Tag Archives: New Orleans

A ‘Model Citizen’ – The Greenlight Projects shares inspiration today with Philanthropist, Author & Chef, Jayda “Divva” Cabbell

Helping someone with problems bigger than mine”, is the motto that drives

Jayda 'Divva' Cabbell

philanthropist, entrepreneur and chef, Jayda Cabbell to devote herself to helping others in need.  “If I can bring an ounce of sunlight to someone whose having a dark moment by just being me, then I’ve done my job!” It is this amazingly inspiring perspective that influences this humble ‘butterfly’ to remain happy & humble through all circumstances! And trust, she’s had her share of situations and circumstances.

Jayda “Divva” Cabbell, (wife, mother, community servant, personal chef, entrepreneur, author, speaker and humble butterfly), migrated to Atlanta by way of New Orleans via Hurricane Katrina. Upon arrival she knew immediately that it would be a struggle continuing her company Divva Dishes in a city as large as Atlanta, instead of feeling sorry for herself and her four children she decided to help others facing greater problems than her own. She began feeding the homeless right outside of the hotel she was living in and gained a clientele with the homeless and hungry before she could even begin branding Divva Dishes.

Once Jayda got on her feet, she took her mission further by going inside the homes of less fortunate families.  Jayda, full of sunshine and love, went into these homes supplying them with a new dinner table, and preparing a meal for the family while teaching the children etiquette and basic kitchen skills.
“I created this experience to bring families to the table and to show others, you can still be fly and fabulous while utilizing your gifts to help others,” she explains. Jayda understands her gift is in the art of inspiration. Everything she does is about inspiring others.

Jayda has written a cook book memoir titled “What Storm Are You Talking About? Life After Hurricane Katrina”, which features Cajun and Creole recipes that she has created or critiqued, along with inspirational tales of trials and triumph. The book will be available early 2011.

In addition to the various programs under her non-profit foundation (BITS), Jayda also gives hours of service to other non-profits, churches and community programs.  She loves traveling to prepare her signature dishes for those in need. Her ultimate goal is to inspire others to Give, Live & Love.  While living up to being a “Divva” with two V’s!!

You can catch Jayda and her inspiring story today at 11am ET on The Greenlight Project with media entrepreneurs Tamika & Rochelle on Blogtalk Radio.  You can also visit Jayda’s website for more information at http://www.jaydacabbell.com/.

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Recap – The Essence Music Festival

By: Portia aka Intern Tia Tia

Beyonce' at Essence Festival

One word. Phenomenal!  That’s all I have to say about the production of this year’s Essence Music Festival, held in the musical and cultural city of New Orleans, as it’s held every year – did not disappoint.  TWS Media sleuths was on the pulse at the “One Night Only” event hosted by actress, Cynthia Garrett, ready to give a great recap of the happenings, partyin’, dancin’, jazzin’ and celebratin’ promised to take over the city.  Katrina’s imprint is still felt as evidenced by many of the physical areas around this city, but could not damage the spirits that sang and danced throughout it.

Beyonce’ Knowles, headlined the concert shouting, “Put your hands up!!”, and that was all she wrote!  Beyonce’ danced back and forth in her 4 inch heels, singing “Put a Ring on it.”  As the camera turned to the crowd you could see women putting their hands in guys face twisting it back and forth as Beyonce’ instructed them too. Too funny!  My only question is what kind of hair extensions does she have because it was just flowing and I didn’t see any braids for a sew in? Nice job Bey’s stylist!

It was so much talent and star power from old school to new school, a music lovers dream! EnVogue, Ne-Yo, Jazmine Sullivan, Salt-N-Pepa, John Legend, Charlie Wilson, Al Green, Teena Marie and Robin Thicke all blessed the stage on this musical evening.  And speaking of EnVogue, the ladies came out in all black swaying back and forth while singing, one of their number one hits, “My Lovin” (You’re Never Gonna Get It).   Next they sang “Free your mind.”  This ensemble really took me back!

In other news, Alicia Keys was said to take a plunge…makes me recall that song she sings, “I Keep on Fallin’”….Okay, seriously, she took a fall, but apparently was so smooth with it that it looked as if it was all part of the performance.  And her reps say that her and baby are doing fine.

Trey Songz & T.I. shut down Carol’s Daughter’s “Toast to Women” event which brought out

Trey Songz & T.I. @ 2010 Essence Music Festival - Necole Bitchie

the likes of Tameka Raymond, Jada Pinkett-Smith and of course, the fabulous Mary J. Blige who debut her latest fragrance, “My Life”, which is a Carol’s Daughter collaboration. Go Mary!

Then came one of my favorites, John Legend, hello! “Let’s get lifted,” I wonder if he sang that for me? Now was he fly or what; we even share something in common, DIMPLES!!!!  When he sang, “Green Light,” a song that shares a special place in the heart of TWS Marketing Communications UnAgency!  Catch us live every Friday at 11 am EST to The Greenlight Project on Blog talk radio.

Overall this Annual, “One Night Only”, Essence Musical Festival was off the charts!  Hip Hop, R&B, Oldies, Old School and New School were in the building! Each and every artist truly did a great job!!! After watching a show like this it shows you that Hip Hop isn’t dead! All these genres of music are all similar in a certain extent so let’s keep jammin!  I cannot wait until the Annual Essence Musical Festival!  Great job Essence!!!

For Once Bigger is Better

Most mornings I start with a quiet prayer for myself, my day and my family. Then depending how early it is, I get up from bed and head down to my home office to get my work day started. That’s usually followed by daily inspirational moments with Steve Harvey of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show and Frank Ski, a local Atlanta morning drive personality on V-103. And, if I’m really in need to stay focused on the positive, I tune into the Yolanda Adams morning show. The encouragement and uplifting messages shared in these morning inspirations allow me to reflect on what’s happening in my life – good or bad. When my thinking is focused on the challenges in my life, I can get comfort in knowing that I am covered and “this too shall pass. And, when I think about the great things happening, I take time to give thanks and honor the source from which the blessings flow. So, I am grateful to all of the people mentioned and those I have not, who help feed my spiritual connection throughout my day.

Well another radio personality, Morris in the Morning on WCLK’s 91.9 FM touched me this week, when he ended his show, as he does most mornings, giving mention to the fact that his show is never about him because it’s so much bigger than him. And that sentiment stuck with me.

Later on that day or the following, I was checking my facebook page, as I do a few times a day, to find notification of a message. Well this wasn’t the usual message from someone new or old finding me on facebook; or a request or notice of an event; or a request to do something from my ND family, my Kennedy Cougar family or my real family for which I am leading some event for. This message was different. It said,

We knew each other briefly at ND but all I can remember is what a “presence” you were then… I wish you all the best with your company and you have my full support. (I think women should tell each other that every now and then.)

This message from a woman I barely know truly touched me because it reminded me again that my life work and who I am so much BIGGER than me. And I say thanks to my inspiration for allowing me to touch people. I do not take the blessing or responsibility lightly! And for once, I celebrate my BIGGER and not stress over the other issues I have with being bigger!

Who reminds you that it’s BIGGER than you?

I Owe It All To You Ma!

by Rochelle Valsaint

I think my Facebook profile description does a really good job of summing up who I am.

Visionary. All American Woman. Wife.

Mommi. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Friend.

This Woman’s Work is never done!

And, I can say that my calendar and to-do list fully reflect all of these roles. I could also add to that description that with this full life, there is never a dull moment. And, that’s certainly been the case this Spring with juggling my leadership role as the Black Alumni of Notre Dame Chairwoman and the growth of TWS Marketing Communications and Media.

But, as I reflect this week, I think less about what I’m able to cram into my life and more and more about the blessings I have been able to enjoy in my life because of one of my greatest role models, Barbara, my mother.

To know who I am really is to know the amazing life story that she had as a foster child, turned guardian to 4 younger siblings at twenty-one years of age at the same time she began her journey in motherhood with her own young child (my older sister, Staci). She’s one of thirteen, and the backbone of our very matriarchal family. She was subjected to an abusive relationship before finding the love of her life, my Daddy, Johnny. And, once on the other side some very traumatic circumstances, she managed to put all the hurt of her past behind her and create the most, loving and wonderful environment for myself and my sisters.

She not only went on to create a great life for us, she is the one that showed me what entrepreneurship looked like. She launched a business, Barbara’s Hair Care and Nails in our home town of New Orleans, that would start as a contribution to my father’s income as a truck driver and eventually top his salary and sometimes be the breadwinner of the household. She helped take our family from a working class family in New Orleans to a middle class family. But, she never let her ego dominate or cause problems in the beautiful relationship she had with my father. And, while doing her work as a wife, mother, friend and oh so many other roles, she always made sure our door was open to all those she loved. That door open policy was the foundation of the Thursday-Sunday gatherings at our home most weekends, always a meal, libations, a place for the kids to play, somewhere to get your dance, laugh and eat on. She has become a big sister and mother figure to many.

Things have slowed down for her a bit since my father passed in 2003. But, the family that’s here in Atlanta as well as those that come in town to visit, all still know that Barbara’s house is where you go to get fed. And, I’m not just talking food. My mother feeds your mind, body and spirit in one visit. You leave full and satisfied. And, you look forward to the next visit.

So if anyone was wondering where I am on weekends, most of the time you’ll find me at her address, after I’ve finished my week of to-do’s and meetings, getting fed. At the same time, I am taking notes to make sure that I have what it takes to continue the tradition she has started by living her life so boldly and generously. I always say if I can be half the woman my mother is, I might actually be doing something!

Love you Ma!