Are You Aware of Sex Offenders Living in Your Area?

Are You Aware of Sex Offenders Living in Your Area?


On this episode of the Forti-fy podcast, Heather and Ann sat down with Detective Michael Smothermon who heads up the Sex and Violent Offender Registry in Allen County.

Mike gives a very thorough overview of the program. He also provides an incredibly helpful tool to help you track offenders in the area of where you live, work or go to school.

Listen in to hear all about it!

Click to listen:  

Click HERE for the link to sign up for email alerts,

The page will look like this:


If you have any further questions, all contact information can be found HERE.

Thanks Mike!


The Perfect Gift for Family, Friends and Pets!

The Perfect Gift for Family, Friends and Pets!

Do you love to give and receive REALLY useful gifts?

Then you will love my friend Susan’s homemade Sage Berry Soaps, Salves, Whipped Body Butters, Lotion Bars and Lip Balms! Susan makes all of these by hand and she is one of those very “natural” people, so you know you will never find “junk” in any of her products!

If you have kids or pets, you NEED the ultimate

Sage Berry Herbal Salve!

We have used Susan’s Herbal Salve for years – on EVERYTHING! Cuts, scrapes, deep gashes, dry skin, insect bites – you name it  – that includes on cows, horses, pigs, dogs and cats!!!! (Although, use on animals is just what we do – not sure if that was Susan’s intent!) We just wipe off the affected area with a little tea tree oil and then apply Sage Berry Salve.  Always. On Everything.  And we’ve been doing that for a lot of years with a lot of kids – and a lot of animals!

Many years ago I stopped buying store bought triple antibiotic ointment and replaced it with this  salve. When you look at the ingredient list in this powerful medicinal salve, you will see it is a POWER HOUSE chock-full of healing properties – comfrey, plantain, yarrow root, lavender, rosemary, tea tree – – it would take me pages to list all numerous benefits of all these herbs and oils! These are all known for healing damaged tissues, helping external wounds, minimize the risk of infection, killing bacteria, activating blood platelets to form protective layer of skin, reducing pain and inflammation, increase cell growth causing the wound to heal faster, decrease the appearance of scars, anti-septic, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal action!


Herbal Salve:

  • 1 ounce – $6.00
  • 2 ounce – $9.00
  • 4 ounce – $13.00
Herbal Salve


  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Beeswax
  • Comfrey leaf
  • Plantain leaf
  • Yarrow leaf
  • Echinacea roots & tops
  • Lavender flowers
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Tea Tree essential oil
  • Rosemary oil extract
This aromatic salve is made by infusing the herbs in a base of olive and coconut oils. After straining out the herbs, beeswax is added to provide a more solid texture. Lastly, I combine it with essential oils and rosemary oil extract (to help prevent rancidity in the coconut and olive oils). This is a favorite for families with many active children, who also share living space with mosquitoes ☺.

And I just love the fragrances of the Sage Berry Natural Soaps.

Eighteen scents to choose from!

Some of the oils used in soapmaking: Olive, palm, coconut, palm kernel, shea butter, beeswax, avocado, jojoba.

Current Soap Scents: ($3.75 each + tax, unless indicated otherwise)

  • Blueberry Butter
  • Lemon Sweet Tea
  • Spring Lilac
  • Pumpkin Spice – $4.00
  • Peach
  • Vanilla Spice
  • Lavender Mint
  • Cracklin’ Birch (masculine)
  • Fruit Medley
  • Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • Flower Shoppe
  • Spice
  • Peppermint Lime
  • Lingonberry Spice
  • Lavender Fir
  • Raspberry Truffle
  • Pink Peony
  • Pink Gardenia

And then there are the luscious Sage Berry Whipped Body Butters!

Dry winter skin motivated Susan to try this “whipped body butter” that she’d read about. The texture is reminiscent of marshmallow cream.She generally does not use it on hands  during the day because it is somewhat greasy – it’s not a lightweight lotion. But highly recommends this as being great for legs and body after a shower or before bed!

  • Mango butter
  • Avocado butter
  • Fractionated coconut oil (MCT oil)
  • Vitamin E
  • Fragrance – combination of essential oils & fragrance oils
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Jasmine Green Tea
  • Lavender Mint
  • Peach
  • Peppermint
  • Vanilla Mint
  • Vanilla Spice
Whipped Body Butter: 1.75 oz of whipped body butter in a plastic tub ($7.00 each + tax)

Please give 5 – 7 days advance notice, as these are made to order.

And Don’t Forget the

Lip Balms and Lotion and Salt Bars!

Lip Balm


  • Lanolin
  • Jojoba oil
  • Beeswax
  • Castor oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Vitamin E
Lip Balm Flavors:  

($2.00 each + tax)

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Vanilla Mint

Lotion Bars:

1.3 oz of solid lotion in a tin ($4.00 each + tax)

Please give 5 – 7 days advance notice, as these are made to order.

  • Cracklin’ Birch
  • Fruit Medley
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Jasmine Green Tea
  • Lilac

Salt Bars:

Coming in 2020

            These are bars of soap with a large portion of salt added to the soap batter just before pouring into the mold. The final bar is smooth and hard and does not turn to mush in the soap dish. The lather is creamy. I always keep one of these at the bathroom sink.

A little history on how Susan got started:

In the mid 1990’s I read an article in Country Woman magazine about a woman who made and sold soap. That idea so intrigued me that I immediately searched the library for any books on soap making. I found two, at the most. Nevertheless, I plunged right in after reading all I could find. I was so excited when my first bars actually lathered – real soap!

I kept right on learning, experimenting, and having mostly successes. I gradually found more resources in book form, and then, exponentially, on the internet. Now, there is an abundance of information in books and online for any level of soap maker.

There was no way that we could use up all the soap I made. Friends and family could only be gifted so much soap. So, I began selling. I expanded to lip balms, salve, and other products as I learned new things.

I thoroughly enjoy learning about soap and other personal care products. I make various products for my family that I do not offer for sale. It would not be unusual for me to walk around to family members with a batch of soap in hand, saying, “Smell, smell.” ☺ I’m happy when they like my products and ask me to make something to meet a particular need.”

Order Now!

To order any of these delightfully wonderful products, contact Susan at:

Email:  Phone:260-579-3153

The information on Sage Berry Soap products has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.

From Fort Wayne, New Haven and Auburn, to Waterloo and Angola – there are an abundance of activities to enjoy this weekend!

Click on each photo for further information on each event.

In the Auburn Area


Fire And Light Productions – Where Kids Thrive and the Stage Shines!

Fire And Light Productions – Where Kids Thrive and the Stage Shines!

After watching the very first play performance that my kids were in with Fire and Light Productions, I said to my husband,

“I wish everyone knew that this kind of family entertainment was right here, in their own backyard.”

If I didn’t know this opportunity existed, both for my kids to learn dramatic arts, and for the great theater enjoyment it provides, I would surely want someone to tell me, so Forti-fy is broadcasting the news!

What is Fire and Light?

Fire and Light Productions is a faith-based theater and production company created to engage and inspire a love of the human story among audiences and artists.

Fire and Light Productions began as a youth theatre club in October 2010. It has grown from about 35 kids doing skits in a church basement (sans costumes, sets and technical equipment), to a troupe of more than 100 actors, ages 8-18, performing six productions a year.

Founder Lisa Ellis, would want you to know that Fire & Light Academy is more than just a theater program; she considers it a ministry. “As our troupe portrays a story, we steal a glimpse at another person’s perspective and walk of life.”

Some of the shows that Fire and Light has put on over the past several years include; Beauty and the Beast,  Pippi Longstocking, Pride and Prejudice, Cinderella, Korczak’s Children,  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Tuck Everlasting, The Butler Did It, Tom Sawyer, 42 Street and Annie…just to name a few!
So, as a mom, why would you be interested in Fire and Light for your child?

Well, if you have a “theater kid” that is an easy answer! Fire and Light provides a wonderful venue for your child to develop in their acting abilities, and really learn dramatic arts. All the directors take the art of “story telling’ seriously, and as such, fervently train your kids to make those stories come alive. Kids whose goal is to learn more and grow in their abilities will definitely meet those goals in the program. Students are educated in voice, stage movement, character development and dance.

And if you don’t have a theater kid? This is what is really interesting. I have seen siblings of kids whose brother or sister is in a show, become really engaged in what they see – where they are actually willing to try it out. Whereas if they had never been exposed to theater, they would say it was the last thing they would ever want to do. And yet, those are the same kids that once they get involved, are trying out for a major role after just a short time in the program.

But again, the beauty of the program is that there is a place for everyone. Maybe you have a child who is artistic and likes to paint or build sets, or perhaps likes tech support, costuming, or make-up. Before you know it, your once reserved child has found a niche and found out they actually love theater!

As a member who lives in the community, why would you be interested in Fire in Light?

Because of the great entertainment it provides! Every season, there really is something for everyone – young and old! Grab a friend, or a group of friends, and hangout doing something different – watching live theater! If you are a parent, take the whole family out for an enjoyable night of recreation. If you are a grandparent, spend a fun afternoon or evening watching a show with your grandchild – perhaps grab dinner or a treat before or after the show – make a memory of it!

Check out Fire and Light Productions 2019-2020 Line Up!

Click on each performance for ticket information.

Would you like a taste of what Fire and Light is all about? Come and take a sneak peak behind the scenes!

Friday, November 8, 2019 at 1 PM – 3 PM Bethlehem Lutheran Church 3705 S. Anthony Blvd, Fort Wayne

You can watch rehearsals, talk with staff and even register for the Spring Semester.

Fire and Light Spring Productions will be Frozen Jr. (Elementary/Middle School) on April 3 & 4 and

Newsies (High School) on May 15 & 16!

Don’t miss out on the fun. Fire and Light will take up to 8 new students for spring!

(And you know what – Fire and Light is made up of almost all volunteer moms – great forti-fyers!) cool

Who Gets Wine Headaches? Me!!!

Who Gets Wine Headaches? Me!!!

Or at least I used to.

In February I had given up on wine, tired of the headaches, congestion, stomach issues and more.  I knew a glass of wine just wasn’t worth it, and resolved myself to only have it a couple times a year on special occasions.  It probably shouldn’t have made me sad, but it did.

There was just something so charming and picturesque about sharing a bottle of wine with friends or my husband to celebrate, commune, or even just to unwind.  It was just one more thing I was having to give up due to intolerance ( I had long since given up on gluten, sugar and most dairy.) I was disappointed.

I stumbled across Scout & Cellar from a holistic group I belong to.  When I read the claims made about mass produced wines and their contents, I was shocked (and skeptical).

A quick search on the internet uncovers tons of articles containing the same information I was seeing there…..that most wines contain TONS of additives such as: gluten, sugar, fish bladders, egg whites, high amounts of sulfites, pesticides and on and on.  Even wines claiming to be organic aren’t always. There’s not a ton of regulation on wines here in the states, and so it was no surprise to me that all this was done without warning labels.  It’s no wonder so many people (especially women over 30) all of a sudden can no longer tolerate wine…our bodies are tired of the junk and looking for something healthier! When I tried their wines, I was still skeptical, but was quickly amazed….No Side Effects! Not after the first glass (or others) and nothing the next day!  You see, our wines come from many different, small, family owned wineries across the world that are committed to growing grapes and making wine organically and bio-dynamically.

I was hooked, but the kicker was when my husband turned to me and said, “Wouldn’t this be fun to do together?”  So that’s what we’ve been doing…we do wine tastings and other events together and have a great time. If you’d like to learn more about this tasty, organic, Keto friendly wine, I’m your girl!

Like to try before you buy? Call or message me to set up a tasting (free of charge to you) to try several different wines.

Aimee’ Penn

Associate Manager

Scout & Cellar Independent Wine Consultant

Phone: 260-312-4248 Email:

BRAVAS – Have you heard of it?

BRAVAS – Have you heard of it?

A few weeks ago Heather posted this on her FB page:

“Ambia introduced me to the @bravasfood caramel apple burger, and while I was apprehensive, it was AMAZING-and they have gluten free buns to boot!”

So I asked her a little more about Bravas and this is what she said:

Bravas started as a food truck and has a free standing location down on Fairfield (next to the old original Casa D’Angelos building). They are local and farm to table with a menu that adds seasonal flavored burgers.

In the fall, they offer a caramel apple burger, which in all honesty, I was not excited to try. My dear friend, Ambia, said we were having them. Period. I honestly think I could even have just gone for the Bravas Patatas with their special aioli. Back to the burger…I ordered a gluten free bun with my burger, and it was, indeed, marvelous. Fresh local apples, bacon, and a homemade caramel sauce-y kind-of-thing, plus an amazing hamburger. So so good. Ambia was lucky enough that her husband wanted to go back there for dinner that night, so she ate two in one day.”

Bravas isn’t about a cool atmosphere, it is just a basic walk-up-to-the-counter and order, then sit at picnic tables, kind of place. The food is so worth it though!

Bravas has both a food truck and a brick and mortar location. This summer they had a food truck at the Barr Street Market on the Saturday morning during the Three Rivers Festival. Isaiah and I ran the “Runners on Parade” 5k that morning, and I had a Bravas patatas poutine with egg after the race. Ah-mazing!

Here is some info from their website:

Bravas got its start in 2011 with a specialty hotdog cart on the streets in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The goal from the beginning was to offer something new, but to do it with only hotdogs. The cart would travel downtown to One Summit Square for lunch and hit The Landing for the late night bar scene on the weekends. The feedback through social media was overwhelmingly positive and in 2012 the brother/sister duo of Bo and Becky Gonzalez worked on the food truck concept.

In late 2012, Bo crossed paths with Zach Croy who shared the same vision about what food trucks and restaurants should be. Zach, who trained at the New England Culinary Institute, was working at Josph Decuis when he left to work full time at Bravas. Zach took on the culinary side of things, launching multiple Dogs of the Week and creating Burger Nights which eventually led to the creation of our first restaurant. To this date we have created over 50 different hotdog stylings and over 30 different burgers. The list will continue to grow.

Now in 2015, we have our Specialty Burger Joint at 3412 Fairfield Avenue where we explore a different realm of the culinary world. We butcher, cure and grind all of our burger meat in house. Controlling every stage of the process to ensure the best quality. This process is timely and takes up to three full days. The end product is a super tender burger with extreme flavor. Literally the only thing we use to season our burgers is salt. Salt and time.

We still operate our Hot Dog Cart and Food Truck seasonally from April through November with the same menu we got our start with. Only now, we also have a permanent home base in the 46807 neighborhood. We are extremely grateful for the support Fort Wayne has shown our company. We have a passion for this thriving city and look forward to doing our part in revitalizing Fort Wayne.

From Fort review:

“Three constant burgers stay on the chalkboard menu: The Classic, featuring lettuce, tomato, onion and jalapeño remoulade; the Bravas Burger, featuring chili, fries, bravas sauce and provolone cheese; and the PB, a burger with peanut butter, peppers and white cheddar. The truly unique Caramel Apple burger, sadly, only appears in the fall. Yes, you read that right: Gonzales invented a burger topped with bacon, pickled green apples, white cheddar and caramel sauce. It sounds weird, but it tastes heavenly. And vegetarians should stop by for his house-made veggie burgers, made with roasted mushrooms, kidney beans, tofu, beets and cashews, along with a special spice blend.”

  Click below to see their full menu:

3412 Fairfield Ave. Fort Wayne, Indiana (260) 745-7002 Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

If you are interested, I found this article on Bravas’ “back story”.

I am pretty sure I know where my husband and I are going this weekend! wink