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UNWRAP THE SPIRIT OF GIVING!

MODERN WOMAN FALL/WINTER 2017

109 T GREA GIFT S IDEA

A “time to be selfless and give back”

Cat Cora

Savors the Season!

REASONS FOR THE SEASON HASSLE-FREE HOSTING AMAZING WINTER GETAWAYS


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MODERN WOMAN FALL/WINTER 2017

FEATURES

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Helping others reaps joyful rewards year-round

A curated list of great gifts for everyone on your list

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Iron Chef dishes on staying balanced

Test your mettle by trying a new winter sport

ACTS OF KINDNESS

FROSTY FROLICS

GETTY IMAGES

CAT CORA’S LIFE RECIPE

THE RIGHT STUFF

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ENTERTAINING Try your hand at crafting holiday cards

ADVICE Relax and keep those resolutions Don’t sweat the small stuff this year FASHION Look your best for any fete

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FOOD International treats add flavor and richness to any holiday table

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TRAVEL Torchlight parades illuminate Utah resorts at Christmas

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Keep your personal information safe when you’re on the move

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Experience the season’s botanical beauty at Longwood Gardens

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HEALTH Ways to stay active, healthy and fit

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FAMILY Helpful hints for hosts to make all their guests feel at home

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FINAL ACT USA TODAY team members share their favorite holiday flicks

Add simmering spices to warm your home Deck the halls with festive finery

GOODWILL Tap your talents to help nonprofits this season

All product prices and availability are subject to change.

MEET OUR MODERN WOMEN

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GENEROSITY Paige Chenault on paying it forward

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INSPIRATION Edna Ogwangi shares food and good fortune

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LEADERSHIP Kathleen Ruddy’s recommendations for maintaining health

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BIG HEARTS Sofia and DaShoan Olds open their home to seven kids

ON THE COVER: Cat Cora Photo by Chris Shelley

GETTY IMAGES; PEREZ PHOTOGRAPHY

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DEPARTMENTS


CONTRIBUTORS

PREMIUM PUBLICATION EDITORIAL

DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com

MARY HELEN BERG Berg writes from sunny Los Angeles, but she remembers ice skating, skiing and sledding during her Midwest childhood. In this issue, she explores less traditional cold-weather adventures (page 52) that are guaranteed to pump up the New Year. Berg is a frequent contributor to USA TODAY publications, and after writing this piece, she’s ready to try climbing a glacier.

CINDY KUZMA Kuzma is a Chicago-based freelance health and fitness writer, a contributing editor at Runner’s World magazine and frequent contributor to USA TODAY publications. She was fascinated to learn that chef Cat Cora (page 44) earned a degree in exercise physiology before she went to culinary school and appreciated the way the restaurateur balances her commitments.

ISSUE EDITOR Patricia Kime EDITORS Amy Sinatra Ayers Tracy Scott Forson Sara Schwartz Debbie Williams ISSUE DESIGNER Miranda Pellicano DESIGNERS Amira N. Martin Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Karen Asp, Mary Helen Berg, Hollie Deese, Maisy Fernandez, Pam George, Kaycee Hubbard, Kyndall Hubbard, Quinn Kelley, Zoe King, Cindy Kuzma, Jennifer E. Mabry, Janene Mascarella, Lisa Meyers McClintick, Peggy J. Noonan, Cheryl Rodewig, Evamarie Socha, Suzanne Wright

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VP, ADVERTISING Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Justine Madden | (703) 854-5444 jmadden@usatoday.com

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FINANCE

CHERYL RODEWIG Rodewig, an awardwinning writer in Atlanta, began her journalism career shadowing troops on land, sea and air. Today, she focuses on more laidback features. She thought a story on hosting for the holidays (page 92) would be fairly tame, but it turns out that masterminding sleeping arrangements for a dozen adults and the occasional terrier demands finesse.

EVAMARIE SOCHA Socha, a writer and editor in Arlington, Va., enjoyed sharing her late mother’s recipe for makowiec, or poppy seed roll, a family favorite holiday food tradition (page 72). Having grown up in Pennsylvania coal country, she ate pierogies, haluski and other Polish classics, and felt at home interviewing others who shared their favorite dishes served during the holiday season.

BILLING COORDINATOR Julie Marco This is a product of

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WILLIAMS SONOMA

SPICE IT UP Treat the special chef or hostess in your life to this handmade red chili wreath. Its rich holiday hues come from hand-harvested, organic components, including dried marjoram, sage, savory, bay leaves and orange safflower.


UP FRONT | ENTERTAINING

DIY CARD TIPS

ALL YOU NEED IS YOURSELF AND A PEN

Perfect penmanship adds a personal touch to holiday greetings BY JENNIFER E. MABRY

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wo years ago, Bostonians Meg Chaloner and Julie Mancini had a serendipitous encounter at a wedding vendor event, where they bonded over their love of calligraphy and using lettering to create beautiful wedding invitations and ephemera. “We started talking, liked each other and thought we could collaborate to (teach) a holiday card class, like a one-time thing. We were able to get 50 women to signup,” says Chaloner. The pair’s focus was simple: “teaching the girls how to make their holiday envelopes pretty,” Chaloner says. Following their initial class, students asked when the next would be held, which led to a business collaboration and the official formation of Sip & Script calligraphy and card-making classes. Mancini says the holidays are an especially “giddy” time, “because it’s the one time of the year where you do have the chance to reach out to all of your family and friends. And it’s nice for people to receive something in the mail that isn’t a bill. It just brightens up their day.” According to Mia Semingson, co-owner of Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colo., boxed holiday card sales have declined in the past decade. But sales of single, designercrafted holiday cards have increased and stationery sales remain strong — an indication, she says, that “people are still writing.” “It’s not like our business model has changed. ... And we still sell a lot,” Semingson says. Whether you dress up boxed cards, send individual ones or make your own, Chaloner and Mancini recommend personalizing them with calligraphy, stenciling or pretty pens. Most of all, they add, have fun and use your imagination.

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PRACTICE Use cards or envelopes similar to ones you plan to send so you get a feel for the amount of space needed between characters and addressee lines. Or purchase a stencil rule like the Lettermate to serve as a guide and provide a professional look. A FaberCastell kneaded eraser is inexpensive and leaves no trace.

MIX IT UP, LITERALLY Pair cursive with blocked lettering. Or, print out different fonts on a computer, cut them out and paste in between handwritten letters.

AND SWITCH THINGS UP Instead of using the standard white envelopes for holiday cards, use colored ones. — Jennifer E. Mabry

GETTY IMAGES; ILLUSTRATIONS: AMIRA MARTIN

The Write Stuff

You don’t need a fancy calligraphy holder, nib and ink, although those are beautiful. Try metallic pens, Sharpie pens, colored markers and calligraphy markers, which can help achieve a similar effect.


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UP FRONT | ENTERTAINING

Scentsational Homes These DIY fragrances will spice up your holidays BY LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

you arrive,” says Lynn Lilly, founder of Atlanta-based Craft Box Girls, a Webbased business devoted to creative crafts (craftboxgirls.com). “It’s one of the first things people notice.” As a bonus, these homemade recipes can be packaged and given as gifts to send home with friends and family.

For a delicious scent that doubles as a tasty hot beverage, try this nonSERVE A alcoholic Christmas FRAGRANT cider or add a splash CIDER of bourbon for a grown-up twist.

Ingredients:

Simmer equal amounts of apple and cranberry juice (60-ounce bottles work well); flavor and garnish with: 4-6 cinnamon sticks 1 fresh apple, thinly sliced 1 cup fresh cranberries

MIRANDA PELLICANO; STYLED BY LISA M. ZILKA

W

hen your door opens to guests for the holidays, draw them in with evocative, good-vibe aromas such as vanilla, cinnamon and rosemary, spiced punch or fresh Christmas forests. “The scent sets the tone right when


SIMMER SCENTS

Fill pint-size canning jars three-quarters full with water. Add herbs and ingredients and store up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Simmer mix about 20 minutes before guests arrive. Add more water to refresh; the mixtures can be used two more times. The following medleys will get you started:

CLASSIC HOLIDAY MIX Ingredients:

Sliced red apples 8-10 drops of vanilla extract Whole cloves Cinnamon sticks

UPBEAT COCKTAIL PARTY Ingredients: Fresh cranberries

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary 8-10 drops peppermint extract

Potpourri — a blend of decorative botanicals and organic oils such as balsam or citrus — can be made from fresh flower petals, rose hips and orange peels you can dry at home. MIX A Add pine cones, bark or even lichen from Southern trees, POTPOURRI according to Melissa Lettick, the “herb lady,” who handcrafts and sells potpourri nationwide from her studio in West Virginia (theherbladyco.com). Mix a batch and refresh with oils as needed.

Ingredients:

4 cups cedar chips 2 cups red rose petals 1½ cups red rose buds 1½ cups hemlock cones 1½ cups dried

orange peel ½ cup bakuli pods ½ cup curly pods ½ cup star anise Sprinkle of favorite organic oil

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ENTERTAINING | UP FRONT

Merry & Bright Dress your home for this special season BY HOLLIE DEESE

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Greet guests with a Frosted Sprig Wreath. u$58.99, bedbathand beyond.com

I

t’s time to deck the halls and walls and get ready for the merriest time of the year. From announcing the start of the season with a wreath to adding soft lighting to every room in the house, we’ll help you get ready to celebrate.

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UP FRONT | ENTERTAINING

8 LIGHTED NIGHTS Celebrate Hanukkah in style with a Gio Gio Design menorah.

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The elegant lotus flower menorah is made from bamboo. u$137.50, arteeni.com

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Add a homey touch with Mainstays Mason jar hanging lights. u$9.94, walmart.com

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The Glitter Sequins Christmas tree set adds sparkle to a table. u$36.59, jossandmain.com

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Grandin Road’s Harlequin Moose is wonderful and whimsical. u$249, grandinroad.com

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The striking Believe sculpture shares the magic of the season. u$79, grandinroad.com

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UP FRONT | ADVICE

Resolve … to Keep Those Resolutions You can reach your goals this year BY KAREN ASP

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ew Year’s resolutions are easy to choosing what to address can be tricky. Codd make, and for most of us, also easy recommends asking several questions to to break, with nearly 60 percent identify what matters most to you. If you died of people dropping them by July, tomorrow and your tombstone was inscribed according to University of Scranton research. If with what you stood for, what would it say? Can a resolution help you move in a direction you’ve never been part of the 40 percent, that’s you’d want listed? about to change, as experts weigh in on how Select goals for things that you can directly to create resolutions that stick. control, Kaiser says. This could be helping First, it’s helpful to understand why others, working toward greater overall physical individuals fail. The biggest reason? They’ve and emotional health or set their goals too high, says spending time with loved ones. Stacy Kaiser, a California-based YOU’RE NOT ALONE! Also, it’s helpful to consider licensed psychotherapist and whether being successful is editor at large of Live Happy tied to motivation or skill, or magazine. “Many of us have a both, experts say. Do you have tendency to create goals and the skills to make a change expectations that aren’t realistic of people drop their but struggle with motivation, for ourselves or our lifestyle,” she resolutions by July, or are you highly motivated says. “If our expectations are too according to the but don’t have the needed high or unreasonable, we have a University of Scranton skills? “These barriers imply harder time being successful and different strategies for making keeping them.” the change,” Codd says. For instance, if your Not only are most resolutions unrealistic, goal is to get to the gym more but you lack they’re also not created in a way that will motivation, find a workout buddy to spur make them effective. Setting them the you on. Or, if you’re trying to lose weight but SMART way — making sure they are specific, struggle with cravings, consult a nutrition measurable, attainable, results-focused expert to teach you how to handle urges. and time-bound — can help, says R. Trent Rallying a support system — family, friends Codd III, a behavior analyst and founder of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Center of — can help. Just don’t give up. “If you stray Western North Carolina in Asheville. from what you resolved to do, start over again Once you’ve decided to make a resolution, immediately,” Kaiser says.

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UP FRONT | ADVICE

Holidays, Destressed How to host an easier, happier gathering B Y L I S A ME Y E R S MC CL IN TICK

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author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. “That’s where we set ourselves up for failure.” To destress and enjoy gatherings to the fullest, she and other experts suggest simplifying the duties, adding a few activities to keep things lighthearted — and realizing mishaps and strong personalities can fuel the funniest memories for future gatherings. “We embrace the quirks,” Gottsman says. “It’s part of the rich recipe for the holidays.” Here’s a look at common stressors and tips for how to defuse them:

GIFT-GIVING BECOMES OVERWHELMING Streamline the process by giving only to kids, doing a family gift exchange, supporting a family in need or giving to a good cause, such as the Red Cross disaster relief.

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our niece’s electronics blew a fuse. The turkey fell on the floor. The cat tangled with the tree, and a political debate left Uncle Don gasping for his oxygen. Holidays can be filled with snafus and emotional land mines, whether it’s keeping the house and meals humming, blending multiple generations and personalities or the nervous introduction of a prospective new family member. Many holiday hosts “want everything to be perfect,” says national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman,


PLANNING ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE

DISAGREE AGREE

POLITICS ARE BREWING Everyone has their own perspective, says Stephen Hecht, co-author of Nonflict: The Art of Everyday Peacemaking, and that usually can’t be budged during a heated debate. Instead of jumping in, listen actively and respectfully, acknowledge what’s been said and then move on to other topics. “You don’t have to agree or disagree,” he says.

Skip the elaborate menu. Plan mostly make-ahead meals and make things easier on yourself by picking up side dishes and rolls or buns from a local deli, bakery or grocer. Accept help from guests who can bring additional food, beverages or between-meal munchies. Suggest those with specific dietary needs or a different heritage introduce some of their holiday favorites with their meal contributions.

KIDS ARE BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS

GUESTS MAY BE AWOL Be flexible with schedules and consider a holiday gathering that doesn’t fall on peak dates. A party before the holiday can actually lower subsequent stress if holiday tasks are undertaken as part of the festivities, Gottsman says. Guests can make homemade gifts, bake cookies or prepare make-ahead dishes such as homemade ravioli or meatballs.

NEWCOMERS FEEL AWKWARD Try an ice-breaker to help make everyone feel comfortable and discover what they have in common, says Hecht. “We often focus on differences, but if we can focus on commonalities, differences often take care of themselves,” he says.

Ask a teen or favorite aunt or uncle to help plan a few activities, such as setting up a designated craft and coloring table or a corner where children can play dress-up or have fun with interactive toys, says Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach in Florida. Let teens take over a room to watch classic holiday movies. If the house is feeling crowded, send kids outside to play, attend a community event or do something as a group, such as bowling.

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FASHION | UP FRONT

Nha Khanh shortsleeved metallic dress, $450, Nha Khahn

Festive Fetes Shine, sparkle and celebrate in dazzling dresses, head-turning shoes and fabulous accessories BY JANENE MASCARELLA

LAGOS North Star caviar diamond ring, $1,500, bloomingdales. com Alexia Admor red lace dress, rental, $30-$45; retail, $285, renttherunway. com Eddie Borgo cone drop earrings, rental, $25; retail, $200, renttherunway. com

DVF Pink Love clutch, rental, $75; retail, $498, renttherunway.com

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Gianvito Rossi feather and satin sandal, $1,195, saksfifthavenue.com

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Azazie Nadia floor-length gown, $139, azazie.com

Marlyn Schiff crystal starburst necklace, $62, marlynschiff.com

Stellar pavĂŠ gold ring, $49, stelladot.com

Sarah Flint Roann pump, $645, sarahflint.com

Aurora clutch by Badgley Mischka, $199, nordstrom.com

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Edie Parker Wolf clutch, $1,595, saksfifthavenue.com

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Nissa Jewelry Mia ball drop earrings, $48, nissajewelry.com


Elise M. Phoebe earrings, rental, $10; retail, $38, renttherunway. com

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Slate & Willow gold garland paisley dress, rental, $30 to $60; retail, $300, renttherunway. com

Eric Javits Sandra clutch, $475, ericjavits.com

Pollice Lee Petra sparkling pump, $377, pollicelee.com

Kenneth Jay Lane Anne crystal teardrop earrings, rental, $30; retail, $175, renttherunway. com

Adrianna Papell WorldClassy fit and flare dress, $149.99, modcloth.com

Gianvito Rossi feather and satin sandal, $1,195, saksfifthavenue.com

Saylor Dillon blouse, rental, $50; retail, $290, renttherunway.com

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The Reason for the Season Acts of kindness beget holiday joy

GETTY IMAGES

BY SUZANNE WRIGHT


Gu at em ala

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GETTY IMAGES; PEDRO TORREZ; DAVE HIGGINS; HUMANE SOCIETY OF MISSOURI

k Yor New

ne of the enduring pleasures of the holidays is being surrounded by loving family and friends. When we are gathered together in celebration, sharing favorite foods and exchanging gifts, it can be easy to forget those who aren’t as fortunate. But many Americans are generous. That’s why so many families, businesses, churches and social groups mount grassroots efforts during the holidays to brighten the lives of others in their communities and beyond. This spirit of giving benefits more than the recipients. Science shows that doing good for others is good for you. In fact, several studies indicate that helping others can lower blood pressure, decrease stress and increase happiness. “(It is) a blessing to us and a reminder to remain humble and grateful not just during the holidays, but year-round,” says Samantha

Torrez, who, along with her husband, Pedro, gives baskets loaded with food and necessities to residents of a Guatemalan village. While writing a check to a favorite charity is a great way to contribute, there’s something to be said for the hands-on surge of satisfaction felt when directly engaging in acts of kindness. That rush is why volunteering becomes a lifelong habit for many.

EXPANDING THE FAMILY Upstate New York in winter can be frigid. Despite the weather, a forest clearing becomes a place of fellowship that warms spirits and bodies in equal measure — and even inspired a children’s book. Author Phyllis Alsdurf wrote Thanksgiving in the Woods, based on the annual meal her brother, Dick Gibbs, and his wife Shari hold every year on their 200-acre farm in Albany. Family, friends and strangers are welcome to

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The Reason for the Season

other staples, put them in baskets and deliver them to residents of his birth village. This past Christmas, with the help of family and friends, the Torrezes gave out 100 baskets. This year, with a donation from Pedro’s employer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, they plan to assist 150 families. “People overlook the power of small gifts and actions, but sometimes the smallest things can have a huge impact on someone else’s life,” says Pedro. “When your actions come from a place of love, they have a tremendous effect on others and can often create a ripple effect.”

PEOPLE OVERLOOK THE POWER OF SMALL GIFTS AND ACTIONS, BUT SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST THINGS CAN HAVE A HUGE IMPACT.” — Pedro Torrez, Pittsburgh, Pa.

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a feast from dawn to dusk. Alsdurf says the tradition started as a conversation around the kitchen table 20 years ago. The couple, whom she describes as “wonderfully inclusive,” often hosted large gatherings for relatives and friends. The event became an extension of that spirit. “Early in the morning, sun shafts of light coming through the frosty limbs of hemlock and six to eight hardcore mountain bike riders come through for the first feeding,” says Alsdurf. “We have two to three fires going with mulled apple cider, bagels, New England clam chowder and chili.” The main gathering starts at 1 p.m. with the clang of the dinner bell. The entire group, more than 100 strong, holds hands and sings the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts and then everyone digs in. “There is harmony in seeing people from a wide range of origins feel a sense of thanks and community, if only for a few hours,” Alsdurf says. “Afghan refugees, displaced people from Serbia, Croatia, New York City and many other parts of the world come back year after year.”

GIFTING WELCOMED NECESSITIES Farther south, the Torrezes, who met at Pennsylvania’s Waynesburg University where students are encouraged to transform their communities and the world, take part in a different group celebration. Pedro, who is from San Cristobal Verapaz, Guatemala, launched a tradition three years ago called The Christmas Basket Project. He and Samantha buy rice, beans, soup and

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

LEVERAGING WORK Five years ago, Penny Sansevieri, CEO of a San Diego-based public relations firm, “adopted” a group of soldiers. The initiative was born from conversations with her female employees, including Amy Cornell of Clarksville, Tenn., whose husband, Carson, an Army warrant officer stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., was deployed to the Middle East last Christmas. Sansevieri says she was shocked to find out how overlooked troops are during the holidays. So she marshaled her team and sent 25 boxes packed with difficult-to-obtain necessities and special treats to Afghanistan. “It’s amazing how uplifting it is for us to receive some form of thanks, even a small token of appreciation like a new pair of wool socks and some snacks,” says Carson. “Despite everything going on stateside, that people remember we’re

GETTY IMAGES; DAVE HIGGINS

Thanksgiving in the Woods


O YT EAS THE S ’ IT RE SHA

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Inspired to brighten someone’s holiday? Penny Sansevieri has some tips on how to start your own holiday giving tradition:

William Bruck and dog Nash visit Vietnam veteran Jerry Brossia.

away from our families means the world to us.”

WILLIAM BRUCK; GETTY IMAGES

FUN WITH FURRY FRIENDS With his 100-pound Newfoundland Nash playing the role of Rudolph, Army reservist William Bruck slips on his Santa hat, loads up his “sleigh” — a mini SUV — with community donations of toiletries, gloves, socks and gift cards, and goes door-to-door, spreading cheer to aging veterans in Monroe, Mich. “As a veteran myself, I want them to know they are

appreciated by the community; they are not forgotten,” says Bruck, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Bruck began working with Nash last holiday season; the handsome therapy dog is Bruck’s “secret weapon” to bring many seniors out of their shells. “He is a big dog, so when he sits, his head is eye-level with someone in a wheelchair. It doesn’t take long for seniors to reach out to him, pet him and love on him. They see him and instantly smile.” It’s also a family affair: Bruck has eight kids, some of whom accompany Dad on deliveries and are a hit with seniors. “When you give, you always seem to receive blessings in return,” Bruck says. Also on the dog front, Sara and Dan McGinnis and their three children volunteer at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis, where they read to shelter animals to provide comfort and socialization. Their daughter, Claire, 12, says the dogs are scared at first, but quickly warm up to her. “It's just something fun to do!” she says. l

Find a Connection Community leaders know people in need. Chaplains, churches, schools and civic clubs are great resources. Start Now It takes time to solicit donations, shop, wrap and send gifts. The earlier you start, the better. Give Necessities They are just as welcome as treats. Make it Personal Handwritten letters and cards add a special touch.

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1 These Signature Spa oval soap bars by Carved Solutions are personalized and practical. $29.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

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5 The pretty packaging of the Homekeros Copper Boston shaker set spreads yuletide cheer. $28.99, amazon.com

2 Bring the hostess baked goods in a Cook’s Essentials Savannah four-piece bakeware set. $25.98, qvc.com

4 This luxe Thirstystone four-piece marble salt and pepper pinch set dresses up a kitchen counter or dining room table. $15.99, wayfair.com

6 Dana’s Bakery champagne and strawberries macarons sweet show your thanks. $34.50, danasbakery.com

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

7 The Void incense diffuser has a cool modern design and comes in three colors. $127, freepeople.com 8 Finger foods and holiday cookies will stand out on this festive Mariposa sled serving centerpiece. $235, Neiman Marcus

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© 2017 Acer America Corporation. All rights reserved. Acer and the Acer logo are registered trademarks of Acer Inc. Other trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or service marks, indicated or otherwise, are the property of their respective owners. Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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2 Humble House’s German-style crock set lets you make sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles with a water-sealed jar, lid and weights. $79.95, amazon. com

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3 Pampered Chef’s fluted chocolate mold turns out pretty after-dinner treats. $11, pamperedchef.com

5 The sharp-edged Misen chef’s knife comes in three handle colors, including silver. $65, misen.co

4 Farm-to-table aficionados will appreciate Back to the Roots’ kits, which let them grow their own herbs, produce or mushrooms. Starting at $19.99, backtothe roots.com

6 Barbecue kings and queens will love this Bazaar Spices rubs sampler kit. $26, bazaarspices.com

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

7 For a welcomed indulgence, give the home chef a jar of da Rosario

organic truffle butter. $32 for two 2-ounce jars, darosario.com 8 Delivery Italiano ships authentic Italian ingredients like artisanal pasta, homemade sauces and boutique chocolates, paired with celebrity chef recipes. Subscriptions start at $39.99, delivery italiano.com

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

1 The EatSmart Precision digital kitchen scale has a slim design and automatic shut-off. $9.99, eatsmartproducts.com


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1 Meccano Erector’s M.A.X. robotic interactive toy uses artificial intelligence, allowing budding engineers to program and personalize their robot. $149, Target 2 Combine science and snack time with an edible chemistry kit. $18, uncommongoods.com

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3 Spin Master’s Hatchimals Colleggtibles 12-pack egg carton, $37.99, amazon.com 4 The Pulse Performance EM-1000 electric dirt bike goes up to 10 mph. $189.04, Walmart 5 Shrinky Dinks and fashion converge in the Alex Toys’ Sweet Treats

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jewelry-making kit. $24.99, Alexbrands.com. 6 Strap Bravo Sports’ Spider-Man Heel Wheels over shoes to rock ‘n’ roll down the streets. The wheels come in multiple characters, including Trolls, PAW Patrol and more. $19.99, Target

7 The Little Passports’ Explorer Kits open up the world, focusing each month on a new country. Subscriptions start at $12.95, littlepassports.com 8 The Teeter Popper can be used for sitting, rocking, standing and balance and is a great indoor activity during the winter months. $37, landofnod.com

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1 Maybelle Imase-Stukuls’ Belle Calligraphy starter kit comes with a pointed steel nib and holder, books, ink, labels and practice sheets. $30, anthropologie.com 2 Make crafting more portable with this Typography Let’s Make Stuff tote bag. $10.95, zazzle.com

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3 Woolbuddy’s owl stuffed animal kit includes everything needed to make a wise friend, which can be hung in a window or on a tree by a loop. $18, thegrommet.com 4 The Boho Mix Washi Tape Tube by Recollections comes in assorted colors, prints and sizes and can

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be used for scrapbooking, journals, gift wrapping and more. $8, michaels.com 5 Chronicle Books’ Bright Ideas double-ended brush pens feature both fine-tip and broad sides. $24.99, modcloth.com 6 Store yarn in the adorable handmade

Sherman the Sheep bowl, $58, uncommongoods.com 7 Get creative with the Carve-A-Stamp kit, $21, yellowowlworkshop.com 8 The artist-designed felt kit includes everything crafters need to create 18 felt succulents. $20, uncommongoods.com

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

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1 Print and share photos from a smartphone with the Canon Selphy CP1300 Wi-Fi-enabled printer. $129.99, shop.usa.canon. com 2 Instantly print photos in full color with the Fujifilm Instax mini 9 camera. $69.99, target.com

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3 The Üllo wine purifier filters out excessive sulfites. $79.99, bestbuy.com

Livescribe 3 Smartpen black edition. $179.95, store.livescribe.com

4 The tiny Pocket Tin speaker gives your smartphone big sound. $36, uncommongoods.com

6 Google Home answers your questions and makes hands-free calls. $129, store.google.com

5 Convert handwriting into digital text and search your notes easily with the

7 Go nearly 14 miles on one charge with the Sharper Image hoverboard, which

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

includes a gyroscope to keep riders upright and a learning mode for getting around quickly. $299.99, sharperimage.com 8 Find missing keys, wallet, phone or other misplaced devices — even on silent — with the Bluetooth-powered TrackR Bravo. $29.99, store. thetrackr.com

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

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1 The Fitbit Alta HR activity tracker + heart rate quickly detects when users exercise. $129.95, bestbuy.com 2 Beats by Dr. Dre Solo3 wireless headphones boast super chic colors like purple and rose gold. $299.99, Best Buy

3 Symple Stuff’s exercise ball chair combines ball therapy with a comfortable seat. $116.99, wayfair.com 4 The Dash Pro wireless intelligent earphones are waterproof and have a lightweight ergonomic design with 30 hours of battery life. $329, bragi.com

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5 Send a message with the Happy Hour sports bottle. $20, dormify.com 6 The Go-H20 waterproof hooded anorak comes in three colors in sizes XS-XXL. $54.99, oldnavy.com 7 Be the envy of the locker room with this stylish Balsa 201 studio boxing bag.

$165, carbon38.com 8 Under Armour’s Charged Rebel sneakers offer superior support in five fashionable patterns. $79.99, zappos.com 9 The under-desk Cubii Jr. elliptical will be a favorite gift for any multitasker. $249, mycubii.com

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1 Arianna Skincare’s spa kit for men contains Dead Sea minerals. $340, arianna-skincare.com 2 H&M’s soft camo scarf will keep him warm and cozy. $12.99, hm.com 3 Garmin’s Fēnix 2 Special Edition fitness watch tracks distance,

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heart rate and pace and even calculates recovery time. $399.99, garmin.com 4 Packed with new features such as face ID and the A11 Bionic chip with neural engine, the iPhone X introduces an all-screen display. Starting at $999, apple.com

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5 The SoundLink micro Bluetooth speaker is Bose’s smallest, most rugged, portable speaker yet. $109.95, bose.com

bomber jacket is fully waterproof and features 600-fill down for superior warmth. $249, landsend. com

6 Used like ice cubes, Food Network whiskey stones chill drinks without diluting. $24.49, kohls.com

8 Chunky high-top Sami sneakers with lace closure may be neutral in color but are anything but boring with their modern design. $560, acnestudios.com

7 The Land’s End camo

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1 Make tea extra special with the Old Dutch hammered solid copper tea kettle. $110.99, JC Penney

3 The Liberty for Anthropologie mug comes in three floral patterns, $16, Anthropologie

2 The Accessory Collective stripe scarf doubles as a cozy wrap. $24, Nordstrom

4 Color meets form with this upcycled cotton robe made from the remnants of reclaimed saris. $58, uncommongoods.com

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5 Savor soothing scents like lavender and help young moms at the same time: Bright Endeavors candles hires women who need a helping hand. $7.99-$24.99, brightendeavors.org 6 Twelve NYC’s snooze eye mask, $20, bloomingdales.com

7 The adorable slow brew sloth tea infuser will brighten anyone’s day. $9.99, perpetualkid.com 8 Wildflowers bath salts, $26, freepeople.com 9 UGG Dawson faux-fur throw blanket, $69.99, bedbathandbeyond.com

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

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1 Petco’s line of Star Wars merchandise includes these cute C-3PO and R2-D2 mice cat toys. $3.69, petco. com

3 Animals will feel safe and snug inside the Snoozer Cozy Cave dog bed. $59.95, precious-petsparadise.com

5 Cats can create funky beats on the cardboard DJ Cat scratching pad shaped like a turntable. $35, uncommongoods.com

2 Cat Bingo brings a fun twist to the traditional game as players learn the names, colors and characteristics of their favorite breeds. $29.94, wordery.com

4 Fetch just got high-tech with the iFetch launcher, complete with mini tennis balls for indoor play. $115, shop.goifetch.com

6 The Train n’ Praise treat dispenser rewards good behavior from up to 25 feet with a hand-held remote. $84.99, petsafe.net

7 The purchase of a Dog Side duvet cover and pillowcase set provides 214 bowls of food for rescue animals. $49.95, theanimalrescuesite.com 8 Give the gift of monthly surprises with a subscription to dog-gift delivery service Bark Box. $21-$29 per month, barkbox.com

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1 The Food Network Sentiments four-piece stemless wine set could come in handy on the next ladies’ night. $29.99, Kohl’s 2 Banana Republic’s stunning encrusted velvet necklace features glittering crystals. $54.50, Banana Republic 3 Treat your favorite lady to a fun, made-to-order custom Twiggy Originals portrait by

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Carla Terwilleger. Starting at $175, twiggyoriginals.com 4 Pandora’s sterling silver, spinel and cubic zirconia legacy ring adds a dash of sparkle to casual or dressy outfits. $125, Bloomingdale’s 5 This faux-fur scarf will help her stay warm and accessorized. $19.99, Target

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

6 The makeup lover in your life will appreciate this pink snakeskin brush set, which comes with 15 personalized brushes. $195, mymakeupbrushes.com

8 Useful and super stylish, the Kate Spade battery bank ensures that the lucky recipient never runs out of juice for her devices. $60, katespade.com

7 The Carolina Herrera Good Girl gift set features an eau de parfum in a high-heel shaped dispenser, plus a travel spray and body lotion in tuberose and jasmine sambac notes. $120, Macy’s

9 The Elizabeth and James A Little Bit of Nirvana gift set includes four signature fragrances: Nirvana Bourbon, Nirvana Rose, Nirvana White and Nirvana Black. $48, Sephora.

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t Cora shares her recipe for a happ a C f e h y life Iron C

BY CINDY KUZMA

She may be a best-selling author, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the star of multiple Food Network shows, but as the holidays near, famed chef Cat Cora transforms into the foreman of a pop-up

GETTY IMAGES

mustard factory, located in the kitchen of her Santa Barbara, Calif., home. >


COOKING WITH COMPASSION

g n i h t g n i t i c x e “The most .” g n i t a e r c s i in the world With the help of assistants like her four sons — 14-year-old Zoran, 10-year-old Caje, and Nash and Thatcher, both 8 — she cranks out batch after batch of her grandmother Alma’s famous spicy, sweet mustard. She packs it in Mason jars, which she tops with ribbons and crafty tags. They become gifts to friends, the dentist, the pediatrician, her sons’ teachers — all of whom wonder whether they’ve made the list this time around. “It’s something you put your heart into,” Cora says. “You took the time and effort to make something special.” Holidays have always been about the heart for Cora. Growing up in Mississippi, her schoolteacher father and nurse mother didn’t have much money, but they worked hard to make the time memorable for Cora and her brothers. Every Thanksgiving, her parents would invite anyone who didn’t have a place to go. On Christmas, the family meal often was followed by caroling at her mother’s patients’ homes. Even if she never got most of the presents she painstakingly circled in the J.C. Penney catalog, “I always felt like we were rich in other ways,” Cora says. That heritage of generosity and hospitality may explain why she remains especially proud of Cat Cora’s Kitchen, with locations in airports such as San Francisco and Houston, even as she just opened her fourth standalone restaurant, Fatbird Southern Kitchen and Bar, in New York. Around the holidays, Cora decorates each of her restaurants festively and adds comforting food and drink specials to the menu. Offering thousands of weary travelers a moment of refuge and cheer exemplifies the true spirit of the season, she says. And just as her family welcomed

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

neighbors to the holiday table, Cora takes care of her staff. When Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, several of the 32 Cat Cora’s Kitchen employees lost their homes. Cora and her team responded by donating to the Houston Airport Interfaith Chapels’ Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, a volunteer organization sending more than 98 percent of the money raised directly to airport families affected by the storm. It isn’t the first time Cora has jumped to action in the wake of a Chef Cat Cora’s hurricane. Chefs for Humanity, the passion for the philanthropic organization she culinary arts is on started 13 years ago, played a key display at home, at role in relief efforts after Hurricane work and through Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. her charity. The organization acts as a sort of Doctors Without Borders for the culinary set, marshaling money and resources for food- and hunger-related emergencies and causes. After Katrina, Cora and other chefs affiliated with the group camped out near shelters, feeding about 3,000 displaced people daily with food saved from restaurants and casinos. The nonprofit also has raised funds for hunger relief in Haiti and joined forces with former first lady Michelle Obama to get chefs involved in children’s nutrition education. Cora finds the work an essential counterbalance to her time in front of the camera and helming kitchens. “You’re behind the scenes, doing things for someone else,” she says. “It’s an amazing time to be selfless and give back. That’s what it’s all about.” Long before she became a famous chef and philanthropist, Cora loved cooking, and her family’s dinner table boasted a fusion of flavors that inspired her creativity — her Greek father had feta and kalamata

GETTY IMAGES

— CAT CORA


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COOKING WITH COMPASSION

I ’m t a h w g n i o d “I ’m , t u o b a e t a n o i pass what I love.”

— CAT CORA

olives shipped to Mississippi, and her mother combined them with traditional recipes and local ingredients to make dishes like grits and feta and Southern-style greens with Greek olive oil. Cora landed her first kitchen job in 1992. As her passion for the profession grew — and on the advice of culinary icon Julia Child, an idol she first met at a book signing — she eventually enrolled in the renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Child also warned her that cooking was still a man’s world, and

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that she needed to be tough to thrive. But Cora was no stranger to feeling like an outsider: “I came out at age 19,” she says. “I was probably the only lesbian in Mississippi — the only out lesbian, anyway.” Empowered by ambition and the fighting spirit instilled in her by her feminist mother, she worked her way up through two Michelinstarred restaurants in France, where female chefs were an anomaly. After returning to the United States, she spent time in kitchens in New York and California, including a stint as chef de cuisine at Napa Valley’s Bistro Don Giovanni. Her TV career began somewhat serendipitously, when a television network in San Francisco asked her to do a segment, cooking a veal dish from Postino, where she worked at the time. She enjoyed the experience more than she’d dreamed — on camera, she felt a rush almost equal to what she’d experienced during pressure-packed shifts at some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens in France. So, she sent a tape to the then-brand-new Food Network, which was actively scouting for talent. The vice president of development called

PROVIDED BY CAT CORA; GETTY IMAGES

Cat Cora’s Kitchen has locations at Houston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City and San Francisco airports.


her two weeks later. In 2000, she made her debut as the co-host of Melting Pot with Rocco DiSpirito. In 2005, she blazed another trail, becoming the first female Iron Chef on the show of the same name. In 2012, she was the first female inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame. Today, she appears regularly on cooking and talk shows, has opened 18 restaurants across the U.S. and as far away as Singapore, collaborates on a line of cookware by Canadian company Starfrit and plans to expand into appliances, movies and voice-over work. It’s an eclectic mix of projects, but to Cora, it all fits together. “The most exciting thing in the world is creating — whether it’s a movie role, a pot and pan line, a restaurant or a beautiful dish I’m cooking for my family,” she says. “I’m doing what I’m passionate about, what I love. And I’m trying to spread positivity every day.” Cora balances it all with a bustling family life. She splits custody of her four sons with her ex-wife, Jennifer. The two divorced in 2015, and their bitter feud made headlines at the time. Cora is honest about the challenges: “My parents were married for 50 years,” she says. “I never experienced divorce as a kid. I had to really reach deep in myself and reflect on my part of it.” Fortunately, she says, the biggest storms have subsided, and the children have adjusted well. As the holidays approach, she and Jennifer each have scheduled days with the boys. And Cora has found new love — she’s engaged to producer Nicole Ehrlich, who has two boys of her own (Jonas, 12, and Gavin, 9). Cora grew up Greek Orthodox, and Nicole (and Jennifer) are Jewish. So the Cora household honors both traditions by celebrating Christmas and Hannukah, with copious gifts, matzo ball soup and roasted crab after Christmas Mass. “The traditions are rich, just like I grew up >

GETTY IMAGES; MELANIE THORTIS; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

Mesa Burger of Santa Barbara, Calif., specializes in gourmet, handcrafted menu items.

Cat Cora’s

FAVORI TE KI TCH EN G EAR For Cora, cooking can be as much about creating the right atmosphere as it is about using the appropriate tools and ingredients. Here are a few picks that make her kitchen joyful: NutriBullet PRO

Diptyque candle set

“I use my NutriBullet to make yummy healthy shakes for me and (fiancée) Nicole and quick smoothies for the boys. It’s good for blending anything quickly. Since it’s small, it takes up minimal space. It lives on my countertop and is used multiple times a day, every day.” $99.99, nutribullet.com

“I love burning aromatic candles to set the mood, whether it be for a romantic night for two or a festive themed soiree I’m hosting. Diptyque candles smell amazing, come in beautiful glass jars and are available in a variety of unique scents like coriander, tea, fig tree and moss.” $34-$295, diptyqueparis.com

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker

Seedsheet organic herb garden kit

“I always have my Bose speaker at the ready to combine two of my favorite things: cooking and music. You’ll never find me cooking in the kitchen and not simultaneously dancing around to some of my favorite streamed tunes. ... It can be heard from the kitchen to outdoors.” $179.95, bose.com

“I use fresh herbs when I’m cooking to enhance the flavor of my dishes without adding in any extra salt or fat. With a DIY organic herb garden kit, I can grow what I enjoy using the most ... It’s fun to get the kids involved so they can learn about gardening (and be willing to try) the ‘green stuff.’” From $14.99, seedsheets. com

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COOKING WITH COMPASSION

WANT THE RECIPE? Find Grandma Alma’s mustard recipe in Cat Cora’s Kitchen: Favorite Meals for Family and Friends.

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with,” she says. “There’s such a positivity in teaching the kids about the different languages and prayers. And charity is a big part of both religions, so they’re getting an amazing spiritual foundation and learning about giving back as well.” With six boys to consider and weeks of celebration, even a celebrity chef like Cora keeps her budget in mind when adorning her home for the holidays. She balances out a few pieces of finery — her grandmother’s tablecloth and the delicate glassware she doesn’t use every day — with simple and beautiful place settings crafted with candles, framed family photos, handwritten notes and antique salt and pepper shakers. For centerpieces, she goes for things she’ll put to use in the kitchen later, rather than spend extra cash on flowers. “It could be a vase of lemons or pomegranates or a bowl of beautiful artichokes,” she says. “All these little things that can really blossom your holidays.” In another nod to balance, Cora, who earned an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology, offsets the festive cocktails and

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

rich desserts of the season with regular workouts. She exercises every day, attending a bootcamp, or mixing it up with cycling, running or surfing. When she’s traveling or on set, she’ll set an alarm for 4 a.m., if she has to. Doing so not only keeps her on track with her health and wellness, it also relieves the stress of her hectic holiday schedule. And, she says, knowing she’ll sweat the next day keeps her mindful when she does enjoy a holiday treat — a message she hopes resonates with women who beat themselves up for indulgences. “We’re so hard on ourselves, especially modern women, and our expectations are so high,” she says. “Give yourself permission to be OK for a minute and enjoy the moment and that piece of pie, because you’re having it with your best friends and your family.” After all, it’s not the presents or the food that matter most. As delicious as her Christmas mustard may be, Cora knows that people value it the most because of what it represents — the time, tradition and love stirred into every jar. l

GETTY IMAGES; VIVIEN KILLILEA/GETTY IMAGES

Enjoy life’s desserts, Cat Cora says. “Give yourself permission to be OK.”


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FROSTY ADVENTURES BY MARY HELEN BERG

FOUR EXTREME OUTINGS TO KICK-START

2018

WHEN THE WEATHER outside is frightful — and the fire is so delightful — your instinct might be to grab a glass of wine or a cup of cocoa and hibernate until spring. But consider fighting that urge, grabbing your parka and scarf, and launching the New Year with a cold-weather adventure. >

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LUKE KANEB

White Iron Lake, Ely, Minn.

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— BETSY BRADBURY, KENNICOTT WILDERNESS GUIDES

n n n

WOOF: DOG SLEDDING

MUSH Run with huskies at Braeburn Siberians, Windsor, Vt.

braeburn siberians.com

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Bria Schurke grew up dog sledding and thinks mushing should be among your New Year’s resolutions. As a child, Schurke’s parents regularly bundled her in a sleeping bag, packed her onto a dog sled and took off across the snowy Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. As soon as she could handle a dog team, she began to guide mushing trips for the family business, Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, in Ely (dogsledding.com). The lodge offers dog sled daytrips, camping trips and vacation packages that range from $175 per adult for a half-day outing to more than $11,000 for a rugged 13-day excursion to Greenland or across the Arctic tundra. What’s best about dog sled-

ding, besides the chance to befriend a team of fluffy 75-pound Canadian Eskimo dogs? “It’s a very inclusive sport, and it allows people to be exposed to some really incredibly breathtaking scenery,” says Schurke, who also serves as marketing coordinator for the family’s clothing business, Wintergreen Northern Wear. Dogs can travel where cars and snowmobiles can’t, so sledding “opens up some untouched places for people that they may not even know exist.” You don’t have to train for the famous 1,000-mile Iditarod to experience the thrill of driving a dog team. Adventurers of nearly any age or fitness level can learn to drive a sled, Schurke says, and 63 percent of the 500 mushers who take a Wintergreen tour each year are women. Dog-sledding opportunities are available in at least a dozen states. In many places, a professional guide controls the team. At Wintergreen, novices learn to drive their own teams of two to eight dogs and memorize the voice commands such as “hike” (run), “gee” (right) and “haw” (left). In Windsor, Vt., Kathy Bennett and husband Alex MacLennan, owners of Braeburn Siberians (braeburnsiberians.com), drive teams of huskies for guests on short trips along the Sugar River in nearby New Hampshire. Many people rent a dog sled ($340 per sled for two hours) to celebrate special occasions and every year, couples get engaged with the dogs as witnesses, says Bennett. Whether you dog sled as an adventure sport or a romantic getaway, you’ll be part of an ancient human and canine connection that dates back 4,000 years. Dog sledding “embodies the spirit of adventure,” Schurke says. And as a bonus, “The majority of our clients fall in love with our dogs.” >

GETTY IMAGES; WILLY VOSBURGH, WINTERGREEN DOGSLED LODGE

IT’S A HUGE ADRENALINE RUSH. IT’S VERY, VERY SAFE, BUT IT FEELS VERY EXCITING.”

We’re not talking about skiing or ice skating. Kick it up a notch and snowkite across a frosty lake or drive a dog team through a glittering winter landscape. Several winter sports have an “extreme aspect” that give women a sense of triumph, says Gina Bégin, founder of the Outdoor Women’s Alliance, an international nonprofit that seeks to build women’s leadership skills and confidence through outdoor adventures. According to Bégin, conquering cold climates, high altitudes and tough conditions produces a sense of achievement that sticks with you. “I don’t know if (winter sports) give a quicker boost of confidence,” Bégin says. “But it sure does make you feel good about yourself.” And why not start 2018 with a boost of confidence? We’ve got four icy excursions guaranteed to invigorate.


1 | DOG SLEDDING Svalbard, Norway

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2 | SNOWKITING

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GO FLY A KITE: SNOWKITING SAIL Get max lift from the Ozone Summit V4 Complete kite.

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Mix a little snow with light wind and a wide-open space and you’ve got the perfect formula to zip around on a snowkite. Also called kite skiing, snowkiting is the winter version of kiteboarding, using wind power to glide riders over snowy fields, frozen lakes and up mountainsides. Corporate travel agent

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

Whitney Holcomb learned to snowkite with Utah Snowkite Center (utahsnowkite.com) based in Salt Lake City. Although she’s a scuba and skydiving instructor, she’d been intimidated to try snowkiting because it looked like it required too much strength. It turns out, that it “is easier than it looks,” says Holcomb, who snowkites in Alaska, too. “I’m not athletically inclined. I like to do sports that are a lot of fun but aren’t a lot of work.”

Specific equipment is needed to snowkite, including a helmet, harness, warm gloves, skis or a snowboard, and a foil or inflatable kite. Participants slip on skis, hook harnesses from their bodies to the kites, grab control of the bars and steer. Partners help launch the kite while the wind does much of the work. “The first time when I went up a hill on a board successfully, I felt like I had conquered something,” Holcomb recalls. In fact, it’s so thrilling, she adds,

UTAH SNOWKITE CENTER; OZONE KITES

Riding the wind in Utah


you forget how cold you are. Different size kites are needed for the types of wind, Holcomb says. Buying snowkite equipment can cost more than $1,000, but you can typically rent what you need. The sport carries a high risk of injury for those who don’t understand wind and snow conditions or the equipment, so a few lessons are recommended. At Utah Kite Center, an hourlong introductory clinic runs $75, while a more extensive group course is $350 for four hours. Holcomb bought private lessons before snowkiting alone and has never worried about getting hurt. To her, “snowkiting is the coolest thing there is for a winter sport.”

half- and full-day trips on the glacier, as well as multiday excursions for more experienced adventurers. (Guided trips for a group of four cost $145 per person.) With a skilled guide and the right equipment, you can safely explore glaciers throughout the year. KWG operates from May through September, when Alaska’s weather is mild, and Root Glacier’s crevasses, pools and moulins are clearly visible. Fall through spring however, is a different story: After a snow, glaciers can be much more dangerous because their

features are hidden. When snow is present, excursions are more rigorous and hikers usually rope together and use ice axes for climbing. Once you’re on a glacier, Bradbury says, you can also experience the thrill of ice climbing. Wearing a helmet and harness, you’re lowered by rope deep inside a moulin. Then, using ice axes and crampons, you climb your way out. “It’s a huge adrenaline rush,” Bradbury says. “It’s very, very safe, but it feels very exciting and like you’re pushing your limits.” >

3 | GLACIER HIKING

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ICE, ICE BABY: GLACIER HIKING Hike out 2 miles from the

GETTY IMAGES; BETSY BRADBURY

Kennicott Wilderness Guides (kennicottguides.com) office in southeast Alaska, strap on your crampons, (clawed footwear that provides traction on ice), and get ready to explore the dazzling expanse of Root Glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. From afar, glaciers are monolithic, otherworldly and intimidating. Up close, the ice is a spectacular, varied terrain dotted with azure pools, crevasses and moulins — vertical shafts cutting deep into the ice, says Betsy Bradbury, co-owner of Kennicott Wilderness Guides (KWG), which borders the 13 million-acre park. “Glaciers are extremely powerful,” says Bradbury. “They’ve carved so much of the landscape, all over the world really, but especially right here in my backyard.” Each year, KWG takes about 1,000 people on introductory

Root Glacier, Alaska

PICK Sink your ice ax into a glacier near Kennicott, Alaska.

kennicott guides.com

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4 | ICE FISHING Mille Lacs Lake, Minn.

ANGLING FOR ADVENTURE: ICE FISHING Have you ever ventured onto a frozen lake in the middle of winter to try to catch a fish? If you’re like most women, you probably haven’t. Only 9 percent of U.S. ice anglers are women, according to Richard Aiken of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Professional ice angler Barb Carey, of Oxford, Wis., wants to change this. Carey founded an all-female fishing club, Wisconsin Women Fish (wiwomenfish. com) 11 years ago, determined to bring women and their rods out on the ice. “You would not believe how beautiful it is,” she says. “I’ve seen the sun bouncing off the ice, and there’s all sorts of blue crystals and diamonds shining.

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Sometimes, the landscape of the ice feels like what the moon would feel like, and it’s kind of special because not everyone does this.” Wisconsin Women Fish has 250 members in six states and Canada. The small numbers of female ice fishers aren’t surprising, Carey says. “The biggest turnoff for women when you talk about ice fishing, is they don’t want to be cold.” But there’s encouraging news on the cold front. Advances in gear make the sport more accessible and less bone chilling. High-tech insulated clothing is windproof, waterproof, breathable and so lightweight it’s as comfy as pajamas, Carey says. Other technological advances are also making ice fishing more manageable for women, Carey says. While winter anglers once had to chop or hand drill through several feet

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

of ice, today, a battery-operated auger will bore the hole for you. Shelters have gone hightech, too. After all, who wants to risk frostbite sitting on an overturned bucket in a wooden shanty? Today’s fishing shelters are portable, tentlike structures with built-in seating and thermal insulation that can keep a whole fishing crew toasty all day. Find a mentor or local fishing club to get started, Carey advises. Ice can be dangerous, and thin ice can be fatal. And even if you don’t fall in love with fishing, you’ll be glad you tried it, she says. “Winter is a thing that people dread,” Carey adds. “But if you have something that’s exciting to do, it awakens you into the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than feeling that little bit of sting on your cheeks from the cold.” l

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MODERN WOMAN

’TIS THE SEASON GOODWILL 63

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FOOD 71

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TRAVEL 76

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HEALTH 85

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FAMILY 91

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FINAL ACT 96

PRETTY PARCELS

PAPER SOURCE; GETTY IMAGES

Show family and friends how much their love means to you with a token of your affection. Large or small, gifts are more meaningful when wrapped in handpicked paper. Find stunning trees, beautiful birds, playful sloths and skiing dogs at papersource.com.

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M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N |

Chenault’s BEST VOLUNTEER ADVICE

Q&A Best gift you ever got? In the second grade, I received a desk I wanted because I was always playing school, and I was the one in charge. When I walked into the (living) room that morning, I could not believe I was given a desk. Not only was it (a) beautiful white, it had two drawers with red handles. My parents spent all night putting it together. What I appreciated was the sentiment, how hard my parents worked (to afford it) and the labor of love.

PEREZ PHOTOGRAPHY; GETTY IMAGES

Favorite holiday movie? Home Alone. I grew up watching it, and I’ve probably seen it 250 times. I have two younger brothers and every Thanksgiving my family gets together and the movie kicks off the holiday season. There’s something about (Kevin) living independently as a kid that I was so excited about.

Where’s home for the holidays? Dallas Favorite holiday songs? O Holy Night, (Josh Groban’s rendition) and Handel’s Messiah

generosity

uTrust your intuition. It’s there for a reason. I believe that God was speaking to me in the moment (that I saw the photo); I believe that your gut tells you a lot, and I feel like we have to trust it. uBe courageous. I think it takes courage to talk about your idea out loud. And when we write that idea down, is when it becomes real. Those two steps are the most important in starting something like this.

PAIGE CHENAULT Founder, The Birthday Party Project

Eight years ago, the image of an impoverished child in a magazine inspired Paige Chenault to rethink how she used her talents as an event planner. She decided to switch career tracks, coming up with the idea of throwing birthday parties for children at homeless shelters and transitional living facilities. She wanted to give gifts of appreciation to kids whose parents are struggling to make ends meet. As The Birthday Party Project has grown, so has the village it takes to sustain it: more than 14,000 birthday “enthusiasts” — Chenault’s volunteers — and 90 party coordinators have celebrated the birthdays of 4,500 children, with 30,000 guests. — Jennifer E. Mabry

uBe kind. How we treat each other now, very much impacts the journey and the next steps. I say this a lot, and I really do mean it: People matter most to me. The people I built relationships with before The Birthday Party Project were the ones who helped carry this from an idea to an incredible mission. uSeek wise counsel. Who do you trust, who do you know, and who do you want to know? Bring the people you love together to help you. Reach out to others in the (industry). Ask for advice.

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goodwill

Helping Hands Volunteering can nourish the spirit BY EVAMARIE SOCHA

SEIZE THE DAY Katy Tomasulo, a social media expert living in Bainbridge Island, Wash., now lends a hand

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at the Seattle Animal Shelter, volunteering behind the scenes. Tomasulo loves her full-time social media job and applying that expertise helps the shelter spread its message. “Everybody has a skill they can contribute,” she says. “This is a fun outlet to use my skill set. It’s fun to post about dogs and cats and adoption stories.” Tomasulo says it’s important to give of yourself and do what you can, when you can: “Right now, it’s a time in my life where I don’t have a lot of additional commitments or things holding me back. There may be times where that’s not always the case. If you have the time and are able,

I think it’s important to be a good citizen.” Any small act of kindness spreads cheer, during the holidays and beyond. Find your niche and you may tap a giving spirit you never knew existed within you. >

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY KATY TOMASULO

THERE IS FAITH-BASED, and there’s based on faith — a confidence in someone or something, like doing a good deed for others — that gives greater meaning to our lives and strengthens humankind. Many religious organizations contribute to helping those in need, but altruism comes in many forms: it can be as simple as donating an hour of specialized talent to a worthy cause or as monumental as volunteering full time on a new endeavor.


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HAVE HEART

efforts,” Belue Schaefer says. “I was so impressed with what people would do for no payment whatsoever.” She knew she wanted to help these groups when she started her own magazines. She now offers free advertising — what could cost $500 to $600 a pop — for nonprofit organizations in her two monthlies, Dripping Springs Outlook and Wimberley Valley News. About 20,000 copies of the magazines go out each month, providing exposure the groups otherwise can’t afford. >

SHARE THE WEALTH Victoria Belue Schaefer is a former TV writer and producer who once served as a community relations director for a CBS station in Dallas. That’s where she was exposed to the world of nonprofit organizations. “Sometimes they were very grassroots

PROVIDED BY CAROL LAMPARTER; PROVIDED BY VICTORIA BELUE SCHAEFER; GETTY IMAGES

Carol Lamparter of Lewisburg, Pa., spent more than 30 years as a physician in general practice and is a devout Episcopalian, but it was her own personal losses that led her to become a hospice volunteer in retirement. Lamparter was 11 when her mother died in 1960, and she lost her grandparents within several months of one another in 1967, just before she left for college. At the time, hospice care did not exist in the U.S., and palliative care wasn’t studied much in medical school.

“I regretted (that hospice) wasn’t available to my family,” Lamparter says. “It would have made a much different memory.” In retirement, and inspired by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ On Death and Dying — the seminal work that introduced the five stages of grief — Lamparter learned more about end-of-life issues and decided to volunteer for hospice. Through this work, she nearly has a second career, having helped about 20 patients in four years. Being supportive helps fill a void she’s had since leaving medicine, she says. “You just feel a connection,” Lamparter says.

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goodwill

HOW TO USE YOUR TALENTS TO HELP OTHERS It’s possible — and fulfilling — to fold one’s talents and interests into meaningful volunteer opportunities. If you have a cause that interests you, follow these steps for a fruitful experience that can make the world a better place:

Don’t lose it — use it: Rather than let a learned skill languish if it’s not a part of your usual routine, channel it toward a volunteer effort. Carol Lamparter uses her skills as a doctor to support dying patients. “If I was starting over again in my career, I’d do something with hospice,” she says.

EVERY BIT HELPS Tomasulo, who also serves as the Seattle Animal Shelter’s marketing manager, has found that practical assistance is key and has its own rewards. “Everyone wants to be the face (of the shelter), or the dog walker, or the one reading books (to dogs), but the stuff behind the scenes that needs volunteers can be harder to fill,” Tomasulo

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says. Crafting social media posts is something she also can do outside the building, she says. Lamparter agrees. Volunteering to do office work or administrative chores, on-site or at home, is one way people can use their skill sets and contribute to nearly any cause, even those that are emotionally or physically exhausting, like hospice work, she says. “(It) lets people use their skills in the best possible way,” Lamparter says. “You’re still helping the cause.” Like many volunteers, Lamparter has found she gets as much from serving as she gives to others. When she visits a patient’s home, she often sees family pictures and items that provide glimpses into her clients’ lives. This memorabilia “lets me know I am of service, and I provide practical assistance to them and their families.” But she’s also helping herself, she says. “In the cost-benefit ratio ... I get a lot more out of it than what it takes out of me.” l

Inspiration is around you: Not sure who needs your help? Look around your neighborhood or community. Is there a park that needs to be cleaned, or a shutin who could use company? Chances are that an established group is addressing these needs and could use assistance. Knock on a door or pick up the phone.

Find a fit: Unsure of where your passions lie? Check out volunteermatch.com to find groups or opportunities tailored to your skills and interests. Not ready to commit more than a day? The site also showcases one-day events in 25 cities across the U.S. — Patricia Kime

GETTY IMAGES

It may not ring of traditional giving, Belue Schaefer knows, but “it helps.” “We’ve developed good relationships, and it lets me contribute in my own little way. These people would not have the exposure for their events and therefore raise money for their very worthwhile nonprofits if they didn’t have what I can offer them. Advertising is expensive ... and I had a hard time thinking that money would go to me when it could go to an event that would directly affect the people who needed it.”


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M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N |

inspiration

Ogwangi’s HOLIDAY COOKING TIPS

Q&A Where’s home for the holidays? There is no place like home with extended family in Kenya!

Best holiday gift you ever received? Vacation to the Bahamas!

u Cook together. As much as we enjoy the final product, making the dish together is my favorite part. It’s also true that many hands make light work! Play to everyone’s strengths so the task taps into their passions, instead of having it take the form of a chore. To keep things stress-free, be mindful not to overcommit so that you can focus on the checklist.

Favorite holiday tradition? Enjoying folk stories and songs with family while roasting corn around the fireplace during Christmas holidays. Must-have holiday meal? Kenyan chapatis (flatbread) with organic chicken curry and greens.

MAUREEN BROWN; GETTY IMAGES

How can people give back? Regardless of your age, location and resources, there is always an opportunity for you to make a positive lasting difference in the fight against hunger. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving that makes a difference.

EDNA OGWANGI Chief Impact Officer of Rise Against Hunger

Born in Kenya, Edna Ogwangi knew poverty; she received international food aid when she was in the fifth grade. The side of the bag was stamped “From the U.S.,” and she decided then that she would one day go to America to work to improve the lives of children. As one of the leaders of the nonprofit organization Rise Against Hunger, Ogwangi is doing what she always resolved to do — provide nutrition and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Ogwangi recently returned to Africa to distribute meals, and she has testified before Congress on food security. — Hollie Deese

u Savor the moment. Being able to share these moments with family and friends reminds me of how fortunate I am. It also reminds me that this is the time to think of those who don’t have the same luxury. u Volunteer. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen prepping for one day, why not schedule time with loved ones to volunteer to raise funds and feed others? Then, when you sit down to enjoy your holiday meal, you’ll know that someone else is able to do the same this season.

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food MAKOWIEC

By Gerard and Karen Socha of Lebanon, Ohio; adapted from recipe handed down by Mom. Poppy seed filling can be found online in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores. For the bread, Mom incorporated the “rich sweet dough” recipe from The Fleischmann Treasury of Yeast Baking, circa 1962.

Ingredients 12 ½ ounce can poppy seed filling (the Sochas prefer Solo brand) ¾ cup of milk ½ cup sugar 2 tsp. salt ½ cup (1 stick) margarine ½ cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees 2 packages dry yeast 2 eggs 4 cups sifted flour

Sweet, Savory, Scrumptious International treats add variety to your holiday table BY EVAMARIE SOCHA

EVERY CHRISTMAS, EVERY Easter, every special gathering could be summed up in four words: Mom’s poppy seed bread. That’s the treat my mother, Eva Socha, makes. But its true name is makowiec (mah-KOH-vyets). That’s Polish, and it certainly doesn’t translate to “Mom’s poppy seed bread.” It also doesn’t translate with most people. It’s not often one sees a roll with a swirl of poppy seed filling so dense. There is no poppyseed pie or other dish to give

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it a frame of taste or reference. That puts this sweet-dough treat on an exalted level: the rare ethnic food few people know but most enjoy — and even love — after they try it. Cathy Dapra, of Shamokin, Pa., has found the same with pagach (puh-GAHTCH), a Slavic flatbread with a filling of cabbage or potatoes and cheese that is a holiday staple for many eastern Europeans. Making it is a daylong labor of love that is a family tradition for Dapra and her sisters, using a recipe her mother learned from her grandmother. Not many have heard of this starchy pizzalike treat — the dough calls for 10 cups of flour and one filling recipe is nothing but potatoes and cheese. But once people try it at a holiday gathering, they are new fans. That’s happened with Mom’s poppy seed bread, as well. A holiday staple in our Polish household, makoweic delighted the next generation after my brother, Gerard Socha, introduced his wife, Karen, to the recipe. Although not >

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

„ Scald milk; stir in sugar, salt and margarine. Cool to lukewarm. „ Put warm water in large, warm bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir until dissolved. „ Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, 1 egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to form a stiff batter. „ Cover tightly with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Refrigerate dough at least two hours and up to three days. „ Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Divide dough in half, and spread each into a rectangle. Spread with poppy seed filling. Roll up the dough lengthwise and let rise. Slit the loaf at intervals if desired. Beat second egg, then brush the top of the loaves with it. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

GETTY IMAGES

Makowiec


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Pancake Batter • 1/4 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. SweetLeaf ® • 2 eggs Stevia Sweetener • 1 cup almond milk, • 1 cup rice flour unsweetened • 2 tbsp. flax meal • 4tsp. baking powder • 2 tbsp. vanilla protein powder Berry Syrup • 1 tsp. SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener • 12 oz. blueberries • 1/4 cup and 3 tbsp. water • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract • 2 tbsp. cornstarch • Pinch of salt To make the pancakes, lightly oil a flat griddle and heat over medium heat. Sift the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and almond milk. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto the griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. To make the syrup, combine blueberries with 1/4 cup of water and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the fruit softens and releases its juice. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and SweetLeaf, then add 3 tbsp. of water and mix to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the berries and stir continuously until The American Heart Association recommends a daily added mixture has thickened. sugar limit of 36 grams/150 calories for men, and 25 grams/100 Remove berries from heat, place in a blender, and calories for women and children over two years old. blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fineThe American Heart Association recommends a daily added sugar limit of 36 grams/150 calories for men, and 25 grams/100 mesh strainer. calories for women and children over two years old. Top gluten-free pancakes with berry syrup and enjoy! Serves 6

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food

MOONCAKES

Melanie Yu, of Silver Spring, Md., suggests mooncake recipes from the web site finedininglovers.com. But many prefer to simply buy them from a specialty store. For some, mooncakes are complicated to make and have ingredients that are quite difficult to find, according to the website Omnivore’s Cookbook. Do some research online to find the best mooncake bakers in your area.

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PAGACH

By Cathy Dapra, of Shamokin, Pa. Handed down from her mom through her grandmother Set aside a day for this and enlist the help of at least one other person.

Ingredients 10 2 1 2 2 ¼ ¼ 4 5 2

cups flour cups water tsp. sugar packages dry yeast cups milk cup vegetable shortening cup sugar tsp. salt lbs. peeled potatoes lbs. sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded 1 cup (2 sticks) butter 1 T. shortening

„ The night before, make the filling. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until tender. Drain. Mash potatoes with the sharp cheddar until combined. Set aside to cool. „ Preheat oven to 375 degrees. „ Bring 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of sugar to a boil, cool to lukewarm. Dissolve 2 packages of dry yeast in the water; cover with plastic wrap and allow it to foam. „ In a separate pot, scald 2 cups of milk. Add ¼ cup shortening, ¼ cup sugar and salt. Stir until shortening

dissolves, then let cool. „ Add these two mixtures to 10 cups of flour and combine. Knead well into a large, round ball of dough until nothing sticks to pan. Cover dough and allow to rise for two hours or until the dough doubles in size. „ Tear off a ball of dough about the size of your fist. Flatten into a small circle, then fill with two heaping tablespoons of filling. Pull up sides of dough around filling and pinch closed. The recipe should make 10 balls of dough. „ Once filled, set aside dough balls, cover and let rise for about 10 minutes. „ Flour a pastry board and a rolling pin. Take one ball, dust it with flour and begin gently rolling it from the center until the dough is about 12 inches in diameter. Be careful not to press too hard or the filling will break through. „ Place on floured pizza pan, pierce with a fork in several places. Put in oven and check every five minutes for bottom to get brown. When brown, flip it. This can take 20 to 25 minutes per pagach. „ Melt butter with 1 tablespoon shortening. When pagach comes out of the oven, brush each side with melted mixture. Set aside and stack as each comes out of oven. Let cool. Cut like pizza slice; serve with a salad and a piece of ham for a complete meal.

GETTY IMAGES; ALEXANDRA MCDERMOTT, THE LASS IN THE APRON

Polish, Karen adapted my mom’s recipe and over the years has turned my nephews and a few grandsons — two from Vietnam and one from Russia — into big poppy seed bread fans. It’s heartwarming to see these old, sometimes odd recipes find a way into modern celebrations. While traditions may fall by the wayside, food continues to be a tie that binds us, to others and especially to history. “Ever since I could remember, my family and I would buy mooncake to eat during Mid-Autumn Festival,” says Melanie Yu of Silver Spring, Md. According to the travel agency China Highlights, the tradition of eating mooncakes to celebrate the full moon in the fall lunar calendar began in the Yuan Dynasty. The thin-crusted, flaky cake typically has a filling of red bean or lotus seed paste — far from typical Western tastes. “Being Americanized at the young age of 2, I wasn’t taught why the food was special until I researched the history to learn more of my culture,” Yu says. “Since then, I made it a personal tradition to eat the food every year as a way to celebrate my culture and keep up with traditions.” This holiday season, why not forge some new tastes and bonds of your own over some deeply ethnic foods? Hunt online for some strange ingredients, check out some difficult-to-spell (and more-difficult-topronounce) recipes and bring some new ethnicity to your table. Find a makowiec, pagach or mooncake of your own or simply try one of these dishes. Fair warning, though: Mom’s poppy seed bread is something you’ll want to make again and again. l


travel

Deck the Slopes A holiday tradition brightens Utah’s Park City at night BY LISA DAVIS

IT DOESN’T TAKE THE supernatural efforts of a red-nosed reindeer to find a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony during the holiday season. The festive events, much like New York City’s annual affair at Rockefeller Center, are as abundant and easy to locate as fruitcakes and poinsettias this time of year. But go to Park City, Utah, and you’ll find that Christmas is commemorated a bit differently, with a distinct tradition that includes synchronized skiers, brightly lit torches, a dark night sky and, of course, Santa Claus. The tradition started in 1964, a year after Treasure Mountain, Park City Mountain Resort’s predecessor, opened. Every Christmas Eve, Santa and hundreds of ski and snowboard instructors slide down Payday run, holding lit torches during the resort’s >

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ANDREW BRADEN; SCOTT CRAMER/GETTY IMAGES

Schussing Santa


GETTING THERE Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is 37 minutes from Park City. Opened 50 years ago, the airport is currently undergoing a major $2.9 billion rebuild to handle the 23 million travelers it now receives as a major Western hub. The revamped airport is expected to open in 2020 and will include a new terminal and concourses. For now, travelers deal with construction, but the facility still operates with a strong on-time performance record. slcairport.com

Park City, Utah

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travel

HAVE GIFTS, WILL TRAVEL Traveling long distances with gifts is often a challenge, but that difficulty can be doubled when it comes to bringing them with you on flights. In addition to the troubles of dealing with fragile or oddly shaped gifts, airport security measures don’t mesh well with wrapped presents. With careful packing, however, you can arrive with gifts intact.

annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade (parkcitymountain.com). “For 54 years, Park City Mountain has celebrated Christmas Eve with a torchlight parade that has become one of the town’s longest-running traditions,” says Margo Van Ness, Park City’s senior manager of communications. “You won’t have many other opportunities to see Santa skiing down a mountain surrounded by a line of glowing ski instructors on Christmas Eve.” The parade starts at about 6 p.m., but arrive earlier for live music and complimentary hot chocolate at the Legacy Lodge at the Park City base area. New this year is a hot chocolate bar, where guests can customize the warm beverage with whipped cream, marshmallows and toppings. Then, for the best viewing, claim a spot outside near the front by the Payday ski lift. If you’re unable to attend the Park City parade Dec. 24, don’t turn into the Grinch; there’s more holiday spirit to go around. You’ll have a second chance

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to see glowing torches mountainside at Deer Valley Resort’s Torchlight Parade (deervalley.com), held at dusk annually Dec. 30 on the Big Stick ski run. The event, also in Park City, includes 20 ski instructors bearing lit torches while performing synchronized moves such as the “cheese grater,” where skiers start in two lines and cross in front of one another, skiing in figure-eight patterns. After the parades, continue the holiday celebrations by viewing the gingerbread house displays at the Montage Deer Valley hotel (montagehotels.com/deervalley) and Stein Eriksen Lodge (steinlodge. com). Then stay overnight at the Grand Summit Hotel, Canyons Village (parkcitymountain.com), which recently underwent a $15 million renovation. If you prefer downtown Park City, the 12-room Washington School House (washingtonschool house.com) is a historic landmark and hotel where you can indulge in Christmas Eve treats like candied apple beignets. l

uWrap the

package as if you were going to ship it. Then, place the package in a larger box with packing peanuts. This will protect both the gift and the wrapping. uLayer. Place packages in your suitcase surrounded with soft goods and clothing.

FOR CARRY-ON CASES uPlan your carry-on luggage packing accordingly. Pack lightly so you can either carry the gift on its own or inside your piece of carry-on luggage. Consult your airline’s website for size restrictions. uWrap the gift

loosely in clear bubble wrap. Secure with rubber bands, rather than tape, so the wrapping can be easily removed for security checks. uCarry the

gift in an easily accessible bag. Store it in a carryon compartment or open-topped bag. — Lauren Vork

ANDREW BRADEN; GETTY IMAGES

Torchlight Parade

FOR CHECKED LUGGAGE uUse a hardshell suitcase, if possible. As bags are tossed about in transit, they often come into contact with hard surfaces or other bags. Soft or semi-hard suitcases do not typically provide proper protection for fragile gifts or delicate gift wrapping.


travel

Safe & Secure Keep your identity protected while traveling during the holidays

ADMIT IT. WHEN you’re on the road and need to access your bank information or do some quick online holiday shopping, you prefer the ease of hopping on public Wi-Fi rather than waiting for a secure Internet connection. You’re not alone. According to a national survey by Experian, 53 percent of people use public Wi-Fi while traveling. We think nothing of it because having our identity stolen isn’t something that would happen to us, right? But traveling with your guard down leaves you more vulnerable

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to identity theft than you might expect. In 2016, more than 15 million Americans were victims of the crime, and this number is expected to increase with time. All it takes is one moment, one transaction, one piece of your personal information to fall into the wrong hands, and you could be spending much of your time and resources trying to track down all the fraudulent credit cards and bank transactions that someone else made in your name. To keep your identity safe, here are a few habits you might want to pick up while you’re on the road:

GETTY IMAGES

BY KAE LANI KENNEDY


HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY

1

Do not use public Wi-Fi to access personal financial information or make online purchases Imagine going to Starbucks and instead of giving your name, you gave them your Social Security number. You wouldn’t do it, especially knowing that when your grande latte is ready, the barista would yell out that number for the entire cafe to hear. That’s akin to accessing your financial information or shopping on a public Wi-Fi network. A public network is like being in public — act accordingly. It’s not difficult for a hacker to sit in a cafe and monitor the activity of every device connected to the Wi-Fi, so don’t let that Amazon order cost more than you bargained for.

2

Monitor your bank accounts periodically Sign up for online banking or use the bank’s app. Monitoring your bank account will help you catch fraudulent charges early. That way, you can work with your bank to quickly change whatever information you need before too much damage is done.

3

Use only bank ATMs The ATM in the hotel lobby may be more convenient, but these machines are most vulnerable to scams involving card readers that skim information. Bank ATMs are safer, maintained more often and less likely to be compromised.

4

Use the hotel safe The safe is the most underrated in-room amenity in hotels. While these businesses may want you to feel at home, remember, you’re still staying in a space that staff members can access. According to Experian’s survey, only 38 percent of hotel guests take advantage of the safe. So, when you leave your hotel room, lock up any sensitive information, including your passport if you don’t carry it with you.

5

Change and vary your passwords often It is good practice to update your passwords regularly, but is especially important after a trip. Think of it as a preventive measure that you can take to ensure that identity thieves won’t be able to access your information.

6

Password-protect your phone Make sure your cellphone is password-protected. If it is stolen while you’re on the road, an unprotected cellphone will give an identity thief quick access to your banking apps, email accounts and anything else you want to keep private.

7

Check your credit report for accuracy Running a credit report isn’t just to keep track of your credit score. A credit report will show you what accounts are open in your name, including any fraudulent accounts that might have been opened using your identity.

8

Be careful what you post on social media Going on a trip can be an exciting experience to share with your social network. But posting a photo of your passport or even your boarding pass — no matter how great the Instagram filter makes it look — might give savvy hackers just enough information to track down more sensitive data and assume your identity.

9

Post photos online after you return home It may be tempting to post a picture of that cocktail on the beach for all of your colleagues stuck at the office to see. But if the wrong person catches wind that you’re away on vacation and not returning any time soon, you may be opening yourself up to someone breaking in and not just stealing your stuff, but important documents pertaining to sensitive identifying information.

10

Consider an identity protection program Products like Experian IdentityWorks or Lifelock can provide dark Web monitoring and credit reports while keeping track of your financial accounts on your behalf so you can enjoy your travels without worrying about your sensitive information. These programs will alert you to any suspicious activity and some provide up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

53% OF PEOPLE will use public Wi-Fi while traveling

15

MILLION Americans were victims of identity theft in 2016

43%

use a public Wi-Fi connection to shop online, according to an Experian survey

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travel

Festive Florals Pennsylvania botanical garden shows off its beauty for the holidays

WHEN THE GROUND is 100 extravagantly decked blanketed with snow and Christmas trees, indoors temperatures struggle and out. Though most of to break out of the 30s, Longwood’s outdoor founa burst of spring is a tains, including its 5-acre welcome gift during the Main Fountain Garden, wintry holiday season, and remain closed October Longwood Gardens has through April, the water just what Santa ordered. curtain at the Open Air Once a Theatre dances wealthy to sound and industrialist’s light throughout summer the holiday estate, and season. Flower Longwood Gardens before that, a lovers won’t be also offers tours Quaker farm, disappointed, and classes. Check this Kennett either. website for up-toSquare, Pa., “During A date seasonal hours and ticket prices. retreat has Longwood 1001 Longwood Rd.; grown over Christmas, 610-388-1000; centuries into 16,000 seasonal longwoodgardens.org the showplace plants, includwe see today: ing poinsettias, 20 indoor gardens across cyclamen, paperwhites more than 1,000 acres of and anthurium, can be trees, topiaries, fountains found in beautiful display and flowers. throughout the conserva“Longwood Gardens is tory,” says Longwood unique in so many difpresident and CEO Paul ferent ways,” says Sharon Redman. “Outdoors, over Richardson, a Chester half a million lights in County master gardener. more than 90 trees create “I’ve been to (botanical) a true holiday wonderland. gardens in Germany and Our arborists begin to England and Australia string lights in the trees in and Morocco, and this one early September in prepastands above the rest. It’s ration for the display.” breathtaking.” The event runs in conWhile late January junction with Christmas through March is a peacein Kennett, a townwide ful time of year at Longfestival that includes a wood, the season leading shuttle on Saturdays from up to it is the busiest, with downtown Kennett Square, the fiercely popular A where travelers can enjoy Longwood Christmas. The strolling carolers, dining spectacle spreads yuletide and a holiday market. cheer with more than If you go, Richardson

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suggests visiting closer to Thanksgiving to avoid the thickest crowds. “And if you really want to have the place to yourself, go after New Year’s weekend,” she says. “It’s so serene, especially after a new snowfall. You can just enjoy the quietness of your own thoughts.” The solitude is a rare occurrence, since Longwood is the most visited public garden in the U.S., welcoming more than a million guests a year, according to Redman. “Every day is a good day to visit Longwood, but visiting in the winter is unique,” he says. “The chill of winter vanishes as you stroll through our heated 4-acre conservatory, transporting you to a warm oasis of beautiful blooms.” From room to room, climates in the indoor gardens vary from tropical South American to arid Mediterranean, sometimes with sharp juxtaposition that lends a touch of unreality. Sounds of water and distant cathedral notes from the ballroom organ mingle with the scents, creating a backdrop to the visual pageant. Most of the plants are grown in production greenhouses on-site and range from roses, carnations, tulips and lilies to varieties that Longwood horticulturalists have

Poinsettias, hydrangea and winterberry spruce up winter.

JUDITH R. CZEINER/LONGWOOD GARDENS; LONGWOOD GARDENS

BY CHERYL RODEWIG


IF YOU GO The Whip Tavern serves authentic British pub fare like Welsh rarebit, bangers and mash and more than 50 beers and ciders in the heart of the Brandywine Valley’s equestrian countryside. 1383 N. Chatham Rd., Coatesville; 610-383-0600; thewhiptavern.com Dine on inventive New American cuisine made with seasonal local ingredients at The Gables at Chadds Ford, a pre-Revolutionary property on the National Register of Historic Places. 423 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford; 610-388-7700; thegablesatchaddsford. com

Apple ‘tapestry’

perfected over years. The “exotic and very expensive” trumpet-shaped clivia and carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap and Himalayan poppy are cultivated at Longwood, Richardson points out. “If you’ve never seen a blue poppy, it’s just exquisite,” she says. “They bring them out into the conservatory just before they open in March. They’re not a long-lasting flower, but

they’re beautiful.” And, of course, the orchids: Longwood has around 6,200, with a few hundred of the best on display. That changes each March during Orchid Extravaganza when the facility imports thousands of orchids from around the world. “There are hanging baskets dripping with orchids,” Richardson says. “There are towers with orchids. They fill

two ponds in the East Conservatory so they’re like orchid meadows. It’s magnificent.” Outdoors, witch hazel and winterberry add color to the stark winter scenery, but the stripped-down landscape lets you glimpse the bones of the garden, which lays claim to the most champion trees in Pennsylvania. It’s the very essence of a winter garden — a still beauty that restores the soul.

Popular with brides, the award-winning Mendenhall Inn features two ballrooms, an upscale French American restaurant, romantic hot tub suites and a small courtyard garden. 323 Kennett Pike, Mendenhall; 610-3882100; brandywinehotels. com/mendenhall-inn A 1700s farmhouse turned bed-and-breakfast, the Inn at Whitewing Farm charms with country chic guest rooms, complimentary chef-made breakfast, a wine cellar, tennis court and fishing pond on 12 landscaped acres. 370 Valley Rd., West Chester; 610-388-2013; innatwhitewingfarm.com

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M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N |

Ruddy’s HEALTHY LIVING TIPS

Q&A Best holiday gift you ever received? As I’ve gotten older, I’m less interested in things. I’m more interested in someone gifting me an experience, particularly those which allow me to help someone else. I love receiving gifts that create a greater impact, such as a gift to a charity on my behalf. My favorites have, of course, been those made to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation!

Favorite holiday tradition? Each year, from Thanksgiving through Christmas, Mom and Dad review the blessings we’ve had throughout the year, and the time we have all shared together. This helps me remember the entire year is a gift.

THE ST. BALDRICK’S FOUNDATION; GETTY IMAGES

Where’s home for the holidays? My parents’ home in Westlake Village, Calif.

Best holiday meal? If Mom cooks, I know I’ll love it and prime rib or a crown pork roast are favorites — with Dad’s homemade spicy applesauce.

leadership

u Listen to your body. Sometimes physical health can start with the right pair of shoes. Having a proper arch while running holiday errands will keep you going — they may not be the cutest pair, but your feet and back will thank you. u Remember your mental wellness. Picking up last-minute presents for friends and family can overwhelm the best of us, but taking a step back to focus on what the holidays are really about will help reenergize and refresh you mentally.

KATHLEEN RUDDY

u Treat yourself. This way you won’t feel you’re missing out or be tempted to overindulge.

CEO of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Kathleen Ruddy is not afraid to take it all off — when it comes to her hair, that is. As CEO of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a children’s cancer research organization known for its signature head-shaving events, Ruddy has voluntarily gone bald twice, most recently in 2014. Under Ruddy’s leadership, the foundation has grown, granting more than $200 million to researchers around the world and raising more than $38.7 million in 2016 to find cures for childhood cancers. — Hollie Deese

u Give back. Many modern holiday traditions are centered around children. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is about giving a child with cancer the gift of a long, healthy life. Our kids often ask Santa to help them be cancer-free, so a year-end gift to St. Baldrick’s may help Santa give the ultimate gift.

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health

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Healthy Holidays Maintain fitness during the festivities BY PEGGY J. NOONAN

TRAVELING OR HOSTING guests during the holidays can play havoc with your fitness routine. Maybe you can’t get to your gym, go for a run or ride your bike as usual. Or maybe you’re afraid your noisy workout will disturb your guests. Despite those challenges, you can still stay in shape. Three experts weigh in on how you can keep fit during this busy time of year.

PLAY OUTSIDE Head outdoors, weather permitting. Playing Frisbee or tag doesn’t feel like exercise, but it gets everyone moving, says Brad Roy, a clinical exercise physiologist and executive director of The Summit Medical Fitness Center, in Kalispell, Mont. Use nature as your equipment room. Improvise an obstacle course in the backyard or neighborhood and balance on rocks, do pull-ups from tree branches and standing push-ups against tree trunks. “It doesn’t have to be anything complicated,” says Dr. Pam Roberts, a certified health and wellness coach and founder of Big Sky Family Medicine, also in Kalispell, Mont. Organize a scavenger hunt to locate natural objects like acorns, leaves or pine cones or try geocaching or playing Pokémon Go.

Exercise HAVE A PLAN Make a realistic and creative plan ahead of time, suggests Roy. Everybody has different needs and challenges. Look for simple ways to incorporate fitness into your schedule and adapt as needed. Just 20 to 30 minutes a day in the morning can help you stay on track. Or grab a houseguest and make a pledge to work out during the day.

GETTY IMAGES

TAKE THE TUBE For strength training, resistance bands or tubes are “the second best thing” to a gym when you’re on the road or need a quiet but effective home workout, says Linda Melone, a certified trainer and founder of AgelessAfter50.com. A package of three bands or tubes — in light, medium and heavy resistance — covers the bases, Melone says. Check out YouTube for easy-to-understand exercises that cover the large and small muscle groups.

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health

HOLIDAY SNACK SURVIVAL

KICK UP THE CARDIO “You lose cardiovascular fitness a lot quicker than you lose strength, so it’s super important — especially if you’re going to be away (from your regular fitness regimen) for any length of time — to try to get some cardio in,” Melone says. Cardio fitness exercise doesn’t have to be high impact jumping or making noise, she explains. “It could just be moving quickly from one exercise to the other. The idea is to get your heart rate up.”

Go to the grocery store. Buy what you want and relieve your hosts of that task.

VIEW VIDEOS

Bring healthy snacks. Make a selection of healthy snacks your gift to the hosts.

PACK PORTABLES Try collapsible plastic AquaBells (aquabells.com). “All you need is water” to get a good workout, Melone says. The travel dumbbells weigh up to 16 pounds each when filled with water; empty, they’re less than 24 ounces and small enough to fit in a briefcase. The ankle weights work the same way.

DON’T SWEAT IT If you go overboard on goodies or skimp some on exercise, don’t beat yourself up. It’s just a short lapse, Roy says. “If you fall backwards a little bit over the holidays, it won’t be the end of the world,” and, he adds, “getting something in is better than doing nothing.”

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Contribute a healthy dish. Offer to bring a vegetable or fruit plate. Beware of drinks. Beverages and alcohol can be high in calories. Drink lots of water or club soda in between or instead. Indulge a little. Go ahead and have a few bites or sips of tempting goodies. A little is fine. — Peggy J. Noonan

GETTY IMAGES; AQUABELLS

Try low-impact yoga and other quiet exercise videos. “You can find a lot on YouTube,” says Melone. She likes FitnessBlender.com’s free workouts for every fitness level. Roy suggests BeachBody (beach body.com), which streams workout videos (and offers a 14-day free trial) and YogaGlo.com, which offers more than 4,000 yoga and meditation classes online ($18 per month). He also recommends apps such as Keelo or Sworkit, which have extensive video libraries, and the 7 Minute Workout Challenge app, validated by researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine.

Plan ahead to be sure you’ll have healthy snacks while you’re visiting friends and family. “Life can’t stop and your health can’t always be put on hold because there’s a food holiday,” says Felicia Stoler, a registered dietitian nutritionist and exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine, and author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes. “There’s always a food holiday.”


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big hearts

The Oldses’ BEST PARENTING ADVICE

Q&A

Favorite tradition? We don’t have any traditions yet, so we are just enjoying life day by day for now.

Item you love in your home? We have a family tree. We keep (it) up all year but we don’t put Christmas decorations on it. We put family photos (and) all the family greeting cards.

u Just do it. Black Friday 2016, our local news channel did a story about (the kids). We saw (the news story) the next day on Facebook, and my wife said, ‘What do you think about this story?’ and I said I like the idea. Let’s do it.

SOFIA & DASHOAN OLDS

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY

Adoptive parents of seven children

Value you want to pass on to your children? Never give up hope. (You) are loved, and people are on your side. People you don’t know are looking at you, and you want them to be great role models. Where’s home for the holidays? Marianna, Fla.

Two days after Thanksgiving in 2016, when most people were resting after family gatherings and frenzied shopping sprees, Sofia and DaShoan Olds were making a life-altering decision: to expand their family by seven members. DaShoan, a math teacher and coach, and Sofia, a social worker, interact with children regularly, but they sought a deeper connection with kids they could call their own. “(We) never thought it’d be this big, but it was on our minds for over 10 years. You’re waiting for that perfect fit, and this was the perfect opportunity,” DaShoan says. In September, the couple became the proud parents of Necia, 12, Erica,10, Eric, 10, Zavian, 9, Dava, 8, Keyon, 5, and Reginald, 4. From large families themselves, DaShoan and Sofia were undaunted by welcoming several children into the fold and are looking forward to making memories and creating traditions as one big, happy family. — Kyndall and Kaycee Hubbard

uLearn from others. We started taking classes for becoming foster and adoptive parents. We volunteered a couple times, did homework (with the children) and hosted a couple of their birthday parties. u Share values. Children (need to be) instilled with strong and meaningful values: optimism, purpose, integrity. uPray. You’re never prepared for (becoming a parent). We prayed about it; we thought about it. We’re doing fine; we’re adjusting day by day to our new roles.

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family

The More, The Merrier Reduce the stress – and maybe even have fun – hosting holiday guests

WITH PHRASES LIKE “good cheer” and “peace on Earth” on nearly everyone’s lips this time of year, it’s easy to be lulled into a sense of security so comfortable that you hear yourself suggesting: “Why not stay at our house for the holidays?” After all, it’s family and friends. But I’ve done this just enough times to know it’s no cakewalk. Things get broken. Pets take over. The grocery bill triples. The first time we hosted at our small Atlanta home, we invited two out-of-state friends and their charming toddler. We prepared

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GETTY IMAGES

BY CHERYL RODEWIG


by turning the office into a makeshift bedroom and cleaning thoroughly. We thought that would be enough, but it wasn’t. Once they arrived, I felt like a cruise director — planning activities and coordinating meals. My introverted husband retreated to the bedroom.

I longed for solitude, even though I loved these people. When would they leave? Nelson Barber, an associate professor of hospitality management at the University of New Hampshire who regularly hosts relatives during the holidays, assures me I am not alone with these thoughts. “It is never easy when multiple family (members), from both sides in particular, come to stay,” he says. “In our case there is that odd sister and challenging uncle that tests one’s holiday spirit.” When hosting, Barber takes a nod from hotels, running his home like a small inn. “Understand the travel itinerary of those coming from long distances. We make sure our calendars are marked. Assume your guests are early risers and may want to make that first cup of coffee. Show them around the kitchen. Make sure all technology is working and you have established a (Wi-Fi) guest password,” Barber says. He also recommends having a local newspaper or brochures handy so guests can get out and explore on their own. And always be ready to compromise. “We had two cats, and my sister arrived with her highstrung terrier, unannounced to us,” recalls Barber, who hosted Christmas in Connecticut in 2002. “There was the immediate chasing around the Christmas tree, barking, hissing and unfortunately, Christmas packages wrapped and then ‘unwrapped.’ As much as I wanted her dog to live in the garage, that was not going to happen, so the cats spent most of that Christmas outside

during one of our snowiest (holidays) on record.” To avoid an indoor circus, ask whether your family members are bringing pets and how well they handle travel. Once the pets are settled, it’s on to the people.

“Uncle John snores up a storm, and our nephew has a small infant. We can’t put their rooms next to each other,” Barber says. “Aunt Irene always wants to help. … A fix there is to give her a baking project she is famous for and let her go at it.” Ann Halupczynski, a Pennsylvania-based accountant whose home turns into “holiday central” each year, has had similar experiences. She’s hosted 25 family Christmases, including cats, dogs, grown-ups and little ones. She assigns rooms, borrows air mattresses and lets the kids have the fold-out couch in the basement. Over the years, she’s turned a few minor crises into lessons learned. “Don’t let your sister pour a pan full of bacon grease down your kitchen sink on Christmas morning when it’s only >

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family

Entertainment Options Boredom breeds drama; keep everyone busy with planned fun

We lost a few ornaments, a couple of wise men and a camel. (But) people and moments are more precious than things.” — ANN HALUPCZYNSKI, A PENNSYLVANIA-BASED ACCOUNTANT

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degrees out,” she advises. “It will clog your pipes, and you will be forced to serve Christmas dinner for 35 using your laundry room sink. We still had dinner … almost an hour later than planned.” Because her family has different dietary needs — gluten-free and dairyfree, vegetarian and nut allergies — Halupczynski serves buffet-style meals. And she doesn’t buy into the myth that every dish has to be homemade. “The best way to succeed at the holidays is to prepare,” she says. “Make as much as you can ahead of time and freeze. Stock up on shower items. Fill all soap dispensers. Double the amount of toilet paper you think you will need.” She adds that most hosts will always think

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2017

of something they could have done better. Make a note of it and move on. “Don’t bring the cornhole game inside and play in front of the Christmas tree. We lost a few ornaments, a couple of wise men and a camel. (But) people and moments are more precious than things,” Halupczynski says. “I have watched my nieces and nephews grow into incredible adults and now get to see their children grow. The closeness and love we share is priceless.” In 25 years as a holiday host, Halupczynski has more than a few tricks up her sleeves. And when all else fails, she has a trump card up her sleeve: “Keep a fully stocked bar at all times … and if your guests behave, tell them where it is!”

Other low-cost options include board games, team trivia nights (add prizes for extra fun), ice skating or caroling. If you need a break from cooking for a crowd, try dining out.

Whatever you do, snap plenty of photos and share. A photo slideshow down memory lane will make a great activity at next year’s gathering.

GETTY IMAGES, ILLUSTRATIONS: AMIRA MARTIN

DINNER PREP TIP as Make as much d ea ah n ca you of time and freeze.

Cynthia Lett, a certified etiquette professional, recommends showing your guests around your city, including museums and iconic sights. Visit neighborhood light displays. Make sure to check the local newspaper or an online calendar to find upcoming events like free holiday concerts. If it’s not too cold, stop by a park so the kids can run around.


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final act

Fab Films

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947) Nothing says Christmas to editorial director Jeanette BarrettStokes like a white-bearded, girthy do-gooder in a red jumpsuit fighting nonbelievers in the halls of justice — and winning. “This movie has it all — retail shenanigans, a Scrooge, a darling optimistic child and an ‘I-sawit-coming-50 miles-away’ love connection.”

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THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993) Tim Burton’s stop-motion visual effects film is at the top of creative director Jerald Council’s holiday watchlist. “It’s one of Burton’s best ever films. A bit on the dark side, Jack Skellington, the ‘Pumpkin King,’ decides to take over Christmas by kidnapping Santa Claus. Oogie Boogie, voiced by Ken Page, steals the show.”

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ELF (2003) Designer Gina Toole Saunders and special sections editor Debbie Williams share an affinity for Will Ferrell’s portrayal of a childlike elf. Saunders, cajoled by family into watching it, describes it as the “best movie I never wanted to see.” Williams says holidays wouldn’t be the same without it. “We end up quoting Buddy with a smile — ‘I just like to smile; smiling’s my favorite!’”

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965) From the Peanuts gang’s gleeful dance around Schroeder’s piano to the miraculous transformation of Charlie Brown’s miniature tree, this animated classic, beloved by editor Tracy Scott Forson, is full of comedy and holiday spirit, topped by Linus’ recitation of Luke 2:8-14, that reminds us why Christmas is so special.

LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

The only R-rated flick on the list, Love Actually delves into love’s complexities — among couples, siblings, parents, children, colleagues and strangers. The star-studded ensemble film, a favorite for editor Patricia Kime, serves a hefty portion of romance balanced with a fine showcase of British reserve, raunchy humor and devastating heartbreak.

This Frank Capra classic on the trials and triumphs of banker George Bailey is a mustsee for our cover chef Cat Cora. “I love the message of the movie — we all go through challenges in life, but we must appreciate what we have and the love we are given.”

+ Don’t forget the snacks.

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

For the USA TODAY team and celebrity chef Cat Cora, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without these favorite flicks


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