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OB-GYN, P.C. is partnering with St. Luke’s Diaper Bank for the

4th Annual Holiday

Diaper Drive!

The National Diaper Bank Network tells us that: * 1 in 3 U.S. families report suffering from diaper need. * Government assistance programs do NOT cover diapers. * Diaper need impacts physical, mental and economic well-being of children and parents. * Diapers can cost $70-$80 per month. * Babies need up to 12 diapers a day. * Without diapers, babies cannot participate in early childhood education programs. * Diaper banks help meet diaper need by providing diapers to nearly one million infants and toddlers each year. Throughout the month of December, OB-GYN, P.C. wants to collect as many diapers AND wipes as possible for mothers and families in our community. Diapers are not a gift; they are a necessity. Every baby deserves to have their basic needs met! Please help us meet this need so we, as a community, can raise happy, healthy children. DIAPERS AND/OR WIPES CAN BE DROPPED OFF AT: OB-GYN, P.C., 2854 South 11th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 or ship online orders directly to our office. If you need more information, please call 269-345-6197 ext 270, email KLedlow@obgynpc.com or visit www.stlukesdiaperbank.org.

Thank you for helping us make a difference right here in Kalamazoo this Holiday Season.

PROVIDERS: Carter O. Lomax, Jr., MD, FACOG Joseph L. Riethman, MD, FACOG Marcia L. Johnson, MD, FACOG Wendy L. Bauer, MD, FACOG Carly H. Davis, MD, FACOG Jennifer K. O’Neill, DO Brittany J. Post, WHNP-BC MacKenzie L. Arnold, WHNP-BC Patricia R. Zull, CNM, FNP-BC

OB-GYN, P.C. 269.345.6197 2854 S 11th St Kalamazoo, MI www.obgynpc.com


FROMTHEPUBLISHER Hello, December!

I will admit, summer is my season, but my absolute favorite time of year is the stretch of time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.Our thoughts turn toward thankful reflection as generosity flows from grateful hearts and giving hands. Our homes are filled with beautiful decorations, warm fires, the smell of fresh baked cookies and most importantly, the love of family. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

As the holiday season kicks into gear, make sure to take time for yourself. Snuggle into your favorite blanket with a cup of eggnog and your copy of Women’s LifeStyle for tips and tricks to make the 2019 Holiday Season the best one yet! Whether you are looking for ways to keep your Christmas tree green and fresh or some new cookies for your annual swap, we have a little something for everyone this month.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone on your list? Check out our annual gift guide and the amazing gift supplement from the Crossroads Mall. You’ll be sure to find the perfect gift and maybe even a little something for yourself.

We here at Women’s LifeStyle of Southwest Michigan wish you and yours a holiday season filled with love, happiness and joy.

Looking for something to do? Join Elizabeth from Feed Me Kalamazoo for a bite at Kitchen Proper. Head to downtown Kalamazoo with The Kalamazoo Foodie to explore the perfect Holiday Season date night, browse our calendar of events for holiday fun or grab a great book from the Kazoo Books Reader’s Lounge and spend a relaxing evening at home.

Make the most of this amazing season and we look forward to seeing you in January when we kick off the new “Roaring Twenties” with our annual Bridal Guide.

Heather

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The People Who Make It Happen... PUBLISHER/EDITOR:

Heather Dombos hdombos@wlskazoo.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Erica Shier Emily Betros Elizabeth Precopio Ashley Carter-Youngblood Heather Dombos Kelly Duggan Rachel Kirtley Mary Beth Lyons Heidi McCrary Jenny Opdycke Shreejan Sita

December 2019 Check it out!

COMMUNITY RELATIONS: Keshia Dickason kdickason@wlskazoo.com

ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES: Ruth Ann Dibert radibert@wlskazoo.com India Ash iash@wlskazoo.com Whitney Bast wbast@wlskzoo.com Phil Earnshaw pearnshaw@wlskazoo.com Holly Jones hjones@wlskazoo.com

LIFE

6 Catching Up with Lady Mary 10 Look Who’s Talking: Amelia Lietzau & Danielle Pojar 14 Less is More When Gifting Green 18 Missed Connections: Where Are You Holiday Joy?

LAYOUT & DESIGN:

Alicia Pauwels apauwels@wlskazoo.com

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Grace Photography gracephoto.com

ADMINISTRATIVE:

Sue Hurst shurst@wlskazoo.com

CONTACT US FOR INFO & SALES: 269-350-5227

BY MAIL:

Women’s LifeStyle of Southwest MI P. O. Box 2284 Portage, MI 49081-2284

BY EMAIL:

info@wlskazoo.com editor@wlskazoo.com sales@wlskazoo.com

WEBSITES:

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com WomensLifeStyleKazooExpo.com KzooFamilyExpo.com WLSKmastermind.com

This Publication Proudly Supports

HOME & GARDEN

12 Caring for Natural Christmas Decorations 26 Living vs. Selling

BEAUTY & FASHION 20 The Crossroads Mall Gift Guide

HEALTH & FITNESS 34 Holiday Science

FOOD & DRINK

16 Recipes: Christmas Cocktails

- Sugar Cookie Martini - Cranberry Margaritas - Jack Frosties

28 Restaurant Review Kitchen Proper 30 Recipes: Christmas Cookies

-

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies Kris Kringle Cookies Chewy Molasses Cookies Snowball Cookies Cherry Almond Cookies

LEARN & DO

32 Reader’s Lounge

COMMUNITY

24 Celebrate the Holiday Season Downton Kalamazoo 36 Calendar

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December 2019

5


HERE’S A THOUGHT

Catching Up with Lady Mary FROM DOWNTOWN ABBEY

WHY SOME STORIES DON’T LEND THEMSELVES TO MOVIE REBOOTS “So,” I said, turning to my friend as the credits rolled across the movie screen. “Did you like it?”

But should “Good enough” be an acceptable review? Why is it that movies seldom capture the essence of that unique story that catches fire with readers and viewers? Too often, the magic of a carefully drawn-out story just doesn’t lend itself to the 2-hour adaptation on the movie screen.

The “it” I was referring to, was the movie adaptation of the British TV series broadcast as part of PBS Masterpiece Theatre. The series ran for six years, following the lives of an aristocratic family and their domestic servants. It was standard Masterpiece fare, in being character-driven and rich in visuals and dialogue along with being a guilty pleasure. Think, The Young & the Restless meets The Crown.

Let’s look at another story that caught fire several years ago, when journalist, Jeanette Walls wrote of her life, in the memoir, The Glass Castle. This book spent over 260 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and it’s hard to find a book club that didn’t devour this classic, or a reader that didn’t bond with the story on some level. Yet, when the movie version of The Glass Castle finally debuted, starring a strong cast consisting of Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts, the story fell flat, perhaps suffering from having to leave too much heart on the editing floor.

My friend’s reply was typical Lady Mary. “It wasn’t great, but good enough. It felt like a longer version of one more episode.” My friend and I were a good dichotomy for the typical target audience for Downton Abbey. While she was a loyal royal watcher from the beginning, I came along late in the game, hard-binging six seasons on Amazon Prime. And knowing it’s audience, the movie trailer didn’t pretend to market itself as a vehicle for anyone who wasn’t a fan of the TV series.

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December 2019

Sometimes, we should leave the best stories in their original packaging. It is a rare instance when the written word transfers so eloquently to the movie screen. To Kill a Mockingbird comes to mind. But more often, the result resembles my feelings when

turning off the TV after viewing El Camino on Netflix, a movie picking up immediately after the last scene in the incredibly rewarding last episode of Breaking Bad. While it was nice to see Jessie, our antihero again, did we need to revisit what was already the best ending ever for any TV series? And yet, it can certainly be argued that the best movies come from successful screenplays. Local author, Bonnie Jo Campbell is currently touring across the country as the film adaptation of her novel, Once Upon a River makes an appearance at many film festivals. We can only hope it pays a visit soon to our area. Here’s a thought… maybe some endings are best left alone, even if it was nice catching up with the Crawleys in Downton Abbey. And I do miss the gang from Mad Men… Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in the fall of 2020. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and fb.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

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LOOK WHO’S TALKING

Home for the Holidays WITH AMELIA LIETZAU & DANIELLE POJAR

Amelia

Danielle

Earlier this month we sat down with Amelia Lietzau & Danielle Pojar of the Barton Group.

to start working in the commercial real estate industry with Amelia and Gary. What brought us together was my prior experience in construction. I will also be working with them to represent owners in the construction process.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?

Amelia - I grew up in Mattawan with an incredibly supportive family. Both my parents worked in the nonprofit world, so I have a special appreciation for the importance of philanthropic work in our community. Nowadays, I am lucky to have 6 parents who help in any way they can using their own styles, which vary dramatically. I assist my mom with her cut flower business as well. My husband Derek and I have 2 dogs and 2 cats with a baby boy due in January. We live on 160 acres in Decatur. In addition, we love traveling in our camper to different towns to watch dirt track racing and to faraway lands to learn so much about the rest of the world.

Danielle - I was born in West Branch, Michigan, then lived in Houghton until I was seven and my family moved to Otsego. I have been married and living in Portage for 10 years.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER:

A - My stepdad, Gary, and I started The Barton Group about 12 years ago, and we specialize in construction consulting and commercial real estate. We have the opportunity to help many business owners and nonprofits complete incredible building projects by guiding them through the complex construction process. I also really enjoy the commercial real estate duties of assisting buyers, tenants, landlords. As a family owned business, I can trust my partner. With our team of four, we use our individual skills to be an asset to business owners through any property decision. Sometimes we describe ourselves as glorified problem solvers; it is our job to minimize problems and obstacles for our clients.

D – I am a full time mom and wife first and foremost. I just finished my real estate 101 course and passed the state licensing test. I am excited

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December 2019

A - I truly love the diversity in professions that I get to learn about. We have so many skilled entrepreneurs and executives in the area that I get to witness running businesses. Every industry fascinates me as I have an opportunity to be part of their team. D - Problem solving and finding solutions. Every day is so unique and there is always something new to learn and explore.

WHICH CAUSES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

A - I am on the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Bake Off Committee. It is one of my favorite community events! I teach softball and volunteer coach when I can, and I think that girls have so much to offer our world. They also help to keep me humble and smiling! We also support the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, Kalamazoo College, Paw Paw Lions Club, Van Buren Women who Care, and Girls on the Run.

D - I have volunteered with Girl on the Run of Kalamazoo for 4 years now. I love their mission to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through their curriculum and incorporation with running. I strongly believe the more we can surround young girls with women role models and help them to find the confidence to tackle all the things life throws way.

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

A - Amy Courter from Azimuth Center of Excellence just gave me John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, and I am excited to get into that. Eve Rodsky’s Fair Play is also waiting for me. My pleasure reading

is normally Malcolm Gladwell, John Sandford, or Kristin Hannah. Because of our upcoming family addition, we have been spending time with birthing and parenting books as well. Reading inspires, transports, and encourages me. D - More like listening to. Audible and Hoopla are a working moms best friend. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis is a go-to, as well as Slay like a Mother by Katherine Wintsch. I go back to both of these women for little reminders and inspiration.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO UNWIND AFTER A LONG DAY?

A - Exercising plays a huge part in staying sane for me. Gardening in the summer rewards and challenges me, and I love the time outside. We also spend time at Little Paw Paw Lake swimming, boating, and relaxing. Cooking, walking the dogs around our house, and enjoying family are my go tos when I need to recharge. D – An epsom salt bath, wine and audio books streaming on my phone.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE?

A - Laughing and time at home with people I really care about. However, I am never upset about having sunshine and water on my toes.

D - Hot yoga…. It is tough for me to get out of the house for an hour and a half session, but I run away for me time. It is not just the physical and the heat for me. It is the time to just be present. No phones and the few moments of internal reflection carry me a long way.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?

“Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season and hoping 2020 is the best year yet! WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


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Caring for Natural Christmas Decorations BY TERRIE SCHWARTZ OF WEDEL’S

Holly & Evergreen Branches Cut Christmas Trees Before arranging, dip or spray branches in Wilt Stop to help preserve moisture in needles, leaves and berries. For holly branches, use arrangement containers that have water reservoirs. Set arrangements in a cool location when not on display.

Evergreen Wreaths, Garlands & Swags

Check with your local garden center or florist to see which evergreen decorative piece will perform best in freezing conditions or indoor situations. Spray all wreaths with Wilt Stop to preserve freshness.

At least seven years of fertilizing, watering, trimming and care are needed to create a lush, fragrant Christmas tree. Wedel’s trees have been recently harvested from local farms, contributing to the area economy. We hope your tree enhances your holiday celebrations. These time-tested tips will prolong the freshness of your tree. • Place the tree upright in the garage and spray with Wilt Stop anti-dessicant. This spray will seal in the freshness and moisture in the needles.

• Make a fresh cut end on the trunk. Cut one inch off of the stump end. Make cut within two hours of placing in tree stand. • Set the tree where warm air from registers does not blow directly on it.

• Do not all the water in the tree stand to run dry – check daily! • Decorate with family and friends and enjoy the holiday season!

Live Christmas Trees

To give your live Christmas tree the best chance to survive, the experts at Wedel’s Garden Center offer the following instructions:

should be twice the size of the root ball. Bring soil into garage to prevent freezing. Spray tree with Wilt Stop to help reduce moisture loss. Keep tree outside and well watered. Make sure root ball is moist at all times. Bring tree indoors one or two days before Christmas Place tree in coolest location possible. Decorate, keep soil moist and enjoy. Keep tree indoors for no mare than three days. Plant tree as soon as possible. Fill around root ball with a soil mixture of 1/3 sphagnum peat moss, 1/3 composted cow manure and 1/3 soil from hole. Firm soil and water thoroughly.

Poinsettia Plant Care

Place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least six hours per day. Water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. Don’t overwater or allow it to sit in water. Always remove standing water.

Don’t place plant near cold drafts or excessive heat; avoid places near fireplaces or ventilating ducts. Poinsettias are sensitive to cold. Use a large bag to protect your plant when transporting it.

Dig planting hole in your landscape as soon as purchase decision has been made. The hole

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December 2019

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LESS IS MORE WHEN GIFTING

Green

W

hether you are a parent, grandparent, or someone’s best friend, when it comes to holiday shopping you want to find the perfect gift; something that says how much you love or appreciate them, or maybe just puts a big smile on their face when they open it. Whenever we buy something, a gift or not, we have the opportunity to make a big impact not just on the lucky recipient, but on the world around us as well. What if this year you could find the perfect gift AND save the world at the same time? Each time we choose to buy, or not buy, a gift we have the opportunity to do both, and that should really get us into the holiday spirit.

GREEN GIFTS

With more and more people wanting to help keep our Earth cleaner and stronger for generations to come, consider gifts that have an environmental impact. The Plastic Free movement is gaining momentum, and there’s no better time to switch to non-plastic items. When buying a gift such as a candle, picture frame, or household decoration, choose the one made with more sustainable materials like wood or glass. On the hunt for toys? Many companies now use recycled materials to make plastic-like toys that are just as good as new! Better yet, find gently used toys or books from a secondhand store or even your own home. Little ones are usually just happy with the box, so they definitely aren’t worried about who played with the toy before them. You can really double down on going green this year when you buy local. Not only are you

14

December 2019

supporting our local economy and business owners, you are reducing the gas, packaging, and production cost that it takes to bring a toy from around the world to your front door. LOCAL LOOKOUT: Friends Bookstore in the lower level of the Kalamazoo Public Library. They have hundreds of children and adult books that are very gently used and typically between $1-$3.

MAKING “GREEN” MEMORIES

It can be hard to not give someone a traditional and tangible gift wrapped in a box with pretty paper and a bow on top. However, gifting an experience has been shown to create more long term happiness than an item. Instead of buying your grandchild a few random toys from the store, why not spend that money on a membership to a zoo, nature center, or museum? This is truly a gift of time together that keeps on giving all year long! There are also lots of fun ways to donate on behalf of someone. Sometimes this even results in a fun thank you gift from the company! You can really go green if you find a non-profit, company, or organization to donate to who focuses on caring for the Earth, like the Sierra Club. Volunteering, creating something, or planning an experience together are all wonderful ways to show just how much you care about someone...and you don’t even have to wrap it!

GOING GREEN WHEN SHOPPING AND WRAPPING

shopping bags for all your items. Bring your own, or if it’s something small, just put it in your purse or another bag you already have. Opt for an email receipt and when buying online select minimum packaging. If you’re buying from a site like Amazon and have multiple items, request that they all get shipped together instead of separately. If you get magazines or newspapers delivered throughout the year save them for wrapping gifts. Store old shipping boxes and other material during the year to use for the holidays. There are many reusable bags now with beautiful prints and colors. Use these to wrap gifts, especially the large or oddly shaped ones. Get creative with other storage bins you already have around the house to wrap gifts. Holiday themed popcorn tins (emptied and cleaned) make a great reusable wrapping option. If you’re gifting an item like a basket, put the rest of the gifts inside of it! There are so many ways to shop, wrap, and give with sustainability in mind this year. Make this your greenest holiday yet! Emily Betros is a licensed clinical social worker, certified health coach, and owner of Reclaiming Health, LLC. She specializes in body image support, eating disorders, anxiety, life transitions, mindfulness, and women’s issues. More info: www.reclaiminghealth.net.

Even if you find the perfect green gift, there’s still one more opportunity to save the Earth! When you’re out shopping, forgo the plastic

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


Christmas Cocktails

Sugar Cookie Martini FOR THE MARTINI 1/2 c. whole milk 1/4 c. Baileys 2 oz. vanilla vodka 2 oz. amaretto Ice FOR THE RIM 1/2 c. vanilla frosting 1/4 c. sprinkles, plus 1 tsp., divided Using an offset spatula, spread a thin

Jack Frosties

1 cup vodka 1 cup Champagne 1/2 cup Blue Curaçao 1/2 cup lemonade 6 cup ice Lemon wedge White sanding sugar

In a blender, combine vodka, champagne,

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December 2019

layer of frosting onto rim of two martini glasses. Pour ¼ cup sprinkles onto a small plate then dip rims in sprinkles to coat. Use an offset to frost cookies with frosting then decorate with remaining 2 tablespoons sprinkles. In a cocktail shaker, combine milk, Baileys, vodka, and amaretto. Add ice and shake until cold. Pour into glasses.

Cranberry Margaritas 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice 3/4 cup fresh lime juice 3/4 cup tequila 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec Ice cubes

Stir all ingredients together until blended. Serve over ice in sugar- or saltrimmed glasses, garnished with fresh cranberries and lime wedges if desired.

blue curaçao, lemonade, and ice. Blend until combined.

Run a lemon wedge around the rim of each glass then dip in sanding sugar.

Pour cocktails into rimmed glasses and serve immediately.

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MISSED CONNECTIONS: WHERE ARE YOU

‘Holiday Joy?’

MISSED CONNECTIONS

M

ET ‘HOLIDAY JOY’ years ago. You were so warm, comforting during the months of November and December. Although only around for a few weeks at the end of each year, the energy between the two of us was, what I felt, magical. Was aware of whereabouts a few years ago, but have yet to find. If you are out there—please reach out. Would really like to reconnect.

This month’s issue we’re talking about holiday joy. And to be honest with you, our dear readers, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to write this month, more because I am not so sure as to where my holiday joy went. I took some time to really consider how to present this to you (if it was appropriate at all), especially for only the second run of my column. But I figured there are many of you that probably feel the same way, and as painful as it is to deal with and realize it, here we are. We’ll journey this one together. To preface this though, Christmastime was my favorite time of year growing up. It was hands down, better than my birthday (which is about a month later). I would count down the days until WHMI on the east side would have holiday music playing, beginning in November. I’d fall asleep to my radio on, and the station would stay permanently affixed in my car ‘til the start of the new year. Family parties, snow and Christmas lights just made the season. I’d beg to get the tree up early so I could sit by the tree to study or read,

18

December 2019

or just enjoy the lights. I loved them so much, my late brother gifted me for one of those Christmases two sets of lights to put up around my room to enjoy year-round. The beautiful fireplace we gained in my teenage years at our new house really tied my ideal spirit of the season together. Now, I will share that having lost my mother and youngest brother close to the holidays is mostly to blame. My youngest brother’s recent passing just a few days after this last Christmas has me hoping the upcoming holidays will pass quietly and quickly. I am honestly rather dreading them. Anyone (or yourself) with that first holiday after the loss of a loved one has a hard time looking forward to the upcoming holidays. Get-togethers are a stark wakeup call with an empty place setting. Or family parties where you are constantly asked with concerned faces, “How are you doing?” You and your loved ones share and replay past holidays spent together, and it is perhaps a bit healing, but soul-crushing and devastatingly painful at the same time. I’ve found I’ve been constantly reminding myself that many people have either similar holiday experiences coming as well, or of course, ones that are very different. Some happily work. Some spend it alone, and by choice. Some will have and embrace every member of their family and parties, while some just try to get through the season. Each one will be a little different, and a stark contrast to your standard-issue Hallmark-holiday-Pinterestlevel perfect ones we sometimes envy and want to emulate. And that’s just not realistic at all. My boyfriend, as encouraging as he is about the whole thing, suggested maybe we work on starting our own holidays and traditions this year, as a way to renew the something I loved so much, and take focus away from the obvious

upcoming feelings. And it’s not a bad idea. It might be worth making something new out of something you can no longer continue, right? I do know, first and foremost, my priority is spending these upcoming holidays with (as I make it a little lighter, but dark) what’s left of my family. We might all be a little lost feeling this year, & to just feel lost together, can’t hurt. Maybe I do need to reintroduce parts I loved the most as well: A house covered in lights, cheesy holiday music and films…. It will most likely take a few years and passing of several holidays to feel a little more healed and rediscover that holiday joy. These holidays will never be the same, but they don’t have to be as painful as this upcoming one. So if you are lost this year too, I’m here for you, and know you are absolutely not alone. Maybe we can all connect online and share how we’ve gotten through this next set of holidays. For the rest of you, cherish the time and holiday you have. Make the most of the giving season.

And

‘Holiday Joy,’

if you’re out there, I’d love to reconnect.

Lalita Chemello is a Detroit-born writer newly displaced to the west side of the state. She’s written/ edited for New Roads lifestyle magazine and Panorama. Her other passions are photography, motorsports & screenwriting. You can also occasionally find her around town on her vintage two wheels.

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


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December 2019

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(3) Clothing, Accessories & Perfume Sets Aeropostale $-$$

(4) Novelty Candy FYE $

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Up North Gifts $-$$

(6) Men & Women’s Jewelry

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(7) Men’s Accessories

KCT Menswear $-$$$

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HOLIDAY SEASON

Downtown Kalamazoo BY RACHEL KIRTLEY, THE KALAMAZOO FOODIE

D

ecember is an enchanting time of the year, the temperatures drop, snowflakes are flying, and there is magic in the air. There truly is something magical about walking on the Mall Downtown Kalamazoo with the dripping icicle lights strung about the trees, shopping, cozy coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and so much more! Following the Holiday Parade, Kalamazoo officially kicks off the Holiday season with their annual tree lighting ceremony on November 29th in Bronson Park. Festivities begin at 5:00pm including live music, crafts, hot chocolate, visits with Santa, and much more Holiday fun!

While you’re in Bronson Park, don’t miss Candy Cane Lane. No matter your age, walking through life size Candy Canes and seeing all of the beautiful holiday themed lights and decorations will make you feel like you’re walking in a winter wonderland –

24

December 2019

even the biggest Scrooge out there just might smile with joy. Candy Cane Lane also makes for a fun photo op with friends or family, and would make a super cute Christmas Card picture!

rolley travels around The Holly Jolly T downtown Kalamazoo providing people with easy access to parking garages, restaurants, bars, shopping and festivities. The Trolley officially starts November 29th and runs through December 29th Thursdays-Sundays, making transportation around downtown a breeze. If you’re not familiar with the trolley, it’s an old-fashion trolley beautifully decorated for the Holiday season, and heated, to take your friends and family around town for FREE! You can check out a list of stops, hours and map on the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership website: www.downtownkalamazoo.org. If you find yourself taking a stroll on the Kalamazoo Mall during the Holiday Season don’t miss out on a photo op with the giant waving Santa statue. Also stop by The Kalamazoo Candle Company to check out their amazing Holiday scents- they also make perfect Christmas gifts! While you’re out and about shopping, you can stop by The Artisan Sandwich Company to warm up with soup and sandwiches. There are lots of opportunities for fun with the kids downtown. You can visit

with Santa

and Mrs. Claus at

their workshop located on the 2nd floor of the Epic Center. While visiting with Santa, families can color, write letters to Santa (so he can remember his list), enjoy musical performances on Friday’s, Cookie Decorating on Saturday’s, and Crafts on Sundays! Besides visiting with Santa, the Holiday Parade, and The Festival of Lights, The City of Kalamazoo’s Parks and Recreation Department will host its 14th Annual Candy Cane Hunt on Saturday December 7th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm at Mayors Riverfront Park. Nearly 5,000 candy canes will be hidden around Homer Stryker Field for children to find! The candy cane hunt will be divided up by age group so everyone gets a fair chance. Registration will occur at the entrance to the baseball field. Lots of prizes for the first 75 participants per age group, stockings and 3 grand prize winners will be announced per age group. The Kalamazoo Growlers also host The Ball Park Holiday Fest, Friday December 21st from 6-8:30pm. The festival activities include a movie on the video board, FREE Hot Chocolate and Popcorn for pack holders, Games and inflatables, Snow themed events, Photos with Santa and Porter

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Santa (Team Mascot), and Ballpark in Holiday Lights! The event is FREE for 365 Game Plan holders, $5 for public Admission. You can visit more about this event at www. growlersbaseball.com Another magical place to take the kids is Reindeer Ranch. You can visit with live reindeer, take guided tours, and learn all about where they are native to, how they survive the tundra with freezing temps, and so much more. What gets more magical than that at Christmastime! Need some adult time with friends? The 12 Bars of Christmas Bar Crawl is coming to town Saturday December 7th from 12pm-8pm! Put on your best Holiday onesies, Santa suits, elf costumes, or break out your ugly sweaters and dress like cousin Eddie and Clark Griswold! You can find Tickets on Eventbrite along with a list of participating bars downtown. Your ticket includes a 16oz Santa Stadium Cup, Santa hat and wristband. Grand Traverse Distillery located downtown offers live music, Holiday cocktails, tastings, and you can make your own gift-baskets or pick up spirits for your Holiday Parties! Tempo Vino Winery is another stop you don’t want to miss. With the newest release of their Holiday Wines, stop by for a wine tasting and pick up some locally made vino for a gift or Holiday parties! Be sure to visit Bell’s Eccentric Café December 6th starting at 9:00am all SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

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day long for the 13th Annual Eccentric DayCome as you Aren’t event. The one day a year your alter ego can not only come out to play, but be celebrated in all its glory! Featuring house music, DJ’s, a lengthy buffet menu and rotating taps all day long!

December Art Hop

is also something you don’t want to miss out on! December 6th from 5:00-9:00pm at the Park Trades Center you can support local businesses and shop for Christmas presents, Holiday hostess gifts, or something for yourself. Stop by the Colors & Cocktails Studio 309 for some Holiday Shopping! Colors & Cocktails has amazing gifts for everyone on your list all in ONE spot – Kalamazoo Candle Company candles, Kalamazoo Kettle Corn, original art including paintings, photographs, jewelry, ornaments, painting kits, socks, bags, and so much more from some local vendors! You can also purchase tickets to upcoming Colors & Cocktails Painting parties – the perfect gift for the ladies in your family. Stop by The Aroma Labs in the Park Trade Center during Art Hop and over the Holiday season to create your very own perfume for yourself or create a unique gift for the Holidays. BeeJoyful Shop in the Park Trades Center also offers environmentally friendly reusable food wraps with cute designs, reusable straws,

and more that make for the perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gifts! Finally wrapping up the Holiday season, New Year’s Eve Fest kicks off December 31st from 5:30 to Midnight. Showcasing a variety of activities for all ages including live music, magic, comedy, exhibitions, fireworks and great food. There will be a ball drop and fireworks at midnight in Bronson Park. Visit www.newyearsfest.com for more details!

No matter your age, there is something so magical about seeing the lights, parties, and festivities around Christmastime brings out the inner kid and excitement in all of us. Be sure to check out Discover Kalamazoo and the Downtown Kalamazoo websites for more information on all of the activities listed above!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Rachel Kirtley is THE Kalamazoo Foodie. A former server turned food blogger and restaurant reviewer. You can find her at TheKalamazooFoodie on Facebook and Instagram!

December 2019

25


Living vs. Selling L

iving in your home and selling your home are two completely different mindsets, especially when it comes to repairs and updates. Home repairs are inevitable which means we can and should plan for them. Just as you set aside a budget for property taxes and insurance keep in mind that you need to invest in the continual maintenance of your home. Between 1%-4% of your home’s purchase price is usually recommended for annual maintenance with the older homes falling on the higher end of that range and newer homes falling on the lower end. Make a list of your mechanicals, appliances, and other big ticket items notating when they should be serviced, the estimated cost of service, and use it to set calendar reminders for yourself. Maintenance work and repairs should be completed as they arise and detailed records of service should always be kept. Finding good and trusted contractors can take time, especially during peak seasons, but it is absolutely in your best interest to ensure the job is done right the first time which will hopefully eliminate any unnecessary costs down the road. When it comes to selling, repairs should always be completed prior to listing to avoid any concessions, delays, or deals falling through altogether.

26

December 2019

Maybe you’re not intending to sell your home anytime soon but if selling became a necessity and you’ve neglected the maintenance, this will only increase your stress, especially if you are on a tight timeline. How would your home rate among buyers in its current state? Would they see dollar signs the moment they pull into your driveway in the form of your roof sagging, paint chipping, or concrete buckling?

Updates are also extremely important to increasing the value of your home and cause a lot less strain on your time and wallet when you tackle them in stages. Styles change frequently, so if you are contemplating updating your countertops, flooring, or cabinets, research what buyers are looking for in today’s market or talk to a local expert for advice before moving forward. When living in your home, you want to make it your own so that it reflects your specific style and tastes. The problem arises when you go to sell. In our business we frequently come across

homeowners that have spent thousands of dollars on a style-specific choice, like paint color, only to have to turn around and spend money neutralizing that space for buyers prior to listing. Buyers should view your home as their potential home. In order to accomplish this, buyers need to see your home as a house, depersonalized and neutral. Creating a neutral environment for buyers is essential. The real question going through a buyer's mind when they view your home is how much money would I have to spend to make it my own? The higher that number is, the less likely it is your home will sell quickly and for your target rate. Buyers can do anything with neutral. The workload in their mind instantly decreases. Give them every reason to say yes to your home. As of 2019, sellers across the nation spend on average around $6,500 on services to help prepare their home for the market. Not everyone has that kind of savings lying around before they go to sell. If you’re going to be selling in the next few years now is the time to decipher between the projects you wanted to accomplish while you were living in the home and the projects that will actually increase your home’s value in a buyer’s eyes. Olivia Andrade is a Certified Real Estate Stager and the Business Manager at Beyond Staging. To learn more about why we believe every home should be Market-Ready prior to listing, visit us at www.beyondstagingmi.com

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Kitchen Proper

RESTAURANT REVIEW

34 W MICHIGAN AVE, BATTLE CREEK, MI | KITCHENPROPERFOODS.COM

I

’ve had many people tell me lately that Kitchen Proper in downtown Battle Creek is a must visit, so when a friend and I wanted to get together for dinner, I suggested we try it. They opened about a year ago, and since then I have heard nothing but good things.

if you’re a little sensitive to a lot of salt maybe choose something else. The Halibut itself had a beautiful sear and was moist and flavorful. I took about 2/3 of it home with me because I wasn’t able to finish much of it, only because I ate so much of that cheese plate!

We walked into the back entrance and were greeted by a lovely hostess who showed us to a nice little table for two.

My buddy ordered the SPAGHETTI . Her plate was very beautiful and vibrant. Their spaghetti is Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and

As I looked around, I took note of the small, yet cozy space. It was only around 5:30pm on a Monday night, and already the restaurant was almost completely filled. The room seemed to be filled with mostly people coming from working downtown (lots of business suits) and one large table was crammed with what seemed to be a large family celebrating a birthday. There is a large chalk board hung in the center of the room that lists all the specials for the night. My friend and I were immediately drawn to the WHIPPED MOZZARELLA for a shared plate to start. It was an excellent choice! The plate was beautiful. There was a large portion of the whipped mozzarella in the middle of the plate, and it was topped with tomatoes, roasted red peppers, capers, and something crunchy, perhaps pine nuts. It was served with both a pita and some large crackers. The blend of flavor and texture was perfect. I could have munched on this all night. The cheese was creamy enough that it was easily spread and the veggies on top made it a little sweeter and delicious. We both ate a good amount but had plenty left when the server came to clear the plate for our main dishes. This serving would be plenty for a larger party. For our main meals I went with something from the specials board again. The TUSCAN HALIBUT was calling my name the minute I sat down. It was filled with all my favorites! The dish was a seared halibut fillet, served over pasta with capers and topped with a good amount of veggies. It was very good. One note, it was extra salty. I happen to LOVE salty foods so for me it was great, but

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December 2019

herbs tossed with thin cut spaghetti, finished with Parmesan cheese. It was so yummy! The sauce was both sweet and acidic and definitely tasted fresh. They didn’t overdo it with too much seasoning in the sauce like a lot of restaurants do so you could actually taste the tomatoes. Much better than store bought. It had been awhile since I had a fresh homemade spaghetti and I would definitely order this when I return to Kitchen Proper. We left with full bellies and a desire to return for more. They recently started serving Breakfast on Sundays, so I’ll be sure to return to see what inventive meals they come up with for that!

TUSCAN HALIBUT

SPAGHETTI

The ambiance is great. It’s small and quaint, and though it seems upscale, they didn’t overdo it to make it feel stuffy or pretentious. My one and only complaint was that service was a little slow. There were only a few servers in the small space, but since most of the tables were larger parties, it slowed them down a bit. But their actual service was fantastic while with us. The food is delicious and creative. A real standout in Battle Creek, and in my opinion would still be a standout in a much bigger city!

WHIPPED MOZZARELLA

Elizabeth Precopio is a hairstylist by day and 24/7 food enthusiast. She visits restaurants in the Kalamazoo area and blogs about her experience at feedmekzoo.com

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29


Kris Kringle Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes

1 c. butter, softened 1 c. sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla extract 2 1/4 c. flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 1 c. white chocolate chips 1 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Beat the butter & sugar in a large mixing bowl until mixture is light and fluffy.

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons lemon zest 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt For the Icing 1 1/2 tablespoons water 3/4 cup to 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F.

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December 2019

Combine butter and cream cheese in a bowl fit with a paddle attachment of a mixer. Cream together for about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and continue to mix. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add half the flour, all the baking soda, salt, cornstarch and lemon zest. Add lemon juice and the remaining flour. Mix to combine until the dough starts to form like a ball. Add a little more flour until slight ball starts to form. Cover and refrigerate dough at least 2-3 hours or up to a few days. Prepare baking sheet and spray with cooking spray or parchment paper.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie dough. Roll cookie dough between hands to get a nice round ball and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, removed from oven and while still hot, slightly press down if desired. Allow cookies to cool down completely before transferring. Cookies will slightly harden overnight a little more so don’t bake them much longer.

Add eggs and vanilla extract. Next add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing well. Gently stir in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries with a spoon.

Drop the dough by rounded spoonful onto a lined cookie sheet. I like to use a cookie scoop to make sure all my cookies are the same size. I also use these non-stick baking mats to make sure that my cookies don’t stick to my cookie sheets. Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes, until just browned around the edges.

If your cookies look too flat, place the remaining cookie dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for an hour so before making the rest of the cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a minute before removing them to cool completely on waxed paper or wire baking racks.

To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and water together in a small bowl. Whisk fast until ingredients are combined with no lumps. Dip cookies upside down into icing or drizzle icing over the top and allow to harden.

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


Chewy Molasses Cookies 3/4 сuрѕ unѕаltеd butter 1 сuр brоwn sugar 1/2 сuр mоlаѕѕеѕ 1 еgg 1 tеаѕрооn сіnnаmоn 1/4 tеаѕрооn nutmеg 2 teaspoons ground gіngеr 1/2 tеаѕрооn salt 1 tablespoon baking ѕоdа 2 1/4 cups all рurроѕе flоur 1/2 сuр grаnulаtеd ѕugаr

Cover аnd сhіll аt lеаѕt 2 hоurѕ.

Rоll dоugh іntо 1 1/2” balls and roll thеm in thе grаnulаtеd ѕugаr untіl соаtеd. Plасе dough bаllѕ 2” араrt оn аn ungreased сооkіе ѕhееt. Bаkе fоr 8-9 minutes.

Let сооl a few mіnutеѕ on сооkіе sheet before transferring wire rасkѕ to cool соmрlеtеlу.

Preheat оvеn to 350° F.

Crеаm tоgеthеr buttеr аnd ѕugаr untіl lіght аnd fluffy. Mіx in mоlаѕѕеѕ аnd thе egg untіl.

1 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 1/4 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup additional powdered sugar for rolling Preheat oven to 400° F.

Add іn thе сіnnаmоn, nutmеg, gіngеr, ѕаlt, and bаkіng ѕоdа аnd mіx wеll.

Soften your butter thoroughly. You don’t want any hard clumps.

Grаduаllу mіx in thе flоur untіl combined.

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour and salt. Stir until mixture is uniform.

Cherry Almond Cookies ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 4 oz cream cheese, softened 1 cup brown sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp almond extract 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp salt 36 maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry 2 oz white chocolate ½ tsp Crisco

Snowball Cookies

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Beat butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract; beat until just combined.

Combine flour and salt. Gradually add flour and salt to butter mixture; beat until combined. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (yield 36). Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. With your thumb, press an indentation into the top of each ball. Place a cherry in each indentation.

Roll into one-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet (I like to line it with parchment for easy clean up). Bake 10 minutes, or until set but not browned. (Err on the side of under baking. 10 minutes is perfect for my oven. If you overbake, your cookies will end up crumbly and dried out.

While the cookies are still warm, roll in additional powdered sugar. Let them cool completely and then roll again. Store in an airtight container.

Bake until edges are light golden brown, about 12 – 14 minutes. Let cool on pan about 5 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Place white chocolate and Crisco in a small ziptop plastic bag. Set bag in a bowl of warm water to soften. Gently knead the chocolate with your fingers until melted and smooth, placing back in the warm water for a minute or two as needed.

Snip a very small hole in the corner of the plastic bag. Drizzle white chocolate over the cooled cookies. Let stand until white chocolate is set.

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Reader’s Lounge Drinking from the River of Light: the Life of Expression by Mark Nepo The artistic and philosophical writings of Mark Nepo are, again, intelligent and helpful in his newest work. In this collection of essays and poems, Nepo introduces the reader to dive into the perspective of an artist: how does an artist perceive the world, and what we can learn from that. Using historical examples alongside modern ones, and exercises for the reader, the author brings to light what can really be learned from the illuminating art world around us.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Illustrated) by J.K. Rowling | Illustrated by Jim Kay This long-awaited fourth installment of the illustrated editions of the classic wizarding series is finally here. This edition of the series is stunning with illustrations on each page, and is a perfect gift this holiday season for anyone of any age. Also, this edition of Harry Potter is a wonderful way to introduce this story to your kids.

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December 2019

The Giver of Stars

Sumo Kitty

by Jojo Moyes

by David Biedrzycki

Bestselling author of Me Before You, Jojo Moyes begins a new story set in the Great Depression in America. This tale of five women journeying through Kentucky is based on a true story of America’s past. Moyes shows, yet again, her skill in storytelling and writing with prose that includes humor and heartbreak at once. This novel is perfect for the holiday season for the heartwarming effect that the author’s writing has on the reader.

A beautifully illustrated, and a stunning lesson to be learned, this children’s picture book is a perfect gift this holiday season. Not only does this author create adorable works of art on each page, there are Japanese terms (with pronunciation and definition) are spread throughout the book. You’re following a stray cat that finds himself a place in a training house for sumo wrestlers, as he earns food by chasing mice. Kitty finds himself striving to be the best chaser in the world, and he learns valuable lessons in his journey to achieving his dreams.

A Very Fiona Christmas by Richard Cowdrey This adorable picture book is a perfect gift this holiday season, in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Cowdrey uses his talent in writing and illustrating to introduce some zoology, alongside lessons to be learned in a holiday setting.

Suggestions brought to you by Gloria Tiller, owner of Kazoo Books. Kazoo Books features used and new titles. The staff is experienced & can help you with suggestions. Come visit them at 2413 Parkview. There is plenty of parking in the back.

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


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December 2019

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Holiday SCIENCE BY SHREEJAN SITA, AYURVEDIC YOGA THERAPIST

I

’ve lived far from my grown children most of the time during these six years, learning and working at the ashram in India. I’ve missed my daughter’s fall-off-the-chair sense of humor that keeps us rolling for hours, and my second daughter’s infectious laughter, and the visceral sensations that arise when my son towers above and wraps his arms so far around me that I think maybe I’d raised an orangutan! The time apart would have been debilitating if it weren’t for the lovely ashram family that adopted me when I arrived in 2013, & the calendar thick with celebrations – sometimes several each week…..weddings, births & naming ceremonies, retirement parties, graduations, school inaugurations, bon voyage send offs, & new house warmings. We barely recover from one event before we’re off to another.

When we arrive at a party, we are ushered in by a swarm of Dadi’s (grandmothers) responsible for granting permission to newcomers arriving at any home. Songs and drums show us the way to the front gate. The mothers are chirping traditional folk songs loud and throaty while the children run around us like a swarm of bees storming a marigold patch. The Indians are well known for their close-knit culture. Seeing how they constructed their connections was invaluable. The first time I returned home to New York in 2014 was like visiting a ghost town. Had it always been so quiet? Had the sidewalks and streets always been deserted? Or was it me who had changed - learning to rely on the sweet nectar of community to bolster my mood? In fact, I had never been so healthy, happy and productive. Realizing this synchrony brought me back to something the physician said during one of my first lessons in the Ayurveda hospital - it is not possible to be healthy and sad at the same time!

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December 2019

In a London TED Talk, author Johann Hari discovered that connection is vital to health through his research into the addiction trends in several countries. Though our instinct is to self-sequester when we’re not feeling well so we don’t infect others, that’s the exact opposite of what the body and mind need for ultimate healing and growth. He discovered that “almost everything we think we know about addiction is wrong.” The chemical hooks in drugs is what we’ve assumed causes addiction. If this were true, anyone who’s had major surgery and taken opioids would be addicted, but most are not. In the 1970’s Dr. Bruce Alexander proved this theory wrong when he built Rat Park, a cage filled with a group of rat friends and family. Given the choice between pure water, and water laced with heroin, they nearly 100% chose the pure. But rats kept in solitary confinement nearly always chose the heroin laced water. This experiment was repeated ostensibly with the Vietnam war in which 20% of solders were using drugs. When they returned home to family and friends, nearly all of them stopped reliably on elicit substances for their relief. “Addiction isn’t about the drug”, Johann Hari concluded after years of research, “it’s about the cage.” Humans have a natural inclination to bond with others. But if one can’t or won’t develop real, live connections, one will inevitably reach out for something to bond with that gives a synthetic relief – gambling, porn, shopping, food, smart phone (social media). In the U.S. we are becoming an increasingly vulnerable society. Scientist Bill McKibber found that the average number of close friends in the U.S. citizen has been declining since the 1950’s, while the square feet of homes has steadily increased, separating people within their own homes.

The ecospiritualist who founded the ashram where I live in India (Jasnath 15th century) advises in one important song that is taught and performed by travelling singers and dancers who visit one village after the next, providing the music for celebrations, “Oh friends, you should meet each other, hug or shake hands. You should walk together with harmony, make something creative all together, work together on a common goal.” This is the foundation of their courtyard homes and perhaps our common open floor plan kitchen – so that families can cook and eat together. Everything on Earth is medicine: oxygen from trees, water from rivers, heat from the sun, smiles and giggles from children, hugs and food given and shared by precious family and friends. And you are medicine for them! Social connection is the recovery we should seek for so many of our ailments. But start with yourself, with your own home. Don’t have enough family or friends? Connect one at a time with real, live people, in networking circles, churches, retirement facilities, soup kitchens. Many groups are meeting near you and can be found at Meetup. com, Eventbrite.com, Facebook.com and other social networks that were designed (originally) to bring people together, not provide a mechanism for keeping them apart. You are not alone. You are loved. You are ready to love another. Happy holiday and happy life! Om Shanti. Shreejan Sita is an Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist specializing in the third phase goddess’s needs. She is just returning from India after a 6-year expatriation for education & work. Contact Shree with your wellness inquiries at: www.sitawellness.com.

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


holiday gift guide Support local businesses this holiday season with these creative holiday gift ideas.

THE PERFECT GIFT TO BRING TO THE PARTY

LAWTON RIDGE WINERY Available at Harding’s, Sawalls and more! Find out where at lawtonridgewinery.com

A GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL WEST MICHIGAN PLASTIC SURGERY Portage | Battle Creek www.wmips.com | 269.222.1611

8456 Stadium Drive | Kalamazoo | 269-372-9463

SPEND TO RECEIVE A $10 TO $20 GIFT CARD!

HAVE A FRESH, NATURAL CHRISTMAS!

For every $100 spent, receive a $10 gift card. For every $150 spent, receive a $20 gift card.

CENTRE POINTE SKIN CARE Kristine Hayward | Skin Care Specialist and Certified Laser Technician | 7901 S. 12th St, Suite 100 Portage | 269.207.9575

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WEDEL’S Only the best for your decor & gift giving! Fresh, handmade wreaths 5020 Texas Drive | Kalamazoo | wedels.com | 269-345-1195

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Calendar of Events It’s easy to get listed in our Events Calendar. Our deadline is the 10th of the month prior to publication. Email us at: calendar@womenslifestylekazoo.com. Please type CALENDAR in the subject line.

NOVEMBER 29TH Zoo Lights

Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Dr., Battle Creek, MI 49014, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland.

City of Kalamazoo Tree Lighting Ceremony

Bronson Park 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

DECEMBER 1 Messiah Sing

First Congregational United Church of Christ, 345 West Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 4:00 PM. A community tradition since 1955.

DECEMBER 2

Parchment Book Group

Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Dr. 6:30 p.m. Featured book is Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge. Free. 269-343-7747. Parchmentlibrary.org

DECEMBER 4

The Holiday Chocolate

Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Dr. 7:00 p.m. Free homemade cocoa and cookies. 269-343-7747. Parchmentlibrary.org

DECEMBER 5 – 7

Holiday Green & Gift Sale (our 66th year)

Kalamazoo County Expo Center, Thursday 3 – 7 pm, Friday 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday 9 am to 1 pm. Open to the public and there is no charge. Live greens in abundance. Wreaths, Swags, Bundles, Roping, Porch Pots and Table Arrangements of all sizes. Thousands of handmade items created by gifted Kalamazoo Garden Council Members. Saturday we will have a children’s workshop ($5 per arrangement made). 269-327-0258 Kalamazoogardencouncil.org

Bethlehem Journey: A Living Nativity First Reformed Church of Portage, 7905 S. Westnedge, Portage, MI, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

DECEMBER 6

Comstock Lions Club Bingo Kalamazoo County Expo Center 6:30 PM. Play Bingo on the following Friday nights in December: 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th. with all proceeds going toward community projects.

ALL PAWS ON DECK!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! DECEMBER 3 & 4 • Wings Event Center www.pawpatrollive.com ©2019 Viacom. ©Spin Master Ltd. All rights reserved.

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December 2019

WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


DECEMBER 6 - 7

DECEMBER 8

Wedel’s Garden Center, 5020 Texas Dr. December 6th 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM; December 7th 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM. Pictures with Santa (no charge!), craft stations – fun for all ages and live music. See wedels.com for details.

6:30 PM One million lights twinkle on the community tree and holiday displays. Arrive at 6 PM to enjoy carolers form the St. Joseph High School Choir.

Santa’s Workshop at Wedel’s

Integrative Breathwork Workshops

Lord of Life Church, 9420 Portage Rd., Portage 12/6: 7 pm - 9 pm, 12/7: 10 am - 5 pm. A musical meditation for insight, emotional healing, creativity & renewal. $30/Friday or $75/Saturday. Pre-registration is required. 269-388-2988. www. AdamczAssociates.com.

Holiday Gifts & Greens Sale

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Sponsored by the Kalamazoo Garden Council, this is SW Michigan’s finest holiday sale for beautiful fresh green centerpieces, live wreaths, mixed roping sold by the foot, and a wide selection of unique hand-crafted gifts for that special person. All at affordable prices! Children’s workshop on Saturday from10am-2pm. Admission is free. For more information visit www.kalamazoogardencouncil.org

Kalamazoo’s Vintage Market & Crafts

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Friday 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Kalamazoo’s Vintage Market is having a Christmas show! Two days to shop - special Friday night shopping event. Over 100 booths filled with antiques, home decor, unique gifts, and more! Admission is free.

DECEMBER 6 – 8

K-9 Fanciers Dog Show

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Friday 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM UKC multi-breed dog show. Admission is free. For more information contact Phil Tanner at 989-8609845, dogsptanner@gmail.com or Sue Phillips at 419-348-3814, buckyeapbts@gmail.com

DECEMBER 7

Annual Christmas Bazaar

St Andrew Community Church 3631 Covington Rd. Kalamazoo. Across from Wings Event Center. 9am to 3pm. Many hand made items, Christmas decor, bake goods and much more. 269-270-1397

Light up the Bluff, Lake Bluff Park, St. Joseph

A F T E R T H E H O L I DAYS

C E L E B RAT E W I T H U S

2nd Sundays Live! Kalamazoo Saxophone Quartet

Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Dr. 2:00 p.m. A free concert including some holiday favorites. 269343-7747. Parchmentlibrary.org

Kalamazoo Record & CD Show Kalamazoo County Expo Center; 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Presented by Rerun Records. Thousands of new and used records and CD’s from all time periods and types of music. Collector quality records along with music memorabilia and supplies. Buy, sell, and trade with dealers and collectors. Admission is free. Early admission at 8am is $5. For more information contact Rod Branham at 734-604-2540 or rerun45@rocketmail. com www.rerunrecords.com

50th Annual Holidays with the Bach Festival Chorus

To Benefiit

FEB 15, 2020! .

JOIN US!

TICKETS GO ON SALE NOVEMBER 29 GENERAL ADMISSION 5-8PM • VIP ADMISSION AT 4PM!

DELTA HOTELS BY MARRIOTT KALAMAZOO CONFERENCE CENTER FOR ALL WINE NOT INFORMATION, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AT: WINENOTKZOO

Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM The ultimate celebration of your favorite Christmas carols and music from around the world.

DECEMBER 11

“Thriver – Health Talks”

“Improving Your Quality of Life” is a group of people who have had or having health issues and focusing on health for everyone through education. Ascension Borgess Health Club Sponsored Ascension Borgess Health Club– 3025 Gull Rd, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, Monthly – 2nd Wednesday, Free and all are welcome. 269-381-1986. ThriverTalks@gmail.com

DECEMBER 12 – 14 Scholastic Book Fairs Warehouse Sale

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Thursday 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Large book sale offering deep discounts. Admission is free. For more information call 800-843-0112 or visit www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/ warehouse

DECEMBER 14 – 15 Holiday Flea Market

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Saturday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Special 2-day Holiday Market! Come check out the market for some great deals and great

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MAGAZINE | EXPO

December 2019

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merchandise! Choose from new and used items, antiques, handcrafted items, seasonal items, and much more! 65 Booths Available! For booth space call 269-383-8778 or visit www. kalamazooexpocenter.com

Kalamazoo Gun & Knife Show

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Presented by Sport Shows Promotion. Admission: Adults $6, Children 12 and under are free. No one under 18 is admitted without a parent or guardian. For more information call 517-676-4160 or email sportshows@gmail.com www.migunshows.com

DECEMBER 16

Mystery Book Club

Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Dr. 6:30 p.m. Featured book is The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen. Free. 269343-7747. Parchmentlibrary.org

DECEMBER 21

Donuts & Discussion: Stories Postcards Tell

Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Dr. 10:30 a.m. Wally Jung of the Southwest Michigan Post

Call to Schedule:

269 - 63 9 -1 515

Card Club will share the fascinating stories that can be deduced from postcards. Free. 269-343-7747. Parchmentlibrary.org

Santa Skate

The Ice Rink at Millennium Park, Portage 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Join us for an afternoon of fun on the ice with Jolly Old St. Nick.

Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo

Kalamazoo County Expo Center; 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Buy, sell or trade a variety of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and other exotic pets, supplies & food. Admission: Adults $5, Children $2, Children under 6 free, Family Max - $20. For more information contact Tony at 269-779-9851 or tonygcollison@gmail.com. Visit www. kalamazooreptileexpo.com.

DECEMBER 27

Comstock Lions Club Bingo

Kalamazoo County Expo Center 6:30 PM. Play Bingo on the following Friday nights in December: 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th. with all proceeds going toward community projects.

Feb. 16, 2020 Radisson Plaza Hotel

Family fun!

We’re in your neighborhood!

A FREE day of family fun and connection! Exhibits, music, activities, learning, community and more!

Residential Cleaning Commercial Cleaning Home Watch Services Handyman Services

Family Owned & Serving Southwest Michigan! www.coastalclean.net

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December 2019

Become an exhibitor

Your business or organization can be part of the upcoming Kzoo Baby & Family Expo!

Find out more kzoofamilyexpo.com 269-350-5227 WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com


AMELIA LIETZAU Commercial Realtor® 269-823-3572 bartongroupllc.com

2413 Parkview Ave | 269-553-6506 kazoobooks.com

RomenceGardensonline.com 9660 Shaver Rd. Portage

Here’s your connection to the local businesses we know you love to support. Independent businesses & the people they serve are what makes our community so strong.

Your event has to be spectacular...

www.LeesAdventureSports.com 311 W Kilgore, Kalamazoo

4608 W Main St

fb: DiscoveryShopKalamazoo (269) 345-0661

Let us show you how. (269) 324-0999 UnitedRental.biz Governor’s Energy Excellency Award 2017 Contractor of the Year

Helping families find their Dream Home since 2004!

theBetterWorldBuilders.com | 269-383-7862

curves.com 600 Romence Rd #130, Portage, MI

Capture the Power of Print www.printmill.com ∙ 269-382-0428

LawtonRidgeWinery.com (269) 372-9463 SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

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Kalamazoo’s local drug testing lab forensicfluids.com | 866.492.2517

Leading Men's & Women's Specialty Store 1028 East Cork | www.Libins.com (269) 381-0746

Dawn Beltz (269) 720-1682

Sawall Health Foods sawallhf.com 762 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI (269) 345-6755

www.comensolis.com

December 2019

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Experience the Magic of Henderson Castle

HENDERSON CASTLE CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

100 Monroe St, Kalamazoo www.hendersoncastle.com 269-344-1827

Profile for Women's LifeStyle of Southwest Michigan

Create Joy - December 2019  

Our focus for this month will be the Holidays. This edition also includes giving your Holidays a special touch, festive recipes, home decora...

Create Joy - December 2019  

Our focus for this month will be the Holidays. This edition also includes giving your Holidays a special touch, festive recipes, home decora...