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W W W . W O M E N S I N C . N E T



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By Women, For Women, About Women of Central Arkansas

Dazzling Dishes! with Chef Jill McCollum, CC


WOMEN’S INC. Editor Lori Quinn Associate Editor Katherine Thomason Creative Director Stewart Cole Contributing Writers Rachel Parker Dickerson Angie Howard Dr. Patricia Knott Andrea Lennon Jill McCollum Susan O’Keefe Jennifer Stanley Contributing Copy Editor Ginny Wiedower Chief Photographer Brandy Strain Contributing Food & Event Photographers Sara Black Laura Derden Lindsey Faith Watson Retail Advertising Sales Manager Rhonda Overbey Advertising Coordinators Jackie Black Leah Brown Advertising Sales Dawn Rivers Tara Sanders Jesica Talbert Betsey Willbanks Advertising Artists Jay Prince Kellie McAnulty Editorial Advisory Board Lindsey Davenport Haley Crafton Fowler Beverly Freiley Mary Harlan Becky Harris Jan Hicky Patricia Hoskins Nancy Jackson Helen Lockhart Velda Lueders Misty Morse Lori Ross Mary Margaret Satterfield Traci Kennedy Smith Katherine Thomason Stefanie Holt Vann Jessica Zimmerman Women’s Inc. is published by the Log Cabin Democrat. Questions or Comments? Call (501) 327-6621, e-mail: or write to P.O. Box 969, Conway, AR, 72033 6 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

Christmas time


ur Cover story this month features our own Chef Jill McCollum. We have loved having her write for our monthly food column each month. How exciting it has been to produce our first ever cooking show and spotlight Jill. Melissa Dunbar-Gates agreed to join our cooking show as host for this inaugural show. We had such a great time filming the show. Jill and Melissa, both having participated in cooking shows in the past, were “pros” at this. And this made filming this show a breeze! Thank you ladies for making this show such a success. You can check out the cooking show in its entirety by scanning the QR code on page 12 or by following the link listed there. Jill’s recipes for the show include garlic cheese grits with shrimp, broccoli casserole and artichoke dip with pita triangles. Yummy! Another feature this month highlights the Finley family. This family is a close-knit family that loves music, gathering together and celebrating their family with many family traditions they have established over the years. Even though they are dispersed over several states, this family continues to stay close, gathering at any chance they can. Julie and Alan Finley both grew up in large families who could “read music and who love to sing.” They have passed this tradition on to their own family. I know Christmas this year with the Finleys will be filled with love and fun! Thanks, Finleys for sharing your story with us. Our events section (pages 32-34) this month features CASA Festival of Chairs, Centennial Valley Fashion Show/Ladies Night Out and “One with Art” benefitting Conway Regional. Gayla Grace, our wellness columnist, has published a couple of e-books recently, including her newest book, “Thriving at the Holidays: A Stepparent’s Guide to Success - Unwrapping the Gift of Peace.” Read her column on page 35 to find out more about this new book. Last, but certainly not least, check out our book review column on page 37. Susan O’Keefe offers some great reads for the holidays and some easy ways to wrap up “the gift of reading.” Wishing all of our readers a very merry Christmas and a happy 2012! Until Next Month,




features 8 Dazzling dishes Women’s Inc. food contributor Chef Jill McCollum, CC, was the perfect choice to feature in our first-ever cooking show, which debuts at Dazzle Daze!

12 Food Dazzle Daze recipes to highlight your event.

18 Family traditions

columns 16 Green Freed Barbies and recycling

Alan and Julie Finley keep Christmas memories festive by Angie Howard with children of their own.

21 Nutrition Choose health for your family tradition

24 In the news

by Dr. Christine Hurley

26 Downtown A Very Merry Christmas Store — and more!

30 Shopping 38 Community Habitat for Humanity: Home for the holidays.

22 Health Keeping the hunter healthy by Dr. Patricia Knott

25 Spirituality Christmas surrender by Andrea Lennon

35 Wellness Looking back at 2011 — a year of change by Gayla Grace


36 Beauty Make it a day at the spa

32 CASA Festival of Chairs

by Annie Worley

33 Centennial Valley Fashion Show / Ladies Night

37 Book Review Books for everyone: Christmas favorites


34 One with Art Hospital Event

by Susan O’Keefe



DISHES By Jennifer Stanley Photos by Brandy Strain

Women’s Inc. food contributor Chef Jill McCollum, CC, was the perfect choice to feature in our first-ever cooking show, which debuts at Dazzle Daze! A Conway native, Jill is married to Kenny and is stepmother to April, Nicolette and Coleman and mother to Garrett, 11. She also has two grandchildren, Avebury and Liam. In addition to her Women’s Inc. contributions, Jill is the director of dining services at Central Baptist College in Conway, where she has enjoyed employment for seven years. “Lunch is our biggest meal of the day at CBC. We serve faculty, staff and students, and we typically feed about 200-225 for lunch. We also provide breakfast and dinner, and food is served seven days a week,” said Jill. She has about 10 employees on staff. Jill’s love of cooking came naturally, as she hails from a family of excellent cooks. In fact, she even apprenticed with her father, Don Bingham, when studying to become a chef. “My mother, Nancy, is also an excellent cook and does most of the cooking at home. She still makes Sunday lunch for the entire family each week. I am one of five children, so that is a huge undertaking,” she noted. When not working at CBC or providing recipes for Women’s Inc. readers, Jill enjoys helping her husband with their son’s pee wee football and traveling baseball teams. She is also the director of the Toad Suck Daze children’s pageant, a role she inherited from her father. She does a cooking segment on Channel 7’s “Good Morning Arkansas” once a month. In addition, she has her own catering business, which keeps her incredibly busy, particularly during the holiday season. “I am actually feeding 1,100 people at Girls’ Nite Out at Dazzle Daze,” she said. In fact, it was for Dazzle Daze, and in conjunction with Women’s Inc., that Jill was featured in a fantastic — and first of its kind — cooking show. Women’s Inc. came up with the concept for the show. “With Jill providing the catering for Dazzle Daze this year and contributing monthly recipes and ideas to Women’s Inc., we thought this would be a great time to launch a cooking show,” said Lori Quinn, Women’s Inc. editor. “Melissa Dunbar-Gates was a natural choice to serve as host. Melissa has worked with Women’s Inc. over the years, and she and her family live right here in Conway.” Melissa is an anchor on Channel 11’s “Today’s THV This Morning Saturday.” The Kitchen Store at 704 Locust Street in Conway sponsored the cooking show. The show was filmed at the home of Jill’s parents and featured items viewers can purchase at local merchants. 8 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

Chef Jill McCollum with Melissa Dunbar-Gates.


Eric White prepares to shoot the cooking video with Chef Jill McCollum.

Dishes prepared during the cooking show include garlic cheese grits with shrimp, broccoli casserole and artichoke dip with pita triangles. 10 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

Jill adds seasoning and final ingredients to the broccoli casserole.

All food was purchased locally, and the cooking and serving pieces were from The Kitchen Store. “Jill and Melissa are such pros at this, so the filming process was very smooth, and the cooking show is so much fun to watch. Also, the show will be available online, so viewers can actually purchase their ingredients, set up their laptop in the kitchen, and cook this fabulous meal right along with the show. This was a great experience for all of us, and we got to sample all the fabulous recipes at the end of the production,” said Lori. Jill served some of the featured food at Girls’ Nite Out so patrons could actually taste what they were viewing on the show. She also gives significant credit to her coworkers and fellow chefs. “There is no way I could do this by myself; I have to give credit to the staff. The staff who works with me at CBC is also the staff that works with me in my catering business. My sous chef and pastry chef at CBC, specifically, have worked with me since I have been here, and it is most definitely a team effort. There is no way I could do this without my great team. Sometimes I feel like they are the unsung heroes because they work so hard,” Jill said. Jill also said it is the ever-changing client base that makes her job interesting. “I don’t like monotonous. What I enjoy about cooking is that every event is different. You have different personalities, people who want different things — weddings, banquets, even funerals. So you have a wide variety of different dishes that you can do for different events. It is also a very fast-paced business. I enjoy making people happy with food!” WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 11

FOOD DAZZLING DISHES Women’s Inc.’s full 30-minute cooking video featuring Chef Jill McCollum, CC, and Melissa Dunbar-Gates and sponsored by The Kitchen Store. Online at


Holiday Party! DAZZLE DAZE RECIPES TO HIGHLIGHT YOUR EVENT By Chef Jill McCollum, CC Photos by Lindsey Faith Watson How about a fun and refreshing Holiday party?! These three unique ideas are sure to have your friends talking! Gift Wrapping Party Invite a few friends to an early evening gift wrapping get-together. Tell everybody to bring gift wrap, ribbons, tape, card stock, scissors, glue, writing utensils, old ornaments, silk flowers and lots of ideas. You as the host prepare some finger foods. Cookie Exchange Party A cookie exchange is a great way to end up with a selection of homemade cookies without the burden of baking for a week! Some things to keep in mind: • Send out the invitations a month in advance and include your rules in the invitations • How many participants will you

invite? Once you get the RSVPs back, inform all guests of the final number of people who will be attending • No store-bought cookies allowed! • Ask your guests to bake enough cookies so that each person can take home at least six of each cookie. • Remind your guest to bring cookie containers to take home their baked goods. • Advise your guests to make a copy of their recipe for each participant. • And most important — as the host, make sure the rest of the family is busy with something else to do during your party! Wine and Cheese Party Party food does not always have to be chips and salsa. Try a different version of finger food! Pick a selection of fresh, soft, medium and hard cheeses. To save money, ask each one of your guests to bring his or her favorite cheese and/or a bottle of wine.

Garlic Cheese Grits with Shrimp ¾ cup uncooked grits ¾ cup processed cheese, cubed 1 pinch cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tomato, diced 2 lbs fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined ½ lemon, juiced salt to taste Cook grits according to package directions. Stir in cubed cheese and cayenne pepper. Keep warm over low heat. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Sauté garlic and tomato until tomato begins to soften. Stir in shrimp and lemon juice. Sauté until shrimp are pink. Season with salt to taste. Spread warm grits on a serving platter and pour shrimp mixture on top. Chef Jill McCollum, CC, is the Caterer and Food Service Director for Central Baptist College. Jill is the owner of Jill McCollum Catering in Conway. She can be reached at or (501) 730-4422 WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 13

Broccoli Casserole 3 tablespoons butter 1 small onion, diced 2 (10-ounce) frozen broccoli, thawed 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup mayonnaise 2 eggs ½ teaspoon garlic ¼ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon seasoned salt 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice 2 cups sliced almonds toasted in 2 tablespoons butter Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds in butter and set aside. Melt butter in skillet, sauté onions. In a bowl, mix onions, broccoli, soup, cheese, mayonnaise, all seasonings and lemon juice. Pour into your greased baking dish. Sprinkle on the toasted almonds, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Artichoke Dip with Pita Triangles 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and 1 teaspoon garlic powder chopped 1 teaspoon dill weed ½ cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons lemon juice ½ cup sour cream 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds in butter and set aside. Melt butter in skillet and sauté onions. In a bowl mix onions, broccoli, soup, cheese, mayonnaise, all seasonings and lemon juice. Pour into your greased baking dish. Sprinkle on the toasted almonds, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Pita Triangles 1 package of pita pockets-split open and cut 1 tablespoon dill weed into triangles garlic to taste 1 stick butter Melt butter, add dill weed and garlic, mix. Add pita triangles and toss in butter until coated. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.




Freed Barbies and recycling

By Angie Howard


hen I was a little girl I loved Barbie dolls. Some of my fondest and most vivid memories of play dates with friends centered around my Barbie Dream House (its pull-string elevator was my favorite part) and role-playing with the lucky, un-realistically perfect, plastic ladies who got to call that dream house “home.” I had two distinct categories of Barbies at my house: “out-of-box” Barbies and “in-the-box” Barbies. The out-of-box Barbies were, to put it kindly, well-loved and well-worn — matted hair, mismatched shoes, markered-on makeup and each minus articles of essential clothing (aka half-naked). These were the Barbies that were fortunate enough to get to play daily in the Dream House. The other category, in-the-box Barbies, lived their lives pretty much as their moniker describes, in their box, not to be taken out, corrupted and mixed with the lower-class out-of-box Barbies. In-the-box Barbies included my entire collection of Happy Holidays Barbies, a Swan Lake Barbie and some other really nice collectable Barbie dolls. We all have those snippets of memory from childhood that will forever be emblazoned in our minds, and one of those just so happens to include my elementary school best friend, Keegan, and that collection of in-the-box Barbies. Keegan and I were playing one day in my bedroom and — most likely out of a combination of boredom and the imaginative mind of a fourth- or fifth-grade pair of girls — set our sights on “freeing” my entire collection of pristinely-boxed Happy Holidays Barbie dolls which glossy-eyed gazed longingly to us from a shelf my parents had built to display them along the top portion of the wall in my room (no doubt deliberately where they would not easily be reached by prying hands). Several hours and a good bit of ingenuity later we had set the blond bombshells decked out in their holiday finest loose, all seven or eight years’ worth of them, all the while Keegan and I declaring victoriously that they had been held captive in their cardboard and plastic prisons for far too long. Triumphant, I was (albeit grounded when my Mom found out) now with a new arsenal of very fancy and festive dressed dolls to live freely in the Dream House! The unsightly part of their freedom flight resulted in a substantial mess of pasteboard and plastic wrappings all scattered about. I’m pretty sure if you have children on the morning of Dec. 25, your living room floor will be in a similar condition as my bedroom was that day so many years ago. Thankfully, it’s much easier to manage the toy packaging shrapnel more responsibly now than it was during my Barbie jailbreak of the early 1990’s. Most of what toys are wrapped and packaged in these days can be recycled through Conway/Faulkner County’s recycling program. Here is a quick reference guide as to what can go in your recycling carts after your kids free their captive toys on Christmas morning: 16 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

“Several hours and a good bit of ingenuity later we had set the blond bombshells decked out in their holiday finest loose ... declaring victoriously that they had been held captive in their cardboard and plastic prisons for far too long.” RECYCLABLE • Cardboard (both pasteboard and corrugated cardboard) • Tissue Paper (white and colored) • “Paper-type” Wrapping Paper (all colors) • White “Pressed Bead” Styrofoam from packaging (upon close inspection you can see the Styrofoam is composed of individual pressed Styro foam beads) • Plastic packaging that has a recycling symbol (the Triangle) and a number inside the triangle identifying they type of plastic • Newspaper/butcher-type paper from packaging NON RECYCLABLE • “Foil-type” Wrapping Paper • “Spongy-type” Styrofoam (Styrofoam not visibly composed of pressed individual Styrofoam beads) • Colored Styrofoam • Plastic packaging NOT marked with the recy cling symbol and number within the triangle • Ribbons from packaging • Bubble-Wrap So, back to the Barbies. True, both our moms nearly had a heart attack when they saw the Collector’s Edition boxes and wrapping lying in a mangled mess on one side of my bedroom floor and the smiling Barbies out of bondage on another. Maybe if it were as easy to recycle that mess on the floor back then as it is now they wouldn’t have been as distressed over that little fiasco. OK, probably not, but a nice thought. I wish a very Merry Christmas to you all! And, if you give your little girls a Barbie, go ahead and let them take it out of the box and play with it, even if it’s a “nice” one. Odds are they’ll un-box it at some point anyway. Angie Howard is a wife and mother of three. She is recycling coordinator for the city of Conway and the Faulkner County Solid Waste District. Angie can be reached at


Family traditions

Alan and Julie Finley keep childhood Christmas memories festive with children of their own By Jennifer Stanley Photos by Brandy Strain For the family of Alan and Julie Finley of Greenbrier, the holidays are all about tradition, togetherness and music. Alan, who serves as Chief Operating Officer of Conway Regional Medical Center, and Julie will celebrate 28 years of marriage on New Year’s Eve. Growing up in families of five and four children, respectively, it is logical they have a large family themselves. The couple are parents to Lindsey, 26, who lives in Bowling Green, Ky., and is working as a registered nurse while pursuing her master’s degree. Their son, Matthew, 24, is married to Joanna, resides in Tampa, Fla., and is currently completing requirements to 18 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

submitted photo

The Finley family got together at a cabin in Kentucky for Alan’s surprise 50th birthday party. Front row: Torhi, Lindsey, Andie and Joanna Finley. Back row: Jordan, Alan, Julie and Matthew Finley.

Singing and musical instruments are a huge part of the Finley’s family traditions.

become a physician’s assistant. Son Jordan, 23, is married to Torhi, and both work as registered nurses in Oklahoma City while Jordan continues his education. Their daughter Andie, 11, attends Greenbrier Middle School. Their road to Faulkner County began when the couple met as undergraduates in Florida. Alan grew up in Texas, and Julie is from Bradley, Ark. They moved back to Texas after marrying, where Alan earned his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin. From there, he decided to try his hand at Julie’s family business; they moved back to Bradley, and he farmed with her father for five years. “It sounded wonderful, but I realized farming was not what I wanted to do,” Alan said. “We moved to Little Rock with three young kids in tow, and I went to graduate school at UALR,” Alan said. Upon completion of his master’s, the family made the trek to Conway when Alan earned an administrative residency at Conway Regional Medical Center. He has now been employed by the hospital for 18 years. The family has lived in Greenbrier for 16 of those years and loves the community. “We are very active in the Highway 65 Church of Christ. Alan serves as an elder and leads the singing, and we both teach Bible classes,” Julie said. Alan is also on the board of the Conway Symphony Orchestra, and Julie is involved with the Conway Regional Women’s Council and has been the chair of operations and layout for Dazzle Daze all 10 years. “We started with just a handful of vendors, and it has been so much fun to see it grow,” she said. Coming from big families and having four children of their own, Christmas is an incredibly significant time of year for the Finleys. Of her own Christmas growing up, Julie said, “We lived on a farm, and Christmas was a big highlight of each year since we lived in such a small town. My mom would put the wrong names on gifts as a joke. One year my brother opened my Barbie toy, and I opened his rifle, so he was very upset,” she laughs. “When our own kids were younger, Matthew could always guess what the wrapped gifts were, so I stopped putting names on them and assigned numbers instead. Each child learned what their numbers were on Christmas. Even though Matthew is now 24, we still do that when they come home,” she said. The entire family always decorated the tree together as well. “Our ornaments are a hodgepodge collection with lots of homemade ornaments, but the first to go on the tree are three Precious Moments ornaments that were bought in 1986 in memory of our three children who were born too premature to survive. It is always special to put those on the tree. It also gives us a moment to talk about looking forward to seeing them one day in Heaven,” said Julie. “Stockings are also a huge deal in our family. I made the kids’ stockings when they were young, and they are huge, so it takes a lot to fill them, but it’s really fun,” Julie said. “Julie quilts and cross-stitches the stockings herself and has now made stockings for the daughters-in-law. She stitches personal things on them,” Alan said. “One thing I did when they were growing up was put a jumbo pack of Fruit Stripe gum in their stockings, and they still expect it now that they’re grown. One year we even did a puppy in the stockings,” Julie added. WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 19

Julie, Alan and Andie Finley.

“When I was growing up, the holidays were all about being with family. We always lived several hours from our grandparents and cousins. I can remember being at my mom’s parents in Farmersville, Texas; they had tons of grandkids. They always put fruit, knit booties and sparklers in our stockings. We loved being together and playing around the barn. When we got older that changed to us watching ballgames, but it’s always been about being together,” Alan explained. That togetherness is also important to the Finleys each Christmas. “Now that our older kids live off and are married, we just do our Christmas celebrating when everyone can be together. It may not actually be on Christmas, but we all get together for three or four days in Greenbrier,” Julie said. “We are all very family-oriented,” added Alan. “Even though our older children are in their 20s, they will call and say, ‘Did Dad put the lights on the house yet?’” said Julie. “Every once in a while we get tempted to forgo the lights, but they keep us going! We also do a bonfire in the backyard during the holidays. We take quilts outside, bundle up and roast marshmallows.” Music also plays a major part in their lives and is always incorporated in their family gatherings. Alan comes from a very musically-inclined family. “The main focus of music on my side was through my mom’s family. We would always sing at gatherings, and my uncles would play instruments. My grandfather was a sharecrop farmer, but he always loved music — everything from religious to country music. We also sang songs my uncle wrote. He wrote a song about Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated soldiers from World War II who was from Farmersville. It was featured when the town held a big 20 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

memorial dedication to him, and I think the song might have sold 500 copies,” laughed Alan. “I also have an uncle who is a chorus director and another who played in a band through his senior years.” “We both grew up in families who could read music and who love to sing. I took piano and voice lessons in high school. I am not a soloist; I enjoy singing in groups,” Julie said. Julie’s siblings sing as well, but her family never sang at their gatherings. However, singing together is something Alan and Julie incorporated once they were married and had their own family. “The kids didn’t always love to sing. In fact, the boys would sometimes roll their eyes at us,” noted Alan. However, all the older children have been in musical groups and fortunately both daughters-in-law also enjoy singing. “The kids will sometimes have a song they want us to try out when they come home, or we will pull something from the Internet and try it out or maybe rework it,” she said. Food is also a big part of the Finley’s Christmas celebration. “We always do a special dinner and use the family dishes and china. I let the kids ‘order’ their favorite foods and desserts from mom’s kitchen, and what I don’t get done before they arrive, we enjoy making together,” Julie said. “I think some people might think some of our traditions are silly, but I don’t think you should underestimate their value,” she added. “Even as adults, your kids will come home and want you to do some of those things they did when they were young. Whether it’s singing together, decorating the tree or a bonfire, they all add great memories. The children look forward to those things, and they can do them with their own children someday.”


Choose health for your family tradition

By Dr. Christine Hurley


ike most people I love the holiday season most especially because it represents the gathering of family and the lasting traditions that we enjoy. I remember a story from Zig Ziglar that I heard about the traditional holiday ham: The bride in a newly-married couple cut off the end of the ham before baking it. Her husband asked why. The wife responded that her mother always cut of the end of the ham and that was the way it was supposed to be. Not accepting “the way it was supposed to be,” the husband called his mother-in-law and asked why she cut off the end of the ham before baking. The response was that her mother cut off the end of the ham. More curious than ever, the husband called grandma and asked her why she cut off the end of the ham. The answer was that she had a small oven and that was the only way to get the ham to fit. Grandma had a reason for cutting off the end of the ham. The next two generations did not. They were blindly following custom without reason. It was “the way it was supposed to be.” How many of your traditions do you follow because you perceive them to be the way things are supposed to be? Stories such as this have helped me place extra thought into my own family’s traditions. Coming from a small family, the dreamy visions of big family events that television shows use as normal were by no means normal for us. Traditions have so much more to do with what works in our personal circumstances than what anyone else might show as the perfect family holiday. I like the idea that we can reduce our holiday stress by choosing our traditions, customs and habits. When our children were smaller we would not put packages out under the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve when the kids were asleep. As time goes by this custom has changed because I prefer to get some sleep instead of wrapping into the wee hours of the night! My kids are more grown up and it isn’t as hard for my teenagers to not open the pretty wrapped temptations as it was. This brings me to talk about making health care decisions based on what has always been done. At this point, we are hearing almost constantly about

medicines that didn’t work or caused unintentional harm versus the good that was promised. I know many times what is offered as a treatment is done because other options are not clear as an alternative. In my experience, I have had a number of patients who had surgery because they had the impression their symptoms would be relieved, or in some cases they would be better than before the surgery. This is so rarely the case that we often treat the same individuals again and again even after surgery. As a doctor, and in particular being considered in the world of alternative medicine, it breaks my heart not to see more attempts being made to actually try the alternatives. Alternatives to cold and flu season — making yourself healthier by drinking water, eating better food, resting, taking quality and getting adjusted by your chiropractor — have been shown repeatedly to decrease the frequency and duration of “common” illnesses. Who says they have to be common? Make a different choice for health. So my message today is this: Look past what has always been done. Don’t let your friends, spouse, parents, grandparents or old wives’ tales decide for you what your picture of health will look like. Try getting advice from a healthcare provider that considers the most conservative and alternative treatment first. In my opinion that provider is your chiropractor. I love what Zig Ziglar says, “If you help enough other people get what they want in life, they will help you get what you want in life.” I want to help the sick and hurting find their way back to health. So many people feel helpless, in pain and just plain stressed and overwhelmed. If we can’t help you, we can direct you toward someone who can help. You get to choose, so make a choice for a healthier, less-harmful tradition in your family. Have a happy and healthy holiday! Dr. Christine Hurley is the CEO of Hurley & Wellness Center and is a wellness expert in nutrition, women’s health and many other areas. She has published articles, changed thousands lives with chiropractic care and raised three children with these and more health principles. WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 21


Keeping the hunter healthy

By Dr. Patricia Knott


e celebrate the holidays in a variety of ways and with various traditions, but one constant is food, and plenty of it. Traditional holiday fare includes such delectable dishes as corn bread dressing, stuffed turkey, ham, yams, potatoes and casseroles, along with a mouthwatering assortment of cakes, pies, and favorite desserts. Not surprisingly, in areas where hunting is a favorite pastime, wild game is claiming a spot on the table, reminiscent of the days of the pilgrims. I have spoken to hunters, both male and female, who enjoy the hunt but also love to tell of different preparations of the game they manage to acquire. I have heard of incredible preparations of deer roast and rabbit dumplings. My husband makes a mean duck and sausage gumbo. If you love game dishes, then having an avid hunter in the family is a plus. That hunter does take risks when going out to bring home the food for the table. Not just gun safety needs to be considered when preparing for the hunt, but health is a concern as well — for the hunter and for those he or she feeds. There are certainly hunters out there (like my friend Jonathan who patiently attempted to teach me all about the experience in one phone conversation) who can educate people about this sport a lot better than I can, but a few general facts (not comprehensive) about the health risks and precautions can surely serve to remind the experienced hunter, caution the aspiring hunter and help family and friends to safeguard their hunter and themselves. Animals can carry diseases. Some cause illness only in other animals, but some cause sickness in humans as well — even death. A lot of these diseases are transmitted to humans by a vector (a disease carrier) such as mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. The disease can also be contracted from handling the skin, meat or bodily fluids from an infected animal or from contaminated water. Common tick-borne illnesses in Arkansas include: 1. Rocky- Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is the most prevalent severe tick-borne disease in Arkansas and can cause death if not treated appropriately. Symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea/ vomiting, muscle pain and rash. It is treated with antibiotics. 2. Human Ehrlichiosis is the second-most frequently tick-borne illness reported in Arkansas. It can cause death and have similar symptoms to RMSF. The rash is more common in children than adults. It is treated with antibiotics. 3. Tularemia can be spread by direct contact with the infected animal, commonly a rabbit, and can be airborne. It is potentially fatal if not treated. Symptoms can include skin ulcers, fever, chills, headache, eye pain, diarrhea, cough, vomiting, pneumonia and enlarged liver and spleen. It can be treated with antibiotics. 4. Lyme disease has early and late stages. The early stage includes severe flu-like symptoms and rash


(50-80 percent of individuals). The later stage of the disease can be severe and chronic and include muscle pain, arthritis and neurologic symptoms, including meningitis. It can also cause heart, eye, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Antibiotics are used to treat early and late stages of the disease. 5. Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) is often referred to as “Lyme-like disease.” It has milder symptoms and has not been associated with arthritic or neurologic symptoms. Antibiotics help to eliminate symptoms. A form of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) can be contracted from animals such as cows, deer and elk by direct contact with a wound, drinking contaminated unpasteurized milk or inhaling the exhaled air of the animal (rare). It can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. It is not common and is treated similarly to the more common tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A case of E-coli infection from a deer killed with an abdominal shot causing fecal contamination of the carcass has been reported. The child suffered significant GI symptoms and was treated successfully with antibiotics. Precautions for hunters should include: • Protection from the vectors that carry the disease: Use tick or mosquito repellents, wear lightcolored clothing in order to spot ticks more easily and promptly remove ticks when found. Clean the tick bite with a disinfectant. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of potential diseases in your area and contact your physician if you experience them. • Practice good sanitation procedures when handling or processing animals and their products: Wear protective clothing such as disposable gloves when skinning animals, scrub the work area and tools with soap or detergent followed by disinfection with diluted bleach, avoid eating or drinking while handling animals and wash hands well when finished. Safely dispose of carcasses and tissues and contaminated items like gloves. Cook meat thoroughly, and contact your physician if you become ill after handling wildlife. Follow the proper manner for handling of deer carcasses such as a shot to the neck or torso and not the abdomen. Quickly remove entrails from the abdominal cavity. Clean, dry and cool the abdominal cavity until meat is processed. Many people enjoy game as part of their culinary pleasure and not just for the sport itself. In keeping with the holiday spirit, my friend, Jonathan, and others will be sharing some of their game with others by donating part of their abundance through various charity programs this season. Patricia Knott is a graduate of LSU Medical School in New Orleans and is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She serves as the Medical Director for Conway Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.



‘A Conway Christmas’ kicks off season Kick off your holiday season with “A Conway Christmas,” presented by the Conway Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m., at Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway. This year’s performance features the return of special guests Arkansas Festival Ballet and Central Arkansas Children’s Choir. The performance is underwritten by Conway Corporation, with guest artist sponsorship from Smith Ford, Inc. and Morgan Keegan and Co. Tickets are $6 for children and students and $20$38 for adults, with a discount rate of $15 for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets at the Reynolds box office, (501) 450-5506, toll free (866) 810-0012 outside of Conway, or at Under the direction of Israel Getzov, the Conway Symphony will perform holiday favorites such as “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Sleigh Ride,” among many others. “Music is inseparable from Christmas. It instantly puts us in the holiday mood and without it, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same,” Getzov said. Santa Claus will also make a special guest musician appearance and will be available for photos at intermission, so parents are encouraged to bring a camera. The concert will also feature the Central Arkansas Children’s Choir performing “One December, Bright


FCLI’s class of 2012 The 2012 class of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute has been named. Members include: Sunny Boudreaux, Chris Capehart, Chris Coffman, Wes Dyson, Shay Carolina, John Fincher, Jamie Fotioo, Lisa Garner, Brittani Garrett, Amanda Irby, John Kelley Josh Linden, Thomas McNutt, James Reed, James Ryken, Andy Shock, Henry Smiley, Courtney Spradlin, BJ Sullivan, Rhea Williams, William Wofford and Lance Wright.

Zimmerman noted as 20 in their 20s and Clear” by Mack Wilberg. The CACC is an award-winning, auditioned choral program for 4th-9th grade treble voices, which has performed at events across the state and in national music festivals, under the direction of Ryan Fisher and Paige Rose. For the second half of the performance, the Conway Symphony will be joined once again by Little Rockbased Arkansas Festival Ballet for selections from The Nutcracker, including the well-known “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Trepak,” “Arabian Dance,” “Chinese Dance” and “Waltz of the Flowers.”

Jessica Zimmerman, owner of A Southern Tradition in Conway and editorial advisory board member to Women’s Inc. magazine, was named to Arkansas Business’ “The New Influentials: 20 in their 20s.” Zimmerman, 29, a native of Conway, graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a degree in communication.


By Andrea Lennon


Christmas surrender

ix powerful words were strategically placed at the beginning of the Christmas story as recorded in the of Gospel of Luke. These words were spoken by the angel Gabriel to Mary, the mother of Jesus, following the shocking news that she, a virgin, would give birth to a child. This child would not be like any other child. No. This Child was God’s Child. The news that Mary would give birth to a son surprised her. Mary knew that she was a virgin and that she was engaged to a man named Joseph. Mary asked the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34, New International Version.) The angel responded with the following details: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) These details meant that Jesus’ birth would require God’s work in Mary’s life. Mary had to put all of her hope and trust in God and His plan for her. For just a moment place yourself in Mary’s position. You are young, engaged to be married and living your daily life when all of a sudden an angel appears to you and delivers life-altering news. I wonder how you would respond? Scripture states that Mary was troubled by the angelic encounter. I feel certain that I would have been troubled, too. Although Mary was troubled and found herself in an unknown situation and facing an unknown future, she did not run. Instead Mary surrendered to God’s plan for her life. This surrender came in the form of a powerful statement recorded in Luke 1:38. “I am the Lord’s servant, Mary answered. ... May it be to me as you have said.” I find this statement simple, yet profound. Mary did not present a list of “other options” for the angel to consider, and she did not respond with a list of clarifying questions. Mary surrendered to God’s plan for her life. One outcome of Mary’s surrender was the birth of Jesus. Jesus came to earth

for a specific purpose. He came to bring peace. This peace is not temporary peace — it is eternal peace! The six powerful words that were strategically placed at the beginning of the Christmas story were spoken by the angel Gabriel to Mary. Luke 1:37 states, “For nothing is impossible with God.” What a powerful truth that proved true in Mary’s life. Mary, a virgin, gave birth to a child. Through this life experience as well as others, I am certain Mary knew deep in her heart that absolutely nothing was impossible in her life as long as God was with her. Today we have the opportunity to learn the same truth. With God in the middle of our lives, no mountain is too high, no valley is too deep and no obstacle is too great. Simply put, with God, the impossible things of life become possible every single day. This Christmas do you need to know and experience the truth that nothing is impossible with God? Maybe you are facing an unknown situation or unknown future in your life. If so, talk to the Lord right now. No matter where you are or what is going on around you, stop and surrender to the Lord’s plan for your life. Voice your desire to experience His powerful work in your life by praying, “Lord, I am your servant. I invite you to do whatever is necessary in me and around me to make the impossible obstacle that I face possible with You!” As you surrender to God’s plan for your life, you will experience peace no matter how uncertain the details of life appear to be. Take heart my friend. Nothing is impossible with God! Andrea Lennon lives in Conway, Arkansas, with her husband, Jay, and sons, Jake and Andrew. Andrea ministers to the women of Arkansas through a speaking and writing ministry called True Vine Ministry. To learn more about this ministry, access Andrea’s website at


DOWNTOWN A Very Merry Christmas Store • 923 Front Street, Suite 1, Downtown Conway • 501-548-6177 •


A Very Merry Christmas Store — and more! By Rachel Parker Dickerson Photos by Brandy Strain

In its fifth year of operation in downtown Conway, A Very Merry Christmas Store continues to grow, bringing festive touches to every season. John and Patricia Fesler of Oklahoma City are owners of the store. They are both originally from Arkansas and have been looking forward to moving to the Central Arkansas area for some time. “I thoroughly enjoy our customers. I know a lot of them,” said Patricia. “We’re here at least once a month, and we stay several days.” A government contract that was supposed to have ended about three years ago has kept the couple in Oklahoma since they opened the store. Now that the contract has ended, they are in the process of closing it out and deciding where to settle. “We both love Christmas,” Patricia said. “When we were young we were both in retail. John got diverted by the Vietnam War. We’ve lived all over the country and Canada.”

“We have birthday, which is all year. We also do a little bit of Easter, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Halloween.” The couple will celebrate their 45th anniversary in December. They have two grown children. Shian Blair, general manager of the store and longtime friend of the owners, said, “We have a lot of really nice, really good regular customers. Still, we get a lot of new customers who live in Conway and didn’t know we were here.” The business is located at Front and North Streets. Blair said, “We have a lot of new merchandise. From year to year we try to change and bring in new brands. We have a lot more of our Old World ornaments than in the past. A lot more to choose from. We’ve expanded our Department 56 Villages. We are adding a Disney and a Grinch Village. We already had the regular Snow Village, Dickens, North Pole, Alpine and Christmas in the City.” Most popular items to a wide variety of customers include “Deco mesh and decorating supplies, picks and sprays, and of course the wreaths to go along with the mesh,” Blair said. “Especially this time of year.” She noted while the store will be decked out for Christmas, celebratory items may be found year-round. “We have birthday, which is all year. We also do a little bit for Easter, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Halloween,” Blair said. “Halloween is our second-largest seller after Christmas. Halloween went really well this year.” The store also carries collectible items that are hard to find elsewhere, Blair said. For example, a line of ornaments by Mattarusky are not available anywhere else in Arkansas. “They’re an heirloom collectible ornament, along the same lines of Radko, but they’re totally different,” she said. “They’re really glittery. The designer lives in Illinois. He designs them, makes the mold and sends it to Poland, where they blow the glass and send it back for him to decorate. Then he sends it back and they WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 27

Manager Shian Blair with Shannon Fesler, whose parents own the store.

Andrew Ridgway makes custom wreaths for A Very Merry Christmas Store.


make more.” One of the collectibles, a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament, featured a teddy bear covered in soft furlike material. The rest of the blown glass ornament was painted and decorated with glitter. Patricia said the store is serving as a drop off station for Toys for Tots. Anyone who brings in a toy will receive a free ornament. “Our two main charities are Autism Speaks and

Toys for Tots,” Patricia said. “I actually started doing Toys for Tots when I was in junior high school. I think it’s a wonderful way to teach your kids to share with others who are not as privileged as they are. “I’m of the elephant mentality. When an elephant calf loses its mother, all the female elephants in the herd will raise that calf together and take care of it. Kids are special, and they should be treated special.”



Two Lips – Seduction – Black and tan pump, $76.99. Available at Wilkinson’s Mall.


Karen Kane black and nude lace dress, $98. Brighton necklace and a pin, $82. Available at Lefler’s.

De Blossom – Beyonz – black satin bling pump, $42.99. Available at Wilkinson’s Mall.

Foil dress by Ya with tie belt, $65. Platinum pearl necklace by Pink w/earrings, $22/pair. Available at Mary’s Boutique.

Bamboo – Luscious – animal print pump, $29.99. Available at Wilkinson’s Mall.

Red tube dress by Eight Sixty, $106. Black and gold beaded long necklace, $42. Available at PK’s.

De Blossom – Trip – black satin low heel, $26.99. Available at Wilkinson’s Mall.

Velvet dress by Lily, $118. Tweed jacket by Wild Couture, $66. Necklace w/earrings, $22/pair. Available at Mary’s Boutique.



Sandra Hudson, Joe Stane

Kat Dull, Tess Fletcher, Molly Chappell

Sherry Smith, Melissa Dunbar-Gates, Fletcher Smith

Lynne Crafton, Lynnette Rook

Amy Armistead, LeeAnna Boyce, Laura Simpson, Stephanie Smith

Mayor Tab Townsell, Donna Townsell

Robbie Dace, Susan Peterson

Jon Davis, Autumn Davis

Amanda Bright, Shelley Youngblood

Sherri Alveraz, Stephanie Smith

Carolyn Dunbar, Jim Dunbar, Melissa Dunbar-Gates

Sherry Smith, Fletcher Smith

Jessica Zimmerman, Kim Williams

Dena Hall, Tommie Bronson

Cindy Hudson, Rob Windle



Morgan Trent, Ella Rose

Greer Lenderman, Christian Lenderman

Sara Goodman, Carla Brockman

Gail Horned

Shannon Boley, Dawne Trent, Natalie Rose, Megan James, Abby King

Emily Howard, Allie Longing, Lauren Compton, Michelle McDowell, Diana Allen, Celeste Flanagin

Hunter Rainey, Nakeia Jones

Karen Fulmer, Melissa Reibe

Amy Fulmer, Michelle Odom, Jeannie Ratliff

Kasey Schluterman, Meghan Hunt, Kelsey Mattingly

Diana Allen, Michelle McDowell, Rolando Quintero, Celeste Flanagin

Janis Faust, Rebekah Stroth

Tonya McDaniel, Misty Anderson WWW.WOMENSINC.NET 33


Bill Farris, Susan Farris, Laurie Smith, Ted Smith, Dan Nabholz, Marilynn Nabholz

Sara Parsley, Travis Parsley

Ginny Bell, Jack Bell

Jim Lambert, Tom Beasley, Margaret Beasley

Nancy Williams, David Christena

Donna Hambuchen, Marilynn Nabholz

LeAnn Skinner, Jason Skinner

Chip DeBoard, Holly DeBoard, Chad Moore, Samantha Moore, Cathy White, Alan White

John Pickett, Betty Pickett

Trey Martin, Dr. Brandie Martin, Kim Gullic, Dr. Phillip Gullic

Charlie DeBoard, Susan DeBoard


Steve Griffith, Vivian Noe-Griffith, Theresa Brown


Looking back at 2011 – a year of change

By Gayla Grace


s we near the end of the year and try to survive the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s a great time to consider the good and the bad of our personal and professional happenings during the year. What went right in our life? What went wrong? What do we wish we could have done differently? What area of our life felt neglected? Will we muster the courage to make the changes necessary to improve the circumstances of our lives as we look to the future? For our family, 2011 marks a year of change. I’ll never forget the words of my 10-year-old son as I tucked him in bed on New Year’s Eve 2010 and tried to paint a positive picture of a new year. His words cut deep into my soul as he expressed his heartfelt thoughts, “I think it’s going to be a hard year, Mom. We don’t know when Daddy’s going to get a new job and we’ll probably have to move. “ His words couldn’t have been more accurate. After my husband’s job ended in February with his former employer, he found a new opportunity with a promising outlook, but it required re-locating to Bossier City, LA – a town I had never heard of. And the hardest part of the move was the reality of leaving three children behind attending college in Conway. But as we sought the Lord’s guidance for our new endeavor, it was obvious this was His plan for us. Change has become our friend this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. An unfamiliar town, a new school, new church, new Bible study group, new gym, and new faces everywhere I go have created anxiety and despondency on many days. But with change also comes new opportunities with different challenges. My husband’s employment is now stable and thriving. And God has opened doors for me that are exciting and rewarding. Since leaving Conway, I’ve pursued other writing endeavors and have had the opportunity to team up with another Christian author, Heather Hetchler of to publish a couple of e-books. Our newest e-book, Thriving at the Holidays: A Stepparent’s Guide to Success – Unwrapping the Gift of Peace, has just been published and is available on Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble for less than the cost of a Starbucks at $2.99! A PDF version of the book is also available on our website: It offers practical tips, personal stories, and encouraging ideas to not just survive the holidays, but thrive through them. Holidays can create complex challenges for stepfamilies, and our hope is to offer a resource to help stepfamilies enjoy a peaceful holiday season, despite the challenges they may be facing. Due to our experience with unemployment this past year, we’ve had the opportunity to minister to others in the same situation. The economy has taken

a heavy toll on many, leaving behind feelings of despair and hopelessness. But as we’ve experienced this past year, there is hope as you rely on the Lord to see you through the raging waters of change. His path may be different than you envisioned, but His path is always best. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” During a period of economic downturn, we have to adjust to the reality of change. Change doesn’t have to be bad. It can open doors that you never dreamed possible. It can create opportunities that are fulfilling and rewarding. But you have to be willing to walk through its door. Self-help author Jim Rohn says, “Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to change it all. Any day we wish we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish we can start the process of life change. We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. … We can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make.” What kind of year was 2011 for you? Are you wishing for change in your personal or professional life? Do you need to create change to move forward with a new endeavor? Change doesn’t have to be feared. It can create valuable opportunities that aren’t available otherwise. So what are you waiting for? If you’re struggling with unhappy surroundings, don’t just sit there. Do something! Make 2012 your year of change. Gayla Grace is a wife and mother to five children in her blended family. Gayla has a Master’s Degree in Psychology/Counseling. She ministers to stepfamilies and can be contacted through her website at



Make it a day at the spa

By Angela Jackson


eciding what to get for your loved ones is both a delightful and sometimes stressful task. A current trend and fabulous idea in gift giving is gift cards for spa services. But how do you pick the right one? Always shop around when buying a spa gift card. Look at spas you know your friend or loved one frequents, or those where you have enjoyed receiving services. If it is a new spa to you, go to the spa in person to experience the environment and meet with the staff. When you arrive at the spa, notice the way you are treated and the cleanliness of the facility. The staff should be friendly and inviting as if you are receiving the service yourself. Do they offer to show you the facility? Do they provide different options for presenting your gift card? Do they help you pick the service or package that is best for you? When deciding what service to purchase, be sure to ask if the gift card can be redeemed for its face value in case the recipient doesn’t want the service you picked. Also find out how long the gift card is valid and what the policy is regarding expired gift cards. Make sure to pass this information on to the recipient. Giving someone spa services is a great expression of what they mean to you. Many people these days have enough stuff and are asking for experience gifts instead of items. The spa gift card offers your loved ones the gift of healthy living and a much deserved chance to slow down and enjoy the serenity of the spa environment. The spa gift will be remembered long after the experience is over. You may have heard friends and family talk about making an appointment at the spa, but what are they really having done there? If you have never been, this is the perfect time for you to decide what type of treatments you might be interested in. One of the best parts of this type of business is that there truly is something for everyone. Microdermabrasion Microdermabrasion, also known as microderm, is one of the easiest and most effective anti-aging treatments you can get. Its benefits are many: Microderm softens fine lines and wrinkles, helps to smooth coarsely textured skin, decreases the appearance of scarring, decreases pore size and reduces superficial hyper-pigmentation, also known as age spots. Microdermabrasion also makes it easier for skin care products to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and help build collagen, which gives skin its youthful appearance. Microdermabrasion is a very popular cosmetic procedure. It is, in fact, the second most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure performed today. Pedicures and Manicures If you have never been to the spa you may want to start with something simple. A manicure involves trimming fingernails, removing excess cuticle and adding nail polish (with color or just a clear top coat). 36 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

It usually includes some type of massage on your hands, fingers and wrists. While this is relaxing, it can also make you feel confident as you slip your rings back on your fingers and put your watch back on. A pedicure is the same thing for your feet. You can sit back as your feet soak in warm water, preparing them for the cleaning, callous removal and eventually polish on your toenails. You might find that more of your friends are headed to the spa for a pedicure in the summertime when everyone is wearing flip-flops and sandals. Facials When you get a facial you get more of a spa experience than just a pedicure or manicure. Once you enter the room you may notice the dim lighting, relaxing music and comfortable place to lay down. Once you enter, you are given some privacy to change into a robe. Lay back on the table and cover up with the sheet provided. Now, an esthetician comes in to begin the process of cleaning your face. There are several different steps that she will go through until your face is a clean palette once again. You’ll notice that your pores are cleaned out, any blemishes may be on their way to clearing up and your face will look and feel clean. Massage For a massage you will enter a room just like the one used for a facial. Most of the time you will need to undress down to your underwear and slide under the sheet, lying face down. During a massage you will feel tension removed from your muscles and body with the motions of the therapist. The pressure can vary from treatment to treatment. Some are a little more thorough, and you may even be a little sore the next day. However, many of those points of stress in your back and neck that bothered you before will be gone. When you make this appointment at the spa you can mention what type of massage you are looking for or just talk to the therapist when you arrive. Even if you have never had a pedicure, manicure, facial, or massage, take the plunge and try something new. You’ll find that this is the perfect way to treat yourself on a special occasion or for absolutely no reason at all. If you go in for one treatment and enjoy it, be sure to book an appointment for something new for the next visit. Feeling worn-down and tired, holiday shopped til you drop?? A trip to a Conway spa might be just Angela Jackson, owner of studio SKIN has been a licensed aesthetician for 14 years. Angela is a member of Associated Skincare Professionals, an organization dedicated to the promotion of safe, quality skin care. Angela practiced in the Fayetteville area for over 12 years under the direct supervision of a board certified plastic surgeon. Angela has been offering skincare in the downtown Conway area for the last 3 years. She offers expertise and certifications in corrective skincare, facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and make-up.


Books for everyone: Christmas favorites By Susan O’Keefe


s you make your list and check it twice, recall favorite reads that continue to inspire and encourage long after the final chapter. Consider the gift that everyone would enjoy (except maybe Scrooge). There’s no size involved, no need to worry about color or comfort. Just browse your favorite bookstore and give the gift of reading. In the most unofficial of polls, I solicited top titles of books from family and friends. In no particular order, here are a handful of them. Hopefully, this will make your shopping a bit sweeter. ‘The Christmas Tree’ A friend in Hot Springs comments on what she calls “a wonderful selection.” By Julie Salamon, “The Christmas Tree” is the story of the man in charge of selecting the featured tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City. His search lasts 365 days as he peruses tree farms by helicopter, on a quest for the best choice. He encounters a nun who leads a cloistered life and has a special relationship with a tree on the convent property. It’s described as a short and fast read, and is nearly guaranteed to carve a warm spot in your heart. ‘Parenting Today’s Adolescent’ For parenting tips and advice, another friend recommends “Parenting Today’s Adolescent” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. The well-known and respected counseling couple delivers sound instruction based on Biblical principles. It’s a perfect gift for parents with children entering the often dreaded teenage years. ‘The Five Love Languages’ Receiving kudos in the same category is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. It’s a straightforward book and easy to navigate, offering readers a unique understanding of how we all give and receive love in different ways. There’s also a children’s version of the love language concept. ‘Girl in Translation’ and ‘Left Neglected’ A couple of fictional favorites from my mother-inlaw, who is an avid reader, include “Girl in Translation” by Jean Kwok, and “Left Neglected” by Lisa Genova. “Girl in Translation” is set in Brooklyn and tells the story of a woman and her daughter who emigrate from Hong Kong to the United States. Mom speaks little English and is soon working in a sweatshop. Her daughter, however, is determined to use her one and only talent to provide a better life. Her talent is simply being an “A” student. The book chronicles the struggles the two women face as they straddle countries and cultures. “Left Neglected” may hit a little too close to home for career-driven supermom soccer moms accustomed to planning every second of every day. When a Boston woman looks away from the road for a split second to check her phone, her life is changed forever. A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world. You may recognize the author, Lisa

Genova. She’s the writer of “Still Alice” about the 50year old Harvard professor who faced an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

carrying, superstitious tribesmen. This recommendation is for the man who has everything, yet seeks pages smeared with reality thrillers.

‘God’s Promise to You’ and ‘Jesus Calling’ For the friend (or foe) in need of a daily devotional, “God’s Promise to You” by the ever-popular Max Lucado, earns rave reviews. Also popular is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. “It’s written in such a way that the reader can almost hear the voice of Jesus. Each morning, it’s like he’s talking right to me,” exclaims one devotional devotee.

‘Outliers’ Another book highly touted to men is “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s full of stories and statistics, problems and probabilities. My dad and brother, both engineers, enjoyed bantering about the various results this book provides. “Outliers” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. It observes, analyzes and even explains what makes a particular person extremely successful. It attempts to dissect why a product earns millions of dollars as it is introduced to the market at precisely the right time.

‘Southern Living’s Ultimate Cookbook’ and ‘Southern Living’s Slow Cooker’ Cookbooks for the kitchen guru can provide years of delicious dishes. Standing the test of time are “Southern Living’s Ultimate Cookbook” and the newer version, “Southern Living’s Slow Cooker” cookbook. ‘Lost in Shangri-La’ In the non-fiction genre, “Lost in Shangri-La” by Mitchell Zuckoff is a must read. Set in 1945, it is the real-life unforgettable battle for survival. A plane crashes over New Guinea on what was supposed to be a sightseeing tour. Only three of the twenty-four American servicemen and women on board live to tell the harrowing tale. One woman has no choice but to wear her dead best friend’s shoes as she literally runs for her life in the suffocating jungles, home to spear-

While I’m promoting the two previous books to men, it should go without saying, that women would, of course, find them highly fascinating as well. It’s just that, in my experience, it’s more difficult to shop for men. Whatever book you choose, whatever story captures your attention, may you give and receive in the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas! Susan O’Keefe is a wife to Jack, mother to four children, and eager to face the crazy, awesome, fun things God delivers daily. Although she and her family are in the process of moving, they are on the road first for summer fun. Follow Susan’s blog at



Habitat for Humanity: Home for the holidays By Rachel Parker Dickerson Habitat for Humanity has arrived at a new means of putting families in homes — refurbishing older houses. Patricia Hoskins, executive director, said Habitat for Humanity is continuing its mission of helping low-income families earn their own homes through “recycling” or rehabilitating structures that need extra help. The nonprofit’s first recycled home is in the Conway Historical District. “We promised the City Council, the planning commission and the historical society that we were going to do our best to make a more aesthetically pleasing house so it would fit in with the plans the city has,” she said. “We’re growing, and we wanted to be part of those plans by stepping up our game,” Hoskins said. House 20, on Harrison Street (near Wilkinson’s Mall), is a 1936 craftsman-style home of about 1,300 square feet. Hoskins said. The structure was in foreclosure after being purchased by a company that planned to renovate it and sell it for a profit, Hoskins said. Habitat for Humanity purchased three such homes that were intended to be “flip” houses that went into foreclosure. “It wasn’t a foreclosure of a family. We didn’t gain from a family’s bad fortune,” she said. She continued, “It was in really bad disrepair. You could see inside from outside. There were holes in the floor. It was in really bad shape.” Hoskins said building a home from the ground up typically costs $70,000 to $75,000, but she estimated the final cost of the recycled home at $50,000 to $52,000. Also, she said, a rehab does not take as long as building from the ground up. With experience gained from the first recycled home, she said, Habitat should be able to complete the next one in three to four months. “We’ve got to get smarter about finding ways to put families into homes, and I think this is the start of that process,” she said. 38 WOMEN’S INC. / DECEMBER 2011

A great deal of community support in the form of donations helped the nonprofit meet city and historical society requirements for a renovation in the historic district, Hoskins said. “We’ll always build simple, decent and affordable, but we’ll do what we can to build a prettier house,” she said. “Our desire is that we can build a home and people can’t drive down the street and say, ‘That’s a Habitat house.’ We’re trying to develop these families, and it’s pretty hard to grow when people can drive by your house and shoe peg you.” Owners of Habitat homes are required to put in hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” — labor on their own homes and other Habitat homes — as well as paying on their loans. Hoskins said the organization encourages homeowners to work toward their GED if they did not graduate from high school, or to start taking classes at a technical school or college if they have no training beyond high school. The owner of House 20, Lakeshia Clemons, has been attending classes at the PACE program at Central Baptist College and will soon graduate with her bachelor’s degree, Hoskins said. The home will likely be ready for Clemons and her three sons by Nov. 21, she said. Hoskins said Clemons was sent a denial letter three years ago because three families were ahead of her in line for a house, and she expected to have to reapply. However, the other families dropped out of their spots for various reasons. “I said, ‘Guess what. You’re the next person in line for a house,’” Hoskins said. “It was one of those faithbased stories that, even when you think it’s not going to happen, something good comes out of it. She said, ‘I just kept praying, and it worked out.’” Habitat’s next home, No. 21, will also be a rehab. “We have our eye on more (rehabs),” Hoskins said. “We also already have land. Everything won’t be a rehab, because we already have land that Habitat owns. We have two vacant lots that we’ll build on. When a rehab is possible, we’re certainly going to go that way. That’s a great solution for us.”

Women's Inc.  

By Women, For Women, About Women of Central Arkansas

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