Thrive Magazine January 2019 Issue

Page 1

January 2019

Special Section

Financial Planning

first person

with Mickey Smith, Jr.

Health Feature



Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Coming Fall 2020

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Providing academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment since 1953.

5665 North Gray Market Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70605 337-433-5246



In This Issue Places & Faces

8 National Plan for Vacation Day 10 Mayor’s Arts Awards 12 Explore the Museum of the Gulf Coast 14 Virtual Golf Parties at Gray Plantation

Mind & Body

20 – 24 Health Feature: Thyroid Awareness Month 26 Breaking Bad Habits 28 Medicare Wellness Benefits 30 CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Launch James W. Gardiner Center


Style & Beauty

32 – 39 Cover Story: 2019 Trends from Head to Toe

Wining & Dining

40 Take the Chill Off Winter with Soups 42 Nothing Bundt Cakes 44 Make the Switch to Switchel

Home & Family

46 48 50 52 53

Protect your Child’s Identity Back to School after a Holiday Break Super Bowl Party Protocol Winter Lawn Care Success with Succulents

Money & Career


56 – 62 Special Section: Financial Planning 63 Working with a Job Recruiter

Regular Features 4

6 16 18 54 64 66 67

First Person with Mickey Smith, Jr. By the Numbers: Thrive Magazine Who’s News Happenings Business Buzz Solutions for Life McNeese Corral

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019


@thriveswla | Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and to be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

Managing Editor Angie Kay Dilmore Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director Barbara VanGossen Design and Layout Mandy Gilmore Business Manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions


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Places & Faces

first person with Huber “Mickey” Smith, Jr. Inspiring Others to Discover Their Sound

by Angie Kay Dilmore, photo courtesy of Mickey Smith, Jr.

The name Mickey Smith, Jr. is synonymous with the word “music” throughout Southwest Louisiana. This dynamic, driven jazz man is passionate about music and education. He has been the band director at Maplewood Middle School since 2005. In addition to playing music and teaching, he supports organizations that promote music education for children; for examples, he is president of Musicmakers2U and a board member of Jazz in the Arts. Smith has won dozens of awards, including KPLC’s Class Act Award and the Mayor’s 2018 Arts Award for Arts Educator of the Year. He has been a National Semi-Finalist for the Grammy Music Educator of the Year award in 2015, 2018, and again this year, where he has moved into the list of Top Ten contenders! Smith lives in Sulphur with his wife, Eugenia, their daughter Mikayla, age 15, and son William, age 9. He recently shared with Thrive magazine his thoughts on playing his saxophone, his impact on his students, and the importance of finding one’s sound.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Tell us about your childhood, growing up in Mossville, La. My childhood was great. Mossville was like Mayberry in the Andy Griffith show. Everybody knew everybody and kids were just free to be kids. That is where my sound on my saxophone was developed. There was such an essence of play that I don’t often see in today’s society. I had so many friends and family members and there was a strong sense of pride in the community. It’s sad to me that the place where I grew up is now gone to industry.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician? My mom put me in piano lessons when I was very young. I did not put my best effort into it because in our neighborhood, music was not celebrated. Boys played sports and peer pressure kicked in. So I didn’t stick with piano. When I got to middle school, I was given another opportunity. I signed up for band. My grandmother purchased my instrument for me.

Describe your journey to becoming a music educator. I attended McNeese on a music scholarship; first one in my family to go to college. I didn’t start out as a music major, but I quickly realized, my heart was with music, and I changed my major to music education. I had an affinity for music and a desire to help young people, but it was when I did my student teaching at Oak Park Middle that I discovered I could impact students’ lives in a special way and I fell in love with teaching. I saw it more as a mission than a vocation.

Middle school is a tough gig for most teachers. What do you love about teaching that age group? I love their honesty, their enthusiasm. I love their perspective. They don’t see things like we see them. They’re very forgiving. They have a sense of discovery. Every day is an adventure. They still have child-like innocence, not old enough yet to be jaded, but they’re not babies.

What changes have taken place at Maplewood Middle since you became band director? Since 2005, there has been a 500% increase in the number of students who participate

in band. Out of a total student body of 320, 46% of the students are involved in the band program. It’s not about numbers, but that is definitely something we celebrate. It gives us a unique opportunity to dictate the culture of the school as a whole. It’s pretty interesting when we have a pep rally. Not too many kids are in the bleachers. The majority are either in the band or on the team. My aim is not only to teach but to use music as a vehicle to reach. We see growth because the kids feel like they matter. They are a part of something bigger than themselves. When teachers can not only instruct, but inspire, that’s a game changer.

What is your greatest challenge as a middle school band director? How do we, as music educators, articulate our value in a way that the community understands the value and significance of music education. It’s more than what happens at half-time. We love half-time, but what we do is so much more than what happens on a Friday night.

Besides notes and scales, what do you strive to teach your students? We use the acronym, BAND. Be your best, Aim for success, Never settle for less than your best, and Demand excellence. We try to help them grow the capacity to be intrinsically motivated and to help them be assured and build self-esteem. Music does that.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a teacher? Teaching is not just a job – it’s a calling. I’ve learned that we all have a “sound.” And by that, I don’t necessarily mean music. It’s about a person’s unique significance. My sound is not my saxophone or the band. My sound is my ability to entertain or engage or to educate, to elevate my learners to excellence. Each child has a sound. My job is to help my students know his or her value.

Tell us about Musicmakers2U. We collect donated instruments, clean and refurbish them, and give them to students who might not otherwise have a chance to play music. Thus far, through Musicmakers2U (MM2U), over 400 kids have been outfitted with instruments. I wonder sometimes, how different my

life would be today if my grandmother hadn’t given me my first instrument. My organization Sax in the City is a fundraiser for MM2U. Music with a mission.

You recently wrote, illustrated, and published a children’s book, The Adventures of Little Mickey: Keep on Going. Tell us about that. I want to help secure the legacy of Mossville and have a positive impact on the community. I want to encourage my students to Keep on Going, a mantra my mom taught me.

Tell us about your new program, Sound 180. The past couple years, I have taken my music and my message to other educators. Resources are poured into the schools, but the people who pour into the students are often left empty. We have a lot of teacher burnout. I developed a program called Sound 180, meaning 180 days (the length of a school year) of classroom instruction and harmony. I do professional development and speaking for school districts across the country and host an online support community for educators, providing motivation and practical tips and solutions. We want to help teachers be successful in the classroom.

What would winning the Grammy Award for Music Educator of the Year mean to you? In college, they asked us what we wanted to do with our careers. I said I wanted to be the absolute best teacher possible for my students. All these years later, life continues to teach me to strive for excellence and be a "sound" to change my students' world. For me, winning this award would mean that for one moment in time I was indeed the absolute best educator I could be for my students. I told my family that if I lost we would come together and celebrate and if I won we would come together and celebrate. So either way, no matter what, we will celebrate, because God is faithful. The 2019 Grammy Awards take place on February 10. Thrive magazine wishes Mickey Smith, Jr. all the best! Find him on his website, or on social media, @mickeysmithjr.


Places & Faces


Plan for Vacation DAY


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

As part of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 29, the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (LC/SWLA CVB), invites the community to plan their vacation time as well as invite friends and family to Southwest Louisiana during 2019. The first step in making something happen is planning! Every year, more than half of Americans (52%) fail to use all their time off, creating a stock pile of 705 million unused vacation days, up from 662 million days the prior year. The most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. “National Plan for Vacation Day is an opportunity for Americans and for America. And who better than the travel industry to help plan the perfect vacation?” said Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association. “America offers something for everyone, whether you prefer a sunny day at the beach or a snowball fight in the mountains. We encourage every American to plan their time off to explore our great country.” Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners: They use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier. • 53 percent of planners took all their vacation time vs. 43 percent of non-planners. • Planners are also more likely than non-planners to use all or most of their time off to travel (33% to 18%). • More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their personal relationships (81% vs. 68%), health and well-being (56% vs. 43%), company (57% vs. 50%), and job (56% vs. 48%) compared to non-planners.

“The research is clear that people who plan their vacations in advance tend to take more of their vacation days, have happier relationships as well as more productivity at work as opposed to nonplanners,” said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the LC/ SWLA CVB. “We are using this national day to bring awareness to everyone so that they will plan their vacations and also invite friends and family to visit Southwest Louisiana this year.” In addition, America’s unused vacation represents a missed economic opportunity as Americans’ 705 million unused vacation days add up to a potential $255 billion untapped economic boost. To help employees get their vacation days on the calendar, Project: Time Off created a vacation planning tool. By simply entering the number of days off earned, users can plot out their trips or vacations for the year, export to their work or personal calendar, and share with their family and co-workers. The LC/SWLA CVB encourages residents of Southwest Louisiana to invite friends and family to visit Calcasieu Parish. For itinerary ideas on things to do in Southwest Louisiana and inspirational photos by visitors to the area, go to www.visitlakecharles. org/planvacation and search for #VisitLakeCharles on social media.

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Places & Faces

Mayor's Arts Awards 2018 Winners Announced

The Arts Council of SWLA and the City of Lake Charles recently recognized contributions from the area’s creative workforce during the annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. Mayor Nic Hunter presented awards to area leaders from the arts community in seven categories.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

SAVING A WIN/WIN. Mayor Hunter honored Eddie Mormon as Artist of the Year. Mormon is not only a talented self-taught artist, but a fine example of a truly selfless, philanthropic attitude. He has used his acclaimed and sought-after paintings to fulfill his mission of helping organizations fundraise by donating his artwork to be auctioned. Many of his organizations of choice benefit local children; for example, the St. Nicholas Center, the Children’s Museum, and the Special Olympics. Mormon prefers to deliver his paintings in person, adding a more personal touch to his giving nature. He is a testament to the talent that we have right here in our area. He is an inspiration to artists young and old and a prime example of what should be done with talent when you have it — nourish it, develop it, and share it. He is incredibly deserving of the praise he receives and to make it even better, he will most humbly accept it. Mormon is the best kind of talent – the kind that is quiet and most of all, generous. Other award winners include:

Matt Young & Erica McCreedy

The Keystone Award, given to an individual or individuals who act as the hinge for productions and events in the area. Young and McCreedy organized the first Lake Charles Living History Cemetery Tour.

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Colleen Benoit

Citizen of the Arts Award for her work with Lake Area Ballet Theatre.

The Sesquicentennial Exhibit and the SWLA Genealogical & Historical Library Citizen of the Humanities award for their work with the City of Lake Charles’ 150th birthday celebration.

The Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Patron of the Year Award, in part for promoting their tourism/arts partnership grant.

Mickey Smith, Jr.

Arts Educator of the Year. He is Maplewood Middle School Band Director, president of MusicMakers2U, and a Jazz in the Arts board member.

Keys for Kids

Arts Organization of the Year. They refurbish disused pianos to distribute to local schools. For more information on the Mayor’s Arts Awards or the Arts Council, visit or call (337) 439-2787.


Places Places & &Faces Faces

Explore the Museum of the Gulf Coast Selfies with the Rauschenberg Gator


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Who says history has to be serious? At the Museum of the Gulf Coast, a 14-foot alligator sculpture honoring pop art icon Robert Rauschenberg is seriously fun. The sculpture sits in front of the museum in Port Arthur, Texas, where the artist grew up. Want to take a selfie with a gator? Strike a pose with this 2,000-pound reptile, who will stay still longer than the live alligators around the SWLA/SETX marshes. Tom Neal, museum director, said the alligator sculpture is painted in the style of world-renown “Father of Abstract Expressionism” Rauschenberg. Some refer to him as “Pop Art.” The museum includes a gallery of Rauschenberg’s work, including his Grammy Awardwinning album design for Speaking in Tongues by the Talking Heads. “As a child, he painted his version of an alligator on the back of his parents' white

house and took a picture. The picture and the story behind it surfaced many years later on a Centennial Poster that Robert produced for Port Arthur,” Neal said. “Thanks to the Worsham family, who made the acquisition possible, we added the ‘Rauschenberg’ Alligator outside at our front entrance for Museum patrons to enjoy and use as a photo icon to take pictures with as a reminder of their visit with us,” Neal said. “We attract visitors from all over the world and all 50 states.” Museum of the Gulf Coast tells the extraordinary history of the upper Gulf Coast region with an amazing scope of exhibits, including tributes to hometown legends from Janis Joplin to Jimmy Johnson. Mixing history with popular culture, it offers a memorable experience for all ages.

More on the Museum of the Gulf Coast: • The first floor uses traditional themes to interpret the natural history of the Gulf Coast from prehistoric fossils to the incredibly diverse flora and fauna of today. • The Texas Navy and Maritime Exhibit interprets and displays the tremendous impact the waterways have and continue to impact Texas and the immediate area. • Exhibits also highlight the traces that humans have left on the Gulf Coast from the Paleo-Indians to European/ African contact, the Hispanic legacy, pioneer settlement and the trauma of Civil War. The modern age is represented by exhibits featuring the post-war economic and cultural boom known as the Progressive Era, a time in which the discovery of oil and the building of rail

and waterways transformed the region and integrated the Gulf Coast into the broader national/ international community. • The mezzanine presents unique popular culture exhibits focusing on the rich musical heritage of the Gulf Coast with performers like Janis Joplin, George Jones, Gatemouth Brown, Johnny & Edgar Winter, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. • Sports enthusiasts will find displays that chronicle the lives of athletes such as Babe Zaharias, Jimmy Johnson, Bubba Smith, and Bum & Wade Phillips. The Museum also boasts several fine and decorative art exhibits including the Robert Rauschenberg Gallery. For more on Port Arthur attractions, visit

Frank Foster


Virtual Golf Parties Take Flight at Gray Plantation Golf Academy World-class training technology meets wall-sized video game fun . . . in any weather

With a sweet swing, Zach Robertson launches an arc that stops within nine feet of the pin. Someone in the group whistles. Jonathan Jester, head golf professional at Gray Plantation, offers a tip on Robertson’s grip that gets a nod of agreement. As a bird chirps somewhere nearby, Jester tees up for a shot of his own — a drive that’s deep and accurate but still earns his appraising eye. Borrowing a left-handed club, southpaw Dakota Watson slams one that stays on the fairway, missing the sand trap and the trees to the left. Not bad, he figures, having not played in months. It’s dark and raining outside, by the way. It’s early Monday morning and most people are still sleeping. It doesn’t matter. These guys are playing golf.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Specifically, they’re playing high-tech “virtual golf” — the only opportunity of its kind in Louisiana — at the Golf Academy at Gray Plantation Golf Club. The game is an indoor computer simulation. The fairway is a floor-to-ceiling screen depicting the world’s great golf courses, hole by hole, complete with their signature quirks. (The chirping birds? They're sound effects.) You choose a course and take your best real-life swing at a real ball — and then the simulator takes over, assessing your swing’s angle, velocity and other factors, and depicting your drive in-flight over a 3-D virtual course. The golf simulator is called TrackMan. It’s a radar-based unit that combines world-class technology and data collection

with the feel of a video game. For some people, virtual golf is an opportunity to combine some golf lessons, as Jester and his team offer, with the chance to “see” their progress in real time. For others, it’s a way to fine-tune their game for competitive advantage by studying the detailed onscreen analytics for each swing of the club. But for most people, it’s simply a fun way to get together and play some golf — enjoying the company as much as the game. That’s why bookings of virtual golf parties are now “a thing” at the academy. People book time blocks for groups of friends — as well as clients and coworkers — to enjoy rainproof, sunsetproof, mosquito-free golf. Many also arrange for food and beverages.

The high-tech, all-weather aspect of virtual golf has made the Golf Academy a popular booking choice for corporate events, parties, and coaching sessions. The Golf Academy also has a floor-to-ceiling rollup door that offers the opportunity to tee off right onto the real golf course, if desired. People at any skill level can arrange one-on-one coaching and training with a Gray Plantation professional. For virtual golf parties, the technology offers wall-sized bragging rights as players tee off and watch as a colorful computer-generated streak, based on their swing, sails above the course and touches down, displaying to all how well (or not-so-well) they performed. For more information on Gray Plantation Golf Club, call 337-562-1663.


...without leaving town! The Golf Academy’s TrackMan simulator virtually puts you on the course at Troon, Gleneagles, Mauna Kea, Pinehurst and more.

Group “golf parties”

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Places & Faces


Cheers to

Thrive Magazine By the Numbers




26 & up 3 2009 Number of office locations over 15 years

First issue of Thrive published


Target reader age range

Monthly readers




500 OVER

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019


117 Number of Thriving 30-Somethings recognized

Distribution locations across Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas

81 Number of First Person features

The year Thrive started the popular 13 Thriving 30-Somethings Awards

(Currently located at 4845 Ihles Rd.)


The year Thrive started the Summer Guide


The year the Art Calendar was introduced

Number of issues since inception

Owners – Kristy Como Armand, Christine Fisher, & Barbara VanGossen

Number of social media Followers



Year Thrive switched from newsprint to glossy paper

Number of Regular Sections in each issue

Luckily for Louisiana businesses, the only customs we create are individualized coverage plans. *kitty cat not included. :: :: 985-612-1230

We work for your business.


Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana...

Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Toujours Planning Gains Another Certified Financial Planner™ Danielle Granger Nava, CFP®, VP and Director of Client Relations at Toujours Planning in Lake Charles, Louisiana Danielle Granger Nava has been authorized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® certification marks in accordance with CFP Board certification and renewal requirements. Nava has worked in the industry since 2015, when she joined her brother, Dustin R. Granger, CFP® and father, Glenn Granger, in the family business at Wells Fargo Advisors. In March of 2017, Dustin and Danielle started their own company, Toujours Planning, to focus on comprehensive financial life planning and wealth management. For more information on Toujours Planning, visit or call (337) 602-6740.

Local Community Leaders Graduate from 30th Annual Leadership Louisiana Program The

From left to right: Ethan Miller, owner of Advanced Audio/ Video Technologies; Megan Monsour Hartman, public relations director at Phillips 66; Elizabeth McLaughlin, community development manager at Golden Nugget; and Eric Walker, senior production manager at Sasol.

Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) recently held the 30th annual Leadership Louisiana graduation for 47 Louisiana leaders at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. The program’s 18

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

goal is to enhance the capacity of leaders from across Louisiana through information, innovative thinking and connecting to address key state issues. Several local community leaders were included in the program including Megan Monsour Hartman, public relations director at Phillips 66; Elizabeth McLaughlin, community development manager at Golden Nugget; Ethan Miller, owner of Advanced Audio/ Video Technologies; and Eric Walker, senior production manager at Sasol. Leadership Louisiana has trained more than 1,200 statewide leaders since 1989. They include leaders from many sectors – civic, business, professional, government, education, cultural and nonprofit interests. Together, they represent a group of committed citizens who have made a difference in Louisiana. For more information on the Council for A Better Louisiana or to apply for the 2019 Leadership Louisiana class, visit

Lakeside Announces Promotion of Virginia ‘Ginger’ Karcher to Banking Officer Virginia ‘Ginger’ Karcher was recently promoted to banking officer and head Virginia 'Ginger' Karcher teller at Lakeside Bank. Karcher brings more than 30 years of experience in the banking and financial industry to her new position. Before joining Lakeside five years ago, she served as head teller and customer service representative at Business First Bank. Previously, Karcher was the lead teller at Iberia Bank and a teller at Cameron State Bank. In her new role, Karcher oversees teller training and operations for the bank’s main office on Nelson Road. Lakeside has locations in Lake Charles, Westlake and Sulphur. For more information, visit or call (337) 474-3766.

Downer Joins O’Carroll Group Brett Downer is the new public relations director at the O’Carroll Group, where he will provide public relations strategies and services to the firm’s clients. Brett Downer Downer brings to the position a strong background in journalism and public relations. He led awardwinning news staffs as executive editor of the American Press and editor of the Fort Bend (Texas) Herald. He also served successful stints as producer, editor and multi-market anchor at Newsradio KTRH in Houston, and director of communication and public relations at Sowela Technical Community College. Downer serves on the boards of directors of the Ad & Press Club of Southwest Louisiana and the Chennault International Airshow. The O’Carroll Group is a full-service public relations, advertising and marketing firm with a 40-year history of service to local, regional and national clients.

Dawn JohnsonHatcher Joins Lake Charles Memorial as Vice President of Finance Dawn JohnsonHatcher is the new Vice President of Finance for Lake Charles Memorial Dawn Johnson-Hatcher Health System. She comes to Memorial with more than 25 years of healthcare financial experience. Prior to joining Memorial, Johnson-Hatcher served as the Chief Financial Officer for CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital. She has also served as the Assistant Chief Financial Officer and Financial Security Officer for Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley and Assistant Chief

Financial Officer of El Dorado Hospital both located in Tucson, Arizona. Johnson-Hatcher holds a degree in business administration and a master’s in business administration, both from the University of Phoenix in Tucson.

Alesha Alford Named Memorial for Women Administrator Alesha Alford joins Lake Charles Memorial Health System as the new Vice President of Women’s Services and Administrator Alesha Alford of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women. Alford has held positions in clinical and administrative areas, having come from Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, where she served as a nurse manager in labor and delivery. This is Alford’s second stint at Memorial for Women. She worked there as a shift nurse and staff leader from 2009 to 2012. Alford is a two-time graduate of McNeese State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor’s in General Studies.

Aguillard Now VP of Louisiana Assessors’ Association Calcasieu Parish Assessor, Wendy Curphy Aguillard, was sworn in on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, as the Vice President Wendy Curphy Aguillard of the Louisiana Assessors’ Association (LAA) for 2019. Mrs. Aguillard has served the last two years as Treasurer of the LAA and was named the 2015 Assessor of the Year by the Association. She worked in the Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s office since 1996 and has served as Assessor since her election in 2011 and is the mother of two sons, Garett Curphy, and the late Hunter Curphy. Wendy has been married to her husband, Brandon Aguillard, since 2007.

Dr. Carl Fastabend Featured in Article in Vein Magazine Carl Fastabend, MD, FACC, founder and medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, an affiliate of Imperial Health, was featured Dr. Carl Fastabend in the new issue of Vein Magazine, the premier publication for the venous disease treatment industry. The article, “Elusive Deep Venous Disease,” focused on two complex cases and their ultimate successful diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Fastabend and one of his patients, Deb Hebert, were included in the feature and Dr. Fastabend also provided insight into the challenges and rewards of his field. Dr. Fastabend is the only full-time, comprehensive vein specialist in Louisiana, and is considered a leading expert in his field. He is a regular speaker at training sessions across the country for physicians interested in learning about vein disease and treatment advances. Physicians also travel to Lake Charles to train with him. Published four times a year, Vein Magazine provides extensive coverage of new technologies, products, treatment options and more, and is distributed nationwide to physicians in diverse areas of medicine.

This year, Delta Downs awarded more than $10,000 in prizes, including $5,000 for first place to St. Nicholas Center for Children; $2,500 for second place to Orange County Special Angels Rodeo; $1,000 to Autism Services of Southwest Louisiana for third place; and $200 to each of the other participating organizations, which included International Rett Syndrome Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association of Louisiana, Dreams Come True of Louisiana, NAMI – National Alliance for Mental Health, and Colors for a Cause - Louisiana.

The Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana Expands Sclerotherapy Staff Brenda Hebert, RN, has joined the clinical staff of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana. From Lake Brenda Hebert Charles, Louisiana, Hebert is a graduate of Barbe High School and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from McNeese State University. Her nursing experience includes hospital medical-surgical care, emergency room coverage and urgent care nursing. At the Vein Center, Hebert works directly with Dr. Carl Fastabend, the founder and Medical Director of the Vein Center. She performs sclerotherapy treatment of spider, reticular, and varicose veins in the office. The Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, an affiliate of Imperial Health, provides advanced, minimally-invasive treatments for a variety of vein disorders. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (337) 312-8346 or visit

First Place Winner, St. Nicholas Center for Children

Delta Downs Announces Winners of 11th Annual Trees of Hope Competition A popular holiday tradition, Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel announced the winners of the 11th Annual Trees of Hope, which featured 12-foot trees decorated by non-profit organizations from across southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Members of the public had the opportunity to visit and vote for their favorite charity.


Mind & Body



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

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Mind & Body


the New Symbol of Thyroid Awareness

An estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid disorders, yet approximately half remain undiagnosed and untreated. More than 12 percent of Americans will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. While not often recognized, thyroid disease is more common than either diabetes and heart disease. Surprisingly, more Americans suffer from thyroid disease than all types of cancers combined. In January, we bring much-needed attention to thyroid diseases and their many manifestations. A blue paisley ribbon was recently chosen as a symbol of thyroid awareness and a reminder that much work needs to be done. Of course, it is not the ribbon that brings about a cure, but the awareness that can make change happen. Read on to learn more.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

There’s strength in our numbers. We’re proud to be the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group. Our experienced specialists work together to provide our patients with the type of care they expect and deserve—personalized, attentive, respectful, and of the highest quality. And when it comes to technology, we’re bringing the latest advances to Southwest Louisiana so you won’t have to leave home to get the care you need. Our team of doctors includes these specialties: orthopaedic surgery physical medicine and rehabilitation foot and ankle care/surgery primary care sports medicine

interventional pain management hand surgery neurosurgery

Whatever your musculoskeletal concern, we’ve got you covered from head to toe.

Lake Charles | Sulphur


Mind & Body


Signs and Symptoms by Taylor Trahan Henry

The thyroid is small but mighty in its role in the body. This compact, butterflyshaped gland wraps around the front of the trachea and measures only about five centimeters by two centimeters, but it has a huge job to do. The thyroid produces the hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism and influences every organ, tissue, and cell in the body. As essential as this “gland central” is to the body, symptoms of its dysfunction aren’t always obvious. While an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, up to 60 percent of those are unaware of their condition. That’s why it’s important to know how thyroid disease can affect your body and what signs to be on the lookout for. According to Michael Gonzales MD, board certified endocrinologist with Imperial Health’s Endocrinology Center of SWLA, the impact of a thyroid disorder should not be dismissed lightly, especially when the early stages are often symptomless. “When treated properly, people with thyroid disorders can live normal, active lives,” he explains. “However, because the symptoms can often mimic other ailments, it’s important that people pay attention to their bodies and know when to reach out to their physician.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, can typically be treated by replacing missing hormones through supplementation. Hashimoto’s disease is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Hashimoto’s is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, thus hindering its function overtime and causing it to enlarge and underperform. One of the medications utilized for replacement is Synthroid which is recommend by the American Thyroid Association. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause, among other things, fatigue, mood swings, hoarse voice, forgetfulness, and weight gain. Hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, is more common among women and has a peak incidence from young adulthood to mid-life. Dr. Gonzales says possible symptoms include palpitations, irritability, nervousness, sleep disturbances, muscle weakness, weight loss, and vision problems. The most common presentation of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, which is also an autoimmune disorder. This is the same illness that affected the late former First Lady Barbara Bush. In addition to the common symptoms of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease can cause a tremor in the hands and fingers, heat sensitivity, an increase in perspiration, bulging eyes (aka Graves’ ophthalmopathy) and

thick, red skin on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves’ dermopathy). The treatment course for hyperthyroidism is not as simple as its underactive counterpart. Once a diagnosis is made, the amount of thyroid hormone produced needs to be reduced. Medications called anti-thyroid drugs can be used to control symptoms by reducing the levels of excess hormones. Radioactive iodine treatment can be utilized and allows for the thyroid to stop producing excess hormones and reduced in size. Surgery for removal of part of or the entire gland, while not as common, is also a treatment option. Unfortunately, as most organs, the thyroid is susceptible to cancer, more so in women than men, explains Dr. Gonzales. The American Cancer Society reports about 54,000 new cases this year with about 40,000 of those occurring in women. A simple look at the statistics will make it seem as though thyroid cancer is on the rise, tripling in the past three decades. However, it’s actually the introduction of thyroid ultrasounds that has caused the numbers to spike. Doctors can now detect small nodules that might not have been found otherwise. Thyroid cancer has few symptoms in the beginning, but as it progresses you could experience a lump that can be felt through the skin on your neck, changes to your voice, difficulty swallowing, pain in the neck or throat, and swollen lymph nodes in your neck. Once diagnosed, thyroid cancer can be treated with surgery. Dr. Gonzales adds that early detection of the disease and proper diagnosis can help reduce recurrence once removed. “Untreated thyroid problems can lead to a host of other illnesses among the body’s major organs,” says Dr. Gonzales “Low levels can lead to an accelerated risk for heart disease while high levels can increase risk for irregular heart rhythms and osteoporosis.” Doctors can test for thyroid disorders by measuring hormone levels in the blood. This testing is reliable and, along with knowledge of your medical history, will allow your physician to determine the optimal treatment plan. While thyroid cancer may require a more intricate treatment plan and harbor the possibility of resurfacing, other thyroid disorders are relatively easy to maintain with the proper medication. For more information on thyroid conditions or to make an appointment with Dr. Gonzales, please call (337) 310-3670.

SYMPTOMS THAT SIGNAL A THYROID PROBLEM Here are some signs that you should have your thyroid checked by a physician: • Depression, nervousness or irritability

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Mind & Body

Breaking Bad Habits by Andrea Mongler

Bad habits: We all have them; we all wish we didn’t. Breaking bad habits, though, is rarely easy. Not all habits are bad, of course. In fact, an article in Johns Hopkins Health Review explains that habits help you make it through the day successfully. Do you brush your teeth every night before bed without even thinking about it? That’s a habit. Drive to work every day without really pondering how to get there? Also a habit. Those habits came about because of repetition. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), when we perform these good habits automatically, it frees our brains up to focus on other things.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

However, the NIH says habits can also develop when good or enjoyable events trigger what’s known as “reward” centers in the brain, meaning they make us feel good — even if they’re bad for us. These behaviors are considered habits after we’ve done them over and over and we continue doing them even without expecting a “reward.” Examples include smoking or eating too much sugar. So, how do you break a bad habit? It’s not easy, but with a focused effort, it’s possible. Here’s how: Identify your triggers, or cues. Think of these as the causes of your bad habits. It’s easier to break a habit if you eliminate whatever triggers you to do it

in the first place. Do you buy a doughnut every morning because you drive by a certain store on your way to work? Try taking a different route. Do you check your social media accounts until late at night when you should be sleeping just because your phone is within reach? Leave it in another room at night. Be specific about what habit you want to break. You’ll likely find this to be more effective than setting general goals. Rather than saying, “I will stop drinking so much alcohol,” you could tell yourself, “I will drink only one glass of wine each evening” or “I will have tea instead of beer when I go to a restaurant.”

Find a replacement for the habit. According to a Johns Hopkins article, it’s hard to break a habit that brings you enjoyment unless you can replace it with something else you enjoy. Once you find that something else, breaking the habit will be easier. For example, someone who binge-watches TV when they are stressed might find they enjoy listening to music while going for a walk just as much. The key is to keep trying until you find something you enjoy enough to replace the bad habit. Seek support. Changing a bad habit can be especially hard to do on your own. The NIH recommends enlisting your family, friends, or co-workers to help. They may be trying to

break bad habits of their own, and you can rely on each other for encouragement and accountability. Skip dessert together, chat while walking on your lunch break rather than smoking, or call each other in the morning when the alarm goes off to make sure no one skips a workout. Go easy on yourself. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge that you backtracked and then move forward. Also remember that it’s okay to take baby steps. If you buy a large soda every day for lunch but you can’t quite bring yourself to order water instead, start by switching to a medium or small soda. It’s an improvement, and it might make it easier to take the next step.



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Mind & Body

Be Well Aware of Medicare Wellness Benefits by Kristy Como Armand

If you’re a Medicare enrollee but have not had an annual wellness visit or have chosen to opt out due to confusion about coverage, you are missing out on a wide array of preventive – and even life-saving – benefits that are part of your policy. According to family medicine specialist Steve Springer, MD, with Imperial Health, since it was introduced in 2011, research shows that people with Medicare who take advantage of the annual wellness visit are more likely to receive important preventive care services like vaccines and cancer screenings than those who skip out on the visit. “Research also shows that only a minority of older adults – less than 15% -- know about it, and even fewer get it, although this exam can make a big difference in not only an individual’s health, but their overall quality of life as well.” Dr. Springer says the transition to Medicare can be overwhelming and confusing. “This is made worse for many because a lot of doctors don’t even accept new Medicare patients anymore. Finding a doctor becomes more of a concern than choosing the right plan or understanding


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

your benefits. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive Medicare provider program in our office. We work to make sure our patients get everything they are entitled to from their Medicare coverage, including their preventive health plan.” Once you’ve been on Medicare Part B for a year, you’re eligible for an annual wellness exam at no charge. It is designed to address the health risks and needs of aging adults. “This visit does not focus on a physical exam, but instead on a conversation with us about important health issues, such as what health issues might be holding you back from enjoying this phase of your life, whether you're at risk of falling at home or are feeling depressed,” says Dr. Springer. “This visit provides time for you to plan with your doctor for a healthy future." He explains that the visit begins with a conversation with a member of the clinical team and the completion of a health risk assessment that outlines your medical and family history and any current conditions and prescriptions. “This information also helps us gain a good understanding of your level of independence,” says Dr. Springer.

During the visit, questions and examination include: • Basic measurements. For example, height, weight, and blood pressure. • Calculation of body mass index. The number can show if you are overweight or even underweight. • Vision test. This can detect whether you need glasses or a stronger prescription, or if you have signs of an eye disease or eyesight problem. • Cognitive impairment test. You may be asked to draw a clock or perform a similar memory task. • Depression screening. The results can help determine if you need additional assessments. • Balance test. This can help gauge your risk for falls. • Hearing evaluation. This can gauge if you might benefit from a formal hearing screening. “After this visit, we take all this information and work with the patient to create a personalized health plan to address any concerns and schedule further

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tests if needed,” says Dr. Springer. “Very often, we uncover risks or conditions that patients were unaware of and are able to treat them earlier, thus preventing more serious health problems down the road.” He says the wellness exam can also lead to other preventive health programs that are covered at no charge, such as nutritional counseling, smoking cessation and mental health care, among others. “We do chronic care management service as well for these patients,” says Dr. Springer. “This means that even after the patient leaves our office, we continue to work on their care, reviewing results, setting up referral appointments, talking to your other healthcare providers. We are spending time on each of these patients every month even when the patient isn’t in our office. This helps us work through the preventative plan we come up with during their wellness visit.” In addition, Dr. Springer says he and his staff review the patients' Medicare benefits with them to make sure they understand their policy and coverage. “For example, some people don’t understand that they a yearly CAT scan for lung cancer screening is covered,” says Dr. Springer. “They can do that every year if they’re a smoker and even 15 years after they quit.” Dr. Springer says their goal is to help Medicare patients live a healthy, full life. “The benefits help us do that – we just need to help more people become aware of them.” For more information about Medicare wellness exams and preventive services available through Dr. Springer, call (337) 436-1370.

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Mind & Body

CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Launches

James W. Gardiner Center State-of-the-art facility, technology to advance women’s health in region

CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana is expanding the footprint and outreach of its award-winning health care ministry with the launch of the James W. Gardiner Center and the development of the Women’s Health Council and the Women’s Health Fund. The new facility, council and fund will be the first to bring numerous leadingedge diagnostic services to Lake Charles, with a focus on women’s health. By offering innovative tools to identify both genetic and lifestyle cancer risk, advanced imaging technology, and personalized management of cancer risk, this program enables patients to understand and address their risk at a much earlier stage in their lives. Headquartered at the James W. Gardiner Center at CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital, this program is offered at other CHRISTUS Ochsner locations in Southwest Louisiana as well and will offer cancer detection


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

services unmatched in our region. The first step in this comprehensive initiative is to identify if patients are at risk for developing cancer. This will be done using a set of risk-determining tools that focus on genetics and lifetime risk. For those patients determined as “high risk” for developing cancer, a Nurse Navigator will be assigned to develop and help patients manage a personalized plan that focuses on lifestyle choices and an appropriate screening schedule. As the program becomes fully implemented, a patient will be able to come to the center and meet with the multi-disciplinary team of physicians in one location to discuss a personalized plan. The advanced technology integrated into the new Breast Center includes 3-D mammography screenings, 3-D ultrasound imaging and 3-D mammography biopsy technology, allowing providers improved image

quality to identify lesions that typically hide in dense breast tissue and tools to investigate suspicious tissue effectively and efficiently. This comprehensive approach to the early detection of cancer will help our patients take control of their health and provide them with tools to manage an often-difficult diagnosis. The CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Foundation is directing $1.6 million to this project from the trust of an area family that was given by James W. Gardiner. “Mr. Gardiner believed in the health care system here,” said Kay C. Barnett, CFRE, Executive Director of Development for the CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Foundation. “We are honored to be able to advance health care in this region, and thankful to the Gardiner family for their generosity which will allow us to continue our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ in Southwestern Louisiana.”


Style & Beauty

The beginning of each year ushers in new trends – just to keep life interesting – from fashion and accessories to skin care and make-up, nail art and hair styles. This guide will keep your look fresh for 2019!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019


Hottest Hairstyles by Emily Alford

A new year is the perfect time to try out a new hairstyle. And the great thing about 2019’s best styles is that they’re incredibly versatile, easy to adopt, and work well with a lot of different hair types. Here are a few ideas for your best hair year yet:


One of 2018’s biggest (and often most cringe-worthy) trends were microbangs, super short fringes that were nearly impossible to pull off. If you got carried away cutting your bangs last year, or you’ve always wanted to try out bangs but were apprehensive, 2019’s trend is far less severe. Longer, more laid back bangs that graze just tops of the eyebrow are the biggest bang ticket this year.


The classic, all-one-length bob that rests just above the shoulders is a sleek way to ring in the new year. The hottest bobs are parted straight down the middle, flat ironed to smooth perfection, and perfectly shiny. If you’re thinking of experimenting with a bob, make sure you’ve invested in a high quality flat iron and a great shine serum.


The high and tight haircut, where hair is shaved on the sides and a bit longer on top, has been the most popular men ‘s haircut around for the past few years. But if you’re looking to try something different this year while still keeping your sides short, many stylish guys are growing the top of their hair a bit longer and having hairdressers vary the length all over, creating a choppy, tousled look.


But many guys who appreciate the classics are opting to let hair grow out an inch or so on the sides and a bit longer at the top, then going for a deep side part and using matte paste to slick back the front into a sleek look that’s straight out of a classic Hollywood movie. A new year is the perfect time to experiment with a new look, but if you’re not sure how your hair will respond to say, a super-straight blunt bob, be sure to discuss styling and maintenance with your hairdresser before making the cut.


Style & Beauty


Moisturize FOR COOLER WEATHER There are a lot of great things about winter: cozy sweaters, comfy slippers, and hot chocolate in front of a warm fire. But the itchy, dry skin, not to mention cracked, scaly lips, that often come along with cold weather are definitely a drawback. If you’ve been struggling with winter skin, these tips might help restore you to your supple summer self.


Winter can be rough on lips. Cold weather and drier air make lips start to dry out long before the effects of cold temperatures are obvious on other parts of the body. While it’s a common misconception that lip balm tends to dry out lips more, the point of lip balm isn’t necessarily to rehydrate lips,

by Emily Alford

but to protect them. Look for products containing lanolin or beeswax, which create a barrier that protects delicate skin.


In the summer time, light moisturizers containing SPF are all most people need to keep skin looking supple. But if your skin is starting to look dry or even flaky in the colder weather, you should probably switch to something stronger. Cream-based moisturizers that are a bit thicker tend to work better than lighter formulas, and the drier air means your skin probably won’t look oily. But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can skimp on the sun protection. Make sure your facial moisturizer contains SPF.

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No matter how much effort you make to apply daily moisturizer, winter can often create scaly, dry patches all over. The key to fighting those flakes could be in the air. Placing a humidifier in the bedroom will reintroduce moisture to air that’s been dried out by the cold weather coupled with artificial heat to get skin back to its summertime moisture levels. Simply applying cream on top of incredibly dry places doesn’t always solve the problem. You can also gently slough away dry patches with a gentle exfoliator before you moisturize. After exfoliating, finish up with an antioxidant-rich serum before adding your usual moisturizer.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019



Wrinkles by Christine Fisher

Our faces reveal much about ourselves. Worry lines and sun damage can tell the tales. Smoothing and plumping the skin with the use of injectables has been successful for decades. Botox, Restylane, and Juvederm are brands that have become familiar to many. What’s trending lately is the average age of people seeking these treatments. It’s dropping steadily. “Men and women in their late twenties and early thirties are beginning to notice early signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and are coming in to discuss these concerns,” explains Kerri Davis-Fontenot, MD, board certified dermatologist with Dermatology Associates of Southwest Louisiana. “My goal for treatment of my patients is starting early in the prevention of wrinkles.” Injectables give subtle enhancements that can slow down Mother Nature over time. These procedures are subtle so as not to produce a drastic change but give a well-rested appearance. Laugh lines around the eyes and worry lines between the brows usually show up during the 40s and 50s. Relaxants,

such as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin prevent strong muscle motion. If used before wrinkles are detected, they greatly reduce their formation. “Relaxants are successful in preventing and improving already set-in wrinkles, giving the skin a more even texture and tone resulting in a refreshed look,” Dr. Davis-Fontenot says. Relaxants can be placed in various parts of the face to address forehead wrinkles, crow’s lines, and lip lines. In addition, the eyebrows can be slightly lifted and both a gummy smile and dimpled chin can be improved, if desired. Another sign of aging is the loss of volume in the face. This is due to loss of collagen, elastin, fat and bone, causing droopiness and deep creases to become more visible. Fillers, such as Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse are a great way to replace this loss and provide volume and lift. “Now, patients are looking at nonsurgical ways to improve their appearance and the use of a filler is a great first-line option,” she says. “There are several brands and types of filler I use to give patients

excellent results. These fillers can be placed in the temples, cheeks, lips and around the mouth. All aiming to give a natural and refreshed appearance.” Relaxants and fillers are generally best used together rather than alone. On average, relaxants last around three months and fillers can last between six months to over a year, depending on the type and where they are used. “The goal is to smooth and soften the lines of the face, to give a more youthful appearance than you had a few years ago,” Dr. Davis-Fontenot says. “Subtlety is key. Less is more when it comes to augmenting the face. We cannot stop the aging process, but we can slow it down. I want my patients to leave the office looking and feeling like a better, more refreshed version of themselves.” Relaxants and fillers, along with many other cosmetic dermatology options, are available at Dermatology Associates of Southwest Louisiana. For more information, call (337) 433-7272 and schedule a consultation.


Style & Beauty

Minimal IS THE NEW

Made Up! 2019’S BEST BEAUTY TRENDS One of the best things about makeup is the potential for change. Not only can a new product transform your skin or create a cool new persona, but the fact that every season seems to usher in fresh ideas and new ways to experiment offers unlimited possibilities for experimentation. If you’re a beauty product lover, here are a few trends to check out in the new year.


The past four years or so have given rise to Instagram-famous makeup artists whose over-the-top looks have very little to do with natural beauty. But the days of giant caterpillar brows and harsh contouring could be numbered. The focus this year is on naturallooking makeup from brands like Milk or Glossier and sheer hints of color on cheeks and lips. The best part is that many brands operating on a “less is more” philosophy make products that can be applied with fingers, so no more washing those product-packed makeup brushes!


Most of us learned the tri-color technique as the ultimate rule for eye makeup application: a light color from lid to brow, medium


by Emily Alford

shade in the crease, and darker color blended into the outer corner. But 2019’s most in-theknow makeup lovers are throwing those old rules out the window. Instead, they’re opting for colorblocked eye looks in fun, bright colors, like orange and even blue. To create the look, apply a wash of color over the lids and up into the crease. The pop of color looks great with the more minimalist approach to lips and skin.


For anyone who likes fresh, smooth skin but hates grating exfoliators, liquid exfoliators are truly a game changer. Instead of sloughing away dead surface skin with harsh, gritty ingredients, like more common exfoliators, the liquid variety dissolves surface gunk using gentle acids. The result is brighter skin and a more even complexion. The past few years have seen a boom in the beauty industry, and many women are buying and wearing more products than ever. And hey, if you like your contoured cheekbones and full brow, stick with it. But if you’ve been feeling a bit of beauty overload recently, 2019 is the perfect year to downsize!

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Nailed It!

by Emily Alford

ALL THE COOL NAIL TRENDS TO TRY IN 2019 Now that Claws, TNT’s nail salon soap opera, is a bona fide hit, fans are flocking to nail salons to try out some of the show’s attention-grabbing looks. And as great-looking nails become trendier than ever, nail salons are getting incredibly creative. Here are some of the year’s biggest trends.

It’s easy to fall into a mani/pedi routine where we seek out the same styles and nail shapes over and over. But changing up your nail look can be just as fun as trying out a new hairstyle. Just ask your nail tech what he or she recommends, and who knows, maybe you’ll find an all-new signature style!


There’s no need to get long, sharptipped fake nails to try out all the newest looks. In fact, when designer Marc Jacobs recently showed off his new line of high shine nail polish, he did so on models with short, naturallyshaped nails. If you want to experiment with a bold, non-traditional nail polish color, keeping nails short leaves you free to try out new looks without having nails that scream “Look at me!”


The nail polish industry has experienced a spike in recent years, and there’s no limit to the amount of color options that are easily available. But textured nails are still pretty cutting edge and totally on trend. Some of the most stylish textures involve gluing on rhinestones, glitter, gold leaf, and even pearls to create opulent, high style nail art that’s sure to win plenty of compliments.


And speaking of textured nail art, keeping nails coated in a single layer of shiny clear polish and then applying textured elements to just the edges or tips of the nails is a fun way to get all the glitz and glamour of this fancy new trend without seeming over-the-top. Incorporating negative (or uncolored) space into your nail art creates an unexpected look that showcases all those pretty, glittery appliques.

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Style & Beauty

Fashion Trends TO TRY IN 2019

by Emily Alford

In terms of fashion trends, the last few years have been busy, busy, busy as bright florals and bell sleeves abounded. But 2019 brings a return to basics for both men’s and women’s clothing. A minimalist approach and subtle colors are your best bet for staying on-trend in the new year.


For the past few years, women’s fashion has been overrun with floral prints, but this year, flowery pieces are taking a backseat to a new pattern: stripes. According to Lauren Monroe, owner of Mimosa boutique in Lake Charles, everything from striped blazers to striped denim will be in this year. “This year we’ve seen a lot of lightweight striped pieces and even jeans with detail stripes,” Monroe says.


If you’re not a fan of closely fitted clothing, these season’s laid-back, menswear inspired styles will be a breath of fresh air. Plus, the blazer and shorts combos popping up in stores will be perfect for summer casual Fridays. “I love menswear for women,” Monroe says. “We’ve gotten some really great linen suits that have shorts with a blazer.”


But the linen trend isn’t just for women. 2019 fashion is more minimalist than seasons past, and stocking up on lightweight linen makes for a perfectly simple, clean look for all genders. This year, linen shorts in soft colors, like sage, were the biggest tickets in men’s spring and summer fashion.


After years of shrinking denim for both men and women, in 2019, jeans are finally getting a bit more relaxed. The “dad jean” trend was huge on the runways this year, which means jeans will be a little bit roomier and a lot more comfortable. The great thing about these subtler pieces is that they can seamlessly work their way into your wardrobe, giving an understated makeover to some of last year’s flashier looks. May 2019 be your best fashion year yet!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019


FROM DAD HATS TO HUGE BAGS, 2019’S BEST ACCESSORIES ARE ALL ABOUT NOSTALGIA by Emily Alford In fashion, what’s old becomes new again over and over. 2019 is no exception. This year’s most stylish accessories are all rooted in a longing for things past.


First mom jeans came back in style, then dad bod, and this year will introduce another family-focused trend: the dad hat. What is a dad hat, you ask? It’s an unstructured baseball-style cap with a curved bill that’s not as rigidly constructed as the flat bill or snapback hats that have been in style for the past few years. Dad hats are all about effortless, laid back style, and the good news is they look great on almost anyone. Plus, you can tell dad he’s finally trendy.


For years, handbags have seemed to be shrinking to the point that it’s hard to fit a phone, wallet, and keys inside the microscopic cross body bags many designers have been churning out. But 2019 ushers in a host of oversized handbags reminiscent of those giant purses we all carried in 2007, which is great if you’re the kind of person who packs enough in a purse to survive any emergency. Whether you love 90s styles or are nostalgic for the free love looks of the 1970s, this year’s accessories are perfect for those longing for a different era.


If you thought we left bucket hats behind once and for all when Blossom was cancelled, think again. The early 90s fisherman-style hat is back in a big way among fashionistas in the know. Bucket hats are perfect for the beach, but also look pretty stylish with this year’s relaxed fit, wider-legged jeans.



2019 is the year that bad hair days are no big deal, since one of the year’s trendiest accessories is the 1970s style headscarf, wrapped smooth around the top of the head and tied in a knot in the back. Just like the groovy-looking bucket hat and bell-bottom combo mentioned above, headscarves are just begging to be paired with 70s-inspired fashion.

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Wining & Dining Take the Chill Off Winter with Warm Savory Soups Most folks in Southwest Louisiana love gumbo and chili this time of year. And who doesn’t crave those traditional comfort foods like hearty beef stew and chicken noodle soup when the temperature drops. While those can certainly satisfy the need to warm your belly, consider expanding your repertoire and stir up something different this winter season. Entire cookbooks are written solely on the subject of soups. Soup can be made from just about any vegetable, meat, carbohydrate, and combination thereof. Find yourself some new recipes and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. To help you get started, here are several favorites from Thrive office staffers. This black bean soup from Thrive's business manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson is super quick and easy.

5-Ingredient Black Bean Soup Ingredients: 3 15-oz cans black beans, with liquid 1 lb (about 2.5 cups) salsa ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 clove garlic, minced Directions: Stir all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until simmering. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Try this soup from Thrive’s graphic designer Mandy Gilmore.

Easy Potato Soup Ingredients: 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic 5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (5 for thicker soup, 6 for thinner soup) 3/4 Teaspoon salt 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/3 cup sour cream Ground black pepper Brown garlic in butter for a minute until fragrant. Add broth, potatoes and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender 15-20 minutes. Add sour cream to soup and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Using immersion blender, process soup, leaving lots of potato chunks intact. (Alternatively, transfer a portion of the potatoes and broth to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.) Adjust seasonings as needed. Top with whichever toppings you like and enjoy! Topping Options: Minced fresh chives or scallions Bacon bits Sour cream Grated cheddar A drizzle of melted (or melted and browned) butter

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Vegetable soups are a favorite of editor Angie Kay Dilmore because they are so versatile. You can add any variety of veggies to suit your tastes, as well as beans for protein and a host of whole grains to make it filling. Vegetable soups are also super-nutritious.

Create-Your-Own Vegetable Soup

Start with your choice of broth/stock. Chicken, beef, or vegetable are common varieties. Low-fat or low-sodium options are usually available, if desired. Choose and chop your vegetable lineup. Carrots, potatoes, celery, cabbage, onion, bell pepper, and spinach all work well. Simmer in broth until the hardest vegetables are tender. Consider adding a protein. Good bean choices include lima, cannelloni, kidney, great northern, and red beans. You can also add in meats, ie cooked chicken, turkey, lean beef, or sausage. If you like a heartier soup, add a whole grain, such as quinoa, rice, noodles, or pasta. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Try parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary, or thyme. Don’t want to ad lib your soup? Try this classic recipe. Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil ¾ cup diced onions 1 cup diced celery 1½ cups diced carrots 3 teaspoons minced garlic 2½ cups yellow potatoes, diced into small cubes 2 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes 1 cup green beans 6½ cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth 1½ teaspoons oregano 1½ teaspoons basil 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon parsley 1 tablespoon brown sugar bay leaf 1½ cups corn 1½ cups sweet peas salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, to taste. Instructions In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until carrots are slightly tender to the bite. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add in next 10 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until potatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes. Add in corn and peas and simmer until cooked. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder until the desired flavor is reached.


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Wining & Dining

Nothing Bundt Cakes: Nothing but the Best! by Stefanie Powers

Bundt cakes evoke images of cozy times: family gatherings, church dinners, and bake sales. The distinctive ring-shaped mold became popular back in the 1950s after the cookware manufacturer Nordic Ware trademarked the name "Bundt" and began producing Bundt pans. Since then, Bundt cakes have remained a steady favorite, as there isn’t one recipe for the Bundt cakes – the sky’s the limit! In 1997, two Las Vegas friends got together to help one another bake for their family and friends, and their Bundt cakes were the specialty of the house. The response was so overwhelming that Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz were asked to entertain more often. They soon realized that they were on to something. While there were plenty of bakeries around, it was clear to them that there was a need for fresh


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

cakes made with the finest ingredients. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the Nothing Bundt Cakes brand has grown into a successful franchise operation, with more than 260 bakeries across the country – and growing. In the past, if you didn’t want to order online, you had to go to either Lafayette or Beaumont to get these great desserts. But all that will change soon, as the Lake Charles location is set to open in early 2019! Sisters Nhi Pham and Trinh Pham opened the Beaumont bakery in 2015 and are excited about expanding to Lake Charles. “We’d both been fans of the cakes, and always had a Bundt cake at our celebrations long before we opened,” says Nhi. “Trinh was working in the Dallas area, which is where she would purchase cakes to bring home to our family. We decided to open a

bakery to provide our community with another option for everyday celebrations, and are excited to offer the same great cakes in Lake Charles.” Nothing Bundt Cakes are made with fresh eggs, real butter and cream cheese, and are available in singleserving "Bundtlets,” bite-sized Bundtinis (sold only by the dozen), as well as larger sizes depending on how many people are being served. They offer 8” and 10” cakes, along with a tiered cake that serves 26-30 guests. Customized corporate orders can be also be filled. Flavors include Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Classic Vanilla, Confetti, Red Velvet, White Chocolate Raspberry, Carrot, Lemon, Marble, Cinnamon Swirl and Pecan Praline, plus an extra, featured flavor every month. And there are cake designs for every occasion you can think of, all with a

special whimsical touch. There are over 25 handcrafted cake designs for birthdays alone! Each bakery also offers greeting cards and gifts such as candles, cake utensils, serving platters, and more. Nothing Bundt Cakes may be a franchise, but each bakery retains the warmth of its home-kitchen roots. The company prides itself on the close relationship it fosters with its franchisees. And the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the cake – as it continues to expand across the country. Nhi says that if construction runs smoothly, they should be ready to bake as early as January at the Nelson Road location. “We can’t wait to bake for you, and look forward to serving the community. To keep up with updates on their Grand Opening and get a free bundtlet coupon on your birthday, please sign up for their eClub at Nothing Bundt Cakes, 4740 Nelson Rd., Suite 300 Lake Charles, LA 70605,



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Wining & Dining

Make the Switch to Switchel by Angie Kay Dilmore

Much like food fads, beverage trends come and go faster than you can sip a soda. Kombuchas, ciders, coconut water, plantbased milks, sports drinks, even pickle juices tout the latest in ultra-hydration, enhanced energy, probiotics, and other health benefits. Switchel is one of the latest in this long line of hip liquid refreshments. Never heard of it? Simply, switchel is a mix of water, apple cider vinegar, and ginger that’s sweetened with either maple syrup, molasses, or honey. Add a sprig of mint and/ or a spritz of lemon for a tart kick of vitamin C. It is also known as switzel, switchy, or swizzle. While it may be thought of as the latest new drink on the market, it’s actually been around since the 17th century. New England farmers called it haymaker’s punch and drank it during the fall harvest to quench their thirst. Switchel is a versatile beverage and can be enjoyed hot or cold, sparkling or still. It is easy to make at home. Combine apple cider vinegar, fresh grated ginger root, a healthy sweetener. Dilute with water or club soda and stir. There are also several brands popping up on the market.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Health Benefits

Switchel is like an all-natural sports drink, brimming with electrolytes. The ginger decreases inflammation and the vinegar aids digestion. Unlike kombucha, it is not a tea-based drink so there is no caffeine. It is also significantly lower in sugars than kombucha. It is not a fermented drink, so it contains no alcohol (although it can be used as a mixer for cocktails.) Plus, it tastes good, with a spicy kick that will wake up your whole body.


from • 1 5"-piece fresh ginger (about 6 ounces) • ½ cup apple cider vinegar • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice • 4 cups water or club soda • Mint sprigs (for serving) Pass ginger through a juicer (you should have about 1/3 cup). Combine ginger juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and lime juice in a large pitcher and stir until maple syrup is dissolved. Chill until cold. To serve, dilute with water and pour switchel into ice-filled glasses; garnish with mint. Makes 4 servings.

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Home & Family Protect your Child’s Holiday Gift Guide

IDENTITY by Keaghan P. Wier

Imagine you’re a young adult starting to make financial decisions. You apply for a loan, or try to open a credit card – but you’re denied. Why? It turns out your identity was stolen years ago, when you were still a child, and now you have to untangle the mess of a low credit rating left behind. Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming increasingly common. However, there are steps parents can take to protect their child’s identity from theft – and protect their financial future.

Know the Red Flags

First, know the signs of your child’s identity being stolen. According to the FTC, there are a couple of things that can tip you off: • You receive a notice from the IRS saying your child has delinquent taxes. • You get collection calls or notices for services or bills in your child’s name that you know you haven’t accrued. • You are unable to sign up for government benefits because your child’s Social Security number is already being used. Any of these are cause for concern, and should lead you to investigate.

Lower the Risks

As with any situation, prevention is the best option. Store all documents containing your child’s personal information in a secure manner, whether paper or digital. Shred documents before throwing them away. Only share their SSN if necessary, and if possible, only use the last four digits. Pay attention to their school’s privacy policies and the details of any forms you fill out with information like their date of birth, full name, SSN, and other personal identifiers. Resist the urge to share your child’s full name and date of birth on social media – especially on public accounts. Remind grandparents and extended family of this, as well.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Accounting • Assurance • Auditing Tax • Advisory

Check Their Credit

If you notice any of the red flags mentioned above, check your child’s credit immediately – and, if a credit score comes back, freeze their credit. Even if you never see any warning signs, however, the FTC says it is a good idea to go ahead and check their credit rating around age 16. This gives you a couple of years to handle any unknown problems before they turn 18 and their credit becomes more crucial.

Teach Them Online Safety

It’s no secret that kids and teens spend a great deal of time online or using electronic devices. Teach your children from an early age the importance of online safety. Make sure that in addition to things like stranger danger, they are learning never to share information about themselves through apps, online games, and more. Kids might not think twice about entering their full name and birthdate into an app to unlock features, but it’s easy to have a false sense of security! Parents want to protect their children. It’s natural! So, while you’re baby-proofing, holding hands, and guiding them through the early years of their life, don’t forget to think about their financial future. Identity theft may never happen to them, but knowing the signs will mean that you are prepared to handle it if it ever does.

Jonald J. Walker III, CPA Kelly Love, CPA Ming Yang, CPA Providing clients with a wide range of accounting, tax and state business advisory services tailored to meet today’s challenging times.

2740 Rue de Jardin, Ste. 100 | Lake Charles, LA 70605 337.478.7902

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From Christmas to Classroom Transitioning Back to School after a Holiday Break by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Everything is merry and bright until you realize that your formerly-precious angels who have turned tinsel into weapons they are now brandishing haphazardly near the Spode china are about to go back to school. While you may be sighing in relief, it can be hard for your children to make that transition back to the classroom smoothly after weeks of sleeping late and staying up at night to watch Netflix. How do you set them up for success in school for 2019? Start a week before they return to school. Let them have as much free rein as they want until one week before returning to school, and then ease them back into their routines. Adjust their sleeping habits. Start by imposing a bed time closer to what they have during school. You can do this


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

gradually, until the night before school starts when they are back on their normal bedtime routine. Additionally, begin gradually waking them up earlier until they are close to their normal wakeup time. Doing these two things will help them to be well-rested and alert during the first week back and make those January mornings much easier. Monitor their homework progress and set new goals. Older children may have homework over the break. It is important to monitor the progress of their homework over any holiday so that it isn’t a stressful scramble the day before students return, and so they are doing their best work. Even if your child does not have homework, the holiday break is a great time to sit down with them and discuss goal-setting for the new year. Perhaps if your child

struggled for the first half of the year with math, they can set a goal to study the subject outside of their homework for an extra fifteen minutes a week using tools like or They might also set goals that help them be more organized, like writing homework down in a planner every day, or cleaning out their backpack once a week. Just as adults like to set resolutions to improve themselves, children can set resolutions to improve their school performance. Make time for reading. For many students, the last thing they want to spend their holiday break doing is reading. It might be tempting to let them do nothing but watch television and play their favorite non-educational video games, but limiting their screen time and boosting their literacy will

make the transition back to school so much easier. If your child is already a great reader, letting them read a book or news articles from Newsela is a great way to spend twenty minutes a day over the break. If your child is a struggling reader, and you’re not sure how to help, check out the following educational apps or web programs: • PK-1st Grade-Homer: Kids Learn to Read • PK-5TH Grade- Lexia Core 5 Reading • K-8th Grade- Read With Me Fluency • 6-12th Grade-Reading Success Lab Set your children up for success by helping make their transitions back into the classroom smooth and easy.

PreK 3 – 8th Grade Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio

“Nurturing All Children and Achieving Academic Success in the Spirit of Christ”

Open House

Tuesday, January 29 6pm


Diverse Student Body Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services

Wednesday, January 30 10am - 12pm

2510 Enterprise Boulevard | Lake Charles, La. 70601 | (337) 436-7959 |

Participant in Education in Virtues Program

St. Margaret Catholic School welcomes all children regardless of race, creed, or nationality.


Home & Family



Whether or not your favorite NFL team will be playing on February 4, if you are a football fan, you’ll likely watch the game. Even non-fans watch the Super Bowl – for the commercials! Super Bowl tradition often includes big gatherings with lots of food, drink, conversation, and of course, plenty of football. If you’ll celebrate game day at a party, how do you best get along with people pulling for an opposing team? Should you bring something to the party? Should you watch your language in the company of others? Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these 11 tips to being the best Super Bowl party guest:


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

• Do Read the Invitation & RSVP: Read the email or listen to the call carefully. RSVP within 48 hours and advise the host of any dietary restrictions. Offer to bring an appetizer or beverage. • Don’t Arrive Empty-Handed: Bring a hostess gift; maybe a tea towel, diffuser, or ask if you may bring an appetizer. If you’re unsure, ask the host in advance. • Do Arrive On Time: Timing is everything! Arrive 10-15 minutes after the party starts and depart 30 minutes before ending time. Don’t arrive early and don’t be the straggler who’s last to leave. • Do Be Gracious: Once you RSVP, show up and be gracious. Feeling down and out? Refocus and have fun. This is not the time or place to be a Debbie Downer. People want to have fun and enjoy. • Don’t Binge at the Buffet: It’s impolite to eat in line at the buffet. Serve yourself without overloading your plate. Take your napkin and plate to be seated. If you pick up or touch something on the buffet, it’s yours. Avoid double-dipping; instead, place the queso or dip on your own plate. • Don’t Over-Consume: Pace your alcohol consumption by drinking water between alcoholic beverages and don’t drink on an empty stomach. When the bar closes, respect it and stick to water, juice, or coffee. • Sports Talk: Stay on topic - football. Game day is sports-related. It’s not the time to talk politics, workplace issues, or anything else. If you must go off topic, move to a private area away from the TV. • Avoid Profanity: Be considerate of the host, other guests, and children whether your team is winning or losing. • Do Tidy Up: Place your trash in the garbage. Depending on your relationship with the hostess, offer to assist with evening clean up. • Do Show Gratitude: Send a handwritten thank-you note within 48 hours. Opening your home and throwing a party is a lot of work, and your host will appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge and thank him or her. • Don't Distract During Commercials: Super Bowl highlights include the commercials. So, no chit chat or noisy phone apps. Move sideline conversations to another area during the commercials to respect folks who want to watch and enjoy.


Home & Family


Lawn Care by Kristy Como Armand

Winter is the season you spend the least amount of time thinking of your lawn. There’s a good chance you’ve put away your mower and other yard equipment and are ready for a few months of worry-free relaxation before you have to start the lawn maintenance routine again. While there’s nothing wrong with this plan, Chad Everage with Landscape Management says there are some things you should do during the colder months to protect your lawn and landscaping from harsh weather and set the stage for a beautiful yard in the spring. “Most people don’t realize that many of the things you have to do for a healthy lawn in the spring should start during the winter.” He says success is in the prep work when it comes to your yard, and it really doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. Everage offers these tips for winter lawn care: Aerate and de-weed your lawn: Placing holes in your yard and pulling out soil is called aeration. This helps fertilizer; water and air get deep into the grass. Consider removing


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

weeds and foreign plants before the coldest winter temperatures arrive. This will help ensure that when spring comes, weeds from the fall will not affect your new lawn. Fertilize and feed: Your grass should be given fertilizer before the coldest temperatures set in. Plants need food to feed on throughout the winter season, and fertilizer will help make the grass roots stronger for the spring and summer. Wait until spring to fertilize shrubs and trees. Pruning: Pruning maintains tree health and form by eliminating decaying, diseased or dead branches. Properly shaping them ensures healthy, attractive growth, and makes them stronger, to combat severe weather. It is best to prune during the dormant winter season because it's easier to identify branches that need removed, and future buds and new growth won't be affected. It’s a good idea to get advice from a professional for tips on how far to cut limbs. Flowering plants and trees also have different pruning schedules and should be researched before you start cutting.

Planting: Late fall and winter are great times to plant a tree, but it's important to consider several factors, including whether the space is right for when the tree is full grown, the soil is ideal for helping the tree thrive, and the temperature extremes aren't too much for the tree to handle. Rake leaves and debris regularly: Grass still needs exposure to sunlight during the winter months, so rake up leaves and debris throughout the season to ensure grass receives ample light and air. Mold and disease are common in winter months when leaves and debris are left over grass. Don’t leave trash bags, trash cans or other heavy items on grass for long periods of time either, as this can cause damage. Protect from cold: Some shrubs need to be wrapped with burlap to protect them from frost. It’s also a good idea to spread a layer of mulch around the base of landscaping and trees to provide insulation for the winter. For more information on winter yard care, visit Landscape Management’s retail yard at 5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles or call (337) 478-3836.

Green Thumb Success with

SUCCULENTS by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Soil. Water. Sunlight. Growing plants is supposed to be easy, right? Most people who were not born with a green thumb will agree there is quite a bit more to growing any plant than the generic directive of providing those three basic elements. American botanist Liberty Hyde Bailey once said, “A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” Growing succulents, which are closely related to the cactus plant, require some effort in the form of plenty of sunlight, not much water, and attention to the soil they are planted in. Mystic Air owner, Charisse Chaffin, advises that if you’re purchasing a succulent from a chain store, the first thing you should do is change the soil. “Most of the plants you purchase in stores are shipped from dryer

climates, which means their soil is denser, so it can lock in moisture. Our humidity in Southwest Louisiana can be destructive to them.” Chaffin makes her own mix of fifty percent cactus soil and fifty percent Perlite. She says added drainage is the key to success with these plants, so ensure your planter has sufficient drainage holes. While succulents do love sunlight, there are some species of succulent that burn in the sun. There are also succulents that can freeze easily due to the high water content within their leaves. Chaffin suggests that new succulent owners read and learn as much as they can about the species they have committed to grow. “Let the plant tell you what it needs,” she says. “Wrinkles in the leaves means it needs a little drink. If you’re plant is losing its rosette shape and becoming too leggy, it needs more sun. Its physical appearance shows you its needs.” When it comes to watering, there are

several helpful tips to ensure your succulent plants are thriving. • Drainage holes are essential. Succulents like water, but they don’t like to sit in water. Putting proper drainage holes in your pots will be a large element of succulent success. • Soak, don’t spritz. Some experts say that using a spray bottle is not the way to water your succulent. A light spray doesn’t promote root growth. When the soil is completely dry, use a small watering can to soak that soil once more. • Location plays a role in watering. Living in a dry climate will necessitate more watering, while living in a humid climate like Southwest Louisiana will mean your succulents will need to be watered less. Green thumb or not, using these tips will help ensure your succulent success.


Home & Family


Louisiana’s, “oldest and coldest” festivals. This year's festival will honor the cattle industry. Pink Life Hosts Diaper Drive

Southwest Louisiana Livestock Show and Rodeo The Southwest Louisiana Livestock Show and Rodeo comes to town January 31 - February 2 with events at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday & Friday, January 31 & February 1, and at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. The annual livestock shows begin at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 30 and are free and open to the public. The Southwest District Stick Horse Rodeo is slated for Saturday, February 2 in Burton Complex's outdoor covered arena. Kids up to age 7 are invited to participate. No rodeo experience is necessary. Pre-registration is going on now at LakeCharlesRodeo. com. Contestants can save $1 per event by pre-registering by January 31 at 5pm. The Western Heritage Rodeo Parade takes place at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 31. The parade begins on Ryan Street at E. LaGrange Street, Lake Charles, and will travel south on Ryan before ending at McNeese Stadium. Participation in the parade is free, and local organizations


and businesses are encouraged to enter. Entry forms available at Tickets are on sale now at www. and will be available at the Burton Coliseum Complex Box Office beginning January 21. Coupons for $4 off the price and adult's ticket and $1 off the price of a child’s ticket will be available at all Jeff Davis Bank locations. For more information, call (337) 944-9710 or visit Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival The Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival will be held Friday– Saturday, Jan. 11-12, in Cameron, LA with plenty of activities for festival goers, including parades, pageants, a 5K run and 1 mile fun walk, as well as dances, Cajun music, a gumbo cook-off, exhibits, and a carnival. Also check out unique contests like duck and goose calling, trap setting, nutria and muskrat skinning, oyster shucking and skeet shooting, and always a favorite among hunters are the dog trials. These contests and more make this a memorable experience for the whole family and a reason why people keep coming back to one of Southwest

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Pink Life will host their Diaper Drive Campaign for the entire month of January. They ask the community to donate diapers and wipes. All donations will help restock their shelves for single moms in need. Drop locations: Scarborough’s Day Salon and Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church. For more information, call 337-302-1117. Mardi Gras Shoebox Float Contest Call for Entries! The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau invites the community to bedazzle their shoeboxes to usher in the Mardi Gras season. Simply decorate a traditional cardboard shoebox with items such as glitter, glue, feathers, beads, sequins and more. There are school group divisions as well as divisions for amateurs ranging from child to adult, with an additional category for businesses, adult civic groups and organizations. Deadline for registering is Friday, Jan. 11. Floats will be received at the bureau’s Welcome Center, 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles on Friday, Feb. 1, from 3-4:30 p.m. Judging will take place on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the awards ceremony at noon. Shoebox floats will remain on display at the bureau through Wednesday, March 6, and the People’s Choice Award will also be presented on Wednesday, March 6, at 10 a.m.

For a list of prizes, registration form and more details on the contest, visit www.visitlakecharles. org/shoebox or contact Cindy Johnson with the Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau at 337-502-4351 or Tickets on Sale for the Louisiana Beer Fest, March 9 The 2019 Louisiana Winter Beer Festival celebrates the 5th year of Louisiana's Premier American Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, March 9, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 1911 Historic City Hall. The organization will be partner with the City of Lake Charles and the Calacasieu Parish Police Jury to move the festival to this new venue in Downtown Lake Charles. Over 125 craft brews will be available to sample, as well as great live music and local food. VIP ticket holders will receive early entry to the festival at noon, access to the 1910 VIP Area, special beer selections,a commemorative snifter glass, and special VIP restrooms. Regular admission ticket holders receive a commemorative tasting glass, access to the 125 beers, live music and food. Event is open to the public. Non-drinkers and drinkers alike are welcome to attend and enjoy the food trucks and live music at no charge. For more info or to buy tickets, go to Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival The Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival kicks off with a memorial breakfast, held at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 3007 Enterprise Blvd., on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 a.m. The MLK Community Walk will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday,


Jan. 19 at the Lake Charles Civic Center, followed by a community clean up at the intersection of Ryan & 12th St., beginning at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m., performers from all over Louisiana come together for the Gospel Extravaganza held at Throne of Grace Fellowship, 2401 6th St. Admission is free and open to the public. The celebration continues Monday, Jan. 21, with the Family Day Festival, which includes the annual parade, Zydeco, R&B, Blues and Southern Soul Music. There will also be a Celebrity Gumbo Cookoff contest, local vendors, exhibits, arts & crafts, and Creole and Cajun food. All Family Day events are free to children 12 and under.

is scheduled for Wednesday, January 30 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Parents of incoming Pre-K through 8th Grade are welcome. Personalized school tours will be provided and participants will have the opportunity to meet teachers, students and administrators.

JAN 31 - FEB 2

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Kay Morgan, ICCS Development Director, at (337) 433-3497 or by email at kmorgan@ For more information about Immaculate Conception Cathedral School, please visit

tickets now on sale lAKEcHARLESrODEO.COM 12:00 PM - 10:00PM Gates Open- Main Fairgrounds $5 per person/ $15 weekend pass- (includes admission to Friday evening pageant)/ children 12 & under free Trap Shooting - Southeast Fairgrounds Carnival Opens - Main Fairgrounds DJ Music - Main Fairgrounds

For more information, contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau at (337) 436-9588, or go to

6:30 PM LA Fur & Wildlife Fur Queen Contest/Teen Miss Fur Crowning of King Fur CPSB Conference Ctr., 512 Marshall St., Cameron/Admission $5

ICCS to Host Enrollment Information Sessions in January Immaculate Conception Cathedral School, located at 1536 Ryan Street in Lake Charles, will host two Enrollment Information Sessions in the month of January. Prospective families and students are encouraged to attend an informative session to learn more about enrollment opportunities at ICCS for the 2019-2020 academic year. A Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Enrollment Information Session will take place on Wednesday, January 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. This special session is reserved for incoming Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten families only. A PreKindergarten through 8th Grade Enrollment Information Session


7:00 AM Late Registration 4th Annual Fur Festival 5k Runand 1-mile fun walk | Cameron Jetty Pier, end of Davis Rd. (For Early Registration and additional information: register. 9 AM - 4 PM Antique Vehicles Showcase - No admission 9:00 AM Gates Open - Main Fairgrounds $10 per person/ children 12 & under free Gumbo Cook-Off (cooks allowed in at 6:30 AM) Trap Shooting - Southeast Fairgrounds Carnival Opens - MainFairgrounds


6:00 PM Little Miss and Mr. Cameron Parish / Miss Cameron Parish Pageants | CPS Conference Ctr. 512 Marshall St., Cameron/ Admission $5


9:00 AM Dog Trials (registration begins- end of Earl Rd.) 10:00 AM Dog Trials Begin- Junior Puppies/ Seasoned Dogs to follow

9:30 AM Muskrat & Nutria Skinning Competition - Main Fairgrounds Trap Setting Competition - Main Fairgrounds Oyster Shucking Competition -Main Fairgrounds 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM Brad Broussard performs - Main Fairgrounds 11:30 AM Gumbo Cook-Off Judging - Main Fairgrounds 1:30 PM Parade - Downtown Cameron (line up at Cameron Construction Yard) 3:00 PM Duck and Goose Calling Competition - Southeast Fairgrounds 3:30 - 6:30 Waters Edge - Main Fairgrounds 7:00 - 10:00PM Band TBD - Main Fairgrounds

All events will take place on the fairgrounds located at the former Pat’s of Cameron (513 Marshall Street) in Downtown Cameron, unless otherwise stated. ICE CHESTS, OUTSIDE FOOD AND BEVERAGES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE FAIRGROUNDS. ONLY SERVICE ANIMALS ALLOWED.


Money & Career

Financial Planning

Last month, we SPENT a lot of money. Now it’s time to ORGANIZE our money and plan our finances for 2019. In this special section, you’ll find stories on diversifying your investments, saving for the future, and plenty of tips to make your new year financially productive and prosperous!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

FIND A NEW HOME FOR YOUR FINANCES. For over 17 years, Denise Rau, CFP®, and the staff of Rau Financial Group have been fully invested in helping clients pursue their financial dreams. Whether its getting started with investing, saving for college, defending your family from financial uncertainty, preparing for retirement, arranging your estate, supporting an aging parent, or all of these, we’ll listen to your goals and dreams first. Then we’ll develop a sound strategy and customized financial plan to help you pursue them. There’s no time like the present to plan for your future. Give us a call today. (l-r) Denise Wilkinson, Denise Rau, Debora Alexander and Latrana White

(337) 480-3835 | 1634 RYAN ST., LAKE CHARLES

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Goss Advisors, a registered investment advisor. Goss Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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Money & Career

Is Your Portfolio Truly Diversified?

When setting up your financial portfolio, you may wonder whether you are choosing the right mix of investments. You’ve probably heard that owning a well-diversified portfolio is key – but what does that mean? Essentially, diversification means owning many different types of investments. It avoids the risk or limitations that come with concentrating assets in a single or even limited number of holdings, i.e. putting all your eggs in one basket, says Marty DeRouen, Certified Financial Planner and Wealth Management Advisor with DeRouen Girola & Associates. “Managing risk is an important component of investment portfolios. Every investment asset has a certain


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

growth profile but also a specific volatility or risk profile. Our goal in portfolio design is to assemble a group of holdings in such a way as to target an appropriate “risk adjusted return” for an individual or couple’s scenario.” When your portfolio is welldiversified across various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and cash, the right mix can help protect your portfolio from bumps in the market. A broadly diversified portfolio is designed to have some assets perform well when others lag. Over time, that counterbalance tends to give you better results than having your whole portfolio ride on one type of investment.

The importance of diversification

A portfolio with a basic combination of stocks and bonds is likely to perform better over time than a portfolio of stocks alone. Yes, stocks are important for growth. But bonds can act as buoys that help prevent your portfolio from sinking as low as it might when stocks run into a major storm. For example, in 2008 when stocks lost 37%, core bonds gained 5%. So although diversification doesn’t eliminate volatility, it can help to lessen the blow. While this example helps to illustrate the long-term value of being diversified, you don’t want to stop at the basic stock-andbond level of diversification.

David Girola, Certified Financial Planner and Wealth Management Advisor with DeRouen Girola & Associates says portfolio diversification thoughts tend to be limited to the world of just the traditional investment markets (U.S. large, mid and small cap, international, commodities, fixed income, etc) and traditional market sectors (technology, financials, manufacturing, consumer goods, etc). “While this is certainly a fundamental technical aspect of investment portfolio design, we suggest that consideration of diversification be broadened to include all of an individual’s or couple’s assets and address diversifying across such areas as taxation, ease of accessibility, growth potential, extent of volatility, degree of certainty, and income potential.”

What is an ETF and how does it benefit a portfolio?

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a form of mutual fund which is freely traded on a stock exchange in the same way

that individual stock shares are traded. They usually track a specific index, a commodity, or a basket of assets like an index fund. They can be attractive to investors due to their low costs and tax-efficiency. There is no front or backend load charge, and the only cost to buy and sell is the standard brokerage charge. Like mutual funds, they also charge an annual maintenance fee, but the annual fee for an ETF is often lower than a traditional fund. Conversely, warns DeRouen, investors need to be aware that because an ETF mirrors an index fund philosophy, low cost means the holdings are “unmanaged” over time. Many investors strive for portfolio diversification on their own; others prefer the assistance of a professional financial planner. Which is more beneficial financially? “Our experience from clients that come to us after DIY’ing for years is that they ultimately weren’t satisfied with the experience and the outcome,” says Girola. “They often acknowledge

that somewhere along the way, they let their emotions or their lack of expertise mislead them into making poor decisions that offset the positives they thought they would see. Engaging with a professional to support both their investment portfolio as well as their overall financial planning should also free them up to focus on other things in life that matter most, like their work, their family and friends, and their hobbies.” DeRouen emphasizes that no one investment or type of asset should be viewed as the best one. “The reality is that a diverse set of holdings that have a variety of financial characteristics will ultimately lead to having choices when needed, or passed on, and that’s what will really matter.” Northwestern Mutual: DeRouen Girola & Associates, is located at 127 Broad St. #600, Lake Charles. For more information, call 337-436-8940.

RETIRE ON YOUR TERMS. WHO’S HELPING YOU DESIGN YOUR PLAN? Marty DeRouen, CFP®, ChFC® Wealth Management Advisor DeRouen Girola & Associates

David Girola, CFP®, CLU® Wealth Management Advisor DeRouen Girola & Associates

Martin Gerard DeRouen uses DeRouen Girola & Associates as a marketing name for doing business as representatives of Northwestern Mutual. DeRouen Girola & Associates is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. 05-4002 © 2018 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), a subsidiary of NM, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA ( and SIPC ( Martin Gerard DeRouen, David Anson Girola is an Insurance Agent(s) of NM. Martin Gerard DeRouen, David Anson Girola, is a Registered Representative(s) of NMIS. Martin Gerard DeRouen, David Anson Girola, is a Representative of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, WI (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), a subsidiary of NM and federal savings bank. All NMWMC products and services are offered only by properly credentialed Representatives who operate from agency offices of NMWMC. DeRouen Girola & Associates is a marketing name for David Anson Girola and is not a broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, subsidiary or other corporate affiliate of NM, including its subsidiaries, nor is it a legal partnership or entity. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


Money & Career


Resolution Solutions by Kristy Como Armand

After the holiday shopping frenzy, when many Americans have overspent, it’s not surprising that financial goals top the list of most New Year’s resolution lists. "Getting your personal finances in order is among the most popular New Year's resolutions, usually falling in the top three, next to losing weight and exercising," says Denise Rau, CFP™, President of Rau Financial Group. "The New Year is a great time to take a closer look at your finances to see if how you manage your money is in line with the rest of your life goals.” Rau recommends a few basic strategies for accomplishing this:

Look at your budget.

Theoretically, you should have been reviewing your budget regularly throughout the prior year, but if that didn’t happen, make it a priority this year,” says Rau. “It’s easy to fall into your regular routines without even realizing how much you’re spending or where. You might be surprised to discover how much you spend on restaurants, entertainment, and other miscellaneous items. While it’s important to include these things in your life – you need to have fun, after all – these are also areas that can easily be budgeted and scaled back. This will leave you with more money to save.”

Get serious about saving.

Budgeting will help. Other things will, too – like assessing your priorities and establishing goals. “What do you want your life to look like at this time next year? Are there specific luxury items you want, like a new car? Do you want to buy a house soon? Would you like to take a big trip? These are questions you need to ask yourself so you can adequately plan to save,” Rau says. “These big-ticket


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

items require planning. And you can’t start a roadmap if you don’t know where you’ve been or where you’re going.”

Do a check-up.

Your budget overview should include things like insurance. Are you paying too much for car insurance? Is your health insurance affordable, yet adequate? “These are areas that people tend to overlook when they’re reassessing their financial situation,” Rau says.

Check your credit.

When was the last time you checked your credit? According to Rau, you should check your credit at least once a year. You want to make sure there aren’t any items to dispute and have clear understanding of where you stand. “Knowing your credit score not only gives you an idea of your relative financial standing, it also gives you the perfect framework to create goals. Let’s say you have a credit score of 600, but your goal is to get it up to 700. That’s a tangible goal that you can work toward.”


If you have investments, Rau says the beginning of the year is an ideal time to review your portfolio and make any adjustments if needed, and if you aren’t investing, there’s no time like the present to get started. While you should keep your emergency and short-term savings in an easily accessible account that you know won’t lose value, it is a good idea to have some long-term savings in vehicles that have the potential for a higher return, such as stocks and bonds. Rau says one misconception of investing is that you need a lot of money to do it. “That’s simply not true. You can invest even the smallest amount – a few hundred dollars – to get the ball

rolling. “Unfortunately, many people decide to wait until they have ‘enough money,’ yet it’s unclear what that means. You will have new expenses again and again – kids, house, car, vacation, college. If you wait until you have enough, you may never truly get there. Start young and start small.” And although it’s more beneficial to start when you’re younger, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest when you’re older, notes Rau. “How you invest will depend on your age, your temperament, and your goals, but trust me, there’s a customized plan out there for everyone. Don’t assume you aren’t in a position to invest. Meet with a financial professional and you’ll often find that’s not the case.”

longer than a year to get your finances where you want them, but by starting now, you'll be setting the course for a more secure financial future." Investment advice offered through GWM Advisors, dba Rau Financial Group, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial. To begin planning for your financial future, visit or call 337-480-3835.

Rau says the key to ultimate financial security is to "take control of your finances, instead of letting your finances control your life. It may take

Butch Ferdinandsen

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPS, CRPC Investment Advisor Representative Securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (WFS), member FINRA/SIPC. WFS is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of WFS.


Money & Career

Life Planning Cheat Sheet

The 5 Most Important Steps to Take Action on Now by Danielle Granger Nava, CFP® and Dustin R. Granger, CFP®

It’s easy to hear the words “financial life planning” and dismiss it as something you don’t need until your life becomes more complicated or until you have amassed millions. But what if I it’s actually something you need in order to prevent a complicated life and build your wealth? If you don’t have a financial or life plan yet, don’t stress. Here are five simple steps you can take action on now to start building or fine-tuning your plan today.

1. Develop your vision.

This is the fun part. Goals are important, but developing your vision goes beyond goal-setting. Dig deep and identify what your exact vision is for your life. It’s the first and the most important step because everything else in the plan depends on your vision.

2. Create and automate your savings system, aka The Bucket Strategy. There are three buckets you need to fill:

Short Term – These are your emergency funds, which everyone needs. Consider your bucket filled when you have three to six months of living expenses saved, depending on your situation. Not having emergency savings can dramatically mess up your financial plan, i.e. if you need money in a pinch (taxes, flooding, broken A/C) you don't want to pull out of your retirement savings or vacation funds. You need to plan for the unexpected, which means you need savings to support you during the times life doesn't go perfectly.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

Intermediate Term – These are your larger expenses like saving for the down payment on a home or new car, vacations or anything else you’ll need a large sum of money for in the near future. Long Term – This is your retirement savings (IRAs, Roth IRAs & 401(k)s). If you have access to your employer’s retirement plan, find out who you can talk to about your options and possible matching opportunities, and make an educated decision on what you can afford to contribute.

3. Revisit your investments or finally start investing.

If you’ve already started investing, whether it's through an advisor, a 401(k), an IRA, or an online investing account, the next step is making sure you're in the appropriate investments that align with your time horizon, risk tolerance, and unique goals. Life is changing all the time and so is your financial situation. It may be time to consider hiring a professional to make sure you’re working towards your life goals efficiently and effectively.

4. Take inventory of your insurance.

Insurance that protects you and your family in case of tragedy and old age is life, disability, and long term care insurance. You only need enough insurance to cover what your "needs" are, which is different for every person/ family. Ask yourself, "what will they lose if I pass?" Tally up your income, debt (mortgage & student loans), future education needs, weddings, etc. when deciding how much you may need.

5. Get these four basic estate documents made.

Most everyone has an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, insurance and personal possessions. And (spoiler alert!) you can’t take it with you when you die. Here are the four basic estate planning documents you should have: A Will provides instructions for distributing your assets to your family and other beneficiaries upon your death. The other crucial part of a will is designating a guardian for your minor children, if you have them. A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you name another person to act on your behalf in case you become incapacitated. A Health Care Power of Attorney authorizes someone to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so yourself. A Living Will expresses your intentions regarding the use of life-sustaining measures in the event of a terminal illness. Tackle these five steps one at a time, but don’t procrastinate. The goal is to have a clear plan in place so you can be prepared before life happens, get back to doing what you do best, and pave the way for the ideal life you want and deserve.

What to Expect When Working with a Job Recruiter by Andrea Mongler

If you’ve ever graduated, been laid off, or switched careers, you know that finding a job can be stressful. But what if the job finds you instead? Or rather, what if a recruiter finds you? That’s what happened to Eric Douglas, a Lake Charles native who had been job searching for several weeks when a recruiter contacted him about an opportunity in Lafayette. Two days later he had an interview, and within a couple of weeks he was hired. He had to pack up, move, and buy a car in a very short period of time, so the speed of the process was a bit of a shock. But he says there were definite benefits to working with a recruiter, also known as a “headhunter”. “She took care of everything,” Douglas says. “She sent the company my resume and gave me a technical test. She set up my interviews and communicated with the hiring manager. It was a relief knowing I had an advocate working to help me get this job.” As in Douglas’s case, recruiters are usually paid by the hiring company to fill an open position or positions. It’s much less common for job seekers to pay recruiters to help them find a job. That’s not to say that recruiters don’t help job seekers who reach out to them though. Donna Sphar, CEO and founder of CSI Executive Search, says that although her firm’s fees are paid by the hiring companies, CSI is often contacted by job seekers. “We are always looking for the talent for our clients, and

we are open to contact from good professional candidates,” Sphar says. “People reach out to us every day and trust us with their information, which they can submit confidentially online. We then circle back to them when there are potential opportunities from our clients.” Sphar’s firm, which is based in Austin and has an office in Lake Charles, specifically helps its clients fill senior leadership and other high-level positions. “Our business is based on helping companies identify and bring in the right talent to ultimately contribute to their bottom line,” she says. Douglas, who recently finished the coursework for a master’s degree in computer science, says the recruiting firm that contacted him did so because he had specific skills and experience that the hiring company was looking for — he knows a particular programming language, for example. For that reason, he recommends looking at job postings for the types of positions you are interested in to determine what particular skills, competencies, and expertise a company is seeking. If you possess those skills, make sure you list them on your resume and your LinkedIn page; it should increase your chances of being contacted by a recruiter. Douglas says that for him, one of the downsides of working with a recruiter was that he felt disconnected from his future employer. “The recruiter was an intermediary in every

communication,” he says. “I didn’t have a way to contact the company directly. If I had a question, I would ask the recruiter to ask the company. It felt really strange.” So, if a recruiter reaches out to you, keep in mind that working with one has pluses and minuses — and is no guarantee you’ll get the job — but it’s an option worth considering.


Money & Career

SOWELA Technical Community College Named Workforce Innovator of the Year The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) named SOWELA Technical Community College the 2018 Workforce Innovator of the Year at its Free Enterprise Awards reception in Baton Rouge, LA. The Workforce Innovator of the Year Award was given to the College for creating, implementing and supporting a high-caliber education or workforce development initiative aligned with closing the employment gap. “SOWELA is a perfect example of industry’s commitment to the future of Louisiana. Numerous LABI members have a deeprooted commitment to increasing educational opportunities for available local jobs in the STEM fields. Their direct workforce investment can be seen through the success of SOWELA,” said a statement released by LABI. The Free Enterprise Awards are given to individuals or organizations with unparalleled devotion to their employees, local communities and Louisiana’s future. Northwestern Mutual’s Marty DeRouen and David Girola form DeRouen Girola & Associates Northwestern Mutual advisors Marty DeRouen, CFP®, ChFC® and David Girola, CFP®, CLU® have founded DeRouen Girola & Associates – a financial planning/ wealth management practice focused on providing clients with a distinctive experience that combines professional expertise and the power of Northwestern 64

Mutual products and services. “David and I are pleased to be going to market together as a firm and believe this will better serve both our new and existing clients,” said DeRouen. “Our team of specialists and staff are positioned and ready to help with every facet of a financial plan.” DeRouen Girola & Associates is committed to providing expert advice driven by timetested strategies. The firm places an emphasis on personalized financial road maps that integrate investment plans and the right mix of insurance products to help reach clients’ goals. “Our clients expect broad expertise, enduring service and accessibility to their financial planning team,” said Girola. “Working together as DeRouen Girola & Associates, we strive not just to meet their needs but to exceed their expectations.”

Federal Credit Union, members of their immediate families and organizations of such persons. Exemplifying the “people helping people” philosophy, CSE is involved in numerous community programs, sponsorships and charitable gifting programs, including, but not limited to, MusicMakers2U, Ethel Precht HOPE Breast Cancer Foundation, Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA and the Children’s Miracle Network. “As stated in our Mission Statement, our goal is ‘To experience the joy of helping members achieve their financial goals.’ I want to thank the CSE Board of Directors and all of the dedicated volunteers and employees who, through the years, have helped bring us to 75 years of service to our members. We couldn’t have done it without you,” said Ken Gardner, CSE Chairman of the Board.

on-site laboratory survey. Under the direction of Julie Miller, Laboratory Director, and Dr. Todd Peavy, Laboratory Medical Director, the Imperial Health Laboratory recently achieved an overall score of 100% during their October 2018 survey. The Imperial Health Laboratory performs a wide range of tests, averaging approximately 850,000 analyses annually. The Imperial Health Laboratory is located at 501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr. in Lake Charles. Imperial Health also has several draw stations strategically located throughout the Lake Area for patient convenience.

Learn more about DeRouen Girola and Associates by visiting

Imperial Health Laboratory Receives Reaccreditation

Lake Charles Memorial Health System recently honored students who participated in the Young at Art Program. The program, which spotlights artwork from different local schools each month, was designed to make a positive impact on hospital patients, employees, and the young artists themselves. The display featured artwork by students from Immaculate Conception Cathedral School. A panel of Memorial volunteers recognized seventh grade students Cecilia Barrios, Caroline Kaough and Hannah LaFleur with a $25 gift card. “We would like to congratulate our young artists, and extend our thanks to them all for helping to brighten our hospital with their wonderful artwork,” said Kathy

CSE Federal Credit Union Celebrates 75 Years of Service CSE Federal Credit Union proudly celebrates 75 years of service to Southwest Louisiana (SWLA). Over the past 75 years, many things have changed, but one thing that has remained is the consistency and value of our service to members and to our community. On December 7, 1943, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in accordance with the Federal Credit Union Act, granted our charter. The original field of membership included the employees of Cities Service Refining Corporation, the employees of CSE

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

The Imperial Health Laboratory has met all criteria of Laboratory Accreditation by the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA), a national healthcare accreditation organization. COLA is a nonprofit, physician-directed organization prompting quality and excellence in medicine and patient care through programs of voluntary education, achievement, and accreditation. Accreditation is given only to laboratories that apply rigid standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in the performance of proficiency testing, and pass a rigorous biennial

For more information on all locations and hours, call (337) 433-8400 or visit Memorial Hospital Honors ICCS Artists

DeRouen, Memorial’s senior vice president of Marketing and founder of the Young at Art program. SportsEvents Announces Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau as a 2019 Readers’ Choice Award Winner SportsEvents Media Group, the leading industry publication focused exclusively on helping sports event planners produce excellent competitions in the United States, has announced that Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau in Lake Charles, LA has been recognized as a 2019 Readers’ Choice Award winner. Award-winning destinations and venues for youth and amateur sports will be honored in the January 2019 issue of SportsEvents Magazine.

Sports event professionals were asked to nominate destinations and sports venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the youth and amateur sports groups they host. Nominations were received from readers beginning in early September and the top picks were selected based on results from an online voting system. “The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB is honored to be recognized for this prestigious award. It speaks to our area’s commitment to athletics. From our community leaders, our facility operators, to our volunteers and staff, Lake Charles/SWLA takes great pride in hosting these sporting events that bring so many people to our area each year,” said Eric Zartler, Sales Director at the Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana CVB.

Johnson Funeral Home Opens in Moss Bluff A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of Johnson Funeral Home – Moss Bluff last month. The new facility, located at 2171 N. Hwy 171, offers a convenient location for the Johnson Family of Funeral Homes to serve the community of Moss Bluff and surrounding areas. The newly-constructed funeral home encompasses 8,000 square feet, including a chapel with ample seating, private meeting room, casket and urn gallery, kitchen, and family gathering area. This location offers the same comprehensive range of high quality, compassionate services Johnson Funeral Home in Lake Charles is known for. These include traditional services, private family viewing, graveside services, memorial services, direct burial and cremation services.

The staff of Johnson Funeral Home – Moss Bluff is a welltrained team of local professionals. Stephen Pousson, a lifelong resident of Moss Bluff, will be the Manager and Funeral Director of the Moss Bluff location. Rachel Broussard Rogers, also from Moss Bluff; Mark Bordelon, a Moss Bluff resident; and Brandie Trull Kimbro from Moss Bluff, will serve as Funeral Directors. All are graduates of McNeese State University and offer over 50 years of combined experience in funeral services. For more information about Johnson Funeral Home – Moss Bluff, call (337) 426-8006.



Solutions for Life

from Solutions Counseling & EAP by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

Let It Out!


“I’ve never talked about this before . . .” Daunting words for me to hear, to say the least. I often wonder what makes clients share things with me they have never shared with anyone. I feel very honored when clients decide to disclose these long-held secrets to me. I also know this means we have started the road to healing. Sometimes it is a very long road, but now the first step has been taken. The secret is out.

addiction, bad choices. People often do not connect their current mess of a life with things that happened in the past. Oh, but it is all connected – trust me.

What is the problem with keeping secrets? It depends on what the secret is about. If it is about something that happened to you that makes you feel bad in some way, then it can become a big problem. Sometimes secrets have to do with things a person does that he/she doesn’t want anyone else to know about, believing that action makes them “weird.” See, secrets like these have a tendency to get bigger, darker, and stand in the way of us being our best self.

As mentioned above, therapy is a great tool for working through things you have been carrying around. Therapists are great for helping you find perspective and teaching you methods for coping with your past. But you need to know that talking to friends, a pastor, or a mentor can be really helpful too. It is all about letting others in on the secret so you are not carrying the burden alone.

Many people fool themselves into thinking they have the secret under control, and don’t need to deal with it. “I just don’t think about it,” is something I commonly hear. And if something bad happened to you, you wouldn’t want to think about it either. The problem is, we have to put the things that have happened to us in an appropriate place in our history. If we don’t deal directly with the issue, it has a tendency to ooze out in ways we don’t want – unhealthy relationships,

I often assign journaling for my clients who process better in a written format. Just start writing your thoughts out. Don’t worry about spelling, or grammar, or even if it makes sense. Whatever you are thinking, put it down. It is amazing how our brains can process things when we get out of the way and just let them wander down whatever path they want. The purpose of this exercise is not to arrive at any fantastic conclusion, but just to get it out of you and onto paper.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

So, what is the best way to begin to let these dark secrets out? There are a variety of helpful things you can do. And no one way is better than the others. It all depends on what works for you. Talk it out.

Write it out.

You can also write a letter – to the person who hurt you, to the secret itself, to your younger self who experienced the pain. Write about the impact on you. Write about no longer allowing the secret to control you. Act it out. No, I’m not suggesting you put on a play about your secret. I am suggesting you take some action related to the secret. If you chose to write it out, as suggested above, you might take action by tearing the writing up into little tiny pieces. Or burning the paper and thinking about all the dark secrets on the paper going up in smoke. Some people paint their secrets. Others throw pottery (and pounding clay is a great stress reliever). You could go into a private space and yell. As long as the action you take is not self-harming or harmful to others, sometimes doing something is exactly what is needed. It is not uncommon for my new clients to come in for their second session and tell me how much better they are feeling. While I am an AWESOME therapist (wink, wink), I know I didn’t work any magic at that last session. They are feeling better because they let the big, dark, shameful secret out. Now the secret is smaller and so much less powerful. Which means we can get to work!

Radiologic Sciences Faculty Elected

First Choice, McNeese Foundation The McNeese State University Foundation has donated $25,000 to support the First Choice Campaign at McNeese. Local industry partners and contractors are investing in McNeese and the future of Southwest Louisiana through the First Choice Campaign, a three-year initiative with a goal of raising $1 million per year for the next three years. McNeese is a dynamic, nationally recognized, student-centered university and these funds will provide the necessary resources for sustaining growth and selfsufficiency over the next three years that will continue to make McNeese the first choice for Southwest Louisiana. Willie Mount, right, president of the McNeese Foundation Board of Directors, presented the donation to McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel. Student Nurses Association Received Awards McNeese’s Student Nurses Association officers received two awards at the recent Louisiana Association of Student Nurses convention - the Most School Spirit award and Highest Increase in Membership award among the Louisiana schools attending the convention. Officers include: president, Kristin Sharp; vice president, Taylor Robbins; secretary, Luke LeBouef; treasurer, Macy Fazio; recruiter, Caitlin Fuselier; senator, Shelbi Monceaux; parliamentarian, Meeyana Richard; and faculty advisers, Katrina Carter, assistant professor of nursing, and Sara Logan, student services coordinator. LeBouef was also elected to the 2018-2019 LASN Board of Directors.

Two radiologic sciences faculty members where elected officers in the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists. Allison Puente, clinical assistant professor, was elected as first vice president while Sara Jessup, clinical assistant professor, was elected as second vice president. Greg Bradley, head of the radiologic and medical laboratory science department and program director of radiologic sciences, was elected as the second vice chairman of the Louisiana State Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners, which oversees the licensing provisions for all radiologic technologists in Louisiana. Political Science Professor Chaired Panel at Conference Dr. Henry B. Sirgo, professor of political science at McNeese, chaired the “Early 19th Century” panel of the Great Legislators/ Legislation International Conference/11th Triennial Deep South Conference at Louisiana State University – Shreveport. Sirgo also chaired the “Perception and Treatment in the Public Arena” panel of the 98th annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association held in Orlando, Florida, where he also presented a paper titled “Human Rights and Intergovernmental Relations in the United States: A Louisiana Focus.” McNeese Forms Partnership with Beekeeps McNeese State University is doing its part to help promote the benefits of bees as pollinators through a partnership with local beekeepers and the Harold and Pearl Dripps School of Agricultural Sciences with the introduction of a bee program at the McNeese farm. The goal is to not only educate McNeese students but also agriculture producers and the community about the benefits of bees as pollinators for food and agriculture crops, the value of wildflowers and plants that provide food for bees and the honey

which is produced by the hives, according to Dr. Chip LeMieux, school director. McNeese Student Attends IBM Vault Challenge Michael Casteel, a double major in computer science and computer engineering at McNeese State University, Michael Casteel placed among the top 10 scorers in IBM’s national online interactive code cracking challenge, The IBM Vault, held this fall. The challenge drew over 3,000 participants. The IBM Vault challenge required participants to use their problem-solving skills, perseverance and technical knowledge to unlock six puzzles by translating data, decoding cyphers, uncovering hidden images and files, modifying a database and meeting deadlines for solving each puzzle. Participants were ranked by cumulative scores determined by the time it took to solve each puzzle. Casteel, from Sulphur, was among the top 75 competitors awarded an allexpense trip to IBM’s Innovation Center in Cambridge, Mass., to attend presentations and demonstrations on some of the latest technology research currently being developed at IBM, including state-of-the-art medical databases, Artificial Intelligence security and advanced tracking applications. Casteel credits his classes and professors at McNeese for preparing him for the IBM competition and experiencing this oncein-a-lifetime event. “The opportunity to experience what IBM has to offer, plus encounter new areas of information technology, was invaluable,” he says.


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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • January 2019

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