomplishment, as an artist that accomplishment is his gallery space and brand. “It is a happy place for me, and a place where I love to work out of,” he described. Creating the perfect work space has allowed for Chandler to flourish creatively by meeting new people, reconnecting with clients, friends, and the community family. Taking care of the community he belongs to is something that has always been important to Chandler. Over the next few years he plans to initiate a local outreach group to help the safety and well-being of the environment have a voice during these massive growing pains. Meeting new people has always inspired Chandler because it exposes him to new ideas and experiences. “I want to welcome their voices and opinions on helping the environment stay protected and maintained properly,” he said. This idea comes from the Hawaiian saying “Aloha Aina” which means “love of the land.” If a few people can make small changes,

imagine what could be accomplished with more people. As Chandler has come to realize — why put off for tomorrow what can be done today.


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| A Few Good Men

Marcus Chambers

Superintendent of Schools for Okaloosa County School District written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Rhonda C. Schaefer Photography


arcus Chambers grew up as a child of an Air Force family, moving around a lot and constantly growing with his new environments. If he had to claim one place as his “hometown” it would be Oahu, Hawaii, where they were stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, and he graduated high school. Throughout his childhood, Marcus watched his father give back to their community, even gaining recognition by the Florida House of Representatives for his dedicated service to his community and his country. “In my family, we also learned to put our trust and faith in the Lord which also showed me that my life would be better served in serving my community through public education,” Marcus described. Along his journey he had positive role models within his teachers and coaches that helped steer him into public education and service. Through mentoring, coaching, and teaching students, Marcus realized that he could also help adults as an administrator. This led him to his role as the Superintendent of Schools for Okaloosa County. Marcus has always valued competition and that has transferred into coaching and helping young athletes learn lessons through sports. His time spent in the classroom became one of the most meaningful ways of giving back to the community through his students. Marcus hopes to continue to give back to this amazing community by growing their already robust Career and Technical Education programs to continue to build their workforce and impact the community. “Whether it is helping students step into college, go directly into the workforce, or join the military, CTE plays an important role in that while benefiting our community,” he explained. Marcus wishes he could tell his younger self to have more faith in the process and not to worry about everything being perfect. “It is from life’s messiness and unplanned experiences that I’ve learned the most about who I am and how to lead,” he said. With many professional accomplishments under his belt, Marcus and his wife are most proud of their amazing children, Peyton and Camden. “When I look

back on my life, it is my children and the people they have grown into that are my life’s proudest accomplishments.” Peyton is a college athlete, like her mom and dad, but playing volleyball. He described, “She is a fearless competitor and an even better human with a large capacity to love. Her passion, commitment and drive for life is a source of pride and inspires me to be a better father.” Camden is a high school athlete who is a determined but gracious competitor. “He may not be a man of many words, but he has a heart of gold. It has been my pleasure watching him mature through the years,” he said. Without a doubt, Marcus attributes his mother as his greatest female influence by helping lay the foundation for who he was to become in many ways. Throughout his life his mother taught him how to juggle academics and athletics to help him achieve his dream of becoming a collegiate athlete. She was always working so hard, with a smile on her face and taught Marcus how to buckle down and get things done with a positive attitude. “As the matriarch of the family, her love and dedication to her family is still the rock on which we depend,” described Marcus. It has always been a passion for Marcus to help grow leaders through coaching, teaching and later on as a Principal and District Administrator. He said, “To push others to greatness for a common goal like public education is one of the most important things I can do for this district.”

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A Few Good Men |

Phillip Thomas Stamman Attorney

written by: Courtney Murray photography by: Shanna Magnuson


hillip Thomas Stamman grew up in Lonsdale, Minnesota, and now resides on the west end of Panama City Beach, Florida. Shortly after his move, he was hired at the State Attorney’s Office in Bay County, Florida, as a prosecutor in the criminal division. As he became integrated in the community, he started to spend time with members of Perry & Young. He quickly learned they were more than a personal injury firm, they were a family devoted to helping their community and actively involved throughout the Florida Panhandle. Phillip realized that he wanted to join this family and was grateful when the opportunity was presented to him in August of 2019. Now as an attorney for the firm, he is able to represent people in this community who are injured and seek out recovery on their behalf. Having undergone a life-threatening surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumor in the center of his brain during law school taught Phillip how to move forward and grow through tragedy while maintaining an optimistic view on life. Overcoming all the odds, he was still able to graduate on time. Unfortunately, due to the market crash there were no legal jobs available upon graduation; but this didn’t deter Phillip. He pivoted and started a successful law firm in Wisconsin that remains open to this day. When he and his wife decided to part ways, Phillip chose to let go and get a fresh start on life. He had always wanted to live in Florida, and even though he didn’t know a single soul or have a job lined up, he took a leap of faith and followed his heart to the Panhandle. Over time he found a wonderful community to be a part of, and the gorgeous beaches don’t hurt either. “I’m grateful I have managed to stay excited about life, notwithstanding the storms that pass along the way,” he said. If he could go back and have a chat with his 20-year-old self, he would say to simply appreciate the now. “So much of my younger life was tied to planning it out that I often forgot to enjoy the now,” Phillip described. “I missed out on appreciating so many of life’s moments because I was so focused on the next ten things I needed to accomplish to be ‘happy.’ I realize now that goals are certainly necessary, but I must also take time daily to reflect and be grateful for the positive things in life, however small.” One thing that Phillip is immensely grateful for is the sacrifices his sister, Jessica, has made. She gave up a lot of childhood normalcy to step up and help raise Phillip and their other sister. He described, “Her selflessness never faded as time went on. Even now, she is my slightly overprotective, but loving sister that is always there for me, be it for advice or otherwise.” Phillip is continually striving to improve and gives back to the community through his legal career. After Hurricane Michael, he was able to handle pro bono and low bono work for people struggling through insurance claim denials, landlord-tenant issues, or simply an injured person in dire need. He is always working to provide competent representation to every person that walks in front of his desk. Still being new to the Florida Panhandle, he is evolving by getting to know his community and learning the needs of the areas surrounding it. Through his hard work and dedication, Phillip has gained the respect and trust of clients who continually turn to him throughout their walks of life. 43

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Happy Hour |

The S.3ensual S.3ide of P.2hotography

I.2t’s Tea T.3ime written by: Liesel Schmidt


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nless you’ve been living under a rock your whole life, you have at least a basic concept of tea and what it is. But while you may know how to make a basic cup of this fragrant brew, you may not know much else about it — namely, its benefits, varieties, which is most flavorful, and whether loose leaf or bagged will yield the best tasting cuppa. Interestingly, tea is actually the most consumed beverage in the world, after water. It also didn’t originate specifically in China, as one would expect, but in a region of the world that encompasses northeast India, north Myanmar, southwest China, and Tibet. It was popularized in the third century and was then introduced to Europe in the 16th century by Portuguese priests and merchants. It became a beloved drink of England a century later, which brought about the establishment of British tea plantations in India. Since then, tea drinking has become a regular pastime for the countries of the U.K. and all over the world. Strictly speaking, tea — true tea — is made with the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, which is an evergreen shrub found in East Asia. Think green teas, black teas, and oolong teas. Herbal teas — many of which have health benefits — are made from dried fruits, flowers, spices, or herbs. Among one of the most commonly known herbal teas is chamomile tea which is known to have calming effects and has even been proven as a sleep aid. It may also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as properties that are beneficial to the liver. Additional studies show use in reducing the symptoms of PMS as well as improving blood glucose, lipid, and insulin levels. If you’re experiencing an upset stomach, try sipping a cup of peppermint tea. The fragrant brew is often used for its antibacterial, anti-cancer, and antiviral properties and has been shown to benefit the digestive tract. Love something with zing? Ginger tea has a spicy kick that isn’t all play. It has some major health benefits because of the disease-fighting antioxidants that it contains. It’s a great anti-inflammatory, helps stimulate the immune system, and is effective against nausea. Ginger tea is also believed to prevent stomach ulcers, relieve indigestion and constipation, reduce menstrual pain, and help control blood sugar and reduce blood lipid levels. If you can get past the pinkish-red color of hibiscus tea, it has some great health properties, among them an antiviral. It’s also great for blood pressure and blood lipid levels. Echinacea tea is another healthy choice that should be in your repertoire. Believed to prevent and shorten colds, there have been studies that show echinacea tea can boost the immune system. Rooibos tea (say it with me, ROY-bows) comes from South Africa and has shown to be effective in stimulating the growth of bone cells which promotes bone growth and density. It may also decrease inflammation and help prevent heart disease.

For all their health benefits, herbal teas are clearly a worthwhile investment. Sage tea has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function as well as heart and colon health. Lemon balm tea may benefit heart and skin health, relieve anxiety, and improve antioxidant levels in the body. Rose hip tea contains high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, and its anti-inflammatory properties may help ease the pain of arthritis. It is also believed to reduce stomach fat and fight the signs of aging. Passionflower tea is effective in improving sleep and reducing anxiety. As much time as you could spend perusing the tea aisle in the local grocery store, choosing your tea is only part of the equation. You also need to decide on whether you want loose leaf or tea bags. Bagged tea is certainly fine, but loose leaf is superior in taste. Now it’s time to brew it; and while there are many ways and many types of equipment that could be used, the simplest way is the best. Heat water in a kettle to boiling, pour some into a mug and then dump it out. (You’re warming the vessel which will keep your tea hot longer). Now add your tea. For one cup, add one teaspoon to the cup or infuser. If you’re brewing a pot of tea, add one teaspoon for each cup. Next, pour the water over the tea, and let it infuse for at least three minutes (or more if you like a stronger brew). Once it’s steeped, remove the infuser or strain the tea to remove the leaves. Interestingly enough, iced tea and hot tea are equally as healthful; so consider enjoying your tea iced in the summer!

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Ingredients Earl Grey Tea-Infused Vodka: 2 bags Earl Grey tea 1 750 ml bottle vodka Honey Simple Syrup 1/2 cup honey 4 oz. water Cocktail 2 oz. Earl Grey tea-infused vodka 1 oz. honey simple syrup 1 oz. grapefruit juice Ice Seltzer water Grapefruit zest (garnish) Directions: Make the tea-infused vodka by adding the tea bags to the vodka bottle and infusing overnight. Remove and discard the tea bags. To make the honey simple syrup, combine the honey and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high. Stir and continue heating until the honey has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely. Combine the infused vodka, simple syrup, grapefruit juice and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, then top off with seltzer water and garnish with the grapefruit zest. 47

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charC.4UTErie | Foodie

written by: Mary Aho photography by: Steve Barber


hile charcuterie has recently taken the world by storm, it can feel a little redundant. A traditional charcuterie board is defined as an assortment of meats, cheeses, Artisan breads, olives, fruit, and nuts, all artfully arranged on a serving board. We are taking that definition lightly and giving our own interpretation of the meaning. How can we make it unique? What can I do to get the “Insta worthy” photo? We are here to help with new ideas, tips and tricks, and styling suggestions to make the cutest charcuterie board. We decided to make an Easter charCUTErie board that had color, texture, and contrasting flavors like the candy assortment at Easter. We started with a large, round board and from there we added bowls to create breaks and depth. Once the bowls were placed, we started filling in the empty space. The trick to creating an inviting charcuterie board is having it full. Don’t be afraid to pile your toppings high and make everything on the board nice and cozy. Another great tip for an unforgettable spread is having a variety of flavors and textures. The majority of the candy we used for this board was chewy and sour. We made sure to add plenty of chocolate to break up all that acidity, including pink Kit Kats for some crunch. We added powdered doughnuts to break up some of the color which added a great texture contrast as well. We finished up the whole look with an Easterthemed background to tie it all together. All of the decor pictured was picked up at our local supermarket. Charcuterie boards don’t have to be expensive to be a showstopper. You can create a beautiful spread with these simple and easy to execute suggestions. Create your own Easter charCUTErie board and tag us on social media using the hashtag #ScarlettCharcuterie.

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T.2railblazing W.2omen.3 written by: Courtney Murray


omen — fearless, beautiful, strong, intelligent. As the “fairer sex,” women have worked for centuries to climb their way to the top and there’s no end in sight for how high we can go. Long gone are the days where women are restricted to wearing corsets and mending dresses. The possibilities are now endless. As of 1987, March was designated “Women’s History Month.” This is a special time set aside each year to celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States. Every woman is a unique gift to our world, and during the month of March we get to celebrate all of the special achievements women have made throughout American history. We get to remember the brave and talented women, both living and those that have passed on, who’ve made significant strides in culture and society. Throughout history there have been women who haven’t been afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to try new things, to be bold and different, and to be trailblazers. There are the beloved women that changed the course of history that everyone knows — Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Princess Diana, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt. The list goes on and on. Let’s take a look at some of the bold women who have flown under the radar breaking down barriers, changing laws, making scientific discoveries, and changing history. Florence Howe (1929 – Present): She was a feminist before it was cool. Florence taught at a Freedom School in Mississippi to help close the racial educational gap for children. In 1970, she founded The Feminist Press, a publishing house that pushes for women’s rights and showcases voices of unheard influential women. More than 50 years later, The Feminist Press is the longest surviving women’s publishing house in the world. Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964): Rachel always excelled in writing and the sciences, but in 1962 when she published “Silent Spring” she exposed environmental issues to the U.S. public for the first time. She documented the adverse effects of synthetic pesticides for humans and wildlife, revealing the lies and misinformation being spread by the chemical industry. She inspired the movement for sustainability and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter. Alice Coachman (1922 – 2014): When you can jump as high as Alice you are sure to be noticed. Alice became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal with her amazing high jump at the 1948 London Olympics; paving the way for many more female athletes of color. Margaret Hamilton (1936 – Present): History often overlooks several women who were pivotal in the Apollo 11 mission, including Margaret Hamilton. In 1969, she was the leader of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. She led the development of the spacecraft’s guidance and navigation system when she was contracted by NASA for the Apollo program. She was awarded in 2016 for all of her hard work with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Diane von Furstenberg said, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” So remember, you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Some people are born leaders, others have to venture down many avenues before stumbling upon the right one. No matter where you are on your journey, if you aren’t afraid to take risks then you are on the right path. I am woman, hear me roar.

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| Tour of Homes Pensacola

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A Home Built for Wellness

written by: Jessica Duncan photography provided by: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate


ellness is now an essential part of our daily conversations, and it is becoming a trend in the homes we build. The trends in real estate are forever. The designs are modified to fit our daily lives better, to give us a sense of security from our fears, and to help us focus on what is currently essential in our ever-changing lives. Unlike the enormous master walk-in closets of today, Colonial homes did not have closets in the bedrooms. While they did have one or two closets in the house, homeowners did not use closets for clothes. Instead, closets were used for general storage and often found in dining rooms or parlors. In the 1950s and 1960s, fallout shelters became a trend built into a home’s design. With the fear of an atomic bomb, a fallout shelter added peace of mind to homeowners. Hot topics and mindset drive home design changes in real estate during certain periods. So, it is no surprise that the current real estate trend is a home designed around wellness. When Carmen Jones and Angela Bottesini decided to build their current home in East Pensacola Heights, they designed it to focus on wellness. With physical health in mind, they created a 400-square-foot gym in their detached garage. This equipped gym has everything they need for a complete muscle-building workout. Having the gym detached from the house and leaving home to work out, even if only a few steps away, gives the mindset to focus on the task at hand: working out. Yet, it still offers the convenience that does not allow for excuses. This trend differs from the treadmills in our living rooms, often doubling as laundry hanging devices, that we saw in the 1990s and 2000s. The home’s location makes wellness easy with quiet tree-canopy-covered roads and minimal traffic for safe and scenic walks for the health of themselves and their active furry babies. 53

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Carmen and Angela did not stop with a focus on physical wellness. In their home, emotional and spiritual health is also strongly influenced by how and what they used to build their home. They repurposed materials from their grandparents’ homes throughout the house. The repurposed and aged wood on the shutters along with the tongue-and-groove ceiling on the breezeway is not just environmentally friendly, but it also serves as a constant reminder of the love of family; thus, it continues to build their emotional strength and self-worth. The master bath design is about relaxing and re-energizing. From a bathtub that feels like you’re lying in a hammock, to a three-generations-old dough bowl for decor to remind them of their roots. A barn door leads into the master bath, built with reclaimed wood from Carmen’s grandparents’ home; and the handle on the door is from her grandfather’s carriage. Rejuvenation, fueled by soulful roots, is what this bathroom is all about. The front porch is a spot for praying, reflecting, inspiration, and meditation for spiritual wellness. They sit on the comfy bed swing and enjoy a view of the bayou while the flames from the gas lantern flicker. It overlooks the landscaped yard that was designed space by space. The fence around the property is not only for beauty and functionality, but also serves as a foundation for the vine growth of raspberries, blackberries, and other fruits that offer a healthy and organic snack. The kitchen is centered around an island and stove to cook healthy meals and create laughter. This design allows cooking to be interactive and a time of gathering while enjoying each other’s company and creating nourishment for the body. This home is built with intention around a passion for physical fitness, spiritual wellness, and emotional stability. Unlike trends of the past (avocado tub, yuck!), homes built with a focus on physical, spiritual, and mental health is a trend in real estate that will continue to grow in popularity over the coming years, as we all strive to improve our overall wellness and obtain our highest potential.

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Jessica Duncan, an award-winning, top-producing Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Main Street Properties, is driven by a passion for providing the highest level of service with integrity to clients in her hometown. Jessica was born and raised in Pensacola, educated at the University of West Florida, and is deeply rooted in her community. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance and prides herself in being innovative in real estate sales and marketing strategies, a skillset sharpened through twelve years in the corporate arena as a marketing strategist. In addition to real estate, Jessica is passionate about serving her community through several area nonprofits and is a proud Board Member of IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, an all-women philanthropic organization. 1313 Creighton Rd, Pensacola, 32504 | 850.554.1783 55

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provided by: BOTE


here are few water vessels more versatile and mobile than a stand-up paddle board (SUP). With it you can reach waters less traveled for an adventurous afternoon, connect with pals and four-legged friends, cast a line, and get a killer workout while paddling against a current. But have you considered throwing SUP yoga into the mix? At first glance, the terms “SUP” and “yoga” may not seem like a match made in the waterways, but you’d be surprised to learn that getting your flow on outside of the studio and on the water is a hell of a lot more fun. SUP yoga combines classic yoga poses to center your mind and body with the ability to do it in the most peaceful of places.

Why SUP Yoga? Whether you’re a land-loving yogi or a born and raised water baby, SUP yoga brings a new opportunity to connect your inner self with your outer surroundings. “It’s one size fits all when you tailor it to yourself,” says Erin O’Malley, Owner of Sunset Stand Up Paddle, pureblood adventurer, and BOTE ambassador. Erin believes the best part of SUP yoga is realizing that imperfection is beauty, and what she means by that is — you’re probably gonna fall off your board. It’s OK though, falling off the paddle board mid-tree pose is half the fun. Erin also points out that even if you’re a seasoned yogi, it helps to know basic paddle board handling skills before you get started. For example, how to maneuver your board, recondition, and get back on track should you fall as well as familiarizing yourself with your surroundings. “Knowledge of strong paddle skills is something that everyone should work towards.” Thinking SUP yoga might be your thing? Here are a few reasons why it’s one of our favorite fitness activities.

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Benefits of SUP Yoga

Preparing for SUP Yoga

1. It’s super fun — plain and simple. You can’t help but laugh when you find yourself a little unstable in positions you’d often be rooted in on land. A once simple yoga pose, like a cat/cow rotation, is now a wobbly mess. But that’s one of the main benefits of SUP yoga; it takes the seriousness out of your stances and reminds you to enjoy it. That’s something you won’t get on land. 2. It provides a bit of a challenge. Whether you’re using a traditional stand-up paddle board like our Flood Aero, or a floating yoga platform like the Inflatable Dock FX, the buoyant platform is going to dare you to really dig into your poses. The instability of a floating platform not in motion adds a new element to your flow. You’ll learn to push through by focusing harder on your weight distribution, breathing pattern, and transitions. 3. The environment is second to none. How else can you practice relaxation and meditation wherever you damn well please? The portability of your SUP, specifically an inflatable SUP, gets you out into the elements so you can incorporate nature into your yoga practice. Want to do it in a remote part of a crystal clear lake? You got it. How about at dawn when the ocean is smooth as glass? Easy enough. Just throw your Aero Bag over your shoulder, travel to your preferred zen location, unroll, inflate, and meditate.

Preparing for a SUP yoga class is pretty easy. Swap out the yoga mat for a paddle board or dock, grab the same essentials (like water and a towel), and you’re set for a power flow like you’ve never experienced. However, just like any other outdoor activity, choosing the right gear can be the deciding factor between a fly by night, one and done SUP yoga attempt versus adding it to your fitness rotation for the long haul.

Step 1: Choose the Right SUP Board

Whether you’re a SUP voyager who already owns a stand-up paddle board, or new to the SUP world and navigating how to get started, SUP yoga classes typically give the option to BYOB (bring your own board) or rent one of theirs for class. At BOTE, no two boards are created equal, but they are created to be the best performers in their category. When choosing your board, we recommend going with an inflatable SUP or inflatable dock for its durability and portability. You want to take it to serene, untouched nature, right? Well, an inflatable let’s you do just that by rolling it up into its portable bag and hauling it on your back. Look for a Full Trax design. Our Full Trax series allows you to grip anywhere on the board, thanks to the full-length BVA foam deck pad. Paired with a flat bottom to help maintain a low center of gravity, this unique design allows you to reach maximum stability and strength as you flow through each pose. The Full Trax Flood Aero Inflatable Paddle Board - When it comes to SUP yoga, stability is the goal. With a full-length deck pad to give you that grip in both your hands and your feet, plus a flat bottom and entry rocker nose for added steadiness, the Full Trax Flood Aero is a great option for beginner SUP yogis who also want to indulge in the SUP lifestyle. The Inflatable Dock FX - If you’re looking to take your yogi status to the next level, a fitness platform, such as the Inflatable Dock FX, has the essentials to keep you steady during your shavasana and relaxed when you just want to kick back. The Dock FX has a wider platform, giving you more room to work within your poses, and a full trax from head to toe so you can grip firmly and confidently, no matter the stance. It’s slipresistant, made with our Aero TechnologyTM, and equipped with multiple attachment points for bungee straps, grab handles, and more. 57

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Step 2: Master the Dress Code

“Dress for your comfort and your skin type,” says Erin. Your comfort barometer can be anywhere from a loose tank and yoga pants to an athletic bikini. Just know that it’s likely you’ll be in the water at some point, so wear clothes you’re comfortable getting wet and that won’t rub or irritate your skin. If you’re sensitive to the sun, consider clothing that provides more coverage. Always lather up with SPF.

Basically, the dress code is no code. You do you. Step 3: Choose Your SUP Yoga Accessories

You’ve swapped your indoor yoga mat with a floating fitness platform or inflatable SUP, you know exactly what you’re going to wear, but do you need anything else? The answer is yes, but you probably already have them.

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•Reusable Water Bottle - Just like any outdoor fitness activity, you have to stay hydrated. P.S. The Flood Aero comes equipped with a stash pod you can use as a drink holder. •SUP Leash - so you stay close by your SUP during all of the accidental falls during your warrior pose series. •A Paddle - Because you’ll probably need to paddle to your physical destination before you get to your mental destination. Bonus: Full Trax SUP’s are equipped with a paddle strap, so you can store your paddle securely alongside the board so it’s out of the way. •SPF - Always protect your skin from the sun by lathering up before you hit the water or wearing sun protective clothing. •Sunglass Cord - Ditch the sunglasses altogether or keep them secure with a sunglass cord.

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SUP Yoga Flow For Beginners You picked a badass SUP, found a nice calm body of water, and you’re ready to become one with nature. As a beginner, Erin says, “It’s important to start with poses that use a low center of gravity, then work up. While a warrior pose may be an easier pose on land, it’s much more difficult on the SUP. So build up to it.” Before starting your routine, take a moment to understand the balance of weight from side to side. Imagine your board or dock in four quadrants. If you’re placing weight on the back two quadrants with your knees, you need to place weight on the front two quadrants with your hands. The need for equal weight distribution makes poses like mountain or warrior particularly difficult, but once you feel like you have a solid grip on your weight distribution, you’re ready for some beginner yoga flow.

Practice SUP Yoga Flow Pose 1: Cat/Cow

Starting on all fours with your hands placed shoulder distance apart and your knees down on your SUP, connect to your breath and the movement of the water beneath you. Begin with cow pose, inhaling as you drop your belly and lift your chin and chest, looking up toward the sky. Exhaling into cat pose, draw your belly in and round your back, so you look like a cat stretching its back. Repeat several times.

Pose 2: Twist

Back on all fours, inhale and lift your right arm to the sky, and on the exhale, thread your arm like a needle under your chest, reaching to the left side. Try to keep equal weight on each side by gently hugging toward the inline of your body. Go back to center and repeat with your left arm. End back on all fours.

Pose 3: Forward Lunge

Slowly take your right foot forward into a lunge, keeping your back left knee down on your SUP. Tuck your left toes back under and lift yourself up into a high lunge, keeping your hands firmly placed on the board. Gently lift your right arm to the sky on the inhale, and exhale release it down. Bring your back knee down and bring your right foot back to all fours. Repeat on the left side.

Pose 4: Downward Facing Dog

On all fours, tuck your toes under and place your knees slightly behind the line of the hips. Push the hips up and back for a downward facing dog. This is your first high center of gravity position. Take your time to find stability here. On the inhale, move forward into a plank pose, then exhale lower down into a cobra or upward facing dog. Take a nice breath here, and on the exhale go back to downward facing dog and repeat. 59

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Pose 5: Core

Come forward and through to a seated position in the center of your SUP or dock. Place the soles of your feet flat on the board, lean back and place your arms and palms parallel to the board. For an extra push, lift one or both legs parallel to the board and hold for as many breaths as you like.

Pose 6: Seated Twist

Take one leg to the opposite side outside of the hip, while the other crosses over the thigh, much like a hamstring stretch. Stay nice and tall through the spine while you twist through on both sides. Let the chest and heart open toward each side as you

twist. Unwrap and rewrap your legs the other way and twist both sides again.

Pose 7: Forward Fold

Place your legs directly in front of you and fold forward. If you can’t grab onto your feet, use your SUP or dock by grabbing onto the sides. On the inhale, rise up.

Pose 8: Shavasana

Lay back down on your SUP and let everything go. Focus on your breathing and what you just accomplished. Stay here as long as you like.

When it comes to SUP yoga for beginners, Erin gives these words of wisdom: “So many people worry they are going to fall. Don’t worry. Falling is part of it, probably the best part. You don’t have to nail the poses because it’s about having fun and exploring to see what’s possible.” Namaste.

Check out more gear at

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| About Face

The Face of Skincare I written by: Liesel Schmidt / photography by: Rhonda C. Schaefer Photography

“My life’s mission has been in helping others, and it brings me great pride and joy to see Allyson Skincare helping so many people.”

n 2020, the skincare industry in the U.S. was at a whopping $39.2 billion with the global market at an estimated $145.3 billion. Clearly, there’s profit to be made, and there seems a constant stream of new products to try, all of which promise amazing effects. More youthful skin, diminished wrinkles, clear skin, more even skin tone — you name it, it’s on the shelves. What should give consumers pause is the ingredient list which mostly consists of unpronounceable names that require Google to understand. And while many breakthroughs come from labs, it is the concerned consumers who take it upon themselves to create safe, natural products that fill a void in the market. As someone with sensitive skin, Allyson Shirley had struggled for years to find products that wouldn’t aggravate her skin. That challenge was the catalyst that eventually drove her to begin working on her own products, and those products ultimately became part of the Allyson Skincare line. “I became involved in skincare at a very early age,” Allyson explains. “Having troubled skin myself, I saw a need for good skincare that was for all skin types and for people like me, with very sensitive skin.” A licensed esthetician and the owner of a salon/spa, Allyson had grown up involved in the beauty industry through modeling and pageants. Naturally, that involvement required her to take care of her skin which fed the passion that later drove her career. It was during her time as an esthetician that she began studying skincare products and their ingredients. “I conducted studies and tests to help others who were dealing with so many skin issues and worked with chemists to learn what, in my profession, was


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making a difference,” said Allyson. “One thing that always concerned me was that, through my work and doing facials, I saw so many people who had troubled skin issues resulting from the use of different skincare lines that contained preservatives. I found that it was those preservatives that were causing the problems, so I started mixing special ingredients for my clients based on their individual needs. The skincare line evolved from there, and it became extremely popular with my clients because everyone who used it saw amazing results.” Those results are a testament to the efficacy of the ingredients used in Allyson’s line — none of which are harsh to the skin. “My products give your skin exactly what it needs for repair, whether you struggle with acne issues or want to restore elasticity, replenish dehydrated skin, increase collagen production, or lighten areas with sun damage,” she said. “The ingredients work amazingly to give your skin that perfect balance.” Naturally, having her products available to her clients isn’t the extent of Allyson’s goals. “My passion has become my drive, and my plan for the future is to get my line into the marketplace,” says Allyson. “My life’s mission has been in helping others, and it brings me great pride and joy to see Allyson Skincare helping so many people.”

Allyson Skincare Cleanser

An essential part of skincare, it provides the very foundation for healthy skin. Cleansing removes impurities, excess oil, pollutants, dead skin cells, and makeup. It primes the skin for additional skincare products and is gentle enough for everyday use leaving the skin feeling deep-cleansed and hydrated.

Allyson Skincare Toner

Helps close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. Replenishing pH after cleansing, Allyson Skincare Toner aids moisturizer in hydrating the skin. It leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Allyson Skincare Moisturizer

A hydrated moisturizer gentle enough for all skin types, containing hyaluronic acid, collagen serum, and antioxidants as well as other soothing ingredients. It gives the skin hydration and keeps any skin type looking fresh and healthy.

Q: What do you suggest for a daily skin routine? A: Your daily routine should involve a cleanser and toner, followed by moisturizer every morning and night. Q: How often should women get facials in order to keep that healthy glow? A: I recommend getting monthly facials as a necessary part of maintaining that healthy glow and repair. Q: Can you help clients eliminate or reduce spots and wrinkles? What do you recommend? A: Monthly facials are much needed to give the skin the cellular turnover for repair from free radicals and cell damage that causes the signs of aging. With chemical peels and dermaplaning, the skin responds with a brighter and more evenly toned appearance with the decrease in fine lines and wrinkles. Keeping this skin care regimen, along with your daily routine, is the key to younger looking skin! Q: How many times between facials should I exfoliate, and what do you recommend? A: I like to recommend exfoliating once a week between facials. Sugar grains and honey face scrub is great for sloughing skin cells to keep a good cellular turnover. Honey is a natural antioxidant and keeps acne at bay due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Just slightly warming and mixing the two together gives the skin amazing hydration, too.

Allyson Salon and Spa 981 US-98 #12, Destin 850.650.2667 63

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avis-Watkins Funeral Homes and Crematory has always taken great satisfaction in our diligent pursuit of superior service and our dedication to exceeding the expectations of the families we serve. Davis-Watkins was founded on dignity, integrity and the grace of God united with the belief that serving our community is our calling and purpose. We continue to be committed to focus on personal service and family values not corporate standardization, profit margins and contract averages. We are proud to be the first choice amongst familyowned and operated funeral homes and crematory in Okaloosa and Walton counties.

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Prearrangements Our preplanning services are as personal as you wish, made with us in total confidence, without undue stress. We offer a full range of services with flexible funding options to meet the needs of the families we serve. We realize families want the quality and value of our professional services at their time of need. The staff at Davis-Watkins Funeral Home strives to reduce the emotional stress and financial burden of surviving family members. Our licensed pre-planning directors and family service counselors can arrange consultations with no cost or obligation in your home or at our funeral home.

At The Time of Need The directors at Davis-Watkins Funeral Home are able to arrange national and international transfers, prearrangements and cremations, as well as traditional funerals and memorial services in Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa and Holmes counties. We will listen to you and your wishes to help plan a celebration consistent with your trust expectations. We will take the time to plan every detail and help to relieve the burden on your family during your time of loss. We are able to assist you in holding services in a wide variety of areas from one of our locations, your home, your church, lodge or at the cemetery. A staff member is available around-the-clock to be of assistance in that difficult time. Davis-Watkins Funeral Home serves all cultures, faiths and religion.

Our Commitment Whether you’re making arrangements in advance or require caring assistance at a time of need, our experienced friendly professionals can answer all your questions about funeral planning and cremation. They will explain without pressure or obligation the wide range of options available to help you create a fitting and poignant tribute perfectly suited to the individual. Our family at Davis-Watkins Funeral Homes & Crematory realizes the depths of compassion and integrity needed to help families at their time of loss. Being a funeral director has always been more a calling than a profession. Joel Davis and Travis Watkins have complete confidence that every detail will be handled with care and compassion. The staff exudes the same professionalism, ethics and attentive manner as the owners who work alongside their team. Once you’ve met the staff, you have met the same people that will care for your family and your loved one throughout the entire service.

Locations Funeral Home

113 Racetrack Road NE Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547 (850) 864-1822

Crestview Memorial

492 East Pine Avenue Crestview, Florida 32539 (850) 682-2252

Funeral Home & Crematory

1474 Highway 83 North DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433 (850) 951-1822

Cremation Center & Funeral Service

9561 US Highway 98 West Miramar Beach, Florida 32550 (850) 842-4355

We refuse to participate in third party cremation or body transfer services. 65

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Cover to revo C Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good book? They’re the perfect excuse to snuggle under your favorite blanket, sink into your favorite chair, or relax in your favorite nook, and get lost in a different world. We’re always up for a new adventure, so whether your genre of choice is romance, self-help, history, or mystery, this list has something for everyone. book picks by: Mary Aho / reviews by:


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Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

by Lori Gottlieb

by Talia Hibbert

From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world — where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. So she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself — even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car — supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen — and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore... and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell. With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.

[Love Story]

[Self Help]

Keep The Damned Women Out: The Struggle For Coeducation by Nancy Weiss Malkiel As the tumultuous decade of the 1960s ended, a number of very traditional, very conservative, highly prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and the United Kingdom decided to go coed, seemingly all at once, in a remarkably brief span of time. Coeducation met with fierce resistance. As one alumnus put it in a letter to his alma mater, “Keep the damned women out.” Focusing on the complexities of institutional decision making, this book tells the story of this momentous era in higher education―revealing how coeducation was achieved not by organized efforts of women activists, but through strategic decisions made by powerful men.

[Women’s History]

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Healthyish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt Healthyish is recipe developer Lindsay Maitland Hunt’s totally doable, delicious, and dead-simple cookbook, helping us to eat how we all want to eat—healthy, but with an occasional bit of decadence. Lindsay Maitland Hunt is an expert recipe developer who has created recipes for everyone from college students to busy families to seasoned home cooks. Now, she brings her trademark skillset to her debut cookbook, Healthyish. For anyone on the move, working long hours, and trying to eat a bit more healthfully, Healthyish offers 131 satisfying recipes with straightforward instructions, using as few pots and pans as possible, and ingredients that won’t break the bank. Not to mention, you can find the ingredients at your everyday grocery store (no garam masala or açai berries here!).


The Survivors by Jane Harper Coming home dredges up deeply buried secrets in The Survivors, a thrilling mystery by New York Times bestselling author Jane Harper. Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...

[Best Seller]

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Read any good books lately?

If you’d like to recommend a book for review in Cover to Cover, send to

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Inn Style written by: Liesel Schmidt photography provided by: Henderson Park Inn


croll through photos of Destin on any vacation website, and you’ll see precisely what makes it one of the world’s No. 1 vacation destinations. The pure white sand, the emerald waters, the friendly people — it has an appeal that brings people back, year after year, to spend months of their lives in paradise. Such a resort destination could hardly escape development, and the landscape is reflective of the numbers that flock to its shores. Along the coastline, high-rise after high-rise stands tall and proud, offering breathtaking views and glittering luxury. They could easily blend into one another. All the more reason, then, for something different to stand out. Swimming against the tide of sameness is the Henderson Park Inn whose New England-style architecture and cozy intimacy have been a guest favorite for decades. Originally built in 1992, the inn was a labor of love for brothers Bill and Steve Abbott, Destin natives who had spent years of their youth working in their uncle’s inn in Maine. Over the next twelve years, the Henderson Park Inn became a destination 71

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Named One of the Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the United States by Tripadvisor. for countless guests who loved it for its charming atmosphere and sense of personal service. All of that was literally swept away by the winds of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, as the inn experienced devastating damages that necessitated closure. Seeing opportunity for new development, cotton merchant Billy Dunavant purchased the inn with plans to erect an impressive new beach resort in its place. Those plans changed, however, when Hurricane Katrina displaced thousands of people along the Gulf South, leaving them with no place to live. Working with Destin city officials and The Village Baptist Church, Henderson Park Inn suddenly had a true sense of purpose beyond tourism — it became a

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refuge for over a year to those who had lost everything. Grand plans halted, the Dunavants realized they could create something special with what was already there, deciding instead to invest in the inn. Since then, Henderson Park Inn has won numerous awards and claimed great notoriety in the hospitality industry, most recently being named one of the Top 25 Hotels in the United States as winner of the 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Award. The inn was also named on the 2020 shortlist for Conde Nast Johansens’ Awards for Excellence as well as the Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the United States, winning the 2019 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award.

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Naturally, such notice has not been given without cause. “You can look at all of our wonderful reviews on Tripadvisor to see some of the specifics, but I think it comes back to the exceptional hospitality provided at the inn,” says Marketing Director Janie Schmidt. “The guests walk in and are instantly treated like a VIP or a family member.” The boutique hotel is located on a private beach that borders a 208-acre state park, affording a sense of seclusion to the guests that stay in its 37 spacious rooms. Catering to the various needs of its guests, there are 17 different types of rooms, all but three of which offer breathtaking views of the beach from their balconies. Newly arrived guests are greeted with complimentary wine, fresh roses, and a special treat from Beach Walk Café. Guests of the inn also have access to all the amenities of the neighboring Henderson Beach Resort, including a resort-style pool and lazy river, state-of-the-art fitness center with 24-hour access, and a luxurious full-service spa. Booking further includes a made-to-order breakfast, picnic-style lunch, happy hour, beach chairs and umbrella rentals, bicycle rentals, and community snacks. One other feature to this spectacular inn that makes it a true getaway — there’s a minimum age requirement. “We’re

“The guests walk in and are instantly treated like a VIP or a family member.”


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adults-only, and only those older than 25, unless married, can stay with us,” explains Janie. Making a stay at the inn even more inclusive, guests have convenient access to Beach Walk Café, an award-winning, in-house restaurant. “We wanted to offer our guests a fine dining option just steps from their room,” says Janie. “Many of our guests arrive at the inn and never leave the property until they check out because they have everything they need here.” All of this, certainly, would be reason enough for the inn to rank high on the list for excellence. But the concept behind Henderson Park Inn was, and has always been, about more than just the outward trappings. “We place great emphasis on hospitality at the inn; and even before it re-opened under the direction of the Dunavants, we took care of people,” Janie contends. “Hospitality and caring for people have been at the

heart of our property from its inception. We wanted to be the best adults-only, all-inclusive bed and breakfast, and we do that through exceptional hospitality.”

Located at 2700 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, 32541. For more information, call (866) 398-4432 or visit

“Many of our guests arrive at the inn and never leave the property until they check out because they have everything they need here.”

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The Clique Sis, these are the women, I mean, THE women. These are the gals to keep your eye on. They are the ones who Get. It. Done. The Clique is a group of women that come from all walks of life and all industries. Get to know them...

Delanne Bernier

Missy Atchison


issy Atchison, owner of Atchison PR LLC, has more than 20 years experience in marketing, events, and business management. That experience is wrapped up in her elite PR firm that specializes in customized packages for each client. Missy is proud to say that Atchison PR is more than her business — it’s her passion. From a young age, her mother taught her everything she needed to know about event planning. Since then, she has prided herself on Atchison PR’s motto which is “strong relationships through clear communications.” Missy was born in Albany, Georgia, but relocated to Pensacola when she was 4 years old. She grew up working with her parents, George and Louise, at their construction company, Phoenix Coatings. She credits them for teaching her about a strong work ethic and how to run a successful business. When Missy isn’t working, you can find her at the beach. She enjoys spending time with her son, John Morgan, her dog, Bama, and other family and friends.

Atchison PR

850.619.8275 •


fter a career as a federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Delanne Bernier has planted her roots full time on the Emerald Coast. Two and a half years ago, she moved to Santa Rosa Beach while still commuting to our nation’s capital to provide advocacy for a national trade association. Some of her last duties when the pandemic hit included working with the President, Congress, FEMA and other agencies to ensure that her membership of automotive salvage small businesses received appropriate guidance and recognition as “essential workers.” As much as Delanne has loved her career, the spread of the coronavirus spurred her on to live in paradise full time and start a new career. Delanne has since gotten her real estate license which utilizes so many of her skill sets. She has also been active as a Walton County Volunteer Beach Ambassador. In that capacity she provides beach keeping, turtle nesting education and double red flag assistance. Delanne has also been active in helping the “Sassy Sisters,” a women’s group within the Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club, raise money for the Walton County Sheriff’s K9 program so they can acquire an additional dog (or two). Delanne is delighted with her decision to live and work full time in a place that has the nicest people and the most beautiful environment imaginable.

Sand Dunes Real Estate, LLC

703.472.4447 • Grand Boulevard, Miramar 77

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The Clique Dalisse Dittmar


alisse Dittmar, a sassy Miami native, relocated to Fort Walton Beach with her family in 2017. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Spanish from the University of Florida and an MBA in Marketing and International Business from the University of Miami, Dalisse has made a splash in the title industry together with John Dowd Jr. in the opening of Dowd & Dittmar Title Group, LLC. Taking pride in keeping open and constant communication between Realtors, buyers, sellers, and lenders, Dowd & Dittmar Title Group has successfully created a niche for itself amongst the area’s top Realtors and investors. “In this day and age, communication and constant contact is key. The days of not hearing from your closer until the week before closing are long gone, and we have gotten a positive response to our way of doing business. We are so excited for our future and look forward to expanding our new business.”

Dowd & Dittmar Title

850.650.9900 • 25 Beal Pkwy NW #230, Fort Walton Beach

Whitney Lee

Kara Helfrich


ara Helfrich, who has been visiting the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area for annual vacations since she was a young child, always knew she would live here one day. Kara and her husband, Kyle, made the move from the Philadelphia area to Fort Walton Beach when their three children had graduated. And, they couldn’t be happier with that decision. Kara has been in retail banking/lending since 2007 and recently immersed herself solely in the mortgage lending world in 2019. Bank of England Mortgage is the perfect fit for Kara and a great organization to be a part of. Kara’s goal is to help people get into their dream homes by making the lending process as seamless as possible and alleviate some of the stress of buying a new home. It is fulfilling for Kara to know she will be able to continue to build relationships with local Realtors and homebuyers to ensure everyone in the transaction has the best experience possible. Kara is a member of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, recently started working with the Emerald Coast Foundation, and loves attending events here on the beautiful Emerald Coast. She enjoys being outdoors (especially on the beach!) all year long and has a passion for running in 5Ks to support local causes.

Bank of England Mortgage

484.951.4057 • 348 Miracle Strip Pkwy SW Bldg H, Fort Walton Beach


hitney Lee is the owner and founder of SocialLee PR & Media Co which has been serving clients all over the Southeast since 2015. Within one year of starting her agency, she grew the business to over six figures and to date has created and executed unique public relations and social media plans for 50+ businesses across numerous industries including resorts, retail, food & beverage, music, entertainment, nonprofit, medical, and more. SocialLee has now grown to a team of four, with more expansion on the horizon in 2021. “Bottom line — our job is to help businesses make money,” said Whitney. “It’s the most addicting feeling to know that our strategies helped someone’s business take off.” Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Whitney relocated to Destin in 2008 after finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication at the University of Southern Mississippi. She then went on to earn a Master’s in Arts from Florida State University in Integrated Marketing Communications. You may also recognize Whitney from Get the Coast, as she has been hosting their local news and pop culture show “Everything” since 2017. Those who know Whitney agree that this “Type A” Leo is focused, determined, and definitely not shy. She enjoys sunset rides on her Peloton and boating season on the Emerald Coast. She’s an avid sushi lover and can’t wait to get back on the travel scene.

SocialLee PR & Media Co

850.974.2002 •

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The Clique Dr. Ana May Manuel


aking care of people is a family affair for White-Wilson Medical Center’s Dr. Ana May Manuel which makes her role as one of the practice’s Family Medicine physicians even more fitting. After growing up with two physician parents, she chose to follow in their footsteps, and for the last 25 years has been striving to emulate the level of care they offered their patients. Dr. Manuel’s health care career began in the Philippines where she received her medical degree from Far Eastern University’s Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, one of the country’s top medical education programs. Following an internship, a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and some years spent working alongside her parents, Dr. Manuel, her husband White-Wilson Pediatrician Dr. Mervin Manuel, and their sons immigrated to the U.S. in 2007. After arriving, she undertook additional training through a Family Medicine residency and has called the specialty home ever since. Dr. Manuel has a special interest in women’s health and wellness. She understands what women need from their primary care physician and strives to approach her patients with open ears and understanding. Dr. Manuel is now accepting new patients at the White-Wilson Family Medicine Clinic in Fort Walton Beach.

White-Wilson Family Medicine Clinic 850.863.6600 • 1005 Mar Walt Drive, Fort Walton Beach

Stevie McInnes


tevie McInnes, Broker/Owner of Emerald Coast Rental Management, has more than 18 years of property management experience. In March of 2019, after a needed push from business partner Martha Dowd, Emerald Coast Rental Management was launched. Since then, Stevie and Martha have implemented “out-of-the-box ideas” to give both the owners and tenants a unique, “service-first” experience. Stevie is constantly evolving and growing to continue to give the boutique experience she has committed to offer. Stevie and the entire ECRM team are very involved in many local charities and believe giving back is so important. Annually, ECRM adopts a family from Westwood and is a sponsor for Children in Crisis. Stevie’s passion to serve is undeniable. She puts serving others above all else, and it doesn’t go unrecognized. Stevie gives thanks to God for any and all success. She says, “When you put HIM first, everything else just falls into place.”

Emerald Coast Rental Management

850.362.6999 25 Beal Parkway, Suite 230, Fort Walton Beach

Jo Rich


o Rich is the Owner/Operator of the newest Pensacola downtown hotspot, Jo Rich Beauty Palafox Glamour Bar. Before starting JRB, Jo worked for several years in upper management retail with brands such as The Limited, Armani Exchange, and Armani. After a successful 12-year career, she knew she wanted to do more. Her love of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurial spirit led her into the esthetic world where she has become a successful esthetician, makeup artist, and business owner for the past five years. Jo enjoys any and every opportunity to make other women feel their best and most beautiful. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her two young sons and husband in their RV.

Jo Rich Beauty

850.982.2545 • 126 Palafox Pl, Pensacola 79

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The Clique Angie Sutherland


ngie Sutherland is a paralegal at Dowd Law Firm in Fort Walton Beach. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from South University in Savannah, Georgia, and brings 17+ years of experience in bookkeeping, office management, real estate, civil litigation, estate planning, and probate. Angie also has her Master’s of Theology in Christian Counseling and loves to help others come to understand their personal worth, break destructive mindsets, overcome life’s challenges, and enjoy living! She appreciates the beauty and serenity of coastal living and loves paddle boarding; but, her greatest love and joy is spending time with her three amazing sons and her daughter-in-law. “Angie is a highly intelligent, extremely thorough, and hard-working angel who has a warm personality and a huge heart. When she puts her mind to a project, nothing will stop her from getting it done with no stones left unturned. She has a rare instinctual attention to detail and an uncanny ability to help people understand complicated issues. Having Angie on your side greatly improves your chance of success and gives you confidence that you can handle a situation. I am thankful and proud to have the opportunity to work with her every day!” — John Dowd, Jr., Senior Partner Dowd Law Firm is a boutique law firm with experienced attorneys and staff that offer services in business matters, real estate matters, estate planning (wills and trusts) and probate.

Dowd Law Firm

850.972.2233 • 25 Beal Pkwy NW #230, Fort Walton Beach

Megan Wages


egan Wages is a hair stylist and beauty expert pursuing her lifelong passion on the Emerald Coast. She has lived in the Destin area for nearly her whole life and worked here for just under a decade. At Pure & Couture Salon, Megan’s clients seek out her talent for precision highlighting. She has studied and trained in a wide range of techniques and is an extension specialist in Harlow Hair and Dreamcatchers, Olaplex certified, a Loreal color expert, Brazilian blowout certified and licensed barber. She has also had training with Sharon Blain in both formal- and special-event styling. To round out her bouquet of beauty bolstering techniques, Megan is also a spray tan artist, providing clients with a beach-perfect tan without the sand. Megan adores all aspects of her job but finds a special joy in seeing the smiling faces of her clients after a session in her chair. On her days off, Megan likes to unwind and relax with crafting. She loves to craft for family, especially her new nephew, who looks so cute in her clothing creations. Megan is all about family and loves to spend time with her husband, Chase and two dogs, Gizmo and Ellie.

Pure & Couture Salon

850.424.3935 • 36150 Emerald Coast Pkwy #104, Destin

Do you want to be part of The Clique? Join the group every issue in celebration of what’s unique about each woman. Whether you want the community to know about a stand-out employee, highlight a new addition to your crew, or pat yourself on the back after an extraordinary achievement, The Clique is your chance to be part of a remarkable tribe of women! To find out how to join The Clique, contact Mary at

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Get Ready with Me |

S.4unday.6 Funday.5

R.2achel Guidry.6 with

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Rachel Guidry Age: 28 Personality: ENFJ, Manifestor, Gemini sun/Virgo rising/ Scorpio moon Born and (mainly) raised in Valparaiso/Niceville, Florida. Family from Lafayette/New Orleans. Lived in FL, NC, AL, Orange County, CA. Studied abroad in Paris, France, & London, England, while attending Florida State University. Visited areas of Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Mexico, and Belize. Where I like to do brunch: Another Broken Egg, Grand Boulevard, Donut Hole, Santa Rosa Beach, First Watch, Santa Rosa Beach

What’s your ideal Sunday Funday? Mine is one with friends, food, and sunshine-filled adventure. It can be tricky because Florida weather is notorious for changing on a dime and being all over the place in general. But, as a NW Florida native and fashion expert, I’ve mastered what to wear here for all temperatures and especially for a day of brunch and activity. Just one outfit will suffice!

What to wear to a brunch & beach day when it’s cold:

(Oct/Nov-April/May) Of course, it doesn’t get as cold here as other places, but the sea breeze can be killer. Be mindful of the fabrics you wear as wind will go through some (like linen and cotton) and stop at others (certain polyester and polyester blends). Anything that blocks the wind will be a game changer for these temperatures.


Don’t forget socks. The thicker the better. Billabong in Grand Boulevard carries a brand called Stance that is thick, durable, and perfect for all activities.


Sneakers or high top sneakers. Check out Vans or Journey’s in Destin Commons.


Black leggings are great for a cute brunch outfit and an active day outdoors. If they’re of nicer quality and thicker, they’ll do the job as long as your ankles and neck are covered along with the rest of your body. Old Navy & Aerie in Destin Commons have great options.

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Jacket/long-sleeve shirt

Jackets with wind-breaking fabrics are best and you shouldn’t need anything super thick if it blocks the wind. I personally like a thicker bomber as the material is usually wind breaking, the neck is slightly covered, and I can tie it around my waist if needed. My two favorite bombers are from H&M in Destin Commons. Try to pick a jacket or long-sleeved shirt with thumb holes as it will keep you warm like gloves do without the hassle. This isn’t necessary, but definitely can make a difference depending on how low the temperature is. I have a few jackets like this from Old Navy that I’ve had for years, still love, and have taken on many adventures.


Sunglasses are a must for obvious reasons but also for the sand! Windy days mean sand might be blowing toward your eyes, and if you’re active on the beach, you’ll especially want them. If you’re a visual person like me, go ahead and grab a pair of polarized Suncloud sunglasses at Billabong. They’re super affordable, durable, and when you wear them, it enhances this area’s green and blue hues to remind you of how beautiful of an area we live in.


A beanie or baseball cap isn’t necessary, but I would definitely recommend it at around 50 degrees. A baseball cap will also protect you from the sun and sand, so that’s something to keep in mind. Forever 21, H&M, and Aerie have many options.

A note on layers

Layers are always smart because when you’re at brunch, you’ll probably need less if you are sitting inside, but more when you’re heading outside, and then less again when you’re actively moving.

A note on scarves

A scarf isn’t necessary and will probably restrict your movement anyway. As long as your top or jacket has a long enough collar to cover your entire neck as is or when rolled up, you’ll be warm enough.

A note on jewelry

I love jewelry and understand wanting to wear some all the time! Why not add a little extra to your Sunday Funday outfit, right? I suggest only sterling silver or real gold and minimal in design. Why? Sterling silver and real gold won’t corrode in your sweat or the salt water. Jewelry that is minimal in design won’t snag or get caught on anything. If you’re going to be active, chances are you will want to not have to worry about losing or breaking what you’re wearing.

When It’s Warm

(April/May-June) -Don’t worry about covering your neck or ankles. -Keep the windbreaker. It’s extra windy this time of year. -Hat optional.

When It’s Hot

(June-Aug/Sept) See above, but ... -Bike shorts, athletic shorts. -Hat for sweat and sun exposure. 83

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oon after I graduated from FSU, I was off to California to start a career in the apparel/fashion industry. Through this adventure, I discovered my true talents and drive were within marketing. After years in California and marketing for Destin Commons, my own entrepreneurial adventure began: Piper Creative Company. I wanted to support myself and do what I love, but most importantly, support the betterment of mental health, a push to be outdoors and preserve it, as well as equality for all. Don’t forget to have fun putting your outfit together, have fun being outdoors, and have fun with good company. Ask about the Wardrobe Refresh service available through Piper Creative Company.

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Scan the QR Code to start listening to Scarlett’s curated March + April 2021 issue playlist.

Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles Roar - Katy Perry Respect - Aretha Franklin Fight Song - Rachel Platten Confident - Demi Lovato Don’t Stop Me Now - Queen Bad Reputation - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate Love Myself - Hailee Steinfeld Express Yourself - Madonna Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell Fast Car - Tracy Chapman Younger Now - Miley Cyrus Dancing Queen - ABBA

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written by: Liesel Schmidt portrait photography by: Shanna Magnuson interior photography by: Don McNaron Photography

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riginally built in 1985, the stately home at 150 Lakeside Drive in DeFuniak Springs possesses a grandeur that reflects centuries past, with architectural features found in the plantation homes of the Old South — massive columns, a sprawling front porch area, extensive brickwork leading up to the home. It was that sight that first welcomed Malgorzata (Margaret) Hoffman in 2013 after an intensive search to find a home. Home after home had fallen through until she’d found this one, built by the owners of Cawthon State Bank. It seemed almost kismet, as the bank would eventually become the home of her shop, Vault46. “The store is my baby,” says Margaret. “It is filled with an eclectic collage of one-of-a-kind items, things that aren’t mass-produced. I always look for things that speak to the soul and heart, things that people will take home to use and admire.” That same sense of uniqueness is seen throughout Margaret’s home which she completely renovated after it became hers. Naturally, she didn’t alter the outside, leaving the white brick façade untouched. But inside, she had almost 3,400 square feet to transform, replacing its dated original finishes with cleaner, more modern materials and colors. Bringing warmth into an otherwise cool pallet of grey and white, hardwood flooring was installed throughout the house, broken only by marble tiles in the foyer and tiling in the bathrooms. The kitchen is the only aspect of the home that she hasn’t touched. In the breakfast area, Margaret chose to feature a beautiful stained-glass window that is original to the home. The same style of stained glass can also be seen in the bathrooms as well as in the formal dining room. Each of the three bathrooms, along with the master bathroom, feature different tiling on the floors. The sense of cohesion from the three bedrooms and master suite to the formal dining and living rooms is that clean color palette that provides a canvas for Margaret’s décor and the various architectural details that she fell in love with when she saw the home. “I love the whole house!” she says. “My favorite 89

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place, however, is the formal living room which is filled with my books, paintings, and sentimental treasures.” An antique Adams mantle serves as the focal point of the room, and a faux fireplace was built specifically to display the mantle. Downstairs, doors in the den lead out to a large back porch which overlooks the back of the property and a wall of gardenias. Upstairs, the balcony off the master suite offers views of the backyard and is one of Margaret’s favorite places for morning coffee. The whole house is a reflection of Margaret’s vision, indicative of the way she lives in a space. “I don’t match my paintings to my pillows — they have to match my soul,” she says. “I want to put my feet up on the table and read a book and put my cup of coffee down, not necessarily on the coaster. Everything is made to be used, inside and out. Part of the property has a garden with a fountain and a seating area with sweet ginger and a lot of hydrangeas. Throughout the year, there is always something blooming, and it is a beautiful place to sit and enjoy nature.”


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Margaret’s home is built for entertaining which she does often. She shares her space with her three fur babies — Zippy, Walter Bishop, and Reed. “We walk every morning to say hello to our big tree which I named Louise. Then we walk around and admire everything,” she says. “There are two cats, Oliver and Daisy, that follow us everywhere; and there are so many pine trees! We have pecan trees, birch trees, oak trees, lots of azaleas, and one pear tree that I just discovered a couple of years ago that grows yummy pears!” Boasting nearly 2.5 acres of lush green space, the property has no shortage of beauty to explore, and Margaret loves the idea of sharing it. “I can see a game of croquet on the back lawn, blankets on the grass for a picnic.” A native of Poland, Margaret has fallen in love over the years with the city she now calls home. “This little town and the amazing people I have had the pleasure to meet have been wonderful,” she says. “There’s not many places you can find yourself feeling safe and sure that that’s where you should be, but I know that I want to be here. I really don’t know how, but it seems as though all roads were leading me here. I have found it, or the city found me — I’m not sure which. But this is home.”

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YASSS girl, you know you want it!

Miss Fizzwick

Bijoux de Mer

Candle Bar by Miss Fizzwick is a custom candler specializing in hand crafting clean, upcycled candles from Champagne bottles. Miss Fizzwick’s signature scent, “Champagne Chakra” is one example of the clean soy wax candles which offer the restorative benefits of the essential oils they are made with, minus any toxic fragrance chemicals used by most other candle makers. This blend uses Palmarosa, Sweet Orange and Geranium to help open the Heart Chakra. For every single order made on www.missfizzwick. com, the company donates a deluxe amenity kit like the one pictured to a woman starting fresh after fleeing abuse, homelessness, or trafficking. This act embodies Miss Fizzwick’s mission to “Be The Light.”

Scrumptious Ethiopian opals ranging from 1.5 - 5 carats surrounded by diamonds or white sapphires, set in blackened sterling silver.

Candle Bar


Tommy Bahama

Long-Sleeve Coastalina Linen Shirt

Lightweight comfort that feels like the island breeze? Sign us up! This 100% linen shirt complements your carefree, easygoing outfitting, transporting you to an island state of mind, no matter where you are.

ClasSea Chic Boutique

Intrigued by you Ruffle Sleeve Top

You’re going to love this cozy casual blouse featuring a classic pink color and those amazing detailed ruffle sleeves! Pair this with leggings or skinny jeans for the cutest look!

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Polli Youngbeck Happy Day • 850.502.0870 36x48 Canvas

The Places You Will Grow

Handmade Macramé Market Bag

Lily Chartier Pearls Sterling Silver and Gold

Lily Chartier Pearls brings you beautiful, high-luster freshwater, Tahitian, and South Sea cultured pearls that have been hand drilled and knotted on fine, hand-cut Kangaroo leather or our signature hand-spun nautical Mermaid Rope. The perfect accessory for your trips to the grocery store and farmer’s market. This bag is a zero waste, reusable, and eco-friendly alternative to plastic and paper bags.

Amazing Lash Nature Lash Nature Lashes is a natural lash growth product, free of the chemical that causes dark spots on the iris (a main ingredient in many popular lash serums). Best of all, it is safe to use with lash extensions.


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To Prep.3 or Not to Prep.4 written by: Courtney Murray


ith all of the extra time spent at home, some are taking up cooking for the first time. If you’re like Carrie Bradshaw and you store sweaters and old issues of Vogue in your oven, it’s time to clear out the cobwebs and awaken your inner Julia Child! If you are a cooking novice, diving head first into the culinary world can be utterly terrifying. A good way to begin is to keep it simple. Use fresh, high-quality ingredients and focus on perfecting a few basic skills. With these tips under your belt, you’ll be able to create countless versions of meals. If you are like a large percentage of Americans, a few months ago you were running on the hamster wheel of life. There was no time for a balanced breakfast so you’d grab a bar that claims to be “healthy” and eat it on the road. Work. Work. Work. Grab takeout on your way home. Binge watch Netflix. Eat a late night snack because you’re hungry from barely eating all day. Go to sleep. Repeat. One silver lining of quarantine is that many people have been able to break this cycle with one change to their routine — meal prep. The idea of implementing meal prep into your life might seem overwhelming, but it can actually make your life easier. And, if the grocery shopping aspect is too much for you, try one of the many meal prep subscription services out there like Home Chef, Sun Basket, Blue Apron or Green Chef. 99

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Because most of us don’t have time to whip up a frittata in the morning, breakfast becomes the easiest meal to skip or grab an unhealthy option because you didn’t prepare the night before. Get in the habit of setting your coffee maker and making your breakfast the evening before, and you will have a much smoother morning routine. Ex. Egg Muffins Let your imagination go wild and add anything you like to this protein-packed breakfast like bacon & cheese, spinach, tomatoes & mozzarella. To make, start by beating eggs together with salt and pepper. Pour into muffin tin and add your toppings. Bake and enjoy. Bonus — this meal can be frozen.


Whether you’re going into an office or suddenly find yourself juggling working from home, while homeschooling children and trying to keep the house from burning down — you are famished either way by noon. To prevent yourself from hiding in your closet and stuffing your face with goldfish crackers, think ahead and prep! I like to grocery shop and meal prep on Sundays. If you get a set of matching tupperware and prepare several lunches for the week you can alternate them to prevent yourself from getting bored. Ex. Mason Jar Salad This recipe is done in levels. Level 1: Pour desired salad dressing in the bottom. Level 2: Add crisp ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots. Level 3: Add ingredients like mushrooms, zucchini, beans, lentils, peas, corn, broccoli. Level 4: Add hard boiled eggs, cheese. Level 5: Add ingredients such as rice, quinoa, couscous. Level 6: Top with greens and nuts. The possibilities are endless for ingredients, and you can make this meal for every day of the week! They are super aesthetically pleasing too; taste the rainbow.

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Dinner is a tricky time. You’re either getting home from work, or you’re simultaneously trying to give the baby a bath and help your teenager finish a science project while trying to not burn the chicken cordon bleu. Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be people. For these busy weekdays, choose meals that you can make the night before, be reheated and used for multiple meals. Or even better, make it a throw-everything-in-the-Crock-Pot meal! Ex. Hearty Crock-Pot Chicken Put two chicken breasts, a bag of mini potatoes, and a bag of baby carrots in the Crock-Pot. Sprinkle a packet of Italian seasoning on top and 5 tbsp of butter. Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with side salad.


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Be the Change |

Feeding the Children written by: Liesel Schmidt / photography provided by: Food For Thought


ood is something that most of us give little thought to. Breakfast, lunch, dinner — We eat without considering how hard it can be for some people to manage even the most meager of meals. And while these three essential meals are part of what we work so hard each day to provide, there are countless families all over the country and throughout the world who go without. It is the children of these families — children who face hunger and live in a world of food insecurity — who are the focus of organizations like Food For Thought. Started in 2010 by Tiffanie Nelson, FFT has grown from an idea to help feed six students in need at one school to a program that now serves 35 schools in Walton and Okaloosa counties through an in-school backpack program. “We had our first introduction to public school in 2010, when my oldest child was starting kindergarten,” says Tiffanie. “That was also my first moment of awareness that there was a wellhidden hunger issue in our community, and I felt a strong desire to help. I was given $300 by my church, and my kids and I went shopping. In partnership with my son’s school, we enrolled our first six students and from there, we have continued to grow to meet the demands of our community.” That demand has naturally changed over the years, and during the 2019-20 school year there were more than 3,500 foodinsecure children enrolled in FFT. With a mission to “remove the negative impacts of hunger and empower a child to get the most out of their education and development 103

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“FFT is committed to fighting food insecurity in the lives of children and we will continue to meet the needs of our community for as long as they need us.” by providing them weekly access to healthy, easy-to-prepare meals,” the organization fights child hunger through five, yearround programs that are specifically designed for food-insecure children from kindergarten through 12th grade. “Our goal is to support a child’s development and educational experience by bridging the gap between school meals during weekends as well as summer and holiday breaks in addition to offering learning and life-skill resources through the Emeril Lagasse Full-Circle Kitchen and our Full-Circle Gardens,” says Tiffanie. “We currently reach over 3,300 food-insecure children every week of the year.” Such an impact is incredible, though the strides FFT has made are not without their challenges. One of which most recently being COVID-19 and the school closures that have necessitated a pivot in their practices. “When schools closed in March of 2020 for spring break, it was clear that our community was beginning to feel the impacts of COVID and that we needed to prepare as an organization,” says Tiffanie. “Shortly thereafter, schools announced they would not reopen after the break for physical school. As an organization, we made a swift transition to curbside services and have not missed a week of service. Using our Summer Service format, we were able to create an impactful service model so the children who depend on us could continue to get our services. Over the months, we have expanded our curbside locations and increased our food assortment provided at each service. Understanding the transportation constraints of the families we serve, FFT is committed to providing at least 50 full-size food items to every family at each pickup.” Special services for Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been an important part of FFT’s operations, and 2021 will see the expansion of pick-up locations and food offerings, providing food the children will miss while they are removed from their school breakfast and lunch programs as well as everything needed to prepare a traditional holiday meal. “By the time these services are over, we will

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The latest in women’s fashion, beauty, home decor, lifestyle, and health.

provide food to over 600 families to cover ten days of food during Thanksgiving break and 20 days during Christmas break,” Tiffanie says. Aside from the challenge of COVID-19, FFT faces other challenges that threaten its ability to serve the community. “We do NOT always have what we need,” Tiffanie asserts. “We do not always have enough food, money, or volunteers. We do find ways to make it work, but I often hear that people do not donate or volunteer because they think we have everything we need. We work hard every week to ensure that we have the resources needed, but if the community does not show up for us, we cannot show up for the children who need us. This is a local organization, and our services depend on our community partnerships.” More than ten years in, Tiffanie and her team are as dedicated as ever, and they have no intention of stopping until there are no hungry children left to feed. “FFT is committed to fighting food insecurity in the lives of children,” she says, “and we will continue to meet the needs of our community for as long as they need us.”

For more information on donation and volunteer opportunities, call (850) 290-4056 or visit

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Preparing Your Financial Future

850.862.0111 ext. 1321

written by: Liesel Schmidt


n all the care we take with our health — emotional, physical, and mental — it’s easy to forget about one type of health that is more extrinsic: Financial health. It’s an important factor that can directly affect how we live our lives, and planning for the future is a vital part of that. Still, day-today financial wellness is something that we can all have, with a little bit of help from the experts. “Financial wellness is knowing that you do not need to worry about your money,” explains Mark Kilbride, who has been the financial advisor at EGLIN FINANCIAL SERVICES since 2018. Located at Eglin Federal Credit Union, EFS works directly with clients to help them secure their financial future. “It is not being naïve or carefree about your money but having a plan or goal for financial independence and sticking to it.” While financial wellness is important for everyone, it is especially important for women — and, unfortunately, not always something that we self-advocate. Even so, Mark stresses that women be more aware of their need to plan. “There have been great strides made for women financially lately, but one inherent disadvantage is that they generally

live longer than men,” Mark asserts. “That means that their money needs to last longer. In my experience, women have an advantage in preparing for retirement because they are more conservative with their investments and tend to be better savers than men.” Fortunately, there are simple ways for women to create financial wellness for themselves that will help them prepare for eventualities as well as unforeseen circumstances. “Women can start by having a plan or goal for their money. I’d recommend that they have an emergency fund and save six to nine months of their annual income in case they leave or lose a job,” says Mark, who has been in finance for 21 years. “Begin saving well before you need the money, and make it a part of life. When you live within your means, you don’t have to go into debt when a financial emergency happens, such as when your car or home needs work.” Despite the fact that retirement may not be on the immediate horizon, it’s never too early to start planning. “In every stage of life, you should be saving for retirement,” Kilbride contends. “Start as early as possible and create savings ‘buckets’ for the things you want and need in your life. Examples include a car, vacations, and a home. As life happens, these goals may not be met; but you will always have the money to address any financial issue that arises.” Decade by decade, there are things that need a financial plan — even as young as your 20s. “In your 20s, you are usually just starting to work; so your goal might be to eventually buy a home or to pay off college loans,” says Mark. Such plans require savings, so put money away regularly and live below your means as much as possible. “In your 30s, your focus might be on setting up a college fund for your children, buying a bigger home, making sure you have money for car repairs, and taking an annual vacation. You should also consider life insurance to pay for your mortgage and the college fund if something happens to you. Your 40s are usually the most expensive years for raising a family, so really tightening

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your belt on your monthly expenses should be a priority. Generally, the 50s are the highest earning years in a career. At some point, the children are finally out from under you; and now you can kick your retirement savings into high gear. In your 60s, you should focus on paying off your mortgage and understanding what your healthcare will cost — these are the biggest expenses in retirement. Then, you should be able to envision what your retirement will look like. This will also help you determine exactly when you will be able to retire.” Naturally, there are some guidelines for savings that help determine a good foundation. “I would suggest starting with saving at least 10% of your monthly income,” says Mark. “This can be a combination of an employer-sponsored plan and an emergency fund. Obviously, if you can save more, you should.” Much like the economy itself, the definition of “financial health” in terms of numbers has changed greatly over the years. Despite that fact, however, a secure future in retirement is different for everyone. “In my nearly 21 years in the business, my view of retirement has changed considerably,” Mark says. “All you can ask of yourself is to do your best. Everyone has a unique vision of their retirement, so what is healthy for you will probably not be the same for others. Try to determine the lifestyle you want and how much it will cost. Ultimately, your retirement fund will determine what you can do in retirement.”

EGLIN FINANCIAL SERVICES Advisors are registered representatives of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), members FINRA/ SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, which is not an affiliate of the credit union. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.. is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty states of the United States of America. FR-3446036.1-0221-0323


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Welcoming Destin High School’s New Principal T

written by: Kay Phelan / photography provided by: Destin High School

he Governing Board of the upcoming new, tuition-free public charter high school, Destin High School (DHS), has officially announced the hiring of their new Principal, Christine Cruickshank. President of the Governing Board Prebble Ramswell said, “Christine Cruickshank is highly credentialed and possesses all the qualities of a strong principal. She is a natural leader with a clear vision of the mission and goals of DHS and is already embracing her primary responsibilities as principal which includes shaping a vision of academic success for all students, cultivating leadership in others, and hiring, developing, and retaining excellent teachers. We are thrilled to have her on staff. This key leadership role is essential in achieving a successful 2021-2022 school year opening at the renovated Grace Lutheran property in Destin.” Christine, a local who has lived in the Northwest Florida area since 2007, and has been a resident of Niceville for the past several years, was selected from a pool of nearly 200 candidates from across the country. Since 2010, she has served as the Assistant Principal of the Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College, also a charter high school, as well as being a part-time Adjunct Professor of history at the college since 2008.

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Christine has 35 years of experience focused on education and teaching. Obtaining numerous degrees, including an Education Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction/Instructional Technology and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida, and a Master of Science in History Education in North Carolina, she also has a long history of teaching in North Carolina, Southern Florida, and Northwest Florida. She even started teaching in her senior year of college while attending Millersville University in Pennsylvania. Over the years, Christine has extensively interacted with her students in many ways. For example, she has coached track & field, dance and tennis; taken on student activities such as community service, homecomings and proms; and directed many student extracurricular activities and clubs. Her detailed education and teaching curriculum vitae can be found online at It is also important to note that Christine has had extensive experience as a school leader in the AdvancED/ SACS Accreditation process for schools from day care to high school. This will be of utmost importance for DHS to acquire their initial accreditation in their first or second year, and then the process that has to be updated and renewed every five years. Another experience Christine has under her belt is overseeing one of her favorite projects, the Senior Capstone Project. This is a process whereby students at the end of their junior year undertake a major project of career research and decision making in a subject specific to the individual student’s personally chosen career interests. Students then write a research paper and do a presentation at the end of their senior year before a panel of judges. Often, the students also volunteer or intern in the summer months in the field they have selected for their Capstone Project. For more information call (850) 424-1664, email, or visit


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| Anything He Can Do...


Can Do...

Sarah Drexler photography by: Shanna Magnuson

Hometown Lowell, Indiana Current Residence Panama City Beach, Florida Occupation Police Officer Special Skills Musically Inclined

How did you get interested in your occupation? Becoming an Officer has been a career I have wanted to pursue since I was 14. I have had a strong desire because I felt myself as a protective kind of person, and I felt called to the job.

How long have you been practicing your trade? Since 2015 when I became a Reserve Officer (which is not a paid position). After the end of my Reserve position, the Chief of that department sponsored me to attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. To attend the academy one must be sponsored. This means you either have to get a sponsorship to attend the academy by a police department and pay your way or you get hired by a police department and they pay for the academy. However, it is very difficult to get hired without experience onto a police department, so I took the plunge and paid my way to go to the police academy. Risking that I could fail out, and I had no job at the time, I took the leap and just did it. It was the best thing I could have done for not only how passionate I was for this career, but what confidence I gained that if you set your mind to something you can be successful. Even if you fail along the way, keep pursuing your dreams.

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Tell us a little about your favorite part of the job you do. I love that you have something different almost every shift. Biggest thing is making a difference in someone’s life. You never know whose life you might change.

Let us in on the least favorite part of your job. Probably the amount of paperwork, reports.

What empowers you as a woman in a typically male industry? The confidence and empowerment of showcasing the ability to do this job just as well as a male can.

Did/do you have any role models that inspired you to choose your line of work? I honestly didn’t have a role model that inspired me for the job, I just went for it. However, my big brother who is also a police officer, I look up to immensely. He has been an inspiration through this whole police journey I have been on.

What advice do you have for other women interested in your trade? That you will always have to prove yourself more in this field. Just make sure to be at your best even on rough days, keep your head up high, and stay professional.

How do you think diversity in the workplace helps shape our community? I believe that diversity helps the situations that may arise with an already multiformity community. Diversity also helps with learning the different cultures as well.

Since you’ve started, have you noticed a change in your industry when it comes to opportunities for women? Yes, I have seen just more and more women in law enforcement, which is great! Instead of being one female, there are several on the force, which is so cool.

Words you live by… If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying; if you aren’t trying, you aren’t really living. 111

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A Heart at Home, pg. 87 Sterling Silver Necklace - Champagne Biwa Pearls and Citrine with Peridots Pendant. Designed by Malgorzata Hoffman, Vault46 Pink Pashmina Shawl, Goof’s Ready To Wear Boutique Magic Maxi Dress by Stylist and Designer Aric Castleberry of Atlanta “Silhouettes by Aric C.,” Vault46 Nicolette Round Glasses, Tom Ford Hunter Rain Boots, Nordstrom Makeup by Aric Castleberry

The Life of Bailey, pg. 17 Blue romper, Gianni Bini, Dillards Floral pumps, Forever 21 Black Open Front Romper/ Dress, Bebe Black heels, Aldo Color Block kimono, Forever 21 Black Bikini Top, Meshki Black Bikini Bottom, Seafolly, Ophelia

Gold Watch, Nixon Sterling Silver Station Bezel Set Diamond Necklace, Reeds, Destin Commons Sterling Silver Bracelets, John Hardy, Destin Commons Nails, Daliyahs Hair, Elyse Hudson at Aveda Avant Garde Local Tattoo Artist, Andrew Dixon at Alan’s Cool Ink

Check out additional outfits on pg. 17

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