Spokane Metro Woman Blog

Youthful Living at Any Age with Dena Abdallah

Youthful Living at Any Age with Dena Abdallah

Cheers to 50 years, Youthful Living at Any Age

Spokane businesswoman Dena Abdallah has kept her age close to the vest for many years. It’s not unusual for women to be guarded about their age. But in Abdallah’s case she had an additional incentive: maintaining an illusion. As she grew older she began to discover that most people who ventured to do so generally guessed that she was much younger than her actual age.  And she saw no reason to expose their misconception.

But the cat is now out of the bag — Abdallah has decided to come clean, mainly due to coincidence: she turns 50 the day after her local, small business advertising magazine, “Metro Woman,” publishes it’s 50th — and final — issue.  So what is her secret to preserving her youthful appearance? 

“Spend as much time as you can with your kids, laugh every time you get a chance” Abdallah, a single mother of four, suggested. “Nurture hobbies and friendships. And be sure to hold a baby every chance you get!”

Maintaining a positive mental attitude is key.
“You have to make your own sunshine!” she said.

Tips for Youthful Living at Any Age

Think Positive:
1. Keeping a youthful appearance begins with your state of mind so be sure to take time every day to nourish your spiritual and mental health.  I utilize prayer, meditation, and time in my garden to stay refreshed!

2. Nurture hobbies and friendships.  Life can get so busy at times that we lose track of the most important connections. Call a friend today to schedule some girl time!


3. Let’s face it, we can’t eat them same way we did when we were teenagers.  Make an effort to eat fresh fruits and vegetables each day.  My favorite snacks are raw fruits, veggies and nuts!

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  And I am talking about purified water here ladies. That means coffee, wine, and pop do NOT count. 


Take Care of Your Skin: 

5. Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine.  Sorry, but they are incredibly drying to the skin.
6. Never underestimate the importance of using high quality skin care products when cleaning and moisturizing.  Skip drug store products and pay a little extra to get natural and organic products.
7. Most importantly take steps every day to keep the sun off your face.  Apply sunscreen every day (year round) to your face and neck. For best results I recommend clear liquid zinc.
8. TOP TIP – take care of your neck as well as you do your face because it will how age before your face if you don‘t give it equal attention.
9. If you are wearing the same styles you wore ten years ago your clothes are making you look older. Make an honest assessment of your wardrobe, or better yet ask a younger friend or your kids. I find the advice of my teenage daughters to be invaluable.  Invest in at least one new outfit each season to keep your wardrobe fresh and up to date.


10. Are you wearing your makeup the same way you did in high school?  If your answer is yes, then you are making yourself look older.  Consult a professional makeup artist for updates, magazines and Pinterest are also a wonderful resource.
11. Eyebrows get bushier and the color fades as we age.  Get your brows professionally waxed and tinted (not too dark) on a regular basis. 
12. Less is more so choose a lipstick which matches the inside of your lip and eyeshadows in natural browns or greys.  Avoid bright or dark eyeshadows which will only accentuate wrinkles and shadows around your eyes.

Onward and Upward in 2016!
One single mother takes the next step in a successful business career

Spokane is a big, all-American town wrapped in a small town vibe, at least that’s how businesswoman and entrepreneur Dena Abdallah views her hometown. 
And that’s the way she’d like it to stay. For the past four years Abdallah has been doing her part to bring small businesses together and develop a sense of business community, while connecting them with the customers they seek through her advertising magazine, “Metro Woman.”  Now, however, that chapter of Abdallah’s career is drawing to a close as she sets her sights on yet another new career path.

Abdallah has worn many hats during her long and multifaceted business career. Now, after trying on a new hat to see how it feels, she has decided that a career as a real estate broker is the perfect fit for the next phase of her life.

“I love everything about it,” she said of the real estate business.

“It was really a good time for me to go back into business so I can have more flexibility while raising my kid alone ,” she said. So in 2011, Abdallah purchased “Metro Woman,” and donned the hat of magazine publisher. The first issue was released that September.  The intent of the magazine, Abdallah said, was to “create something organic to Spokane” that offered small local businesses an affordable way to reach customers. In particular, that segment of the population with the strongest buying power: woman age 50-65, who, according to Abdallah, make 85 percent of consumer purchasing choices. “If you go buy a couch, who is ultimately going to make the decision?” Abdallah pointed out.

Metro Woman’s goal was to help businesses reach out to new customers in that market. New customers, according to Abdallah, are the “lifeblood” of small business. 
“As much as we hear about repeat business, you also need to always be bringing new people in,” Abdallah said, noting that existing customers can move away or have a change in lifestyle where they no longer need a businesses products or services. “Businesses need to be reaching new people.” Advertisers have noted how the magazine reached out and draw people new to the Spokane area — retirees or military families — to their business. “It was invaluable to them,” Abdallah said.

Magazine articles focused on “keeping it real,” such as local businesswomen in the community who had done things to give back. Abdallah avoided what she called “fantasy-based” articles, like those claiming rapid weight loss or unrealistic age reduction techniques.  She considers her efforts with Metro Woman a success.
“I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish,” Abdallah said. “Now I’m moving on to the next challenge.”

Abdallah had always wanted to try her hand was real estate, and in 2013 she decided to earn her real estate brokers license. “I have considered a career in real estate since I was young.  A home is one of the largest purchases a person will make in their lifetime,” Abdallah said. “I just love the process of helping people find their dream home.” She realized being a Realtor was a passion she had always held, if not acted upon. Until now. With the Metro Woman franchise nearly behind her, she can pursue her new real estate career full-time. “I’m excited to focus on real estate more and to be working with more people,” she said.

Although she has been working part time with Choice Realty, Abdallah will be making the jump to Live Real Estate LLC in the Spokane Valley to pursue her full-time real estate career. It’s a new career for an ageless woman entrepreneur who has worn many hats. Change is inevitable, especially aging, even if some of us don’t show it as much as others. It doesn’t bother Abdallah. “It’s never too late to take a different path,” she said. 

Back when Metro Woman was just a concept, I had no idea how much fun I would have on this journey, and I want to take this opportunity to personally thank each and every person who has been a part of it. I appreciate each business owner who has chosen our publication to advertise in. Without their faith in this “little magazine with a big heart,” none of my success would be possible. Each month my goal has been to share the story of a local woman business owner and I am deeply grateful to each woman who has been willing to be featured on our magazine cover.  I also want to thank my friends and family who encourage me along on this journey. Without their support I know this would not be possible.Last and most important, I want to thank all of you – our readers. Without you there would be no reason to publish.

Cheers to YOU! I wish you all the best of success and and abundance of joy in NEW YEAR!

Dena Dennis-Abdallah

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Urban Farm House in Downtown Spokane

Urban Farm House in Downtown Spokane

Two Women Vintage Goods was founded by a mother-daughter team, Diana and Fielding Chelf, and these two ladies have filled the store to the brim with tasteful treasures.

Hearkening back to a simpler time, Two Women Vintage Goods has offered an old time General Store type experience in Downtown Spokane for the past four years.
While other locally owned stores have sadly closed, Two Women are expanding their endless variety of vintage goodies to 3000 sq ft as they double in size by expanding into the space next door (formally Carousel Vintage Clothing). “We purchased 50 feet of antique General Store Shelving at auction for the new space and are eager to fill every niche with vintage-y goodness.”

Two Women Vintage Goods has something for everyone:  gifts, stocking stuffers galore, and unique holiday décor for your home. 

Local women have enjoyed the variety Two Women offer and agree they have something for everyone: home décor, fine antiques and vintage, hand crafted jewelry, kitchen supplies, potpourri and soap, candles, glassware, gifts,  and novelty items all with a vintage flare. 

The jewelry selection and is home to three local designers who feature their unique designs:  Fielding Chelf (featured on the cover),  Erin Campbell of Ladybird Designs and Amy Mickelson of Strung-Way Beyond Pearls.

The Country and Retro Kitchen Supply Department offers everything you need to add style to your kitchen.  For example they have a variety of vintage inspired utilitarian items like cutting boards, measuring cups towels and lovely aprons.


Owner Diana Chelf is an accomplished artist who creates “grain painting” or “graining” which is the practice of imitating wood grain on a non-wood surface in order to increase that surface’s aesthetic appeal. She also creates beautiful framed scissor-cuttings known as Scherenschnitte.

What can women expect to see in the new expansion? “We look forward to offering more furniture and will stock both new (vintage inspired) vintage and antique furniture. The new space will include a gallery space for photography.  Most importantly we are creating a larger Holiday Décor section and want to be known for unique, quality holiday décor:  bottle brush trees, nostalgic items from 50’s, felt stockings, tinsel trees, vintage tinsel and ornaments.“

Two Women have handpicked Spokane’s finest vintage vendors to share their new space.  Renee Cebula of “Raising the Bar” will offer her Vintage Bar Ware.  Look for Spokane’s finest handmade artisan candles Bugalow Candleworks by Tori Bailey.  We were excited to discover Becky Ellis is bringing her German glass glitter paper creations over from PINK.

Everyone is invited to the Grand Opening of the enlarged retail space Friday November 13th from 5 pm to 9 pm. This event is sponsored by Metro Woman and will give you an opportunity to tour the new space and enjoy an evening of friends, food, fabulous shopping and fun giveaways. 

Two Women Vintage Goods is hosting their 5th COUNTRY CHRISTMAS Antiques Arts & Crafts Sale at the Moran Prairie Grange (6106 S Palouse Hwy Spokane WA)  on November 28 & 29 (see ad page 8). One dollar of each admission price will be donated to the Moran Prairie Grange Restoration Project.

Fielding and Diana have been associated with the Moran Prairie Grange since they moved to Spokane and have been faithfully donating their time to care for the Grange Sadly the maintenance budget was mis-managed for a time during which parts of the building were torn apart, and then no money was available to continue the repairs.  The biggest project will involve replacing the insulation in the ceiling to lower the heating bills.

Currently the Grange survives on rental fees from weddings and other group meetings such as 4-H, Boy Scouts, and memorial services.  It provides a commercial kitchen which makes it the most affordable event rental space on the South Hill.  If your group would like to rent the space please contact one of the ladies at Two Women for more information. 

Two Women have organized three annual events at the Grange which have all raised funds for the buildings restoration. The events are The Strawberry Festival in June and Art on the Prairie and Country Christmas in the fall. These events have been a wonderful way to enjoy the history of the Grange and to ensure the building survives to serve generations to come. 

Two Women Vintage Goods
112 S Cedar Street, Spokane WA 99201
(509) 624-4322


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Autumn Baking Trends Worth Falling For

Autumn Baking Trends Worth Falling For Autumn Baking Trends Worth Falling For

As the seasons shift from summer to fall, you can begin looking forward to warm flavors and fresh inspiration with new takes on favorite comfort foods inspired by the 2015 Baking and Decorating Trends from the Wilton Test Kitchen. Check out a few fall favorites, featuring trend-worthy flavor combinations we’re sure you’ll fall in love with too.

Middle Eastern and North African flavors have become increasingly popular ingredients in baking and other sweet treat making. Wilton’s Cinnamon and Aleppo Pepper Braided Loaf recipe is reminiscent of classic cinnamon bread, but served with a side of sass as it weaves in a mild, almost citrus-like heat with Aleppo peppers.

For dessert, tap in to the “fruitful possibilities” trend with this Hard Apple Cider Tart. The tart plays up crisp, light apple flavor with a refreshing bite of hard cider. Produce sections are piled high with ever-expanding selections of fruit. Each type boasts its own signature flavor, texture, fragrance and color.

For more flavor and recipe inspiration, visit wilton.com/treatology.

Cinnamon and Aleppo Pepper Braided Loaf
Serves: 12-14

6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon crushed Aleppo pepper

1 package (16 ounces) hot roll mix
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare 9-by- 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable spray.

In small bowl, stir together butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon and Aleppo pepper bowl until well combined.

In large bowl, stir together hot roll mix and included yeast packet. Add water, butter, egg and egg yolk; stir until dough forms (dough will be very sticky). Turn out onto well-floured surface and knead 1/2 cup flour in until smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Roll dough into 20-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough surface. Roll up from long end as for cinnamon rolls, pinching seam and ends to seal. Cut log in half lengthwise. Twist pieces together and place in prepared pan in “S” shape, tucking ends under. Cover pan and let rise in warm area 15 minutes.

Uncover loaf and bake 30- 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes then turn out onto grid to cool completely.

Hard Apple Cider Tart
Serves: 10-12

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 medium red baking apples, such as Braeburn, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick

1 bottle (12 ounces) hard apple cider
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare 9-inch tart pan with vegetable spray.

In large bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour; stir until just combined. Evenly press into bottom and up sides of pan. With fork, prick dough all over. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Remove tart from refrigerator; bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

In small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. Arrange apples in tart pan in overlapping circular pattern, working from outside in. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake on cookie sheet 55-60 minutes until apples are soft and crust is golden brown.

While tart bakes, make glaze. In large skillet, cook cider over medium heat until liquid has reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add corn syrup and sugar. Stir continuously until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.

Re-warm glaze over low heat, if needed, and brush on tart when it is removed from the oven. Cool tart completely in pan on cooling grid.



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Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

With Dr. Alycia Policani, N.D. of Evergreen Naturopathic.

If you’re scared that you will one day hear the words, “You have breast cancer,” you’ve got plenty of company.  Karla Porter of Insight Thermal Image counsels her patients on ways to reduce their risk and that is why we reached out to her. She recommends dietary changes to reduce inflammation and dangerously high levels of estrogen. 

Sugar is highly inflammatory and suppressive to the immune system. Lowering inflammation and supporting immune function are integral to cancer prevention and treatment. Because of this, eliminating sugar is the basis of most cancer diets. Research dating back to the 1980’s found that 1 tsp of sugar could suppress the immune system for up to 15 hours. Not exactly an optimal situation when one is fighting cancer. And just consider how much sugar is in that chain coffee drink or most items on a fast food menu. Much more than a simple teaspoon.

Next up, trans fats, aka, anything partially or fully hydrogenated, just like good, old margarine. A recent study by investigators from Vanderbilt, found that the people with high trans fat consumption had a 25% increase in death from cancer, heart disease and stroke.  As a result, the National Academy of Sciences is moving to recommend that no consumption of trans fat is safe and that it should contribute to zero percent of our caloric intake.

Another problematic food is dairy products containing RGBH, or recombinant bovine growth hormone. RGBH is a hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production. Many milk brands that are rGBH-free label their milk as such, but as much as 40 percent of our dairy products, including ice cream and cheese, contain the hormone.

Our discussion would not be complete without discussing the effect of inorganic foods and GMO’s. Conventional, non-organic fruits and vegetables are loaded with pesticide and herbicide residues. Many of which have been linked to cancers of all types, but especially breast cancer. If you can’t afford to eat 100% organic, then check out the Dirty Dozen list. These are the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues and should definitely be avoided if at all possible.

Finally we’ll discuss foods that have been shown to have estrogen like effects on the body. These foods are soy, flax, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) red beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, black beans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and split peas. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are among the highest of all estrogenic foods. While their seeds are not a staple of most people’s diets, their oils are widely used in processed and prepared foods. Alfalfa sprouts, licorice, red clover and fennel, which are found in teas also have estrogen like effects.

One of the best ways to eliminate toxins and wastes from the body is simply staying hydrated. Water is integral to life and some research has suggested that just being well hydrated can significantly reduce breast cancer risk.  We have to be well hydrated and physically active to move the lymphatics and therefore improve our waste disposal mechanisms.  Sweating is another major route of elimination of toxins from the body. We need to be well hydrated (half our body weight in ounces daily) to sweat effectively. 

If you already have breast cancer, your physician may recommend strict adherence to the above recommendations, in addition to some of their own. In regards to prevention, you can see that there is much we can do in the way of prevention. Of course nothing is ever a 100% guarantee, there are many other factors to take into account when it comes to the development of breast and other cancers. But every little bit helps.

Dirty Dozen
Sweet Bell Peppers

Eat Superfoods for Breast Health
Mushrooms of all kinds but especially reishi, maitake, shitake and button varieties. Garlic, ginger, tumeric and seaweeds boost immune function.

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Weekend Escape for Crafty Ladies

Weekend Escape for Crafty Ladies Weekend Escape for Crafty Ladies Weekend Escape for Crafty Ladies Weekend Escape for Crafty Ladies

With Karen Oliphant of Simplee Memories

Do you have unfinished craft projects? Would you like to find a place to finish them with out interruptions?  Do you have friends who would like to join you?  Karen Oliphant of Medical Lake has created a weekend hobby retreat house which provides a bed & breakfast for “Crafty Ladies” just like you.

“My sister and I attended several scrapbooking retreats on the west side and had a great time, but had to bring food our own food.  I thought is would be much more relaxing and we could get so much more done if we didn’t have any interruptions. With that in mind, I set out to create an oasis of crafting for ladies right her in the Spokane area. Now at SIMPLEE MEMORIES ladies can bring the project they need to finish with uninterrupted time.  No dirty dishes, no cooking! You can stay in your pajamas all weekend if you want.”

SIMPLEE MEMORIES is a Bed and Breakfast where inspiration flows and ladies are nestled on 13 acres of trails, in a secluded natural setting, on a private road.  You will wake up to local wildlife roaming the property: plenty of moose, wild turkey, raccoons, squirrels, quail, songs birds, white tail and mule deer.  Karen has created an outdoor seating area with chairs and a hammock for working on projects or just soaking in the natural beauty.

“Wonderful crafting retreat! Bring your besties for a relaxing time, laughter & renewal! Lots of space, lighting & expertise offered. Accommodations are nice & comfortable; great food in a beautiful, woodsy setting! Can’t wait until the next retreat! Kim M. of Spokane

The home sleeps up to 10 people and has hosted a variety of weekend events including:  book clubs, jewelry making, ladies small church groups, scrapbooking, and a quilting group which gathers to create one quilt for charity each year.  Representatives of companies such as Stamp It Up or Close to My Heart are invited to sponsor a weekend and bring your group to SIMPLEE MEMORIES.  The home includes a large craft room with several large tables, comfortable chairs and craft lights at each table.  Bigger scrapbooking materials such as die-cutting machine, punches and heat tools are also available.  Home cooked meals are provided but women are also welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks, many women bring wine to enjoy in the evenings! 

If you don’t have a full weekend to spend, SIMPLEE MEMORIES offers a monthly Crop Café.  The Crop Café is 12 hour crafting time to work on projects.  The cost is $38/person, lunch and dinner are included and it runs from 10 am to 10 pm. 

Karen takes classes to stay on top of trends and techniques in Scrapping. She offers classes and workshops and her sister Ginger Robb teaches many also.  Ginger has own blog called “My Sisters Scrapper” and is well known in the scrapbooking community for her creativity and expertise. She has been invited to be on design teams for Graphic 45 and Miss Katt Cuttables. 

“Took a class there today. It was so much fun! Great class, great food and beautiful setting. I loved it and and hope to go back soon.”  Traci A. of Cheney

For more information and to sign up for classes or schedule a retreat visit their website http://www.simpleememories.com or call (855) 246-2573.

Karen Oliphant has been scrapbooking for 18 years and enjoys the process of creating something from nothing! She also finds it is a release from her outside job where she works at Sally’s House, an emergency foster care receiving center owned and operated by the Salvation Army.  Karen’s favorite projects are designing 12 by 12 pages, mini books and cards. She is involved in several card swaps and creates sets of 10 cards to donate to Ronald Mc Donald Houses.  Every years Karen looks forward to the NW Paper Chase.  This is the largest event for scrappers in our state, and lasts for three weeks in March.  Participants receive a Passport Book and are given 20% off at each of the 23 participant stores in Western Washington and Oregon.  Eachyear there is a theme and every store offers charms for participants who spend over $20.


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