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Charter Health Care Training They Call Themselves Blessed Kim Hytinen

Count Your Blessings

Vol. 10 Issue 5 • 2019 • $3.95

Katina Love

DeAnne Joy The Last Love Letter

From Our Publisher  �


Debra K. Collins Publisher

Mimi Matthews Editor

Dear Friends, Hello friends, and happy holidays! What’s really fun is watching an issue come together. We give our creative writers a theme—this issue it’s Blessings because we are showered with them throughout this holiday season—and they each draw from their unique journeys, their hearts, and their wisdom to give us wonderful articles. Don’t you agree? We are always hearing from people who tell us how much they love our magazine. As far as blessings go…you can BE a blessing (page 21 and 32), you can GIVE a blessing (page 16), you can SPEAK a blessing (page 30), you can COUNT your blessings (page 14), you can RECEIVE a blessing (page 12), and you can KNOW you are blessed (page 22). We hope you immerse yourselves in this season of joy, gratitude, family and friends, and many, many blessings. We are blessed because of YOU!

Much love, Deb and Mimi

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Contents Cover



If you ever have the pleasure of meeting DeAnne you will know that she was aptly named. She is a small-sized person with a great big, joyful personality. DeAnne was a guest at our shopping event, where we featured our cover girls and authors. She received her brand-newly published books while with us!! It was so much fun to watch her open her box. The video is on our W2W Facebook page.


Count Your Blessings


Charter Health Care Training


They Call Themselves Blessed


World’s Greatest Office Party


An Ode to Animal Prints


You Have Powerful Possibilities


The Power of Potential


Departments 14

From Our Publisher and Editor Shades of Faith


The Big Brown Bag


She Means Business Debbe Campbell

Law of Attraction

Re-Frame The Pictures In Our Mind

Sparkle & Shine

Bless With Your Words

Shift Manifestation Series I Am.

3 12 21 26 30 31


Savor the Season with Delicious, Decorative Cheese Boards


Get more, go digital. Download W2W Michigan Magazine from our website or subscribe to receive it in your mailbox at








Charter Health Care Training They Call Themselves Blessed Kim Hytinen

Count Your Blessings

Vol. 10 Issue 5 • 2019 • $3.95

Katina Love

DeAnne Joy The Last Love Letter

Let the digital edition of W2W Michigan Magazine inspire you anytime. Read it anytime, anywhere! Apple, Inc. is not a participant or sponsor of this promotion. iPad and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.

W2W Debra K. Collins Publisher

Mimi Matthews Editor

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Deborah St. Hilaire • Stacey Kimbrell Kim Hytinen • Suzanne Young Tina Nies • Jennie Bouteiller Tarnesa Martin * Melissa Hager Abby Corcoran • Katina Love Lisa Thompson • Mimi Matthews Julietta Chevalier • Deria Brown • Burnie Nelson

Advisory Board Carol VanBuren

Advisory Board Director

Teresa McClelland - Sargent • Charlene Kowalski

Susan Rosenhauer • Christine Stephens • Jill Watson Theresa Yochim • Joy Martinbianco

Deb Campbell • Sue Slater • Lynn Sorenson

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Cover Story �

oy J e nn A e D

Her Name Says It All:


you ever have the pleasure of meeting DeAnne you will know that she was aptly named. She is a small-sized person with a great big, joyful personality. DeAnne was a guest at our shopping event, where we featured our cover girls and authors. She received her brand-newly published books while with us!! It was so much fun to watch her open her box. The video is on our W2W Facebook page.


So now we are going to meet DeAnne. Because she loves words, I will let her talk for herself.

I’m DeAnne Joy. I’m known as the Midlife Reboot Mentor™. I am a transformation and legacy expert, speaker, and bestselling author.

How would you describe yourself? My name says it all. I’m a pretty joyful person. People say that to me all the time, that I embody my name. I am a perfectly imperfect, driven, committed, capable, purposeful, spiritual being on a very wild human journey. I am proudly philosophical and verbose. I like words. And I love to learn. I am married, have a 24-year-old daughter who lives in Austin, Texas, and an almost 10-year-old daughter, and two neurotic and loveable furbabies, Suzy Q and Jackpot, my pups.

Where are you from originally, where do you live now?

You know when you’re hit with a wake-up call that forces you to really re-evaluate how you’re living your life? Maybe you’ve lost someone close to you or experienced a lifechanging event. And then suddenly it hits you that you are well into the second act of your life and you are tired of watching it pass you by. You’ve spent too many years putting everyone else first, and you are not living fully or living your true purpose. You. Want. More. Well, I help driven women in midlife discover joy after a life-changing event, say YES to their OWN life, and turn their pain into purpose so that they can stop settling and start living the lives they TRULY want - BEFORE it’s too late.

What is your expertise?

I am a transformation expert, speaker, and best-selling author. I am masterful at facilitating transformational experiences through individual and group coaching, speaking, retreats, workshops, and programs. I am an expert at working with the subconscious mind, which means that we can bypass having to process through everything until you’re blue in the face, and we can go straight to the subconscious to root out those old beliefs, habits, and patterns - often starting way back early in life that are no longer serving us. I am passionate about teaching people about the


I was born and raised in west central Wisconsin. I spent over 20 years in the warmer, sunnier climates of Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. After losing my mom very suddenly a few years ago, my husband and I decided that it was time to move closer to family, so for right now we are back in Wisconsin. My husband’s family is all in southeast Michigan and I lived in the U.P. for several years, so we have lots of Michigan connections, and have discussed moving here to be closer to my husband’s family.

How do you describe what you do professionally?


importance - and GIFT - of completing advance healthcare directives to prepare for the future while fully embracing life today. I love teaching people that talking about death doesn’t have to be scary, especially when we are at peace with our lives and living each day with no regrets.


What’s your personal story?

I lost my dad when I was 15 and my mom when I was 44. In between, I’ve had a whole lot of life experiences, but what their deaths taught me is that life can change on a dime, and tomorrow simply isn’t promised. After spending 25 years as a clinical therapist, end-of-life social worker, and transformation coach, their deaths have brought me clarity about my purpose: to teach people the importance of completing advance healthcare directives to prepare for the future while living each day fully and sharing the gifts they were meant to share on the planet. I share my own personal experiences and transformation along with over two decades of professional experience and training. Everything that I have learned and experienced in my life has led me to doing the work that I do now. I got to a point in my life where I realized that there was something bigger that I was meant to do with the experiences I have had in my life. I realized that I could turn my pain into purpose, heal it and get to the other side of it, and teach others to do the same. My life changed completely when I experienced my own wake-up call. And often, it takes that kind of experience for us to wake up to our own lives. My intention is to help people ask those questions and have that awareness BEFORE they are hit with a wake-up call. I do this because too many of us, especially women in midlife, have spent far too much time putting everyone and everything else first and putting our own dreams and desires by the wayside. Knowing that my mom had taken her own life back before it was too late gave me such peace in her passing, and I want ALL women to have that experience.

How do you facilitate your intention?

I have a free private Facebook group of about 300 women in midlife from all over the world, and that is a space that I nurture and where I do weekly live trainings. I also have my individual and group coaching programs which all


take place online. In fact, I have women from 4 different countries in my current group. I use both pre-recorded self-study modules along with live coaching via Zoom. What makes my programs unique is that I gamify and experiencify it. I make it fun, an adventure. Transformation upleveling your life doesn’t have to be heavy. In fact, the more fun, the better the learning sticks! So I make my programs an experience. And in 2020 I’ll be adding live location retreats as well, which will be a blast.

How did you get into this?

I started my career as a 22-yearold mental health therapist in the UP. I quickly advanced and was supervising a team of 20 in an adolescent partial hospitalization treatment program by the time I was 24. I learned early on in my career that the traditional school of therapy wasn’t very effective in creating long-lasting change in my patients and clients. So I started studying tools for accelerated learning and change, and I started studying the mind and how it works. I became a master practitioner of NLP, NeuroLinguistic Programming, and EFT, or Tapping. In the meantime, I was also working as a trauma and end-of-life social worker in a large medical center. I fell in love with end-of-life work and was really good at it. I knew that some day I would come back to that work in some way. I became a huge proponent of advance care planning and advance directives. When I lost my mom suddenly five years ago, I was still working as a therapist. And after a year and a half of dealing with my own grief, I realized that I was meant to do something bigger with the whole experience. I decided to make the leap to creating a coaching and consulting business, and doing it primarily online. All of my life experiences have really converged to come right to this point, doing exactly what I am doing in the world.

What has been your biggest lesson or insight?

Doing it at a B- is actually preferable to waiting until it’s at an A+. Iterate your way to awesome, but keep moving while you’re in the process. JUST START wherever you are.

Tell us about your book. The book really started as my own catharsis. It was birthed after I lost my mother very tragically five years ago to a traumatic brain injury that left her in a coma. As tragic and painful as the experience was, the fact that my mother had completed her advance directive was a HUGE gift for my siblings and me. It removed the burden of us having to make difficult decisions on her behalf. It freed of us guilt and second-guessing. We were able to be at peace with honoring her wishes. As painful as it was, it was also a beautiful, peaceful, deeply healing experience. I wanted others to have that same experience, and I wanted to teach others that death is not scary, and doesn’t have to be morbid to talk about. It teaches people about the importance - and GIFT - of advance healthcare directives and walks through completing them. More than that, though, it really is about living each day FULLY, knowing that tomorrow isn’t promised. Loving deeply and sharing the gifts we were meant to share - BEFORE it’s too late. It’s about living with no regrets so that we can look back at the end of our lives with peace.

Why should we buy your book? What is unique about it?

Where and how is your book available?

It is available both in kindle version and in paperback through Amazon/Kindle. Or follow this link lastloveletter See other links at the end.

What are your future goals?

Well, one of the benefits of moving around a lot is that I have people all over the country. So I plan to do a book

Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share with our readers?

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” Brene Brown

Get a free gift! 3-part video series, “3

Keys to Discovering YOU in Midlife” at



FB DeAnne Joy - Transformation Coach Private FB group Choose Joy

Instagram DeAnne Joy Coach

Twitter Coach_DeAnne Joy Linked In DeAnne Joy

You Tube DeAnne Joy International


What makes it unique is that I combine a very unique perspective. I combine my personal story-telling, my background as a clinical therapist, my expertise as an end-of-life social worker, and my training and experience as a transformation coach. I had several intentions for the book. One was to elevate a conscious, dignified, life-affirming conversation about death so that we aren’t so afraid to talk about it. I wanted to start a conversation challenging us to use death as our gauge for how we are living life TODAY. Are we living each day with no regrets, going for our dreams, forgiving, saying what we need to say, and sharing our gifts with the world? If not, why not? In addition, though, the book explores and walks you through basic concepts related to advance care planning and completing your own advance directive. It takes the morbidity away from death and makes it totally ok and normal, even life-affirming, to contemplate.

and speaking tour to promote the book. I also had a wager with my 9-year-old (who will be 10 on Christmas Day) that if I could get my book to best-seller, that we would then co-author a book together that will be written for kids her age. Now that my book has made it to best-seller, I am ready to get to work on the next one with my daughter. And I’ve already started work on my next solo book which will be specifically for women in midlife. In 2020, I am focused on booking podcasts and speaking gigs. On stage is really where I shine and am at the top of my game. I am currently having a BLAST with my group coaching program for women in midlife, which is ongoing, open enrollment, so I’ll continue to offer that as well. I am also REALLY excited to be adding transformational retreats in 2020 for women in midlife. We’ll be at an amazing retreat center or beautiful home somewhere gorgeous, we’ll have pampering and meals provided, connection with other amazing women, clarity and goalsetting, renewal, rejuvenation, and breakout sessions focusing on particular areas of transformation and breakthrough.


Big Brown

Shades of Faith �






hen my mother was in her 80s, she asked me to take her to the celebrated Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, Michigan. We had a great time eating their “world famous” chicken dinner and then decided to visit the nearby Birch Run shopping center before heading home.

When we pulled into the discount mall, almost too full to walk, mom specifically asked me to take her into the Coach store. Mom owned several Coach purses, so I was a little confused at her request but gladly obliged. There, mom all but commanded me to pick out any bag of my choice as her way of saying thank you for spending the day with her. I was very touched by this request and proceeded to select a large leather brown-toned bag. With a myriad of children in my charge, having a big bag was standard procedure on my part. Mom paid $400 for that purse! Last week, when the weather turned from warm to crisp, I decided to switch bags. I found the brown bag from mom and transferred everything from one purse to the other. I held that bag close because mom has since passed on and every memory of her causes me tears and laughter all at once. As I think back to that marvelous day, I realize that what made it special was not the meal or the purse. Instead,

it was spending a full day with my darling mother who simply wanted to savor one more day with her daughter before the winter chill and hands of time - swept her away. During this season of blessings, take time to spend a few hours with those close to you. Pay attention to the little things that bring them joy and light up their eyes. Look past the glitter and the packages and truly see the person at hand. There may be few tomorrows left. I know this so well. Now, instead of holding and hugging my precious mother, I hang on to my big brown bag and the memories. And it isn’t enough at all.

 Helen Hicks is an award-winning

administrator and motivational speaker living in the Detroit area. You can reach her at helenk7306@




Your Blessings



I gazed out of my large bedroom window today, I noticed and appreciated the beautiful and bright red and orange tree leaves in my view; as the season of fall fully sets in. I really took in how blessed I am to have this nice view and the treasures that nature gives us, if we would slow down, tune-in and notice them.


Sure life could be better for most of us, but, truly appreciating and being thankful for the little things we have access to opens the door for more! If you think about it, life itself is a blessing. The more consciously and spiritually aware I become, the more I realize how important it is to count my blessings. So every day shortly after awakening, I look around for things I am grateful for. I’m grateful for my comfortable bed, a nice and beautiful place to live, great quality foods to eat, a healthy and youthful body, nice clothes to wear, my circle of friends and family, my neighbor’s cat who comes to visit me, heat and electricity (especially this time of year)! Get the idea? Noticing what you’re grateful for brings more and more things to mind to be grateful for and that’s the way law of attraction works. What we focus upon brings more of the same. When we think more positively, we will notice how blessed we truly are. Unfortunately, most of the population of our planet is programmed to look at what they do not have, which creates a “lack” mentality. On the flip side, you have way more than you may be consciously aware of. If you think not, start with nature. There is an abundance of trees, animals, air, water, grass etc. Nature is there to remind us how abundant and blessed we truly are. I am even grateful for the internet, the abundance of wonderful photos I see online and positive

quotes, including my own that I share on Facebook. I am grateful for this opportunity to write in this magazine and my life’s purpose to coach and mentor women to become their best version and follow their dreams! More gratitude and blessings come when I go outside and notice all of the beautiful nice cars I see on the road. I notice how many nice people I come across and smiles I get in a day and so on. You see blessings do not need to be big to notice them, although those are wonderful too. The key to receiving more blessings is to appreciate the small things first. I challenge you now and going forward, to make it a point to count your blessings each and every day! Katina Love- Author, Life Purpose Spiritual Guide & Coach.

 Katina Love is the author of the book “Awaken To Natural Wellness”, she’s a Selflove and Life Purpose Coach, and the creator of the “Awakening With Katina Love” talk show/podcast. Check out her website www.

"" Nature is there to remind us how abundant and blessed we truly are.




y c a t S


like to introduce you to Stacy and her family, just one of thousands in our community who have been helped by Catholic Charities this past year. They were happy, never worrying about where the next meal would come from or if they would be able to afford utility bills. Then Stacy’s husband lost his job. They had a hard time making ends meet, both of them bouncing from job to job, the stress wearing them down, until finally they lost it all.


Stacy “It was cold outside and all the shelters were full, we had nowhere to go, then a friend told me about Catholic Charities. She told me about the Warming Center, the Soup Kitchens, the Community Closet, Showers and Laundry. She said they had counseling that could help my husband and me reconnect, parenting classes to help us learn how to help our son cope, and best of all, a Work Ready Room to get us back on our feet. We spent last winter in the Warming Center, working hard to put our family back together. The staff down there knew my son by name and even had him help decorate for Christmas. The volunteers that came in to cook on Christmas brought presents for us all to open, it was so great to see the smile on my son’s face when he unwrapped a new toy. There’s no way my husband and I could have given him one that year so we were thankful.  Thanks to all the wonderful people at Catholic Charities, I’m happy to say we finally got an apartment. We still visit the Center for Hope to help stretch our meal budget, and the Community Closet for a few personal items that assistance doesn’t cover, but I know that we’ll be back to normal soon. And I know we will continue to pay it forward, returning to donate and volunteer with all those who saved us.”

Editors Note: These pictures are from Catholic Charities' first Chair-ity Auction fundraiser.


From my heart, I want to thank you for your donations of time, talents, and treasure to Catholic Charities. You are truly making a difference. May God Bless you and those you love! Vicky L. Schultz President/CEO Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties



Charter Health

Charter stands above other training facilities: Charter’s Nurse Aide Training Program (CNA) has an outstanding pass rate of 99.6% on the state certification exam and an employment rate of 94%, attributed to the experience and dedication of their Tina Lopez Program Coordinator and teaching staff. The longer four-week program allows students more time to learn the course, become proficient, and pass the State exam. Charter’s Pharmacy Technician Program has a 100% pass rate on the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and a 100% employment rate. This success can be attributed to the experience of their Program Director and the individual attention she provides to the applicant prior to admission, throughout the program and upon completion, and the “prep for success” review classes for the certification exam. Some of Charter’s competitors offer a much shorter program that does not meet ASHP and ACPE accreditation standards, thus students have difficulty on their exams.


Charter is helping Genesee County by equipping for highdemand jobs. Experts predict that the shortage of nurse aides and pharmacy technicians will only get worse in the next 30 years. There are only a few high-quality training programs for nurse aides and pharmacy technicians in Genesee County. This is a great opportunity for people to better their lives by receiving the best training for employment in these highdemand jobs. The higher the employment rate, the less the demand and strain on community resources, and the more money is poured into the local economy.

Charter is changing lives! High quality training programs for high-demand jobs provide young people, especially single mothers, the opportunity to improve their lives and take pride in being self-sufficient. Work hours for these jobs are flexible. A single mother may be able to schedule her work around childcare arrangements. Because of Charter’s reputation of producing highlyequipped trainees, healthcare providers in the community request to post their openings in the training center for students to consider when they graduate and pass their certification exam.

h Care Training Center The pride that graduates express for what they consider a major accomplishment towards a better life is priceless. They gain not only the training and the certification but the hope, the self-esteem, and confidence to face a better future. Do you need assistance getting started?

There are programs in place to help you become a student at Charter. . Under Greater Flint Coalition, which is directed by Penny Poplar, the Flint Healthcare Employment Opportunities (FHEO) provides financial assistance for training through Charter for entry-level healthcare jobs, such as nurse aide and pharmacy technician. Did you know?

There is an opportunity for financial assistance from FHEO for potential students who are unemployed or underemployed. Prior to admission to a certificate program in healthcare, FHEO provides students two and a half weeks of “employability training”, to prepare them for the skills needed for long-term employment. Instructors are skilled in working with a diversified population, providing extra teaching where needed. Because FHEO provides two and a half weeks of “employability training” students have the skills needed for long-term employment.


Experts predict that the shortage of nurse aides and pharmacy technicians will only get worse in the next 30 years.


This program is free to the community. Applicants will be given a healthcare career readiness assessment to make sure they are a good fit for the industry. If they are, then they will be helped with their training cost, their books, and other resources.


Hearing from graduates: Stephanie Bloss went from working in a factory to a fulltime job as a CNA within two months. She had toured the Charter facility and thought it was well put together so she enrolled. Because of the great instruction she received she passed the state board test “with flying colors”. She believes that anyone who is dedicated enough to study and learn during the program’s intense four weeks will absolutely succeed. She says, “Ms. Manning will make sure you are equipped to pass.” Aaron Owens was in the first Pharmacy Technician class at Charter about three years ago. Aaron started this journey a bit later in life, in his thirties. It was difficult juggling the classes and studying with three children at home for the six months of training, but receiving a job immediately upon completion was worth it all. He did his externship at Union Pharmacy in Mt. Morris, and when he passed his boards, they hired him. Aaron says that his experience at Charter was wonderful because he was fully equipped and able to pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. One of the things Aaron is happy about is that becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician allows him to go anywhere for a job.

Meet the Instructors Gail Manning handles Certified Nursing Assistant instruction at Charter. She teaches sixty-five skills (one more than state requirement) in four weeks. Her students call her highly professional and intense (she used to have twelve weeks to teach this same program!). Ms. Manning struggled to learn in school. One of her teachers realized she couldn’t comprehend and taught her after school helping her learn how to learn, and it made a huge difference in her life. She became excited about learning and felt drawn to teaching, even helping classmates through beauty school and state boards, or with whatever they needed. There came a point in Ms. Manning’s life when she decided she needed to “earn a real living”. Her kids encouraged her to finish her nursing degree, which she did. For almost ten years Ms. Manning taught nursing assistants at Job Corp, and then worked with the state of Michigan testing CNAs. Before coming to Charter, Ms. Manning taught at Baker College. She teaches integrity, love, and hope, and she tells her story, sharing about her life during abuse. She builds up her students, empowers them with self-confidence and awareness of their value and worth. She helps them develop pride in their work and knowledge, knowing they can compete with others in their field. Ms. Manning says, “You can be assured that anyone who graduates from Charter Training Center will be well-trained, will have a great work ethic, will know what is needed to fully care for individuals,


will be dressed professionally, will carry themselves with pride, and will have a love for what they do.” And that is why healthcare businesses are eager to hire Charter’s graduates. Misako Johnson II is Charter’s instructor for the Pharmacy Technician Training Program. When choosing a career, Misako knew she wanted to help people and was drawn to the medical field. Becoming a Pharmacy Technician seemed the best fit for her. Misako has been a pharmacy technician for fifteen years. She has worked at Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw for fourteen years, has taught at another training center, and was pharmacy technician supervisor at Mid-Michigan Hospital in Midland. But her heart is in teaching so she is now an instructor at Charter. She remains working as a technician at Covenant so she is current on all updates and changes in medicines and can bring that knowledge to her students. Besides hours of instruction, Misako arranges field trips, guest speakers, and clinical externships (200 hours required in a hospital, specialty and/or retail pharmacy). By course’s end, students will determine their career choice. There are many careers available for technicians. Graduates of this program can work in retail, an independent pharmacy, a hospital, a nuclear pharmacy, or correctional facility. They can also go into education, editing or publishing (for example, text books), patient advocate, prior authorization technician or insurance denials, inventory specialists, or 403b purchasing. People who would like to take part in this program may qualify for help from the Flint Healthcare Employment Opportunity (FHEO). Written by Mimi Matthews

The Charter Healthcare Training Education Foundation has a VISION for Genesee County! The mission of the non-profit Charter Healthcare Training Education Foundation is to provide affordable training in high-demand jobs in healthcare. The Foundation aims to open doors of opportunity for young people who are unable to attend degree programs. It will accomplish this by becoming the most recognizable name in high-quality training programs for certification-level jobs in healthcare. Charter has had women in all areas join in support of helping its students succeed and has developed a giving program. They are accepting donations toward operating the training center so they can continue to make a difference in the lives of so many who want to better themselves.

She Means Business �

She Loves

Connecting People


ebbe Campbell loves connecting people who can help each other in a variety of ways. She has had an interesting career, including waitressing/bartending, a matchmaker at Together Dating Service, working at Health Plus for thirteen years in large group sales, and presently as the Development Director for Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium.


Debbe raised two daughters as a single mom, put herself through college at Mott CC (Associates in Accounting)—which turned out not to be her forte at all— and U of M Flint, and then graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Florida Atlantic University. She says that her career just “evolved or progressed” over the years. She feels very blessed to have had the opportunities that led her to her current position. She loves what she does and is very thankful. She finds joy in helping other people find jobs or introducing people that may be able to help one another. Debbe’s parents modeled what it means to have a good work ethic because they both worked very hard. It motivates her even now. Her family was brought up to respect others and treat everyone kindly. Debbe is one to pray through her hard times and appreciates her family and dear friends.

What she is passionate about is helping others, showing kindness and making someone’s day better. She loves to have fun and tends to over-schedule her time because she doesn’t want to miss something or time with her friends and family. Debbe says that to improve one’s quality of life they need to work hard, show kindness, and have fun.


d e ss e l B

They Call Themselves



ometimes blessings come when you least expect them. For Cristy Mazaris and Michael Pack, theirs came unexpectedly in the form of a century-old mansion that had remained empty for a decade in the historic downtown of Howell, Michigan. Now, just one year after starting their journey into home restoration, the couple is finding joy in the daily tasks of bringing the old home back to life, the townspeople, and each other.

" 22

“Michael is my favorite chapter of my whole life,” says Cristy. “He is my best friend, the love of my life, and my absolute favorite person in this world. He supports me, believes in me, and always makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. I feel blessed for the life he has given me and what we share together.”

The photos are courtesy of The Iron Victorian and the one featuring the Cristy and Michael was taken by Jackie Palmer


On their way to a birthday celebration in August 2018, they planned a detour through Howell to pick up a special birthday cake designed by a local bakery. As they made their way out of town, they passed the huge home for sale and had to turn around for a better look. A month later, it was theirs. “We weren’t looking for a forever home, or a project per se, but my gosh, it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to us,” says Michael. “It has become a place where we feel safe. It’s a place where our creativity can run wild; it has brought us to the most welcoming community and closer as a family; it’s a place that has shown us we can achieve anything together.” Built in 1880, the Greenaway-Ballard mansion needed some TLC. Michael and Cristy are dedicated to honoring its architectural and historical character while still making their own imprint. They have renamed the mansion The Iron Victorian, giving credit to the original owner who was a blacksmith. Design-wise, the couple loves to use antiques and salvaged material. Michael is skilled at upcycling and Cristy has an exquisite eye for detail. They are a dynamic duo. As they labor on their “new” old home, they continue to build on their relationship as well. “I feel blessed every day because I wake up each morning with a smile on my face knowing I share my life with someone who shares my hopes, dreams, and the same outlook on life as I do,” says Michael about his fiancé, Cristy. The couple became engaged during the summer of 2019 amidst the chaos of ongoing renovation. “I share my life with someone who thinks being kind is important. I feel blessed because I know Cristy loves me back the same way I love her.” Their relationship blossomed over time and distance as they forged a friendship through phone calls and plane tickets. Eventually, that turned into a lasting romance. “Michael is my favorite chapter of my whole life,” says Cristy. “He is my best friend, the love of my life, and my absolute favorite person in this world. He supports me, believes in me, and always makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. I feel blessed for the life he has given me and what we share together.” Recognizing the blessings around them is a natural part of their charm. Their authentic desire to embrace and share love and beauty makes them all the more lovable. People come from miles around to see the progress on the mansion and to bestow them with gifts, including items original to the home. “We have pretty much a lifetime of projects in our home,” says Cristy. “When things get overwhelming, we remind each other of how blessed we are to have this opportunity and we find ways to always go back to why we love this house and why we decided to do this type of project.”



They admit that sometimes the project gets scary. There’s always the unknown. Uncovering problems that require extra time and money can be unnerving, but that’s when they realize even more how blessed they truly are. “We both have had our fair share of breakdowns, that’s for sure,” Cristy says. “But we try to pick each other up and remind each other of our ‘why.’” Their goal is to build a happy life in a home of which they are proud – one that keeps their creative spirits alive; a place they can raise their future children and share with family and friends. In other words, they know blessings are infinite and shareable, and they relish in that belief.   “I really never thought anyone like Cristy existed. When I was a little kid, I would hope and dream about the person I would marry and I had high expectations of who that person would be, but Cristy is so much more than what I could even hope and dream for,” Michael says. “I feel blessed because Cristy has only changed me for the better. She’s never made me feel like I have to be something I’m not. The only thing that’s ever changed is me becoming a better man, and being more myself than I ever have been.” The happy couple may go to bed exhausted from a long day of career work followed by home restoration, but instead of counting sheep, they count their many blessings. If ever there was a true love story, the tale of Cristy and Michael in their forever home is it.


 Kim Hytinen is a Michigan native, freelance writer, dreamer, and lover of interesting vintage and antique goods. As a former small business owner, college administrator, and the mom of three teens -- one of whom is special needs -- Kim’s experience adjudicates her propensity to writing on a variety of topics.

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Charter Health Care Training They Call Themselves Blessed Kim Hytinen

Count Your Blessings

Vol. 10 Issue 5 • 2019 • $3.95

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DeAnne Joy The Last Love Letter

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e R

Law of Attraction �

e m a r -f

The Picture In Our Mind



n 2004, the word blessing, became a steppingstone on the path into a new and happier life for me. In January of that year, I discovered my second husband was leading a double life. He had secretly purchased a house and had a girlfriend living in it for nine months before I discovered it.

At that time, I felt far from blessed and sank into hopelessness. I began working extra hours to try to ignore the pain I was in. At work I was eating donuts (which usually worked to numb my emotions!) but that didn’t seem to be helping. In my desperation, I turned on the TV in my office and the first station that popped up was our local PBS channel. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer was supporting PBS and on this particular day, he was also promoting his new book, The Power of Intention. When a viewer donated a large amount of money to PBS, you would not only receive his book but an audio version of his book on CDs. The wonderful thing about the Law of Attraction is that it’s always working whether you know it or not. When you have a clear desire, the Universe will line up co-operative components (more often known as coincidences) to support you. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the LoA at this time in my life, I wanted to feel better and was asking for a solution. My solution appeared when I listened to my gut instinct and decided to get both the book and the CDs. I became blessed in an unexpected way the moment I made this decision. Complete details how to use the LoA to attract your own solutions and blessings are in my book www. On one of his CDs, Wayne Dyer recommended that we pay attention to the way we are talking to ourselves about any situation we are experiencing. When things feel at their worst, he reminded us that the words we are using to describe any scenario in our life are painting a vivid picture in our mind. If our words are negative, it’s time to put a new frame around the picture we’ve painted in our mind. Dr. Dyer suggested that instead of saying, “this is the worst thing that could ever happen to me”, we could reframe the picture in our mind with, “this is a blessing in disguise”. I decided I liked the feeling of the word blessing so it would


be easy to say. Disguise also seemed like it would be easy to say. After all, the meaning behind this terrible event seemed to be hidden. I then decided that when any thoughts of hate or anger came to me, I would choose to say to myself instead, “No Suzanne, this is a blessing in disguise”. The word blessing is now one of my favorite words because within 2 months after I chose to use the phrase blessing in disguise, I attended a meditation class where I met Kevin, my future husband-to-be. During the 3 years that we got to know each other, he helped me learn to trust men again. Even more importantly, by paying attention to my emotions, I learned how to trust my own inner guidance/gut instinct. This is how I learned to finally love and respect myself and this also is when “happily ever after” started to become my own reality. Our solid friendship unfolded into a loving relationship I’d never experienced before, and we got married in 2007. This was the same year we were introduced to the LoA and also opened our company, Personal Success Programs. After teaching and practicing the LoA throughout these past 15 years, I’ve proven to myself that blessings are always available to us. It’s simply becoming aware that when you change the quality of your thoughts (like putting a new frame around the picture in your mind) you will change the quality of your life.

Suzanne Young an intuitive life coach.  She specializes in the Law of Attraction and empowering others by helping them learn how to reconnect with their Inner Guidance. She is also an inspirational speaker, author, and co-owner of Personal Success Programs, since 2007, with her husband Kevin Young. You can email her at and their website is www. Her office number is 248-349-6225.

s t n i r P l a m i n A

An Ode To

By Mary Tosto There are many great things about Animal Prints; they are forever chic, classic and never go out of style. They are seasonless and add a classy edge to both fashion and interior design. My opinion is that every well appointed room should have a hint of the animal print! The use of Animal Prints started in the 18th century when the Europeans began colonizing Asia and Africa. They brought home skins of leopards, tigers and zebras and soon began reproducing the patterns on fabrics that were used by the wealthy and became a status symbol. Now a days the fabrics are easily accessible to all at many different price points. As with everything good, a little can go a long way. They are best used in moderation, as accents to an outfit or to a room. This way they add a bit of elegance, a little mystique, a little bit of edge, a little je ne sais quoi.... If over done they can look cheap and over powering or over "bearing", a little animal pun. Some ideas for adding a little bit of animal to your wardrobe: • A classic shaped pump, sling back or sleek boot in an animal print paired with jeans and a black turtle neck, little black dress or classic black suit • An animal print coat worn over a little black dress or to dress up jeans and a t shirt

• A classic shaped animal print clutch carried with any neutral outfit • A silk animal print scarf with a classic black suit, neutral blazer or coat • An animal print skirt worn with a black turtle neck or t shirt

Add a little fun to your home decor:

Mary E Tosto Design 810-869-0108


• Animal print pillows can always spice up a sofa or bed • Add an animal print statement chair to your living room (or two!) • An animal print throw on a sofa that you can curl up with at night • I always love and animal print ottoman in front of a sofa, zebra is my favorite! If you feel a little overwhelmed by the pattern and think it might be too trendy or much for you, remember that Jackie O., Audry Hepburn and Grace Kelly all wore animal prints at one time, who wouldn't want to be in that company?


l fu r e ow P

You Have


“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.” ~ Henry Ford


Henry Ford shares the perfect example of potential – not just the things we know we are capable of, but also those things that we may not even imagine possible today. Sometimes others see in us more than we see in ourselves, much like we might see more possibilities for others than they see for themselves.


I don’t know about you, but it can be frustrating for me to have people give me so many ideas and possibilities about what I “could” do when I really don’t want to go in that direction. Our friends and family mean well when they see great things in us that we may tend to shrug off or not be so excited about or even flat out not believe. But think about the last time you watched a young person you love not using a talent or ability that you see in them. You might encourage them, give hints about the possibility of something, or even directly tell them what they should be doing. When they continue down a path where we don’t see as much potential, we might give even stronger advice or direction and it can get to a point where our loved one shuts out our advice altogether. It can be a tough space to be in, both on the giving and receiving end of encouragement about our potential and possibilities. So, how do we navigate, recognize, and encourage ourselves and our loved ones in more positive ways? We can begin by simply recognizing ourselves and others for who we are right now. We can make love lists where we take a few moments with a pen and paper to write all the things we love about life, ourselves, our loved ones, etc. Set a timer and just go at it – you can do this on your own, with a friend, or even at the table after dinner. If you are doing this with others, then fold your sheet, put your name on the outside, then pass the sheet around, writing things you love or admire about each other. Keep passing the papers for a set time or until it gets around to everyone.

If you feel good with a love list, try it another time with a list of practical possibilities. List possibilities that you believe to be possible today, things that you believe could work out for you or a loved one. You want to build your belief so that as you journey through life, you’ll begin to believe that you could do more, maybe even that thing that you once believed impossible. When you’re ready, go for a list of powerful possibilities where you begin to brainstorm ideas that push you to achieve more. You might even see some things on this new list that others have seen in you in the past. That’s the thing about loving someone, we not only see powerful possibilities and potential, but truly wish them happiness and success in those things. Through this type of practice, we might also see more powerful possibilities in ourselves. What better example for others than to achieve more than we once thought we were capable of? You have powerful possibilities.

 Tina Nies is a Certified Life Coach and a Vision

Board Coach. Her passion is building and strengthening self-love as a foundation for success. She is an author and is known as the “Empress of Love”. www.facebook. com/40daylovefest/



Sparkle & Shine �

Bless With Your Words


ords are powerful and they matter. The old adage “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a bunch of hogwash—probably made up by someone who didn’t have tools to use against bullies, or by parents who were helpless to console their child who had been hurt deeply by words. Unfortunately, harsh and ugly words stay with us a long time, maybe forever. But so can sweet, encouraging, and affirming words.

I will always be here for her no matter what. That there is nothing she could ever do to make me leave her, which Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides comfort and combats her feelings of abandonment. Because words are effective, when we use them to bless I call her my precious treasure to negate her sense of being they provide all kinds of benefits. To give a few Merriam- rejected by her birth mom. Do you see how these words are Webster choices, those benefits include: grace, mercy, favor, a blessing to her? They also provide solace to her injured kindness, relief, help,  comfort, support, consolation, solace, emotions. The people you love may not have suffered such delight, joy, and pleasure. Can you imagine giving those trauma, but everyone is affected by the harshness of the world things to someone? we live in. Everyone could use words of kindness, comfort, Imagine, in the checkout line, a young mother with a crying favor, and mercy. baby and a couple of preschoolers, grocery cart loaded, During our W2W event this past weekend, while in front children fussy, looking totally exhausted and as if she might of my booth (EmpoWORDment Cards—get it?) I had several crumble. Most likely she is feeling self-conscious at the noise, conversations about words and how they affect us. Each and absolutely she is stressed. How could you bless her with person had truly felt the effect of words in their lives, and words? Perhaps, “You are doing a good job, mom. Hang in most remembered cruel words. Words are powerful. We need there.” Or maybe even adding, “Could I help you?” and helping to work at giving people wonderful, sweet words that bless to unload the cart while she holds her screaming baby. them. If you want to leave a lasting impression with people, Others around this little family may be rolling their eyes and leave a positive one! frowning because their shopping experience isn’t as peaceful as they’d like. But you? You would provide encouragement,  Mimi Matthews believes in the power of help, kindness, and mercy—things she would never expect words to change lives. You can read her life from a stranger. And that’s how we bless with words (followed stories and uplifting posts on her blog http:// by action at times). and buy her encouraging Besides blessing strangers, we should be blessing with and empowering words on unique cards and gifts words every person we love. I tell my adopted daughter on her Etsy shop here: who had a traumatic neonatal and birth experience that EmPOWordmentCards


“A blessing can be something that provides happiness or does good for a person.”


Shift Manifestation Series

I AM. Repeat daily to yourself and FEEL to the fullest: “I Am. I Am grateful for my life. I am grateful for my life experiences. I am grateful for opportunities to change myself for the better. I am grateful to start a practice of self-love. My gratitude pushes me to look for the endless opportunities to receive guidance from God and my Higher Self. Whatever arises in my life, I choose to love. My energy is enough, and I am enough. I am grateful for myself.

I Am connected to myself and all of Creation. I place awareness deep into my inner being. I find new ways to love myself every day, which gives me new ways to love the world every day. I look at myself in the mirror and honor my beauty. I see the world as equally beautiful. I am empowered to believe in myself and to trust my intuition. I

I Am a Divine Being. I breathe with intention and clarity, and consciously create my reality. I practice awareness and self-love daily, which helps me become a greater and greater manifestor. I practice staying present in the moment. I allow ease and flow into my life. I easily manifest my strongest desires because I anchor gratitude and presentness into my body. I am worthy. I love who I am as Divine Creation. I am enough, exactly as I am, right here, right now, as one with the Divine. I Am.”

Jennifer Gardner is a best-selling author, NLP practitioner, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and owner of Shift Holistics. She’s an advocate for meditation and the Law of Attraction. You can contact her at Shift.


I Am a healthy person. I live each day with purpose and passion. I strive to live life to the fullest. I am on a wonderful journey of knowing Self. I reflect all of my decisions with conscious intention. I foster healthy relationships and social interactions. Each day I become more aware of my thoughts, and I honor my feelings with deep awareness. I feel all my feelings in raw form and do not judge them. I perceive all judgements that may arise from a seat of detached observation. With each moment, I feel more and more energized through letting go of what doesn’t serve me. I radiate wellness and alignment with my Spirit.

practice trusting my inner being and allowing my truth to be known. I believe that I am more abundant everyday as I continuously witness all of the abundance around me. I believe that I deserve everything that I desire. Through my connectedness, all forms of ease and joy come to me.


l a ti n e t o P


The Power of



ecently, I stood at the entrance of the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium in Nassau, Bahamas. We were waiting for our heavily armed escorts to verify our U.S. credentials. After a lengthy process of checkpoints and confirmations, we were in.

As I returned to our great nation I had this one compelling thought that I will leave with you, “In America, we waste what others wish they had.” So, in honor of the blessings and opportunities given to us, let’s make an attempt to be more mindful of our full potential and commit to develop into the very best versions of ourselves that we can become.

 Deria Brown is the owner of The Glam Box

Boutique, she’s an author and television co-host, she is helping women around the world with business, beauty, and balance, and she is changing the lives of our girls through her Sparkle Pink Clubs for Girls.


The first thing I noticed was the smell. The first thing I felt was the heat. What seemed like thousands— with one air mattress per family household—were housed in this space. Limited restroom and shower facilities diminished personal hygiene to what can be accomplished logistically. I totally understood and had compassion. Our business was out back. I was there for the children. They get free time for a lesson and receive gifts and supplies every day from 3-5 p.m. No schooling, only this time with us missionaries from the US and abroad. Although I was overcome by their despair and plight I was puzzled by the disposition of the children. They were happy and playful. It was story and lesson time. The adventurous tales of Jonah and David and Goliath leaves them speechless. You can see the wonder and belief in their eyes, “Could I be great too?” As the time wound down all too quickly, I had a revelation. Potential, and its subsequent power to develop into greatness, is deposited in us all as a child. It’s tucked away deep, insulated and partially shielded from catastrophe and the issues of the world. It is extracted through storytelling, reading, learning, training, imagination and affirmation. Our road to adulthood should contain all of these elements and if properly handled, we can live a life of maximized potential. Miss a few steps and potential is compromised.


Recipe �

Savor the Season with Delicious, Decorative Cheese Boards


tips to create holiday meal centerpieces (Family Features) A cheese board, plate or course can be a delightful way to savor the season with family and friends, bringing together a medley of tastes and textures.

This year, try serving up a board with real, quality cheeses that also set a celebratory tone with these tips from the experts at Real California Milk, representing California’s dairy farm families.

Mix it up. When selecting cheeses, create a range of flavors and textures from soft to hard and mild to sharp, and even pungent varieties. Consider these examples:

Consider portions. Estimate 1-1 1/2 ounces of each cheese per person. If you plan to serve three or more cheeses, consider decreasing the amount to 1 ounce (or less) of each cheese per person.

To find a variety of Real California cheeses at a store near you, visit the product locator at California Continental Cheese Board Recipe courtesy of Real California Milk

1-2 1-2 1-2

ounces California Brie cheese per person

ounces California toma cheese per person

ounces California pepper jack cheese per person

walnuts breadsticks fresh herbs On cheese plate, arrange cheeses, almonds, crackers and cherry tomatoes. Red, White and Blue Cheese Board

• A bloomy rind cheese such as Brie, Camembert or Formagella

• A soft or washed-rind cheese like Teleme or Crescenza • A semi-firm cheese such as Gouda, St. George or toma

• A very hard cheese such as dry jack, aged Gouda or aged white cheddar


• A highly flavorful or pungent cheese such as blue or flavored jack

Add contrast. Flavorful breads thinly sliced or broken into smaller pieces can enhance contrast in both flavor and texture. For a simple solution, try serving breadsticks as part of this California Continental Cheese Board alongside Brie, toma and pepper jack cheeses. Be patient (but not too patient). Aged cheeses should be allowed time to come to room temperature. Larger pieces typically take 1-2 hours for the full flavor to develop. However, fresh cheeses should be treated like milk, so don’t allow them to sit out for more than a short time.

Use simple additions. Enhance your cheese plates with olives, nuts or fruit to add flavor and texture. For example, pears go well with blue cheese, Gouda and toma; olives accompany white cheddar and pepper jack; walnuts fit with Gouda and dry jack; and dried cranberries pair nicely with cheddar, blue cheese and mushroom jack in this Red, White and Blue Cheese Board.


Recipe courtesy of Real California Milk

1-2 1-2 1-2

ounces California cheddar cheese per person ounces California blue cheese per person

ounces California mushroom jack cheese per person

walnuts dried cranberries crackers fresh apple slices On cheese plate, arrange cheeses, walnuts, cranberries, crackers and apple slices.

We wish you a very happy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous new year!

(810) 767-0100 •

Profile for Sheri Harvey

Women2Women Michigan Magazine  

Women2Women Michigan Magazine

Women2Women Michigan Magazine  

Women2Women Michigan Magazine