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Watercolor is the perfect travel companion and it is Robert Leedy’s favorite choice of painting mediums. Robert will guide you through the medium during your stay at San Fedele, a beautifully restored 12th century ex-monastery, outside of Siena.  Italian language immersion? No, you won't leave the workshop fluent in Italian but you'll learn how to properly order coffee at the coffee bar. 

For full details, click here to learn more about seeing, thinking, dreaming and painting in watercolor as you experience Tuscany.  

  • The workshop is hosted by il Chiostro, a creative workshop group with over 20 years of experience at multiple venues throughout Italy. Space is very limited so, reserve now!

One of the best ways to jump-start your creativity is to spend a week in a beautiful, new environment painting and exploring the surroundings on a daily basis. Free from the usual, day-to-day demands back home, your mind will be open and focused to learning new things and your creativity will flow forth. Tuscany is the perfect such creative environment and a week of painting & sketching in watercolor will leave you inspired and re-energized.

Robert will immerse you in watercolor painting throughout the week. There is no skill requirement as there is an emphasis on individual attention so, whether you are a beginner or an advanced painter, Robert will focus on taking your work to the next level while emphasizing your own unique style.

Your week of immersion in watercolor will be interspersed with other fun activities and visits to towns and villages to experience local markets, museums and shops. Our daily painting will be combined with other adventures such as:

  • Day trip to Medieval Siena to sketch, take photos, explore and shop
  • Excursions to nearby hilltowns like Radda, Castellina, Monteriggioni, etc.
  • Visit to Chianti winery for a tour and tasting
  • Variety of plein air locations to paint landscapes, villages, and the Tuscan light
  • Discussions of Tuscan cuisine with our chef.

After excursions or painting on location, we’ll return each evening to relax in our 1,000 year old monastery to enjoy the surroundings, have a glass of wine and an informal critique of the day’s work. Then we will move to the dining room (the authentic refectory where the monks used to assemble) to enjoy our local chef’s authentic, home-made Tuscan meal, recapping the day’s adventure with good company.

About Robert Leedy |

Robert Leedy has exhibited his work throughout the US and Puerto Rico and has past affiliations with Asociación de Acuarelistas de Puerto Rico, The Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, The Colorado Watercolor Society, The Georgia Watercolor Society and the Florida Watercolor Society.  Leedy is currently a member of The National Watercolor Society.

Upon graduation from college, Robert worked in graphic design and the fine wine industry before painting full time. He has lived throughout the Caribbean, Europe and South America and traveled extensively before returning to his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida in 2010.  He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. His painting, “Ocean & Ahern” was published in Splash 14.

Currently he shows his work at Southlight Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida, Aviles Gallery in St. Augustine, Florida and Casco Bay Artisans Gallery in Portland, Maine. Robert works en plein aire and out of his studio in The CoRK Arts District in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood. Robert regularly teaches classes and workshops at his studio and at Reddi-Arts, The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach and The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. 

In 2017, Robert was voted one of the Best Art Teachers in Jacksonville, Florida by

For over six years, Robert Leedy has been one of the top art instructors at our arts center. He is able to break down the foundations of painting in a clear, concise way while also challenging those more skilled artists to take their work to the next level. Robert’s artistic skill and knowledge coupled with his witty sense of humor makes for a fantastic and fun educational experience.
– Leigh Rodante, Director of Programs and Exhibitions at The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach


One of our BubbleLife clients, CK Bradley, is currently running a giveaway and we wanted to offer our readers the opportunity to enter! By entering the contest, you’ll be eligible to win a pair of Tripoli Orange Lotus Leggings, valued at $98. 

Flattering on all body types, the Lotus Legging is perfect for hitting the gym, running errands or lounging at home. These leggings are high-waisted, cropped and made in a durable Spandex-Lycra material.

There are multiple ways to enter, so learn more about CK Bradley’s Tripoli Orange Lotus Leggings and how you can enter to win here!

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Bernadette Coleman and son, Michael Black

Today is a great day for a celebration! Please see the following message from Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Interactive Group. Advice Interactive recently acquired BubbleLife, and over the last several months, we've gotten to know Bernadette, Michael and the rest of the Advice family. We are so happy to see the progress Michael has made even in this short period of time, and beyond excited to see what the future holds.

Congratulations, Mike and Cara!


Good morning to every Advice Local vendor, partner, reseller and client — and what a great day it is! Today, I have an amazing story to share with each and every one of you. In business we struggle every single day to create relationships, sales, processes and procedures. We work hard and we work long to achieve what we consider success. But no one I know has worked harder than my son, Michael Black.

Today he will be reaching a a goal I never thought I'd see. He is getting married to an amazing young lady.

What's so amazing about that? Well, six years ago, on May 21, 2011, Michael was thrown from a car and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Most people do not know that every 16 seconds in America, someone suffers a brain injury. As a matter of fact, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. Even more alarming, traumatic brain injuries occur more frequently than do breast cancer cases, HIV/AIDS infections, multiple sclerosis cases, and spinal cord injuries combined.

At approximately 1 a.m. in the morning in South Florida, Michael's 16th second came. When we finally got from Dallas to Florida, we were told by the doctors that this visit was probably to say goodbye. That's when the work began.

After an extended period of time in a coma, with a Glasgow Coma Score of around 3, no one ever thought Mike would ever lead a normal life again, but he proved us all wrong. Not only did Mike have to learn how to breathe on his own again, he had to learn to eat, brush his teeth, shave, and walk again -- everything we take for granted.

It's been six years, and just recently, Michael learned to walk without a walking device. Today, he will be standing straight at the altar, waiting for his bride. Now that is a success story.

Adversity in business — as in life — is inevitable, but difficulties or misfortunes don't have to keep you from achieving your goals and finding the happiness you seek. It's how you overcome these adversities that can make all the difference.

Every challenge we successfully conquer serves to strengthen not only our will, but also our confidence, and therefore our ability to confront future obstacles.

So, the next time you find yourself standing in front of a huge mountain that feels impossible to climb — whether it involves your job, partner or business — remember this story, and hopefully you will find your way and remember why you started on your journey in the first place. You can watch Mike's Survivor video here.

If you know someone that has been touched by a Traumatic Brain Injury, introduce them to his survivor site and an online support group, Trymunity.

Here's to your own success story, whether personal or professional.

- Bernadette Coleman
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Saffie Farris, BubbleLife Founder (left), with Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Interactive Group (right).

Big things are happening at BubbleLife! To keep you in the loop, we have a big announcement to make — BubbleLife has been acquired by Advice Interactive Group! 

Advice Interactive Group, based in McKinney, Texas, is a local search technology and digital marketing solution provider to more than 300,000 businesses and agencies across the nation. 

Advice Interactive plans to integrate BubbleLife’s combination of hyperlocal exposure and content distribution with its current offerings to dominate local search for agencies and local businesses.  

This is an exciting and positive move for BubbleLife, and we view the acquisition as an opportunity to grow our local news coverage for our readers. In addition, by combining our hyperlocal exposure and content distribution with Advice Interactive’s services, we can now offer a comprehensive local search and online visibility strategy to local businesses. 

A single marketing tactic is not enough, so a foundation has to be built around hyperlocal exposure, search and mobile marketing. Advice Interactive completes this equation with local SEO expertise, cutting edge tools and digital marketing services. 

We’ll be rolling out some exciting new updates to BubbleLife in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Thank you for your support over the years — we look forward to BubbleLife’s future with Advice!


Saffie Leedy Farris
Founder & Managing Partner •
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Please see updated information regarding Poncho from Burger House, provided by Kelly Walker:  


Poncho is finally home. However, several days after being home, he was rushed back to the hospital due to complications that, according to the Doctors, almost caused him to suffer yet another heart attack. He was hospitalized for two days and now he arrived home yesterday. He will slowly begin his rehabilitation this coming week. He remains very weak but getting stronger every day according to Nathan, his son. He is expected to return to Burger House and his job upon his full recovery.

Nathan has also shared that the hospital bills are coming in and it is now time for his family to begin to address them. Thanks to your unbelievable compassion and generosity, our community has raised almost $40,000 to assist Poncho and his family.

Your continued prayers for Poncho and his family are critical to his full recovery and if you haven’t considered making a contribution to his fund I would encourage you to do so. In addition, please forward this link to your friends and ask for them to support Poncho and his family. Please don’t hesitate to stop by Burger House for continued updates on Poncho’s progress.       

Once again, thank you for caring so much about one of our own.  

Kelly Walker


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Please see updated information regarding Poncho from Burger House, provided by Kelly Walker: 

As you know, early last week Poncho had been diagnosed with brain damage.  Upon further examination by the doctors,  it was determined that he was partially paralyzed on his left side. The extent and duration of the paralysis was as yet unknown. 

Thankfully, this week is a very different story.

On Friday, Poncho was able to completely move his left side with no lingering signs of paralysis.  In addition, he is able to speak clearly and has no apparent loss of memory.  The doctors now feel confident enough to complete the work needed to be done to his heart.  Poncho’s heart attack was caused by two main arteries being blocked, one that had 100% blockage and the other which had 85% blockage. Thankfully, his son Nathan performed CPR on his Dad which the doctors stated saved Poncho’s life.  Today, they plan to insert a stent where the blockage exists in one of the arteries.  

This is all clearly very positive news for Poncho and his family.  Once the stents have been placed and he recuperates from the procedures, the doctors will then solidify his path for rehabilitation.  Poncho shared on Sunday that he has felt every prayer and appreciates all that our community is doing for he and his family.

Your overwhelming kindness, compassion and prayers are making a difference. 

Poncho’s progress is a direct result of your prayers, however he is not out of the woods yet.  Please continue to keep Poncho and his family in your prayers and if you haven’t considered making a contribution to his fund I would encourage you to do so. In addition, please forward this link to your friends and ask for them to support Poncho and his family.

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Daybreak Music Left to right: William Harrington, Kyle Gershon, Maddie Simonetti, and Hayden Blaylock
University Park's William Harrington and Hayden Blaylock, along with Kyle Gershon and Maddie Siminetti of Rockwall, tied for third place at the Wildflower Battle of the Bands. Their band, Daybreak Music, has been entered into an online fan voting contest to determine the winner and who will get to play at the Wildflower Arts and Music Festival. You can vote one time a day per email address through May 5. To watch the qualifying round performances and place your vote, visit:
Help Daybreak Music play at the Wildflower Arts and Music Festival by voting at the link above!
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Please see updated information regarding Poncho from Burger House, provided by Kelly Walker:


Poncho had an MRI and other tests recently and it was confirmed that he has experienced brain damage.

The doctors stopped the drug inducing coma medication on Friday and he regained consciousness this morning. Now that he is awake, the Doctors will run a series of tests to determine the extent of the brain damage and will be able to define his path for rehabilitation. I will keep you posted on his continued progress. I recently learned that Poncho has 4 children, one of which is his new born daughter of 2 months.

Thank you for your unbelievable kindness and compassion toward Poncho and his family. The manner in which our neighborhood is rallying around Poncho speaks volumes about our community.

Please continue to keep Poncho and his family in your prayers and if you haven’t considered contributing to his fund I encourage you to do so. In addition, please forward his link to your friends and ask for their support.

Kind Regards,
Kelly Walker

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As a Park Cities resident for more than 25 years, I've been a longtime fan of Burger House and have seen first-hand the local impact of this iconic Snider Plaza restaurant. Now, a member of the Burger House family needs our help. I've included a note from Kelly Walker below — please consider helping Poncho and his family as they work to rebuild their lives following Poncho's recent health setbacks.

We all know and love Poncho from Burger House on Hillcrest in our UP neighborhood.

Poncho is 41 and has been with Burger House for over 20 years. He has always been there for us fixing a chocolate milk shake when our kids have been sick or a burger at the counter after our kids' school activities.

Now he and his family need our help… On Sunday, Poncho suffered from a massive heart attack and is in an induced coma due to its severity. He will have huge medical bills to pay and in addition will be unable to work as he begins to recuperate. Let’s show Poncho how much our community cares about one of its own.

Please go to and contribute to support Poncho and his wife and children.

Thank you for your support and please keep Poncho and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Kelly Walker


As part of the YMCA’s effort to help youth succeed, the Dallas YMCA offers, through the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Foundation, a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors with an affiliation to the Dallas YMCA living in the Dallas service area.

Selections are based on college entrance scores, high school grades, financial circumstances, community service, and the individual’s personal motivation and desire for furthering his/her education. Students have an opportunity to receive renewable scholarships up to $3,000 per year for 4 years.

The postmark deadline for applications is Saturday, January 21st, 2107. Interview dates are Saturday, February 18th and February 25th, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Applications are available at For more information or questions, please email