June/July 2013 Tallahassee Woman

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June | July 2013

Kelly Pettit and the Artist Within

Handbags Through

the Decades

Let’s Go

Camping! Fresh From the



Love your neighborS ORGANIZE a progressive dinner

Say It Like You Mean It Fun Finds at Local Stores

Dressing Cool on Hot Days t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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A Free ProgrAm For PArents Parenting perks, discounts, and tips. Be prepared for the arrival of your sweet pea by joining TMH’s exclusive Baby and Toddler Club

Women LIKe US A free program designed for women by women.

• A spotlight on successful women in the Big Bend region • Articles about pressing health topics for women, like healthy eating and work-life balance • Special events and classes specifically for women, including couponing and photography • Our favorite recipes, tips and ideas from Pinterest

Visit TMH.org to join 2  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Tallahassee Woman Magazine | June/July 2013 | TalWoman.com

Contents 34 Work Life

Top Ten Office Distractions

36 Travel & Leisure Let’s Go Camping!

6 Our Thoughts

40 The Dish

When Life is Bittersweet

A Progressive Dinner Builds Community

8 Girl Talk

44 Community

18 Faves and Raves

61 Women We Admire

26 Style and Grace

62 Funny Girl

Cool Clothes for Hot Days | Best Local Summer Reads | Being Pet Proactive| Five Anti-Aging Garden Wonders | Why We Go Crazy for Cute | Thrifty Girl

Big Things are Happening at Tallahassee Little Theatre | The Supremacy of Sisterhood Through the Power of Ten | Love a Dog, Save a Life: Last Hope Rescue

Sherika Duncan is Changing Lives Through Dance, One Child at a Time

I’m Just Saying

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

Handbag History

28 Healthy Living

Women Farmers Leading the Way

32 Real Life Coming Home

On the Cover

Page 22 Kelly Pettit—The Artist Within After letting her own inner artist break free, Kelly Pettit is now a talented painter and muralist who finds joy in breathing new and beautiful life into castoff and recycled objects, and is using her love of art to bring people together and to inspire creative expression throughout our community. About the Cover Photography by Adam Cohen | Styling by Nancy Cohen

IN EVERY ISSUE Haute Happenings 20 | Around Town 50 | Women to Watch 58 4  t a l l a h a s s e e

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deco diamond, diamond dial deco diamond, diamond dial on white alligator

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OURTHOUGHTS Living Well and Loving Life! June/July 2013 Volume 8 | Issue 3

Publisher Kim Rosier Editor Heather Thomas

When Life is Bittersweet B

ittersweet. That is the only word that can describe the moment I recently had when my oldest son, Max, announced that he had just sewn a loose button on his shorts. He took the initiative and did this himself without asking me to do it for him. In the scheme of things this is a small thing, but for me, this was a reminder that he is no longer a boy, but a young man who is quite capable of taking care of himself. While I am one of those parents who always looks forward to the summer months as anxiously as most kids, this school year ending was bittersweet as well, as this was the year that Max graduated from high school. The months ahead of his summer freedom are followed by my thoughts of the fall, when Max will be leaving the nest to head to college and will be living a four-hour-drive away from his family. As a mom, I am incredibly proud of him and truly happy that he has grown into a man that is looking forward to taking on this new part of his life, away from the daily security of his family. However, there is that part of me that can already feel the tremendous void starting to open in my heart that his absence will create. I know there are many mothers like me in this parenting stage of life. Lucky for me, I have supportive friends that have already experienced a child leaving the nest. They assure me that I will get used to it just as they did, and I’m sure I will, but I don’t anticipate it will be quick or easy. However, I will remind myself that he knows that God has a great plan for his life and this is what I raised him to do—to be independent, to have the courage to take on new challenges, and that he can accomplish whatever he sets his mind to. And knowing that, I am at peace. On a recent Saturday morning, Max woke up and asked me to make him his favorite breakfast—chocolate chip pancakes. Even though he is quite capable of making the pancakes himself, this is one of those things that he still asks me to do for him, and that I always say yes to. When he was little I used to put the chocolate chips in a smiley face, but as he has grown it is an extra touch that he no longer requests. Somehow I think that on his first visit back from college he is going to ask me to make him chocolate chip pancakes; you can be sure I will, and I will be putting the chocolate chips in the shape of a smiley face so he can see how happy I am that he is home. Have a wonderful summer.

Kim Rosier Publisher 6  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Advertising sales Director Lynn Solomon Advertising sales Jennifer Stinson GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings Miqueli INTERNS Mary Katherine Aaronson • Analiese Aviles Amanda Murphy • Emmy Schneider-Green Contributing photographers Adam Cohen • Christie Meresse Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC Post Office Box 13401 Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone (850) 893-9624 Fax (850) 254­-7038 info@TalWoman.com 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 ads@TalWoman.com Copyright ©2013 Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without expressed written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.


We’re Honored! Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce 2013 Chamber Awards Chamber Business of the Year Health & Wellness Business of the Year

Robert Ashmore, MD

A.J. Brickler, III, MD

Arthur Clements, MD, Ph.D

David Dixon, DO

Alex Franz, MD

Andrea Friall, MD

Kenneth McAlpine, MD

Vikki McKinnie, MD

David O’Bryan, MD

Shannon Price, MD

Lori Rosenberg, MD

Christopher Sundstrom, MD


25 1988


1401 Centerville Road, Suite 202 | Tallahassee, Florida 32308


850.877.7241 t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Cool Clothes for Hot Days Summer is here and so too is the heat and humidity. Thanks to current trends, light colors and loose-fitting materials are helping Tallahassee women stay cool and dry. Here are some of our favorite materials and style tips to keep you fashionable and cool during summer’s hottest days. Wear loose-fitting, flowing garments. Flowing, loose, unfitted blouses, shorts, dresses and pants actually keep you cooler than fitted ones. Unlike fitted clothes, loose clothing will allow air to circulate to your body. Try a vibrant, loose, multicolored silk maxi paired with simple brown sandals and an oversized white hat, with a dash of bangle bracelets to complete this cool look. Stick with cotton, linen and silk materials. Cotton, linen and silk materials are cool and soft, and can be absorbent articles of clothing. They allow heat to release from your skin, giving it room to breathe and catch a summer breeze. Avoid fabrics like polyester. Choose a simple, white cotton blouse and pair it with a light-purple linen skirt just above the knee that ties around your waist. Finish the look with a statement baby blue necklace. Looking to keep cool in careerwear? Try wide-legged trousers in linen, or experiment with this season’s new skirt length—just above the knee. Again, stay away from tight clothing. You want to avoid feeling trapped in your clothes. Relax and experiment with a pair of light-colored, wide-legged trousers. Try a salmon pair of wide-legged trousers with a simple white, silk tank top and a linen blazer. Accessorize your outfit with stud earrings and a long necklace. Have fun and experiment with color! Choose light colors over warm ones. Warm colors attract and absorb sunlight while light colors reflect them. Complete your summer outfit with your favorite pair of sunglasses.

—Analiese Aviles

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G i r l t a l k | K N O W LE D G E

Best Local Summer Reads Along with the beach and iced tea, summer’s best companion is a good book. Give yourself a break this summer and discover just a few of the talented authors from our own community. Precious Little Secrets

By Michelle Nickens In addition to her work and support at the Tallahassee Little Theatre, Michelle has written numerous articles for Tallahassee Woman. Precious Little Secrets is Michelle’s first novel. After a traumatic breakup, Natalie Swan’s childhood nightmares return. Her guide is a mysterious little boy who leads her down surreal paths. When she “accidentally” meets Derek Voeltgin, Natalie struggles to reconcile her new feelings with her ethical nature. All seems fine, until her real world and dream world collide and the secrets of her past and present are revealed. Precious Little Secrets will be available in July at michellenickens.com.

Cookie and Me

By Mary Jane Ryals Mary Jane Ryals is a novelist, short-story writer and poet from Tallahassee. She is the Poet Laureate of the Big Bend of Florida and also teaches writing at Florida State University. Cookie and Me is her first novel.

Set in Tallahassee in the 1960s, Cookie and Me tells the story of a cross-racial friendship blooming during the turbulent civil rights movement, narrated by thirteen-year old Rayann Wood. Although she comes from a dysfunctional family and doesn’t quite understand racial inequality, Rayann begins to learn that she is not so different from her new friend, Cookie.


By Julianna Baggott Julianna Baggott is a novelist, essayist and poet, as well as an associate professor at Florida State University’s Creative Writing Program. Julianna is also a former Tallahassee Woman cover woman. Pure is the first book in a dystopian trilogy, expected to be adapted into a film. Pressia barely remembers the Detonations that all but destroyed the world, deforming people and fusing them with animals, objects and earth. The fortunate Pures escaped the apocalypse inside the Dome, unscathed. Now everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or used for target practice if they are too weak. Pressia can no longer take the destruction and flees, but her journey leads her to cross paths with a Pure and worlds collide.

Wildflowers in the Median: A Restorative Journey Into Healing, Justice and Joy

By Agnes Furey and Leonard Scovens Agnes Furey is a retired nurse who worked with addicts for 30 years and shares her stories through a volunteer program at the Wakulla Correctional Institution in Crawfordville. Leonard Scovens is serving his life sentence at the same facility. When Agnes Furey’s daughter and grandson were murdered by Leonard Scovens in 1998, words could not describe the hole left in her heart. But rather than fill it with hate, she chose peace by reaching out to her family’s killer in a restorative journey. Wildflowers shows how grace was found in the aftermath of a tragedy. —Amanda Murphy

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G i r lta l k | H O M E

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G i r l t a l k | K N O W LE D G E

Being Pet Proactive


une is not only the beginning of summer, it is also known as National Pet Preparedness Month. As the days get hotter, it is important to remember that animals can be sensitive to weather conditions, and pets need time to acclimate to the weather just like humans do. It is imperative that they have plenty of access to water and are monitored for signs of heat stroke. Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include collapse, body temperature of 104°F or above, bloody diarrhea or vomit, depression stupor, seizures or coma, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and salivation. If you think your pet may be experiencing heat stroke, spray or wet down over heated animals to cool them off. If you are using an outdoor hose, be mindful of how hot the water can be at first if the hose has been sitting out in the sun and allow the hose water to run for a minute to get cool. Putting alcohol pads on their paws or armpits can also help them cool down as well. In the event of serious symptoms, call your veterinarian, or take your pet to your nearest animal hospital.

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Call The area’s largesT and MosT TrusTed TerMiTe & PesT ConTrol CoMPany

49 2013


656-1166 www.CAPELOUTO.com Of course, the easiest way to prevent heat stroke is to keep your cat or dog in the house all day, but pets anticipate—and need—their outside playtime. So, as you take them outside, be mindful to keep them hydrated and on their leash, since more accidents occur when pets are unsupervised and roaming free. Avoid leaving pets in the car, even in “fair” weather, because the temperature of the car can rise quickly up to 120 degrees, especially in the heat of the summer months in Tallahassee. As summer leaves more open time for vacation, don’t let your pooch miss out on all the family fun! Recent surveys show that nearly 25 percent of dog owners take their pup with them when road-tripping for more than just overnight. Why? It saves money and includes the whole family on the trip. Of course, not all hotels and homes are pet-friendly, so be sure to ask before you book your accomodations. Keep in mind that it is safest for most dogs to stay caged during long car rides, and always have their collar on in case they —Mary Katherine Aaronson get lost.

Hello Capelouto...Goodbye Bugs!


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Classes for all levels and ages, including Barre Belles for the “Older Diva!”

1122 Thomasville Road, Unit 10 For more information call or visit our website 850.222.1781 www.sweattherapyfitness.com t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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G i r l t a l k | W ELL N E S S

Five Anti-Aging Garden Wonders


e all know the nutritional and palate-pleasing benefits of keeping our diet colorful with fresh fruits and veggies, but now there’s one more convincing reason to make sure you get your five-a-day. Research now strongly links certain fruits and vegetables to antiaging properties, creating a powerful case for shopping at the farmer’s market to naturally bulk up your skin care regime. Florida State University’s Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences Professor Jasminka Ilich-Ernst credits the high carotenoid concentration found in bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplants as helpful in the anti-aging process, as well as pointing out their antioxidative potential for “reducing the risks for cardiovascular diseases and some cancers.” Overall,

she advises integrating into one’s diet a “variety of foods, raw and cooked, in order to get the best balance of nutrients that they contain.” Packed with powerful antioxidants that fight signs of aging by protecting the body against harmful free radicals and oxidation, all five of these garden superstars are chock-full with nutrients that aid in promoting a youthful glow.

Tomatoes: Delicious straight off the

vine, in sandwiches, or in sauces—which is actually the most effective way to consume concentrated antioxidant levels according to Professor Ilich-Ernst—tomato sauces and paste pack a punch by delivering a

high dose of lycopene, an antioxidant that combats cancer, fights wrinkles, and acts as a natural UV ray blocker.

Blueberries: These hot-weather

favorites earn their super food status by containing more free-radical fighting antioxidants per serving than any other fruit or veggie—their dark skins are a giveaway to their extra-high content.

why we go crazy for cute W

hat kind of things do you say when you see an adorable kitten or a chubby little baby? “I could just eat you up!” or “I can’t handle it!” Do you get the immediate impulse to squeeze this adorable creature to death? Don’t worry, you’re not a sociopath. Research shows that these aggressive responses to cuteness are normal. You would think that people should want to treat something cute and cuddly with care, but oftentimes they just want to squeeze all the cute out of it. Researchers at Yale University conducted a study to explain this backwards phenomenon by showing volunteers three different slideshows: cute animals, funny animals and neutral animals. They were also given a sheet of bubble wrap and told to pop as many or as few bubbles as they wanted. Sure enough, the people watching the cute slideshow popped way more bubbles than those watching the funny or the neutral slideshows. It still isn’t clear why cuteness seems to trigger aggressive expressions, but there are some ideas. It could be that seeing an adorable creature triggers our drive to care for it but also

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Red Bell Pepper: Packed with immunity

boosting vitamin C, which has been found to help promote the youth-boosting collagen which keeps skin supple, the red pepper is a better pick over the green or yellow varieties for their especially high vitamin C content.

Basil: Delicious in salads or fresh pesto, this flavorful herb used for centuries for its medicinal properties helps to fight off a host of cancers including cervical, liver and brain, with its high levels of the antioxidant eugenol.

from denim to lace and

everything in between …

Eggplant: These jewel colored beauties have been shown to fight the spreading of cancer and slow Alzheimer’s, and also deliver the antioxidants levels needed to plump the complexion and boost skin’s firmness.

—Emmy Schneider-Green

SUMMER LOVE frustrates us because we can’t have it—it’s not our little puppy to squeeze. It could also be that people feel the need to treat the animal so delicately that they end up hurting it. Researchers also suggest an overwhelming increase in positive emotions that look negative. Sometimes people cry tears of joy because they are so overwhelmed with positive emotion. It’s like a balancing act—trying to counteract the strong positive emotions with some negativity. So, the next time you see a big-eyed kitten cuddling a newborn baby, don’t be surprised if your first impulse is to squeeze them. It’s just one of those weird things your body does to release some energy. —Amanda Murphy


Always ing Evolv Market Square 1415 Timberlane Road • Tallahassee Telephone: 850-597-9319 Monday-Saturday 10-6 Sunday 12-3

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G i r lta l k | S H O P P I N G

Thrifty Girl


hrift shopping is one of the best ways to discover unique items and give back to the community. Nonprofit organizations such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Chelsea House Thrift, Refuge House Thrift, and City Walk salvage clothing, furniture, books and other household items to assist struggling members in the community.

Salvation Army The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. The Salvation Army assists those who are homeless, abused or disadvantaged. Location: 5016-5012 West Tennessee Street Phone: (850) 222-0304 The Refuge House Thrift Store The Refuge House Thrift Store provides life-saving services, advocates for victims of violence and educates the community about domestic violence and sexual assault. Location: 1517 South Adams Street Phone: (850) 487-8859

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Chelsea House Outreach Center and Thrift Shop The Chelsea House Cabin is a nonprofit thrift shop that raises funds to help support the Chelsea House, a Christian Home for women and children who are experiencing the crisis of homelessness.

City Walk—Urban Mission Thrift Store Their primary goal is to respond to the needs of the people in urban areas of Tallahassee, particularly to those who are described as “unreachable” and “impossible.”

Location: 489 John Knox Road Phone: (850) 329-7512

Location: 1351 Thomasville Road Phone: (850) 528-3909

Goodwill Industries—Big Bend, Inc. Goodwill Industries is a nonprofit with a mission to provide job training, education and employment to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, helping them to reach their fullest potential in supporting themselves and their families. Store locations are all over town, so check their website, goodwillbigbend.com for a store nearyou.

—Analiese Aviles

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Every patient is important to us. At Capital Regional Women’s Health, our commitment to your OB-GYN care begins with your very first visit. We know you can’t always wait weeks to see your doctor. That’s why we offer next-day appointments. And because every patient deserves personal care, you will see the same doctor every visit. No matter what stage of life you’re in, we are here to meet your obstetrical and gynecological needs.

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FA V E S & R A V E S

I’m Just Saying... William Shakespeare once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” In other words, sometimes just a few words say it all. Pick up a few words of wit with some of our favorite finds from local stores.

“She Weathered the Storm” Sign By Local Artist Candice Thompson $98 Peculiar Goods 215 East 7th Avenue (850) 425-4663 peculiargoods.com

“God is Great” Platter $73.95 Coton Colors 1355 Market Street (850) 668-0149 coton-colors.com

“A Person Who Is Nice” Sign $48 Sweet Patina 2030-5 Thomasville Road (850) 727-4834 Facebook.com/Sweet Patina 18  t a l l a h a s s e e

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LUXE 1433 Market Street (850) 765-0630 6800 Thomasville Road (850) 894-2630

“The Beach Fixes Everything” Pillow $75 Chrysalis Fabrics and Furnishings 1410 Market Street (850) 224-2924 chrysalisfabrics.com



A wedding gift in good taste, this hand-painted cake stand was crafted by fairly paid artisans.

“I Like You & Naps” Sign $45 Sweet Patina 2030-5 Thomasville Road (850) 727-4834 Facebook.com/Sweet Patina

BRING IN THIS AD TO RECEIVE 25% OFF ONE ITEM. Offer valid at the store until 6/30/13. Not valid with other discounts, purchases of sale items, coffee, chocolate or gift cards.

1415 Timberlane Road | Suite 322 at Market Square Mon - Sat 10AM - 6PM | 850-906-9010 www.facebook.com/tenthousandvillages.tallahassee

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haute HAPPENINGS Discover Our Town All Over Again Walk around Goodwood Museum & Gardens and you'll get a feeling of Old Florida charm and splendor. With its 1830s antique-filled main house, eleven historic outbuildings, reflecting pool and sprawling gardens, it is a popular place for heritage tours, weddings, meetings, conferences and special events. One of the finest antebellum houses built in the region, the main house features some of the earliest fresco ceilings in Florida and a vast collection of fine furniture, porcelains, textiles, art and more.

The Tallahassee Museum

Get a unique view of North Florida’s history, nature, and wildlife in this amazing walkthrough of the natural habitats of Florida animals that have either been born in captivity or have been rescued and brought to the museum for care. There is an educational playground for younger children, as well as the new Tree to Tree Adventures with ten zip lines for all to experience. Tallahasseemuseum.org

Apalachee Regional Park Trail

Florida’s Capital City is blessed with an abundance of natural wonders and year-round outdoor activities. All four seasons bring different flora and fauna. The trail is used for running events and is open to the public for hiking, jogging, and biking. Its fast surface, scenic beauty and accessibility makes it one of the best places to go for exercise. Leoncountyfl.gov/parks

The Wilderness Way

Pack the family and even the family dog and head out to rent kayaks at The Wilderness Way, Florida’s Big Bend paddle sport outfitter. Located in Crawfordville, they offer kayaks, canoes, kayak gear, professional instruction, guided tours and summer kayak camps to help your family have hours of family water adventure. Thewildernessway.net

Midtown Tallahassee

Shop local in Midtown for boutique apparel, accessories, and hand crafted home décor items. There are many places within 20  t a l l a h a s s e e

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walking distance, whether you’re trying to grab a bite to eat, meet for coffee, shop locally, or just enjoy the city.

IMAX Theater and Planetarium

The Challenger Learning Center and IMAX Theater provides state-of-the-art full motion Space Mission Simulator, domed high-definition planetarium and laser theatre, as well as an observatory and aerospace exhibit hall. There are always new exhibits and upcoming events. Challengertlh.com

Trousdell Aquatics Center

The summer heat will immediately draw your attention to the water activities. Cool off in Tallahassee’s most popular swimming center, with fun for all ages. There are three different pools to choose from including an activity pool for younger children, a general swimming pool, and a deep area for older children and adults. Talgov.com/parks

What Women Want 2013

The 4th annual What Women Want event will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2013, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. at the Antique Car Museum in Tallahassee. This is a free event. There will be dining, dancing, massages, manicures, fashion, travel and jewelry. Come early as the first 100 women to show up to the event receive tote bags with a myriad of goodies. For more information, visit online at MyStar98.com.

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

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.

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The Artist Within By Heather Thomas Photography by Adam Cohen

There’s no doubt that Kelly Pettit is a gifted artist and talented muralist. Yet, for many years this talent lay hidden, in part because she was intimidated by the idea of what an artist should be. Once Kelly started to question that, her talents emerged. She began to explore the endless possibilities of transforming cast off items, furniture and bare walls into things of beauty. Now she is encouraging others to do the same—to look at their world with an artist’s eye and give new life and meaning to everyday objects and transform old understandings.


cribbled in chalk on a faded green cupboard in Kelly Pettit’s art studio are the words, “No matter where I roam, with you by my side, I’ll always be home.” Other words are peppered throughout the little detached cottage next to her home on a parcel of farmland off of Ox Bottom Road. “I’m not really sure where they come from, but I’m grateful that I have some place to put them,” Kelly laughs, describing the whimsical and heartfelt phrases that pop into her head that eventually find their way into her art and her life. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Kelly grew up as the oldest of four children, creative and outgoing, but she never thought she would do anything in the arts. After studying psychology in college, Kelly married her husband John, a now retired Marine who served a tour of duty in Iraq. After living on base in North Carolina, they eventually roamed their way to Tallahassee with their two daughters to be closer to family. Contented over the years being a stay-at-home mom, Kelly found herself with extra time when both of her daughters were at school. “All of a sudden I started to paint. After taking a few local art classes and shadowing a muralist, I became inspired to branch out on my own. I was completely surprised t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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where do you hide your secrets? at myself.” Kelly may have been taken aback by the later than usual development of her gift, but perhaps she shouldn’t have been. “I do remember that when I was in the first grade I would intentionally sit next to the art easel before free time so that I could get to it first. I didn’t even consciously think about it, but when I look back, I think it was my inner artist trying to break free.” In the early years of her artistic development, Kelly was intimidated by the word “artist,” and it took her awhile to claim it as a part of who she was. “I had this vision of what an artist should be—someone who studied and had been painting for a long time and had specialized training and knew all the rules. I continue to take classes here and there, but I try to stay true to what I’m good at and what inspires me.” Kelly gathered her courage and her newfound talent and turned it into a successful mural and faux-finishing business ten years ago, and she has built a solid reputation in the field and in transforming reclaimed furniture. She has clients all over the Big Bend area and beyond, and she is known for her whimsical style, high-quality finishes and creative ingenuity.

“Everyone is an artist at something, so don’t be afraid to try something new.” 24  t a l l a h a s s e e

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What may not be as well known are her mixed-media paintings, many of which begin from cast-off artwork or other odds and ends at local thrift stores or trash heaps. The paint is just whatever she has on-hand. “I guess you could call me a recycled artist. I usually roam places like Goodwill for inspiration, or John will build me wooden boxes from reclaimed wood to use as a base because I like to really trowel on some heavy plasters and use lots of paint. The boxes are so much sturdier than canvas.” Her paintings are typically inspired by nature, quotes by famous writers, or the words that will flutter like a butterfly from her musings and find a home on a reclaimed piece of wood, such as, “Where do you hide your secrets?” No matter what the project or medium, Kelly says, “I enjoy taking something that is old or unwanted and making it into something new and desirable again” and bringing forth what was once a secret, hidden beauty.

“Before throwing something away, think about how you could change it and give it new life.” From painting worn out-jeans or furniture cushions, carving leftover plaster or transforming old cupboards into wall sconces, Kelly likes for things to have double purposes. Her advice to others is, “Before throwing something away, think about how you could change it and give it new life.” Her free-form style and use of recycled materials seem to also be a reflection of her feelings about structured art. “It all goes back again to that intimidation of what art should be. If we were told earlier that art can be whatever we want, I think there would be a lot more artists out there. That’s one of the reasons I like adding words to my paintings and a 3-D effect to some of them in order to break up uniformity and add depth to the overall meaning of it.” Finding freedom and a deeper meaning in her art and freely defining what art is seem to be the biggest allure and inspiration

break the

for Kelly, and she enjoys passing along this revelation to others by gathering family and friends for impromptu art sessions at her cottage. She encourages them to break the “rules” of art and their own perceptions of what an artist should be like, and what art should look and thereby gain a new perspective of themselves and each other.


With what Kelly has experienced over the years, art can also bring people closer together through shared, creative experiences and create lasting bonds. In the beginning of the year, Kelly painted a mural at

One per person please.

“The children just had so much fun. Most of them had never picked up a paintbrush before, or experienced creative freedom with art. I didn’t know that I was an artist; what if one of these kids discovered the artist hidden within them too?” one of the Boys Town North Florida homes, and she says, “I fell in love with the children that live there.” She was profoundly changed by their stories of how they came to live at the home. Boys Town North Florida has five family homes where youth in foster care are cared for in a loving environment. She invited a group to her studio to indulge in an art project, and she was overwhelmed by the experience. “The children just had so much fun. Most of them had never picked up a paintbrush before or experienced creative freedom with art. I didn’t know that I was an artist. What if one of these kids discovered the artist hidden within them too?” She was the chair of the Boys Town Spirit of Youth Gala this past May and is hoping to bring more of that creative energy to the youth at Boys Town North Florida on a more consistent basis. “I want to recreate the joy everyone experienced at the studio that day; that will be one of my main focuses in the future.”

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Officially, Kelly has been an artist for 16 years, but unofficially, it is more likely that she has been an artist since those early days as a first-grader. The older she gets, the more comfortable she feels with that role and the more her art seems to evolve and take flight. She says, “Everyone is an artist at something, so don’t be afraid to try something new.” If Kelly’s experience is any indication, it’s never too late to discover your own inner artist and to paint your world new again.

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Handbag History By Lynn Solomon While digging for keys, women often exclaim, “My life is in my purse!” Cosmetics, hair brush, cell phone, wallet, sunglasses, tissues, medicine—all of it accompanies a woman wherever she goes throughout her daily life. Much more than a fashion accessory or a status symbol, a woman’s purse, or handbag, can be the center of her universe. Just ask a woman who has ever lost one and had to replace the contents. Every handbag has a life and a history that is in tangent with its owner, and the evolution of the handbag has its own story. In the 14th century, women’s handbags initially took the form of a drawstring fabric bag or girdle pouch. Throughout history, these were worn both under and over garments, depending on the fashion silhouette of the time and carried coins, relics and odor masking sachets. The term, “handbag,” emerged in the 1900s from luggage with handles used for travel. The 1900s gave rise to iconic designer bags, such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, although the 80s and 90s made premium designer bags the penultimate status symbol, just behind the automobile. While styles and rules of fashion come and go, handbags historically reflect the current culture and events of the day. Today’s woman can choose from a myriad of handbags and purses to fit every modern lifestyle and to convey her personality. Tote, hobo, saddle, satchel, bucket, clutch, cross-body, camera, shoulder, messenger, drawstring, backpack, satchel, shopper—options abound in every size and shape. Vintage and designer consignments are also popular choices. With bold color being the latest handbag craze to take the stage, fashion experts agree—no longer must the handbag match the shoes, or anything else for that matter. Remember this: Your bag does not “have” to be big or small and can be medium or tall. But, too matchy-matchy, and you have no style at all! 26  t a l l a h a s s e e

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1950s Black Patent Handbag Early 1960s Magazine Clutch Late 1960s Leather Tooled Satchel 1970s Chain Mail Clutch 1980s Beaded Evening Bag 1990s Bottega Veneta Shoulderbag from a private collection 2000s Longchamps Bucket Bag from a private collection





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Local Women Farmers Are Leading the Way Bringing Local Farm Freshness to Our Tables By Caroline Brewster Photography by Christie Meresse


s a little girl, Louise Divine dreamed of marrying a farmer. Growing up in a house abutting a farm in rural Georgia, Louise got to experience farm life firsthand. She says, “I got to explore the fun stuff without the expectation of the work. I played with the mules and fed the chickens and I got to play in worm beds.” Louise’s eyes light up when talking about her youth, and she says, “The die was cast.” More than 30 years later, as the matriarch of Turkey Hill Farm, Louise has realized the dreams of her childhood self, not only marrying a farmer but growing into one of the most dedicated leaders of the Farm to Table movement in Tallahassee.“ I not only married a farmer, but I AM one. How cool is that?” After years of tending her own in-town garden, studying homeopathy and working in various natural foods stores in Tallahassee, including the city’s first, the Golden Leaf Grocery in the 1970s, Louise, along with her husband Herman, decided to do “what’s in our DNA” and in 1999 bought the 90 acres that now operate as Turkey Hill Farm. “The place was settled in the 1800s, and the same family tended the land until we bought it. We just walked all over and loved it. I just knew.” Working the land for ten years, Louise recognized a need for communal partnership between local farmers. “We learn so much through trial and error and from communicating with each other. Farmers need other

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Louise Divine farmers.” Along with her colleague, Katie Harris of Full Earth Farms in Quincy, Louise worked tirelessly for over a year to create the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance (RHSFA), a nonprofit organization that works to “promote economic stability of small farm enterprises and expand the local food market.” Although the RHSFA is not an entirely female-led organization, the Alliance’s biggest advocates and promoters are predominately women. “It’s intergenerational,” said Louise. “We have women young and old, but all of them are so dedicated and great to work with. Representing the younger generation, Claire Mitchell, marketing coordinator for the RHSFA and co-owner of Ten-Speed Greens with business partner Danielle Krasniqi, believes that America has masculinized farming in a way that leaves us feeling disconnected from what’s on our plates. Claire and Danielle tend their ¼-acre plot in the Midtown area with one small walk-behind tiller and the help of volunteer workers. With little else than the sweat of their brow, the women of TenSpeed Greens provide produce to most 30  t a l l a h a s s e e

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of the Midtown area’s restaurants as well as various farmers’ markets and weekly offerings to the RHSFA. “We like growing high-quality food that we’re proud of. We don’t need labels. You can come here and we’ll show you how your food is grown.” In collaboration with numerous small

“It’s a lot easier [to eat healthy and buy locally] than most people realize. ” farms in our region, the RHSFA provides an online farmers’ market that allows the community to conveniently access the freshest local and sustainable food available through Red Hills Online Market (RHOmarket.com). Consumers may purchase local food items from the convenience of their home and pick up their goods at Bread and Roses Food Cooperative (located at 915-2 Railroad Avenue). This service gives the slow-food movement a fast-food perspective, making sustainably grown

Danielle Krasniqi, Claire Mitchell local fare as convenient to procure as a trip through a fast-food window. The RHSFA also provides locally grown fare to The Miccosukee Root Cellar, owned by Louise’s son, Ruben Fields, along with his wife Sara Keith ValentineFields. Dolly Blue, Louise’s daughter, wears many hats at the restaurant and Louise herself can be found helping out when needed. In keeping with their mother’s philosophy, Ruben’s goal is to provide affordable, high quality, fresh dishes, while educating the community about local sustainable farms and their fares. With the recent birth of two new grandchildren, Louise’s legacy is sure to endure. The efforts of Louise, her family, Ten-Speed Greens and numerous others are showing local residents that farm fresh food is not only healthier, but can also taste delicious too. With the demands of overburdened schedules, consumers rarely stop to contemplate the notion that their food has a history and a life outside of their plates. Acknowledging the seasonality of our food and the effort put forth to satiate our

appetites may be integral in maintaining good eating habits. “We’ve turned over our eating to corporations, instead of our neighbors,” said Louise. “Seasonal, local eating makes sense on a broad scale. You’re supporting local growers, building ties to the community and getting the freshest, usually sustainably grown produce and meat while connecting with the food you put into your body.” Meeting the women of the RHSFA and putting a face to our produce may help us become more cognizant eaters, savoring each bite in gratitude to their efforts. Their work has given us the opportunity to conveniently purchase the best of local bounty in our pajamas. Louise insists, “It’s a lot easier [to eat healthy and buy locally] than most people realize. We are rich in local, certified naturally grown food, and we’re growing leaps and bounds every year.” About the author: Caroline Brewster is a Tallahassee native and is currently the General Manager at Cypress Restaurant.

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Coming Home By Christine Williams


ver the years, I’ve been asked numerous times, “So, what brought you to Tallahassee?” My crass answer has always been, “My U-haul,” as I smile and stifle a laugh. The truth is I carefully chose Tallahassee as my life’s destination. There has long been a reciprocal fascination between North Carolinians, such as myself, and Floridians. Sunshine Staters head north to ski, while North Carolinians save their vacation time to frolic on the Florida beaches. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, at age 23 I decided it was time to move south, establish residency and pursue a master’s degree. I researched demographics of Florida cities, decided on Tallahassee, and planned a weeklong road trip with my best gal pal and headed down here. It felt like home immediately. The terrain, the trees, and the people felt instantly familiar. After three days, I made the decision to move and secured an apartment. I quickly announced to my family and friends that I was relocating to Florida in two weeks. I had $1,000 in my pocket and no job. Everyone thought I was nuts! I explained that most people relocate out of necessity, but I was choosing where I wanted to live and I was confident that the rest would fall into place. So, in May of 1993, I became a resident of Tallahassee. The following day I promptly walked into a chain restaurant and was hired. I quickly made friends, got involved in the Gulf Winds Track Club and completely engrossed myself in my new life. While I did enroll at Florida State University, I attended one evening class, quit, and never looked back. With the urging of friends, I obtained my real estate license. I took the plunge into a commissioned-only sales lifestyle and immersed myself into local real estate.

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“The professionalism and the authenticity of the people of Tallahassee are beyond priceless.”

Initially, I thought Tallahassee would be just the first stop along my Florida journey, and then I would continue south, living on a beach. I lovingly joke that Tallahassee grows on you like the kudzu vine. I woke up one day, thirteen years later, with a very successful career, a great group of friends, and a collection of four local homes. Then, the economy starting to decline and I began reassessing my life’s goals. I remembered how I had always wanted to live on the beach, and realized that once again, it was up to me, and only me, to realize that dream. I obtained a job that took me to Ponte Vedra Beach (just southeast of Jacksonville). For the past six years I have been immersed in the beach lifestyle. Yet, there have been many challenges and a heart wrenching “disconnect” to the area. It has felt like swimming upstream, always close to drowning and then recognizing that no one is around to pull you out of the water. I often found myself homesick for the warmth and caring of the Tallahasseans. The professionalism and the authenticity of the people of Tallahassee are beyond priceless.

So, in July, twenty years after I initially adopted Tallahassee as my hometown with intention, I find myself coming home to the friendships, the parks, and the familiar surroundings. Interestingly, I kept my “850” phone number the entire time. Also, I am coming home with the love of my life, a tri-colored, Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Milo. Through my homeward bound journey I have learned that it is important to live life with conviction and purpose, to be bold enough to realize your dreams, and to be open to new experiences. I want to look back at my life with no regrets. For me, most importantly, it is necessary to realize that going “back” home may actually be moving forward.

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Top Ten Distractions in the Office by Denise Landers


elephone calls, e-mails, interruptions... all of them distract you from your work. But there are more things that interfere with you getting the most important tasks done. Find out what they are and what you can do about them. What comes to mind when you think about office distractions? The most common ones cited are the telephone, e-mail, and paper. Of themselves, those are enough to overwhelm a person each day. However there are other distractions causing you to lose valuable, productive minutes every day. Some of these you may not think of as a distraction at first. Yet anything that takes your focus away from your work at hand can be a problem. Consider how your office setting ranks for the following:

1. E-mail. There are two main problems

that pop up. One is the constant alert for new messages, which you can choose to turn off. The second is if your inbox is never emptied. You will continually scroll through all of the items because you are fearful of overlooking something. You need to find a system of folders that let you clear out the general inbox and prioritize your action items.

2. Telephone. Do you feel you have to answer every call right when it comes in? Set aside time blocks to deal with non-urgent calls, and let your voice mail tell callers when they can expect to hear from you. 3. Paper. If you have stacks of papers around your desk, you will shift through them frequently to find the urgent items of the day. Instead set up Daily Action

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folders, make a decision on the needed action the first time you look at it, and keep your desk cleared of distracting stacks.

4. Visitors. Clients may drop by without notice or a colleague may have a break and decide to take it in your space. Get to the point quickly if someone comes by and interrupts your work. 5. Environment. This can

include heating and lighting. If you are too cold or too hot, you are constantly reflecting on how uncomfortable you are. The lighting in an office can create glare, leading to headaches and tired eyes, causing you to stop frequently. There is no one answer for the right temperature or light situation. You need to find the correct level for yourself.

6. Noise. Overhearing colleagues’ discussions, onesided telephone conversations, or outside activities diverts your concentration. If you are easily distracted, close your door, use a small white noise machine, or try headphones. 7. Meetings. In a work

environment where meetings are frequent, it becomes difficult to set aside an uninterrupted block of time for detailed projects. You end up coming in early or staying late so that you can finally get things done. Make sure that you have scheduled time to focus on projects during the day. It needs to be written on your calendar.

8. Lists. Working from lengthy lists, whether To-Dos, a book of voice mail messages, or an email inbox, causes you to look at the same items again and again. You have to make decisions every time you scan through the items.

Your mind keeps jumping around and planning ahead instead of focusing on one item in front of you. Write down tasks on single sheets of paper so that you can easily prioritize your work.

9. Expectations. What response time has unofficially developed with regard to returning phone calls and e-mail messages? When you feel you have to immediately respond to a call, you allow yourself to constantly be interrupted. Could a three-minute response time be changed, letting people know you will respond within two hours or four hours? 10. You. Often you may become bored with your activity and decide to check e-mail for a few minutes; or you have several projects in view and your mind keeps jumping from one to the other. Work with only one project on your desk at a time. If you momentarily lose focus, do not give up, just try to get back on track. The first step in limiting distractions is to be aware of them. You may be able to add more things to this beginning list. Once you recognize what interferes with your work, then you can begin to make the changes that will add to your daily productivity.



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T r a v e l & LEI S U R E

Let’s Go Camping!

By Heather Thomas


rowing up, I anticipated going camping at Black Water River State Park in Milton, Florida, with the fervor that only a 9-year-old kid could muster for sauna-like humidity and long walks in the dark to the nearest bathroom with my flashlight bobbing back and forth, looking for “Snipe,” that might jump out at an unwary camper. These were the days before cell phones, iPads, social media, and before the constant plugged-in feel that is like a tether, as if we can never truly disconnect ourselves and be still for longer than it would take to download a new app. Back then, the best tech around might be someone’s portable tape player with the giant headphones, or a boom box, but they didn’t have as much interest as the pristine view of the nighttime stars that stretched for endless miles, the serenade of the cicadas in the longleaf pines, or the mistfilled dawn and the comforting smells of breakfast cooking on the Coleman stove. We Floridians take for granted some of the country’s best state parks, many of which are short distances away from Tallahassee. The wonders they hold are different for every family, but the point is to search for them. A weekend camping trip to a local state park might be just what your family needs this summer to reconnect with each other and what is most important in life. Recently, my husband and I and our two children, went to Torreya State Park in Bristol, Florida, to unlock some of its secrets and have a few adventures as a family. The park and full facility campground is only about a 30-minute drive from Tallahassee, which is an ideal distance for those who are first time campers, or just interested in a weekend getaway. Torreya State Park is named for an extremely rare species of the Torreya tree that only grows on the bluffs of the 36  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Tent Camping Essentials • Tent. Size needs to be at least one person more than you will have staying in it. I recommend highly that you practice setting it up first in your yard before the trip. • Two ground tarps. One will go underneath the floor of the tent and one for outside of the tent for a shoe removal spot in order to prevent dirt or mud from entering the tent. • Dust pan and brush for any dirt issues. • Sleeping bags, pillows, and extra blankets if needed. We prefer to use portable cots as opposed to air mattresses since they require an air pump and extra time to fill them up with air.

Apalachicola River. The 12,000 acre park boasts some of the most variable terrain in Florida with its extensive river ravines, high bluffs, and swampland. Native American history abounds, and the Gregory House, a beautiful plantation home built in 1849 that offers daily tours, is situated on one of the river bluffs (it was moved there from its original location). The grounds of the Gregory House serves as an entryway to the Apalachicola River Bluffs hiking trail leading to a Confederate 6 cannon battery from the Civil War. The other hiking trail is the Weeping Ridge trail that begins at the campground area. It has a shorter, off-shoot that will lead you straight to the ridge with a small waterfall that the trail is named after. Or, you can take the 7 mile loop which my family did, and thus the “weeping” aspect was apt for our worn out, crying children, who we half carried, and half dragged back to the campground. Our hike to the ravines and the bluffs overlooking the river

was thrilling though, and the heights we were able to stand at and look out over a large distance is reminiscent of the vista from low lying hills of a mountain range. Because of my husband’s methodically researched preparation, we were well equipped for that hike. Being prepared is the most important aspect of tent camping. Having the world’s largest, “Instant Tent,” that takes only one person to set up has been a sound investment for us, since we have found that some of our loudest disagreements can come from setting up a tent and a campsite together using my husband’s four page Excel spreadsheet as a guide. If you could read this thing in its entirety you would think we could qualify our family for National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers series. I don’t know whether to be really proud of that, or alarmed. The most important ones for basic tent camping are highlighted in the ‘Camping Essentials’ information box.

• Cooking (We keep all of our camp cooking and dish supplies, along with dry food in a large plastic bin). Small propane stove, propane, matches, paper products, one cooking pot, utensils, dishwashing soap and sponge, Ziploc bags for storage and trash bags for disposal. • A cooler with ice. • Lights: two flashlights with extra batteries, a lantern with fuel for your picnic table at night, a battery-powered light for your tent with extra batteries. • Portable electric extension cord. • Fan for cooling off in the tent. • Towels for bathing, rope and clothes pins for drying wet items. • Foldable chairs for the campfire area. • First Aid kit, bug spray, and sunscreen. • Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. • Extra toilet paper for the bathrooms because you never know.

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T r a v e l & LEI S U R E

The Gregory House If you are camping with school-age children, try your best to make room for their bikes with helmets, or at the very least, a football, soccer ball and a Frisbee. Torreya has plenty of space for free play, as well as most nearby state park campgrounds. It is one of the main things our children look forward to, and ranks up there with burnt marshmallows from the campfire.

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Speaking of which, if you are obsessed about a good campfire like my husband is, you might want to bring your own kindling to get your fire going and to keep it that way. Torreya and most state park campgrounds will provide bundles of firewood for a small fee, but you will need the extra flammable accessories. Sometimes other campers will take pity on you, and your wimpy fire, and give you some help, or you can be the one to help a fellow camper out. There is camaraderie in a campground that is unlike any other, and maybe it’s due to a silent understanding that we are all in this together—seeking a connectedness to what matters most, which is something that becomes clearer in the serenity of the woods and open spaces. We all long for it, and so do our kids. Disconnect from

the tech, and reconnect with loved ones and the beauty of our natural surroundings by embarking on your own camping adventure. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

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A Progressive Dinner Helps Build Community By Randi Shiver Photography by Christie Meresse

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Randi’s dress is from Cole Couture


igns of summer are here. With this new season comes long, leisurely evenings that are perfect for connecting with your friends and neighbors. It is time to get to know your neighbor beyond the occasional borrowed cup of sugar or Facebook check-in by planning a progressive dinner party. Take a summer stroll down your street and stop at houses along the way to wine and dine your way through a four-course meal. Start by mapping out your route and delegating one of the dinner courses to each neighbor participating in this tasty tour of homes. A four-course dinner will include four stops that feature a different menu item at each house. The first stop should be appetizers and cocktails to get your progressive dinner party started. The second house serves a salad, followed by the main course at the third house. At the fourth and final stop, it is time to indulge in dessert and after-dinner drinks. After all, you will be walking off some of those calories on the way home. Gathering with a group of neighbors and friends for an evening of fellowship, food and fun is a great way to come together in your community. So get out and about this summer and scour your street for some friendly neighbors to partake in a progressive dinner party soon!

Progressive Dinner Party Planning Tips: • Plan on spending about one hour at each house and watch the clock. It is easy to get caught up conversing over cocktails. The goal is to keep the party progressing!

• Planning a dish that can be made ahead of time or is easy to assemble is essential to keeping the dinner party relaxed and organized.

• You can always combine the salad and the main course and choose to have three stops instead of four. • If kids are involved, consider using one house for them to hang out at with a movie and pizza and a sitter if needed.

• Each house should provide the drinks for all of the guests so they can pair together with the food that is being served at that stop.

• Consider using a progressive dinner party as an organization or school fundraiser. It can be an effective, low-cost way to raise support and awareness for your cause.

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First Stop The Appetizer

Second Stop Salad

Five-Layer Greek Hummus Dip Roasted Beet Salad with Goat This recipe is a healthy alternative to a layered bean dip. Sixteen Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette ounces of prepared hummus from the grocery store will do just fine if you don’t have time to make it yourself. Making handheld versions of this hummus dip gives everyone their own little taste of Greece without leaving the city limits. Hummus (2 cups)

Remaining ingredients:

2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

1 large clove garlic

1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced

Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons tahini 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup fresh dill Water as needed In a food processor, chop the garlic clove. Add the garbanzo beans, dill, olive oil, salt, lemon juice and tahini. Grind until smooth. Add one tablespoon of water at a time and mix until smooth and creamy.

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½ cup chopped kalamata olives 4 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled

Please don’t let the beets in the salad scare you away. Not only are the beets delicious when roasted with olive oil and honey, the goat cheese adds a creamy complement to this colorful salad. Take it from me, this fancy and flavorful salad can’t be “beet.” To make the roasted beets, mix the following ingredients together and roast at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring half way through. Serves 4–6

¾ cup shredded carrots

4 cups peeled and cubed beets

6 ounces goat cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon honey Salt and pepper

Using a 9-inch serving dish or individual clear cups, layer the ingredients as follows hummus, cucumber, tomato, olives, feta.

Toast ½ cup of chopped walnuts over mediumlow heat for five minutes or until fragrant.

Serve with pita chips or wedges of pita bread.

For the salad, layer the following ingredients on a platter or in a large bowl:

• J u n e /J u l y 2013

5 cups mixed baby greens Roasted beets

Toasted walnuts Balsamic Dressing 1/3 cup olive oil 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon honey 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper Whisk all ingredients together. Pour desired amount over salad and serve.

Third Stop Entreé

Chicken Pot Pie

Last Stop Dessert

Blueberry Sugar Cookie Cobbler

Chicken pot pie provides a simple one-dish meal you can make This after-supper sweet treat is made with only four ahead of time. The smell of this savory suppertime meal will have ingredients. Try making it in individual ramekins for a fun neighbors from near and far knocking on your door in no time. presentation. Have some vanilla ice cream on hand, which pairs perfectly with this burst of blueberry heaven in a bowl! Makes 2 pies, serves 5–7 1 cup carrots, finely chopped 1 cup onions, finely chopped 2 cups red potatoes, finely chopped with skin on 1 cup cooked green peas 3 tablespoons butter ½ cup all-purpose flour 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 cups chicken broth 1 cup half-and-half 2 teaspoons dried thyme 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 2 refrigerated pie crusts (thawed when ready to use)

Boil chicken breasts in water for 20 minutes. Cool and dice into small pieces. Sauté all veggies except peas in butter ten minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add flour to vegetables, stirring one minute. Mix chicken broth and half-and-half. Add to vegetable mixture and stir until bubbly and thick, about five minutes. Add diced chicken, peas, thyme, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook over low heat five minutes. Divide mixture into two pie dishes and top with thawed pie crusts. Use a sharp knife to cut three 1-inch slits in the top of the pie, and crimp edges before cooking at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Serves 6 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 1 cup of blueberry pie filling (such as Comstock) 1/4 cup sugar 1 roll refrigerated prepared sugar cookie dough Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix blueberries, pie filling and sugar in a bowl. Pour

into a 9-inch baking dish. Crumble the sugar cookie dough over the blueberry mixture and press down slightly just to settle the cookie dough into the filling. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let it sit for ten minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.

! t i t é p p A Bon Randi Shiver (pictured on page 40), is a mother of two boys and is a teacher at Gilchrist Elementary. Check out her other great entertaining and meal ideas at homemadeparade.com. t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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C O M M U N I T Y | e v e nts

BIG Things Are Happening at the Tallahassee Little Theatre By Michelle R. Nickens Photos provided by Caroline V. Sturtz

“The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts but is also the return of art to life.”— Oscar Wilde W

hen was the last time you watched a live theatrical performance in Tallahassee? Live theatre is a unique and rewarding experience. Whether you are in the audience, on stage or backstage, theatre is a wonderful opportunity to be entertained, gain knowledge, create balance in your life, support your community, meet people, learn new skills, engage in intellectual discussions, experience different perspectives and discover a renewed energy and spirit. One organization has been part of Tallahassee’s cultural landscape for almost 65 years, the Tallahassee Little Theatre (TLT). TLT is a gem—a real treasure for our community. Hidden behind the trees on Thomasville and Betton Roads, TLT has offered quality and diverse theatre since its first show, Boy Meets Girl, in 1949. For more than 15 years, I have had the

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privilege to serve on the board and on multiple committees— and even appear in productions. My experiences at TLT have been inspiring, educational, rewarding and insightful. People often say, “I don’t want to be on stage but I’d like to help.” The beauty of TLT is that there is something for everyone. Theresa Davis, TLT’s Executive Director, stressed that support from the community is critical. “TLT was built by the community and for the community and is supported by the community.” In many cases, the number of volunteers working behind the scenes exceeds the number of actors on the stage. Producing a play or musical takes a dedicated and committed team. “There is a community in every show,” said TLT’s Artistic Director Brian Davis. “Theatre offers a shared experience.” TLT’s 2013/2014 season offers numerous opportunities to participate. The Mainstage Season includes Spamalot, Fox on the Fairway, La Cage aux Folles, Clybourne Park, and Harvey. A Christmas Carol will be produced in December. The Coffeehouse Season features Love, Loss & What I Wore, Venus in Fur and Stop Kiss. More is happening at TLT, including some major renovations. Theresa said, “We are working on Phase 1, which includes a new sound system, seating, carpet, paint and improved lighting, and the main performance space is getting a facelift. Phase 2, however, will take time and help to make it happen.” Phase 2 will include moving the main lobby, creating a new ticket

booth and improving bathroom facilities. The Coffeehouse will become a permanent performance space, and a portion of the back porch will be enclosed to house offices and larger dressing rooms. “These changes,” Brian explained, “will enhance the audiences’ experience and attract new volunteers and patrons. Our goal is for TLT to be the cultural center of the community.” Years ago, I served as president of TLT. “Why don’t you do all musicals?” someone asked me. I like to sing and dance too, but life is not always a musical. Whether you love singing, dancing, crying, debating or reflecting, the theatre has done its job. Theatre moves people and changes lives. I know, I’ve been a part of it and I hold those experiences close. In the words of William Shakespeare, “What’s in a name?” Visit online at tallahasseelittletheatre.org for more information and bring a little art to your life. See a show, buy season tickets, make a donation, volunteer, audition—discover how you can support your community theatre.

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The Supremacy of Sisterhood Through the Power of Ten By Jessica Burchfield


emember what it felt like when you and your best girlfriends formed a secret summer club? Together, you shared your hopes and dreams, fought one another’s battles and wished upon shooting stars. The women of Ten Artists, Ltd. understand the value of sisterhood. Also known as the Power of Ten, this talented group of women has remained an indispensable part of the Tallahassee art community since its inception in 1985. Not only a talented group of artists, Ten Artists, Ltd. is an organized front supporting the arts in Tallahassee. Working as a sisterhood, they donate artwork to hospitals, host outreach programs and provide teachers for artistic enrichment classes at the Senior Center. The women are supremely dedicated to their craft, and many have studied under some of America’s most famous artists.

“There is no limit to our creativity and willingness to take risks with color and subject,” said Vivian Sherlock, the 98-yearold founding member who is famous for her watercolors of Apalachicola. Rene Lynch aptly describes her own work and the work of the group as a whole: “Color, rhythm and value—these are the driving forces behind my work,” she said. “I see lushness all around me, and I want to capture it, process it and throw it back out onto the surface. When I paint, time stands still. It’s an amazing feeling—very satisfying and very frustrating, all at the same time.” As with any group of artists, passion and creativity encircle their work, but the bonds of sisterhood harmoniously preserve their creative liberty to critique one another. “I’m the worst judge of my work that there is,” said Nina Freeman, instructor of art at the Senior Center. “My technique

is to put color down and rub it off. Put more color on and rub it off. It’s very interesting. It just pours onto the paper.” Each month, the women meet to analyze current projects of individual members. “Far from being a mutual admiration society, our members speak frankly and often recommend changes which will improve a painting,” said Vivian. Their mutual respect and admiration for each other maintain the unity of the group—a unity that demands excellence. As citizens of the local community, the group strives to bring inspirational art to Tallahassee. This requires not only a commitment to the arts but also a physical presence in the city. Recently, Mary Wyatt, a talented watercolor and acrylic artist, moved to Hawaii to be closer to her family. Despite their continued relationship with Mary, her absence has initiated the search for a new local artist to join the sisterhood.

Pictured above (left to right/top to bottom): Mary Apple, Rosemary Ferguson, Pam Talley, Nina Freeman, Judy Nable Rene Lynch, Fran Mathis, Susse Sherwood, and Vivian Sherlock 46  t a l l a h a s s e e

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“Members are chosen for their ability to add interest and variety to our group,” said Vivian. “Yet, there is another quality we look for—compatibility. We are concerned with each other on a personal level, sharing sorrows and joys.” Pam Talley agrees: “We are more than an artist’s group; we are a sister support group in all the events of our lives. We want someone with whom we can connect.”

Ten Artists, Ltd. is not simply a conglomeration of artistic talent; it is the combined power of ten women who bring their individuality and personal expression into a sisterhood that exists to provide quality artwork for the local community. Spanning 26 years, they have watched friends come and go, seen loved ones pass on, welcomed children and grandchildren into the world and chronicled their legacies on canvas. These ten women have successfully created a true testament to the power of art, but more important, they have captured the essence of true companionship, support and love. At the end of the day, paint dries and colors fade, but true sisterhood remains. See the legacy of the Ten Artists, Ltd. for yourself at their exhibition in the “Artport” located inside the Tallahassee Airport June 26 through September 2.

When it comes to describing the sisterhood of Ten Artists, Ltd., William Shakespeare said it best: “So we grew together like a double cherry, seeming parted, but yet a union in partition, two lovely berries molded on one stem.” This group is the perfect blend of youth and age, compassion and critique, instruction and example. Together, they work to enrich the artistic heritage of Tallahassee.

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C O M M U N I T Y | org a n i z a t i ons

Love a Dog, Save a Life: Last Hope Rescue


By Analiese Aviles


ngela Drzewiecki and Dana McGee were volunteers at the local Tallahassee Animal Shelter before they received an e-mail that would change their lives. The e-mail was an insider’s tip that five dogs were going to be euthanized at a rural shelter outside of Tallahassee and they only had a couple of days to save them. Within seconds, Angela and Dana knew what they had to do. They had to create a rescue. Within the next couple of months, the dynamic duo was able to rescue a great number of dogs from the streets, abusive homes and kill shelters. Having only been in existence for two years, Last Hope Rescue has been able to provide over 300 puppies and dogs with new foster parents and forever homes. However, the pair does not accept all the credit. They both emphasize that the praise goes to the volunteers of their organization. “We have a great network of fosters and volunteers that are really the lifeline of the rescue,” says Angela. Because the organization is fairly new with a small circle of volunteers, Last Hope Rescue isn’t able to save every dog. Angela says, “We only take in as many dogs as we have foster homes for. We use our Facebook page to network for the dogs in need and to find foster homes and forever homes for them. A lot of times we only have a couple of days to get a dog out of the shelter, most of which are an hour or more away, before they are at risk of being euthanized.

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In many ways, Last Hope Rescue is a dog’s last hope for life, so the organization has high standards for potential owners. Angela says, “We ask that our adopters make a lifetime commitment to the dog that they adopt, but if that doesn’t work for whatever reason, we make a





Where Ordinary becomes...

Oscar lifetime commitment to each dog in our program because we want to ensure that they will never end up back at shelter or in a bad situation.”


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If you are unable to fully commit to a dog but would love to have a pet and save a dog’s life, then fostering may be for you. To foster a pet is simple. Last Hope Rescue asks that you provide a temporary home for a loving dog and open your heart while they search for a permanent home. “Everything that a foster family needs is provided for them: vet bills, bedding, toys, crates and dog food,” says Angela. But in order to do to that, the organization needs the community’s help. If you are interested in volunteering, adopting or fostering a dog or would like to donate to the cause, contact Angela directly at (850) 545-8872. To receive the latest updates on the dogs available for adoption or fostering, search Last Hope Rescue Florida on Facebook and make sure to “like” their page. Spread the word, love a dog and save a life.

These adorable dogs are currently available for adoption

Cara. A husky mix 4-month-old pup. She walks great on a leash and is crate trained and house trained. She is very smart and wants to please. Casper. A 4-month-old shepherd mix. Sweet little guy!

Oscar. He’s 8-10 months old and approximately 35 lbs. Great with other dogs; very friendly and loves people.

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AROUNDTOWN Special Events • Speakers • Benefits • Activities

Boys Town spirit of Youth Gala


Boys Town North Florida, dedicated to positively turning around the lives of abused and neglected children in our area since 1983, held their annual “Spirit of Youth” black-tie gala fundraising event. The “Motown” themed gala, held at FSU’s University Center Club, was attended by over 360 guests and featured a silent auction and live musical performances. 1. Kelly Pettit, Kathy Dahl, Tina Lizotte, Dena Strickland, and Andrea Diamantis with Boys Town youth 2. The Sokolow Family-Mary Jayne, Kevin, Dena, Beverly and Larry 3. Chris Diamantis, Jim Dahl, Ed Murray 4. First Lady Ann Scott with Anne & Greg Martin 5. Kecia Dorsey, Bill and Mary Moor, Cindy Sullivan, Sarah Sullivan, Stephanie and Tim Jansen 6. Samantha Boge, Suzanne Cognetta, Michele and Dr. Shane Burkhead, Dr. Joe Camps


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a round town

CHELSEA HOUSE spring tea Chelsea House is a Christian organization dedicated to providing physical and emotional support to homeless women and children in need. The organization held their annual spring tea at Faith Baptist Church to raise funds and awareness for their mission of offering local women the assistance they need to be able to work toward a productive re-entry into the community. 1. Maria Troupe, Tonya Jones, Pastor Shirley Nanton 2. Jackie Benefield, Cindy Benefield, Allison Payne 3. Kenna Bridges, Marsha Doll 4. Jen Dickinson, Tina Brooks, Chris Carroll 5. Diane Hamilton, Tammy Revell, Barbara Solis 6. Tina Beck, Brenda Miller, Susan Dickinson 7. Essie Stull 8. Serena Dixon, Annie McCoy, Danette Feliciano, Maria Bradshaw 9. Glen Burns, Laura Wells, Beth Burns


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a round town

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare’s Golden Gala


Tallahassee turned up the glitz and the glamour at this star-studded event featuring a concert by GrammyAward winning group Maroon 5 as part of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s top fundraising event of the year. More than 1,800 community members attended the 30th annual gala, which raised more than $200,000. 3.





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1. Adam Levine from Maroon 5 2. Jennifer Coker, Chris Coker, Lorena Holley, John Holley, Courtney Whitis, Dani Destafney 3. Matt Hale, Becca Hale, Beth Thielen, Jim Thielen, Chris Kraft, Kellie Kraft 4. Chris Kearney, Carsten Steinmetz, Robert Steinmetz and Tony Weaver 5. Annie Kelley, Joe Kelley 6. Sheree Porter, Emily Porter and Jessica Kerr 7. Shauna Macarages and Tony Macarages 8. Karen Reardon and Lou Reardon 9. Tanya Weaver, Kelly Kearney, Fiona Steinmetz, Suzana Steinmetz 10. Jeanine Meese, Larry Meese 11. Dr. Alma Littles and President and CEO Mark O’Bryant 12. Christie Sain, Garrett Chumney, Rachel Chumney, Stephanie Lee, and Matt Lee 13. Tia Dillow, Gina Wells, Carrie Setta 14. Paige Yauger and Skip Yauger

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THE TALLAHASSEE TENNIS CHALLENGER The 14th Annual USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger was a multiple day event of tennis for a cause to benefit the D. Mark Vogter, M.D. Memorial Endowment for the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation. 1.








1. Pat Roddenberry and SallyJo Raughley 2. Don Dixon and Hazel Dixon 3. Robyn Grady, Tanya Weaver, Denise Hobbs and Kelly Heatherington 4. Illona Young, Jerome Stringfield and David Span 5.Lauren Clary and Richard Clary 6. Kent Smith and Cynthia Smith 7. Marsha Morrison and Diego Noyano 8. Dan Catrone, Nichole Catrone, Daniel Catrone, David Catrone, Janet Catrone, Dawn Catrone 9. Dominic Catrone 10. Donald Young Sr. , Denise Whittock and Tracy Propp


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Shelby Bellomio, a graduate of FSU’s Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship program, recently opened The Maids of Tallahassee. Shelby is a franchisee of the residential cleaning company which has been in business for 30 years, and 96% of their customers said they would refer The Maids to a friend.

Linda A. Bailey has earned board certification—The Florida Bar’s “legal expert” status—in marital and family law, a designation that places her among only 276 lawyers statewide who have achieved this designation. Board certification evaluates attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice, and only board certified lawyers may use the terms “specialist” or “expert” when referring to their legal credentials. Bailey is the managing partner of Linda A. Bailey P.A. in Tallahassee.

Lauren Faison has joined Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare as the new Service Line Administrator for Regional

Development, Population Health, and Telemedicine. Lauren’s role will focus on building alignment with community health care providers, expanding preventative health care services through chronic disease management, and implementing new technologies that expand services to patients.

Kris Knab, Executive Director of Legal Services of North Florida, received the Richard W. Ervin Equal Justice Award. The award was established as a means to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to the legal justice system in Florida. Kris was nominated for this award by three local bar associations, The Tallahassee Women Lawyers, The Florida Government Bar Association and The Tallahassee Barristers.

Kiersten Smith has recently opened a salon called Kiersten Smith Hair and Beauty. Her business is located in MidTown, in the Midtown Design Center.

Dr. Carey Dellock joined Capital Regional Cardiology Associates practice as an Interventional Cardiologist. Dr. Dellock specializes in Women’s Heart Disease and Prevention and completed her Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University Medical School and her Doctor of Medicine and Internal Medicine residency from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.

Carolyn Davis Cummings was presented the Florida Bar President’s Bro Bono Service Award for the 2nd Judicial Circuit at a ceremony at the Supreme Court. Carolyn was nominated by Legal Services of North Florida and Tallahassee Women Lawyers for her years of providing volunteer legal assistance to the elderly in our community.

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Dr. Mimi Graham was presented the Joy Aukema Taps Children’s

Advocate Award at the Law Day Celebration. The award is given each year at Law day to a member of the community who has shown leadership and compassion for children. Dr. Graham is Director of the Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy.

Gigi Rollini, an attorney in the Holland &

Knight Tallahassee office, was recently named among Florida’s Top 40 Litigators Under 40 by the American Society of Legal Advocates. She was also named Florida Delegate to the National Association of Women Lawyers by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

Kay Meyer Photography is celebrating their new location on Thomasville Road. Kay is also the recipient of both Business Partner of the Year as well as Volunteer of the Year at Gilchrist Elementary School.

Under the leadership of Carrie Zimmerman, The Zimmerman Agency has captured the number one position as the largest public relations firm in Florida by O’Dwyer’s, the respected national industry source for the 11th consecutive year.

Jan Watford has been a Guardian ad Litem volunteer for over seven

years and was recently honored at a Volunteer of the Year Awards event with the Civic Services Award and the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service. Jan will travel to Washington D.C. in June for the National Ceremony.

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The Professional Women’s Forum: CEO Series features distinguished leaders from our community and region going beyond their bios to provide attendees with tools, strategies and takeaways for their own success. Presented By

JUNE 11, 2013

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. University Center Club Register at TalChamber.com

SHELIA GREEN Green Productivity Solutions

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends, Life Lessons Learned From the Beatles This fast-paced interactive keynote presentation is a combination of a musical journey, personal coaching session and a one-woman show filled with energy and highly entertaining stories and lessons learned from her life as an efficiency expert. The Beatles’ success wasn’t a fluke of luck; it was a function of deliberate, conscious decisions.

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wom a n to w a tch

Christy Crump was elected president of Club 25, a service organization comprised of the “25 Women You Need to Know in Tallahassee.”

During the recent 3-day Stand Down event, Dr. Elizabeth Blount, a local veterinarian, brought her staff and a fellow veterinarian to provide free medical care for homeless veterans’ pets and service animals. She and her staff treated several dozen animals, and provided follow-up care during the period following the Stand Down to ensure complete treatment of these precious-to-our-vets companions and helpers. Dr. Blount is currently looking toward creating a treatment program for veterans’ service animals.

Ten Phenomenal Local Women Honored During Women’s History Month Celebration Tallahassee Community College held its annual Women’s History Month Celebration during which ten community women were honored. The 2013 honorees were recognized for outstanding contributions to their community while demonstrating tremendous courage in forging change.

Pictured from left to right, standing: Ashlee Malone, Ashley Prow, Holly Hesoun, Victoria Jackson, Gail Dixon, Joyce Carbonell, Ksena Zipperer, Beth Tedio, Joanna Francis, Machelle Thompson, and Liz Maryanski. Seated: Anita Davis, Haley Cutler, Martha Olive-Hall, and Jane Dwyer.

Women To Watch is a listing of women with new jobs or promotions, business openings and celebrations, and awards and appointments of women who are reaching out and making a difference in our community. E-mail information and high resolution image for Women to Watch to listings@TalWoman.com. 60  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Through Dance, One Child at a Time By Angela Howard | Photo by Christie Meresse

or many, dance is simply an expression of one’s self through movement and rhythm, but for the children who attend Excellence Dance Studio, it’s so much more. This particular studio is a not-for-profit organization, serving underprivileged children in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas. It was started seven years ago by Sherika Duncan.


being critically judged or financially challenged. Also, I wanted kids to know that they do not have to be limited to their current surroundings and to give them a vision for a better future. Dance and the arts are for everyone.”

Thirty-six years ago, the Florida native was born in Valdosta, Georgia, but was raised in Madison, Florida. After receiving her Associate of Arts Degree from North Florida Community College, Sherika transferred to Florida A&M University on a Science, Engineering, Math and Computers — or SEMCoP — Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the school with full honors. Three years later, she left FAMU with a degree in computer information systems and set out to make her family proud. “After graduating college, I always knew I wanted to become an entrepreneur to begin a legacy for my family and make a difference for my community at large,” Sherika said.

Together with her team, Sherika began screening families for the program and placing students in the various classes for dance. Children ages 3 to 17 now have a place to tap into the creativity they possess within. “The children are our future. What we put inside of them will come out, so let it be channeled into a positive reinforcement,” Sherika said.

For inspiration, Sherika thought back on her own childhood, a time she cherished with fond memories of big family gettogethers. “My cousins and I would make up routines to showcase our talents in front of our huge family. I remember how it would make us feel inside from all of the cheers and love in the room,” she said. Family is such an important part of Sherika’s life that she decided she wanted to help those children who may not be as fortunate as she was growing up. “I wanted to attempt to create a safe and loving atmosphere where children can go to nurture their dreams and talents without

But the mother of two didn’t stop with the children; she wanted make a difference in the community at large. So, Sherika and her team have taken on a number of service projects, including adopting a highway, becoming friends of Cascade Parks and taking part in Tallahassee’s Winter Festival as Parade Marshals. Excellence Dance Studio also helps other nonprofits by donating stuffed animals for families in need and turkeys, stuffing and volunteers to Project Annie around the holidays. “My hopes and dreams for our group are to make it global

so that every household can experience the passion that everyone possesses— it’s contagious!” For more information about Excellence Dance Studio, visit online at facebook.com/excellence.dance.1. t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Funn y G i r l

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation By Cheryl O’Donovan


hen the truck backs into the weedy dirt road near the river, I have a Deliverance moment. Deliverance, that 1972 film classic about a harrowing canoe ride. Four men lost in the wilderness, intercepted by brutal moonshiners in desperate need of a Crest whitening kit. We are here on an ‘action vacation,’ as my husband likes to call it. If we are ambushed by backwoodsmen, my husband will ask them where the best restaurants are.

‘marsh.’ I do pavement, a bookstore, a Starbucks, a drive-thru window. Suddenly a water park seems really okay. Really okay as in the ‘welcome-to-civilization’ kind of way. Waiting two hours for one splash ride and basting under a noon sun isn’t so bad. I long to have crowds shove me against the changing lockers, my husband yelling about having to park two states over, or a kid losing his glasses in the wave pool. My eyes tear up. Oh, to smell chlorinated water again. The guide smiles. ”Ready?”

’Deliverance,’ my keister. I already want a Deliverance from this vacation. I swat at mosquitoes, my instincts screaming not to leave the air-conditioned truck. Already it’s humid, 96 degrees and the bugs are laughing at my dissolving insect repellent.

The guides on such trips are always cheerful, chuckling away setbacks like major weather events or attacking wildlife. “Overlook that mudslide, folks! Those snarling animals over there and Jethro waving the rifle? They’re just saying hello.”

The five of us, my family and our tour guide, each grab a kayak and hoist it to the muddy shore. My husband is the first to get in his kayak and paddles toward the currents.

I glance at my kayak. “Do people ever tip over?”

Anxious, I watch from the shore. I have a death-fear of water, whereas the three males in my life can out-swim trout— Michael Phelps and Shamu combined. And this plastic banana—this flimsy sliver of a vessel—will carry me safely down river? Wringing my hands, I gaze at the brown lapping waves. Likely teeming with parasites, the kind that infest those horrid cable shows where people claw at their arms as lumps move under their skin. Shudder. River monsters likely rule these muddy banks. We could spot an alligator chewing on a deer carcass. A bobcat picking its teeth. Or worse, one of my children could snap a photo of my rear-end lowering into the kayak and post it on Facebook. Crickets chirp louder. Overgrown weeds line the shore and green moss coats the trees. This is a marsh, and I don’t do 62  t a l l a h a s s e e

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The guide frowns. “Well, rarely.” Rarely. What I needed to hear was ‘never.’ She brightens. “But it’s very easy to right yourself back up.” Easy for her—she’s twenty years younger and has six percent body fat. She could spin like a motor and emerge looking refreshed. When I flip over, I’ll encounter piranhas. Meanwhile, paddling and circling, my impatient family waits for me. My three rugged SEAL’s forgo life jackets, but I secure a padded vest around my shoulders. My midsection bulges like the Michelin Man after a binge of high-fructose tires. I lower myself into the kayak and am pushed out by the guide on the open water. I wobble back and forth and gnash my teeth to prevent screaming. My teenager razzes. “Hey, Mom’s going to be a submersible.”

I glare at him. I’m so never doing his college laundry again. Once I’m out on the river, I do not move the oar as much as shake it. We float along the gentle currents, surrounded by sandstone formations and evergreens. The sunlight is intense and bakes my shoulders. This is my fault. I insisted we try different things, have an adventure. If we survive, I will have to be pried from the hotel room. As I paddle, I hear Joe Fur Trader behind me. “Hey, Pocahontas. Wait up.” My husband paddles toward me, knocking into my kayak, which rocks dangerously. I tremble, furious. “Do that again, and I’ll whack you with this oar.” Cue the Sandals commercial, the vacationing couple cuddling on white sands, gazing at the crystal blue ocean. Our version—brown water, raised oars, cursing. We coast along for several miles, when I realize—I’m having a great time. Sure, I’m missing a few pints of blood and may have malaria. My hair is a ratty mess. I will frighten children and make their grandparents grip their pacemakers if we go for ice cream. But the kayak trip is fun. Amazingly fun, once I pushed past my fear. Why, I’m ready to take anything on. Our kayak trip is over. We head back to main road and drop off the equipment at the water sports depot. My husband rubs his hands together. “Wait ‘til you see what I planned for Thursday.” Uh-oh. That’s an evil gleam in his eye. I reach for an oar. He grins. ”Ziplining.”

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2626 Capital Medical Blvd. | 850-325-5000 | CapitalRegionalMedicalCenter.com t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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New River House Collection Coming Soon at Turner’s Fine Furniture


ith my new River House Collection, I share my love of Savannah and the casual comfortable lifestyle there.

River House captures the beauty and hospitality of gracious life on the Savannah River. Come see my collection at Turner’s and let them show you how to bring comfort home!

Unlimited Possibilities...Unbeatable Values TALLAHASSEE

2151 HWY 319 South 10 Minutes North of Chiles High School


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(850) 210-0446 (229) 377-1030

MON-FRI 10AM - 8PM SAT 10AM - 6PM • SUN 1PM - 6PM

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