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APRIL | MAY 2018





Special Section

Faves & Raves







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tallahassee woman magazine | april / may 2018

On the Cover



Dena Strickland The Transformative Power of the Spirit of Youth



By Heather Thomas

About the Cover: Photography by Kira Derryberry | Makeup and hair by Jamee Wright Makeup and Style | Top courtesy of fab'rik


Our Thoughts Embracing Change




Style and Grace


Healthy Living


Real Life

42 50 54 56 58

contents 44


Six Cosmetic Secrets to Get Gorgeous Fast | Eye Exams: More Than Meets the Eye | “Paws” Before Adopting | Oil Changes 101 | Keeping Up With Cybersecurity | Book Nook: Mother May I? | Faves and Raves

Mommy Makeover

The Changing Dynamics of Women and Alcohol


Healing the Heart: Courageous Conversations and the Power of Forgiveness

Our Community


Mothers Against Drunk Driving | Haute Happenings | Around Town

Home and Garden Welcome to Huba Haven: A Home Makeover




In the Know




Working Women to Watch


Business Spotlight

The Dish

Healthy Meal Makeovers That Satisfy Three Generations

Best Bites

Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant

Funny Girl The Power of Mom’s Magic

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Business & Entrepreneurism: Standing Desks: Is the (Up)Right Option for You? Business Lifestyle: Meditation for Desk Dwellers | Business Conversations: Do’s and Don’ts

New Beginnings and Novus Racks: Your Mobile Boutique

Women Moving Up

Jubilee Sunshine Uncommon Gifts: Bringing the Sunshine to Tallahassee

tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 5 

TWM | april / may 2018

View Tallahassee Woman


April / May 2018 Volume 13 | Issue 2




EDITOR Heather Thomas

Pick up a copy around town.

APRI L / MAY 2018






Digital... The digital version of the magazine is posted online on our website,

ADVERTISING SALES Jennifer Stinson, Ad Sales Manager Michelle Royster Hart, Ad Sales Associate









tallah assee

wom an • april / may 2018 1

Virtual Reality... Watch the pages come to life USING YOUR SMARTPHONE OR TABLET! Scan the page wherever you see this TWM icon using the LAYAR APP. Watch videos, view slide shows, connect to websites, blogs, social media sites and much more. (Data charges may apply.)


GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings INTERNS Ellie Bright | Abby Cloud Emma Peterson | Claire Reed BUSINESS OPERATIONS Jane Royster Munroe CFO | Josh Foerst Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC Post Office Box 13401 Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone (850) 893-9624 Fax (850) 254­-7038 Tallahassee Woman is published six times per year and is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding communities. The information in this publication is presented in good faith. The publisher does not guarantee accuracy or assume responsibility for errors or omissions.


For more information on advertising, call (850) 893-9624 or e-mail Copyright ©2018 Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without expressed written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.

OUR CONTRIBUTORS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Asha Brewer is a self-care specialist for the busy and overwhelmed. The Temple Fit Co. team brings chiropractic, fitness, and health education directly to you at work, church and home. Learn more or schedule an appointment at her website

Lisa Davis is a wife, mother of four, beauty blogger, freelance makeup artist, and owner of Image by Lisa. Lisa says that God made her girly and she loves sharing her tips and tricks with other women so that they can look and feel their absolute best. For more information about Lisa, visit

Heather Fuselier is an author, WellCoaches Certified Wellness Coach, Weight Management Specialist, and Tobacco Treatment Specialist who works with individuals and organizations to create healthier environments. Heather, a wife and mother to two boys, is also an avid weight lifter, endurance runner in the marathon and ultra-marathon distances, and triathlete.

Dr. Michelle Mitcham, LMHC, NCC, CFM, a professor, life coach, author, psychotherapist and family mediator, founded Courageous Conversations, LLC to help empower individuals and companies to arrive at "courageous solutions" for their life, families, relationships or business. She has expertise in diversity, empowerment, vision boards, conflict resolution and family court matters such as highconflict divorce, parenting plans and solutions for co-parenting. Dr. Mitcham regularly presents and speaks at regional, national and international conferences when not teaching at FAMU, where she is the Program Coordinator for Counseling. Michelle Nickens is a vice president at the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee and Leadership Florida, and a local actor, blogger and author of the novel, Precious Little Secrets.



Award-winning doctors, Ben J. Kirbo, M.D., Laurence Z. Rosenberg, M.D. and Chris DeRosier, M.D., are dedicated to providing outstanding patient care, in a quiet, relaxing environment.

~ Breast Enhancement ~ Facelift ~ Hair Transplants

~ Tummy Tuck ~ Liposuction ~ Nasal Reshaping

Results-oriented medical spa treatments are also given by experienced professionals at the SPA at Southeastern Plastic Surgery featuring miraDry® and laser hair removal. Other medical spa services include customized facials, chemical peels, Latisse®, photofacials, injectables and more. Ben J. Kirbo, M.D. ~ Laurence Z. Rosenberg, M.D. Chris DeRosier, M.D. CERTIFIED BY THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY

PHOTOGRAPHERS Lydia Bell, owner of elleBelle Photography, is a member of COCA, PPA, Tallahassee Professional Photographers Guild, FPP, PPA Charities, NPPA, NAPCP, ASMP, APA Atlanta Chapter, IFPO and Fotolanthropy. She has been commissioned by many local and national publications, organizations, businesses and events. You can find an online portfolio of Lydia’s work at Kira Derryberry is a Tallahassee-based portrait photographer specializing in families, headshots, boudoir and commercial photography. She books locally in Tallahassee and is available for travel worldwide. View Kira’s portfolio online at


2030 Fleischmann Rd. ~ Tallahassee, FL

VIEW SPECIALS & VIDEO TESTIMONIALS AT tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 7 



Embracing Change


his issue is all about transformation and the power of change. For some, change can cause a surge in anxiety, fear of the unknown, possible lack of control, and the inability to know what is coming next. For others, it is the opposite…it brings excitement, joy and the hope in possibilities of all things new. I am one of those that fall in the latter category. I thrive on change, always looking for an opportunity to try something new, embrace challenges, and look for the positive in a potentially new endeavor. Has that always worked out to my advantage? Honestly, not always, but the changes that have occurred far outweigh any of those that were not ideal. One of my most blessed transformations was the day I became a mother. Motherhood changed me more than I ever could have imagined, and it has ultimately been the BEST transformation in my life by far. With Mother’s Day in May, this may be the day that I am showered with gifts from my children, but to me, this is the day that I celebrate the most wonderful blessings in my life—my two sons. Our cover woman, Dena Strickland, shares her life of transformation and her passion for her family, which includes her two sons, but also the children of Boys Town North Florida. Bringing the compassion and commitment to children has transformed the lives of those who may have never experienced the love and joy of being part of a family. Her story of dedication and continued hope to instill love and acceptance to these children conveys the transformation power of the spirit of youth. With the arrival of the spring season, the renewal of our surroundings with greenery and blossoms is abundant and symbolic of what can occur in our lives if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and embrace the beauty of allowing for transformation. You may be pleasantly surprised at what is waiting in the next chapter of your life. Until next time,

Kim Rosier, Publisher 8  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018


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nology • books • shoppin style • wellness • knowledge • tech





o matter what your age, you always want to look your absolute best. Throughout my life, I’ve learned all kinds of beauty tips and tricks from reading, talking to friends and getting to know a few make-up artists when I appeared as a guest on television shows. I always “pumped” these girls to get their secret beauty tips while sitting in their chair and getting made up. I recall one lady who made me look amazing even though I hadn’t slept in two nights! She brought me to life with a few tricks, which I’ll share today.



If you put an ice cube into a paper towel and apply it under your eyes for five minutes, the red puffiness of “bedroom eyes” will vanish for a little bit. Then you can apply your eye cream and concealer and look fresh and happy.



I don’t use eyelash curlers ever—they freak me out—but I know a lot of you do! A makeup artist once told me her secret. She said to warm up your eyelash curler for a few seconds with the hair dryer. It needs to be warm, not hot, or you’ll burn yourself. I feel bad telling you something that is obviously common sense. So anyway, be careful—the point is that a slightly warmed eyelash curler works better. She said its effect is akin to a curling iron on your hair. 10  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018



After a 20-something-hour flight from South Africa, I had to land, get through customs, get over to the Dr. Oz studio and tape a segment. I looked rough. They made me up, and luckily I had my best tool, a white eyeliner pencil. Just be careful putting it on because it goes in an awkward area called the waterline. First apply your normal darker eyeliner where it goes, then apply the white eyeliner in the waterline. It’s across the top rim on your lower eyelid. Google “waterline” if necessary.



Homemade gel under eye masks are one of my favorite treatments for puffy eyes. You can make these yourself with gelatin, which is rich in collagen. Here is a DIY recipe for a depuffing eye mask. The green tea imparts a touch of caffeine, which helps remove dark circles: Mix together one tablespoon of chilled Manuka honey with one tablespoon of prepared green tea. Add unflavored gelatin powder to desired consistency. Spoon onto a cucumber (sliced in half ) and apply under your eyes for ten minutes.



You can take ten years off your age by making your hair soft and shiny again. Whisk one banana and one egg together and apply to wet hair after shampooing. Leave on for about three to five minutes then rinse.



Soak a clean face cloth in a cup of cold milk that has three drops of essential oil of lavender. Wring out and drape the cloth over your face. Relax with it for ten minutes then rinse your face, tone and moisturize as normal. This brightens and moisturizes your skin, giving you a luminous glow and a relaxed sensation.

Logo and images © ClearCorrect.

ClearCorrect is the clear and simple alternative to braces. It’s a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth as you wear them, each aligner moving your teeth just a little bit at a time. They’re practically invisible, so most people won’t even know you’re in treatment, they fit you perfectly, so they’re more comfortable than regular braces, and they’re removable, so you can eat whatever you like and clean your teeth normally. Ask us for more information about ClearCorrect and what it can do for you!!

For more information visit online at Dr. Dozier & Dr. McFatter

Beachton Denture Clinic 2515 US-319 Thomasville, GA 31792 229-233-0249 • tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 11 

trending | wellness


More Than Meets the Eye

By Abby Cloud


any people forget that their eyes and vision deserve just as much attention as the rest of their body’s health. The hesitation for most can be found in the unknown. While these uncertainties are common, it’s crucial that you schedule consistent eye check-ups and that you stay on top of your vision so you can treat vision issues or avoid them altogether and have early detection of any issues concerning your overall health. Aging. Although it’s typical to ignore, aging is something you cannot escape. As time passes, it’s natural for your vision to begin to slacken. By approaching slight vision changes early on, you can save yourself the headaches and fatigue and ensure that your vision is the best it can be.


Detecting Serious Health Issues. Eyes and vision can imply a lot more about your body’s overall health than most people know. Visiting your eye care professional frequently enables your doctor to detect the first signs of conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Photo cred: Alicia Haskew

Eye Diseases Lack Symptoms. Most eye diseases don’t present themselves with a long list of symptoms and can gradually develop. The only true way to diagnose conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachment is through extensive eye exams.

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Instagram:#WalterGreenStyle Facebook: Walter Green Boutique

Stylish Eyewear. If you dodge the eye doctor because of the anxieties about wearing glasses, you shouldn’t anymore. Not only are you withholding the appropriate care your vision needs, but the styles and designs of eyewear today are vast and contain many options to choose from. Pick something to boost your confidence about your new appearance and the stellar health of your eyes.


trending | knowledge

By Emma Peterson


here is nothing better than having a furry companion by your side through all of life’s ups and downs. But the decision to bring a pet into your home is an important one and should not be taken lightly. Here are some tips for choosing the right pet, how and where to adopt and the commitment required after getting a pet.

Do Your Research

No matter what kind of animal addition you want to bring into your life, you need to do your research ahead of time. Does the animal shed, and would it bother you if it did? How big will it get? The answers to these kinds of questions could affect your decision to bring a new pet into your home. Also, some animals that seem to be easy to care for may require more work than you think.

To Adopt or Not to Adopt…

Animal shelters should be one of your first considerations when looking for a new furry friend, as you are literally rescuing them from a more dire fate. Animal shelters are also one of the most economical ways to acquire a pet, with some absorbing the costs of vaccinations and spaying/neutering the cats and dogs. However, while many of the animals will make great pets, some shelter animals have had hard lives prior to being rescued, and some of the circumstances of their pasts can make them more sensitive toward other dogs and members of your family. You will need to be more understanding and patient with these animals, requiring more of a time commitment, if not a cost commitment.

Another alternative is an animal rescue organization that also may pay for upfront medical costs, offer more affordable fees and foster animals in homes where the animal’s needs and personalities are better assessed. They can provide more information in regards to temperament and other medical aspects so that you can have more decisionmaking power in assessing whether a certain dog or cat would be a good fit for you and your family.

Richard J-P Bastien, DMD

Giving Tallahassee a Reason to Smile

Avoiding Online Scams

Buying a pet online can be tricky. If you see a cute animal while perusing online sale websites and it seems too good to be true, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that it probably is. To avoid a scam, BBB advises you to meet the seller and the animal in person before purchasing. Most reputable sellers will agree to this. And of course, never wire money to a stranger over the Internet.

It’s a Commitment

A new pet is a big commitment, with both your time and your money. There are expected expenses such as routine check-ups and vaccinations, as well as unforeseen expenses that come up throughout the pet’s life. But the most important resource that your new pet requires is your time. For example, it may not be wise to get a puppy if you work all day and can’t be home for several hours at a time, as puppies will need a lot of extra care up front. All in all, you need to make the decision with the understanding that this is not a temporary relationship. Your pet needs you to be committed during its entire lifespan.

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tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 13 

trending | knowledge

Oil Changes 101 By Claire Reed


akeovers, when it comes to cars, can also mean taking a closer look at understanding how the engine in your car operates and why (motor) oil changes are an important aspect to car maintenance. According to Popular, without oil to lubricate and cool moving parts, keep them clean and help to seal the pistons in the cylinders, the engine would run for only a matter of seconds, then seize. There should be a sticker in the upper left-hand corner of your windshield. Go check it. If you just got your oil changed or you’re noticing that it says that it’s time to get your oil changed, read this first.

What is an oil change?

An oil change removes the old oil from the car’s engine and replaces it with fresh, new oil. Sometimes, the oil filter is also changed during the process.

Why do you need an oil change?

Oil lubricates the car’s engine and absorbs the heat emitted from it, preventing the engine from overheating.

Which of the oil types should I be choosing for an oil change? This depends on your car. The easiest way to find out is to check the owner’s manual provided by the car manufacturer. The difference between premium conventional, full synthetic and synthetic blend has to do with the level of viscosity in the oil. Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow, and the different types of oil will be reflected by the degree of temperature that the oil thins or doesn’t thin. According to Popular, here’s the breakdown: Premium Conventional Oil: This is the standard new-car oil. All leading brands have one for service level SL, available in several viscosities.


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Full Synthetic Oil: The oils made for hightech engines, whether in a Chevy Corvette or Mercedes-Benz, are full synthetics. Synthetic Blend Oil: These have a dose of synthetic oil mixed with organic oil and overall are formulated to provide protection for somewhat heavier loads and high temperatures. This generally means they’re less volatile, so they evaporate far less, which reduces oil loss (and increases fuel economy). They’re popular with drivers of pickups/SUVs who want the high-load protection.

How often should I get my oil changed?

Most manufacturers suggest every 7,500 miles or six months. To know the manufacturer’s suggestion for your own vehicle, check your owner’s manual. Other factors can cause this number to vary, such as the amount of miles you drive in the city versus on the highway and if you live in area with extremely hot or cold temperatures.

Keeping Up With Cybersecurity By Ellie Bright

trending | technology


They went above and beyond to get my home SOLD and were the BEST ADVISORS to find my new home lifestyle. ~Alvin



hroughout the last decade, technology has become an increasingly vital part of our lives. While it is easy to constantly be online, it is crucial to understand the importance of online privacy and safety. According to NPR’s Science Friday’s “How to Improve Your Cybersecurity” edition, taking steps to improve security is imperative. In a world revolving around technology, it is important to understand some small, yet significant ways to stay protected.


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Opera works to ensure Internet safety and helps you decide which websites are protected and trustworthy when it comes to guarding your private or financial information. Opera also offers fraud and malware protection to warn against skeptical websites and browsing risks. In order to safeguard all of your important information, Opera also offers tips for unique passwords that manage your computer safety.


Although they don’t have to be hard to remember, secure and encrypted passwords are important and should involve letters, numbers or symbols. A tip to remembering your passwords is a password manager app that allows you to create one master password for the app, which then contains log-ins to your other passwords for many different accounts. This allows you to create different passwords for different log-ins to protect your privacy. The worst thing you can do is reuse a password.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPNs allow you to have a secure network in situations where you are susceptible to cyber insecurity, such as public places like local restaurants, and sometimes even in your own home or office. Having a VPN is important for protecting your security especially if you are doing something sensitive. In regard to spending money on a VPN, you get what you pay for. tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 15 

trending | books

BOOK NOOK Mother May I? Mom & Me & Mom M By Claire Reed

other’s Day is officially on May 13th this year, but that doesn’t mean that mothers shouldn’t be celebrated every day for their hard work and neverending love. With these books about the struggles and triumphs that come with motherhood, everyone can learn something new about how to love each other better.

Room by Emma Donoghue Adapted into one of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture in 2015, Room follows a young mother who was kidnapped and kept in a single room with her five-year-old son. The reader is captivated by the small family’s story as they escape and return to the real world, as Jack, her son, is introduced to it for the first time. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

by Maya Angelou In this autobiography from Maya Angelou, she goes into the complex and difficult relationship she had with her mother. The two reunited after being separated for ten years when Maya was sent to live with her grandmother at the age of three, and the challenging mending process is documented in this eloquently written book.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This classic novel follows the tale of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—as they grow into fine little women during the Civil War with the help of their mother. The girls learn valuable lessons in the necessity of work, while also exploring the dangers of societal pressure on young women and the stereotypes that existed in the 1860s.

This “parenting bible” (The Boston Globe) is full of advice to mothers of children of all ages about to how to receive their silly stories or never-ending questions. Also included are innovative ways for mothers to express their feelings to their child and coping with their negative feelings.

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trending | shopping

Faves & Raves

Are you looking for a gift for mom for Mother’s Day or a soon-to-be graduate? These ladies deserve some spoiling, and we know just what they want. Check out these fun gift ideas from our favorite local businesses.

Vicki Sawyer Collection Mug/Box $17 Paper Coaster Set $9 Tray $37 Available at Tallahassee Nurseries 2911 Thomasville Road (850) 385-2162

Fabulina Bracelets; Prices Start at $22 Fabulina Necklace $64 Available at fab'rik 1817 Thomasville Road #520 (850) 765-6224

Linen Guest Towels $25 Bunny Pillow $95 Available at Chrysalis Fine Fabrics 1410 Market Street (850) 224-2924

Hobo Bags, Prices start at $138 Available at Walter Green Boutique 1817 Thomasville Road #530 (850) 999-6105 Match Pewter Accented Decanter $185 Wine Glasses $110 each Available at Hearth & Soul 1410 Market Street D-1 (850) 894-7685

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Makeup/Accessory Bag $30 Jewelry Pouch $23 Black Jade Perfume by French Perfumer Lubin $135 Available at Kanvas 823 Thomasville Road (850) 224-7467



Celebrate spring with our collections of simple, modern classic women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, furniture, lighting, kitchen and bar provisions, books…plus enjoy special gatherings, wedding registry and design services.

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tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 19 

style & grace


Makeover By Lisa Davis


he most physically challenging stage of mothering is when the kids are small. Add multiple children and the challenge is compounded exponentially. We are up early, we barely are able to get a shower, styling our hair and applying makeup are an afterthought, and workouts are rare. Of course, this stage also comes with a multitude of joys, but it’s exhausting at the same time. Life becomes overwhelmed by the needs of others. All the while, little by little, the person you once were starts to fade. The time, energy and forethought needed to take care of yourself have taken a back seat. That was the case for Samantha Morse, the first “Tallahassee Mommy Makeover” recipient. Samantha has two children, works with her husband and struggles with an autoimmune disorder that is aesthetically and physically challenging. Samantha says, “I was the quintessential ‘mommy-martyr,’ always putting the family first at the expense of myself, and it was really starting to show. I hadn’t worn makeup since around high school and was never taught how to put it on.

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The occasional haircut was a trim from the hair salon across from the barber shop where my son gets his haircuts. I could purchase clothes for every member of my family and always walk out with nothing for myself. Emotional eating caused my weight to rise. I equated taking care of myself with being selfish.” We all need that friend or friends to help us regain ourselves. That’s what this project was all about—women-owned local businesses, partnering together, to be the friend to a deserving mommy, helping Samantha begin a three-month journey. Fast-forward three months and we have a brand new mama. Samantha shared, “This journey for me was more than just changing my outward appearance or enhancing my beauty. It was about showing me that self-care isn’t selfish and loving yourself is as important as loving others. It gave me a confidence I didn’t know I could have. A strong woman has been waiting inside of me all this time, and it took an amazing makeup artist, a trainer and a team of professionals to drag her out little by little.”

Indeed, self-care is not selfish, mommy friends. When we put our oxygen masks on first, we are better able to live out our greater purpose in life which is, ultimately, serving others. Do you know a mommy who needs help regaining her confidence? She could be our next Mommy Makeover recipient! E-mail us her story at

"This journey for me was more than changing my outward appearance or enhancing my beauty. It was about showing me that self-care isn’t selfish and loving yourself is as important as loving others."

Before Credit for makeover experience:


• Makeup lessons by Lisa Davis, owner of Image By Lisa Makeup Artistry and Total Mommy Makeover Founder. • Personal training with Jenn Powell, personal trainer, owner Body Trac Central. • Before/after pictures with Elizabeth Birdwell, owner of Elizabeth Birdwell Photography.  • Botox with Rachel Depart, nurse practitioner and owner of Allure Medispa. • Brows/facial with Amber Adair, owner of Adair Skincare.  • Hair transformation with Kandie Claiborne, Hairstylist.   • Styling/outfit with Alana Hollifield, owner of fab’rik.  • Teeth whitening with Majesty Coates, owner of Tallahassee Smile Labs. • Tanning with Kim Barnard, owner of Myst Me Tanning. • Reveal sponsors, Lauren Pasqualone and Linley Paske, owners of Working Like Mothers, Professional Women’s Network.  • Reveal Host, Sam Osborne, owner of Island Wing Company.

tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 21 

healthy living

The Changing Dynamics of Women and Alcohol

By Dr. Asha Fields Brewer

How do we draw the line between permissive and excessive consumption behavior?


n eleven-year veteran of the hospitality industry and owner/founder of Tallahassee-based 71 Proof Hospitality Group, LaTanya White says that she has observed a rise in women heading to the bar. While she personally did not have her first taste of alcohol until her late twenties, she theorizes that alcohol consumption has increased among women because “We are more confident and more liberated in our social capital.” A September 2017 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry) says that “increases in educational and occupational opportunities and rising numbers of women in the workforce” may attribute to the drastic increase in women imbibing alcohol. In the same study by Grant, et al., we learn that alcohol consumption among women has increased from 2001–2002 to 2012–2013 by a significant 59.8 percent. Consumption by men increased by less than half this amount (26.2 percent). Historically, social norms approved of drinking for men only. National Geographic 22  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

magazine discussed “Our 9,000-Year Love Affair With Booze” in its February 2017 issue. The article displays drinking artifacts from ancient Greece, sharing that “Greek hosts served their (exclusively male) guests the first bowl for health, another for pleasure, and a third for sleep.” Two centuries of literature regarding Western views towards women and alcohol were reviewed in the article “Ladies Don’t: A Historical Perspective on Attitudes Toward Alcoholic Women,” published in the Winter 1997 issue of Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. Carolyn S. Carter, D.S.W., enlightens, “Women who drank publicly or became drunk were considered sexually indiscreet and irresponsible mothers.” Furthermore, “The avoidance of stigmatic attitudes was a major incentive for some women to abstain from drinking.” Today, even though more women are reapplying Ruby Woo lipstick between glasses of identically red wine, we cannot overlook the public health and safety concerns associated with alcohol consumption. Especially in light of the 2016 Florida Behavioral Risk Factor

Surveillance System Data Report that 16.2 percent of women in Leon County engaged in heavy drinking or binge drinking, how do we draw the line between permissive and excessive consumption behavior? Dr. Anika Fields, director of the Office of Counseling Services at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, offers some advice for self-assessment. “If you are blacking out or acting out of character or if you need a drink for everything—such as going to bed at night, getting out of bed in the morning, feeling happy, or feeling less inhibited—then you have crossed the line and should seek assistance.” In addition to impeding responsible behavior, improperly managed drinking interferes with our ability to practice genuine self-care. Excessive drinking over time can lead to a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency, which impacts brain health, nerve health and cardiovascular health. Also important to consider, the chemical composition of women results in this gender absorbing more alcohol per serving and taking longer to break down alcohol than men. Therefore, the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women over age 21 consume only one serving of alcohol per day (find the CDC’s alcohol serving guide at This recommendation has good intentions. However, teenagers and young adults do not learn the rules of drinking from the CDC. They often learn how and what to drink from their parents or families and at parties, tailgates and happy hours. Perhaps this is why New York-based meditation studio owner Lodro Rinzler introduced mindful drinking classes for his clients. As a general concept, we know mindfulness as the practice of being aware in the present moment. In January 2018, TIME magazine invited us into Rinzler’s mindful drinking class, where “students take time to smell, taste and fully experience their cocktails, with the goal of staying present and analyzing the physical and psychological effects of drinking. ‘The goal is more that they would have a healthier relationship to [alcohol] than to drink more or less,’” Rinzler says. Keeping this in mind, how can women “show up in their own celebrations,” as LaTanya encourages, without putting our health and our reputations at risk? Statistics show us that “It’s not ladylike” is antiquated thinking, and the numbers are also proving that more women are drinking now more than ever before. Perhaps it’s time, before the next toast, to think about our relationship with alcohol and whether or not it’s a healthy one—which is something we should all be saying “cheers” to.


tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 23 

real life


Courageous Conversations and the Power of Forgiveness By Michelle A. Mitcham, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, CFM

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. —Marianne Williamson


his is a profound statement, one worth processing and pondering as we think of past or present experiences that evoke pain, hurt, disrespect, shame, betrayal, loss, contempt, bitterness or anger inflicted by another. We have all been hurt, that is a fact. Who has not been either let down, wronged, offended, lied to, minimized, cheated or betrayed? Perhaps you have experienced some form of verbal, emotional, financial or physical abuse? Hurting in any of these ways may have been traumatic. It is important to know that hurting people in pain naturally hurt others, even if they are not cognizant of their actions. The good news is that you have survived and that you have a choice to not necessarily forget but to forgive. To live your best and have quality health and wellness, letting go of negative feelings is critical. Letting go of the negative emotions associated with not forgiving often contributes to higher emotional wellness, lower stress and anxiety, and improved overall health. Forgiving is a process and takes time, but with courage, effort and faith, it is possible.

24  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

The Power of Forgiveness

Have faith in forgiveness because it is powerful and heals the heart so that you may move forward. Forgiveness is an essential component of healthy relationships for yourself and with others. Constantly looking in the rearview mirror in life will make you crash and not see the blessings right in front of you. Can you comfortably say that you are at peace with all those you love and care for, practicing forgiveness genuinely and authentically? We all have pain and hurt, oftentimes magnified because of the decision, refusal or perceived inability to forgive. To what extent is this pain or suffering attributable to our choice not to forgive ourselves or others? We sometimes have to have a courageous conversation with ourselves about forgiveness before we can face the conversation with others, if ever, and begin healing. First of all, what is forgiveness and why is it important and so powerful? To forgive someone is a conscious, intentional and deliberate action for the purpose of letting go of negative

feelings, resentment or even hate. The power of forgiveness is just that—powerful. Forgiveness makes us whole and not broken, allowing us to release toxic hurt, pain, energy and feelings, and to be present. The ability to forgive communicates strength and allows us to take the high road. When forgiveness is not practiced, are there any winners? There is no cost to forgiving. The only cost of not forgiving may be hurt feelings, lost relationships, decreased quality of life and anger. Internalizing negative feelings, holding grudges and not letting go of the past are not healthy choices and do not lead to positive outcomes, such as sustained relationships with friends and people we care about—especially family. Some think to forgive means they are weak. Gandhi reminds us that “the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” The power of forgiveness works twofold. When we forgive others, despite their choices, we are released from their control, giving ourselves the opportunity to be present. Being present in the here and now is a gift to yourself and those you care about. Holding on to negativity robs us of the ability to experience the relationships that matter most.

Healing the Heart Toolbox

• Journaling. Reflect on your emotions and consider journaling about forgiveness. Write about the situation, the expectations and your perceptions/perspectives. Consider using Johari’s Window exercise and process what blind spots you may be experiencing. List the pros and cons of “letting go” or “holding on” to a feeling that does not serve you well. Acknowledge your role in the situation, even if you think it was 10 percent. Being accountable for your contribution is important to gaining understanding and perspective. Process any emotional triggers that you may have experienced earlier in life or in a different situation; sometimes our unprocessed feelings sneak into current relationships. Increasing awareness and identifying past hurts or pains, as well as the source of these feelings, may provide increased understanding into our current meaning-making. • Self-Care Plan. Practice mindfulness and self-care. Incorporate meditation, yoga, exercise, prayer or some type of mind, body or spirit activities into your regimen. • Reaching Out. Reach out to the person, if you feel comfortable, and choose to forgive. As an option, you may write a letter to the person (or in the journal) to process your feelings, but not give it to them. • Seek Professional Guidance. If you feel stuck, reach out to professionals for assistance. Sometimes it is helpful to process our feelings with a professional to gain insight and fresh perspectives, tools for success. A professional may assist with effective conflict-resolution strategies so you may move forward, allowing you to live your best-quality life.

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tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 25 

on the cover

The Transformative Power of the Spirit of Youth By Heather Thomas Photography by Kira Derryberry

As Development Director of Boys Town North Florida for the past 15 years, Dena Strickland is well-known for her compassion and unwavering dedication to the uplifting of children and families in the Big Bend community. She seems to have an exhaustless supply of hope as she radiates positivity, sharing her light in the darkest of situations that many of our community’s children face. But where does her steadfast belief in the goodness of the world come from? Within Dena’s story are the life-giving opportunities that come from the transformative power of a youthful spirit and how to apply them to our own lives.

DEFINING FAMILY When Dena Strickland speaks of her own youth, it’s with a smile and a respectful voice, acknowledging the sacrifices her grandparents and parents made and the love she felt no matter where her father’s military postings took her first-generation American Greek family. Born Maria Modena Papageorge, Dena is the youngest of three children, and as the only girl, she felt protected and treasured. She says, “I never doubted my own worth because I was shown daily that I was loved.” Also, due to her exposure to many different cultures and types of people in her family’s travels, she gained an appreciation for diversity and that the idea of family, and how that is defined, can be as colorful as a patchwork quilt. Too often, the children who come to Boys Town North Florida have not felt this type of acceptance and sometimes have no concept of what a family looks like and how a family should behave with one another. The family unit or lack thereof is a child’s first introduction into relationships, structure and how love is communicated and can either stifle or nurture a youthful spirit. “When I first began with Boys Town, I went into it wanting the children to have what I had growing up—every child deserves to feel loved and treasured. At Boys Town, they begin to learn about the meaning of family and that your family can be a choice.” Choosing Boys Town to be an integral part of Dena’s life and family was a natural fit. In fact, most people now equate Boys Town with Dena and Dena with Boys Town as she embodies and projects much of what Boys Town promotes. Founded in 1917 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Father Edward J. Flanagan, Boys Town would later become a family and home to both boys and girls. The first of Boys Town’s national sites, Boys Town North Florida has been serving children and families since 1983. It partners with area agencies and businesses to enhance the quality and variety of care provided to children and families in the community. Its five on-site, residential group homes, foster care services and an Integrated Continuum of Care​services that change the lives of more than 5,000 people in North Florida. 26  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

Every child deserves to feel loved and treasured.

A loving family, whether it’s one you are born into or one you choose, can help give you wings to fly beyond what you thought was possible. “The family unit provides important teachable moments. It’s important for everyone to belong in a group of people that are helping you to make healthy choices, how to love and to forgive, and demonstrate that you are an important part of a team.” As a mother of two sons, Dena says, “My family is my life. I hold my precious sons closely in my heart, and I delight in them as I watch them become good men who understand the importance of giving back in order to uplift others.” This idea of a family also brings up the importance of everyone in a community considering the children that live there to be their responsibility too, as if our city is one big family. If we say that “children are our future,” then we should act accordingly. “I consider all of the boys and girls at Boys Town my children too. When I speak of ‘my children,’ I speak of all of the young lives that I have had the privilege to help nurture. They are also a part of my family, and as they learn from me, I learn from them.” In that same way, Boys Town has continued to expand its services to help the community as a whole. From parenting classes to mental health navigation, the outreach continues to connect to the needs of Tallahassee families and what is needed most. “I’m incredibly proud of the work that we continue to do to address not only the needs of our children and families at Boys Town but the needs of the community. Our proven methods have been in place for over 100 years, and it’s a passion of mine to be able to bring hope to everyone. We are all in this together." tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 27 

on the cover

OPEN HEARTS Admittedly, by her own confirmation, her steadfast hope in humanity comes from a childlike faith and trust. However, it’s an openheartedness balanced by quiet strength and a tenacity to protect children, and at the same time, teaching them how to have an open heart and cultivating inner strength.“Every day, my prayer is to stay strong, no matter the circumstances, but not have a hard heart, because when our hearts are hard, we don’t allow people to get close and we lose that childlike faith that the world is good and God is always by our side.” Also, to hold on to the spirit of youth, we have to let go of those hard shells that we build up over the years. “I embrace life and embrace people. I continue to keep giving because it’s important to keep a loving, open heart. The children who come to Boys Town are shown how to break down their walls and be a light for society and their place in it through the help and encouragement of adults who have earned their trust. This process can take years, so we honor their trust in us and treasure the gift of their hearts. It’s beyond price.” Having an open heart means also to embrace the transformative opportunities that come from being real, open and honest. “If you are living a life of openhearted love—loving yourself and loving the people that you are surrounded by, you grow and can also impact other people who will know you truly care about them. There’s so much joy to be had in every day and a lot to be grateful for. It’s the gifts to be found in the moments that really matter, even in the struggles. Our joy and gratitude is meant to be shared.” From very early on in her life, Dena has practiced grateful living and sharing from its well spring— in particular, there is an innate outpouring of compassion for those who are most vulnerable. “I think I was born with it. I have always wanted 28  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

I embrace life and embrace people. I continue to keep giving because

it’s important to keep a loving, open heart.

to help those who are the most at risk in our society—children, the elderly and anyone who doesn’t have a voice to speak. I want to help be that voice for others. I see the innocence in all people.” And, as Dena reminds us, it doesn’t always have to be the grand gestures of help. It can be the little things that change a day or a life. “There’s a chalkboard in my kitchen that has the quote, ‘Every day matters.’ Life is truly a journey, and we are given every moment to make them count. When you smile at someone that you know is feeling down or give a kind gesture in some way, you are impacting someone’s life. I believe that every person born brings a gift to society and when you give of yourself, of your heart, you are becoming the person humanity needs you to be. Children, especially, need to be taught that they are valuable and worthy—no matter what they have done or what has been done to them, the world is waiting for them to realize their own potential.”

In that line of thought, another translation of openheartedness is keeping a sense of wonder—of the world, of its people and of life itself. When Dena was in high school, she was teased for her marveling of the beauty around her, and always looking for the positive in any situation. “I would say, ‘Look how gorgeous the blue sky is!’ Or, ‘Can you believe how amazing this day has been?’ People would laugh but I was okay with that because I knew early on that I was gifted with the ability to live in the moment. Keeping a sense of wonder, amazement and appreciation for life allows me to maintain that gift.” When we are children, the sense of wonder is as natural as breathing, but for varied reasons, too often it gets lost along the way to adulthood. Dena says, “Even children, especially those who have experienced trauma, need to be taught anew the importance of having wonder and to be awestruck by the gifts to be found in the ordinary that can magically become extraordinary. As adults who work with children, it’s important that we model this for them. To lose your sense of wonder is to lose your sense of self and of what is most important. I believe that God gave us the sense of wonder for the world so as to better connect us to Him and to one another.”

IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY Another way to connect to our inborn gifts and to one another is to reactivate and explore our creativity. Built in 2016, ART Town at Boys Town serves as a shining example and a reminder of the importance of curiosity and enhancing the creative experience as it pertains to maintaining overall health and wellbeing. In this space, Boys Town has captured the essence of what it means to have a youthful spirit—to have fun, be curious and engage in an artistic and creative pursuit that can empower the mind, body and spirit and fuel positive self-esteem. “We all love to have fun and

at ART Town there is the freedom of self-discovery—whether you are painting, coloring, building—you’re able to create something entirely new from your imagination. It’s also a great way to help break down those walls that our children have built around their hearts. Art allows you to express yourself and not be afraid. The parallel is that life can be a little scary too and you have to be willing to step out and embrace each other’s lives because that is where the jewel is found.” When we are given the opportunities to delve into a creative process, we also become a part of something larger than ourselves. “I believe that we all have a unique purpose. Many of the children and families we help at Boys Town are a part of that larger purpose. When we can tap into their acknowledgment that they are made for something better, something more, we give them hope. Hope is everything. I feel like one of my main jobs is helping children discover their unique purpose and communicating with the community on how they can be a part of that discovery.” When it comes to the importance of art, creative collaboration and reminding everyone that they are a masterpiecein-the-making, the theme of the Boys Town Spirit of Youth gala this year—A Living Work of heART—is a perfect pairing. Dena says, “We need to continually teach our children that we are all living works of ‘heART.’ Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and be transformed and that we are divinely created by God to love and to be loved. This gala is our way of showing them that love and how much the community cares for them, believes in them, and our overwhelming desire for them to feel truly and deeply loved.”

THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE This belief that we are all living reflections of a grand design taps into the ultimate aspect of a youthful spirit—that we

matter and we are loved without limits. So, if the children at Boys Town can come back from the brink and be transformed, what is stopping us from tapping into that same power? Imagining all of the tragic and sometimes horrific experiences these children have grown up around, with everything telling them that they don’t matter, and then to finally believe that they are loved and have a purpose, is the most life-changing power on earth. Tapping into a spirit of youth is an opportunity not bound by age or circumstances—there’s no stopping someone who believes in their own worth and their ability to make a difference. The famous Boys Town slogan and image of a boy holding another boy up on his shoulders may say it best, “He ain’t heavy…He’s my brother.” Dena says, “We are all each other’s sisters and brothers. We are meant to love one another, lifting each other up. It has been my great honor to help lift these children, just as I have been transformed by others lifting me.” And the gifts that come from carrying a spirit of youth can lift all of us up as well, opening our hearts to the transformative opportunities to be found in each new day. EDITORS NOTE: Every April, Boys Town North Florida celebrates the “Spirit of Youth” with an annual fund-raising gala with the same name. The gala honors the unwavering spirit of children who have suffered the pain and betrayal of abuse. But what does having a “spirit of youth” means for all of us, and how can we nurture it in our own lives? There are many benefits to cultivating a youthful spirit, some of those illustrated in this article. TWM would love to hear how you create and sustain a spirit of youth by e-mailing us at info@talwoman. com. Your comments may be published in an upcoming issue. tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 29 









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Chelse Collins and Manzura Ishanova A Mindful Workday Makeover Business Conversations Do’s and Don’ts Standing Desks: Is the (Up)right Option for You? TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section 31 

We are proud to announce that our office is growing and want to welcome our new attorneys. Our Tallahassee Professionals: Kelly Overstreet Johnson

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32 TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section


business and entepreneurism

STANDING DESKS Is the (Up)Right Option for You? By Abby Cloud

In pursuit of overall wellness, many professionals have

begun including healthier alternatives in their offices and workplaces. For those with timely desk jobs, it is sometimes hard to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, which can lead to health issues such as obesity, neck pain and cardiovascular disease, according to the Harvard Health blog. To combat a sedentary office lifestyle, many workers are switching to standing desks—desks that allow you to stand comfortably while still completing your work As more workspaces join the standing desk movement, it is clear that the benefits offer a healthier option that you can stand up for. Major health benefits. It’s not hard to recognize that standing at your desk is more favorable to your health than sitting in a chair for nine or more hours a day. shares that you burn more calories when you stand versus sitting at your desk, which can lower your risks of obesity and heart

disease. Using a standing desk will also help to ease the neck, shoulder and back pain gained from sitting for lengthy periods of time. More energy. Standing desks can help improve your energy by lowering your blood sugar levels more rapidly after eating. Due to these higher energy levels and the absence of the annoying stress on your neck and back, your productivity increases. According to, there are reports of professionals who use standing desks having more positive moods and less stress involving office tasks. Convenience. While some newer office desks come with the option to adjust their height, you can easily create your own standing desk by placing your laptop or phone on a stack of books. Or you can purchase a standing desk that can be customized to your height and office needs. TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section 33 


business lifestyle

MEDITATION FOR DESK DWELLERS A Mindful Makeover for Your Work Day By Heather Fuselier

In the midst of a busy workday, taking time to meditate

can seem laughable. Who has time for that? Who could get away with it? Guess what? You do and you can! Here’s how. Pack away your perception that meditation needs to take place in a special place, in the lotus position or with absolute peace and solitude. Meditation can be two minutes out of the day, at your desk or in your car. When you carve out a few minutes to be with your breath, meditation can reduce stress and anxiety and boost concentration and productivity. Every desk dweller has time for that! So how can you get away with meditating at work and during your workday? Here are four tips: 1. Unplug. If you find that you are checking e-mails or your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night, meditation can help ease the transition. Turn everything off and set devices aside. 2. Focus with Samatha. Also known as “calming meditation,” Samatha meditation increases your focus and productivity. To do this exercise, take two minutes to focus on one object. Gaze softly at it, without attaching any judgment to what it is or whether it is suitable, and be aware of the rising and falling of your breath. Whenever you notice that your mind has wandered, just bring it back. You may want to set a timer to go off after a few minutes so you are not preoccupied with how much time has passed. Enjoy some time to think about just one thing. 34 TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section

3. Meditate in your car. Need a little more privacy? Head to your car and turn it into your own little zen fort. Turn on the air conditioning if needed to make it comfortable, and set a timer for five to ten minutes. Sit comfortably and gently, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Car meditation may be a good place to try a guided meditation like ones that can be found online at on Sound Try this before or after meetings that may stress you out. 4. Take a meditative walk. Walking is a great way to boost energy and burn calories during the work day, but a meditative walk takes it to a new level. Leave your to-do list in the office and head out into nature for a mindful walk. As you walk, notice your pace. Notice how your feet feel on the pavement. Notice how the sun feels on your skin. Perhaps try to follow the advice of Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn and “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” Take in the scents, sounds and sensations of your walk. The to-do list will be there when you get back, and you’ll have a renewed energy to tackle it. Meditation can feel elusive in the most serene of settings, but it is in its simplicity that we find the most satisfaction. Relax—you can do this. Slow down, take a few moments for yourself and start with your breath. Practice a little bit each day until sinking into meditation before, during or after stressful times at work becomes your new normal, one breath at a time.

BUSINESS CONVERSATIONS: THE DO’S AND DON’TS by Ellie Bright For some people, networking and communicating with others in a

business situation can be intimidating, overwhelming and uncomfortable. The pressure of impressing a business partner or potential client can be stressful and nerve-wracking. But on the other hand, it is important to be confident, engaged and collected when communicating with employees, managers or customers. Allowing yourself time to prepare, making sure to be concise, and staying poised and knowledgeable will allow you to walk into any situation ready to take on any conversation. In order to become a more self-assured communicator, think about following these do’s and don’ts for communicating effectively.

Do plan your message ahead of time.

What are some ideas that you are trying to communicate to an employer or customer? Make sure that you come prepared to discuss those particular topics. Figuring out your main points of conversation beforehand can eliminate some of the stresses of a spontaneous conversation.

Do walk into a conversation feeling confident. Have faith in your ability and your intelligence, and walk into a conversation with assurance. Your confidence and conviction will give you the upper hand. And if you are nervous, fake it until you make it.

Do anticipate the different types of people you will meet and cater to their differences.

Knowing your audience is an important part of being an effective communicator. Make sure that you are aware of who they are, what they do and how they operate before striking up a conversation. This will give you the upper hand and will also make them feel respected and appreciated.

Do be concise and get to the point.

Make sure that the information you are sharing and connecting with is furthering and strengthening your main point. Wordiness and superfluous verbiage can be distracting and off-putting and can make your audience tune out the conversation. Practice a clear, concise and engaging pitch.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Never be afraid to ask questions and learn from others. Rather than viewing it as a sign of ignorance or inexperience, think of asking questions as a way to grow and better yourself. People will value your initiative in learning something new and feel like you are actively listening and interested in what they have to say.

Don’t assume that your audience has all of the information.



When entering into a conversation, make sure that your audience is understanding the points and even jargon that you are using to communicate while not insulting your audience’s intelligence.

Don’t let the emotions of the day affect your conversation.

If you have had a bad or stressful day, make sure to leave that behind. Being frustrated and irritated throughout a conversation will make your audience uncomfortable. Make sure to have a fresh start when beginning a new conversation.

Don’t make it all about you.

Confidence is important, but cockiness is rude and unnecessary. When trying to network or build relationships with others, arrogance is more likely to annoy someone than impress them. Understand the difference and line between selfconfidence and arrogance, and try your best not to cross it.

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TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section 35 




By Michelle R. Nickens | elleBelle Photography

Two friends. A new idea. One bus. And, voilà—

Novus Racks is now traveling the road, bringing fashion to all parts of  Tallahassee, even to your doorstep. Chelse Collins and Manzura Ishanova teamed up and took their friendship and concept to a new level by launching their business Novus Racks earlier this year. After deciding to change careers and put their idea into practice, these young entrepreneurs worked diligently for six months to refine their concept, develop a marketing plan, create their business model and strategy and purchase and renovate their “store,” which is a 16-seat passenger bus, transformed into an elegant mobile boutique. “Both of us always wanted our own business,” Chelse explained. “One day, we were talking about clothing and how it would be fun to work together and build a business around fashion. We had looked at the numbers to establish a brick and mortar store, but for us, we found mobile was the right direction.” Mobile offers flexibility, citywide reach, lower startup costs and an opportunity to be creative and experiment with new ideas. The food truck industry, mobile dog grooming, car detailing and other mobile retailers have expanded and grown more common. “We are excited to be part of the mobile movement,” Manzura said. This streamlined, flexible and easy service delivery model is ideal for busy and complex lifestyles. “Our mobile boutique,” Manzura said, “is based on four foundational components: strength, courage, power and desire for a new beginning.” Chelse added, “Our name means new beginnings in Latin and represents not only our change to a new career but also a new business model and shopping experience."

36 TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section

“Our mobile boutique,” Manzura said, “is based on four foundational components: strength, courage, power, and desire for a new beginning.”

TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section 37 




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“Our focus is on four categories,” Chelse explained, “active wear, casual, business and party attire. We wanted to ensure we have something for everyone. We have all sizes, including plus sizes.” When you enter the mobile boutique, you immediately feel a smile spread across your face. Dresses, shirts, pants and skirts dance and sway on the racks. Mannequins showcase some of the hottest trends. Complete with a dressing room, accessories, candles and their own fragrance, Novus Racks offers a one-stop shop at affordable prices. “Everything in the boutique is $50 and under,” Chelse said. These two women are an inspiration to anyone thinking about starting CHELSE their own business. “Don’t be afraid of COLLINS change, taking a risk or hard work, “Chelse addition to a partner in Novus Racks. Nothing said. “We work well together. We is impossible. You can do it—prioritize, have different strengths, whether it communicate, stay focused.” Lined along the is marketing, networking, selecting shelves and racks on the bus are inspirational inventory, social media, financial management or other elements of our quotes. One from Margaret Thatcher says, business. We have similar personalities “Power is like a lady…if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” The ladies of Novus Racks and likes but play different roles. don’t have to say it—their vision and passion Having a partner is very helpful.” show through in their attention to detail, innovative thinking and stylish flair. They are Starting and operating a business savvy, creative, classy and powerful. while juggling family and other priorities can be overwhelming And how about the guys? “We have some items for anyone. Chelse says, “Staying now,” Chelse said, “like wallets, watches and gift organized and planning are key. sets, but we will be expanding the Novus Guy Manzura is a wife and mother in concept and will be offering men’s fashions soon.”

38 TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section

Bright Ideas & Inspired Results

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Novus Racks is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We team up with property owners to park in their parking lot. But we also participate in festivals and offer private events. Girls’ nights out are a popular event. We are working on our calendar now. It’s best to visit our social media and website to view the calendar and see where we are going to be. Check for times and locations, drive up and shop.” New beginnings can be a scary prospect but can also be rewarding and life-changing for all the right reasons. “Follow your dreams,” Chelse stressed. “They can come true.” Watch for Novus Racks to roll into your side of town. Learn more at

ADANNA AMANZE, MD Maternal-Fetal Medicine 3D/4D Ultrasounds | Genetic screening | Preconceptual counseling Board Certified OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Tallahassee Perinatal Consultants 2418 East Plaza Drive | Tallahassee, FL 32308 850-999-2651 | TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section 39 


Women Who Mean Business WOMEN TO WATCH

W S | A W A R D S | M I L E S


As part of a community of business-minded women, Tallahassee Woman celebrates, recognizes and honors the achievements made by women in the workplace and in the community. In doing so, we are connecting women together, empowering one another and celebrating our successes that are making a difference for everyone.

Natasha Hartsfield has recently been named as Tallahassee Museum’s Vice President of Programs. In her new role, Natasha will serve as a key member of the museum’s senior leadership team and will be responsible for providing leadership, oversight and promotion of the museum’s collections, exhibition and educational programs through public programming, curatorial work, publications, research and collection building. She will also enhance the museum’s profile and community relevance through acquisitions, scholarship, educational program development, exhibitions and public engagement conducted for advancing the museum’s mission.

Julie Lovelace was recently promoted to the position of Vice President at Municipal Code Corporation. In this role, Julie has overall supervision of the legal work of all code projects, and ensures that the final product is up to the company’s demanding standards. Julie earned her J.D. from Samford University Cumberland School of Law and holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and speech communications from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Julie is also an avid supporter of the local public library system.

Suellen Wilkins recently joined the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation as the agency’s Director of Communications. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University and has worked in marketing and communications for 20 years. Suellen was employed in the private sector as Editor for the Florida Institute of CPAs and Managing Editor for the Florida Dental Association. She is a member of the Florida Society of Association Executives.

Submit your items for the WWMB Community Women to Watch to 40 TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Today, Jubilee Sunshine Uncommon Gifts is a collective of local artists and small, locally-owned, or home-based businesses. They specialize in unique, vintage, and hand-crafted gifts and décor. They have art, home decor, handmade jewelry, vintage and boutique clothing, hand painted furniture, collector’s items and more. They also offer art classes and paint parties, where participants can enjoy the fun and relaxation that creativity can inspire. And the second Saturday of every month, Jubilee Sunshine hosts a “Meet the Artists Night,” where they perform live art demonstrations, provide free beverages and locally-made snacks from new or up-and-coming restaurants.

Jubilee Sunshine

Bringing the Sunshine to Tallahassee By Emma Peterson

Natalie Webb just needed to provide for her family. But she sparked a cultural revitalization in the community, providing a space where local artisans, creative spirits and wanderers can seek refuge and thrive. Jubilee Sunshine started in as a flea market booth in Tallahassee. It began in 2007, when the economy was struggling, and Natalie, like many other people, needed to find a way to make ends meet. Using her keen fashion sense and a closet full of items her children had outgrown, she was able to not only provide for her family but also create a thriving business that also gives back to the community. In 2011, Natalie expanded beyond reselling the clothing her children outgrew and began selling vintage finds, unique fashion and accessories. “I expanded to offer wholesale clothing and accessories, then wandered into the amazing artistic world of vintage and handmade, all the while falling back in love with fashion the way I did when I was a kid,” Natalie said.

Natalie sold her items at FSU’s Market Wednesdays and FAMU’s Set Fridays, while gaining popularity on social media through Facebook and Instagram. Then a vacant building inspired an idea that would change Natalie’s business. “I came up with the idea of splitting up the building to allow everyone an affordable retail space,” Natalie said. In the beginning, the artisans and vendors that Natalie contacted were hesitant. She had no concrete plan, and no investors or partners, and she was nervous to begin such a large project. But, as with everything else, Natalie relied on her faith for guidance and assurance. “I asked God for a sign that this crazy idea would work,” Natalie said. Natalie received her sign the next day when she got at least a dozen calls from vendors and artisans who believed in her vision and wanted to get in on the action. Knowing she had the artisans behind her, Natalie rented the space and was able to make her dream a reality.

The business model at Jubilee Sunshine is unique, to say the least. But its uniqueness has not held the business back. Rather, its novelty is the reason for success. “I learned from neighbors and passersby that not only would we be able to help other artists have a consistent retail environment, but also bring something new and culturally diverse to an area that was super excited to receive it!” Ten years since beginning this journey, Natalie has built a successful business. Using her expertise and passion for style and fashion, she has continued to provide unique items to her loyal customers and provide a place for local artists to sell their products. But what’s more important than the product she sells is the environment that she sells them in. “Everything is so impersonal nowadays— let’s take a step back into the good old days when you knew the people you were buying from by name.” For more information, visit online at

TWM • Women Who Mean Business | Special Section 41 

OUR COMMUNITY A look at the events, organizations and people that make Tallahassee a great place to live—and love.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving By Ellie Bright


ou head out to a fun dinner with friends. One cocktail turns into two cocktails and suddenly you aren’t in the right state to drive home. Do you choose to drive home anyways? Or do you call an Uber instead? The choice should be simple. The cost of an Uber is cheap, but a life is priceless. In the United States, two out of three people will be impacted by drunk driving in their lifetime. The goal of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is to make that number zero. MADD believes that this number is possible through the commitment and dedication of everyone. Anyone can be impacted by a drunk- or drugged-driving crash, no matter your background, economic standing or where you live. Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable, and their goal is to make that happen.

“...every 50 minutes someone dies from a drunk driving crash.” Claudia Machado, Program Specialist MADD Northwest Florida. Kristen Allen, Program Director MADD North Florida 42  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

With MADD offices located all over the United States, seven offices located throughout Florida and a local office here in Tallahassee, their services are available and free to everyone in the community. Claudia Machado, MADD

Northwest Florida’s Program Specialist, stated that one day, she hopes not to have a job because it will mean that there are no more victims. Claudia went on to say, “I have a job because every 50 minutes someone dies from a drunk driving crash.” MADD’s job is to provide advocacy for prevention and victim services in the Tallahassee area. Through prevention, MADD works to inform adults 21 and over about safe drinking habits. MADD also works with parents and gives them resources and information on how to help start a conversation with their children about the impacts of alcohol and underage drinking. Through this, parents can enforce the importance of not riding with someone who has been drinking. How teens treat alcohol has to do with the conversations they have with their parents. April and May are important months for talking with teens because events such as spring break, prom and graduation are all tempting times for those underage to drink and then get behind the wheel. Secondly, MADD works with victims and families who have been affected by impaired driving. Victim services include emotional support, accompanying a victim to court and any other support they need through this difficult process. There are so many different ways to get involved with MADD. Their biggest fundraiser and prevention event of the year is Walk Like MADD, where they have a safety fair, invite vendors and sponsors and walk in support of survivors and the family members of victims. This year’s event will be held on April 21 at Florida State University. Another way to get involved is putting safety first before going out to drink. Also, inform your family and friends about the dangers of impaired driving and start the conversation now. Finally, if you plan to drink, make a decision not to drive. Be safe, be smart, be a lifesaver and fight like MADD. If you would like to find more information on MADD or learn more about their mission, follow them on Facebook at MADDNWFL.

Amanda Drake


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tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 43 

haute HAPPENINGS By Abby Cloud and Claire Reed

Rose Show and Festival

April 26–28, 2018 | Thomasville, Georgia Come celebrate the 97th annual Rose Show and Festival held in historic Downtown Thomasville, Georgia. This festival has been a southwest Georgia tradition since the 1920s and hosts flower shows, parades, concerts, and more. To view the schedule of events, visit

Springtime Tallahassee

April 6–7, 2018 | Downtown Tallahassee Usher in the long-awaited spring season at Tallahassee’s 50th Springtime Tallahassee Festival! The celebration begins Friday, April 6, with the Music Festival on Kleman Plaza from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., with music by country singer Scotty McCreery and the group Parmalee. On April 7 at 9 a.m., join the fun at the Jubilee in the Park, including street vendors and local food hotspots. The Grand Parade down Monroe Street starts at 10:30 a.m. and features floats and performances by marching bands and dancers. For more information, visit

Flying High Circus

April 6–21, 2018 | Haskin Circus Complex at FSU The Flying High Circus is beginning its 71st Annual Home Show Series on April 6 and has numerous performances until April 21. Expect to be dazzled by themed acts that include flying trapeze and juggling. To learn about ticket prices and show times, visit

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Boys Town 2018 Spirit of Youth Gala A Living Work of heART

April 13, 2018 | University Center Club Come have a great time while supporting a wonderful cause at Boys Town North Florida’s 15th annual Spirit of Youth Gala. The theme for this year’s event is “A Living Work of heART,” which focus on what Boys Town is all about—saving children and healing families. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. For additional information, call (850) 504-5007 or visit online at

Word of South Festival

April 13–15, 2018 | Cascades Park

This festival, which goes on rain or shine, celebrates the connections between art, literature and music in the beautiful Cascades Park. Featuring performances by authors and musicians as well as ones geared towards kids, the Word of South Festival provides a unique blend of how we communicate through compositions. For more information, visit

Lemoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival

April 21–22, 2018 | Downtown Chain of Parks Voted the nation’s #1 Fine Arts Festival, this event allows visitors to view and purchase unique works of art from 150 carefully selected fine artists while enjoying a weekend filled with local heritage reenactments, various artistic creations, family fun, mouth-watering culinary creations, fanciful children’s art activities and foot-stomping live entertainment. The event is free and will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, with a concert from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit online at

2018 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger

April 21–28, 2018 | Forestmeadows Parks and Athletic Center Gather your friends and family and plan to attend the 2018 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger. Now in its 19th year, the

Tallahassee Tennis Challenger benefits the Vogter NeuroIntensive Care Unit at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. To learn more about the match schedule and the ticket prices, visit

Tallahassee Jazz and Blues Festival

April 28–29, 2018 | Tallahassee Museum Experience one of the region’s best twoday jazz, swing and rhythm and blues music festivals. Expect to hear spirited live music performances from multiple musicians. Feel free to bring camp chairs, blankets and some good company. To learn more about times and ticket prices, visit


Tallahassee Community College offers custom conference and event solutions to fit your budget while meeting your unique event planning needs. With first-rate support services, professional amenities and a variety of venue options, TCC is the ideal choice to host your conference, seminar, banquet, trade show or other event.

(850) 201-6058 |

tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 45 

community | haute happenings

l a u n n A 9th presented by:


Admission is FREE

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33rd Annual Chef's Sampler unfunded programs. Tickets are $125 April 29, 2018 The Pavilion at the Centre of Tallahassee The 33rd annual Chef’s Sampler features more than 50 local chefs and restaurants to enjoy, along with live music and a selection of local beers and wines. This event is family-friendly, and all proceeds benefit the Children’s Home Society in Florida, serving our communities’ most vulnerable and underprivileged children. For additional information, visit online at events/33rd-annual-chefs-sampler.

Southern Shakespeare Festival

May 10–13, 2018 | Cascades Park This year’s Southern Shakespeare Festival is one you will not want to miss. Grab some friends and enjoy the featured performance—Romeo and Juliet. The festival will also allow you to experience authentic Renaissance activities such as jugglers and illusionists, as well Renaissance cuisine. To find additional details and times, visit online at

Big Bend Hospice's Spring Fling Under the Artists' Moon

May 17, 2018 | Tallahassee Nurseries Be sure not to miss one of the greatest events this spring! Big Bend Hospice’s Spring Fling guests can expect to enjoy a magical evening of delicious food and spirits while admiring the extraordinary talent of local artists. The event will be held from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. in the beautiful gardens of Tallahassee Nurseries. Through the years, this event has raised over $1 million for Big Bend Hospice’s

each; you may purchase them before the event or at the door. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, call Big Bend Hospice at (850) 878-5310 or online at

Tour of Gardens

May 19, 2018 Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park What better way to enjoy the spring season than to attend the 24th Annual Tour of Gardens at Maclay Gardens? Begin your day with a breakfast on the grounds of the park, followed by a day filled with exploring the beauty of the gardens. A silent auction will also be held. This event lasts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit floridastateparks. org/park-events/Maclay-Gardens.

B3 Bash: Bourbon, Beer + Bites

May 31, 2018 | Purple Martin Outpost Kick off your summer with the B3 Bash at the Purple Martin Outpost. This new event will pair exceptional bourbons and craft beers with mouthwatering and gourmet “bites” from some of Tallahassee’s finest chefs, including decadent desserts from Kiersten Lee’s Paisley Café. The event will also feature cuisine prepared by award-winning Chef Jackson Yordon, owner of the Kennebunkport, Maine’s Salt & Honey restaurant, which has been featured in Town & Country magazine. All proceeds benefit Independence Landing, the Big Bend’s first independent-living community for individuals with varying physical and cognitive abilities. More information can be found at

2018 | TALLAHASSEE TENNIS CHALLENGER See professional tennis up close and personal as players ranked in the top 200s

in the world compete for the $75,000 purse and ATP points. Benefiting Tallahassee

Memorial, the 19th Annual Tallahassee Tennis Challenger sponsorships will directly

enhance patient care at the Vogter Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, which is home to the region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center.

April 21 – 28, 2018

Forestmeadows Tennis Center | 4750 North Meridian Rd.

CHALLENGER KICK OFF FRIDAY April 6, 2018 Bannerman Crossings | 6 pm – 10 pm | Band begins at 7 pm Bouncy house for the kids, tennis demonstrations, appetizers and more. FREE and open to the public and families.


OUR 2018-2019

Nov 15 - Nov 18

Oct 5 - Oct 14 The Lab Theatre By Sarah Ruhl

Oct 19 - Oct 28

The Fallon Theatre Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall Music by Paddy Cunneen

Nov 2 - Nov 11

The Lab Theatre Music and Lyrics by William Finn Book by William Finn and James Lapine

The Fallon Theatre Book by Elisabeth Kann and Victoria Kann Music by John Gregor Lyrics by John Gregor, Elisabeth Kann, and Victoria Kann

Feb 15 - Feb 24

The Fallon Theatre Based on Sholem Aleichem's stories, by special permission of Arnold Perl Book by Joseph Stein Music by Jerry Bock Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Apr 5 - Apr 14

The Lab Theatre Written by Paul Downs Colaizzo

850.644.6500 | tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 47 

AROUNDTOWN Events • Benefits • Activities

Joanna Francis Living Fashionably Well


The Joanna Francis Living Well Foundation hosted its annual fashion show, “Living Fashionably Well,” supporting breast cancer survivors and their families at the Goodwood Museum and Gardens. This year’s theme was “Celebrate Your Tribe.” Survivors modeled clothes from local boutiques and strutted down the runway with style, grace and courage. Tallahassee Woman was pleased to be a sponsor of the event.




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1. Erica Goff, Dianne McCain 2. Kristi Dubler, Dr. Shelby Blank (front), Jody Elliott, Natasha Young, Lee Ann Hatfield, Katie Lambert 3. Elizabeth Davidson, Maye Walker, Amanda Cherry 4. Carolyn Milgrom, Shari Hickey, Chelsea Gold 5. Jenny Wright, Amy Templeton, Courtney Ewing, Lisa Phipps, Katy Urban 6. Jacquelin Webster, Harold Lyons, Michelle Dickson



Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center

The Imagining Freedom Fundraiser and Culinary Tasting, supporting the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, featured great food, a live band and even better company. The Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center strives to assist human trafficking victims, providing needed services and educating the community of signs of human trafficking.





1. Judy Gagnon, Suzanna Harrison 2. Carolyn Gee, Monica Smart-Gainous 3. Betsey Crawford, Charlotte Curtis, Peggy Allen, Sabrina Rodriguez de Conte 4. Ashlee McCarter, Marisela Ruiz 5. Gina Giacomo, Carolyn LaBoeuf, Pat Tuthill, Kristina Hartman, Rose McCaffrey, Chris Lane, Jamie Newberry 6. Graciela Marquina, Christin Gonzalez, Judy Gagnon, Robin Hassler Thompson, Vania Llovera

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home and garden

Welcome to Huba Haven By Emma Peterson

L “ ife is a precious gift from God and your home should be part of that celebration” T

ammy and Tiffany Huba are a mother-daughter duo who joined forces to decorate the family home of Tammy and her husband, Reverend Daniel Huba, the pastor at the Apostolic Church of Tallahassee. Using Tammy’s love for collecting and Tiffany’s eye for design, they were able to make their home a place that is both elegant and comfortable. In the Huba home, lovingly called Huba Haven, there is an open-door policy—they are always entertaining. “We love to have people in our home,” Tammy said, “and I want them to be as comfortable as possible.” It took about two years to build the beautiful home set on a lake, but decorating only took three to four months thanks to Tiffany’s dedication to the project. “I could not have physically done it all on my own,” Tammy said. “It was a blessing. Without her, I would probably still be decorating.”

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Tammy and Tiffany are self-described bargain shoppers. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good design,” Tiffany said. The items in this home were purchased at local designer discount stores, antique stores, and yard sales and many items were passed down from family members. Though the decorating process was relatively quick, Tiffany advises that you not rush the process. “I think the science behind it is giving yourself time to find what you really want.” And there’s no formula to decorating a beautiful home. Tiffany said, “A lot of the traditional fashion rules don’t apply anymore. You just have to try it and see what works.” When you enter the home, you step into a large, brightly lit room, due to the abundance of windows along the front. In the center is a fireplace that was built by Tammy’s husband. The mantle is adorned with beautiful, unique touches. To the left is the sitting room, and to the right is the piano. Tammy calls it the “Frozen” room because of the light-blue walls and sparkly features throughout the space. “Whenever we have guests or have prayer at our house, we always gather in that room,” Tammy said. Tiffany’s bridal shower was also in that room not long ago. The simple elegance of this room makes it a perfect space to gather with loved ones. The eyes may be drawn to the beautiful rugs in the room. Though they are identical, they were actually purchased separately. “I found the first one at Ross and bought the second on the designer’s website,” Tiffany shared, adding, “Oftentimes, the items you buy at stores like Ross will have the tag on them, that provides the style number and design number. I looked the rug up online, and it was a perfect match.” Tammy was gifted the baby grand piano for her 40th birthday. “I went to school for music, and we’re very involved in the church music ministry. When my girls come over, they all gather around the piano and play.” The bench next to the piano is from the piano Tammy learned to play on as a little girl. “It means so much to me,” Tammy said.

tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 51 

home and garden

Compared to the other rooms in the house, the kitchen is simple. “We wanted to have touches of farmhouse, but in a dressier manner.” Adjacent to the kitchen is a spacious and inviting family dining table, used frequently for gatherings and celebrations with family and friends. Personal touches that exemplify the love in the home are evident. On the windowsill, there are several sets of salt and pepper shakers. Some were purchased at Cracker Barrel, and others came from Tammy’s grandmother—Mama Gladys. Tammy uses the shakers for entertaining and will pick a set that best matches the occasion. “I do that in memory of my grandmother.” One of the bedrooms is aptly named the Floridian Room, where Tammy and Tiffany added “a little bit of Florida glam.” With shimmery touches and seashells gathered from Dog Island, they wanted to highlight the best of Florida. “We wanted to make it the way everyone wants to feel when they come to Florida,” Tiffany said. The Lakeview room, the home’s second guest bedroom, is meant to give their guests a hotel experience. Family memories fill this room as well. On the table sits the Bible that Tammy’s mother used, with each page filled with her mother’s notes. “The next time I read through the Bible, I want to read through my mother’s Bible and read through her notes,” Tammy said. 52  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

“My laundry room is a lot of memories,” Tammy said. A room that many people ignore during the decorating process, they turned into a fun, colorful room full of intricate details. “I collect stuff and Tiffany puts it all together,” Tammy added. The sewing machine was a gift from Tiffany for Mother’s Day as a tribute to the one Tammy’s mother used. “It reminds me of the days when my mom used to make all of our clothes.”

Huba Haven is full of beauty, but it’s more than a beautiful home to them. “We’ve always dedicated our home and everything we have to the Lord,” Tammy said. Tiffany added, “When your house looks better, it’s more exciting to go home.” The Hubas show us that anyone can have a beautifully decorated home, and the end result is definitely worth the work. tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 53 

the dish

Healthy Meal Makeovers That Satisfy Three Generations By Ellie Bright 54  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018


lot of women these days wear many different chef hats. Linda Royster is a daughter, mother and grandmother extraordinaire. As a caretaker to her 92-year-old mother, who is diabetic, finding healthy and delicious meals for her can sometimes be a challenge. As a grandmother, Linda works hard to find meals that will also be tasty for her 7-year-old grandson, Cooper, as well. In order to bridge the age, palate and health divide, it was necessary to transform old family favorites into recipes that every family member can enjoy. Here are Linda’s two favorite recipes to help you transform your next meal into a new, healthy favorite.

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese (Serves 4)

Ingredients: 1 large head cauliflower 1 cup heavy cream 1/8 tsp garlic powder 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground 1 tsp kosher salt 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese 2 oz cream cheese Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt. Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and garlic and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes.

Easy and Quick Tomato and Black Bean Chicken (Serves 4)

Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 can reduced-sodium stewed tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup salsa 1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup water 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes Directions: Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over a mediumhigh heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until done. Add remaining ingredients then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for one hour. tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 55 

Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant Deliciously Blends the Classic and the New By Heather Thomas | Photography by elleBelle Photography


ike many long-time residents of Tallahassee, I fondly remember Mom & Dad’s on Apalachee Parkway, where patrons came not just for the homemade Italian fare but for the welcoming presence of home, since the nourishment sprang from the place and its owners, just as much as the food did. Established in 1963 by the Violante family, the restaurant was later purchased by Jim and Lisa Graganella, who, along with Rick Kearney, are the current owners of the new location in Bannerman Crossings. Moving Mom & Dad’s from its original location has proven to be a delicious blend of original and new menu dishes, while adding an

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upscale ambiance to the time-honored traditions that make Mom & Dad’s a Tallahassee hometown classic. When you first enter Mom & Dad’s, your eyes can’t help but be drawn to the elegant and modern chandeliers dripping with crystals and pewter, while that same color scheme continues with the metallic ceiling panels and the earthy-homey blends of wooden pillars, panels and millwork. In addition to a sophisticated, separate bar area and the main dining room and outdoor patio that seats 32, there’s a banquet room—Campania Banquet Room (which accommodates 50 for a seated event or 75 for cocktails

and hors-d’oeuvres) and a private room, dubbed “The Bubble Room” for its array of champagne bottles artfully used as decorations for the space, along with a large, digital photograph of the original Mom & Dad’s owners. Lisa Graganella says, “We wanted to mix in well-known touches of the original location that a lot of locals will recognize with a fresh look and feel to add new chapters to the Mom & Dad’s story.” Those fresh offerings are also seen on the expanded menu (with 22 new items added) thanks in part to a state-of-the-art kitchen and up-and-coming culinary chefs— Christopher Cirioni, Alonzo Leftenant

and Jason Reyes. With our generous and welcoming hosts, Jim and Lisa, and General Manager Kim Sladek, TWM was treated to a fabulous offering of culinary fare. The following are our “Best Bites” on the menu, and in the spirit of blending the classic and the new, we recommend you try one of each on your next visit.


*Classic—The Antipasto An array of Italian meats, cheeses, olives and vegetables with a mindful choice of a small, medium or large plate or platter so you can have a nibble or a feast. *New—Arancini This is risotto like you’ve never had before—rolled in herb breading with a little kick and lightly fried, these crunchy, rice-rounded delights are served with garlic butter and marinara. *New—Dad’s Wings These might be the best wings you’ve ever had, and in a town that holds the bar high for wings to fly to, that is the best accolade we can give. Dad’s Wings are served mild, hot, garlic-parmesan or BBQ.


*The soups are a daily chef ’s selection, but we highly recommend the tomato bisque if offered, along with the tortellini in a cream-based sauce. *New Salad—The Caprese Salad All salads feature homemade dressings, but nothing can quite top the balsamic reduction, which is the star of the show in the Caprese salad, but the fresh, heirloom tomatoes and burrata (rich and creamy fresh mozzarella) cheese are a close second, along with Italian herbs so fresh they could have come from your garden.

*New—Linguini and Clams The lightness of the white wine butter sauce pairs well with the Littleneck clams (sourced locally from (Southern Seafood), clam stock and Italian herbs. Mix in a freshly made batch of linguini noodles and you get a seafood and pasta delight.


Where to even begin? With a stunning, decadent array of gelatos, cannoli, cakes and pies, it is incredibly hard to choose just one, but choose we must. The winner is the New York cheesecake, which harkens back to Jim’s New York City family roots and is a new offering to the dessert menu. It’s the lightest, melt-in-your-mouth dessert as authentically “NYC” as possible. And did I mention we enjoyed all of the desserts on their outdoor patio space while the fire pits chased away the chill in the air? It was a gratifying, final chapter of our night in the retelling of a classic,

restaurant story. Jim, Lisa, Rick and all the family at Mom & Dad’s welcome you back home to Tallahassee’s original Italian casa. For more information about Mom & Dad’s,“like” their Facebook page, follow them on Instagram, or visit their website at

If you are a restaurant owner who would like to be featured in “The Best Bites on the Menu,” please contact us at


*Classic—The Lasagna The lasagna is their bestseller, and it’s easy to understand why. Noodles made fresh daily are surprisingly light and mixed with Mom & Dad’s homemade meat sauce (all of their sauces are available for purchase, by the way). Like the filling of a cake, the stacked noodles are layered with a combination of Italian cheeses. tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 57 

FunnyGirl. The Power of Mom’s Magic by Lisa A. Beach

I always knew moms bordered on superhero status, but I never realized the magical extent of my Mom Powers until just recently. I am practically Harry’s Mother Potter.

chicken, provolone cheese and lettuce yesterday, so there’s plenty of stuff to make a sandwich,” I say, as I magically peer into our refrigerator’s deli and produce drawers from six miles away.

Here’s what led to my revelation: I was out shopping the other day and . . . wait a minute. Have I really reached the point in my life where shopping (which used to mean “pleasurable, leisurely excursions to my favorite clothing and book stores”) now means a quick trip to Target to pick up paper towels, cat litter and toilet bowl cleaner?

“Do we have fresh bread?” he asks—again, still standing in our kitchen.

Anyway, I’m out “shopping” and my cell phone rings. “Mom, what can I eat for lunch?” asks my 15-year-old son calling from our kitchen. (Apparently, I possess the ability to see inside our refrigerator from the paper goods aisle in Target.) “Well, I just bought lemon pepper

“I think so,” I reply, as I try to juggle my cell phone, grab a family-size, mega-roll package of paper towels and sort through a stack of coupons. “Why don’t you check to make sure?” “Where?” he asks in a puzzled voice. (This brilliant question, from the gifted teen taking Honors Chemistry this year.) “Try the bread box,” I say all-knowingly and with great sarcasm that he doesn’t seem to notice. “Yep, we’ve got a whole loaf,” he says, almost surprised to have found this new “bread box contraption” heretofore undiscovered in his 15 years on this planet. “By the way, where’s Dad?” he asks, banking on my omniscient powers to unearth my husband’s location at home. “Well, when I left for Target, he was working on something in the garage,” I explain, channeling my best clairvoyant talents as I gaze into our garage from afar. That’s when it hits me. I possess tremendous powers in my house,

magical powers that allow me to peek through walls and even see across many miles. I know if we’re out of milk, even when I’m not standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open. I know who left the hall light on or the toilet seat up. I know whose turn it is to bring in the trash cans or feed the cat. And I know when my kids are on their cell phones, even if they are both upstairs in their rooms, not making a sound. (Quiet = teens on screens. Fighting with each other = not on screens. It’s a no-brainer.) Even my husband does not wield this wily magic that only I possess. “Where’s the masking tape?” my husband might yell to me upstairs when he’s working on a project downstairs. “In the kitchen drawer next to the refrigerator, where it’s been since we moved here 18 years ago,” I reply with great authority. I. Am. Amazing. Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist and copywriter. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, USA Today Back to School, Parents, Edible Orlando and more. Check out her writer’s website at


The HOT Issue!—Let off some steam with ideas on travel, style and health. Also, see what’s cooking in local kitchens. 58  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018


Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Luncheon Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Four Points by Sheraton Downtown | 316 West Tennessee Street, Tallahassee With Special Guest Speaker

Marsha Doll

Motivational Speaker | Modeling & Talent Agent Image Consultant | Author | Radio /Television Personality

Topic: FAB-U-LOUS! Living your life with style, grace, poise, confidence and sparkle.

Networking: 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Lunch and speaker: 11:45-1:00 p.m. Seating is limited.



To purchase tickets and to learn more about becoming a member visit or e-mail for information. tallahassee woman • april / may 2018 59 

60  tallahassee woman • april / may 2018

Tallahassee Woman Magazine April-May 2018  

The April-May 2018 issue of TWM is all about transformation. Our cover woman, Dena Strickland, shares her life of transformation and her pas...

Tallahassee Woman Magazine April-May 2018  

The April-May 2018 issue of TWM is all about transformation. Our cover woman, Dena Strickland, shares her life of transformation and her pas...