Tallahassee Woman Magazine February - March 2024

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Make Your Mark Red Snapper & Polenta

The "Rizz" Factor Madame Xhales in Egypt Mindset and Real Estate




Stay At Home Girlfriends

Fit, Strong & Healthy. For myself, for my kids, for my family. Brittany lost over 200 pounds with Tallahassee Memorial’s Obesity Medicine and Bariatric Surgery programs. If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, visit TMH.ORG/WeightLoss.

Private wealth solutions for what’s next. And for what happens after that. When you’re ready to focus on the future, Synovus is the partner to help you get more out of life. Partner with a team of experienced wealth advisors to help you build a brighter future for decades and generations to come.

Start your journey at synovus.com/wealth. Investment products and services provided by Synovus are offered through Synovus Securities, Inc. (“SSI”), Synovus Trust Company, N.A. (“STC”) and Creative Financial Group, a division of SSI. Trust services for Synovus are provided by Synovus Trust Company, N.A. The registered brokerdealer offering brokerage products for Synovus is Synovus Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC and an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Investment products and services are not FDIC insured, are not deposits of or other obligations of Synovus Bank, are not guaranteed by Synovus Bank and involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal amount invested. Synovus Securities, Inc. is a subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp and an affiliate of Synovus Bank and Synovus Trust. Synovus Trust Company, N.A. is a subsidiary of Synovus Bank.

















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tallahassee woman | 4 | february • march 2024



February - March 2024 • Volume 19 • Issue 2

CRISTINA CARTER Relationship Manager

BRIANA SMITH Creative Consultant

PAULA DEBOLES-JOHNSON Director of Leadership Initiatives

Publisher | Editor-in-Chief Dr. Michelle Mitcham

REGINA LYNCH HUDSON Director of Luxury Travel


Executive Editor

OLIVIA HEYWARD Creative Director

TALLAHASSEE WOMAN MAGAZINE is a publication of Mitcham Media Group LLC Post Office Box 16616 Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone (850) 739-1720 publisher@TalWoman.com Tallahassee Woman is published six times per year and is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding communities. ADVERTISING For advertising, visit talwoman.com, call (850) 893-9624, or e-mail ads@TalWoman.com. The information in this publication is presented in good faith. The publisher does not guarantee accuracy or assume responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright © 2024 Mitcham Media Group LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without expressed written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.





Kira Derryberry is a Tallahassee-based portrait photographer specializing in families, headshots and boudoir and commercial photography. She books locally in Tallahasee and is available for travel worldwide. View Kira's portfolio online at kiraderryberry.com


Jane Marks is a licensed psychotherapist "life coach" with more than 50 years of experience specializing in child and adolescent behavior. She is a motivational speaker/lecturer focusing on mental health and adolescents.


Dr. Jeanne O'Kon is a member of the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. She is a psychologist and teaches psychology at Flagler College Tallahassee. She taught the "Psychology of Women" course for many years, and has dedicated years to work focused on women and girls in our community.


ASHLEY LYNN FISCHER Florida State University

tallahassee woman | 6 | february • march 2024

HEATHER TOUBY Florida State University

KAITLYN WALSH Florida State University



t the Community Foundation of North Florida (CFNF), we understand that your philanthropic journey is personal and not a one-size-fits-all approach. Our goal is to first comprehend your philanthropic "why." Subsequently, we aim to assist you in aligning your "why" with the appropriate charitable giving tools to maximize the impact of your gift—not only for today but for generations to come.

Life Insurance and Testamentary Gifts: Both life insurance and testamentary gifts serve as impactful legacy gifts that can benefit our community in the future. Charitable Trust: A charitable trust offers financial flexibility, providing tax and estate planning advantages while supporting your chosen charity.

Explore these six charitable giving tools that you can utilize to establish a fund at CFNF and create an impact in our community:

IRA Required Minimum Distributions (IRA RMD): Consider using your annual withdrawal as a contribution to a fund at CFNF and/or your chosen charity.

Cash Gift: Cash gifts can establish a fund at CFNF and provide immediate support to your favorite charities.

Donor-Advised Funds: Establishing a donor-advised fund allows you to benefit our community both now and in the future.

Appreciated Assets: Gifting appreciated assets, such as stocks, is an excellent way to support your preferred charities and gain maximum tax benefits, including avoiding capital gains taxes.

At CFNF, our mission is to assist individuals and businesses in utilizing charitable giving tools to create a lasting impact in our community. Connecting your philanthropic "why" with the right charitable giving tool will not only benefit our community but can also make a meaningful difference for years to come.

tallahassee woman | 7 | february • march 2024

Talent Shaping Tallahassee Recently promoted to Director of Planning, Dr. Laurel Harbin brings nearly a decade of public service in planning, in addition to private sector and university-level adjunct faculty and lecturer experience, to her new role. Since joining the City of Tallahassee’s planning department in 2015, Harbin has worked in multiple roles and specialty areas including Land Use Planning, Special Projects and Administration. With the planning department, Harbin leads projects that intersect urban design, land use and community engagement. She enjoys opportunities to facilitate community conversations and bring good projects to fruition that make a positive impact in Tallahassee-Leon County. Harbin has led Midtown placemaking efforts, stakeholder engagement through listening sessions and Architectural Design Review for historic properties as a member of the Architectural Review Board. A strategic focus to long-term planning goals and engaging directly with community members representing local neighborhoods, organizations and businesses allows Harbin to direct planning projects that align with community needs now and in the future. In addition to her leadership role with Tallahassee-Leon County, Harbin shares her expertise through board service for the Capital Area Section of the American Planning Association (APA), as a featured presenter for APA Florida conferences and published author in Florida Planning Magazine and as a volunteer with the Urban Land Institute engaging local high schoolers in planning. To learn more about Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department's expertise in the areas of long-range land use, environmental and transportation planning, visit Talgov.com/Planning.


The City of Tallahassee is the largest single provider of municipal services in the region, including police, fire, public transportation, electric, gas, water, parks and more. As Human Resources and Workforce Development Manager, Sondra Timpson works each day to hire and retain employees who pride themselves on providing exceptional customer service and doing great things to create a strong, vibrant community. Timpson, who earned her juris doctorate from Western Michigan University, joined the City in 2022 following more than a decade of public service with the State of Florida. Today, she enjoys the camaraderie of the City’s workforce and the variety of her day-to-day work to support staff across departments who are serving the public in different environments. Timpson’s role requires the ability to multitask, relay clear and concise information and maintain a high level of organization. Developing policies and procedures for a diverse workforce in line with the City’s strategic plan are key components of Timpson’s work. When challenges arise, she uses skills developed as a certified mediator to find common ground and create effective solutions. Timpson leads with a passion for public service. Across the organization, this commitment to best-in-class service delivery has led to organizational achievements including being named a two-time All-America City, No. 1 Public Utility in the nation, Most Livable City and one of the South’s Best Cities. To learn more about how you can do great things as a City of Tallahassee employee, visit Talgov.com/Jobs.



Dear Empowered Women of Tallahassee,


n this special edition of Tallahassee Woman Magazine, we gather together to celebrate the phenomenal strength and resilience of women like Dana Brooks, who graces our cover as a vivacious and unstoppable powerhouse. Don’t miss her powerful interview with our guest editor, Ms. Katherine L. Viker. Esq. As we embrace Women’s History Month in March, we honor the indomitable spirit of those who have come before us and the fierce ambition that propels us forward. In a world that often challenges and doubts us, remember that no dream is too big. Embrace every obstacle and doubt as fuel to become the best version of yourself. True motivation springs from within, so never give up. Hold onto hope and optimism, and if you stumble, rise again with unwavering determination. Confidence and self-belief are your allies on this journey, and success is merely failure turned inside out.

Photo by Kira Derryberry Photography

When one door closes, have the courage to seek the open window or forge a new pathway. Don’t let anyone stifle your creativity or belittle your ideas. Follow your dreams relentlessly, for you possess the ability to be a multifaceted force. The notion of the “multi-hyphenate” expands beyond the boundaries of a singular talent. It encompasses the many passions, talents, and streams of income that make you whole. So, dare to explore and embrace the vast possibilities that lie before you. On behalf of the Tallahassee Woman Magazine team, we celebrate you, embrace you,

and encourage you to live your best life. Women’s History Month is a time to honor the dynamic and courageous women who have defied the odds. It is a call to action, urging us all to seize our power and never surrender. Within these pages, you will find stories that ignite your spirit and remind you of your limitless potential. Let the words of our contributors empower you, inspire you, and propel you toward even more greatness. Together, let us create a legacy of resilience and determination to inspire future generations.

for being a part of this incredible journey. May you find strength, inspiration, and unwavering belief in your extraordinary power. We look forward to seeing you on March 20 for the annual Women on Fire Awards and WWMB expo!! With

From the depths of our souls, we thank you



Dr. Michelle Mitcham

Publisher and President tallahassee woman | 10 | february • march 2024




tallahassee woman | 11 | february • march 2024

GUEST EDITOR LETTER Being raised by and alongside the remarkable women of Tallahassee is a gift and an honor. The sisterhood of Tallahassee, undeniably one of our most valuable resources, consists of strong, capable, and brilliant women -Katherine L. Viker

adults. We sang fun songs, songs filled with hope, some love songs, and even belted out Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

Katherine L. Viker


s a Tallahassee native, I cannot envision another community where I'd prefer to live and raise my children. This is largely due to the remarkable women in our community. The ladies of Tallahassee have consistently been my rock. Whether as a child, an adult, a wife, a mother, or a single parent, at every life stage, I have been surrounded by strong, capable, and brilliant women. These women set an example, seamlessly blending charm with a strength that surpasses the imagination of anyone who might mistake that charm for weakness. The sisterhood of Tallahassee is undeniably one of our most valuable resources. Being raised by you and alongside you is a gift. It is my honor to remain among you. Whether you were born here or chose Tallahassee as your home, if you are reading this, you are one of us. I have shared many days and nights with you—laughing, crying, singing into hairbrushes—both as children and

With immense joy, I introduce you to one of my favorite hairbrush co-singers, Dana Brooks. As the song goes, “Maybe looks a little sassy, But to me, she’s real classy… She’s my Tallahassee Lassie, Down in F-L-A.” You all are, and I thank you for being you.

Katherine L. Viker is an attorney specializing in civil rights, discrimination, and entertainment law with Marie A. Mattox PA. A fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, she fought to expose transgender bias locally and statewide, bringing the first transgender discrimination lawsuit to the local EEOC. Katherine recently served as lead counsel in the widely publicized Ed Sheeran copyright infringement lawsuit in New York, proudly representing the family and owners of the legendary song “Let’s Get it On”.

tallahassee woman | 12 | february • march 2024

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s we say goodbye to winter, it's time to embrace the refreshing energy of spring. Our carefully curated fashion guide is here to help you effortlessly transition your wardrobe from daytime brunches to enchanting evening soirees. Picture yourself in beautiful floral dresses paired with pastel, bold, and vibrant accessories that perfectly capture the soft and lively colors of a springtime sunset. With these essential pieces, you'll have the freedom to mix and match and create versatile and stylish looks.


Whether you're a trendsetter or someone who appreciates timeless elegance, spring fashion has something for everyone. This season, we hope to see the women of Tallahassee embracing the art of fashion and celebrating the arrival of this blossoming season. Let your outfit tell a story of grace, vibrancy, and the joy of new beginnings. Allow your style to bloom with the spirit of spring.

tallahassee woman | 14 | february • march 2024

tallahassee woman | 15 | february • march 2024

Fried Red Snapper Fingers & Polenta


alling all fish lovers! Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. We're about to introduce you to a game-changer in the world of fried fish fingers: red snapper. Yes, you heard that right! Step outside your comfort zone and indulge in the irresistible allure of red snapper fingers. This exquisite fish, known for its delicate flavor and succulent texture, will take your fried fish experience to a whole new level. So, buckle up and prepare to be captivated by the mouthwatering fusion of flavors and textures as we dive into the realm of fried red snapper fingers and organic polenta. Get ready to elevate your seafood game and unleash your inner foodie. This is a culinary journey you don't want to miss! It's ideal for busy families or professionals who want to cook a delicious meal for themselves or for entertaining guests. I personally love getting fresh red snapper fillets from Southern Seafood. I ask them to cut the fillets into strips, and then it's just a matter of following the simple directions to create an amazing quick meal!

Here's what you'll need: •1 1/2 pounds of wild red snapper, cut into strips or nuggets •Herbamare / Herbed Sea Salt (by A. Vogel) available online •Lemon pepper •Garlic powder •Optional: Old Bay seasoning or Jamaican dry jerk seasoning for a spicy kick •2 eggs •2 tablespoons of water for the egg wash •1 and a half cups of oat milk •Flour •1 cup of breadcrumbs (gluten-free if needed) make sure to have some hot sauce in your bag!

Instructions: 1. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towels. 2. Season the fish with a sweeping of Herbamare, followed by lemon pepper and a light dusting of garlic powder. Add Old Bay seasoning or Jamaican jerk seasoning if desired. 3. Prepare the egg wash by beating two eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. 4. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with 1 cup of canola oil. 5. In an oval, shallow bowl, mix oat milk, flour, breadcrumbs, and a small amount of each seasoning. Mix well. Alternatively, you can place this mixture in a large Ziploc bag. 6. Dip each piece of fish into the egg wash, then coat it in the flour breadcrumb mixture. 7. Using tongs, carefully drop each piece into the hot oil and fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove the fish and place it on paper towels to drain excess oil. tallahassee woman | 16 | february • march 2024

Polenta •1 cup of polenta (organic) •1 cup of water •1 cup of organic chicken broth •1 cup of almond milk or oat milk •1 teaspoon of salt •Half a stick of butter

Instructions: 1. Combine all the liquids in a pot and bring them to a boil. 2. Immediately add the salt and slowly pour in the cup of polenta, stirring constantly. 3. Add the butter, stir slowly, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. The combination of fried red snapper fingers and polenta makes a fabulous meal any time of the day. As an option, you can serve scrambled eggs on the side for breakfast.



NEW ALLIGATOR EXHIBIT COMING SPRING ’24! An awesome Alligator Exhibit is coming to the Tallahassee Museum this spring. Join us in welcoming five adult alligators to our already amazing lineup of natural wonders and adventures. TallahasseeMuseum.org

tallahassee woman | 17 | february • march 2024




his refreshing smoothie is not only a burst of flavors but also a nutritious kick to energize your spring days. Sip, savor, and embrace the vibrant essence of the season!

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced 1 cup pineapple chunks 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon honey (adjust to taste) 1 teaspoon chia seeds 1 cup coconut water Ice cubes (optional) INSTRUCTIONS: Prepare the Ingredients: Wash and prep all the fresh fruits and vegetables. Blend the Fruits: In a blender, combine the fresh strawberries, ripe mango, pineapple chunks, cucumber slices, and Greek yogurt. Add Sweetness: Drizzle honey into the mix, adjusting the amount based on your desired sweetness. Boost with Chia Seeds: Toss in chia seeds for an extra nutritional boost. These little seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Pour in the Liquid: Add coconut water to the blender. This not only enhances the tropical flavor but also provides essential electrolytes. Blend to Perfection: Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a colder consistency, throw in a handful of ice cubes and blend again. Serve and Enjoy: Pour your Luscious Spring Blossom Smoothie into a pretty glass. Garnish with a strawberry slice or a sprinkle of chia seeds if you're feeling fancy. This refreshing smoothie is not only a burst of flavors but also a nutritious kick to energize your spring days. Sip, savor, and embrace the vibrant essence of the season! tallahassee tallahassee woman woman || 19 2024 19 || february february •• january march 2024

By Rebecca Weaver



ew year, new you! Set a reading goal for your new year’s resolution! Midtown Reader has terrific recommendations to kick off 2024. And consider using a reading app to track your goal. (Several members of our team use StoryGraph – it’s terrific, and free!)

House of Flame and Shadow


Romance? Check. Fantasy? Check. Readers will be standing in line the night before pub date for Maas’ latest. Heroine Bryce struggles to find her way back to Midgard, trusting no-one. Meanwhile, Hunt is stuck in the Asteri’s dungeons. Can he escape and find Bryce? Maas fans won’t be disappointed.

In this day and age of Instagram, we know that quantity of friendships doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Elizabeth grew up wanting everyone to like her. But as an adult she realized that effort to be a good friend impacted her mental health. Covid forced her to think more about what friendship really means. This is a must read by the best-selling author of How to Fail.

By Sarah J. Maas

The Fury

By Alex Michaelides We can’t get enough of Michaelides’ twisty thrillers. Author of The Silent Patient and the Maidens, he’s back with this “cat and mouse” game that ends in murder. Former film star Lana Farra invites her friends to her private island each year. But old resentments rear their ugly heads. Buckle up for another great mystery.

Be A Revolution By Ijeoma Oluo

Multiple great reads of late detail racism and its impact on our society. So what can each of us do about it? Oluo gives specific direction on how to create lasting change and make a difference on a very personal level.

The Women

By Kristin Hannah Nightingale author Hannah is back! Nursing student Frankie McGrath decides to join the Army Nurse corps when her brother leaves for Vietnam. The chaos she encounters is life-changing. But equally troubling is the country to which she returns. How can she navigate the division of war and politics on the home front?

By Elizabeth Day

End of Story By A.J. Finn

Finn, author of the Woman in the Window, is back with another nonstop thriller! Detective fiction expert Nicky Hunter is invited to meet mystery writer Sebastian Trapp after corresponding with him for years. Why does he want to confide in her? Twenty years earlier his wife and son disappeared. Did the crime writer commit the crime?

Fourteen Days

By Margaret Atwood As always, Atwood brings it in this unique take on the pandemic. Lower East side residents of Manhattan gather together on an apartment rooftop to escape seclusion and gradually establish a sense of community. But in Atwood’s novel, each character is written by a different major author. She’s enlisted literary giants Celeste Ng, John Grish, Tommy Orange, Louise Erdrich, Neil Gaiman and Dave Eggers, along with others to narrate this wonderful tale

tallahassee woman | 20 | february • march 2024


International Women's Day MARCH 8

tallahassee woman | 22 | february • march 2024



♫ Everybody knows from the coy little wink The girl's got a lot on her mind She's got big thoughts, big dreams...


s a teenager, witnessing Sheila E. perform “Glamorous Life” left me in pure awe. I never imagined anyone could step into Sheila E.'s shoes, especially not capturing the essence of “Glamorous Life.” Then, I encountered Dana Brooks. Dana, with her statuesque presence, engaging smile, and long hair reminiscent of a lion's mane, leaves an indelible impression. However, what's even more remarkable is the multitude of roles she effortlessly embraces.

Brooks leads the way. Viker: In your own words, Dana – tell us who you are? “She’s that blonde TV lawyer.” Dana Brooks is a brand. It’s a significant part of me, but not all of me. What compels me to get out of bed in the morning is my responsibility to other people. Otherwise, I’d probably sleep in. What defines me is my genuine concern for others - how they navigate the world, how they're treated, and whether they're happy. Viker: You’ve been on television and billboards for years, a familiar face in this community; why share your story now?

For over a decade, Dana has been both a dear friend and a profound source of inspiration. We've shared the highest highs and weathered the lowest lows together. While aspects of her life may exude glamour today, it's crucial to dispel any notion of Dana being born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She fought fiercely and tirelessly for herself and, deliberately, for others. Along her journey, she has forged communities like the Empower Plant, aimed at propelling fellow women forward. She's not just a mother, a lawyer, and an author (I highly recommend her book, “Functional Feminism”), but also a force that challenged and defeated Florida's long-standing, blatantly sexist tampon tax.

“Because I’ve overcome the usual challenges many face: ACEs, a single-parent household, first-generation college graduate. But I've also overcome societal stigmas linked to my choices - delaying education, divorce, career changes, business ownership, and living fully as a single woman. I want women to feel empowered by their choices, not obligated to defend them.”

Beyond the allure of the glamorous life, Dana Brooks embodies the spirit of Annie Lennox's 90's hit, “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves!” Indeed, they are, and Dana

Viker: Can you share your journey of becoming a successful businesswoman and female leader? What were the key milestones or turning points along the way?

Viker: What are the core values you embody and promote? “Fairness. Justice. I believe everyone deserves a fair shot, but I'm not going to chew their food for them.”

“Just by looking at me, you would never know that I ever struggled a day in my life. That’s because I don’t lead with it. I don’t want that to be the first thing someone recalls about me.” “I only have about 10 hours of high school because I worked full time during my junior and senior years, handling the books for a law firm. I got married, had my daughter, and worked as a paralegal for years before returning to community college to get my A.A. Throughout my thirties, I worked full time and attended night school, earning my A.A., bachelor’s in social work, and masters in social work. I worked as a clinical social worker in an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital and with at-risk children in Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties. I became a family law mediator and eventually attended law school, graduating three days before turning 40. I worked full time all but the first semester of law school, never missing a concert, performance, or field trip with my daughter. I was determined that pursuing my education would not be at my family’s expense. If you want it badly enough, you can have it, but it’s not going to be easy. Viker: As someone deeply involved in community service and giving back, could you share why the community of Tallahassee holds such significance for you? Additionally, what are some of the causes or organizations that you actively volunteer for and advocate on behalf of, and why are they important to you? “I’ve lived in Tallahassee since 1991. My

tallahassee woman | 24 | february • march 2024


tallahassee woman | 25 | february • march 2024

COVER daughter was born and raised here. I was educated here. I’ve paid property taxes in Leon and surrounding counties for over 33 years, and I have over 50 employees and support countless other local vendors through my law firm, Fasig Brooks. Yet they still call me an outsider! (You people are a hard nut to crack.) (Viker: LOL – yes we are.) Seriously, if I’m going to live somewhere, I’m going to love it or I’ll move. I have homes in Leon and Wakulla counties, and I love the diversity of people, the amazing wildlife, the lakes, rivers, trails, springs, and beaches. The legislature, the colleges, all the young people and their leadership and potential. Tallahassee has a robust nonprofit community which is important to me because I want less reliance on government to solve social problems and greater involvement from the communities directly impacted by them. My primary focus has been on promoting and protecting women and girls so I direct my resources towards those organizations.” Viker: Most of us, I know I do, struggle with balancing a career and being a mom. What strategies or habits helped you maintain focus with a young daughter and achieve your goal? “I honestly did this in my head and with a calendar. I’d put my hard obligations on the calendar and reminders of where my husband and child were because he traveled frequently, and she lived part of the time with her father. I managed family needs by reading the room, honestly. If they needed me more or were being too dependent on me, the energy would change, and we’d have an adjustment. I believe strongly in trusting your intuition.” Viker: As a woman, what challenges did you face in traditionally male-dominated industries? Any advice you would give to other women facing similar challenges? “The biggest challenge is to not be so cool, you get ignored. For years “go along to get along” has been the method successful

women have employed in male-dominated workplaces. They become one of the boys because they don’t scoff at every diminutive reference to themselves and other women. They don’t gripe over every little physical contact or space invasion. They go to poker nights with their male partners so they can have a voice in business decisions just to come home smelling like cigar smoke to a husband with an attitude. The way I’ve effectively dealt with this is to act on it and not just roll my eyes or glance over at a female colleague who knows exactly what I’m talking about. If it happens to me or to someone else in front of me, I do something. Levity helps. But don’t let it go. Say or do something. Often the offender didn’t realize it was offensive because like most people, they’re only considering things from their own perspective. Don’t assume someone is an asshole. Often they’re just ignorant.” Viker: Was there a specific moment or experience that you realized the importance of empowering and inspiring other women in your career or personal life? “From the time I was an early teen, I was the one in the group to stand up for other people. I was the girl in high school who would take you to the doctor or help you talk to your parents. I think I’ve always been an advocate. I can’t stand a bully, although I have bully tendencies. I guess I’m the bully’s bully.” Viker: Many women find it difficult to believe that their success is deserved or is legitimately as a result of their own efforts or skills, imposter syndrome is the term. What, if any, strategies or mindset shifts have helped you overcome self-doubt? How do you stay confident and motivated in the face of challenges? “One of my law school professors demonstrated how we should lean into what is unique about us to be more comfortable and convincing in the courtroom. He said with me, I was obviously older than my classmates and I came off as “kind of aloof.”

I was taken aback because that’s not how I saw myself, but all of my classmates agreed with him. In my life, I’ve had employers tell me that I’m brazen, even arrogant. It stung at first, then I asked myself if they’d have said that to a man. #iftheanswerisnoletitgo Getting outside of my head and disregarding the opinions of a few, and instead, paying attention to the way others actually saw me, helped me get rid of any sense that I didn’t belong where I was. The other thing was to actually achieve all those credentials and positions I believed were only available to the very best. Once I got there, I realized I was not surrounded by geniuses, just people with advantages, perseverance, or some combination of the two. I’m an advertising lawyer, so I get recognized frequently and people really do treat me differently - better - because of it. That informs my behavior. I don’t struggle with confidence as much as I have to remember to be humble. To remember that in Tallahassee, there are a lot of lawyers. We’re not curing cancer and we all put our lashes on one eye at a time.” Viker: You are often described as “successful” but that is a big word. How do you define success? Has your definition evolved over time? What advice would you give to women who may be struggling to find their own definition of success? “Success to me now is doing more. More can be helping more people, taking on more challenges, learning more, traveling more, loving more, and yes, making more money. When I was a young, married mother, success looked like the opposite of my childhood experience: married, children, stable homeownership in a good neighborhood with great schools, nice cars, travel, professional and social prestige that puts you on a rat wheel because there is always something to be chasing, no finish line. It obligates you to one-up your last success or acquisition, all measured by others’ opinions. Success to me now is having the freedom to choose the life I want and to point to something and say, “this is the product of my efforts, and the world is better for it.”

tallahassee woman | 26 | february • march 2024

I want women to feel empowered by their choices not obligated to defend them.”


tallahassee woman | 27 | february • march 2024


Viker: I would describe you as a purposeful risk-taker. What role has risk-taking, stepping outside the proverbial box, played in your professional growth? Have you had any influential role models or mentors that have shaped your career trajectory? “Mentors? Not really. I have watched people from afar and I have plenty of sheroes, but I never had any formal mentors. I’ve had people take an interest in me and teach me things and give me opportunities I didn’t see offered to others, particularly when I was young. Something just told me to take them. My entire life can be summed up as, “someone who said, ‘yes’ to things.” Someone who was curious and brave enough to say, “Hell, why not? What’s the worst that can happen? This may just work out. Minimally I’ll have a new experience.” I would get in a car with a stranger to have a new experience. Even if it went south, I got a story or a lesson. But it always worked out. Again, I really believe in trusting your gut.” Viker: I know you stay motivated and continue to set new goals for yourself. What strategies do you use to maintain a sense of ambition and drive? “This is my greatest challenge. I am deadline-oriented, and I will finish something I commit to. I was able to get so many degrees because school is structured. There is a defined path, expectations are clear, deadlines are immutable, and failure is inconceivable. Being a trial lawyer is much the same - expectations are clear, the rules are defined, it revolves around a calendar, and failure is existential. Without external obligations, I tend towards hedonism. Between something I don’t want to do and something I want to do, want to do wins every time. Eventually I learned to properly delegate and that resulted in me having a lot of free time. That’s good because to grow, you need time to explore new opportunities. Now I do things that only I can do. If someone else can do it, they should do it. But I feel sometimes like a child in a candy store. I have too many choices and all of them are good.”

with what you’ve got - if you’ve got peace and purpose, you’ve got enough. If you’re still worried you’re not successful or ambitious enough, sit down and talk to the people you admire and find out about their anxiety, apathy, depression, substance abuse, and marital and professional discontent. The type of success most people aspire to comes at great cost. Be sure you are comfortable with your own definition of success before spending the best years of your life chasing it.” Viker: As a busy woman, it can be hard to prioritize self-care and mindfulness in your life, recognizing the importance of mental wellness. Could you share your personal recipe for success when it comes to practicing self-care and cultivating mindfulness, especially in the midst of a busy and ambitious lifestyle? “I don’t wash my own hair. My friends laughed at me for that for years, and now every salon offers blow-out packages. I look for efficiencies. I buy my time back. If I do my hair, that’s over an hour of time during which I can do nothing else. If I pay someone to wash my hair, I can text, return emails, meditate, listen to a podcast, or watch TikTok, depending on whether I want to relieve anxiety or recharge my battery. And lord knows it will look infinitely better with a pro at the helm. Added bonus, I will invariably run into or meet someone. 1 Gratitude and admiration to sisters Sheild E, Annie, Lenox Donna Summer (“Works Hard for The Money”) and Cyndi Lauper (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun) and the countless others who have and continue to inspire.

Viker: What advice would you give to young women who aspire to achieve success in their chosen fields? What are the key qualities or habits they should cultivate to reach their goals? “Understand what you’re chasing. If you want to be a doctor, ask yourself why. Is it the prestige? For your parents? Because you want to provide direct care. For the money? Find out and if you still want it for the right reason, take the time to dip your toe into it. Shadow a few people with that job/credential. Do a pre-med program for a year. Don’t tie success to titles and money. This isn’t the 90’s. No one cares what your life looks like; they only care about their own and people who seem to identify with their struggles. People can hardly afford groceries and housing on a $75,000 a year salary right now. Your Gucci sunglasses don’t make them feel any type of way. The younger generations know this better than mine did. Be happy tallahassee woman | 28 | february • march 2024


for women by women about women.

tallahassee woman | 29 | february • march 2024


Channeling Queen Nefertiti-Mina Samir

tallahassee woman | 30 | february • march 2024



Embarking on an extraordinary expedition to Egypt is an exhilarating escapade into enchanting landscapes! Every encounter, whether exploring enthralling tombs and temples or engaging with local culture, unfolds an enriching adventure. Exquisite scenery and an enthusiastic Egyptologist, guide, and translator, Ibrahim Morgan, enhanced the overall expedition. My long anticipated 30-year return to the Cradle of Civilization brought an emotional exhale—elevating the trip to the most epic of all times!

The Egyptian odyssey transported me back thousands of years to the dawn of civilization. From Cairo’s mythic Pyramids of Giza to legendary Luxor’s iconic Valley of the Kings and Queens and the colossal Karnak Temple Complex, ancient marvels left onlookers mesmerized. Navigating the chaotic Khan el-Khalili Bazaar and cruising the Nile revealed both Egypt's ancient past and vibrant present. Multiple felucca sailings along the sacred river at sunset were a highlight.

As I stood before an ancient mummy in Cairo's Egyptian Museum, wearing an heirloom bracelet depicting five generations of foremothers, I pondered the concept of preservation. Meticulously wrapped and entombed for centuries, the human relic whispered secrets from a bygone era. Like the mummy, my family’s stories and wisdom have been carefully preserved over generations. Whether through mummification or memories, preservation takes many forms, underscoring the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage and familial narratives.

When Egyptian President Sisi summoned Marwa El-Abed to his palace after seeing her on TV, she was driving a tricycle to work to support her father and younger brothers. Sisi admired her tenacity and hailed her as an exemplar of Egyptian pertallahassee woman | 31 | february • march 2024

Sisters of Shared Oppression- Courtland Bivens III

severance. Four years later, I had the privilege of riding along as Marwa, now a local celebrity, navigated Luxor's streets in her Suzuki van-turned-taxi adorned with images of herself and Sisi. Marwa forges ahead as a resilient trailblazer, championing inclusivity for Egyptian women.

A queen's spirit was channeled in Egypt, as I rode camels wearing a custom Nefertiti-style gold crown that glittered in the desert sun, pilgrimaged to Queen Nefaritari's tomb, and fellowshipped with veiled women who held themselves with the dignity of royalty. Over centuries, the eternal legacy of ancient Egyptian queens has been esteemed by those bearing their grace.

While Giza and Luxor host Egypt’s most famous ancient sites, the vast must-see list includes: Cairo: Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, Muhammad Ali Mosque; Giza: Pyramids of Giza, Great Sphinx of Giza,Saqqara Pyramids; Luxor: Karnak Temple Complex, Temple of Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Colossi of Memnon; Aswan: Abu Simbel; Edfu: Temple of Horus Great Pyramids of Giza - Omar Hamed Mahmoud

Cairo's Egyptian Museum - Courtland Bivens III tallahassee woman | 32 | february • march 2024

Exploring Karnak Temple Complex - Courtland Bivens III

Sailing the Sacred Nile

Veteran publicist and luxury lifestyle experience-aholic, Regina Lynch-Hudson, pens MadameXhales, slated towards the vintage of woman that according to studies: enjoys more time to travel, indulges in longer trips, and selects more extravagant travel accommodations. The exacting taste of MadameXhales finds her exploring destinations, cruises, resorts, spas, and extracurricular activities—where like-minded Xhalers have experienced inner-exhilaration! © Contact MadameXhales: thewritepublicist@earthlink.net tallahassee woman | 33 | february • march 2024


Dana Brooks


Managing Partner/Shareholder Fasig | Brooks Law Offices dana@fasigbrooks.com

If you have questions about this or any other legal topic, Dana can be reached at Fasig Brooks Law Offices, 850-777-7777. I’d be glad to help.

Girl, let's talk about SAHGs.

magine, you wake up at your leisure, spending the next several hours in your high-rise condo in Atlanta, Miami, or New York, indulging in the best body, hair, and skincare money can buy. You grab a latte from your ridiculously overpriced coffee machine and head to your dressing room to select your designer look for the day. The biggest problem you'll face is deciding which friends to meet for lunch and where to shop. Time and money become infinite resources when you agree to have sex on demand with a wealthy man, treating him like an exalted king, expressing immense gratitude for his generosity, and ensuring you never cause him any grief. This is the life of a stay-at-home girlfriend (SAHG). It sounds like a pretty good gig, at least for a minute. However, when you break it down, it's a risky, time-limited pursuit. When you tie your fate to a man's fortune, whether through marriage, cohabitation, or a questionable form of prostitution, you better be prepared for the big D's: death, disability, and divorce— or in this case, getting dumped. SAHGs don't enjoy the legal standing that wives do. Your access to your man's resources will be limited to what he allows and can be withheld at any time. If he passes away, don't expect his widow to continue taking care of you. If he becomes disabled, as older men and professional athletes tend to do, your lifestyle will be the first thing cut from the budget. If he grows tired of you or trades you in for a newer model, the law won't protect you as it would his wife. There's no alimony, marital home, or elective share for SAHGs. And since he controlled your money, you likely won't have the resources to fight a protracted legal battle against him or his estate.

Some SAHGs may have "agreements" with their men, but these are rarely written or tallahassee woman | 34 | february • march 2024

enforceable. If offered a contract outlining compensation, rights, responsibilities, and conditions for dissolution, consult an employment attorney before signing. Illegal contracts are unenforceable and could lead to criminal charges. Remember, if it looks, swims, and walks like a duck, it's probably prostitution. Thinking that having children with these men will secure your financial future is only partially correct. While child support may be ordered after establishing paternity, courts don't view a child's financial needs as infinite. Regardless of the parent's wealth, children only need so much money for a safe, healthy environment. Don't count on courts awarding you a financial windfall just because your child's father can afford it. Additionally, if you do receive child support, understand it is finite and modifiable as circumstances change. Relying on child support as your primary income isn't a sound financial plan. Although these men may develop genuine feelings for you, don't be surprised if you're replaced by the next shiny new thing that catches their eye. As an SAHG, you're using your least sustainable assets in endless competition with younger women. Counting on your youth, without health insurance or a 401(k), to maintain your lifestyle is risky. Spending money as fast as you can get it to impress friends won't build credit or accumulate wealth. Hopefully, you're getting your student loans paid and didn't forego college for this arrangement. Being an SAHG may seem appealing, but it puts you in a precarious position as it can all end at any time. In exchange for years of time and devotion, you'll be left with a closet full of designer clothes that no longer fit you when you find happiness. You'll be haunted by memories of sad, lonely nights, chronic lies, and serial disappointments. Worse yet, you'll have missed out on many decent people who would have welcomed the opportunity to fully love you. Invest in yourself and be more than just a girlfriend.

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tallahassee woman | 35 | february • march 2024

The Jewelry Making of Real Estate Investing

FROM THE DESK OF Happy Holidays, Dear Sisters!


ome of you may be giving gifts to celebrate friends and loved ones. Serving women is my life’s work, so I want to give you a little gift of knowledge this holiday season, and it is about wholesaling as a way to enter the real estate investing space. I want to first tell you a story. I am lucky enough to have two friends who each have their own unique jewelry stores. They travel to trade shows and host events to showcase their jewelry. One friend specifically does beadwork, and the other friend enjoys creating earrings that are statement pieces. Both women go to trade shows, online auctions, and e-commerce stores to select their favorite pieces from which to make jewelry. They purchase these pieces at wholesale prices before fashioning them into gorgeous necklaces and earrings. Then, they beautifully display these jewelry items at their events and shows. Someone like you comes along who is pressed for time with work, kids, grandkids, or other responsibilities. You don’t have the time to go select the pieces and then create our own custom jewelry, so you go to my friends’ unique jewelry stores and pick out already made, magnificent earrings or necklaces for yourself. You pay a retail price for these items. You get years of enjoyment from your jewelry, and my friends both earn a little money to provide for themselves or their families. This is a

Carrie Boyd

win/win exchange and one that happens every day in all types of businesses. My friends earned the difference between what they purchased the raw materials for at a wholesale price and what they sold the jewelry to you for at a retail price. Speed is the key for why we purchase items at retail. We know we could probably buy stones or jewels and make jewelry for less if we did it ourselves, yet we don’t have the time, desire, or skill to do so. What I have just described is precisely what wholesaling real estate is all about. Wholesalers work with sellers who are facing a challenge related to a property they own, and we help them solve problems so they can move on with their lives. We serve as the “middle women” who provide a service to the sellers and earn a little profit after the property is sold to an end buyer—just like the jewelry makers. Many sellers who desire to wholesale their properties are days away from bankruptcy or foreclosure due to circumstances outside of their control such as an illness or death in the family, or perhaps they have lost income and fallen behind on mortgage or tax payments with no relief in sight. Sometimes, sellers inherit properties they do not wish to own for a variety of reasons. These sellers don’t have the time or financial ability to list their property with a realtor and pay a commission. Often, our service is to help them relocate, negotiate with lienholders, take over their mortgage

payments to fix, flip, or rent their home ourselves or through an end buyer, etc. I cannot stress enough what I am about to say: we only work ethically and with tremendous care for our sellers. We treat them like a loved one in all interactions. We do not take advantage of people in distress, ever. If that is something someone is inclined to do, they have no business being a real estate wholesaler. It takes empathy, market knowledge, and negotiations skills to be a wholesaler; all these skills can be taught other than empathy as I’ve found you either have it or you do not. You do not need a license to be a wholesaler unless you are in IL or OK. You do not need any of your own money, credit, or financing to be a successful wholesaler. And, the risk to you is extremely low as you do not have to buy the property yourself. Wholesaling is a way to help families solve problems, earn a small fee at closing for your service (and that doesn’t come out of the sellers’ pockets), and create win/win situations that can truly change the sellers’ lives for the better. Now, this is a gift worthy of celebration!

kcarrie@networkreiwomen.com tallahassee woman | 36 | february • march 2024

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FROM STUDENT TO YOUNG PROFESSIONAL My Journey in Broadcast Journalism By Kaitlyn Walsh


mbarking on the journey of college as a young adult is an experience that is full of excitement, growth, and selfdiscovery. As a senior in college, you are at a crucial point in your academic and personal life, where you are transitioning into adulthood and preparing to enter the professional world. This phase of life is unlike any other, as you find yourself branching out, exploring different aspects of your identity, and creating lifelong friendships. One of the most significant aspects of being a college student is the opportunity to pursue your dream career. As a young adult and a senior in college, I know this firsthand. From my own experience of transferring to Florida State University in 2022, I have embarked on a journey to fulfill my dream of becoming a broadcast journalist. As I pursued a major in media and communication studies and a minor in journalism at Florida A&M, I was constantly pushing myself to learn new skills and seek out internships to enhance my career prospects. Join me as I share my insights and reflections on the unique experience of being a young adult and a senior in college, and how it has shaped my journey towards my dream career. I was absolutely thrilled when I landed my first internship. It was such a great opportunity to intern at News 4 Jax, a reputable news station in Jacksonville, Florida. I felt incredibly fortunate and grateful for the chance to gain real-world experience in a field I am passionate about. Following that internship, I returned to Tallahassee for my final year of school. I started interning at Tallahassee Woman Magazine, where I have had the pleasure of working with a fantastic group of talented and accomplished women. I am still interning with the magazine, and I have also taken on an internship at The Florida Channel. These experiences require me to dress professionally and conduct myself appropriately. As a professional, I pride myself on having excellent manners and being able to work well with others in a professional setting. However, it can be challenging to balance being a young adult with the demands of school. There are times when I have to prioritize my assignments or upcoming news pieces, which means I may not be able to spend as much time with my friends. It can be tough, but I believe it's worth it to pursue my passion and develop my skills. It's all about accomplishing tasks and staying motivated and determined to bring out your best self. There are times when we might not be able to complete all the work, but it's important to remember that we all face failures in life. The key is to pick yourself up and keep going!

tallahassee woman | 38 | february • march 2024

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ife can throw unexpected challenges our way, and it's important to know how to handle them. Whether you're the type to panic for a brief moment before taking charge, or someone who stays calm and collected in

Remember to communicate with others during challenging times. Having at least two trusted people you can reach out to for support is valuable. Don't hesitate to lean on them and rely on their assistance. This will not only strengthen your relationships but also provide an opportunity for you to reciprocate their support in the future. To ensure your safety and well-being, it's essential to maintain a medical information file. This file should contain important details such as your current medications, allergies, medical history, and emergency contacts. Make sure you know where this information is located and inform those close to you about its whereabouts. Building a strong healthcare team is crucial. It enables you to receive prompt and efficient medical solutions. Remember to follow the advice given by medical professionals. Sometimes, patients decide not to follow medical advice if they perceive the situation as not serious enough. However, it's important to prioritize your health and trust the recommendations provided by experts. Don't forget to prioritize self-care as well. Your well-being should be a priority, and that includes getting enough rest, staying hydrated, eating nutritious meals, and engaging in activities that promote your overall health. Take care of yourself so you can better handle any challenges that come your way.


the face of adversity, having a plan in place can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to help you process and navigate any situation that comes your way. Take a deep breath and try to stay calm. It's important to stay composed so you can effectively process the situation at hand. If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to allow yourself a brief moment of panic, but then gather yourself and focus on finding solutions.

Make sure to incorporate a dose of laughter into your daily routine. Humor and warmth can be incredibly helpful in tackling various situations. Adding a touch of humor to your coping strategies can greatly assist in managing stress. Stay on top of your health and receive the best possible care. This team should include doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals who understand your needs and are committed to helping you maintain your well-being. Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and ask questions to ensure that you are receiving the right treatment. Remember, your health is a collaborative effort between you and your healthcare team, so it's important to work together and communicate openly. With a strong support system and a proactive approach to your health, you can face any challenge with confidence and resilience. Keep these tips in mind and remember to prioritize your physical and mental well-being during difficult times.

tallahassee woman | 42 | february • march 2024

tallahassee woman | 43 | february • march 2024





s I sat with my granddaughter over dinner last week, she introduced me to a word that seemed to encapsulate everything that the younger generation aspires to be: “rizz.” A shortened version of “charisma,” it denotes self-confidence, magnetic charm, and an overall aura of coolness. Little did I know, just 3 days later, it would be announced as the Oxford 2023 word of the year. My granddaughter, always eager to keep me up to date with the latest trends, had unknowingly given me insight into the power of “rizz” and how it can impact our health. So, let's explore the concept of “rizz” and how we can harness it to elevate our well-being. Be mindful and confident in your communication. It's important to start with positive self-talk. When you believe in yourself and speak from a place of knowing, you exude confidence and others will believe in you too. Pay close attention to your body language.

By Jane Marks

Practice adopting open and confident body language by standing tall, making eye contact, and using expressive gestures to highlight your points. Being intentional with your body language will help you appear more put together and confident. Focus on clear communication. Work on improving your speaking and listening skills. Practice active listening by truly hearing and understanding others without just waiting for your turn to speak. Taking the time to listen to others and showing genuine interest will create a strong connection and boost your overall presence. Seek common ground with others. Practice finding mutual connections and interests. Smiling and being friendly will encourage a positive and welcoming environment. Embrace your true self and have confidence in who you are. Your authentic and genuine nature is what makes you shine. Remember, being honest and true to yourself is the key

to attracting others and forming meaningful connections. Don't be afraid to let your funny side show! Having a great sense of humor is a fantastic way to build rapport and create genuine bonds with others. So, go ahead and embrace your comedic talents, and watch how it brings joy and connection into your interactions. Just as my granddaughter has shown me the power of keeping up with what's trending, the word “rizz” has shown the power of staying current with language. But beyond being a popular slang term, it got me thinking about the “rizz” factor in our health. What if we all harnessed our energy and focused on upping our rizz game? With confidence, charm, and self-assuredness, we could make positive changes in our health and lives. So let's embrace the “rizz” and use it to elevate ourselves to new heights.

tallahassee woman | 44 | february • march 2024

Superb Landscape all the way around


award-winning landscape design AT

tallahassee woman | 45 | february • march 2024




t is encouraging in many ways that social advances continue to improve our society and our world. In spite of these changes, mistreatment of females by males, ranging from subtle forms of disrespect to more blatant, life-threatening violence, continue.

early age, they absorb flawed ideas about power in human relationships. Calling girls degrading names, assuming that girls cannot accomplish goals, interrupting girls and disregarding their opinions—these are just a few of the early behaviors that develop into more problematic behaviors and attitudes.

There is a learned disrespect toward women and girls when our society emphasizes aggressive, powerful, and unemotional patterns in males. Males are still given preferential treatment, and our society sanctions male authority (ask yourself, Why have we never had a woman president?). And while women have made progress in governmental and business positions, there remains a lingering pattern of assumed male supremacy. The media contributes to stereotyped gender-role definitions by portraying women and girls as helpless victims, sex objects, and even targets of violence. TV shows, movies, video games, and music lyrics continue to model these patterns.

Sexual harassment and violence against women are most often perpetrated by men. A cultural shift is needed to make more positive patterns a reality. By building better boys, who think and act differently from those of previous generations, a reversal in this widespread pattern of behavior is possible.

Young boys learn how to demonstrate respect and control their behavior during their pre-school and elementary years. Unfortunately, as children observe and internalize these patterns at an

Through parents and teachers, children can learn about the damaging effects of stereotypes upon all children. Learning respect for others begins at home, where boys learn about treatment of women and girls according to what they see in their own homes. When women and girls are treated with respect and dignity, the message goes a long way with young boys. Adult males can step up and correct any patterns of treating women and girls disrespectfully. This modeling is critical and provides a good start to a boy’s socialization. If there is not an appropriate male

tallahassee woman | 46 | february • march 2024

role model at home, mothers and sisters can communicate similar disapproval for inappropriate behaviors. Boys should be encouraged to play with toys beyond those that encourage competencies in sports and combat. Parents and teachers should discourage boys-only or -girls-only peer groups and insist on fair treatment for all children.

Some additional recommendations for parents and teachers include: 1) Limit children’s viewing of TV, movies, and video games that portray brutality and promote abusive behavior. 2) Teach boys effective, nonviolent methods of conflict resolution. Cooperation and communication skills become critically important as boys approach adolescence. 3) Provide opportunities for boys to participate in helpful and charitable activities. This teaches boys nurturance, compassion, and empathy. 4) Support gender equity by creating an equitable division of chores at home. Rotate chores so that girls and boys do equal amounts of work. Boys must learn to take care of their own daily needs. That includes learning to cook, clean, wash clothes, and other household chores. 5) Set an example. Speak and act toward children the way you would like children to speak and act toward others. Model kind and respectful behaviors. We all share the responsibility for serving as role models for the younger generation. All children deserve the opportunity to grow up healthy, strong and confident in a culture of respect and equity. Let us make this cultural shift toward greater equality a true reality.

tallahassee woman | 47 | february • march 2024

Navigating the Dating App Scene Trends and Statistics for Modern Women


hen you hear that somebody met somebody on an app what do you think? Have you evolved into

the modern woman? What does this actually mean? Are you a traditional girl or modern and inquisitive? It’s all a personal choice and there are no wrong answers. These are just rhetorical questions to get you thinking. As we approach the month of February, love is in the air, and for some, the search for that perfect Valentine's Day companion begins. Let’s delve into the world of online dating apps, exploring the latest trends, statistics, and insights that have shaped this new era of dating. The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey that revealed 34% of women describe themselves as single, with a significant number expressing a desire for a committed relationship, as well as the desire just stay single. As a matter fact, many single adults are content with their independence and prioritize other aspects of their lives. While there are undeniable advantages to being single,

such as the freedom to live life on your own terms and engage in limitless self-care, it's important to acknowledge the potential for loneliness that can arise from the absence of a romantic partner close or social network. For single and married ladies, in anticipation of Valentine's Day, consider adopting a proactive mindset and celebrate the joy of friendship. Consider organizing a Galentine’s-style gathering, where you and your closest girlfriends come together to honor your bond and enjoy the holiday in a non-romantic setting. By planning activities that bring you joy and fulfillment on Valentine's Day, you can create a memorable and empowering experience. Take this time to have authentic conversations with your girlfriends and celebrate. Think about who your ideal partner would be, and know that your dreams will manifest. The online dating scene has experienced exponential growth in recent years, with billions of users worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately 30% of all adults are using dating apps, with over 60% expressing a positive outlook on their experience. Among these users, 55% are female, and 45% prefer dating apps as their primary method of meeting potential partners. Interestingly, friend connections and paid platforms also play significant roles in the dating landscape.

der, and Bumble dominate the online dating market, there is an abundance of other platforms to explore, including Hinge, Badoo, Grindr, and Plenty of Fish. With such a wide array of options available, it's essential to stay informed about the latest trends and features offered by each app. We are hearing more and more success stories about finding that special person online through an app. There are many tips for navigating the digital dating landscape. Whether you're a seasoned online dater or new to the scene, empower yourself with the knowledge and confidence to make meaningful connections in the digital age. Safety is first. Take your time and don’t rush things and get to know the other person through texting, emails and phone conversations. Taking it slow texting, and speaking on the phone could save you a lot of time rather than going to meet them immediately. Once you’re comfortable with conversations over the phone, then you may consider meeting them for coffee, a smoothie, or lunch. Nothing serious. Just have time to check each other out and see if there is an authentic connection as well as something organic. Meeting someone online can be an exciting journey of love, self-discovery, and connection. Let us celebrate the power of modern women in Tallahassee, as we navigate the ever-evolving world of online dating. We would like to hear some of your success stories about meeting that perfect person online or on an app. Please send us your stories of 200 words or less to info@talwoman.com and your story may be featured in an upcoming issue.

Happy Galentine’s Day and Happy Valentine’s Day!

While familiar names like Match.com, Tintallahassee woman | 48 | february • march 2024

tallahassee woman | 49 | february • march 2024

Make Your Mark Challenging Ourselves to Leave a Mark on the World By Jane Marks


n today's fast-paced and often chaotic world, it is easy to become consumed with our own busy lives and lose sight of the impact we have on others. However, amidst the hustle and bustle, there is a powerful opportunity that lies within each and every one of us. We have the ability to make not only our own lives richer, but also the lives of those around us. Whether it be through simple acts of kindness, selfless service, expressing gratitude, or spreading joy, each of us possesses the power to make a unique imprint on our world. Not only does this have a profound effect on those we touch, but it also has a profound effect on our own well-being. By taking the time to give back and make a positive difference, we can experience a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and even improved health. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which we can all harness this opportunity to enrich our lives and the lives of others, ultimately creating a more compassionate and connected world. According to scientific findings, helping others pursue meaningful goals can have a significant impact on personal growth and happiness. Moreover, these contributions can give purpose and

meaning to our own lives. With that in mind, I wanted to share some helpful tips that I've learned from my husband and other admirable individuals who possess great generosity: 1. Trust is essential in building and maintaining relationships. Whenever you make a commitment or promise, do your best to fulfill it. By consistently performing small acts of kindness, you can create strong bonds that last. 2. Pay attention to the small acts of kindness happening around you. Simply acknowledging and appreciating others' generosity can inspire gratitude and foster a sense of hope. Don't hesitate to generously give compliments to those deserving of praise. 3. Please make an effort to fully focus on the people around you. Show that you are present and ready to help. Take the time to listen attentively and with genuine interest. Be a supportive partner in problem-solving and don't be afraid to ask, "How can I assist you?" 4. Lead with honesty, self-assurance, and empathy. Your positive attitude can have a ripple effect on those around you.

Recognize and appreciate the unique talents and contributions of others. You never know, you might be nurturing the next generation of change-makers. Remember to share the credit when good things happen, whether it involves your family, friends, colleagues, or community. Great achievements are rarely the work of one person alone. 5. Take the time to express deep gratitude to those who bring value into your life, no matter how big or small. Look for opportunities to give back more than you receive. Encourage others to dream big and be a source of inspiration, confidence, and support. Imagine if each of us took the time this week to intentionally embrace these steps. We would all fearlessly leave a mark on the world and redefine what’s possible. By taking small but intentional steps towards our goals and dreams, we can create a powerful ripple effect that inspires others to do the same. Let's challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zones and make a positive impact on the world. Together, we can achieve greatness and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

tallahassee woman | 50 | february • march 2024


In realms where dreams take flight on wings, Beneath the cosmic dance that springs. In valleys deep with hope's soft fire, A tapestry of dreams aspires. We are the weavers of this tale, Crafting stories that cannot fail. With every heartbeat, we create, A symphony of love, not fate. Through highs and lows, our spirits rise, A phoenix soaring to the skies. In every struggle, courage gleams, For in our unity, we find our dreams. Inspiration blooms in every soul, A masterpiece, an ever-growing scroll. In shadows dark, we find the light, Guiding us through the starlit night. We are the whispers in the breeze, The strength that grows from roots of trees. In unity, our power gleams, A tapestry of inspiring dreams. So let our voices echo far, A chorus strong, a guiding star. Together, hand in hand, we rise, A living poem that never dies.

tallahassee woman | 51 | february • march 2024


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