At The Texas Conference For Women–Women Rock

It is always great to be in the presence of women, especially smart women.  The Texas Conference for Women has so much to see, hear and do that it is hard to decide which way to go. That is why you see me rushing almost running in the halls of the Austin Convention Center with my two bags, comfortable shoes, and phone. I was off to races.

Texas Conference 2 Photo by Getty

I was able to snag two great interviews with two amazing women.  My first interview came as a surprise.  We just struck up a conversation, and I knew women would love to know about her company “iFundWomen”.  Below is the interview that I did with the CEO and founder of “iFundWomen”, Ms. Karen Cahn. For women who are looking for ways to fund their startup, she is the person to know.

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My second interview was with the Emmy award winner, Ms. Gaby Natale.  She is the host of the Emmy award-winning show Super Latina, and now the author of the book El Circulo Virtuoso.  Her story is one that a lot of people can identify with. She is inspirational.  My interview with Gaby is below.

Both women are successful entrepreneurs who have found their passions and turned them into their careers.  As each would tell you it has been a journey that has taken some unexpected turns.  They epitomize the women that attended and participated in the Texas Conference for Women.  This year there were 7,500 women in attendance from all over the United States.

Each of the women had their own schedule to adhere to and knew which sessions they wanted to attend and why.  All of us were able to hear the three keynote speakers, Ms. Anita Hill, Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, and Ms. Viola Davis.  Their presentations were informative and more.  You can see some of Ms. Anita Hill’s talInstagramFacebook Page–thisisyourbestyear, Instagram–thisisyourbestyear and Twitter–@mariciajohns.

If you have never attended this conference, you should think about it for next year.  There is something for everyone from, pitching your product to QVC, working on your Linkedin Page, coping with grief, fitness and much more.

This is one of the highlights of my year, seeing and hearing the speakers and meeting up with other bloggers, photographers, and other media again.  Hope you will take advantage of this great gathering of women.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

To find out more about how to fund your business go to the “iFundWomen” website.

www.ifundwomen.com

If you would like to know about Gaby Natale, and how to contact her for speaking engagements, book signings and more please visit her website.

www.gabynatale.com

Join me on Instagram!

We’re on Instagram as @thisisyourbestyear. Install the app to follow my photos and videos. https://instagram.com/download/?r=380485317

You can also follow us on Facebook–thisisyourbestyear, Twitter–@mariciajohns and of course our website–www.thisisyourbestyear.com.

          Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

As I Look Back And Celebrate My Birthday

Today, October 2, 2017 I have officially done something neither of my parents was able to do.  I was able to celebrate my 65th birthday.  Daddy passed at 49 and mama left us at just a month shy of 65.  So on this birthday in particular I am thinking of them, and that little girl who loved to play in the dirt in East Texas. The little girl who could not wait for the birthday parties held on the front porch with all the friends from Fox Hill.

When I tell friends that I worked on my birthday, they are a little confused since it is a day that I should be celebrating.  My children inform me that they don’t, and will not work on their birthdays. At one time that was my position, but as life would have it circumstances change. Working on my birthday does not upset me since I have decided to celebrate my birthday everyday.  There may not be an official celebration with cake, gifts and such, but nontheless there will be a celebration–a celebration of life for myself and those that did not make it to celebrate their 65th.

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Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Happy Birthday–celebrate everyday.

Can You Do This?

My mother was very good at teaching my sister and I about being an independent woman. She was quick to tell us that we might never marry so we needed to know how to do things for ourselves. At the age of 44 her words rang true for her when our father suddenly died. I can honestly say that my mother never missed a beat.

In time I saw her prepare her will so that my sister would be looked after if something happened to her.  I observed her negotiate to buy my first car, and believe me she was negotiating. As time went on I saw her begin to travel and let go of the fact that she was not willing to stay home and look at an empty house. I saw her sit in the window with her coffee and yes, her cigarette and just pray in all of her kindness.

I was privy to her calls to the city of Longview seeking solutions to potholes, streetlights and much more. Her determination to vote was passed on to her children. She made sure we could do just about anything, and if not at least we knew how locate the people who could.

These and other thing should be passed on to out daughters and granddaughters. I know there will be others, but here are a few things that we need to teach and possibly learn for ourselves.

  • How to check the oil and put air in your car tires–some of our sons need this too. If all else fails how enroll in roadside assistance; and in Texas be able to locate the roadside assistance number on the back of the driver’s license.
  • Take a gun class. Yes, I am serious. If for no other reason than to get over the fear of them.
  • Know your worth. Diamonds shine their brightest when they are buffed so learn to pat yourself on the back sometimes. Just remember only the best can tell real from fake.
  • Learn how to invest. Some of us need to quickly learn this. Social security and employment pensions are becoming a thing of the past. Never leave this to someone else.
  • Stand for something. Wrong is wrong and right is right. Enough said.
  • Know what to say when asked “tell me about yourself”.  You are so much more than a job title.
  • Learn how to read a roadmap. I need to do this better. What happens if there is no cell service or the phone dies. In addition learn how to get out of the garage if the power is off. You still have to go to work.
  • Learn to swim or at least wear a life vest when you are on the water for pleasure.
  • Learn to go it alone. Want to go to movies, out to eat, but no one to go with you?Don’t miss out. It is much easier to add someone, and it makes for a nice surprise.
  • Learn how to put a hem in a garment, sew on a button, use a safety-pin so nobody knows it is there.

There are so many things that we should teach our daughters and granddaughters that it is impossible to list them all. Even with all of our wisdom there are some things that we don’t know how to do. What are some things that you have taught your daughters and granddaughters?  What’s something you need to learn to do? Let’s share the knowledge.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Knowledge is power, and you are never too old to learn.

There Will Be No Paper or Plastic…

I’ve decided that there will be no paper plates or plastic ware in my house.  Yep, you heard me right.  The only thing used for eating and drinking that will be paper will be napkins, and that’s because I hate to iron.

A couple of years ago I decided to give my daughters part of their inheritance so that I could see them use it.  To my youngest, she would get my mother’s beautiful china which I can still remember the day my father gave it to her.  This was something that she had wanted forever, she was beyond excited, she was ecstatic that she could now serve special occasion meals in beautiful dishes.  I was ecstatic too because I wouldn’t be allowed to wash the china–too clumsy.  On those special days we would polish the flatware that was never used, iron the napkins, wash the china and crystal and place them on the dinning room table that only saw food on special occasions.

To my oldest, I wanted to give my china that was given to me by my father.  I remember when he started buying it. I was only a sophomore in college living with my sorority sisters, but I was excited. Visions of special dinners popped into my head.  I would set this beautiful table, and my mother and grandmother would iron the napkins. My father passed away before all the pieces were purchased, and I could never find the sugar bowl and creamer at any replacement site.  On one of my many trips to San Antonio to one of my favorite antique shops I ran across both pieces.  I was ecstatic.

Neither of the girls took me up on my offer.  The oldest one informed me that she already had a set of china which she does use some of the time (mine looks better).  If it didn’t go in the micro wave the youngest one didn’t want it. I tried the sympathy plea– “You will always have something to remember Granny Ruby by”.  It didn’t work.  I was informed they would always remember her.

What was I going to do with two sets of beautiful china, delicate crystal wine, champagne and water glasses?  The champagne classes are not fluted, they are the kind you see in the movies and they stack them. I had flatware and napkins that had nevfer seen the light of day. My husband solved the problem because he had a problem.

One day after a weekend of family as the dishwasher was humming along, he didn’t have a clean plate, and there were no paper plates.  What was he going to do? Stop the dishwasher and remove a half cleaned plate?  Go to the store and buy paper plates? No, just reach up there and get one of those china plates. From that moment on I decided there would be no paper plates or plastic ware used in my house.

That moment made me realize that I was going to use each and everything in my house.  So when you come to dinner you just might have your takeout/delivery on fancy china with paper napkins.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Everyday is special.

The Taste Project–Founded On Love of Humanity

I didn’t quite know where to put this post because it is about many different things.  First of all it is about a man and his vision, a vision that is about to become a reality. Chef Jeff Williams is a man with a passion for food, and a heart that believes in the goodness of mankind. So what better place to hold this interview than in a great restaurant over lunch.  So we had a great lunch and a wonderful, informative conversation about a vision to feed a community.

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The future home of the Taste Project

Chef Jeff’s love of his vision–The Taste Project, a not for profit restaurant is evident when he tells someone about it. The vision came to him years ago in 2003, but it was not until 2012 that he began to bring his vision to life.

The Taste Project will be a restaurant where everyone will be able to get a great tasting meal (Chef Jeff will be the head chef when it first opens). The Taste Project restaurant will be one where you pay what you can, pay what you would normally pay for a meal of that quality or if you can pay a little extra that would be great.  This is a restaurant for everyone, but especially for those that have food insecurity which is a term that I was not familiar with.  Food insecurity means that a person/family may not

Food Insecurity
Food Insecurity

have access to adequate food because of a lack of money and other resources at certain times during the year. This could mean that someone you know may be going without adequate healthy food, food that will sustain them.  They may have something to eat, just not what they need to lead a healthy life.  For the most part, the people who have food insecurity do not qualify for other types of supplemental assistance.  They are in essence between a rock and a hard place.

The restaurant belongs to the community.  Chef Jeff is quick to point out that the more people who the restaurant is able to assist, the better the community will be. He has worked at 4 other not for profit restaurants learning by doing so that he can make the Taste Project a success.

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Chef Jeff Williams and construction foreman getting the Taste Project ready to open

The Taste Project will be located in the Near Southside of Fort Worth, Texas on 1200 South Main Street, and is scheduled to have its grand opening on August 22 at 11 am for lunch.

Secondly, since this is the North Texas communities restaurant, it will need to be staffed by volunteers from the community.  There are many volunteer opportunities from servers, painters to paint the building, graphic designers, food tasters, writers and so much more.  If you have a skill, the Taste Project probably has a position for you. In order to help The Taste Project feed one community at a time, they need the assistance of the community.

If you are interested  go to The Taste Project and learn how you can help to feed one community at a time at “our” restaurant–we are all owners.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–The Taste Project is making a difference.

 

 

It’s In The Bag–Hope For Women Of Domestic Abuse

This post was written by C. Y. Cooper

A large enthusiastic crowd was on hand for the “IT’S IN THE BAG” LUNCHEON & AUCTION held Friday, April 21, 2017, at the Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The luncheon and auction benefitted the important and extraordinary work of THE LADDER ALLIANCE, a Fort Worth based organization, founded by Sharon Cox.  The mission of The Ladder Alliance is to provide women victims of domestic violence and low-income women with the necessary tools to lead self-reliant, independent and successful lives.

On hand for the luncheon and auction were not only supporters of the organization but also several graduates of The Ladder Alliance programs.  The silent auction with over 100 items included handbags, jewelry, wine, sports packages and restaurant dining.  NBC 5 news anchor Deborah Ferguson was the emcee for the luncheon.

Beside the items up for auction, a powerful, serious display entitled “In Her Shoes……” visible to everyone in attendance, clearly drove home the point regarding domestic violence in our society.  Each pair of shoes represented a woman killed in the state of Texas in 2014-2105 by someone who had been an intimate partner along with a tag bearing the name of the woman and the city where she resided.

The Ladder Alliance, an established 501 (c)(3) organization serves between 300-400 women each year.  Throughout the year two programs are offered to assist women in their climb to independence.  The programs are Basic Computer Skills Training & Professional Office Skills Training.

The Ladder Alliance is located at 1100 Hemphill Street, Suite 302, Fort Worth, TX 76104 or you can call them at 817.834.2100 for more information to assist someone. To see more about them, visit their website by clicking The Ladder Alliance.

Remember “It’s in the bag” because “thisisyourbestyear”.

No More Chains–(A Documentary), You Can Succeed Against The Odds

by Zakiya Larry

ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY EXPLORES WOMEN, TRAUMA AND SUCCESS

No More Chains: Succeeding Against The Odds documentary set for Dallas red carpet showing along national screening tour to help women thrive post-trauma

WHO: No More Chains: Succeeding Against The Odds, a documentary that explores trauma and healing in the lives of women, is produced by success coach and noted top-business earner, Ari Squires. The well-received film profiles eleven powerhouse women and features an impressive cast of thought-leaders including: international relationship guru Paul Carrick Brunson, the money maven Patrice C. Washington, and acclaimed writer and speaker Abiola Abrams.

WHAT: These eleven transformative stories of succeeding against the odds peel back layers of pain, fear, and shame from addictions, homelessness, parental abandonment, domestic violence and an HIV diagnosis. The goal of No More Chains: Succeeding Against The Odds is to inspire then empower audiences to release their own chains. A compilation of first-person narratives, childhood reenactments and expert interviews, the film is an extension of a book anthology by the same name, with foreword by actor and speaker Darrin Dewitt Henson and afterword by Abiola Abrams.

The film is set for a Dallas celebrity red carpet screening on Saturday, March 18th at Studio Movie Grill-Spring Valley. The event will include a panel discussion with the authors/film subjects about their stories and the process of translating them to film. Participating in the premier experience will be Darrin Dewitt Henson, Paul Carrick Brunson and more notable figures.

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:15 PM

WHERE: Studio Movie Grill – Spring Valley

13933 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75243

Just For A Laugh

It is official as the nice man delivers yet another package to my house–I am married to the online shopping lady except she is a man. A man who never liked shopping before. As a woman of a certain age I have seen my hubby of many years have many habits, and this one is one that I could never imagined he would have.

When he had to fill out forms and send them in he wouldn’t order a lot–it took time.  The kids and I would get a few crazy gifts, you know the kind that don’t look anything like the picture. The kind that are supposed to be just as good as the nationally known product.

But lo and behold he is now kind of sort of computer literate–he discovered the internet.  We finally got him to stop opening all of the email he receives, and printing off all of the crazy information that is out there.  He now shops.

You know that lady that buys the purse in all 16 colors, 13 sizes and 14 materials all of which are fake–that’s him.  Need something to help you with a flat tire, ward off attackers, look like a diamond, ruby and/or emerald, whiten your teeth, stretch your shoes, shrink your shoes, kill mosquitoes, and so much more?  We have it.

The delivery people and the postal service know us.  In fact I’ve told them to stop coming to my house.  I run to the door as soon as they ring the bell because there is no need to sign for it, they just ring, drop and go.

The good news is that I’m going to have a great garage sale.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear“. What’s one man’s junk is another one’s treasure–yeah right.

The Texas Conference For Women Is Sold Out–But!

The amazing Texas Conference for Women in Austin, Texas on November 15, 2016 is officially sold out.

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As luck would have it, there may be a way to get tickets to attend this sold out event. You can put your name on a list to grab tickets if they become available. If you want to hear great speakers, be inspired, attend wonderful workshops, network with women who are on the move and so much more, you need to try as hard as possible to attend this event. To try for tickets click please let me get a ticket. Hope you are lucky!  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.