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Current Issue

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A Weekend in Washington, D.C.

A Weekend in Washington, D.C.

By Trish Utter My daughter and our friend, Chery Regan, were in Washington D.C. for a weekend. A trip that included a visit to Congressman Ted Yoho and a drive through the More »

Exciting and New at Disney World

Exciting and New at Disney World

If you live in Florida you have probably been to Walt Disney World a hundred times. But have you visited Pandora, The World of Avatar? This opened in May 2017 at Animal More »

Medical Center on the Move

Medical Center on the Move

The amount of growth that North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC) has undergone within the past year is vast. Among the developments, are both an AHCA certification and a DNV accreditation as More »

Building Your Dream Home

Building Your Dream Home

Step inside your new Hartley Home and be WOWED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by Ruth Ward Hartley Brothers was founded back in 1980 by Robert and his younger brother Phil. They initially worked as carpenters framing More »

Cars, Champagne & Movie Stars!

Cars, Champagne & Movie Stars!

by Trish Utter I admit it…I have a problem…a car problem. I adore exotic cars, the roar of the engine excites me and a need for speed runs through my veins. I have More »


A Change of Heart

By Anya Mayr

Since the Gainesville-based hospital implemented the minimally-invasive surgery into the Heart & Vascular Program, the cardiothoracic team at North Florida Regional Medical Center, along with its team of highly-skilled cardiac professionals, has been helping patients have a drastic “change of heart.”

33480, the Richest Zip Code in the US!

By Trish Utter

The doorman whisked the car away. We walked through a small, tropical courtyard and ushered to a desk in the lobby that was filled with roses. A glass of sherry was put in my hand along with a… key! Yes, the Chesterfield gives you a brass key. The glass of sherry made me laugh as it brought back memories of my Scottish aunt who always offered sherry to her guests upon their arrival… a good old British tradition for arriving guests.

My daughter and I had arrived at the Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach, located in a residential neighborhood of multimillion-dollar estates and three blocks from the beach. It’s around the corner from the famous Worth Avenue. The property is part of the British-owned Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The hotel was built in 1926 and is part of the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation and a historic landmark.

Oil paintings from England are scattered throughout the property. A painting of Sir Winston Churchill hangs in the beautiful conference room and a photograph of Margaret Thatcher, who stayed here, is in the library. Guests have included Cyndi Lauper, Tommy Hilfiger, Mike Wallace and an endless list of others.

Along with vast displays of flowers are dishes of candy and freshly baked cookies, all for guests to nibble on…free of charge. We took the small elevator to the third floor, which is the top floor of this small, boutique property with just fifty-three exquisite rooms. Our room was filled with beautiful, white Florida-style furniture and plantation shutters filtered the afternoon sun onto patterned carpet. We both immediately got on the free Wi-Fi that was super easy to access, so that we could post our photos of this jewel box of a hotel. A real, red carnation was in our room which is a symbol of the hotel chain. As we unpacked, I noticed that there was a fridge with free bottles of water and lots and lots of room to hang clothes and put everything we had brought away. And believe me, two girls in a hotel room for a week bring a lot of stuff!

Local Celebrity Spotlight: Donna Cohen

Donna Cohen is a very talented interior designer that lives in Gainesville and works in our local area. You will find her at many charitable events either volunteering or as a guest.

Where are you from, when did you move to Gainesville, and why?

I was born in the small town of Granville in upstate New York. I went to school in Boston, and was home for a summer after working in Boston between jobs.

I met David, my husband, and that was it! It’s funny because the women in the family knew of him as we had been shopping in his family stores since I was a teenager! We were getting tired of the cold and a business opportunity came up in Ocala. When he came home one day and asked, “Do you want to move to Florida?” I jumped at the chance. David had a condo in Boca Raton on the ocean so I thought, “great”! Can you imagine the night we arrived in Ocala 30 years ago…CULTURE SHOCK! We stopped to get gas and I couldn’t get over all the trucks with guns on them! A friend that we knew said, “You cannot live in Ocala…Gainesville is a university town”, so we took his advice and here we are…. love it now!

How do you relax?

I relax by lighting a candle, pouring a glass of wine, and then cooking!
Where do you like to go for a weekend getaway and why? I like to go to St. Augustine to relax, or NYC for my city fix!

What do you listen to in your car?

I listen to Sports Talk Radio… every day! I love Brady, Shane, Steve, Pat, Jeff, and Zach – the local guys on there.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

Well, this isn’t what I was expecting to write about in this issue, but it is something we all have to face at some point. I recently had a friend who was like a second mother to me pass away. Her daughter is my age and we have grown up together, almost as though we were sisters.

No one teaches you how to handle death. Unlike a wedding, no one talks about what to expect, and most of the time there is no planning.

I have had lots of experience in this arena, as my parents passed away when I was younger, so I had to handle everything. Being financially taken advantage of with funeral arrangements was something that I had experienced. It’s such an emotional time that you will sign just about anything to get it over with. I’m glad that I could help my friend. No one should go through this alone.

Is a Hamburger Healthier than your Salad?

You want to get in shape and lose pounds and you have been ordering salads when you go out for a meal, but don’t see results. You might as well have ordered a huge hamburger and fries if you chose the Quesadilla Explosion Salad at Chili’s that packs 1,360 calories and 88 grams of fat. A Big Mac from McDonalds has 540 calories and 28 grams of fat…hmmm, hamburger please!

Do you know that what you put on your salad at a salad bar can change your salad from being a healthy meal to being junk food?

Dried cranberries seem like a healthy and tasty choice to top your salad with, but surprisingly, just a third of a cup of them contains 123 calories. That’s a lot of sugar without much of a health benefit.

One cup of fresh grapes has 104 calories, but one cup of raisins packs 434 calories!

Fresh fruit is a better choice. It has more volume and water, which will keep you feeling full and keep you from reaching for a candy bar.

SLIDE into Fashion

by Ruth Ward

When you think of slides, you probably think of Nike or Adidas with their rubber slides that athletes wear, or European tourists that shuffle around theme parks in them. However, this trend in fashion is steaming hot.

I love my flip-flops, but they give your feet no support, and after a while your feet ache. Not to mention that flip flops are never dressy or stylish. If only you could blend flip flops with the comfort of sneakers and the look of a sexy stiletto pump. Well, welcome the…SLIDE!

Music legend Rihanna started the craze with her fur, Fenty Puma collection of slides that sell for around $90. In fact, her brand is so hot that many of her slides are sold out. Kylie Jenner has her own line of slides that come in pink or black with the Kylie Cosmetics logo on them.

Slides have become chic and trendy. They can be worn with anything, for any occasion. Designers have caught onto the fashion craze. Now, luxury brands such as Channel, Gucci, Givenchy, Prada, Versace, Steve Madden, and many others, offer slides. For about $800 you can slide into a pair of Louis Vuitton Mules – yes they don’t call them slides. When they cost that much, they become…Mules!

Am I Saving Money with a Store Credit Card?

by Joe Hancock

I was in one of my favorite retail stores, and to my delight, many things were on sale. When I checked out, the sales assistant asked me if I wanted to open a store credit card, as I would save even more money on my purchases. At first I thought that sounded great, that I could open it and then close it in a few weeks. This way, I could get my savings. But, is this a good idea or should retail credit promotions set off alarm bells in your head?

Joe Hancock with Union Home Mortgage says … NO, don’t do it! “When you open a store credit card, this will potentially lower your credit score, and it is really bad if you have opened a few of these types of accounts in just a few months. Store credit cards usually have high interest rates and again, this will hurt your credit score.”

Credit Tips To improve your Credit Score

What’s your FICO score? This is a question many of us hear, especially when applying for credit. If your score is low, it can cost you thousands in higher interest rates, higher insurance rates, and even may cost you a job opportunity.

Pest Control & Tequila… What’s Not to Love about BATS!

by Brian Pope

Insects love Florida. In fact, mosquitoes love Florida so much that eighty species have decided to become our permanent neighbors – this is more than any other state! Of those, thirteen are capable of transmitting pathogens that cause diseases in animals and humans, including heartworm and West Nile virus.

Luckily, we have a line of defense that few of us see, and even less can “hear” – our native bats.

Nine species live in Alachua County, including the beautiful Eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis) and the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis). The latter can be found in massive numbers at the UF bat houses, where hundreds of thousands live within the structures. As Director of Lubee Bat Conservancy, I have a unique opportunity to work with bats from all over the world. Our center houses 200 bats, representing ten species, including the Malayan flying fox which can attain a 6 foot wingspan! We are also actively involved in field work, acoustic surveys, bat house construction/installation, and exclusion work. One interesting aspect of my job is that I get to “listen” to the bats whenever we deploy our acoustic monitors, generously provided by Normandeau Associates, Inc. The devices record bat echolocation calls via a sensitive microphone. This information is recorded onto a mobile computer and the data is uploaded to a server. The calls are then cleaned up and available for analysis, sometimes thousands for each night of recording. It’s my job to look at each call’s frequency and shape to determine which species are in the area. It’s amazing to listen to a world that we don’t even know is around us.