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Girlfriends In God ~ Prayer Can Change A Marriage | Page 15 Journaling The Journey | Page 11 Recipes For Life ~ Food For The Body & Food For The Soul | Page 33 shutterbuggerz pg 43 On The Cover ~ Michele Willis, Owner of Aqua B

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Nothing stays the same. Benjamin Franklin said “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes“. I believe there is another certainty and that is that God loves us and ALWAYS knows what is best. As Sophie Woman’s Magazine evolves to better serve the vision we have for the magazine, things will change with us as well. You know we are dedicated to our theme of Inspiration, Education, and Motivation. We have always had a vision of the content we put in the magazine and our contributing writers have really done an incredible job of fulfilling our mission. As we grow, hopefully the content grows with us to reach a larger area of readers. At my church yesterday, our Pastor was talking about everyone had a story. Wow, did that sound familiar? If you have been a faithful reader of Sophie or if you have ever heard me speak, you know that is exactly what we say all the time. YOU HAVE A STORY! So I have a question for you. Have you ever shared your story? Some of you might be saying to yourself right now that you don’t have anything interesting enough to be a “story”. Some might be thinking that no one is interested in hearing my story or worse, that no one really cares. May I tell you that there is a purpose for the story you were given and that your story can be beneficial to others.

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I have had some pretty hard knocks in my life. A lot of my story is not very pretty and to be honest, not something that I really wanted to share with others. One day that all changed when it became clear to me that sharing my story with someone, whom I believe God put in my path, would possible help this person out. So ask yourself, “What is my story” and “What is the purpose of my story”? Has God given you an opportunity to share with a person that really needed to hear it? Maybe that person needs to know that they are not alone. Maybe your story encourages someone to keep pressing on when it is easier to give up. It’s possible someone has a struggle going on within themselves over decisions that could affect the rest of their life and hearing what you went through might make a huge decision. We have asked this before but I am asking again. If you have a story that you would like to share, please send it to us by email. I can’t promise you we will print it but if it fits our theme of Inspiration, Education, or Motivation, we will do our best. So now I come to a change that we are making. We know a lot of you really enjoy “The Front Porch” but in our heart, we know God is leading us to change that. So starting this month, in it’s place you will find an article titled “Journaling the Journey”. I truly believe God has laid that on my heart to do, at least for a period of time. If God is laying it on your heart to submit your story, please do. My email address is . My prayer is that we allow ourselves to be used for God’s Glory and that this magazine really makes a difference in someone’s life.

Amateur Winner: Teresa Cating

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Message From The 3 Reaching Your Full 7 How To Be 8 JournalingThe 11 The Fly 13 Girlfriends In 15 Health & Fitness 16 The Dinner 20 Sophisticated 23 The Lion’s 24 Me, Myself, & 27 Health 28 Easy To Be 31 Recipes For 33 Truth & 35 Toys Taking Over? 36 How To Be A Better 39 43

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********************************************************** Disclaimer: Sophie Woman’s Magazine LLC is published monthly. The articles published in Sophie do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. All articles are intended for informational purposes only, and none should serve as a substitute for doctor’s advice and orders. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content and validity of information published within their ads and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. Deceptive or misleading advertising is not knowingly accepted by the publisher. Advertising is accepted with the understanding that all liability for copyright violations is the sole responsibility of the advertiser. All material submitted for publication is considered to be the sole property of the advertiser. Sophie Woman’s Magazine LLC’s publishers, staff, and other persons involved in the creation, production, or delivery of the magazine (in whatever format) or ti’s content, do not assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided in the magazine, nor shall they be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages arising out of the use of the magazine. **********************************************************



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“We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.” Helen Hayes I received a call this week, punctuated by an ecstatic tone of voice. It was my friend calling to let me know that she had just gotten engaged. I could actually hear the ‘smile’ in her voice! Her joyous announcement called a short story to mind which she had shared with me a few years earlier. In the story, my friend shared ‘The Power of a Smile.’ I can just picture Elysse’s ‘newly engaged’ smile illuminating her face as I share with you a story which is still impacting my heart today. Elysse writes, “It was only noon and I was already discouraged. I had one million things to do, and my cell phone had been ringing because of a few deadlines looming in the near future. On top of that, my mother had not been feeling well, so I had been thinking of her and praying for her as I attempted to juggle her responsibilities along with mine! And, it was cold outside. I certainly had the feeling as I parked at the post office that today was going to be a very long day. As I plugged the meter and turned to dash up the fourteen steps into the post office, I wondered to myself what it would take to lift this blanket of discouragement. Just as quickly, I could almost hear one of my Grandmother’s sayings: Never Underestimate the Power of a Smile. As I turned from the meter I saw a jogger obviously opting for pain instead of lunch. Since I myself have experienced the pain of exercise, I decided to heed Grandma’s advice and smiled rather tentatively at the jogger sharing the sidewalk with me. In an instant he smiled back, and as he did so, his shoulders straightened and he seemed to run easier – as if he realized the world wasn’t as bad as he’d thought a moment earlier. The next thing I know, I am at the top of the steps and still smiling from ear to ear. I quickly made the decision to keep the smile, since I never know who I

will run into at the post office – could be friend or foe. Before I could open the door, I had a return smile from a gentleman who held the door open for me. The next person I saw also smiled back and kindly asked, “How are you doing today?” So, I responded, “I’m doing excellent! How are you?” You would not believe the difference those 30 seconds from the car to the post office box made in my day! As I continued the errands, I began to count my blessings as I asked myself, “Why were you so discouraged?” As my focus changed, my problems just seemed to disappear. So, today, make it your goal to spread joy through simple, intentional smiles. You don’t even have to speak a word – just smile. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a smile must be priceless.” (story by Elysse Barrett) Elysse captured a powerful truth, simple enough to transform your day and the day of those around you. Challenge yourself, despite the type of day you may be having, to SMILE more than you frown. Make a mental note of how this simple action changes the atmosphere around you… you may find the pay-off worth repeating day after day. Thanks, Elysse, for a great reminder of ‘The Power of a Smile.”

As a Life Coach and Speaker, Kim coaches individuals and groups to become Destiny Builders while pressing in to reach their full potential. Kim’s newest book takes you deeper as you coach yourself to becoming your best: The Tension Point: Breaking Through to Where You Want to Be (November 2011 release). We would love to hear your story:, 828 327 6702, | pg 7

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In fashion, as in life, there are many choices that a girl must make. These decisions can be very very important!! Well, not really. Unless your a celebrity. Then, what you wear is CRUCIAL! Tell me that you haven’t, at least once, felt terribly for the “Glamour Don’ts” in those horrible (yet really fun and interesting) tabloids. You and I both know that those little black bars across poor GaGa’s eyes seriously aren’t hiding anything. Oh, and those ‘stars with cellulite’ photos are sooooo inappropriate (But sooooo enjoyable... ‘cause, girlfriend, those chicks are ALL photoshopped in the Mags--gotta love reality!). Ok, dang did I get sidetracked again?? Anyhoo, while we may or may not be famous, we all like to look fabulous. Styles are constantly changing...and then changing back. It’s always a safe bet to stay ‘classic’, but how boring is that??!! I wanna write about something much more thrilling! And then I wanna be super ‘catty’ and write about those trends that make me say, “Oh” I can do that, it’s my article baby!!! These opinions are mine...and some of my girlfriends...while we flipped through other less amazing magazines (Sophie Rocks!) and ‘judged’ those perfect, yet waaaay photoshopped ;) models. Yes, we laughed, drank a cocktail or 4, and played 70’s disco music. How completely amazing are the HOT new colors for Spring???? LOVE LOVE LOVE orange, turquoise, and bright greens!!! BUT, what stood out at the Golden Globes this year??? Black and white! The combination is classy, but sassy and wild at the same time. Both Claire Danes and Kate Winslet looked unbelievable in this newest trend. So

while everyone is looking trendy in bright colors...”diva up” in this incredibly sexy look. ****Remember, this is a color blocked look...we aren’t talkin’ just a LBD.**** A woman’s eyes can tell a lot about the woman herself... so let’s get outrageous!! Big, bold, bright colored eyes are so incredibly chic right now. Along with long lush lashes (Smoke and Mirrors makes the BEST lashes...just ask Kim K or Carrie Underwood!), shadows with vibrant hues are making their way onto runways this Spring. If you are really feeling adventurous, try jewels and feathers...ya, I said feathers. LITTLE feathers...unless your fixin’ to poke an eye out. Many of my Southern Sistahs will love this last “So Hot” trend. Listen closely... its IN to be curvy girls!!! Now, seriously, from what I understand, Southern girls have ALWAYS known this. Fashion/ Runways...not so much. Here’s the deal, I’m not saying that anyones ‘body type’ is IN or OUT. The curvy ‘look’ is what we are applauding. This means, instead of girdles and Spanx, we are sportin’ push up bra’s and booty enhancers!!! I must say...I’m kinda lovin’ this. Think Marilyn Monroe, Sofia Vergara, Beyonce, and Scarlett Johansson. So, what to wear to feel like a sexy starlet??? Curve hugging dresses with plunging necklines...and/or a plunging back is always a showstopper. Baby got back? Then you need to try a crazy hot pair of jeans...LOVE PRVCY jeans. Not only are these super great on...the line donates a portion of the profits to breast cancer research! Hows that for some T and A?? hee hee hee. While the previous styles are definitely on the ‘do’ list...there are a couple new trends that my team of ‘experts’ have not liked...well, actually, laughed hysterically at. Yes, we did this part towards the end of the night, lol. One that was unanimously a reeeeaaallly bad look was overly bejeweled jeans. Not pretty...Unless your five and going to your birthday party. Miss Bling is not a good thing! Another negative fashion choice... belt bags. Pullleeeasse people!!! This is an insult to handbags everywhere!! With so many unbelievably gorgeous bags out there, who in their right mind would want to use one of these?? Oversized bags may be a pain to carry (literally), but as I’ve said pain, probably not real cute ;). “Fanny Packs” are a A trend is just something that is ‘up to date’ in style or influence. They are constantly modifying what it is from year to year. I like to think of life in this way. You have your ‘classic’ style... who you are, your beliefs,your family, your best friends...whats important. The basics. Then, you have your, career (I like to change it up a bit!lol), cocktail of choice, and those people who come into your life for a reason...shortlived but necessary to make the journey interesting. It’s fascinating how I can remember events in my life by ‘trends’. I will never forget my first love...I was 5...It was my sisters date...I wanted to be her...bell bottoms, blue eyeshadow, crocheted tube top and all. Hmmm...I wonder if she still has that outfit... SOOOO cute! The boy? Not sure what happened to him. Funny how I remembered the specific outfit she wore...but, for the life of me, can’t remember the boy’s name. Gotta love that ;)


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pg 10 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

Journaling The J urney An African Proverb states “However long the night, the dawn will break”. My Bible tells me in Psalms Chapter 30 verse 5 that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning“. In Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 it says “To everything there is a season, a by Judy Smith time for every purpose under heaven”. Our life is full of journeys and I am starting on a new one. Not one I would have ever chosen but none the less one that I have been given. My Doctor said “breast cancer” and I don’t think I heard much after that. I think I must have cut the circulation off in my husband’s hand from clutching it so tight. Here begins my new journey and one that I want to share with you. Ignorant. That is what I am finding out about myself when it comes to knowing about breast cancer. I have always been a supporter of all the organizations involved with breast cancer and my heart has always gone out to others when I heard of their diagnosis. Some of my very closest friends have battled the disease. Most have won, a few have lost. Now I have been told I have it. After the initial shock, I just sort of took it in stride. After all, I know with all my heart that God would not have allowed this if He did not have a purpose. I also know my life verse which is 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures me that God will see me through. I have clung to that verse through many things in my life. Breast cancer….OK, then let’s just deal with it and get it over. So where does the ignorant part come in? I thought if you were diagnosed with breast cancer, well, you had breast cancer. Little did I know that there were TYPES of breast cancer. I had never heard that before. Breast cancer was breast cancer. At first, we were talking surgery and radiation. I was pretty relieved about that. The thought that I would not have to do chemo was such a relief to me. I didn’t relish the thoughts of radiation because I know how hard that is on some people and I don’t mean to make that sound like it is a piece of cake because I know better. However, it sure sounded so much better to me than being sick from the chemo. Then at another Doctor’s visit, that dreaded word was thrown at me with a vengeance. If I had not been sitting down, I think I would have fallen on the floor. “Wow, hold on there. I haven’t planned on chemo and now you are saying it is a must. Where did that come from” I asked. This is when the classes on breast cancer began. I have a type of breast cancer called HER2. The bad news they tell me is that it is a very aggressive cancer. Again they remind me, “That is the bad news”. The good news is there is a specific chemo developed especially for this kind of cancer. It was and still is very hard for me to look at that as good news. Especially when they told me I would have to have a treatment every three weeks for an entire year. Even with strong faith, I will tell you that shook me to the core. Surgery, chemo, radiation….I am not feeling very strong now. My emotions have been all over the place. They gave me a book to read and gave my husband a book to read. One thing that stuck out to both of us is that it talked about how our feelings can change from day to day, hour to hour, or even minute to minute. We both are very positive people and not too much gets us down. The book talks about

the many kinds of feeling we can go through like denial, anger, fear, stress, depression, guilt, loneliness as well as hope and gratitude. I don’t have the anger or the denial. Why would I get angry? I cannot say “why me”. Cancer is rampant and many people face it. So in reality…. Why not me? Denial isn’t something I faced. It is a fact and I will have to deal with it and I know that I can through God’s help. One of the emotions I have already experienced and know that I will have, is feeling out of control and not being able to take care of myself. I have always been the caregiver in my family; the fix-it person. God has really put it on my heart to share this journey with you. It is going to be long and it is going to be hard and I am learning more than I ever wanted to know about cancer but there is a purpose for it. Maybe the purpose is there are a lot of people out there who are ignorant like me and I don’t mean that as a put down. Maybe there is someone who needs to get their mammogram. I never felt a lump and neither can any of the Doctors who have examined me. We would never have known it but for the mammogram. So if you have not had yours and it is time, don’t put it off. Do it now. One more thing. Will you keep me in your prayers? That is another thing I believe in! As I travel this journey, I want to be open and honest with you, even when (not if, but when) my emotions are off the chart. Right now my emotion of gratitude is strong because of the wonderful support system I have. Somehow, I hope my journey will help someone else.

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Clutter Alienates Clutter hurts our marriages. It affects the way we feel about ourselves and makes us sluggish. When our homes are filled with clutter, we just want to flee. We do everything in our power to not have to look at it. Here are some things we do. We hide out in the bed, so we don’t have to see it. We leave the house for the day and don’t come home until late. We volunteer for things to keep us out of the house. A busy person does not have time to clean and declutter. This gives you an excuse. When you walk in the door after a day of running around, facing the clutter, stops you dead in your tracks. Since you don’t know where to start, you do nothing. Clutter sucks the energy right out of you. This is why I have urged you to shine your sink. Just seeing one small area that is clean and clutter free, gives you the energy to do more; I think you are beginning to believe me. The same way that clutter tends to grow in our hotspots, clutter free areas are contagious too. With just a small area clean, you will begin to clean and clear the areas surrounding your bright spot. Keep your counters clear as you cook. Don’t let things pile up. Clean up after each dish prepared. Fill your sink with fresh hot soapy water each time it gets dirty and cold. Put out clean dish towels and dish cloths. When you get an area clean, declare it a clutter free zone. Use your hot spot preventions twice daily to keep them clear of clutter. Our husbands and children are pushed away by this clutter. We allow it to alienate our family from us. Husbands hide in the bedroom, the family room in front of the tv, tinkering in the garage or they don’t come home at all. These are places of refuge. As a result of husbands protecting themselves from the clutter, you feel abandoned. Lines of communication become broken because clutter can push people apart. You all know about this. Look at what happens with your children. With clutter everywhere, they have a problem sitting still. Yes, I sincerely believe that clutter affects our ability to focus. This is a downward spiral. Clutter keeps us from focusing. This contributes to more clutter and chaos. We get depressed and want to hide. Things get worse and we become hermits. Our children are seeing our lack of structure and discipline. They do not want to mind us, when we tell them to clean their room. Why should they? Our room is not clean.

You will find that when you set this example, even just in one area, you will begin to see a change in your children. They will be more willing to help, when they see you doing something. The children want attention! When our homes are cluttered; we become overwhelmed, so we do nothing. Our focus is on the clutter and not on our children. Can you see this? Our poor children just want us to notice them for a while. This is when they make an even bigger mess. Any attention even negative attention; is better than no attention. You yell at them and get upset with yourself because of your mean voice and then you beat yourself up. This vicious cycle has got to stop. You are not a bad Mom, a bad wife or a bad person! The only problem is that we have allowed the enemy CLUTTER to invade our territory. It is time to take back our homes and find the peace that I know is there. You will know this too, when you clean one small area of the clutter and keep it clear. This victory will be yours and your whole family will celebrate. Set your timer for 15 minutes and practice our new habit for February! Just grab a trash bag and start tossing; it is time to kick that clutter right out of our lives! For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2012 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication. | pg 13

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“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20 NIV).

Friend to Friend

I am always stunned when I hear someone say, “Well, I guess the only thing left to do is pray.” My goodness, I’ve even been shocked to hear the words come out of my own mouth. Prayer should never be seen as a last resort but as a first line of defense. No matter what condition your marriage is in today, prayer will make it better. God can make a bad marriage good and a good marriage great. God’s answers to prayer healed the sick, fed the hungry, stopped the rain, kept the earth from revolving on its axis for an hour, divided the Red Sea, poured forth water from a rock, opened wombs, confused enemies, opened jail doors, made leprous skin brand new, caused the lame to dance, gave courage to the fearful, and raised the dead. Jesus said, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you,” (Matthew 17:20 NIV). Have you noticed that it’s hard to stay mad at someone when you’re praying for him or her? Somehow walking into the throne room of God with a pack of anger and resentment strapped on your back doesn’t feel very comfortable. I’ve noticed when I’m angry at my husband, and I begin to pray for him (And I’m not talking “God help him when I get a hold of him” type prayers.) God begins to soften my heart. The Bible says that God is love and it is difficult to be in Love’s very presence and remain angry. Oh, you can stay mad, but it takes a lot of effort. Sometimes it is hard to pray for our husbands when we’re mad at them. But God tells us to “pray for our enemies.” How much more should we pray for our God-given, lifelong mate! I know there are many of you who are reading this devotion with anger or resentment in your hearts. You may be wondering, how did my marriage drift so far from where I hoped it would be? How did my marriage get to this state of desperation, mediocrity, frigidity, mutual tolerance, and co-existence? Is it too late for me? Is it too late for us? Friend, the answer is no – it is not too late. I have good news for you. God’s specialty is resurrection. He excels at bringing life from death. In the Old Testament, there was a couple you may have heard of, Abraham and Sarah. When Sarah laughed at the angel who said she would have a child at ninety-years-old, the angel said, “Is anything too hard for God?” The following year, the joke was on her. She had a baby boy and named him Isaac, which means laughter. Nothing is too hard for God, my friend. Absolutely nothing. Jesus said, “All things are possible to him (or her) who believes” (Mark 9:23). A baby is born to a dried up womb, fingers and toes materialize on nubs on a leper’s hands and feet, sight is given to a man blind from birth, a son is raised right in the middle of his own funeral procession, and the Red Sea is parted and thousands walk across on dry land. Now, tell me, is there anything in your life too hard for a God like this?

Let’s Pray (Prayer for the married woman)

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for my marriage today. I pray that you will make me into the woman that You intended all along. Help me to see my husband through your eyes today – as a chosen, dearly loved, child of God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Let’s Pray (Prayer for the single woman)

Dear Lord, everywhere I look, I see marriages that are in trouble. I pray for my sisters who have lost hope. I pray that You will restore their marriages. Help me to be the type of friend who encourages strong marriages and prays for those in trouble. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Today, I’m giving you a list of Bible verses to pray for your husband from head to toe. This is your assignment for today…for always. Lord, I pray for my husband, from head to toe: His Head – That he will look to You as Lord of his life. (1 Corinthians 11:13) His Mind That he will have the mind of Christ and think as the Holy Spirit would lead him and not the flesh. (1 Corinthians 2:16) His Eyes – That You will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. (Matthew 6:13, Mark 9:47) His Ears That he will hear Your still small voice instructing him. (1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 32:8) His Mouth – That his words will be pleasing to You. (Psalm 19:14) His Neck – That he will humble himself before You and be strong, courageous, and careful to do everything written in Your Word so that he will be prosperous and successful. (James 4:10, Joshua 1:8-9) His HeartThat he will love and trust You with his whole heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5, Proverbs 3:5) His ArmsThat You will be his strength. (Psalm 73:26) His HandsThat he will enjoy the work of his hands and see it as a gift from You. (Ecclesiastes 3:13, 5:19) His feet – That You will order his steps and that he will walk in Your truth. (Proverbs 4:25, Psalm 26:3)

More From the Girlfriends

There is nothing more important that we can do for our marriages than pray for our husbands. Sharon has these Scripture prayers on a beautiful inexpensive laminated prayer card that fits snuggly in your Bible for quick reference. To order, visit While you’re there, make sure and check out her book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams: Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For. Girlfriends in God P.O. Box 725 Matthews, NC 28106 / | pg 15

Step Two- Press the weights directly over the shoulders, with the elbows bent. The dumbbells should be slightly angled toward each other. Tip- Start with 3 sets of 12 reps and work your way up to 5 sets. Start the shoulder exercises with the Press first.

by Sharon Rashidi B.S. Health Education

BEAUTIFUL SHOULDERS EQUALS A SMALLER APPEARING WAIST! Every Saturday morning I teach two classes: Zumba and Body Sculpting. In Body Sculpting, we work together as a group and always work on different body parts. One week we work on legs and stomach, the next week back and biceps, the next week triceps and shoulders. No class is ever the same as we always switch up the exercises and equipment that we use. I enjoy working all the different body parts, but one of my favorite body parts to train is the shoulders. Last week I asked the class this question: Why do we want to have wide shoulders? One person knew the answer, when your shoulders are wider it makes your waist appear smaller. It is all about proportion. Genetically speaking, it is impossible to change your shoulder width which is determined by the length of your collarbones. These bones will grow up to the age of 25 or 30 and then stop. But, you can widen the appearance of your shoulders by exercising the deltoid muscles which are located on the upper arms. It is actually the rounded cap over the point of the shoulder. This muscle which has three parts helps you move your arm in front or to the side and over your head. The three parts of the deltoid muscle include anterior (front) head, the medial (side) head and the posterior (rear) head. Because these muscles are relatively small and weak, they can be injured very easily so it is always best to start off with a warm up set before doing a heavier set. The best way to build mass is to use a fairly light weight and do higher number of repetitions per set. So how do we broaden the shoulders to make our waist appear smaller? I encourage you to try these three exercises that target the three parts of the deltoid muscle. I do them myself and find they deliver results. But don’t forget that at the same time as you are working your deltoid muscles, you need to consider your eating habits, too. Training alone will not do the job. In addition to doing at least 30 minutes of cardio everyday, you must eat healthy; drink plenty of water, and practice portion control. With a little dedicated training twice a week, you can have beautiful shoulders plus a smaller appearing waistline.

SHOULDER EXERCISES Exercise Number One- Seated Dumbbell Press

Step One- Sit on the end of a flat bench or chair, with feet firmly planted on the floor, shoulder width apart. Hold a pair of dumbbells one in each hand.

pg 16 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

Exercise Number Two- Bent-Over Lateral Raise Step One- Remain seated on the bench or chair, with feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells one in each hand and bend over so that your chest is resting on your legs.

Step Two- Look down and lift the weights laterally. Your little fingers should always be the highest part of the hand. This way, the rear deltoid muscles will get the full stimulus of the exercise.

Tip- Start with 3 sets of 12 reps and work your way up to 5 sets. Follow the Press with bent-over raises.

Exercise Number Three- Side Lateral Raise

Step One- Stand up from the bench or chair, holding the dumbbells one in each hand. Drop your shoulders down away from your ears and stand tall.

Step Two- Raise your arms laterally out to your sides. Keep your arms slightly bent throughout the exercise to keep the stress off the elbows. Keep the little fingers uppermost during this exercise as well- as if you are pouring water out of a bottle.

Tip- Start with 3 sets of 12 reps and work your way up to 5 sets. Use lighter weights then used in the first two exercises and try not to swing your arms upward. This exercise should be done last.

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Visit the exhibit’s paleo-research camp, dig for fossils and more. Check for Weekly Dino Demos, special events and exhibit-related programs. On the SALT Block • 243 3rd Ave. NE • Hickory 828. 322.8169 •

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s e r u t n e v d a s i M ’s y d n a M

by Mandy Thomas

Time flies, doesn’t it? I mean, that’s not really a new notion or anything, but it just kind of hit me in the face this week. We were all sitting down to dinner in our new house, boxes scattered over every surface since we’d been digging around to find our real plates, when Savannah started talking about boys at school. Now, that’s no new thing. I can remember her being a flirt from the time that she was just a little bitty thing, running her hands through the hair of one of my dear friends’ husband and telling him how pretty he was. I knew we were in trouble right then. But this was different – she was talking about the boys playing in her hair on the school bus, and how one of her school friends had two boyfriends and isn’t that so cool? I informed her right then and there that she wasn’t allowed to date until she was thirty five, and even then I wasn’t sure if I’d let her see a man with the way the world was going. I’ll spare you the thirty minute monologue about men being

pg 18 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

pigs, or how I’m fairly certain that every boy alive carries germs and she should just run the other way whenever she sees anyone of the opposite sex looking in her direction. Just know that the situation was handled. But the whole situation left me wondering when Savannah had started noticing things like boyfriends? It feels like yesterday I was bringing her home, terrified that I wouldn’t know how to handle her and wondering who this tiny person would become, hoping against hope that I didn’t screw her up monumentally. Now, we’re talking about cooties and I’m showing her how to pucker her lips just right for the perfect lip gloss application and praying she doesn’t look like a three dollar tramp when we walk out the door to run to Wal-Mart. It terrifies me to think that in another blink of an eye she’ll be asking for my keys so she can drive herself to the mall, or stealing my clothes because I’m the most fashionable mom ever. But, no matter how old she grows, I’m sure of two things: she’ll always be my baby, and I’ll always love her. Oh, and that boys are really stinky.

Aqua B was designed to bring an affordable and welcoming boutique to the downtown Hickory area. Within our walls, you’ll find the most exclusive pieces of clothing, accessories galore, and handmade items by local artists. Aqua B is constantly replenished and features unique and trend setting fashions.

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Many Items Under $20 | pg 19

The Dinner Diva

3) Brown Rice. You can make a vat of this stuff, scoop into individual freezer bags and freeze for later use if time is of the essence. Having a box of quick cooking brown rice at home isn’t a bad idea either, but the long cooking stuff is much less expensive. 4) Grown Your Own. Having a veggie garden is a lot easier than you think. Check out for a plan for nearly everyone! 5) Thirst Out. Water is about as economical as it can get. If you want clean and fresh water, check out different water purifiers and start pile driving the water. Cheaper than anything else you can drink! 6) Seasonal Stuff. Buy in season (summer is the time to find cheap watermelon, not the middle of winter), buy locally when at all possible and buy organically. 7) Garlic and Onions. Very inexpensive and will ratchet up the flavor and potency of nearly anything you make, not to mention the antioxidant factors as well. Keep them on hand!

10 Tips to Help You Successfully Navigate the Grocery Store by Leanne Ely, CNC Dear Friends, A lifestyle of poor diet and lack of exercise kills about 400,000 Americans every year! That’s as many who have died from smoking, can you imagine?? And that’s only Americans! This number does not count the rest of the world that eats poorly and neglects to exercise! YIKES! It’s a tough world out there and today’s grocery store is no exception. Here are some tips to navigate the grocery store successfully and buy the healthy foods you need and avoid the unhealthy ones that could kill you! Healthy foods don’t need to bankrupt you or make you spend untold hours in the kitchen. Here are some tips for getting healthy happening in your kitchen today: 1) Fast Food. Look for stuff that is fast and easy to make, like sweet potatoes (stab, bake, eat). Cheap eats, massively good for you and filling. 2) Go Green. Baby spinach is fast-food friendly too. Not as cheap as sweet ‘taters, but worth the cost of admission! I like mine stir-fried (little bit of olive oil and lotsa garlic!) and in salads.

pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

8) Read Labels. And remember, if you have to spend 10 minutes deciphering a food’s label with unpronounceable chemical additives and you have no earthly idea what they are, your body doesn’t know what they are either. Not only that, but you?re going to pay for those expensive chemicals at the cash register and in ‘our own health. Skip anything with fake colors, flavorings or “flavor enhancers”, they all ROB you of your health! 9) Vegetarians Unite. Once a week, go vegetarian. That doesn’t mean eating a bunch of soy-based processed foods, but rather choosing a vegetarian meal each week. In the summer, we have fresh tomato sauce on pasta with chopped fresh oregano and feta cheese sprinkled over the top. I grow tomatoes and oregano in my garden and the whole meal is divine! 10) Beans, Beans. The ultimate healthy, yet frugal food, dried beans need to be soaked, cooked and then can be made into a multitude of cheap eats, from soups to chilis to salad. Eat your beans for corn’s sake! Don’t become a statistic and please don’t think healthy food is out of your reach or budget! It’s not hard, it’s enjoyable and the cool thing about eating healthy, grown in the ground food is you always know what you’re eating, no labels necessary! Enjoy!

Leanne Ely is a New York Times bestselling author of Body Clutter and the Saving Dinner series. The Dinner Diva syndicated newspaper column appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. Learn how to cook great and save significant money with the Dinner Diva?s menus, recipes and shopping lists at


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Located on the Highway 321 corridor midway between Charlotte and Boone, Lenoir is rich in natural beauty and a strong tradition in visual and performing arts.The second largest municipality in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA, Lenoir is home to over 18,200 residents. As our population grows and our economy diversifies, the commercial properties in our city offer excellent locations for retail and commercial development. Please visit these fine Lenoir businesses today!

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Tomorrow’s cancer-fighting technology is here today.

Catawba Valley Medical Center introduces True Beam technology to the Carolinas. TM

Imagine a cancer fighting device so advanced it will attack the disease from outside the body with incredible accuracy, treating only the spot it is supposed to treat and nothing more, thanks to an optical guidance system. A system so advanced it will function only between the breaths of the patient, when the body is momentarily still.

Less frequent exposures

Radiation time will be reduced, too. Because rather than treating the tumor with several exposures, the machine will perform several continuous arcs. As a result what once took forty minutes to an hour will be completed in five to twenty.

True BeamTM

This technology of tomorrow, this image guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery device, will make treatment more comfortable and less time consuming, with reduced side effects. And those are the reasons major hospitals everywhere will have this device on their wish lists. But not Catawba Valley Medical Center. True Beam isn’t a “wish” at Catawba Valley Medical Center, True Beam is a reality. The first of it’s kind in the Carolinas, and another example of how Catawba Valley Medical Center strives to improve the healthcare available to our community.




Sophisticated Women... By Nicole Greer, PPCC Founder and Principle Coach at Vibrant Coaching

Learn Their Lessons & Count Their Blessings

Our family didn’t see it coming. She was at water aerobics with her YMCA buddies on Wednesday. On Thursday, she stated, “I am going to be couch potato today.” By Friday, she was in the hospital. On Monday, she was in heaven. Kate, my mother-in-law, was a sophisticated woman although she came from humble beginnings. Raised in the mountains of North Carolina the baby of eleven children, Kate experienced hard won lessons that she turned into blessings. With the nickname “Annie Oakley” Kate was responsible for watching over the lambs on their family farm. On more than one occasion, she ‘got her gun’ to ward off dangerous predators. Her experiences taught her that there are aggressive forces in the world. The lesson: You must be prepared to protect yourself. Kate was advocate, caretaker, and confidante for her sister, Peggy, who became deaf and partially paralyzed after a bout with Scarlet Fever. She learned that life is unpredictable and at times harsh. The lesson: Helping others in need is the proper response. For 32 years, Kate served Wilkes Regional Medical Center as an emergency room nurse. She worked with every kind of patient imaginable, from those who had fevers to those who fought for the lives. The lesson: Life is precious. What did she do with these lessons? She did what any sophisticated woman would do. She turned them into blessings. Being sophisticated by one definition means: experienced and aware. In the words of John Dewey, American philosopher, “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” Kate understood that her life was an education. Some may say she went to the proverbial ‘school of hard knocks’ but to hear her speak of her childhood was like listening to a storybook full of lessons and blessings. Kate’s (Annie’s) aim was to simply accept her lessons as a gift. She called herself blessed. To accept lessons and turn them into blessings, the sophisticated woman responds with a choice, a choice that is transformational. This transformation takes place at the soul level. The lesson is learned in our minds, it creates emotion in the heart but ultimately in the soul it is received or earned through deep gratitude and becomes a blessing. Think about it. How many times do you need to receive the same lesson before you wake up and see that harnessing the learning is really the gift? Are you… • • • • • • •

Tired of being late? Frustrated because you find yourself unprepared? Regretful for not speaking up? Not shutting up? Feeling guilty for wasting time and energy? Denying someone, something, or someplace that needs your love, talents, and gifts? Sorry you didn’t take action? Take aim?

You stand in choice. Ask yourself, “Do I want to learn this lesson again?’ ‘Or do I simply want to accept that I must (just like Kate) prepare, protect, present the proper response, and possess the perspective that life is indeed precious?’ The sophisticated women that have gone before us offer us strategies, systems, and smarts to navigate the world. Glean their experiences. Step into a new awareness. That is the secret. “Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it. Everything that happens is either a blessing, which is also a lesson, or a lesson, which is also a blessing. -Polly Berrends Count them. Learn them. Move on!

“Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” — Annie Oakley , Annie Oakley exhibit at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas

At its deepest level, working with a coach frees you to indentify your birthright gifts, discern your deepest passions, and fulfill your highest purpose. A coach can pry you off dead center. As Principal Coach for Vibrant Coaching and Workshop Leader for The Lydia Group, LLC, a collaboration of individuals focused on work, life and spiritual growth, Nicole is on a mission to impact, energize, and influence people to lead a Vibrant Life by engaging the possibilities. As a life and business coach and workshop leader, Nicole views her role as a conduit to release all that you want to achieve. Join me on the PATH to move forward with authenticity, skill and confidence. | pg 23

Tamer by Stefanie Hutcheson


round our house, The Lion’s Tamer has become a favorite activity for PawPaw and the grandsons. Basically it consists of PawPaw grabbing a kid up while he tries to run away, then PawPaw’s arms wrap around the child’s neck. This is followed by wrestling/tickling/and making crazy noises while the grandkid laughs and squeals mercilessly until one or the other is worn out. Yeah, usually it is ol’ Steve who needs to catch his breath. We use this form of “discipline” to keep these boys straight. You know how little toddlers can get out of line! They need some roughhousing often to keep their energy spent and also to let go of some aggressions they might be harboring. The Lion’s Tamer is most effective on Walker, since he can actually participate the most being that he is three-years-old. Connor is almost eighteen-months-old and mostly just loves being nestled in PawPaw’s arms and being tickled. Besides, how much pent-up aggression can a little kid that small have, right? I am so glad you asked! The other night, Connor was tired. And cranky. missing his afternoon nap didn’t help his temperament at all. After supper, he was one perturbed young fella. After a few little tantrums because he didn’t get his way, Daddy had had enough. It was clear that something drastic would have to be done so my son-in-love did what had been tried and proven before: he used his own version of The Lion’s Tamer on Connor. Off they went to the back bedroom, with Connor fully ensconced in Casey’s arms. Oh, the pitiful cries that came from that room! They were soon followed by angry cries as I am sure Connor tried unsuccessfully to get out of his daddy’s grip. Louder and louder, and I felt my head pounding and wondered if they would ever stop. Wait! A brief moment of silence. Had little stubborn Connor finally realized he wasn’t going to win this battle? Yay! Maybe some of his determination to always have his way was losing to the authority of his daddy who really is supposed to be the one in charge. Speaking of Daddy, let me interject here to state that Casey is one patient man. He is not an arguer nor a man who rants and raves back. While holding his son(s) for this type of discipline, that’s what he does: he holds them. He doesn’t try to rationalize, nor does he preach to the kids. He holds them until the fight is gone, knowing that

pg 24 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

sometimes they just need to rage and get it all out before they can move forward. And in Daddy’s strength, they realize they are safe. In Daddy’s arms, they are secure. So back to the Connor drama. Alas! The peace was not to be. Round two—or was it three, four, or five by now?-- continued. It was not a pretty time. Wanting to go in there but not daring to disrupt this time of discipline, I asked my daughter to at least go close the door so we all wouldn’t have to suffer the wrath of Connor’s anger. Several minutes later, it quieted down again. Dare we hope? Could the storm really be over? Sigh. A few more minutes and then, yes, the gentle squeak of the door opening and the soft footsteps as Daddy brought a smiling Connor back to us. Lovingly he placed him in PawPaw’s arms and the kid just sat there, looking at us all with the most peaceful, serene expression on his face! He smiled and we all told him we were glad to see him again. Well, Walker only briefly looked up from the book he was reading, but I could tell he was glad to have his sweet brother back with us versus the angry little monster who had disappeared only a half-hour ago. I pondered on this a while, partly because it fascinated me and partly in a little fear that it wouldn’t last. But it did. I went over to Casey and Ashley and I told them, “You don’t know this yet or may not realize it but this little incident is a good reminder of how we act towards God. We pitch our fits, stomp our feet, cry and scream when we don’t get our ways. Finally, He has enough and just like Casey did, He puts The Lion’s Tamer on us and eventually we stop struggling.” I went on to say, “Look how peaceful Connor is. Daddy indeed knew best and now his little fit is over.” How much easier it is to give in to him rather than to fight. The Lion’s Tamer. The Lion of Judah calms us when we are uncontrollable. He holds us until the fight leaves us. He soothes us and whispers in our ears that He will win. He tames us. He loves us. And when we stop fighting Him, we too can have peace.

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Me, Myself, & . c In By Sherré DeMao

Is It Time for a Confidence Check-Up?

Confidence can sometimes be fickle, can’t it? Whenever we enter into the unknown, whether it is what we think may occur in the future or in tackling something outside of our comfort or knowledge zone, even the most confident of us find that twinge in our gut questioning what we are doing, cautioning us on where it may lead, and sometimes even convincing us we aren’t quite ready or capable. Sound familiar? I was blessed with a grandmother who reinforced that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. She inspired a will in me to always give anything that I wanted to do a try, even when uncertainty reared its ugly head. She also instilled an understanding that if something did not work out, it happened for a very good reason. The key was to embrace what is happening or has happened with a focus on insightfulness, optimism and acceptance. Thanks to my grandmother’s wisdom, instead of fretting and feeling sorry for myself when things seem unattainable or appear to be moving in the wrong direction, I knew it was much more productive to be very aware and in tune with what might be just around the corner — that wonderful opportunity that could be missed if I was spending too much time sulking. Action and a focus on moving what is desired even the slightest step forward always helps abolish uncertainty. Even if you did not have the blessing of someone like my grandmother, her sage advice can begin serving you well starting right now when it comes to your confidence. Do a Personal Growth Check: When it comes to insights, the most profound ones are garnered through a continuous mode of learning to know more. It is also about taking an honest and concentrated look at mistakes and the mistakes others have made in order to learn from them. Think about a new-born child and all that he or she must overcome. Literally, every day is a learning experience and with each moment attempts are made, and then made again to ultimately achieve the ability to walk, talk, and so much more. You were once that child and you were not daunted. You simply kept at it because you did not have any reason or conditioning at the time to not continue to try, try again. Bring that undaunted willingness to grow and learn back into your psyche. If you are not learning from your mistakes and growing in knowledge on a daily basis in multiple ways, it is no wonder your confidence is affected. Embrace learning and you will embrace a whole new world of possibilities in you! Do a Friends, Family & Associates Check: Others’ reasoning and opinions have an impact on our confidence, especially those we care about and feel that they care about us or have our best interests at heart. Think back again to your younger years beyond being a baby and toddler. As you got older, your simple triumphs were no longer enough to bring squeals of delight to those who raised you or witnessed various strides. The bar continually was raised higher and, after a while, there came a time when we attempted something that we simply could not accomplish. How you responded to these first non-achievements, and how

you were encouraged or discouraged in these situations could very well have shaped your underlying confidence and your future approach to attempting new things. This reflection isn’t meant to give you an excuse for why you lack confidence. It is merely to help you acknowledge the possible inflictions in order to take charge of your confidence once again. Now think about who is in your circle of influence today in your life, at home and at work. How are these peoples’ reactions both positively and negatively impacting your confidence? How are they supporting or undermining your confidence? It may be time for some heart to heart discussions. Do a Reality Check: Confidence isn’t about always getting everything right or perfect. Confidence is about being able to handle both success and failure with grace, and then move on. It is also about understanding ourselves well enough to know what we are good at doing and where we might be limited in ability or understanding, so that we can either find a way to compensate or accept our weaknesses in order to more effectively focus on our strengths. If we believe we must be perfect at all times in all things, we impose immense stress upon ourselves and as a result, we may begin to believe that we are good at nothing. Why do we do this to ourselves? Celebrate your strengths, embrace your natural talents and abilities and allow them to flourish in you and for others. Your confidence will resurface in no time. Do a Passion Check: Our passion feeds our faith in ourselves and in what we are doing. When you are passionate about something, it is a part of you so completely that you simply believe in it and in yourself. Call it blind faith; it is confidence in its purest sense. If you don’t feel confident, then could it be you also don’t feel passionate about anything right now either? Then chances are you are not embracing your natural abilities and desires I mentioned in the previous point. Find what ignites your passion and allow this to feed and fuel your confidence. Have faith in yourself. Embrace learning and personal growth. Bring your strengths and passions to the forefront of what makes you exceptionally you. Allow others in to support and encourage you. Then watch your confidence lead you and chances are, many others, to a life of true enjoyment and work that is fulfilling and satisfying. Bio: Sherré DeMao inspires millions through her monthly columns, weekly Insight eZine and national contributing writing. An expert strategist and marketer focused on entrepreneurs, her unique perspective and innovative approach has earned numerous awards regionally, nationally and internationally including being named among the Top 50 Enterprising Women of North America in 2007. Her books, Me, Myself & Inc. ( and 50 Marketing Secrets ( have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks and must reads. | pg 27

HEALTH WATCH Health Watch: March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Four Steps to Lowering Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer 1.

Colorectal Cancer – Early Screening Saves Lives Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the United States. Each year more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S. and over 50,000 people die from it annually. Colorectal cancer is considered a silent killer because often there are no symptoms until it is too late to treat, so prevention is key.

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable. The good news is that 80-90% of colorectal cancers can be prevented by regular screening. The majority of colorectal cancers arise from precancerous growths in the colon called polyps, which can be found during a screening exam and removed before they turn into cancer. Colorectal cancer screening should be a part of routine healthcare for people 50 years of age and over. Age is the single most important risk factor for the disease. Even people who lead a healthy lifestyle can still develop polyps and cancer. Both men and women are affected by colorectal cancer equally. Once you are over 50, your lifetime chance of developing colon cancer is one in twenty. In individuals with a family history of colon cancer and some other conditions, screening should begin at age 40. Research has shown that African-Americans should begin screening at age 45. Colonoscopy is considered the preferred screening test because it is the only test that both finds and removes precancerous polyps during the same sedated exam. A person at average risk with normal colonoscopy results won’t need another exam for 10 years. Should a polyp or cancer be found, follow-up intervals may be more frequent. The colonoscopy procedure is safe, effective and well-tolerated, and can potentially save your life.

pg 28 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

2. 3.


Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your doctor about earlier screening. Eat a low-fat diet. If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing steps may help reduce your risk.

If you are over 50 or have a family history of colorectal cancer, talk to your healthcare provider about getting screened today. Find out what kind of screening procedure is right for you. It could save your life.

Submitted by: Gastroenterology Associates, PA – John H. Meier, MD, FACG Offices in Hickory and Lincolnton, NC

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Be Healthy…Be Happy in 2012! Being healthy just makes you feel good, inside and out! Your local Medicap Pharmacy® offers prescription medications as well as several over-the-counter products like vitamins and supplements to help you stay healthy. Talk with your Medicap Pharmacy pharmacist today and get on track to a healthy 2012!

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Easy To Be

by Susan Guest, ASID March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, leafy lettuce straight out of the garden, the green rebirth after the bleak days of winter. We often think green as the color of Spring. Green is the combination of two primary colors-blue and yellow. The shade will vary depending on the amount of yellow or blue present. On the color wheel used in art and design classes, the color red is the opposite color of green. Red is the best choice to make the green “pop”. Green has many faces-it can be a cool calming color or electric in its brightest form. It is used in both traditional and contemporary settings. Bright green can perk up any room, while more subdued greens can ground feminine schemes that use rose and peach tones. Historically, green has been a popular religious color. In traditional Catholic and Protestant churches, green is used in services between the special days, also called “Ordinary Times”. It has been used in Christmas celebrations because evergreens stay green throughout the winter season. Hunters in the woods have been wearing hunter green and olive drab as camaflouge for centuries. Psychologically, green is known to have a calming effectpromoting healing and stress relief. Workplaces that are

decorated in green have fewer incidents of stomachaches among employees. Green rooms are used in theaters and backstage TV sets to calm performers. Research has shown that green improves reading ability. Today “green design” is the attempt to use fewer of the earth’s resources. The ultimate goal is to leave a smaller “footprint” in order to leave more natural resources for future generations. As you can see, green is, and has always been, an important color. A diet that includes plenty of green produce leaves us healthier, while a budget that saves green will leave us wealthier. Proper use of the color green in our home can leave us with more green to spend and our friends green with envy.

Susan Guest, ASID is an award-winning interior designer in Hickory and owner of Guest Interiors, LLC. She is one of the designers featured in “Spectacular Homes of the Carolinas”, found in high-end bookstores around the country. For more information, visit | pg 31


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“Serving The Unifour Area Since 1984”

Recipes for ife


by Emily Wickham

Food for the Body Breakfast Casserole 12 – 14 eggs I cup milk 2 slices bread, torn into small pieces ¼ - ½ cup onion, chopped I cup shredded cheddar cheese ¼ - ½ tsp. basil Salt & Pepper to taste 1 lb. cooked sausage, bacon, or ham ½ cup chopped tomato (optional) 1 ½ cups chopped spinach leaves (optional) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl; stir in bread, onion, cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Crumble/chop the meat of your choice and add to the egg mixture. Then add the tomato* and/or spinach if desired. Mix well. Pour into casserole dish; bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until center is set. *Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and increase baking time five to ten minutes if you add the chopped tomato.

A Prayer for God’s Blessing Loving Father in heaven, I worship You for Your sustaining power and the strength You provide. I confess I sometimes rush into the day without being nourished by You. Thank You for drawing near to me when I draw near to You. Please help me to faithfully seek You first every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Food for the Soul

The same principle holds true in our spiritual lives. Just as a healthy breakfast promotes a strong start, studying God’s Word and praying to our heavenly Father ensures the best beginning. Though this isn’t always possible, let’s evaluate whether or not we can make some schedule changes in order to meet with God in the morning: • Can we get up 15 minutes earlier? • Can we read a chapter in the Bible before perusing the paper or online news? • Can we talk to God for a few minutes rather than chatting on Face book? • Can we gain wisdom from God’s Word instead of watching TV? These are just several ideas that might help us make time where we think we don’t have any to spare. It’s truly a discipline to reach for God before reaching for what this world offers. But oh, the benefits far outweigh any sacrifices! Communing with God in the morning stillness before busyness sets in affords meaningful rewards like peace, hope, and purpose. It’s not about checking a duty off our list or completing another task that wearies us. It’s about interacting with the one true God who desires an ongoing relationship with us: • He loves us. • He wants to spend time with us. • He yearns to speak to us through His Word and empower us by His Holy Spirit. • He wants to awaken and increase our joy in Him … strengthen and equip us for challenges that await. Mornings can be crazy. Countless people bustle around trying to get out the door for work, school, appointments, etc. The thought of fitting in time to spend with God seems nearly impossible. But is it? The opposite can be true as well. Some people move at a much slower pace and ease into the day. But this approach also can have negative aspects. Is time wasted? When Jesus lived on earth 2,000 years ago, He prioritized time with His Father. Mark 1:35 states, “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated how to pursue and rely upon His Father’s presence. When we follow Christ’s example, this treasure of enjoying God as a new day dawns becomes ours. James 4:8 encourages us with this promise: “Draw near to God and He

will draw near to you …” While we genuinely seek God’s presence by  reading the Bible, applying it to our lives, and sharing our heart with Him    through prayer, He will draw near. What an absolutely amazing way to  commence another day. It doesn’t get any better than that!      

Until next time, that’s a Recipe for Life …

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” We’ve all heard that statement more than once. Some of us believe it wholeheartedly and daily eat a healthy breakfast. Others of us disregard this opinion and skip breakfast altogether. Still others treat it lackadaisically – sometimes partaking of a morning meal and sometimes not. I value breakfast and regularly enjoy it, but I don’t always make the most nutritional choices. An occasional orange Danish roll or cinnamon toast is probably not the best selection! A bowl of cereal – or better yet – a piece of breakfast casserole supplies much more sustenance. Either of these enables me to start the day strong.

Emily Wickham, published author, speaker, and founder of Proclaiming Him to Women Ministries, gently yet powerfully presents God’s Word. She encourages and equips women by exalting Christ through inspirational, practical Bible teaching. Her bi-weekly study takes place in Hickory, NC, and her blog devotionals can be read at www.proclaiminghimtowomen. com. Emily welcomes speaking opportunities at women’s events such as retreats, luncheons, and conferences. Please e-mail Emily resides in western NC with her husband and their four children. | pg33



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Question: I do not have acne, but my face is full of blackheads. How can I get rid of them and keep them from coming back? Answer: If you do not have acne, then you probably do not have a face full of blackheads either. I suspect your little black spots are simple enlarged pores, which have filled with sebum. Sebum is the term for “oil”. When oil seeps up into the outer layers of skin, exposing itself to air, the sebum oxidizes, turning it black. It is fairly easy to determine if the black spots are; pores filled with sebum or indeed a blackhead. If it is enlarged pores than the black spot will literally wash away. It may however, require a special product and some extra effort on your part. First, wash your face as usual, then boil 2 cups of water, remove from heat and add 2TBS. lemon juice and 2TBS. baking soda. Set hot water mixture on a safe surface, to eliminate any potential hazards of burning yourself. Place a towel over your head, holding your head approximately 12-16 inches from pot. Steam your face for 7 -10 minutes. Then wash your face again with a cleanser containing salicylic acid. If it is enlarged pores that is plaguing you, then they should be gone after washing. Be sure to replenish your skin with the correct moisturizer for your skin type. However, if the spots remain, then more than likely they are blackheads. Do not try to extract blackheads at home, a visit to your esthetician would be advised. An esthetician will not only do the extractions safely, but can give you products and tips to help keep blackheads at bay.

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Taking Over by Jennifer Brunham

Today’s toys are very different than when you were a kid. I remember coloring books and Cabbage Patch Dolls being the “it” thing to play with back in the ‘80s. I also remember having strict rules on how long toys were allowed to crowd the living room. Things are surely different! Most families live in much larger homes, and most kids have a separate playroom. What a great idea! A separate room to keep Suzy’s toys contained! She can play with whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and I can close the door on the mess. Wrong! Playrooms are a cause for constant stress among moms. Why? Because the toys are taking over. They take over the room, and then begin to make their way throughout the house. After all, why would Suzy want to play...alone... in her playroom when everyone else is in the kitchen? How do you keep the toys from taking over? 1) Donate toys and books Ask your child to help you find toys and books to donate to other “little boys and girls who don’t have as much”. When kids see the opportunity to help those less fortunate, then they are more than happy to identify a few toys they really don’t like. Do not donate Suzy’s toys without her permission. Take this opportunity to teach your child about the importance of helping others. 2) Rotate toys Rotating toys will keep your child’s interest level high. They actually want to be interested and stimulated by their toys and books. When they have so many to choose from, they begin to lose interest quickly. There are two ways you can do this. One is to rotate by the day of the week. Label a shelf or basket with each day of the week. Place different toys and books in each basket. It will take some getting used to for your child, but if you are consistent, then it will pay off! Second, you can rotate toys by creating an inventory system. Put half of the toys and books in plastic bins with lids. Store the bins in the attic, basement, garage. Just store them someplace other than Suzy’s room and playroom. Rotate every three or four months.

by House Hunt

3) Build storage options into the room Create some shelving and storage in the playroom. Most playrooms have books and toys thrown all over the floor. You

pg 36 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | March 2012

have probably gone so far as to purchase a few toy bins from Target or Walmart. The upper half of each wall is bare, except for the occasional Dora the Explorer wall decal. As with any room, it is essential that you use wall space to maximize the efficiency. Most shelving units sold at IKEA come with wall mount brackets. This will reduce your stress level of a bookshelf falling over on Suzy and her friends. Another option is to use free standing shelves placed throughout the room at “Mommy” height. There are options galore from decorative shelving to brackets to hooks. The Container Store, Target, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and the like all sell economical options. Use the shelving, freestanding or bookcase, to store the baskets of the week and mementos from school and sporting events. Suzy won’t be able to reach anything over a few feet high, so keep by Terrific Designs anything breakable up top or in another room. 4) Add some decorative flair Paint the wall(s), add decals of sports or cartoon characters, frame Suzy’s masterpieces. Maybe even paint a wall with chalkboard paint. Make the play room fun! Add a table and chairs at kid height. Encourage Suzy to color, draw, and read at the table. Most rooms have a TV and Playstation. IKEA also sells great pieces to house the electronics. 5) Showcase children’s masterpieces Hang up a large bulletin board to showcase masterpieces and awards from school. Cover the bulletin board in fabric or paint the frame. Children bring home so many things from school and love to see them proudly displayed. It also, shows them you care about their achievements. Incorporate your child as you design the room and layout. They will love the attention and “mommy and me” time! Make it fun and playful, and keep those toys from taking over!

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How to Become a Better Tweeter?

Twitter users around the globe want to learn how to become a better Tweeter. But most don’t even know how to start… Do you? Since its humble beginnings in March 2006, individuals have learned to understand the value of social media, and Twitter in particular, as an inexpensive and innovative way to communicate with family, friends and business acquaintances. Twitter has continued to grow exponentially, and today has become the world’s most popular micro-blogging service. In its infancy (just 6 years ago), Twitter was plagued with several hurdles, the largest of which was that most people felt that a maximum of 140 characters per post just wasn’t enough to be able to communicate effectively with others. So, you can probably see why it took Twitter three years, two months and one day to rack up its first 1 billion tweets. But, to put things into perspective, today Twitter witnesses well over a billion tweets every week. Sure, it’s a learning curve to use the 140 character limit judiciously to get your message across. But, once someone is comfortable with these limits, there’s virtually nothing that can’t be achieved within these 140 characters. So, what does it take to become a better Tweeter? Well, in order to achieve this status, you first need to learn how to ‘retweet’. You can definitely improve your standing within Twitter if you re-tweet. When one of your followers posts an appealing article, re-tweet it! When you do this, most of your followers will also do the same. Just imagine all your followers re-tweeting something you posted. And when they add your username to their updates, you will be exposed to many new users – or peeps! But be careful in your re-tweeting because you don’t want to be posting uninteresting or unhelpful topics. Make sure that you re-tweet only the good ones! But how do you re-tweet? Well, all you need to do is copy the original tweet and insert the prefix RT together with the name of the originator before the tweet. An example would look like “RT @eaglemick: But how do you re-tweet?” Many individuals use Twitter to post tweets that no one is ever going to be interested in. Who cares what you had for breakfast or what you did last night. OK, perhaps your closest friends would appreciate that, but what about the rest of the social community? It would be much better if you sent out informative tweets – not just nonsense. By doing

this, people will definitely think of you differently. In other words, now they’ll know that you care one way or another. And if you’re addressing your tweets to a particular person, you should indicate that so others will know who you are referring to. Send replies often! Using ‘@reply’ (stated as “at-reply”) allows for talking all day long with Twitter. So, if you like to talk, you really need to sign up to this dynamic social site. But, followers like to communicate with people they feel know how to listen. Sure, you’ll probably find yourself laughing at some really dumb tweets, but you must restrain yourself. Twitter is an application that allows people to communicate. So no matter how funny (or dumb) some tweets may sound, try to appreciate what the writer was TRYING to say and reply courteously. Most Twitter users want to be heard on the web and if they find individuals who know how to listen, they are much more interested in communicating with them. In addition, in order to tweet better, you must be proactive! Find some neat articles or some helpful information online. When you find something, post it! Some of your followers may re-tweet it, or you may find new users that are interested in meeting you. But, you don’t need to say something all the time. Be careful in using your automatic messages and updates because you might be pestering others with uninteresting info. You should also try using ‘hashtags.’ Hashtags are keywords preceded by # (the pound sign). In the past couple years, hashtags have really become hot. Use the tool Twitpic ( to upload pictures to your profile page. Try to upload as many pictures as you can, but choose your pics carefully. Through the pictures, your followers can get to know you better. As a matter of fact, according to expert Tweeters, pictures can tell a lot about you as compared to the posts you send. There’s no doubt that Twitter is a proven success story, but I strongly believe that the best is yet to come. Yes, I agree that terms such as tweet, RT, #hashtags and @replies can be overwhelming for newbie users. But once you’re comfortable with the terminology, it’s just a matter of getting used to the routine. Every social network has its own vocabulary and Twitter is no different. Follow these tips and become a better Twitter Tweeter. Why not? You have nothing to lose. Twitter is a perfect example of community spirit – you follow interesting people, follow your favorite brands, follow your favorite celebrities and people who like the same things that you like. It’s up to you to use Twitter to its fullest – the site offers endless possibilities. So, take advantage of this potential and have a great Twitter experience! Mick Young Marketing Technologies!

Mick Young is a successful entrepreneur, business owner, renowned author, Master Business coach, New Media Marketing Consultant, and international speaker. He wrote “Your New Venture - Real Business or Hobby?” as well as a number of other highly regarded works. | pg 39

Make A Wedding Story Board This series was created to give you tips and ideas to make your wedding less stressful and I hope this will be a favorite. For years, as a designer, I’ve used storyboards as a means to show clients how all the different elements of a room or home will look when put together. Well, you can do the same for your wedding. Especially, when color and design play such a large part for an event that will only last a day or two. And mistakes can be costly. Start with a piece of ½-inch foam core board. The ones I use are 20-inches by 30-inches and come from local craft or office stores. Cover the front with fabric close to the color of your wedding gown, white, ivory, etc. It doesn’t have to be the same kind of fabric. A single yard will usually do it. Wrap it to the back and fasten with short ball headed straight pins, put in at an angle. Don’t glue, in case you change your mind. Here comes the fun part. Mentally divide the board into two sections, wedding on top, reception on the bottom. First, pin pictures of the site of where the ceremony will take place, outside AND inside, in the upper left corner. Then pin on a picture of your wedding gown, veil and shoes at the top center. (Remove this when you show it to the groom.) This can be cut from a magazine, a good color copy or from the internet. Add a color swatch of your gown right next to it. In the upper right hand corner, add the tuxes, style, color, etc. Right below your dress goes your wedding invitation. Then add pictures of the bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes and color swatches for those. Do the same for flower girls, mothers’ dresses, etc. Next to each of those, pin pictures of the bouquets, boutonnières or something very similar. Again, color and style are especially important for this. For the reception, start with the base color of the tablecloths, then napkins, plates and so on. Some weddings will have more details than others. You will also need pictures of the style and color of the centerpieces. A copy of the menu should be tacked here as well. Here are some other ideas. Some brides find they need two boards. ~If it’s impossible to get fabric swatches, try paint card samples. They are also a great way to see how your selected colors go together. ~If you wedding gown has a lot of detail, add a close up of that too. ~Don’t forget to add the colors of the groom’s vest and tie. ~ Add a sketch of the reception layout. ~You may even want pictures of the jewelry. Another idea is to do the above in notebook form. Just make sure the pictures are large enough to be seen easily. Of course, you could always do both.

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Our Monthly Feature

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Photos from our February 2012 Contest.

Photo Submitted By: Elizabeth Sweet Photography



Local Photos of Everyday people, places, and events as seen through the eyes of the area's professional and amateur photographers! 8

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Photo Submitted By: As We See It Photography

Photo Submitted By: Brittany Huffman

PhotoSubmitted SubmittedBy: By: Photo Elements Photography Erin Annas



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Profile for Sophie Woman's Magazine

Sophie Woman's Magazine March 2012 Issue  

Inspiration, Education, & Motivation for women of all ages.

Sophie Woman's Magazine March 2012 Issue  

Inspiration, Education, & Motivation for women of all ages.