At her church, United Christian in Gadsden, Tanya works in the nursing home ministry. This allows her to come in contact and help many of the church’s grandparents.
This Christmas, as a consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics, she’s doing a community outreach program, Adopt-a-Grandparent, for the holidays. Tanya and her sales unit are working with several nursing homes in the area. They’re asking individuals and business to adopt a grandparent for Christmas.
“You can adopt one resident for $15,” she said. “A receipt will be provided for tax deduction purposes.”
Tanya will take gifts, including Mary Kay products as well as a seasonal gifts, to area nursing homes.
“The gifts will all have beautiful packaging for both the ladies and gentlemen,” she said. “Our goal this year is to adopt 1000 residents. I tell everyone all the time that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. That’s a Mary Kay saying.”
Tanya reminds everyone that many seniors are forgotten during the holidays and. for some, this is the only gift, or one of a few gifts, they will receive. She said she’s overwhelmed by the positive response from the community in years past and welcomes everyone’s participation this year.
She asks everyone to respond by Dec. 6 and to call his or her personal Mary Kay representative for more information.
Tanya was born in Muscle Shoals. After graduating from Colvert County High School in Leighton, she moved here to attend Jacksonville State University in 1989. She met her husband, Kenneth, on a blind date after she moved here. They’ve been married 18 years. Kenneth works at Honda.
Their children, Kenya 17, Kenneth 14 and Kenon 12, attend Jacksonville High School.
Tanya began working for Mary Kay Cosmetics 15 years ago, when she wanted to find a job that would help her pay off some of her student debt. She has a major in social work and a master’s in counseling from JSU and worked in that field for 10 years.
“Once I began working with Mary Kay, I wanted to stay with it,” she said. “I love people and I love empowering women.”
Her job allows her flexibility so that she can attend her children’s sports activities and school events.
“I can go to football games, field trips and doctors’ appointments,” she said. “I can work around my family, and that’s one of the things I love about my job.”
She and Kenneth are in charge of the marriage ministries at their church.
“It’s awesome to be able to help marriages be strong,” she said. “We set up marriage enrichment classes and have fellowship banquets. Our theme is living our vows for life, and we try to teach and help other couples do that.”
Tanya’s mother, Bobbie Nelson, lives in Jacksonville. She will be one of 26 guests at Tanya’s home for Thanksgiving.
Tanya’s cooking specialty is cakes.
“I’m very proud of the ones I make,” she said “When people eat them, they always ask me how to make them.”
Contact Margaret at email@example.com.
Caramel White Velvet Cake
4 oz. egg whites, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, divided, room temperature
2 1/4 t. vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs + 1 t. baking powder
12 T. unsalted butter-room temperature
1/4 t. kosher salt (my addition)
In a mixer, combine all the dry ingredients, and mix for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix until the flour gets crumbly. Stir in 1/4 cup of the milk and bring the speed to medium high and beat for about 30 seconds. In a bowl, stir together the egg whites, milk and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients in 3 additions, scraping down the sides and beating for about 20 seconds after each addition. Do not over mix, but make sure it is all incorporated.
Pour into 2-7” cake tins, which you have parchment lined and greased. smooth the batter and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 35 minutes. Bake until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn over onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Slice each round into two horizontally to make 4 layers total.
2 cups light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
2 T. real maple syrup
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 t. vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Bring brown sugar, butter, milk, maple syrup and salt to a simmer. Simmer just until the sugar is no longer grainy, don’t let it boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring constantly. Allow to cool just slightly so that it isn’t scorching hot, but nicely warm. Whisk in powdered sugar.
You have to work fast, this will set up rather quickly. Pour icing on each layer as you stack it. You don’t want it to completely pour over the sides, but it can drip over without issue. Once all the layers are set, pour the remaining icing over the top using a ladle. use the bottom of the ladle to coax the icing over the sides to cover completely. Sprinkle pecans on top
6 (2 1/8 oz.) butterfinger candy bars, crushed
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 (12 oz.) carton Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust
Mix first three ingredients together. Put it in pie crust. Chill.
Cinnamon Roll Cake
3 cups flour
¼ t. salt
1 cup sugar
4 t. baking powder
1 ½ cups milk
2 t. vanilla
½ cup butter (melted)
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon
2 c. powdered sugar
5 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.
FOR TOPPING: In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.
FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.