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ERICA GOFF Women’s History Month THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART Physical and Emotional Health Tips


DIY Floral Displays


tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 1 



At Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, we’re pushing the boundaries because we believe there should be none. When it comes to highlyspecialized heart & vascular, neurosciences and cancer care, our patients travel hundreds of miles to receive the latest treatment options and participate in new research opportunities with our expert team. Learn more at TMH.ORG.

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tallahassee woman magazine | february / march 2018

On the Cover


Erica Goff—Single and Sensational at the Place In-Between By Heather Thomas

About the Cover: Photography by Kira Derryberry | Makeup provided by Lisa Davis of Image by Lisa | Wardrobe provided by Fabrik





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Our Thoughts Life in Color


Five Spring Color Trends You Need To Know | Color Code Your Closet | Fruit Can Add Up to a Healthy Heart | Probiotics: The Bacteria That Is Good for You | The Importance of Vitamin B12 | Women’s History Month: Women’s Historic Inventions | Be Your Own Designer | Book Nook: Memoirs of Memorable Women


Style and Grace


Healthy Living


Bodies in Motion


Real Life


Women Who Mean Business:

Women to Watch


Business and Career


Money Talks


Our Community


Home and Garden

Doing a Great Work

Paying for College: Tips for Parents and Students from a Soon-to-Be College Graduate

Rocks On! Tallahassee Rocks and So Does Wakulla | Women We Admire: Amanda Davis: Living a Life of Love | Haute Happenings | Around Town Outdoor Color for Inside Glam


The Dish


Funny Girl

Luscious Lemon Loaf

Resolution Reality

Lockets of Love

Type 2 Diabetes: From Hurting to Healing

Toning on the Go

On Crying: Learning to Love the Language of the Heart

Feature: Women’s History

Two Women and Two Regimes—Mimi Shaw and Kelly Bowen are Partners in Preserving History

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View Tallahassee Woman


February / March 2018 Volume 13 | Issue 1




Pick up a copy around town.

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


EDITOR Heather Thomas ENTA RY


Women’s History Month



DIY Floral Displays

Physical d Emotionaan l Health Tips

DIABETES from HURT ING to HEALIN G tallah assee

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ADVERTISING SALES Jennifer Stinson, Ad Sales Manager Michelle Royster Hart, Ad Sales Associate GRAPHIC DESIGN Christy Jennings INTERNS Ellie Bright | Abby Cloud Lakayra Larramore | Emma Peterson Claire Reed BUSINESS OPERATIONS Jane Royster Munroe CFO | Josh Foerst Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC Post Office Box 13401 Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone (850) 893-9624 Fax (850) 254­-7038 Tallahassee Woman is published six times per year and is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding communities. The information in this publication is presented in good faith. The publisher does not guarantee accuracy or assume responsibility for errors or omissions.


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

OUR CONTRIBUTORS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Terrie Ard As President of Moore Communications Group, Terrie Ard is a visionary leader who has the innate ability to identify trends and position organizations for success. She has more than 20 years of marketing and business strategy experience and oversees the firm’s account servicing and production teams.

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

Jeannette Katicich is a New Orleans native and mother of four boys. She received a degree in English at USM before moving to Tallahassee with her sons and two dogs in 2016. Jeannette frequently writes about life as a single mother of boys, with its ups, downs and in-betweens—sharing the lessons she learns in the process.

Felecia Dilbert is a native Georgia Peach, speaker and Certified Christian Life Coach. She is passionate about the Center for College Life Coaching at Florida State University (FSU) where she serves as Professional College Life Coach. When not serving at FSU, Felicia speaks at conferences, retreats and workshops locally, nationally and internationally. Connect with Summer Brooke Gomez, PhD Felicia at

Work. Life. Balance. 850-421-1260

Professional Identity Summer Brooke Gomez, PhD is a licensed psychotherapist Workplace Social Strategies in Tallahassee. Common themes in her treatment room include: Ambitious Couples professional identity; exceptional adolescents; ambitious couples;  Exceptional Adolescents law enforcement families; workplace bullying; and creativity  Creativity & Spirituality and  FSU spirituality. MSW & PhD in Dr. Gomez works with individuals, couples and

adolescents. Marriage & Family Therapy

Individuals Couples & Families

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Lydia Bell, owner of elleBelle Photography, is a member of COCA, PPA, Tallahassee Professional Photographers Guild, FPP, PPA Charities, NPPA, NAPCP, ASMP, APA Atlanta Chapter, IFPO and Fotolanthropy. She has been commissioned by many local and national publications, organizations, businesses and events. You can find an online portfolio of Lydia’s work at

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Life in Color

“Happiness is the joy we feel striving toward our potential.” —Shawn Achor


he older I get, the more I realize that we are all longing for and pursuing happiness, but the kind that lasts—joy. Often, we tend to pursue that happiness in unhealthy places or depend upon other people and life, in general, to make us happy. According to Shawn Achor, a happiness researcher, we’ve got it all backward. Happiness is not found, “out there,” and we are not at the mercy of what life decides to give us that day. Instead, happiness is found within us and can even be cultivated so that we have a lasting joy that sustains us even in the midst of suffering. Our February-March cover woman, Erica Goff, shares her journey that sprung from the painful decision of ending her marriage. By choosing to cultivate her own happiness, she embarked on a journey of self-discovery. For the first time, she allowed herself to just “be.” She has learned that joy is found in self-love, self-discovery and in the pursuit of grateful living. She may be single, but her life is anything but half-filled as she endeavors to live each day to the fullest, not waiting on someone, or something else, to make her feel complete and happy. In other stories this issue you’ll find women who chose

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to heed the call of striving toward a greater purpose—that their pain, discoveries and joy are meant to be shared so that others may learn and find their own happiness. One of our main themes this issue is living a life in color, which also translates to—living in the moment. We hear it all the time and I am constantly reminding myself of it, and that even in the midst of mundane tasks, or the darkest of times there are opportunities to look for ways to be grateful. We can never know how long it will take for God’s plan to unfold, and we can wait for certain events to happen before we allow ourselves to be happy. Or, we can choose today to be grateful, reaping the joy that comes when we wake up to the beauty and the potential of the moment, bursting in colorful brilliance. Gratefully yours,

Heather Thomas, Editor

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TRENDING style •wellness • knowledge •

technolog y • books

Spring Color Trends You Need To Know By Geneva M. Rodriguez


n the spring, the blooming flowers illuminate the atmosphere with vibrant colors, and the opportunity for growth, transformation and new beginnings fills the air. Spring 2018 is all about bright colors and self-expression. The runways of fashion week featured some beautiful color trends that will be sure to perk up our wardrobes and seasonal home décor. According to the website, here are some popular colors you may see this spring: Orange Although it is a less common color choice, orange has made its appearance. Take this chance to try out new things and embrace the bright and bold diva within. Yellow Who said the sun was the only thing shining this spring? Let your magic radiate and be a beacon of light. Lavender Lavender is known for bringing us a sense of calmness and peace. Let calm, cool and collected be your mantra in soft hues of purple. Pink Like the roses in the garden, be poised, graceful and beautiful in lively shades of pink. Keeping It Cool If bold colors don’t fit your style, don’t worry. Neutral shades of beige, brown and cream are still haute and happening. Pair neutrals with flashy colors to give your outfit or home a pop.

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How to Color-Code Your Closet By Geneva M. Rodriguez


inding the right attire can get messy. We rummage through our closets stressed and panicked until we’re left with heaps of clothing covering the bed and floor. We’ve all been there. Maintaining an organized closet can be tedious, and it’s difficult to pin a starting point amongst our clothing collection. Having a color-coded closet will bring us peace and ease and will ultimately save us time and energy when choosing an outfit. Here are some tips for tailoring your wardrobe to fit your organizational needs. Separation and Categorization The first step is to separate tops and bottoms. As you do this, divide types of clothing items into different categories: tank tops, skirts, shorts, blouses, cardigans, etc. You’d be surprised by how many items you possess that have gone forgotten due to misplacement. Color Scheme There is no right or wrong way to color-code your closet. We all have unique and individualistic taste when it comes to color choice. It’s okay to experiment with the color scheme you want for your closet before making a final decision. You can follow a traditional rainbow method or go from light to dark. Make sure to set aside a section for patterns and prints. Preference Takes the Lead Once clothes are properly placed in their respective groups, it’s time to choose an order for your closet. It’s best to place items in a sequence that matches your style preference. Ask yourself what you wear most often within the groups of tops and bottoms and arrange accordingly. The goal of an organized closet is to get what you want, when you want, without the hassle of stressful searching. tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 11 

trending | wellness

Fruit Can Add Up to a Healthy Heart By Abby Cloud


hen it comes to the well-being of your heart, it is important to remember to take as many precautions as possible to avoid the effects of high blood pressure, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol. Strengthen your heart health at home by simply adding fresh fruit to your daily diet. The American Heart Association encourages the addition of fruits to

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people’s diets because they are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins and low in calories and fat. The nutrition supplied from fruit can lead to lower blood pressure and weight, resulting in better heart health. Here are some tasty fruits that can be added to your next shopping list to ensure your heart’s health.

APPLES are connected to improving the condition of your heart because of antioxidant compounds that help prevent inflammation. Soluble fibers found in apples bring down cholesterol levels. Instead of grabbing a candy bar or a bag of chips, reach for an apple the next time you want a bite to eat. PAPAYA and cantaloupes are options that contain high amounts of beta carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber. For your next healthy snack option, whip up a papaya or cantaloupe smoothie. BERRIES, such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, are composed of phytonutrients and soluble fiber that enrich heart health. Adding these fruits to snacks like oatmeal or yogurt will give you a burst of flavor. CITRUS fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruits are rich in potassium and vitamin C. Consuming the juices from citrus fruits also contributes to a healthy diet. Try drinking a small glass of orange juice with your breakfast or adding slices of lemon or lime to your water bottle. CHERRIES are rich in nutrients such as beta-carotene, iron, and fiber to help your heart health. You can add cherries to your daily diet by including dried cherries into a homemade trail mix or using them on your favorite salad for lunch.

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trending | wellness


The Bacteria that is Good for You By Rebecca Pringle


he word “bacteria” can be tricky. Sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is an infection or disease caused by bacteria. From hand sanitizer to antibiotics, we spend most of our time trying to avoid bacteria. This is difficult, however, considering that the microbial cells living on and in our bodies outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. We have an entire symbiotic world of microbes called a microbiome. These bacteria perform many necessary functions and affect almost every aspect of our health—they influence our immune systems, help us digest food and produce essential vitamins.

popular probiotic) has been joined in popularity by kombucha and kefir. Kombucha is a fizzy beverage made from fermented green and black teas and comes in a variety of flavors. Kefir, a fermented milk drink, is also sold in different flavors. For greater health benefits, avoid ones with a lot of sugar.


Miso, a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans or kimchi, is a staple in Korean cuisine made with fermented vegetables. You can find most of these at your local grocery store.

Lifestyle has a huge impact on our microbiota, particularly what we eat and our use of antibiotics. Although often necessary, antibiotics can have an effect on our microbial communities akin to destroying rain forests. Probiotics, which contain live cultures of microorganisms, can aid in the recovery of our gut microbiota and can help maintain a healthy balance of “good” intestinal bacteria. Here are a few trending, popular sources for you to become a pro at probiotics.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods containing probiotics have become increasingly popular as more is discovered about the human microbiome. Yogurt (always a

Be sure to check with your doctor before making any health-related decisions. 14  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018

The Importance of Vitamin B12


ur bodies are miraculous machines. They are constantly working to keep us alive and functioning effectively. Vitamins are essential for our well-being, and adequate levels are crucial to ensure a healthy mind and body. Without the proper vitamin intake, we may be at risk of diseases, depression, chronic fatigue and developing other serious health complications. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in our bodies energy levels. Without it, our performance and mental clarity are weakened, unbalanced and out of focus. However, a lack of B12 does more than increase fatigue and weaken our capabilities. It is vital in that it helps protect the heart from inflammation, maintains strong bones, prevents nerve damage, improves mood and sharpens memory. Plus, it helps our DNA replicate correctly, which keeps our cells younger and helps us look and feel young too.

By Geneva M. Rodriguez

It’s been reported that nearly 40 percent of the American population is deficient in vitamin B12. The older we get, the more responsibilities are added on to our plate, and the easier it is to get wrapped up in stressors. This can make it difficult to keep up with what we are putting into our bodies. It’s important to pay attention to our diets and the nutrients that we are getting from the foods we eat. B12 is mostly found in the following animal products: eggs, clams, oysters, salmon, chicken, beef, cheese, milk, mussels, crab and turkey. It can also be found in fortified cereals and grains, as well as vitamin supplements. Be sure to check with your doctor before making any healthrelated decisions.

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 15 

trending | knowledge

Women in Collaboration By Ellie Bright


here is nothing greater than powerful and smart women creating together. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is important to acknowledge the women who worked together to better the world we live in.

Myers Briggs First published in 1943, the Myers Briggs personality test was formed by a mother and daughter. Katherine Briggs became intrigued with her daughter Isabel’s future husband, Clarence Myers. Although Clarence was an eligible suitor for her daughter, she noticed that his personality and way of seeing the world differed greatly from that of her daughter’s and her family. After researching and understanding different temperaments and comparing their work to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, Myers and Briggs wanted to share their findings with the world, creating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The test helps you better understand your personality types strengths, weaknesses, and how to balance and overcome them.

Hidden Figures Three incredible, African-American women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, were the math wizards responsible for getting Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard and John Glenn into space. Although they were paid very little and faced racial discrimination, these women were pivotal in putting humans into space. With their involvement and brain power, NASA was able to produce their first orbital mission.

Proactiv Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields were classmates studying dermatology at Stanford University. After both suffering from bad acne throughout their lives, Rodan and Fields wanted to find a better way to treat it, and therefore, Proactiv was created, becoming one of the top-selling acne medications in the United States.

Birch Box Two entrepreneurs, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, co-founded the box-subscription service known as Birchbox. Women who subscribe receive a box of beauty samples monthly, right to their door. Both graduates from Harvard Business School, the duo created the company in 2010, and has already expanded to include a Birchbox Man. Birchbox already has almost 800,000 subscribers and is an incredibly successful and thriving company. 16  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018


Inventions with an Impact


e have so many brilliant women to thank for making our lives easier. Here are some examples of additional women who changed the world.

Kevlar: Chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar,

a fiber that is five times stronger than steel, which is used in different items like bulletproof vests, fireproof clothes and car tires.

Stem Cell Isolation: Allowing us to better

understand the blood systems of cancer patients, Ann Tsukamoto was allotted a patent in 1991 for her process that allowed for the isolation of the human stem cell.

Central Heating: We can be thankful for Alice

Parker when we enjoy central heating during our bitter cold, Florida winters.

Windshield Wiper: Mary Anderson created the windshield wiper which allows us to drive safely through Florida’s torrential downpours. Spanx: Thank goodness for Sara Blakely (a Florida State

University graduate) and her brilliant invention of the hugely popular product Spanx. Created by women, for women, Spanx is the ultimate lifesaver for any outfit.

Chocolate Chip Cookie: In 1930, Ruth Wakefield ran out

of baker’s chocolate while baking cookies for the residents of her Inn. Wakefield crumbled a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar with the hopes that it would mix into the batter and melt during baking. Thankfully for us, it didn’t, creating the first chocolate chip cookie.

Dishwasher: Josephine Cochrane invented the dishwasher because she wanted something that would wash her dishes more efficiently and more safely.

Monopoly: Since Monopoly’s creation by Elizabeth Magie in 1904, families around the world have been enjoying hours of money-making fun. Although it was originally called The Landlord’s Game, Magie’s impact on family game night is everlasting. The Fire Escape: Crucial to saving lives, the first outdoor fire escape was patented by Anna Connelly in 1897. As building progressed in the early 20th century, Connelly’s invention became well-known, as mandatory building safety codes were put in place across the United States.

trending | technology


f you want to embrace your artistic side and are looking for a fun online site to help you do that, the website is one to check out. Throwing a party? Make your own personalized invitations. Have several birthdays coming up? You can make cards as well. Or are you looking to create a social media graphic, or trying to start your own business and need a brand logo and new business cards? Canva is the perfect place to get inspired and create. Through Canva, you can create invitations, graphics, menus, and so much more. Canva is easy to use and has thousands of layouts to choose from to help you get started on your latest innovative project. With its many layouts, fonts, texts, images, photo filters, icons, and shapes, designing and producing can be fun and simple.

r e n g i s e D BE YOUR


By Ellie Bri


With more than 100 million designs created, 10 million users, and only 1605 days since it was launched, Canva has become a trusted and incredible source for any businesswoman, party planner or social media queen. Canva is available not only through their website, but also as an app so you have the ability to create on the go.

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 17 

trending | books

BOOK NOOK Memoirs of Memorable Women


n celebration of March being Women’s History Month, these books have been selected based on their authors. These talented women have demonstrated fearlessness throughout their lifetimes, and their stories are for all to read and share.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

By Alison Bechdel This memoir, written in the style of a graphic novel, describes Alison Bechdel’s childhood during the time that her father ran a funeral home. This “Fun Home,” coined by her and her brother, has since been adapted into the Broadway musical of the same name that won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015, continuing to wow audiences and readers.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

By Jeanette Walls Jeanette Walls’ memoir follows her and her dysfunctional family as they move from desert towns on the West Coast to her alcoholic father’s hometown of Welch, West Virginia. As Walls begins to save money to move to New York City in pursuit of her dream of being a reporter, her whole family follows her, which causes Walls to rethink her current position. The memoir was adapted into the film The Glass Castle in the summer of 2017 and proved to be a box office hit. 18  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

By Roxane Gay Roxane Gay, known for her Bad Feminist essays, is an associate professor of English at Purdue University. In this, her latest memoir, she tackles issues regarding self-image and self-love, while teaching and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of one’s body.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person

By Shonda Rhimes From the creator of the hit television shows Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, this memoir illustrates how Shonda Rhimes learned to stop saying “no” to various opportunities. The change she found in herself after saying “yes” to every invitation that came her way for a year caused an impact on every aspect of her life.

Mary Mcleod Bethune: Building a Better World

By Mary McLeod Bethune Mary McLeod Bethune, the founder of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona, Florida, was an African American women’s rights activist from 1917 to 1949. Some of her most inspiring and passionate essays are included in this anthology by the woman who served on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Black Cabinet and was one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s closest friends.


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style & grace

Lockets OF LOVE By Emma Peterson


here is nothing more romantic than having the one you love close to your heart. For centuries, women have adorned themselves with lockets—pendants with an opening in the middle to hold something meaningful, such as a photograph, a lock of hair or a small love letter—as a way to hold the ones they love close to their hearts. Today, women wear the same jewelry not only for its elegance and beauty but for the sentimental qualities as well.

When it comes to modern fashion, lockets come in a variety of materials and colors, but the elegant style remains the same. Lockets are made of gold, silver, glass and even wood and are sometimes embellished with the wearer’s initials, diamonds or other gemstones. If the locket comes in the form of a pendant necklace, it will traditionally be worn on a chain, though some women during Queen Elizabeth’s time wore them on velvet ribbons.

Following the popularity of ancient amulets, the locket appeared in royal Europe during the 16th century. For Queen Elizabeth I, lockets were her accessory of choice. She wore a locket ring daily and a bracelet with six lockets and eventually wore a locket necklace mourning her husband, Prince Albert, after he passed away. The queen of England may have started the trend, but lockets eventually became the must-have accessory during this time period.

Many of today’s popular jewelry companies and brands offer more modern adaptations to the classic locket, but if you want a more traditional look, check out some antique jewelers, thrift stores, garage sales or antique stores. Lockets are collectible, so be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars if the locket is made of gold or another precious material. No matter the style or the cost, the locket remains a timeless accessory for keeping what we love near our hearts.

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healthy living

Type 2 Diabetes


By Felicia Dilbert


rowing up in south Georgia, I was surrounded by delicious food, praise, worship and the sweetest women on Earth. These women cared about their family and friends and taught me that taking care of the community was a “good” thing to do. I saw many women sacrifice everything for others, and I adopted this standard as my own, never realizing I was neglecting my own health in the process. In May of 2017, after months of intermittent headaches, bouts of anxiety, fatigue and mood swings, I took the advice of my primary doctor and went to visit a thyroid specialist. It was during this visit that I received major unexpected news when the thyroid specialist said, “Felicia, you are a Type 2 diabetic.” The doctor explained that my bloodwork showed an elevated A1C, or blood sugar level, of 10.5 and informed me that I could have easily slipped into a coma. The rest of my appointment consisted of very uncomfortable education. I learned that diabetes is a chronic condition that can cause major damage to the vital organs if mismanaged; however, it is possible to live a dynamic life with the condition. To achieve results, I would have to change my entire relationship with food and create healthy habits, such as consuming a protein-packed diet, getting plenty of rest and taking medication, as needed. Most important, I’d have to make a conscious decision to heal. I needed to be all-in, as half-way was not good enough to successfully fight diabetes. The following week, I was hospitalized due to complications. After I was released, I visited my primary physician, who

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explained to me the dangerous connection between diabetes and heart disease. Heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels: the high glucose in the bloodstream can damage arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard over time—which can increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. He encouraged me to face this situation with confidence and to fight it. I left the appointment empowered. I accepted that I couldn’t change the past—yet the future was unwritten. It was time to transform my health and my life. After the appointment, my husband, Louis, called me and said, “Babe, you’ve got this! If you have to change your eating habits, then so do I. I’ve got your back and WE will fight this together!” That was the moment when I chose to change every unhealthy habit that had led me to this diagnosis. No more working through lunch breaks or making excuses about taking medication. I stepped up and adopted a heart-healthy meal plan and made a commitment to myself that no matter what, I would exercise several times a week. Together, my husband and I attended educational diabetes management classes at the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Metabolic Center. We learned how to cook delicious meals without salt, read labels to identify low-sugar, high protein foods and protect ourselves from a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, we learned strategies to help me in case of emergency blood sugar spikes or sudden drops in my blood sugar. For example, exercise, water and apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar if it spikes, and glucose tablets or

peppermints can raise blood sugar if it drops too low. The classes taught me how to advocate for myself, understand the significance of medication and clear communication with my medical team. After only three months, the fruit of personal, consistent lifestyle changes began to manifest. I felt stronger and this past year, I celebrated my birthday with the best presents ever: a healthy body that was 40 pounds lighter, a prediabetic A1C of 6.9 and a brilliant glow from internal harmonious healing. I learned that when pain and fear are harnessed appropriately, they can be powerful and motivational educators. I chose to learn all that I could so that fear wouldn’t stand a chance. Today, I credit the once unsavory title of “diabetic” as the catalyst that propelled me to make healthier decisions in order to live my best life. I am now one point away from a nondiabetic A1C. I went from hurting to healing, and my medical team and husband agree that I am a walking miracle.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 23 

bodies in motion

TONING On the Go By Ellie Bright


hether you are a working woman or a mom-on-the-go, finding time to stay fit can be a challenge. Between sitting at the desk, standing in line at the grocery store or fitting in some “me” time watching your favorite television series, it is possible to squeeze in a quick and effective workout. One of the most important aspects of toning on-the-go is using the resources around you.


Using your desk for tricep dips is an easy trick for toned arms. With your back facing the desk and your hands placed on the desk facing forward, keep your legs at a right angle and lower your body several inches allowing for a bend in your elbows. Then by returning to a straight elbow, bring your body upwards again. Doing push-ups with your hands on the desk is another great way to tone your arms. Try either of these exercises for four rounds of 15 reps.

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This next exercise can be done sitting in a chair, making it perfect for work. Grabbing the sides of the chair for stability, leave one foot on the ground and lift the other leg to form a right angle with your upper body, making sure to keep your toe pointed. Then begin lifting and then lowering your leg about an inch, allowing for a burn in your hamstrings and your quadriceps. Try doing 20 reps on each leg for four rounds.


Instead of using your grocery cart to transfer your items to the car, think about carrying them, particularly if they are reusable grocery bags, so as to prevent the bags from ripping (not to mention, it’s better for the environment). Hold your grocery bags at your side and shrug your shoulders up and down to get those tank-top-ready arms. Try doing 15 reps for four rounds.


Instead of picking the checkout aisle with the shortest line, seize the opportunity for a new workout. While waiting in line and using your cart for stability, work in some calf lifts. Start in a standing position with feet together. Raise up on your toes while squeezing your calf muscles at the same time. Hold for a count of 10, then slowly lower your heels down to the starting position. Do as many as you can while waiting for your turn at the check-out!


It’s time to tone your booty for swimsuit season as you are watching the new season of your favorite television series. While seated, start by lifting your body at an angle out of your seat by tightening your abs and your glutes. Once you have lifted most of your body, hold it steady at a 90 degree angle, out of the seat, for at least three seconds. Try 15 reps of these per 15 to 30 minutes, or every commercial break. *Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 25 

real life

On Crying:

Learning to Love the Language of the Heart By Summer Brooke Gomez, Ph.D.


he most poignant swell in the opera. The thoughtful act that overwhelmed you. The moment your body knew before your mind that you’d had enough. Crying can be both satisfying and surprising. Many of us have managed to develop strong opinions about when it should take place and how to respond. Yet no matter how well-formed our defenses or our rules, our tears are rarely planned. Some among us prefer to let these quintessentially human moments come and go without overthinking them. Others draw bright lines about the benefits or drawbacks of allowing ourselves to let it out. Whether everyone knows that you look forward to getting that glorious ugly cry in or you would rather keep your heart tucked neatly away from prying eyes, take notice. Your crying behavior and your attitudes about that of others can speak volumes about your self-care needs and provide you with valuable insight.

Truth Without Words

If you are willing to consider becoming more fluent in the intimate language of crying, begin with self-study. Start noting your tendencies and ideas about what feels right under the following commonly teary-eyed circumstances: Crying as catharsis. Perhaps you expect to cry at weddings or funerals. Perhaps you are occasionally surprised at your reaction when, suddenly, you realize you are contemplating the end of an era. The moments that move you reveal what you value, what you long for and even what you fear. Crying as a request. If you trust people enough to show rather than tell, it can be wonderful to be met with support. If you’ve decided not to lose your cool and your tears betray your 26  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018

intentions, crying can be painful. Examine your expectations, and you’ll be better able to own a safe, tender moment as well as plan for privacy when it matters. Crying as a statement. Do you prefer to cry with your community? Knowing whether you value being seen and heard—and to what extent—can help you grasp how to be expressive to your own satisfaction. Tears can also telegraph investment. If you’re a sympathetic crier, embrace it. Explain it when appropriate. Crying as a release. Accept that sometimes human beings will cry, preferences aside. This limit on control is natural and healthy. Of course, if you feel you need professional mental health or spiritual support, do not hesitate to reach out.

Lost in Translation

Once you have a better understanding of your own patterns and needs, consider the role of tears in a more social context.


Women Work Here

Respect differences. Nobody should feel obligated to cry to prove that they care or to suppress their emotions to meet with the approval or expectations of others. Do you know somebody that cries often and for sometimes unexplainable reasons? If they’re telling you not to read too much into it, respect their wisdom. Model tolerance and lead by example. Redefining strength. Unnecessary taboos about crying can create barriers. One example of this is an employee being pressured to limit her natural expression in the workplace without a rational reason, possibly because the established office culture encourages others to associate tears with a lack of professionalism. Confidently construct a culture of inclusivity that allows everybody to behave authentically.

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Beyond tears. If you are in a relationship, assess the role of crying. Does crying feel safe for you? For both of you? Would your partner argue that a healthy and important disagreement can be too easily avoided with a few tears? Respect one another’s temperaments, and insist on creating space for both emotion and substance.



If you or somebody else is feeling chronically misunderstood, you may need to use words to translate, ideally outside of an intense moment. First, allow yourself to develop an understanding and sense of freedom about when crying is right for you. Then train yourself to respect others’ patterns. Use your newfound insight like an expanded vocabulary to negotiate a better environment for everybody going forward. The next time you tear up or don’t, remember that joyfully enhanced emotional literacy can start with a deeper study of the language of the heart. Let your tears become words and, finally, poetry.

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on the cover

Erica Goff “Embracing the opportunities of each new day”

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Single and Sensational AT THE PLACE IN-BETWEEN By Heather Thomas | Photography by Kira Derryberry

The month of February

with all of its romantic fanfare and focus on the heart can sometimes prove to be difficult for those who are single. However, it can also be a time for deep reflection and positive self-growth—a sacred in-between place where a joyful life can take root and flourish. Erica Goff is a single woman who lives every day to the fullest, but it wasn’t always that way. As she followed the signs and picked up the pieces of her life after her divorce, she has embraced this solitary time to learn, grow and reshape the parts of herself that have been reclaimed. As she celebrates life and, most important, herself at a deeper level, her story shows that being single doesn’t have to be about filling an empty space but, instead, a choice to delve into the life-affirming opportunities to be found in singlehood.

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 29 

on the cover It had been a week since Erica Goff’s divorce was final, and she had spent the majority of that time crying in a borrowed bedroom at a friend’s house where she had moved after leaving her husband. The deep mourning was over when two friends knocked on the bedroom door with a gallon of ice cream and said, “It’s time to come out. We are going to eat this ice cream together, and then you are going to leave this room!” Erica laughs remembering the scene of 11 years ago and says, “It was the ice cream kick-start I needed to remind myself that this is the life I chose. I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do and that eventually, I would become a better person all around.” At first, she didn’t feel like a good person, and that was at the heart of her decision to seek a divorce. She had begun to realize that sometime during the seven years of marriage, her personality, her self-image and her very identity had slowly become unraveled and had taken a negative turn. She didn’t know who she was anymore and wanted to start putting those threads back together before she lost all sight of herself and, most important, her happiness. “I know how cliché that might sound, and I understand that marriage isn’t about being happy all of the time, but to be completely unhappy every day to the point of becoming depressed… that is something I knew was not what a lasting marriage should be like. It wasn’t healthy for me, and it certainly wasn’t healthy for my husband at the time.” Despite counseling and trying to make things work, Erica felt it was time to let go of the marriage so that they could both find happiness elsewhere. No matter the reasons behind any divorce, this is a cautionary tale. Erica is not sharing her story as an advocate for divorce, and she is not blaming her ex-husband for the way her life and self-image had degenerated. Because, despite all of the different reasons as to why divorces happen and whether you agree with those reasons or not, it is widely agreed upon that most couples

who walk down the aisle to say, “I do,” do not anticipate that they’ll be getting a divorce in the future. Typically, the unraveling of the bond that ties two people together is slow and subtle, sometimes ending with a bang, but more often with a whimper. No matter what the breaking point, the pain, heartache and family schism that come when two people are no longer married can have painful, long-term effects. For many, as it was for Erica, going through a divorce is similar to experiencing the grieving process after a death. In fact, even having a glimpse of what breaking up with her husband might be is what kept her in the relationship for as long as she had been, which was a total of 12 years. So it was for all the right reasons that Erica dated and eventually got married and why she took the contemplation of a divorce very seriously. Born and raised in Tallahassee as an only child to parents who are devout Christians, she describes a childhood of love and security, but of strict rules when it came to relationships, which she closely adhered to. She met and fell in love with her soon-to-be husband during a spring break in Panama City, Florida, when they were both in college. They dated for five years until she was 25. Erica says, “When you get that far in a relationship at a young age, there seem to be no other steps to take but marriage. I’m incredulous now that I remember feeling ‘so old’ at that point, and I think we both felt it was what was expected from our families." As Erica replays the years of marriage in her head, she says, “At some point, I had started to base my self-esteem on my husband and his happiness. I was insecure and didn’t like how I looked, and I had negative thought patterns that had completely taken over.” As she began to heed the signs directing her towards divorce, she felt that her steps were being led as she prayed and sought earthly and godly counsel. “My faith has actually grown stronger because I’ve learned to trust God in everything, even when things don’t make sense. Despite

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all the pain and indecision, I had a peace that did transcend understanding. I also had the support of my parents, who understood that I needed to let go of the legalistic aspect of my faith and jump into the chasm of not understanding why I was moved to action in this way, while at the same time knowing in my soul I was doing the right thing.” For Erica, doing the right thing involved the severing of dreams and hopes in order to create new ones, a painful process with risk, but also rewards. In the year after the divorce, she started to reclaim her happiness. Personally, she began the internal hard work of bolstering her selfesteem and began to feel beautiful and empowered. She would travel and try new things, “embracing the opportunities of each new day.” She also became financially independent and says, “I started to build my own security and not find my security in another person.” Professionally, Erica moved from a work-from-home position to working at Pathology Associates as a Medical Examiner Specialist, including training in death investigation. Every unnatural death in ten counties is investigated at Pathology Associates, so as Erica works around death on a daily basis, she has learned to appreciate and revere life in a way she never had before. “Life can end at any moment. It’s one of the reasons I surround myself with love and give that love back and treat every day as if it were my last.” This came into hyper focus when she was in jeopardy of losing her own life to vertebral artery dissection, a condition in which a flap-like tear of the inner lining of the vertebral artery occurs. This artery supplies blood to the brain. She had to have both of her top ribs removed in order to relieve the pressure. “The vascular surgeon had not seen a case like mine in over 20 years. I have seen it several times at my job, and I knew that this condition can be fatal. I know God is the only reason we found this before it was too late. And by His grace, I know that surviving this is a miracle.” The recovery was long and

painful, but like the recovery after her divorce, the hardship gave her a renewed understanding of what she wanted out of life and a commitment to live single until the right person comes along. After years of being single, the true gift that has come from the time after her divorce is this— “I found my joy again, in myself and in my life. If you aren’t happy with yourself, you are not going to be happy with anyone or anything else. I’d rather be single for the rest of my life rather than be unhappy with someone just because I don’t want to be alone.” Understandably, that word—alone— can strike fear into the hearts of many women, and Erica has witnessed a lot of them make poor choices solely based on that fear. As women get older, the dread becomes harder to fight as they worry they may age and even die alone without a partner. Her advice to all women is this, “Take time to learn about who you are. If you don’t know what you like, how

are you going to know what you want in a relationship? Don’t be dependent on anyone else for your well-being, whether that is your happiness, self-esteem or your finances. Don’t try to be someone else in order to please others, and never settle for less than what you deserve. Mainly, live life now. Don’t wait for life to begin if or when you find someone to marry again.” Following her own advice, Erica does date, but sparingly, preferring to be very selective. As she waits, she has found that her search for happiness evolved into “wanting to help others reclaim themselves after a divorce or perhaps facilitate others’ understanding of a friend or a family member who has been through a divorce and know how to help. Everyone will have different circumstances when it comes to before and during a divorce—the great mystery is what comes after. I’ve learned to accept and appreciate the unknown—that’s where all the great discoveries are.” One of those major discoveries for Erica is that “You are never

truly alone. Family, friends, coworkers and the people I choose to be with fill my cup to overflowing. Also, being by myself is not something to be scared of anymore. It’s liberating to not be held back by that particular fear.” As fate would have it, Erica’s 44th birthday is in February, the immortal month of love. She has now been single longer than she was ever married, and with no children, the once twentysomething woman who just wanted to be married and raise a family is at a place in life she never expected to be, but she wouldn’t change a thing, knowing that she has become a better person from her experiences. “I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life, but at the same time, I’m all right with being single if that is God’s plan for me. If and when the right person comes along, I will know, and that will be wonderful. This in-between time is full of laughter, life, and love, and I’m cherishing every moment.”


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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 31 

feature | women’s history

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Two Regimes—A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival is the true story of Teodora Verbitskaya and her daughters, Nadia and Lucy, who were “swept up in the collateral damage of war and survival before, during and after World War II.” At the project’s core is a compilation of over 100 paintings by Nadia and the published journal of Teodora.


idden in a forgotten, termite-eaten heap beneath a rustic house in nearby Greenville, Florida, was a treasure trove of history, art and mystery contained in over 100 paintings by professional artist Nadia Werbitzky and a journal written by her mother, Teodora Verbitskaya. This discovery would eventually reveal a remarkable story of a mother and her two daughters surviving some of the harshest conditions of wartime. As beautiful as the strokes of color and pen is how the owners of Two Regimes—Mimi Shaw and Kelly Bowen—came to be the rescuers, caretakers and advocates for the collection. As the two women delve into the heart of the project’s potential, they have used the collection to not only help preserve the past but to educate students of all ages about the lasting importance of history, art, the written word and the bonds of love that connect us all.

Kelly Bowen (left) and Mimi Shaw (right).

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 33 

feature | women’s history The Two Regimes Odyssey In 2000, when Mimi Shaw received the phone call from a friend about WWII-era paintings underneath a stilted house in Greenville, Florida, she was just returning home from a clowning performance and still had her clown paint and costume on. Mimi is the longtime owner of Klown Kapers Inc., and is known to many as BJ the clown. “I was told that it was imperative that I see the artwork before an estate sale took place. Cornelius (her friend and artist) knew that my father was in the Army during WWII." With Cornelius navigating, together they drove to the house, negotiating numerous dirt roads in the woods at night. When Mimi first laid eyes on the seemingly forgotten paintings, she was awed at the sheer number of them and saddened by their deteriorated state, stacked like pages of a large book under a plastic tarp. The first painting she picked from the pile was that of a Russian clown. “As I’m looking at the painting, still in costume, the face in the painting staring back at me is that of a clown. I knew immediately that I was meant to find these paintings and rescue them. I didn’t choose this project—this project chose me.” Mimi went back numerous times in the following month to buy more. “I was haunted and obsessed by these paintings. I sent images to my dad, who informed me that in one of the large oils, labor camp soldiers were in actuality wearing Russian Internment uniforms. Until that point, I did not have a frame of reference for the artwork.” However, important questions still lingered, so Mimi began to offer money for everything under the house and in the house in order to acquire all of the art and to solve the mystery, even taking out loans. Among the items acquired was a trunk in which the decomposing journal of Teodora was discovered. Written in Russian, the journal would not be fully translated until later, but would reveal tragic and poignant moments of Teodora’s witness to the

atrocities of war—the Holodomor and the Holocaust, the struggle to survive the German occupation of their Russian city, Mariupol, and being deported to Germany in a padlocked cattle railway car to endure internment in multiple labor camps—thus how Two Regimes gets its title, reflecting the wartime experiences surviving the regimes of Stalin and Hitler. Mother and daughter’s works are shared memories created decades apart. Nadia’s memory paintings reflect the spirit of the Russian people and landscapes, along with haunting scenes of entire families being led to their doom, and the hopeless faces of those whose eyes speak of fear and heartbreak. A few months after the initial visit, Mimi went back to the house in the woods, but it had been vacated, confirming for Mimi, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime find. “I don’t believe in coincidences. I felt that it was divine providence that these paintings came into my life, and therefore I knew I was meant to find the answer to their mysteries.” She kept returning to the area, knocking on the doors of nearby houses, with one neighbor inviting her inside. “The neighbor told me that Nadia knew that one day there might be a person who cared enough about her paintings and would come looking for her." With Nadia’s address that the neighbor had given her in-hand, over the next year and a half, Mimi and Nadia exchanged letters, with Mimi eventually visiting Nadia in Maryland. After spending a week there, they both flew back to Tallahassee to reunite Nadia with her paintings and met with an attorney who formalized agreements whereby her art would be protected and her story would be told. Little did Mimi know that Nadia was severely ill with diabetes and would pass away a short time later. “I felt that perhaps we had given her peace about her artwork and that her family’s story would not be forgotten.” In 2001, at the time the odyssey was beginning, Mimi was the secondary

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level drama teacher at Maclay School and was friends with Kelly Bowen, who videotaped all of the drama productions. Mimi shared the story of her efforts to acquire and restore the paintings, along with translating and preserving the journal of the mother. Kelly says, “Mimi’s personal quest along with the historical significance of the collection was inspiring.” Like Mimi, Kelly later used personal funds to acquire more paintings, along with volunteering hours of her time cataloging the collection, and co-editing the journal for publication. Mimi and Kelly self-published Two Regimes— A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival, by Teodora Verbitskaya in 2012. Kelly would become co-owner and the curator of the collection, endeavoring to exhibit the works throughout Florida, while maintaining its website, providing accounting/bookkeeping services and overseeing the restoration process. Taking the endless education potential to the next level, that same year, Kelly paired entries from the book with 60 paintings that illustrated the drama being described. With the help of grants provided by the Foundation for Leon County Schools, this segued into creating and implementing lesson plans using the Florida State Standards from fourth grade through high school, along with grade-level exhibitions of the artwork. The lesson plans are also reviewed and approved by Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, an expert Holocaust educator. As a result, today there are in the works, 14 sets of social studies lesson plans. Used together, the lesson plans, memoir and artwork (along with dramatic readings of memoir entries) combine historical context with modern-day experiences of bullying and prejudice. This creates a bridge of understanding for students in order to encourage art and history appreciation, the plight of women during wartime, empathy and creative problem-solving. “Our dream would be to have this become a national curriculum,” says Kelly.

Hell’s Threshold

(painting by Nadia Werbitzky)

Up to now the Jews had been left alone and walked about freely, although the authorities were keeping track of them. On a certain day, old man Gorlin, who had been a neighbor, came knocking on my door and informed us that the Germans had ordered the Jews to pack up their belongings and prepare to leave. He shared the kitchen with us. On the chance that he would not return, he asked us to watch his room and not allow anyone in. By evening of the same day we watched as they were led down the street toward the military barracks outside of the city. By the time we ran outside the first column had already passed the house. In front were the rabbis, the doctors and their families, and the Jewish intelligentsia. Next were the elderly, supported under the arms. The sick were on stretchers, and the children walked along, carrying knapsacks and small bundles. The procession moved very slowly. My children ran to say good-bye to their classmates: their best friend Rusia Halperin, their favorite teacher Bertha Vladimirnova, and other teachers. After the last column passed and the convoy had all but disappeared from view, we saw a young woman running with two

children, desperately trying to catch up. She held an infant in one arm; clutching her other hand was a three-yearold girl dragging a large doll. The guards had apparently forgotten about them. The doll was slowing them down, so the mother grabbed the girl with the doll and placed her on top of a bundle that was tied to her arm. Then she continued running, trying to catch up with her people. It was difficult to believe that they would shoot down seven and a half thousand people for no reason, but several days later they were executed and buried in those same trenches that we had dug around the city before the Germans arrived. Apparently, many of those buried were not killed because the earth continued to move for some time afterward. A vile, inhuman, and criminal act had taken place in history.

Passage from “Two Regimes—A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival” by Teodora Verbitskaya

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 35 

feature | women’s history Along with their educational aspirations, there is an endless number of different directions they can go with the collection (some of those being a theatrical production and a documentary), but they are severely limited by funding since there are still 65 paintings and 150 sketches that need to be restored. Two Regimes has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign, Two Regimes—Education and Art Restoration, to raise awareness about the project, and encourage donations. Kelly says, “Although the artwork is stored appropriately, they are still deteriorating. It’s imperative that we restore as many as possible before it’s too late.” Two Women United


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It’s hard not to marvel at how prominent the number “two” is to the story, almost like a seesaw that has Two Regimes in the middle, with Mimi’s and Kelly’s individual strengths providing a perfect balance. Kelly runs the business side of things, and Mimi is the primary owner and spokesperson, with both working together to write grants. Poignantly, with Mimi being Jewish and Kelly being Catholic, they reflect the two faiths that are paralleled in the project—the Verbitskaya family were Orthodox Catholic who lived peacefully with all faiths in their town, yet witnessed and documented the Holocaust, along with surviving the Holodomor. Both are also married mothers of two children, are grandmothers, and have strong military ties. Mimi and her husband Perry are from military families, with both of them caring for Mimi's twin brother, a disabled Vietnam veteran, who lives with them. Kelly is married to a retired Air Force Colonel, and their daughter Lori, and her husband, Luke, are currently Captains in the Air Force. Overall, they reflect the sisterhood that comes from traveling a long, arduous journey together in the pursuit of something greater than themselves, quite

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Giving Tallahassee a Reason to Smile

like Teodora and Nadia. They have both sacrificed tremendously of their own resources and time, committed to, as Mimi says, “raising this important art and story from the ashes and bringing them into the light.” This bond has only grown stronger over the last 18 years since the odyssey first began. Their friendship and selflessness towards each other and the Two Regimes project is its own enduring masterpiece. Kelly says, “These works of an artist’s brush and written word have survived their creators. Just as Teodora and Nadia sought to validate that the people in the paintings and in the journal lived and breathed on this earth, Mimi and I are trying to do the same, but it’s much more than that. We want to help the future generation understand the horrors of war and the blindness that comes from prejudice. We are teaching others how to see with eyes of compassion and love—there is no greater legacy than that.” For more information about Two Regimes and to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, visit online at

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 37 


Women Who Mean Business WOMEN TO WATCH

W S | A W A R D S | M I L E S


As part of a community of business-minded women, Tallahassee Woman celebrates, recognizes and honors the achievements made by women in the workplace and in the community. In doing so, we are connecting women together, empowering one another and celebrating our successes that are making a difference for everyone.

Melissa Wright has been named private banker at Capital City Bank. In her new role, Melissa will serve the financial needs of high net worth individuals and families across the area. She joined the Capital City Bank Investments team of financial advisors in August of 2017, bringing more than 18 years of financialindustry experience. She is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 29 and currently serves as Leadership Tallahassee Membership Chair, United Way of the Big Bend BEST Project volunteer and elementary school classroom volunteer. Derilyn Sparrow has launched Breakthroughs8, a new consulting business providing collaborative and innovative solutions to improve growth, performance and efficiency. Derilyn received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in criminology at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. She has worked in the business community for 20 years and is the author of two books: The Power Chair and Defeating Despair Through Faith.

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Julie Rose Godwin recently joined Klown Kapers Inc. (DBA BJ’s Party House) as a co-owner. Julie Rose is a certified preschool teacher and dance instructor for Little Lambs Preschool and also choreographs performances for BJ’s Party House. A skilled award winning face painter, Julie Rose has also trained top talent in the genre of professional face painting for children for the past 15 years. She has coauthored and published her first book, entitled The Face Painting Guide. Niki McKinnell has joined the Florida Association of Counties as its marketing manager. In her new role, Niki will focus on business development and marketing of the association's Enterprise Partner program, which works with industry leaders who offer the highestquality business solutions designed to meet the needs of Florida counties. Taylore Maxey was recently appointed Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Press Secretary. This position was newly created at the corporation, and she is first to hold this position. Taylore has 15 years of experience in public and media

relations and event planning. She has also been the Public Relations Chair for the annual LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival for the past five years and the immediate past national vice president of The Charmettes, Incorporated. Heather Mitchell has been selected to serve on Capital City Bank’s Leon County Community Board of Directors. Heather has worked in the field of resource development for over 25 years, serving in a variety of roles for nonprofits in the arts, health and human services, K–12 education and higher education. She currently serves as the vice president of Institutional Advancement for Tallahassee Community College (TCC) and executive director of the TCC Foundation. Kiffani Zackery was recently crowned Miss Black Tallahassee U.S. Ambassador 2018. She will compete in the state pageant March 2018 for the title of Miss Black Florida US Ambassador 2018. In her new role, Kiffani plans to promote her platform, ProL.E.A.D. (Professional Leadership Enhancement Accelerates Development), which will provide professional development training and seminars to minority middle and high school and college students in the Tallahassee area. Kiffani is a master of business administration candidate at Florida A&M University. Nancy Daniels recently received the Tallahassee Bar Association’s annual Lifetime Professionalism Award. Nancy served for 26 years as the public defender for Leon County and five surrounding counties before her retirement in 2016. Nancy was instrumental in the development of the Second Circuit’s drug courts, mental health treatment initiatives, juvenile diversion and civil citation programs. Rebecca J. Bandy has been named the Director of the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism. She joined the Center as Assistant Director in March 2017. Prior to joining the Florida Bar, Rebecca was an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Powell, PA, where she litigated in the areas of family and criminal law. She earned her juris doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. Rebecca is active in her church, volunteers at an area elementary school and has supported such causes as the Epilepsy Association of the Big Bend, the Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC) and Honor Flight Tallahassee.




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business & career

Doing a Great Work By Terrie Ard

“I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down” Inspired leaders rise above the minutiae to create long-term value


hink about what you did yesterday. For many of us, the average workday involves tasks that can leave us feeling unmotivated and uninspired. We attend meetings. We read e-mails. We return calls. But what if you could focus on meaningful actions that build passion and produce long-term rewards? On my best days at Moore Communications Group (MCG), you can hear me saying, “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down.” I originally heard this message from Andy Stanley, a pastor, author and faithbased business consultant. It comes from the Bible and the story of Nehemiah, whom God tasked with rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The Babylonians had destroyed the temple and torn down the city walls. Knowing that his home was vulnerable to attack, Nehemiah rallied others to join him, and with a singular focus, he set about his work. Other groups were not happy that Nehemiah was fortifying Jerusalem. In fact, a group of men plotted to draw him away from the city and kill him. Nehemiah saw through their scheme, and each time they tried to lure him away, he said, “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down.” Focusing on what truly matters is the primary role of inspired leadership. We might not be rebuilding city walls like Nehemiah, but we all face distractions that keep us from achieving our best results. Realistically, every day isn’t going to be “a great work day.” We all have responsibilities that, while uninspiring, are necessary, but we can’t allow these tasks to consume our time. So, how do we do great work when the meetings, e-mails and calls keep mounting? Let me introduce you to Compound Time. In a world where everyone is cramming as much as they can into busy schedules,

change agents are doing the opposite. They’re slowing down, learning more and focusing on what matters. You can do this too. Through his research, Michael Simmons, an author, speaker and entrepreneur, found that most successful leaders spend at least ten hours a week on Compound Time. Despite having more responsibility, they find time to invest in activities that result in knowledge, creativity and energy.


Write to Learn

Keep a journal. Journaling brings order and meaning to our experiences and becomes a tool for discovery. Writing augments our ability to think and fosters self-awareness. Workplace by Facebook has become an online journal for our team. MCG uses Workplace to share ideas, celebrate achievements and pass along interesting articles and information. Through the interactions and documentation, we can reflect on what we’ve accomplished and consider how to incorporate innovative approaches for our clients. No matter what tool you choose, journaling promotes clarity and focus. You can write anywhere, anytime. Even a few minutes each day will have an impact.

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Catch Some Z’s

Can you imagine adding a nap to your workday? Research confirms that napping makes us more productive. History is replete with great leaders who took regular naps, including Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Companies including Uber, Zappos and Google are making naps possible for their employees. We haven’t quite figured this one out yet, but it’s something to consider and try.

Keep Moving

Top performers build exercise into their routines. Taking a walk refreshes the mind and body, increases creativity and promotes health. Make sure you’re getting up from your desk often. There’s a beautiful world outside. Get out and experience it. You will feel reenergized even if you only walk for 10 to 15 minutes.

Read to Grow

As Simmons writes, we all have access to the favorite learning medium of Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world: books. Reading introduces us to new experiences and ideas, improves memory and increases empathy. MCG has a library where team members can check out books. We dedicate a budget each year to building this library, and any team member can request a new title to be purchased. This

is an easy and cost-effective way for any business to contribute to employee development.

Get Social

Creativity is social. We have established several groups at MCG to promote conversation and the sharing of ideas. One is Moore Coffee Break—an established day and time to bring a topic to brainstorm with the group. It might be a new ad campaign for a client or a new digital tactic. Creative people feed off of each other and make each other better. Start talking.

Experiment Often

No matter how much we read and discuss, we need to spend time doing, trying and even making mistakes. Consider what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day.” Experimentation is founded in a culture that rewards innovation and promotes flexibility for employees to experiment and to, yes, make mistakes. We learn from our mistakes, and they make us stronger. Implementing Compound Time won’t happen overnight. It involves a shift in our thinking and the belief that focusing on our strengths and passions is necessary. Step away from your to-do list, invest in your future and guard your time. Focus on your “great work.”

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 41 


PAYING FOR COLLEGE Tips for Parents and Students From a Soon-to-Be College Graduate By Emma Peterson


s the youngest of five children, I knew I was on my own when it came to paying for college. My parents instilled in me early on that the only way I would be able to attend a university would be through scholarships and student loans. My mom is a college and career counselor, so I was fortunate to have such a knowledgeable resource when it came to college funding. The following are her most recommended tips.

Florida Prepaid

With Florida Prepaid, parents can pay for their child’s college education years before they are even admitted. Payment plans and tuition packages vary, but parents can choose from a number of packages, including the 4-year Florida university plan, 4-year Florida college plan, 2-year Florida college plan, 1-year Florida university plan, and the 2+2 plan, through which the student can attend two years at a Florida college, followed by two years at a Florida university. If you have young children, it may feel like college is far away, but your babies will grow up quicker than you realize—planning ahead for their college education is one of the best gifts you could ever give them.

Student Loans

If you’re like my family and you can’t afford to pay off your child’s college education ahead of time, student loans are inevitable. Obviously, it isn’t ideal to have debt after graduation, but there are ways to make sure that the debt you have is as easy to pay off as possible. The most important distinction to make when choosing what loans to take out is subsidized versus unsubsidized. If possible, accept loans that are subsidized because the government pays the interest on them while the student is in college or when the loan is in deferment. With unsubsidized loans, interest begins to accrue as soon as the loan is taken out. Loans also provide extra incentive for the student to become employed after graduation—you must begin paying the loan back six months after graduation.

Local Scholarships

One of the resources that is underutilized is local scholarships. Often, there are local organizations that provide scholarships to students planning to go to college. These scholarships can be given for scholastic achievement, volunteer hours, school involvement, financial need or even something really specific that you might not realize you qualify for. For example, Tall Clubs International Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship given to college freshmen over 5'10". My senior year of high 42  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018

school, I applied to at least a dozen local scholarships, and was very fortunate to earn six of them. I used these scholarships to purchase a laptop and textbooks and to pay for my meal plan my freshman year.

Ask the School

If a student is not offered a scholarship with admission, many parents and students think that they will not receive any money from the college or university. However, these scholarships are usually given based purely on an algorithm and are determined by a minimum GPA and SAT score. Do not hesitate to call the financial aid office at the university you plan to attend to ask about school scholarships. Also, if another school offered you a scholarship, share that with the university you want to attend. In some cases, colleges will then offer an equal scholarship to guarantee your attendance at their university. Or, if you demonstrate a sufficient financial need, you may be eligible for certain scholarships and grants. My dad was laid off before I started my freshman year, so money was very tight. On top of the local scholarships and loans, there was still a portion of expenses that I would not be able to pay. My mom and I went to the financial aid office during my freshman orientation to see how the university might be able to help. Thankfully, they provided me a $900 grant per semester. When it comes to paying for college, it’s never too early to plan ahead, but it’s also never too late to seek ways to alleviate current costs or future debt. However you choose to manage the expense, make college financing work for you.

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


Tallahassee Rocks...and So Does Wakulla By Abby Cloud


he trend of painting and hiding rocks continues to inspire others to get creative and share with others. Now, not only local Tallahassee residents are making sure positivity is being spread by the hugely popular trend to hand paint and place rocks all over town—it is a popular pastime for the people of Wakulla County as well. So many individuals partake in the activity that a “Tallahassee Rocks” Facebook group was established by Bonnie York and Melanie Davis to represent the stones being discovered. And for those that reside in Tallahassee’s neighboring county, Wakulla County, there is a “Wakulla Rocks” Facebook group as well.

Don’t hesitate to host a rock-painting party to contribute to the growing number of rocks around Tallahassee and Wakulla, but do make sure to get permission from the businesses and leave rocks where they won’t cause any damage. An additional objective of rock painting is to express your creativity. Painters have decorated the stones with encouraging words and quotes, colorful depictions of nature and wildlife, funky patterns and even inspiration from their favorite television shows. As stated on the Tallahassee Rocks Facebook group page, “The intention of this site and this community activity is singular and simple: Spread joy.”

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Image from Wakulla Rocks Facebook group page

Imag e


Talla hasse e

Rock s Fac ebo

ok gr oup p


On the Facebook pages, you can find hints as to where new rocks are hidden and tips on how to paint them, as well as share your own photos when you stumble upon a rock. One objective of this movement is to remind residents of how wonderful our community is. An important goal is to have as many people join in the rock painting as possible so there are plenty of rocks to be found.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 45 

our community | women we admire


LIVING A LIFE OF LOVE By Michelle R. Nickens Photography by Lydia Bell of elleBelle Photography

Lance Davis, the husband of Dr. Amanda Davis, wrote to TWM describing why his wife is a woman to admire and how she inspires him and their family every day to live their best life. We’ve included the couple’s story—and Lance’s expressions of his gratitude as a special February edition of Women We Admire to illustrate the power of two people bringing out the best in one another, something we all can admire.


ebruary marks the month of love—a time to reflect on, pay gratitude to and express feelings to those most important to us. Stories of love, admiration and selflessness are all around. Walking through life with your partner, tackling challenges and celebrating accomplishments, is a gift for the heart, mind and soul. Dr. Amanda Davis, a family practitioner at Capital Health Plan (CHP) Urgent

“Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what.”

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—Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You

“I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into. It was his smile that made me go back the next day for our second date at the same restaurant.” Care, found her soul mate. Together, they have worked to pursue their dreams and build an amazing life for their family. It all started when she was in her third year of medical school at Florida State University (FSU). “At FSU College of Medicine, you complete two years onsite and two years in a rural location,” Amanda explained. “For my third year, I went to Marianna (Florida). There were only four of us. It was kind of isolating, only knowing three students, so I listed my information on a dating site. Not to meet the one, but to meet people. But then I met Lance.” Amanda and Lance started communicating and soon decided to meet. “I was on my first rotation at the inpatient hospital in Chattahoochee. It was a hole in the wall—the restaurant,” Amanda said. “I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into. It was his smile that made me go back the next day for our second date at the same restaurant.” After the meeting, Lance says, “We both knew there was a connection. I was living in Bainbridge, Georgia, at the time and did a bit of commuting to visit. Our meeting happened at just the right time, as we both had something the other needed.” Amanda remembers calling her mother and saying, “I think this is it.” What started out as a way to meet people ended with finding the love of her life. “I felt safe with him. It was okay to be me. He was my other half.” Their romance blossomed and on New Year’s Eve 2010, Lance proposed. “It wasn’t fancy,” Amanda said. “But that was the best part—just us at our

apartment in our pajamas. It was like we always knew; we were just making it official. While I was still in medical school and Lance was changing careers, we were married on New Year’s Eve 2011 in Tallahassee, a year and six months from first meeting one another.” Amanda was accepted into the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Residency program and in her first year became pregnant with Jackson. When Lance was still in school and Amanda was embarking on her third year of residency, she became pregnant with Grant. “Not only did she work through her pregnancy in residency,” Lance explained,” but she also moonlighted to provide additional income for our new family.”

mentoring, tutoring and test preparation.

“If I would not have met Lance,” Amanda said, “I probably would not have made it through. We support each other unconditionally.”

With her many hats—doctor, wife, daughter, friend, mom—Lance says, “She does an amazing job balancing work and family and is my inspiration.”

As time passed, Lance completed a master’s degree and began teaching while Amanda started work at CHP Urgent Care. Marriage, children, medical school, residency, degrees, new careers? And they’re not done. A new business is on the horizonEngaged Academics—which will focus on

Amanda and Lance’s story is filled with mutual respect, compromise, passion, selflessness, support, understanding and, most important, a true unconditional love for each other. “We bring out the best in each other. I wouldn’t be who I am without him.”

Because life can be an uphill climb, having someone by your side makes all the difference. “If I would not have met Lance,” Amanda said, “I probably would not have made it through. We support each other unconditionally.” Their love serves as a foundation for what they do, how they respond to life’s challenges and make decisions.“We don’t do things that we aren’t both on board with, whether it’s about our children or a life change. We do it together, share responsibilities, and maximize each other’s strengths. And we always make time for each other. We need to be together for the whole family to be happy.”

How does Amanda stay focused and reduce stress? “It’s important to have a release,” she said, “whether it’s talking to a trusted partner, reading or having an artistic outlet. Ask for help. Make lists. Communicate with your spouse. I am a people pleaser. Doing things for Lance and the boys makes me feel empowered. However, I’m learning that it’s okay to say no sometimes. Don’t feel guilty. Do your best and feel good about knowing you did.”

tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 47 

our community

haute HAPPENINGS World Culture Festival

February 3, 2018 Good Samaritan United Methodist Church Come enjoy and appreciate some of the many cultures here in Tallahassee and around the world at the World Culture Festival. This event will celebrate different cultures through the sharing of food, art, performances, music and stories with the hopes that we can all connect through understanding. Although the event is free, all proceeds earned by vendors will go to the International Rescue Committee which delivers care to people escaping conflict and natural disaster. The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information visit

Tallahassee Half and Full Marathon

February 4, 2018 | Kleman Plaza The 44th annual Tallahassee Half Marathon and Full Marathon, sponsored by Gulf Winds Track Club, kick off on the first Sunday morning of February. The run goes through downtown Tallahassee and finishes at Kleman Plaza. Packet pickup for those registered will be on February 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a Health and Fitness Expo will take place at the same time at Kleman Plaza. To register and for more information, visit

Field Day Music Fest February 10, 2018 Apalachee Regional Park

Bring a blanket and chairs for an afternoon and evening of live music, food trucks and field games. VIP tickets

are available and include a full dinner, access to the bar and covered seating areas; ticket sales benefit the Judy Field Memorial Foundation for the fight against pancreatic cancer in Tallahassee and beyond. For more information, check out

Living Fashionably Well 2018

February 14, 2018 Goodwood Museum Carriage House The seventh annual Living Fashionably Well Luncheon benefits the Joanna Francis Living Well Foundation and features 30 breast cancer survivors on the runway to showcase their cancer journeys. Lunch will be catered by Carrie Ann & Co., and entertainment will be provided by Tony O’Donnell. For event details, tickets and sponsorships, visit

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The Glass Menagerie February 15 – March 4, 2018 Theatre Tallahassee

Running for three weekends The Glass Menagerie by the incredible and talented Tennessee Williams will be playing at the Theatre Tallahassee located off of Thomasville Road. The show tells the riveting and rather autobiographical story of an unstable family seeking to find hope in a better future while dealing with the past. For more information and to buy tickets, go to

The Addams Family

February 16 – March 4, 2018 Fallon Theatre at Florida State University Be sure not to miss your favorite creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky family perform at the Fallon Theatre in The Addams Family musical comedy. From 8 p.m. until 10:45 p.m., come see as the funny, family drama unfolds, as Wednesday gets married and the family must host her Midwestern in-laws for dinner. Tickets will range from $10-22, but you won’t want to miss out because they really are a scream. For more information visit

Tallahassee AIDS Walk February 17, 2018 | Cascades Park

The 27th Big Bend Cares’ AIDS Walk honors those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS. The memorial walk is followed by a community event that offers live music, food and testimonials at noon. Free, rapid HIV testing will also be provided to those interested, as well as learning opportunities about HIV prevention. To register, donate, volunteer, or learn more, visit online at or call (850) 656-2437.

Scholarship Gala

February 17, 2018 Donald L. Tucker Civic Center The Tallahassee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will host a scholarship gala themed “Glitz & Glamour.” The gala will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with music by the band Silkee Smoove. Proceeds from the event will provide educational scholarships for deserving young people. Tickets are $75 each. Sponsorship packages are also available. For more information on the scholarship gala, sponsorships or individual ticket purchases, visit

Hearth & Soul Nonprofit Night

February 22, 2018 | 1410 Market Street, D1 Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy has been selected by Hearth & Soul as the benefiting nonprofit for the month of February. The funds will be raised through a candle both partners will be marketing and selling. Join in on the fun at a cocktail reception at Hearth & Soul from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate this partnership. For more information visit


Saturday, March 24, 2018


6-9 pm at the FSU University Club 5-6 pm: Silent Auction & Hors D’Oeuvres COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 40TH AN

The Champions Ride

February 24, 2018 at Bannerman Crossings February 25, 2018 at the Golf Club at Summerbrooke



Come join other bicyclists for this great fundraising event for the Hang Tough COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 40TH ANNIVERSARYJonny GALADiaz Foundation. The Ride will be friendly to RAISING SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS FOR F brand new cyclists and elite athletes alike, THIS YEAR’S EVENT WILL FEATURE with criterium races on Saturday (along PAM TEBOW, mother of Heisman trophy winner with an expo) and varying ride distances on Tim Tebow and passionate spokesperson for women, parenting and Christian education. JONNY DIAZ, contemporary Christian artist (“Breathe,” “More Beautiful You”) and FSU Alumnus.




MARCH 24, 2018, 6–9 P.M. • FSU UNIVERSITY CLUB Silent Auction and Hors d’oeuvres, COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 40TH ANNIVERSARY GALA 5-6 p.m. Tickets and Sponsorships available FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT MYCCS.ORG


Keynote Speaker Pam Tebow Enjoy active senior living PAM TEBOW, mother of Heisman trophy winner Musical Guest Jonny Diaz Tim ordable Tebow and passionate spokesperson for with a variety of aff Coach Bobby Bowden women, parenting and Christian education. apartments and single-family JONNY DIAZ, contemporary Christian artist FSU Football Hall of Fame & NFL Star Corey Simon “More Beautiful You”) and FSU Alumnus. homes, plus the(“Breathe,” security Food Network Chopped! Champion Chef Shac WCTV’s Julie Montanaro of additional support like MARCH 24, 2018, 6–9 P.M. • FSU UNIVERSITY CLUB Auction and Hors d’oeuvres, 5-6 p.m. FSU President John Thrasher assisted living and Silent nursing Tickets and Sponsorships available TCC President Jim Murdaugh FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT MYCCS.ORG care, all on one campus.


For more information THIS YEAR’S EVENT WILL FEATURE call (850)PAM878-1136. TEBOW, mother of Heisman trophy winner

Tim Tebow and passionate spokesperson for women, parenting and Christian education. JONNY DIAZ, contemporary Christian artist (“Breathe,” “More Beautiful You”) and FSU Alumnus. MARCH 24, 2018, 6–9 P.M. • FSU UNIVERSITY CLUB Silent Auction and Hors d’oeuvres, 5-6 p.m. Tickets and Sponsorships available FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT MYCCS.ORG 4449 Meandering Way Tallahassee, FL

Tickets at tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 49 

our community | haute happenings Sunday, highlighting the beauty and rolling terrain of the Tallahassee community. The event on Saturday is at Bannerman Crossings and will include a series of short bicycle races on a set course with a free kids fun ride and a kids area. Sunday’s event convenes at the Golf Club at Summerbrooke and has ride distances for all levels, ranging from 12 miles up to 100 miles. For more details and to register, visit online at   

A Women's Pregnancy Center’s Walk for Life March 3, 2018 Tallahassee Automobile Museum

A Women’s Pregnancy Center’s 23rd Annual WALK for LIFE will be Saturday, March 3rd at the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Free and confidential services are vital to women and their partners who are facing the possibility of unplanned pregnancy. For more information, call A Women’s Pregnancy Center at (850) 297-1174 or e-mail

Leon Heart Ball

March 3, 2018 The Pavilion at the Centre of Tallahassee Join the American Heart Association in celebrating its work in the fight against heart disease and stroke at the Leon Heart Ball. There will be an auction, fine wine and food, as well as an unforgettable entertainment experience. For more information, call (770) 612-6092.

Tallahassee Jewish Food & Cultural Festival March 4, 2018 | Temple Israel

The Temple Israel will be hosting the Tallahassee Jewish Food & Cultural Festival, an event filled with family fun, delicious food, crafts from local artisans and free admission. The event will be held from10:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. While contemporary and traditional Jewish music plays in the background, feel free to enjoy the different 50  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018

booths and activities that even the kids can enjoy. Check for more details on the event including parking.

Red Hills International Horse Trials March 8–11, 2018 Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park

Viewers are welcome to the international equestrian event, where they can experience riders and horses competing in dressage, stadium-jumping and crosscountry in pursuit of inclusion in the U.S. Equestrian Team. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call (850) 580-4020.

Breakfast in the Park

March 22, 2018 | Bloxham Park This old-fashioned country breakfast kicks off Springtime Tallahassee for 2018. Breakfast is served by Springtime volunteers under tents downtown in Bloxham Park. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased in advance or on-site. For more information, visit online at or call (850) 224-5012.


Lemoyne Chain Of Parks Art Festival April 21–22, 2018 Tallahassee Downtown Chain of Parks

Voted the nation’s #1 Fine Arts Festival, visitors can view and purchase unique works of art from 150 carefully selected fine artists while enjoying a weekend filled with local heritage reenactments, various artistic creations, family fun, mouthwatering culinary creations, fanciful children’s art activities and foot-stomping live entertainment. The event is free and will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 51 

AROUNDTOWN Events • Benefits • Activities




KCCI Event

Photos by Colin Abby Photography Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) celebrated ten years of transforming Tallahassee with a reception in Midtown, an area where three of KCCI’s projects have intersected. Fifth & Thomas, a chic music venue and restaurant, served up locally sourced hors d’oeuvres and craft cocktails such as the “Midtown Maven” as guests listened to KCCI’s future plans. The event was sponsored by Taproot Creative.

1. Betsy Couch, Debbie Breeze, Lauren Pace, Rebekah Dorn, Alison Voorhees, Laurie Hartsfield 2. Lily Truesdale, Betsy Couch, Rebekah Dorn 3. Leslie Mille and Alison Voorhees

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Rootedin in Tallahasee Tallahassee for Rooted For


1938 - 2018

Years tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 53 

home and garden


By Brady Cureton | Photography by Lydia Bell of elleBelle Photography


illing your home with seasonal flowers and greenery from your own yard is a great way to add color and vibrancy to your indoor spaces. Arranged in collected containers, greenery and flower arranging brings art to life. Deciding on the location of your arrangement, the reason for your creation, your palette, the mood and the season all need to be considered when getting started. Does it need to be small or grand? Whimsical or refined? Creating both traditional elements in a freeform design or a contemporary tidy, symmetrical piece are part of the fun in creating an artistic expression. My go-to approach is to buy in-season flowers from the grocery store and then cut greenery right from my yard and garden. To begin building my arrangement, I start with the container. I love using my imagination and using unusual containers that may add a surprise element. It’s

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important to choose the right container making sure it is the correct size and shape for its destination. Make sure to always consider the number of flowers and greenery you have to work with. Next, if necessary, add wet oasis to the bottom of the container secured by floral tape. Then, place the greenery allowing the arrangement to take shape. Next, add smaller, unassuming flowers and then

the larger, statement piece(s). Finish by adding final touches such as twigs, moss, feathers or pine cones.

while keeping the cost minimal and your home vibrantly beautiful.

Seeing where flowers and outdoor greenery take themselves in an arrangement is part of the enjoyment, so don’t get caught up in any “rules.” Using what you have on-hand gives you the freedom to build an arrangement that speaks to you and appeals to your senses

Greenery: Boxwoods, Variegated Pittosporum, Eucalyptus, Cypress, Japanese Magnolia, Bamboo, Echeveria/Succulent

Materials used: Wet Oasis Garden Shears Floral Tape

Flowers: Daisy, Mums, Hydrangea, Chrysanthemum, Carnations, Baby’s Breath, Eryngium, Shrimp Plant Pheasant Feather

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Lemon Loaf

the dish


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ith the plethora of lemons in our area over the past few months, it’s easy to make a delicious treat that your family will love. Full of delicious flavor, this lemon loaf is perfect when your taste buds want a little bit of sweetness paired with a little bit of tart.


• ½ cup butter • 1 ½ cups sugar • 2 eggs • Grated rind of one lemon • 1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour • 1 tsp. baking powder • Dash of salt • ½ cup milk • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) • Juice of one lemon


Cream butter in a bowl. Add one cup of the sugar, reserving the remaining half for later. Beat in the eggs and lemon rind. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, alternating with adding milk. Finally, stir in walnuts. Turn into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.



Mix remaining sugar and lemon juice together. Spread over hot loaf. Let stand in pan for several minutes to absorb the lemon juice mixture. Remove from pan, and allow to fully cool before slicing.

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tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018 57 

FunnyGirl. A

nother holiday season behind us: food eaten, gifts exchanged (returned), lights taken down from rooftops (unless you haven’t gotten around to it yet—no judgment). However, one thing still lingers months later—the New Year’s Resolution. Resolution failure feels like guilt from your mother when you forgot to call; yet, resolution success can be wonderful (or so I’ve been told). If you’re stressing over falling short of your goal so far, I’ve taken friends’ “Top 8 Resolutions of 2018” and thrown in a dose of reality. 1. Lose weight. January, or “When Gyms Get Rich,” is when you exercise, eat healthier and drink the mysterious green stuff. By spring, you’re convinced taking one flight of stairs, after eating a Big Mac, is a reasonable compromise. 2. More personal interaction. The clock strikes midnight, and you notice everyone typing “Happy New Year” on their phones before saying it to people right beside them. You resolve to spend less time on social media and smartphones as you tell old friends that you need to get together soon. So they text you to make plans, send you Facebook invites finalizing those plans, “tag” you in comments about being out with you— while they’re out with you, then ask you through Messenger why you haven’t “liked” what they posted yet. This is going to be a tough resolution to keep, my friend. 3. More time with my children. Every year, parents swear they will do this. Then they remember why they didn’t follow through with this resolution the year before. I’m pretty sure it’s been scientifically proven that there’s only so

Resolution Reality By Jeannette Katicich

much arguing, Minecraft and repeating “You just had a snack” a parent can take before their head explodes. I love being with my kids, but I also love silence. It’s called balance—and maintaining your sanity. 4. Do more for others. If you’ve made this resolution—thank you. I’m sure you’re already incredibly giving and caring and love helping others. It’s the people like those who never return their cart in the store parking lot who truly need to adopt this resolution. (Lady at Publix yesterday—I’m talking to you.)

…and one for good luck: Be Happy. Stop worrying about resolutions. Don’t let one day obligate you to 364 more of being afraid you won’t succeed. Instead, embrace the possibility of failure—because it means you tried. Just be you: color outside the lines, cook and burn experimental dinners, maybe even try karaoke. Just stay away from “Benny and the Jets” —trust me on this. I hope you’re having a wonderful 2018, full of new experiences and lots of laughter.

5. Stop drinking. January 1st, or “If I Can Make It Through Today Alive, I’ll Never Drink Again” Day, is notorious for this one. Now, I’m not saying this resolution isn’t admirable. Just keep in mind, if you also made Resolution 3 (overachiever)— you’ve got your work cut out for you. 6. Save money. Unfortunately, this resolution comes right before the Post-Holiday Sales. However, you can still be considered successful if you convinced yourself that paying 25 percent less for that Instant Pot qualified as thrifty. 7. Reduce stress. If this is yours, ignore resolutions 1 through 6. 8. Learn all the words to ‘Benny and the Jets’ by Elton John. Pick another resolution. This one can only lead to failure and disappointment.


The Makeover Issue--FRESH ideas on transforming your life from the inside out. Plus the Women Who Mean Business Journal, Spring/Summer edition insert. 58  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018


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60  tallahassee woman • februar y / march 2018

TWM February/March 2018  

The February-March 2018 issue of Tallahassee Woman features cover woman, Erica Goff, who shares her life journey. One of our main themes thi...

TWM February/March 2018  

The February-March 2018 issue of Tallahassee Woman features cover woman, Erica Goff, who shares her life journey. One of our main themes thi...