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Holiday Decorating

Made Easy

December 2011/January 2012


Johnson on the

Best Gifts of Life

Delicious Holiday Desserts Girl Talk on apps, Tweets, Blogs & More!

Find the

Perfect Gift in the

Holiday Gift Guide

Happy new Year!

Happy New You! Introducing...

Capital Women in Our Community

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Mark your calendar for the BIGGEST HEALTH EVENT of the year. The Tallahassee Memorial Under the Big Top – Celebrating a Lifetime of Health Event. This unique health event will showcase health screenings, services and educational seminars for all ages. This event is FREE, so bring the entire family.

Saturday, January 14, 2012 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Goodwood Museum and Gardens 1600 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee

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r o f y d a e r e b s y a w l A n o s a y e a S d i l o H

T a l l a h a s s e e

Plastic Surgery Clinic & Physicians’ Skin Care Clinic

Cosmetic Facial Surgery • Cosmetic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery Body Contouring • Facial Rejuvenation • Skin Care • Laser T a l l a h a s s e e

H. Louis Hill, Jr. Larry L. Harper M.D. M.D., F.A.C.S.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

Alfredo A. Paredes, Jr., M.D.

Plastic Surgery Clinic & Physicians’ Skin Care Clinic (850) 877-2126 • t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Unforgettable holiday

3501 Thomasville Road Tallahassee, FL 32309 850.893.4171 4  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Aren’t you sick and tired of feeling


Ready to Feel Fabulous? World Class Expertise

“If you are experiencing any of the above conditions and they started after the age of 35, then they are due to hormonal decline unless proven otherwise! When I was introduced to Dzugan Method two years ago, I said ”Finally, a truly scientific approach to using bio-identical hormones and supplements to optimize the health of all my patients!”

I have seen some amazing results, especially in

regards to autoimmune disorders and other extremely difficult medical problems. My wife and I have personally experienced the same results on the program. Let me show you what Dzugan Method can do for you.” Les Emhof, MD, Diplomat ABFM, Diplomat ABGM, FACGS

Tallahassee Family Medicine Board Certified Family Practice & Geriatrics

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION: 850.893.6706 or attend a FREE LECTURE: Dec. 13th, Jan. 10th & 24th 6:30 pm @1525 Killearn Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32309

World Class Expertise

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. All matters regarding Dzugan Method and your health require medical supervision and individual results will vary.

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Ta l l a h a s s e e W o m a n M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 11/J a n u a r y 2 0 12


On the Cover

Laura Johnson—The Best Gift From a hobby started in her garage, Laura Johnson has built a multi-million dollar company that reflects her love for people and bringing others happiness.

D e pa r t m e n t s


Girl Talk

Fashion | Knowledge | Wellness | Shopping


Faves & Raves


Style & Grace


Real Life


The Dish

Find the perfect gift from our Holiday Gift Guide

Divine Holiday Decorating

A New Year, A New You! Makeovers from the Inside Out

Delicious Holiday Desserts



Capital Women: Beth Burns of Chelsea House | Helping Local Charities | TMH’s Under the Big Top


Around Town


Woman We Admire

Events and happenings in and around Tallahassee.


Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty— Deputy Jessica Ikner

Funny Girl

New Year’s Survival Guide

in every issue Capital City Gems 20 | Women to Watch 42 | Calendar 44

About the Cover | Photography by Adam Cohen | Styling by Nancy Cohen | Apparel provided by Narcissus | Makeup by Randi Buchanan & Co. | Background provided by Chrysalis Fine Fabrics & Furnishings 6  t a l l a h a s s e e

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OURTHOUGHTS Living Well and Loving Life!

December 2011/January 2012 Volume 6 | Issue 6

Publisher Kim Rosier Editor Heather Thomas Advertising sales Director Lynn Solomon GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings Miqueli INTERNS Cayla McDonald Taylor Field Contributing photographers Shana Beiro Adam Cohen Inga Finch

Christy Jennings (Graphics Designer), Kim Rosier (Publisher); Lynn Solomon (Advertising Director); Heather Thomas (Editor)


s I sat down to write this, I realized that it seems like yesterday I was writing last year’s holiday message. It may be cliché to say, but time certainly does fly. It has been an incredible year (again) at TWM, thanks to all the special people that make this magazine a possibility. From the women who share their heart-felt stories, to our readers who read the magazine faithfully and take the time to offer their thoughts and suggestions on articles, to the unwavering support from our advertisers, we are so grateful to share this journey with all of you. As we embark on 2012, we are looking forward to another year of highlighting the women in Tallahassee. It has been six years since the first issue of the magazine rolled off the press, and still, it never ceases to amaze me when I hear the stories about women that live here—caring, strong and vivacious women that are truly blessings to our community. We have so much planned for 2012 and we are looking forward to another great year with all of you. On behalf of Heather, Lynn, Christy and myself, we hope that you have the most wonderful holiday season—Merry Christmas and our best to you and yours in the New Year. 8  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Kim Rosier Publisher • D e c e m b e r 2011/J a n u a r y 2012

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. Subscriptions are available for $15 for one year (six issues). 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 Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter Copyright ©2011 by Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without express written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.


Shop Smart, Shop Safe Now that the holiday season is in full swing, the stores are crowded with the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers—including criminals who use this time as an opportunity to take advantage. As you head out to do your holiday shopping, be prepared so that you don’t become a victim.

· Shop with others. There is safety in numbers.

If you shop alone, make sure that there are other people nearby if you have to walk to your car alone.

· Limit the amount of cash you carry. ATM’s are everywhere—you can get more if you run short.

· Limit the credit cards you carry. If possible, carry only one card with you.

· Keep your purchases in the trunk. When going from store to store, be sure to put your bags out of view.

· Limit personal

items you bring with you. Purse snatchers and pick pockets are hoping to distract you enough to take advantage. Just bring the essentials with you (a debit or credit card, limited cash, identification, and a couple of checks) and leave the rest at home.

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G i r lta l k

Sassy & Bud

Mud Pie Roxy Haute Baby Giggle Moon Wes & Willy Quiksilver Kissy Kissy Haven Girl Newport Cottage Cribs Little Castle Custom Bedding and Nursery Design by Hip Chicks Designs

102 E. 7th Ave. Havana, FL 32333 ~ 850.539.0051 ~ Like us on Facebook SPECIALIZING IN CUSTOM: Nursery Bedding • Youth Bedding • Draperies Accessories • Art and Complete Room Decor Design Consulting also available

102 E. 7th Ave. Havana, FL 32333

850.228.3331 | 10  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Kick Colds to the Curb W

ith the holidays here and so much to do, it is important to keep your vitals at their strongest. Use these tips to keep colds at bay and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Take a Hot Shower. Steam acts as a natural decongestant and if you’d like, add some aromatherapy.

New bareMinerals

READY EYESHADOW Celebrating Nine Years in Tallahassee 1989 Capital Circle NE Royal Oak Plaza

309-7546 Monday - Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Capital Regional Women’s Health


Kathrine Lupo, M.D. OB/GYN

Enjoy some chicken soup. No, this is not an old wives tale; it really does help.

Have a spoonful of honey. Honey is a

great natural cough suppressant (but not for children under one year old).

Gargle with water. This helps remove mucus that drains from your sinuses down to your throat. A study showed that people who gargle with water three times a day are less prone to sickness than those who use antiseptic rinse. Bring your own pen to appointments.

Sharing is not caring when it comes to germs.

Dr. Lupo provides a complete range of OB/GYN services, including: Gynecology Services:

Obstetrics Services:

• Annual Female Examination

• Pre-Pregnancy Planning

• Family Planning/ Contraception Services

• Full Pregnancy Visits

• STD Testing • Treatment of pelvic pain

• 3-D Color Ultrasounds • Deliveries provided at Capital Regional Medical Center

Drink Hot Tea. A Harvard study revealed that this beverage may help your body’s defense against infection, due to catechins in tea.

Exercise. Studies show that being active can reduce getting colds by up to 30 percent.

Michael Douso, M.D. Kathrine Lupo, M.D.

Manage your alcohol consumption.


Alcohol dehydrates the body, making you and your body more tired.

Most insurances accepted as well as cash payments. Same day appointments available.

Get enough sleep and take time to relax. Lack of sleep and stress may make you more susceptible to viruses. —Taylor Field

2770 Capital Medical Blvd., Suite 110, Tallahassee, FL 32308 CAP-900 LUPO AD FOR YOUR HEALTH 7.25x9.875.indd t a l l a h a1s s e e wo m a n

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G i r lta l k

Bye-Bye Burglar 8 tips to secure your home 2. Newspapers piled on the driveway or flyers left for long periods of time on your door are a dead giveaway that you’re out of town. Have a neighbor collect them while you’re gone.


t is important to protect your home and your family from intruders, especially during the holidays when your family may leave the home unattended while on vacation. According to convicted burglars, a security consultant and a criminology professor, there are a few things you can do right now to minimize your risk:

6. An alarm system is great, but a loud television may be better. It clearly tells burglars you’re home. If you’re going to be out late, leave your television on. If you’re heading out of town, set your television on a timer. The key is to avoid a quiet, dark house—that’s a burglar’s dream.

3. Burglars almost always check dresser drawers, the night stand and the medicine cabinet. They almost never bother going through kids rooms.

7. Don’t announce your vacation on Twitter or your Facebook page. Burglars can easily look up your address.

4. A burglar may not be able to crack your safe, but it does you no good if they can take it with them. If you’re going to utilize a safe, consider bolting it down or installing it in the wall. 5. A burglar won’t mind breaking a window to get in—most know that neighbors will pay attention when they hear a loud sound, but go back to doing whatever they’re doing when they don’t hear it again. Tell your neighbors you’d rather them call the police for a false alarm than be at the mercy of an intruder.

1. Be aware of people you allow into your home. Service workers, a friend of a friend, or someone else who needs to “use the bathroom” may unlatch a window to make their return easier. Confirm all windows and doors are locked before you go to bed.

8. Keep your keys and wasp spray on your night stand. If you hear a strange noise, activate your car alarm with your electronic car key. It will attract attention. Unlike pepper spray, wasp spray shoots up to 30 feet and temporarily blinds an attacker if you get them in the eyes— they’ll need to get to a hospital for the antidote to see again. Not to mention it’s inexpensive, easy to find and it won’t attract as much attention as pepper spray. —Cayla McDonald

Practicing Tomorrow’s Medicine…Today!

For more than 20 years, we have provided obstetric and gynecologic medical care to the women of North Florida. Our 12 physicians and nurse practitioner are proud to be chosen Tallahassee’s Best OB/GYN practice for the second year in a row. We strive to be a center of excellence. Our physicians are on call 24/7 in-house and deliver exclusively at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital; the area’s only hospital with an advanced Neonatal ICU unit.

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Alex FRAnz, mD

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- normal & High Risk Obstetrics - family Planning - contraception - Infertility consultation - 3D/4D Obstetric Ultrasound

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The Care You Deserve and The Trust You Expect

- Pelvic Pain - HPV Vaccinations - Menstrual Dysfunction - Endometriosis Management - well woman Exams

1401 Centerville Road, Suite 202 | Tallahassee, Florida 32308

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- Menopause & HRT Therapy - laparoscopic Surgery - Gynecological Surgery - da Vinci® Robotic Surgery


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Online Patient Services provides access to: - Request Appointments - Request Medication Refills - Review Medical Information - Online Payments - Educational Programs and much more!

Visit us online at

Free Wi -Fi

5 Practical Pet Apps


our furry family members may not have iPhones, but Fido and Fluffy can still benefit from these five amazing apps.

Pet First Aid. Pet First Aid provides

articles, videos and step-by-step illustrations on anything from cuts and impalement to poisoning and CPR. It even includes disaster preparedness plans for your pet as well as information on poisonous substances. The app also allows you to save veterinary information including contact information, vaccinations, identification, medications, allergies and weight. 4.5/5 rating. $3.99.

Pet Acoustics. Pet Acoustics has created music and soothing sounds specific to dogs, cats, horses or a combination. In certain situations, pets become stressed, anxious and aggressive. There are options for soothing music during thunderstorms, separation anxiety, car travel, veterinary visits, grooming or anytime you need Snowball to chill out. 3/5 rating. $1.99. Dog Park Finder. Dog Park Finder features

over 2,700 dog parks and 11,000 photos and reviews. It allows users to search by zip code, current location, city or state and also features need-to-know details such as whether the park is fenced, hours, availability of restrooms, park fees, whether there is a small dog area, user ratings and more. 3/5 rating. Free.

Call Richard Bevis Today for your FREE In-Home Consultation. Invisible Fence by Lafayette Kennels


Mention this ad to receive a free gift with your new installed pet containment solution.

EMBARRASSED TO SHOW OFF YOUR LEGS?? Varicose veins can be more than just a cosmetic concern; you may have an undiagnosed venous disorder. With so many options now available, not everyone needs major surgery. Vascular Surgery Associates offers a full service line of venous treatment plans. Ask Tallahassee's only Board Certified vascular surgeons to evaluate and discuss one of the following treatment plans that may be right for you:

• Sclerotherapy • Vein Laser Therapy • Ambulatory Phlebectomy • Minimally Invasive Endovenous Therapy

Free your legs...

iKibble Free. iKibble is a quick and easy to

reference guide to what your dog can and can’t eat—from basil and beets to white rice and watercress. It even features recipes for meals you and your dog can share. 5/5 rating. Free.

PetsMD. PetsMD’s Mobile Symptom

Checker is an interactive way for pet owners to get informed about the problems their pet is experiencing. It allows users to select dog or cat, area affected and symptoms the animal is displaying. The app then displays a description of the possible problem, as well as sources or causes. 4/5 rating. $1.99. —Cayla McDonald

Many insurance plans cover partial, sometimes complete venous disorder treatment plans. Consult one of our Board Certified Vascular Specialists to find out if your varicose veins might be more than a cosmetic issue.

Vascular Surgery Associates Dr's Kaelin, Hoyne, Brumberg & Massie 2631 Centennial Blvd., Suite 100 Tallahassee, FL 32308 | 850-877-8539 t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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f you’ve been a little hesitant about joining the online social scene, now is the time to take the leap. January brings a whole new year—so resolve to try something new! Here are some technology resolutions and step-by-step instructions so even the most technology-repelling woman can join the online social revolution.

Twitter—digital texting. Twitter is full of insightful information from celebrities, doctors, authors and

everyday folks who share their wisdom in 140 characters or less. Start your day with an apple-crisp pancake recipe from your favorite chef or a witty anecdote from a hilarious stand-up comic. To join go to and enter your information where it says “New to Twitter? Join Today!” Once you’ve done that, you can search for your favorite television personality, magazine, show, or someone you relate with—Twitter is home to plenty of working moms and female entrepreneurs. The major setback to those new to Twitter is the language. Here’s the lowdown on what all those bird-related words actually

mean. A “tweet” is like a Facebook status update. It’s a short blurb of 140 characters or less that you input. On someone’s Twitter profile, a “follower” is someone who chooses to “follow,” or receive tweets, from that person. “Following” refers to who that person “follows” on Twitter. The “@” symbol before a username means the author of the tweet is tweeting at that username—they’re talking to that person. The “#” symbol, called a hashtag, refers to a subject the tweet is talking about. For example, a tweet claiming “Mondays are horrible!” might be followed by #stressed or #needcoffeenow. The hashtag links that tweet to others also using the same hashtag.



A Bounty of Gifts for Fall and Holiday Locally grown designer, creating fresh, not from concentrate, designs, helping you strengthen and grow your business.

850.294.3300 BRANDING • PRINT DESIGN • ADVERTISING • WEB 14  t a l l a h a s s e e

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2066 Thomasville Road | 850-386-8525 | Mon-Sat 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

COME SEE OUR NEW STORE FILLED WITH BEAUTIFUL FABRICS, ART AND ACCESSORIES! Fabrics • Trims • Wallpaper • Home Accessories • Custom Furniture • Custom Labor • In-Home Consultation

NEW LOCATION • 1410 Market Street The Pavillions, Next to My Favorite Things 850.224.2924 | |—digital memories. is a wonderful

resource to keep track of family videos. Think of it as a way to back-up your mostloved memories. Head over to the website and click “Create Account” located in the top right hand corner of the site. Enter your e-mail address, password and birthday and now you can get started. To upload a video, click on “Upload” in the top right hand corner to the left of your name. Once you’ve uploaded, you can name it, enter a description, and set the video to public or private. Once you’ve done this, make sure to share your “channel” with friends and family! Also, don’t neglect other YouTube users—browse videos to find old friends, inspiration or just a laugh.

Blog—digital journaling. Blogging

is a way to record your thoughts, memories, interests and insight. It can be whatever you want it to be, from therapeutic venting to quirky mom humor. If you have the desire to blog, start by exploring a few popular blogging sites such as, and Tumblr. com. These websites are specifically designed to host blogs and already have all the design templates installed. Once you’ve decided on a website and signed up, you’ll need to choose a template with colors, design and layout that you can customize with your name, pictures, subjects and more. Now you’re ready to start blogging. Before your first post, decide if you want your posts to be public or private. Most blogging sites allow you to make your blogs private so that only friends and family can view it. This will usually be in “Settings.” You can blog around a certain theme, or just post about whatever is on your mind. Once you’ve done that, heck, you’re a blogger! Welcome to the wonderful world of —Cayla McDonald social media.

We Can Help You Lose Weight in a Safe and Healthy Way

Private consultation with Physician

1140 Capital Circle SE Ste. 1 Tallahassee, FL 32301 (across from Sam’s Club)

Nutritional plan, medications & supplements to support your weight loss and health

Bert Morales, M.D.

Vitamin B12 and B6 injections

Member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians

The Professional, Trusted Weight Loss Choice in Tallahassee t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Faves &Raves

If you’re looking for a gift that will be a holiday hit, here are some of the TW staff’s favorite picks from local shops.

1. Smart Gloves by Mud Pie* ($15) • That’s Mine Monogramming and Gifts • 1460 Market Street, Suite B


• 850-668-8300 2. Reversible Bangali Jacket by

Karma Living ($195.00) • Sweet Patina • 2030-5 Thomasville Road • (850) 727-4834 3. Silk Amaryllis ($44.99) • Tallahassee Nurseries • 2911 Thomasville Road • (850) 385-2162

4. 18k white gold emerald and diamond ring & 14k white gold ruby and diamond bracelet • Roberts Jewelry • 1950 Thomasville Road (above Food Glorious Food) • (850) 422-1373 5. Monogrammed Rainboots by

Zoubaby ($98) • Cotton, Etc. • 1355 Market Street • (850) 668-1334

2 * compatible with all touch screens


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1950-M Thomasville Road above Food Glorious Food




IN THE VERANDAS AT MARKET STREET 1355 Market Street Tallahassee


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6 It’s the season of

Wishful Thinking When you close your eyes, what do you wish for?


Jennifer Aniston’s tummy Martha Stewart’s kitchen Rachel Zoe’s wardrobe Halle Berry’s skin Open your eyes!

The Fairy Loanmaker

9 8

from Tallahassee-Leon Federal Credit Union will make your wishes come true. With our flexible loan programs and affordable rates, no wish is too big or too small.

Weekly Wish Grant

Enter to win $100 every week Deadline to enter is December 14, 2011

6. Clarisonic Pro Skin Cleansing System (Starting at $119) • Fit Weight Loss • 1909 Capital Circle N.E. • (850) 385-1105

7. Vintage Red Ornamented Handbag with Gold Beaded Strap


Details at


One lucky winner will win $1000,

just in time for Christmas!

($265) • Vignettes • 2066 Thomasville

8. Natural Wood Reindeer Wall Ornament or Door Hanger ($78) • Miss Mandy’s

Rd • (850) 386-8525

Cottage Living • 2764 Capital Circle NE

9. Sterling and enamel from the Elle Jewelry Collection (Pendant $289; earrings

• (850)-668-9838

$129; bracelet $349; ring $119) • The Gem Collection



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Tory Burch

Flats • Narcissus • 1410 Market Street • (850) 668-4807

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from denim to lace and everything in between

See something you like in this gift guide … or have a big holiday wish of your own? Contact the TLFCU

Fairy Loanmaker today to transform your wishes into reality …


SUGAR & SPICE skirts and cozy, preppy sweaters — you’ve been really good this year


Your holiday wishes … brought to you by t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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CA PITAL CITY Noteworthy events coming up in the area that you don’t want to miss.

LeMoyne’s 2011 Annual Holiday Show “It’s a Jolly Holiday, Be Merry”S

December 1-31, 2011 | LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts The LeMoyne Gallery is decked with holiday cheer for its 28th annual Holiday Show. Over 100 artists have come together to showcase their work, and pieces are available at all price levels. The artists create holiday ornaments that will also be on sale. Art styles range from traditional to contemporary, so there is truly something for everyone. Members get early and free admission. For more information visit or call (850) 222-8800.

Need to talk? Summer Brooke Gomez, MSW


Relationships Co-Parenting Adolescents Authentic Living Spirituality

     

FSU PhD Candidate/Intern in

Marriage & Family Therapy  

Individuals Couples & Families

There is incredible wisdom within you. Awaken it. 1115 N GADSDEN STREET | TALLAHASSEE, FL 32303

FL ISW # 6062

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46th Annual Market Days

December 3-4, 2011 | North Florida Fairgrounds The annual Market Days is a huge arts and crafts show featuring 320 vendors from across the nation. Market Days features unique, handmade creations from the nation’s highest quality artisans, and serves as a fundraiser for the Tallahassee Museum. The event draws around 15,000 visitors each year. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and general admission is $6. For more information, visit or call (850) 575-8684.

Chelsea House Benefit Dinner December 6, 2011 | University Center Ballroom

Tallahassee’s Chelsea House, part of the Good Samaritan Network, is hosting a benefit dinner to raise money for women in need. The Chelsea House gives women and their children a place to call home while they work to get back on their feet. The event will feature a silent auction, candle light dinner and a special performance. The evening of inspiration will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with registration and the start of the silent auction. Dinner and program begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information call (850) 329-7512 or visit

Jingle Jubilee

December 9-11, 2011 | Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center The Junior League of Tallahassee presents a truly unique shopping experience, with over 60 merchants providing shoppers with choices of everything from clothing to specialty food. Special events planned include Girl’s Night Out on Friday from 5-9 p.m. and Breakfast with Santa on Saturday from 9-11 a.m. General admission is $5 per day or $10 for a three-day pass. Special event tickets are $15 and include a weekend shopping pass. For more information visit

Tallahassee Memorial Under the Big Top January 14, 2012 Goodwood Museum and Gardens

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is hosting a unique health event worthy of a circus big top! Previously called the TMH Baby and Family Fair, the event will feature health screenings, services and educational seminars for all ages. The big top event is a free family event that will be held at Goodwood Museum and Gardens at 1600 Miccosukee Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (850) 431-5875.

7th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance

February 4, 2012 | The Moon The Northside Rotary Club is hosting its annual charity event, Daddy Daughter Dance, from 6-9:30 p.m. The event is a fun evening of dance for dads and daughters of all ages. Grandfathers and uncles with their granddaughters or nieces are also welcome to attend. If purchased in advance, the cost is $40 per couple and $15 for each additional daughter. The cost is $50 per couple and $20 for each additional daughter at the door. For more information, visit or call (850) 514-6243.

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The Best Gift By Heather Thomas

Over twenty years ago, Laura Johnson could be found working in her garage late at night, painstakingly molding and painting pottery on the family ping pong table. Little did she know she was creating and shaping the beginnings of Coton Colors, an international, multi-million dollar business that has grown as her family has grown, turning the everyday events of our lives into gifts of cherished moments worthy of celebration.

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o n th e c o v e r


ifted artist and owner of Coton Colors, Laura Johnson, prefers to stay quiet about her success and has been content to remain behind the scenes. But now she is stepping out from behind the Coton Colors curtain in order for people to better understand, and appreciate, the unique spirit of her company. Just like the products she creates, Laura has an instant appeal. Her positive personality is infectious and she has a natural gift of sharing her joy of life with others. She is an eternal optimist and has honed in on that mentality, coupling it with her artistic talent and savvy business sense, turning it all into a successful company model and brand. “By nature, I don’t like conflict and I don’t have a lot of patience for negativity. I am a doer, a believer and I think I attract this personality,” she said.

Thus became the pattern of her creative and entrepreneurial evolution.

This is perhaps the secret to Laura’s success, but for those that know her it is no secret at all. The foundation of Laura’s life and of her company is to recognize and to remember the incredible gifts to be found in all the moments and people that make up our days and also the little nuances that make each family, and its traditions, unique. Laura said, “My business is definitely an extension of me and my journey. I believe that every moment, not just the big events, are to be treasured and celebrated.”

Admittedly, there were times when her compelling desire to juggle both motherhood and a business became overwhelming. “I would be up all night painting in the garage. Tired and worrying about everything I would just break down, basically. My mother and my sister would come and rescue me.” Through her experiences of “working entirely too hard to impress,” she learned a balance with help from her husband, family and close friends. She realized that it’s the wonder and the savoring of the moment that really matters. Fretting over a picturesque Christmas tree or taking all day to make your home perfectly presentable is likely making you miss out on the gifts in front you. With her artistic creations illustrating quotes like, “Count Your Blessings,” and “How Can I Thank God Enough for You?” are all reminders to sip on life slowly and remember what’s most important—time with our loved ones.

Mentioning that Laura manufactures and sells personalized dishware, ornaments and clothing is to only scratch the surface of the selection of items from her store and the purpose of their use. The products are as varied and capricious as life’s moments, and all of them are born from the happenings of Laura’s own life story. While pregnant with her oldest daughter Kyle, Laura was painting her own colorful designs on hand-dyed cotton t-shirts and leggings for children and adults and thus ‘Coton Colors’ was born. With the help of friends and family, she started selling them at trunk shows. Her clothing line evolved as her daughters and family grew, with Sara Kate coming along a few years after Kyle. 24  t a l l a h a s s e e

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In fact, her wholesale ceramic market came about from the creation of her youngest daughter’s handprints on a mold. She took the mold of Mary Parker’s prints to a local kiln where she also happened to pick up several dinner plates that were still in the raw clay form. These became her first “name plates,” and from there it just kept growing. “As the kids grew and we celebrated different things, the plates changed: birthday plates, family platters, Christmas patterns, and glass ornaments—my inspiration came from treasured times with my family,” Laura said.

This is brought to life in a personal way for Laura in the recent release of a cookbook called The Happy Everything Cookbook. Coauthored with her close friend, “curious cook” Susan Murray, Laura, the “clever designer,” is sharing the heart of her family and the Coton

• D e c e m b e r 2011/J a n u a r y 2012

Sarah Kate, Kyle, Mary Parker Colors lifestyle in order to connect with others in a deeper way. “The cookbook allows us to share our stories, personality, add a voice and help create far reaching emotional ties.” The most recognized of the Coton Colors brand, “Happy Everything,” most eloquently expresses Laura’s ideals and business concept. And although Laura is humble about the success of her business, the staggering size and reach of the company is impressive. Besides the local retail store, a studio and a warehouse located here in Tallahassee she also has a retail store in Tampa, Florida, and her products are distributed nationwide in retail stores. Fifteen different factories all over the world are used to manufacture and paint all of the products by hand. In fact, Federal Express ships more packages from the Coton Colors warehouse than from any other business in North Florida. Despite all of the outward grandeur of the scope of her company, at its heart is what has always been most important: family and faith, which keep Laura grounded and inspired. “I look to my dad for sensible advice and realistic expectations, my mom and sister for emotional support and stability, my children for creative inspiration and filling me back up with love, and my husband for a calm balance

against my creative energy. Without my family, none of this would be possible.” Laura connects everything together with her faith. “My faith is at the very center of what I do and I’m so happy to have been able to weave God’s Word into many of our products. It makes me hopeful that they provide inspiration and joy.” Like a piece of clay waiting to be shaped into being, Laura is in great anticipation of what the future holds and as with all things, Laura can’t help but intertwine the future of Coton Colors with her family’s journey. “It’s exciting for me to see how my daughters are taking part in the company, and I can’t wait to see where their ideas and the events of their lives will take us.” Ultimately, her hope is that customers, employees, family and friends are inspired to celebrate their own unique journey, create timeless traditions and recognize that added all together it truly is a wonderful life. Laura beams when she says, “Every Christmas I imagine all of the families who are opening up gifts from Coton Colors and the joy that they are bringing makes my heart sing.” Bringing hope, wonder and joy into someone’s life is the best gift, and as Laura has learned, this is a gift to be shared and celebrated one precious moment at a time. To see more of Laura’s designs and information on purchasing her new book “The Happy Everything Cookbook,” visit Coton Colors at the Market Street location in Tallahassee, or visit online at

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• D e c e m b e r 2011/J a n u a r y 2012  25

st y l e & G r a c e

Now is the time to embrace the winter holidays and to capture the flickering of twinkling lights, bring nature’s greenery of evergreen into your home, set beautiful table settings around enchantingly displayed centerpieces, and capture joyful moments with loved ones who celebrate the holiday season with you. When it comes to decking the halls with garland, wreaths and mistletoe or dressing the tree with color, richness and depth, TuTu Divine interviewed one of our favorite holiday decorators, Patricia Greene of Greene With Envy for her holiday decorating tips. 26  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Holiday Decorating Divine

By Calynne Hill and Terra Palmer of TuTu Divine

Inga Finch Photography

w w w.tutudivine .com

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• D e c e m b e r 2011/J a n u a r y 2012  27

st y l e & G r a c e

How do you get inspired to decorate each holiday season?

Do you try to match the color scheme of your ornaments to the colors used in the room?

“Each year my holiday décor is inspired by something in my holiday collection of ornaments, which I have amassed over many years. Instinctively, an ornament catches my eye and I build the theme of my trees around it. Sometimes it is the color, the shape or the texture that inspires me.”

“Not necessarily. My rule of thumb is that if the tone of the room is cool or warm, I try to keep the ornaments that I use in those rooms the same tones. I find that if I limit the holiday color palette to two or three colors each and vary the sizes of the ornaments, the tree really becomes the focal point.

Do you have any “tricks of the trade” you can share about your seasonal decorating? “I love using ornaments and holiday trimmings in unexpected places throughout the house. I place ornaments in antique glass compotes, milk glass vessels on the mantel, tabletops or shelves. Simply use and embellish what you love. Another favorite trick I have used many times is to hang varying sizes of inexpensive glass icicles or beribboned ornaments on a crystal chandelier hanging over a dining room table or in a foyer.”

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I also prefer using ornament colors that are not your typical red and green holiday shades. Combining ornaments in colors like tomato red and a soft Palladian blue or sage green or blush pink with bronze or copper tones is much more interesting. You can also use things that are not typically thought of as traditional ornaments. I’ve decorated trees with copper cookie cutters and one Christmas I even did a one-of-a-kind CHANEL tree with black and pearl decorations and small bottles of CHANEL No 5 perfume that my mother had saved over the years.”

How do you create a welcoming, holiday ambience? “Incorporate lots of candles throughout your home. Nothing looks better than a home bathed in soft candlelight. Use candles and potpourri in scents like clove, bayberry or pine to bring the scent of the season indoors. Also, bring the outdoors inside by decorating with fresh greenery, big sugar pinecones and flowers like amaryllis, narcissus, and Christmas cactus. Place them in interesting, unexpected vessels like galvanized pails, rusty urns, or porcelain tea cups.”

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A N e w Y e ar

A New


M a k e ov e r s f ro m the Inside Out

Barbara gets up every morning at 3:30 a.m. to begin her workday. She says she’s thrilled to be, “turning heads at her age!” 30  t a l l a h a s s e e

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eauty comes from the inside.” We’ve all heard this a thousand times, but frankly, how many of us truly believe it? Marsha Doll of Marsha Doll Modeling and Promotions believes it’s not just about being beautiful on the inside, but about being able to share that confidence and personality with the world. Inspiring lasting change and creating personal charisma is the ultimate goal of Marsha’s makeovers, which she has helped to do for local women on her hit television show: Magical Makeovers with Marsha Doll. She wants to not only help a woman look beautiful, but to teach her to actually feel beautiful too, which is what will ultimately stand the test of time. Along with assisting with physical changes, she is helping local women apply practical behavioral tips that make them shine from within, and the transformations are truly magical. The five featured makeovers from Marsha’s show and her tips will inspire you to begin the New Year with beauty, confidence and charisma that will last a lifetime. Of course, most makeovers begin with transforming the way a woman looks, but changing ingrained behavior and attitude is another thing altogether. “You can always try new makeup, get a haircut, buy new clothes, and feel great for a few days or a few weeks, which is a great start, but then what? If you don’t make some changes to your basic, everyday behavior, the “feeling good” vibe can wear off, and you’re back to square one,” says Marsha. “My goal is to give the women on my show confidence. We’re starting with their appearance, but going deeper, teaching them to walk into a room and light it up. The confidence that you exude is what it’s all about.”

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Celebrate the Season Our Holiday Open House Shannen is a student who also works in retail. Between work and school she rarely has the time to do much for herself so this experience was a great boost for her self-esteem. Shannen knows now that, “taking the time to take care of myself can make every day a better day.”

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At the end of every show, Marsha includes a “daily life tip” that any woman can apply to her own life. Here are a few of Marsha’s tips: • Smile at people. Even if it feels awkward at first, everyone around you will have a better day. Nothing feels better than having people smile back and actually seeing their mood change. • Acknowledge people. When you walk into a room or even when picking the kids up from school, it takes no time to say, “Hello Marie, how are you today?” This creates a positive tone and makes you feel connected to another person. You will look and feel like a confident, caring person. People like to hear their names used in conversation. • Adding sizzle to your look. This does not have to take a lot of time. Putting on lipstick or even just adding a new scarf to a basic T-shirt and jeans will make you feel better about yourself and you will exude confidence. • Walk tall and proud. Just standing up straighter and pretending like you are walking on your own runway will make you feel confident, and show others you are proud of who you are. • Strike a pose. Don’t shy away from photos with your friends and family. Get in the mirror and find your best angles and be prepared Michelle, who works with for the next photo opportunity. horses in Wakulla County, went back to small town life • Body language is key. The way we move conveys more about our moods and personality than anything else and wowed her friends and we do. We are judged within seconds of meeting new family after her makeover. people through our body language. Shake people’s hands. Don’t fidget or adjust your clothing. You know when you’re wearing the right outfit to an event when you look in the mirror and feel awesome, and your body language shows everyone you feel great. If you appear physically confident, everything you say and do will take on a more positive tone. • Make eye contact. Nothing shows, “I am paying attention and I care” more than eye contact. • Surround yourself with positive people. You are your environment. Start spending your time with smart, interesting people who really make you happy, and enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs. We’ve all had that “friend” who seems to delight in diminishing our confidence. Once you start surrounding yourself with positive people you’ll find you have no interest in those who destroy your happiness.

Pam is busy raising two young granddaughters and never thought she’d be starting over with children. She was thrilled with her makeover experience and says she feels great about her new look. 32  t a l l a h a s s e e

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• Make a list of five things you truly like about yourself. Get up every morning, look in the mirror, and read the list out loud. Your mood for the day will be lifted before you even leave the house. • Life is short. Be who you want to be now, not tomorrow. Stop sitting around thinking, “I need to lose weight,” or “I need new clothes,” or “I need to get organized.” Start your transformation now, from the inside, and everything else will fall into place. Follow your dreams. The most successful people have failed so many times along the way, but just kept going. Stop waiting for things to happen to you—each day you let pass

you by could be the beginning of something special that could bring you happiness. The magic that is created from these makeovers is more than just a change in style, it’s a change in the way the women view themselves. Marsha says, “After the initial makeover I work with the women on confidence and charisma building and… BOOM! —that’s it. That’s when I see the sparkle in their eyes, and I know that they get it. Something has changed in their mindset and that’s where the real makeover needs to take place.” Understandably, real change doesn’t take place overnight and, as Marsha can confirm, a woman has to commit to working daily on reprogramming the way she feels about herself. “When you look good, you feel good, and if you start acting like Carolyn’s makeover the kind of person for was her chance to get which you’d like to a new look and to feel be seen, people will start seeing you that special, taking time way. Maybe they to focus on herself. won’t know why you seem different, but they’ll notice your confidence and that smile will be reflected back to you everywhere you go. People will say, ‘Wow, she’s fabulous!’ and don’t we all want to be fabulous?”

Photo by: Kevin Dodge

To watch Marsha Doll in action as she helps to make women look and feel fabulous, tune in to ABC27HD’s Good News Show on Wednesdays, at 12:30 p.m. for Magical Makeovers with Marsha Doll. Magical Makeover Sponsors and Stylists: Cole Couture | Cabello’s Hair Salon | Dr. Russell Rainey, DM | Hotel Duval | Cindi Aylin—Photographer


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• D e c e m b e r 2011/J a n u a r y 2012  33

th e d i sh

Tres Leches Cake Tres Leches (three milks) cake is a rich, traditional Mexican dessert that is so much fun to make. The simple, spongy cake is soaked in creamy, delicious syrup made from three milks, and then topped with homemade whipped cream. You can also top with a splash of rum and a sprinkle of demerara sugar, which takes the cake completely over the top or add sliced, fresh fruit for a delicious topping.

Ingredients • • • • • •

1 cup cake flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar, divided 1 can evaporated milk 1/4 cup heavy cream

• 1/4 cup powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 5 farm-fresh eggs, separated • 1/3 cup whole milk • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk • 1 pint whipping cream


Holiday Desserts

Delicious & Easy

There’s no better time than the holidays to indulge in the rich tastes of Sugared Ginger Cookies or embrace the white winter wonderland of Tres Leches Cake. They may sound scrumptiously intimidating to make, but these step-by-step recipes will insure no one will go without a little bit of sugar and spice. 34  t a l l a h a s s e e

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For the cake: • Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. • In electric mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar on high until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the whole milk and vanilla. Then fold the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. • Next, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer still on, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry. • Fold egg white mixture into the batter gently just until combined. Spread into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface. • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter (to hold the milky syrup) and cool completely. For the milk mixture: • Whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When the cake is completely cool, pierce the surface with a fork all over. This will allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture all over the cake. • Refrigerate the cake and let the cake absorb the milk mixture for at least a couple of hours and up to overnight. For the topping: • Whip 1 pint whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar until thick and forming soft peaks. (Hint: Use a food processor to make whipped cream—it’s fast and easy! Just make sure not to process the cream too long, or it will turn into butter—but that’s another recipe). • Spread the cake with the freshly whipped cream and serve. For more easy recipes and updates on what she is doing in her garden at her farm in Monticello, FL, visit Carolyn Binder’s blog, Cowlick Cottage Farm at

Sugared Ginger Cookies

(@ Coton Colors Express, Inc.) | From “The Happy Everything Cookbook” available at Coton Colors.

Yields approximately 60 cookies

Photo by: Linley Panske

2 cups all purpose flour, divided 4 tablespoons all purpose flour divided 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup light brown sugar, packed 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses 1 egg 1/4 cup granulated sugar

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. • Sift together 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a large mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar. Whisk in melted butter, molasses and egg. Stir in an additional 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour, or up to two days. • Pour granulated sugar in small bowl. When ready to bake cookies, scoop a tablespoon of dough and shape into a ball. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.


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Co m m u n i t y | CA P I T AL W O MEN

C a pita l

de fi ne d

d nt. 2) human resources considere elle exc te; t-ra firs nt; rta po im 1) Highly to a community. in terms of their contributions

C a pita l W o m e n

de fi ne d

e, talents who give selflessly of their tim ee ass lah Tal in n me wo ic op Philanthr others in the community. and resources for the benefit of

Home Is Where the Heart Is

By Heather Thomas


hroughout the country and locally, homelessness is on the rise and men, women and families are struggling to adjust without the security of a place to call home. Many times, those most vulnerable to a life of homelessness are women and children, who after exhausting all other possibilities and resources are left with nowhere else to turn, often ending up in a motel, sleeping in their car, a shelter, or even worse, in the streets. Because of Beth Burns, founder and Director of Chelsea House, a Christian home for women and children, hundreds of women and children in Tallahassee have found a refuge from the storms of life, restoring their hope in the process. Beth’s personal story could mirror those of the women she encounters on a daily basis. She brings perspective and faith to women who need it the most and is helping them find more than just a roof over their heads, but a sanctuary for their hearts. Growing up on a farm, Beth, the oldest of six siblings, became used to taking on

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responsibility at an early age. She says, “It’s from my parents that I learned my hard work ethic and the deep appreciation for God’s creation.” During her teen years she first experienced a life of a family in peril. Her parent’s ultimate divorce caused her to become a source of strength for her struggling mother and siblings. “Seeing what my mother went through was my first experience of a woman in crisis.” While at college, Beth met and married her first husband, a young pastor, when she was only 19. Over the years they worked in different areas of ministry, adopted three girls, and eventually ended up in Tallahassee with both of them teaching at a local Christian school. However, along their journey her husband began struggling with alcohol and infidelity and sadly, he ultimately abandoned her and their daughters. “It was a very difficult time and I began to wonder, ‘where do women like me go?’” At one point she was displaced from her home and had to rely on food pantries to put food on the table.

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In hindsight, going through this dark time was preparing Beth for the light ahead. Questioning God as to why she was going through this, she said He answered her with: “‘Right now you are crawling, but one day you will be leaping and jumping and you will be helping other women who are in your position.” She then buckled down to living the life of a single mother. “I felt like I lived in limbo and I never recognized ‘them’ before. No one knows how it feels to live in that position until you are there and I started to recognize other women who lived in limbo too.” Beth started a support group in an effort to minister out of her own pain, calling it WINGS or Women In Need of God’s Strength. It was from this that the idea of a home for women was born, a place where women can heal and minister to one another. The idea began to have wings of its own after Beth married her husband Glen, who worked with men at a local homeless shelter. She encountered numerous homeless women in the process who

Inga Finch Photography

longed for a place to feel safe and loved. One woman in particular, a woman named Chelsea, was the cornerstone of Beth’s WOW group (Women of Worth), which would host ‘tea parties’ for homeless women and read the Bible and pray. Chelsea, a woman struggling with street life, was pregnant with her seventh child at 29 years old, but was turning her life around through the help of the WOW ministry. Beth says, “She began to teach me about the needs of the women who were homeless and over the next few months we formed a special bond. We were two peas in a pod, driving around town while she showed me the places where they live, giving me a window into what their lives were like. It convicted me to bring hope to these women.” Tragically, Chelsea was never able to see her dream of a home for women come to reality. On the day they were to begin to raise money for the home at a local craft fair, Chelsea went into premature labor. Due to unforeseen medical

complications, Chelsea lost her life after delivering a healthy baby boy. After Chelsea’s death Beth was compelled to begin gathering support in earnest. In 2007, Good Samaritan Network was established and seven months after Chelsea passed away, with generous contributions from the community they opened their doors to their first home, naming it Chelsea House, “since Chelsea was a voice for women in need and we want it to be the voice for all the women who need help,” Beth said. Eventually outgrowing their first two units they were able to purchase the house and land at their current location where they can house 12 women comfortably, with one room used by single mom families. As funds allow, they provide additional temporary units to help shelter single-mom families. They also help with furniture and other needs through the donations received. Money is raised through the Chelsea House Log Cabin Thrift Store on John Knox Road, their Christmas Banquet

in December and Tea Party in May. This year, the home that Chelsea always longed for will be celebrating five years of mentoring women in need, and sometimes, literally snatching them away from the jaws of death. Beth remembers a time when they received a call about a pregnant woman who was found sleeping behind a local shelter on a cold night. When they got there, someone asked them, “Why do you care? What does it matter when there’s just going to be another one to take her place?” The answer was a simple, yet powerful one—“It matters to this one.” Ultimately, Beth is assured that with the help of the Tallahassee community their mission will enable many more women and children to find love and sanctuary in the years to come. The dream of Beth, volunteers and mentors is to have an emergency local shelter for women and children, and one day being able to construct The Good Samaritan Village that will have cottages and a place for working, mentoring and worshipping. (Continued on next page) t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Co m m u n i t y HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS (CONTinued) In the meantime, Beth continues to be a light of hope and love for the women that come into her life, and she feels that God is using her story to inspire other women, just like she was promised. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from—we are all the same. I tell the women, ‘I was in your shoes and so low that I couldn’t look up, but here I am now. God will use your tragedies and your triumphs for His glory and for your ultimate good.’” With that kind of optimism, the women of Chelsea House will be leaping and jumping for joy one day too, passing on the hope to others. For more information about Chelsea House, Chelsea House Thrift Store or the Chelsea House fundraising banquet on December 6, visit or call (850) 329-7512. Chelsea House is always grateful for donations. A list of current items needed can be found on the website.

Under the Big Top Free Health Screenings at Tallahassee Memorial’s Family Event Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is hosting a unique health event on January 14, 2012. The event will feature health screenings, services and educational seminars for all ages. This is a free event for the whole family. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Goodwood Museum and Gardens at 1600 Miccosukee Road from For more information, call (850) 431-5875. 38  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Local Charities Need Your Help This holiday season while you are doing your shopping for your loved ones, consider buying a few items to donate to someone in need in our community. The items needed are not luxuries—they are the basic necessities for living, such as food and clothing. Following are items needed and information on where you can make your contribution: America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend: Provides food to families in need. You can drop off your food donation (perishable and non-perishable) at their warehouse located at 110 Four Points Way in Tallahassee between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information call (850) 562-3033 or visit Chelsea House: This non-profit Christian organization helps at-risk women and their children in the community. Their immediate needs are: Walmart gift certificates, gas cards, laundry supplies, toilet paper, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, personal tissue packages, ladies underwear, cleaning products and more. Also they have several projects that could use volunteers such as painting, repairs, etc. Call for details at (850) 329-7512 or visit their website at to view their wish list of items and services. Donations can be dropped off at the Chelsea House Outreach Center & Thrift Shop (the log cabin at 489 John Knox Road). Refuge House: Provides emergency shelter and services to battered women and their children. They are in need of food and clothing for their residents. Also consider adopting a family for the holidays, providing gifts to make their holiday wishes come true. They are also looking for volunteers to assist with organizing donations. If you are interested in adopting a family, volunteering, or participating in the holiday program in any way, contact the Refuge House at (850) 922-6062 or e-mail

Happy Birthday! to the Children’s Home Society

Children’s Home Society of Florida recently celebrated its 109th birthday. The Tallahassee office serves children and families in Tallahassee and the Big Bend Region, offering programs focused on providing safety, love and a sense of family to the area’s youth. Services include foster care, adoption, child development, emergency shelters, residential group homes, independent and transitional living for teens, parent education, counseling, mentoring, youth outreach, treatment for developmentally disabled children, and more. For more information on the Children’s Home Society of Tallahassee call (850) 921-0772 or visit online at

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AROUNDTOWN Special Events • Speakers • Benefits • Activities

Girls Night Out In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month Capital Regional Medical Center hosted Girls’ Night Out, a fun and informative event designed to move women towards better overall health and vibrant living. In addition to valuable and relevant education, women enjoyed fashion and accessory workshops from Cole Couture, healthy workplace tips from Solitude Retreats, cupcake decorating with Lucy and Leo’s, refreshments, wine, health screenings and more. Dr. Kathy Langston presented a keynote speech on preventing breast cancer.

Top left: Sarah Brown is joined by Capital Regional Medical Center surgeon Dr. Kathy Langston, who gave the evening’s keynote presentation on preventing breast cancer. Bottom left – Portia Huston and Louise Truitt Bottom middle– Veronica McCrimmon, Angelia Darsey and Ella Weaver Bottom right – (left to right) Jenny Sweeny, Nicole Coletti, Amber Adair and Callie Griffin

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Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Deputy Jessica Ikner


hey’ve sworn to serve and protect, and every day, they put their lives on the line to fulfill that promise.  Law enforcement officers face a myriad of different situations on any given day, and that goes double for Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Jessica Ikner. Deputy Ikner is a school resource officer at Bond and Oak Ridge Elementary Schools in Tallahassee. It’s a position she’s held for the past two years. “In law enforcement we deal with a lot of bad and you rarely get praised and school resource is a different kind of environment,” said Deputy Ikner. During the course of the day, Deputy Ikner wears a number of different hats. She patrols the streets on her way to and from school and plays the part of hall monitor, mediator, campus security, counselor, teacher, mentor and nurse in between. “My favorite is probably kindergarten. They are the most fun to be with because they are the most inquisitive. Their imagination gets away from them,” she said.  But it doesn’t stop there. Last year, Deputy Ikner noticed many of her students were coming to school without the proper clothing. Some arrived without a winter coat while others were missing socks or had on pants that just didn’t fit. “This is an issue that these children have no control over. They can’t help where they come from and what they have at home. All they can do is come to school.”   So the self-proclaimed problem solver went to work, organizing a coat and clothing drive to help those children who needed it most. “I can’t fix a lot of things, I can’t make someone a good parent, but this is something I can control. This is something I can alleviate.”   To avoid any backlash or harassment from other students, Deputy Ikner is careful to be discreet when handing out the donated items. She doesn’t parade the children who receive them in front of the others. Instead, she pulls them into her office, tells them she noticed they didn’t have a particular item and asks if they would like one. Then she puts it in their backpack so they can get home safely with their new treasures. “I’ve gotten positive responses. I’ve never had a parent upset with me in any form or fashion,” she said. “I had a parent cry because she couldn’t afford to buy her children coats and pants in the winter.” 40  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Shana Beiro Photography

By Angela Howard

As a parent herself, Deputy Ikner understands how tough it can be to provide everything a child needs.  She sees a number of children who don’t have even the basics, and that includes a loving, stable home. She explained one incident in particular where she saw signs of abuse on a young child’s face. Further investigation found multiple injuries all over his body, yet the child remained positive and upbeat, smiling and giggling as he sat in her office.  Thankfully, Deputy Ikner was able to help find the child a safer, more stable place to live, but the weight of the situation is still heavy on her heart. “That is the hardest part of my job, other than seeing the kids not have what they need, is seeing the kids that have been abused, who amazingly still have such a positive outlook on life.”   Thankfully, because of Deputy Ikner, they will always have someone on their side and children across Leon County will feel the warmth of love from a community that cares about them.

For more information contact Deputy Jessica Ikner at

Following are Drop off points for coats: Oak Ridge Elementary

Cobb Middle

Bond Elementary

Fairview Middle

Roberts Elementary

Montford Middle

WT Moore Elementary

Deerlake Middle

Kate Sullivan Elementary

V E R I TA S M U S I C Training People to B ecome Successful Musicians

Guitar - Piano - Drums Lo c ate d i n t h e Ci rc l e K S h o p p i n g Ce nte r K i l l a r n e y Way

(850) 321 2910

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Women to Watch

is a listing of women with new jobs or promotions, business openings and changes, awards and installations or women who are reaching out and making a difference in our community. E-mail information for Women to Watch to

Kate Pararo and Lesley Gardner have partnered to create A Piece of Cake Event Planning, LLC. Jean Murphy, M.D. has joined Covenant Hospice as Medical Director of the Tallahassee branch. Dr. Murphy will be responsible for assisting clinical staff with medical management of hospice patients, home visits with patients and will act as a liaison to primary care physicians.

Kate Pararo & Lesley Gardner

Karen Moore, Founder and CEO of Moore Consulting Group, has been named chair of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County. She is the first woman ever to hold this position. Jen Stark of Ecological Babies recently celebrated her third year anniversary in business. Ekecia M. Grayson was recently awarded the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 2011 Cluster IV

Valerie T. Bryant Justice Award. Ekecia is a member of the Delta Kappa Omega Chapter of AKA in Tallahassee.

Jean Murphy, M.D.

Ekecia M. Grayson

Teira E. Farley recently launched Epiphany Intuitive Solutions, a company that focuses on the behind the scenes aspect of ministry and business and provides consulting services in administration, business, finance, and marketing. Lesa Hart and Lisa Carey have partnered to form Carey & Hart Realtors as agents of Coldwell Banker Hartung and Noblin, Inc. They will specialize in residential sales.

Lesa Hart & Lisa Carey

Teira E. Farley

Marianne Hernandez has joined the Stubbs’ Educational Foundation as their Development Director. She will be assisting the organization in raising money for music and academic scholarships to various music schools and providers in Tallahassee and the surrounding area for Pre-K to 12th grade. Summer Hall has recently joined the Florida Society of Association Executives as the Director of Education and Events.

Marianne Hernandez

Summer Hall

Tallahassee artist Pam Talley recently completed illustrations for a new children’s book titled Two Foals, a Dash of Sprinkles and a Cherry on Top! Pam’s artistic creations have been shown in Tallahassee, Apalachicola and Seaside, Florida.

Peggy Benton has recently started a business called Magical Murals by Peggy, offering custom hand painted murals and signs for homes and businesses. Peggy also volunteers as an art teacher for a Christian outreach program for kids called SPARKS at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Pam Talley

Peggy Benton

Star Manning was recently crowned 2011-2012 Miss U.S. United, making her the first military veteran ever crowned. Not only a strong competitor with several titles under her belt (Miss Armed Forces, Ms. Black Globe International, Ms. West Coast, Miss Heart of America, Ms. Florida and Miss Elegant Tallahassee), Star is also a former United States Marine. Her main focus is in the broadcast journalism/public relations field. Star is also the recipient of the 2009 Presidents Community Service Award. Christen Cowan was recently crowned as 2013 Miss Leon County USA.

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wo m e n to w a t c h Three women of Pea Green Solutions were recently promoted to new positions within the organization. Amanda Broadfoot was promoted to Vice President of Communications; Brittney Clerico was promoted to Vice President of Operations; and LaToya Chambliss was promoted to Publicity Manager.

Amanda Broadfoot

Gina Marie Senters, store manager at Jim’s Pianos for two years, was recently awarded Best in Group Sales Associate by Kawai America. Brittney Clerico

Randi Buchanan, owner and principal artist for Randi Buchanan & Co. A Makeup Design

Groupe, is expanding her company to become a one-stop-shop for behind-the-scenes beauty services, which will include a team of highly creative makeup artists, hairstylists, set designers, wardrobe/accessory stylists, nail technicians and more.

Kira Derryberry, has recently launched a boudoir photography business, named She

Boudoir. This photography style focuses on providing portraits for women that flatter their best qualities while allowing ladies to highlight their inner beauty in a bold way.

LaToya Chambliss

Randi Buchanan

Gina Marie Senters

Martha Barnett

Cheryl Dance and Carol Dudley have recently published Flash the Traffic Camera, a book for children under five that was inspired by a traffic camera in Thomasville, Georgia. Available online, the book was also featured at the reopening of the renovated Thomasville, Georgia library. Martha Barnett from Holland & Knight received the Children’s Champion Award for 2011 from the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children, in recognition of her statewide advocacy for early childhood education. Martha has been the voice for many years to legislators asking for a quality Voluntary Pre-K program and adequately funded school readiness programs.

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Special Events

Art Exhibits

December 3 25th Annual Winter Festival A celebration of lights, music and arts. Downtown Tallahassee.

November 25–December 31 It’s a Jolly Holiday, Be Merry Holiday Show LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m.: Sundays 1:00 -5:00 p.m. Non members $3; families $7; free for members (850) 222-8800 or

December 3-4 46th Annual Market Days Over 300 vendors will be in attendance. North Florida Fairgrounds Admission is $6 for adults (850) 575-8684 or December 4 Beau Turner Fundraiser for the Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Pebble Hill Plantation Call (850) 922-1066 or visit

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Theatre & Dance

December 8-9 Victorian Christmas Downtown Thomasville, GA 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily (850) 577-3600 or

December 2-3 and December 9-10 FSU Days of Dance Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre Tickets $10-$15 at (850) 644-6500 or

December 9-11 The Singing Christmas Tree Singers and orchestra members will kick off the holiday season by presenting a 45 foot tall singing Christmas tree. Bradfordville First Baptist Church 7 p.m. nightly E-mail for free tickets

December 15–18 A Tuna Christmas Tallahassee Little Theatre 8 p.m. Dec. 15-17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 Tickets $17-$21 (850) 224-8474 or

December 9-11 Jingle Jubilee 2011—Junior League of Tallahassee A unique holiday shopping experience. TallahasseeLeon County Civic Center. Admission is $5 (850) 225-6596 or   December 31 Annual Phipps Park Holiday Hike Eleanor Klapp-Phipps Park Begins at 9 a.m. Free to attend. Contact (850) 668-4334 February 4 7th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance hosted by The Rotary Club at The Moon 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $40 per couple, $15 per additional daughter in advance. $50/$20 at the door. February 5 Tallahassee Marathon and Half-Marathon Proceeds benefit the American Lung Association. Race begins in front of the FSU Circus 7:30 a.m. $75 for marathon, $50 for half-marathon.

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Through January 15 Beaches, Creatures and Cowboys: Florida Movie Posters Museum of Florida History Admission is free (850) 245-6400 or

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December 17–18 The Nutcracker Ruby Diamond Auditorium, FSU Tickets $20-$45 (850) 224-6917 or December 17–18 The Snow Queen Chiles High School Tickets $10 for adults, $5 for children (850) 443-7512 or December 31 What A Year--In Revue Tallahassee Little Theatre 6:30 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. Tickets $30 Contact Peggy Brady at (850) 445-8516


January 5, 12, 19, 26 Quit Smoking Now A program created by ex-smokers. Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Cancer Center Noon to 1 p.m. Free to attend (850) 431-ICAN or visit “Classes & Event.”

December 4 FSU Baroque Ensemble Concert Dohnanyi Recital Hall, FSU 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Call (850) 459-3195 December 9 Rain--A Tribute to The Beatles Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center 7:30 p.m. (850) 222-0400 or December 10 Holiday Magic! Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets $33-$46 at (850) 224-0461 or

Other Activities

January 8 Chemistry Magic Show Second Saturday of every month. The Brogan Museum Show starts at 2 p.m. (850) 513-0700 or January 7 Beginning Quilt Workshop Tallahassee Museum 10:30 a.m. to noon $5 for members, $7 for nonmembers. Must register before noon on January 6 (850) 575-8684

December 9, January 13 and January 27 Contra Dancing: Beginners welcome, no partner necessary. Tallahassee Senior Center 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Adults $8, seniors $7, students $5, children $3 For information visit

January 21 Woodstove Cooking Class Tallahassee Museum 10 a.m. to noon; $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers. Must register before noon on January 20 Call at (850) 575-8684 ext. 136 or nhartsfield@

December 17 and January 21 Saint Martha’s Hearth Historic Cooking Class Mission San Luis 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. $25 for members, $30 for non-members (850) 245-6406 or

January 29 Pine Needle Basketry Workshop Mission San Luis 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $15 for members, and $20 for non-members. (850) 245-6406 or

Coming up in the next issue of Tallahassee Woman Celebrating Women’s History Heart Matters: Love, Health and Faith the challenges of being a caretaker

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Visit CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS: To submit an item for the calendar for a non-profit orgaznization event please be sure to include the event title, date of the event, contact name, telephone number and e-mail or website address. Submissions are subject to approval. Send the information to

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New Year’s Survival Guide By Cayla McDonald

Ideas to make 2012 one of the best ever… A guaranteed New Year’s kiss. At a New Year’s Eve party (preferably one at a fire station or Chippendale’s), make sure you have a bit of space. Maybe set a pillow or two down before you begin. Once the ball starts dropping, set your drink down, close your eyes, and fall over. Aim for the pillow. At this time, if all goes according to plan, a hunky firefighter or an abs-tastic Chippendale’s dancer will come to your rescue and start mouth to mouth. If you hear someone calling for an ambulance ride, you’re going to have to abort the mission. Those things are freaking expensive. Throw a hoppin’ New Year’s party. Avoid songs that could lead to children doing their infamous round-about question thing. This would most definitely include “What is love (baby don’t hurt me…)?” because, well, you just can’t explain that in a manner that will satisfy a child’s endless curiosity. Think about it:

Child: “Mommy, what is love?” Mother: “Well, honey, love is a very powerful emotion.” Child: “What’s e-mo-tons, mommy?” Mother: “Emotions are what people feel, sweetie.” Child: “Why?” Mother: “Because they just do.” Child: “Why?” Mother: “Someone change the song!” But please don’t change it to Gwen Stefani’s bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S) song. Most importantly, avoid the cult known as the hokey pokey (unlike the chicken dance, it’s not even amusing to see someone doing the hokey pokey). Also, “Muskrat Love,” Vanilla Ice, and Marilyn Manson belong in carnivals—that stuff is bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S). Let’s be real about these resolutions. How about “don’t gain any weight?” That’s doable. Besides keeping my healthy figure, I feel strongly about not screening calls. I’ve come up with a resolution that I think everyone should take on for the new year. Anytime someone calls and you just don’t want to talk to them (awkward coworkers, exchiropractors, and “Give us money” people), try this. In your best Shakespearean accent, answer the phone saying (not singing) “I can’t get no…satis-FAC-SHUN.” This may not work on some people (AKA accountants, spies, and fortune cookie writers), but if they’re generally good, gullible people they’ll probably give you the benefit of the doubt and hang up assuming they’ve called the wrong number. The Shakespearean voice must be in effect for this to properly pan out. For a little variety throughout the year, try answering with “Hi, is Jim there?” or “911, what is your emergency,” which almost always gets people to hang up pronto. Tweak the traditions. Eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight? Excellent! But could we change it to M&M’s? I’m sure everyone at your party, including the firefighters, would agree the smaller size of the delicious chocolate candies would make for less of a choking hazard. 

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Where you wait doesn’t change the fact that you’re still waiting. In an emergency, choose the ER with the shortest wait time in town. To make you feel better about their long wait times, some ERs have started letting you wait at home. At Capital Regional Medical Center, we know that waiting is waiting no matter where you are. That's why we work so hard to keep your wait as short as possible. When seconds count, a shorter wait is always your best option.

Visit or text “ER” to 23000 for average ER wait times.

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Business solutions You Can’t Find online. The Jim Moran Institute for


Global Entrepreneurship created the Advice Straight

DAnA WilliAmS

Up speaker series to provide

Director of Marketing & Communications, Southwest Airlines

our region’s business leaders

Topic: Leadership-The Path to the Top

and entrepreneurs access to nationally recognized speakers who can share their experiences in launching


new ventures and building


innovative businesses.

President & CEO, Human Business Works The 2011-2012 speaker series will feature four luncheon presentations with high-

Special Guest:

profile speakers and culminate


with a national conference for business leaders and

Senior Marketing Manager, PepsiCo

entrepreneurs in summer 2012.

Topic: Growing Your Business Through the Web

The accomplished panel of speakers combine genuine passion for entrepreneurship

THURSDAY APRil 19, 2012

with practical, valuable insight


for surviving and thriving in today’s aggressive business

Founder & Former CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics


Topic: Developing an Exit Strategy



For more information about speakers, topics and dates please visit 48  t a l l a h a s s e e

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December11/January12 issue of Tallahassee Woman Magazine


December11/January12 issue of Tallahassee Woman Magazine