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Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


contents FEBRUARY 2018


24 spotlight 14 26 THINGS

Happenings, news and tidbits that caught Today’s Woman’s eye this month

features 24 HEALTH

Love and Support


From Fragments to Fulfillment


Surviving a Hurricane



A Beautiful Home and Life Is About Layering Your Home with the Essentials

What Works for Louisville’s Public Health Director


Moving Forward into New Celebrations


30 LOVE ABOUT She Stands Out

30 BEFORE YOU GO Feeding Her Heart

Dressing for Difficult Decisions




Feb 2018 /

33 TURNING POINT Connections & Wellness Through Music


Loving Connections

6 A Heart of Many Colors

Nurture your heart in every way.

32 Ashley Dones

Read why she exercises caution in our Heart Health Supplement inserted after page 32.


Sugar Cookie Bars


Classic with a whimsical twist


36 Best Bodies — Belinda Haynes

Victoria Vogt and Scott Davis

Read full stories online at Search with the person’s name in the story.

Why J Lo keeps her motivated.

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018



FEBRUARY 2018 • VOL. 28 / NO. 3


st (Not ju f the o e s u a bec rts) a e h d re



doubt any one of us has exhibited all of these characteristics at the same time, but the creation of each Today’s Woman issue requires them all. BEING COURAGEOUS: Each woman featured took a courageous step to share her story. BEING ASSERTIVE: The writer had to pull up her assertive self and call someone she didn’t know and ask personal questions — sometimes emotional ones.


The photographer and the woman worked together to create an energetic photo shoot with the photographer daring this woman to show herself to us just as she is. BEING POWERFUL: The power comes in combining all this into one place and realizing that these women are just like the rest of us: Dealing

with both difficult situations and joyful celebrations sometimes in the midst of trying to get through their day. Power comes in the realization that a change or movement might put you on the right path. I want to exercise and expand my use of these different characteristics — to start being Red this month. Take steps that will help you move ahead on something — just choose one area. On page 14, we feature a few women our writer Brigid Morrissey walked up to (that took courage) and asked about changes they were making in their physical, emotional, and spiritual selves. Reading their responses might help you believe doing something new is possible. Be Red and take action, starting with one big, deep breath. — Anita Oldham



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anita Oldham EDITOR Tiffany White CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Lucy M. Pritchett Miranda G. Popp COPY EDITOR/SR GRAPHIC DESIGNER April Allman DESIGNER/PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jill Cobb DIGITAL DESIGNER/EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Aubrey Hillis PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Melissa Donald OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Scheri Stewart Mullins ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Susan Allen BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Rachel Reeves SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS Teri Hickerson Joyce Inman MEDIA CONSULTANT Deana Coleman CIRCULATION MANAGER W. Earl Zion Today’s Woman is published monthly by: Zion Publications, LLC 9750 Ormsby Station Road, Suite 307 Louisville, KY 40223 Phone: 502.327.8855 The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher. Today’s Woman magazine does not endorse or guarantee any advertiser’s product or service. Copyright 2018 by Zion Publications LLC, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited without permission from Zion Publications LLC.

Instead of letting congenital heart disease become a setback, Ashley Dones turned her health situation into a heartfelt mission. Read more about what she’s doing in our heart supplement after page 32.

ADVERTISE: Call 502.327.8855 or email

Photo: Melissa Donald Makeup: Amber Schnobrich, Strandz Salon & Threadz Boutique Styling: Aubrey Hillis Wardrobe: Sweater, $50, available from H&M

address for 12 monthly issues.

Feb 2018 /

REPRINTS: Call 502.327.8855 or email

SUBSCRIBE: Send $18 to the above

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


t r a e H A

s r o l o C Many of

By Carrie Vittitoe


f you only think in terms of anatomy, the HEART is a muscle that works to keep blood and oxygen flowing throughout the body. But your HEART is also what you give to your loved ones. The HEART can break from disappointment or loss. Passion and endeavor are the domains of the HEART as well. Having a healthy HEART takes on a whole new meaning when we make sure to be physically and emotionally healthy. PAGE 8 >>


Feb 2018 /

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


SERVING WITH A COMPASSIONATE HEART Brenda Frank, special assistant to Mayor Greg Fischer, has seen Louisvillians give their hearts in service since 2011 when the mayor adopted the goal to make the city more compassionate. At first, people were confused by the concept of a compassionate city. “People shook their heads and said, ‘What do you mean?’” Brenda says. One of the primary ideas in making Louisville more compassionate was to ask residents to engage in acts of service. When the city promoted its first Day of Service, its goal was for people to engage in 55,000 acts of compassion throughout the city. To the mayor’s delight, 90,000 acts of service were accomplished. Brenda says the mayor is never one to rest on his laurels, so the goal increased with astounding results. In April 2017, Louisvillians performed 180,000 acts of compassion on the Day of Service, with 58,000 of those acts being done by students. Brenda says community organizations and businesses have been part of the success of the Day of Service project. “JCPS really got on board with almost every school participating,” she says. Other community partners include Metro United Way, Brown-Forman, UPS, and the Kentucky Derby Festival. Being a compassionate city is more than just doing acts of kindness for others, though. It really is for each resident’s benefit, whether they are on the giving end or the receiving end of kindness. The acts of compassion are geared to helping people eat better, exercise more, and live longer in healthier and safer neighborhoods. “If we don’t have a service-minded heart, we really aren’t that healthy,” Brenda says.


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A HEART IN RECOVERY Many of us think of heart health as being purely physical, but emotions also play a role. Depression and anxiety may put us at risk of damaging our hearts due to poor sleep, poor eating, lack of exercise, and isolation. Recovery Inc. of Kentucky, located in the Highlands, opened in 1952 and offers anonymous support groups for people who are struggling with their mental health. Janice Kaelin serves as the director of Recovery Inc. and benefited from its service herself when she was a young mother dealing with postpartum depression in the 1970s. Recovery Inc. was so life changing for her as a young woman that she now donates all her time to the organization. “We teach people cognitive behavioral therapy [techniques],” she says. Professionals volunteer their time to lead support groups Tuesdays through Sundays, and while Janice says the program is simple, it is not easy. “It takes effort and concentration,” she says. The support groups utilize the book, Peace of Mind, Peace of Body: Practical, Effective Techniques for Mental Fitness by Rose VanSickle and work to develop each attendee’s mental health toolkit. “You have to have skills that will teach you resilience,” Janice says. While some support group members take medication, others do not, but medication is not the focus. “It’s wisdom for living, and you don’t get wisdom from a pill,” she says.

FEEL THE BEAT OF THE RHYTHM OF THE HEART While your heart might race as a result of turning up the romance, heart palpitations can be worrisome. The professionals at the Norton Heart Rhythm Center in St. Matthews diagnose and manage patients who have heart rhythm disorders. Dr. Kent Morris, a cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology with the Heart Rhythm Center at Norton Heart Specialists, says the most common is atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). “Three to six million people are affected by A-Fib, and over the age of 40, people have a lifetime risk of one in four,” he says. A-Fib affects the upper chambers of the heart, and what is most concerning about it is that it can cause the blood to stagnate, which then increases the risk of stroke. Even though the incidence of A-Fib increases with age, Dr. Morris says other risk factors include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and obstructive sleep apnea. Palpitations aren’t the only sign of a heart rhythm disorder. Shortness of breath, chest discomfort, dizziness, and fatigue are also warning signs. Dr. Morris says a racing heart over the long-term is what physicians worry about because it weakens the muscle and can lead to heart failure. Imagine a Derby horse running around the track at its fastest speed for hours and hours. It wouldn’t take too long for the horse to collapse, which is what could happen to the heart if it is forced to work too hard for too long. Although the Heart Rhythm Center is not a walkin clinic, Dr. Morris says that Norton is piloting a protocol that would quickly move patients who are seen in a Norton emergency room with heart rhythm issues to the Heart Rhythm Center (provided they don’t have other issues that require them to be admitted as an inpatient). PAGE 10 >>

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


HEART BREAK Loss is a part of life, but experiencing an emotional loss can make one’s heart feel like it is physically hurting. Licensed marriage and family therapist Brittani Hoyer says any kind of loss can lead to feelings of grief or heartbreak, including the loss of a loved one through divorce or death, the loss of a lifestyle as a result of an illness, or even the end of an addiction. Parents frequently go through little valleys of grief as their children leave one stage of life behind. An individual who experiences the breakup of a marriage or long-term friendship may feel anger or a sense of abandonment. Brittani says while a person who loses a loved one through death may also experience anger or abandonment, they may direct their feelings at God or life or luck rather than the individual who died. Whether a loss results from a breakup, a death, or a dramatic life change, Brittani says “support is essential, whether it be friends or family, a counselor, or medication. That’s the first thing I focus on with clients.” Someone who has experienced the death of someone close might find comfort in doing some reminiscing exercises to bring up happy memories. A person who has experienced a breakup may need to work on rebuilding her self-esteem, taking time to find out what she likes and values about herself. Eventually, individuals will work to start new traditions in their lives, and their hearts will begin to heal.

HEART STRESS The loss of a loved one is a stress on the heart, emotionally and physically. “Physical or emotional stress can trigger a stress response in the body that leads to atrial fibrillation. As adrenaline, cortisol, or noradrenaline increase in the body, they can increase the likelihood of a heart rhythm disorder,” Dr. Morris says. Coping mechanisms are important for all components of heart health. Getting good quality sleep, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, and avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol are things Dr. Morris recommends to his patients with heart rhythm disorders, but these are good suggestions for everyone dealing with stress in their lives. An important thing to remember is that not all unusual heart rhythms are abnormal. Dr. Morris says people with normal heart rhythms can experience palpitations. If someone experiences a panic attack or runs up a few flights of stairs, heart palpitations would be expected. When it comes to atrial fibrillation, Dr. Morris says, “It can be very symptomatic but is generally not life-threatening.” The important thing is to check in with your doctor and, if necessary, see a specialist so that they can sort out whether palpitations are from an abnormal rhythm or not.


Feb 2018 /

BABY LOVE The heart palpitations a new mother feels when falling in love with her newborn baby rest a great deal on hormones. Beth Quinkert, a certified nurse midwife with WomanCare in Southern Indiana, says there are four hormone systems involved during labor and childbirth: prolactin, oxytocin, endorphins, and adrenaline/ noradrenaline. “Prolactin is the ‘mothering’ hormone thought to be responsible for the nesting instinct. Oxytocin, known as the hormone of love, is responsible for making the uterus contract, producing labor, and is at its highest levels at the time of birth, which gives the woman a sense of euphoria and makes her receptive to her baby,” Beth says. Adrenaline is the hormone associated with “fight or flight” and may kick in when a pregnant woman feels scared or threatened to keep delivery from occurring. Beth says this hormone is involved when women begin labor at home where they feel safe and contractions are steady, but then move to the hospital. Things like registration, intravenous needles, or being in uncomfortable positions may make them feel scared, resulting in higher “fight or flight” hormones and a slowing of their contractions.

Adrenaline and noradrenaline are “also at work when the job of pushing the baby out comes around. These hormones will kick in and give the woman the ‘urge to push’ feelings,” she says. Endorphins are hormonal painkillers, and Beth says they soar after birth, which is what causes many women to cry with joy immediately after they give birth. While hormones are designed to make birth go a certain way, not every woman experiences a seamless labor or delivery. “Labor can be faster or slower than expected, analgesia in the form of IV medications or epidurals may be required, induction or augmentation with pitocin might occur, [or] fetal distress requiring additional monitoring or cesarean section may become necessary,” Beth says. These things could impact how a woman feels about the birth or her baby, so it is important for women to do things that can increase their hormones of love and euphoria, like breastfeeding, placing the baby skin-to-skin, and discussing her feelings.

PAGE 12 >>

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018



HEART AND MIND CONNECTION There is no doubt that participating in a yoga session can make you feel relaxed. Slow-tempo music, stillness, and stretching can help a person regain a sense of inner calm. However, Shelli Carpenter, co-owner of Eternal Health Yoga, says consistency is the key to making yoga have long-term health benefits, such as reductions in blood pressure, improved flexibility, and increased lung capacity. “Having a consistent yoga practice is where the benefits come in,” she says. Consistent yoga practice is really part of an entire lifestyle. Doing an occasional class might make you feel better for an hour or even a day, but if you eat poorly, smoke, get minimal sleep, and don’t drink enough water, the long-term benefits will likely stay out of reach. Shelli, who is studying for a master’s degree in the Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS University of London, says yoga “was a spiritual practice originally, to still the mind and reach a higher level of enlightenment.” She says flexibility, heart health, and stress relief are the side effects of a spiritual lifestyle. One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is that “it causes people to become aware of things that aren’t good for them,” Shelli says. Yoga practitioners develop a deeper sense of awareness about what their body and heart need to feel good.


Feb 2018 /

Being a sensitive person has many benefits. Marriage and Family Therapist Brittani Hoyer says sensitive people tend to be more empathetic. “They understand others’ feelings and typically have a lot more compassion for others,” she says. However, there are times when being sensitive displays itself in ways you might not like. Sensitive people might feel embarrassed if they cry at work or at school. They may worry that others think they are babies or can’t handle a job or responsibility. Brittani says it is important for sensitive people to think about what happens that makes them cry in certain situations. What is behind it? Knowing what causes the tears is critical. Brittani says sometimes a lack of confidence can lead someone to become upset, and learning assertiveness can minimize the person’s sensitivity. If a woman tends to be highly sensitive, Brittani says it is a good idea for her to step away and ground herself again. Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness are tools that can help anyone learn to manage her sensitivity. Brittani points out that sensitivity is not always sadness or crying. “Sometimes sensitivity manifests itself as anger,” she says. Whether one’s sensitivity displays as tears or a tantrum, slow breaths and stretching can help get one re-centered and calm.

IF YOUR HEART IS BEATING ABNORMALLY An individual who is experiencing heart palpitations that don’t come from a romance or adoration of a newborn may seek out a physician’s help to determine if the palpitations are normal. Sometimes that requires wearing a heart monitor. Some monitors are meant to be worn for 24 hours, but Dr. Morris says some implantable heart monitors are the size of a paper clip and can be worn for up to three years. These monitors would be used in patients who have symptoms “a couple times a year that have been hard to catch,” he says. Morris says there are even newer consumer products that work with smartphones to monitor heart rates. The Polar H10 heart rate sensor and the Scosche Rhythm are just two of the many consumer monitors that are available on the market.

WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART POUND “There are benefits of romance to heart health,” says advice columnist and speaker Joyce Oglesby, and the research supports this statement. Studies have shown that people in satisfying relationships have lower risks of heart disease. Love seems to make people feel more at peace and balanced, which has a positive impact on blood pressure. A loving relationship helps people manage their stress because they have a soundingboard, someone who they know is by their side through all the good and bad. “When romance is fresh and alive, it doesn’t matter what comes your way, you can handle it,” Joyce says. Maintaining a romantic relationship means continuing to communicate your wants and needs. Some men and women erroneously think that romance means the other person in the relationship knows you so well that he or she can guess what you want, but romance doesn’t mean mind-reading, she says. It is important for partners in a love relationship to maintain reasonable expectations for each other, too. Often one person in a relationship becomes frustrated because their partner doesn’t do things exactly as they would, but this is unrealistic. “You can’t put the same kind of expectations on them. They have to come up to their ability,” Joyce says.

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


26 THINGS (Why 26? Because we are 26 years old!)

Happenings, news, and tidbits that caught Today’s Woman’s eye this month By Anita Oldham


We asked these women, who we ran into at the park and a coffee shop, about intentional, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual changes they were making. Writer Brigid Morrissey captured their responses and photos. Read their full responses at

1& 2

“I got a dog, so I’ve been way more active outside.”


“I’m testing out different churches.” — Blake Meade



Caitlin Nesbit and her

“I decided to exercise every day: half an hour on the treadmill, half an hour of weights." — Trisha Zeller


“Dancing tango has not only brought awareness of my body, but the partner I dance with. I’ve learned oneness. One heart, one soul.” — Minerva Virola


“I’m a travel nurse, so I stopped working (last) February to hike the Appalachian Trail. I got 300 miles into it, got bored, met someone, we got off the trail and went to Singapore. Then we went to Bali, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and then we parted ways. I went to Italy, Croatia, and Germany. Then I went back to work.” — Michelle Freiberger


Feb 2018 /


PHYSICAL: “Starting January of (2017), I decided that I was unhappy with my health. I immediately changed my eating habits and began walking two loops around Cherokee Park as many days as I could each week. I go almost five times a week now and have lost a total of 45 pounds.” EMOTIONAL: “About a month ago, I realized that I was in a relationship where I could not be my true self. Though I enjoyed the company of the man I was dating, I was unhappy. It was very difficult to end a relationship with someone I cared for, but I knew putting myself first was extremely important.”

MENTAL: “About two months ago, I decided that I no longer wanted to rely on antidepressants so I spoke to my doctor about weaning myself off them. I can say that there have been days where I felt too much, but I still think it was the best decision for my clarity.”

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018




14&15 “I can’t do as much as I used to be able to do but I started an introductory Tai Chi class.”




09. Chocolates from Amore Di Mona Low glycemic and vegan (and gluten, soy, and nut free) made right here in Louisville. Available at Dundee Candy Shop and Lucky’s Market.

“I started to connect more with people of other faiths. I’m Jewish and pretty active in my Salaam network — a group of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim members of the community working together to increase understanding of the respective faiths.” — Marcia Texler Segal

10. Try some Love & Chocolate at the Southern Supper Series by Mint Julep Tours on February 9. This progressive dinner includes appetizers at the hip new restaurant Red Herring, entrée at romantic Fat Lamb, and a chocolate truffle and bourbon tasting from Art Eatables. 11. M  ESA in New Albany has two weeks of love-inspired dining experiences. Chocolate, dessert, whiskey, and Italian-themed interactive date nights available 12. Valentines Day dinner including tenderloin and dark chocolate and cherry cream brulee along with bourbon at Woodford Reserve on Feb 10 or 14. 13. Take your friend to a romantic tango lesson with chocolate on Feb 9 or 10, $59 per couple. 502.377.4859



Feb 2018 /




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“The biggest change I have made is being compassionate toward myself and learning to love myself in all of the identified areas. Embracing who I am not just on the days when I ran a 5K or volunteered for a worthy organization, but (also) the days when I stay on the couch, get carryout, catch up on Netflix, and am able to say ‘I deserve this today.’" — Kelsey Traughber

18&19 “For the last year I’ve tried to do yoga on a daily basis. I’ve been in practice for over 16 years. It gets me going and clears my mind in the morning.”


“I went back to school after being out of school for 10 years… and I’m loving it. The wait was worth it so I’d know exactly what I wanted to do.” — Amira Karaoud

17 “At work, I pray an order goes out. It’s changed more because we’re selling more. It’s scary because there are so many unknowns.” — Sally Lawler, who has a company Skooty’s (selling comfort insoles for ski boots)

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


26 THINGS Caution: Take Care of Your Heart We went out to see if people were paying attention to their hearts — if the red dresses and red signal were helping women with heart care. Here are three people we found randomly — all who had some heart-related connections. See our special heart supplement after page 32.

“My mom had so many different surgeries: she had open heart surgery twice and three stents. I get my blood pressure checked and cholesterol, and I know my numbers. I walk three nights a week for about a mile. I would like to quit smoking.” — Julia Embry


“I am on blood pressure medication. I monitor it regularly, and I go to the doctor every six months to get it checked. I was kind of borderline, and then they said ‘let’s just put you on something.’” — Vickie Harmeling


make that How did we n lot of cautio a ith W dress? packing of ll ro a d tape an ted with a tape! We star Goodwill. at ht dress boug


Heartstrings Valentines Dinner and Dance on February 17 with sit-down dinner, program, and dancing benefitting the Kentuckiana Stroke Association.


Heart Ball on February 10 celebrates the work of the American Heart Association with dinner and entertainment. 18

Feb 2018 /


“My father had a heart attack, my mother had a heart attack, and my father died of cancer so I am pretty preemptive on my health. I have all of my screenings every year. I have high cholesterol. It is hereditary so I am very aware. I am on the treadmill three days a week no matter what — it is a stress reliever. I am not the most consistent person with it (exercise) but I am moving everyday.” — Karen Freudenberger


25&26 “I ended a long-term relationship. I’ve processed through those feelings (this past year) and now I’m ready to move on this year.”


“For me, this year has been about finding a new love for being outside. Anytime I’m outside in the fresh air, it’s become clear how important that is for me.” — Becca Washer

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


SURVIVING A HURRICANE By Megan M. Seckman Photos submitted

Top: Their view before the hurricane. Bottom left: the new vacation home they are building which didn’t end up getting damaged. Bottom right: Same view after hurricane.

“I felt so lucky to be alive,” Helen says. “We didn’t have jobs or families to run to. And, the look in everyone’s eyes...we were like zombies in backpacks, filling up water jugs and hugging each other among downed power lines and trees. There was a real sense of desperation and everyone had a different story — their boats or homes were destroyed, they hadn’t been able to reach anyone — it was too much for me.”


Feb 2018 /


ince last January, the Faiths, who live in Southern Indiana, had spent all but five weeks on the Caribbean island of St. John, building their ideal vacation property and potential retirement home. So, when news of the intensifying hurricane (Irma) spread across the island, Helen began her task of hunkering down and preparing for the worst. As the storm hit, Helen described the sound as “deafening.” They saw the bedroom door bowing and decided to take cover in the adjacent bathroom. To drown out the noise and assuage their fears, the couple barricaded themselves in the bathroom and blared a portable radio to drown out the destruction raging outside. “When the storm hits,” Helen says, “your brain is so clear. You don’t even think, you just fly into action and problem solve. The adrenaline makes your mind as sharp as it’s ever been.” John and Helen took all the pillows and blankets from the bed and made a barrier between their bodies and the bathroom door. At this point, the storm was actually inside the house, and the pressure was so great that the massive doors were bowing in, windows were shattering, the water was sucked from the toilet bowl, and their ears were in agony from the pressure. Helen kept asking John if her ears were bleeding. When they finally emerged from the bathroom, they were shocked at the devastation. “We were stunned. All the trees were gone. St. John is a forest, and you could see the entire island because no leaves remained on the trees.” For a week John and Helen helped their friends and neighbors dig themselves out of Irma’s wrath. Since the island had no cell phone service, Helen explains that the aftermath of being cut off from communication was worse than surviving the storm itself. The Faiths are back to finishing up their vacation home and encourage others to invest in these islands. “They’ll never be able to rebuild if you don’t,” says Helen.

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


What Works for Louisville’s Public Health Director By Lucy M. Pritchett Photo by Patti Hartog


HERE'S WHAT WORKS FOR SARAH: La Croix sparkling water I drink about two cans a day, usually the lime or lemon flavored... any flavor but the coconut. I always bring one to work for an afternoon snack and pair it with an apple. Honeycrisp apples are my favorite. Aquaphor Healing Ointment This is terrific for preventing chapped lips, but it does so much more. I carry it in the diaper bag and use it as a cream for eczema and diaper rash for the boys. It's like a medicated Vaseline. It’s unscented. I use a lot of it.

SEARCH: Sarah Moyer


hen the director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness offers her top three tips for women to have a healthier lifestyle, we might want to listen. 1. Turn out the light and get some sleep. 2. Exercise because it’s good for your mental health. 3. Step away from the soft drinks — regular and diet. Dr. Sarah Moyer practices what she preaches. “I try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.” Considering that she has three boys, 4-year-old twins James and Landon and 18-month-old Teddy, the fact that she can get eight hours of sleep or at least attempt eight hours of sleep offers encouragement to women existing on five hours of snooze time.


Feb 2018 /

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish I used to never use nail polish because I couldn't sit still long enough to let my nails dry. This polish dries in a minute, and I can get back to doing the dishes or run off to work. I have it in lots of different colors.

She is active with her family and says that a walk around the block will do wonders when her stress level is rising. And, she makes sure to drink plenty of water during the day. Sarah and her husband Jed moved to Louisville in 2013. “We found it to be a great city. There is lots to do here and we like to try new places — restaurants, theater, festivals, and the parks.” There is one thing she would like to see gone from Louisville though — Big Red soda. “The red dye and the sugar content contribute to diabetes and ADHD. When asked what the average American does not understand about health and wellness, she replies, “Many think it's all about willpower, but you make the choices that you have. You may want to make the healthy choice, but perhaps that's not the easy choice.”

Moving Forward into New Celebrations By Bella Portaro Kueber Photo by Aubrey Hillis

Victoria Staton of Victoria Staton International Events LLC, says one of her best experiences was at Hermitage Farm, where they were using more than 40 vendors to prepare for one wedding. She’s also learned some great lessons. “I’ve been burned by a few people in this industry,” Victoria says. “The best thing I can do is move forward, not allowing their behavior to weigh on my thoughts. Negativity is easy, but I think it’s much more impactful if I take their actions and turn my experience with them into a positive experience.” SEARCH: Victoria Staton

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018




he’s interviewing felons. She’s talking to the families of victims. She’s helping to determine the fate of many Kentuckians. Neeka Parks is one of nine parole board members with the Kentucky Parole Board. “It’s an honor,” says Neeka, who obtained her law degree from the University of Louisville. What I do carries with it vicarious trauma. The way I balance my work life is through creativity.” In the evenings, Neeka taps into her creative side by listening to music, painting, and drawing. During the day, it’s through her “unique to Neeka” style. “Creativity is an integral part of staying balanced and healthy, because I have to cleanse myself so I can be fresh for the next day,” Neeka says. “It keeps my mindset at a place that’s able to entertain equity and fairness.”


1) Builds her outfit around the jewelry she’s selected for the day.

2) Designate a color of the week. For example, if

No doubt you are one of the most stylish ladies which I have come across so far. The way you carry out these things are simply adorable. - Anonymous via

SEARCH: Neeka Parks

Neeka wore blue on a Monday, for the remainder of the week, she’d continue to wear blue if she wasn’t feeling creative. “I’d wear a blue sweater with blue slacks or a pump,” Neeka says. “It’s not taking too much creative energy when getting ready.” 3) Pays attention to her emotions: “My grandmother was the biggest influence in terms of style,” she says. Her grandmother was a school teacher who wore dresses and heels and pearls, Neeka says. “That’s really where my spark of clothes generating a feeling started,” she says. “Dressing is about the emotional feeling I’m having.” 4) Realizes it affects her job — she even likens a wellfit blazer to a cloak. “It’s my professional shield,” Neeka says. “It keeps me warm. It identifies that I’m a professional. There’s a certain level of comfort since it’s wrapped around my body.”

Love and Support By Ashli Findley Photo by Patti Hartog

It’s Janice Durham’s husband Wink who has been her strongest support since her diagnosis of lung cancer. He’s been at every treatment appointment with her. He’s stayed with her at the hospital, sleeping on whatever he could find. He was there during rehabilitation. From the first day of diagnosis, Wink told her not to worry about it, and she made up her mind to follow that advice. Now that is the advice she gives to others who may be recently diagnosed.

“Really, really try hard to keep a positive attitude,” she says. “Just keep the faith and hope going – and SEARCH: keep a good person on your side.” Janice Durham 24

Feb 2018 /

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


FROM FRAGMENTS TO FULFILLMENT By Megan M. Seckman Photos by Melissa Donald


Vallorie hand dyes her merino wool and silk to create a fabric known as nuno which she used to sew the shirt she is wearing.

ike most art, Vallorie Henderson’s textiles mirror her life. She takes fragments of felted wool and silk, a traditional technique inspired by her native Kentucky roots, cuts them up into morsels of color, and pieces them together to make a masterpiece. The lines are sometimes askew, the edges are often rough, the array of colors contrast, yet somehow create cohesion. The final product is not perfect, it is never precise, but each imperfection helps to create a small miracle. It is alive, organic, and raw. A new life born from scraps of disjointed ideas. This is also the work Vallorie does as a management consultant with the Small Business Development Center. She takes entrepreneurs’ ideas, oftentimes fragmented and raw, and helps them piece together the tedious process of starting a business. “I see art in entrepreneurship, and the business in art. Entrepreneurs have to be creative; business is creative. As an artist, I believe it is important to lead by example; I want to help other artists sell their work, and I believe that people should be able to make a living doing what they love. In my art, it’s always about the construction, not the surface design. I see beauty in the fabrics and piece them together like a quilter. So, what I do [at the SBDC] is a natural step —I help entrepreneurs piece together their vision into something sustainable,” Vallorie says. Still, Vallorie sees herself as an artist first, a managing consultant second. “My job has given me paid vacations and health care, but my art keeps me content. I can retire from my job, but I will never retire as an artist. Making art keeps me out of trouble, it makes me happy. Right now, I don’t need to date, I just want to make art.”


SEARCH: Vallorie Henderson


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This is part of Vallorie’s morning ritual, just before her morning yoga. It is a newsletter she receives every day that contains stories from all over the world about various topics. On the morning of our interview Vallorie had read a story about how Curious George escaped the Nazis.

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We would love an opportunity to help your business make 2018 your best year yet. | *Statistics according to the CVC 2017 Audit Data Report Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


A Beautiful Home and Life Is About Layering Your Home with the Essentials HERE ARE AMANDA’S LAYERS TO LIVING BEAUTIFULLY:

Amanda Book believes in strategic home decor purchases to refresh your home.


ou would think the owner of a home decor shop would focus solely on the things that fill a home. A light fixture here. A vase there. But Amanda Book at Madhouse in New Albany believes a beautiful home is more than what lines the shelves. It’s about weaving layers together that quell the chaos in your life. “I know how fast-paced our world is. People can’t stop and relax,” says Amanda, who also owns AB Construction and Design. “I want people to be glad to go home after a hard day.” She says even changing a light fixture can help create a positive focal point to put a smile on your face. After all our home is our oasis.

Refresh your space with a few strategic purchases. “Ask yourself if this item is serving a purpose and also, is it in a price point you’re comfortable with,” Amanda says. Purchase a bowl you love and will keep for years or a picture that makes you happy.

LAYER 4 Add music. Find what fits your mood and play that in the background. According to Amanda, the way your home looks is just one part of the total picture. It’s also about how your home makes you feel —what sounds and smells it is filled with. SEARCH: Amanda Book

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LAYER 3 Burn candles. Living beautifully has a lot to do with scents. She recommends the Aquiesse brand of candles.

By Keri Foy Photos by Melissa Donald


LAYER 1 Amanda advises getting rid of clutter and cleaning. If you don’t like it, donate it. A messy, disorganized home doesn’t feed the soul.

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


SHE STANDS OUT Story and Photo by Miranda Popp


ou’d spot Carrie Ann Smith a mile away by her long red hair. Carrie, owner of MADE Blowdry Boutique, has never been one to blend in. She dresses so that she can be one who’s remembered. “If everyone is wearing black, I’m the one in red. People will remember you that way.” We couldn’t talk style with this MADE maven if we didn’t talk hairstyles. “I always make sure my hair is put together.” To keep her low maintenance mane looking great every day, Carrie washes her hair once a week and uses a few Kevin Murphy products that have become her staples.


1) Start with freshly washed

and styled hair worn down for a couple days 2) Switch to a half-up/ half-down style 3) Then to a ponytail and finish with a braid. 4) During the cold months, she’ll wear a trendy hat the day before it’s time to wash her hair again.

SEARCH: Carrie Ann Smith

Feeding Her Heart By Brittani Dick Photo by Sunni Wigginton

Cutting out coffee, making a career change, and getting married — the past several months of Kirsten Steele’s life have looked much different, but in the best way. Kirsten, an ophthalmic technician at The LASIK Vision Institute, traded in her morning cup of coffee for a Fiber One bar, a Boost protein shake, and a quick swim before work. “But let’s be honest,” she says, “weekends are for cinnamon rolls, blueberry bread, and relaxing with my husband.”

SEARCH: Kirsten Steele


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l Kirsten began reading a book leading up to her wedding, 31 Prayers for My Future Husband by Jennifer and Aaron Smith. “I think this book is perfect for women of any age, in any stage of life,” she says. “Whether you’re already married, dating, or single, it helps you pray for his heart and his mind. It teaches you how to pray for a heart of compassion, purity, humility, dying to self, and your future oneness. I absolutely loved this book, and it really helped prepare my heart and mind for marriage.”

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


You just really learn to love the life that you live. You see so many different scenarios and so many different things that happen to people. It makes me more mindful and aware. You just really




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ssa Do by Me li



k Working three 12-hour shifts in a row as a cardiac ICU nurse at Norton Hospital downtown is typical for Ashley. It isn’t easy, but she finds joy in knowing she has had an impact on patients and their families. Interacting with the patients also has deepened her appreciation for life.




One of Strive’s programs is In the Moment — an experience that encourages the audience to collaborate with artists and vice-versa, Nina says. All kinds of artists participate, and the free monthly events take place in Strive’s Courtyard, 805 E. Market St.

By Lucy M. Pritchett Photo by Patti Hartog


fter years as a bedside nurse, I started having thoughts of wanting to spend more time with the patients, to make connections on a deeper level,” says Nina Rodahaffer. “I was friends with Cheyenne Mize, who worked in music therapy, and she was having the same thoughts. We wanted to have the time to treat the whole person. “We felt that music was a universal unifier and that led us to found Strive.” Strive is a nonprofit organization that provides wellness opportunities to the Louisville community. It offers a variety of group music-making activities such as drumming, and also wellness exercise, deep breathing, and guided meditation. It touches all aspects of the individual — body, mind, and spirit, Nina says. Through a combination of grant money, donations, and private fees, Strive is able to take its programs to community, youth, and senior centers as well as corporate events and retreats. “Toward the end of my years as a nurse, I felt I was ready to explode. I knew I had to do something different. You have to take care of yourself first. It’s the only way you can take care of other people,” Nina says. Awesome.......

- DoveNative via

SEARCH: Nina Rodahaffer

Loving Connection By Brigid Morrissey Photo by Aubrey Hillis

Lynn Cross, who’s been volunteering in Elderserve’s Friendly Visitor program for more than three years, commits about four hours each month engaging with Beatrice, her 93-year-old pal. “Beatrice is amazing. She’s determined, she’s funny, and she inspires me daily.” Beatrice and Lynn like to pass the time playing Uno and swapping stories about their families and Beatrice’s previous job as a nanny. “I visit Beatrice every other week. She still has family in Louisville, but her age restricts her from traveling, so she gets lonely.” When Lynn visits, however, she can see the difference in the 93-yearold’s demeanor. “Sometimes we just sit in the kitchen and talk. We laugh and have fun.” If you’d like to get involved in the Friendly Visitor Program, or any other ElderServe volunteer opportunities, contact Melody Miller at

I have never heard of this until now and I love it! What a great idea! I am 60 and live alone and get lonely myself. I would love to have one of these people to visit. I was so close to my Grandmother who lived to be 101 and she really thrived in her years. I miss her so much. I will be contacting. - DoveNative via

SEARCH: Lynn Cross Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


Spread the frosting over the cooled cookie bars, decorate and then slice, or you can use a heart-shaped cookie cutter and then decorate.



Story and Photos by Paige Rhodes


here are two types of people on Valentine’s Day — those who embrace every aspect of the holiday, and those who refuse to log in to Facebook for fear of seeing too many flower bouquets and teddy bears. If you’re a part of the first category, these festive smallbatch cookies are for you. Whether you’re preparing a romantic dinner for your significant other or you’re having a Netflix Galentine’s party with your besties, this easy dessert will be the star.


Small-Batch Sugar Cookie Bars With Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp almond extract 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt For the Frosting: 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 4 ounces cream cheese 3 tbsp maraschino cherry juice (liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries) 1/4 tsp cherry extract 2 cups powdered sugar Festive sprinkles or maraschino cherries for garnish

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Instructions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter and beat on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds. Slowly add the granulated sugar while continuing to beat. Add the egg, almond and vanilla extract, and beat to combine. Turn off the stand mixer, and add the flour, baking powder, and salt on top. Turn the mixer back on low to incorporate the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix. The batter will look slightly crumbly.

Scoop the batter into the prepared baking pan, and press it flat with your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely. Clean out your stand mixer bowl to make the frosting. Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese for 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the maraschino cherry juice and cherry extract and beat to combine. Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time while continuing to mix. You can either spread the frosting over the cooled cookie bars, decorate and then slice, or you can use a shaped cookie cutter to create hearts and then decorate.

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


Photo by Melissa Donald

BELINDA HAYNES AGE 47 JOB Market Recruiter, Trueblue, Inc. WORKOUT SPOT I have some favorite neighborhoods I run in. I also love doing a downtown run, over the bridge to the Indiana side and back. MOTIVATION I think about the way I feel when I’m done running versus if I don’t run, and I always make the choice to run. It makes me feel one hundred percent better doing a run, besides the fact I love being fit and healthy! Jennifer Lopez also motivates me! She is the same age as me. I figure if she can stay that fit and healthy, so can I! BEST WORKOUT Running and lifting weights. It is so important to lift weights to keep tone and muscle the older you become. BIGGEST EXCUSE I don’t really have excuses, I’m like Nike: Just Do It!


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If you would like to participate in Today’s Woman’s Best Bodies 2018, enter at

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


WHAT I AM WEARING THIS MONTH Styling and Photo by Aubrey Hillis

Whether she’s attending a Louisville Orchestra performance or walking through 21C Museum Hotel, PATTY JOHNSON knows the art of dressing well for any situation or season. When the temperature drops, Patty creates fashionable outfits that keep her warm. Here’s what she’s wearing this month. JOB: Rheumatology Medical Sales Specialist, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals SELF-DESCRIBED STYLE: Classic with a whimsical twist WHY YOU CHOSE THIS? “Given the chill in the air, I wanted warmth with some glamor. I wear a great deal of black using it as a canvas and add accessories to make it pop. My dream is to open a boutique featuring accessories and art.”

PATTY IS WEARING: Jumpsuit: Rodes, $450 Wrap/Jacket: Scout, $100 Gloves: Amazon, $60 Shoes: Dillards, $90 Necklace: Rodes, $300 Clutch/Purse: Peacock on Third, $50


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Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


CELEBRATIONS Photos by Moment in Time Photography


ictoria Vogt and Scott Davis married in a May outdoor wedding for 300 guests at Driscoll Estate in Taylorsville, Kentucky. The day brought nice, though windy weather, and a little issue with an arbor altar brought the families together. “My stepdad and I built our arbor in sections so it was easy to transport,” says Victoria, “but 30 minutes before I was to walk down the aisle, the wind blew it over. Seeing the guests helping piece it back together really made me realize how supportive and caring people truly are. Luckily, people had power tools in their cars and were also able to paint over the dirt.” Read more about Victoria and Scott’s wedding at

SEARCH: Celebration “My girls all felt comfortable in different styles, so I had them pick their own dresses,” to complement the lake footwear.


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“It was beautiful,” says Victoria. “There was plenty of parking, and they even had golf carts transporting people to and from the ceremony area, reception barn, and cars.”

Today’s Woman / Feb 2018


Today's Woman February 2018  
Today's Woman February 2018