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The ot ! H Issue

JUNE / JULY 2018








Be Healthy in the Heat DOG FRIENDLY BEACHES

tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 1



We call it the ABC’s – “Always Better Care” for your child’s emergency. At the Tallahassee Memorial Children’s Emergency Center you can put your mind at ease. Our affiliation with Wolfson Children’s Hospital means access to resources of one of the nation’s top-ranked children’s hospitals. And we’re the only emergency center in the area with board certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians available 24/7 in a kid-friendly environment. TMH.ORG/ChildrensER

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contents tallahassee woman magazine

On the Cover


The Hot!Issue

june/july 2018


Mikaya Warren—A MiracleCentered Vision By Heather Thomas About the Cover: Photography by Kira Derryberry | Makeup by Mikaya Warren of Mikaya Dionne Enterprises | Top courtesy of fab’rik

8 10


Our Thoughts

Fire and the Phoenix


She Says Social: Summer Travel and Recommended Reads by Tallahassee Women | TWM Facebook Live! Knowledge: “Paw”some! Local Dog-Friendly Beaches Books: Best Summer Reads 2018













Funny Girl

Living Local

Women We Admire: Emily Shaw —Wild About Wildlife Community: Ceiling Smashers: Breaking Through and Leading the Way Around Town: Boys Town North Florida’s Spirit of Youth Gala | Chi Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Pink Hat Tea | Dixie Mansion Restoration Luncheon | Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Golden Gala Haute Happenings: Special events not to miss


Photo by Colin Hackley for VISIT FLORIDA

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40 Women to Watch: Announcements of local business and professional women Biz Scene: WWMB Women on Fire! Networking Luncheon Money Talks: How to Avoid Phone Scams Work Life: Facebook Live Tips Fashion: It’s All in the Bag Home: Shady Plants—Made for the Shade

Healthy Living: Be a Mental Health Olympian | Beat the Heat: Summer Heat Exposure— Thermometer Guidelines Real Life: Using Fear as Your Fire

Real Life: Summer Childcare: The Most Grueling Season

The Dish: Freshly Picked Blackberry Crisp | Pick Your Own Summer Adventure

Rolling Into Family Dinner on the Crazy Train

tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 5 

contributors OUR


Jenny Cherry is a native Floridian, full-time professional and single mom. She is a writer and public speaker, and holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in communications.


June / July 2018 Volume 13 | Issue 3

PUBLISHER Kim Rosier EDITOR Heather Thomas

Chanta Combs’ professional experience is in law, policy, politics and corporate America. She is also currently enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Publishing and Editing program at Florida State University. Most importantly, Chanta is a mom in love with her son, two dogs, and two cats.

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

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

INTERNS Ellie Bright | Abby Cloud Emma Peterson | Claire Reed

Beth Tedio is the Director of Development at Lee’s Place, a nonprofit grief, loss, and trauma counseling center. Lee’s Place provides therapy on a sliding fee scale for everyone over four years of age who is struggling with any form of loss or trauma such as; divorce, death, assault, and abandonment. For more information about Lee’s Place, visit

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

GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings

Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC Post Office Box 13401 Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone (850) 893-9624 Fax (850) 254­-7038 Tallahassee Woman is published six times per year and is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding communities.

The information in this publication is presented in good faith. The publisher does not guarantee accuracy or assume responsibility for errors or omissions.


For more information on advertising, call (850) 893-9624 or e-mail Copyright ©2018 Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without expressed written consent of the Publisher is prohibited. 6  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

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tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 7



Fire and the Phoenix


n Greek mythology, the phoenix is a bird that lives for 500 years before cyclically dying in the flames of the sun’s fire, and then arising as a new bird from the ashes. In literature and in culture it has been a long-standing symbol for rebirth. In order to arise anew, sometimes there is pain and tragedy, or a “fire” that someone must go through—a dying to the old self in order to give life to the new. With the June-July “hot” issue theme, along with its inspiring cover story, I believe that Mikaya Warren’s rise from the pain and challenges that come from sickle cell anemia, in order to give hope and purpose to not only her life, but to the lives of her family and the Tallahassee community, is much like that of the legendary phoenix. And, speaking of renewal, in the pages of this issue you’ll discover a significant change—we’ve restructured the layout and the content to emphasize local stories and events. We also want to hear from you on our social media pages! When we do, as you'll read in our new, “She Says Social” department, we’ll share the comments you've posted on our social media pages. Of course, (as editorial luck and joy would have it…it’s almost like I planned this, right?) the theme of the “fire” motif can be found at our upcoming “Women on Fire” Networking Luncheon on Wednesday, June 27, with Dr. Asha Fields Brewer as our guest speaker. Be sure to check out our sponsorship packages, and buy your tickets before they sell out. Put August 29 and October 31 on your calendars as well so you won’t miss our other inspiring luncheons. During this summer season, and whatever season of life you find yourself in, my burning desire is for you to discover what brings you to life, and gives you the hope and wings to rise ever onward. Until the next flight,

Heather Thomas, Editor 8  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

The Phoenix Hope, can wing her way through desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite, revive from ashes and rise. — Miguel de Cervantes



Women Who Mean Business Networking Luncheon Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Four Points by Sheraton Downtown | 316 West Tennessee Street, Tallahassee With Special Guest Speaker

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer Temple Fit Co.

Come out and join the conversation on self-care strategies for the busy and overwhelmed. Be ready to be inspired and energized by the wisdom and expertise of Dr. Asha Fields Brewer of Temple Fit Co., as she presents valuable information and strategies on how to manage and enjoy your work life. Discover what it takes to be your best self, do your best work, and live life abundantly.

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




Sponsorship opportunities available. Call 850-893-9624 or e-mail for information. To purchase tickets and to learn more about becoming a member visit or e-mail for information. tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 9

she says social •travel • books • knowledge




e polled our Facebook followers and asked where they were heading this summer for vacation. This was definitely a hot topic as many of you

responded and shared your summer adventure plans for your getaway. Wow! What a list. Tallahassee women love to travel and the adventures are worldwide!

Here's a peek into a few planned adventures this summer!

Norway Denver, Colorado North Carolina Pensacola, Florida Birmingham, AL Stonington, Maine Deer Isle, Maine Uganda, Africa New York Kauai, Hawaii Cuba Bahamas Canada Maine

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Disney World Destin, Florida Panama City, Florida Nashville, Tennessee Tampa, Florida Atlanta, Georgia Huntsville, Alabama Warm Springs, GA Granada, Spain Alaska Oregon Northern California Nova Scotia Blue Ridge, Virginia

Ireland 30A Las Vegas Paris, France London, England Amsterdam St. Petersburg Italy Switzerland Iceland The Azores (Portugal) Japan Thailand Roatan, Honduras

Key West Grand Canyon Northern France Franklin, NC Vancouver, Canada Amelia Island St. Teresa Tampa, Florida California Indian Rocks, FL Universal Studios Bahamas

she ||



s you embark on your summer adventures be sure to take a good book with you.

TWM asked you—our readers and social media followers—what you recommended for

What Tallahassee Women are Reading for Summer

a summer read. The following are suggestions by Tallahassee women from our Facebook and Instagram pages. • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein • The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas • The Same Kind of Different as Me by Thomas Nelson • Flight Patterns by Karen White

Tuesday Talks TWM

Join Tallahassee Woman every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. on Facebook Live as we talk about hot topics, chat with guests or let you hear from some of our favorite businesses around town.


tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 11

TRENDS || knowledge

“Paw”some! Local Dog-Friendly Beaches By Abby Cloud

Richard J-P Bastien, DMD

Giving Tallahassee a Reason to Smile

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Same Day Crowns Latest Technology Professional and Caring Team

Richard J-P Bastien, DMD 2621 Mitcham Drive,Tallahassee, Fl 32308

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hether it’s a lengthy family vacation or a day-long getaway by yourself, it is rough leaving your beloved pup behind at home. But many beaches in Florida allow your dog to join you on your retreats, ensuring your furry friend can have just as much fun in surf and sun.

spot is St. George Island. The beach extends 28 miles and offers a wonderful view, with opportunities to swim and see the wildlife. Obedient and leashed pets are welcome on all St. George Island beaches with the exception of the Julian G. Bruce State Park beach.

Alligator Point: 1 hour Located on the Forgotten Coast, the pristine shoreline of Alligator Point spreads for miles, giving your pet plenty of space all day and year round. However, this is a more secluded beach with no public facilities and fairly limited public parking. When visiting, keep your dog on its leash at all times.

Gulf County Beaches: 2 hours With the exception of the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, dogs are welcome in Port St. Joe, Cape San Blas and St. Joseph Bay. Pets must be kept on a leash, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting the Port City or the BayWalk Trail, both highlighting the wonderful scenery. The beaches here also offer 20 pet waste disposal stands to keep the environment clean.

Carrabelle Beach: 1 to 1.5 hours Carrabelle is a popular destination for holidays and attracts many families with children. The vast beach allows for space to relax and an inviting ocean. It features covered picnic tables, restrooms, and convenient parking. Dogs should remain on a leash while visiting, and make sure they don’t disturb the shorebirds. St. George Island: 2 hours Another local and pet-friendly vacation

Amelia Island: 3.5 to 4 hours At Amelia Island, leashed dogs can accompany you on the beaches. Dogs are strictly forbidden from Fort Clinch and Amelia Island State Park. The other parks offer many public facilities, restaurants and handicap beach access. Be sure to clean up after your pets, and keep them on a leash as owners can receive a ticket for not following these rules.

books ||



Summer Reads 2018 By Serena Moyle of Hearth & Soul. Lisa Harvey of and frequent attendee at the Hearth & Soul book clubs also contributed to this list.

My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoi

Authors Dray and Kamoi introduce us to Eliza Hamilton, the driving force behind the man. She’s smart, courageous and widowed at a young age, left to raise her many children during tumultuous times in the birth of our nation. The authors storytelling skills create a compelling and exciting read about a deep and lasting love clothed in early American historical facts.

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

Charles Martin, a graduate of Florida State University and a resident of Jacksonville, places this masterful love story draped in sacrifice, secrets, suffering, solitude and healing in remote Cape San Blas. According to Blue Stocking Reviews, Martin has created a powerful and moving story with a troubled and flawed character whose generosity and sacrifices earn your respect and admiration.

Beautiful Bodies: The Adventures of Malvina Hoffman by Didi Hoffman This narrative nonfiction introduces us to a stunningly talented American student of renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The author has constructed an engrossing story about a young, determined art icon whose story and impact on the world of sculpture at the turn of the 20th century demand to be told.

I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver

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Friends keep sending screenshots and text messages about this instant bestseller, exclaiming their love for this book and desire to savor every chapter. If you long for inspiration and need a shot of positivity, then this gentle read is for you. This is a great gift book for friends and one you will read and reread.

Dreams of Falling by Karen White

The prolific author is back with another mystery/suspense novel dripping with Southern charm about lifelong friends who share a secret. Save this book for your next beach read and discover why Larkin left Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing to never return.


2030 Fleischmann Rd. ~ Tallahassee, FL


For more information on the Hearth and Soul book club, visit

tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 13


LOCAL Women We Admire

EMILY SHAW Wild About Wildlife By Michelle R. Nickens


eon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Detective Emily Shaw is no stranger to danger. Law enforcement officers run toward threats, often putting themselves in harmful and precarious situations. After more than eight years with the LCSO, Detective Shaw has had numerous and diverse experiences, but they may not be what you think—like facing an anaconda. Detective Shaw brings together her law enforcement skills, passion for animals, thoughtful approaches and lifelong advocacy to help area wildlife.

elleBelle Photography

After working in the field of bank fraud for eight years, Detective Shaw inquired about becoming a police officer. “I went to a citizen’s academy and a ride-along. After that, I knew being a police officer was what I had to do,” she said. “I started in the Reserve Unit, then the road, served as a Field

“A simple act of kindness and compassion towards a single animal may not mean anything to all creatures, but will mean everything to one.” —Paul Oxton 14  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

Women We Admire || LIVING LOCAL pet snake, Bettie Page, from the front porch of a local home. “I went on a call a few years ago. It was the first one related to a snake. It was a ball python, about four feet long, that appeared to have been abandoned or had escaped. We tried to find her owners without luck. So, I kept her. Now I get multiple calls about snakes. I have fostered and found homes for many, but I just have Bettie Page as a pet.” Detective Shaw is an advocate for snakes and wildlife. Her approach is grounded in a thoughtful animalfirst philosophy. Most of us would run if faced with an anaconda. But for Detective Shaw, it was another day to make a difference in an animal’s life. “When I approached the anaconda, I knew it was going to be upset, terrified. The most dangerous possibility was I’d be bit, or she’d wrap around me. My bigger concern was to minimize her terror. People think it was dangerous, but it really wasn’t. Animals are just trying to survive. Fortunately, I was able to get her secured and reunited with her owner.”

Photo courtesy of Leon County Sheriff's Office Facebook

Training Officer, and in 2017, began working in the financial crimes unit.” She has earned a reputation for hard work, dedication and commitment.

Detective Shaw has worked with all types of wildlife, but there is one that has become near and dear to her heart—snakes. As a matter of fact, she rescued her now

elleBelle Photography

Beyond the badge, Detective Shaw holds another passion—safeguarding and caring for wildlife. In 2013, a life-changing event occurred in Detective Shaw’s life—her mother passed away. “She founded St. Francis Wildlife Association,” Detective Shaw explained. “I grew up surrounded by wild animals. Some folks are anxious around wildlife, but I was desensitized to it. After my mom passed, I wanted to re-engage and become active again. My passion for helping and healing animals was inspired by my mother. I’ve been volunteering since 2014—rescuing animals, working at the hospital, fostering babies, transporting animals— whatever I can do.”

tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 15


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St. Francis Wildlife Association is one of the biggest wildlife rescues in our area. When St. Francis receives a call, a notification is dispatched to a rescue group and one of the rescue team members is dispatched to the Photos courtesy of Leon County Sheriff's Office Facebook area. “Working With wild animals, everything is with St. Francis is rewarding,” different. Every voice sounds scary. Detective Shaw said. “Volunteers “Our instinct is to pet or cuddle,” are our foundation—doing Detective Shaw explained, “but that laundry, prepping food, cleaning is the last thing you want to do. or building cages or transporting We have to find different ways to animals. When you love what you be sympathetic and compassionate. do, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s a Sometimes, I think they know we are privilege to care for these animals.” trying to help.” With Detective Shaw’s warrior Detective Shaw has rescued and cared attitude and fearless interaction with for all types of animals, but sometimes wild animals, it may be surprising to the story follows a different path. learn that she has a phobia—the fear “Recently, there was an owl on I-10. of roaches. “I have held scorpions, We were able to get it, but it had to be spiders, all kinds of snakes, but at the euthanized. A natural death in the wild sight of a roach—I squeal. It’s funny can be horrible, such as starving, being and ironic, but it’s true.” hit by a car. In these situations, making the animal as comfortable as possible is the best option. If a raccoon breaks For more information about St. Francis a foot, there is no vet in the wild. It Wildlife Association or what to do if you can be a very painful existence. The encounter or find a wild animal, visit animal’s well-being comes first.” online at

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LIVING LOCAL || Organizations

Pictured from left to right: Kollet Probst, Autumn Clemmons, Angela Parker-Bowden, Heather Thomas, Holly Riley, Lydia Bell, Shacafrica Simmons

CEILING SMASHERS #ceilingsmashers Breaking Through and Leading the Way By Jenny Cherry | Photography by elleBelle Photography

“This is the story of seven local Tallahassee women, all independent power houses, all artists, all in charge of their own destiny, yet together they have a sisterhood that has changed their lives for the better. These seven are hoping to inspire other women and girls in the community and beyond. There are no glass ceilings, only smashed ones.” — #ceilingsmashers


allahassee recently celebrated seven local women in a larger-than-life mural displayed proudly on the wall at 603 West Gaines Street. Inspired by the 1940s icon Rosie the Riveter, painter Kollet Probst of Kollet Originals invited a group of local entrepreneurs

18  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

to join her on a mission to support women working in the arts. These women are typically behind the scenes teaching and donating their craft, time and energy to charities and community fundraisers. Kollet recalled, “I was looking for women of strong

“I was looking for women of strong moral character who break through barriers with class." moral character who break through barriers with class. They all said, ‘yes.’ It was so humbling.” In the same way that Rosie inspired hope and courage, this group formed a network of support and encouragement for the members that they did not know they needed. The group, known as #ceilingsmashers, is composed of portrait artist Kollet Probst, photographer Lydia Bell, writer Heather Thomas, chef Shacafrica Simmons, dancer Angela Parker-Bowden, makeup artist Autumn Clemmons and musician Holly Riley. Each member of the group was given the opportunity to paint her own square of film ribbon scrolling across the Rosie mural. “The project started out as a ‘thank you’ and it became a sort of time capsule where these women were highlighted for their phenomenal success as artists in the business,” says Kollet. Recognizing their contributions to the arts, local businessman Dean Minardi offered a wall for the mural project. Rosie comes to life at the Garages at Gaines, where an endless stream of students, visitors and locals are greeted with a determined “you can do it” attitude. In January 2018, Naomi Parker Fraley, the woman for whom the Rosie brand was inspired, passed away. Through this mural project, not only was a women’s empowerment Rosie the Riveter mural created, but the city of Tallahassee filed and sealed an official proclamation that March would be celebrated as Women’s History and Celebration Month in Tallahassee. Dustin Daniels, chief of staff in the Mayor’s office, presented and read the proclamation at the unveiling of the mural on March 1, 2018. Proud friends, family, media and community supporters gathered to witness this historic event. Lydia Bell of elleBelle Photography said about the group, “It is not as important to be globally recognized as it is to find your place in a small group of people whom you can lean on and trust in. When you find those pieces on a small scale, it becomes something big. This project has been such a gift. We are so different— we work in different areas of the arts, and it took the Rosie mural to stitch us together.” tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 19





Boys Town North Florida’s Spirit of Youth Gala

Over 400 guests attended the 2018 Boys Town North Florida’s Spirit of Youth Gala: A Living Work of heART. The theme of the Gala was An Evening at THE MET designed after NYC’s MET Gala. The Gala is Boys Town North Florida’s largest fundraiser of the year, providing direct support to the most severely at risk children and families in our area.



Photos courtesy of Terri Smith Photo and E. Mika Photography.


Pictured from left to right: 1. Steve Lohbeck, Kenzie Lohbeck, Jane Marks, John Marks 2. Juli Downs, Kelly Pettit, Diana Cureton, Monique Wood, Morgan Lewis, Nancy Click, Sean Pittman, Audra Pittman, Emory Mayfield, Autumn Mayfield, Charisse Fuller, Shanna Daniels, Wendy Kerr, Rob Kerr, Laura Ervin, Mary Jayne Sokolow, Dena Sokolow, Dena Strickland 3. Alan Hanstein, Iain Harnden, Becky Harnden, Chris Corum, CB Lorch, Michele Lorch 20  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018





4. Greg Martin, Anne Martin 5. Joe Chick, Stacy Chick 6. Kim Crowell, Morgan Lewis, Autumn Mayfield, Josie Gustafson 7. Patti Pijut, Dr. Lawrence Pijut, Dr. Marci Beck, Dr. Glenn Beck 8. Monesia Brown, Zaneta Batchelor 9. Dr. Mary Swain, Rhonda Baldock, Suzanne Cognetta, Mary Moor

Spirit of Youth Gala

An Evening at

A Living Work of heART!

Circle of Champions

Matt & Sheri Bryan / Tim & Jill Meenan

BOYS TOWN FULL Guardians of Hope PAGE AD

Dr. Armand & Suzanne Cognetta

Dr. Marc & Melissa Inglese

Bart & Tamara Aitken

Capital Eurocars

Ajax / Searcy Denney Scarcola Barnhart & Shipley

Capital Periodontal Associates

Barbara & Eddie Agramonte / Gannon Hunt & Josh Cooper / Anna & Dan Koeppel / Melissa & Ed Lombard / Abby & Will Pichard Baker Donelson Capital City Bank / Capital City Trust

Ken Cashin & Lisa Chase / Dr. Rob & Carolyne Bradford / Dr. Joe & Marion Camps

Drs. Michael & Jana Forsthoefel / Dr. John & Barbara Mahoney / Mark O’Bryant & Diana Cureton Hancock Whitney Bank

Joe & Stacy Chick

Leon County Sheriff’s Office

Bobby & Sue Dick / Merrill Lynch

M of Tallahassee, Inc. Greg & Anne Martin

Billy & Laura Ervin / Merrill Lynch

Sean & Audra Pittman

Florida Power & Light

Prime Meridian Bank

Southeastern Plastic Surgery Tallahassee Democrat Tallahassee Ford Lincoln Tallahassee Woman Magazine Target Print & Mail Dr. Tony & Tanya Weaver / Mark & Sally Rosser / Dr. Larry & Patti Pijut / Pete & Cindy Lewis / Arron & Lisa Gober

Spirit of Angels Dr. Donald Erickson & Joanna Angelos Jimmy & Janette Fasig FIGG Engineering Florida Health Care Association Florida Sports Foundation

Jimmy & Josie Gustafson Hamilton Realty, LLC Tim & Stephanie Jansen Leon County Government Mainline Information Systems

John & Jane Marks The Moore Agency Dr. William & Joyce Simmons Woody & Donna Simmons Ted & Rhonda Strauss Paul & Cindy Sullivan

Tallahassee-Leon Federal Credit Union Dr. Neil & Lisa Torgerson Joana Villeneuve

A heARTfelt Thank You to Our Sponsors!


Chris & Patty Barkas Drs. Glenn & Marci Beck Ronald Book, P.A. Paul & Sally Bradshaw City of Tallahassee Tom & Allison Deison Ed & Moira Desloge

tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 21

LIVING LOCAL || AroundTown



Pink Hat Tea

On April 14th, at the Tallahassee Workforce Development Grand Ballroom, Chi Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority hosted their annual Pink Hat Tea, a program for women and girls, which supports Alpha Kappa Alpha’s target health initiative. This year’s theme, An UnMasquerade: Unmasking the Path to Health and Wellness, created an atmosphere complete with food, music, and decor, inspired by Mardi Gras. Guests enjoyed tea while discussing topics from various aspects of health and wellness. Pictured from left to right: 1. Vivian Pope, Sylvia Myers, Shonda Knight, Sherry Kemp 2. Tracy McCoy-Morris, Marilyn Henderson and Margie Wade 3. Kerri Anderson and Akiba Aliyy

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LIVING LOCAL || AroundTown TMH Golden Gala

Tallahassee’s premier black-tie event hosted by the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation, was held Thursday, April 19. Featuring Daryl Hall & John Oates—the No. 1 best-selling duo in music history—this event benefited TMH’s Animal Therapy Program. The only one of its kind in the region, the Animal Therapy Program has fostered the therapeutic bond between people and animals since 2005.

Photos provided by Woodland Fields Photography and Unique Video Creations.






6. 24  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018


Pictured from left to right: 1. Dr. Andrew Wong and Ann Wong 2. Dr. Farhat Khairallah and Kristine Khairallah 3. Eric Friall and Dr. Andrea Friall 4. Mark O’Bryant and Diana Love Cureton 5. Martha Barnett and Lee Hinkle 6. Sara and Jim Murdaugh 7. Dr. Walter Colón & Mary Beth Colón

Dixie Mansion Restoration Luncheon

Dixie Plantation and Tall Timbers hosted its first Ladies Luncheon with special guest First Lady Ann Scott. The Dixie Mansion is located in the heart of the Red Hills and was designed in 1936 by acclaimed architect John Russell Pope. Dixie is his only Florida constructed design. Once Dixie is restored the mansion will be used for public events and to promote the greater understand of the natural and cultural heritage of the Red Hills region.

3. Artwork shown at actual imprint size: 10”W x 3.7”H White. PMS 200 Red, and PMS 176 Pink Imprint on 1 Black Panel

20024 COMP





Pictured from left to right: 1. First Lady Ann Scott, Ginger Wetherell, Betty Crowe 2. Fran Shaw, Kelly Kirby, Julie McClure 3. Jean Reynolds, Ginger Wetherell, Bill Palmer, Daphne Wood

4. PJ Kline, Sally Rosser, Lindi Simmons, Ann Brannen 5. Lauren Davis, Rozzie Davis, Elizabeth Young

Hill Spooner & Elliott is pleased to announce


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Cascades Park is hosting its fourth year of the Summer Sundown Concert Series. This event consists of four concerts with free admission on the third Saturday of every month during summer. The concerts last from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and each lineup contains diverse music genres. Local food trucks and other activities are available in addition to the musical entertainment. To find out who’s playing and for other information, visit online at

First Friday Sip and Stroll Thomasville, Georgia June 1 and July 6, 2018

This event is hosted on the first Friday of every month from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with free admission. Held at Thomasville Park and Amphitheater, this event will provide live music and entertainment for all to sit and enjoy all evening. Additional information regarding the musical acts, can be found online at

The Ride for Hope

North Florida Fairgrounds | June 9, 2018 The 13th Annual Ride for Hope features family-friendly activities, including cycling courses, a health fair and expo and music and food. The Ride for Hope was established to honor those with cancer, as well as raise money towards the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center. To find out more about the event, visit online at

Barefoot in the Park

ticket information, visit online at

Come enjoy Tallahassee Theatre’s Mainstage production of Barefoot in the Park. In this play, newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter couldn’t be more opposite, with Paul being a stern lawyer and Corie possessing a carefree spirit. After a failed attempt to set Corie’s mother up with their neighbor, Corie just wishes that Paul could loosen up a bit. To grab tickets for this show, visit online at

Celebrate America

Tallahassee Theatre | June 7–24, 2018

Pippin the Musical Young Actors Theatre June 22–July 1, 2018

This summer you won’t want to miss Young Actors Theatre’s production of Pippin. Pippin, son of Charlemagne, is followed throughout his life as he embarks on a journey of selfdiscovery. With a wonderful score and intriguing plot, you are sure to love this musical. To find out more, including

Photo by Colin Hackley for VISIT FLORIDA

Summer Sundown Concert Series Cascades Park every third Saturday, May through August 2018

Tom Brown Park | July 4, 2018 Celebrate Independence Day at Tallahassee’s annual Fourth of July gettogether. At this festivity, you can expect food vendors, family-friendly activities, arts and crafts and many more opportunities to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. For additional information including allowed personal items and a more detailed itinerary, visit online at

Town-Wide Sidewalk Sale Havana, Florida | July 14, 2018

Take some time to visit Havana and experience its summer edition of the Town-Wide Sidewalk Sale. Expect to find tons of deals among the local stores, and enjoy the local dining and gorgeous summer weather. For more information, visit tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 27



Vision By Heather Thomas Photography by Kira Derryberry

What Mikaya Warren has done with her life since first being diagnosed with a life-altering and, too frequently, a life-ending disease such as sickle cell anemia, is the definition of a miracle. Her perseverance through the trials and triumphs of a life spent fighting her way through debilitating physical pain, heartache and permanent hair loss to achieve a resiliency and peace provides a vision of how we can all live a miracle-centered life.


here’s a photograph of Mikaya Warren at her one-year-old birthday party, surrounded by friends and family, with a lit candle on the cake in front of her, waiting for her first wish. Upon closer inspection, the jaunty birthday cone hat on her head contrasts with her forlorn, vacant stare, perhaps conveying that after just coming home from the hospital, her only wish was for the pain to go away. For years, Mikaya had wondered why she looked so unhappy at what should have been a joyous occasion. “I didn’t realize until recently how close my first birthday was to when I was first diagnosed with sickle cell disease and had my first sickle cell crisis. I was most likely in a lot of pain, probably frozen with it.”

28  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

Mikaya tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 29 

ON THE COVER If you would have asked her family and friends in the picture what they were feeling and hoping for that day, it would have been a fervent wish that the doctors were wrong about Mikaya’s prognosis—that she would most likely not live past the age of 16. Although there is no medical explanation for it, Mikaya did not have another crisis until she was 10 years old, one of many miracles in her life that were not thought possible. From then on, her life has become a fight not only to survive, but to accomplish the impossible and to fulfill the purpose that she believes she has been put on earth to do—to inspire others, women in particular, to go beyond the physical labels and boundaries and discover the love and indomitable power of the soul. “We are so much more than what we can physically see. There are miracles happening within us and all around us. I try my best to continually center my spirit in the moment and find inspiration from what I have now and the many people I still want to impact and use that light of love within me to press on.” Indeed, it’s just the simple difference in the shape of Mikaya’s red blood cells—a “sickle” shape—that determines how much oxygen her body gets on any given day and makes every breath a fragile, but determined hope to keep moving forward. With the majority of her red blood cells being sickle-shaped, a crisis can occur when the blood cells don’t get enough oxygen and trap circulation in areas of the body, such as the feet, legs, face—just about anywhere, really, and sometimes multiple places at once. And even at 32, the older she gets, the more frequent the crises. Mikaya has her own pain-level gauge of whether the day will result in her having to stay in bed or to push through the pain with coping strategies. The worst level of pain lands her in the hospital, and if that happens, she’s there for at least a week. Suffering from an average of 10 crises a month and frequently combating a “drug seeker” stigma that many sickle cell patients are unfairly labeled with, she tries to prevent the use of prescription pain medicine and hospital visits as much as possible through rest, frequent hydration and centering on what matters most to her—self-acceptance, family and the love and peace she finds in God. The seeds for this method of centering were planted when she was diagnosed with alopecia areata at age 11, resulting in the loss of all of her hair. Even though sickle cell does not cause alopecia, they are both autoimmune diseases, so there’s a higher risk of having alopecia if you have a pre-existing autoimmune disease. “I was a ‘girly girl’ and my hair was everything to me. In a matter of days, all that beautiful hair was gone. This was also the year that my crises had come back, so I was devastated and feeling hopeless.” Kids at school were also cruel, and on one particularly hard day, Mikaya remembers quite vividly, her mom told her to look in the mirror and to say, “I am beautiful. I am enough. I am loved.” 30  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

Through the teen years of wearing wigs to hide her baldness, Mikaya would go back to this place of unconditional love in order to gain the strength and vision she needed to fight the battles of a lack of self-esteem and physical pain. Despite the struggles, stares and subtle behind-the-hand-comments or the not-so-subtle ridicule of her lack of hair and wigs, she started a modeling career, and at age 16, the very age her family was told she would never reach, she walked the runway in front of hundreds of people without her wig. “I felt liberated.” This feeling of freedom was fleeting, as it would take time and hard work to internalize that confidence. She would later audition as a bald model for America’s Next Top Model while in her early 20s. Even though she didn’t make the final cast for the show, the layers of fear were falling away, and eventually, 7 years ago, she stopped wearing wigs altogether. “At the time, there weren’t many bald models. That has changed recently as baldness has become more socially acceptable. It also sometimes has a cancer stigma, and I’ve had many people over the years ask me what type of cancer I have, etc. I used to get frustrated by this and get wounded by the looks and comments, but I now see it as people who are looking for a connection. I use these interactions as teachable moments to make more people

“A bigger part of my mission is for women to understand their power, their worth and their value on this earth—it goes beyond hair or lack of hair, skin color, looks, health, or diseases. We have so much more to offer than what is on the surface.” aware of alopecia and the importance of seeing beyond the physical form.” Raising awareness for body acceptance and redefining what makes someone beautiful is at the core of Mikaya’s business, Mikaya Dionne Enterprises. Through beauty and image consulting, makeup services, tutorials and mentorship, she wants to help women discover and celebrate what makes them unique, in order to manifest their life’s purpose and find the same freedom that she has. “A bigger part of my mission is for women to understand their power, their worth and their value on this earth—it goes beyond hair or lack of hair, skin color, looks, health, or diseases. We have so much more to offer than what is on the surface.” For Mikaya, this is especially applied to the hardships, when an important choice must be made—do you choose fear, or do you choose love? “In every challenge, there’s always something to learn, and there is always a choice. You may not be able to choose what is happening in your life, but you can make a choice on how you view it and, even more importantly, how you use it. You can be afraid of it, or you can see it as a way to bring light and love to yourself and others.” An essential aspect of Mikaya’s incredible tenacity to see opportunity in adversity is to “always find another way around the words ‘I can’t.’” As a child, Mikaya says, “I would ask my mom for an explanation for everything. Of course I questioned why I had to have this disease. But as I grew older, my question of ‘why?’ became ‘why not me?’ and I found a way to do whatever it is people said I couldn’t do.” Besides living beyond her earlier prognosis, another “impossible” milestone was being able to have children, something doctors had told

her would never happen. She and her supportive husband, Kevin, now have 4 of them—the oldest daughter is 10, the middle daughter is 9, and the twins—a girl and a boy—are 4. “Striving to accomplish incredible things despite being told that I can’t do them has helped me begin to answer the ‘why’ of my diagnosis. Everything I’ve gone through and will go through has not been solely for my benefit. It’s been for others to be inspired and empowered and will help someone else go even further. I was given this innate ability by God to power through, and that is something that needs to be shared. Hard times are not happening to me—they are happening for me. Once you change that in your mind, you have tremendous mental and spiritual power to make any experience transformative and miraculous.” Recently, Mikaya became a certified talent agent, and has launched the Mikaya Dionne Agency in order to better advise and connect women to their dream of becoming a model. This will expand her personal brand of motivational outreach as she endeavors to help others tap into their own miracle vision—seeing ourselves and others beyond the labels, the stigmas and the outward shells into the heart of love that connects us all. “The world is always telling us how to think, look and act. If we would all activate what is already inside of us, we wouldn’t have to create all of these false versions of ourselves in order to conform to what we think others want us to be. This is who I am and this is what I have to offer. I didn’t have to create a way—I was born with the way. We all are. Look for the miracle not only within yourself but in each other. The earlier we can recognize that miracle—God’s purpose for our lives—the more loving our vision and the deeper the impact we can make with what we have been given.”



Comprehensive Gynecology Services Relaxing Atmosphere Caring & Knowledgeable Staff Elite Women’s Health Stephanie Lee, M.D., FACOG Gynecologist 3217 Capital Medical Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32308 Phone: (850) 320-7693

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WOMEN TO WATCH N E W S | A W A R D S | M I L E S T O N E S Erin J. Tilton has been awarded this year’s Thomas M. Ervin, Jr., Distinguished Young Lawyer Award for her exemplary service to the Tallahassee Bar Association (TBA). On top of exhibiting high standards of professionalism through her work for Hopping Green and Sams, P.A., Erin serves as President of TBA’s Young Lawyers Section, is on the TBA Board of Directors, and recently founded the organization’s Diversity Networking Symposium. Those who supported her nomination spoke highly of her, stating that “what makes her special is she brings the same level of commitment to everything she pursues.” Leila Sabet recently won the pageant title as the new Miss Tallahassee. As winner of the pageant, she received a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete for the Miss Florida title in Lakeland, Florida, in June. Currently a student at Florida State University, Leila is studying psychology and advanced leadership studies in hopes to pursue a career in people operations and management. During her year as Miss Tallahassee, she will travel throughout the Tallahassee/Big Bend area advocating her platform issue: START4URHeart: Creating a Future Free from Heart Disease. Leila says that has a personal connection to her platform issue, heart disease prevention, because it directly affects her family. Natalia Thomas received the Tallahassee Young Lawyers Section’s Outstanding Thunderdome Participant Award for extraordinary dedication to pro bono legal service, professional growth and community leadership. The award recognizes an outstanding participant and mentor of Thunderdome Tallahassee Class 4. Thunderdome Tallahassee addresses a desperate need for equal access to justice by providing family law training, mentorship, leadership development and recognition to volunteer lawyers serving families and children.

Kristine Solberger is the new Psychosocial Support Manager at Big Bend Hospice. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and received her master’s degree in social work from Barry University. Kristine is a licensed clinical social worker with a background in psychotherapy. When asked about her new role, Kristine replied, “It is an absolute privilege to be invited to assist in the care and support of Big Bend Hospice’s patients and families.” Mallory Bennett recently celebrated two years as an associate attorney at Thompson, Crawford and Smiley. Currently, she handles cases in employment discrimination, estate planning, family law and business law. As a Tallahassee native, Mallory graduated from Maclay School and continued her education at Florida State University (FSU), obtaining her bachelor’s degree in sociology and graduating summa cum laude. She earned her Juris Doctorate of Law from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University where she was the senior associate editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. Mallory is a lifelong FSU fan and animal rights advocate. Rose Hebert joined the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in November 2017, as Communications Coordinator and in April was promoted to Deputy Director of Communications. She is a dedicated volunteer of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Organization, serving over 13 years in various roles throughout Florida, most recently as a corporate board member of the Florida Leadership Foundation. Rose earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida Atlantic University and was recognized for her service to the 2017–2018 Constitution Revision Commission.

Women to Watch includes announcements of promotions, awards, business openings and milestones of business and professional women in the Tallahassee community. Submit your announcements for Women to Watch to 32  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

A vision is the power of seeing something, seen in a dream, trance, mental image, foresight, etc. Our well-known event What Women Want was once a vision of Dot Ealy, VP/MM of Cumulus Tallahassee, that became a reality back in 2010. In June 2017, the 8th Annual What Women Want had 100+ vendors and 5,000+ attendees. Success is achieving favorable results. If you know Dot, you’ve probably heard her say, “Radio is not going away, it’s more vibrant than ever,” The success of this event has proven that. The numbers that matter the most are what Cumulus delivers to your bottom line .

Dot Ealy

Vice President / Market Manager Cumulus Tallahassee

For Sponsorship and Vendor Opportunities please call Dot Ealy at 850-201-3005 tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 33


The first of the series of Women on Fire! Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Networking Luncheons was a great success. A number of Tallahassee’s most successful business owners and professionals attended the event to connect and network with other like-minded women. Marsha Doll, of Marsha Doll Models and Promotions, provided a lively and inspiring presentation. The event was sponsored by Kia of Tallahassee (White Flame Sponsor), Royster’s Storage Trailers and Fig Tree Group (Blue Flame Sponsors).










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Bright Ideas & Inspired Results


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15. 9. Jordyn Granger, Jenny Granger 10. Linda Royster, Marsha Doll, Michelle Hart 11. Patricia McCray, Marsha Doll 12. Buck Murray, Lindsey Harrison, Jasmine Belser, Randi Cason 13: Carol Swartz, Pat Swartz 14. Joy Eppes, Jamee Wright 15. Donna Jones, Casey Waddill

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How to Avoid Phone Scams By Ellie Bright


ith cell phones being our main source of communication as well as linking us to everything, we are constantly susceptible to spam intent on extracting personal information in order to gain access to our monetary accounts or create new ones using the stolen information. It is important to understand what to do in situations where you receive calls, voicemails or texts from suspicious numbers. The best thing that you can do in this time of technology is play it safe and be suspicious of unknown numbers. Today, “neighbor spoofing,” or callers who use a fake caller ID that matches your area code, is becoming an alluring reason to answer an unknown number. These robo-callers are using a matching area code to keep you from blocking their number. With that being said, here are some tips and tricks for keeping yourself safe from phone scams.

If you don’t know it, don’t answer it.

If you don’t recognize the number, sometimes it is best to simply not answer the call. If it is someone important trying to reach you, they will leave a voicemail. 36  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

Even if the number is from your own area code or one that you recognize, just let it go to voicemail and go from there. If you answer an unknown number, you are verifying that you are using an active number and, therefore, could be subject to more frequent calls.

Verify the number before you answer.

In this case, your Caller ID won’t always be helpful. If a caller says that they are with a business, a government agency or an organization, make sure that you can verify their call-back information in order to validate that the call is authentic.

Never give out personal information.

It is better to be skeptical than trusting in a scenario like this. Unless you have verified that the number contacting you is reliable, do not confirm passwords, personal information, account numbers or social security numbers.

Just hang up.

If you do answer an unwanted call, don’t answer questions or continue the call. Just hang up. It is important to protect yourself and make your security and privacy a priority.

Always report unwanted or unknown calls.

Although putting yourself on a Do Not Call Registry will protect you from receiving unwanted sales calls from actual companies, it won’t stop illegal callers. Because of this, it is incredibly important to report illegal calls to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FCC and FTC work alongside different telecommunications providers to prevent illegal calls. When you report unwanted calls, you are essentially helping phone carriers find call-blocking solutions that will, therefore, benefit you in the long run. You can report these unwanted calls and file complaints at the FTC and FCC websites, or at

Business | WORK LIFE

Facebook Live Tips By Claire Reed


ivestreams have become increasingly popular as a way for celebrities to connect with their fans. Businesses have also started hopping aboard the Facebook Live train in order to make connections with their audience. Here are some handy tips for anybody interested in growing their online presence through Facebook Live.

Promote, promote, promote! Before going live, make sure to alert your audience. Through small posts of images of something exciting they can expect in the live stream or inviting followers from other platforms to join the show, the amount of people who will watch your Facebook Live will increase. Include links to your Facebook page on newsletters and other social media to capture a wide following.

Experience The Beauty And Luxury You Deserve

Address answers to specific people watching your broadcast. If somebody makes a witty comment, asks an interesting question, or tunes in for the first time, respond to them! The engaging nature of live streams hooks the audience in and keeps them entertained. To make sure you’re doing this, have somebody on-screen or off-screen directing comments so those hosting aren’t bouncing between their task and the audience. Ask viewers to subscribe to Facebook Live notifications. Remind your audience that they can be notified when you go live throughout the live stream so they will know when you go live. Simply tap the “Follow” button when Facebook prompts you to “Follow to receive notifications when Tallahassee Woman Magazine is live.” Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. for Facebook Live TWM Tuesday Talks. /TallahasseeWoman

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By Ellie Bright


ummer is finally here, and we are ready to hit the beach. Salt, sand and sun are much needed, and we cannot wait to swim in the water or lie back in a beach chair and indulge in a good book. But with the fun of the beach, comes the stress of packing a beach bag. Have no fear, we have got you covered. Here are your summer beach bag essentials and must-haves.


No matter your skin tone, it is always important to use sunscreen. Protecting your skin from the sun is so important.


Although the salt and sand are great on the beach, they are not as great in your car. Remember to pack a towel to that you can dry off before heading home.


A day of fun while splashing around in the waves can cause you to work up an appetite. Never forget to pack some peel-and-eat oranges, trail mix or chips.


The wind can leave your hair in knots. Bring along a hairbrush and leave-in 38  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

Shop our local boutiques for beautiful and unique bags for your trips this summer to the beach, the springs, the park and more.

conditioner to help alleviate some of the mess.


Make sure to pack water to keep your body hydrated and healthy.


Don’t forget a hat to offer your face some relief from the sun. Although your natural freckles are a perfect addition to your nose and cheeks, a hat will provide some shelter.


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Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun, but they are the perfect beach accessory. Spruce up any bathing suit or cover-up with a fun, colorful pair of sunglasses.


If you can’t just sit still at the beach, pack something to keep you entertained. A good book will help you sit back, relax and enjoy the sound of the waves.


Whether it is bocce ball, ultimate Frisbee or shovels for building a sand castle, find a way to have an active day in the sun.

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ne of the most fun things about having a dog is taking it on new adventures. Whether you embark on a trip to the beach or explore a new hiking trail, having your four-legged friend there with you makes the experience so much better. But as any dog owner knows, taking a pet for a day-long trip requires a bag of goodies. Just like packing a diaper bag, it is always a good idea to pack a puppy bag to keep your dog healthy and entertained. We suggest packing the following items so that you can have an adventure-filled day with your furry best friend.

dish bWater Tennis Ball bToys b

bTreats waste bags bDog bLeash


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You may want to pack a towel as well, since it is more important to keep your car clean from a sandy, wet pup. Make sure to pack an extra towel so that you can dry a pet off before it hops into your passenger seat. tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 39 



SHADY PLANTS – Made for the Shade By Abby Cloud


n Tallahassee, residents are beyond familiar with the high temperatures and searing heat that accompany the summer months. However, people aren’t the only thing that crave shade while out in the summer sun. One way to be certain that your yard will continue to yield its cheerful and lively appearance is to include some plant life that is mostly drought tolerant and also prospers well in the shade.

Bromeliads. These blooms add a

tropical look to your landscape with their varying shades of red, orange and yellow. In addition to their blooms, bromeliads also have scoop-like, dark-green leaves surrounding the bloom that act as a “cup” in order to catch any water. Every month, be sure to feed them half-strength fertilizer. When watering the plant, simply

40  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

filling up the cup at the base of the leaves will satisfy them; the remaining water should be poured out weekly to remove any pests or trash. Since this plant can thrive indoors or outdoors, it does well in shady areas with medium light.

Hydrangeas. After the threats of winter cease, the early spring is the best time to plant hydrangeas. Hydrangeas can bloom in a variety of colors that change along with the acidity of the soil; for example, more acidic soil will result in a blue hydrangea. These flowers grow in partial shade and don’t enjoy extremely hot conditions. Additionally, they need a thorough watering at least once a week and prefer rich, moist soil.

Caladiums. Caladiums possess the

ability to brighten up any landscape.

The heart- or arrow-shaped leaves include a variety of colors, such as pink, red, white, chartreuse and green. Because of the plants’ origination in South America, their foliage survives warm weather, and they thrive well in the shade. They prefer well-drained soil and should be regularly watered.

Southern Wood Fern. If you’re looking for some greenery to add to your garden, the Southern Wood Fern is the perfect plant for the summer heat and shady areas. Also known as the Southern Shield Fern, this plant is native to Florida and is drought tolerant, but it can prefer moist soil. The foliage grows three to four feet and becomes a bright green in the warmer months. However, this fern does spread as it grows, so it may need a little upkeep in terms of taming its greenery.






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wellness healthy living

Be a Mental Health Olympian By Beth Willis Tedio


atching the Winter Olympics was inspiring and fun. Every athlete, from every nation, shares drive and determination. No matter their age or chosen field of endeavor, each has a coach, a specialist in their sport, who is guiding, instructing and sometimes comforting them and is always at the ready. It would never occur to any of the athletes not to have a specialized professional in their field to help them reach their goals. Each of us has specialists for various needs in our lives. Everyone over the age of 40 needs an eye doctor to keep a check on their eyesight. We may use a graphic designer to build a website, an electrician, a mechanic, a plumber, or a pest control service to protect our homes from creepy crawlies. I, like many Olympians, have learned the value of a physical therapist. To heal after surgery, to avoid surgery, or to help strengthen an area of the body and relieve pain, physical therapists are worth their weight in gold. The process of therapy is painful at first but has valuable gains from the pain as the healing process reveals strength, the ability to mend, lessening of soreness and the ability to meet your goals—whatever they may be. There is another specialist that may have a stigma attached, which makes no sense when we look at our overall well being—a mental health therapist. The process used by a mental health therapist is similar to that used by a physical therapist. Tell the therapist what happened. The beginning is painful, but then the healing begins as you regain your strengths and move past what happened to achieve goals. Why hesitate to consult with a specialist in the field of emotions and mental health when overwhelmed, sad or in any way not handling life’s current challenges —particularly following a life changing event such as divorce, crime, death, adoption or a fight between family members? My husband and I rarely argue. When we do, we quickly realize that what we have far outweighs one discussion, and so we move on to a conversation that respects each other’s point of view, sometimes agreeing to disagree. Years ago, we had a fight that kept us from speaking for days. We had come to an impasse and needed help to break through. After calling for referrals from friends, making the appointment, meeting with the therapist and telling our story, we mended the original issue and learned what triggered it and how to avoid future disputes. Consulting with a specialist, a trained professional, is a responsible part of overall health. One would never hesitate to call for help with any physical ailment, nor do we pause to call a professional to work on our home or car. It is time for mental health to be viewed with that same respect and value. Nothing can be more important than caring for your mind and your emotions, both of which affect our bodies, decisions and reactions to life. Be the Olympian you want to be. Proudly find a therapist to be your life coach specialist who understands your needs and goals and helps you achieve them.

42  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018


Beat the Summer Heat Exposure Thermometer Guidelines By Claire Reed


y now, most Floridians know that we should apply plenty of sunscreen during the summer to help prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and sunburn. However, when the thermometer begins to spike, hotter temperatures also increase the chances of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration, something that every Floridian needs to be aware of. The following is a guide to staying healthy and safe in the summer sun.

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Temperatures in the 80s°

This is the summer weather that we Floridians dream about. Lounging by the pool, making our way to the nearest beach of our choosing and having picnics at the park. However, the heat can cause you to become tired more easily, especially if you start an activity such as playing basketball or tossing a Frisbee around. The possibility of heat rash also increases, as the pores in your skin can become blocked by sweat. Make sure to drink plenty of water, about 16 to 32 ounces hourly, so that you stay hydrated. Light-colored clothing also helps reflect the sun’s rays; avoid dark-colored clothing, as it absorbs heat.

Temperatures in the 90s°

This is the summer weather that we Floridians have come to expect as normal. As the temperatures rise, so does the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Heat cramps are brief muscle spasms due to a severe lack of water in the body, usually from large amounts of sweat produced. To help combat these symptoms, drink lots of fluids, change into loose clothing, take a cold bath or shower and apply a cold compress. Seek medical attention if you become overheated.

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Beachton Denture Clinic 2515 US-319 Thomasville, GA 31792 229-233-0249 • tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 43

wellness real life

Using FEAR

as Your FIRE By Ellie Bright


ne of the worst things that we do is women is doubt ourselves. As hard-working women who strive for greatness, we sometimes don’t take chances or make a leap of faith because we fear failure. Fear is in response to survival, but as Winston Churchill points out, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” So as powerful, intelligent women, how do we break out of our comfort zone and face our fear of failure head on? How do we turn fear from a stopping point into a growing point? Follow these tips to help turn your fears into the fire of encouragement that will move your life forward.

Explore your fear, don’t wallow in it.

Because fear is healthy for our survival, having small amounts of fear is normal and even beneficial. But when that 44  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

fear becomes overwhelming, we can be crippled by it. If your fear seems unhealthy or overbearing, try to find a way to address it and learn from it. How can you help yourself find a healthy balance? Face your fear one step at a time. A good way to take steps in analyzing your fear is to keep a daily journal of the emotions and mental roadblocks that arise when you encounter it.

Your fears do not define you.

Whether you fear that someone is a better communicator or that someone has more skills and experience than you, just remember that your fears do not define you. Everyone grows at their own pace. Instead of being bogged down by fear, make it a challenge to push yourself as a communicator or step outside of your comfort zone to gain more experience. Flipping your perspective on

fear will offer you to find relief and give you the chance to grow and become a stronger woman.

Make yourself a priority.

If you care too much about the opinions of others, you will be trapped in fear of disappointing them. Leave those fears behind you and work on making yourself and your needs a top priority. By making yourself happy, others will commend your positivity and self-care.

Ask for help.

Although it can be intimidating to ask questions, asking for help is never a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of constant growth and curiosity. Asking for a second opinion or even bouncing ideas off of someone can be a great way to learn something new and find a new perspective or an alternative to an old way of doing things.

“Going into our tenth year of business in Tallahassee, we have had the opportunity to use nearly every form of available media advertising. We pride ourselves in being professional and very customer and results oriented and choose to do business with like-minded entities. For these reasons, we choose to spend our hard earned dollars with Tallahassee Woman Magazine. We find them to be creative, responsive to our particular needs and most importantly effective in getting our word out to our clientele base as well as exposing us to untapped markets.“ - Lisa Mergel, Owner of Kanvas Beauty, advertiser since 2013 TM

Kanvas Beauty is just one of the many businesses that is part of the economic fiber of the community. At Tallahassee Woman, our goal is to help other businesses reach the community with information on their goods and services. We value our advertisers in supporting the women of Tallahassee. Call today to see how we can help you grow your business through effective advertising. tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 45

family life

Summer Child Care The Most Grueling Season By Chanta G. Combs


arch is really when it begins, with the peak arriving in late June or early July...the season during which every mom—but especially those with jobs outside of their maternal duties— wonders if we have the mental acuity or the physical endurance to manage, much less survive summer camp season. The complex scheduling, the endless paperwork, driving all over town, the litany of questions about swimming skills, vaccinations and food allergies…taken together, they create a mindboggling angst about summer break. Thankfully, our fair city provides an abundance of options for our children to learn, play and explore while they are out of school. Overnight camps, academic camps, art camps, faith camps, sports camps, nature camps…the choices seem unlimited. With so many options, we can spend hours researching various camps’ credentials, asking for recommendations from other parents, and selecting the right camps for our children’s ages, interests and skills—not to mention our own schedules and budgets.

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So, where is a mom to begin? Fortunately, several online resources provide a one-stop shop by aggregating the city’s numerous summer camp options and providing easy-to-use search engines. Accordingly, overwhelmed moms can review all the choices on one website and shop based on price, duration, age, gender, skills and interests. Teachers, churches, the city’s universities and other community organizations like theaters, art studios, museums and parks also serve as great resources. Moms should also not hesitate to meet with camp program directors to tour the facilities and discuss summertime goals for their kids. And then, of course, incessant fretting ensues because we know that saying yes to one option means saying no to another equally amazing opportunity. Fortunately, many camps permit weekly or daily registrations, thereby allowing you and your campers to try a smorgasbord of activities all summer. Many camps also provide programs that last throughout the summer, thereby reducing planning,

transportation and other burdens for busy moms. If you choose weekly or daily options, each camp has its own distinct enrollment forms, payment options, start and end times, lunch and snack options and requirements for participation. Thus, you find yourself dreaming about whether you packed a swimsuit, towel and bug repellent on a day when your child really needed his oboe and sheets of music. “Summer break is exhausting,” conceded Leah Marino, a mom and practicing attorney in Tallahassee. “I create a weekly spreadsheet from June to August so that my family knows where to be and when to be there every week.” In addition to tracking your weekly whereabouts, you and your children can create daily checklists to ensure that everybody in your household knows and is accountable for whether to pack a lunch, include sunscreen, or grab art supplies for each day’s activities. Books and online resources are also available to help you organize the diversity of your weekly and daily camp schedules.

Cost is another factor that weighs on moms this time of year. Some camps cost several hundred dollars per week (or, in some cases, for half a week), while less expensive camps may not offer all the facilities or services that parents seek. “I like to provide my child with an enjoyable summer because it is, after all, summer break,” Leah said. “But once you factor in cost, schedule, interests, dislikes and everything else, making everyone happy really becomes difficult.” Some camps charge minimal or no fees, and many others may offer early registration discounts, scholarships or grants, sibling discounts and payment plans to help families finance their summertime plans. When researching camps, busy moms should not hesitate to ask program directors about payment policies. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to use pre-tax dollars in your dependent care flexible spending account to pay for summer camp. So, as our children frolic in the fields, pools, laboratories and other camp venues around town, Tallahassee moms spend our summer months staying mentally limber, logistically agile and exceedingly organized in order to navigate our diverse summer camp schedules.


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tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 47

food the dish

SUMMER Pick Your Own Adventure By Ellie Bright



Blackberry Crisp


rowing up on a farm is one of my most treasured experiences. My summers were spent outside, on the water or up at the pasture picking blackberries. I would wear my little cowgirl boots, make sure I had on enough sunscreen and bug spray and hop in the golf cart with my family to go blackberry picking. Although picking was always fun, eating my momma’s blackberry crisp at the end of a summer day makes the memories all the more sweeter.


3 to 4 cups fresh blackberries Juice of 1 lemon ½ cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch For the topping: ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup old fashioned oats ½ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup butter


• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. • Add berries to a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a pie dish. Add lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch and stir together. • In a medium-sized bowl, add flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. • Stir until well combined. Add butter and use a fork or pastry blender to mix together until crumbly. • Sprinkle evenly over berry mixture. • Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and topping is lightly browned. • Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Easy ways to use freshly picked berries: • Freeze berries to use for ice cubes in water or other beverages. • Add berries to a muffin or bread mix. • Make your own homemade jam.

• Add berries to your yogurt, granola mix, or cereal. • Use them in smoothies or salads.

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ummer is a time for fun, outdoor experiences with the family. This summer, consider taking your family or friends to a U-Pick farm where you can spend the day picking blueberries, blackberries and other fruits for the perfect summer snack. With farms close to the Tallahassee area, including Monticello and Crawfordville, this will be a fun, local way to spend a weekend outdoors. Enjoy nature and the sweet taste of blueberries and blackberries while making memories to last a lifetime. Just be sure to pack sunscreen, comfy shoes and bug spray for this familyfriendly adventure.

Blue Sky Farm

What used to be a barren plot of land covered in weeds has now been transformed into a blueberry haven. With over 350 blueberry bushes, this Monticello farm is an exciting family getaway. Blue Sky Farm also features many different types of delicious blueberry varieties, such as Brightwells, Bluebells, True Blues and so many more.

Green Meadows Farm

The perfect time to come to Green Meadows farm is now! This small, family-owned farm is welcoming to wildlife and gives families a taste of the countryside of Tallahassee. Located just outside of the city in Monticello, this is a great family getaway. They even sell delicious blueberry treats.

Jubilee Orchards Blueberry U-Pick

Located off of Miccosukee Road, Jubilee Orchards is the perfect place for blueberry picking. Blueberries will cost $6 to $10 per pound, but the incredible

memories are free. Jubilee Orchards even provides containers for you to fill with your pickings.

Orchard Pond Farms

Located right here in Tallahassee, Orchard Pond Farms, is the perfect place to spend a sunny day outdoors. They offer farm tours that allow members of the community to experience their sustainable farming practices. Farm tours include exploring the farm as well as their greenhouses, equipment and beehives and also involve a hands-on activity and honey tasting. You can even become an active volunteer by harvesting the produce and maintaining the gardens of Orchard Pond.


Saldino's Red Barn Farm

Saladino’s Red Barn Farm offers a beautiful and tasty blueberry-picking experience. They advertise that you can pick and eat the blueberries at the same time, making it a fun and delicious adventure. This farm also provides buckets and bags for all of your picking needs. Saladino’s Red Barn Farm is located in Crawfordville.

Wakulla Berries

Wakulla Berries, also located in Crawfordville, is the perfect place to find plump, delicious blackberries. Since blackberry vines have no thorns, this picking experience will be fun and harmless for the whole family. These blackberries will be available for $9 a quart.

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

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tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 49


Rolling Into Family Dinner on the Crazy Train by Lisa A. Beach


sk any parent about one of their worst times of day, and a good chunk of them will say the hour right before the family dinner. Between trying to figure out what to make for dinner and the boys coming out of their homework haze, family dinner chaos rolls into our household right on schedule, like Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” (Imagine Osbourne’s maniacal laughter—“ALL ABOARD! Hahahaha.”) With two teens in the house, I figured I would have mastered this time of day about a decade ago. Nope. Come along for a ride on the Family Dinner Crazy Train.

30 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER It starts out quietly enough, with my younger son Parker playing video games downstairs and my older son Trevor upstairs just chilling out in his bedroom. I put on smooth jazz in the background to create a relaxing ambience for dinner. I’m up to my elbows in raw chicken when Parker texts me from 15 feet away asking for a drink of water. Yeah, let me scrub the E. coli off my hands to serve you a drink just so you don’t have to pause your video game. As I ignore Parker’s thirst and continue my multi-tasking dinner prep, I ping-pong back and forth (with butcher knife in hand) between the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink, as our cat Shadow repeatedly darts between my feet and trips me. I think he’s secretly trying to kill me. “Would someone please feed the cat?” I call out, hoping someone will rise to the challenge. (No one does, of course, but a mom can dream, can’t she?) 50  tallahassee woman • june / july 2018

25 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER The phone rings. With raw chicken still coating my hands like a mitten, I grab the phone with my elbows, slide it onto the counter, and press the speakerphone button with a spoon. It's my husband Kevin calling to chat during his 45-minute commute home. As I listen to Kevin vent about some guy who just cut him off, I realize I forgot to start cooking the rice. Crap. The doorbell rings. “Parker, can you please answer the front door?” “I can get the front door, but will I?” Parker responds in his trademark wise-guy tone.

Can you please handle it before I trip over Shadow and stab myself with the knife?” We verbally volley about whose turn it is to feed the cat and how it’s not fair that he has to do Trevor’s job and Shadow’s

not really hungry yet and he’s so fat that it wouldn’t hurt if he skipped a meal.

Parker answers the door and politely rejects some guy hawking pressure-washing services. Yes, 5:30 p.m. is a great time to go door-to-door promoting your small business, young entrepreneur. Let me abandon my stir fry while I come talk to you about my moldy sidewalks.

“FEED THE CAT NOW!” I bellow above the freakin' smooth jazz that's starting to irritate me.

Meanwhile, Shadow continues to work our kitchen like a pinball machine, ricocheting between my leg, the fridge, and the cupboard.

Don’t push my buttons, boy, or I will grab you with my E. coli hands.

20 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER “Parker, can you please feed the cat?” I ask again. “I fed him in the morning,” Parker replies with split-second timing. “No, you were supposed to feed him in the morning, but you forgot, so I fed him.

“O-KAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!” Parker replies, drawing it out into a five-syllable word and rolling his eyes.

It takes Parker 4 seconds to feed the cat. We argued about it for 5 minutes.

15 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER As I start cooking the stir fry, I ask, “Hey boys, can one of you set the dinner table?” “It’s not my job,” they both reply in unison. We’ve had a chore chart on our refrigerator since 2005. Apparently, it’s

never anyone’s job. “Trevor, it’s your turn. Please set the table.”


“Okay,” I hear in a muffled voice from upstairs, instinctively knowing that Trevor will not come downstairs anytime soon.

Suddenly, I hear a small voice coming from our counter, like a page right out of Horton Hears a Who. I forgot I was still talking to Kevin on speakerphone, as I catch the tail-end of his frustrations with the no-jeans policy at work.


I pour myself a glass of wine to ease the stress I feel creeping into my shoulders enjoy with dinner.

5 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER Trevor finally comes downstairs to set the table, which he does one-handed because he’s watching a YouTube video on his cell phone. “Phone away, Trevor,” I tell him. He looks up at me, unplugs one earbud and asks, “What?” “Put your phone away. You’re down with the family now. Time to interact.”

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with “pick a fight with your brother,” as he walks over to Parker, laughs at one of his video game moves and kicks off our daily family drama that rivals an episode of Mob Wives. Bickering ensues, insults fly and namecalling spirals out of control just as Kevin walks through the door and I greet him with, “STOP CALLING YOUR BROTHER AN IDIOT! THAT'S IT! YOU LOSE VIDEOGAMES FOR A YEAR!”

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“Geez, Mom, stop overreacting,” Parker says. “You don't have to bite my head off.” And there it is. I officially reach the Crazy Train destination of (bat)-head-biting Ozzy. I’m thinking he was probably inspired to write his song lyrics after watching Sharon try to cook the family dinner one night: “Mental wounds not healing Driving me insane I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.” ALL ABOARD!

About the author: Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist and copywriter. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Eating Well, Good Housekeeping, USA Today Back to School, Parents, and more. Check out her writer’s website at

2695 Capital Circle NE Tallahassee, FL 32308


Apparently, Trevor confuses “interact” tallahassee woman • june / july 2018 51

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