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Preparing for The Big Day

June 1, 2016 on 4:36 am | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

You’ve been dreaming about wedding dresses and cake toppers since you were in practically in pre-K, but this is the real world and real decisions have to be made real fast.

Since the average engagement lasts about 16 months, you’ll need to hustle, and unfortunately there’s just no stress like wedding-planning stress, which can turn any blushing bride into a bridezilla.

Thankfully, PBG Lifestyle Magazine is here with a variety of vendors that offer the area’s very best in style, selection and personalized service.


On the next few pages you’ll find out where to get the latest fashion trends from jewelry, gowns and tuxedos to services that will help you get organized, get a glowing smile, tone and tighten up that body, along with a few magical places to say, “I do,” that will serve as the perfect backdrop to a photo op coordinated by an expert photographer.

The Tux Shop
Let’s face it: In the whirlwind of wedding planning, the groom is often overlooked. Not so at the Tux Shop, widely known as a bridal shop for grooms, where he’s the star of the show.

“I have created a rental atmosphere that resembles a retail experience,” said Owner Susan Damon.

Just as a bride is catered to when shopping for her gown, grooms are perfectly fitted with complimentary alterations on tuxedo rentals. Grooms look exquisitely tailored in a custom-fitted tux that you won’t find at any other rental shop.

“The fit I can offer our clients is cutting-edge and in the forefront of industry trends. If it’s the classics, my store caters to that look,” Damon said. “If it doesn’t exist, my staff and I can create it – that’s simply unheard of for the big box chains.”

The Tux Shop is located at 4550 PGA Blvd., Suite 105 in Palm Beach Gardens. For more information, call (561) 626-8899 or visit www.tuxshoppalmbeach.com.

Bacio Bacio Bridal Salon
Wedding trends may come and go, but one thing the staff at Bacio Bacio knows is that good service never goes out of style.

This boutique bridal salon believes in a one-stop-shop approach where you can find your gown, shoes, veil and accessories, then put them all on and experience a true “Cinderella” moment.

With sage advice from the experts, Bacio Bacio offers the latest styles and trends.

“Feminine, simple gowns and two-piece looks are super trendy this season,” said Lenyce Boyd, operations manager. “We’re seeing more dramatic ball gowns with layered organza, tulle and combinations of fabrics – sheer, detailed backs and glamor are in and everywhere.”

The boys will appreciate their fully loaded tuxedo and suit rental department. As well, a new resortwear department offers everything you’ll need for the honeymoon.

Bacio Bacio Bridal Salon is located at 9160 Forest Hill Blvd., in the Kobosko’s Crossing Shopping Center in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 792-6111 or visit www.baciobacio.com.

Borrowed & Blue
If you live on Pinterest, Borrowed & Blue is the wedding site for you. Fusing inspiration and planning, users dream in stunning images, choosing color, theme, season and market area to target vendors who can bring their visions to life.

“On the web or through our mobile app, couples can discover local wedding vendors through real-life examples of their work,” said Co-Founder/CEO Adam Healey.

Vendors basically interact with clients by showing off their wares; the more content they submit, the more likely they are to be discovered by a couple researching in their market.

“Couples love our deeply researched, fanatically local content,” said Healey. “They also love our trustworthy approach: real couples, real weddings published on the site, providing vendor reviews for the most reliable, authenticated feedback.”

For more information, visit www.borrowedandblue.com.

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa
If you’re looking for the ultimate in VIP treatment, host your wedding at Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s beachfront playground, Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa in Vero Beach, where it just doesn’t get any more exclusive.

“We execute only one wedding at a time, so each bride and groom get our undivided attention on their big day,” said Kasie Parsons, executive meeting manager. “From our kitchen to our beaches, each team member at the resort dedicates their time to ensuring each wedding goes off without a hitch.”

The natural beauty of the area coupled with the resort’s Miami-inspired art-deco chic style will make your wedding photos pop.

“The Treasure Coast makes it gorgeous,” Parsons said. “We make it easy.”

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa is located at 3244 Ocean Dr. in Vero Beach. For more information, call (772) 562-9919 or visit www.costadeste.com. 

Beautifully Composed Photography by Erica Hernandez
For wedding photography, capturing the moment is critical, but having the photo actually express a couple’s personality and love for each other is sheer artistry – that’s the magic that Erica Hernandez makes.

“Conveying the couple’s personal style is a must,” said Hernandez. “What are words that describe the both of you? Fun, energetic, romantic, silly, adventurous, or whatever it may be, I want to make sure that each photo is conveying who the both of you are.”

Hernandez’ expert eye is keenly aware of lighting, color and composition. From posed photos to spontaneous candids, her shots will bring your wedding day back to life every time you look back at your photos.

For more information, visit www.beautifullycomposed.com or email beautifullycomposed@gmail.com.

Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry
When it comes to a style campaign, nobody trumps Ivanka Trump, who continues to up her game with her signature jewelry collection.

Ivanka’s latest inspiration comes from the artsy side of Paris; the Montmartre Collection evokes classic romance with old-world sophistication. With a nod to the Art Deco era, the collection conjures up images of quaint cobblestone streets, with a mixture of different sizes and shapes woven throughout.

Brides will love this classic look that’s also thoroughly modern. The pieces are versatile enough to go from day to night and can be worn whenever she’d like to make a statement.

The 14 pieces in the collection would make thoughtful bridesmaid gifts and could help you score big points with your future mother-in-law.

Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry is sold locally at Betteridge Jewelers, located at 236 Worth Ave. in Palm Beach.

Davidoff Studios Photography
Things have been happily clicking away at Davidoff Studios, where they have been capturing memories in stunning pictures for more than 50 years.

The Davidoff family has been synonymous with photography since patriarch Bob Davidoff was a house photographer at The Breakers Hotel as well as the Kennedy family during the Camelot years. His son Daryl Davidoff has been telling love stories with his camera for 30 years.

On the big day, Davidoff relies on his experience and instincts.

“I have an eye for composition from my days in the darkroom making prints,” Davidoff said. “It helps me to convey the couple’s personal style. I can usually tell if they want posed shots or want to cut loose and have some fun with it.”

The results are timeless treasures.

“I go the extra mile to make photos perfect. I take every shot personally.”

Davidoff Studios is located at 136 Greenbrier Dr. in Palm Springs. For more information, visit www.davidoffstudios.com or call (561) 655-1164.

Loews Don CeSar Hotel
On her wedding day, the bride should feel like a princess, so why not get married in a palace?

The Loews Don CeSar Hotel, commonly referred to as the Pink Palace, is just the place. Reminiscent of an era of romance and elegance, you’d expect Gatsby himself to be perched at the bar.

“With its storied past, beautiful architecture, striking color and grandeur, The Loews Don CeSar is an outstanding wedding venue because it exudes a class-meets-comfort vibe,” said Lauren Jones, associate director of catering and conference management.

The location may draw couples to wed at this oceanfront icon, but it’s the commitment to service that makes their day magical.

“Couples love having their wedding at The Don because they are confident in our team’s execution and first-class service.”

The Loews Don CeSar Hotel is located at 3400 Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete Beach. For more information, visit www.loewshotels.com/don-cesar or call (727) 363-5042 or (800) 282-1116.

Gardens Dental Spa
There is no beauty accessory that outshines a beautiful smile; it’s time to get yours.

“What better way to complement a wedding gown or tuxedo than with a beautiful, bright white smile?” said Dr. Heather Kaufman, who noted that cosmetic options at GDS range from teeth whitening to full-mouth porcelain veneers. She suggests coming in two months prior to the big day to get your smile camera ready.

Dr. Kaufman and Dr. William Strauss, along with their dedicated staff, strive to earn their patients’ trust and smiles, whether they are seeking general, restorative or cosmetic dental services. And if four members of the bridal party buy Zoom whitening, the bride gets hers free!

Gardens Dental Spa is located at 11380 Prosperity Farms Rd., Suite 109 in Palm Beach Gardens. For more information, call (561) 799-7791 or visit www.gardensdentalspa.com

Centers for Health Promotion, LLC
Get your booty and body into sleek perfection to fill out that gown in all the right places with procedures to sculpt, lift and tuck.

“Simply put, if you are a candidate, it puts the curves where they aren’t,” said Dr. Dwight Reynolds of the Centers for Health Promotion.

Show off your best assets.

Reynolds added that “one of the hottest things women are doing today is suture suspension buttock lift with real sutures,” a procedure he pioneered.

With nearly 20 years of cosmetic surgery and more than 80,000 procedures under his belt, you’ll be in good hands with Dr. Reynolds.

CHP also offers ways to make your skin glow, your lips luscious and basically make you feel fabulous.

The Centers for Health Promotion is located at 915 Middle River Dr., Suite 305 in Fort Lauderdale and 1809 SE Port Saint Lucie Blvd. in Port Saint Lucie. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call (855) LIPODR1 (547-6371) or visit www.lipodr.com

Let Them Eat Cake – SunFest lights up with Steve Aoki’s brand of entertainment: dancing, crowd surfing and flying confections

May 1, 2016 on 4:24 pm | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

Steve Aoki can’t actually be human; the 38-year-old DJ, electro house musician, record producer and music executive must be running on some endless supply of adrenaline as he moves through this world in a blur of constant motion. And forget about his onstage energy – that’s another story. 


Over the course of just 48 hours, Aoki has dropped a new single – a collaboration with fellow DJ Felix Jaehn and American Idol alum Adam Lambert called “Can’t Go Home” – wrapped up a tour in Asia and boarded a flight back home to Vegas, all while celebrating the 20th birthday of his own record label, Dim Mak Records.

Aoki will perform 24 shows between April 1 and August 27, crisscrossing the country from Amherst, Mass., down to Jacksonville and across to Las Vegas all before coming to play with us here at SunFest on April 29. As he eases into summer, he’ll hit Mexico, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Aoki performs an average of 250 shows a year.

During Aoki’s whirlwind tour came the release of a documentary based on his life, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in mid-April.

With miles to go before he sleeps, Aoki touches ground in Vegas for a brief moment before trekking up north. In this small window of opportunity, he takes a few minutes to speak with PBG Lifestyle about his recent work.

“It’s really moving, it’s a great collaboration of three different worlds,” Aoki said of the new single. “Felix Jaehn is in a completely different world of electronic music. We worked months and months. Adam’s just about the best vocalist I’ve ever worked with.

“Fans have made this record a significant song for the country,” he added. “My fans surround a record and prop it up. It’s just incredible the amounts of fans that are supporting the record because of the collaboration. Now I get to see the full force of Adam Lambert fans, how they really can drive the ecosystem of music outside of radio.”

Ask why Aoki is the subject of the latest documentary by director Justin Krook and producers Matthew Weaver and David Gelb – the pair behind Jiro Dreams of Sushi in 2011 and Chefs Table in 2015 – and he can’t really give a definitive answer.

“The approach they took is [to] focus on this one guy and why they chose me, I can’t tell you,” Aoki said. “They followed me for three years. We went to Japan, they interviewed my family. We went through some personal stuff. The way they were telling the story, I was okay with it; they’re telling something that hasn’t been told.”

Delve into it further and Aoki explains the similarities of Jiro Dreams of Sushi and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. The former isn’t just about sushi, but rather about the 85-year-old sushi master’s relationship with his oldest son and heir apparent. The latter follows Aoki’s rise in the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) world but really, it’s about his relationship with family, especially his father, former wrestler and founder of the popular Benihana restaurant chain.

“For many people my life is very visible right now; my life is played out on YouTube,” Aoki said. “I have a series; people follow me 24/7 around the world. My life is on social media. The story they tell is less about that and something that I never really talk about, my father, my relationship with my dad, it’s in that direction. The EDM side of things is more of the background music. It’s my relationship with my dad which is good, and rocky – his name is Rocky. I love my father and I rebelled against him. It’s more that kind of story.”

As for the story of EDM, Aoki went into it full steam, recording his first demo at 16. He says he was obsessed. His collaborations read like a who’s who list in the music industry, including Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon, Afrojack, LMFAO, Laidback Luke and will.i.am.

His obsession has paid off, bringing in a slew of awards including Billboard’s Best Mix Album of the Year 2008 for Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles and a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album for Wonderland. Last year Billboard Magazine named Aoki one of the 14 Most Powerful Artists in EDM.

“The 2012 Grammy nomination was a huge deal for me,” said Aoki. “I started to take music more seriously.”

Aoki’s 2014 release, Neon Future I and the 2015 Neon Future II is an epic series with a common thread: “It’s a story about my obsession with science and technology merging with humanity and singularity, where all kinds of different people are talking about the future.”

But it’s the music and high-octane energy wave that the fans want to ride at his live shows. Be prepared for plenty of fist pumping, jumping, dancing and champagne spraying. You’re also likely to see Aoki at the helm of a blow-up raft riding through the crowd, and leave room for dessert, because he’s known to pummel the crowd with giant cake – ice cream not included.

Break from the Everyday with these Extraordinary Escapes

March 28, 2016 on 4:16 pm | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

There’s a wonderful quote from an anonymous source: “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Any of us who have traveled across the globe or across the country can attest to it.

It’s no secret that travel soothes the soul, but according to scientific research, travel is also good for your health. You boost your immunity by exposing your body to different antibodies from a new environment, expand your mind by exploring new cultures, and keep fit by schlepping your bags and running after planes, trains and automobiles. It all does a body good.

If you’re looking for a great escape but don’t know where to start, the following list will provide you with destinations both near and far that not only delight, but downright dazzle – and we’ve even thrown in a trusted source to guide you on your journey.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there.

The Inn on Fifth
699 Fifth Avenue S, Naples
(888) 403-8778 | www.innonfifth.com

In real estate, they say that location isn’t everything – it’s the only thing. The same is true of the Inn on Fifth and Club Level Suites; you’re in the heart of all the fun with 32 restaurants, 53 shops, the theater and the beach all just a hop, skip and jump away.

The Inn on Fifth is staying ahead of the Joneses by constantly reinventing themselves. New executive chef David Nelson aims to do that in the kitchen by matching the ambience of Avenue5 to the excitement that appears on your plate. The Inn also boasts a newly renovated 3,600-square-foot pool deck, and if that’s not relaxing enough, head up to the third floor and find Shangri-La at the award-winning Spa on Fifth, now with a completely redesigned interior and luxurious new treatment options, offering something for “every body.”

It’s no wonder that the Inn on Fifth’s Club Level Suites have once again earned a four-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide.

Park Hyatt Mallorca
Balearic Islands, Spain
+34 871 81 1234 | mallorca.park.hyatt.com

Park Hyatt, known for its sophisticated elegance and luxury all over the world, is set to dip its toe deep into the Mediterranean with a new resort in Spain, the Park Hyatt Mallorca, opening this spring in Spain’s scenic Balearic Islands.

As the first Park Hyatt Resort in Europe, Park Hyatt Mallorca features a 24-hour fitness center, wellness center and spa that offers signature treatments using therapies inspired by local minerals, fruits and vegetables. Guests can also enjoy alpine walking, horseback trekking, on- and off-road cycling and deep-sea fishing.

Being a member of the Grupo Cap Vermell enables Park Hyatt Mallorca guests access to the facilities of the adjacent country club, which include a sports field, tennis courts, an indoor and outdoor pool, and a nearby beach club.

Dining will be an exotic experience, as a range of cuisines are presented in a village square setting. Dishes are prepared using the freshest local ingredients, sustainably caught fish, free-range poultry and farm-grown vegetables.(Photos provided by Park Hyatt Mallorca)

The Gates Hotel Key West
3824 N Roosevelt Blvd., Key West
(305) 320-0930 | www.gateshotelkeywest.com

If you’re looking for an effortless island getaway paired with an authentic Key West experience, look no further than The Gates Hotel Key West.

The Keys has long been known for its laidback, beachy atmosphere, and this ambience carries over to The Gates; it will feel less like you’re checking into a hotel and more like staying at a friend’s house, minus the meddlesome roommates.

Enjoy that home-away-from-home feeling as The Gates’ friendly staff steer you in the right direction, right off the beaten path. The hotel staff, all Key West residents, can provide some insider info and access to the best places that are uniquely Key West.

However, you really never have to leave the property to have a good time, as Rum Row, the hotel’s very own pool bar, creates its own magic fueled by drink specials and live local musicians. Then saunter up to The Blind Pig, the hotel’s onsite food truck, for a bite of “Conch fusion” cuisine inspired by the Keys’ Cuban, Bahamian, Caribbean and Floridian roots.

Palm Beach Gardens Travel Leaders
11360 N Jog Rd. Bldg. A, Suite 102, PBG
(561) 694-9696 | www.travelleaders.com/pbgfl

Palm Beach Gardens Travel Leaders performs miracles daily by transforming those few precious vacation days into uniquely tailored adventures, and in doing so, creating a treasure trove of memories.

“I personally specialize in love, adventure, romance and rejuvenation,” said Beverly Kelly, PBGTL’s honeymoon & destination wedding specialist. “Helping people escape everyday life for the perfect honeymoon, destination wedding, anniversary trip, spa or friends getaway doesn’t seem like work.”

This family-run business has been making travelers’ dreams come true since 1988 with the mission of taking the unwanted surprises out of travel and giving their clients peace of mind.

“It’s taking the extra step throughout the entire process that ensures our clients have great vacation experiences.”

For nearly 28 years, Palm Beach Gardens Travel Leaders has been designing custom vacations for ambitious globetrotters who want to explore the four corners of the earth as well as those planning family fun at Disney.

“The journeys we create for our clients are personal,” said Kelly. “We make them uniquely theirs.”

To continue reading this story please purchase the magazine. It can be ordered online or picked up at a retail location near you.

Supplying the teacher

January 26, 2016 on 5:05 pm | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments


Michelle's-blog-310The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County knows that sometimes, an apple for the teacher is just not enough, so they dug deep and came up with a way to help.

The Foundation recently opened their first pop-up store, Red Apple Supplies at Rosenwald Elementary in South Bay. The store is in the business of supplying teachers of Title 1 schools with the things they so desperately need to do their jobs – for free.


“When the Foundation was surveying teachers prior to our visit, we were devastated to learn that many teachers scrap entire lessons or projects due to lack of supplies,” said Laura Bessinger-Morse, program officer for the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. “Classrooms simply didn’t have what they needed to do the work. We heard stories about children who fight over pencils because there aren’t enough to go around.”

Teachers have the opportunity to shop, but nobody pays because all of the items are donated. The entire system operates through a network of partnerships, fundraising, volunteerism and support from the community. According to Bessinger-Morse, in a few years Red Apple may provide millions of dollars in support to Palm Beach County’s highest needs classrooms.

“We will continue the mobile operation to Rosenwald and Canal Point Elementary Schools in the Glades area so those teachers don’t have to cross the county to shop,” said Bessinger-Morse. “But our two other pilot schools, Roosevelt and UB Kinsey Elementary Schools, will be able to visit our new store location on Florida Avenue.”

The recently acquired facility on Florida Avenue in West Palm Beach will open for shopping days with their partner schools this spring. The goal is to be able to serve six to eight schools by the end of this school year.

Bessinger-Morse said that teachers are giving Red Apple an A+.

“Once teachers understood what the Education Foundation was providing, they told us this store is a game-changer,” said Bessinger-Morse. “They just want their students to be able to concentrate on learning – and not come to class worried about borrowing supplies or nervous to ask for a pencil.”

For more information, visit www.educationfoundationpbc.org or call (561) 434-7303.

Wedding Day Bliss

June 8, 2015 on 9:06 am | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

If there are visions of big white dresses dancing in your head, you must be in the throes of wedding planning. Typically the five-hour expensaganza takes months to plan and is sadly over in just the blink of an eye. It’s bound to discombobulate any blushing bride.wedding-day-bliss

Keep calm and carry on – PBG Lifestyle is more helpful than your diva tribe of bridesmaids. We’ve taken all the legwork out of wedding planning and compiled some of the best vendors around. We’ll show you who can get you camera ready with a polished-to-perfection complexion, a pearly white smile and the most breathtaking gown, while carrying just the right bouquet down the aisle – not to mention the perfect photographer, who will snap the two of you in a timeless pose that you’ll treasure forever.

A healthy fix: Fresh Healthy Vending

You recognize that feeling – crash and burn – and now you can hear your stomach growling to you in four different languages. It’s 3 p.m. and your body is calling for a “pick me up.”Michelles-blog-257

Unfortunately that “pick me up” is a “never should have picked that up,” high-fat, high-sugar snack grabbed from the notorious dealer of afternoon garbage, the vending machine.

It’s 2015; finding healthier choices just got easier with Fresh Healthy Vending.

This isn’t your mama’s vending machine. Fresh Healthy Vending machines are high-tech, sleek and loaded with delicious healthy snacks.

“People want healthy options in their communities,” said Brian Fettner, a local franchisee. “In schools specifically, the snacks offered in the machines are intended to align students’ snack and beverage vending machine choices with the federal regulations regarding Smart Snacks contained in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. The machines will provide students with access to healthy snack and beverage options such as smoothies, natural juices, fruit, granola bars, baked chips and natural sodas.”

The vending machines are state-of-the-art; although they accept cash, there’s no need to search for money. They also take credit and debit cards, or you can pay with your smartphone – they even play games.

The machines have refrigerated areas so they can offer perishable foods like fruit, veggies, yogurts and smoothies. They also have traditional fare like healthier versions of chips and cookies.

Forget the late afternoon coffee-shop run, Healthy Vending Café serves up gourmet, freshly ground organic coffee, cappuccinos, lattes and espressos – and the goodies that go with them.

Healthy doesn’t necessarily come with a hefty price tag.

“The way we are able to supply them gives our customers the opportunity to purchase healthy snacks for around the same price as traditional junk food vending machines,” said Fettner.

It’s the perfect pairing – convenient and healthy.

“Obviously people go wrong on healthy eating due to convenience,” said Fettner, “Fast food chains are one of the largest industries because of that, but accessible healthy vending alleviates that.”

To find out more about getting a Fresh Healthy Vending machine in your location or for franchise opportunities, visit www.freshvending.com.

A creative lunch

A 20th birthday party is a big deal, especially if you’re an institution in Palm Beach County that strives to bring the arts, culture and education to area school children.

The Center for Creative Education will mark the occasion at their annual luncheon on

April 8 at 11:30 at a beautiful lakefront home in Palm Beach.Michelles-blog-259-second-photo

“The Center for Creative Education Luncheon is always a fan favorite,” said Margie Larkin, director of marketing and communications, “but this year will be especially great as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our organization that uses the arts to open children up to learning.”

The CCE is pulling out all the stops to celebrate as well as raise money for all the wonderful things they do for Palm Beach County kids.

“People will be able to see their donations at work during the luncheon,” said Larkin. “We will be treated to a visit from one of the schools that CCE teaching artists have been working with, Freedom Shores Elementary [in Boynton Beach].”

Last year CCE provided both in-school and after-school programming classes for 12,500 students, many who are considered at risk of failure.

“Not only does CCE work with students who lag behind and are able to catch up to their peers using the visual learning that art provides, but we work with accelerated students to help them excel,” said Larkin.

Co-Chairmen Talbott Maxey, Tom Quick and Tricia Quick and Honorary Chairmen Maura Ziska Christu and Susan Miller are hard at work to make this year’s event the most successful yet.

“As a nonprofit we need to raise more than $1.2 million a year to continue to serve the same number of children we serve now,” said Larkin. “That says nothing of all the children who are on the waiting list, hoping to get into CCE classes. The money raised at the luncheon helps us reach more of these kids.”

Tickets are $300 per person; tables of 10 are available for $2,750. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (561) 805-9927 or visit www.cceflorida.org.

It’s what you can’t see

April 3, 2015 on 11:58 am | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

I’ve been a walking poster child for hypothyroidism for nearly 20 years, with practically every symptom in the book. Like a Sherpa I went from doctor to doctor carrying my lab results with me, only to hear that my blood tests are all in “normal” range.

Each doctor looked at me with all the sympathy they could muster:hyperthyroidism

“Honey, it’s your age, you’re probably perimenopausal. You have kids, of course you’re stressed,” … “I’m tired, you’re tired, everyone is exhausted,” and my favorite, “Eat less, exercise more.”

I was typically sent off with a prescription for an anti-depressant and a lecture on the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Had the doctor asked, he’d know I haven’t eaten flour, sugar or any processed foods since last summer.

I finally decided to go to an endocrinologist and low and behold, she confirmed my suspicions about having hypothyroidism.

How did she catch what so many have missed?

It’s because she did three things: she actually considered my symptoms; she tested differently, looking at antibodies; and she looked at the total picture, not just the numbers.

According to www.thyroid.org, approximately 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease don’t know it and one woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime.

The internet is loaded with both credible and incredible information; www.stopthethyroidmadness.com and www.hypothyroidmom.com are just a couple.

My doctor said thyroid medication for patients with hypothyroidism is “life changing.”

Although I was skeptical, after taking it, I felt an immediate difference in my energy level and mood.

If the following list of symptoms describes you, ask to see an endocrinologist, they specialize in treating disorders of the endocrine system – pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes and pancreas.

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight (despite reduced food intake)
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido

You don’t have to exhibit every one of these symptoms to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

Most importantly, remember that it’s not in your head. You’re not crazy; find a good doctor.

Make Your Escape: Decadent Dining & Dazzling Dalliances Await You at These Delightful Destinations

March 26, 2015 on 12:02 pm | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

Americans are notorious workaholics. Last year we took less vacation time than we have in the last four decades, and according to travel website Skift, almost 42 percent of Americans didn’t take any vacation days in 2014.

If you think you’re increasing your productivity, think again. Dr. Mark Rosekind, researcher at Alertness Solutions, found that taking that taking time off can increase productivity by 80 percent.

So get out there and enjoy some good ol’ R&R – you’ve earned it!

Too busy to work out your travel plans? Not a problem – PBG Lifestyle has found some great escapes both near and far that should get you started.

The Inn on Fifth
699 Fifth Ave. S (Naples) | (888) 403-8778 | www.innonfifth.com

Just a hop, skip and a stretch across the Sunshine State is the fabulous Inn on Fifth and Club Level Suites in downtown Naples. The Inn boasts 119 well-appointed rooms and a location that can’t be beat – it’s surrounded by trendy restaurants, upscale boutiques and cool art galleries, and is also a mere half-mile from the white, sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

Forbes Travel Guide has awarded the Club Level Suites its Four-Star rating, and that says a lot about what is special at the Inn on Fifth,” said Cathy Christopher, director of sales & marketing.

Be sure to take a trip to the third floor where you’ll find nirvana at the feng shui-inspired Spa on Fifth. Gourmet dining is just steps away at the high-energy restaurant Avenue5, which offers a broad menu of classic American cuisine with a focus on Maine lobster, Florida seafood and steaks.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
100 S Ocean Blvd. (Manalapan) | (888) 306-4894 | www.eaupalmbeach.com

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy this exquisite destination. Slip away into the lap of luxury at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, where chilled champagne awaits you upon check-in.

When you walk into your room, you’ll be welcomed by a complimentary beach bag and flip-flops that beckon you to take them directly to the resort’s seven acres of private beach. It’s the perfect escape for a romantic weekend, a family retreat, or a girls-only stay at Eau Spa.

“The spa is 42,000 square feet of total bliss and relaxation,” said Nick Gold, director of public relations. Eau Spa recently earned Forbes’ Five-Star Award, one of only 48 spas in the world with that title.

Foodies love the four amazing dining options, including Temple Orange, Breeze, Stir Bar and Terrace, and Angle, winner of AAA’s Four Diamond Award.

Napa Valley

Still “whining” about finding the perfect spot? Then head directly to Napa Valley, Calif., and discover world-famous wineries, sumptuous restaurants and relaxing spas nestled in one of the nation’s most naturally beautiful areas.

Known best for its astonishing food and wine, Napa Valley is also steeped in art and culture. This month it plays host to the fifth annual Arts in April Festival, making now the perfect time to visit.

“This monthlong event will offer more than 50 art-related events, including hands-on glass-art-making experiences at Gordon Huether Studio, pop-up exhibitions at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards – featuring works from local graffiti artists – and art tours through Robert Mondavi Winery’s permanent collection,” said Clay Gregory, president & CEO of Visit Napa Valley.

Take time out for a personal wellness experience, such as a Pilates class atop a hillside vineyard, a mud bath in a hot mineral spring spa, or a therapeutic massage.

Time to say “ahhh.”

Metropolitan by COMO
19 Old Park Lane (London) | (888) 272-3002 | www.comohotels.com/metropolitanlondon

For those wishing to make a great escape of the international variety, hop across the pond and enjoy a getaway with European flair at the stylish and contemporary Metropolitan by COMO, London.

You need not feel like a stranger in a strange land because the staff at the 144-room boutique hotel knows London well. If you’re in need of a shopping excursion, theater tickets, or something the whole family can do together, they’ve got you covered.

After a long day exploring London’s sights and sounds, you can return to your own personal Shangri-La at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Metropolitan’s luxury spa.

Ask about their signature Cultural Bespoke Experiences, which are tailor-made, private tours that can be booked before your arrival. You can craft your own scent, get an insider’s view of the Mayfair art district, sample Cuban cigars – and the kids just love chocolate-bar making with Rococo Chocolates.

Savor Our City
Delray Beach & Boca Raton | (800) 979-3370 | www.savorourcity.com | www.fb.com/savorourcity

Maybe you really can’t get away and need to stay close to home, or just need a brief break from the rat race. Thankfully, it’s possible to have a vacation that’s a treat for all five senses in just three hours.

With Savor Our CityTM Culinary Tours, you’ll come back feeling full and refreshed, having experienced everything you’d get from a vacation.

Choose a city to savor – Boca Raton or Delray Beach – and immerse yourself in the essence of that location. You’ll sample all the very best in dining and local culture – all in three hours.

“We typically stop at six tasting locations, which can include restaurants, green markets and/or gourmet specialty shops, plus a historical landmark where applicable,” said CFO (Chief Foodie Officer) Denise Righetti, who noted that there are also tours specifically for art and wine lovers. “Our guests enjoy the intimacy of our small group size. They may arrive as strangers, but they typically leave as friends.”

The best part: discovering something in your own backyard and knowing you can come back anytime without losing your luggage.

Keep an eye out for future Savor Our City tours in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Miami Beach along with specialty tours like a Dessert Tour, Taco Tour, Pizza Tour and more.

To continue reading this story please purchase the magazine. It can be ordered online or picked up at a retail location near you.

We’re not so ready for some football

October 3, 2014 on 6:03 am | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

It seems the NFL has been SOL these days. They’re either playing catch-up with disciplinary action or doling out punishment where none is required.michelle-220

Ray Rice. Let’s face it; what he did was domestic abuse. It’s all there laid out – literally in front of you, thanks to the elevator surveillance video. Rice committed a crime. He knocked out his then-fiancée, now wife, with one punch and dragged her out of the elevator. Rice was originally suspended for two games. Later the powers that be in the NFL had to re-think it; did the punishment fit the crime – and yes, boys, it’s a crime – or was it more the question of who knew just what when. Just call it Football-gate.

Rice was stripped of his contract with the Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL. The NFL Players Association has filed an appeal on his behalf.

Let’s add a little insult to injury and punish Rihanna too.

Rihanna found herself in a Twitterfest with CBS when they pulled her song as the intro to Thursday Night Football – her rendition of Jay-Z’s hit Run This Town – and I’m wondering why. Were the lyrics inappropriate? No, instead blame the victim. Rihanna is not just famous for her music, she’s famous for her face that appeared black and blue when in 2009 her boyfriend Chris Brown beat her. Brown pled guilty to one count of felony assault and received probation, counseling and community service.

Apparently CBS has decided that Rihanna is the poster child for domestic abuse and wants no association.

“We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told SI.com.

They cited the tone.

Plain and simple, it’s blaming the victim.

Not only does Rihanna lose the cache of having her music be the theme of the NFL, she loses the publicity of her song being played before millions and possible record sales, plus she has to relive the shame and embarrassment all over again because CBS equates her with domestic abuse.

Rihanna summed it up on Twitter with part of her tweet:

“Sad for penalizing me like this.”

Seeing Is Believing: Local Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeons Bring Out the Best You

September 26, 2014 on 5:58 am | In As Seen In..., PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

If you’ve been peering into your looking glass wondering, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” and getting no answer, it may be time to call in an expert. Snow White may have been born with beauty, but that doesn’t mean you have to live without it.

With all of the latest innovations, techniques and world-class medical expertise, these five local plastic and cosmetic surgeons have what it takes to give you the just the look you want – so you can lose the love handles, lift what Mother Nature and gravity intends on sagging, and tighten that tush.

Forget your fairy godmother, ditch your talking mirror, schedule an appointment and start your happily ever after.

Dr. Arturo K. Guiloff

2865 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens | (561) 776-9555 | www.esteticainstitute.com

Dr. Arturo K. Guiloff has been artfully tweaking the imperfections of his patients for more than 20 years.

At Estética Institute of the Palm Beaches they cover it all, from wrinkle reduction, laser hair removal and laser skin resurfacing to breast augmentations, nose jobs, tummy tucks and liposuction.

The Palm Beach Gardens office even has the latest cool toy that contours your shape while you wait, with no surgery and zero down time. The latest buzz in plastics, CoolSculpting® rids the body of rolls and muffin tops using an apparatus that applies cold temperatures to the skin, killing subcutaneous fat cells permanently.

Guiloff also magically throws in a little self-confidence into every surgery – free. Call (561) 776-9555 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Palm Beach Plastic Surgery Center

1500 N Dixie Hwy., Suite 304, West Palm Beach | (561) 833-4022 | www.pbplasticsurgery.com

When art and science combine, it’s a beautiful thing. For Dr. Richard G. Schwartz of the Palm Beach Plastic Surgery Center, it’s just another day at the office, as he uses the skills he’s developed over 25 years as an artist and surgeon to give his patients natural-looking results.

Schwartz strives to familiarize himself with each patient individually so that he can get to the root of what troubles them and develop a treatment plan to best achieve his patients’ goals.

“I hope to create an open, trusting, comfortable relationship in which the patient feels well-informed and understands they have my total interest and dedication,” Schwartz said.

Giles Breast & Body Plastic Surgery

323 Osceola St., Stuart | (772) 546-3223 | www.gilesplasticsurgery.com

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a celebrity who goes off to “get a little work done” and hides out at an outrageously beautiful waterfront retreat with 24-hour concierge service, then Dr. P. Dudley Giles of Giles Breast & Body Plastic Surgery has you covered.

He also has the expertise. Giles and colleague, Dr. Stephen C. Adler, were voted “Best Cosmetic Surgery” in 2009 by Florida Monthly Magazine. Giles strives to educate patients so they can make informed decisions. He limits his practice to focus on cosmetic surgery procedures solely of the breast and body, such as breast augmentations, lifts, reductions, arm lifts, thigh lifts, liposuction and body contouring.

His motto: “Make your body as good as it can be today.”

Berman Plastic Surgery and Spa

670 Glades Rd., Suite 240, Boca Raton | (561) 417-0171 | www.byoubyberman.com

For the past 20 years, Dr. Jonathan Ross Berman has been coming up with ways to achieve the results you want without going overboard. His philosophy is simple: less is more.

Take the necklace lift; nothing reveals your age like your neck, and although Hermes makes a fabulous scarf to hide it, this is South Florida and you can’t hide forever. The necklace lift tightens the skin around the neck – a great refresher for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full facelift.

Berman is double board certified, by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery. That not only looks good on paper, it will look good on you.

Centers for Health Promotion (Cosmetic Surgery)

915 Middle River Dr., Suite 305, Ft. Lauderdale | (954) 368-8784 | www.lipodr.com

Although there are no guarantees in life, Dwight C. Reynolds stands by not only his patients, but also behind his body sculpting and suture suspension butt lifts, which come with their own five-year protection plan.

That’s because Reynolds wants to ensure the results you get are the ones you’ll keep, so he keeps an eye on your recovery with follow-ups every six months to maintain your protection plan.

Reynolds has been performing cosmetic surgery for more than 18 years, boasting more than 82,000 procedures without complications. He has maintained board certification in emergency since 1985. As he states, “I would rather be in the hands of a doctor certified in emergency medicine so that if an emergency should arise, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands.”

That may be why, over the last 10 years, hundreds of doctors have flocked to Reynolds’ Centers for Health Promotion in Ft. Lauderdale to learn his techniques.

To continue reading this story please purchase the magazine. It can be ordered online or picked up at a retail location near you.

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We Can Be Heros

September 5, 2014 on 8:31 am | In As Seen In..., Blog, PBG Lifestyle Magazine | No Comments

Schools now have signs announcing Anti-Bullying Zones, but sadly kids still get bullied, and we all know the results can sometimes be deadly.michelle-212

As a child, I was bullied by a popular sixth-grade Barbie-doll lookalike who enjoyed reminding me how un-Barbie I was.

One day the teacher left the portable. There was a rush of whispers, desks were jerked back and there I stood face to face with my tormentor.

Little did Barbie doll know that my dad had taught me to throw a killer punch. My fist made contact with her nose; there was lots of blood. The next thing I knew the teacher was sending bloody Barbie with two friends down to see the school nurse.

I was ordered out of the room. My teacher stepped out of the portable and before I could defend myself, she said, “She deserved that!”

I was never punished.

Last year my son’s elementary school principal called me. Apparently Joshua, who has the biggest heart ever – I mean, I installed it myself – had been smack talking with two boys. She told me that the kids weren’t in trouble. They thought they were all goofing on each other.

What they didn’t realize was that one of the boys was internalizing it all; he went home and said that he didn’t want to come back to school.

I told my son that although the child may have been playing along, inside he was hurting.

“Next year you’re going to middle school and I want you to be a hero,” I told him. “If you see someone being bullied, I want you to be the one to step up and defend the kid. No one likes a bully. If you say something, others will get behind you. If you see a kid eating lunch alone, go talk to him. That’s who I want you to be, Joshua; I want you to be a hero.”

We need heroes.

We need our kids to care about other kids, but they won’t unless we tell them we’re expecting it.

As for my tormentor, she ended up with a broken nose that led to a nose job, making her even more Barbie-esque.

Me, I ended up with a badass reputation – no one ever bullied me again. In fact, they were afraid, so I used that and always stood up for the little guy. I keep my cape in the closet.

It’s official: Flagler Museum Reaccredited by American Alliance of Museums

One of Florida’s most beloved museums has gotten to hold onto its bragging rights by receiving re-accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.

Once again the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum was bestowed the highest national honor achievable by an American museum, accreditation. Out of the nation’s 20,000 or so museums, only 778 are currently accredited.

News to us, but not the museum, which has held the distinction since 1973, according to David Carson, the museum’s public affairs director.

“We believe that the Flagler Museum continues to qualify for accreditation through its commitment to excellence, its accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement,” said Carson.michelle-210

Accreditation sees that each individual museum holds up to their own high standards and ensures that these organizations continue to uphold the public trust.

Only four sites in the nation have been awarded all three of the highest honors given to historic sites. These are honors are: designation as a National Historic Landmark, accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, and presentation of the Ross Merrill Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections. The Flagler is one of the four.

“Here at the Flagler Museum, we believe that we are entrusted with the job of keeping and maintaining Whitehall and its collections for future generations of the public to visit, enjoy, and learn about the incredible impact that Henry Flagler had on the development of the State of Florida,” said Carson.

The Flagler Museum is located at Cocoanut Row and Whitehall Way in Palm Beach. Admission is $18 for adults, $10 for youths ages 13-18, $3 for children ages 6-12, and children under 6 get in free. For more information, visit www.flaglermuseum.us or call (561) 655-2833.

Staying Forever Young with Dr. Arturo K. Guiloff

Juan Ponce de León may have discovered Florida, but unfortunately he made a wrong turn while looking for the Fountain of Youth. Apparently, he should have hung a left on PGA Boulevard.

Had he done so, he would have run smack dab into the Estética Institute of the Palm Beaches and Dr. Arturo K. Guiloff, who’s making the world a younger, more beautiful place, one patient at a time.forever-young2

With two state-of-the-art surgical suites, Estética Institute of the Palm Beaches is a one-stop shop offering everything from wrinkle reduction, laser hair removal and laser skin resurfacing to breast augmentations, nose jobs, tummy tucks and liposuction. If it can be nipped and tucked, it can be done here. And here is a comfy place to be.

Estética is a cozy, spa-like facility. Forget cold and clinical – the offices are visually inviting with a natural color palette featuring wood and marble.

The friendly and efficient staff adds to the warm ambiance. That team includes two board-certified plastic surgeons, Drs. Guiloff and Greg DeLange, along with highly trained anesthetists and registered nurses, and two licensed estheticians.

Estética has all the cool new toys and high-tech procedures, including CoolSculpting, which is designed to contour your shape – it’s all the rage in the world of plastics.

CoolSculpting came about when Harvard University scientists Dieter Manstein, MD, and R. Rox Anderson, MD, observed that some children developed dimples in their cheeks due to eating popsicles. They developed this non-surgical device that cools the skin, killing the subcutaneous fat cells – permanently.

However, Guiloff says this procedure is not a complete alternative to liposuction nor is it as dramatic as a tummy tuck. Instead, CoolSculpting will smooth away small rolls on the tummy, love handles, and those pesky areas of unwanted fat that seem most resistant to diet and exercise.

Sounds too good to be true?

“A lot of people want to know, is it a scam? The truth is it works,” Guiloff said. “Every year we go to a special conference to see what’s new, what’s the latest. We have to have a skeptic’s eye with everything – have there been good studies with enough patients, things that are good come to the surface – those are the things we offer to our patients. The things that are effective, so that patients aren’t wasting their money.”

CoolSculpting has all the elements his patients appreciate. It’s non-invasive so there’s no downtime as well as very little discomfort and side effects, with maybe some minor bruising and possible skin irritation. The procedure takes about an hour. Patients can read, check email or just relax during the procedure. Afterward, patients can resume their regular activities, even sports.

“One application can take 20-25 percent of the volume applied to areas of bulging fat,” he said. “You’re really sculpting the body by applying this machine to different areas. People have four to eight treatments to obtain nice, noticeable results.”

The machine freezes and kills the fat cells, and the body eliminates them naturally over time. It can take up to two to three months before the patient sees the final results.

“Patients need to understand it’s not as fast as liposuction,” Guiloff said. “It does not tighten the skin; people with loose skin are not good candidates.”

Another Estética innovation has been making tummy tucks less taxing.

“About a year ago we started using Exparel; it’s an injection that lasts for 36 hours,” Guiloff explained. “It significantly reduces the discomfort and pain so patients go home with no drains or catheters; they’re able to recover much better from the encounter.”

Patients not only experience a more comfortable recovery, but they’ll also feel better about themselves. Aside from the physical changes, the emotional differences are not lost on Guiloff – it’s one of the many reasons he loves what he does.

“A young woman had to have bilateral mastectomy for cancer,” he recalled. “After her breast reconstruction she sent me a nice letter about how grateful she was, how it made her feel like a woman again. That kind of thing fills your heart.

“The emotional part of the person depends on so many things – how one feels, how you present yourself to the world,” he added. “If you have emotional balance, everybody around you benefits – your husband, kids, work. It’s not just vanity; if you fix something on the outside, you’re going to feel better inside.”

The Estética Institute of the Palm Beaches is located at 2865 PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens. For more information, or to schedule a complimentary consultation, call (561) 776-9555 or visit www.esteticainstitute.com.

Imitation is the best form of flattery (sorta)

You call them rotten tomatoes, bombs and stink-a-roos, but at swede fest palm beach 3, the more outrageously bad a movie is, the better.

So what’s a swede?

A swede comes to us from the movie Be Kind, Rewind, in which a pair of video store owners lose all of their films and decide to remake them using household objects as props, and of course amateurish, horrible special effects (no CGI here).

Basically it’s a no-budget, so-bad-you’ll-cry, three-minute remake of a Hollywood film. The process started an underground craze that gave birth to the first “swede fest” in Fresno, California, then Tampa Bay, and in 2012 Palm Beach got bit by the swede bug.

More than 500 fans of farce turned up to laugh until they peed their pants at the sold-out event at The Borland Center for Performing Arts in Palm Beach Gardens.

This year’s swedes paid homage to classics like: Casablanca, Raising Arizona, Tremors, Twilight, War of the Worlds, John Tucker Must Die, White Chicks, Toy Story, Desperado, Robocop, Castaway, Rocky 3, Mean Girls, Gravity, To Have & Have Not, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Project X, Up, Pulp Fiction, Mementos, Catching Fire, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, The Dark Knight Rises, Jurassic Park, Noah, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and The Ring.

swede fest palm beach was originated (or instigated) by Ram Realty Services Marketing Manager Belle Forino, who had read about the event in Fresno and thought it perfect for Palm Beach.

“We are thrilled that swede fest palm beach 3 was such a hit this year. Once again, the enthusiasm of the sold-out crowd showed their appreciation for the wild creativity of the filmmakers,” Forino said. “Mainstreet at Midtown offers one-of-a-kind community events and swede fest palm beach is the most unique by far.”

And the winners are…

The creators of Noah, this year’s Audience Choice award winner. Runner-up: Chris Notarnicola with Jurassic Park. Other honors included: Best Use of a Lazy Dog (Rocky); Most Abundant use of Heinz Ketchup (Swe7en); Best Looking Shorts We’ve Ever Seen on an Actor (Rocky) and Greatest Amounts of Props We’ve Ever Seen in a Swede (Goonies).


For more info on next year’s festival, visit www.swedefestpalmbeach.com.

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