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magazine VOL I / ISSUE III


Land O’ Lakes Friends of the Library

POWER GALS Land O’Lakes Woman is on a Mission to Help Other Women Succeed in Business TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894 | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE |


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2 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

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Land O' Lakes Friends of the Library


Karla Arita of Power Gals Empowering Women to Succeed in Business


Into the Woods - Florida Trailblazer


Blessing in Disguise


Barnes & Noble Hosts Book Signing for Wesley Chapel Photographer, Jeanine McCleod of Cloud 9 Studios


Deb Goldman, Jazzercise in Lutz


Les Saland, A.L. Saland Insurance Solutions

FYI 19

You Gave My Dog What?!


Upcoming Events


Pasco Nurseries


Greener Alternatives to Keep Your Home Pest Free


Lawn & Garden







Land O’ Lakes Magazine is published mid-month of each month and is distributed by the U.S. Postal Service to more than 15,000 residents in Land O’ Lakes, FL as well as businesses. ©2019 Land O’ Lakes Magazine. All rights reserved. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the Publisher. Editorial submissions are welcome. Publisher reserves the right to reject or edit submissions for length and clarity. The Publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. Land O’ Lakes Magazine reserves the right to reject or edit advertisements. Land O’ Lakes Magazine is not responsible for errors in advertisements beyond the cost of advertising space. 4 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

Keith Matter

Sandy Parrish

Valerie Wegener

Judi Fisher

PUBLISHER.......................................................................... Keith Matter EDITOR ............................................................................. Sandy Parrish CREATIVE DIRECTOR.............................................Valerie Wegener SALES.......................................................................................Judi Fisher

You See Cute We See Promise


Years of


It’s Not Too Late To Register!    TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894 | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE |


Land O’ Lakes

Friends of the Library

6 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894


riends of the Pasco County Library System is a notfor-profit organization of people who share a belief that a strong public library is essential for a thriving community. There are seven branch-specific Friends groups that operate independently, but also collaborate to contribute to the overall success and financial stability of the Countywide Friends Organization. These groups work together to enrich the resources of the Pasco County libraries for the benefit of all Pasco citizens through fundraising, volunteering, and advocacy efforts. Linda Buzzee, the current President of the Land O’ Lakes Library Friends explains its purpose, “The Friends group makes

Child enjoying one of the library programs

always encouraged reading as I have done with my own daughter. While living in Massachusetts, we were involved in our Community Theatre Group where I directed Heidi and Little Women, trying to promote literacy while bringing classic stories back to the younger generation,” Linda explained. Funds for additional library programs are raised through book donations and book sales. Flash sales are held year round along with regular bookstore sales. Twice a year they have major book sales events with one coming up November 7th through the 9th. Every Pasco County Library System branch has a Friends Bookstore and each one accepts book donations. You can also support the libraries by visiting any one of our

Friends of the Library President, Linda Buzzee

many of the cultural, art, music, story time, summer reading, and technology programs of the Pasco Library System possible by providing funding not met through traditional county support.” Linda, who is a former special needs elementary school aid from Massachusetts, retired to Land O’ Lakes with her husband, Rick three years ago. After 14 years in the classroom, she found she missed being around children, so she attended a Friends of the Library meeting to see what it was all about. Linda said, “Watching a child suddenly grasp a concept or learn a new skill and seeing the joy come into their face is the reason I love working with children. That ‘lightbulb moment’ makes life worthwhile.” In short order, Linda became a Pasco County substitute teacher and the President of the Land O’ Lakes Library Friends. So much for ‘retiring’. “I always loved reading from an early age, whether to escape or to learn about other cultures and times. My mother

Linda’s niece & her son enjoying Story Time at the Library

branches and buying a book from one of the Friends Bookstores. All proceeds go directly to the Friends of the Library and directly benefit our Pasco County library programming. Linda told us, “The Land O’ Lakes Friends group is a great group of people, employees and volunteers, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! It is a family-friendly library where at any given time, you will find children laughing and picking up their favorite books or participating in one of its numerous programs. Becoming a Friend of the library is your best way to show that your public library is important to you, your family and your community.”

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ­— Ralph Waldo Emerson

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Land O’Lakes Branch Library is located at 2818 Collier Parkway in Land O’Lakes. For more information on becoming involved, please call (813) 929-1214 or visit Click on the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library to view upcoming events, activities, and workshops for all ages. The guidelines for gifts and book donations are also available online.



Land O’Lakes Woman is on a Mission to


and O’Lakes realtor and resident, Karla Arita, wanted to create a local organization to promote camaraderie, sisterhood, empowerment, honesty, and transparency among business women in her community. She had no idea how fast her brainchild, Power Gals, would take off. Karla explained how Power Gals started as a very simple idea. “I asked myself, ‘What can I do to motivate my friends to thrive in their businesses?’ The concept became a reality in January of 2018 with just 10 members. As of today, we have over 400 members, with seven chapters in Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Power Gals with a Latin Twist for our Hispanic entrepreneurs, Boca Raton, Miami, Spring Hill and all the way to Forney, Texas. Within the next few months, we will expand to Tampa, Lutz, Riverview, Trinity, Clearwater and Orlando.” When Power Gals began, Karla had no idea on how it would turn out, but then she started to see the positive impact on other women’s lives. She knew first-hand what it felt like to try and fail and then get up and try again. Previously, Karla worked for an institution and expected to work there until her retirement but unexpectedly, she was laid off. It was a huge blow for her but she remembers that struggle. She said, “I’ve been there and I had to start all over again. My goal was to invite women with strong traditions and a clear vision of innovation, bringing entrepreneurs and business women together in a safe, fun environment. Our meetings take place once a month in order to create stronger bonds between our members and to help each other grow professionally and develop lifelong friendships along the way. It’s important for us as hard-working women to have fun with other women that share similar dreams of being able to balance our careers and personal life at the same time. My mantra is ‘Yes, I can!’ and I try to help others feel the same way.” Karla was born in Honduras, but grew up in the vibrant city of Miami. “In the spring of 2013, I moved to Land O’ Lakes with my wonderful husband Marcos and my two amazing children, Esmeralda & Marcos Gabriel. I wanted my kids to

experience a different, more tranquil lifestyle and Land O’ Lakes was the perfect place for them to grow up. I love my family, traveling, dining out, dark chocolate, watching movies with my kids, meeting new people and of course sharing my journey and experiences in the hopes of encouraging those around me,” Karla said. “We push each other to not only do better within ourselves but to think outside the box and to help others. I genuinely love meeting new people and enjoy giving back to the community. I’m especially passionate about children. Children have no control of their Karla Arita, Power Gals Founder current situations because it’s not their fault where they were born, what their parents have done, or their financial status. All they know is their current reality.” Karla said, “I’ve found that you don’t need to travel to a third-world country to experience poverty, just drive around outside your comfort zone and you will witness poverty in your own backyard. You don’t always need money to help change or improve someone’s life because you can help in so many ways, such as donating your time as a volunteer, becoming a mentor, or by spreading awareness of those in need with people or local businesses that can afford to help by providing monetary donations.” As a group, the Power Gals have collected backpacks for homeless children, done shoe drives for families in need, and Karla recently partnered with a local organization, I Am

8 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

Help Other Women Succeed in Business the Group Foundation. They’re getting ready to do a fundraiser on a larger scale to help teenagers that are homeless. Karla said, “Sisterhood and community is what Power Gals stands for. To sum it up, this group is a powerhouse of motivated & empowered women in our own backyard.” “My career as a fulltime realtor with People’s Choice Realty Services, LLC, has helped me to promote the various businesses of the Power Gals. I have a solid reputation, so when I recommend another business, people know they can trust Power Gals author, Sue Heath with Karla me. I carry the spirit of collaboration with me always. When I learn something valuable in real estate, I share it with other realtors. I see them as my colleagues - not my competition. My work is not just about selling houses. I take pride in offering my clients exceptional service by helping them sell their homes Power Gals Shoe Drive donations for in the least amount of time, community families in need with the least amount of stress and with the most return on their investment. I guide them every step of the way,” she said. Karla pointed out, “People say that I am an influencer and

connector, but I am just trying to motivate other women by helping to promote their businesses. I know how difficult it can be to start a new venture with very little money plus marketing a business can take a big toll financially. This is why Power Gals is so important to me, because I know from personal experience what it takes to develop a business. I’m always thinking of how to help every member of my group. For me, it’s more than just networking, it’s about giving back to my community and helping anyone that needs help. I strongly promote shopping local and volunteering because it strengthens our community and when you help others, it comes back to you.” Truer words were never spoken.


The Land O’Lakes Chapter of Power Gals meets at Pizza Villa at 21501 Village Lakes Shopping Center Drive in Land O’ Lakes on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 11am. No RSVP is required. The next meeting will be on September 19th. For more information call (813) 408-2038 or visit or







“Being outdoors is a huge stress reliever, so for many years I’ve tried to get out every weekend and go explore a new piece of wilderness. I had always videotaped my hikes and adventures and about 10 years ago I founded Florida Trailblazer, and started sharing all of my videos with the public. It’s so freeing to be outdoors in nature. This is really my passion in life. Going on an adventure exploring the woods feels just like being a child again. Enjoying wildlife, historical sites, hiking trails and preserves… it’s all a way to disconnect from modern life and reconnect with the great outdoors and your own true nature. It’s my mission to encourage people to get back outside to unplug and reconnect with the natural world.” Joe told us, “Nature tests you and brings out the best in you. You just never know what you’ll come across out there, so it actually forces you to stay in the present moment. A couple of months ago I was out hiking deep in the Florida Wilderness to a limestone cave in Citrus County when I heard whimpering and barking. I went to investigate and found the saddest thing. In the middle of nowhere, there was a desperate dog stranded at the bottom of a 30-foot cave. It was unbelievable. I didn’t have the equipment to pull the dog out myself, so I put the word out on social media and quickly got several volunteers to help with a rescue. Turns out ‘Sally’ had been lost for almost a month and was emaciated, but thankfully we were able to get her back safely to her owner because she was wearing a tagged collar. It was an amazing feeling to help her get back home.” Joe’s dog rescue story was picked up by multiple national media outlets, including the New York Post, Inside Edition and Good Morning America. You can watch Sally’s rescue video on Joe’s website,

Ghost Towns, Civil War Shipwrecks and abandoned cemeteries. It’s all just a day hike for Land O’ Lakes resident, Joe Dunn. By day, Joe works in graphic design and marketing, however his true passion is exploring the Florida wilderness. Born in Ohio but raised in Florida since 1995, Joe has always considered himself a native. His exploration adventures allow him to combine his two favorite things – Mother Nature and Florida history. Wreck of the Madison Civil War steam ship on the bottom of the Suwannee River

10 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

One thing that has Joe very excited is a recreational activity called Geocaching. It’s outdoor fun which is very similar to a scavenger or treasure hunt in the woods, and it’s rapidly growing in popularity with adults and families. Participants use a GPS receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called geocaches or caches, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. It’s very easy to get started by simply downloading a geocaching app to your device and you’re ready to go. Tiny time capsules, or ‘trackables’ as they are often called, can be found at many historical sites and points of interest throughout Florida. Once you locate them, you have the ability to register that you were there and even add your own items to the cache for others to find. Joe stressed, “It’s great fun, but I always remind people to have appreciation and respect when they are out exploring historical geocache sites. There is occasional vandalism of these sites and that is really sad. These places are priceless and must be preserved for future generations to be able to explore.” Recently Joe traveled to Troy Springs off the Suwannee River and explored the remains of a shipwreck at the bottom of the spring. The 1850 ship, the Madison, was originally used a transport vessel during the Civil War, but was deliberately sunk by its Captain to avoid seizure when Union forces invaded Florida. Over 150 years later, its skeleton rests silently at the bottom of crystal clear water. If you didn’t know to look, you’d never realize such a priceless piece of American history was beneath you. Joe said, “There are hidden treasures like this everywhere in Florida. You just need to look for them.” Some of Joe’s favorite areas that are within a tankful from Pasco County include the Green Swamp, Troy Springs, the Suwanee River, Indian Lake State Forest, Abandoned Crystal River, Goethe State Forest, St. cemetery Johns River, and the Ocala National Forest, just to name a few. Sally who was rescued from a 30-foot cave

2,000 Year Old Cypress Tree in the Florida Swamps

Joe is also a registered Heritage Monitoring Scout for Florida. HMS is a public engagement program focused on tracking changes to archaeological sites at risk, particularly those impacted by climate change in the form of erosion and sea level rise. He visits and reports on many designated sites throughout the state by recording what he finds with documentation and photographs. In many cases, the only way that these sites can be routinely monitored is through these volunteer efforts. Joe encourages the members of the community to look into to volunteering as a scout. For more information on this program, please visit Joe offers tours for folks who would like to go explore the wilderness with an experienced guide, so visit his website, www.floridatrailblazer. com to arrange a trip to see some of these incredible sights. If you’d like to enjoy some of Joe’s adventures from the comfort of your sofa, check out Florida Trailblazer’s YouTube channel for a vast collection of videos which document many of his Florida treks, including his rescue of Sally the dog. On social media, you can follow his adventures on Facebook or Instagram.

Joe at Ruth Springs



Barnes & Noble Hosts Book Signing for Wesley Chapel Photographer, Jeanine McCleod of Cloud 9 Studios

On August 10th, our very own acclaimed photographer, Jeanine McCleod of Cloud 9 Studios, was on hand at Barnes & Noble in Wesley Chapel for a Meet & Greet for her new book, Don’t Blink: Capturing Your Child’s Story Through Portraits. The community came out to meet the author and have their book copies signed. Jeanine’s book is available at local bookstores and online at

Our own photographer, Jeanine McCleod of Cloud 9 Studios in Wesley Chapel

Jeanine with her Mom, Marylou Shevlin

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Jeanine & Jeni Wiseman

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21501 Village Lakes Shopping Center every 3rd Thursday of the month powerful & influential women Land O Lakes, FL 34639 at 11am inside Pizza Villa for lunch. while supporting each other Membership is FREE! Bring plenty of Karla Arita: (813) 408-2038 at FUN local events! • business cards, flyers, & promotional items! 12 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894


Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do Call or go to now to schedule your appointment

Deb Goldman Jazzercise in Lutz


Lutz Instructors celebrating National Dance Day at the Lutz Train Depot

t was love at first sight when Deb Goldman walked into her first Jazzercise class over three decades ago. Deb explained, “I loved it so I asked about becoming an instructor that day! It was the only thing I’ve ever found that I really enjoyed and I knew if I was certified to teach, it would be something that I would do for a lifetime.” She was correct. October 2019 marks Deb’s 35th year of teaching Jazzercise. Originally from Gainesville and the mother of four grown children, Deb is a Dental Hygienist, RDH. She loves to travel and enjoys watching dance shows. She told us what she loves about her work, “I enjoy working with our instructors and customers. We get routines every 10 weeks so I enjoy learning new choreography and putting sets together to introduce the new material in class. In July, Jazzercise, Inc. celebrated our 50th year in leading the way in the fitness industry. Folks from Hillsborough County joined up with 2800 attendees from around the world for two fun-filled days of dancing to celebrate this commemorative anniversary.” She continued, “I enjoy working with kids when we host an evening out so parents can drop their kids off at Jr. Jazzercise for 3 hours. We also host our summer camps. I love giving talks and demos to people who have never actually seen or tried Jazzercise.” Fellow instructor Kerry Pierro, is a former teacher from the NY/NJ area who graduated from Rutgers University. She has been teaching Jazzercise for over 14 years. She has two children in college and everyone is a huge sports fan. Kerry told us, “My son played baseball and my daughter plays fast pitch softball, so we spend many hours at the ballfields. I loved the flexibility this career gave me while I was raising my children and I love the quality of the workout and the music.” Deb explained how the unique exercise program began, “Jazzercise was started by Judi Sheppard Missett in 1969 & was born out of a need to get the moms of dance students to enjoy dance themselves. It was not meant to be a formal dance class but something they could follow as if they were a dancer. Jazzercise is a follow the leader class, with no routines to learn, no mirrors to watch yourself, current music and an occasional oldie. We offer 9 different formats with no long term contracts. We have a friendly group and many of our customers have created friendships outside of class.” Weekly, Lutz Jazzercise offers 50 classes, which include all of the Jazzercise class formats. The program is for all ages 16 and up and pricing ranges from $25 to $58 monthly depending on your age. They also offer additional classes and activities at the center where members can keep active and socialize with their workout friends. Once a month, they organize a breakfast and lunch and sometimes a happy hour at a local restaurant. A martial arts class meets on Thursday evenings and Saturdays and Line Dancing meets on Monday evenings.



Lutz Jazzercise

813-743-9493 Corner of Lutz Lake Fern & Hwy 41 19012 First St. SW, Lutz, FL 33548


(800) FIT-IS-ITLutz Jazzercise is located at 19012 First Street SW in Lutz. For more information, please email Owner Deb Goldman & Kerry Pierro at the Jazzercise 50th Anniversary Celebration

Deb Goldman at or call (813) 743-9493.

Offer valid through 8/31/19. TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894 | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | Offer for new customers or those not in class since 2018.

Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE |



any of you in the community may recall the story of a brave 17 year-old Wiregrass Ranch High School student who received a kidney transplant back in the fall of 2010. The story had a happy ending because Brittany Hutchinson’s kidney transplant was successful and she went on to graduate high school, began attending college at St. Leo University studying business administration and was enjoying her restored health. Unfortunately, by 2016 her health struggles returned and in 2019, her transplant went into rejection. Although 25 year-old Brittany is again on dialysis and in need of a new kidney transplant, she told us there is definitely a silver lining in her experience. To understand Brittany’s story, we need to go back to the fall of 2009 when her health initially began to decline. She developed sudden, unexplained symptoms such as extremely high blood pressure and seizures which landed her in the hospital 4 times in a very short period. Brittany said, “It was so frustrating because nothing made sense. I was evaluated by multiple specialists and no one could figure it out. I was even misdiagnosed with depression by a doctor who believed my symptoms were emotional. Eventually, I went to a new Nephrologist who ran my bloodwork again. The results were so bad, the doctor said they couldn’t understand how I had been able to even walk into the office. That doctor finally diagnosed me properly. I was in complete renal failure.” While she was relieved to finally understand what was happening, Brittany was told by her doctors that her life was

I’d made a lot of healthy lifestyle changes with my nutrition and leaving a stressful job, but I was feeling terrible again.” Brittany was told by her doctor that she was in renal failure again. She was immediately admitted to AdventHealth Hospital in Wesley Chapel and received four blood transfusions and was put back

about to change drastically. She would have to go on kidney dialysis for 9 hours every day - just to survive. In addition, she needed a kidney transplant and was immediately placed on a waiting list, however her doctor told her she may wait a long time because of her young age. Thankfully less than a year passed and on August 25, 2010, her Mom, Denise Hutchinson, got a telephone call at 2am saying that there was a donor kidney ready for her daughter. A woman had passed away and had enrolled to be an organ donor and was a match for Brittany. The surgery was a success. When we spoke to Brittany after her first transplant she told us, “I’m so grateful to this woman who gave me this incredible gift. I feel free! It’s as if the heavy load of bricks are finally lifted off my shoulders. My family and my faith in God has helped me so much. My Mom has been my primary caregiver while I have been sick and I’m so grateful for her and for my entire family.” “Until 2016, everything with my kidney was great but then I started feeling bad again,” Brittany said. “Eventually I had to begin having plasmapheresis treatments at Tampa General Hospital which lasted 3-4 weeks for 7 hours each time. These blood filtering treatments were actually worse than dialysis. I wasn’t able to eat and vomited constantly. By October of 2018,

on daily dialysis. Brittany will need a second kidney transplant and is on a waiting list again. “Through LifeLink of Florida, I’ve learned so much about organ and tissue donation. I’m on a mission to spread the word that just one organ donor can save up to eight lives and a single tissue donor can help more than 70 individuals. Organ and tissue donation gives people a second chance at life,” Brittany explained. LifeLink partners with hospitals, transplant centers, medical examiners, coroners, funeral homes and driver license service providers to save lives and amplify public education efforts to increase donor registrations. Brittany continued, “It is more advantageous to receive a live donor kidney than a cadaver kidney, so live donation is something that is very important. I encourage anyone who might be interested in becoming an organ or tissue donor to consider these programs because it literally saves lives. It saved mine.” “Everything that I have gone through has made me a better, stronger person. It’s all a blessing in disguise. I look at life differently now,” Brittany said. “When I was 15, I was just going through the motions of living, but now I appreciate life so much more. So many have given so much to me and now I want to give back. I’m going to set up a scholarship fund to help

Brittany’s brother, Mark Hutchinson and his wife, Michelle Noriega-Hutchinson, her grandmother, Rose Barnett, her mother Debbie Hutchinson, Brittany and her father, Tony Hutchinson

Blessing in Disguise

14 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

Brittany in the hospital

Brittany with her family in 2010 after her transplant

Brittany with her mother, Debbie Hutchinson

others. I’m just so grateful for everything.” On Saturday, September 21st, Pebble Creek Golf Club in Tampa will host a golf tournament for Brittany. A portion of the proceeds raised at the tournament will go towards her medical expenses. Additionally, LifeLink of Florida will be attending to share vital information about organ and tissue donation. A lunch buffet, awards presentation, and goodie bags are included in the $75 per player price. To learn more about Brittany and her experiences or to register for the tournament, please visit Brittany’s website TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894 | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE |


Hurricane Windows 101


any homeowners don’t understand exactly how hurricane windows work or how they can keep them safe. Joseph Shumaker of Morgan Exteriors explains, “Impact windows, also referred to as hurricane or coastal windows are impact-resistant. So what does that mean exactly?” Joseph continues, “For example, Simonton Impact Windows contain laminated glass. The lamination makes the glass virtually impenetrable. In addition to laminated glass these windows have a reinforced frame. This combination helps these windows stand up to just about anything coming their way. Simonton constantly tests their windows to make sure they do.” Simonton hurricane windows meet the hurricane zone requirements of Miami-Dade County, which has the most strict hurricane zone requirements in the country. They are tested and certified to meet the AAMA standards for High Velocity Hurricane Zones, Miami-Dade, and Broward County specifications for the Florida Building Commission.

• Hurricane windows impact-resistant glass features a durable interlayer that protects the home from flying debris

• Reinforced profiles add strength and durability

• The sound-dampening interlayer provides a 50% sound reduction over standard glass and reduces unwanted outside noise

• Impact glass is an effective barrier against forced entry

• By filtering up to 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, glass with Low-E reduces damage and fading to your carpet, artwork and family photographs

To explore options for making your home safe from storms and intruders, while also reducing your utility bills, contact Morgan Exteriors at (855) 997-0293 or visit Morgan Exteriors, Inc. is located at 15915 N. Florida Avenue in Lutz.


16 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

For help with your hurricane preparation or for more information, call (855) 997-0293 or visit Morgan Exteriors, Inc. is located at 15915 N. Florida Avenue in Lutz.

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April and Les Saland

A.L. Saland Insurance Solutions, Inc. is located at 25344 Wesley Chapel Boulevard in Suite 102 in Lutz. For more information, please call (813) 995-0292 or email or visit

baseball player. Fortunately for his insurance clients, he learned very soon that baseball wasn’t going to be in the cards for him. Les explained, “While I was trying to figure out my path, I discovered that I had a natural gravitation towards helping others and solving puzzles. I had been doing that from an early age but only became conscious of it in my late 20’s. Before insurance, it was information technology services and before that, I worked in the restaurant industry which put me through college and helped me hone my customer service skills.” Les was born and raised in Spring Valley, a suburb of NYC, and he moved to South Florida in 1986. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Computer Information Systems and met his wife April while playing in a baseball league in 1993. They got married in 1995 and moved to Land O’Lakes a few years later. Les added, “We’ve raised two daughters who have both have earned their college degrees and we couldn’t be prouder of the people that they have become. I was a Big Brother and I currently umpire for several youth leagues and the Florida High School Athletic Association. I enjoy trivia (which I am good at) and golf (which I am not good at). We have three cats, which are all rescues. I like that Ol’ Time rock & roll and I’m an avid Yankees fan but I’m also a fan of the Rays and Lightning.” When asked what he enjoys most about his work, Les replied, “Helping those that need help navigating the insurance world and educating those that want to learn. We give our clients peace of mind, knowing that they have made a sound decision on their insurance based on their needs and their budget. We offer sales & service for Health & Medicare, Life & Disability, Auto & Home, Business Liability & Fleet, and Employee Benefit packages. However, the absolute best thing about my business is the ability to get involved in the community, work with our neighbors and make new friends. We have had the opportunity to play Santa and Mrs. Claus for the past several years and I can honestly say that there is nothing like a true Santa hug from a child. It is most humbling.” Les noted, “I definitely haven’t done this by myself. My wife, April Saland, handles the marketing and you’ll likely find her at an event on any given day. We definitely saw an uptick in growth when April came on board full-time. Follow her on Facebook if you want to know what is going on. Kirsten joined us from an Allstate agency that closed and has years of experience with insurance companies. She handles the bulk of our Auto & Homeowners business.” Les continued, “Don’t let me forget about Steve! Simply stated, Steve has a plethora of insurance experience and is our commercial specialist. He is a retired NYPD officer and was a first responder on 9/11. Steve embodies our tag line of ‘Doing the right thing.’ I am definitely lucky to have the three of them.” A.L. Saland Insurance Solutions has been recognized many times throughout the years, including being nominated for the Pasco Economic Development Council Small Business of the Year, being the winner of the Central Pasco Small Business of the Year, Member of the Year and Ambassador of the Year. Most recently, Les served as the President of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce. Les told us, “I can tell you why people come to our agency. To quote Derek Jeter, ‘There may be people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.’ Our goal is to reach out to our clients several times a year, not just at renewal time. ‘Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do,’ resonates so deep with us that it became the tag line for the agency.” He continued. “Our agency is built on relationships rather than transactions and we are now getting generational clients, meaning the children of clients are becoming clients. That tells me that we must be doing something right.”

18 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

You Gave My Dog By Angela Ardolino


We all know that we probably should not give our pets table scraps, and we definitely shouldn’t

let them eat any chocolate, but unbeknownst to many pet parents, hiding inside some ‘dog-safe’ products are harmful chemicals that sneak by unnoticed. If you prefer your family to go au-natural and want to avoid using potentially unsafe man-made substances, be sure to watch for these commonly found chemicals in your pet products.

Oh My!

Sulfates and Parabens…

Sulfates, including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), are commonly found in pet shampoo. SLS can cause skin irritation and even organ system toxicity. SLS is commonly found in people shampoo as well, and can cause hair loss in both people and pets. Parabens are another commonly found chemical lurking in shampoos and can cause cancer and reproductive problems. Instead of shampoos filled with sulfates and parabens, opt for a natural shampoo without these chemicals for your pets.

Beggin’ for Better Treats

Put down the bag of grocery store treats. Your dog may give you the stink eye, but it is for the best. Why? Because some of the most common brands contain carcinogens like food dyes, Yellow #5 and Red Dye 40. These have been linked to high anxiety in pets, hyperactivity, migraines, and cancer. They also contain high levels of sugar, and preservatives like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)—a known cause of cancer in both humans and animals. However, healthy treats that your dogs will love do exist. Try a vegan or vegetarian friendly treat and be sure to look for products free of dyes, BHA, and by-products. Even better: Give your pets only raw, freeze dried, or dehydrated treats and food.

Not So Fabuloso

One of the easiest ways to make sure that your pets are not exposed to harmful chemicals is to consider what you are using to clean the surfaces at their level. Many products used to clean floors contain phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors. That means that instead of dumping a bottle of chemical cleaner on the floor, a steam cleaner can be safer for disinfecting without leaving a chemical residue. Our pets are known to lick odd things. You might see your dog licking a spot on the floor or the wall for no reason, so an extra way to keep them safe from toxic chemicals is to mind what you are using to clean the things they can reach.

This is Not a Drill… It is Benadryl

When your dog is having anxiety or needs a sedative, many pet parents turn to Benadryl. While it is safe in small doses and works well to treat allergic reactions in pets, too much can be a bad thing. Anxious pets often can find comfort with compression vests and an environment made specifically for them. If your pet is anxious, gather their favorite blanket and toys and create a cozy space in their crate or on a pet bed for them to rest. If your pet is experiencing anxiety, talk to your vet and try CBD Calm Oil by CBD Dog Health. It is a safer alternative to repeated doses of Benadryl, and can help your anxious dog calm down. To learn more about ways to keep your pet (and your family) chemical free, visit Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and has operated a farm rescue for over 10 years.  She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop, and the founder of CBD Dog Health. Visit or to find out more. TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894 | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE |



9/21 International Coastal Cleanup in Pasco 8:00am – 2:00pm

Pasco County, in partnership with Keep Pasco Beautiful, is seeking volunteers to help clean our public lands, roads and waterways. The annual International Coastal Cleanup will be held throughout Pasco County Saturday, September 21st , including Anclote Gulf Park and Strauber Memorial Highway in Holiday, Port Richey, Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Hudson Beach, Lacoochee, Dade City, Land O’ Lakes & the City of New Port Richey. This is a great opportunity for students to earn community service hours. For more information or to register go to coastal-cleanup.

9/21 Golf Tournament Fundraiser for Brittany Hutchinson

8:00am Shotgun Start Pebble Creek Golf Club - 10550 Regents Park Dr, Tampa

Pebble Creek Golf Club will host a golf tournament for Brittany on Saturday, September 21, 2019. A portion of the proceeds raised at the tournament will go towards her medical expenses. Additionally, LifeLink of Florida will be attending to share vital information about organ and tissue donation. A lunch buffet, awards presentation, and goodie bags are included in the $75 per player price. To learn more about Brittany and her experiences, check out her story in this issue of Wesley Chapel Magazine. To register online and for more information, please visit Brittany’s website

9/28 8th Annual Cheval Cares 5K Family Fun 7:00am Cheval Golf & Athletic Club 4312 Cheval Blvd, Lutz

For the past 8 years, Cheval has gathered a group of dedicated friends and neighbors in the community to host a 5k and family fun day to raise funds for much needed childhood cancer research and clinical trials. For more information, contact Lindsay Whitney at (813) 728-7974 or Ljjwhitney@

9/28 Radio Control Flying Club 8:00am - 3:00pm Conner Preserve - 22500 S.R. 52 Land O’ Lakes

The Bay City Flyers, a local non-profit organization is offering the public a great opportunity to experience the hobby of Radio Control Flying. In addition to Radio Control Flying, we will have a Fun Fly for Kids. Small balsa wood gliders, rewards and candy will be provided for the kids to take home. Food concessions are available and ample pavilions provide shade. Admission is free but a small donation would be appreciated but is not required. Contact Mike Diesu (813) 469-3987 for more event information. 20 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III

EVENTS 9/29 Goat Yoga

10:00am - 11:00am In the Loop Brewing 3338 Land O Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes

Yoga with goats = the perfect zen happiness! Join us for a morning yoga session, taught by Erica Nelson from Yoga Mat Magic. Classes are designed for all skill levels, even newbies. Let’s be honest, most come for the goat love! Your ticket includes a draft beer, glass of wine or ‘beermosa’. For details on event, contact Jen (813) 601-4183 or email at or Kelly at Tickets $35 & includes a free drink!

9/30 & 10/3 Coastal Cremations Lunch & Learn

11:00am Grillsmith Wiregrass Mall 2000 Piazza Avenue, Wesley Chapel

Coastal Cremations is hosting two free Lunch & Learn seminars to bring light to a dark subject. Topics will include green burial, veteran’s benefits, creating a meaningful celebration of life, preplanning, prepayment and much more. Space is limited. To RSVP, please call (813) 428-6680.

10/1 Land O’ Lakes Garden Club

10:30am Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes

The Garden Club hosts meetings from September through May of each year. For more information, contact Marie Woody at (813) 961-2697.

10/4 – 10/6 LOOP-toberfest!

12:00pm In the Loop Brewing 3338 Land O Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes

This year we are excited to announce that our 2nd annual “LOOP-toberfest” event will run all weekend long! This Oktoberfest festival will include a fun authentically decorated biergarten, German food, live music, games, giveaways, and of course BEER! Our Pilsner, Marzen, Kolsch, and Dunkel will be flowing as will our traditional core brews! We will have ITLBC steins available for sale which will include a discount on all refills over the course of the weekend! Free

10/5 Fall Brewfest for Gulfside Hospice

5:00pm VIP & 6:00pm General Admission Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park Land O’ CALL Lakes813.501.4894 Blvd, Land O’ Lakes | 5401 TO ADVERTISE

The craft beer festival benefiting Gulfside Hospice

will return to Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park this year. The event will feature a wide variety of beer and wine sampling, along with food trucks, vendors and live music by Stonegrey. There are currently 19 breweries and wineries set to provide samples for the Fall Brewfest.Wine sampling will also be offered by Once Upon A Vine and PRP Wine International. All proceeds from the event will help support hospice patient care and bereavement services through Gulfside Hospice. For tickets and more information about the event, along with the list of breweries and wineries, visit or call Leesa Fryer at (727) 845-5707.

10/7 Sunrise’s “7th Annual Holes for Hope Golf Tournament” Registration Opens at 7:30am & Shotgun Start at 8:30am Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club 12900 Lake Jovita Blvd, Dade City

Come out and support this annual fundraiser to benefit Sunrise Domestic and Sexual Violence Center. For more information, contact Sunrise of Pasco at (352) 521-3358.

10/12 Scarecrow Festival Fundraiser 9:00am – 5:00pm Pioneer Florida Museum & Village 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City

This family-friendly fun festival is a fundraiser for Special Olympics and the Pioneer Florida Museum. Build your own scarecrow while supplies last, Blacksmith demonstrations, Live entertainment with Mr. Tommy, craft demonstrations, barrel train rides through our crazy eight corn maze, petting zoo, face painting, pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting, photo opportunities, bounce house, slide, carnival games with prizes, pony rides. Over 100 Great vendors & food trucks and special surprises! Plenty of photo opportunities and our very own “live” scarecrow, Ruby Cornbread and our wonderfully decorated hay rolls. Visit for more information. Tickets $10 adults, $5 students, children under 5 are free.

10/13 North Tampa Bay Chamber 5K Honor Run

8:00am Pasco Hernando State College Porter Campus 2727 Mansfield Blvd, Wesley Chapel

Please join Pasco-Hernando State College and the North Tampa Bay Chamber during their first official 5K Honor Run. This will be a timed 5K run held on the Wesley Chapel (Porter) Campus of Pasco-Hernando State College. Proceeds will go towards funding college scholarships for veterans and towards the support of local veterans. For more information contact (813) 994-8534.


Karla Arita | REALTOR® 813.408.2038

Pasco Nurseries

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A & G Plant Nursery 16532 Hutchison Rd - Odessa (813) 920-1994 Central Sod Corporation 206 Newberger Rd - Lutz (813) 616-9409 Duncheon’s Nursery 2720 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. - Land O’ Lakes (813) 948-1890 Eve’s Garden Gifts 5602 Land O’ Lakes Blvd - Land O’ Lakes (813) 996-5012 Hollie’s Farm & Garden 20545 W. County Line Rd – Lutz (813) 949-6735 Karen’s Wildflowers 21930 Carson Dr - Land O’ Lakes (813) 528-2368 Laurel Oaks Nursery & Tree Farm 15010 Race Track Rd - Odessa (813) 920-6993 Let’s Grow Nursery 5906 Lakeside Dr - Lutz (813) 264-5688 Nature Coast Botanical Garden & Nursery 1489 Parker Ave - Spring Hill (352) 683-9933 Pine Hill Pass Nursery 9250 Gunn Hwy - Odessa (727) 255-2836 Pine Lake Nursery 2122 Henley Rd - Lutz (813) 948-4736 Summerwood Gardens 11711 Tarpon Springs Rd - Odessa (813) 833-7297 The Greenery of Tampa Bay 5104 Land O’ Lakes Blvd - Land O’ Lakes (813) 996-9821

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DINE IN • TAKE OUT • DRIVE THRU • CATERING 21501 Village Lakes Shopping Center • Land O’ Lakes TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894 | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE |


Greener Alternatives to Keep Your Home Pest Free T

here are new pest control methods that provide safe, cutting edge services that truly reduce the need for harsh pesticides and still maintain a pest-free environment. The basis for these programs is a system of product usage that is based on specific needs and not just a broadcast treatment of your home. The focus is on pest prevention, green products and practices, along with non-chemical means to pest proofing that provide an environmentally friendly pest control service. Whereas traditional exterminators often apply cheap, highly-toxic pesticides in abundance, you can opt to select the best reduced toxicity or non-toxic products available on the market for effective pest elimination. These products range from 100% naturally occurring products to conventional pesticides. Overall, this protocol helps to create a greener, more sustainable environment. Homeowners, schools, daycares, hospitals, restaurants, and government agencies are all moving toward a smarter, more responsible approach to pest control by implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and programs. A good IPM program will help to minimize your exposure to toxic pesticides and chemicals and should include the following services.

Property Inspection

A trained service technician will inspect your property inside and outside for identification of harborage areas and entry points for insects. They will also look for ants that may be trailing to a colony, sources of pest attractants, and ways to minimize food sources that draw insects into your home.

• • • • •

Interior Baiting

Baiting is one of the most important parts of a proper pest control program. Rather than spraying harsh pesticides throughout your home, innovative bait placement techniques can be used for pest issues. These procedures minimize the exposure of your family and pets from coming into contact with pesticides.

Crack and Crevice Treatment

Insects enter your home in a variety of ways. A trained technician should treat the most common entry points, including cracks & crevices and entryways, such as doors and windows, as a deterrent for insects to enter your home.


After a comprehensive inspection and preventative treatment, a pest control expert should do a sweep of your property. The sweep would target spider webs, mud daubers, and wasp nests up to a height of 15 feet. This sweep will also allow a technician to re-inspect the exterior of your home for potential harborage areas later.

Exterior Perimeter Treatment

The service should include a perimeter treatment of a liquid or granular barrier. This barrier should include a change in formulations as well as chemistry for the changing seasons during the year.

Treatment of All Entry Points

Insects come from the outside. One of the most important aspects of a pest control program is a quarterly inspection and preventative treatment around the perimeter of the home. Implementing these greener pest control practices will not only keep your home free of pests, it will also keep it free of unnecessary toxic chemicals as well. ________________________________________________________ Nvirotect is proud to be the first Florida based company to receive the National Pest Management Association’s Green Pro certification for innovative Green pest control practices. If you are looking for greener alternatives for your pest control, termite prevention, wildlife removal /relocation and lawn & shrub care, please contact Nvirotect for a free residential estimate at (813) 968-7031 or visit

22 | Land O’ Lakes MAGAZINE | VOLUME I • ISSUE III | TO ADVERTISE CALL 813.501.4894

Lawn &


SEPTEMBER Plantings & Lawn Maintenance Plan to beautify your landscape with these tips for what to plant in SEPTEMBER and lawn maintenance measures! Excerpts are taken from courtesy of University of Florida IFAS Extension.

What to Plant

Annuals/Bedding plants: If summer beds need refreshing, try ageratum, coleus, celosia, zinnia, and wax begonia for color into fall. Bulbs: Add color, texture, and pattern to the garden with the many varieties of elephant's ear that are available. Herbs: Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil. Vegetables: It is hot, but numerous cool-season (as well as warm-season) crops can be planted.

What to Do

Lawn problems: Continue to monitor the lawn for signs of insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms are still active this month. Perennials and bulbs: Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs during establishment. Citrus: Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. If the weather has been rainy, do not use soluble nitrogen as rains will leach it from the soil too quickly. Vegetable gardens: Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose.



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