DateME Boutique Offers Healthier Sugar Alternative | Huda Batterjee

Attending the Metrocooking DC show was a great start to 2017. It was nice to see all the businesses in the Metro DC area working hard to set their goals for the new year. We were able to meet many companies who have the same goals as we do; to provide a healthier alternative to refined sugar in their customers’ daily diets.

Date paste is a paste made of the naturally dried fruit from the date palm. DateME Boutique uses the top four of the three hundred and sixty types of dates found in Saudi Arabia. Dates have been found to be a superfood that provides the majority of nutrients needed on a daily basis. For centuries caravans crossing the deserts of the Middle East were able to survive just by eating dates and drinking milk.

The paste provides an easy way to incorporate nutrients such as magnesium, iron, and fiber into our busy daily lives. DateME Boutique has done all the hard work of pitting and processing the dates into a paste. Since the dates are naturally preserved, there is no need to add any preservatives or additives. Therefore, it is an all-natural and single ingredient product. Which appeals to those with allergies or those looking to eliminate unwanted additives in their food. It is gluten free, processed sugar-free, vegan and paleo friendly. It provides a safe and easy way to make healthy treats that don’t have the unwanted extras that seem to be in readymade health products on store shelves. The shelf life is long; it can last up to six months in an airtight container in a cool dry place and up to one year refrigerated. It is available all year round on our website

Ten things We Learned from Attending Metrocooking DC 2016

  1. Be organized (payments, notes, business cards).
  2. Know your product inside out.
  3. Make sure you have change.
  4. Be personable and approachable.
  5. Get to know your client.
  6. People can be hesitant to try something new until you talk to them about it.
  7. A smile and a kind word can go a long way.
  8. Don’t be afraid to Ask for help or directions.
  9. Patience can take you a long way.
  10. Set a goal but be okay with slow and steady business.

Huda Batterjee, Co-founder

Women’s Crusade For Equality | Patricia D. Wirth

Nationally renowned historian and author Edith Mayo ends her suffrage presentations with these simple, but profound words: “Visibility in the past; empowerment in the present.” The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association’s purpose is to educate, inspire and empower present and future generations to remain vigilant in the quest for equal rights for all – not just women, but equality for women would be a great place to start!

The Suffragist Memorial will honor the five million women – from every state, creed, race and nationality – who fought 72 years to win enfranchisement; the Turning Point Institute will provide age-appropriate insight, training and skills to catalyst young women into leadership roles aimed at achieving equality. Without the Equal Rights Amendment American women are not equal under the Constitution according to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but having the memorial as a stop on The Constitution Trail in Virginia will place it among prominent, well-known historical sites to raise visibility toward such empowerment as Ms. Mayo advocates. Without the right to vote, women – YOU – would not have been able to advance in education, employment, wealth, civil rights, business ownership, parental rights, etc.

Turning Point has 25 months to raise $2,000,000 to construct the memorial in time for the 100th anniversary of certification of the 19th Amendment that gave all American women the right to vote.

Please get involved! Donate or volunteer; we cannot do this alone. www.suffragistmemorial. org. Contact Pat Wirth with your questions, or 703-201-3171.

By: Patricia D. Wirth, Executive Director Turning Point Suffragist Memorial

Upcoming Events

Five Areas Of Life’s Meaning (Part 2) | Kim Lysik Di Santi

Impact and how we affect others

Impact is a series of actions designed to have a specific outcome. Wanting a positive impact is about a strong desire to affect another or others in a meaningful way. Some of the ways that we impact others are not planned. I recently got a note on Facebook from someone that I grew up with. She wrote to me about how my friends and I were Girl Scouts when she and her friends were Brownies. She and her friends looked up to me and my friends and tried to be like us and that we were all very nice to them. I give this example, not because it’s about me, but because we all have some kind of impact that we are not aware of. I strive for a positive impact on others’ lives.

Impact can also be planned. People volunteer for opportunities to help others and to have a positive impact. Every baseball coach that my son has had (over 13 seasons of playing Reston-Herndon Little League) has left a positive impact on his life and across the Reston-Herndon communities. In fact, Reston Little League has such a positive impact that they were awarded a Best of Reston by Reston Chamber of Commerce and Reston Interfaith in 2012.

Some questions for you regarding your impact:

  • Do you think about how you affect those around you?
  • Is there anyone in your life that you want to have a bigger and more positive impact on?
  • What can you do to make a bigger impact?
  • Think of someone who had a big impact on you. Think about reaching out to them and letting them know with a note, call or e-mail. You’ll be glad that you did.

“Whether you’re working on your startup or playing with your kids, instead of always thinking about what’s next or what you’ve not done yet, invest in and enjoy every single moment. You’ll never get it back.”

–Lea Woodward, founder of Startup Training School

Legacy: what we will leave behind after we are gone.

For many people, their children are their legacy. I have a friend who doesn’t have children, so he is leaving his fortune to their local “big name” zoo. His name will live on based on the money that he has left to care for the animals.

Regarding your Legacy:

  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • Who do you want to remember you?
  • What do you want them to remember about you?
  • Is your legacy more than your family? If so, how?

Once you’ve reflected on your answers, you may feel that talking to a Coach about your life after 50. Let’s talk! I offer a complimentary 30-minute phone coaching session. Please call me at 703.834.7597 or e-mail me at

Chronic Inflammation 101 | Nicole Ann Gustavson

A stressful life, poor diet, and toxic people, we would all happily trade with a more balanced existence filled with nourishment, inner growth and conscious living. Sure, why not? But, our bodies simply weren’t designed to contend with the daily barrage of toxins, infectious agents and stress, seen and unseen, that our go-go lifestyles tend to encompass. And, the connection between diet and lifestyle, chronic inflammation and disease, is very real, and our daily choices all have either a pro- or anti-inflammatory effect.

What you eat, drink, and think can create a cascade of inflammation in your body. When your body hits an inflammatory overload, your defense system gets so overwhelmed and confused that your well-meaning immune system turns on itself, destroying healthy cells, tissue, and, well, everything else too.

Chronic inflammation arises from an immune system response that’s out of control. When inflammation as an immune response is never “shut off,” so to speak, the constant production of immune cells can do permanent damage.

Over time, chronic inflammation wears out your immune system, leading to chronic diseases and other health issues, including cancer, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, asthma, autoimmune diseases (i.e., Crohn’s), allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis, and premature aging.

The Culprits

Causes of chronic inflammation are countless and numerous factors trigger them. But we are not helpless. Major risk to long-term health and well being remains within our control.

First, we can crowd out inflammatory foods by adding a variety of plant-based whole foods to your diet. These foods will flood your body with the vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber it needs to recover from chronic inflammation. Meanwhile, foods to avoid like the plague include: Common Vegetable Oils and Trans Fats; Refined Grains; and Refined Sugar (and other foods with high glycemic values).

Secondly, listen to your GUT! With your gut holding approximately 60- 70 percent of your immune system, it’s a great place to start reducing inflammation. The promotion of healthy gut flora with probiotics is an excellent start.

Third, as we get older, foods that never bothered us before, like dairy and wheat, may trigger chronic low-grade indigestion or other seemingly minor symptoms that put our immune system on guard — with additional inflammatory concerns to follow. Common allergens like casein and gluten (proteins found in dairy and wheat) are quick to spark the inflammatory cascade.

Enough About Diet, What Else?

Rest and Recovery: Your body is hard at work repairing and restoring you on a cellular level while you sleep. If you’re exhausted, you’re cheating your immune system, which means it needs to kick into high gear — chronic inflammation.

Psychological Stress: Persistent stress takes a steady toll on your immune system, your adrenals, and your central nervous system. Stress also produces more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol directly influences your insulin levels and metabolism, also playing a role in chronic inflammation. With inflammation, painful emotional baggage, negative thoughts and internalized feelings are as harmful as physical stress, but often overlooked. Focusing on stress reduction and safe care, whether it’s through more sleep, yoga, meditation, long walks, less technology or a much-needed vacation could save you!

Toxins: Reduce toxins in your food, home and personal care products. Cut down your exposure by eating organic foods whenever possible and choosing non-toxic personal care and cleaning products.

Nicole Ann Gustavson
InForm Fitness, Owner
Leesburg and Reston, Virginia

What The Heck Is A BORSAbag? | Diane E. Piper

Borsa is Italian for bag. My design — BORSAbag® — is a newly patented, unique, self-storing, water resistant BIG-BAG-in-a-little-bag. So, what’s the difference between a BORSAbag and any other bag?

BORSAbag is one piece, one word. The small pouch is connected to the large protective bag preventing the possibility of losing the pouch. Also, preventing the need to carry a second bag for storing your used, wet, dirty protective bag.

While on vacation in Florence, Italy, in 2007, my husband bought me a beautiful leather handbag. The leather was soft, smooth, and simply gorgeous. I wanted something to carry with me so that, if needed, I could protect the fine leather. I wanted something that I could get wet, dirty, or sandy, and still somehow store, even after use, inside my handbag. Nothing was available on the market. I was still working full time when I designed BORSAbag. After many sleepless nights and notes that were poorly scribbled by the light of a flashlight during the night, I came up with my ‘inside out’ design. My design allows you to Get It Wet and Dirty; Store It Clean and Dry®.

To use: pull the large protective bag out of the small pouch and turn the large bag inside out placing the small pouch ‘on the inside’ along with the personal items you want to cover, protect, or conceal. Use the convenient shoulder straps to carry. To store: remove items, turn the large bag inside out, exposing the little pouch. Stuff the large bag inside the clean, dry pouch and safely store in pocket or purse.

After my design was completed and having made my own crude prototype, I searched for a manufacturer. It was extremely important to me to have BORSAbag made in America. It took me over three years to find a manufacturer who would actually make it in the USA. Proudly, BORSAbag products are made, not only in America, but right here in Virginia. Our newest product is the BORSAbag4BUMBERshoots used to protect a collapsed, wet umbrella allowing it to be stored inside your handbag or pocket. No need to carry that wet umbrella, keep both hands free! This can also be used to cover water and beverage bottles or cans to protect from condensation.

BORSAbag has numerous uses:

  • Handbag protector in the rain, at a restaurant, in a restroom
  • Great Travel Companion
  • Secure to your carry-on. Put your personal items inside and place it by your feet for easy retrieval. Put your personal items inside a BORSAbag before placing in the overhead compartment. While on travel, use BORSAbag for…
  • Beach bag
  • Gym bag
  • Laundry bag
  • Grocery bag
  • Cover your golf bag to protect your clubs when caught in the rain.
  • Great camping bag.

BORSAbag weighs 3 oz.; is lightweight, flexible, pliable, and very durable. Made of ripstop nylon, the same material as is used for parachutes and windsails. Several styles of BORSAbag are available.

Order online at and also at

BORSAbag is available at a wholesale price for companies to use their own logo for promotional purposes.

Questions: 240-345-3693

The Bag For All Seasons; The Bag For All Reasons®

How To Replace Madness With Magic | Elaine Gibson

The new year is here – a time filled with hopes, dreams and promises of what lies ahead.

As an Extraordinary Lifestyle Designer, my intention is to take you from madness to magic, without the hassle.

Many of the men and women I speak with feel confused and exhausted as they attempt to up their health and peak performance. Many even place their personal health goals last while tending to the needs of everything and everyone else. It can sometimes feel like a lost cause before you even get started. Great news! You do not ever have to compromise your health and personal goals.

As an Extraordinary Lifestyle Designer, my intention is to empower you to create: Extraordinary Health, Extraordinary Business, Extraordinary Life . . . even if you have never done it before!

It is amazing how just a few gentile, easy activities can have a huge impact.

Some of my favorite healthy tips are…

Ditch and Switch. Ditch the refined foods and switch them with healthier options. For example, instead of using refined white flour and/or sugar, use almond flour or coconut sugar instead. Look for sprouted options. There are many alternatives to choose from, and you can most definitely find choices you will love – and I bet you nobody will even notice!

Fresh Herbs and Spices. You can really dress up a meal by adding fresh herbs and spices. It’s incredibly affordable and simple to keep a small, fresh herb garden growing in your kitchen window. My favs are mint, kelp and dill. There are incredible health properties in many of the herbs and spices we use and love. They are beneficial for our health and a strong immune system. Cinnamon and turmeric are very popular. Experiment and find a place for them in your recipes anywhere you can!

Use Different Plateware. Staying on track with my health goals is getting creative with portion control. Instead of using dinner-sized plates, which we tend to fill, use smaller plates. Use a mid-sized saucer or salad plate for your dinner plate, and then go back for seconds if needed. A lot of the overeating that we do is mindless, habitual eating because it’s in front of us and we were taught to clean our plates. Taking this temptation away helps tremendously, and you’ll very quickly learn how much you need to feel satisfied – I guarantee it is less than you think.

Having sleepovers with our granddaughter Devon, is one of my favorite activities. For years our evenings are filled with bubble baths, facials and snuggles. Mornings begin with hot chocolate (almond milk and cacao powder) followed by pancakes made with organic sprouted grain mix and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Nevin and I cherish this time. Knowing that we are incorporating best practices provides us with peace of mind alongside our gratitude.

These simple tips, will help you look and feel better than ever. Finding your own personal balance will take trial and error while empowering you with behaviors that will soon become second nature. This is where the magic begins. This is your Extraordinary Soul!

Elaine Gibson

Private Scholarship . . . Reality Or Fairy Tale? | Luanne Lee, CCPRS

Private scholarships – we love them and hate them. We love them because they make a good story. We hate them because for most of us they are so darn elusive and time-consuming to get!

The media loves to promote stories that have happy fairy tale endings. What’s better than a student being able to win enough money in scholarships to pay for their full tuition room and board? Sounds like a fairy tale story that will get lots of clicks. But in reality, Mark Kantrowitz, former publisher of and, reports less than 20,000 students a year receive a completely free ride to college. Out of the millions of students who apply to college each year, what do you think your chances are?

At Your College Planning Coach we recommend your #1 priority should be researching and targeting colleges that want your student and are more likely to offer your student Financial Aid in the form of Grants and Merit Scholarships. According to College Board’s Trends in Education, 40% of all free aid money is given by colleges. Less than 11% comes from private grants/scholarships. That doesn’t sound like a good use of your time, does it? Spend your valuable time more efficiently. Once you’ve applied to those colleges that offer your student Grants and Merit Scholarships, put whatever time and effort you have into applying for private scholarships.

Please share the following tips with your student…..

  1. Applying for private scholarships to pay the bulk of your college bill is like taking on a part-time job. It will require you researching hundreds of scholarships and submitting applications and essays for dozens every year you are in college. The cost to attend in-state public flagship universities is over $25,000 a year, $50,000 per year for out-of-state-state universities. Most private scholarships are $1,000 or less and are only good for one year.
  2. There are plenty of free college scholarship websites. Some will do a better job of narrowing results to your qualifications while others will have outdated scholarships. Use a combination of websites to maximize your chances of finding scholarships. If they boast “No Essay Required” they may be a scholarship sweepstakes, a form of marketing and lead generation. It will be best to create a separate email for your scholarship searches.
  3. Check your high school counselor’s office, your parent’s workplace, and the local paper’s community section for local scholarships. You will have a better chance earning local scholarships. They aren’t as easy to find so not as many people will be applying for them.
  4. Most private scholarships will be for one year only. Pay attention to scholarships that are multi-year or allow you to apply and win more than once.
  5. Private scholarships must be declared to your college financial aid office. This can affect your financial aid award from federal and institutional sources being reduced.
  6. To get the most out of private scholarships, be organized, apply for as many as possible, as early as possible. Track deadlines, requirements, and recommendations in one place. Give yourself time to write the essays and also give your teachers plenty of time to write your letter of recommendations.


Every student should try to find and apply for scholarships. Just be realistic about the effort needed and the potential outcome. And remember, if you really want to make a dent finding money for college, the best time spent will be used towards targeting schools that are more likely to offer financial aid or merit scholarships. And just like the research for finding private scholarships, the earlier you start the better.


About Luanne Lee

Luanne Lee is a licensed College Planning Relief® specialist with over 20 years in business and personal financial services. Married to Jim for 40 years, she is a proud mother of two young adults, three grandchildren, 3 dogs and 2 cats and lives in Northern VA.

How To Eliminate Frustration, Hurt And Pain To Feel Happiness Again | Terrie Christine

Relationships, disappointments, and financial stress can go from being uncomfortable to unbearable. The end results from just “dealing with it” can cause the frustration, hurt and pain to spiral into an endless hole.

Now more than ever, it is important to practice taking care of you. This quote makes me laugh every time. “The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”

Jump start 2017 with these 5 simple steps:

  1. Embrace the Negative

In order to appreciate the good stuff that happens in your life, you must experience what you feel as unpleasant. Emotions are your reality. We are human and will always have them. When you are mad, allow yourself to be mad.

Take your time. Allowing yourself to spend time with unpleasant feelings, will provide the opening to the truth behind the emotion.

  1. Express Gratitude

Gratitude is a feeling from within that sprouts from your heart. Gratitude should be treated like a life-style and should flow generously and not be dished out randomly.

As you live your life in gratitude, you will find yourself being drawn towards focusing on all the good things around you. Even the smallest of small elements in your life become an opportunity to celebrate.

When you live in gratitude, your attention is placed in the present moment where your senses and emotions are heightened.

Let me help you see all the things around you to be grateful for.

  • As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, thank your pillow and bed for a good night’s sleep.
  • While in the shower, be aware and feel grateful for the warmth of the water on your skin and how magnificent it feels. We all know what a cold shower feels like.
  • As you are getting dressed, feel grateful towards yourself for having the ability to purchase nice clothes that feel and look great.
  1. Ask For What You Want

“WWIT” stands for “What will it take?” When you are looking to attract what you desire in your life, you can simply ask the universe in question form. By starting each question with “what will it take?” you will find this similar to when you ask a friend a question. This is an easy, yet profound way to set your intent as to what experience you want to show up in your life.

  1. Meditate

Meditation is the #1 element that you must include in your life, daily. There are some great meditations to start with on my website.

  1. Look Into Mirror

Let me introduce you to the mirror technique. It is a simple and yet profound way to reconnect to the love you feel which no longer exists.

Stand in front of a mirror. Look at your reflection pupil-to-pupil and simple say “I love you. I love you very much. You are the one I love. I love you with all my heart. You are awesome and I love you .” Give yourself 3-4 minutes in front of the mirror repeating these lines many times, in random order and several times thought out the day. Keep practicing every day until it feels comfortable, natural and juicy.

By feeling this love from within, you will discover that you no longer seek to fill a void. The only void that existed in your life was the disconnect you had from your own inner love.

How Do YOU Want to Be Perceived? | By Cyndy Porter

As a photographer and image consultant, I see it all the time. I see women enter a room, intending to convey one message or characteristic and be surprised to hear that what people see is something entirely different. I’ve seen professional organizers who dress sloppy, financial advisers who dress sexy, interior designers who look bland and not at all creative, and CEOs that look frumpy. You name it, I’ve seen it. People have real reasons for the way they dress. Some are stuck due to negative experiences from their past, some have just never been taught and some believe it doesn’t matter. But people judge us first based on how we look and research shows that it typically takes six months to change a first impression. That matters!

So, how do you want people to perceive you? Do you want people to see you as casual, friendly, creative, confident, powerful, edgy, smart? No matter what adjectives you choose to describe yourself, when you dress in a way that communicates who you are and shows you at your best, it can change your life. Can you remember that time you bought a new outfit, couldn’t wait to put it on, went into the world and received compliments all day. Didn’t it make you feel like a million bucks? Didn’t it give you the confidence to stand up taller, voice your opinion more freely, approach new people and ideas? Wouldn’t it be great if you could feel like that every day?

But my appearance isn’t everything, right? True. You can shake hands, smile, lean in, introduce yourself, and speak clearly, all actions that add to a positive impression (definitely do them!), but the truth is that when you walk through that door, people first look at your appearance. They make assumptions about your entire life based on the information gathered in those first few seconds. It sounds overwhelming. And a bit unfair, actually. After all, we can’t be expected to be “on” all the time, right? Of course not. But once you define your style, you become really good at knowing what works for you on any occasion—what colors to wear, what necklaces to buy, whether that print looks good on you. Just imagine it. You can stop browsing through everything, no more buying tops that you’ll never really wear, no more overflowing closets with clothes that deliver mixed messages.

It all starts with creating that personal brand.


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