How Good Nutrition Slows Cognitive Decline

Your brain needs a variety of nutrients in order to develop and function properly. Almost everything you consume will directly or indirectly affect your brain. There is much evidence to suggest that what we do for the brain now can have a big impact on how it functions in the years, even decades, to come. A healthy diet has the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. Thereby delaying or protecting against age-related cognitive decline. Nutrition gives the brain the tools and building blocks it needs to perform vital actions like thinking, making memories, and repairing cell damage.

In order to be sure your brain has all the nutrients it needs to work properly, eat a wide variety of whole foods. This includes good sources of protein, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish, and other sources of healthy fats. A healthy diet that is low in fat and high in essential nutrients reduces the risk of memory loss, helps prevent strokes and boosts alertness.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
The healthy fats, omega-3s and omega-6s, found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit, provide many benefits. This includes improving learning and memory and helping to fight against such cognitive disorders such as dementia. Omega fatty acids are essential building blocks for the cell membrane of brain cells. They seem to reduce inflammation in the brain, as well as warding off the cognitive decline that often comes with age.


B VITAMINS
The B vitamins, particularly B12, B6, and Folate (B9), are critical for the cellular energy metabolism in the brain. B12 is important for a cell process called methylation, a basic chemical process that all cells, including brain cells, require to thrive. B12 also protects against age-related atrophy of brain cells and against damage to the brain’s white matter, which allows brain cells to communicate with each other. Without enough B12 in the brain, memory impairment sets in and gradually gets worse, leading to dementia. You can find Vitamin B6 in the highest quantities in potatoes, bananas, chickpeas, and oatmeal. You can find Folate in leafy greens, citrus fruits, peas, and beans.


PHYTOCHEMICALS/FLAVONOIDS
Phytochemicals are chemicals derived from plant sources that may help your memory. There are a number of types of phytochemicals. However, a key group that often acts as antioxidants is the flavonoids. You can find it in plant-derived foods like blueberries, apples, citrus fruits, and black and green tea. These compounds provide a multitude of health benefits to the body and brain. In addition, they play important roles in repairing damage in the brain by increasing levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce damage to cells in the brain.

ANTIOXIDANTS
The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage. Antioxidants and essential fatty acids help to protect your brain cells from everyday damage and age-related decline. Some studies have found that extracts from blueberries, strawberries, spinach, and blackberries have a strong antioxidant capacity. They may reverse the normal cognitive changes and memory problems that accompany the aging process.

CURCUMIN
Another type of flavonoid is a compound you may not have heard of, curcumin. You can find it in a common Indian spice and offers protection to the aging brain. Curcumin, nicknamed “The Spice of Mental Life”, is from the root of the tumeric plant. It benefits the brain by providing protection against neurological disorders. As an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-amyloidal agent, curcumin can improve cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


VITAMIN D
In addition to supporting bone health, vitamin D serves important functions in brain health. It is thought to protect the brain against cognitive deficits that come with age. Vitamin D also influences certain proteins that help in neuron growth and development and is involved in many other important aspects of brain function like synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory.

The best way to preserve our mental health in the future is to nourish our brains in the present. How we eat now can dramatically affect our brains. More and more evidence shows that people who maintain good nutrition throughout life have less risk for cognitive decline and other brain diseases as they age. It’s never too late to reverse some of the effects of poor nutrition. Also, the choices you make today will influence your body and brain in years to come. This shows that changes in diet can enhance cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging.

At Avanti Senior Living, the Avanti Green Kitchen offers meals with no grease or oil and no fried food. Meals include the freshest ingredients, no pre-made foods, taking into account the requests of the community. Find out more on the Avanti blog at: https://www.avanti-sl.com/

Content provided by Avanti Senior Living

Ushering in Fall and Embracing Seasonal Décor

As the fall season comes to fruition it seems only fitting that we transform our homes into a place of warm color schemes and comfortable textures. Combine these with some deep scents of baking and cooking, and you capture the magical formula of cozy. Because you must ask yourself, “what is it that we are truly trying to create in our homes?” It’s a place of comfort, a place that you feel safe and secure. A place where we can escape the mundane activities of the world outside the home. This space isn’t just created for your enjoyment, it is to welcome others into it and share. To give them access to a space of comfort and security while they are in your home.

Just as there is a changing of the seasons outside we too express the gearing up of the holidays indoors. It symbolizes the fact that we have made it through another summer, another start to a school year, and another transition of our lives. This is the season where families and friends are the focus.

Fall gives us a color pallet rich in variety, offering choices for each individual’s discerning taste. The length of the decorating season should run from September 1st until December 1st. It’s important to let autumn linger in your home. Do not rush into the next season of home decor, let your home radiate the true presence of the season we are in. There is a universal acceptance to rush Christmas décor in a home. The urgency that is placed on bringing the Christmas season into a home is a misconception. A reminder that Thanksgiving is a holiday of gathering and welcoming others should be granted permission to hold a significant presence in a home.

When it comes to outdoor decorating:
Garnish your doors with wreaths and your porches with real and faux pumpkins. Incorporate hay to create dimension and height. Scarecrows are always a fun choice as are metal signs. When buying be sure that your outdoor décor can withstand the elements. Polyurethane spray is always a good buy from your local hardware store. Applying this will help items with color avoid becoming sun-bleached by the end of the season.

Hosting opportunities:
With so many opportunities to host friends, use this season to reconnect with those that are important to you.

One idea is to host a Sunday football party. The time of day is perfect because it allows your guests the morning for church or other plans, and they will be able to leave at a decent hour to prepare for the start of their next week. Be sure to pre-set the table for snacks. Fill trays of appetizers and have several bowls of chips. Having everything done before guests arrive will mean that you can enjoy them while they are there.

Another idea could be to host a progressive dinner in your neighborhood. Each house is in charge of a different stage of the meal. Choose three other families or friends in the area and pitch the idea to them. Appetizer, Salad, Entrée, and Desserts. Draw out of a hat to assign the respective courses. Choose a genre of food and let the rest be the choice of each hosting home. Opening your homes in the fall season will help remind you of all that we are truly thankful for during this season.

Interior Decorating:
Set the stage of your social gatherings by having swags of magnolia leaves on your staircase or mantles. Swap out your family pictures, change them to pictures that are set outside. Use pictures from years gone by of Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations. Be sure to incorporate throw pillows and throw blankets. Layering your home creates depth. Have some pumpkins around inside your home too. Candles help to set the tone and the fragrance of your home, the season has amazing scents to choose from like apple strudel and pumpkin spice.

Color Trends of the season:
Navy, coral, spice and rich burgundies are all extremely popular. These colors are easy to find in wall art, lamps, pillows and accessories.

Quick Home Transformations:
There are several ways to completely transform your home without buying a lot. A set of lamps will dramatically change the space. You can update your home and replace lamps that might not be the look you’re currently trying to achieve. Another quick and easy way is to buy four throw pillows. You will be amazed by how much new pillows on your sofa or chair can change the look.

Remember your home is a reflection of who you are. You are the creator of the space, you share a part of your story each time someone is welcomed into your home. From the furniture you have to the color of your walls, it all leads back to you. This season of autumn invites you to open your home and let the love you have inside flow to others whom you welcome in. I wish for all of you to have a home filled with joy this season and to embrace the true meaning of the season as I also personally reflect with much gratitude for all that it is and always has been for me.

Happy Fall Y’all and Gobble ‘til you Wobble!

Author: Mallory Allison Dale is the owner of Laurie’s Home Furnishings in Tomball, Texas. Laurieshomefurnishings.com.

Technology with Heart

The power of positive thinking just became a real-time reality thanks to a new app that sends uplifting messages of support to those experiencing a difficult time in their life. Caring Band, created by Woodlands husband and wife team Lindsay and Charley Donaldson, is both a light up wristband and accompanying mobile app that allows anyone going through a challenging time to receive messages of strength and hope. The Caring Band app which launched this summer allows users to pick from a list of carefully preset messages to send to those they care about as often they come across their minds, such as ‘You’re on my mind’; ‘I just prayed for you’ and ‘Cheering you on today’. “The Caring Band app is a place for family and friends to send real-time notifications of love and support,” says Lindsay, co-founder and chief caring officer. “Often when a family member or friend is going through a hard time, you sometimes feel reluctant to reach out as you don’t know what to say. “With Caring Band, it’s done in a way that allows you to brighten their day without having to worry about what to write and without any pressure on the recipient to reply.” The connected wristband can be set to light and/or pulse to notify the band wearer when new messages are received. Using Bluetooth technology, the wristband wirelessly syncs to your smartphone to bring the power of positivity to life. “When you give someone a Caring Band, they will be uplifted each time their wristband lights up knowing that someone is sending positive thoughts and cheering them on,” says Lindsay.

The launch of the Caring Band app comes after the Donaldson’s were moved to do more after seeing several of their friends and family go through difficult times. “Like many others in the same situation, we did as much as we could, but always left wanting to do more, explains Lindsay. “Caring Band is unique in that it is not meant to replace a phone or smartwatch. “Together with the wristband, the app is designed to do one thing and one thing only, to lift the spirits of the person wearing it.”

One such recipient of the Caring Band is 11-year-old Sydney Hunter, who was diagnosed with Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer, in March of this year. Sydney, whose family lives in the Woodlands, is recovering from surgery to remove a golf ball size lump from her leg. Since her devastating diagnosis, Sydney had the opportunity to try out the Caring Band wristband and app. She has had incredible support from people all over the world sending her messages to cheer her on throughout her battle. “It’s amazing, I love it,” says Sydney of Caring Band. “It’s such a blessing to have so many people sending me messages. To think that sometimes people I don’t even know are supporting me is pretty cool.” Some of Sydney’s messages via the Caring Band app that have helped her stay strong are ‘Hugs to you today’, ‘I just prayed for you’ and ‘Thinking of you’. “It’s so heartwarming to know someone somewhere is praying for me at that moment. It’s been so awesome to have that kind of support,” she says. Sydney, who has just entered 6th grade, was thrilled to be able to start the school year with her friends following her latest surgery to remove the tumor this summer. “My friends at school are always nice to me, but since I got the Caring Band, I’ve been really grateful for the extra boost the messages have given me.”

Sydney Hunter

The Caring Band team has been busy distributing a number of prototype bracelets to pilot the product and gauge the initial response. “The feedback we have had so far has been extremely positive,” says Lindsay. “We are receiving wonderful responses both from those wearing the wristband and receiving messages via the app as well as those sending the messages.” Caring Band has also partnered up with a number of local non-profit groups to distribute wristbands and to raise awareness of the product. The Canopy Center, based at Memorial Hermann in the Woodlands, as well as cancer support charity Can Care, and The Tyler Robinson Foundation (founded and managed by members of the band Imagine Dragons), are among the first recipients of Caring Band wristbands. These three charities are involved in supporting cancer survivors, caregivers of survivors and help to enhance the quality of life for those affected by cancer. “We are delighted to be partnering up with these wonderful organizations to spread the Caring Band love,” says Lindsay. The Caring Band app is free to download now on IOS and Android platforms, while the Caring Band wristband will be ready to order in early 2020.

Pre-orders will be taken soon via the website: www.caringband.com. To receive updates and notifications on timings for pre-order, you can follow Caring Band on Instagram and Facebook.

Author: Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor joins the writing team at Interfaith following a career in journalism and public relations. Originally from Scotland, Jennifer moved to The Woodlands in 2012 having lived and worked in Asia for 5 years. She enjoys running, traveling and spending time with her husband and their two boys.

 

Introducing the Exclusive The Book The Woodlands Wish Guide

The Book The Woodlands is excited to announce that The Wish Guide, a chic, new companion publication of The Book will arrive in mailboxes this year WITH The Book The Woodlands!
The Wish Guide will resemble the beauty and sophistication of The Book with a thick matte cover and pages but in a more petite 7” X 10” size. The Book The Woodlands focuses on the people, businesses, and organizations that make The Woodlands an exceptional community while The Wish Guide will highlight unique local gift, dining and catering offerings available in The Woodlands to help you with your Holiday gift giving and entertaining.

Designed like a high-end department store look-book, the pictorial ads of must-have products and packages, engaging festive articles and community events calendar will make The Wish Guide an irreplaceable resource during the busy Holiday Season. Perfect to peruse again and again and durable enough to withstand sharing with friends, family, and guests. It is sure to find it’s rightful place on your coffee table during the Holidays with The Book TheWoodlands.

The Wish Guide will be direct mailed to area homes in The Woodlands as well as distributed in high-visibility locations throughout the area including Market Street and local hotels, reaching over 100,000 influencers locally.

The goal of The Wish Guide, as with all of the publications of Interfaith, is to raise money to serve our neighbors in need. Last year, with the help of our generous ad partners, Interfaith was able to serve over 8,000 individuals through the Holiday Giving program. “As our community needs rise, we at Interfaith continue to seek ways to build sustainability and grow revenue to provide the programs and services necessary to assist our neighboring families and seniors in crisis,” said Missy Herndon, President & CEO. “Through ad partnerships, businesses market their services and products, and fully fund the publishing of both The Book The Woodlands and now The Wish Guide. In turn, all proceeds of these publications fund Interfaith’s programs and services. We are so grateful to be in a community that cares.”

If you know of a business or event that should be considered for inclusion in The Wish Guide, please contact cmogler@woodlandsinterfaith.org

The Woodlands High School Youths “Summer Swish” in Italy

Four years ago an idea was formed by the assistant coach, David D’Allesandro, to organize a youth basketball tournament in Chieti, Italy. Raised in Chieti since he was 10 years old and then moving to The Woodlands in 2014, David would frequently get asked questions about US basketball and the differences with Italy. “I thought it would be nice for them to see with their own eyes. Bringing the two worlds together – what a better way than sports and teenagers?”

Houston Swish was formed alongside head coach Ferdinand “Yogi” Williams, a ten-year veteran coach from Phoenix, AZ including surrounding Houston areas. The next few months practices were held twice a week at Crossroads Church in Magnolia with AAU tournaments played in between. When asked about their preparation Yogi said, “These young men have displayed tremendous passion, intensity and dedication during the previous 3 months of skills training, conditioning, practices, scrimmages and games to prepare for this trip. No matter the size, athleticism or skill of our opponents these young men play together and execute a winning strategy because they believe in each other.”

On June 13th, the team was en route to Italy and within 24hrs of touching down they were off playing their first game. “This opportunity to travel abroad to Italy and experience basketball in a different environment with different rules, different languages and challenges was a priceless experience. I expected this trip to be a lifetime memory, but it also empowered these young men to overcome adversity, maximize their potential,” said Yogi, who then noted perhaps one of these boys may be inspired to play or coach basketball beyond high school.

Their two weeks abroad included more practices and scrimmages, but there was plenty of relaxing on the beach and exploring the beautiful town of Chieti. Chieti is amongst the ancient of Italian cities, situated in the Abruzzo region, a few kilometers away from the Adriatic Sea with the Majella and Gran Sasso mountains in the background. According to mythological legends, the city was founded in 1181 BC by the Homeric Greek hero Achilles and was named in honor of his mother, Thetis. It was called Theate.

When the captain of the team was asked to share his favorite experience about this trip, Federico D’Allesandro a sophomore at The Woodlands High School responded, “Since we moved to The Woodlands I felt like I belonged to two different and separate worlds. My Italian friends and then my friends from the US. It was amazing to see how quickly and easily these “worlds” merged together though! I was also very happy that there were true connections made between my two groups of friends. I have a feeling these two groups will be seeing each other again.”

Summer Fun for Dads and Grads

Looking for a new and different experience for the Dad or Grad in your life this summer? Check out some of the hidden gems in our area for a new adventure to share with your special someone.

Take Flight- Helicopter Academy– Learn to fly a helicopter at the Helicopter Academy at the Conroe Regional Airport. An introductory flight lesson is $350 and includes an hour of ground instruction and a 30-minute flight. If learning to fly isn’t on your bucket list, try a 30-minute photo tour for two for $300. While you are there enjoy a bite to eat at the Black Walnut Café on the rooftop and watch the planes land and take off. For more information contact Matt Goodwin 602.432.1968, www.thehelicopterschool.com

 

Chef for a Day- TRIS- Experience a master at work. Shadow award-winning Chef Austin Simmons as Chef for the Day at TRIS The Woodlands. A personalized package may include selecting the cuisine and technique you would like to learn, prepping with Chef Austin and then tasting your creation at lunch, followed by a dinner at Cureight that evening. Price varies but starts at $400. For more information, visit www.triswoodlands.com or call 281.203.5641

 

Virtual Reality Lounge- Emergent VR Encounter- For the video game enthusiast, immerse yourself in virtual reality in the high-tech gaming lounge at Emergent VR Encounter. Featuring an expansive game library there is something for everyone. www.emergentvrencounter.com

Burn Some Energy- Texas TreeVentures- The new ropes course nestled in the trees at Rob Fleming Recreation Center in Creekside Park will have you soaring to new heights. The aerial challenge course is surrounded by the George Mitchell Nature Preserve and has adventures for both youths and adults. www.texastreeventures.com

 

Catch Some Air- Hangar 9 Wake Park- Just north of The Woodlands off I-45 is a hidden cable wake park, perfect for beginners to try wakeboarding. Don’t worry, if you are already a seasoned professional they have plenty of jumps and options for you as well. www.hangar9wakepark.com

 

Become a Warrior- Texas Axe Throwing– Yes, axe throwing is a thing, and it is now offered in The Woodlands. Texas Axe Throwing offers 2-hour “axe-periences” with expert Axe Masters available for individuals ages 12 and up. Winners earn the title of Lumber Queen or King. www.texasaxe.com

Father’s Day Fashion Finds

It’s dad’s turn! For Father’s Day I have rounded up my top 5 fashionable gifts to help celebrate the man in your life:

Bombas Tie Die Calf Socks: 4 pack, $45.60
Tie die is a big trend in women’s fashion for 2019, why not carry it over for the men?

Personalized Men’s Braided Bracelet with engraved circular beads: $79.95
Masculine and sentimental. Perfect.

The Greats Royale White Sneakers $179
If the man in your life does not own a pair of white sneakers place this on the top of your gift list. Perfect with jeans, joggers, summer suits, and shorts. This will be the perfect summer staple in his closet.

Cubitts Tortoiseshell “Ampton” sunglasses $165
A celebrity favorite brand, these Wayfarer sunnies are a classic and fashionable year round.

Carl Friedrik Weekend Bag $565
The perfect bag for a few nights away. Duffels are making their mark in the fashion world and this Italian, handmade weekender does not disappoint.

Inspiring Mom Winner

Inspiring Mom Winner Gayle Fisher, founder of Special Need Sibs was nominated by her friend Dawn Candy. Dawn highlighted some of Gayle’s inspiring qualities in her nomination.

“I would like to nominate my friend Gayle Fisher. She is a mom of two beautiful humans. Her son is autistic and Gayle works with him every day to teach him how to experience life and live every day understanding consequences for all behaviors and responses. She is patient, kind and loving and shares her experiences with other moms and families so they know they are not alone.

She inspires me every day watching her raising her children and encouraging other families to be loving, accepting and kind to each other.”

Candy shares that Gayle started a nonprofit in our community specifically for siblings of special needs children to make sure they have the opportunities to enjoy being kids, the opportunity to make new friends and find the support they need to navigate feelings as a sibling of a special needs child.

Gayle Fisher, The Book Inspiring Mom Winner said about being chosen as the winner, “Raising kids who thrive needs the Village, the whole team.  We share our ups and downs, joys and sorrows, victories and challenges. Together. With humor and humility. There really is no other way.”

Thank you to Dawn Candy for your nomination and Gayle Fisher for providing inspiration to The Book The Woodlands readers. Both women will be receiving a gift certificate for Shop at Market Street.

 

Woodlands Franchisee Named Among Top 50 in the US

Woodlands entrepreneur and The Book The Woodlands Ad Partner Mary Beth Motisi is the essence of hard work and integrity having just been named as one of the top 50-franchise owners in the country.

Mary Beth is the owner of the Online Trading Academy (OTA) Houston, and is a shining example of where sheer determination and strength of character can lead you in the business world, having been selected out of thousands of nominees for the esteemed place in the top 50.

The accolade of ‘Franchise Rockstar’, awarded by the Franchise Business Review, is a valued benchmark of success for Mary Beth. “I was surprised and thrilled as it was totally unexpected,” says Mary Beth on the news of her achievement. “It’s very touching to have received that level of respect from my Franchisor.”

Franchise Business Review analyzed over 27,000 franchisee surveys across more than 300 leading franchise brands. Each entrant is given a score based on business excellence, community engagement, and franchise leadership skills. The top 50 are the best of the best in franchising today. “There are so many fantastic success stories out there; it was painful to narrow our list down to just 50 Rockstar Franchisees,” said Michelle Rowan, President of Franchise Business Review.

OTA is the world leader in financial education for investors looking to build life-changing skills designed to aid investments in the financial and real estate markets. Courses are geared toward individual investors or traders, novice or experienced, who want to learn how to use similar tools and trading techniques as the professional traders on Wall Street.

Students as young as 13 up to 92 years of age, learn under the guidance of experienced traders in an interactive classroom setting with extensive online education resources.

“Being a student at OTA changed my life and I wanted to bring that same opportunity to others,” explains Mary Beth. “The beauty of the markets is that there is an equal opportunity for everyone. I have been a Franchisee for 9 years and every year I am amazed at the innovation put forth by this organization to build on our students’ success and network development.”

In October 2018, Mary Beth was the recipient of the highest honor awarded to an OTA team member, the Above and Beyond Award, which is given to network members who make a major contribution to the entire Online Trading Academy business.

Online Trading Academy Chief Operating Officer, Gene Longobardi, hailed Mary Beth as a credit to their entire system. “I am so proud of Mary Beth and all she and her team have accomplished in Houston”, he said. “She knows her students first-hand because she engages regularly with them to support all of their educational needs. It would be hard to imagine a more deserving candidate for this recognition.”

Yet success has not come without trials for Mary Beth. Her life changed drastically at the young age of 14, when her father suffered a stroke and her parents sold their home for a single-story condominium. Mary Beth was forced to mature quickly and made the decision to move into her own apartment upon graduating high school. She began working as a Manager Trainee at McDonald’s when she was 20 years old, which turned out to be the most valuable education she could have ever received. “I worked really, really, really hard,” says Mary Beth. “College could not have compared to the work experiences, and the specialized education McDonald’s provided.”

In 2000 Mary Beth got involved in the stock market. She suffered a big loss in the beginning, so was eager to learn more when she came across Online Trading Academy. After graduating with much success from the OTA program, the VP of Business Development, Ralph Loberger called her and offered her the opportunity of a lifetime.

“We met for lunch and the next thing I knew, I was moving to Texas from Wisconsin as the new owner of the Houston Franchise,” she says. “Moving across the country by myself was an adjustment and starting a new business without the support of your family and friends by your side was very difficult.”

After her many years of hard work and personal development, Mary Beth shares some of her tips for making your business work.

“Someone once asked me ‘what makes you successful’? My reply was “you need five things – good common sense, a strong work ethic, good people skills, high standards, and a good coach. You have to dig deep, learn and master the skills you need and have love and passion for what you do.”

“I am proud of the community and fellowship we have among our staff, students and network,” says Mary Beth. “I not only received the opportunity to build an amazing business, but I also gained a loving family. I love who we are, what we do, and how we do it.”

To learn more about OTA Houston, visit:
www.tradingacademy.com/houston/

Jennifer Taylor joins the writing team at Interfaith following a career in journalism and public relations. Originally from Scotland, Jennifer moved to the Woodlands in 2012 having lived and worked in Asia for 5 years. She enjoys running, traveling and spending time with her husband and their two boys.

 

Inspiring Mom- Jo Anne Johnson

What has been your most challenging part of motherhood?

Especially as your kids grow older, I would say it’s teaching them virtues in failure – allowing them to accept and own consequences for their decisions/actions, yes, but also encouraging them to rise up to their God-given potential, and you only get there by trying.  “The only true failure is when you stop trying,” as my parents would say.  Allowing them to fail is one part of this, but leading by example is the flip side of that coin… They’re always watching, so how do I accept life challenges as an incredible opportunity?  Ultimately, we’re teaching our children to stand on their own two feet with strength and confidence in knowing God made them with special intention and purpose, so “rise up” and make the world a better place.

 

What inspires you as a mom?

I’m inspired by Holiness in others, and am inspired by the reality that, by a divine plan, we were chosen to be mothers for our children… What an awesome responsibility as both Nurturer and Teacher!  I am blessed by great friendships and believe me, I take notes from friends with older kids… They’ve encountered life situations and instilled values where I can see their kids flourishing, and it’s super inspirational.  And not just great testimonies for hard work paying off with college or career opportunities, but awesome examples in volunteerism, stewardship.  If I open my eyes, there are ordinary people doing extraordinary things every day.

 

How do you find time for yourself/spouse/children?

I heard this years ago, and have never forgotten it:  “How do you spell Love?  T-I-M-E.”  A professional business coach also made this sobering point, “Your family deserves what’s best of you, not what’s left of you” when you walk in the door.  That awakened my senses, and inspired me to structure my business so that I am present… I love to escape with my son and do things he wants to do – just mother/son time.  Admittedly, a gun range or video game challenge is not always my cup of tea, but there’s a lot of sharing!  With my daughter, she likes foodie outings, and have done quick overnight trips together – very special.  And hubs… We try to find simple moments like coffee on the back patio before the house wakes up, or a quiet dinner together.  We even took a dance lesson in the last year. 😉  Lastly, self-care… I think many mothers would admit self-care often times comes last, and am reminded of the airplane analogy of putting an oxygen mask over our face first so we can help others around us.  We’re not effective serving others unless we’re taking care of ourselves.  It’s a work in progress.

 

What are your favorite things to do/places to spend time with your children in our community?

I would say one of our favorite things to do as a family is going out to eat together!  What does that say about us?! HA!  We live in a resort-like community, so we’ve enjoyed a lot of fun outings through the years… July Fourth parade is an annual tradition, picnics or concert-going in the park, being a spectator at professional golf tournaments, church socials… Window-shopping around Market Street… Volunteering as a family… So many wonderful venues and memories to create!

 

What advice would you give new moms?

Oh my… I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice, but would simply say to “be present.”  I look back in the early years of my current career when my kids were young, and it’s a blur. I was inspired to get into a coaching program, which allowed me to implement better systems and structure.  One of the core principles I was coached on included creating a Perfect Calendar.  So, that would be my advice… Make sure your top priorities are on your calendar – time for yourself and time for your family.  Other activities, work commitments, etc, will fall in place around the latter.

 

Jo Anne grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on a full-ride music scholarship while simultaneously pursuing a professional career as a violinist with The Lincoln Symphony Orchestra among other solo & ensemble outlets. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, Jo Anne continued a professional music career while exploring a “daytime” career in Corporate America with a Fortune 500 Company. Within a short period, her tenure in insurance claims included: National Catastrophe claims, Fire/Auto claims, Special Investigation, Attorney Negotiations, and Management. Since 1996 Jo Anne has worked, lived, and played in The Woodlands.  She began her real estate career in 2008 which she has grown into a top-producing team – Jo Anne Johnson Real Estate Group.  Married for over 20 years to Troy, a native Houstonian, whom she met in Denver, CO, on business in the early ‘90s, Jo Anne is also the proud mother of two amazing kids! Between band practices and sports fields, she considers herself the luckiest woman in the world!

 

 

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