beauty & health

Love the one you’re with

By Melanie Pagan

The loveliest holiday of the year is right around the corner! Though it’s important to shower your lover with affection year-round, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to take levels of admiration up a notch.

With gorgeous sunsets and dreamy hotel suites, Sanibel Island boasts a romantic atmosphere that is ideal for sweethearts. Delectable eats and exclusive jewels offered on the island also allow for one-of-a-kind keepsakes and experiences. Here are some ways you can spoil your darling on Sanibel in celebration of the big day:


Lily & Co. Jewelers

Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry

Sealife by Congress

Thistle Lodge

Traditions on the Beach

Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

Trader’s Cafe
Trader’s VIP members will recieve a bottle of  house wine, Dante, at 1/2 off with the purchase of two lunch or dinner entrees (not applicable during Happy Hour).  This special will be offered throughout the month of February.

Spa Time
Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa & Boutique

Off island
Mark Loren Designs

Gulf Coast Coin & Jewelry
gc coin

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

Do you know of other Valentine’s Day specials offered in the area? Let us know below!

Hello, Twenty Fourteen

By Melanie Pagan

At the start of any new year, thoughts of how to make the next 365 days better than the last flood through countless minds.

But while everyone is stuck trying to master changing threes to fours when writing out dates, we at TOTI are continuing to plan stories as far out in advance as November/December. Producing bimonthly magazines requires us to work so far ahead that we can easily forget about the now.

So, this is us reflecting on 2013, and looking forward to the future.

In the last year, we have worked with a number of innovators, expanded our team, grown our loyal fan-base, created a stronger internet presence, attended marvelous events and have done our best to capture special sides of the area we call home.

Like anyone else, we have experienced some bumps in the road, but it’s the mountains and valleys of life that keep the journey exciting. Through trial and error, we’ve managed to keep a consistent mindset: work diligently to give readers a high-quality magazine to indulge in.

Even in an increasingly digital world, nothing beats the feeling of curling up with a magazine in hand, and flipping through glossy pages with dazzling photographs and stories highlighting Southwest Florida’s most fascinating people and places.

We are continuing to implement changes in our 2014 issues to keep this sentiment alive within our readers. With all of the new technology out there, we are easily exposed to hundreds of news outlets, and the shift from just timely articles to in-depth features can be a refreshing break.

So for 2014, our New Year’s resolution is to continue being your source of enlightenment for our beautiful coast. Join us by picking up our January/February issue, kicking back in this gorgeous weather, and reading in the company of Mother Nature. Because everyone needs to unplug now and then, and we promise dozens of great stories for you to get lost in.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant and social media representative for TOTI Media, Inc.


In Good Health

by Melanie Pagan

At a recent Carrabba’s luncheon, I listened to Andrew H. Singh, MD, MPH (guest author of Healthy Me. Healthy Lee. in our September/October issue of Gulf & Main) give a lecture on workplace wellness.

Similar to what he wrote in the article, Dr. Singh spoke about the Healthy Lee Workplace Wellness Incentive—a lifestyle plan created by the Horizon Council designed to inspire people in our community to make healthier choices.

Turns out, just a few simple lifestyle changes can take you a long way down the road to healthier living. Here are some key points Dr. Singh went over, showing us how to incorporate these choices every day:

Exercise More: Or, as I like to call it, the hardest activity to dedicate yourself to. But, commitment-phobes can relax. One does not need a gym membership to be active, although it helps.

Thirty minutes of exercise in the form of a brisk walk or three 10-minute exercises a day fits in to even the busiest of schedules, said Dr. Singh.

Eat healthier: Even after I opted for tilapia with my pasta instead of chicken, Dr. Singh offered a healthier alternative to our carb-filled dine in.

“As you can see, hardly anyone has touched the pasta at our table,” he said, pointing to a group of health workers with no more than a few bites taken from their plates. They had filled up on side orders of broccoli instead.

According to doctor’s orders, plates should be filled with 50 percent fruits and vegetables, equaling out to about five-to-nine servings a day. Even at restaurants, he proved this is still able to be done.

Don’t Smoke: The smoke-free environment Dr. Singh has implemented at his office promotes the healthy living lifestyle to all his employees. On average, he said, smokers miss about three-to-four more days of work per year directly from smoke-related illnesses.

Get plenty of rest: According to Dr. Singh, seven hours of sleep is the minimum a mind needs to stay sharp throughout the day.

Enjoy life: Isn’t this what we all want to do, anyway? Keeping your mind and body active, Dr. Singh said, is the key to getting there.

I watched as the doctor and wellness advocate kept us engaged through his honest enthusiasm, and it made me realize just how much he has truly benefited from this lifestyle. While most of us were drowning in that sluggish, two o’clock feeling after indulging in empty calories, I wondered how much better I would have felt had I opted for a plate of broccoli instead, too.

To those who have already adopted a more active lifestyle, how does this fit into your everyday schedule? And to those who are striving to be more health-conscious for 2014, how do you intend to do so? We always want to feel our best, so let’s help each other get there and start sharing some secrets to wellness!

For more information on the Healthy Lee Workplace Wellness Incentive and to learn how to implement this into your own workplace, pick up our September/October issue of Gulf & Main on stands now.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc. 

Be Still my Locks

by Melanie Pagan

Even if I could handle swimsuit-warranting weather for a big longer until crisp, fall air set in, my hair had made it clear it couldn’t. It was getting more and more impatient; childish, really. Strands were either facing every direction but the one I intended, or causing a scene in public by suddenly doubling in size from frizz. It was time for me to take control.

I flipped to the Beauty Trends section of Gulf & Main’s September/October issue, desperate to learn of a product that could tame my unruly mop. There it was, Moroccanoil, the answer to my hair-care prayers.

I had heard of Moroccan oil in the past, and noticed it had already been added to many contemporary styling products, but had never tried the trademarked stuff. Since I read that it’s the go-to product used on clients at ‘Tween Waters Inn on Captiva, I figured it must be worthy of my tresses, too.

I searched until I found just what I was looking for. I purchased Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray ($22.20) and the Restorative Hair Mask ($43)—two types of products I have struggled with in the past. Usually, one is either too oily, the other too sticky, but with this brand my hair felt like Goldilocks (no pun intended) when she found the perfect porridge: just right.

I felt immediate improvement as I ran a comb through my knot-free strands after washing out the hydrating mask. My curls formed with bounce, not frizz.

When it came time to style, the hairspray was the ideal finishing touch. Just like the bottle reads, it created a weightless and natural look without any residue. For the rest of the day, I felt I had the hair of a celebrity who just stepped out of a salon.

Since then, the products have earned a spot in my daily beauty ritual, leaving me with the same confidence about my tresses every day. In fact, if my hair could talk, I would imagine it would want to share its gratitude with a speech like this:

“I’d like to thank all the lovely fans who have complimented me since my transformation, and to you, Moroccanoil, for believing in me when every other product gave up. But most of all, thank you Beauty Trends department, for I would have never reached my full potential had it not been for your guidance. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

But hey, maybe it’s best that my mane can’t talk for itself. Nobody likes egotism, and I certainly do not want to suffer from a big head (of hair) again.

Avid Beauty Trends readers: Do you have a favored product that has appeared in our magazines before? Or what about an item you have discovered with help from our beauty department? Please, do share! Also, if there is a product on a need-to-know basis that we haven’t yet featured, let us know! Sharing is caring, and we all know our beauty cabinets could use the love.

For more Moroccanoil products, pick up the September/October issue of Gulf & Main on stands now. Check out more of our latest beauty finds in our currently available issues of Gulf & Main, Times of the Islands, RSW Living and Bonita & Estero.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc.