I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman: CaSandra White

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Written by Emily Watkins

Mom, Entrepreneur and Fun-lover

The first thing you notice about CaSandra White is her gigantic smile and infectious laugh. She says that it’s important to have a sense of humor. “I think I’m funny, and I like people who also think I’m funny. I believe laughter really is the best medicine. I do something unbelievably silly every day, so I have to be able to laugh at myself.”


This was White’s first makeover, and she really enjoyed the personal attention. She says, “I was so honored to be recognized. You move through life doing your everyday thing; you never think about someone noticing or thinking you are a beautiful Rochester woman. It makes you feel proud of the work you do, and it motivates you to do more.”

She says it was a “wonderful experience. I just could not comprehend, and I had to keep asking myself, ‘I’m doing what today?’ I was ready to get my Fergie on after the photoshoot.”



More than Skin Deep

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Written by By Trish Amundson

Cosmetic services restore and rejuvenate the mind, body and skin.

Cosmetic procedures are not only for the rich and famous. Several options are less invasive—and less costly—than the “nip and tuck” procedures of the past. According to 2016 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, specialists around the country perform an astonishing 17.1 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures each year. At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, patients receive the same high quality of care for cosmetic procedures as is the standard for all care provided by the clinic. 

Caring Environment and Services

“I begin with a comprehensive consultation with my patients to discuss their cosmetic goals and how best to achieve them—everything from skincare to surgery,” says Rachel Miest, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology and medical director of aesthetic dermatology at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Miest’s practice includes providing personalized services at Rejuvenate Spa. Located within the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, the spa’s tranquil environment is the perfect venue for therapies and treatments that improve wrinkles, scars, brown spots and more. For example:

  • Botox improves the look of forehead wrinkles, frown lines between eyebrows and crow’s feet.
  • Chemical peels improve fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration and mild acne.
  • Soft tissue fillers add volume to facial tissues and smooth wrinkles and folds.
  • Laser therapy improves the appearance of skin or minor facial flaws.

“We accommodate same-day services whenever possible,” says Dr. Miest, who works closely with an esthetician to provide recommendations for skin care products and spa services. “If a surgical approach is most appropriate, I refer patients to one of my surgical colleagues.”

Healing with Passion and Inspiration 

Dr. Miest is trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the skin, hair and nails. With a special interest in women’s health, her passion for aesthetic dermatology grew naturally in response to the different needs of patients. She has trained with aesthetic physicians nationally and internationally. In a field where there is a significant art to approaching aesthetic patients and performing these procedures, this invaluable experience allows her to incorporate the techniques of leaders in the field into what she does for patients at Mayo Clinic each and every day.

Her inspiration is her patients. “Something that attracted me to dermatology was the ability to heal all parts of a person—body and mind,” she says. “I understand the emotional impact our outward appearance can have, and the opportunity to help patients feel better about themselves is incredible.”

Real Patients, Real Experiences

From prevention to correction, Dr. Miest enjoys every aspect of what she does. She aims for natural-looking results and sees firsthand the significant benefit to patients of all backgrounds and ages. There’s no question, her patients are her best advocates: 

  • An 80-year-old woman wanted to reduce wrinkles around her mouth so her treatment plan included Botox to the upper face and soft tissue fillers to the mid and lower face. She returned three weeks after her treatment and said her close friends noticed her improved appearance but couldn’t tell what she had done. 
  • A 39-year-old woman sought consultation after the stress of caring for an ill child had aged her significantly in a short period of time. With an improved skin care regimen and regular Botox treatments, Dr. Miest restored a more youthful appearance.
  • A 37-year-old breast cancer survivor wanted to decrease wrinkles and improve skin texture after chemotherapy. With beautiful results, an improved skin care regimen was initiated, along with regular Botox treatments. 

Now is the time to consider cosmetic services to restore and rejuvenate your mind, body and skin, and revitalize your soul.

Learn More



Patients may call the Dermatology appointment office (507-284-2536) or Rejuvenate Spa (507-293-2966) to schedule a consultation. 

Trish Amundson is a Rochester-area freelance writer.



A Day in the Life of Dr. Carol Reid

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Written by Emily Watkins

Olmsted Medical Center’s new Otolaryngologist 

Otolaryngology is “the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained to diagnose and manage diseases and disorders of the ears, nose, sinuses, larynx (voice box), mouth and throat, as well as structures of the neck and face. They are commonly referred to as ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) physicians,” according to American Academy of Otolaryngology website.


With the addition of Carol M. Reid, M.D., Olmsted Medical Center’s ENT department doubled from one to two doctors in 2017. Reid and Christopher Dennis Frisch, M.D. treat adults and pediatric patients for both acute and chronic conditions. If necessary, OMC’s ENT department partners with their plastic surgery department when septorhinoplasty (nasal repair) is needed as part of treatment.



From the Ground Up

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Written by Tori Utley

Women Are Re-wiring the Electrical Industry

From low to high voltage electricians to leaders of large public utility companies, the electrical industry literally powers our daily lives. And while the industry has been historically male dominated, more and more women are finding their place in the field. 

According to the National Science Foundation, women represent half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, yet only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce is female. Even more surprising is that of the more than 660,000 electricians across the U.S. workforce, only 1.5 percent is female.

For the women working in the electrical industry, no matter the role, they share one common belief: There is a place for women in the field.


Meet Andrea Tarpenning, an electrician and low voltage installer at Foster Electrical a Premier Company in Rochester. A former correctional officer of 16 years, she pursued her interest in the electrical field after a lifetime of being curious about how things work. “When I was a kid I was always interested in taking things apart and putting them back together. I wanted to know how and why things work the way they do,” she says. 



Natural, Neutral New Home

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Written by Bob Freund

Delight for the Long Run

When Kate Jacobsen talks about “timeless neutrality,” she’s not discussing politics; she’s describing her family’s new home. Kate and her husband, Jeff, wanted to build a lasting look and function into their new home on Rochester’s far south side. “I wanted it to be timeless—not get tired in 10 years,” Kate says. 

The Jacobsens chose a blend of neutral colors to tie together the three levels of the 4,950-square-foot house. Neutral doesn’t have to be bland, as many homeowners have discovered. Patterns, shades of color and even sparkle can add interest. The Jacobsen house incorporates all three.


Kate Jacobson, a nurse anesthetist, and Jeff, a teacher for Stewartville Public Schools, lived in a house in northwest Rochester for 12 years before moving last fall to live closer to Jeff’s job. Kate kept in touch with RyMark Homes after being impressed by the features in a model home. “We worked with (RyMark co-owner) Ryan (Ruskell) intermittently for over two years before we committed to him,” Kate says. 



Red Decor

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Written by Cindy Mennenga



Red is one of those colors that gets noticed! Bold, bright and beautiful—red is the color of passion and power. The color most frequently associated with love and romance, red is also a stimulating color that grabs our attention. It’s no mistake that red is used on stop signs and fire engines. Red even has its own special day: Valentine’s Day!


Indeed, red is the predominant color theme at Red44, a new luxury apartment community located a stone’s throw from Apache Mall in Rochester. Red44 boldly utilizes red strategically throughout its common areas by incorporating the color in some of its accent pieces, while in other areas an entire wall has been washed in red. Their interior designer even chose to include paintings with a splash of red here and there, to tastefully pull the various design elements together without overpowering the space. As a result, the overall look is tasteful, sophisticated and elegant. 



Handy Gal's Guide to Home Maintenance

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Written by Cindy Mennenga

What You Can Do This Winter

The concept of home maintenance makes a lot of people wonder where to start. Often stereotypically thought of as men’s work, women shy away from getting involved in the upkeep of their home. Truly, there is nothing about home maintenance that makes it a man’s job, any more than cleaning the house and doing laundry should be women’s work. If you live in a house, it’s in your best interest to ensure it is well cared for and all components are in tip-top condition.

Home maintenance can be shrouded in mystery, so we will be creating a series of articles brimming with tips. We’ll help remove some of the confusion and give you suggestions on how to care for your home—inside and out—as the seasons change.   


One of the most important things you can do to keep your family healthy is to make sure the air in your home is fresh and clean. Indoor air quality is especially important during the winter months because we spend most of our time indoors. One of the easiest things you can do to maintain good air quality is to change your furnace filter. 



Say Cheese!

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Written by Emily Watkins

We Love This Dairy Indulgence

Cheese! Glorious cheese! Remember that commercial? It is glorious, and when you pair it with red wine, the glories are magnified.

My wine club recently met to taste cabernet sauvignon and cheese. We received nine amazing cheeses from local vendors to pair with the wine. Needless to say, we were in heaven.


LeeAnn Zubay, owner of Zzest Market downtown, says that cabs can be difficult to pair with cheese because there can be such a variety of flavors that are present in the wine. One cheese that she gave us for our tasting was Cloud Cap from Cascadia Creamery in Trout Lake, Washington. Zubay says, “It is inspired by the Welsh cheese Caerphilly. It has a mottled, slightly bloomy rind with aromas of earth and forest floor. The paste is soft, yet crumbly; you may notice slight citrus notes, definite grassy, hay flavors and mushroom closer to the rind. I chose this for a cab because of the mushroom hay notes.” This cheese had a fantastic soft center and a tanginess that paired well with the wine.

Another cheese Zubay recommends with cabernet is Gruyere Surchoix, which is an Alpine-style, washed-rind, cow’s milk cheese. She says this is a multiple award-winning cheese handmade in small batches in Wisconsin. She says, “Surchoix wheels are aged for at least nine months, resulting in this luscious cheese with a creamy paste and crunchy crystals. It is buttery with a meaty richness, and an extraordinary nutty, mushroomy flavor.” Again, the mushroom flavor goes well with cabernet, and Zubay tips that it will go especially well if the wine has some fruit notes to it. She said that this would be “wonderful with apples or crusty bread” and is “also a good melting cheese for fondue or grilled cheese.”

We took a chance with a blue cheese that might not normally go well with a cabernet. The Blue Jay that comes from Sheboygan, Wisconsin “is super interesting” with some buttery notes. It has a bit of a piney flavor that comes from crushed juniper berries that are infused throughout the cheese. Zubay says that it “is a little on the bold side so it also should be able to stand up to a cab.” And it did. 


Dawn Makarios at Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls contributed to our glorious cheese selection with Sartori Montamore. She encouraged me to read about it on their website: “Like a new romance, this sweet, creamy and fruity cheese begins with a deliciously inviting appearance and finishes with a playful, tangy bite. It is named with deep affection for the gorgeous Dolomite mountains that tower with breathtaking beauty above the Sartori hometown of Valdastico, Italy.” Ah, yes. 

We also got to try a cheese made in Faribault called Jeff’s Select Gouda, from Ferndale Market. This cheese has won a number of prizes, and it won our hearts as well.


I noticed a little crunch in some cheeses before but did not know what it was. Like in the Gruyere from Zzest, Ethan Schandelmeier, meat department manager at the People’s Food Co-op told me that we would find “crystals” in the Beemster Vlaskaas Gouda that he donated for our tasting. He described this gouda as smooth and interesting. The Beemster website says, “Vlaskaas was historically made only once a year, during the flax harvest festival…It’s buttery and semi-soft with unique sweet-milk flavor, notes of almond and a touch of sharpness that adds depth.” 

We tried Cello Copper Kettle Parmesan from People’s Food Co-op. According to the Cello Cheese website, “Parmigiano Reggiano is known as the king of cheeses. Cello Copper Kettle Parmesan starts with fresh milk heated in a traditional copper kettle and ages for 16 months to develop the complex fruity and nutty notes reminiscent of cooked caramel. (It) has the rich, nutty authentic flavor of Grana Padano. Its crunchy texture and robust flavor are the result of brining in natural sea salt and aging in a temperature controlled environment.”


Certified Cheese Master Karen Lange works at Hy-Vee West Circle Drive. She recommended two cheeses. She says, “Presidents Brie is a well-known brand of soft ripened cheese. It has a creamy, buttery taste with a slight white mushroom finish, making this cheese a perfect match for most jams and chutneys. The fruity taste of cabernet sauvignon would only compliment the buttery richness of the Brie.” I spread a mango chutney on the Brie, which made for a beautiful presentation as well as a delicious combination of sweet and salty.

The second cheese that she recommended was Black Creek three-year cheddar. Lange says, “Its rich, full flavor with a sharpness but also a creamy finish makes this cheese a perfect match for a cabernet. It allows the savory flavors of the wine to shine. My favorite part of aged cheese is the tyrosines: These give the cheese a bit of a crunch. Cheddar is always a safe bet to put on a cheese tray; most if not all people enjoy the great taste of cheddar.”


A wine and cheese tasting party is a great way to gather with old friends but also can lend a structure to a party where people don’t know each other very well. There are many ways to set it up. You can do all the work as the host, deciding on a theme and the wines and cheeses, or you can ask all your guests to contribute wine or cheese.

Our group usually focuses on the wines, with food that is delicious but plays a supporting role. I decided to add the focus on the cheese to this occasion as well. We have been working our way through a book called “Drink This: Wine Made Simple” by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. She includes chapters on nine different varietals of wine and provides information about the wine, the food it pairs well with, the tasting “markers” or flavors and scents you might find in the wine. She recommends setting out small dishes of these markers so that you can sniff and taste to try to pick out the certain scents and tastes. Having a lot of variety in the flavors of the cheeses helped to enhance our enjoyment of the wine.

When you host your wine and cheese tasting, provide paper and pencils so that your guests make notes and bring them home. Serve bread or crackers, and it’s most helpful if the flavors in them don’t overpower the cheese. Fruit, such as grapes, berries, apples and dried apricots or figs are beautiful and taste delicious with both wines and cheeses.

A Valentine’s Day card I recently saw says, “I love you as much as I love cheese, and that is an awful lot.” Share the love. Pass the cheese, please.


Emily Watkins is a personal trainer and writer in Rochester.



More Women on the Move

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Written by Brittney Marschall

A Renewed Grassroots Organization

While many females have held influential roles in Southeast Minnesota over the years, opportunities for more women to pursue leadership positions are ample as the area grows. 

More Women on the Move, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, is dedicated to empowering women committed to inclusive, equitable, healthy communities and seeking and supporting women to run for elected office. The group strives to help women explore a variety of leadership positions throughout the community, regardless of their area of interest or expertise. 

The success of the original Women on the Move group, in its efforts to encourage more women to run for office and seek leadership roles, inspired the renewed More Women on the Move group to replicate that success as the Rochester group progresses.



Winter in the City

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Written by Renee Berg

A plethora of options to do with kids.

Rochester has long been known as a great place to raise a family. What makes it great? For one, there is a lot to do in the area. I researched community offerings and composed an overview of some of the best activities for you and your kiddos this winter. And luckily, there’s something for children of all ages.


Quarry Hill Nature Center is a go-to place in spring, summer and fall, and winter is no different. Layer on your gear and head to the nature center. Then it’s a tough choice—do you prefer cross country skiing or snowshoeing? Get your equipment and head out on Quarry Hill’s more than 8 miles of groomed trails with varying levels of difficulty from beginner to expert.

If raucous fun is more your game, grab your sleds and head to Rochester’s famous Judd Park for sledding, or get in the car and head to Stewartville for snow tubing at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch. For tubing, register online in advance and share the hill with up to 80 fellow snow lovers. Tubers of all ages are welcome and tubing time runs two hours. Pack your own snacks and cocoa (hot water and cups are provided) and sit in the warm chalet bragging about your tubing exploits.


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