Page 1



Follow This 8-Step Plan for Starting Your Own Business p.6

STEAL THIS OUTFIT AND MAKEUP IDEA p.8 When I Quit Drinking p.32 Visual Inspiration p.22


ove s to Ly n o s Rea ebruar F p.10


She’s Painting a Story on Story p.26

Is There Love After Cheating? p.42

Before She Goes p.44 Effortless Beauty


A Date Night Dessert p.28



Wedding Celebration p.33



What This Health Coach is Reading p.24

Beautiful Places p.46 DEDE KELLEY GETS TOUGH p.16

Inspired by Angels p.30 Stuffed Blueberry Brie Monkey Bread p.40

HEART SUPPLEMENT after page 32

Take a Dream Vacation at Sea p.38

FEBRUARY 2017 • VOL. 27 / NO. 3




years…a quarter of a century…XXV…no matter how you look at it, turning 25 is a BIG deal. Today’s Woman magazine wants to celebrate with those of you who have made our 25th birthday possible — readers, advertisers, writers, and staff.

And you will be part of the fun: • Design your personalized party favor. • Sip on a pretty drink. • Chat with a Most Admired Woman • Write Your Story on the I Am Today’s Woman board. • Take a photo with a cover girl. • Vote to help a charity win an ad. • Eat an appetizer. • Meet a writer. • Get inspired. Throughout the evening, we will have “popup”inspirational presentations from local women we have featured in the magazine over the last 25 years. You will hear from: • Judge Angela Bisig • PJ Cooksey — retired jockey turned regulator • Liz Curtis Higgs — author, humorist, evangelist • Tori Murden McClure — adventurer, Spalding University president

EDITOR Tiffany White CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Lucy M. Pritchett Miranda G. Popp COPY EDITOR/DESIGNER April H. Allman GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jessica Alyea

So we’re gonna have a party. Join us at The Olmsted, 3701 Frankfort Avenue, for an open house from 5:30-8pm on Galentine’s Day, Monday, February 13. It will be a free-flowing and glorious event.


• Barbara Sexton Smith — fundraiser turned Metro Council member • Sue Stout Tamme — retired president of Baptist Healthcare • Tonya York Dees — President/Owner, York Management • Jean West — journalist turned government facilitator Attendees will receive a $10 gift card to a store at the Paddock Shops (up to first 200). There will be 25 door prizes given away during the evening, including a two-night stay at West Baden Springs at French Lick Resort, passes to shows, wearables, and jewelry. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet our mascot Teedub, who will come to life for our 25th birthday! Tickets are only $25. Go to to sign up. See you there!

Cathy Zion, publisher of Today’s Woman

ON THE COVER: Amber Shobe is using her gift of clairvoyance to give people comfort and peace of mind. Find out how she’s doing it on page 30.

Kathy Bolger Jennifer Wilham PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Melissa Donald OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Amanda Peyton ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Susan Allen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Kaitlyn English Teri Hickerson Donna Piercy Joyce Inman 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 2017 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.

ADVERTISE: Call 502.327.8855 or email REPRINTS: Call 502.327.8855 or email

SUBSCRIBE: Send $18 to the above address for 12 monthly issues.

Photo: Melissa Donald Makeup: Marie Fulkerson assisted by Gretchen Krammes with Marie Fulkerson Makeup Location: 800 Tower City Apartments






Paula designed paintbrushes to use with her chalk paint. She demonstrates how to apply the product.


ost of us shirk away from change, but not Paula Blankenship, an entrepreneur whose paint business headquartered in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, is gathering world-wide attention after only three years in existence. For 25 years, Paula had been operating a furniture and floor covering business in her native Oneida, Tennessee. When the recession hit in 2008, she closed her longstanding businesses and began commuting from Oneida to New York City as a designer for commercial projects. During that time, she moved to Louisville so her son could attend Trinity High School and was getting pretty tired of her longdistance work commute. So she decided to quit that job and paint furniture for a living, and came up with the idea to create Heirloom Traditions Paint Chalk Type, a line of colorful paints, gels, and waxes, whose sales have grown to $3 million in just three years. Without even trying it, a friend gave her a $1,000 order. “I have about 350 retailers now. We’re even in Australia and Canada. “I didn’t set out to start a chalk paint line,” Paula says. “I was designing a piece of furniture. I chose chalk paint to paint it because of the ease of use and the look. It doesn’t require preparation, it bonds to anything, and you don’t have to sand with this product. It will bond to metal, glass, wood, stained wood, even things already painted with enamel. Our paint does that especially well. We became the number one brand for this paint with this company in three years.”



Here are Paula’s tips for creating a new business: 1. Believe in your idea. You will always hear the negative, but you have to be diligent in your pursuit of your dream. 2. Do your research and know what your competition is doing. Understanding your potential market will tell you what might be possible with your business or product. 3. Figure out who your customer is and play to that audience with all your marketing and social media campaigns. Speak to that person directly to see your business flourish. 4. Hire the best people you can afford. A great team will help you grow and learn different aspects of business. You cannot do everything or know everything. Be a student in your own business and hire people who will teach you. 5. Never allow negative thinking around you in your business. Surround yourself with positive and motivated people who see your vision for the business. Delegating duties is a necessity if you want to grow your business.

6. Protect your business and ideas. Secure your business name by owning the URL, trademark, and patents. If you have already started a business, it is imperative to secure the intellectual property of your idea and name before you launch the product to the world. Once the idea is out there, you will not be able to secure it. 7. Consult with a patent and trademark firm that can help you secure your business interest prior to sharing your ideas publicly. Patent laws are very strict, but getting a patent is easier than you might think. 8. Use bloggers to help market your product. I have a great group of ladies I work closely with to promote and sell my paint products. SEARCH: Paula Blankenship


Photos Sunni Wigginton

This stylish dentist and second-time mom-to-be knows when to go for the designer price and when to shop the clearance aisle. Do you?


f you’re like me, you think that people who work in the medical profession are off the hook when it comes to fashion. Isn’t that the point of scrubs? They are basic, boring, and comfortable. But not all medical professionals ascribe to scrub-a-day styling. Dentist Leigh Wilson-Graf knows she’s representing her practice Graf Family Dentistry, when she’s out in the community. Basic scrubs aren’t an option for her. “When I have lunch meetings, attend a continuing education course, or pick up my kids, I’m handing out my card. I still need to look professional,” says Leigh. “I own a business.” When you work in a doctor’s office, you layer. I always thought doctors wore white coats as a sign of prestige, but Leigh let me in on a secret. The white coat is PPE or personal protective equipment. It’s another layer of defense. Leigh, who is pregnant with her second child, relies on layering to offset the bulk of the white coat. She opts for washable, light clothing she can easily remove. Chunky sweaters, such as a cowl-neck, are banished from her workday attire and not just because of the bulk. Dry cleaning isn’t cheap. Rather than spending money on hefty professional laundering bills, Leigh would rather splurge on Tory Burch flats (she has seven pairs) or Coach loafers. While she may find some of her tops at TJ Maxx and Target, her makeup comes from MAC. “Some of the things I splurge



the most on are makeup and face products,” says Leigh. When you live on a reservation, you learn to shop online. Before Leigh and her husband, Trey, returned to Louisville and bought their current practice, the couple lived on the Lakota Sioux Reservation for two years. Because the area was underserved medically, the couple received incentives such as a reduced student loan amount. “We had just gotten married, so why not try it? It was really good for us,” says Leigh. “We were the only dentists for 10,000 people.” Because it was such a rural area, the nearest Target was two-and-a-half hours away and the nearest mall about three hours. “I got really good at online shopping,” admits Leigh who patronizes online retailers with customer-friendly return policies. While on the reservation, Leigh fell in love with, Zappos. and Nordstrom. As for local retailers, you can find Leigh anywhere from Von Maur to Old Navy. Her two favorite local boutiques are Collections and Apricot Lane, both located in Westport Village. “I used to be passionate about the trends, but as I’ve gotten older, I tend to go way more classic,” says Leigh. Trendy or classic, Leigh opts to strike a balance with where she puts her dollars in her closet. SEARCH: Leigh Wilson-Graf

Leigh keeps her makeup for work simple. She concocts her own tinted moisturizer from MAC foundation and Perricone’s moisturizer.

25 THINGS (Why 25? Because we are 25 years old!)

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

Check out these local Instagrams...



Make your reservation to join in our 25th birthday celebration on February 13. Go to to make your reservation.

Instagram is an uplifting way to keep local opportunities in your day. Here are some you might want to check out.

2. Feeling Frumpy?

Are you needing some help with looking your best? How frumpy are you? We are looking to turn Frump to Fab. Send a photo and 200 words or less to with the subject line “Frumpy.”





Today’s Girls Doing Good Lauryn Grady, a junior at Assumption High School, kicked off a four-month pilot recycling program in Seneca and Cherokee Parks. The plan, solely proposed by Lauryn, came about because her cross-country practice takes her to Seneca Park each day.


During practice, Lauryn noticed the large amount of recyclables in trash containers, and wanted to do something about it. She will take items to the recycling center.


Eleven-year-old Carleigh Hofelich collected hundreds of shoes for kids in need for the Kosair Children’s Peace Center at Our Lady of Peace, part of KentuckyOne Health. Carleigh’s Kicks for Kids has collected 340 pairs of shoes this year.


5. @kysourdough: These breads make you want to sign up for their bread-making school. 6. @bodyandbrow: This New Albany business gives you brow envy. 7. @colokial: Even if this isn’t your style, you will admire the style in their photos. 8. @warrenwood_manor: This isn’t quite in town, but this couple’s restoration of their home and event space draws me in. 9. @TodaysWomanmag: Because obviously.

25 THINGS Rather celebrate Galentine’s Day?

Celebrate with your friends and Today’s Woman at the Olmsted.



10. A Taste of Love Aphrodisiac Dinner by Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Avenue, Feb. 10 -14. 502.899.9904, (Try the peanut butter pie!) 11. Shop at Nulu’s Valentine’s Open House for special deals on Feb. 11, 10am-6pm. Make sure you stop in the Macaron Bar for a free chocolate bar with purchase of a 12-piece box of macarons. 12. Celebrate with breakfast to start the day right at Wild Eggs. They open at 6:30am. 13. I Love Brandy tours on the hour Feb. 10, 11am-8pm and Feb. 14 from 11am-6pm at Copper & Kings. 14. Take a Valentine’s dinner cruise on the Spirit of Jefferson on Feb. 14, 7-9pm 15. Walk across the Big Four Bridge at sunset, which will be at 6:21pm on Feb. 14. 16. Stop in and have the Dark Chocolate Torte at Proof on Main.

“Functioning with an ADHD brain is like trying to forge a path through a rainforest. You have to chop back the vines of thought that threaten to trip you up, fight off the mosquito swarms of ideas that pester you, conquer the black mambas of distraction, and hold a map directly in front of your face to have any hope of staying on course.”


Our great combo team of writer Mary Cartledgehayes and our long-time illustrator Silvia Cabib teamed up to present beautiful, mind-provoking articles. Here is one titled My New Improved Brain. Read this whole article at SEARCH: ADHD




Five Nuggets of Wisdom from Bob Mueller I hope you read Bob Mueller’s columns at He has been writing for the magazine for 20 years — and his wisdom grows. Here are a few from recent writings.

24. Is it time for a celebration? Check out our new Celebrations article on page 33. This month Kelly Johnston shares her wedding celebration details with us. Find the whole event on Kelly’s advice to brides: Do what you want and not what other people want. In the end, you’re the one who is going to hold the memories forever. As for the others, it’s just another day to them. SEARCH: Celebrations

18 Flexibility is the outgoing practice of moving

with life. If I know deep down that the world renews itself in every moment, I learn to expect change as a natural part of life.

My agility increases as I respond to this and that. I bend, swivel, rotate, and pivot with little friction. Job transfer, fluctuating finances, flooded basement, unhouse-trained puppy — no problem. When I get stuck in a rut, I limber up once again and I follow life’s lead.


Inflexibility saps energy. Resistance is exhausting, and this chafing at change often leads to missed chances.


21 When your attention first wanders, hustle

back to the moment. This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. Life moves not along a fixed, linear line with predetermined stops along the way, but with irresistible energy.


23. A NOTE “Hope all is well in Kentucky. I have a wonderful share! Cheryl Lynne Skinner/Elinez Music catalog is being played worldwide. It is so amazing to watch what God can do. I am a professionally paid composer. Thanks for the support you have given — this is our success.” — CHERYL L. SKINNER Cheryl was on the cover of our September 2002 issue. We are so proud of her as she has worked all these years and is achieving her dream.

Photo Dana Burress, Photosculptor

25 Nanz and Kraft now has healthy plants available from the The Institute for Healthy Air Water & Soil. These plants were specifically chosen for their ability to scrub indoor air of common airborne toxins. Photo Melissa Donald






By Brigid Morrissey Photo Melissa Donald

At age 40, DeDe Kelley had never been in better shape. Then, she went through a painful divorce. The court battles involved the custody of her two daughters, Alyssa and Katie. During that time, her mom was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. “I was all my mom had. I was driving back and forth from her house in Indianapolis at least twice a week for five years. My health came last. All my attention was focused on my mom and court.” When her mom passed away last year, DeDe vowed to take back her health. That’s when she discovered 9Round, a kickboxing gym designed in a circuit format, she knew she had found her niche. “Coming out of that workout was the first time in

years that I walked away from something and felt empowered. I got control of my body again.” Seeing the need for this fresh and creative workout method in the Highlands area, DeDe acted quickly to open up her own spot at 1512 Bardstown Road. Her goal is to open a second gym within the next year. “I think this gym will be just as popular in the future because it’s so innovative. You are moving from the minute you walk in the door to the moment you walk out. “The workout consists of, you guessed it, nine rounds of exercises that help sculpt the entire body. If you’re looking for bulk, this isn’t your gym. It’s going to get you that lean muscle build. There is no other training like this. It’s total body, and you will find muscles you didn’t know you had.”

SEARCH: Best Bodies

DeDe Kelly, owner of a local 9Round, loves the fast pace of the franchise.



Check out other fit women at Want to be featured as a Healthy Best Body? Enter at





Photos Melissa Donald

urnt out from her mortgage career, Denise Dixon sought a job that she could enjoy. She spent time as a hairdresser and dabbled in aesthetics, but found her true calling was in permanent makeup cosmetics. If you ask DeDi, the name she now goes by as owner of DeDi’s Beauty Secrets, her favorite aspect of permanent makeup is the time it saves. “I can jump out of my bed on a Sunday morning and pick up something at the grocery store without worrying about running into someone I know. I think it sets us free. Whether you’re getting out of the swimming pool or sweating in the yard, you’re put together. “Most people nix the idea because it’s permanent and it’s on your face,” says DeDi. “I’ve never had a nervous client that I couldn’t talk through the procedure.” She says that those who come in wary end up leaving with confidence. Whether clients want to re-shape their eyebrows or add some color and fullness to their lips, DeDi has all the credentials to make it happen, from special training and experience to going through the procedures herself. “I don’t recommend anything that I haven’t test driven myself. I want to be able to tell my clients from personal understanding and apply my real life experiences to answer their questions.” One of DeDi’s passions is in helping cancer patients. “When diagnosed there are so many things to think about and do and so many dread losing their hair,” she says. “We see many clients just before or right after the treatments start for permanent liner and brows. When they are too sick to put on their makeup they can know that they still look put together.” Also, DeDi is honing her skills for nipple replacement, working to offer a unique way to help rebuild what some breast cancer survivors have lost. DeDi wants her clients to overcome their physical insecurities as well as their mental roadblocks. Her accomplishments may appear in a physical form, but DeDi’s greatest works are the ones we cannot see.

Denise gives her clients a thorough understanding of what to expect with the procedures she does which includes using them on herself. SEARCH: Denise Dixon Dedi’s permanent eyeliner helps her look ready to go.

Valentine Lips Want the perfect shade of red lipstick for Valentine’s Day? Tiffany White, editor, wears Sephora #1 Red lipstick. See more of her on the cover of the heart supplement after page 32. 20


FINDING HER WAY — BUT NOT ALONE By Lucy M. Pritchett Photos Patti Hartog


efore her textile arts business Peace Works barely got going, Lydia P. Allen was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2010. “While I was at home recovering from surgery I got the idea to document my journey with a wall hanging created from wool appliques and stitching.” Lydia says that fashioning that wall hanging inspired her creativity, changed the way she sees the world, and increased her appreciation for each day. But it isn’t just her stitching that has been an inspiration. This summer, she put together a book of words of hope and encouragement to share with others. The book, entitled For Such a Time as This, contains her own poems, stories, photos, and even a recipe for banana bread that she gives to others who may be having a difficult time in life. “This has turned into a ministry for me,” Lydia says. “The book contains entries from the journal that I kept during that time and poems about how people touched me through my journey.” Her stitching and design work over the years, she says, has gotten more polished and more detailed. She gets ideas for her designs from Early American samplers, nature, historical events, and paintings. Her items are for sale at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. She has taken part in 12 to 15 art shows and has been selected as a featured artisan in Early American Life’s textiles directory for the past five years and is in its 2016 holiday directory.



What has she learned along the way? “You don’t have to travel any journey alone. God holds you in the palm of his hands. People are put in your path at just the right time or you are put in someone else’s path to offer them encouragement and hope. You don’t have to carry the burden alone.”

Lydia what a beautiful story. “Your story” so inspirational and warmed my heart. I absolutely love your wall hanging, what a treasure. I wish you all the best and thanks for sharing! — Anonymous via

Lydia’s story has served as a source of encouragement for those who have heard it and seen it in her beautiful textiles. Her kind spirit and creative talent serve as inspiration for others to begin to tell their own stories as they journey towards healing. — robbie mueller via

Lydia is such a beautiful person and talented artist. Her loving spirit is a blessing to all who know her. — Jennifer Upchurch via

SEARCH: Lydia P. Allen

The wall hanging she created for herself and her inspiration. “I filled it with images — angels, balloons, flowers — and stitched words of encouragement that people said to me or wrote to me. I included Bible verses and reminders of big events along my journey.”

WHAT THIS HEALTH COACH IS READING By Megan M. Seckman Photo Melissa Donald


fter her daughter faced back-to-back concussions and began experiencing debilitating headaches, mood changes, fatigue, and severe sensitivity to light, Lynn Greene went looking for answers. Lynn, 49, and a single mother of three teenagers, met with countless doctors and was finally told by a neurologist that the treatment for her daughter’s post-concussive syndrome would entail blood pressure medicine that could possibly make her already emotional daughter suicidal. That was the moment Lynn began her own extensive research into alternative therapies for post-concussive syndrome. She stumbled upon the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to regenerate the brain’s lymphatic system, which, serendipitously, blossomed into a private business, Oxybaric and changed her own financial path. “This business has really evolved over the past year. I never saw the health coaching aspect [of this business], but when people are sick or suffering, it is overwhelming when trying to find the answers. You have 15 minutes in a doctor’s office — it’s not enough time to really get to know the issues. Everyone needs someone to do the extensive research and advocating. I did that for my daughter, but not everyone knows how or knows where to start. I help people take the control back in their health journey and make the process less scary. I help connect them to other healers and therapies out there. Oxygen therapy is a really soothing place people come to begin their health journey, but it isn’t the answer to everything. So, I help create a network of services, and listen to my clients, along their healing path,” Lynn says.



What She’s Reading: • Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain by William Walsh • Better Living Through Neurochemistry — a guide to optimizing serotonin, dopamine and the neurotransmitters that color your world by James Lee • We Could be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

Lynn considers her business to be a first step in helping clients live a healthier life.

SEARCH: Lynn Greene



The mural tells the story of Butchertown. Beginning with the flood of 1937, the mural images start in black and white and increasingly become more whimsical as they progress through history.


Photos Melissa Donald


t is physically grueling; three hours of painting is about all I can do. We project the photos at night and paint in the day, so the project literally takes all damn day. I’ve broken my glasses and my pinky,” Tara Remington says with a laugh, “but, I love pioneering things.” Tara (known to her friends as Remi) who has been a mixedmedia artist for more than 30 years, has been working on the mural “The Story on Story.” “This project has consumed my life for more than two years,” explains Remi. Between negotiations with Swift and designing the mural with her partner, Aron Conaway, which was inspired by photographs from “Images of America: Louisville’s Butchertown,” the project has been a labor of love. This muralist also works with 2D and 3D materials such as wood, plaster, and printmaking; is a self-proclaimed “research nerd” who loves the science behind her various artistic



mediums; is working to open her new studio on East Main; teaches art at Montessori of Louisville and at the Volunteers of America shelter through the Arts in Healing Program; is a part-time caregiver for the elderly; and a full-time human rights advocate. Remi’s work with women and children at the shelter is helping to inspire her next piece, a project that will work to create a dialogue of compassion for the homeless population. “Above all, I am most passionate about public art, that is, art for the people. But it doesn’t always pay the bills. I’ve made it work over the years,” explains the single mother of two college-aged girls. “I always tried to follow my dreams of being an artist in the midst of being a single mom. It’s good for the soul and the heart.” SEARCH: Tara Remington

What She’s Reading

• A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: “This book is necessary in today’s society. This book makes me aware of what I need to change.” • The Revolution Where You Live by Sarah Van Gelder

I agree this is a great article and the extra info added at the end about the artist is enjoyable. I truly love the mural paintings, and the title “The Story On Story” is spot-on! Good job. — DoveNative via




SEARCH: Dirty Chai Cheesecake


f you go to a coffee shop and order a dirty chai, you’ll get a regular chai tea latte with a shot of espresso. This dessert is no different. The notso-secret ingredient is espresso, giving this cheesecake the “dirty” part of its name. This cheesecake is essentially a Dirty Chai in delicious dessert form.



Dirty Chai Cheesecake Yields: 12 Servings Ingredients Crust 1-1/2 cups gingersnap cookies 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1/3 cup granulated sugar Filling 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup full-fat sour cream at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp almond extract 1 shot of espresso 3 large eggs at room temperature 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cardamom 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions Adjust oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Use a food processor or blender to grind the gingersnaps. Mix the gingersnap crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together with a spatula in a medium bowl until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Make sure the crust is very compact and tight. It will be thick. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 7 minutes. Allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed (about 3 minutes) until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Add the sour cream, vanilla, almond extract, espresso, and spices and beat until combined. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. Do not overmix the filling after you have added the eggs. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is almost set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight (preferred). Loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan and remove the rim. Cut into slices and serve chilled. Top with whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans, if desired. Cover leftover cheesecake and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.




SEARCH: Amber Shobe

By Lucy M. Pritchett Photo Patti Hartog


mber Shobe’s Turning Point began with a ringing in her ears. But the sound wasn’t caused by a physical condition. She eventually determined its cause was otherworldly. “This happened about two years ago,” Amber says. She was at the University of Kentucky studying for her master’s degree, working, and writing her thesis on environmental sustainability. “I was pretty stressed out, and I started hearing these ringing and buzzing and clicking noises in my ears. This went on for two weeks. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I went to an ear doctor. I thought I had tinnitus, but everything checked out.” She started doing research online trying to find something that would explain these noises. She came across an article by Doreen Virtue, the founder of Angel Therapy who writes about angels and spirituality. In the article, Virtue wrote that some people receive divine messages or communications from angels and that the clicking and buzzing noise was the angels’ way of trying to get their attention. When she read that, Amber says, the ringing in her ears began to make sense to her. “I had known a psychic when I was growing up. She was my mom’s best friend. She had talked to me many times about angels and spirit guides, so I was open to the idea. I started really listening. At first I was a little scared, but once I figured out what was going on I just knew that I was safe and protected.” Amber continued to read about the gift of clairaudience, which means a clear or psychic hearing of messages from the spiritual realm. She worked with a mentor, a psychic who lives in Lexington, who could understand what she was going through and answer her questions. These experiences led her to live and teach in Thailand for six months. That was truly a time of self-discovery, she says, and a chance to communicate with angels and other spirit guides. During that time she also came to realize that she could communicate with people who have passed on. “I do intuitive readings, crystal readings, and angelic readings. Usually people learn about me through word of mouth. Sometimes I will meet someone and just get a strong message, and I want to share it with them,” Amber says. “There are always people looking to connect with those who have been in their lives and are not now. Although the sessions do drain me, I’m building stamina.”

It’s something that she has to work on every day. It has to be exercised, she says, just like a muscle. “It’s taken a while for me to look at this as a gift. It can be difficult. When I walk into a room I notice and feel what everyone’s feeling whereas someone else just notices what people are wearing. But seeing someone’s face light up when I deliver a message motivates me to keep going.” Amber doesn’t see this gift as a contradiction to her faith. “I am a Christian first and a clairvoyant second. My ultimate goal is to connect as many people to loved ones on the other side as I can. I know that the people who love us never leave us. Our guides are people who have been with us and passed. They let me know they are there and encourage me to say something. At the end of my life, I want to have used everything that has been given to me.” You are such a beautiful young lady inside and out. I am happy that you have found your gift and enjoy using it. Keep up the good work, continue to walk in your truth and be Blessed. — Smilnatyou via



Amber nurtures her psychic abilities and uses them to help people connect with loved ones who have died.




I chose my life and I chose my family and I chose my health. Sometimes, I do allow a backwards glimpse at the friends, family, and life I left behind.


hen I finally said, ‘I am an alcoholic and need to get help,’ that’s all that was on my mind at the time. Getting help. I just wanted to get better. I wanted to stop drinking. I wanted to stop hurting. I wanted to stop being someone who would sneak alcohol when nobody was looking, being that mom at the evening school functions who always got slightly “over-served.” After the first few days of coming out of denial and trying to climb out of the slimy alcoholic pit I had made for myself, I realized that changing my life wasn’t just about putting down the corkscrew. I had to totally and completely change. I had to rework myself. I had to shine a bright light in the darkest corners of my life and illuminate my flaws to try and understand what had made me reach for that corkscrew in the first place. Then I would need to address those issues and put them to rest so I wouldn’t ever try to fix new problems that came into my life with old habits. I began slowly and sent notes to some friends to let them know that I wasn’t drinking anymore. I asked them to please not say anything to anyone. Looking back, I’m amazed that I was never the slightest bit embarrassed to let people see me act like a fool after I had consumed a bottle and a half of wine by myself, but I was absolutely terrified, at first, to allow people to know that I owned up to having a problem. Most everyone was very supportive but there were a couple of friends who never responded. And one friend who replied back that she was really happy for me, but she didn’t want to be a bad influence on me so she was going to keep her distance. I thought my mom would understand, but she and I had had more than our fair share of two chardonnay bottle lunches before. I think she really wanted to be happy for me, but I also think she really missed having “fun” with me. I was a wet blanket now.

*Not her real name



As some of my relationships became strained, I understood I had a choice to make. I could continue on with my healing and being the person I know God put me on the earth to be. Or I could create a new slimy pit for myself. In that new slimy pit, I would surround myself with guilt and second guess the choices I was making for me and my family. In that pit, I would have to wear different masks and try to please people by becoming everyone except who I needed and wanted to be. I chose to move on. I chose my life and I chose my family and I chose my health. Sometimes, I do allow a backwards glimpse at the friends, family, and life I left behind. Then I feel a different tinge, akin to survivor’s guilt. I’ve moved on and they haven’t. I think some people just don’t understand the life of joy and purpose they could live when they leave their slimy pits behind. For so long, I had settled into the alcohol pit I had dug myself, put up wallpaper, and called that pit home. I had no idea about all the wonderful things that awaited me. I’m looking forward to even more journeys on my path to recovery that never would have been possible before. SEARCH: Ashley Davis

CELEBRATIONS By Anita Oldham Photos Dana Burress with Photosculptor


Kelly Hickerson Johnston and aving a good Eric Johnston were married on celebration May 21, 2016 at St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church and had the is the perfect reception at The Foundry at combination of planning Glassworks. #2Become1onMay21 and resources. If you Favorite Memory: The are planning your own Bride’s entire day was amazing — from celebration, learn from waking up early and having that special getting-ready time with this local couple’s my mom and bridesmaids, to celebration of love. dancing the night away with my new husband and our family and You can see more friends. Oddly enough though, pictures and details at the memories I like to think about, most are the things that “went wrong” — Eric trying to kiss me search Celebration. when I met him at the altar, my

If you would like us to feature your celebration, send a note and one photo to, with the subject line: celebration. SEARCH: Celebration

sister-in-law Emily Hickerson stepping on my veil during the ceremony, and forgetting to do the unity candle. All of these events were captured on the wedding video, and they are so funny to see and relive again; they make the day seem real and fun.

“This is my favorite photo, because not only is it perfect and magazinequality, it was fun to take, as I remember my sister-in-law Emily Hickerson flipping up my veil and hurrying to get out of the way before the photo was taken. So, not only is it a beautiful image, it’s a fun memory as well,” says Kelly.





SEARCH: Wedding

By Mary Ellen Bianco


y daughter Laura got engaged in July 2015. Once she and her fiance Adam set the date for the fall of 2017, we’ll be deep into decision making. First, the guest list: Laura and Adam want a small wedding with about 75 people. My husband Joe and I both come from large families. Talk about a difficult situation! Next, the budget. We’ve already set a reasonable one with Laura. But I panicked when I read on the Cost of Wedding website that the average expenditure in our zip code is $35,087. To keep my sanity, I’m depending on the advice of a local friend who has already been through this. Kim Rogers said they were really doing well sticking to the budget for her daughter’s wedding last year until they hired a professional for photos and video. Then they went over budget by 50%. When they finally set the date — in two months — they found limited availability for venues. The solution was an outside reception at their home. I’m taking the timetable to heart as I gently pressure Laura to decide on a date and venue. Kim’s daughter’s future in-laws were coming to the wedding in Louisville from southern Kentucky. Kim said having the reception close to the church — a ten-minute drive — helped make them comfortable. Laura wants to have the ceremony and reception in one location. I think it’s a wonderful idea. Fingers crossed that it comes to fruition. Kim suggests checking vendors’ Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings and online reviews and blogs. She hired a limousine company at the last minute and it was a disaster. The videographer took nine months to deliver the DVD. I won’t forget Kim’s lessons learned. Back to the guest list. We’ve been working on it for over a year. I’ve been telling family and friends that it will be small. According to Laura’s wedding planner book, it’s called “intimate” with under 100 guests. I’ll probably lose sleep over this since we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Several friends have already said that they understand if

they’re not invited. Laura gave me great advice, which is to blame her if anyone is upset. I’m going to stick to that. Joe and I had a traditional church wedding. Laura and Adam will be committing themselves to each other in their own way. Letting go of the preconceived ideas for my daughter’s wedding isn’t a challenge. It’s part of the realization that I had my wedding. It’s now Laura’s turn. Our priority is for Laura and Adam to enjoy their wedding day. They’re creating a new family for themselves and for us. I’m sure that the little details will drive everyone crazy, but it’s their love that matters and we will overcome it all.

How You Can Help: Single Mothers Become College Grads By Megan Willman Photo Submitted The single moms must be enrolled in college during their time at Family Scholar House; once they graduate, they are ready to move forward into a world that no longer seems so daunting. Kate Brackett, director of strategic initiatives at Family Scholar House, says she is in awe of all the families accomplish and is grateful to be able to offer her support. “We get to be the cheerleaders and watch



SEARCH: How Can I Help

the evolution of these women and their children. It’s so amazing to see their confidence and self-esteem grow. They leave us with their heads held high.” Both individual and groups of volunteers are welcome and appreciated, Kate encourages interested volunteers to call her at 502.584.8090.



Are You Coming? If you haven’t already reserved your spot for our 25th birthday celebration, don’t waste time. We’re excited about our milestone and would love to share this special time with you on February 13 at The Olmsted. Go to to register. We’ll see you there! Linda Williams (left) and Missi Quiggins didn’t realize their health issues were attributed to sleep apnea.



issi Quiggins and Linda Williams both have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Their quality of life has greatly improved since they started treatment. Although they work at Chest Medicine Associates and Sleep Medicine Clinic which specializes in pulmonary and sleep disorders, the cause and diagnosis of the apnea surprised them.

Chronically Tired

Missi, 44, had been chronically tired since she was a teenager. “I was always busy as a mother and wife and I muddled through the day,” Missi says. “I wanted to exercise after work, but I had a hard time mustering up the energy to do so. I couldn’t wait to get into bed.” It wouldn’t take long for Missi to fall asleep, but she would awaken every four to five hours with her mind racing about things she needed to do. In 2015, Missi was advised to



By Mary Ellen Bianco Photo Patti Hartog

do a home sleep study because of her daytime fatigue. “My respiratory disturbance index was 7.2,” Missi says. “Over 5 is considered abnormal.” According to, the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) reflects how many times the patient stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during an hour of sleep. It reflects the severity of sleep apnea with 0-5 normal; 5-15 mild; 15-30 moderate; and 30 or more severe. Missi started wearing a constant positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask. Her husband was already using one. Missi doesn’t struggle to get out of bed anymore, and her daytime sleepiness is reduced. When time permits she squeezes in time for exercising.

Shortness of Breath

Linda, 59, has lived in Louisville for 11 years. She regularly exercised, but three years ago she started gasping for breath when she walked uphill. “I could tell that something was different,” she says. “I had shortness of breath

while exercising, and my feet would swell.” In 2014, Linda’s blood pressure started increasing. “During an annual exam, an echocardiogram (EKG) indicated that I was throwing extra heartbeats,” she says. “My doctor suggested that I see a cardiologist.” Linda wore a holter monitor for 24 hours. “The test confirmed that at night the extra heartbeats increased,” she says. Following that, Linda did a sleep study. “The apnea causes my heart to pump more. I wasn’t getting the sound sleep that I thought I was. I don’t think there are real parameters based on your body type,” she says. Linda started treatment with an oral appliance which fits like a retainer, but realized that it wasn’t working, so she has been using a CPAP mask since August. “When I was diagnosed I didn’t think that I could wear the mask,” she says. “I’ve had no trouble adapting to it, and it doesn’t bother my husband.” SEARCH: Sleep Apnea




A DREAM VACATION: 35 DAYS AT SEA By Torie Temple Photos Submitted

SEARCH: Linda Tharp


wo years ago Linda Tharp and her husband Deny set sail on their dream vacation — cruising the open sea for 35 days. Waking up to the landscape of different exotic cities was just one of the many splendors the couple experienced. “It was a very small ship with 650 passengers, which is great because everybody gets to know everyone,” Linda says. “We have been all over the world, and cruising is my favorite way to travel because you unpack one time and you know where you’re going to sleep and eat.” This cruise and the majority of the couple’s other cruises were with Princess Cruise Lines, which offers small ships packed with entertainment such as a basketball court, golf driving range, a pool, dancing, and a spa to keep passengers busy between ports. Linda and her husband took full advantage of all there was to offer as they started their long journey. “We (flew to) Tahiti then went through all of French Polynesia, where we stayed for a day,” Linda explains. “We went to Bora Bora, Australia, where we stayed two days, then we stayed in New Zealand for two days. We then went to Komodo Island, Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam, and Singapore.”



Her Recommendations:

• Even though her 35 days was cruising bliss,

Linda recommends a shorter duration for firsttimers. “We went on a 4-day, 3-night cruise just to see if we would like it. I recommend that for those who have never been on a cruise just to make sure you like it and you don’t get seasick.”

• If you are cruising on a budget, Linda suggests

booking a reposition ship. Some ships spend all year sailing the same regions; however, some relocate each season. For example, the ships in New England will relocate to the Caribbean for the winter, and cruise lines will sell one-way tickets at a discount so that they will not have to sail without passengers.





hen you think of monkey bread, you probably envision a sticky, caramel-loaded treat that’s best served for dessert. This is not that kind of monkey bread. It’s savory pull-apart bread that’s stuffed with brie cheese and blueberry jam. It’s warm, buttery, sweet, and salty. Basically, it’s the perfect appetizer for your next party.

Ingredients 2 cans of buttermilk biscuits 2 8-ounce wheels of brie 1/2 c up blueberry jam (or jam of your choice) 1-1/2 sticks of butter, melted 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt chopped parsley and pecans to garnish

Planning on making this during holiday! Sounds wonderful. — Faye Wood Bailey via

Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray or lightly butter a bundt pan. Open the cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit in fourths. Open the brie (slicing off the outer coating if you wish), and cut into 1-inch squares. Take each fourth of the biscuit and flatten on a cutting board, making a circle. Add a rounded 1/2 tsp full of jam to the center of each round. Add a square of brie on top of that. Bring all of the edges up and pinch together to close around the filling. Set aside while you continue filling all of the biscuits. In a small bowl, stir together butter, salt, and garlic powder. Pour 1/3 of the butter mixture into the bottom of the bundt pan. Arrange half of the biscuit balls in the pan on top of the melted butter, then pour over the second 1/3 of the butter. Add the rest of the biscuit balls on top and finish with the rest of the melted butter. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

SEARCH: Monkey Bread



Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Garnish with chopped parsley and pecans. Serve immediately.


By Carrie Vittitoe Photo Patti Hartog


hile on a trip to visit her husband Matt’s family, Kelley Hudzik found herself in a Massachusetts craft shop, dropping about $100 on beads and wire. Kelley’s sister-in-law, Kristine, had taught her how to make beaded bracelets. “It was like nirvana in front of me with all those beads,” Kelley says. Kelley began developing her own design style as she continued learning the basics of bracelet making. She says her sister-inlaw is very structured in how she uses patterns, but Kelley’s aesthetic is different. “It’s all over the place,” she says. In the two years since she was introduced to bracelet making, Kelley has created a “woman cave” in her basement at her home in Middletown where she can work whenever she has the desire and time.

Kelley, who retired as a teacher from Jefferson County Public Schools in 2016, says making bracelets is a natural creative extension even though she isn’t shaping minds now. “I think making bracelets is excellent cognitive therapy that helps with my multiple sclerosis,” she says. “I came to the conclusion that I was no longer able to handle the rigors of teaching. I am happy that I was able to find another way to stay mentally engaged.”

Nice article. I would love to do something like this myself. Thanks for the idea. — DoveNative via

SEARCH: Kelley Hudzik

Kelley’s bracelet creations are now being carried at Lin Z’s Boutique in Middletown’s historic shopping district.

Is There Love After Cheating?

SEARCH: Just Ask Joyce

Q: “How can I be sure my husband will never cheat again? We have been through counseling after infidelity. We both agreed we would keep our marriage intact. However, I’m feeling terribly insecure about whether this is the last time something like this would ever happen, especially since our relationship has not improved.” A: I applaud you both for desiring to preserve

your legacy. It does concern me that your relationship is status quo. How do we get love back into your marriage? Quite frankly, I’m not hearing the tone of love at all. 1. Decide to love again. It’s difficult after infidelity to reignite those feelings. While I cannot empathize with you, I can sympathize that the effort might be exhausting emotionally and taxing physically. However, the alternative is something that will leave you in a constant state of not only insecurity but an icy environment in your own home. Both of you must make a conscious decision that you will find reasons to love the other. Many of the ones for which you fell in love are still in place; they’re simply clouded by pain. The decision will call for a tender and



willing heart. Talk it out. Time and time again if necessary. But agree to love. Without it, your efforts will be futile. 2. Immerse yourselves in marriage encounter workshops. These workshops are designed to walk you through difficulties with the end result of discovering why you still love one another. I understand you’ve been through counseling, but getting away for weekends with other folks struggling with issues in their marriages makes you feel less isolated in your problems. 3. Faith. You must not only have faith in yourselves to see this through, you must depend on faith to get you there. Commit yourselves to prayer, both individually and as a couple.

By Joyce Oglesby 4. Act your way into a better way of feeling. It’s an old concept that brings new revelations. Love is an action. It can’t happen when you’re merely going through the motions of being husband and wife. 5. Give him a chance. Perhaps you have heard me say: “Love is on loan. It’s only yours until someone takes it back.” Your husband took trust back from you, I understand. But remember — he chose you over her. Yes, it is going to take time for him to rebuild the trust he breached, but give him an opportunity to do so. Struggling with a relationship issue? Write Joyce Oglesby, Family Life FIX-IT Pro at and find a solution for life. For more resources, visit



t 29, Tytianna Wells Smith has accomplished great things. She has traveled the world from Senegal to the Caribbean to China. She earned a master’s degree in Pan-African Studies from the University of Louisville, is a doctoral student, and an educator of multicultural curriculum and design. She is also a published author and illustrator of a series of children’s books, co-founder of the publishing company Honey Tree Publishing, and is a poet, artist, and wife. But, like the title of her book series Sweet Pea and Sugar Tea’s Family Adventures suggests, this today’s woman has a strong connection to the past. “Identity and relationships have always been important to me,” Tytianna says. These tenets are reflected in her book series, comprised of four books aligned with the seasons and written in poetic verse that teach young people lessons in cultural values. As an educator and doctoral student in the field of curriculum and instruction, Tytianna strives to convey the need for a culturally responsive curriculum to the students and teachers she works with. “So many students leave school feeling education isn’t for them. Kids are changing but the curriculum isn’t — there are so few diverse characters in the books they read. I want to make a difference by being able to shape curriculum around students’ lives — I believe education is for everyone.”



Accessories she’s rocking:

“I love big, eccentric, statementpiece earrings that reflect my identity as an artist, poet, and educator — with a multicultural twist! I buy a pair of earrings from every place I travel. I love wood, bamboo, and natural products that reflect the culture.“ SEARCH: Tytianna Wells Smith

By Megan M. Seckman Photo Sunni Wigginton This is awesome to know! I would like to speak to you more.

— Anna Williams via

Congrats, Tytianna!

— Anthony Henderson via

I’m so proud of my beautiful and intelligent niece! What a great story! — Shannon Perry-Stiner via

Wonderful! So glad to know you!

— Nzingha via

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Beautiful!! — Candice Johnson via




esidents at the 800 Tower City Apartments can take advantage of this view on the 29-story building’s Rooftop Sky Park while enjoying the Louisville skyline.

By Tiffany White Photos by Melissa Donald SEARCH: Beautiful Places in Louisville

Beautiful places







When you step into this entry, you might not want to leave. Built in 1962, the 29-story 800 Tower City Apartments (800 S. 4th Street) building has been renovated into a contemporary, chic living space filled with amenities that include a movie theater, an elaborate and colorful sitting area, television, and fireplace all on the first floor. For those who want to dine out, but don’t want to venture too far, they’ll have the convenience of eating at Bar Vetti — a restaurant that will be located inside of the building. Have you seen a beautiful place you think should be featured in upcoming issues? If so, send an email to Subject: Beautiful.

Today's Woman February 2017  

25 years…a quarter of a century…XXV…no matter how you look at it, turning 25 is a BIG deal. Today’s Woman magazine wants to celebrate with t...

Today's Woman February 2017  

25 years…a quarter of a century…XXV…no matter how you look at it, turning 25 is a BIG deal. Today’s Woman magazine wants to celebrate with t...