CY poolCY Painting

Had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful venue in July with friends in Playa Del Carmen. It was a getaway that words can’t fully describe. I was burnt out on work, tired, and tired. This place on sight gave me a sigh of relief. The moment we pulled up to the front and entered the property just kept that feeling going. This house is one that some may never know the pleasure of enjoying. So many times when we vacation we jump right to the looking at a hotel or a resort versus other options. This house gave us the opportunity to relax, be catered to, and bond. The home has 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and is two story. This home has large closets, beds that make you want to stay in them, huge showers, and a great view. Casa Yolo is not just a home, it is an experience!!

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The detail to every room gives you an insight to the owner. You can tell he values family. The attention that each room commends, keep you wondering what is next. From color to furniture to bedding to paintings, you quickly realize they put time and effort into the ambiance of this location. The balconies for the upstairs rooms are spacious and are a great area to relax overseeing the pool or the front of the home.


The staff was superior and beyond polite. Each room is decorated to detail and as the days winded down it was hard to think about leaving. We had meals made, a driver, and a place that offered relaxation, entertainment, and a new way of life. The cook Mercedes cooked delicious meals with chicken, shrimp, and beef. We were never left wanting more food. In fact, we always had plenty left. When we arrived, they not only gave us a tour, but had dinner hot and ready. Mercedes had prepared a type of cucumber water that was unlike any I had ever tasted. Talking about quenching your thirst. This was great as it cooled us down quickly and was refreshing and not to mention healthy. She always asked about times for meals so they would be prepared when needed. Maria was the maid and we never had to ask for anything either. She never interrupted our sleep to come in and clean. You know how this happens in hotels when you go on vacation. She always found time to do this while we were out or even in the pool. She left plenty of towels and asked if we needed anything. They made sure we had plenty of pool towels out at the pool so anytime we went to swim we didn’t have to ask for a single thing. The driver, Julian, was just as wonderful. He was available to drive us to stores, restaurants, areas on beach, the strip, and even if we wanted to spend the night out dancing. I have never had a vacation where I have had all three, but these three worked well together.

The outdoor patio is large and has comfortable furniture as well as a fan. It is in a perfect location to catch the breeze coming in and dry off from the pool or just to sit and catch up. This house had a pool, hot tub, and a part of the pool inside the house. The landscaping outside with the pool area reminds you, you are not just in any pool. It creates a feeling, mood, and atmosphere that makes you appreciate the gorgeous scenery. You definitely know you are not in Dallas, TX. The pool had lights and the bottom is tile. The great thing about the bottom of the pool being tile, is you don’t get marked up or scrapped by walking or siting in the pool. No snags on swimsuits either. The pool is filtered versus having chlorine. The awesome thing about this is that you don’t feel overly dry when you get out of the pool and for the ladies, the same goes for your hair.

We didn’t do too much outside of the house on the trip. We had plans to do a few things while there. However, once getting there and getting settled in. We found it had all we needed. There was a pool table, an indoor portion of the pool, umbrellas and chairs outside (great to read under), trails to walk in the neighborhood, the beach within minutes, an outdoor table for times we wanted to eat out by the pool and much more.

In case you are still questioning if this is the place for you. Just check out the headlines of some of the reviews of other ladies I went with…. “Vacation so great I had to rethink my goals” , “Best Relaxing Vacation Ever”, “Amazing Vacation @ Casa YOLO!”, “Best vacation ever!! Paradise!!”. All reviews to be found on tripadvisor.com

This home would be great for any occasion, family get away, couple retreats, girl getaways, bachelorette get away, organization trips, etc. In fact, I can’t think of one reason this vacation home would not work for someone.

Loved, Loved, Loved this house. I had to ask myself when I got home… How much do I really love Texas and what do I need to do to be able to vacation like that more often. During my time there in the pool, I took time to reflect on myself and evaluate my goals. This vacation was one of the best I have had yet. We didn’t want for anything. What can I change in my life to eventually be able to own something of this caliber? Casa Yolo is not just a home, it is an experience!!

Hard Core Beauty 2nd Annual Health Expo

Extra, Extra, Read all about it…In an age where obesity is at an all-time high and health has become a large focus of most businesses for their employees, I believe we need more events like this. This was the 2nd Annual Health Expo for Hard Core Beauty that is run by Bridgette Pridgen.  Bridgette is a stay at home mom, a blogger, the radio show host of Hard Core Beauty, and the creator of Eccentric Beauty. Eccentric Beauty was birthed from a desire to provide awareness to people on what we apply and take in our bodies. The brand provides a great balance and insight into her personal life and her personality.

This event is something that is a near and dear cause to Mrs. Pridgen. In speaking with her about the event and what it means to her, she shared that the health fair idea came about as her way to give back to the community. Her radio show Hard Core Beauty is built on the premise of the C.E.L.E.B lifestyle which means Community Education Legacy Empowerment and Business. She wants to give people a platform to help others, to receive quality help and information, and area businesses a chance to gain exposure and expand their business through vending. I recall speaking to her last year and this year prior to the event and to say she was excited and had a high level of enthusiasm in reference to planning the event, would be an understatement. It was a priority of hers to try and involve more of the community, offer a family friendly event that the entire family could come out and learn and enjoy.

The expo tripled in just a year’s time. The event was from 9AM to 2 PM and had snacks donated from Roots to the Soul and On the Boarder. At an all new location in Grand Prairie, it was a perfect fit. The expo was located at IT Fitness Gym located at 2625 Aviation Parkway Grand Prairie, TX and ran by Michael T Booker. This location allowed for space, 27 vendors, volunteers, live remote radio sessions, live mini class sessions, a kid zone, and a concession stand that was beyond reasonable. This atmosphere not only had a personal touch, but I noticed how comfortable people felt, from the volunteers warming smiles to the friendly vendors and the hostess herself moving around and greeting people and mixing and mingling.

HCB2 vendors

The volunteers had on Hard Core Beauty shirts and were very pleasant to work with. The expo offered a raffle that gave away water bottles, blinders, t-shirts, detox teas, workout gear, etc. They offered a segment that got the kids involved in working out for prizes. Michael T Booker had the kids show us how to do push-ups and sit ups as well as shared a little about the classes he offers for adults and children. A DJ was onsite as well and played old school and appropriate new school music.


This year consisted of community partners Parkland Hospital, Walgreens, and Carter Blood Services. The sponsors were Ford, Belk, Grand Prairie city council, AT&T, UPS, Vita Coco Water, Roots to the Soul, TMI media network, Honey Be Natural Magazine, BLI media Group, Illustrious Optics. Carter Blood Care was on site and available to take blood from donors.  Miss Texas also came by the event as well.

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The creator of the event shared advice for those considering putting on an event like this, “I would advise if someone is looking to plan an event like this to have a clear concise plan. You should definitely learn the laws and legal aspects of your area with planning or conducting a nonprofit event. You can encounter issues with permits, licenses, etc when you deal with sponsorship, food vendors, etc. So it’s good to do your research!”

When asked what else she would like to share about the event, she said, “overall this was an awesome event and I am so impressed with the vendors, demonstrations, and the support this year! It was challenging at times with balancing the planning, running a radio show, and being a mother and wife but I made it through it! I couldn’t done it without my awesome team and partners. This year I partnered with Rock Performance Gear (Larenda Ross) and IT fitness former NFL player (Michael Booker and Manager Nicole Vasquez) to make this event a success! They were very diligent and assisted me with meeting this year’s goals!  I also am so grateful for my TMI Media Network family who helped me keep things together, encouraged me and kept me on track the day of the event! Kevin Hopwood, Bolanle Alade (Dr.Bo), Kandace Johnson, (Kjoi), Tera (Lady T) Karl Michael Jones were all awesome and I was happy to have them on my team!”

Thank you Bridgette for turning your passion into reality and reminding us how important it is to take care of ourselves and loved ones. It isn’t often that these kinds of events can be family friendly, but you were able to offer this in a central location and at a great time of year.

Punta Cana Live

Aloha and Magnifico were the words to know. I don’t splurge much, but glad I did for this trip. It was the tip of the iceberg to come back to some changes and allowed me some much needed rest and relaxation. October has tended to bring about change for me over the last few years and this year rings no different. The trip allowed me to get my first stamp in my passport. Yep, that is right. It was my first trip out of the country. I believe it is an experience everyone should aim for, just to know and see what is out there. I wrote before about pampering yourself and this is one of those things.

The trip was booked at almost a year in advance which made it affordable to be able to pay out over time. It was booked through a travel agency to ensure that all was legit and would be provided. I went to the all-inclusive route as it seemed most cost efficient. I must say to travel like this takes a bit out of you. You spend your first and last day traveling most the day. The day I left, my flight left at 7 AM had plane change in Charlotte for about an hour and we landed in Punta Cana at 3:15 PM. The flight back was at 2 PM and stopped and changed planes in Miami and we made it home at 8:30 PM. I will say that going through Customs was not like I thought it would be. I guess I can say that as I am pretty by the book and was pretty safe on what I brought back with me. The travel agency set up for travel to and from the resort from the airport which was very helpful.

Most of the population was very helpful, spoke English as a second language, and smiled most of the time. I exited the plane once we landed and the heat there was different then it is here. The place is just a site to see. The airport had an area where you could exchange money for Pesos which is their currency there. They do warn you that it is cheaper to do the exchange at the airport due to them not charging a commission fee. They give you a form that verifies the conversion and where the exchange took place. The amount of the Peso to dollar conversion changes daily, not sure I understand how or why that is and didn’t get a chance to discuss it with anyone. When I arrived it was 37 Pesos to 1 dollar and during the days I was there it varied from 45 to 47, etc.


The all-inclusive resort that I stayed at was called Breathless, it was an all adult resort. It was beautiful and the room had a walk out patio with a swim up pool in front as well as a Jacuzzi on the balcony. The room had vibrant colors like orange and green in the colors in the room. The room came stocked with a mini bar that had Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Dos Eques in it. They offered 5 different restaurant’s and had room service that was available 24 hours a day. I was a little disappointed in the fact that all of them served American food. They don’t quite do American food the same way we do. I was hoping to get a taste of the Dominican food while there. However, it was all included with drinks and entertainment offered on the resort grounds. The resort grounds offered entertainment on the grounds with live music to different shows ranging from Belly Dancing to Sensuality Shows. The resort ended at the beach. So… depending on what you wanted to do, you really didn’t have to leave the resort to enjoy yourself.

Along the way, I learned that they prefer to be tipped in American money versus their currency. I found that odd, outside of the fact that US money is worth more. I would say that some just about frowned when given a tip in Pesos. They never asked for American money, but someone mentioned that to me. Some were very friendly and others seemed like they could care less if Americans came back. I thought this was odd as so many areas seemed to be run down or thriving due to the resorts and excursions that are bringing money to their country. The people there were beautiful and ranged from all shades and eye colors. Many handsome men and their accent just added to that.


They offer a ton of excursions that would satisfy anyone. They all seemed to be very cost effective. They offered multiple activities and being gone for a few hours out of the day. They offered designated drivers that made it clear who was picking you up and did cut down on confusion. One that I tried was called Ocean Spa. It was $154.00 for a 3 hour Ocean Spa literally. When we arrived we were able to have a fish eating pedicure which felt like someone was tickling your feet. They gave you a brochure to read on this while you are in process. The fish don’t have teeth, so you just feel a suction feeling. We had a small yoga class to start the relaxation process. The tour then offered a detox bath for your feet and a sheet and a person to read the color and flakes of your water. This was interesting to see as your water starts to change colors, you don’t know if you feel embarrassed or just try and relax. Heck, I figured no one knew me and we are all there doing the same thing so I was just going to take it all in. It went on to take you on a float in the ocean for about 20 minutes to relax and enjoy the water. Next was a massage and a body scrub followed by a quick shower and then to enjoy lunch while watching people swim with sting rays and sharks. Yep, I said sharks. I don’t know about yall, but I had never heard of friendly sharks. I will say they weren’t great whites, so maybe that was it. I can’t say if I would have been able to do it. Lol. After lunch, we were on the ocean for a while before returning. Needlessly to say, I was more than relaxed when this was done. I was no good after this, lol. I was like we need this in Texas and I am shocked no one has it going or maybe we do and I just don’t know. The next one I tried was a Cigar, Rum, Coffee/Chocolate tour. This was one superb as well. The cigar tour talked about the history of cigars, the difference between Dominican and Cuban cigars, and why you can’t come back in the states with Cuban cigars. The rum portion provided more options than I had ever seen in Rum. It was very tasty and the tour offered tasting in shot glasses. The coffee/chocolate tour had different flavor coffee liqueurs and chocolate. I don’t recall every making it to the chocolate part as I got side tracked with trying the tea and the looking at the natural coco butters, lip balms, etc. I couldn’t resist getting a few things from this tour *wink*

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to travel here is to make sure anything you plan to bring back is allowed. Things as simple as the sand and sea shells are not allowed back in the States. Many souvenir shops sold hats or baskets that were nice to look at and use while there, but depending on what they were made of, they were not able to be brought back due to certain regulations. Our travel agent handler at the resort explained this being a concern due to different bacteria that lives there and is on live and non-live cultures.


Punta Cana is known for its drink called Mamma Juana. It is said to be an aphrodisiac and very strong. I had to try it while I was there. They served it in a tall shot glass and when I say I had to sip it, I had to sip it. It was pretty potent. I didn’t feel the aphrodisiac characteristics afterward, but it was nice to try something from their culture.

All in all, it was a good trip. Had a few run in with people coming in the room that weren’t supposed to be there, but after all maybe that is why they put a safe in your room that only you have a code to. Once incident was security who later found out he was looking for someone and the other incident was apparently part of their protocol that they forgot to mention. I had a blast and was able to reflect and clear my head. It  was a great first experience out of the country and I know what to expect the next round.

The Unofficial Reunion

When I saw the post on Facebook go up… the first thing that came to mind were the times of countless laughter, the friends I had been with from elementary school to graduation, and the music from our time. I have to admit I had songs running through my head Like Baby Got Back, Vanilla Ice’s hit, to Hit Me Baby One more time, a little Juvenile, and a dozen other artist. The summers were spent at Wet &Wild, Celebration Station, Six Flags, Hollywood movie theater, and the local Bennigans. I was always biased after trying the donuts at Bakery by George, which still gives bakeries a run for their money. I was excited.

The cool thing back then was to stay in school, make good grades, and prepare for the next chapter of your life such as college, the military, or a technical school. The schools in Garland Independent School District were all diverse and Rowlett High School was the newest school on the block. We didn’t run or shy away from being different, we had known so many of these people longer than our lifelong friends today.

This past weekend many of us were reunited by Freda Hobson-Biggers, Corvette Searcy Epting, and Shava Echols. They found a central location that just happened to be owned by one of our very own alumni. Candra Boykin who is now Candra Bryant is the owner of 1011 Grill off of Lamar and Corinth. They have owned the establishment for almost three years now and it offers a variety of entertainment from live music, spoken word, We Are Worthy Women, assisting the homeless, and has been known to have the best wangs in Dallas. Bravo dear.


An unofficial reunion couldn’t have come at a better time. Summer is winding down as the kiddos just completed their first week back to school and everyone could use some time to unwind. It is still 100 degrees or warmer outside and you never need a good reason to see and catch up with those from your youth. We danced, we ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed, and more than anything just enjoyed one another’s company. Classes from 1994 to 2002 came out shaking hands, giving hugs, and making a night go from a reunion to a night to remember. The priceless countless smiles when people saw someone they haven’t seen in a while or years, but were almost jumping with joy to see that person or group of people (I like to say almost clapping their feet).


I have to say GISD (Garland Independent School District), you did get out and support about 50 to 60 strong. I have to say our diversity was not shown in the representation. It does not take away from who came out, but says a lot in reference to the number of people that decided to not even respond. I can’t be sure if it was the establishment location, prior plans, your group wasn’t going, or you really just don’t care. We maybe Facebook friends, but we are really just associated in your mind when it comes to getting together where everyone won’t come out to. I would love to take a poll on why so many didn’t even respond. I see people share about what Josh Samples is doing with his product and many others… but it just kind of hit hard to me as a person generally analyzing as to why this is. I don’t want to call it a race thing, because I know. We all have friends of other races and nationalities and I am only saying be honest with yourself. If there were people you couldn’t be sure would be there that you wanted to catch up with; would you have come out? I will say, there was not one Caucasian, Asian, or Indian counterpart that showed up even from the Colonel family. This event was not about discussing the Confederate flag, the plantation on South Garland’s cafeteria wall prior to us getting there. It was about supporting our alumni that are doing positive things and catching up. The venue had food, drinks, and great music. I have to admit I was so taken back. I can’t speak for other school, but I can speak as a former Colonel. We graduated with 400 some odd people of different races, so the fact that the crowd that showed for this event was Black, Mexican, and Hispanic. Anyone would have to ask… did you graduate in Garland recently or when you said diversity was truly running down those halls? I am ok if you unfriend me, if you don’t speak, if you comment on the South Garland alumni page about this. Know that is because I know my heart and if something was going on for any of the people I was excited to see… I would do my best to attend. I wouldn’t have to know if Candra, Ramelle, Brandi, Shava, or anyone else was going. However, that is just me. I have SG pride, but I sure tell you, I had to shake my head. I remember when this was first discussed and Candra mentioned how she would love to see all these people and they were all of different backgrounds and ethnicities coming together like we used to and just having a good time. I just knew there had to be a wedding this weekend or something huge since so many didn’t even respond, nor comment. However, I am not seeing that either. I am not speaking to those that are pregnant, new parents, or newly married as I understand those life events can mean these events aren’t so easy to make it to. I must say there are some people that just support for supporting and some of those are Jared Morgan, Stacy Jones-Carter, Jennifer O’Dell-Davis, Rubann Calder Stuever, Brandy Messmer Travis, and Ashley Johnson.

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So take from it what you may, know you missed one chance to catch up and connect. I am sure there will be more and I hope that as these are thrown out there we look at anyone’s business we can support. I know Myranda LeMaster has just opened a bar and grill, Beau Wagner has a band, Aaron Brezik used to be in bowling leagues, Misty Bartlett still plays soccer, etc… let’s see where we can get out and support our alumni as one day one more Colonel or Garlandite will no longer be anything but a memory. So before we are getting together with tears in our eyes and wondering why no one knew what was going on… let’s mend those fences and be the force that we were back then. I know we can’t get out all together all the time, but it is something I think many have expressed interest in. So before we get more news like we did freshman year of collage about Terry Kennedy, and in the last few years of  Jude Eversley, Isaac Medlin, and Tanisha Daniels passing, let’s put action behind it and no longer let it just be a thought. One day, I’ll take my last breathe and I can only hope you know anything I said or wrote was about making an impact and a difference to bring awareness.

Thanks to those that at least responded or advised they hated they couldn’t make it. It was more than I could capture in here and I took the opportunity to try and bring awareness. I sure hope it helps.








Nothing but Support

As many of you know… I am big on support. I believe in helping others and showing support for those I believe in. So today is just a list of people I know doing great things and a snip it about their business and their contact information.

Ten Eleven Grill
Location: 1011 Corinth in Dallas, TX

Venue offers live music, spoken word, superior service, flavorful food
Writes ups in The Observer, offers a place to give back to the community, and owned by a magnificent couple who had dedicated time and effort to giving Dallas a place to call home.
Check out the website to see events, availability, etc

Plain Fancy Salon
Location: 3220 Gus Thomasson Suite 4 Mesquite, TX

Shava Echols focuses on healthy hair and educating you in how to care for your hair. She has been my stylist for as long as I can remember. No matter the length of my hair, she keeps it looking great and in good condition, not to mention the numerous colors we have visited with. She offers online appointments and you are guaranteed to have some laughs and many smiles while in her chair. You will walk out loving your hair and seeing the difference in it once you have tried this young lady.Check out her website to see photos, prices, and how to book www.styleseat.com/shavaechols

Eccentric Beauty

The bath and body product line offers shampoo/body bars, body/nail scrubs, hair/body balm, and glossing pomade to name a few. She will have lines coming soon for men, children, and the home. Many products are dual use in nature and are reasonable priced. A homegrown company that was based on assisting her son who had eczema. Now she has a full line of products that can help those that are ingredient conscious and ecofriendly. I personally love these products.
Featured in a blog What’s the Buzz about Eccentric Beauty?? https://www.rootstothesoul.com/2015/05/26/whats-the-buzz…centric-beauty/

Universal Purpose

A business that offers an array of oils, car scents, and scents for the home. The owner is mobile and will deliver orders. He offers one of a kind scents that last longer than most fragrances with them being oils. He focuses on participating in events that also give back to the community.

Illustrious Optics

A company ran by a young man that has a passion for education. He uses his lens to allow people to see the events that people miss while in the same setting. So many things happen at an event and for those that are there and are not, this one helps savor those memories.

TMI Radio

TMI is over a year old and has listeners from the United States, Brazil, Britain, United Kingdom, China, Guam, Italy, Scotland, and Africa to name a few. The station gives callers the ability to call in and share thoughts and on some shows to visit the studio to participate. The atmosphere in the studio is welcoming by all the host and hostesses. Tune in to different shows and feel free to make contact to discuss marketing and advertising packages.
Featured in a blog Interview with the TMI Radio CEO at https://www.rootstothesoul.com/2015/04/14/interview-with…-tmi-radio-ceo/ ‎

Avaron Marketing

The dude will wow you with his talent. He is creative and innovative and recently redid my flyers and business cards. I have had a few people ask for his information after seeing the new flyer and cards. His website and work speaks for itself and he offers great turnaround times. Be sure to tell him KJoi referred you.


Gator Auto Detailing

If you are anything like me… getting your car washed is one more thing on the to do list that sometimes gets pushed down the priority list. Gator offers mobile detailing at a price you can’t refuse. I love the fact I can get my car cleaned while at work, getting my hair done, or while running errands. He never disappoints.

Artistic Vision

A mom turned artist. She started her own company from the passion of doing art and is also an author. Her art is unique and each painting has a story behind it. She has had her paintings in furniture stores and art galleries.

Andy Brown Speaks

Life coach, author, radio host. Mr. Brown offers many different services. He has a background in the corporate world turned entrepreneur. His radio show is called The Online Happy Hour and is on TMIRadio.com

AP Beats + Tees

A company that specializes in customize t-shirts. Owned by a friendly owner that pays attention to detail and offers a creative flare to t-shirts. He started by loving music and starting to create. I personally have had my t-shirts done by him and people loved them.

I am sure there are many contacts that have been left off… if you are looking or need a recommendation for something particular, just shoot me an email to rootstothesoul@gmail.com and I will see who I know. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you make the most of today as we never know what tomorrow holds.


Corporate America… Living the Dream

I had the pleasure of meeting the cast of Corporate America last Tuesday on The Online Happy Hour while discussing Horrible Bosses. It all started from a man, Sal Salvello, who wrote a book turned soon to be comedy sitcom is now launching as a new series. Mr. Salvello wrote a book making fun of the corporate politics and it turned into a money maker to support his family. This is a sitcom in the making and currently doing a comedy tour in Dallas and in Louisiana. I was able to see the first night of the comedy show at Hyena’s in Dallas a Mockingbird Station. The location was easy to access, had plenty of parking, fast service, reasonable drinks and food, and plenty of seating. They had cupcakes out in the area where you could mix and mingle before and after the show.

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The show was Sunday evening at 8:30 PM and was the first leg of the tour. It highlighted the stars in the upcoming sitcom Corporate America. The sitcom was created by Sal Salvello and Kim Glasgow. This is based off real Corporate America examples and some that range from each end of the spectrum. The show was hosted by Vivian Fullerlove, who is also known for her public relations and marketing sectors. This was the first comedy venture for Ms. Fullerlove and she was cool, calm, and collected. She gave great intros to the lineup and shared a little about her upcoming roll in the sitcom. The tour consisted of Farah White, David Jessup, Tyson Faifer, Barry Whitewater, and Brian Schoby.


Corporate America for many of us is our bread and butter, but we need time to let go and relax. This comedy tour allows you to see so many of the things that can get out of control in these setting and allow us to take a break and breathe. I know I had had a hell of a week prior and was able to drop my shoulders and giggle. The setting draws you in as you don’t want to miss one word and keeps you curious as to what is to come next.  Comedians from all different backgrounds, nationalities, and styles graced the stage. As different as they may have been, one common thing rang true and that was the laughter they brought. The race issues in America to the difference in family dynamics can make Corporate America a forced to be reckoned with although we are not to discuss those things, they still come up in one persons biased or stereotyping. Topics ranged from family, gay pride, welfare, marriage, etc. You never knew what was coming next and there was not one dull moment. It flowed very smooth and everyone seemed like a natural. It was not like some of these shows we see or hear about. There were not cruel and unusual jokes told that would heart anyone’s feelings.

As familiar as some of the jokes were and others were not so relatable, but still funny and easy to follow. I can be sure that the ones that didn’t hit home for me were the ones that hit home for someone else. In this environment, it is important that all parties stay light hearted and they did. Crowd participation was not mandatory, but was done easily. We wanted to help out from clapping a beat to a rap or answering minor questions here and there were seamless due to the energy in the room. No matter who was on stage, all parties were respectful. The content was neither vulgar nor harsh. The comments made sexual in nature were in good taste and all parties laughed, men and women. I think one of the best parts was seeing the other parties participating in the crowd cheering on the next performer and laughing just as hard as the crowd once they nailed a big joke. Laughter and smiles were shared alike by all parties as I took a gander around the room and some were easy to point out by their infectious laugh.

I don’t recall hearing of anything else like this on tour or coming to a sitcom. Yes we have had some shows similar, but anxious to see the new fresh look and their take on this arena. As I exited the venue, I heard people sharing they were looking forward to the sitcom due to laughter endured from the comedy show.

The cast met after the show and mingled with the guest. They took photos, answered questions, and had additional laughs. They did not charge for the photos nor rush the guest. They were all so patient and engaged in meeting their fans

Bravo to this cast and parties that have stood behind this project.

Kudos to Vivian Fullerlove, Sal Salvello, and Kim Glasgow for making this all possible

Laughter is good for the soul and you will want to get into to see this show before it ends.

You can follow them on Facebook under Corporate America Comedy Tour

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Interview with the TMI Radio CEO

Hop Wood, the CEO of TMI Radio has always been drawn to music. He majored in Marketing at Grambling State University. He came up in a time when the most influential artist to start in the South were just making headways like Ghetto Boys and Scarface. He even went to school with some of them. In late 2008, he started True Family Entertainment out of Red Bird in Dallas with his nephew Micah Hopwood. He later met a counterpart by the name of Andy Brown through a mutual coworker and found they had some similar interest and were both alumni of Grambling. They became friend’s overtime and began to look for ways to grow and support one another’s vision. Andy was an author and had started The Online Happy Hour on Blog Talk radio. He said in 2011, Andy found DFWIRADIO and started running his show from there. Hop Wood was the producer for the show and ran the boards. Hop Wood shared two powerful sayings that always stuck with him. Andy advised to never look at money as cash, look at it as value; because then you come to appreciate it more. This changed Hop Wood’s outlook on handling and making money. He said the second thing was to always have an elevator pitch ready. You never know who you will be in front of and you have to be ready to discuss what you are doing. He said this came true as he has meet stars from Master P, D. L. Hughley and others that were in the main stream eye.

As things grew at DFWIRADIO, Hop Wood produced Immense Music in 2012 that focused on independent and up and coming artist. The first hostess for the show was named Leigh. The second hostess was La Bell, known for her musical talent in her own right, was found during a spoken word night at Ten Eleven Grill in Dallas, TX. Her musical genius was easily seen and he discussed her becoming part of the team for Immense Music. Later they were able to add an additional leg due to inquiry called Immense Gospel. Felicia joined the team during this addition and manned Immense Gospel on Sunday’s.

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All was going well with DFWIRADIO when he realized there was additional studio space available and started to research the space, cost, etc. As he was looking into it, he figured it would be a good idea to determine what he would name this place to radiate unknown independent artist. He told me he was driving with some friends and saw a billboard that said FYI. He thought this would be a catchy name for an online radio station. As he searched for the domain name, FYI quickly revealed it was not the name for his vision to be born to. He was driving for something unique, catchy, and timeless. As he continued to gander over names, he came to TMI. He searched for the domain name and it was open. He moved forward from there. After all, what a better name meaning Too Much Information for a station that would feature independent artist, clothing, one of a kind radio shows, and top notch advertising commercials. Hop Wood was focused on building the show base and market for these artist for growth and guidance. Immense Music and Immense Gospel did follow him to TMIRADIO. He now had to figure how to grow this new station and gain followers. Hop Wood started with creating a Facebook page and hit the maximum of 5K friends within a few days. He knew then he made the right decision to focus on the market of unknown/independent artist. As he shared, in this day it can be hard for an artist to be picked up by a label or get a contract. So many people listen to music now via computer and mobile devices. He recognized that this would have growth potential with the way the market is leaning and appears to be headed.

The first show that was added newly to the TMI family was The S.I.C show. It stands for Servant In Christ. It is a Christian based show that many times features spoken word. Their show is on TMIRADIO.com on Thursday at 6 PM.

TMI is over a year old and has listeners from the United States, Brazil, Britain, United Kingdom, China, Guam, Italy, Scotland, and Africa to name a few. The station gives callers the ability to call in and share thoughts and on some shows to visit the studio to participate. The atmosphere in the studio is welcoming by all the host and hostesses.

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The newest leg of TMI will be starting soon, called the TMI Media Network online. As I discussed this with him, it sounds like a new state of the art idea. It is something you are not seeing everywhere, but I can see this being where additional growth will come. TMI Media Network will allow live streaming of events. I can’t say much, just stay tuned for more upcoming on this addition to the TMI family.

I can’t recall when I meet the brain behind TMI. I only remember running across his path a few times while enjoying myself at Ten Eleven Grill. I believe it was during the spoken word events and a few other events in between. He was a man of few words, polite, and seemed to know everyone. As I began to venture new waters into exposing my passion to write and start a blog. I was directed his way to discuss marketing and advertising. I was nervous as I had no idea what to say. He was very straight forward about his business and advised me to contact him to discuss marketing with him and to make it point to drop by the studio to see and meet some of the radio show host. The first time I went to the studio, my stomach must have been in shambles. I recall being so unsure about going down there. He assured me everyone would be friendly and open to letting me sit in on their shows. This was like traveling to a foreign country and not knowing the language or having a map. This dude has since become a mentor of mine and proud to say a friend. To the one’s with a business or independent artist that are looking to market, you should speak with him and watch your business grow. I have seen my blog grow in areas where his listener base is very strong. I have gone to what he focused on… I have become LOCAL, NATIONAL, and GLOBAL. I can promise you, you may not find another harder working man. Since I have taken up blogging… it was only right to pay tribute to someone that is helping me pave my own way. I bow to you my friend…Hop Wood.

You can tune in to the station by going to www.tmiradio.com. If there is not a show playing currently, there will be music from the independent artist. You can listen to recaps of the host shows by clicking on shows. I have listed below the show line up and hope you will take time to listen in, you won’t be disappointed.

**The times are listed based on CST zones, please adjust accordingly if you would be listening from a different time zone***


5pm – Ladies Perspective

6pm – Real Conversations


7pm – Online Happy Hour


6pm – Say Something

8pm – C.A.P. Show


6pm – S.I.C. Radio Show

7:30pm – Class In Session

Friday Mix Down Friday


12n – Immense Music

2pm – Blaq Like That -1st & 3rd

2 pm – Hardcore Beauty-2nd & 4th


Gospel Mix Down

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Kudos to Fish City Grill

The other day a coworker asked if I would like to order something for lunch from Fish City Grill in Irving. I took them up on the offer as I would be able to get some other things done over lunch and be able to try something new. I had a few coworkers in from out of town that tried this restaurant and had nothing but positive things to share about it. I ordered a Cobb salad the day we ordered take out. I believe it took me 30 minutes or so to eat the salad as it was fantastic and huge. I told myself I would have to go by and try this place to try other food they offer. I decided to drop by this establishment this past weekend and try it out in person. I was in for an experience from the time I entered to the moment I left.
As I entered the establishment, people greeted us from the moment my foot stepped into the location. The wait staff was beyond friendly and open to sharing suggestions. Carson, one of our servers,  not only had a radiant personality that appeared genuine, but you could tell he truly enjoyed the food here and knew how to describe the taste. He instantly shared that his section would be shared between him and his counterpart America. I loved the fact that he was not only knowledgeable but let us know what to expect up front. If you know me, you know how I am about customer service. So we were off to an intriguing start. You are able to seat yourself and the music ranged from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and a few current mild songs. The restaurant had a laid back feel and is considered home of the oyster nacho. Yep, I said oyster nacho.
The menu was an array of things from starters like fried pickles, fried oyster nachos, and lump crab cakes. They have salads, soups, catfish, shrimp, oysters, and other seafood items. Carson brought over a sample of their soups for us to try and all I can say is it was a start to what items were ordered next. The soups ranged from claim chowder to roasted jalapeno soup. I know that jalapeno soup, may not sound the best, but I will say don’t knock it until you try it. They have a chalkboard that shares their daily specials and describes what the items are as well as the reasonable prices. The day I visited, the chalkboard displayed a plate with lamb, prime brisket benedict, and a few drink specials. Carson and America were attentive, courteous, detailed, and just who I would have wanted to serve me no matter if it was a large party or just me.
We tried the oyster nachos to start. What can I say, I just had to know what this was going to be like. It was a fried oyster on a corn tortilla chip with a spicy sauce between the meat and the oyster. The top of the nacho had pico de gallo on it. I believe there were 6 to 8 of them on the plate. They were definitely an appetizer that could be eaten as a meal. It was something about the sauce with they oyster and the topping that just made my mouth water. I could see then why they have a sign saying, home of the oyster nacho. The menu description did not do this justice, but the photo gives you a good idea as to what a treat you are in for.
As I sat and indulged in my prime smoked brisket benedict with sliced zucchini and squash. Let me tell you, my taste buds were doing a happy dance. I had a glass of wine with this and when all I can say is my dad would have loved this place. My father loved tasty food and trying new restaurants. It was the first thing to come to mind. It was one of those meals that I was glad I had time to sit and savor. Full of flavor, gorgeous presentation, and fulfilling on all levels. I don’t think I have ever thought of eating squash and zucchini with brisket, but it was a delightful. The other party I was with had the Serafin’s fish tacos and it was a large portion and tasty as well.
I decided while sitting in the restaurant that I would have to blog about this experience. This place is one that will be added to some great places to celebrate or enjoy a nice happy hour. This location has a patio outside with fans on it. The day I went, the weather started out overcast and ended up being a nice warm day. Had I have gone later in the day, I would have sat on the patio. I also noticed while inside they had a room set aside with double doors, more than likely for larger or private parties. The reviews on this restaurant could not have been more accurate. I don’t believe I have spent my money at such a good place in a long time. It was well worth it and didn’t put a dent in my wallet which is always a blessing. What more can one ask for than a well rounded experience when going into a place of business. I almost had to kick myself for not vising this place prior. So next time you are in Irving off of MacArthur and 635, you should drop in if you love seafood and maybe open to trying some different things.
If you enjoyed this blog, feel free to check out the blog discussing customer service called Where is Service in Customer Service on page one. As well as tune in tonight as my friend Andy Brown discusses Customer service on his radio show tonight at TMIradio.com from 7PM-9PM CST.

Up Close and Personal with The Online Happy Hour

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One day while at my second home Ten Eleven Grill I happened to meet someone that mentioned he had an online radio show. My first thought, was an online radio show?? How does that work? I haven’t heard much about these type of radio stations and from there on the way I viewed radio was different. A radio was not longer the look of a boom box or a radio with a cd player and tape player. Radio has changed over the years and this show definitely raised the bar. It’s title is just the tip of the iceberg into the gateway of reality. Radio stations in my day played music and you knew the radio personalities, but was more about the music, sponsors, commercial, etc. The Online Happy Hour brings controversial, real life concerns to the table. It is the most listened to show on DFWIRadio.

The Mind Behind the Creation

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He is a father, life coach, host, and a writer. He is one of the hardest working men that I have run across in a long time. He takes pride in being an involved father and writing about things that will reach out and help others. He doesn’t try to hide behind the simple topics to discuss and believes in giving back to his community. He is Andy Brown and known by many as AB. He is a Kansas City, MO native and a graduate from Grambling State University. He started out with blog talk radio in 2009 and expanded to DFWIRADIO and TMIRADIO. He is the author and play of Second Place Women Come in First and Mixed Emotions. He continues to push himself to stay above trends and is focused on bringing awareness amongst us. AB is truly a people person and loves to talk with people and hear their feedback on everyday events.

The Online Happy Hour


The show itself has been on since 2012 and continues to grow. They discuss topics from education, relationships, community, gender roles, domestic violence, and current events. It starts at 6 PM and goes until 8 PM CST and takes place in Grand Prairie, TX. The Online Happy Hour can be accessed by phone, laptop, or computer by typing in www.dfwiradio.com.com. It is sponsored by Deep Eddy and one of the Deep Eddy Betties also frequents the show.

 The Online Happy is truly that and offers drinks that can be mixed right in the studio. The show not only offers an open place for sharing ideals and opinions, but a chance to have a drink with people you come to know fairly well. At times there are guest speakers that call in or drop by, but no matter who you are AB makes you welcome in the studio. I was nervous about showing up and being a part of the show when available, but once I got there and met everyone; that was no longer a concern. It is a laid back atmosphere with parties from all walks of life that are ready to share their input and reasoning. I have met doctors, lawyers, educators, government workers, military employees, poets, bloggers, and many more while visiting. The show allows for time to talk with callers on the show. Listeners also have other alternatives to comment on Facebook and Twitter. The conversations get fairly deep based on the crowd in the studio and the parties calling in. I personally think the best part of the show is after the topic surface gets scratched some and everyone is talking. All tend to be respectful of the others opinions, but the show does touch on topics that is considered touchy for some. When discussing racial issues, reading in the black community, education, and things such as dating people tend to have a lot to say. As Andy would say, “It is hot as fish grease in there at times.”

It takes me back to the topic of Tokenism… Man, Man, Man. I promise that two hours flew by as we addressed issues this derived from in the community, mindset, misconceptions, gave examples of how this could be handled. I wish I could fully recap a few of his shows for you. They are just so heartfelt and full of people sharing knowledge. We all learn from one another and it can help to hear experiences and background of so many. So many times it is about trying to understand how a person gets there and due to the autonomy on the show we can dig just that deep.

The Online Happy Hour is the only radio show I have seen that keeps the energy level it begins with throughout the show. I believe this can be hard to keep going as many times people clam up as different ideas are shared. However, in this environment and the set up that he has that doesn’t happen. Normally one of us is waiting to talk next which doesn’t leave any dead air time or silence. Andy does make sure although we are chatty in the studio, that the callers calling and people sending messages are being recognized as well and their opinions are discussed. It may very well be his show, but he does not tie his visitors to only one side of the story or restrict comments.  If you happen to miss the show you can catch it on DFWIRADIO.com by clicking on the demand tab and The Online Happy Hour tab. The shows are normally available for about a week after airing.

During the show there are commercial breaks playing commercials from people that were looking to advertise on his show to grow their market. I love hearing what is new and going on in the community through the advertisements. They are different then those you hear on other stations. If you are looking for a marketing piece for your business, he is also available for that as well. I can personally attest to this as I have seen my market grow while marking with The Online Happy Hour.

The topic today is Black History Month: Vol 3:Cultural Diversity or not and will be broadcasting live from Ten Eleven Grill tonight at 1011 Corinth Dallas, TX 75… from 6PM to 8 PM. Feel free to come out and join us as this venue is celebrating Fat Tuesday. No cover, gumbo, shrimp, catfish and drink specials.

Come out and join us today if you can. If you can’t don’t miss the topic today and every Tuesday evening after.

In March the show is moving to TMIRADIO.com and feel free to follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.


We Are Worthy Women

“Fear of flying will make you scared of your own heights.”


The Creator

She is a Dallas native and has had a love for poetry from a young age. This young lady is not only beautiful, but ambitious. She is a mom, a recognized poet, has her own fragrances, she has her poetry in book and cd format, and models. She travels the world currently to perform her poetry. She is always polite, stays smiling, and never lets the crowd down with her performances as a poet. She is always dressed to kill in a sexy, but classy outfit with heels. She is a true queen…her name is MasterPiece.

The Mission

It is a series of healing, through love, empowerment, and spiritual elevation. Women will come together as community to talk about our issues and how we can help ourselves and others face challenges and move forward as women of worth.

The Event

It takes place on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

It is for Women ONLY, FREE, and is a judgment free zone. This event is open to all ages, but some things that come up could be graphic in nature so please keep that in mind.

Ladies!!!! This is truly what many of you are seeking. No matter if you are new to Dallas or have been here all your life, we all search for a safe haven to just let our shoulders down and share our pain and joys we have experienced. So many times I hear women that have not been able to find a support system with other women due to certain issues that have come up. However, I urge you to attend this event with an open mind. This is the second series she has put on and the women that come are supportive, respectful. and looking to grow from one another. This event is structured in the way that she does have a speaker or two available to discuss key topics. It is laid back in the way that you are made welcome to get on the mic and speak, share your story, your opinion, or just partake. You are welcome to come as you are. I noticed there was no different treatment between those that were dressed coming from more than likely the business world or something more relaxed. It is open seating and offers you an opportunity to sit with women you many know or may not know. As the event moves forward there were handouts given and some group activities. I thought this was wonderful because many women came alone and this allows people a chance to interact. At times as women we can walk into an event like this and be nervous or a little anxious. Everyone was friendly and smiling. MasterPiece, her guest, and her assistant greeted the ladies which always helps someone feel more invited and ready to share. The event generally will have a topic of discussion, but there is time available to have open discussion and ask questions. She also ask us to share topics that we would like to discuss. MasterPiece not only shared her own story candidly, but was very engaged as women shared their thoughts and opinions. I loved, loved, loved this event. I think more than anything because when you can tell the creator is there for exactly what the event stands for you can feel that spirit in the atmosphere.

If you still aren’t considering… she has vendors there as well. This past Thursday the vendors had jewelry and books. They had also located a young lady that needed assistance and were accepting donations for that family on a volunteer basis.

 So this event isn’t always going to be what you can get out of it, but perhaps your words or contribution can help save someone else. We never know by looking at a person, what all they are enduring. Let’s support our fellow sisters, no matter the race, background, work status, clothing, assumed labels or stereotypes!!! I believe my tears of pain can help water the roots of another gals soul.

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The Location

Ten Eleven Grill @ 1011 Corinth Street  Dallas, TX 75215

This location is easily accessed from people coming from all over the DFW area. This venue is a homegrown business ran by the Bryant’s.. They have a wonderfully friendly staff, a menu that offers multiple options, a bar, tasty food, and an intimate setting. Ten Eleven has housed the first series as well. They fix all food fresh to order and is flavorful. I personally am not a wing person but love the wings there. They have items from cheese fries, jumbo shrimp, fish combos, and turkey burgers. The food is reasonably priced and comes with plenty of food.

I would like to give a personal thanks to her sponsors for the event. Universal Purpose which is a creator of fragrances and body lotions and Dynasty 2k Enterprise Philanthropy.

Thanks to the Queen herself for being willing to share herself and her story to help others heal. Everyone is not willing to do so for a greater purpose. DFW has been needing these types of events and I look forward to seeing this event continue to grow as well as growing with the group.

Masterpiece is doing so much. If you enjoyed what you read… I suggest you read the blog called F.L.O.W (please check on Facebook or her site for updates on this event) after her poetry event. I hope you will make it out to this event and check out the other things she is doing.

You can follow this beautiful soul at facebook.com/groups/weareworthywomen or contact her at


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