Pure Barre’s Unique Workout Is Gaining Popularity In Wellington

Pure Barre’s Unique Workout Is Gaining Popularity In Wellington

Micah Peters has been a fixture at the Pure Barre studio in Wellington since it opened. She has been the manager of the location since May 2014.

“I’ve been managing the studio since then, but I took over in November,” said Peters, who now owns the local fitness studio. “It was an opportunity that I could not pass up.”

Peters fell in love with the Pure Barre community and its unique workout when she was studying at Florida International University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. Paired with her cheerleading and dance background, Pure Barre, a combination of Pilates and ballet, was the perfect fit.

After Peters graduated, she learned that Pure Barre was opening in Wellington — her hometown. She knew it was the perfect opportunity to get involved as a teacher. “If you can hold onto the bar, you can do Pure Barre,” she said.

Pure Barre offers a beginners’ class called Pure Foundations for anyone who has taken five or fewer classes, where participants learn the various building blocks to the exercises in a hands-on, individualized small-class setting.

The typical 55-minute class can have up to 23 participants. “We target each muscle section to shake fatigue, and then stretch them out to create long, lean muscles, stretching each muscle section after we work it,” Peters said. “It’s low impact and easy on the joints. The workout was created by a woman and is geared toward a woman’s body, targeting the areas that women struggle with.”

However, men are also encouraged to join, and there are often special events to introduce men to Pure Barre. Nationwide, some NFL players take classes to sharpen their skills.

Participants must be 16 or older to take the class, which uses body weight for resistance, medicine balls, resistance tubes, and two-, three- and five-pound weights.

There are more than 450 studios across the country, with a similar layout in each, Peters explained, with a welcoming area, retail section, studio and cubbies for personal items.

The dress code is leggings or capris — shorts aren’t allowed because you want to keep your legs warm — a tank top or T-shirt, but no bare midriffs, and socks. Socks with grips are recommended.

Pure Barre isn’t just a workout, Peters stressed.

“It’s the community. It’s the environment. Seeing women come in here every day, the changes in their body, mentally, physically… it’s more than just a workout,” she explained. “The mental capacity, the physical capacity, the mind-body connection you have in it and seeing the change in others, and inspiring others and being inspired by clients as well. It’s amazing to see results in clients.”

Clients see results in as little as 10 classes, she said, and are able to find a familiar environment and workout when they travel. They also form lasting relationships.

“Clients will have met here, and they go on trips to New York together,” Peters said. “This is more than a workout. Friendships are developed here.”

Pure Barre has different milestones that are celebrated, be it 100 classes, 250 classes, 500 classes, 750 classes or 1,000 classes. When a client hits one of those milestones, they sign a bar in the back and receive a pair of socks.

Peters has seen clients overcome injuries and grow stronger, enjoy the challenge and transform their bodies. Pure Barre offers multiple membership packages, including those for brides-to-be and those who want to bounce back from having a baby.

Pure Barre is a challenge whether it is your first class or 1,000th class, she said, but always a great experience.

“Once you’re hooked, you’re hooked,” Peters said. “Once Pure Barre is in your life, it’s one of those things where you don’t ever want to let it go.”

For those who have never taken a class, Peters suggests coming a few minutes early — and be sure to keep an open mind.

“The first class can be a little bit overwhelming,” she said. “That’s completely normal. Give it a few tries, and you’ll definitely see results, because it is an effective exercise. It’s also fun to bring a friend because they hold you accountable, and you’re able to work out and have a good time together while changing your body.”

The Pure Barre experience is one that Peters truly enjoys sharing with her community.

“Pure Barre has always been a positive thing in my life,” Peters said. “It’s a dream for me to be able to actually say, ‘this is mine.’”

Pure Barre classes are listed online, where attendees are able to sign up and reserve a spot morning, afternoon and evening. Unlike other classes, attendees are able to sign up weeks in advance or on their way over. Walk-ins are accepted, and attendees can sign up for a class in the Pure Barre app. The Wellington location offers a new client special, as well as other promotions and packages.

Pure Barre Wellington is located at 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 22, in Wellington Town Square. For more information, call (561) 469-7943, e-mail wellington@purebarre.com or visit www.purebarre.com/fl-wellington.



Orangetheory’s Heart-Rate-Monitored Training Helps Members Meet Goals

Orangetheory’s Heart-Rate-Monitored Training Helps Members Meet Goals

Orangetheory Fitness Wellington is one of more than 500 Orangetheory studio locations worldwide offering heart-rate-monitored personal training, interval fitness programs.

One of the main goals at Orangetheory is to strive for a calorie afterburn or the “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC) effect, as Studio Manager Kevin Cohen explained. According to this method, the body will continue to burn calories after exercise when pushing the body to its limits during workouts.

“Depending on your height and your weight, things like that, you could burn from 300 to 700 calories 36 hours after the workout, as well as however many calories you burn in your workout,” Cohen said.

The fitness club is a group-training facility, so clients are always working in groups when training at an Orangetheory location. Still, Cohen said they set up consultations with members who are working toward their own specific goals while exercising alongside others.

“Before anybody takes their first class with us, we have them come in 30 to 40 minutes early,” Cohen said. “We develop a personal touch and have them fill out a clientele intake form.”

Those personal touches are what Orangetheory locations work toward to give every member a unique experience.

“We go over their goals and see what they’re trying to accomplish, as well as introduce them to the trainer,” Cohen said. “It’s 20 minutes with us and 20 minutes with the trainer, and that’s pretty much how we get an idea for exactly what kind of workout we’re going to have for them and what we need to modify.”

The moment they step into the gym, clients are given heart rate monitors to use during exercise, and then personal heart rates are displayed on LED screens throughout the gym. There are five color-coded levels, which correlate with a percentage of your maximum heart rate: Gray, Blue, Green, Orange and Red.

“There is not going to be one person who is going to try to keep up with another person’s speed throughout the whole class,” Cohen said. “Everyone is going to go at their own pace.”

The goal is to be exercising with heart rates in the orange and red zones for the majority of the time. This gives the body the best chance to reach EPOC, the afterburn effect. “You can definitely push yourself more with the heart rate monitor,” Cohen said. “Just seeing your zones up there on the screen, you know if you’re slacking or not.”

Each class is 60 minutes long. They feature intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. During an individual’s consultation with an Orangetheory trainer, the client will get to work on goals and key in on personal fitness areas, whether it be weight loss, strength building, muscle tone and more.

When you leave the Orangetheory gym, the heart rate training doesn’t have to stop.

“The heart rate monitors that we use here can also be used outside the studio. If you’re going for a jog or going to play basketball, you can download the app, hook it up, and then you can actually see what heart rate zones you’re in,” Cohen said.

Cohen originally started working for Orangetheory at its headquarters studio in Fort Lauderdale, where the Orangetheory fitness journey began in 2010. Cohen was once a skeptic of heart-rate-monitored training, but has since found it to be personally effective.

“I really started focusing on that and going into some details with that and learning about it, and, personally, I’ve already lost a lot of weight, and my condition has gone up [by] huge numbers,” Cohen said. “I would definitely say it’s the EPOC effect.”

Cohen enjoys the culture at Orangetheory Wellington.

“The whole reason I took on a job with Orangetheory two and half years ago was because of the different vibe. It’s more family based,” he said. “We don’t just go like big gyms, ‘Oh, another person in here; enjoy your workout.’ We try to get personal with our members.”

Cohen continues to add personal touches to the fitness experience at Orangetheory, calling his members to ask about their dieting outside of the gym and pushing them to meet their goals.

“If somebody comes in here and tells me they’re looking to lose 15 to 20 pounds, two weeks later I’m going to call that person and ask them how it’s going,” Cohen said. “I’m going to ask them if they’ve been coming in. I’m going to ask them if they’ve been changing a little bit of their dieting habits.”

Orangetheory Wellington is located at 2625 N. State Road 7, For more information, call (561) 296-0485 or visit http://wellington.orangetheoryfitness.com.


Bethesda Health Now Offering A Wide Array Of Services In Wellington

Bethesda Health Now Offering A Wide Array Of Services In Wellington

We’ve all been there. You wake up and feel miserable — sniffles, sore throat and achy all over. These are the times when most people want to go straight back to bed and pull the covers over their heads.

But when going back to bed is not an option, Bethesda Health now offers new services in Wellington that can help you feel better fast. For starters, Bethesda Health Urgent Care, located on Forest Hill Blvd. near Barnes & Noble in front of the Mall at Wellington Green, provides convenient medical care 365 days a year, seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There’s never a need to make an appointment, and walk-ins are always welcome. Bethesda’s medical team sees everyone from babies to seniors.

With a longstanding reputation for providing trusted medical care since 1959, Bethesda Health Urgent Care provides care for a comprehensive array of medical conditions, including: allergic reactions, asthma attacks, colds, flu, viruses, sports injuries and urinary tract infections. Laboratory services are also available, and most prescriptions, if necessary, are available at check-out, saving time from having to go to the pharmacy after your visit.

Plus, whether it is a broken bone, sore throat or the flu, Bethesda’s on-site imaging center can make accurate diagnoses with the support of on-site X-rays and CT scans. As part of Bethesda Health Urgent Care, the imaging center will help ensure that the right diagnosis is made. Walk-in patients are welcome with a prescription from their doctor.

Bethesda Health Urgent Care can also provide school physicals and immunizations, as well as sports physicals, providing Wellington-area families with convenient care — and most insurance plans are accepted.

Women have different medical needs, and to cater to those needs, Bethesda’s Women’s Health Care Center is conveniently located next door to Bethesda Health Urgent Care. The center has an all-female staff comprised of physicians, a breast surgeon and breast health experts who provide comprehensive breast care services, using the most advanced technology.

Among those services is screening tomosynthesis 3D mammography, the most advanced technology in breast care. Diagnostic mammography and diagnostic breast ultrasound are also offered, with same day results. Plus, there is always a board-certified radiologist to read the results. Bethesda Women’s Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Saturday and evening hours, available by appointment.

For added convenience day or night, Bethesda now offers Care on Demand. This new telemedicine service is available via any mobile device, computer or tablet 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Care on Demand provides immediate access to a board-certified physician. Physicians are available in family medicine and internal medicine to provide medical care in the comfort of your home. In the event you need follow-up medical care, patients will be referred to a Bethesda physician or a Bethesda facility.

Do you have a loved one at a Florida college or university? A Care on Demand telemedicine visit has a flat fee of $59 per visit, payable by credit card at the time of the call. For someone away at a Florida college, Care on Demand not only offers fast, convenient medical care for students, but can also bring peace of mind to worried parents.

Finally, if you are looking for a doctor’s office that can see your family, Bethesda Health Physician Group-Wellington may be just what you need. Conveniently located across from Office Depot on State Road 7 in Wellington, the practice sees patients ages 14 and up and is comprised of board-certified physicians in family medicine, internal medicine and cardiology.

Together, with more than 30 years of combined experience, internal medicine physicians Dr. Andrew Savin and Dr. Joseph Jose, and family medicine physician Dr. Gincy Kandankulam, along with cardiologists Dr. Rachel Eidelman and Dr. Christina Michael, are dedicated to providing the very best in medical care.

Bethesda Health Physician Group provides a comprehensive array of services to help patients manage a wide variety of conditions, including: cardiac disease, diabetes, geriatric medicine, high cholesterol, hypertension, men’s health, obesity, osteoporosis and women’s health. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening hours available by appointment. Most insurance plans are accepted.

Whether you need immediate medical care or are looking for a new physician for your family, Bethesda Health is there to help. As a not-for-profit healthcare provider, Bethesda Health is proud to serve the Wellington community and provide quality health services in a caring manner with the highest commitment to patient safety.

For more information about Bethesda Health’s services, visit www.bethesdaweb.com or call (561) 737-7733, ext. 84405.


Enjoy Food That Tastes Great And Is Good For You At Giovanni’s Healthy Café

Enjoy Food That Tastes Great And Is Good For You At Giovanni’s Healthy Café

Lori and John Giattino came to South Florida to make their dreams come true, and this summer, they will invite the community to enjoy the food they love when Giovanni’s Healthy Café opens on State Road 7.

Located near the Publix store on the west side of SR 7, just south of Southern Blvd., the Giattinos are completely renovating the space and expect to open this month. Their goal is to have people walk through the door and feel like they have entered the outdoor patio of an Italian café.

“Our food is served healthy, with no extra oils. It’s a healthier cuisine by its nature because everything is fresh,” John said. “Most of our dishes really focus on vegetables and what is good for you.”

The Giattinos will get their produce fresh daily and their meats fresh every other day, kept fresh in the walk-in refrigerator. They have found local vendors to partner with for their daily fresh items and are focusing on alternative ingredients for the foods that they make.

One dish that patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy with a cup of coffee is their signature quiche created by head chef and longtime friend Steve Mlinarz.

The quiche is made with two types of cheese — gruyere and cheddar — and also includes diced ham and asparagus.

“We will be making these fresh,” John said. “This does not have a regular quiche crust; it has an almond flour crust.”

Lori noted that it is “not as high in carbs, as you find in white flour or processed flours.”

In particular, the dish is great for people with diabetes.

“I’m a diabetic, so white flour is not good for me. It spikes my blood sugar,” John explained. “However, the almond flour, coconut flours, they don’t do that to me. So, I lean more toward a low carbohydrate diet.”

The husband-and-wife team are always looking for ways to satisfy palates in a healthier way.

“If you’re going to eat, one, it should taste really good; and two, it should be good for you,” John said. “It shouldn’t add to your weight or your cholesterol. It should just make you feel better.”

Lori has always had a passion to own her own restaurant, and Giovanni’s Healthy Café is a dream come true.

“I absolutely love food. I love to bake. I love to cook, and one of my favorite things at home was the look on my family’s face when I would prepare a meal,” Lori said. “I wanted to bring that here, where our recipes are so delicious. I want people to smile when they look at the plate.”

Along with Mlinarz, Lori is the artisan behind many of the recipes that people will enjoy at Giovanni’s.

“It has taken us about a year and a half to go through so many recipes,” John said. “Everything that we’re going to serve here, we eat at home.”

Another staple that will be found at Giovanni’s are Lori’s crafted smoothies. John’s favorite is her Oreo smoothie, which lets him enjoy the closest thing to an Oreo cookie without compromising his diet.

“I have created many recipes involving a yogurt base, so that is much healthier than adding an ice cream base,” Lori said. “Everything will include fresh fruit. Instead of chocolate chips, it will be carob chips.”

The kitchen will not serve any fried foods. “It’s either baked, broiled or grilled,” John said. “Some of the recipes originate from my grandparents’ recipes.”

With a heritage that is both Irish and Italian, where did Giovanni come from?

“My dad was John, and I’m John, obviously, and I found out after my father passed away, when I found his birth certificate, that he was actually baptized Giovanni Giattino, and I never knew that. He always went by John.”

Giovanni’s Healthy Café honors this piece of family history. Central to the Giattino family is the idea that food brings people together.

Originally from New York, the Giattinos have lived in the western communities since 2014. They both left their day jobs to pursue their dream of sharing Lori’s food creations with a community — and John’s dream to have a place where he could invite the entire community over to sit down, laugh and eat.

“Everyone I’ve met has been very nice. It’s quite a different culture from living in New York City or the surrounding areas,” John said. “The people here are a lot more relaxed. They’ll take the time to talk to you.”

With renovations nearly complete, the Giattinos are putting the final touches on Giovanni’s Healthy Café.

“We’re open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday,” John said. “However, there will be several Sundays during the year that we will open up, such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

Giovanni’s Healthy Café is located at 125 State Road 7, Suite 107, in Royal Palm Beach. For more information, visit www.giovannishealthycafe.com or search “Giovanni’s Healthy Café” on Facebook.


Sticks Are Life For Palm Beach Central High School Lacrosse Star Tia Drew

Sticks Are Life For Palm Beach Central High School Lacrosse Star Tia Drew

For Tia Drew, sticks are life. As in lacrosse sticks. There’s a net in the driveway of her family’s Olympia home, and the 17-year-old Drew is frequently outside playing “wall ball” or tossing the ball around with her younger sister.

When she is not practicing or playing, Drew is training, usually at a local CrossFit gym.

About to enter her senior season, Drew has been co-captain of the Palm Beach Central High School girls lacrosse team for the past two seasons. She also plays on a travel team during the summer, the Lady Swashbucklers.

Marci Singer has been the lacrosse coach at Palm Beach Central for the last three seasons and marvels at Drew’s commitment.

“Tia is the quintessential team player and captain, always putting lacrosse and team first,” Singer said. “Whenever there is a newer player on the field, Tia always makes an extra effort to get her involved in the game. She is always encouraging both on and off the field. She is one of the most dedicated players on the team, putting in hours of practice even outside of our daily practices. Tia is very intense, and I do believe some of the younger girls were intimidated by her at first, but as the season continued, you could see intimidation giving way to respect and friendship.”

Drew played travel softball for about seven years but put that aside because it became “too repetitive.” She had tried rec lacrosse in seventh grade but didn’t enjoy it. However, two years later, she was a starter at Palm Beach Central.

Although they have been friends for years, it was a chance meeting at the gym between Singer and Drew’s mother, Rosemary, which launched the teen’s lacrosse path. “When Rosemary told me she was interested in lacrosse, I was surprised, but thrilled,” Singer said. “I knew that she was a dedicated athlete. It was just a matter of teaching her the skills of the game and shifting her focus from softball to lacrosse. Tia caught the lacrosse bug immediately, so the transition was seamless.”

And the results prove that Drew made the right decision. She has been recognized as one of the best players in her district and conference by both the Palm Beach Post and the Sun-Sentinel.

Drew believes that the future is bright for Palm Beach Central’s lacrosse team.

“A lot of new girls are coming out,” Drew said. “We’re building the program. More than half our team is playing club ball this summer, so we’ll all be on the same level [defensively].”

The high school girls lacrosse season begins in early January with practice, and the regular season ends the first weekend of April, followed by the playoffs. Girls must wear goggles and a thick headband, but do not wear helmets or pads, making it much less physical and more of a finesse game than the boys game. However, next season the Florida High School Athletic Association has mandated that girls must also wear headgear.

“We practice five days for two hours, unless we have games,” said Drew, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for watching her favorite shows on Netflix, like Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. “We get some Fridays off. It’s a big commitment. I like games more, but practices are fun because we get to mess around. Sometimes I have to calm my teammates down. I lead by example.”

The travel team schedule is also intense. There are usually practices twice a week for about two hours, so players are expected to do conditioning and train on their own.

Drew plays defense and attacking midfield for the Broncos and defense for the travel team. “I like playing defense a lot,” Drew said. “It’s fun stopping people from scoring.”

The right-hander makes an impact on offense as well, often coming from behind the goal and shooting.  She is looking forward to her senior season for the Broncos.

“There will be a lot of seniors, and we’re all role models for the new players and underclassmen,” said Drew, who believes that the Palm Beach Central program is on the upswing, especially if they continue to be as close-knit as they were last season.

“This year, the team really bonded,” she said. “We would go to the fields on the weekends or we stayed after practice and talked. It showed on the field.”

Many athletes are superstitious and follow a routine. Drew isn’t superstitious and doesn’t have a consistent pre-game routine or meal.

“I usually drink a smoothie,” said Drew, who is a regular at Tropical Smoothie where her favorites are Peanut Paradise, Island Green or Chai Banana Boost. “It depends on what I’m feeling.”

On the way to a game, she makes a playlist to listen to in the car.

Singer quickly noticed how Drew was a leader and how the team responded to her.

“Tia is an extremely hard worker, she has high expectations of herself and of those around her,” Singer said. “She takes conditioning and practice just as seriously as she takes the games, and she expects that of her teammates. Although her serious nature can be somewhat intimidating, she actually has a great sense of humor. She just makes you work a bit to get there.”

Drew hopes to continue playing lacrosse in college, preferably in Florida, although she has heard from out-of-state schools and visited several over the summer. She wants to major in either exercise science or physical therapy.

“I’m a one-sport girl, just lacrosse,” Drew said.


Clients Are Treated Like Part Of The Family At Keller Williams’ Shockley Team

Clients Are Treated Like Part Of The Family At Keller Williams’ Shockley Team

It’s always nice when a mother and her daughter-in-law get along. It’s even better when the two join forces to form a successful business partnership. The Shockley Team — mom Maryjo Shockley and daughter-in-law Mary Shockley — are a dynamic duo at Keller Williams Realty in Wellington.

Along with her husband and three sons, Maryjo has been a Wellington resident for 15 years. After stops in Massachusetts, Arizona and Alabama, South Florida seemed like the right place to put down roots.

“I always research the places in the areas we have moved,” Maryjo recalled. “When we knew we were coming to Palm Beach County, I found nothing but good things about Wellington and decided it was the place to settle our family.”

Mary arrived in here in 2011. During a four-year stint as manager of a local pet spa, she met and married one of Maryjo’s sons.

“As a side-gig of sorts, I started helping Maryjo with various tasks, paperwork and marketing initiatives,” Mary explained. “After some time, one thing led to another. Thankfully, I passed both my course exam and my state exam on my first attempt a little over two years ago and officially joined the Shockley Team as a licensed agent.”

The Shockley Team specializes in the resale of residential homes in Wellington and the surrounding areas. The key to their success is simple: put the customer first.

“To us, real estate is not just about having a niche in terms of a specific price range or segment of the community,” Maryjo said. “It’s about building trust and relationships and helping our clients with whatever it is they need at the time. Whether a short-term rental, a small starter home or a luxurious home in the corner of Wellington, we understand that everyone has different needs, and we’re excited to help along the way whenever we can.”

Being a member of a successful team means you not only have each other’s backs, but you also combine your individual strengths to create a unified and highly efficient business model.

“Maryjo has years of experience under her belt,” Mary said. “She has in-depth transactional knowledge, a great grasp of the buying/selling process and a wealth of relationships in the community. On the other hand, I’m probably more familiar with the increasingly important technological and digital aspect of our business.”

The women work hard to make sure they separate themselves from the many other real estate professionals in and around Wellington.

“Picking a Realtor often comes down to personal relationships and trust,” Maryjo said. “We’re also working hard to differentiate by incorporating cutting-edge digital marketing strategies to promote our listings above and beyond the traditional means, such as using a targeted approach to Facebook advertising that allows us to promote listings to people who are most likely to have an interest or need for specific homes in specific areas.”

Technology and marketing strategies most certainly have their place in today’s real estate world. The Shockley Team blends those tools with what they consider to be something very special.

“We have a unique trust and family connection as a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law team,” Mary said. “This trust and connection has historically transferred to our clients and transactions. That’s why our slogan states: ‘Where you’re treated like family,’ and we really live by that.”

To reach the Shockley Team at Keller Williams, call (561) 762-1609 or (561) 223-5989, or visit www.theshockleyteam.com.


Custom Millwork, Unique Décor Make Olympia Home Stand Out

Custom Millwork, Unique Décor Make Olympia Home Stand Out

When a carpenter builds his dream home, it looks like a model house — with plenty of upgrades and personal touches. That is what we find in this month’s featured home. Located in the Olympia community, this five-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath, single-family home is like no other. The custom millwork alone makes it stand out. Factor in its water views, upgraded hurricane protection and convenient location, and there’s much to love about this unique Wellington home.


Dining Room: No expense was spared when it came to the crown molding and trim work in the formal dining room. A large mirror wall and tray ceiling finish the space, while a built-in display shelf around the corner marks the front foyer. Easy-care tile extends throughout the entire downstairs, making for a contiguous, seamless look.


Family Room: Recessed lighting provides ambience to the family room but, during the day, natural sunlight floods the space. Sweeping French doors open to the extended covered patio and manicured backyard.


Living Room: Designed for the way today’s families live, this open concept living room/dining room area features wide open spaces, as well as a statement wall perfect for displaying artwork.


Kitchen: The light palette of the kitchen is offset by the dark counters, while a bold marble tile backsplash keeps things interesting. The large island features a vegetable sink, and a walk-in pantry offers extra storage.


Staircase: A hardwood staircase with custom-made wrought-iron balustrades commands attention as a focal point of the home. All five bedrooms are conveniently located upstairs, away from the hub-bub of downstairs traffic.


Breakfast Nook: The breakfast nook is clearly defined by the stepped ceiling feature, adding prominence to the chandelier. The encased windows show off the distinctive millwork present throughout the home.


Patio: A large, screened-in patio with a fixed-draped cabana offers comfort and privacy, while pavers imbue the area with a sense of cobblestone charm.


Master Bath: The master bath features a large soaking tub, a walk-in shower, double vanity sinks and plenty of light.


Master Bedroom: The master bedroom features flooring that is a departure from the downstairs tile. Brazilian cherry hardwood extends throughout the upstairs. The room also has a coffered ceiling and a view of the sunset through tinted windows.


Front Elevation: A two-car garage and shaded entryway with stone walking paths mark the front of the home, which also features well-maintained native landscaping.



Out-Of-The-Ordinary Show Pieces With Equestrian Style At Idlewild Furnishings

Out-Of-The-Ordinary Show Pieces With Equestrian Style At Idlewild Furnishings

Idlewild Furnishings is unlike any other furniture and accessory store. Specializing in teak wood furniture and pieces from Indonesia, the treasures found at Idlewild range from plantation-style furnishings reminiscent of what would have been found in Singapore’s famed Raffles Hotel 100 years ago to tables and chairs designed by owner John Grimes and his wife Tara Lordi.

Grimes opened Idlewild in 1997 after years of coming to Wellington to play polo. He saw furniture being thrown out and saw the opportunity to bring a new type of furniture that would utilize teak and recycled old beams, helping artisans who create hand-crafted works of art to introduce their work to the equestrian community. His focus is on showcase pieces that become heirlooms, passed from generation to generation.

Grimes often travels to the islands of Indonesia, particularly Bali, as well as East Timor in search of exquisite teak. “You go into remote areas in the beautiful part of the archipelago of Indonesia, that’s 6,000 miles of islands, and every island is a little unique,” he said.

Grimes has explored remote areas of Indonesia for the last 20 years searching for the perfect pieces to bring back to clients.

“We’re not out there chopping trees; we’re using recycled teak,” Lordi noted.

Visiting the Idlewild studio, located on Indian Mound Road in southern Wellington, is like visiting a tropical oasis. The studio is situated on a tree farm featuring a home built in Bali that is used for special events. “I think it’s probably the coolest structure in Wellington,” Grimes said.

There are outdoor sitting areas set up with planters, garden-friendly lounges, stones and Buddha statues, fountains and seating, all set up to showcase the potential of the unique items that Idlewild is able to procure.

At the studio, they place pieces together, figure out how they work, and then put them into homes, Grimes explained. There’s a large white wall for photographing pieces — many of the photos can be found on Idlewild’s web site and Facebook page — and exotic furnishings as far as the eye can see.

Each piece has a story. Whether it’s the large wooden bowl that Lordi found that an entire family used to serve food in, the table and chairs they designed or the plantation chairs with a swing-out arm for elevating tired legs after a day working with horses, there is something intriguing and special about every piece that Idlewild carries.

“You can come in here and put a couple of these heirloom pieces in your home, and your home goes from some simple statement to something to really talk about,” Lordi said.

Whether for indoor or outdoor use, commercial or residential, Idlewild’s furnishings offer a “wow” factor that large stores can’t imitate or duplicate, she said.

Grimes and Lordi, both equestrians, were married in Indonesia and played polo on the beach the same day. Idlewild’s clientele is a unique group of connoisseurs, many of whom are also equestrians.

“Equestrians all have something in common: we like rugged pieces. We’re rugged people,” Lordi said. “We are riding 1,600-pound animals over large fences, or chasing down a field for a ball… We’re getting on these large animals and doing all these crazy acrobatics, whether its dressage, show jumping or polo, and what goes along with our mentality is generally a well-traveled side of us.”

Because equestrians travel the world, they’ve seen some of the exquisite things available, such as furniture made with pegs, without nuts and bolts, similar to what Idlewild offers.

“Everything that we make is hand-made. There are no production lines,” Lordi said.

Teak, a wood often used in boat making, has a special allure. For instance, Grimes explained, a large wood slab table might sell for $3,000. If the table were teak, it could easily be $10,000.

The pieces have a special power; they’re designed a certain way because that is how Grimes and Lordi want them designed, and their unique vision leads to highly recognizable pieces. Idlewild works with clients who want to stage a house for sale. Utilizing Idlewild pieces creates a powerful impact, they noted.

One of the mottos at Idlewild is, “You can’t afford cheap quality.” The items they carry are wood, through-and-through, Lordi explained, likening their clients to wine or art aficionados. Those who really enjoy fine wine, she explained, will find the stores that sell the best of the best, forgoing the common wines available at the supermarket. They want to take their passion to the next level. Those people actively seek out the best of the best, just as Idlewild clients seek out the unique items that Grimes and Lordi offer.

Lordi also has her own construction company, TLC, where she utilizes advanced technology to build digital renderings of what will later become reality. At Idlewild, she helps to enhance Grimes’ expertise. “This is his vision, these are his ideas,” she said of Idlewild. “This is him… He has cultivated and procured beautiful pieces for years.”

Grimes focuses on design while Lordi looks at the flow of the building and what kind of structural changes will enhance its beauty.

Over the years, Grimes explained, they’ve developed a special relationship with clients. “A very unusual relationship develops over these kinds of pieces,” he said. “I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not like going to the store and buying something.”

When people frequent a location decorated by Grimes and Lordi, they often say, “Oh, that must be an Idlewild piece,” Lordi said. “That’s so much fun to hear.”

Idlewild Furnishings is located at 12880 Indian Mound Road. If the gates are open, they’re probably at the studio. They close the gates at 4 p.m. Appointments are recommended, as hours vary.

For more information about Idlewild Furnishings, call (561) 793-1970, e-mail sales@idlewildfurnishings.com or visit www.idlewildfurnishings.com.


The Sat To Prep or Not to Prep

The Sat To Prep or Not to Prep

Preparing to take the SAT, that all-important college entrance exam, is crucial to most high school students. We reached out to Wellington-area experts, who shared their advice about how to get ready for the standardized test.

Located in the original Wellington Mall, #1 Education Place uses a personalized, one-on-one approach to prepare students for the SAT. Huntington Learning Center, located near Whole Foods Market on State Road 7, has been helping local high school students prepare for the standardized test since 2010. Finally, Kristen Seery of Wellington Tutoring has been working one-on-one with high school students since 2009.

These experts all have their own personalized approaches to SAT prep, but generally, each focuses on the individual student, to help clients meet the goals and the scores for the college or university they are hoping to attend after high school.

#1 Education Place (561-753-6563, www.1educationplace.com), an alternative education school, offers its students a personalized prep for the SAT, geared toward the individual. Anita Kane, co-founder and director of the high school program, said they have transitioned from group classes to strictly individual test prep. She works on the verbal portion of the test.

“A lot of places do big classes,” Kane said. “We did in the past. We did classes of up to 20 students, and we found that wasn’t very effective.”

Many of the students who attend the school are athletes from the equestrian community, and not everyone has the same path after high school.

“We do private tutoring prep for individuals who are more serious about going to college because we’re more of a professional school,” Kane said. “A lot of our students are professional athletes. Not everybody is college bound here. So, it’s not as important for everybody to prep for the test.”

The PSAT preliminary test is an important aspect for establishing a starting point for students.

“Our students who are really looking at going to a university take the PSAT in 10th grade as well as in 11th grade,” Kane said. “It gives them a little bit of a knowledge of the test and a little bit of an experience with the big test sitting.”

Kane said that the SAT is testing skills that students have been developing since they started grade school, but the understanding can be lost over time. It’s necessary to reinforce the skills that are there, but may not be as well understood as they can be.

“I think that is where test prep has moved toward, is kind of a review of really basic skills that are lost,” Kane said. “It’s not to say that you as a student don’t naturally do that in your writing; it’s just that you don’t know why you’re doing it. So, if you get this one little sentence where you have to pick out the error in it, you might not be able to find it because you don’t know why it’s an error.”

Mary Fisher, director of the Huntington Learning Center in Wellington (561-594-1900, www.huntingtonhelps.com/center/wellington), has a team of tutors who come in after school hours and work individually with students who come to prepare for the SAT.

Fisher also works individually with students on the math portion, and all of the tutors specialize, so there is never one tutor at her Huntington location that will cover the entire SAT prep.

“I recommend to my parents, if their [child] is in 10th grade, and they’ve completed Algebra 2, then they are certainly ready to start prepping, and we can get it out of the way early in their junior year,” Fisher said. “It really depends on the math, because the new SAT is loaded with Algebra 2.”

Fisher tells parents and students not to wait to get started on SAT prep.

“If you wait too long, and you’re under the crunch, then you’re making it harder or more difficult to concentrate on the SAT,” she said. “There is no question in my mind. I will 100 percent stand by this: the more the student wants it, and the more the student is willing to do the work to get the score, they’ll get the score.”

Fisher also focuses on the goals of each student, so test prep gets personalized from student to student.

“When the kids come in, we give them a practice test,” Fisher said. “If they want University of Florida scores, and they’re not close to it, then we kind of say, ‘OK, that’s your goal college, but let’s put another few colleges in there,’ and we work toward that goal.”

Fisher likes students to look early and know what universities and colleges require of high school students in order to give themselves a high likelihood of being accepted to the school of their choice.

“Focus on a school, and focus on its requirements,” Fisher said. “Part of those requirements is going to be SAT requirements, but if you know what they are going in, you have a better shot of getting them, because you have the time to do it.”

Kristen Seery, the founder of Wellington Tutoring (561-247-2810, www.wellingtontutoring.com), has been furthering her own higher education recently, but she continues to work one-on-one with high school students preparing for the SAT.

“I think the key thing to remember is that you’re always preparing,” Seery said. “I hate to sound cliché, but in every math class that you’re going through in high school, you are preparing for the SAT. In every book that you read and every essay that you write, you are preparing for the SAT.”

She recommends that students pay the few extra dollars to get the feedback from the PSAT.

“Always order the score report, the detail, question and answer service,” Seery said. “You can immediately look at your weaknesses, and you can start targeting them to fill in the gaps. Serious prep, I would say, begins about four months out from your test date.”

Seery believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed.

“The good thing about this information age that we live in is that there are endless resources available to you online free of charge that are excellent for SAT prep,” she said.

Seery looks at test prep as a long distance run versus a sprint.

“You break things up on a day-to-day basis to meet your goal,” she said. “You don’t wake up one day and go into a four-hour test cold, unless you want to not do well.”

She recommends that students seeking the best possible SAT score see a professional on an individual basis.

“The benefit of meeting with an expert in the field is that they’ve already done a lot of the research,” Seery said. “You’re going to save yourself 100 hours in time because an expert is going to be able to direct you toward the appropriate resources in terms of books and worksheets to use… That’s going to give you the questions most similar to the ones you’re going to see on a test.”

Seery added that tutors can act as coaches, not just someone who is feeding you skills, but to provide empowerment.

“Everyone needs someone who believes in them,” Seery said. “Someone else has to believe in you first, and then you believe in yourself.”


Wellington’s Dr. Evangeline Aguirre Honored As Teacher Of The Year

Wellington’s Dr. Evangeline Aguirre Honored As Teacher Of The Year

Palm Beach Central High School teacher Dr. Evangeline Aguirre got the surprise of her life recently when Palm Beach County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa, Palm Beach County School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw and School Board Member Marcia Andrews showed up at her school to honor her as the county’s teacher of the year.

“I was shocked. I was totally shocked,” Aguirre said of the Tuesday, Feb. 28 surprise. “When my assistant principal got me from the classroom, she said I was attending an emergency meeting.”

Looking around, she thought, “This seems serious.”

And it was. She was receiving a serious recognition. Aguirre was chosen from more than 13,000 teachers in the Palm Beach County School District for the recognition and will represent the district in statewide competition.

Also on hand for the big surprise was PBCHS Principal Darren Edgecomb and Aguirre’s husband, Stan Crooks, as well as dozens of her students and faculty colleagues. Aguirre specializes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and has been at Palm Beach Central for nine years.

“It was an overwhelming emotion, but more than anything else, it’s a humbling, humbling experience,” she said. “I’m the president of Palm Beach ESOL… I know a whole lot of ESOL teachers, and teachers in different subject areas, who really are great, truly excellent, and they deliver to the best of their abilities every day in the classroom. For me to be chosen is truly an honor.”

Nevertheless, Aguirre is grateful that her efforts and dedication were recognized.

For Edgecomb, who nominated Aguirre, it was gratifying to see one of his teachers receive the coveted award.

“After observing for the last couple of years, I found her to be the ‘irreplaceable.’ She’s one of those teachers who, if she left, it would take years to find someone at her level of greatness,” Edgecomb said. “She’s a passionate educator, she loves teaching and she has a story to tell, being a person who migrated from the Philippines. She represents the American dream for those ELL (English Language Learners) or ESOL kids she educates. It’s the reading classes that she teaches, and I believe that reading drives everything here at the school. Having a school with literacy as the focus is extremely important, and she does this with kids who are acquiring the language.”

Aguirre previously received recognition as reading teacher of the year, and her portfolio made her a strong candidate for teacher of the year.

“When she was selected, I was just overjoyed. I felt that it was well-deserved. She has such a humble spirit, and her focus is always on the kids,” Edgecomb said. “I felt that they got the choice right, and I felt very excited for her and her kids.”

There’s a strong sense of pride at the school for Aguirre’s accomplishments. One touching display was evident when she returned to her classroom.

“When I got the award, and I went back to the classroom, my students were crying,” Aguirre recalled.

When she asked what was wrong, the following exchange occurred:

Student: “It’s real.”

Aguirre: “What do you mean?”

Student: “The American dream is real. It could really happen. If you work hard, you could really get recognized.”

That student had seen failure most of her life, and Aguirre was the closest image of success that she had ever seen, Aguirre explained.

“To see your teacher get recognition and succeed in her career, it meant so much to her,” Aguirre said.

It is moments like that which show just how much of an inspiration Aguirre is for her students. She came to the United States from the Philippines on a teacher exchange program in 2004. At the time, she was already an experienced teacher.

“I decided to teach for a year, and before I knew it, it was 25 years. I chose to stay in the profession because it’s something I really enjoy doing. It’s a profession in which I found a real sense of purpose,” Aguirre said. “It’s something through which I could make a difference in the lives of so many students every day. I am good at it. It is a skill that I do very well.”

She is also quite knowledgeable in the field. Aguirre holds a master’s degree in ESL (English as a Second Language), as well as a doctorate in instructional leadership.

She taught at Glades Central High School before moving to Palm Beach Central, where she teaches intensive reading in grades nine through 12 and also has a 10th grade English class.

“When my students enter my classroom, they feel safe and know it’s a very encouraging environment,” Aguirre said. “They know that regardless of their level of proficiency in English, regardless of their background, they are treated the same, and they are most welcome.”

Having a welcoming and inclusive environment goes a long way in enticing students to do their best, thrive and meet expectations. After all, many of them are in the lowest percentage of proficiency in the school. It isn’t that they don’t understand; they’re being tested in English, when they might not even be proficient in their native language. They’re also expected to understand cultural clues for a culture that is new to them.

“How are you going to deliver if you don’t speak the language?” she asked. “That is the dilemma and that is the challenge that every ESOL student faces.”

Aguirre teaches through cultural integration with multifaceted instruction to help the students understand the language in a classroom where all accomplishments are recognized the same, be it recognizing the alphabet or passing a test.

“I do a whole lot of collaborative learning. I do individualized instruction,” she said, adjusting to the varied needs of the up-to 25 teens in her classroom.

At the end of the day, she reflects on how lessons went, if students responded to activities, and what worked or didn’t work in the classroom. She is able to see the transition where instruction becomes learning, and finds that incredibly fulfilling.

With this recognition, Aguirre hopes to share what she does in her classroom with other ESOL teachers in the school district with the support of Edgecomb.

“He trusts me that I know what I am doing, that I deliver every day in the classroom. He trusts my instruction, he trusts my decision and he trusts my perspective,” she said.

Aguirre constantly pushes herself, investing in local, national and international personal development.

“I need to know more so I can deliver more. I don’t want my students to be stagnant in terms of learning, so I do not want to be stagnant as an educator myself. I do not demand anything of my students that I would not deliver myself,” she said. “If I demand excellence from my students, I should demonstrate the same thing.”

Her approach has worked. She learns from her students, and they learn from her.

“My students see themselves in me,” Aguirre said. “We tell the same story. We have the same story. We have the same struggles, adapting to a new culture, leaving family behind.”


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