I’m easily addicted to episodes of “Island Life” and “Island Hunters,” watching people make good on their promises to one day leave it all behind and buy a home that overlooks turquoise waters. It sure makes you think twice about city or suburban living.
But too often, I forget that in Florida we’re only a few short hours away from island breezes and carefree living. Those places that we see on HGTV are right here in our backyard—as long as we remember to turn off the TV and go outside to enjoy them.
What they do: Leigh Anne Proctor, 30, is a former teacher for the Martin County School District and Todd Redmond, 30, is a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.
On how they met: Leigh Anne’s family held a benefit skeet shoot and concert for their foundation, M.E.’s Team, in February 2012. Todd was there as the “celebrity guest” and as a friend of Leigh Anne’s brother, Scott Proctor. The two met during the concert and continued to stay in touch throughout the next six months. By the next November, they started dating during the baseball offseason.
From spectacular end-of-year parties to insurance benefits and work/life balance, we bring you the first-ever “Best Company Perks” issue. Our first go ahead involved phone calls and internet searches, along with detailed responses and help from our interns, Kelly Capen and Gillie Muller from the University of Central Florida and Florida State University. The nearly 100 organizations on our list (page 64) couldn’t begin to honor all of the great companies in our area, but, just like your first job, it’s a start.
Based in: Stuart
How it started: Patricia O’Connell had been in the radio business for 25 years before she decided to start all over. “Everybody has that thing that they kind of always wanted to do, and mine was to open a little boutique,” she says. She found out that a local store owner was selling her boutique in 2007, and by 2008 O’Connell owned the 400-square-foot space the previous owner called Gumbo Limbo. O’Connell kept the name, but many things changed. Home décor and gifts still made up a bulk of inventory, but since, O’Connell has added purses, Alex and Ani bracelets and a baby line, which has been so successful it’s merited the opening of a second store.
½ cup of organic strawberries
¼ cup of raw oats
1 tbsp of raw honey
In a small mixing bowl, add oats and honey, then mash in strawberries
Massage onto face
Rinse with warm water
1. Ellyn Delano
6th grade, Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition
Project: Testing the amount of gluten in baking flour
“I picked this project because I wanted to know more about what is in the flour I use for baking. Whole wheat flour contains the most gluten when compared to all purpose, gluten-free, soy and unbleached flours.”
2. Joshua Navarro
6th grade, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Academy