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Comfort Food



The Path of the Heart

A Healthy Heart Is a





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You’re here. We’re here. #FORYOURHEART

THERE’S NO NEED TO GO ANYWHERE ELSE FOR ADVANCED HEART CARE Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, recognized as one of the top complex heart and vascular programs in the Southeast, is here. Where the world’s smallest pacemaker is implanted through a simple cath procedure. And 4 of only 75 physicians in the country, trained in this technology, practice exclusively with us. How old is your heart? Take a few minutes to find out your risk of heart disease by taking our online heart risk assessment test.

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hank you, allahassee!


T a l l a h a s s e e

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tallahassee woman magazine | february/march 2017

contents 8 Our Thoughts Follow Your Heart

10 Trending

Love Thy Selfie | Book Nook: Literature With Love | Teens and Screens: Helpful Monitoring Apps | Creative Cleaning | Pet Products We Love | For the Love of Chocolate

20 Style and Grace


36 WWMB Community Women to Watch

Spring Fashion Finder

38 Business and Career

22 Healthy Living

Tips for Handling a Toxic Co-Worker

The Conundrum of Caregiving

40 Our Community

24 Bodies in Motion

Happy Heart Health Month! Exercise Tips to Help Celebrate

26 Real Life

Bullish on Love: 5 Financial Plays to Manage Long-Term Risk to Your Relationship

34 Special Feature

Women’s History Month: The Stories of Florida’s First Ladies

The Women Behind Miracle Village | Boys Town North Florida: One Hundred Years (and Counting!) | Lemoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival | Women We Admire—Brooks Miley | Haute Happenings | Around Town

56 The Dish

Comfort Food Made From the Heart

58 Funny Girl Guide to Coffee


28 On the Cover


The Path of the Heart: Christy Daly Brodeur By Heather Thomas

About the Cover: Photography by AJ Abellera | Hair and makeup provided by Soleil 7 Salon • Spa 4  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

1 MASTER PLAN FROM THE MASTERS OF OUTDOOR LIVING! Arbors, patios, fireplaces, furniture, retaining walls, landscaping and outdoor kitchens 850-386-2114 tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 5 

TWM | february / march 2017

View Tallahassee Woman


February / March 2017 Volume 12 | Issue 1




EDITOR Heather Thomas

Pick up a copy around town.







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



The Pa of the Hearth t


Comfort Fo ! od

A Healthy Heart Is a






tallah assee

wom an • febru ar y / marc h 2017 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.)


/ MAR CH 2017

STYLE EDITOR Terra Palmer ADVERTISING SALES Jennifer Stinson, Ad Sales Manager Michelle Royster Hart, Ad Sales Associate GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings BUSINESS OPERATIONS Jane Royster Munroe, CFO INTERNS Janecia Britt • Maria Elena Margarella Rachel Corry • Emily Wells

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 ©2017 Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without expressed written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.

OUR CONTRIBUTORS WRITERS Summer Brooke Gomez, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in Tallahassee. Common themes in her treatment room include: professional identity; exceptional adolescents; ambitious couples; law enforcement families; workplace bullying; and creativity and spirituality. Dr. Gomez works with individuals, couples and adolescents.

Deanna Mims is the owner of MarketDone and is a member of Southern Benefits Design and specializes in marketing and public relations for small businesses. She has been recognized as a “25 Women You Need to Know” in 2011 and is a longstanding leader in numerous community organizations. Richard J-P Bastien, DMD

Michelle Nickens is a vice president at the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee, a local actor, blogger and author of the novel, Precious Little Secrets. She is currently participating in Leadership Florida Class XXXIV.

Giving Tallahassee a Reason to Smile

Amanda Wallace is a freelance writer who has lived in Tallahassee for most of her life. She received her degree in creative writing from the University of Central Florida. In addition to magazine articles, Amanda writes fiction and is currently working on a screenplay as well as a book.

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Same Day Crowns PHOTOGRAPHERS

Latest Technology Professional and Caring Team

AJ Abellera is the owner of AJ Studios Photography. He is a member Tallahassee Professional Photographers Guild; the Florida Professional Photographers, Inc. (FPP); and the Professional Photographers of America. In 2015, AJ received the Florida Degree of Photographic Excellence (FDPE Florida Master Photographer) offered by FPP. View more of his work at

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 elleBelle’s portraits online at

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Follow Your Heart “There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask ‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” –Erin Hanson


ver the last few months, I have spoken with women who have decided to make big changes in their lives to follow their heart—leaving demanding jobs to spend more time with family and going out on their own to start their own businesses. Having been there myself, I completely understand the struggle with such a decision—the selfdoubt and the fear of the unknown. However, as these women shared their hearts with me and articulated that strong desire to follow their dream to change their lives, I shared with them my experience, the good and the bad, but ultimately left them with these words: “follow your heart.” For me, I would rather have tried and failed than look back at some point and wonder, “What if?” Our cover woman, Christy Daly Brodeur, followed her heart, and it led to not only a fulfilling personal life, but to a career that has touched the hearts of many and has provided a better life to thousands of children and families in Florida. She shares her heartfelt story of the challenges and triumphs of getting to where she is now, including health issues that were a wake-up call that heart health

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awareness is vital for women of all ages. Since February is American Heart Month, we hope that sharing Christy’s story will help to raise awareness of this important health issue. With March being Women’s History Month, it is a time to celebrate women in our community who are making history. While every issue of Tallahassee Woman focuses on the outstanding commitment and accomplishments of local women, it is important that we take the time to thank the women around us every day that are making their own history…with their families, their work and in this community. Now, this is something to celebrate, not just in March, but all year long. Until next time.

Kim Rosier Publisher

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TRENDING ltu re • technology fashion • enter tai nment • cu



SELFIE A How-To By Janecia Britt


ome of us hate them, others love them, but either way, we have to admit selfie culture is here to stay. The close-up personal photo has taken over social media, and it’s time to embrace the shameless movement. Here are some key tips to a great selfie that’ll help you put your best face forward. 1. Find your best angle A lot of people think that the best angle is the upward angle, but it’s not always what is the best for you. While it is definitely the go-to pose for selfies, sometimes it leaves too much room between your head and the photos. Instead, bring your phone closer to you and tilt your head. 2. Good lighting is everything Natural lighting is what’s best­—for food photos, for portraits and for your selfie. The best place to get good lighting is in an open doorway or window. If you are outside, make sure the sun is behind your head; it keeps you from squinting and makes you glow. You probably already know that fluorescent lights are the enemy; it’s important to know how to counteract unflattering lowlight. One trick is to hold a white napkin or paper towel near your face to neutralize the flash of your camera when you’re taking a selfie. 3. Don’t forget about the background Choosing a cool background helps your photo. Bathroom selfies are so 2008, so make sure you’re in a nice environment. Murals, pretty doorways, open markets and greenery make for stunning backgrounds.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 11 

trending | entertainment


Literature With Love By Maria Elena Margarella

Love takes many forms. Sometimes, it’s a story. From classics to poetry to recent bestsellers, here are some love stories to enamor your heart and mind. Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks: The bestselling

romance novelist is at it again with his twentieth publication. This novel follows Russell Green, a 32-year-old advertising exec who has it all—except it’s all on the surface. When his marriage and job are no longer part of his perfect life, he finds himself a struggling single parent to his six-year-old daughter. Russell is forced to make sense of this puzzling reality and begin a new journey—one that will test him beyond his imagination. If you’re looking for a story of unconditional love, this is it. 12  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed: From the

author of the groundbreaking bestseller Wild, this book is that one friend you go to for advice—on anything. It’s a collection of The Rumpus’s Dear Sugar advice columns along with never-before-published articles. No matter what you’re going through in life, it’s got something to offer. With humor to keep you smiling, Strayed reaches out a compassionate, cuttingly honest hand to her devoted readers.

95 Poems by E.E. Cummings: One of the most

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Published in 1847,

Beloved by Toni Morrison: Because a classic is a classic

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Not

influential avant-garde poets in literary history, E.E. Cummings writes about love and life in ways that help readers gain a new understanding of existence. First published in 1958, this collection is the last book of new poems released in the poet’s lifetime. His stark awareness and appreciation of human nature keep his poetry intriguing and timeless. This edition draws from his other volumes as well, so you’re bound to fall in love with E.E. all over again.

for a reason. This Nobel Prize-winning piece of work marries the depth and beauty of poetry with the enchanting skill of storytelling. Sethe, the protagonist, escapes slavery only to be haunted by the ghost of her unnamed baby—whose gravestone reads merely the single word “Beloved.” Freedom isn’t free after all, and a mother’s love drives the emotional intensity of the most intimate scenes. A book of this literary merit makes American history readable and endures as a pillar of poetic rhetoric.

this novel stood out with its independent, strong-willed female protagonist, Jane. She starts low—orphaned and oppressed—but remains unbroken. But it’s more than just a coming-of-age story. It’s a story of endurance, strength and love. The chemistry between Jane and Mr. Rochester is dynamic, and so is the couple’s storyline. This book has stood as a brilliant combo of suspense, mystery and romance for over a century now. It’s a must-read.

only have its loyal readers declared this work as The Great American Novel, but it’s also considered by the same group to be the greatest love story ever written. Against the intense backdrop of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, it tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who manipulates for survival and success. The passionate, chaotic love between her and Rhett Butler remains one of the most studied relationships in literary history. First published in 1936, this Pulitzer Prize-winning work stands the test of time. If you haven’t read it, read it.





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trending | technology

TEENS AND SCREENS Helpful Monitoring Apps By Emily Wells


arents naturally want to protect their children from danger, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so when teens can easily access the Internet and come into contact with harmful content or people with one click. Luckily, there are ways to monitor your teens’ behavior online through software that can alert parents of any suspicious activity. Here are some of the best monitoring apps to keep children safe. Bark: Bark is an app for the iOs and Android that can connect to your teen or tween’s social media accounts and monitor for signs of cyber-bullying, drug-re-

lated content, signs of depression and a plethora of other suspicious behavior. If it detects anything, it will immediately send a notification to your phone telling you what it detected, along with tips on how to talk to your teen about the detected behavior. It’s $9 per month. Net Nanny: Net Nanny is a service for Windows, Mac, iOs, and social media that allows you to create filters to prevent your teen from seeing any harmful content that you don’t want them to see. It automatically masks profanity and blocks inappropriate content. You can even set time limits for Internet usage, and like

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Bark, it sends you notifications and alerts about what your child has been visiting online. Prices can vary depending on what version you buy. OurPact: OurPact is a free app for iOs and Android that allows you to block the Internet or apps at any time. You may also create a unique schedule for when every member of the family is allowed to go online or play, so that they don’t all have to wait for the same time and can access the Internet when they need to.

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trending | knowledge

PET PRODUCTS WE D By Maria Elena Margarella


e treat our pets like members of the family, so show your creatures some extra care with these great goodies. When They Want to Jump in the Car: Welcome them! Transportation becomes easier and cleaner with the AmazonBasics Waterproof Hammock Seat Cover. It protects your car from dirt, fur, scratches and spills. The Hammock even has pockets to store anything your pet may need on the ride. This product is ideal for larger pets but still protects your car from your little tail-waggers too. When They Want to Play: Does your dog’s energy ever seem never-ending? We have just the thing for you. The iFetch Interactive Ball Thrower will take over when your arm just can’t take it anymore. It’s an on-demand ball launcher that lets your pooch play until they’re tuckered out. The product includes three mini-size tennis balls—the larger version, iFetch Too, includes full-size tennis balls fit for larger dogs. If you lose the balls, you can order refills. No more fetcher’s arm for you! When They Want a Treat: Press a button. The next time you miss or worry about your pet at home, the Petzi Treat Cam connects you from anywhere. With camera and Wi-Fi capabilities, you can dispense their favorite treat while checking up on them. Take pictures to share on social media or talk to them through the cam’s audio function. This product is wonderful for the working owner. When They Want a Starbucks: Yes, there’s a toy for that. The Haute Diggity Dog Starbarks Plush Lid Toy is perfect for the pet that wants to fit in with its caffeinated human. The squeaky toy comes in latte or Frappuccino. Starbarks Frenchie Roast to go, please. Caffeine not included. 16  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

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So, spring-cleaning has appeared in your frontal lobe and you just don’t know where to start. There are so many things to clean and so little time! Luckily, there is always a method to get everything in your home sparkling. 1. Use a dryer sheet to get rid of soap. residue. Don’t toss that used dryer sheet. Sprinkle it with a few drops of water, then use it to wipe away built-up soap residue on your shower doors. It works wonders on scummy surfaces. 2. Use baking soda to unclog a drain. If your drain moves slower than a tortoise, unclog it by pouring down ½ cup baking soda, then ½ cup vinegar. Cover the drain with a wet cloth, and let it sit for five minutes. Uncover, and flush with steaming-hot water. 3. Have old, burnt pans? Fill the bottom of the pan with water. Add a cup of white vinegar to the pan. Bring the pan to a boil. Take the pan off the stove and add 2 tablespoons baking soda. Empty the pan and scour. 4. Wondering how to clean your Keurig? Fill the water reservoir about halfway with vinegar. Run a cycle through without adding a filter or k-cup. Then run two cycles of water through to get rid of the vinegar taste and smell. 5. Make your engagement ring sparkle! Use baking soda because its mild, nonabrasive consistency makes it a great choice for cleaning metals and precious stones. Simply pour a bit into a bowl and mix it with a bit of warm water to create a soft paste. Take off your ring, and use your fingers to gently rub the paste around the stone, the setting and the band. Rinse the ring with warm water, and dry with a lint-free cloth.

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850-656-2856 From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the overwhelming love and support you’ve shown Cole Couture for the past 10 years. Because of you, it has grown into the successful midtown shop that it is. As I grow as a wife, mother and business owner, my hopes for the boutique have continued to evolve. I’ve been dreaming, building and tirelessly perfecting an experience and curated collection. And now, the moment I’ve been waiting for has arrived... Say hello to e l le | m a r ke t ...Market District’s newest apothecary offering an on-trend, sophisticated mix of clothing and gifts for women and men — opening this Spring. Same people. New building. New dream. — Carrie McNeill and her daughter Elle Visit for more details.

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trending | wellness


By Rachel Corry


ne of the most anticipated delights about Valentine’s Day is the heavenly taste of chocolate. It’s one of the most well-known traditions on this day of love—to give someone you care about a piece (or a gigantic box) of decadent goodness. This yummy treat surpasses its common reputation as just another type of unhealthy candy since it can actually benefit us. Chocolate originated in Mesoamerica, used most commonly by the Maya and Aztecs. According to the Happy Chocolatier Shop, it continues to keep its reputation from Aztec history as “the food of the gods.” As chocolate popularized throughout England, Richard Cadbury created decorative heart-shaped boxes in 1861 to make chocolate even more appealing and easier to sell on Valentine’s Day. Fortunately for us, when eaten in moderation, chocolate (especially dark chocolate) has various positive effects on energy levels and happiness. It contains antioxidants

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that trigger blood vessels to relax, reducing stress levels. Eating small amounts of chocolate has been shown to improve memory, focus and alertness. It also leads to higher production levels of feel-good endorphins from the brain, improving mood and pleasure. Chocolate may additionally reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, as studies from Authority Nutrition illustrate. Eating dark chocolate, in particular, reduces cravings and potentially helps us maintain healthier eating habits. Chocolate contains the same chemical your brain produces when you feel like you are in love—so it’s no wonder we all crave this delicious treat at this time of year.

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style & grace

SPRING FASHION FINDER By Maria Elena Margarella


he streets are your runways, so make every week Fashion Week with these peeks into what’s trending. Flower Power: Floral patterns typically gain traction around this time of year and for good reason. We’re seeing buds blooming on maxi-dresses, extra-long shirts and both casual and professional blazers. Don’t shy away from floral accessories either—anything from hairpieces to pretty purses are known to pop with a little perennial love. Think color! Let nature inspire you, and blossom your personality. Stripe Time: This trend is not just your classic vertical lines. It’s much more diverse. Color-blocking patterns, pop

culture overlays and banker stripes have all stepped out this season. Different themes have also drawn their lines in the sand—er, fabric? Nautical, psychedelic, glitter glam and retro leather outfits are waiting for your closet. Go for it! Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, jagged—whatever direction they’re going, the stripes are going in style. Work Wear Winners: We all know that the right work outfit helps us feel more confident in the workplace. This season’s trends are bound to beat the office blues. Shirt dresses with long sleeves command authority while retaining feminine flare. Trench coats with exaggerated buckles and extended silhouettes pair well with anything. The asymmetrical shoulder cut

20  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

has also spread across the runways. Work your confidence! Colors to keep in mind: rose pink, yellow and the universally applicable khaki. For More Than Just Athletes: As the number of female athletes increases in the nation, companies are trying to keep up. While this gives us more athletic wear overall, it’ll also contribute to the continued rise of athleisure—a fashion trend in which clothing designed for athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as work or casual occasions. Yes, athleticism is now trendy. Strong is stylish! As the industry listens more to what workingwomen want, we benefit from these fashionable opportunities.

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healthy living


to sleep or periodic longer periods of sleep, hypervigilance, an inability to relax, a sense of overwhelming anxiety, loss of joy or enthusiasm and feeling hopeless and lonely. But you knew there would be good news here too, right? The quicker you commit yourself to some fundamental tools, the easier your new reality can become, and the better you can maintain and remember the “you” you were and will be again, with more energy, resourcefulness, grace and joy. Here are four fundamental mantras of coping that I’ve found helpful in my journey as a caregiver. 1) School yourself on what you are coming into. There are numerous questions that arise with an aging loved one that will be unique to their health or situation, such as, “What are the health needs of my loved one, and how will those needs impact our current resources?” “What should I expect during a hospital stay and after he or she has come home?”

“There is no perfect way to take care of an elderly parent except with the most love and patience you are able to muster on that particular day.” –


orget perfect, I would settle for consistently patient or always “minding my gap” between stimulus and response, or can’t I at least manage easygoing amusement? If this resonates with you, you are likely a woman with career and family demands or in the famed “sandwich generation,” finding yourself spending an average of 30 hours a week bringing a parent to medical appointments, paying bills, making meals, interacting with therapy professionals, navigating the medical system, filling prescriptions and spending time on Medicare, Medicaid and all varieties of insurance and paperwork deadlines. You are not alone. You are doing what an estimated 65.7 million Americans are currently experiencing. And if you aren’t yet, consider that by 2050, the number of people over age 65 is expected to more than double, to 86.5 million. And we are addressing only aging relatives here, not other caretaking situations. However, it can be true that this shared journey can be rewarding in meaningful ways. In revelations I get daily, I gain new perspectives on aging, enhanced gratitude, maturity, more tolerance and patience and the opportunity to serve. I’ve also learned that there are some common signs of caregiver burnout waiting to happen, such as loss of energy, inability

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“What are my local, state and national resources?” “What are my housing and at-home care options?” 2) Drop your “shoulds” and overinvestment in other people’s judgments. You want to do the best thing, so you usually prioritize your care receiver’s needs before your own, and then you berate yourself when you aren’t as patient, easy-going or loving as you or others would like or think you should be. Analyze each day as it comes, and manage your expectations with realistic objectives and what is possible on that given day. Let go of preconceived notions of what caregiving should look like, and focus instead on how you are taking care of yourself and your loved one. 3) It’s okay to constantly adjust your expectations. Inflexible schedules are a thing of the past. Sometimes, “done” really is good enough. 4) Empower others to lend a hand. You apply yourself to getting your loved one’s needs met,

so be as good to yourself. When a friend offers help...allow it, AND have a specific suggestion. Need a date night? Ask a friend to sit with your dad for a few hours. Can’t get to the grocery store? A true friend will feel great about making a contribution by adding a few things to her basket for you. Need to vent? Tap that support group who really “get it.” Also, plan ahead. It’s essential that you have something to look forward to. 5) Don’t forget YOU. Taking care of yourself is vital to your own health and the health of your loved one. Too often, caregiver burnout occurs when the health of the caregiver is put last on the list. Take time for yourself every day to do something you enjoy, to exercise, and when possible, take an extended vacation to truly refresh and renew your mind, body and spirit. Prevention really is the best medicine—be sure to seek medical and professional help with taking care of your mind and body so burnout doesn’t get the best of you. My mother—artistic, smart, funny, curious and strong. She worked full-time and raised me while caring for her own mother, providing all the extras and opportunities she could afford. Now it’s my turn, my honor and my responsibility to provide my mother what she originally gave me, all while keeping my own health a priority and helping her experience the last best chapter she deserves. May we all have someone who loves us enough to accompany us on this caregiving journey.



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bodies in motion

Happy Heart Health Month! Exercise Tips to Help Celebrate By Maria Elena Margarella


ur hearts aren’t just for loving—they’re for living too! In honor of February’s “Heart Health Month,” we talked to Certified Personal Trainer Page Hagan to raise awareness and share her insight regarding cardiovascular health—because a healthy heart is a happy heart.

biking, swimming, dancing—the list of aerobic activities is endless. The list of their health benefits is also quite lengthy: improved cognitive function, increased bone density, improved quality of sleep, weight gain prevention and, of course, a stronger heart.

Make It a Lifestyle: Heart health is made up of more than just choices. It’s about committing your mind, body and heart to a healthier way of life. Don’t treat those choices as short-lived solutions but rather implement them into your daily routine. While it’s true that some symptoms of heart disease are genetic and primarily benefit from medication, it’s important to understand the critical role that lifestyle plays in the prevention of heart disease. It’s a lifestyle change.

So How Much Should We Move?: Well, scientific evidence shows us two paths to what is defined as “regular exercise”: (1) at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or (2) at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week. Note: Strength training is imperative no matter what. The evidence demonstrates such levels and amounts of exercise will lower the risk of coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. It’s time to get movin’!

Actually, Put Your Body in Motion: Physical activity is anything that makes your body move and burn calories. Page’s advice is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy the exercise, you won’t exercise, or at least, the motivation to exercise is likelier to fall flat. Walking, 24  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

Consistency Is Key: More than anything, this is a MUSTDO. You can’t begin an exercise program and expect to see immediate results. It typically takes six to eight weeks of regular exercise before noticing significant changes.

So, believe in yourself and stick with it! Remember, a healthy heart isn’t temporary—you want it to last a lifetime. Extra tip? Write out an exercise schedule—you’re more likely to commit if you write it out and place it somewhere you’ll see every day. Track your progress, and don’t be ashamed to adjust in order to fit your busy life. Just make sure to pencil in time for your heart health.

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Don’t Forget the Food: While your body is moving, it needs to be filled with fuel—healthy fuel! A diet that promotes a healthy heart is low in saturated fats and rich in whole grains, low-fat dairy products and fruits and vegetables. Proper nutrition is vital to a healthy heart. Page’s ideal combo is regular aerobic and strength training with an appropriate diet.

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But Before You Begin: If you’re someone who hasn’t exercised in a long time, consult a fitness professional and check with your doctor as well. One mistake Page has seen throughout her 34 years in the fitness industry is “too much too soon.” Pace yourself and listen to your body. While enthusiasm is wonderful (and great motivation), excessive exercise after a long sedentary period may lead to extreme soreness, injury or worse—the dreaded burnout. Begin with a moderate program and set attainable goals. Intensity (and frequency) can be increased as you progress.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 25 

real life


5 Financial Plays to Manage Long-Term Risk to Your Relationship by Summer Brooke Gómez

Money Talks Whether you’re a breadwinner, a showrunner or a Jane of all trades, you’ve probably had to take some time out of your grind to get a handle on your finances. Congratulate yourself! It can be quite the task. Applications for your hard-fought financial literacy can run the gauntlet from everyday budgeting to crisis management to long-term planning and everything in between. Still, you may find yourself in a tough spot if you have not worked for a measure of emotional literacy alongside all of that carefully honed fiscal finesse. Too often, we can get comfortable with quietly tackling our to-do lists, only to come up short when the situation demands that we interact with the people we love.

It’s time to get started making the topic feel safe: Don’t hide the madness. Assuming your relationship is generally healthy, choosing the moment to deliver bad news carefully may have merit. However, keeping a partner in the dark long-term regarding a serious financial crisis can backfire, no matter your intentions. You both deserve better than to bear it alone. Resolve to share the details of any financial crisis with open eyes and hearts.

Can’t Buy Me Love

Sweat the small stuff. Whether you’re deciding to consult one another on certain types of purchases or tweaking irksome everyday spending choices, figure out what feels like mutual respect and stick to it. A soft bed of goodwill can go a long way on a more difficult day.

If the thought of talking about money with your partner or family makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Money can be a powerful symbol, not to mention a practical load. Luckily, developing the necessary habits to turn those tricky conversations into a way to take care of each other on every level is both reasonable and rewarding.

Business mode. Strive for a modicum of businessminded distance when it comes to discussing goals, options and strategy. Training yourself to be frank and separating conversations about your emotions from conversations about your approach can make occasionally loaded moments more comfortable for everyone.

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Dig deeper. Does your partner, parent or adult child seem overly optimistic, fearful or unreasonable? It may be best to slow down and put feelings first. It’s hard to have a level-headed conversation otherwise. Seasons. New challenges require new skills. Reach out to a financial planner, take a class together or meet to share insight from your online research. Discuss not only how you might apply what you’ve learned but what feelings were stirred along the way. Keep the conversation going until you know you’ve made real progress.

Love or Money Money and a sense of stability go hand in hand, so it’s important to respect that the related emotions can run especially high. If a conversation feels like it might become too volatile, you always have the option of seeking outside help for the emotional aspect of things before tackling the practical tasks. If you feel the situation calls for it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a spiritual leader, a mental health professional or someone you trust. Whether you work on it at home or with support, learn to see your loved one’s emotional responses to financial tasks as windows into deeper conversations that need to take place before you strategize. Done right, talking about money can actually teach you to tune in to each other’s needs and work together once those needs have been addressed. So roll your sleeves up and empower yourself to insist on addressing both emotional and practical needs sufficiently, but remember, love always comes first. Summer Brooke Gómez, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist in Tallahassee. She can be reached at (850) 421-1260.

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 27 

on the cover

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The Path of the Heart By Heather Thomas | Photography by AJ Abellera

“Love is a path to the heart that knows its own way.”—Lamar Cole

Christy Daly Brodeur, Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, is a woman whose path has been led by her heart. While on her journey, her capacity to care for others grew stronger, and she would ultimately find her life’s purpose and true love along the way. IT BEGINS WITH THE HEART

Growing up with two older sisters and a mother who is a retired hospice nurse and a father who is a retired child welfare administrator, Christy spent brief periods in Pensacola, Florida, and later in Gainesville, Florida, with her family, before moving to Tallahassee permanently. Christy attended Trinity Catholic School, Leon High School, then Tallahassee Community College and finished her bachelor’s degree in social work at Florida State University. While in college, she did an internship at Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) and says, “I fell in love with the at-risk youth population and confirmed that helping children feel loved and hopeful was the foundation upon which I wanted to build a career.”

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 29 

on the cover

“... I believe that loving others better helped me to love and accept myself more, and it allowed me to build the confidence I needed to navigate the world as a single woman. It also allowed me to get settled in my career and find my passion in helping to make and direct policy that bettered the lives of children and families.”

After graduating, she was hired on at CCYS to do community outreach and fundraising, eventually becoming the Safe Place Coordinator. That position grew into a statewide Safe Place Coordinator position, which transferred her over to work for the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services. She then transitioned her outreach and advocacy experience into a government affairs role with the Florida Network for the next six years. She says, “I learned I had an extreme passion for policy and government and was able to tell the story of Florida’s children.” During this time, as Christy moved into her late 20s, she watched her sisters and friends get married and have children, and she was a bridesmaid and baby shower hostess several times over. She wondered if her childhood dream of having a marriage like her parents (they have been married for 50 years) and children of her own would become a reality. “I was never lonely, since my friends and family included me in everything. I don’t remember being envious either, since my parents had instilled in me a sense of gratitude and love.” She doesn’t remember the exact moment, but Christy says, “I made a conscious choice to direct my energy of wanting to be married and have children into being the best daughter, sister, aunt, friend and advocate for the families and children in my life, personally and professionally.

It brought extreme happiness to me. I believe that loving others better helped me to love and accept myself more, and it allowed me to build the confidence I needed to navigate the world as a single woman. It also allowed me to get settled in my career and find my passion in helping to make and direct policy that bettered the lives of children and families.” And that passion for her career quickly accelerated her down the path of professional success. She moved from the Florida Network to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) as its legislative affairs director, did a stint as the external affairs director and ran the DJJ Foundation for a short while. Then, in 2010, she served as DJJ’s Secretary’s chief of staff, which led to Deputy Secretary and then Secretary in 2014. While her heart’s passion to help children in Florida kept her life busy, Christy’s love for her friends and family made her life full. She is actively involved in the lives of her nephews and she became the friend women dream of— supportive through the challenging times and the first to celebrate the moments that make life special. From weddings to births or tragic losses, such as the death of a friend’s spouse and several parents of childhood friends, Christy was the someone that could be relied upon to help give encouragement, assist during a crisis or wait in the stillness of a hospital room simply holding a hand—

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or a heart—while a friend’s daughter received chemotherapy. Michelle Hart, the mother of that daughter and a close friend of Christy, says, “She’s a friend who will drop everything for not only you but your whole family. Whether it was coming to Shands Hospital with us for our five-year-old’s infusion for her cancer treatment or setting up a tailgate inside a hotel room because that’s all your child wants (wings included and every other tailgate food)…she has a heart full of love.”


Although Christy’s advancement in her career was swift, she found that she needed to slow things down when it came to a health challenge that affected her heart. In 2007, the night before Christy was to start her position as the DJJ Legislative Affairs Director, she briefly lost vision in one of her eyes. She didn’t think too much of it since she had been rubbing it really hard and had been having vision floaters for a few days. She went to an eye doctor, who could not find a vision problem. Next, she went to a neurologist, and tests showed that nothing neurological was amiss, but the doctor suggested it might be a cardiac issue. “I was only in my 30s, so I really did not think it could be a heart problem, but I got a full cardiac workup done anyway.” And it was fortunate she did. The tests revealed that Christy had a genetic condition called “premature degeneration of the cardiac conduction system,” which meant that the electrical

function of her heart was not operating properly and that there was a blockage in the electrical pathway. After a surgical ablation, Christy’s heart kicked back into a normal rhythm. However, through the night at the hospital, her condition worsened, and her sinus node (the natural pacemaker) was struggling, so a pacemaker was installed, which was just replaced last summer. Fortunately, Christy’s long-term heart prognosis is promising. “I was very fortunate that I did not have any permanent damage to my heart. The initial damage was healed once the pacemaker was implanted. Although I’m nearly 90 percent reliant on the pacemaker, rarely do I ever think about it.” However, she does listen to her body in a way she never did before, and she’ll be the first to tell you that waiting to act on symptoms or waiting to have a heart-healthy lifestyle is not something that you should tune out. During heart health awareness month, Christy’s advice to other women is “to listen to your heart—pay attention to your body. I wish I had paid more attention earlier on to all the little symptoms that added up. I chalked up my shortness of breath to being out of shape and my vision issues to lack of sleep. I thought I was too young for this to happen to me and let the business of my life or the busyness of life make me neglect taking care of my body.”


The path of an at-risk or delinquent child can seem very dark and hopeless. Many come from households with domestic violence or substance abuse, and some have been exposed to levels of trauma no child should have to endure. “All kids need to be held accountable for breaking the law, but most youth who end up at DJJ have behavior that resulted from situations that started at home. We know so much more today from the use of

“I’m responsible for other people’s children, so I look at these kids as if they are mine too. The reality is, when you are running a 24/7 system that serves thousands of children, there’s a huge sense of responsibility that I go to bed with every night—that our kids are safe and our staff is safe and that our staff is always prepared to make the right decisions.”

assessments to the decades of research that has been done on evidence-based programing and how to ensure we are providing the right service at the right time for the right youth.” Research-driven reform of the DJJ system is something Christy staunchly advocates and has helped implement since 2011. “Six years ago, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and former Secretary Wansley Walters, we aggressively began our approach to reforming the juvenile justice system in Florida. Led by data and research, we developed the “Roadmap to System Excellence,” which is our guide to ensuring public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency and improving services for at-risk and delinquent youth. Through our focus on prevention, early intervention, civil citation and diversion, along with strengthened assessment and decision-making tools, we have been able to better manage our population while ensuring youth receive the services most appropriately matched to their needs.” Florida has made great strides in reform efforts. Juvenile arrests are at a 40year low, and residential commitment programs are the intervention reserved for those youth who are serious offenders and at risk to public safety. “The continuum of care allows us to work

with these kids and their families at the earliest point with law enforcement and to best help them be successful. I don’t want us to ever give up on kids, to ever stop helping them to improve and giving them opportunities to envision a promising future and to hope for something better. I know the reality is we will not be able to save every single youth from going deeper in our system, but it is the expectation I have of myself and of our staff to try.” The obligation Christy feels goes beyond the day-to-day hours of the job. “I’m responsible for other people’s children, so I look at these kids as if they are mine too. The reality is, when you are running a 24/7 system that serves thousands of children, there’s a huge sense of responsibility that I go to bed with every night—that our kids are safe and our staff is safe and that our staff is always prepared to make the right decisions.”


When marital love bloomed in Christy’s life, it was a gradual unfolding. Christy and Jason Brodeur’s lives had intersected at various points throughout the years from a career standpoint, with Jason being a Florida House State Representative, but in 2012, their relationship, which was rooted in friendship, grew into something

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 31 

on the cover

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more serious. It was slow to develop but as natural as a heartbeat. “Our relationship caught us both by surprise in its seriousness. I looked up one day to realize that he’s the piece that’s completed who I’m supposed to be in life.” It’s been over a year since Christy and Jason said “I do” to spending the rest of their lives together. But life does have a way of placing little flames of hope and confirmation that, once you look back on the path you’ve traveled, you can more clearly see the light that had been there all along. The brief time Christy spent as a kindergartner in Gainesville proved to be one of those lights. On the night of Christy and Jason’s wedding rehearsal dinner, Christy’s sisters had them both unwrap a present—a framed photo of Christy’s kindergarten class. At first, Christy laughed at her lopsided pigtails and gaptoothed grin, but as they both looked deeper at the picture, they realized that Jason was in the picture too, in the same class. “We had no idea we had been in the same class. It was a surprising and deeply emotional moment.” Christy realized that with all of the personal and professional roads she had traveled over the years, her life’s path had already joined with Jason’s, and she’s glad she made the choice to focus on serving others while waiting for their hearts to lead them back to each other. Christy and Jason are hoping for children of their own but trust in God’s plan for them, and wherever that path might lead. Christy says, “No matter what life brings, no matter the circumstances of the journey, our hearts have an endless capacity to serve others, to hope and to love.”




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feature | women’s history


ON THE The Stories of Florida’s PAGE:

First Ladies By Michelle R. Nickens


hen you think of first ladies, the words classy, smart, philanthropic, poised, loyal and inspirational may come to mind. First ladies play a significant role, sometimes behind the scenes, in shaping our political landscape while serving as a beacon of hope, a messenger of good will, an agent of change and a trusted partner. Patricia L. Clements, Ph.D., has a passion for first ladies, specifically Florida’s first ladies. Dr. Clements embarked on a mission to research and share stories of these accomplished women. Her project, titled Florida’s First Ladies: Political Partners, is under consideration for publication by The University of Florida Press. I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Clements about her project.

Q: What was your goal in sharing these women’s stories? A: My aim was to examine the evolving role of first ladies as political partners over three centuries of our state’s history. The idea for this project originated once I identified the need for specific research on the role of first ladies of Florida. As the editor of this book, it was my job to understand the existing literature on the subject and identify experts in the field of Florida history who were willing to join me. In addition to conceiving the idea and serving as editor, I wrote several of the chapters and pulled the pieces together into a comprehensive work.

Q: What type of research was needed to prepare for the project?

Photo by Adam Cohen Photography 34  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

A: It was challenging to identify sources of information for some of the first ladies. Florida’s first ladies’ roles were so obscured in the 1800s and even in the 1900s, in some cases, it was difficult to find a date of birth or date of death. For example, there was very little biographical information available for Barbara Warren (1949–1953). Mrs. Warren had no children with Governor Warren. They divorced and she

remarried twice; therefore, her last name changed two more times. Mildred Cone, the first lady from 1937 to 1941, was the childless widow of Governor Cone and sunk into historical obscurity after his death. I found Mrs. Cone’s date of death after interviewing Fred Cone’s 95-yearold niece.

May Mann Jennings (State Archives of Florida)

In the 1800s, political partners cultivated the impression of being domesticated, as most wives were expected to do during this time. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote, thus their morals and opinions were seldom considered as having an influence on their husbands. With the recent Presidential election, we’ve seen how much women’s roles in politics have evolved. Political pundits mused over the role former President Bill Clinton would play as Hillary’s political partner, wondering whether to address him as the “First Gentleman” or “First Husband.”

Q: Provide some examples of first ladies the book highlights. A: Rhea Chiles (1991–1998) epitomized the political partnership, as she was Lawton’s equal. During his 1969 campaign for U.S. Senator, he earned the nickname “Walkin’ Lawton” with his 91day hiking trip through the state. Rhea designed this brilliant and innovative campaign journey of 1,033 miles. During their time in the District of Columbia, Rhea found and purchased a historical property that became known as Florida House. It has served as the “Florida Embassy” for more than four decades.

Rhea Chiles with Lawton Chiles (State Archives of Florida)

May Mann Jennings’ (1901–1905) political career began in the late 1800s, when, in her teens, she successfully campaigned for her widowed father, Austin Mann, for a seat in the Florida Senate. She distinguished herself through her work in conservation and as a women’s rights activist. It was highly unusual for a dignified woman to have a public presence. May was strategic, working through the acceptable power structure of “ladies clubs.” She was the

president of the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs and cofounder of the Florida League of Women Voters.

Q: What have you learned through this process? A: Our state archive and the 67 county libraries in Florida are full of fascinating resources. Explore these sources and share this “new” information with others.

Dr. Clements’ first book, A Legacy of Leadership: Florida Governors and Their Inaugural Speeches, was published in 2005 and is the oldest oral history project in Florida. It begins in 1845 and continues into the 20th century with an exact account of what was spoken by Florida’s governors on their inaugural day. “There is a great feeling of satisfaction in researching and writing about topics that have not been previously explored. There is a sense of exhilaration in discovering something significant that has been overlooked or undervalued in the past,” Dr. Clements explained. A Legacy of Leadership can be purchased at museum bookstores throughout the state. Dr. Clements’ passion for Florida’s first ladies can be seen in her role in establishing the Florida’s First Ladies Gown Collection (which is housed at the Museum of Florida History), her appointment by Secretary of State Katherine Harris as History Liaison, her work as the former chair of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women and former chair of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. She was also a founding member of Women’s Park in Dade County, the first of its kind. Dr. Clements may be sharing the stories and evolution of Florida’s first ladies, but she is a historical first lady—classy, passionate, smart, influential, insightful—a messenger of hope and an inspiration to us all.

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 35 


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.

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer has recently published her first book, Eat, Drink, Do: 3 Basic Principles for Health by the Bible. This book addresses wellness through the lenses of faith, Scripture and practical application. Stephanie Derzypolski has been named Vice President/ Chief Communications Officer at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH). In her new role, Stephanie is responsible for the oversight of all marketing and communications for TMH. Stephanie has been involved in community organizations including the United Way and the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Stephanie has also served on the board at ECHO and is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee, Class 25. Erica Co Kane has opened a bookstore in Tallahassee called Book Teas, whose inventory consists of independent-author books that are self-published or small publishing house authors. Erica is a Florida A&M alumnus and has been a published author since 2015. She initiated her publishing company, Co Kane Publications, in July 2015. Some of the services provided are consignment for authors, editing, proofreading, beta reading, ghostwriting, marketing content writing, business writing and hosting book signings. She also provides mentorship for aspiring authors as well.

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Wendi Cannon was recently promoted to Director of Information Technology (IT) at the FSU College of Medicine. She provides leadership and direction for the Office of Information Technology and the staff. Wendi started at the college in 2003 shortly after its founding and has served in various IT roles in the past 13 years. She is involved in several community organizations, including Betton Hills PTO, Florida Young Professionals Alzheimer’s Committee and chair of TalTech Alliance. Liz Miller, an Ameris Bank mortgage banker, was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors as the Affiliate Director for the Tallahassee Board of Realtors in 2017. Liz is a community leader actively involved in several civic and nonprofit organizations. Her current involvement includes Tallahassee Mortgage Bankers Association, Tallahassee Junior League, Boys Town of North Florida, United Way of the Big Bend and Visit Tallahassee. Karen B. Moore, Founder and CEO of Moore Communications Group (MCG), was recently honored as Communications Partner of the Year by the Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Additionally, Karen was recently inducted into the TCC Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame for her philanthropic work throughout the years as a community leader.

Samantha Loebig has joined the team at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce as Marketing Coordinator. Samantha will facilitate all of the publications, media relations and social media on behalf of the Tallahassee Chamber and its affiliates, which include Leadership Tallahassee, Youth Leadership Tallahassee and World Class Schools. Samantha graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in information, communication and technology. Sarah Blei was recently hired as the Coordinator of Board and Strategic Engagement at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce . In this role, Sarah will work alongside Chamber partners to strengthen the mission and continue the implementation of the Chamber’s strategic plan. Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of West Florida. Caitlin Yancey has joined Capital City Bank’s team of mortgage bankers. Caitlin brings 11 years of experience in lending and real estate, as well as extensive market knowledge acquired over many years of living and working in the local community. She began her career in residential lending in 2004. Danielle Buchanan was recently appointed Director of Program Development for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH). In her new role, Danielle will work closely with leadership to guide the communications strategy of the public relations office and manage the team of marketing and public relations professionals. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Capital Area American Red Cross and is part of Leadership Tallahassee, Class 34.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 37 

business & career

Tips for Handling a Toxic Coworker By Janecia Britt


t least once in their career, everyone experiences working with a toxic person. There are many types of uncomfortable work relationships, but there are a few types of behavior that can send up immediate red flags. Beware of the colleague who talks badly about other people or the person who complains nonstop. The person who needs to be given credit for every little thing—or shuts you out of meetings—can also be a negative sign. You may catch yourself constantly complaining to your friends or spouse about that person. If thinking or talking about a hostile work relationship bleeds into your post-work life for a long period, it’s time to start taking steps to solve the problem. The best first step is acknowledging that this is going on and that it is negatively affecting both your work and personal life. Then, maybe run it by a friend that you admire. Just say, “I just want to talk this through with you out loud, to make sure it’s them and not me.” In this process, self-awareness will be important: you don’t know what the person is going through. Recognizing that other people are fighting their own battles in life and it’s not always about you is one great step toward achieving peace of mind about a situation. However, don’t forget to check yourself as well. We don’t often think that we may be contributing to our own toxic work environments. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a senior scientist at the Neuroleadership Institute, wrote in the Harvard Business Review that this is because there is “remarkably little overlap between how other people see us and how we think we’re coming across.” If you’re sensing conflict, try to put yourself in a colleague’s shoes. Think about how you’re coming across. Clear communication is important when it comes to relating to others too. “Remember that people don’t have access to your 38  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017

secret thoughts and feelings,” Dr. Halvorson wrote. “You have to make them apparent. So make that effort to show you are on their side.” If the conflict is longlasting, there are several ways to cope. You can try calmly confronting your colleague by addressing the issue and asking him or her how to work together to fix it. If this doesn’t work, distancing yourself is not a bad idea. If it’s a legitimate human resources issue, like harassment or abuse, document and keep a history of the problems and then file a complaint. Don’t allow it to become personal. A complaint about inappropriate behavior in the workplace should not become a laundry list of every nasty thing the person has ever done to you. Keep it succinct and professional—be clear about which workplace rules he or she is breaking and how it affects the workplace as a whole. Another powerful tactic is to take the high road when you’re confronted with negativity. You might even compliment the colleague who tries to undermine you. We can turn it around when somebody seems to be envying us or putting us down. Somehow, highlighting another person’s accomplishments can alleviate a problem. Look inward as well. Take note when you’re thinking and telling yourself negative things, which just might echo the things a toxic person has told you before. Reframe and challenge these negative thoughts with positive viewpoints. Ultimately, one of the most powerful ways to counter a toxic coworker is to surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and give you healthy energy instead. Make a conscious decision to spend more time with the fun, happy, constructive people in your workplace. Uplifting people are a great counterbalance to toxicity.



tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 39 

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

The Women Behind Miracle Village By Janecia Britt


o say that Miracle Village, an independent senior-living apartment complex, is nothing short of a miracle is an understatement. Everything from the decorations to the pride the tenants take in their rooms shows any visitor that this place is not just a home for the people who live there but for those who work there as well. Miracle Village Independent Living, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation created for the purpose of providing affordable housing for seniors ages 62 and older. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided the Florida State Primitive Baptist Convention, Inc., with a grant to build the Dr. Edward Buckner Miracle Village Complex. The facility is a 44-unit housing complex built to provide spacious onebedroom apartments to seniors in need of housing and able to meet the HUD eligibility guidelines for a subsidy.

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But the women of Miracle Village are what make the place special. Dee Rush and other women of varied backgrounds, most of whom are the wives of local pastors, run Miracle Village. They have helped provide their residents with an on-site laundry facility, a security intercom system in each apartment, security cameras internal and external to the facility, an emergency call system, on-site 24-hour maintenance and monitoring, a community room, social events, varying workshops and seminars, health screenings, exercise classes, weekly church services and even a Village Choir. More than all of those additives, the women of Miracle Village provide a sense of love, community and family that you just don’t find often. The facility is run by Earthale’ Vickers, Residential Housing Manager; Margaret Collins, Service Coordinator; and Patrece Broadenax, Administrative

Assistant. The Florida State Primitive Baptist Educational Foundation Management Company is run by Dee Rush, Management Agent and Beverly Jefferson, Assistant Agent, all of whom really believe in the love and the message that “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.” Dee says, “There is not one thing we’ve asked for that God hasn’t supplied. We’ve taken in tenants with no family and who are homeless. Our staff has brought in beds, dressers, food, television, phones and other household items to help them get established, and local churches helped out as well. It’s a heart thing, not a job. There’s just a difference when your heart is in it. We try to make the facility feel like one home with many rooms.” Earthale’ believes that “now is the time for our seniors to live life at its best.” It’s the women who make the facility such an amazing place to live for these tenants. “We all work as a team not just as a staff, but it’s the tenants who make the community work,” says Dee. The tenants help raise money for the facility, and the staff put on events such as Christmas parties, bingo and teaching how to give back to their community by collecting money or giving gift bags to their local police officers. With the upcoming tenth anniversary, the love of Miracle Village will be even more on display. They will be hosting a gala to celebrate their ten years of success. The banquet will be held on March 17, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at the West Enrichments Center. For more information, visit their website at








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our community

BOYS TOWN NORTH FLORIDA: One Hundred Years (and Counting!) By Maria Elena Margarella


oys Town, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit child and family care organizations, turns 100 this year. But singing “Happy Birthday” won’t cut it—this centennial deserves a special celebration.

Now that is something to celebrate.

It all started in 1917 when Father Edward Flanagan founded an orphanage in Omaha, Nebraska, offering a small home for boys with the hope of making a big difference. Hope became reality as Boys Town grew exponentially—in service and in recognition. In 1939, Spencer Tracy won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Flanagan in the film Boys Town. With an Oscar to its name, onward it went.

It’s a yearlong celebration, rather, for Boys Town North Florida. The festivities kick off in April at the Centennial Gala, highlighting the special friends and supporters that make progress possible for families. In tune with the “Old Hollywood” theme, Spencer Tracy’s Oscar will fly down for pictures with gala-goers. This summer, the annual awards banquet will roll out the red carpet for the children, and titles including “Most Imaginative,” “Most Improved” and “Peacemaker” will commemorate their successes. Come wintertime, the Christmas Classic Golf Tournament will close out the centennial celebrations.

In 1983, Boys Town North Florida opened in Tallahassee as the very first off-site from Omaha’s original. Tallahassee began with one home on 10 acres, helping five boys. Today, five homes (three male and two female) host six to seven children each, and additional programs (six in total) directly help over 2,000 children every year.

“Our community is so heartfelt,” says Development Director Dena Strickland of Tallahassee. “From the marketing of the media to hands-on contributors, our community is number one.” And the numbers reflect this: In 2015, more than 1,589 children and families received assistance through Boys Town North Florida’s Integrated Continuum

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of Youth Care Services—including 801 children who received direct assistance from the organization’s Treatment Family Services and Child and Family Support Services. Since 1983, Boys Town North Florida has helped thousands of severely at risk children. “[The children] are succeeding because they’re feeling more self-confident, loved and cared for,” Dena continues. “They’re believing in themselves, because we believe in them.” While the centennial certainly represents a proud milestone, the main point of pride comes from seeing each child grow into his or her potential. Each day, children heal, change and succeed in small and large ways with the help of Boys Town staffers and programs. “There’s so much need out there,” Dena concludes, and reaching triple digits isn’t slowing their momentum. Boys Town will push forward, beginning the legacy for the next centennial. To donate or get more information, visit

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 43 

our community

The Artwork and Hard Work That Goes Into the Chain of Parks Art Festival By Maria Elena Margarella


ome Easter weekend, you deserve more than the average egg hunt. (Though there is one here too!) The 17th Annual Chain of Parks Art Festival will fill your April with colors, rain or shine. The first one hosted 50 artists. This year, almost 300 applicants competed for 150 spots. And it grows each year—attracting more artists, art lovers and festival-goers alike. No wonder Sunshine Artist magazine ranks it as one of the top 100 best fine art festivals in the country. “This is a beautiful thing for our community,” says festival chair Kelly Dozier, a 10-year festival veteran. “It’s a volunteerdriven event—they’re the hosts, treating everyone to a wonderful time.” Volunteer committees start planning months in advance, and everything culminates in a funfilled weekend, featuring live music, interactive exhibits, food trucks and much more! For free, attendees can walk around the parks of downtown Tallahassee and enjoy original artwork across nine mediums. Local performers will serenade from the main stage, as people relax, sit and eat. Everyone is welcome—from families to family pets. “It’s not only bringing arts to the community, but it’s something for everyone,” says marketing chair Taylore Maxey. “This is a people-friendly, pet-friendly, everybody-friendly event!” A hub of friendly activity is bound to be the Village, an interactive exhibit headed by children’s programs chair Kathleen Carter. In collaboration with community partners, Kathleen and other volunteers created a fantasyland with wrapped trees, so kids can create their own projects while

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also learning about art. (Don’t worry—it’s for adults too!) There’s even a musical petting zoo, where kids can interact with instruments from the Florida State University band. Interaction is a large part of what makes Chain of Parks unique. Theatre with a Mission pitches in by bringing Jacque LeMoyne to life. Who’s Jacque LeMoyne? Well, that’s the point of interacting with him—to tell us just that. (Hint: he’s an important part of Tallahassee’s founding.) “Every year, there’s a new initiative, there’s something new to add,” continues Taylore, “So it’s a really amazing experience to watch this festival grow and continue to grow every year.” The newest initiative is working with Sustainable Tallahassee. The aim is to reduce waste by recycling and composting while educating people about sustainable practices. Vendors will donate leftover food, and in an effort to “Kick the Water Bottle,” the city is providing cold drinking water. Festivalgoers can fill up refillable bottles for free. After each year, the committees debrief in order to see what will propel the event into the next phase. Festival manager Sheri Sanderson logistically pulls everything together but still sings high praises of Kelly as an “amazing leader, whose passion and commitment are very inspiring to all of us.” Kelly’s response? “Having such a fabulous group of people makes it happen.” For more information, visit or download the festival’s app, LeMoyneArts, in the App store.

The Festival Experience . . . The Art

A fine art exhibition under the beautiful moss draped oaks of Park Avenue 150 juried artists from across the country competing for $10K in awards

Center Court

The Best Local Food Trucks | W XYZ Bar- with Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, Beer and Wine BeTheArt Masterpiece Photo Ops | Live Entertainment | Festival Souvenirs

The Village

Meet 16th Century, Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, the first European artist to draw images of Florida Children’s Art Studios and Activities | Pop-Up Entertainment Street Chalk Art | Fun Foods | Community Partners | Easter Egg Hunt

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 45 

our community




By Amanda Wallace Photo by elleBelle Photograpny

A walk in faith is the desire of many people. Brooks Miley is one of those people, and she’s working to bring others on that walk with her. From international travel to an International ministry right here in Tallahassee, Brooks has her sights set on the whole world, even if she only travels as far as her backyard.


desire to help people directed Brooks Miley into nursing, but the theology classes she took were what sparked something within her and she moved to the religion program, further confirming where her passion was. “I don’t want to be a pastor,” is the reply Brooks has at the ready when questioned about her pending degree in religion. Her drive stems from believing that all people are called to service, but not all service looks the same or how we originally planned.

While in college, Brooks knew she wanted to travel overseas and followed mission opportunities whenever she felt called to go. But one trip took her to the last place she had planned on going and was the trip that solidified her passion and her life’s work. Over the course of a few months, Brooks was offered places on three different mission trips, all bound for China. Brooks turned down the first two, having no personal interest in work in China. But when the third trip was presented to her, she says, “I felt that it

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was God’s will that I go,” and signed up for the mission. The strict rules that China has in place regarding evangelism meant that Brooks and her team were heavily restricted on what they could say, do or even wear. Brooks felt an intense pressure upon leaving for the trip, worried that she would let fear and self-doubt keep her from making a difference. Now, when Brooks reflects on that trip, she is able to see the growth in her personal

maturity and passion from having to overcome many obstacles, which has made her feel more secure in her career and missional path. Although only 28, Brooks has experienced many milestones on her journey. She married her high school sweetheart, Chase, who is a Tallahassee firefighter, and together they have a son, Atticus, now one. Brooks and Chase’s life is full, but they work hard together to be sure Brooks can reach people in need close to home, as family life has slowed down her international travel. Her growing family has become the support system she needed to accomplish her dream of working in ministry every day. Brooks’ missional walk is far from over, but her heart is full of the joy that serving the community can bring in her position as Missions Ministry Associate at Thomasville Road Baptist Church. “I’m Mom-Brooks!” Brooks takes great pride in her work with the college students in Tallahassee and admits that she and her husband always have several of them at their house, where they can be sure to find a person to talk to and a homecooked meal. Her newest mission is laying the foundation for an International ministry. Brooks, along with her small team of volunteers, are offering English as a Second Language classes once a week to people new to the country. As the program is growing, she has hopes to include classes for citizenship as well and is always looking for support from the community to help make this dream come true. For information on becoming a part of the ministry work at Thomasville Road Baptist Church or to take part in the classes offered, contact Brooks by e-mail at

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our community

haute HAPPENINGS Springtime Tallahassee

March 31–April 1, 2017 | Downtown Tallahassee Join the fun this spring for Tallahassee’s annual springtime festival. Jubilee in the Park, starting at 9 a.m., will include music, street vendors and plenty of local food. The Grand Parade, starting at 10:30 a.m. on Monroe Street, will feature floats, marching bands and dance groups as it weaves its way through downtown Tallahassee. For more information, visit

Tallahassee Marathon and Half Marathon

February 4–5, 2017 | Kleman Plaza

From 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., join over 1,400 runners and thousands of volunteers and spectators for the 43rd year of the Tallahassee Marathon and Half Marathon. The race is a running tour throughout Tallahassee, taking runners from downtown and finishing the race at Kleman Plaza. It starts on February 4th with a Health and Fitness Expo, and after the race, the finish line festival is held to celebrate the runners’ achievement. For more information about the marathon and half marathon, call (850) 284-9098 or visit Tallahassee Marathon’s page on

Valentine's Day Soiree

Tallahassee AIDS Walk

Liven up your Valentine’s Day by attending this premier event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This event will include a complimentary cocktail hour, a champagne toast, a chef-inspired dinner and a rose for each lady. All proceeds benefit the Brian Jackson Dystonia Research and Discovery Program. To purchase tickets and make donations, visit

Individuals, school groups and faith groups will collect pledges for Big Bend Cares and then will meet for a morning of healthy exercise and fun at the beautiful Cascades Park from 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. Live music, testimonials and food will follow a memorial walk around the park. Free rapid HIV testings and learning opportunities about HIV and AIDS will be offered throughout the day. All proceeds go to direct-care services for clients and for HIV prevention and education in the Big Bend area. For more information, visit

February 11, 2017 University Center Club

Living Fashionably Well February 14, 2017 Goodwood Carriage House

The sixth annual Living Fashionably Well luncheon to benefit Joanna Francis Living Well includes an art auction, a luncheon and a fashion show featuring 30 breast cancer survivors who will showcase styles from a variety of local boutiques. Event details, tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at

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February 18, 2017 Cascades Park

Field Day Music Fest

February 18, 2017 | Apalachee Regional Park Bring a blanket and chairs to this cozy spot for a night of live music, a wine and beer garden with local Tallahassee Brewery options, food trucks and family-friendly games. Local and out-of-town bands will be performing; VIP tickets are available and include a full dinner, bar and covered seating areas. This event will be held from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. and is presented by Capital City Bank and benefits the Judy Field Memorial Foundation, fighting pancreatic cancer in Tallahassee and beyond. To see details, check out

Tallahassee Heart Ball

March 3, 2017 | Centre of Tallahassee Each year, community members gather to celebrate the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association. Proceeds from this event will assist with fighting heart disease while working towards the goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans. This unforgettable evening of hope and entertainment will last from 6:30 p.m. until midnight. For more information, visit

Red Hills International Horse Trials March 10–12, 2017 | Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park

At this three-day equestrian event, viewers experience riders and horses competing in dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. Call (850) 580-4020 or visit online at for additional information and to purchase tickets.

February 16-26, 2017 Fallon eatre

850.644.6500 | DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Is presented through special arrangement with Music eatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

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AROUNDTOWN Events • Benefits • Activities

Children’s Home Society’s Wish Upon a Star


Each year, Children’s Home Society’s Wish Upon a Star gives vulnerable children and families a chance to realize their potential. The evening is inspired by the gorgeous Southern low country of Charleston and Savannah. The night begins with a cocktail party featuring raw and fried oysters, passed appetizers, bourbon bar and live entertainment. Then, the main event continues with deliciously curated Southern cuisine and exciting live and silent auctions—all to support the mission of Building Bridges to Successful Futures for All Children. Photography by Tim Yoho









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1. Liz Moya, Ellen Anderson, Betsy Couch, Ni’Cole McCrae 2. Betsy Couch, Katrina Rolle, Ni’Cole McCrae, Denise Wilson 3. Chanta Combs, Leah Marino 4. Michel Gregory, Abby Sly, Melissa Tate 5. Heather Wilson, Emily Barbaccie, Monisa Brown 6. Lauren Byrd, Ashley Morris, Lindsay Elliot 7. Michel Gregory, Kimberly Jones 8. Ellen Anderson, Katherine Becker 9. Sarah Noel Proctor, Lindsay Elliott, Suzanne Soloman

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our community | around town

Girl Scouts Women of Distinction


Clarice Dalton (Pearl)—Outstanding Service to Girl Scouting Carol Dover (Diamond)—Outstanding State-Wide Public Service and Impact Rolanda Jackson—Outstanding Social Service Catherine Keen—Outstanding Governmental Service Maria Pouncey—Outstanding Educational Service Twyla Sketchley—Outstanding Legal Service Jackie Wilson—Outstanding Community Leadership


The Women of Distinction Awards is a program nationally inspired by Girl Scouts yet locally hosted by the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle. This past November, the awards once again honored women who demonstrate their commitment to the community. The winners were:

All of the proceeds from this event benefited girls across the Florida Panhandle. For more information on how you can become a part of building girls of courage, confidence and character, contact


1. Tari VanWinkle, Catherine “Cat” Keen, Dr. Maria Pouncey, Carol Dover, Rolanda Jackson, Jackie Wilson, Clarice Dalton, Twyla Sketchley, Gigi Rollini 2. Josie Tamayo, Gigi Rollini, Kelly O’Keefe, and Twyla Sketchley

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850-574-3800 tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 53 

our community | around town

Tallahassee Symphony Society’s Annual Tour of Homes


Each year, the Tallahassee Symphony Society presents its Annual Tour of Homes, starring some of Tallahassee’s most elegant and beautiful homes. The tour raises money for the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and this past December marked the tour’s 23rd annual run. Each stop features live music from the area’s best musicians. This evening treated its guests to a silent auction, and the homeowners received a watercolor painting of their home.




1. Piano player and xylophonist– Gina Snyder and Gayle Grissett 2. Andy Lawley and Suzanne Garvin (TSO Chair women) 3. Pam Ridley, Dennis Ridley, Gloria Arias, and Gary Furr 4. John and Kathie McGraw

Andy Lawley and Suzanne Garvin presenting a portrait of their home to John and Kathie McGraw. 54  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017


2811 Capital Circle NE 850-385-8033 tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2017 55 

the dish

Comfort Food Made From the Heart By Janecia Britt


uzy Phipps never thought she’d have a catering business when she graduated from Florida State University with her degree in literature. Her return to Tallahassee after being whisked off to accompany her husband, a land manager, to Colorado was when Suzy found her passion for cooking. Under the direction of Mark Suber at Karl Mark’s (currently Black Fig), she began as a server. “I didn’t know how to cook, but after I began to work in platter assembly and being in the kitchen watching Mark, I began to pick up simple recipes and a desire to cook all the time,” says Suzy. She then began to do some personal chef work at the request of a family who liked to have prepared meals ready for them after a long day of hunting. That was the catalyst for her catering business, A Rustic Affair. It’s been four years since starting her business, and as a busy mom of two, she is performing the ultimate juggling act between her roles as mother, wife and business owner. Also very involved in her community, Suzy is dedicated to giving back, whether as a volunteer at her children’s school or using her gift of cooking to help in local organizations, such as Boys Town North Florida and Treehouse’s Fast Cars and Mason Jars. While her catering business has done everything from corporate meals to small dinner parties, what she’s the most excited about is her new meal service. “With the popularity of grocery delivery services, I wanted to put my spin on it for the busy mom who just doesn’t have time to cook. It’s a complete meal with a one-pot dish like a casserole as well as a salad.” In 2017 she hopes to grow her business and her meal pickup service. Her

rustic simple dishes are good for the heart and soul and make you feel at home. She shares with us her chocolate bread pudding and rosemary pot roast, and both dishes take only one pan. These are dishes that everyone in your family, big or small, will absolutely love. For more information, menus and deadlines from A Rustic Affair, sign up for her newsletter on or visit on Facebook at A Rustic Affair.

Family Favorite Pot Roast (Serves 6–8)

This is an easy recipe, but you have to give yourself time to make it—a minimum of 3 hours. It’s great for a Sunday family meal because you can prepare it at 2:00, then enjoy your afternoon and dinner will be ready. I tend to use recipes as a guideline, because I know what my kids like and don’t like. If your kids are open to different vegetables, add them! If not, make sure to just add what they like and try to use large chunks of any extra vegetables you may want to add, so they can easily avoid anything off-putting in their view. I love parsnips, so I usually do a mixture of carrots and parsnips for my crew (but really just for me). I keep the chunks big for this type of recipe. Onions add a lot of flavor, but my son

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dislikes them, so I usually use a large one and keep the quarters or wedges intact. That way, they can easily be avoided when plating the dishes for those fussy eaters. Ingredients: Boneless beef chuck roast (usually 3 or 4 pounds) 12 baby red potatoes (halved if they are medium sized) 2 cups of baby carrots or peeled and large chopped whole carrots Red onion, quartered 1 head of garlic (separated and peeled) 2 cups mushrooms, halved (optional) 1 cup fresh green beans (optional) 3 sprigs fresh rosemary 3 sprigs fresh thyme 2 cups beef stock Kosher salt and pepper Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Season the roast with the salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil (canola, grapeseed, olive, vegetable—any of them will work) in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear both sides for 3 minutes and the edges for a minute each. Add the prepped veggies and garlic cloves around the meat and pour in the stock. Place the rosemary and thyme sprigs on top. Cover and cook for no less than 2 ½ to 3 hours. With this cut of meat at this low of a temperature, it’s easier to undercook it than overcook it. Enjoy with a salad and your favorite bread!

Sinfully Good Chocolate Bread Pudding (Serves 10-15 smaller portions)

As with the pot roast, most of my recipes can be easily adapted to your liking because I’ve usually already adapted them myself from recipes I’ve found. I’m not trying to be like Martha Stewart. I’m a busy mom that needs to be in several places at one time, so I’m happy to take shortcuts where they can be taken, especially if it means I’m having a real dinner at home with my family at our dining table. This is a basic decadent bread pudding recipe which can be made with or without the chocolate, or you could replace chocolate with fresh blueberries or use white chocolate and blueberries together. You can’t go wrong; just use what you like! Ingredients: 1 loaf of bakery bread (I like a thick French or Italian loaf) 2 cups of milk 1 cup of half and half 3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 cups sugar ½ stick of melted butter 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup chocolate chunks

Out of the Oven Glaze (optional—for a special occasion splurge when calories don’t matter) ½ stick of butter ½ cup of sugar ½ cup of whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Cube the loaf of bread and toss in the casserole dish. Top with ½ of the pecans and chocolate. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and melted butter until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread as evenly as you can. Dunk the dry pieces of bread with a wooden spoon to get most of the bread touching the egg mixture. Top with the rest of the chocolate and pecans and bake for 40–50 minutes uncovered. Check it frequently from the 35 minute mark and take it out when it looks golden brown. Cooking times vary depending on the type of bread you use. Add glaze and enjoy.

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NEXT TIME IN TALLAHASSEE WOMAN MAGAZINE The Power of the Share—Sharing in social media, the community, and the impact of a shared story. Plus: Renewable ideas for fashion, financial and wellness.

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Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Luncheon Thursday, March 9, 2017 Wyndham Garden Hotel, 1355 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL

GUEST SPEAKERS Linley Paske and Lauren Pasqualone of LP2 Boutique Agency Running their social media marketing group, LP2 Boutique Agency, LLC has taught these WWMB cover women how to strategically manage media. Come learn how to conquer the cybersphere and push your business to the next level while mingling with other fascinating Tallahassee businesswomen.

Networking: 11:30 a.m.-Noon Lunch and Presentation: Noon-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 • februar y / march 2017 59 

dare. discover. fly. Tallahassee Tree to Tree Adventures offers three fun and challenging courses from which to choose. Beautifully integrated within the Museum’s 52 acres of native plants and wildlife, the full arial adventure course will transport you through swamps, forests, wildlife habitats and more! You’ll discover nature from a bird’s eye view gliding at heights up to 62 feet from the ground!

3945 Museum Drive | (850) 575-8684 |

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February/March 2017 Tallahassee Woman  

The February/March 2017 issue of Tallahassee Woman is all about the heart. On the cover is Christy Daly Brodeur, who has a heart for the chi...

February/March 2017 Tallahassee Woman  

The February/March 2017 issue of Tallahassee Woman is all about the heart. On the cover is Christy Daly Brodeur, who has a heart for the chi...