About Carolina Woman

Carolina Woman, the largest and longest-running women's magazine in the Carolinas, is a celebrated lifestyle publication that was launched in 1993.


Its readership includes 100,000 upscale, professional women in the high-tech Research Triangle area, a region covering Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill, with a population of almost 2 million.


Carolina Woman's publisher is Debra Simon, a writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Seventeen Magazine, Adweek, Reuters, The Miami Herald, The Hartford Courant and The Financial Times.


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Behind the Pages


First-Ever Carolina Woman Endorsements –

Joe Biden, Cal Cunningham


When October's Scientific American magazine announced, "We've never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history - until now," I thought, "Carolina Woman has never backed a candidate in its 27-year history. If not now, when?" Carolina Woman endorses Joe Biden for president and Cal Cunningham for U.S. Senate. The reasons can't be put better than the words in Scientific American.


"The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people–because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future."


After the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House, I wrote the column below. I knew things were going to be bad. But I couldn't have imagined how bad. Please make a plan to vote.


– Debra Simon



What Do We Do Now?

With this issue, Carolina Woman begins its 24th year of publication. Since the day I founded the magazine in 1993, it has steered clear of politics. And that's by design. North Carolina is a politically divided state, and I wanted to ensure that any Triangle woman who picked up a copy felt represented in its pages.


Yet, after nearly a quarter-century, I must speak out. My readers are women, and I will always work to protect them, even if the attacks come from the highest office in the land.


Unfortunately, the 45th president of the United States makes no apologies for being a misogynist. He has little respect for American females and is happy to demonstrate his flagrant disregard for women's rights.


By his own crude and shameful words, this man has shown himself to be not just anti-woman but also anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-Mexican, anti-LGBT...really, anti anyone but himself. The top posts in his administration are largely filled with others like him – old, rich, white and male.


His administration is hostile to issues affecting women. These include raising the minimum wage and making progress on equal pay; working to stop climate change and care for the environment; keeping a lid on reproductive restrictions in many areas including access to contraception; fighting sexism as well as sexual misconduct; and ensuring that limits on health care don't disproportionately affect women.


Is this 1970? 1960? Maybe 1950? How could women have come so far only to have fallen so fast? The current state of affairs in Washington is both devastating and terrifying.


We need to stick together, fight and resist. I've discovered in myself a new activism. I've been protesting with like-minded North Carolinians at Moral Mondays and other demonstrations; writing and calling members of Congress; and contributing to progressive groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and Planned Parenthood.


I encourage you to use your voice, too. Your way of speaking up or the issues you find important may be different than mine. That's what makes this America.


Please take a moment to consider these provocative words by Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a Lutheran pastor who was seized and imprisoned in a German concentration camp. He wrote about the timidity of his fellow citizens following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.


"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.


Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.


Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.


Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me."


Never forget that dissent is patriotic,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 Behind the Pages


Woof! Woof!


Cecil, a shaggy scamp who looks like Benji, the doggie star of family movies, was adopted last week.


So was Sasha, who commands attention like an Alaskan pure-bred. Also joining a new family was Nyla, an excited cutie with a face that's half tan and half white.


Same for a sweet black puppy named Pinto. And her sibling, Beans.


All came from the Animal Protection Society in Durham, the county's shelter.


I'm proud to say that I had a little something to do with these bowwows finding their furever homes. A very little something. I just started volunteering to work with the canines at APS.


Carolina Woman has been a sponsor of the organization and its events for decades, and I had helped here and there with office work and Tails at Twilight, its gala fundraiser.


But until I began to show up for Fido shifts, I never realized the extent to which the people treat the animals as individuals. And how much work – and love – goes into caring for them.


The dedicated staff cleans kennels, serves food, administers medicine, washes piles of laundry, and handles additional innumerable details necessary to take care of living beings.


Volunteers make sure each resident can let his or her personality shine. These furry friends thrive on the attention they get walking woodsy trails, chasing balls and breathing free in the play yard, and being rewarded with treats for good behavior. Some playful pups even get taken home for sleepovers.


There's a similarly enthusiastic cadre of cool-cat volunteers tending to the felines.


Butch Hamre of Butner has been working tirelessly at the shelter for nine years. A Nortel retiree, he punches in for dog duty Monday through Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m., for a total of 300 to 500 hours a year.


"You need something to get you up in the morning when you retire," Hamre explains, adding with a laugh, "Dogs are easier to get along with than people."


Hamre's not the only one in the family with dogged determination. His wife, Sue, rolls up her sleeves at two other organizations and goes to APS once a week to do its paperwork.


Bernadette (Bernie) Zimmerman, of Durham, is another warm heart on the Monday-to-Thursday early shift. She's been answering the call for seven years.


"I love animals," explains Zimmerman, who walks pooches as her side gig. "And the shelter does wonderful work finding homes for them."


Inspired to be a breed apart? Volunteer!


APS and other large shelters that mind canines and felines as well as additional representatives of the animal kingdom are listed below. Plus, rescue organizations in the Triangle are happy to hear from those who want to pitch in.

• Animal Protection Society of Durham apsofdurham.org
• Animal Shelter of Orange County orangecountync.gov/388/volunteers
• Chatham Animal Rescue chathamanimalrescue.org
• SPCA of Wake County spcawake.org
• Wake County Animal Center wakegov.com/pets/pages/default.aspx


Keep the tails wagging,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's March/april 2020 Behind the Pages


Win at Losing
20 Moves for 2020


Want to whittle your waistline? Rhetorical question. Who doesn't? I've been mired in the quest to drop excess weight for decades, and I still don't know what really works to make lasting change.


So, I've consulted with the top experts in this field at Triangle medical institutions. Their bottom-line prescription: Eat better and move more.


Yup, that's easier said than done. Give yourself a fighting chance, they suggest, by making your goals realistic, keeping a food and fitness journal, weighing once a week and measuring once a month.


Here are other recommended moves.


Eat Better
Avoid fad diets. Forget about starving yourself or restricting meals to one food group.
Adopt a practical food plan. In order to not just lose the pounds, but keep them off, craft a program you're willing to follow for a lifetime.
Sit down for three meals a day. These include breakfast, which really is the most important meal of the day.
Chew with awareness. Relish every bite.
Hold off hunger. Take in enough throughout the day so you're never famished.
Prepare many good-for-you items. These include fruit, veggies, broth-based soups, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
Take in lots of fiber and fluid. Both help you feel full.
Reject all-or-nothing thinking. Savor that slice of birthday cake, then get back on track at the next meal.
Put your kitchen to work. Stock it with foods that'll make you feel better.
Be kind to yourself. If you slip off the plan, think about why the lapse occurred and use that data to be more successful next time.


Move More
Sample various workouts. Jump in the pool, on the treadmill and around everything else that looks interesting until you find the hustle you love.
Know yourself. Answer truthfully: Which workouts would I do again and again?
Choose activities you'll enjoy. Walk at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Take a dance class. Go boating on Jordan Lake.
Devise an exercise schedule. Incorporate cardio, strength and flexibility.
Start slow. If you want this to last, you must give yourself time to enjoy and get familiar with it.
Involve others. Enhance relationships and your commitment to wellness by getting friends and family absorbed in healthy, fun activities.
Stretch and flex. Grab a moment to extend your muscles through their entire range of motion at your desk, in your car or in front of the TV.
Breathe. Use your breath to relax and unwind.
Set reasonable, short-term goals. Define fitness aims you can meet in one month so you'll feel joyful about your progress.
Live actively. Play with the kids or the dog; walk or ride a bike to local stores; park far from entrances; pace when you're on the phone.


And finally, celebrate even slight improvements. Cheer each time you order a nourishing dish, breathe deeply to de-stress or go for a stroll because each one is a step on the road to wellness.


Happy, healthy 2020!

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JULY/AUGUST 2019 Behind the Pages


Ho-Ho-Way to Go!
Make the season bright


With the constancy of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Carolina Woman has been dispensing holiday advice for more than a quarter century. From "Santa Stumped?" in 1993 to "Serenity Now!" in 2018, the key takeaway is: Plan to have a wonderful time of year. To help you do just that, I've collated our best tips.


To survive the season
• Don't sweat the small stuff.
• Do things the easy way.
• Accept help wherever you can get it.
• Buy presents by the case (for example, wine) or for a group of friends or relatives (for example, an outing); consider making donations as gifts.


To tip the scales in your favor
• Purchase healthier food.
• Try lighter versions of beverages (for example, spritzers).
• Modify traditional recipes to make them better for you.
• Sit down for three good meals a day; don't graze.


To make your place merry
• Choose a holiday style that reflects your personality.
• Arrange seasonal items in groups.
• Pull together decorations with the same color or theme.
• Edit outside ornamentation.


To donate well
• Require details in writing.
• Ask how the money is spent.
• Learn how long the charity has existed.
• Research the organization.


To create a haven for houseguests
• Clear the clutter and clean the house.
• Sleep in the guest quarters for at least one night to see if your visitors will really like it.
• Make your temporary roomies feel at home.
• Provide a grand tour of your abode upon their arrival, so they know where everything is and how it works.


To fight stress
• Keep expectations reasonable.
• Decline to overextend yourself.
• Connect with supportive people.
• Take care of yourself – eat healthfully, exercise and get a good night's sleep.



Have a holly jolly time,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JULY/AUGUST 2019 Behind the Pages


How Women Won the Vote
(Hint: N.C. Didn't Help)

The year was 1971. Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" was the anthem of the women's liberation movement. Activists burned their bras, marched in the streets and demanded equal treatment at home and work.


Oh, and the N.C. Legislature ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which had given women the right to vote – more than a half century before.


The suffrage fight, which began in the 1880s, was an uphill battle. In the South, opposition was particularly strong. For example, the first bill introduced in the N.C. Senate to enfranchise women, in 1897, was referred to the committee on insane asylums.


When Susan B. Anthony was born in 1820, there were no female doctors, lawyers or ministers. Women weren't allowed to attend college. Married women couldn't own property, earn money, enter into contracts or act as legal guardians of their own children.


The key to capturing these opportunities, Anthony decided, was the ability to cast a ballot.


"When men know that women can vote their heads off, then officials and office-seekers will attend to women's wants," Anthony declared.


In 1919, Congress passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment; three-quarters of the states were needed to ratify it.


The entire country held its breath on a muggy summer day in 1920 as the N.C. Senate gathered. Only one more state was needed to make the amendment the law of the land.


The Senate gallery was packed with impassioned women demonstrating their support for both sides.


The antisuffragists were led by the affluent. They could see themselves going to the polls, but they didn't want that right extended broadly to those of lesser means, noted Tarheel Junior Historian magazine.


"North Carolina's textile industry relied heavily on the cheap labor of women and children for its profits," explained the magazine.


"Antisuffragists feared that women would use the vote for reforms such as equal pay for women and stricter regulation of child labor.


"Most of all, antisuffragists in North Carolina opposed letting black women vote. They warned that any possible good to come from enfranchising educated white women would be more than offset by masses of poor black women entering the voting booths."


After five hours of debate, antisuffragists won the skirmish when a motion to postpone voting passed. Legend has it that state Sen. Lindsay Warren won the day by locking in a bathroom Sen. Obediah Teague, who was in favor of women's enfranchisement.


The N.C. Legislature sent a telegram to the Tennessee General Assembly urging it to reject the amendment as well. But the next day, Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee ratified it, giving women access to the ballot box.


Celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on Aug. 26, Women's Equality Day.


Use your vote!

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JULY/AUGUST 2019 Behind the Pages


On the Road Again


Well, shut my mouth! Tourism is booming all over the South. It seems everybody – foreign and domestic – wants to discover what we're all about.


I experienced the red-hot interest firsthand at a recent gathering of Travel South USA, a marketing organization for the southern United States. The nonprofit has a dozen members: the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.


Walking up to the Tarheel State's booth, I cheekily remarked, "Tell me what I don't know." Wow, Eleanor Talley and Norris Hayes of Visit North Carolina had a lot of news about boutique hotels, food halls, event spaces, renovated landmarks, enhanced attractions...the works.


Check out Blowing Rock's renovated Meadowbrook Inn in "Two Mountain Inns, Here and Away" on page 18 as well as this mix of additional cool places.


The Sounds of Music
Groundbreaking artists from Nina Simone and John Coltrane to Earl Scruggs, James Taylor, Link Wray and Rhiannon Giddens hail from our state. A wealth of sounds from a deep musical lineage rises across North Carolina as the state celebrates 2019 as the Year of Music. It includes performances, song-sharing sessions, live streaming events and artist interviews along with such hallmark festivals as MerleFest (in Wilkesboro), Wide Open Bluegrass (in Raleigh) and the N.C. Folk Festival (in Greensboro).


Art splash
Three years after the scaffolding went up, the Asheville Art Museum is set to reopen this summer in a transformed space that honors its landmark building with light-bathed galleries, theater space, and a rooftop sculpture terrace and café. Blending historic and contemporary elements, the $24 million project is restoring the 1926 Pack Memorial Library.


Coaster craze
Roller-coaster junkies have gained a 14th reason to visit Charlotte's Carowinds. It's a double-launch coaster called Copperhead Strike, which anchors a new Blue Ridge Mountains-themed area inspired by Western North Carolina.


Pony up
On the 55th anniversary of the debut of the all-American muscle car, the Mustang Owner's Museum in Concord opened in April with a four-day celebration. mustangownersmuseum.com


First in flight
After two years of restoration, the visitor center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk has reopened with fresh exhibits that reflect the journey as well as the achievement of first flight.


Food fest
As a destination well-loved by culinary travelers and beer fans, Asheville unites celebrated chefs, beverage craftsmen and other artisans for Chow Chow, an immersive festival celebrating makers who bring people to the table. The inaugural event, set for Sept. 12-15, includes tastings and chef demonstrations.



Happy travels!

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's MAY/JUNE 2019 Behind the Pages


My #MeToo Moments


I threw the folder I was carrying on my desk and responded angrily to my boss, "You want to have sex with me? Fine, we'll have sex." Calling his bluff, I shouted, "Let's get this over with already. There's a hotel around the corner. We can go there right now."
He mumbled something about not meaning the lewd remarks he had made.


I stuck with my retort. "You've been making these indecent comments to me for months. You want to go, let's go. But if not, I don't ever want to hear another foul word directed at me." For the remainder of my two years at that job, he never made a suggestive comment to me again.


I was in my early 20s, and it was my first full-time position in journalism. The times were different. The #MeToo Movement was decades away. It was unheard of to lodge an official complaint.


I wish I could tell you that calling out the boss was a calm and collected strategy on my part. But it was pure adrenalin. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore," declared the longtime news anchor Howard Beale in the 1975 film classic "Network." And that was how I felt.


After months of putting up with it, I managed to fix the problem in a dramatic moment. What if it hadn't worked? Would I have quit or would I have continued to deal with his torment?


Regrettably, I suspect the answer might have been the latter. Before I founded Carolina Woman magazine, just about every position I held came with its share of men exhibiting objectionable behavior. Sexual harassment at work – white-collar or blue-collar – was endemic, almost a condition of earning a living.


Not yielding to toxic advances often came with a price. Meet the senior editor who displayed interest in my career – until I told him I wasn't about to have an affair with a married man (twice my age). See the traders on the floor of the financial exchange on which I reported who made clear the crude cost of access to information.


Once, at a job interview, I was asked by a managing editor, "What do you consider to be your best asset?" After I presented my skills as a writer, the creepy executive leered, "I think it's your seductive green eyes." Sometimes, a single comment tells you all you need to know. When I was offered the post, I turned it down.


Not every woman has the option to reject a job. And every woman has her #MeToo story.


The movement has uncorked our rage about sexual misconduct and helped end the silence both in celebrity circles and around the break-room table.


There is still a mountain to climb, but I am hopeful. The times, they are a changin'.


Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's March/april 2019 Behind the Pages


You've Got a Friend


I just finished reading Michelle Obama's "Becoming," a memoir filled with candid insights and wry humor. I've long appreciated the former first lady as a hard worker who dreamed big and turned herself into a leader and role model, and now I have mad respect for her as a writer, too.


Obama's compelling best-seller led me to think of other inspiring black women who have made the dizzying journey, particularly in the arts and particularly in North Carolina. I've compiled a partial list of these trailblazers:


1861 – Harriet Jacobs, born a slave in Edenton, writes "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," one of the first narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves in the plantation South.


1892 – Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, an educator, activist and Raleigh native, pens "A Voice From the South," a collection of essays considered the first book-length feminist analysis of the condition of African-Americans.


1894 – Moms Mabley, the top standup comedienne of her time, is born Loretta Mary Aiken in Brevard.


1951 – Shirley Caesar, a gospel singer and songwriter born in Durham, begins recording at the age of 12. Well-named the "First Lady of Gospel Music," during her career she collects armfuls of accolades, including 12 Grammy Awards.


1954 – Nina Simone, a native of Tryon, begins writing and singing in a one-of-a-kind style that merges her classical training with a broad range of musical genres. In 2000, she receives a Grammy Hall of Fame Award; in 2018, she's inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


1962 – Little Eva, born in Beaufort County, reaches the top of the charts with the dance song "The Loco-Motion."


1969 – Maya Angelou, the poet, award-winning author and Winston-Salem professor, publishes her acclaimed memoir, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."


1972 – Roberta Flack, born in Black Mountain, is nominated for her first Grammy Award for "You've Got a Friend." She goes on to receive a total of 13 nominations and four Grammys.


1997 – Star Jones, an attorney born near Charlotte, joins ABC's "The View" as co-host.


2018 – Jaki Shelton Green, who lives in Mebane, is the first black woman to be poet laureate of North Carolina.


Against all odds, these women have improved and enhanced our lives. And they are not alone. Influential African-American women populate the sciences, all levels of government, and education. As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and Black History Month in February, let us also honor the world-shaping contributions these women have made. They do us proud!



Think big,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JANUARY/february 2019 Behind the Pages


Liberate the Bra: Make It a No-Phone Zone


Why do I care where you stash your cell phone? One in eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime, and I want to ensure you're doing everything you can to avoid the disease.


Some strategies receive tons of ink: performing self-exams, eating right, exercising, getting mammograms, avoiding stress. Others, such as keeping electronic devices far from your chest, not so much.


No, I am not a doctor. Or a scientist. But I recently had a run-in with DCIS, an early breast cancer. I'm fine now, thanks.


One day, as I rested my cell phone against my left breast, it occurred to me that I invariably held it that way and that the exact line of my abnormal cells matched the edge of the phone. This led me down an intriguing path of research that shows a link between cell-phone radiation and tumor growth.


There's been scant news about the connection, so most women are unaware of the potential damage resulting from phone contact with skin, particularly soft breast tissue.


How else to explain the popularity of bras with pockets for cell phones?


We live in a cell phone culture. Of course, we want to have easy access to these essential devices. Unfortunately, cleaving them to your bosom is like putting a microwave radio directly on your anatomy.


"Experimental studies show that cell phone radiation accelerates the growth of breast cancer," states Devra Lee Davis, Ph.D., the president of the Environmental Health Trust, a national nonprofit.


"The public needs to understand that a cell phone is a two-way microwave radio," Davis says. "In order for it to receive information, it must send signals to the tower for the tower to send signals back to it.


"Whenever you are moving while you are on your phone, the phone operates at full power to maintain connection with one cell tower after another. That means continuous, maximum microwave radiation.


"On top of that," she continues, "you have constant microwave radiation plumes generated by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth two-way transmissions as well as notifications and updates of numerous smartphone apps."


Breast cancer is uncommon in young women, but limited studies of those who've contracted it in Europe and the United States have shown that, for some, innocently tucking a cell phone snugly in a bra is a common denominator.


In a 2013 study led by Dr. Lisa Bailey, former president of the American Cancer Society's California Division, four women between the ages of 21 and 39 with invasive breast cancer were found to have neither a family history nor genetic risks for the disease. All had regularly carried their smartphones directly against their breasts for up to 10 hours a day for several years; all developed tumors in the areas where they were continually "X-raying" their body.


Coincidence? Of course, it's possible. That's why more research is needed to conclusively determine if cell phones can cause cancer in women who store them on their torso.


Until then, why not take out a little insurance to keep the girls safe? Use earbuds, headphones or a speaker-phone and hold the phone away from your body. A small inconvenience today is well worth preventing breast cancer tomorrow.



Take good care,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 Behind the Pages

The Healthy N.C. State Fair – Really!


Hurry, hurry, step right up for a fair to remember ...because this one will be good for you.


Don't get me wrong: I appreciate the carnival of excess that is the N.C. State Fair. North Carolinians wait all year to chow down on calorie bombs like Cheerwine funnel cakes, deep-fried Reese's Cups, Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers and – wait for it – the Twinx (a Twinkie stuffed with a Twix candy bar, wrapped in bacon, batter-dipped and deep-fried).


There's certainly something for everyone – yes, even those looking for a healthy experience. I've compiled some ways you can keep your head when all about you there's a roller coaster of shameless indulgence.


First, a little background. I fell in love with the N.C. State Fair the first time I walked through the turnstile. My future father-in-law, a happy-go-lucky gent, had squeezed a dozen relatives into the back of a minivan and drove from his home in Durham to Raleigh.


As we tried to not sit on one another's vital organs, he belted out the family anthem, "The Chicken Song," at the top of his lungs. (Spoiler alert: The cunning rooster triumphs.)


A year later, my wedding was held on a Saturday night during the fair. We didn't get hitched on the Ferris wheel. But we did ferry out-of-town guests to the fairgrounds to provide the full Tar Heel State experience, including pig races, demolition derbies, clogging contests and the 21-foot-tall Smokey Bear.


The 2018 extravaganza takes place Oct. 11 to 21. Begin your wellness quest by attending on a low-traffic day and staying stress-free. Historically, the lightest turnout is on the first Thursday and Friday. Take time to plan and strategize before you go so you can enjoy invigorating experiences as well as fresh food.


Don't arrive hungry. While there, walk, walk and walk some more. Dance. Get a flu shot. Participate in health screenings. Collect fitness information. Play carnival games. Learn about local agricultural products.


When it comes to waist-friendly grub, embrace the concept of moderation by making better choices. Don't blow your diet but don't saddle yourself with unrealistic expectations either. Keep a bottle of water in your hand. Split mega-calorie splurges with others.


Look for: lighter Greek food (humus, salads, kabobs); nuts (especially in the shell); turkey legs (but share if Fred Flintstone-sized); and baked sweet potatoes. Nibble roasted corn on the cob but delete the butter. Order a steak sandwich from the N.C. Cattlemen's Association but forego the bread.


If in doubt, go for fruit – even a chocolate-dipped frozen banana. Hey, the banana has potassium!


–– < • > ––


And while I have your attention...please be sure you're registered to vote and cast your ballot in the general election. Take this opportunity to make a difference!


Keep fighting the good fight,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 Behind the Pages

Play It Cool


An elephant saved my life. Pretty much.


I was suffering from heat exhaustion on a 100-plus day at the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro.


Luckily, I had just witnessed an elephant suck up water with her trunk and use it to hose down her body.


In a flash, I filled a baseball cap with ice water, slammed it on my head and headed for the shade. The heavy sweating, faintness, fatigue and other symptoms I had experienced dissipated within a few minutes.


Since then, I've become a collector of ideas for beating the heat. Want to stay cool in our scorching summers? Here are methods that keep me from wilting in the sun:


1. Wear cotton clothes.
Choose those that are thin, light-colored and loose-fitting.


2. Sport athletic fabrics designed to wick away sweat.
These synthetic materials, such as Coolmax, are great off the court, too.


3. Avoid dark-colored garments.
They absorb the sun's rays, intensifying the heat.


4. Don a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
You'll look mysterious and feel cool as a cucumber.


5. Drink oceans of water.
Replacing fluids is vital because your temperature goes up as you lose H20. Avoid beverages with alcohol, caffeine or sugar, which are dehydrating.


6. Choose hydrating foods, and eat light.
Watermelon, anyone?


7. Douse yourself with cold water.
Be sure to hit the wrists and the neck to cool down blood flowing through your veins.


8. Place an icy bottle of water or damp/frozen washcloth on the sides of your neck.
That'll hit your carotid arteries, the two large blood vessels in your neck that supply your brain and head with blood.


9. Buy a chilling device to wear.
The market includes bandanas, pearls, vests and other novel products that you typically stash in the freezer overnight and put on the next day.


10. Use a cooling towel.
Some have built-in ice packs and freezable gels while others use polymers in the fabric.


11. Grab a necklace fan.
From June to September, don't leave home without it. It keeps your hands free while fanning your face.


12. Carry a hand-held, battery-operated fan.
The misting versions get extra credit. When the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt.


13. Emulate the tricks of other nations.
Examples: Carry an umbrella; go slow; consume spicy foods. People in Mexico and India know that eating hot stuff can cool you down.


14. Plan the day.
Take it easy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Limit strenuous outdoor activity to the early morning or late night.


15. Find shade (outside) or air conditioning (inside).
When outdoors, locate a patch of green with some trees.


If all else fails, get out the water guns and make a splash!



Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JULY/AUGUST 2018 Behind the Pages

We're 25!


Carolina Woman magazine turns 25 this year, and I couldn't be more grateful to everyone involved in its success.


Big hugs to our amazing readers, who are the most fabulous women in the world; our advertisers, who are the savviest marketers; our distribution spots, who know what customers want; and my colleagues, who are the finest folks around.


In 1993, I developed the concept for the magazine and produced the very first issue.


From Day One, I knew Carolina Woman would be a hit. My Triangle neighbors loved its news-you-can-use format on topics from finance to fitness, career to cooking. And astute local businesses wanted to attract those readers.


As social media changed the way we communicate, Carolina Woman changed with it. Our website kicked off when Facebook did in 2004. Two years later, Twitter came along, and we learned to write in 140 characters. In 2010, Instagram and Pinterest started, and we were there!


In 2017, we not only celebrate our first quarter-century and anticipate our future, but also wax nostalgic about the past. Check out our timeline.


1993 – It is with great pride that I introduce the first issue of Carolina Woman.


1995 – We've grown! Pages per issue have jumped 50 percent; copies per month have increased 100 percent; distribution locations have leaped 500 percent; and paid advertising has soared 800 percent.


1997 – Carolina Woman is not owned by a daily newspaper or a national chain. The magazine is the product of an independent business whose founder is me!


1999 – Carolina Woman is available everywhere women go in the Triangle, including restaurants, cafes, health spas, bookstores, libraries, doctors' offices, college campuses and events.


2001 – Carolina Woman was launched from the one-bedroom Durham apartment I shared with my husband and our dog. The magazine boasted a staff of three, if you included the dog.


2003 – What makes this success especially sweet for me is the camaraderie of my colleagues. I'm surrounded by creative, intelligent people who share my love for the magazine.


2007 – We're bigger and better, yet still owned and edited by local women; hundreds of talented college students have taken advantage of our internship programs; thousands of women have participated in our photo and writing contests, surveys and sweepstakes; and 100,000 readers dive into Carolina Woman every month.


2009 – In the early years, I delivered every copy of the magazine from my minivan. At outdoor community events, I'd hang a Carolina Woman banner from the roof and make her part of the act.


2010 – Our headquarters have been in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. Although our offices have shifted, our mission remains the same: to serve fellow women in the Triangle.


2014 – After working as a national news reporter and editor, I originated Carolina Woman. I had big dreams for the publication, but few assets. By necessity a jack (jackie?) of all trades, I answered the phone, negotiated contracts, wrote articles, prepared invoices, covered community events, delivered magazines, paid bills and brewed very large and much-needed pots of coffee.


Here's to another 25 years of caffeine!


Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 Behind the Pages

Serenity Found
30 Ways to Trim Holiday Stress


Feeling frazzled? Welcome to the club! Triangle malls are jam-packed with shoppers, including me; unwritten cards and unwrapped presents clutter my desk; friends and relatives are about to knock on the door. The holidays are loaded with concerns about gifts, entertaining and making things perfect. It's easy to fall behind and feel overwhelmed.


Every year around this time, Carolina Woman advises our readers to minimize anxiety and maximize joy. But it's easier said than done. Following are practical tips that helped me step back from the chaos and savor the season.


Let's start with my favorite: Don't sweat the small stuff. No one cares if your kitchen floor isn't spotless. In the odd case that someone does, hand him a mop.


Pick your faves and give 'em a whirl:


1. Decide why the holidays are important to you (family? relaxation? spirituality?), and set a goal to support that mission.


2. Control your expectations – real life is not a TV Christmas special.


3. Establish a budget, including decorations, get-togethers, gifts, events and outfits, and stick to it.


4. Devise a plan and a to-do list.


5. Allow ample time so you don't run around like the proverbial turkey with its head cut off.


6. Say no; don't overextend yourself by committing to a ton of extra responsibilities.


7. Hang out with supportive people.


8. Make a date with a friend that involves something on your to-do list, such as shopping or cooking.


9. Exchange tasks with a neighbor – example: you bake and she wraps.


10. Look after yourself by exercising, eating healthfully, getting a good night's sleep, and following your daily routine.


11. Abandon time-consuming traditions you don't love anymore in favor of low-key, casual moments.


12. Assume that people will not change - sit your critical uncle at the end of the table; don't bunk at your crazy cousin's house.


13. Accept assistance if kind souls offer their services.


14. Hire an elf or delegate jobs to a spouse, partner or children.


15. Spruce up your home a bit, but don't aim to transform it into a showplace.


16. Deck the halls in one color (reach for red, beguile with blue) to brighten your space.


17. Cook just one or two signature dishes from scratch and order everything else.


18. Ditch the china for paper or rental dinnerware.


19. Indulge in a festive meal at a restaurant.


20. Simplify shopping by choosing one retailer and one online site per category - say, one department store, one toy store, one bookstore and Amazon.


21. Purchase tickets for a group outing to serve as presents for many recipients.


22. Substitute subscriptions or donations in people's names for physical items.


23. Buy in bulk (champagne, candles) and keep items on hand for last-minute goodies.


24. Take advantage of any wrapping services.


25. Use FedEx and other overnight shippers as Santa's sled.


26. Give smartphones and other devices a rest when you're with friends and family.


27. Limit alcohol.


28. Grab physical or mental time-outs, or calm-down breaks, when things become maddening.


29. Send New Year's greetings, which are more memorable and will extend your deadline.


30. Turn up the tunes, think positively, feel grateful and have fun.


Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's November/december 2017 Behind the Pages

In the Driver's Seat

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road."
—Jack Kerouac, "On the Road"


The most excellent adventure is waking up early on a summer morning, jumping in the car, hitting the gas and speeding away. Wind blowing in my hair, tunes blaring on the radio, bare feet resting on the dash. Ah, nirvana!
Turns out, I have to plan for that kind of freedom.


Wanderlust isn't wonderful when all the hotels are sold out, there's nothing to eat but Chicken McNuggets and–surprise!– the museum's closed on Mondays.


Here are road-trip tips I've picked up along the way:


Coordinate with travel buddies. Having a seatmate is like having a roommate, except this one lives just inches away. Kick ideas around before you put the pedal to the metal. What does each person want to see and do? Agree on expectations to steer away from tension and ruffled feelings.


Prepare your vehicle. Clean it out. Schedule a maintenance check, making sure the spare tire's in working order. Gas up before you go, and avoid dropping below a quarter tank once you've hit the road.


Stash an emergency kit. My trunk holds an LED flashlight with extra batteries, flares, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a whistle, a blanket, bottled water, a beach towel and paper towels.


Sign up for roadside assistance. Stranded on the side of the highway with a flat tire? Bet you're glad you joined AAA!


Map out a route. Detours and spontaneous stops are par for the course, but it's smart to start with a plan.


Use E-ZPass. The toll-collecting transponder operates in 16 states, as far south as North Carolina, as far north as Maine and as far west as Illinois.


Book accommodations before you go. It's good to know where you'll be spending the night, even if you keep everything else loose. Otherwise, you may find that hotel prices have skyrocketed and you may not be able to take advantage of sites such as Airbnb.


DJ your ride. Preload your phone with entertainment options. I like to stream music, comedy, NPR podcasts and audiobooks.


Keep powered up. Juice gadgets before you cruise. Remember your car charger, and keep your phone plugged in while driving.


Travel with an atlas. Yes, choose a reliable app for directions. (I'm addicted to Waze.) But GPS can be faulty and it's fun to take the road less traveled, so bring an old-fashioned paper backup.


Drive fresh. Delays are guaranteed, which translates to: don't overschedule. Avoid rush hour. Check the weather. Determine a maximum number of hours a day you'll be behind the wheel, switch drivers if possible, and pull over every couple of hours for breaks that include walks.


Discover regional fare. Get off the superhighway and eat local. Check review sites (I use Tripadvisor, Zomato and Yelp), but also consult real live people. I also pack groceries in a cooler so I can nibble wherever and whenever.


Be careful. Take five in populated areas that are well-lit, and don't leave bags or valuables in plain view. Give your itinerary to a relative or friend.


Enjoy life in the fast lane! Bumps in the road today make for funny stories tomorrow. Don't stress it. Just keep on truckin'.


Have a wonderful summer,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's july/august 2017 Behind the Pages

My Big Sis

To my parents, the children of immigrants, there was nothing more important than the written word. Reading was how you became somebody – an informed citizen, a knowledgeable person to whom other people listened. Reading was the key to the American dream.


It's no surprise that my sister Marilyn became an advertising copywriter, my sister Sandy a reading teacher and I a journalist. When we were kids, the three of us walked a half mile to the public library twice a week to bring home big bags of the stories we loved. Five years my senior, Marilyn handed me Hemingway when I was still in elementary school.


I'm a writer because of Marilyn, who did everything before me. Inspired by her race through school, I skipped eighth grade and the senior year of high school to begin college at the age of 15.


When I was 16, Marilyn graduated from NYU and got a plum job at Seventeen. In short order, the magazine published two articles I wrote about teenage life. The framed pieces, my first paid work as a journalist, are permanently displayed on my office wall.


Fast forward to 2016. I am delighted and so very proud to announce the publication of Marilyn Simon Rothstein's debut novel, "Lift and Separate."


The book is already earning phenomenal reviews, and a leap to the big screen is easy to imagine. Check out this rave from bestselling author Jennifer Belle:


"'Lift and Separate' is a laugh-out-loud, heartwarming story that begs to be a blockbuster starring Nicholson and Keaton and shares the vulnerability, wisdom and brilliance of Nora Ephron's 'Heartburn.'"


I'm already getting measured for my Oscar gown!


What's the storyline? Take a peek:


Marcy Hammer's life has been turned upside down. After decades of marriage, her husband (the head of a global bra empire) deserts her for a shapely 32DD lingerie model.


Marcy's done with Harvey the Home Wrecker. What she needs now is a party-size bag of potato chips, a new dress and the support of good friends.


Striking out on her own is difficult at first, but Marcy perseveres and even manages to find humor in heartbreak. She has no intention of falling apart even when she uncovers more bombshells.


Life may be full of setbacks, but by lifting herself up by her own lacy straps, Marcy just may be able to handle them all.


Make sure this sophisticated romp by my big sis lands atop your reading list. Order it on Amazon or ask for it at an independent bookstore in the Triangle. I guarantee you'll love it as much as I do.


Happy holidays,

Debra Simon

Editor & Publisher


From Carolina Woman's nov/dec 2016 Behind the Pages

We Have a Say

Her first vote was for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, after the Great Depression. More recently, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, 102-year-old Geraldine (Jerry) Emmett excitedly announced that Arizona cast 51 votes for Hillary Clinton.


Emmett was born in 1914, six years before women even had the right to vote. That right was established only after suffragists fought for almost half a century for passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.


The former public school teacher recalled her mother gathering her children as she cast her first vote long, long ago.


"We all walked out in the middle of the street and cheered...because my mother was going to get to have a say! That was something."


Emmett herself has now participated in a historic milestone: Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major political party.


As women, voting is especially close to our hearts. We didn't always get to participate in choosing our president or any public servant. By casting ballots today, we honor those who spared no effort to give their fellow women a place at the table.


I've developed awe for the American way of choosing our leaders after several stints as a poll worker who checks in voters on Election Day.


First, I was a New York City college student earning some extra cash. The experience turned out to be astonishing, inspiring. For 15 hours, Americans of every age, color, shape and dress stepped up to do their duty as citizens of a free country.


I held back tears throughout the day. When a stooped, elderly woman signed her name with a shaking hand. When a mom showed her little girl what it meant to vote. When an immigrant cast her ballot, proudly, for the first time.


Second, I served as an official at a rural polling place in the Triangle. Again, I experienced the miracle of democracy as people made their voices heard.


Farmers came by at the crack of dawn. Artisans biked over in the afternoon. Professionals rushed in after work. When disabled people drove up, an official walked out to their cars so they could vote.


This year, North Carolinians are electing a governor, a senator and several other officials as well as our president and vice president.


Please make sure you're registered to vote. Make sure your friends, family and neighbors are, too. Then, examine the issues and give careful thought to how you'll cast your ballot.


The future of our country is in your hands.


Make your vote count.

Debra Simon
Editor & Publisher

From Carolina Woman's sep/oct 2016 Behind the Pages

Live in the Triangle? So Do We!

My Carolina Woman colleagues and I spend our money here, raise our kids here, go to doctors here, adopt pets here, talk at coffeehouses here, wander through museums here, take classes here, curl up in rocking chairs here and walk hilly trails here.

This is the place we live, the place that means more to us than any other place in the world.

That’s because Carolina Woman has been owned and edited by Triangle women since I founded the magazine in 1993.

For every one of its 17 years, the magazine has focused on women who make their nest in the Triangle.

I was reminded of Carolina Woman’s commitment to the Triangle again last month, when I joined 25,000 others as we took a giant step closer to the finish line at the 14th annual Race for the Cure at Meredith College in Raleigh. I’m proud that Carolina Woman has been a premier sponsor of this fundraiser since the very first one, in 1997.

Komen NC Race for the Cure assists 20,000 people in our backyard by investing more than $2 million a year in breast cancer education, screening, treatment and research, including $1.3 million in community health grants.

Like our work with the local Komen affiliate, Carolina Woman partners with more than 100 groups in our neighborhoods and sponsors dozens of annual charity events.

Carolina Woman has 700 silent partners, too. They’re the owners and managers of locations where the magazine goes like hot cakes every month, including retailers, bookstores, libraries, colleges, gyms, restaurants and offices.

The team that produces Carolina Woman doesn’t sit on the sidelines. We eat, sleep and breathe the Triangle. Here’s the score on our home turf:
• 9 chambers of commerce, representing 8,000 businesses in Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham counties, count Carolina Woman as a member.
• 225 talented students from Triangle colleges have enjoyed career-launching experiences in our internship programs.
• 100,000 Triangle women read Carolina Woman every month.
• Hundreds of thousands of Triangle women have entered our photo and writing contests, visited our website, participated in our events and stayed in touch with us through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

This success is especially sweet for me because I’m surrounded by artful, audacious colleagues who are just as dedicated as I am to the magazine we call yours and to the place we call home.

Debra Simon
Editor & Publisher

From Carolina Woman's July 2010 Behind the Pages

Bye-bye Betsy

“I Survived Cash for Clunkers.”

That’s the bumper sticker I would have created for my 1993 Nissan Quest minivan if the federal program that rewarded owners who swapped senior gas guzzlers for shiny new vehicles ended before I could participate.

Between personal snafus and government holdups last month, it seemed as if Betsy was going to keep on chugging rather than accept a graceful retirement in her twilight years. Yes, I knew the jalopies weren’t exactly put out to pasture, but I liked to think of my van as venerable.

For all of her 354,776 miles, Betsy was more than just a set of wheels. She joined the family when I launched Carolina Woman, and she toiled 24/7, just like me. In the early years, my husband and I delivered every single copy of the magazine from that vehicle. Her removable second row served as the office couch. At outdoor community events, I’d drive her to our booth and unload, then hang a Carolina Woman banner from the roof and make her part of the act.

Becoming obsessed over which of the 35 Toyota dealerships within three hours of the Triangle would have the honor of replacing Betsy, I searched for one that had the exact model I wanted at a rock-bottom price. The winner: Massey Toyota in Kinston.

Prob. No. 1: Sometime over the 16 years I had lost the title, and North Carolina law dictates a two-week waiting period for a duplicate. So I waited.

Prob. No. 2: Motorists had gone on a buying frenzy, and Cash for Clunkers was running out of Uncle Sam’s greenbacks after just a week. The project was stalled while Congress decided whether to oil it with a couple billion. So I waited.

The day Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic and third female justice, the Senate also funded the “clunkers” extension. For just a moment, I didn’t know which news was bigger.

On what turned out to be the final weekend of the month-long program, I received a copy of my title. Betsy and I hit the road for our last, glorious ride — a two-hour journey to Kinston.

The old girl’s air conditioner and radio were inoperable, her ripped seats were patched with duct tape, and rust had started taking over her body. She coughed and wheezed. Yet she cruised into the dealership like a champ and, it seemed to me, in the final turn held her hood high.

Bye-Bye Betsy

Debra Simon
Editor & Publisher

From Carolina Woman's September 2009 Behind the Pages


Pleasure to Meet You

In a journalistic career spanning several decades, I've profiled dozens of personalities. But squeezing those years into a few paragraphs is a tricky bit of magic when the years are your own!

Where to start? I chuckled over Snoopy's "It was a cold and rainy night." I conjured up Ted, the anchorman on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," intoning, "It all started in a 40‑watt radio station..."

But that's sort of how it happened. So here goes: It all started in a newspaper office at Queens College of the City University of New York.

As a lonely 15‑year old freshman, I didn't know a soul on the campus of 30,000. One day, I walked into the college newspaper office. In a figurative sense, I never walked out. 

When I was 18, I won a summer internship as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Three of my articles wound up on the front page! Reuters, the international wire service, hired me fresh out of college to cover the commodity futures exchanges in New York.

A few years later, I moved to Connecticut as an editor of The Hartford Courant, the largest newspaper between New York and Boston. Then I accepted a position as assistant business editor of The Miami Herald, where we produced a weekly magazine called "Business Monday."

In those years, my favorite motto was "Never Postpone Your Life for a Man," a saying I had spotted in ‑ of all places ‑ Glamour magazine. Then I met my husband, a native of the Triangle, and life took a detour.

The News & Observer offered me a job, but I turned it down for two reasons.

First, my other motto, "Question Authority," had always plunged me into hot water with corporate types. (My favorite performance review said, "She's without question the best editor with whom I've ever worked, but she's also a pain in the behind.")

Second, the members of my family have always been an entrepreneurial lot – going back to Grandpa Simon's horse‑and‑wagon moving company early this century. Now, I decided, was my turn.

Selling ads by day, writing articles by night, I launched Lean Times, the monthly health and fitness newspaper in the Triangle. After five years, I sold the publication and turned the proceeds into a lifelong dream – a 1-1/2-year backpacking trip around the world for my husband and myself.

We were sleeping under a mosquito net in the South Pacific island of Tonga when the idea for Carolina Woman hit me.

A few months later, I was back in the Triangle – selling ads by day and writing articles by night.

Pleasure to Meet you

Debra Simon
Editor & Publisher

From Carolina Woman's November 1995 Behind the Pages



Q: How can I advertise in Carolina Woman?
A: Check out the media kit here; call our office at 919-960-5050 and ask to speak to the advertising director; or request more info by e-mailing ads@carolinawoman.com.

Q: How often is Carolina Woman magazine published?
A: Every month on www.carolinawoman.com.

Q: Are you affiliated with any other publications?
A: No. Carolina Woman is independently, locally owned.

Q: Do you accept freelance articles? Whom do I contact about an article idea?
A: Generally, we do not accept unsolicited articles or hire freelance writers. Our editorial calendar is set at least a year in advance. However, you can e-mail article ideas to articles@carolinawoman.com. Please be aware that we receive hundreds of ideas every year.

Q: How long has Carolina Woman been around?
A: Since 1993.

Q: How can I find a specific product or service provider I saw in an article?
A: E-mail your question to articles@carolinawoman.com. Please provide the issue month and the headline of the article.

Job Opportunities

Account Executive - Carolina Woman seeks a high-energy sales professional with 3 years' web experience in the Triangle. Commission-based. Email resume to projects@carolinawoman.com.



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