A Survivor Gives Back

You know how some things just catch your attention?  They just stick in your mind.  Well the name “Women With Gifts” was one of those things, and I had to know more about it.  The motto was even intriguing “Growing Roses From A Briefcase”. Then to top it off they were sponsoring a project that was near and dear to my heart.  I survivedThe project is called “I Survived” Gospel Concert.  This is a movement to celebrate survivors of breast cancer, sexual abuse and domestic violence.  This concert will donate the proceeds to Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, Texas and the Umoja mentoring organization. I made an appointment to interview the founder of “Women With Gifts” to learn more about the organization.

I’m always telling my students and children that you never know who you are going to meet.  When I attended the press conference for the announcement of MegaFest coming back to Dallas, I introduced myself to this beautiful young lady who immediately said she knew my name.

Photography by Radiant Sparks
Photography by Radiant Sparks

Then she smiled and said that she was the person that I had an interview with later on that day.  Even in the few minutes that we talked I knew that the interview would be something special.

Mrs. LaNette Kincaid is a woman on a mission.  A mission to give back to the community, to give and to assist other women with their gifts. Let’s first start with the “I Survived” Concert.  Everyone knows someone or maybe they are that someone who has survived breast cancer, domestic violence or sexual abuse and more.  This concert is a celebration of their survival.  When I asked LaNette why gospel music, she talked of her survival through her own illness and how gospel music speaks to the soul.  There is a gospel song for every trial, all tribulations–there is a gospel song for every situation.

She has always given back to the community through coat drives, programs on breast cancer and more. She is intent on helping the community as much as she can.

Her website “Women With Gifts”–“Growing Roses From A Briefcase” not only assist women with using their gifts, but it mentors other women to use their gifts.  She realizes that sometimes women suppress their gifts, and though her mentoring she helps to inspire and motivate them so that they can use what God has given them.

Her determination to help others does not stop with the concert or the mentoring.  She invites other bloggers to post on her blog, giving them a chance for others to read their work.  She says that God gave her the inspiration to launch “Women With Gifts”, and she is determined to assist others in their endeavors.

The “I Survived” Gospel Concert will be held on March 7, 2015 at 6 PM at Dunbar High School (5700 Ramey Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76112).  You can purchase your tickets at: www.eventbrite.com/e/i-survived-gospel-concert-tickets-14746225357. 

You can also purchase the tickets at the Women With Gifts site at: http://womenwithgifts.com/.

Being a survivor and helping others is a way to give back to others.  Mrs. LaNette Kincaid is “Growing Roses From A Briefcase”.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–why not start planting your garden?

The Dallas Black Dance Theatre Celebrates African American History Month

In celebration of African-American History Month (February), the Dallas Black Dance Theatre will showcase works by world-famous choreographers Talley Beatty, Alvin Ailey and Troy Powell. They will also feature a new spiritual work by resident choreographer Richard A. Freeman, Jr.  The company will perform at their home theatre–the beautiful Wyly Theatre in Dallas Texas.

You can purchase tickets at their site at:  http://www.dbdt.com/performances/cultural-awareness-series/.

Tickets are going fast for this wonderful event. 

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

dallas black dance theater

MegaFest 2015 August 20-22 In Dallas, Texas

Get ready, it’s coming to Dallas, Texas on August 20–MegaFest.  With more than 85,000 people attending from over 30 countries MegaFest will come once again to the Lone Star State, and they are aiming “Big” with even more attendees and events than before.

Bishop and Mrs. T. D. Jakes,  members of Dallas government and other officials officially kicked off the road to MegaFest 2015 on January 22, 2015 at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotel.  The event will again be held at American Airlines Center and other venues throughout Dallas.

This is a family friendly event where there is something for every age group.  It will focus on empowerment, education and digital technology. There will be entertainment, films, workshops, shopping, networking and more.

To find out more about the wonderful event go to: www.mega-fest.com.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

You Said It, Not Me! (You Were Going To Get In Shape This Year)

Yes, you did.  You made that resolution to get fit for the New Year, but you hate the gym.  You even thought about walking, but then the weather is either too cold or too hot, and it gets dark too early.  So then you decided to buy a video or just watch one on your local cable network, but when you get tired you quit.  So you are in the same place you were last year.  You are dreading that cousin’s wedding because you are not in shape, and your hubby doesn’t dance so all you have to look forward to is “good” wedding cake (seriously, if your cake is bad, I am mad at you).

I have found a solution to both of your problems.  While getting ready for work one morning, I turned the television to Good Morning Texas and heard about 410 Line Dancers,  The hosts of the show were talking about high energy dancing for exercising.  They mentioned the “Wobble” which is one of the 2 dances that I do know, but I never thought of it as a workout.  Then I saw Isha Hutchinson and members of his class take to the floor.  Yes, it was the “Wobble” that I know, but he took it to a new level–one that does give you a work out. It was the “Wobble” that you do at that wedding and/or that class reunion with more intensity.  I was able to locate a video of Mr. Hutchinson teaching one of his classes.  Take a look below at Mr. Hutchinson teaching the “Wobble” and the “Chuck Baby” which is a new one for me.  At the 410 Line Dancers classes you can learn as many as 70 different line dances. 

dance 3
Isha Hutchinson, owner/instructor 410 Line Dancers

Mr. Hutchinson has been dancing for a little over 10 years, but has been in the entertainment field for most of his life.  Even though  female participants are in the majority of classes, he encourages  males to attend.  Make it a date night.  He has held private events for anniversary parties and other private events.

Classes are held at The Sandunga Dance Studio located at  2155 Marsh Lane Carrollton, TX 75006.  You can read more about the classes which go from beginner to advanced at their website at:  http://www.410linedancers.com/. You can also see Mr. Hutchinson teaching on Good Morning Texas on the site.

By attending these classes you can get fit and learn to dance.  You will be able to get into the right dress for that class reunion, and dance in it too. Line dancers come in all sizes and ages.  You put as much as you want into it to get the results that “you” want.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” so why not learn something new while getting fit.  Bring your significant other or your best girlfriends for a fun night out.

Why Be Heart Healthy? (Because) Life Is Why!

Men and women are alike in so many ways, but one way they are different is the symptoms they have when having a heart attack.  Take a few minutes to see some of the typical symptoms women have when having a  heart attack.

Just before I turned 50, I experienced a few of these symptoms, plus a few others.  I can remember my heart racing like something had just jumped out and scared me–it would not slow down.  The sense of doom would come over me, and it seemed like the world was just closing in on me–I was going through this tunnel that seemed to get narrower as I kept going.  There was no pain at all.  At the hospital I was informed by one doctor that I was paranoid, but the final doctor sat down and talked family history with me.  My father and his brothers had all died from heart disease at about the age of 50–so there was family history which could have been in the back of my mind. He did assure me though that I was not paranoid. There were tests run, monitors worn and even tests that I paid out-of-pocket for done.  In the end I was given a heart healthy thumbs up.

By the same token, my best friend for life said that she felt like she was nauseated, and would go and throw up, and feel better for a few minutes, and it would start again.  This routine went on for some time.  Then she felt like she was having a horrendous tooth ache.  At the emergency room she was told she was having a heart attack. In fact she has survived two.

We are exactly the same age give or take a few days, but each of us has a story to tell about our hearts. We both listened to our bodies and took action which is one of the things women typically don’t do. As women we must first take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.

The American Heart Association of Tarrant County is sponsoring it’s annual Go Red” event on Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10 AM at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.  This event helps the organization inform everyone about the number 1 killer of women–heart diseaseHeart disease kills more women than all of the cancers combined.  It is a fact that 1 in 3 women will die of heart disease.  Take a look at the video below to understand that “life is why” you should learn more about heart disease in women.

For more information about the “Go Red” event, go to:  http://tarrantcountygored.ahaevents.org/site/displayPage.do?siteIdCode=AEVQVFZ4&pageId=9441

If you can’t make the luncheon, you can donate online or call to ask about volunteering with the American Heart Association of Tarrant County at 817-698-5400. and/or go to their website at:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/FortWorth/Texas/Home_UCM_SWA007_AffiliatePage.jsp#

Check for the nearest affiliate of the American Heart Association in your local area for information.

As women we can take care of others only if we take care of ourselves first.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Be heart healthy (because) life is why!

Supporting (Great) Food, Players And Causes Before The National Football Championship Game

The Northwestern Mutual Taste of the Championship gave fans a chance to sample great food, wine, coffee and conversation.  From 6 pm to 9 pm, you could eat different, delicious ample samples of some of the best food from across the country.  There was everything from steak, to ribs, to grits, to brownies, to fish and all that is in between.  Did I mention grits?  They are my absolute favorite. There were former college/pro football greats in attendance whose conversations was rivaled only by their playing days.  It was an amazing evening on the eve of the first college football National Championship game.  The proceeds from this event will help to support the College Football Playoff Foundation, Extra Yard for Teachers and local food banks in the North Texas region.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Should be a good game–I do have my pick for the winner of the game, and the team starts with the letter “O”!

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Free Women’s Health Event

For Women for Life Women’s Health Event

women's health event

Baylor All Saints is throwing it’s annual women’s health event, “For Women For Life” on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 7 AM to 11 AM at 10 locations in and around North Texas. It is offered free to you, but you must register.

They are inviting you to enjoy breakfast, and then receive lots of free health screenings.  They want you to enjoy watching healthy cooking demonstrations, visit health booths, and learn from various panel discussions that will be led by physicians.

Some of the topics that will have question and answer sessions are:  Heart Health, Cancer Care, Orthopedics and Women’s Health.

Check the link above (For Women for Life Women’s Health Event) to see if your area is offering this event.  If not contact your local hospital to inquire.

Grab your friends and enjoy learning more about your health.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a woman of a certain age, I remember the impact that Dr. King had on the nation. To celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the  Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture is sponsoring the 2015 MLK Symposium.  This years symposium is their 10th one and it will feature the original commissioned stage play based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s influential “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.  Birmingham jail2The play is entitled “The 67th Book of the Bible”.  The world premier will be on Monday, January 19 at 7 pm at the Dallas City Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District at 8520 Flora St., Dallas, TX 75201.

The play was written by Dallas native Jonathan Norton.  Mr. Norton is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and a Southern Methodist University alumnus.  The play will be produced by award-winning playwright Will Power and Derrick Sanders will serve as director. Birmingham 3 Immediately after the play, there will be a discussion that will also feature Willie Pearl Mackey, the transcriber of King’s letter in 1963.  Also featured in the discussion will be professor Jonathan Rieder of Barnard College.  He is an author and expert on MLK and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.

Tickets for the event are: General Admission $20, Teachers $10, Students (with valid student ID) free.  To register and learn more about this event please go to: http://dallasinstitute.org/events/mlk-jr-symposium-2/.

The information below about the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture was taken directly from their website: 

For over thirty years, the Dallas Institute has conducted original programs that enrich and strengthen the cultural heart of our great city. Our house on Routh Street is home for those who enjoy reading, thinking, exploring, and discussing timeless ideas that make us most fully human. The Institute has been described by our members as a “sanctuary,” as an “oasis,” as a “place for reflection,” as “food for the soul.”

Our members are the lifeblood of the Institute. It is for them that we create classes, groups, programs, and events that bring the wisdom and imagination of the humanities into their lives. If you are already a member, we thank you. If you aren’t, please think about becoming a member, and join us on a common journey toward the discovery of truth, beauty, and all else that is good and noble.

This event is one that will bring history to life. It is important to “know your history”. 

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and people like Dr. King and other’s help to make it possible.

Following Doctor’s Orders?

So your doctor has told you to do certain things for “your” health.  She has told you that for you to maintain or regain a good quality of life that you must make some changes.  Of course you have agreed while sitting in her office, and you have the very best intentions as we all do. Let’s go over a few of her instructions and see if there are some simple solutions.

smoking1.  Stop smoking.  This is one of the hardest habits to stop.  I have never had this one, but my best friend, my parents and others have. My father was able to stop cold turkey–no weight gain or anything, but then again he was my dad.  My mother never attempted to stop.  After two heart attacks, my best friend did stop, but her husband still smokes.  There are many products out there that will assist you in not smoking.

2.  Exercise more.  Well the gym cost money, and we all know that money is tight. There are not enough hours in the day for us to walking at workexercise.  My favorite excuse is “I don’t like to exercise”.  Why not take the stairs at work–no stairs just walk around the office a couple of times. If the weather is nice go outside and walk.  No one said we had to do cross training.  Why not take a dance class?  Just get to moving.

3.  Eat better.  Stop eating in the car.  We don’t know childs portionwhat we eat when we are in the car; it can’t be healthy because we can hold it in one hand and it is not a piece of fruit.  Why don’t we eat better?  Convenience is part of the problem, and I am guilty of this sin.  Remember when we were children, and we got a hamburger, it was about half the size of the ones they give us today, and we still eat the entire thing plus fries and a soda.  Get the kids’ portion at the fast food place, they don’t know it’s for you.  Not a cook, keep fruits and veggies on hand.  There ought to be some fruit or veggie that you like.  Don’t buy soda.  Remember when a can of soda was considered two servings, now it’s one.  Simple steps.  Have some cake, just not every day.

4.  Cut back on caffeine. You don’t drink coffee, but you drink soda, energy drinks and eat chocolate.  I love coffee–absolutely love it, but I have cut back to  just about a cup and a half a day if that.  I drink it in 1/4 cup increments, because I don’t like cold coffee. I detest decaffeinated, but I will do half and half.Starbucks

**Speaking of coffee when my girlfriends and I meet at the local Starbucks, we typically just have coffee and/or tea.  We are there mostly for the conversation so most of the time the higher calorie drinks are not ordered.

glass of wine5. Follow your doctor’s advice, it does help.  Way back when, my then doctor, Dr. Perkins, instructed me to have a glass of wine each night, and so many years later I am still following his instructions. I can follow the doctor’s orders.

Will these suggestions guarantee you perfect health–probably not, but they won’t hurt either.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Let’s take care of ourselves so that we can continue to help others take care of themselves.