Page 1



March 1st at the Hall at Huntingtown


Bridal EXPO


in Southern Maryland


Bridal ISSUE


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



Personalized Care for Women Through Every Stage of Life MedStar Health is pleased to welcome Arthur Greenwood, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist, to the new MedStar Medical Group Women’s Health at Leonardtown (formerly Southern Maryland Women’s Healthcare). Dr. Greenwood joins a committed practice of physicians, midwives, and nurse practitioners in caring for women at every stage of life—a team that includes Lisa Polko, MD, now focusing exclusively on gynecological care, Nnamdi Davis, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist, and more providers coming soon.

Arthur Greenwood, MD

MedStar Medical Group Women’s Health at Leonardtown 41680 Miss Bessie Dr., Suite 102 Leonardtown, Maryland 301-997-1788

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.

Know Your N E U RO LOG I ST

Dr. Frehiwot Temesgen Brings Specialty Services to Southern Maryland

Board-certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology, Dr. Frehiwot Temesgen is bringing her expertise to the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion.

Specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of: • Dementia

• Multiple sclerosis

• Migraines

• Parkinson’s disease

• Strokes

• And more

Learn More & Request Your Appointment Today! 5 North La Plata Court, La Plata, MD 20646 | Monday - Thursday | 9am - 5pm | 301-609-5044 Near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Rosewick Road

Inviting all women

OMEN MOTION w o r k s h o p to

February 29, 2020 • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the

Calvert Marine Museum Harms Gallery Event Room 14200 Solomons Island Road Solomons, MD 20688

For questions, please contact Kathleen Stark at or call 240-718-4874 Kathleen Stark, LMSW, CEO of Kathleen Stark, LLC and creator of Transformational Life Coaching. Kathleen has years of experience as a Social Worker and psychotherapist and enjoys helping people achieve their personal and professional goals. Kathleen inspires her clients to gain freedom and transformation in all areas of life, teaching strategies that allow individuals to create the habits and behaviors that will guide them through their journey. She has a strong passion to help people own and be proud of who they are. With her background and experience, she provides proven skills that create positive outcomes and fulfillment in one’s personal and professional life.

Show Up Speak Up and Stand Up • Gain insight and knowledge from accomplished leaders in the areas of personal and professional growth. • Learn powerful and assertive communication tools that will impact both personal and professional connections. • Helping women thrive in the community.


Speakers: Erin Harrigan • Jennifer Foxworthy • Sandi Foraci • Kelly Richards • Mary Slade For information on registering for this dynamic Workshop, a schedule of events, and list of amazing speakers, please visit Eventbrite:

SEEKING MARKETING OR EVENT HELP? MV Marketing & Events, LLC brings you the experience and expertise of top-level marketing and events in the country’s largest cities, infused with a homegrown approach and affection for the local community.

For more information, please visit or email


Inspiring, Educating & Connecting Southern Copy Editor Caren Bitar MarylandR.Women Since 2007.



1st March

at the

TE C R E AU R YO M A E R D IN D G W E DSouthernnd

town Hunting Hall at






la Mary

SayE R




Brid a l ISS





E.COM NDJAN g& STEVEA Educatin JANE, AND piring, 2007 STEVE ce udly Ins

Southern Maryland Woman It’s our 4th annual guide to saying ‘I Do’ in Southern Maryland! Planning a wedding can be stressful, so let us help. Learn about the benefits of hiring a makeup artist, what to look for at wedding venues, local photographers who will make you shine, suggestions from local brides, advice on floral arrangements, and more. Flip to page 15.

Pro n Sin blicationryland Wome unity Pu Ma A Comm ing Southern Connect






Brid a l ANN




TE M C R E AR D R E A YO UD D IN G yIN land r E a M W thern Sou

, Inspiring Proudly ryland blicationSouthern Ma unity Pu ing A Comm g & Connect Educatin Since 2007 n Wome BY PHOTO










1st March ingtown at Hunt


Publishers Oda Solms-Baruth A Community Proudly Melissa Publication Solms-Baruth



Feature Writer Jennifer Reginald Publisher Oda Solms Graphic Design

Dave Schindler | Editorial Assistant Dana Foody Rachel Lytle

Photography Graphic Design Irving Harris,Dave Irving Harris Photography Schindler Lauren Milani Dana Foody

SOUTHERN MARYLAND WOMAN, LLC P.O. Box 1656 Photography • Leonardtown, MD 20650 Beth Graeme, (301) 904-3366 • Fax: (301) 475-2680 Steve and Jane Pilkerton,

Sales & Marketing Megan Vereb, Calvert County Edition 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. Are you recently engaged? No part of this paper may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The Women’s Journal is not responsible for any Distribution Celebrate your love locally at the editorial comment (other than its own), typographical errors from advertisements submitted as camera ready or any reproductions of Christian advertisements submitted as camera ready. If an advertisement doesSolms not meet our standards of acceptance, we may revise or cancel it Hall at Huntingtown! Hosting at any time, whether or not it has been already acknowledged and/or previously published. The advertiser assumes sole responsibility Carlisa Kent nearly 30 weddings a year, the for all statements contained in submitted copy and will protect and indemnify The Women’s Journal, its owners, publishers, and employbanquet hall is arguably Calvert ees, 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 County’s best kept secret. What’s copy. Publisher shall be underEvery no liability failure, for any reason, to insert an advertisement. Publisher shall not be liable by any issue for produced in loving memory of Melissa Solms-Baruth reason of error, omission and/or failure to insert any part of an advertisement. Publisher will not be liable for delay or failure in perforeven better? Check out the 12th mance in publication or distribution if all or any portion of an issue is delayed or suspended for any reason. The publisher will exercise SOUTHERN MARYLAND WOMAN reasonable judgement in these instances and will make adjustments for the MAGAZINE advertiser where and when appropriate. The Women’s annual Calvert Bridal Expo held at Journal assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material or reproductions made by advertisers. This newspaper will be published PO Box 1656,Leonardtown, MD 20650 the hall in March. Flip to page 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 301.904.3366


Page 11: Unexpected Benefits of Martial Arts Page 26: The Honeymoon of Your Dreams Page 30: Dangers of DIY Estate Plans


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 advertising contained here does not necessarily constitute endorsement.

St. Mary’s/Calvert Edition PROUD MEMBER OF


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

Southern 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

Big Changes

are Happening Here.

New, Temporary Hospital Entrance and Parking Update

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center recently opened a new, temporary front entrance for patients and visitors to access the emergency department (ED) and main hospital. Patients and visitors may remember this entrance as the former cardiopulmonary rehabilitation entrance. Once inside, directional signage makes it easy for patients and visitors to find where they need to go. At some points during the renovation process, the hospital’s visitor lot may fill up. Designated overflow parking will be available at the Colony South Hotel. Why is the hospital renovating? When the renovation is complete, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center will have a state-of-the-art ED that will meet the needs of Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland residents. Here are some of the things you can look forward to: • • • • • • •

Our hospital has started an exciting expansion and renovation project—the largest in our more-than-40year history. When it is complete, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center will have a state-of-the-art emergency department to provide our community with the best care, as well as a beautiful, new front entrance.

A total of 40 ED treatment rooms—almost 50 percent more than before 18,000 more square feet of space in the ED, for a total of 70,000 square feet Designated space for behavioral health patients A better waiting room Easier access for EMS personnel A separate area for patients who may have been exposed to pathogens A new front entrance with a 24-hour café for patients and visitors

We’re committed to providing excellent care to our community throughout this renovation process. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of transformation.

Stay Up to Date! We look forward to sharing the renovation’s progress with you! For more information and updates, follow us on social media, or visit

health&wellness By Deborah Duley, MSW, LMSW

Winter Bucket List Our team at Empowered Connections thought it would be fun to create a short winter bucket list to help you escape the winter blues and spread some love this year.


Make homemade hot cocoa. Okay, NOT the mix you buy from the grocery store, but with real milk, real chocolate and some real whipped cream (again, not the frozen crap!). It’s a treat that you can make for yourself and your people before you get ready for some marathon Netflixing! Look up ideas of recipes from Pinterest if you’re stuck.


Watch all the movies that were nominated for an Oscar the last couples of years. Speaking of Netflix, why not commit to binging all the movies



IS OUR STORY! Empowered Connections is excited to announce their 2nd location, now in Dunkirk to offer more care and support for our community

that were nominated last year for an Oscar? How about watching Get Out, Coco or the Shape of Water? We always have good intentions to watch these movies, but always forget. Winter is the perfect time to cross these off your list!


Go ice skating. When was the last time you did this? When you were a teenager in high school? What about your kiddos or some little ones in your life? I bet they would love to bundle up on a Sunday afternoon and try their hand at this awesome, fun sport!


Build a gingerbread house! I admit, this one is hard for me as I just want to eat the dang thing before it’s built, BUT if you’re stuck at home during a storm or yucky weather, throw on

WELCOMING NEW THERAPISTS Dr. Laryssa Creswell, LCPC Women’s Therapist Seeing adult women 19 & over & our LGBTQ+ Community Jess Thompson, MSW, LMSW Seeing women & girls in our Leonardtown Office

Specialized counseling services for women and girls starting at 8 years old

Schedule a session by calling 301-690-0779 or emailing us at 25482 Point Lookout Road | Suite 201A | Leonardtown, MD 2972 Penwick Lane | Suite 101 | Dunkirk, MD


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

some music and build yourself a delicious – errr adorable – gingerbread house!


Pay it forward. Stuck in a long line at your local coffee shop? Buy the person’s coffee behind you as a way to brighten their day. Is your significant other’s laundry piling up? Even if you don’t do their laundry normally, it would be kind and thoughtful to gift them with a pile of clean, folded clothes waiting for them when they get home.


Try a new restaurant. Is there a ramen spot you’ve been eyeing in town lately? Or a sushi bar that you’ve been wanting to check out but keep forgetting? Now’s the time! Grab your bestie or your favorite child and head over on a cold, blustery day and experience something new.


Go see one movie a week. By yourself. I’ll admit, this isn’t for everyone. I recently made an intention to see one movie a week as I LOVE going to the movies, but it’s hard to find someone to take with me most of the time. Joining AMC Stubs A-List only cost me $23 a month and I can see up to 12 movies a month included in that monthly fee. Try going to a movie in an afternoon with your blanket and some freshly popped popcorn or milk duds. Heaven!


Go see a locally produced play. Believe it or not, a lot of our local colleges, high schools and theatre groups in town produce some really great plays that are a cheap treat on a winter weekend. If you live near our Leonardtown office, check out Ryken High School’s plays or the Port Tobacco Players; they’re always playing a seasonal production and they’re pretty freaking amazing!


Find a local hot springs and take a dip. This one I stole from a winter bucket list from years ago that I read about, but

it sounds super fun! Just Google “natural hot springs near me” and see what comes up. They’re pretty great and a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.


Volunteer. Bored and wanting to give back? Why not try volunteering at a local animal shelter one weekend a month or at a shelter that houses homeless families? There are always tons of opportunities for us to spread love this winter season, and who doesn’t need more of that?! The cool part of this activity is, more than likely, you’ll go home feeling more filled with gratitude than the animals or people you helped. Try it and see! We hope these are some good ideas for you to start with! I, myself, love lists, so I make bucket lists for every season and while I don’t usually cross off everything, it’s still a pretty fun way to kick the winter blues. As always, if you feel you need some extra support this winter, we got you! Check us out at

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. We believe in connection, in the strength 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 strongly believe that women need connection to heal and that where you have been, so have we. Where your story is our story! We believe that women are the future and that we have the power to change the world! We believe in the ripple effect of this change and are striving every day to help women and girls discover and empower their inner badass! Check us out at or call us at 301-690-0779 ext. 700.

New Year New You BEFORE


Let Your Skin Shine Through Purchase a package of three Full Face BBL treatments (Broad Band Light) and receive a Lumivive kit for $75 (Value $265)

Sculpting Made Easy BEFORE



Skin Wellness offers the next generation in the latest technology in Coolsculpting for increased fat cell reduction! Purchase 6 cycles of Coolsculpting and receive one complimentary cycle ($750 savings)

Stay ahead of Cold & Flu Season Call today and schedule your Myer’s Cocktail with Sarah and receive a complimentary dermaplaning. ($75 savings)

Kelly Sutter, RN, CANS, is the founder and owner of Skin Wellness MD with offices located in Annapolis and Lusby, Maryland. Kelly is a member of the American Society of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine as well as the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses (ISPAN). She is proud to be a part of the Allergan Medical Faculty and an AMI instructor.

Maureen Mussomele, RN, CANS, is a certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist and a master Coolsculpting Specialist. She also holds a certification in Laser Physics and is a master injector. Maureen is a member of the American Society of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine and the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses (ISPAN).

410.231.2123 I 225 Town Square Drive, Suite 2, Lusby, MD 410.224.2400 I 171 Defense Highway, Annapolis, MD

health&wellness By Karl Smith, DDS, MS

Let 2020 Be Your Year for YOU While we know eating right, tossing out the cigarettes, and “sweating to the oldies” are all part of our typical New Year’s resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle, many of us are not aware of the overall health benefits of taking good care of our teeth and gums. Tooth decay, plaque and periodontal (gum) disease is a health problem that doesn’t normally get a lot of New Year’s resolution attention. In fact, although 80 percent of adults have some form of gum disease, many are not aware of the diagnosis, symptoms or its lasting effects. Poor oral health, gum disease, cavities, plaque buildup, etc., can contribute to other problems in the body. For example, people with gum disease are more likely to develop


diabetes or heart disease, and pregnant women increase their risk of delivering low-birth weight and premature babies. Causes & Symptoms Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures supporting your teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, gums become swollen and red due to inflammation and teeth and gums often bleed while brushing, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria. In the more series form of periodontal disease, called periodontitis, gums pull away from the tooth as infection settles in, supporting gum tissues are destroyed, supportive jaw bone can

Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

be lost, and your teeth will loosen and eventually fall out. Diagnosing Periodontal Disease Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the treatment and prevention of periodontal (gum) disease. They are experts in the treatment of oral inflammation, plaque and bacteria. Periodontists are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures, and dental implants. Make it your New Year’s resolution to take better care of your mouth and teeth. Here are a few additional tips: • Brush twice daily: Your mouth is the front line for battling the bacteria that damages not only your teeth and gums, but also other organs and systems in your body. • Floss daily: Your toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth, which allow the bacterial film to build up. Daily flossing cleans the spaces between teeth, depriving bacteria of a safe haven. • Have at least two dental cleanings a year: Your dental hygienist supplements your daily brushing and flossing by cleaning the pockets where bacteria may escape your own routine. And the hygienist provides a vital screening for problems between dental checkups. • Get a regular annual dental checkup: Preventative dentistry is better for your health – and much cheaper – than dealing with major dental problems. Many people never visit a dentist until teeth require a root canal or even extraction, problems that are expensive to fix, and affect other teeth. • Visit a periodontist for gum evaluation: All adult patients should have full periodontal examination with charting accomplished once a year. This important assessment provides you and your dentist with a baseline measurement to record the pocket depth (space

between your teeth and gums), the presence of gum disease, gum recession, bleeding, tooth mobility and plaque buildup. • Eat, drink and be wary: The enemy of oral health is the group of natural bacteria that thrive on sugar and dissolve the protective enamel covering the teeth. Refined sugar is present in an overwhelming number of foods, and is part of the modern diabetes “epidemic.” This year, make a commitment to tooth- and health-conscious eating habits. • Consider a new and stronger smile: Getting dental implants and crowns for missing or broken teeth isn’t a luxury; these problems can have a domino effect that will leave you with shifting teeth, a vulnerability to gum disease and other growing damage. These necessary restorations will improve your quality-of-life and your long-term health. Improving your dental health and preventing tooth decay can have a larger health impact than just a healthy mouth and brighter teeth.

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 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. Year after year, Dr. Smith has been consistently voted Top Dentist by Washingtonian Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, and Virginia Living.

health&wellness By Kyle Webber

How to Declutter Your Mind The Unexpected Benefits of Martial Arts The stress of today’s busy world can fill our minds with clutter and cloud our judgement. This stress often leaves us feeling tired and overwhelmed. Martial arts training teaches us how to focus our mind, improve our energy, and clear out the clutter. Along with the obvious physical benefits, there are many other benefits gained from martial arts training. Multiple studies show that physical exercise helps to relieve stress and improves brain function. Through exercise, the brain is stimulated into promoting the growth of new connections between cells in all areas of the brain.

Evolve Daily ( offers us three health benefits from martial arts you probably woundn’t expect:


general unhappiness. By training in martial arts, practitioners deal with stress in a safe and effective way. With martial arts, we are given both a mental and physical outlet to relieve our stress, boost endorphin production, and feel better about ourselves overall. In turn, we greatly improve our quality of life.”

It teaches you how to focus.

“Meditation, proper breathing, stretching, and the like, are all variations of martial arts exercises. They teach you how to temporarily block out matters that preoccupy your mind, which may cloud your focus and prevent you from reaching your goals. Gaining better focus, of course, is beneficial to your personal life as well. You’ll become sharper, more attentive, and in turn, your daily life will


285 Merrimac Court Prince Frederick, MD

410-414-7530 California

Wildewood Shopping Ctr 23415 Three Notch Rd California, MD

301-737-4553 Leonardtown

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

301-475-9525 Lexington Park

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

Spring Cleaning for the Mind

301-862-1400 Dunkirk

10750 Town Center Blvd Dunkirk, MD


improve. You’ll perform better at work or at school, and it will increase your productivity. Getting things done will become so much easier.”


It helps you tap into your psyche.

“A report on the psychotherapeutic aspects of martial arts suggests that practicing various disciplines can be a form of mental and psychological therapy. It improves symptoms of depression and anxiety, among other things. In the youth, martial arts can improve self-esteem, build leadership skills, and instills discipline. It also teaches practitioners how to deal with conflict in an efficient manner.”


It helps you to deal with stress.

“Last but certainly not least, martial arts training declutters your mind by helping you deal with stress. Stress is a major contributing factor to many physiological ailments such as rapid weight gain, metabolic syndrome, depression, anxiety and

The start of a new year is the perfect time to begin a new program of martial arts. This will not only improve your physical health, but your mental health as well. In martial arts, we teach that with a strong body comes a strong mind. As we train our bodies to run efficiently and expend energy in the correct manner, our mind functions better as well. If decluttering your mind and improving your focus is part of your New Year’s resolution, consider trying martial arts. Your body and mind will thank you!

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.

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |








Holiday Inn Solomons Conference Center & Marina Cost: $37 per person Please join us for this informative breakfast where our state senators and delegates who represent Calvert County will discuss and answer attendee questions pertaining to bills and the budget that will be addressed during the 441st legislative sessions. No walk-ins can be accommodated.







Hosted by Occasions Boutique 67 Sherry Lane, Prince Frederick Free for Chamber Members | $10 Non-Members


Georgette B. Gaskin Bronze Leader







Hosted by Champagne Taste Bridal 32 Cox Road, Huntingtown Free to attend but registration requested. For more information and to register for all events visit

New Year Client Special Details

The new year is so REWARDING! Earn up to 40% more FREE products when you host a party with me in January. Let’s chat to schedule your online party!


Lose 2 inches 1st treatment guaranteed!



No dieting. No exercise. No drugs. No surgery.

Patients lose an average of 3.5 inches and 1.6 liters of fat in a 32 minute treatment.


301- 472- 4290

3450 Old Washington Rd # 103, Waldorf, MD 20602 •

The ONLY device FDA-cleared for immediate fat loss! Proven 100% effective in clinical trials

Do something important for

YOU in 2020.


Jaleesa Hall (Master of Divinity, Class of 2019 - Urban Fellow)

CEO & Founder, Raising A Village Foundation

Take a course at Wesley!

A wide range of challenging topics will be explored in a class format that fits with your busy life — days, evenings, weekends, online, and hybrid. Choose from courses like: ★ Art and the Sacred in Washington DC – Dr. Josiah Young (Evenings) ★ BioEthics and Pastoral Care – Dr. Sondra Wheeler (Daytime/Afternoon) ★ Caring for Community Through Non-Profit Organizations – Dr. Jana Strukova (Hybrid -Online/Weekend) ★ Art and the Sacred in Washington DC – Dr. Aaron Rosen (Daytime/Afternoon) ★ Swords, Spaceships and Salvation – Dr. Rick Elgendy (Online) ★ Ecology and Moral Community – Dr. Joe Bush (Daytime/afternoon) ★ When does life begin and end? – Rabbi Fred Reiner (Daytime/morning)

For more information about any of the above, contact Wesley Admissions at or 202-885- 8659.


Wesley empowers women to live their passion for making a difference in the world.

Wesley has given me incomparable opportunities to learn and experience the world of community engagement — cultivating my leadership skills, deepening my ability to be both compassionate and effective in ministry. These skills benefit Raising A Village Foundation, which encourages safe, healthy, and whole communities.”

Lauren Bennett (Master of Divinity, Class of 2019 - Urban Fellow)

I was able to intentionally integrate theory and practice, taking creative risks through this program. With a team, I developed a deeply relational worship service integrating study, prayer, friendship, accountability, and generosity, set in museums and parks. Here, the intersections of art, poverty, justice, climate change and the ritual of communion weaved together. I graduate from Wesley excited for creating creative, collaborative ways of being church.”

10 th_ Year Anniversary



4th Annual Benefit/Fundraiser Event A Night of Jazz with Energico Jazz Band We are pleased to introduce The Players Club membership program to provide our golfers with the following benefits: • Practice at any time, 7-days per week with unlimited range balls. • Complimentary green fees after 4:00 pm daily, 7-days per week. Just pay trail fee of $14; Walk or Ride • Special member discounts on pro shop merchandise • Pay only 10 months for a full year membership, with monthly billing. No fees due in January & February • First 200 members to sign up get introductory pricing of just $40.00 per month. Easy opt out with one month’s notice.

BRETON BAY GOLF & CC 21935 Society Hill Rd, Leonardtown, MD 20650 301-475-2300 |

Saturday, January 18, 2020 | 7 – 9:30 p.m. Black Box Theatre, 4185 Indian Head Hwy, Indian Head, Maryland 20640 Join us for the sounds of smooth jazz, light refreshments, fun, and a silent auction in support of Empact Ministries outreach programs – 501(c)(3). Grab your tickets* on today! For more information, contact 240-441-5985 OR 301-266-6171. You can visit our website at *Tickets are nonrefundable




Bridal ISSUE

Brad and Lindsey Silvestro

were married at Running Hare Vineyard in 2019. Photography by Steve & Jane,

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |


weddings By Victoria Ronan

Why Hire a Makeup Artist for your Wedding? 1. A STRESS-FREE DAY!

Your wedding day is going to be busy and you’re sure to have a few unexpected bumps in the road, so don’t let your look suffer. Hiring a makeup artist allows you to sit back and relax and let someone else pamper you on your special day! Most makeup artists will meet with you in advance to do a trial run of the look you want. Doing so lets you get your makeup done just how you want it in a timely manner on your wedding day.



Makeup artists are trained on the art and proper selection of colors. From your lips to your eyes and your foundation, makeup artists know exactly how to pick the colors that best suit you and your coloring. You’ll probably never be photographed as much as you will on your wedding day, so you want your makeup to be flawless and beautiful.


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |


Makeup artists’ kits are stocked with the best, high quality products designed for durability, breathability and longevity. I keep my kit ready with makeup specifically designed to look amazing when photographed with high definition cameras.


Experienced makeup artists practice the art of makeup every single day. They were taught proper makeup application techniques and have worked on hundreds of different faces. Hiring a makeup artist for your wedding day will allow you to look flawless while still looking like your normal self!

Victoria Ronan Certified Makeup Artist

About Victoria Victoria grew up in New York City and moved to Southern Maryland 12 years ago. She never thought makeup was her “thing” until she started selling makeup and decided to get formal training. In 2010 she launched Natural Looks by Victoria and now does more than 55 weddings a year. When she is not working one-on-one with her clients, you can find Victoria teaching beauty classes to women of all ages and aspiring students at the local college.

Saying I Do in Southern Maryland

Celebrating the Butchers Bride’s name (maiden): Brianne Cleary Groom’s name: Zack Butcher Wedding date: March 2, 2019 Ceremony location: St. John Vianney Reception location: The Barn at Pleasant Acres Wedding makeup and hair: Hair: Beauty Mark by Melanie Makeup: Nicole Bradshaw The dress: David’s Bridal Wedding photographer: Sargas Media

Favorite part of the day: My favorite part of the day was, of course, marrying the man I get to spend the rest of my life with, but also being able to see how many people truly love and care about both of us! If you could have a do-over on anything, it would be: Do more research on a DJ! He was OK, but I really wanted more multigenerational songs. Also, it’s old school, but a procession after the ceremony to say hi and thank you to everyone who came. Best wedding planning advice you could share: Don’t sweat the small stuff. No one is going to remember what flowers you had, what color runners you had, or what thank you gift you gave them. Remember what the day is about – you getting to marry the man of your dreams and to celebrate this new chapter with your family and friends!

36889 Bushwood Wharf Road, Bushwood, MD 20618 240-925-2163

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |



Floral Arrangements Unique to You By Allie Ferraro

Flowers make your special day unique and memorable and are often the first thing your guests notice. When you meet with your florist, come prepared. We came up with a few suggestions to help you get the look you want without breaking the bank.

Don’t buy it if you don’t have to: Many florists offer backdrops, centerpiece containers, and lanterns for rent at reasonable prices.

Be you: Find a style to pull everything together. Will your wedding be black tie, semi-formal, or casual? What words best describe your wedding – whimsical, traditional, rustic? Do you envision cascading and wild arrangements, or something more traditional?

Know the numbers: Your flower choices are key when deciding on a budget. Selecting in-season blooms that your florist can purchase from a local grower may help curtail costs.

Beyond the bouquet: Know exactly what you need – personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, flower crowns, and hair pieces), as well as ceremony and reception arrangements. Don’t forget tablescapes, mantel décor, welcome signs, and seating arrangement swags.

Flower favs: Is your heart set on a specific flower? Mention your must-have blooms, but be prepared for last-minute substitutions if they are unavailable.

Looking for unique floral designs? Contact mother-daughter designers Sandy Ondrejcak and Allie Ferraro, owners of Copper Moon Floral & Events, who will help bring your vision to life. Visit, or call 301-885-9750 for more information.

The biggest trend for 2020: COLOR! Vibrant, hot pinks and violet are trending for spring and summer, and deep burgundy and red are the focus for the fall. If your style is more monochromatic, include a pop of color to brighten your arrangements.

Perfect Wedding Day Wedding Rooms Blocks Rehearsal Dinner After Wedding Brunch Bridal Shower

13100 Dowell Road Dowell, MD 20629 410-326-0303


2823 West Cheasapeake Beach Road Dunkirk, Maryland 20754 301.812.0800 | 410.286.0800 |


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

sh list La d ecia e fi Sp rti Ce sion n te Ex

Saying I Do in Southern Maryland

Celebrating the Kiehlmeiers Bride’s name (maiden): Kelsey Mackin Groom’s name: Jacob Kiehlmeier Wedding date: Oct. 12, 2019 Ceremony & Reception location: Ann Marie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center Wedding makeup and hair: Hair: Bella Salon; Make-up: Emma Evans The dress: Ashley & Justin Wedding photographer: Laura Elizabeth Photography

Favorite part of the day: Doing the first look with Jake; the anticipation and being anxious about getting ready and hoping everything went perfectly all disappeared as soon as I saw Jake for the first time. If you could have a do-over on anything, it would be: We did 90 percent of our formal pictures beforehand and it was the best idea. We still had to finish some other family photos during cocktail hour, but get as much done as you can before so you can enjoy yourself during cocktail hour and the reception. Best wedding planning advice you could share: Don’t wait until the last minute... get as much done as you can prior to the month of the wedding, save that time for all of the little details and checking everything off your ‘To do’ list. Make sure to take it all in, from the day you’re engaged until the day you say, ‘I do.’ It is such a great experience. Enjoy every minute, it goes by faster than you can imagine.

Call today for all your travel needs • 443-532 -5782 •

is excited to announce our


Bridal ISSUE

honeymoons • family vac ations • destination weddings all inc lusives • girl trips • c ruises • business travel vac ation pac kages • international & domestic c orporate & c onvention servic es • group tours ... and much more!

as part of our



What better way to start off the New Year than with our go-to guide for Southern Maryland brides?

To have your wedding or engagement featured, please email For print and digital advertising opportunities, please email

You dream it, we plan it


to all newly engaged and married couples. Wishing you years of happiness and prosperity.

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |



ridal boudoir is one of the hottest gifts for today’s groom. These special bridal portraits showcase images of brides-to-be that are beautiful, artistic, and most importantly, super sexy! This will always remind your hubby of the passion surrounding your engagement and 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. To schedule a session with us in preparation of your special day, visit

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 after looking at the images on the back of my camera. Women exude beauty, sensuality and sexy. It is my job to portray that and show them what 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. Boudoir by Beth is a division of Beth Graeme Photography, LLC.


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

By Moni Jefferson Photo by Beth Graeme

The Best Groom’s Gift, Ever




he Hall at Huntingtown is a local wedding venue and arguably Calvert County’s best kept secret. Attached to the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad building, the venue boasts a beautiful and spacious banquet hall draped with a sparkling crystal grand chandelier, sizeable windows, cathedral ceilings, and a neutral color pallet and decor to make any theme come to life comfortably. The main ballroom holds up to 275 guests, with a separate ceremony room available within the hall for up to 150 people. Many clients utilize both rooms as a way to save money and avoid the need to travel between the ceremony and reception. While the entrance to the hall is located at the finish of a large staircase, the venue is handicapaccessible with an elevator available to take guests to the second floor. Rental of the ballroom includes tables, banquet chairs and of course, a movable dance floor. Personalized professional wedding day coordination is also offered to help with decorations, bar staffing and coordinating vendors. Banquet Facilities Manager Carole Fonfara has worked at the hall for more than ten years and knows first hand just how busy their schedule can get. “We host about 30 weddings

“We want to make sure that every event is as good as it can be, and we have excellent caterers to choose from. It’s a gorgeous room and can make anybody look back and say I had a beautiful wedding.” a year, sometimes three in one weekend.” All weddings take place Friday through Sunday, with only one event scheduled per day. For back-to-back events, Carole says the clients will bring decor a week prior for a mock set-up. The team at the hall then sets up the decorations complimentary on the day of the wedding. In fact, they also help tear down at the end of the night. “All the client needs to do is bring in their personal decor,” says Carole, who acts as the day-of coordinator and wedding planner for all events. Carole said interested clients can book their date as soon or as far out as they want. “If we have the date available, we can do it, if you’re looking for a specific date and it’s special to you, don’t wait.”

Rental fees are based on a four-hour reception, though additional time is available upon request. All bar service is done through the hall, as opposed to the caterer, with tons of different options and customizable packages sure to make any party a good time. Outside of the hall there is plenty of parking and a large garden for photos. In addition, lodging is located nearby in Prince Frederick, about seven miles down the road. Carole says one of the things that makes the hall unique is how they truly care about the bride and groom and making their wedding vision come to life. “We want to make sure that every event is as good as it can be, and we have excellent caterers to choose from. It’s a gorgeous room and can make anybody look back and say I had a beautiful wedding.”

4030 Old Town Road Huntingtown, MD 20639 410-535-4439 |

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |





“The Hall at Huntingtown was the best place to have my wedding reception. I couldn’t have asked for a better location and better people to work with. Carole was great. She made sure that everything went smoothly and was taken care of! Got many compliments!!”


“The location and venue were wonderful. The Hall coordinator Carole Fonfara was a gem to work with. She made my small wedding seem like the fairy tale wedding of my dreams!”

More Than Just A Wedding Venue… The Hall at Huntingtown is more than just a wedding venue; the ballroom holds many different types of events throughout the year, from Wednesday bingo to anniversary parties, receptions, and company holiday parties. The staff at The Hall at Huntingtown is warm and welcoming, just like their venue. They give each client personalized attention and plan the event alongside of you, focusing on each and every detail. Regardless of the size of your group, they can provide you with the comfort level you require to make your event a success. Facilities are available for large conferences, as well as for small group meetings—all offering wonderful amenities like an outdoor veranda, theater setup with a multimedia system, podium, projector, microphones, and more. No matter your needs, the Hall at Huntingtown’s professional staff will give your event their complete attention, so that you are free to enjoy the festivities with your guests.


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BINGO Every Wednesday of the Month Doors Open at 6 p.m. Early Bird Bingo at 7 p.m. Regular Bingo at 7:30 p.m. The Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad presents Wednesday Night Bingo every week. Come out for some fun and prizes, and support the local fire department. HVFD Auxiliary Kitchen provides food and refreshments. For more information, visit



TOP 10 TIPS FOR ATTENDING THE CALVERT BRIDAL EXPO: 1. Plan ahead! Know what vendors you are looking for and keep in mind what you are envisioning for your wedding day.

2. Attending the Expo is the best way to sample food and cakes, but also to see what each exhibitor has to offer you for your wedding day. Seeing a visual of what they do is a big plus for your planning needs.

3. Meeting wedding professionals in person is the BEST way to

make a decision about what services you will choose. This is a big day in your life, be sure you like the wedding professional you are choosing.

4. Take business cards from all vendors because you never know if you will need to reference them in the future, even if you don’t think you need them the day of the Expo.

The 12th Annual Calvert Bridal Expo Join us on Sunday, March 1st for one of the Hall at Huntingtown’s most notable annual events, The Calvert Bridal Expo. The Sunday, Expo is one of the biggest events for the hall, and in turn supports the March 1, 2020 wedding business at the venue. 12 - 3 p.m. The Calvert Bridal Expo brings the best local wedding professionals Hall at Huntingtown together in one great show to offer 4030 Old Town Road couples the opportunity to find Huntingtown, everything they need to complete their dream wedding. There will be MD 20639 fantastic prizes throughout the day and a grand prize drawing! For more information, visit

5. Specials… many wedding professional may offer a discount or specials if you book them because you saw them at the Expo.

6. Budget planning! Find out what services really cost so that you can be sure to include everything you want!

7. Do you know the latest trends? These wedding professional do! The runway show is always amazing and you may just see your DREAM dress!

8. Keep It local! Using local Southern Maryland wedding

professionals will help keep your wedding costs where you want them to be!

9. Be sure to enter to win the many prizes and giveaways! 10. Have fun! Make a day of it with your friends and family, all are welcome!

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |


Recently Engaged? Congratulations! Now the fun starts with planning your big day! PHOTOS BY JAX PHOTOGRAPHY

Join us on Sunday, March 1, 2020 for our 12th Annual Calvert Bridal Expo, the only stop you need to complete everything on your wedding checklist! Each year brides and grooms walk away with all their wedding services completed by fantastic Southern Maryland wedding professionals. This year’s show will be filled with fun and exciting services just for YOU! • Fantastic prizes throughout the day and a Grand Prize giveaway! • Bridal Runaway Show • Demonstrations • Food & Cake Tasting Register TODAY at!

12th ANNUAL CALVERT BRIDAL EXPO Sunday, March 1, 2020 12:00pm - 3:00pm Hall at Huntingtown 4030 Old Town Road Huntingtown, MD 20639

Photography by Steve & Jane

Wedding & Portrait Photography Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Beyond 410-903-7590

weddings By Tracy Dennis

The Honeymoon of Your Dreams Many couples dream of a romantic, tropical all-inclusive resort for their honeymoon celebration, and for many a Sandals resort is the perfect choice. Sandals properties are luxurious, couples-only resorts with king beds in every room and tables for two in every restaurant. The resorts feature romantic beachside fire pits that couples can snuggle by in the evening and watch the beautiful sunset. Your “Luxury Included”® honeymoon features unlimited dining and premium beverages (including top shelf liquors and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks house wines), an endless array of watersports including snorkeling, aqua trikes, paddle boarding, kayaks, scuba diving, hobie cats, water skiing, glass bottom boat rides (watersports vary by resort),

outstanding entertainment (beach parties, live music, chocolate buffets, fire dancers, street parties, etc.) and of course, stunning accommodations and amazing staff and service to round out the experience. With 15 resorts located on six islands (Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Barbados and Bahamas), on some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, there is a Sandals resort for just about every couple’s style, whatever your honeymoon style may be. Are you looking for an overthe-top suite for your honeymoon? Sandals has many top-notch

Where is YOUR Paradise?

Your local Sandals & Beaches experts • Honeymoons and romantic getaways • Destination weddings • Family and group vacations | 301.884.6041 26

Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

room categories deemed “Love Nest Suites” that include your own personal butler, such as their unique Rondovals in St. Lucia and Antigua and their Millionaire suites in St. Lucia, Jamaica and Grenada that come with your own personal plunge pool and hot tub. They even offer options such as swim-up suites, beachfront suites and “sky pool” suites at some of their resorts. And for the ultimate honeymoon getaway... there are amazing overwater bungalows in Jamaica and St. Lucia! Talk about honeymoon bragging rights! Top-notch dining and unlimited premium beverages are the standard at all Sandals resorts. With their exclusive “Global Gourmet” program, you can enjoy a wide variety of amazing cuisines from around the world without ever leaving your resort! Everything from the best Caribbean seafood and authentic jerk fare to authentic Thai, French, Italian and Indian cuisine can be found (restaurants vary by resort). And the best part? It’s ALL INCLUDED! You’ll never have to pull out your wallet or wonder if you can afford the surf and turf or another round of drinks. You’re on your honeymoon, live it up! As an extra perk for honeymooners, Sandals offers a complimentary honeymoon amenity package for those couples celebrating within a 30-day window of their wedding. The package includes a bottle of chilled sparkling wine upon arrival, a romantic turndown service the first evening of your stay, and a special romantic breakfast in bed one morning of your stay. But of course, it doesn’t stop there. We can completely customize your package to include an endless number of romantic, special experiences such as a candlelight dinner on the beach, a couple’s massage, a private shopping trip or island tour, helicopter transfer from the airport... the options are endless!

Now that I’ve shared about all the great quality inclusions that Sandals provides to honeymoon couples, what’s the best way to choose and book your Sandals honeymoon package? Working with an award-winning Sandals Preferred Specialist is definitely the way to go! I really take the time to get to know my honeymoon couples, find out their likes, dislikes, dreams and what “trip of a lifetime” means to them. I’ve personally visited every single Sandals property, so I can help guide you to the right island and resort to fit the honeymoon experience you desire. Just a small deposit is all that’s needed to book your package! I also help you set up those romantic “extras” that make your trip unforgettable, set up a honeymoon registry, and answer any questions you have day or night (really, I’m available literally 24/7!). Just sit back, relax and let me guide you on a stress-free honeymoon journey while being virtually “by your side” every step of the way. It’s part of my exclusive VIP service to my clients, and costs couples absolutely nothing extra to book with a Sandals expert! So now the only question is... which Sandals do YOU want to honeymoon at?

Tracy Dennis is Southern Maryland’s expert on Sandals & Beaches resorts and has helped thousands of honeymoon couples discover the “Luxury Included®” honeymoon experience. She is president and owner of Four Seasons Travel LLC located in Mechanicsville, MD, a Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club agent and a Sandals & Beaches WeddingMoon Specialist. She’s also a Jamaica specialist, St. Lucia Expert Agent, and regularly visits every one of the Sandals & Beaches properties to keep current on what they have to offer.

Change Your Life in 2020 License Available In Your Area


Woman Publishing Entrepeneurs Wanted... Join over 371 other counties that are publishing or have an option to publish in the United States and BE YOUR OWN BOSS! We are looking for a few bright, energetic, creative women and men to publish trademarked, copyrighted newspapers in your COUNTY IN YOUR STATE, IN YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Join the fastest growing educational Woman’s Newspaper syndicated in the Unted States. MININAL INVESTMENT REQUIRED! Maximum return... Be your own boss, set your own hours and make your life mean more! ALL TRAINING PROVIDED! If you are interested in developing with us in 2017 in your STATE, in your COUNTY...

CALL 1-800-993-3822 Join the #1 Woman’s Educational Newspaper in the U.S.

law&finance By Brooke O’Connell

Impacts of Social Media on Family Law Cases According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center, nearly 70 percent of adults in America use Facebook. Generally, social media websites and applications, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, are intended to be fun and useful tools to share information with friends and family. However, when going through a custody or divorce proceeding, one can quickly learn that every person who can view your social media posts is not necessarily a friend. The judicial process is an adversarial one, where people take sides. Former friends can mask themselves as amateur private investigators actively sharing potentially damaging information with the other side.

Damaging a Party’s Reputation

It is all too common for social

media evidence to appear in contested family law proceedings. Something as seemingly innocent as attending a holiday work party where alcohol is present may be skewed to portray a parent as unfit. It is important to recognize that the intent of the author of the post is not what matters, but rather how that post is perceived by the judge or magistrate hearing the case. Going on a social media rant about your misbehaving ex may feel good in the moment and the criticisms may even be justified, however such behavior may prove damaging later in court. Even when the posts are later “deleted,” nothing on the world wide web is ever permanently deleted. Posts are often viewed, screenshot, and printed by others who have access to your posts, especially persons associated with the other party.

FAMILY LAW FIRM The Law Office of Robert R. Castro

Smallwood Building 2670 Crain Highway, Suite 411 Waldorf, MD 20603 (301) 870-1200 Office (301) 705-6667 Fax Associates Jeffery M. Groce Brooke A. O’Connell Francis J. Granados Katrine H. Bakhtiary Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C. • Personal Injury • Family Law • Criminal Defense


No party wants their social media posts to haunt them later in court.

Uncovering a Party’s Assets

Social media can be a helpful tool for unearthing hidden assets of a party. For example, a parent alleging that he is unable to pay the recommended child support, may have to explain why there are Facebook posts showing him traveling on luxury vacations, purchasing new cars, and enjoying extravagant dinners. Individuals being asked to pay alimony who allege an inability to pay could also find themselves in a similar situation. The potential payor’s argument to the court may fall on deaf ears if social media evidence contradicts his alleged inability to pay. Social media can also be used in a divorce cases is to uncover newly acquired assets following the parties’ separation. The party acquiring the new asset may assume that the other party will never know about it. He or she may innocently think sharing a photograph of their “new whip” on Instagram is harmless. However, it is all too easy for the other party to obtain a screenshot of the post and use it as evidence in court when discussing division of marital assets. In a world where social media use is rampant, you may be wondering what to do when you find yourself in an ongoing custody case or divorce proceeding. The simple answer is to deactivate all of your social media accounts. Merely blocking the other party or adjusting the privacy settings on your accounts may prove to be insufficient. If you choose to keep your social media accounts active, be careful about what you share. Assume that anything you post could be used later in court. If your case involves minor children keep in mind that custody and child support can be modified in the future. What you

post today could blow back on you tomorrow. If you are going to continue using social media while going through a divorce or custody case, think twice before you post.

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.

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |


law&finance By Alexander Pagnotta, Estate Planning Attorney

Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Estate Plans If you make a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) estate plan, you miss out on advice for many important things. Is your estate plan valid? State laws can differ, so you need to make certain you follow Maryland rules. Buying a DIY will kit online or otherwise trying to make a DIY estate plan is not necessarily going to ensure your documents are valid, since you may not know or understand the intricacies of the laws in Maryland. There are also execution and witness requirements, which may be hard to obtain if you only have a DIY will kit. Power of attorneys Making an estate plan is

not just about a will. You may also need to do other things, like creating a power of attorney in case of incapacity or Medicaid planning to protect assets so you don’t spend down your wealth if you need to go into a nursing home. Estate taxes A death can sometimes trigger estate tax, which affects your ability to leave a legacy. An experienced attorney can help you to evaluate whether estate taxes are an issue in your situation. If so, your attorney can help explore ways to avoid tax assessment on the wealth you leave to your loved ones when you pass away.

The implications of your estate plan Leaving assets to your loved ones in a DIY will can have important implications of which you may be unaware. For example, if you were to leave money to a relative with a disability, you could cause a loss of access to government benefits. You wouldn’t necessarily know this if you were not guided by an estate planning attorney who could explain the potential consequences of each decision you make. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the possible downsides to making a DIY estate plan. In addition to missing out on the sound legal advice you need to make a solid estate plan, you take the risk of your wishes not being respected during end-of-life issues or transfer of assets after death. If your estate planning tools aren’t enforceable because you did not follow the proper processes for creating these essential legal documents, default rules will apply. In this instance, under the default rules, your estate will be distributed according to intestacy law. If you become incapacitated, the court will consider Maryland laws on guardianship to determine who to appoint as guardian if you need one. You will have lost any sense of autonomy and all control over your future and will simply be left with Maryland laws dictating what happens to you, your assets, and the people you love.

result from an inadequate estate plan, along with his interest in helping others, drove his desire to pursue the estate planning and administration area of law. 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 currently resides in Annapolis with his wife. He is a Baltimore Ravens fan and enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.

Estate Planning Seminar Annapolis: Tues, Jan. 14 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (Refreshments) Double Tree Hilton Annapolis 210 Holiday Court

Bowie: Wed, Jan. 15 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (Refreshments) Comfort Inn US 50, US 301 @ MD 3

Pasadena: Thurs, Jan. 16 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (Continental Breakfast) The Reserve at Two Rivers 4105 Mountain Road

Crofton: Fri, Jan. 17 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (Continental Breakfast) Crofton Country Club 1691 Crofton Parkway

Bowie: Sat, Jan. 18 Alexander Pagnotta was born and raised in Maryland where he received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, graduating with cum laude honors. His personal experience with the problems that can


Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 |

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

Visit for upcoming seminar dates and locations.

Thank you

employees FOR 75 YEARS OF DEDICATION to Cedar Point Federal Credit Union MANAGE Digital Banking Mobile Deposit Credit Score Budgeting Tools Seminars














*If you live, work (or regularly conduct business), worship, or attend school in, and businesses and other legal entities located in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties, Maryland, you are eligible for membership. Government or military affiliation is not required to do business with Cedar Point. Federally Insured by NCUA. We do Business in Accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. NMLS# 449975


301-863-7071 |





BORROW Vehicle Mortgage Home Equity Personal Commercial


BANK Checking Savings Business Credit Cards Debit Cards








Are you worried about your young child’s development or behavior? “I wanted to help my child. But I didn’t know where to go, who to see, or what to ask.” Our experts will empower you and support your young child’s behavioral health, reduce family stress, or simply help you become the best caregiver you can be. Talk to a parent who has “been there.” Our specialists will talk with you about your child and family needs and then connect your family to a range of family and child-focused services to empower you and support your child’s behavioral health.

Call BRIDGE at 443.546.0617 or visit


Marital Changes = Tax Changes When your marital status changes, so does the way you file taxes and position yourself for future financial planning. Askey, Askey and Associates, CPA, LLC can help you successfully navigate changes ahead. In the eyes of the IRS, your marital status is determined by your filing status on December 31. So, if you marry on Dec. 31, 2019, you are considered married for the entire 2019 tax year. Divorce on that date, you’re a single taxpayer the entire year. Filing status – marriage bonus or marriage penalty? Choosing the best filing status available to your situation (Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, Single, or a Qualifying Widower) can reduce your tax liability. Will your tax liability go up or will it go down if

you get married now versus next year? Good question! The answer is highly dependent on various facts and circumstances, and the result may not be what you think. Ownership of property: Being married affords you a unique option for property ownership, specifically, the titling of such as Tenancy by the Entirety, which prohibits modification of ownership without both spouse’s consent. You should be aware of the ways in which titling can assist in reducing tax implications for the future.

issue for separated or divorced individuals, and although recent tax law changes eliminated dependency deductions, there are various other tax benefits for those with qualifying dependents. Does your separation or divorce agreement address who can ‘claim’ the children for tax purposes? You must meet certain IRS rules to ‘claim’ a dependent, which may not be crystal clear in situations such as shared custody.

Claiming dependents is a major

Your Neighborhood Tax, Accounting, Audit & Payroll Services Located in Leonardtown & La Plata! 23507 Hollywood Road Leonardtown, MD | 301-475-5671 105 Centennial Street, Suite D La Plata, MD | 301-934-5780

To learn more about our services, visit Find us on:

Existing tax liabilities: Divorcing individuals have options available to protect spouses from some tax liabilities incurred during marriage and those considering combining tax lives should address concerns of what tax liabilities exist prior to the marriage to avoid unpleasant surprises. Planning for the termination of a financial partnership is crucial. Consider this checklist: • Inventory your assets, joint or separate — include homes; stocks and bonds; valuable items such as jewelry, antiques, or collections; bank balances; autos; investments, including IRAs & retirement

accounts • Inventory your debts – include mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and other liabilities • Retain copies of at least the last two or three years of tax returns • Know yours and your spouse’s exact salary and income • Retain paperwork on insurance policies, pensions, and other retirement benefits Do I pay taxes on that? • Child support is not taxable income to the recipient, nor is it deductible by the payer. • Alimony is no longer taxable income for the recipient or deductible by the payer, for divorce decrees effective Jan. 1, 2019, onward. Alimony and qualifying payments awarded prior to Jan. 1, 2019, are not affected and will retain their status as taxable to the recipient and deductible to the payer. • Property settlements are not taxable. The moving of assets between separating spouses does not trigger gain/loss, income, or deductions. However, tax exposure can occur later when an asset is sold based on values established at the time of the divorce settlement. If you would like more information, Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, has full-service offices in Leonardtown, MD, at 23507 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650, and La Plata, MD, 105 Centennial Street, Suite D, La Plata, MD 20646. Visit their website at and find them through their Lex Leader Member Page, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Januar y/Februa r y 2020 |



so rees


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 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 2nd 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.

Wednesdays, January 8 & February 12 Visit for meeting location 12 – 1:30 p.m.

CRMC Heart Healthy Living Seminar

“Women in Motion” Workshop

The Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation is hosting a free Heart Healthy Living Seminar, presented by Teri White, RN, and Progya Aakash, MSc, MS, RD, LDN. This seminar focuses on tips for stress management, hypertension and healthy eating for your heart. Please register online at or by calling 301-609-4132. Refreshments will be served.

Kathleen Stark, creator of Transformational Life Coaching, invites all women to show up, speak up, and stand up at the “Women in Motion” Workshop. This workshop will allow attendees to gain insight and knowledge from accomplished leaders, learn powerful and assertive communication tools, and help women thrive in their community. For information on registering, a schedule of events, and a list of the amazing speakers, please visit

Wednesday, February 12 UM Charles Regional Medical Center Nagula Conference Room 5 Garrett Avenue La Plata, MD 5 – 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 29 Calvert Marine Museum Harms Gallery Event Room 14200 Solomons Island Road Solomons, MD 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

CRMC Celebration Gala To Honor Nurses

Calvert Bridal Expo

The World Health Organization has designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse” in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. To help celebrate this milestone and salute an integral part of their workforce, the CRMC Foundation is pleased to host Celebration Gala: the Power of Caring. This year’s gala includes three levels of reservations: Gala VIP Dinner, Gala Admission, and “Late Night.” For tickets and sponsorship information visit or call 301-609-4132.

The 12th Annual Calvert Bridal Expo brings the BEST local wedding professionals to you in one great show! Couples will find everything they need to complete their dream wedding. Fantastic prizes throughout the day and a GRAND PRIZE drawing! For more information visit

Saturday, February 29 Swan Point Yacht & Country Club 11550 Swan Point Boulevard Issue, MD 8 - 11:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 1 Hall at Huntingtown 4030 Old Town Road Huntingtown, MD 12 - 3 p.m.





Keep up with local events and community happenings at Looking to promote an upcoming event? Contact Ja n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 0 | 34 SOMDWoman_JanFeb2020_EventsPage_V2.indd 1

12/21/19 8:59 PM

POW ER ED BY CO LLEG E O F S O UTH ER N MARYLAN D EXPE R T S I N TR AI N I N G AN D D EVELO PI N G YO U R B U S I N ES S ' N E E DS : • I n n ova t i ve l e a d e r s h i p a n d p rofe s s i o n a l d eve l o p m e nt co u r s e s • I T a n d cy b e r s e cu r i t y t ra i n i n g a n d ce r t i f i ca t i o n • S k i l l s t ra i n i n g fo r h e a l t h ca re, b u s i n e s s , t ra d e s , a n d t ra n s p o r ta t i o n • D i ve r s e l e a r n i n g fo r m a t s a n d co nte nt to f i t yo u r b u s i n e s s n e e d s Yo u r strate g i c p a r tn e r to i d e nti f y a n d d e l ive r fl ex i b l e a n d i n n ovative e m p l oye e tra i n i n g s o l uti o n s .


Now Registering for

NINJA SUMMER CAMP Sign Up By January 30th for Big Savings on Tuition! CALL FOR DETAILS.

BLACK BELT ACADEMY Make this the best summer ever for your little ninja warrior!


Sign up early to reserve your spot

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



Wildewood Shopping Center 23415 Three Notch Rd California, MD



10750 Town Center Blvd Dunkirk, MD


Lexington Park

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



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


2-Week Trial Membership - Only $19.00 Offer Expires March 1st, 2020 | 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

Profile for southernmarylandwoman

Southern Maryland Woman - January/February 2020  

It’s our 4th annual guide to saying ‘I Do’ in Southern Maryland! Planning a wedding can be stressful, so let us help. Learn about the benefi...

Southern Maryland Woman - January/February 2020  

It’s our 4th annual guide to saying ‘I Do’ in Southern Maryland! Planning a wedding can be stressful, so let us help. Learn about the benefi...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded