Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

'Switch It Up' Workshop at the Delta Sigma Theta Women's Empowerment Conference in Vallejo, CA

My Saturday was filled with inspiration.  The Delta Sigma Theta Vallejo, Calif.  Alumane Chapter hosted their 23rd Women's Empowerment Conference. The event was free and open to the entire community. For those wondering about my outfit,  yes I wore my Sigma Gamma Rho blue and gold (*smile*).  I presented my "Switch It Up to Live It Up" workshop, which I based on a series I launched on CocoaFly.com a few years ago. The workshop is about women switching up their thinking of themselves and how society defines them to live their own life. I talked about changing my own thinking, reinventing myself to thrive in this tough economy and shutting out negative definitions society has tried to impose on me as a woman and person of color.  I even used some of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou and Bon Jovi to plant empowerment seeds in the attendees. I sure did. I enjoyed this and if anyone is interested in booking me for this talk, contact me.

 I met so many dynamic women of all ages in numerous professions. The conference was more than an event, but a space for women to connect and bond. Women openly shared their stories of surviving abusive relationships and war-torn countries, overcoming illness, life after divorce,  their secrets to success, healthy eating and I could go on. New friends were making plans to attend Chicago Step classes and entrepreneurs swapped business cards. You know I loved it.  I sat on a morning panel and presented my workshop in the afternoon. During the panel I shared the importance of saying "NO" when you're feeling overwhelmed with duties and someone asks for "a favor." I learned this early. NO, NO, NO. But on the flip side, literally, when someone tells you no, and you need a yes, invert the word. What's "no" spelled backwards? ON. When you hear "no," think "Okay it's ON and I'm going to shoot for the stars." I'm telling you, these ideas got me through this economy.  Women told me I inspired them and I learned valuable life lessons from the 150+ attendees.  Barbara Walden, owner of Barbara Walden Cosmetics made 80 look like 40 when she spoke on stage. She proves that age is in the mind.

Thank you to the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta's Vallejo Alumnae Chapter. I had a great time.  A very special sister-soror thank you to Valerie Gray, the event's chair. I'm sure she's getting much needed rest that she'll need for next year.

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