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It’s Summer! Soak Up the Sun, Play in the Sand & Dive Into the Water

June/July 2012

Dr. Lea Kristin Parsley Discovering the Wonder of Family DNA

Mother & Daughter Business Stories Sharing the Journey Together

Recapture Marriage Bliss Easy Ways to Say I Love You BACKYARD Party Inspiration Host a Wild West Round-Up


SUMMER READS t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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1 IN 10 NEEd a NEWborN ICU When it comes to the health and safety of your newborn, nothing is more important than choosing the right hospital for your delivery. With the region’s only Newborn ICU, over 75% of moms choose to have their babies at TMH. Make the safe choice. Your hospital for life...starts here.

The region’s only NICU. 2  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Ellie, born at TMH

Welcoming Dr. raWlings to tallahassee Plastic surgery clinic

Jeffrey M. Rawlings, MD, FACS, has been practicing cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in the Tallahassee community for 10 years. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

H. Louis Hill, Jr. M.D. – Retired June 15, 2012

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Dr. Rawlings believes that honesty and open communication with his patients are key factors in creating exceptional results.

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Contents Ta l l a h a s s e e W o m a n M a g a z i n e | J u n e /J u l y 2 0 12



On the Cover

Dr. Lea Kristin Parsley—Family: Nature’s Masterpiece A clinical geneticist and mother of seven has a unique perspective of the human genome and, in turn, of the meaning of family, where science and love come together to create its own work of art.



Minding Their Business

Meet five successful mother/daughter businesses that are making strides in their industries and in the community.

28 Sun, Sand & Water—The Best of Summer


• Timeless, fashionable pieces for your best summer looks in the sun.

• Playing in the Sand Isn’t Just for Kids—Florida State University

women’s sand volleyball coach, Danalee Corso, excels as a leader. • Be Safe in the Water This Summer



Our Thoughts


Girl Talk

36 38





Women We Admire


Funny Girl


About the Cover | Photography by Adam Cohen | Styling by Nancy Cohen | Clothes and jewelry provided by Cotton, Etc. 4  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Hidden Treasure

Books for summer reading, fashion advice, relationship tips, wedding ideas, travel apps, and more. Your Own Little Eden

The Dish

A Western Round-Up • Rx by DNA: the Tallahassee Memorial Clinical Genetics Center • Capital Regional Medical Center Presents Women’s Wellness Day

Elizabeth Danta Blount—One Health for Pets and People The Bridal Shower

I N E V E R Y I SS U E Capital City Gems 16 | Around Town 44 | Women to Watch 50

What is your body missing? Drugs can work...but shouldn’t natural come first?

& Attend a FREE Seminar June 12 & 25th. July 10 & 24th at 6:30 PM (Call to RSVP)

or Schedule a Consultation 850.270.6411











“When I was introduced to xR two years ago, I said, ‘Finally, a truly scientific approach to using bio-identical hormones, vitamins & supplements to optimize the health of all my patients!’ I am able to find what my patients are deficient in and have seen some amazing results, especially in regards to autoimmune disorders and other extremely difficult medical problems. My wife and I have personally experienced the same results by starting our own natural prescription. I look forward to helping you discover how your natural prescription can restore what your body is missing.”


your natural prescription.


—Les Emhof, MD., FACSG Tallahassee Family Medicine | 1525 Killearn Center Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309 t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n • J u n e / J u l y 2012  5 Individual results will vary. These statements have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA.


Hidden Treasure

“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


here’s nothing like the life lessons that come from hidden treasures. I have found a lot of them at the beach. Whether it’s the wonderment expressed by my children over a newfound shell after already filling up a bucket full of them, or seeing the sunset over the water and thinking that surely, this one must be more beautiful than the last, I’m learning the importance of looking for these washed-ashore gifts, and often finding them when, and where, I least expect it. One of those blessings in disguise came with the birth of my son, Cooper, and his diagnosis of MCAD deficiency (Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase) when he was three days old. MCAD is a genetic, metabolic disorder that prevents the body from converting certain fats to energy. Our world stopped spinning on its axis and when it started spinning again, it was in a whole new direction—one that opened my eyes forever to the fragility of life. I’ll never forget the early days of his diagnosis—the fear and the uncertainty, but also the peace and reassurance we gained from his doctors, other families dealing with metabolic disorders, and our family and friends. Because of early diagnosis and care management, Cooper, now four, will have a perfectly healthy life. His diagnosis became an unexpected gift. Every moment has become precious and I’m more aware and responsive to the needs of others. I also learned a lot about genetics. Genetically, we are all unique creations and hidden within us are treasures of microscopic proportions. Dr. Lea Kristin Parsley, TW’s cover woman, is a clinical geneticist and mother of seven. Through her passion for her patients, international adoption and motherhood, she is showing that when we bring out what is within us, we can literally change our own world and the lives of others. When it comes to living in Tallahassee, summer is a great time to try something new or rediscover a once familiar place. Whether it’s a new book, rekindling a relationship, or checking out one of our featured mother-daughter businesses, there are lots of ways to enrich your own life and find new delights in our city. Our feature on simple summer pleasures, such as sun, sand and water helps to express the idea that some of the best things in life are waiting for us right out our own front door. A lot of the time, the treasures that I’ll find in life have always been there, but I never took the time to slow down, pick them up, and marvel at the beauty of their design. Once I do, I realize that my bucket of keepsakes just keeps becoming more full. Out of all the shells on the beaches of my life, I’ll find one that is extraordinary, and then I feel that the ocean must have been saving it just for me, right at that moment. Because, really, hidden treasures are all around us just waiting to be discovered. I hope you find a few this summer.

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Heather Thomas Editor

Living Well and Loving Life! June/July 2012 Volume 7 | Issue 3

Publisher Kim Rosier Editor Heather Thomas Advertising sales Director Lynn Solomon GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings Miqueli INTERNS Ramona Connors • Tamara Smith Contributing EditorS Nancy Cohen • Randi Shiver Contributing photographers Shana Beiro • Adam Cohen Christie Meresse • Whitney Fletcher Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC Post Office Box 13401 Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone (850) 893-9624 Fax (850) 254­-7038 Tallahassee Woman is published six times per year and is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding communities. Subscriptions are available for $15 for one year (six issues). The information in this publication is presented in good faith. The publisher does not guarantee accuracy or assume responsibility for errors or omissions.


For more information on advertising, call (850) 893-9624 or e-mail

Copyright ©2012 by Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without express written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.

Erika Dunn, PA-C

Pamela S. Kennedy, MD

Kelley McGee, PA-C

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Great Summer Reads 8  t a l l a h a s s e e

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ummer is all about road trips, spending your days on the beach, and lounging around—all of which are made more complete with a book. There’s no better time to stop at your local bookstore or pick up your Kindle and get started on these must-read best sellers.

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (fiction) While on tour in Iraq, U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a young, beautiful woman buried in the dirt; a photograph that he decides to keep and appears to bring him luck. Unable to get the woman in the photo out of his mind, when Logan’s tour ends he goes on a mission to meet her so that he can let her know all the luck she has brought to him. To Logan’s surprise, he ends up falling in love with her, and realizes that it is not as easy as he expected to let her know who he is and how he has come to know her.

Stay Close by Harlan Coben (fiction) Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once walked on the wild side. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer who now finds himself posing as a paparazzo, and Jack is a detective who can’t let go of a case left unsolved 17 years ago. Three individuals living lives they never expected and hiding their deepest secrets. Each find out that the past never stays in the past and that no matter how much time goes by, it will catch up with you in one way or another. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer (nonfiction)

Joshua Foer recounts his yearlong quest to improve his memory through research as well as mental tricks, while under the influence of top “mental athletes.” This book is a great journalistic piece, showing us once again that we are all the sum of all our memories.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (nonfiction) After her mother’s death, Cheryl’s marriage ended and her family scattered, leaving her feeling like there was nothing else to lose. Knowing that she couldn’t fall any further than she already had, Cheryl made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. With no experience as a long-distance hiker, Cheryl set off on the 1,100-mile hike that took her from the shattered woman that she was and built her back up again.

The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan

(nonfiction) When Quinlan’s mother passed away she was heartbroken—that is until she goes on a search for her mother’s “God Box,” a collection of all her notes to God on behalf of families and friends. Quinlan reads each of the notes, getting insight on her mother’s hopes and prayers over the last 20 years, and feels as if she is reading her mother’s heart. Through the notes, Quinlan finds the strength, peace and inspiration that she needs to pick herself up and move on with her life. —Ramona Connors


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

You Are What You Wear


e’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat,” but new research suggests that isn’t all we are—we are also what we wear. According to research conducted at Northwestern University, there is a connection between clothing and psychology, or “enclothed cognition.” Clothes cognition is all about “becoming one” with what you wear and having your clothes show not only who you are but also how you want to be seen. The research revealed that if you’re wearing an expensive cashmere sweater, you’re going to feel rich and powerful. If you’re dressed up in heels and pearls, you’re going to feel more elegant. And if you’re

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in black, you’re going to feel dreary. Your clothes do affect your mood, so be choosy when deciding what to wear in the morning. This new research gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Dress for the role you want, not for the role you have.” It’s no longer about choosing the clothes that are going to show who you want to be, but rather using your clothes to transform into that person. So the next time you’re out shopping and see a pair of heels you must have, go ahead and splurge. After all, they’re bound to make you walk a little taller. —Ramona Connors





• Mail a funny, slightly risqué or a loving card to your spouse at work. Mark it PERSONAL on the envelope. Of course, you can deny that you sent it if you wish. • Present your spouse a hand-drawn or computer-made coupon: “Good for one breakfast in bed,” “Good for one drive in the country,” “Good for a dinner and a movie,” or “Good for doing laundry on a Saturday morning while you sleep.” The more creative, the better. • Have a mystery day. Announce the date and plan the day. Keep it a secret until you get there—go to a new restaurant, a picnic in a park, a trip to a museum, or something else you both would enjoy. • Treat your spouse to a gift certificate to a favorite magazine stand. Let him enjoy the guilt-free purchase of expensive, foreign or special interest magazines that he may never purchase otherwise. • If your spouse shouldn’t or can’t eat candy, fill a candy box of something else they will love—golf balls, CD’s, or mystery novels.

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• Act like a kid and recapture the freedom of participating in the games they like to play. Try roller skating, swinging on a swing, taking a bike ride, flying a kite, or playing board games. • Make up a non-verbal signal to show your love for each other. Examples of non-verbal signals might be squeezing your spouse’s hand three times, a wink or crossing your fingers on the inside of your partner’s palm. Little signals make for feelings of closeness. • Give your spouse a night of luxury. Make reservations for dinner, arrange a day at the spa or a sports event with his favorite team. Treat them as the special person that they are. Contributed by Dr. Linda Humphries, a Board Certified Sex Therapist as well as a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Tallahassee. With over 30 years experience she counsels a wide variety of individuals, couples and families who have sexual and/or emotional or mental health difficulties. For more information call (850) 656-2100 or


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G i r lta l k | W e d d I N G S

This Year’s Favorite Wedding Trends

hether it’s classic, traditional or modern and original, a wedding is a special event with memories to last a lifetime. Here’s a quick guide to making some of the most favored trends the talk of your big day. The Theme. Using the royal wedding as inspiration is still a popular trend, but other themes—such as movie reenactments, rustic barn or ranch receptions, and vintage, era-inspired themes—could be a fun way to reflect the bride and groom’s personal style. The Colors. Color, color, color! Influenced by this year’s fashion color trends, wedding color trends are bold and beautiful. Choose a vivid palette featuring several bold colors, or opt to use a classic mix of pastels, adding a modern update with watercolor accents or fun patterns. The Food. Food stations featuring different themes or courses have become an interesting way to give the traditional buffet-style foodservice a facelift. Guests can

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casually meander from station to station and choose petite finger foods, a heavier fare at a carving station, or portioned desserts,while mingling and enjoying the festivities. The Cake. The cake is often considered the centerpiece at a wedding reception. Cake trends feature specialty flavors such as passion fruit filling, flowers or other natural elements as elegant accents, or skipping cake altogether and opting for a dessert bar featuring the couple’s favorite desserts. The Dress! There are many trends, including illusion necklines (strapless with added sheer coverage), two-tiered skirts, lace sleeves, or mix and match bridal party wear. No matter the trend, remember to choose styles that best flatter you and your bridesmaids, producing pictures you can love for a lifetime. —Tamara Smith

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G i r l t a l k | Know l e d g e

Traveling This Summer? There’s an App for That


Yelp Can Help Yelp is a popular app that travelers can turn to for restaurant reviews, but it can also be the source of everything you need to make your trip successful, wherever your travels may lead you. Whether you need a great restaurant, a seamstress to quickly fix a hem, or a local pharmacy, Yelp can help. yelp. com

We Have Rights! It seems that security checkpoints at the airport can be, well, uncomfortable, to say the least. Have complaints and want to be heard? Use the FlyRights app to send comments that will be reviewed officially by TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Track Your Flights Flying this summer? The app FlightAware is a simple and free app to track your flight easily by providing your airline and flight number. Provides updates on flight delays, gate changes or cancellations.

ummertime marks the beginning of the travel season, and though each trip comes with many great memories, it usually begins with hours of planning and preparation. Helpful travel apps are available to make your next vacation a smoother one.

Don’t Print It, Trip It! If you’re like a lot of travelers, you might carry a folder full of confirmations, printouts, and e-tickets. Lessen the likelihood of forgetting important information and “go green” with the Trip It app. If you forward all those confirmation e-mails to a Trip It account, Trip It will organize all those documents into a nice, neat itinerary.

Be Your Own Travel Agent TripAdvisor is one of the most popular travel apps in the world and provides reviews from customers from around the world. Think of this app as your own electronic travel agent. The home page allows you to “plan the perfect trip,” allowing you to search for hotels, flights, restaurants, rentals or, simply, things to do. —Tamara Smith

Building a Better Practice...

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hether it’s riding bikes with the family, having barbeques with your neighbors or strolling through the park on your own, summer and outdoor activities go hand in hand. Unfortunately, summer in Florida also means mosquitoes, fleas, and other pesky biting bugs. These pests are no reason to cancel your plans and stay inside though. Instead, use some of these suggestions to ward off these biting insects and enjoy your outdoor activities to the fullest.

Carla Workman, LTCP 850.656.2433

Eliminate Standing Water. Whether it is

collecting in your plant saucers, your kids’ toys, or the tarp covering your grill, you should try to eliminate all pools of unnecessary water since these attract mosquitoes and are the perfect breeding grounds.

Zap Star. Zap Star is a thermacell lantern that

not only casts a warm glow but also releases allethrin, an odorless and natural pesticide found in chrysanthemums.

Take Vitamin B Daily. Vitamin B gives off an odor that humans are oblivious to but which wards off mosquitoes, gnats, and other biting insects. Eat Plenty of Garlic. When you eat garlic,

an invisible layer of garlic oil seeps from your pores and creates a mosquito barrier. If you’re not a fan of eating garlic, you can also make your own spray out of garlic juice. According to, all you need to do is mix one part garlic juice with five parts water in a small spray bottle, shake well, and apply.

Keep it Light. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so by wearing white and other light colors, you can decrease your chances of being bitten. Talk to Your Vet. There are medications on the market that you can give your cat or dog that will protect them from fleas and provide heartworm protection at the same time. Have Your Lawn Sprayed. Many lawn care

providers can spray your lawn with a chemical that repels biting bugs. —Ramona Connors

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c a pi ta lc i t yg e m s

Discover Our Town All Over Again Photo courtesy of Visit Tallahassee

Fun activities for everyone this summer in our own backyard. Mission San Luis

Located at 2100 West Tennessee Street, Mission San Luis is a trip back in time. The living history village of a replicated 17th century Spanish mission is unique to Florida and is a national landmark.

Florida Historic Capitol

Even though we drive by it on a regular basis, how many of us have actually been inside the historic capitol building? This summer would be a great time to take a tour and visit its newest exhibit. “Girl Scouting in the Sunshine State: Celebrating 100 Years,” presented by the Girl Scout Council of the Florida panhandle and will run through early August. Features include historic Girl Scout uniforms, handbooks, badges, photographs, newspaper articles and camping gear from all across the state of Florida representing seven regional Girl Scout Councils.

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The Tallahassee Museum

Get a unique view of North Florida’s history, nature and wildlife in this amazing walkthrough of the natural habitats of Florida animals that have either been born in captivity or have been rescued and brought to the museum for care. There’s also an educational playground, and the new Tree to Tree Adventures is unique to the area and includes ten ziplines.

The Museum of Florida History

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Museum of Florida History is featuring an exhibit that explores Florida’s often under-represented maritime and naval history during that period. The exhibit includes artifacts recovered from the Mapleleaf, interactive components, videos, and a rare sword on loan from the Smithsonian Institute. This exhibit runs through early August.

Lake Ella

Lake Ella

Lake Ella is as good as you remember, with picturesque fountains, wildlife, and quaint lakeside shops. The park is still very popular for recreational activities for everyone. Centrally located on North Monroe Street just south of Tharpe street, the park has picnic shelters, a site for community activities such as amateur astronomy and exercising, and a paved walking trail that completely encircles the lake. Visitors can walk, skate, or run the 0.6 mi around the lake.


Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway parallels six miles of Tallahassee’s historic canopy roads through 500 acres of the Red Hills Region. These trails are filled with beautiful rolling hills and pastures. Along the way you will also find benches and tables for resting, for picnics, or to admire and appreciate the beauty around you. Along this trail you may observe over 46 species of birds, plants and wildflowers.

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Na t ure’s Ma st erpiece

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The complexity of the human body and the genetics that shape it is

a mysterious masterpiece, one that scientists and doctors are only beginning to understand. Quite profoundly, those tiny fragments within us and the minute moments of a life can direct and change the course of our future forever. Dr. Lea Kristin Parsley, a clinical geneticist and mother of seven, has a unique perspective of the human genome and, in turn, of the meaning of “family,” where science and love come together to create its own work of art.

By Heather Thomas Photography by Adam Cohen

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ONTHECOVER When Dr. Lea Kristin Parsley speaks of the moment that changed her life forever, there is intense sorrow, but also conviction. She was 11 years old, riding in a car with her grandmother leaving St. George Island, Florida. They had just drove on to the bridge when a car with a drunk driver coming from the other direction lost control of the vehicle. This caused a serious accident, and the subsequent result took the lives of three children who were fishing on the bridge. Dr. Parsley was a witness to all of it. “I felt so powerless, watching these children dying around me and there was nothing we could do. I remember thinking that I never wanted to feel that helpless again.” Answering the resulting call within her, Dr. Parsley’s course was set to become a doctor in order to help others. Recently, she and her family returned to her roots when they moved to Tallahassee last year. Born in Port St. Joe, Florida, Dr. Parsley spent her formative years growing up on the Gulf Coast, since she lived in Ft. Walton Beach and Defuniak Springs, Florida, and spent most of her summers in Franklin County with her grandmother. Working with the conviction of that memorable day on the bridge, she earned scholarships to attend college and then medical school. While in medical school, she signed on with the National Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which sends doctors to rural and underserved areas of the country. She married her husband, Marcus, while in school and had her first child, Haley, during her senior year. While completing her residency, she had her second child, Luke, and then the family moved to South Georgia, where Dr. Parsley began her work with the Commissioned Corps, focusing on rural pediatrics. In Georgia, Dr. Parsley had the unique opportunity to work with Dr. Hotz, the physician who was featured in the movie Doc Hollywood. Similarly to the movie, the clinic’s patients would pay whatever they could, often in the form of produce. “It was a rewarding experience and confirmed why I went to medical school.” During her two-year service with the 20  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Commissioned Corps, she had her third child, Grace, and later decided to go into pediatric private practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they lived for eight years. “What I found was that I really enjoyed complex patients, those with needs that were genetically or emotionally related and required more of my time.” For her, this signaled that it was time to make the switch to subspecialized care, in order to give quality time with her patients. At this point, the Parsley family had four biological children, with the youngest, Eli, being born with a congenital heart defect (a hole in his heart). This became an unexpected inspiration. The Parsley’s had always planned on an international adoption at some point, but now they had a focus. She says, “We thought we would look for a young boy with special needs, specifically one with a heart defect. There are thousands of boys in China with special needs on the adoption waiting list. Although he didn’t have a heart defect, every time we looked at the list, this two-year-old little boy, Tai, kept jumping off of the page.” It became a complex choice since Tai had high level spina bifida. Spina bifida is a congenital disorder that can run the spectrum in regards to spinal defects, causing incontinence or paralysis. Even without knowing the severity of his case, they stepped out in faith and pursued his adoption. Once they arrived in China, they learned that he was a walking, even running, miracle. “It is medically unheard of for someone with a case of spina bifida as severe as Tai’s to be able to walk or run. However, we did find out that he has KlippelFeil syndrome, which makes him unable to move his neck, have paralysis in

his shoulder, and is a known genetic cause of his spina bifida.” Specializing in genetics became clearer while Dr. Parsley was the Pediatric Clerkship Director for the Florida State College of Medicine. She learned of the significant need for a genetics clinic in the area, so she decided to do a fellowship in genetics at the children’s hospital in Denver, Colorado and then come back. Earlier this year, the Tallahassee Memorial’s Clinical Genetics Center opened its doors with Dr. Parsley at the helm. “First and foremost, I want to be a good mother and I want to be mission-oriented in my career. Being a geneticist allows me to spend quality time with my children and to fill a void for families in the area.”

These services include relatively new therapies and care management, since the human genome was unraveled just over ten years ago. “It was discovered that we have 25,000 genes between our 23 pairs of chromosomes that encode who we are, what we look like, and our genetic predispositions.” With one drop of blood, patients can be screened for genetic “anomalies,” or missing links, in order to be better informed about whether or not they have disorders, their risks of certain cancers or even for understanding why they behave the way they do. Irrevocably linked with the strand of our DNA, who we are and who we become can also come down to the choices we make in life. From this standpoint, Dr. Parsley has found her ultimate identity in her family’s “patchwork quilt masterpiece,” working with patients, and making a difference through international adoption. Late last year, they began proceedings to adopt Samuel, now three, who was born with hydrocephalus, and his five-year-old foster brother, Timothy, who has low-level spina bifida. In February, the Parsley’s brought both of the boys home from China, and a family of five kids became a family with seven. Whether it’s standing in an orphanage half a world away, helping patients, or raising a family, Dr. Parsley is mindful of the impact her life can have on others. “I think of myself as that drop in the puddle and how the ripples expand out. There are moments in life when a door opens and lets the future in. You realize then what could be, and you just take that chance.” For more information about international adoption, visit, or newdaycreations. com. For more information on Tallahassee Memorial’s Clinical Genetics Center visit

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• J u n e / J u l y 2012  21

Minding Their Business

Whitney Fletcher Photography

Mothers and Daughters Just

By Heather Thomas and Lynn Solomon

The mother and daughter relationship is a special one, and mixed with running a business, a unique dynamic is created. Although each featured business is different, they all bring together a sense of family and the importance of community.


The Polka Dot Press owner, Kim Williams, and her mother, Nancy Turner, are both innately welcoming, and the personable atmosphere of the store invites customers to hang out for a while. “This is our niche. It’s all about the personal connection,” says Kim. Both Kim and Nancy have an honest passion for people and for helping customers earmark life’s big and small moments and creatively assisting them in personalizing their unique products. Kim is the creative one, and Nancy is more grounded, giving the perfect balance to their personalities and the dynamics of running a business. “She has the vision, the big ideas, and I have the more practical skill sets to help put them in motion,” says Nancy.

The History

A little over seven years ago, Kim began creating handmade greeting cards for friends and family out 22  t a l l a h a s s e e

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of her home while her son was in kindergarten. As the popularity for the products grew, she created a website to market them, branching out to home shows, which grew to shows at bigger venues around the Southeast. When Nancy retired from the insurance business four years ago, she joined Kim to be in charge of production. Nancy says, “When running a business, I think it’s important to have someone of different skill sets that you can bounce ideas off. If you’re creative like Kim is, you need a practical plan too.” In 2009, The Polka Dot Press’s wine wrappers were featured in People magazine and then a year later, their family calendar was featured in Southern Living magazine. Now located in the Market District, they are shipping products all over the country, and business is bustling. They have built a growing, loyal customer base mostly through word of mouth. “I feel that people like the fact we are a mother-and-daughter team, a family business. We care about our customers as if they are a part of our family,” says Kim.

What Drives Them

Kim says, “There’s no way I could work this hard if I didn’t love what I do and didn’t love the community that I live and work in.” With the recent achievement of winning second place in the National Retail Federation’s

“This is Retail,” video contest, The Polka Dot Press is firmly fixed as a symbol of small business’ positive impact on a community and its relevance to a larger economy. Besides helping to put Tallahassee in the national business spotlight, they donate their time and products to numerous local charitable organizations and schools. Kim credits her mother as being pivotal to their success. “My mom is the perfect balance for me and is also someone I admire greatly.” Nancy is proud of all that her daughter has accomplished. “She’s incredibly driven in everything she does and she’s teaching me to be more open to new ideas.” Their love and generosity for each other, for their community and for what they do is clearly felt by everyone. The personal service and the quality of the products just make it even better. Nancy sums it up best: “I’ve got the best of all worlds. The work is fun, the people are wonderful and I get to be with my daughter every day. What could be better than that?”

and the city limit extends much farther north, their focus on providing quality salon services while creating a family atmosphere has never faltered. Carolyn grew up on a farm in west Florida but went to local Lively Vocational School to study cosmetology because it was something she thought she’d enjoy. “And I have,” says Carolyn. “Besides being a mother, there has been nothing more rewarding.” As for Terri, “I never really even thought about it—I always knew I would go into cosmetology. I grew up in the salon and knew that this is what I would do for the rest of my life.”

Christie Meresse Photography

Because Suburban Salon is Tallahassee’s oldest continuously running salon, they have seen a lot of firsts. They’ve been at the forefront of cosmetology advances, with Carolyn being the first person in the area to do permanent makeup, and Terri has been offering electrolysis services since 1986. They’ve experienced a lot of firsts with their loyal clients also since they have served multiple generations. “We’ve celebrated a lot of major life milestones together,” says Terri. Among the employees who have worked at Suburban for 30 or more years are Annie Ford, Carlene Gillis, Barbara Mims, and Joyce Enfinger. Carolyn says, “We’ve always sought to hire the best and to then treat them the best. We were the first salon to provide health care and paid vacations.”

What Drives Them

Suburban Hair Fashions The Team

When it comes to family and business, most days at the Suburban Hair Fashions there really is no telling where one begins and the other ends. Terri Hartsfield says, “I hate to even call our staff “staff” and our clients “clients” since we consider them a part of our family.” What Carolyn

Brown started 54 years ago has brought generations of people together, and her daughter Terri is proud to be carrying on a business model that has withstood the test of time and trials of life.

The History

The name of the salon was derived from their original and present-day location in the Capital Plaza on Thomasville Road. At that time, the area was considered the “suburbs,” since it was outside of the city limit. Although times have changed

Making sure employees are taken care of and their clients are receiving the best possible service are motivators for them both. “This is more than a salon to us. It’s a home and a place where we all feel cared about. We take time for each other and with each client. What we lack in efficiency we make up for in love,” says Terri. Carolyn concurs. “When something happens to our staff or clients, it’s like it’s happening to us too. It hurts when they’re sick; it hurts when they die.” The loss of one of their business partners, Linda Collier, to cancer in 2004 united them all in creating a fundraiser for cancer research in her memory. t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Christie Meresse Photography

There is tremendous respect between Carolyn and Terri, and they both seem to agree on everything. “There’s probably no one I admire more than my mom. She raised three children on her own while running a business. I’ve never met anyone else like her, and she is an inspiration to me and to everyone who knows her,” says Terri. Recently, Carolyn suffered a fall and subsequent illness and only comes into the salon at special requests of long-time clients. Terri has begun to take over the reins of the business and would like to see it hit the 70-year mark one day. “That would be the ultimate gift of my mother’s legacy. To see it continue to be a place of service and family would be really special.”

North Florida Cosmetology Institute The Team

The first thing that strikes you about the motherdaughter team of Anita Coppedge and daughter Kim Matthews is their radiant, mirror-image smiles—each a reflection of the beauty within. It is no wonder that their first partnership was a beauty salon named Reflections of You.

The History Adam Cohen Photography

The year was 1988 and Kim was in her early 20’s. The family had recently relocated from Memphis to be near family in Tallahassee after the untimely death of Mr. Coppedge in a car accident. Anita’s son David, also in the business, was just 11 at the time. It was then that Anita, a young widow who had previously worked in property management, joined forces with her young daughter. Starting out with a nail studio, they soon embarked on a decades-long journey culminating in the creation of a nationally accredited beauty school. As co-owners of the North Florida Cosmetology Institute, Anita and Kim turn out some of the finest cosmetologists, nail technicians, skin care specialists and barbers in Florida, Georgia and beyond. “We initially wanted to open a deli, but we knew we loved food too much, so we opted to enter the acrylic nail business, which was new and booming in the 1980s. At first, we operated the nail school out of the salon at night. Now that was a lot of hard work,” says Anita.  

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Initially, the salon supported the growth of what was then the Florida School of Nail Technology. It was sold in 1994 about the time that the first skin care class was introduced. In 1998, the full cosmetology school hit the ground running with 9 students and big dreams. Ten years later, in 2004, Anita and Kim purchased their current 9,400-square-foot campus on Allen Road, did extensive renovations and added barbering to the existing nail, hair and skin care curriculum. Now the student body of 9 has grown to roughly 145 at any given time. Kim’s Studio, located on the second floor, offers permanent makeup and other skin care services.

What Drives Them

Changing lives through teaching is what motivates this mother daughterteam. “We love to see our students grow by doing something they love. The beauty business can become a passion for those who sometimes come in with no direction,” muses Kim. At least one student took his direction all the way to the bank. Daniel Lewis, celebrity hair stylist and Bravo’s Shear Genius Season 2 Fan Favorite, is a 2000 graduate of the Institute. Co-founder of the Green Peridot Salon in Tallahassee, he is now a stylist at their Frisco, Texas, location. “Yes, we are particularly

Not only do Anita and Kim care for their family-oriented staff, students are treated like family. When a beloved student passed away from leukemia, they hosted a beauty show to benefit the Leukemia Foundation, raising thousands for the student’s family and the foundation.

Shana Beiro Photography

proud of Daniel, as we are of all our graduates who achieve success and love what they do,” added Anita.

Working as a team comes naturally to Anita and Kim. They have never known any other arrangement. Thinking as much alike as they look, they faithfully make decisions together and go with them. “We know we can depend on each other, and we are fortunate that we get along so well and even vacation together.” Anita smiles brightly and so does Kim, clearly conjuring up fond memories of their road to success and reflecting their pride in all the beautiful hair, nails and skin they have helped create throughout the years.

The Cake Shop The Team

The Cake Shop’s popular pastry chef, Linda Richards, has been making cakes, cupcakes and other tasty treats that have brought customers sheer taste bud bliss for almost 20 years. Her daughter, Megan Pietrodangelo, joined the business three years ago in a managerial and marketing capacity. Together, they have found a recipe for business success, creating strong bonds within the community, and are carrying on the tradition to a future generation.

The History

Since her father was in the restaurant and catering industry, Linda learned to cook and bake at a young age and to become creatively resourceful. “We were a large family and didn’t have much monetarily, so we used everything and nothing was ever wasted,” says Linda.

Her ingenuity and hard-work ethic was built during the years of helping her parents make ends meet and even sewing her own clothing. “I knew if I wanted something, I had to work hard to get it.” In the years before owning her own bakery, Linda was a married mother of two daughters, Megan and Jessica, and worked as the head pastry chef for Epicuran/Trio Restaurant. She also was a pastry chef for The Cake Shop. She later became a single mother after her divorce but wasn’t deterred by the idea of owning her own bakery when The Cake Shop became available for purchase. She sat her girls down and was frank with them. “I told them that if we do this, our lives would never be the same again.” The girls grew up helping their mother at the bakery and watched her take a business that made only one product into making a variety of baked goods with old and new original recipes. Because of Megan’s history with the bakery and her work as a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Tallahassee Memorial

Hospital, Linda feels that Megan’s love of customers and her nursing skills come through at the shop. “She has grace, yet gets the job done quickly. Where I am weak, she is strong.” They relied on Megan’s strength and managerial skills during the transition to their new location on Capital Circle three years ago. Megan says, “Our biggest concern was whether or not our customers would follow us to the new site. We also were going to be working in a smaller space. The support of the community and our customers really came through.” They’ve been able to expand the storefront and the kitchen and have also added a “cooking corner,” which will serve as a bakery classroom and a space where customers can have parties or meetings.

What Drives Them

Creating culinary delights like The Cake Shop does takes a special gift, but it’s even sweeter when mixed with a love of family and community. Megan and those who work with Linda can’t say enough about her generous t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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heart. The loyalty of old and new customers seems to stem from her passion for her craft but also for people and using her gift to serve others. On any given day, The Cake Shop donates large portions of their baked goods to charitable causes. “My mom is the hardest-working woman I know. She is dedicated, loving, resilient and compassionate and she loves the store, her customers and her community.” The Cake Shop seems to evoke memories from everyone’s childhood—the smells, the tastes, and the love all come from their tasty treats. With the addition of Linda’s granddaughter, Taylor, to The Cake Shop family, Megan says “I want her to have the childhood that I had,” which couldn’t make Linda happier. There is no doubt that at this bakery, love is the best ingredient of all.

Datamaxx Group The Team

The mother and daughter leaders at Datamaxx Group, Inc., are at the forefront of information technology development in the male-dominated field of law enforcement. By definition, Kay Stephenson, and her daughters, Stephani Miller and Christina Lake, provide technology solutions to government agencies primarily focused in the public safety, law enforcement and homeland security market. However, their passion about the overall mission to use their skills to help those who protect and serve has turned this into a higher calling.

What started as a risk-taking venture, Datamaxx has grown to be the leader in the industry. When Kay, her husband and three children first moved to Tallahassee in 1981, she was a trained paralegal who found employment at Datamaxx USA Corporation. The company was later acquired by Zentec Corporation out of California. During her tenure, Kay gained a mass amount of experience which led her to the position of President, Datamaxx Division of Zentec Corporation. In 1991, she and her partner, Jonathan Waters, acquired the assets of Datamaxx from its parent company and renamed it Datamaxx Applied Technologies, Inc. Over the last 21 years, their clientele has grown to include the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of State (inclusive of all U.S. Embassies worldwide). Making sure their 500,000+ clients are receiving the best products and services available, Kay, President and CEO, is also focused on employee job satisfaction. Especially since her husband and all three of their children (Christina, Stephani and Michael) work at Datamaxx. “I want everyone to enjoy being here and to realize how important their role is, at every level of the company.” 26  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Christie Meresse Photography

The History

When Christina, Executive Vice President of Professional Services, first started out in 1995 to help train FDLE personnel on the installation and use of Datamaxx applications, she had intended the position to only be a temporary one but ended up enjoying working with the clients. For the past 17 years, Christina has been able to blend her degree in criminology to being an integral part of building the Datamaxx Services Division to what it is today. “I never intended to go into the technology arena, but it has certainly come full circle for me. It has been a gratifying process to see the company that my mother co-founded evolve and know I have been able to contribute to its success in a positive way.”

While Christina did not expect to be working in technology, Stephani, who is Executive Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, has always been the “techie” of the family and had no prior interest in criminology. “I also did not plan on working here, since I was inspired by my mother to own my own technology business,” says Stephani. After working at different software consulting firms and learning all the aspects of the field, she started a company of her own with two other partners and a hefty list of clients. In 1999, Kay saw that what Stephani’s firm was doing would fill a void at Datamaxx, so she proposed that they merge with Datamaxx Group to offer more integrated solutions. “I think we all offer varied skill sets that make this company work so well, but as a whole, we love the challenges we face in our marketplace. Our mother’s leadership taught us that.”

What Drives Them

“I feel I am one of the most blessed people in the whole world. We have a real purpose in what we are doing and make a difference in the lives of others,” says Kay. Everyone at Datamaxx experienced the tragedy of 9/11 in an intimate way, since they worked closely



with the NYPD to reestablish communications for their officers after the World Trade Center towers had fallen. “That experience had a huge impact on all of us and is a daily reminder of how important our job is,” says Christina. Christina also mentions the importance of their faith. “The past four years have presented many hurdles, but we are a very faithful family. My mom’s example of faith over the years has helped us tremendously. I don’t think we would have made it to the other side if it were not for her instilling that in us. When you understand your responsibility is far beyond you, but extends to include our employees and clients, you find yourself on your knees a lot, praying together.” Taking their inspiration from the hardworking individuals in the law enforcement field, Kay says, “This is a very challenging business to be in, but at the same time very rewarding, since we have the opportunity to be an active part in helping those who safeguard our way of life, many of whom put their own lives on the line on a daily basis. It is truly a joy to be able to share this passion with my family.”

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“Fashion is made to become unfashionable” It would seem from Coco’s quote that she and other designers have built in a kind of planned obsolescence. Just when you think you are on the “trend,” they pull the rug out from under you and you’re back at the boutiques spending away. I promise you that the industry is not so malicious as to make us throw away money every season. What the above quote was saying and the industry responds to is the ever-changing inspiration and tastes of both the designers and the buying public. The good news is that despite trends and changes in design, some items seem to always stay in fashion. Beach fashion is relatively modern, with present cycles starting in the 1940s (whew, because I’m not going back to men wearing one-pieces and women’s swim dresses). Bikinis, the one-piece, bandeaus, boy shorts, board shorts—and the list goes on and will continue to do so as trends change. My advice: don’t get caught too much in the trend. You don’t want a drawer full of tankinis. Make no mistake, this is not an excuse to be unfashionable! Choose timeless pieces and you will never be unfashionable. Besides, in a good or bad economy it makes perfect financial sense to buy timeless pieces that will never go out of style. 28  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Adam Cohen Photography

—Coco Chanel

Swimwear model, Angela Burroughs is represented by Marsha Doll Modeling and Promotions. Angela and her husband Byron are the owners of Liquorloft/Proof&Proof Brewing Company and are the proud parents of a baby girl.

Bikini, shirt dress, bag and necklace available at Narcissus. Leather bracelet available at Spriggs.

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Keep it simple and classic when dressing for sun, sand and water.

Beach living at its best with classic denim paired with a white crochet top, simple jewelry and casual shoes. Lace Top: Citizens of Humanity $148 Denim Short: Seven $142 Crochet Slipper: Toms $58 Wood Bangles: $16 Cuff: $18 Available at Cole Couture

Nothing is more classic than a bikini, so no need to overdo it. Make your suit, suit you, with only one accessory, such as a set of bangles or a pendant necklace. 30  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Swim: Billabong $72 Bracelets: $25 Available at Spriggs

Leave your high heels and designer bags at home when at the beach. Keeping to naturals and only one pop of color, or a trendier accessory will make everything shine.

Flip Flops: Billabong $18 Sandals: Unrestricted $32 Bag: Billabong $46 Hat: Lucy Love $32 Available at Spriggs

Wear to the beach or around town, a white sundress paired with earth-tone colors creates a natural elegance that never goes out of style.

Crochet Dress: Willow & Clay $88 Flip Flops: Tory Burch $45 Cuff: $22 Available at Narcissus

Contributing Editor Nancy Cohen is a stylist in Tallahassee. t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Playing in the Sand Isn’t Just for Kids

By Ramona Connors

Those that attended the Florida State University women’s sand volleyball games for the 2012 season know that Coach Danalee Corso excels as a leader. This is illustrated not only by her passion for the sport, but by giving women at Florida State University and in the community a new athletic and competitive outlet. It isn’t surprising that Danalee was the first full-time sand volleyball coach in the nation. Sand volleyball has played a major role in her life. Danalee was originally a tennis player, but while in Hawaii with her older sister who played sand volleyball, she picked up the sport and fell in love with it. “As soon as I started,

I was stuck. I just wanted to play all the time,” she says. Danalee went on to play sand volleyball for her college and continued on to play professionally immediately after graduation. In 1995, while still on tour with her professional team, Danalee began coaching a recreational sand volleyball team on the side and discovered her passion for coaching. She says, “I really enjoy seeing the progress, the difference of the before and after.” Later on, she went on to coach on the professional level, coaching the national team for a while before arriving at Florida State University (FSU) in 2011. So what brought Danalee to FSU? Danalee never expected to end up on this side of the country, but when the job opening for a coach at FSU became available, she and her husband both agreed that it would be a perfect match. Not only would they be a part of a strong athletic department, which is exactly what they were looking for, but they would also be able to move out of Los Angeles and into an area more desirable for raising their two children. While Tallahassee was not where Danalee and her family expected to end up, she thinks very highly of the town and is happy with where life has brought her. She says, “Tallahassee is small, yet sophisticated. It’s a great place to raise a family.”

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Christie Meresse Photography

The passion that Danalee has for the sport and the enthusiasm she has for coaching are enough to inspire woman of all ages to give it a try. “I think that the best part of sand volleyball is the environment. We have the opportunity to go to beaches rather than just play on a court. Also, I love the control that you have when playing and control over how good you can be by going out and practicing on your own. Sand volleyball is fun—a great work out and can become a lifestyle sport.” Who says only kids should have fun playing in the sand? Grab a volleyball, some friends and head to the coast. Thanks to Coach Corso leading the way, you might be seeing more women discovering a healthier use for sand and sun. For more information on FSU’s women’s sand volleyball team, visit

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Be Safe in the Water This Summer By Julia Daum


ummer is here, and with that comes great family fun in the sun and water. While water safety is a year-round concern with those who have pools, live on the beach or have nearby ponds or lakes, now is the time for even those families who only occasionally visit water sites to be vigilant. One of the first lines of protection in water safety is learning to swim. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that the earliest age to involve young children in aquatic survival lessons could be as young as one year old, and according to Infant Swimming Resource, children six to twelve months old can learn to roll over and rest safely in a back float. The AAP now further encourages that parents’ decisions about starting swimming lessons or water-survival skills training should be individualized, based on the child’s frequency of exposure to water, emotional maturity and physical limitations and the health concerns related to swimming pools. If you and your children have already had lessons, there are a few other precautions you may take to ensure a safe day at the pool, lake or beach. Encourage children of all ages to always swim with a buddy and to stay within designated swimming areas, preferably where a lifeguard is present. Also important, the American Red Cross warns to watch for the “Dangerous Too’s”: children being Too Tired, water being Too Cold, swimming Too Far from safety, and getting Too Much Sun. We all know that parents should never leave children unattended. This is especially important when water is near. If you are at the pool or the beach with another adult, be sure the person in charge 34  t a l l a h a s s e e

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of supervising is aware that it is his or her responsibility. Assuming that someone else is watching can be any easy yet grave mistake to make. Designate the supervisor to be an adult; watching a child in the water is too great a responsibility for an older child or siblings. Flotation devices should be used with extreme caution. While they give an inexperienced swimmer the ability to wade into deeper water, they can slip from under a child suddenly. “Water wings,” as they are often referred to, can give parents and children a false sense of security in the water. The one exception is that life jackets are required when boating. For those living in Florida, the summer months are a wonderful time to enjoy the water. With a few basic safety rules, you are sure to have many hours of safe summer fun.

Did You Know? In Florida, drowning is the leading cause for accidental deaths among young children. It ranks as the second leading cause nationally, according to the National Safety Council. One child drowns every 10 minutes in the United States. For every child who drowns, another 16 are treated for submersion injuries at emergency rooms throughout the country. Julia Daum is a former Florida State University Dive Team member and a mother of two daughters. She is an Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) Master Instructor and has been teaching swim survival lessons for eight years.



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Flexible Financing With No Downpayment Options We File Most Insurance Free Consultation Member American Association Of Orthodontics

Photo by Kira Derryberry Photography t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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By Paul Brock


hey say life began in a garden. Surely this first garden had water in it: sparkling, sprinkling, splashing water. The presence of water has always had a timeless appeal, and not just for people—birds and other wild creatures come to water also.

Then try a mister—a very fine nozzle on a small tube that fastens to your hose. Hang it in a tree where it emits atomized water vapor like a cooling little cloud. Birds love to play in the mist. Even hot people like to stand under it on a summer afternoon.

Maybe we can’t all have a babbling brook in the backyard, but it’s easy to incorporate water in the garden in other ways.

For the cooling, soothing sounds of water, nothing beats a fountain, and there are all different kinds: grand ones for a dramatic focal point or small ones for intimate spaces. There are traditional styles or sculptural modern designs. There are even disappearing fountains where the water flows over a vase into a hidden reservoir underground. You’d be surprised how easy a fountain can be: all you need is access to an electrical outlet to plug in the pump. Find your perfect fountain, set it up, plug it in. Then travel back to that first garden.

Start with a bird bath, which really should be called a bird drink, since it is most important as a source of drinking water. Everything needs water to drink; even night critters like possums and raccoons depend on neighborhood bird baths in times of drought. Birds gathered around the bird bath are an endless delight; it’s possible to waste hours watching a frolic of birds play in the water.

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Paul Brock is a gardening expert and one of the owners of Tallahassee Nurseries.


Imagine the sounds of a fountain in your garden; calm, relaxing, hypnotic. We have all kinds of fountains, easy to install. Find yours today.

Nicki Bowden, Allied Member ASID

Your home should reflect your unique style and personality. Let my resources, expertise and knowledge get you there! Complete Design Services • Over 23 years Design experience • References Available 850.508.1597 •

2911 Thomasville Rd 850.385.2162

Expert physicians. Quality medical care.

Kevin Derickson, DPM


Carey Dellock, MD

Internal Medicine

Cristian Vasilescu, MD

Family Practice

Medical services include: • Routine physicals • Treatment of chronic illness such as high blood pressure and diabetes • Treatment of acute illness such as colds and sore throats • Treatment of minor injuries • Vaccinations • Preventative care and health education • Lab draws for routine blood work • Specialist referrals

(850) 878-8235 Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Capital Regional Medical Center accepts Capital Health Plan and most other insurance carriers.

2770 Capital Medical Blvd., Suite 200, Tallahassee, FL 32308 | CAP-3076 Mag Ads 7.5x4.875_L6.indd 4

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A Western Round-Up By Randi Shiver

hat happens when you corral a part-time party planner, a savvy stationery proprietor, and a photographer who knows how to capture memorable moments with each click of the camera? You wind up with a western-themed party full of birthday party excitement for any little cowpoke hoping to horse around and have fun. Taking on this project with me were Kim Williams and Whitney Fletcher; we all combined our creative forces and passion for parties to produce a buckaroo bash sure to impress cowboys and cowgirls across the Tallahassee countryside. The planning process for the festivities was a team effort, and there were a lot of “yeahs” and “neighs” as a herd of plans and party procedures was narrowed down to ensure everything was covered. Kim,

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who is the owner of The Polka Dot Press, took care of personalizing the invitations, waterproof bottle labels, party favor bag toppers, placemats and bandana bunting and provided the chalkboard labels. All of these personalized details contributed to making this party made-to-order and memorable for the birthday boy—Julian, and the little cowpokes who came to celebrate. The colors for this rambunctious round-up coordinated with red-and-black bandanas. Boots and hats were borrowed from kids’ closets, and I lassoed up a little hay to help set the scene. The backdrop for the cowboy party was a festive farmlike setting —The Space at Feather Oaks Farm, which provides a picture-perfect view of grazing horses and dappled oak trees that made the photographer, Whitney Fletcher, want to holler “Yee Haw!” with delight.

Finger-lickin’ Western-themed food was on the most wanted list at this party. The crowd-pleasing Cowboy Caviar was served in mason jars with Fritos Scoops in an upside-down cowboy hat along with a cup full of carrots and ranch dip, because every cowboy needs a little ranch. After consuming a cowboy cake donated by Tasty Pastry, the ’lil cowboys were sent home with haystack cookie favors as they rode off into the sunset. Happy trails!

Check out Randi Shiver’s blog,, which features recipes, crafts, party planning and an overall sense of inspiration to help people celebrate life. Randi is a wife and mother of two boys and is a kindergarten teacher at Gilchrist Elementary School.

Whitney Fletcher Photography


Cowboy Caviar Mix the following ingredients together: 1 can of corn, drained 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed 1 can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 small red onion, diced ½ cup of cilantro, chopped Make the Marinade: ½ cup of red wine vinegar ½ cup of olive oil One teaspoon of sugar Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Combine the corn and bean mixture with the marinade and let sit for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Serve with Fritos Scoops.

Haystack Cookies 1 regular size bag of butterscotch morsels 1 cup of peanut butter 1 large bag of chow mein noodles Melt the butterscotch morsels over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth. Gently add the chow mein noodles and coat them with the butterscotch mixture. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, and drop a heaping tablespoon of the cookie mixture onto the wax paper to form the haystacks. Place in the refrigerator to set and cool for 15 minutes.

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c o m m un i t y

Rx by DNA Tallahassee Memorial Clinical Genetics Center Provides Personal Screenings, Evaluations and Treatment Plans An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but with the dawn of clinical genetics, proactive steps to good health have transcended the basics of diet and exercise. Today, hundreds of medical conditions, including developmental delays, autism and certain forms of cancer, are known to have an underlying genetic component. With growing knowledge of human genetics, the ability to diagnose, treat, and preventively manage genetic disorders has evolved rapidly and so has the understanding of the basis of common diseases. “This is a new and growing field. We just unraveled the human genome ten years ago, so we are discovering new therapies, effective diagnoses and treatments,” says Lea Kristin Parsley, MD, Medical Director of the Tallahassee Memorial Clinical Genetics Center. Despite the relevance of clinical genetics to many areas of health care, most centers are currently housed in major metropolitan cities like Atlanta, Denver and Boston. The Tallahassee Memorial Clinical Genetics Center is a unique asset for a midsized city. Opened since November 2011, the center is the first clinical practice of its kind in the Big Bend and offers much more convenient access to care for patients west of Jacksonville and north of Gainesville. For many years, Tallahassee families have had access to geneticist Dr. Roderick F. Hume, who specializes in prenatal genetics. The new center has significantly expanded the genetic services available in our community by providing treatment needed at any point after birth. Services in adult, pediatric, cardiovascular and hereditary cancer genetics are offered by physician referral. With diagnosis, there can be preventative maintenance and effective treatment for the whole family. Located at 3333 Capital Oaks Boulevard, the Tallahassee Memorial Clinical Genetics Center can be reached at (850) 431-4041. For more information, visit online at TallahasseeMemorialClinicalGeneticsCenter. Information contributed by Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. 40  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Smooth Summer Skin Silhouette Laser & Raydiant Skin Care New Services To Meet Your Cosmetic Needs.

Nancy Grissom, Medical Aesthetician Advanced Medical Skincare Customized Medical Facials Microdermabrasion

850-459-9636 Call for your complimentary consultation

Jolynn Greenhalgh, Owner ARNP, CME FL License #EO-896

Laser Hair Removal Botox®

850-402-9044 *Evening appointments available

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C a p i ta l R e g i o n a l p R e s e n t s

Women’s Wellness Day feel Well


o study is needed to demonstrate that many women overwork themselves, often by serving as a caretaker for others, and tend to pay less attention to their own health. Capital Regional Medical Center is offering a way for Tallahasseearea women to reconnect with themselves and learn the healthy habits that will improve their quality of life for years to come. Women’s Wellness Day will take place on Saturday, July 14 th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FSU’s Augustus B. Turnbull III Conference Center and will feature presentations from physicians, free health screenings, refreshments and vendor activities, including a spa area with mini wellness treatments. The women-only event is designed to allow an escape from the daily grind to focus on personal health and wellness. “I frequently see women who have neglected their health in favor of taking care of others. The truth is that you must care for yourself first, to be able to take care of anyone else,” said Ann McClean, Service Line Administrator of Women and Children’s Services at Capital Regional Medical Center. A “Big” Role Model The day’s spotlight will shine brightly on keynote speaker Hannah Curlee. As a competitor on The Biggest Loser season 11, Hannah and her sister Olivia made history, marking the first time in the series that only women placed in

live Well

stay Well

the top two. Though Hannah finished second to Olivia, her positive attitude, total-body transformation and weight loss of more than 120 pounds gained her avid followers. Hannah is the Director of Health Engagement for H2U (Health To You) with Hospital Corporation of American (HCA), Capital Regional’s parent company. “Being able to preach what I practice on behalf of HCA is amazing,” says Curlee. “I look forward to sharing my hard-won knowledge with the women of Tallahassee.”

Keynote Speaker: Hannah Curlee lost 120 pounds on The Biggest Loser

A MAtteR of the heARt Heart health is one of the topics that will be highlighted at the event, as heart disease is the leading killer of women in the U.S. Only recently have doctors and researchers discovered that heart disease symptoms are often very different in women than men. Capital Regional Medical Center prioritizes women’s health highly, offering the newest services and most comfortable surroundings with its Comprehensive Breast Center, state-of-theart Family Center and is the only hospital in town to offer all private rooms. As a HeartCaring hospital, Capital Regional is committed to ensuring that women have access to the best possible cardiac care, and important early diagnosis tools. Capital Regional’s HeartCaring-trained doctors offer risk assessments, designed to reveal any potential issues for early treatment.

To register for Women’s Wellness Day, visit or call (850) 325-3627.

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Information contributed by Capital Regional Medical Center

wo m a n • J u n e / J u l y 2012 CAP-3104 Advertorial in Tallahassee Women Magazine 7.5x10_L3.indd 1

5/21/12 4:19:54 PM

Need to talk? Summer Brooke Gomez, MSW


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

FL ISW # 6062

Expert physicians. Quality obstetrical & gynecological care.

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

Michael Douso, MD, FACOG Specializes in:

• Gynecology • Robotic hysterectomy • Advanced laparoscopic procedures • Urinary incontinence surgery • Pelvic floor reconstruction

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• Full obstetrical care • Advanced laparoscopic procedures • Robotic hysterectomy • Office hysteroscopy • Procedures for endometriosis

(850) 877-5589 Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Capital Regional Medical Center accepts Capital Health Plan and most other insurance carriers.

2770 Capital Medical Blvd., Suite 110, Tallahassee, FL 32308 | CAP-3076 Mag Ads 7.5x4.875_L6.indd 3

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• J u n e5/16/12 / J u l y10:54:37 2012 AM 43

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

AROUNDTOWN Special Events • Speakers • Benefits • Activities

2. 1.



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5. 1. Suzanne Van Wyk, Roy Van Wyk, Mary Ellen Clark, Jon Clark 2 Patrick Wiggins, Julie MeadowsKeefe, Allen Grossman, Lynn Grossman, Yolanda Boynton, Raynelle Lamp, Veronica Clifford, Nick Clifford. 3. Keith Frazier, Renee Gordon 4. Barbara DeVane, Mary Dekle 5. Mika Highsmith, Kisha Wilkinson 6. Janet Ferris, Phil Padovano 7. Joan Anderson, Kris Knab 8. Robin Thompson, Dan Thompson, Renee Starrett, Jinny Hassler



Jazz for justice Great food and great music filled the air in Midtown as The Legal Services of North Florida hosted their annual Jazz for Justice benefit. Jazz for Justice patrons enjoyed the shade of the beautiful lawn at Chez Pierre, which has been a supporter for the event for the past 15 years, and will be missed as it closed its doors in late April. This event is held each spring to raise funds to continue to provide opportunities and legal assistance to those in need in the Tallahassee community.

500,000 Sq.Ft. Mixed Use Campus Office / Retail Space Available

850.385.2324 1940 N. Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32303 t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Aroun d T own





Boys TOWN Boys Town of North Florida presents their annual Spirit of Youth Gala. This year’s theme, “Paradise Found” sets the mood for an evening of tropical elegance including performances from the children, a silent auction and a live auction.

1. Dr. Bob Soni, Linda & Moses Collins, and Gerard & Jayme O’Rourke 2. Kathy & Hank Hutchinson and Josie Gustafson 3. Steve & Jane Menton, Dr. Armand & Suzanne Cognetta, Dr. David & Kathleen Smith, Leslie Redding, and Carrie Zimmerman 4. Dena Sokolow, Ann Gabor, Barbara MacArthur, Tom Propp, Beverly & Larry Sokolow, Dena Strickland, and Jay Payne

Chelsea House spring Tea The 2012 Chelsea House Spring Tea, one of two annual fundraisers for the Chelsea House, was held in April with more than 100 in attendance. Attendees enjoyed a silent auction, an exciting fashion show hosted by Marsha Doll of Marsha Doll Models, special music, and a presentation from women of the Chelsea House.



3. 1. 2012 Miss Tallahassee Lelah Vay Kelly and Chelsea House Co-Founder Beth Burns 2. Jeannie Becker-Powell and Terrisa Anderson 3. Denise Schmidt, Pat Starling, Suzie Middlebrooks, Margit Miller, Michelle Newell 4. Denise Brimm, Beverly Ladrie, Anne Wilder 5. Beth Burns and Marsha Doll

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

1. Private consultation with Physician

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

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

Bert Morales, M.D.

Vitamin B12 and B6 injections


Member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians

The Professional, Trusted Weight Loss Choice in Tallahassee


Fast cars & mason Jars Tree House

hosted its annual Fast Cars & Mason Jars fundraiser to help support its efforts. The successful fundraiser sold-out with more than 400 guests and generated a 30 percent increase in giving over the previous year. During the live auction, guests had the opportunity to purchase a teddy bear to be provided to children who arrive at the Tree House. With all of the teddy bears donated, the auction item gained enough bids to welcome almost 100 children this year while raising funds for renovations of the living and study area of Tree House.

1. Kim Azar, Josie Gustafson, Helen Castleman, Melissa Black 2. Back row: Beth Strickland, Stephanie Bridges, Jacqui Newman, Audra Peoples Jenny Wright Front row: Emily Barbacci, Sharon Keri, Deavin Gibbs 3. Christina & John Dardano, Carrie & Chase McNeil

Tree House relies on monetary and item donations from the community to sustain its mission of creating a homelike place for children who have nowhere to go. t a l l a h a s s e e wo m a n

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Jim Moran More than 150 local business professionals gathered at the Turnbull Conference Center in April to hear Janet Gurwitch share her inspiring story about how Laura Mercier ascended to the top of the highend cosmetics niche under her leadership and direction. The event was sponsored by the Jim Moran Institute as part of its Advice Straight Up Speaker Series.



1. Fay Dever, ; Randy Blass, Janet Gurwitch; Steve Roden, Barbara Lay 2. Janet Gurwitch and Tim Holcomb 3. Heidi Otway, Carla DeBaldo, Janet Gurwitch, and Barbara Lay

Expert physicians. Quality surgical care. Katherine Langston, MD

Joshua Lee, MD

Surgical Services include:


• Breast surgery • Laparoscopic surgery Hernia Gallbladder U R G I C A L Acid-Reflux Colon Appendectomy



Quan Tran, MD

• G.I. surgery Gastric Small Bowel S S OColorectal C I AT E S • Pediatric surgery • Emergency general surgery • Thoracic surgery (Dr. Tran only)


(850) 219-2306 Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Capital Regional Medical Center accepts Capital Health Plan and most other insurance carriers.

2626 Care Drive, Suite 105, Tallahassee, FL 32308 | 48  CAP-3076 t a l l a h aMag s s e eAds wo7.5x4.875_L6.indd m a n • J u n e / J1u l y 2012

5/16/12 10:52:20 AM

BiG Bend Spring Fling More than 500 local business leaders, elected officials and community members joined Big Bend Hospice for Spring Fling held at Tallahassee Nurseries. The organization’s signature fundraiser brought in more than $100,000. Big Bend Hospice served more than 1,700 patients within an eight-county service area last year. Annually, thousands of grieving members of the community receive support to cope with the loss of a loved one. Funds raised from events like Spring Fling go directly toward furthering the organization’s mission to provide expert health care, encouragement, hope, and compassion to people with a limited life expectancy.

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Haute stuff. 2.

3. 1. Monsignor Michael Tugwell, Ann Ruth Figg, Pam Wilson and Michael Eurich 2. Bob Olive, Janis Inzer, Mary Olive and Bob Inzer 3. Conner Harris, Susan Harris, Hunter Harris, Scott Harris, Katie Young, Tony Young, Rose Marie Young and Roy Young

The Gallery at Market Street 894-1235 F U R N I T URE






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wo m e n to w a t c h

Women to Watch

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

Erika Dunn has joined the dermatology practice of Pamela S. Kennedy, MD, P.A. Erika is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s School of Physician Assistant Studies and is now seeing both general dermatology and aesthetic patients. Sylvia McLeod has joined management consulting and IT firm ISF as a Project Manager. Sylvia is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Erika Dunn

Sylvia McLeod

Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, of Stansbury Consulting is celebrating five years in business providing fundraising help and training to nonprofit organizations throughout the state. She recently presented a two-day course at the Philanthropy Center at Rollins College and has been selected to speak at the statewide fundraising conference, Planet Philanthropy, in Orlando. Altha F. Manning recently released her book of poems entitled Slice of Life, a collection that provides insight into universal life experiences such as humor, death, resilience, family, love, failure, celebration and all the other events that one experiences, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Alyce Lee Stansbury

Altha F. Manning

Tiffany Estimond recently launched her own photography business, Photography by Uzuri, with her husband. Through her desire of savoring the moment, Tiffany makes it her goal to “capture the unseen,” while keeping things simple and fun. Kathleen Hampton joined Florida TaxWatch as the Executive Director of the Prudential-Davis Productivity Awards program, managing and coordinating the program’s annual nominations, sponsors, and awards activities. Kathleen was also recently elected to serve as president-elect of the Business and Professional Women of Tallahassee.

Tiffany Estimond

Kathleen Hampton

Kim E. Barnhill was awarded Florida’s 2012 Outstanding Woman in Public Health by University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. Kim is the administrator for the Jefferson and Madison county health departments. Joanna Johnson recently released her book Stepping on the Stones: A New Experience in Recovery, a self-help manual on an addict’s road to recovery. In addition to being published, Joanna is a dynamic substance abuse and mental health counselor who has been awarded as Professional of the Year from both the Florida School of Addiction Studies and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.

Joanna Johnson

Kim E. Barnhill

Karen Thurston Chavez, CAE, has joined the staff of the University of Florida and Shands Communications Office, handling communications and marketing for the University of Florida Congenital Heart Center. Karen also serves as Executive Director of operations and outreach for Broken Hearts of Florida, a nonprofit, charitable organization that she and Kim Rooks founded to support, educate and connect families affected by congenital heart disease and other pediatric heart diseases. Gigi Rollini, an associate at Holland & Knight, was recently appointed to serve on the Appellate Court Rules Committee.

Karen T. Chavez

Regina Taylor

Brooke Brown 50  t a l l a h a s s e e

Gigi Rollini

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Brooke Brown, a first-grade teacher at Shadeville Elementary School in Wakulla County, currently Miss Fort Walton Beach USA, will compete for the title of Miss Florida USA in July. Brooke is involved with many local organizations, such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Blessings in a Backpack. Regina Taylor, M.S., and Nari Jeter, Ph.D., joined Impact Behavioral Health in Tallahassee as mental health therapists. Regina and Nari will provide individual, couple and family therapy for individuals of all ages and also provide group educational and informative sessions regarding various mental, emotions and relational wellness topics.

Janelle Jacobson has recently joined the staff of The Puppy Ladies, a local dog training business focused exclusively on puppies up to three years old. Jean Hewitt, founder, and Janelle, both certified dog trainers, bring passion, education and over 25 years’ combined experience to their work.   Janelle Jacobson

Rachel Stiles

Rachel Stiles has been appointed as Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Capital Regional Medical Center. Ni’Cole S. McCrae is the owner and artistic director of Tallahassee’s newest dance studio, Ni’Cole’s Performing Arts Center. Ni’Cole’s Performing Arts Center offers Mommy and Me, pre-dance, ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop classes to students of all ages. (not pictured) Barby Moro recently won the first Top ACE from the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals. Barby was the youngest member of her Leadership Tallahassee class and has received a number of awards and recognitions honoring her for her community efforts and sense of civic responsibility,

Barby Moro

Haley Cutler has been named as Executive Director for the Oasis Center for Women & Girls. (not pictured)

Natural Fiber Clothing Petite through Generous Sizing Flax Linen Clothing Comfy USA Matchpoint Linen Fresh Produce Capri Blue Candles Fashion Jewelry & Accessories


New location: 1441 Market Street | 850.893.2664 | Hours: Mon-Sat, 11-6

Margo Thomas, owner of MarLynn Consulting Group, earned The Chamber Award for 2012 Start-Up Business of the Year. Margo’s firm helps businesses track and report economic incentives and grant requirements. Margo Thomas

Kristen Ledlow, Miss Capital City USA winner, Tallahassee Woman magazine’s cover woman December 2010-January 2011 issue, and former host of WTXL’s Good News Show, recently accepted a position with Fox Sports in Atlanta, Georgia. She will be a sideline reporter for ACC and SEC football games and basketball games. Kristen was also a correspondent for local radio station ESPN 97.5. A former college athlete, reporting on college sports is a lifelong dream for Kristen. We are so proud of Kristen and wish her the very best on her journey of success in her career.

Grand Opening May 15

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wo m e n W e ADMI R E

Elizabeth Danta Blount One Health For Pets and People By Tamara Smith


Christie Meresse Photography

r. Elizabeth Blount is a captivating mother of three, an opera singer and a restorer of historical buildings. She lives on the grounds of a historically landmarked former Spanish mission. Those are little known facts about her since most of Tallahassee knows her as Dr. Blount of At Home Veterinarian Care, LLC, and as a passionate veterinarian and an active volunteer in the Tallahassee community. After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Education, she lived in Mexico for a year and a half training Peace Corps volunteers. She then moved to the Florida Keys where she bred and raised Labrador retrievers. It was there that her love of volunteerism and her love of animals came together. She worked with a veterinarian who encouraged her to think about becoming one herself, so she did. After graduating, she bought her first practice and then sold it ten years later to move to Tallahassee with her family.

help to be the person my dog After establishing a relief “My nightly prayer is for help to be sees in me, and for me to practice here in which she acted as a substitute veterinarian, she the person my dog sees in me, and be worthy of her service.” realized there was a real need for me to be worthy of her service.” When talking about the future, for homebound residents with she is currently developing animals to be able to access programs to make it possible for veterinarian services. Since Dr. so that I can get an understanding of the people to keep their pets for their entire Blount was also missing the connections lifetime, and ensure that the pet will be with clients that came with having her own challenges facing them as a family unit, completely cared for. “I’ve become acutely practice, she took that thought and created then attempt to meet those needs, or help them find resources in the community aware of the challenges that come with At Home Veterinary Care, LLC with her to do it.” Since Dr. Blount is an active aging or with terminal issues, and how minivan and one client. Now, over two volunteer with numerous organizations important it is for people to continue to years later, she has 1150 clients that utilize make choices for themselves and for their her full service, unique approach to animal in the community, such as Meals on pets.” This gives tremendous peace to those care, providing everything an office setting Wheels, ECHO and Hardison Home, she can be a liaison for them within facing a move to a nursing home or would provide, right in the client’s home. the community services spectrum. rehabilitation center, homelessness, or the end of life stage. “I want At Home to be For Dr. Blount, this service is about client-driven, and I want to serve people Even though it’s extremely rewarding more than just convenience. It is about the best way I can to strengthen the working with clients who are hospice helping people and their pets have a better relationships between animals, their patients, or have significant health issues, quality of life. After learning a concept owners, and our community. I end each it can sometimes be challenging. That’s called “One Health” from a colleague day with the hope that I have made a where her dog companion, Ibby, comes and friend, she believes in a connection difference in someone’s life.” in. A former service dog, Ibby attends between family members, environment, school programs and other charity events and “furry” family members. Going into with Dr. Blount. Ibby also exemplifies the homes of homebound clients, seniors the “One Health” principal in a personal or hospice patients, she says, “I get to way for her. “My nightly prayer is for know them and their furry companions 52  t a l l a h a s s e e

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Expert physicians. Quality medical care.

Edwardo Williams, MD • Graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine. • Interned at Duke Fayetteville Area Health. • Board certified in family practice. • Experienced in treating many different illnesses.

Lourdes Mosley, P.A. • More than 20 years of experience. • Available till 7 p.m. • Treats patients ages 2 and up. • Annual pap smears & physicals.

(850) 878-2637 Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Capital Regional Medical Center accepts Capital Health Plan and most other insurance carriers.

1910 Hillbrook Trl., Suite 2, Tallahassee, FL 32311 | CAP-3076 Mag Ads 7.5x4.875_L6.indd 5

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• J u n e5/16/12 / J u l y11:29:47 2012 AM53

F unn y G i r l

The Bridal Shower By Karen M. Morris


don’t usually break out the toenail polish so early in the year but today was Kari’s bridal shower, and I knew she would appreciate the extra effort. My husband, on the other hand, is not as easily impressed. So, I dangled Kari’s gift in front of him while he watched TV and asked if he had anything to say. Without looking up, he waved goodbye. After several minutes, I realized he wasn’t waving goodbye; he wanted me to quit standing in front of the TV. Wayne doesn’t get excited about bridal showers. As far as he was concerned, I was spending the evening with a bunch of women drinking smoothies and getting all hopped up over a set of pot holders. And, as far as I was concerned, I wanted him to keep thinking that way. There’s something incredibly delicious and a little bit naughty about bridal showers. They make you feel carefree and comfortable enough to divulge your most intimate secrets to a room filled with lots of people you’ve never met before. And no shower would be complete without that one overachiever whose life’s goal is to share every indiscretion she’s ever committed—I’m usually seated next to her. I once had an overachiever spend three hours telling me everything she’d done over the weekend. I sat there in stunned silence as she described exploits that crossed all borders of decency and quite possibly the Canadian border, too. But showers aren’t just about incriminating oneself; they’re about hope and happiness. For me, I was hoping no one else bought Kari the 10” fry pan—this would bring me happiness. Now some bridal showers are theme based. For example, I went to one where everybody wore a bridesmaid’s dress they’d worn in another wedding. And contrary to popular belief, they don’t improve with age. I showed up in a Little Bo Peep outfit that would’ve been banned at Disneyland for too much peep-age. But I felt better after seeing the other women’s attire. Many, of course, wore the classic colors of Raspurple and Taxicab Yellow; while others chose a more traditional look and came dressed in enough bows to trim the White House Christmas tree. Just knowing there are other women out there with closets harboring dresses like these can be a healing experience. Frequently, you’ll be required to play games at a bridal shower, but I’d avoid the one called “touchy-feely” because it often leads

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to violence. In this game, you’re blindfolded and then told to stick your hand into a bag filled with 10 common household items like lethal darts or straws. Whoever correctly identifies the most items is the winner. When I played that game I accidentally stuck my hand into the mother of the groom’s purse instead of the so-called “official” party bag. After I blindly named off everything in her handbag, including how much cash she had and the correct denominations, people started clapping. I thought everyone was responding to my dress until the groom’s mother started viciously slapping me with a satin ribbon. Wounded and disqualified, I had to go sit by the overachiever. My favorite part of any shower is the opening of the gifts because you get to see the latest must have items. I’ll never forget when thongs made the must have list. I had no idea what they were. You could fit 5 of them in a shot glass, so I knew they couldn’t be coasters. The bride received 20 pairs of thongs which she laid in a pile that was almost an inch high. I thought they were pen holders, so I took one for my purse. And believe me, I always get noticed when I whip that thong out to sign a check at the bank. Well, today was Kari’s shower and we drank tonic water infused with freshly mashed berries and feasted on beef tenderloin. We laughed, we told stories, and we finished off with a dessert called the White Bomb. Everything was fabulous until I discovered on the way home the overachiever had stolen my leftover baggie. But those good times are over. Tonight, Wayne told me his buddy Phil and Phil’s fiancée were having a couples wedding shower and he’d bought them a chain saw to share. I could not have been more thrilled if he had beaten me with a satin ribbon. And so it goes—the last bastion of this time honored all-girls club had been breached by a guy named Phil.

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June-July 2012  
June-July 2012  

The first issue of the summer has so much for you. Shopping, fashion, great beach reads, business profiles, health info, summer entertaining...