Southern Maryland Woman Magazine - Calvert Edition - July/August 2019

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Calvert County Edition July/August 2019

empowered CONNECTIONS A Community Publication Proudly Inspiring, Educating & Connecting Southern Maryland Women Since 2007




We Give You More Time to Enjoy Life Health Care Specialists Right Around the Corner Your health is important, but so is your time. MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has a team of specialty physicians available to keep you healthy from head to toe. From neurology to weight loss surgery to orthopaedics — our care team is right around the corner.

Visit to find expert care in your neighborhood.

WiSH Living & Learning Center, formed to support women in STEM, opened in 2006 and is the longest continually run LLC at St. Mary’s College.

Nine women centric or coed varsity sports, plus Ultimate Frisbee, Rugby, and Soccer women centric club sports teams.

Popular academic programs like Educational Studies, Psychology, Environmental Studies; and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

When you choose St. Mary’s College honors-level education, you’re asking for something special: elevated academics, a pathway to a prosperous career, prestige without the pretentiousness, and professors who genuinely care about your success.

Learn more at

Women Caring for


Dr. Erica Contreras and Dr. Katreena Settle Are Accepting New Patients in La Plata

We know that choosing an OB-GYN is a very personal decision, and you deserve a physician who makes you feel completely comfortable. Dr. Contreras and Dr. Settle have a combined 22 years of experience. But perhaps most importantly, as women, they know exactly what you’re going through when you walk in the door. You’ll know immediately that your health is in good hands.

Accepting most major insurances.

Schedule an appointment today. Call 301-609-4800.

605 E. Charles Street, La Plata, MD 20646

FROM HOUSE TO HOME As a real estate agent, designer and home builder, our goal is to help clients purchase a house and create a home, tailored to the personal desires, dreams and aesthetic of each client. We design with creativity and a quiet flare, always building within budget.

Publishers Solms-Baruth A Community Publication Oda Proudly Inspiring, Educating & Connecting Southern Melissa MarylandSolms-Baruth Women Since 2007. Copy Editor R. Caren Bitar Publisher

We are hiring for the following part-time positions:

Oda Solms Feature Writer Editorial JenniferAssistant Reginald Rachel Lytle GraphicDesign Design Graphic Dave Schindler | Dave Schindler Dana Milani Foody Lauren

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Dana Foody Photography Photography Irving Harris, Irving Harris Photography Beth Graeme, Steve and Jane Pilkerton, Sandi MARYLAND Forci, SOUTHERN WOMAN, LLC P.O. BoxContributing 1656 • Leonardtown, WritersMD 20650 (301) 904-3366 • Fax: (301) 475-2680 Crystal Brandt Rachel Lytle Sales & Marketing Megan Vereb, The Woman’s Journal newspaper is published bimonthly and is available free of charge, by subscription, display stands in approved private and public establishments and authorized distributors only. Trademark laws and U.S. copyright laws protect The Women’s Journal. No part of this paper may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The Women’s Journal is not responsible for any editorial comment (other than its own), typographical errors from advertisements submitted as camera ready or any reproductions of advertisements submitted as camera ready. If an advertisement does not meet our standards of acceptance, we may revise or cancel it at any time, whether or not it has been already acknowledged and/or previously published. The advertiser assumes sole responsibility for all statements contained in submitted copy and will protect and indemnify The Women’s Journal, its owners, publishers, and employees, against any and all liability, loss or expense arising out of claims for libel, unfair trade names, patents, copyrights and proprietary rights, and all violations of the right of privacy or other violations resulting from the publication by this newspaper for its advertising copy. Publisher shall be under no liability for failure, for any reason, to insert an advertisement. Publisher shall not be liable by any reason of error, omission and/or failure to insert any part of an advertisement. Publisher will not be liable for delay or failure in performance in publication or distribution if all or any portion of an issue is delayed or suspended for any reason. The publisher will exercise reasonable judgement in these instances and will make adjustments for the advertiser where and when appropriate. The Women’s Every issue in loving memory of Melissa Solms-Baruth Journal assumes no responsibility for produced unsolicited material or reproductions made by advertisers. This newspaper will be published by the 5th day of every other month. Representations by The Women’s Journal, copyright 2011. TM Publication of advertising contained here does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Photos and artwork from, and

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Our favorite husband and wife duo are back! Owners Michelle and Jimmy of Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home discuss their passion for renovation and newest venture: flipping houses. Flip to page 17 to read about their beautiful creations.

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Woman magazine is published bimonthly and is available free of charge, by mail, display stands in approved private and public establishments. Trademark laws and U.S. copyright laws protect Woman magazine. No part of this paper may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. This publication is published by the 15th day of every other month. Publication of advertisingSouthern contained here does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Maryland Roller Derby Girls

Pictured (L-R) Jacki Taylor - Beelzebruise, Tammy DePhillip - Buffy Shovers, Christina Simpson - Princess Sleia, Rachel Harris - Rach Against the Machine, and Letitia Clem-McClanahan - Rhapsody N. Bruise. Page 18


Charles County Edition

Edition s County CharleJuly/August 2019


Dr. Maria E. Litzendorf University of Maryland Charles Regional Vascular Center’s Maria E. Litzendorf, MD board-certified vascular surgeon offers a wide array of vascular treatments and procedures with a personal touch. She is now accepting at Edition University of Maryland Calvertpatients County Charles Regional Vascular Center. Page 12

Edition t County 2019 Calver gust July/Au


St. Mary’s County Edition



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PO Box 1656,Leonardtown, MD 20650 301.904.3366





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The Castro Law Group represents clients throughout Southern Maryland who require services for criminal defense, family law and personal injury claims. Get to know the attorneys you can turn to when times get hard. Turn to page 29.

wered S empo CONNECTIONt unity A Comm Proudly PublicationEducating Inspiring, cting & ConneMaryland Southern n Since Wome 2007







irk & GIR New DunkOpen WOMEN IVE Office Now THR

Is jealousy your new compass? Let Empowered Connections make sense out of the chaos. Their team of sparkly women therapists are trained to help you manage your mental health like a superhero. Go to page 13 to learn more.

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is a full-service community hospital serving Prince George’s, Charles and Calvert Counties and is part of MedStar Health’s distributed care delivery network. • Emergency & Critical Care Services • Special Care Nursery • Designated Stroke Center • Cardiac Cath Lab • Women & Newborns Center • Electrophysiology Services • Inpatient & Outpatient Rehabilitation • Behavioral Health • MedStar Regional Breast Health • Gastroenterology Services Program at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has joined forces with the renowned MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute – Cleveland Clinic alliance.

7503 Surratts Rd., Clinton, MD 20735 301-868-8000 PHONE

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4/19/2019 3:43:34 PM

health&wellness By Luanne Barnas

5 Ways to Revive Your Diet Motivation One of the hardest parts of a weight loss journey is staying motivated. When you first start out, you’re all in – your intentions are great, you aim high, and you’re ready for the challenge. But then something happens. Maybe your weight isn’t coming off as quickly as it did when you started. Maybe your regimen is just too intense, and you can’t stick to it. Maybe the “newness” and excitement of the first few weeks has worn off, and you’ve simply lost interest. When your motivation takes a nosedive, it sometimes helps to revisit your reasons for wanting to lose weight in the first place. Most people focus on the positive – “I want to have the energy to keep up with my kids,” or “I want to look better in (or out of) my clothes.” Others take the opposite approach and focus on moving toward the negative – “I don’t want to avoid the mirror anymore,” or “I don’t want to feel so tired all the time.” Everybody is different; there’s no

right or wrong reason. No matter the reason, change is hard, and it can be tough to stay motivated. You’re probably trying to give up one or more bad habits, suffered some inevitable setbacks, or lost confidence along the way. Here are some ways to help revive your motivation.

1. Learn from your mistakes: Roadblocks and setbacks happen to everyone. Don’t let them derail your plans. Many of the behaviors

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you’re trying to change have been with you for a long time. Try to figure out what causes you to fail and plan for how you can deal with the next slip-up.

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2. Get back to keeping track: Did you stop keeping track of what you’re doing? Many people are good for the first few weeks – keeping track of what they eat, how much activity they’re getting, how they feel, changes in weight, measurements, mood, etc. And the feedback is helpful. But after a while, they figure, “I’ve got this” – when, clearly, they don’t. Have your portion sizes grown? Are you eating more when you’re stressed or tired? Are you consuming too many liquid calories? It takes time to replace old habits with new ones, and keeping track is a great way to know that you’re making progress.

3. Be flexible:

When you started on your weight loss journey, it’s likely you set some goals for yourself like taking a brisk walk for an hour a day or packing a healthy lunch three times a week. But just because you set that goal, doesn’t mean that it’s carved in stone. Sometimes, we get overly ambitious, and we believe we can take on more than we actually can. If you set the bar too high, it’s better to lower it a little bit, rather than giving up altogether. What’s important is that you still make progress, even if you do it a bit more slowly.

4. Focus on behavior

change, not just your weight: When you’re thinking about your ultimate goal, you may be too focused on achieving a particular weight on the scale. Instead, think about the behaviors that are going to help you reach your goal – more homecooked meals or fewer cocktails, for instance – and give yourself credit for every time you practice this new behavior. After all, the positive changes you make in your diet and lifestyle are really what drive you toward your goal. The fact that you also get healthier and fit is just “icing on the cake.”

5. Reward small achievements:

Many people make plans to reward themselves in some way once they’ve reached their goals, which is great, but you don’t have to wait until you’ve reached your ultimate goal in order to reward yourself. Think about ways to reward yourself when you’re a quarter of the way to your goal or halfway there. And find ways to reward miniaccomplishments too – drinking eight glasses of water, or exercising every day this week, or cooking three dinners at home. There’s no reason not to reward progress!

Luanne Barnas is a Personal Wellness Coach with Herbalife International and the owner of LaPlata Nutrition, which opened in December 2007. Luanne helps people achieve their health goals, whether weight loss or gain, or just attaining a better level of health. Over the past 12 years, Luanne has personally helped hundreds of clients achieve their nutritional goals and realize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

health&wellness By Stacy Seigel and Samantha Feldman

Dads Need Doulas, Too If you look back in history, you may remember that it was only a few decades ago when fathers were made to wait outside while mothers birthed unsupported and alone. Fast forward to 2019, not only are fathers present during the birth of their child, but they want to participate in the labor process by fully supporting the mother. But how? Most couples will read books, take childbirth education classes, watch movies, and research online while preparing for labor. But having a personal relationship with someone who has done this hundreds of times can’t hurt, can it? It’s been our experience that many spouses feel unnecessary pressure to know how to support their wives through labor and to provide everything that is needed. Our response is: they can, but they don’t have to. That’s where doulas can help. Most women know that a doula provides support through pregnancy, labor and delivery, as

well as postpartum. When fathersto-be were asked what a doula meant to them, it became clear there was a misguided belief that a doula meant a replacement. We quickly set about changing that perception by acknowledging the importance of the spouse as the key support person for a woman in labor. After all, they know her better than we ever will, but we know birth. When asked if dads need doulas, a recent, second time father Chris said, “Why wouldn’t we? Someone who has helped couples through a ton of childbirths is now on YOUR team,

We work hard to ensure that the voices, visions and needs of your family are met. Doulas will: • Educate parents to understand birth options available to them. • Support YOUR birth choices. • Provide continuous support before, during and after birth. • Teach and assist with comfort measures and relaxation techniques. • Encourage birth positions to facilitate the labor process. • Provide postpartum breastfeeding support.

helping you to have the birth that your wife wants, helping you communicate and decipher what’s being told to you by hospital staff AND has a bunch of knowledge and experience you can’t gain from books or secondhand stories. I can tell you during this second birth, with Stacy’s support, I went into the hospital knowing that everything was going to be alright, no matter what.” It’s our job as doulas to provide family-centered support through all the stages of birth, ensuring that both parents feel their needs are being met. We spend hours working as a team discussing birth preferences, and educating our couples on options available to them, with the understanding that birth is unpredictable. When labor took an unexpected turn, John said, “To see Sam’s familiar face moments before walking into a room where I would meet an unfamiliar face for the first time, was perfect.” He continued, “My wife and I successfully navigated the decision to deviate from our plan, I believe, in part, because of Sam’s influence over the previous months – the coaching of our doula contributed to our foundation.” We teach comfort measures not only to the mother, but even more importantly, to the father, so he can be as hands-on as he wishes during birth. Many

fathers aren’t sure how active a role they are comfortable taking during labor, and that’s okay, too. Some change their minds during the labor itself, becoming more comfortable taking the role that feels best to them, with their doulas’ support. “She provided presence and experience that my wife needed,” John said. “Perhaps, I should say, that we both needed. I could support my wife completely, but there may be things in which I don’t have the answer. Sam’s participation allowed us to continue creating the best environment leading up to delivery.”

Realizing their shared love for all things birth, Stacy Seigel and Samantha Feldman joined together forming Doulas of Southern Maryland in 2015. With more than 12 years combined experience, they have helped support and welcome 400+ babies earth-side. It is through training, established working relationships, and continued growth, that they bring their passion for birth to better serve their community. “We work hard to ensure that the voices, visions, and needs of our families are met.”

Samantha Feldman (254) 630-3216 | Stacy Seigel (240) 925-8312

Contact Samantha and Stacy today: Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |




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health&wellness Presented by Karl Smith, DDS, MS

Can Children Get Gum Disease? Periodontal disease in children and adolescents is generally rare. However, children should still learn the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy to prevent periodontal disease in the future. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and learn how to floss properly—if children learn how to floss at an early age, they will be more likely to make it a lifetime habit. These two simple acts will help protect their teeth and gums from periodontal disease. As a parent, you should also be aware of the warning signs of periodontal disease, which include red, swollen, bleeding gums or bad breath that won’t go

away. If your child develops any of these symptoms, tell your dental professional right away.

Types of Periodontal Diseases in Children Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease. Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterized by the

severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus. Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Signs of Periodontal Disease Four basic signs will alert you to periodontal disease in your child. Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time; swollen and bright red gums; gums that have receded away from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots; and constant bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing. Adolescence Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. An increased level of progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque, and the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender. As a teen progresses through puberty, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. Advice for Parents Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis.

The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits. Follow these basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health: • Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth. When the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing. • Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself. • Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings. • Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath. Courtesy of the American Academy of Periodontology; visit for more information.

Dr. Karl Smith has been in dental practice for more than 34 years. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981 and immediately entered General Practice in the US Air Force Dental Corps. He successfully completed three additional years of advanced education in the specialty of Periodontics with additional training in IV Sedation and Dental Implants in 1992, at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center. He won the John Pritchard Prize for outstanding research which included looking for a vaccine against bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Dr. Smith completed a Master of Business Administration degree with a Certificate in Health Services Management while working full time as a Periodontist.

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I know, I know. You’re like, WHAT is this chick talking about? Haven’t you been taught your whole life that jealousy is a bad thing? That you should never ever covet what your neighbor has or that it’s a cardinal sin to

feel the green-eyed monster?

Jealousy is really a sign, a nudge, a push that what you’re feeling jealous about is WHAT. YOU. WANT... Let the feelings just flow over you. Don’t react. Instead, take notes.”


ell today girls and girls, we’re going to change the way you think about this loaded, triggering word. Bear with me: Imagine you see your best friend living this great life: traveling to Italy where she can eat fresh homemade pasta and drink local wine, all the while sitting across from her love where they laugh and talk their days and nights away. (All recorded by the way of the ‘gram… this is how

you know what they’re experiencing because following them around and spying on them would be WEIRD). Anyhoo, back to the social media glam trip your bestie is on. You feel it in your gut. That slow burn of jealousy. And then here it comes. The pious angel on your shoulder that says, “Girl, stop being jealous of Mandy’s (insert your bestie’s name here) trip. You know it’s ugly to covet things you can’t have.” (continued next page) Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |


(continued) But that green devil on the other side? She’s like, “Dang, why can’t you have that? Why does she get to do all the fun stuff while you’re stuck here slogging away like a servant for this company you hate?” Back and forth they go. This causes you to feel sick to your stomach, maybe have some flare ups of anxiety, some racing thoughts, and the best feeling of all, GUILT. Yes, you feel guilty for even wanting what she has or wishing you had it. You feel guilty for not being SO happy that Mandy is enjoying her two-week trip that she’s wanted to take for years. Why can’t you be like everyone else, you ask yourself. So, here’s where I want you to start changing the way you look at jealousy. Yes, all of these responses are NORMAL. Everyone experiences them, but I’m challenging you to use this normal, gut reaction as a light, a mirror even. Jealousy is really a sign, a nudge, a push that what you’re feeling jealous about is WHAT. YOU. WANT. So, you’re jealous of Mandy’s Italy trip? Because you want to do that and go there! That promotion Theresa received at work? You also want that! That Kate Spade crossover your sister-in-law has? You want it. Here’s what I’m encouraging you to

do with this information. First, let the feelings just flow over you. Don’t react. Instead, take notes. Jealousy will now be your guide. It’s telling you that you need to start doing these things for yourself, planning these trips, saving for that purse, studying for that promotion. Use it for good and as a push to achieve the things you want. This is particularly helpful if jealousy comes out of nowhere with something you NEVER realized before that you want. Maybe it’s not working Fridays ever again after seeing your cousin do this. Or maybe it’s staying in your pjs all day Sundays, guilt free. Or maybe it’s a bigger goal like quitting that job you hate and finally opening your own bookstore. Or going back to school to achieve your degree after seeing your co-worker graduate with her bachelor’s. The list is endless, but the bottom line is you only live this life once as YOU (depending on what you believe of course), so why not take advantage of NOW and begin living the life you’ve always dreamed of? Why are you waiting? Are you afraid? Stuck?

“Use it for good and as a push to achieve the things you want.”

We got you!



Ju l y / A u g u s t 2 0 1 9 |

If you need a sideline cheerleader, a woman who’s been there and can encourage you to do the same, we are the place to go! Our rock star group of women therapists are waiting to help you get unstuck, make friends with your jealousy and begin living. You can schedule NOW online easily and quickly by going to our website and clicking on the Client Portal tab. Or, if you’re an old-fashioned gal with questions, you can call our administrative goddess Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 301-690-0779, ext. 700. See you soon!

About Empowered Connections Our sparkly team of women therapists have been specially chosen and trained to assist you in gaining more strength, finding your courage, reaching your goals, and managing your mental health like a superhero! We now offer two locations in Leonardtown and Dunkirk to better serve our Southern Maryland community and have big dreams of owning locations all over the country so stay tuned at to follow our journey. To make an appointment, you can go to our website and schedule easily online or you can call our administrative goddess Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 301-690-0779, ext. 700. Empowered Connections was founded in 2013 by Deborah Duley, MSW, LMSW, with a rebellious spirit and a big dream of connecting women and girls everywhere through specialized mental health therapy. Deborah and the team that she has created strongly believe that women need connection to heal. Their motto: Where you have been, so have we. Where your story is our story! We believe in connection, in the strength

Meet the Therapists at

Founder Deborah Duley, MSW, LMSW

Amanda Fincher is a Licensed Clinical Professional Therapist born and raised in Cecil County, now a resident of Anne Arundel County. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and her Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Maryland College Park. Amanda has 19 years of experience working with children ages 4-18, is certified in Educational Leadership and holds the highest Amanda Fincher, teaching certification as a National Board-Certified Teacher. Many years MA, LCPC working as a school counselor has afforded her opportunities to speak at National conferences, initiate Measuring Mindfulness practices in schools and many Laryssa M. Creswell Ed.D., MT-BC, LCPC, LPC, was born and raised in the Midwest and moved to Maryland 18 years ago for an internship and never left. Dr. Creswell earned her master’s degree in Music Therapy from Loyola University New Orleans and a Doctor of Education in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University/NOVA. She is licensed in Maryland, the District of Columbia and is Board Certified in Music Therapy. She has worked in the field of mental health in various settings for nearly 20 years and spent the last 12 years in a clinical and administrative role in a psychiatric hospital providing treatment for adult women and men civilly and forensically committed. She is also an adjunct professor teaching emerging counselors.

of women, that family (whatever that looks like for you) is our priority, in offering excellent customer service and that having the freedom to live the life we love, is paramount to everything else. We believe that women are the future and that we have the power to change the world! We believe in the huge ripple effect of this change and are striving every day to help women and girls discover and empower their inner warrior!

the New Dunkirk Office workshops and presentations centered around mental health. She has an inside understanding of the school system and its support programs for children with needs, including the Special Education process, Section 504, Functional Behavior Assessments, and Behavior Intervention Plans. Amanda is happily married to her husband with three young, very busy children. When Amanda isn’t helping children, she is practicing Reiki, volunteering for the Red Cross, dreaming about the next family vacation or snuggling with her cat. You can reach her directly at or call 301-690-0779, ext. 703.

Dr. Creswell has a wealth of knowledge in trauma, substance use disorders, individual and group therapy. She has published research on women’s perspectives of treatment in the psychiatric institution and continues to conduct research on best practices for women with mental illness, substance abuse and trauma histories. Dr. Creswell adores quiet days with her husband and two children. She loves music, reading a good book, journaling, teaching, traveling, window shopping, and Laryssa Creswell, trying new restaurants. One of her guilty pleasures is binge watching all things reality TV! She will be working with women 19 and Ed.D, LCPC up in the Dunkirk office. Reach her directly at or call 301-690-0779, ext. 707. Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |


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Jimmy and Michelle Stinson of Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home posing on the front porch of a home that they recently renovated.

Understanding the Heart of the Home:

Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home Does It All


our home is supposed to be your hideaway from the rest of the world; a place where you feel content, comfortable, and happy. It should be practical for the persons living in it, whether that be a family home in a community, or a private house surrounded by foliage. Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |


Homes are the places we live out the quiet and hectic moments of our lives, where we raise our families and grow as people. Your home should embody you and your family’s needs. It should be a complete package. Therefore, it is important for home renovations to cover all the bases: needs, wants, and possibilities. This is a hard job to take on, especially the renovation of an entire house, but it is one Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home is well equipped for.

Meredith Hannon

Located in Mechanicsville off Route 235, Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home offers a personal touch to each home they renovate with their customized cabinetry, design experience, and an eye for detail. But don’t be fooled – this home remodeling company does more than just renovate a space – they participate in artistry.

“Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home creates beautiful, safe, and comforting spaces to raise a family.” Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home creates beautiful, safe, and comforting spaces to raise a family. A place to get ready for work, for the day, and for the struggles life throws at us. The homes renovated by Broad Creek offer much more than just appealing finishes and fresh wooden floors. Broad Creek creates a space where a house becomes a home and where a group of people can become a family. Recently, Broad Creek owners Jimmy and Michelle Stinson have taken on the task of finding and purchasing homes for custom renovation. Once complete, they sell them to families and people looking to buy newly upgraded homes. Specifically, the duo looks for homes with a lot of character on their own – ones that offer something special or intriguing that they can then modify to fit the needs of families and potential buyers. “Whether that means adding an extra bathroom, removing walls to give the space more of an open floor plan, or creating a more functional and updated kitchen,” Jimmy said. Together, they have been working with customers for more than 30 years and believe that detailing is one of the most important aspects of remodeling. At Broad Creek, they stay true to the belief that, “Everyone wants their home to be unique and one of a kind.” Buying a home is a big investment, so it should be something that the new homeowners are proud of. While they continue to design detailed kitchens, bathrooms, and interior spaces, Broad Creek became inspired to purchase and remodel full homes by the opportunities it created. “We’ve discovered over the years that putting an entire home design together, so it looks great and flows well from room to room, can be very intimidating to customers,” Jimmy said. “We realize not everyone has a knack for design and can use the help making beautiful spaces instead of just one area.” This is the area where Broad Creek excels. Not only do they have a trained eye for design and the aesthetic flow of a home, but they believe it is important to create a comfortable, inviting and beautiful space for the homeowner. Purchasing and remodeling a home for a potential family or buyer is a delicate and precious job. It is a one that requires an open mind and heart to the possibilities the home design could bring to its future tenants. Jimmy and Michelle of Broad Creek understand the heart that


Ju l y / A u g u s t 2 0 1 9 |

lives inside of the home and the importance of acknowledging it and letting it shine through renovations. This understanding of a home’s purpose is what makes Broad Creek stand apart from that of traditional “house flipping.” Typically, homes that are flipped are quickly bought, renovated, and sold for a higher profit with little care for the potential homeowner. The work isn’t meaningful and tends to not hold up over time.

“We are not in this to make a quick dollar,” something that is typically associated with flipping. “At Broad Creek, we truly want to create a beautiful home, one with all of the upgrades for a potential buyer, at a reasonable price, could enjoy.” When asked about flipping, Michelle responded, “We are not in this to make a quick dollar,” something that is typically associated with flipping. “At Broad Creek, we truly want to create a beautiful home, one with all of the upgrades for a potential buyer, at a reasonable price, could enjoy.”

“The amount of work and heart that went into our home renovation is absolutely amazing. Not only is it beautiful but it was done right. Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath, and Home will forever have a special place in my heart. THANK YOU for making our forever home Absolutely perfect!!!!” — Sarah Thomas

Broad Creek has partnered with Patrick and Cyndi Michael from Sunshine Catering to help take on the task of comfort and practicability on the worksite of the renovations.

Michelle and Jimmy believe it is important to take the necessary time needed to search for a good home to renovate. It relies on more than just the aesthetics of the home, but also the location and school district. “We have six children of our own, so we know how important school zoning is for a potential buyer.” At Broad Creek, they try to give the potential homeowner the best of both worlds: the house they fall in love with in just the right spot on the map. With all these factors in mind, Jimmy and Michelle treat each renovation as if it were their own home. Broad Creek is a full service as they take responsibility from initial designs to completion of the project. This specific kind of care for their customers is what sets Broad Creek Kitchens, Bath & Home apart from other renovation services. To Jimmy and Michelle, it isn’t a job that they are completing, but a home that they are helping create. This new service of buying, renovating, and selling homes by Broad Creek offers a homeowner the ability to purchase a home with upgrades already completed and at an affordable price. “It leaves our customers with nothing to do but enjoy their new home,” Michelle said. There is something to admire about the dedication Broad Creek gives to its customers and their new, freshly designed, homes. It takes patience, skill, and effort to redesign an already existing home and make it something new.

The work that Jimmy and Michelle do reveals their creativity and passion to give families beautiful, quality homes. They are willing to do the hard jobs and get their hands dirty to get the best outcome for the home and customer. “It is very exciting and special to us. We put a lot of heart into every project we complete.”

“It is very exciting and special to us. We put a lot of heart into every project we complete.” Broad Creek is honest and transparent with customers because they have no reason not to be. For them, renovating homes is a creative and personal experience, one that they take very seriously. Jimmy and Michelle Stinson work effortlessly to give their customers the quality service and desired homes that they ask for. They understand what it takes to raise a beautiful, loving and successful family and it all starts from within a home that embodies each of these sentiments.

Learn more about Broad Creek on their website: Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |




Amy Latta is passionate about inspiring her online community by sharing honest inspiration for everyday life. On her award-winning blog, you’ll find all kinds of craft and do-it-yourself (DIY) Cancer canand happen projects anyone can create. Amy is happiest when crafting, when at any age, we she’s not covered in paint, you can find her working hand lettered artwe think about knowon this. But when and professional design collaborations. Her original lettered designs have skin cancer, most of the time our minds been featured nationally in GAP stores and Starbucks commercials. As a envision someone a bit older, who is former high school English teacher and a ballroom, Latin, and swing dance only now experiencing instructor, Amy is familiar with teaching and uses those skills to break symptoms due to carelessness ofachieve. their younger years. lettering down into a process that anyone can understand and Amy is a lifelong Maryland girl and a McDaniel College alumna lovesdoesn’t always Unfortunately, skin who cancer spending time with her husbandtake and two sons. 20, 30, or 40 years to develop.

at 22:


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Sometimes, it develops instantly.

In late January 2017, Southern Maryland native, Ashley, went to a local primary care office to get a routine physical. Living in Northern Virginia at the time, she was hoping to volunteer at a children’s hospital, and in order to do so, she needed a provider to sign off her health form. It was on this day her doctor noticed a mark under her right eye. He asked if Ashley had ever gotten it looked at, to which she said no. Though she had noticed the mark for a while, it simply seemed like a patch of dry skin or acne, so she didn’t think much of it. The physician thought otherwise—that it might be skin cancer—and recommended she go have it looked at by a specialist.


n February, Ashley visited a dermatologist in Washington, DC, where they took a biopsy of the mark. A few days later, she received a call. “They told me it was basal cell carcinoma (morpheaform), and that I needed to come in as soon as possible to get it removed,” Ashley recalled. Freaked out and worried, she took the necessary steps to schedule her surgery. “I was only 22 years old at the time. I was kind of shocked.” On Valentine’s Day, Ashley has mohs surgery, a surgical procedure in which thin, circular layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed. Each patch of skin is tested around the edges for remaining traces of cancer. If detected, more is removed. Ashley’s surgery required two rounds, taking about three hours. Face numb, Ashley received six stitches from the bottom of her right eye to the middle of her check. Throughout the following months, Ashley had various rounds of laser scar removal to help with the healing process. After all, this is her face we’re talking about, and no amount of makeup can cover up two inches of stiches. Though Ashley’s cheek and eye healed nicely, the experience was a wake-up call. “My form of skin cancer was not life threatening. However, it is the fastest growing kind of the basal cell carcinoma and if we would have let it grow, it would have been very deep and encompassed a lot of my cheek.” As someone who was so young and even made a point to never use tanning beds, she was upset this happened to her. The doctor thought the cancer had been growing for around two years, and Ashley theorized it was caused from a bad sunburn during a spring break trip in college. The upside, besides the fact that it was successfully taken care of, is that she can share her story. Not only with those she knows personally, but with other young adults who think they are immune from the sun’s curse. In fact, during the summer after her ordeal, she told her roommate at the time to go get a skin check. “Later that week my roommate found out she had stage 0 melanoma on her butt and had surgery to remove it,” Ashley said. “A month or two after that, my roommate told her sister to get checked and she found out she also had stage 0 melanoma on her arm.” Both Ashley and her roommate’s families have a history of skin cancer, which increases someone’s risk of developing the disease. Now, both women make sure to get annual skin checks and encourage their friends and family to do the same. “Skin cancer doesn’t always look the way we’re taught in school or the way it is portrayed in the media,” Ashley said. “Melanoma is usually the focus, along with odd-shaped

CANCER FAST FACTS One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Anyone who has more than

100 moles is at greater risk for

melanoma. Know your ABCDEs - Asymmetrical moles, uneven Borders, a variety of Colors, large Diameter, moles that Evolve or change in size over time. Only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas are found in existing moles, while 70 to 80 percent arise on apparently normal skin.

moles. But mine looked like acne. It had been there for months and I never once thought it was cancer, of all things.” Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 4.3 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. It’s important to understand the symptoms and how to avoid developing it in the first place. As someone who took this experience very seriously, Ashley decided to get all new makeup and facial skin care products with a minimum of SPF 15. She regularly wears hats while out in the sun and makes sure to reapply sunscreen. Unfortunately, basal cell carcinoma often comes back, therefore it needs to be monitored religiously. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self-examinations to find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early, like Ashley and her roommate’s, are almost always curable. To spot either melanomas or non-melanoma skin cancers (such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), the Foundation says to take note of any new moles or growths, existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly, and lesions that itch, bleed, or don’t heal. If Ashley had known what to look for, perhaps she would have questioned the spot on her face more carefully. Prior to diagnosis and in addition to not healing, her “acne” bled, itched, and grew in size. Even as an advocate of cancer prevention, it can still be hard to know when it is happening to you. Throughout college, Ashley regularly participated in Penn State’s 46-hour dance marathon benefiting pediatric cancer. As a senior, she even danced in the no-sit, no-sleep event. Unbeknownst to her—or anyone—at the time, that she had cancer herself. Looking back on it all, Ashley hopes others can learn from her experience and continue to join her in raising awareness about cancer symptoms, support opportunities, and treatment innovations. “Supporting those with cancer, their families, and educating the public is key to combatting cancer,” she said. “I always believed that, but now I know personally. Be smart about your choices and help those who are struggling. Everyone isn’t as lucky as I was.”

About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or Melanomas in blacks, Asians higher sunscreen reduces the risk of and native Hawaiians most often developing squamous cell carcinoma occur on non-exposed skin with by about 40 percent. less pigment, with up to 60 to 75 percent of tumors arising on the Women who have ever tanned palms, soles, mucous membranes indoors are six times more likely and nail regions. to be diagnosed with melanoma in their 20s than those who have never tanned indoors.

Sources: and

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law&finance By Alexander M. Pagnotta, Estate Planning Attorney

Estate Planning Advice After Divorce After a divorce, there are several key issues you need to address as you update your estate plan or create a plan for the first time. Change your estate planning documents, including the Last Will and Testament so your ex-spouse no longer inherits. You probably don’t want your ex-husband or ex-wife to inherit money when you pass away. This means you need to change your will. You should also remove your ex as a beneficiary from other estate planning tools, such as life insurance policies. Simply changing your will is not sufficient if you have named your ex as beneficiary on an insurance policy; if you jointly own property; or if you have a pay-on-death account, which instructs the

account to be paid to your ex after you pass away. Account for estate tax. When you are married, you may pass on all your money and property to your spouse without triggering tax. When you are leaving your assets to someone other than a spouse, you could end up owing a considerable amount in estate tax if you have a larger estate and you haven’t made estate tax avoidance plans. Make plans in case of incapacity. If something happens to you when you are married, normally

your spouse will be able to make decisions on your behalf and manage your assets – many of which are probably shared. However, if you are no longer married, there may not be an obvious person who you would want to make decisions on your behalf if something happens to you. You should decide who is to act on your behalf and handle your assets when you are unable, and use legal tools, such as a power of attorney, to express your preferences. Adjust your retirement savings plans. When you are married, your joint income could determine whether you can make tax-deductible contributions to an IRA. If you are now single, you need to learn how your tax situation has changed and make updated plans to save for a secure retirement solely dependent upon your own individual savings rather than the combined savings of you and your spouse. These are just a few key issues you should address with help from an estate planning attorney after a divorce. SinclairProsser Law can help you in making an updated estate plan that protects you and provides for the people you love. We’ll make sure you don’t leave an unwanted inheritance to an ex, and we’ll help you to address any other key issues that can arise after a divorce.

Alex Pagnotta’s personal experiences with the problems that can result from an inadequate estate plan, along with his interest in helping others, drove his desire to pursue the areas of estate planning and estate administration. Admitted to practice law in the state of Maryland, he is a member of the

Estates and Trusts, Tax Law, and Disability Rights Sections and recently joined the Prince George’s County State Bar Association. Alex graduated with cum laude honors from the University of Maryland, College Park with his Bachelor of Arts degree. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, again graduating with cum laude honors. Alex counsels individuals and families to preserve wealth and ensure that their hard earned assets are passing to the correct individuals when they want and how they want.

Estate Planning Seminar Waldorf: Tues, Sept. 10 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (Continental Breakfast) Hilton Garden Inn Waldorf 10385 O’Donnell Place

Annapolis: Wed, Sept. 11 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (Refreshments) Double Tree Hilton Annapolis 210 Holiday Court

Crofton: Thurs, Sept. 12 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (Refreshments) Crofton Country Club 1691 Crofton Parkway

Huntingtown: Fri, Sept. 13 10:00-11:30 a.m. (Continental Breakfast) The Hall at Huntingtown 4030 Old Town Road

Bowie: Sat, Sept. 14 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (Continental Breakfast) Comfort Inn US 50, US 301 @ MD 3

Visit for upcoming seminar dates and locations.

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The Best Groom’s Gift, Ever By Moni Jefferson

ridal boudoir is one of the hottest and trendiest gifts for today’s groom. This new trend of bridal portraits showcases images of bridesto-be that are beautiful, artistic and most importantly, super sexy! Bridal boudoir is all the rage because it offers the bride a chance to create images that will forever remind her hubby of the passion surrounding their engagement or wedding. What is Bridal Boudoir? Because it is such a recent trend, it can be difficult to fully understand the purpose of a bridal boudoir session and what all it entails. Each session begins with a consultation, discussion of session details to include props, jewelry, makeup and attire, as well as the session location. Images are shared during your session to ensure happiness and confidence of your results. The entire process usually takes about 4-6 weeks to ensure the best experience and a timely delivery. Bridal Boudoir Experience Attire for boudoir photos varies depending on the personal style of the bride, with a usual range of just a little lingerie to absolutely nothing at all. Bridal lingerie and the wedding veil are the most popular choices for most brides. But don’t get the wrong idea – this is NOT X-rated, it’s more like PG-13. The pros refer to it as ‘implied nudes,’ which means although you’re not wearing anything, you’re not really showing off anything either. Photographs are taken from many angles to both hide and highlight. By the time the session is over, the bride is more confident than ever. What Do I Do With the Photos? After your session and once you have the pictures, it’s time to gift them! Most brides choose a private, leather-bound box that contains a flat-laying album of approximately 20 images, while other options include matted single prints, a photo folio, or private wall art collections. Additional gift ideas include calendars and anniversary presents. All photographs that you love and order, also include a digital copy, so you can use the images for anything you wish. Giving the Gift The best part of the whole experience is actually giving him the gift. Groom reactions are so amazing because he has no idea what to expect, which makes the shock factor absolutely mind-blowing! The guys are always so surprised and happy to receive such a special, intimate gift from the love of their life. Give him a gift he’ll remember forever, captured at one of the best moments of both your lives.

Photo by Beth Graeme


To schedule a session with us in preparation of your special day, visit

Boudoir by Beth is a division of Beth Graeme Photography, LLC.

Groom Photographed by Catalina Devore Photography

ABOUT BETH GRAEME Why am I so passionate about boudoir? Because I saw an immediate transformation in the level of self-worth a woman had for herself after looking at the images on the back of my camera. Women relax, they are at ease, they feel beautiful, they know and trust that I care for them. They exude beauty, sensuality and sexy. It is my job to portray that and show them that which the rest of the world really sees. I get it, I’m a mother and wife. I give every ounce of my energy to everyone else. I want the same as you. To be loved, accepted, cherished, needed and supported. My kids did a number on my body, but my husband is just like your husband. He loves me to the core no matter what. Your husband loves you to the core too. Every once in a while, we need to feel that love for ourselves. I create a safe, nonjudgmental space for women to feel free and pursue their sexy side. Let’s show him your reverence.

community&events By Kyle Webber

How to Protect Your Children from Bullies Bullying has been a huge topic in our national conversation lately. Everyone agrees being bullied is a terrible childhood experience and should be taken seriously by adults. As parents we teach our children to be kind and compassionate, and to not bully. Schools and governments implement programs to end bullying. We can try to teach bullying out of society, however, that may be a Sisyphean task. The reality is that no matter what we do, as long as there are children, childhood bullying will occur. Bullies have existed throughout all of human history and parents have dealt with this issue in different ways, with varying results. Labeling doesn’t solve the problem. Describing

“toxic masculinity” as the cause for bullying doesn’t address the “mean girls” aspect does it? Also, how many times have parents been surprised to find out their child was a bully? The more important question for many parents is how can I protect my child from being bullied?

instructor, I’m often asked by parents about the best ways to help their children to deal with bullies. While there are many approaches to the problem, I think one of the best ways is to instill self-confidence in your children. And martial arts is just one way to instill self-confidence.”

One thing that experts agree upon is that bullies are basically cowards who seek out vulnerable victims for their attacks. They pick on the easily intimidated to make themselves feel more powerful. So, the obvious solution to protecting your child is to teach them how to not be a victim.

Sifu Romain offers three important takeaways about the benefits of martial arts training in his book, “The Self-Confidence Factor: A Parent’s Guide to Bully Prevention”:

Sifu Karl Romain, author and Martial Arts World Champion writes, “As a martial arts

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Role play: For the same reasons you role play to anticipate tough questions during a job interview, role-playing a few bullying scenarios with your child will teach him or her how to respond to a stressful confrontation. Taekwondo or another martial art form is not much different. When practicing martial arts, we are basically role-playing various self-defense scenarios. When practiced enough, the student can recall and instinctively respond if he finds himself in a dangerous situation. At home, you can simply role play some bullying scenarios to help your child practice for any confrontation. When he finds himself in a difficult situation, he will have more self-confidence since he’s better prepared to handle it. Teach body language and communication skills: Martial arts stances exude confidence. In traditional martial arts training, the posture of the attention stance is body straight, eyes focused and feet firmly on the ground. Also, instruct your child to breathe properly (calm breath equals calm composure) and speak in a confident tone to help deflect any immediate threat from a bully. Any action taken on the part of your child should not be done in a manner that might be perceived as trying to challenge the bully. While standing one’s ground with an air of composure – despite the actual

feeling of fear – should be learned, and practiced, children should also learn how to communicate and create rapport with others. Using words to defuse a situation can help prevent it from becoming physical. Take to the mat: Consider enrolling your child in a traditional martial arts program, such as Karate, Kung Fu, or Taekwondo. The training at most self-defense academies does not promote the use of violence, however, having that knowledge will help your child feel more self-assured. And if your child does need to defend himself, his practice on the mat provides a level of safety by allowing him to perform the moves instinctively when threatened. Besides learning self-defense skills, and understanding when it would be appropriate to employ them, your child will take away life skills and leadership lessons that will bolster confidence throughout life. While schools have implemented policies to address bullying, we as parents must prepare our children to face this serious issue. Enrolling them in martial arts training gives them the tools to deal with this issue and many others they will face in life.

Master Kyle Webber began martial arts training under Master Kyu Shim in 1999 after a bullying experience in middle school. He developed an affinity for the Olympic sport of Taekwondo and achieved his first-degree black belt within three years. By 2005, Kyle had progressed to owning Black Belt Academy of Prince Frederick and achieved the rank of Master Instructor (4th degree Black Belt) in 2010. Kyle graduated from Great Mills High School in 2004 and obtained a degree in General Studies from CSM. He now lives happily in Lusby with his wife and 5 children.

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a.m. “Empacting Lives Makes A Difference”


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Holiday Inn Solomons Don’t miss this annual informative breakfast where the Calvert County Commissioners and Sheriff Evans are invited to share information about county issues that are important to Chamber members and the public. No walkins accommodated. Please register at Cost: $37.







College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, Building B The Women to Women networking group of the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce their 5th Annual Women to Women Regional Summit. Join us for this dynamic event with networking, engaging speakers, exhibits, door prizes, and a women’s health component. No walk-ins accommodated, so book your reservation today. Sponsorships are also available if you would like to promote your business. Visit to register and secure your sponsorship. Breakfast & lunch will be served. Cost: $65.

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law&finance By Brooke O’Connell

Third Party Custody in Maryland Who is a third party? Any person who is not a child’s natural parent. Until recently, a third party seeking custody of a minor child needed to prove either parental unfitness or exceptional circumstances. Without first proving either of these, third party litigants were unable move to the next hurdle of asking the court to consider the best interest of the child. Proving exceptional circumstances or parental unfitness is no small feat, rather, it can be a very high threshold. Many third party litigants were preempted in filing complaints for custody because they were unable to prove either of those. As Maryland courts consistently rejected the idea of de facto parenthood, many third parties seeking to establish custody found the courthouse doors closed to them. It was not until 2016 that the Maryland Court of Appeals first recognized de facto parent

status. Conover v. Conover, 450 Md. 51 (2016). The Court’s holding in Conover demonstrated a major paradigm shift in the family law arena. The Court outlined a four-part test needed to qualify as a de facto parent. The requirements are: 1. The biological or adoptive parent consented to, and fostered, the third party’s formation and establishment of a parent-like relationship with the child; 2. The third party and the child lived together in the same household; 3. The third party assumed obligations of parenthood by

FAMILY LAW FIRM The Law Office of Robert R. Castro

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taking significant responsibility for the child’s care, education, and development, including contributing towards the child’s support, without expectation of financial compensation; and 4.The third party has been in a parental role for a length of time sufficient to have established with the child a bonded, dependent relationship, parental in nature. All four of these requirements must be satisfied to qualify as a de facto parent. If a third party is able to establish him or herself as a de facto parent, then the court must next consider what is in the best interest of the child. The test in Conover is not intended to make it easier for a third party to establish custody. As the Court explained, “The de facto parent doctrine does not contravene the principle that legal parents have a fundamental right to direct and govern the care, custody, and control of their children because a legal parent does not have a right to voluntarily cultivate their child’s parent-type relationship with a third party and then seek to extinguish it. This makes sense. If a parent is going to encourage and foster a parent-child relationship, then the parent cannot decide to end the relationship and erase that person from the child’s life. Again, the formation of this parent-child relationship is cultivated and encouraged by the natural parent. However, what if you are unable to meet the requirements of a de facto parent? Does it mean a third party will fail in establishing custody? Not quite. If a third party is unable to establish him or herself as a de facto parent, he or she can still pursue third party custody by proving exceptional circumstances or parental unfitness, and then asking the court to consider the best interest of the child.

The four-part test in Conover does not replace the previously adhered to test of proving exceptional circumstances or parental unfitness. Rather, both tests may be viable options when attempting to establish third party custody. Indeed, it is possible that both tests are applicable in a particular third party custody case, and therefore, both should be argued. Ultimately, the facts of every custody case are unique. Navigating third party custody can be complicated and overwhelming. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney who can explain your rights and guide you through the process.

Brooke O’Connell is an associate attorney at The Law Office of Robert Castro and handles family law and personal injury cases. She is a life-long resident of Southern Maryland, and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. While in law school Ms. O’Connell competed on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, winning first place at the International Academy of Dispute Resolution Northeastern Mediation Tournament in 2014. After graduating, Ms. O’Connell returned home and began a 2-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable Amy J. Bragunier, Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court for Charles County. Ms. O’Connell is a Member of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), is the Charles County Circuit Representative for the Young Lawyers’ Section of the MSBA, is the At-Large Chair of the Charles County Bar Association, and is a Member of the American Inn of Court of Southern Maryland. In addition, she is a Member of the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco and donates her time as a Mock Trial Coach for local high school students.

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Meet the Attorneys at The Castro Law Group

he Castro Law Group represents clients who require services for criminal defense, family law – divorce, custody, child support, or visitation – and personal injury claims – car or motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, or medical malpractice. Our attorneys have more than 80 years of collective experience in handling these various types of cases, varying in complexity. The attorneys at The Castro Law Group carefully review every aspect of each case and will help you understand what to expect in court and what your legal options are. Visit for more information or call 301-870-1200.

Robert Castro, Founding Attorney Founder Robert Castro is a successful businessman and seasoned attorney in Southern Maryland with more than 26 years of experience. Robert graduated from Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, Md., and went on to Frostburg State University. He received his Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America and then came back to Waldorf to open his own practice. Mr. Castro founded The Castro Law Group in 1993. He was a solo practitioner focusing primarily on criminal defense for over 20 years. Six years ago, he expanded the firm into three different divisions: personal injury, family law, and criminal defense, with five attorneys.


Where does your firm practice?

Our firm handles criminal and traffic cases primarily in Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and Prince George’s Counties. While our attorneys have experience handling criminal and jailable traffic cases in nearly every county in the State of Maryland, our attorneys are intimately familiar with the local courts, prosecutors, and other court personnel in Southern Maryland.

Jeffrey Groce, Attorney Jeffrey M. Groce is an accomplished trial attorney with more than 25 years of experience and a strong background in personal injury and insurance defense specializing in representing victims of automobile crashes and the defense of auto accident cases. Jeffrey is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Maryland School of Law. He has tried more than 200 jury trials and more than 350 bench trials. Mr. Groce has argued cases before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and the D.C. Court of Appeals. Mr. Groce is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia.


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Why should I hire an auto accident lawyer?

You should hire an auto accident lawyer because insurance companies have teams of claims examiners and teams of lawyers. These teams will use their experience and power to prevent you from getting full and fair compensation for your injuries, for your damages, for your pain and suffering, and for every other way that your life has been changed as a result of a car crash. This is not fair. You need a strong advocate—a car crash accident lawyer—with substantial trial experience to battle and defeat these adjusters and lawyers to ensure that you receive the substantial compensation that you deserve and that you are entitled to.

Katrine Bakhtiary, Attorney Katrine H. Bakhtiary was raised in Waldorf, Md. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and went on to receive her Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. While in law school, Katrine participated in the Innocence Project Clinic and served as editor for the University of Baltimore School of Law’s legal journal, Law Forum. Katrine graduated Cum Laude in 2010 and went on to serve as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Amy J. Bragunier, Administrative Judge of the Circuit Court for Charles County.


How does social media impact my case?

It can potentially harm your case. Insurance companies will sometimes look into social media accounts and find photos or videos of clients doing things one would not expect an injured person to do. It is best to stay off of social media, be mindful of friends and family posting photos or videos, and never make any comments about a pending case.

Brooke O’Connell, Attorney Brooke received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School Of Law. After graduating, she began a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Amy J. Bragunier, Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court for Charles County. Brooke is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), is the Charles County Circuit Representative for the Young Lawyers’ Section of the MSBA, is the At-Large Chair of the Charles County Bar Association, and is a member of the American Inn of Court of Southern Maryland.


The short answer is—it depends. When you know that your particular case is going to involve high conflict, it is advisable to get an attorney as early on as possible. An attorney can help guide you through the process, including advising you of your rights and helping you request necessary information from the opposing party. Should you initiate your case without the assistance of an attorney and then later decide you want to hire a lawyer, you want to do so well in advance of your trial date. Courts are reluctant to grant requests to continue trial dates and an attorney will want to ensure that he or she has adequate time to prepare for trial.

Francis Granados, Attorney Fran was born and raised in Southern Maryland. He attended the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2008. Upon graduation, he was appointed to the Order of the Coif and the Order of Barristers. He joined the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office where he served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for 10 years. In 2018, Fran was named Assistant State’s Attorney of the Year for Charles County, primarily for his work on behalf of homicide victims and their families. Shortly afterwards Fran joined The Castro Law Group as a part of the Family Law Division.


What issues are involved in a family law case?

The particular issues involved are going to depend on the relationship of the parties and which issues are in dispute. If the parties are married and going through a divorce, the issues involved are typically going to include the grounds for divorce (such as adultery, cruelty, separation, etc.), valuing and dividing marital property (including assets like the home, vehicles, bank accounts, and retirement accounts), alimony (also known as spousal support), and issues related to the children (if they have any). Whether or not the parties are married, if the parties have children together, then the court will have to consider the issues of child custody, which includes legal custody (decision making) and physical custody (parenting time), visitation, and child support.

When should I hire a family attorney?

Frederick Lester, Attorney Frederick has represented thousands of people in the District and Circuit Courts throughout Maryland with more than a decade of trial experience in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. Fred received his Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University with a concentration in litigation. Additionally, he holds a Master’s of Law degree in Trial Advocacy from Temple University. Fred is admitted to practice law in all state and federal courts in Maryland. His passion is giving a voice to people who would otherwise be overlooked by the judicial system and he enjoys developing relationships with his clients when working on their cases.


Why should I hire a defense attorney?

Hiring an experienced defense attorney is critical when facing criminal or jailable traffic charges. There is a myriad of emotions when someone is arrested or is otherwise accused of a crime ranging from embarrassment, confusion, fear, or anger. A defense attorney is the only person in the courtroom whose duty it is to fully protect your individual rights. The defense attorney is there to listen to you and learn about you as a person. It is the defense attorney who will answer all of your questions and will advise you of your options. The defense attorney is equipped to prepare your case for trial. In the event your case does not go to trial, a defense attorney is essential to present your facts and circumstances in the light most favorable to you. Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |


Baltimore’s Ivy Hotel By ODA SOLMS


n today’s currency of credit card points, customer reward programs and discount memberships, one can feel the days of genuine customer service slipping away. Today we get service at whatever status some corporate rewards program deems us eligible, and at every turn we are reminded what you can or cannot have based on that status.

Step back in time to a place where hospitality and generosity remain core values. The Ivy Hotel, located in the heart of the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore, offers an escape to a period when the highest level of customer service was extended to every guest, where the royal treatment still exists. Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |


Tired of the typical, The Ivy sets itself apart by including full access to the mansion bar, breakfast at Magdalena, afternoon high tea served in the library, a fully-stocked mini bar in each room and access to the hotel’s private car service, among other perks of your inclusive stay. The Ivy is the only Relais & Chateaux property in Maryland. This world-wide distinction ensures that guests of Relais & Chateaux properties will experience the highest caliber of gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels.

From the moment you arrive the staff makes certain you feel welcomed. It is truly in the smallest details, like greeting you by name, offering you complimentary refreshments as you check in and asking how you prefer your coffee in the morning. The service is beyond what you would expect, even from an establishment that cares deeply about creating long lasting relationships with its customers.

designer Joszi Meskan. Several million dollars, three years abroad, and nine tractor trailers later, The Ivy had nearly all it could possibly pack in.

This late-nineteenth century mansion turned boutique hotel on the corner of Biddle and Calvert Streets opened its doors in 2015 after a six-year restoration. Earning its name from the once wild and unruly English ivy climbing up the red brick facade, The Ivy features a threestory tower, slate-covered roof, high windows and many of the historic interior details of the original home.

Yet, the property would not be what it is today without Baltimore locals. Baltimore-based philanthropists, Eddie and Sylvia Brown purchased the property from the City of Baltimore in 2010 and quickly partnered with Ziger/Snead Architects and Martin Azola, a Baltimore expert in restoring historic buildings. The Ivy’s custom furnishings (including their “barmoires” or mini bars that resemble armoires), along with the 1920s-inspired mural that wraps around the walls of the living room, was fabricated and installed by Baltimore’s artist and craftsman, David Wiesand and his team of local artists.

Perfectly curated spaces create atmospheres for conversation, entertaining and the lost art of relaxation. Much of what you see in the hotel today was hand-picked by San Francisco-based interior

There is an intention in the common areas to entice you to stay and enjoy the various nooks and crannies. Perhaps you fancy a game of billiards? A wooden jigsaw puzzle? Choose a seat for afternoon high tea


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Each of The Ivy’s 10 rooms and eight suites are completely unique, fitted with antique furnishings, age-old paintings, and books from around the world – literally. San Francisco-based Interior designer, Joszi Meskan, spent over a year galivanting around Europe hand-picking pieces that satisfied her voracious appetite for decor. Adding to the inventiveness and sophistication is the handy work of local craftsmen and artisans.

service in the library or living room, sip some bubbly or a hand-crafted cocktail from the self-service mansion bar. With each spot you settle into you find something interesting to gaze upon: the view out the window, shelves upon shelves of books, a commissioned portrait of the mansion’s original owner. The color palette runs the gamut from soft, muted beige, deep blue, to vibrant salmon and fresh minty green. With a slight touch of Mediterranean-style, guests can momentarily be transported from the Gilded Age mansion in Baltimore to a friend’s home in Casablanca – radiant textiles, intricately handcrafted furnishings, exposed beams, decadently patterned and layered rugs, parquet flooring and gold-leaf detailing. The whole experience feels like a film noir movie set you can finally see in color. As you explore the first floor of the hotel you may not realize that just below you is the home of Magdalena, where the award-winning

Executive Chef Mark Levy and his team are waiting to provide you with a fine dining experience. With bistro-style indoor seating, a vaulted wine cellar and welcoming tables in the courtyard garden, the restaurant exudes the same level of service and elegance as the hotel above. Featuring locally sourced fresh ingredients whenever possible, Chef Levy will delight your senses – the perfect complement to your stay at the hotel. The Mount Vernon neighborhood is situated in the heart of Baltimore and provides easy access to some of the city’s finest attractions. It’s hard to leave the comforts of The Ivy, but if you find yourself wanting to discover Charm City many of the hotel staff are Baltimore natives and will happily provide transportation and recommendations on where to visit. The Ivy Hotel offers specials throughout the year. Learn more about this incredible hotel at Jul y/A ugus t 2019 |


ACHIEVE your POTENTIAL FAMILY FRIENDLY FRIDAYS July 12, 19, 26 & August 2 Open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Get down to earth for story time, hands-on learning with art, technology and nature from 10 a.m. to noon, and then enjoy the Historic Sotterley site on your own for the rest of the day! COST (Excludes certain special events): • Free for children under age 6 • $5 per person ages 6 and up, per day • $65 Purchase family membership and bring your whole family to Sotterley FREE all year! July 12: MAKE YOUR OWN CLAY! July 19: WHAT MAKES IT GO? MAKE PAPER AIRPLANES AND RUBBER-BAND CARS! July 26: WHAT MAKES IT BOUNCE? MAKE A BALL!

We have over 90 �achelor�s �o��le�on, Masters, and Doctorate Degrees as well as �er��cates and �er��ca�ons�

Our University Partners Include:

�duca�onal O��ortuni�es In:

Bowie State University

Business and Management; Criminal Jus�ce; Cybersecurity; Educa�on Cer��ca�on, Cer��cates, and Leadership; Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; �light Tes�ng Engineering; Systems Engineering; Human Resource Development and Management; Logis�cs, Contrac�ng, Procurements, and Project Management; Nurse Prac��oner; and Social Work�

�lorida Ins�tute of Technology Johns Hopkins University Notre Dame of Maryland University Salisbury University Towson University University of Maryland College Park University of Maryland University College Webster University

August 2: WHAT MAKES IT FLOAT? MAKE A BOAT! Visit to learn more. �� ����� ����, ������� �� �� �0��������00 �� ����� �� �� �����������������


Salute the Sun with us this Summer! Join us for Sunrise Yoga on the Leonardtown Wharf. 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., New July 13 and August 10 Member Rain date: Sept. 14 Open to all levels and free Special to the community. $108 Donations accepted.

Check our website for summer class schedule and workshops.


200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training starting in September. Check website for details.

Wildewood Shopping Center 23415 Three Notch Rd #2004 California, MD 301-862-1236

Children’s Day

at St. Clement’s Island Museum Sat., Aug. 17, 2019 | 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Colton’s Point, MD

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT CORN AND TOMATOES ANYMORE... Charles County is home to rich agritourism and an abundance of flavorful foods, where farmers grow rich, succulent, colorful foods and our local chefs prepare culinary masterpieces. Enjoy farm raised meats, dairy, honey, herbs, local fruits and vegetables while learning about our traditional fare and the meals you’re able to create with them. Visit our farms, roadside stands, and farmers markets to savor our local flavor. Crain Memorial Welcome Center Newburg, MD 800-766-3386 • MD Relay Service: 7-1-1

Join St. Clement’s Island Museum for a FREE day of kid-friendly fun on the beautiful waterside lawn of St. Clement’s Island Museum. Families can enjoy lots of activities including games, crafts, face painting, a bike raffle, snow cones, balloons and lots more. Outside exhibitors include the local Fire Department and Rescue Squad and many more. This event encourages families with young children to visit the St. Clement’s Island Museum and enjoy a day of community fun.


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Local events and community happenings for the women of Southern Maryland

HVFD Wednesday Night Bingo

Women to Women Monthly Meetings

The Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad (HVFD) presents Wednesday Night Bingo. Come out for some fun and prizes, and support your local fire department. HVFD Auxiliary Kitchen provides food and refreshments. For more information, visit

Women to Women (W2W) strives to educate our members on various business topics and provide opportunities to network in a relaxed professional environment. Our monthly meetings feature guest speakers, business spotlights and networking opportunities to assist all types of businesswomen with growing their business or professional network. We meet the second Wednesday of every month and hope you can join us!

Every Wednesday Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Dept. 4030 Old Town Road Huntingtown, MD Doors Open at 6 p.m. Early Bird Bingo at 7 p.m. Regular Bingo at 7:30 p.m.

National Lighthouse Weekend at Piney Point Lighthouse Head to Piney Point for a fun and FREE Open House Weekend in recognition of National Lighthouse Day, celebrated each year. Enjoy tours of the museum, Potomac River Maritime Exhibit, lighthouse tower and grounds. FREE ADMISSION, donations greatly appreciated.

Saturday August 3 & Sunday August 4 Piney Point Lighthouse Museum 44720 Lighthouse Road Piney Point, MD 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday July 10 Visit for meeting location 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Mermaid’s Cottage Summer Shopping It’s time for summer shopping at The Mermaid’s Cottage! The shop has expanded to four rooms, has a Garden Room for special projects, and has more “camp salvage” DIY pieces. Don’t miss out!

July 12, 13, 14 & August 9, 10 & 11 Fridays - 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Mermaid’s Cottage 2990 Parkers Creek Road Port Republic, MD

5th Annual Women to Women Regional Summit

CRMC 22nd Annual Autumn Wine Tasting

Join us for the 5th Annual Women to Women Regional Summit, hosted by the Women to Women of the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce. Network with local business women, get tips on ways to better your business, and gain inspiration from our speakers Naly Rice, Eleanor Nelson, and Wynne Brisco. Tickets are $65 and include breakfast & lunch. Sponsorship opportunities available. For more information call 410.535.2577 or email

The Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation will host its 22nd Annual Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction. Guests will enjoy live music, samplings of more than 30 wines, specialty beverages, an open bar, selections of more than a dozen cuisine stations hosted by area restaurants and a cigar lounge. Tickets will go on sale July 15th. Visit for more details.

Wednesday August 14 College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick Campus 115 J W Williams Rd. Prince Frederick, MD 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday September 7 Historic Port Tobacco Court House 8430 Commerce Street Port Tobacco, MD 20677 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Keep up with local events and community happenings at Looking to promote an upcoming event? Contact

5TH ANNUAL WOMEN TO WOMEN REGIONAL SUMMIT Join the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce Women to Women as we embark on another year of networking and education.

The Keynote The Woman’s Journey for Success

Naly shares her inspiring journey from employee to entrepreneurship, managing work/life balance, and practical/ achievable tips for professional business women.

Naly Rice

Naly Rice is the Founder and CEO of LN Creative Group, a tech marketing company who was named a top 100 small agency with big impact. She runs a successful lifestyle website for women entrepreneurs with over 14K monthly visitors and has partnered with brands like AOL, Lilla P, and Purpose Jewelry. Naly has been featured in both business and lifestyle outlets including The Baltimore Sun, AOL, Create & Cultivate, and more. She is currently writing her first book.

Planning for Your Successes

A career planning workshop in the true spirit of Women Inspiring Women. Develop a customized career plan to inject more positive energy into your current career; find your “next best fit” and plan for future successes.

Eleanor Nelson

WHEN: August 14, 2019 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. COST:

$65 (includes breakfast and lunch) Chamber membership not required.

WHERE: College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick Campus 115 J W Williams Rd. Building B, Room 103 Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Reservation deadline: August 8, 2019

Valuing YOUR Values

Provides insights to the value of your time, money, professional and personal relationships and how they all align with your business. Focusing on the important things that truly matter and living a passionate life of alignment.

Wynne Briscoe Seats are limited, so register early on the chamber website. (No walk-ins can be accommodated) (410) 535-2577 •

The day includes networking, women’s health tips, prizes, and more Sponsorships are available!

in·dom·i·ta·ble adjective

impossible to subdue or defeat. “a woman of indomitable spirit”

Yeah, we teach that. ClaCl



To learn more, visit our website - At Black Belt Academy, our students are taught how to attain self-confidence & discipline with a strong, indomitable spirit along with physical fitness & self-defense.

Prince Frederick


285 Merrimac Court Prince Frederick, MD

10078 So. Maryland Blvd Dunkirk, MD


Lexington Park


Wildewood Shopping Center 23415 Three Notch Rd California, MD



St. Mary’s Square 21600 Great Mills Rd Lexington Park, MD


La Plata

112 Drury Drive La Plata, MD

301-392-0020 Leonardtown

22640 Gregory Lane (Next to St. Marys Ryken) Leonardtown, MD


2-Week Trial Membership - Only $19.00 Offer Expires September 1st, 2019 | Includes FREE Uniform | New Students ONLY - Cannot be combined with any other offers. All Black Belt Academy locations are individually owned & operated / Not all PROGRAMS may be offered at every location